Season: any really
Summary: He who sets out to issue a challenge must be prepared to have the tables turned. So Laura Cadman finds out when a certain Major sets out to teach her a lesson about her 'Truth or Dare' game. Lorne/Cadman preship
Spoilers for: None
Disclaimer: I am unfortunately not associated in any way with the creators, owners, or producers of Stargate or any of its media franchises. All publicly recognizable characters, settings, equipment, etc are the property of whoever owns them. Any original characters, plot, settings, and anything else I made up are the property of me, the author. No copyright infringement is intended.
Copyright (c) 2010 ShaViva
Inspired by the ladygris challenge over on fanfiction.net for a 300 word story featuring a Truth or Dare.
Breaking the rules
Lorne had to turn the tables - not as a means of retaliation but because every piece of the recent mischief in the city could be tracked back to one Lieutenant Laura Cadman and her game of Truth or Dare. The past week she'd had people admitting to things they never would have admitted to under usual circumstances - and whether her victim chose 'truth' or 'dare' didn't seem to change the result. Lorne had to admit that on one level he was kind of impressed. Cadman had insight and an instinctive understanding of what would motivate people, and wasn't afraid to use her powers to 'help' her friends, all with a 'you can trust me' smile and a sparkle of mischief in her eyes. No one refused her - because there was a kind of sanctity to the tradition no one wanted to be the first to break, and because they knew Laura would never let them live it down. Any truth or dare was preferable over that ... and on the whole there hadn't been any disasters of the unrequited variety. No broken rules either ... yet.
What really bugged Lorne, aside from the fact that Laura had yet to approach him with her 'Truth or Dare' question, was the way she craftily worked it so that she didn't participate. It had been suggested by a few people but she'd laughed - said she didn't need a game to help her express herself. Lorne didn't care what anyone said - no one was that well adjusted! So ... time to get a little back on Laura, on behalf of everyone in the city.
"Truth or Dare Laura?"
The message popped up on Laura's computer screen, no user id attached. Glancing around the lab and seeing no one paying her special attention, she frowned and then typed back. "Why would you think I'd play a game with someone who hides their identity?"
"Because nothing scares a marine. Now ... Truth or Dare?"
Laura sat looking at the cursor blinking insistently back at her ... answer, answer, ANSWER!
"Fine," she typed. "Since I don't think you can issue a dare AND be able to see me follow it through just using messages, I'll take Dare."
"Think again ... "
"I dare you to answer my next five questions with complete honesty."
Crap! She should have just closed the message window without replying! Now she couldn't because then she'd be guilty of breaking the rules she's so blithely insisted no one could break. But she didn't really want to answer personal questions from someone she didn't know either. Laura had to admit the sneak attack was clever ... lucky for her she had more than a little skill with computers. Calling up a quick tracking program she sent it off to find her hidden messenger.
"Well?" Somehow the cursor managed to look impatient.
"I'm thinking!" Laura replied. "Since I can hardly refuse now, ask your questions."
"That tracking program won't work you know."
Laura stiffened, back to looking around. Was someone watching her?
"And no, I'm not watching you."
Damn! Whoever this was, they knew her too well. That narrowed the list of culprits down somewhat, but not enough to get her out of answering questions. Adding a few extra parameters to her search, Laura kept it running. Just because 'they' said it wouldn't work didn't mean they were right!
"So ... first question. Do you always go after what you want like you say, no matter the situation?"
"No." Grinning, Laura leaned back. That one had been easy, and what had she really given away with her one word answer?
"When was the last time you didn't go after what you wanted and why?"
"That's two questions," Laura typed back. She didn't need to think about her answer ... recalling all too easily the impromptu 'party' that had gathered in the Mess the night before. They'd talked about the highlights of the current round of Truth or Dare and when she'd seen Major Lorne sitting off to one side reading a report, the urge to go over there and dare him to kiss her had been hard to ignore. "It was last night, and I didn't because it would have been against regulations," she typed.
The cursor blinked a few times but the next question wasn't forthcoming.
"Not what you were expecting?" she queried, smiling a little.
"No." The cursor blinked a few more times. "What did you want?"
"A kiss," Laura smiled again.
"You know, your questions could do with a little work on the whole predictability thing," Laura typed back, glancing at her still running tracking program.
"Stop stalling and answer my question. Who did you want a kiss from?"
"Why do you want to know?" Laura kept stalling despite both of them knowing that's what she was doing. Her program was cycling rapidly now ... she was so close to finding the source. "Are you going to arrange something for me?"
"Even if it's against regulations?"
There was a pause and then "Maybe."
So, whoever she was talking to was probably not military. Laura sighed - she really shouldn't be disappointed about that. "If I answer, do I get to find out who you are?"
"What about if I truth or dare you?" Laura suggested.
"I prefer to spend my time on other things besides party games Laura."
That sounded loaded with innuendo - sexual innuendo. 'Mind out of the gutter Laura!' she told herself. The frustration was almost too much - she had to know who she was talking to.
"Time's running out. Answer the question."
"Fine. Major Lorne." She typed quickly and didn't pause to think before she pressed enter.
This time the blinking cursor just kept right on blinking.
"As in the base 2IC," Laura clarified a few moments later, although how anyone could not know who Major Lorne was, was beyond her.
More cursor blinking without a reply had her typing again. "Evan Lorne. U.S. Air force. Talented pilot. Honourable. Dependable. Ring any bells?"
"I know who you mean. You make him sound a little ... boring."
Laura laughed and then typed, her mischievous side popping up. "He also has hot blue eyes and a body I'd almost kill to get my hands on."
She wasn't sure what the reply might have been - the tracking software window grabbed her attention, the source displayed wiping the smile off her face. "Oh shit!" she muttered, feeling just a little sick.
"Yeah, I was thinking the same thing."
Laura turned to see the man himself leaning against the doorway, a PDA held loosely in one hand. "Double shit!" she thought, feeling her face flushing red with embarrassment.
"Walk with me Lieutenant," the Major's tone was just shy of an order, but since she wanted to get out of the lab where any one of a dozen people could observe her embarrassment and probable dressing down, Laura was up on her feet and beside him in an instance.
"Yes Sir," she said, sneaking him a look out of the corner of her eye and then wishing she hadn't. He looked angry ... she was in so much trouble!
Evan led them to the nearest of the many balconies that dotted the towers of Atlantis. He didn't say anything but that wasn't because he had nothing to say. In fact his mind was spinning with the unexpected ramifications of his attempt to turn the tables on Laura. When they were alone with the balcony doors closed he turned to face her.
"This is why Truth or Dare shouldn't be messed around with," he said, folding his arms across his chest.
"Permission to speak freely Sir?" Laura asked.
Evan hesitated and then reluctantly agreed. "Go ahead."
"You started it!" Laura shot him a hot glare. "What were you trying to do, sending me those messages?"
"Give you a taste of your own medicine," Evan replied, the epitome of cool, calm and collected, especially in the face of her ire. "You've had people tripping over their own feet for a week Lieutenant. I'm not suggesting that your intentions weren't good, and maybe you helped motivate some of them. But maybe they weren't ready for where playing along with your game put them."
"Like me, right now," Laura muttered under her breath. Her shoulders slumped, the righteous indignation dropping away leaving her feeling a little flat. "You're right Sir. I'll stop playing the game."
"I didn't ask you to stop Lieutenant," Lorne shot back impatiently. "Just take a step back and consider the consequences. Now you have personal experience with the embarrassment factor I'm sure you'll think twice about what it is you're urging people to do."
"So, you're happy to ignore the ah ... my ... what ...," Laura stuttered to a stop. "Get a grip girl," she urged herself.
"Am I happy to ignore that you wanted to dare me to kiss you?" Evan queried blandly.
"Yes, that," she nodded emphatically. "Can we just forget about that?"
Evan's stark reply had her eyes shooting to his. "Sorry, what?" she swallowed, suddenly nervous in the face of his entire attention being centred on her. The blue of his eyes seemed particularly intense, drawing her in when she really, really wanted to just disappear.
"You heard me," Lorne took a step closer. "You know, I was wondering why you hadn't tried your little game on me since even Colonel Sheppard wasn't spared. The cat is out of the bag now Laura ... and I'm thinking I'd really like to hear you ask me the question you've been asking everyone lately."
"You mean 'truth or dare'?" Laura felt like her brain had taken a holiday, leaving her floundering and no longer understanding how the world worked.
"That's the one. I'll take dare," Evan acted as though she'd actually asked him to participate, stepping closer again until he was crowding her back against the balcony. They weren't in contact but he had a way of commanding the situation so that she felt like there was no space around her that he wasn't filling.
"Really?" Laura's voice was breathless, most of her attention on him, not his words.
"Really," Lorne confirmed, grinning. "If I'd known that all I had to do to slow down that brain of yours was crowd you a little I'd have done it years ago."
"This isn't funny!" Laura put a hand on his chest, intent on pushing him away. She would have too but the heat and hardness of his chest along with the intimacy of feeling the beating of his heart against her palm stole the intention before she'd acted on it. And suddenly everything was way too serious. "This is against the rules," she murmured, her expression turning sad.
"Maybe, maybe not," Lorne returned. "And maybe kissing me will be nothing so it won't matter either way."
"It won't be nothing," Laura said with certainty.
A smile played over Evan's face as he raised a hand and smoothed a strand of hair back behind her ear. "I don't think so either." His expression turned serious as he continued. "If you're willing to put us out there with Sheppard and Colonel Caldwell, maybe we can create enough separation between our roles for this not to be against the rules."
Hope surged but Laura stamped it down before it had her dancing excitedly in front of him. "Maybe. But you're right, we really should check first, to see if it's worth going through all that," she said sagely. She looked up at Evan for a moment, unconsciously smoothing the hand she still had on his chest over his shirt as she steeled herself to deliver her challenge. "I dare you to kiss me," she finally said.
Lorne drew her up to him ... their lips hovered a breath away from contact ... and then he closed the distance and kissed her. It wasn't the usual dare inspired kiss - no small touch of lips before an awkward retreat for them. It went on for some time and strictly speaking was more like a series of kisses than just one ... and when it was done and they were pulling apart, their eyes locked together, the question was well and truly answered.
"It'll be worth it," Laura declared. Pushing him back now she grinned. "You should go and talk to Colonel Sheppard right now because I really, really want to do that again."
"I'll take care of it," Evan agreed. He couldn't resist one more quick but intense kiss before he spun on a heel and disappeared out the door, leaving Laura staring after him.
"Wow," Laura murmured, her mind still reeling from the unexpected turn of events. "If that's what tasting my own medicine is like, sign me up for more!"
Evan thought about it all the way to Sheppard's office. He'd definitely succeeded in shaking the usually unflappable Laura Cadman, but in the process had turned the tables on himself as well.
Given the promise in that kiss he couldn't bring himself to mind ... not even when he was staring down the barrel of what was likely to be a very embarrassing conversation with his CO. He'd get the clearance he needed, rearrange things so that he was no longer in Cadman's chain of command, even for the little things - make sure there was no way either of them could be accused of favouritism or bringing either of their services into disrepute.
And then he'd see what else he and Laura could dare each other to do.