Title: Asgard Tact
By: [livejournal.com profile] kellifer_fic
Rating: G
Category: Lorne/Novak
Words: 830
Disclaimer: Don't own, don't sue, no money!

Summary: “Anyway, he thought if I could see that you were okay then I would stop… being concerned,” Novak finished and Lorne recognised the look of a woman desperate for the Earth to open up and swallow her whole.

“Major Lorne. I require your presence.”

Lorne startled at the voice in his ear. He had just been about to remove his earpiece and he wasn’t entirely convinced he was hearing correctly. “Hermiod?” he asked tentatively, ready to feel like an idiot if he had mistaken a scientist for the Asgard.

“Immediately,” was the only response.

“Look, I’ve just gotten back from being held hostage. I’ll just jump in the shower real quick and then-“

“I’m sorry Major, perhaps I have the wrong Tau’ri word. I meant to say now.”

Lorne paused in the act of lifting the homespun Genii tunic over his head. “You’ve got to be kidding me,” he huffed.

“I do not joke,” Hermiod said and clicked off.

Lorne, on his way to the docks, got a few hugs and pats on the shoulder, people relieved that he and his team had made it back in one piece. Lorne had already heard how there had been bodies discovered adorned with his team’s tags and he’d been horrified at the thought. Now, with the relief was some gentle amusement and a couple of suggestions that he might’ve rethought a wash before taking a tour of the city.

Lorne finally arrived in the doorway of the engineering room on the Daedelus and spotted Hermiod in his customary position. He advanced on the little grey Asgard and thumped his hands down on Hermiod’s display. “What was so important?” he growled.

Hermiod blinked at him impassively, and then turned away and seemed to address a console on the other side of the room. “There. Now will you be able to concentrate?”

Lorne looked over the Asgard’s head and saw Novak emerge from underneath the console, cheeks flaming. “I’m so sorry about this, Major. I had no idea.”

Lorne skirted Hermiod’s station and came around to where Novak was standing, shifting from foot to foot and wringing her hands. “Care to tell me what’s going on?”

“Am I allowed to say no?” Novak asked, staring fixedly at her shoes.

Lorne let out a surprised bark of laughter. “Not really, no.”

“I was afraid of that. Look, I was concerned for you and I happened to mention it to Hermiod-“

“If you class mentioning as talking about nothing else,” Hermiod grumbled from the other side of the room and Lorne put a hand up to his mouth to hide his smirk because Novak was now looking absolutely pained.

“Anyway, he thought if I could see that you were okay then I would stop… being concerned,” Novak finished and Lorne recognised the look of a woman desperate for the Earth to open up and swallow her whole.

“There was something else,” Hermiod prodded and if Lorne thought Novak’s blush was fire-engine red before, he was now astounded to see that she almost glowed.

Alright!” Novak hissed, leaning around Lorne to glare at the Asgard. She stepped back, took a deep breath and said in a rush, “Can I just…?”

Her arms came up in a semi-circle, and Lorne looked at her for a beat, completely mystified as to what she was doing. It dawned on him when Novak’s face fell and her arms started to drop. “Oh, right, sure thing,” he said, stepping forward and into the limp arc of her arms. Novak, in her surprise, almost stepped away, but Lorne had dropped his own arms around her shoulders and she instead squeezed back by reflex. The hug became less awkward as they both relaxed and Lorne became painfully aware of all the nice soft Novak pressed against him.

“You smell like a Yak,” she observed as they both finally released.

“I find it infinitely more interesting that you know what a Yak smells like,” Lorne countered with a dry grin. “I was just hoping that if I was dirty enough, I would make a full revolution all the way back to clean again.”

“I’m really sorry about this. I know there are probably a million things you’d rather be doing.”

Lorne tapped his chin with a hand. He hadn’t had a decent meal in weeks, he hadn’t slept properly in days and apparently, he smelled like a Yak. Food, shower and sleep, not necessarily in that order had seemed important, right up until the moment Novak had made a circle of her arms.

“Not really, but I’m probably a danger to the senses so I am going to go catch a shower. Can I…do you want to… eat with me a little later?”

Novak blinked and then smiled. “Sure, yes.”

Lorne nodded and made his way back past Hermiod. Just before he made it to the door, a little grey hand reached out and grabbed his elbow with surprising strength. Lorne looked back over his shoulder at Hermiod, who had narrowed his eyes in the usual Asgard way, with a slight twitch upwards of his lower lids.

“If you sadden her in any way, be reminded that I can and will vaporise you.”


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