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Title: Running is the Better Part of Valor
Characters: Evan Lorne, Aiden Bancroft, Evan’s team (OCs), John Sheppard, Elizabeth Weir
Fandom: Stargate: Atlantis
Written For: badfalcon
Prompt: dream
Summary: Lorne and company aren’t quite the trouble magnets Sheppard and his team are, but they don’t always have smooth missions every time either.
Rating: PG-13
Spoilers: nothing specific
Disclaimer: No one recognizable belongs to me. Not making any money off this.
Second Disclaimer Despite being fanfiction, this is MY work and I do not give anyone or any other site permission to republish this story under my name or any other without my authorization.
Author's Note: badfalcon had requested a Lorne fic earlier in the year (which she has now gotten) and with him poking around in my brain, this came to me as a dream. So I guess… here’s my second Atlantis fic in many years. Hope you like this one too! Thanks to irishjeeper for the help.

Lorne could pinpoint almost the exact moment the conversation with the natives went from passably agreeable to ‘we’re going to get shot at’. He could only sigh this time because it actually wasn’t Aiden’s fault. For all that she wasn’t a diplomat with the people on at Atlantis unless they hadn’t annoyed her at that moment, out in the field, she was actually quite good with making first or second contact. This time though, he had a feeling it was either their armament, her sex, or the lack of ability to find more than a smattering of words in a common language. He didn’t think Aiden had insulted anyone, but if someone started shooting, she was absolutely going to say something unwise.

So he watched as all three of his Marines tensed, something in the air suggesting to them that the ‘hey we met an indigenous population, let’s make friends’ part of the afternoon was over and now it was the ‘protect the scientist, protect the tech, watch the Major’ portion of the afternoon. He’d given up attempting to redirect their instincts, but at least he’d managed to get himself moved to the bottom of the list. He might be a pilot (and Air Force), but he had more training than either Aiden or Deke.

Shifting slightly, he said in a low voice, “If they fire something at us, I want you to grab Doc, Wall. Drop our gear and hightail it for the ‘gate.”

Giving Aiden points for not whipping her head around and demanding why she was being grabbed, Lorne tried to ease her farther back into their grouping without making it obvious. “I can run, Evan,” she replied, breaking out of her attempt at conversation to put her opinion in.

“You’re a foot and some shorter than me,” Lorne pointed out as one of the natives raised the spear thing that had been casually held at his side. “And everyone else has at least three inches on me. It’s not the running, it’s keeping up.” Lorne’s eyes narrowed as McFadden tensed, his fingers twitching so he didn’t aim his P-90. “Fire over their heads,” he ordered, “unless you have to…” he trailed off as a rock came winging towards them from the back of the group. “Wall!” he snapped.

Reaching out, Wall unsnapped Aiden’s pack from her back, not even giving her time to protest before he unclipped his own, grabbed her, and lit out towards the ‘gate. Deke was two seconds behind, dropping his own pack in favor of keeping up with the younger Marine. McFadden and Murray waited, watching as the rock came in, landing a few inches short of their position.

“Sir?” they questioned, almost in one voice.

“Over their heads,” Lorne said, the calmness of his voice betraying his tension.

All three fired a short burst, causing the natives to stop their forward advance, before the remaining Atlantans took off after their teammates.

The three had clearly stopped for a moment because when the secondary group caught up, Aiden was piggyback style on Wall’s back. She looked disgruntled, but she wasn’t complaining and she wasn’t hurt so Lorne took it as a win. Without slowing down, they re-grouped and took off for the ‘gate.

The sounds of their pursuers; yelling, the occasional clunk of a rock as it hit the ground by them, the weird whistle of the sticks as they flew past their heads, kept them motivated. Lorne was glad they hadn’t gotten far from the ‘gate, but attempting to dial out was going to be tricky.

“Think if we shoot one, they’ll back off a little?” McFadden asked from his position to the side and rear.

“I’d rather not unless we have to,” Lorne called back. He could just see the edge of the ‘gate down the slight hill they’d climbed that morning.

Wall had already reached it and made the decision to take it at a slide, rather than risk attempting to hold onto Aiden and keep his balance. It made them a smaller target too and the rest of the team followed suit. Deke was up and not-quite running for the ‘gate as soon as they hit level ground again.

“Low ground, safety at the ‘gate,” Murray muttered. “Not sure which is better.” He pointed upwards where the natives had paused at the edge of the small incline. “Are they stopping?”

“And not firing,” Lorne commented in confusion. “Let’s not look a gift horse. Deke?”

“Halfway done,” the tech replied. The ‘gate whooshed open a moment later and as soon as they got confirmation of their IDC, Lorne sent Wall and Aiden through.

The rest of the team quickly followed to find Weir and Sheppard waiting for them.

“You seem to be missing some gear, Major,” Sheppard commented mildly as his eyes glanced over the team.

“Pointy sticks and rocks,” Lorne replied with a sigh. “Not sure what set them off, but it wasn’t my team.”

“Doctor?” Weir asked, turning to the team member that was supposed to be charming the natives.

Aiden was picking herself up from where she’d tumbled after Wall dumped her off his back. “Not a clue, ma’am. I couldn’t figure out enough words in common to even ask them a question. It wasn’t something I said though.”

“Get cleaned up,” Weir decided. “And we’ll debrief. And discuss if we can get your gear back.”

Lorne nodded. Just another day in Pegasus. He handed off his P-90 to one of the Marines on ‘gate duty, walking towards the infirmary as he heard Sheppard ask the room at large, “Was Wall carrying Bancroft in a piggyback?”