Date: 2012-11-12 03:54 pm (UTC)
stardrive_pilot: (Laughing)
He's used to the feeling of being watched. In Pegasus, it followed him everywhere. Strangers, friends, even allies, whatever they were, he and his team were always set apart from the people on the planets they visited, and what's different draws eyes. There's something relieving about being able to just slip into the background back here on Earth, relieving and at the same time strange, because there's so much going on in the world around them that these people don't and can't know.

He's lived with that kind of secret before, but secret is just what it is, and here, he's fading into the crowd, or trying to. Trying to pretend that he still belongs in this world, with these people, that it's not still jarringly disorienting to remember that he's a galaxy away from his home of the past two and a half years.

It's strange to realize that the guy whose surfing he'd been so idly watching before is looking at him, and it sets sensitive senses on alert, the senses that are honed to alert him to danger in his surrounds, to the tell-tale whine of the Dart or the launch of a trap, the rustle that precedes an ambush.

(Sometimes, the pressure of that horrible hand feels like it's still there, on his chest, sucking away the life; keener senses, better awareness, would have prevented that horror show of nightmares becoming real.)

It's not some sort of magical sixth sense or anything; this time, it's just observation. He's looking and he's being looked at in return. As he looks at the tattoos and the strong, stern face, that face is looking back, and then there's a moment, a flash of recognition across it, and a hand, raised in recognition.

It's the voice that brings it back to him, though: low, gruff, a voice he knows from another time, another place, when he still held a precarious grip on the life he had here. The face gleams with water, moisture sparkles in his hair instead of the ubiquitous sand and dust that always seemed to cake everyone and everything back in those days, but he knows it now, remembers the dry wit, the teasing rivalry, the iron determination they'd all known. McGarrett, like a page from the book of his past come alive.

"I'm just getting started."

Defensive words, maybe, but the smile that sneaks slow and stealthy up one side of his face makes a lie of them.

He'd wondered what it would be like to see those guys again, but in all the scenarios, all the recriminations, all the swirling things he'd been told and told himself, he'd never imagined one of those SEALs recognizing him across a wave half a world away from where it all happened, let alone the smile.

It's barely even a conscious decision to take a few paddled strokes towards McGarrett.

"'Course, it's not like surfing's much of a job skill in the Air Force."
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John Sheppard

October 2012

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