stardrive_pilot: Promo (Sprawl)
[personal profile] stardrive_pilot
The first time he came back to Earth, he'd been stunned to find it was no longer home. There's nothing quite like figuring out that the planet you'd lived on your entire life didn't feel like the place you belonged anymore to throw a guy a little off his balance. Of course, that was over a year ago, and he's as used to feeling out of place back on Earth as he ever will be.

What he's not used to is the fact that he's here and this is now and it's all actually happened. Every day, he still expects to wake up with the sound of the ocean in his ears and the spires of Atlantis sparkling in the pink-tinted light outside his window. And every day since he wound up back here, he's woken to the very mechanical and very different sounds of the SGC, his eyes fighting to adjust to the cool dark of his underground guest quarters. He misses the windows that look out over the city, the balconies, the sunlight, even the sound of the water in those silly little fountains the Ancients had all over the place.

He misses all of it, but none of it's what really matters. That's just the trappings, the superficial stuff a soldier gets used to having change around them with new postings. He's used to changing settings, used to never quite feeling like he's settled in anywhere. He's even used to leaving behind friends. Those are things he's handled before. They'll get better with time, but other things won't.

He was the military commander of the whole damn Atlantis Expedition and now, what, they're going to stick him on SG-4 like none of that ever happened? His team's split up, his command's gone, and it's awfully like all those times he's been shunted aside and made somebody else's problem because nobody wanted to deal with him. And this time, he's SG-4's problem.

Or they're his. He hasn't quite figured that out yet.

It was probably a good idea when Landry sent him packing.

Of course, it didn't feel like a good idea, felt like he was just being shoved aside like they all were from the moment they dragged those damn Ancients back to Atlantis from their stupid busted spaceship. He spent the whole damn trip simmering resentment, tapping his fingers on his knees and glaring out the window, like that could make the commercial airliner into the Daedalus and his destination into Atlantis.

He doesn't like being this far away from the SGC, even though he knows the Daedalus could lock onto his subcutaneous transmitter and beam him up and there in moments if it was needed. Could, sure. Would? That he's not so sure about.

In the end, though, he'd had no choice. Landry had insisted he take his leave somewhere that wasn't Colorado, and what the hell.

He might as well go somewhere nice, right? So he's settled on Hawaii. It's not like he has to worry about cost; a Lieutenant Colonel's pay goes a hell of a long way when you're in another galaxy.

Of course, it's not Atlantis, but it is something he's missed: the beaches in Pegasus might be pristine, but there's a buzz and atmosphere to a sweet surf spot that you just can't get when there's nobody else there. There are more people than he's used to, and it's still a little weird being surrounded by all the symbols of modern life everywhere he looks, but still, it's better than he could have thought. It brings a smile to his face for the first time in far too long to be standing on the beach, leaning on his board and looking out to sea, his things in his USAF-issue duffel bag flung on the sand at his feet.

It's been a hell of a time since he last stood here, and those are some sweet breakers waiting for him.

Date: 2012-11-11 02:36 pm (UTC)
thebesteverseen: (Seriously Can't Hold it In)
From: [personal profile] thebesteverseen
He knows what it is after a few minutes. Watching the guy take to a wave like several other people who hit the shores in Hawaii. The set of his shoulders, the efficient ways of movements that never slip out of everything. That men and women keep even dozens of years after service ends. More than forty-five thousands people counted in the military bases of these small islands, it's almost easier to guess than than it is to lean toward natives.

He's younger still though. Not young, but younger. Enough the movements scream it now. Now that he knows what he's looking like. But it bullrushes into the ride then. Which reads like a book. The ocean always does. How you're doing, how well you can let go. He starts out a little rusty, edges all wrong, even though the movements are right. Which raises questions, of course. He's either new, from somewhere else. Or he doesn't get out often. Except.

The guys knows how to surf. It comes back like a skin, slowly cleaner and clearer. Like a bike you don't forget riding. Just the edges are rusty. But everything is wearing off a he watches. It's becoming more natural, rubbing off the slick of everything else coloring it. The way the ocean does. Selfish and demanding, the water and waves give you time for nothing else. Nothing more than the ride, the high, listening to how it's changing, where it's going, how its flowing. There isn't time for anything.

The wave ends the way they all do, tossing a surfer free and sucking half back into the surf, while sending smaller and smaller waves forward, on and on, to the beach. Endless movement, happening dozens of places around them, when he's still watching. Because he comes out closer, he comes out attentive. Short hair and wiry build, even solid, but closer, and it's all Steve needs.

It locks into place, even from this far out. The face settling to a hazier set of space and time, but pulling up familiar. Dark uniforms and darker deeds. Sheppard. Enough to make him wonder, how here and why now, even though he knows the twisted roads lead everywhere and anywhere, eve here. After all, he's in Hawaii and he was never going to end up coming back here except for funerals and maybe the occasional vacations, far in the future, when ran out of other places to be in port, or on mission.

But the wind and the waves, the wicked paths of time seem to have had their way again, when he's raising a hand, giving half a wave. Sort of like an attention, but nowhere near a salute. Dropping it to his curve around his mouth, when he's calling out, over the roar of crashing water, with the edge a sardonic smirk, even though it's opened his face up all amused and bright with the surprising settling into him like sun, "You should keep your day job. You fly better than you ride still."

Date: 2012-11-22 03:52 pm (UTC)
thebesteverseen: (Smuggest Damn Smirk)
From: [personal profile] thebesteverseen
He can fill in the sharp, caustic smile even at this distance. History filtering into present, setting itself with his ocean, and island.

When he slides on his board, legs back and arms forward, and sets himself to swimming. Hands cutting through the water, pulling on well warm and stretched muscles from the workout he's gotten out here all morning. He does look to the sides now and then, making sure they aren't cutting in on where anyone is heading out, and keeping an eye out for those who are riding out and washing out of waves that aren't all that far off.

It's honestly, insane. The moments when that life slips into this one. It's not like the island isn't full of service members. It's as close to the middle of the ocean as you get. Necessary on so many different levels. But he doesn't expect it. Passing hundreds of thousands of them whom he doesn't, only to be rewarded with another familiar face. Even if the last set of familiar faces didn't go over so well.

Enough he knows it'll be in Danny's reaction the first time he mentions it. If he does. If there's even a reason. There might not be. But the memory does clog up his throat a little. Members of his SEAL team and the memory that everything, everything, can change for certain people given all this time. But the words, irreverent and amused do make the thoughts slip.

"They still let you get away with excuses like that, over there?" Coming as he's pushing himself back up into a seated position on his board, not too far away. And, yeah, it's been a while. A good, long while even. But he looks pretty much the same. A few more lines. But the same, too. Which drags a smile to stay, amused wide on his lips. He might blame the local and the surprise if anyone asked.

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John Sheppard

October 2012

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