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: 2012-10-25 12:52 am (UTC)
thebesteverseen: (Crazy bathshit antics)
From: [personal profile] thebesteverseen
Home. It's a funny word isn't. If you'd asked him, he'd probably have named Hawaii home all of his life.

Even during the nineteen years he'd been separated from it. The last, closest thing he had to one before he turned sixteen and the world turned upside down. Traded for dorms, then bunks, even untouched apartments. He still would have said Hawaii. Not that it mattered. He was never looking back, there was never something behind him to look back to, something specific to return to.

Not when there was always another mission. Another insurgent. Another team or friendly to rescue. Another reason to keep going. New orders; and finding them if they weren't already waiting on him when he returned back to his bases each time. More than not his R&R went to that even during the last decade. Where to head next. Never standing still. Never running backwards.

So it's not entirely strange. And it is. All at once. That word associated with the other. Home; and Hawaii. But they've never really mingled to mean anything either. And, sure, okay, it hasn't passed his noticed he's been here years, again, now. This time. But he'd never really thought of it. That way. Except as a blow by of a term. For his parents house, at the end of the day. The Rookie telling him to go home before his eyes bled from files. A set of walls, that were never quite his even if they were.

It's not just that either. The house. When there were people who threw themselves at him, hugging him and laughing, teasing him about it being too long with no word. Catching him up on files and frequencies. The fall downs and the last minute saves. Things he'll have to make his own inquiries into. Even after treating them to Liliha's that first morning. So. Yeah. It's not just this rock. And there are people. Neither of which he's actually missed noting were there every day for nearly two years.

But he hasn't had the reason to be gone in that time either. Except for Korea. Which hadn't been planned the way it went down. But he'd chosen to leave -- I'll be in touch. Mahalo -- to use the best contacts he could to chase Shelburne through Asia. Always a step behind, five minutes late. Close but close enough. Running on nearly no sleep and no food, with groups of subordinates who never talked back, never did less than the perfect duty to their orders.

Six weeks where the slate wiped away the last two years. Or put it into high def, each two and three hour pass he fell down.

Like a lock, without a key. When he wasn't sure what he felt about either side of that equation going on.

Except. That here it's easier to focus on absolutely nothing, and everything. Because the ocean demands it.

The wall of glass that rises tenacious and fast, curving like a living thing. The way soft, pale blue, gem-toned satin gains strength and speeds, forcing itself upward into the air. Catching the light and transmuting itself. An endless brilliant ribbon of silver silk catching the light, while below him deep darker colors, shadows filling the crash point as the distance grows. The height between himself and the base of the resting water, below the crest.

The way cutting in takes the perfect wall of water and sheers it. Ignore through the glare of blinding white at the highest points of the sun's reflection, the way the white water breaks on impact the same almost brilliant snow white, as it begins to curl, collapsing in on itself. Sending him racing the edge of the forming tube. When he can feel the difference in the air around him. The vacuum it creates, sucking everything backward, inward, as he races forward. The shadows it throws and casts, across his arms, and his board.

The way the standing, curving, falling wall changes. Translucent colors that fade in and out, sunshine and shadow, greens and blues that blur past his vision, when he's focusing on his stance, on crouching low enough not to break the roof. Taking the board, with a shift of weight and attacking back toward the crest, cutting back for an ariel against the the spray of the crashing wave to his side, still coming.

Taking it fast, with a twist upward, directly at the wall, carving up and down the collapsing sheet. Using its own weight against itself. Thrusting in and up, down, weaving with it, dancing in and out of the pocket, when he can stand more. Even though springing straight still catches him with the sharp tug of pain on that side of his rib cage under the tight fit skin-shirt. Again. Which. Can be ignored. But he's been doing it the better part of the morning afternoon already.

Danny, if he knew was Steven was up to, again. After yesterday. He'd be standing at the surf screaming still.

Ride the break toward shore, sliding to his knees, catching sight of the world, of people again; Hawaii. Before it starts all over again.


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John Sheppard

October 2012

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