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.

Date: 2012-11-08 05:57 am (UTC)
thebesteverseen: (Swim It Off)
From: [personal profile] thebesteverseen
Steve keeps his eyes open, out of the way of more forming waves, or people cutting down and riding through. Letting himself get far enough from it not to chance a collision while he's setting out the sharp throbbing pain. Or at least it's sharp and throbbing when he deigns to give it any mind. When he's not, it's more like the insistant movement of someone tapping a pencil against his rub.

Just a frictive action, like a pulse between bone and skin. He's done so much more on so very much worse.

But neither will a two-three minute break, some air, and letting his head above the water kill him.

So he stays there. Sits, floating on his board, hands resting against the broad mostly white center, squinting inward at the nod of a guy on sand. While something pricks at the back of his head. Enough that he stares a long second. It's still a pretty good distance out, so he mostly casts it aide. But not enough that he doesn't shift a glance over, following the guy's movements, as much as watching the people nearby him.

Several who succeed at the caliber, or even beyond the caliber, of work he was doing seconds ago, and yet only one or two -- no, only one really, that guy way far to right, and further out than most people were going here -- who even begins to come close to how good The Kid is. How she belongs here, talking the wind and the water, like they were always going to be part and parcel with her skin.
Edited Date: 2012-11-08 12:42 pm (UTC)

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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