Laughing through tears at another tale of his youth, Jillian said, “I can imagine what you were like when you were young.” She and John as they watched the stars from the balcony of Atlantis.
“Am I so old now?’ John asked. The twinkle in his eye was matched only by unruliness of his hair.
“Incredibly old. You need to remember, you’re a full 8 months older than I am. Those eight months have apparently been hard on you.”
John reached out and grabbed her hand. “It’s the eight years since I last saw you that have been hard on me.”
Jillian looked away but continued to allow John to hold her hand. He had no idea how hard it had been. Walking away from John had been the hardest decision she could have made. But it never would have worked. She couldn’t remember the thoughts that went through her mind when she had made that decision. She only knew how happy she was now to have another chance with him. His gentle squeeze against her palm brought her attention back to the man lounging next to her. She could see in the warmth of his face that he held no bitterness for their long separation. He was also happy to be back together.
Jillian lounged alongside John, pulling up close to him. The metal beneath them was cool and hard, but the comfort of John’s arms made everything warm and cozy. “So help me out. Paint my imagination, John. Tell me about John Sheppard on a typical night growing up.”
He laughed and settled himself into a more comfortable position. Resting his back against a post, John drew Jillian into his arms and began slowly:
“I was a shy, quiet teenager.”
Jillian turned around with an incredulous look on her face. John chuckled again, squeezed her tight. “I haven’t always been the cocky man you know and love.”