Write about the horizon
john & jill, daniel & annalii
what’s on the horizon?
is it sunrise?
She sat staring out into the distance. The place where the sky met with the land below was still aglow with the setting sun. As the light faded below the horizon, she saw less and less of the terrain before her.
She sat staring into the distance. The long night was over and the place where the sky met the sea was beginning to glow with the first light of dawn. It was still impossible to make out more than a few rudimentary shapes of the terrain before her. Jillian thought life was a lot like that; even when you know what’s coming, you can’t always see the way to get there. Now that she had seen John, she knew their past would come up. She knew they would have a conversation that she never even dreamed of having.
Dreaming of John Sheppard on the other hand, that was something she had done more times than she could count. No matter how many times she reminded herself that he was just that “Cabo Fling” she couldn’t get him out of her mind. It wasn’t just because of his rugged good looks, (and there was plenty of that!). It was the way they had complimented one another so completely and the way they fit together so easily. She hadn’t met another man like that since.
Maybe that was why she had spent so much of her first night in Atlantis thinking about him. After their encounter in the gate room, Jillian had been ushered into orientation. From there she was rushed into a basic tour of the city then shown to her new living space. There hadn’t been another moment to talk with John. She hadn’t felt like talking to Rodney and headed to bed early. From there, the night dragged out before her. It wasn’t just seeing John Sheppard again. She was in a new galaxy, living in the fabled lost city of Atlantis. Talk about jet lag. Between the adrenaline of the adventure and the anxiety of seeing an old familiar face, she had hardly slept.
Which brought her here, on the balcony outside her quarters. The sea breeze was cool but refreshing. What new discoveries awaited here out there? As a scientist, she could only think of the plant and animal life they might encounter both on this world and others like it. As an anthropologist, she was more concerned with the people they would work with. Wasn’t that why she had been chosen for this mission? Her unique blend of scientific knowledge and mind for new cultures. Of course, being best friends with a lead scientist of the expedition probably didn’t hurt.
Jillian started at the knock on her door. She left the balcony and her thoughts to find out who could be visiting her so early. “Who is it?”
“It’s me,” came Rodney’s familiar voice. “I have something I just know you’ll find impressive.”
Jillian waved her hand in front of the control panel and let Rodney in. “Your nose must have been itching. I was just thinking about you.”
Rodney strode into the room carrying two styrofoam cups with lids. “You know I don’t buy into such nonsense. Neither should you, it’s a complete waste of brain energy.” He extended one of the cups to her.
“What’s this?” Jillian asked, peeling the lid back from the container. “Some type of strange brew they feed you here in the Pegasus galaxy?”
“No, I thought I’d start you off with a cup of Earth coffee.” Rodney took a seat at her desk. “We’ll save the strange brews for another day. So…” Rodney began, “what was with the awkward reception in the gateroom yesterday?”
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Jillian evaded. “Besides, how’d you know I’d be awake at this hour.”
“Simple. You went to bed unfortunately early last night, depriving me of showing you my lab. Also, it was your first night here, so naturally you wouldn’t sleep well. I know I didn’t. I didn’t sleep well nearly the entire first month I was here. Some people would say it was from fear, but hardly. I couldn’t stop exploring and testing and wanting to learn. But I digress. Most importantly, I know you – you’re the earliest riser I have ever known. It was downright annoying sometimes.” Rodney stopped long enough to sip his coffee. “And you didn’t answer the question. What’s the story between you and Sheppard?”
“What makes you think there…”
“Stop insulting my intelligence,” Rodney cut her off with a wave of his hand. “You blushed like a naive school girl and he stiffened like he’d just seen a ghost. Spill the beans, Walsh.”
Jillian stared at her coffee. “Now I kind of wish this was a strange brew,” she muttered, half to herself. Falling onto the bed, she let out a loud, “FINE. Pull up some mattress, I’ve got a story to tell you. Well actually, the rest of a story.”
Eager now, Rodney sat next to her almost like when they were teenagers. There were times that Jillian thought Rodney was more of a girlfriend than any girl had ever been. With a crooked smile and a roll of her eyes, she began. “Remember that summer trip I took right after our last year of graduate school?”
“Yeah, to.. to…” Rodney snapped his fingers as he tried to recall the summer she referred to. “What was it? Oh yeah, Cabo! I still don’t understand why you didn’t take me.”
“Aside from the fact that you burn like toast in the sun?” Rodney started to protest, but she continued. “Do you want to hear this story or not?” At his silent pout, she went on. “Yes, my month long trip to Cabo. Well I never told you this, but I met someone while I was there. I had gone to a local club that was having salsa lessons. I knew I didn’t particularly need them, but I figured it would help me find out where to go dancing and meet some new people. There was one guy, an American, that stood out from the other students. When we paired up with partners, I ended up with him. We had a ball dancing together and quickly felt unwelcome at a beginners class. That night we went out for dinner and drinks. One thing led to another and.. well…” She trailed off, giving Rodney a look that said you don’t really want the details, do you?
“Anyway… we spent practically every moment together for the rest of the trip. We decided from the beginning that it wasn’t going to lead to anything more. I was determined that I didn’t have time for a serious relationship and he was about to be deployed to Afganistan. When I left, I figured I’d never see him again.”
Rodney was listening quietly, but at the mention of deployment his eyebrows shot up. “Deployed? As in military?”
“Yep. Air Force. Pilot.”
“No.” It was all Rodney could think to say. It was impossible. John Sheppard had been… “No way. You hooked up with Sheppard?”
“I guess you could call it that. I prefer to call it an encounter.”
“You’ve got to be kidding me. Why didn’t you tell me? Wait, Sheppard can dance?”