Day Eight

It’s what I do in the middle of the night

Jillian hadn’t seen John since their meeting at the gate room. Following her talk with Rodney she had been shown to her new “living quarters” and had been given time to settle in. After that, there was dinner and new personnel orientation.

Now it was… well she wasn’t sure what time it was here but her watch said it was 10 pm back on earth. Wow, talk about jet lag, she thought wryly. It seemed that time was similar on Atlantis, but it appeared to be after what could be considered midnight here. The city was secure for the moment, so Jillian decided to do some solo exploring. The corridors that led from the living areas to the offices and central command were vast. She was trying to keep track of where they led but knew it would be easy to get lost. Maybe she would try to go in a big circle. Maybe she should find a map.

She started off on her way to the right. Most of this area was other apartments with their inhabitants quietly at rest behind closed doors. She supposed she would get to know her neighbors when there was time. Maybe throw a block party, she thought with a laugh. She rounded one corner and found herself in the hallway with the closest transport pod. This, she had learned, would take her to other parts of the city; similar to an elevator but with the ability to move in many directions. There were some remote labs and a few offices in the hallway as well. When she rounded the next corner she was stopped by a solid chest connecting with her chin.

“Excuse me,” she said steadying herself. “I didn’t expect anyone…” When she looked up she went quiet. “John.”

Breathless from his run, John took a step back and put his hands on his hips. “Good evening Jillian.” His breathing slowed a bit. “Out for a stroll?”

“Uh, yeah.” She found it difficult to meet his eyes. Why was she feeling so shy around him? “I guess I haven’t shaken the pacific time zone yet. My body wasn’t quite ready for sleep so I thought I’d go for a walk.”

John looked at her with care. “Do you feel safe?”

“At the meeting they told us we would be alerted anytime there was danger in the city. Hearing of none I thought it was a good time to get to know the neighborhood. What about you?”

“This job is so consuming. It’s around the clock, ya know? I’m usually awake half the night anyway so I thought what better time to get in a run and patrol the city at the same time.”

“That’s,” she paused, looking up at him, “really smart. Maybe I should take up the habit.” Jillian really looked up at him then. Saw the warm hazel eyes that she had spent her nights looking into. “It’s really great to see you John. I can honestly say you are the last person I expected to run into here.”

“Hey, watch it.” John said, playfully offended. “Just because I don’t have the brains of you or Rodney doesn’t mean I shouldn’t be here.”

“Oh, I’m sure you have ways of using your assets around here. I’m just not sure I remember seeing any of them that summer. Unless you mean to cha-cha your way out of the Wraith’s hands.” Amy was feeling more relaxed with him now, finding herself flirting with him easily. “Back then I didn’t know (plot hole! I forgot that I intend to have John & Jillian’s rendezvous happen just before his deployment!)

“I realize that flyboy. I’m sure your skills have been put to great use here.” She wanted to ask if he was seeing anyone, but realized it was too soon. It wasn’t here business and it had been years since their summer together. She decided to stay on the safe subject of his work. “Honestly John, I’m really impressed with what you do here. I know I’m new and I haven’t got a clue as to what goes on every day, but Rodney has started filling me in and it’s huge. Maybe sometime I can learn more about what’s happened in between these two times.”

It was John’s turn to be uncomfortable. Running a hand through his rakish hair he looked away shyly and said, “Yeah, maybe. Why don’t we start by meeting for a run tomorrow night?”