shepcrew: (John Sheppard -- Default)
[personal profile] shepcrew
[a/n: this is merely a piece of fic and not intended as an RP thread. Comments and suggestions on changes welcomed, specially in the areas of characters I may have needed to pilfer for my purposes.]

After the novelty of his presence wore off some - and judging by the effect he caused on the settlement, the novelty of his presence wouldn't abate entirely for quite a while, really - John was finally able to lend a hand with some of the more labour-intensive tasks. He worked along-side the men and woman of Haven, helping to erect buldings, dig wells and other tasks necessary to the forging of a community. Each night, he joined everyone for dinner and the communal time around the campfire, the way the original settlers had done prior to the attack on the planet.

It was during these times when the story of Haven, as well as the galaxy's most recent history regarding Miranda, was told to him. Pieces of Inara's private life were starting to fall into place; the sadness she had so clearly felt the few times the subject was brought up briefly made more sense, and coupled with what he heard of Serenity and her crew, he totally understood. He also found out that Mal had managed to find someone to provide the settlement with an early warning system, in case the Reavers decided to come and pillage. It was a simple sattelite system that contained a trip-wire of a sort: if a Reaver ship passed across a certain point it would set off the alarm in the monitoring outpost and the folks would have time to find shelter.

It was a good system, but he felt under-protected with only his 9mm with him. If the Reavers decided to pay a visit while he was there, he wanted a P-90, hands down, to visit right back. He didn't go back to the Temple for another day or so, opting instead to take stock of the supplies and make note of what was needed and in what priority. Inara had promised to give him a list, but they hadn't had the chance to see each other since she had gone back to Serenity after his return from Kolya's charming hospitality. He had a list now, and what a list it was. He hoped that at least the top priority items, such as medical supplies and food rations, would be able to be at least partially met by Atlantis' stores.

Expecting to hear from Major Lorne any day now, with a report on how the mission had gone - or a distress call, in the worst case scenario - John packed up his things for another hike back to the Temple. Sharra watched him with a tinge of sorrow.

"You havin' t'go already?" she had asked, making sure none of the others could hear. He had been staying with them ever since the day he showed up on the horizon, and they had all gotten used to having him around.

He smiled at her and shook his head. "Not yet," he reassured her. "Just want to take a hike back out towards my transport, see if I have any messages waiting for me."

She visibly relaxed and nodded. She glanced around quickly, then crept closer. "C'in I come with ya? I promise not be holdin' ya up, and I'm good fer hikin'."

He considered it for a moment, noting with amusement how he would have automatically said no four days ago. Working and living beside someone, even in a short amount of time, did wonders for a man to get the measure of someone. He nodded. "All right. But you'll need to hurry and get your things together. It's a half-day's walk and we'll need to leave soon if we're goind to make it back to town before dark."

Sharra had nodded and was joining him outside a short time later. The two walked in silence, only remarking on things like the weather or the landscape. Sharra was fascinated with the country-side and John found it refreshing to be around someone so free. Elizabeth would have a field day if she knew her Military Commander was actually enjoying his vacation.

They only stopped to rest once, and only long enough to take some water and a bit of food that Sharra had packed for them. The sun was high in the sky by the time the mountains came into view, and Sharra's gasp at the Temple had John smiling once more.

"Thought you said your ship was stuck?" she said, turning her wide-eyed gaze on him.

"Now, I never said I came in a ship. I only said my transportation was stuck. And it is. C'mon, I'll show you." He held out his hand to her, and after a moment or two, she took it in her own and let the man take her inside the Temple. She gawked at the images and wondered aloud at what they meant. John had to admit that, sadly, he had no idea. And if her reaction to the Temple itself was one of surprise, then her first glimps of the Stargate was one of shock and a bit of fear. She stopped in her tracks, forcing John to stop as well.

"It's okay, Sharra. This is how I got here. It's called a Stargate," he said, voice low and soothing. He stood behind her, hands resting reassuringly on her shoulders. He kept his mouth close to her ear, hoping his presence would calm her. "That is what we call the Dial-Home-Deivce," he said, pointing to the console. "Or the DHD for short. When I press the pictures in the right order, it makes the 'Gate turn on and it forms a doorway back to my home."

He could feel her swallow thickly, and her head bobbed beneath his chin.

"Would you like me to show you?" he asked. There was a hesitation before her head bobbed again, and he slowly moved the two of them closer to the DHD. "Here, why don't you dial for me?" He pointed out the symbols in order then, with his hand atop hers, they both pressed the center button, and the wormhole burst into existance. John felt Sharra jump at the suddeness of it, and he wrapped a protective arm around her as he keyed his radio.

"Atlantis, this is John Sheppard."

"We read you loud and clear, Colonel," Elizabeth's voice replied. "How's everything going?"

"Pretty well, so far," he replied. He briefly outlined what he had learned so far, his grip on Sharra falling away as the girl ventured forth to examine the 'Gate and the Even Horizon. She looked back up at him sharply as he told Weir of the settlement's needed provisions, an amazed sort of look taking hold of her features. He merely smiled sadly at her in a I don't expect much, but I'm going to try way.

"I'll see what I can do about that list, John. ...You haven't promised any of this to anyone, have you?"

"No, ma'am. I didn't even tell them I was compiling the list. I didn't want to get their hopes up."

Elizabeth sounded amused as she said, "Well, well. You are learning. I never though I'd see the day that you'd think before you promised."

He blushed at that. "What about my combat gear?"

"We'll have that ready for you shortly and will send it through ten minutes after we hang up."

"Understood. Talk to you soon, then. Sheppard out." And with that, the wormhole disengaged and Sharra jumped back with a gasp.

Her fascination with the 'Gate was overshadowed by her very eager, "You really lookin' to get us supplies?"

"I am," he admited. "And hopefully, I can make it a regular shipment. Say, once a month to send you stuff you're running low on, for instance. But I don't see that happening any time soon."

She bounced over to him and threw her arms around his neck, hugging him tight and planting a kiss on his cheek before bouncing away again. "Oh that'd be swell! I know th'folks back in town'd love to..."

"Sharra, hold on a sec," he said, cutting her off. He caught her hands in his and he fixed his eyes on hers. "We can't let anyone know. Like I told Elizabeth, I don't want to get anyone's hopes up. This - all this," he gestured to the 'Gate and the Temple, "needs to be a secret for a while, okay? I brought you out here because I know I can trust you."

The serious look in his eyes was one she'd never seen in the short time she had known him, so it did much to dampen her spirits. His words cut deep, but she understood, a little, what he was getting at. "I promise, then. Fer th' good of Haven."

"Thank you," he said, smiling. "Now, let's go take a look around while we wait for my gear to arrive."

(continued...)

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