[SH] Packing (for [livejournal.com profile] sevenvirtues)

Aug. 4th, 2008 10:18 pm
shepcrew: (John Sheppard -- Hurt)
[personal profile] shepcrew
After his conversation with Elizabeth, John headed back to his office and put things in order there. He left detailed notes on everything, so Lorne - whom he assumed would be in charge while John was away - could find his way around. Once all his work responsibilities were taken care of, he headed to his quarters to pack.

"Hey, whatcha doing?" McKay asked, as he sauntered into the room several minutes later. The scientist eyed Sheppard the way one would eye a feral beast ready to strike.

"Going on vacation," John replied, matter-of-factly.

"Ah...wait, hold it," McKay began, pausing in his retreat. "Since when do you go on vacation?"

"Since Elizabeth made me." John's tone brooked no argument.

"Right," McKay said with a nod, apparently understanding that John didn't want to talk about it just yet. "Well, I suppose asking if you wanted to grab some lunch is out of the question, then?"

"Yeah, pretty much," John replied. He gave McKay a weary look. "I'm sorry, Rodney, it's just." He sighed. "Look, I'll take a raincheck, okay? You'll be the first person I have lunch with when I get back, deal?"

McKay thought about it for a moment. "Deal. I'm gonna hold you to that, you know," he promised, heading out the door to find someone else to nosh with.

John watched as the door closed behind his friend. "Yeah, I'm sure you will," he said to the empty room, with a wry grin.

He turned his attention back to packing, pondering where he might go for two weeks...

Date: 2008-08-05 02:31 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
Inara wandered in more off of what McKay hadn't said than what he had. To be sure, it was odd that John was suddenly going on vacation, suddenly enough that he hadn't told her. But ...

Well, if McKay had noticed that John had been acting oddly, something was definitely wrong.

She knocked before she went in.

Date: 2008-08-05 02:35 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He didn't look up at the knock. He knew who it had to be, since none of his teammates would bother him after running into McKay.

"It's open," he calls.

Date: 2008-08-05 02:39 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
But open to whom, that was the question.

She came in, watching him move through the room. Looking over at what had already been packed, taking in his posture, his expression. "McKay said you were going on holiday." She even smiled a little when she said it, as though it was a marvelous thing.

And in a way it was. He could probably use the rest. But ... not the way she suspected this happened.

Date: 2008-08-05 01:53 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He flashed her a tired smile. "You could say that, yes," he replied, still a bit distracted. Whether the distraction stemmed from the day's events or from the packing itself was anyone's guess, at this point.

"Not sure where to, yet, though."

Date: 2008-08-06 03:06 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
Inara looked at him a little more carefully. Which led to her wondering, for a moment, if his hair had some sort of language all its own. If she could read him just by the way his hair touseled. Not that it was ever ordinary, but the endearing scruffiness of it seemed more tired today than usual.

She moved over to his side, laying one hand on his arm. "What's wrong?" She could just tell.

Date: 2008-08-06 04:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He paused to look down at her.

"It's been...a trying day, to say the least," he offered. "Let's just say that the old saying a simple mission is rarely simple has been proven true yet again."

He tried folding the shirt in his hand, but opted for merely shoving it into his duffle and turning to sit on the bed. He forced a smile for Inara.

Date: 2008-08-06 06:52 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
She gives him a look that says there's no way you can convince me you're fine but tempers it with a smile. She won't press, if he doesn't want to talk about it. She'd just prefer he not pretend.

In the lines of not pressing, though, she goes to sit next to him, sliding an arm around his waist and tucking her head to his shoulder.

"The day's almost over, though," she says quietly. "Getting there, anyway."

Date: 2008-08-06 07:00 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
His arm slides around her and he hugs her close.

"Yeah. Yeah, it is. And I have to go away for a while," he says, not bothering to elaborate.

Date: 2008-08-06 07:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
"Oh."

Well. It ... Hmm.

She doesn't say anything for a moment. It was presented as a fact, not up for debate, so she doesn't bother to debate it.

"Is..." No, obviously everything wasn't all right, don't be stupid. "It going to be dangerous?" she finished instead.

Date: 2008-08-06 07:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He chuckles. "Depends on whether you deem two weeks vacation a dangerous thing or not," he says, tone genuinely lighter than it has been.

Date: 2008-08-06 07:49 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
"Only in that you'll probably find trouble anyway, and have to be rescued from it."

But she's teasing now, relieved to hear that lightness in his voice again.

Date: 2008-08-06 08:03 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He presses a kiss to her temple. "Well, if Elizabeth has anything to say about it, she'll make sure my destination poses no such threat. She's the one who's ordering me to take two weeks off."

Date: 2008-08-06 09:12 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
"Ahh-hh." And that right there slides the pieces into place for her. At least enough to form a theory.

Still, she won't ask. "John, you're too stressed, I don't want to see you not goofing off for the next two weeks, that sort of thing?"

Yes, she's making a joke of it. Because it seems like it would be easier to talk around it than talking about it.

Date: 2008-08-06 10:55 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He dips his head shyly.

Quietly, "More of a, John Sheppard, you're making too many mistakes, which isn't like you, get the hell out of here and sort yourself out, sort of thing."

Date: 2008-08-06 11:25 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
Oh. Oh, John.

She hugged him a little tighter. If it had gotten that bad, then it could have been worse. Much worse. "How are you planning to... go about it?"

Date: 2008-08-06 11:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He sighs, shrugging lightly. "No clue. Like I said, I have no idea where to go. I figure Earth would be good, get back to basics, and away from the surreal nuttiness of Pegasus."

Plus, it keeps him out of all sorts of trouble. We hope.

Date: 2008-08-07 12:02 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
She nods, slowly, keeping any signs of dubiousness from her face. "Going back home sounds... good."

Except he hardly ever talked of Earth, and usually referred to the Pegasus galaxy as home.

"Take some time to sit and think..." Which was sorely lacking on Pegasus, there usually being one crisis after another.

Date: 2008-08-07 12:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He smiles wryly. "Never said I was going back home. But yes. Time to sit and think is available in large quantities back on earth."

Another shrug. "At the very least, I can hit a training session or something."

Yes, he's pondering taking a military training thing. It may just be all talk, though.

Date: 2008-08-07 12:41 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
Inara nods slightly again, resisting the urge to curl up against him. Definitely not inviting her along, then, and she can understand why. Sometimes...

But that didn't mean it wouldn't hurt. And it didn't mean she wouldn't miss him. Wasn't missing him already.

"I hope it helps..." One hand lightly traced the upper curve of his bicep.

Date: 2008-08-07 12:49 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
The fact that she doesn't curl up around him hurts in its own way. He shifts to face her, and cups her face in his hands.

"It's only two weeks. I'll be back before you know it," he says, thumbs brushing over her cheeks lightly. "And I'll send you a message with the weekly status reports."

Date: 2008-08-07 12:55 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
Something about the touch shakes her, not to further nerves, but to slightly watery eyes and a smile that's less reassuring (she thinks) than she wants it to be.

"You better," she murmurs, covering his hands with hers for a moment before mirroring the gesture, then letting her hands fall to rest against his chest. "Even if that's only two reports."

Date: 2008-08-07 01:01 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He gives her a sad half-smile, before pressing his lips to hers softly, and briefly.

"I will. Promise."

Date: 2008-08-07 01:08 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
She kisses him back softly, and with a bit of a sigh.

And then she does, despite her misgivings about it being the right thing to do, snuggle into his arms. Kiss him again, more lingering this time, one hand and then her arm curling around his shoulder.

She won't cling. She doesn't want to be that girl. But she's worried about him, and he'll be gone for two weeks and she'll be worried.

Date: 2008-08-07 01:13 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] shepcrew.livejournal.com
He wraps his arms around her, returning the kiss and all it entails. He doesn't mind the clinging. No one's ever done it sincerely before, and he's surprised at the different nuances it carries.

And he's worried about himself, too, but there's no way he'd ever express that to anyone.

Date: 2008-08-07 01:23 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] sevenvirtues.livejournal.com
She'd love to stay here. For a while. The night, the rest of the next day, the rest of the week. Maybe longer.

She doesn't even know what to say anymore. Just huddling into him, fingertips tracing the curve of his shoulderblade along his back, taking this moment for what it is now.

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