|Making Our Way Home
Author: hifield PM
Colonel Sheppard and Dr. Keller started their whirlwind romance during a rare downtime on Atlantis. Can the relationship they'd started in Idle Mischief blossom and grow or will unforeseen circumstances tear them apart forever. Evan Lorne, Laura CadmanRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Adventure - John S. & Jennifer K. - Chapters: 21 - Words: 54,410 - Reviews: 230 - Favs: 23 - Follows: 21 - Updated: 11-07-10 - Published: 10-18-10 - Status: Complete - id: 6408461
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Disclaimer: I do not own any part of Stargate Atlantis or the awesome characters but I enjoy keeping the series alive.
A/N: This adventure is a sequel to my short story Idle Mischief, which did a good job of setting the stage for this story. It's not necessary to read Idle Mischief in order to understand Making Our Way Home but there are a few references to the previous story. Even so, this can be read as a stand-alone story. Hope you enjoy … this was definitely a labor of love and very challenging to put together.
Many thanks to bailey1ak for all your help and encouragement… couldn't have done it without you!
Jennifer Keller sat writing in her journal with a smile plastered on her face that she couldn't wipe off. This had been the best vacation she'd ever had and hopefully it laid the foundation for a happily ever after ending.
She'd just spent two glorious weeks on Atlantis with a skeleton staff while the science department ran their yearly diagnostic tests on the stargate. What started off as a leisurely time of catching up on sleep and reading, ended with a heavenly night in the arms of one Lt. Colonel John Sheppard.
She wanted to afford herself at least this one morning of bliss before returning to reality and the possibility of reading too much into her situation. She could see herself spending the rest of her life with this wonderful man but for the life of her she couldn't understand what he possibly saw in her. Not that she didn't have her own unique qualities but the man was the most sought after male on base and she hardly compared. Still … there was no denying the chemistry that existed between the two of them and she prayed it'd stand the test of time.
Finishing her entry Jen closed her journal slipping it into the desk drawer as Sheppard wandered into her office.
"Hey… what's new?" he asked perching himself on the corner of her desk with a mischievous grin.
"Well, since it's only been an hour since we had breakfast together I'm thinking not much," she laughed. "What's up?"
"Only an hour huh … feels like a lot longer. Do you want to ride over to the mainland with me to pick up Ronon and Teyla? We can time it for another free meal with the Athosians," he suggested wiggling his eyebrows.
"I'd love to but I have a meeting this morning with Carson and then I'm on the floor this afternoon."
"Okay, do you want to meet for a late dinner?" he asked hopefully.
"That sounds great."
"I'll swing by and pick you up after your shift," he said, leaning down for a quick kiss on his way out the door.
Sheppard couldn't stop thinking about Jennifer all day. He couldn't believe she'd been here right under his nose for all this time and he'd never noticed. In fact, he couldn't believe someone else hadn't scooped her up already. Their loss, he didn't plan on letting her out of his sight now that he'd discovered what was missing from his life.
Guiding the jumper toward the mainland he found himself grinning as he thought back over the silly game they'd played all week leading up to that first kiss. It felt good to be romantically connected to someone again. It'd been a while. This was the first time since his failed marriage that he'd felt so hopeful. He'd heard all the glorified rumors that circulated concerning his love life but that's all they were, just rumors. He'd admit there was a flirtatious side to his personality that seemed to surface when in the presence of a pretty woman. Except for the rare off-world indiscretion he limited his indulgences to flirting and friendship… until now.
Everything had happened so quickly that John hadn't had time to discuss anything with Jennifer before their friends and colleagues began returning from their own vacations. He didn't know how Jennifer felt about a public declaration of their feelings so until they could sit down and share their desires he planned on keeping their relationship private. Hopefully they'd be able to have a talk this evening after dinner. The Atlantis grapevine was not something to be taken lightly. Many had tried to stay out of the gossip limelight but few had ever succeeded. John hoped to squelch the rumor mill before it got started but wanted to be in agreement with Jen.
Arriving at the Athosian settlement, Sheppard lowered the jumper to a grassy field just outside the village. As he walked the short distance to the central meeting tent he was instantly bombarded by a dozen kids tugging on his arms and pleading for a story. John had made quite the reputation for himself amongst the children with his bedtime stories when Teyla's people lived among them on Atlantis. Granted, none of the children actually understood his scary ramblings but they loved the Colonel and doted on him unmercifully whenever he visited the village. John handed out chewing gum and promised a story if time permitted after the mid-day meal.
Upon reaching the center of the settlement he found Ronon engaged in a sparring match and moved over to stand with Teyla to watch the last few minutes of the challenge. As usual, Ronon was easily dominating the friendly competition.
"It is good to see you Colonel," Teyla smiled as John appeared at her side.
"Did you call for a cab?" he asked jokingly.
"We were about to partake of the mid-day meal, would you like to join us before we return to Atlantis?" she inquired with a small smirk.
"Is it that time already? If it's not too much of an imposition," he agreed sheepishly.
"If I am not mistaken, they have already set a place for you at the table," she said with a small chuckle.
"Am I that easy to read?" he asked clutching his heart as though wounded.
"Indeed, especially when it comes to spending time at our table," she grinned.
The sparring match came to an abrupt end as lunch was announced. Ronon quickly joined John and Teyla on their way to the tent.
"Where's the Doc?" Ronon asked.
"She was tied up with meetings and work all day," John explained.
"So, are you two a thing now?" he asked grinning.
"You sure are quick to jump to conclusions. I don't know why you'd assume we're a thing?" he grumbled.
"Maybe cause you know her schedule," Ronon quickly pointed out.
"Or the pleasure you take in her company," Teyla challenged arching her eyebrow comically.
Thankfully they reached the dining area before his teammates could tease him any further. Their remarks impressed on him the urgency for having that talk with Jennifer as soon as possible. If he was that easy to read then they needed to agree to a plan for telling their friends of their new relationship… the sooner the better.
Jennifer met with Dr. Beckett in his office as soon as he returned from his briefing with Dr. Weir and Major Lorne's team. It seemed that one of their good trading partners on M7R- 332 had requested help with a sickness that was sweeping through their town as well as several other villages on the planet. Atlantis had a long standing trading agreement with Anora but lately the colony was in the midst of a cold war with the neighboring settlement, Cabell, over control of the stargate and the tension seemed to be heating up. Cabell agreed to call a temporary truce if Atlantis agreed to help with their epidemic since both villages were being ravaged with the same deadly disease.
"Jennifer lass, since you are my best diagnostician I'd like you to work with me on Anora." Carson requested after explaining the situation to his young protégé. "Unfortunately, I'm afraid I can't give you much notice and I can't guarantee that we won't be there for quite some time."
"I'd love to be part of the team and I'm at a point in my research that I can walk away easily with no problems. When do you want to leave?" she asked excited for the opportunity.
"Do you think you can be ready tomorrow? They sound pretty desperate for our help."
"I'll pack tonight. What about supplies?" she inquired hoping she didn't look as distressed as she felt at the immediate departure plans. She was hoping to have at least one more day with John before their first separation.
"I'll have Marie and Dr. Cole work on packing equipment and supplies and Major Lorne will have his team pack what living supplies we'll need. Take the afternoon off to get yourself ready and we'll leave at 0900 in the morning. And Jennifer … thank you," Carson offered sincerely. He enjoyed mentoring this amazingly skilled woman and hoped to increase her self-confidence as they worked side by side with the local healer.
Jennifer finished up a few things in the infirmary before leaving for her quarters knowing John would find her when he got back from the mainland. Before locking up her research lab she grabbed her journal and some extra pens along with a clean notebook to tuck into her pack with her data pad and several power bars. She was torn over her present situation. It was an extraordinary opportunity to work with Carson off world and she jumped at the chance but she knew she'd miss John so it was a bittersweet assignment.
Upon reaching her quarters Jennifer decided to pack quickly hoping John would return early and they'd be able to spend some time together before she had to leave. Soon she found herself daydreaming once again about the object of her affections. Their "romance" had happened so quickly that she found herself in need of reassurance.
Deciding to start off with a fresh journal in Anora she slipped her present journal into her desk drawer with all her used ones before grabbing a new one from the bottom of the pile. After placing her toiletries in her duffle and securing it, her door chime sounded.
"Hey, I was hoping you'd find me," she smiled stepping aside so John could enter.
"I thought you were working all day?" he asked pulling her in for a hello kiss. "You're not trying to dodge me are you?" he asked grinning.
"Not even close," she scowled thinking about their separation. "Dr. Beckett has asked me to work with him on M7R- 332. Anora and Cabell are battling an illness that's decimating their communities."
"Which is better than decimating each other. If I remember correctly they are not on the best of terms. I don't like the idea of you being in the middle of it," he frowned. "Why does it have to be you? Did Beckett take into account your track record? I think you hold the title as the object for the most betting pools concerning botched missions."
"Is that your polite way of labeling me as a jinx?" she grumbled. "I'm probably the most qualified when it comes to diagnosing plus I'd like to prove everyone wrong when it comes to my track record," she declared slapping his shoulder playfully.
"I still don't like it. Who's your escort?"
"Major Lorne's team will be with us along with a few lab techs and Marie. I'll be fine," she assured him. "Besides, the leaders of both villages have called a truce while we're on their planet, you don't have to worry about me," she said snuggling into his arms.
"Still not happy about it," he insisted.
"I was hoping you'd come visit regularly," she suggested walking over to her desk. "We could play our game … maybe you'll get lucky," she grinned holding up the deck of cards and wiggling them in the air.
"I'm through playing games with you," he declared stepping closer and pulling her back into his arms. "I don't need any excuses to take what I want," he explained leaning down to kiss her solidly.
Hoping to dissuade her from going, Sheppard continued to express his feelings. Holding her face softly he leaned down once more and tenderly kissed her lips until the need for air broke them apart. Taking advantage of her dazed appearance he continued his assault down her jaw line to the hollow of her neck. "Did I mention we'd have more 'getting to know you' time if you stayed here on Atlantis?" Running his hands through her hair he pulled her in tight for another round of 'please don't go' with his mouth.
"You make a compelling argument," she sighed hoping her knees wouldn't buckle. "I've already told Carson I'd help and it won't be for that long."
"Okay … I'll come visit as much as I can. Promise me you'll listen to Lorne and do as he says even if he's being overly cautious."
"I'll be good and follow his orders. Should we be bunk mates?" she asked teasingly.
"What have I gotten myself into?" he growled rolling his eyes. "Seriously Jen, I don't want anything to happen to you."
"I'll be careful," she promised placing her hand on his cheek. "I'm coming back so stop worrying," she chided him while rising up on tip toes to seal the promise with another kiss.
"How bout we get some dinner and find a quiet place to eat?" John proposed.
"Sounds perfect," she said grabbing her jacket on the way out the door.