by Maggie C.

Disclaimer: Earth 2 and the characters do not belong to me.


Devon poured over yet another report on the status of the blossoming colony of New Pacifica. She sighed as she reached the end of the report. Never in a million years would she have thought that it would be this much work to set up a functioning colony. Devon despised these reports with a vengeance, but she would try anything to distract herself. The colony ship was going to be departing in just a few short days, and would most likely be taking with it the one person who she didn't think she could live without . . . Devon's thoughts were cut off when someone knocked at the door, demanding her attention. "Go away!" she yelled without thinking. Right now, the last thing she wanted to deal with was another person who would demand something of her, and she didn't care what the person on the other side of the door thought.

John Danziger poked his head in the door. "Devon?" he queried, concern evident on his face and in his voice. Devon groaned inwardly. Of all people, why did it have to be him? But regardless of what her mind said, her heart was glad to see him. She smiled and waved him in.

"Sorry, John, I thought you were . . ." she started, but John cut her off.

"Another colonist demanding more living space, Dr. Vasquez wanting another explanation of the Terrians, or worst of all," John paused and smiled wickedly, "Morgan with another endless Sara update?"

Devon laughed out loud, leaning back in her chair. Morgan was a very proud father who insisted on keeping the whole colony updated on his daughter's latest antics. It was sweet, but no one ever brought up Sara with Morgan around unless they had a few hours to spare. Devon grinned at John and said, "Thanks, I needed that."

"Anytime," he replied as he sat down in a chair opposite her desk.

"So, what brings you here?" she asked.

"Oh, I just came to tell you," he said, smiling broadly, "that Alonzo asked Julia to marry him, and she accepted."

"That's wonderful!" Devon exclaimed, her smile widening to mach Danziger's. Then she caught the satisfied expression on his face. "Why are you looking at me . . . oh, no," she said, smile fading as she remembered. "Please tell me he asked her a month ago, and they just didn't tell anyone until now?"

Now it was Danziger's turn to laugh. "No way, Adair, I won fair and square. You owe me one day. I'll pick you up tomorrow morning, at eight." That said, he rose to leave.

"Tomorrow?" Devon asked. "But I'm so busy here . . ." her voice trailed off and she sighed when she saw a determined expression appear on his face. "What am I supposed to do?"

"Just spend the day with me," he replied. "No manual labor, or anything like that."

~Spend an entire day with John Danziger?~ she thought, almost panicking. John Danziger, the man who she had been trying to avoid for the past few weeks? ~Are you nuts? Say no, Devon, get out of it somehow,~ she told herself firmly. All she said was, "I'll be ready."

"Good," Danziger said as he walked toward the door. As he crossed the threshold, he called back to her. "Oh, and be prepared to get wet."

Before she could ask him what he meant by that, he was gone. ~A whole day with John Danzgier,~ she thought. ~Devon, what have you gotten yourself into?~

John left Devon's office before she could talk her way out of tomorrow. Yale and he had both been concerned about Devon. Ever since the colony ship landed, she had been working almost non-stop, barely taking time to eat and sleep. They had both been trying to figure out a way to force Devon to relax. Danziger also got the strange feeling that Devon was avoiding him ever since the colony ship landed. He was probably overreacting, Devon wasn't taking time to interact with anyone, but still, it bothered him. And he was worried about how she was pushing herself. She needed to relax, or she would burn out. Alonzo's proposal was perfect. Devon wouldn't be able to back out of her end of the bet, and if Danziger had his way, she was going to have a fun and relaxing day. And maybe he even would work up the courage to tell her tomorrow.


Dawn brought with it the promise of a beautiful day. Devon awoke early and started to get ready for another day as the administrator of New Pacifica. Then she remembered that John was coming to pick her up for a day of who knew what. She didn't know if she could spend a whole day alone with John and not betray her feelings for him. //And would it be so bad if John knew how you felt?// a voice inside her whispered.

~Yes, it would.~


~Because he doesn't feel the same way,~ she thought miserably.

//And how do you know that?//

This voice was getting more and more annoying. Devon would have replied, but Danziger chose that moment to arrive.

"Ready?" he asked.

"Yeah, I'm ready," Devon said. She grabbed her gear and headed for the door when Danziger stopped her.

"Nope, the gear stays here, Devon," he said.

"But what if someone needs to get in touch with me?" she asked.

"I have my gear," he replied, displaying the piece of equipment. "Yale knows how to get in touch with you, if it's really necessary." He had talked with Yale, and the tutor assured him that he would only call if it was an emergency. Yale had enlisted Morgan's help to ward off the colonists demanding a piece of Devon's time. Devon finally agreed with him, and she followed him to the waiting ATV.

"So where are we going?" she asked.

"Away from the colony," was all Danziger said as he started the engine.

"Oh," Devon replied. "Just you and me, all day?"

"Yeah," he said, oblivious to Devon's nervousness, preoccupied as he was with his own. "It should give us a chance to talk."

Focused on the road and his own thoughts, Danziger didn't notice Devon's alarmed glance in his direction at those words.


The day had gone surprisingly well. John took Devon to a little cove a while away from camp for some swimming and exploring, just a day away from all worries. After a little while, Devon had loosened up and let herself enjoy the day. They had gotten into numerous water fights, all of which ended before there was a clear winner or loser because they were laughing to hard to continue. After a picnic lunch, they took a walk in the surrounding woods. John felt it was safe to do so, because he had scouted this area before and there was no trace of penal colonists or Grendlers. Now he and Devon were just sitting and watching the sun set.

This was it. This was the moment Danziger had been waiting for. Screwing up his courage, he spoke. "Devon, I've been meaning to talk to you about something."

This was it. This was the moment Devon had been dreading. She cut John off before he could elaborate. "I know what you're going to say," she said quietly.

John was shocked. "You do?"

"Yes, you're going to tell me that you and True are leaving on the colony ship," she replied. Devon started to get angry now. How dare he do this? She got up and moved away from him, her voice level increasing. "You're just going to up and leave. After all we've been through together, you're just leaving, without a second thought to the colony, or the people you're leaving behind," Devon's voice broke slightly. She took a deep breath and yelled, "How could you just leave? Is it that easy for you, to just pick up and . . . "

John finally got over his shock and quickly moved close to Devon to silence her with a kiss.

~What are we doing?!~ his rational mind screamed.

//This was the best way to quiet Devon// said another part of Danziger's mind.

~Best way, yeah right. We've just been preoccupied with kissing her for long that's the first thing that occurred to us,~ his rational mind told the impulsive half of himself that was in control at the moment. ~We'll be lucky if she doesn't slap us.~

//She's not going to slap us. She's . . . kissing me back?//

With that realization, John stopped thinking altogether and focused on the woman he was kissing. It wasn't an especially passionate kiss, although there was an element of passion to it. It was a kiss full of tenderness and emotion, and Danziger wished it could go on forever, but of course, it couldn't.

When the kiss did end, John could see the questions clearly written on Devon's face. He slid his hands down Devon's arms to grip her hands and kept his eyes focused there. "You've got it all backward, Devon," he said. "I'm not going anywhere. True and I are staying right here, in New Pacifica. It's our home." He stole a quick glance into Devon's eyes, and then quickly looked back at their intertwined hands. He took a deep breath and went on. "What I was trying to tell you, what I've been trying to work up the courage to tell you all day, is that . . ." he looked up to meet Devon's gaze again, and this time, he held it. Speaking so quietly Devon had to strain to hear him, he said, "I've fallen in love with you, Devon Adair."

It took a few moments for those words to sink in for Devon. When they did, her mind started going in ten thousand directions at once. ~He loves me?~ She wanted him to kiss her again, she was relieved that he wasn't leaving, she wanted to shout with joy that he loved her, she wanted to run away and hide. Could she tell him how she felt? He already made the first move. There was nothing to risk by telling him, and everything to gain. Still, Devon didn't know if she could say the words.

John waited what seemed like an eternity for Devon to respond to his declaration of love. ~Did I just make a complete fool of myself? What if she doesn't feel the same way? Wait, she was kissing me back, I know she feels something. But what does she feel?~ John's thoughts were near panic when Devon finally chose a course of action. She disentangled her hands from John's and quickly pulled his face down for another kiss, which he responded to fervently. This kiss was more passionate than the first. The kiss ended, leaving both of them breathless, and John held her close.

"I love you too, John," she whispered in his ear.

John hugged Devon tighter, and sent up a silent 'thank you' to whoever was listening. They stood like that for a while, just holding each other close, and accustoming themselves to the freedom of finally admitting their feelings for each other, how much they meant to each other, how much they needed each other, and how much they loved each other.

After a time, they sat down, Devon still in John's arms, and they watched as the twin moons rose and the stars appeared one by one in the sky. Neither of them said anything, there was nothing they needed to say. They just enjoyed being near each other and the beauty of the night sky. Truth be told, though, John wasn't enjoying the beauty of the sky, he was focused on the beauty of the woman he held in his arms. He had never wanted her more, but the problem was that if he started kissing Devon again, he didn't think he'd be able to stop. He knew that they should head back to the colony soon if tonight wasn't going to go beyond the kisses they had already shared. John stood up and held a hand to help Devon up, which she accepted with a slightly confused expression on her face.

Looking at Devon, he suddenly felt nervous, although he didn't know why. John said, "Well, the day's over, we probably ought to start back," his voice trailing off as he looked into her eyes.

"Oh," Devon started, and then paused. She knew what she wanted to happen, but what about him? Finally, she just pointed out, "You know, the day's not over yet." He looked at her, and then the night sky, and then back to her, his point obvious. She avoided his gaze. "Well, we said a day, so I'm really not off the hook until tomorrow morning."

John just stared at her. She could not be suggesting what he thought she was. Could she? God, he wished she was. He gently tilted her chin up so their eyes met. "Devon?" he asked huskily.

She met his eyes and saw the desire there. Well, that answered that question. She nodded slightly and then smiled mischievously. "Yes, so Danziger, was there anything else you wanted me for tonight?"

John grinned. "You're bad, Adair," he said, shaking his head.

"Well, yes, but," and then Devon's reply was cut off when John pulled her to him and kissed her, hard. Now this was a passionate kiss. Devon forgot what she was saying, where she was, and even the fact that there was a colony that she was the administrator of. All she knew was that John Danziger was kissing her like there was no tomorrow, and it felt like heaven.


Back in the cafeteria, Yale was sitting with a cup of coffee and grinning like a Cheshire cat. It was late, very late, and Devon and Danziger weren't back yet. He barely noticed when Morgan joined him. "Hmn?" Yale finally acknowledged Morgan's greetings. "So what has you up this late, Morgan?"

"Oh, Sara had trouble sleeping," he said, his face brightening in spite of his inability to sleep. "Bess is with her now, and she didn't need me, so I left them alone. Did you know that . . ."

"That's nice Morgan," Yale interrupted, not paying attention to a word Morgan was saying. He checked his chronometer and Yale's grin grew even wider.

Morgan eyed his companion suspiciously. Something was up. "Why in the world are you so cheerful tonight? We had to ward off at least 30 upset colonists looking for Devon today. I don't know how that woman handles them. You can't possibly be glad that that you and I had to handle all the complaints today."

"Well, no," Yale replied, his smile fading slightly. Some of those colonists had been downright rude, refusing to speak to anyone except Devon, and they also wouldn't accept that she was out of touch for the day.

Morgan was exasperated. "Then why are you so glad that she went off gallivanting with Danziger today?" Morgan wasn't really annoyed with Devon, he knew she could use the break, especially if she had to put up with what he and Yale did day in and day out.

Yale's grin reappeared in full force. "Because, Morgan, they aren't back yet."

Morgan finally understood. "Well, it's about time," he said, grinning as wide as Yale.


Danziger woke up the next morning after what couldn't have been more than two or three hours sleep to an insistent beeping. He groaned as he realized that it wouldn't be ignored and tiredly stood up. He grabbed the gear set and activated it, leaving it on audio. "Danziger here," he said.

"Good morning, John," Yale's cheerful voice came over the channel.

"Mmn, morning to you to, Yale," John said, distracted from the conversation when he saw that Devon was waking up. She sat up and smiled at him as she stretched. He smiled back and watching her, completely missed Yale's next comment. "Sorry, Yale, what was that?" Danziger asked, slightly embarrassed. He turned away from Devon so he would at least be able to follow the conversation.

Yale had to stifle a laugh. "I asked how yesterday went?"

"Yesterday?" John repeated, a little nervous. "Oh, it went great, Yale."

"So Devon enjoyed herself?" Yale asked.

"Oh, I definitely enjoyed myself," Devon's voice whispered in John's ear, too softly for the mike on the gear to pick up. She had come up behind him and wrapped her arms around him. She slipped one hand under his untucked shirt and John forgot about Yale again, that is until the tutor's voice calling John's name broke through the haze surrounding his mind. "Yeah, Yale, we had fun," John finally answered, not able to suppress the grin that appeared on his face. Yale said something else at that point, but Devon's hand slipped lower and John took in a sharp breath.

"John, is everything alright?" Yale asked in concern.

Yale's concerned tone brought Danziger back to the conversation, at least partially. He grabbed Devon's hands and held them so he could finish the conversation without Yale being suspicious. ~Oh, who are you kidding, he knows exactly what's going on.~ "I'm fine, Yale," he assured the tutor.

"Just fine?" Devon whispered playfully.

~Oh, she's gonna get it,~ John thought. "Yale, really, I'm fine," John said. "We should be back sometime later today."

"We?" Yale replied, but it's nearly impossible to lie convincingly and suppress laughter at the same time, and Yale chose to do the latter.

John rolled his eyes. "Goodbye, Yale," he said, and signed off. Then he sighed and turned to Devon. "You're bad, Adair," he said, repeating his statement from last night and trying to hide his smile.

"Yeah, and what are you going to do about it?" Devon asked mischievously.

John smirked. She had given him the perfect opening. "Just this," he said, and he picked her up and proceeded to throw her in the water. He was laughing as she came up coughing and sputtering. "Serves you right," he said.

She glared at him, not amused. "Fine, whatever. Now give me your hand and help me out."


"What?" she asked, surprised.

He smirked at her again. "If I give you my hand, you're just going to pull me in."

She looked at him, annoyed. The fact that she had been planning to do that very thing did nothing to improve her mood.

"But you know," John said, still smiling, "a swim does sound good." And then he stripped down to his shorts and dove in. He swam over to Devon, who dunked him as soon as he was within range.

"That was for throwing me in," she said.

Danziger pulled her underwater and kissed her passionately. When they finally came up for air, he said, "That was for distracting me when I was trying to have a conversation with Yale."

"Oh," Devon said breathlessly, her arms around John's neck, "I'm that much of a distraction?"

"More," he growled before kissing her again. They made their way over to the shore where they could embrace without having to worry about silly little things like drowning. John's lips left her mouth and moved to her neck. ~Thank God for that bet,~ Devon thought.

John noticed her momentary distraction. "What is it, Adair?" he asked, propping himself up next to her.

She smiled at him. "Oh, I was just thinking that I should thank Alonzo and Julia when we get back."

"I hope that's not all you're thinking about" he said with a smile.

"No," Devon said nervously. "I was also thinking maybe you'd like to join them?"

It took a few moments for her words to sink in. "You're sure?" he asked. "You want to get married?" He wanted to make sure that there were no misunderstandings, not about this.

Devon nodded. "I don't want you going anywhere, ever," she said quietly.

"Not a chance, Devon," he said, running a hand down her cheek. "You're stuck with me."

Devon looked up and his eyes were shaded with a desire so deep she lost herself in it. "Good," she said, and pulled his face down for another kiss, which led to . . . well, let's just say that it was some time before they got back to New Pacifica to break the good news of their engagement to everyone.