Disclaimer: Earth 2 is owned by Amblin and all the grand high Mucky Mucks and not me of course. I am making no money from this, as if I could (hehe.) No copyright infringement is intended and any similarity to any story not my own is coincidence. It may resemble my other stories though, because, quite frankly, it seems I'm a fluffy, shippy writer (grin)
Rating: PG for mild language primarily.
Timeline: A short while after the series ended, "All About Eve."
Author's Notes: Okay, truth is, I have at least half a dozen stories for Farscape, Babylon 5, and Gilmore Girls lurking on my computer, not to mention some serious short stories about cancer and death and all of that, but argh, they have all stalled. This is my first, and at an initial guess, going to be my only Earth 2 ficlit. I loved the show, but...
This one kind of just appeared. It was a surprise actually. I do hope I did okay with it though. Now, normally, I am, very honestly, a sappy ficlit writer. It is my way of escaping all the serious writing that I have to do in real life you see. But Earth 2 never did strike me as a sappy show, so I tried to not be that way in this. If I didn't succeed, please tell me! Which brings me to feedback. I always appreciate constructive criticism, but please try to be constructive. ie...don't just tell me it sucked, tell me why it sucked (grin)
Timebreaks shown with ellipsis and boldface.
Devon stood quietly under the canopy that served as the current campsite's mess-hall. In her hands, a mug of what passed for coffee held back the chill of the night. And spread out behind her on a camp table were several maps that she had been pouring over, searching for the best route.
She sighed as she looked out into the cloud filled night and heard the first drops of the coming shower. It was something she still couldn't quite get used to; safe rains falling from the heavens. A part of her still expected the raindrops to be carrying the burn of poisons and still cringed when the rains fell. She couldn't seem to help but worry whenever Uly or True played out in the rain showers that blessed this planet. She sighed again.
To make matters worse, the persistent rains of this region were making travel hazardous and difficult. The mud slowed the vehicles and got into everything it seemed. Damp clothes and smoldering fires were making the group cranky and fraying nerves. In fact, the only ones delighted by the rain still, were the children. Every chance they could, they would play in it, soaking themselves to the bone until forced under shelter.
Devon looked up to the canopy above her as the rain started to beat down a little faster and she shivered. She shook her head slightly and forced herself back to her maps.
"Get a grip, Devon," she urged herself.
The worst thing about the rain, was that she had dreamed of it almost constantly as she lay in the cryo-pod. Trapped in the pod and a dying body, the Terrians had sent her dreams; dreams of Uly both as a child and a young man; dreams of the planet; and dreams of the rain. Always the rain came in her dreams and the sound of the Terrians singing. Devon still didn't understand what it all meant, nor had she told anyone of the dreams, or that she still had them. She was afraid that if she did, she would see the same wary looks in the eyes of the group that she had seen upon first returning to them after her illness.
She couldn't remember anything of the Terrians or the cure that they had worked on her, only the dreams. She had simply woken up one morning surrounded by a sea of concerned human faces. And all she remembered was entering the cryo-pod, then waking miles away at the campsite that Eden Advance had established for the evening.
Julia had run a thousand tests it seemed at the time, all of them proving one thing; that Devon was somehow healthy and cured of the mysterious disease that had been killing her. The group had eyed her warily though, afraid of a relapse, and afraid of what had been done to her. They were afraid of the Terrians and the planet. They had been shown once more that the new earth that they had found themselves on, worked in ways far surpassing their understanding, and it had shaken them severely.
It had taken several solar weeks for the group to feel comfortable, truly comfortable, with Devon in their midst once more. She wasn't willing to risk that just for the sake of unburdening herself of the irrational fear that she now seemed to carry regarding a natural phenomenon of the planet.
She sighed again and tried to ignore the sound of the rain as she looked over her maps. Danziger had been complaining again of what the mud and rain were doing to what he referred to as 'my vehicles.' Devon needed to find a route that somehow spared both the group and their equipment the further wear and tear that the rain and weather was causing to body and soul.
"Except there is nothing," she growled as she looked over the maps with a tired eye. "Damn that man," she muttered. "What does he think, I can just command the planet to obey me, stop the rain; give us only the weather we want?" Devon muttered darkly under her breath. There were definitely times that she wanted to strangle the man. She smiled grimly, picturing just that.
"At least it would be something," she muttered.
Ever since her return, Danziger had treated her differently. Oh, of course he still fought her tooth and nail, and questioned her every decision, but it was exactly that, a matter of course. Whatever strange friendship, even attraction, that had been building between them before the illness, was gone. In its place, was an almost rote imitation of what they had had. He fought with her, he argued, and defied her, but he never spoke to her, really spoke to her.
Devon missed him, the John that had been stepping carefully in her direction. And almost more than that, she missed herself, the woman that had been tentatively meeting him halfway.
She sighed again and turned back to the maps, finally marking out a path that seemed as good as any…
"Are you crazy Adair?" Danziger bellowed.
"You want a way without all this rain, then that's it," Devon replied, her voice heated.
She had stayed up most of the night with the maps, and the remainder of the night, rain, and dreams of rain, had kept her up. She was in no mood to deal with the man now.
"Now, now," Yale tried to soothe frayed tempers.
"She's crazy!" John addressed the tutor.
The rest of Eden Advance waited with varying levels of patience as the two argued. Morgan muttered under his breath about how miserable it all was. Bess tried to soothe her husband. Julia and Alonzo stood side by side, waiting for the blow up to subside. And Uly and True mimicked their elders as they argued about who's turn it was to ride in the Transrover.
"Fine!" Danziger bellowed. "Just don't come crying to me when the engines won't run."
The mechanic stomped off and Devon called for the rest of the Advance to start their day's travel. After a few miles, Bess approached Devon where she walked toward the back of the group.
"Bess," Devon greeted the young woman.
"You know, really was the hardest for him," Bess said quietly, opting to hit the heart of the matter immediately.
When Devon said nothing, Bess continued gamely. "He didn't really want to leave. But he knew that that was what you would have wanted."
Bess waited another breath. "He was always trying to do what he thought you would have wanted. He said that we owed it to you and to the families that are depending on us."
Still Devon said nothing.
Bess frowned. "He loves you, you know," she said bluntly, hoping to get some response out of the other woman. "We all saw it once you were gone."
"Thank you, Bess," Devon responded simply.
"Well, okay," Bess said, not knowing what else she could say. She made her way back to Morgan, further ahead in the group.
Once Bess had moved on, Devon looked ahead to where Danziger marched toward the head of the group. When he looked back and noticed her, his expression was closed as he shrugged deeper into his coat when the rain began to fall again. Devon sighed and walked on through the damp weather…
Devon settled on the log next to Danziger where he sat fireside. She tried to not notice how he shifted slightly to be absolutely certain that there was no chance of them touching. Before her illness and subsequent return, Devon knew it would have been just the opposite. They would have sat so that there was the very real possibility of coming into contact. They might have tried to pass it off as accidental, but they would have still done it.
Devon sighed. "I thought this route would be better."
Danziger gave a noncommittal sound.
"Yale says that there are some unusual air currents and pressures that make the weather in this region unpredictable. And unfortunately, the region is rather vast, it looks like we'll have to cross it, there's no fast away around."
"Well, we had to head in some direction," Danziger replied almost defensively.
"I mean, you weren't here, Adair. I'm sure you could have found a better way of course," he said sarcastically. "But we were stuck with the big dumb Tech, all right?"
"Danziger," Devon said, surprised as he spoke vehemently.
"So we left you and I had to pick some direction that was heading the right way. And now here we are, stuck right in the middle of this damn planet's monsoon season. And maybe if you had been with us where you belonged, we wouldn't be here now," he growled. "But you weren't damn it."
Surprised by the strange outburst, Devon tried to soothe the agitated man. "I'm here now," was all she could think to say.
"Yeah. Yeah you are, Adair. So why don't you just stick to routes and plans and I'll stick to the tech work like I'm suppose to," he growled and stomped off before Devon could respond.
After a moment, Julia stepped over. "It was hard for him with you gone," she said quietly.
"Everyone seems to keep telling me that," Devon replied dryly, thinking of Bess's words from earlier.
The young doctor smiled slightly.
"Well, Danziger's not really very good at expressing himself…"
"When you're there in front of him," Julia finished.
"Then why do you all think that he had a hard time when I wasn't here?" Devon asked curiously.
"You weren't here," Julia replied enigmatically and wandered off to her tent.
"Oh well sure, that explains it," Devon said wryly into the night air as the rain started to fall once more. She sighed and dashed off to her tent…
The clouds threatened above, but there was no rain for once as Devon made her way over to where the vehicles were parked.
"Danizger, how is the equipment holding up?" Devon asked as she approached the boots sticking out from under the Transrover.
An unintelligible grunt came from underneath the vehicle.
"I said the damn mud is everywhere," John growled as he slid out from under the vehicle and stood up. "And there's rainwater collecting in the circuits which is causing them to fry. We need to find a better route Adair."
"Well I'm open to suggestions," Devon said, her own voice revealing how on edge she was.
John growled. "I just handle the machines, Adair."
He brushed past her on his way to grab his toolbox.
"Exactly," Devon muttered.
"What?" John asked as he whirled back I her direction.
"What exactly is your problem Danziger? If you have a better way, I waiting, why don't you tell me? I can't do anything about the damn rain. It's rain."
"Yeah, well for someone so damned scared of the stuff, you sure seem to have a way of keeping us right in its path!"
By now, the rest of the camp had become aware of another argument between their two unspoken leaders. They all saw how Devon took Danziger's words like a blow to the gut.
"I see," Devon replied quietly.
"Devon," John said, surprised himself at the low blow.
"Yale," Devon called out as she headed toward the tutor. "Let's see if we can find a better route."
"You're always saying that I shouldn't tease Uly about the things he's scared of," True said as she came to stand next to her father. His daughter looked him straight on. "You always ask me how I would feel if Uly did it to me. And you always tell me to that we need to treat others like we'd want to be treated." True gave her father a disappointed look and walked away to get some food.
"Now she listens," John sighed. "Damn it."
He made his way carefully through the mud to where Devon and Yale were busy discussing which route they could take. The two finished as John reached them and Yale excused himself.
"Listen, Adair, about all that…"
"About what, John?" Devon interrupted.
"Yale thinks we might be able to avoid a worse storm if we head a little south. It'll add a day or two, but missing the storm should make up for that. We have to be out of here by mid-morning though. Do you think you can have the vehicles ready by then?" She said as if their latest argument hadn't happened.
"Devon, look, I'm trying to tell you I'm sorry here."
"Oh? Oh, all right. And the vehicles?"
"Damn it, Adair," John started.
"If mid-morning is too soon, tell me now Danziger, so I can try to find another way with Yale. I don't want you thinking that I planned for us to be caught in the rain again," she cut him off coldly.
"Mid-morning's fine. I'll get to work," he growled.
"Good," she replied and headed off to continue helping the group get ready to break camp.
"Damn infuriating woman," John growled when she was out of ear shot.
"It's good to have her back," Alonzo said as he stepped alongside Danziger.
"Solace," John said, his voice low in warning.
"Yup, good to have her back. Too bad she doesn't know that all of us feel that way."
"Solace," John warned the young pilot again.
Alonzo continued, ignoring the clear warning with reckless abandon. "I mean, every woman likes to know that she's missed. That she's needed," he said pointedly.
John muttered darkly under his breath and headed back to the vehicles, Alonzo keeping pace with him.
"That the journey's not so pleasant without her and that the world's a better place for having her in it. Yup, any woman would be glad to know that a person would want her by his side," Alonzo finished, a cocky grin lighting his face.
"Doc, if you want this one back in working order, I suggest you come collect him," John growled.
Julia looked up from where she was packing up the med-tent, a puzzled look on her face until she saw Alonzo's bright grin as he teased Danziger.
Julia gave Alonzo an expression telling him to back off as John continued to mutter about everyone minding their own damn business.
"Let me help you there Doc," Alonzo said happily as he made his way over to her, leaving a grumbling Danziger to his work…
Danziger walked silently next to Devon where they traveled near the back of the group. Every once in and a while, Devon would look up to where a thunderstorm threatened. Finally, John ventured a comment, "It should be okay. The vehicles are all good."
"Of course. I know that. Just because I'm considering the weather doesn't mean I think that you haven't looked after things. You were the one that said that we needed to get out of this rain. I'm trying set a route that does that. I can't help the weather though," she replied in rapid defense.
"Hey, whoa. I wasn't looking for a fight."
"Are you saying that I'm looking for a fight Danziger, because you started this."
"Forget it, Adair. Just drop it."
Suddenly, Devon slipped over the slick rocks on their path and instinct kicked in as John reached for her.
"Hold on there, Devon," he gasped, catching her before she fell.
She clung to him, steadying herself. Her hands tangled in his coat as John kept a gentle grip on her waist.
"I hate the rain," she whispered into his chest.
"I know," he murmured, holding her a little closer than necessary. "Look, I'm sorry about the other day. It was uncalled for. My only excuse is that I had some real bad influences growing up. Blame it all on the wrong crowd," he teased, trying to get a smile from her.
He became serious then. "But really. I am sorry, Adair. One thing we've always had has been the ability to have a good clean fight. It was a low blow on my part. I just…I mean…I'm glad you're back and…"
She looked up into his eyes, but before either could say anything else, Uly and True were rushing back to them.
"Mom, are you okay?"
"Dad, are you okay?" Both children asked simultaneously.
John released his grip on Devon.
"Uly, be careful, the path's not safe."
"True-Girl watch your step there."
Both children caught up with their respective parent and slid to a stop.
"We should stop and make camp before this storm hits," Devon said to John before she called out the same thing to the group.
"Be looking for a suitable campsite," she directed as she took a last quiet look at John before heading up to the front of the group, Uly by her side…
Once again, Devon found herself beneath the shelter of the mess-tent in the small clearing that they had found for the evening's campsite. She shivered as she looked out on the pouring rain.
"I hate the rain," she whispered into the sodden air.
"You didn't before you were sick," Danziger said, his voice low as he stepped under the canopy behind her, shaking the rain off.
"Danziger!" She said, jumping a little in surprise. "Why aren't you out on watch?"
"Relax, Adair. Nothing's out in this rain, even the Grendlers are safe in their holes."
Devon nodded in acknowledgement of the statement as John settled down on a chair next to her.
Suddenly she turned to look at him. "How do you know I didn't hate the rain before?"
"I know," he replied simply, his voice soft.
She looked away and they sat in silence for a while, with just the sound of the persistent rain drumming over their heads. Finally, Devon spoke quietly.
"When I was in the cryo-pod, the Terrians sent me dreams. About this place, this planet." She took a breath, "And about my son, and the rain. Always there was this rain and them singing. I don't know what it all means. I don't understand why they sent me the dreams or what they want from me."
"Who knows what the Diggers want," John replied. "But, whatever they want Devon, this is just miserable weather. No signs or portents here. Just wet clothes, cranky vehicles, and soggy semolina," he chuckled dryly and she returned the sentiments with her own wry smile.
After another companionable silence, Devon spoke again. "I'm sorry I laid all this on you, before."
She turned to look back at him. "No, I mean it John. I'm not sure that that was fair of me to do."
"Hell, what's fair?" John replied.
"But you never asked for it. You weren't even suppose to be on this planet, let alone lead a group of people across it."
"Well, yeah, but I never asked for a lotta things. Life happens, Adair. It happens while you're busy making plans and all you can do it live it."
"I'm sorry anyway," she replied quietly.
"Hey, if you're going to feel sorry about anything, feel sorry that you sent us out in the rain for watch duty," he said lightly as he teased her and shook out his coat, hitting her with tiny droplets.
She made a small sound of distressed and smiled quietly. "Point taken."
Another companionable silence fell before Devon spoke again. "This is nice. I missed doing this. We haven't had a moment alone together since I got back. A moment to just sit and talk."
"Oh oh, is this where we have the heart to heart Adair?" John teased quickly. "I tell you I love you and that it was hell without you here. That I missed you everyday, even when you came back because I was scared of getting close and loosing you again?" John said it all in a rush, putting a sarcastic tone in his voice to hide behind.
"Something like that," Devon replied wryly.
"Okay, well, I think I just did. Or something like that," John replied lightly before he fell silent.
After a few moments, John scooted closer, his thigh touching Devon's slightly. Their breathing fell together, and quietly they fell back into a place that they hadn't been for some time. Drifting in their own thoughts, they took the moment to simply enjoy the presence of the other person.
And the rich silence drew out until suddenly John stood up, grabbed Devon's hand, and pulled her out into the rain.
"John, what are you doing?"
"You used to laugh when it rained."
"What?" Devon asked, confused.
"You used to laugh when it rained. And I know, because I used to listen for your laugh when it rained."
"In the winter camp, I used to pick fights with you, just so I wouldn't go crazy. You're the only one around here that can give me a good fight."
"John, I'm not sure it worked, because this is crazy," she replied tugging at his hands as he held hers.
"And Devon, there's a lot to be scared of on this planet. Loosing True, or Uly, or you. The fact that I'm scared of loosing you. But this," he suddenly spun her.
"This is just rain."
He looked into her eyes and Devon was shaken to see the depth of emotion that was there.
"And this is me," he pulled her tight against him. "And you."
He finally kissed her then, catching her breath in his and urging her to share the moment with him. When they finally parted, breathless, he murmured, "Kissing in the rain."
She laughed then, and John smiled before he bent to kiss her again…