Pairing: John Danziger & Devon Adair
Rated: T (for adult situations)
Spoilers: All About Eve
Summary: This was more than a journey across an unknown planet to reach New Pacifica. This was the journey of survival, and the truest test of all. Learning how to fall.
A/N: This is my first Earth 2 fanfiction. So please be gentle. Danziger and Devon are my all time favorite on this series, and I tried so hard to capture the essence of them. And the series premature ending just left me unsatisfied so I had to do this. It's a multi-chapter piece. So bear with me as all the details aren't worked out, but I know the general direction. It's a story of hope, fear, but most of all, love.
Danziger had just finished giving the vehicles a last-minute inspection when True approached. She had her hands in her pockets and wore that guilty expression he had learned to read so well. "Ok, True-girl. Spill." He leaned against the wheel of the transrover and crossed his arms over his chest.
"Spill what? I ain't said nothing." She wrinkled her nose. "But I guess you haven't talked to Devon, have you?"
He felt a sinking feeling in his gut and shifted. "Is there something I need to have a word with her about? What did you do?" Or say? Because he knew the girl's mouth got her in trouble almost as much as her curiosity.
"No-nothing, Daddy. Just wondering." True flashed him one of her hundred watt smiles and rushed forward to hug him tight. "Just missed you is all. Nothing to worry about." She pulled back, squinting into the morning sun that was just over head as she looked into his eyes. "It okay if I ride with Alonzo and Julia in the 'rail? Uly and me?"
He hugged the girl to him before letting her go and gave a nod. "Uly's got to ask his Mom, but it's okay with me." There was more to what she was telling him, but he figured it would come to a head sooner or later. "Don't you make Julia and Alonzo have to get on you, hear me?"
"Yes, sir." She was a good six yards from him as she glanced back over her shoulder to see Devon approaching her Dad. Her stomach flipped over. She definitely was going to get in trouble now.
Devon held her canteen against her chest. "That's a smart girl you have there, Danziger." She didn't shift her focus to look at him, but instead kept watching the younger Danziger.
He gave a slight nod and a grunt to acknowledge that he heard her and agreed. "Too smart sometimes." He raked his fingers through his blond curls and then squared his shoulders for whatever criticism would come this morning. "Out with it."
That caused her head to snap around and a frown to crease her face. "Excuse me?" She'd come to thank him and hopefully ask him to talk later in the day when they made camp that evening, but not if he was going to take that tone with her.
"You got that look. Like somethings on your mind. Figure I was off in calibrating the coördinates for today. I done re-checked them twice. There's no other way." He had no idea why he was picking a fight other than the look his daughter wore put him on edge. Something had happened and now her and Devon had a secret. He didn't like it. Not one bit.
She gave a soft snort. "Just forget it. Let's move out. Daylights wasting, and it's already hotter than hell out here." She slipped her canteen strap over her arm and started walking.
"Adair, wait..." He knew then he'd done said the wrong thing. He let out a frustrated breath and hurried to catch up with her, calling out to Bess and Morgan along the way. "Hey, Martin. Why don't you and Bess take first shift in the rover?" He watched as the small man took Bess' hand and hurried her toward the cab like he was afraid John would change his mind. "Adair, would you hold up? Adair!"
She wasn't about to give him the satisfaction of stopping now. He'd learn one day just how stubborn she was. If he wanted to keep testing her patience, so be it. She squared her shoulders, not bothering to even look back.
He rolled his eyes, managing to catch up in several long strides. "Devon, damn it!" He spoke through clenched teeth. "Why does everything have to be an all out war?" He slowed his pace to stay even with her. "C'mon. Don't shut me out." Not anymore than you already do, he added silently.
"Because you make assumptions." She wasn't up to fighting. In fact, her stomach felt like she was going to vomit at any given moment and her skin felt clammy and her knees weak. She let out a soft hiss of breath before giving into the feeling and stopping. Hands on her knees, she tried to keep her breathing slow and steady. "Can we not do this?"
Immediately concerned, his mind went straight to the worst case scenario of a relapse. Only they were a good six hundred miles from Bennett's ship. There would be no hope of saving her again. "Devon? What's wrong? Do you hurt? Need to sit down?" His hand moved quickly, taking the canteen and lowering it to the ground as he touched her lower back gently. "C'mon. Let's sit you down."
"I'm fine," she growled through the nausea and momentary loss of self-control. She straightened up, relieved that the feelings were starting to ebb away. "There. All better." She brushed him off, stepping out of reach of his touch and took her canteen again. She uncorked the top and put it to her lips and took several slow sips. It only made her stomach worse, but she fought it as hard as she could. She refused to allow John Danziger the satisfaction of playing hero. Again.
He let out a frustrated breath. "Stubborn," he growled. He had half a mind to call for Julia anyway. If Devon was sick, they needed on top of it now. Not later.
"Pot meet kettle."
He gave a snort. "Fine. Have it your way, but if you so much as take a breath out of line, I am halting this convoy and you're being seen about. Understand."
"Yes, sir," she snorted with a salute and everything. She quickened her steps to catch up to the others and put distance between him and her. She didn't need to be babysat. Especially by him.
Danziger had watched her closely throughout the rest of the morning. She had seemed just fine, but he knew from the past experience that she was good at hiding things. So instead of arguing, he pulled rank as co-leader of their ragtag group and insisted that everyone that rode that morning would now switch with those that walked. He didn't give her an option. He'd also hoped that he could manage to get her in the passenger seat of whatever it was he commandeered.
But nope. Devon Adair was too quick for him and partnered herself up with Baines in the rover. He glared daggers at the terrain in front of him, not even taking care to avoid the potholes along the way.
Walman glanced over at him about an hour in. "You sure you're okay, Danziger?"
"Why wouldn't I be?"
Walman shrugged. "Well, that hole back there was plenty big enough for you to see and move around, but you drove right over it. And fast." His ass still felt the sting as he'd been jostled from his seat and landed back against the hard metal rail at the side.
"You'd rather walk?"
"No. No. I was just...if you need me to take over..." Walman started.
"No thanks. Just sit back, shut up, and mind your own business." Danziger knew it wasn't fair to take it out on the others, but that woman had a way of making him want to scream to the heavens. She was infuriating, and he was nearing the end of his already short rope.
Devon was grateful for the forced ride. She had been barely managing one foot in front of the other, but she'd have walked all day had he not pulled rank on her. That was one of the promises she'd made him when she'd been pulled out of cryosleep by the cure Julia had managed to find. That she wouldn't overdo it, and when he or Julia said she'd had enough, she'd listen.
She hated that promise now, and up to that point, only Julia had used that promise against her. And with good reason, but John Danziger was slowly grating on her nerves with his overbearing attitude today. She leaned her head back and closed her eyes.
And promptly fell asleep.
And that's where they all left her once they'd reached their camp for the night. They'd quickly set up camp and had dinner going when she emerged from the cab of the transrover.
"Why wasn't I woken?" She bypassed all of the other Eden Advance crew and made a beeline for Danziger as he stood making a thorough check of the ATV.
"You needed the rest." It was a clipped reply as he wiped his hands on a cloth. "We'd have done the same for anyone else." He lifted his eyes then, locking on hers. He could see how tired she still was, and he decided to switch tactics. "Maybe you need to go back on the vitamin and nutrients Julia made for you. You're looking pale, Adair. Can't have you takin' ill on us when New Pacifica is just on the horizon."
"And just who are you? Not my father, and most certainly not my physician. I'll thank you kindly to mind your own business." She gave a snort and turned to walk away, but stopped after only a couple feet to turn back, hand on her hip. "And I'd like you to keep what goes on and what doesn't between you and me, and not share it with your daughter."
True was lodged beneath the ATV, tightening screws and bolts that her Dad couldn't get to. She wished she had been anywhere but there. She held her breath as Devon stomped away and waited until she was summoned. And sure enough, she only had to wait a second. If that long.
"True, front and center, and be prepared for a long talk." He wanted to get down to the bottom of this. And the sooner, the better.
Devon managed to make it to the back edge of the tent she shared with Uly before reaching to grab a hold of the tree close by and steady herself. The feeling from that morning returned, only it was worse. She managed to turn her back to the others and threw up into the bushes. She let out a soft groan.
This could not be happening. They were almost there. She couldn't get sick. Not again. She couldn't be a burden on her crew. She wouldn't allow it this time. The cure had been too good to be true.
Now she just had to keep it secret. If it kept happening, she'd confide in Julia and swear her to secrecy. She wouldn't have the others carrying her weight.
Not this time.