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Aberrant: Stargate Universe - Shadow Games [Complete]


z028 Riley

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The base was much quiter with so many of the new 'Specialist' on leave for the week. There was a tension that had been (at least partially) relieved with the departure of so many of the giants in the playground. For Kyria, it was like starting all over again in the SGC: in short, she was bored. She'd read through most of the books Daniel and Carter had on base, and even though she could not leave if she wanted to, she simply didn't have anywhere to go. This wasn't her world. No one outside of the SGC knew her and from what she saw on the television, if she went out she was likely to get shot and blow her cover when it didn't kill her.

So, she was sitting alone on the side of the pool in the gym area, wondering what she was going to do for the next six days. She'd molded her eufiber into a binkini and has spent the last thirty minutes going through various prints for it. That bored. The shrugged and dove into the water. The seconds starting ticking by with not even a ripple from the surface.

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Mumbling something about cafeteria food the young man strolled out of the locker room a towel slung over his shoulder. "Stupid. How can you serve chili with out hot dogs? Makes no damn sense." He griped aloud in more of a mumble than a coherent statement. Everyone was gone for the week, the place was pretty much his, what did he care if people heard him talking to himself.

He made it eight steps through the door way (a personal record for him lately when no one was around) before the air thumped and he jaunted across the entirety of the pool's width and slid the towel off his shoulder and dropped it to the bench. He tugged the waistband of his ultra snug™ speedo and glanced up at the diving board.

One jaunt later he was running the length of the diving board. He reached it's end and leapt once. With eyes closed and he contorted his body and took control of his momentum, spiraling himself into a feat of diving that no human could ever hope to achieve and even an augmented human would have needed quite some skill as a gymnast to pull off. Were there actually people around to witness his dive, rest assured they may have been pretty well impressed, but there wasn't.

He hit the water and fell down to the pools bottom, the rush of chlorine hit stung his eyes slightly as he opened them in time to see a pale skin tone getting closer and closer. By the time he'd reacted he'd already toppled into the girl on the bottom of the pool and and frantically made his way to the surface for air, still unsure what he struck.

His head broke the water's surface and already Devin was looking back down to see what, or who, he hit. Oh man, that was a person... please tell me that was not a person!

He saw movement...

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Kyria was rubbing her head as she kicked her way to the surface. Owieowieowieowie.

She broke the surface a foot or so from Jaunt, easily treading the water and still rubbing the spot on her skull he'd careened into. "Hey. Ow." Several seconds later, "Are you okay? Did you fall in or something?"

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It's her... He caught sight of her and suddenly felt a pang of nervousness. "Oh, crap... I'm so sorry, I didn't mean to, I was diving and I didn't see and..."

He tread the surface of the water doing little more than stammering like an apologetic dork. "A-re you okay? I dind't hurt you, did I?"

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She rubbed her head roughly as if to rub the bruise off, her hair sticking up at odd angles from the water. She grinned, "Nah, I'm fine. Guess I should of put up a sign or something."

She tilted her head to the side, thinking, "Why are you here? Isn't your team on leave, too?"

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"Yeah, but they all have some place to go." He answered. "Man, I'm really sorry." He sucked his teeth with an inward breath to emphasize that he knew it had to be hurting.

"I guess I could ask the same though, what's up with you?" He smiled, tirelessly treading the water. "Didn't you guys get leave too?"

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She shrugged, an odd thing to do while treading water, "Eh, it's fine now. I heal really fast."

She started doing lazy laps, zig-zagging around the pool with no apparent patter, but still talking to him. "My dads live in another dimension, and I gues I have half-siblings but....that whole situation is just still too weird to me. Besides, again, different timeline. That and I don't really know what I'd do if I left the base. This world is so....barb-" she caught herself and reworded, "so different from mine. I wouldn't know where to go, what to do. And I'd probably end up saying or doing the wrong thing and giving this all away. And I've finally gotten the general calling me by something other than 'that damn alien teenager'." She grinned impishly at that.

"Don't you have family to visit? Or friends from before? We don't know when we'll get another chance to do what we want."

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The thought of not having friends to go home to hit Devin pretty hard. 'No' is not n easy thing to accept and it was quite true that Jaunt had not a single person in the world he called a 'friend'.

His family was another matter entirely, his father was always disappointed in him and mom always pampered like an infirm child. "Nah, not really. I mean, I did, but they don't know I'm here. Probably best they don't, doubt they miss me anyway."

'The hot girl' is an alien? Aw crap, figures, she's way too sexy, so of course a talking tape worm has to live in her. Least she's cool about the hitting her thing...

"S-so..." Jaunt tried to find a way to break the ice a bit and keep the conversation going. "You're uh, not from around here eh?" Sail away with me... I'm Captain Obvious... "W-what I mean is... you don't look like an alien."

If confidence were baseball Jaunt would have been two strikes already, had she caught the way he was looking over her curves through the water, it probably would have been three.

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"I'm not from this Earth, no. I'm from a different timeline. My Earth had many novas, Specialists they're calling them here, and it was a natural part of human evolution. Not some technological device.Dr. Jackson gave me some history books; he's been trying to figure out when our two timelines would have diverged."

She frowned, "You should let them know you're okay, your friends. Even if you don't plan on going back. Most people worry, even when you think they won't."

If she was aware of his attention to her hip and bustlines, she was either very used to it or being polite enough not to say anything. She smiled and swam back over to him. "So, what are we going to do for a week, then? I figure, between the two us, we can come up with something fun to do."

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He smiled as she was being thoughtful enough to advise him on calling his friends. It served to remind him that he had none, but he faked the smile well enough for her sake. It certainly wasn't her fault no one liked him and how would she know that? "I'll uh, give it some thought. How's that?"

She was pretty with a body that certainly sang angelic hymms to the young man's mind (among other things). He hoped she hadn't noticed him staring, every guy did it, it was just part of being a guy, but they never really took into account they could get caught at it and, possibly, offend.

"Uh," He swallowed hard. Back home, before his evolution, he was a ninety pound weakling that no girl would ever has shown an interest in, even for something innocent like hanging out. His experience with girls was pretty limited, especially ones as intelligent and lovely... and scantly clad as Kyria.

"W-we uh... just got back from Panurethra," He squinted hard, catching his mispronunciation too late. He was already turning red. "Uh, Pantheorua... I mean. I did a bunch of great sketches there. It's not the most exciting thing, but it's a start... or, uh, you know... we could swim."

Alone, and a virgin. This is how I'm going to die, I just know it.

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She made a cute frowning face at him. "You worry a lot. Besides, you're a nova now. You'll live, oh, at least another hundred, hundred and twenty years. If you don't get yourself killed. Surely you'll score by then."

She grinned and laughed, her entire demeanor one of friendly ribbing, and then disappeared under the water. Several long moments later he felt a sharp, strong tug on one of his legs as he was dunked.

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"Score? Huh..." he asked as she was laughed and went under the water. Then the sudden reality kicked in that she had heard him talking to himself mentally. Oh, crap...

"And I'm," he called out into the water as he tread about looking for her beneath it's surface. "Not a worr-!"

He never finished the sentence before being pulled down below by crafty young telepath. Oh! That was cheap!

Under the crystalline water's surface he looked about for her, attempting to get his bearings. While he couldn't breathe under water he was quite athletic, even more so since his augmentation, and could hold his breath for a couple of minutes.

Once under he swam after her in an attempt to get her back. He wasn't quite sure what he'd do with her once he caught her, since it would be difficult to dunk when they were already underwater.

He did his best to seem as mirthful as she seemed to be and was certainly happy to play along. It was nice to meet someone who enjoyed having some fun, even if she did know he thought he was going to die a virgin...

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She was playing some version of underwater tag with him, as far as he could tell. She'd let him get just close enough to touch, 'tag' him, and then shoot off to the other side of the pool. She swam like she'd been born in the ocean, and even after his prodigious lung capacity was being tested to it's limits, hadn't gone up for air yet.

A mirthful voice that sounded like Kyria teased into his mind, Catch me if you can!

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He had to return to the shallow end to catch his breath. Kyria was a dirty, dirty cheater that kept trying to dunk him every time he went back for air. Crafty as she was, the Jauntster was craftier.

Or so he thought until she pulled his footing out from under him as he was pulling his hair back from his eyes. Her giggle filled his mind as his playful, yet competitive side kicked in. Taking another deep breath he went off after her, loving his new augmented body (and hers, as well).

Through the pool they darted beneath the water at speeds that only super humans could accomplish. Although neither was adept and the three dimensional environment but they made great use of the walls and pools' bottom for fast escapes and artful dodges.

The goal of the game became quite clear once Jaunt finally did mange to 'catch' her after a lot of effort. As he reached for her his touched a tender spot in her ribs. Her eyes opened wide and she screamed defensively giggling in his mind as she pushed off him with her foot. When in a playful mood Kyria was apparently quite ticklish.

And so it was on! She soon learned Jaunt was no less ticklish and the 'War Beneath the Waves' was going in full force. So swiftly did they move under the water that the surface of the pool looked like it was being visited by a monsoon. The water splashed up on all sides giving way to their momentum and spectacular aerial dodges, leaping from the pools bottom and arcing to a safer end away from their would be tickler.

Kyria sprang from the water like a dolphin arcing above the surface and effortlessly diving several feet away back beneath the waves. Jaunt's head popped up from below and as she waded in the shallow end she shot him an a playful grin.

"Oh, that was weak!" He taunted her. "I had you!"

They both laughed as he swam near her. The game wasn't winding down, but temporary cease fire seemed to have been called after Kyria managed an impossible dodge that Jaunt would never admit happened. As he got close his guard was down. The moment she had the chance he was riddled with shots to the ribs that had him screaming like a school girl begging her to stop.

She sprang off back into the water like a torpedo heading back towards the deeper end. *Catch me if you can!* she laughed in his mind again as he recovered from a most uncalled for beating.

The water tussled for a moment and lovely dark haired girl was suddenly shocked Jaunt held her close and tightly. One arm was around her waist with the other hugging her back. He'd never tried jaunting underwater, but apparently it worked, and he now held Kyria in an awkward embrace.

He wasn't rough, in fact his hold was quite gentle, but his lack of foresight (maybe Kyria didn't like being held?) was a simple innocent mistake among all the playful touching that has gone on thus far. Kyria so far was lucky enough to see exactly how kind and fun Jaunt really was, and as he held her, he looked down at her surprised face and grinned.

*Gotcha.* He offered into her mind as their momentum forward slowed...

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For a long moment she was utterly speachless, her cheeks blooming into an imitation of her auburn hair. She really hadn't expected to get caught and hadn't realized how much control 'Jaunt' had learned since training had begun. She wasn't prepared to have him, or really anyone, so close; it surprised her enough that she didn't immediately slip from his arms and return to the game.

*Gotcha.* He offered into her mind as their momentum forward slowed...

She grinned and arched a brow, *So it seems. Any idea what do with me?* Her mental 'tone' was more playful than anything else, her own unique brand of innocence missing the double entrendre.

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It was a damn good question. Crafty indeed... The closest Jaunt had ever been to a romantic encounter was lighting candles for internet porn night. In short, he had no idea what to do with her.

So, stalling for time seemed the best alternative.

*I've got a few-*

*THUMP*

A hollow echo surrounded the flirting couple as back wall of the pool assisted in halting their trek forward by using Jaunt's head as a bumper.

He winced in pain and reflexively let go of her. He didn't hit too hard, but it was certainly hard enough that anyone who saw it -or heard- would have winced along with him.

So much for romance...

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Effortlessly she lifted him out of the pool. Maybe it was the pain, or the playful time they were having but the enticing beauty of the barely dressed young woman in front of Jaunt didn't seem to affect him much. She was certainly attractive, and was certainly attracted to her, but his mind tumbled about -from more than the impact- as he thought about how easy it was to relax and enjoy himself with her, at least so far.

Kyria was a lot of fun.

"I wasn't really playing to win ya know." Which was odd coming from him, he always played to win. "It was just, uh, a good time just, ya know... messin' around."

Eyes up, dude... shes looking.

"Hey uh, you wanna grab a bite and hit the obstacle course, or we could head to my quarters, I have those sketches I did, and they hooked me up with an X-Box and a PS2. You play video games?"

Of course she doesn't. Hot chicks don't play games, they have better, non-geek things to do.

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She nodded, "I'm not sure what kind of games those are, but sure, I'll give them a shot. The sketches sound neat, too. You should make a collage or something, of all the places you make sketches of."

As she spoke her clothing dried off and flowed into a t-shirt, jeans, and some comfy-looking sneakers, leaving only her wet hair as evidence that she'd been a pool recently. She snagged some of the towels on the bench, handing him one and wrapping her hair up in another. "Besides, after the past few weeks, I'm a little sick of obstacle courses. And test. And runs. And firing ranges."

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She laced her hands together in front of her and gave a slightly embarrassed shrug. "I don't think there's a nova here who can make it. Major Carter is seeing if she can find a way to synthesize it, but that never went all that well back home, so I don't know that it will here either. It's called eufiber. It's attuned to a nova's quantum signature and, well, you saw. It's the only clothing I've ever worn."

It was nice to have someone to talk to here. Someone who wasn't either always trying to disect your abilities (however well-intentioned they were) or quiz you on your homeworld (no matter how cute they were). Or constantly singing "Mary had a Little Lamb" in their head every time you got near them (no matter how in charge of the base they were).

She held her hand out to Jaunt, "Lead on?"

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With an accepting smile he took her hand. There was a sudden surge of adrenalin that coursed through her and the world collapsed into a blur of speed lines all about her. Entire floors were past, solid rock was moved through, and a myriad of familiar locales all zipped through her perception at a dizzying speed.

In an instant it all stopped and they were Jaunt's quarters. All intervening space had been completely bypassed. "Um, gimme a sec to change and I'll grab my sketch book." He pointed to the small love seat. "Have a seat, I'll be just a minute."

He he changed he shouted from the bathroom. "Hey, you okay? I've never tried taking anyone with me before."

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"Eh, don't sweat it." He said coming out of the bath room pulling a t-shirt down over himself. "Once you get the hang of how the controller works it's a breeze."

He scooped up the sketch book from off his bed and sat along side her. His eyes were stained red from the pools chlorine, but remained as handsome as ever. "Lorean?" Asked, casually as he started flipping open the book. "That, uh... your boyfriend back home... or something?"

Oh, real subtle...

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Her eyes widened at the question and it seemed like he was about to get another of her infectous peals of laughter when a shadow crossed her face, some sadness and anger pulling her from mirth.

"Um, no. Lorean was a ship. And a person. And a she. She...." Kyria sighed, "She was a Watcher." It took her a minute to remember he'd have no idea what that meant, "Um, really really powerful novas that were....well, gods, for all intents and purposes. But mostly, she was our ship and a friend. She took us to all the timelines that we visited and when ever I needed some time to think to myself she'd 'port me out onto this little deck on the outside of the ship so I could watch the stars go by."

There was another pause, another frown, and then, "Cody was my boyfriend, but he decided to go become one with Watcher-Super-Mind-Meld-Kiss-Your-Individuality-Goodbye party." No, there wasn't any bitterness there. Not at all.

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How could someone pick anything over you...? the thought was sincere enough as Jaunt heard her story and watched her expression fade from joy into painful nostalgia.

Like taking a quiz a school the his mind's first answer was probably the correct one but he was faced with a though decision. As kind as his words may have been if spoken aloud he had no idea how she'd react. This was still her boyfriend they were talking about and his turn of phrase could sound insulting to the 'man' she loved. However, there was obviously bitterness there as she seemed to feel her love had made the wrong the choice.

In the end he played it safe, not wanting to risk messing up a pretty cool day and simply kept his thoughts to himself, the fact she could read his mind still hadn't become something he remembered from moment to moment.

"Oh, hey... uh, look..." He stammered trying to find a way to cheer her up. "I uh, didn't mean to bring up any bad memories. Um, I'd like to get to, uh, y'know get to know you better Kyria, but um... I don't wanna bring bring you down though. Y-you got a pretty smile... um, hate to see it go away..."

His hand brushed through his hair, Casanova he was not, but the guy was trying. A sincere compliment mingled with a bit flirting, but it did sullen his mood bit to see his question cause her to lose a bit of her happiness, the day was going too well for it to be lost on something like his stupid curiosity.

He needed a subject change.

"Hey, uh, grabbed my sketch book." He slid it from his lap easily to hers and opened it up. There had to over a hundred sketches within. Several of all the SGC members, specialists, and even a few of the gate (which was not allowed, but once he sees something, he has to draw it). Everything from landscapes to runes to glyphs carved on ancient ruins were all introduced to Kyria through Jaunt's artful talent. "Have a look."

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She shrugged, her good mood returning by an act of will. "Whatever. That was a different life. I'm here now and I shouldn't ruin our fun with things that don't matter anymore."

She grinned when he plopped the sketchbook in her lap, peering through it and oohing and ahing at her favorites (which seemed to be mostly landscapes).

"Do you paint? Some of these would be beautiful in color. They're really well done." She gave him a playful grin, "Maybe they'd let you decorate the base. This place is pretty...minimal."

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"I'm uhh... not really good with paint or colors." He admitted. He was a bit proud that she seemed genuinely impressed, he took pride in his work even if it came fairly natural to him.

"S'pose I never really tried though." He kinda grinned and made a silly face like 'duh, can't know if I suck since I've never bothered to try'. He chuckled, "I'll give it a shot, and you can tell me what you think."

He showed her all the sketches, even blushing as they got the section where she was featured a few more times than some of the other SGC members. Although he certainly brought her beauty to life it was impressive to see that he took the same time and care with each members' sketch that he seemed to have done with her own, even those he didn't like apparently were still worth the credit and respect they were do at the tip of his pencil.

"Here," He said to her, sliding out a sketch of a marvelously drawn landscape with a series of old ruins. scattered about. In the center of the area upon an obelisk was a glyph so intricate that it was unto itself a work of art. "I want you to have this one. I don't know why, but as I was drawing it, it sort of reminded me of you. Stupid I know... but I think it wants to be yours."

His smile was tender and warm.

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She brushed her fingers over the sketch, just barely not touching the markings. "It's beautiful. Where is this place? I've never seen writing like that before."

She was engrossed, her eyes roaming the over the ruins and the glyph pattern. She smiled up at him and then laughed. "I'm going to have find a framer's shop, pretty soon, just so I can hang them up. This and the other one you gave me. You really are quite marvelous at this."

Hmmn....I'm pretty glad I stayed on base now. It's nice to have someone to talk to. I wonder why he didn't have friends to go home to? He seems nice enough to me. She watched him as he spoke, telling her of the world Caine had taken him to. This is nice.

After he finished she carefully closed the portfolio, her sketch on top so she could get to it easily when left. "So, you were going to show me some new games?"

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"Ah!" He grinned mischievously. "Yes... the games. She wants games..."

He dropped from the couch and crawled over the video game consoles, his booty swaying about as he unknotted cords and selected the game to start with.

She held the laugh but her face contorted in a suppressed smile. She was certainly thankful his back(side) was to her, and not just because of the view.

He slid back to the seat, sitting close to her, in fact she was thinking he may have used teaching her the game as excuse to get even closer...

"This one easy, since it gives you a move list. It's called Street Fighter vs. SNK. A fighting game." He showed her the basics and they shared a few laughs getting used to the feel of the game.

And then it was on. The pool all over again. Once the two hyper-dexterous nova started Street Fighting their competitive sides kicked in and the hours ticked by. Laughter and camaraderie seemed to be the order of the day long after the pizza and soda were all gone and the to teen novas lay passed out in his room lit only by the glow of the television.

Kyria was out like a light on the love seat while Jaunt was sitting on the floor, his head tipped back onto the cushion behind him. Each still gripped their controller, refusing to yield to the other even in the arms of blissful sleep.

The Tournament of the Sexes would have to wait til morning...

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