Stranger in a Strange Land
We arrived in Colorado Springs a couple of hours ago and the truth is that it's going to take us a while to get settled. Right now I think our top priority is to get our bearings after the two day drive to get here, then the next item on the agenda is to actually find a place to live.
For the time being we are going to be staying with Daniel, though I know things are going to be a little crowded and I really want us to get our own place as soon as we can. Sandburg may keep teasing me about my territorial instincts but the truth is that he is not too far off the mark on that one.
The thing is that even though my every instinct rebels at the thought of staying in someone else's space, when Daniel offered us a place to crash, I could see that Blair was itching for a chance to get to know his brother and I just couldn't bring myself to say 'no'. Of course, in addition to that, the fact remains that even though the idea of staying in someone else's space is not something I'm particularly comfortable with, the alternative --staying at the base-- wasn't really that much better.
The truth is that, no matter how I look at it, the way in which this whole thing has unfolded has been grating against my every instinct. I feel like I'm totally out of control here and that is not something I handle gracefully, though luckily Sandburg has managed to take it all in stride. I need to know where I'm going, I need to have a well defined plan --especially when it comes to something as big as moving half-way across the country-- and right now a plan is the one thing we most definitely don't have. For me that is nerve-wracking, for Blair that is similar to his countless moves with Naomi when he was growing up.
The thing is that even though everything about our move here has been more than a little rushed, at the same time I understand why it had to be this way, I understand that this was the safest way to do it and I realize we couldn't really afford to put it off in order to work out the details. We joined the SGC for protection and that meant that we couldn't afford to take too long to relocate. Getting here was our top priority, even if that meant not having a place to call home when we first arrived.
And that brings me back to our current situation and to the fact that our living arrangements are just the tip of the iceberg. I know there are plenty of adjustments we are going to have to make in the coming days and months and I know they won't be easy... and, to make matters worse, the truth is that I don't think Blair is fully aware of what's in store for us. Up until now he has seen this whole thing as a wonderful adventure --as a chance to work with his brother and an opportunity to travel to other worlds-- but he hasn't realized that there's going to be a lot more to this than that. Even after all these years --and after everything we've been through together-- he still expects the best of people, me, I certainly know better and I am well aware that right now we may well be on a collision course with the darker side of human nature.
The truth is that there are a number of things we are bound to encounter here that will represent a hard adjustment. For me working at the SGC will mean that I have to go back to a life I had thought I'd left behind and for Blair it's going to entail embracing something he was brought up to despise. I'm not kidding myself about that, I know that it is going to be a major shock for him once he realizes just what it is that we've gotten ourselves into here. When we met Daniel and the others in Cascade, Sandburg was over the moon at the thought of finally having met his brother and neither Colonel O'Neill nor Major Carter were really in military mode, I suspect that that is about to change and, even if it doesn't, there are bound to be others at the base that will almost certainly have a hard time accepting Blair as one of their own.
Sure, the SGC doesn't sound like the most traditional secret military project, in fact it can't be, but in spite of that it is a secret military project and that means that there are bound to be at least a few elements attached to it who are hardcore military. Daniel may have earned their respect but I am well aware that Sandburg is far less military than his brother and he hasn't been there since long before any of them came on board.
In other words, my guide is going to have an uphill battle in order to be accepted and chances are that they are going to be even less thrilled to have me there. Sandburg may be something they are not to keen on --a peace-loving, anti-military and anti-establishment neo-hippy-- I'm something they despise even more: someone who has turned his back on the military and who --even when working for the military-- has explicitly refused to rejoin their ranks.
Yes, I had my reasons to make that request and I don't regret it, but I seriously doubt most of the people we are going to be working with are going to be too eager to accept that explanation.
The good news, the one thing that may make this transition a little easier, is the fact that --unlike what was the case back in Cascade-- here I won't have to worry about hiding my senses.
That is one thing we certainly won't miss of our old life. Sure, ever since Sandburg renounced his work as a fraud everyone in Major Crimes has known the truth but while that did ease things a bit there remained other problems. It's true that we no longer had to worry about our coworkers finding out but there was still the DA and everyone else to deal with. I didn't just have to find the bad guys, I had to make sure that the evidence would hold in court and at times that was a nightmare, especially when I had to choose between saving a life and being able to bring the perps to justice... when saving a life meant allowing some scumbag to walk on a technicality. Here I'll just have to do my job to the best of my abilities and, for the first time since my senses came back online, there won't be a chance that 'the best of my abilities' will turn into a liability instead.
Yes, I'm a sentinel and I know I'm different. It's taken me this long not to think of myself as a freak, but the thing is that starting tomorrow I'm going to be working with a group of people who are used to things far more unusual than a man with heightened senses and --for the first time since a certain neo-hippy-witch-doctor-punk walked into my life-- I won't be hiding.