Sharra was out airing the day's laundry when she saw the glint of light reflecting off of, well, of something. Something where no reflective thing should be. She gave it another little while before she looked again, and this time it had developed into the shape of a person. A man, coming from an area where no one had yet settled.
She thought, anyway. Always possible some damn fool decided to settle out beyond the borders of so-called civilization. Weren't they doing the same thing?
Sharra finished up hanging the linens and watched, deciding to wait for the person to reach her before going inside. She did call out one of the girls to put out a pitcher of something cool as the shape grew nearer, though. Like to be thirsty after a walk from wherever it was.
It had to be about midday, he mused, wiping sweat from his brow. This was the last time he made a rash decision on vacation spots without some sort of recce, or at least having the foresight to commandeer a Jumper.
He notices the girl at possibly the same time he starts to look like a person to her, and he says a silent thanks to whoever's listening up there.
Careful to keep his hands in a place where they're visible, he approaches carefully, hoping he doesn't come off as hostile. Hell, he isn't even sure what he's going to say yet. He was hoping for a few more miles to work that out.
As soon as he's close enough, he calls out with a friendly smile, "Hey there!"
"Hey, yourself." She smiles back, definitely a little amused by the way he's walking. With a pack. From... well, she didn't see a ship and there's no buildings in walking distance so, a little ways at least.
"I s'pose the first thing you might be wanting 'd be a cool drink."
"Now that," he says, slowing to a stop a respectable distance away, "would be lovely."
Forget that he has a water bottle somewhere in his pack.
"I'm John Sheppard." Because it would be rude to accept a drink from a stranger.
"A Shepherd?" Now there was a surprise. "Well, I'm Sharra." Last names didn't count for much in her line of work, so she didn't usually give one.
"And you can come in closer if you like," she says then, with an amused and blatantly seductive little smile. No harm in trying, and anyway, she might have misheard. She does turn, too, pouring them both a drink. "We don't bite here, 'less we're asked to."
He chuckles. "All right," he says closing the distance. "I don't bite much, either. And no, I'm not a shepherd. Sheppard is my last name. It's spelled slightly different," he says, amused but not upset or anything. And he thinks her misunderstanding is cute.
He takes the drink gratefully. "To new friends," he says, raising the glass in a mock-toast before drinking most of it in one. That was one hell of a walk...
"Ahh.." Oops. Tee-hee! Well, and that just makes it more fun, then, though. Well, then. "New friends," she toasts, agreeable and smiling. He's a sweetheart, or 'pears to be at least.
And then she refills his glass, eyeing him with some amusement. "You get stranded or something out there? Should I be sending out a rescue party for the rest o you?"
"Oh, no. I'm quite alone, so no need for a rescue party. And you could say that my transportation's a little...er, stuck. But that's okay. I came to visit the good folks of Haven, maybe lend a hand."
Which means he came on purpose, obviously.
Stranded, then. Maybe a downed shuttle or one out of gas.
But her smile does trade in some of its just-meeting-a-stranger-artifice for genuine warmth, hearing that. "I have to say, any help you can give'd be appreciated. We're still getting on our feet our here, extra pair of hands' always needed."
She sets the pitcher down on a nearby ledge and gives him a measuring look, and an approving smile. Definitely handsome, and kind-looking. "Where abouts are you from, then, John Sheppard?"
He isn't sure if Inara's told anyone anything, so he decides that he should play it safe than sorry. "I come from a place called Pegasus," he opts. Once he gets to know them better, he can tell them Atlantis.
"It's pretty far from here, but not so far that we don't know about Haven's troubles. We have some of the same friends," he adds, by way of explanation.
"Pegasus. Hmm." Not a colony she's familiar with, but something about the name, combined with his name, is starting to sound familiar.
Some of the same friends might explain it. "Who might those be?"
"Inara Serra and Malcolm Reynolds," he replies. Bit of a shrug as he adds, "Not that Captain Reynolds would refer to me as a friend, but Inara does."
Sharra's eyes widen slightly. She hadn't made the connection first, thrown off by her initial assumption and remembering only the name John.
John Sheppard. Oh yes. "Oh, you're that one..." She can't quite help smiling, a little ruefully, a little speculatively. She takes another look, this time evaluating more critically and matching up a face to a name and a few stories.
"Mm, we've heard about you. Can't say as we'd blame the Cap'n, what we heard of Serenity and her crew, and last few times we seen 'em. So you're the one."
Oh dear. He's slightly bemused by her reaction. At least there's no angry mob waiting to hack him to bits. Yet.
"Yeah...that would be me," he says, a little shyly. "And I've got nothing but respect for Captain Reynolds," he adds, clearly indicating by his lack of informal references to Mal that he does, indeed, respect the man. He won't refer to him as Mal until Mal himself decrees a truce between them.
"Mm." She looks him over again, somewhat amused by his bemusement. And then, pitcher and her glass on the tray, she sets both in the empty laundry basket. "Come on in..." With a bit of a tilt of her head to the house that clearly holds several rooms at least, and more than a few people.
A few of whom are poking curious faces out the window. Hee.
"An' that's more than likely a good thing..." she says, leading the way in. "Cap'n's not a bad man, just..." Shrug. All kinds of complications to that issue that she doesn't know enough about.
"Well. So, we were wondering if she'd bring you by, and here you come while she's out. Girls'll be more than a little curious about you, you know." It's by way of a warning, really, but a friendly one, that he's going to be mobbed with questions. And maybe admirers.
"Well, I'm sure there'll be enough stories to go around to keep us up 'til midnight," he says with a grin, taking her words in the manner that they're given. He tries to steel himself for a mob of a different sort.
But then he's reaching out a hand, saying, "Here, let me give you a hand with that."
Sure, it's an empty basket, but the water pitcher and the glass can't exactly be that light.
She does let him, albeit with a slightly bemused smile of her own. "She said you were..." she begins, without saying what was said. Sure it's Haven and all, and the folk around are generally nice sorts, but there's something almost disarming about him. The way he assumes gentlemanly behavior rather than acting as though it's been taught to an adult.
"Well, 'spose you won't be taking vantage of our trade, then," she changes subject, looking more amused now, as they head inside. The girl who'd taken out the pitcher looks up from the bar, intrigued, more so to find a hot-looking (in more ways than one!) man at Sharra's side.
A couple others look up, more than a little intrigued. Not all of them women, either.
He's about to address the unfinished sentence when she says the next one and he blinks. And as they head inside he seems to kinda figure out where he is.
Okay, so definitely a different ilk than Inara, and so he decides that they aren't the glamourous Companions she's spoken of briefly, but something baser.
Oh. Oh. Oh, McKay would be so very, very jealous. He does a brilliant job of not beaming at the thought, because for once, it amuses him like nobody's business.
"No, I don't suppose I will," he says with a smile. "Though, taking advantage sounds a little...disrespectful." His eyes scan the room, and he nods a general greeting to everyone, letting Sharra do the honours of introducing him.
And they surely are; no Companion, or at least, not without extenuating circumstances, would be so... blunt. Or obvious. There's something about the way they're seated or sprawled, something that lacks the years and years of training and habitual poise. It's nothing that would be noticeable, except by comparison. Nothing necessarily worse or low quality. Just different.
Sharra just chuckles. "'s only words. I'm sure there's those as would offer themselves to be taken advantage of, which, to our way of understanding, sort of takes the disrespect right out."
Then she goes over back to the bar, taking the tray over and setting it down, seeming to keep an eye on him to see how he reacts. And she seems to be pleased how he's reacting so far. "Folk, this here's John Sheppard." And a few of them seem to recognize the name. Favorably, too. "Y'all can introduce yourselves as y' like. This here's mine and Lucy's place." That last being to John.
"I guess that isn't so bad," he says. "Hi," he says to the room at large, feeling a little out of place with the basket in hand. He looks around again, this time a little more critically, taking in the details.
"It looks like you guys have a nice place here." A beat, then, "Where would you like me to put this?" he raises the basket slightly.
"Oh! Oh, sorry..." That from one of the women who's been staring less with admiration for the adorable and sexy of John Sheppard and more with something like curiosity. Or wariness. "Here, let me..." She comes up to take the basket from him and set it in what looks like a laundry room from the glimpse before the curtain falls back.
Meanwhile Sharra's encouraging the resumption of tasks with a couple brisk claps and a raised voice.
"Okay, you've had your gawk at 'im, and I know some of you've got appointments to be at, so get going. Those of you as don't, if you've got questions, you can introduce yourselves like regular folk. No reason to be losing our manners over ..." And the rest of that is in Chinese.
But they do scatter, a couple looking shamefaced and rushing up to their rooms, presumably to prepare or, well, something.
He dances out of their way as they all begin to move, watching in quiet amusement as they all resume their tasks. He decides to head over to the bar, deciding that it's the best out-of-their-way spot in the room.
"I hope I'm not causing too much of a problem by being here," he says, a little concerned. He really had no thought of where he'd sleep, though he did bring limited camping gear just in case.
He sure as hell wasn't making the trek back to the temple day in and day out just for a place to stay.
Sharra just laughs, shaking her head and picking up where her co-worker left off, cleaning glasses and putting them away. "It's no trouble. Don't see Companions out here on the border much, let alone her lover." Someone a Companion would break all the rules for. That alone makes Sheppard an intriguing, singular man.
"They'll settle down soon enough."
He may blush at that, just a little. "Yes, well, she doesn't exactly know I'm here. Which is kinda good, because I have a mission."
He feels weird just sitting here like, this though, so he has to ask, "Is there anything I can do?"
Sharra looks mildly amused at the thought of him doing anything or helping out, maybe because she's just used to thinking of guests as clients.
Besides, there's a couple girls sort of creeping up on him from behind. Not so much creeping up on to ambush (unless it's with questions) but creeping up out of shyness.
"Well, we hadn't thought to be putting you to work just yet. But if you're feeling restless you could see to answering their questions, as I'm sure they've got more'n a few." Sharra nods to the two girls, who blush brightly at being singled out.
"They'll take no for an answer, if 'comes across any subject you feel not like to share."