Etta could feel the city in the back of her head. She had been warned about it, since she was ATA positive but the sheer magnitude of it was exhilarating. But... there was something else...
A softly muttered "Fuck me!" drew her attention and she looked for the person who had said it. Ah! There!
She descended the ramp from the Daedalus and walked across the pier to a Master Sargent who was staring at her. She stood in front of him and looked him over. Latino. Most likely older than she was, based on his rank. The not-quite-ratty t-shirt and camo pants was appropriate for the cargo work his team was doing and showed off broad shoulders and a narrow waist. Light brown eyes sparkled in anticipation.
He stood tall and saluted. "Master Sargent Angel Matias, ma'am."
She saluted back. "Captain Etta James."
Matias moved to the 'at ease' position and continued to stare.
"Guide." She said it as a statement, it wasn't a question.
"Sentinel." Matias nodded. Then smiled.
Etta smiled back.
"Really?" She heard someone whine in back of her. "You just got here!" But there was a note of pride underneath the whining. She turned sideways to keep Matias in sight while speaking to the other voice.
Oh crap! She recognized Colonel Sheppard from the briefing materials she had been given. She had planned to introduce herself to the Alpha as soon as she could, but, well... she glanced at Matias who oozed a pleases scent.
She saluted again. "Sir! Captain Etta James! Reporting to Atlantis."
Sheppard gave a lazy salute back. "We're pretty informal around here. So you can ease up on the saluting."
She relaxed and instinctively moved closer to Matias. She took a breath. From Sheppard's grin, she wasn't subtle. Matias smelled like sea salt, cordite and all man.
"Okay. Can you hang tight for a couple of minutes?" Sheppard asked as he touched his communicator. She nodded. "Rodney? Got a minute. Need to welcome a new pair."
Etta heard a long-suffering but affectionate sigh over the comm. "Now? They just got here!"
"They're being patient, and the sooner they bond the sooner I can have my new admin working for me," Sheppard replied.
An ironic laugh. "Be right there!"
One of the men came up to Matias and he quickly delegated the work he was doing to his crew. The men seemed happy for their Sargent, which told Etta that Matias was popular with his men. She had gotten lucky with this pairing.
She fought to take her focus off the man next to her and she looked around the pier. There was the usual controlled chaos of cargo being handled. When she looked up, she could see buildings that definitely were made by aliens but they were beautiful.
"You can hear her, can't you?" Matias asked softly.
She didn't have to ask, he was talking about Atlantis. Etta nodded.
"She's a grand lady. I think we'll do well here."
"I think so, too!"
Another man came into her range of vision. Dr. Rodney McKay, head of the science department and Colonel Sheppard's Guide.
"Okay, I'm here now, you can do your thing," McKay waved a hand.
Etta grinned as Sheppard sighed. McKay gave a grin as he stood in back of Sheppard.
"On Earth we would do this after you've bonded but, well, this is Pegasus and nothing is ever quite the same," Sheppard explained. He stepped close to Etta and she was surprised Matias let him. He placed a warm hand on the side of her neck. "Sentinel James, we welcome you to Atlantis and our Pride. We stand with you and yours. Know me and mine." With his other hand, he drew Dr. McKay close. "Welcome."
She put a hand on Sheppard's shoulder. "I thank you for your invitation to your Pride. I stand with you and yours. Know me and mine." Matias was there, taking her other hand. "I am welcome."
McKay put his hand on top of hers as Matias put his hand on top of Sheppard's. "Pride."
"Matias, make sure she doesn't touch anything she shouldn't," Sheppard said sternly. "You know the drill. Medical will check on you daily. I suspect your team will bring you food. I'll get someone to find her kit so she has clothes and things. Both of you -- check in with me or Rodney as you need anything else. We'll do the rest when you come up for air."
"Got it!" he said.
"And you both owe Lorne one, he'll have to manage your paperwork until you come up for air," Sheppard grinned.
"He'll live," Matias said.
"Your problem, not mine," Sheppard grinned. "Get out of here."
Matias... Angel had not let go of her hand and guided her along the pier. Everyone gave them space, something she appreciated. She had no idea where they were going and she'd be hard-pressed to find her way to what had to be his room.
"I hoped for a match at some point, so the room is shielded," he explained. "We'll be safe here."
"I can feel that," she admitted. She drew him close. "My Guide."
He wrapped his arms about her. "My Sentinel."
She was home.