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Capt. Reynolds: Kismet and Cowardice


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(( Corridors, USS Invicta ))
::A new ship, and a new school. Not *entirely* new, something for which she was grateful. The faces were mostly the same, and of course Dylan now had new partner in crime, in form of Saavok. He didn't really need walking to the classroom, and she suspected it wouldn't be long before he wanted to be left to get to school alone. But for now, he was content with the company and she liked the few extra moments it gave her with her eldest.
::Though her company was lacking that morning. While Amelia was contentedly cocooned in her sling, as ever soothed by motion, Quinn was distracted by the PADD in her hand. She scowled at the urgent missive from Admiral Zeldenthuis that was seared into the screen, not daring to respond immediately, for fear of career-ending sarcasm. The next time she saw that man... well, she'd… she'd...
::She'd be very cross. Not that it would do her any good. The ebullient Dutchman was well used to her squinted glares by now, and almost seemed to delight in them. Perhaps this time she'd try not to give him the satisfaction.
::Chance would be a fine thing. Pursing her lips, Quinn dropped her hand -- and the PADD she carried -- to her side, and looked to her son, who was unusually quiet.
::He wasn't there.
::She turned, puzzled to see him a few paces back, stood at an intersection, staring intently down one of the corridors.
Reynolds: Dylan? ::She started back toward him.:: What's--
Dylan: Dad? ::He paused, disbelieving.:: Dad? DAD!
::He broke into a sprint, charging down the corridor and out of sight. She frowned in confusion, then realisation dawned and all the colour drained from her already pale skin. Reluctantly, her shoulders hunching in grim anticipation, she looked in the direction her son was running.
::If looks could kill, she would have combusted on the spot. Walter Brunsig *glared* at her, seconds before Dylan threw his arms around his arms around his waist. The boy was barely holding back tears, almost overcome with emotion.
::Quinn felt like crying too, but hers was an entirely different set of reasons.::
Dylan: Nono, look! Look!
::Oh, she was looking. Like a shuttle wreck, she couldn't turn away. Dylan released Walter, only to take his hand and start dragging him down the corridor toward her. Silently, she prayed for a red alert.
::It was not forthcoming.::
Dylan: Look! Look, Nono! You were wrong! He's okay!
::Her answering smile was a grimace, and she deliberately avoided meeting Walter's gaze. The threat of spontaneous combustion had only increased, after all.::
Reynolds: I, uh… Yes, I was.
::Her mind went blank. Amelia groused in the sling. There was an awkward pause that ended with an irritated snort from the tall blond.::
Brunsig: Isn't it time for school?
Dylan: Yes, but--
Brunsig: Go. Use that brain of yours. Expand your mind. Be productive. Shoot spitballs at your teacher.
Dylan: But--
Brunsig: Beat it, Pickle. ::A moment, then he added,:: We can catch up when my shift's finished.
Dylan: Promise?
Brunsig: Scout's honour. ::When Dylan didn't move, Walter planted his hands on his shoulders, turned him in the direction of the classrooms and walked him a couple of steps forward.:: School. Now.
::There were some fights you couldn't win, and she saw the realisation that this was one of them cross her son's face. He grumbled, glanced back at them both, and shot Walter a small smile before tearing off in the direction of the classrooms. No doubt Saavok would be hearing all about how Dylan's dead father was not-so-dead after all.::
Reynolds: Thank you.
::To no one's surprise, his mood markedly soured after Dylan's departure, and he was back to glaring at her.::
Brunsig: I'm not doing it for you. ::He eyed her.:: So why didn't you tell him?
Reynolds: ::Weakly,:: I… was going to?
::She just hadn't been sure how. How to tell Dylan that the man he considered his father wasn't dead after all, but marooned on an uninhabited planet for several years. How he was back, but there'd be no happy families. That civil conversation was a stretch.
::And honestly? She didn't expect him to stay around for very long. If she knew Walter, his transfer request was already submitted, and he was simply waiting for permission to hightail it away.::
Brunsig: Let me guess. Your great, master plan was to hope we wouldn't bump into each other?
Reynolds: Yes.
Brunsig: For someone so smart, you can be jaw-achingly stupid.
Reynolds: ::She sighed.:: Yes.
::Insults thrown and acknowledged, she expected him to walk away. He almost did, taking a step forward. But something caught his eye. Something small, blond and five months old.::
Brunsig: So this is the spawn of Reynolds. ::He paused, studying Amelia.:: She's not entirely unattractive. Who's her father?
::Oh. That question. Why did he have to ask *that* question? She grimaced, and the reluctance to answer was obvious in her voice.::
Reynolds: Harrison Ross.
::He paused. She saw the recognition in his eyes.::
Brunsig: You have appalling taste in men, Quinn.
Reynolds: You aren't so bad.
Brunsig: I rest my case.
::She gave him a weary, resigned look. Oddly, he had returned his intense gaze to Amelia, who returned it, and threw in a gummy smile for good measure.::
Reynolds: Walter?
::His eyes snapped back up to her, and his scowl returned.::
Brunsig: I'll stay out of your way while I'm aboard. Reciprocate. ::He paused.:: Dylan can come by if he must, but I'm not sticking around, and I'm not going to explain that to him.
::She sought for the right words. Perhaps not to fix things -- nothing would immediately repair the damage, but maybe she could start things in the right direction.:: Look, I--
Reynolds: Walter, I--
::She didn't get to finish. He slapped his combadge, began barking out orders and stalked off down the corridor. Wrapped up in her own unhappiness, she didn't see the last glance he threw over his shoulder as he rounded the corner and moved out of sight.::
fin
--
Captain Quinn Reynolds
Director of Intelligence
USS Invicta
Strategic Operations
Menthar Corridor
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