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[Round 18] Loss Revelations


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(( Residential Villas, Risa ))

REYNOLDS: My Mum's dead.

::It came out of the blue. She had joined him on the veranda, taking a seat at his otherwise empty table, silent until she had blurted that out. He hadn't told anyone where he was staying, but then he supposed there wasn't much point in trying to hide from someone who'd spent half her [...]ed career in Starfleet Intelligence. Staring at his whiskey-filled tumbler, he replied.::

BRUNSIG: I'm sorry, Quinn.

REYNOLDS: Me too.

BRUNSIG: What happened?

::She shrugged at him then, and he noticed that there was no raw, red rim around her eyes, no tell-tale puffiness of tears. She hadn't cried. He hoped she wasn't about to start.::

REYNOLDS: A stroke, apparently.

BRUNSIG: I thought she was in a hospital.

REYNOLDS: It's a psychiatric hospital. It happened at night, anyway. She died in her sleep.

::The silence that followed left him feeling awkward. One of the traits he valued about his... friendship... with Quinn was that he could sit with her and feel comfortable, without a single word exchanged between the two of them. But not today, it seemed.

::When he couldn't stand the sound of sea birds and lapping waves any longer, he ventured what felt like a perilous question.::

BRUNSIG: Are you okay?

::She frowned.::

REYNOLDS: I'm... I've spent nearly my whole life being terrified of her. I feel... sad, I guess. But more than anything else, I'm relieved. Does that make a bad person?

BRUNSIG: It makes you human.

REYNOLDS: Well, half.

::She didn't even attempt a smile. That stilted silence fell upon them again, though this time she was the one to finally break it.::

REYNOLDS: My Dad. He's relieved too, you know. And my brother and sister. She–

::Whatever Quinn had been about to say, it was lost as the sentence died in her throat. She shook her head and stared toward the horizon, painted red by the setting sun. He debated pouring her a glass. This kind of news was drinking news, after all.::

REYNOLDS: I love you.

::He flushed and stiffened. He preferred the uncomfortable silence to a statement like that. It begged for responses that he wasn't sure he could ever give, or resulted in snapped out replies he didn't mean and should keep to himself. But almost as though she sensed that - or knew him far too well - she continued.::

REYNOLDS: I'm not asking anything of you. I don't expect you to do anything about it. But you should know. You're loved. That's all I came here to say.

::She said it without looking at him, without once taking her eyes off whatever immaterial point in the far distance she had focused on. And when she had finished speaking, she stood and walked away without a further word or sidelong glance.

::He spent so long wondering if he should stop her, that by the time he had come to an affirmative decision, it was too late. She was gone.::

--

Lt. Commander Walter Brunsig

Strategic Operations Officer

USS Eagle

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