This is the
first part of my next story. Thought I'd cheat and used it because the
challenge fits. It's in my 'Sins of Our Mother' Universe and will follow 'The
For those not familiar (I'm sure there are lots *G*) - Tristan is Blair's Father. Our guys and Naomi are recovering after escaping from the bad guys. In order to save Jim, Blair shot and killed a baddie.
So, he's dealing.. not very well.
The International House of Pancakes looked anything but international. Blair was certain Aberdeen’s entire populace was sitting within the dingy restaurant walls. The picture windows had years of cigarette smoke clinging rebelliously to its glass, yellow-tinting the wet cars in the parking lot.
“What’s wrong with your pancakes, sweetie?” Naomi asked. She sat on a small travel pillow next to him in the wrap-around booth. They had waited for fifteen minutes in a tiny alcove by the cashier for a table to hold five. After the first half dozen strangers stared openly at Blair’s bruised face, he’d spent his time picking at invisible dirt under his fingernails.
“Nothing,” Blair answered quietly.
“Do you want some fruit?” She nudged her side bowl a little closer.
Blair tried not to notice the pain lines around his mother’s mouth and eyes. God, the woman was healing from a gunshot wound and she was worried about *his* stomach. The others were making a point not to notice, but they were.
“No thanks.” Blair used the side of his fork and started cutting precise little pancake squares. He’d poured way too much syrup, some kind of berry. It flowed over his breakfast and filled the concave plate like…
“Chief?” Jim’s whisper came from Blair’s other elbow as he leaned down close to Blair’s ear. “You okay?”
Yeah, sure, Jim. I’m fine. Blair nodded while his fork hand trembled and continued to mangle the pancakes into less than perfect bite-sized shapes. He could do breakfast. He could act normal for an hour or so.
Well, maybe not. The table edge crushed into his gut. The back of the both shoved. The floor pushed. The ceiling pressed. Jim’s large hand covered Blair’s knee and squeezed, in and out, like a kneading jungle cat, giving Blair something physical to focus on. No one witnessed the un-Jim action or the support it gave.
The world backed off and the syrup was just that again, syrup. Blair took a steady breath and lifted a bit of pancake; guiding it past his lips and delivering it his tongue as Jim patted his knee one last time before letting him go.
Normal, act normal.
Blair listened to the table talk. Tristan and Simon were chatting about flying. Seems Simon’s cousin was a pilot.
“I’m not kidding. That trip over the mountains brought me to religion.” Simon shuddered. “Robert lost us in the clouds. He’d just gotten instrument rated and looked so damn scared. Hell, we both expected to see a nesting eagle right before crashing into a mountain.”
“God, I hate flying in clouds,” Naomi added, leaning on her non-injured hip, giving her the effect of a listing boat. “Remember that flight over Brazil, honey?” She turned to Tristan. “Thought I was going to rip the yoke right out of the floor.”
Tristan gave her a fond look. “You’re a fantastic pilot. Best I’ve ever seen.”
Whoa. Mom flew? Blair looked at her with wonder. Was she ever going to stop surprising him?
“Hey, I know.” Simon used a triangle of sourdough toast to scoop egg onto his fork. “You guys need to invent a pill for passengers. It erases the last three or four hours from your memory. Then all the airlines will have a boast in sales because no one will be able to remember the trip.”
Now *that* made sensee. Blair set the fork down. Only he wanted the jumbo-sized pill, the one that erased days, not hours. Just enough to take away that memory of the desperate escape from that mountain estate, of the fight, of Blair picking up Jim’s gun.
“Actually, our doctors are working on a procedure that causes similar results,” Tristan commented casually. “Although we save it for more serious situations than bad flying.”
Blair looked up with interest.
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