"That's My Q" #104,105,106 - "Checklist" (Part 1)


It had been a couple of days since Amelia had moved herself to the airfield and written her letter. The little plane was entirely re-equipped with a smaller and lighter set of weather instruments. She'd double-checked the radio herself, making sure she knew how to use it, and relocated the antenna as she didn't like how it might be accidentally clipped off otherwise. Now a small crowd had gathered to watch the pilot and navigator as they prepared to set off in their little airplane. Amelia was wearing comfortable slacks and a button-down short-sleeved shirt. Her jacket was in the plane already, on her seat. She settled her hat over her short hair, looking out over the crowd as Noonan worked on the preparation checklist. Putting her hands in her pockets, she leaned against the plane for a moment, squinting slightly in the sunlight. <tag>

George Putnam approached the airfield. He had gotten Amelia's letter, and it had got him to thinking. He knew something was up - after all - wives don't move out of their husband's bedrooms for no reason - but her letter had cleared much of it up. With a heavy heart he pulled up his car in the parking lot and got out. Approaching the crowd, but then hesitating, and staying near the back. He could see fine from here, he figured, and there was no sense in giving Amelia yet more on her mind - especially right now, when she was about to embark on a dangerous flight that required her full, undivided attention.

"...Fuel... Yup... Electrics..." Evans said, as he flicked the accompanying switches... "Yup... Vacuum... Man, that sucks..." Even he rolled his eyes at the enormous baddity of that joke... "...Oil... Yup... Food... Lots of it, and still squiggling around. Nothing like fresh gagh... Water... Yup..." Then he happened to look outside. "Crowd... Forming, alright... Even the photographer... And.. Oh no... Not him..."

Amelia glanced at her navigator, frowning slightly, then her eyes swept the crowd again. This time she noticed her...? husband at the edges, come to see her on her way. In the next moment, their eyes met. The heart thump came entirely from Amelia, as she pushed smoothly off from her leaning spot on the plane and strode towards him. Her steps quickened and she started shoving crowd members aside, heading right for him.

George blinked a bit when Amelia started for him. He had noticed the look that Noonan gave him as well, and inside he felt his heart sink a bit. As the crowd was rowed aside by Amelia, he put on a smile again, and stepped forward, forgetting all about Noonan for now, as his wife, the woman he loved, approached him.

Noonan was not at all happy with this, but he knew that there wasn't a whole lot he could do about it. He just sighed and leaned back in his chair. "Damn you, Q..." he softly muttered.

"Remember to stay in character, Evans .." a hateful, glee-filled, disembodied voice whispered into the navigator's ear.

Noonan's eyes were suddenly fully open, and he was as stiff as a board, as a very Evans like "NJG!" escaped his throat. If he hadn't had gone to the bathroom just a few minutes ago, he was sure he would have peed his pants... "Don't do that!" he hissed, realising who was talking to him...

Amelia was moving at a dead run by the time she'd gotten through the crowd, reaching out for the biggest hug she could possibly give such a large man from such a slender little frame as hers.

"Oof." George grunted a bit as he caught Amelia in his arms, smiling, kissing her forehead. "Hey there .. I uhm .. Got your letter. And I've come to see you off." He smiled softly.

"George, I've been such a fool..." Amelia said all in a rush, looking up at him. Then she smiled softly. "And you came anyways, to see me off." She reached way up and gently brushed his hair away from his forehead.

George shook his head softly. "It doesn't matter anymore, Amelia. Not after your letter." Stroking her hair softly as well. "I've already moved all your stuff back into the Master Bedroom .. And when you come back from this flight, well, we'll just start all over again, alright ? How's that sound ?"

From the cockpit, two, or maybe even four eyes peered at the couple. A mixture of disillusionment, powerlessness and a little bit of anger were behind one pair of them. The anger was not directly aimed at the couple, however...

"When I touch down at this runway at the end of my journey," Amelia answered, "I expect a dinner date." Her eyes were shining, half with unshed tears.

George nodded, smiling softly, and reaching up to brush her tears away, unshed as they were. "It will be ready." he spoke, then hesitated a moment - wanting to kiss her, and deciding that - right now - a kiss on the forehead would probably be the best choice, so that's where he placed it. "Just you get back in one piece, alright ?" He smiled softly. "I love you, my fly girl."

A little heartbreak was felt by Evans, as 'his' girl was courted by another man. He was relieved, however, that it was just a peck on the forehead, and not a full kiss...

"I love you," Amelia whispered back. She didn't... couldn't.. kiss back. So she touched his hair again, then gently ran her little hand along the lines of his jaw before shifting her weight back, having stood on tiptoe to reach him. "I.. I've got to go..." She turned away, heading back to the aircraft with a determined step, picking up her end of the work again, finishing the final checks and turning to look back at the crowd before climbing into her cockpit seat.


George Putnam Brief cameo by Q NPC'd by Kristiana Petrova

Lt. Jg. Ronald Evans Fredrick Joseph Noonan Chief Operations Officer/Navigator SB-47 Ronin

Lt. Kathleen Black... or is it? Chief Engineer Starbase Ronin