Reflections #55-56 - "Much like us"


The long shuttle ride had given Kitty plenty of time to think, and she did spend her whole time, almost, thinking. She was uncharacteristically quiet, but insisted that she was pretty much fine. As the shuttle drew near Earth, she sat up and took a definite interest... as it landed at a major transportation point and Ryylar departed for Russia, she gave him a great big hug. Now, as they drew near the coast of New England, she was watching raptly out the window, looking at ordinary things like water beacons as if they were extraordinary.

"YOU're pretty excited to go home..." Evans observed. Everytime that Kitty peered outside again, giving a subcounsious squeek, Evans just couldn't hold his curiosity, and peered outside too, only to see the so manyeth buoy, floating lazily in the water. "...I mean, a buoy is a buoy is a buoy... Ok, granted, if you're racing a boat, you want to make sure you're rounding the correct one..."

"Yes, but they're buoys that I've raced around!" Kitty said excitedly. "This is home, and I've missed it. Look, look, there's my grandparents' house, you can see just a speck waaaay out that way." She smiled, her eyes lit up like the starry sky. "They know when we're supposed to set down at the college. I bet they'll be waiting for us."

Evans peered out of the window once more, and tried to look for what Kitty was pointing at. "You're right, it is far away... Are you saying you can actually differentiate between these buoys? They look all the same to me..."

"Well, yeah..." Kitty said contempatively. "But you know what, they LOOK like buoys that I've raced around. Even if they aren't the same ones, the spirit is still there. Look at that..." The shuttle had begun to skim quickly over forests of trees. "The college is up ahead. Are you hungry?"

Ryylar had actually made sure there was enough to eat and drink on board, not in the least place for himself, but it had been a while since he got off the shuttle.

"Well, actually, I could use a bite. Do we still have time?" Evans said, trying to decide if he should make somethng big, or just something to go...

"We shouldn't need time," Kitty said. "It won't take more than minutes to land. But I'll let Grandma know. She's good about food." She looked as if she'd like to bounce off her seat, she was so excited now.

Evans just watched Kitty getting more and more excited, as he started to feel just a tad more and more nervous, as time progressed and distance decreased. "You sure, they're going to like me? I have been known to screw up first contacts before..."

"I can't see how they won't," Kitty said, smiling brightly at him. "I already wrote and told them about how wonderful you are."

"...Oh no... Eh, I mean... I hope they don't have a control panel that spontaneously combusts in my face, so they can yell at me for blowing it up..." Evans mused, vividly remembering his acquaintance with Kristiana Petrova. "...Eh... Just kidding..." he added quickly, grimacing guiltily.

Kitty chuckled at that. "Hey.. relax. They raised ME." The shuttle tilted into its descent and she turned even a shade more excited, if such a thing was possible. She looked as if she could get up and dance right in the shuttle aisle.

<Well, I guess that's a good thing...> Evans thought, as he switched his view between the view out of the shuttle windshield, and Kitty. He was sure she was going to have a seizure, any time. She was just bouncing up and down on her chair. "...No more coffee for you..." he said softly to himself.

"There they are!" Kitty squeaked, pointing out the window. As the shuttle slowly came to a stop, there was a small crowd outside walking back and forth, sitting on benches... some heads turning in curiousity to watch Yet Another Shuttle land.

Evans looked out of the window, following Kitty's finger. He noticed two elder people, seemingly bouncing around on the inside, just as Kitty was. "Yup, that's gotta be them, without any doubt... Well, they look nice enough..."

"C'mon, let's go meet them." Kitty was out of her chair about as soon as shuttle sounded the all-clear sign. Her grandparents were indeed standing there waiting now... Her grandmother was a beautiful older woman, slightly plump, wearing a pretty floral dress and a hat with flowers on it. Her pure white hair was up in a bun and she looked very classy. Her grandfather.. wasn't smiling. Wait.. or was he? The corners of his mouth turned down, making it very hard to tell... but his eyes were bright. He stood tall in a suit and tie. His white hair was combed back and his beard was thick and long, giving him the look of an old sea captain. He was holding a cane, putting a little weight on it, but not much.

Kitty lost no time in stepping well ahead of Evans, dancing down the shuttle ramp, and giving her grandmother a great big hug. The two of them both started talking excitedly at once. Her grandmother had large, dark blue eyes.. her grandfather had keen light blue eyes.. neither of them looked much like their grandaughter.

Evans was significantly slower down the ramp. His nervous system was just screaming at him to turn around and flee, but he had no choice really... He carefully walked down the ramp, making sure he wouldn't make a fool of himself, like when he was embarking on the Pegasus for the first time. This time, he decided to scope out the surroundings, before blurting out something silly...

"Gee, you don't really look like each other..."

... Too late...

Kitty's grandfather was the one who heard him.. she and her grandmother were still having their extended meet-and-greet in delight. He didn't smile, didn't chuckle.. just said in a grave tone of voice, "She gets her looks from her mother's side, I suppose." His voice was rich and slow. He extended his hand. "You must be Mr. Evans, then."

"Oh, crap, I screwed up already..." Evans said softly. "Eh! I mean... Pleased to meet you, sir! Kitty told me all about you..."

"Oh did she?" Again, no smile, but a certain glint in his eyes... "All about me, did she?"

"... All about you.. Like... eh... The time..." Evans mumbled, as he was desparately searching for an example... "...Theeeee time... Eh times you sailed the Black Family Sunfish!" <Pfew... Just in time...>

"Alvin!" Kitty's grandmother had overheard.. she put her hand on her husband's shoulder and smiled at Evans. "No frightening the guest." She smiled at Evans, her eyes twinkling in a familiar way, though they weren't the same shape or color as her granddaugther's. "Pleased to meet you. I've heard wonderful things about you."

"NJ!" Evans almost jumped out of his skin, when Kitty's grandmother called back her husband. "Eh... Yes, pleased to meet you too. Thank you. You did? Eh... Oh, you did!.. Well, that's good..."

"Aw.." She moved closer and reached out to give him a hug. It was a real 'grandmother hug', the sort to bring to mind things like cookies and doilies and teacups. "Come on and have something to eat. We don't bite," she said gently, with wholehearted friendliness.

Evans gently returned the hug. "Oh, I can live with this..." And to the mentioning of food "Oh, I can live with that too..." as he released the hug.

"C'mon, hon, let's get us some dinner." She smiled, now leading him along. Kitty was up ahead, talking to her grandfather. "I haven't heard much," her grandmother told Evans, "but Kitty credits you with saving her life."

"Eh... Oh, that... Well, I guess I was on the right spot at the right time. I just grabbed her and hold on to the barstools with all my might, as the hull plating gave way. We were very lucky we had something to hold on to..." Evans told her, as an outline of what happened. "She did freeze up, that moment..." he added, pondering.

"Ohh..." the older woman said worriedly. "The hull breach." She glanced down for a moment, then looked back up worriedly. "Did you have to take her to Sickbay, to snap her out of it?"

"Eh, I don't know anymore... What did happen?" Evans was wondering himself, as he thought hard. "Oh, now I remember. She was quite far out of it, but I brought her back, by making her think of something she loves... I made 'vroom-vroom' noises, she associates with my car. I still can't believe that actually worked...."

"Your car?" She gave Evans a puzzled look. "Oh! The little one, right? Yes, she mentioned it in one of her mails. She said she'd be helping you with it. How is that coming along?"

Evans' expression turned a bit sad. "Eh, it was finished, but it took some damage during the last mission... A supportstrut crashed onto the rear portion of the roof, denting it, and shattering the rear window. It also overloaded the rear tires, blowing them, and I don't know if the suspension is still in one piece... I think it can be fixed again, though."

"Ouch." She nodded in sympathy. "We've got some old boat parts. If anything might help, let me or Alvin know."

Evans thought for a bit, but couldn't for the love of god figure out what part of a boat could be used to fix his car... "Eh, thanks, I'll look into it..." he just answered, with the same stealth-smile, that Alvin was wearing all along, but even Evans hadn't noticed.

She chuckled heartily. "I can see why Kitty thinks you're cute," she said, then blinked and chuckled again.

Evans noticed the blink, and suddenly there was no doubt on his mind, that this really was Kitty's grandmother. "...Yup... Cute... That's me..." Evans mumbled, as he just couldn't wrap his mind around that. "Soooo, the Black Sunfish sailed again?" he said, trying to switch topics.

She smiled brightly. "You're not the only one who says silly things without thinking. Only I can blame my old age. Yes, Regulus came down while your ship was missing. He sailed the old sunfish. Were you thinking of having a try while you're here?"

"Well, if she's half as tempramental as in the simulations, we might want to add parachutes to the list of things to wear on board..." Evans mused. "But I think Kitty and I are getting the hang of 'er... We make quite a team."

"So she tells me," the sweet old lady said, then nudged Evans slightly and grinned in a way that sweet old ladies really shouldn't know how to do. <tag>

Evans slightly smiled at that. He could grow to like this lady. First experience showed that she was a lot like Kitty. Quirky, yes... But also sweet. If Kitty would grow old like her, Evans wouldn't have any problems with that... "So, what's for dinner?"

"What else, in this neck of the woods?" she asked, smiling brightly, showing just how much physical looks were only a small part of heredity. "I thought you'd like to try some fried squid."



Meeting the grandparents:

Lt. Kathleen Black


Lt. Jg. Ronald Evans