"That's My Q" #49, 50 - Backpost-"Not a rival"

{Backpost to the time of "Reflections", during that long shore leave, about halfway through...}


Apart from Evans' and Kitty's ordeal with the race, their visit to the Black Residence was very peaceful... They didn't want anything else, anymore anyway. They had enough action for those couple of weeks.

After the seas calmed down, Grandpa Black was able to retrieve the Black Sunfish. The first-aid kit was supplemented with a bigger blanket, and a little heater. Nothing too heavy, but just to prevent what had almost happened. It was a race ship, after all, and keeping weight down *was* an issue... That's why it had a carbon boom, and rudder.

Grandma Black was kind enough to provide an endless supply of tea, milk and cookies throughout their stay, but to all good things comes an end, and that also rung true for their stay at the Blacks', only to continue their stay at the Evans' residence.

As the intercontinental train pulled up in the New Dover station, Evans already saw his mother standing on the platform, as well as another woman. Far younger, with short chestnut hair. It could only be one person...

Kitty was the nervous one this time. She sat very quietly in her seat, occasionally reaching to clasp Evans' hand and sqeeze rather tightly. She was still slightly paler than usual from the nautical mishap and had spent half of her remaining time home with a bad cold, but she was mostly recovered now... Of course, the nervousness wasn't helping. She watched the two people waiting at the station with increased nervousness. She'd met a version of Evans' best friend, and that hadn't gone well.

"Hey, you really don't look too well..." Evans said, worried about his girlfriend. "Don't worry, they are nice... Really. Well, they won't overload you with home baked cookies, but I'm sure they'll like you." He said, as he got their dufflebags from the overhead compartment. He did, however, understand excactly how she felt, but somehow, he found it to be silly nonetheless.

"I'm not sure they'll like me," Kitty said morosely, reaching for her dufflebag. "I'm sorry, you must've been nervous like this when we landed back in New England, and all I did was bounce around all excited..." She smiled faintly. "I think you're a better boyfriend than I am a girlfriend."

Evans looked at her a bit oddly, then put down the dufflebags to help her on her feet, and capture her in a tight hug. "Don't be silly, you... You're perfect! Now, please, stop worrying... It'll be alright."

Evans released the hug, and picked up the bags again. "We better get out of here, before this thing drives away again..." Evans said, and he moved to the nearest exit.

Kitty smiled softly at the comforting hug and seemed a fair bit calmer as she followed Evans out the exit and onto the train platform. She tucked her feet close together and her hands behind her back, as if subconsciously trying to minimize the amount of room she took up. That wasn't hard, since she wasn't a big girl to begin with. She'd thought that morning that she looked very nice in her usual shore-leave jeans and flowered t-shirt, but now she began to wish she'd put on a dress. A nice dress.

As Evans and Kitty emerged on the platform, they were franticly greeted by Evans' mother and Susanna Levy, who were both dressed in blue jeans. Evans' mother wore a light sweater, and Susanna wore a tanktop. Evans' mother smothered Evans in a hug. "Oooh, finally! There you are! Don't ever scare me like that again, alright? Traipsing off in a paralel universe! What was your captain thinking?!" she exclaimed.

"MMPH! Mom!" Evans just said, acting like an embarrassed schoolboy. But it seemed to work, as Evans' mother gave him a chance to breathe again, breaking the beargrip. "Oh, and you must be Karen... No, Eh... Kathleen! Yeah, Kathleen. So very nice to meet you..." she said, as she gave her a hug too. A less tight one, but a hug nevertheless.

"Uh.." Kitty was rather thrown by the 'Karen' remark, but she smiled a little, sheepishly, as she got a hug. "Hi. Uh... Thanks." And she smiled shyly. "Pleasure to meet you," she said, and hoped that came out right.

At the same time, Evans was greeted by Susanna. "Mmmmcomehere..." she said, as she wrapped his arms around Evans, closing her eyes, as she rested her head on his shoulder against his cheek. "Owww, I thought I lost you there, a while back ago." She released the hug, but held on to his hands, and looked deeply in his eyes. Then she turned to Kitty.

That made Kitty nervous again. A rather large part of her was feeling very territorial. Another part was chiding herself for subconsciously blaming this Susanna for what the other one did. All that combined meant that she choked off every response she'd considered making and reduced it to a simple "Hi..." But she lifted her chin just a little, just to make it look like she wasn't intimidated... she hoped. She Was intimidated, by this very pretty woman being so familiar with Evans, especially knowing about what they'd done so long ago.

Susanna had no idea of this, however. This timid little Asian girl in front of her, reminded her of Evans when they first met. She briskly but gently wrapped her arms around Kitty, and gave her the same kind of hug as Evans. "Ron told me all about you." she started off. "As I hear it you make a carreer of saving each other's lives. Thanks for that..." Then she released her, and took a good look of Kitty, also keeping hold of her hands. She nodded approvingly, and turned her head to Evans. "Well, you could have done far worse.." she said, then released her hands, giving a wink to Kitty.

Kitty was surprised, confused, then ultimately satisfied. Susanna was apparently much nicer here, and the very next statement after the gentle welcome basically confirmed Kitty's position as his girlfriend. She chuckled a little and then spoke honestly and plainly as she was so good at doing. "I'm sorry about being so.. timid.. I met an alternate universe version of you and she wasn't very nice." She blushed a little. "But I'm glad you are."

"Well, it isn't called a 'mirror' universe for nothing, now is it?" Susanne said with a slight grin.

"You're right, you're absolutely right," Kitty said, abashed. "And Evans was very much unlike his 'other self'. Very much." She made a wry face, remembering that fiasco.

Evans slightly snickered at that... "Just imagine me with a goatee and an attitude..." he complimented Kitty's remark. Susanna shuddered. "Hooo, perish the thought!" she joked. "You better shave properly, young man!" Evans' mother added with a glint in her eyes.

Kitty blinked at that, a little confused, then she just smiled and 'went with it'. "He put his hand up my leg. I... didn't let him get any further. Next thing you know we're both under lock and key for beating on the owner of the casino." She blushed just slightly.

"You go, girl!" Susanna said, giving Kitty a patpat on the shoulder. For some reason, she ended up walking next to Kitty, and Evans walked next to his mother, carrying all the luggage...

Kitty found this all very amusing. 'The dreaded Susanna' might actually end up being a good friend. "You've known him longer than I have," she conceded. "Is he usually so... sweet?"

"Well..." Susanna started. "I have known him for a bout a decade now... When he was 17, he was, of course, the prototype adolescent, albeit a shy one... And there was that time that we weren't the best of friends anymore, just after we broke up. But Ron has tried very hard to earn my friendship back, and he deserves it. So, I guess, the short answer is 'yes'..."

"He's been a good boy all his life." His mother added with a wink, and an evil grin... She was embarrassing Evans, and was actively enjoying every minute of it.


"Oh, I don't know about that," Kitty said with an evil glint in her eye. "He's run his fair share of overrides on ship's systems lately."

"One by one... I will never ever forget my security code again." Evans sighed. "We had to disable almost every secondary system on the ship, because we..."

His voice trailed off, as he saw Susanne yawn theatrically... "Ouaaaaaahhh! Smack... Smack..."

"Okay, okay, hint taken! Geeze!" Evans said, in good humor.

"It wasn't very boring at the time," Kitty said in amusement. "Two-minute shield charge! They aren't supposed to be able to DO that! And all the time while we were in battle. If I'd known what trouble we'd have getting back, I probably wouldn't have been so quick to fuse all that circui... uh... sorry. I get on a topic that involves engineering and I just can't stop talking sometimes..." She turned shy again.

"Don't worry... We're pretty used to it." Susanna grinned, pointing a thumb to Evans. "Oh, hardyharhar..." Evans said with a grin.

Kitty smiled at this. She could see the humor was warm and friendly, and that put her at ease. "More seriously, though... None of my ideas would've saved us if he hadn't been on the other end of that comm channel matching me thought for thought. You can really be proud of him with good reason."

Evans blushed at that. "Eh... Well... We eh.. just make a good team, I guess... Yeah, that's it..."

"Oh, very smooth, Evans!" Susanna added as oil on the fire. "Well, that's just sweet... And you make a nice couple too..." his mother added, as the oxygen...

Kitty blushed, too. "Uh... thanks." She was smiling, though. "We.. we do make a good team.. I've never had anything like that. And I'm glad to be able to meet you guys."

That deserved her another hug from Susanne. "I think we just might become very good friends..." She added.

"I think that sounds absolutely wonderful," Kitty said, smiling, blinking slightly to keep back tears of relief.


Lt. Jg. Ronald Evans Chief Operations Officer SB47 Ronin "...MOM!.."

Lt. Kathleen Black Chief Engineer Starbase Ronin