were the filing cabinets that Rean had been given full control of,
and then there was that one on the end that was always locked. It
was just for personal files, like he was sure every officer had. For
weeks, Rean hadn't the least bit of interest in those files... which
was why he absolutely could not explain the sudden, consuming urge to
go through whatever was in there.
there was an explanation; but that in itself actually explained
nothing. He mumbled a number of excuses under his breath as he stood
facing the filing cabinet, trying out each one just in case he got
caught. It was important. It was urgent. It was absolutely
wanted to know whether or not she had a car. Which was a stupid
little thought that had slipped into his head hours earlier, while
he'd been thinking about nothing in particular. It wasn't like there
were many places to go around the Tower, and the weather
outside was usually more harsh than anything else... and yet that
stupid little idea had gained momentum enough to become an all-out
bother that was likely not to let him sleep until he had it answered.
(He could already hear the general's voice in his head, "Am
I to assume that you want to go joyriding, Mr. Coi?" He
didn't have an answer. Just like it would be if Rakashi actually
asked the question, he was sure.)
could have asked. He knew that he could have asked and faced that
question, or that long look that was just a bit more uncomfortable
than he liked... but Rean was there in the office, and the general
was not. He didn't know where she was, but the whole "not being
there" part was his focus. "I was checking up on your
security." He announced to himself, carefully unbending a paper
clip to attempt to pick the lock. Apparently it wasn't as easy as
he'd hoped, attempting to catch the tumbler and missing repeatedly.
"Just seeing how safe your files really were. Above and beyond
the call of duty." Oh yeah, she'd go for that, alright--right
before she knocked him unconscious. If he was lucky, anyway.
a very good excuse, I have to admit." The female voice
that was distinctly not Rakashi's still managed to give him a jolt,
paper clip dropping from his hand as he darted backward.
really didn't expect to see a very... lovely blond woman smiling at
him. Okay, so "lovely" was an enormous understatement--she
was drop-dead gorgeous even if there was something distinctly
"mature" about her professional appearance, dressed in a
skirt and a military jacket that flattered her figure. She licked
her tongue at his continued stare, laughing as she knelt to pick up
the paper clip. "The general would have kittens if she knew you
were even entertaining the thought."
General. Kittens. Got it. He
shook his head suddenly as if to clear it. "I, ah... well, I mean I
wasn't really--I'm sorry, can I
help you?" Yes, perfect. If he pretended that everything was
alright then certainly it would be.
blond smirked. "I'm here to see General Vrunai. I suspect
suspect she's around, too. Rean didn't want to think, let alone
say. I suspect she will probably be even less friendly toward me
now, as well. "I'm... not quite sure where she is. She
should be back soon, though."
woman nodded and decided to invite herself to take a seat--at
Rakashi's desk. In the general's chair.
blinked. Twice. "Should I try to find her for you, miss?"
"'Miss?' Oh my." She replied with
a soft little grin, something
instantly friendly and attractive about her. "No need. She's
bound to be back soon."
was just when he'd opened his mouth to offer something, anything, coffee,
Mr. Coi..." Rakashi's
voice trailed off as she saw who was at her desk.
watched in a bit of fascination as the general neither ordered the
woman out, nor otherwise seemed in any way... well, herself. There
was definitely recognition in Rakashi's eyes, and it seemed to
make the blond woman smile that much more.
Coi, I'm certain you wouldn't mind an early lunch break."
was an awful lot of blinking going on that afternoon. It took a
moment for Rean to see the words as they were: a somewhat more polite
way to be told to get lost for a while. Okay, then. "Of
course, sir." With a nod to the blond woman, he pulled the door
closed behind him--then heard it lock immediate after. Well... damn.
say." The blond responded. "And who was that?"
seemed that the woman found it easy to draw rare expressions from
Rakashi; namely, a wry smile. "My assistant."
fine eyebrows shot up. "Assistant? You?"
another rare treasure without thinking, the general laughed quietly.
"Don't ask me how it happened. I still don't know."
I mean... I know they tried to push a few on you before, but... how
long as he been here?" the blond grinned suddenly, sitting
forward in the chair.
no care to the papers on her desk, Rakashi sat in one of corners that
was far from bare. "Weeks, actually... and don't give me that
"Weeks." The woman
repeated, in very real awe. "Did you find some sort
of mind control device?"
general snorted. "He just... hasn't done anything stupid. Yet."
pondered doing the boy an enormous favor by keeping her mouth shut.
Then thought there were better favors. Holding up an unbent paper
clip, she smirked. "I'm afraid, dear Rakashi, that he reminds
me of someone who likes to get into trouble."
Oh, that certainly
changed her expression. "What was he
blond laughed quite pleasantly, tossing the paper clip in the waste
bin. "What no one in their right mind would do, General. Give
into curiosity about you."
"Hm." Was the response. Something
very dangerous for being so simple.
however, made a dismissive gesture. "Let him off for now. He's
been here for weeks, so obviously he actually does his job."
enough." Rakashi sighed, trying not to be paranoid. "Like
I said... it's been a long time." She reached to take the
woman's hand, a soft smile winding up on her lips. "How've you
that hand, the blond's words remained light. "They still call
me a 'field secretary', though I believe I should be paid for being a
psychologist and nurse as well."
same as always then."
as always." Sarah laughed. "I'm sure you're eager to get
back to the front rather than wasting away here."
have no idea." Rakashi assured. "Actually, you
probably have a pretty decent idea. I'm sure General Tyris is ready
for me to steal his thunder."
a dismissive gesture with her free hand, the blond states simply,
"He's always been a dick. But he belongs behind a desk more
than you do. I mean look at this, they have you doing busy work.
Again." Piking up one of those pages, a grin spread slowly
across her lips. "Well. Now you've given them a taste of your
artistic merit, as well."
might get me out of the military." The general joked.
Sarah couldn't help but agree, "It might. I don't see you as
having the patience
to put up with other artists, though."
don't have the patience to put up with other military personnel."
Rakashi admitted, shrugging. "I carry on."
was the slightest bit of sadness in the woman's smile, tilting her
head and giving that hand another squeeze. "That you do,
Rakashi. This is only a stop-by, you know, I can't stay..."
know." She admitted quietly. "I do know. But I should be
back with you on the field in a month, so..."
its okay." Sarah finished. "Just stay out of the Control
got something like an amused sneer on the general's face. "Bunch
a fuckin' loonies, ken?"
blond tisked with a laugh. "Are w'pickin' up th'tongue from
how hearing a lower valleys accent was pleasantly familiar. It had
been months since Rakashi had heard it, but Sarah was no doubt heard
it every day and spoke it well. "Not even close, I'm afraid. It's a
lucky thing that I don't need to pick up accents."
enough." With a soft sigh and another squeeze to that hand,
Sarah made it clear that she really didn't want to say what came
next. "I'm afraid I should be picking up what I came for and
Vrunia nodded, standing first and then gently pulling the blond up
after. "It was nice of you to spare some time."
was nice of the commander to give
me time. Though I doubt he anticipated why." Chuckling, the
blond gave Rakashi a once-over with her eyes. "Take care of
yourself, now. You need sleep and food
just like the rest of us."
have an assistant who brings me sandwiches." The grin was just
the slightest bit vicious.
Sarah laughed, though she didn't dare tease. Not yet, anyway.
desk, going through papers as always. That seemed like a good
sign, at least. Going back to the file cabinets, he took out the
pile of folders he'd been working on and continued.
were you looking for earlier
with the aid of a paper clip?"
be able to make a run for it. The answer was
obvious long before he had the chance, though. In a fit of either
ice cold fear or absolute stupidity, he answered honestly. "I
was curious as to whether or not you had a car, sir."
somehow that didn't seem to be the point.
There was a long, motionless silence before she finally answered, "I
don't. But I know someone who does."
moving long before his voice worked, but when the
two finally came together... "Could I ask a question in return,
the least. The fact that someone who didn't
even have a rank had just suggested that they were equal was a
somewhat stunning blow to the back of the head. "You can ask." She
finally decided on.
an answer that he should have expected, he
supposed. Rean didn't turn to look at the general, and he suspected
that she wasn't going to look up from her papers regardless. "Who
was that woman from earlier?"
look up, and right at him. "My field secretary." She
before you start picking locks, Mr. Coi."