Peace Be Your Journey
Cyd sat propped up on the cot, with another clove cigarette clenched between the first two fingers of her right hand, while her left hand idly tapped at the virtual keys splayed out on the blanket. She had a block of ice in the pit of her stomach that even the cigarette couldn’t warm up. She stared at the PREN, and took a long drag from the cigarette, the warm spices tickling her nose. Now or never, she lamented, pressing the key to dial, sending the wave. She practiced in her head what she would say, how she would ask, playing out the conversation with as many scenarios as she could image. Of course, that all went to waste the second she heard the male voice, her mind suddenly turning as blank as a sheet of paper from a brand new notebook. Cyd near choked on the clove cigarette, not exactly the opening she had in mind.
Rowan Randell was in the middle of what he felt was a very compelling and rational point about why he should stay home from work when his PREN chimed. His daughter, who was his combatant in this matter, had turned to look in the direction of the device that was no longer buried under discarded clothing and other miscellaneous belongings of his. Now that Penelope had returned home, Elias - his neighbor and newly close friend - had someone to continue the good fight while he was away at work. Fighting wasn’t exactly the right word, Rowan mused, as he moved to pick up the little thing expecting to see one of his other wayward children. Instead, he found himself looking at a blue-haired young woman, the surprise in his gentle cadence evident only in the slight hesitation of his greeting. “Hi, there. Mistake connect?”
Just as he asked, his genuine good nature in place in the smile he wore, something tickled at his mind as he looked at the young woman. Penelope distracted him only by her movement towards the kitchen, getting a brief glance from him.
“No, uh, no … Aweh,” Cyd said, less then smoothly, a flicker of recognition making her turn her head slightly. “I was looking for Pen? Penelope Randall?” This was far from the “Pen, please,” statement she had scripted in her head.
“Oh, sure, let me get her.” His voice brightened at the comment, happy to have that option now most likely. She’d been gone so long that the feeling left him giddy as he sat the PREN down. It left a sideways view of the neat living area while Rowan spoke to his daughter in the adjoining room, his voice trailing away. “Pen-nut, the wave was for you – what are you doing?”
“Elias said to make sure you took dinner with you, so I’m fixin’ it.” Her response could be heard, not far off. “I’ll finish it here in a minute, I reckon.”
Penelope left her father alone in the kitchen, glanced across the island that divided the living area from it and caught him nibbling. She was smiling over at him as she lifted the PREN. “That’s supposed’a be your dinner.”
Cyd couldn’t help but smile. The former pilot seemed to be taking to homelife, and it made her happy - genuinely happy - for her. From the small interaction, the raver knew Pen made the right decision.
Really, she hadn’t known who could’ve been sending her a wave through her father’s device. There was a brief consideration of her old crew, but she hadn’t been with them that long at all to warrant a goodbye call. Who it actually was, she was delighted to see. “What a pleasant surprise. Hi, Cyd, how’s things going?”
Cyd’s smile brightened. “Lekker, actually, big changes, change of scenery.” She said, dabbing the cigarette out against the hull. “What about you? Sibs and I miss you already but things going good with your father, aweh? Sounds like you're happy?”
“It is, and I am.” The smile that spread across Penelope’s face radiated the warmth of her voice that shifted to gratitude as she spoke on. “I figure I owe a big part of that to you. Did you make it out to see the waterfalls?”
“Ja, nee, no,” Cyd said with a shake of her head, holding up the bottle. “The ship decided to stay in port for a while longer, and we’d already signed for our next job, oweh? Big shindig, lots of staff issues, and it didn’t seem right to reneg the contract. Besides,” she flipped the bottle over to read the co-ordinates again. “The ship had bad juju for us, ‘specially with the one person worth stayin’ for gone.”
Penelope tilted her head slightly at hearing her old ship hadn’t departed, taking a seat on the sofa she was standing before so she could sit the PREN down on the tabletop. As she did so, she propped her chin against a palm as the other arm lay across her knees as she leaned down to stay in frame. Her concern that it had been her leaving them stranded without a pilot was only brief, as she remembered the captain saying he could handle the job but preferred someone else to do it. Besides, Cyd’s following comment got a twitch from her lips as warmth replaced the worry in her eyes. “Reckon it’s a good thing they ain’t goin’ nowhere. Just means we’ll hav’ta see them next time you’re here… Your next job in Osirius?”
Cyd nodded in response. It wasn’t, not that she could say that, but it dididn’t feel right to outright lie. “You know the sibs. We move around a lot, see the verse and all,” She paused for a moment, looking down at the pretty bottle before back to Pen. “Besides, we have to come back to Greenleaf. Maybe you’ll take me to the waterfall yourself, oweh?”
If the vagueness of Cyd’s answer regarding where she was next headed bothered Penelope, it hadn’t shown on her face. The Skye siblings may have warmed up to her a little in their short time together, but they were beholden to her in the way of their secrets or anything else. The pilot understood not everyone would - or could - be forthright, and it didn’t bother her none. Instead, she had been content at the fact Cyd had contacted her at all and that was good enough for her. The notion of her return to Greenleaf brought back at that full smile of hers as she said, “Reckon that means I’ll have to scrounge up a pair of gliders – or, a set?”
The lift of her eyebrow with the question had her cheer dim appropriately as she asked if it would be just the two of them, or the entire band. The original trip had been for the siblings as a way of thanks, and she wouldn’t take it back for her own selfish gain. That just wasn’t who she was, so the question was genuine as the earnest puzzling that started to factor as she considered the best place to find the gliders nowadays.
“Just two,” Cyd replied slyly with a chuckle. “The boys most likely will be just fine on their own for one night. Mathias will be anyway. We bring Isaac, he’s bound to get his big head stuck in something, that’s a fact like a cow.” Cyd looked to the bottle again. “But until then, maybe we can touch base, keep in touch? I want to hear all about the amazing things you’re taking care of on Greenleaf.”
Penelope removed the fingers she pressed to her lips to keep from laughing aloud at the mention of Isaac’s predetermined fate, the idea of which had to come from some past experience. The amusement shined in her eyes though as she nodded. “I’d like that, Cyd, so long as you swap some stories of your own. I can’t imagine Greenleaf would be as int’restin’.”
“Depends, I happen to know someone intr’estin’ on Greenleaf,” Cyd replied, tilting her head slightly as she set the bottle down. She raised her eyebrows and a soft smile settled on her lips.“Someone I’m interested in hearing about, interested in maybe gettin’ to know better, aweh?”
"Reckon I'd like that, too." Penelope said with a shade more soft as a hint of color rosed her cheeks. She tapped a finger against one and played at consideration to cover the slight blush, her eyes roaming to see her father leaning against the counter. He lifted his eyebrows and turns suddenly, as if just remembering her had something to do as she carried on the act. "Means I'll have to find somethin' to get into to tell ya about - and maybe my own wave link."
That was said with a slight eye roll as her gaze returned to the screen and her smile spread once more. "Peace be your journey?"
Cyd returned the smile, a genuine gesture, not the one used for busking or flirting, or giggling at a sib’s silliness, but the kind that started as a warmth in your chest and spread. “Peace be your journey, til we meet again.” Cyd closed the link and folded her hands, fingers interlaced behind her bed, and leaned back on the pillow. She pictured the pilot’s bright hazel eyes and pretty face, the soft feel of her lips when they shared a kiss at the rave. Cyd never was the sort to dwell on what could have been, but just for a little, she’d let her mind wonder. “Til we meet again,” she repeated.
When the image of Cyd flicked off the screen, Penelope sat a moment after seemingly in her own reverie. Her father cleared his throat from the perch at the counter, drawing her eye. He puffed up straighter. "Does this mean I finally get to enact my fatherly intimidation duties?"
"I think so." She laughed in mix glee and amusement as she fell back against the couch, getting her father's smile in return. He was happy for his daughter's delight, always. At least this Cyd had already proven she'd protect his girl if the bruising on face was anything to show for it, and that was fine by him.