Back Where I Belong (OQ AU)
7 - Adagio
I used to fight with Daniel. Many times. Often. I’m stubborn, I admit it, and he was always calm and poised. So there were times when he came back from a mission, exhausted and dirty, feeling like his soul was rotten to the core. There were times when I couldn’t save a life, and I ended up throwing up my lunch and seeing eyes, so many eyes – eyes of the people who’d lost their beloved, I had to tell them, and it was nightmares and insomnia. And I loved my job, I really did. But people feel entitled to living, these days. Those days.
It was not my reality anymore. Mine, was Mrs. Lucas talking of her three brothers, dead in the first world war, and saying it could have been worse.
Daniel was taking lives for a living. I was saving them.
And yet I felt like we were both in the wrong place.
They’re in the kitchen, just her, Mrs. Lucas and Ruby, and the two women are sewing as Regina peels apples to make a pie. The children have just gone to bed, but curfew doesn’t apply yet, so she’s grateful for all the chances she has to normalcy.
“Yes?” Mrs. Lucas says absentmindedly, holding a yarn between her teeth.
“How did Robin’s wife die?”
Mrs. Lucas stops and glances at Ruby, her eyes softening, and she lowers her hands to her lap. “I…” she gulps down, Regina has never seen her so distressed in the three months she’s been here. “I don’t think it’s my place to tell you.”
Ruby rolls her eyes, with a sparkle of that teenager rebellion she sometimes has. “I can’t just waltz down there and ask him, right?”
“I suppose you can’t,” Mrs. Lucas sighs. “Well then… you have to know – both of you, Regina, if you’re staying here you might as well know – that Robin was once very different.”
Regina wants, and desperately so, to ask what she means, but Ruby beats her to it. “In what sense?”