Pairing: Original Cindy/Sam
Rating: mild swearing
Notes: Thanks to templemarker for awesome beta, all mistakes mine. No profit garnered, etc. Title from Edna St. Vincent Millay.
Summary:"Original Cindy ain't her and there is no trouble around here. Reconnoiter, reconnect, renew with people and then head home in five months. That's the mission."
Max had said, "It's not like you don't know her face. But I heard she dyed her hair. Blonde. Tell me how bad it looks when you two hook up. It's gonna look bad, I know it."
Sam's hair looked more like sweet honey than the white girl Kendra look Cindy had pictured. But it was more than just the hair -- girl's whole body was rounder and curvier than Max had ever been. Cindy was judging from the behind view and the verdict was fine-ass hot girl. Cindy was thinking Sam had enjoyed the quiet life in Canada full of milk and candy until Sam turned around. She had a sling across her body carrying her baby seed who was peeking out, all big brown eyes and wispy hair. Obviously the little one had come from her, and was very well-fed.
No surprise, all the sweetness was for the baby. Giggles and coos and tiny kisses while walking towards the café and the outside table that was their meeting place, but Cindy knew Max well enough to see Sam was also on high alert. She just looked like any other hippie dippy mommy in her long skirt and loose tunic.
Sam sat down across from Cindy and they did their coded back and fro to prove they were who they were trying to hide that they were.
"And what does big brown eyes answer to?"
Sam frowned. "Francisca. It would have been Franklin if shed been a boy. Got tired of all the boy names in my family." Sam was obviously putting quote marks around family, rolling her eyes. The resemblance to her sister was, again, strong. Sam said, "I wanted to give her something pretty."
"Suits her," Cindy said. Francisca was sucking on her fingers with a serious and focused look in her big eyes. "She's pretty."
"She's a baby, they're all pretty. That's how they survive," Sam said. But she was smiling a little underneath.
"So we get told your hairs a different color, but you hide your sunshine," Cindy said. Not that she didn't understand but she wanted to hear how Sam explained.
"She's a baby, she's just ordinary, nothing special." Sam didn't exactly sound like she believed that. Maybe Francisca was already proving she had some super powers in her new little body. "I didn't really want all the crazies who're after those special Manticore eggs and superbabies coming after us. It's not like Canada is so safe. You heard what happened in British Columbia." Cindy could see Sam's hands had tightened around the baby's rolly poly middle but the little one just kept calm, on her finger tasting task.
"Everybody heard," Cindy said. "And you came here."
"I'd just found out I was knocked up, everyone was freaked out, so we beat it out of town." Sam frowned again. "And then he beat it. Guess why?"
"He found himself another boo, didn't he? Someone who thought the sun rose and set when he said hello."
"I'd call him a dog, but dogs are loyal," Sam said. She covered her little girl's ears. "I don't like her to hear me saying this, but not only does he ditch me, but the new chick? Has three kids of her own. And now he's got no time for his own."
Francisca squirmed and Sam moved her hands away so the girl could hear again. "Whatever, I got the best of him." She patted Francisca's hair while the child ignored her and went back to the exciting world in her tiny fingers.
"Definitely," Cindy said. "And there's a boychild, too, right? Max wanted to hear all about her nephew."
Sam made a skeptical face Cindy had seen a million times over the last few years. Sam said,
"I bet. And Ethan's fine. He likes his new school, he's getting used to being the only boy in the house. I think he's upset about not seeing his dad but he's got three meals a day, roof over his head, and he's safe. Which is how I plan to keep him, so I'd prefer you didn't stay with us if you've got trouble following you. And my big sister always has trouble following her."
"Original Cindy ain't her and there is no trouble around here. Reconnoiter, reconnect, renew with people and then head home in five months. That's the mission." Cindy leaned forward and made sure she was clearly understood. "Max knew you had the boy. She would never have let me near you if it meant trouble for him."
"I'll miss you," Max had said. "What am I supposed to do without you?"
Back then, Original Cindy had hounds and dragons chasing after her so Canada seemed like the destination of safe harbor. But once the seas were flat, Cindy had looked around and seen something that was calling to her. She needed some vistas that were new. And, as she said to Max, "We keep running away up here, maybe we should find out how things are going. Maybe they've got some ideas we could use."
"But then you'll come back?"
"I will definitely come back. Seattle's my land and, sides, that's where my family is, right?" Then she'd mentioned that there were such things as phones and she'd had the idea Max knew some people who could do two plus two technology and get out five so no one would get tracked. Just in case.
Cindy called twice a week, always from a different place, always a different phone, and always made sure they had a long talk so Max didn't get away with skipping over something important. Shed probably mention Joshua's new favorite color paint before she told what was going on in her heart. Cindy walked back to Sam's place and found tea brewing on the stove. "That for me?"
Sam shrugged with one shoulder and went back to feeding Francisca. She said, "What did you tell big sister?"
Cindy said that Sam reminded her more of Alec than Max. They were both the same kind of pretenders, trying to be bad and above it all and la de da. Sam talked a big game about not caring about people from Manticore and how she only kept in touch to make sure she would be safe from them screwing up and putting her kids in danger. Then Cindy heard how Sam had made sure every transgenic she could find got out of BC when they were all running. And all the ones in this province knew Sam, relied on her, had her help getting set up in regular jobs and doing their best to upright citizens. Sam always said she was sharing her knowledge from all those years in deep cover like anyone would do that.
If she said even a good on you, girl to Sam, shed just get another frown. So Cindy said, "I told her once again that you are definitely the prettier one from that cocktail."
Sam tugged her shirt back in place and pursed her lips. "Yeah, yeah. You love my big wide hips and my big tits, I've heard. Bless my transgenic healing that spared me any stretch marks."
"You got a beautiful body, sista."
"You admire your sister's body like that?" Sam grinned when she said it.
"No," Cindy said. "I don't think about my sister that way. But you're not my sister, Sam."
Sam was laughing as she picked up the baby and went into the bedroom. Cindy checked on the tea which was just at the moment perfectly steeped for a sore throat. Someone with crazy mutant feline hearing had set the pot to boil when she heard Cindy come up the stairs.
Francisca was giggling and laughing in Original Cindy's arms. Sam frowned and said, "Oh, for you, she's a sweetie. All day she's crying and whining and won't smile and everyone's looking at me like it's my fault."
Ethan looked up from his homework. "I thought she was teething. Teeth coming in makes your mouth hurt all the time. Right?"
"She is, but trust me, the sun could explode and mountains could melt, but the last remaining humans on this planet would be judging some mother for not being good enough," Sam said.
"I'm not," Ethan said.
"That's cause you raised right," Cindy said. "You know the value of a good woman."
"Yeah," Ethan said.
He went back to his homework as much as he could with his mom hugging him and then playing with his hair. Then she started to correct his math.
"Lay back, Sammy," Cindy said as she walked by, taking Francisca to her bath-time in the kitchen sink.
"Don't call me Sammy," Sam said. But she stood up. She walked into her bedroom. For a brief moment there was even the closest you get to quiet in a small house with two little ones. And then Sam swore. Loudly.
Ethan turned around to look at Original Cindy and then turned red trying not to laugh.
"Go ahead," Cindy said. Ethan laughed loudly. Cindy drained the water from the sink and wrapped Francisca in a big pink fluffy towel. She carried the little monster into Sam's bedroom and put her into her crib.
"She shit on my blouse," Sam said quietly. She was only wearing her bra and panties. "I knew her diaper was full but, oh god, it was just, ugh. I liked that blouse."
"Put in the bin, let your favorite lizard make it right." Sam had helped one of the freakier transgenics who'd come to Canada set up a laundromat with two working washing machines. Freaky looking he might be, he was great at getting out stains. Cindy had the scary thought that it was something to do with the tongue. She went back to staring at the hottie in front of her who had no lizard parts.
"I know, I know, but I still hate it. Everything's messy and everyone at the store and then everyone on the bus was glaring at me like I was bad for letting her get upset." Sam sighed. She leaned over the crib and made typical mommy noises at the baby. Cindy let herself enjoy the view. Right up until Sam turned around and did that blink and she's right in front of you thing.
"You're very pretty," Cindy said.
"That was very plain-speaking of you to say."
"Original Cindy always uses the right words." She smiled. "We have about five or so before your big boy comes in here, sure you cant think of something else we could talk about?"
"Like, aren't you leaving soon? Why am I letting my kids get so attached to someone who's leaving?" Sam smiled. "Did you notice my new bra?"
"Now we only have four," Cindy said. She stepped forward.