Title: That Summer
Fandom: Gundam Iscariot
Disclaimer: No ownership implied, no profit gained. This is a fanwork.
Characters/Pairings: Varuna, Sincere
Summary: Varuna and Sincere tackle boring paperwork and surprise extravagances.
Notes: Happy (Much Belated) Birthday, merikuru! This uses dog_daies prompt 'to the summer we will come'...
Lan: [Can't find my 2IC. Purity and Gate - a combination I should probably be afraid of - said to ask you if you've seen her.]
NIN-ANA: [And here I thought they were harmless museum volunteers~]
Lan: [I wouldn't trust them to-- that didn't answer my question.]
NIN-ANA: [Did you even ask it? But to save time, yes, I know where Sincere is. She's here in bed with me.]
Lan didn't reply right away, which made Varuna smile.
"Sincere?" he asked.
"Mmm?" Sincere stretched and rolled a bit on the too-soft furry grey blanket she'd sprawled on.
"Solitaire is looking for you," Varuna explained. "I told him you're here in bed with me. He's not replied."
"Did you mention that we're fully dressed and working on system projects?" Sincere questioned. "He should know we have about as little physical interest in one another as is possible."
She propped her head up on her hands and honestly, if Varuna hadn't known she was blind, he would have been sure she was staring him down. But her visor, which still didn't give her true sight, was mostly disconnected and beside her, the first victim of wanting to be comfortable and roll around on the bed for a few minutes. Deep beneath Sincere's spectacular work ethic was a delightful bit of laziness that Varuna couldn't help but admire. He knew how rare days like this were. He had no excuse for lessons being held in his bedroom aside from it being quite comfortable.
"He didn't ask what we were doing, just where you were," Varuna noted. "I suppose I should take a moment and clarify?"
"I'll handle it," Sincere replied as she slid the visor back on and secured it in place, adjusting the cords and socket at the back of her skull a moment later. "Might be safer?"
She shifted, resting her chin on the backs of her hands and bent her knees up, feet flopping in the air.
Varuna shifted onto his stomach, mirroring her posture. If nothing else, it would be hilarious if Mitra happened in on them.
"I told him you're teaching me fascinating new things," Sincere said after a moment. "I realize that wasn't really clarification, but he should at least realize we're messing with him. It isn't like he really cares about error reports."
"Not likely, no," Varuna agreed. He smiled and sighed.
"It's nice to be able to work like this," Sincere said. "If I'd known I could, I might have insisted on it for the Pande."
"Well, if you're up for more work, we can go through expense exceptions?" Varuna asked.
"That sounds..." Sincere paused. "Well, that sounds kind of interesting, really. What's an expense exception? Where to they come from?"
Varuna chuckled. "They come from Ren Santos, who handles pretty much all of the internal and external colony accounting. He likes fixing the large panel stamping press, too, so he is secretly one of my favorite employees. But one of his jobs is to approve all of our purchasing and invoices. If any seem strange to him, he sends them my way to look over."
"Like what?" Sincere questioned. Varuna cleared her access to the folder the reports were in and virtually pulled one out.
"It depends. This one is for off-colony repairs to one of our shuttles and honestly, there's no arguing it. Sometimes engines blow, after all. And while the Aoide is an old ship, I want to keep it in service. It means a lot to me," Varuna explained.
"Okay..." Sincere pulled the next one as Varuna marked the Aoide repairs as approved and sent it back to Ren for payment.
"This is annual property taxes on several cabins in North America--"
"Oh yes," Varuna said with a smile. "Instant approval."
"Several cabins in North America?" Sincere questioned.
"Available for current and former NIN-ANA employees, should they need a little vacation," Varuna explained.
"Would you like to see?" Varuna asked.
"There's a camera in our cabin-- There's a decent lag in the feed, but... I'll get it going for you."
"Your cabin? You lived there?" Sincere asked. "When?"
"A long time ago," Varuna replied. "Not long after the Near-Loss Incident, actually. But we didn't own it then. Mitra and myself. We just rented it for a season. It took about twenty years for it to come up for sale so we could actually buy it. And after that, we just kept buying up around the lake til it all became NIN-ANA's property."
He could feel Sincere's surprise. But there wasn't much he could hide from her - not when he was giving her access to his systems. She'd find traces in no time, if she hadn't already. Some of the reports went back decades. And she'd seen the pictures with the Linkers. She had to know, even if she wasn't voicing it.
"I think I just can't imagine you living anywhere else," Sincere admitted. "Especially on Earth. I can't imagine you on Earth."
"And yet we were there," Varuna said softly. The feed clicked in and oh, he ached. Everything looked just like he remembered it. All he had to do was imagine the sound of cicadas and... no, there they were. Cicadas and children playing around the lake. It looked like it was mid-afternoon. There were rowboats out and a couple of people fishing.
"It's amazing," Sincere said slowly. "You lived there..."
"Just for a summer," Varuna admitted. "But it was a wonderful summer. We were by ourselves and could do pretty much whatever we wanted. I'd... I'd had a bit of a rough time of it and was putting myself back together. Mitra was working through things. We let ourselves enjoy our distractions."
"It must have meant a lot if you went to all the trouble to buy it and keep it all this time," Sincere noted.
"We're going to retire there," Varuna said firmly. "One of these days, when we're ready. Mitra and I are going to retire there. I just have to find someone to take care of NIN-ANA first."
"You could just take a vacation?" Sincere suggested. "When's the last time you left the colony?"
"There was a summer," he said softly. "right after the Near-Loss Incident. Mitra and I lived in a small cabin in North America and it faced a little lake..."
Somehow he hadn't noticed Sincere shifting on the bed. But there she was, half-draped on him, hugging him the best she could for their positions.
She was still like that when Lan came to finally pick her up.
Maybe Sincere was right.
It was still summer in North America. He and Mitra could...
Drink Lemonade! Tip Your Waitress!