Originally in response to the Glitch in the Machine challenge.
In which Alec is getting used to having a family …
The sound of heavy metal was deafening as Alec walked into the garage attached to his house. His car was up on lifts, a pair of long shapely leggings hugged legs ending in paratroop boots sticking out from under the engine area. He turned the music off to hear himself think as he heard the words of the song now being bellowed from underneath the car. There was a clank and an explosion of Russian expletives, only about half of which he understood.
“Sevy?” he called.
The mechanic’s cart rolled out and he flinched at her shirt. “UFO Rocks?” he read the stretched writing.
“Ees American Group,” she assured him as she popped up and gave him a hug, her spiky black hair tickling his nose. “I am loving them!” she declared as she let him go and tossed the wrench onto the work bench. “On the other hand,” she said with a glare at his vintage Mustang. “I am having issues with this car,” her accent was getting deeper as she spoke, her r’s threatening to roll like thunder off her tongue.
“Your car is having glitch,” she told him. “I am not finding problem. I am changing oil and filter; I am changing transmission fluid and filter; I am checking everything I can and still it is having how you say? The hiccough!”
“Sev, I haven’t driven this car in ten years. It’s a collector’s piece, not a driver’s vehicle.”
Sev looked aghast. “You are having classic automobile and you are not driving it?” ????? Sev sounded like she couldn’t believe her ears and then took off in Russian to explain just how foolish this was.
Alec held his hands up in surrender. “We’ll drive it,” he told her with a smile as he was pulled into another hug with a squeal.
“You are wonderful!” she told him. “Oh, I am getting oil on your shirt. I being sorry! You are most wonderful father!” she exclaimed as she dashed into the house to get cleaned up. “You are driving. I am buying!” came filtering back.
Alec shook his head with a faint smile. Father. Not a word he’d ever thought he’d hear applied to himself. Svetlana Delamin Orovnova had shown up on his door step a year earlier with a letter from her mother explaining that there was a possibility that she, Sevy, might be his daughter. DNA tests had confirmed that the young woman was indeed related to him.
SHADO had placed him on leave until his family life was sorted out. He still worked the studio and met with Straker to be kept updated, but both HQ and Moonbase were off limits. Still, Sevy had filled a void in his life he hadn’t realize was there.
Keith Ford lay in a bed in the infirmary trying very hard not to move. Moving hurt. Breathing hurt. Hell, thinking hurt. He made the mistake of trying to laugh at that thought. Laughing hurt. He inventoried the damage: four cracked ribs, one cracked collar bone, one broken ulna, one cracked tibia. He contemplated the reason for all this damage to his person and was actually relieved that he hadn’t cracked his skull again.
Straker was not angry with him. It had been a shock to find his commanding officer sitting next to his bedside when he wandered back to consciousness. Straker had made a point of assuring him that the damage to the vehicle, his crew and himself were in no way his fault and that only Ford’s quick thinking had saved the crew and the vehicle. For the life of him, Keith couldn’t recall what he’d done, but he was glad no one had died.
“What do you remember?” Straker asked.
“Not much, sir.” What he did remember was losing control of the mobile on terrain that was going to kill them if he did so. He recalled screams as the mobile went careering over a drop and turned over. “It didn’t roll?” He sounded surprised.
“No, it didn’t. It stopped, upside down, but it did no further damage. Jackson say’s you’re lucky and that wearing your seatbelt would be a good idea.”
Keith frowned. “I wasn’t?”
Straker searched the younger man’s face before shaking his head. “Lt. Cole said you unstrapped to deploy the roof panels when you realized the mobile was out of control.”
“Couldn’t reach the switch,” Ford agreed nodding and wishing he’d stop doing things to make other things twinge. He grinned. At least his damage had been achieved in keeping others from getting hurt. The last time he’d cracked this many bones he’d been unable to stop anything from happening. He remembered the look of horror on Liz’s face when she realized he hadn’t been ready for her. The fall down a double flight of stairs had landed him in hospital with a concussion and a cracked skull, as well as a number of other cracks. He didn’t break bones a lot. He’d gotten her back nicely when he woke up. What was the line? Oh, yeah. “Why do my wings itch?”
Ford looked startled. “Uhm … sorry, thinking about something else, sir.” He eyed the drip saline bag warily. “Have they figured out what broke?” he asked.
“The steering linkages broke, closely followed by the wheel bearings coming apart.”
Keith’s nimble mind neatly followed that trail to the logical conclusion. “We were sabotaged.” Somewhere in their ranks was a traitor, someone who had no qualms about taking out co-workers permanently. Well, they’d had traitors before and this wouldn’t be the last one. “Anything I can do?” the words were out of his mouth before he could stop them. His color heightened, knowing it was a stupid thing to say.
Straker smiled. Ford resisted the urge to look around and see if the world had stopped suddenly. “In a few days when you can move more easily.” He stood and looked down into the brown eyes that were so frequently worried looking in his presence. He gave Ford’s shoulder a quick and gentle squeeze. “Take care of yourself.”
Straker left Keith wondering what he wasn’t being told.
Half an hour later, another pale haired operative blew into his room like a small, very contained hurricane. She cried all over him while apologizing for not paying more attention. She wasn’t very clear on exactly what she should have been paying attention to when he pointed out that as he recalled, she was glued to her gauges and monitors when things went south on them. She just assured him that she’d be better next time.
Paul Foster, lounging in the doorway, just shook his head. Lt. Lynn LaCrosse of the girlish figure, silver white hair and remarkably blue eyes never gave him a look that wasn’t co-worker friendly and here she was gushing and crying all over Ford of all people. Alec, behind him, grinned. “The girl can’t help it,” he said with a chuckle.