New Year's Kindness


boyce_icon.gif veronica3_icon.gif

Scene Title New Year's Kindness
Synopsis After an eventful Christmas: two workers have a chat.
Date January 2, 2011

Commonwealth Institute

It's a Sunday and the weekend of a new year. In short? The Institute is relatively empty. People are out making resoltions and trying live up to their own realistic expectations. This means that most of the halls are silent. Empty

Down this particular hall light sneaks in through a small window along the side of one of the walls. Dust particles sparkle within that little beam of light, giving some kind of beauty to the unusual silence.


The sound isn't typical. It's not common. And it's not actually an animal.

"Rwaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaar!!!" it annunciates again in a very masculine sounding voice. In a higher pitched tone (with the same voice the words sneak out): "No, no! Don't eat me! I'm just a little dragon!"

"Rwar! I'm a hungry T-Rex!" is the response in a lower tone.

Any occupant in the building would be at least bemused by what's transpiring at the desk of one Sterling Boyce. Carter White has come out to play. As such, so has a collection of plastic dinosaur toys along the top of his desk arranged such that each will have their own turn in play.

Veronica's been working on Mazdak intelligence for the past week, when she isn't out trying to recruit the Institute's enemies to their (her) cause, so it's rare to see her out of her office. Once in a while she emerges to refill her coffee, and this is one of those times; she's returning to her office with a fresh cup when she hears the noises and stops to peek into the room where the epic battle of Dragon Vs. Dinosaur is taking place.

When she sees the dinosaurs on the desk and realizes that this is indeed child's play, with a child at the helm, Veronica's eyes widen. Not for the first time, and very doubtfully for the last, she questions her decisions.

Without a word, trying to be quiet, she tries to slip away, unseen.

Sometimes, there are simply no words.

"Ckkkeckck oooooh noooooo! I'm dyyyyyiiiiiii—- " midsentence the dragon is dropped. Whether it's because it just died or something in the game has changed is hard to tell, especially as the 'child' that is Boyce Sterling has been silenced. His head bobs forward, his eyes roll slightly and then he reperks, "-- and that's the first time I broke into the Whi-- " oh, this is not where he thought he should be. And this is not how he thought he got there.

He manages to turn at just the right time to catch Veronica making a break, "Heeeeeeeeeey. Veronica." His eyebrows arch while he sighs at his desk and opens a drawer, literally pushing the lot of plastic figurines into it.

"Working," she calls back in a faux-cheery voice, one hand reaching up to rub at her forehead as the other lifts the coffee to take a sip as she keeps moving own the hall.

It's the first time they've seen one another alone since the awkward morning after a week ago. Passing in the hallway, an elevator ride — all with witnesses that kept even Boyce on his best behavior.

After all, Veronica can kick most of his personalities' asses easily.

"Heeeeeey!" Boyce pushes against the desk causing his chair to roll backwards away from it. With a few rather fast paced steps, he's traipsing after her. Whether she can beat him up or not he's not laying off or letting distance fall between them. "Wait up!" He paces after her, quickening his steps.

"Don't you think we should like— " Talk or something.

A million mean replies come to her mind. Do what? Shall I get my Barbies and we can play in the sandbox together? comes to mind first, but Veronica bites it back. It's not his fault that he is screwed up. It's this mad scientist experimentation that she's here to stop after all. She swallows and stops, leaning against the wall to wait for him.

"Sorry," she murmurs, husky voice soft with actual apology — his core personality might be a psychopath, but there's someone in there with feelings, who reached out to her and tried to make her feel better when she needed it.

"I'm pretty notoriously bad at this kind of stuff," she adds.

Boyce cants his head to the left, eyeing her with mild curiosity. “I can’t imagine anything you could be notoriously bad at.” There’s something oddly genuine in the tone, strangely reassuring and undeniably honest. “Look… “ he arches his eyebrows, “It was… we were doing the good stuff. And sometimes…” He cracks the smallest smile with a faint curl of his lips. “Look, if you want to like forget it happened or something— “ he shakes his head slightly, “I… I don’t want to— “

His sincere answer brings a rare blush to her cheeks. She isn't used to kindness anymore. "No? No one's told you I'm the ice princess yet? That I don't have friends and that the only men I sleep with I bite off their heads like a praying mantis afterwards?" Her lips quirk into a little bit of a smile, revealing dimples in her cheeks.

She shrugs. "I should have warned you ahead of time, but you know, I wasn't thinking straight. Which was totally your fault, by the way." The last is playfully added.

”I try to avoid listening to gossip,” Boyce’s eyebrows tick upwards. “Not— “ not that all of him doesn’t. Which is implied when he points towards his head with a tight-lipped smile. “I like to make my own opinions, and nothing yous aid or did made me think of you as an ice princess.”

”And I’ve met my share of ice princesses.” His lips turn into a lopsided grin, “Yeah, I make gooood brownies. I’ve been told that for years, it’s like… the only thing I can make.”

Ice princess, she was not. If anything, she was extremely gregarious. Veronica blushes slightly at the memories — the blushing so unlike her, but then so is sleeping with a psychopathic multiple-personalitied coworker.

Well, the coworker part, she's done. A few times over.

"I'd guess neither will be a repeat performance, but don't take it personally," she says, glancing down into her coffee cup. "You're a good guy, and … it was nice not to be alone on Christmas. I just like to keep work and home separate." So separate, she doesn't have a home life. And neither does he — his work is his home.

””That’s…” Boyce can’t deny that he’s got his own issues, he was just playing dinosaurs on his desk. But then everyone needs the occasional child-like moment don’t they? He nods slightly, “Look, I’m not that good a guy— “ not all of him anyways. A hand rubs the back of his neck, “— but it was— “ something. Eloquent at this moment, he isn’t.

He shakes his head a little, as that smile returns a little different this time, hard to read, nearly indiscernible.

Veronica tips her head. "It was," she murmurs.

If she were feeling more herself, she'd probably put an emphasis on the was, to emphasize that it's all the past. The fact she doesn't bothers her — she had issues with Brian having more than one body before she got over that little stalling point, and now, in mourning her relationship with him, she turns to someone who has more personalities than brains?

She really is bad at this.

"I should… you know, get back to work," she finally says, nodding her head toward her office down the hall. "And let you get back to yours." Even if his involves action figures.

”Yeah… sure… work, right…” Boyce rubs the back of his neck again, stretching his shoulder in the process. “I just… I have… can I…” the smile fails slightly, almost a little sad. But then he does something he doesn’t quite expect, particularly in light of the fact that she could break him in an instant, he leans forward to press his fingers gently against her cheek, brushing the brush his lip against hers what very well may be the last time.

The touch and kiss make Veronica gasp slightly, but then she closes her eyes to accept and to give — physical comfort, physical affection is always easier than any other sort. She makes a very soft sound before ducking her head, brows knitted with confusion at her own actions before she forces herself to offer him a smile.

"Trying to get me fired?" she says, a joke with the intention of letting her get her stoic mask back in place. "Happy New Year, by the way. I don't think I said it yet."

Like her, his eyes close at the contact, but as it breaks and her head ducks down Boyce takes a single step out of her space, taking a single step away. He taps the side of his nose and bids her a quick wink and a lopsided grin. “Happy New Year, Vee. I hope you get everything you need and want it to be.”

"You too," she breathes out, refocusing a bit and taking the few steps toward her office before glancing back at him over her shoulder. Unexpected kindness from the least likely of sources is not what she needs now to get her true work done — but it's what she has found. Whether it will make 2011 better or worse remains to be seen.

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