PHD #049: A Not-So-Impossible Gift
A Not-So-Impossible Gift
Summary: Quinn receives an impossible birthday gift that turns out to be not-so-impossible, after all.
Date: 16 Apr 2041 AE
Related Logs: It Changes Nothing (Other Than Everything) & Pizza Delivery - Air Wing
Quinn Trask 
Raptor Squadron - Naval Deck - Battlestar Cerberus
The Raptor squadron pilots and ECOs call this place home. Berths line the walls with a locker between each one. A table and chairs sit in the center, and there is a hatch to the Pilots Head, which connects to the Viper Squadron Berthings.
Post-Holocaust Day: #49

This might well be the worst birthday ever. Even worse than the time Seamus Mulligan gave Maggie the measles on her 8th, but not nearly as bad as it would've been if Warday had been the 16th of April instead of the 26th of February. For starters, she had to fly with someone other than Bootstrap, as he's yet to be cleared for flight. In fact, between the 8-hour CAPs Air Wing's had to pull and his own time on-loan to Engineering to help with electrical repairs, the Captain and her ECO have not crossed paths since that uncomfortable night when Trask was believed KIA.

It's also possible that he just might be avoiding the redhead. After all, their last conversation was uncomfortable, to say the least.

Perhaps that's why Quinn didn't even wake up to a note or some other manner of celebratory cheer from her supposed best friend. So when she finally returns to her bunk after the most recent skirmish with the Cylons, it's probable that she believes that Kal either forgot what today is, or is too upset to bother acknowledging it. Granted, this impression is bound to change when she finds on her bed a wooden keepsake box that looks an awful lot like one her grandmother used to have.

Quinn is indeed feeling rather like hell. And lost in thought… almost completely lost. She doesn't even notice the box at first, just beginning to shimmy out of her flight suit and tug her red hair free of those braided pigtails she's gotten into the habit of wearing to tame her curls as much as possible as of late. She shoves both her hair ties and her suit in her locker, now just standing in her shorts and tanks, about to head for the shower when she catches sight of something on her bunk. She pauses, doing a double take. "…what… in the worlds…" She breathes out quietly, some of her miserable vitriol at the whole situation dying down as the box brings nostalgia crashing back. This isn't possible… She reaches tentatively out for it.

It is not a figment of her imagination. There is even some heft to it, were one to pick it up. Although made of a quality wood, the box nonetheless acquired a few nicks and scratches over the years, but that only adds further character. Not that it was lacking, for it is covered in decorative carvings that Maggie's grandfather put there, back when he created it as a gift for his young bride.

Quinn slowly sinks down onto her bed, next to the box, before she almost delicately scoops it up into her lap. All previous thoughts are now gone from her head, a few tears suddenly clinging to her lashes as she slowly opens the box and begins to pick through the things. "…this… isn't possible…" she whispers to herself, the tears just still coming, streaking down her freckled cheeks.

Nestled beneath a small jar of woad, an assortment of hand-written letters from her kin refute the redhead's claim about their impossibility. They all wish her a happy birthday, even though they are dated from the very end of January 2041. Perhaps of more importance, they impart details that her family wished to be relayed to her, including how proud they are of her and how deeply she is missed, and how thankful they are that her delightful (and, in the words of her youngest sister, utterly gorgeous) friend is delivering their words and well wishes.

Just which friend that may be, were there any doubt, would be evident when the collection of photographs underneath aforementioned letters is finally perused. In addition to various snapshots of the Quinn family throughout the ages, there are a few recent ones of Maggie's siblings and her mother posing with an equally smiling Trask.

Quinn can't stop the tears, though they're tears of bittersweet happiness. To read all this now… to know that she was missed, wasn't hated, that he'd do this for her, and they were all so alive and so well… it's gut wrenching in the best of ways. Her hands tremble as she slowly opens every letter, wiping her tears away with the back of her wrists so she doesn't drop them onto the too, too precious papers. "Oh… Kal…" she whispers faintly, especially as she sees the photos.

At the very bottom of the box, there is a small note written in the ECO's handwriting:

Happy birthday, Cinnabun. The gift from your father is under your pillow. xoxo

Quinn wipes away a few more tears, shakily setting some of the photos down before she turns to her pillow, gently pulling it away to reveal the fiddle. "…Gods…" She isn't even really articulate at the moment, so completely overwhelmed. She actually pinches herself, just to see if she might wake up… and she doesn't. She is probably very well fully awake, so she reaches for it, gingerly picking it up, undoing the case. Just seeing what condition it's in.

It very much is her father's famous fiddle, kept in lovingly good care by the family in the wake of their patriarch's passing. Even the strings are fresh and the bow is new, apart from the breaking-in a few of her siblings did before packing it up and sending it off with Trask.

Quinn picks up the fiddle quietly, reverent almost, and she rests it familiarly in place. She doesn't start with something fast or complicated — it's been too many years — but a slow song, all Aerilonian… sad and sweet and completely beautiful. She sinks back in her bunk and just plays. For her heart, for everyone lost… everyone loved…

And for everyone who loves her.

Click here to hear the song in question.

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