Nosedive sighs suddenly. "Damn. Duke and I were gonna spar together on Thurs but he wasn't here. :P"
Mallory stops. "Yeah, the Brotherhood thing."
Nosedive nods. "Uh-huh, got myself a Saber finally and he's gonna start the trainin' soon as he's back on."
Mallory grunts, "Gee, great. Two little thieves running around."
Nosedive looks indignant. "Hey, we're gonna put everythin' back that we steal! It's not like we're reforming the Brotherhood on Earth!"
Mallory folds her arms. "Oh, yeah, right, as long as you put it back it's OK. I mean, never mind that Klegghorn will hate us even more for a start."
Nosedive narrows his eyes. "And what makes you think we'll be CAUGHT, Mal? Klegghorn won't know it was us."
Mallory asks, "Maybe Duke wont be caught, but what do you know about thieving? I can see it now, you're in jail, Duke's getting MURDERED by Wildwing, and Dragaunus defeats us all while we're trying to make money to bail you out. Money we don't have, because they kicked us out of the NHL!"
Nosedive feels he probably knows a damn-sight more than a certain red-headed ex-military person, and he says so!
Mallory exclaims, "EX-military? And who says I'd *want* to know?! *I* know that it's morally wrong and just plain stupid to steal what belongs to other people!"
Nosedive yells, "I *SAID* we WEREN'T gonna KEEP IT!"
Mallory exclaims, "SO WHAT'S THE POINT?!"
Nosedive points a finger. "I don't know about that but YOU have a SERIOUS problem, Mallory! It's just training, I'm not gonna become a thief but I NEED some kind of point to my being here, else I might just as well have taken Canard's place in Limbo!"
Nosedive adds in a low voice, "Not that some people here don't wish that..."
Mallory asks, "Learning to steal gives you a reason to exist? You're gonna need more than that to make it through life, kid." Mallory stabs her own finger right back at him. "We've been through this! And don't even TRY to accuse me of anything!"
Nosedive almost shrieks, "I DIDN'T MEAN IT LIKE THAT!" He takes a breath and quietens down. "I meant, that at least it gives me some skills that I can use. All I'm good at is firing a pucklauncher and reading comics. BIG wow."
Mallory tries to stay calm. "It's the extra pucklauncher that we need. And you drive the Migrator and Aerowing!" Totally looses it, and slams her fists on the table. "Damn it Nosedive, you're here and alive, which is more than a lot of people can say! Isn't that enough?"
Nosedive snorts, "Sometimes I wonder!"
Mallory shoves her hair back. "Look, you gotta learn to see life for the wonder it is! If nothing else, have fun with it!"
Nosedive smiles bitterly. "Well, heck, it might just be some fun training with Duke. And what's this comin' from you, whose favourite past-time is to go shoppin' at the Mall?"
Mallory looks directly at him. "That's right Nosedive, there's nothing more to me then a gun and a mall, correct?"
Nosedive smirks, asking sarcastically, "Is that an invitation for me to find out?"
Mallory folds her arms. "No," she growls. "Just don't underestimate anyone or anything. I can't stop you and Duke, but I can tell you one thing. If you tow the line too far, it's gonna break underneath you."
Nosedive's smirk becomes more triumphant.
Nosedive asks, "So I don't get your blessings? I'm hurt. It tears at me."
Mallory tosses a quick fake smile. "I'm sure it does."
Nosedive frowns. He turns away. "And I suppose YOU could do better, huh? What would YOU do with me, eh? Enlist me in the army?" His tones are caustic.
Mallory blinks. "I never thought you'd WANT to be in the army!"
Nosedive rolls his eyes. "I *don't*, DUH!"
Mallory exclaims, "My point exactly! And yours too! *I* don't have anything to offer you, and maybe Duke does. I just don't think it's a good thing that he's offering! There has to be something else, there's always more than one way out!"
Nosedive sighs, and leans on the bench, facing away from Mallory. He asks quietly, "What makes you think I want to choose the other way out?"
Mallory looks at Nosedive sharply. "That isn't what I meant."
Nosedive smiles, but the smile is hidden from Mallory's view. "I know it wasn't."
Mallory says, "Grin seems pretty happy, maybe you should talk to him..."
Nosedive starts shaking with laughter. "GRIN? Talk to GRIN? And you think that's gonna do anythin' but give me a headache?"
Mallory exclaims, "Talk to anyone! I don't care who! Just don't throw your life away like Duke did!"
Nosedive stands still, remembering something Duke had said along similar lines. Then he shakes his head. "It's... it's just for skills, Mal. I'm not gonna make stealing my job, okay? I'm not gonna become a thief, just learn some of the tricks.." He looks back, almost as if entreating her to confirm this.
Mallory looks back. "Remember that later," she says softly. "It's addictive Dive."
Nosedive looks away again, and then silently walks out the door.
Nosedive climbs onto his bed and wipes away a tear. Maybe she's right, maybe she isn't. But it was *his* choice, *his* decision, and he'd decided it. The consequences would have to sort themselves out.
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More Muck adventures to be seen from the FDC Page! Geez, this stuff is almost as much fun as a well-written fanfic! And a hell of a lot weirder!!
Copyright © 1998 Nylessa Drakely
Uploaded on Sunday, 29th November, 1998