Author Topic: Paper target hearts  (Read 95 times)

Offline Broderick Stone

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Paper target hearts
« on: October 11, 2017, 01:15:47 PM »
Braemar Gardens, Hereford, UK
January 2017 - Early afternoon


Christmas had only been a couple weeks ago, and yet, it remained as fresh as ever. It was one of the very few times Chantel would pull the family together - for their child's sake. Broderick had stood in the doorway proudly watching Harrison play with Kale, his rescue Belgian Malinois.

It had pierced his heart to think that they were not as close anymore, that Harry would grow up thinking about a stranger coming and going from their mother's house, even if she bothered mentioning his name to their son. The one thing they continued to discuss about.

Broderick had interacted with his cousins, and the rest of his family, who he could tell that the tension between them was palpable; especially when it came to his cousins. Different ideologies and all that bullshit that they harped on about. He had stayed quiet and kept up a friendly facade, all the while keeping an eye on his son.

His rescue from spending all his time with his family came in the form of John Gallagher, SAS captain. They had met during a training exercise and kicked it off from there.

--

The drive to John's house had not taken too long, and Kale seemed to enjoy staring out of the window at the open road; probably thinking of all the squirrels he could be chasing. Brody turned down the music as he approached the given address, opening his door and watched as Kale bounded out before he had the chance to run over to the other door.

"Alrigh' bud, best behavior, right?" Broderick knelt down to speak to Kale. His tongue lolled out of one side, as his head tilted. Brody knew that Kale was a well-trained dog, and that they had been together long enough that he was sure that Kale was not going to act up.

Clipping on Kale's lead, he walked up to the door, glancing around before knocking on the door and stepped back.

Offline Captain John Gallagher

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Re: Paper target hearts
« Reply #1 on: October 11, 2017, 05:12:49 PM »
Gallagher was glad of the two weeks of leave he'd gotten after a six-month tour in the Special Projects Team. The first week had been quite busy, considering he and Olivia had been up to Scotland to spend Christmas with his family. She also forced him to host a new year's party before she'd been called into work unexpectedly. His only consolation was that he had his daughter for his entire leave.

The television in the living was on, running an episode of Peppa Pig that Kerry Ann was watching on-and-off while playing with her doll. She had the attention span of a puppy, that one, though John supposed that it was just because of her age. John was sat on the couch reading the paper with one eye while his other was focused on his daughter to make sure she didn't get hurt.

Then there were a few knocks on the door. Olivia, having the ears of a bat had heard it in the kitchen, and immediately spoke. "You get that love?" she asked softly, but loud enough for him to hear it in the other room. "Will do." he replied. It wasn't until he got up that he noticed the smell of the goulash Olivia was making. He opened the door to the hallway and closed it behind him. Then he took another few steps to the front door and opened it.

"Hullo fella. Come in. Put your coat anywhere, I suppose," he greeted his friend. He led Broderick and his dog to the living and waved his hand to have him sit down anywhere. "Get you a brew mate?" he asked, knowing the answer. They were British. Of course they'd have a cup of tea. "Milk, two sugars?" he added to his first question before nipping into the kitchen.

There was a bit of soft talking between John and Olivia, forcing John to return to the living empty handed. She would bring in the tea, along with some biscuits. Resigned with his fate, he sat down in what usually was 'his' chair. "You alright Brod?" he asked. when he was seated. Kerry Ann ran, or tried to at least, to him and tried to climb onto his lap. "Go on love, run to the kitchen and help your mum alright?" he asked her before she gleefully went off to do so.

Offline Broderick Stone

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Re: Paper target hearts
« Reply #2 on: October 12, 2017, 05:59:16 PM »
Broderick looked up as the door started to rattle, he could also tell because of Kale's reaction to it as the door swung open to reveal John. He nodded after being directed that he could leave his coat anywhere, shrugging it off to throw it over his shoulder until he could drape it over the back of a chair later on. Though they were friends, he did not want to leave a mess - something of a habit carried into his personal life.

Kale trotted happily besides him as he sat, Kale lay down on the floor, his tongue lolling out of one side as he laid his head on his paw.

"Milk, two sugars?"

"Just milk, thanks mate." Broderick replied before John popped into the kitchen. He could never quite refuse the cup of tea, but his new years resolution was to cut down on his sugar intake.

He watched as John came back empty-handed, simply presuming that he was waiting for the kettle to boil.

"You alright Brod?"

Broderick looked from the small figure of Kerry Ann to her father, John, with a small smile. "All good. Some days not too different from the other, but at least there's respite. How's life been for yourself? Your lads being good to you?" Though partially a redundant question, for most of the lads became family; no matter whether they were new or older members of the regiment - they had all gone through the same hardship to get to where they were now.

A part of his brain was reeling from the fact that John had mentioned 'mother', he knew that John had gotten a girlfriend quite early on but hadn't expected a child so soon. Perhaps he was simply overthinking, and allowed the matter to rest for the time being.

Offline Captain John Gallagher

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Re: Paper target hearts
« Reply #3 on: October 15, 2017, 04:59:40 AM »
"Going alright, I suppose," John said in response to Brod's query. "Just got done with a six-month tour in Special Projects. They've got me up in the head-shed as assistant Int officer now while they think of what ta do with me. The Squadron's doing summat else now." he said. He couldn't really say anything else, even though Broderick was one of his best mates. All business of the Regiment stayed in the Regiment, and highly compartmentalised at that. There was a 99% chance that the SBS was the same, though, so he didn't feel as bad.

Broderick made a face. A face he knew. Olivia had the same one. A face they made when something was bothering them, or when they couldn't some dots of the puzzle. Gallagher had seen it a couple dozen times. "Summat's bothering ya, mate. Oot with et." he told his friend.

Offline Broderick Stone

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Re: Paper target hearts
« Reply #4 on: October 15, 2017, 05:17:50 PM »
Broderick nodded, a small smile settling on his lips as he listened to the words that came out of John's mouth with interest in his eyes. He fully understood the limited capacity in which he would talk about the work he was doing, which would be much the same with if the question had been turned back upon himself.

It made sense.

"Summat's bothering ya, mate. Oot with et."

"Last I heard of you, you had a fiance. Didn't know you already got married, Gallagher." There was no sugarcoating what he was saying, not that he particularly liked dancing around the bush anyway. Brody gestured with a forefinger the direction in which Kerry Ann had gone. Of course, discussing wives and girlfriends could be a sensitive subject, to which he kept a polite tone as he asked his next question. "Who's the lucky lady?"
« Last Edit: October 15, 2017, 05:22:38 PM by Broderick Stone »

Offline Captain John Gallagher

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Re: Paper target hearts
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2017, 07:23:50 AM »
Gallagher smiled. "Oh no, we're not married." he replied. "Not yet, at least." he added. He was about to say more when Olivia came out of the kitchen holding a tray with three mugs of tea, a plastic tumbler filled with apple juice, and a box of biscuits. Trailing behind her was Kerry Ann who proceeded to snuggle with Broderick's dog.

"And speak of the devil" Gallagher said, smiling. Olivia shot him a mock icy glare and just said "Shush you.". She set the tray down on the table and sat down on the couch before leaning over towards the table to fetch her own cup. "You alright Brod?" she asked, expecting a bit of shock from her cousin.

Offline Broderick Stone

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Re: Paper target hearts
« Reply #6 on: October 22, 2017, 08:50:25 PM »
Broderick had been distracted by the young girl playing with his dog, Kale for a moment as another presence had entered the room. It was only until the new person spoke that his head had shot upwards, in recognition. Shock had certainly registered on his face, before the inevitable confusion.

He had been caught off-guard, something he had not manage to see coming - that this was his cousin standing in front of him. Broderick did not often get along with his cousins, of which two of the three he was close with had certainly suffered from strained relations and differing view points.

Olivia had been different, the one he had gotten on well with, the one he had bickered the least with and certainly had no issue with her in general.

He had fallen silent as he put the remaining pieces together, and his facial features broke into a smile in a lazy attempt to hide the confusion and shock that was painfully obvious on his face. There were so many words that he wanted to say, and so many questions that needed to be asked but Broderick had not the foggiest idea where to begin.

"You're the lucky lady?" He could not stop the words from tumbling out of his mouth, only stopping to pick up the mug to fill the silence as his eyes slowly flicked over to where Gallagher sat. "My cousin is your fiance."