The Beginning of the End, or Winds of Change
When the average person is up and humming to him- or herself first thing
in the morning, we all know what that implies. With Judy, of course,
things aren't that simple. So when we met for breakfast at Zorba's and she
had a self-satisfied smile, I figured that things had gone, as they say,
"just as planned."
"Something went right," I observed. She nodded.
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to get everybody lined up for
something like that? When it all comes together, I earn my day of smug."
"Bring you the finest muffins and bagels in all the land?"
"Something like that."
"So, what _was_ the big something that went right this time?"
"I should have guessed."
She nodded. "It has been taking up a remarkable amount of my time and
energy these past few months."
"So what happened?"
"I think I managed to defuse her and the whole Josh Amos/Jen situation."
"Simultaneously?" I joked. Then it hit me. "Wait a second..."
She smirked at me. "Light dawns over Marblehead."
I just shook my head. Look, I'll be the first to admit that I don't think
in straight lines, if there's a corkscrewy path. But Judy...makes my head
Whatever. I put it out of my mind as our orders were called. When I was
back, she had clearly moved on.
"What's with Jamie?"
Oh, that was why she called me.
"Worried about him?"
"He has been spending his time of late in...questionable company."
"Yes. Me, you, Nancy, and his mother."
She had to laugh a little, but persisted. "That Warr1or character."
"Intent counts for a lot," was all I would say. "He means well. I don't
think he really knows what he wants, or what he is, but..."
"He means well."
"It's the best I can give you. I'm meeting Jamie for lunch, actually, so
She nodded and we turned to lighter topics.
Once she left, I faced nothing but my, admittedly slightly morbid,
Things were starting to turn into a bona-fide Brandon
Avalanche. Everything was shifting, the center wasn't holding in a way
even G'Kar would be horrified by, and I was the witness, and when I
captured it on film...
I fiercely clamped down on my reference-generating brain for a few
minutes. I needed the quiet.
I'd spent a long time working with the Inner Circle. References aside, I
was the stabilizing figure; and more than once I'd reflected that my being
the sane stable one boded ill for everybody.
But one of the points of consistency we'd always known was the Nancy/Judy
sine wave. That was gone. Things were changing for good this time.
Maybe it was time I changed with them?
Dark thoughts like that filled my morning. I theoretically got some work
done, but I couldn't even tell you what language I was writing in, let
alone what I'd done, when it was time for lunch. I was meeting Jamie at a
restaurant he liked.
No surprise, I got there first. I took a seat at the bar and ordered a
drink while I waited for him to arrive.
He walked in humming to himself.