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[personal profile] tanaquiljall
Title: Turning Point
Fandom: Earth 2
Rating: General
Warnings: None
Words: 1135
Summary: Devon is angry at the world, for the reasons all seventeen year olds are angry at the world and for a few reasons all of her own.
Disclaimer: These stories are based on the Amblin Entertainment/Universal Television series Earth 2. They were written for entertainment only; the author does not profit from them nor was any infringement of copyright intended.
Author's Note: Written as a Yuletide treat for Lilly Rose, who wanted to see Devon Adair: juvenile delinquent. Thanks to [personal profile] scribblesinink for the beta.

oOo


"Sit down!"

Devon's father stabbed a finger in the direction of the couches by the panoramic window, before turning back to the pair of officers standing inside the door. Devon rolled her eyes and, heaving a deliberately audible sigh, flopped down. She played with the ends of her hair as she pouted at the stars that slowly wheeled outside, only half listening to her father smoothing things over. Youthful prank... paperwork too much trouble... generous donation to the widows and orphans benevolent fund.... The words floated past her, as they'd done on numerous previous occasions. This was the first time she'd been picked up twice in a week, though.

Finally, the officers left. Devon went on staring studiously out of the window as she heard her father approach and stop by the couch opposite. He was evidently waiting for her to offer some explanation or excuse, or try to wheedle her way around him, but she was done trying to please him.

"Oh, Devon!" he said, finally. The other couch creaked as he sat down. "What am I going to do with you?"

Out of the corner of her eye, she was aware of him scrubbing his hands across his face: the great Jackson Adair, who'd built half the stations and negotiated a hundred deals with the Council and the unions, and bulldozed or bribed his way through their objections time after time. At a loss with how to deal with his own seventeen-year-old daughter.

"Maybe I should send you down to Earth...," he muttered.

Devon suppressed a shudder, though she didn't think he'd really make good on his threat: Earth was primitive and polluted and much too dangerous for his only daughter. Likely he'd just palm her off on Yale and get him to deliver another stern lecture and a few moralizing history lessons.

"Devon?" She sensed her father shift forward. "Why? Why in the name of Earth do you do these things?"

She shrugged one shoulder sullenly. Because it was fun, she told herself fiercely, and because I could, and because I can get away with it. Though maybe she shouldn't have broken the hull breach alarm when that old lady had come out of her quarters and yelled at them—give the old bag something to really yell about—after she and Zach had run along the hallways in the lower sectors banging on doors. No one would have much cared about the grunts who lived in the lower sectors having their sleep disturbed, but the alarm had brought a dozen officers and maintenance crew running to secure the area.

Years later, looking back, she understood the real reason was because her father paid attention to her only when she'd gotten into trouble. Normally he was too busy with work or out at some charity event that would grease the wheels of his latest deal or spending time at the hospital to even notice whether she was there or not, much less what she did.

When he'd gotten the message he wasn't going to get any other response, her father sighed and sat back. He said in a more measured voice, "You missed visiting your Mom today."

Devon shrugged again. "What difference does it make. She doesn't know if I'm there or not."

"She did today. She was asking for you."

"Right." Devon infused the word with all the scorn she could muster. Her father always insisted her Mom knew when she visited, but as Mom slept most of the time and had been confused about who Devon was, or even who she herself was, on the few occasions she'd been awake, Devon didn't believe him.

"No, really. She was awake and she asked where you were and whether you'd had your prom yet and who was taking you."

Devon turned a startled face toward her father. She'd talked to her mother—or rather, at her mother, lying apparently asleep in her hospital bed—about the prom and the dress she planned to wear on her last visit, when her father had insisted she talk about something. "She's getting better?"

"She was doing better today," her father said carefully. "Devon, sometimes this thing happens when people are... close to the end. They have a few hours, maybe even a day or two, when they seem to rally, before—."

Devon felt a trickle of cold run down her spine. Mom had been sick for so long, for forever, but the doctors always seemed so cheerful, so hopeful.... "She's—?" Devon swallowed down the lump in her throat. "She's... going to die? I mean, soon? Now?"

Her father nodded at her. "Her doctors think so, yes." He stood up and held out his hand. "Why don't we go see her? It's not visiting hours, but I'm sure they'll let us in."

Devon stood and put her hand in his. Maybe Mom still wouldn't know whether she was there or not, but Dad—Dad needed her to be there for him.

oOo


Breakfast two days later was a somber affair. Devon listlessly poked at her food, forcing down a few mouthfuls despite her lack of appetite, and tried to keep her gaze away from the piles of condolence tokens stacked on the side-table opposite her. Her father was sipping mechanically at his coffee, his eyes fixed on some distant point, while Yale wore the distracted expression that suggested he was reviewing material for her day's lessons.

The housekeeper came in with the morning post and set it down next to Devon's father: three or four data tablets onto which one of his secretaries had loaded the items that needed his attention. He glanced through the tablets, grimacing at one and quickly sliding it toward the center of the table, before starting to read the items on another.

Devon looked at the tablet as it came to a halt. It was the one with the cream-colored case that contained the invitations to social events: dinners and art openings and concerts and suchlike, most of them with some kind of charitable purpose. Her mother had dealt with those, before she'd gotten sick, deciding where to bestow the Adairs' philanthropy and helping to smooth her father's path to pleasing the people he needed to keep sweet. He'd always laughed and said he knew it was important, but he had no patience for that kind of thing. Neither did Devon, but—.

Someone had to deal with that stuff.

She reached toward the tablet. "Would you—?" She cleared her throat. "Could I help with this?"

Her father peered over the top of the tablet he was reading. He frowned briefly when he saw what she was holding, and then he smiled at her. "Yes, thank you. That would be very helpful." He turned back to his own tablet and added, almost as an afterthought, but with a quick glance up at her that showed the answer meant a great deal to him, "We're starting a project next week to develop a new generation of stations. I'd like you to attend some of the meetings, if Yale can rearrange your schedule and you'd like to come along...."

oOo
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