Disclaimer: I don't own Ron or Indiana Jones
Chapter Quote: "He who is of a calm and happy nature will hardly feel the pressure of age, but to him who is of an opposite disposition youth and age are equally a burden." - Plato
Ron sat down on the worn metal bench in the middle of the small downtown park and crossed his leg. He set his black briefcase beside him and clicked it open, pulling out his paper he bought from Dave earlier that morning.
The headlines were a bit dull and depressing, the biggest being about the dangers of micorwaving soup, the smallest about the dangers of cold soup, and those in between having nothing to do with soup at all. According to the article, liquids sitting in the microwave do not always properly boil and have a tendency to explode when touched. If the explosion does not harm the hungry housewife, eating the soup too soon will. If at a burning temperature, soup can burn the throat and make it swell shut. Isn't that interesting?
Ron eyed his tomato soup container warily, sipping on his coffee. Something bumped against his leg gently and, naturally, he looked down. A blue ball with a worn cartoon character rocked back and forth, settling into a small chip in the sidewalk. Ron looked up and glanced around searching for the ball's owner, but all that he found were the old trees, patches of grass and dirt, and the steady flow of yellow taxis.
Cold soup, on the other hand, is just as dangerous. "Oh look, the articles are written by the same person, shocking." Cold soup is considered a European delicacy that was common during wars and economic depressions. The dangers lie in the temperature of the soup which, if too cold, can shock the system. In fact, all food should be eaten at room temperature and in small bites.
Ron tipped the paper forward, catching sight of a boy grabbing the blue ball. The boy looked up and froze, his blue eyes wide and scared. Ron set the paper down, folding it carefully. "Hi." The boy did not move. Time for a different approach. "How old are you?"
"Five? That's a good age." Ron nodded to himself, sipping his coffee. "Half a decade."
The boy relaxed, standing fully. "My brother said I'm right slow fer five. Said he was a… a gen… genos at five."
Ron twisted the lid off his soup. "Be careful with that ball." He plucked his spoon from the briefcase and grabbed a packet of crackers.
"Yes, sir." The boy brushed a lock of black out of his eyes, watching Ron poor the crumbled crackers into the soup.
Ron dipped his spoon in and mixed the soup up. "You alone?" The boy nodded. Ron took a sip of coffee. "No best friend?" The boy shook his head. "That's too bad."
They boy stuck out his hand, blue ball forgotten. "I'm Fintan."
Ron eyed the dirt covered hand before setting his coffee down and shaking it firmly. "I'm Ron."
Fintan's face lit up, a bit of pink filling his pale cheeks for a minute before disappearing again. "I'm Irish!" He pointed at Ron's freckles. "You are, too!"
Ron shrugged, flipping idly through the paper on the bench. "Aren't we all?"
"Ron's an English name, though. My mam said 'ain't notin' wrong wit being Irish, the Irish have been t'rough hell, Flint, ain't noting it it,' but nobody likes me 'cause I'm Irish." Ron pushed his briefcase to the edge of the bench and placed the paper inside before sliding over. This Fintan was not going to leave. "I like you, well enough."
Fintan scrambled up the bench, ball forgotten. "You can call me Flint. Everyone does."
"Why is that?"
Flint held up his hand, ticking off fingers. "'Cause one Fint ain't a right proper nickname, 'cause that's what daddy calls me, and 'cause I set our house on fire once wit a stone an' some sticks an' the devil's luck on me side."
Ron chuckled. "That's a fine story, Flint." He finished off his coffee and popped the top off of the cup. "You hungry?"
"Yessir. Mam says we all got two wooden legs."
Ron poured half of the soup into the coffee cup and handed the thermos to Flint. "I only have one spoon, would you like to-" Flint had instantly tipped the thermos back and was gulping down the tomato soup. "Never mind." Ron ate his soup slowly, his mind drifting to his childhood.
"You're a sad man, Ron. Is it 'cause yer Irish wit an English name?"
Ron looked over at his companion, eyebrows raised, to find Flint staring right back, blue eyes glistening with childlike curiosity. "Irish's got nothing to do with it."
"Is yer life a good waste a nothin'?"
Ron was taken aback, "what?"
"Me mam always says her life was a good waste a nothin' till she and dad and us all moved here."
"Ah, so you're Irish Irish." Ron nodded to himself, staring at the mix of tomato and cracker and coffee. "Thought so."
"Irish Irish Irish Irish, yep." Flint licked his lips. "Why sad?"
Ron shrugged, avoiding Flint's face. "Career change."
Flint nodded, though his eyes glistened with innocence. "This is my hero!" He pulled out a worn figure of Indiana Jones. "He saves the world!"
Ron chuckled and took the figure, inspecting the faded paint, belt, hat, and hand clutching a broken whip. "I used to save the world."
"You don't anymore?"
"Naw." Ron handed the figure back. "I grew up."
"My brother grew up, now he doesn't play anymore. I don't wanna grow up."
Flint held the action figure in both hands, eyes shining in admiration. "But you did?"
Ron nodded, setting his crossed leg down. "I did."
"I guess…" Ron sighed and shrugged. "Seemed like a good idea at the time. You'll understand when you're older, Flint."
Flint pouted. "Everyone says that. My mam and my dad and my big brother and my teacher and everyone. I can't wait till I'm good and old and ten and then I'll know everything!" Flint stretched his arms out, beaming. Slowly he dropped his arms and let his smile fade, looking up at Ron. "Right? 'Cause I don't get nothing, like why babies go to hell if they aren't baptized 'cause what's a baby ever done wrong and why they gotta die, anyway, and mam said 'stop askin' so many questions, you'll know when you're older' but I'm older now an' I still don't know."
Ron lay a hand on Flint's head, brushing his hair back before letting it drop again. "I don't know either, Flint." He sighed heavily. "But I don't think that babies go to hell… or purgatory."
Ron shook his head. "I know your baby sister or brother's in heaven."
Flint smiled. "Good. I feel better now."
Flint twisted his shoulders and wrapped his arms around Ron's bicep, hugging it tightly. Ron stiffened, surprised, but after a few seconds let his other hand pat the side of Flint's head gently. "I gotta go, Ron." Flint's voice was muffled as he buried his face into Ron's sleeve. "I'll see you again, right?"
Ron sighed and pulled Flint into his side for a quick hug. "I hope so, Flint."
Fintan grabbed the blue ball and dashed into the road, drifting between the taxis and disappearing. Ron picked up his paper and flipped to the comics.
BOC42: Glad I could make you smile
Imperial Navy Officer: I'm relieved that you didn't find Ron OOC, it's a hard thing for me to gauge, and that was a sick chapter… still can't believe I wrote it
Miss Piratess: Awesome way to handle the situation, there's nothing wrong with a good guilt trip every now and then. I tried to base Ron on when he got mad in the show, he's just so cute, so I'm glad you think I kept him in character. I find him a lot easier to write than Kim for whatever reasons, but he's still tricky.