Author's Note: Hello! Second story for the 5D's fandom! Personally, I'm shocked that there aren't more stories about the series; I think it's great. Also, I gave Trudge a non-Japanese name, so heads up for that. Please review!
Much love, Princess Kanako x
Title: A Splash of Colour
Author: Princess Kanako
Date Edited: 26/12/14
Disclaimer: I do not own Yu-Gi-Oh! 5D's or any of its affiliates; they belong to Kazuki Takahashi
Claimer: I do own Scarlett, a few plot ideas, and any OCs that pop up along the way.
Genre: Drama, Romance, Suspense, Humour.
Summary: Officer Trudge's life was grey, bleak and meaningless. Out of the corner of his eye, he saw it. Something bright. Something warm. Something he'd almost forgotten about. A splash of colour. (Previously known as To Trudge Towards The Light)
"Hey Granny, what exactly do you know about Mr. Bekku's fingerprints being all over the inside of your van?" Scarlett asked, stepping over a resting Rosie to reach the sofa where her grandmother was relaxing after a session of Physical Therapy. Handing the elderly lady a tall iced coffee with plenty of sweet cream, Scarlett perched on the edge of the heavy teak coffee table. Sipping her own coffee, she waited expectantly for her grandmother to answer.
"Because he was driving it of course, Lottie dear," she answered serenely as she looked at her granddaughter.
"Granny," Scarlett said slowly, "I was driving it before it went missing. Mr. Bekku had gone before I arrived in Domino. My prints should have been all over it, not his."
"I think the Captain did say something about that, dear," she said soothingly. "You know, he was so very nice when he stopped by on Sunday to get our fingerprints to compare to the ones they found inside. He brought one of his officer's with him to do that. I suppose with him being a Captain and all, he doesn't do much of that type of thing himself."
"Why was Mr. Bekku driving your van,Granny?" Scarlett asked patiently. The feeling that something sounded a little off about the story that the elderly Mr. Bekku had "found" her grandmother's van parked outside his door the moment he arrived home was growing stronger in Scarlett by the minute.
She had tried to read Trudge's expression when he stopped by the house early Monday morning. He had knocked on the door, barely said 'good morning' to her, and dropped the keys in her hand, along with a long, white envelope, Domino Police Department stamped in the upper left corner.
"Here's the report your grandma will need to file a claim with her insurance company," he had told her, his eyes meeting hers, then sliding away. "There doesn't appear to be any damage and everything checked out with our mechanic. It appears you're good to go pick up your grandma this morning."
Her stunned, "Thank you, Chris" fell on the empty stairs as he turned quickly and took the steps two at a time, walking swiftly to the curb. A black sports car slid to a stop at the curb and she had watched him fold inside before it sped off down the street. Scarlett caught a glimpse of the driver, a woman with wine-coloured hair.
"Somehow, she doesn't look like one of his officers," she said to Violet turning away from the door.
"He would borrow it occasionally, Lottie, you know, to run errands for me, pick up a dog to foster when I asked."
"When was the last time he borrowed your van, Granny?" Scarlett asked, before scooping an ice cube from her glass.
"Well that would have been…" but Scarlett didn't hear the answer as Rosie bolted up from her spot on the floor, barking excitedly.
"Oh, that would be Mr. Bekku now," Granny's voice rose above the din. "I asked him to stop by while you went to pick up Anya and the girls from their hotel. Today is the day you're taking them to the ball game, isn't it?"
"Hello my darlings!" Scarlett smiled as her nieces clamoured in the van, before turning to take their eighteen-month-old sister from Anya. "I'll buckle Tina in, Annie." Whatever her sister was about to say was drowned out by the excited voices of the older girls.
"We brought our gloves so we can catch a foul ball, Auntie." That was Georgina. Not to be outdone, her sister announced her intention to catch a homerun ball.
"Thank you for offering to take them to a game, Lottie." Annie's voice broke in on the subdued din of the three girls. "I don't know if Tina would be able to make it through nine innings in this sun."
"There's plenty of places to get out of the sun and away from the game if she gets fussy, Annie." Scarlett glanced at her sister. "There's still time if you want to change your mind?"
"No thanks." Glancing toward the back of the van, where the girls were now quietly plotting their ballpark menu plans, she went on, "actually, I could use a break, Lottie. The girls have been so hyper, my nerves are frazzled. Tina and I will hang out with Granny and the dogs for the afternoon if you don't mind."
"Of course," Scarlett murmured in annoyance, heading the van back towards the house.
Trudge pulled the car into the parking lot. Through his open window, he could hear the metallic cracks of baseballs being sent through the air in the surrounding fields. The lot was a sea of minivans and he rolled along slowly, his eyes carefully searching for an open slot, as well as watching out for the people that seemed to be everywhere. He was almost about to give up, when he saw an empty spot near the end, and then almost drove past it when familiar pink paw prints seemed to jump out at him from the back of a bright blue minivan.
Trudge glanced at his watch. 4:45. Leo's game didn't start for fifteen minutes. Slowly, he walked toward the fields, wondering if he would see Scarlett. Other than when he dropped the keys off on Monday morning, they hadn't spoken since Saturday night. He told himself it was because he was busy, and she had family visiting.
The memory of her kisses and the warmth of her caresses on his skin was something he could not easily forget, nor was her musical laugh and bright smile.
"Auntie, we need a break!" Scarlett shaded her eyes as she watched her nieces trotting toward her. "We're hot. Can we get some ice cream from that building over there?" Fiona pointed toward the Concession area.
"What about your dinner?" she asked mildly.
"I'm not hungry," Georgina announced. "I ate too much at the ball game. But I am hot and some ice cream would cool me down. Besides, Mom is probably not cooking and you left food for Granny to heat up, right? By the time you make us dinner when we get home, we'll be hungry again, so if you let us have ice cream now, we won't be hungry so soon when we get home."
Scarlett shook her head, trying to hide her smile as two pairs of earnest hazel eyes looked back at her.
"Georgina, I think you need to make sure you try out for the debate team when you get a little older," she told her. "Alright, come on. We'll go look at the choices. One ice cream or related cold treat, understood?" A chorus of "All right!" sounded as they skipped off in the direction of the concession stand, Scarlett hurrying to keep up.
Trudge was passing near the concrete building when he heard a familiar lilting voice.
"Yes, we'll take 2 Italian Ice's. One strawberry, one lemon. And a bag of Twizzlers, please." Before Scarlett could hand over her five dollars, Trudge slipped into line beside her, adding a bottle of water to her order and slipping some cash from his pocket as he did so.
"That will be … $6.75, sir?" The middle-aged woman at the counter looked from a surprised Scarlett to Trudge in confusion. The two girls in neon yellow t-shirts and baseball hats must be her nieces, Trudge thought, as he smiled at Scarlett and handed $7 to the woman behind the counter.
Scarlett felt the light touch of his hand on her back as he ushered her and the girls out of the line. At the touch of his hand, the memory of his kisses rushed into her mind. Scarlett glanced at him, and looked away quickly.
"Auntie, who is that?" Fiona's stage whisper jolted her back to reality and she looked at her niece before glancing at Trudge.
"I'm Chris," he introduced himself to the young girl standing beside Scarlett, hazel eyes regarding him seriously beneath the brim of the baseball cap. "I'm a friend of your Aunt's."
"I'm Fiona. And that's my sister, Georgina. Auntie took us to watch the Marlins play the Twins today."
"Are you here to arrest someone?" That was Georgina, her gaze on the gold shield at Trudge's belt.
"No, I'm here to watch a friend play baseball. I thought I recognized your minivan."
Trudge looked at Scarlett. She couldn't see his expression behind the dark sunglasses. Murmuring that the girls had wanted to get some practice in playing catch themselves, she'd stopped here after the baseball game.
"Hey, Auntie, do we have time to watch some of Mr. Trudge's baseball game?" That was Fiona, smacking her glove with her fist.
"Haven't you had enough baseball today?" Scarlett asked with a smile, not surprised by the chorus of 'No Auntie.' I think you should ask, Mr. Trudge if he would like some company, first. Manners, girls," she reminded them.
"It would be my pleasure to have you join me. Do you know where Field 6 is?" Trudge asked them, before looking up at Scarlett.
"YOU don't know what you're in for, Captain," Scarlett warned under her breath as they hurried to keep up with the excited girls.
"I think I can handle it," he grinned, as they followed Georgina and Fiona up the bleachers.
"Will you be back home in time to be our Team Parent. Auntie?" Fiona asked, taking a bite of her strawberry Twizzler as they waited for Leo's team to take the field.
"I'm not sure," Scarlett hedged, reaching for a twisted piece of the red stretchy candy herself. She was fully aware of Trudge's eyes on her. "Yourmom might want to do it. You should probably ask her first," she answered her niece gently.
"Noooo," Georgina doubled over dramatically on the bleacher, while his brother shook his head emphatically. Glancing up, Scarlett saw the smile twitching at the corner of Trudge's mouth. An eyebrow quirked above his sunglasses in question and he paid no attention to Scarlett's quick shake of her head "no".
"I can bet your Aunt would be a terrific team parent, but shouldn't that be a job for your mom or dad?"
"Well, yeah, but our Dad is too busy all the time." That was Georgina, her hazel eyes wide as she shook her head. "When Mom did it, she kept forgetting the concession tickets!"
Scarlett couldn't hide her smile watching her niece's hands wave about her as she tried to explain the importance of the Concession tickets to a team of hungry and thirsty 7 & 8-year-olds.
Trudge was enjoying himself. He didn't miss Scarlett carefully scoot over about six inches to avoid being licorice-whipped by her excited niece. Her lightly tanned thigh brushed against him as she did so, the contact sending a jolt of awareness through him.
"That does sound hard. So, what made your Aunt Lottie a good team parent?"
"She ALWAYS had our tickets!" Fiona exclaimed, taking a bite of her licorice for emphasis.
"And she made signs for us!"
That was Georgina, carefully untwisting the sticky strands of red candy.
"We had a barbecue at our house after the season with the WHOLE team," Georgina went on excitedly. "Auntie did all the cooking and she made us a team cake with all our names on it! We didn't even mind that we came in second to last."
She looked at her aunt for confirmation.
"It was too bad you came in fourth but, you were learning, right?"
"And you will do better this year, right?"
Both girls nodded and began talking at once about which team they might be on.
"How's your grandma doing?" he asked Scarlett quietly.
"She's good. Thank you for the police report, by the way. I stopped by the Insurance Agent's office and all the paperwork is in order. Do you have any idea what happened to it?" Scarlett chewed on her red Twizzler thoughtfully.
"I wanted to ask you about that," Trudge answered, pausing as he slipped his sunglasses off. "Would you go out to dinner with me tomorrow night? We could talk then?"
Scarlett suspected that he wanted to talk about more than her grandmother's disappearing minivan. Before she could answer, Leo's team trotted out onto the field amidst cheers from the stands.
To be continued...