So, a couple of you lovely readers requested more after 'Torch' (incredibly flattering, by the way, thanks)... this is in the same vein, I guess, but more from Dylan's POV. And somehow, so much longer! That's weird, how did that happen? Anyway, it's implied in episode 2 that Dylan has a sister named Liz, but I sort of took free reign with her (if she is fleshed out in more detail later in the season, I apologize for my incomplete picture... haven't actually gotten past episode 4 yet). Same thing with the rest of the Weir family. Anyways, I don't own the characters (not even Dylan's mystery sister), yada-yada, etc. They belong to whoever owns the rights to the show, I guess... and... yeah. Enjoy!
Dylan Weir had known there would be certain repercussions from quitting Predator Control. Namely, she would eventually have to tell her family about it, and her sister was nothing if not persistent. The three hour lecture about throwing away years of work was only the beginning, and Dylan knew it.
She had to tell them she had found a new job, of course, and there wasn't really any reason not to tell them the name of the company. She'd made something up about a project involving dangerous animals that required the sort of expertise a trained Predator Control officer, by definition, possessed. She had not expected Liz to Google Evan and Cross Photonics. She hadn't expected her sister to even understand what the company did if for some reason she did do so. And she certainly hadn't expected to get to work and find Liz standing in the parking lot, tapping her foot and looking suspicious.
"Liz?" Dylan got out of the car, forcing a smile onto her face and hoping she didn't look too panicked.
"Hey, sis," Elizabeth Weir-Stanton was as cool and collected as ever, tapping her manicured fingernails against her elbow. She held out her arms for a hug, which Dylan returned with the warmest and most sisterly hug she could manage.
"It's great to see you," she began as she pulled away, "It's been a while, but I didn't think you'd be in Vancouver until Thanksgiving…"
"Oh, Harry had a last-minute business trip, I tagged along," Liz waved it off with a smile, "You look good, Dyl. To be honest, I half-expected you to be in mourning, the way you carried on when you got the job in the first place."
"I'm fine, Liz, really," Dylan glanced nervously at the lobby. She could see Mac through the glass, standing with Sam and Tobey. All three had coffee cups, and they seemed to be talking amongst themselves, but… well, she got the distinct impression they were watching her, "I was just heading into work, actually."
"Right, yeah. Here, at Cross Photonics," Liz looked back at the lobby, "Interesting, that a technology company would need an animal expert."
"It's a new project-"
"A new project, yes, except there's nothing on the company newsletter about any new project. So I couldn't help but wonder if you'd just made all of this up so mom wouldn't blow a gasket."
"I'm here, Liz," Dylan pointed at the lobby, exasperated, "I was about to go inside. That guy in the black motorcycle gear, that's Mac. He's one of my coworkers. So is the girl with the bangs. It's just that it's a new classified project and I can't really talk about it-"
"Dylan?" she spun around to find Evan, who had just gotten out of his car, watching her argue with Liz, a perplexed expression on his face, "Everything okay?"
"Yes, Evan, it's fine," she smiled widely, "This is my sister, Liz. Liz, this is Evan Cross. He's my boss. Please tell her I actually work for you, and I'm not being childish and lying to my mother to avoid family drama?"
He grinned, "It's nice to meet you, Liz. And yes, Dylan does work for me. It's a new project, a military contract, so it's classified, I'm sorry we can't tell you more than that."
"Oh," Liz's teased up-do seemed to actually, physically deflate a bit, and Dylan rolled her eyes.
"Liz, can I meet up with you later? We really need to get going."
"Yes, actually, we do," Evan nodded towards the lobby doors, through which Mac and Tobey were filing out, "New location, I want to get out there as soon as we can."
"Right, yes, so I will call you later on," Dylan ushered Liz towards her Lexus, "We'll catch up. Have dinner, or something, yeah?"
"Bye, Liz!" Dylan pushed her into her car and waved, quickly following Evan towards the Hummer.
"What was that about?" Tobey asked, grinning.
"My sister, being her irritating, nosy self," Dylan answered tersely, "If you're staying here, can you head her off when she goes inside after we leave and starts asking about what I do for Cross Photonics?"
"Ah, one of those," Tobey nodded understandingly, "Not to worry, my friend, I'm on it. I have plenty of experience with cover stories."
"Pull Ange in if you're not convincing enough," Evan grinned, "Hopefully your sister will listen to my CFO, even if she won't listen to the president of the company?"
"God, I hope so," Dylan got in the front seat and slammed the door shut.
With Mac following them on his bike, Dylan was left with Evan in the Hummer. After he'd briefed her on what little they'd gleaned from police reports on the beastie they would have to find and return to its proper anomaly, the conversation turned towards Liz.
"So, you have a sister?"
"Yes," Dylan glanced at him, "What?"
"Nothing, it's just… I wouldn't have pegged you as her sister. No offense."
"None taken, believe me," Dylan answered automatically. Then she reconsidered after a moment, "Why? I mean, I get that a lot, but I've never really thought about it. Mom thinks we look alike."
"She's… I don't know, more… glam girl?" he shrugged, "Not the stupid kind, but more like the corporate wife who could probably run the business better than her husband? She kind of reminds me of Ange, to be honest."
"That's apt, I guess," Dylan grinned, "Does that make Ange your corporate wife?"
"Minus the wife part, I guess. You get what I mean, though?"
"Yeah, I think so," Dylan nodded, "She was always the girly-girl. I hung out at the fire station with our dad and learned how to dig trenches and track animals and… spit fifteen feet. She hung out at the mall with her friends and learned how to cook."
Evan smiled, "Yeah, that sounds more like Ange."
"Yeah…" Dylan refused to acknowledge the knot of jealousy in the pit of her stomach, "I was always Liz Weir's little sister. I hated going to high school with her. She stole every boyfriend I ever had."
He laughed, "Possessive bitches, aren't they, our corporate wives? Brooke and Ange didn't get along either."
"They didn't?" Dylan looked up, surprised, "I thought… well, I guess I assumed they were friends."
"Not exactly," Evan shrugged, "I met Ange in college. She was dead set on being the next big thing in the business world, and with me on the science side, it just made sense, you know? She's probably the best friend I ever had. Then Brooke came along a few years later… they just have totally different personalities. Too different, maybe, to really be friends. Brooke was a lot like you, actually."
"What? Ass-kicking dinosaur hunter?" Dylan quipped.
"No, not so much that part, but… down-to-Earth, I guess. She wasn't fussy. She didn't really care what she was wearing, or what most people thought of her. She didn't know how beautiful she was," he paused, lost in thought for a moment. Dylan remained silent too. Nothing was quite as awkward as listening to your boss who you maybe had a thing for talk about his dead wife, especially when he was still wearing his wedding ring. Even more awkward when Dylan was almost certain that Ange was more than a little bit in love with him, and he didn't even know it. There could be other reasons she was so desperate to see the anomaly hunts turned over to the government, of course, despite Evan's adamant protests to the contrary, but Dylan didn't think that it really had as much to do with his absence from the business as it was his preoccupation with everything but Ange.
The sad thing was that Dylan barely knew Evan Cross, and even she could see that he would never leave the anomalies alone. He may have started all of it because of what happened to his wife, but he kept on chasing the anomalies because it made him feel… alive.
Dylan knew the feeling. Ange obviously didn't.
"Liz didn't want me to join Predator Control," Dylan said suddenly, "Our dad… he died during a big wildfire. Liz and our mother always thought that if he hadn't decided to be a firefighter, then he might not be dead now."
"Maybe, but as Mac so eloquently put it a couple weeks ago, he could have broken his neck skiing any weekend," Evan pointed out.
"Yeah," she nodded, "And he… I know he loved it, loved the rush, but that's not why he did it."
"People were in danger," Evan said quietly after a moment, "And if he could do something about it, he felt like he had to do something about it."
She stared at him, "Yes, exactly. They never understood that… to them, there was always someone else who could take the risk. Someone else to fight the fires. I guess they thought the same thing about me and Predator Control. It took me years to convince them that it was all I ever wanted to do, and now… they won't understand why I gave it up. And even if I could explain all of this, they'd just think I was even crazier."
They sat in silence for a long time. Finally, Evan looked up from the road and over at Dylan, a boyish grin on his face.
"That life lesson about bugs and fires really is lost on us isn't it?"
She laughed, and so did he, and she suddenly realized that she wasn't alone. This was still big and scary and they were probably in way over their heads, but whatever this rush she got when they sped off to find some new, impossible creature, and whatever this sense of responsibility she felt regarding the anomalies was, he felt it too, and they were in it together.
"Well, I guess we're both firefighters, then," she smiled. He pulled his sunglasses from the shade and slid them on, shaking his head.
"More like gatekeepers."
"Yeah," she looked ahead, down the road where another anomaly waited, "Gatekeepers. I like that."
Your thoughts or praises or criticisms are nice if you are so inclined to give them. Either way, I hope y'all enjoyed it.