In celebration, have a snip! The story so far: Lucian has missed the last starship off a dying Earth after his parents revoked his pass. He's been given the address of someone that might be able to help, with no idea he's about to open a whole can of worms...
He tried the handle. It turned easily. Okay, then. Pulling it open, and wincing at the screech of the hinges, Lucian poked his head through the gap. “Hello? Is anyone home?”
A faint shout came from somewhere within the tangle of machinery and littered benches. Taking it as an invitation, Lucian stepped in out of the cold and wandered around the workshop.
Most of the benches groaned under the weight of a variety of heaters, all in various stages of assembly or disassembly – Lucian wasn't sure which – but there was one given over to an intricate, clockwork-driven device that he could not make head not tail of. He picked up a roll of paper and unwound it to find a blueprint. That made no sense either.
He shook his head: he'd been to university and had education in every science and theory going but the level of intelligence indicated by the blueprint was still far beyond him.
Putting the roll down, he called again. “Hello?”
Her voice was husky; mid-range feminine with a hint of smoke. It also carried a note that Lucian thought he recognised yet couldn't quite place. A shadow shifted on the opposite wall, shortening as she came into the workshop, nose buried in a thick book.
She wore leather trousers spotted with burn marks and grease, and a tightly-fitted blouse under a heavy apron. Her hair was swept up and gathered into a loose bun atop of her head, and the hands that held the book wore gauntlets. She looked up and her mouth dropped open, her eyes widening in shocked recognition.
“Lucian?” she said, her voice barely more than a whisper.
He could only stare. It had been so very long since he'd last seen this woman. Long enough that it had taken seeing her face to recognise her fully. Five years too long.
“Genevieve,” he murmured, watching the shock on her face turn to hurt and then anger. A hollow ache spread through him. “I didn't know, didn't realise...”
He stopped from babbling further. Unwilling to make more of a fool of himself. Genevieve closed the book with a snap and then tossed it onto a bench. She folded her arms across her chest and glared at him.
“What the hell are you doing here, Hoyt? I thought I wasn't good enough for your type.”
The way she stressed type made it sound dirty, demeaning. He bristled even as a part of his brain pointed out she had every right to be angry at him. He'd not even had the courage to face her...
“I-I need your help.”