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Claude Burke for Beatrix Burke.
She loves him not.
"I'll bleed wherever I damn well please!" She shouted, scowling at him. As if to prove it, she uncovered her nose and shook her head back and forth like a dog attempting to dry its fur of water. Little droplets of blood rained on the sidewalk all willy-nilly. Billie Farrow in A Good Dusting
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The Question
June 3rd, 1889
Podmore Zoological Gardens
The Aviary
The time was now. Fletcher had gotten the ring ages ago and he knew if he didn't get down on a knee soon, it would burn straight through his pocket and disappear. He'd made a point to schedule a few days off so that he could well and truly surprise her. Eavan deserved the best, plain and simple and he was determined to give her just that.

The first day off he'd spent preparing. He'd gotten help from his mother's cook on just what to put in the picnic basket. Simple but delicious foods were a must and he made a point of putting some of the items they'd shared during their first night together into the basket. A little reminder of that amazing night just felt right. And then he'd enlisted the help of Mason. Fletch would likely never remember what flowers meant and so talking to the Herbology professor just seemed to be the best course of action. With all the logistics figured out, he'd slept a rather fitful night and woke up even before the sun had began to peek over the horizon. Too ansty to wait around, he'd packed up what he needed and donned a comfortable but classic pair of pants and a crisp, clean shirt. With a deep breath, he flooed to his parents home so he could make the short walk to the Zoo. Surely the walk would help to abandon some of the nervous energy he was feeling.

Just like the first time he'd met Eavan in the aviary, he headed to her office. He wasn't surprised to see that she wasn't in yet but he was comfortable enough to get settled in to wait. The basket of foods was set by the desk that he decided to lean against to wait. He was busy sprucing up the bouquet featuring an array of flowers with special and significant meanings when his gaze caught sight of a letter. Normally he wouldn't be one to pry, he trusted Eva and would never snoop within her personal items. But it was hard to miss the mention of the United States.

Hesitantly, he picked up the letter, the bouquet of flowers quickly forgotten on the desk. He scanned over the letter quickly, the words processing in his mind while feeling like he'd just taken a punch to the gut. It was an opportunity of a lifetime, that he knew. But it was on the other side of the world. And it would be a minimum of six months. He felt his mouth go dry as he read through the letter again. He couldn't stop her from such a thing. He knew that and that didn't bother him. What bothered him was the date on the letter. She'd had it for some time yet she hadn't said anything to him about it. He couldn't stop his mind from whirling with the possibilities of what it could mean.

Was she just going to go and not tell him? Was she planning on ignoring it and not bringing it up? Maybe she was just trying to find the right time? While he sincerely hoped the latter was the case, he wasn't really sure if it was.

So engrossed in his thoughts and the letter, he missed the sound of the door opening and closing. It wasn't until she moved and he caught the familiar scent of the woman that he loved that he looked up. The confusion and worry could easily be seen etched across his furrowed brow as he raised the letter. "Were you going to tell me?" he asked, the pain evident in his voice just as it was in his eyes.
@Eavan MacKay

BEE-utiful Set!
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Oh what a day. Eva was exhausted and she just wanted to take a snooze, a little midday siesta to get her through. It would be another long night with the mooncalves now that they it was calving season. She'd pretty much been living in her office for the last week trying to keep up.

Yeah, a nap was indeed on the docket. She'd been in town running errands, trying to stock up on some of the necessities they would likely need to finish out the season. At least it wasn't too terribly warm, though the summer sun was pleasant, Eva knew she'd be burnt to a crisp if she didn't get inside and cool off soon.

With an armful of supplies and fatigue in her limbs, Eva moved quickly through the zoo, making her way back to the aviary as fast as her legs could be persuaded to carry her, Bastien at her heels happily trucking along, simply happy to have been taken out of the zoo for a little while. Nudging the outside door open to her office, Eva made sure it was shut well behind her before she moved kicked the second door in with her foot. Setting the box of supplies down in the storeroom, she stretched out her limbs and stripped out of her outermost layer. Casually she flipped the sign and the lock on the outside door before sighing contentedly. Nap time.

Or maybe not.

It took a moment to register Fletcher's unexpected presence in her office and another to realize what it was he was holding up, but even then she wasn't sure. "What are you talking about?" She raised an eyebrow at him curiously, automatically unsettled by the look on his face.

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Lady makes the prettiest of pretties
Damn if she wasn't beautiful. Fletcher was well aware he probably should have owled ahead but their impromptu lunches were always that much more fun. Or rather, they should be. But the letter he had read over and probably shouldn't have was certainly going to cause an issue. If nothing else, simply because she hadn't thought to tell him about it. It was postmarked a few days ago at least. He hadn't paid much attention to the date other than the fact that it had happened with plenty of time for her to tell him about it.

"Thunderbirds? America?" he said, one word questions as he held the letter out toward her. He didn't really expect her to take it though. Those two words should be more than enough for her to know exactly what it was he was talking about. And the look on his face, well hopefully it was more than enough to show her how upset he was by it.
Turns out it was exactly what she expected.

This was exactly what she'd wanted to avoid.

"I think the more appropriate question here is why are you looking through the things on my desk?" Messy as it was, Eva was more miffed he found it alright to go through her things. This was her office after all and though he was welcome whenever he wanted, it wasn't fair of him to be snooping. Though the letter sat unanswered on her desk for at least a week at this point, she had already made the decision to respectfully decline. She had made a promise and she would stick to it.

Trying not to be too confrontational, as she had a bad habit of that, she crossed her arms gently and perched herself on the arm of the couch in her office leisurely. She raised one eyebrow at him; she wouldn't answer his question until he answered hers.

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Lady makes the prettiest of pretties
Fletcher knew he shouldn't have really looked at the letter but it had been kind of hard to ignore. And it wasn't as if he'd been going through everything on her desk to find it. He would never have invaded her privacy in such a way. Though he supposed he still had simply by reading it. But that wasn't the point. The point was she'd been sitting on the letter for at least a week and not even mentioned it to him. He felt like he was at least owed the courtesy to be told about such a thing.

"I came to surprise you with lunch," he began to explain, mentally thinking to himself about how he'd planned to propose at the end of the lunch, "And I noticed it when I went too set the basket down. It was right on top, I didn't dig through your desk." Not exactly an excuse but it was all he had.

"Were you even going to tell me about it?" he asked again, still waiting for an answer to his original question.

BEE-utiful Set!
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Though she believed his answer, Eva was still miffed that he'd read the letter in the first place. "No, actually, I hadn't planned on it." That was the truth of it, plain and simple. She hadn't planned on telling him, upsetting him and, or making him feel any kind of guilty for her decision to decline. Eva knew him; he wouldn't have wanted her to go, but he also would have felt some responsibility for her choice. It was a no-win situation that she would have liked to avoid altogether, but here they were and it frustrated the shit out of her.

She ran a hand down the braid hanging over her shoulder as a means to let out the nervous energy, but it didn't do much good, so she stood again and started to clean up a little bit.

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Lady makes the prettiest of pretties
Fletcher hadn't really known what to expect as a response from her but for whatever reason it hadn't been that. And knowing that she hadn't planned on telling him at all almost felt akin to a gut punch. Did she not trust him? Did she think he'd be angry? Because neither of those were truth. The only reason he was feeling angry but mostly frustrated in that very moment was because she hadn't told him.

He watched her quietly for a minute, trying to decide what was best to decide. He didn't think she'd have just up and left without talking to him about it but now he wasn't so sure. What else could or would she keep from him?

"Why not?" he asked, the original plan for his presence there long forgotten.
Eva had moved to tidy up, a way to get the building energy out, but she rounded on him when he spoke again. "Because of this, right here." She hadn't wanted to argue, to do anything about it other than reply and try to forget about it. Telling him would have only made matters worse and she didn't regret it, not even now. He could be mad all he wanted, but she would't have changed her mind.

"What is the point in arguing about it?" She demanded angrily, well and truly worked up now.

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Lady makes the prettiest of pretties
Fletcher's eyes widened as she rounded on him. Again, not expecting it from her. They'd had their issues in the past but he had really hoped that they were past such things. That they could talk about anything and do so civilly. Apparently he'd been wrong.

"We wouldn't have had to argue if you would have just told me about it from the beginning," he retorted, his own frustrations starting to show, "This is a huge opportunity, Eavan." As much as he would hate to be away from her for so long, he didn't want to hold her back.

BEE-utiful Set!
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Sighing audibly, Eva ran her hands over her face. "You don't think I know that Fletch? It's my absolute dream job." Merlin's actual beard. Though she hadn't actually done it yet, saying no this job was one of the hardest things she would have to do, but a promise was a promise. He had to know that? Right?

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Lady makes the prettiest of pretties
"So why haven't you replied?" Fletcher asked, arms throwing up in the air as he said it before shaking his head. "Eavan, you have to go," he said, still baffled by it all, "You can't miss out on this." He wasn't understanding why she would turn it down. He wouldn't, couldn't hold her back from something so important.

BEE-utiful Set!
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"Because I promised you I wouldn't!" She was shouting now, voice loud and high in agitation. "I don't break promises Fletcher, for fuck's sake." He'd heard her swear before, though she tried not to, it slipped out.

Pressing the heels of her hands into her eyes to prevent the threatening tears, Eva took a deep breath and tried to reign herself in, but wasn't doing all that well with it.

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Lady makes the prettiest of pretties
Fletcher shook his head, for once in the interaction not surprised by her reaction. He didn't blame her for her outburst but he was also angry.

"Dammit Eva I never asked you to do that for me!" he responded in kind, though perhaps not quite as loud as her, "You know I would never hold you back from anything." It wouldn't be fair to her if only his career progressed. She deserved more.

BEE-utiful Set!
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Bullshit! Was all she could think of in reply, but the word didn't quite make it out and that was probably for the better.

"Don't give me that," She said instead. "We agreed I wouldn't take any distance jobs and you know that. So I was going to decline and just not tell you so we didn't have to deal with it."

Too late.

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Lady makes the prettiest of pretties
This was spiraling in ways Fletcher would have never wanted. He didn't like arguing with her, didn't like it one bit. But now it felt too late as she admitted that she was going to decline it and just never tell him. It was like a slap to the face.

"So you would have just kept it from," he responded, stunned by the admission as he shook his head. That was worse than going back on any promise in his opinion.

BEE-utiful Set!
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"That was my plan, yes. Would have saved this whole damn argument." She huffed. "Which is so fucking pointless by the way. You should have just left it alone and it would have never been an issue." Now it was a huge issue and she didn't know what they hell to do about it.

[Image: 3o3Qr8.jpg]
Lady makes the prettiest of pretties

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