[SFS 7] This was the meeting place, but no one was in sight. She looked around suspiciously. It was just like him to give her the wrong time, or set the stage beforehand with a tricky prank. Then she heard his voice nearby, before she could actually see him. "Love the scarf, dear."
"Well you told me to dress warm. I figured you must know something else about the situation, something vital to our mission."
His voice chuckled. "And you believed me? You know, our uniforms keep us protected from every weather condition. There's no need to bundle up."
She sneered, and waved the scarf's tassels in the direction she guessed he was standing. "Well then come out here so I can strangle you with it instead," she threatened, probably jokingly.
Finally, he stepped from the shadows. Aside from their loose black uniform, he was wearing a scarf as bulky as hers. So that was his idea of a teasing joke.
"Good to see you again, R" she said dryly.
"Charmed as ever, M" he replied with a smile, wiggling his scarf tassels back at her.
In fact, his scarf was the same in every way, from its bright red color to the decorative flowery snowflake patterns at the ends. It was a rather specific design, she was pretty sure it had been homemade. The only difference was that, on careful inspection, his looked rather worse for wear.
Now she narrowed her eyes at him. "Is that my old scarf? What wormhole did you pull it from? Don't tell me you did a time-twist, just so we can annoyingly match today?"
He only smiled mysteriously in return, and she sighed at him. "Whatever, I don't know whether to be flattered or concerned... but let's get on with this. We've got place-times to be."
"Shall we?" he said, proffering his arm. Almost humorously, she tucked one hand into the crook of his elbow, as though they were simply going for a stroll. They snapped their fingers, and were transported.
It was a desolate, frosty land, devoid of color or movement. Gray sky, a few evergreens dusted with snow, and their feet at the edge of a large, frozen pond. There didn't seem to be any indicators of excitement or unusual situations. M's brow furrowed. "What are we even doing here?"
When she looked over at R, he had an odd expression on his face, like he knew the place. "I think I've got some idea..." He went ahead and took a step onto the frozen surface, careful with his footing, and it held his weight firmly. Not to be out-done, M also took a step forward and kept pace as they made their way along its slippery surface.
He wouldn't say more until she prodded him for awhile. Eventually he acknowledged, "if I'm not mistaken, we're here to save a life." She opened her mouth to ask more, when she spotted a movement up ahead. After all this time of just them two, there was one lone figure in the distance. Short in stature, like a child. R called out, "there he is!"
They ran together, as fast as they could, hand in hand so as not to slip on the ice. They had to slow as they reached the place where the ice was cracked. "Watch out!" they called, as the boy turned, and twisted while the frozen lake began to give way beneath him. Neither hesitated to take action. At the same time, they reached out for the little boy's hands, and caught him before he could fall into the icy abyss.
The boy was gasping at first, overcome by fear of what had nearly befallen him. But eventually realizing that his life was no longer in danger, he looked up at them curiously. "Where did you come from?" He stared especially long at R, as though trying to solve a puzzle.
"We just go where we're needed," she replied, as the silence dragged on. "And clearly you're meant to have a long life ahead of you."
"Well I sure hope so," he said, catching his breath.
M unwrapped the scarf from around her neck. "You'll get your death of cold without this, kiddo." She wrapped it around him instead, and he looked up at her gratefully. "But what about you?"
"Don't worry, I'll be fine. Apparently, it's just for show."
The boy held it close around his face, and eyed them both again. "I think it means more than you know, to a cold boy who nearly lost his life." After a moment of thinking on this solemn statement, he perked up. "I've got a warm dinner to be getting to, if you'd like to join me?"
It didn't seem like proper protocol to linger after the mission was complete. "I'm afraid we have other matters to be attending too..." M replied.
"Aw darn, well maybe next time," the boy said, with an uncannily familiar smile.
"Take care of yourself out there, watch your step," they reminded him.
"Thanks lady!" The kid waved goodbye, only smirking at R, and ran off.
It made her a bit cross, on her partner's behalf. "Ungrateful brat, he didn't stop to thank both of us?"
"Oh, there's no need to. It's taken for granted that I would. You're the special one here."
"What's that supposed to mean? It seemed like a team effort to me, why wouldn't he appreciate..."
She realized now, or suspected at least, what was really happening with the matching scarves. The one she had given away to the boy, and the one R had worn thin, and how he kept hiding his face but the kid seemed to know him anyway. They had the same shaggy brown hair.
"Did we just save YOU?"
R looked sheepish. "Maybe..."
"And even your little kid self had the brains to figure it out! Why didn't you warn me?"
"It was so long ago, and I wasn't quite sure. Besides," he grinned, "would you still have done it if you knew? Missed your best chance to finally be rid of me."
"Urgh, you're so infuriating! Maybe it's not too late to remedy this, eh? I'll kill you right now for saying stupid stuff like that."
"But that would be such a waste of a mission. Let me make a counter-offer. Maybe it's not too late to catch dinner sometime?"
"Excuse me, what?"
"As gratitude for saving me, and refraining from killing me. And as a date, if you'd like."
If she'd like? This day had been filled with so many unexpected twists and turns, that she shouldn't be surprised by anything at this point. She made a frustrated face. Mostly at herself, for having feelings she hadn't pre-approved. "I'll think it over."
"Meanwhile, would you like to share my scarf? It was given to me by a good friend. Who even saved my life. Maybe I'll tell you the story sometime."
She rolled her eyes, and let him wrap the other end of the scarf around her face, as unnecessary as it was with their weather-proof gear. Now they had to walk close together to keep from tripping. Perhaps this wasn't so bad. Perhaps she even liked being near him, she admitted begrudgingly.
"The truth is, I wanted to commemorate this day. That's why I wore it." He looked over at her. "So what do you think, are we going to save you next?"
"I've not had my life threated in such a way, that I know of." That was only accounting for her past, though. She wouldn't yet remember her future. "But it's never too soon to see it happen."
Together, with a snap, they disappeared. Leaving a small gust of wind and a dusting of snow on the frozen pond.