Serenity pulled her hair back from her face and clipped it there. It wouldn’t do for one of her own hairs to get into a sample she was trying to identify. She drew the sample out of its sealed container and was about to begin her analysis when Emery stomped into the room.

“Hello,” she greeted quietly. When the younger analyst didn’t respond but began to set to work she hesitated only a moment before continuing her work.

Miles entered shortly afterwards. “Brother,” he called softly. “Did you want to talk about this?”

“What’s there to talk about?” he snapped. “After all this time we find Dad and he’s got to be locked away in some hospital for the rest of his days because he attacked people. There’s nothing we can do about it. What’s the use in talking it to death.”

“You’re upset because we have to go get evaluated now too, Em,” Miles pointed out softly.

“What if I am?” Emery said, his voice tense with emotion. “He left us, God only knows why. He didn’t even come back when Mom was dying and looking for him. When he finally shows up again, he’s loony and we have to get evaluated to make sure we aren’t even though we’ve never given anyone any reason whatever to doubt our sanity. He’s… he’s nothing but trouble.”

“But he’s your father and you love him and want him in your lives and not locked away,” Serenity pointed out. “I know the feeling,” she added after a moment.

Emery blinked in shock as she settled down at a small table that dominated the center of the room. “Your father’s…” he trailed off.

“In prison. He was a bank robber,” Serenity said. “It’s… weird at first… difficult around the regular wardens. It does get better. Honestly.”

Emery nodded slightly and sighed. “Yeah… thanks.” He smiled slightly and added, Really.”

Serenity sighed and shook her head. “Now I have something that is probably going to be even more difficult for you to hear than it is for me to say. Miles, Emery, until you have been evaluated, you are to remain in the offices and not to involve yourselves in ongoing cases.”

Emery drew a breath to protest, then broke off. “Because if we’re crazy then our judgment may not be sound and they’d have to re-evaluate all the cases we’ve worked on so far.” He spun back toward the door. “I’ll just… do paperwork then. There’re those files to re-organize. I don’t suppose I have to be entirely sane for that.”

After he’d left, Miles sent her a tremulous smile. “He’s just upset,” he said before he followed his brother out of the lab.

continued here

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