Quinn wondered if his heart was ever going to beat normally again. When they had run into that police officer back at the park, he was sure that they'd be found out, and all three of them arrested. He almost thought he was going to have a heart attack right there in the bathroom. But the officer was just on foot patrol in the park, and was simply doing a routine check of the buildings scattered around the park. She didn't even looked twice at them--which Quinn couldn't believe. After all, he was sure he and Rembrandt were two of the homeliest "women" ever seen in these parts.
Quinn became aware of a disturbance in the crowd behind him. He turned to find Rembrandt trying to elbow his way through the crowd to them. Rembrandt managed to squeeze between two older women, and came around to stand on the other side of Wade.
"OK, this is our stop, gu.." Wade started to say. "I mean, here's our stop, *girls*. Let's go." The car slowed down, and Wade hopped off. Quinn and Rembrandt hesitated slightly, then exited the car as well.
"Don't know why they call these darn things flats..they're as hard to walk in as high heels! I almost fell back there on the car, " Rembrandt grumbled.
"And how would you know what it's like to walk in high heels?" Quinn asked, grinning at his friend.
"Hey--that was her idea! I was totally against it.. " Rembrandt said in protest.
"Shhh! Keep it down!" Wade said, as they entered the hotel, under the watchful eyes of the desk clerk. The three friends managed to get upstairs to their room without further incident. Once they were safely inside the room, all three friends breathed a collective sigh of relief.
"Whew! I can't wait to get out of this dress! And these shoes are killing me!" Rembrandt said, kicking off his shoes and flopping down on the bed. "A nice hot shower is just what the Cryin' Man needs! Then a nice long nap. Three early morning slides in a row..it messes my internal clock all up!"
"I think there's a pizza place a couple of blocks down. I'll run down there and see about getting us something to eat. Meanwhile, you guys just *try* and keep a low profile," Wade said. She left the two men to argue over first shower rights.
Wade returned 15 minutes later, a bag of burgers and fries in hand. Before she opened the door, she took a quick look around the hallway, making sure there were no passerbys who might happen to catch a glimpse of the room's other occupants. The coast was clear, so she opened the door halfway and slipped into the room.
"What happened to the pizza?" Quinn asked. He was sitting at a small table next to the window, his hair wet and a towel wrapped around his waist.
"It was too crowded. I didn't feel like waiting an hour for a pizza," Wade said as she tossed the bag down on the table. "Where's Remmie? In the shower?" she asked. Before Quinn could answer her, they were both greeted by the chorus of "Cry Like a Man" drifting from the bathroom. "Quinn, go tell him to keep it down!" Wade hissed softly. "The last thing we need is someone hearing him sing!"
Quinn nodded and crossed the room to the bathroom. He stuck his head inside the door and was greeted by a burst of hot steam. "Remmie! Keep it down--someone will hear you," he said trying to keep his own voice down while at the same time trying to be heard over the sound of running water. "And save some hot water for Wade--she might want to take a shower too, you know!" There was no answer, but the singing stopped.
"You want something to eat?" Wade asked him, taking the food out of the bag. As she did so, she yawned. "I think I'm gonna take a nap. All of a sudden I'm really tired--I guess I've been to busy running around to realize it."
"I'll eat later," Quinn answered. "Right now, I think I just want to sack out for a while myself. But you might as well leave it out for Remmie."
"Well," Wade said, "I was only able to get one room, and only one cot. So we'll have to draw straws to see who gets the floor, I guess."
"Nah. Take the bed," Quinn said. "Remmie can have the cot, I'll sleep on the floor."
Wade smiled at him. That was the Quinn she knew and loved. He'd sooner sleep on the floor than let her risk being the one who got a night filled with uncomfortable slumber. Slowly, bit by bit, the old Quinn was coming back to them. The Quinn they'd known before Arturo's passing.
Wade looked closely at Quinn and noticed the exhaustion in his eyes for the first time all day. She felt guilty about taking the bed--she knew he hadn't been sleeping well ever since they'd lost Arturo and Maggie. She was tired too, but he certainly was in need of rest more than she.
"Tell ya what. I'll make you a deal ," she said, as she reached into the remaining shopping bag and pulling out the sweats and T-shirt she'd gotten for Quinn. "We'll share it." She tossed the sweats at Quinn. "Just don't try any funny business," she said to him with a grin.
He smiled back at her. "OK, but the same goes for you. Now turn around--I need to change. And no," he said as Wade opened her mouth to say something, "You can't peek!"
Wade giggled and turned away from Quinn. She heard him shuffling around as he pulled the sweats on, then saw the towel go flying into the corner as Quinn rid himself of it. "Do they fit OK?" she asked. "I wasn't sure about your size.." She heard the bed creak as Quinn sank onto it with a soft groan. She turned to find Quinn stretched out on his back, lying on top of the covers.
"Yeah. Thanks for remembering--I don't think I'd want to sleep in those muddy clothes," Quinn answered, stifling a yawn. "Remmie's right--all these early morning slides are wearing me out."
Wade took off her shoes and climbed under the covers. As she did so, she felt something poking her in the side. It was Quinn's wallet. "Oh, here..before I forget," she said, tossing the wallet onto Quinn's chest. As she did so, the picture of the unidentified woman came flying out of the wallet. It fluttered in the air before landing on the floor near Wade's side of the bed. Wade got out of bed and retrieved the photo.
"Who is she?" Wade asked as she handed the photo to Quinn. As he took it and placed it back in his wallet, she noticed a flash of something across his face. Not quite regret, she decided. But she couldn't figure it out. "Is it a relative of yours?" she asked, hopping to prod Quinn into talking.
"No. She's just someone I know," Quinn said, rolling over onto his side, away from Wade. He didn't want to discuss it with her, yet at the same time he did. He'd never told anyone about the woman, or what he'd done the last time he was on this earth. He'd wanted to tell Wade a million times, but he wasn't sure how she'd react or what she'd think about him. It was better left unsaid.
Wade knew that tone of Quinn's voice. It meant he was clamming up. She'd gotten to know it well since Arturo's death. Before then, she and Quinn shared everything. Almost. She'd always gotten the feeling that there were one or two things he'd been hiding--especially since the last time they had landed on this world. She hadn't pushed him, figuring it was either her imagination, or, if it wasn't, Quinn would tell her eventually. Then, after Arturo's death, Quinn had made a habit of withdrawing into himself, and they hadn't shared *anything*. That was when Wade had gotten to know the tone of voice Quinn was using now. The tone that said "Drop it." Wade sighed. Not pushing still seemed like the best course of action. She settled into bed, turning her back to Quinn. Soon, as she listened to the steady rhythm of Quinn's breathing, she grew drowsy and fell asleep.
Quinn was exhausted, but he couldn't sleep. Seeing the picture had brought it all back to him. Not that he hadn't thought about it every day since then. But with all the concern and confusion over landing back on this world, he hadn't had time to dwell on it. Now, here in the safety of the hotel, he began to dwell on it--and once he'd started, he couldn't stop.
Quinn knew what he had to do. It was dangerous. He knew that. He also knew he was risking his friends--something that he did not want to do. But he would have to. He had to find Jane Hill......and his child.