Flynn went home that day feeling as if he were on cloud nine. He and Chester had stayed in the coffee shop talking for hours, discussing just about anything that came to mind. The blond was so easy-going; so easy to talk to. Flynn had found himself bringing up things he never dreamed he'd tell another person: how lonely his childhood was, how he felt he didn't live up to his father's expectations, how he hoped college would make him more of what his parents wanted.

Chester had listened patiently, sometimes adding in his own similar stories or bits of advice. No one at home ever did things like that; they were too busy with their own business. It had been a welcome change.

He was in such a good mood, Flynn didn't even care that his mother and Miki were in the kitchen with Tori and Honey when he returned home. Normally, his mother drove him crazy; Fern was not an easy person to get along with, nor was he an easy person to please. And Miki…well, she was just as strange as her parents. And sometimes, Flynn couldn't help feeling as if Miki was there to make up for his failures. She was the exact opposite kind of child from him.

"Hi Firefly!" His little brother was kneeling on a kitchen chair, crayon in hand as he worked on some sort of project. Honey, with his sandy hair and bright eyes, was the golden child. So funny; so adorable. Every one loved him the most and Flynn didn't begrudge him that. He loved the child the most as well, after all. "How was school?" The child wasn't old enough to attend school yet (and probably likely wouldn't, due to their father's paranoia) and he was incredibly jealous of his big brother.

Flynn smiled. From the time he'd been able to talk, Honey had always called him something other than his name. For a long time, he'd simply been "Fly," the first three letters of his name. Later that had somehow morphed to Firefly, and the nickname had stuck. Honey never called him by name and Tori rarely did as well.

"School was okay." Flynn replied as he helped himself to one of the cookies he'd baked the day before and sat down at the table with the children.

Miki gave him a cool look, her granite-grey eyes fixed on his face as if she were trying to discern whether or not he was telling the truth. At age five, she was a serious, solemn child who saw the world in black and white and did whatever her parents wished of her. Flynn wondered -and wondered often- how the two of them could have come from the same person. They were nothing alike.

He gave her a smile in return, about to say something else, when his mother spoke up.

"You didn't have any trouble with them did you?" Fern demanded, his own dark gaze turned towards his son. He was one of the most paranoid members of the Organization, but he was also the most dedicated member of the team. If the faction fell apart, he would have nothing.

"Mother…" Flynn sighed, nibbling on the cookie, "No one bothered me. I even made a friend." As soon as the words were out of his mouth, he regretted them. There was no way Fern would let him rest until he knew every detail there was to know about Chester, because of course he could be a spy! In Fern's eyes, the blond would have been sent to befriend Flynn and lure him into a false sense of security, so he could destroy him later.

"What kind of friend?" And it began, Fern rounding on the young man and bombarding him with questions, "What did you do? How could you possibly know if they are trustworthy? Every one is potentially part of the Task Force, Flynn! Why weren't you more cautious?"

"Mother!" Flynn pushed back his chair, unmindful of Honey's wide-eyed stare and Tori's sudden hovering around the little boy as if one of them would explode and hurt every one in the room, "Nothing happened! We just had coffee, that is all!" He scowled, scooping up his book bag and storming from the room.

Reaching his room, he slammed the door shut and dumped his bag in the armchair near the window. This was what always happened when he interacted with people from outside the Organization. Either his mother was too over-cautious, or his father was or, -worse yet- both of them. This was why he'd never had any friends and this was why he'd been in a crappy relationship with Dragon without knowing just how crappy it was.

And Chester…There was no way he was part of the Task Force. He was too nice! And even if he was, Flynn didn't care. Chester had treated him kindly, with the kind of respect that was difficult to fake. If he was part of the Task Force, he was part of the Task Force. But he was also some one who had seemed genuinely interested in what Flynn had to say and people like that were rare.

Besides…Flynn didn't totally understand everything about the rival factions. There hadn't been much activity between the two groups since he was a very small child and none of the things they fought over seemed very important to him. Who cared about haves and have-nots and petty squabbles from decades ago? In Flynn's opinion, the past should stay in the past and they should all move on.

Sighing, he flopped down on his bed, staring up at the ceiling. His good mood had almost completely evaporated. The only thing that kept him from falling into a sullen sulk was the knowledge that he and Chester had made plans to meet again the next day.