No Half Measures by Ithildin
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Author's Notes:
Another ficlet, this one a vignette between Methos and Lucia. This is the first time I've written Lucia as a grownup, and at some point, I have stories planned that fill in the situation in this story.

As always, thanks for reading!

No Half Measures

"Do you want to tell me about it?"

Briefly, her hand paused as she stroked the horse's neck. "What makes you think I have something to tell?"

Methos chuckled. "Because you are your mother's daughter, poppet." He tweaked one jaw length red curl. "This is where she always ends up when she's troubled."

"I need to get to my ship," she replied instead, avoiding his question.

'There's time." His tone suggested she look for another excuse.

Lucia turned to face her father, leaning against the stall door. "Remember when I was five, you told me that whenever grownups confused me, I could come to you?"

"I remember."

"What about when you're a grownup and you confuse yourself?"

"I'm always here for you, Cia." He put a finger under her chin, tilting her head up and looking at her gravely. 'Your mother loves you, you know that."

"I know she does, daddy. But I've disappointed her - again. It's like a never-ending list: Choosing Starfleet over the Imladrin Spacefleet, my penchant for unsuitable men, and now leaving the twins here."

Shaking his head, he stroked her hair. "You have never been a disappointment to your mother. No, now you need to listen to me, Lucia," he said firmly. "The day you graduated from Starfleet Academy at the top of your class was the proudest day of her life. Yes, she'd hoped that you would choose to stay at home, but she understands why you chose as you did."

"And the children? Can you honestly tell me that Mummy isn't angry with me for choosing my career over raising my children?" She slammed her fist back against the stall, making the horse shy back.

"Is it your mother who's angry with you, or are you the one who's angry with yourself?" Methos asked his daughter calmly.

Clutching her arms around herself, Lucia hung her head. "Isn't it better for them to be raised here by you and mummy and papa, than to be dragged from Starbase to Starship to Starship and back again? I'm a command officer; I'm on the fast track to captain my own ship. What kind of life is that for Nora and Robert?"

"That, my dearest daughter, is only a question you can answer. And you've made your decision. What have I always told you?"

Nodding, she replied, "Once the choice is made, no half measures, no doubt."

"Then go and live your choice. No half measures. Just remember that we love you, no matter where your path leads."

Lucia threw herself into her father's arms. "I love you, daddy."

"And I love you, poppet."

Smiling through her tears, she replied, "That's Lt. Commander Poppet!"

"How could I forget?" Amused, he kissed her forehead. "Now go tell your mother you love her and get to your ship... Commander."

"Aye, sir!" Kissing her father on the check, the young woman raced from the stable.

Methos watched her run up the path, remembering the first time she'd run into his arms. It seemed like only yesterday. Now she was always moving away. As it should be, he reminded himself. As it should be.