The clipping from ‘The NEWScrest’ was kept as a reminder. Leo was often found looking at it, reassuring himself that she was unable to reach him. He liked to pretend that he hadn’t been affected by the events of that evening, but he could only keep it up so long.
To think that he’d admired her at his parents’ wedding. He’d wanted to impress her – she had seemed so cool. It turns out that she was just cold. Maybe that was why she liked fire so much.
Leo knew that his behaviour wasn’t always the best, and that his anger often got the better of him, but he knew now that he never wanted to turn into someone like her.
“Lor! Lor! The Sixans have invaded!”
“Wow, that’s a bit harsh. I do work here, you know?” Lor laughed as the now heavily pregnant Margarita rushed over to him, waving her arms around.
“Not you, silly. The other Sixans…”
Lor looked around, puzzled. “All I see are some tourists.”
“Lor. You sweet, daft man. Some of the tourists are Sixans, we just don’t know which.”
This was new. “You want me to be some sort of alien tracker?”
“Well, yeah. I want to swap recipes with them, none of the food I can make is helping with my cravings.”
“Well, in that case how can I refuse?”
There’s one surefire way to tell if someone is Sixan, Lor thought to himself as he approached the first tourist. The handshake.
“Ow! What did you do that for?”
The woman looked at him for a moment and then burst into laughter. “Sorry, I wasn’t thinking. I saw the uniform, realised you knew about me and panicked.”
“Don’t worry about it. Just… please don’t do it again. I need my brain cells.”
“Noted. I’m Jillian, by the way.”
“Jillian? You probably don’t want to touch that – it might electrocute you.”
“But I want to try some of that synthetic food that I’ve heard about.”
“That’s the wrong machine. If I make you some, will you stop pressing those buttons?”
“Hey, who’s the pretty redhead in the lab coat?” Rainn whispered to Lor, subtly pointing behind him. He turned to see Eliza walking past, her arms full of clean test tubes and beakers.
“That’s Dr Morrow.”
Rainn watched her, smiling shyly when she caught the other woman’s eye.
Leo looked up, shame written all over his face. He’d lost his temper again.
“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to” he whispered. He hoped that his papa would hear the honesty in those words.
Lor sighed. “I know, Leo. Keep trying.”
Lor was running out of ideas. His son was too young for meditation or yoga, there weren’t any punching bags available that were the right size and swimming just didn’t seem to be working. He’d keep trying, though. There had to be something out there that would help.
It wouldn’t be as bad, if it weren’t for the fact that Leo was terrified of becoming evil. Every time he got angry he panicked, which just made his adrenaline spike even more. Ciara had a lot to answer for.
The doorbell rang, interrupting his train of thought. Malik answered it, returnign soon after with a bemused look on his face and a small girl trailing behind him. “Lor? You have a visitor.”
He turned to see a young girl with a tiara on her head and a bag full of crystals in her hands.
“Mum said you forgot these at work.” she said, walking into the kitchen and placing the bag on the floor. “She said you’d forget your head if it wasn’t screwed on. Are you a robot?”
Lor turned, and the girl eyes widened before a grin split her face. “You’re an alien! Even better! Can you do the hand thing?”
“The hand thing?”
The girl tried to position her fingers to form an overly complicated symbol. “You know, like Ms Spork from Space Adventures!”
Lor smiled back and mimicked the symbol. All that time practising when he had been a child had paid off. Malik coughed discreetly from the background. It sounded suspiciously like the word ‘nerd’. He turned to face his husband. “Don’t you start that. I get enough of that from my mum.”
It was true. Every now and then he would hear her ghostly voice echoing through the halls. Why she couldn’t just say ‘wooooooooo~’ like a normal ghost was beyond him.
Malik held his hands up, the smirk on his face completely ruining the effect of innocence.
“Don’t worry,” the girl said, drawing his attention back to her, “I know Space Adventures isn’t real. Mum’s the one that thinks it is.”
Ah. Now he knew who she was. “Well, Miss Vaughan, thank you for bringing over the crystals. Would you like to stay for some food?”
“Yes, please. Should I get the girl from the pavement, too?”
“The one doing homework by the road. She’s an alien.”
“Don’t worry about that. I’ll get her when the food’s ready.”
“Hi. I’m Yaritza.”
Altair swallowed his mouthful of bread before answering. “I’m Altair. You’re in my maths class, aren’t you?”
“Yuh-huh. I didn’t know you lived with aliens, though! Lucky! Were you adopted?”
Altair shook his head. Yaritza looked at him speculatively before turning back to her bread, and he breathed a sigh of relief. It was a good thing he hadn’t had a chance to take of his disguise before she arrived.
The rest of the meal passed smoothly, and by the end of it the young girl looked completely comfortable. She had felt a little out of place at first, but they were just so… friendly. She even stayed for story time.
Malik walked her home afterwards. He was the only one who could leave Newcrest freely, though he rarely had reason to anymore.Why would he go where his husband and children wouldn’t be safe?
Lor was meditating outside, waiting for him to return. He opened his eyes and smiled up at him, before drawing Malik’s head down and kissing him.
“Any problems getting her home?”
“None at all. She actually lives near where I grew up. I’m tired, though. I might go to bed. Want to join me?”
Lor grinned, standing up. “Definitely. It’s cold out here.”
“Well, that’s what you get for wearing such a ridiculous shirt.”
Lor loved being married.
Author’s note: The judge in the article was speaking Klingon – he says that his hovercraft is full of eels. This has nothing to do with the verdict. I don’t think he was taking the reporter very seriously *shakes head*.