Just like they had talked about, they took a trip to the Museum that was pretty close to the city center.
“So you throw a coin in, and make a wish?” “That is what the curator said, it’s an age old tradition.“ “What did you wish for?” “Can’t say, they told me that if you told someone, it wouldn’t happen.“
“Hmh.. “ “What?“ “I almost thought that plate there could be what we have been looking for, but it isn’t.”
“Ehm Derek?” “Yeah?” “Come over here a bit.”
“Do you think?“ “I think it’s a very good… map.”
He hadn’t noticed it before, but the half broken disc looked a whole lot like the artifact they were after. Just bigger, and it seemed to have directions.
“You think they would let us borrow that?“ “Nope… I think it would break, but we can scan it.”
They found the curator of the museumb, both to deliver what they had found, and to ask permission to scan the plate they had found.
“You know, I’ll actually miss this place when we are done.“ “Nothing says we can’t go back for a holdiay at some point?” “You have holidays?“ “Not normally, but I can if I want to.”
“So in three hundred and something years, you never had a holiday?“ “Does weekend barbequeues count?” “Really?“ “Yeah, John’s family love to do them.” “I guess they count.” “Nice, I’ll drag you along for one, you’ll love his wife.” “I will?“ “Yep, she is a foodie, just like you. And the ribs she makes, they are to die for.”
“Come on, time to head to the airport.” “You get Ollie, I’ll get the luggage.“
He had gotten one of those archeology tables to have at home. That way they could get more of the thing they found checked and ready for their return.
Ollie seemned to enjoy being home, checking that his house was like it should be, and of course that his two humans were safe and sund. He also seemed fairly facinated whenever Derek was checking artifacts.
“Hmh.. I thought fallig asleep on the sofa was my thing.”
He didn’t get a response at all from Toshi when he tried to talk to him, so he decided to just carry him up to bed.
“This is becoming a little bit of a habit isn’t it?”
The next few passaged went okay, no mistakes and no more arrows hitting either off them. Toshi on the other hand noticed a skeleton statue that reminded him of the four in the previous temple, but there was just one.
“I am honestly not sure if thats more or less scary than four off them.“ “Odd isn’t it?”
He had pulled the lever on Dereks command, as they had come across another thing they needed to be two to actually handle.
And while Derek was standing on a pad on the flor, he had to make another of the faces laugh.
“How does anyone try to do this alone.“ “No idea.. maybe they come here and then give up when they understand they can’t do it alone?” “It is a possibility. Let’s just hope we don’t need to be three.“
As they finnished the the puzzle, they noticed the doors to what had to be the last room open before them.
“Let’s see then?”
“These walls are still facinating.” “Agreed… but shouldn’t we look inside?“ “I guess so, thats why we are here after all.”
“Is it?“ “Nope, its a very nice knife, but not the plate.”
They shouldn’t really be happy about it, but they both kinda were. It meant the museum got another new artifact to show off, and they got to go home and back again for another reset.
“So now what?“ “Well, we go back and see what Ollie is up to, then I guess we go home, wait a week and try again.” “Sounds like a plan.“
They fairly easily made their way back to town, and much like Derek had said, his body seemed to be able to get rid of the poison on it’s own. He also seemed less tired than he had before, but Toshi had to wonder if it was because off all the sleeping he had done before they left.
When they returned to the house, Ollie was there to greet them, Derek giving him some extra attention while Toshi made him a special treat inbetween making them something to eat as well.
“So.. what have you been up to while we were away?” “Mrow.”
He smiled, petting Ollie on the head, before letting him run over to Toshi who was almost done with his special treet, and he was pretty sure no one could keep Ollie away from that.
“So we head home tomorrow?“ “Yeah, should we actually take a look at that museum before we go?” “Sure, they mentioned they had our frog in exibition.“
“But what is actually on your mind?“
It was quite cute to see Toshi blush and pull a bit back. He had a fair idea of what was on his mind, but he had decided not to push on that until Toshi felt comfortable enough to take them there. He might be wrong, but he had a hunch that it might be the first time for one of them.
“Do you think the jungle will change again?“ “Possibly, only one way to find out?” “True“
It really wasn’t what was on his mind, but he just wasn’t quite ready for it. He knew what he wanted, but in the back of his mind there was still so many questions, so many hesitations, and more questions.
After a while sitting outside they moves back innside, putting on a silly movie for the evening. Not that either of them were awake by the time the movie ended. Derek though woke up as the tv went quiet, carrying a sleeping Toshi up to their bed instead.
It was still a llittle odd for him to feel this way about someone again. It had been over three hundred years since the last time, and even though he knew it shouldn’t make him feel bad, it still did. He noticed Toshi move a bit, showing away the thoughts that were clouding his mind, enjoying the here and now instead.
“We really are spoiling them lately, aren’t we?” “Well I see no reason not to, they have so much to worry about that some of these good days, they will do them no harm.” “Right and this has nothing to do with you feeling bad for barely being home for a while right?”
Carl looked over at his wife with a bit of a silly smirk on his face. He and Liam had both worked a lot, and just the last few weeks they had put in extra hours in hopes of solving a case. They had also had the idea that not both of them needed to work at the same time, and that way, their families could take more trips together.
“Ehm.. excuse me, but could you help me with something?”
Marjorie nodded, and left the table walking towards a man that seemed to hold a small pamphlet in his hand.
“So, are you any closer?” “We think so.”
“Ey.. what..” “Shh, don’t make this worse than it needs to be.” “Hey boss.. there are two of them.” “Added bonus, take them both.”
Madison and Carl had been so busy talking they hadn’t noticed what was happening until their talked was interrupted by an unfamiliar voice.
“You two, you come with me.”
Carl immediately jumped to his feet when he saw the man with his arm around his wife, but was stopped by the wave of a gun that was then put back towards his wife’s head.
“I’d do as he says if I were you.” “You get your hands off her, or I will.” “Or you will what.. you must know how this goes by now?”
Carls arm’s fell to his side. He had worked on this case for years now with Liam, and now, due to them failing to figure it out, he knew exactly what would come next.
The shot sang through the air, and all Madison could see was her best friend slump to the ground, before she was forced around by the man that had ordered it to happen.
“Carl, do something?!”
Carl walked in front of her, so she couldn’t see his face. The complete lack of reaction had her guess he was in shock, something that worried her.
“Carl?” “Don’t bother, he is like most in shock. Makes them fairly complient to orders.”
The man had tied her hands behind her back with a string of some sort, the grip on her arm telling her this was a robot and not a human.
“Good, now let’s go.” “Why.. why did you have to kill her.” “Because I have too, bosses orders.” “Really, you have no will of your own?” “I do… but she has something of mine.”
“Liam will find you, and he will kill you and your boss.. whoever that is.” “Good..” “You’ll reg… what?”
She turned her head to look at the person behind her, and noticed someone looking both sad and tired. Behind him, she noticed the body of her friend lying alone on the ground.
“You can blame your husband, and your friend here.. I left clue’s but they never caught on..”
At the same time at the police station:
“Say Liam.. do you have a minute?“ “Sure Fred?” “Well.. you let me have a look at the files, and well…“ “And?”
Fred walked over to him, motioning to the screen to show him what he had discovered.
“At first I thought it was just some random thing, but then I noticed that in every picture of the down right corner of the crime scene, there was this one little piece that was out of place. “
He motioned to a tiny little piece that was on every single picture that had been taken of a certain place in every crime scene. Liam quickly getting up all the images and the small pieces from every single one of them. How could they have been so blind to it?
“So… can we get them all together? Or am I way off.” “I think they match.. it will just take a little time, like a puzzle, all we need to do is get the first few pieces matched, and it will go from there.”
“There…” “I can’t believe it.. why would someone pretty much tell you where they were?“ “Unless.. they wanted to be found?” “That doesn’t make any sense?“ “Maybe they are forced into doing it, and their only hope has been that we see the clues.”
He shook his head. He felt like a complete fool. How could they not have noticed. It had been in their face for so long.
“I only think I noticed, because I randomly put two of the images next to eachother.. and I saw the small out of place piece in both.“
“I just can’t believe we missed this, our boss is going to wonder where our heads were.” “How long?“ “A few minutes, and I should have it analyzed and then we know.” “Then what.” “We end this.”
Fred watched as Liam put together piece after piece in a pace that he was pretty sure no one could match. Much like he had said, it only took him a few minutes, and then they had the answer they had been looking for, for so long.
“You have got to be kidding me..” “You know that house?” “Yes.. “ “I don’t… fill me in?“ “That would be the house of Markus.. and his wife North.” “Oh…shit..“
“Weird.. I thought we were meeting here.. Mom? Dad? Madison?”
They woke up the next morning to the unmistakble sound of heavy rain hitting their tent. But after just listeing a while, they came to the conclusion it was just rain and no thunder anymore.
“So?” “What?” “Why all the way out here, weren’t we supposed to try and find a temple.” “I was honestly thinking of taking a bath here first.” “In the rain?” “Yep, they said that it was good luck to swim here.” “Hmh, I guess we might just need that.”
“I give, I give!”
Although he tried, he was no match against Toshi’s water splashing skills. Part of him would just like to stay here for a while longer, but he knew it was not much of an option.
“So.. since we found this place, I guess it means a new temple too.“ “We can hope so.”
“Okay.. back to finding this temple, get a roof over our heads.”
A couple of round of vines later, and they had found what they looked for. Neither of them could actually tell if it was the same one or a new one, but with another thunderstorm approaching, they were both just happy to have some shelter.
“I think we can safely say, it’s not the same temple.” “Yep..“ “So, time to get to work then, for me that is.” “Careful though, this one feel.. more creepy?“
I’ll be carefull.. and you stop looking at me like that mr creepyface..”
He had to admit that the temple felt different than the first one somehow. Darker, more looming, although it might be helped by the thunderstorm raging outside.
He realized his mistake the instant the eyes started to glow red, the dart hitting his neck secounds later just confirmed his suspicion.
“We still have those antiodes right?” “Yep?“ “Good, I want to see my theory is right first though.” “Eh.. say what?“ “I should be imune.” “And if you aren’t?” “Then I’ll take the antidote, don’t worry.”
“Ah, much better.”
Toshi just looked as green circles started to form on Derek’s skin, mostly wanting to tell him to just dammed drink the antidote already. But he understood where he was coming from. Why waste one on him, if he was as he thought imune.
They made their way deeper into the temple, they noticed more and more differences from the first to the secound temple. This seemed smaller, with less of a labyrinth feeling.
At first what awaited them seemed to be exactly the same as last time they were there. Vines, more vines, and even more vines.
“Hmh… this does look familiar.. I think?“ “Hard to say, perhaps not everything changes?” “Maybe.“
As he was on his third set of whines he noticed someting drop from them, hoping that it wasn’t another scorpion. Even if they had antidote with them, he would rather not be stung again.
“Just skitter off, just like you did with Derek.“
The spider sat there for a little while, before it finally skittered off and Toshi took a deep breath. At least it was a better start than the last time something landed on him
“Hmh.. this is the same too..“ “Yeah, but why would the vines be back, if nothing had changed?” “Maybe they grow really quickly?“ “We have been away for a week, not months.” “True, and I guess people would have said so if they grew that fast.“
They reached about the middle of the bridge when the looming grey skies about started to make their presense known with rain.
“Why did you stop?“ “I wanted to check something.” “What?”
Just as he was about to make his move though a deep rumble could be heard followed by a flash pretty close by.
“I guess I’ll have to tell you what later, standing out here seems like a really bad idea in this weather.”
He pushed Toshi ahead off him wanting to get off the bridge they were standing on before the storm came directly above them. Toshi on the other hand decided to finnish what he thought Derek was up to before walking off.
They looked on the other side for anywhere good to try to make camp, but being out in the open, they decided to hope they found somewhere better after a some more vines.
“Seriously… that is so dammed creepy.“
It was another one of those portal where he just felt like he was engulfed in light when he stepped through it.
It was a completely new place that they stepped into after that, and they both decided that the weather meant they made camp there.
“I think this might be the Omiscan Bath’s that I read about.” “Probably, hopefully the weather lightens up a bit again so we can check it out.” “I think it might rain a lot.. it’s summer now.“ “Rain is fine, thunder is a bit more eh.”
“So?” “What?” “Why is dad grinning like that?” “Oh.. he might have to tell you that himself.”
Luna turned her head towards her father, who still sat there with what she could only call a silly grin.
“Dad?” “Well.. me and Carl have planned for a day out tomorrow.” “Okay?” “Yep, visit where we used to live when your mom was little, and then to a small cafe that I wanted to show you all.”
“Did dad tell you his master plan?” “Yep.” “I wonder about that cafe the most.. he seemed.. so happy about it.” “I think I know why.” “Really?” “Yeah, it’s one of very few that has been in use since before it all happened.” “Oh..”
The next day they got up early, and took the boat out to the island their mom had grown up on. Much to their dismay though, there was no pet ghosts that day, even though their mother swore she had seen them. After a grand tour of the island, and their old underground home, they headed for the cafe.
“Oh my god!”
It was the cutest little house Luna had ever seen, lights streaming out the window, and the unmistakable smell of coffee and baked goods could made it’s way to their noses every time the door opened when people came or left.
“It’s so busy.” “It’s a popular place.” “I can smell why!”
“It’s so strange to think this was here, all those years ago.. I wonder if it was exactly the same?” “From what Liam and the owner told me, it has basically always been like this, it has been renovated and kept in shape, but the recipes and the look is the same.” “It’s…” “Cozy sis, that’s he word you are looking for.”
She chuckled, before heading over to buy some of the goodies she had seen behind the counter.
“This was a good idea honey.” “I thought you might enjoy it, and the kids would too.” “mm.” “Speaking of kids.. where did our son go?” “You really need to ask that?”
She chuckled and pointed to one of the windows where you could see the shadow of two familiar figured sitting together on the bench outside.
“Having a good time?” “Yes! It’s amazing to see something, I don’t know, almost like a living relic?” “Yeah, I thought so too the first time we were here.”
She looked a little surprised at him, she had somehow thought that this was his first time here too.
“My parents took me here a couple of times when I was just a kid. They wanted me to have a taste of “the good old days.””
“Maybe we can go here together one day, just the two off us?” “Maybe, as soon as our parents solve their case.” “Deal.”
“Look at them.” “I prefer looking at you.” “Oh come on, you know their cute.” “I still prefer looking at you.” “You charmer you.”
Marjorie smiled at her husband. She still remembered when they had met, and how careful he had been. So afraid to say the wrong thing, or step over some kinda boundary.
“You were always a softy romantic deep down.” “You never complained about it.” “And I never will.”
Being a companion android had always been hard. First it was hard when you were nothing but a piece of plastic for humans to have their way with, then it was hard because your own kind looked down at you, and then in the end it had been hard because of the expectations everyone around you seemed to have. Carl had been the first one to change that in her life, and for that he had won hear heart completely.
“You my dear sir, is a hopeless romantic.” “Yep, and it would see our son has some of my skills.” “One can hope.”
“Now.. how about we had back innside.” “Already?” “Well.. I did order cake and coffee just before you asked me out here.”
She couldn’t help but chuckle. He had a sweet-tooth her husband, and complete to addiction to coffee, so she couldn’t really blame him.
“Well mustn’t let your baked goods wait.” “Our baked goods, I ordered one for you too.”
“So how about you?” “What about me Uncle?” “Anyone in your life?” “Nah, not yet at least.”
Istuki smiled, both Liam’s kids had started calling them aunt and uncle a while back, and neither of them had protested, in many ways they did feel like and uncle and an aunt to the kids.
“Well, how about another cup of coffee instead of love life talk.” “Sound perfect to me.”
“Okay, I think it’s time we all head home.”
They had noticed how there were fewer people than before, and the lady who owned the shop had told them she would be closing soon.
“Mom?” “He can join us if he wants.” “Cool!”
Madison just smiled, she was mostly just happy to see her daughter to happy with someone. That Ben was good for her and her worrying there was no doubt about.
“So you are completely fine with me dating your sister still?” “Yep, why would I not be?” “I seem to remember something about killing me?” “That was if you hurt her.”
Although Ben was a little older than the twins, him and Hank would easily have gone as being the same age, specially with the way they all interacted with each other.
“I see you take after your mother.” “Mmm, and I wanted to give them some time to talk.” “Who?” “My brother and Ben.”
Madison smiled listening to her daughter play the piano. As she stood there, she realized this had pretty much been the perfect day.
A couple of days later they found themselves back in Selvadorada and in the same house as last. The military had rented it for them until they were done, so it became a little like a home away from home for them.
“It’s quite nice here really.” “Yeah.. I guess.” “What?” “I’m still not sure you should have come.”
“You worry to much, I promised you I wouldn’t go if I didn’t think I could handle it.” “Would the doctor have agreed?“ “Probably not, but she is a doctor, she isn’t supposed to agree with it.” “You are really stubborn you know that.” “It has been mentioned before yes.”
“I also noticed you were tired just from the flight.” “Flights are slow and uncomfortable, anyone would be tired.” “Well we have the evening to relax, then restocking tomorrow before we head out.” “See, nothing to worry about, plenty of time to rest in between.”
“Derek?“ “Mm?” “Go to bed.“ “Why?” “Because it looks like it’s about to rain, and I’d rather not sit here with you then.“
He knew Toshi was right, and besides, he could only imagine how boring it would be for him to sit out here with him asleep. So with a bit of a sigh, he pulled himself back up, and headed innside the house.
Toshi watched the two sleeping from the kitchen. He figured he’s see if he could make something they could easily heat up while they were out and about in the jungle. He had to agree with Derek that military rations were really quite horrible.
“What are you making?” “Hopefully something better than military rations.” “So you agree with me then.” “Yes.. I thought you were asleep.” “Your food could wake the dead, didn’t you know?” “So I take it you would like to test our rations?“ “Yep!”
Derek stretched, waking a protesting Ollie from his sleep. He clearly did not agree on Derek’s plan to get up and curled up in the sofa as soon as Derek put him there.
“I guess my food can wake the dead, but not a sleepy cat.” “He know’s it’s not for him, if you made that fancy cat food, he’d be there in a heartbeat.”
The next day he just sped away in getting things they knew they needed, there hadn’t been much of the antidote they had gotten, but they had a couple of vials. They had promised to try and bring back what was needed to make more if they could find it. After packing their bags and Toshi making some more food that he hoped would work as their rations.
“What’s on your mind?” “The jungle actually, do you think it has changed?“ “Honestly, I hope so, if not, we get sent back, and I get forced back to base.”
He hadn’t quite thought about that, and he had to admit he hoped this jungle was as magical as the local seemed to think.
Eventually they were both asleep, the only sounds in the house was Ollie heading out to hunt the local wildlife.
The day after, they left Selvadorada after stopping by the local museum to hand over the things they had found. The curator was so happy he almost started crying.
“You really moved it just as it was.” “Yep.“ “At least it makes it easy to find stuff.”
The following days were pretty much Derek sleeping for over ninety percent of the day. Toshi wondering just how much he had been pushing himself on their jungle adventure, and if he should really let him come with him in a weeks time.
He had called John secretly and asked if there was something he could do to help get him better, but the only thing the doctors there had as their suggestion was to let him rest and sleep as much as he needed too.
“Talk about a turn around from last time..” “hmmm?” “Nothing, just sleep.“
Often they simply ended up both being asleep. Toshi not sure if it was that he could feel what Derek was, or perhaps it was because watching tv series was only that much fun. Even studying those weird scars wasn’t enough to keep him awake.
“You are allowed to do other things than lie here with me.” “I know, I just feel like it.“ “Aren’t you bored of it by now?” “I’m running out of tv show’s mostly.“
He wasn’t sure if he knew it or not, but sometimes when Derek was sleeping he had nightmares, mumbling in language Toshi didn’t understand, but he did understand the fear in Derek’s voice.
It had been a particularly rough night for sleep, as it would seem Derek was haunted by nightmare after nightmare followed by more nightmares.
“I think maybe you need to go back, get checked by the doctor you left..“ “mmmmm….”
It wasn’t a coherent answer, but the instant hold on his shoulder told him that he didn’t want to.
“Okay then, we’ll just call and ask if they know something that can help.”
It was hard not to worry, it was even harder not to just pick up the phone and call them and ask them to come get him. But he clearly didn’t want to go, so he just made a note to call and ask their opinion.
“How on earth did you manage the jungle.. that’s what I wonder.”
“You awake?“ “Mm, why?” “Akari asked if we wanted to come over, I told her I would ask.“ “She isn’t going to murder me right?” “No, she might have harsh words though.“ “I think I can handle that.”
“Stop looking at me like that! I promised Toshi I would behave.” “You still look like you might pounce at anytime though…”
Akari chuckled. She had been quite angry with him when he went missing for so long, but Toshi had told her some of it, and the scars told her the rest.
“Nah, I promise.”
“So when are you going back?” “In a couple of days, see if the rumors are true.” “Are you okay with that though, Toshi mentioned you seemed tired.”
Even she noticed that he seemed tired, not only by the fact that she was winning their chess game, but in general, he seemed sluggish somehow.
“You are sure it’s okay for you both to head out, well mostly him really.” “He says so, I kinda have to trust that he is right about it.“
Amane was a little bit worried for them traveling, but Toshi had promised to call Derek’s and his boss one last time and ask if they should postpone a bit or if they should go. He had updated them on how Derek seemed to be feeling, so it was about all he could do.
“We’ll just make sure to rest often, and have backup plan on the side.” “Okay then.” “Akari isn’t killing him is she?“ “No.. they seem to be talking outside.”
“What are you doing?” “Oh.. just checking if you are taller than Toshi or not.” “Oh very funny.”
“I might just have to revoke my promise not to kill you.” “I am not sure your brother would be too happy with you if you did.” “I know, annoying as you are, he does love you.” “Which is a good thing for me.”
She just chuckled, it was indeed quite hard to stay mad around Derek, she had to give him that one.
“You aren’t killing him are you?“ “Nah, not yet anyways.”
She smiled, patting her brother on the shoulder as she headed back innside.
“So, should we go home, so you can get some rest?“
“Don’t you want to spend some more time with you sisters?” “I can spend some time with them later, I want you to be ready for travel in a couple of days.”
“I’ll be ready, and if I am not, I promise I’ll tell, deal?” “Deal.“
As the last defense of the old temple fell, they came into a large room with four chests and more foreboding, 4 guarding skeletons. They looked around the room for anything that could tell them if those four were something they should be worried about, but they could not find anything.
“I guess only one way to know.”
“Look at that stone though.” “Open the dammed lid already.“ “Okay boss.”
Derek chuckled showing the lid of the chest to the side to see what was in it, holding his breath hoping it wasn’t what they were looking for.
“A frog?“ “Yep, I think the museum here will be very happy to have it.”
They opened the other chests in the room as well, finding several small artifacts, but not the one they were after. Not that either of them would complain about it, it mean they would have to test if the rumors of the jungle was true.
“I guess we go home, and see if the whole jungle changing is real.” “And home is where now, I was told you had moved the house.” “Yeah.. I moved home, so close to Tokyo.“ “Cool.. but you sister isn’t going to come murder me in my sleep is she?” “No, I made her promise to be nice.“ “Good.”
“Are you sure we shouldn’t rest a bit before we keep going?“
They had gotten a fair bit on their way back, but he did notice how Derek’s walk was slowly more unstable than it was earlier.
“It should be fine really.” “Should be isn’t quite good enough, I carry all of this, I’d like to not have to carry you too.“ “Fine, lets rest for half an hour,and we’ll be good to get back to the cabin.”
“What?” “You probably can’t answer.” “Try?”
He could feel Toshi sigh as they sat by the water fall, taking a much needed rest for his part.
“Well.. was it almost death or?” “According to the doctor, it was death, at least for a few minutes, then they managed to bring me back.”
He found himself not quite able to answer, instead he felt how his body almost went into a panic attack. A million what if’s forced their way into his head, and he could hear his own breathing speed up without being able to control it.
“I didn’t though.. I’m here with you.” “Yeah…“
Feeling Derek’s arms lock around him, he calmed down again. He hadn’t had the starts of a panic attack since he left home and got away from his controlling father, so it had taken him quite by surprise to feel that way about loosing Derek.
They stayed for a while longer, now just as much to let Toshi fully calm down as it was to let Derek rest. In the end though, they found they better get going, or they would have to camp out where they were. Deciding the cabin was a better deal, they headed to their home away from home.
“Did you miss us, yes, yes you did!”
They were both greeted by Ollie who was happy to see them both home. Following Toshi most off all, probably hoping for a very special meal.
“Yes, I’ll make you one.”
Derek was checking some of the artifacts they had found so that they could take them to the museum before they headed home. They had found a few in their digs, so he just wanted to clean them up and check if they were actually real of just well made fakes.
“You want something to eat too?“ “Yeah, just checking one last one.”
They found a movie to watch after they had their dinner and packed their things ready to head home. Not that they watched much of the movie, Derek once again being more asleep than awake.
“At least you get to rest for a week before we come back and see if this place is magical.“
As the air was once again getting colder, the first snowflakes of the year visited them. It wasn’t cold enough for it to stay, but it was still a welcome visit for those in the family that loved the snow.
“You’ll have to help me with this when you are done.” “Sure.”
Although it was a bit annoying to always have to rely on her brother for help with math, she was still happy he always agreed too. Numbers had never been her strong point, but as luck would have it, her twin seemed to find that easy. Whenever they had homework that had more creative sides though, it was the other way around.
“Oh today we are finishing first.” “Well you are cheating, he isn’t even home yet.” “You chose him to help you, so you have to live with it.”
“Ah, I’m sorry i am late, now then, let’s see if we can beat them anyways!”
He had been a bit later than normal, they were still working very hard on the cases, as well as random smaller cases that kept popping up more and more. Androids attacking humans, humans attacking androids and so on. Nothing major, but more than enough to remind Liam and probably many like him how things had once used to be.
“Gonna have to work real hard to catch us, real hard.”
“I’ll try, so you two better just focus on your own thing.” “Almost done dad, almost done!”
The only one not into the competition of the building was Kaya that instead to the time to catch up on some sleep.
“I beat you fair and square, admit it.” “Oh fine, but I will beat you in this, little sister of mine.” “In your dreams!”
They were fairly evenly matched on foosball, but in the end Hank was true to his word, and managed to pull the win.
“Mom, do you need any help in the kitchen?” “Nah, I think I have it covered.” “You know.. I was surprised when she said she would cook.”
Hank looked at his sister and put a finger on his lips to tell her to not speak so loudly. It was well known between them that it was mostly Liam that did the cooking, and after a small incident with a pot roast some weeks ago, she had been trying to learn. Something about her having to be able to provide a dinner without burning the house down.
“Good.. No fire, and this looks okay.”
She was pretty happy with that after that small disaster she had managed to make earlier.
“Oh no.. although I do take it as a compliment, that isn’t for you.”
She smiled, and took Uno off the table, before calling the rest of them to come have dinner.
“I didn’t know you ate dad?” “I don’t need to, but well I can if I want to.” “I’m sure Kaya would looove to help you with it though.”
It wasn’t hard to notice how she had gone from sleeping peacefully to suddenly sitting behind them where they were eating.
“She might be allowed to, when you are all done eating yours.”
Kaya’s ears perked up, and she moved just a little closer to the table. Just in case there would be some scraps coming her way.
“Are you asking me permission Uno?”
While the others had finished, Hank had grabbed one more portion for himself, and noticed Uno back on the counter.
“Eh, grab a slice then, I won’t tell mom.”
“So.. why are you standing out here, all by yourself?” “That is a good question.” “And the answer?”
He had noticed her stand out there for a little while now, normally he would let her have some time to herself, but something told him that she might want him join her.
“I guess I worry.” “I know, I do too.”
he had told her over the phone earlier about one more accident. One more android dead, and their human companion gone missing. He had called, because he didn’t want her to hear it from someone else first.
“It’s just hard to believe he is gone.” “mm..”
“OI!” “Ah there’s a smile, good!” “You think we should tell them?” “I think they know, they watch the news after all.” “Yeah..”
“What’s on your mind.” “As if you don’t know?”
“You know, it doesn’t do any good to worry about it.” “I know, but I still worry.” “Anything I can do to help?”
He wished there was more he could do than to just hold her while she cried. He could feel how her body was shaking form a mix of fear and what he knew was her being stressed out about everything.
“It will be okay.”
In the end she had fallen asleep on his shoulder. It wasn’t the first or the last time it would happen, and he would always keep wishing for her worries to go away.
After making sure his sister was sound asleep he took Kaya for her evening walk. His mom would worry if he walked too far, but he still managed to talk her into letting him go every evening. It was just a good way for him to clear his head, and he always parried with the fact that he wasn’t walking alone, but with Kaya.