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Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8


Written by Protege moi
Last updated: 07/30/2007 11:36:51 AM

Chapter 4

LaiíNal could hear the banging from outside Reiaís apartment door. She knew her best friend was rummaging around in the kitchen. Sheíd always been loud in the kitchen, always. It didnít help that she seemed to get anxious about cooking things for other people. It wasnít so bad when people she knew were eating her food, but now she had an alien staying with her. LaiíNal imagined Reia panicking, being indecisive about what to prepare, and worrying about how the food would turn out, if he would like it... Rolling her eyes at her friendís curious kitchen behavior, LaiíNal knocked on the door. There was a sudden stop to the banging of pots and pans, and then the sound of feet approaching the door. There was a pause as Lai could see Reia looking through the peep hole before opening the door.

"Who is it?" It was common practice in these parts to ask the identity of the person knocking at your door, even though you could see them. During the wars, factions used image inducers to impersonate friends and family, only to turn on the resident once the door was open.

"Oh common, Rei, itís me, Lai! Sheesh." LaiíNal rolled her eyes again. She knew it was a safe practice, but it wasnít exactly something she felt she should have to do with her best friend. "Well, you gonna let me in? Or does a girl have to stand out in the hallway forever?"

The door opened, and Lai found her friend a bit unravelled. She was holding a dish towel with both hands, obviously drying them on her way to answer the door. Her feathers were tied back, but there were a few strays hanging out, a few in front of her eyes. Reia huffed in a vain attempt to clear them away from her eyes, but was only successful in making them float up and back down again to the same place theyíd been resting before. Reia looked up, as if looking at her feathers, and brushed them back with her hand. "Hi." She seemed breathless. It wasnít much of a surprise to LaiíNal, though. Sheíd known Reia forever; she was used to seeing her friend like this.

"Hi," LaiíNal responded, waving sarcastically. "You know, you really should stop working yourself up over supper. Itís just food."

"Y...yeah, but...well...itís just..."

"Common, spit it out."

"Well, I donít know what he eats!" She tilted her head to the hallway that lead to the bedrooms.

LaiíNal chuckled a little. "Iím sure he expects to be subjected to new and wonderful foods. After all, heíd be a little daft to expect food to be the same here as it is on his homeworld."

"Yeah, I íspose so."

"So, heís in his room?"

Reia nodded, "Yeah, heís in his room taking a nap. I think heís having trouble adjusting to the time difference. He also said heís pretty tired from traveling."


"What?" Reia knew that look she was getting from her pal; there were wheels turning in her head.

Lai bit her lip, thinking, and then decided to let her best mate in on her thoughts. "Well, Rei, it just...it seems kinda funny, you know? Like, we only know about the Terrans because of our Majestrixís consort. I think itís likewise for the Terrans, and I have this feeling that only a select few of them know about the Shiíar Empire, cuz wouldnít they have wanted to make First Contact...?"

"What are you getting at?"

"What Iím trying to say is that he shouldnít know about us if heís just an ordinary Terran. And how, in the name of Sharra, did he get here if heís not supposed to know about us?" She paused and wrinkled her forehead a little, "Unless...unless heís not your ordinary Terran." She frowned, "Just be careful, Reia."

Reia shot Lai a glare, "Iím fine!" She said, rather emphatically. "Heís fine! Youíll see. Heís really quite nice." As Reia finished her little eruption, there was a sizzling noise coming from the kitchen. "Shit!" And Reia scurried off towards the kitchen to attend to whatever it was that she was cooking.

LaiíNal decided to take Reiaís absence as an opportunity to sneak of to the guest room and get to know this roommate a little better. She knew she had time, since Reia was concentrated on something and would be completely preoccupied with it until she was finished. Usually, LaiíNal would just sit and read something while she waited. But today...today she had to interrogate an alien.

The door was closed, and there wasnít any noise coming from within. Okay, so he probably was sleeping, but she was going to wake him anyways; she didnít care; she didnít trust him, not yet. He was up to something, she just knew it, and she felt it her duty to make sure that he wasnít bad news. LaiíNal proceeded to open the door as quietly as she could to keep Reia from hearing her. She slipped inside the room and silently shut the door behind her. She turned around and leaned against the door, her hand still on the handle. She found the room to be dark; the blinds were closed keeping the minimal amount of dusk light from coming into the room. Once they had adjusted to the dark, her eyes did a scan of the room. They noted an odd looking suitcase on the chair, but it had been emptied. At least heís tidy, she thought to herself. There were a few things on the dresser that LaiíNal didnít recognize, but she figured they were for grooming purposes. Besides, sheíd have no way of finding out what they were by looking at them as she had no idea what the writing on these things said. Her eyes drifted to the bed, where the Terran was sleeping. He had draped his clothes on the end of the bed and then the strange wonder came into LaiíNalís head. I wonder what a Terran body looks like. From what she had seen at the store, his body shape was similar to that of a Shiíarís.

Laiís heart skipped as the figure under the covers stirred a little. Did he know she was in his room, watching him, studying him? Or was he just readjusting in his sleep? She didnít quite understand why she was afraid to be discovered standing in his room, as she had come to talk to him in the first place. But then, she decided she didnít want to talk to him just yet. Not here. She wanted to confront him at dinner. She didnít care how mad Reia would be at her for it or how impolite it would seem. If this alien was hiding something, she wanted to be able to expose him right in front of Reia. LaiíNal made an internal sigh of relief as the man in the bed seemed not to have noticed her. She took the opportunity to continue her study. Her eyes went to the manís face. He had been wearing some sort of accessory over his eyes at the store, so she wasnít able to study his features as well. Plus, staring at him there as she was now would have been considered extremely rude. His face was drawn tight, even in his sleep, as if pained. Perhaps he was dreaming. He looked oddly pale, but then again, she didnít know what a Terranís coloring should look like. After all, the Shiíar were rather pale creatures, themselves. He had a slim face, high cheek bones and what seemed like the beginning of hair growth on his cheeks and chin. That weird hair growth hadnít been there when she saw him at the store, had it? Nevertheless, she had to admit it was attractive. Her eyes moved downwards, his chest was not fully covered by the blankets. He had a set of defined pecs and the amount of bicep she could see was also fairly muscular. A well toned man¸ she mused to herself. Handsome. She wondered what the rest of him looked like, if the rest of his body was as sculpted as his upper body, but unfortunately the covers hid that from her. He was skinny though, and relatively tall. By his physical appearance, she wouldnít gage him to be threatening. He seemed quite nice when they were introduced, his smile kind. But she wished she could have known what was in his eyes hiding behind the strange accessory he wore. She supposed she would find out soon enough.

Satisfied with her ísnooping,í LaiíNail tip-toed to the door. She prayed silently to Sharra that she wouldnít make any noise to wake the man up. Her hand slowly turned the doorknob; silently, she pulled the door open and slipped through it. After she closed the door behind her just as carefully as she opened it, she stood still for a moment, allowing her heart beat to return to a normal rate. She then sighed a breath of relief. Lai silently made her way to the washroom, just incase Reia had been listening out for her. She ran the tap and washed her hands.

When LaiíNal returned to the kitchen, she found Reia as she expected to. Her friendís feathers were in even more disarray than before and she was just finishing setting the table. "Can I help with anything?" Lai asked. She knew the answer even before asking, though. Reia was particular about doing everything herself in meal preparation, including setting the table.

"No, thanks, though," Reia responded. She pondered something a minute and cocked her head up from what she was doing. "Do you suppose we should wake Remy up to eat? Or should we let him sleep?"

LaiíNal pondered this for a minute. She really wanted him up so that she could lay her questions on him. But he was apparently tired from space travel, so it would be polite to let him sleep. And then, she came up with a solution that wouldnít seem rude at all. "I íspose we should wake him up, otherwise, heís never going to adjust to the time difference."

Reia smiled a bit, her friend had a point. She nodded in agreement. "Perhaps you could go and wake him for me while I finish up in here?"

"With pleasure," Lai responded to the request and set off down the hall again. She found it rather ironic that she was going to his room for a second time, this time with permission to be there. She arrived at the familiar door and knocked on it quietly. She didnít hear anything from inside, so she opened the door a crack and poked her head in. He appeared to still be sleeping. "Uh...Remy?" she said quietly. There was the faintest movement. Had he heard her? "Remy, itís time to eat. Are you getting up to join us?"

The Terran let out a sort of groan and mumbled something in a language she didnít understand, obviously from his homeworld. But she wasnít up for him refusing. "I have no idea what you just said, but Iíll take it as a yes." She watched for a reaction. He sighed in acceptance, she supposed. "You have five minutes."

Remy winced as he finished pulling his sweater over his head. The little sleep had helped, although it didnít seem like long enough. He sighed as he went towards his door. Reiaís friend had left his door partly open, allowing the light from the hall to come into his room. It was probably a good thing that she had, otherwise, Remy just may have fallen back asleep with no light coming in his room. He made his way to the washroom and splashed his face with cold water, hoping to clear the fog that had settled in his head from the Tylenol 3ís he took. They had helped some; as long as he didnít move, he wasnít in pain. Remy reached for a towel to dry his face. He studied his reflection in the mirror. He thought he saw crow feet near his eyes, and he didnít know whether that was from the stress he was experiencing or from the pain. He was still pale. You look tired, homme. Tired aní pale. You goní need to shave soon, too­, he remarked to himself, as he noted the five oíclock shadow on his face. But he didnít have time right now. Remy was certain that heíd used up the five minutes Reiaís friend had given him just mustering up enough will to get out of bed. He was pushing those five minutes rather far and soon he would be approaching the boundaries of rudeness. He took a deep, unsatisfied breath shaking his head, and straightened himself up.

When he reached the kitchen, he found the two young Shiíar ladies already sitting at the table. They had been waiting for him to get there before they started eating. At least table manners seem tí be de same. "Sorry, ladies," Was all he seemed to be able to muster, as he took a seat as gracefully as he could without giving away his discomfort.

"Itís okay, Remy," Reia giggled. There was that school girl quality to her again. "I take a long time to wake up, too." Her smile seemed genuine. She didnít mind.

However, her friend, LaiíNal, didnít seem too warm. He could also note a mild surprise on her face. She was staring at him, mildly enthralled. It didnít take Remy long to realize that she was trying to figure out what to make of his eyes. Guess some tíings doní change from galaxy tígalaxy.

Instead, he decided to glare back at her, purposefully, as if boring into her. He could see the uneasiness in her posture. Bon, he thought, let her squirm, den I get de answers I waní. He continued to stare at her as Reia spooned some food onto his plate. He could feel the air becoming uncomfortable around them. Now was the time.

"So...you waní títell me what yíwere doiní in míroom earlier?"


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