“Do Not Scratch.”

“Madam? What seems to be on your mind?”

“I just needed to get away for a little while. That’s all.”

“Away, Madam? Away from what?”

“Him.”

“Ah. Why might that be, Madam?”

“My wrists itch when I’m around him. I don’t like it.”

“I imagine not, Madam. That must be very uncomfortable.”

“In more ways than one.”

“Well you can stay here as long as you need, Madam, as always.”

“Thank you, William.”

“If I may, however, I would make one request.”

“Of course. What is it?”

“Do not scratch.”

“I’m trying, William.”

“I know, Madam. But I want to be sure.”

“…I know.”

“If you are set on bleeding, however, I would be happy to keep you company while you did so.”

“You’re such a romantic.”

“I do try, Madam.”

“Thank you, William. You succeed.”

“Is that why your wrists are red?”

“Hey, can I come in?”

“Yeah, yeah, of course. What’s up?”

“I just… I can’t be alone right now.”

“Okay… Wanna talk about it?”

“Not yet.”

“Sure, okay… Why not come here? Get comfy?”

“Thanks.”

“Don’t thank me. I feel weird just watching you stand in the doorway. The least I can do is offer you a corner of my bed.”

“Still…”

“You’re welcome.”

“How was your day?”

“Good, fine. Not a lot happened… Did you do anything exciting today?”

“I wanted to kill myself today.”

“…Is that why your wrists are red?”

“Yes.”

“What happened?”

“I took my nails to them.”

“And?”

“It hurt. It was nice.”

“Don’t make a habit of it.”

“I wasn’t planning to… But it might happen again.”

“You know, I can think of better things for you to do with your hands, if you really need to.”

“Oh?”

“I mean, there’s always coloring, or videogames, or me.”

“Ness!”

“Heh~ there’s that smile I love… C’mon, let’s do something fun.”

“Like you?”

“I was thinking coloring in your gazebo, but I mean, I’m not against that at all.”

“Course not.”

“You know me so well! Alright, let’s do something that doesn’t involve nails and wrists.”

“Oh, then you are out.”

“Hey!”

For The Admiral’s Eyes Only {#02}

Iratosh stood with his arms folded, tongue flickering out curiously to taste the air around him as the room buzzed with energy and conversation. Technicians hurried back and forth in fluttering lab coats, eyes alight with glee as they poked and prodded their prizes.

The heart sat on a pedestal to one side of the room, wires and circuitry flowing out of it like lifeblood, the black organ twitching every now and then when a technician walked by and tapped at the containment jar experimentally.

The brain, on the other hand, took the spot of pride in the center of the room, a blue glow surrounding it as it bobbed in the clear liquid. They had yet to try and connect with it, aware that any attempt to do so might be met with resistance. They would likely only have one chance to make the connection, and so had waited until the Admiral had arrived.

“Admiral Ankiline?”

The Repatian turned to look at the Apatian woman who hovered by his elbow, an eyebrow flicking up at her as she smiled.

“Doctor Beryl?”

“If you would, please, step back behind the barrier. If anything were to happen, we would prefer it not happen to you.”

Ankiline let out a soft chuckle and nodded, following her behind a clear barrier that covered one end of the lab. He sank into one of the seats; arms still folded, and watched the technicians buzz around the heart for another few moments.

“We’re ready to begin, Ma’am.” An aide scurried over, speaking in an undertone. “Just give the word.”

The doctor nodded, once, then tapped her fingers against the screen before her, pulling up a chart. The heart’s diagnostic information was there, blinking in multi-colored lights.

“Let us begin.”

Ankiline yawned behind a large, scaled hand, tongue flickering out to taste the chemical-laden air. His nose wrinkled at the acrid taste and he lowered his hand back to his lap, watching as the doctor and her aides peered at screens and numbers, interpreting data as it flickered across screens at unimaginable speeds.

He knew approximately 5% of what the information was, cell structures and blood analysis, but he played at paying attention to be polite to Beryl and her staff. After all, it simply would not do to have an Apatian on his bad side, let alone a brilliant one like Rae Beryl.

After another few frantic moments, the staff stilled, and Iratosh perked up, shifting his attention back onto the doctor, his smile sharp.

“Find anything of use?” He asked.

“Many things.” She replied, tail flicking back and forth excitedly. “But you do not care for hearts, do you, Admiral?”

He grinned, inclining his head. “You know me so well, Doctor Beryl.”

This and That {Different Things}

“Just so we’re clear, this is not a date.”

Axel blinked, an eyebrow winging up as Zeva pointed a finger accusingly up into his face, her eyes narrowed suspiciously. She had closed the door silently behind her before she spoke, hearing the lock click into place to add finality to her words.

“I wasn’t under the impression it was anything even resembling a date.” Axel replied, choosing his words carefully. “I’m just a fellow crew-member ensuring our Boson stays healthy by eating.”

Zeva gave him an once-over with her eyes, avoiding his gaze as much as possible, and gave a sharp nod of agreement before she started for the lift, arms folding tightly across her chest.

“I don’t bite, Zeva.” Axel followed at a safe distance, giving her the personal space she needed to remain comfortable.

She threw him a look over her shoulder, getting a grin in return, and snapped her gaze back around to the ground, muttering under her breath.

“Never can be too careful with Enforcers.”

She jabbed the lift button viciously, glaring at the pulsing blue button as the lift came to their floor, winging its way half-way up the building to reach them. Axel stayed at arm’s length, looking out over the balcony toward the upper south side, where all the ritzy people with their expensive penthouses floated through the starless sky. Each unit looked like a miniature planet, orbiting the larger housing structures that housed the less affluent members of the upper side.

“At least you have a nice view.” He managed in a soft voice.

Zeva glanced back at him, catching the way his eyes reflected back the glittering lights, her breath catching at his soft smile. She knew, even from here, he could probably hear the mechanics humming as they kept the penthouses moving in orbit, antigravity repulsers propelling them in a circuit across the city’s skyline.

“It shines through my window at night.” Zeva replied, returning her gaze to the lift doors. “I pay less for the flat because of it.”

“Win-win, then.” Axel grinned.

Zeva shrugged, her arms loosening as the doors opened and she slipped inside. She waited for Axel to join her before she pressed the button for the ground floor, still avoiding looking at him.

“It’s alright.”