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“When the gales of November came slashing”
“So, what’s she like in bed?”
“Dude! Make her happy, man – if there’s any girl here who really deserves to be, it’s her.”
“So, does she have girl parts or not, man – spill!”
“So, homie, you need to change your name to Tony, man, so you can say, ‘Tony got the pony’!”
“Treat her right, Mike – she’s a total sweetheart and you don’t need to be the one to break her heart.”
“So, since we own a horse farm down in Middletown, I can get you a good deal on a saddle – for when you ride that ponygirl! Gimme five!”
This had been the way things had been for the past couple of days now, with absolutely no hope of it dying down anytime soon. In fact, if anything, it was getting worse. But now, now it was this:
“And I know I can't spend my life here and my heart is truly torn
But tonight, I'll feel alright, I'm gonna fuck that unicorn.”
He sighed; he didn’t know how much more of this crap he was going to take. Wheeling to face the offenders, he shouted, “You do know the difference between a unicorn and an alien, right?” The two guys who were screwing with him just turned up the volume on the tablet and kept playing.
Finally, someone told the other two, “Turn down the music. You’re hurting the poor horsefucker’s feelings.”
Mike stopped on a dime. “You wanna repeat that?”
A huge monolith of a senior stepped forward. “You heard me, Bestiality Boy. You wanna go fuck any girl here, well, that’s your business. But you’re supposed to be a Good Little Christian just like everyone else at this school – and that means no fucking animals, got that?”
Mike, to his credit, stared down the much taller student – Mike was nearly six feet, but this guy was easily 6’5” – crossing his arms as he said, “You have a problem with my girlfriend, you have a problem with me. And I have a news flash for you: talking about sleeping with girls and using profanity is hardly the mark of a Good Little Christian. Now me, I prefer to follow His words. So I’m going to just turn my cheek.” And Mike did so, turning away from him rather dramatically.
And thus wasn’t expecting what came next. The senior swung his fist, connecting with Mike’s face. Mike practically felt the snap of his head as he slammed to the floor from the punch.
“You reap what you sow,” the senior said.
“Yeah, Trainwreck, kick the animalfucker’s ass but good!” Tablet Guy said.
Mike spat a glob of blood out of his mouth, then snarled, “Yeah, and I bet you can’t even remember where that quote came from.”
“Try Galatians 6: 7 through 9 – ‘Be not deceived; God is not mocked, for whatsoever a man soweth, so shall he also reap.’” Mike got back to his feet, and then spat, “How about this one, since it’s right up your alley – ‘Father, forgive them for they know not what they do’. That’s from Luke 23:34, by the way, but since you’re going to a Christian High School, you’d obviously know that, right?”
“You stupid fuck!” Trainwreck roared. “I’m going to beat the fuck outta—”
“Nobody,” a female voice hissed, and Trainwreck turned around to see DJ standing there. “You want to tussle with him, Meredith? You can deal with me, instead. Or do I need to remind you of what happened the last time!”
“Meredith?” the guy with the tablet said, laughing. “I thought your name was Alan, Trainwreck!”
“Fuck you!” the large boy snarled, then turned back to Mike. “This ain’t done yet, fucker!” He then stormed out, with the others laughing at him.
“C’mon, sweetie, let’s get out of here,” she said, helping him up and kissing him on the cheek.
“I’m okay,” he said, feeling the tender cheek; it was going to bruise like all hell.
“No, you’re not okay, Mike,” she told him. “You took a hit for me. You really took one. Not that I’m ungrateful, but I really wish you wouldn’t.”
He flashed her a weak grin. “You’re my girl, DJ; I’m going to stand up for you no matter what. So what’s with that guy?”
“Oh, him? That’s Alan ‘Trainwreck’ Muldaur. His first name is actually Meredith and his middle name’s Alan; it’s one of those male names that got feminized back in the 70s and he’s apparently named after his grandfather. Anyway, he’s a senior linebacker on the varsity football team and got a whole bunch of scholarships to universities that care more about sports than academics; I think he’s going to Notre Dame even if he can’t spell it.”
“No, I mean…why’d he back off?”
“Because I kicked his ass when he was a seventh grader and I was just a fourth,” she said with a gleam in her eye. “He was picking on Carlos – Carlos had a lisp when he was younger and he’s not legal, in case you didn’t know – and I’d had enough of it. He challenged me to something; I forget what it was, but when we got there, he started swinging at me. So I beat him up. He doesn’t talk about it and I don’t brag about it, but he knows I’ve never forgotten.”
“He must’ve been weaksauce when he was a kid.”
She shook her head. “No, he’s always been big, beefy and a bully.”
“Then how’d you…?”
She sighed. “I’m much stronger than I look, Mike – much stronger, and in fact I probably would have survived that fall with nothing but a bruised pride, had you not caught me. But I’m glad you did – in both senses,” she said, laughing lovingly. “But now we’re getting that shiner looked at, okay?” She refused to accept his excuses that he could live with it and instead insisted he go get it looked at.
Well, I guess I should get used to a fussing girlfriend, he thought with a smile.
“Okay, Serena, explain to me why your brilliant plan where Mike is now dating the Freak and your brilliant plan for him to date Marcy until I could steal him isn’t fucking working?” Hurricane Valerie was in full swing now and even Brittney was a bit concerned about getting caught in the crossfire.
“Look, I was sure it was going to work! I had Marcy all ready to lay it thick for him! I’ll bet she would have done him on the spot if he wanted it!” she explained. “But I don’t know why he just went for the fuckin’ pony, okay?”
“Um…maybe this is a sign you should go back to Logan?” Brittney interjected. “He’s really waiting for you.”
“Go back with that loser?” Valerie exclaimed. “Why the hell should I do that?”
“Because he’s in love with you?”
Valerie laughed. “Oh, please – he doesn’t care about anything but how he looks. He’s really no different than me.”
Serena looked at Valerie. “Look, I can fix this. Trust me, I’ll get—”
“—some answers as to why he hasn’t approached me yet?” Serena asked Marcy, her eyes on the verge of tears thanks to some well-placed eyedrops.
Marcy shifted uncomfortably; she didn’t want to lie to Serena, but telling the truth would only make things worse. “I…I tried talking to him, but he only had eyes for that bitch DJ.” There was an undercurrent of anger in her words that Marcy couldn’t block off, and she didn’t bother to, as she knew the Valerie Squad’s brains would agree.
“But there has to be something!” Serena commented.
“I’ve…got something I could try…” Marcy said, a germ of an idea forming in her mind. “But you’re going to have to trust me on this.”
“Sure! I’ll try anything at this point!” Serena said, even as she thought, Bingo. Better hope he wears protection.
The Jamaican coffee shop, once again. Mike had noticed a distinct pattern in that when they just wanted to talk, they went to the Village Café coffee shop in the center of the pedestrian mall, but when there were secrets that needed to be quiet, it was off to Isaac’s Caribbean Café, nestled on the corner of Piccadilly and Braddock. Maybe it was because DJ’s parents had gone to the former one longer than she’d been alive and thus knew the owner, or because Isaac, the owner of the this one, had become the teenager’s equivalent of the bartender stereotype, where you could tell him anything and it’d be kept quiet.
Holding her coffee cup in both “hands”, she started, “Okay, so where do I begin…well, I’m afraid I can’t hide this from you, sweetie, but…I’m an alien.”
He chuckled as he held his to his lips. “Really? I never would have guessed.”
“Yeah, I know, huh?” she laughed. “But seriously, that means that means while in most ways I’m like a human, in other ways, I’m not. You already know about some of those ways, but there’s a big one that I wish I didn’t have, one that kinda scares even me, to be honest.”
“What is it?”
“My strength. I’m much stronger than the human average, which is why as just a little kid I was able to beat up someone twice my size, and now that I’m in puberty, it’s much worse. Mom and Dad are concerned that I’m going to lose my temper someday and seriously hurt someone, and I tell them that I won’t. It’s one of the few times since the Supreme Court decision that they treat me as other than human.”
“You don’t seem like someone who would, DJ,” he commented. “You’re always so easygoing, even in the worst of times.”
“Yeah, because I have Carlos and Erica – and now you,” she said, with a blush; no chocolate scent this time as she was getting better at tamping it down. “And I know my parents are warning me because they love me and they can both be hotheads at times, so they’re probably worried I’ll pick that up from them, but I think I picked up Dad’s West Coast easiness instead.”
“But still, I’m sorry, but I somehow can’t believe that you’re stronger than the average person. I mean, no offense, cutie, but you’re nearly a foot shorter than me.”
At this point, Isaac came up to the table and pointed out the window. “Ku ya! I tinks da mon outside, dey nid da help wid da pole, DeeJay. Mebbe dat be d’ way to gi your mon the Pappy show?” DJ looked outside, and noted that several men were having a problem lifting a new landmark sign for the Handley Library; it was being installed and the wrought iron sign easily looked as though it weighed a good ton.
“Yeah, I think I can help then with that,” she said with a grin, getting up from the table.
Mike looked at the five brawny construction workers; if they couldn’t do it…how the hell was DJ? “Um, you don’t have to do this for me, DJ.”
But she shook her head. “I’m doing it for you, sweetie. I need you to see this.” She then threw him the puppy dog eyes, and he knew he wasn’t going to be able to turn those down.
Exiting the café, Mike in tow with that unbreakable grip of hers, she walked cater-corner from the café and onto the library grounds, waving the men over. “Problem with the sign?” They looked at her as though they were imagining things, so she said, “Trust me, I’m real – so what’s the problem?”
“Um…” the relatively quickest-thinking of the group said, “Uh, boss won’t send out a crane to help us lift this sign up, but it’s heavy as all get-out. No way in hell we’re going to get it in there without one.”
She crossed her arms. “Um, how heavy?”
“About 600 pounds, give or take,” another one piped up. “Why, you, uh, gonna lift it?”
DJ paused in thought for a second before saying, “Yeah. Probably going to strain a bit, but I can do it.” Before anyone protested, she went over to the sign and bent down to her haunches, making sure she had a good grip on it. Then, with some visible strain on her face, she slowly but surely got back up to a full stance even as she started angling it towards the hole. The five and Mike went to help, but she looked at them, the strain on her face clear as she rasped, “I’ve got it!” and with a final push, slammed it into the hole as she collapsed, gasping for air.
Mike went to her side and she grabbed him and kissed him passionately before saying, “Okay, I admit it, I overdid it.”
“DJ…you just….” Words escaped him. He had no idea of what to say – what could he say? His girlfriend, a tiny slip of a thing even if she’d been human, had just successfully, even if with some strain, muscled into place six hundred fucking pounds.
The first man, meanwhile, clapped her on the back. “Hey, if you ever need a job, just give me a call!” He handed over a business card. “I’m always looking for good men…er…women…uh….”
“Individuals?” DJ offered.
“Well, I’m still just a high school student, but I’ll think about it for the summer, okay?” And with that, Mike and DJ walked back to the café, she leaning on him and he with his arm around her as the five continued to stare in amazement at the now-completed task.
Isaac was waiting with a large frozen toffee mocha. “On de house, DeeJay.”
“Thanks,” she said, sipping away a third of it in an instant. Turning back to Mike, she said, “And there’s my secret. The average horse can lift 550 pounds of strength, or one unit of horsepower, for the technical term. When they tested me at Johns Hopkins a few weeks ago, they found I can lift 570 pounds.” Then her eyes began to fill with tears as she sobbed, “And imagine what I could do to a person with that kind of strength. Even my parents think I’m a monster in that regard!”
Mike instinctively hugged her as she set the drink down on the nearest table and melted into his embrace, crying. “It’s okay, DJ,” he said, holding her. “I don’t think anyone thinks you’re a monster, especially your parents. I’ve met your father, remember? He’s fairly built, and imagine what he can do with his strength; for that matter, I’ve got muscles, and I’m just as dangerous. Any person is; you’re just at, say, the Olympic weightlifter level than as opposed to a regular person.” He ushered her into a chair.
“Y…you really think so?” she said, wiping her eyes with her hooves, the fur around them now getting wet as well.
He leaned forward and kissed her gently. “We are all monsters and we are all saints, DJ. Even with what I just saw you do, could you ever hurt me? Or your parents, or even someone you don’t like, like Valerie?”
“No, of course not.”
“And they know that – and I know that too, which is why you’re not getting rid of me,” he said with a soft smile.
She caressed his cheek, and he could feel the vibration of the hundreds of micromuscles at work. “I love you,” she said, as she leaned forward to kiss him—
—only to have his cellphone go off. “Sorry,” he said and she nodded as she moved back. “Yeah, this is Mike.”
“Michael, this is your mother. Come home immediately,” she said, her voice terse.
Uh-oh. Mike didn’t like the sound of that. “Sure thing, Mom. Something up?”
“Yes. Your father would like to speak to you about your apparently new girlfriend, which you hadn’t told us about.” She hung up and in that moment, he knew he was going to be in for it; his mother was a stickler for etiquette, and for her to just hang up like that indicated that either she was furious or she was desperately trying to calm his father down. Considering she said she wasn’t angry, his father’s concerns had just gone through the roof.
“Something wrong?” DJ noticed the crestfallen look on his face and was worried about him. He loved her for that, even as new as their relationship was, he knew that as long as he’d be with her, it was something that she seemed to be a natural at.
“It’s….” He took a breath, and then explained everything in detail. Seeing her face go from worried to heartbroken within minutes absolutely cut him down to the bone as if he was personally responsible for it. But after explaining, he said, “I don’t care what Dad says, I’m going to fight for us, okay? DJ, you’ve made me feel like no one ever has before, and I won’t give you up.”
“Even if your Dad says so?”
He paused for a second, then said with utter determination, “Yes. Even if Dad makes it an ultimatum, I’m not giving up.”
She leaned forward and kissed him again, but he didn’t know if that was a kiss of love or a farewell kiss – he prayed to God it wasn’t the latter. She then fished out her own phone and said, “I think it’s time to call in the big guns.”
Mike opened the door to his house. “Mom, Dad, I’m home.”
Lila Hengst noticed the bandage on Mike’s cheek immediately. “What happened to you?”
“It was that alien girl,” Carl Hengst said. “She clearly hit him with that monster strength of hers!”
“Dear,” she said firmly, “you’re being ridiculous. Although, Michael, I’m not thrilled that you had to go and hide your relationship with that girl when your father told you to stay clear of her. Now, do you mind telling me what happened?”
“Why should I?” Mike said, going into defensive. “Neither of you know DJ, and all Dad thinks is that she’s some kind of monster! She’s the gentlest girl I know!”
“Don’t you raise your voice to me, young man,” Carl snarled. “I was at the library. She lifted that one-ton sign by herself when no one else could, and you’re telling me something with strength like that is gentle?”
“DJ’s not a thing!” Mike responded. “She’s a girl! So what if she’s not human? She’s a normal girl wanting to live a normal life and what’s wrong with that?”
“I refuse to have my son be used as a guinea pig for whatever she is,” Carl said, his tone slipping out of parent mode and into Chief Petty Officer mode. “You’re not dating that thing and that is fin—” There was a knock at the door, and Carl pointed at his son, saying, “You’re grounded until further notice, you got that?” Carl went to the door—
—and found a teary-eyed DJ standing there, with her father in tow.
Carl looked at Matt, though there was no kindness in his eyes. “Well, well, well. All the assholes in the world that I had to run into, and it’d be you, Martinez.”
“Fuck you too, Hengst,” Matt snarled. “I knew the last name sounded familiar, but I didn’t even think it’d be you.”
“You two know each other?” DJ and Mike said at the same time.
Matt looked down at his daughter, then to Mike and back at DJ. “We briefly served together on the USS Goldsborough back in ’91. I got transferred to the USS Rathburne after that, and I have no idea where he went,” as Matt pointed a finger at Carl.
“West Loch,” Carl replied, “I was due for a shore tour. And as I recall, when we were stationed together we didn’t like each other then, either.”
DJ and Mike had the same thought at the same time: Oh shit.
“So, you want to tell me what the problem you have with my daughter is?”
“You adopted that thing? Man, I knew you were a fucking piece of work, but that takes the Goddamn cake!”
“Excuse me – did you just refer to my daughter as a thing?”
“I’m surprised you refer to her as a daughter instead of a pet.”
Matt’s eyes narrowed in unconcealed rage. “I think you and I better have a talk.”
“Yes,” Carl said, his right eye twitching and a vein rising on his forehead, “Yes, I think we’d better.” He turned to Lila and said, “We’ll be down in the Man Cave. This shouldn’t take long.” Both men strode downstairs, and the door closed and locked. And then the shouting began, loud enough to be heard despite the sound proofing Carl Hengst had been doing to the basement room:
WHAT THE FUCK IS YOUR MAJOR FUCKING MALFUNCTION?”
“MY PROBLEM, WTFO ARE YOU EVEN THINKING, PLAYING DADDY TO THAT FUCKING…THING!?”
“SHE’S MY DAUGHTER, NOT A THING, YOU GODDAMN FUCKING ASSHAT, GET IT FUCKING STRAIGHT BEFORE I FUCKING KEELHAUL YOUR ASS, FUCKMUNCH!”
“HEH, AS IF YOU COULD FUCKING DO ANYTHING TO ME, YOU WEAKASS FAG!”
“I DON’T SEE YOU HAVING WORKED OUT, YOU FATFUCK! OR IS THAT JUST BALLAST YOU CARRY AROUND YOUR WAIST FOR MASS FUCKING DISPLACEMENT? TELL ME: DID SOMEONE DESIGNATE YOU AS A REPLACEMENT FOR AN AIRCRAFT CARRIER?”
“I BET YOU CAN’T EVEN SPELL HALF THOSE FUCKING WORDS YOU SAID, YOU FUCKWEIGHT EXCUSE FOR A YEOMAN! MAYBE IF I RIP OFF YOUR HEAD AND SHIT DOWN YOUR NECK, IT’LL CLEAR YOUR MIND!”
“I’M FUCKING SURPRISED YOU CAN EVEN THINK THAT FAR AHEAD, CONSIDERING IT SEEMS YOU ONLY THINK WITH YOUR DICK, YOU LAZY FUCK! THE GUNNER’S MATE COMMUNITY MUST HAVE BEEN DESPERATE WHEN THEY GAVE YOU YOUR RATING BADGE!”
The two teens and Lila flinched. “Oh dear. It seems your father went into Sailor mode,” she told Mike. And knowing her husband, he was just getting started.
“Uh, that would be both our fathers, from the sound of it,” DJ said, a worried look on her face, even as a proud smile crept up on hit. Matt had promised her he would go the limit for her, and he was backing that up. That’s my Dad!
“So, um, DJ, right?” Lila asked.
“Yes, ma’am,” she said, utter politeness.
“Well, this might take a while, so maybe I should order some pizza. Vegetarian okay for you?”
“I can eat meat, ma’am. Sausages, pepperoni, ground and processed meat. Just not outright straight steaks or filets, except for fish.”
“I…see. So, any suggestions? We’re still new here and haven’t really ordered pizza.”
“Sure. 3.14 Pizza – best in town. Number’s 540-667-8088,” she said helpfully as the screaming continued downstairs.
“SO, YOU FUCK A HORSE AND DECIDE TO ADOPT THE FOAL SO YOUR WIFE WOULDN’T KNOW?”
“OH, LIKE THAT’S SO FUCKING ORIGINAL – LIKE I HAVEN’T HEARD THAT A THOUSAND FUCKING TIMES BEFORE! CAN’T COME UP WITH A UNIQUE INSULT, OR IS YOUR BRAIN FILLED WITH TOO MUCH MONKEYCUM TO THINK STRAIGHT YOU LANDLUBBING BASTARD?”
“LANDLUBBING? OKAY, GLOVES COME OFF NOW, YOU PANSY!”
“BRING IT, FUCKWAD!”
“Well, kids,” she decided, “let’s go order it in person then go to the store to get some drinks. It’ll give your fathers time to settle this like…well, I’m going to say Sailors; I’m sure they’re not being gentlemen at the moment.”
“You know, you really shouldn’t be buying something like that at this age,” the sales clerk said. “Hell, if they even know you’re in the store, my ass is toast, got that?”
Marcy grinned, handing the clerk a $50 “tip” in addition to the cost of the items she was purchasing. She’d gotten her cousin, a junior, to drive her all the way up to Inwood, in West Virginia, to visit an adult’s store that wasn’t as picky as to who their clientele was. Rumor had it that if you wanted a little something special and could spare a donation to the “cashier’s special fund,” they’d be happy to oblige.
The man pocketed the fifty, then took the money for the items, and then gave her change. “Thanks for stopping by Little Wonder, Ms. ‘College Student.’ Come again.” She thanked him, smiled then walked out.
As she walked to her cousin’s car, she fished out a box for him. “Here. Here’s the thing that you wanted. We square?”
“You better know what you’re doing, Marcy,” he told her. “You get pregnant, people are going to find out how you got that stuff, and they’re going to put two and two together – meaning they’ll know I drove you up here.”
“Relax, David,” she told him. “We’ve been hiding the fact that you’re gay from your parents for years now and we can hide this. Plus, once I have Mike in my arms, things’ll be perfect.”
“You mean your—”
“Yes, I’m going to ride him like a thoroughbred,” she said, looking in the bag at her purchases. “Is that what you wanted to me to say? Fine, I’ll say it. Now, your boyfriend got everything set?”
“Yup. Jack’s family’s out of town for the month; my ‘best friend’ will sleep over my place that night – and we’re not doing anything, so Mom and Pop won’t figure it out; and Jack says as long as you use the guest room, you can do whatever you want.”
Marcy grinned. “Perfect.” She looked in the bag, pulling out something that her parents would be horrified to see she now owned at her age, but hey, that’s how relationships went – if you played by the rules, you lose out. Mike, soon you’ll be mine.
“Well, well, well,” Erica said, getting Carlos’ attention, “If it isn’t Logan Bradford.”
“Really?” Carlos looked at the door. “Yup. Funny, never seen him here before.”
Sure enough, at the door was Valerie’s ex-boyfriend. He had that young James Dean look going on, and he was the kind of heartthrob that caught any girl’s attention. The fact that he was in Swing’s Ice Cream Parlor, where Carlos had a part-time job was impressive enough, since she’d never seen him in there before, but the fact that he came on a night when Carlos was working and Erica had come just to keep him company in the relatively-empty parlor meant something was up.
“Heya – Carlos Salazar and Erica McAllister, right?” he asked, walking up to the counter. “Oh, and I’ll have a peanut-butter and chocolate malt, please.”
“Yeah, sure,” Carlos said as he went to make it, though he kept an ear out for what was going on.
Erica turned to face him. “Funny seeing you here, Logan.”
“Funny, nothing,” he said. “I came looking for you two.”
“That’s what I figured,” Carlos said, putting a scoop of peanut butter ice cream into the blender container. “So what brings you?”
“Information,” he told them, before chuckling. “Would you believe Valerie thinks I’m getting back together with her? When I told her I wanted a break from the relationship, it was the nice way of saying ‘we’re through.’ But now, I see she’s got her hooks on another guy, and someone in the Valerie Squad is saying that she wants me back with her when that’s just not the case. But that’s not what I’m here for. What I am here for is to warn you guys: the Valerie Squad’s about to drop two big ones on you, and it’s going to hurt you guys bad.”
“Really?” Erica said, giving him a look as Carlos continued to listen even as he added the malt to the milk, chocolate ice cream and peanut butter ice creams.
“Yup. The first part will hurt you, directly, Erica, and I hate to say this, despite the fact that you just got out of the hospital, but you deserve to be told the truth: your boyfriend, Paul? He’s sleeping with a girl from City High named Cheryl Baxter. Reason I know is because I ran into them at the Martinsburg Mall this past Saturday, then I saw you two together yesterday. And then I remembered: Paul’s best buddy is Serena’s older brother Darrien. I suspect she hooked them up just so it could blow up in your face.”
“You’re lying!” she told him.
“I wish.” He pulled out his phone, then brought up a picture of a familiar-looking guy and a very skimpily-dressed girl, making out in front what was clearly the Martinsburg Mall. “For what it’s worth, I think he’s an idiot. You’re much cuter than she is, not that I’m hitting on you or anything.”
The look on her face was one of utter heartbreak, and Carlos caught that from his viewpoint. Firing up the blender, he turned around and said, “And what’s the other thing?”
“This I got from Todd Miles – Marcy Balis is going to make a play for Mike, because supposedly Serena asked Marcy to approach Mike on her behalf. Personally, I know Serena: she’s so far in the closet she doesn’t even admit it to herself, but I know she ain’t after Mike. No, this is meant to hurt DJ just as much as what I had to tell Erica hurt her. I don’t know what the plan is, but Todd thinks it’s going to involve something stupid, and something stupid at our age usually means sex.”
Erica’s eyes were now beginning to tear; there was no way that picture could be denied. “Why are you telling us?”
“Truthfully? I owe DJ. Big time. I would have failed math in Seventh Grade if she hadn’t helped me on multiple occasions, and that’s despite the fact that I was sorta the enemy. She’s a bigger hearted girl than that body of hers shows and I’m wondering if I asked out the wrong girl back then – yeah, I know she’s dating Mike now, but hey, that’s the breaks. In any case, I owe her and this is the least I can do to pay her back…even if it hurt you, Erica. Sorry.”
Carlos poured the malt into a cup, then handed it to Logan. “On the house. Thanks for the info.”
“No prob. Tell DJ if she ever needs an addition to the Alien Club…I’m in,” he said with a smile that he rarely gave anyone – a genuine one. “Be seeing you guys,” he said as he left the store and Carlos to deal with a broken-hearted Erica.
“Dear?” Lila called out. “We’re home.” Lila, Mike and DJ had departed the house about two hours ago, intending only to leave for a few minutes. During that time, Mike had explained where the bruise had come from, and that DJ was actually terrified of her own strength. She’d also talked to the alien herself and found that despite the looks, DJ was just a normal teenage girl was some special things about her; in a certain sense no different than if Mike had dated someone who was blind or in a wheelchair – like them, DJ couldn’t help their circumstances. So with that, Lila Hengst signed off on the okay for Mike to date DJ.
However, as the three entered the house, there was a shout of “Do not rotate or radiate anything on my fucking ship while we’re working on the mast!” The voice was unmistakably Carl’s, drunk as well.
There was, to everyone’s surprise, a second drunken voice, that of Matt’s. “Oh, fuck yeah. Captain Mizzouli, man, what a fuckin’ tightass. Swear, that man had a hard-on to get his star.”
“Yeah,” Carl slurred, “but you heard after the Goldsborough decommed they sent him to command NAS Souda Bay, and he got kicked out of the service there. Turns out he was fuckin’ some little seaman and when she got pregnant the CO of the Naval Hospital found out. Got tossed out by NAVEUR himself.”
“Fucker deserved it,” Matt replied in a slurred voice. “Now, the XO – Commander Swerski – that man knew his shit. He shoulda been the Old Man.”
“Oh, trust me, he got what he deserved: man’s MIDPAC and CNRH now.”
“Two star? Fuckin’ A. Bravo Zulu for him.” It was at this time Matt noticed everyone. “Oh, hey, how the hell are ya! We solved everything.”
Although everyone could smell the alcohol, the smell overwhelmed the humanized alien. “Yeah, Dad, I can tell.”
“Oh, hey, Mike,” Carl said, tipping over, falling on the ground and then laughing. “You can date DJ. But if you get her pregnant – you break it, you bought it.” Carl started drunkenly laughing again as if it were the funniest thing in the world.
“DJ, remember what I said, I want you protected, got it?” Matt said, his head lolling back on the sofa. “Fuck safe, got it, kids?”
DJ turned a shade of red deep enough to be seen through her fur. Dad….
Mike looked equally embarrassed. “Well…at least we can keep seeing each other, right?”
“Yeah,” DJ commented, relieved at least by that much. “Yeah, there’s that,” she said, looking at her completely inebriated father as he started whistling “What Do You Do with a Drunken Sailor”. He was toasted, blitzed, rotated and radiated. By any means a complete public embarrassment if he stepped out of the Hengst home.
DJ was never more proud of her father than at that moment.