Adventure of a Lifetime
Part VII: Ian
Like always, I got up first. It was early; the sun was barely coming over the hills. In the opposite bed Charlie was still sleeping, cuddling her rolled up blanket and snoring lightly.
I took some clothes before slipping out of our room and heading to the shower. I took my time, making sure to keep my prosthesis dry. Wetting it wasn’t dangerous or bad, but it was best avoided.
After a good twenty minutes, I felt fully awake and closed the water before getting dressed back up; the house was a bit chilly so I had taken yoga pants to put under my dress; going for the black one with colorful flowers. It was a bit old fashioned but I’d always thought it was cute.
I finished my morning prep and dried my hair before leaving the bathroom; One of the advantage of hydrokinesis is that it’s very easy to dry your hair; just force ninety percent of the water out and let the rest air dry quickly.
As I got out of the shower room, I saw that Charlie was awake and up and about. She wore a pair of shorts over tights, which I admit looked pretty cute, along with a ‘Blue Moon’ tee shirt, which was one of those band I vaguely knew a single or two of. Indie rock wasn’t my kind of music.
“Good morning, Caroline.” She said.
“Good morning!” I said, feeling oddly happy to see her. For a second I was worried she’d think my tone was weird but she didn’t seem to notice. There was a few seconds of pause before I spoke again. “I wanted to thank you again for yesterday… I don’t know what I would have done if you hadn’t calmed me down and showed me that trick.”
“Don’t mention it, it was nothing.” She said nonchalantly.
“It’s just that just feel like such a dummy for freaking out and needing help with my power…”
“You’re not a dummy, Caroline. It’s okay to be scared and not to know things. And if you need someone, I’ll be there for you.”
“Thank you… You’re a terrific friend Charlie… Can I have a hug? I really could use one right now.” I asked, feeling silly.
I wrapped my arm around her tightly and squeezed her. I just held her for a moment until I noticed that she was sniffing me… Which was a bit awkward but I figured that it was probably because of my favorite shampoo; honeysuckle and orange.
I let her go and noticed she was a little uncomfortable. Maybe she’d noticed that I’d noticed and now she felt weird about it?
“Are you okay?” I asked. “You look a little weird.”
“Yeah, I’m okay…”
“Oh alright.” I said with a shrug. “Say, what do you think about homemade muffins for breakfast?”
“That sounds great. It’s really kind of you to make breakfast.”
“Hey, it’s the least I can do.” I answered with a smile.
I got to work, preparing enough batter for three dozen muffins, half banana half blueberries. Charlie helped me as best she could, mostly fetching things and pouring the batter into the molds since I didn’t trust her baking skills; Charlie seemed like the kind of girl who would have starved to death with a full fridge if all that was in there needed to be cooked.
We were sitting at the kitchen counter, just talking music; She looked indie rocks and similar genre, I was more of a pop head, when the doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it.” Charlie said, getting up and going toward it.
“Hey dad.” She then said seeing who was there. From my angle, I couldn’t see but I knew who it was; The Raven. “Come to check up on me?”
“Among other things.” Her dad said, unlike at our introduction, his voice was smoother, less forced and booming. “There’s a little someone waiting for you in the car.”
With that Charlie galloped out of the house before coming back a minute later, holding a leash.
“Hey, I got someone to show you.” She said proudly. “This is Nibbles and I hope you like him because we’re going to be rooming with him.”
My eyes followed the leash down and I found the most adorable bunny on God’s green earth; white fur with gray-brown spots and floppy ears. It took me a moment to notice that he had fickin’ antlers on his head, which were only a few inches tall.
“Aww… He so cute…” She said, leaning down and reaching with her hand. “Wait, why does it have antlers?”
“Because he’s a jackalope.” She answered like it was a perfectly understandable answer.
“Aren’t jackalopes a myth?”
“Yeah, but this little guy is actually a chimera that was rescued from an illegal lab. I’ve been asked to take care of him for the last two years.”
Chimeras had always had a nasty reputation, although there was nothing inherently wrong with them unless you had some moral opposition to genetic engineering, a lot of villains loved having them as pets, after all what was cooler than than a camouflaging tiger with flesh-melting venom? Nibbles on the other hand looked adorable and harmless.
Well, so long as he didn’t headbutt anyone…
“How did you get your hand on him, your dad?” I asked.
“Yeah, technically taking care of him was my first Legion assignment. So you’re okay with having a bun in our room?”
“Of course, I have some at home anyway. These little guys are as amazingly adorable as they are delicious.”
“We are so not eating Nibbles.”
“Of course not, I don’t want to go to jail for poaching an endangered species.” I said with a chuckle.
“I got to move my things from the car to our room, you mind watching over him for a few minutes? You can give him a snack if you want, he loves bananas.”
I nodded and she went back to the car. I walked to the fruit bowl and took a banana, opening it before kneeling down. As soon as Nibbles noticed the banana he hopped closer and started petting my knee until I lowered it to his level.
Charlie hadn’t lied; he ate his share of banana like he hadn’t eaten in a week.
“Dad, this is Caroline my roommate.” Charlie said, getting my attention once more. “Caroline meet my dad Ian.”
I looked up and saw him; Tall and muscular, shaggy light brown hair and clean shaven, wearing a tee shirt and jeans. Although he wasn’t some spectacular beauty, he was still a handsome man. Sure, I wasn’t interested that way but I’m Ace, not blind to aesthetics. I noticed he was holding a set of boxes.
“It’s an honor to meet you sir.” I said, getting up and giving him a bow, much to Nibbles’ displeasure who tried to get my attention again.
Meeting the Raven in person gave me butterflies in the stomach. Sure, I’d seen him before in costume when he’d greeted us into the academy, but at that moment he was standing before me as a flesh and blood person.
“Oh, please no for formalities. Ian is fine.” He said giving me a smile. He turned toward Charlie. “Which room is yours?”
“Second to last.” She answered and Ian went toward it while Charlie went out to grab another box. They did another trip to carry the last of the boxes and what I presumed was Nibbles’ house. After that Ian came out of Charlie and I’s room alone, with Charlie probably unpacking.
“See you around Caroline.” Ian said as he passed by, waving me goodbye.
“See you around Mr. Ian.”
“Just Ian.” He said with a Chuckle as he went out the door.
“Yes sir. Just Ian.”
“You’re hopeless Caroline!” He shouted before closing the door.