Three years ago — August 2013
After a chilling cold season, the comfortable warmth of summer came back again. Although the humans seemed to feel like the days were burning, it wasn’t much above the intermediate season of Resh. Despite my fears, the humans mainly left us alone, barring the handful who would camp at the gate of our city, protesting our existence. I hadn’t mastered any of their languages yet, but I’d learned to recognize their insults; Bone-faces, space pigs, low brows, alien scum, xeno freaks.
That day, I did what I did whenever I had free time; sit atop the wall, which had long since been moved to accommodate the growth of our camp. In the square, I passed a mother nursing her young. It was odd to think about it, children born on this world, who would never know Resh, but despite everything we’d gone through we carried on, rebuilt, reorganized.
When I arrived at the gate, the usual ruckus was stronger than average. I climbed atop the wall only to see Sikara walking among the crowd of humans who were yelling insults at her, or at least she tried as they were surrounding her, blocking the way.
I didn’t think. I jumped down and rushed to her side. Some of the humans tried to block me but I let out a roar and bared my claws and fangs which sent them cowering like the stupid cowards that they were. Dozens of them against us two adolescents and they were afraid of a fight. I grabbed Sikara by the arm and dragged her past the gate to the camp.
“What were you doing outside?” I snapped. “Don’t you know it’s dangerous?”
“I went to the village.”
“You know master Kiorga doesn’t allow weapons outside of camp. Speaking of her, have you seen her?”
“She left about a krut ago with one of those powered humans.” I answered with a sigh.
“You do remember that she wants us to use earth terms now, right?”
“Right.” I sighed. “About an hour and a half ago. She’s spending more and more time with those humans, she seems to forget her duties here…”
“If it leaves us more time for ourselves, I won’t complain. Beside, everything is working well.” She answered with a grin. “You could come with me, visit the village. It’d help with your Spanish.”
“English then Spanish and then what was it the third one, Frank?”
“French.” She corrected me.
“Why do humans have so many cursed languages.”
“That’s what makes them so charming. They’re so wild and strange. Beside, you know we used to be just like them.”
“They could learn some things from us.” I grumbled.
“Where’s your sense of wonder and discovery? We’re the first Tzari to mingle with humanity”
“I must have left it in my other uniform back on the fleet.”
“Ha-ha.” She said, faking a laugh. “Very funny. Come on, I need to get changed and we can then skip over by the mess hall.”
She grabbed my arm and dragged me along with her, like she’d so often done in the past few months. We went back to our quarters and she dropped her bag before changing out of her dusty uniform and putting on something more casual. Unlike me she had taken to wearing the native’s clothing.
“I have something for you. I found it earlier.” She said before going to her bag.
She got the thing and then raised her arms, which held the thing covered for a moment before she revealed a pink colored flower, one I’d seen a thousand time before.
“By the ancestors…” I muttered. “Where did you get a desnal?” I raised my hand and with the tip of my claws caressed the flower, which was all too real.
“I didn’t. It’s a plant native to this world. I found it when walking to town and I asked one of the human which told me that it’s called a Peony or at least I think that’s what they said… Although the flower is almost identical, the plant it grows from is nothing like a stringy spikey desnal bush.” She said with a smile. “Since it was Lord Iren’s emblem, I thought you’d appreciate it.”
“Thank you.” I muttered, my throat feeling tighter than ever.
I couldn’t hold back the tears anymore and broke down in front of her. She brought me closer with one arm and I rested my face against her shoulder, crying until the tears stopped. When I let go she held my hand for a second and kept me close before taking the flower and tying it to my hair.
“I know Lord Iren would be proud of you.”
“He’d be embarrassed, I keep breaking down and crying at nothing.” I said with a self-mocking growl before looking away.
Sikara wouldn’t have it that way however. Taking my hands in hers.
“You’ve never stopped fighting for our people Shekaree, you have been working harder than anyone else in the camp even the adults. That’s what it means to be Tzari. Although you still ache, you keep carrying on.”
I dared to look up and back at her. She held her head proudly and met my gaze, I could see it in her eyes, she was proud of me, even if I wasn’t… I looked back down and saw our hands still entwined. I let go and looked back at her, her mouth had morphed into a smile.
It was then our lips met for the first time. Her hand moved up and caressed the back of my head as she pressed her tusks and upper teeth gently against my lower lip, sending shivers all over my body… Her other hand wandered, tracing the edge of my shapes, her touch lit fires all through my body. It all happened in a moment; we lost our clothes and found ourselves in bed.