Aug. 24th, 2011

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Leah and Pterychimon were still in the kitchen when the others were in the living room.


Well, most of the others. Bill stands in the doorway between the two rooms, leaning against the frame. His daemon Cyana was perched a few feet away on the back of a chair, where Eddie was still giving Robin the tour. The New Yorker's voice could be heard from here.


“These control panels are in every room, and control the light, heating, music from one place, with an override if she needs it that's keyed only to her biosigns. And the security system feeds right into Pax HQ.”


He sounded excited.


“You're going to turn all that bollocks off the second Eddie leaves, aren't you?” he asked his daughter, only sounding faintly amused.


“Yeah,” Leah said, smiling to herself. “And he bloody well knows it too. It just makes him feel better, y'know?”


“I do.”


Pterychimon finished his run of the work surface and returned to Leah, running a loop around her waist before his head twisted a helix down her arm.


“I like it,” he said. “It's not cold.”


Eddie and Robin and their respective daemons moved on into the dining room/study area, and more out of earshot.


“What colour is it, Bill?” asked Leah.


It was a second before he replied, and when he did, he sounded surprised that no one had told her this.


“Creamy white cupboards with a reddish granite worksurface,” he offers. “The metalwork is dark grey in a wrought-ironny type way. Terracotta coloured floor. The walls are a soft beige.”


“Ugh, really?”


“Sorry, kiddo. I don't think your friends have any colour sense.”


--------------------


She spent the first hour after they'd gone backwards engineering Eddie's security system so that Px HQ would call her when in trouble, not the other way around. That was so worryingly easy she reckoned he'd made it so to give her something to do.


She spent the rest of the evening hanging her art, with Pterychimon watching from under the coffee table, where he curled up to fill the space perfectly.


Occasionally he offered an opinion on whether or not he thought the painting was straight.


“I'll never understand why you like them, though,” he says.


“That's because you've never had good eyesight,” Leah replied, her hands running along the top of the canvas for her newest purchase, which she's never even seen. “And you've definitely never had taste.”


There was an audible spirit level in one of the boxes, they both knew. The box into which she'd dumped all the helpful 'for the visually impaired' devices that people had bought them in the past year, that they had every intention of donating to charity the second it wouldn't be missed.


When that was done, and with all the other boxes still stacked ever so neatly in the appropriate rooms, Leah let Pterychimon talk her to the couch, where she flopped on her back, hands closing around the control for the sound system as she flicked to Number of the Beast.


At the other ends of the room from each other, woman and cobra finally began to relax.



Independence.

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Leah Ross

October 2012

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