"Oh, see the storm is threatening
my very life today"
Aeleus tapped his foot in time to the beat. He desperately wanted to bob his head, but that would mess up the viewing of the genetic code on the table before him. He had been tasked to view the genetic code of a human subject, to see if it was possible to match up genetic defects with the parents. He grinned as he viewed his work. The genetic code was the second most beautiful thing in the world. As the Rolling Stones headed to the riff, someone rapped on his door.
"COME IN!" he shouted over the guitar. He turned around to face his assistant. Truth be told, Aeleus didn't cut the figure of a scientist. He was tall, with bright red hair that refused to be tamed, and muscular. He wore a retro Rock t-shirt and jeans under his white lab coat, and a gold ring around his left hand ring finger. His assistant, a young man, peeked in and looked embarrassed and sad about something.
"Dr. Aeleus..." The assistant whispered. He was looking down, and rubbing his hands like some kind of insect. He was pale and shaking, Aeleus' didn't remember him, so he was probably new here.
"Look, if you broke a Petri dish, there are others in the shelf, just collect a new sample." Aeleus explained before he sighed and turned back to his work. He needed to focus on his work.
"It's not that… it's your wife… Naomi's been in a car accident."
"You know, your opponent was favoring his left leg." Aeleus jumped, and whirled back behind the divider in the locker room. A blush turned his neck and cheeks red.
"You're… not supposed to be here." He managed to stutter. A young woman, with a bob of dark hair and ice blue eyes, stood in the wrestling locker rooms. While she was fully dressed in jeans, a black t-shirt, and a jean jacket, Aeleus just had a towel around his waist, which meant the cold white tile was making him freeze.
"I just thought I would help you out. I'm Naomi, I had to come for my physics class. 'The use of physics in sports' "The girl spoke offhandedly, maybe a bit snobbishly.
"Can you just turn around, please?" Aeleus begged, he heard a rustle so Aeleus peeked to see she had turned around, before walking over to his clothes. "I'm Aeleus, I'm studying genetics here." He said as he pulled on his jeans.
"Cool. So, why are you wrestling?" Naomi replied as Aeleus pulled 'The Who' T-shirt over his head before he responded. This Naomi was pretty, but seemed a little cold.
"The mental calisthenics, among other things."
"Yeah, right." Naomi snorted. She started as Aeleus placed his hand on her shoulder.
"I'm serious. Look, you have to watch what your opponent is doing, how he moves, where his eyes go, and you have to predict their attack from that. You then come up with a counter attack, and use physics to pull it off. It's actually fairly cerebral." Naomi didn't even come up to half way up his chest, kind of scary to be so small.
"If you say so…" she muttered. But Aeleus grinned, he liked bragging about his sport.
"Look, how about we talk about it over dinner. My treat."
"Not at the Campus restaurant." Naomi demanded, a smile flickering on the edge of her mouth. Aeleus' grin was broad as he returned the gesture.
"Are you kidding? Of course not. Coach forbade us to eat there anyway." Aeleus threw an arm around her shoulders before walking off with her.
"TAXI!" Aeleus shouted as he ran out in front of the building. He hadn't even stripped of his lab coat or hair net. All the assistant could give him was that Naomi had been in a car accident and she was at Memorial hospital. Aeleus just kept on calling a taxi until one stopped in front of the building. Aeleus threw himself inside. "Memorial Hospital" he demanded. "And step on it." Naomi… come on, let it be some broken leg.
"Ah, first child, eh?" The driver chuckled. Aeleus shook his head as the driver pulled away from the curb. I wish. I truly wish. Or do I?
"My wife was in an accident." It was so odd to actually say the words. He felt like someone else said them. Someone else HAD to, this couldn't happen to Naomi? His strong physicist wife, the one who laughed as they played games during winter evenings. Who critiqued his cooking like a reviewer, who once fought off a mugger with the techniques he taught her. The driver paled, and pushed down on the gas.
"Good Luck. I'll get you there in ten minutes."
It was 5 in the afternoon, and Aeleus was arguing with Naomi's roommate, Ruth. Ruth's blond hair stuck out on her black sweat suit, and her brown eyes (normally quite cheerful) were now filled with anger at Aeleus' rather large form.
"All I know is when I called her today, she told me to go f*** myself." Aeleus said calmly, bending slightly to look Ruth a bit more in the eye. "That doesn't really sound like her so I wanted to check in."
"Well, I don't know much." Ruth sniped, placing her hands on her hips. "All I know is she's in her room and won't come out. And she especially doesn't want to see you." Aeleus sighed at hearing that, then picked up Ruth and moved her out of the doorway.
"LET ME DOWN!" Ruth shouted, and Aeleus did so, as soon as he was in side. Ruth followed him, grumbling, as he walked over to the door on the right, Naomi's room, he could hear sobbing inside. He sidled up next to the door and rapped three times.
"Go away!" Naomi's muffled voice came through the white door and Aeleus leaned so his ear was next to it.
"Naomi… it's Aeleus." He said as calmly as he could. What was bothering her? The door was cool as he leaned against it, Ruth flopped down on the couch in the common room and glared at him constantly. Aeleus heard something behind the door and he quickly retreated as Naomi pulled the door back so hard it crashed against the wall next to it.
"I told you to leave me alone." Naomi growled. If looks could kill… "After that text you sent me, you DARE to come here all gentle?" She tried to slam the door shut, but Aeleus put his foot in the way.
"What text are you talking about?" he was honestly bewildered. Naomi violently threw her phone at him from it's place on her bed, and he grabbed it out of the air. He flicked the bar open to see a text from himself.
"N, are you read for the sperm collection tomorrow?" Aeleus closed the phone and ran his hands threw his untamable red hair as a blush rose to his cheeks. "Dang… I thought."
"So you DO mean it." Naomi leaned against the door, her arms crossed.
"NO!... You know I'm a geneticist, right?" he pleaded. She snorted; he took it as a yes. "Well, my boss is named Nathan and I was trying to text him if he was ready for me to test for Genetic markers tomorrow."
"Huh?" Naomi calmed down slightly. "What do you mean?"
"The sperm is donated anonymously, so I check to see if it has any genetic mutations, the race and age of the donor, etc. Just so people know what they are getting. That's my job. I just got your number, went to text Nathan, and I didn't realize that I clicked the wrong name on 'NA' of my list." Naomi calmed down significantly at hearing his explanation. She walked towards Aeleus and placed her hands on his waist (being unable to reach his shoulders)
"You mean it?" She asked, her eyes turned up into his.
"Absolutely. Here, call my boss if you want to double check." He gave his own phone to Naomi. She scrolled through his phone book (Ruth had switched to watching TV as soon as the word 'sperm' came up) and Naomi called his boss.
"Hi, is this Nathan? Yeah, I'm Naomi, a friend of Aeleus. I was checking in on what his job entailed…"
Aeleus ducked out of his room to head over to Naomi's. He had a black windbreaker slung over his shoulders, with a back pack on his back and pop-tart in his hand. Just as he closed the door, he turned around to see Naomi there, hands deep in her pea coat pockets.
"Oh, you're leaving? I was hoping I could stay at your place for a bit. Ruth's got her boyfriend over and it can get a bit… awkward." Naomi bit at her lip and tapped her shoe on the ground.
"Yeah, the same thing is happening over here." Aeleus jerked his free thumb – and poptart - over his shoulder, "Both my roommates are busy tonight." Naomi's eyes darted towards the door as something echoed from the room's depths.
"Oooh, Steven!" Naomi blinked at the sound.
"That's not a girl." Naomi's voice was sly, trying to understand.
"I know. My other roommate's gay." Aeleus responded without a flutter of emotion. Naomi blanched and grabbed Aeleus' arm.
"Alright. Do you want Dinner and a movie?"
"Sounds good." Aeleus' responded and they walked off together.
Aeleus woke up with a start in a strange and bland room. Ozzy Shirt still on? Check. Jeans still on? Check. Naomi? Apparently cuddled in her arms. Naomi's shirt? Still covering her. Naomi's jeans? Still on her.
Aeleus tried to remember what had happened, but a hangover kept him from thinking straight. Buzz… BUZZ… buzzzz… Naomi's phone vibrated on the table next to her. She was kind of cute when she was sleeping. Her eyelashes fell over her cheeks gracefully, while her breathing fluttered the sheet by her mouth. Aeleus rested for a bit, enjoying the cool sheet and the cuddling. He had always liked it, even as a kid with a teddy bear. She stirred a bit, turning so her head was on his chest. He could only see the top of her head, but he felt her nose twitch from his shirt, and then she sneezed and woke up.
"Ohh…" she groaned, her hands holding up her head, then, not looking at the phone, she groped to her right to pick it up. "Ruth… what time is it…" Aeleus decided to pass the time by trying to tickle her a bit. She kept on tossing him faces in return while listening to Ruth. "I'll head over to class now. How was last night?" She slipped out of the bed and rolled her shoulders. Aelus did the same, and grabbed his bag and jacket from by the door. "Well, glad to hear it went well. See you later." She slipped into the bathroom before he could, and shut the door firmly.
"Alright" Naomi's voice echoed from the bathroom as the sound of rushing waters was muted by the door. With a slight flomp Aeleus heard her clothes hitting the floor and blushed. "What happened?"
"We woke up in bed." Aeleus said bluntly. He couldn't think straight between the buzzing in his head and the thoughts that were trying to break through his hangover.
"Yes, yes, I gathered that much. Anything else?" Snippy as always...
"Er, no nothing else." Aeleus groaned as he tried to make sense of the various blurred images. How much DID he drink?
"They are pirates, Papa. The famous Pirates of Penzance!" Naomi half sang, her voice reverberating off of the shower walls. "Sorry, I grew up watching that movie. Great play… Anyway… we checked in."
"Yeah… and we….. " Aeleus gripped his head. A frame kept on flickering in mind. An actor? "We saw a movie! A thriller I think…"
"Yep… that sounds right…" Naomi shouted back as the water turned off. "Before that we had dinner…."
And she had told him, must have been the wine, why she reacted that badly over the stupid text. A lady killer, she had said, one who loved her and left her. And she was afraid history was repeating itself. The door creaked open and Aeleus jumped back, closed his eyes, and turned around. And then gripped his head.
"I have my clothes on, and I thought you would have less of a hangover. You're taller than I am."
"It does take me longer to get drunk…"Aeleus muttered, looking down while he turned. "But it hits me just as hard later." Naomi smiled.
"Just take a shower. I'll take care of the bill, unless it was taken care of last night…" As Aeleus stripped and entered the shower, allowing the hot water to relieve the stress flowing through his head. As the pounding went away, he heard Naomi shout out
"NEVER let me get that drunk again!"
"You sleep with her yet?" Iggy rested on the bar stool at his parents' house. A football game blared in the background as the three roommates entertained themselves while Ignatius' parents were away for the weekend. They had to throw out those pizza boxes soon.
"Not planning on it yet." Aeleus tossed back a soda, his back resting against the bar counter, as Steven looked through the refrigerator. The announcer shouted something about downs as Iggy flipped through the phone book to order wings. "She has some bad memories."
"Rape?" Steven asked, finally pulling out a Cola. "If so, I can see why she wouldn't… Iggy, where's your consoles?"
"Under the TV, but not until the game's over. I want to see if the Ducks make it to the championship." Steven shrugged, but walked over and sat down on the couch in the living room. "Anyway, why not? She's a decent piece of meat."
"Don't talk about her like that." Aeleus spat out. "She's a person too." Iggy shrugged.
"Yeah, but a man's got needs, and the last time you dated someone was months ago."
"Iggy, I'm a geneticist, or will be anyway. I need to keep up on the current studies, and no, Steven, Naomi wasn't raped." Steven had stopped listening.
"Sweet! Ignatius, why didn't you say you had a copy of Goldeneye!"
"Steven, call me Iggy and DON'T! Change the channel…" But Steven was already half way into plugging the controllers and the AV links into the TV.
"Great! We've got three… I challenge you guys, loser pays for dinner." Steven's smirk was unbearable, so Aeleus hopped the couch to sit next to Steven and grabbed the second controller.
"Alright, if he's in… I'm in." Iggy grumbled and took the third controller, and watched as a 64 bit Bond shot the screen.
About 3 hours later, the house was packed. It turned out Steven lost, so he ordered Chinese – they were ALL sick of Pizza- while one of Iggy's old girlfriends came over to check on Iggy. She brought some of her friends, who texted other friends, which then led to a very loud and cramped house full of Pizza, beer, music, and people making out in random corners. Steven had managed to pin a guy on the couch, while Iggy was kissing one girl while groping her twin. Aeleus just gripped his soda- he figured this wasn't the best place to get drunk, even if his craggy looks scared girls off - and wished everyone would leave. He needed to study, he had to do a counterargument on one of the new biologists in the field, a man named Even, due Monday. Aeleus didn't like Even's methods, he mused as he drank his soda. From what he had read, Even preferred to experiment first, and ask questions later. Not that it wasn't a valid theory just….
"SQUEE!" With a sigh, Aeleus got up off the steps upon which he sat and thumped into the living room. Steven jerked off of his new beau and stared at the giggling girls.
"What the HECK are you doing?" Steven shouted, as the brunette girl sighed. "I'm gay, so if you are interested in me, I don't return the favor."
"We know…" the blonde sighed. Steven ran his hands through his shoulder length brown hair. He was so scrawny, the look didn't really suit him.
"Ooh! Look at him…" The blond nudged her friend, who saw Aeleus and giggled. They were really getting on his nerves. "Can… can you make out with him?"
"WHAT!" Steven half fell off whoever he was straddling, as both he and Aeleus shouted at the same time. The girls started to hug each other with delight.
"Listen… VERY Carefully." Aeleus' voice rumbled in his throat. They didn't really listen. "I'm not gay. And even if I was, I wouldn't make out with someone because you two…. Bozo's asked me too."
"Prove it… Prove you're not gay…" The girl shot back. Never argue with a fool, otherwise people can't tell the difference. Unless it wasn't an argument…
"I have a girlfriend." Aeleus pulled his phone out of his back pocket and flipped it open. Come on… Pick up… Pick up… "Naomi?" he whispered "Hey, it's me. Aeleus. Can you pretend to be my girlfriend for a bit? I promise to explain… yes, I'll get you some chocolate later…" He turned and faced the girls. "Here you go, my girlfriend, Naomi." After they took the call, Aeleus snuck out to find Iggy.
"You need to reclaim your house!" Aeleus shouted as he entered Iggy's room, only to cover his eyes and turn his back immediately. "Iggy! Put on some pants first!"
"Why?" Iggy asked. "Not to the pants thing." The girl, who was covering herself with a blanket, smiled and rested her chin on Iggy's shoulder.
"Because they are some girls who want to see me make out with Steven and that's just among several other things going on some of which may be illegal" Aeleus was hoping he could forget what he walked in on, so far it wasn't working.
"That… would do it. And if my parents came back now…" Iggy slipped off his bed to pull on his pants, as Aeleus darted into the room to escape the girls.
"YOU!" The blonde shouted, hair flying with every angry step. "You have a girlfriend!"
"That's what I told you." Aeleus said softly, backing up slightly as they stomped their way into the room. Iggy cleared his throat.
"This, you understand, is my house. And I want you to leave." He leaned on his award shelf. The girls quieted down for once. "So, Aeleus, you mind doing the honors?" Aeleus gave a short grin. He ripped the phone from the blonde's hands, put the two girls over his shoulders, and walked out of the door. People started to gather to the windows to watch him take the screaming girls to the curbside, then drop them gently. Without a word, he walked back into the house, through the house, and back outside through the back door. He plopped down on the white porch and pressed redial.
"Naomi? Sorry about that…. Yeah, but thanks anyway. You saved my skin. .. Just some girls who for some reason thought it would be smexy if I made out with Steven. Yeah, I know. I don't get it either. What's going on at your end? … I hate tests too. What subject?" Aeleus moved to sit down on the grass and then rested his head against the top step, to better see the stars. "See, that's why I picked Genetics. It's a new field, no old ideas to face against…. Oh? Iggy decided to throw a party. Things haven't gone well. If his parents came back now… I walked in on him and a girl while trying to get him throw those weird girls out of the house…. Oh, I did. Threw them over my shoulders…. NO! Not like that! Come on, I wouldn't do that and you know it…. What else? Well, Steven's got a guy now. … Oh, he's an Education major…. High school. I know, tough crowd. But he'll do well. He's got guts. And Iggy is Architecture… No, I'm not really sure why. No, not all of them are like Iggy! My sister Tina is in Architecture… Oh! You haven't met her yet, have you? Do you have any family? Oh… I'm sorry… I know they're not dead! I just like large families, that's all…. Because, you will never be alone. There will always be people who love and care for you. And you can always have fun…. 10's. .. Oh, okay. Good Night, Naomi."
"MY WIFE!" Aeleus skidded into the emergency room. His tall stature and bright red hair making him stand out among the other people gathered there. He plowed his way through to the main desk. "Where is my wife?!" The man running the desk looked up at him. Death, exhaustion, fear? Something made his eyes look dead.
"Sir, we cannot find someone just by the title 'My Wife.'" His hands twitched, one of his fingers motioning something that Aeleus ignored. "So, who is your wife?"
"Her name's Naomi." Aeleus growled. "She was in a car accident earlier today, sometime after 8. She went here, and that's all I know." Everything…. Everything was catching up to him. He gripped onto the desk as the emotions rolled over him again. Where was she? Was she alright? Was it all a misunderstanding? Maybe she was safely at the doctor's office, and they would laugh at this over dinner tonight….
"Are you Aeleus?" Aeleus turned jerkily to look at the man. The doctor held a clipboard close to his chest, and a smidgen of blood was on his sleeve. "Naomi is this way."
"Okay, stand like this…" They were in Aeleus' common room today. She had asked to learn how to wrestle, and even if Aeleus wasn't the best person to do it – if this was an official match he would get kicked out. There was no way he would be in her weight class, let alone let him wrestle a girl- she still wanted to learn. So, he handicapped himself by getting on his knees. She bent over so their heads were next to each other, and their hands wrapped around their arms and back. "And the object is to upset the opponents balance so they land on their back. Once you get both shoulders down so they are unable to move, you get a 'Pin'. You can also force them out of the circle, that we don't have at the moment, and that gets you points too. You cannot kick the opponent either."
"You have the advantage; you're on your knees."
"And if I didn't handicap myself, I would refuse to fight anyway. I don't want to hurt you. But you insisted, and I want to help… so…"
"Fine. Fine…" And Naomi pushed. Aeleus wasn't expected it, and toppled onto his back. Before he could get up, she straddled his chest, and placed both hands on his shoulders. "Pinned." She smirked.
"Cheat." Aeleus spat out, but a broad smile was covering his face. She smiled too, and then ducked in to kiss him. Their lips touched for a second, and Aeleus lost track of time. Naomi finally sat up, shaking her head. "Wow… that wasn't the best kiss I've had."
"Hey! " But Naomi was laughing as she got up to sit on the couch. "What will people say…" Aeleus mused.
"What?" Naomi asked as she pulled her hair out of her face.
"That we had our first kiss wrestling." Aeleus sat down next to her, and wrapped his arm around her waist as he replied. She snuggled in close to him. Aeleus could smell strawberries.
"Well, we don't have to explain. Technically we have already slept together." Aeleus ducked in to kiss her again.
"Naomi, I DO want to go out with you…. But I have a test tomorrow." Aeleus rubbed his temples as he sat at his desk. The setting sun was streaming through the window as a book and a notebook lay open infront of him.
"Yuck… what is it?" Naomi lay down on his bed, as Aeleus tried not to look at her and concentrate on his book.
"Philosophy, and it's my minor. So, shoo." He shook his hand in her direction. He couldn't hear her move.
"Still…" It sounded like Naomi turned onto her stomach. "You can concentrate better if you relax…"
"Naomi…" He growled.
"Oh, cool it. I meant just take me to dinner. They're serving meatloaf again."
"YUCK! That's worse than Rousseau"
"Aerosmith" Naomi spat out first, a smug smile appearing on her face.
"Bobby Darin." Aeleus retorted.
"Aeleus! You're picking the Easy ones." Naomi chided. They were sitting in Aeleus, Steven, and Iggy's common room while Steven was busy pulling together his class lists and keeping score for the two new lovebirds list off contest. Naomi had challenged Aeleus that she could name more rock singers then he could name Jazz singers. So far, he was losing.
"Fine… Ella Fitzgerald."
"Still Easy. Love Handel."
"How do you know Love Handel!" Aeleus responded, his brow twisting into a very confused look.
"You have their poster in your bedroom!" Naomi explained with a smile. Steven started to laugh as Aeleus blushed.
"Oh, yeah… er..Louie Armstrong… wait, I haven't been in your bedroom!"
"Yes, you have." Naomi retorted as she thought about what her next pick was.
"No, I haven't. I stood outside your door for that exchange. And even if I did, what was going on was more pressing then what posters you have up!" Aeleus retorted.
"Besides… I only pictures of hunks up." She knew he liked that voice. Smiling, Aeleus threw chips at her. She jumped him, and Steven started to referee the wrestling match.
Naomi sat on Aeleus lap as they flicked through songs on the internet, her arms entwined around his neck. They had graduated now, and held jobs in the same company. Aeleus had moved up to biogenetic engineering, in order to discover drugs to help cure genetic diseases. Naomi was working in radiology.
"Naomi, what do you think the most romantic song is?" Naomi shrugged before bringing up 'Beyond the Sea'.
"A song to a lover, to pine for someone so far away… Why, what are you thinking." She asked curiously. Aeleus fingered something in his pocket before turning the website over to "In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel.
Love I get so lost, sometimes
Days pass and this emptiness fills my heart
When I want to run away
I drive off in my car
But whichever way I go
I come back to the place you are
The two sung as it hit the second verse. Naomi's puzzled look gave away to a smile. She had always liked singing… she slid off his lap as they began to dance. Somekind of waltz, but it was nice to whirl around a bit, the carpet soft against their bare feet.
All my instincts, they return
And the grand facade, so soon will burn
Without a noise, without my pride
I reach out from the inside
This was always one of Aeleus' favorite lines though. To give yourself up like that…He twirled her around as it the refrain,
In your eyes
The light the heat
In your eyes
I am complete
In your eyes
I see the doorway to a thousand churches
In your eyes
The resolution of all the fruitless searches
In your eyes
I see the light and the heat
In your eyes
Oh, I want to be that complete
I want to touch the light
The heat I see in your eyes
As Peter Gabriel crooned on, Aeleus got down on one knee and opened up the small box in his hand.
"Naomi… will you marry me?
"The accident was bad. From what we can tell, her body locked up while driving."
"No…" Aeleus stopped walking and slumped to the floor. His hands gripped his head, and his eyes teared up… "No… Not… "
"Are you alright, sir?"
"I… I was studying it. And… it kills my wife."
"She's not dead." Aeleus jerked up at this unexpected development. "
Aeleus leaned up against the wooden frame. Eyes closed, he knocked the door.
"What is it?" Naomi's voice rang out. She sounded like she was on the edge of a breakdown.
"Tina came in. She said that you had a dress issue." Silence on the other end then..
"It's bad luck to see the bride in her dress before the wedding."
"And are you really going to risk tripping over a torn hem? I'm the only one here who can help." There was some grumbling, but she threw open the door. He promptly looked away, pulled a piece of thread and a needle out of his pocket, knelt down, and began to sew the hem back on.
"Why do you know this?" She asked. He didn't look at her face as he worked on the hem.
"Just short of being a giant." He began. "I either had to learn how to tailor my own clothes, or get them professionally done every time. This was cheaper. Don't worry, this one is done professionally." He went back to double stitch it. He was doing a fairly good job on her dress. You wouldn't be able to see that it had been torn!
"Yeah, I can see that." He could hear her tapping her foot. "You have a fairly small family too." He gave a small grin in response, that she couldn't see.
"I know. I like large families though." He gave a shrug as he tied off the string. Perfect. "Well, Naomi. Let's see if I can leave without seeing you." He slipped his hand up to hers, and squeezed it, before closing his eyes and departing the room, strains of "Here Comes the Bride" starting to echo down the halls of the church.
"Naomi… why are we having Spinach again?" Aeleus stared at his plate. A green…glob rested there. Not that spinach was bad, Naomi actually had a really good recipe for it, it's just that it was three days in a row now. Tina would be dropping by in a few days, did Tina change that green hair yet?, and Naomi was acting very secretive.
"Well… I have to eat it. I'll have to give up that glass of wine that we have after dinner." She was being so very coy…
"Why would… oooOOOoooh…" Aeleus jaw dropped as Naomi smiled and wrapped her arms around her stomach.
"I got the report in today… 2 months."
Aeleus whooped and grabbed Naomi. With a smile, he pulled her up, and spun her around.
"Oh… that might not be for the best..." Naomi smiled at his response and wrapped her arms around his neck, and they rubbed noses as he set her down.
"She's alright? And the baby? Let me see her, please!" Aeleus pleaded and grabbed the man's lab coat. The doctor shook his head.
"I said she wasn't dead. I didn't say she was alright. She's brain dead. And the fetus didn't survive."
CRASH Aeleus had rushed the doctor and pinned him up against the wall. Security started to move towards them.
"WHERE. IS. MY. WIFE." The doctor nodded, well as best as he could with Aeleus' hands pulling him up by the shirt. Fury contorted Aeleus' face, turning him pretty much unrecognizable as blind anger radiated from the man who was just told his wife was as good as dead.
"She's down that way. Come on." Aeleus dropped the man, stomped through the hallways after him. All the noise… People rushing everywhere, but did anyone really care? These were lives, these were people… This was NAOMI….Soon they arrived at a window that looked out into the ICU. Aeleus could only grasp the window as Naomi's shell rested on a bed. Her baby bulge was visible, though there was no reason now. Her eyes were closed, no longer revealing her brilliant blue eyes. Her black page boy haircut fell against the sheet. She looked so empty…
"As I said, she is braindead. And as it stands now, it doesn't look like she will recover. Do you want to take her off of life support, and will you sign to donate her organs? Aeleus? You're not listening…."
"MY WIFE is there on that table, and you're asking me if I want to abandon hope? She's still alive, and I will keep her like that as long as I am here."
Aeleus – in flannel pants - and Naomi –a very large and soft gray t-shirt - were lying in bed, his arm wrapped around her waist. She curled up against his form, and as the two drifted off to sleep, a peaceful smile fell upon their faces.
"It's been 4 days now, Naomi. I don't know… I don't know how I can keep this up. I go home each night and expect you to walk through the door." Aeleus was sitting next to the unconscious Naomi. He was looking unshaven now, and deep circles under his eyes proclaimed that he had been unable to sleep for the last few nights. "I don't… I should have picked it up." He growled, hitting his hand against his palm. She didn't move. She hadn't moved, but he liked talking to her. He felt like he was helping somehow. "They sent some work to me today… more stuff about Even doing new proposals about how Biology effects genetics. I really hate that guy. And well, you know. Breakthroughs, advancing farther in coding, a new program to speed it all up. You know the drill. I really wish I could keep you updated on the physics side of things." He leaned his head in his hands at this point. "Please, please, I don't really want much. I don't care how you come out of this, I don't care if you end up a vegetable. I just want you to be okay." Tears were now falling across his cheeks as his body began to shudder. "Please…"
BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEPFlatlining… she was flatlining… The doctors rushed in as security rushed to keep Aeleus out. Please… just let me… I love her. I love her so much… I won't let her last moments be in nothing… she's got to stay… she has to stay… I love her… Naomi…. He fell to his knees, tears streaming from his eyes. Security stabilized him as tears obscured his vision. Why? Just… take me instead. Let her live… she has so much to offer. What am I, I'm just a geneticist. I don't help the world… I couldn't even help her…
"Sir? You're wife… Would you like to say good bye?"
"By the way, he won't be listening to rock…" Naomi rocked and looked at baby magazines just outside of the door where Aeleus was busy painting the new room.
"Not until he's one."
"You're going to terrify him!"
"Or her. Anyway, what about that Crazy Truck song, it'll make him run out of the room."
"It's TRAIN… and I won't start him off there…"
"White Rabbit would give him nightmares."
"What about the Beatles." Aeleus paused and wiped his brow during this often repeated argument. "And they have good names…" He dodged the magazine she threw at him in jest, and then gave it back to her
"I will NEVER name my son after a Beatle!"
"And in return, we're not naming them after Sinatra's." Aeleus stooped to kiss her forehead. "I love you, Naomi."
They would take her body away soon. He had signed the organ donation forms now that… All he could do was grip her rapidly cooling hands. There wasn't anything there. It was just a body… there was no spark, no life, Where was she?
The doctors came in to roll away the body. Aeleus just stood in the empty room.
"Sir, you're application is respectable… but you are not up to date. It's been 6 months and you no longer know the key info in this field. It changes frequently. So, I'm sorry, but unless you catch up with what is going on… I'm afraid we can't hire you."
Aeleus trudged as he left the building, for the 5th time this week. It had been six months and Aeleus finally started looking for a job. But it was hard going. He had locked himself up for so long, Tina had flown cross country to drag him outside of the hauntingly empty house.
"Excuse me, are you Aeleus?" The man in front of him had blond hair, and wore a long red scarf over a labcoat. Aeleus lifted his head to stare straight at the man.
"Yes." Ansem the Wise?
"I hear you are looking for a job. I am hiring assistants with different talents to help me study the heart."
"I study Genetics."
"This is a different heart. Love," Naomi, "hate, fear, sadness, joy… I would like to study it, and that includes what effect Genetics could have on it. So, since you are the top geneticist, I would like you on the team."
"I'm not." Aeleus crossed his arms.
"All you need is to find the new work. I'll hire you. Don't worry. Here, Edym will lead you to the castle. I'll join you for dinner and give you a tour of the place." Here, a man wearing a white helmet, a white cloak, and a silver breastplate stepped up from the side. He lifted the helm to reveal blue eyes and blond eyebrows. "Where else can you go?"
Saying nothing, Aeleus followed Edym to the castle, with Ansem the Wise following behind him.
"Lexaeus." With a start, Lexaeus woke up, He was curled up on his bed, gripping the cool sheets. "You were dreaming, weren't you? About what?" Lexaeus shook his head to clear it of sleep. As he did so, he glanced around his room, with it's rememberances of being human. The poster for Aerosmith, the pictures of them, the half knit baby booties…
"Nothing." What was Zexion doing in Lexaeus' room?
"It's not nothing, you're holding onto that locket." True… wrapped around his wrist and embedded in his palm was the gold locket with a picture of HER and himself in there. Iggy had taken the picture, when he had finally settled down. Where was Iggy and Steven? Lexaeus flipped it open, there she was, hanging onto his back, smiles on both of their faces. Football… they had been playing football….
"Xemnas wants us." Zexion flipped his hair as he got out of the way for Lexaeus. "They are picking people for the Castle Oblivion mission."
"As long as I don't go with Vexen." Lexaeus grumbled, as he hid a yawn.
"Very true." The two walked along for a bit as they walked towards the room. "I heard you willingly gave up your heart for reasons other than power. Is that true?"
"Yes." Zexion waited for a longer explanation, only to realize that Lexaeus wasn't elaborating.
"Do you still feel like that was the best decision? I mean, you are apart of Organization XIII. We want to get our hearts back."
"No. Emptiness is worse than the pain of losing someone." Before they warped away to their seats, now that they had arrived outside the door, Lexaeus strung the locket around his neck and tucked it under his cloak.