I L-word you

AN- It's… been a while, hasn't it? I sorry it's taken such a long time, but school and work have been taking up so much of my time. Thank you so much to those of you kept on reviewing through the hiatus. I love you all! I hope that the next chapter will come out sooner! Anyhow, without further ado…

Chapter 3- Venting or The Birds and the Bees

The door to the Rodriguez residence swung shut, causing the dozing family dog to jump up from his pile of blankets in the corner of the kitchen and hurl himself towards the teenaged girl who entered. Carmela blocked the exuberant dog with one fluid movement she'd learned over the course of many years and many bruised ribs.

'Spare a treat for the abused dog?' Ponch whined without much hope for sympathy. He limped over piteously for good measure, but after living with Carmela awhile, he'd come to realize there wasn't much chance of eliciting pity from her. Nita, on the other hand…

"Ponch…" Carmela said firmly, a frightening glint in her eye, "this is not the time. I have a… project to attend to."

A tiny whimper escaped from Ponch's throat. When Carmela used that tone, it never boded well for anyone in the house… or the general vicinity… or the same country.

Maybe it would be better if he went off and made a nice, safe, Carmela-free universe. One with a lot of squirrels. After all, the last time she'd sounded like that, his doghouse had ended up combusting. While he was asleep inside. Though the dog never really grasped the concept of a curling iron (let alone how most don't blow things up…unless there's a lot of hairspray involved), he had since then been programmed to be deathly afraid of them… and Carmela. She tended to give that sort of phobia to anyone around her long enough. On that occasion, Kit had had to explain the explosion to the neighborhood police, and ever since, Kit had a paranoid theory that the officers thought he was a pyromaniac. He was probably right, but that was just one of the little things Carmela had done.

'At least she's not a wizard…' Ponch shuddered, bolting out the doggy-door.

Now that the house was free of interference (not to mention innocent bystanders/witnesses), Carmela settled down at the kitchen table to begin planning. She'd never done anything like this in such a short span of time, but it certainly needed doing. She sketched a few things on a spare napkin with the intensity of a toddler trying very hard to color within the lines, and after a few minutes, a slow grin spread itself across her face. It was nearly impossible, but there were just some ideas you couldn't say no to. Besides, if anyone could do it, it'd be her… that is, as long as she was able to enroll the help of a certain duo of wizards.

'And I can definitely…persuade…them into it.' She mused, feeling proud despite herself.

She stretched and got up to grab some necessary materials from her bedroom, taking a yogurt smoothie from the fridge on her way up. She took a swig, but nearly dropped it in disgust when she thought she heard a chorus of what sounded like tiny screams. She groaned loudly and chucked the nearly full drink into the garbage can.

"You know you've been around wizards too long when the bacteria in your yogurt starts talking to you. Next thing you now, I won't be able to eat meat without thinking it's mooing at me." She said to herself, shaking her head in annoyance at the waste.

Still, not even the genocide of a few million Lactobacillus bulgaricuses could deter her from her mission. Someone had to do It, and it seemed that she fit the diabolical mastermind mold perfectly. Besides, she still owed Roshaun one for messing up her hair. Sniggering to herself, she set to work. By that time, Ponch (proving his intelligence yet again) had made sure he was far, far away from ground zero.

Rrrgh…Dairine raged wordlessly, pounding fiercely on the keyboard, annihilating a shadowy, red-eyed demon boss.

Too easy. She thought boredly, flexing her fingers. Strictly speaking, it probably wasn't the most moral idea to use Spot to play video games where you killed things. After all, you never knew what kind of trouble you could cause on some innocent world with the massive links Spot could pull off. Anyways, on most worlds it wasn't the shadowy red-eyed demons that you had to look out for, but even now that she was a wizard, she couldn't give up her one stress-relieving vice, even if it was kind of reckless. Besides, she really needed it right now. Of course, part of her wished that real evil was that easy to detect and vanquish, but if the Lone Power manifested himself in such obvious ways she had a feeling her work wouldn't be anywhere near as important. Part of her, however, was insisting that this time it wasn't the kind of frustration that had anything to do with the Lone Power. She very carefully ignored that voice before it could say anything incriminating.

'Too painful.' Spot grimaced at her sullenly.

Dairine blinked and blushed; she'd almost forgotten that one the massive links Spot could execute happened to be attached to her mind

'Huh? Were you spying on my brain, Spot? What have I told you about that?'

'You don't seem to mind when it saves your hide out in the field.'

'Quiet or I'll control-alt-delete.' Dairine glared at the laptop, who ejected spindly legs and crawled onto her lap in an almost feline manner.Dairine sighed, but her anger melted away as Spot's fans made little purring noises.

She reached down and patted the computer's casing. 'Manipulator.'

'For the record,' Spot said, somehow communicating a smirk in his voice, 'I was talking about my keyboard.'

'Oh.' Dairine blushed, sensing a sinking feeling of embarrassment settle in and trying (quite unsuccessfully) not to show it, 'Well, sorry if I got a little carried away, then.'

'Yeah, how about you try having someone pound on your appendages to vent their frustration?'

'VENT? I was not venting! And if I were, it wouldn't be over Roshaun. I was just playing a game, ok?' Dairine exclaimed indignantly

'I never said that it involved Roshaun…' Spot blinked innocently.

'You're becoming a cheeky little laptop, you know.'

Nita peeked her head in the door and was slightly disturbed by the contorted expression of frustration on her sister's face.

"Hm. Looks like I'm interrupting something."

"No! Err… could you wait a second? I want to talk to you about something."

Nita peered at her sister and noticed a rare sight: Dairine was blushing and Nita had a feeling she knew exactly why. Immediately, evil older sister mode kicked in.

"Ah. I see." Nita smirked, "So busy with wizardry that you never got around to the birds and the bees discussion with mom or dad, didya?"

"Neets!"

Dairine immediately went pale while her mouth moved wordlessly, unable to begin to speak about how incredibly infuriating her sister could be. She contemplated pummeling Nita into the wallpaper, but dismissed that option as unethical. The only thing to do was to wait and pretend not to hear as Nita tried to annoy her.

"Well, that's what good old sis is for. You see… in nature, there are all these birds flitting around all pretty and twittering and colorful. And their food source is the sweet, sweet nectar from flowers. Then the bees come with their annoying buzzing and tacky stripes and try to elbow their way in. And do you know what happens then? The birds eat the bees! For dinner!"

Dairine blinked.

"I'm not sure if that's a creepy metaphor or just a nature rant, so I'm going to nod and smile."

"Glad I could help."

Kit, who had been listening at the door, poked his head inside and looked at Nita quizzically.

"Neets… am I a bee or a flower?"

Nita and Dairine favored him with a double-time sister deathglare, after which he quickly retreated.

"You just don't get it, do you?" Nita sighed in exasperation, starting after him.

Dairine heard a groan, and Kit popped back in.

"Err… you don't either, do you?"

Dairine groaned and shook her head. Of course, lately there was very little that she did get in that area.

A/N- Yeah, I know that Neets wasn't in character in that last part, but I don't care! Heehee… it came from a certain video our botany professor showed us and the subsequent conversations I had with my friends about it and I just couldn't leave it out. I know that this chappie was short and kind of cliffhangery, but I have a 20 credit hour course load, and this update is pretty amazing in and of itself. Well, go click the pretty periwinkle box… or… uh.. (crap… I think I've run out of threats). Errr… just do it? Please? With cherries on top?