Note: Lookeeeee! I got to update while on the road. I'm still not at college yet, but I'm able to update tonight. Once I'm done with this, I'll work on the next chapter of Maneem. I already have an idea where I want it to go, and am thinking of extending it even further, or else working in a sequel. Wewt!!!


He sat at his desk, hidden behind piles of papers and computer equipment. His head rested in his hands, and his goggles shone wetly.

Where did I go wrong?

He didn't understand. How was it he, the most intelligent man in the known world, did not manage to notice such blatant symptoms in his children? Looking back on past conversations, even Simmons had hinted at the probability. But he'd waved off the thought as statistical paranoia.

Barely aware of his actions, Membrane somehow performed all the necessary motions for entering his car and driving off. It was a miracle he didn't collide with anything, as his mind was far from the road. Left to itself, his body auto-piloted the car back home. For a moment, he just stared at the house, reluctant to enter. But the more he stared, the closer the door crept. His feet were moving, but his mind hadn't given the command. He watched with detachment as he lifted his key to the lock and entered his house.

My house. It couldn't be called his home. His home was at the labs. This was merely his house. Nausea gripped his stomach and he clutched his middle, reeling. He barely made it to the bathroom before retching into the sink, convulsed by his heaves. He stared sightlessly at the mess. This… it can't be right. It's impossible, not our family…

He rinsed and spat, clearing his mouth of the nasty taste. Absently, he made a mental note to have the maid-bot clean the bathroom. Pausing, he picked up a towel and began the task himself. I live here. I can do this.

Finishing quickly, he threw the towel in the trash and walked quietly down the hall. A cursory glance at Dib's room showed it to be empty. He couldn't help rolling his eyes at the choice of décor, but softened when he spotted a poster of himself by the bed. Scrawled along the bottom in marker were the words, "World's greatest Dad."

Swallowing a lump in his throat, he retreated from Dib's room and peered into Gaz's. He bit his lip, fighting to keep control of himself. Dib leaned against the wall, arms around Gaz. They'd fallen asleep. In the faint light, Membrane could see dried tear tracks down their cheeks. He entered cautiously, and carefully removed Dib's arms from Gaz. He lifted her gently and laid her back down, head on the pillow. He drew the covers up and tucked them around her, hoping he hadn't woken her. He turned, oblivious to the small smile lifting the corners of his daughter's mouth.

He lifted his son, still small for a boy of eleven, and carried him from the room. Laying Dib in his own bed, he tucked the yeti-themed quilt around him. He was caught off guard by Dib's slurred, "Night Dad."

"Good night son." Membrane whispered, patting the scythe-like hair awkwardly. He turned to leave, but paused in the doorway, looking back, before continuing down the hall.

The End.


I leave certain aspects to YOUR interpretation. But know, from the author's point of view, this story did NOT end hopelessly.