Charity Magic Show

"That was the spare. I accidentally swallowed the original during my charity magic show last month."

~Ziggy, "Brother's Keeper"

Part 3

They had to stop three times on the way to the Garage. Once so Ziggy could change into jeans, once so Tenaya could change into her jeans -- while Ziggy held a pillow over his face -- and a final time to return his tux to the costume shop, where Ziggy insisted they also pick up a disguise for Tenaya.

"They'll never recognize you this way!" he insisted as they neared the Garage. "Trust me."

"First of all, I don't trust any of you. And second, how stupid can they be? It's just a blonde wig!"

"You look totally different," he assured her.

"I still don't see why I can't just break the things."

"No!" he cried. "These are my favorite chains. I've had them for years. I found them in this junk yard when I was running from this really mean dog and --"

"Please stop," Tenaya said. "Your stupidity is overwhelming my programming."

"Oh, sorry." He opened a side door to the Garage and poked his head in. When he was sure no one was around he motioned her inside.

"Where's the spare?" she asked.

"In my room."

"What's in your room?" Flynn asked, popping up from behind the kitchen counter. "And who is this?" he asked with a smile.

Ziggy put himself between Flynn and Tenaya and hiding the chain behind his back. "This is … Annie. She's … my girlfriend."

Tenaya kicked his ankle.

"Wow, Ziggy, I never knew," Flynn said with an approving smile. "It's very nice to meet you. Any friend of Ziggy's is a friend of ours. Especially the ones who don't wear suits and steal medicine from children," he added in a whisper.

"Heh, yeah," Ziggy said. "Well, we were just going …"

"Up to your room?" Flynn volunteered.

"Who's going up to their room?" Summer asked, coming out of the lab.

Ziggy moaned as she noticed Tenaya.

"Oh, who are you?" she asked kindly.

"Annie," Flynn said, "Ziggy's girlfriend."

"Ooooh," Summer said, her smile fading slowly into a look of confusion. "Well, it's … very nice to meet you."

"Yeah," Ziggy said, pushing Tenaya towards the stairs, "real nice. We're just gonna go --"

"Up?" Summer asked, looking between Ziggy and Flynn.

Flynn nodded. "Up," he mouthed. "Have fun, you two!" he called and Ziggy pushed Tenaya into the upstairs hallway. They passed Scott on their way but Ziggy only answered his questions with a slammed door.

Scott rushed to the railing and looked down at Flynn and Summer. "Who was that?" he demanded, not sure whether to be shocked or impressed.

Dillon emerged from the hallway a moment later. "What's up with Ziggy?" he asked, having only seen the door slam.

"He has a girl in his room," Summer said, taking a bite of an apple.

"No, really," Dillon said, "I want to know what's up with Ziggy."

"She's telling the truth," Flynn said. "Says she's his girlfriend, Annie."

"How did Ziggy get a girlfriend?" Scott asked as he came down the stairs. Dillon followed and the two leaned on the kitchen counter, watching Summer eat her apple. Summer froze mid-chew, realizing that all three boys were watching her.

"Why are you all looking at me?" she asked after choking down the fruit.

"Because you're a girl," Dillon said.

"So's Dr. K!"

"Yeah, but she's not a girly girl," Flynn said. "And she'd probably just show us pie charts and coordinate graphs demonstrating the probability of a guy like Ziggy getting a girl like that."

"Well," Summer said, pushing past Flynn and heading into the lab, "why don't you ask Annie then?"

"Because she's busy!" Dillon called after her.

"They're talking about you," Tenaya said mildly. She was sitting beside him on his bed while he held his head in his hands and tried to breathe steadily.

"Are they talking about killing me?" he asked.

"Why would they kill you?"

"Because I brought our mortal enemy into our base!" he cried and leapt up to begin pacing. Tenaya remained where she was so he had to turn around whenever he reached the end of the chain. "If they put me in jail for accidentally teleporting into a bank vault, what do you think they'll do after this?"

Tenaya shrugged. "You were right, the wig is a good disguise. None of them seem to have noticed anything out of the ordinary. Well, that's not entirely true," she amended.

"What?" Ziggy asked desperately. He slid to his knees beside her, waiting to hear if he had to go on the run again.

"They all seem quite shocked."

"Shocked? Shocked why? Because I brought our mortal enemy into our base?"

She waved him off. "Will you stop with that?" She cocked her head to the side, listening intently. "No, they're shocked because they believe we are …" She looked down at him, her eyes glowing slightly in rage. "They believe we are about to engage in --"

"I know!" he cried. "I know what they think we're about to … engage in. That's why I called you my girlfriend. It got us up here without any trouble, didn't it?"

"Find the key," she growled, "before I leave and take your hand with me."

"Fine!" he said and opened a drawer. He pulled a book out and opened it, shaking it slightly. A silver key fell from the binding onto his shark comforter.

Tenaya grabbed it and quickly unlocked her manacle. "Oh, I never thought I'd miss my wrist so much."

"Good, you're free. Now you can climb out the window and they'll never have a chance to know who you are."

Tenaya let out a laugh. "Oh, please. I do not sneak out of boys' bedroom windows." She grabbed the book from his hands. "And I'm taking this as part one of your payment."

"Hey, wait!" he cried, hurrying after her, the chain still trailing from his wrist. "You can't take that! It's a library book!"

She took the stairs two at a time and gave a small wave to Scott and Flynn, who were still in the kitchen. Once she was gone they both looked up at Ziggy, who was standing at the top of the stairs.

"Whoa," Scott said, seeing his wrist. "Ziggy … I had no idea."

Flynn just shook his head while Dillon emerged from beneath his car.

"Don't tell me I missed seeing her again!" he said.

"Sorry, man," Scott said.

Ziggy sighed and decided to cut his losses before Summer, Dr. K, Colonel Truman, and anyone else who knew him in Corinth showed up and saw him.

"I've gotta call the library," he muttered and trudged back to his room, wondering just what part two of his punishment would be.

review = love

Also, there will probably be a sequel ... eventually.