Author Note: None.

Disclaimer: None.

Blind Alley

The brick wall was cold and the ground was filthy and slick with ice (not to mention littered with enough paraphernalia to be considered a biohazard), but it was better than being trapped inside that damned frog with the petulant witch and the uppity android glaring daggers at her for another five minutes.

Xavin snapped her fingers lazily, producing a small flame, and shielded it with her free hand from the New York snow. She smoothly flicked the tip of the cigarette through it and brought it to her lips, taking a deep drag. Leaning back against the wall, she exhaled slowly and looked up at the sky, trying to find that one familiar constellation visible from earth that had once been part of the road back to Tarnax VII. But the bruised clouds hid everything, and in any case there was no Tarnax VII to go back to.

"Fresh air?" Karolina joked softly, sidling next to Xavin. Warm arms slid around her waist and Karolina laid her head on Xavin's shoulder. Xavin pressed a kiss to the top of Karolina's head and hooked an arm around her shoulders, squeezing her close as she flicked the butt onto the street and ground it under her heel.

"I believe the humans call it lying."

"I know this club has a death wish, but this is a little much, don't you think?"

Karolina received only silence. The two stood without speaking until Karolina pushed herself off of Xavin, yawning widely.

"You coming in soon?"

The look in her fiancée's eyes promised something more than sleep. Xavin slid anther cigarette out of the carton and nodded.


Karolina headed back toward the Leapfrog. She opened the door quietly, careful not to wake the others, and looked back, hoping to see Xavin following her. But Xavin stood where Karolina had left her, with eyes only for the sky.