Child's Play

Earth, 1982

"It was just another dream," Mindy murmured, blinking herself awake. She groaned as she rolled over and rubbed her eyes. "How bizarre.."

She fell silent as images from the dream flashed through her waking mind. Mork shrinking because he was made of mucous membranes and the cold medicine she'd given him shrank mucous membranes. Mork aging backwards, the two of them getting married, Mork laying an egg… And the two of them, honeymooning on Ork.

She blushed in the darkness at the memory of the interesting direction her subconscious had taken at that point in her all-too-vivid dream—the sixth in six nights—then glanced over at the alarm clock next to her bed. "Three o'clock in the morning. Great, just great," she muttered as she sat up. "And now of course I'm wide awake." Wide awake, and in desperate need of something to distract her. Just like last night, and the night before that, and the nights before those. It was turning into a very disturbing habit, one she hoped to break soon. She wasn't normally prone to nightmares, and although the dreams she'd been having weren't exactly nightmares, they were just as disquieting.

Mindy stood up and stretched before reaching automatically for her robe. It was more natural to her now to grab it whenever she left her room; even though her alien roommate, Mork, seemed unaware of her as a woman—outside of tonight's dream, at least, she thought with a blush—she still felt the need to wear it simply due to his presence in her apartment. In his own room, of course, in the attic space above the rest of the small space they shared, but still in the same living space. Even though Mindy's nightgowns tended more toward granny-flannels than low-cut negligees, she still felt the need for the robe. It was a type of armor, almost, and made her feel less exposed, no matter how irrational that feeling might be.

At any rate, she wasn't in the mood to analyze it, not now. All she wanted was a cup of herbal tea and about a half-hour of television, then she'd be able to go back to sleep. If the last few nights were any indication, she wouldn't return to the confused tangle of dreams. "I wonder what a good shrink would have to say about me dreaming I was married to an alien—and one that I normally think of as rather childlike," she murmured to herself as she opened her bedroom door.

Mork stiffened as he heard Mindy's door open, listened alertly as she crossed the small living room and took the single step up to the kitchen area. He continued to listen quietly while she opened the refrigerator, rustled around for a few minutes, and eventually fixed herself a cup of something requiring the kettle—tea, most likely. When he heard the television click on, he allowed himself a moment of satisfaction—and guilt.

He was sitting in the attic room that had been his home for over a year now, in the dark, and had been sitting there, patiently waiting for just those sounds. They were the same sounds he'd heard the last several nights, sounds that told him his plan was working, that Mindy was disturbed enough by her dreams to need a distraction before she would be able to return to sleep.

He wasn't particularly happy with himself, with what he was doing, but he couldn't see any other way to do it. He tried to comfort himself with the knowledge that he hadn't made the images he interjected into her dreams completely horrific; he found himself unable to do that to Mindy, no matter how noble his intentions. But he'd made the images as crazy and illogical as he could, exaggerating his own worst features to the point of caricature, contradicting himself at every turn, throwing as much confusion and chaos into her sleeping mind as he could. There was no way for him to tell exactly how his suggestions and images had mixed in with Mindy's own dreams, how her subconscious chose to interpret and integrate his projections, but he hoped it would be enough.

For nearly a week he'd used his rarely displayed mental abilities for a far harsher use than he'd ever anticipated, and Mindy was starting to give him strange looks when he joined her for breakfast. Stranger looks than usual, he corrected himself, but the humor was forced. He simply wasn't in a clownish mood. Not since the last time he spoke to his superior, Orson, just over a week ago.

It's for the best, he silently told himself as the guilt and regret threatened to overwhelm him. Today he would distance himself from Mindy, either by acting up or by picking a fight with her. Hopefully she'd be disturbed enough by his interference with her dreams, and irritable enough from six consecutive nights of interrupted sleep, to let him get to her as he occasionally did. If he handled it just right, pushed her further than he ever had, it might be enough for Mindy to accept the story he planned to tell her, or to at least be angry enough to let him leave without demanding the truth. If she asked for that, he knew, he was sunk; he never could lie to her, not when she asked him a direct question. But of course, he told himself, she wouldn't get to that point. His plan would work, and he would return to Ork without ever having told Mindy—beautiful, wonderful, perky, brown-haired Mindy—the Awful Truth.

When Mork joined her for breakfast, Mindy gave him the sidelong, speculative look she'd given him the previous six mornings, this time accompanied by a faint frown. Although it bothered him, he forced his feelings aside. It's for the best, he reminded himself silently, trying his best to ignore the small voice in the back of his head—for once, the voice of his conscience rather than the voice of Orson calling him to another mental meeting—that said he wasn't handling this correctly. So what else is new? he reminded that voice, and it fell silent.

"So. How did you sleep?" he asked, stretching and yawning in an exaggerated fashion. Mindy was never at her best when she didn't sleep well, and rubbing in the fact that he'd slept like a baby—which was a patent untruth—would be a good way to get the ball bouncing. Or rolling. Whatever. "I feel like a million deer this morning."

"Bucks," Mindy mumbled into her tea cup.


Mindy looked up. "I said, bucks," she repeated, enunciating clearly. "You feel like a million bucks, not a million deer."

He shrugged, grinning as he helped himself to a piece of toast. "Whatever." He peered closely at her in exaggerated concern. "You don't look like you feel a million anything. Bad night?" He patted her hand in a patronizing manner. "Maybe you should go back to bed."

Mindy pulled her hand away, opened her mouth as if to say something, then shut it, taking another sip of tea instead. "Going back to bed isn't an option, you know I have to go to work."

"Yeah, I guess so. You know, I think I'll head out, too," Mork replied, as if just thinking of it. Uh-oh, she's still trying to be perky. Better beef up the annoyance factor. He wanted this over with, it was painful enough after a week without drawing things out even further. A nice, clean break, a fight, and a return trip to Ork. Then it would be over, and maybe he could do something about the ache in his heart when he was back on home ground. "I don't know what it's like to have to work like an earthling, of course, but that doesn't mean I won't keep busy!" He grinned and wiggled his ears, then stood, stretched, and patted her absently on the head. She hated that, with any luck it would bug her even more than usual today.

"Don't do that!"

Oh yeah, he'd hit a nerve with that one, maybe her last one. Mork turned with exaggerated surprise. "Mind'? What's wrong?"

She stood up. "I hate it when people pat me on the head, and you know it," she snapped. "I'm not a puppy, Mork, and no matter how 'superior' your culture is, I don't appreciate being treated like a pet!"

That's more like it, Mork thought, although it gave him no great satisfaction to have brought Mindy to this point. He almost backed down, reminded himself of what was at stake, and forced himself to plow ahead. "Oh, Mind', you know I don't think of you like that," he said, making his voice as patronizing as he could. "Even if I did, you're too big for me to convince people that you just followed me home one day." He cocked his head consideringly. "No, I don't think anyone on Ork would believe your species could come up with the technology to get from here to the other side of your solar system, let alone to Ork!" Before she could reply, he pinched her cheek. "Well, I'm outta here. Don't work too hard!"

Mindy slapped his hand away, then grabbed him by the suspenders. "Wait a minute, mister, we're not done here. What do you mean by that?"

"I mean I'm going out," Mork replied, trying to sound confused. "Isn't that what 'I'm outta here' means? Did I use an incorrect colloquialism? You have so many quaint sayings…"

Mindy shook her head, her eyes flashing dangerously as his tone once again passed the fine line between naïve and condescending. The lack of sleep, the flippant responses she was getting when it was obvious she was in a bad mood, and undoubtedly the disturbing nature of her dreams all conspired to make her over-react to her otherworldly houseguest. Just as he'd hoped. "You know what I meant," she snarled. "About Earth technology. You may have forgotten, but I'm sure Ork wasn't always the technological Mecca of the universe! You used to be like us once. On our level."

Oh, that was too easy, so easy it almost hurt to use it. But it would be especially effective, so… He plunged on. "We may have been less technologically advanced, sure, but come on, Mindy, we were never on the same level as Earth!" He let out a bark of sardonic laughter. "This place is a galactic backwater, and you know it."

Mindy went very still. "What do you mean by that?"

Mork shrugged. "Just that Earth society isn't going anywhere and never will. Once most planets reach their own satellites, they don't sit back and wait 15 years before they do anything new with their space programs! You don't even have a planetary government yet! Part of the reason I was sent here to observe you was to see if you'd advanced any since the last time we checked you out. And you haven't," he concluded airily. "But it's a nice place to visit, an easy assignment, and I've really been enjoying myself. I'll hate to leave."

He turned again for the door, wincing inwardly at the hurt expression on Mindy's face, but hoping desperately that he was getting through to her, that she believed the arrant nonsense he was feeding her.

"You've never said anything like that about us before," Mindy whispered as he touched the doorknob. He stopped, frozen by the quiet horror in her voice. "You've been condescending, sure, but innocent at the same time, and I never thought you really meant it, not in a nasty way. Now, it's like..." She groped for the right words. "It's like I don't know you."

"Of course you don't," Mork forced himself to respond in a tone of tolerant amusement as he glanced over his shoulder, trying not to let her hurt feelings get to him. Too much was at stake for sympathetic impulses. "How can you? I'm an alien from a superior planet, who's been sent to study you. I'm supposed to know you, but you aren't supposed to know me. Orson would think it was funny that you even believed you could." He turned his back and reached once again for the knob.

"Where are you going?"

Mork closed his eyes. Why wouldn't she give up? He shrugged as casually as he could manage, still with his back to her. "Out."

"Out where?" Mindy's voice was very quiet. A bad, bad sign.

"I don't have to tell you everything I do," Mork retorted. "You're not my mother, you don't even look like a test tube. I could always see right through her," he mused, then sucked in his breath as he mentally berated himself. Stupid thing to say, maybe she wouldn't notice or just attribute it to his unusually flippant tone today…

No such luck. She pounced on his return to his own personality, instantly noticing the difference between his usual self and the personality he'd donned for this staged disagreement. It took only a few steps, then Mindy was in front of him, her hand closing over his on the door knob. "You're picking a fight with me," she accused, and Mork stared down at his feet, unable to respond. "You are, I can tell. Why? And no BS," she insisted angrily. "Tell me what's really going on."

Mork stared at his toes, but could feel Mindy's eyes on him, and finally looked up as if drawn by the force of her glare. "Um, I'm practicing more Earth emotions?" No good, he knew it wouldn't be; the glare turned withering, and she crossed her arms and tilted her head as much to say, Well?

Gathering all his courage, Mork decided to try and tell the truth—as little of it as he could get away with. "To make it easier when I tell you I'm leaving."

All the anger disappeared at that quiet admission, and Mindy was unable to do more than stare at him for several long moments. "Why?"

"I have to," Mork replied, taking a step backward. And another, and another, until Mindy finally realized he was attempting a retreat. "The mission is finished. Please, let's just leave it at that." He turned away from her, unable to meet her eyes a second longer, and headed for the attic ladder, all pretense of leaving the apartment forgotten.

"Why do you have to go now?" Mindy grabbed his arm, forced him to at least stop, if not face her as she wanted him to. "Is Orson making you leave?" She shook him as she finally turned, catching his eyes with her own and holding them. "Mork, please, tell me. The truth."

Mork's eyes closed briefly. So much for his carefully laid plans. He'd blown it, let her make the one demand he couldn't turn down. A demand for the truth. He couldn't lie to her, not now; even the partial truth he'd planned on offering her would be no good. Not when she was looking at him with so much hurt in her lovely brown eyes, overshadowing her anger and confusion. "No, I'm doing it voluntarily," he replied. "I just…I just have to." He turned away, unable to look at her any longer, hoping that she wouldn't push for a deeper response. "Please, Mindy…"

"At least tell me why," she interrupted angrily, steeling herself to ignore the pleading in his voice. "You owe me that much. Why?" Then, as a sudden thought caught her: "Is it something I did? Something I said?" That would certainly go a long way toward explaining the fight he'd just gone out of his way to pick with her.

Mork shook his head. "No, it's nothing like that." He hesitated, and Mindy felt her breath catch in her throat at the sorrow in his eyes. "Orson's superiors have demanded that I start the next phase of my mission, that I move from observer to participant, and I told them I can't do it."

"Mork, you're already more a participant than an observer," Mindy said, not bothering to hide her confusion. "You care about us, you try to help people—hell, you've certainly done your share of participating in my life," she added, trying to lighten the mood a little.

It failed miserably. "That's not the type of participation I'm talking about." He turned again, abruptly. "Please Mindy, trust me on this one. You don't want to know what they sent me here to do."

"Yes I do, Mork, and I think I deserve more of an explanation than that," she insisted, moving to block him, daring him to push past her. He didn't, merely stood there, his eyes still sorrowful. "What did they send you here to do? Exactly?"

"Determine the compatibility of Orkan and Human physiology for reproductive purposes."

Mindy blinked in surprise and took a step back, not certain if she understood him correctly. Mork nodded. "You heard me right. They want me to impregnate a human female to determine the viability of cross-breeding. And I told them I wouldn't do it. So they've asked me to come home and are replacing me with someone who'll do as they're told."

"But why?" Mindy asked, stunned by Mork's revelation. She'd based her assumptions about Mork's people on what she knew of him, and had equated them more with E.T. than aliens from a bad 60's invasion flick. She'd certainly never thought of him as a character from Mars Needs Women. Now, Mork was telling her his people weren't quite that harmless, that they had some sort of hidden agenda, one that he'd apparently known about and could no longer bring himself to carry out. Due, no doubt, to his exposure to Earth people and culture in general, and herself in particular. She was appalled by the notion, and she knew that he knew how she'd react. Hence his reluctance to explain. "Why would they need you to do that? Couldn't they tell through—less invasive methods?"

Mork shook his head. "Our geneticists want to make certain it can be done without having to resort to extraordinary means. They're over 99% sure it can, so the Council decided it was time to put their money where their…well, time to find out for sure."

Mindy stared at him blankly, so he tried to make it clearer. "We need to determine if an Orkan-Human cross-breed would be viable without genetic manipulation. The geneticists say it's possible, since we're very similar physiologically speaking, and my government is clutching at straws." He took a deep breath and looked her directly in the eyes. She was going to hear the whole story now, and Mindy braced herself for more unpleasant revelations. "Mindy, you know how I told you I was a test tube baby?" She nodded warily. "Well, there's a bit more to it than that," he admitted, sitting wearily on the bottom step. "We have a little bit of a population problem on Ork—well, more than a little."

"How big a problem is it?" Mindy asked quietly, while part of her mind noted that this was no doubt the most intense conversation she'd had with him. Ever.

"How many babies would you say have been born on Earth since I've been here?" Mork countered with a question of his own.

Mindy frowned. "I don't know—thousands are born every day in the United States, let alone on the whole planet—maybe a million? Two million?" she hazarded.

"Try closer to 10 million," Mork corrected her. "And how many babies do you think have been born on Ork in that same time?"

Mindy shook her head. "I can't even begin to guess." She braced herself for his answer, certain only that it would be bad.

"Fifty thousand."

"Fifty—thousand? That's all?" Mindy was stunned; she'd been bracing herself to hear bad news, but that was beyond bad. "Your birth rate is less than a lot of endangered species here on Earth," she whispered, eyes wide with disbelief.

Mork nodded grimly. "Fifty thousand. 90% of which were male. Our population scientists tell us that unless we find some way to increase the gene pool, we'll die out completely in less than ten generations. Cloning and in vitro fertilization are no longer stabilizing the population."

"How did this happen?" Mindy was stunned by Mork's confession, and she joined him on the steps, lowering herself slowly as she tried to grasp the magnitude of what he was telling her. "Was there some sort of disaster?"

Mork shook his head. "No one's sure when it started to happen, or how, but scientists about a thousand bleems ago started noticing that, as we conquered more diseases and lived longer and longer lives, fewer of us were being born. The genetic tampering that was prolonging our lives and giving us healthier bodies had a hidden booby-trap. Scientists believe that our bodies just started to give up, to lose the ability to reproduce without the tampering, which by then wasn't capable of advancing any further. So our science and our bodies failed us at the same time."

"And they don't want to repeat that mistake?"

Mork nodded. "Like I said, they were forced to rely on cloning and in vitro fertilization to try and increase the population, but cloning only works for a certain amount of generations, then you have to deal with replicative fade."

"What's that?" Mindy asked, just to keep him talking as her mind sorted through the shocking revelations he was offering. At her own request.

"Have you ever made a copy on a copy machine?" Mindy nodded. "And have you ever made a copy off another copy?" She nodded again. "How about a copy off a copy of a copy?" Another nod, and understanding flashed in her eyes. "Well, that's about how it works with cloning," Mork concluded. "The first few copies off the original are fine, but the copies from them aren't quite as clear, and eventually—not too far down the chain of copies—irreparable genetic damage sets in."

"What about the other thing, in vitro fertilization and gestation?" Mindy asked. "That's using donor eggs and, um, sperm, right?"

Mork nodded. "Yes. The idea was to remove all of a woman's eggs and fertilize them all at once, with the donor sperm coming from different males. But in order for that to work, you need fertile men and women. Unfortunately, there are now more men than women on Ork. And fewer and fewer of us are born fertile."

Mindy stared at Mork with dawning comprehension. "You're the product of such an experiment, and you're one that is—that can—"

"That can father children." Mork nodded. "We know that humans are sexually compatible with us, but we're not 100% certain we're similar enough to produce genetically viable offspring without help. I'm supposed to find that out, and report back to Ork. But I can't do it, so they're sending someone else in my place. Not here," he added hastily. "I told them it would be a good idea to start fresh in a new location. Somewhere besides Boulder."

Mindy simply sat there as his words came to a stumbling stop. She stared down at her hands, trying to absorb everything Mork had told her. And, by implication, everything he hadn't told her. "Mork, why can't you do it?"

He didn't want to answer her; she could see the struggle in his eyes before he turned his head away. "Because I couldn't do a thing like that to you, and I couldn't even imagine trying to become...intimate...with anyone else," he finally confessed. "I couldn't use you that way. I couldn't bring myself to do it to any earthwoman, but especially not you. No matter how desperate the situation."

"I see." And she did, finally; why had it taken her so long to realize Mork's feelings toward her? Perhaps it was because she'd grown accustomed to thinking of him as more of an adolescent, or a child, because of his naïveté about the way things worked on Earth, his incessant humor, his teasing manner. Why hadn't she realized that his naïveté was natural, his adolescent humor only a coping mechanism? Because she'd taken him at face value, she realized. Treated him as if he were more of a joke than anything else. Not as if he were a thinking, breathing individual, with feelings deeper than those he typically displayed. She knew about his compassion, his desire to learn everything he could about being human, his natural ability to make friends; why hadn't she seen his capacity for love, too?

"I'm sorry." Mindy looked up, startled, as Mork rose to his feet, backing up the stairs with a haunted look in his eyes. "I know you're upset with me, but you asked, and I can't lie to you. I just hope you think charitably of us, and remember; we're not trying to take over Earth, we're just trying to find a way to survive as a people." With those words, he turned and raced up the stairs.

Mindy followed him; she couldn't let him leave, not like this, not thinking that she was angry with him or his people. Well, maybe a little; he might have told her about this sooner, but she certainly understood his unwillingness to do so. Especially since she knew now that he refused to follow through with his assignment, out of feelings toward her and the people he'd come to know—and love—on Earth. And the Council, whom he referred to so disparagingly, was at least willing to accept his refusal; there was no talk of being forced to do it against his will, merely a patient request that he return home so they could send someone with fewer ethical qualms—or more patriotic feelings—to complete the mission.

He was standing against the far wall, looking out the attic room's single window, and she knew he hadn't heard her arrival from the slumped, defeated position of his shoulders as he leaned his head against the arm that rested on the window frame. He was watching the children playing in the small park across the street, children, she realized now, that represented not only hope for Earth's future, but perhaps for Ork's as well. He'd always had a special affinity for children, something Mindy had simply put down to his own child-like nature, but now she knew it was more than that. Much more.

With such thoughts in mind, she crossed the short distance to stand behind him. "Mork, do you love me?"

He stiffened at her words, at the feel of her hands on his shoulders, and she leaned her cheek against his back as she waited for him to answer. The nod was slight, but she felt it, just as she felt the rigidity of his muscles, the tension in his body. But he didn't move away, didn't try to remove her, and she felt a small sense of victory at that. "Yes. I love you. I have almost from the moment we met."

"Did you do anything to me besides pick a fight today?"

An explosive question, quietly asked. And deserving of the full truth. "I manipulated your dreams, inserted some random factors to make you feel…uncomfortable around me. Uneasy. But nothing specific," he assured her, his voice as quiet as her own. "I didn't put scenes or even characters. Just a suggestion that I was more alien than you thought. I didn't—I couldn't—do anything more, just put in a sense of discomfort about my origins. I don't know how it affected what you saw…"

"I dreamed we were married." Mork stiffened even more in her loose embrace, but she didn't let go. She wasn't surprised by his confession, had expected it. The dreams she'd been having were a little too convenient, given the nature of the rest of his confessions today. "I dreamed we were married and you laid an egg and were aging backwards, and my uncle was the baby. We named him Mearth," she added, remembering bits and pieces. "It was weird, contradictory, crazy stuff. But we were together, we loved each other. And if you say you didn't direct the dreams as to content…"

"I didn't," he promised, his voice thick with emotion. "I wouldn't do that to you, I would never have done it in the first place if I could have found a better way…"

"I know," Mindy interrupted. And she did, how could she have not seen it, how well she did know him? He'd put in suggestions, and her own mind had taken those suggestions and turned them into the jumble of illogic she so vividly remembered, and still come up with the real emotions. Emotions she'd kept hidden even from herself. She suspected his own feelings for her had colored his mental projections, consciously or not, but all it had done was bring out her own feelings, forced her to look at them.

Forced her to realize how she felt for Mork, and he for her. His admission of love had only been a confirmation of something she'd known all along.

"My father would have a fit if he heard me saying this," she sighed as she wriggled her arms around his waist, "but I think I've been falling in love with you for a while now, only I didn't let myself realize it. I kept telling myself that you couldn't possibly feel that way about me, that you were nothing more than an overgrown child because of the way you looked at everything on Earth, but I know now that I was just deluding myself. That I thought of you that way because it was safe. But I guess nothing in the universe is safe and comfortable, is it?"

He turned in her arms, reaching out hesitantly to grasp her shoulders and push her back. Just a little, not enough to break her hold on him, but enough to distance their bodies so he could stare into her eyes. "Mindy, do you realize what you're saying?" He had to be sure; if there was something she didn't understand, he had to make sure she did before this went anywhere else. Except back to Ork for him, of course.

"You came to Earth not only to observe our society, but to try and preserve your own," she replied firmly. "That preservation includes a need to—to breed with us. And you've told me that the only person you want to do that with," she blushed, "is me. And I know I don't want to lose you—and losing your society means losing you just as surely as leaving Earth would lose you to me. So," she took a deep breath, "yes, I realize what I'm saying." A smile. "I'll just wait until I'm a few months along before I tell my father I'm carrying your child. He'll freak out enough just from me telling him I'm pregnant."

"It might be a good idea to go on a nine-month cruise and tell him you've adopted a Chernobyl baby," Mork shot back with some of his normal humor. "'Look, Dad, it can drink with its finger! Boy, that radiation is something, isn't it?'"

Mindy laughed at the comically wide-eyed expression of innocence that accompanied Mork's outrageous statement, but the laughter quickly died as Mork reached out and took her hand. "Look, Mind', I appreciate what you're offering, I truly do, but I want to make sure you understand all the consequences. And never mind your dad," he added dismissively. "Telling him you're pregnant won't be anything compared to telling him we're married—you will marry me first?" he asked anxiously. "If we do this, that's the first thing I'd like to do." Before she could answer, he shook his head. "No, I'm getting ahead of myself. First, you have to realize that no matter how confident the geneticists are, there is always the possibility of something going wrong with a pregnancy."

Mindy nodded. "I know—"

He shook his head. "No, I mean the kind of problem that would cause us to have to go, well, you know." He jerked his thumb skyward. "Home. For medical attention a little more advanced than what we'll find here. Could you do that, if we had to?"

"Go to Ork?" Mindy thought about, then smiled. "Be the first woman in space? Yeah, I think I could handle it." She turned serious once again. "I'm meant what I said, Mork. I love you, and no one is forcing me to do this. It's my choice. Who knows, it may not even work." She took a deep breath. "But I'm willing to try, no matter what the consequences. As long as we're together. And yes," she added, "I accept your proposal. But I suggest we elope."

"We don't have to make a decision tonight," Mork replied softly. "I told Orson I would be ready to leave in a few days; I needed the time to try and figure out a story to tell you. But you caught me by surprise, and of course the mouth engaged before the brain was in gear—as usual. I meant what I said about not being able to lie to you."

"I'm glad you have a hard time doing that," Mindy said firmly. "I'm also glad I know the truth. We'll work out the details, don't you worry." She put her hand in his, then leaned forward and gave him a tentative kiss.

Mork's eyes closed as he pulled Mindy closer and returned the kiss, while he wondered how he could possibly have found such a wonderful woman on his first try. He was the luckiest man on two planets.

And if this crazy plan worked, he would be able to tell his great-grandchildren that very fact.

A/N: My one and only Mork & Mindy story, written about a million billion years ago and recently unearthed and given a little editorial dusting off for your reading pleasure. It's a silly premise, but it was a silly show and I did strive for true emotions. Please R&R and let me know what you think!