Relationship Advice from Lexi Wieneke

"So…" Alexis Wieneke waggled her eyebrows suggestively.

Sonja blinked.

Lexi leaned on the breakfast table with her elbows and propped her chin in her cupped hands. A mischievous smile warped her face into an expression of pure evil, rivaling Prosper English's own. Sonja had been pressed close enough to Prosper English that a sheet of paper would have suffocated between them and still a part of her was scared of Lexi's expression.

Lexi winked.

Evil.

"There really is no need for you two to deny it. I mean, I understand the limitations of your condition and all, so it's not exactly conventional, but quite honestly, girl, we're not stupid! Genius Squad, right?"

Sonja blinked twice at Lexi's indignant cries. She was dramatically huffed about something, not that Sonja had the slightest clue. Though Cadel was quick to steer Sonja away from unnecessary collisions with the natural disaster that was Lexi Wieneke, when Sonja was faced with a situation like this where Cadel wasn't around to defend her, the usual method of operation was to blink at Lexi and hope that her steam would eventually run out and she would just go away.

Usually Lexi would get bored, but apparently whatever had possessed her to waggle her eyebrows and wink at Sonja in the first place was more persistent as Lexi didn't give up.

"Oh, come on! The DynaVox is right next to you I know you can communicate, now answer me plainly—Are you, or are you not, in love with Cadel?"

The question startled Sonja so much that she had a difficult time managing her limbs for a response.

Not that she had a viable response.

But obviously Lexi was expecting one, a quick one at that. She leaned even closer, the concept of Personal Space as foreign to Lexi as the concept of the Inside Voice.

"Well, well, well?" Lexi demanded of the girl.

After a few seconds of contemplation and finally getting her arm to obey her, Sonja answered. A fierce blush erupted on her face, and the usual goofy smile she wore as an affect of her illness seemed a tad bit sillier in light of the current conversation.

"I-care-about-him. A-lot." Sonja's DynaVox couldn't communicate emotions, couldn't go farther than the monotone. There were so many undertones in her head that she couldn't convey to Lexi… and maybe she didn't want to. Maybe it was all well and good that the DynaVox was robotic and devoid of expression.

Or maybe it wasn't, because apparently Sonja's confession wasn't good enough for Lexi's insatiable gossip wells.

She lifted her chin from her head, and stood up. She shimmied with enthusiasm and pointed both fingers at Sonja.

"I heard that!" She didn't hear anything, Sonja knew. She was bored because her research wasn't going anywhere and Cadel, Hamish and Devin were off somewhere, and she was trying to drag this conversation for as long as the boys were gone. She didn't hear anything. "And I see it too, in your face, Sonja! Woman's intuition, you know, that dopey, love-sick look on your face? Fully screams that you're in love with him."

"I-always-look-this-way. A-result-of-the-inability-to-control-my-muscles."

Lexi waved this off, as though Sonja wasn't at war with her muscles every second, she was just in love with Cadel. And afraid to admit it.

"So I was watching this talk show the other day, and there was a segment about Denial, Sonja. That's you, Sonja, suffering from an acute case of chronic denial. Surely with your genius, you know what that word means? It means that you're in love with Cadel but you don't want to admit it. To yourself. To me. OR to him. It's adorable, actually. The way he fusses over you, and he always wants to be near you. He walked through the ring of fire, namely, Prosper English in order to keep you safe. It's adorable."

"You-think-so?"

Sonja had not meant to type that. A random muscle spasm had taken over her right hand and happened to pick those letters arranged in the proper order with the correct spaces between them—but the phrase had not come from her. She didn't care what Lexi thought. Because Cadel was not in love with her. What kind of inane speculation was that, anyway? They were trying to track down a professional hacker, trying to rid Prosper English of the world—this was no time for silly games, gushing about if a certain crush liked you back or not.

Ohmigosh, Cadel looked at me, and I, like, just about died.

No. That's not the way it goes. Sonja was not that type of girl.

But Lexi was.

"I know so." Lexi paraded around the kitchen with a smug air—she'd finally gotten through to Sonja. After making one round of the perimeter, Lexi zeroed back in on Sonja. "That is why I shall take it under my responsibility to help you two take your relationship to the next level… well, just enough for you two to do whatever you need to in order to satisfy what keeps you up at night."

"No."

Darn that DynaVox and its inability to express the sudden indignation and, okay, she'll admit it, fear that suddenly raked Sonja's thoughts!

Lexi pouted. "Oh, please? What else am I supposed to do, wait for Vee to slip up and give us some sort of clue?"

"Yes. Our-job-is-to-find-and-bring-down-Vee-not-to-fix-my-love-life."

"I could do both." Lexi looked dead serious. "Making the world a better place, that's what Genius Squad is all about, no?"

"Please-Lexi. I-don't-need-any-more-from-Cadel-to-be-happy. I-don't-want-it."

"Oh, you want it," Lexi stated with no elbow-room allowed for contradiction.

"Don't-need-it. Please-don't-Lexi."

Lexi frowned. "But I—"

And then the boys were back.

At first, Sonja felt relief, but then she realized that the arrival of a few more faces did not mean that Lexi was going to stop. She had to do something. She had to stop Lexi before she completely destroyed the already delicate relationship that she and Cadel shared. Sonja really didn't need more from him. He was fifteen, he was a genius and he'd created a scam that convinced people that they had found their soul mates. But, honestly, Sonja believed that Cadel wasn't ready to confront any feelings of his own.

So when the three boys came in, Devin and Hamish arguing about something or other, Cadel with a completely bored look on his face, Sonja took drastic measures to keep Lexi from pouncing on the trio and announcing her recent discovery.

She fought fire with fire.

"Lexi-is-in-love-with-Hamish."

Though the DynaVox was of one pitch, its words cut through the scene with an even break. All heads whipped to Sonja and then swiftly to Lexi.

"Er…" her brother murmured.

Cadel just stared wide-eyed at Sonja.

Hamish turned a curiously dangerous shade of purple.

Lexi looked outraged and began to open her purple painted mouth to deny Sonja's claim and maybe reveal something incriminating about Sonja, but Hamish stopped her, stuttering more than usual.

"I d-don't think it would work out-t," Hamish stammered.

Lexi shrieked indignantly. "What? No, you WORM! I—"

"I th-think you should get over m-me. It would b-be best f-for all of us." Hamish looked scared.

"Could you try, Lexi?" Devin asked with mock concern. "I mean, we all know how devilishly irresistible Hamish is; would it pain you ever so much to try to forget about him?"

More shouts of denial from Lexi, and even some death threats at both Hamish and her brother.

Sonja giggled.

Cadel noticed and snuck over Sonja's wheelchair. He rested a hand on the handle bars and looked at Sonja.

"So… care to tell me what that was about?"

The scene was getting drastic. Utensils were being used as projectiles; pots were being used as shelter. Devin was having a hard time weaving through the counter and tables in order to dodge Lexi's worryingly accurate throws.

"Lexi-is-just-suffering-from-chronic-denial. I-was-simply-helping-her-take-her-relationship-to-the-next-level."

Sonja's typical floppy grin seemed to have warped, hiding a small dosage of her own bit of evil.

8 October 2010

A/N: I wrote this back when Evil Genius only had three fics. Desperate for something to fatten the category, I quickly wrote down the first thing that came to mind, the hint of a relationship between Cadel and Sonja. For those who have read Genius Wars, ignore all possible discontinuities because I haven't yet. I'm just trying to clean out my FanFiction closet, and was pressured by the thought "Why the heck not?" into putting this on here a year and a half after writing it.