Dren warily lay down on his bed, trying to figure out what he should do. He had already left on bad terms with his father. Who knew what Glacia had said to him? Whatever it was, he knew his dad would be mad. He sat up and put his head in his hands. What could he possibly say that would lessen his father's anger? He finally decided that he would go and talk to his friend who was also staying in the mansion, Keeg.
Ever so quietly, he crept down the long hallway, passing rows of identical doors lining the faded burgundy walls. He came to a halt at the end of the hall and lightly tapped on the towering door facing him. He waited patiently, looking out the window to his left, into the dark night. There were no stars out, and the glowing light of the moon was quenched by thick black clouds. How did the weather always seem to reflect the way one felt? He looked back to the door and almost knocked again, when the door was swung open, revealing a lean young alien of Dren's age. His dark hair hung in his pale face, and his clothes were rather draped over his thin body. This was Keeg, looking paler, and rather unhealthier than usual.
"Hey Keeg, how are you doing?" Dren asked the blue haired boy.
He sighed, and coughed harshly before replying. "I'm alright, I guess. Why don't you come in?" He opened the door wider and stepped aside, as Dren entered. "So what's up? Is there something you wanted to talk about?"
Dren sighed. "It's Sophie." he said glumly. "Remember that girl I was telling you about a few days ago?" Keeg nodded, and he continued, "Well, my Dad, Deep Green, wants her so he can use his new invention to make her evil. I don't want that to happen... I don't want her to change in any way. Least of all make her into something that she's not." He paused, letting reality set in, slow and sure. "I just... can't let that happen. And I can't betray my dad either!" he felt sudden bitterness grip his heart. "And to top it off, he's gone and proposed to Glacia for me!"
With that, Keeg breathed in sharply. "Glacia? As in... the blue haired, blue eyed girl, Glacia?"
Dren looked up in confusion. "Yeah, why?"
Keeg bit his lip, looking hurt in some way. "No reason."
Dren suddenly smirked as he came to realization. "You like her, don't you?"
"What? No! Not if she's engaged." pain seemed to flow in his soft brown eyes, and he quickly looked down.
Forgetting his own predicament in an attempt to turn things around, Dren answered, "we're not engaged. Not if I can help it." he clenched his fists, a determined look washing over his face. "Keeg, you and I are going to turn this around. For the better." He suddenly smiled, and narrowed his eyes. "We're paying Glacia a visit."
Keeg's eyes widened, but he had a hopeful look in his eyes. He quickly picked something up off his nightstand, and said, "I hope you have a plan." As Dren grabbed his arm and hauled him down the hall to the door on the opposite end.
He knocked, somewhat loudly and called, "Glacia, it's Dren!"
The colour drained from Keeg's face. "Wait... you don't mean -"
Dren laughed and teleported back to his bedroom.
"Now that's just cruel!" Keeg muttered, deeply annoyed at his annoyingly playful friend.
Light footsteps could be heard as he waited at the door, and it opened to reveal a tired looking Glacia. "I hope this is important, it's late..." she trailed off. "Wait, you're not Dren!"
Keeg gulped, and a million thoughts began to jumble in his mind as he tried to think of what to say. He was used to the way she always seemed so uptight about everything, and he always handled it with a gentle attitude. The sudden spur of the moment left his speechless.
"Well?" She demanded, clearly annoyed.
"I, uh..." he suddenly remembered what he had in his pocket and gently removed it and held it up for Glacia to see. "It's an ice lily." he explained softly. "On the outside, it's icy blue, but on the inside it's a gentle orange colour. It's for you"
Glacia stood, looking aghast. "I.. know what those flowers are. They're my favourite. But.."
"I had to give it to you tonight. I picked it today, and wanted to give it to you before it began to wilt."
Glacia gingerly took it from his hand and looked at it in awe. "I haven't seen one since I was a little girl. Vegetation is always so sparse at home, and these of all the flowers were probably the rarest."
Keeg smiled. Score, he thought. "I was back on our planet for the day, and I found it growing in our backyard. It made me think of you, so I picked it and... well, I decided to give it to you." He decided to leave out the part that he probably wouldn't have even thought of going up to her to give her the flower, if it hadn't been for Dren's trick.
"Thanks." she said.
Keeg's heart shot up when he heard the simple word. She rarely ever said that word, to anyone, for whatever reason! "Y-you're welcome." he stuttered. "I'd better get going now." with that, he took off down the hall to Dren's room, and flung the door open. "Oi, if that hadn't went so well - I would so kill you right now!"
As he said it, Dren cracked up laughing. "So it worked? What happened?" after containing himself, he looked at Keeg eagerly, who was now staring off into space with an absent look on his face. "She... she..." he smiled. "She said thanks."
"Uhhh..." Dren started, choking back another laugh, "I guess that's a good thing. But, why did she thank you?"
Keeg gave a contented sigh. "I gave her her favourite flower. And she seemed really pleased, even though she has trouble showing any signs of happiness, I have kind of figured out her 'language'."
Dren looked at him hard. This boy was so nice to everyone, and rarely got angry. What could possibly make him fall so hard for Glacia, of all people? "Keeg, may I ask what you see in her?" the curiosity was overwhelming, that he couldn't help but ask.
"Well," he started, "she's so beautiful, which is why I was first attracted to her. Once I met her, I realized there was much more than met the eye. At first, she seemed so cold and ruthless - but the more I watched her, and talked to her, the more I realized that there is a little soft spot in her heart. It's hard to hit, but easy to miss. The thing she wants is to be loved. Truly loved. I've found out that she has had friend problems throughout most of her life," at this Dren coughed, and sarcastically wondered why that might be. Keeg continued, ignoring Dren's deliberate cough, "she wasn't always like this. She used to be really nice, but apparently rather homely. I didn't know her when she was younger, I just dug up this information." he blushed, apparently realizing how stalkerish that sounded. "Anyway, people teased her a lot, and she became bitter. I believe that she still has the kindly personality still buried in her heart somewhere, it will just take time to uncover. I have even seen glimpses of it now and then, but she quickly regains her bitter attitude."
Dren stared at him. Keeg could truly find the good side in anyone, which he had grown to admire. "Wow, I never even stopped to consider her past. I just plain couldn't see past her veil of evilness. How do you do it?"
Keeg blushed, clearly flattered. "I dunno, I've always had the habit of looking for the best in people." then he added, "so, what about the girl you like? Sophie?"
Dren straightened, remembering the main reason why he was here to talk to Keeg. "Well.. I need to talk to my dad about the whole thing, but I don't quite know what to say."
Keeg hesitated, then frowned, "Well, he's your dad. He should understand. I bet you can work something out."
Dren put his head in his hands, "That's just the thing," he said bitterly, "he just doesn't seem to understand. He's not going to be happy if he finds out that I am dating the enemy. And what about her? What will her team think?" He sighed loudly in exasperation, "well, either way, I'm gonna have to go talk to him and come up with a contradiction to what ever Glacia may have said to him." Before Keeg could answer, he arose, and quickly made for his father's room. He knew he would be up, since lately he had been staying up half the night devising schemes.
Quickly, and quietly he paced down the long hall for the third time, approaching the door near the middle of the long wall. An ancient painting hung crookedly to the left of the door and rattled eerily as he knocked. Rather than hearing his father's booming voice telling him to come in, the door opened slowly, creaking and shuttering all the way. In the door way stood his dad, with his head bowed, and his hands at his sides, clenched in fists. "So," he began in a cold, dreary voice, "have you come with a decent explanation as to what you were doing this afternoon?" he looked up at Dren, with a piercing look in his golden eyes. "According to Glacia, you have got yourself a girlfriend. Is it so? Does she happen to have fox ears, and a tail to match? Does she happen to be our main target, and enemy?" his voice stayed calm and level, but was dripping with fury.
Dren gulped. Did his father really 100% believe Glacia, even though he hadn't told his side of the story? "Glacia said that?" he asked in a fake amused voice, trying hard to keep his cool. "Huh, it sounds to me like she's trying to get me in trouble, so she can have payback for me not liking her."
"Prove it to me then." his father replied. "You are to find out where the fox-girl lives and report it back to me. If you fail, you may end up being sent home with Glacia."
The next day was a chilly Wednesday, while Sophie hummed softly as she cleaned the snowy white tables of Café Mew Mew. The whole day had been a bit of a blur to her. She had quickly completed her school work for the day, skateboarded to work with one of the old boards hanging from her walls, and hung out with Bridget and the others while serving their cheerful customers. Despite the fact that she didn't really enjoy having to wear a frilly dress, she quite liked working at such a warm, cheerful little café. The Mew Mews were always really nice, and so was Wesley. Of course, Elliot was his usual jerk self, such as teasing her about being such a tomboy, and how he had never seen her act so girly as when she greeted her customers. But, she had grown used to it. He was like the big brother that she had never had, and as Wesley had assured her, he was okay once you got to know him.
She gently rubbed the washcloth against the smooth surface of the table, dusting off any stray crumbs, or frosting bits, as the thought of tonight's plans began to surface in her mind. Zoey had re-invited her to a sleepover for that evening, since things didn't work out before. This, Sophie was looking forward to, since she always enjoyed sleepovers, and because the girls gave her the choice of what music to bring. She wondered what they would think of her CDs. She didn't listen to what most girls her age did, such as Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, or any of the annoyingly bubbly Disney stars. She preferred bands like Blue Stali, Ill Niño, Five Finger Death Punch, and lots others along those lines.
She could imagine Renee, Kiki, and maybe even Zoey and Bridget enjoying her music, but she couldn't help but imagine Corina's disgusted face as she played one of her favourite metal bands. She laughed softly as she remembered that face, when she had told Corina she liked to skateboard. Despite the fact that Corina was… well, somewhat nice, Sophie had a rather hard time warming up to her. She seemed to disapprove of just about everything Sophie did, which was one thing she couldn't tolerate in a person. If a person couldn't accept her for being her, then she didn't really like having anything to do with them.
Her train of thought was broken as Elliot entered the room. "Nice work today Sophie." he said without much expression in his voice, "I'll finish up here and close up. Go ahead and skateboard back home and listen to your screamo music."
Sophie felt her face turn a little red at the last phrase, which was dripping with sarcasm. "Whatever." she said, slightly annoyed. "Better to be a girl and listen to rock music, then be a guy listening to Justin Bieber." She indicated to the speakers above her, as the song "Baby" was being carried throughout the room. "This stuff has been playing all day."
Elliot looked offended. "For your information, I don't choose the music. That would be Mini Mew's job."
Sophie laughed. "Last time I checked, Mini Mew wasn't the one who designed this charming little café here." She extended her arms to add emphasis to the very pink, very heart-ey room.
"Most of it was Wesley's doing." he said defensively.
Sophie laughed. "I can imagine."
With that, she was sure she saw him smile slightly.
"Well, I better get going before Katy Perry comes on." She turned around and began to head out the door.
"Sophie!" Elliot called before she could reach the door. "Are you doing anything this evening?"