Chapter 9: Morning, Sunshine

Mike was rudely awoken from his sleep by the ear piercing sound of his alarm clock. After quickly reaching over to silence the screeching behemoth, he slowly peeled open his eyes. They were sore with exhaustion. Mike hadn't really slept well since the diagnosis, and last night was no exception. He had stayed up into the late hours of the night talking to Lucy. Although he didn't regret doing it, he had to admit that he could definitely use a few more hours of sleep.

As he slowly sat up in his bed and he looked to his side, lying curled up, completely undisturbed by the sound of his alarm clock, was Lucy. He was suddenly reminded that she had talked her mom into her letting her spend the night. Mike couldn't help but admire how cute she looked sleeping. Normally he would have mentally chastised himself for such adulterous thoughts, but as of late, Mike's morels had been somewhat slipping. Then again, to Mike, they weren't entirely adulterous either. He had always thought she was 'cute', but her looks had nothing to do with why he had chosen Sandy. If things were simply looks, Mike could have gotten with countless girls in the past he thought looked even better. Hell, he could have even gotten with Paulo, who Mike had to admit was a good looking guy, but in the end, it wasn't about that.

Regardless, he took a few moments just watching her sleep. Since he had never really had much to compare it too, he had never realized how unhappy Lucy normally looked. Even when she was in a good mood, she seemed to have an aura of awkwardness and a generally uncomfortable vibe about her. But now, she was at utter peace. There was no worry, no judgment, no unhappiness, and no anger in her face.

Mike couldn't help but wish she was like this more often. At first, he imagined this as some odd abstract thought completely separate from Lucy, but the more he thought about it, the more he began to realize that it wasn't that all. It was merely contentment. He had never really been able to see the extent in which her unhappiness and general displeasure with her life seemed to reflect on her disposition, since from the time he met her, she had been like that. He couldn't help but pity her, and given recent events, relate to her.

Although Mike would have been more than willing to stare at her longer, he knew that he was at risk of drifting back off to sleep, not to mention of being late for school. He gently placed his hand on Lucy's shoulder, as she lay on her side, and rocked her back and forth, wishing he wasn't obligated to disturb her deep slumber. He had always hated waking people up.

"Hey, Lucy." Mike said gently, occasionally giving her a gentle rocking motion. "Lucy, you awake? Hellllloooo?" Mike couldn't help but admire how soft her fur was to the touch. It amazed him he hadn't noticed it before, but it was possible he had noticed, and just shrugged it off given the counteracting roughness of her personality.

"… hrm…?" Lucy began to stir.

"Hey, it's time for school. You have to get up." Mike said to her in a gentle tone.

"Hm? Yeah… Alright…" Lucy said in a bit of a daze.

With that, Mike got up and headed for the bathroom. He left the door open as he began to brush his teeth. It wasn't long until he glanced over and saw Lucy once again sleeping. Mike grimaced, at least as much as he could with a tooth brush in his mouth. He quickly made his way over to her, still brushing, and gave her a soft nudge.

"Hey, get up." Mike attempted to say with his mouth filled with toothpaste foam.

"Hey!" Mike couldn't help but spit a little bit of the foam on Lucy's hip by accident. His eyes widened and he quickly wiped the small amount of residue off with his hand. Slowly, with heavy bloodshot eyes, Lucy turned her head back to look at him.

"Did you… just spit on me?" She asked with a mixture of confusion and anger. Mike wanted to say something, but he would have risked spitting on her again, so he simply shrugged, gave a sort of nervous half smile and walked back to the bathroom, this time closing the door.

"At least she's awake." Mike thought to himself as he spit the minty foam from his mouth into the sink. He then proceeded to rinse his mouth out. When he finished, he took a long, hard look at himself in the mirror. He couldn't help but flex his muscles, but as usual, he was disappointed in what he saw. He simply sighed and grabbed the hair brush that sat next to his sink. He then began to run it through his fur. As he worked through a particularly tough knot he heard a knock on the bathroom door.

"Yeah?" He responded, the brush entangled in some of his fur.

"You want to hurry it up in there?" Lucy asked him with a tinge of annoyance in her voice.

"Why? We have plenty of time until school starts." Mike said, brush still stuck in his fur. "Damn it." He mumbled to himself trying to break it free.

"Yeah, but I really need to use the bathroom. Ever stop to think of that?" She asked him through the door. Mike gave a loud sigh.

"You're a big girl, you can wait." Mike said with an almost mocking tone, opening the door, the brush still stuck in his fur.

"Exactly," She said moving past him and nudging him out of the bathroom. "I'm a girl; therefore I can't wait as long as a guy."

"You know, that's actually a common miscon-" Mike started, but was quickly cut off by Lucy closing the door in his face. "Ugh." Mike groaned. So this is what it would have been like if he had chosen Lucy over Sandy. Talk about dodging a bullet. Or given recent events, a would-be bullet, then again, Mike was in no mood for semantics. He was tired, but for the most part, in a good mood, and he didn't feel like messing it up with thoughts regarding the finer points of his life span.

Finally, Mike was able to get through the large knot, and he soon began working on another, and then another, until there were none left. Yet, even after all of that Lucy was still in the bathroom.

"Hey, you want to hurry it up in there?" Mike mocked her as he knocked on the door.

"You know, there really isn't much to work with in here." Lucy said through the door.

"'To work with?'" Mike asked confused.

"Yeah, you know, make-up, moisturizers… nose hair trimmers." Lucy said laughing.

"Wait, what? Are you going through my medicine cabinet?" Mike asked in anger.

"…Yes." Lucy said laughing hysterically.

"Grr, would you get out of there?" Mike asked attempting to open the locked door.

"Yeah, yeah." She said through the door, her laughter fading. Mike heard the clicking of his medicine cabinet shutting.

"… Why were you in there anyway?" Mike asked through the door with a sigh.

"I was just looking for a moisturizer or something." Lucy said opening the bathroom door. "All I found was acne medication and some nose hair trimmers." She said with quick giggle.

"Yeah, that's real funny." Mike said walking past her and retaking his bathroom.

Lucy walked over to the small end table positioned by Mike's bed and grabbed her bow. She slowly tied it off around her neck with a smile on her face. Maybe it wasn't a picture perfect morning, but for Lucy, she couldn't have asked for more.