Below are a few extra short stories that also take place in this universe. They just came up while I was writing this bigger one. XD; They're listed in chronological order after "Today".
Hope you enjoy them!
"Noah, hey Noah."
Today was Annoy-A-Noah Day.
"I was thinking..." Rex leaned over Noah at his desk, "We should have some pet-names for each other."
Noah froze for a moment. Oh geez...
"Yeah," Rex continued, "Wouldn't that be awesome? Wonder what I should call you."
Rex draped himself over Noah as he tried to work on his review sheet.
Why did he have to take that bet? Why did he have to bet a day of unstoppable bragging and gloating? Why did it have to be the day before his physics test?
"I think I still like Rexinator, so you should just stick to calling me that. What do you think?"
Noah gritted his teeth.
"...Oh, I think it's so cool."
Why did he add that double-or-nothing compliment addendum to it?
Rex draped his arm over Noah, "I think I got it. I'll call you Noah-Bear. How about that? Huh?"
Noah felt is eye twitch.
"What? You don't like it?" Rex ruffled Noah's hair.
He just couldn't bring himself to say anything. He knew whatever would come out of his mouth would break his part of the bet. Although it was annoying, he had to uphold his honor. After all, what was a man without honor?
Rex laughed. He relished it.
"What? You don't like it? But couples give each other pet-names all the time. We're a normal couple, right?"
Noah grumbled to himself, "Normal couples usually don't have two Y chromosomes between them..."
He tried to concentrate. Acceleration due to gravity... Mass vs. Weight... Centripetal force...
"Heh," Rex poked Noah's face. He heard that. "And neither of them are EVOs, too."
Rex leaned against Noah's desk, he crossed his arms with a stupid smirk, "So. What's your favorite thing about me, Noah-Bear?"
"uh..." He stared at his paper, "You're really cool, Rex."
"Okay. One, you used that already. And two, it's Rexinator, remember?" He grinned and took Noah's review sheet out of his hand.
That was it.
Noah put his pencil down and smiled at Rex. Rex raised an eyebrow.
"Ohhh, Rex!" Noah swooned in bad falsetto voice, "You're just soooo dreamy!"
All that fun and humor from Rex's face fell off, "Okay, that's creepy."
"What? You don't like it?" Noah leaned up at him and continued, "But Rexinator, I love you soooo much!"
"All right, Noah. Think you can tone it down a little."
"What's the matter? I thought you liked it when your Noah-Bear complimented you!"
"Okay, think that's enough. Annoy-A-Noah Day doesn't work when you're not annoyed."
"But I'm complimenting you! Just like you wanted!" He kept squeaking in that weird voice.
"Rexinator, you're so awesome! You should kiss me!"
"...What?" He looked down and saw Noah puckering up. He got the chills.
"What's wrong? Don't you want to? Normal couples kiss all the time!"
"U-uh..." He backed up as Noah leaned further up, "O-Oh, yeah! What was that, Doc? An EVO situation?" Rex put a hand to his ear. Noah knew his communicator was on the game station on the floor.
"All right, so, uh. Later, Noah..." He put Noah's paper down and walked stiffly out the door.
Noah smirked and settled himself back in his chair. There. All that required was a little debasing of himself... But, well, at least he could study in peace, now. He cleared his throat a little. Talking like that was kind of rough.
He could study a while in peace. He knew that Rex would be back sooner or later to pick up his communicator. And cell phone. But, he'd soak the quiet up as long as he could.
Heh. That was great.
Today was Annoy-A-Noah Day.
Rex set his hands on Noah's face.
Noah cringed, Rex's gloves felt kind of weird. They were kind of hard and flaky and gritty, like something was caked on there and dried for the most part. They smelled funny, too.
"Did you fight something gross today, Rex?"
Rex thought for a moment. He remembered his fight early this morning, with a gigantic blob EVO that lurked around the city dump. He remembered sinking its hands into its back before it absorbed him into his body. It later spit him out covered in muddy slime.
He looked at Noah and smiled with a mischievous edge, "All EVOs are gross, Noah."
It was a quiet afternoon for the most part, now. Rex and Noah were feeling lazy as they reclined back from another EVO fight. Today, it was some huge lizard-thing, something with lots of teeth and spikes. It wasn't really anything new.
Rex had tossed his jacket, goggles, and gloves over his desk and chair. Even though he was dusty and dirty from that EVO brawl, he didn't hesitate to pile-drive onto his bed, kicking up a small cloud of dust and EVO particles in the air. Noah laughed when he waved around the air. He tossed his own dirty jacket aside, too. Even though he had been working the sidelines, when that lizard-thing, uh, exploded, he got hit from the dust wave, too.
They sat back, winding down for a while. Some calming metal thrash played on Rex's computer while they read comics and drank soda. They ended up just leaning against each other carelessly as they read, pointing out DRAMATIC DEVELOPMENTS on their comics and laughing. They felt gross, just sitting back in their own grime, but they were too tired to do anything else. They were even too tired to take a nap(?).
Noah yawned beside Rex. His head rolled over Rex's shoulder. Actually, he was going to pass out soon.
Suddenly, Rex's door slid open. Caesar stuck his head and a device in his room.
EEE! EEE! EEE!
Rex and Noah screamed and jumped and landed on the floor. They held their ears but Rex was wide-eyed and shaking from shock.
"Hey, Mijo! How do you like my new experiment? I remember you were telling me about how your little girlfriend could call other EVOs and I wanted to see if I could mimic it."
Caesar examined the thing in his hand, then looked at Rex. "So, what do you think?"
Rex looked at Caesar from on his floor. His ears were still ringing a little. "Uh. Could use a little work."
"Oh," Caesar flipped a back panel and looked inside his device, "Hm."
Caesar looked over at Rex, then Noah, then Rex again. "Oh, you just got back from that EVO fight, right? Don't think we got a sample from that one before it exploded," he said.
He crouched down and got a look at Rex, "I wonder if maybe there are some particles big enough left to get a sample..." Caesar stuck a hand through Rex's hair, "Sit still."
Noah looked at Rex, he had a look on his face of pure weirded-out-ness. Noah smirked.
Caesar looked through Rex's hair and smiled, "Hm, looks like there are some big enough samples here, that's great!"
He looked over to Noah, "Oh, hey Noah. What did you think about that organism today?"
"Not too bad, but not too tough to fight. Pretty unpredictable, though."
Caesar nodded, still looking through Rex's hair, "I see."
He settled a hand on top of Rex's dusty head, "Well, Rex. Why don't you come down with me to the lab and I can extract those samples for our research?"
Extract did not seem like a nice word. But, Rex reluctantly nodded and followed him out.
Rex sat on a counter as Caesar picked through his hair. Rex was grateful Bobo wasn't around, or else he knew he'd be called a monkey for weeks on end from that annoying chimp.
Caesar smiled as he took a tweezer and plucked something from Rex's head. "Oh, another scale!" He set it on a lab dish.
"Great," Rex was still weirded out by his brother sometimes.
"Heh," Caesar chuckled, "This reminds me of the time we went to visit GrandPapi over in Argentina. I don't know how you did it, but you came back home all excited to be covered in bugs."
Despite himself, Rex smirked. Caesar laughed again, "I was combing them out of your hair for a week!"
"Yeah! Wish I still had the picture from it. It was crazy." They laughed, and Caesar parted through Rex's hair again.
"Hey, I didn't interrupt anything there with you guys, did I?"
Rex raised an eyebrow, "...Huh? What?" He didn't get it.
Caesar shook his head, "Never mind, Mijo."
He picked something else out of Rex's head, "Another scale. Oh! It's a different color! Looks like a predominance of zinc..."
"So, we're going to need you to accompany us to the Providence Committee Gala, Rex."
He stared at Dr. Holiday from the examination table, "Uh. ...What?"
Holiday sighed, "I don't know how I can make it any clearer for you."
"But, Doc, why do I have to go?"
"Because you're one of the most prominent faces of Providence. You're on the news nearly every week for goodness sake, Rex. Providence's sponsors just want to get to know the company a little better and know how things are going on the EVO front."
"Well, then they can watch TV and read our reports. Fancy parties like that just aren't my thing. Remember the 'cotillion' I had to go to while we were in England? Pretty sure my face is still on their wall in that museum."
"Rex, that was a freak accident. No one knew the French Ambassador's daughter was wearing that."
"Tell that to that Italian Emissary."
Holiday sighed, "Fine, Rex. But, you're going to have to go, whether you like it or not. White Knight's orders."
Rex groaned, "Okay, okay, I'll go if Knight's going."
She shot him a dry smile, "Don't worry, Six and I will be there, too. And if you want, you can bring Noah."
"Okay, fine," He scratched his head, exasperated. He stopped for a second, "Wait, what? Why? I thought only Providence members were allowed. He's not official, yet."
"Well, it'd be good to have someone tag along to keep you from being bored. Besides, you can bring him as, well," Holiday shrugged, "Your date."
Rex's eyes widened.
"...Uhhhhhhhhhh... Come again? What, Doc?"
"Come on, Rex. We all know."
"...Okay. How and for how long?"
Holiday laughed and raised an eyebrow, "Long enough. And if you want to keep things a secret... Don't kiss out in public, no matter how alone you think you are."
Rex turned red, "So, I'm gonna have to get an actual tuxedo for this thing, huh?"
"Yes, we'll purchase another one. Hopefully, barring any EVO incidents, this one will last longer," Holiday chuckled, "I don't think Six's suits are appropriate enough for this occasion, anyway."
String music softly played in the background. The gala was certainly a big deal, as everything was as lavish as possible. The room was huge, much like something out of a fairy tale. Large, rounded tables with fine linens scattered around the the hall, topped with elegant silverware. High society ladies with sparkling laughter and jewels swirled across the dance floor with their partners, their skirts elegantly flowing with their graceful movements. The food was plentiful and gourmet, the decor decadant but tasteful, and the air as thick and pompous as a fancy souffle.
Rex wanted to gag. But, he was here for the job, and he had to at least try to make a good impression on the other guests. If it wasn't for Noah, he'd have been ducking off somewhere a long time ago. They stood in a corner instead, talking. Rex messed with his tie.
"I really, really don't like tuxedos, Noah."
"What? I thought you said they made you feel cool? Like a spy or something."
"Yeah, when I'm on an actual mission or an actual spy. When I'm just standing around to be looked at like a Providence EVO tool, I just feel stupid."
"Rex, you're supposed to feel stupid. It's a fancy party."
They caught Holiday's eye as she strolled towards them. She had two guests behind her in tow.
"Rex, this is Mr. Drury Walker, CFO of K. Moth Biotech Industries, he's a very generous sponsor of Providence," Holiday smiled and stepped aside.
"Ah, Rex, nice to finally meet you," He smiled and shook Rex's hand, "You've been doing some good work out there."
Rex smiled, "Oh, um, thanks. I try." Walker nodded and looked over to Noah, "Hello, who is this?"
"Oh, this is my friend, Noah."
Walker squinted his eyes, then nodded, smiling, "...Ah, yes, I remember, now. I've seen you on TV before! You know, you have an exceptionally good left hook, but you seem awfully young to be part of Providence."
"Uh, thank you," Noah politely smiled, "Well, um, I'll be going to Basic in the summer, but for now-" "Ah-HEM."
They turned to the teen girl behind Walker.
"Oh, I'm sorry, Princess!" He put a hand on her shoulder and stepped behind her, "Boys, this is my daughter, Kitten."
"Me-yow! Helloooo!" She giggled and coyly flipped her hair. Rex stared at the abominable shade of pink and glitter that was her dress.
Kitten stuck out her hand at Rex. It was at a weird angle and he didn't know what to do, so he stared at it dumbly. Noah swooped in and saved him. He grasped her hand and kissed it. "Oohhhhhhh myyy!" She giggled obnoxiously and held her reddening face.
"A pleasure to meet you, Kitten... Uh, would you like to dance?"
Rex shot Noah a sideways look of relief. Holiday looked amused.
Once again, she giggled, "Ohhhhh! That's sooo sweet of you, but I have a boyfriend!" She sighed, "His name is Fang and he has a motorcycle and he's dreamy and-"
"Huh? Oh, that's right. I promised Daddy I'd only dance with him, tonight. Sorry, Noah-kins!"
It took all of Rex's willpower to not burst out laughing.
"Yes, that's right, Princess. Speaking of such... If you would please excuse me. Gentlemen," He nodded to Noah and Rex, then to Holiday, "Doctor. I hope to talk to you more later in the evening." They left as Dr. Holiday did as well, who also seemed close to laughing.
Rex leaned over and whispered with a grin, "Thanks for the save, Noah-kins. How'd you know to do that?"
Noah elbowed Rex, "I saw it on a TV show."
The night seemed like it was going to go on forever. Rex found an inconspicuous darkened hall on the second floor that overlooked the ballroom. Noah climbed up the stairs towards him, carrying a plate of food and glass of chilled cider. Apparently this occasion was too good for punch.
"Wow, this party's real swanky. They had escargot and caviar down at the buffet!"
"Yeah?" Rex took the glass from Noah's hand, "What'd you get?"
"Cheese and crackers."
"Yep. Want some?"
"Nah, I'm good."
Rex drank and leaned over the railing. He watched as the couples danced downstairs. It seemed the crowd had thinned out a little, or maybe it was because they were higher up that it only looked like there were less people. Noah leaned against the thick marble rail as well and munched on his crackers, being careful not to get crumbs all over himself. They watched the men spin the women around in their cues. It really seemed ridiculous.
Out of the crowd of people, Rex spotted Holiday and Six down there, too. Dr. Holiday looked gorgeous in her dress, and she smiled at Six, who surprisingly almost blended in if it weren't for his green tux and sunglasses. Despite all the mingling and fake smiles they had to show for Providence sponsors, they looked genuinely happy there. As they spun in time with the music, Holiday chuckled now and then.
she wasn't as decked out in jewels as the other women there, but everything about her... From the simple chain on her neck, to the little diamond ring on her finger, to her smile, all sparkled the same. Six looked at her; a small but meaningful smile tugged on his face. Rex couldn't help but be happy for them.
But he still hated being there.
"Why doesn't Caesar have to come, too?" Rex groaned.
Noah shrugged, "Because almost no one knows who he really is? This is like 'The Faces of Providence' kind of thing."
"...Yeah. Yeah, yeah." Rex groaned again.
"Well, thanks for coming with me, Noah. This would have been a real drag if you didn't."
"Hey, no problem," He took the glass from Rex's hand and took a sip, "I'm not gonna turn down free food."
The music died down as the song ended. There was soft and polite applause. Rex sighed impatiently as the small orchestra shuffled their papers for the next piece.
Noah wiped the crumbs off himself and took another sip of cider. He ended up downing the rest of it. These stupid little glasses were too small and they all felt like they were going break as soon as he picked it up. Rex turned his head over to Noah.
The music started up again. Rex was reminded how utterly bored he was. Even if he was with Noah, it didn't change the fact that they were just standing around soaking in the hoity-toity air. He rolled his eyes at himself and grinned. He moved away from the railing and stood in front of Noah.
He stiffly bowed, obviously mocking the environment around them, "SHALL I have this DANCE, sir?"
Noah looked at him and laughed, wiping his mouth on his sleeve. "What?"
Rex straightened up and shrugged, "Why not? You asked What's-Her-Name Pink Thing. Didn't you want to dance?" He grinned and moved closer to him, "Huh? Noah-kins?"
He'd never let Noah live that down. Noah looked at him, amused, "You're serious."
"Come on, Noah. Until those doors over there open so we can go, or I can learn how to pickpocket the jet keys from Six without having my chicharrones handed to me, we're stuck here. Might as well do something."
Noah thought for a second, then set his plate and glass down on the flat of the rail, "Okay." He stepped forward, "But I get to lead."
They settled into their positions. Noah set his hand on Rex's waist as Rex set his on Noah's shoulder. Their free hands met and they began after a few false starts.
It wasn't the first time they danced together like this. Noah taught and re-taught Rex on several occasions for fancy parties, but this was the first time they danced together just for the sake of doing it. Rex was still a little bad at it, although it wasn't like Noah was an expert on it either.
"Uh, you're looking at your feet again, Rex."
"Agh, I just keep forgetting."
"Look, just relax. No one's gonna care if you mess up."
"Yeah, but I don't want to remember it weird."
"Heh, well I can always teach it to you again. At least those dance lessons my mom made me do are useful for something, huh?"
Rex laughed. They danced for a little bit, and Rex tried not to look down.
"I feel stupid, Rex," Noah laughed. Rex grinned.
"You're supposed to feel stupid. It's a fancy party."
"...True," Noah chuckled and nodded, "You know, kind of seems weird that everyone knows about us in Providence..."
Rex shrugged, "Yeah, but who cares. It's not like everyone's acting weird about it, anyway."
"True, again, Rex."
"I'm on a roll, tonight!"
"Like a cube?"
Down on the dance floor, Holiday scanned the room for Rex and Noah as she danced with Six. She didn't see them around, but her eyes passed over the overlooking balconies. She saw them there, half dancing and joking. Rex was making faces at Noah, many of them imitating some of the snobbish personalities at that party. She softly laughed at them, and Six followed her gaze to see them as well. He turned back to Holiday and they shared a small, knowing smirk.
The night went on, and it was a little more bearable.