::Author's Note:: The infamous Stoic Harlequin front loading author's note. We know it's been quite awhile since we've updated this one. But we figured it was time. We hope you find this half as amusing as we did. The fun part about this story is that the chapters are ideal in short bursts. Don's screen name is borrowed from the new comic. We take no credit for it. Please, enjoy. We'd love to hear, any who are still reading (or newcomers!), what you think. Thank you for checking out the update (or stumbling on this story for the first time).

It's About Time that I Came Clean with You
Chapter 9:
This Could be Love

I stared at the screen for a long time. So, he was my friend - sort of. If I could have friends. Online. With a barrier between us. Probably in different states - maybe continents. With a safety net called Ethernet cable. Well, okay, I know only part of that is true since I do know where he lives - which is only about 20 blocks away at NYU. That's beside the point.

I wanted to ask - but what does a fellow nerd know about girls? At least Raph's got Casey who has more testosterone than most fully grown gorillas. Even still, I like Casey. At least Adam - his name is Adam (his real name) - had access to...girls.

I pondered what to say to the IM window. We met on a science forum. Sounds like an ideal bromance, for those of us less socially apt individuals. At least I have an excuse, what with the shell and green skin. Adam was just a little overzealous in the less popular subjects. He was sort of a fanboy about quantum physics and gets a little cerebral when I opened any door that could touch on theoretical time travel. I didn't want to tell him - ever - that I'd sort of, in my day, done stuff somewhat in the vein of abstract quantum physics.

He'd probably melt, or explode into a puff of bubbles. I can imagine, though I've never heard his real voice, him squealing like a four-year-old girl on her birthday at the thought of real quantum physics. I get where he's coming from; I'm excitable too in a way my brothers would never understand when it comes to calculus in applicable scenarios.

But I don't need him for the science right now - I need him for the reality side. Imagine that, a mutant turtle asking the human science geek about reality.

Schrodinger's_Adamizer:I think someone should euthanize Google plus. Er + ... Google+. Whatever. Google is going to sleep with Amazon and make some super business spawn which will take over the world and capitalism as we know it will end in the US. No, the world! Google could have an affair with Facebook if it wanted to actually make a desirable offspring in the social networking realm.

duz_machines_84: Are you really making economic projections (and breeding plans) based on Google+? You're...a physicist, Adam. Stick to what you know.

Schrodinger's_Adamizer: Hey! I helped you with your Chemistry problem on the forum when we first met didn't I? Probably your homework too. :P And my punnett squares are the shit! See I know all about the genetic outcome of Google plus (not Google+) Amazon. Google plus Facebook. See, I know more than physics. OH! Astro-physics would be cool. I'd like to go to the

He does this sometimes, presses enter and forgets the rest of what he's talking about. Or, he's fallen asleep at his keyboard...again. Or he's forgotten what he's going to say by distraction.

Schrodinger's_Adamizer: PLUTO! It's still a planet in my heart.

Section C this time, he forgot what he was going to say and got distracted. He thinks his screen name is particularly funny. I know he does, that clever 'atomizer'.

duz_machines_84: Yeah, me too.

I humor him.

duz_machines_84: So...you used to date that girl right?

The pause was too long. I knew it too - not to mention the 'Schrodinger's_Adamizer is typing...' in gray font disappearing and reappearing indicated that he's thinking about his answer. 'That girl' was the one who trampled his heart and he spent four weeks trying to convince himself, by telling me, that she was horrible for him. We're not a fit, right Don? She wasn't good for me. I should let her go, yeah?

Now it's my turn. I've come for payment on my entertaining him during the rough times. Hopefully he'll humor me in return.

Schrodinger's_Adamizer: If by 'that girl' - you mean the Queen Bitch and 'used to date' as in - got screwed over by. Then yes. I used to date that girl. Camille. It's okay, we can say her name again.

duz_machines_84: Right, so you have experience...I...met a girl...

Schrodinger's_Adamizer: Burn it with fire.

This is going to go great.

Schrodinger's_Adamizer: Before it multiplies and spreads. Like the plague. Or Ebola. More like Ebola since that usually takes your genitals if you survive. Just like all girls - you know...like the one you met.

Sigh. Plan B...

duz_machines_84: Did you read that article in Astronomy magazine about building a wormhole to tether two galaxies?

Schrodinger's_Adamizer: YES! Impossible in a practical setting - ya know, outside of Star Trek - but awesome idea!

I'll stick to science with Adam, or try again when I have more energy for vying for at least the 'pity me long enough to offer advice on girls' response. Today is not that day. I'd rather not get into how Ebola is like a relationship. It already feels doomed.