A Weekend With Lucy
I smiled as Lucy made her way down the steps to my car, and I opened the door for her. "Hey Lucy." I said as she sat down in the comfortable seat.
"Hey Zero. How was your day?" She asked, giving me a quick kiss on the cheek before putting her seat belt on, blushing.
"It was alright. I've been working on some more complex coding, and I think I've hit a bit of a wall." I replied, thinking back to the one line of code that was causing my whole program to get stuck in an endless loop.
"Oh? What was this program for again?" She asked as I pulled out of the school parking lot and began driving to my house. It was a glorious Friday, and Lucy would be staying the weekend as the rest of her family was out of town.
"Nothing really big, the computer lab doesn't have any computers that can run very complex simulations, so I'm pretty limited. What this program is supposed to do is help forensic analysts by comparing photos of wounds both pre- and postmortem, and an online database of similar wounds. For example, if someone is stabbed to death, but the forensic investigator can't determine what kind of knife inflicted the wound, not something that happens all that often but still, it's going to be difficult to narrow down the possibilities. With me so far?" Lucy nodded.
"So say the stab wound was from a serrated knife with a triangular hilt. Using images taken at the crime scene and during the autopsy, the program will construct a list of likely matches, using details like the triangular bruise, the ragged cuts in the flesh, and then file those new source images with the likely matches that are confirmed. Of course, there are a lot of systems that already do this, but I'm trying to make it a little more user friendly."
Lucy tilted her head to the side, "Huh... that's actually a pretty good idea. Would it only work with knives?" She asked.
"Of course not! Bullet wounds, blunt force trauma, you name it. And it doesn't end there! It could be used to compare injuries or illnesses to pre-documented cases, help doctors identify new or old illnesses, identify tumours, the possibilities are endless!" I finished, and I gave a quick glance at Lucy. I raised an eyebrow as I noticed she was holding a paw to her mouth in an attempt to stifle her laughter.
"What's so funny?" I asked, shifting my gaze back to the road, and turning onto the road that would take us to my place.
"You're just so..." She laughed, "So excited about it! It's cute." She blushed and laughed again. I blinked. "I'm not cute, I'm fluffy." I replied, laughing with her, grinning ear to ear.
"How's Alfredo pasta sound, Lucy?" I asked from the kitchen.
"Sounds great Zero! I'm starving!" Lucy replied, flipping through my games. "The Sly Cooper Collection? Jeez Zero, do you only buy the classics or something?"
"Hey, Sly Cooper isn't a classic! It is one of the founding fathers of 3D platforming stealth games!" I shot back.
"Meaning that it's a classic?" Lucy replied, smiling mischievously at me.
"Uh..." I blinked, "Shoot... You win this time Lucy, but next time!" I shook my fist at her in mock rage before turning on the stove and placing a pot of pasta and water on the heat. Setting the timer and flopping down on my recliner, I relaxed as I watched Lucy play.
"So Lucy... I hear you have a brother right? Two different eye colours?" I said, turning to look at the white cat.
"Sam, yeah. Why?" She asked, laughing a little at a scene in the game.
"Oh, I was just wondering what he thought about... you know, us." I pointed my finger at myself, then at Lucy, then myself, then Lucy. "I just don't want your brother to find out about us and not find me... suitable, I suppose." I added.
Lucy laughed and paused the game, strolling over and stretching out on top of me, arms around my neck. "And why would you think that?" She asked, smiling as she nuzzled close to me.
"I don't really evoke a picture of the perfect gentleman now do I?" I asked, gesturing to my earring and black coat. Lucy laughed at this, "I wouldn't say that."
"Yeah, well, you're not exactly a biased opinion now are you?" I replied, kissing her lightly. The timer went off and I groaned. "And I was just getting comfortable..." Lucy giggled and got off of me, sitting back down and continuing her game.
A half hour later, Lucy and I were enjoying our dinner. She shivered a little as the wind outside blew hard against the house.
"It's supposed to get pretty nasty tonight, but I had the renovators go over the insulation and stuff and it should be nice and warm in here." I said.
"And the power?" Lucy added, looking up at the light above the table with suspicion, as if it might go rogue and turn itself off if she didn't keep a close eye on it.
"Not a problem. The house isn't connected to the electrical grid, it's all clean energy from the two wind turbines out back and the solar panel on the roof. Call me an Eco-freak but fossil fuels and coal are on their way out." I grinned, noticing that Lucy had a little bit of white sauce at the corner of her mouth, hiding somewhat in her pure white coat.
"What?" She asked, suspicion in her tone.
"Oh nothing, you've just got a little sauce on your face..." I replied, leaning in and licking it off, before shifting my lips to hers for a brief moment.
Though she always put up a tough exterior, Lucy was quite gentle with those she loved. Sure, she tended to use anyone as a portable punching bag slash emotional crutch when she needed it, but I liked to think that I was a slightly less used target than most, and a slightly more used emotional crutch. Besides, I could take an emotional bashing when I needed to.
I pulled away, grinning from ear to ear, and finished eating my pasta like nothing had happened.
"Zero!" Lucy said, punching my shoulder. I hissed in pain. It shouldn't have hurt that much, Lucy was usually quite gentle with the jabs aimed at me. I could tell from the change in expression that it hadn't been her intention to hurt me.
"I'm so sorry Zero! I didn't realize how much I put into that!" I shook my head, gritting my teeth and forcing a smile. "S'okay... Just hit a tense spot or something."
"Oh, come here then." Lucy replied, and I complied, following her to the couch.
Laying down, she ran her hands over my shoulder, and stopped on a particularly sensitive spot. "Jeez Zero! Your muscles are really locked up! No wonder it hurt so much when I socked you!"
She began to massage the knot that had formed, and I sighed in relaxation. "Whoa... Where did you learn to do this?" I asked, grinning up at her.
"Let's just say I've had plenty of cramps of my own." She replied, smiling.
An hour passed, Lucy's massage delayed mostly by my interspersed kisses on her hands. Finally Lucy withdrew, helping me sit up. I felt better than I had in years. "Thanks Lucy. I really needed that." I gave her a soft kiss, and she hummed in acknowledgement.
I looked at the clock, surprised with how late it had gotten. "You tired?" I asked Lucy.
"A little." She replied, yawning, "Zero?"
"Yeah?" I replied, looking down at the beautiful cat in my arms.
"I don't feel like moving..." She laughed.
"You're a real piece of work, you know that Lucy?" I replied, picking her up and carrying her to my bedroom. "But you know what?" I added as I changed into my pyjamas and crawled into bed beside her.
"You're my beautiful, wonderful little piece of work." I finished, pressing my lips to hers.
I woke up in the best way a guy could ask for, the girl I loved sleeping peacefully beside me, a beam of sunlight warming me, and absolute quiet.
I smiled as I examined Lucy's features closely as she slept. The way her left ear would twitch occasionally, the small smile on her lips, the way she curled up against me. I gave her a kiss on the forehead and carefully got out of bed, making my way downstairs, and into the kitchen.
My phone buzzed from where it sat in it's cradle, charging, and I picked it up, answering.
"You've reached Stars and stuff, Zero speaking." I joked, smiling as I looked at the ceiling, imagining I could see Lucy still sleeping peacefully. "Yeah, Ma'am, she's fine. We had some pasta for dinner last night and Lucy ended up working out a kink in my shoulder."
I laughed, "No Miss White, Lucy gave me a jab to the shoulder and hit a nerve or something. I trust everything is fine in... wherever you went again? Good, good. It's no problem at all Miss, Lucy is welcome here any time." I blushed, "N-no! No, there's nothing going on between us! What would possibly make you think that!" I forced laughter before stopping again, "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't realize Lucy had already... yes, yes we have been dating for a while now. It was back when Lucy stayed the night because the highway was blocked off."
"Zero? Who're you talking to?" Lucy said as she rubbed her eyes sleepily with a paw, smiling.
"Ah, and there's the lady of the hour! Your daughter just woke up Miss." I held out my cell to Lucy, who picked it up.
"Hey Mom! How's Alberta?" Lucy asked, sitting down at the table. I held up an egg and made a cracking motion, Lucy nodded in the affirmative, then continued to talk with her mom.
"So you told your mom about us, eh?" I asked as I finished my breakfast.
"Not so much told as was forced to confirm after she figured out that something was going on." Lucy smiled and laughed. "It might have had something to do with the photo of you and I that's on my phone." I laughed at this.
"I don't know, that seems a little to obvious, must have been the inherent motherly senses!" I closed my eyes and placed the tips of my claws up against my temple, doing my best psychic impression. Lucy rolled her eyes and chuckled.
"So what are we going to do today?" Lucy asked, "You weren't planning on staying here and playing video games all day, where you?" I laughed, pushing a pile of games I had yet to finish behind the counter with my foot, "Of course not! I was thinking we could go for a drive, there's this really nice nature reserve about an hour away that's got the most amazing views. I thought we might pack a lunch, maybe take a walk around?"
"That sounds great." Lucy replied, smiling as she finished her breakfast and placed the dirty plate and cutlery in the dishwasher.
The drive to the park flew by, Lucy and I making small talk as we went. The sun had reached its apex by the time we arrived, warming the earth and drying up the small puddles from the rain that had fallen the previous night.
The winter months had left long ago, and spring was on it's way out. It wouldn't be long before people would be exchanging their rain coats and boots for flip-flops and swimwear. I blushed lightly as I pictured Lucy in a bikini at the local beach, the sun warming her white fur as I held her close to me...
I slapped myself in the face, bringing me back from the day dreams, noticing Lucy cocking an eyebrow at me in. "What was that about?"
I forced a grin, "Nothing, nothing at all!" Lucy continued to stare at me, and I began sweating. Finally Lucy shrugged and walked to the barrier, looking over. I exhaled a breath I hadn't known I'd been holding and strolled over, looking at the view with her. I whistled.
"Whoa. Now that, my dear Lucy, isn't something you see everyday." I noted, looking at the rapids as they curved around a bend. I blinked, frowning as I heard a whimper.
"Lucy? You OK?" I asked, turning to her. My eyes widened again. "Lucy?"
Lucy was still staring at the rapids, but she had a thousand yard stare on her face, gripping the barrier with both hands. I could see her lips quivering.
"Lucy!" I grabbed her shoulder, trying to rouse her, and she went limp in my arms.
"Lucy? LUCY!" I yelled, shaking her. No dice, she was out cold. I didn't know if she was injured, sick, or what, but I moved her, getting her in the car, and placed a blanket over her. I grabbed my phone, dialling three numbers. 9-1-1.
"9-1-1 Emergency Service, how can I help you?" A female voice responded.
"My friend, she's unconscious or fainted, I don't know what happened!" I said, attempting to keep my tone as level as possible, "We're at the north Eaton nature reserve, by the rapids, please send help!"
"An ambulance has been dispatched and is on it's way sir, now I'm going to have to ask that you follow my instructions, OK?" The operator continued.
"Alright." I replied, nodding, though I knew she couldn't see the motion.
I sat with my head down, hands clasped together tightly. The doctors hadn't said anything about Lucy when I got to the hospital myself, something about her family needing to be informed first. This was not the way I wanted to meet her family for the first time.
I sighed. What if she... I had just found someone... I didn't want to be alone again, not now, not again.
"Excuse me?" I heard a tired and anxious female voice ask. I looked up, my gaze finding a slightly greying cat, almost as if someone had taken a picture of Lucy and aged her a couple of decades. "Are you Zero?" She asked.
I dropped my head into my paws, rubbing my eyes. "Yeah... that I am Miss White. I'm sorry we had to meet under these conditions..." I looked up, and I could feel tears coming, but I blinked them away.
"What happened?" Another white cat, one eye gold and the other green asked. He must be Sam.
"Lucy and I were having a day out, we went to the nature park, about an hour from my house. We had just arrived and were taking in the view when Lucy noticed these rapids." I looked up, watching for any change in expression, "Next thing I know, Lucy starts whimpering, gets this thousand yard stare, then just... drops. I got her in my car, put one of the blankets we had taken for lunch on her to keep her warm, then called 9-1-1."
"How long have you been here for?" Lucy's mother asked, taking a seat beside me.
"Not sure really. A while, that much I know." I sighed. "Well... Now that you guys are here, I'm not needed. Tell Lucy..." I hesitated, "Tell her that the time I spent with her was the best I've had in years. And that I'm sorry I couldn't have been a better boyfriend..." I stood up, my hands in my pockets as I walked to the door.
A paw on my shoulder stopped me. "Where do you think your going, son?" A tall cat, glasses resting on his nose, asked me. Probably Lucy's father.
"Your daughter... she was hurt under my watch, sir." I replied.
"Yes, but you didn't panic. From what I've heard, you remained calm, you were with Lucy up until she was carried in the ambulance." He replied, steering me back to my previous seat.
"From what my wife tells me, you're a good kid." He smiled at me, "Plenty good enough for my daughter."
"You'd better not break my little sister's heart though buddy..." Sam added, glaring at me for a moment, before he grinned and laughed. "I'm kidding!"
"Hey Lucy..." I whispered, placing my paw on hers, carefully to avoid looking at the IV drip that had been set up. I had always been queasy when it came to needles.
Lucy blinked sleepily and moved her eyes around, smiling as she saw me. "No offence, but you look like crap..." She reached up a paw to the side of my face, then noticed the rest of her family. "What are you guys doing here?" She asked, confused as she looked from me to her family and then at the IV drip, dropping her hand. "What happened?"
"You noticed those rapids earlier and froze up, then just... fell unconscious. You've been out for the past six hours." I replied, holding her hand gently, smiling. "I'm sorry. I didn't know you had a fear of water."
"Oh." She responded, looking at her family, "Sorry I had to cut your trip short guys..." She added sheepishly, before giving a start. "Wait... If you're here, then you know about-"
"Yes dear, Sam and your father know now." Lucy's mom replied. "And you'll be happy to know we like Zero."
Lucy smiled again at this, and I let go of her hand, smiling back. "Alright, I'm going to leave you guys to yourselves for now. You're coming back to my place in a bit Lucy, as your parents and Sam need to head back to Alberta."
"Alright, see you in a bit." Lucy replied, before her parents began talking to her quietly.
"Sorry..." I heard Lucy murmur as I drove us back to my house from the hospital. I gave her a brief glance before turning my gaze back to the road, "Sorry? For what?"
She let out a sighed, "For all of this... You having to meet my parents for the first time in the hospital. I should have been with you..." She blushed.
"Lucy... if there is anyone who should be sorry, it should be me. I should have asked you about any issues you have. I've known you for nearly five months, the best of my life by the way, and I could have lost you..." I sighed, blinking away tears, "I don't want to be alone again..."
Lucy responded by punching me on the shoulder gently. "You won't be Zero, I promise." She leaned over and placed a kiss on my cheek, before leaning back in her seat.
I picked up a card, looking intently at it, willing for the other side to be a six of spades. I took a breath, squinted and flipped it over, revealing a nine of clubs. I sighed, "Go fish." She rolled her eyes.
"You're not very good at this game are you?" She asked, picking up her own card.
"Not my fault the gods of card games hate me." I pouted, watching as Lucy placed all her cards on the table with a triumphant grin on her face.
"I win." She held a claw up and dragged it down, "Lucy; 42, Zero; 0." She smirked at me, and at her unintentional pun, before yawning.
"Well, least I lost to you." I chuckled, before picking Lucy up again and carrying her to my bedroom. "David would never let me live it down."
Author's Note; Wow... I think the ending was a bit abrupt, but I've put way too much effort into this story already and it's affecting my other works. Sorry I haven't written anything new in a while folks, I've just been busy with school, and I've been in a bit of a creative slump. I'm working on some new stories, but I'm dialling back my release schedule to once a month for right now. Don't worry, I'll probably change my mind soon enough, but for right now I just need to get a buffer of stories set up so I can continue writing. Hope you enjoyed, comment, favourite, etc. Zero out, BOOP!