"Come on, Neets," Kit Rodriguez encouraged his best friend. "You know this. X equals..."
Nita Callahan sighed. She was having trouble concentrating. So many things were running through her mind, and none of them were the algebraic formula she was supposed to be solving. Like the smell of Kit's cologne, his manly figure that had developed over the past few months, the fact that he was leaning over her, looking at her with an intense look in his eyes, making her breath quicken... Snap out of it, Callahan, she chided herself. Concentrate on the math equation, not how nice Kit smells."42?" she guessed.
Kit grinned. "That may be the answer to life, the universe, and everything, but it's not the answer to this problem. You been reading Douglas Adams again, Neets?"
"Sorry," Nita replied. "Just not up to studying right now."
Kit scratched his head. "Yeah, we have been at this for a while. Whaddya say we take a break, blow off a little steam, and then take another crack at this?" He lay down on Nita's bed.
Nita raised an eyebrow at him. "Comfy?" She picked up a pillow that Kit had knocked off her bed and whacked him with it lightly.
Kit sat up, grabbed her waist, and pulled Nita down onto the bed and started tickling her. "Kit," Nita gasped between laughs, "I can't breathe. Uncle, uncle!"
Kit propped himself above Nita, both of them laughing. Their eyes locked and for Nita, it was as if time stopped. Nita tentatively reached up and caressed Kit's cheek, and his expression suddenly changed from one of juvenile delight to one of shock and Nita quickly snatched her hand away in surprise.
Kit suddenly jumped up & grabbed his backpack. "I just remembered, I promised Mama I'd be home for lunch today, she made arroz con pollo for Papa's birthday and I have to be there. I'll catch up with you later, k Neets?"
Suddenly he was gone, with just a pop of displaced air to signal that he had left, leaving Nita alone and confused.
Kit appeared in his kitchen. He ran up the stairs and into his room. Luckily, his house was blessedly empty. Carmela was off on Rirhath-B visiting Sker'ret and his parents were out grocery shopping.
He tossed his backpack down and started pacing. He was nuts about Nita and had been waiting years for her to reciprocate his feelings. I should have kissed her, instead of freaking out on her. But then again, she looked terrified after she touched me. She probably was afraid I'd read more into the touch, which I did. Way to go, tonto. He sighed and sat down. He wanted to be more than friends with Nita. He wanted to be partners in every sense of the word. How do I do that without screwing everything up? What if she doesn't feel the same way?
He needed advice. Senior advice.
He opened his manual to the messaging section.
Tom: Are you & Carl available? I need some advice.
About 10 minutes later, his manual fizzed with a response.
Sure thing. Come on over.
Kit grabbed his manual, scrawled a note for his parents, and disappeared.
Right after Kit disappeared, Nita sat in stunned silence. Great, I freaked him out, she thought. It's Kit, my best friend. How do I handle having fallen for my wizardly partner?* She sat quiet for a moment then decided to ask the best sources she knew - Tom & Carl. She grabbed her manual, left a note for her dad, and then headed over to Tom & Carl's house.
She knocked on the door and Carl answered. "Carl, sorry to bother you, but I was wondering, could talk to you? It's kind of important."
"No problem," Carl replied. "The koi told us to expect you today". One of the aforementioned fish poked its head out of the pond and gave Nita a knowing look. "Come on in." He led Nita to the large kitchen table and called out, "Tom! Nita's here!"
Tom appeared in the doorway and said, "I heard the doorbell too, ya know," smiling at Carl the whole while. "Soda?"
"Sure," Nita replied. Carl looked at her. "So, what can I do for you today? I didn't see where you & Kit are on errantry. Is it a problem with a variable in a spell?"
"Actually," Nita began. "I need some relationship advice."
Tom & Carl looked at each other. "Well, that's gonna take both of us, I think," Carl said. Tom handed Nita her soda and sat at the table. "It's Kit, isn't it?" Tom said softly.
Nita nodded, staring at the grooves in the wood. "I've been having these feelings... about Kit. Like romantic feelings." She looked up. "Every time he gets close to me my heart starts racing, my palms start sweating, and I get nervous. I... He & I have been friends a while, and wizardly partners just as long. I'm afraid of screwing everything up if I say anything about liking him as more than a friend. What if I do and everything ends badly? I'd hate to lose him as a friend. What if he doesn't feel the same way about me as I do about him? How do I deal with this?"
"Nita," Tom began, "love is never easy. It can take its toll on any couple. Wizardly couples, doubly so. However, a wizardly pair that is also partners in life & love is more powerful together. They trust each other completely. They share not only their power, but also their hearts, souls, minds..."
Nita's eyes widened. "Is that why Kit & I have a mind link?" We couldn't figure out why we can hear each other but no one else."
Carl nodded. "That would be it."
Tom's manual buzzed and Nita glanced at it. "I'll get it later," Tom said. "Let yourself love Kit. If you keep it bottled up inside, it will start to affect your wizardry because you can't concentrate. Kit will come to you when he's ready." He took Carl's hand and smiled at him. "I did."
Nita got up from the table. "Thanks, guys. I feel a lot better."
Once Nita had left, Tom checked his manual. He chuckled. "Kit will be here shortly," he told Carl.
Tom was waiting at the door when Kit appeared. "It sounded serious. Come on in."
"Thanks," Kit replied. "I think I screwed up with Nita. She and I kind of had a moment and I freaked out and ran."
Tom waited for him to continue.
"I'm crazy about her, Tom. No matter what's dragging me down, I always feel better just hearing her voice. She's my best friend, my partner. She makes me laugh & smile, even when I've had the worst day ever. I just don't want to mess our friendship up by making a move on her when I don't think she feels the same."
"Well, you don't know how she feels if you don't ask her or try," Tom said wisely. "It took Carl & me almost getting killed for me to confess my feelings for him. Don't wait until it's too late. Hunt's luck to you, Kit."
Tom smiled. I have a feeling that his & Nita's manuals will be updated soon on how to handle wizardly dating, he thought.
Nita was back trying to study for her Algebra final when her manual fizzed with a new message from Kit.
Just studying for Algebra,she replied.
Can we meet somewhere to talk?
Nita messaged back immediately.
-Sure, usual place?
She grinned when she saw Kit's reply:
-Where else? :) See you in 5 minutes.
Nita was sitting on Kit's favorite rock on the Moon when he appeared. She stood up to greet him.
"Hey," she said. "Hey, Neets," Kit replied. They sat down on the rock in silence.
"Oh, sorry, you go first," Nita said hurriedly.
"I... I just wanted to apologize for wigging out on you earlier. I was dealing with some things internally, and I handled things badly." Kit smiled ruefully.
"It's no big deal," Nita replied, bumping Kit's knee with hers. "Friends?"
"Friends." Kit sat silent for a moment. "Actually, Neets, I don't want to be just friends. I want more. I want to take you out on a real date- a proper date, with dinner, and a movie, and awkward conversation with your dad where he asks me about my intentions with his daughter while you make me wait an extra 20 minutes while you change your clothes for the 18th time. I just wanted you to know that, I understand if you don't feel the same way or if you need some time to process it-" He stopped when he noticed Nita biting her lip to keep from laughing. "What's so funny?"
"You have a smudge of moon dust on your face, let me get that for you," Nita replied. She reached for Kit and pulled his face closer.
"Wait, we're in an air shield, how do I-" Kit was saying when Nita silenced him with her lips on his. When they broke apart, Nita said, "You're really cute when you ramble."
Kit blushed, then Nita kissed him again. "This is SO much better than Algebra."
A/N: Please Rate & Review! There will be a sequel of sorts.