Story 7

Posted: November 7, 2015 in Uncategorized

Today’s is done and ready to go. This one is set somewhere between my 2nd and 3rd books.

Return

It took a while, but Spencer had managed to drag himself out of bed. On the one hand, he looked forward to today. It was the first time since he’d gotten his new leg that he could return to his job. He needed to use a cane for stability for the time being, just until he had fully adapted to the limb. But on the other hand, he was a bit afraid. What if the leg and cane made it difficult for him to do his job? And what if the woman that took his original leg was still out there, waiting to finish the job?

Spencer collected his clothing for the day, stopping on his wife’s side of the bed. She was still asleep and appeared to be hoarding the blankets. Looking at her, his eyes settled right on her pregnant belly. In a couple of months, he would be a father.

He was determined to walk without his cane before their son took his first steps.

He leaned down and moved some of her red hair from her face, before giving her a kiss on the cheek. With a groan, she opened one eye and looked at him.

“What time is it?” she asked.

“6:30. Did you want to sleep a bit longer?”

She yawned, sitting up in their bed. Her tail curled around his thigh. It was a reflex by this point.

“First day back at the hospital, right?” she asked as she made her way out of bed.

He nodded. “Yeah.”

“Ready for it?”

That part, he wasn’t quite so sure about.

“I dunno….I mean, everything that happened with Jesse is still fresh in my mind. Granted, I’ve been sleeping a little better, but she still scares the hell out of me. Really, I think it’s just best that we all try to move on…”

“Couldn’t agree more.”

He let her take care of what she needed to in the bathroom first, sitting down in the hallway and waiting patiently. He was just glad he’d been able to marry someone like Gemmy…sweet and supportive. He’d only seen her become violent once in their nearly year and a half of marriage, and that was when Jesse had attacked them. If motivated, she could throw one hell of a right hook. But normally, she was a pacifist.

After a few minutes, he was able to go in and get his shower. One feature his mother in law always included in her cybernetic creations was rustproofing. Which would definitely come in handy at work. Or in this case, his morning ritual.

The tub had been renovated to accommodate for his current condition. As he stepped in and turned the water on, he tried to push back every bit of paranoia concerning Jesse Lynn Belle. All it took was one instance of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, and he and his brother in law had made an enemy for life.

On the one hand, this paranoia made him want to lock the bathroom door anytime he took a shower. But on the other, he needed the door to be unlocked just in case he managed to slip and fall in the shower again. They’d placed a few non-slip decals on the bottom, but that only lessened the chance. Nothing could really eliminate that altogether.

His shower passed without incident, thankfully, and he got dressed for the day. Basic button-up shirt, dark gray slacks… He paused when it came to his feet. Did he really need to go for two socks anymore, given that his new foot was metal, with bluish-green joints. Of course, he did want to feel at least somewhat normal. And yet, in his family, the introduction of cybernetics made him a little closer to their definition of “normal”. Both his wife and brother in law were part monkey. His mother in law (and her twin sister), both cat/human hybrids…and one of them was a cyborg, herself. Even their family friends were odd…one psychic and the other a witch.

Spencer put on his tie, having selected a clip-on. Having nearly died via hanging (thanks to Jesse), he’d become leery of anything he’d have to tighten around his neck. He quickly combed his hair and put on his glasses.

“Okay, Dr. Abbot,” he told his reflection. “You’ve got this.”

With that, he made his way to the kitchen.

He passed through the living room, where he could see Travis still asleep on the couch, his long red hair draped over the arm. His brother in law had lived here since he and Gemmy got married. Trav hadn’t exactly been the most financially secure man out there, and neither of them wanted to see him wind up homeless. If he ended up that way, he’d likely be experimented upon yet again. Plus, they loved having him around.

“Hey, Trav…waking up anytime soon?” he asked.

“Five more minutes…”

He nudged him, and Travis let out a whimper and swatted at his hand.

“Okay, then…might just have to eat breakfast without you.”

He walked to the kitchen, as Travis got up and stretched.

“Whose turn was it to cook this morning, anyway?” he asked.

“Mine,” Spencer replied.

As they got to the kitchen, however, they could see that there was already someone working on breakfast, humming to herself.

“Morning, Beast. What brings you here, if you don’t mind my asking?”

Spencer was trying to process this right now, as the cybernetic cat lady turned toward him and Travis.

“I heard you’re going back to work today. So, Serena and I thought it’d be a nice idea to surprise you with breakfast. You and Gemmy are still vegetarians, right?”

“Yeah.”

“Okay, then. Trav, I’ll get to yours in a minute.”

As she prepared a breakfast of eggs, toast, and soy bacon (or in Travis’ case, regular bacon and a lot of it), Beast decided to bring up a secondary reason for her presence.

“Also, Spencer, Serena wants me to escort you to work for the next couple days. Just until you have some handle of how your leg works and such.”

Well…of anyone that could go with him, Beast was probably one of the best options. She would be able to answer any questions he might have about the whole cyborg thing. And if anyone tried to hurt him, they’d have her to answer to. Sure, she didn’t have her natural arms or legs anymore, or one eye (thanks to an incident with a machete), but she did have experience.

Gemmy had finished getting ready for the day, as well, and breakfast came and went. Soon, it was time for Dr. Abbot to head to the hospital. As promised, Beast prepared to go with him. She gave both Trav and Gemmy a hug before departing, as did Spence.

“And Travis? Ivy’ll be by a bit later to walk you to work.”

“Thanks for the heads-up, Aunt Beast.”

She gave a soft mew in response before leaving with Spencer. Spence took a deep breath, still not sure how ready he was for today.

“You okay, Spence?”

He jumped, not expecting that question. Especially not from Beast.

“Y-yeah. I’m fine. Just a little nervous.”

“Don’t know how today’s gonna go, hm?”

“Not really, no.”

“Well, it’s probably common knowledge around the hospital that you lost that leg, right? So really, worst you’d have to worry about is curiosity.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Is that really the worst case scenario?”

She hesitated to answer that one.

“…Okay, what IS the worst, then?”

“When they decry you as a mechanized freak and start breaking out the electromagnets for the sake of messing with your leg.”

Was she serious…?

“What…?”

“It happened to me once. Only once, though. People tend to stop that bullshit when you demonstrate both a willingness and ability to completely and utterly kick their ass.”

Spencer pushed his glasses up, pretty sure Serena hadn’t designed his new leg for such a purpose. It, like him, was built to be a light, delicate thing. He was meant to heal, not to harm. Whereas Beast was more of a frightening killbot with a human brain…and head, torso, and pelvis.

“But at best, they’ll leave you alone. Somewhere in the middle, they’d probably start bugging you, asking about the leg. Demanding to see it. That kind of thing.”

He thought that over. He didn’t really relish the idea of getting that much attention for…well, anything, really.

Their walk ended after a few minutes, and Spence stood at the hospital doors.

Okay, moment of truth…

Time to get in there.

He entered the building, ready to resume his normal(ish) life.

It took a grand total of two minutes for the questions to begin.

“C’mon, Dr. Abbot…let me see it!”

“So, is it, like, a peg leg? I’ve seen those cybernetic ones, and one of them is nearly twice as big as you!”

“Fit in with the family more now?”

Hmph. Whatever happened to asking if he was okay?

He shrugged it off and paused a couple of times to roll up the pant leg. They’d only see part of it, but the connection to his thigh was good enough for them.

“They can make ‘em that streamlined?”

“My mother in law is just that good,” he sighed, putting the pant leg back down and continuing along his way.

It took him longer than he’d have liked to get to his usual office, but here he was.

Spencer looked over the room. The jars of tongue depressors and cotton balls, the exam table, and the cabinets… For a while, he never thought he’d be back here. And as his first patient in a while entered, he couldn’t help but give a relieved sigh.

He was back.

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