Story 16

Posted: November 16, 2015 in Uncategorized

New one is done. This one takes place prior to the beginning of the series, when three of the main characters were closer to finishing high school.

 

Surprise

 

For the fifth time in the span of half an hour, Spencer found himself wiping the sweat from his palms. It was his third date with Gemmy, and they’d known each other for a few years by this point. Really, ever since elementary school.

 

But back then, he only saw her as his best friend Travis’ little sister. Back in those days, she was just some girl, and it was common knowledge that girls had cooties. It may not have surfaced in any of the books he’d read, but it was one of those widely held truths that not even medical science could account for.

 

But then came that classic biological frenemy called puberty. He could take or leave his own experience with it and was glad that it was over. But with her? Her body did not escape his notice at all. It would have shocked him if nobody else found her attractive, though, with her gentle curves, fiery hair that contrasted with her soft, quiet demeanor, bright green eyes. And the tail and monkey-like feet, he felt, took nothing away from her appearance at all. It only served to make her somehow cuter.

 

Not that his attraction to her was purely physical. What he found to be her best quality was her love of books. Most of the time, when he’d see her in school, she would have a book in her hands. Usually, she would be reading fantasy, her tail sometimes twitching with excitement. In addition to that, he had never heard of her getting into a fight with anyone. She was more apt to comfort someone that had been involved in one, though. A distinctly non-violent sort.

 

Spencer pulled on the blazer his father had handed down to him. For something from the 70s, it didn’t look horrible. It was a dark red velvet color, and fit well enough. He had seen way more hilarious, of course…that pink velour tux with the ruffles everywhere. His dad had tried to offer him that one, only for his confidence in the suit to dwindle with each second of uncontrollable laughter. “Well, I thought it was a good look for him,” his mother had defended. Which, of course, led to more laughter.

 

Spence got one last look at himself in the mirror. Blazer, nice shirt, hair combed, and heavy bags under his eyes.

 

Wow, had he really lost that much sleep recently? He had been working really hard on not only his school work, but he had been able to get started on some coursework for college. Pre Med, to be exact. It was at his parents’ insistence, but since his ambition was to become a doctor, anyway, even if they had said no…

 

He just wished he could take things a bit slower.

 

Nothing he could really do about that right now, though.

 

Spencer walked out of his room and headed downstairs to get his shoes. As he walked, he passed by his parents. His father was the first to look up from his reading, pushing his own glasses up.

 

So, what time do you plan to be back?” he asked.

 

“10, and I promise we’ll be careful.”

 

“Good, good. Also, tell Dr. Taylor we said hi, okay?”

 

“Got it.”

 

And with that, he strode outside, heading for Dr. Taylor’s lab to meet up with Gemmy. He wasn’t sure why she and Travis never took their adoptive mother’s name. But he never really asked, just in case it dredged up any horrible memories from his girlfriend’s childhood.

 

Meanwhile, Gemmy had decided that she wanted to try and surprise Spencer by meeting him at his place. Spontaneity was not something she normally employed, so it might have been a good time to start. She smoothed out her skirt and grabbed her messenger bag, slinging that over her shoulder.

 

She walked through the lab, humming as she passed through her mother’s work area. Serena had been in the middle of building a robot of some kind, with Travis lying on the floor nearby, nose in a comic book.

 

“Hey. I’m heading out now,” she told them.

 

Serena looked up from her work, pushing her goggles to her forehead.

 

“I thought Spencer was going to meet you here,” she said, mildly surprised.

 

“Yeah, I know. But I wanted to surprise him for once. Meet him either at his place or halfway there.”

 

Serena thought about that, a smile crossing her face. “I could think of worse surprises.”

 

Gemmy didn’t have to think that one over very hard. She knew for a fact that she wasn’t pregnant. The only guy she’d ever been out with was Spencer, and they’d always kept their clothes on.

 

With a wave to her mother and brother, she stepped outside and began on the route to Spencer’s house. Her tail swayed gently behind her, humming again. She thought of what it was that drew her to Spencer. The guy was built like a tall twig, and was nearsighted as could be. But damn if those brown eyes weren’t beautiful. Plus, he tended to get high marks in his classes and was almost always studying. Her marks tended to be on the upper side of average, but not enough to put her in the top 10 in the school. She had also seen him get picked on frequently, and that made her just want to hug him and let him know that everything was going to be okay. There was also his relationship with her brother. It was good to see someone he could talk to and have fun with. Both of them were comic fans, and she had seen them exchange books every so often.

 

After a bit of walking, she could see Spencer walking along the sidewalk to her house. Well, on the other side of the street, anyway. Gemmy jumped into the bushes and watched him, waiting for the perfect opportunity.

 

He began to pass her location. And as soon as his back was turned, she took the opportunity to strike.

 

She leapt from the bushes, latching onto his back.

 

It nearly knocked him clear off of his feet and he let out a slight involuntary scream. Its pitch was high. The scream of someone who apparently had not been hit with the puberty stick. Needless to say, this scream caught Gemmy by surprise.

 

She hopped off again.

 

“Did I scare you, Spencer? I’m so sorry!”

 

He turned around to look at her, running his fingers through his light brown hair as he caught his breath.

 

“No, no, it’s okay,” he said with a smile. “I just wasn’t expecting it…”

 

In actuality, he thought his heart had stopped for a moment. He could have sworn it was someone from school coming to mess with him. Possibly even the Norris brothers. He’d always had issues with those two, after all.

 

“I’m sorry, again,” she told him, taking a hold of his arm and putting her head on his shoulder. “I hope you’re not mad…”

 

“No, I’m not.”

 

He rested his head against hers for a moment, and she curled her tail around his waist. They walked along the sidewalk that way, heading into the city’s non-residential area. Spencer had been thinking of taking Gemmy to the bookstore. There was a small cafe there, where they could get a bite.

 

Their date had been going well, for the most part. Gemmy was ecstatic to find herself at the bookstore, of all places. She had separated from Spencer for a bit to peruse the shelves, fangirling at some of the newest titles. There were at least four that she had been meaning to get, as well as a handful of classics. Spencer watched her, smiling as she pulled out a book and sniffed the pages.

 

New book smell.

 

He knew it well.

 

It wasn’t quite as intoxicating as old book smell, but it was still a good one. It was the smell of new adventure and excitement.

 

She had enough to purchase three of the books she’d found, and had promised to loan them to Spence. Spencer, meanwhile, had paid for their meal at the cafe. His sleep deprivation had nearly caught up to him once or twice, but he was able to stay awake. There were a couple of points where he could have sworn someone was watching them, but chalked that up to the fact that she had a tail. Best not to let this person know that he saw him looking over. Though when he tried to get a better look, there was nobody there.

 

Once finished at the bookstore, they headed back to the sidewalk. It was getting dark outside now, and the street lights were coming on. They were just barely three feet away from the place and passing by an alleyway when something hit Spencer in the back of the neck. He was knocked to his hands and knees, his assailant gripping him by the hair and stomping on his back.

 

Gemmy flinched at the strikes, moving to try and pull the attacker away from Spencer.

 

“Leave him alone,” she pleaded. “Please, get off of h-”

 

He turned to look at her, shoving her to the concrete.

 

“This is between me and him, freak! Fuck off!”

 

She was taken aback for a moment at being called a freak. She recognized that voice, as did Spencer.

 

Harvey Norris. Was he following them? Was he the person Spencer thought he saw watching them in the cafe?

 

“Harvey, please, just leave us alo-” Spencer’s request was cut off when Harvey slammed his face into the sidewalk.

 

“Nobody said you could talk to me, Abbot!”

 

Gemmy watched for a moment, trying to find some way to get Harvey away from Spencer and get herself and him to safety.

 

“H-Harvey, get away from him, or I’ll call the police!” she shouted after she found the wherewithal to do so.

 

He paused and looked up at her.

 

“Do it, and I’ll curbstomp him before they get here.”

 

A chill ran down Spencer’s spine. He knew what that entailed. Just the thought of it had made him sick once or twice. And given the torture Harvey Norris and his brother Michael had dealt toward him in his academic career, he knew he would do it.

 

“Is there anything I can do to get you to leave him alone?” Gemmy asked. “Please, tell me there’s some way to get you to leave him alone.”

 

He thought for a moment.

 

“What’s in that bag?”

 

She hesitated slightly, before handing it over. He snatched the bag from her hand, looking through it. He looked disappointed for a moment, before his gaze settled on one of the books inside.

 

“…Did that one just come out?” he asked, holding up the book that had attracted his attention.

 

Gemmy went pale for a moment. That was one that she’d been looking forward to reading for years. The final book in a series she loved immensely.

 

But the skinny future doctor on the ground, pinned beneath Harvey Norris’ foot, was her boyfriend. If he got seriously injured, if not killed, by her inaction…

 

She wouldn’t be able to live with herself.

 

“Take it,” she sighed.

 

He stepped off of Spencer’s back, kicking him in the ribs and taking the book in question. As he began reading the book, Gemmy helped Spencer to his feet.

 

Right before she picked him up in a fireman’s carry.

 

“Gemmy? Wha?”

 

“I’ll explain when we get you to the hospital,” she said, soon breaking into a run.

 

Spencer could tell that his nose was most likely broken. And he’d have a few nice bruises, at least. He could taste blood, and everything seemed to be going by quickly.

 

No, wait. That last one wasn’t injury-related. She seemed to be outrunning the cars driving along the street.

 

What the hell…

 

As it turned out, Gemmy had, in addition to the monkey traits, enhanced speed. It wasn’t an ability that she used very often, and she didn’t want to go too quickly. That would take a lot out of her.

 

It took very little time for her to reach the hospital with him, taking him into the emergency room. As he was being taken care of, she was taken aside by one of the employees. They got in touch with both of their parents and the authorities.

 

It took a little time, but Harvey was eventually found and charged with assault. Gemmy decided not to claim that the book was stolen. Sure, she looked forward to reading that one. But she noticed that he really wanted to, as well. Just something in his eyes had told her so.
By the time the night ended, their families had arrived. And when Spencer was cleared to leave, both were escorted home. Spencer held onto Gemmy’s hand during the walk home, just glad to be alive.

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