The House Guest
Technus was home alone this afternoon; he’d just gotten home a few minutes ago actually, from grocery shopping. His daughters were away at summer camp for a few weeks, and he was about 4-5 months pregnant with his third child. He didn’t mind being alone like that though; it was a bit refreshing. It was a nice break from the twins’ squabbling, but he did miss the company he admitted; after being alone for so many years, then having a family for 4 years, it was a bit strange.
He wasn’t expecting anyone, so it was strange that when he heard his doorbell sound. He left his groceries in the kitchen, and wound his way to the front door.
“Cole?” he hadn’t expected to see the blue-flame haired, rock star halfa at his doorstep.
“ ‘Low Nic,” he offered him a fanged smile.
Technus frowned slightly; he really didn’t like his first name, and only a few people were allowed to call him that, whom of which, the young McLain wasn’t.
Cole sighed, picking up the hint. “Sorry. Technus.”
Technus sighed a bit, relaxing his stance, and leaning against the door. “Yes, well, how can I help you?”
“Well…” he wasn’t entirely sure on how to go about it. “You see, my aunt kinda needs a place to stay, and since I know you’ve got some space free while the girls are away…”
“Only for three weeks.”
“That’s more than enough time,” Cole assured. “I mean, it’d only be temporary, while I try to find her something permanent.”
Technus considered the proposal; he didn’t think Ember had any sisters…but of course, up until recently, everyone thought she didn’t have a brother either. He sighed.
“Alright, I suppose. But only for a week or two.”
Cole smiled. “Thanks Technus. You’ve no idea how huge a favor you’re doing me,” he stepped away from the doorframe now. “So, where can I put her stuff?”
Technus scratched the back of his head slightly.
“The living room I suppose. I’ll be in the kitchen, putting away groceries, so I’ll leave the door open for you.”
Cole nodded, and went off to retrieve the luggage. Technus returned to the small kitchen. He listened as the halfa came in and out a few times, dropping a pair of bags each time.
“She’s all moved in now!” he called from the other room. “I’ll be by in a few days to check on the two of you, okay!”
“Alright Cole,” Technus answered. “Have a good weekend!”
“You too!” and he heard the front door shut.
He finished putting away the contents of his grocery bags, and was ready to attend to his guest now. He was startled when he turned around, to find a 15 year old girl with stark white hair, and glowing green eyes watching him.
“Who’re you supposed to be?” he asked, hand going to his middle protectively.
“I’m Dani,” she explained simply. “DanI Phantom, with an “I”.”
“No you’re not. Danny Phantom is a 32 year old, male halfa, not a teeny bopper female…”
“Halfa,” she offered. “And if you want to get technical about it, I’m only 14, because of my accelerated growth cycle, and being cryogenically frozen for ten years.”
“Genetic cloning?” he asked, raising an eyebrow.
She nodded. “Of Danny Phantom.”
“Well, that figures,” he sighed. “Well, Ms. DanI Phantom, with an “I”, let’s get you settled in, shall we?”
She shrugged. “Sure, whatever.”
DanI followed the viral ghost into the living room where about four duffle bags, and a cardboard box was.
“This all you brought?” he asked, frowning a bit.
“Alright, well, grab some stuff, and I’ll show you to your room.”
She nodded, and loaded each shoulder with a bag. Technus reluctantly too the lighter of the remaining objects, the box; he wasn’t supposed to be lifting things, but he also didn’t want to come right out and tell the ghost girl unless it was necessary. He lead her down the small hallway, towards the guest room. DanI looked in at the other rooms; there was a bathroom, a closet, and what looked like a kid’s room, with two beds in it.
“You have kids?” she asked, looking away from the room and its mixture of science and art motif.
He looked over his shoulder to her, nodding. “Twin girls. They’re away at summer camp right now.”
“Oh. How old?”
“Going on 5.”
“Oh. So, you’re married then?”
He looked away now. “No.”
“Oh…well, what about their mother. Does she live here too?”
“They don’t have a mother.”
“Oh…” she didn’t know what else to say now, for fear of treading in hurtful waters.
“Well, this is your room,” he opened the next to last door on the left of the hall; it was littered with piles of discarded and broken technology.
“Bit of a mess, isn’t it,” she laughed a little, trying not to seem rude or ungrateful.
“Yeah, I know,” he sigh-groaned as he dropped the box he was carrying. “I’m not very neat when I work. Just give me a moment to clean up,” he waved his hand, and each small electrical item glowed and moved on its own accord into a series of plastic bins on the other side of the room. He dusted off his hands, grinning. “There, all clean.”
DanI was staring wide eyed in amazement. “Dude, that was so cool!”
He shrugged. “Eh, no big. Why don’t you start to unpack, and I’ll fix some food.”
“What about my other stuff?”
He cursed mentally. “Right…your other stuff…you start to unpack, and I’ll get them.”
“It’s okay, I can…”
He cut her off with a wave of his hand. “No, no. You’re my guest, and as a good host,” he turned to the doorway, grumbling mentally at his stupid chivalry. “I should get them.”
He went back into the living room, still cursing himself; he was supposed to take it easy this time around. He managed to get one bag over his shoulder without too much difficulty. It was when he reached down for the second one, that the baby he was carrying decided to remind him why he wasn’t supposed to be doing this with a kick to his spine. He staggered slightly to the couch under the weight of the bag, and sat, setting the bag beside him.
“Ow…ow…ow! Gyzmo stop that,” he scolded his bulge of a belly, stroking it at the same time. “I get he point; daddy no pick up heavy bags.”
“Who’re you talking to?”
Technus looked up to find the halfa girl standing in the doorway, watching him. He quickly dropped his hand, and pushed himself off the couch with minor difficulty.
“Uh…no one,” he held his back slightly as he stood; it still hurt.
“O…kay…” she was uncertain on what to think about the viral ghost. “So…are my bags getting to my room, or not?”
“Right, the bags,” he looked at the one on the couch and the one still on the floor; just the thought of them made the baby squirm again. He grimaced slightly at the feeling.
“You okay?” she could tell something was wrong with him.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he said through gritted teeth, just as it passed. “Just fine,” he breathed easily. “Hey, why don’t you take care of the bags, and I’ll get us some food.”
“Okay…I guess,” she easily picked up the two bags.
“Great! I hope you like peanut butter,” he said as he headed into the kitchen.
Dani watched him from the corner of her eye for as long as she could; something was off about him. What, she didn’t know, but if she was going to live here, she was sure she’d find out eventually.