Please don't reveal the secret ending to your friends -
Don't spoil the big surprise!
You won't believe your eyes when you see
(props to Weird Al for my mangled version of his song, above)
Over at Doc and Nexxia's house, Sky was growing quickly.
Maybe a little too quickly for her dad's liking. Skye seemed to have a real fondness for the boys, even at that early age. She had no little girl friends, but talked about how cool Nick Serling was as he got ready for college, and about teenager Khalid Jeffries' rilly cool red and black hair, and so on. Perhaps it was a good thing Remington the housecleaner only came to the house while Skye was in school.
In fact, even the children her own age that she brought home from school were boys. She developed a real fondness for Jason Lizard, though it didn't seem completely mutual. "C'mon, just one little kiss?" "Aw, kissing's too mushy!"
Doc's concern led to a "talk" between him and Nexxia. "Don't you think maybe she should find some girls to play with instead?"
"Well, we can't help who she sits next to in school."
"I know, but you're her mother! Maybe you could keep a better eye on her."
"EXCUSE me?! You're her father! Maybe if you'd hugged her and shown some more affection when she was little, she wouldn't be chasing after older men for affection!"
The argument cut off abruptly when Skye came into the house, but it wasn't over. Not yet.
~ ~ ~
That same week, Komei and Ep were having their own domestic issues. Komei had recently gotten food poisoning while visiting the Serlings. Ep noticed that Komei was spending a lot more time away from home (and taking care of the kids) lately, leaving Ep to handle baby Maddox as well as moody teenager Sorcha and quiet-by-comparison Sebastian.
"What is it, Komei? You're away a lot lately. Spending a little extra time at the hospital, maybe? You keep visiting Vicky and Nexxia and other women doctors..."
"Cripes, Ep, I'm just trying to network." Komei was trying to fix the recalcitrant faucet as he talked. "And there's a lot of women doctors in this town. It's not like we're good friends with that other gay couple with kids."
"Yeah, about our kids. You want to spend some more time at home with them, maybe? The diapers are piling up and it's Maddox's birthday party later today. I can't even talk to Sorcha anymore, she just moons about the house and talks about going to Fiesta Tech to find a man. Or were you planning to skip out on the party?"
Once Ep finally stopped haranguing him, Komei could get some work done on the faucet. Maddox's birthday already. Little green alien girl. And Komei suspected that he'd be the one doing most of the raising again. He didn't mind, so much, except for Ep's desire to keep "meeting" *cough* aliens and the problem that apparently he, Ep, would return pregnant each time. Leaving them for Komei to raise. It wasn't a happy prospect. Komei liked the kids well enough, but he'd been happy with two.
It was a beautiful day outside, perfect party weather. Of course it would be mostly adults at the party, people they knew from work and weddings. If only he could get the faucet fixed in time!
~ ~ ~
Epsilon went outside to watch the clouds. What a beautiful day. Got some time to kill before the party...
Then he saw something bright in the sky. His heart leapt - the aliens! Could it be them again? But they've never come by in the daytime before...
And it was approaching quickly, too -
~ ~ ~
Komei finally fixed the sink just as a sudden whump came from outside. What now? he thought. "Ep? Are you around?.... Dammit, I've gotta do everything around here..."
Komei went outside to investigate as Sorcha trailed behind him. "Komei, the cake's ready for Maddox's birthday, and I need you to sign some papers for college for me."
"Sure, Sorcha. Let me find out what happened - I think that dead branch finally fell off the maple in the back yard."
But when they turned the corner, they saw instead a communications satellite, battered and smoking.
And nearby -
"Oh, God! No! Ep!"
It looked like a direct hit. Ep's body lay lifeless where the satellite had crunched it into the ground and then rolled off.
All the unkind things he'd said and thought - the argument this morning - Komei wished he could take it all back now. But it was too late.
Unnoticed, a dark figure, out of place in the bright sunshine, glided around the corner.
Sorcha saw the reaper; if she could've gone paler, she would've. "K-K-K-Komei," she stuttered. "L-l-look - "
"I can't, Sorcha - not after - "
But he did, and was shocked by whom he saw.
"Sorcha," Komei whispered. "Get Maddox and Sebastian out of here. Get to the Grunts' house. Now!"
Sorcha didn't need to be told twice - she ran into the house to get the children. At least Death won't come for them, too, Komei thought.
But Death didn't seem interested in anyone else. With a shining ray of light from above, Ep's mortal coil disappeared, as Komei watched, dumbstruck.
Then, just as suddenly as he appeared, the reaper was gone. And the unreality of it all hit Komei like a bag of hammers. "I can't - it's Maddox's birthday, and Ep's dead! How - Oh, God, this can't be happening!"
But it had...