|Summary:||In which Ilraen is given a solo assignment and Nume doesn't like it.|
|Rating:||PG/K+ - We're just getting started.|
|Betas:||JulyFlame and Tranum.|
As far as Ilraen was concerned, it was the morning, and he had just prepared for his morning ritual. After the last mission, he had had a long talk with Jenni in FicPsych and a good long think afterwards, and he had come to the conclusion that he needed more structure in his life. What better place to start than his long-neglected Andalite heritage?
<From the water that gave birth to us,> he began, and dipped his right forehoof in a bowl of water in front of him.
His hoof came down too hard and tipped the bowl, splashing water all over his grass-carpeted scoop under the bunk bed.
Calmly, he took a deep breath and then touched the acknowledge button to bring up the message. The ritual would have to wait for another day.
"What've we got now?" Nume asked, sticking his head out of the bathroom with a toothbrush between his teeth. "It better not be as bad as the last one. Please tell me they haven't stuck us with somebody else again!"
<No. This is just for me.> He re-read the message to be sure, but it was very clear. <I am to report to Agents Orken and Greenwall at Response Center 16,202,535.>
"Well," Nume started, but it came out more as a gurgle. He paused to spit the toothpaste into the sink and started again, clearly amused. "They can't be serious. If they need a consult for a crossover or something, I've been doing it longer. Give me five minutes and we'll both go." He ducked back into the bathroom.
<Agent Supernumerary, you have been working in this department exactly as long as I have. And . . . .> He fortified himself with a deep breath. <I do not want you to come.>
"What?" The man's hair, now half combed back, half sticking up, contributed to his baffled look. "Are you losing it? I'm your partner."
<I know that. And I know that this is a task I wish to do for myself.> He folded his arms and imitated the expression of looking over the top of glasses frames.
After a tense moment, Nume broke eye contact and shrugged. "Have it your way. Don't think you can come crying for help later on, though."
<I would not dream of it. I will have to borrow the equipment, of course.>
"If you break anything, I'll kill you." Nume waved him off.
<If I break anything, I will fix it,> Ilraen replied with a grin, or the nearest thing to it.
"Go away already! Jesus!"
Ilraen took the messenger bag and departed. Nume finished grooming himself and changed into his usual slacks and pinstripe shirt. Then, facing the prospect of a day with nothing to do—no assignments, no idiot partner trying to blow him up with a CAD, not even a chance of Jenni turning up to drag him to some farcical social function—he went to complain to his boss.