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Breakfast at The Den

Pontiac, MI

Janais padded sleepily into the kitchen, failing to stifle a yawn. She plonks her forehead into Kian's mid back, wrapping her arms around the woman's bare midriff.

"Hey cutie, breakfast is almost ready. Is the blue-eyed one up yet?" Kian rumbled, deftly turning several eggs over in her pan as her diminutive partner shook her head.

"No, she was still firmly wrapped around BLÅHAJ. You left!" She softly headbutted Kian, giving her a squeeze and then disengaged, heading for the kettle.

"I did! Poor Moira, she must have been having bad dreams. She kept kneeing me in the back all night, and I eventually had to get up and move to the couch."

"Aww. Unrelated, jasmine or rocket fuel?" Janais inquired, sifting through the assortment of tea bags, pulling out two red bags of Irish breakfast tea.

"Nah, I gots mine" Kian waved at a brilliantly green energy drink on the counter. "Had to do the drugs anyway, might as well wake up and make some breakfast."

Janais nodded and asked the air "Artemis?"

A chime, then “Yes Janais?

"What time even is it? And what do we have on our calendars today?"

It is eight thirty-two on Tuesday, October seventeenth, twenty twenty-three. It is the fiftieth anniversary of the nineteen seventy-three embargo of oh pee ee cee.

You have a meeting with Frank at noon, followed by a Juniper sales visit at fifteen. You also have two reminders; one to tell Cisco to at-symbol exclamation point octothorpe ampersand themselves; one to remember to tell Cisco to exclamation-point ampersand octothorpe percent-sign splat exclamation-point themselves and their horse.

Moira is scheduled for a blood draw at ten, then has the afternoon blocked off for quote Things and Stuff end quote until eighteen. She has four hundred eighty-six reminders, of which twelve are not overdue.

Kian has the second day of the eye-triple-ee communications webinar on ultrawide band low-power signaling beginning at nine until fifteen. She has two reminders; one to repair the ay dee ess bee transceiver on Lucille; one to finish the seeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeecret galvo project.” A soft chime indicated Artemis had finished.

"mmmmmrRRRRRrrrrrrrrrrrrrr-" came a plaintive sound from down the hall.

"Yes love?" Kian and Janais called out, nearly in unison, then looked at each other and broke up laughing.

"rrrrrrrrrrrRRRrrr? mrrr, rrrrMMMrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!"

Janais turned from the kettle and leaned against the counter, stirring her tea and letting another mug steep. "Kian has made us breakfast. Do you think you can come out here and use your words and eat something before you go to the vampires?"

"dun wanna gets poked" pouted Moira as she trod into the kitchen, dragging a blue plush shark by the tail behind her as she found a chair and collapsed into it, legs over one armrest and back planted against the other, ignoring the chairback entirely. "wanna cuddle and warm and make things. no poke. no words. words 'r dum"

Kian expertly plated the eggs and a hidden stack of sausage links onto three mismatched plastic plates, adding a generous dollop of hot sauce to one and a precise amount of paprika and salt to another. She slid the hot sauce plate down the counter to Janais, and the paprika one to Moira, taking the third for herself and adding a sprinkling of salt and pepper before eating.

"Eat up, loves, it will help start the day" she said around a mouthful.

Moira looked around, blinking. Janais silently handed her a daily segment from a medication calendar. Moira looked at it, looked at her plate, and a trace of a smile flitted across her face as Janais slid over a blue mug of tea and twenty-three sugar cubes.

Moira methodically picked up a cube at a time between two fingers, examined it closely, and placed it into the tea. Then she sighed deeply, dropped the shark on the floor, and swiveled around in the chair to face the counter and her plate.

"thank you, foxy" she mumbled as she took a delicate bite from the end of a sausage link. "i has a sausage. and an egg? egg."

Kian reached out a long arm and tenderly mussed the short woman's already disastrous mess of brunette hair. "You should ask Janais to braid your hair today. You like that, and it'd help you relax and wake up."

"i can has headscritches and braids?" She seemed to perk up a little, slowly dredging herself through the torpor of morning. "I like braids. And scritches?"

"OK, little ones. I love you lots, but I gotta run." Kian, finishing off the last bit of sausage, put her plate and fork in the dishwasher, then came around the counter and gently caressed the other two women's backs. "Have a good day!"

"You too cutie, do good science!" Janais said, finishing her own plate and getting up to give Kian a proper hug, standing on tiptoes to give the much taller woman a soft kiss on the lips. "Maybe remember to put a shirt or something on before you leave."

Moira looked at her mug, emptied the morning's medications into her mouth, then drank the remains of the mug down in one gulp. She tried to push the chair back, turn, and run after Kian simultaneously, but tripped over the plush shark and instead knocked the chair over and fell into her departing partner, who instinctively swept her up off the floor in her arms and gave her a kiss. "I gotta go!"

"But you were gonna leave without kissing me. And that is just not OK." Moira pouted, then kissed Kian back more vigorously. "There. Done!"

Kian deposited Moira back into her chair. "Finish up. Get scritches and braids. Get poked. Work on secret stuff! See you tonight." Kian grabbed a black button-down blouse from the laundry room as she disappeared around the corner to the garage, buttoning it and tucking it into her skirt.

Moira finished her food and put her and Janais' plates, mugs, and forks into the dishwasher and started the full machine, then looked meaningfully at the younger woman.

"OK, come here, you!" Janais moved to the couch and retrieved a hairbrush from one of the arms.

Moira chirruped happily as her auburn-haired partner carefully and skillfully removed the night's tangles from her locks, then braided them into a long French braid, finished off with a large blue bow. Contented, the shorter woman leaned against Janais for a minute until Artemis chimed.

Moira, you need to be driving soon. Plan on leaving in fifteen minutes.

"Thank you Artemis. What is the weather like?"

METAR kay pee tee kay seventeen twelve thirty Zulu one-ten thirty-eight gee twenty knots zero four ess em drizzle overcast zero eight zero ten forward-slash nine ay twenty-eight sixty-five”, followed by a soft chime.

Alarmed, Janais looked at Moira. "What-?"

"Oh, uh, right, uh. Artemis?"

A soft chime. “Yes Moira?

"Please set weather report default to long-form."

OK, changing weather report from METAR to long-form. Do you wish to repeat the report?


OK. Eight-thirty local time observation on the seventeenth day of the month, from Pontiac. Wind was twenty knots gusting thirty-eight from the east-southeast. Visibility was four statute miles. The skies were overcast at eight-thousand feet, and there was drizzle reported. The temperature was ten degrees Celsius, and the dewpoint nine. Barometric pressure was twenty-eight point six five inches and falling” followed by a soft chime.

"...dare I ask?" Janais raised an eyebrow.

"I had an idea but I forgot. Oh! I should go. I need to go. I should go."

"You should get dressed, goof. Gotta look good for the vampires!" Janais teased, tossing a clean T-shirt and black jeans at Moira. Moira quickly changed, then loaded her pockets with tools and other things, finishing off with a sturdy belt and well-worn multi-tool holster. Slipping into a pair of comfortable work shoes, she nuzzled Janais' nose and gave her a tender kiss, then grabbed her purse and jogged to her car to minimize her lateness at the phlebotomist.

Janais sighed, contented in her partners, and readied herself for her day.