"Professor Zond, are you okay?"
Solomon turned around to find Calvin's worried expression focused on him. He wanted to say, "I'm fine, Cal. No worries," but that somehow came out as, "You worry too much, ya know that? We should have fun more often. I'll make it a part of the job."
Calvin's expression changed from worried to amused. Solomon wanted to respond, but the room began to spin, like he was stuck on a Tilt-A-Whirl going full force. Solomon reached out for the table, but nearly fell down, caught only by Cal's arms. "Are you drunk?"
"On tonic water?" he scoffed and then thought back to his supposed date a few months ago. He groaned and said, "But I only turned my back for a minute."
"Hey Chuck, how long are you going to keep me waiting at the pool..." Nikko's voice trailed off as he approached. Despite Solomon's best efforts to appear normal, Nikko seemed to pick up on his uneasy state right away - probably because of the way the floor was moving beneath him.
"Dad? Are you okay?"
Before Solomon could answer, Calvin replied, "I think someone slipped something into his drink."
"People have a sick sense of humor?" Cal guessed.
Nikko reached out and took a hold of Solomon's arm. He smirked and said, "And you worry about me? What is this? The second time you've been drugged without your knowledge?"
"Remind me to ground you later."
"Yeah, like that will happen," Nikko replied. He motioned to Cal and said, "Chuck, you better get Vincent and tell the others the night out is over."
Nikko maneuvered them to the table and helped sit Solomon down in the chair. He patted his back and chuckled. "Seriously, dad. Two times. How is that even possible?"
"I should drug you. See how you like it."
"Yeah, I don't let my drinks out of my sight. Learned that in boarding school."
Solomon frowned, reaching out until he was able to grasp Nikko's hand. He said, "I did it to keep you safe."
"I'm really proud of you, son. You're a good man."
"Jesus. You're a maudlin drunk."
"I'm not drunk."
"Whatever. Same difference. Still maudlin."
"Still not sure where you got the smart mouth."
Nikko shrugged and said, "I'm a unique snowflake, dad. Consider yourself lucky."
Suddenly two arms were going around his waist and yanking him to his feet. Solomon felt the whole world shift and he could actually hear the rumble in Vincent's chest as he laughed. This was just great. He was never going to live this down.