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Seasonal Requests

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On the first day of winter, Aiden asks Charlotte if he can order yarn and knitting needles.

“They needn’t be expensive; I would be satisfied with whatever we could afford,” he tells Charlotte. “But your old mittens are in rags, dear girl. I simply can’t allow you to go outside without a proper pair of winter mittens.”

“In that case, why not just buy the mittens instead of learning to make them yourself?” Charlotte asks.

Aiden raises an eyebrow at her. “I did say a proper pair, did I not?”

Charlotte giggles. “I’ll see what I can do, Mr. Aiden.”

Within the week, Aiden has a few balls of yellow yarn and is practicing his stitches. The click-clack of his needles bumping into each other is a reassuring sound whenever Charlotte passes by his room.

When Aiden presents her with a pair of yellow mittens, the stitches are a little messy, enough that even Charlotte, who doesn’t knit, notices. A store-bought pair would definitely be neater.

“I love them!” Charlotte says, beaming wide. “Thank you so much, Mr. Aiden!”

“Of course, dear girl,” Aiden says, and strokes her hair when she throws her arms and mitten-clad hands around him in a hug.

On the first day of spring, Huxley asks Charlotte if she can get him some samples from outside.

“I’m a very busy man, so even if the plants growing this season would be useful for my research, I can’t just go hunting for them,” he says with a sigh. “Would you mind, little Charlotte?”

“Of course not!” she says. “What do you need?”

Huxley lists a number of flowers and gives her a booklet with pictures to help identify them, and Charlotte heads outside to search.

She comes back with her arms full of sunflowers, lilacs, and daisies. “Dr. Huxley, I brought you some flowers!”

“Wonderful, just set them on the table here,” Huxley says, looking up from his lab reports. “I’ll have to double-check whether they’re the flowers with the properties I’m looking for before I use them.”

Charlotte sets them down. “Can you really use these flowers for medicine?”

“Of course.” Huxley comes over to pick up each of the flowers and explain them. “The common daisy can be used to help treat arthritis and other physical disorders, as well as acting as an expectorant to purge toxic substances from the body. Lilacs can be made into a tonic to reduce fever or a gel to help heal skin burns. Sunflowers…”

He tucks the sunflower he was holding behind Charlotte’s ear. “Besides looking fetching on you, sunflowers can be used to help treat ulcers. Thank you, Charlotte. Take this one as your reward.”

Charlotte keeps that sunflower in her hair for the whole day.

On the first day of summer, Bennett asks for sunscreen.

“Sunscreen and soap aren’t the same thing,” Charlotte says, with raised eyebrows.

“I know!” Bennett replies. “I was thinking we could build a sundeck out back! It’s supposed to be really bright this summer, and Henry says the eye disease has healed enough that I can try to tan this year!"

He seems so excited about this new opportunity that Charlotte agrees on the spot to get him some sunscreen.

When it’s delivered to the house, she brings it to Bennett, who whoops in joy and immediately starts rubbing the lotion on his protection suit.

“I think tanning will work better if you take off the mask,” she says, trying not to laugh.

“Oh - oh, right!” Bennett takes off his mask and spreads some sunscreen on his face, then holds the bottle out to Charlotte. “You should sunbathe with me! For a wider sample size, I need to know if this works differently on aliens and humans.”

“I guess I don’t have anything to do today,” Charlotte answers, and squirts some sunscreen on her hand.

Laying in the sun for a while is relaxing, even if she does still get a little burnt.

On the first day of fall, Felix doesn’t ask for anything. He’d have to be less antisocial than usual for that.

Charlotte finds him in his lab, looking out the window.

“Has your lab always had a window?” she asks.

“I mentioned to Bennett that it might be somewhat pleasant to see the autumn colors, and he broke a hole in my wall to ‘help’,” Felix answers, glancing back to Charlotte. “I only just found a screen to put in it for sanitation purposes. Did you need something?”

“No, not really, I just wanted to say hi. I haven’t seen you for a while.” She looks out the window herself. From here, she can see a couple of trees with only a few of their leaves having changed colors. “When fall really gets going, it’ll be a beautiful view.”

“I suppose,” Felix says, looking at a wall instead. “…Since there aren’t many windows in the house, you can return here if you want to see the trees.”

Charlotte beams at him. “I’d love to!”

Charlotte returns several times a week, ostensibly to see if more leaves have turned but mostly to bother Felix. Felix grumbles, but never kicks her out.