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"Egg"xact Science

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"Hey, Mom!" Ralph's voice carried across the garage as he, Walter, Toby, Happy, and Sylvester strode through the open door. Cabe and Allie had gone out of town to visit her family for the holiday weekend so it was just her and the five geniuses.

Paige spun around in her chair, a smile on her face as she got up to meet them. "Hi, sweetie," she said, ruffling her son's hair. "Did you guys enjoy the robot battles?" They'd wanted her to come along but she told them to go on without her, saying she could use the peace and quiet to catch up on some paperwork.

"They were awesome," gushed Sly, who wore a new tee shirt featuring a wicked looking machine with a turquoise saw blade and the name Skorpios in matching lettering.

"A good time was had by all." Walter walked toward her, an uncertain smile on his face. "Did you finish all the filing you said you needed to get done?"

"Not exactly," she replied. Reaching down under her desk, she brought up five decorated baskets. "Here." Paige handed one to each of them.

"What the hell is this?" asked Happy, hostilely staring at hers, which was covered with fluffy bunnies.

"It's your Easter basket."

"It's filled with plastic grass," Sylvester complained as he eyed his dubiously. "Not only is it environmentally unfriendly, we'll be finding it all over the garage for months."

"Mine's empty," Toby whinged, digging through his basket, spewing pieces of the colorful grass across the floor.

"Why do I need an Easter basket?" Walter asked, a confused expression on his face. Ralph rolled his eyes but remained quiet.

"To find the Easter eggs I've hidden." Paige waited until they stopped groaning before continuing. "Oh, come on, guys. Tomorrow's Easter and I know you probably all have terrible memories just like you do for Christmas, and Thanksgiving and. . ."

"I grew up in Ireland. We didn't celebrate Thanksgiving," Walter pointed out. "And we didn't hunt Easter eggs. They were just given to us after dinner."

"Actually Easter wasn't too bad," said Happy. "At the group homes, they usually gave us some candy."

"My mom took me to Easter egg hunts." Sly looked wistfully at his basket. "It wasn't her fault I didn't like getting my sneakers wet walking through the grass and I wouldn't eat the eggs. I mean, who knew how long they'd been sitting around unrefrigerated?" He shuddered.

Paige turned to face Toby. "No Easter memories, good or bad, Doctor Curtis?" she asked.

The shrink shrugged. "If my mom was lucid enough, I'd get an basket of candy. And if she wasn't, I'd search the house in case she'd stashed a bag of Cadbury eggs somewhere. They were her favorites."

"So not as bad as I thought," she said, putting her hands on her hips. "That doesn't mean you're getting out of doing this though."

"It's just another holiday which contributes to tooth decay and juvenile diabetes. . ." Walter declared before he was interrupted by Sylvester.

"Easter is thought to be originally called Eostre and has roots in Proto-Indo-European dawn goddesses, mostly likely the pagan goddess Ostara and. . ."

"None of that matters," Paige cut off Sly before he rambled on for the next hour. "Just do it because it's fun." There were a few more grumbles, but they all quieted when she narrowed her eyes at them.

"Okay, then. I've hidden fifty-one eggs," she began to explain. "Your initials will be on ten eggs a piece. There'll be ten with an "H" on them for Happy, ten with an "R" on them for Ralph, ten with. . ."

"We get it," said Toby. "We are geniuses, you know."

"What about the fifty-first egg?" Walter asked, his brow furrowed.

"I'll get to that," Paige said. "The person who finds the most eggs with their own initial wins a prize. The person who finds the most eggs with someone else's initial wins a prize. And a grand prize goes to the person who finds the golden egg with my initial on it. So now if the rules are clear?" Everyone nodded.

"Get ready for the First Annual Scorpion Easter Egg Hunt!" She pressed her lips together as calculating grins grew on their faces. She could almost hear the gears churning in their heads. Hoping there wouldn't be any bloodshed, she started counting down.

"Three. . . Two. . . One. . . Go!"

Geniuses took off in every direction. Walter, Sly, and Happy headed toward their own workstations. Ralph skipped off into the kitchen. Toby sprinted up the ramp to the loft.

Paige barely had time to sit down into her chair when the shrink's shout rang out. "Found one! And ha! It has a "T" on it!"

"I found one," Ralph called out. "And it has a "T" on it too!"

"No!" The behaviorist came galloping down the stairs. "Not fair!"

"Life isn't fair," the boy genius said and she could almost hear him shrug. "Hey, found another one with my initial on it."

They all began yelling out every time they found an egg and what initial it had on it. Paige was sure they were mentally keeping track of each find, but she had no idea who had what. Doors and drawers slammed open and closed. Footsteps filled the air. What sounded like scuffling broke out several times along with shouts of "Hey!" "Cheater!" "Dammit!" and a few other muttered curse words.

After nearly two hours of ransacking the garage, one by one they lined up in front of her desk. "We found fifty eggs," stated Sylvester. "There's still one missing."

"Are you sure you hid the golden egg?" Toby looked at her suspiciously.

"Yes, very sure. It's not my fault you couldn't find it," she said as she stood up and changed the subject. "Okay, it's time for prizes."

"I got nine eggs with my initial," said Ralph, showing her his basket. "Toby only got six with his."

The shrink stuck out his tongue at the young genius. "Ha, I got your tenth one."

"I have eight with mine." Sylvester frowned. "And one of Happy's"

"I found seven Ws and also one of Happy's," said Walter, tipping his basket so she could see.

"As Ralphie pointed out, I located six with my illustrious monogram," stated the behaviorist. Paige noticed he had blood oozing from a scratch on his hand. So much for no bloodshed.

She turned to the mechanic. "Happy?"

The other woman smirked as she scanned her eggs. "Seven with mine," she announced. "And one of Walter's, two of Sly's, and two of Toby's."

"Two of mine?" the doc cried out. "And you didn't slip them to your adoring husband?"

"That would only have given you eight. You still wouldn't have beat Ralph," his wife laughed.

"Yeah, but I would have beat Walter."

"Okay, okay," Paige intervened as Walter looked as if he was about to show Toby where he could stick his eggs. "Ralph, Happy, here are your prizes." She opened her desk drawer and handed them each a piece of paper.

"Cool, free frozen yogurt for a month at FroYoMa!" exclaimed her son.

"Yeah, really cool," said Happy, a little less enthused.

"Hey, you can share with me, Love Bug," Toby suggested.

"No way," the mechanic said, hugging the coupon to her chest. "This is all mine." She walked over to her workstation. "I think I'm going to get me a Cello Shell-o."

"Ah, man, no fair." The shrink hurried after her.

"We better get going too, Ralph, " Sylvester announced as he set his basket on Paige's desk.

"Thanks for letting him spend the night," she said.

"No problem." The human calculator pulled a game cartridge from his bag. "We're going to try out this new robot game I bought."

"New? It's like twenty years old," Ralph muttered to his mother, who ruffled his hair.

"I'm sure it's going to be fun," she said. "Be good and don't stay up all night."

"Sure." The boy sighed as he picked up his backpack.

"Love you sweetheart." She kissed the top of his head before he ducked away and dashed over to where Sylvester was waiting by the door.

Paige waited until the door closed behind them before she spinning around to face Walter. "So. . ." she said, her words trailing off when she saw his lips turned up in a mischievous grin.

Closing the distance between them, he said, "I know where the golden egg is."

"Oh, you do?" Paige had a hard time not smiling at his arrogance. "Where is it, Mr 197?"

He stroked the back of his hand down the skin exposed by her low cut blouse, slipping one finger under the chain around her neck, pulling it upward. A golden pendant, shaped like an egg and engraved with a ‘P' dangled just above her cleavage.

"Ooo, you win the grand prize," she purred as she slid her hands across his shoulders to the back of his head, entangling her fingers in his hair.

"And what would that be?" Walter wrapped his arms around her. "Two months of free frozen yogurt at FroYoMa's?" he teased as he caressed his way down to the small of her back.

"Nope. I think you know what you've won."

"W-W-Why don't you show me?"

"Oh, I will."

And she did.

_____

FIN