“Well?” CJ asked “what’d you think?”
Standing in the middle of the room, the elder Alura looked around the fully-furnished apartment.
“This is…,” she shook her head “this is…too much” she breathed.
“Nah,” CJ grinned “come on, you’ve earned it,” she encouraged “here,” she gestured to the kitchen “you got a fridge, stove, microwave, et cetera,” she shrugged “although,” she added “I’d recommend you stick with the fridge and microwave for the time being, at least until Astra can teach you how to cook”
“Yes…,” Alura said slowly as she examined the gas range “that seems wise” she noted.
“Very wise,” CJ nodded “fire bad,” she added with a chuckle. Pulling her phone out, she studied it, nodding to herself “and…we’re going to be late,” she announced “come on,” she called as she led Alura out of the apartment, absently locking the door behind her before handing the key to Alura’s DEO handler, who happened to be one Lucy Lane.
“Thanks, Luce” she called as she and Alura headed towards the elevator.
“Hey!” Lucy rushed after them “I’m supposed to go with her” she exclaimed as she thrust a hand out, catching the elevator doors as they opened.
“So?” CJ shrugged “no one’s stopping you” she exclaimed…
The National City Fair took up a large section of the old NC Port. First established in the late-19th century during an economic slump, the Fair had been compared to National City’s answer to Coney Island. Open nearly all year round, the Fair’s peak season was early-spring and summer, the rest of the summer being too hot for most residents to bother with overpriced fair games and horribly unhealthy fired foods.
Climbing out of the car, CJ held a hand over her eyes as she looked around, the smell of freshly-frying corn dogs reaching her nose, making her mouth water. Reaching back into the car, she grabbed her messenger bag and, digging around in it for a few seconds, pulled out a well-worn baseball cap and plopped it onto her head.
“Hmm, bright” Alura murmured from behind her, shielding her own eyes.
“Ah,” CJ beamed as she pulled another baseball cap out of the bag and held it out to her great-aunt “it’s clean, don’t worry” she assured the elder woman. Frowning, Alura took the hat and examined it.
“What is…Star Trek?” she asked as she put the hat on “a historic journey?”
“No,” CJ chuckled “no, it’s fiction,” she explained “good fiction,” she added “well…it was anyway,” she muttered. Shaking her head, she held her out arm to the elder woman “come on,” she invited “we’re going to be late” she added...
Alex shared a uneasy look with James as they both watched Kara devour her fourth funnel cake with an almost-orgasmic moan.
“You know,” Alex began “if it were anyone else besides Kara, I’d ask if you two were having problems in bed”
James coughed, as did his daughter.
“Oh! Geez!” Alura exclaimed “come on! I don’t need to hear that!” she groaned as Kara let out a surprised yelp, suddenly hopping up and down, pointing at something off in the distance of the fairgrounds.
“Mmph!” she tried.
“Kara, chew” James advised.
Quickly cramming the rest of the funnel cake into her mouth, Kara quickly swallowed it down (and somehow avoided choking in process) before absently wiping at her mouth with the wax paper.
“They’re here!” she exclaimed as CJ and the elder Alura came into the view, Lucy in tow.
“Hey!” CJ waved as she reached them “ohh! Kara, as much as I appreciate the hug, you’re getting powdered sugar all over me,” she grunted as Kara pulled her into a fierce bear hug “and I’m wearing black, remember?” she added.
“Oh,” Kara pulled back with a cringe “sorry” she apologized as she tried to wipe the sugar off, only succeeding in making an even worse mess.
“It’s fine, it’s fine” CJ dismissed, wrinkling her nose.
“So, where’s Astra?” Lucy wondered.
“Oh, she and Winn and taking most of the prize vendors to the cleaners” Alex explained with a chuckle.
“Who knows,” James pitched in “he might win you a stuffed bear, Luce” he chuckled.
“Ha-ha,” Lucy deadpanned “you know that I put the bear you won me when we were dating into a shredder right?”
“Ouch” Kara exclaimed.
“Seriously, how are you two still friends?” CJ wondered.
Both Lucy and James pointed at Kara.
“Blame her” Lucy explained.
“Oh, yeah, it’s all my fault that you two are closer than you ever were when you dating,” Kara exclaimed. She mimed being shot in the chest before ‘fainting’ away into Alex’s arms “you wound me!” she added for extra melodramatic effect.
“All right, all right,” Alex shoved her back onto her feet “drama queen,” she muttered “you’re worse than Astra”
“Who’s worse than me?”
Turning, Alex grinned as her wife came up from behind her, giving her a quick peek on the cheek.
“Hey,” Alex greeted “where’s Winn?” she wondered.
“Still trying to win Lucy a prize” Astra explained.
“What is it with my boyfriends and trying to win me something?” she exclaimed “seriously, every single boyfriend I’ve had—from high school to now—have all tried to win me something. Especially at fairs or carnivals. Why is that?”
“Don’t look at me,” James exclaimed, holding up his hands “my wife’s standing right here” he reminded Lucy.
“And don’t you forget it” Kara beamed.
“Incoming,” CJ remarked “giant purple teddy bear at twelve o’clock”
Turning, the group spotted the large, floppy-limbed teddy bear very carefully making its way through the crowd.
“What…is…that?” the elder Alura asked
“Winn” Lucy answered with a tired sigh as said teddy bear reached them.
“Hey, Luce” Winn greeted from somewhere behind the bear’s plushy form.
“We’re not keeping that thing” Lucy exclaimed.
“Hey, come on,” Winn moaned “I spent nearly ten bucks on darts for him”
“Nope,” Lucy shook her head, crossing her arms “we’ll donate him—it—to Goodwill or something, but we’re not keeping him—it. damn it, we’re not keeping it!”
“Well, if you don’t want it, I’ll take it” Kara offered.
“No…you’re not” James advised.
“Dad’s right,” Alura pointed out “where would we keep…Winnie the Pooh anyway?”
“Really?” CJ asked “I would have gone with ‘Paddington’.”
“Paddington isn’t purple” Astra pointed out.
Before anyone could reply, a horrified scream suddenly pierced the air.
“Come on!” Alex called, already sprinting away towards the sound, the others following her. Rounding the corner, they edged through a crowd of gawkers to find that one of the food stalls had been vandalized.
The stall appeared to be one several that specialized in alien foods, run by a family Aldebrans apparently, the small, blue-skinned family now huddled together protectively as they took in the destruction. The stall’s awning had been torn down, the food scattered across the pavement, and, finally, as an added insult to injury, the folding table had been overturned and then spray painted with graffiti.
Bright red, still-dripping letters now adorned the table, proclaiming for all to see:
Standing a little ways behind Alex, CJ sighed.
“And here I thought that we’d have a nice day out” she muttered…