Experimentation days were always the hardest to deal with for both Sigmund and Xoti. They were beneficial, no doubt it, but that didn't help subside the drained feeling left in the hollows of their bones after every experiment. It wasn't cruel, it was just exhausting, physically and emotionally.
Xoti patted her face dry with the towel that was routinely provided after every experimentation day. The testing had come to an end and she stood outside the building waiting on Sigmund. The experimenting usually drew to a close at around 5pm and by that point the sun would be setting. Sigmund would never let Xoti walk alone when it started to get dark. He knew what kind of people littered the dark streets and he would never be able to forgive himself if one of them got their hands on Xoti.
The automatic doors drew open and the pink horned man emerged from the building, beads of sweat emerging from underneath his drooping curls. Sigmund smiled weakly at the sight of his red headed companion. No matter how exhausted he felt at the end of the day Xoti was always there to make him smile.
"Sorry I kept you waiting," he remarked, grabbing the towel from across his shoulder and beginning to wipe himself dry.
"Its no problem, it was only a couple of minutes anyways." Xoti smiled.
The two of them began their walk to their apartment compound. The sky glowed a faint pinky orange over head as the sun set. The buzz of the cicadas that had come out for summer was low and filled the air around them, cut off only by the sound of their trainers grazing against the asphalt roads.
"Have you heard from Audric lately?" Xoti said, initiating conversation.
"Mmm, he's been kind of distant lately. I still try to check on him though. When he does pick up he sounds like he's doing well. I guess he just needs some space to himself right now."
Though Sigmund's words came out with understanding, there was still a visible sense of hurt beneath his voice. It was understandable. Him and Audric were childhood friends. He worried about him. Xoti did too.
"Don't worry Sig, he'll talk to us whenever he's ready." Xoti said, wrapping an arm around the man's waist. However this did little to comfort him, she could tell.
Xoti let out a low exhale. "Sigmund."
The sound of his full name caused the man to stop in his tracks and turn to face the shorter lady. A playful grin tugged at her lips, leaving Sigmund confused, but before he could question her he felt his feet lifting off of the ground. Xoti cupped her arms beneath his shoulders and knees, playfully bouncing the man around as she walked.
"XOTI AH-" Sigmund exclaimed, his screams being laced with spurts of laughter. "DONT HURT YOURSELF"
Xoti chuckled as she jumped around with Sigmund in hand. "Stop worrying so much Sig."
The man gave into his emotions and laughed wildly as they walked around the street in a daze. They were clearly making no progress towards their destination, but that didn't encourage Xoti drop him. Their laughter filled the space around them, and just for that moment it felt as though they were the only 2 people in their town. That is until Xoti didn't see a pebble in front of her and the both of them collapsed onto the dirty street.
Sigmund glanced at Xoti to check if she had been injured in the fall, but instead caught the girl laughing even harder than before. A smile crept onto his lips as he looked at her.
There's truly no one like you Xo