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OffGun Ficlets for January 2022

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Maetee’s mother makes a spontaneous visit to the Tee house and this rocks Maetee off - kilter. He appears to be apprehensive of something throughout her entire stay and none of the Tees could hazard a guess as to why he was acting that way.

In the midst of dinner with Maetee’s mother with all of the Tees present, T–Rex begins to feel somewhat chilly and goes to his room to put on a particular pair of knitted gloves which Maetee had given to him a few days back. He had taken a liking to them since Maetee had insisted that he wear them after he had woken Maetee up from what seemed to be a horrible nightmare. A few days of consistent coaxing after that incident, Maetee had admitted that he had dreamt of some spectres dragging T–Rex away and how he had been filled with regret when he was unable to do anything because he was too afraid even in his fantasy. While T–Rex was still unsure why he had bestowed him gloves, he was moved by Maetee’s slip that his life wouldn’t be the same if T–Rex would no longer be a part of it.

As he went back in his seat next to Maetee on the dining table, his friend continued to fret. He put his gloved hand on Maetee’s arm hoping to comfort him but it seemed to have the opposite effect with Maetee’s widening his eyes as he jumped a little in the seat. Everyone on the table turned towards him at the action and he tries to shrug it off but can’t keep his attention off the gloved hand on his shoulder. Seemingly without preamble, the only parent at the table begins to chuckle.

Luuk, I can’t believe you still have the gloves.”

She fails to keep her smile to herself as all of the Tees (except Maetee who suddenly had a keen fascination of his empty plate) turned to swivel towards her.

“Well, technically, you no longer have them since someone else has them on now.” She titters again before getting up, collecting the used plates from their meal, and bringing them to the kitchen where she proceeds to wash them. Maitee rises from his own seat and goes to the sink himself, attempting to convince her to let him do the dishes instead since she’s supposed to be their guest. She eventually acquiesces and takes a seat in the living room as the Teedo, Teedet, and Watee move from the dining table to there to entertain her before she left.

T–Rex and Maetee are left alone at the dining table and the former tries his best to get the latter to talk to him. “Maetee, was your Mom referring to the gloves that you gave to me?” His companion continues to sit in silence without paying him any attention but it doesn’t escape T-Rex that the other’s complexion seemed to be turning redder and redder the more T–Rex looked at him. Growing aware of Maetee’s swelling discomfort, he takes ahold of Maetee’s hand which causes him to gape as he looks toward him.

“Is this okay, Maetee?” T–Rex asks him sincerely, concerned with how quiet he had become. “If you don’t want to talk about it, it’s fine. I just want you to feel better.”

“It’s more than okay.” Maetee finally responds after a few seconds as he snuggles into T–Rex’s shoulder. He intertwines his fingers with T–Rex’s before holding it tightly under the table. “Just stay here with me. Your presence never fails to make me feel better.”

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Maetee’s mom is about to leave for the night and all of the Tees gather at the porch to see her off. Maetee speaks out first as he stiffly bids his mother a goodbye and promises to message her more often before hurrying back inside the house. Each of the other Tees bid her a polite goodbye in succession before returning to their rooms until T–Rex is the only one left.

“T–Rex, are you not heading back inside yet?”

He shifts on his feet and looks towards the yard before looking back at her.

Mae...” He starts, unsure how to open up the topic but proceeds anyway. “I’m curious as to what you said before we ended dinner earlier.”

“Oh, you mean the gloves?” she asks animatedly as a broad smile takes over her face. “I actually made those myself!”

T–Rex’s gasps out loud and begins to stammer an apology but she cuts him off.

“No, no, no. It’s okay, luuk.” She holds T–Rex’s gloved hands in her own as she frowns to have made the other think he had committed some kind of grievance against her. “I made the gloves when I realized I may have aggravated my son’s fear of ghosts when he was younger. I told him the gloves would help keep the ghosts at bay so long as he had them around.”

T–Rex blinks as she made no move to let go of his hands, as if she still had something to say. So he gives her a nod to acknowledge what she’d just shared as her eyes appeared to twinkle before continuing.

“I told him that there would come a time when he would want to give these gloves to someone special because this person’s existence would outweigh his worry about his own well–being.” T–Rex does his best to keep his face expressionless as his closest friend’s Mom jabbers on. “He always worries about ghosts as if they were out to get him but I assured him when he was younger that they won’t always be what bothers him the most. I had been thinking that maybe I had been wrong to presume that there’d be someone who could accept my son’s irrationality when it comes to the supernatural but…

“…he met you. And all the other friends you live with in this house.” T–Rex could feel his heart swelling but becomes crestfallen upon the mention of the other Tees. He starts to thinks that maybe he wasn’t anyone special to Maetee when his Mom tugs at one of his hands to get his attention back. “But he gave the gloves to you, luuk.”

T–Rex freezes as realization slowly settles in. “I’m his mother. And I noticed he was acting strangely since I arrived in the afternoon but whenever you were near him today, I saw glimpses of my son again – the one that doesn't get worried about ghosts or how I might unintentionally embarrass him… I just saw Maetee as who he used to be before all that nonsense started clouding his real self. I'm grateful for this, luuk.”

T–Rex is overwhelmed as his thoughts continue to race through his head while her eyes swim with unshed tears as she recalls the snatches of Maetee from earlier who has unbothered by his fears and worries. T-Rex’s bewilderment must have shown in his face as he is wrapped into a hug by Maetee’s mother.

“Please continue taking care of my son.” She whispers into his ear before pulling away with a smile and placing her finger directly in his face. “But if you ever hurt him, I won’t ever forgive you, Tee Lek.”

T–Rex’s thoughts are still all over the place but he catches himself saying “I could never hurt Maetee on purpose, mae.”

She beams at him and pats him on the head softly, finally turning around and taking her leave. T–Rex remains immobile on the porch even after Maetee’s mother steps through the gate. He had a lot to process but he can’t stop looking over Maetee’s gloves–his gloves now. He takes each of them off and holds both close to his heart as he smiles while looking at the starlit sky.