Cat  in George
Jones Tower, Noon

Lena closes the door again. “So a picture of Elwing landing on Vingilot on the door; the blankets and sheets; the clothes obviously. The poster.”

“Yes.”

“But the same computer, the same phone and the same TV.”

“Yup.”

“And the furniture arranged the same way.”

“You got it.”

“That’s— I have to chew on that for a bit. So, have you two thought about trying to swap rooms in that ‘dream’?”

I have to grin. “Only for hours. We wanted co-conspirators. Our idea was I try first, since I’m the one who can move through the barrier. So we needed someone here who make can sure nothing weird happens if I’m not here for a day.”

“You better be looking at me.”

“I am. But it’s easiest to do in the weekend and you already did an all-nighter. We were thinking you might take the key, go home and check in on me in the morning.”

“And if you’re Poof! gone! I do what?”

“Warn Diana. We were meeting at 10. Other than that, nothing big.”

“She knows, right?”

“She does.”

“So, if you stay poof-gone on Monday? I’d have no way to see either of you. Do I contact Aelric or Mark, or both?”

“I’d say both.”

“Alright. Call the Math department and your advisor that you’re sick, I suppose?”

“Do Aelric and Mark first and ask for help. If I end up a disappearance, you don’t want to be on the radar of anything official. And we’re getting just a little macabre.”

“Oh, I don’t think anything like that is going to happen. This Keira or Keiran seems to be smoothly in control and that wouldn’t be smoothly anything. But if I’m going to be the backup scenario, we might as well think it through.”

“You’re making far too much sense. Anyway, this means I’d better be grading those midterms tonight, in case I can’t get to them tomorrow.”

“Misery loves company? I need to be checking a whole bunch of runs tonight. I’m sure there’s a spare desk in the lab.”

“I’d like that!”

“Good. And now the important question: Are you a scientist?”

“Huh? I’d like to think so.”

“Then why haven’t we done science yet?”

Why haven’t— Oh. “Because I was saving the best for the last?”

She laughs. “Oh, good save!”

I put my arm around her. She snuggles in close and I’m surprised how much she can nestle inside the curve made by me and my arm. She makes a happy noise. I just hold her for a bit.

I slowly move a finger across her nose and ask, “The scientist needs to know how the experiment is feeling.”

She giggles. “The experiment is feeling warm and happy. How about the scientist?”

“I love holding you like this. I could do it forever.”

She picks my wandering finger off her cheek and kisses it. “Now you know why guys are bigger.”

“That’s—”

“Oh, nothing to do with real biology, of course.”

“No, but real psychology…”

“That’s up to you.” She takes the finger she’s still holding and gently nibbles on it. “Maybe we should get something to eat? Drop off the bag and then pick a place on High Street?”