Chapter 90

“I think you’ll like my parents,” Sasha said as she and Vince sat on her couch and flipped through the meager offering of television. “They’re pretty chill people on the whole. I was thinking we could all do dinner one night.”

“That seems nice,” Vince said evenly. He’d never actually had a girlfriend before, so meeting the parents was going to be a new experience for him. One that he hadn’t heard the nicest things about.

“Yup. So what else are you going to do with your down time? I don’t want you to be lonely if everyone is occupied with their parents,” Sasha said.

“Nothing to worry about,” Vince told her. “Alice and Nick both have single parents that work all the time, so apparently they aren’t coming. Hershel’s mom is going to be here, though, and so are both of Mary’s parents. So worst case scenario I’ll be part of a trio for the weekend.”

“Long as you save Saturday night for me,” Sasha said with a smile. “My parents will love you.”

“You think so?”

“Sure, what’s not to love? You’re a Super with an awesome ability, you’re smart, you’re kind, and pretty darn cute if I do say so,” Sasha said.

“That’s very sweet,” Vince said, squirming a little at his own lack of understanding of how to take so many compliments. Instead he opted to change the subject. “So your parents wanted you with a Super, I guess?”

“Like you wouldn’t believe. They’re convinced that two Supers are more likely to pop out Super grandbabies,” Sasha said. “Which is great, for when I’m, like, thirty. But I mean, come on, what teenage girl wants to hear her mom rag on the guy she took to the prom for being an inferior genetic supplier?”

“That does seem a bit odd,” Vince agreed.

“They mellowed out after senior year, though,” Sasha continued, a devilish grin on her face. “I got them to back off by showing them how much worse it could be.”

“What’d you do?”

“I let a Powered guy take me out one night. All of sudden the normal boys didn’t seem so bad,” Sasha chuckled. “Since then they’ve been way cooler about it all. Sort of a moot point, though, because I wound up with a Super boyfriend anyway.”

“Heh, yeah, you did,” Vince said. He squirmed again, but this time for a very different uncomfortable reason.

*          *          *

“Good evening, Alice, have I disturbed your studies?”

“No, everything is fine,” Alice replied, moving the recently picked up phone to her right ear. She was sitting at her desk working through some notes when her father’s ringtone had blared out.

“Excellent to hear. I was calling to inform you that my plane will be arriving Friday afternoon. I will be in town until Saturday mid-morning,” Charles Adair told her.

“Wait, you’re actually coming in this weekend?”

“Was I unclear? Yes, I will be there for a little under a day. I’ve already gotten my hotel set up for the stay, but I would like to invite you to dinner during my time there. I could pick you up at six.”

“Oh... yeah. That sounds great. I’ll see you Friday at six.”

“Excellent. Dress appropriately. Good night, dear.”

“Night, Daddy.”

Alice set down the phone, trying to suppress the surprise welling up inside of her. Her dad was actually going to fly in specifically to see her for Parents’ Weekend. That was downright flabbergasting.

She glanced over at her poor, already stuffed to its breaking point, closet. When he said to dress appropriately, it meant he was having dinner somewhere extremely high class. This might just call for a whole new outfit.

She shoved aside her notes and fired up her computer. She needed to see what times the local stores were open until tomorrow.

*          *          *

“I need a favor,” Mary said, plopping down next to Nick on the common room sofa.

“Wow, you really don’t pussy-foot around, do you?” Nick replied, setting down the book he’d been reading.

“Would it do any good?” Mary asked.

“Not even a little. So what do you need?”

“Alice is going to ask me to go shopping with her tomorrow after class. I’m leading a study group that evening, so I can’t,” Mary explained.

“Wait, back up a second. Did I miss the part where your power lets you see the future?”

“No, you missed the part where the girl in the room next to me let out a very sharp mental squeal of joy because she found out her father is coming to visit. She started browsing around for stores to buy a dinner outfit at, and then decided she’d prefer to have someone to talk with while she shops,” Mary said.

“Okay, see, I think I know where this is going, and I have to tell you I am really leaning toward no,” Nick said. “In fact, it’s less of a lean than it is me standing directly on top of no. Like, it’s under my feet, the no. I’m saying no, if you didn’t get that.”

“Please, Nick. I think it’ll be good for her to have someone to share an excited day with.”

“Uh huh, and I’m the natural second choice after you?” Nick asked.

“Well, no, not really. I think I can talk her into it, though,” Mary replied.

“Why me?”

“Because you two are actually pretty similar. Besides, you know more about modern fashion trends than any other guy in this house,” Mary said.

“Damn, you are just awful at this,” Nick told her.

“That’s why I try to avoid doing it. I can’t come up with a better solution, unfortunately. Trust me, I tried.”

Nick thought it over for a moment, turning the situation around in his head. Mary was coming to him with a genuine need. That wasn’t a situation he should outright dismiss.

“I don’t do favors,” Nick said. “I do, however, do deals. So you want me to say yes when you convince Alice to ask me to go shopping with her? Then I want a day.”

“A day?”

“Yes. One twenty four hour period in which you promise to stay the hell out of my thoughts. No peeking, no listening, no popping in. On your honor. One day,” Nick said.

“Agreed,” Mary said with some slight hesitation.

“Then consider it done,” Nick said. “Assuming you really can talk her into asking me, of course.”