Gift-Fic: More Than Just Her Number
by: Flaming Trails

“So. You’re – ”

“Really okay with this,” Forgotten Vows Victor cut in, holding up a hand. “I am, Lisa, I promise you.” The hand traced a spiral in the air. “It’s – it’s not her I have a problem with. From everything I’ve heard, she’s delightful. Friendly and kind and breathing new life into the franchise. She sounds just like the sort of person I’d like to know! It’s just – it’s just the slot she happened to land in that – gives me a bit of trouble.” His face scrunched up. “And it shouldn’t, not after all this time, i-it’s nothing but a b-bloody number and I – ”

Lisa pressed her hand over his mouth. “Victor. We all get it,” she said softly, wings fluttering behind her. “You don’t have to beat yourself up over not liking 12+1.”

Victor sighed behind her fingers, eyes drifting toward the floor. “I know,” he mumbled. “I try not to…it’s just frustrating sometimes.” He picked at the knot of his tie. “I’ve come so far, and yet – he shouldn’t b-be able to still hurt me from beyond the grave. He shouldn’t have poisoned something as simple as a number for me.”

“It’s not great,” Lisa agreed, patting his shoulder. “But it’s not like you’re alone. Plenty of people avoid 5+8 like the plague. Even some architects skip from the 12th to the 14th floors when building. And nobody likes the day before Saturday the Fourteenth. You’re part of a proud tradition, Victor.” She shrugged. “Or, well, a proud phobia.”

Victor smiled. “I guess that’s true…and you can say the number, by the way. I’m not really frightened of it. It just – ” He ran his tongue over his teeth. “Brings back bad memories.”

“Just trying to be sensitive of your feelings,” Lisa said. She adjusted her glasses and grinned. “Besides, it’s kind of fun to think up just how many different ways I can say it without actually saying it.”

Victor chuckled. “Well, far be it from me to stop your fun.” He paused a moment, still picking at his tie. “Do – do you think she’ll like me?” he asked abruptly. “I mean – I got along all right with the previous incarnations, but…they’re all r-really different people. And you know I don’t always have the best luck with women.”

“You two will get on just fine,” Lisa assured him, giving him a light slap on the arm. “Remember – this is the same lady who brought me around after the real-life variation got so pissed off about her showing up. If she can do that, she can get along with anybody.”

Victor laughed again. “All right, fair enough. I am glad you gave her a fair chance in the end.”

Lisa grinned, the tips of her wings shading pink. “Me too.” She patted his back. “So – am I calling her in?”

Victor took a deep breath, straightened his spine, and nodded. Lisa turned toward the door. “It’s all good!”

“Okay!” The door creaked open, and a blonde head poked through. She smiled brightly as she saw Victor, giving him a wave. “Hello again, Victor!”

Victor smiled back. “Hello again, Doctor.”

The End