February 6th, 1880

Secundus, England

8:57 A.M.

Victor was awake but he did not yet feel like getting up. His last encounter with Alice was still painfully fresh in his mind. “I don’t need romance.” The statement reverberated in his head, pushing away those lovely thoughts and images of the glowing butterflies. Well, that was certainly that, wasn’t it? If she didn’t need romance, then he needed to stop even thinking about it. He needed to content himself with just being her friend.

Unfortunately his brain seemed to be against him, conjuring up the memory of that time in Wonderland Park with her hand upon his and staring into those captivating green eyes. Was it so foolish to hope – ?

Stop it, he chided himself. You’re an adult. If you can survive being beaten up by bullies, you certainly can survive this. Victor sighed. Although I’m not sure Gordon’s fists ever hurt this much.

With another heavy sigh, he stood up and got ready for the day. Doc was naturally already awake and was putting on a pot of coffee; Marty, he knew, would take a little longer to appear.

“Good morning,” Victor said.

“Good morning, Victor. Go on and help yourself.” The scientist gestured to the breakfast machine, which was efficiently churning out pancakes and bacon. “Are you all right?”

He blinked as he dished food onto a plate for himself. “I’m fine,” he lied. “Why do you ask?”

Doc looked concerned. “Well, you seemed a bit unlike yourself when I went to pick you and Emily up yesterday. Are you sure?”

Victor nodded. “There’s no need to worry. Perhaps something I ate at lunch was just disagreeing with me. Really, I’m fine.”

With a shrug, Doc let it go and turned back to the coffeepot and Victor poked at his breakfast, making an effort to actually start eating when Marty finally entered the room in the zombielike state common of him in the mornings.

“We got anything on the agenda today, Doc?” Marty asked when he was slightly more awake.

“Not that I know of unless we get a call.”

As if on cue, the telephonic radio sprang to life, a woman’s voice filtering through the static. “Doc? Hey, Doc? Do you read me? Aw, someone pick up, will ya?”

“That sounds like…” Marty began.

“It is. Go answer it, Marty.”

The teen went over to the radio. “This is Marty. What’s up, Lisa?”

Lisa? Who was Lisa?

Seeing Victor’s expression of confusion, Doc explained, “She’s a veterinarian who lives on the far outskirts of town.”

“I see.”

“Oh, hey, Marty,” Lisa said. “Listen, my generator is acting up and I was hoping you guys could come take a look at it before it decides to quit entirely.” The telephonic spouted some loud static for a few seconds before her voice came back. “There it goes again. Please?”

“Not a problem, Lisa. We’ll be right over.”

“Great! I’ll see you in a few.” More static. “Er…less than a few?”

“I take it we have another on-site job?” Victor asked as Marty turned away from the radio.

As this was obviously the case, Doc, Marty and Victor quickly inhaled their breakfasts and sorted the dishes before loading into the train. It wasn’t a good idea to leave a malfunctioning generator too long especially when lives could potentially be at stake.

Once the train reached altitude, Victor was allowed to go to the window and watch as the busy city of Secundus gradually receded into quiet rural countryside. In order to keep his mind off the ache in his heart, he decided to ask about this new person he hadn’t met yet.

“So, Miss Lisa is a veterinarian? I would have thought that a Touched would want to treat any ailments themselves.”

“Most do,” said Doc as he adjusted the controls. “But there are some Regulars who go to Regular vets and some that go to Touched vets depending on their preference and/or severity of the illness or injury.”

“Lisa’s the best there is,” added Marty, “but her place is so far out of the way that people only call her in extreme cases. But if no other vet can figure out what’s wrong, odds are she can. Oh, and don’t do the ‘Miss’ thing with her. She hates it. Just call her ‘Lisa’.”

“I see. I assume Mi- that Lisa is a Touched if she can do things no other can.”

Was it Victor’s imagination or did Doc and Marty give each other a look?

“You can ask her yourself when we get there,” was Doc’s response.

“Wait ’til you see her place,” added Marty with a grin. “I love going there. She always has someone cool around.”

Buildings and streets gradually faded into dirt and hills. Victor could see a farmhouse with a flat area on the roof and barn in the distance with a larger building beside it. A ways from the house was a lush forest. As they flew closer, he saw five horses eating out of a large wood-and-metal contraption that was partially filled with hay and a fence bordering the entire property, a green cart beneath a shelter in one corner. Despite the dirt terrain leading up to it, the buildings were surrounded by healthy green grass. Then, suddenly, a gray-and-yellow blur zipped past them.

“Goodness!” exclaimed Victor. “What on Earth was that?”

“No idea,” said Doc. “But it looked like it was heading for Lisa’s, so maybe we’ll find out. Strap in and prepare for landing.”


The train touched down inside the fence. The horses seemed unfazed by the large locomotive landing so close to them; all they did was look at who had arrived, flick an ear, and go back to eating. As Victor exited the train, he noticed that the fence seemed low enough that the horses could probably have easily jumped it if they wanted to. How strange.

He followed Doc and Marty as they headed for the large building next to the barn. It was sturdy and made of stone with a large green (Victor blinked. Green? Weren’t medical signs always red?) cross-shaped sign hanging beside the entrance. The light inside the sign periodically flickered due to the malfunctioning generator.

The trio entered the hospital and Victor found himself in a waiting room. It was painted in cozy warm colors and had plush pillows on the floor for the patients and comfortable-looking couches for their owners; a bookshelf with reading material was set next to the door. There were three doors visible from the entranceway – the one to his immediate right led to a water closet, the one to the left had a sign above it stating it was to a pharmacy, and the sign over the door behind the reception desk was to the clinic.

A young girl was sitting at the desk. She didn’t look much older than Victor; she was wearing a pink dress and her brown hair was tied into a short ponytail with a matching bow. She looked up when she heard them approach and flashed a big smile.

“Hi, Doc! Hi, Marty!” The girl’s voice did not belong to Lisa but she was bright and cheerful. The lights flickered again and her smile faded a little. “It’s been doing this all morning. Do you think you can fix it?”

“We’ll certainly try. Oh, Fern, this is Victor Van Dort, my new assistant. Victor, this is Fern Arable.”

She stuck out her hand with another cheerful smile. “Hi! I’m Dr. Lisa’s secretary. I take appointments and answer the telephonic and general organizational stuff.” She gestured to the cabinets behind her desk.

“Pleasure to make your acquaintance, Miss Arable,” said Victor, shaking her hand.

“Where’s Lisa?” Marty asked.

“In with a patient.” Miss Arable pointed to the clinic door behind her. “You can go in; she won’t mind.”

They thanked her and approached the door. Although white was the main color of the exam room, there was enough extra color on the walls and charming paintings hanging up around that minimized the sterile nature of the space. A door near the back of the room led, according to the sign above it, to the hospital.

Inside, they found a young woman wearing trousers and a blouse underneath a white lab coat and a pair of black plimsolls covered her feet. Her long brown hair was pulled into a split-braided ponytail and she had wire-framed glasses perched high on her nose. A set of goggles was clipped to her belt.

What made Victor stare was the patient she was hunched over. It looked to be a gray Pegasus pony with a yellow mane and tail and a small array of bubbles adorned its flank. It currently had its eyes closed while Lisa was examining its wings.

“Hi, guys,” she said without looking up. “I’ll be with you in a minute. I’m almost done here.”

“I jus’ don’t know what went wrong,” the little pony said. Its voice was sweet and childlike with a slight lisp.

“You misjudged the landing,” said Lisa. “Again. If you’d do the exercises I gave you, your depth perception might improve some.” She smoothed the fur-feathers on the wing she was examining. “You’re fine; you just pulled a muscle. We’ll put a cold compress on it to bring down the swelling and then you can go home.”

“Thanks, Lisa.” The pony opened its eyes and Victor saw the poor thing was cross-eyed. No wonder it crashed.

Lisa stood up straight and Victor could see she was just a hair shorter than Marty. She turned towards them and smiled. “Thanks for coming, guys.” The lights flickered again. “As you can see, I could use your help.”

“Happy to be of service,” said Doc with a smile of his own.

“Yeah, anytime,” added Marty.

She then turned to Victor. “You must be Victor. I’m Lisa. I’m a vet here in Secundus, but I guess you figured that out.” She chuckled and gestured to the Pegasus behind her. “This is my…most frequent patient.”

“Hi! I’m Derpy! Well, my real name is Ditzy Doo but everyone calls me Derpy.” The little pony smiled.

Caught off-guard by the unusual nickname, Victor could only manage a small wave. “H-hello.”

“It means ‘cross-eyed and klutzy’,” explained Lisa. “Which she is, obviously.”

Victor blinked. He’d assumed that the Pegasus was male due to its voice.

“It’s a common mistake to think she’s male,” said Lisa – had she seen his expression of surprise? – as she set an icepack on Derpy’s wing. “She’s got one of those voices, but I think it’s cute.”

Derpy blushed. “Aww…”

“Anyway, leave that there for a bit. I have to take the guys to the generator.”

They exited the exam room and, after Lisa told Miss Arable that she was stepping out and to dismiss Derpy after five minutes, they headed out of the hospital. As the sign outside flickered again, Victor couldn’t help but ask, “Why is your sign green?”

Lisa smiled. “Well, I was going to go with the conventional red, but when I was having it made I saw this really pretty green glass and decided to go nontraditional.”

Victor turned around to look at the sign again. When it wasn’t flickering, he did concede that the quality and design of the glass it was made from was, indeed, rather nice looking. He turned around just in time to catch himself before he tripped over a wooden step; looking up he took in the house.

The building was made of red brick and had a wooden porch in front. As they neared the front door, they were greeted by a small black-and-tan dog with very short legs and a long body. It ran around their legs, sniffing their ankles. Victor smiled automatically, remembering his dear Scraps.

“That’s Itchie,” said Lisa. “You can pet her if you want but, uh…let her put her front paws on your leg first.”

The dog promptly lifted herself up on her hind legs and put her front paws on Victor’s trouser leg. He bent down to scratch the dog behind her ears and saw that one of her eyes was clouded over. “What’s wrong with her eye? And…why did I have to let her put her paws on my leg?”

“She’s old,” replied Lisa as she let Doc and Marty inside. “The white is a corneal edema. Basically it’s swelling due to trauma. A cat scratched that eye when she was a puppy and it was left untreated for a long time. The only treatment I can give her is an ointment to reduce the swelling, but it’ll never go away. She can still see out of it a little and it’s not uncomfortable for her, so it does nothing more than just look weird. As for the other thing…well, she’s fourteen and she…er…doesn’t have the best bladder control, but as long as she’s on her hind legs she won’t have an accident.”

Victor abruptly removed his hand. “Oh, dear…I see.” He stood straight and Itchie canted her head to the side as if wondering why the petting had stopped. The dog let out a squeaky little bark.

“That’s enough, Itchie,” scolded Lisa. “Go lay down. Come on in.”

Victor followed the dog into the house. It was a cozy little place with a sitting room, kitchen, and eating area. There was a door along the back wall. Hanging from the ceiling was a pull string; Lisa went to it and tugged, releasing a door and ladder to an attic space. Victor could faintly hear a chugging generator and realized that it was stored in the open air much like Dr. Finklestein’s.

“You guys know where it is,” said Lisa, gesturing to the ladder. “I have to refill the hay bunker outside so give a shout if you need me.”


Repairing the generator took almost a half hour. While Lisa’s was a little more protected from the elements than Dr. Finkelstein’s was – she had a tarp over hers tilted so that the precipitation would run down off the side of the house and into a gutter – some of the parts had begun to deteriorate. While it wasn’t enough to shut it down completely, that’s what would happen if left unrepaired. They’d had to shut it off to make a full repair but they were assured that the backup generator would sustain the power for the short time the main one would be off.

As Doc and Marty got ready to reactivate the machine, the scientist said to Victor, “Why don’t you go and tell Lisa we’re finished? I’m sure she’d like to know.”

“Of course.” Victor wiped his hands on a rag. “She said she’d be outside, correct?”

“Yeah,” answered Marty. “If she’s refilling the hay bunker, then she’s by the barn. Watch yourself on that ladder going down.”

Victor nodded and carefully stepped down the ladder to the main floor. Itchie was waiting for him at the bottom, tail wagging madly. She barked twice and pranced around, quite lively for such an old dog. It seemed as if she were trying to tell Victor something. She ran to one of the kitchen counters, looking from the counter to Victor and back again. Curious, he went to the counter and saw that there was a box of soft dog biscuits there.

“Oh!” he said, smiling. “I see…you want a treat?”

As if in response, Itchie barked and wagged her tail harder.

“Well…” Victor glanced around. Lisa was still outside and Doc and Marty were still in the attic. “All right. But don’t tell Lisa, deal?”

Itchie barked again and took the treat from Victor’s hand. She carried it over to a large pillow and lay down to gnaw on it there. Chuckling, Victor continued outside and headed toward the barn, stopping short at what he saw.

Lisa was standing on the hay bunker; a green cart full of hay being pulled by a golden horse was beside it. The hay bales were separating into slices and flying into the container on their own. One of the horses – a brown one with a black mane and tail and white on its back legs – snorted when he saw Victor.

“Yeah, I know.” Lisa turned to Victor and smiled shyly, the last few floating flakes of hay falling into the bunker. “Hi, Victor. Generator’s done?”

“Er…yes.” He eyed the cart, the container and the woman before him. “How are you doing that? Some kind of machinery?” He didn’t see anything like that, but in Secundus one never knew.

“Not exactly, no. I’m not really like the other Touched in Secundus.” She eyed him. “Hm…well, I guess if Doc and Marty trust you, I can also. I’ll explain inside.” She turned to the golden horse. “Goldy, can you finish filling the bunker and then bring the cart back to the shed?”

The horse turned to look at them and that’s when Victor realized it wasn’t a horse at all; it was a unicorn!

“My goodness!”

The equine seemed to smile at his reaction. “Greetings, Master Van Dort.” The unicorn’s voice was warm and kind with a slight accent Victor couldn’t place.

Lisa snickered as she jumped off the bunker. “Victor, this is Golden Mun. And the others are Shada – ” The brown one with white legs and black mane and tail. “Cuatro – ” He was brown with a black mane and tail and four black legs. “Diego – ” His fur was almost orange with a dark brown stripe down his back and a crooked white stripe down his nose. “And Dragonfire.” The only mare in the group was a beautiful red with strawberry blonde mane and tail and two white back legs and a wide stripe on her nose.


She smiled. “Relax…the names came to me in a dream. That’s all.”


“Anyway, Goldy, you’ll finish the hay?”

The unicorn nodded. “Of course.”

“Thanks. Victor, let’s go inside before your eyes fall out of your head.”

He blushed and felt his hands go to his tie. “I do apologize.”

Lisa waved a hand and opened the front door. Itchie was waiting for them with a wagging tail.

“Hi, Itch,” she said, patting the dog’s head when she’d lifted herself up onto her hind legs.

“Did her name come to you in a dream as well?”

“No.” Lisa took her coat off and hung it on a rack by the front door. “As a puppy she had a flea problem and was always scratching. Even after treating her, the name stuck. I spelled it with an ‘i-e’ because she’s female.”

“There you are,” called Doc. “You’re on main power again.”

“Thanks, Doc,” said Lisa. “How much do I owe you?”

“Lisa, please,” he said, waving a hand dismissively. “You ask me every time and you know I never charge you.”

“I know. I’m trying to figure out if you’ll ever let me give you real money one day.” Lisa laughed. “At least stay for tea. I don’t have to be back to the clinic yet and Victor kind of caught me filling the bunker, so…” She shrugged.

Doc nodded as if that statement made every bit of sense in the world. “Ah, I see. Well, all right then.”

“Nothing’s better than free food!” was Marty’s opinion.


As Lisa heated the kettle and put out a plate of tea cakes, she said, “Well, Victor…when I told you that I’m not like the other Touched in Secundus, I wasn’t kidding. I’m…I’m half human on my mother’s side.”

Victor blinked. “I beg your pardon?”

She smiled. “My mother was human, but my father…well, he wasn’t. Actually, I don’t know where my dad came from. We traveled a lot and I never really had the urge or the chance to ask.”

“Are you saying you’re…not from this planet?”

She made a so-so gesture. “That depends on your perspective. I was born on Earth so I suppose this is my home planet, and because of my dad I have several abilities that no human does.”

The kettle took that opportunity to whistle. Lisa only looked at the stove and the range turned itself off and the kettle floated up and over to pour the water on its own.

“This is called telekinesis. I can move things with my mind, but nothing I couldn’t lift with my arms. I could lift Itchie but not you, for example.”

“I dunno, Lisa,” said Marty. “He’s pretty skinny.”

Lisa smiled while Victor blushed. “My limit’s around 30 or 40 pounds; 50 if I push it. At 125, he’s too heavy.”

Victor started. “How did you know how much I weigh?”

“Ah…” Now it was Lisa’s turn to blush. “Well, I’m also telepathic. I…uh…I read your mind. When Marty said you were skinny, you thought about your weight and I heard you. I’m sorry. I don’t actively probe people’s thoughts but the projected ones – they’re the loud, on the surface thoughts – those I hear as if you’re shouting.”

“Oh…I-I see…” Suddenly Victor was very self-conscious. If she could hear what was going on in his mind, then did she know about the glowing butterflies? About the incident with Alice?

“Victor, are you all right?” Doc asked, seeing the look on his face and becoming concerned.

“I’m sorry,” Lisa said again. “I’m making him uncomfortable. Picture a wall blocking your thoughts from me and that will act as a dampener.”

If Lisa did hear all that, he was grateful to her for not telling Marty and Doc about it. He wasn’t quite ready to talk about it yet. Doing as she asked, he visualized a large wall in his mind and hoped it would work.

“Let me continue my story and that will help you not think of things you’d rather I not hear,” said Lisa as she poured quite a lot of sugar into her tea and then added enough milk to turn it white. “So while I was born on Earth, we spent a lot of time at this planet called Alnilam. They had this protective field around part of the jungle and the generator for it kept breaking down and my dad was the best intergalactic tech support in the universe, so he kept getting called to fix it. The indigenous species on Alnilam wasn’t exactly tech savvy…they were unicorns like Goldy.

“Years ago Alnilam was attacked and we happened to be there when it happened. My mother and father were killed. I’d been out with Goldy and I saw when…” She paused and took a breath. “There was so much fire and smoke…and all the animals were injured or dying and I…I went Creative.

“I suppose I was lucky…” She absently stirred her tea. “My specialty just happened to be healing. According to Goldy, I’d run around the woods gathering ingredients for elixirs and salves to help the injured.” She smiled a little. “I managed to save the lives of a few, but the ones I couldn’t I…I had to bury.”

“What h-happened to the ones attacking the planet?” Victor asked. “Did you know who they were?”

“I never found out their names, but I saw they were capturing my father’s ship, so I snuck onboard and set it for self destruct. It exploded in the atmosphere.”

“Oh, dear. I’m so sorry for your loss.”

“Thank you. I tried to heal who I could, but with all the death and destruction I…I had to get away. I ran. I ran into the forest and through a Gate…that’s a doorway between Alnilam and Earth. I found myself in the woods near here. Once the adrenaline wore off, I passed out.”

“And that’s when I found her,” a new voice said, startling everyone. They turned to see a young man coming in the front door and hanging his coat on the rack. He was slightly taller than Marty and was dressed very oddly in loose white clothing tied with a black belt around his waist and what looked like white slippers on his feet. His brown hair fell to his shoulders and was tied at the nape of his neck.

“Hi, Adam,” said Lisa brightly, running to embrace him. “This is Adam Steel, my boyfriend. Adam, the only one you don’t know here is Victor. He’s Doc’s new assistant.”

“Nice to meet you,” said Adam, reaching over the table to shake Victor’s hand.

“And you,” he replied, trying to quiet the small pang of jealousy that had bubbled up.

“Adam teaches a self defense class in town,” said Lisa.

“And you’re interrupting the story,” added Marty.

“Oh, no…t-that’s quite all right,” said Victor.

“Nah, he’s right,” said Adam. “I’m going to go change.” He snagged a cake from the table before kissing Lisa and heading through one of the doors in the back.

“Where was I?” said Lisa. “Oh, yeah…Adam. Well, yeah, he found me and took me in. He took care of me until I woke up and…he made it quiet. My mind was churning with so many ideas wonderful terrible ideas and there was no room for me and I felt like I was splitting in two and…he quiets the storm.” She cleared her throat as she continued, “We fell in love and I decided to stay here and use my powers for good, as it were. But first I had to make sure Alnilam was all right, so I snuck away and found my cat, Fluffy.” She pointed to a black-and-white cat that was sleeping in a patch of sunlight. “I found Goldy. I told them I was moving to Earth and they wanted to come along. Adam caught me outside the Gate, so I had to explain everything to him and, thankfully, he took it all in stride and he stayed. He helped me clean up Alnilam. We built this house so any of the animals on Alnilam could come see me if they needed me.”

“You told the animals…?” Victor began.

Lisa nodded. “I can speak their language; it’s another of my abilities. That’s why I decided to open the veterinary clinic.”

“Oh, and that’s why you can usually figure out things others can’t. You can just ask what’s wrong.”

“Yes, but don’t go spreading that around. No one except you lot know what I am. It’s bad enough I’m a Touched without having to add half-alien in the mixture. If I have to talk to a patient with other people here, I bring Goldy in as a ‘translator’. No one questions unicorn magic.”

“Does Miss Arable know?”

“She suspects I’m more than meets the eye, but that’s it. I’m a good boss and I pay well, so she doesn’t ask questions. And I keep my other abilities hidden when I’m in public.”

“More abilities?” asked Victor.

“I had quite a few more, but when I went Creative a lot of them became nullified. I do still have almost all of the ones I was born with with the exception of shape shifting. That I can’t do anymore and I also used to have a natural inborn healing ability. That also went away. My glasses broke during the attack and those particular ones gave me better vision than these do.” She tapped the frames on her face. “And I had to learn how to use these again.”

Victor almost asked but his voice died in his throat when two enormous golden wings shimmered into appearance behind her.

“Good heavens!”

She chuckled at his reaction. “No, not quite. I wasn’t born with these…they were a product of an accident. Going Creative couldn’t remove them from my body but they did erase my knowledge of how they worked so I had to basically relearn how to fly.”

Victor stared at the appendages fluttering behind her, feeling slightly more envious now than he had when Adam had walked in. He’d always wanted to fly on his own (the ride under Doc’s train didn’t exactly count) and here was a person who had that capability.

“As it is,” she continued, “I can’t get as high as I used to…heights kind of make me nervous after everything that’s happened. What’s left of my invisibility ability is limited to just the wings now.” They began to fade away. “I can teleport, but only short distances.” She proceeded to disappear in a flash of light and crackle of energy and reappear a second later behind them. “Around here is fine but I couldn’t get to Secundus proper without multiple jumps.” As she walked back around to her seat, Victor noticed that her wings weren’t completely invisible as they had been. They were now transparent and he could see frayed slits in her blouse and lab coat where they emerged from her back.

“You see them that way now because I showed you the wings,” she explained, plopping back down into her seat. “All my tops are specially made with wing-slits but, with my ability, they’re invisible to those who don’t know the truth. Now you know, so now when they’re invisible to everyone else you see them as transparent.” She sipped her tea. “The last ability I was born with that also went away was…a natural time traveling ability. I used to be able to time travel at will, but only by myself. So I guess if I ever want to do that again I’ll have to hitch a ride with Doc.” She smiled at the scientist.

“You’re always welcome,” he said.

“Thanks.” She made a show of counting on her fingers. “Um…I can hear a little better than a human but that was an accident, too. A potion gone wrong…or right, considering. Adam and I share a telepathic link that allows us to communicate mind to mind. I have two hearts…my lifespan is longer than the average human. I think that’s it…yeah.” She nodded.

“My goodness,” said Victor. “And I thought that after being in Secundus for almost a month I’ve seen everything.”

“Well, that was your first mistake,” said Adam as he came back into the room, now wearing a shirt and trousers and proper shoes.

“W-what was?” asked Victor, his hand creeping to his tie.

Never think you’ve seen everything in this place. Secundus will always surprise you.”

Everyone laughed.

“Well, Lisa, I think we’ve taken up enough of your time,” said Doc. “If you’ll excuse us, we’ll just put our things in the train and we’ll take our leave.”

“Can I borrow Victor for a minute?” she asked.

The scientist looked a little confused but nodded. “Of course. Come along, Marty.”

“Adam, go help them, okay?” She shared a look with her boyfriend; using that telepathic link she was talking about?

He nodded. “Sure. C’mon, guys.”

Victor watched Lisa go into the living room and pick something up off the couch. Perplexed, he said, “I’m sorry. I don’t understand.”

“Here, hold this.” She was holding a white rabbit out to him.

“Um…why?” Despite his puzzlement he took the animal into his arms.

“Holding a bunny always makes me feel better.”

“Well, that’s very nice of you but…” The rabbit cuddled up to him, making him feel warm inside. “Actually…that kind of works…” He snuggled with the rabbit for a moment before looking up at Lisa. “So…you did hear…?”

She nodded. “While I can’t speak for the glowing butterflies, though they are lovely…I wouldn’t worry so much about the incident with Alice. I know it hurts, but things have a way of working themselves out. Especially here in Secundus. You never know, you know?” She smiled.

In spite of things, Victor found himself smiling back, though he didn’t really feel it. “I hope so, but it probably won’t stop me from being slightly envious of those who have already found love or thinking about what might have been.”

“As it shouldn’t,” said Lisa. “But don’t let it get you down too much, okay? And if you ever need a bunny cuddle, you know where to find me.”

Now Victor laughed. “Yes, thank you.” He handed the rabbit back to Lisa. “It was a pleasure to meet you, Lisa. And your secret is safe with me.”

“Much appreciated. Bye, Victor.”

“Goodbye, Lisa.”

The End

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