Skip to main content

Unconventional

Summary

Tzayzeh of Jocarra is exiled to the Milky Way galaxy for her "crimes". Upon landing on Earth, she realizes that she possesses super human qualities. As the super heroine, Karma, she saves Cassandra from committing suicide. Although the two bump heads, "Zay" fights the feeling of falling in love with the human woman. Cassandra wants nothing to do with the idiotic alien but the more she's pestered, the more she starts to question her own sexuality.

{2017 NaNoWriMo project. This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to persons, living or otherwise, is unintentional and purely coincidental. I do not make any monetary value in the writing of this story.}

{Story is rated T and up, and contains LGBT+ themes, mild language, mild adult situations and mild sexual content.}

Prologue: The Exile

The winds from the mountains whipped silently through the colony as residents gathered in the Hall of Elders. It was rare one would be judged publicly and the local Erulsans did not want to miss this opportunity. It was standing room only by the time the last group entered but they stood without complaint.

In the center of the room, the five Elders of Erulsan sat suspended in the air, dark green robes covered their faces from the public. They didn’t flinch as the side doors opened, an Erulsan woman struggled against her restraints as two guards escorted her inside. The onlookers murmured amongst themselves, familiar with the woman.

Her dark hair disheveled from the fight she attempted, she growled and cursed at no one in particular. The entrance of King Zinnarl stilled her but only for a moment as she narrowed her eyes at him and continued her flurry of expletives. He paid her no mind as he directed his attention to the Elders and everyone quieted down, except for the restrained woman.

Have respect for the Elders!’ their voices boomed in unison and the woman huffed but stayed silent.

Will you become swayed by Zinnarl’s words as well?

He is king and as such–

He is scum!’ the woman spat, which caused the room to gasp and murmur once more. King Zinnarl narrowed his eyes at her but turned to the Elders with a smirk.

My divines: now you see why I called for action. This somee sh–’

‘You will watch your language in the Elders’ presence, King Zinnarl. The accused will be punished for her insolence as well. We will not hesitate to make an example out of you.’ Their words made the king stammer and bow.

‘F-Forgive me, my divines.’

‘What are the accusations against Tzayzeh this time?’

‘She has bedded the princess.’ The king said hastily. While the onlookers continued to murmur, Tzayzeh pursed her lips and stared at the Elders.

‘We are in love. How is that a crime? If the king fears that I’ve deflowered her, he has the wrong culprit by far!’

‘Silence! Tzayzeh, you have appeared far too many times in this Hall for accusations and punishments.’

‘If you are going to imprison me for being in love with the princess, then go ahead and do it. Don’t waste time with your flowery speeches.’ Tzayzeh rolled her eyes.

We grow weary of your constant insolence. Imprisonment has proven to be of no bother to you, and that defeats the purpose of implementing punishment.’

‘I live in a world where I’m to be punished for being in love.’

‘Love? You believe for my daughter to love you? If she does, then why is she not here to defend you?’ the king smirked at her. Tzayzeh opened her mouth to speak but then thought on his words.

Tzayzeh: since imprisoning you has little to no affect, we must imply a harsher punishment. We are not a society where there is judgment on who you love. However, because of your status and gender, it is against our rules that you choose anyone from the royal houses as a partner. Heirs must be produced for the royal houses to thrive and same gender partnerships cannot produce heirs. Bedding the princess is intent to destroy their legacy. Therefore, the Elders have decided on exile as your punishment.’ They announced and everyone gasped, including Tzayzeh.

‘Exile? That is a bit extreme, don’t you think? I’ve done nothing but love the princess!’

‘Judgment has been made. Prepare the prisoner for transport.’ The Elders dismissed and dissipated from the room. A mixture of emotions erupted as the Erulsan guards carried Tzayzeh out the room, kicking and screaming. King Zinnarl looked on with a defiant smirk but turned to the residents.

I do hope that serves as a warning to the other citizens. Tzayzeh has been an unsatisfactory member of our great community for quite some time. But, now is not the time for speeches. It is late and we all need to return to our homes.’ He nodded to the residents and made his leave.

 

Tzayzeh quieted down once reality set in as the guards strapped her inside the capsule. Her pleas fell on deaf ears: there was no talking out of the Elders’ orders. When she realized it, Tzayzeh began asking questions but they were of no use. The guards refused to speak to her, let alone glance at her, as they prepared the woman for her exile.

She looked up as the door to the room opened and a physician walked in.

‘Mhavar!’

‘So, it’s true. The Elders exiled you. Oh, Tzayzeh.’ The physician sighed out as he caressed her cheek.

‘These soteerayso won’t talk to me. Please: do you know where they’re sending me?’ Tzayzeh asked, her eyes misted over by the comfort the doctor gave her. He glanced at the guards who ignored both as they left, their job complete.

‘There’s a galaxy called the Milky Way. It’s a bit primitive. The Elders believe it will make you the most miserable.’

‘The Milky Way? I’ve never heard of that galaxy.’

‘It only has one or two inhabitable planets. I can’t talk much longer. I was only supposed to come in and administer the hibernation serum.’ He gave her a solemn look as he took a needle out of his small case.

‘Wait. How long is my exile?’

‘I believe it’s for a hundred teeso. I must do my job. Stay well, my friend.’ Mhavar injected the serum in Tzayzeh’s shoulder. He gave her a quick kiss on her forehead as others entered the room. Tzayzeh had no time for any more questions as the serum took effect, putting her into a deep sleep.

 

“Sir, there’s something approaching our atmosphere…” Alexis rushed into the office without knocking. Phil got up from his desk and followed the woman to the jumbo screen situated in the main room. He watched as a torpedo-shaped object made its way towards Earth and took in a breath. “Do you know what that is?”

“It’s… well, I know for sure it’s a space craft. From where, I don’t know. Projected destination?” he asked and Alexis busied herself with the tablet in her hand.

“Fifty miles north of here, sir. ETA is in three hours.”

“We don’t know what that craft is carrying. Have Angel set mind blockers on our friends at NASA.”

“Yes, sir. I’ll also brief the ‘big three’.”

“Good. I’ll be in the conference room.”

 

The agents looked to the sky as the object entered the atmosphere and descended quickly into the area.

“Okay… not to sound ungrateful but why am I here and Angel’s still at headquarters?” Penny looked at Phil. He smirked but kept his eye on the vessel.

“I need Angel with Alexis to debunk whatever pictures and videos anyone will post of this. You will help us, just in case who or whatever comes out of the craft is hostile. Brace yourselves.” Phil told the other agents as the space capsule collided with the ground fifty feet in front of them. The group wasted no time going through the clouds of dust, grass and dirt to examine the damage.

The three agents readied their weapons as the hatch opened with a low hiss. Phil slowly approached with Penny behind him. He took in a breath as he saw a woman coming out of her sleep. Phil quickly studied the inside of the vessel and motioned for his agents to lower their weapons: the woman had nothing to defend herself.

Tzayzeh groaned as she came out of her hibernation state and slowly opened her eyes. She squinted at the abundance of light but panicked when she realized that she wasn’t alone. She gasped and tried to scramble away from the man who hovered above her.

Get away! Who are you?’

“Oh… what language is that?” Lorraine’s brow furrowed but Phil shook his head, still paying attention to the woman.

“I don’t know,” he tapped on a device in his ear. “Alexis, I need a translation.”

“Yes, sir.” her voice came through. Phil inched closer to the woman who gasped.

What are you doing? Leave me alone! What did you just say?’

“Whatever she just said, she’s pissed.” Penny took note and the other agents nodded in agreement.

“Uh, sir? That’s not a known language…”

“On Earth?”

“In this galaxy, sir…” Alexis hesitated which made Phil take in a breath. He looked back at his agents.

“She’s not from this galaxy. I’m not familiar with any languages outside the Milky Way.”

“So, what do we do? She’s obviously terrified.” Tyler pointed out and Phil sighed.

“I’ll have to… go into her mind.” Phil looked back at the woman who tried to move her stiff body out of the capsule. The oxygen levels were a bit lower than what she was used to and Tzayzeh found it hard to breath properly. Along with her panicked state, she started to gasp for air.

It’s okay. Just calm down. We’re not here to hurt you.’ Phil had tapped into her mind and learned her foreign language. Relief flashed over her face and the difficulty she faced on breathing right eased.

Oh? Have I not left Erulsan? Why can I not breathe right?’

‘I do not know what or where Erulsan is but it is safe to say you’re not there anymore. You are on the planet Earth in the Milky Way galaxy.’ He gave her an easy smile. Tzayzeh’s eyes widened as she studied the group.

Earth? If you have never heard of Erulsan, how do you speak our language?’

‘I am not a simple earthling. I come from a different planet as well but I have telepathic powers that allowed me to go through your mind and learn your language.’ Phil kept his smile even as the woman gave him an indifferent look.

‘Who are you?’

‘My Earth name is Phillip Cross and I am head of an agency meant to help people like ourselves. However, my real name is Uak… and I am still willing to help you.’ He reached his hand out for her to take and Tzayzeh hesitated. She glanced at the others behind him, who were clearly apprehensive but they didn’t move.

Mhavar said that your world is primitive. So far, the only problem I have is breathing.’

‘Ah, yes. I had the same problem when I arrived as well. You’ll get used to it. As far as Earth being primitive? In our eyes, perhaps. But they’re a young planet and they are learning,’ Phil smiled more as she grabbed his hand and he helped her out of the vessel. ‘There is much to learn from each other but that won’t happen out here. It’s much safer at headquarters.’ He led the woman towards the other agents. Tzayzeh stiffened as they approached the others but the soothing hand on her shoulder calmed her. As they studied her, she did the same and realized that they were just like the Erulsans, appearance-wise. She would be able to blend in and Tzayzeh thought perhaps her exile wouldn’t be so bad.

Off a Bridge

Tzayzeh took in the city of Perdition Falls as she flew around. She couldn’t believe that five years went by since she began her exile on the planet, Earth. It was enough time for her to think about everything, as well as adjust to this species and their way of life.

The Saturnian, Uak helped her as much as he could to adjust. The founder and head agent of the Agency for Super Human Enforcement made sure that aliens, if possible, could blend in with the humans. With help from his “secretary”, Uak gave the Erulsan a human identity and job. The one thing Tzayzeh found primitive was the language: it didn’t take her long at all to comprehend and speak what Uak said was “Earth English”. Her transition from alien to human was simple.

However, being told what to do put a sour taste in her mouth and Tzayzeh did what she does best: modify and go against the grain. She wasn’t too thrilled on having a human alias, especially if she was the only Erulsan on the planet. She looked like an earthling, why should she change her name? The secretary, Alexis pointed out that her name was a bit too hard for people to pronounce and Tzayzeh compromised with simply Zay.

One major thing Zay noticed after she grew used to breathing the retched earthling air was that she possessed super human powers. It was no surprise to Uak: he, too gained extra powers outside of his natural telepathy once settled on Earth, and he knew of many other aliens who had as well. There was something about Earth’s atmosphere, he concluded but he was no scientist.

As much as she didn’t like being there, she was impressed of the premise of ASHE. Since she had these new powers, she wanted to put them to good use and join ASHE. However, she was shot down but encouraged to become a vigilante. While she gotten her way with her name change and job, joining ASHE was something Uak definitely put his foot down on.

Perdition Falls wasn’t a crime-ridden city: it was actually voted one of the safest in the United States. Zay was shocked to find that while there were plenty of super humans within the city limits alone, no one wanted the title of being the city’s savior. Uak and his agents did minor battles but they were far and in between, as well as scarce to the public. Zay had nothing else better to do and jumped at the opportunity. It appeared to be karma that she was exiled to the primitive galaxy… and Karma became her superheroine alias.

 

I feel like I’m so alone. That everyone is moving on and I’m just stuck. And, no one gives a shit. Well, fuck this. Fuck life. What’s the point? It’s not like anyone would miss me…

 

Zay flew aimlessly around, her thoughts on the stark comparison of Perdition Falls to Ashhaven, dubbed the city of darkness. Of course, it wasn’t purged in eternal darkness: it was just the overall feel of the city. Unlike its sister city, Ashhaven was crawling with criminal activity but it did have its own savior, a woman who Zay wouldn’t mind being a sidekick to.

Her semi-lewd thoughts were interrupted when she noticed something falling from the bridge that connected Perdition Falls to the next state over. As she got closer, she realized that it wasn’t a something but a someone. Her adrenaline kicked in, something that she hadn’t felt since being placed in that capsule some five years prior, and she zoomed underneath the bridge to catch the nearly unlucky soul.

Zay wanted to smile at her deed: she was used to stopping crime as a whole but it consisted mostly of armed robberies, muggings and maybe arsons here and there. But, never had she physically saved a human. Her smile turned into slight shock as she looked at the woman who she just saved.

“He… Hejix…?”

“W-W-What…?” the other woman actually glared at her, her dark brown eyes wide with a mix of astonishment and anger. Zay swallowed and realized it was a case of mistaken identity and quickly smirked at her.

“Ignore that. Not every day I get to save a falling angel… literally…”

“Wha… p-p-put me down!”

“Put you down? I think the correct phrase is ‘thank you’. Sometimes ‘oh, my hero’ works. ‘You saved me: how can I ever repay you’ sounds good, too.”

“Let go of me!”

“Sorry. If I do that, then that’s definitely the total opposite of saving you…” Zay nodded towards the choppy waters of the Manes River.

She didn’t understand why the woman was making such a fuss but Zay was glad they were near land where she could put her down. She couldn’t help glancing her over, her heart caught between a rock and a hard place: she looked so much like her…

“The hell you do that for?” the woman ranted, glaring and shaking at the super heroine. Zay blinked in confusion.

“Uh… it’s my job? I’d be a shitty superhero if I ignored you falling from a bridge.”

“You just cursed…” the woman eyed the super heroine.

“Yeah, I love your little colorful words here. We have them, too but shitty sounds so much better than sola. Rolls off the tongue better.”

“W-What…? Never mind. I wasn’t falling off the bridge, you idiot!”

“Oh? Were you trying to fly? I find it easier if you–”

“I jumped, okay?” the woman glared once more but Zay gave her a confused look.

“Why would you do that? From that height you could’ve… oh.” Her confused look turned into one of sorrow but then went back to confusion. “Why?”

“Why what?”

“Human life is so short as it is, from what I’ve learned the little time I’ve been here. I don’t get why someone would want to… end it so abruptly.”

“It would’ve had you not come along and saved me. It’s none of your business why, anyway…” the other woman looked down at her feet, her thoughts beating up her brain: she was in no mood to speak on it anymore.

“I guess… fair enough. But, you have to do me a favor.”

“Stop talking to me…”

“Not until you agree to the favor.” Zay looked at the woman, it was her turn to glare. The darker skinned woman looked up at her, nearly amazed at the sight. She had seen the super heroine around before, around town and on television. But, she was more toned up close and personal.

Cassandra knew her as Karma but that was about it. The woman was also taller than she appeared on TV and in pictures: she almost had to look up into her eyes that seemed so dark because of the mask she wore. The little skin that she showed was an olive tone, as though she was from another country rather than another planet.

Cassandra stopped looking at her as she rolled her eyes. “Fine.”

“Could you… not do that?”

“Do what? Why are you so confusing?”

“Do the whole trying to end your life thing.” She asked sincerely. Cassandra gaped at her for a moment before closing her mouth and looking back out at the river.

“Why do you care?”

“Honestly? I don’t know if I do or not.”

“Oh, my God. What type of superhero are you?”

“All I know is that your human life is too short for you to end it yourself. You guys live, what, only ninety years average? Spend that time doing things you like or… something.” Zay shrugged but continued to look at the woman. Cassandra wasn’t who Zay thought she was: although she looked like her, it wasn’t her. The face and skin tone was where the similarities ended: they both had the same full lips, big brown eyes and mocha skin. But this human woman had a bit more weight on her, as well as an obvious problem with being at least a bit appreciative of Zay’s efforts. As much as she had a need to let the woman be, she couldn’t stop staring at her.

“What makes you think I would keep my word on that?”

“Let’s see. I could always stalk you, to make sure you don’t do anything stupid.”

“You… you wouldn’t.” Cassandra narrowed her eyes at Zay but the woman gave her a lazy shrug.

“Try me. I can fly and can probably even walk faster than you.”

“I’ll… call the cops…”

“I can outrun them, too. Although… yeah, no: calling them wouldn’t do well with my standing. You’d call the police on me?”

“Uh… yes. You just threatened to stalk me…”

“And, you’re threatening to kill yourself. Oh… I could tell the police that…”

“Seriously, the hell kind of superhero are you?”

“One who cares, apparently.”

Keeping Her Word

She didn’t know what was wrong with her. She wasn’t supposed to have those feelings for anyone, especially if that person looked exactly like the one she hated.

Do I hate her? Yes… of course, I do.

But that fateful day played over and over in her mind. More than anything, she saved the woman. Zay couldn’t figure out why this particular human wanted to end her life: she really wasn’t in the mood to talk to her savior. The thought made her perk up and leave her home: she almost forgot about her mission!

The gloominess of the day didn’t stop the people of Perdition Falls from going on with their day. Cassandra would had rather stayed in but since the stupid superhero “saved” her, she had no choice but to go to work. Despite the threat of rain, she walked casually towards the building.

She felt something that she couldn’t shake, as though someone was following her or at the very least, watching her. Cassandra stopped to see if she was right and noticed some who looked slightly above her, hiding their smirks. She whipped her head around and let out a groan.

“What are you doing?”

“Well, it’s nice to see that you kept your word,” Zay gave her a smile, even as the woman groaned louder and started to walk away. “Does that mean you like me?”

“W-What? Go away!”

“No…” the super heroine floated a couple of feet above her and kept her smile.

“Then, you’re breaking the deal. You said you’d follow me around if I didn’t agree or whatever.”

“Huh. I did say that… didn’t I? Well, change of plans!”

“Why?”

“Because I don’t trust you just yet.”

“Oh, how fucking nice of you…”

“Hey, you want someone to sugarcoat something, you’re talking to the wrong person. So… where ya heading…?”

“Don’t you have some cat to save from a tree or something?”

“Wrong superhero. Oh, wait; you hear that…?” Zay stopped floating and looked in the distance. Cassandra stopped and eyed her strangely. She tried to listen along with her but heard nothing aside from the usual city sounds.

“No…”

“Yeah, me neither. No one’s calling for help. I have nothing better to do than to make sure you don’t off yourself.”

“Ugh,” Cassandra rolled her eyes and continued to walk. “I’m going to work. I can do that by myself, thanks.” She was glad that the Harlow Press was in sight.

“Oh? Oh… shit! Work! I… gotta go…”

“You’re the most unorthodox superhero I’ve ever known.”

“So, there’s others? Impossible. See you around… um, I don’t know your name…”

“And you’ll never know it.” Cassandra gave her a look before continuing her trek. For some reason, that look of disdain, along with the attitude, made Zay smile a little as she watched the woman walk away.

 

She tried not to use any of her super speed in public to get to the shop: not using it made her actually late. Zay was met by a few disgruntled customers waiting outside and the only thing she could do was give them a nervous smile.

“Sorry! Heh… overslept,” She tried not to look at the others as she opened up the small coffee shop. Zay rushed in and went to work as quickly as she could without giving away that she was super human, preparing the coffees for the day. “Um… so, everyone’s coffee is free this morning.” She was glad that quite a few were satisfied with something free and continued to work.

While the morning started out near disastrous, the rest of the day turned out well for Zay. Her only two workers came in and things picked up, becoming a normal day. She wanted to roll her eyes as the agents from ASHE came in but kept her grumbling to herself. They checked in on her at least once a week, and even after five years it was an annoying task of theirs. Zay knew it was their job, she was just tired of it.

As scheduled, Alexis walked to the counter: Zay knew that it was her job to retrieve the coffees for the others, although Alexis, herself would never call herself a gofer. She knew the orders by heart and started preparing them before Alexis opened her mouth.

“The bear claws are really fresh today. Want one to go, this time?” Zay asked as she turned to the woman with a smile.

“You were late this morning.”

“So, I was. Ooh… you noticed?” she waggled her eyebrows at her, earning an exasperated sigh from Alexis. Zay laughed and shook her head. “Tell your boyfriend not to worry. I was only late by a few minutes.”

“You know he wants to know why.”

“Him or you?” she stared at Alexis, whose lips formed a tight line.

“I see you haven’t stopped being an asshole…”

“And you’re still a gofer. But, I really like you, still so no hard feelings?”

“Fuck off, Zay…” Alexis snatched the drink carriers and went back to her table, leaving Zay to smirk after her.

“You finally used ‘fuck’ and my name in the same sentence: I’ll hold you to that!” she laughed along with one of her coworkers and went back to work.

“You know you make her really mad when you flirt with her.”

“I know but it’s worth seeing that look: she’s pretty when she’s mad.”

“And taken. That big guy she’s always with would beat you to a pulp, whether you’re a man or woman…” the young man nodded towards the table of agents but Zay laughed.

“Cross knows I’m only messing with her. And he wouldn’t hurt a fly.”

“So, why were you late this morning? And, is that why you’re still here?” he asked and Zay took a moment to reflect on her real reason. She honestly lost track of time, as she indulged in the quick argument that morning. The boy was onto something: Zay usually left when him and the other came in, mainly because they knew how to tend the small coffee shop on their own. She was about to answer until she looked towards the entrance and slightly gawked.

“Her…” she nearly whispered, making the young man turn to look. He scoffed and shook his head, a smile playing on his lips.

“Miss Photographer?”

“What? You know her?” Zay quickly turned to him and he laughed fully.

“Oh, yeah: you’re not here around this time. She comes in here almost every day: blueberry muffin and a hot chocolate, regardless of the weather.”

“What’s her name?” Zay tried hard not to stare at her blatantly.

“Why don’t you ask her!”

“I tried. She won’t tell me.”

“I can’t remember her name, Zay. She’s a regular so ask me how she likes her hot chocolate. It’s something with a… C?”

“Why am I paying you, again…?”

“Because I know how she takes her hot chocolate?” he smirked and began preparing the beverage. As Cassandra neared the counter, Zay’s heart oddly pounded with anticipation.

What’s wrong with me? Yes, she looks like her. And… she’s hardheaded. I shouldn’t feel like this for her. She shouldn’t matter to me. She doesn’t… does she…?

Regardless of her thoughts, Zay produced a blueberry muffin and a smile before she could fully think.

“Steve’s working on your hot chocolate right now. The muffin’s on the house.”

“O-Oh. Uh… w–”

“Not every day an angel walks in here…” she smirked, fighting a wink as she gave her the muffin and turned away.

Cassandra thought nothing of the comment at first until it dawned on her exactly what the woman said. She had the sense enough to move out of line so that others could be waited on but stood to the side, watching the woman busy herself with other things. Only one other person called her an angel…

No… it couldn’t be…

Her look of amusement turned to disdain as she narrowed her eyes at the back of the woman’s head. She had the same color hair but it was done in a semi-messy bun. She was even the same height as the super heroine although she wore comfortable clothes, hiding the figure the skintight jumpsuit showed off.

Zay grabbed Cassandra’s hot chocolate and turned to hand it to her but was met with narrowed eyes.

“You! What–”

“What? You can’t have the drink for free, too. You’re cute but not that cute.”

“I can’t… wait… what?”

“Aw, come on. Steve put a lot of love in this…” she held the mug out to her. Cassandra continued to eye the woman but eventually grabbed the mug and turned to take a seat. Zay watched her for a moment before rolling her eyes at the sight of Phil approaching the side of the counter. “Sir, we have a line…”

“Funny. So, she’s the reason why you were late this morning?”

“Nope.” Zay turned and finished making drink orders.

“Take a break and talk to me.”

“And what kind of an owner would I be if I was to–”

“Yeah, go on: me and Steve got this!” her other coworker beamed and Zay grumbled as Phil gave her a smile. She was bumped out the way and had no choice but to go past the counter to talk to Phil.

“Are you really going to get on me for being five minutes late?” Zay asked as the two went to an empty table near the other agents. She watched in interest as they pretended not to listen in on their conversation.

“At first, yes. But then I realized that this is the first time you’ve been late to work. So, it made me wonder what could have made you late. Angel and Alexis scanned the police scanners and found nothing. Then, I remembered that something happened yesterday.”

“And yet, your first words weren’t congratulations.”

“Tzayzeh, stop it. You and I both know you need no appraisal from anyone. Especially for doing the right thing.”

“Uak…” she lowered her voice but looked around the small café. Everyone was busy having their beverages and eating pastries or talking amongst themselves. No one but the neighboring table paid any attention to them and from a human’s eye, it looked as though even they were oblivious to the two. Zay’s eyes caught Cassandra as she slowly ate her muffin and looked through a folder. Uak’s chuckle brought her attention back.

‘What is it about that particular human that’s cretinized you?’

‘Do what?’

‘She’s stupefied you, Tzayzeh. Why is that?’

‘She hasn’t stupefied me! Watch your tongue…’ Zay fought the blush that tried to come out on her cheeks but it only made Uak laugh a bit louder.

‘You have that same look as I did when I first saw Alexis. The only difference is that I wasn’t lenient on her.’

‘I’m not lenient on the human.’

‘You gave her a free pastry.’

‘The pastries are cheap. If I gave her a free coffee, then tell me I have something for her.’ She tried to argue. Uak took in her words and nodded a bit.

“Fine. I’ll let you be. Just… how did she fall from the bridge?”

“She didn’t. She jumped.”

“Oh…” he looked over at the quiet woman with a worried look. “Will she be okay?”

“I… guess? Not like I care…”

“You do care. Your act is admirable. The humans aren’t so bad.

“Says the one screwing one,” Zay smirked and left the table. When she stood, she saw that Cassandra eyed her but immediately put her head back into the portfolio. Zay huffed and made up her mind. The others watched her as she sat across from the other woman, who tried her best to ignore her. “So… still won’t tell me your name?”

“Fuck off…”

“Don’t threaten me with a good time, sweetie.” Zay wanted to smack herself but she couldn’t help the comments. Cassandra shot a look at her smiling face and scoffed once more.

“How did you even get a job here?”

“Well, easily since I own the place.”

“What…?”

“Yep. Okay, enough small talk. Would you please tell me your name? It’s killing me.”

“Oh… you actually said something nice…”

“Unlike you.”

“Yeah, you just lost your chance.”

“Wait. Like, a chance with you or…”

“Get away from me.” Cassandra narrowed her eyes at Zay but the alien leaned in closer and smiled.

“Not until you tell me your name.”

“Why, so you can actually stalk me?”

“Oh, I didn’t even think about that.”

“Oh, my God.” Cassandra shot up from her seat, quickly packing her things. She looked at the half-eaten muffin and grumbled: it really was the best muffin she ever had. She hesitated before wrapping it in a napkin as she made for the door. Cassandra stopped short and looked back at Zay.

“… thanks… for the muffin.”

“You’re welcome, Miss Photographer.”

“W-What? How’d you–”

“And that will be your name until otherwise…” she beamed as the human appeared to blush. The table of agents held in their laughter at the scene and the woman walked towards the door.

“Cassandra…” she grumbled and left. Zay stayed seated and watched as she blended into the late afternoon crowd.

“You know, all you had to do was ask me: I could’ve told you.” Phil looked at Zay who sucked her teeth.

“That’s cheating.”

“Perhaps. But it would’ve been less stressful on the poor girl.”

“You know me. It’s not fun if the chase is easy.”

“So, you are pursuing her.”

“Stop screwing my words around, soladoh.”

Blueberry Muffins (new)

The human had kept her end of the bargain for an entire week. Zay made sure of it as she secretly kept an eye on her. Of course, there were times when Cassandra had that feeling of being watched and, lo and behold, Karma would be a few feet away from her. It annoyed her to no end but what could she do? It was, however, the first time in a while that someone cared for her albeit in their own unique, frustrating way.

She thought that Cassandra would stop coming to the café but Zay was wrong. She found herself filling in for an ill Steve and a part of her was glad to see Cassandra kept to her schedule. The looks never changed: an eye roll and a huff but she went inside and received her cup of hot chocolate with a heaping amount of whipped cream, a peppermint stick and a free blueberry muffin. Zay began to notice that the rolled eyes decreased little by little.

She didn’t know how to take that bit of news. A part of her made the lewd comments knowing Cassandra was put off by them. It made her life easier knowing that the human woman who could pass for her former lover’s twin, even by a glance, wanted nothing to do with her. It had been five years but the events still played in her mind as though they happened yesterday. The king was eventually right: the princess was not there to defend her in front of the Elders. Hejix was nowhere to be found after the sentencing: Zay thought at the very least, she would come to say her goodbyes. But, it didn’t happen.

It was a slow weekday and she was alone with her thoughts, having told her workers to go home. Zay wasn’t in the mood to patrol the city so she saw no harm in working from open to close.

The things that most humans considered mundane while working a job, Zay actually enjoyed. Without the constant flow of customers, she found it easy to make her stock list, checking what needed to be refilled or items she would no longer order. She thought about the Saturnian’s words about living amongst the humans. It really wasn’t as bad as she tried to lead others to believe. Their atmosphere was weird and heavy but as Uak promised, she got used to it. The food was at least edible, with some dishes she preferred over others. Everyday life on Earth wasn’t bad at all. Only a select few knew who she was, and most of the human populace of Perdition Falls liked Karma.

All except a particularly grumpy one…

No matter how much she screamed at herself, Zay couldn’t stop thinking about that particular human. It didn’t help matters that Cassandra always walked in whenever she tried to stop thinking about her.

Like now.

The chime of the door took her attention away from counting the boxes of paper cups and she gave Cassandra a smirk. Zay’s heart pounded a bit harder when the woman didn’t roll her eyes at all. Instead, she… returned the little smile. It made the alien want to jump over the counter and ask numerous questions but she refrained from doing so.

Without saying a word, she busied herself making Cassandra’s usual while the woman sat at a nearby table, putting her work out in front of her. The door chimed again and Zay turned, only to see Alexis walking in with Phil and Penny, his receptionist at ASHE. Like clockwork, Alexis approached the counter, leaving Phil and Penny to select a table. The woman pursed her lips at Cassandra before turning her attention to Zay.

“Not a word, human…”

“What? I wasn’t going to say anything.”

“You were thinking it.”

“I’m sorry. I was unaware that you were telepathic.”

“Who’s being the asshole, now…? Your usual?”

“Of course. Oh, and some jasmine for Penny, instead.”

“She’s indulging…”

“Yeah. Uak is promoting her.”

“To?”

“Agent, of course.”

“Whoa! Poor Rainy…”

“Ha, right?”

“So, tell me again why you’re not an agent.” Zay finished the hot chocolate and placed it on the counter. She saw Cassandra move from her seat but went to fix the other beverages.

“I don’t want to be. I’m fine doing what I do, now.” Alexis nodded.

“You sure are…” Zay waggled her eyebrows at the woman. Alexis narrowed her eyes as Zay smiled.

“I’m starting to think that you flirt with anything that moves.”

“So long as they’re wearing a skirt. Which… when will I see those long legs in one?”

“Don’t you have work to do?” Alexis scoffed and went back to her table. Zay chuckled but saw that Cassandra shook her head and rolled her eyes at the scene.

“Oh? What’s that? Jealousy?”

“W-What? Why would I be jealous?”

“Don’t worry, sweets. Just a little inside joking between us two.”

“S-Shut up…” Cassandra mumbled as she grabbed the mug of hot chocolate. She looked into it and raised an eyebrow. “What’s this?”

“Oh, something new. Half melted kisses.”

“You really want this poured on you, don’t you…?”

“What? Why would you do that? I’m… oh. Okay, that went over my head. No: I wanted to do the little mini bars but the kisses are cheaper and they melt the way I wanted them to.” Zay explained. She was relieved as Cassandra lost the sour look and paid more attention to her mug.

“Oh. T-Thanks. So, um… who’s that?” she took a small sip, not looking at the other table. Zay went to finish their drinks but shrugged.

“That’s Lexi.”

“Is she a super human, too?”

“She is, but she says her power is stupid,” Zay completed the drinks and personally delivered them to the table. She studied Cassandra’s table and took a seat. Cassandra eyed her strangely for a moment before going back to her seat. “You know, I was serious about nothing going on between me and her. I mean, I definitely wouldn’t mind it but I’m not her type at all. You see that tall drink of water with her?” she half-whispered and gave a quick nod towards Phil. Cassandra took another sip of her drink and quickly eyed the table before staring back at Zay.

“Yeah?”

“She doesn’t leave his sight. It’s cute in a sappy way, really. She works for him so I meant that literally. Well, I think, anyway. I’m not buddy-buddy with them so I don’t know if they live together.”

“Works for him? What do they do?”

“It’s a top-secret agency, meant to keep track of all super human and alien activity. They’re the reason why I have this shop and all that.”

“Oh. So… you’re really an alien.”

“Yep. But not like him. I can’t shapeshift.”

“What? You mean…” Cassandra couldn’t help but to stare at the man who spoke quietly to the women. She noticed that what Zay said was true: the man held Lexi’s hand in his as the rosy shade never left her cheeks. “So, how does he look normally?”

“No clue. I’ve never seen his alien form. I’ll ask Lexi one day. Makes me think that he’s hideous, you know?”

“Could be possible.” Cassandra nodded into her mug. She was too much into her thoughts, she didn’t realize that Zay stared at her. The alien had to relish this opportunity to study the human woman. Her feelings mixed with memories of Hejix and she had to shake them out of her head.

This is insane, comparing the two. No matter how much they look alike, they’re two different women. But… why do they look so much alike?

“Cass… tell me why you tried to kill yourself.” Her sudden question made the woman sputter in mid-sip. She could feel the blush slowly traveling to her neck and up her cheeks before slight anger set in.

“Don’t call me that.” She didn’t bother to look at Zay.

“You don’t like Cass? I think it–” she stopped herself as Cassandra glared at her. “Okay, fine. Does that mean you won’t tell me why?”

“I don’t want to talk about it.”

“Do you still want to?”

“What part of ‘I don’t want to talk about it’ did you not understand?”

“Why are you so bitchy about it?”

“Why do you want to know so badly?”

“Because I kinda do care. If I didn’t, well… you wouldn’t be here. I’m just super curious about it. On Jocarro, it’s unheard of.”

“Where?”

“My home planet.”

“So, no one’s depressed there? Everyone’s all rainbows and unicorn shit?”

“I… have no idea what that means. Just know that we value life, no matter what the downfalls are. I’m also pretty sure that the idea of ending your own life would bring some sort of punishment…”

“That’s… redundant.”

“That’s Jocarro!” Zay shrugged and was surprised at the small laugh the human produced. She smiled and noticed that the woman blushed and looked away. “Now, you see why I want to know.”

“It’s private…” Cassandra mumbled.

“Oh. So, if I was one of your friends–”

“I don’t have any friends.”

“That’s impossible.”

“Do you have friends?”

“I mean, they’re not blowing my phone up to go out clubbing or anything like that but yeah. As much as that lot bugs me–” Zay nodded towards the ASHE workers. “–I would be lost without them so yeah… they’re my friends. Are you saying I’d be your only friend?”

“What? I-I don’t want you as a friend.”

“You humans sure like to move fast. Don’t get me wrong, I want to be more than friends, too but…”

“Oh, my God: how is it that you always turn a conversation perverted?” Cassandra’s eyes widened and Zay laughed.

“You actually thought that was perverted…? Oh, honey, it’s a good thing you can’t read minds…”

“Do… do you flirt with everyone?”

“Only the cute girls…” Zay smiled and Cassandra shook her head.

“I don’t… go that way.”

“Aw…” she pouted and continued to stare at Cassandra. The two looked at each other in silence for a moment.

“Oh… I was waiting for some shitty comeback. Something like you could turn me or some bullshit.”

“I’ve learned that only humans say something as idiotic as that. If you’re not into females, then you’re just not. Won’t stop me from flirting but that’s where it stops unless you signal me otherwise. Ask Lexi. It’s been five years and I’ve never forced myself on her.”

“Because she’s taken.”

“Yes and no. If she gave me some sort of sign or signal or… flirted back, the kid gloves come off… is that the right saying?”

“Yeah…”

“But, she’s done none of those in the five years I’ve known her. I’m not about to force myself on someone. That’s… oh, what do you humans call that…?”

“Rape…?”

“Yeah, that. I don’t do that. That’s punishable by death on Jocarro.”

“Should be here, too…”

“I would’ve thought but this place and its laws…” Zay shook her head and sighed. “Do you want another muffin?”

“Can I pay for it this time?”

“Nope.”

“Fine.” Cassandra sighed as Zay got up. She looked over at the agents, who didn’t hide that they were staring: it was enough to make her sigh deeply and go over to their table.

“Need anything else while I’m up?”

“Uh, yeah! Is that the one you’re trying to get with?” Penny asked with a broad smile.

“I’m only talking to her. Mind your business, as you would say!” she huffed and went back to grab a muffin. She at back down across from Cassandra and handed it to her with a smile. She needed something else to concentrate on besides her face and put her attention towards the pictures displayed on the table. “You took those?”

“Yeah.”

“They’re pretty.” Like you. A blush started to form on her face and Zay cleared her throat.

Stop that, mouth!

“Oh… thanks. I’m trying to decide on which one to use.”

“Oh?” Zay looked closer at the photos. “They’re the same… right?”

“No. I used different lenses for each one. Others usually photoshop or use online filters. Guess I like to punish myself…” she added quietly as she looked over the pictures. Zay concentrated more and saw that there were differences in the photos. She picked up one with the sepia appearance.

“No. Sometimes, it’s good to do things the original way. Means you’re dedicated. I like the way this one looks.” She nodded and gave it back to Cassandra. The human blinked but looked back at the photo and slightly smiled.

“This one was kinda my favorite, too.”

“Is this for work?”

“No. A project that I abandoned.”

“What made you pick it back up?”

Cassandra hesitated before she answered. “I was supposed to be dead…” 

Dinner (new)

She never told her “savior” the reason why she wanted to kill herself. Cassandra knew that it bugged Zay but now that she was still alive, she didn’t want to think much on it. The problem was: she was still alive and would dwell on it.

Cassandra had to admit that going to the small coffee shop and talking to its owner made her feel a bit better. She figured that one day, she’d stop torturing the super heroine and tell her everything. She just didn’t think that anyone cared to know, and Zay was simply flirting with her.

Why me, though?

Cassandra went through her nightly routine of berating herself in the mirror, as she stood in her underwear.

Look at me. I’m fat, I’m ugly. I can’t keep a relationship. No one wants me… except that idiot… I think. Why? There’s nothing special about me. I can take pictures, big whoop.

She sighed as she ran her hands through her hair. She made up her mind as she went to the bathroom and grabbed a bottle of pills. She went back to her bedroom and glanced down at the bottle. Cassandra knew it was no use.

Stop doing this to yourself, Cass. Either end it or stick to living. Ending it would be much better…

A light tapping on her window interrupted her thoughts and made Cassandra spin around. She gave out a shriek and threw on the shirt she had on previously. Cassandra made her way to the window and opened it, glaring at the super heroine.

“The fuck, Karma!”

“It’s not what you think, I swear I wasn’t trying to see you half naked!”

“What are you doing here?” she fumed. She was so upset at the woman, Cassandra didn’t see the redness in Zay’s face.

“I-I swear, I was only just doing my patrol.”

“And that means you look into people’s windows?”

“No! Cassandra… put the pills down…”

“No.”

“Cass­-”

“Not until you tell me the truth!” she yelled.

“Fine but can I come in?”

“W-What? Hell, no!”

“For your God’s sake: don’t make me force you to put them down…”

“I dare you!” Cassandra challenged. Before she could blink, she was on the floor of her bedroom, the pills snatched from her hand and Zay pinning her to the ground. “You… you…”

“What? Bitch? Go ahead and say it. I’ve heard worse.”

“Get off me!”

“Why are you insisting on ending your life, you stubborn human?”

“Why should I live?” Cassandra cried, the act made Zay speechless for a moment.

“There’s always someone to live for. Someone will miss you if you die.”

“Who, you?”

“Maybe.”

Why?”

“You ask too many questions. It’s my turn. Why do you want to kill yourself?” she asked. Cassandra wanted to fight Zay off but couldn’t. She eventually stopped, tiring herself out. “Super strength. I can be here all night.”

“You’ll get the fuck off me if I tell you?”

“Yes. Maybe…”

“Oh, my God: HELP!”

“Okay, okay! Don’t do that, crazy human,” Zay got off the human and sat on the floor. “I’m off you. Now, talk… please.” She looked at her. Cassandra put her knees into her chest and continued to cry. Zay wanted to comfort her but thought against it as she stayed in her spot.

Cassandra calmed down enough to speak. “You wouldn’t understand.”

“Try me?”

“Do… do you have any children?”

“Me? No. Can’t say I ever wanted any.”

“Has anyone turned you down?”

“Hmm. You, Lexi… huh, everyone here, really. Then again, I don’t think any of you have taken me seriously. As much as I like answering your questions, I’m confused. Wait. Is that why you’re trying to kill yourself? Because you can’t have children and some maniac turned you down?”

“Why do you think they’re a maniac?”

“Because only a lamee would turn you down.”

“I… I don’t know what that means but I’m gonna guess it’s an insulting word.”

“Well, not the most insulting word we have but… never mind. Yes. I’ll admit, I’m still trying to grasp how things work here. But, on Jocarro…” Zay stopped herself and truly thought of her next words. Did she really want to tell Cassandra that she was a carbon copy of the Erulsan princess? Zay wondered if it would make her reveal more of her feelings. Even after all that time, she wasn’t ready to face the truths: that the woman she loved, didn’t love her back.

Zay shook the thoughts out of her head and gave Cassandra a weak smile. “On Jocarro, you would be praised highly. By everyone and all the regions.”

“S-Shut up. You’re just saying that.”

“I’m not. I know I say a lot of things that you don’t like. But, trust me on this. You would have a huge selection of suitors.”

Cassandra calmed down enough to fully concentrate on what Zay was saying. She wiped at her face and looked over, a small smile planted on the alien’s face. “Including you?”

“Well…” she panicked; it was the question that she feared. Because of the situation, her first instinct was to say yes. But then, Zay realized that by doing so would mean to tell her the absolute truth: why she was on Earth and why was she exiled.

I can’t tell her the truth. Telling her the truth would mean admitting that

“Wow… you hesitated.”

“It’s… complicated. This isn’t about me, anyway. Tell you what: I’m hungry and I’m pretty sure you are, too.”

“I was… getting ready for bed.”

“Have you eaten?”

Cassandra looked down at her body and bit her lip. She figured skipping a meal would do her some good and had done so. “Not really.”

“That’s human slang for ‘no’. Get dressed: I’ll take you somewhere.”

“What if… I don’t want to?”

“So you can try to kill yourself, again? Yeah, no: this isn’t a request.”

“What about your patrol?” Cassandra eyed her and Zay rolled her eyes as she took her mask off.

“Screw my patrol. Getting something in our bellies is more important.”

 

It wasn’t a fancy restaurant but Cassandra was secretly glad to be able to have some sort of food. She was a bit preoccupied as she watched Zay eat as though it was she who starved herself.

“Um…” she couldn’t stop watching as the woman stuffed her face with onion rings. Zay stopped in mid-munch and looked at Cassandra.

“Hmm?” she took her time swallowing what she had. “Oh… you wanted to share these?”

“N-No, I hate onions.”

“What? How could anyone hate onions? They’re glorious!”

“I take it that you don’t have onions on Jocarro.”

“No. Usually, there’s something equivalent but there’s nothing for onions.”

“You kinda sound sad about that. Kar…” Cassandra stopped herself. Zay was in civilian clothing and the restaurant was a bit crowded. “What do I call you?”

“Call me?”

“You know, outside your superhero alias.”

“Oh! Well, the agency would like for the humans to call me Zay. My real name is Tzayzeh so… either one is fine, honestly.”

“That’s a mouthful…”

“Funny. That’s what Lexi said.”

“Zay… do you miss your home planet?”

“No one’s ever asked me that. I do. Don’t get me wrong: your Earth is decent. It’s nothing like Jocarro, though. The air is better, for one. I miss seeing our solar system in the skies at night: stars, you call them.”

“We have stars here.”

“You also have clouds that usually block them. Our clouds don’t come out until the daytime and even then, they’re scarce. What I wouldn’t give to be able to sit out and see that for a month straight.”

“You can still enjoy ours here.”

“True. But not as much. Helps to have someone to sit with.” Zay mentioned and slightly blushed.

I’ve said too much

“Oh. You’re… missing someone. You haven’t been back since being here?”

“No. I… I can’t go back. I’m kinda stuck on your miserable planet.”

“Can I ask why or how?”

“Only if you tell me in detail why you want to kill yourself. Trade sob stories?” she looked dead at her. Cassandra sighed but knew it was only fair, even if she didn’t want to tell her.

“I told you, already.”

“No, you asked me a bunch of questions so I can only assume the reasons. I want you to tell me… please?” she asked. The server came by, filled their drinks and took their appetizers away as Cassandra fiddled with the silverware.

“I… I’ve never been in a decent relationship. With anyone. Guess you can say that I’m hapless.”

“Hold on. Let me pull up the Earth dictionary on my phone to look that word up…”

“I’m trying to tell you and you’re being a smart ass…?”

“I’m sorry. You’re right. I still have no clue what that word means. You have to remember that I’m still learning…”

“It means unlucky. So, no one wanted me and if they did, it was only for sex. I thought I met the right one but he just… turned out like the rest of them.”

“That explains the lamees. The children part?”

“I…” the very thought pained her and her eyes watered. Zay took notice and her look softened. “I got pregnant and… he didn’t want the baby but I did. So… he beat it out of me.” she stammered. Zay wasn’t prepared for that response as she sat there in pure shock. She would always question the humans, especially since observing them. She knew them to be cruel to each other, something that bothered her. Zay never thought she would meet someone who was on the receiving end of that cruelty. The very idea made her blood boil, as though she was on fire.

She tried to control her breathing but failed as it came out in short, angered huffs. “Soso someefa lamee! La’ lala teela doh la, mee ray dd!” she spat out without warning. Cassandra’s eyes widened: although she known the super heroine for a short period of time, she had never seen her so… angry. She had no idea what Zay said but it gave her a mix of fear and comfort.

“Tzayzeh…?” she half-whispered, which was enough to break Zay’s angered trance. She bit her lip and looked at Cassandra.

“I’m… sorry. I spoke Erulsan, didn’t I?”

“I guess? Do I want to know what you said?”

Zay thought of her words and pursed her lips. Was it the fact of who she reminded her of that made her declare vengeance? Or what was done to her? Zay shuddered: she actually meant it. If she was to ever see whoever laid a hand on Cassandra… she would kill him.

“No. Just… forget I said it.”

“I don’t think I can…”

“I think you can if I tell you why I can’t leave here.”

“Smooth transition…” Cassandra smirked. She was right: getting to know that reason was better than finding out what she said out of anger.

“I try. Honestly, it’s not a long story. I got exiled.”

“For?”

“Committing a crime.”

“I take it you’re going to leave it at that?”

“I didn’t kill anyone, if that’s what you’re asking. Let’s just say that our Elders grew tired of seeing my face in court every other week.”

“Why am I not surprised to hear that you’re a troublemaker?”

“It wasn’t my fault that they wanted us to be perfect. If I lived anywhere else besides Erulsan, I would have been a model citizen. Subeer is way more lenient. Frigid but very lenient.”

“How many times have you been jailed on your planet?” Cassandra raised an eyebrow as Zay shrugged.

“Lost count after the… tenth time?”

“No wonder you’re so unorthodox…” she shook her head and laughed.

“Why do earthlings like their superheroes squeaky clean? Even your fictional ones. I saw one movie and apparently, this is one of your oldest fictional superheroes: the guy had a few beers and the crowd wouldn’t shut up about it. To be fair, your beer is a bit on the ‘bleh’ side but if he enjoys it, I didn’t see the problem. It’s so weird here: you know that there’s no such thing as a squeaky-clean person but you expect that out of us superheroes.”

“Kind of a contradiction, don’t you think? I wouldn’t want someone whose drunk and high flying around trying to save lives.”

“So… if you were to have a glass of wine every night, just one glass, it’s fair for me to call you a drunk?” Zay leaned forward and smiled. Cassandra widened her eyes but then smirked.

“Okay, point proven. But, it’s just how we think.”

“I’ve noticed. But, anyway: that’s why I’m here and can’t go back. Five years down… ninety-five more to go.”

Cassandra gaped as she did the quick math in her head. “A hundred years? What the hell did you do…?”

“Oh, we have to be friends for me to tell you…” Zay winked as she drank her water, causing the other woman to narrow her eyes but eventually laugh.