Author : Davena Oaks

Swaying on the jerking bus, her hooves planted widely to afford her better balance, Kira endured the ride with the expression of a true commuter: apathetic. Empty seats all around offered no temptation to sit, they were molded plastic with a mockingly thin layer of cloth cushion. They spared only a few inches for leg room – fine for humans and most other species with their short, single jointed limbs. Kira could not hope to fold her triple jointed legs into such a tiny space, so she remained standing. Deboarding at the downtown transit exchange, the shaggy furred female enjoyed a deep breath of cool evening air before heading for the sushi restaurant.

“So who do you think will show up?” Nyk peeled a sliver of pickled ginger off his plate and popped it in his mouth.

“Probably other alts, deekin, maybe a few greys?” Kira shrugged carelessly as the slang drew Nyk’s frown.

“Don’t call me a deekin. I told you I don’t like that.”

“Whatever. Greys don’t get touchy about the language. I don’t see why you do.”

“Greys don’t have to get touchy about much of anything.” Nyk hissed back at her and snagged a plate of unagi off the rollers, plunking it on the table between them. Discarding the plastic cover, he picked up one piece with his fingers while Kira snagged the other with a jab of her sticks. Nyk never used chopsticks, his scaly fingers lacked the sensitivity to manage the delicate task.

Kira was savoring the flakey meat when a slender human male appeared at the end of their table. Nervously he cleared his throat, obviously wanting their attention. Nyk immediately looked sour. Kira pasted a smile on her broad face.

“I must ask you and your companion to finish here for the evening,” the murmur of the restaurant went awkwardly silent.

“Sir we’re just-“

“We’re not done,” growled Nyk.

“No, you must go,” the man shook his head resolutely, rising to the posture of indignant restaurant owner.

Kira shook her heavy head. “We not causing trouble…”

The owner stepped back and pointed. In unforgiving sans serif it declared: We Reserve the Right to Refuse Service to Non-Humans.

Kira bristled disdainfully as she rose, unfolding her heavily muscled legs brought her full height-and-horns towering over the diminutive human. He shrank back.

“Oh? Well, thank you for covering our check, we’ll be sure to let our friends know how generous you were tonight.” Malice dripped from her words. The owner paled but said nothing as Kira turned and stomped away, followed by a skulking Nyk. On the way to the exit her gaze fell across a pale-skinned creature in a grey business suit sitting at the bar, sipping saki. He had been sitting there all evening, unmolested by the proprietor.

The grey glanced up at her and their eyes met briefly. The blue-eyed alien nodded slightly before Kira scowled at him and turned away. Outside, she and Nyk slowed to an ambling pace once they neared the bus stop. Shortly later, the grey joined them with a bemused smile glittering in his eyes.

“You’re going to get arrested one of these days,” his mouth barely moved when he spoke.

“For a free meal, I’ll take that risk. He wasn’t going to boot you out, figured I might make a point,” the larger alien replied agreeably. Nyk just shook his head beside her.

“Well you did, I enjoyed a ‘free meal’ too,” the grey replied.

The three burst out laughing and continued down the street and towards their meeting.


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