Three Suspicions

From the Story Arc: There's No Place Like Home

Previous Story in the Arc: A wolf in sheep's clothing? by Bestial Boy (Wednesday, May 11, 2005)

Next Story in the Arc: Holding On by Althea Nagy (Monday, May 16, 2005)

(posted Wednesday, May 11, 2005)

Magic Girl flew in through the window of the apartment, her silver hair reflecting the sunlight like an angel. Mosca startled, assuming a combat pose by instinct. He straightened and laughed.

“To what do I owe the honor of this visit, beautiful Magic Girl?”

Magic Girl grinned at him, strode forward and kissed him with hot passion. His hands found the small of her back and pulled her close.

“This game, I thought we had stopped playing it. Not that I’m complaining,” he said when they stopped to breathe.

Magic Girl pushed him away. “Keep your pants on, moj dorogoj.” The silver wig came off to reveal Natalya’s raven black hair, tied hastily for the wig. “I was on scouting mission.”

Mosca into the kitchen and retrieved two vodka glasses. He recognized the tone in her voice. “Something is troubling you. Ordinarily you won’t wear that costume except for me.” He winked at her.

“I needed to conceal my identity from someone who has never seen Magic Girl. Santi,” she sighed, accepting the vodka, “I am having bad feeling about new devushka.”

“Which one, my heart?” They clinked glasses and sipped. “The strange cartoon-like one, the red-skinned girl with the flames, the blue skinned surfer girl, the little Chinese girl, the one who dresses like a Viking, the Soviet cowgirl, the robot waitress, the…”

“Nyet, dumdum!” She scowled at him. “Althea Nagy. I shadowed her on patrol for two hours.”

Mosca shrugged. “I’d have said she’s the only normal one of the lot.”

“That is why you are darlink and I am Commissar!” The brief rage subsided quickly. “Izvinit, dear. I am grumpy from troubling. This girl, there is a lie about her.”

Mosca seated himself on the couch and patted next to him. Natalya gratefully sat and accepted his backrub.

“You can unzip, it is cheap fabric and breathes poorly.” She sighed as he dug his fingers into her bare back. “Spasibo. I never had such pains before magic powers. I would lose them if I could.”

“You’re changing the subject, Natya. Tell me your suspicions.”

Natalya turned and faced him. Her drooping uniform forced Mosca to focus on her eyes and not lower. “Odin: She is only nineteen. When Malinki was only eighteen, she was like tiger, very powerful and commanding. This girl is mouse. Yet they say she comes to avenge her family’s death at hands of vampires. I am nyet buying so.

“Dva: Raised from birth to do magic? Is doubtful. Her hands shook when she cast spells. She was like amateur gymnast trying out rings for first time. And when we fought stupid Devouring plants, she wanted to study them. She picked over Ravorvine body like scientist, wery carefully and systematically. Magicians take everything on faith. She is nyet magician by training.

“Tree: She is terrified of me.”

Natalya wiggled her three raised fingers at Mosca. “Is enough to make me think official story is lie. Question is now, why should Central Command lie about little girl?”

Mosca took her hand and kissed the first finger. “Uno: could she be less trained than they say? Perhaps they are hoping you will train her.” He kissed the second finger. “Dos: casting spells at home is very different from casting spells in a battle for your life, mi corazon. You are so strong you forget the fear others must grapple with.” He kissed the third finger. “Tres: Even I am terrified of you, my beautiful Commissarina. It sometimes takes hours of lovemaking to relieve me of my cowardice.” Having made his points, he began kissing her shoulder.

“This is…mmm…very useless advice, Santi.”

“Then I advise you to bring in a specialist,” he whispered into her ear. “Fei Li has thousands of years of knowledge about the duplicity of bureaucrats. The Chinese are worse than the Russians for political deviousness. Let her train the girl some, and sniff out whether she is a spy, a plant, or merely an oversight. She could be in danger from them herself, and then it is our duty to protect her, si?”

Natalya squeezed his strong hands. “So this is how I get sturdy advice from you?”

“It does stimulate the flow of blood to my brain.”

She pulled him off the couch. “Then we go brainstorm in bedroom. When we are done, we will be sure of what to do with pale little Althea Nagy.”