"What do you mean you're not 'technically human'?"
"I mean," Leon ran a hand through his hair, frowning. "Exactly that. I'm not technically human."
Silence. Processing. He started pacing impatiently. "Do you have a fursona? Like, a, what's it called," I broke eye contact, "Oh, an otherkin!"
He stopped pacing and stared. "A what?"
"An otherkin? Someone who thinks they're like, an elf, or a fairy, or whatever." I could deal with a weird kink, but a roommate that thought he wasn't human?
"What? No." He waved me off dismissively, resuming his pacing. "I mean," He walked to the window and carefully peaked through the dusty blinds. "Okay, how about this?" He looked back at me, and crossed his arms. "How old is mankind?"
"Um, I don't know? Millions of years old?"
"No, no." He walked over and sat down on the couch. I scooched a little bit away. "How old is mankind's recorded history?"
I glanced around the room, discomfort rising. "Beats me." History was never a favorite lesson of mine in school.
"About 5000 years." He answered for me, leaning in and grabbing my hand to make me look at him. I did. "That's a lot of time left unrecorded."
"So…" I felt a little breathless by his admittedly intense gaze. But this was weird. I felt weird.
"So," He repeated, eyes searching mine. For what, I wasn't sure. "My people, the Terrans, were the first 'humanoids' on earth." The disbelief on my face must have been evident because he quickly continued, "This was thousands and thousands of years ago." He looked down at my hand, the same one he was still holding. "The earth wasn't as calm as it is today. The volcanoes, the hurricanes, the tornadoes, they were all much more intense. The sea was never as calm as the day you took me there." His voice was losing strength, his words becoming almost whispers.
The sun filtering in through the blinds behind him hit the corner of his eye and it seemed to glow. He raised his eyes to me. My breath caught.
"My people grew, and adapted, and learned, and we quickly left our home in search of one more stable. We have been travelling the galaxy, searching for someplace we can call home. We made settlements, but every planet we found was like the last. Cold, desolate, and unlivable outside of our stations. But the search never stopped, and now," He took a breath, then continued, "Now, my people are back."
He paused, and watched me carefully for a reaction.
I blinked once. Twice. Then I started laughing, probably the most I had since my mom died. "Wow, okay. You had me going there." I stood up to walk to the kitchen. "That was probably the most elaborate prank I've heard-" He grabbed my arm and yanked me back down to the couch, almost pulling me into his lap. I immediately recoiled, but his grip was too strong.
"Okay, I don't know who taught you manners but you do not pull on people, much less a girl!" My face reddened from what I forced myself to believe was only anger. "You have no right-"
His usually calm blue eyes were stormy, clouded over with a dark expression. "Mao."
"What." I snapped, refusing to believe his story. He was a 'Terran'? As if. How gullible did he think I was?
He stared, cursed under his breath, and then kissed me.
I immediately brought my hands up to shove him away, but then the images started.
It was like having a dream with your eyes open. The rest of the world faded away and all I could see were images of death, destruction, of loss far greater than anything I could ever imagine, and pain. So much pain. They flew by in my mind so fast I could barely process them, then they slowed and focused in on the people.
Tall, pale people – there was no doubt they were people. But their hair was pin-straight and blonde, their eyes blue, their skin the ashiest color I'd ever seen. It was like all color had been sucked out of them. Their faces were rigid, stiff, and formal. Slight smiles if there was one at all. But one was looking at me – her blue eyes filled with warmth. She grinned and grabbed my hand. I felt a comfort bloom in my chest, and suddenly the images didn't feel as frightening anymore.
Then, suddenly, everything changed again. The images flew by again – and some part of me realized they weren't just images, they were something more. Before I could pull myself out, a darker scene started to unfold. I was being dragged away, the lady with warmth in her eyes screaming words I didn't recognize. She was being held back by people in black uniform. A struggle ensued and I watched with horror as she broke free of their grip and ran to me.
No. Stay back. My mind screamed, They will hurt you like they hurt father. I remained silent as she held me in her arms, but I felt no comfort this time. She whispered something in my ear, and even though I couldn't understand it I knew what she meant.
I love you.
Tears poured down my cheeks, and pure terror gripped my heart as I heard the shot. No. Her strong arms I once found solace in became dead weight. No. Struggling to hold her larger frame up, her body was soon torn away from me and this time I felt myself scream as we were both dragged away from each other. No, no, no!
I felt a shudder run through me, but I realized with a start that it wasn't my body that was shaking. It was enough to pull me out of it, and I pushed Leon away as hard as I could. We both landed on the floor, a few feet away from each other. He laid on the hardwood, his arm covering his face as his body shook violently.
"What was that?" I rasped, sitting up. My head was throbbing. My lips tingled.
It was several more moments until he started to compose himself. I didn't know what to do but I knew what that was as my mind started to settle – it was a memory. It was Leon's memories. I had no doubt he was who he said he was – a 'Terran'.
A.N - Thanks for reading. Please join me dear readers on this adventure, because I think it's going to be one heckuva ride.