“Boys! Breakfast!” a young woman shouted as she wiped her hands on her waist apron.
Two sets of pattering feet sounded through the quaint home. But an addition set crept up behind her without a creak from the wood flooring. The figure made its final approach. It spread its arms wide surrounding her. With a slight squeeze around her waist, he whispered into her ear. “How’s your morning, dear?”
“Plato!” she laughed, “what are you doing?”
“Loving you.” He kissed her on her cheek.
“Plato,” she said, letting his name fade from her lips as she moved them towards his.
The pattering stopped at the archway to the kitchen. The boys gawked at the couple. The younger you the two turn to giggles amidst the kiss; the other’s face went long in a mixture of shock and appalledness.
Breaking apart, the woman asked, “Boys, why don’t you bring your breakfast to the dining room before it gets cold.”
“Alright, Mrs. Andromeda,” the younger one said.
“Ambrose, I told you a thousand times,” Sedna said, through a deep sigh, “it’s Sedna.”
The two returned to kissing before the boys left the rooms.
In the dining room, Ambrose sat down immediately and began eating but the other boy dawdled and played with his food. “Odin, whatcha doing?”
“Waiting, I guess,” he answered, pushing his eggs around his plate.
Dropping his fork, Ambrose asked, “Waiting for what?”
Slushing himself into the chair next to Ambrose, he answered, “Before you came… you know… they would have shaped the house to its foundation with at least two ear-splitting arguments and broken half the dishes after giving up on breakfast.”
“What's wrong with this?” Ambrose shrugged.
“After a hundred forty years of them yelling at each other, this isn't normal.”
“What's wrong with abnormal?” Ambrose sniveled, looking up at the mirror on the opposite wall.
Looking at both of them in the mirror, Odin started, “Nothings wrong with you being different.” He quickly looked back to the door to the kitchen. “Being an alien is a lot different than making monumental behavioral changes."
“I don’t understand, Odin.”
“Don’t understand what?” Sedna asked from the doorway.
“Nothing, mom,” Odin snipped.
“Nothing, ha?" She looked at both of them with her hands on her hips: Ambrose was staring down at the table, trying to let his brain catch up, and Odin meet his mother's gaze head-on.
"Alrighty then," she said, shrugging and sitting down with her back to the mirror. "How was Breakfast? Did you have enough?"
"It was fine," Odin stated, with most of his food still on his plate.
With her smile dying, she continued, "And you Ambrose?"
She waited for an answer, watching him watch the table. "Ambrose?!"
"Yes, ma'am." He jumped up, nearly tipping himself over.
"Your breakfast? How was it?"
The corners of his mouth bounced up. "It was amazing as always, Mrs. … Sedna."
"Thank you, Ambrose. So, boys, do you have any plans for the special occasion?"
"Occasion?" Ambrose asked.
"New Year's. On Earth, " Odin droned.
"It's the turn of the millennium," she walked closer to Ambrose, going towards the kitchen. "I think the Leviathan's are throwing a party tonight."
"I don't know mom." He got up as well. "We might just stay in tonight or go down to the docks and watch the shuttles," he said, bringing the plates to his mother.
Waiting for their backs to be back to Ambrose, Odin continued in a whisper to his mother. "Plus, Ambrose isn't big on crowds not on loud noises, you know."
"I do," she said, placing her hand on his shoulder before leaving for the kitchen.
Waiting for the door to close, Odin turned back towards Ambrose with an ever-growing grin.
"Why do I have the feeling that we aren't going to have a quiet night in tonight?" Ambrose asked.
"Because we're not. I've heard stories about the New Year's Eve parties on Deimos."
"I thought you told me they don't like outsiders especially Martians from Phobos?" Ambrose asked, clenching the seat of his chair.
"Yes I did, but they never meet the likes of a phobosian and his sidekick, Alexandrian."
"Well you're probably going to go no matter what I say, and what would you do without your trusted sidekick to make sure you get home with most of you intact."
"We're in agreement then. We'll go down to the docks at nine."
“As long as we actually watch some shuttles come in.”
“Then we’ll leave at seven,” he said, leaving the room towards his room.
Ambrose folded his arms and plowed his head into them. “I’m going to regret this,” he moaned.
Nine o’clock rolled around like the artificial clouds roaming across the dome’s ceiling. Ambrose was nearly asleep on a grassy knoll near the docks when Odin walked up came back from the dockmaster. He gave Ambrose a quick shake.
Ambrose rubbed his eyes as he sat up. “Are you sure we can’t just watch some more shuttles and go to bed before midnight?”
“As you said I’m going to go with or without you.”
“Fine. Are you going to tell me how we’re going to even get to Deimos?”
“Yes,” he knelt down, showing what was in his hand, “we’re going to use these tickets to board a shuttle for Deimos.”
“Your friends with the dockmaster?”
“How do you think I got to the mainland seven times?”
“I don’t do everything the hard way. Now, hurry up, we’re going to miss our ride.”
Ambrose scrambled to his feet and followed Odin two steps behind.
The two of them walked right into the front door of a gigantic building. Everyone from the seven cities of Deimos were there, totaling to around 650 people lingering through the 20 rooms but mainly staying in the main and largest room.
“Now what were you worried about?” Odin whispered to Ambrose.
With puppy dog eyes, he replied, “the late still early.”
“Well, I’ve got a few tips to calm your nerves. First, don’t spend to much time with the same people.”
“That shouldn’t be too hard,” he said as he slinked closer to Odin to avoid passer-byers.
“Your probably right. Two, Deimosians layout out their names backward so if we get separated I’m Andromeda Odin and your Andromeda Ambrose.”
Ambrose shot him a teary gaze.
“Okay, just Ambrose. No need to lie to people we’ll never see again. Lastly, don’t drink anything. I mean it. Don’t ask.”
“I said don’t ask,” Odin said pulling Ambrose close and shaking his finger at him.
Ambrose squirmed at his touch.
“I’m sorry, Ambrose, but I need you to know how serious I’m being.”
“I got it,” he squeaked.
“Good. Now, why don’t we mingle before we look suspicious, okay?”
Ambrose tried to keep up with Odin, but he had his fill with people and Odin was just starting. He found himself a chair in a desolate corner and did his best to keep an eye on his friend as he worked on his goal of talking to everyone.
As the night got closer to midnight, the main room increased in mass but not in size. Soon Ambrose’s corner became all too cozy with people. At his soonest ability, he booked it for the nearest door.
The hallway was clear to his relief. He fell to the floor to collect himself. He got out before tears were necessary but he shivered until a noise down the hall startled him.
The little voice inside whispered to him to find Odin or get out whichever came first. But the Odin in him screamed at him to find out what the noise was. His feet choose the latter. He tipped down the hall and around the corner.
Odin peered into the hallway as Ambrose turned the corner. He knew Ambrose and didn’t understand him wandering off in an unfamiliar place. He pushed himself out of the door and followed Ambrose.
Ambrose could barely keep his eyes open nor his hands still, but his feet kept moving him forward.
Less than a third of the way down, something hit him out of nowhere. He was knocked to the floor. Between the buzzing in his ears, he could hear Odin yelling down the hall.
“Ambrose! Are you okay?” Odin said at Ambrose’s side, a little too loud for Ambrose liking.
As Ambrose held his ears, a girl in a long flowing sunrise yellow dress emerged from behind the door that hit Ambrose. “I’m so sorry are you alright?”
They both look up at her. Ambrose released his ears and Odin was automatically mesmerized.
"Are you alright?" she repeated.
Ambrose shook his head as Odin stood to his feet.
"Thank goodness. I'm Prometheus Key." She extended her hand towards Ambrose.
When Ambrose didn't take her hand, Odin took it for him. "I'm Andromeda Odin, that's my cousin Ambrose."
"Lovely to meet you," she said, looking deeply into his brown eyes.
"The pleasures ours," Odin said.
Still on the ground, Ambrose interrupted, "Odin, do you mind?"
Neither of them moved.
"Yeah, yeah," he said, reluctantly looking down. "Oh, yeah!"
Once Odin pulled him up, Key gave a nervous shrugged and a glance at her watch. "Oh, we better hurry or we'll miss the count down."
"After you," Odin directed.
The main room was packed to the brim. They barely made it in.
But just in time.
5. They yelled. 4. 3. 2. And with the last strike, Key popped until her toes, land a kiss on Odin's cheek before disappearing into the crowd.