A completely and utterly normal apartment. That was where Merit wanted to be more than anywhere else in the world. Despite the wonder and amazing sights she saw on a daily basis at her job, her apartment held the most amazing of them all. She giggled at the thought of how her girlfriend would react to what she managed to bring home today. Well, sneak out is more appropriate, but only Merit knew that. Her girlfriend just assumed she was allowed to bring stuff like this home occasionally.
It was just a small cube, but it opened to send out a small puff of green smoke that slowly turned into a little green dragon who would fly around the room. Merit was supposed to dispose of it because it was defective. When she was told about it she could barely hold in her laugh. The defect? It was supposed to have blue smoke and a blue dragon. Instead of destroying it, she thought it would be another perfect item to add to the collection of things she’s brought her girlfriend over the months they’ve been together.
Even after the trip back home, Merit could barely hide the excitement on her face as she opened the door to her apartment. “Tonya?” Merit called the second she stepped in the door.
A voice called back, “Living room!” Just that sound alone was enough to make Merit’s heart pound against her throat. Entering the living room, she could already see Tonya’s bright red hair over the back of the couch. While beautiful, it also made for an easy target as Merit walked up and wrapped an arm around her from behind. “Hey, Babe,” Tonya said once she realised what was happening. “Good day at work I assume?”
“Well, someone’s potion almost blew up on me because they had put way too much honey-bug juice in it,” Merit explained. “Otherwise, it wasn’t a very eventful day.”
“Honey-bug? You mean a honeybee, right?” Tonya asked.
Merit giggled to herself. “No, honeybee’s are cute and fuzzy while also making delicious honey. Honey-bugs have big pincers and live underground,” she explained. “We call them honey-bugs because their excrement looks like honey. It apparently tastes terrible, but makes for a great potion base if you measure it out right. Too much and it gets a bit volatile as I’ve learned.”
Tonya turned and gave Merit a kiss on her cheek. “I’m glad you’re safe then. Though, I’m still incredibly jealous of all the amazing stuff you get to see everyday…” She admitted. “Meanwhile, I’m just a teller at a bank and listen to people complain about overdraft fees or whatever. It's so flipping boring.”
“You’re not wrong…” Merit said as she let go of Tonya and made her way around the couch with her hands behind her back. “But you know that doesn’t stop me from bringing a little ‘something’ home every now and then…” Before she even finished talking, Merit could see her girlfriend’s eyes light up just like when they first met.
“Oh! What did you bring?” She asked excitedly while clearly trying to resist bouncing in her seat. With a little giggle at the sight, Merit presented the little green cube. Tonya leaned forward to inspect it like it was supposed to be already doing something. Merit twisted the top and it split open with a puff of green smoke. Tonya jumped back deeper into the couch as an emerald dragon made of gas rushed toward her and around her head. Her head snapped around to watch as the dragon made a lap around the room as a look of amazement slowly crept onto her face. “This is so cool!” She squealed as the dragon did a couple of somersaults through the air and breathed fire out of its nose.
Finally, at the end of his flight, the dragon landed gently on Tonya’s shoulder to rest. “As long as the cube is open, he’ll roam around the room it’s in,” Merit explained. “And when you close it…” She snapped the cube closed and twisted the top back into place. The dragon’s form slowly dissipated and faded completely. “He’ll disappear!” Merit didn’t plan on opening it again, but the sad look from Tonya convinced her to open it again so he could continue to rest on her shoulder.
“I love it!” Tonya almost shouted. “He’s so cute! Aren’t you, Spring?”
“Spring?” Merit asked.
Tonya smiled at her girlfriend. “He’s green like Spring! So now that’s his name!”
“He’s not a real pet Tonya…”
“Nope! He’s my friend now and you can’t convince me otherwise,” she announced.
Merit decided not to argue with her girlfriend’s logic and just sat down on the couch with her. They spent the rest of the night watching their apparent new family member explore the living room. The way Tonya’s eyes sparkled whenever a burst of glittery green fire burst out of Spring’s nose was almost too much for Merit. It was almost just like when they had first met.
She had spotted Tonya wandering throughout the warehouse of magical items where she worked. Somehow, this person from the non-magical side of the world, managed to sneak into her place of work and see enough to cause The Enforcement to show up. Merit had known that meant that the woman would be taken, have her memories of what she saw erased, and thrown back into the “normal” world.
Unfortunately, Merit had seen the spark of curiosity in Tonya’s eyes. The amazement that such a world actually existed and that there was more than just an existence working at a bank. It was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen, even as the woman was dragged off kicking and screaming. It was obvious she didn’t want to lose this sense of wonder but she wasn’t able to fight for it. That translated into Merit taking it upon herself to go and find her again.
Tonya may have forgotten everything that happened that day, but it didn’t stop Merit from doing all she could to give her that world again.