What is your favorite way to spend a lazy day?
The artificial rain of the Dome pattered against the window of the fourth story apartment. Arms folded across his chest, Shane watched the rivulets of water run down the pane in meandering patterns as he sighed in defeat. Nothing was going to get done today.
It wasn’t that he disliked the weather, but he felt the scheduled rains were superfluous. There were no crops in the City proper, nothing that required watering. In a society where life was governed by machines, the delicate balance of which was calculated so that nothing was wasted and every human’s basic needs were met, the excess water seemed unnecessary.
Children’s laughter floated up between the buildings. Shane peered down to the alley and saw colorful boots and umbrellas sparkling with wet under the illuminated streetlamps. A little girl in a bright yellow raincoat leapt into the puddle forming at the corner of the building, splashing her siblings. They shrieked in excitement and followed suit.
A smile tugged at the corner of his lips. Rain was good for people, too, after all. Besides, she loved the rain.
He glanced over his shoulder at the bed in the corner of the small studio. Tawny hair concealed Lara’s face, her arms tucked under her head as she slept. With her knees near to her chest, she looked more like a child than a young woman of eighteen. She only slept this peacefully when it rained.
It was because of her strongest affinity, one of the many secrets he kept from the Sages. They already knew she was a Chimera, there was no hiding that. They’d seen her abilities firsthand when she dual-manifested as a Reader and a Mover two years ago. She was already a special case – both psychic affinities manifesting in one person had never happened before – but he vowed to keep them from discovering just how special. Blessedly, they had allowed him to train her.
He frowned over his tea. Two years had yielded almost no results with her telepathy. Katia had had much better progress helping her to control her telekinesis; Lara hadn’t accidentally tossed the room about in her sleep in almost a year. Her Elemental affinity for Water had been a pleasant surprise. It came to her as naturally as his for Earth, there was no real need of training for that. But she still struggled to push out the voices of neighbors and passersby.
Shane watched the steady rise and fall of Lara’s chest as he sipped his tea. There had to be something he hadn’t tried. Her range was just too big. She needed to focus it. He couldn’t do it for her forever. He would, but it wouldn’t do her any good if anything happened to him and she was left alone again.
He scowled at his father’s ring on his right hand as he became aware that he was twisting it while he pondered. It was still too big, but he preferred to wear it where he could see it rather than have it weighing down around his neck. Arkadios had tried to convince him to bury it with the old man, but he kept it as a reminder to focus on his goals.
Lara stirred under the blankets and shook him out of his dark reverie. He moved to the bed and brushed her hair back from her face, softly stroking it and speaking in hushed tones to calm her. He had been projecting, a dangerous thing in the presence of a Reader as strong as Lara. It was a rookie mistake, one he didn’t make, especially in front of her. She settled down quickly, and he sighed relief. A rainy day couldn’t be a bad day.
He stared at the ring again. He looked at Lara, now an image of tranquility. Focus. It could work. At the very least it would give him something to do while she slept. For the first time since he could remember, looking at the ring put a small smile on his face.
Shane went to his desk and logged on to the network to do some research. There were materials he knew might suit his purposes, but acquiring them would be another task altogether. Luckily he still had some friends in the Warrens.
He was finishing up the designs on a couple prototypes when Lara stirred again. Shane?
“Here,” he answered aloud. He saved the drafts and logged off the computer.
“It’s raining.” There was relief in her voice.
He smiled. “Yes.”
“I heard the kids outside.” She snuggled into the pillow and looked up at him through thick lashes. “They were having so much fun.”
He nodded. “Did they wake you?”
“Uhuh,” she shook her head. “They were pleasant dreams.”
“Are we going to the College today?” It was a silly question given she knew the answer.
“Not on a rainy day,” he smirked.
She nodded satisfaction. “Then come back to bed.” She slid back to make room. “And bring that book we were reading last time. I wanna know what happens next.” He chuckled. His project would wait til the next rainy day. For now, their lazy day routine demanded literature.
Later they would have a hot lunch of soup and tea, followed by more reading until dinner. She might sleep again somewhere in there, but only if he stayed at her side. Shane didn’t mind. It was the one small measure of peace he could guarantee her. Tomorrow it would be back to the grind.
Notes: Shade of background here. Shane and Lara are characters in a sci-fi novel that I’ve been tossing around my head for a few years now. I wanted to explore some of their history and try to get to know Shane a little better since he’s still a bit of an enigma to me. When I saw this prompt I thought, that’s a great question for Shane!
What about you? What’s your favorite way to spend a lazy day? How about your characters? What do they like to do when there’s no action going on? Go find out! Write away!