When Scott Smith and you first met, it was a collision. You had been in such a rush to keep on time for the meeting you had, you'd only barely glanced at him, helped him pick up his papers, and go off on your way. The second time you'd met, it was just as smooth as the last time. But rather than having a physical collision, it was with words, and the two of you had been a stammering, stutter-y mess upon realising who the other one was. But all was well – because just like the Canadians you were, you started a sort of apology war, trying to say sorry enough to erase the embarrassment of past events.
It was a match made in Dyad, someone had remarked (you couldn't remember who had) – apart from the fact that the two of you just clicked like ballpoints and pens, your research labs were in the same wing. Which made it super easy to just nip around, and drop off little things to help compensate for knocking into him, and he'd drop off coffee, and sometimes in lunch breaks, hang out. But after at least a month of it, you had to try and get the poor guy to stop atoning for the rest of his waking life, and considered unlocking the enigma of Scott Smith, and what he studied. It turned out that he was just as much as a geek as you were, what, with his social media a litany of Star Trek and Battlestar Galactica. He hated paperwork, but loved his job. But, while he was a geneticist working on super top-secret shit, you were just...a lab assistant. Basically, an over glorified PA, if anyone were to look at the receipts of exactly how much coffee you fetched for people who you weren't aware of their work.
Basically, it would seem he was a soulmate. To you, obviously. You guys just got along beyond anything you'd ever experienced.
But today, as you were nipping into his lab for a moment to use their toilet (whoever had used your lab's loo had left it in a mess worthy of macrobiologist, or a scatologist to come around and test to their heart's content). It should have been alright, you were quite desperate, and wouldn't look at any of their research.
But that was when you met Cosima.
And screamed bloody murder.
It should be noted that you were a graduate of St. Thomas High School, and had been a friend of the ex-cheerleader named Alison Hendrix. And the lady who was wearing a sort of Caribbean Rasta chic style clothes before you looked precisely like your childhood friend. Minus the bangs.
And that was the story of your transfer between labs to keep the classified information secret. Not that it wasn't a bit kind of romantic, being pressured to be reassigned due to the iron-clad privacy surrounding the LEDA girls. But it was lovely. Kind of great, come to think of it. Mainly because you had the opportunity of being around actual science and sort of understanding it, and the guy you were going steady with. But that story done, brings you to today, where you are sitting beside Scott, reading a checklist of all the materials he needed to order for the next shipment out for supplies. Sure, it was a menial task, but it wasn't like Dyad was made of sample slides and microscopes. Well, they were. They just liked to withhold from your sector if they could get away with it (and often did).
"Latex gloves?" You ask.
He hums in disagreement, eyes focused on a culture from 324B21's samples through his digital microscope. "I think we need saline."
You shake your head. "Already gotten that down. And storage containers for culture samples. How about I put in a request for another fridge for culture samples? I could see you're running out of room."
"I noticed we were getting a little tight after getting the CASTOR brain," Scott agrees, and withdraws from the microscope. "You're the best assistant ever, babe." He grins, and leaning up, and pecks you on the cheek. But as it happens, there's a knock on the passcode entry only door to the lab. Meaning: if anyone was meant to enter, they'd enter. Like the time that you met Rachel after a unplanned nap, and she'd seen you with messy hair and wrinkled clothes. Scott noticed your confusion, and added, "Didn't Cosima tell you? We're having guests."
At this, he rescinded from the beloved microscope, and opened the door to reveal Delphine, once again coming around to read into the top secret information that the scientists had been working on. She noticed you, and gave a nod.
"Hello, ________." Her lilt pronounced your name funny, and giving a nod back, you replied the right words that you always did when the director of the Dyad Institute came around to look into things. "You have redecorated in here?" She asked, her eyes following the rug you had placed on the cold patch on the floor.
"I did, a little." You beam, noticing how she holds herself almost shyly, in a childlike manner. You had read about Helena and her history. "If it weren't for me, I'm sure Scott and Cosima would have this whole place in shambles."
"I have to agree with ______ here." Scott chuckles, leading Delphine to the point of interest, away from idle conversation around interior decoration. "It's just over here we saw an interesting development on the protein..."
Cut to later the evening. You'd clocked out before Scott, excusing yourself to Cosima saying you were exhausted (you weren't lying, it had been a long day since waking up at four o'clock that morning). You'd left the car for him to drive back to the place you both lived at, and after a ride on the subway to the apartment, you were greeted by the scar-faced familiar face of a man that you had seen on several accounts...now in person. There was a wicked sharp knife pointed to your jugular, and fear in your eyes. The CASTOR clone Rudy held the knife steady, a grin on his face. He looked positively manic. Denise clutched in your arms, you were led to the seat opposite Scott's desk, forced to sit. The poor kitty was as scared as you were - what if this was it? What if this was where you died?
It was when Scott entered the apartment room that your panic spiked, your heart racing a million miles a minute. But instead of hearing the conversation going on, you were thinking of really dumb things.
Like how you'd had your last cup of coffee this morning without even knowing. You hadn't said goodbye to the family dog in Alaska, let alone your parents, your brothers, your sisters. You were going to die in Toronto. You loved playing video games with Scott and his pals, but you knew that real life wasn't game life, and you'd never re-spawn and come back alive if the clone boy behind you cut deep enough.
But he doesn't. He lets you go, and leaves the door open as he goes out of it. You look to Scott, and see his terrified eyes and at once you're smothered in his embrace, and it's okay. You're alive. You're alive. You're alive. He's alive. Denise is alive. It's okay.
"He knew about the book," He whispers. "I have to - I have to tell - I have to tell -," You nod, unable to stop the waterworks. Denise jumps out of your arms, free of the smushing between her doting owners. Scott takes a deep breath. "I have to tell Delphine."
You whisper. "Do it - do it. You have to." You babble.
It's not like you can go to the police, and call them and say hello 911? I would like to say that I have been held at knife point and threatened by a clone boy. Yes his name is Rudy, he has the same face as Mark, and Seth whose brain is in my work's fridge. We acquired that at his death. No, this isn't a prank call. He threatened my cat too. They'd laugh. Well, not Sarah's cop friend Art. He'd chuckle, and tell you to be more careful, and probably tell you to go and buy a firearm or something.
"Cosima's going to be mad," He whispered, hanging up. "________?" He asks, noticing your eyes are not focused on anything. "Don't tell me you're going into shock -,"
You shake your head. "No. It's okay, just at mildly-pissing-my-pants frightened," You reply, focusing on his eyes behind his thick glasses, the eyes that are framed by the hair that you love, that probably needs a haircut soon. "I'm just...I feel like I'm too far down the rabbit hole."
Scott takes you in for another hug. "It's okay, Alice. This kind of crazy isn't normal in Wonderland. I mean, we're all mad here," He adds, using an off-key goofy voice that you always melted for. "You okay, now?"
You nod, leaning your head upon his shoulder. "I'm always okay with you, Scotty."