Neek & Johana

Chapter One

Neek excitedly wrote his best friend back home a letter to let him know he was only an hour away from earth and expected an easy landing. This would be the first time he landed a ship in another planets gravity but he was confident he could do it, he had trained for this after all when he decided to study other planets in the galaxy. He finished his letter then walked it over to a little box and closed it. It was a special box installed on all ships of their species that studied other planets. It was how the information was sent home. Over the course of his study he would send more than letters using that. He’d send samples of the soil, of any fur or scales or truly anything he found interesting and wanted to share.

That box is also how they’d send supplies if and when he needed them so it was important he check it no less than once when he woke up and once when he went to sleep for the night to make sure it didn’t get too full. Neek walked away from the box and made sure his ship would be ready to land. Now he had nothing to do with himself until it was time to land and he almost ached it was so hard to wait. Finally, his first job, he was going to meet other life forms and be able to enlighten his species about them. There was tremendous pride in this job since there was nothing his people valued more than knowledge.

When he was but fifteen minuets from being close enough to have to sit at the controls and guide his ship to land it he transformed into what his species knew the dominant life forms looked like. It was an easy shift for his species. They were known for this amazing ability but that wasn’t the only thing that made his species so great. They didn’t have to learn other languages. When they spoke whatever/whomever they were talking to understood and vise versa. Nobody had to speak their language and they didn’t have to speak anybody elses and so far he hadn’t met another species able to do this.

His species were truly grateful and humbled by these gifts because they made it easy to study other planets without upsetting the population. Most planets they had studied never knew anybody from their planet was there and they tried to keep it that way. They wanted everyone to act as they normally would for a proper study and nothing acts as it normally would if it knows it’s being studied.

Neek gave himself a once over in the mirror to make sure he hadn’t made any mistakes. When he was sure he looked like a human male he sat proudly in the drivers seat and readied himself. Expertly he guided his ship, making sure to cloak and do a quick scan of the ground so no other intelligent life forms who would be upset by him suddenly appearing were present. He followed every step by the book so it came as a near heart stopping surprise for him when he walked out of his ship and saw an incredibly bewildered woman standing there.

“wh….what…what is that ship? It looks…are you an alien or something?” he started to stammer, bewildered himself “You….you can see my ship?”

“should I not be able to?”

“No, it’s cloaked” how hadn’t his sensors seen her. He wondered if she was truly human and boldy asked “are you not a human?”

“wha…what? Of course I am. How is it you drop form the sky in this crazy, admittedly cool looking ship and ask ME if I’m human”

“I’m asking because my scan should have detected you and you should not be able to see my ship”

“well as far as I know I’m human” he felt like he was already blowing his mission but he was intrigued and needed to learn more about this woman. If she was truly a human then they might know less than they think about the human race on earth. “May I scan you miss?”

“scan me?”

“yes, I don’t mean to offend you but the scan will tell me what species you are. The system can’t be fooled”

“do I have to go on your ship?”

“yes”

“then no, I’m not getting abducted”

“abducted?”

“sorry, I guess that’s racist.” he chuckled “I like you, please, I have no plans of abducting you, I’m not even sure what that is. I guess theres no point in trying to fool you so I’ll be honest I am what you’d call an alien. I’m from another planet. I’m here because we value knowledge quite highly and enjoy learning of other worlds. It’s a job where I’m from to travel and live places until it’s properly studied. This is my first mission and I’m the first of my kind to come here. ”

“so you really aren’t planning any funny stuff if I come on board?”

“Just a scan and you may leave at any point” he looked so honest and while she knew she might be putting herself at risk she decided to board his ship. Once inside her mouth dropped open in aw “wow, this is so gorgeous”

“really?”

“yes really, its not stunning to you?”

“My species is rather extravagant in all things. I guess yours isn’t?”

“No, this…oh my god”

“Interesting, I’ll have to write home about your reaction” he enjoyed watching her walk around and was glad she was so comfortable, especially since she not long ago accused him of trying to abduct her. Thinking about it made him ask “what would I have done if I had wanted to abduct you? Is that really bad?” she blushed, feeling even worse about it now “force me to go home with you”

“Oh, never, I mean, I could take you to my home if you wished it but I wouldn’t force you there. I’m not even sure if humans could survive there”

“I really am sorry”

“No need, could I scan you now? I am deathly curious”

“alright, thanks for letting me look around”

“Your curiousness is adorable to be honest. I enjoyed watching you” she blushed again and he asked “why does your face turn red?” it made it worse and he chuckled “human women are adorable, you must tell me how I’m making you do that”

“people don’t blush where you’re from”

“No, so it’s called blushing.”

“:yeah…your…well your embarrassing me”

“Oh no, I’m sorry, I dont know much but I know embarrassing people is rude. Please forgive me, manners are very important where I’m from, my parents and our leader would be furious”

“No no, i think you’re thinking of the mean spirited way, you didn’t do anything wrong by embarrassing me”

“good, you scared me human. May I know your name by the way? I hate to keep calling you human”

“Johana”

“My people call me Neek, now how about that scan” he guided her to a room a little further back in the ship and picked up a handheld device which he typed some things into then allowed it to scan her. He looked as if the wind was knocked out of him and she asked nervously “so…whats wrong with me…why could I see your ship and why couldn’t your scan of the ground see me…I’ve…I’ve always felt weird even though my siblings don;t….” he seemed to be reading now, completely lost in whatever his tablet was telling him “Neek please” she urged, feeling a little scared “Johana…you are more than I could have ever hoped to find here…you are extinct….our people have thought your kind long since vanished from the galaxy…I can see you have mostly humans in your lineage but a few hundred years back in your line was Freg…Freg was the last of his kind after a war between three planets. He went on a trip one day and was never heard from again…he…he must have come to earth and found love…His kind was amazing and my species mourned their loss, a truly interesting and incredibly skilled species. Even as many generations as it’s been you truly can’t do anything your human counterparts can’t do? You should have some sort of ability even if its”

she interrupted him “moving objects with my mind?”

“yes, so you can then?”

“yeah…I just didn’t tell anybody”

“This is fascinating, there are so many things I want to ask you, so many things to do. My leader will be amazed.”

“What things?”

“Sorry, I go ahead of myself, may I test your abilities? I would truly love to see you move things with your mind. I am sure you have many more than just that as well.”

“Sure, here or somewhere else?”

“Here is fine, just give me a moment.” He walked over and picked up a glass vial then set it down on the floor. “There, could you move that?”

“I don’t want to break it if I drop it.”

“It’s quite durable. Most of the things on this ship would only break under massive amounts of force so please don’t hold back.”

She could barely believe this was happening. It actually crossed her mind this might be some elaborate prank and someone was going to rush out with a camera at any moment and laugh at her but she wanted this to be real so badly, she wanted Neek to be real so she’d have someone who could understand her. Possibly being the butt of a joke was worth the chance of being able to be herself around someone. She willed it to move and effortlessly she had it in the air and moving back and forth in the room. He gasped, looking absolutely thrilled “Johana…you, you are the best thing I could have found on this planet. My species truly admired yours. Its an honor to meet you. May I give you some books on your kind so you may know more about where you come from?”

“There’s books about me?”

“Oh yes, the history of your world is quite something. Even it’s fall was something worth recording to make sure nobody ever forgot you lived. We hate whats become of your planet and though I know you’ve never known it to care I want to apologize to you. There was nothing we could do. Freg was gone and the rest of his kind was dead so another species moved in”

“well it wasn’t you guys so you don’t need to apologize”

“The books though, I want you to know about where you came from”

“sure” He looked so over joyed again as he ran out of the room. When he came back he wasn’t carrying anything which confused her until he said “They’ll be sent any moment. Sorry, I just got so excited”

“sent” he nodded “follow me” Neek showed her what he used to send things back home and receive things from them “thats cool”

“yes, it’s one of the most useful things my kind has ever created” When the books arrived he said “Let me carry them to your home for you. They are heavier than they look”

Chapter Two

“Are you saying I’m not strong?”

“Oh, I would never, I apologize.”

“I’m kidding, joking.”

“Oh, I really don’t want to offend you in any way. Please tell me if I do. I’m just so amazed that I might run at the mouth.”

“I don’t mind.”

He smiled. “You really are something, Johana.” He lifted the books. “Please lead me.”

He followed Johana out of his ship, sticking close to her even as he studied his surroundings. He would have to retrieve samples after getting to further know her. They seemed to pale in comparison to his discovery of her and he didn’t want to pass up the opportunity to ask her more questions. He wondered if she had even heard of Freg, if her family had ever had a detailed list of their ancestors. He wondered if Freg had died after coming to Earth or if perhaps he still lived out there somewhere. His kind had a very long lifespan if they got the chance to live it.

“How clever” he said as she pulled open her door that had appeared to him to just be ground “thanks, my home is underground”

“is that common for humans?”

“No, its one of the many ways I’m seen as weird but I love it. It’s just like a normal home on the inside”

“I think it’s amazing” she smiled and showed him inside. “you can set the books on my table” she gestured at it and he set them down “Is there a reason you choose to live differently from the other humans?”

“I’ve never felt like I belong anywhere. It’s just more comfortable to be out here by myself. I have friends but I just like being able to separate myself from everyone. I want to say what you’ve told me explains everything but my siblings don’t seem to feel the same way I do”

“Maybe you are just more alien than your siblings. Maybe they got nothing and you got quiet a bit. Any human should not have been able to see my ship and any human should have been picked up by the scan I did.”

“why wouldn’t it be the same?”

“kids don’t tend to inherit all the same traits from their parents and traits as far back in the family as Freg could be long gone by the time it reached your generation. His DNA has been watered down considerably though it is still there. “what else could I be able to do?”

“you should get reading. It will explain everything to you, I promise”

“Okay”

“I’m going to get my ship out of the way so an animal doesn’t hurt itself on it. Am I welcome to come back in when I’m done?”

“yes, I have a guest room. I’ll make sure it’s ready for someone to stay in”

“You are incredibly generous Johana. Thank you, I’ll be right back” Neek walked out and though Johana wanted to sit right down and read she made sure the guest room was ready. She didn’t often have anybody over that stayed for longer than a few hours so she didn’t often worry about it. It looked nice aside from being a bit dusty so she wet a rag and took care of that. She was surprised he still wasn’t back and considered going to check on him but she guessed he had traveled across the galaxy to get here so he could probably take care of himself.

She grabbed the oldest looking of the books, letting her fingers trace the spine and the beautiful designs engraved in the leather of the cover. It was an incredible shade of pastel red and had an emblem she didn’t recognize. “That’s your family crest.” Neek’s voice startled her and she felt a little embarrassed she had not heard him enter. “Sorry, I didn’t mean to startle you.”

“It’s okay, I was so engrossed in just looking at the cover I didn’t hear you.”

He smiled as he took a seat next to her. “That’s the beginning of your family history on Freg’s side. It even has lists of people who served in the military, those who were criminals, heroes, when they were born and when they died.”

She gently opened the book and went to the first page, letting her eyes read the beginning of her ancestors. Her eyes widened when she made it to the first name and the date of birth and death beneath it. “This says Amrel died when he was almost two hundred, that has to be an exaggeration.”

“Far from it, they have very long lives.”

“why didn’t we inherit a longer lifespan?”

“I’m not sure. On my way over here I was wondering if maybe he was still alive, hiding somewhere here. If I could find and talk to him a lot of things would be cleared up. For all I know he’s just hiding it. Like, do people in your line tend to vanish once they start getting older?’

“Um, I remember my grandfather traveling a lot before he died. I mean, now that I think about it we never went to his funeral. My father told me it was because there was some mix up in Peru where he was at the time and he was cremated. ”

“Interesting, there really isn’t any reason you and your ancestors shouldn’t have inherited the long lifespan. I don’t think it’s been long enough in the line but this is new to me in general. We don’t know much about humans so maybe it’s all a coincidence with your grandfather and there was actually a mix up. Now that I know he could be here I can make my ship look for him. We have amazing scanners but they have to be set up properly”

“why would they just leave us instead of telling us the truth?”

“I’d hate to guess and make you think something that wasn’t true. Hopefully I can find him here”

“when are you going to start looking?”

“after you’ve read those books. Meeting him will go a lot better if you understand him and where he came from”

“May I ask you another question?”

“anything”

“even though he found love here why wouldn’t he take her home with him? Why would he stay here?”

“As I said a war wiped out all of his kind except for him. Maybe he was scared to take her. Those werent’ the only two planets waring with eachother and this part of the galaxy is far more peaceful. He probably wanted to keep his love safe and going back to his planet would have been lonely anyway since he was the only one left”

“That’s so sad. I can’t imagine losing everyone I’ve ever known, he must be incredibly strong to have continued living.”

“He was and intelligent and he had a big heart.”

“You admire him.”

“I do.”

“If it turns out he is still alive, I would love to search for my grandfather and ask him why he left. He was a good man, he must have had a good reason.”

“If you like, I can offer you assistance.”

“You must be busy. I mean I can’t be the only person you’re interested in.” He cocked his head to the side in question and she blushed. “Not interested in like you know as a person, I mean from a scientific perspective.”

“I made you blush again, how cute.”

He chuckled then continued “I have forever to study this world. My species doesn’t die of old age. We are of course vulnerable to sickness, being stabbed, things of that nature but as long as I keep myself safe here I have eternity to learn all there is to know about this place for my people. You are more than I could have ever hoped to find here Johana. Now that I’ve met you all I care about is learning about you and what became of Freg, I will still study earth and send notes back to my people but you and your family are my main concern. I need to ask you a favor though”

“hm?”

“Do not tell anybody what I am or why I’m here. I want the humans to act normal around me. You can’t properly study things that know they are being studied”

“Thats no problem, I pretty much figured this was not something to talk about with other people. Honestly, nobody would believe me anyway”

“why?”

“Because a lot of people claim to have met aliens and they are considered crazy”

“Interesting, I mean, people could be visiting from other galaxies”

“So how crowded is your planet? I have to ask since my own is pretty crowded and our life expectancy is about one hundred years”

“children aren’t all planned here then” he pulled out a small notebook, writing for a few moments before saying “We only make children if some of us die. Things really would spin out of control otherwise I guess. We’re very peaceful so war doesnt wipe us out, only studiers of worlds, like myself get sick and while we crave knowledge it isn’t a popular job because of all the risks it entails. We don’t tend to die” She wanted to ask how they ensure children only happen if planned but she knew that would probably take an awkward turn.

“thanks for being so open and honest with me” she decided to go with. “you’re welcome, thank you for opening your home. It’ll be nice to have a friend here.”

So, do you have any siblings? Brothers? Sisters?”

“No, it’s just me and it probably will be for awhile.”

“I think if I ever have children, I’d want a couple, maybe more and there’s no way I’d wait hundreds of years. Being so far apart, they wouldn’t ever get to know each other. I don’t think even an alien leader could tell me otherwise.”

He chuckled. “How stubborn, it’s amazing. I don’t think I’ve ever known someone like you. I wonder if Freg was this way, if he carved his own path? I’ve read many stories about him, about his heroism, his intelligence, about his military history, but I wonder if some of who he was as a person rubbed off on you.”

“I hope so. It’s nice knowing I’m not the only freak in the family.”

“Freak?”

“You know, someone that others find strange or weird and tend to avoid or look at like they’re crazy. I don’t have many friends because of how I am.”

Neek reached over and rested his hand on hers. “You are perfect the way you are.”

He chuckled happily when he caused her to turn red again. He wondered if all humans were this adorable. Even if she wasn’t related to Freg he would still want to be around her. It wasn’t long before she was in her bedroom reading and he was in the guest room. He originally intended to go to sleep but he couldn’t and wound up back outside of her home. If he couldn’t sleep and his human companion was down for the night he may aswell take some samples of where he was and send it home. He was surprised how much he was thinking about her as he put small samples in vials and labeled them. Normally his work would consume him but her red face and beautiful voice resonated in his thoughts.

Chapter Three

Johana was surprised at how quiet her home was when she came out to get a drink of water. She didn’t know why she expected him to be up studying everything. She decided to check on him and was even more surprised to find him gone. She checked the time and became worried that he might be out alone at night. The area where she lived had plenty of wildlife and if he wasn’t careful he could very easily walk up on a bear or be stalked by a mountain lion. She grabbed her jacket and went outside, whistling for her crow. The large black bird came swooping out of the night and she held out his arm so he perched there. “Hello boy, I need you to help me with something. You saw the man who came here with me, can you find him?” He cawed and flew off and she followed him, wanting to make sure Neek was okay.

She found him by a pond where he was gathering water samples and humming to himself. Her crow cawed as it dropped down to perch on her shoulder and he turned, giving her a happy smile. “What are you doing up?” He asked.

“You were gone, I didn’t want you getting attacked by something.”

His smile widened. “How sweet of you, but there’s no reason to worry, I have ways of protecting myself if the need arises.”

“Oh, I just thought you might not know about them.”

“I did my research. There are a lot of animals here that are similar to those on other planets.” He closed the vial of water and wrote something on it. “I’ll come back now, I just wanted a few samples.” His eyes moved to the bird on her shoulder. “What a beautiful animal. May I touch him?”

As he asked the crow came right to him which surprised Johana “wow, I’m normally the only one he likes. I didn’t even have to try to coax him over”

“My kind is good with animals. He also can understand me when I talk. I’m actually speaking my own language and when you talk i hear you as if you’re speaking mine. It works like that for my people no matter who or what we’re talking to. I understand the crow and the crow understands me”

“wow”

“I will still misunderstand some things though. If we do not have something, like how I turn you red theres nothing for my mind to compare it to so it wont get translated if that makes sense”

“it does”

“what’re you to Johana?” he asked the crow and it began to speak to him “he is incredibly fond of you Joahana. You are like family to him”

“I’m glad, I care about him a lot. So all animals talk?

“if a species makes vocal noise they talk, it’s just a matter of if you can understand them.”

“I’m envious of your gift Neek”

“You shouldn’t be, you have your own and they make you beautifully unique.” Her blush had him chuckling. “Now that I know what your red cheeks mean, I want to do it all the time.”

“How mean.” She replied in her embarrassment.

“It’s interesting how contradictory you are. Are all humans this way? You say it’s mean, but really you are just shy.”

“Sometimes and then other times it means you’re actually being cruel.”

“Am I being cruel?”

“Not at all, it’s just the way you say things, you really mean it, you’re so honest.”

“But you like it.”

“I do.”

“Good, let’s get you home then, I promise to stay inside until you wake so you won’t worry.”

“Okay” they began walking and she continued talking “I’ve already read pretty far into the first book. I think I’ll make myself get some sleep now but I can’t wait to read more”

“do you have any more questions so far?”

“I think I’ll finish it before I ask. Some of the things that confused me I read a little further and understood so I don’t want to ask you stupid questions”

“gathering knowledge is never stupid. Questions are always welcome. In the long run I’ll probably have far more for you to answer so please, don’t feel like asking me things would be stupid” They made a stop at his ship so he could send what samples he had on him away then went right back inside. “goodnight again Johana, next time I want to leave in the night I’ll tell you. It makes me happy you cared enough to wonder where I was”

“Well, you’re my guest, I feel like you’re somehow my responsibility.”

“You have such brightness in you, Johana, you’re kindness is something to be admired.” He reached out and tucked a little hair behind her ear, letting his fingers gently brush her cheek to feel the heat there. “Sweet dreams, I’ll see you in the morning.”

“Sw…sweet dreams, Neek.” She said softly then turned and went back to her room. Her heart was beating so fast she feared it might burst. She had never known anyone like him. No one had been that interested in her and even if it was for research she enjoyed his attention. She pulled off her shoes and jacket then changed into one of her night shirts and flopped down on the bed, burying her face in her pillow.

In the morning when she came out of her room to brew coffee she found him half under her sink “Neek?”

“Johana, good morning” he said as he came out “sorry, I was reading these canisters you have under here”

“My cleaners?”

“Yes, interesting. Why do you humans use such harmful things to clean your homes?”

“I dont know, I guess because my mother did before me and so on”

“Hm” he took his book off the table and began writing. He seemed pretty engrossed in it so she just went ahead and started getting her coffee pot ready. It was half done when he asked “so what is that you’re doing?”

“Making coffee, it’s a drink I really like. A lot of humans drink this actually.”

“whats it made from?”

“special beans”

“oh, we drink many things made from beans on my planets”

“Hopefully you like this. I drink it black normally but I have cream and sugar if you need it. For whatever reason on my period I need cream and sugar” He smiled “intersting”

“Not that I’m into deep conversations about my period but I’ surprised you didn’t ask what that was”

“Oh, well, I hope it doesn’t upset you but I was very curious about the what I now know is a laptop and I started using it. I like you quite a bit so eventually I started using it to learn about human women. It seems this laptop as its called will make learning about humans tremendously easier”

“How long have you been up?”

“we only sleep about four hours’

“wow”

“do you normally sleep nine?”

“yeah but some humans sleep as little as six” the coffee finished and she poured him a cup. “i like this, thank you”

“are you hungry?”

“yes”

“I’ll make you breakfast”

“okay, do you mind if I go check my ship to make sure nothing was sent to me?

“Go right ahead, cooking will take me awhile” Neek hugged her then noticed upon letting go how confused she looked “friends hug, yes?” she smiled back “yeah”

“Please tell me if I ever make you feel uncomfortable.” She nodded and waited until he had left to let out the breath she had been holding. He had such an effect on her and her cheeks were red again. She pulled out the ingredients she would need then got to cooking, thoughts of him constantly distracting her. It was so strange meeting him. It wasn’t unusual for her to take walks in the evening, but there had been a feeling in the air, almost like an echo and now he was here. She believed the universe had wanted them to meet.

Neek was excited to see that he had been sent a couple of more things concerning Freg, one of which was a picture of him. It was the last that had been taken and he wondered if the man had changed or if he still looked the same. He wondered how life on Earth had effected him. The other was a war medal with a note attached saying it was for his descendant, that she was the owner of all things left of him. He smiled, hoping Johana would be happy to see it.

He carried the things he received back home to her, the wonderful smell of pancakes and sausage filling his nose “I’m back Johana” he said pleasantly “hi, what are you carrying?” He held the medal up so she could see it better “This war medal belonged to your ancestor Freg. I’m happy to have something other than my word to give you so that you can see how brave he was”

“when I’m done cooking may I hold it?”

“Yes, in fact I received a message that says everything that belongs to him is now yours so you can do anything you want with his medal” Neek sat down and continued talking “that smells incredibly good Johana. Is that pork and pancakes?”

“yeah, more stuff you learned on my laptop?”

“yes”

She giggled. “And you say I’m cute, just look at you.”

“Me? What did I do?”

“It’s your enthusiasm, it’s actually quite adorable.”

He seemed to think about this. “I’ve never considered it that way. I just can’t help myself, your world is truly fascinating. I can’t wait to see more, to learn more, especially about you.”

She blushed and he grinned. “Oh stop, I can’t help it.”

“But I like it so much, I find myself wanting to say outrageous things just to see them effect you.”

“Such a bad boy.”

“Bad boy?”

“It’s like the cool kid in school who also has this sort of rebellious nature, it tends to attract people. Like oh how mysterious and brooding he is. I was making a joke because you’re the exact opposite.”

“Oh.”

“I think the more time you spend here, the more Earth humor will make sense.”

She served breakfast then picked up the medal “This is pretty cool. I might hang it on one of my walls”

“If you tell me what to do I’ll help”

“alright” she tried to pretend like she wasnt watching and waiting for him to try her food but something told her he knew and was smiling at how adorable he seemed to think she was. “Very good, I like this. I’m already seeing things that kept Freg here” She felt comfortable enough now to enjoy her own food and soon they were done and hanging up Fregs medal. “I don’t know how I’d explain this to family but I just really want it on the wall”

“speaking of family are you ready to board my ship so we can search for Freg? If he’s here my ship will find him”

“yeah, just let me change out of my pajamas” He waited patiently for her to come back out, grinning at her again once she came back. “You always look so happy”

“I have you as a companion, why wouldn’t I be happy?” she blushed again, cursing in her head but she did like the way his face lit up when he made her blush. They boarded his ship and he started typing something into what looked like a large computer. “so this is how you so easily worked my laptop”

“yep, your laptop is incredibly simple”

“we’re behind the times in electronics huh?”

“You are just new in comparison to most planets” she let him continue what he was doing in silence. She didn’t want to bother him and make him change his mind about sticking around her. “there we go. I have to sit at the controls but you may do and look at whatever you wish. Just for your own safety please don’t touch anything. I don’t know enough about your human body to know whats all safe for you on here”

“Okay”

Chapter Four

Johana didn’t even realize they were off the ground until she looked out the window. There was no dip in her stomach like when you would ride an elevator or a plane, the takeoff was much smoother. She watched as the world zoomed by for a few minutes, amazed that she was actually flying on an alien ship. “This is so cool.” The sound of amazement had Neek smiling. Johana wandered away from the window to look through the ship. She had only seen the room where she was scanned before, but now she could actually explore this amazing piece of technology. He had some many wonderful things and she did her best to take it all in. Her favorite room was the nursery and all the different plants he had growing there. She wondered if these were all from samples or if they were from his home world. She wanted dearly to bury her nose in the petals of some of the flowers, but she wasn’t sure if they were toxic or not and decided it would be safer to wait until Neek could actually show her. She made her way from room to room, staying out of his when she found it. She knew he had said she could do what she pleased, but she wanted to give him his privacy.

Johana was happy when she could hear him walking toward her “Enjoying yourself? The ship is fine for now but I will have to check the controls every now and then”

“How will we know if it finds Freg?”

“it will tell me. Was there anything you wanted to touch? Now that I can follow you you don’t have to be so restricted”

“You seem a bit tense”

“I do not like the thought of anything on my ship hurting you which is odd. Not that I like hurting people but normally my need for knowledge would have me excited about you roaming around here so that I could know how the human body reacts to my plants and things like that. I have things from home here so it’s not so..so lonely I guess, I can come aboard here if I need to to have a piece of my home…anyway…I wish I had a different human to touch things before you did…my relationship with you is more than just curiosity. I truly consider you my friend Johana.”

“I don’t have to touch anything but I’d love for you to tell me about some of the stuff on here”

“Anything you wish.”

Johana smiled and he felt his heart stutter. She slipped her hand in his, the warmth of her skin sending a shock through him. “I want to see the flowers.” She said as she pulled him and he followed her to the nursery. “Tell me where you got them.”

“All of them?”

“Yes, I want to know about each one. They must all have stories.”

He chuckled. “I love that about you, your curiosity, it one of my favorite things already.” She blushed and he grinned. “That of course is the other.”

“Um, the flowers.”

“Oh yes, sorry.”

They walked back to where the flowers were and he began talking to her about each and every one. He loved how genuinely interested she seemed in his planet. When he was done talking to her about the flowers he said “I never showed you the picture I received of him. Would you like to see it Johana?”

“sure” he unfolded it from his pocket and handed it to her. “Hm” she said as she stared at it. “Hm?”

“Maybe it’s just family resemblance but I feel like I’ve seen him before”

“Maybe he’s checked on you. I’m sure he cares about you”

“really?”

“I really think the only reason he would have stayed away at all was the inability to explain he was an alien and thats why he didn’t die”

“I wonder if the woman he fell in love with knew”

“Perhaps, Freg was an honest man, but even if he had kept it to himself, she would have noticed a few strange quirks. He probably would have been a lot like me on his first visit here. There is also the matter of his gifts. I am sure he would have effected things around him.”

“You mean the telekinesis?”

“Not just that, but yes. Perhaps he caught something without actually touching it, or saved his children from harm without ever putting a hand on them to do so. He was a soldier and the books say he could do things that others only imagined doing. He was incredibly gifted.”

“I wish he would have stayed. At least I wouldn’t have felt so alone.”

“I’m sure once he sees you, he’ll wish to know you. Who wouldn’t?”

She smiled. “You really are sweet.”

“I’m just incredibly fond of you Johana. Her heart stuttered and she looked away “No, don’t do that. I can’t see you turn red as clearly” He took her hand this time and pulled her into another room of his ship. When he had to go back to his controls Johana sat on the floor beside him “can I ask you a question?”

“always”

“do all aliens look like we do? I mean Freg must have and you do and you two are from different planets”

“Fregs race actually does but this isn’t what I look like” He felt nervous telling her that but just like Freg he was an honest man. “what do you mean”

“You know how I have the neat trick of speaking and being understood in whatever language the being I’m speaking to speaks?”

“yeah”

“well I can also look like any other race I want to….I doubt without it we could so easily study other beings…as i said….nothing acts like it normally does if it knows its being watched”

“that makes sense” she started then asked a bit nervously out of worry it was stepping over some boundary to ask “may I see what you really look like Neek?” Neek stepped away from the controls and walked over to her, offering his hand to help her up. She took it and that same shock of warmth hit him, a warmth he didn’t like the thought of scaring away. “To be honest its a little more than blending in. My race isn’t a very attractive one. I could scare you Johana”

“Nothing scares me”

“I will show you but only if you’re sure you want to see while you’re stuck in this ship with me”

“Neek, I want to see and it wont upset me”

“Then because I care for you I will let you truly know what you’re allowing in your company” She felt bad at how nervous he seemed. She wondered how many species had had a bad reaction to them. “could you close your eyes?”

“of course” she said and closed them. With those beautiful green eyes closed it was easier to make himself shift back into what he really was. It took him a few moments after changing back to actually tell her to open her eyes. He could’ve cried when she didn’t seem afraid in the slightest. She simply said “No wonder you’re such a tall human. You’re pretty big. I’m not even sure how that even works out.” he smiled and she asked “could I touch you?” visually it was hard to tell if he had skin or fur by the way it looked. It seemed like some sort of hybrid of both. “yeah, it’s okay” She felt him and said “Oh my god you’re the softest thing ever!” She hugged him, unable to help herself from rubbing her face against him. He smiled, actually shedding a few tears. This would be the first recording of a pleasant first reaction to a being seeing what they really were.

Seeing him for what he was also explained why this ship was so massive, it had to be if he didn’t make himself smaller as he had when he made himself look human. Still holding him she asked “I want to know what your language sounds like too if that’s okay? Can you turn off whatever translates?”

“really?”

“I just feel so close to you and while we’re getting this personal I want to know what your language sounds like” he mentally turned it off and said something he had been feeling but was only brave enough to speak on when she couldn’t understand “I’m falling in love with you”

“sounds really cool” he flipped the mental switch back so she could understand him. He wanted to change back so her image of him wouldn’t be so seared with this grotesque looking body he was born in but she was still holding him and his desire to look like a human again didn’t outweigh his enjoyment of her being close. It was only a few moments later when the ship said “Freg located”

“I have to land” he said softly and she let him go.

He took the opportunity to change back to his human form and he couldn’t help but catch the look of disappointment on her face. “So, he’s really here?”

“That’s what my scans say.”

“I’m a little nervous, what if he doesn’t like me?”

“That’s impossible, you’re perfect.”

“Oh stop, that’s not true.”

“It is, you’re the most amazing woman in any galaxy on any world and even if he doesn’t like you, you will still have me.”

Chapter Five

She could tell he meant every word of that and it touched her, warming her heart and filling her with butterflies. They soon landed and Neek showed her how to get the ramp to come out “I don’t know why I wouldn’t be able to do this for you but if you are going to travel on my ship you should know how to get off” Johana was a bundle of nerves as she walked off with him. “How will we find him now?” she asked, looking around to find they were in some sort of mountain area. He pulled something out “this will guide me to where the ship found him. He’s close”

They soon found one of the largest houses she had ever seen. It seemed so out of place since nothing else was around here. “He’s in there Johana, are you ready?”

“as ready as I’ll ever be…I wonder why he has such a big home” Neek hoped his hunch was right and that maybe his descendants did live as long as his kind did and that when they got too old he brought them here. He hoped it with all he was because he never wanted Johana to die. He was growing far too attached to her. Neek knocked for her since she was so nervous and soon a woman answered who apparently knew who Johana was “Oh Johana, sweetheart. You’re here” realization dawned on the woman “how..” she trailed off looking at Neek “Hm, you’re from Krawnum right, you are why shes here already”

“Yes, I’m the first to be assigned to earth. I met Johana as soon as I arrived”

“come in, Freg will be so happy” when the woman left her in the living room Johana said “she knew me”

“Like I said, knowing Freg he loves you very much and has probably checked in on you” Freg was soon in the room “Oh Johana, look how beautiful you’ve become”

“How do you all know me. Neek says I’m descended from you but I didn’t realize we had met”

“It’s a long story, normally I’ve been much more involved but…eh…before I continue how close are you to your mother? I don’t want to make you mad”

“Not very, I love her because shes my mom but we don’t hangout much now that I’m an adult. We didn’t even hangout when I was a child if I could help it once she and dad got divorced” Freg sighed “well we all had a bit of a falling out. It all started because against my advisement your father waited to tell her he was of alien lineage until they were trying to have kids since obviously, she was going to find out. Now I will admit that was wrong of him. I told him and told him to tell her. I honestly think it should be talked about before marriage even happens but we can’t go back now. At first she didn’t believe him and actually got your father committed to a mental institution for awhile. It pissed me off and I tried to help by showing her some things but she flew off the handle making all sorts of wild accusations and just to be blunt being crazy in general. I know it can be a hard thing to take in but her reaction was to be a nightmare for awhile”

He sighed “well eventually they reconciled and he denied who he was to get out of the looney bin. They had you three wonderful kids but there was another big falling out when you were four and through her friends at the police department theres actually restraining orders against me and the rest of the people in this house. It broke my heart Johana…especially when I got so hopeful after the divorce that your father would mend the relationship. He didn’t come to me so I decided to go to him. I told him we could forget everything and be a family but he had no interest. He blames me for how things turned out with his wife. It doesnt make sense to me but theres nothing I could do. They worked your laws to prohibit me from your life. I dont know what they were planning on telling you guys when you didnt age so you’d have to ask your parents but…I love you Johana and I hope you aren’t angry. I honestly don’t know how I could have handled things better. Your mother just…”

“shes a bitch” Johana finished. Freg nodded “trying to be polite since she is your mother”

Johana wrapped him in a tight hug. “I’m sorry, if I had known earlier, I would have let both of them have it.”

Freg hugged her back, looking ready to cry with his happiness. “Perhaps some day, your father will come and see us.”

“I’ll make him, there’s no reason for him to be a jerk to you, it’s not okay just because mom freaked out.” She raised her head. “What about grandpa, is he still alive?”

Freg nodded. “He wrote us about a month ago asking how things were going. I couldn’t lie to him, but I told him not to worry about it, that things would work out in their own time.”

“I’m surprised he listened, I remember him being kind of stubborn.”

“He is, but everyone seems to listen to me so he’s held off. Now that you know, I’m sure he’ll come back.” He turned his attention to Neek. “Thank you for bringing her.”

“It’s an honor to meet you, sir, everyone back home will be ecstatic to know you still live and that you have a family.”

“Is Jaen still the leader of your planet?”

“Yes.”

“I’m surprised he hasn’t handed off leadership to his son.”

“After what happened to your planet, he decided not too in case an attack came our way. It’s been a long time, part of me thinks he forgot and his son doesn’t seem to mind.”

“are you excited to have an assignment?”

“Yes and I’m really glad it was here. I have found you still live and honestly I really enjoy Johana’s company. I don’t know if I will ever have a desire to leave this planet now that I know her” he said a bit nervously. “well you two are welcome here anytime and Johana, when you get too old and the humans grow suspicious you can live here or I can figure something else out for you”

“Thank you”

“would you two at least stay for dinner, please? It has been so long since I’ve been able to see you Johana. To be honest I’ve popped up in your life in little ways very discretely but I can actually spend time with you now”

“I’d love to, are you going to stay Neek?’

“Yes” They had dinner and Johana greatly enjoyed getting to know the generations that came before her that were staying there. She didn’t understand at all her father not wanting to be a part of this any longer. That night she was shown a room and Neek started to leave to sleep on his ship. “You don’t have to Neek” Freg said “Oh no, it’s fine, I can get some work done just…could someone make sure to come get me when she wakes up” Freg smiled knowingly “you care about her as more than a friend don’t you Neek”

“it’s obvious?”

“very, you should say something”

“I’ve only known her a few days”

“so?”

“shes seen what I really look like. She had a good reaction but being my friend and dating soemthing that looks like my race does are two very different things. I mean, we barely breed outside our own race for a reason, most others wont have us…I’m sure you remember how big and ugly we are”

“I doubt Johana cares”

“I don’t know…in time…I’m not ready yet”

“alright” He went outside and started writing down notes to send back home to be properly filed. Afterwards he looked at the time and came to the sad realization she’d probably still be sleeping for another six or seven hours. He went ahead and turned in for the night since that would move the time another four hours. Once he was up again he used the time to study and take samples of the mountains they were in. His heart nearly leaped out of his chest with happiness when he heard Johana call his name “good morning Neek” she said, hugging him tightly “good morning Johana”

“what’re you doing?”

“getting work done while you rest. I’m happy to see you’re up now”

“breakfast is being made”

“Then I will happily join” she took him by the hand, that little gesture once again causing great feeling to course through him. They hungout the remainder of the day before they both decided they should be going back to her home. Johana was beside herself with need to reprimand her parents for robbing her of knowing these people. All those years she felt like she didn’t belong and they just let her feel like an outcast. They could have told her at any moment and they kept Freg a secret.

When Neek could let the ship fly on it’s own he said “so we never talked about how I really look”

“what’s there to talk about?’

“Johana”

“I’m serious, I actually like how soft you are” he smiled “really?”

“yeah, you can drop whatever you do to make yourself look human any time around me. I like you no matter what you look like Neek” emotion tore through him but he kept himself from crying. Johana accepted him, she truly accepted him. He took her in his arms and held her close. She didn’t object and it felt so incredible to hold her he kept her in his arms up until he had to land his ship again.

“I was wondering if maybe you wouldn’t mind coming with me to talk to my father.” Johana said when they were finally off the ship.

“If that’s what you want. Where does he live?”

“In town, but we don’t need the ship, I actually have a jeep.”

“Okay.” He hadn’t noticed a vehicle when he arrived and it was soon made apparent when pulled away the tarp that was covering it. The color had helped it blend into the surrounding area. “That was surprising.”

“If I don’t cover it and it rains or snows, it’ll mess up the interior.”

“I see.”

“The ride’s a little bumpy, nothing like how your ship is, I hope that’s okay.”

“Anything is fine when I’m with you.”

Her cheeks reddened, but she smiled instead of ducking her head. “Then stop worrying so much about your appearance, you’re perfect the way you are.” His heart danced in his chest as he climbed in next her and he didn’t even notice the bumps on the road as he thought of how he would tell her how he felt. It was the first time he had been genuinely scared to be honest with someone.

It was a long trip into town so she had to get gas as soon as they arrived but then they were off to her fathers which turned out to not be much farther than the place she stopped to fill up her car. “Hey baby, what’s up? Who is this?”

“can we come in?”

“Of course” they walked into his living room “I’m going to cut to the chase. This is Neek, I met him as soon as he arrived on earth. You heard right, arrived on earth, hes an alien. He figured out pretty quick that I’m not human and he has taken me to see Freg and the rest of the family. Dad…I am so angry at you for keeping them from me. You know how weird I felt, how I felt I didn’t belong. You let me feel like a freak instead of fessing up about our family. That really hurts dad but whats worse is you pushing them away because moms a bitch. I’m sorry and no those were not Fregs words so dont get even more angry with him but mom is a selfish bitch and shes the one who wrecked our family, not Freg. You need to make up with him dad and you need to tell him you’re sorry”

Chapter Six

“Johana, you don’t understand.”

“Stop treating me like a child. I was so alone as a kid, you should have told me I wasn’t some sort of freak.”

“I just wanted to protect you.”

“Why because mom was horrible and had you committed? Because you couldn’t just stand up to her and tell her you weren’t going to be pushed around and bullied into lying? I’m your daughter and Freg is family. Mom tried to make us into something we aren’t because she’s selfish. I’m not a freak and neither are you, so stop being a jerk to the people who love you and apologize.”

Johana could see her reprimanding had hurt him. She had never raised her voice to him or shown him disappointment and the look he was giving her was heartbreaking. “I’m sorry.”

“Daddy, please, for me, tell Freg you didn’t mean it and have the restraining order dropped. You even had grandpa ready to come home and tell you off so please.”

He tilted his head down in shame “I’m sorry Johana…okay…I’ll go see Freg and the family and apologize…I’m sorry for how all this hurt you…I didn’t think about how it would affect you I guess. Your mother just made me feel like what we were was bad…”

“I can’t stand her”

“she’s your mother”

“all she thinks about is herself. I’m not even sure if she loves us” he sighed and pulled her in for a hug “well I love you and I’m happy you’ve met this Neek. Where are you from?”

“Krawnum”

“ahhh, so you’re here for knowledge”

“yes, earth is my very first assignment”

“welcome, it’s an interesting place, thats for sure”

“I can take you to Freg if you’d like”

“No, I have my ways of getting there so it’s okay”

“I love you dad” Johana interjected. “I love you too pumpkin”

“we’ll go ahead and go but you better call me tomorrow”

“I’ll do better and come over to see you” Neek and Johana started back home in her car. Once they were home he said “you got so upset. I could hold you again to bring you comfort”

“Thats really sweet, thank you. I’d like that. You could let yourself be in your true form if you want. You’re so soft that way” he got an uncomfortable look on his face and she sighed “theres nothing wrong with the way you actually look Neek, at least not to me”

“okay but I cant be me in your house. I’m too big”

“I didn’t even think about that. Okay, well anytime you want to be you we can hangout in your ship” he smiled and followed her into the living room where she turned on a movie and they cuddled up to eachother.

Half way through the movie Johana started to doze off and found herself blinking in hopes she would stay awake. She was enjoying being with Neek and still had so much to think about with her family and herself. She wasn’t the freak anymore, but part of a whole that loved her. “Hey, you should get to bed.” Neek said and she shook her head. “Why not?”

“Because I want to stay with you.”

He felt his heart beat quicken. “Really?”

“Yeah, so can we go on your ship? You can be you and I can sleep next to you.”

“I think someone is half asleep.”

“I know what I’m saying, so please? You’re so warm and soft.”

“Okay, if that’s truly what you want.”

“It is, I know you’re a good guy so I’m not worried.”

“Alright.” He stood and gently lifted her, enjoying the way she snuggled up to him. He took her out and onto his ship and found her something comfortable to wear. He felt so nervous as he waited for her to change.

“You still haven’t changed.” She said when she came out the bathroom and got under the covers. “Come on and no secretly changing back while I’m sleeping.”

He swallowed, still not understanding how shed want to be so near him when there was nothing to hide what he really looked like. He had read so many recordings of horrible reactions. He had been warned so many times not to scare creatures of other planets by revealing what he looked like and here the most beautiful creature he had ever seen wanted him near her and she wanted him to look like himself. He morphed back into what he truly looked like and changed into something more comfortable before getting in bed with her, feeling a little afraid she’d come to her senses and run away, back into the safety of her home.

She cuddled right up to him and said in an absolutely content voice “Oh my gosh, it’s ridiculous how soft and warm you are” his lip trembled softly as he wrapped his arms around her “goodnight Johana”

“Goodnigth Neek” she shifted a little against him and was soon sound asleep. “I’m so happy I came here and found a treasure like you Johana: he whispered as a few tears fell into her hair. He followed her into sleep, basking in how incredible it felt to cuddle with someone.

The next morning she woke feeling completely refreshed and let out a contented sigh. Neek was sound asleep and she slowly propped herself up so she could look at him. She didn’t understand why he thought he was ugly when it was the exact opposite. She let her fingers slide over his cheek and down across his chin. He let out a little groan and she felt herself blush when he opened his eyes. “Johana? Are you alright?”

“F…fine.”

He looked confused. “Is it me? Should I turn back?”

“No.” She said loudly, feeling embarrassed to the point that she buried her face in her hands to hide how red her face was.

“Johana, what’s wrong?”

“I was just watching you and I wanted to touch you so I did. I didn’t mean to wake you.”

“Touch me?”

“Just your face.”

He gently pulled the covers away from her face and tipped her head back. Her entire face was adorably red. “But why?”

“I just..well…I think you’re handsome, both ways.” He didn’t see how but he was incredibly touched. He asked a question before his mind could catch up and stop him, he had just wanted to do it so badly “may I kiss you Johana” her red face got even darker and he smiled “yes” she answered so he slowly moved in to kiss her. All thoughts ceased the second their lips met. It was his first kiss though he’d be embarrassed to admit that to her. Back on his planet he had been so preoccupied with becoming a traveler he hadnt had a second thought when it came to relationships.

When they stopped he hugged her again “Johana” she thought he was an adorable kisser. He was so cautious and awkward and she wondered if it was because he was in his natural form or if maybe she was his first kiss. Not like she had kissed that many men but he was still precious to her. He had such an amazing heart. ‘I love you Johana” that kiss had given him the confidence to tell her how he felt. “I love you too”

“May I keep you?”

“Keep me?”

“I want you to be with me always”

“I’d like that a lot. I think I’ll talk to Freg and see if we can build a house you can fit in. Maybe we can live closer to him”

“You truly like me this way it seems”

“I can definitly get used to how soft you are, especially at night. Thats the best sleep I’ve probably ever gotten. You kept me so warm too” he chuckled happily “your father is coming today but I’ll take us back to Freg when he leaves.”

“I just want to stay here all day.”

“I know, but we shouldn’t be rude right?”

She smiled as she pressed another kiss against his lips then got up, stretching. He found himself wanting to pull her back, to keep her close and touch her. She looked over her shoulder, smiling. “Come on then.”

“Oh, yes, sorry.” He felt so awkward in that moment and her giggling only made it worse. He now knew what embarrassment felt like and he had never been so thankful he couldn’t blush. He took a quick shower while she waited and came out of the bathroom dressed and in his human form.

“So handsome.” She said as she straightened the collar on his shirt. “And I mean both faces.”

“Thank you, Johana. Would you like to bathe here or at your place.”

“My clothes are at my place.”

“Oh, right.”

“Don’t worry, I’m sure Freg can help us into a situation where we can stay in the same house where you can also fit” When they were back at her place he started studying her world through her laptop while she showered. She hadn’t even gotten out yet when her father knocked on the door “she’s showering”

“You’re staying here?”

“yes” he smiled “Freg said you were interested in her”

“yes sir, I actually asked her to be mine last night and she said yes”

“That’s good to hear. I know from my father what good souls your people have in general. I’d honestly prefer you over most human boys” Neek was happy her father approved. “while we wait could I ask you some things about her?”

“shoot”

“shoot?”

“sorry, I mean go ahead”

“what does she like? I want to give her something or possibly even make her something”

“Now that is something I’d gladly help with Neek” Her father filled Neeks head with ideas right up until she came out “Hey dad”

“I went to him last night and we worked it all out. I stayed there until this morning”

“good”

“are we cool now baby?”

“Of course we are” she hugged him and he said “You and Neek have any plans today?”

“I want to see if Freg will help me build a house that Neek can stay in as himself instead of masquerading as a human” He smiled “well then lets get to it. I’ll come too, I stayed away so long I kind of want to go back his way anyway” The three of them returned to Freg who was happy to construct them a home up where he lived “and this is even more discreet Neek so you don’t have to worry about being discovered here. I’d hate for someone to somehow stumble on your ship”

“Thank you Freg” They started doing what they needed to do that day and in the meantime they lived at Fregs. Both Johana and her father had so much to catch up on with them and Johana loved learning about Fregs planet. The books had been an amazing gift from Neek but hearing it straight from a man she was related to was exciting. The day their house was fully constructed and ready to live in Neek still couldn’t believe Johana actually wanted to be with him and that she was so accepting of what he really looked like she had wanted this house so he could be himself. Neek knew he still had a job to do here on earth but she was now his top priority. Neek vowed to himself that he was going to make her the happiest woman that ever existed.

~ The End

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