Arthur forced a smile as he took a seat at the table. “Dinner looks…great, Paula.” He nodded, meeting his wife’s enthusiastic eyes.
“Thanks, dear,” Paula said with a smile. “And thank you for letting me take the reigns on cooking the dinner tonight.”
Arhus silently wished he hadn’t, smiling with clenched teeth. “No problem.”
Glen poked at the…green looking mush. “Yeah, mom. It looks great.”
Spencer frowned with dissatisfaction. “This stuff looks like sh—ow!”
Arthur quickly moved his foot back from his daughter’s shin, tilting his head with a smile as he regarded his wife. “Looks like a work of art is what Spencer was about to say. Right, Sweetie?” He asked giving his daughter a meaningful look.
Spencer gave her mother a tight lipped grin. “Yes.” She discreetly rubbed at her aching leg under the table. “That’s exactly what I was gonna say, dad. A work of art.”
More like a work of toxic chemicals plastered together in an effort to look like something that might resemble food.
“Thank you.” Paula beamed, shifting in her seat as her shoulders lifted with pride. She raised a questioning eyebrow, suddenly noticing something out of place, or missing rather. “Where’s Ashley?”
“Oh,” Glen said. “Ashley told me she was feeling a little under the weather or something. After school, she went straight to her room.”
“Poor thing,” Arthur said as his face fell with concern. “Spencer, go check on her and see if she wants something to eat or drink.”
Spencer shook her head with a condescending smile. “Thanks, but I’ll pass.”
Paula narrowed her eyes. “Spencer. Go.”
Spencer scoffed, crossing her arms. “Why do I have to check on her? Why can’t Glen? I’m not her babysitter.”
“Because I said so,” Paula said with finality.
Spencer let out an exaggerated sigh before she marched upstairs. When she reached Ashley’s door she heard her talking to somebody. Not being one to pass up a chance for some good old eavesdropping, Spencer pressed her ear to the door and listened in.
Maybe she could get some dirt on Ashley to blackmail her with later on. Yes, Spencer was that vindictive and she had no regrets about it. She smirked, pushing in closer to the door.
Ashley settled into her seat, greeting her father with a lackluster smile and wave as he appeared in front of her.
“So, how’s it going with that Spencer girl?” Raife grinned.
Ashley could only sigh as she looked down at her hands with a forlorn expression.
Raife frowned. “Well, that’s never a good sign.” He studied his daughter with confused and sympathetic eyes. “What happened, my little Martian?”
Spencer’s body tensed. Did she just hear that right? Did he say Martian? What kind of nickname was that? Was this whole family full of freaks?
Ashley looked as if her puppy had been kicked. “I do not think Spencer likes me daddy.” She said, shaking her head mournfully.
Raife tilted his head in question. “What gives you that impression?”
“Well,” Ashley said slowly. “She calls me names, she slapped me, she constantly threatens to kill me, she made me run home instead of giving me a ride, she refused my gift to her, and she always glares at me,” Ashley said, ticking each item off on her fingers.
Raife shrugged with a small chuckle. “That is called love, my dear.”
“It is?” Ashley gave him a look of disbelief.
“Of course!” Raife said with a smile. “Your mother did all of those things to me before we eventually got together. These things just take time…and some physical pain.”
Ashley’s frown deepened. “So all these things she does to me are…out of love? She pretends to hate me, because she loves me?”
“Yes, exactly.” Raife nodded with a confident smirk.
Spencer’s jaw dropped. She couldn’t believe what she was hearing. What was going on? This all felt like some elaborate joke. “Love?” Spencer mouthed with a frown.
“I don’t know, daddy.” Ashley shook her head, rubbing at the back of her neck. “Maybe that’s the way it goes on the Planet Zygot, but love seems to work differently here on Earth.”
Planet Zygot? Spencer’s eyes went as wide as saucers. No way. Ashley couldn’t—no wait, yeah she totally could. Spencer held back a scream as resignation set in. Holy shit. Ashley’s an…she’s an--
“Alien!” Spencer said, barging into Ashley’s room. She pointed at the stunned brunette with accusatory eyes.
Ashley quickly turned off her cell phone, standing from her seat with alarm as she approached the visibly upset teen. “Spencer, what are you doing in-”
“Oh my God!” Spencer jumped back, almost tumbling on the floor. “You’re an Alien. Holy Fuck! Oh my God! They do exist! I can’t believe it!” She babbled cupping her head as her thoughts ran wild.
“Spencer,” Ashley said cautiously, holding out her hands. “Please, calm down.”
Spencer slapped her hands away, as she backed away. “Oh my God, I’m calling the cops!” She paused, thinking twice. “No! I’m calling the fucking FBI! Mulder and Scully are gonna get their asses down here!”
Spencer ran towards the door. Ashley sighed with a wince. Reaching her hand out she pinched Spencer’s neck and the blonde’s body went limp, falling to the floor in heap.
“Sorry,” Ashley said sheepishly.
Back at the dinner table, the Carlins wondered what was taking Spencer so long to come back downstairs.
“Spencer’s been up there an awfully long time…” Arthur trailed off with a worried expression. “You don’t think they’re fighting, do you?”
Glen perked up, lifting his hand. “Maybe I should go check on them.” He said, not because he was a good brother or anything, but more so because he desperately wanted to get as far as possible from this “dinner” Paula made.
“No.” Paula said sternly. “Maybe this is good. Maybe they’re bonding.”
“I don’t know about that.” Glen said, shaking his head. “Spencer’s probably beating the living crap out of Ashley. That or she’s killed her and hiding the body.” He cackled.
Arthur gave him a look. “Way to think positive, son. We’ve taught you well.”
“It’s quiet so I assume they’re talking through their issues. I believe they’re both capable of having a mature conversation.” Paula said with a nod as she took a sip of water. “Maybe Spencer’s finally coming around.”
Technically, Paula wasn’t wrong. Spencer was coming around…as in; waking up from the brief coma that Ashley had just put her in a moment ago.
Spencer groggily opened her eyes. “What just happened?” She rubbed at her eyes, attempting to get her vision right. “Why am I on your bed?”
“I had to knock you out.” Ashley said, hovering over the blonde with quiet concern. She watched Spencer with cautious eyes.
Spencer sat up slowly, frowning at the Alien. “What? Why?”
“You found out I’m a Martian.” Ashley said with a small shrug.
“Oh yeah that’s right.” Spencer said with a nod. Then, her eyes widened with surprise. She sputtered and yelled, “Oh my God you--”
Ashley covered Spencer’s mouth, pleading, “Please be quiet! You have to keep your voice down.”
Spencer shook her head, trying to break Ashley’s hold. She bit down hard on the Alien’s hand. Ashley merely giggled. Spencer couldn’t help but roll her eyes at the Alien.
“That felt funny.” Ashley said, smiling gently.
Spencer thrust her arms out against Ashley’s chest but the Alien hardly budged. Spencer tried to shove her once more, but Ashley’s strength was too much to overpower. She let out a groan of frustration.
“Spencer, please just let me explain,” Ashley said with pleading eyes as she held the blonde still. “Please? I’ll uncover your mouth if you promise to be quiet…deal?”
Spencer studied her for a moment and then nodded.
“Okay.” Ashley dropped her hand slowly.
“You’re a fucking alien.” Spencer hissed, waving her hand over Ashley in disbelief. “Y-You’re…you’re…an alien.”
Ashley nodded her head with a grin. “Well, we prefer for Earthlings to call us by our formal title ‘Martians’, but I’m sure there can be an exception to that rule given our current circumstances--”
“I don’t care!” Spencer let out a sharp breath. “I mean, I knew you were weird and all but a freaking Alien--”
“Whatever!” Spencer scowled with disdain. “The point is, you’re not from this planet and all those shows I watched about Martians and aliens were all true. I mean, I’m fucking talking to E.T. right now!”
Ashley’s face scrunched up with distaste. “We really hate that movie…”
“Holly hell.” Spencer sighed, ran her hands over her hair. “All of this makes so much sense now.” Her eyes trailed over Ashley’s face as if seeing her for the very first time. “No wonder you act the way you do.”
“I suppose that observation makes sense.” Ashley said with a nod.
Spencer took a few calming breaths, trying to take everything in. “Why um,” she began, swallowing hard. “Why are you here on Earth?” Spencer shook her head, wow that sounded weird.
Ashley gave Spencer a small smile. “To find true love,” she said.
Spencer’s eyebrows shot up. “True love?”
“Yes, that is what I just said.”
“I know but,” Spencer huffed out a small humorless laugh. “You traveled all the way down to Earth to find true love? I mean, why not try to find love on your planet?”
Ashley sighed forlornly. “Because my planet is very small. Everyone back home is like family to me. It would be like finding love with your cousin. I know some humans do that in the south, but--”
“Yeah,” Spencer held up a hand, nodding with a frown. “I get the picture.”
“Besides, I have already found my true love,” Ashley said with a shrug as a light coat of red painted her cheeks.
Spencer looked the Alien over suspiciously. “Who?”
A grin stretched across Ashley’s mouth. “I’m looking at her,” she said.
Spencer’s jaw unhinged. “Me?” Her eyes widened in shock.
“Well, yes.” Ashley said.
“No. No, no, no, no, no, no. You cannot be in love with me,” Spencer said shaking her head frantically. She leaned back slightly. “You barely know me, Ashley.”
“I know enough,” the Alien said, grinning brightly.
“Ashley. You do not love me, okay?” Spencer said, pointing at the Alien as if she were a puppy being chastised. “I’m not your true love. I’m just…not.”
“Yes.” Ashley smiled with a slow but sure nod. “You are, Spencer.”
“No, I’m not.”
“Yes, you are.”
Spencer scoffed. “No, I’m not!”
“Yes, you are!”
“Ashley. Listen to me carefully,” Spencer said sternly, looking Ashley straight in the eyes. “I’m not your true love. I can’t be.”
Ashley tilted her head in contemplation. “Why not?”
Spencer threw up her hands, letting out a frustrated sigh. “Because in order for true love to work the person you have feelings for should easily be able to recuperate those feelings.” She said carefully, trying to her message out loud and clear.
Ashley frowned, letting Spencer’s words to sink in. “Oh…” She said after a moment. That was a bit of an issue. Spencer didn’t lover her…well not yet at least. That would change over time though. Right?
“Yeah…” Spencer let out a breath. “So there.” She ran her hands over her jean-clad thighs. Spencer nodded once and rose to her feet, heading for the door. “I’m gonna go now.”
Ashley immediately zoomed over to her. “Where are you going?” Her face was full of worry and concern.
“Over to Madison’s house,” Spencer said, turning back to the door. She paused and turned back to Ashley, adding, “Don’t follow me.”
Ashley went to protest the blonde’s words, but the look on Spencer’s face told her not to try. She sighed in resignation. “Fine, but please do not tell Madison about me being a…you-know-what.”
“Oh totally.” Spencer nodded. “Gotcha.”
She told Madison as soon as they reached the cheerleader’s bedroom.
“No, way!” Madison said with wide eyes.
Spencer huffed out a laugh. “I know right?”
“That is so hot.”
Spencer gave her best friend a deadpan stare. “Madison, are you freaking kidding me? Did you not just hear what I said?” Spencer shot Madison an incredulous look.
Madison shrugged defensively. “Yeah, Ashley’s an alien. I heard you, stupida. I’m not deaf.”
Spencer could only stare at Madison for a moment before scoffing in disbelief. “Hello?” Spencer waved her arms about. “She’s an alien! You know, from outer space.”
Madison nodded slowly.
Spencer threw her hands out in frustration. “An Alien, Madison.” She said, stressing each word. “From another planet!”
Madison nodded once again.
“What the—how are you even—I,” Spencer sputtered, completely baffled by her best friend’s blaze attitude. She stomped her foot. “Madison! You should be freaking out!”
“What, girl, damn.” Madison rubbed at her ears, glaring at Spencer. “Blow out my ear drums much. Shit, Imma about to be deaf in a minute.”
Spencer scoffed as her shoulders dropped. “I don’t understand how you could be so calm about this. It’s not everyday someone tells you they’re not from this planet.” Spencer blew out a breath.
“Well,” Madison dragged out patently. “You’ve been saying yourself since she got here that she acts like she’s from a different planet and now that you found out that she actually is from a different planet you’re tripping?” She rose an eyebrow at the blonde.
“I-I, well.” Spencer struggled to find the right words. “I didn’t actually know she was from planet whatever. It was a figure of speech!”
“Okay, calm down.” Madison said in a soothing voice. She walked over to her friend and coaxed her over to the bed. “Now, does anybody else know about this?”
Spencer sighed, shaking her head. “No. Not as far as I know.”
“Alright.” Madison nodded, biting her lip in thought. “That’s good. I think. The less people who know, the better off we’ll all be.”
Spencer looked down at her hands. “You wanna know what else she said?”
Madison blinked. “Wait, there’s more?”
Spencer released another sigh, looking up at her best friend. After a beat, she nodded. “Yep.”
“Hold on a sec, girl,” Madison said quickly running out of the room. Within a matter of thirty seconds, she ran back into the room with a bowl of popcorn.
“What the hell?” Spencer frowned in confusion. “Where did you get—”
“Don’t worry about it.” Madison said around a mouthful of popcorn. She waved for Spencer to continue with the news. This was just like watching a juicy, drama-filled telenovela to her.
“Okay.” Spencer gave her friend a look before shaking her head. “Um, well she said she was ‘looking for true love,’ right?”
Spencer cleared her throat, uncomfortably. “Well, then she told me that…she’s in love with me,” she said with a wince.
“Aw. That’s so cute.” Madison cooed, smiling sweetly.
Spencer frowned. “No. Not aw, Madison. More like ew!”
Madison scoffed at her best friend. “Spencer how could you not like Ashley? She’s cute, she’s funny, she’s smart…help me out here. Why?”
“Because…” Spencer trailed off, looking away from Madison’s piercing stare.
“Because what?” Madison set down her half empty bowl of popcorn.
“Well, because…” Spencer took in a deep breath. “I’ve got someone else.”
Madison held up her hand. “Oh, Hell no.” Her face took on a look of admonishment. “Don’t tell me you’re seriously so hung up on Carmen that you’re considering taking her back, Spencer.”
Spencer huffed defensively, crossing her arms. “Well yeah. I’m just waiting for the right time to make my move.”
“C’mon girl, seriously?” Madison clicked her tongue. “Carmen is a player. Everybody and their mama know this…because she’s probably done their mama as proof.”
“She’s not,” Spencer said, though her defense was weak. “You’re exaggerating, Mads.”
“I’m not and you know she’s a player.” Madison’s eyebrow peaked. “You could do so much better than her.”
“Look, I want to be with Carmen,” Spencer said with finality. “I’ve just gotta make her notice me somehow. You know, put myself out there so I can stand out.”
Madison shrugged. “You mean slut yourself up?”
“No.” Spencer shook her head, scrunching up her face. “I mean, I’ve gotta make her want me. Like, so bad that she’d want to claim me as her own.”
“Okay, um…” Madison scratched her chin in thought. “So you want her to ‘claim’ you, but not in the fun S&M kinda way. So what? You wanna make her jealous or something?”
“Yes! That’s perfect!” Spencer eyes lit up with mischief. “I can pretend I have a girlfriend, rub it in her face, and make her super jealous.”
Madison sighed. Her friend was so damn stupid, but it wasn’t her place to say that. Spencer would learn one way or another. “Who’s gonna be you’re pretend girlfriend?” she asked.
“You can be.” Spencer said with a smile.
Madison shook her head. “No.”
Spencer’s smile dropped. “What? Why not?”
“Because that’s not believable,” Madison said with a shrug. “We’re like hermanas, Spence. We need to hook you up with somebody Carmen wouldn’t expect to see you with.”
Spencer thought for a minute. It’s not as if she was, as Madison says, ‘swimming in bitches,’ so her selection pool was slim to none. Whom could she get to be her pretend girlfriend? Spencer scratched at her head, thinking it over. Then suddenly, it hit her.
A Cheshire smile tugged at her lips. “I think I know who.”
The frantic knock on Ashley’s door made her jump up from her bed with alarm. Ashley frowned quickly heading for the door, slightly worried she was gonna see what humans called the ‘Po-Po.’ She smiled with relief when she saw Spencer standing at the door.
“Spencer! I am so happy to see you,” Ashley said with an endearing smile as she stepped forward. “I thought after you found out--”
Her words were cut off as Spencer’s lips crashed into her own. The two engaged in an unexpected, passionate kiss. Ashley’s hearts began to beat 300 mph, literally. Her mind was reeling as she tensed with surprise against the blonde’s relentlessly soft lips.
Unfortunately, before the Alien had time to comprehend what was happening, Spencer pulled away with a smirk. Ashley slowly opened her eyes.
“What…” Ashley paused, gasping briefly. “W-What was that?”
“A kiss,” Spencer said, trailing her finger across Ashley’s cheek.
The Alien almost melted with delight. She cleared her throat and nodded with a dopey grin. “Well, yes. Yes it was,” she said with a small laugh, shifting her weight. “It was very enjoyable, but may I ask why you kissed me though?”
Spencer placed her hands gently on Ashley’s shoulders. “How would you like to be my alien girlfriend?” she smiled.