“I found her on a derelict craft, Chel.” He only had to say the facts, but he was really worried that Chel would want more than that. He didn’t want to be asked ‘why’ he had decided to take care of her. WHY he hadn’t just turned her in for someone else to take care of her. He needed the little girl, because she was someone who genuinely needed him. She had made him feel like life was a little bit more worth living. Maenae was one of the reasons he’d managed to make it this far. He’d used the excuse of making sure the girl would be taken care of to drive him. Lexx had also developed a fondness for her, … for one of the same reasons he’d come to like Chel. She didn’t really ‘want’ anything from him. Yes, she needed him, but that was different from the ones who simply ‘wanted’ him.

“This is a boarding school. I can’t bring her with me.” Maenae leaned back in his arms, grinning at Chel. “Wow…” Lexx found himself using the word he’d heard Chel use so many times. “You’ve grown a lot, Maenae.”

Then, he did something that really amazed Chel. He let go of the girl, just long enough to catch her around the waist and lift her into the air. “You’re heavy!” Lexx laughed. It was a distraction, to keep from being asked anything else.

Maenae squealed happily, flailing her arms in the air.

Chel smiled thoughtfully, watching the pair. ‘This is a side of Lexx I never thought I’d see, but for some reason,… kind of what I would expect. It’s also oddly,… comforting.’