“That went better than I expected.” Lexx smiled, feeling a little bit tired after playing several games with Kalvin. He had really enjoyed himself. Now, an hour later, a quick recap of what they were doing and packing of more clothes for Chel, they were about to return to the ship. While Andrea and Kalvin were busy making breakfast, they excused themselves to go back to the ship.

“Yeah,.. but I’m out all of my savings so they won’t tell Mom or Dad,.. they’d worry.” Chel looked over her shoulder as Lexx activated the door. It was worth the cost and they’d be done before her parents got home. While she was free to make her own decisions on what she did with her life, Chel didn’t want her parents to be worried about her, and there’s no way they wouldn’t worry if they knew what she was doing.

“All for me?” Lexx inquired in an almost playful tone, looking away from Chel.

“For Stealth.”

“You wound me.” He stepped into the door quickly. Chel followed immediately after him, jumping and reaching out to pinch his arm without really thinking about it. She was used to picking on her brother and sister in this manner and for a moment, it was mere play. Chel didn’t realize she’d done it until Lexx flinched and gave her an odd look, “Oww,.. not literally!” It wasn’t the reaction she expected.

He didn’t push her away or tell her to let go of him. He just jumped in surprise and gave her a look. It was weird, like he was more alive than he had been. Instead of the guarded expression he’d had for so long, now it was more open.

And she stared.

Lexx turned away, still smiling, “We have another dice to catch and it’s going to be cold.” He couldn’t remember a day that had been so – light. He felt good. In this single moment it was like a glimpse of freedom from one of his chains. One chain gone, so many more holding him down, but this one chain was gone. He didn’t mind that Chel touched him now.

He’d seen how Chel and her siblings acted to each other. There had been a moment of arguing, which made Lexx squirm, but then they’d been back to picking on each other in this odd manner he’d never witnessed before. So this is how brothers and sisters act to each other? He envied that casualness. He wanted it.

It was something different to have someone who had to like you because they were related to you and you had to get along because of blood. He realized that this is what was denied to many Rishan and for good reason. It was breaking them down every way they could. Split up families. Rarely did a brother and sister know each other.

And then… he clouded over. What use was it? Even if he won the game, he’d still be alone or worse. Maybe he’d find a nice Rishan girl. They’d get married, and somehow… someway, his children would be taken from him. Families were so strongly discouraged. When everything is against you and so much bigger than you, what is the use of fighting against it?

“Lexx? Lexx, are you okay?” He had stopped in the little lift to the living area and hadn’t moved to leave it. Chel waved a hand in front of his face.

“I’m fine.” Lexx frowned and looked away. “We have another dice to catch.”