Arthur continued to feed Beatrice coded sentences and phrases over the course of the next four hours. By the end, Beatrice was lying on the bed, sprawled on her stomach, covers kicked to the floor, and head face-first into the mattress. Arthur leaned against the bedpost, head tilted all the way back, and let out a sigh.
Beatrice turned her head to face him.
“I’m sorry for hating you,” she said simply.
Beatrice shut her eyes tightly, a tear quietly escaping.
“I feel like we are in a permanent stasis; every time we figure something out, we are right back where we started. No closer to figuring out where my cousins go, or how to get home and back to normal.”
“At least you know what Gerald Sr. told me, and that he is here,” Arthur suggested, trying to lighten her mood.
Beatrice rolled to her back and stared at the ceiling. She allowed herself to zone in and out of focus while considering all that she had learned. Her mother was safe, but experiencing trauma. Gerald Sr. had his hands in everything, and was a leader in discovering and manipulating the blips. Plus, Gerald Sr.’s gift for Arthur was, in fact, Arthur’s appeared betrayal in return for traveling with the cousins. Finally, Arthur helped her recall the unidentified person from the photograph she found in her last period of wakefulness. Thinking about this, she realized despite having been heavily sedated for a long period, she had not slept peacefully for a very long time. Slowly sitting up, Beatrice wiped her eyes and took a deep breath.
Swinging her feet to the bedside, she slid down next to Arthur.
“What are we going to do? Again.” Beatrice stammered.
Arthur took a moment. He couldn’t decide what move to make. The classic yawn and arm around shoulders – too juvenile. Patting her gently on the head? Too maternal. Instead, Arthur chuckled, “Well at least you don’t have to worry about walking in on your mother doing nude yoga.” Shit, too paternal, channeling dad jokes. Beatrice punched him in the arm, “Don’t try to make me laugh. He used to do that too.”
“How you are related still blows my mind,” he stated matter-of-factly, “It goes beyond your focus, how did the evil skip you? Is his evil just limited or is your mother’s uniqueness just enough to prevent it?”
Beatrice let her head fall to Arthur’s shoulder, “how would I know? I forgot about him until five minutes ago, and my mother refused to talk about him. Plus I am sure if I dig to deeply into my own memories I would blib. Can’t your spy people tell you?”
“Somehow, he escaped our knowledge completely. He disappeared many invasions ago, long before we knew about you.”
Allowing a shudder breath to escape her lips, Beatrice shrugged. Gradually she drifted to sleep resting her head on Arthur’s shoulder and dreaming they were at J. G.’s Restaurant and Grill.
“Sweet dreams, Birdie,” Arthur whispered.