HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 426

Across the courtyard, Tommy talked quietly with Magh for a while. Then he leaned down, kissed her on the forehead, and came back over to the others.

“So I know we were planning on staying longer,” he said, “but would it be okay if we went home early? I think we could all use a little familiarity right about now.”

“Sounds good to me,” Frederica said, and everyone else agreed.

“I’ll get your bags,” Illuyanka said.

She glanced at Orna, who opened a portal. Illuyanka slithered through. Tommy took a deep breath and exhaled, turning to watch Magh.

“How are you doing?” Frederica asked.

He shrugged.

“To be honest, I mostly feel helpless,” he said. “I don’t have any magic or superpowers to make this better. All I can do is be there for her.”

“I think that’s all she really needs,” Frederica replied.

He smiled and returned to Magh, taking a seat beside her. While they waited for Illuyanka to return, Josephine chatted with Lizbeth and Nila, and Teth approached Frederica.

“Do you ever just have a normal, boring day?” he asked.

Frederica chuckled.

“Occasionally,” she replied. “I’ll try to stay out of trouble next time we meet.”

“You had better,” he said. “I don’t want any time travel or magical misfires at my wedding.”

“No promises,” she said.

He rolled his eyes. Illuyanka came back through the portal with everybody’s things and placed the bags on the grass. Orna closed the portal as Illuyanka moved to Teth’s side and slid her arm under his.

“I hope your stay was a pleasant one,” she said.

“Oh, it was lovely,” Frederica said. “If your world had Yelp, I’d give you five stars.”

“I have no idea what that means,” Illuyanka said, “but I will take it as a compliment.”