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"Oh, come on! You asked that like three times already!"

"Okay, okay," Nick said, waving a hand dismissively. He pretended not to notice Ziana flinch from the casual action. Calling her out on it would be a one-way ticket to a silent treatment, though maybe that was exactly what he would have preferred at the moment. "Just making sure you know it. Alright, what street is on the north side of the block?"

She gave him a flat look. "Laurel Street. You already asked that one too."

He lowered the map and reluctantly folded it, setting it down next to him on the bed. Resting his elbows on his knees, he leaned toward the dresser, where Ziana stood impatiently with her arms crossed. Clearly she was the end of her rope with him--not that it was anything new--but she was willing to deal with his thorough quizzing if it meant being able to wander the block around the restaurant on her own.

"Are you sure you want to do this so soon?" he questioned for what had to be the thousandth time. With the way she groaned, it must have felt more like the millionth time to her.

"Why wait? I've got the area memorized, and you know it." She narrowed her eyes at him accusingly. "Don't think I can handle myself out there? If that's the problem, why even bother giving me the map in the first place?"

He shrugged and averted his gaze, deciding not to admit that, he really hoped she would have lost interest. The last thing he needed was for her to throw a fit and prompt her to leave on her own. Maybe to never come back. "Like I said, I just don't want us to be mad at each other."

Her expression softened considerably, making him lean away in surprise. For all he knew, she was about to strike.

"Nick,” she said, surprisingly earnest. “It'll be okay, so quit stalling. How stupid do you think I am? Enough to walk down the street in plain view of a bunch of giants? If there's one thing I know, it's how to hide and avoid people when I don't want to be seen." She gave him an imploring look, clasping her hands together in exaggerated pleading. "Just give me a chance, will you? I'm sick of being stuck inside all the time."

The digital clock on the dresser told him he couldn't wait much longer or he'd be late for his shift. Still, he was hesitant. "You gonna tell me why you’re good at hiding?" he asked, hoping to put off their departure just a little more while getting a few  more answers about her enigmatic past.

She dropped her clasped hands and crossed her arms again. "It's something I picked up on Vectract," she replied, guarded. "And trust me, I got plenty of experience."

He frowned, curiosity piqued. "Why would you need to hide on Vectract? Isn't everyone your size there?"

"Shouldn't we get going?" she reminded him without letting a pause hang after his sentence.

As he was about to pry some more into her past and not take "no" for an answer, his dad's voice came from the living room of the apartment, warning Nick about being late. Sighing in defeat, Nick stood up and grabbed his jacket. Forcing a smile, he held a hand out for Ziana to climb on. She wore a smug look, but he could see the spark of hesitation that gripped her every time his hand came near.

He forced an encouraging look. "Shall we?"




The end of the block was empty, as it always was that time of night. The streets were dark, save for the lamp posts stationed along the sidewalk. Light could be seen beyond, between buildings off in the distance where the square was. That was where the action was, and Nick was glad the cafe his was a good distance from it now that Ziana would wander around.

He pulled into the alley between the restaurant and the next building, dismounting and leading his motorbike behind the dumpster before killing the engine. Music floated off in the distance. After pulling his helmet off and hanging off a handle, he looked down at the pocket of his jacket.

Ziana heaved herself halfway up between the zipper, looking exhilarated from the ride. Her smile became a grimace as his fingers approached and pinched her under the arms to pull her out. He even felt a tiny shudder run through her. Knowing better than to call her out on it by asking if she was alright, Nick knelt to the ground and set her on her feet. She turned to glance around immediately, a look of excitement on her face that he hadn't seen since she watched the fireworks with him. He was tempted to put a hand down to keep her from running off right away, but she stayed rooted. The alley wasn’t in the best shape, and he was sure that she would trip on a cluster of gravel before she could make it out. Though Nick supposed he wouldn't be around to see that.

“You gotta be back before one in the morning,” he started, drawing her violet-eyed gaze back up to him. It was second nature to keep his voice low--both for the sake of her ears and because he was used to the possibility of anyone being within earshot of his normal speaking volume. “There’s clocks all around--you have no excuse to be late.”

“And if I miss my curfew?” She raised an eyebrow at him daringly.

He scoffed. “I don’t bring you back, duh.” Before she could protest, he added, “Hey, don’t think of it as me restricting your freedom. My bike, my choice of passengers. And sorry, once you’re off the list, you’re off the list for good.”

She gave him a flat look. “How exclusive.”

“Hey, listen… You don’t need to wander off that far if you don’t want to--”

“I know what I’m doing,” she cut him off. The way she looked so sure of herself, it was almost easy to forget he was staring down at a doll-sized girl. “I told you, I know how to stay out of sight. There’s even more shadows around than I hoped for. I’ll be back before one. Don’t burn yourself on the stove in there worrying over me.”

Nick opened his mouth to offer more advice, give more warning, but he knew it would only be met with a roll of her eyes or a snappy response. Without nothing more to say to her, he gave a hesitant nod. “See you, then.”

Ziana skittered back a few steps as he stood up, but managed to catch her balance before she tripped over a chunk of gravel. She straightened up as if nothing had happened. When Nick didn’t step back to go inside, she put one hand on her hip and waved him off insistently with the back of her other hand. Suppressing a sigh, he turned on his heel and headed for the back door. Before shutting it behind him, he threw one last glance over his shoulder at the little Vectractian, left unprotected in a giant world. She didn't look back.




Ziana leaned against the tire of Nick’s bike, catching her breath. It was nearly ten minutes after one, and she had barely arrived. Luckily, Nick seemed to be late too. Unless he went off to search for her when she didn’t show up on time. Her anxiety didn’t stem from the fact he might be worried about her; she was too focused on agonizing over whether she had blown her chances of him bringing her out to the city again. That simply would not do.

Before her troubling thoughts could roll on too long, she heard the back alley door of the restaurant creak open. She pushed off from the tire, grimacing when some gravel caught in a groove of her rubber dug into her back. Catching sight of Nick’s figure coming from the light of the building, she stepped forward--only to stop dead in her tracks when he gave her a wide-eyed look, shook his head, and waved his hands towards his bike. Subtle.

She turned and bolted back to the bike in time to hear a voice coming from behind Nick. Skittering back, she ducked behind the motorbike’s tire, not even chancing to peek around the side as two pairs of footsteps shook the ground beneath her. She recognized the voice of the other; he was the guy who had been with Nick at the pool. Jeff, she recalled.

“Alright, you’ve been dodging the question all night,” Jeff announced. “Where’ve you been the last few days?

Nick chuckled as if he was overreacting. “I dunno. Busy.”

An incredulous scoff. “I dunno. Busy," he imitated, exaggerating Nick's whininess to the point where Ziana decided that she might like Jeff if he wasn't a giant. "Busy with what? It’s summer.” Jeff paused. “Did you, y’know… meet someone?”

A scoff of laughter bubbled up in Ziana’s chest, but she forced herself to hold it back unlike Nick, who was able to laugh openly about it. Even though they couldn’t see each other, she felt as if they shared that laugh. And why not? They shared the same room, shared food, shared a bathroom. All of that sharing, and the truth couldn't possibly be farther from what Jeff was thinking.

“Don’t you think I’d tell you?” Nick chuckled. “Listen, I’m beat. I’m headed home. You have a date tonight, don’t you? Don’t let me keep you, then.” Jeff began to protest, but Nick cut him off. “We’ll hang out soon, I swear. C’mon, man. I’m still recovering from the pool thing.”

They both laughed at that, but Jeff sounded reluctant to drop the matter, the two said their goodbyes. Ziana shrunk back against the tire as footsteps shook closer to her hiding spot. They passed her, and she caught sight of a pair of sneakers and two towers of denim trailing away to the sidewalk. She didn’t ease up until he was completely out of sight, only to be startled again by a voice behind her.

“Ziana?” He sounded worried.

“I’m fine,” she called up, stepping around from behind the tire. He was crouched down, leather-clad forearms resting loosely upon his knees. She raised her eyebrows at him. “Aw, I had no idea you’ve been blowing off your friends in order to keep me company. That really warms me.” She tapped her heart. “Right here.”

He rolled his eyes. “So, you decide that coming out here is a terrible idea?”

Her smirk lit into an ecstatic smile. She skipped closer to him, practically bouncing. “Hell no! This was what I needed! Fresh air, running around… I can’t wait to come back.”

Nick pushed out a sigh that rustled her hair like a breeze, not seeming pleased about her reaction in the slightest. “Yeah, yeah. You can tell me all about it when we get home.”

With that being his only warning, his arm shifted from his lap. His hand swooped down upon her, cupping from behind before she could scramble back in alarm. As the hand tilted face up, she slid into his palm and was lifted away from the ground. By the end, as she was swept up to Nick’s chest level when he stood, she was more annoyed than terrified. A faintly amused look entered his enormous green eyes in response to her scowl.

“Dominic,” she chastised, leaning forward to climb into his pocket when he opened it with his free hand. “No wonder you haven’t met someone.”
HAPPY 3 YEAR HIATUS ;v;

I'M SO SORRY.

I always promised I would come back to this story, and I wasn't kidding. I got so much done during NaNoWriMo last year, and I've finally had the time to edit it up and separate it in to chapters. This is one of the shorter chapters, but there's PLENTY to come, so don't worry about another hiatus showing up for a long time, if at all.

I hope whoever was reading this story before is still interested in my lovely Ziana's antics. XD It was great to spend last November focusing on her and Nick's story. I rediscovered why I love writing them in the first place. :happybounce:




Thanks for reading! :heart:

Updates on Thursdays!

Previous: Chapter 11  

Next: Chapter 12 
Add a Comment:
 
:iconbaneofsugar:
Baneofsugar Featured By Owner May 17, 2017  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I love these babies :squee: 
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:iconphoenix-firemage:
Phoenix-FireMage Featured By Owner Dec 5, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Almost got caught. But they're fine, though Jeff is suspicious.
Reply
:iconchazste:
Chazste Featured By Owner May 25, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
OMG I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw this! I'm soooo happy to see other chatpers :heart:
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:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner May 25, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Yup, I'm back to updating the story regularly! I hope you like them!! :love:
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:iconchazste:
Chazste Featured By Owner May 25, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
I love them =D
Reply
:iconamayasama:
Amayasama Featured By Owner May 6, 2016  Hobbyist
;U; OH GOSH I MISSED THIS SO MUCH~ I am so happy to see it again!
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner May 6, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
YEEE my bbys were tired of me ignoring them ;o; Their story shall be complete~
Reply
:iconamayasama:
Amayasama Featured By Owner May 6, 2016  Hobbyist
;W; That's okay!! Sometimes you just need a break! ♥ I am very happy to see them again, I'm all caught up now~ I'm excited to see how Jeff differs from Nick with Ziana~
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:iconkellykind:
kellykind Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2016
Amazing story can't wait for next chapter :)
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:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! :hug:
Reply
:iconkellykind:
kellykind Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2016
Your very welcome :)
Reply
:iconlaescritora:
LaEscritora Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2016  Hobbyist General Artist
Glad to see this back! Congrats on ending your hiatus. XD This chapter was a lot of fun too.
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Apr 16, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Thank you! :heart: I'm so happy to be posting it again ahhhh :happybounce: 
Reply
:icon27lazybug:
27Lazybug Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2016  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I totally forgot this still existed. XD Well, time to venture back to beginning then. :D
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Apr 15, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Hope you enjoy it! :D
Reply
:iconnightmares06:
nightmares06 Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
>w> yeee Ziana the babe. Love her so much. And she's totally right Nick. You need to work on your moves. So not subtle.
Reply
:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
She'll find something to gripe about anyway. XD
Reply
:iconacetrainerhope:
AceTrainerHope Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2016  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Lemme just cry for a second over how happy I am to see this again :'D
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:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Yaaay! :happybounce: There is much more to come! ;D
Reply
:iconellie02:
Ellie02 Featured By Owner Apr 13, 2016  Hobbyist
Ohmygodddddfhfhdgh !!! Yay ! I'm so happy I'll be seeing more of this story ..i've missed it so much :heart: Great as always!
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:iconkimstaticchild:
kimstaticchild Featured By Owner Apr 14, 2016  Hobbyist Writer
Eeep, thank you! :hug: I'm so excited to be posting this story again!
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