Geoff watched as Leigh sunk down onto the table, her chest heaving with sobs, trying to stifle the noise with her hand, as though she could catch her cries and push them back inside. Corby was deeply sleeping; he knew that the cries would not wake her until her body was properly recharged. He got up and knelt by Leigh’s side, who was wiping her face with her sleeve, making her skin tinge pink. As she caught sight of Geoff beside her she recoiled.
‘Obviously you’re not blind enough to miss me.’ He chuckled as she flinched away.
Her eyes welled up again as she stared at Geoff. Complete confusion filled her face, as though her life (and her death) had been completely thrown off course. Silent tears streamed down her face as she looked at the room around her, and then settled on staring out at the setting sun through greasy curtains.
‘Well done there mate, real smooth.’ A biting voice trickled into his ear.
So Tolstoff was back with him, and with perfect timing as ever. Geoff sighed and held his tongue. Now was not the time to start an argument with the voice in his head in front of a bewildered human. He leant forward and gently put his hand on Leigh’s. She swung her head around and took in a sharp intake of breath, but didn’t move; she didn’t flinch this time.
‘I know you’re scared. And I know you’re probably wondering what’s going on. And we’ll tell you, but all in good time. It’s difficult to explain...when so much you don’t believe is true.’
Leigh stared, an expression of puzzlement strewn across her youthful features.
‘Oh yeah, way to go there pixie-wings, good job of making things simpler for her.’ Tol cackled joyfully in his ear, obviously loving his lack of tact. He grumbled under his breath.
‘Wha-what do you mean?’ Was all that Leigh could manage.
She tried to clear her throat to continue but ended up spluttering as she tried to stifle another sob. In a second Geoff had got up, grabbed a glass from the tray on the chest of drawers and poured in water from a bottle in Corby’s bag. Before Leigh could work out what had happened Geoff was handing her the glass, encouraging her to drink when she did not move. She took a sip, put the glass down, but didn’t quite find the table, causing it to splash over the stain-ridden carpet. She looked blankly at the floor for a moment, and then broke down once more, pulling her hair.
‘Stupid, stupid, stupid! This is why I shouldn’t be here!’ She screamed, slamming her head with her fist.
Geoff stayed her hand, then leant down to pick up the glass and refilled it. He sat opposite her and took her hand once more.
‘I wouldn’t worry, that’s probably the best clean this carpet’s had in some time.’
Leigh looked up from beneath her wet eyelashes, and on seeing Geoff smile, she let out a half-sob, half-laugh, then sunk back into the chair, taking a deep breath and pulling her hair from her face.
‘I wonder if I’ll ever get to see my parents again.’ She stuttered as she wiped her eyes.
‘Of course you will. We’re not here to kidnap you, Leigh. We’re here to help you.’ Geoff added.
‘Help me? To do what?’ She guffawed, fiddling with the buttons on her jacket.
‘Well, first things first. I can promise you this Miss Leigh, when you see your parents again, which you will, very soon, you will see them without your glasses.’ Geoff replied.
Leigh looked up, her eyes brightening.
‘What do you mean? I don’t understand! Who are you?’ Leigh sounded more exhausted every time she spoke.
‘I shouldn’t really be doing this as I’ve just been discharged from high-ranking duty, but for you, I can make an exception.’ He continued, ignoring her questions.
He got up and stood in front of her. He held out his hand to help her up. She reluctantly stood, looking avidly into his face, as though trying to decipher something, something she couldn’t quite see. He placed both hands on either side of her head.
‘Close your eyes. Don’t worry, this will only take a second. Just relax.’ He answered her quizzical look.
She closed her eyes and Geoff saw her facial muscles loosen. He closed his own, then felt within him for that throbbing power which ran through him, in every vein, through every sinew. He channelled it into Leigh, picturing in his mind what he wanted that power to do. He was in each current, coursing through him, into her, through her brain and behind her eyes. Suddenly she gasped, and her eyes shot open. Geoff stood back as he regained his bearings.
‘Are you alright? Leigh?’ He asked, but she was silent.
Her eyes wide, she gazed around the room in a way she hadn’t before. It was as though she could see every particle in the air, each minute strand of cotton on the bed sheets. Her gaze landed on Geoff, and for the first time in a long time, she smiled.
‘I...I don’t believe it...I can...see!’ Her voice cracked with amazement as she swirled around, trying to take everything in.
‘It’s never been so clear before!’ She cried, before sitting back down, feeling a little hazy.
‘Okay, take it easy Leigh, it’s quite a change. Maybe we should talk some more later; you look like you need some rest.’ Geoff said, whilst hanging his still-damp jacket up in the rotting wardrobe.
‘I want you to talk now. Tell me how you did that...who...who are you? Both of you?’ She glanced at the bed where Corby lay sleeping.
Geoff considered forcing her to sleep before answers, but he could see the light shining from her eyes, she was lifted. He couldn’t lie, what would be the point? He sighed deeply.
‘Well...that’s difficult. In all honesty; I am a pixie and she’s a time-traveller.’
Leigh gazed into Geoff, as though she was trying to sense a joke; any trace of mockery or deception. There was none.
‘Right. Okay.’ She replied, then turned and started to rummage in her backpack.
‘That’s it? ‘Right, okay?’ No questions you want to ask, no explanations?’ Geoff exclaimed, for the first time the confused party.
‘Umm, no. In fact, I think I’ve been waiting for you. I had given up but, it seems fate had a different plan.’ Leigh continued absent-mindedly, still rummaging.
‘What do you mean? But how could you know? It’s not-’
Leigh interrupted by placing a book on the table and pushing it towards him. It looked like a diary; a very old one at that, it was teeming with loose pieces of paper and drawings, scribbles and notes.
‘This is my journal. I kept it since I was four years old. I used to dream about this...thing, every night when I was little. Any idea who that could be?’ She pointed at a scrap piece of paper. On it was a child’s drawing of a tall blue man with wings holding hands with what Geoff could only assume was Leigh herself. On another was a dark-haired girl with a stopwatch in her hand.
‘That...that’s me...and thats-’
‘Me.’ Both turned around to see Corby sat up in the bed, peering over at the pile of paper.
‘So, what now?’ She asked.