I walked into the apartment with a clear mind. A calm soul.
Alright, part of me wanted to freak but – I was me. I had defeated the Academy. I could take this.
Then I saw my other self.
Kay looked older. His hair had grown out and he had gained muscle mass. But there was still that resting bitch face. He was standing with his arms crossed, planted between Charr and – a very pregnant Charr in a black dress.
I figured that was a good place to start. Considering that a) she was actually still alive in this reality and b) the baby and her had both made it.
“You’re pregnant!” I cheered, dropping my bag to the ground and stepping forward. “Congratulations!”
“Thanks,” that Charr and Kay said, deadpan and without cheer. My Charr gave me a warning look, but I wasn’t sure what it meant. So I walked into the living room and leaned on the counter that split it from the kitchen. “So?” I asked.
“I’m pregnant,” said Charr, stating the obvious.
“Congrats,” I said, gesturing at her with a fake grin. Something was wrong. Her and Kay had been wanting a baby, last dimension ago. Hadn’t they?
A look of meaning was passed between that Charr, Kay, my Charr, and then to me and then – to Chaos. Who was standing beside me with a bright smile, completely missing out on the gravity of the situation.
Charr form this dimension cleared her throat. “Chaos, maybe you could go to AJ’s?”
You know things are bad when she used that dumb acronym. Chaos’s cheery face fell into dismay. I nodded. “Why don’t you?”
Trust Chaos to take a hint like a sledgehammer of drama. “But I’m part of the situation too!” They wailed. “I’m not just -”
“Just go,” snapped Kay.
“Please,” I whispered.
Chaos stormed out, slamming the door shut behind him. I sensed that I’d get an earful of this later. But that was another battle. For now, I looked around expectantly. All eyes landed on Charr, the pregnant one.
“I’m pregnant,” she announced.
“Con-grats?” I offered for what, the third time?
Kay and her speared me with their eyes. “I’m not the dad,” Kay announced angrily. “I can’t be.”
“Well, yeah,” I muttered awkwardly. I was trans, Kay was trans, it seemed to be a cross-dimensional thing. But uh? So?
The pregnant Charr gave me a nasty look. “I don’t know who else it could be,” she said savagely.
Well this uh, “Okay?” I managed, glancing at my Charr. Help? This sounded like a couple’s fight about to break out?
“They don’t know who the baby came from,” said my Charr calmly. “And someone’s trying to kill it.”
“It’s not a normal baby!” the pregnant Charr hissed. “I can hear it thinking!”
“Wait, wait, someone’s trying to kill it?” I asked.
“The baby is special!” Charr-from-another-dimension began crowing, in an anxious and wound up kind of way. Her arms wrapped around her belly. “It’s got powers!”
“Uh-” I said.
“I think it’s evil,” said Kay flatly. “And we think it might be from the Academy.”
The pregnant Charr burst into tears.
“Uh,” I said, awkward as could be.
“If you could-” Charr was trying to catch her breath as she sobbed. Tissues were passed along and she took one. Then two. “If you could feel the baby! You can tell us who it is?”
I just stood there. That Charr pointed at herself. “Come into my body! Feel it! Tell me who it is!”
I glanced at my Charr, who made a non-committal face. “Okay?” I said gingerly. “I uh,”
Kay, now perched beside Charr, glared at me like I had better hop to it and do it, and do it well. Or he’d butcher me.
So I did. I stepped gingerly to Charr’s side and sat on the armrest of the couch. I put a hand on her shoulder. “I’m just gonna,” I said softly.
“Do it!” she fairly yelled at me.
I stretched a part of myself into her. The presence that radiated from within her was nearly overwhelming. How I hadn’t felt it before- it was dormant was why. It wasn’t fully awakened. But it was there, powerful and present.
It didn’t take a genius’s head to recognize it. I drew back as quickly as I could, slipping wholly back into my body.
“It’s not the Academy,” I said with relief.
For a second, I swore I saw Kay smile. Charr exhaled, a hand resting on her stomach.
“Then who is it?” asked the other Charr from the kitchen.
I grinned at her. Chaos was going to be so happy. “It’s God.”