Quietly, so as not to wake Russell, Charlie slipped onto the transporter pad and pressed the button. Russell continued to sleep, and began to dream. In his dream, Russell and Charlie were running along until they came to lover’s leap. In his dream, Charlie held Russell in his arms, gently stroking Russell’s fur. Everything was so perfect and then suddenly, Charlie let go of Russell, and flung himself from the clifftop.
Russell awoke with a jump, he glanced around for his friend and discovered him gone, and his bed of palm leaves cold and not slept in. It was early evening and Russell was tired. He had had quite a shock from the dream, and his body was still coping with the sudden influx of adrenaline. He ate a few carrots and as he finally calmed down, he decided that Charlie must have been called by the other grendels. Russell knew that Charlie would come back - he always did...
Meanwhile Charlie, having materialised on the Lover’s Leap Transporter pad, had almost fallen down the cliff at the same instant that Russell awoke. Having regained his balance, Charlie had decided to find Rona and he made his way east until he found a lift. As he pushed the down button, Charlie noticed a small red herb in the lift. He picked it up and sniffed it. This red fruit smelt wonderful, and without another thought, he ate it.
As Charlie made his way across the pond, he noticed that he was feeling somewhat more needy than usual. He found himself unable to voice his desires, and yet he knew that something needed to be fulfilled. As he made his way up to the lift in the tower, he heard Ronas’ giggles once more. Charlie was certain that she was nearby. He pressed the lift call button and waited for it to arrive.
Back on the Island, Russell was gently drifting in and out of a calming sleep, as the evening drew on the air gained a small nip of cold. Russell wrapped himself in the palm leaves which had absorbed the energy of the sun, and dozed lightly, thinking of Charlie’s face.
As the lift arrived, Charlie felt very light headed indeed, and he barely noticed that Quientia was already in the lift when he staggered into the cane cage. Quientia, noticing Charlie’s state, and realising that he did not know what was happening, decided that she would "take care" of him.
She pressed the down button and as the lift began to descend, she spoke to Charlie, soothing him and persuading him to lie down and sleep. The lift came to a halt by the showers, and Quientia, once she had stopped the lift from going back, stepped into the showers and tried to cool off. As she looked at Charlie through the water, she remarked to herself on how he had grown in the past six months, and on how she had been so rude to him after he had helped her with Rona.
"Still" she thought, "I can make it up to him now".
And as Charlie awoke, he found that Quientia had carried him to near the still, and that she was drinking hooch. Even though she must have drunk three cans of hooch, Quientia was not staggering about due to her Purple Mountain genes. Only the player piano would make Quientia dance, and then only if she listened to it for a long time. As she drank, she ran her fingers over Charlie’s body. With no fur to hide himself, all of Charlie’s muscular frame was visible. Slowly, Quientia fed Charlie more of the red fruit he had found in the lift, and once again he found himself unable to voice his desires.
"Sshhhh", said Quientia, "I know what you need." With that, Quientia began slowly, gently, to kiss Charlie. His head span, his mind a whirl of emotion, he began to focus his desire, to channel his emotion. He couldn’t control himself, it was as though he was watching from a distance, as his body weakly, and very slowly began to reciprocate Quientia’s advances. Charlie’s mind watched in disgust as his body and hers entwined.
Russell awoke again that night, this time, calm and quiet, he thought he had heard the distant sound of a kisspop, but he thought that he must have been dreaming. As he lay there thinking of Charlie, the transporter began to activate. Russell thought that Charlie would come bounding off the pad, but instead, Charlie materialised on the pad and almost collapsed. He was a wreck, almost unable to move. Russell, his smaller frame straining under the effort, gently moved Charlie to the palm leaf bed, and wrapped him in the warm leaves. Russell stayed awake throughout the night, soothing Charlie and mopping his brow.
All through the night, Charlie was delirious, murmering something about a strange red fruit. Toward the end of the night, Charlie began to doze lightly, and in the relative quiet of Charlie's gentle snores, Russell began to clean his body. As Sussell gently wiped his soul mate's strong frame, he noted that his body was smattered with a red paste. Russell has heard of a strange fruit which adults sometimes ate before kisspopping. His mother would speak of "Tomatoes" before she and Paul kisspopped to make Quientia pregnant with Rona.
When morning came, Russell realised that there was no way that he could care for Charlie alone, and he began to rouse Charlie. "We have to get you to your own kind" Russell whispered to him. Charlie began to stagger to his feet. Weak from a lack of energy, Charlie begged Russell to let him eat something, but he was unable to keep the carrot, which Russell offered him, in his belly. Sick with fever, Charlie quickly vomited. Russell pulled Charlie over to the transporter and pressed the button. As they materialised at Lover’s Leap, Russell noticed a bowl of chicken soup. Having eaten this, Charlie felt a little better and they slowly moved over to the lift.
Quickly, Russell took Charlie to the underground cart which passed through the pipe under the ocean and under the statue of Nornity. Taking the lift at the other end back onto the Island, Russell noted how far they had journeyed, and how little distance they had actually covered. He could see their palm leaf beds above them. Pausing only to crack open a coconut, Russell bundled a still very ill Charlie into the boat and left in after him. As they travelled across the sea to the jetty by the Grendel tree, Russell and Charlie ate what little of the coconut they could stomach. Russell got out a palm leaf he had been carrying since they left the island, and began to write a note to Aramis the Grendel leader.
"Dear Aramis, Charlie has taken ill with a fever which I cannot seem to help. I am very worried for his health and would dearly appreciate it if you could help him." Russell read the note out loud as he completed it, and he helped Charlie over to the lift where Charlie collapsed next to the call button. Russell placed the note on the now lightly dozing Charlie and pushed the call button. When the lift arrived, Russell pushed Charlie into the lift and made it go up. Russell shed a tear as the lift went where he would surely be killed if he followed, and slowly made his way back to the kitchen.
Russell was sure that Aramis would not let one, of his own kind, suffer the indignity of suffering when he thought that he could help. With that thought in his mind, Russell ran to the kitchen more quickly, feeling happier in himself, that he had done the right thing by his friend.