" Right, we're going to go through a debris field soon, so the ambient electricity is going down-"

William was on the phone.

" Alright. It shouldn't be longer than that. There's a manual plugin in my office, just in case- Yeah. Yes. Okay. See youuuu, bring me by some snacks, alright?"

He hung up.

" What was that about?" Nova asked. He had thrown a blanket over William's desk and was laying on it.

" Mmm, I had to tell Kirie about the electricity going down, cos we're going through a debris field," William replied; he was drawn up in his chair, filling out paperwork on a clipboard that was balanced on his knees.

" Debris field?"

" Old ships from about fifty years ago or so, got destroyed in battle. We can't have our ambient electricity up when we go through them because it could mess with junk."

" Why tell her?"

" Well, if you haven't noticed, then it's none of your business," William replied cheerfully.

" Cagey."

" It's a personal matter of Kirie's, so I'm not obliged to disclose it."

A silence.

Nova turned towards him.

" Why are you so close with her, anyway?" he asked.

William shrugged.

" She's my family. She's the first person who spoke to me that was my own age," he said. " I guess she's sort of like, my morality compass? Or something."

Nova made a low hum, thinking, flicked his ear.

" You know, she told me the other day not to go with you."

" She's really responsible and anxious about stuff like that," William said. " She gets worried about me a lot. It's good that she got worried about you, too. I was a bit afraid that she wouldn't like you, you know?"

" It's not like I care how she feels about me. Why should I? You're the one I'm seeing."

" Well, that still makes her like, your sister-in-law, or something like that?"

" I have no idea what that means."

William leaned back in his chair.

" Yeah. I barely know what that means."

" Why bother saying it, then?"

" Why do I ever say anything?"

" Good point."

" Lemme get up on the desk with you. I finished all my paperwork."

" Wh- no. No."

" Why not? It's my desk. Nooooova."

He clambered up onto it anyway, laying over Nova's chest.

" Why are you so clingy?"

" You're warm."

" My body temperature is a degree lower than yours. I checked. In a textbook."

" Hmmm, middle school biology textbook, huh..."

He propped himself up.

" Hey, Nova, have we kissed yet?"

" Who knows," Nova replied drily.

" Let's kiss."

" Then get up here and kiss me, instead of just talking about it."

" Alright," William replied, and he did exactly that.

... His mouth tasted strange. Like how the first time that Nova had kissed him, he had tasted of rust... He tasted human, Nova supposed.

He broke it, for a moment.

" Don't think my tongue's going to fit in your mouth," he said shortly.

" Try harder," William replied, and practically smashed their lips together again.

So that was how that went.