Her Second Face

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  • Dedicated to Jayda - My lovely scientist, always

The day that it all started, Lana had no idea that she would end up running away from her parents and the police, people who thought there was something wrong with her, people who thought she ought to be locked up and above all, people who thought she was alone when she talked to them.

Lana woke up that day feeling as normal as she had ever felt. She woke up and changed into her day to day work clothes, a pair of black skinny jeans and a relatively tight t-shirt with a skull that would have looked rather ominous had it not been a shade of bright pink. She brushed the extreme tangles and knots out of her hair and gelled it so that it looked like a shiny brown rather than a dull brown. She didn't really bother with makeup, she worked in a science labratory and wasn't really very likely to keep makeup on.

Lana went downstairs in good time and put the kettle on for coffee just the way she liked it, hot, no milk, two sugars. She put a piece of bread in the toaster and waited, faced only by the dilemma of not knowing whether or not to do the coffee or the toast first when they both finished heating up at the same time. She chose toast. She ate the toast dry to save time. She wouldn't be late if she did but she hated being late. She ate it quickly, she like most other people, disliked dry toast. Having eaten the toast, her coffee had cooled down a tiny bit so, as most people would, she drank it in good time before leaving the house.

Lana hopped onto her bicycle and cycled to work, commiting Malum Prohibitum by cycling on the pavement and not the road but no-one was there and she couldn't be arsed to move onto it. She arrived at work half and hour early, as was predictable from the rate in which she was going at. She greeted a few higher ups and headed to the labratory where she put on a lab coat and goggles, ready to experiment with a few dangerous (or in some cases, harmless) chemicals. She tied her hair back into a tight bun and headed over to her work station where her colleauge and close friend Xavier worked.

"Good Morning, Xavier," She smiled sweetly at him, almost too sweetly.

"Hello, Lana." He didn't smile, though the expression on his youthful face made certain that he was an extremely kind young man.

"What are you doing?" She asked, genuinely interested in what her friend was up to.

"Not much really, looking at how well the circuits are going to do if instead of just copper, we have an alloy of copper and lead."

Lana grinned.

"You're a genius." She wasn't flattering blindly, it was true and everyone knew it.

"No, this was Anna's idea." Despite his amazing intelligence and kindness, Xavier wasn't very good at taking compliments. Lana couldn't help but stop grinning at this. Anna was Xavier's girlfriend and an absolute bitch. It was clear to anyone with eyes that Anna was using Xavier for his money and for excellent sex. Nothing to do with love for the man at all, just love for his money.

"I see."

Lana sidled over to her chair and began to work on the analysis of traces of a drug that was said to have killed the victim in a murder case that she was set to do analysis on the forensic sides of.

Xavier spoke up again.

"That potassium cyanide?"

Lana nodded.

"Probably." It was a blunt but mutual agreement between the two scientists. They were enjoying their work in companiable silence. It sounded sick, but Lana really did enjoy working on murder cases; they provided much more interest than most other jobs. The companiable science that Lana and Xavier were sharing was broken rather abruptly by a loud, inconsiderate voice.

"Hey! Veal! You messing with my boyfriend?" That would be Anna.

Lana rolled her eyes, "Yes, Anna, I'm feeding him mercury through my mouth so that we both die a most romantic death together as one."

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