intense flavour

The scrunched up look on his face was priceless. I supposed I shouldn’t have been amused but I couldn’t honestly help myself. There still was so much stuff out there for them to discover that when we found something like this, I just wanted to remember every last bit of it. I felt like I was part of this family, more than I’ve felt I was part of my own, Magali aside.

After we dropped Armin back home, we set off to this one place. They mostly sell stuff for decorating. Vases, candles, chairs, mirrors for the walls along with more stuff than I could ever care to want. During the holiday seasons, or usually a little before the holidays, they bring out the specific stuff, trees (the fake kind), garlands, lights, dangles of every kind. I figured it would be the best place to bring the twins to so they could see what it was mostly all about. At least, I think this place has more choices than most other big places for a pretty reasonable price. That and at the counter, they usually have little containers of candies.

We looked around, they picked stuff up, decided on this and that, Agni glared at me until I picked a few different items I liked too. Most of the smaller stuff was going to fit in the trunk, it would mean one very full trunk but the tree, they’d picked this gorgeous black tree with lit fibre optic tips that went through quite a few different colours, wouldn’t fit in my trunk and I wasn’t going to drive home with it on my roof, not with the snow that had started to fall by the time the cart was pretty much full.

After a little discussing, we split the cost of everything three-way and we asked for the tree to be delivered at the proper address whenever it would be convenient for them. We still had some time before the decorations would go up and I wasn’t really worried about it.

As the twins started moving towards the door with all of the elements in the cart bagged up, I saw a container of sour gummy worms. I bought it on impulse, kept the bag to myself. We headed out to the car, stuffed the trunk, even stuffed half of the back seat and we went home.

When we got home, I gave each of the twins one of the worms. That’s when things turned out to be pretty priceless.

“What did you give us exactly?” Mira still was looking at the worm in question. He’d sniffed it, tugged at it, stretched it but he hadn’t put it in his mouth yet. Agni, on the other hand, had shoved it in his mouth, much as he had the pastry earlier, honestly, and he’d almost instantly gone bug-eyed when he’d first bitten into it.

I laughed, I couldn’t help myself. I laughed loudly and Mira set the worm down on the counter. I snickered as Agni screwed his eyes shut but kept on chewing and eventually he swallowed what I’d given him. “That was pretty intense, huh?”

He glared at me but I could tell it wasn’t heartfelt.

“That was sour.” He muttered, but, wonders of wonders, he actually held his hand out for another one, I offered him another one. This time he bit at it, just taking a small piece of it into his mouth instead. “Flavour’s nice but really sour.”

“Well they are sour gummy worms. They’re candy. I would have loved to see Mira’s reaction but I guess that based on yours, he figured he didn’t care to eat the stuff.” I used my best teasing voice and Mira rolled his eyes at me, as if to tell me that this wasn’t going to work and he wasn’t going to eat the stuff.

“Come on, if I eat one too, will you eat yours? Just one, if you don’t like it, you don’t have to eat another one ever again. You can’t know if you like it or not if you don’t give it a try.” He grumbled but eventually he gave in, taking the gummy from the clean counter. He bit off a small piece to chew on. Agni was already done with his second one by now and was demanding a third.

“Only a couple more, Agni. This is pretty much sugar and nothing else and I don’t want you getting sick if you eat too much.” So I did give him a couple more and I closed the container. I’d bring it in my room. I’d learned early on from them that what was in our room was sacred in a way that no one could go for it except the person whose room it was. I thought that was a pretty good rule.

Mira’s face scrunched up slightly from the sour taste of the candy but he ate the rest of it. “I don’t know, it tasted a little artificial.”

“I guess it can if you’re not really used to it. I don’t mind, at least you tasted it, wasn’t so bad though, right?”

“Not so bad, just didn’t taste like real fruits.”

“While it’s meant to taste like fruits, I don’t think they could ever really manage to get it to really taste like the real stuff. Now if you’ll excuse me.” Agni was already done eating the other two gummies I’d given him and he looked ready to ask for more so I took the container into my room, putting it in one of my desk drawers.

When I stepped back out, they were beginning to look through the boxes of stuff and the bags, I chuckled softly, standing back to let them just dig through as they wanted. “We’re going to need containers to put all this stuff away when we’re not going to be using it, you know.”

They both looked up at me as if I’d just told them that they’d forgotten to answer several important questions on a test. I laughed softly, shaking my head. “We can go tomorrow and have a look around, find a container or two in which we can stuff all of this. For now it can stay out here. Now if we had a cat in this place or even a dog, I wouldn’t really be willing to leave the stuff out in the living room as it could be dangerous for them but seeing as it’s just the three of us, I think we’re good and safe.”

That seemed to ease their sudden worries and they went right back to looking through the bags, pulling everything out. I was at least glad they were leaving the smaller decorative pieces either in their boxes or bag, I couldn’t begin to imagine what the place might have looked like with little decorated and sparkly balls all over the floor. We wouldn’t have known where to step.

I leave them to their discovery of their decorations, heading off into the kitchen to see about preparing us something healthy to eat. Gummy worms were one thing but they were far from healthy and it wasn’t something that could just be eaten to replace a meal, after all. It was nice to know they were enjoying themselves, discovering that new kind of life they could really have now that they weren’t on the streets, either on the run from whoever had killed their family or just not able to afford a roof over their heads.

For reasons that still baffled me, I found myself wanting to keep them safe, I found myself wanting to keep them healthy and I knew that most of what I felt I couldn’t really help with. Still, I’d do my best to give them what they deserved even if in a way, it wasn’t even my job as it was. I was making it my job to give them these things and to help them learn about anything and everything they might want to learn about.


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