Coydog was aware that something was up long before the lanky form of her son came busting through her bedroom door, frantic with panic and pouring sweat.
"Mom, don't be mad, okay?" The boy rattled out, his hands hands fidgeting with the strings of a worn red hoodie. "So ED-E wasn't waiting for me after school. Annnnd he wasn't at home, either. Or at the treehouse, or the barn, or..." The boy paused his rambling, froze it in its tracks, fixed dark eyes widened with excitement and concern upon his mother's face.
"Mom? Why're you holding your eye like that? Headache?"
His mother seemed in a sorry state, sitting and pouting in the middle of her bed. Her blonde hair was a wild messy snarl, and she was still in her pajamas and that ratty blue housecoat. One of her hands covered her right eye, or rather its newly vacated socket. The most worrying sign to Fennec, however, was the fact that it was 3:00 in the afternoon and his mother wasn't at work.
A few more painfully long moments of silence stretched by, filling Fennec with dread. Coydog snapped out of whatever trance she was in and rustled up a smile for her son. His question was met with tablespoons of caution. Her hand did not stray. "A headache, baby boy. Yeah."
The jitters seemed to leave the boy in waves, though his expression belied that he wasn't completely convinced. Fennec sat on the foot of Coydog's bed and tried his best not to stare at that side of his mother's face, even when she was wearing makeup to cover the damage.
"Okay, Mom. If you say so. But ED-E's gone and I've looked everywhere." A new worry sprung to the forefront of his poor, young mind. "What if he ran away?"
Coydog, in the meantime, was putting two and two together, unaware that her thoughts were being grumbled out loud. "Then he ran off with my right eye, Muggy, and half of my damned dog." She realized her folly too late.
The boy forced himself to look at where his mother's hand rested, shielding him from seeing the empty socket no doubt. "You just said your right eye! Mom!"
"Christ, kid. Alright alright." Her robots were acting fucky and now the kid was giving her a hard time. Her grousing, however, held no bite. "For the sake of not reliving that particular trauma right now, let me just say that those particular circumstances lead to your ma getting a really wicked cyborg eye." Studying her son's face as he processed that, with anxious worry bubbling in her belly, she visibly relaxed when his face lit up.
"Okay, I'm just gonna say that's really cool. Not uh, losing your eye in the first place. But, oh man," the boy was practically humming in his skin; that robot nerd part of his brain lit up like a Christmas tree.
Smiling again, if only for the child's sake, Coydog sat up a little straighter. She did not move her hand, despite the budding ache in her arm. "Yeah, this morning I wake up sans Muggy, one eyeball and one cyberdog. So I figure wherever ED-E is, we'll find Muggy and Roxie. Maybe even figure out what caused 'em to vamoose in the first place."
Fennec, his mood having wildly brightened, jump to his feet as if he were spring loaded. "I won't let you down, Mom. Action and Adventure are my middle names!"
"It's just John, but fine."
The boy paid his mother's interjection no mind. "Annnnd I can get a peep at your weird eyeball!"
Coydog watched her son for along while with a soft smile on her face, her remaining eye wonderstruck; drunk on the fact that she had helped create such a neat and wonderful creature. "Alright, Fennec Action And Adventure Mason, if we're gonna do this then you've gotta do me a solid and get your homework done. Dig?"
"Dig!" The boy stopped his Corny Ninja Kicks of Celebration and without another word hurried from her room, leaving his mother alone with her thoughts and perhaps a precious hour more to brood in peace.