The side effects o’ the serum begin to manifest themselves:

The spreading rash on his arm

Checking for changes
“Mornin, sunshine! ” a drowsy Martin groaned, as he felt her push him off the couch. “C’mon, up on your feet, lazybones! We’ve gotta get to work.” Deirdre reminded, stretching out her hand to help him up as he lay on his back on the rug. She tumbled and fell atop him, as he mischievously tugged at her arm. “Fancy some breakfast first? ” he asked, tucking a lock of hair that’d come loose behind her ear. “Sure. But, your fridge’s empty. You should keep it stocked.” she advised, looking into his eyes as he spoke. “We haven’t even kissed yet an’ yer already raidin my fridge, eh? Anyway, I meant, let’s head on to Matt an’ Alice’s. Her pancakes are to die for! ” he exclaimed. “Brilliant! Let’s go then! ” she declared, rolling off him and standing up. “Now….about us kissin….? ” he asked longingly, disappointed because she’d interrupted their intimate moment. “Later. I’m famished! ” she replied, putting on her coat and gesturing to him to stop lying around like a tortoise and follow her out.
“Mornin! You two are early. Matt’s still asleep. You 2 are the first recipients of my famed pancakes! ” she exclaimed cheerfully, before busily flipping some more pancakes and rustling up scrambled eggs. “Oi! Hands to yourself, O’Reilly! Those are my pancakes.” Deirdre scolded, swatting his arm away, as he greedily grabbed at her stack of buttery, blueberry-topped pancakes. “Yeah, I should’ve warned ya. He tends to eat off others’ plates. Does it to me an’ Matt all the time! ” Alice revealed with a laugh, as if egging him on! “An’ they let me! ” he continued shamelessly, before quickly sneaking a handful of blueberries from her plate and popping them into his mouth.
” Mornin, love! ” Matt greeted Alice with a kiss, happily strutting into the kitchen before pouring himself a cup of coffee from the carafe. “Mornin, mate! Ya feelin all right?” ” a concerned Martin asked. He’d finished his breakfast hurriedly, since a punctual Deirdre insisted on not reaching late to work. She’d even risked it by gulping down steaming hot coffee! “I’m fine. D’you mind? I’m just gonna get past ya….to my cozy place at the breakfast table? ” Matt requested, trying to push past him. “Feelin a bit temperamental there, mate? Sure, you’re fine? No mysterious aches or pains? ” Martin asked again for reassurance, raising an eyebrow. “Well, I’ve this serious headache.” Matt replied, rubbing his forehead with his fingers. “Really? When’d that start? ” a curious Martin asked. “Around the time ya started talkin.” came the sarcastic reply. “Ya know what? I think, we’ve gotta get goin! ” Alice interrupted, quickly gulping down her orange juice, before pulling her prodding brother in law aside. “What’re ya doin, dude?! Tryin to scare him? ” she asked, angrily. “Yer right! We should probably wait….till the quills start protrudin outta his back! ” he retorted, sarcastically. “Till the what
protrude outta my back?! ” an alarmed Matt cried out, overhearing them. “Nothin, hon! Martin was just tellin me about this horror movie he watched last night- Night of the zombie porcupines 2!” Alice lied, dragging Martin out the door before he can open his mouth again. “You’ve gotta tell me more about this movie! ” Deirdre (who was a huge fan of horror movies) exclaimed, following behind. “Have a great day, ya 3!” Matt called out after them with a mouthful of bran, before folding up his sweater sleeve, feeling the urge to scratch at the itchy crimson rash that stretched across his arm.


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