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He froze with one foot in the air and looked around anxiously, not sure what he was supposed to be looking out for. Delenna jumped up from her desk, grabbed a thin metal plate and ran over. He tried not to wobble as she stooped, laying the plate on the floor for the tiny micro-robots that he could barely see to run on to.

“Jeez, Delenna, aren’t you supposed to have a warning sign up when you have those things out?”

She blushed and nodded. “Sorry,” she said. “My mistake. You can put your foot down now.”

He looked down to check the floor before he did so. “You’re sure you have them all accounted for? You know, if any of these get out and we face a grey goo apocalypse, people aren’t going to take “oops, my mistake” very kindly.”

She bit her lip as she returned the micro-robots to their containment block.  “I didn’t mean to – I mean, I thought the sign was-”

He tutted and followed her across the room to give her a gentle hug. “I’m just ribbing you,” he said. “Even if they did get out, what’s going to happen? We can’t even get them to replicate in the lab.”

She smiled faintly and hugged him back. Neither of them noticed the heavy lab door close gently – as if by itself.

© Kari Fay

(Author’s Note: This week Three Word Wednesday gives us Careful, Hug and Mistake.)