Here On Earth

By E. Red

 

Chapter 5

 

He was hitting me, but I wasn't scared. He was going to stop in a minute, and then the bad people would come. But I knew I had to get away from them. I saw it. But I couldn't figure out how... My stepfather was mad that my voice was gone, and that I wasn't the same as I used to be, but I could hear that he still cared about me, deep inside. There was someone else making him hit me, and I made her stop doing it. He blinked at me, confused at what was going on, but I ran before the bang came. It was hard, but I got out of the house without being caught, and my brain told me to get as far away as I could.

 

It must have been right, because as soon as I ran down the alley, my house blew up, a big fireball shooting straight up into the air as I tripped into a bush, ripping my dress for the first of many times. My mother and stepfather were gone. I knew it from the pictures in my head. But my brain told me to find the water lady, and everything would be alright... So I looked all over the place, listening to the voices in my brain and the pictures in my head, untill I finally found her... But then the pictures told me to do this... So I did it... I hope you'll understand...

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

"Eurgh..." The world swam as I came to. I first noticed that I was on my floor, in my now slightly damp nightgown, before the headache started in on me. The next thing I noticed was that it was nearly noon, and Sunday. "What...?"

 

My room was vacant, and I only vaguely recalled a figure sitting on the end of my bed, but that had been early Saturday morning... Maybe I had too much to drink... I frowned as I sank into my chair, trying to pull the tangled mess of my hair our of my face. No, that couldn't be it... Not with my metabolism...

 

I'm not entirely sure exactly what happened that weekend, but the rest of the day passed in a blur, and the next thing I really knew was that I was on my way to school on monday morning, dazed and confused. And, oddly enough, nervous...

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Allan saw hi... Her, you idiot... Her from across the cafeteria from where he had been sitting. The weekend had given him plenty of time to think on the events of the dance on Friday, and he'd come no closer to a resolution than he had been then. He needed to talk to her, that much he knew, but seeing the way she walked in this morning, he immediately faltered.

 

Something was not right.

 

She was dressed in a pair of plain jeans, and wearing a  heavy sweatshirt that hid her figure. She was clutching her books to her chest like she was afraid they were going to run away, and her hair was wild and unkempt, like she'd slept on it and not bothered to tame it this morning. The easy grace that she had been walking with had vanished completely from her stride, replaced with a shaky, unconfident step that made her indominable spirit vanish into a weak, scared one.

 

All these factors played into Allan's mind as he watched her take a seat at the farthest table from the door, in the back corner of the room. She'd been very careful to make sure she looked comfortable since the change, never really appearing to have been upset with it while in the public eye. He knew from  their years of friendship that it took something considerably substancial to rattle... her. And here, it was plainly obvious that something had.

 

And he knew that, in her state, he was the last person she would want to talk to. He sighed in frustration as he sat lower in his seat, watching his best friend bury her face into a book, glancing around nervously every now and then. Nothing I can do... "Damn." He cursed under his breath. Maybe Johnny, or Seraphim can help...

 

But there was nobody else here, for now.

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

Nerves. Damned, hyperactive nerves... I couldn't understand what it was about today, but I was nervous as hell, just about going to school. More nervous, in fact, than I had been coming back for the first time after MORFS... But even as I sat by myself in the corner, I couldn't figure it out. I was scared, again, that everyone was going to make me a pariah, even after the acceptance had been shown to me.

 

I chanced another glance over the top of my chemistry textbook, not really sure what I was watching for, but I locked eyes with someone across the room, and my heart leapt into my throat. Allan returned my gaze for a moment before I broke eye contact, terrified now of the outcome of the last time we'd seen each other. I hoped against hope that I hadn't lost my best friend, praying in the back of my mind that he'd come over and talk to me. Let me know that he was still my friend. Tell me that everything will be alright... Please...

 

But the next time I looked, what I saw nearly broke me. Allan was shaking his head and leaving the room. He was leaving me alone... Leaving me...

 

And again, the tears came. I spent a lot of time crying in those early days, and this time was no different. Alone. Again, I was alone.

 

I stayed there until the start of first period.

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------

 

The posse came together at lunch that day, exactly like every other day, save for one huge difference. Only one of the twins showed up. Julia was confused at her sister's absence, but her confusion was replaced by worry when she was informed about what had happened during the morning periods. Mia had, apparently, not said a word to any of her friends all day, despite being right next to them, and she refused to even acknowledge their presence. Leanne even mentioned noticing that she had clearly been crying recently, but wouldn't say a word as to why.

 

Alarmed, she reached out for her sister's mind, but found only inky black nothingness. No thoughts or feelings whatsoever came back through her half of their empathic link, and that concerned her even more. She slumped in her chair, her appetite gone.

 

"Hey, look!" Andy's vioce broke her out of her thoughts. She looked over in the direction he was pointing, and gasped. Mia had left early that morning, walking to school rather than waiting for a ride, and Julia could now see why. Her sister was a mess, her eyes red and puffy from crying, her posture nervous and her shoulders shaking. She hardly took a step into the cafeteria when she looked over at the group, her eyes searching for something. Julia felt Allan stand up beside her, and saw Mia's eyes widen, and sparkle with fresh tears before she turned and fled, bolting from the room.

 

Allan cursed, stepping on his chair to jump the table and follow her, but Julia stopped him. "You'll never catch her." She said quietly, pulling him back down. "None of us can."

 

"Why does it always happen to her?" Leanne asked, upset.

 

The group fell silent, the mood broken by the abrupt interruption. Allan sighed after a moment. "Look, I'm sorry, guys, but she's clearly not comfortable with being around me." He said, standing up and grabbing his backpack. "I'm gonna lay low for a while. You guys do what you need to do..." He turned and left without another word. A quick, bewildered glance was shared before Marco and Andy took off after him, muttering something about "Talking some sense into him."

 

Nobody noticed the small shadow of a figure moving away from the window...

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

I didn't mean to make you sad... I was just trying to help... The bad lady was trying to hurt you, and I had to stop her... But I didn't mean to stop your sister, too... I fixed it now, though... Please fogive me...

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------

 

"Miss Walker!" Thud!

 

The sound of the book hitting the table startled me awake. Ms. Greene, my advanced physics teacher, stared down at me, an exasperated expression on her normally calm features. "I know you routinely ace this class, but that is not... An... Excuse..." She trailed off, her expression quickly shifting to one of concern. "Are you alright? You look a little pale..."

 

I shook my head, trying to throw off the memory of the weird dream, and that little girl's voice. "Y-yeah... I'm just... Not having the greatest day..." I answered, glancing around the room. The class was over, and everyone else had left to go home. I saw Hiro standing outside the door, waiting for me. Not that I was ready to talk to anybody... "I'm sorry for sleeping through class, ma'am... I can stay and make up the time, if-"

 

"No, no..." She said, helping me out of my desk. "You are my prized student, after all." She managed a small smile. "But you didn't hear that from me. Just... Don't make a habit of this, alright?"

 

"Yes'm." I managed, cramming my books into my bag as she led me to the door.

 

"Good girl... Now go home, and get some rest." And with that, she closed the door behind me.

 

Hiro didn't say a word, which didn't surprise me. He always was the 'strong, silent type'. Instead, he followed me to my locker in silence, waiting patiently while I packed up and locked up. It was slightly creepy, but he followed me as I left the building, taking the long walk home in order to avoid the park. I just let him follow me. I guess his presence kind of kept me from agonizing about my other problems, which I was grateful for, but it also distracted me from paying attention to where I was going, which is what led to me tripping on the curb. I was so distracted, even my accellerated reflexes didn't catch me before I hit the sidewalk, spilling the contents of my bag all over and skinning a mad scrape on my left knee.

 

My knee throbbed as I bit back painful tears. Hiro quietly stuffed my things back into my bag before holding out a silent hand to help me up. That's when I lost it. I was crying into his shirt before I even knew what I was doing. I felt a protective arm wrap around me, and I looked up into a sympathetic smile. "I said to call me if you need my help." He said quietly. And I did need his help.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Hiro held Mia gently until she stopped shaking. She was no longer the rock that she had once been, the pillar of safety and command that she had presented herself as when they had first met. She was a friend who needed to be helped. She'd lost her impossible to overcome will, no longer the emotional juggernaut that had spearheaded every problem her friends had. She'd lost her way. She was forced to feel the emotions that she'd shrugged off as irrelevant in her 'former' life, and she was breaking under the pressure.

 

When she finally stopped trembling in his arms, she started to talk about what had happened that weekend, and that morning. Hiro was more than a little surprised to find out what the real problem was between her and Allan, but promised not to say anything when she asked. "This isn't your problem, Hiro." She whispered as they walked slowly down the street.

 

"Not directly." He replied calmly, looking up into the sky. Grey stormclouds were gathering in the distance. "But when my friends have problems, I like to help when I can." He grinned slightly. "And when it comes to us, the problems don't just rain, they pour."

 

She gave a tiny giggle, wiping her eyes on her sleeve. "M'sorry about this..." She said finally. "I'm becoming quite the weepy little drama queen, aren't I?"

 

"Drama's not all that bad." He said, deadpan, as they rounded the last corner and the Walker house came into view. "But they usually involve a cast of people." He gave her a significant sidelong glance.

 

She blushed in embarrassment. "Heh... Yeah..."

 

Hiro walked her all the way up to the door, handing her bag back to her. "As for Allan... Just talk to him. I'm sure it'll come out clean in the wash." He gave her shoulder one last reassuring squeeze before turning and walking away. "Take it easy, Mia." And he smiled, not looking back to see her expression.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

It took me a few days to work myself up to it, but I finally forced myself to find my wayward best friend at the end of the week. With no repeat bad days, I was soon back to some semblance of myself, or at least the 'myself' that had been me since the change...

 

Actually, that's a little misleading. I didn't force myself to do anything. My 'friends' shoved me into a closet and didn't let me out until I'd promised to talk to him.

 

I walked in to the caf on Friday morning, not really knowing what I was going to say. But I never got the chance to plan it out.

 

Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of humor...

 

"Oomph!" Allan very nearly knocked me over as we both turned through the door at the same time, though I would have hit the floor had I not grabbed onto his arm reflexively as I started to fall.

 

"Sorry, I..." He trailed off as our eyes met, his face flushing a deep crimson as he looked away. "Err... My bad. Sorry, Mia... I-I gotta go..." He tried to walk away, but I held on to his arm.

 

"Hey... C-can we... Talk?" Not for the last time I cursed my newfound timidity.

 

"I really-" He stopped, sighing in defeat. "Yeah. Alright."

 

He let me lead him back into the caf to an empty table near the back, but before I let him sit down, I came right out and showed him what was going on. I think he was surprised when I hugged him, but it just seemed like the right thing to do. We stood there for what must have been five minutes before I heard him speak.

 

"I'm sorry." He said quietly, dropping his arms from around my shoulders. "I didn't mean to... Well..."

 

"Kiss me?" I finished, afraid of what he was trying to say.

 

"...Upset you."

 

We fell silent again, and I think the only thing that kept him there was me being attached to his chest. Which, of course got me upset again. Upset, and confused, and frustrated... I was crying again before I even realised it. My emotions were getting the better of me again. I bit my lip as I tried to get a hold of myself, but they got away again when I felt his embrace return.

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Allan watched those brilliant purple eyes turn up to look into his, flowing with tears as they locked eyes. "Forgive me?" He whispered, afraid of the answer.

 

She hesitated a moment, a slight look of confusion crossing her face, and he almost flinched. But he needn't have thought that way. She shifted slightly in his arms, standing up an her tip-toes and stretching her neck, planting a solid kiss on his lips.

 

His shock lasted all the way through, feeling her warm tears as they trailed down her face onto his chin. When she finally broke away and buried her face into the crook of his neck, he felt shaky all of a sudden, and sank backwards into a chair, pulling her into his lap. "So, uhh, that's a yes then?"

 

She shook slightly, a fit of giggles breaking through her tears. "You always know just what to say, don't you?"

 

"Err... Yes?" He answered, and she giggled some more, looking up. "I'm really sorry, you know that right?"

 

She shook her head. "Don't be. S'not entirely your fault..." She looked away guiltily. "Just don't avoid me any more... Please?"

 

"Hmm." He replied, nodding once. "I guess we're not buddies any more."

 

Her head snapped around, startled. But her lips were occupied before she could say anything. They came up for air a minute later, and she sighed contentedly. "I guess not..."

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Don't ask me. I just went with how I felt at that moment. And as I sat there in his lap, leaning back into his arms, I felt good, for the first time in nearly a week. And, though I'd 'lost' my best friend, I forced myself to admit, much to the dismay of my former male conscience, I'd found my very first boyfriend.

 

And I couldn't be happier, oddly enough... ^_^

 

-----------------------------------------------------------------

 

Surveillance Report, 15Dec2059: Subjects Julia & Mia continue to display increasing degrees of control over their abillities. Post-MORFS checkups indicate further mutation in subject Mia, whose bones appear to have drained, revealing themselves to be constructed of hundreds of nanotubules. This has effectively increased her strength in relation to her body by a small factor, largely insignificant to the progress of the proposed use of her abillities. Subject Mia has also fully accepted her new gender, and is currently exploring a romantic relationship on secondary subject Allan, file attached. Subject Julia continues to hover protectively over her sister in an amusing twist of fate. Monitoring continues unnoticed, taps and bugs included.

 

Psionic block which appeared 01Nov2059 remains in place, preventing psionic intrusion by all outside sources, though Julia appears capable of getting through, for some odd reason. The psychic signature on the block will sometimes appear in the neighbourhood, but I am unable to follow it to it's source. Will keep you advised on any progress.

 

Sir, with respect, I would like to request additional support immediately. My Ex-wife and her husband are planning to come down for new years, an I want to make sure I can keep up appearances while they're here.

 

-Operative Lone Wolf.

 

P.S.: I hate spying on my own children, general. I stand by my previous request to be left out of this.

 

 

To Be Continued…

   

 

 

The entire MORFS  Universe can be found at http://morfs.nowhere2go.org/

 


Views: