A Chapter by TopHatGirl




And everything did become okay, for a while. Things got into a regular motion, a schedule that was changed to occupy a child into the equation. Getting on their one AM to nine AM work track, you were often up until late and slept through the morning. The afternoon that Mizzy and Jacc found you was a fluke, they happened to need groceries. Of course, when they discovered you, the needed items were quickly forgotten.

You were huddled on the top bunk, curled up in the covers and reading more of Tio's art books. Even if you hated the superhero ones with a deep passion, you enjoyed the ones about detectives finding and solving a mystery with clever wit, not powers. He could handle himseld, you thought, tapping the picture of a man rubbing his chin thoughtfully, trench-coat aflutter in the breeze.

It also helped with your English. Between the novels, comics, and lessons from Jaxx, your sentence flueny has noticeably increased. You aren't smart, much to Jaxx's frustration. It's a slow pace you lean at, and only one step at a time.

Occasionally, Let lends you a book in another language, usually Spanish or German, to see if that is actually your native language. They're not, but it's fine. You like to pretend you have some idea of your past life by imagining living in a foreign land speaking unfamiliar tongue with adventures and loving family.

You do have a loving family here, though. They care for you, Mizzy especially. She is like a mother to you, and you talk to her the most of your problems. Cole, too. He's teaching you mathematics. You are good at arithmetic, exceptionally better than literature. He gives you practice problems and your burn through them, metaphorically. You sped through algebra, brezzed past geometry, and currently tackling trigonometry. Tio's history lessons are sometimes bland, especially the boring dusty politics of revolutions and government, but the sacrifices, the cruelty, the absolute horror of the past are the fascinating parts. Right now, you are on WII and the depression era. You did enjoy the calm happiness of the 1920's America, though, it was a nice break of the long arduous WWI lesson.

You are more interested in the Underground work. The codes, the numbers, the taasks. Mizzy's been insistent that you are ignorant of their work, but sometimes you flip open the 'H4CK3RS 6UID3 T0 C0D35" its slightly annoying and difficult to read through the 'l33t' speak and the mumbo jumbo, but the temptation of knowledge is simply too great.

Sometimes during the day when The Five are asleep, you turn on a computer and practice. One time, you accidentally hacked into a bank account and saw all of the current available funds. Being the Thief, you thought you should take some of it, but you didn't know how to yet, so you woke up Jaxx (who was very annoyed at having his sleep interrupted) and had him help you "erase the trace" of you being there. He seemed slightly pleased at your quick work on the account, but still pretended to be angry.

Mizzy has strict rules on using your powers. When to use them, at what hours, and for how long. Which is almost never, and it is very annoying not to be able to flex your muscles. Tio secretly helps you, though. He takes you to the rooftop and shows you some movements he learned from shows with similar powers as you. It is mostly fluid motions, and it does help. Honestly. Afterwards, you talk about modern life, and what regular teenagers do. What they do sounds boring. You don't mean to be rude, but sometimes what he tells you about contemporary life is mundane, but everyone seems happy with their life, so maybe they know a secret about joy that people like you can't know.

Cole sits on your bed, looking over your shoulder at what you are reading. "Tio's books?" he asks, pointing to the comic. You nod, not turning your head. He's on break. He does most of the complex coding. He's working on creating a virus that can completely break down a firewall on government files. Someone is going to pay him much money if he gets it right, so he's been working on it non stop. There are purple circles under his eyes, and you bite your lip in sympathy.

"You should get some rest," you say softly. He shakes his head, wiping his face with his hand.

"I should, but this is important. We really need the money right now."

"We do?"

"Yeah, kiddo." He ruffles your hair, which you love when he does. It makes you feel safe, for some reason. "Can I see your hand?"

Periodically, he still examines your burn marks to see how they're healing. It's a slow process, your hands. There hasn't been much process. He unraps the bandages, pushing up his glasses and staring at them. "Damn, why aren't any of my methods working?" He's tried everything, burns, grafts, shots, he even took you to a dermatologist to have a look. They took a biopsy of it, with little result. You keep saying that it's unnecessary to put all of the trouble in, but he always smiles and says that he likes a challenge. But in reality, he knows it hurts you, and it worries him. He just doesn't want you to be worried too. It frustrates you too, the way you are treated like a child who can't handle the truth. But it's also nice to know people are looking out for you. "I'm such an idiot, can't even cure a simple burn."

"You're not an idiot," Tio pipes up, coming up to you and him. He tries to talk to Cole a lot, and often it ends in getting severly off track in the conversation and eventually ending in flustering excuses to move along. Cole doesn't talk often with a lot of people, he mostly keeps on himself. He's going to the university part time to get a bachelor's degree in medicine, and so far, he's exhausted all of the time. Everyone else is sympathetic, but they all of have s**t to get done. Except you. You're bored most of the time, which seems rude, seeing how you could be stuck in an alleyway being dead instead of bored. If that makes sense.

You've inquired to Mizzy about maybe getting a job, but no luck. She says you need a little more interaction in the modern world, which you haven't gotten yet, because she doesn't let you out of the apartment often.

"Well, I'm close to being one," Cole says, frowning at your hand. "It's not healing."

"Maybe she has to stop using her powers for it to heal?" Tio wonders. Cole shakes his head.

"Good suggestion, but it doesn't feel right." he bites his thumbnail. "I mean, it seems like her body wouldn't hurt itself with its own power. Wouldn't it have some sort of immunity or defense against burns?"

Tio sits up on the bed, examining your hand as well. You sigh, letting them chatter on about the injury while you read your comic. Let is making dinner, chicken soup tonight. It's your favorite, next to the Chinese food Jaxx brings home every once in a while. Cole goes back to his work, rubbing the sleep from his eyes, and Tio nudges you with his elbow.

"Hey, kiddo, how about we take a walk?" He knows you enjoy walks. You often get restless from hanging around the apartment a lot. You pull on your old sweatshirt and lace up a pair of new sneakers Let gave you a few weeks ago. They're not worn out yet, which you have been determined to do yourself. Tio shouts out that they're going on a walk, and they nod, going back to work. You stuff your hands into your pockets, skipping up the stairs and opening the door for Tio. Being late at night, the cold stings at your skin, and you shiver once. "Let's get coffee," he says. You hate coffee unless you put caramel into it, and maybe some vanilla cream. The specifics are muddled. There's a cheap coffee shop down the street from your home (you love to call the apartment "your home", it feels nice), and it has the aroma of spices and warmth when you push open the glass door, the little bell ringing to alarm the cashier someone has arrived.

Just like at home, people are typing away on their laptops. But instead of griping about codecs and frames, they occasionally mumble,"There's no way I can get to 50,000 in a month..." which confuses you and Tio. He orders a mocha for you, a straight black coffee for him. You sit by the window, so you can people watch. People watching is interesting, sometimes you can copy their mannerisms to see what being someone else is like. Everyone always stares at your grey hair. Never at Let's blue locks, never at Mizzy's pink strands, but always at your hair. It's because it's natural, Let always claims. You don't show any roots, so people assume it's natural. You don't mind.

"Anything wrong?" Tio asks. He always asks this. He always thinks something is wrong.

"No," you say.

"Okay." Lapsing into silence.

"What is wrong with you and Cole?" you burst, taking a sip of your mocha and making an unpleasant face at the hot mark it leaves on your tongue. Tio chokes on his coffee, pounding his chest and blushing at the people turning around to stare at him. You glare at them (you have mastered your glare, Jaxx worked with you on it for days. You are 99.67% confident it is the most menacing glare you can manage).

"Nothing is wrong with me and Cole. Cole and me," he lies, straight-faced. You may be dumb, but lies never pass you. It's the eyes, you believe. The lie is present in the eye. You motion with your hand, go on. He clears his throat, not meeting your steady gaze. "You notice too much," he mumbles.

"Do you like-like him?" you ask.

"Where did you learn that term?" Tio asks, raising an eyebrow and crumpling up his napkin.

"One of Mizzy's teen romance novels she let me read. It was not very good, but the boy was exhibiting signs that you do around Cole. So I just assumed." You look down at your mocha. You hope it has cooled down by now, your tongue is still festering from the previous sip. "Sorry."

"Hey, look, I'd love to give a girl some slash romance to fangirl over as much as the next person," Tio starts, and now you are just so puzzled at that statement that you do not even want to process that just whut. "But even if I did even remotely like Cole Nester, it wouldn't happen."

"Why not?" you inquire, resting your chin on the table and staring up at him with wide eyes. "You are one hell of a catch." You learned that from reading another comic. It sounded right in this situation.

Tio snorts loudly, and again, people turn to stare at you two. "Although that may be true, I am somewhat of not Cole's type. I am ignorant about mathematics and medicine and any of that smart guy crap."

"Oh," you say. "But you are both socially awkward and know a lot about book smarts."

"Thief," he begins, patting my shoulder. "Sometimes two people just wouldn't work out together, okay?"

"I think you are wrong," you say quietly. "But I do not know much about the romance things, only what I read about in Let's books and your comics."

"It's alright," Tio says, finishing up his coffee. "You'll understand someday."

"But it is so confusing," you say, twirling a lock of your hair. "So complex. No one can just say how they feel."

"Yeah, well." Rain patters against the window, tapping out to the same rhythm of fingers hitting a keyboard. Tio sighs, and rolls his eyes. "Damn, forgot the umbrella. Cole even warned me about the weather."

"I love the rain," you say. You've only seen it twice, but the sound and the smell of it was so overwhelming you can't help but smile a little. "Can we practice the light tonight?"

"Sure, kiddo." He gets up, leaving the money for the coffee on the table and putting his hood up. "But only for a little while."


© 2011 TopHatGirl

Author's Note

This scene is definitely not making the final cut.

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Added on December 2, 2011
Last Updated on December 2, 2011



[Redacted], NV

Hi, I'm TopHatGirl! If you're here about my character lessons or to get some advice, email me instead of messaging at [email protected] This is because I don't go on this site as much anym.. more..

chapter one chapter one

A Chapter by TopHatGirl

chapter two chapter two

A Chapter by TopHatGirl

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