Quinn sat in one of the common areas scattered around inside the safe house that had been her home for nearly three months. She sat with a pair of headphones on her head, one ear left uncovered so that she could hear someone speaking to her. She was sprawled on one of the loveseats, a notebook balanced on her knee as she nodded idly to the soundtrack playing through her headphones.
Alec sat in a chair across from Quinn's, a few metres away, staring with an intense yet blank gaze straight ahead towards her. He wore black jeans and a black vest over a navy blue hoodie. Alec had been intending on training for the duration of the day, however his mentor, Grey, had suddenly been called into an important meeting, leaving Alec with nothing to do. Now, deep in thought, Alec's line of sight, however directly on Quinn, seemed to go right through her, seeing nothing. His elbows rested on the arms of the chair, hands below his chin with his fingers pressed together in thought.
Quinn couldn't shake the feeling of Alec's eyes on her, and eventually she sighed a bit, looking up to meet his gaze. However, when she did, she noticed that while he was looking at her, he wasn't really looking at her. Concerned, she watched him for a few more moments before pulling her headphones off and resting them around her neck. "Hey, Alec? You doing okay? You just look very... intense."
Quinn's eyes narrowed dubiously, and she stared at him for a few moments more. Eventually, though, she shrugged, pulling her headphones back over her ears and focused her attention back on her notebook. She put her pencil to the paper, continuing the play manuscript she had been working on. She sat in silence for a few minutes, before realizing that her music playlist had run out. She idly fiddled with her phone, sending a quick update text to her mother before selecting a new playlist.
Alec watched Quinn for a moment longer, before slipping a hand into his pocket and pulling out his own phone. After entering his passcode, Alec found himself absently selecting his photos app. Alec knew it was a mistake to go any further, but couldn't stop himself from entering his main album and beginning to scroll through the pictures. Countless pictures of textbook pages for studying Evolved history took up most of the top of the album. A scarce amount of pictures took up the middle section, however soon gave way to the pictures Alec was looking for. There were dozens of them. Him and his friends, from before he had lost them. Him and his mother. Him and his father. It was those that Alec couldn't stop himself from looking at, even though he knew it was a mistake. He could handle the ones of his friends. The ones with his mother stirred up regret. The ones with his father were the ones that Alec couldn't manage. He stared at the pictures for a few minutes, unable to tear his gaze away. As he focused more on those of his father, Alec's breath slowly became increasingly uneven and shaky. Emotions flooded his dry eyes. Anger. Fear. Regret. Sorrow.
Alec stood up suddenly, making his way towards the exit of the common area rapidly. He was not fine.
Quinn has no stranger to the tell-tale signs of someone crying. She swiftly stood and followed Alec out the door. "Hey!" She called after him firmly, jogging to catch up to him. Once he was close enough, she put a hand on his shoulder, gently so she didn't startle him too badly. "Hey," she said, softer this time. "What's got you all upset?"
Aiden was sitting in one of the common rooms seats completely aware of the scene he witnessed. "I should let them sort that out on their own" Aiden mumbled as he opened up a book and started reading it. The book wasn't interesting to him so he decided to go to the residences.
Alec pulled away from Quinn rather harshly, turning his intense, dark gaze on her.
"Nothing. I'm fine," Alec insisted brusquely, taking a step back away from Quinn. At his side, he clutched his phone tightly, arm visibly shaking. He seemed to be in a hurry to get Quinn to leave, so that he, too, could get away.
Aiden teleported into the residences and looked around. Aiden has only been in the safe house for a few weeks but has started to get used to his surroundings. He remembered the day it happened. It was a day like any other day, Aiden was abandoned a few months back and was forced to live on his own until he found somebody and they offered him into RAI. Aiden accepted immediently and thought this was going to be a new hope for him. It was but not as big as he expected. He still was grateful for what he has but hasn't really gotten to know the people around him very well. Aiden is hoping to stay positive but with the stuff going on he can't really stay very positive.
As Alec awaited Quinn's reply, staring at the wall behind her, he couldn't help but allow his thoughts to drift. On the wall, opposite to him, a door stood slightly ajar, giving a very welcoming impression, despite the intimidation that it radiated due to it leading to the unknown. The welcoming unknown. That was something Alec would never forget.
Alec stood on an untravelled dirt path, surrounded by a lush wood. His house, a fairly modest residence, was in front of a forest, one which others rarely visited, yet Alec seemed to find time to escape to every day. On other days, it would be to think in peace, or to remember... Him. Tonight was different. Tonight's visit was out of panic.
Alec knew what was happening to him. He knew what the shadows were. He knew he had evolved. After several weeks, he had come to accept that. Acceptance, though important, was not the only step. Acceptance didn't help deal with the situation. Alec knew that, too. Neither did panic, but Alec couldn't help that at the moment.
After a minute of staring blankly down the dark, moonlit path, Alec collapsed. He wasn't hurt. He wasn't dying. He was wide awake, and utterly exhausted. This- Dealing with his ability, keeping it secret, attempting to suppress panic- It was completely exhausting. Alec didn't know what to do anymore. He didn't know where to go. He was completely exhausted from the past few weeks, and didn't have the mental strength left to continue. To continue doing whatever it was he was doing. Hiding his ability, researching it, planning how to deal with it- Alec couldn't do it anymore. He wasn't usually one to give up, but he knew when a fight was over. This fight was one that he just couldn't win. One that he just couldn't fight on his own, yet fighting alone was his only option.
"It's not safe out here at night, you know," A voice came from behind him.
Alec spun around quickly, searching through the dark of the night to locate the source of the voice. It wasn't hard to find the man who had spoken. He had made no attempt to conceal himself.
"I- I was just taking a- a- a shortcut. To the- my- the store," Alec stuttered, deep blue eyes wide with shock, panic, and fear.
"Don't worry, I won't hurt you. There's no need to hide it. I know what you can do," The man informed Alec calmly.
"I- I don't know what you're talking about. I just need to- to get to the hospital," Alec insisted out of desperation, taking a step back.
"You said store a moment ago. You'll need to work on that lying," The man replied, maintaining his calm state, "There's no reason to run from me. I'm like you. I just want to help, and you and I both know you need it."
Alec did need help. He was desperate.
"Who are you?" Alec finally questioned, after staring at the man for a few seconds.
"Greyson Athanas, member of RAI, the Refuge for Altered Individuals. Let me help. Let me take you there."
Alec knew he wasn't thinking rationally. He knew that even though his instinct told him to go with the man, he needed to escape. He needed to say no.
"Yes," Alec blurted out, immediately shocked at the response that his voice had formed.
"Okay. Before we go, just know one thing: You don't need to be afraid. Of your ability, of RAI, of me... Of yourself. All of us, everyone at the safehouse, they've all been through exactly what you're going through. You're not alone. You don't need to be afraid."
The welcoming unknown had been Grey. Of all the wrong decisions Alec had made in his life, of all the regrets he had, saying yes to Grey that night was not one of them.
Quinn's lips tightened into a thin line, and she sighed deeply through her nose. "No dice, kiddo." Quinn said. "Are you going to tell me what's up? Or should I get your mentor?" She shrugged, meeting his gaze. She followed it over her shoulder, seeing the open door behind her. "Weird. I don't think they leave doors open very often..." She muttered, realizing that she was practically speaking to herself as Alec seemed entranced by something. "Alec? What's got you like this?"
Aiden slipped into his room almost instantly flopping onto his bed. Aiden closed his eyes and before he knew it he was already asleep.. Aiden is in a field with flowers and he sees his family waiting for him outside their house. His family all of a sudden getting farther away even when Aiden ran
Aiden ran faster and faster and eventually darkness formed around him.
Aiden jolted awake and sighed. "I've been having the same dream since I first got here." He said to himself.
Zyn was sitting in a corner of the common room, entertaining himself by creating accurate simulations of video games that he's played, occasionally "cheating" by doing something he normally can't. He could do a lot of things that way. He could even play some movies, provided he had watched them enough to memorize them. He absently looked up to see two others talking, then returned to his "video game"
Alec eyed the girl for a moment longer, before flashing her a quick smile, and brushing past her, down the hall. The boy quickly arrived at his room, and entered swiftly, closing the door behind him.
Once inside, Alec leaned against the door, drawing in a deep breath. That had been a hard situation to escape, and Alec made a note not to get in one like that again. Glancing to the clock on the wall, Alec noticed the time, and was relieved when he realized Grey would be out of his meeting quite soon.