Introduction

Minnie fingered her beautiful red locks. Her hands were shaking and she needed something to control them. Her hair was down and it barely pasted her shoulders. She ran her hand through her hair one more time before trying again. She formed her hands into a ball, leaving them cupped so there was room inside.

"Okay," she whispered, though she didn't know why. "I'm gonna' try again."

Her best friend in the whole world was standing next to her. Brad leaned in a little bit staring at her hands, entranced by her voice. Brad was a total sweetheart but he had the worst luck ever. On the way from his house to the street corner where he was going to meet Minnie that afternoon, he had tripped several times over both the curb and his shoelaces, and when he finally thought he had gotten his balance, some jerk high schooler "accidentally" through a football at his face. The next thing Brad knew, he was on the ground once again with the jerk running off with his football. He hadn't even made it to the corner without getting hurt, much less doing anything else. Brad was a tad bit tall for his age and he had sandy brown hair. He was pretty good looking, but no one seemed to notice him.

Brad licked his lips in anticipation. Minnie's hands started shaking violently and there between her two hands was a tiny ball of fire. Minnie's eyes were screwed up so she didn't know what she was doing.

"Min!" Brad squealed. "You're doing it! Look!"

Minnie's eyes opened wide and for a moment she held it while she stared at it, eyes twinkling. And then, it was gone. She sighed and her arms fell limp to her sides. She wiped the sweat from her forehead and smiled at Brad.

"Whoa, what a workout." She said beaming. Brad nodded at this. The two eleven-year-olds continued smiling at each other until the moment became awkward. They started walking again.

"I can't believe I can do something like that!" Minnie exclaimed. "I can't wait till I tell Izzy and everyone else! They're gonna' be so psyched. They're gonna' want me to do tricks and everything!"

"C'mon, Min." Brad cut in seriously. "You can't possibly think that you can tell the world about your…" He stopped short trying to find the right words. "gift. It's something special. You can't tell everybody."

"Okay, then." Minnie said, thinking. "I'll just teeell…Izzy…and Marj and Heather…and Taylor…Smith…Ned…"

"Now, wait!" Brad said stopping her again. "I guess I wasn't clear. I meant…what I mean, Min…is that maybe…you shouldn't tell anyone?"

Minnie frowned at him. Brad was being a total loser. Why couldn't she have her fun?

"You're not the boss of me. I can tell anyone I want." She ran off ahead of him, stopped, and turned around. "You're just jealous cuz you don't have any powers." She stuck out her tongue and ran off again.

Brad scowled at this before running after her. Minnie was a fast girl, but Brad had a pair of strong legs too, and so eventually they caught up with each other. They happened to be in front of Brian's house.

Brad stopped Minnie short by grabbing her by the shoulder. "Oh yeah? Well I do have a power." He said without thinking. Minnie gave him a skeptical look.

"Uh-huh? What is it?" she asked. Brad bit his lip trying to think. She didn't wait for his answer. "Is it as cool as this?"

She cupped her right hand up and a tiny tongue of fire materialized on it. She shook her hand quickly after that and looked smugly at him. Brad's mind was racing. What exactly was his power? He knew he felt something inside. A couple of days before Minnie revealed her secret to him, he felt sick in the stomach. While he was throwing up in the first floor bathroom, he suddenly felt nauseous and looked up from the toilet bowl. Suddenly he was in his room with the covers up to his chin and the morning sun beaming down from him. And then, a split second later, he was back in the coldness of the bathroom. He felt the vomit making its way up his throat so he plunged his head back into the toilet bowl and forgot about the whole situation.

Brad just shrugged at Minnie. "It's hard to explain."

Minnie didn't believe him. She started conjuring up flames again, juggling a fire ball between her two hands when a sudden wind blew over them. Minnie's hair rapidly began to fly across her face blocking her vision. She yelped in surprise and she lost control of her flare. The embers flew from her tiny hands and landed in the grass at the base of Brian's house.

Minnie was still fixing her hair and hadn't noticed the problem.

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Brian stormed crossly into his bedroom and slammed the door shut. He wanted to cry so badly, but he knew he couldn't do that. Crying was a sign of weakness, and Brian never showed weakness, even when he was alone in his room. He leaned against his door and slid down it slowly, trying to breathe calmly once again.

His mother had come and visited again. Usually the thought of seeing his mother would turn Brian's innards upside down, but he was feeling especially positive that day and hoped maybe things would turn out okay in the end. Maybe his parents would reach some sort of agreement with each other so that Brian and his sister Bree could come and visit her sometime. That'd be nice. Perhaps it was possible that the four of them could be like a normal family. Maybe like Deb's or Theodore's. They always seemed so happy together.

But Brian was hoping for too much. His mother had driven up in her beat up Ford, her eyes far away from them as she greeted them a groggy good morning. Her hair was disheveled and it looked like she had gotten dressed blind. She mumbled when she spoke to them and smiled at the most random times. You'd think after all the times his mother appeared to him like this, Brian'd be used to her behavior, but he wasn't. He'd wish secretly that maybe after the months she was away that she'd get better on her own. Maybe realize that she had two young kids that needed her. But their mom wasn't like that. She'd party and drink and snort all she wanted without even a thought of her children.

It was during breakfast when it happened. His mom and dad got into a fight again. Always a fight. Whenever they got together. An endless cycle of yelling and violence. Bree knowing the danger that was to come quickly ushered her brother upstairs. Brian listened closely at the top of the stairs as his mom screamed her lungs out at his dad. He wanted to go down there and say something to her. "What the hell do you think you're doing? You have no effin right to yell at him!" he wanted to say. But he didn't. He couldn't.

The kids at school knew nothing of his troubles at home. Even his close ones only had vague ideas of what he went through. He had to keep up the perfect image. The greatest most athletic guy around. The one all the boys wanted to be and the one all the girls longed for. The boy was such a good actor.

"Man," he mumbled as he buried his face in his hands. "I need some sleep."

He got up from his squatting position and fell blissfully onto his bed and immediately fell asleep. It was wonderful. He forgot all of his problems and dreamt only of the great thing in life: the glory and girls.

Sleep can do that to a person.

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Minnie and Brad watched as Brian's dad's car pulled out of the driveway. He had a deep scowl on his face, and so they decided against waving hello to him.

Minnie stared curiously at Brian's house. "I wonder what's going on in there." She muttered to herself. Brad shrugged.

The two forgot their argument almost right away and sat on the sidewalk talking about what eleven-year-olds usually talk about. They would've kept on going if Brad hadn't smelled the smoke.

He lifted his head and closed his eyes. He sniffed the air. "Do you smell something?"

Minnie arched an eyebrow. She sniffed too. "Doesn't it smell like--…?"

Their eyes widened at the same time. She didn't have to complete her sentence. They both turned to look behind them. And there the horrible sight wielded it ugly head at them. A fire was burning its way up the side of Brian's house. It was moving remarkably fast what with the sudden wind that wasn't even supposed to be there since it was the middle of August.

Minnie turned to Brad in dismay. "Did I--? Did I do that?"

Brad didn't say anything and just bit his lip. Panic was beginning to build in the both of them. The thought of even calling 911 escaped them and so they sat there in utter confusion.

"Oh gawd." Minnie whispered, tears forming in her eyes. "We have to do something!"

She ran up to the side of the house, being wary of the dangerous flames and smoke blowing around. She started yelling for Bree and Brian to come out. She told them to escape now while they still can. Brad was standing alone behind her still on the sidewalk. No, this couldn't be happening to them. They were good kids. Good kids didn't do stuff like that. They stayed home, helped with chores, and did their homework. Nothing like this. This is not happening. And then, it wasn't. Unknown to the two of them, if any neighbor were to peek out from their window and look over at Brian's household, they would see a perfectly fine building with two annoying trouble makers yelling at the people inside. That was Brad's gift. He had the power of illusion.

But in this case, it worsened the situation more. No one was going to call for help now. The kids were on their own.

The smoke was now thick and dark. It puffed out and flew lazily higher into the sky. The flames were heated inside and the scarlet color of it made Minnie's and Brad's stomachs drop to their feet. It was horrible feeling knowing you could do nothing.

Brad ran up to Minnie's side, an idea forming in his head. His breathing was fast and his words came in between gasps. "Okay, what if you try and control the flames. Technically you're a fire controller person, right?"

Minnie's eyes widened at him. "You cannot be seriously suggesting that."

"There's no harm in trying." He retorted. But Minnie couldn't hear him. The noise was thunderous and if talking was to happen, it would happen in loud shouts to each other. Brad bit his lip and was about to repeat his words again, only louder, when Minnie stepped forward.

She was getting dangerously close and the sight of her being in danger's way made Brad nervous. Well, more nervous than he already was. She had a determined look on her face. 'Okay, Min. You can do this. C'mon. Just focus.' She thought. These were the same thoughts she had before a big basketball game. She'd stare in astonishment at the other team's players. They always looked so intimidating and strong all the way from the other side of court. But once she got herself in game mode, she knew she could beat them. In its own weird way, the fire was just like that other team. Looking so risky and wild, but Minnie did have this gift at her disposal. She had made this horrible thing happen, she could at least attempt to stop it.

She stretched her arms before her, her palms open toward the house. She closed her eyes in concentration. Brad looked on, mouth hanging open. Beads of sweat began forming on Minnie's forehead. This was too much. After all, she had just discovered her powers not all that long ago. And all she could conjure up anyway was a tiny ball. Even that had caused so much damage. However, Minnie was strong both physically and mentally. In years to come, she'd show just how skillful she was.

And it all began now.

She cried out in anguish as her legs buckled and she sat tiredly on the floor, not losing her awareness for a second. The flames calmed slowly. They stopped fanning out of the windows and the smoke twisted less and less.

Suddenly Bree stumbled out of the house, ash covering her clothes and hair. She wouldn't stop coughing and her eyes were filled with tears from the pressure inside. She stumbled sketchily onto the front lawn and laid there breathing in the wonderful clean air. Brad instantly ran toward her. He squatted down checking how she was. Her brown eyes squinted open at him.

"Where's Brian?" she asked. Her voice was hoarse and barely heard.

Brad's head snapped back at the house. Minnie was losing her vigor and the flames were regaining the upper hand once again. She finally let her arms fall limp to her sides and she sighed heavily before falling onto her back. Brad stood up and ran over to her.

"Min, Brian's still inside there. You can't stop now!" Brad warned her, shaking her shoulders.

Minnie shook her head. "I can't. I just can't. I'm so sorry."

Brad looked feebly at the smoldering structure. Should he run in there and try looking for him? Brian was his friend. His forehead scrunched up in thought.

He had to make a choice soon. The building was almost totally engulfed.

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Brian's eyes snapped open when he could feel the intense heat licking at his still body. He stood up immediately and stared in dismay at the scene around him. His room was on fire. His room was on fire! What had happened during the few short moments when he had taken a nap?

Brian dropped to a crawling position, and skittered toward his door. He warily placed his hands on the door feeling it for any warmth. It was warm beyond comparison and he released his grip. There was definitely a fire burning on the other side.

And now the decision. Should he risk his chances and try going out the door, or try to find another way out in his bedroom? Brian was usually a reckless kid, with the adrenaline always running through his body and the crazy ideas that popped up in his head; he would do just about anything. But he just couldn't think now. The flames now began inching toward him at all sides. Had his chance for escape vanished? Had it slipped from his grasp and now was he to die there?

Brian curled up against the wall and buried his head in between his knees. He was pretty sure now that he was definitely going to die right then and there, but he wanted to stay alive as long as possible. Give him time to recollect on his past and regret all the things he said and done. Remember his family and friends and all the people he cared for get left behind. He began to cry at the thought of just not being there anymore. How would it affect all of them? Will he be at all remembered?

He let out a scream in frustration. It was exactly 5: 30 in the afternoon.

And then, a miracle happened.

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Deb's eyes instantly opened. Her neck was covered with beads of sweat and her breathing was hard as if she had just run around the block. She craned her neck to check the time. 4: 28. She had been out for only thirty minutes, and during that small amount of time, she had one of the most vivid dreams ever in her entire life. Deb had dreams pretty often, but this one was by far way different from the rest. It was so clear and dramatic, so unlike her former dreams where it moved from one random event to another. Plus, it absolutely made sense. Apart from Minnie having super powers. That was definitely weird.

But Deb tried not to think about it. After all, it was just a dream. She had them all the time, and boy were they annoying. Especially ones that made her brain hurt with their confusing notions and what not.

She got up from her living room couch and stretched out. Izzy, Corey, and Lilian were supposed to come over at 4:30, but knowing those three, they'd probably be "fashionably" late again. Not that she minded. She had overslept anyway.

She scratched her head and headed upstairs to her kitchen. Her ten-year-old brother, Michael, was there. He was snacking happily on a bag of Fritos and reading a new issue of Sports Illustrated. Deb extremely loved Michael. They had so much in common and even if nothing was said between the two, they felt each other's emotions and understood. It was an amazing thing and Deb was grateful that the good Lord had given her someone so special in her life. On the other hand, there was her eighteen-year-old brother Justin. It wasn't to say that he wasn't a good brother either. It was just that he was so much older than his two younger siblings that he didn't seem to value them as much. Sure he was getting ready to move out and into a dorm in a couple of weeks, but he could've showed some compassion over the years. Unlike Deb and Michael, who knew a lot more about Justin than they let on, everyone thought he was such a great kid. That Justin, so smart in school. No wonder her graduated Valedictorian. That Justin, what a star. Always saving Knoxville's team from losing. What would we do without him? That Justin, he's oh so handsome. But he's a loving boyfriend. He would never do anything to hurt Hannah. Deb and Michael knew that all that was bull. Sure Justin was smart and athletic and was nice to people, but there was so much more to him than that. He had a horrible mouth and would curse whenever he lost his temper. Last year when he and Hannah, Corey's now seventeen-year-old sister, began going out, Michael had found a condom underneath his mattress. Being good siblings and not wanting to get beaten to a pulp, they kept their mouths shut.

Brian was wrong about them. Deb didn't have the perfect family. Matter of fact, no one in Knoxville did.

Deb took a seat across from Michael and stole a chip from his bag. "Any mail for me?" she asked. She fingered her black hair that had gotten tousled after her nap.

Michael just shook his head, not looking up.

Deb yawned and was about to get herself a snack for her rumbling tummy when the doorbell rang. Deb was usually a very energetic person, but like most people when they just wake up, she shuffled to the door lazily, rubbing her eyes and wishing she hadn't had a nap after all.

She opened the door and stared at the somber faces of her three friends. Izzy was a tall girl who just about towered over everybody else except for Brad. She had perfect dark skin and braided black hair that was piled into a high ponytail on top of her head. She was usually full of spirit too, but at the moment she was frowning and fiddling with her zipper. Izzy was renowned through Knoxville and the rest of Plescious County for her incredible basketball abilities. Last year when she was a fifth grader at Orville Elementary and at the young age of ten, she made the most points ever in the history of the school, beating out Lina Tartoskovy from the class of '89 and she was thirteen. Lina still lived in Plescious County, but in the beachfront town of Wayside. She had come personally to the school to congratulate Izzy on her remarkable feat with a sincere speech at a school assembly. She shook Izzy's hand and with a twinkle in her eye stated, "You sure are something, sweetie." Later on, it was learned that she really detested Izzy for beating her record. Izzy didn't really mind all that much. It wasn't like she was going over there to settle something. She had fun playing basketball and that was the only thing that mattered.

Lilian was one of the prettiest girls at Orville Elementary, even if she didn't know it. Her long bangs fell to just above her eyebrows and the rest of her shiny black hair was around her shoulders. She was one of the smartest people too, acing almost every test and still being totally modest about it. She also was fluent in Japanese since her dad had taught her from the age of five about it. She was also a nice person, which was a definite attraction from a boy's point of view.

The last person at the door was Corey. Corey was a handsome kid, but it never really showed because his brilliant blue eyes were hidden behind his thick glasses. He was both the smartest boy in his grade and one of the most athletic. He would always be found romping around climbing up things. He hung out with Brian and Brad was a pretty popular kid. He and Deb were very good friends.

"What's the matter now?" Deb asked impatiently.

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A peculiar August breeze passed through the treetops in Deb's backyard. Her house was built on a large property and so she and her brother always had a place to play. The grass around the basketball court shifted with the wind and Deb stared at it intently as she waited for her friends to tell her their big "secret".

"Okay, we were all sitting around at the school bored this one time," Izzy started as she took a seat in the grass.

"Wait," Deb interrupted. "And I wasn't there with you?"

The other three exchanged glances. "Remember? Your parents made you go to Brian's baseball game?" Corey said refreshing her memory.

"Oh yeah," Deb mumbled bitterly. Deb always had to go to places with Brian. This always confused her because she wasn't that good of friends with him. She had asked her parents multiple times why they did this to her, but they always answered with some lame excuse and shrug the question off. Deb would always scowl in anger whenever they dragged her off to go. It's not like she wanted to see Brian show off his crazy athleticness. She already knew he was good at all that, they didn't have to prove it to her.

"Well, anyway," Izzy continued. "Suddenly Lilian--."

She stopped and furrowed her eyebrows. "Corey, why don't we just show her. I think it'd be easier."

Corey nodded and stood up. "Prepare to be amazed." Deb gave him a skeptical look. "And I'd also advise you to stay seated. Y'know. Just incase." Deb did as she was told. Corey looked around, searching the yard for something he could use. He ran over and picked up a thick slab of rock. "Watch this." He laid it on the grass, slowly took off his glasses, his eyes tightly closed. He opened them up, and a tiny beam shot from them and blew the rock to pieces. He blinked and the beam stopped. He turned to where he thought Deb was, though he wasn't sure because his vision was completely blurred. "Did you see that?"

Deb's mouth hung open. She pointed to where the rock used to be. "How did you--? And when did--? What just--? Wait a min--."

Lilian patted her kindly on the shoulder. "It's okay. We freaked out too when we first saw it happen."

Deb regained her composure wholly and stood up, disobeying Corey's warning. "Whoa, Corey. That was awesome. So are you like, Cyclops now?"

"Deb," Corey began, trying to use his words simply. "Cyclops is a fictional character. He doesn't exist. I do. And X-Men is a load of bully anyway." He rubbed his eyes and placed his glasses upon them. "I don't think I need the red glasses."

He then smiled, which was convincing enough.

"Okay, now it's my turn," Izzy announced bouncing up and down. "Now watch carefully."

Deb focused on Izzy. Then, she blinked and Izzy was gone. Deb screamed.

"Shut up!" Lilian hissed. "She's right over there."

Deb turned to where Lilian was pointing. Izzy had somehow reappeared on her deck. She was smiling widely and was waving. Deb waved back, not knowing what to say. 'Okay, this is beyond weird.' She thought as she continued to wave. Izzy ran down the deck's steps and back to where the other three were standing.

Deb turned to Lilian with a serious look on her face. "So, you have some kinda' power too?"

Lilian nodded. "But to show it to you, I need you to punch me."

Deb raised her eyes at her. "Are you serious? Why would I do something like that?"

"Just do it."

"No!"

Corey sighed. "Fine, I'll do it." He began to rush at Lilian's face, his right hand pulled back ready for the impact.

"No, wait--!" Deb shrieked. But it was too late. Corey had done it and Lilian was moaning on the ground. Her hands covered her face and her nose was bleeding. Tears were streaming down the side of her face and a bead of blood was on her lower lip. That's what happens to a person when they get hit by someone as tough as Corey.

"Oh my gawd!" Deb griped as she rushed to Lilian's side. "What did you do that for?"

"Calm down," Corey commanded her.

Suddenly before her eyes Lilian's nose relocated back to its normal spot, her torn lips were repaired, and the black and blue left from her face. She was back to her normal pretty self. She sat up and blinked at Deb who was once again struck dumb by the sudden events, and smiled reassuringly.

"I can heal myself, Deb," Lilian told her slowly, enunciating each word. "You don't have to worry."

Deb stood up a little shaken and a little pissed that she was a made a fool of. She crossed her arms and furrowed her eyebrows together. "Okay, so why did you show me all this?"

"Isn't it obvious?" Izzy giggled. "We want to know if you have one too!"

Deb gawked at her. "Do you know how stupid that sounds? It's impossible enough that you three have powers, but you seriously believe that I'm gonna' have them too?"

"I know, I know," Lilian said patiently. "The chances of all four of us having a gift are like a bazillion to one, but it's not gonna' hurt to try, right?"

Deb continued to frown. They waited for her to say something. She snapped her head up after a few minutes.

"What?!" she snarled. "I don't have one!"

Corey racked his brain, trying to think. "Just think. Has anything weird happen to you in the past few days?"

Deb thought about it. She chewed on her tongue and pulled at her jet black hair that was still pretty tangled up.

Well, there was that dream. It couldn't hurt to mention it right?

"Okay," Deb said, trying to word it right. "Well, right before you guys came here…"

She went on to tell them about her dream, about how Minnie could control fire, how Brad could make illusions up, and how Minnie accidentally set fire to Brian's house. She also told them that she woke up before the dream ever ended and that she wasn't exactly sure what happened to Brian in the end.

She chuckled. "But it was just a dream. None of it is true."

The other three gaped at her.

"Deb, think about it," Corey said, trying to hold down his upcoming adrenaline rush. "Is it just a coincidence that the three of us came here and showed you our powers and right before that you had a dream about Minnie and Brad having them too?"

Deb raised her eyes again, reflecting on it from every possible angle. She just couldn't wrap her head around the idea. She shook her head.

Corey sighed. "Deb, you have a power too." When her disbelief showed he continued on. "You can tell the future."

"You really think Brian's house is on fire?" Deb asked.

"You're right, it's probably unlikely--."

"It is unlikely."

"But there's no harm in checking it out."

Deb crossed her arms. Her friends were acting stupid. They couldn't possibly be considering all this. It was impractical. Just because they had super powers, didn't mean the whole world had them either.

Suddenly they all stood up leaving Deb still sitting more puzzled than ever. "Wait! You're actually going?"

"Of course," Corey simply replied. They began walking out of the backyard, when Corey turned around. "I think you should come too."

Deb gaped at them, but no way was she going to stay home alone like a loser.

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"I'm telling you guys, this is a dumb idea," Deb nagged behind them as they walked their way to Brian's house. Deb and Brian lived fairly close, so it wasn't a big deal when Deb asked her mom if she could go over. Besides, it was Brian. As long as Brian was there, Deb'd be all right. Well, that's how her mom put it.

Deb was still dressed in loose sweats and she had to keep pulling them up since they were way too big on her. She couldn't help but pester them about the whole psychic concept. Her psychic? It was just too crazy.

Deb was still busy with her pants that she didn't notice Izzy stop. She rammed her face into Izzy's backside. She backed away to see what all the fuss was about and gasped.

There on Brian's front lawn were Minnie, Brad, and a passed out Bree. Just like in her dream. Whoa, way too freaky.

At the sound of upcoming footsteps, Brad had turned to look. There his eyes immediately fell on Deb's untidy figure. She was staring back at him with mystified eyes as if she was seeing him for the first time. Brad just couldn't tear his eyes off her. Brad had liked Deb ever since pre-school when they had gone to Madame Blossoms School for the Adolescent. It was situated right next to Cherry Blossoms Park and so it was kept fairly fresh in the kids' minds. Deb and Brad were okay friends, but she was never aware of Brad's over the top love for her and it looked like she never would. Poor, Brad. The guy just didn't have any luck on his side.

"What time is it?" Deb asked.

No answer.

"What time is it?" she repeated.

It was still quiet.

She turned to the other three. "Tell me the time now" She barked.

Corey's wrist immediately swung up to his face. "5:27."

Deb could hear her heart beat in her chest. She was almost out of time. She ran over to Brad. The suddenness of her coming overwhelmed him and his illusion faltered. Suddenly they could see that the house was actually on fire. Lilian gasped loudly in the background.

"How did you know--?" Brad whispered. His eyes were wide as he stared at her. Boy, she was pretty.

"I have to go in there, Brad," she told him. "I don't have time! Brian's in there. He's gonna' die if I just stay here. It's almost 5:30."

"What--?" Brad began, but Deb was ready to run in there. He couldn't let her do that. Just before she was about to sprint off, he grabbed her arm. "You can't go in there."

"Let me go now!" she demanded. "You don't understand!"

"I don't care if I don't; it's freakin' burning in there!"

"Brad, I swear--."

"I'm not letting go."

Deb's eyes began to well up. She hated Brian for his guts and smart ass attitude, but she didn't want him dead. "Brad please!"

But Deb could feel it in her chest. She didn't need a clock to tell her she was late. Her heart beat louder than ever and it hurt so bad. She fell into Brad's arms and began crying. He wrapped his arms around her body as her shoulders shook. On different circumstances she would have never allowed him to touch her like that, but what did it matter now?

"Oh, Brian," Deb mumbled.

And then, a miracle happened.

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Brian prepared for death as it soon inched toward his bare body. The flames were licking at his arms, legs, and back. Gawd, it was so hot. Suddenly, something triggered in his chest. His eyes opened and his usual dark brown eyes were now a bright sapphire. His thoughts left him, and his body took complete control. Clean, clear water surrounded him and served as his shield.

No. He wasn't going to die yet. Not now. Not when he had so much to live for. The water pushed out forming a ripple effect through the whole house. The fire was immediately extinguished.

When he finally closed his eyes, he had fainted, but he was very much alive.

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Down below on the ground Izzy, Corey, and Lilian stared in amazement as water filled the house. The fire was gone, the water was gone, and all was left was a charred black house that was barely standing. What happened up there?

Well, there was only way to find out.

The three took it upon themselves to figure out the truth. They walked past the weeping Deb and the half awake Minnie and gingerly stepped into the house. Almost all the furniture was burned away and it was almost impossible to get to the second floor without slipping through the broken wood and breaking some bones. But of course Izzy was there and so she just teleported herself up. She had been to Brian's house before and knew her way around.

Since she was the only one able to get herself up there, she was on her own. She tiptoed around trying to remember her way back to Brian's room. When she finally found it, she peered inside and gasped. Brian was lying motionless on the burned floor. Although he was perfectly fine and without injury, his clothes were partly burned at the edges and he was curled up in the fetal position.

"Oh geez, Brian," was all Izzy could say before rushing to his side.

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The next few moments were a blur. Somehow they had all gotten to Three Points Plescious Hospital which bordered Buffington, Knoxville, and Clairsfield (hence the name). On the ride there, Brian had awoken, but no one said more than a few words to him. It was really an awkward moment. Brian had no idea all these people were outside waiting for him. Was it all just a coincidence?

At the hospital, they let Bree in first because she was the only one who was passed out and she did look a little injured, but the others doubted it.

"My sister's a drama queen," Brian kept saying.

The seven of them sat quietly in the waiting room, at times stealing glances at each other wondering who should speak first. Brad was still a little rattled at finding Deb there at the scene. But then again, he was always a little nervous around her. Minnie was totally exhausted, so she sat next to Brad and had her head cradled on his shoulder. Izzy and Corey sat next to them and were tempted to tell Deb "I told you so", but now was just not the right time. Lilian, Deb, and Brian sat across from the other four. Lilian was still a bit guilty for just standing around when Deb had taken off to try and help Brian. Sure, Brian was a total jerk to her, but she could have done something. Deb had made sure that there was no sign of her crying before Brian woke up. She didn't want him seeing her in a vulnerable state. He'd sure to rub it in her face sooner or later.

Finally Brian built up the courage to say something. "So, why was everyone at my house again?"

The other six exchanged glances with each other. Minnie and Brad had no idea why Lilian, Izzy, Corey, and Deb had come, but the four knew why Minnie and Brad were there. It was going to be a very difficult explanation.

"I think," Deb started slowly. "That Minnie and Brad should go first. Maybe'd it be easier that way."

They all agree with this. After Minnie and Brad started off, telling the whole truth, even about their secret powers, it was the other's turn. Minnie and Brad were surprised that they too had gifts, and Brian just sat there trying to keep all the information in. It was definitely bewildering.

"And then we got to your house, and that's about it," Izzy finished.

It was a pretty satisfying explanation to the day's events. But there was still one matter to discuss.

"But wait," Deb started. "How did the fire go out?"

"Yeah, it was definitely not one of us," Minnie said firmly. Then she coughed.

All the heads turned to Brian. He shrugged, not knowing either.

"Well, something happened inside there, and since you were the only one in there…" Lilian said.

"Are you saying I have a power too?"

No one answered this. This was, in a way, a confirmation of Brian's suspicions.

"I can't believe you people," he said, letting out a breath of air and slouching down in his sit.

"When I was in Brian's room, I felt that the carpet in there was really moist," Izzy revealed. "You think maybe water?"

"Maybe something inside of you just triggered and--!" Deb said her eyes wide with excitement and her mouth formed into a huge grin. She made an exploding gesture with her hands.

"That makes a lot of sense," Brad agreed quietly.

Izzy ran to a vending machine, bought a bottle of water and threw it at Brian. Brian had lightening quick reflexes and so he caught it before it collided with his face. He untwisted the cap and stared anxiously into the liquid inside.

"I don't know…"

"Just try," Corey said.

The reluctance showed on his face, but regardless, he placed his right hand over the opening. He wasn't sure what to do with his hand exactly but he focused on getting the water out. His eyebrows furrowed and he bit his lip in concentration. Then, to the surprise of him and everyone else, the water drifted up in a tiny stream and into the palm of his hand. He cried out in surprise at its touch and the focus left him, leaving a huge water puddle on his pants.

"Great," he muttered.

And that was how the seven of them were brought together. Sheer coincidence, luck, or maybe something else? Who knows? But in the years to come, this friendship would affect them greatly.

Get the feeling that you're never all alone and I remember now. At the top of my lungs in my arms she dies. She dies. –Ghost of You, My Chemical Romance