Author's Note: Yeah, I'm not even going to TRY to explain myself, so bleh. I'm a busy person and my creativity is pathetically random. I apologize :


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I grumbled as something gently shook my shoulder, ignoring the motion and merely turning over and away from the offending hand. A second shake, harder this time, and now much more difficult to ignore. I also dimly registered a voice saying my name, the tone laced with annoyance.

"Go away Sol, I don't have class 'til twelve…" I grumbled, brushing the hand away and sinking further down into my pillow. God, my roommate was being annoying today; she rarely ever woke me up…

"I'm not Sol, and I'm not going away until you get out of bed," a very masculine voice (which now ruled out Sol) said very close to my ear.

You guys were all waiting for this, weren't you? You know, the sudden 'oh yeah, I was almost raped last night by a Witch' recollection. Well there you go.

I yelped, spinning groggily to smack Gavin on the side of the head. He cursed, jumping back and stumbling into the dresser. Sinking to the ground with a loud groan, he rubbed his back with a fierce scowl at my satisfied—albeit dazed—expression.

"Good morning Oh-Kidnapper-of-my-Dreams!" I recovered quickly, dragging myself out of bed and crouching in front of him, only to offer him a Cheshire Cat smile. Patting him on the head, I straightened and strolled casually out of the room, offering over my shoulder a casual, "Something wrong?" before exiting.

I heard curses in my wake and my grin widened. Getting to him was just too easy.

You know the reverse is true as well…

Immediately my grin transformed into a pained scowl. Of course, my subconscious had to go and ruin my good mood for me. Damn that inner-voice of reason.

Hushed voices downstairs and breakfast smells lead me downstairs and to what I could only assume was the kitchen, where Elle stood with her back to the open doorway, working quickly at the stove while Mary and Charlie sat at a large table, talking. I was amused to note how Mary's legs dangled above the floor while Charlie looked as if his chair would break any moment.

I leaned against the doorframe, watching the three unnoticed while they cracked jokes and Elle ordered Charlie not to tease Mary, who giggled ceaselessly. I smiled without realizing it, enjoying the display of such open family bonds. It reminded me of my Aunt and me when I had been living at home.

Sudden warmth at my back alerted me of Gavin's recovery and return, though I didn't bother to move away or turn around. His presence was neither menacing nor bothersome (at the moment anyways), merely there.

"Interesting bunch, aren't they?" he mumbled into my ear, making my mouth quirk up on one side in amusement.

"I can just imagine what it's like when you're in there too; it must—" I turned my head to speak to him out of habit, only to stop mid-sentence as I realized just how close our faces were now.

Wow, his eyes have flecks of gold in them…

And his breath smells like toothpaste…

Huh, I never noticed that scar on his bottom lip before…

WOAH GIRL, hold up! Eye color is all fine and dandy but keep the eyes away from the mouth!

Shit.

I only had a moment to recover before my pause would become blaringly obvious, but try as I might, I couldn't get my mouth to work again. My face grew warm and I knew I was in deep trouble if I didn't move, and fast.

"There you are Casey; I didn't want you to miss breakfast."

Oh thank God.

Gavin recovered before I did, jerking into motion as he pushed me gently through the door. "Yeah," he shook his head as if he needed to clear it before mumbling, "she's a heavy sleeper alright. Practically knocked me across the room…"

I mentally slapped myself, trying to ignore the tingling where his hand had touched my back, before offering a scathing reply, "Well if you hadn't spoken directly into my ear, perhaps I wouldn't have had to!" What was wrong with me? I frowned; the recent events must be making me loopy—I'm not that desperate for affection.

"Settle down children, no need to get all riled up so early," Charlie offered wisely, waving us over to the table. I didn't miss the look that he shared with Gavin though, a slight brow raise and a tiny uplift at the corner of his mouth.

Gavin's look was pleading, accompanied with a very slight, but frantic, head shake.

Wait, did I read that right? Am I missing something here?

My head swept back and forth between the brothers as we took seats at the table and Elle passed around dishes of food (oh good Lord, yes. Bacon). Eventually I just gave up and focused on the food, blocking out all the warnings in my head that this French toast was bad for me and that this bacon should at the very least be patted down to get off the excess grease.

Man, my life really must be falling apart if I'm sinking this low.

Conversation stayed limited to Mary and her school, which I was fine with. Apparently tomorrow was show-and-tell. Mary wanted to bring in a phoenix feather, but Elle was adamantly opposed to the idea.

Yes, you read that right. A phoenix feather. Apparently it's been in the family for generations. When I showed skepticism I was politely informed (and when I say polite, Gavin snapped at me) that they went extinct about a hundred years ago.

Diplomatically the mother suggested the television control instead, and Mary was pacified. I quickly learned that there were two things Mary loved most: television and mythical creatures.

Well…I suppose there're weirder things for a seven year old to take interest in.

As the meal drew to a close, Elle cleared her throat. "Alright then, today we have two objectives." She began to count on her fingers, "One, we need to take a trip back to your dorm to get some of your things. Second," she chewed on her lip for a moment before nodding an affirmative, "we'll have to try and take a trip to the Council to see if we can get you a semi-permanent body guard."

I choked on my orange juice.

"Body guard? Mom, are you sure the Council'll go for that?" Charlie asked with raised brows, tapping his fingers on the table top. "They aren't exactly helpful when it comes to young Witches lately, no offence," he offered toward Gavin and I. We shrugged.

"Oh I'll make them listen. We haven't had an attempt this direct in years. And she's the first in ages that hasn't grown up in a Witch house." Elle threw out her arm in anxiety, "She can barely detect an Empath, for goodness sake! The girl's as good as helpless."

Charlie and Gavin nodded and, after a moment, Mary copied them, her expression solemn. I snorted in amusement, watching as Charlie got to his feet and stretched, "Alright then, showers and then… should Gavin or I teleport her over?"

Elle had already begun to clean off the table, her arms loaded with dishes, "Uh, Gavin, would you mind? Charlie, you need to go pick up Kim anyways, right? You said she wanted to meet Casey."

Charlie smacked his forehead, "Oh yeah, I forgot. Gavin, do you mind?"

I glanced over at him, expecting a no or, at the very least, some objection.

Instead, I got a shrug, "Yeah, sure, I'm better at teleporting than you anyways, Charlie."

"Good point. Okay then, shower time!"

After we had all showered and dressed (again I wound up in some more of Gavin's clothes, jeeze, how big was he anyways, I looked like a little kid in this stuff), Charlie waved a goodbye as he walked out, grinning, "Don't get lost in space and time now, I want to see all of your limbs when I get back!"

Elle was very stern toward Gavin, "Okay then, be careful, make sure to land somewhere people won't see you, and keep Casey in your sight at all times." I scowled at that last part but tried to ignore it.

"Yes mom, yes, I understand. We'll be back in an hour, tops." Gavin waved her off, grabbing me by the hand and hauling me out of the door. "C'mon, I prefer being outside for this."

Ignore his hand, ignore it; it is not warm and does not feel nice.

I need to get away from these people. It's driving me crazy.

We stopped a ways from the house and I looked warily up at Gavin as he turned to face me, his expression uncomfortable. "Okay, don't take this the wrong way; this is just the easiest way to teleport with other people."

I was suddenly very skeptical, "Take what the wrong—"

Then he hugged me.

Mmm he's warm. I found my arms reflexively rising to return the hug, when the words he had just said came back to me. I tried to ignore the slight sinking feeling of disappointment in my stomach. Wait wait wait, since when have I cared anyways? This is Kidnapper-Stalker-Creepy Guy remember? There is no reason for me to feel anything—

Then the world dropped out from beneath me.

And for once I mean that in the physical way, not the emotional one.

I blindly stuffed clothes into a large duffle bag, fitting as much into it as much as humanly possible. Glancing over at the digital clock on my dresser, I quickened my efforts, wanting to leave before my roommate came back from class. Explanations were more than I could take right now, I wouldn't even know what to say!

It had only taken Gavin a second to teleport us behind one of the giant bushes next to by dorm. As I had tried to recover from the wave of motion sickness that had suddenly overwhelmed me, he quickly released me from the impromptu embrace, causing me to stagger slightly to the side in surprise.

"Ergh, a little warning would have been nice," I had snapped at him, rubbing by slightly throbbing temple with a scowl.

He had merely grunted and approached the building without me, apparently having no trouble producing a keycard out of thin air to enter the building. Stupid socially inept Witch boys.

I cursed as clothes tumbled to the ground, frowning at my clumsiness (and ignoring Gavin's mocking chuckle) before scooping it all up and shoving it unceremoniously into the bag. I gave the room a last once-over, scanning it for anything I may have forgotten. It seemed odd just packing and leaving like this, like it wasn't really happening to me.

Satisfied, I zipped the duffle and slung it over my shoulder, nearly collapsing from the unexpected weight. Stepping towards the door, I stopped as Gavin froze, his head shooting to stare at the door. I groaned softly as the familiar sound of a key rattling in the lock met my ears. Crap, I almost made it. Now I'd have to explain myself to the human embodiment of the Spanish Inquisition.

Marisol Sanchez waltzed through the door backwards, chatting to someone in Spanish on her cell phone. Turning, she froze as she spotted me, falling silent for a span of two seconds before muttering into her phone, "Ah, algo sucedió. Adiós."

Snapping her phone shut, she turned to look at Gavin, giving him one of her signature up-and-down Yes-I-WILL-Eat-You glances before whirling back on me, leaving Gavin bewildered and uncomfortable, no doubt. Good, he should feel awkward. This was all his fault.

Seriously though, the next words that came out of her mouth were completely unexpected.

"Well if you were going to be with a guy, you didn't have to go all secretive on me."

I blinked, but she continued before I even had the chance to reply, "Seriously, Casey, I totally understand. A hot piece like that," she jerked her thumb back at Gavin, who smirked in masculine satisfaction (ugh, way to stroke his already inflated ego Mar), before continuing, "I can totally understand peacing out for a couple days for some R&R, you totally need more chill time… Though," her smirk grew more pronounced, "I doubt you're doing much relaxing."

I can not believe my roommate just approved (and encouraged) me leaving without warning to go have unsolicited sex with a complete stranger. Wow, Mar is way more of a skank than I thought.

I opened my mouth to deny the whole thing, objection building up in me like a tidal wave about to crash. I was cut off by Gavin though, who quickly slipped around Marisol, offering her a cheeky grin as his arm snaked around my waist.

His voice was equally smug and confident, "Sorry about leaving without warning. It was pretty spur of the moment. We just came back to get some clothes." He glanced down at me, giving me a brief but intense look. To me it looked like a 'just go with this and don't say anything stupid' look, but to Mar it probably looked… heated or something.

Yeah, I just threw up a little bit.

Mar waved a hand at Gavin, giggling, "Oh no sweat, I'll cover for Casey for a few days. Enjoy yourselves…" She winked at me and watched us exit the room, snapping her phone open as soon as we were out of the door, to share this bit of information with every person she had ever known, no doubt.

Both Gavin and I were completely silent as we made our way down the stairs and out of the building, my mind in too much horror to do anything other than wrench myself from his arm around my waist.

"Hey Casey, I—" Gavin tried to begin.

I raised a hand in response, "It's fine, it's fine, I just wasn't anticipating it is all."

Gavin's expression stayed blank, his voice cold, "Right, of course."