Alex resurfaced, sweating and gasping for air, as if from nothing more than a nightmare. She sat up, and instantly winced from the pain. She was swarmed by doctors, persuading her to lie back down.
She found him. He was standing outside, looking apprehensive. She swung her legs out of the bed, and tried to remember how to walk; but small, stiff steps seemed to be all she could manage. The doctors were pleading with her to get back into bed, to let them administer pain relief, but she ignored them.
"I'm discharging myself." She explained, and then added, "I might need some crutches."
There was no time for lying in hospital. At the moment, the Darkness Elemental could safely assume she was dead, but Alex knew that he would take no chances. He could easily materialize in the hospital and kill her before anyone could blink. Maybe it was time to disappear. Her and Sky needed to go underground, somewhere where they couldn't be followed until they were strong enough to take a stand.
And when she was, Alex was going to get her revenge. One way or another.
She marched out of the hospital ward with her head held high, and a look of strange determination in her eyes. Sky was surprised she could even stand properly. It was like looking at a totally different person.
The first thing she said to him was: "Sky, we have to leave. We have to get out."
"We are leaving." He frowned, looking towards the hospital door. "And as soon as we get out of this place, I am going to kill the guy that hurt you."
"No, you're not." Sky looked back at her in disbelief. "First of all, you're too weak. I don't care how much stronger you are than me, neither of us are ready to face that. He's an Elemental, Sky. And not a good one. And when I said that we were leaving, I meant get out of town. Maybe get out of the country when we can."
"I can't!" He protested.
"You have to."
Sky couldn't think of what to say. How could he even think about leaving? "I understand, I guess..." He hesitated, and chewed his nails in thought. "Give it a few weeks and maybe I can get a holiday off school and away from family..."
"No Sky, you don't understand." Her voice was firm. "Give it a few weeks and you'll be nothing more than dead. It's the same for me. I can't even go home, not for a second. He could take over my Aunt again, just like that. We have to run. Go into hiding."
It was all too much to take in. "But what about my family, Alex? What do I tell them? And my friends?"
"Anything." Came her reply, as if it was the easiest thing in the world to say goodbye to those closest to you, not knowing if you would see them again. "Just nothing about where we're going."
"Where are we going?" He questioned.
"I don't know!" She cried, shoving open the doors with unnecessary force and walking out into the bitter Autumn night. "Aren't you the one who spent all your time wanting to go out and find the other Elementals? Don't you have any leads?"
Sky saw her shiver in the freezing wind, and began to gently warm the air with his powers. "Not really. I looked, but it's hard to find anything useful on the internet. You can never figure out what's true and what isn't."
"Well," Alex softened her voice and took a deep breath, "We've got to start somewhere. It's probably better if you don't say goodbye, but I can understand if you need to. First, we go back to your house, but only for a few minutes." She gave him her best reassuring smile, and Sky could tell that this was the most sympathetic that she was going to get.
Sky stared at her, confused. He couldn't afford to make such irrational decisions like this; but what choice did he have? Everything Alex said was true.
She noticed the expression on his face. "What, don't you trust me?" She asked.
"I trust you." Sky did. It was hard to find anybody trustworthy, but he knew Alex was. "We can take my laptop. I have USB internet." He suggested, and she nodded. "I can pack a few things, like food and drink. Whatever money I have."
"Glad you're on board," Alex said, "Let's go."
"Home." Sky agreed.
Alex stood on the drive outside Sky's house, leaning on the pair of crutches she had 'borrowed' from the hospital. Even from this distance Alex could hear raised voices from inside. She was right when she said saying goodbye was a bad idea.
Even Alex realised how strange it was how she had instantly sprung back from death's door. She damaged a main artery and lost far too much blood; and the wounds themselves hadn't bled since she'd woken. Tentatively, she peeled back a dressing on her arm. There was still a mark, but the wound looked old now- as if it had healed weeks ago.
She bit her lip, confused. Was this something to do with her Elemental power?
Sky stormed out of the house with bags across his shoulders and back. He threw Alex a pile of clothes, which she struggled to catch.
"Change into those." He said, a sigh in his voice. "Your clothes are covered in blood. There are public toilets in the park which they leave open."
"I know. What happened in there?"
"They didn't understand, of course. I could deal with my sister being upset, but my mum just got angry." He paused. "So, are you going to say it?" He questioned.
"I told you so."
"No, I wasn't planning on it. I was tempted, but I thought it might be insensitive." She explained.
"Sympathy, huh?" Sky allowed himself to smile a little. "That must be a new one in the world of Alex."
She returned his smile. "Well, let's just say almost-dying opened my eyes a little."
He laughed warmly, trying to cover up how upset he was. Turning away from the house, Sky began to walk along the pavement, worriedly watching Alex as she tried to keep up. Alex ignored the pain, and began to think. She tried to come to terms with being alone and unprotected in the world. How would the both of them survive? An uneasy feeling sat in the bottom of her stomach.
Alex breathed deeply, letting go of the tension, and lifted her head. Her walking speed picked up. In that one moment, she felt optimistic.
We both have the courage to make it. Both of us are going to survive this, no matter what. And most importantly, we will be a thousand times stronger and wiser than before.
Abandoning the crutches, Alex took Sky's hand in hers. He looked down at her in surprise, before smiling and squeezing her hand encouragingly. For the first time, they faced the future that lay at their feet with confidence- and they did it together.
END OF PART 1
A/N: This story was pretty much abandoned, but I opened it up and finished Part 1 for you guys. At some point, I may start writing Part 2, but it's probably best if I give this story a break and come back to it refreshed. I'm working on a few other projects as well, and they might make an appearance on FP. Stay tuned, and thanks for reading!