42

Present day...

I frown at the gates. "I thought I was never going to come back here."

Jonathan steps up beside me. "It's not the most inviting of places."

My head hurts as I shake it. "No, it's not."

Jonathan side eyes me. "What did you do when you got out?"

I shrugged. "I went into the foster system, got tossed around a bit and eneded up running away when I was eighteen and never looked back."

His thoughts are sympathetic as he gazes at me.

"I'm okay now," I say.

"I know you are. You're so strong," he murmurs.

My eyes meet his. "Thank you." Then I turn to face the gates. "You'd better take the lead. I don't want to be recognized."

Jonathan's brow furrows. "It's been, what, five years?"

I shrug. "Still. Better safe than sorry."

He nods and takes out a prescription pill bottle from his pocket. He twists the lid open with a practiced flick of his wrist and pops one of the white pills.

I almost ask him what they're for, then I remember: PTSD.

He glances at me guiltily when he feels me watching him. His thoughts are ashamed. I take his hand in mine and send him a burst of my understand and my love. He squeezes my hand appreciatively and lets go, letting me know that we should act professionally.

We approached the guard window beside the gate.

"Director Jonathan Lefroy, SCC, and my partner, Agent-"

I press my thoughts to him, that it would be a good idea to give me a cover, in case anyone recognized me.

He decides to use the name I'd given him before my cover was blown. "-Collins, Joanna Collins, we're here to see a patient."

The guard takes his badge and looks it over. Then he buzzes us in, simple as that. We walk up into the building. We make it through the front security gate and have a nurse escort us to the green room Lyons is working in. He looks up and smiles. "Hello, Director, Agent."

Jonathan turns to the nurse. "Thank you, we can take it from here."

She nods and walks away, though she's still curious.

Lyons doesn't even look up. "Alice, come take a look." His eyes are pressed to a microscope and he's holding out a hand to me.

I draw near and he places a pill in my hand. "For the car sickness," he says.

I chuckle. Of course he knew. I swallow the pill dry and quench Jonathan's worries about taking drugs from strange people. I trust him with my life.

Jonathan frowns. You might but I don't.

I speak, "Lyons, what's this all about?"

Lyons beckons me to look into the microscope. I press my eyes to the scopes and see what he's asking me to look at. There are strange small cells with dark nuculei in the middle. Some of the darker cells were absorbing the lighter colored cells.

"Lyons, you know I'm not a biologist or a doctor, what does this mean?" I ask.

Lyons grins at me. "It means we're evolved."

"What?" Jonathan squints at him.

The older man taps on the microscope proudly. "We're a new evolution. I've proved it."

"But people have already experimented on gifteds, we've never found real evidence of anything," I said, peering into the microscope again.

"That's because they were just looking at the biology of gifteds and normals separately, they never thought to compare them combined," Lyons says. "The difference isn't in the blood, it's in the reaction."

My fingers tapped the microscope. "Yes, but what does that mean?"

Lyons leans in close. "It means we're as human as the normals. We're not mutated, we've just evolved. It means we're really human. It's no flaw, it's just a change." He was bursting with excitement, his thoughts filled with joy at knowing that we're not mutated, we're not a mistake.

I grin, his joy contagious. "That's wonderful!" I grip his forearms as he does mine. "Do you know what this means?"

"Yes," Lyons says. "We're finally free."

I know it's a cheesy way to end it, but I won't lie, I've spent too long trying to get through this writer's block and it's not working. Not to mention, I'm focusing on my other story at the moment. If I find a way out of this block, I'll re-write the ending and re-post it, but for now, that's all folks!