Avery wakes up about four hours later. They can't help but squint their eyes at the harsh florescent light, and their face scrunches up with discomfort. The second thing they do is attempt to raise their arms, and the feeling of the restraints on their arms suddenly hits them. Pulling at them harder, their mind begins to race.
"Avery," Jason's voice cuts through the panic, and Avery's mind focuses enough to home in on his face and take comfort in his presence. His hand rests on their shoulder, exposed by ripped clothing, and smiles down at them. "You're safe, it's okay."
He looks up to a doctor on the other side of Avery's bed, and to the nurse standing in the doorway. He nods at them, and the doctor pulls out the keys to Avery's restraints, unlocking their arms first then moving to their legs. As soon as they are free, Avery immediately sits up and throws their arms around their father, a lump corking their throat and tears at their eyes. Jason merely smiles and wraps his arms around them, rubbing comfortingly at their shoulderblades.
"It's alright," he murmurs. "We're both alive. We're okay."
When Avery pulls away, the doctor starts to pack away the supplies he had prepared. "We will ask that you and Avery come back in a few weeks for a follow-up, as well as a mental assessment."
Avery visibly flinches, uncomfortable with the fact that they can understand what this human is saying. Their fists clench at their sides, and they can feel their anxiety levels rising, but Jason lies his hand on their leg, and it's steady warmth and pressure keeps Avery from exploding all over again. They take deep, steadying breaths, and, slowly, they let the anger and malicious instinct fade away. Jason glances at Avery, internally sighing with relief when he sees the haze disappearing from their red eyes.
They're duller than they used to be, Jason thinks, looking back to the doctor. "Of course," he responds, tongue heavy and clumsy in his mouth. Despite having numerous similarities to Udaeg, English was still proving a bit difficult for him to speak properly.
"Do you have someone waiting for you?"
"We do, actually." Jason answers, smiling. Avery looks at him and furrows their eyebrows. "My family lives here in this city. It's why we're here instead of in…" He pauses, trying to remember, "Houston, Texas. The rest of the compound was sent there. I persuaded them to send us here."
Avery's face scrunches further. They'd never meet their extended family. Most of the people in the compound had come through the portal with their entire families, but Avery and Jason were a special case. Nonetheless, Avery had heard stories of their grandparents and aunt and uncle. Jason's mother was descended from an ancient family, a powerful line of strictly Pyrokinetics. His father on the other hand was not. He had been a lower-class man, working a simple job. He was the one that Jason got his power over water, air, and earth. Even though he had inherited his mother's red hair, ironically enough, he didn't receive any control over fire at all.
But Jason seemed to have carried the gene for it, if Avery was anything to go by. It was astounding, really, the control that Avery had already for fire, even if it wasn't very… rigorous. His mother was sure to be proud, that much was certain.
So the doctor checked over Avery one last time, much to their chagrin, and declared that they were free to go. Avery stood on shaky legs, not having used them in a few days and feeling entirely drained of energy, not to mention famished and extremely thirsty. The two made their way out of the room and down the hallway. and Jason immediately notices his mother and father sitting in chairs in the waiting room.
Margaret - or Maygraet depending on who you speak to - Faulkiner notices them first. The sound of footsteps and a wheelchair echo around the floor (since this floor is dedicated to Evolved citizens it is often empty) and causes her to snap her head up. Her eyes land first on Avery, and then on her son, and her eyes begin to water. She taps on Philip's arm frantically before standing. She rushes over to Jason, and he just grins and opens his arms. Philip follows close behind and rests a hand on his wife's shoulder, smiling back at his son.
Margaret holds her youngest tightly, reveling in the way his arms are solid and strong around her. "Never do this to us ever again, Jason," she reprimands, "I missed you so much, we were so worried for you."
Jason just chuckles and presses a kiss to his mother's cheek. "It takes a lot more than this to off me." He holds out his hand to his father, and his father smiles wider and clasps his forearm. "Now, mother, father, there's someone I want you to meet. This is Avery, your grandchild."
Margaret pulls away from her son, and stands, Philip wrapping his arm around her shoulders. Avery swallows thickly as their grandparents look them up and down, and they manage to pull up an arm to wave stiffly.
"You look so much like your father," Philip whispers in awe, then steps forward to enclose them in a tight hug. Hesitantly, Avery brings their arms up to clutch at Philip's shoulders. They bury their face into his shoulder, taking a deep breath. He murmurs reverently into their ear. "Welcome to the family."
Jason beams. He had dreamed of this day for so long, and he was ecstatic that he was here to see it. He grasped his mother's hand, delirious with glee and unable to keep from smiling. After a long moment, Philip pulls back. Margaret immediately moves to take his place. Philip looks down at his son, matching his smile. "Let's get you two home."
The Faulkiner's, before being forced to flee home, had lived a life of considerable luxury. Though, it could be said that their house had been on the decline since Margaret married someone outside of nobility, not to mention the fact that Philip had no command of fire. Since neither Jason or his older brother or sister had been born with Pyrokinesis, the Faulkiner's had become somewhat of a laughing stock from the other Pyrokinetic families.
After the evacuation, however, they were the only Pyrokinetic family.
Now, as the reunited family steps out of the elevator to the Faulkiner floor, Philip starts to pull his keys out of his pocket. "When we arrived here, the natives had many of the buildings in this area remodeled so that each family of over five got an entire floor." he stops at a door and starts to unlock it. "But at the time I think it was more of a bribe to get us to behave than it was a selfless gift."
The door swings open, and Philip walks in and turns the corner to the left, leaving a perfect view of the room inside. To say that Avery had never seen such a beautiful looking home was an understatement. In their home at the compound, all they had was two child sized beds, a wood stove, a table, and two chairs. The floor was hard, dusty concrete, and the walls of the home had been placed too quickly and were falling apart only about ten years after being put up.
But this place… it was fascinating. Blue carpeted floors and white painted walls. A window to the far right of the room showed just how high up they were, and the setting sun allayed for a perfect view of the cityscape beyond. A gentle hand pushed Avery past the doorway, and Avery lets themself be led into the house. Turning their head, they meet Margaret's soft amber eyes, smiling at them. Avery notices that Margaret toes off her shoes, and figures that they should do the same as they push their torn and ratty shoes into the corner by the door.
Philip approaches and pushes a glass of water into Avery's hands. They take it gratefully and offer him a small smile. Philip places his hand on their shoulder, returning their smile. "I can show you your room now, if you'd like. You'll be sharing it with one of your cousins for the time being, and he can give you some clothes until we have the chance to go out and get you some of your own."
"We could go tomorrow, if you'd like." Margaret suggests. Avery thinks for a moment, then takes a sip of their water, and nods slowly. They run a hand through their messy, unkempt hair and sigh. Margaret notices, "And a haircut too?"
This time, Avery's reaction is much more bold. They grin, nodding again but this time much more enthusiastically. Clearly a bit surprised, Margaret pulls them in for a tight hug, nearly causing them to lose grip on their glass. "We're so glad to have you here," Margaret says in their ear,
When she pulls away, Philip presses his hand gently into Avery's shoulder blade to direct them. As they approach the door, with big yellow letters reading Carver, Philip stops them. His expression is more serious and pensive than Avery has seen yet, and it surprises them a bit. "Carver is… a bit difficult to deal with at times. To say that he's not excited to share his room with… anyone, is an understatement." Avery frowns, furrowing their eyebrows and unable to keep the worry out of their expression.
"I'm sure you'll be fine though," Philip smiles, and his tone of voice causes Avery to pull their head up. "You don't talk much, so I think he'll like you."
Then he reaches up and raps on the door with his knuckles, calling out, "It's Grandpa," and shortly after a muffled, "Come in," sounds from behind the door.
The boy, Carver, looks to be about Avery's age, if not a tad younger. He's sitting at a desk, an in-ear headphone in one ear and music blaring from the one not in his ear. His dark green eyes scrutinize Avery, and he glares slightly before looking up at Philip.
Philip gives Avery's shoulder a small pat. "Carver, this is your cousin, Avery. They'll be staying in your room until we can get a room ready for them." Smiling, gestures for Avery to move into the room. "If you could let them borrow some clothes to sleep in tonight and to wear tomorrow, that would be good. Grandma is taking them out tomorrow to get some of their own."
Carver pulls the other earphone out of his ear and straightens his shirt as he stands. "Sure. It's no problem."
"Thanks kid, dinner should be ready in an hour or so." he taps Avery's arm to get their attention. "If you need me, or your dad, we'll be in the kitchen." and with one last reassuring smile, Philip backs out of the room and shuts the door.
Carver is rummaging in his chest of drawers, and Avery has time to look around. The room itself is probably bigger than most of their old house put together is. Avery wonders why it is that someone needs this much room to themself, and why anybody would have a problem sharing it. The room has two beds, one, Avery assumes, for Carver and one for themself. Two desks, one empty and one with two illuminated boxes on the top and a smaller one down below. Avery wanders closer to it, and tilts their head in confusion at the strange electronics resting on the edge of the desk.
"It's a computer," Carver grunts as he tries to find something for Avery to wear that he isn't too terribly attached to. "Haven't you ever seen one before?" Avery shakes their head, pursing their lips. "Wow, you've lived a sad life."
Avery makes their way to the bed that looks less used (otherwise known as the bed that was actually made), and sits down patiently on the edge, unsure of what they should be doing. They place their glass onto the small table beside the bed and look around the room slowly. Mounted on the wall next to their bed is a bookshelf, and Avery absentmindedly pulls a book off.
"Hey," Carver's voice makes them look up. He's holding up a tee-shirt with the letter N and the number 7 on it. "Think this'll fit you?" Avery stands and takes the shirt from him, inspecting it more closely. They nod, and Carver then gestures to a bundle of grey clothing on his bed. "You can wear a pair of my sweats with it. I'll give you some warmer clothes tomorrow for when you go out." He sits back down in his chair, picking up his earbuds and shoving one in his ear, not bothering to shut the drawer of clothing again. "Bathroom's across the hall if you want to change there."
Frowning, Avery sits down on the bed again, picking up the discarded book and putting it back. Looking over at Carver again as he stares at his computer, Avery resigns, changes clothing, and lies down on top of the covers.
"So where are Roger and Sandy?" Jason asks, hauling himself into a chair at the breakfast bar.
Margaret rushes over to him, helping him settle further into the chair. "Don't do that dear, it scares me." she fusses, but Jason waves her off. She huffs and walks away to the refrigerator. "Those two are off training in the midwestern part of the country. There's supposed to be another big expedition at the end of next year, and Kinetic's are in large demand."
"Do you have an idea of when they'll come back?"
"They'll be back in a few weeks, the human government refuses to let us train or work on the holiday called 'Christmas.'" Philip answers, looking away from the food preparing on the stove. "We could set up a skype date soon though. Well, the kids could, I have no clue how to navigate it."
Jason hummed, watching as his mother pours a small glass of red wine for him and some for herself. Philip declines, waving her off and smiling. Jason takes a long gulp of the drink, his face screwing up at the taste before he looks up at his parents. "Mom, Dad, I need both of you to help me with something."
Philip turns to look his son in the eye, and Margaret reaches across the bar to rest her hand on top of his. "What is it?"
Jason's gaze turns sad, and the light in his eyes dim significantly. "I know that it's a tradition for parents to mentor their children… But, I've been crippled for years now, and I know that Avery is strong. They have real potential, potential that I can't help to cultivate like this. I won't be able to teach them. Not to mention the fact that Avery has strong ties to fire, but I have none."
"So you want me to train them?" Margaret asks gently.
"I want both of you to. Avery's shown some potential for wind as well." Jason frowned. "If I could move my legs I would train them in wind myself… but it's impossible."
Margaret moves around the table to wrap her arms around him, kissing his temple and rubbing his arms up and down comfortingly. Philip breaks the silence. "I think it's safe to say that we can do that. I haven't trained anybody since you, and neither Sandy or Roger's kids will be coming into their abilities for at least another year now. It'll be good for us to get back in shape."
"Thank you, Dad." Jason breathed a sigh of belief. "It'll also be good for them to get to know you two. They haven't had the chance to know any family other than me."
"Speaking of family," Margaret began, "Where is that girl you ran off with?"
Jason took another gulp of his wine, his mood plummeting further. "I don't know. I haven't seen her since the evacuation. One second we were running to the portal, and the next time I looked back for her, she was gone."
Philip was about to say something, but the stove's timer went off, signaling that the food was ready. "We can talk about this later," he said, pulling a hot pad out of a drawer, "For now though let's get some food in you. The both of you must be starving."
Avery jerks awake violently, then hand that had been shaking their shoulder quickly retracting. They shot up, hands grabbing and eyes blazing, body tense and prepared to attack. But as their head turned, Avery saw panicked green eyes and dark hair. It took a moment to clear their head, but they finally managed to convince themself that it was only Carver, and not the soldiers.
Carver took his hand back, scowling at his cousin. "God damn, I was only trying to tell you that dinner is ready." he nearly snarls, starting towards the door as he mutters under his breath. "You didn't have to try and take my arm off."
With that, Avery is left alone in the room, disoriented and alone. Unfortunately, Carver had not caught them in a pleasant dream. It had plunged them back to just over a week ago, but Carver had caught them before the dream had taken its dark turn. Brushing hair from their face, Avery stands from the bed, straightens their clothes and exits the room. Just before entering the bathroom they notice the door is shut and the light behind it is on, and they assume that there is someone currently occupying it. Avery huffs, settling their back against the wall and crossing their arms over their chest.
Just under a minute later, the door opens, and a young teenage girl steps out. She freezes when she sees Avery leaning against the wall. Avery cocks their head to the side when they notice silver eyes that remind them much of their father.
"Hi?" she says when Avery just stares at her. Avery lifts a hand and waves. Her next question is extremely hesitant. "Who are you exactly?"
Avery doesn't respond, only continuing to stare at her.
"Okay… Why are you lurking outside of the bathroom?" she asks, hands shoved into the pockets of her sweatshirt.
Avery points to the bathroom door and rubs their hands together.
"You want to… oh. You just want to wash your hands." the girl steps out of the way, leaving the door open for Avery. "Why didn't you just say so? I'll just… go... "
Avery watched curiously as the girl left, shrugging their shoulders and not bothering to shut the door behind them as they walked into the bathroom. It wasn't hard to figure out how to use the sink, but they couldn't seem to find the soap, so they rinsed their hands with hot water and dried them off with a nearby towel.
Avery had seen the dining table when they entered the house, and it wasn't difficult for them to find it again. The difficult thing was seeing the dinner table full of people already sitting, piling food - more than Avery had ever seen in their life - onto their plates. Three children and three adults, they all looked so much like a family. Avery didn't know how they fit into it.
Then Philip looked up from the pot he had placed onto the table and smiled at them. "Hey Avery,"
At the mention, Jason turned his upper body to grin at them. "Hey kid, come'on, sit down next to me."
As Avery sat down, Jason pulled them over by the shoulder and fisted his hand, rubbing it over Avery's hair. They couldn't stop the laugh that was pulled from their lungs, and Jason grinned harder at his accomplishment. Avery shoves playfully at their father, finally managing to get his fist away from their head as their cheeks start to hurt from laughter. For the first time in what seems like a long time, Avery smiles.
"So, Avery," Margaret starts, gesturing to the three teenagers sitting across the table from her. "I'm sure you've met Carver."
Carver merely glares at Avery, stabbing his food resentfully with his fork. "Yeah, they almost bruised my arm like five minutes ago."
"Be nice, Carver." Philip chastises, settling into his own seat beside of Margaret. Carver just mumbles something into his hand and resumes stabbing his food.
"Anyway," Margaret continues, shooting Carver a pointed look. She gestures to the other two teenagers, one boy and one girl. "These are your Uncle Roger's kids, Alex and Katherine."
Avery looks over to them, taking in their features. Katherine is looking away, staring down at her food with red cheeks, but Alex is staring straight at Avery. Avery takes in his face, short brown hair and green eyes like Carver, but with completely different face structure. They couldn't tell if he and Katherine are twins, but the two seemed to be close in age. With a small smile, Avery starts to open their mouth, but ends up just pulling up a hand and waving at him.
Avery feels a tap on their shoulder, and looks to see Jason holding out a plate for them, Avery takes it gratefully. Thankfully, the rest of the meal is quiet, and Avery is able to retreat back to their room and lay down for the rest of the night.
A/N: The older character's original names are subject to change, I'll probably give them actual made up names at some point rather than giving them names that are just weird spellings of ours. Stick with me until then though. Thanks :P