AN: Sorry it's taken so long to get this up. Hope you enjoy!
"Mister, stop!" Dylan says in a stern voice as the large dog is about to jump on me. The dog immediately stops and sits down, its long tail wagging as it looks at me excitedly.
The dog is black and tan, with a long, pointed snout and a fluffy coat. Its tail wags as Dylan walks over to it and pats it on the head with a smile.
I give Dylan a confused look as he looks down at the dog and he smiles and says, "This is Mister. Our dog."
"You have a dog?" I ask in disbelief. If they are on the run from Onyx, then what's the point in having a dog?
"Yeah," Dylan says. "We found him about a year ago. He was injured and so we took him in and got him healthy again. Shay and Britney were very opposed to the idea of keeping him but once they realized how useful he could be they let him stay."
"Useful?" I say. Everything these people say and do just leads me to ask more questions. It's getting pretty tiresome.
"He acts kind of like a guard dog," Dylan explains. "He alerts me if something is wrong. Him and Jesse are kind of the eyes and ears of our group."
I nod my head and relax a little. It makes sense for them to have a dog I guess. Dylan's power gives him a connection to animals so I suppose having a dog can help him stay on alert.
Dylan walks back over the counter and brings a plate of sandwiches to the table and I immediately grab for one, devouring it in only a few bites. I'm about to grab for another one when I notice Dylan and Andy watching me with amused looks on their faces.
"I'm sorry," I say, pulling my hand back and ducking my head, worried that I did something wrong. I wasn't thinking when I took the sandwich. All I wanted was some food to slate my hunger.
"It's fine," Andy says with a smile. "Eat as much as you want. We have plenty."
I hesitantly look at them for a couple seconds before reaching for another sandwich and devouring it just as fast as the last one.
"Damn," Dylan says in an awed voice. "When was the last time you ate?"
"I don't know," I answer honestly with a shrug. "Maybe a month ago?"
"A month?" Dylan says in a shocked voice. "You can't be serious?"
"Well, I don't know how long it actually was but I estimated it as a month. Onyx just stopped feeding me one day."
Andy gives me a sad look at the matter-of-factness in my voice and Dylan all of the sudden looks angry but doesn't say anything.
Everyone is silent while I continue to eat. Dylan rummages through some cabinets with an angry air while Andy stares at the table with a blank look. Mister, the dog, sits beside me and gives me a look, begging me to give him some of the food. I pat his head a little bit and give him a small piece of my sandwich.
When Dylan finishes putting everything back in the cabinets he turns to Andy and hands her another plate of food.
"Go give this to the others," he instructs and Andy nods, taking the plate and leaving the room.
Dylan and I watch as she leaves the room and when she disappears around the corner Dylan turns to me with a curious expression.
"Why did you panic when you saw Jake earlier?" he asks and I tense up at his words.
At first glance that boy looked so much like Sebastian that for a moment I thought it might actually be him. He has the same dark hair and grey eyes that Sebastian did. But then I realized that this boy, Jake, was slightly shorter with a more rounded face and pointed nose.
"He…" I try to answer but struggle getting the words out. I take a deep breath and force myself to say something. "He looks like… someone I knew."
There's a short pause and I look up at Dylan as I feel tears forcing their way to the surface. He stares back at me with a sad look and seems to contemplate whether he should say his next words. However, he eventually speaks.
His voice is soft and gentle, as if he's trying to approach a wounded animal. He must know that this is a touchy subject for me but the gentleness in his voice encourages me to nod my head in answer. He runs a hand through his short hair and takes a seat next to me.
"I'm sorry," he says, his voice full of emotion.
"…for what?" I ask, trying my hardest to blink back the tears in my eyes before they spill over.
"For everything that has happened to you," he responds as he looks into my eyes. "You've been through more shit in the last six months then anyone should ever experience in their life."
I stare back at him, confused.
"Why are you apologizing?" I ask with a frown. "Nothing that has happened to me was your fault."
He gives me a strange look but then says, "I just feel like someone should apologize to you. I know what it's like to lose someone you love. And I know how Onyx treats the people they take. You didn't deserve any of that and for that I am truly sorry."
At his words, my frown deepens. Why does he think he needs to apologize? None of this was his fault so why is he acting like it is?
"I don't want an apology," I tell him. "There's nothing that can be said or done that can change what has happened. I don't want you to feel sorry for me for what happened. All I want is to forget the past six months of my life even happened."
Dylan gives me a strange look and I can tell he's torn up about something but he stays silent. I'm not sure why, but it seems as if he blames himself for what Onyx has done. He said he knows what Onyx does to people in the research facility, but how does he know so much about it? As far as I know, Onyx is a highly secretive organization and most people have never even heard of it. I never knew it existed until in ended up in that research facility as one of their lab rats. Has Dylan been in an Onyx facility before?
"How do you know so much about Onyx?" I ask him.
Dylan's eyes flutter to the side for a split second before looking at me and slowly answering, "I've been on the run from them for two years. In that time, I've learned a lot about who they are what how they work."
I give him a skeptical look, wondering if he's telling me the whole truth but decide not to press it. If he wants to tell me he will, I see no reason to pester him about it.
We both stay quiet for a moment before I ask, "So, do you know how we got these… abilities?"
"No," Dylan says and, again, I wonder if he's telling me the full truth. "All I know is that everyone that has these abilities is younger than twenty-five."
I look down at the table as I realize the accuracy of Dylan's words. I'm twenty while Dylan, Jesse, Shay and Britney all seem to be around the same age as me. Andy looks to be around fifteen and Jake looked like he may be seven or eight. Everyone I saw at that facility was pretty young. I don't think I ever saw anyone that appeared to be over the age of thirty.
"Can you tell me what you know about Onyx?" I ask him. I learned plenty about them while I was in that facility, but there are still plenty of things I am unclear on.
"Sure," Dylan says with a shrug. "What do you want to know?"
"Well," I begin. "I already know that they are doing research on people like us but why are they doing it? What do they want?"
Dylan sighs before saying, "As far as I know, they want to learn as much as they can about our abilities. I'm not sure their exact goals but what I do know is that they are afraid of us."
"Afraid of us?" I ask in disbelief.
"They think we are dangerous and that we might use our powers to hurt people who don't have abilities like us."
"You can't be serious! They're the dangerous ones!"
How could they think that way? Do they believe that the only way to keep us from hurting them is to hurt us first? That's absurd!
"I know but there have been a few instances where people have been using their abilities to hurt others. Do you remember about a year ago there was that incident in California at that bank?"
I look up at Dylan's words. I remember that incident being plastered all over the news about a year ago. A bank was robbed but no one knew how it was done. The person who robbed the bank somehow blasted the bank vault open with a bomb but there was no evidence that a bomb was actually used. Investigators said that all evidence leads to the impossible fact that the vault door exploded on its own.
"You mean that was caused by someone like us?" I look skeptically at Dylan, wondering how he knows that information.
"Yes," Dylan says with a frown. "But that wasn't the only instance. There have been many cases where people have been using their abilities to get away with things or to hurt others. Most of these cases have been kept hidden though, and so the government created Onyx to research and keep people like us under control."
"But that's not what they are doing!" I exclaim. "They're torturing people! Turning us into lab rats! Treating like we aren't human!"
"I know," Dylan says in a sad voice. "When Onyx first started they were doing things the right way. They kept everything under raps and asked people if they would take part in the studies that they wanted to conduct. However, about two years ago, everything changed. They suddenly decided that people like us weren't actually people. Instead they thought of us as monsters who were out to destroy people who weren't like us."
"Do you know what caused the change?"
I never knew Onyx was ever like that. Ever since I was taken into that facility six months ago, all I've known is that Onyx is the monster, not people like me. They are the ones who are hurting other people.
"No," Dylan says, not meeting my eyes.
I'm about to ask how Onyx has kept people like us hidden from the general public for so long, but suddenly Andy comes into the room.
"Dylan," she says in an exasperated voice. "Shay and Jesse are fighting again."
Suddenly, a loud crash makes me jump out of my chair and look at Dylan in a panic.
He gives out an annoyed sigh at the crash, looks at me and says, "It's ok. They do this all the time."
I give him a confused look as he turns and begins to walk out of the kitchen. Andy and I follow him into another room where the loud crash came from.
I look around the room and see Britney hiding behind an old couch, Jake standing in a corner watching with a smile as Jesse, standing next the a fire place with a burning fire, and Shay glare at each other from across the room.
Jesse is smugly flipping through the pages as Shay scowls at him with such intensity that I feel the need to hide like Britney.
"Give it back Jesse," Shay says in a dark voice. I see her hand moving in the corner of my eye and look to see a chunk of ice appearing out of thin air in her hand.
"Why are you so obsessed with books?" Jesse asks, ignoring her demand. "They're so boring. It'd be so much more efficient to use them as kindling for the fire."
Jesse nonchalantly holds the book out over the fire place and suddenly Shay hurls the chunk of ice at him with such speed that I cringe at the expectation of it slamming into Jesse's face.
However, it never makes contact with Jesse and instead slams into the wall where he was just standing a split second ago. My eyes widen when I feel someone put their hand on my shoulder and I instantly turn and try to distance myself from them at the sudden contact but only manage to back into Dylan, who grabs my arms to steady me as I stumble over myself in my panic.
When I'm finally steady on my feet again I look to see that Jesse was the one who put his hand on my shoulder. I stare at him in confusion, not understanding how he got there when he was just on the opposite side of the room a second ago.
"Oh, come on!" he says with a fake pout. "I need a shield from that she-devil and you're the perfect candidate. She's not gonna attack the newbie!"
I look to Dylan, not sure about the situation, and he lets go of my arm and steps in front of me, saying, "Give Shay her book back Jesse."
"I don't need your help Dylan," Shay says, still glaring at Jesse as another ball of ice forms in her hand. "Just let me put a couple dents in his head and I won't have to deal with his annoying ass anymore."
"No!" Dylan says with a glare. "I just fixed the hole in the wall from the last time you two fought. I'd rather not do it again. Now Jesse, hand over the book."
Dylan holds his hand out and Jesse rolls his eyes but gives Dylan the book anyway.
"Why do you always have to ruin the fun?" he says to Dylan in a disappointed voice.
"Because if someone didn't, Shay would kill you," Dylan replies with a smirk, as he hands the book back to Shay. Shay immediately turns on her heal and walks towards the exit. However, as she passes Jesse she waves her hand and the water from a cup that was sitting next to the couch flies up and splashes into Jesse's face.
Jesse coughs and sputters as Shay turns the corner and walks out of the room. When he recovers he attempts to follow her out of the room but Dylan stops him.
"Just give it up Jesse," Dylan says in an exasperated voice. Then he smiles and says, "You know you'll never win against her."
Jesse playfully punches Dylan in the arm and gives him an upset look, saying, "Who said I couldn't take her in a fight?"
"Shay would kick your ass in a fight."
Andy, Britney, Jake and Dylan all speak at the same time, making Jesse glare at all of them.
"You people have no faith," he says in a frustrated voice as he throws his hands up in defeat.
Everyone laughs and I look around the room at all of the happy faces. They all seem so happy and care free even with the situation they are currently in. They act like true friends. Like a family, a dysfunctional family, but a family.
Ever since I woke up in that Onyx facility, I haven't smiled but now I find the corners of my mouth lifting in a small smile as everyone laughs together. For the first time in six months I feel hope that things will turn out ok.
That night, after everyone has ate and Shay and Jesse seem to have cooled down from their fight, Jake shows me around the small hideout.
It's a small, abandoned house with too many stains, holes, and other signs of destruction to count, but they have managed to make it feel somewhat like a home. There are about three bedrooms in the old house, a small kitchen, and two bathrooms.
"And this is the living room," Jake says with a smile as he leads me into the room where Jesse and Shay were fighting. There's an old couch and a coffee table placed neatly in front of the fireplace, where a fire continues to burn, keeping the room warm and comfortable. Shay is sitting on the couch reading a book while Dylan sits on the floor and throws a ball for Mister, who enthusiastically chases after it and brings it back to Dylan.
I give Jake a small smile as I step into the room. At first, I wasn't all too thrilled that he would be the one showing me around but as soon as he started telling me about the place I immediately knew there was nothing to worry about.
At first glance, he looks a lot like Sebastian and after getting to know him he does act a little like Sebastian. He gets excited about the littlest things and whenever he starts talking about something that makes him happy, he gets a look in his eyes that reminds me of Sebastian quite a bit.
However, he's not Sebastian and the more time I spend with him, the more I come to realize that they are quite different. Sebastian had darker hair than Jake, and he was taller. Jake has a much more outgoing personality that Sebastian. As soon as Dylan asked him to show me around he jumped up and started dragging me around the house, acting as if we've been friends for years.
"Oh, are you finished showing her around Jake?"
Dylan's voice breaks my train of thought and I look over to see him standing up, brushing off his jeans after sitting on the floor. Mister drops the ball at Dylan's feet and looks up at him hopefully but Dylan just gives him a pat on the head and walks over to us.
"So," he says with a kind smile. "What do you think?"
"It's nice," I say with a half-smile. It's a pretty small place for six people plus a dog to be living but they seem to have made it work.
"So, I was thinking—" Dylan starts to talk but is suddenly interrupted.
"Dylan," Shay says from the couch, her eyes not leaving the book. "Leave the poor girl alone for a while. She's probably exhausted."
Dylan looks back at me with a disappointed look and I say, "No really. I'm not tired."
A lot has happened in one day, however because of my healing I don't get tired like most people. I discovered that while I was in the Onyx facility after they decided to try and keep me awake for three weeks straight to see how it affected me. By the end of the three weeks I was miserable but I could still function normally.
Dylan looks at me, then at the clock hanging on the wall and says, "Well, it is pretty late. I guess we should figure out the whole sleeping arrangement. What do you think we should do about that Shay?"
"I don't care," Shay says, turning a page in her book. "But Britney is going to freak out if you put her in our room."
Dylan sighs and runs a hand through his hair. He seems to think for a second before saying, "I guess you can take the meeting room until my week is up."
"Your week?" I ask, confused.
"Yeah," he responds with a small smile. "We all have to share rooms so each week one of us takes the bed in what we call the meeting room to have a little privacy. I'm usually in a room with Jesse and Jake but this is my week so I get the meeting room."
"Are you sure you want to give up your week?" I ask, feeling a little bad.
"It's fine," he assures me with a kind smile. "I gave it up last night too after we brought you here."
I pause, my mind whirling at the fact that I have only been here a day. It feels like I've been here much longer but I guess that could be because I was in and out of consciousness quite a bit.
And then I realize, if these people hadn't found me, I would be back in that facility right now being used as another one of their many lab rats. Who knows what they would have done with me if Onyx had actually caught me. As far as I know, no one has ever escaped one of their facilities before. It was a miracle I got out in the first place.
That night, I lay in bed after everyone has gone to sleep. I'm in the same room I was in when I first woke up here. I felt bad that Dylan gave up his week to have the private room for me but I'm also grateful to have the privacy.
I've been tossing and turning for the past hour, trying to force sleep that just won't come. My mind is too busy thinking about all of the things that have happened in the past day.
I escaped Onyx, only to run out of energy. However, thanks to Dylan and Jesse, I actually got away. When I woke up here, in this very same bed, I was so happy to know that I was no longer a prisoner to Onyx but when Dylan told me I couldn't leave, what little hope I had vanished. All I wanted to do was see my family and tell them I am ok. And then when Dylan told me that they would help me see my family, my hope came back and I realized that everyone here was not the enemy.
But know that all of the excitement has subsided, I'm now faced with the facts. My life will never be normal again. I have abilities that shouldn't exist and my family thinks I'm dead. Even though I will get the chance to see them again, I will never be able to stay with my family. I will always be on the run and because of that it wouldn't be safe for my family if I stayed with them.
My mind whirls for what feels like hours before I finally fall asleep. However, its not a peaceful slumber.
My nightmare takes me back to the Onyx facility where I am strapped to a table. There are people wearing surgical masks standing around me their eyes filled with and evil hunger to instill pain.
"No!" I say as one of them brings a scalpel to my stomach. I try to fight again the restraints but its no use and I scream as my stomach is sliced open.
However, just as fast as the gash appeared, it closes and the man holding the scalpel drags it across my cheek this time. Just like the last cut, this one closes too but the man doesn't stop. Each cut makes me scream and I try to my hardest to try and get away. However, the restraints don't budge and I'm helpless as the man continues to torture me.
Suddenly, everything around me disappears and I'm sitting in an Onyx cell. The concrete floor sends chills up my entire body. The door opens in my eyes widen in fear when I see the face of the person who steps into the room.
Thomas, the one person I feared the most while I was at that facility, looks at me with a menacing smile. I back up as he begins to approach me but end up hitting the wall. When he reaches me he grabs my arm with such a hard grip that I cry out in pain.
He drags me out of the cell and down a hallway. The hallway seems to go on forever until we come to a red door. At the sight of the door my eyes widen in panic and I scream and struggle against Thomas's grip, but it's no use and he drags me into the room.
Inside the room is a chair with restraints on the arms and legs to hold its occupant in.
"No! Please!" I scream, frantically trying to keep him from strapping me to that chair.
Thomas laughs with menace as he forces me into the chair and straps my arms and legs down. I hysterically scream, begging him not to turn the chair on but its no use. He flips the switch on and suddenly I shoot up in bed, a cold sweat making my clothes cling to me.
I gasp in air and my hands grip the sheets of the bed as I realize it was just a dream. My body shakes as the fear and adrenaline subside.
This is the reason I was glad to have the privacy of this room. About a week after I woke up in that Onyx facility, I started having nightmares like that whenever I slept. There have been many times where I woke up screaming. I can't imagine how everyone here would react if I did that while sharing a room with some of them.
Suddenly, I feel the need to leave this room and I throw the blanket off of me and quietly walk out of the room. However, as soon as I step out I hear voices talking in the living room. Curious, I stand in the hallway and listen to their conversation.
"-is our problem!"
I hear Dylan speak in a slightly raised whisper. He sounds upset and I wonder what he could mean.
"Even if it is, there's nothing we can do," Andy says. "It's not like we can do anything to change his mind. He hates us just like everyone else that has abilities like us."
I knit by brows in confusion when Andy speaks. Who are they talking about? Who hates them? And why? What can't they change his mind about?
Suddenly I jump when something touches my hand but when I look down I realize its only Mister. I give him a pat on the head and continue to listen to what Dylan and Andy are talking about.
"You heard what Zoe said! They starved her! How can we just ignore what he's doing?"
My breath catches at the sound of my name. Are they talking about Onyx? If they are, then why is Dylan so upset about what they did to me? Its not like it's his fault.
"I know, but there's nothing we can do!" Andy says in an upset voice. "Think about it. We may have these abilities but he is still way more powerful than us!"
"Andy, we can't just let him keep hurting—" Dylan stops suddenly and before I know it he comes out into the hallway and he meets my eyes with a suspicious look. For a second, I wonder how he knew I was out here but then I look down at Mister, who is calmly sitting next to me. Dylan's ability gives him a connection to animals and he must have known I was here because of Mister.
"What are you doing?" Dylan asks. His voice is serious but I can't tell if he's angry or not.
"I…uh," I stutter, trying to remember why I originally came out here. "I… couldn't sleep and so I left the room to get a little fresh air."
"Oh, well, Andy and I were just heading to bed," he replies with a small smile that doesn't reach his eyes. He must know I was listening. Why won't he say anything? Why is he not angry?
"Do you need anything before we go?" Andy asks with a kind smile.
"Um…" I'm caught off guard by her kindness. Surely the both know I heard what they were saying? "No, I'm ok. Thank you though."
With that they both wish me a good night and head to their separate rooms. I stand in the hallway for a moment after they disappear and wonder what that was all about.
What exactly were they talking about? Who hates them? They must have been talking about Onyx, but who in do they know that is a part of Onyx? Why is Dylan so upset by what I told him?
Something seems off to me. Dylan and Andy know quite a bit about Onyx, but how? I would assume they couldn't have learned everything they know just because Onyx is after them. I wonder if they have been in one of the facilities before? Did they escape like I did?
I don't know how long I stand in the hallway thinking to myself but eventually I shake my head and decide to forget about it for now. They've done so much for me already, I shouldn't be bothered by this. They are good people who are just trying to stay safe, just like me. Whatever may have happened in their past with whoever they were talking about is none of my business. I owe them so much for rescuing me from Onyx, so the least I could do is pretend I didn't hear anything.
AN: So what to you think Dylan and Andy were talking about? Let me know what you think in a review!