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 We Are Not Gods

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PostSubject: We Are Not Gods   Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:18 pm

[Insert title here]

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sat Nov 07, 2015 10:19 pm

Prologue


There is fire, and she feels it. She feels the fire like it's her blood.

It lights up her bones like candles, creates her skin out of wax. She breathes smoke like pure oxygen, and she's never felt more alive than in deadly flames.

It's over too soon, and she's laid down in ashes. She hears people—firefighters—they call fotheser her. Ask her if anybody else lives in the house, what's her name, how old is she, who is the prime minister, questions to which she doesn't know the answers.

She only knows fire.

She tells them that, and whites out.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:38 pm

1. Where She's Dead

She wakes up to textile skies.

She looks, not believing her eyes, and tries to process. She's dead, she decides, and continues to list her observations.

It's a bit colder than she likes, the light brown fabric above her looks worn out and makes her think it's dirty, even though it's not. The surface on which she lies is not too hard, but is definitely not soft enough. Overall, it feels homely, like someone tried as much as they can to make it comfortable, with limited resources.

She remembers the fire. Shivers.

Taking a dive into her mind, she decides to remember all the things firefighters wanted to know.

Her name… Was a type of a flower? A month, perhaps? Amelia-May. She settles for Amelia-May, and doesn't bother with the surname. That's enough for now.

She opens her mouth, to utter a word or two, but only a breathy cough comes out. Speaking isn't an option, then. She turns her head, and she sees angels.

They don't have wings, but they shine, like sun from a TV, not allowing her to see their faces. Then the shine stops, like a lens glare, and she can see them clearly.

It is a man and a woman, her age—her age? How does she know that? If it's correct, that means she is… About twenty five, then? One more fact about her. One day she'll know everything.

The angels, they don't look as perfect as she expects them to be. They have small scars and bruises on their jaws and arms and they look tired. The woman has beautiful, almost artfully messy hair, dyed blonde with a little bit of brown closest to her skull, and she is brushing it out, stopping every now and then to get rid of the knots. One time, she untangles something small, metal out of it, sighs, and puts it on the night stand.

Amelia realises she's made a mistake. There are two men in the room—tent? Yes, a tent—but one is lying on a bed similar to hers. He has black, or maybe very dark brown hair consisting of wild curls and a scruffy, week-old beard. His eyes are closed, like he's sleeping. The other angels are watching him. Okay, Amelia, they're obviously not angels, you're not dead.

But that other man, in no way different than the other people, captures her. He has messy hair, just like they do, old clothes, he is not exceptionally tall or short, weak or muscly, he has dark circles under his eyes…

His eyes.

They look like an ocean. But no, that's not correct. They are an ocean. A real-life, flowing, moving ocean. She tries not to exaggerate, but it's hard. His eyes aren't a still image, no, a picture can't capture them. She sees the white foam and dark depth, mixing and overlapping and living.

Like he knows she is watching, he looks at her. The ocean awakens and swallows her.

The woman—the girl, she reacts before he does.

"Um, hi", she gets up, puts down her brush on the curly-haired bloke's bed and slowly walks over to her.

"Hello", Amelia replies, "could you tell me where I am?" She thinks, as soon as she figures out where she is, she can get out. It is slowly coming back to her. The fire happened in her house, the house in which she'd lived for twenty years, and more. Her parents were in the fire. Her brother. She has to find them. Are they even alive? A chill goes over her; it's a different kind of cold.

"I'm sorry", the girl looks it, "I can't tell you."

"What?!"

"I literally can't." Her voice is unbelieveably calming. "I don't know."

"How…?"

"It doesn't matter." She changes the subject as easy as weather changes. "I'm Ellie. You?"

"Amelia." Amelia decides, questions later. There will be time for them. Maybe she is, after all, dead.

"You're not dead, don't worry", Ellie says, and Amelia stares at her blankly.

"Ellie!" The blue-eyed boy (how does he call him? Bloke? Boy sounds like he's ten) shakes his head and crosses his legs. The chair on which he is sitting, Amelia notices, is someone's handiwork, a plank of wood nailed into three small but thick logs. The bed also looks like it isn't bought, and the mattress looks like stolen from a two-star hotel.

The bloke (this isn't much better. Amelia needs a name) has a British accent, a bit southern, and the girl sounds like she is straight from New York. What are they doing here? They can't have met midway, midway is the Atlantic ocean! But they're in a tent, and Amelia can't fathom where the tent might have been put up.

"Sorry, it… Escaped me." Ellie turns back to Amelia, with a smile, like nothing happened. Amelia puts it aside. Like everything else. It starts to get on her nerves slowly. "Forget what I said."

"Of course."

The bloke laughs. Ellie glares at him, and he hides with a cough. The way Ellie looks at him, and the words she said earlier, make Amelia curious.

"This rude man is Ben…" it's the bloke's turn to glare, "…nedict. His name is Benedict and if you call him anything else he'll kill you."

"Probably." Benedict looks serious enough. Amelia will probably mess with his name in the future, just for the fun of it.

"Is that what happened to this fella, then?" Amelia nods towards the man lying down. "Did he call you something you didn't like?"

Benedict quirks an eyebrow up, in a challenge. Oh yeah. From now on, he is Benny to her.

"Not quite."

"No, Zach here", Ellie points to the man, "messed with someone a bit tougher. Sorry, Benedict." She looks a bit sad. Amelia doesn't know why.

Benedict rolls his eyes.

"I don't know why I put up with you", he says and gets up. "See ya. Things to be done."

"Jerk", Ellie comments.

As Benedict opens the tent door, Amelia sees a forest. He exits quickly.

Amelia looks at Ellie. It's time for questions.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:49 pm

2. Where Everybody Had Hair Troubles

"You must be confused", Ellie says as she hands Amelia a bottle of water. Amelia didn't see from did she pull it out, she was too busy looking at the tent door closing. She didn't know enough about trees for them to give her any clues.

"Yeah, a little."

"Well", Ellie leans in confidentially, "now Ben's out, I can answer all your questions freely. He can be a bit of an interruption."

"Okay." It was Amelia's cue to speak. "The last thing I remember is my house being on fire. How did I get here, where ever this is?"

"Hm. You start with complicated ones." Ellie bites her lip for a second, frowns, then starts explaining. "You are here because you're special. Um, there's this guy, boss-guy, he plucked you out of the hospital, I'm guessing, because of that."

"I don't get it."

"Give", Ellie waves her hand, "give me a second, it's complicated." She stares into nothing for half a minute, arranging her thoughts, and Amelia feels more and more impatient. She needs answers. "A-ha! I got it."

"So?"

"Fire."

"What about it?"

"What colour is your hair?"

"Does it matter?"

"Just answer me, and don't freak out."

Amelia likes Ellie, but Ellie needs to get to the bloody point.

"It's brown, why?"

Ellie grins, and Amelia thinks it scary. How is anything she's saying related?

"It's not."

"How the hell is it not?" Oh, crap, the fire made her bald.

"It's not, Amelia."

Amelia takes a strand of her hair. No, it's not brown.

It's bright, fiery red.

"Shit!" she shouts, and hears another swear from outside. There is a splash of water, and the bottom of the tent door gets wet. Amelia doesn't question it. She takes a few breaths to calm down. "Ellie, why is my hair red?"

"Because of the fire. Benedict, you alright out there?" Ellie calls out, looking at the tent door, where Benedict's head appears not a second after, his hair soaking wet. He's frowning, and he looks ridiculous.

"You scared the living daylights out of me."

Amelia hears Ellie laughing, and she thinks a smile is appropriate. She notices that, even though his hair looks like it's directly from wash, his shirt or even his face weren't wet, and feels like something is definitely odd is going on.

"Why's your hair wet", she dares to ask.

"Because you interrupted me", he says, as if that explains everything, and smirks at Amelia's annoyed expression.

"I don't understand."

"Of course you don't", Benedict runs his hand through his hair, making it stick up. "Ellie, please explain her everything so we can talk."

"Why don't you do it, then?" Ellie offers.

Benedict thinks it through, then disappears into the forest.

"I'm busy", he says, his voice distanced.

Ellie looks a bit ticked off when she returns to Amelia.

"Back to where we left off… Your hair is like this because of the fire. You're feeling the cold, right, but you aren't cold?" Amelia nods. "Amelia, you getting it yet?"

"No."

"You can control it. The fire."

"Of course I can't. If I could, I would have stopped the fire in my house." She thinks of her family. And feels like they're already gone.

"It only kickstarted your abilities." Ellie gets a specific glow in her eyes. She looks sad, but also motivated. "I discovered my powers in an aeroplane. Zach in a tunnel. Benedict—"

"On sea?"

"Yes." Ellie seems proud of her work. She pats Amelia's leg. "And here comes the hard part."

"Is it about my parents?" It's the last thing Amelia wants to hear, but she knows she'll hear it anyway.

"Yes. We all lost our parents to those accidents." Amelia wonders how Ellie survived a plane crash. But, she feels nothing towards her parents and her brother. It feels like she already knew they would die. The apathy is unusual to her. "Are you sure you aren't a bit telepathic?"

"Telepathic?" She was now bordering on having a panic attack. Her moods change quickly, which didn't happen before, and Amelia thinks she became someone else. It would explain her hair, her location and everything else, but it is not the case.

"Yeah. I mean, it's not embarrassing if you are, it's not something to be ashamed of", Ellie's voice is calming, although it gets a little firmer when there's another splash from outside. "I'm telepathic, but just a bit", she continues, and Amelia hears laughter. Ellie tries to speak over it. "But if you're not, that's fine. Ben can only control water— Benedict, you idiot, what have you done to my dog?!"

A small, white terrier gallops into the tent. He carries at least five litres of water in its fur, and drips everywhere. Amelia can only guess it's Benedict's work.

The dog is next to Ellie in no time, wagging his tail and letting out excited barks every now and then.

"This is Drew", Ellie says, but the way she says those words means that the dog's name means something. Amelia will ask later. "Drew really likes water, but Benedict should", her voice gets very loud, "stop getting my dog wet whenever he wants." Back to normal. "We found Drew on our campsite two, three years ago. The guys wanted to leave him, but I kept him."

Drew hops off to Zach on the bed, sniffs his arm, and whimpers.

"He likes Zach", Ellie explains, a bit blue. Drew moves on to the nightstand. "No, Drew, drop it", Ellie gets up to take something out of Drew's mouth. She has a bit of a limp, Amelia notices, like she broke her leg recently, that's why she walks slowly. She takes out the metal object out of Drew's mouth, and Amelia recognises it as a bullet. She doesn't want to ask how it got into Ellie's hair.

"I have to go help Ben with lunch. If you want to come along, feel free to do so", Ellie smiles and she and Drew head out of the tent. Amelia sits on the bed, looking at Zach. What happened to him? She knows that answers aren't in the tent, so she gets up and follows Ellie.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:55 pm

-

He's in a forest again, and he doesn't know where he is. People in the town spoke English which is not his English, he looked crazy to them, in ripped clothes, half of his hair dyed, and half his natural colour. He's lost one of his shoes in the forest way back, and he's sure he's lost half of the stuff airgirl gave him.

But he doesn't care. He's on a hunt.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sat Nov 07, 2015 11:57 pm

3. Where She Wants To Burn

The forest has a scent of life. Amelia almost feels the animals in it, squirrels, rabbits, a couple of deer, maybe, and a whole bunch of insects, and she doesn't have a clue where they where on a map.

But, she sees that there are three tents, one big, two small, located in a small plain, surrounded by hills covered in trees. The plain looks like a bowl, rounded and claustrophobic, but Amelia doesn't mind it much. It makes her feel safe, if nothing else.

There are flowers everywhere, small, yellow ones she doesn't recognise. There are bushes with berries, and trees with green and yellow leaves, and she hears birds singing and tweeting and chattering.
There is a murmur of a river or a pond in the distance.

She feels something, a deep urge in her, which feels as old as time. As old as fire. She sees all the life in the forest, all the green, the livid flow of the water, and she wants to burn it all down, until all what's left is ashes. The urge, no, the need, it's circulating through her bones and her bloodstream, and wants to burn. She feels someone watching her; she looks. It's Benedict, shaking his head, like he knows, that blue-eyed spy. She takes a deep breath, and follows Ellie.

Drew doesn't seem to like Amelia very much, as he keeps to Ellie who is walking to a small bonfire. But again, he doesn't like Benedict, either. The bonfire makes Amelia stop and stare, wanting to touch.

"Now, your powers", Ellie says, "they will be unstable at first." She notices Amelia's stare directed at the fire. "And I'd appreciate if you didn't burn the forest down."

Amelia looks away, the tingling feeling in her fingers gone.

"Soon you'll be able to do something like this", she nods towards Benedict, who is now playing with a few silvery-transparent strands attached to his fingers. "Showoff", Ellie teases him. Amelia realises in marvel that the strands are water.

They flow, dance around his head, going up, down, making zig zags and curves. They form beautiful shapes, delicate and smooth, as if carved out of stone. Amelia can't look away.

"Psh", a strand of Ellie's hair covering her face flies up and falls back into it's place, controlled by air only. "I was never able to focus my power like that."

"Practice", Benedict says and the water falls onto grass, shapeless. "Can we go eat something?"

"He thinks he's so important", Ellie says to Amelia as they go get food.

They eat frozen pizza heated over a fire, and Amelia asks about it over half still-frozen, half burned pizza.

"Where do you get food?"

"We steal", Ellie says. Huh. Pretty straight-forward. "Actually, Benedict steals."

Benedict murmurs something looking at his hands. Amelia wants to see his ocean eyes.

"Benedict's a spy", Ellie says in a secretive voice.

"I'm not a spy."

"Sure you are."

"What do you mean?" Amelia asks.

"Worked for the government. I know my way around any type of lock." He doesn't seem to be hungry anymore. Or the pizza is just too awful.

Amelia thinks. He worked. How long has it been since his parents died, how long has it been since all of their parents died? Have they been here all this time? Did the 'boss-guy' pluck them all out of hospitals? She wants to go back. Maybe her parents aren't dead. Maybe.

She glances at her sad-looking cheese and withered mushrooms, and fights off a sob. She finally realises what it all means. It hits her.

"It's getting colder", Ellie says as she gets up to stretch. "I think winter is near. Amelia, are you okay?"

Amelia isn't okay. Tears are streaming down her cheeks. She's lost them. She's lost all of them.

"Benedict, do something", she hears Ellie say.

The tears rise from Amelia's face, droplets in the air, controlled by Benedict. They dance in the air for a few seconds before falling down and putting off an enlarging fire.

"Calm down", Benedict says, creating more water from his fingers to take out the remaining fire. "We've all been through it." His voice is calming, and Amelia doesn't set another fire in the forest.

"Zach had it worse", Ellie notices. "His real parents died, whilst I was a foster kid, and Benedict's parents were killed by the mafia."

"They weren't", he complains. They stop bickering, once they saw Amelia's face.

'What do I do', Benedict mouths to Ellie. 'Hug her', she shrugs.

Benedict does so, rolling his eyes.

Benedict is cold, but Amelia doesn't mind. She is warm, and Benedict is comforting.

"It will be better", he whispers, just to her, and she may just think he's telling the truth.

Drew starts barking wildly.

"Oh, shut up, you", Benedict says, and lets go of Amelia.

"He doesn't like me very much", Amelia says with a sniff.

"Join the club", Benedict replies.

"You're lucky, Amelia", Ellie says, ignoring the foul way they speak of her dog. "Benedict rarely gives hugs. Ya can't catch water."

"You can't even tell if air's there or not, which is not the case with Ellie", Benedict looks proud of his 'joke'.

"Imma pretend it's a compliment you just gave me, you jerk."

Benedict turns to Amelia with a relaxed grin on his face.

"If you think this is fighting, just wait for Zach to wake up. Ellie seems to dislike him more than me."

"That is not true", Ellie says, walks up to Benedict, takes his pizza and walks up into the big tent.

"I have to eat too, you know", he calls after her, but Ellie can't be heard. Benedict sighs, and without a word takes Amelia's pizza.

"Unbelieveable. You're not a really good spy, from what I see now."

Benedict squints at her, judging.

"I was not a spy." He takes a bite from the pizza. Then, he whispers, "I was a double spy."

Amelia cracks a smile. A small one. It's a start.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:03 am

4. Where There's Chemicals

By noon, Ellie is wearing a wooly hat and a two-feet long scarf. Benedict and Amelia sit on the grass, not noticing the temperature, and they practice.

"Please teach Amelia to focus her fire so she can warm me up." Ellie found a coat a couple of minutes ago when she was covering Zach, and she's now wrapped into it. Amelia wonders where they get the clothes, but she guesses they steal it as well.

She knows it's cold, that much is obvious to her, but she isn't cold, and neither is Benedict. It confuses her, so she asks him.

"I've never questioned it", he says as he's putting out a small fire Amelia's caused. "I guess you aren't cold because you're fire, and I'm always cold, anyways."

It's kind of cute, Amelia thinks, how they refer to each other as fire, air, water and so on. It's like it's their names, who they are. Who she is. It makes her feel like home.

Controlling fire is harder than Amelia thinks. Benedict makes it look so easy, twirling water around like it was an extention of his fingers. Ah, but the fire is uncooperative. It doesn't like to be controlled.

"Hold it in your hands, don't let it burn the grass", Benedict says, looking at a small fireball between Amelia's fingers. Ellie isn't too happy about a foot of burnt grass surrouding Amelia from all sides, and keeps on muttering something about Zach and 'being pissed'.

"I'm not letting it burn the grass, it just wants to do it", Amelia is covered in a thin coat of sweat, and she thinks that fire can't be tamed.

What marvels her, though, is the way fire appears, levitating above her fingers. It's the easiest part, and the part which she grows to love. Benedict taught to how to do it, and it was the only time fire decided to work with Amelia.

She has to close her eyes, just for a second, and imagine fire. When she opens here eyes, a small, match-sized flame burns oxygen. Benedict looks proud, but, as it seems, it only makes him push Amelia to do harder things.

"C'mon, Benedict, give the girl a rest. I didn't really mean it when I told you that she must warm me up", Ellie approaches them, and puts her hand on Amelia's shoulder. She hands her the same bottle of water as before, but now filled with Benedict's water. Amelia isn't sure what to think of that kind of recycling.

"These aren't hard things to learn, at least shouldn't be. Ellie, is there something with the air? It feels a bit like methane, but it's probably just me…" Benedict licks his lip a bit, as if to taste the air. He shakes his head. It makes Amelia want to ask him how does he recognise methane. But she decides against it. She didn't want to be asked about her past, as well.

"Don't think so. Maybe Zach can identify whatever that is when he wakes up."

Amelia hasn't met Zach, but if everything they said was true about him, then him being asleep is very dangerous for the team.

Huh. They're a team now. Amelia's never been in a team.

"It's just me, probably", Amelia waves her hand and drinks from the bottle. "I'm unfocused."

"Of course you'd be", Ellie sits next to her, and, as if she only got that idea now, covers them both with a blanket and cuddles up to Amelia's arm. "Holy shit, Amelia, you're so warm."

Benedict rolls his eyes at Ellie and gets up for a stretch.

"I can never get close to Benedict because he's freezing", Ellie admits, her teeth chattering against Amelia's shoulder. But she doesn't mind. "Zach told me that his body temperature was under ten Celsius, whatever that is, and I'd bet yours is edging towards a hundred."

"A hundred degrees Celsius?" Amelia asks with a slight giggle. "Then all water would turn into gas and you'd be burned." She puts one of her hands on her cheek. She doesn't feel like it's very warm, but how could she. "I'd say I'm nearer fifty."

"Did you have fevers often as a kid?" asks Ellie. "Because I know Ben had colds."

"It's Benedict", Benedict's voice is heard from a distance.

"Aw, come on, how could you hear that", Ellie groans.

"I just could", is Benedict's answer, and Amelia feels like shaking her head in frustration.

"Please, do me a favour and call him Ben as often as you can. I don't think he'll be that mad at you."

"Why do you think so?"

Ellie taps her temple with her pointer finger.

"Telepathic. Even though I can't read exact thoughts, I get people's feelings."

"So he's less mad at me because I'm new?"

"You could say so", Ellie says, but it doesn't look like she means it.

Amelia shakes it off.

And there she is, sitting in a circle of burnt grass, the frozen pizza still circling around in her stomach, the hardness of the mattress hurting her back. She thinks how it's a completely different world, from where she's been living, and she thinks how she likes it here a bit more.

She's already forgotten how her family sounded like. Who came up the stairs at night, creaking. She forgets things she thought she'd always remember. It feels scary, forgetting. She gets the urge to write it all down before she forgets, but she doesn't want to. Unwritten, it fades. And, as it fades, she realises that she's never returning back to that life.

It doesn't make her sad, just a bit melancholy, because this forest already feels more like home than the house which burned down. Benedict, Ellie, and even Zach, feel like her family, and she doesn't understand why. She doesn't know them, they barely know her. But they understand. They've been through what she's been, and they're willing to help her through it.

She leans her head on Ellie's, and closes her eyes.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:09 am

-

"But, you must know—"

"I don't know anyone with that name. Are you sure he's supposed to be my brother?"

"He is your brother, he told me…"

"Maybe you have the wrong household? It's a common surname, you know. And I've never known anyone who takes photos, people don't really do that anymore."

"But he—"

"I'm sorry, I really am, but I can't help you. I've got work, I'll hang up now. Bye."

She hangs up, and he's left clueless.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:13 am

5. When They're Not Human


"Let's just hope it's not as cold at night as it was during the day", Ellie says, and whistles for Drew, who appears by her side in seconds. The sun has nearly set, all talk of practice disappearing as tiredness took over. "I'll see you tomorrow, then?" she asks, waves at them, and gets in the tent, dog following.

Benedict exhales a tortured sigh.

"What?" Amelia asks. "Where am I sleeping, anyway?"

"In my tent, apparently", Benedict moves his hair from his face. "We didn't get time to get a new tent, Zach's been broken, and Drew hates you, it's logical you stay with me. Come on", Benedict turns his back to Amelia and walks into the tent. She watches the entrance for a couple of seconds until one ocean eye pops out. "You coming or are you warm enough to sleep in the cold?"

"Both", Amelia grumbles and stumbles into the tent.

"Careful", Benedict warns her. It's a small tent, just big enough for two, and this is claustrophobic for Amelia.

She wants to burn the tent's roof so she can watch the stars and the sky, and breathe freely.

She doesn't know why.

Benedict's observing look makes her not burn the tent. But that's the only reason.

"Now", he continues, as if nothing happened, "you can either choose a blanket or a sleeping bag. The sleeping bag is warmer, but it's a real pain to get out of it." Amelia picks the blanket, and Benedict pulls out two from the corner of the tent. "Good choice."

"Since when do you care if it's warm or not? I thought you didn't feel cold."

"Erm." That question confuses Benedict, and he stares at Amelia for a couple of seconds. Not that she minded. "I guess…" He looks down, and it's Amelia's turn to stare. "It's what's left human in me."

There was a certain strain in his voice, and Amelia bites down on her lip.

"So when you're a spy, you're not a human?" It gets out a laugh from Benedict, but it's bitter.

"Hm, no. I don't consider us, as you, Ellie, Zach, and me, as humans."

"What? What am I then, a caterpillar?"

"No, no", Benedict nudges Amelia, "just, bear with me, okay?" Amelia can't shake off the feeling that she just made him happy for a second. If not, happier. "This doesn't feel human, right?" He made two streams of water circle Amelia's face, come behind her ears, and, like tears, drip down her cheeks. It didn't make Amelia wet, it just made her breathless. The water, it felt like a softest touch of fingers, it felt like he was touching her. She felt like she was home. It was family all over again. Belonging.

"If nothing, it feels more human than anything."

The water retracted from her face, and left a wet trail in her newly red hair.

They sit in silence for a couple of seconds, when Amelia raises her hand.

"Erm…" Benedict watches her calmly. It gives her a boost of self confidence. "I just want to try something… May I?"

"As long as you don't burn the tent down. And the forest. And, you know, me."

"How did you—you know what, never mind." She takes a deep breath, and, because she sees no fear in Benedict's eyes, creates a tiniest, but the least dangerous fire.

"I would like to still have my eyebrows when you're done, thanks."

"Shut up." His grin does nothing but distract Amelia. His eyes carefully observe as the fire crawls closer through the air to his cheek. It stays there for a second or two, then Amelia makes it bigger, enjoying her new-found control. The fire covers Benedict's cheek, all the way to his chin, and up to his forehead. She only leaves his eye seeable, but the rest of the left side of Benedict's face is fire.

The corner of his lips quirks up, and Amelia immediately removes the fire away from him.

"Shit, did I do something?"

"No, it's fine… Pretty impressive, actually." For Amelia, it was enough that she didn't ruin his face.

"I'm sorry, I'm sorry, I shouldn't have, I've crossed the line—"

Benedict grabs Amelia's hand before she gestures so hard it does more damage than her fire.

"Amelia", he warns her. "You asked, I said yes. There was no line to be crossed."

"If you start lecturing me about consent, I'm sleeping with the mutt and Ellie."

"Consent?" Benedict lets go of her hand, and starts chuckling. It's a rich, throaty sound, even deeper than Benedict's usual voice, and Amelia might just think it's honest. "How did you even get to that?"

"I just—it sounded—"

And then Amelia gets sprayed directly in the face.

"Ben!" Amelia howls, but she has no defence weapons. It only crosses her mind that Benedict could be a better fighter than her when she pounces at him.

In three seconds, Benedict instinctively grabs her wrists, flips them both over, and pins her to the air matress.

"Don't call me Ben", he says, not even breathless.

"Aw, come on", Amelia tries to wriggle her way out of Benedict's grip, but it just isn't happening.

"And never scare the shit out of a former spy. You're lucky that I'm water, and you're fire."

"Let me guess", Amelia says, panting. "Eyebrows?"

"Dignity." Benedict pulls her left arm and her arm above her head and holds them there with one hand, while the other covers Amelia's face with the blankets.

"Gah", Amelia says, her voice muffled by the thick fabric. Benedict lets go of her once he smells smoke.

"Amelia." His voice is wary. But amused. "If you burn down our tent we will both have to sleep with the mutt and Ellie."

"God forbid."

They can't stop laughing from then on. At one point, Benedict even banished Amelia out of the tent because she held her hand dangerously close to his face.

Around midnight, Ellie yells at them to, and that's a quote, "Go the fuck to sleep, you weird godless bats". Weird, godless bats listen.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:21 am

6. Where They Destroy

The tent which barely shelters two has four users this morning. From left to right; Amelia, Ellie, Drew and Benedict. When the last one wakes up, he makes a questioning noise directed towards the middle two, who keep on stealing the blankets.

"I was cold", Ellie's voice is muffled by the blanket. Drew yelps and runs out of the tent into the dewy grass.

"That gives you no reason—" Benedict seems speechless. The only noise for a few seconds is Drew barking as Benedict thinks about his words. Then, a soft voice tore through the silence.

"Ellie?"

All thoughts of bickering with Benedict are forgotten in Ellie's mind. She gets out of the tent, throwing the blankets on Amelia, who was just waking up. Benedict grabs her elbow and drags her out, following Ellie.

"Huh, what?"

"Shh", Benedict tells her. They follow Ellie to the 'medical tent'.

Ellie is already sitting on the bed, staring at Zach. A very awake Zach.

"Hey there, you fucker", Ellie says in such a polite tone Amelia almost laughs.

"Ellie."

"It's me."

"I know. Not stupid."

Amelia frowns at Zach, and Benedict shows her to sit down on the chair next to him.

"Hey, that's kind of rude", Amelia points out.

"Shit." Zach frowns, then opens his eyes. As much as Benedict's eyes are moving and flowing, Zach's were solid and steady, their colour tree bark. They felt ancient, and it was as if he's been living for too long. "We got more British folks, and this one dyes her hair. Just hope she's not a spy like the creepy dude."

"Excuse you, you twat", Amelia replies.

Benedict and Ellie stare at Zach and Amelia, confused as they could be.

"You're the twat here, if you know the meaning of the word."

"Twat as in being female genitals? Then yeah, 'Zach' I'd say you're a pussy."

Zach looks at Ellie, whose eyes might just fall out any second.

"Ells, I like this one, are we keeping her?"

"I'm so confused", Ellie says, and Zach and Amelia start laughing.

"They've just teamed up against us", says Benedict, shaking his head. "I'd say we take the dog and run."

"The dog's mine", Zach points out.

"Mine", Ellie says, her voice weak.

"No."

"Yes."

And from that point on, Amelia can see Zach's dark eyes unfocus, and his speech becoming slurred.

"You found it, but I let you keep it."

"That means nothing, Zach." Ellie stretches her hand to grab Zach's. His head leans a bit to the left.

"Sure it does. I think there was a law or something about it."

"Is it?"

"Mm."

And Zach's back to the sleeping state Amelia saw him to be.

"I'm sorry", Ellie says to no one, squeezing Zach's hand tight. Amelia can hear her sniff. "I'm so sorry, Zach."

"What happened to him, really?" Amelia asks Benedict quietly, not to disturb Ellie. It doesn't feel right, seeing a happy and cheerful person dissolve into a mess of tears in just a couple of minutes. Amelia knows she can't help her, and it hurts a bit. Benedict looks like he'd like to stay with Ellie, nevertheless, he gets up and nods towards outside.

Once they're out and sat around the firewood, Benedict starts to speak.

"About a year ago, I don't know the exact date, Zach got a brilliant idea. So brilliant it nearly got him killed. You see , Zach doesn't like being in the same place for a long time, so he thought that he'd make his grand escape. Zach is a smart man, but this was too hard, even for him."

"Are we… Trapped here?"

"You could say so. But that's not what Don says."

"Who's he?"

Benedict stretches his legs out and sighs.

"Don is the man who adopted Ellie and helped her develop her powers."

"So he keeps us here. Hoards people with power like us."

"I'd say that's true. Back to the story. Something got Zach on the night he was planning to leave, something venomous, and he's been in this on and off coma ever since."

"That's awful. Poor Ellie." Amelia traces the grass beneath her feet. "And how do you know when he'll wake up?"

"It's usually the day when Ellie gives him the medicine Don gave her."

Something about that doesn't quite click with Amelia, but she decides to keep quiet.

"And…" she has one more question. "Why did she name the dog Drew? That's a human name, not a name for a dog."

"I don't know", he says, but Amelia can immediately tell that he's lying. "Ellie is overall weird, so it might be that. Can you light that piece of wood on fire? Ellie might find it cold when she comes out of the tent."

Amelia grabs the log and sets it on fire, not letting go of it. She's afraid that the fire might get a mind of its on again and keep on escaping her, but that doesn't happen.

"Doesn't it burn you?" Benedict asks. Amelia looks at the log, and thinks, yes, she and her long-sleeved shirt should probably be burning up. But they aren't.

"I can't even feel it. Does water suffocate you? Because I think it's kind of the same thing."

"No", Benedict shakes his head. "I can breathe underwater."

"That's really cool", Amelia admits. She really likes it, creating fire, even if it's controlled fire. It tames her need to just let the fire burn everything she can see.

"Do you ever get the feeling like you want to just…" She stops, unsure how to phrase it. "To just flood the planet? Cover it whole with water?"

Benedict stares into the distance, his eyes storming up. She wonders if she's gone too far.

"Constantly", he says.

And all that Amelia can think about is the fact that he understands her. He understands her and her crazy needs, because he gets them too. It feels like they're different sides of the same coin; because he is life, and she is destruction.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:24 am

-

"Is he in there?"

He is tired, his legs hurt from all the running and the hospital stairs, he's a mess, but he found what he was looking for.

"Yes", says the nurse. "I'd just make sure not to carry any phones or such, because there seems to be a strong magnetic field in that room. Doctor says it's because of the last patient's apparatus."

He can't help the huge grin on his face. Tired, hurt grin. The search is over.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:26 am

7. Where She Has Thoughts

"Am I not a real mess", Ellie says, exiting the tent. She looks like she didn't cry at all, and Amelia can't help to think that it might have to do something with Benedict.

She can't imagine how it must be for Ellie. Even though she never mentioned it, there was something going on between Zach and her. Now, be it strong friendship or something more, Amelia imagines it would hurt just the same. She recalls the moment she found out her family died in the fire, and is again amazed by the total and utter apathy, and the tears which then followed. Her brain seemingly processed the information with a delay, only realising what that had meant later, after the state of shock.

My mother is dead, my father is dead, she repeats in her mind, my brother is dead. All she gets in response is an underwhelming sadness. It doesn't feel like it should feel.

"I've seen worse", Benedict admits. "Of course, those worse have happened when people saw their lovers sawed in half, but whatever."

"Don't even joke about that", Amelia pushes his shoulder away.

"It's the truth. Half truth."

"Shush."

Benedict turns to Amelia with a small smile.

"I am lying. I don't even remember most of the things that happened before I came here."

"Kinda fading, yeah", Ellie agrees.

"What, you both? Weird, don't you think?" Amelia asks.

The sun is rising and shining into her eyes, making it hard to think.

"Not really", Ellie says and gets out the coffee pot out of her tent. "We've been here for a long time."

"How long?"

"Well, me, I've been in the forest for twenty two years. Benedict some… Ten?"

"Seven", he replies.

"And Zach five."

"Why so long?" Amelia asks. She feels like, until they give her full answers, she'll keep asking questions.

"It's my home, you know. It's what I know."

It would seem sad, to Amelia, that she spend nearly her whole life in one place, but when the place is as beautiful as this forest, she might consider. She hasn't been here for long, and yet she can already call it, like Ellie can, home. It's a shelter, and she doesn't want to leave it. She gets the urge never to leave.

"I understand", she says. "I feel like it, too."

"It feels right, doesn't it." It's not even a question, but Amelia understands her.

She understands her, but doesn't quite feel the same. It may not be perfect, this place as a home, but it has most certainly been molded into one. It feels created. The trees around her look like a hallucination, the grass suddenly falls flat under her feet. The dewy smell of morning disappears, and she is nowhere. No, better yet, the place where she is doesn't exist. It is shoved between the real and the made-up, just someone's fantasy, and she is lost in the nothingness. She's wandress…

It tastes false, that nothingless, and stale, like copper on the roof of her mouth. It's mostly blinding white, but she has no eyelids to close and no mouth to shut. She knows it's not real, but it feels that way. It's like a dream, but again, she has no fingers or skin to pinch and no face to slap.

But then, just as quickly as it came, it disappears, and she is back in the forest, this time real, and the grass is where it should be, and Benedict and Ellie are where they were.

Benedict looks like he's in deep thought as well, so Amelia doesn't ask his opinion on the subject. She is curious, though. She can't stop thinking about what he said. At first she didn't take him seriously, but silence forces her into questioning. Are they human? Is her genetic code the same as it was before the fire, or does fire run through her veins? She certainly feels human. But humans don't feel the numbing urge to destroy, like Benedict does. Like she does. Humans were build to create. Maybe they were there to create the balance. Equilibrium. It made sense, in her head. Did it matter, after all? Did the universe require balance to be complete? Amelia somehow felt that it was fine just the what it was. Unknown, messy, and not in balance.

"If you had the choice", she asks, after a long period of silence, "to go live a normal life, without the powers, would you?"

They don't answer immediately.

"I wouldn't", Benedict says. "Life I lived wasn't exactly the best life ever."

"Yeah", Ellie agrees. "I don't remember much, but I know I didn't like it."

But Amelia doesn't share their opinions. She looks at her childhood and remembers swingsets and meadows, playing tag with her brother, holding her parents' hands. She recalls strawberries, sunrays and picnics, and, all of the sudden, she feels lost.

How could she even say this felt like a home?

She wants to escape. To run out of this forest and don't look back. Amelia doesn't like running, but, oh, could she run. She starts making plans; she could ask Zach to tell her his methods of escape, what had went wrong, prove them that she is capable…

But no.

The strangest thoughts enter her mind. The thoughts are: She doesn't want to end up like Zach. She can't do that to Benedict.

The thoughts confuse her, so she ignores them.

She can't describe what she's feeling at that moment. She tries, because it feels like she's an actor in a scripted show. It is a new feeling for her, and she is certain she doesn't want to feel it ever again.

Is this what it was? A scripted show? An actress, putting her private life aside to take part in this drama? Was she a main character in some sort of a sick thriller? Was Benedict the love interest, Ellie her sidekick?

A sharp hit reaches her chest and empties her lungs.

And she forgets what she was thinking about.

Never recalls.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:31 am

8. Where It's Clear Too See

After it gets dark, Amelia plays with the fire, and Benedict watches, and, occasionally, takes out rouge flames which seemingly have a mind of their own.

"Water doesn't behave like this, right?" Amelia asks, glaring at a little spark which flicks itself into the forest.

"No, but neither should fire", Benedict replies. "But, all things aside, fire is a process of burning oxygen, and water is just chemicals. Maybe there's too much oxygen here or something, I'm not a chemist like Zach."

And Benedict realises something. His eyes widen, and the ocean is hit by a storm.

"Shit. Shit, shit, shit." It's not like Benedict to swear, and Amelia gets worried. "Ellie", he calls out, and, before he gets an answer, he runs to her. She's playing fetch with Drew, and throws the stick too far when Benedict runs to her.

"What's up?" she asks, but has gotten a bit paler.

"Ellie, this is important, please focus." He's frowning, like he's having a hard time remembering something. "Have you noticed any change in Zach's medicine lately?"

"Yeah, it's a different one. Don said he had to change it, because it was becoming insufficient. Why?"

"What's that got to do with anything?" Amelia walks up to them, understanding even less than Ellie.

"I…" Benedict looks like the bearer of bad news, and suddenly, Amelia doesn't want him to answer. "I'm sorry, Ellie, I'm really sorry. You don't deserve this."

"What the fuck happened." Ellie's voice is dangerously still and blank.

"The medicine", Benedict's words are carefully thought out, and he seems calm. His eyes, however, tell a different story. "It's not a medicine at all. In the later days of my career as a spy, a drug had appeared. Die Glückkatze, it was called. Invented in Germany, made in Paris. Smaller doses act just like heroin, and larger doses induce coma. And…" Benedict takes a deep breath, "Ellie, it destroys the brain. Eats it up from the inside. I don't even know how he's alive. Two grams mean a death in two weeks."

"But—" there's nothing Ellie can say, or nothing she wants to say.

"And it explains why Amelia's fire is uncooperative. The drug is highly flammable."

"Are you saying that I unknowingly drugged Zach for two months?" Ellie asks.

"Again, I'm so sorry."

Even though Amelia doesn't know much about the life here, it seems quite clear to her. They steal clothes and food, they said, but Benedict told her that Don gave Ellie the medicine. Amelia and Benedict know that, but they also know that Don is like Ellie's father. They don't want to say anything against the man who raised her.

"Is it… Possible, that he has regenerative abilities?" Ellie asks, sniffing. Amelia is confused, but Benedict seems to understand.

"Wait, what?"

"Zach always healed broken bones and scratches faster than us. It's possible", he tells Ellie, who then gets up and starts pacing. She is distanced, and sadness rushes over Amelia. She reaches out for Benedict's hand blindly and squeezes it, requiring a solid rock. A shelter. She feels his eyes on her face, but doesn't dare to look back. She might be imagining things, but the grass around her feet gets dewy.

"But…" Ellie says, after a minute or so of silence. "I don't understand. Why can Zach and I have two powers and you two only have one? I don't understand, and it feels like I should. It feels like I already know, but I forgot."

Ellie's face goes blank, emotionless, and she forgets.

Amelia would file that as suspicious, and Benedict would definitely react, but they forget all the same.

Amelia looks at her hand, twined with Benedict's, blushes and opens her mouth to speak, but nothing comes out. Ellie makes an undefined noise and whistles for Drew.

"You know why I named him Drew?" she asks, smiling slightly at the duo. "I mean, Ben knows, but…"

Benedict looks fazed enough, and he doesn't react. The grass looks flooded.

"There was this guy, four years ago, Andrew. He appeared not far away from our campsite, just like you. But, he, like Zach, wanted to go home."

"He had a much stronger motive, though." Benedict's voice sounds hollow and hoarse.

"He remembered only one thing before he came here", Ellie says. "Isaac. And he left. I don't know how, but he did it. I helped him", she continues, "by hiding his thoughts from Don."

It feels like there is more to the story, but it doesn't occur to her to ask.

"I just hope he found what he was looking for."

There's some weight to her words. She hopes Andrew finds what he's looking for, because she did, and now she's lost it.

Amelia is still holding Benedict's hand, and shows no intention of letting go.

It's getting dark and cold, and Ellie says goodnight to Amelia and Benedict, heading to her tent.

Benedict's looking at their hands, and opens his mouth to speak. Nothing comes out.

"Um", is the only thing which Amelia says before she lets go of his hand, with hesitation. His fingers remain lingering on her palm few moments after.

"We should also go to sleep. Smarter in the morning, and all that."

Amelia can't help a bubble-like feeling creating in her chest. It's warm, and tries to push the words out of her throat. She fights the feeling.

"Yeah, good idea."

Benedict glances at her, to make sure that she's following, and Amelia is wary when looking at his eyes. When she does, they're a dangerous shade of water, the one before winter.

The winter is coming, she knows. It's going to snow soon.

When they're in the tent, Amelia asks a question.

"How is Ellie surviving this? I know I couldn't."

"She's a strong person. I couldn't bare losing…" he stops the sentence there.

Amelia nods. He doesn't have to say.

He doesn't. Instead, he presses the shyest and the softest kiss on her temple.

"Good night", he says, and turns around without another word

Amelia falls asleep feeling warm.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:36 am

-

He knows that he knows. The life in plants had been enough of a clue on its own. Spelling out his name in daisies was just a bonus.

Nobody ever let him go out of that hospital, but he was on his doorstep, in a hospital gown, panting and shivering.

He whispers his name and drags him in, to the warm.

He did it.

Thank you for your faith, air girl.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:38 am

9. Where It's Not Magic, But It Could Be

Amelia wakes up to snow.

"It snowed last night!" Ellie is in the snow, back down, making an angel.

"There is way too much enthusiasm in your voice", Benedict glances at her sideways, and completely ignores looking at Amelia.

She, however, doesn't share his embarrassment.

He looks so unnatural like that, t-shirt and shorts, sitting in the snow. Almost not human. She smiles at the thought.

Maybe they weren't human. It's bothered Benedict for a long time, as it seems, but so what if they weren't? It's not like they were going to end up in 'the human world', in the middle of Times Square, and spontaneously combust. Well, Amelia might. Benedict? No, he's too calm. His self control was so much better than hers.

She steps out to get closer to the two, and the snow around her foot melts.

"The fuck", is all that Ellie says. Amelia is in a funny mood, so she responds with something she wouldn't normally say.

"Boiling hot", she says with a wink, and hears a distanced and an undignified snort. It was Benedict, who is covering his mouth with his hand.

"The fuck", Ellie repeats. "What the hell is with the youth today."

"The weather is weird", Amelia sits next to Benedict, and lies back. Makes a snow angel.

"Not fair. The snow melts around you, yours is so much better", Ellie huffs as she straightens up.

"Of course."

Amelia pulls Benedict down next to her, and snow doesn't melt under him. In fact, it doesn't make a mark at all.

"Boiling", she hears his deep laugh. Chills run down her spine. Well, I guess it's true.

When they get up, there is one grass angel, and one traceless patch of snow. Like he hasn't been there at all.

***

She goes to bed earlier than ever, not knowing why. She just feels like she should.

Benedict comes barging in just as her eyes start closing.

"Zach's awake."

"What?!"

"Ellie's with him. I—" Benedict says, struggling. " I think we should leave them. I know", he stops Amelia as she opens her mouth, "I know you want to get to know him a bit more, I know, and I really want to talk to him, haven't in so long, but, consider it."

She does.

And suddenly she wants to leave them alone for an eternity.

"Yeah. I understand."

"You do?"

Amelia nods.

"Okay. And now", there is an unusual strain in his voice, and Amelia doesn't know where's it from. "Now we go to sleep, then?"

She nods again, and moves right to free the space for Benedict. He trips and lands face first in the pillows Ellie hoarded in his tent. Amelia laughs.

"I can't believe you were a spy. What kind of spies does my country use?"

"Bloody good ones, that is", Benedict says.

"Why are you imitating a British accent, you are British", and that sends them both in a fit of laughter again. She loves laughing with Benedict. It's one of the things which remind her of the life before.

"Wait, shh", Benedict says, puts his hand on Amelia's shoulder. There are voices from the outside, and Amelia muffles her laughter so she can hear.

"It's not your fault."

"Zach, it is, I don't—"

"Would you shut the fuck up? I told you it wasn't."

"I missed you so much."

"Yeah, don't get all sentimental on m—" The rest of his words come out as somewhat smudged or faded, and Amelia can't help but giggle.

"Is it just me or is Zach getting laid tonight?"

"How disrespectful", Benedict says, chuckling. He goes silent.

She looks over. His eyes are not a storm. They're a natural disaster.

And she is all for destruction.

She can't help it, she has to have this. This feeling, this touch, this moment, this person.

She reaches out, without asking, grabs the collar of his shirt on both sides and leans in. It's all a rush, her actions coming before her thoughts, and she stops, mere centimetres away from his face.

"Benedict." It's at the same time a question and a plea, and she needs a response.

He mutters a swear before tangling his fingers in her hair and pulling her in.

Benedict's lips and hands are cold, just as much hers were warm, and it only causes her to be more aware.

He lies her down beneath him, hands on the bottom of her waist in her shirt. Hers are carelessly thrown over his back, and they kiss like they'll die tomorrow.

They don't talk, but if a picture speaks a thousand words, then Benedict's eyes tell novels, staring down at Amelia, overflowing.

Amelia squeaks suddenly. The air mattress beneath her is damp, and she's certain it was dry before.

"I", Benedict pulls out his hands, "I think that was me", he says, looking at his hands in disbelief, while Amelia puts out a small fire on the blanket.

"I don't understand."

"Neither."

But they refuse to stop now, so they clamber out of the tent to somewhere they can freely be.

Benedict finds a spot under a tree near the small stream, where Amelia's never been before. They slide down against it, Benedict returns his hand to Amelia's hair, and the other holds hers. Amelia's other hand ends up in a pond, the water cancelling her fire.

The kisses they share taste like fresh air and spring, but also like smoke and salt.

Amelia's back is completely wet, from head to thigh, where she's sitting on Benedict, and the place where they hold hands is, at one moment, fire, and at the other, water.

Amelia's never been kissed like this before. It's desparate but sweet, and his teeth pulling on her lip make her gasp.

Water dances around her, Benedict's doing, and she sends a fire up in the air.

If nothing was real up to this point, if it was just a preparation for after-death from the fire, and his kisses were real, Amelia could live like this.

She welcomes the cold.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:43 am

10. Where It Falls Apart

She wakes up in a circle patch of grass amidst the snow. She's missing a shirt, and a Benedict.

Last night is so crystal clear in her mind, it feels like a rush of oxygen. Dizzying, thrilling, and so awfully right.

"Benedict?" she calls out, but her voice is too quiet, she can barely hear herself. She glances at the river, which kept her away from burning so carefully yesterday, only to discover a shirt there, soaked wet, shoved between rocks so it won't float away. She fishes it out; but it's not her shirt. It's Benedict's.

Benedict's, who is peacefully sleeping in the river not ten metres from the tree.

She can't help but smile. She takes the shirt with her and walks to him. Nudges him carefully, once, before sitting in the river next to him. Somehow she doesn't mind getting wet anymore. She knows, that Benedict can keep her dry, but, he is water, and water makes her feel closer to him. Strange feeling, she thinks, but not unwelcome.

"Hm", he replies, only cuddling more into the water, which obeys, and covers him like a transparent, cold blanket. Amelia can't hold back a laugh. "Huh, Amelia?"

"You've something that is mine, and I want it back", she says, nodding towards her shirt in Benedict's grasp. He smiles sleepily at her and stretches his arm out. Amelia takes her shirt and pulls it on, but not before she threw Benedict his own. He doesn't put it on instantly, and Amelia can't do much else but stare at the slope of his back, where she recognized an accidental nail scratch, most probably her fault.

"Hey", she nudges him, "you don't want to sleep now, do you? We have to check on Zach and Ellie."

"I can tell you exactly what they're doing. Arguing. Maybe scheming. But more probable, arguing."

"How so?" Amelia asks. "Didn't figure the two of them to be the arguing type."

"Believe me, they are. They never stop fighting, but it's never fully sincere." Benedict gets up and puts his shirt back on. "I don't understand their relationship dynamic, really. I try, but…" He shrugs. "They feel like an experiment gone wrong."

"What about us?" Amelia asks, only half joking. "Am I an experiment?"

Benedict looks at her like he knows exactly what she's doing. And, knowing him, he probably does.

"Maybe. Who knows, we'll see." Amelia frowns.

"What can I do to make you think differently?" There's this sincere smile trying to get through to Benedict's lips, but it's losing the fight to his poker face. His eyes, however, can't tell lies.

"Don't know… Last night felt like a one night stand, really", and that ticks Amelia off. Sends her off of the edge of any dignity she has, and she leaps at him, wrapping both her legs and her arms around him in an attempt to surprise him. It, of course, does not work, and it only gives Benedict an opportunity to hold her up by her waist and press the sweetest kisses against her lips, which would make her legs collapse beneath her if they were still on the ground.

"We should head to the tents", Benedict says, peaceful and slow.

"Yeah", she brushes his hair out of his face, just to see his eyes. It was already dry.

They walk for about a minute when they hear it.

"Can't believe it. Not one failed escape attempt? Have I taught you nothing?"

"Yeah, so we'd have one more druggie like you. Come off it, jerk."

"You could have tried!"

"You could have not been in a coma!"

"Hi guys", Amelia dares to say, ignoring their fight.

"Oh. It's the fire girl", Zach frowns, his arms crossed.

"Yeah, hi", Benedict says, ignoring Ellie's eyes drilling into his skull.

"What did you do last night?" Ellie asks. But, it feels like she knows already.

"Ah, ew, Ells, that's awful." Zach hasn't stopped frowning.

Benedict just shrugs.

"What, like you haven't", there is an ounce of courage left in Amelia.

Collective groan.

"Like, could you not", Ellie is shaking her head. "Anyway, Zach figured out where we are."

"How", Amelia sits down in the grass, around the darkened firewood.

"Er, I'm smart", Zach says, as if it's the most reasonable thing in this world. "Judging by the trees and the weather, I'd say the middle of Canada."

"Canada?!"

"Yeah, and that's not all", Ellie says, rubbing her hands together to get some warmth. "Guess where we were before Zach's little escapade", she asks Benedict. He shrugs, not really that interested. "Scotland."

"What?"

"We were in fucking Scotland, man", Zach says, and a small patch of snow clears up in front of him, leaving him with a blank dirt canvas. "How does one transfer three people plus dog from…" And a scarily accurate world map is drawn in less than twentyish seconds, and an arrow pointing from Scotland to Canada. "Here, to here."

"Not possible", Benedict shakes his head. "Not without many questions."

Benedict and Zach stop. They stop blinking, breathing, staring right in front of themselves. It only lasts a couple of seconds, but it freaks Ellie and Amelia out.

"Zach? Zach, what the fuck?"

"He, he said…" Zach is still perfectly still, but his eyes are moving frantically, as if figuring out something, whilst Benedict is up and walking, almost jogging around. Two different ways of thinking. Two different people.

"He said, 'Why did I have to make you so goddamned smart.'" Benedict is tense, and for the first time Amelia has seen him, truly and thouroughly terrified.

"I don't… Recognise the voice", Zach says, and it almost physically hurts him to not know something.

Amelia, Zach, Ellie and Benedict feel a familiar feeling which they don't remember. The forgetting.

"No", Ellie shouts at the sky. "No, no, it's not happening again! I'm not going to forget again! It's enough!"

The feeling stops, and they don't forget.

"What", Zach asks, voicing everybody's thoughts, "the fuck is going on?"

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:47 am

-

It's a quiet night in the city, which was unusual. He's in his arms, covered with a blanket, almost asleep. A movie on the screen is completely forgoten, an animated musical.

He wants to tell him what happened that morning, and hope he doesn't worry too much.

"Isaac?" he asks, tearing through the silence.

"Hm?"

"They know. He told them."

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:48 am

11. Where The Lines Are Blurred

"I think it's obvious" Zach says. "We get the fuck up, and get the fuck out."

Nobody says anything, but that idea sounds appealing enough.

"But… Don…" Ellie is having troubles processing her thoughts into words. "Oh, god, is it true? Is it true that he was keeping us here as prisoners? It… It doesn't seem real", she says, fighting back a sob.

It hits Amelia just how much of her life Ellie has ignored the forgetting, ignored being trapped here, ignored all the wrongs and focused on the rights, just because she trusted Don. Now, all that trust meant absolutely nothing.

"Ellie", Benedict speaks up, his voice hoarse, but he doesn't continue. Maybe he doesn't know what to say.

"Enough talking, we're losing time", Zach says, and although it hurts Amelia to say it, she wants to get out of here as soon as possible, and that's her priority. She chooses it over Ellie's emotional state.

"Do we just…" Benedict asks, "run out of here and go find the nearest city or something? Is it really that ridiculously easy?"

Zach stares at him.

"Last time I tried to 'run out', it turned out not to be quite that simple. But", he raises a finger, "but now we know what's happening and how's he controlling us. What can he do?"

There was some logic in what he was saying. And, if Zach really was as smart as Ellie and Benedict said he was, then there was no second thought. They're going, because that's what Zach says.

"Drew", Ellie whistles for her dog, and freezes, realising somethung crucial. "Andrew did it."

"What?" Benedict asks.

"Andrew escaped. I helped him."

"But how? I still don't get it", Zach shook his head. "And I'm smart, I should get it."

"I hid him away from Don. Ya know", she points at her temples, "telepathically. But I'm a bit rusty, and Don is a telepath as well, so I don't know how that will work."

"But it shouldn't have worked the first time… He's not mentally connected to us, Don, he can't know we're here or not just like that." Zach is staring into the distance, sketching god knows what in his mind. "Could he be… Connected to this place? Would make more sense, to be honest."

"How?" Benedict asks. "You can't control an entire bloody forest. Maybe only the outer perimetre?"

"I don't think so."

"I don't know if I'm even thinking", Ellie says, joining the conversation uselessly.

"I say we run", Amelia voices out making everybody stop for a moment. "We run like our lives depend on it—"

"They do", Zach cuts in.

"But we have significantly nothing to lose, we don't have anything", Benedict points out.

"Except each other", Amelia whispers.

Silence.

"Can't lose you again", Zach says, and walks over to Ellie, his mind floated somewhere else. "I didn't tell you, but, everytime I woke up? And everytime I was pulled down? I lost you. And I am not… Fuck it, I'm not that strong to lose you again."

"Zach", Ellie says, her voice sounding hollow.

"No", Benedict states firmly and kicks the firewood with his foot. "We either all go, or don't.

"Do you realise that it doesn't matter what we decide", Zach says, his tone weird.

He looks like he discovered the making of the universe, and didn't like it.

"It. Doesn't. Matter." He's getting louder and louder and it's ringing in Amelia's ears. "Does it, you shithead?!" He's yelling at the sky, the same action Ellie does when she's speaking about Don.

"What?" Ellie asks softly, trying to calm him down, but, the truth is, they're all losing their minds.

"It doesn't matter one fucking bit! Because we're not—"

Everything disappears. All that Amelia could see is gone. Gone is the tent in which she first woke up. Gone is the bed from where she saw angels. Gone were the textile skies.

Gone was Ellie's tent, which she only sometimes used.

Gone was Benedict's tent, where she chose a blanket because she always felt cold.

Gone was the small stream in which she dipped her hands to prevent forestfire.

The only things which remain are alive and breathing, but frozen in that fraction of a second in which they were found.

Zach, Ellie, Benedict and Drew, not moving.

She, not moving.

She wants to scream but her mouth isn't her mouth. She wants to fight it, but her hands are numb. She wants to escape, but her legs not hers to listen to her. She wants to burn, but the fire isn't her fire anymore.

And it scares her. It feels like she's missing a limb, and it scares them, too. She knows it in her bones, even though she's not a telepath. And even though her bones are not in her body. She doesn't feel them.

She can't imagine Benedict without his water, or Zach without his ancient brown eyes.

But that's what she's looking at.

Both of their eyes had the pupils turned completely black. And it's what hits her the most.

"I'm sorry we had to meet like this", a loud, booming voice speaks from all around them. God-like, almost. Amelia is afraid of a god as ruthless as this one. Sadistic, almost. The chill goes through a stranger's spine and she feels it as her own. Maybe it was her own. But why can't she feel it? Why does she only have to feel pain?

"Don't think I'm not, for one second. But it's much easier if I get to do all the talking. I'm afraid that my dearest Zachariah and Benedict might get ahead of themselves. I don't know how, but they came out almost as smart as me. Hey, now that's a scary thought."

Amelia doesn't understand, no, she doesn't understand a word of it, it might as well have been a foreign language, and she doesn't know the person who appears in the middle of their circle, where firewood has been.

Oh, but she know exactly who he is, right?

It is the one who made her up.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:52 am

12. Where They're Ethereal

"I was worried you'd figure it out sooner than you actually did", Don says, walking circles around them. "I was getting rather bored of this little game of ours. You know, it's like a reality show which gets boring after the first few seasons."

His gaze—grey eyes, colour of cigarette smoke—fall onto Ellie, then Zach.

"Dear God, will you stop swearing? You're so loud… Nearly louder than my own thoughts. My first two, my unfortunate mistakes."

He shakes his head.

"You two were my experiments; to see how well my powers have developed."

He's too young to be adopting Ellie, is the only thought which Don allows entering her mind. He's their age.

It's not right. It doesn't make sense.

"Of course, there have been… Mishaps. Before", Don smirks. "Mister Isaac, who, as Zachariah has so kindly discovered for us but didn't care to share… He being the first one, and Andrew the second one. It's only logical that they escaped the half-existence."

He glances at Zach.

Amelia feels a dull presence of the three, Benedict, Zach and Ellie respectively, and can't help but to think it's Ellie's doing. But Benedict somehow fades away. He's not here, she can't see him, he's invisible.

Then Zach.

Then Ellie.

Then Don.

She feels her fire lurking somewhere in the dark, forcing itself back into her fingertips.

"What? No!" she hears Don's voice in the distance, but the fire's stronger, it occupies all her senses. "This is not… supposed…"

She blocks out the voice, and welcomes the fire. Besides, isn't fire stronger than humans?

"No!" And she's back. They all resurface, but livelier. Their colours are brighter, and Zach's eyes are tree bark again. Tree bark, and absolutely furious. And so are Ellie's.

She doesn't see Benedict.

And then she does.

He has Don's neck in water's grasp, and is spitting out words in his face.

"What kind of a sick psychopat does that?" His voice is the rush of waves hitting rocks, sea foam, and movements of tectonic plates. "You have been given such power, by god knows who, and maybe even God himself, and this is what you decide to do with it. Play your sick experiments on us."

"Technically", Don coughs, not wiping a smile off of his face, "I didn't play your experiments on you."

Zach moves, and Ellie with him, and Zach launches forward.

"You bastard", he growls.

"That's your job, Zachariah", Don says.

The illusion of not existing, of dark space, shivers as the ground shakes. Amelia has reasons to believe it was Zach.

"I swear to god, if you continue talking shit—"

"It's true though. I wouldn't tell you lies", Don says, not wiping that grin off of his face.

And Zach punches Don. Amelia would have never pinned him for the violent type, but he punches Don hard, and he looks satisfied with it.

"That's not a nice thing to do to the man who created you." Don's words are haunting.

"You couldn't have", Ellie is quiet, but clear. "It isn't possible. We're not your goddamned creations. We are just… Humans, who have been made to believe that what you say is true."

"Human", Benedict releases the water grip around Don's neck. "That's exactly what we are not."

Amelia remembers his words from a long time ago, and his worry. She had rendered it useless; of course they were human. They had no reason not to be.

Now, she wasn't so sure.

No, they definitely weren't human.

They might not even exist.

And it scares her.

"I swear to god I will kill you", Amelia pulls out of the frozen state; it feels like resurfacing.

"How do you know that if you kill me, you won't kill yourself? Do you really think you're that autonomous?"

Benedict's face and eyes go completely blank. It looks like the silence before the storm.

"We fall, you fall", he says. "It's a price I'm willing to pay. We're willing to pay."

She hears their silent approval.

And then the illusion of existing in ether disappears, they're back in the forest. Don is running away, running against a strong wind, and the earth beneath his feet is cracking, separating. Water from the river rushes through the crack and swallows his legs.

From her fingers, from her arms, from her very core, Amelia feels fire rushing out, listening to her emotions and thoughts, and finishes him off.

The world glitches, then crashes.

Amelia remembers her past, and sees it all being planned. She sees herself as an idea of Don's twisted mind. She sees him writing down a character with her name on pieces of paper, dragging inspiration out of newspapers, gravestones and his dreams. He picked out the main four elements when electricity and life hadn't worked; created them to be smart and kind, but to be afraid of him. He wanted them to be just perfect enough not to figure everything out.

She sees where he made a mistake; making Zach a scientist, making Benedict a spy, just to make them interesting. Making Amelia's fire realistic rather than existing in a two-dimensional space. Fire's surroundings affected it. Fire's properties affected Amelia.

And, in a way, their elements affected them in the best ways.

Don didn't expect that. He didn't know that fire, air, water and earth were a different kind of powerful. He couldn't even begin to understand the wrath of nature when it's being changed.

There are a million thoughts in Amelia's brain—floating, colliding, rushing around. Some of them don't make sense. Some of them she thinks might have been true, once, but their meaning has faded into irrelevance.

She realises that the fire which brought her here didn't even exist. It was an imaginary figment of her imaginary past.

She doesn't know much at these moments, she hears a constant high pitched tone in her ears and the world is spinning around her.

She opens her eyes.

She is alive. She is so alive.

Even though she never was.

They are not human.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:56 am

-

It is done. They are alive and breathing, and Andrew is relieved. He wants to see them again, wants to meet the new girl.

Wants them to know what the real truth is, what it always was.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 12:57 am

13. Where They Run

"Amelia? Amelia!"

She hears voices in her head, or maybe outside it? She doesn't know. She knows that it exists outside the fire.

Fire, which is melting her bones like candles, and creating her skin out of wax.

Then it's extinguished, and there's water heating up on her skin, water around her.

"Shit!" This voice is definitely female, and it's closer than the other. Somebody is helping her up, but she can't seem to be able to open her eyes. When she manages to separate her jaw from her face, smoke escapes her mouth.

"Dear Lord. Amelia?"

This voice is soft and worried in her ears. Hands feathering light touches to her skin are wet.

"Benedict?"

She opens her eyes just when she feels somebody's arms around her. Her first reaction is to reply in the same way, and the body she's embracing has a familiar figure, a known way in which their muscles move. It is Benedict, and she can't be more grateful.

"I thought you were gone", Ellie says, her voice pitchy and nervous. "You were just… Like… Burning. I know you're fire, but people shouldn't just burn like that."

"Where's Zach?" Amelia asks, reluctantly letting go of Benedict, whose eyes are just as alive as they were before. Before everything sort of crumbled apart.

"I don't know", Ellie says, fidgeting a bit. "But considering I found Benedict in a river and you self-combusting, I have a feeling he's buried alive somewhere."

"Oh great", Amelia shakes her head. "Did you fall out of thin air then?"

Ellie nods, and starts digging.

After a couple of minutes, they discover a hand.

"Zach, you shithead", Ellie yells, and Zach moves earth from him and resurfaces.

"Greetings, earthlings."

"Don't be more pretentious than we already know you are", Ellie shakes her head.

"I hope you don't mind me asking, but what the fuck has happened?"

They stay quiet for a few seconds, and Ellie decides to speak.

"We destroyed the man who created us, and we are not even real."

"Basically", Benedict says, still focused on Amelia.

"So what the fuck do we do?"

"I know." Ellie says. "We go to Andrew and Isaac
To New York City."

Nobody asks how she knows that.

First problem they encounter; getting tickets to the plane. Second problem…

"We don't have IDs. We don't even have surnames", Amelia says.

"If I know correctly", Benedict says, bitter about the maybe fake, maybe real knowledge Don has inserted inside his brain, "I can get us past all the controls, we just need to get IDs. And the surname complication is tricky."

"I want to pick my own surname", Ellie says.

"Me too", Zach joins in.

"I don't care", Amelia says. She just wants answers to questions she can't fathom.

In the end they pick surnames which are not very suspicious, and then the third problem popped up.

"Drew", Ellie says. "We can't take him with ourselves."

They end up walking out if the forest and giving Drew to a family who lives in a small village, who offer to give them a lift to the nearest big city, which accidentally has an airport. The couple is driving there anyway, they said they had a show, and their daughter (who looks nothing like them) had ballet classes.

Somehow, miraculously, with a help of Ellie's telepathic and Benedict's sneaking skills, they get a plane tickets, and board that day.

"How are you feeling", Benedict asks as he watches Amelia try to fix her seatbelt unsuccesfully for five minutes straight.

"I don't know… Sad, I guess. Freaked out. I don't know if everything has settled down in my brain… Fuck!" She gives up on the belt and leans back.

"May I?" Benedict asks, with a small smile.

"Don't be amused with me", Amelia fake-pouts and lets Benedict's calmer, less shaky hands. The belt clicks into place.

"Are you scared?" he asks, quietly, his lips close to her ear.

"Are you?"

"Yes."

She stares at his eyes, watching the movements of the waves rather than the directions of her thoughts.

"I'm scared that", Benedict starts. Coughs. "I'm scared that we'll just stop existing. One moment, and we're gone."

"I'm scared that all my feelings and thoughts are artificial. That he planted them into my head." Amelia fiddles with her hair

"You're worried about that?" Benedict asks, his tone surprised. "About…" he frowns. "Us?"

"It's the smallest thing I can worry about at this moment."

"Can I… Dissolve that worry?" He asks, slowly, as if somebody is telling him what to say.

"Ellie?" Amelia asks with a threatening sound in her voice. She looks behind her, at the giggling duo.

"You guys worry too much about irrelevant things", Ellie says. "I just thought I'd hurry up the process."

"If we were in preschool, I'd say, 'just make out already'. But we're not", Zach smirks.

"Ten quid they snogged while we were talking Markus and Clark into driving us here", Benedict says.

"Five they did more than just that", Amelia replies.

Zach shakes his untamed, black curls of hair.

"What, no. We're not hormonally challenged teenagers, like some. We're cultured."

"Huh?" Ellie looks from Benedict to Amelia, then to Zach. "What does snogged mean?"

"Oh my god, I'm in love with an idiot" Zach gasped.

Benedict and Amelia share a perplexed look, and turn back around.

"I'm kinda glad nobody's talking about what happened" Amelia admits. "If we started talking, my head would explode."

"No, I quite like your head, don't let it explode."

Amelia grins, and, acting upon pure instinct, grabs the collar of his shirt and presses a small, closed-mouthed kiss onto his lips.

"To satisfy the audience", she laughs.

Benedict smiles.

They were created to fit one another, to be two pieces of a full picture. He was created to be gasoline to her flames, and she was the oxygen in his water. They were made to be like that, to be set characters in a set story.

Somehow it stops bothering her.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:00 am

14. Where They Unite

A week had passed, and Andrew hadn't been giving it much thought. Until.

There's a knock on the door while Andrew is making lunch. He thinks it's Isaac, but Isaac was in the living room. It doesn't occur to him until he approaches the door, who it might be.

"Shit, Ben. Hold him up, damn it."

"Ellie, you sure he's here?"

"Of course I am. I feel his presence."

"That doesn't sound not even a little bit cryptic."

"Zach! How—"

Andrew opens the door dreading the consequences.

There are two girls and two guys, his age. Only one of them he doesn't recognise, the girl with bright red hair, but the rest he knows all too well.

Ellie and Benedict are holding Zach by his arms, he seems to be faint or something, and the other girl is following behind Benedict, nervously clicking her fingers.

"Andrew!" Ellie exclaims and leaps forward, letting go of Zach so the girl has to hurry and hold him up instead. Ellie bear-hugs Andrew, and he finds it hard to breath, not only because of the hug, but also because of the emotion which strikes him suddenly, unexpectedly. They were his closest family. His two sisters were jus a figment of Don's imagination.

"Ellie, god…" he says, having troubles controlling his voice.

"Andrew?" he hears a voice from behind. A silent question is formed, followed by, "Hello, I'm Isaac."

Benedict eyes Isaac suspiciously, then returns his gaze to Ellie. He also has questions.

"Somebody please explain?" The red-haired girl says, throwing Zach's arm over her shoulder.

"Ames, um…" Benedict says, glancing between Isaac and Andrew. "It's complicated."

"We were Don's imaginations before you", Andrew offered.

"I'm electricity, and Drew's life", Isaac says, crossing his arms. A loose smile forms on his lips. "I mean, not literally, but…"

"Yeah, I get it. I'm Amelia."

"Enough chit-chat", Ellie says. "Zach here is on rehab from Gluckenkatz and he needs water."

"It's Glückkatze", a weak voice came somewhere behind the wild, curly hair.

"Zach, you twat!" Ellie squeaks, and a smile escapes Andrew.

"Come on in", he motions them to enter. Ellie hops in and pulls Isaac in a one-handed hug.

"I'm so glad he found you."

Isaac glances up at her—because it's the only way he can look—and examines her.

"Air?" he asks, his eyes glinting in curiousness. It's a trait they all share.

"That's me", Ellie smiles. It's like she recognises one of her own kind. She recognises parts of herself in Isaac, and it's not as upsetting as it would be if she saw herself in a complete stranger.

"What's up with him?" Andrew asks closing the door behind Benedict amd Amelia who held Zach up.

"He's my little drug addict, aren't you", Ellie's smile goes sad.

Zach slurrs something which vaguely sounds like 'shut up'.

Amelia and Benedict simultaneously roll eyes, and Ellie makes a whiny noise. Isaac hops off to the kitchen to get snacks.

Andrew feels like he just got a huge family.

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PostSubject: Re: We Are Not Gods   Sun Nov 08, 2015 1:03 am

15. Where They're Not Gods

"I want to go see my parents", is a thought which enters her brain one day, and it doesn't let go.

Benedict breaks a couple of weeks after, and they end up on a plane to Leeds.

She doesn't get an answer she wanted, but at least she got the truth.

They're sitting in a park near a small, stone semi house, on a bench, Benedict's arm around her shoulders. He's silent, and Amelia's staring into the distance, biting her lip. Fighting the itch in her nose, because she knew, if she would lose, she'd start crying.

"Ames", Benedict says, inhaling to continue talking.

"Just… Don't. I'm sorry", she grabs his hand and wraps it more around herself. He's cold, and she needs it at that moment.

"No, I'm sorry" he presses his lips against her temple and continues talking. "I know it meant a lot to you."

She lead both of them to an address she had memorised, a house which was imprinted in her mind and, like a woodpeck, kept drilling in her brain. She couldn't help it; wherever she'd go, whatever she'd do, it was that house, that address, and it slowly unraveled her. The cord broke, and they're in Britain.

There are people who live in the house, three of them. Two older, a couple, and a boy somewhere their age. Like Amelia said. Parents, and her brother.

She became brave, not knowing where the courage is from, appeared on their porch. Rung the bell.

They didn't recognise her, and she made a run for it.

Ended up in Benedict's hands, and he got it. He always understanss what she's going through, even though he didn't have parents. Well, neither did she, apparently.

"I dragged you all the way here… For what? Nothing", she sniffs. "I'm getting us bonus miles, eh?"

"If nothing", Benedict looks down at their feet tangled, keeping each other warm or cold, they didn't even know anymore. "And, if nothing, you now have an answer to your questions."

"I just don't get it. Don, I mean. Did he go to England, pick some random people and made them my designated parents?"

Benedict sighs.

"Look, I'm not even going to pretend I understand Don and the way he created us. It's above me. Not even Zach, I feel", he adds with a smile, "could figure this out. But, the fact is, we're here. Ellir and Zach are here. Andrew and Isaac are here. He created us, and I'm willing to bet there are other families in America whose pictures in their mind they have when they think about their parents. I don't know what I should say, really. I simply don't know."

They sit in silence. The city is much smaller than New York, to which Amelia got used to, and it's much quieter.

So quiet, that she has to break the silence.

"Yoh know what? You said once. That we weren't human", she says, pauses. She feels cold, really cold, for the first time in her other, second life. "No, we're not. But we're not gods either."

She gets up, grabs his hand, and leaves the town.

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did u mean "my writing at 2 am"
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