With all the unpleasantness going on in the city, life had become somewhat ... unpredictable for certain members of the Maple Grove community. Fliss had been pulled from Bristle Crios following deaths on campus, and instead had been traveling into the city with her father for his shifts at the Old Temple Fire Station. She wasn't allowed out on calls, but she was definitely learning everything she could about the station and the attached clinic, where Lucas was learning his own EMT skills. Busy though the clinic had become since the outbreaks of violence had started, it was a good learning environment for both of them. And spending time together during the day had not put an end to the time they spent together in the evenings, either.
Take this evening, for example. Lucas had finished his shift a few hours before Johnny's shift ended, and for once, it was him waiting on Fliss, and not the other way around. When she knocked on his door, she looked a little shaken. Clearly something had happened after he'd gone home for the day.
The door opened almost immediately, a worried-looking Lucas there to greet her and tug her inside. He'd been on pins and needles for weeks. Even since the incident at Bristle Crios, but he was far more worried about Fliss than he was about anyone else, including himself. He closed the door behind her, immediately noticing how shaken she looked and fearing the worst. "Fliss, what is it?" he asked, taking hold of her hands and looking her over for injuries. "Did something happen?"
"I'm fine, I'm fine," she promised him as he pulled her inside, pressing into his arms to hold on tightly. "I just ... There was a car bombing, and ... it was horrible. All these people came in with shrapnel injuries, and some of them were just little kids, you know? I nearly freaked right in front of them. I just wanted to find the person who did it and burn them up right there, but the clinic needed all the help they could get, and ..." She shuddered, closing her eyes. "So much blood, Luc. It was horrible."
"Why didn't anyone call me?" Lucas asked, not only worried for her and concerned for the victims, but annoyed no one had thought to call him, when he could have been of some help. Seeing how shaken she was, he pulled her close, resisting the urge to wrap her in his wings, mostly due to fact that, unfurled, his wings took up half the room. "It's okay. It's over. You're safe here." But he knew it wasn't so much a matter of safety as it was the fear of her own anger and rage.
"There were people trying to stop us from helping the non-humans who were hurt," she said quietly. "I guess they wanted to make sure their own staff didn't get targeted too. Dad was so angry when he got back to the station and there were Watchmen all around it."
He wasn't too surprised that Johnny had been angry at the injustice of it, and he knew Fliss was angry, too, but it wasn't her anger that had brought her to his door, but the knowledge that he would understand and that maybe he'd be able to comfort her somehow. "That's not right, Fliss. This has gone on long enough," he added, feeling a little rage of his own rising up inside him, but that wasn't what she needed right now. "They're scared. Everyone's scared," he said, though she knew this already, too. "Were you able to help them?" he asked, regarding the non-humans, which, in a way, included them.
She nodded. "Yeah, but Dad's kind of angry with me about how we did that," she admitted awkwardly. "One of those nasty pro-human people started throwing matches and setting light to things, so I, uh ..." She hesitated, wincing as she owned up. "I kind of set myself on fire and scared them into backing off while we got the injured into the clinic. I didn't hurt anyone! I just ... walked around on fire for a bit."
"Sounds like they deserved it," Lucas admitted, drawing her into the small kitchen so he could make her a cup of hot chocolate or something to help calm her down. "I bet your dad is more pissed at the pro-human people than at you," he added, knowing her father well enough to know that his anger was rarely, if ever, directed at his children, and when it was, it was usually short-lived.
"I could so easily have hurt someone, Luc." And this was what had really shaken her up, just how close she had walked the line between protecting and avenging. "And I know, I know - I didn't hurt anyone and I should be proud of that, but all I can think about is how close I was to throwing sparks back at them. Who attacks children? What the hell is wrong with these people?"
"I don't know," Lucas replied with a sigh, trying to keep his own anxiety bottled up so that he didn't upset her further. "I don't know," he echoed, at a loss as to how to explain what was going on or how to resolve it. "Maybe-maybe we should go away for a while. We could go to Mount Yasuo. I've been wanting to go there for a while now. We could go together," he told her, pulling her close again, just a hint of desperation in his voice. He knew that running away and hiding wasn't the answer and that the responsible thing to do was stay so that they could help, but her safety was more important to him than anything else. Was this what love was supposed to feel like? Why was it so hard sometimes?
She sighed, leaning into him as he drew her close once again. "Oh, I'd love to do that," she admitted. "Just go away until it's all over and then come home again. But what about our families? They need us where they can see us, where they can be sure we're okay. My mom would freak if I was out of contact right now, and so would yours."
He might have suggested that they come along, but he knew that was both impractical and impossible. They had too many responsibilities here in Rhy'Din to agree to pick up and leave on a moment's notice, though it seemed that the Rogers family had done just that. Wasn't it ironic that they'd come to Rhy'Din because they'd deemed it safer here than on Earth, only to be faced with another kind of danger?
"We're going to go there, Fliss. Someday," he promised her. He'd wanted to travel there ever since they'd talked about in class last year, but they'd been too young to go alone, and now that they were old enough, they never seemed to have the time. "They have to let us grow up sometime," he added, at just eighteen years of age, anxious to be a man.
"We will," she promised him in return. "When all this blows over - and it has to blow over - we'll go to Yasuo and see all those places Dom told us about, and meet some of the people, and just ... get away for a while. Together. I've been saving up for a proper sized tent and everything."
"We could make it a honeymoon," he said, almost fearfully. It wasn't a proposal exactly, and it sure wasn't the way he wanted to propose, but he'd been thinking about it for a while now. "We could go away for the whole summer and explore. Just the two of us." Oh, he knew Matt and Cas might like to come along, but this was about them, and he wasn't sure his brother and his brother's girlfriend would appreciate Yasuo as much as the two of them. He also knew her parents would never agree to letting her get married so young, but he just sort of blurted it.
Fliss blinked, leaning back to look up at him in surprise. "Really?" she asked, not surprised that he would ask, but surprised he would ask so soon. They were very young still; she at sixteen and he at eighteen. "I don't think my mom would let us get married, not yet. She doesn't want me working until I'm seventeen."