Chapter 1: Don’t you ever forget me
There’s no way for you to make it on time. You watch as she screams and tumbles back into the bushes. The lamppost bends under the fiery blow, its metal melting and drops burning their way through the park bench.
Addison doesn’t move, and you can’t see her from your spot behind the garbage bins. Ethan grunts next to you: he tosses and turns, and yet won’t open his eyes. Holly lies motionless in the building rubles but worst of all…
“Very brave of you, Ms Sinclair,” Hunt’s voice booms through the debris. He hovers on the rooftop just across the wreckage left of the town square. “Very brave,” he snaps his fingers together, and you see a spark playing on his fingertips, “and foolish. As usual.”
Hunt smirks. You can’t see his face but know that voice too well. He sneers. And it’s now only you and him left.
“Come out,” he calls out, his eyes clearly searching the area. “Don’t waste my time.”
You bite your lip to keep quiet. It hurts, just hurts too much no matter what you’ve been telling yourself.
“I’m stronger than you are,” Hunt mocks. The fire lashes from his hand and wipes out a tree. “Come out, and I promise it won’t hurt.” He cocks his head to the side. “A lot.”
And you know he is right. Having absorbed all your friends’ powers, Hunt is too strong for you to take out alone. Even if you could, curse your feelings swelling deep inside your chest. Lost, betrayed…
You make your decision.
“I only have this one chance,” you whisper to yourself and take deep breaths. You stand up tall yet linger in the shadows. “If I am right.” You clutch the front of your suit. It changes nothing but feeling the pendant underneath the slick fabric makes you feel better. “One, two… three!”
You sprint up into the air. Hunt whirls around in your direction, quicksilver interlacing with fire around his hands. A mere split second before you fly into him. Maybe the different powers got him confused or Hunt decided to let you get closer. He needs to touch you to steal your powers after all. Not that your flying would make a big difference: your only power is so much weaker than those of your friends. And now Hunt has them all.
You grasp his lapels and yank him forward.
Perhaps Hunt thinks you want to tug him from the roof. He struggles to stay on the other side of concrete barrier. Which was never your plan all alone.
You fly closer and press your lips to his.
He pushes back. You can almost hear your heart shatter as he strikes you in the chest. Oh, wait. Through the smouldering hole in your suit you see it was the pendant that broke into pieces. Some pierce your chest while others just get stick in your clothes.
“Snap out of it!” your voice breaks.
You dash forward again, this time clutching his hands in yours. Crash your lips to his and intertwine your fingers to keep him in place. Hunt’s palms burn. The magic rushes around you, as you bite into his lower lip and deepen the kiss. You feel Hunt smirk, he stops the flames and uses his own powers instead.
The cold clutches tighten around your throat. You can’t breathe, can’t move, and feel any strength slowly draining out from you. You sink lower and lower, inch by inch white still holding onto this hands. Hunt drinks your powers through that touch, sips out every last drop of them. This was the plan, right? To let him take your powers too, use it as a chance to get closer to him, to make him remember, snap out of whatever mind control Anders Stone had him under.
Unless you were wrong.
His lips muffle your scream as your feet kick air. You were never on the rooftop and with the last drop of flying powers left…
You are so weak, you can’t feel your own body. Somehow you still dig your frozen fingers into his hands. And plunge, pulling Hunt alone with you and over the rooftop barrier.
Hunt breaks the kiss, yet you won’t let him finish. He struggles with your flying powers at first. Wobbles to the side, falls through a few stores more but gets the grip of it all too fast for your liking.
“Hey, that took me weeks!” you snap up at him and lock your legs around his waist to stop slipping.
“Because you are an imbecile,” he smirks down at you. “Although, I have to admit I admire the audacity. That assault I was not expecting to dodge.”
“You were teaching me to… Professor, don’t you remember?” you almost plead. “That getaway, the picnic… The sunsets? And then you gave me that pendant to… I thought… I thought there was something…“
Hunt scowls and tries to throw you off. You grit your teeth together and cling tighter. Too much humiliation for one selfing, lying basta–
Something changes in Hunt’s eyes. Only for a split second before he scoffs at you again. But you can swear it was there.
You holder tighter, your whole body pressed against his and pull yourself higher. Your eyes are now on the same level and you lean in.
“I loved you, Thomas,” you whisper against his lips. “I know you could never betray us.”
“And yet I did.” He sounds… lost? And gulps too audibly.
“I know you wouldn’t. It’s not you, it’s Stone in your head.” You feel his breath hitch. “I love you.” And you press your lips to his.
Hunt hesitates. He shudders under your touch.
And gives in.
Chapter 2: Don’t look down
You feel his grasp on your hands weaken as Hunt gives in. He’s no longer hurting your fingers, both your hands locked together, but you can’t quite snake them out just yet. He kisses you softly, gently pressing his lips to your, and you feel his whole body pressed flush against yours relax under your touch.
“Thomas,” you pull back to catch your breath but more so to take a look at him.
Hunt doesn’t open his eyes. His expression changes. Still leaning into the kiss, he misses the contact and his brows knit into a so familiar frown. You can’t help it and giggle. Well, at least now you are absolutely sure it’s him and not Anders Stone talking in his head.
Hunt peeks at your without really opening his eyes.
“Nothing,” you smile and cut him off with another kiss.
Hunt doesn’t insist: he lets out a content sigh and leans into the kiss. His coarse lips moving against yours, it stings a little by the corner where a fresh bruise is appearing under the cut. You don’t mind it much, the only thing that matters is Hunt’s lips on yours as you squeeze your legs even tighter locked around his waist.
You open your eyes and look just a little to the side of his head. Then gently pull your fingers out of his, one by one, and when your hand is free he tries to grasp it back but misses. His lips tighten under yours, a mere second, and Hunt relaxes back. You trow your arm around his shoulder and yank yourself up.
Neither of you breaks the kiss, though your lungs are tingling and you should probably gasp some air… You throw all caution to the wind, there’s one exactly at that moment tearing at your burnt clothes.
Hunt lets go of your other hand much easier, perhaps understating or just feeling what you are up to. You grasp his shoulder desperately as you slip down a little, your body moving flush against his. Holding onto him for dear life… Well, actually, you do exactly that as you suddenly remember the two of you are several floors above the ground and your flying powers are now Hunt’s. He floats on the same point and you wonder if he noticed he’s not standing on the roof any more.
“Hey,” his breath comes rasped against your burning lips. “What’s wrong, precious?”
You lose it. He’s never called you that before. Somewhere at the back of your head you hear police or ambulance sirens, some other uptight annoying part of you reminds you how wrong it all is and you’ll both get into much trouble if anyone is to see you kissing your Professor, and, gosh, half of Hollywood lies in rubbles, university grounds included…
You have barely pressed your lips back to Hunt’s as he nips on your lower lip. Very gently and painfully slowly sucks it in between his teeth… when suddenly he shoves his tongue into your mouth. It’s just a quick lick on your palate before his tongue assaults yours with the burning passion you never knew Hunt had. You moan softly and shiver against his body. Hunt’s hands move lower along the curves of your body as he finally grasps your bottom and slams your body into his. As if you could be even closer, as if there was at least a hair’s width gap in between your bodies…
You see stars.
Then the annoying sirens’ sound grows louder and louder. You feels something snake around your body, as if trying to cover hide from the outside world and to keep everyone else out of your own two-person bubble. You can hardly think straight but it does pass your mind they aren’t Hunt’s hands. Those still knead your things, fingers digging gently into the softly flesh.
Hunt freezes, his lips still against yours, but opens his eyes. His eyebrows shoot up.
“Wait.” He pulls back and looks you over. Cocooned in the ink black tentacles, yes, he does encircles both of you, hiding you from the world. “Aren’t those Ms Chang’s powers?” Hunt frowns yet the way the corner of his lips turns up, you can tell he’s more confused but also a little bit amused.
“Where…” Hunt whirls his head around, and the tentacles melt into a blackish fog. He freezes when he looks down, his feet several floors above the ground. Tilts to the side, and that motion almost sends you both flying into the building.
“Careful,” he chides and pretends to scowl at you. Pretends because the scowl twists into a sly smirk right away. “Have you forgotten how to fly already?”
His fingers dig into your flesh, squeezing your bottom.
“Actually, you are flying us,” you copy his tone and smile, just tilt your head to the left a tiny bit more. You have to let go of his shoulder and push yourselves from the window. “Professor.”
It’s quite easy, you press your palm to the concrete side and push. The two of you float further away so that Hunt won’t cut his back on the broken glass. Then your fingers weave into his hair, massaging his scalp, as the other hand still stays around his shoulders.
Hunt’s eyes are open wide when he looks at you. His gaze flickers to the bruise under your lip, the cut on your temple and back into your eyes.
“What… happened?” he whispers and can’t stop a shaky breath escaping his lips. One of his palms moves up against your body until his arm encircles your torso. He pulls you close, gently cradles you against his body.
Now, where do you even start? You broke apart half of the city, tossed our friends into various buildings and nearly killed me but I still love you… Perhaps, with the last bit.
“I love you, Thomas,” you beam and lean closer. You lips hover above his, you feel his breath and it tickles your nose. A giggle on your part, and… “We’ll make through it all. Together.”
He sighs, and a weak smile grazes his lips.
You nod. “Promise.”
“Promise.” Hunt nods too and presses a quick kiss to your lips.
Chapter 3: Restoring Peace
“Wait,” Hunt frowns as he suddenly remembers something. “I have to give you your powers back.”
And before you can even more your mouth, you feel power flowing back into your body. And, yes, you’re still holding onto his shoulders, your legs locked around his waist, yes, the two of you are still floating somewhere between floors ten and twelve. And it’s Hunt keeping you two in place since you have no powers left. But when the flying leaves him…
You choke on a shriek when you plunge to the ground. Hunt grasps his arms around you tighter, it takes you a few seconds to figure out how to fly again. You were never that good at it in the first place, saying nothing about actually bearing the weight of another person!
You can’t help your grin, it reminds you of the reason why you would spend so much more time with Hunt before. Well, it was that Professor Hunt was very determined to have you be able to use the only super ability you had. Which left the two of you training together during his office hours, and after hours, and a few time weekends too. Those mostly involved Hunt scowling at your weak attempts but somehow you ended up falling for him anyway. Perhaps, because he was right in his every remark, not that you’d admit that to him.
“Didn’t think it though, huh?” Hunt’s voice from somewhere near your chest brings you back to present. He blinks, a very confused look on his face, and wiggles his feet in the air. You’ve managed to stop the fall around the second floor.
“Nope,” you grin and shake your head. Something about seeing the always composed Hunt this way makes you gigglish. He’s just so… open, vulnerable? Honest? “But I’ve got us.”
“You’ve got me months ago,” he whispers, and a smile touches the corner of his lips. “Not that I would ever admit falling so fast for you in the first place.”
You bite into your lip to keep quiet. It must be the after mind-control haze or the general confusion Hunt woke up to that made him talk. Like that time the two of you got locked in the training hall for the night and Hunt admitted he had feeling for you in his sleep.
You peek down at him and are met by his intense, though a little clouded, gaze. Your heart skips a beat at just how diluted his pupils are, almost grazing all brown of his eyes.
“You’d better lower us down,” he grumbles yet looks too smug and cosy to be actually complaining.
In the fall, Hunt also slipped a little bit from your grasp. Now it’s mostly him holding onto you, his head titled to the left, the side of his face pressed into your chest. He is rather comfy there, isn’t he? you smile.
You glide to the ground, less gracefully than you tried but it works. As Hunt’s feet bump into the ground, he yanks you down and scoops you into his arms.
There are paramedics running around the square yet, at a glance, everyone seems to have evacuated before so there is no-one to save from the debris.
“Do you think anyone we know saw us?”
It’s a bit funny how Hunt cares about the least of your concerns. Oh, right, he doesn’t remember destroying the city and rampaging through university grounds. That would explain being seen with a student as his first concern. Which also reminds you…
“I have to check on my friends,” you blurt and struggle to get yourself to the ground.
Hunt doesn’t let go, well, doesn’t let you fall down to be exact as he tightens his arms around you but then carefully lowers you to stand next to him.
“And I must give them their powers back,” he muses and glances at his burnt hands. “Right?” Hunt turns to look at you. “I mean I do have their powers now, don’t I? Cant seem to remember what have I done. It’s all gibberish inside my head.”
“Yeah…” you wreck your brains about how to tell him. Carefully, smoothly… Nothing comes to mind, and your heart races as you whirl your head around for the sign of your friends.
You notice two paramedics help up Scarlet, then Ethan is already wrapped up in blankets by the ambulance van… The corner of your eyes catches movement in the bushes.
“Addison!” you cry out, grasp Hunt’s hand and yank him with you as you dash to your friend’s side. “Addison, can you hear me? Are you alright?!”
As worry overflows you, you clutch Hunt’s hand. Too tightly, you know that, but he just gives you a reassuring smile and squeezes your hand back.
It takes four long hours until of you are back on university grounds. What’s left of those anywhere, and in Hunt’s secret hideout to be exact. You feel a little pang of disappointment as, before, you were the only one who knew there was a door behind the bookcase in Hunt’s office. He took you there a few times after you were too exhausted after the trainings to think, say nothing about wobbling to your dorms. And you would talk, nothing too serious but two people sharing a cup of tea or something stronger together. Where one might or might not have developed a crush on the other.
Or the two. Hunt’s slip from a few hours before brings the smile back to your lips.
You glance to your left. Hunt keeps his distance yet between the six of you he took the armchair closest to you. He huffs and wears his usual frown, and acts composed… Or at least tries to act normal but his hands, fingers carefully locked together to the side on his lap, give him away. You doubt your friends notice it, the way Hunt runs his right thumb over his left knuckle again and again. Although Addison gives you a pointed look with a too suggestive smirk but that’s mostly about how you can’t help your eyes wandering to Hunt all the time.
Ethan scowls as he settles on the sofa, and Scarlet props a cushion under his arm. She has her leg in a cast too, but between you, Ethan probably took the hardest blow. There’s a cast around his neck, a bandage on his forehead, a cast on his arm and numerous patches about his body. And by the looks of it, Ethan trusts Hunt less than he believes in jumping in front of a truck is a good idea. So, like hell.
Scarlet cocks her head. She doesn’t look happy, mostly too tired to argue, and keeps quiet. Addison looks from you to Hunt and then back to you again. Holly scribbles away in her notebook.
Everyone stays silent. You fiddle with the band aid over the cut through your eyebrow.
“So…” Ethan prompts and glares at Hunt.
“So?” Hunt echoes and raises his eyebrows.
Ethan’s lips tighten as he grinds his teeth together, you open your mouth to pacify him… somehow. You have no idea what you’re to say. Then Addison save it.
“So how did you get Professor Hunt snap out of it?” she asks, her eyes on you as she nods towards Hunt.
From the corner of your eye, you notice him tense at the insinuation. You narrow your eyes at Addison but she returns it with a knowing smirk.
“I… slapped him,” you blurt out. Ethan gawks, and even Holly glances up from her notes. “Yeah, I slapped him. Flew at him, then slapped, then Professor Hunt got so mad with me that pushed Stone out from his head!”
Scarlet keeps blinking but mostly looks amused. Ethan clearly doubts whether to believe it or not, among your friends he is the only one absolutely against the idea Hunt was under Stone’s control in the first place. And is strongly against trusting Hunt, keeps arguing Hunt just plays the part well. Others have their own concerns, yet you’re sure they’ll come around. Eventually.
Well, you know the truth. You glance at Hunt, and catch him looking at you. Looks away the exact second and clears his throat, then admits,
“Yes, she did, Mr Blake…”
You tone down the rest of the conversation for some moments.
“I want all the details,” Addison mouths at you.
“There’s nothing to tell,” you insist, same way, but then eyes turn to you again. “What?” that you say outlaid.
“Are you sure he’s completely himself now?” Ethan repeats without bothering to hide his annoyance and distrust. “Or that Anders Stone won’t take over his mind? Again.”
The way Ethan glares at Hunt makes you want to jump in between those two. Hunt’s not to blame, he didn’t want to attack you or destroy half of the city, you know that, you believe him, in him… You glance at Hunt, hardly hold yourself from rushing to his side and taking his hand in yours. Can’t even imagine how he must be feeling after the whole thing.
But Hunt just rolls his eyes.
“Think what you shall, Mr Blake,” Hunt’s voice is his usual tone, perhaps a bit more weary. “I don’t see how I can persuade you to believe me.”
Ethan scoffs, Scarlet hums and tosses herself back into the sofa cushions.
You are on your feet before you realise what you’re doing. You do notice it, a step away from Hunt when all eyes are on you so it’s too late to turn back. You glance about and fidget your fingers, yet the only one catching your eyes is Hunt himself. Well, maybe you could perch yourself on the arm of his armchair without it looking too suspicious.
“But I won’t let it happen again,” Hunt clears his throat and continues. “That I can safely promise you. Taking my word for it or not is up to you.”
Others are still looking at you so, well, you do prop yourself against the arm of his armchair and even lay your hand on his shoulder. Hunt tenses under your touch, yet for a second a ghost of a smile touches the corner of his lips.
“I do trust him,” you announce to the whole group. You try to sound the most confident way you can only master. “See?” You squeeze Hunt’s shoulder. “Could’ve snapped my hand a few times already, and remember, Stone did make Professor toss me out of the window the moment I walked into the classroom.”
“I did what?!” Hunt exclaims and jerks to look up at you. His palm lands on top of yours, and he squeezes your fingers.
“Oh”, you mouth and find yourself caught in his eyes. His hand is shaking. “You did… erm, that. Never mind. Ground floor and all, plus, I could fly at that time so… no big deal, didn’t even cut myself.”
His eyes trace the band aid over your eyebrow, then to the bruise under your lip and to the tiny scratches scattered about the back of your hand. You quickly hide it behind your back but Hunt just takes the other from his shoulder and clasps it in between his. Now he can look it over, and yet you can’t snatch it away.
“That’s from yesterday’s training…” you trace off because that kind of also makes it his fault. Seems Hunt realises it the second you do, his intense gaze moving to your eyes.
Breath catches in your throat, for a moment you can swear Hunt will lift your hand to his lips and kiss your every knuckle. His eyes tell you so, he almost shifts to do so… But stays still and just looks at you instead.
You hear a cough and jerk around to see Addison smirking.
“How about we all went to sleep?” you blurt out the first thing that comes to mind. Then have to fake a yawn. “There must be some dorm rooms left standing, right?”
“Checked my room before,” says Ethan and shrugs. “Mostly intact so we could go there.”
“Doubt that fits the five of us,” chimes in Addison. “But I bet Professor Hunt can let MC stay here.” She’s talking to Hunt, yes, but the mischievous look she gives you… Well, you doubt everything. “Say, on the sofa.”
On the sofa, right Addison. You roll your eyes at her, and she pokes out the tip of her tongue.
“I’ll catch up with you guys,” you wave at them as Scarlet and Holly help Ethan through the door. He glances back at you, more concerned that angry so you shoot him an apologetic look.
“Is it me, or they didn’t exactly slap Professor Hunt?” you hear Scarlet ask just before Addison giggles and closes the trapdoor behind them all.
Chapter 4: Settling for It All
You watch the door for almost a minute. Listen for any sound, any steps on the other side but your friends seem to have left. Then, there’s also the issue of Hunt. Your heart races and your breath catches in your throat when you try not to think just how close he is.
“So…” you trace. “How did you end up…” you motion your hands around since words have excepted your brains. You are still with your back to him as you turned to see your friends out, still perched on the arm of his armchair… But you can almost feel him lean closer and closer, and that sends goosebumps up your spine.
“With Anders Stone in my head?” Hunt continues for you.
You nod and turn to smile at him. You have no reason to suddenly be scared, you remind yourself. No way Hunt blames himself for all the damage done, it was all Stone’s fault, and you know it. Everyone would have to believe it too because… well, because it was true. As simple as that.
Your eyes are locked on Hunt’s.
You’ve never seen Hunt speeches before, and it’s the same vulnerable side you saw in him floating above the city rubble. He still holds your gaze, barely manages to, that you can guess by the way his face tensed, lips tighten into a thin line and one shoulder rises up. Just a little bit.
You plunge forward and into his arms. Settle onto his lap as Hunt cradles you in his arms.
“I can’t forgive myself for hurting you,” he whispers into your ear and plants a trail of kisses from the top of your head to your neck.
“You didn’t,” you whisper back and tilt your head to look up into his eyes. “Stone hurt me.”
Hunt winces. For a second there, you think he would argue so before he can push the matter – you rise up a little and leave a quick kiss on his lips. Just a peck, nothing serious but it does do the trick.
“We could make him pay?” you suggest quite innocently. Bet anything Hunt is not mistaking the bloodthirsty glint in your eyes though. “Together.” Your breath hitches as he pulls you closer and settles your head against his chest. “I, for hurting you, and you, for hurting me.” Hunt’s heart is drumming just under your ear. With a muffled giggle, you add, “Then Addison would probably like to punch him for herself for the sake of punching but that’s how she is.”
“Wouldn’t have doubted it,” Hunt murmurs into your hair, his fingers slowly stroking through the messy strands.
There could be glass pieces, or concrete dust, or anything else for what you can imagine but neither of you seems to mind. Hunt untangles it from your hair and tosses somewhere by the armchair. Knowing him, those land in a neat pile by the side.
“So...” you trace off and moan softly as Hunt’s lips trace from your neck to the collarbone, “... what are we going to do?”
He hums and stops by the collar of your T-shirt.
“We’ll need a plan.”
You bit your lip and snake your hand from between your bodies. Reach out for him, fingertips hovering just above his chin before slowly sliding further up to cup his face. His stubble tickles a little, and you catch yourself smiling about how much you like that and how right it felt.
“I mean... about us?”
There. You’ve said it.
Hunt doesn’t answer right away, and those feel like the longest seconds you had to wait.
“Nobody has to know,” he, finally, breathes and leans into your touch. “If that will be alright... with you.”
Hesitates. Now, you never thought there’d be a day! You grin but keep the comment to yourself: the gentle peace you have between you two at that moment is too precious to shatter.
“Nobody has to know,” you repeat after him and reach up to kiss him.