Actions

Work Header

Mr Love Time's Will: Dates

Chapter Text

DATES


<{~*~Victor x Brooke~*~}> 

1. Park Date* (Thursday, 23rd, April)

2. Office Date* (Tuesday 28th, April)

3. Dinner Date* (Sunday 10th, May To Be Added...

4. Pet Sitter Date* (Monday 11th, May) To Be Added...

5. Movie Date* (Wednesday 13th, May) To Be Added...

6. Airport Date* (Sunday 17th, May) To Be Added...

7. Rooftop Date* (Tuesday 19th, May) To Be Added...

8. Carnival Date* (Saturday 23rd, May) To Be Added...

9. Lantern Date* (Sunday 15th, June) To Be Added...

10. Dance Date* (Thursday 18th, June) To Be Added...

11. Doomsday Date* (Saturday 20th, June) To Be Added...

12. Award Ceremony Date* (Sunday 21st, June) To Be Added...

13. Tour Date* (...) To Be Added...

14. Winter Date* (...) To Be Added...

15. Eternity Date* (...) To Be Added...

Darkness Date (Halloween Special) To Be Added...


<{~*~Lucien x Nyla~*~}> 

1. Lunch Date* (Saturday 18th, April) 

2. Lab Date* (Wednesday 22nd, April)

3. University Date* (Friday 8th, May) To Be Added...

4. Hospital Date* (Tuesday 12th, May) 

5. Forest Date* (Thursday 14th, May) To Be Added...

6. Sunset Date* (Monday 18th, May) To Be Added...

7. True Love Date* (Sunday 24th, May) To Be Added...

8. Checkup Date* (Monday 25th, May) To Be Added...

9. Crisis Date* (Friday 29th, May) To Be Added...

10. Memories Date* (Saturday 6th, June) To Be Added...

11. Aquarium Date* (Saturday 20th, June) 

12. Overseas Date* (...) To Be Added...

13. Accidental Date* (...) To Be Added...

14. Tragic Date* (...) To Be Added...

15. Forever Date* (...) To Be Added...

Undying Date (Halloween Special) To Be Added...


<{~*~Gavin x Tessa~*~}> 

1. Stakeout Date* (Saturday 25th, April)

2. Training Date* (Saturday 2nd, May)

3. High School Date* (Thursday 7th, May) To Be Added...

4. Mission Date*(Monday 18th, May) To Be Added...

5. Follow-up Date* (...) To Be Added...

6. Furniture Store Date* (...) To Be Added...

7. Animal Shelter Date* (...) To Be Added...

8. Double Date* (...) To Be Added...

9. Club Date* (...) To Be Added...

10. Rainbow Date* (...) To Be Added...

11. Lost Date* (...) To Be Added...

12. Past Date* (...) To Be Added...

13. Dream Date* (...) To Be Added...

14. Perilous Date* (...) To Be Added...

15. Endless Date* (...) To Be Added...

Tracking Date (Halloween Special) To Be Added...


<{~*~Kiro x Aria~*~}> 

1. Video Chat Date* (Wednesday 29th, April)

2. Concert Date* (Wednesday 6th, May) To Be Added...

3. Interview Date* (Wednesday 13th, May) To Be Added...

4. Performance Date* (...) To Be Added...

5. Disguise Date* (...) To Be Added...

6. Food Court Date* (...) To Be Added...

7. Sick Date* (...) To Be Added...

8. Double Date* (...) To Be Added...

9. Gaming Date* (...) To Be Added...

10. Secret Date* (...) To Be Added...

11. Daunting Date* (...) To Be Added...

12. Hospital Date* (...) To Be Added...

13. Fake Date* (...) To Be Added...

14. Clinic Date* (...) To Be Added...

15. Infinite Date* (...) To Be Added...

Mansion Date (Halloween Special) To Be Added...

Chapter Text

(Saturday 18th, April)

Nyla sighed and looked at the clothes in her closet. What was she doing? She'd never cared about her appearance before, so why was she overthinking about it now? Nyla hit her head and shook it. She needed to get it together. This wasn't a date; she was merely taking some time outside of work to get to know Lucien as a friend. That was it. With renewed determination, Nyla grabbed out her clothes and quickly put them on. Glancing at the clock, she realised it was just past lunch and picked up her phone to order some take out. She didn't know for certain when Lucien would get off, but she excepted it would be a while.

Unexpectedly, her phone rang, and it was Lucien's name on the screen. Nyla blinked. She hadn't expected that. She answered as she wandered into the bathroom. "This is Correa."

"Why the formal greeting?" Lucien's smooth voice came through, and Nyla pushed down her embarrassment.

"Habit, I guess." She said, putting Lucien on speaker and placing the phone on the sink. She grabbed her hairbrush and released her hair from the messy bun she'd put it up in. It fell gracefully, and she began brushing it. 

"Well, I hope it's one you break when it comes to greeting me." Nyla smiled.

"Why are you calling? It's lunchtime! You can't be off work yet?" Lucien laughter came through the phone.

"Actually, I am. The government is shutting us down early, so they can check our equipment. It's quite problematic." 

"I'm surprised you work on a Saturday," Nyla said, and Lucien laughed again.

"Says the trauma surgeon. Surely, you've worked your weekends away?" Nyla flushed, feeling attacked. It was true that during her time as a resident, and even more so an intern, she'd worked weekends but now that she was attending, she'd promised to make more time for herself.

"Well, yes, but I was saving lives. What are you reaching that's so important that it takes up your weekend?" Nyla asked, feeling genuinely curious.

"I'm not sure you'd be interested," Lucien said, though his tone was teasing. Nyla smiled.

"Try me." In the end, Nyla had spent her lunchtime talking to Lucien about his research. She'd managed to follow him along quite well, though, at times Lucien had gotten so passionate that he'd gone off into a tangent of words even Nyla hadn't heard of before. And her work was all about understanding big words. She listened to her stomach growl and sighed.

"What is it? Getting bored?" Lucien asked, her sigh having cut him off.

"No, not at all. It's just..." Nyla bit her lip. "I'm so hungry. I slept in so I haven't eaten anything all day." Lucien chuckled.

"Well, we can't have that, can we?. I'm almost home, how about I take you out for lunch? You do owe me a date after all." Nyla felt herself flush at his words. 

"Sure." She managed to get out.

"Great!" She could practically hear the smile in Lucien's voice, and that managed to ease her embarrassment. "Do you have any preferences?" He asked, and Nyla wanted to scoff. She grew with Aria around, meaning there was no such thing as disliking any types of food. You took what you could get. Instead, she smiled.

"Not really." 

"Perfect. I've just hopped into the elevator. I can't wait to see you." Lucien said before ending the phone call. Nyla felt herself flush hard and glanced at herself in the mirror. As she'd predicted, her hair had turned a light shade of pink. She cursed and fanned her face, trying to ease her embarrassment. Now was not the time for her hair to react to her emotions! She managed to get her heartbeat under control and watched as her hair returned to that familiar shade of white. She sighed when there was a knock on the door. Standing up straighter, Nyla check herself over before realising what she was doing and shaking her head. She smacked her cheeks.

"Get it together, Nyla. This is just lunch between friends. That's all." She whispered to herself until her heartbeat had returned to normal once again. She then made her way out of the bathroom and towards the front door. She opened it and found Lucien standing at the doorway, still dressed in his lab coat. He smiled down at her. While he wasn't that much taller than her, he still had to look down to make eye contact with her. 

"Hello, neighbour." He said, and Nyla smiled at him.

"Hi, Lucien." 

"Now that's more like it." He said, and Nyla blinked.

"More like what?"

"Greeting me with my name, I much prefer it to 'Professor'." He said, and Nyla flushed slightly.

"Good to know." She muttered, and Lucien laughed. What was wrong with her? Normally, she was the one doing all the teasing, but with Lucien, it was the other way around. Now she knew how Tessa felt. "So where are we going?" She asked, and Lucien winked at her.

"It's a secret." He said, putting his finger to his lips. Nyla blinked but nodded, closing her door behind her and following Lucien down the hall.

"Aren't you going to get changed?" She asked, and Lucien smiled down at her.

"And waste your precious time? Not a chance." Nyla suppressed her flush and climbed board the elevator with Lucien. Soon enough, they were out on the streets, and Lucien was leading her towards the food court near his lab. "I hope you don't mind the food court. I didn't have a lot of time to prepare." Lucien said, and Nyla smiled at him.

"Are you kidding? I love the food court!" She said, eyes running over the potential options for lunch. She can't remember the last time she'd been to a food court. 

"Really?" Lucien asked, sounding generally surprised. Nyla flushed slightly.

"I know it's silly since I'm a doctor, but I can't help it. Cheap food is my weakest." Nyla said. Growing up in an orphanage had taught her that the best kind of food was the food that fed everyone and if that meant it was cheap and greasy, so be it. Nyla felt Lucien's stare and turned to look at him. He was looking at her with fascination again. She smiled at him, feeling slightly flushed. Again. She turned away and her eyes locked onto a fish and chip stall. She grabbed Lucien by his wrist and started dragging him towards it. "Come on, let's eat." 

She got into line and looked up at the menu. After scouring over it, she decided on a simple fish and chips pack since she was just feeding herself. She went to grab out her wallet when Lucien's hand stopped her. She blinked up at him. "Isn't it a general rule of dates that the one doing the taking out buys lunch?" Lucien said, a teasing glint in his eyes. Nyla smiled.

"That is true, but this is the twenty-first century, so I think it's only fair we split. I'll buy yours, and you can buy mine." Lucien smiled and nodded. They ordered their lunch and paid for it before making their way over to a table. Nyla sat down and started digging in while Lucien stared at his with some confusion. "Is everything okay?" She asked, and he smiled at her.

"I must admit I've never had fish 'n' chips before." Nyla blinked, surprised.

"Really?" Lucien nodded, and Nyla frowned. "I wish you had said something. I don't want you to eat something you don't want." Lucien smiled and shook his head.

"I don't mind. If you enjoy it, then I'll gladly eat it." Nyla watched as Lucien picked up a chip and bit down on it, taking some off. A look of surprise overcame his features as he chewed and he smiled. "It's delicious." Nyla smiled and continued eating her lunch. They engaged in small conversation as they ate their lunch, talking about whatever came to mind, which was small nothings. Just as they'd finished eating, Lucien's phone buzzed, and he glanced at it before smiling at Nyla.

"Looks like I'm being summoned back to the lab." He said, and Nyla nodded, standing up.

"Well, I enjoyed having lunch with you." Lucien smiled and stood up as well.

"Same. I hope we can do it again soon." Nyla flushed but smiled at the scientist. She said her goodbyes before making her way back to her apartment, deciding to take the time to enjoy the beauty was Loveland City on a bright, sunny date.

~~~~~

Lucien watched Nyla go. He had genuinely enjoyed lunch and found the taste of the fish 'n' chips strange but pleasing. It wasn't until Nyla, and her colour was completely gone that the smile fell from Lucien's face, turning into a bored expression. He turned on his heel and began making his way back to the lab, forgetting all about lunch and thinking about his current experiment.

Chapter Text

(Wednesday 22nd, April)

Stepping out of the taxi, Nyla looked up at the research centre before her. It was her second time coming here over the past few days. Like last time, it was the middle of the day, and scientists were making their way in and out of the laboratory. Nyla turned and paid the taxi driver before making her way towards the entrance, her mind flicking back to the conversation she'd had with Lucien yesterday.

Flashback

"I enjoyed having you around for lunch," Lucien said, opening the taxi door for Nyla. She smiled at him.

"Me too! Your experiment was really cool!" Lucien smiled at her.

"If that's the case, perhaps you could come around for lunch tomorrow? We'll order fish 'n' chips again?" He asked, and Nyla blinked. "I have another 'cool' experiment to show you." He added, and Nyla smiled brightly at him, nodding.

"Sounds great! Guess, I see you out here same time tomorrow." Lucien nodded, closing the taxi door like a gentleman after Nyla had gotten in. She waved him goodbye before telling the taxi driver to head back to the hospital.

End Flashback

Nyla sighed. She hoped it wasn't too strange that she was having lunch with Lucien two days in a row. While the man was incredibly flirtatious and liked to tease her, Nyla had come to appreciate his friendship. She had so few friends at the hospital. Most of the other attendings viewed her as too young and immature to pay much attention to her when a patient wasn't concerned and she couldn't really bond with the interns or residents considering she was their superior and teacher, despite being the same age. Nyla had found some friendships in the nurses, but there was still that awkward situation of her being their boss. The only nurse it didn't phase was Mira.

Outside of her sisters and those at her orphanage, Nyla had a very small friendship circle so she'd come to appreciate Lucien's friendship and how much effort he'd put in to make it happen. The fact the man was incredibly handsome, kind and flirtatious had probably helped. Nyla was halfway to the entrance when her phone suddenly rang. She stopped and pulled it out of her pocket, expecting to see Lucien's name. Instead, it was a saved but unlabeled number. Frowning, Nyla answered the call. "This is Dr Correa?"

"Nyla?" A young, male voice came through the other side. It wasn't smooth like Lucien's but did sound familiar.

"Who is this?"

"It's me, Preston Vance. We worked at the hospital together. I'm apart of the cardo department." Nyla blinked. Preston Vance? The name sounded familiar...Suddenly, images of a blonde, tall man with green eyes and an annoying smirk flooded Nyla's mind, and she suppressed her groan. How could she forget about Dr Vance? The man was an arrogant sod who cared more about his career then the patients he treated.

"Of course! What can I do for you, doctor?" Nyla asked, keeping her tone friendly.

"Preston is fine." He said, a flirtatious tone to his voice. For some reason, it sent a wave of irritation through her. "I was wondering where you were since your not in the ER."

"I'm out for lunch. Why? Did a large trauma come in?" Nyla knew one hadn't. She would have been paged back to the hospital by now.

"No! No. Everything's okay. I was just wondering if I could catch you for some lunch?" He asked, and Nyla suppressed her eye roll, instead, putting on an awkward smile, even though he couldn't see her.

"Unfortunately, I've already left the hospital, and I won't be back until my break is over." She said, turning down the man as politely as she could. Dr Vance was known as a notorious player, and Nyla was not keen to be his next 'target'.

"Perhaps next time then?" He asked, not sounding dejected. Nyla held in her sigh.

"Next time." Someone tapped her on the shoulder, and Nyla turned to see Lucien was standing behind her, that ever-present teasing smile on his lips. Nyla felt her smile automatically become much more natural and brighter. "I have to go now, Dr Vance."

"Of course! I'll see you when you get back." Nyla once again suppressed her eye roll.

"Of course!" She then pressed the hang-up button before Preston could drag the conversation out any longer. Nyla sighed. While Preston Vance was a talented doctor, set to become the head of the cardiothoracic department next year, his arrogance killed any attractiveness he possessed, and besides Lucien, the man was rather forgettable.

"A colleague of yours?" Lucien asked, and Nyla smiled at him.

"Yes, but he wasn't calling because of work." Lucien's eyes lost that teasing glint, an emotion Nyla couldn't decipher passing over them.

"He?" Nyla nodded.

"Yeah. Dr Preston Vance." Lucien smiled again, though that teasing glint didn't come back.

"I've heard about him. His predicted to be nominated for some very prestigious award for his research." Nyla nodded. She was well aware of that, the man didn't shut up about it. "Though, his rather ordinary when compared to you," Lucien added, that gleam coming back,

"How do you mean?" Nyla asked, and Lucien grinned, raising his hand to his chin.

"I did a little research on you. Graduated high school at age 12, got into medical school at 16 and became a full-fledged surgical doctor at 25. I find that much more interesting than some heart research an ordinary doctor came up with." Nyla felt herself flush. She knew her education was online for all to see, but she didn't think Lucien would actually do a google search on her.

"Thank you." She muttered though she wasn't sure why. Lucien hadn't actually complimented her.

"Are you doing any research of note?" He asked, and Nyla smiled, nodding.

"Yes, though it doesn't revolve around trauma." Lucien gestured for her to go on as he started walking towards the lab, Nyla falling in line with his strides. "It revolves around the effect of one's metabolism on their bodies."

"A rather interesting research topic for a trauma surgeon." Nyla flushed a little.

"Yes, well, a good friend of mine suffers from an incredibly aggressive metabolism that can cause her to get quite ill and weak on certain days." Even though Aria never seemed like it and definitely didn't let her condition slow her down, she was still considered chronically ill as her metabolism affects her immune system, meaning she requires regular check-ups.

"How aggressive is it?" Lucien asked, sounding genuinely curious. Nyla sighed. She hated thinking about the details of Aria's condition.

"She is are required to eat something fulfilling once every hour. If she doesn't, her stomach acid starts to eat at her stomach's walls. She proceeds to get weaker and weaker every hour until she goes into shock due to her stomach acid now trying to eat her organs." That was the simplest way to put it though there was a bit more involved. Lucien looked slightly surprised.

"I've heard of some fast metabolisms, but never something so severe." Nyla nodded. Yeah, Aria was one in a million. After living with the girl for years, Nyla had come to the conclusion that is was a side effect of her evol like her motion sickness was.

"That's why I'm researching it. I've already managed to create a medication that helps slow her metabolism when she is stationary, but it doesn't work when she moves around so she can only take it at night." She said.

"I'm surprised you're allowed to create your own medications," Lucien said as they reached a research room with a large window showing everything inside. Nyla looked in to see scientists were wandering around, creating notes and trying out different things. She couldn't tell that they were researching, but it looked important judging by the non-nonsense expressions they had.

"Well, I do have a PhD in biochemistry." She turned to see Lucien was blinking at her.

"My research didn't mention anything about that." Nyla smiled at him. She decided not to tell the world about it since she only got it to help Aria.

"Well, I don't broadcast it to help maintain the anonymity of the person I got it for."

"So you only got it to help your friend?" Lucien asked, and Nyla nodded. She'd do anything to help Aria. Anything. "So kind," She heard Lucien mutter under his breath. She blinked at him but didn't question it. "When did you find the time to get a PhD? I imagine you've had a hectic life considering your achievements."

"Oh, I got it as when I was still a resident. I think I was 24?" Nya couldn't really remember. She hadn't really celebrated it, just accepted it and directed all her focus on completing her residency.

"That means you started the course at 16?" Lucien asked, and Nyla nodded. She really didn't know, that portion of her education was all a bit of a blur. Not because she'd been high or drunk, she didn't really know why she didn't remember. If she had to guess, it was probably because she'd been tried 24/7, living off coffee and energy drinks. Now, she couldn't stand them. "Do you plan to get anymore?"

Nyla laughed and shook her head. "Nope! My time of being a student is over. I only lecture now."

"You lecture?" Lucien asked, and Nyla nodded.

"Sometimes and only about medical stuff." Though, it had been a while since she'd lectured at a university. The last lecture she did was to a six-year-old, and it was about riding his bike with a helmet on.

"I'd like to see that," Lucien said, that teasing tone back. Nyla smiled at him.

"Well, you'll have to wait a while. I haven't got a request for months." Lucien kept smiling.

"Well, we can't have that. I'm a very impatient man." Nyla didn't believe that statement for a second. "I'll contact Loveland University and get them to reach out to you." Nyla flushed, waving her hands.

"Oh, that's not necessary."

"But how else am I meant to hear you lecture?" Nyla didn't have an answer for the professor. "And lecturing at Loveland University means you can come and listen to mine." Nyla considered it more a moment. She did want to hear one of Lucien's lectures, the university students she sometimes treated gushed about him on occasion.

"Okay!' Lucien actually beamed. "But I'll contact them! I don't do favours." Lucien nodded.

"I assumed you would ay that." Nyla flushed. "I can't wait to hear your lecture." Lucien teased, and Nyla blushed even harder. Damn this flirtatious man...

Chapter Text

(Thursday, 23rd, April)

Brooke took in a deep breath, feeling the fresh air go through her nose and down into lungs. She breathed out, feeling a wave of calmness wash over her. It was nice to be outside, surrounded by nature again. While her apartment did have some plants, it wasn't the same as walking through a forest or garden, surrounded by trees. Of course, she wasn't in a forest but a park as there wasn't a forest in the middle of Loveland. She looked around at the trees and lush grass that was everywhere, the flowers that had bloomed since the arrival of Spring.

A wave of inspiration hit her, and she made herself comfortable near a pond, opening the sketchbook she'd brought along and started drawing the sight in front of her. She moved her pen across the paper with grace, creating lines that came to form trees and flowers, animals and people. She was in the middle of shading a few trees to create a dynamic picture when a shadow came to stand over her, blocking out the sunlight. Brooke tensed but looked up with confusion present on her features at the person standing over her. She blinked in shock.

It was Victor. He wasn't wearing his suit jacket, and his sleeves were rolled up, but it was him in all his frowning glory. He was looking down at her, hands in his pocket, the frown present on his lips. "What are you doing here?" He asked, and Brooke blinked then smiled at the man.

"It's a public park, Victor. I don't need permission to come here." She said, and Victor's frown deepened.

"Its the middle of the day. Shouldn't you be working?"

"I am." She said, and his eyes flicked to the drawing in her lap.

"Your drawing, not writing." He said, and Brooke rolled her eyes but kept her smile in place.

"I'm a writer and an artist, Victor. Or did you forget?" Victor blinked but didn't answer her question. Meaning yes, he had forgotten. Brooke decided not to press the man. "I'm also avoiding my editor. I forgot to hand in my manuscript yesterday." She said, not sounding sheepish at all. A disapproving look went through Victor's eyes, and he opened his mouth, most likely to scold her, so Brooke beat him to it. "Don't be like. Milo needs to be punished." Victor's frown, which had lessen slightly since the start of their conversation, deepened again.

"Who is Milo?" He asked, tone gruff, but Brooke ignored his tone, going back to finish off her drawing like there wasn't an angry CEO standing over her.

"My editor." Brooke pouted. "He laughed at me when he heard about the article I needed to write for you, so I'm punishing him."

"By not doing your manuscript?" Victor questioned, and Brooke smiled back up at the man.

"Oh, no. It's all done and dusted. Finished it last week." She then winked at the man. "But he doesn't need to know that." She went back to her drawing. "He becomes the world's biggest worry-wart when I don't hand things in on time. Figured him stressing over the manuscript for a few days would have to be punishment enough."

"That horrible," Victor said, and Brooke glared at the man.

"Says the man who made me write an unnecessary article. I looked it up. You didn't have to make me write it, but you did. Now that is cruel." Victor's frown turned into a smirk, and Brooke huffed, holding back the urge to stab the man with her pencil. She looked away from him and went back to her drawing. "What are you doing here, anyway? Shouldn't you be torturing some poor business person?" She asked.

"This is a public park. I don't need permission to be here." Victor said, throwing her own words back into her face. Brooke threw the man a sharp glare, and his smirk turned back into a frown. "I'm here for a business meeting." He glanced down at his watch. "But the man is late."

"That sucks." She said, and Victor stared down at her, expression unreadable. It made her feel a little nervous. Eventually, he looked away and out towards the park, eyes scanning over everyone currently using it.

"LFG is investing in Loveland Publishing House." He said, and Brooke blinked at him. "I got the news this morning." He then glanced down at her. "Seems the board was impressed with your writing." He said, and Brooke felt a flush wash over her cheeks.

"You had them read it?" She asked, and Victor blinked, unfazed by her embarrassment.

"Of course. I didn't get you to write it just for me." Brooke frowned, suspicious written all over her face. "It was a material they had to look over, nothing more." Brooke thought it over. It kind of made sense, though, again, she wasn't sure what her writing had to do with LPH's investment. She was just an employee of LPH; she wrote books and gave them the right to publish it. There was nothing else to their relationship. Well, nothing else between her and the company. Mr Heralds was a different story. "I don't understand why you hate the thought of it so much. Thousands of people buy and read your work every day, so what's the problem?" Victor asked.

The problem was the board members knew her real name. Everyone else in the world knew her as Ariana Night. It was the name they put on her awards and the name she went under in public signings. That was who she was to them. But Victor had probably used her real name when giving them the article and she had no idea who was on the board and where their allegiance sat. But she couldn't tell Victor any of this. It would put him in danger and, even though the guy got on her nerves, she didn't want that. "I'm not bothered by it. I was just surprised it all." Victor frowned but didn't press the issue further. She would have to do some background checks into LFG's board members.

A big gust of wind blew by them, causing the pages of the sketchbook to blow and flip to another page. Brooke glanced down and saw the pages had flipped to one of her drawings of Haya. The kitten was sleeping in the drawing, looking dead to the world. "Is that your kitten?" Victor asked, and Brooke nodded at the man.

"Yep. Her name is Haya, and I rescued her a few months back." Brooke's mind turned to this morning when Haya had been on a high, running around the room and chasing invisible monsters Brooke couldn't see. She smiled at the memory and shook her head. "She is a little wild," Brooke said, and Victor offered her a smile small.

"You two must get on great, then." He said, and Brooke blinked. She didn't know whether to take that statement as a compliment or not. She decided to just ignore it. A cough suddenly sounded from behind Victor, and he dropped the smile, turning to see who it was. "What is it, Goldman?" He asked. Goldman, the assistance from his office, stood up straighter under his bosses scrutinising gaze.

"Sir, Mr Johnson has decided to cancel the appointment. He said something about a family emergency." Victor closed his eyes, clinking his tongue like the man's family drama was an inconvenience and nothing more.

"And after all the trouble I went through..." Victor muttered under his breath before turning to Goldman. "Very well. Bring the car around." Goldman nodded, glancing at Brooke, who smiled at the man, before turning on his heel and coming back the way he came. Victor turned back to her, and she grinned at him.

"Sounds like your date cancelled?" She teased. Victor didn't smile, but his lips did twitch.

"It's okay. Someone filled in for them." Brooke blinked, feeling that blush come back but harder at Victor's words. He smirked then turned on his heel and made his way to the park exit, not waiting for Brooke's response. Brooke felt a wave of anger overtake her at his nerve and once again had to resist the urge to go and behead him.

~~~~~

Victor climbed into the car and waited for it to make it's way back to LFG. Even though Mr Johnson had cancelled, he didn't consider the trip a complete waste. He got to see that look of anger and embarrassment on Brooke's face. He had been surprised to see her there, looking at peace as she drew in her sketchbook. She'd been sitting on the pond's edge, the light reflecting off the water creating a lovely backdrop, and making her look even more beautiful than usual.

Victor closed his eyes. He couldn't afford to dell on such things. After all, he had someone special he needed to find. But his mind drifted back to Brooke and the shocked expression that had come over her face at his bold last statement before it had turned to one of embarrassment. She'd looked so cute, her face flushed all red and looking ready to kill him. Victor sighed and looked out the window. He really shouldn't be thinking about such things...

 

Chapter Text

(Saturday 25th, April)

"Seriously? A rooftop?" Tessa asked, and Gavin turned, binoculars in hand, that indifferent expression softening slightly.

"It's easier to scope out the target from here." He said, and Tessa smirked.

"It also means I'm incapable of following after you if he tries to run." Gavin coughed, ear tips red but didn't correct her observation. She rolled her eyes. "I'm fine. Really!" She walked up to the edge of the roof and sat down. "I've had worse, trust me." Gavin shot her a concerned expression but didn't question her on it. Instead, he took a seat next to her and handed her the pair of binoculars, and the stakeout began.

Tessa sighed as she thought back on the events earlier that week. Chief Colon was still pissed at her and Gavin for disobeying a direct order, trying to assert his authority for once in his life. Gavin had utterly ignored the man, leaving Tessa to take the brunt of the punishment. Meaning she'd been doing paperwork for days. She'd done more paperwork in the past week then she had in her entire time at high school. It was a literal hell. The chief was up her ass because she was taking so long and she couldn't get Gavin to help her because he'd been on a mysterious assignment for the past week.

Tessa shook out her poor wrist, just the thought of doing more reports on Monday making imaginary pain race through her wrist. "Are you okay?" Gavin's voice rang out, and Tessa turned, smiling at him.

"Yeah. It's just writers cramp." She sighed and stretched out her hand. "I swear, it's like that man is trying to break my wrist." Gavin smiled slightly.

"I'm sorry, I couldn't help you." Tessa waved off his guilt.

"Ahh, don't worry about it. You had a mission." Gavin frowned at her, and she rolled her eyes. "Besides, I'm more than capable of handling a little paperwork myself." Actually, it had been extremely challenging, but Gavin didn't need to know that. Gavin didn't respond, just looked away. After a little while of silence, he spoke up again.

"You're dyslexic, arent' you?" Tessa looked at him, shocked. "It's why you got Nyla to read you those files at the hospital and why it takes you so long to do research or fill in some simple paperwork." Gavin didn't look at her, keeping his eyes on the bank they were staking out, but he didn't need to. His tone told Tessa he was completely serious. Tessa smiled slightly and looked away from the man.

"So, you figured it out."

"I confirmed it over the weekend." Tessa closed her eyes. She knew he'd get it eventually. It wasn't exactly easy to hide. "Not that I'm judging you or anything!" Gavin's voice sounded panicked, and she opened her eyes, looking at him. His cheeks and ears were slightly flushed again. "I don't care if you're a slow or faster reader, your still a great partner in my book." Tessa blinked at him, then smiled.

"Thanks." He directed a small smile at her. She held eye contact with him before looking away. "If only everyone in the world thought that." She uttered quietly, though Gavin heard her because she could hear the frown in his voice.

"What do you mean?" Tessa smiled at him.

"Oh, you know. School, especially high school, wasn't exactly easy." Gavin looked at her kindly, willing her to go on. "The boys at several of my schools use to think it was funny to tease me about it." Tessa sighed. "They use to call me 'Blind TeTe' like it was funny that I had trouble reading." Tessa thought back on a memory, remembering when she'd told Brooke and Nyla about it.

Flashback

"He called you what?" Nyla asked, sounding horrified.

"Blind TeTe!" Tessa yelled, feeling tears well up in her eyes. "And I hate it! Especially after what happened to..." She trailed off, not being able to finish off the sentence. Nyla sighed.

"I know." The fourteen-year-old put a hand on Tessa's shoulder, trying to comfort the twelve-year-old.

"What do you do about it?" Brooke asked, not taking her eyes off the carrots she was cutting. Tessa sniffled.

"I tell him to stop it, but he just ignores me." Brooke nodded. "Then he pushes me onto the ground." That made Brooke stop cutting. She sighed and put the knife down, wiping her hands on her apron before wandering over. She then down bent in front of Tessa, still being taller than the girl back then.

"Does it hurt?" She asked, and Tessa shook her head. Brooke smiled and used her thumb to wipe away Tessa's tear. "Well, if he pushes you and calls you that again, here's what I want you to do." Tessa blinked, listening intently. Brooke looked at her seriously. "Punch him."

"DON'T TELL HER THAT!" Nyla yelled, and Brooke huffed.

"Why not!? It's what I would do."

"Well, not everyone should do what you would do!"

"But the guy is an ass! He deserves a punch to the face."

"He is twelve!"

"Like that matters."

Tessa blinked, watching her two older sisters get into a stupid argument, Nyla's hair going a deep red at her anger and Brooke standing with her arm crossed, ignoring the pissed of fourteen-year-old, and couldn't help but laugh, her insecurities and sadness fading with her laughter.

End Flashback

"That sounds like something Brooke would say." Gavin said, sounding dejected and Tessa laughed. "At least, that's the impression I got off her."

"Yeah. I wouldn't want to piss her off." Tessa giggled and looked up at the night sky, admiring the beauty of the stars. "She the one who taught me how to fight."

"Oh yeah?" Tessa nodded, remembering back on those ridiculous and challenging training sessions Brooke would, and sometimes still did put her through.

"Yeah. She is amazing! No one could beat her!" Gavin chuckled slightly.

"You sound like a fangirl." Tessa flushed slightly. She couldn't help it, she'd always looked up to Brooke. "Though, I'm surprised she knows how to fight."

"How come?" Tessa asked, and Gavin shrugged.

"Guess I don't see it." He admitted, and Tessa smiled. That's what everyone first thought of Brooke too.

"Well trust me, Brooke can fight. It used to be her whole life." Tessa said before adding. "Nyla as well. She may be a doctor, but that just makes her even more formidable because she knows the location of all your important stuff." Gavin blinked then smiled at her.

"Sounds like you get on great with your 'adoptive' sisters." A strange tone entered his voice at the word 'adoptive', but Tessa ignored it, answering his question instead.

"Yeah, if it weren't for them, I would probably be a very different person." Gavin frowned at that statement and went to open his mouth when the bank siren went off. Gavin turned and locked his eyes on the bank. Tessa did the same and watched as the nearby police car pulled up. The two officers got out of the car, megaphone in hand, guns at the ready. They started negotiations with the bank robber as more police cars pulled up. "Looks like you were right."

"Yeah but still..." Gavin narrowed his eyes. "Something isn't right." Tessa looked back down at the bank. Everything seemed in order. She thought back to Brooke's lecture on bank robberies 'The most dangerous bank robbers are the ones who have nothing left to lose, because, to them, nothing matters.' Tessa's eyes widened.

"It's too easy. This is a trap!" Gavin nodded at her, trusting her words immediately and spoke into his walkie talkie.

"It's a trap. Get out of there!" The policemen down below didn't question Gavin and got into their cars, backing up. A minute later, a bright light flashed in the bank. "Get down!" Tessa felt Gavin tackle her before a massive explosion sounded. She closed her eyes, clutching tighter onto Gavin as his grip tightened and he shielded her from the shock wave and any debris that could reach them. Soon, she opened her eyes and found them herself staring straight in Gavin's golden ones.

"Thanks." She uttered, slightly breathless and Gavin nodded.

"Don't worry, I'll always protect you."

~~~~~

Gavin stood in the middle of the wrecked bank, hand on his hip, looking down at the fake bodies of the hostages. Tessa had been right. It had been a trap. Had the policemen been standing any closer, they could have been killed or seriously injured. But why? He didn't think the bank robber was tied up with any of the strange occurrences happening around Loveland. It's possible the man just had a grudge against the police.

He closed his eyes, thinking back on his and Tessa's conversation, not fighting his small smile. He'd had a lot of fun talking with her, learning a lot about herself and her family. He still didn't know what orphanage she'd grown up in or what happened to her parents, none of it wasn't on file. He sighed. Looked like he'd been reporting to the commander another empty report...

 

Chapter Text

(Tuesday 28th, April)

Brooke burst through the doors of the LFG, startling everyone in the massive room. She ignored their looks of confusion, though. Glancing around the room, Brooke found the stairwell and made a beeline for it, ignoring the receptionist and security guards that looked at her with confusion and shock. She pulled open the door, nearly taking it off its hinges before racing up the stairs. She didn't know how many levels the LFG building had, but by the time she got to the top floor, she'd solely regretted taking the stairs. But they were faster than the elevator for her at that moment.

Her burst out of the door before racing towards Victor's office door, not taking the time to catch her breath. She pushed the double doors open with such force that they knocked against the wall. "What's the emergency!?" She yelled, not taking the time to take in the room. "Is it assassins?! Ninjas?! A flesh-eating parasite?!" She made eye contact with Victor, who was sitting at his desk, looking utterly shocked at her entrance. It took him a good few seconds to responded, never looking away from Brooke's panicked expression.

"There is no emergency." He said, and Brooke blinked? No emergency?

"What?! But you texted me an S.O.S!" She pulled out her phone, reading over Victor's text.

Come to LFG! Now! - V

"Examination points after 'now' means something is wrong!" She yelled, and Victor only blinked.

"Nothing is wrong." Brooke blinked once again. Nothing was wrong? She glanced around the room to see Goldman was looking at her, equally a shocked as his boss.

"Then, why?"

"I wanted to tell you something in person." Victor offered an explanation, finally coming back to himself and his shocked expression disappearing. The reality of the situation finally sunk in and Brooke felt annoyance, anger and exhaustion overtake her, and she groaned.

"Of course you do." She said, putting away her phone and turning around to the double doors that had closed. She rested her head against them. "Guess this is what I get for caring." A feminine laugh erupted throughout the room, and Brooke turned her head to see that woman, was her name Chik?, sitting on the couch in the room, laughing her head off. Brooke frowned.

"Oh my god! This is just too rich!" She squealed, and Brooke thought she looked like an evil witch at that moment.

"What do you look like you just ran a marathon?" Victor asked, and Brooke turned back to the man. He'd gotten up and was now leaning against the front of his desk, arms crossed. Brooke sighed.

"Because I ran up the stairs to get here quicker." She heard Chik laugh harder and Victor blinked, looking shocked.

"This building is over 70 stories high!"

"75 to be exact, sir," Goldman added and Brooke nodded. She'd thought it was around that height.

"I know that now." Chik laughed even harder, and Brooke wanted to go over and kick the woman out the window. Victor sighed.

"Take the elevator next time." He scolded, and Brooke nodded. "Dummy." He muttered the add on, but Brooke still heard it and glared at the man.

"It's your fault I ran up them the first place!" She sighed "Next time, if you want to talk to me, just text me 'I need to talk to you.'" Victor nodded.

"I'll be sure to do that."

"Wow, that was embarrassing!' Chik said, pretending to wipe a tear from her eye and Brooke directed her glare towards the woman. "'Flesh-eating parasite'! Wow, you really are a fiction writer." Brooke smiled, deciding to mess with the woman a little bit.

"Aww, you google searched me?" Brooke cooed, and the woman huffed.

"Only to confirm you're a nobody!" She insisted, and Brooke grinned.

"Why thank you! But I didn't do the same for you." She said, and Chik actually looked shocked. "Much too busy receiving awards for my writing. But of course, you already knew that, seeing as you 'googled' me." She said, winking and Chik huffed, cheeks turning red with anger.

"You're a writer! Those rewards are nothing compare to the ones I receive!" She insisted, and Brooke grinned.

"And what awards will those be? 'Best at pinning pathetically?'." Chik huffed and stood up, stomping over to her. The woman was taller then Brooke, meaning she had to look down. To anyone else, the height would make them appear more intimating, but Chik looked like a toddler about to throw a tantrum. Brooke just grinned up at the woman.

"Listen here, sweetie! You can insult me all you want, but I will end up victorious! Victor and I are meant to be together, and nothing you do will prevent that, so in the end, you will be the one pinning pathetically!" Brooke threw a glance at Victor, to see he was watching the whole interaction with an annoyed look on his face. She looked back at Chik, smiling happily.

"Okie Dokie!" She said, deciding not to refute the woman. Chik blinked, slightly shocked, but then smirked and sashayed out of the room, sending Victor a wink, despite the fact he was keeping his eyes trained on Brooke. Brooke dropped the smile once the woman had left and sighed. What an exhausting woman. She then turned to Victor. "Sorry about that, sir. Guess I got a little carried away."

"Just don't do it again. Rising up to that woman will only put a target on your back." He said, making his way around his desk and sitting back down.

"Don't worry, sir! I have several sisters. I can handle a jealous toddler." She said, and Victor threw her a look. She flushed. "I mean, a jealous lady. I can handle a jealous lady." She said, and Victor went back to signing his document. Brooke made eye contact with Goldman, who was beaming at her like she'd just won him the lottery. She smiled back before looking back at Victor. "Putting all that aside, why did you want to see me in the first place. I was kind of in the middle of something."

"Playing with your kitten?" He asked, and Brooke blinked. He looked up, a small smirk on his face. "You're covered in fur." Brooke glanced down at herself to see that, yes, she was in fact covered in fur. She flushed slightly.

"Sorry, sir. Haya is shedding." Victor waved off her apology.

"I wanted to congratulate you on your award." He said, and Brooke blinked.

"My award?" Victor rolled his eyes.

"Yes, the award you were just announced having won. It was for your lastest book 'Unperfect Love'. Apparently, it was on the best selling list for ten months." Brooke nodded. She knew about the best selling bit, not the other bit.

"When was this announced?" Brooke asked.

"Half 'n' hour ago," Victor said, and Brooke nodded. That would be why she hadn't heard about it from Mr Herlads yet. He was currently in America, meaning a different time zone. She didn't doubt he'd been talking her ear off as soon as he returned.

"Well, thank you, but you could have just texted me your congratulations." She said, and Victor looked up from his document.

"Why would I do that when I can do it in person?" He asked, and Brooke just huffed. He looked back down at the document at her lack of response, finished signing it then gave it back to Goldman, who quickly left the CEO's office. "What would you like as a reward?" Victor asked as soon as the double door closed.

"A reward?" Victor nodded.

"That's what I said, Dummy. You deserve it for working so hard."

"I don't need a reward, Victor. Really!" Victor raised his eyebrow but didn't look like he was going to drop the subject. Brooke sighed. She didn't do rewards. Brooke did a quick glance around the room, and her eyes landed on his TV. An idea popped into her head. She turned and smiled at him. "I want to go see a movie!"

"A movie?" He said, and Brooke nodded. "You don't want anything else? A five-course dinner? A helicopter ride? An all-expense trip to Hawaii?"

"All of those sound super stuffy so...Nope!" And she'd already experienced them before. Victor's frown deepened. Brooke rolled her eyes but smiled at the man. "I'm a simple person with simple tastes. Besides" Brooke lowered her head, feeling herself flush deeply. "I've never been to a movie theatre before..." She muttered and couldn't bring herself to look at Victor. After a few moments, Victor sighed.

"Alright. We'll go see a movie."

"Yes! Wait-we?" Victor's smile was small but gentle.

"Of course. I couldn't let a dummy like you wander around a movie theatre by yourself. You'd get lost." Brooke blinked but shrugged. She was too excited about going to see an actual movie in an actual theatre to read to much into it. She couldn't wait...

Chapter Text

(Wednesday 29th, April)

"You did great today, Aria. I'm so proud of you!" Bella's voice entered Aria's ear, and a hand slapped her back. Instead of looking up and grinning at her agent, Aria groaned and gripped her stomach tighter. If she didn't move, then it didn't hurt. "Now, time to head back to the hotel." Aria groaned and gripped her stomach even tighter. If she had the ability to cry, she'd be balling her eyes out. Why were the gods so cruel? To give her motion sickness and an aggressive metabolism? Did she do something in her past life like kill an important person? If so, then she was so sorry! The van went over a bumper and Aria had to put her hand over her mouth.

A little while later, after Kenny had carried her up a few dozen flights of stairs, she was resting on the bed in her hotel room with a wet cloth on her forehead as she willed her stomach to stop hating her! It was only when she could move again that Bella and Kenny departed for their own rooms. Aria sighed and sat up once they were gone. If only Nyla could invent some special medication that could help her metabolism and her motion sickness at the same time. Alas, she could only help the former. Aria got up off the bed and grabbed one of her duffle bags, throwing it on the table and rummaging through it to locate her medication.

She pulled out the special pill bottle and made her way towards the kitchen. The tables were designed to slow down her metabolism long enough for Aria to get a decent night sleep. She could only take them at night because they relied on her lack of movement to work. During the day, when she was constantly moving about, they were useless. Just as she'd swallowed the pill, her phone went off.

Did you arrive at the hotel, alright? - K

Aria smiled. While she was only a few hours outside of Loveland for this figure skating concert, her motion sickness had made the trip feel like days. She grabbed out her computer and sat back on her bed, replaying to Kiro's text.

Yep! I'm safe and sound and ready skate! - A

That's so great! - K

I'm going to watch the concert online, so I can see you perform! - K

Too bad you can't be there in person T_T - A

I know! I'm so disappointed! I wanted to see you skate for real instead of just practice! - K

Just this commercial shoot is incredibly important, so I can't skip it - K

Maybe we can have that video chat? - A

I want to see your face! - A

Sounds great! I'm calling you now! - K

Aria set her phone down and waited for Kiro's video invitation to appear on her screen. It didn't take long. She immediately accepted, and Kiro's glowing face and bright blue eyes appeared on her screen, that smile growing wider at Aria's acceptance. "Hello, Miss Chips!"

"Hello, Super Kiro!" They both laughed at the ridiculous nicknames for each other before launching into a conversation about whatever came to mind.

"And bam! Head-shotted the guy!" Kiro emphasised, describing his latest gaming victory to Aria in great detail. Aria listened with enthusiasm, munching on the muffin she'd had delivered to her floor. "He was not happy." Kiro laughed, and Aria laughed along with him.

"So did you win?" Kiro looked offended through the computer screen.

"Of course!" He then grinned with pride. "Nobody can beat this superhero!" Aria laughed.

"I bet I could." She challenged, and Kiro blinked at her.

"You like video games?"

"Are you kidding!? I love video games. I'm always kicking Tessa's ass at them." She laughed. "I'm the Mario Kart champion of the world!" She boasted, and Kiro smirked.

"Well, you haven't played against me yet." Aria blinked then smiled.

"Is that a challenge?" She teased, and Kiro nodded with enthusiasm.

"You bet, Miss Chips! When you get back, it's game on." He said, pointing a finger at her through the screen and they both laughed. Aria calmed down first and observed Kiro through the screen. He looked genuinely happy talking to her, that bright smile never leaving his face. "Oh, yeah! I have a quick question, Aria?" He asked, and Aria smiled at him.

"What is it?"

"My agent, well, he told me you grew up in an orphanage, and I wanted to check to see if it was true..." He mumbled, sounding nervous, and Aria blinked. Had she not told Kiro? Aria thought back on their previous interactions and realised that other than the personality quiz, they hadn't breached the topic of family again. And she knew her background was hard-won knowledge to the public. Only those deemed trustworthy were allowed to know so how did Savin find out? She smiled at Kiro.

"I sure did! In fact, at my orphanage, I was placed into a small house and was lucky enough to grow up with three awesome adoptive sisters!" Kiro listened to her intently, a small smile as she described Brooke, Nyla and Tessa to Kiro. "I was eight when I joined the orphanage. I lost my parents in an accident." She muttered, and Kiro frowned.

"I'm sorry." Aria smiled brightly at Kiro.

"It's okay! It's been years, I don't really remember them anyway!" Kiro blinked then nodded before moving onto a much happier topic. But Aria couldn't bring herself to be truly happy the rest of their video chat. She didn't like lying to Kiro, but it was necessary. He could never know the truth behind childhood. No one could. Out of all the things that Aria had been forced to hide over the years, that one was no-negotiable, and it would never change. She studied Kiro, watching as he described his next genius plan to sneak snacks into his next movie set and couldn't help but laugh. She envied his ignorance.

Aria yawned and glanced at the clock. "OMG, it's 1am!" She glanced at her door, expecting Bella to come charging in at any minute to growl at her and force her to go to bed. Kiro looked just as shocked at the time. "I've got to get some sleep! The first rehearsal starts at 8." Aria made to speed to the bathroom before realising that Kiro wasn't aware of her evolver status.

"Crap! Same! I have that damn commercial shoot! Well, it was great talking to you, Miss Chips! We should do it again!" Aria grinned before grabbing her computer.

"Definitely, Super Kiro!" Then she slammed the computer shut, automatically disconnecting the call. She typed out a quick goodbye and apology text to Kiro before dashing to the bathroom. She sped around the hotel room, and after about 3 minutes, she had showered, dressed, eaten and was currently snuggled deep inside her blankets, willing sleep to overtake her. But her mind drifted back to her and Kiro's conversation. He'd told her Savin had found out about her background, but that was impossible. Bella wouldn't tell a soul without her permission and neither would Kenny, meaning Kiro had lied about how he'd come upon the information.

The only way to get that kind of information was to hack the B.S Entertainment hard drives. Aria frowned. Was that what Kiro had done? If he wanted to know about her childhood, he could have just asked. Aria sighed and closed her eyes, feeling sleep beginning to take her. Why were men so complicated?

~~~~~

Kiro blinked at the black screen. Aria had sure left in a hurry. His phone beeped a few seconds later, and he opened it up to see an apology and goodnight text from Aria. He smiled and chucked the phone back onto his bed. That had gone better than he'd expected. She hadn't questioned him on how he'd obtained her background information, believing it to be Savin. And she'd talked about her time at the orphanage with great enthusiasm, especially when it came to her sisters.

That didn't explain her reaction to the personality quiz the other day. From how she'd talked about Brooke, Nyla and Tessa, it was apparent she loved and cared for them so why would great pain flash through her as when mentioning them. That pain hadn't appeared before. There was also the mystery surrounding the orphanage. No matter how hard Kiro looked, he couldn't find a name or location. Aria was definitely no ordinary figure skater, that was for sure...

Chapter Text

(Saturday 2nd, May)

"Make sure to keep their handcuffs on. We don't want them getting out again." Tessa said, watching as several police officers directed the thugs they'd just caught towards a cell. They nodded and secured the criminals in the cell, keeping the handcuffs on as promised.

"So, the warehouse was nothing but a drug lab. No trace of Black Swan." Gavin said, throwing a file down on a nearby desk as he approached Tessa.

"Do we know what drug they were creating?" Tessa asked.

"The lab is figuring out now, but I'd guess it's the same as the other warehouses," Gavin responded, arms crossed, a disapproving frown on his lips. "That's the third drug bust this week with no new leads."

"It's getting frustrating, I know, but we have to keep going and check out every warehouse on the list," Tessa said, and Gavin nodded in agreement but said nothing else. The forensic team that had investigated the McHen's home had managed to piece back together a torn-up piece of paper they'd found in the trash. The paper had revealed a list of different warehouses throughout Loveland, and Chief Colon had assigned Gavin and Tessa to check it out, finally forgiving the woman for her disobedience.

"Well, there nothing else we can do until these guys are debriefed, and it's lunchtime," Gavin said, turning towards Tessa and offering her a small smile. "I could take you home?" Tessa smiled in response.

"That would be gre-" A loud shout interrupted her, and they both turned to watch as rather large, and round man broke free of several police officers.

"Give it to me!" He shouted, and Tessa reached for her gun, ready to withdraw it as Gavin stepped in front of her. After working with the guy for two weeks, Tessa had come to not protest against his protective nature. It was just a part of Gavin. They watched as several police officers tried to gain control of the rampaging man but with no luck. He wasn't strong but had a surprising amount of stamina, being able to resist the policeman. "Give it to me!" He shouted again.

"What does he want?" Tessa asked a nearby police officer who had drawn his gun.

"We don't know! He's been shouting like that ever since we found he chasing after women in the streets!" Tessa nodded, turning back to the man to see he had locked his eyes onto her. His eyes were filled with anger but seemed dead at the same time, sending a shiver down Tessa's spine.

"Stay behind me," Gavin instructed, and Tessa nodded, watching as the man began to struggle even harder, never taking his eyes off of Tessa. She maintained eye contact, gun ready to draw and fire if he came closer. The man-made one last attempt to free himself and succeeded, causing a young police officer to fly across the room and hit Gavin, sending them both to the ground. Tessa had lost her human shield. The man growled and launched towards Tessa. She drew her gun and shot the man in his thigh, but it didn't phase him like he couldn't feel his own body. He made to grab at her face, but Tessa ducked in time. Dropping her gun, she used both of her hands to grab his outstretched arm and send him flying over her, using his running momentum to increase the power of the toss.

He landed on the ground with a groan and several, much larger policemen, were on him in a second, pinning the man to the ground. He tried to struggle, but it seemed he was finally losing his strength. "Are you okay?" Gavin asked. He was crouching, helping the police officer that had slammed into him sit up. Tessa nodded at him, bending down to pick up her gun.

"Yeah." She said absent-mindedly. That was weird. The man was obviously on something but what kind of drug made someone not feel pain? Like at all? Some drugs dulled it but to completely block the nerves, so there was no sensation? That was strong stuff. "We should call the ambulance." She commented, and Gavin nodded. Later, Tessa watched as the man was loaded into the back of an ambulance, with several injured officers going into another one. She needed a break.

~~~~~

Tessa, full of confusion and anger, kicked the boxing bag with enough force to send it swinging off the hook and go flying across the room. It slammed against the wall, making a loud bang, before sliding down and rolling along the floor, sand spilling out of it. Tessa let out a breath and relaxed her stance. "Tough day?" Gavin's voice rang throughout the room, and Tessa turned to see he was walking towards her, dressed in a black singlet instead of his police uniform.

"You know it." She responded, stretching out her knuckles as Gavin grabbed a new boxing bag and walked over, hanging it up.

"What's got you so worked up?" He asked, and Tessa sighed.

"It's this new drug." She said, taking a stance and beginning to punch the boxing bag as Gavin held it steady. "We've discovered several warehouses making it, have tons of samples, but we still have no idea of its effects."

"The tox-screen came in from the hospital, and your attacker had the same drug in his veins." Gavin offered, and Tessa blinked. So the drug caused intense anger and dulled pain?

"So it causes anger?" Tessa asked, and Gavin nodded.

"Yes, but it's unstable. The man suffered a heart attack and died in the trauma room." He said.

"How do you know all this?" Tessa asked, and Gavin peaked his head around, a small smile on his lips.

"Your sister told me."

"Nyla called you?" He nodded, and Tessa frowned. "She didn't call me."

"She told me she had but couldn't get through, so she called me instead." Tessa blinked then groaned.

"Of course, I turn my phone off when I train, so it doesn't distract me." Gavin smiled.

"I assumed that was the case." He said before grunting as Tessa delivered a powerful punch to the bag. "Your good." Tessa laughed.

"Sorry! During high school, I use to release my frustrations with the school work by sparring with Brooke. She wouldn't hold back, so I had to learn quickly." Gavin nodded.

"So did Brooke do a lot of martial arts when she was younger?" He asked. He was an innocent question and entirely justifiable, but it still made Tessa stall. She offered Gavin a small smile.

"Something like that." He frowned but didn't ask any further questions. He continued to help Tessa work out her frustrations until she was panting and sweating.

"Here." Tessa looked up from her spot at the bench and smiled gratefully at Gavin, who was offering her a cold bottle of water and a towel. She took it, nodding her thanks, before taking a swing from the bottle and wiping down her face. Gavin moved away, no doubt to do his own training, while Tessa grabbed out her phone and turned it back on. She scrolled through her messages, texting an apology to Nyla.

Sorry for not answering your calls. My phone was off - T

She responded pretty quickly.

I assumed as much. Are you okay? - N

Yeah, just stressed - T

Do you want me to call you later and give you a 'basic' rundown of the drug and its effects? - N

Tessa laughed. Basically, Nyla was asking if she wanted her to dumb down the science. God, she loved the white-haired doctor.

Absolutely! - T

Nyla responded with a heart emoji, and Tessa smiled, putting her phone away and looking up around the room. Her eyes landed on Gavin, and she flushed intensely. He was on the weight lifter, pushing up a weight that was holding about 30kg on each end. His biceps were flexing and in clear view due to his singlet, and sweat was running down them, making them glisten. Tessa managed to tear her eyes away, her cheeks and ears feeling hot. She'd told herself not ogle Gavin, but the man was attractive and fit. She could feel his abs through his shirt when she held onto him tight when they were riding his motorcycle.

"Are you okay?" Gavin's voice asked, causing Tessa to look back at him. He was slightly breathless, his hair dishevelled and he was using his t-shirt to wipe some sweat off his face, his sharp, defined abs on clear display. They were also glistening with sweat. Tessa felt herself flush harder, and she looked away.

"Of course!" She yelled, voice an octave higher than normal. She grabbed her duffle bag and quickly stood up. "It's late, so I'm going to go home. I'll see you Monday!" She yelled, bolting out of the training room and towards her locker before Gavin could respond, afraid if she stayed any longer, she'd make a fool of herself. Why did her partner have to be so damn attractive? It was like God was punishing her...

Chapter Text

(Tuesday 12th, May) 

"I really enjoyed your lecture," Nyla said, coming up to stand at the podium as the students filed out of the room. Lucien smiled at her as he gathered up his materials.

"Did you learn anything?" He asked, and Nyla smiled.

"Of course!" She said but didn't offer anything else. Lucien continued to watch her with warmness until he realised she wasn't going to answer. Lucien just shook his head and continued packing up his materials. Nyla felt her phone buzz and pulled it out of her pocket. It was a text from the chief of surgery, asking her to return to the hospital when she could. Nyla typed out a reply, looking up when she felt a presence approach them. It was one of Lucien's students. A young woman with short brown hair and dull blue eyes. She looked pale.

"Professor Lucien." She said in acknowledgement, and he smiled at her.

"How are you, Taylor?" He asked, and the woman offered a weak smile. Nyla frowned. She looked quite sick.

"I'm okay." She lied before moving on to ask Lucien a question about his lecture. Nyla continued to watch the girl closely, noticing how her paleness turned deathly, and she began to get breathless.

"Are you sure you're okay?" Nyla asked, interrupting the girl. Taylor turned her gaze towards Nyla, and a look of relief passed through her eyes like she'd recognised something in Nyla that brought her joy.

"Actually, I'm feeling a little nauseous." She commented, and Nyla nodded, walking towards the girl.

"Anything else?" Nyla asked, and the girl nodded.

"My back hurts, and I'm a bit light-headed." The girl said, stumbling forward into Nyla's arms. Nyla caught her and gently lowered her to the ground, with Lucien coming to help at some point.

"Are you experiencing any chest pain or pressure?" Nyla asked, and the girl nodded, taking in a deep breath. Nyla reached into her messenger bag and pulled out a stethoscope, placing it in her ears and putting it under the girl's shirt and against her chest.

"You carry a stethoscope with you?" Lucien questioned and Nyla nodded.

"I am a doctor, Lucien." She said, not taking her eyes of Taylor. She moved the stethoscope around slightly before removing it and placing it around her neck. "Okay, I want you to continue taking deep breaths in." She said, reaching into her bag and grabbing out her phone.

"What's happening to me?" Taylor asked as Nyla handed her phone to Lucien.

"You're having a heart attack." She said evenly, and the girl's eyes went wide. She then turned to Lucien. "Call 119." Lucien nodded, immediately using the emergency call application to call an ambulance. Nyla reached into her messenger bag and took out some aspirin. "I want you to take this." The girl nodded, and Nyla helped the girl down the tablet.

"Yes, we have a girl having a heart attack," Lucien suddenly said into the phone and Nyla gestured him to give it to her. He immediately handed it over.

"This is Dr Correa from Loveland Hosptial. I have a young girl of..." She stopped and turned to Taylor. "How old are you?" She whispered.

"22."

"22. She is currently having a heart attack, and I request an ambulance immediately." The responder asked her a few questions that Nyla answered, asking Taylor for some clarification. She soon hung up when Taylor fainted. Nyla immediately laid her down on the ground, checking her pulse. It was weak but there. She grabbed out her penlight and opened each of Taylor's eyes, checking if her pupil response was normal. It was. She felt a pair of eyes on her and turned to see Lucien was staring at her with fondness and amazement.

"Your amazing." He muttered, and Nyla blinked, offering a small smile before turning back to Taylor. The ambulance arrived very quickly, and Nyla briefed the paramedics as they entered the room with the stretcher. "Taylor Sarge. 22-year-olds and suffering from a possible heart attack. Fainted 5 minutes ago but hasn't arrested. Her pupil response is normal, and she's had a small dose of aspirin to help with the clotting. Her family has a history of heart disease, and she's suffered from chronic chest pain in the past." One of the paramedics nodded, taking down the information as the other secured Taylor to the stretcher.

"Call the hospital and tell them to page Dr Vance and have trauma room 1 prepped with an ECG ready as well as the portable x-ray," Nyla said, following the paramedics towards the ambulance. "Tell them it's under orders from Dr Correa. I also want a CT and an MRI." She said, climbing into the ambulance after Taylor.

"Guess that means you're going to the hospital?" Lucien's voice asked, startling Nyla. She'd forgotten he was there, getting so caught up in briefing the paramedics.

"Lucien! Our lunch date! I'm so sorry!" Lucien smiled and waved her off.

"Don't worry about it. We'll reschedule." Nyla nodded, taking a seat in the ambulance. She bit her lip before turning to Lucien.

"Your welcome to come, being a witness and all." She said, before turning and grabbing the IV catheter, carefully inserting it into Taylor's arm. She felt Lucien's presence soon enter the ambulance before the doors closed, and they were soon on their way to the hospital.

"This is the second time I've been in an ambulance in a span of two months," Lucien noted and Nyla smiled but didn't respond, focusing on helping the paramedic take down all the necessary information on Taylor. "Guess this is normal for you."

"I know the inside of an ambulance better than my own apartment." She commented. Which was true. She spent a lot of time in an ambulance, being called out to major casualties sites if necessary.

"Will she be okay? Taylor is one of my best students. I didn't even realise she was sick." Lucien said, sounding like he had when he'd asked about Max Sky after the failed experiment.

"She probably didn't know herself. But we are on the way to the hospital, and I have the best doctors, nurses and equipment waiting to help her." Nyla said, offering Lucien a small smile. The ambulance's chest monitor suddenly went off, and Nyla quickly turned back to Taylor. "She's crashing! Starting compressions."

"Starting manual ventilation." A paramedic said, putting a bag-valve-mask over Taylor's mouth and starting to squeeze.

"How far away are we?" Nyla called.

"3 minutes." The driving paramedic said, and Nyla continued her compressions. Soon the ambulance stopped, and Nyla turned to glance at the ambulance doors as they opened. The paramedics immediately dragged the stretcher out of the ambulance, Nyla climbing on and straddling Taylor, never easing her compressions.

"What have we got?" Preston asked, coming to meet her.

"Taylor Sarge. 22-year-old having a possible heart attack. She coded on the way here and has been down for three minutes." She said before glancing up at the paramedics. "To trauma room 1."

"We have the ECG all set up for you, doctor." An ER nurse said as Nyla climbed off the stretcher, stopping her compressions as Preston took over.

"Get the defibrillator ." She told the nurse who grabbed the crash cart.

"Does she suffer from any heart diseases?" Preston asked, and Nyla shook her head, grabbing the defibrillator panels from the nurse.

"Not that she is aware of, but she said she has suffered intense chest pain in the past and her family has a history of heart disease." She said, rubbing the defibrillators together once the jell was applied before pacing them on Taylor's chest. "Charge to 200." The sound of something charging sounded throughout the room, joining the noises of the residents and nurses who were prepping and treating Taylor. "Clear." Everyone raised their hands off of Taylor as Nyla pressed down. A shock went through Taylor, rising her body slightly before going back down. The heart monitor began to beep as Taylor's heartbeat came back.

"We have sinus rhythm," Preston announced as Nyla sighed and returned the defibrillators to the cart.

"So she is stable?" Lucien voice asked and nearly made Nyla jump again. He was standing off to the side, merely watching and not getting in the way.

"Who are you?" Preston asked as he examined Taylor's chest, tone cold and serious.

"Her professor. I was there when her heart attack began." Lucien replied cooly.

"Well, this is a trauma room, so you can't be in here. Please go wait outside," Preston replied, frowning and Nyla rushed forward.

"It's okay, Dr Vance. I've given him permission to be here." She said, guiding Lucien to stand in the corner of the room, as far out of the way as possible.

"But Nyla-"

"It's Dr Correa during work, and this is my ER," Nyla said sternly, daring Preston to challenge. He didn't, simply frowning and going back to examining Taylor. Nyla turned to Lucien.

"I don't want to be a burden." He said, and Nyla waved him off.

"As long as you don't touch anything, it'll be okay." She said before joining Preston at Taylor's side once again. They worked on her for a few minutes, deciding the best course of treatment for the students.

"I think a coronary angioplasty would be the best course of action," Preston said, but Nyla shook her head.

"Without any knowledge of why she had a heart attack, it would be unnecessary dangerous to put her under anesthetic. You could end up making the problem worse."

"Then what do you suggest? We wait for the problem to get worse!?"

"She's been given some aspirin and antiplatelet agents, we could also treat her with some thrombolytics. The ECG revealed that a cot is the most likely cause of her heart attack."

"And if they don't work?" Preston asked, tone mocking.

"Then, we operate. Don't be so quick to open her up because you haven't cut in a while." Nyla said, and Preston growled at her. Like, actually growled.

"You are inexperienced. Trust me, my course is much more-"

"Do not bring my age into this!" Nyla said, raising her voice. Preston looked startled, leaning back a bit. Nyla sighed, suppressing her anger at the man before her. "I may not be as experienced as you, but I have received the same training you did, and my course of treatment is influenced by that." She said, and Preston frowned for a few seconds before sighing.

"Fine, we'll do it your way." He said, and Nyla nodded, turning to a nurse.

"Prep the thrombolytics." She said, and the nurse nodded, leaving the trauma room. Nyla then turned to Preston. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to go get changed." She said, taking off her gloves and leaving the room, Lucien in toe.

"I never realised how intense your job was." He commented, and Nyla turned, blinking at him. "Max hadn't been at risk of his heart failing, so everything had seemed so lax." He said, and Nyla smiled.

"Yeah, it can be a lot like a boxing match in there sometimes," Nyla said.

"You handled yourself pretty well." Lucien offered, and Nyla giggled.

"I'm a 26-year-old trauma surgeon. I have to be able to take and dig out a punch." She said before sighing and watching as two residents bickered over a patient they were treating. "Though, sometimes, it feels like people only become doctors for the glory of saving someone or the thrill of cutting someone open." Surgery was one of the most challenging fields of medicine and often the most brutal. Competition ruled over a surgeon's life from the start, making everything a fight to the top.

"And why did you become a surgeon?" Lucien asked, and Nyla turned, smiling brightly at him.

"To help people. I don't care about awards or praise. All I want is to soothe people's pain, to help them feel better." She turned and watched as a child hugged their parents in happiness. "To give them a reason to go on when everything around them is nothing but pain." Nyla didn't notice Lucien smile of utter warmth and fondness he directed towards her, nor did she see the guilt that briefly flashed through his eyes. She just continued to watch the ER, that bright smile never dimming...

Chapter Text

(Saturday 20th, June)

Watching as a large, bow mouth guitarfish swam passed, Nyla smiled absentmindedly. Lucien had decided to take her to the Aquarium to make up for his avoidance of her lately. Because that what he'd been doing. Avoiding her. He wouldn't admit to it, blaming it on his abundance of work and while Nyla didn't doubt he was busy, she could tell when someone was avoiding her. She was a doctor; patients tried to avoid her all the time. "Are you even watching the sea creatures?" Lucien's voice asked from behind her and Nyla turned, her smile turning bright.

"Of course!" She turned back to the tank and watched as a clownfish swan by. "See, it's Nemo!" Lucien smiled at Nyla and pointed at the blue one following behind it.

"Then this one is Dory." Nyla smiled at him before turning back to the fishes in the tank. They were swimming by, seeming content with their rather dull and uneventful exists. Nyla couldn't help but feel bad for the fish. Even if they didn't feel emotions on the same extent as humans, it must be boring to swim in the same tank day after day, never getting to leave and explore the ocean they came from. "What's on your mind?" Lucien asked.

"Fish probably don't enjoy being in here..." She said, not really thinking.

"Why do you think that?"

"Because they are trapped." She turned to look at Lucien. "Just because they don't feel emotions to the same extent as humans doesn't make them any less capable of feeling imprisoned." She turned back to the tank. "They spend their days in this tank, swimming about, doing the same old things. They don't have the chance to experience their natural instincts. All of it is suppressed in a place like this. For a human, it would be considered a form of torture."

"Understanding and true sympathy are not the same. And no one can be perfectly moral. We just do the best we can." Lucien offered, and Nyla sighed. She knew that but still. Looking upon those fish remained her of herself and how she used to be just like them. Trapped and incapable of doing anything about it, forced to do the same thing every day. Lucien suddenly flung an arm around Nyla's shoulder. "Let's check out the next zone up ahead." He dragged her down the hall, breaking her train of thought. They entered the next zone, where the larger, predator fish live. Nyla noticed that the Aquarium that their Orca separated from the others.

"An Orca." She said, wandering over. "Why sperate it?" She muttered, but Lucien must have heard her because he answered her quiet question.

"Because it's a ruthless killer. It would eat any roommates it had." Nyla sighed and turned to Lucien.

"I didn't expect you to be so out of date with your information, Lucien." She said, and he blinked at her. She turned back to the lone creature. "True, an Orca is an extremely dangerous predator, but it's not bloodthirsty. Orcas are pack creatures, like humans. They thrive off the company of their own species, in fact, family is a big part of their social hierarchy. To keep it alone and apart from its own species is just asking for behaviour issues, which is where rumours like it being a ruthless killer start." Lucien didn't respond to her, merely turning to look at the creature.

It was swimming, it's dorsal fin bent over, a sure sign of depression. It upset Nyla. Such a majestic creature should be swimming the seas, not spending its days alone in a tank too small to probably support it. She glanced at Lucien to see his face was shrouded in shadows. Then she yawned. "Tired?" Lucien question and Nyla nodded.

"A mass-casualty incident came into the ER earlier this week, and we are still feeling the effects of it. I'm going into work tomorrow to clock overtime, so the residents and interns get some time off." It had been an apartment building fire, and so far, they'd lost five people. Lucien directed Nyla to sit down on a nearby seat. He then patted her head.

"You some get some rest then. It's not healthy to treat patients when you are not 100% yourself." Nyla glanced around, feeling a wave of tiredness suddenly overtake her.

"Here? In the Aquarium?" She muttered, and Lucien smiled, taking a seat next to her.

"Just sleep. I'm here for you." He said. Nyla nodded, her eyelids feeling heavy. Her head landed on Lucien's shoulder as she drifted off to sleep, missing the cold, emotionless expression that overtook Lucien's features.

~~~~~

Lucien stared at Nyla's sleeping expression, noting how much more angelic she seemed asleep. A mysterious man clad in black walked out of the shadows, though Lucien didn't seem afraid. He gently laid Nyla's head down on the bench before turning to the man. "Show yourself." The man approached with caution.

"Ares, she might be asleep but is it really safe to talk in front of her?"

"It's fine," Lucien said, turning, so his body blocked Nyla from the mysterious man's view. "So you were following me?" He asked a smirk on his face and eyes icy cold. The mysterious man rolled his eyes and nodded slightly.

"I just wanted to...report the current progress."

"Speak."

"We are monitoring Kiro. Everything is going according to plan expect for...them." The mysterious figure stared at Lucien as if waiting for something. Lucien made to move when something tugged on his shirt. He turned and saw Nyla had reached out to him, that peaceful expression gone, her eyebrows were furrowed like she was having a nightmare. She muttered something, but Lucien didn't pick up what it was. He leaned down, stoking Nyla's face, a fond look in his eyes.

"Shh, everything is okay." He whispered, and Nyla seemed to hear it because she let go and her eyebrows unfurrowed a little bit, but the look of anguish didn't completely go away. Lucien wanted to jump into her dream and crush whatever dark thoughts were plaguing her. He looked down at her with warmth all over his face, that icy, emotionless expression gone for now.

"Anything related to her, I will take care of it myself."

"Ares, are you sure you aren't getting to attached? This could affect our plans." The mysterious person asked, and Lucien frowned, the warmth in his expression disappearing instantly. The mysterious figure's features flashed with caution. "Ares, this is important. You can not let your feelings get the best of you."

"I've already said my piece. Do not make me repeat it." The mysterious figure nodded.

"And what of the other three?"

"Keep monitoring them, but don't get to close, especially the oldest one. She is formattable and will not hesitate to take you out." The mysterious man nodded, offering one last glance at the sleeping Nyla before disappearing. Lucien continued to watch the white haired-doctor sleep, that look of anguish back full-force. "She's asleep. She doesn't know. It's fine." He said, though deep down, he knew it wasn't. Nyla wasn't stupid, far from it, and he didn't doubt she'd noticed something was up with him.

"That's my excuse, but looking straight into my heart makes me know all too well that I'm in too deep...So it's time, is it?"

~~~~~

'Do it!' A voice full of anger yelled, and Nyla continued to sob, lying across the bodies of the two people who meant the world to her.

'I can't!' She screamed but the man clad in a white, laboratory suit just chuckled darkly. Then he kicked her, causing her to fly off the two bodies, landing on the ground with a thud, feeling her skin rip through her worn-out clothes as she slid across the rough, concrete floor.

'Yes, you can! Stop being so weak!' Nyla opened her eyes, those brown orbs staring at the man she called her master, though, he was more like an abuser. The man pulled out a gun, shiny and pure black and Nyla's eyes widen. 'Now...DO IT!!!"

Nyla gasped, her eyes flying open and she shot up. She felt a large hand grab her arms, and she immediately began to struggle, not thinking in her panic. No, he was gone! He couldn't be here! "It's me, just relax." Nyla heard Lucien's voice, and she stopped fighting. She opened her eyes to see Lucien was staring at with worry and tenderness. She blinked and looked around. She was in an aquarium, not that man's laboratory. She was fine. Lucien gripped her hand and stroked it, waiting for her to speak.

"How long was I asleep?" She asked, slightly breathless.

"Not long. Are you alright?" He asked, and Nyla shook out her head. She was fine. It was just a memory. The place was far into her past. She nodded.

"Yeah. Just a nightmare." She said, and Lucien frowned.

"Seemed like a bad one." Nyla smiled at the man, though it wasn't as bright as her usual one.

"Nothing I can't shake off." She said and looked down at the ground.

"What was it about? If you don't mind me asking." Nyla frowned and looked at the hand Lucien currently had increased in his.

"Just a childhood memory." She said, offering nothing more. She wasn't ready to tell Lucien about that day. She didn't think she'll ever be ready. Lucien nodded then took her up in his arms, trapping her against the glass. "Really, Lucien. It's nothing." Lucien didn't say anything, just kept Nyla wrapped up in her arms. "You're reacting as if I'm in danger." She muttered.

"Have you ever consider I might be the dangerous one?" Nyla felt her heart sturred slightly. Had she? It was true she'd become suspicious of him recently, and suspicion often meant danger. So yes, she had considered him dangerous. But for some reason, it didn't matter to her.

"Even if you are dangerous, I still trust you not to hurt me." She said, whole-heartily believing it. Lucien's eyes flashed with joy and sadness, and Nyla lowered her head, feeling her face flush. "I want to be with you, to be close to you...I can't explain why but I just do." She sighed. "The heart wants what the heart wants." She muttered, knowing Lucien could hear her.

"Love can make you blind...Right now, you still have time to run." He said, and Nyla glanced back up at him. He looked conflicted, and she smiled at him, making him looked suddenly lost.

"Running is not in my nature." She said, before leaning forward and placing a kiss on his cheek. It was soft and brief, but in that moment, it meant so much more than any kiss on the lips could...