Philip gets the messenger at 0630. The kid looked the same as all the others, prepubescent, pale, and unnaturally stiff from the messages presence. The echoing voice had rung through Philips head as soon as he opened the door, rubbing his palm across his eyes.
"Traveler 3326, you have a new mission. Call in your team and await further details."
The child suddenly slumped again, looking confused and frankly, a bit scared. they took a quick look around and started to back away from Philip who crossed his arms and leaned in the doorway. A few moments later, they had disappeared down the street and out of sight.
"Good morning to you too," Philip muttered, turning away and shutting the door behind him. He stifled a yawn as he made his way towards the computers, and tapped to activate his coms. "Wakey-wakey sleepyheads, we've got a mission."
Without waiting for a response he dropped into his chair and rolled it towards the tank where Poppy resided. He did a quick scan of it, deciding she had enough food and water to last the day, before he dropped his hand into the glass tank and ran his hand over her back. He quickly deactivated the mic on his coms before murmuring to the tortoise. "Morning Poppy."
As he pulled his hand away, Philip's coms crackled slightly before Carly's tired voice came through. "Copy that. I'll meet you at HQ in 30."
Without bothering to respond, he moved away towards his room, ignoring the disheveled state it was in, and grabbed a (vaguely) clean shirt off the floor to replace the one he wore at the moment. He winced as he pulled it on, the muscles in his side still slightly sore from being shot. As though she knew where his thoughts were, Marcy's quiet voice was heard in his ear. "Copy, I'm on my way."
After a few moments waiting for the others to contact him, Philip pulled out his phone. As he did so, he caught a glimpse of his host's face - his face - reflected in the dark screen. He looked like a mess. Fitting for his host, Philip supposed. He shook his head and turned on the phone, quickly unlocking it to dial MacLaren; he had the number memorized from the moment he saw it. He had everything memorized.
"We have a mission, meet up at HQ."
"Goddamn it, now?" MacLaren's voice clearly conveyed his exhaustion, something that Philip easily related to.
"Yeah, unfortunately." As he spoke, Philip left his room, picking up the door remote and spinning it in his fingers.
"Okay, I'll be right there." There was a click as the call ended, and Philip lowered the phone, hesitating before he called Trevor. The guy had missed so much school that he probably couldn't afford another day off. With a sigh, Philip dialed the number.
"Hello?" The voice that came over the phone was still thick with sleep, but it was obviously not Trevor's. "Who is this?"
"I could ask you the same thing," Philip said, dryly. "Where's Trevor? Why are you answering his phone?"
"I'm his girlfriend," the voice said promptly.
"Congrats, pass him the phone," he said, buzzing open the door as Carly walked up to it, clearly visible on the screen he had set up for that reason. He gave her a wave of acknowledgement as she entered.
"Why should I? What is so important that you had to call so earl-" Philip didn't bother letting her finish, hanging up the phone instead. He ran a hand through his hair as Carly shot him a questioning look.
"Trevor's girlfriend. He's not answering his coms, so I assume someone's going to have to go drag him out of bed." Her brow furrowed as she leaned against the van opposite him.
"I'll go, someone has to stay here and let everyone in." She shot him another look as he laughed at her statement and stood. "What?"
"Maybe it's just me, but I don't think his girlfriend is the type to be happy if another girl goes to pick him up," Philip said, tossing the door remote to her and making his way towards the van. Carly's face changed as she understood his reasoning and she nodded, standing up straight. "I'll get him, tell anyone else who shows up where I'm at."
With that, he slid into the front seat, and started the engine.
The drive to Trevor's house was short and quiet, the streets being fairly empty so early in the morning. Only a few people were waiting for the bus, or biking towards their work as Philip pulled up in front and hopped out. He tapped on the coms in a last attempt for Trevor to answer. "Trev? You there man?"
He sighed and turned off his mic, before striding through the gate and up the stairs to the front door. Quickly, he peered through the windows, and after seeing no signs of anyone, rapped his knuckles on the door. Philip turned to look at the neighboring houses, running a hand through his hair as he waited for a response. After a minute of nothing, he knocked again, louder. This time, as he waited, he noticed a small button by the side of the door, presumably the door bell. "I hope this is loud and annoying, because I really don't want to break into your house man."
He pressed the button, and could hear a loud bell go off inside the house. Stepping back, Philip ran a hand through his hair with a self satisfied grin as he could hear footsteps coming down the stairs. The door swung open, revealing an obviously half awake Trevor in sweatpants, followed by an annoyed teenage girl wrapped in a sheet.
"Good morning, sleeping beauty," Philip teased, as Trevor blinked in surprise at seeing him.
"What are you doing here?" The other boy ran a hand over his eyes, before squinting at his watch. "Jesus, it's early."
"Your girlfriend decided to answer your phone so I figured that I was the only way to get you a message," Philip said, scratching his ear by his com with a look at Trevor. As he did so, the other boy's face revealed his understanding.
"Oh, crap," Trevor said, turning and looking at the girl behind him who was watching this with a furrowed brow and crossed arms, before turning back to Philip.
"Uh, I'll just - I'll go get dressed."
The girl opened her mouth to call after him. "What do you mean? Who is this? Trev?"
"Nice to meet you, I'm Philip." They both watched as Trevor dashed up stairs, before the girl turned to look at him. He had been leaning in the door way, and didn't bother to turn away from the direction Trevor had gone as she began to speak.
"I don't care what your name is, how do you know Trevor? It's not like your his friend, I'd know if that was the case," she said harshly. "Hello? Look at me!"
Philip finally turned and made eye contact with her. He sighed, as he tried to stall for time so that he wouldn't have to make up a cover story. "What are you doing here anyways? Don't his parents care?"
"They aren't home. Besides, you haven't answered me," The girl snapped, her face red. At this point, Philip had enough of the situation and pushed through the door past her and into the house where he'd seen Trevor disappear. As he walked past a table, he paused, noticing a small ring on it. He picked it up and examined it before turning the girl and holding it out. "This yours?"
"Yes. Trev gave it to me." Philip made a face as he dropped it back on the table. "What?"
"Nothing, just... the diamond in that? It's fake," Philip said, turning to hide his grin at the outraged noise she made. He took the stars two at a time, bumping into a fully clothed Trevor at the top, and almost falling back down them if not for the other boy's quick reaction time in grabbing his hips.
"Ready to go," Trevor said releasing the blonde and moving past him, as he ran a hand through his hair. With a shrug, Philip hurried after him.
"Trev? What are you doing? Are you cheating on me or something?" The girl's shriek stopped them both in their tracks as they remember she was still there.
"What- I have no idea where you'd- oh." Trevor paused as something occurred to him. "Oh. I'll explain everything later, I promise."
With that he pulled Philip out the door with a wave and made their way back to HQ.
The drive to HQ seemed longer than before, maybe because Philip didn't have anything to occupy his hands with except an old receipt he'd found on the floor of the van. Trevor was driving, fingers tapping on the steering wheel as he thought.
"So, what story are you gonna go with?" Philip's voice sounded strange after nothing but the noises of the car for so long, and he cleared his throat after speaking as though to make sure it was still working.
"Hm?" Trevor snapped out of his meditative state as he glanced at the blonde man in the passenger's seat. "I wan't sure yet. She thinks I'm cheating on her, so I probably won't deny it and let her imagination do the rest."
"That works I guess," Philip said, tucking his hair behind his ear. "What happens when she asks who it was with?"
"Why would she do that?" Trevor asked distractedly, leaning forward to look both ways as he made a turn onto a side street.
"Dunno, but it's what they do. She'll say she deserves to know, or something," said Philip as he propped his elbow against the windowsill and put his fingertips to his temple. "Maybe it's for revenge."
"I'll let her throw out a name or two then pick a random one," Trevor said pulling up to the warehouse, and stopping the car before turning to look at Philip. "The only problem with that is she'll probably tell whoever I pick, who'll deny it."
"Just say someone she doesn't know, or has only met once," Philip said with a shrug, opening his door jumping down to head inside. "That way only you can be to blame." He closed the door and made his way inside.
Trevor watched him, before running his hand across his eyes and pinching the bridge of his nose. "Shit."
By the time they had finished their mission, school was long over, and Trevor had a multitude of voicemails and texts on his phone, all from the same person. The most recent said that she was waiting for him to come home, and then they would talk.
Philip walked out of the bathroom where he had obviously just showered, or at least washed his hair. It was still dripping in some places, leaving spots of water on his already dark shirt. "Hey, what are you still doing here? Everyone's already gone home."
Trevor looked towards his voice. He had previously been lying on Philip's bed, knees up, staring at the ceiling with his phone still buzzing on his chest every few minutes. "Yeah, sorry 'bout that."
"It's fine. Girlfriend?" Philip gestured towards the phone on Trevor's chest as he spoke. He sat on the end of the bed, pushing Trevor's knees out of the way. "She's pretty determined."
"Unfortunately," Trevor agreed. His brow furrowed, before he sat up and stared at Philip. "Let me use you as my cover."
"What?" Philip's mouth dropped open in confusion as Trevor spoke. His eyebrows furrowed. "Why?"
"Just think about it. It's perfect!" Trevor's expression cleared as he leaped off the bed, gesturing wildly. "The age difference isn't too bad, and she's met you once, so she knows that I know you, but she doesn't know you so she can't fight you or anything -"
"Trevor, stop." Philip held up a hand. "You've got to remember, this is the 21st. People are still kind of assholes about two guys dating. And she'll probably spread it around school."
"So what? It's my last year after all," Trevor said, finally making eye contact again. "Come on, please."
"Fuck it," Philip said with a sigh, shaking his head. He couldn't help but grin as Trevor whooped. "You owe me though. Big time."
"Anything." Trevor promised with a grin.