"Adam. Adam."


Bob must've been calling his name for awhile now; he looks worried. "Going a little overboard on the ketchup, huh?"

Adam glances down at the burger he's currently drowning. "Oops," he says, scooping up some of the excess ketchup with his hand and spattering it on Bob's hamburger patty. "There you go." He wipes his hand on a paper towel and puts the cap back on the ketchup bottle.

"What's up with you today?" Bob says, putting the top bun on his burger and mashing it down until the ketchup seeps out the sides like jelly on a PB&J. "You were out of it this morning, too. You only got one bagel."

"Oh," Adam says, not really sounding that concerned. He's staring across the room again. Bob follows his gaze and then looks back, grinning gleefully.

"Ohhh," he says. "I get it."

"Get what? There's nothing to get," Adam says quickly, sobering up. "Get what?" He tears his eyes away from the boy across the room, but Bob already caught him ogling with intent to daydream.

"You like Logan," Bob says smugly.

"No I don't! You do! Shut up!" Adam takes a big bite of his burger, partly to stop him from saying more. It doesn't work— he keeps talking with his mouth full. "You have no idea what you're talking about," he continues, muffled and garbled.

"Sure," Bob says, still grinning. "You've got heart eyes, man. You're looking at him like I used to look at Bree."

"I think you're confused, Bob," Adam says, but his face is flushing. He and Logan had always gotten along okay, but lately they'd been clicking like crazy. Logan got back from a mission with Leo and Taylor last night, and Adam had waited up to welcome him back to the island. When they hugged, Adam's heart thrummed like the wings of a hummingbird. "Logan and I are just friends."

Bob smirks and makes kissy faces at Adam. "You should go for it. Maybe he likes you back."

"And maybe he thinks I'm a big stupid idiot," Adam fires back. He says it so easily, like that's all anyone could ever think of him. "Look, Bob, even if I liked Logan, which I don't, Logan would never feel the same way, you understand?"

"What are you guys talking about?" Logan says from behind them. Adam just about jumps out of his skin.

In a moment of perfect cooperation, he and Bob both say, "Cheese," at the same time.

"Oh, cool," Logan says, grinning his big (cute) smile and sliding into the seat between Bob and Adam. "I love cheese. Yellow American is my favorite. But sometimes I throw in a little White American just to shake things up."

"That's very interesting, Logan," Bob says, pretending to be intrigued. "Too bad I have to go to that thing at that place and… leave you two to talk about whatever."

Adam's eyes flash at Bob, wordlessly clamoring for help. Get back here, he mouths frantically behind Logan's head as Bob walks farther away, waving cheekily at him. Get back here, don't leave me alone! Bob shoots him two thumbs up and walks out of the room.

"So what's your favorite kind of cheese?" Logan asks, turning his dazzling eyes in Adam's direction.

Adam's so flustered he momentarily forgets every kind of cheese he's ever consumed. "... Chucky Cheese."

"Isn't that a rat?"

"Is he? I forgot," Adam says, feeling his palms get clammy, feeling his heart rate amp up. This is all upside-down; Chase is the nervous wreck, Leo is the awkward guy. He's supposed to be the cool one, supposed to be strong and chill and together. But apparently that all dissolves when he's face to face with a cute boy. "Speaking of rats, I used to have a big hamster wheel that I could run on whenever I wanted. Kind of like a human lab rat."

"I get that," Logan responds, surprisingly serious. "I mean, not exactly, because of the whole blank slate thing, but I'm pretty sure Krane treated us like lab rats, too. I'm glad we're here now."

"I'm glad you're here, too," Adam says, and then he flushes bright red. "All of you, I mean! I'm glad all the bionic kids are here and not with Krane, not just you, specifically."

"That's thanks to you," Logan points out, putting a hand on Adam's shoulder. Adam's heart soars. "I mean it, Adam. I get to help people now. That's the best gift anyone could have ever given me."

Adam balks. "Yeah, well, it wasn't just me," he says, cheeks getting redder. "Bree and Chase and Leo helped…" But it feels nice, to have all of Logan's attention and gratitude aimed at him. It feels like a cold ice cream cone on a hot, sunny day. It feels like seeing a really cool dog.

Somehow, Adam survives that conversation with Logan. But apparently Bob ratted him out to Logan's teammates. Adam returns to his and Leo's room to find Leo and Taylor lying in wait. "So," Taylor says, her arms folded, "a little birdie told me that you've got a crush."

"You mean like a parrot?" Adam says. "Bob told a parrot about how I like Logan?"

Leo rolls his eyes. "No, Bob told us," he says. "Aaaand you just admitted it right now."

Adam grimaces. "Fine! Fine. Go ahead and laugh."

Taylor and Leo turn to face each other and then turn back to Adam. "We're not laughing," Taylor says sincerely. "We think it's really sweet. You two would be good together. Even a blind girl can see that."

"You just need a push," Leo says, and something in his face looks… devilish.

Adam frowns. "Wait what are you— ?"

"Now!" Leo yells. He and Taylor each grab one of Adam's arms and haul him out of the room. He's got super strength, yet they're able to drag him through the academy against his will.

"Okay, I know Taylor's stronger than me but Leo, how are you doing this?" Adam squawks.

Leo lets go. "Oh, I'm just pretending to help. Taylor's doing all the work."

"As usual," Taylor says. Even if Adam tries, he can't get out of her grip. She wrangles him through the dorms and into the main atrium, where Logan is. "Hi Logan," she says cheerily. "I brought you something." She deposits Adam in front of him and then speeds away.

Logan looks confused. "What's going on?"

Adam sighs, his shoulders slouching inward. "She thinks I like you."

"Oh." Logan blinks. "Why does she think that?"

"Because I told her I like you."

He expects Logan to look disgusted, or uncomfortable. He expects Logan to laugh at him. But Logan doesn't do that. Logan only tilts his head to the side and looks up at him, only steps a little closer and speaks a little quieter. "Well, tell me."


Logan's about half a foot shorter than Adam, so he has to tilt his head up and stand on his toes to meet Adam's eyes. "Tell me you like me."

Adam blushes again, but this time he doesn't feel embarrassed. He doesn't feel stupid. He feels nice, warm. Wanted. "Okay," he admits. "I like you."

"Do you wanna know a secret?" Logan tips his head closer. And kisses him. It's so fast that Adam almost doesn't realize it's happening. But it happens, and it's nice. "I like you, too," Logan says.

Adam smiles.