Author's Note

I do not own The Gifted.

This is a oneshot and was vaguely inspired by Scissor Sisters' Only the Horses and written as a companion piece to the Debt Owed, though there isn't really anything that's not canon compliant, so you don't have to have read that.

X X X

Lauren dreams of a wasteland.

Ash and dust float in the air.

It is grey, featureless.

There is no colour, no sound, as though it has all been sucked out. Above her, the sky is a vast expanse of grey, and her hair whips noiselessly around her face.

She's missing something, she knows that, but she's not sure what.

X X X

"I think we've lost them," he said, looking at the forest around them.

She wet her lips and shifted her weight from foot to foot, rubbing at her injured shoulder. "I think we're lost."

X X X

Everyone's favourite punching bag, that's him, but at night Andy dreams of fire that would devour his tormentors and a force that could tear them apart.

Sometimes he wonders how many don't see it and how many choose not to see it.

His dad works such long hours that they only had the rare days together to go bowling, go to the museum, the park, and when he did he didn't see it.

His mom is there more, home more, but she doesn't want to see it.

Lauren could be either, although she hasn't seemed so enthusiastic with her friends lately.

X X X

They tumbled down the embankment in a tangle of limbs, crashing had into the concrete bottom, but they had to get up, to keep going, keep running. Gunshots rang out behind them, bullets flying through the air to be stopped as barriers formed between them and their targets.

They were going to die, they were sure of it, their infamous family line wiped out with them, destroyed by these mutts with guns

X X X

Lauren dreams of a ruined city.

White dust and black ash float in the air.

It is grey, crumbling, the buildings like jagged monsters that jut from the shadows.

There is no sound, and the only colours are greys and blacks, like they have been painted on. Above her, the sky is a vast expanse of black storm clouds, and the ground crunches noiselessly beneath her feet.

There is something she needed to find, she knows that, but she isn't sure what.

X X X

They existed.

X X X

It is his fourteenth birthday.

He comes home with dirt on his face, a birthday present.

His mom made him a cake.

His dad bought him a new jacket.

Lauren gives him a sketchbook and pencils. She looks tired.

He smiles and pretended to be happy.

At night he dreams of an earthquake that rips the school apart along with everyone inside.

X X X

She knew what they did wrong.

X X X

Lauren dreams of a battlefield.

Hot white dust and burning black ash fly through the air.

There are bullets in the air and chunks being blown out of the buildings.

It is chrome shaded, the buildings black and the blood of the injured blacker, and silent despite the devastation. Above her, the sky is a vast expanse of shadows and the ground cracks beneath her feet.

There is something she is looking for, she knows that, but she isn't sure what.

X X X

He roared, throwing the soldiers away like ragdolls. How dare they threaten them? What did they do wrong?

X X X

He spends his free time at school trying to find somewhere quiet and hidden and his free time at home trying to find a way to connect with his family.

The only person there often is Lauren.

He was sure she used to spend more time with her friends, but these days she likes to shut herself up too, closing herself in her room.

Sometimes he hears crashes and bangs coming from in there, like she's breaking plates or something.

He never asks if she's okay.

X X X

There was nowhere left to run.

X X X

Lauren dreams. She knows she has to reach something, but she isn't sure what it is.

X X X

They ran, but there were soldiers everywhere, closing in around them. Bullets flew through the air, only to be stopped by impenetrable shields.

X X X

Andy feels alone.

X X X

They fled the crumbling apartment block as it collapsed, falling in on itself like a house of cards.

"What now?" she asked. He reached for her hand, stopped.

"Come on, this way."

X X X

Lauren dreams of a golden glow amongst all the black shadows and grey light.

It feels… familiar.

It feels… loving.

It feels… magnetic.

Lauren begins to run towards the glow.

Above her, the sky is a vast expanse of brilliant amber.

X X X

She's nearing two when her brother is born.

They bond.

She's his favourite person in all the world.

He's hers.

They understand each other, even with their clumsy grasp of language.

Their dad thinks sometimes some of the attempted words sound German.

He takes his first steps towards her, clumsy on the rug.

His first word is momma.

His second is Lolen.

"It's like they knew each other the moment they were born," their mom says.

"Perhaps they're old souls. They could have known each other before," says their grandmother.

Their mom scoffs and waves her off.

When an older boy knocks him over at the playpark, she pushes him over as he cries.

They play police and mutants in the garden.

She's always the police.

They get older.

They get more distant.

They forget.

X X X

It's been ages since they spent time together, but there's no one else even close to their age at the cookout. The other kids are literal children.

So he shows off his board skills, and she laughs in all the right places with that newly often distantness behind her eyes.

He helps her onto the board.

She falls.

He catches her.

X X X

The power flowed through them, bright and exhilarating. None of this mattered anymore. They were two become one, power and creation and destruction made incarnate.

X X X

Lauren dreams of going to the theatre.

Glitter and feathers float in the air.

The building is wide and beautiful and the actors play on stage.

It's all too bright and too loud, an endless symphony of colour and noise.

She's not missing anything anymore, because there's a hand in hers and the golden glow is within her.

X X X

"You sure that's them? They're just kids."

"They're mutants. They're not kids, they're not even human."

He reached for his sister's hand, pulling her tight behind him as though that might at least protect her from some of the bullets.

X X X

He talks to Lauren.

She's suffering too, in a different kind of way.

They never say the word mutant, but they never don't say it either.

She needs him.

Someone needs him.

He's not alone anymore.

X X X

The door was kicked open, snapping the chain. They stared down the barrels of the guns.

X X X

Lauren dreams of power.

Golden light fills the air.

Her blood sings.

His hand is strong in hers.

They reduce their enemies to dust.

X X X

A pounding came on the door. They both jumped.

"Open up! Now!"

They exchanged looks. He moved towards the door and she stood to follow, trailing behind him.

"Open up or we'll break this door down!"

He unhooked the latch.

X X X

Thomson and his friends corner him as he starts to slowly make his way home, not wanting to be seen waiting for Lauren, but also not wanting to not wait for her either.

They drag him beween two parked cars and shove him on the ground, pulling his rucksack from his back. Thomson taunts him, asking him why he doesn't fight back.

Why doesn't he fight back?"

Because he sees Lauren, laughing and walking with her friends.

She sees him.

So why doesn't she do anything?

All the windows of the two cars explode outwards, pelting his tormentors with glass.

None of it touches him.

Lauren runs over, crying his name and asking if he's alright.

He lets her help him up and tells her that he's fine.

Thomson mutters something about needing his sister to save him.

That night Andy dreams of running through trees with Lauren and turning into a pair of giant gold wolves that crush their enemies beneath their paws.

X X X

Andrea stuck her needle through her current sewing project. "When do you think dad's coming home?"

Andreas shrugged as he adjusted the dial on the radio, which was still only giving off white noise. "I'm sure he'll come soon."

There were footsteps on the stairs.