Chapter 2

Josie sat in the Science Club meeting, staring at the clock. "They're late," she muttered angrily.

"Lucas and Marshall are late? And... where's the part where I'm meant to care?" Vaughn muttered. "It's not like we really had this planned."

"No not really, but I told Corrine about it sent the other two am email and left a message on Marshall's phone," Josie replied.

Corrine moved around in her seat uncomfortably. "This pretty stupid Josie. They're not going to show up."

Josie was close to admitting defeat. "I know that, I guess. But we need to get everything about Vaughn and me out in the open. We're together, I don't want that to stand in the way of our friendships."

"Somehow I don't think anyone will care much but Lucas." Vaughn muttered. "He'll just have to learn to—"

Marshall burst through the door without warning, a frantic look on his face, sweating slightly. He took a deep breath to stop the panting and slumped into a chair. "I'm good, I'm fine, I'll be... Has anyone seen Lucas?" He asked quickly regaining his focus.

Josie started to get up from her seat, but squashed the thought. "He's missing?"

Marshall nodded.

"And this is probably my fault somehow," Vaughn said, slightly hoping Marshall would deny or confirm it.

"No... It's... well it's not your fault, exactly," Marshall began. "It's kind of a combination of your fault," he said pointing to Corrine, then Josie and then Vaughn. "And your fault, and your fault with a dash of my fault."

"I guess I can understand it being partly mine and Vaughn's fault," Josie agreed. "But Corrine's? What did she have to do with any of this?"

Marshall had wanted to avoid this question so much. "Well she, uh, kind of, uh..." He broke of what he was saying and gave her a soft regretful look.

It felt like a dagger through the heart when it all clicked in her mind. It had been Lucas Marshall didn't know how to approach with his feelings. Not her, and she felt stupid for getting her hopes up, and for blaming Marshall for this like she was now. She didn't say anything, but he could tell that she'd figured it out.

"I know how this is partially my fault," she muttered softly.

Josie looked at her concerned. "You okay?"

Corrine nodded, plastering a fake smile to her face.

"How is this your fault?" Vaughn asked. "You didn't do anything wrong."

Marshall swallowed hard. "I did do something wrong actually, I didn't think it was wrong, but apparently it was."

"What did you do?" Josie asked, the concern for Lucas and for Corrine undermining her strong face. "What are you talking about?"

Marshall wanted to tell them. To just blurt it all out, but he couldn't find a way to do it. Every time he answered the question in his mind, it just ended with him being laughed at or making an ass of himself. "I guess the thing I did wrong it was... Uh, Lucas was babbling about time going to fast for him. And when I told him, he was really short with me. And distant."

"Distant?" Vaughn repeated. "Josie was telling me last night on our... date... that he was really short to her. Not in the listening mood. Kinda..."

Josie covered his mouth playfully. "You've explained it enough, Vaughn. Please no more." He glared at her when he she let go. "But he's right."

"I'm going to go out on a limb and guess... this has something to do with the whole strangeness here?" Corrine suggested.

"Do you even need to ask that?" Vaughn replied.

"Either way we should try and find out what happened," Marshall told them trying to get back on the topic at hand.

"First you need to tell us what you did," Vaughn said looking at him directly.

Marshall was still unwilling to answer. But that wasn't a problem for his mind, which sent the words tumbling out. "I kissed him. Hotly. Passionately. Longly. Happily."

"Is longly even a word?" Vaughn asked. Then the words repeated themselves again. "Oh."

Corrine jumped form her seat quickly. "I have to go," she muttered silently before dashing out of the room. Jodie, Vaughn and Marshall sat stunned at Corrine's reaction to this. Well, Josie had known but never expected her to react so badly to something like this.

"I guess now isn't a good time to tell you Corrine likes you, huh, Marshall?" Josie deadpanned.

He didn't answer her.

Vaughn clicked his fingers in front of Marshall's face. "Hey, Hey, come back to us. We need to figure out what to do about Lucas."

"So that's why she was so happy when I was talking about 'moving forward' and telling people how I feel for them," Marshall muttered.

Josie shook her head. "Marshall!" She yelled. "Get with it! You kissed Lucas! Live with it!"

The harshness/loudness of Josie's words were enough to snap Marshall out of his little daze. "This has been a very weird day and a half." He sighed. "It's going to get weirder, sadly."

"We should go over what we know before we go off trying to find him." She looked out the window, wishing Corrine would come back and Lucas would just show up. "Why can't we deal with something easy today. Something we've dealt with before."

Lucas sat in the science lab alone. Very angry that Josie had organized this meeting with everyone and no one had shown up. He couldn't even throw a ball in anger, afraid that it'd come back and hit him in the face. He wasn't all that sad about Marshall not being there after that kiss or how he'd snapped at him the morning before—sorry doesn't make everything okay. And Vaughn after taking Josie from him—not that he'd had her in the first place— or Josie after allowing herself to not go with him. Actually, the only one he really could stand talking to at the moment was Corrine. Until she did something to anger him. And then he had no more friends.

It didn't matter how little he wanted to see them. He had things to say, and didn't like to be made a fool of. How dare they! He was thinking as he pouted some more before he stormed out of the science lab. As he walked away, he thought he saw Corrine, but instantly dispelled the thought. He couldn't believe they would do this to him; it was like a horrible conspiracy to humiliate him.

He walked into his room, slamming the door, and laid on his bed. He was surprised to find that he was fighting tears. He couldn't believe his friends would be so cruel. He was no Safety Monkey.

Corrine was curious as to where the slam had came from and walked towards Lucas and Marshall's room where she thought it had been. She didn't expect the meeting to be finished, but heard someone in the room. Lucas!

Corrine knocked on the door lightly. "It's Corrine, Lucas, are you in there?"

Lucas sat up on the bed and slowly walked over to the door, opening it even slower. "Corrine, what are you doing here?"

"Everyone thinks your missing! They're in the science lab talking about what happened to you." She said gladly.

Lucas raised an eyebrow. "Yeah, right Corrine. Make fun of me, huh? Nice. I'm sure you were in on the kiss as well. Just... go away."

He went to close the door, but her foot stopped it. "I'm lucky that you're not strong. At all."

"Whatever. I don't think we need to talk anymore, go tell them your joke worked. " He snapped.

"There is no joke! I'm not at the meeting because I found out you and Marshall kissed and Marshall want's to be with you!" She hesitated saying anymore. "Not me..."

Lucas suddenly felt bad. Wonder why? "I'm sorry, Corrine."

She smiled slightly. "Stay here. I'll go tell them where you are."

Lucas watched her leave, and resumed his position on the bed—now completely unsure of what had happened. Maybe he hadn't imagined that big flash of light.

Corrine ran into the science lab, interrupting the three's tight discussion. She avoided Marshall's glance and stared Josie straight in the eye.

"I've found Lucas," she announced.

Marshall's face brightened. "Where?"

"In your room," she replied.

"Come again?"

Corrine cocked her head to the side in annoyance. "Well, he's in your room. Kind of angry. He mentioned something about a joke, we were playing on him."

Marshall and Josie got up from their chairs quickly Vaughn was less fast. "Joke? What joke?" Marshall asked.

"I don't know!" She replied. "He wasn't very forthcoming with the knowledge. He mentioned the kiss though."

Marshall moved past Corrine. "What are we waiting for? Let's go see if he's there."

Josie and Vaughn were less willing to go and see if he was okay. Their reasoning being that if he didn't want to come here and talk then why would he want to talk elsewhere? Marshall was adamant they needed to talk about what had happened with him, with Josie and Josie and Vaughn. Corrine agreed with Marshall but also pointed out he didn't really want to see anyone. He'd gone to the science lab and no one was there.

"I don't care." Marshall narrowed his eyes and took the lead. "I'm going to go find out what's wrong. Even if you guys don't come me and him need to talk."

Marshall walked from the room, not very fast, but fast enough to show people not to stand in his way. Josie rolled her eyes and dragged Vaughn along with her. Corrine was the last to leave.

Marshall opened the door to Lucas and his room.

Nothing.

He spun around to face Corrine. "Where is he?"

"There," she said in return, pointing to his bed. "Can't you guys see him?"

Marshall nodded no in reply. Josie squeezed past them into the room.

"Maybe he's hiding," she murmured.

"This is stupid," Vaughn cried. "We're just gonna keep playing cat-and- mouse. He's gonna keep hiding and blame us and keep distancing himself from us." He gestured to Corrine. "Unless Corrine and him are getting some kind of pay back. You know, for Marshall kissing him when Corrine had a thing for him and Lucas having a thing for you?"

Josie placed her hands on her hips when she looked at Vaughn. "Have you ever heard of tact? Subtlety? Thinking about things before you say them?"

"What?"

Corrine didn't let them finish. "Why are you guys doing this? He's sitting right there on his bed wondering who I'm shouting at... because he can't see you either..." She sat down on Marshall's bed defeated.

Vaughn snorted. "Yeah right." He said, adding, "you two are just angry."

Corrine didn't say anything; she stood up from the bed and walked out of the room.

"Crap," Vaughn muttered. He ran after her.

She was gone too.

When Vaughn told the remaining two this had happened he was met with accusing glares and mumbled comments about stupidity. They sat on the chair.

"This all started because of you Vaughn," Marshall said harshly. "If you had of just gone and told him yourself instead of paying me to do it—"

"Then give me back the money," He replied cutting of Marshall.

"Sorry, I don't do... refunds..." He gave a slight shudder at saying the word. Such a dirty, wrong, bad word that he should never have to say or do.

"Alright then don't tell me that this is my fault then," Vaughn snapped before storming out of the room.

Josie rolled her eyes again. "I should go calm him down. I'll keep an eye out for Lucas and Corrine." Josie ran off after Vaughn. Marshall could still hear her 'hey Vaughn!' for a while after she had left.

He slumped onto the bed, annoyed at this entire day. Maybe he should sleep for a while? That might make the madness stop at least until he woke up.

Josie gave up trying to reason with Vaughn after about ten minutes. Slowly, she returned to her room impressed that within one and a half days, the five of them were able to completely undermine all their friendships. She still wasn't even sure how.

She entered the room and walked over to Corrine who was sitting at her desk, writing something. "What are you writing?"

"An Extra credit assignment for English," she replied shortly.

"What is it?"

"A choice of three things," she replied just as shortly as the first answer.

Josie thought to herself, Maybe I should rethink my approach, and dragged the seat from her desk next to Corrine. "Look's like you've done a fair bit. Is it a writing folio piece? Essay? Opinion piece? Help me out here."

"It's a writing folio piece. It's not that good though."

Josie snatched it from under her friend's arms. "I'll be the judge of that." She quickly glanced over it, fairly impressed. "Is it finished?"

"No, this is just the draft," she said taking it back from Josie and continuing to write.

"Is this just a school thing, or is it one of those—" Josie was interrupted by a cough.

She half-turned to see who it was.

Vaughn looked at her sheepishly, a 'sorry' smile on his face. "Who are you talking to?" He asked, sounding concerned for her state of mind.

"Corrine. There's this crazy notion of her being my best friend and roommate, so we communicate at regular intervals." Josie deadpanned.

Vaughn gave her a mock look around the room as if he was searching for something. "I don't see her."

"She's right..." Josie stopped talking, suddenly looking at Corrine who was speechless at Josie's apparent insanity. "I know what to do! It's the distance!"

"What are you talking about?" Vaughn and Corrine said in unison without knowing it.

"Vaughn go get Marshall... actually, you won't be able to see Marshall if I'm right! Just go to the science room." She turned to Corrine. "Corrine, go get Lucas. If you can see Marshall, get him as well. If not just tell me when you get to the lab and I'll go get him. Assuming I can see him."

"What's this all about Josie?" Corrine asked getting up from her seat in a mixture of fear, and willingness to help.

"Just go! I'll explain it all in a minute!" Josie cried excitedly.

Everyone was apparently in the science lab like Josie had requested. She could only guess because not one person in the room could see everyone. Lucas could only see Corrine, Vaughn could only see Josie, Marshall could see Josie and Corrine and vice versa, and it was going to be hard to get everyone back to normal.

"Alright, people who can see me, translate this to the people who can't," she began. "The reason your all invisible is kind of like when Marshall turned invisible. Only different, because you aren't being ignored. But it's similar enough.

"Anyway, since yesterday when I told Vaughn I want to start a relationship, and he told Marshall to tell Lucas, Lucas was being an ass. He had every reason to be. He snapped at Marshall and wasn't much better around me, he was pushing us away. Do you guys follow me?"

Corrine nodded. "Lucas say's he does as well."

"How do we fix this?" Marshall asked. "Does Vaughn have to apologize? Because that would make me happy."

"Well, I'm not the brains of this operation, Marshall," Josie said. "I came up with this, and what was wrong. And... and what happened... and, and, you could all come up with a plan. Why do you leave it me?"

"Because you are the brains of this operation," Marshall told her. "If you tell us all to meet you here, and take control of the situation and find out what was wrong, you are the brains of the operation."

Josie bit her tongue, to stop herself from killing Marshall for bringing that up. Technicalities were so painful when used well.

"Pocket dimensions!" Corrine cried.

Marshall and Josie stared at her.

"Lucas said I should say it that way. And now he's laughing at me," she continued. "Lucas said something about pocket dimensions. They would have been opened by the wormholes energy and the whole distance thing between us... and, no! I'm not saying that Lucas!"

"Saying what?" Marshall wondered out loud.

"We wants me to tell you that it would have been a combination of three large factors and a fourth smaller one. The wormhole, the distance that had been created a scarily fast rate, the things that caused the distance, and the energy/chemical's from the relationship," she hesitated. "And dimensional warping created from interstellar travel..."

"Aliens?" Vaughn asked. "Now, at this time? Can't he ever think of anything else?"

Josie ignored Vaughn. "Somehow I think that parts irrelevant."

"How do we fix it?" Marshall repeated again.

Josie shrugged. And went to say something.

Then Marshall heard Lucas's voice and quieted her. "...I didn't really mean it before. I was just looking for quick fix thing... okay, maybe I did mean it kind of but then you kissed me and I wasn't sure what that meant but then I..." He stopped talking and saw Marshall this time as well as Corrine.

"Oh, hey guys," he muttered casually. "How much did you hear?"

"Enough," Marshall replied enigmatically.

Lucas took his place sitting on a table. "So where's everyone else?"

"Josie is sitting on the bench and I can't see Vaughn," Corrine told him. "How'd you come back."

"Closed the distance," he replied smugly. "I just apologized and meant it. Or something..." He said quickly deflecting the question.

"Right. Okay," She turned to look at Josie. "Marshall can see Lucas now. Vaughn should apologize to me and Marshall."

Josie wasn't sure about that. Vaughn wasn't one to apologize very well. "He can try, don't know how much good it'll do." She tapped Vaughn on the shoulder. "Vaughn apologize to Marshall, Corrine and Lucas now."

"What?"

"Apologize, it'll bring them back."

Vaughn sighed loudly and did his best apology for the three; it wasn't that good but it was enough for them to be able to see him. And enough for them to mostly forgive him. So now, Lucas couldn't see Josie and once he'd finished apologizing, this was over.

"It isn't so much an apology," he told Marshall. "It's more an acceptance of something. I'm not sure what. Also, I think the inter-dimensional warping may have stopped as well. I guess the—"

"No Lucas. Theorize later. Apologize, or accept or what ever."

Lucas grudgingly muttered something loud enough and heartfelt enough to bring him and Josie back into each other's view. She smiled at him, and no one said anything. The five departed, wordlessly.

Corrine returned to her and Josie's room for more homework. She was still slightly disappointed Marshall didn't have any feelings for her, but at the same time relieved that she could continue to focus on school. And after all, there were other boys she'd had her eye one. Without warning she slammed her book down, and turned on her CD player and started singing,

Vaughn and Josie sat in Vaughn's room talking about everything that. And where their relationship was going. They cracked jokes, and continued to talk until Vaughn held her head high and planted a kiss on her lips. It was short but—as the cliché goes—sweet.

"Quite a few days?" Josie quipped as she stared into his eyes.

Marshall and Lucas sat on their respective beds, in silence. The awkwardness was still there, but had decreased in large amounts. Kind of like a waterfall.

"So you accepted it huh?" Marshall prodded.

"The kiss?" Lucas feigned ignorance.

"Yeah, the kiss."

"It was good," he replied. "I didn't think my first kiss would be with you... but..."

"The one with Josie doesn't count?" Marshall asked.

Lucas rolled over to face him. "Not really. It was just for a play, and despite what Vaughn says it was because he was in my body. They just have a natural connection."

That conversation soon died and the silence continued. After about twenty minutes Marshall was the first to speak.

"What do you want to do?" He asked.

Lucas thought about the answer for a while. "I—I have some handcuffs..." He replied casually, a large grin on his face. Marshall sat up thinking Lucas was joking. Lucas's response was a raised eyebrow.

"You're not joking?"

Lucas sat up slightly as well. "Let's find out..."