DISC: I DO NOT own any of the chars from TSWOAM. They belong to Ken Lipman and Nickelodeon.
God loves you!
A/N: I want to thank my best friend and Sister forever, ColeAndPhoebeForever for helping me with the first chapter as well as coming up with the title! Love ya!
"I'll Always Be With You"
Hi. I wanted to let you know I'm home safe and sound. I'm grounded for the next three weeks, but I'm home again. You were right when you said that the only thing I would be able to do is e-mail, my homework and play computer games. Mom and Dad let Ray come over, but that's because he's practically our brother. The room isn't' the same without you here. I really miss you. Thanks for everything. I Promise I'll be careful. And that's the truth. Speaking of the truth, the horse radish is out of my system and I'm back to normal. How's school going? I guess the good thing about me being grounded is when I get off, we're coming to see you and you're coming back with us for the holiday weekend. I can't wait to see you!
Alex shook her head as she tried to figure out what to write next.
She had been talking to Annie on IM for the past two hours before her older sister had to get off in order to study for a test.
She promised she would call her later and the sixteen-year-old was looking forward to the call.
Alex missed Annie already and they hadn't even been apart for seventy-two hours.
As Alex sat there, her mind started floating back to the events that had taken place forty-eight hours ago…
Alex gazed at the approaching airport with a frown on her face. She really didn't' want to say good-bye to Annie, but she knew she had to.
In just a few short hours, she and her parents would be going home without her.
Even though it was going to be nice having the room to herself for the first time ever, Alex was going to miss having her sister there to talk to late at night and even climb into bed with her when she just needed to be close to her.
They had slept together the night before.
Alex had felt safe snuggled next to her older sister. In fact, she hadn't wanted to get up this morning.
If only they could have one more power related adventure together. Then maybe it would make the separation a little easier.
"Al, are you okay?" Annie whispered in concern. She knew her sister was having trouble saying good-bye as much as she was.
"Yeah." Alex said, blinking tears back. "I'm fine."
Rather than call her on the lie, Annie reassured her instead.
"It's okay to be afraid." Annie assured her. "I'm going to miss you too."
Alex couldn't look her sister in the eye. If she did, she knew the tears would come.
"All right, kids. " Mr. Mack said as he parked the car. "All ashore who's goin' ashore."
Annie smiled despite how nervous she felt.
"I guess this is it. " Alex said.
"Not just yet. " Annie reminded her. "I have two hours before I have to get on the plane."
Alex nodded, trying to find comfort in her sister's words.
Knowing the girls needed some time alone, Mr. and Mrs. Mack carried Annie's luggage, allowing their daughters to walk a little ahead of them.
After they checked Annie's luggage in, Annie took the carry on bag in her hand and Alex's hand in the other.
"Why don't we get something to eat." Mrs. Mack suggested. "I know you may not be too hungry, Annie, but you can get some snacks to eat on the plane."
"Sounds good, Mom." Annie replied.
The family of four headed off in search of a restaurant that was close to the boarding area.
Finding a diner a little ways away, the girls sat down while their parents went to see what there was to eat.
"Alex?" Annie pried gently.
"Yeah?" Her sister asked, still not meeting her gaze.
"What's wrong?" She asked.
"Nothing. I'm just tired from the drive." She replied.
"I know you're lying." Annie said. "This is me you're talking to. You never have to hide anything from me. Talk to me, my Al." She said gently.
Just hearing Annie use the special name she had made up for her made Alex fight back tears.
Fortunately, their parents came back at that moment with snacks.
"Here we go." Mrs. Mack said. "Alex, do you want some crackers and dip?"
"Sure, Mom." Alex replied. With that, she took a cracker off the plate in front of her. She lathered it with dip and stuck it in her mouth.
Mr. Mack gave his youngest daughter a confused look as he watched her take another one.
"Alex, I'm surprised you're eating that."
"Why?" Alex asked.
Annie snapped to attention when she heard her father say that.
"Because that dip has horse radish in it. I Thought you said you would never eat horse radish after trying it at Aunt Ashley's Christmas party back when you were ten."
"Horse radish?" Alex asked, starting to choke on her food.
Annie patted her on the back until she stopped coughing.
"Dad, are you sure?" Annie asked just as Alex shivered.
She soon felt dizzy, along with the familiar tingle on her tongue.
"Yeah." He replied. "That's why I love this dip so much."
"Uh, you know what? I'm gonna go to the bathroom and freshen up. Alex, why don't you come with me?" With that, she pulled her sister to her feet and practically dragged her to the bathroom.
Mr. Mack glanced after their children in confusion.
"I wonder what that was all about." He mused aloud.
Mrs. Mack shrugged it off.
"George, Alex is gonna miss Annie. They're really close despite their infrequent fights. I just hope Alex is gonna be okay when Annie leaves. She was pretty quiet on the ride up."
Mr. Mack nodded.
"I'm sure she'll be cccfine."
"I hope you're right." Barbara said as she bit into another cracker.
Meanwhile in the bathroom, Annie was running a paper towel in water.
She ran it over Alex's cheeks which were warm to her touch.
"This is strange." She said as she threw the paper towel away. "You didn't' spike a fever before when you came in contact with the horse radish in Robyn's brownies. How do you feel?" She asked in concern.
Alex was about to answer when she felt the familiar tingle on her tongue. It was quickly followed by a strong feeling of nausea.
"Alex?" Annie repeated.
"I'm gonna be sick," was Alex's reply. With that, she raced into a stall and knelt down in front of the toilet just in time.
Annie was right behind her little sister. She was really worried now.
Alex had never had this type of reaction from horse radish before.
"It's okay." Annie soothed as Alex's stomach rebelled for the second time in five minutes. "It'll be over soon."
Once Alex's stomach had calmed, Annie pulled a water bottle out of her backpack and held it out to Alex.
"Annie, I can't!" She protested somewhat tearfully. "It hurts too much!"
Annie put the water bottle down and pulled her little sister in for a hug.
"Al, it's gonna be okay." She assured her, hoping she was right.
Once Alex had calmed down, Annie tried once again to get her to drink some water.
Alex tried to push her sister's hand away using her powers, but she felt too weak.
Annie was about to scold her, but then thought against it.
"Alex, you have to try. If you don't drink something, you're gonna become dehydrated. That's the last thing we need. I know I've said it before, but you really need to be careful now that I'm leaving."
"Don't' remind me." Alex muttered quietly. But she hadn't been quiet enough.
"Believe me, I wish I didn't have to." She said, slightly annoyed.
Alex turned away as tears threatened to fall.
Annie softened the minute she heard the quiet sob issue from her little sister's mouth.
"Alex…" She said gently. "Come here."
Alex didn't fight as she felt Annie pull her in for a hug.
No words needed to be exchanged between them.
Alex knew Annie was trying to apologize through her actions and she accepted it right away.
"I'm gonna miss you so much," Annie said. Her voice was full of emotion.
"Me too." Alex admitted. "I'm sorry for everything."
Annie was taken aback by her sister's words.
"What are you apologizing for?" She asked.
"What happened with the horse radish, I didn't mean to…" Her voice trailed off as more tears came.
"Alex, that wasn't your fault." Annie said sincerely. "It was an accident." She smiled slightly as a look passed between them.
Planting a kiss on Alex's head, Annie put a hand through her hair as she felt her cling on for the last time for awhile.
"I love you so much." She whispered in her ear. "I always will."
"I love you too." Alex said softly as she tried to calm down.
Annie managed to get Alex to drink some water.
After that, they returned to their parents.
Mrs. Mack looked relieved when she saw Annie and Alex return.
She frowned when she saw Annie guiding Alex towards their table.
"Is everything okay?" She asked once they were seated.
Annie exchanged a look with Alex and mouthed 'let me handle it."
Alex nodded. She closed her eyes and moved closer to Annie for warmth.
"I'm okay." She said honestly.
"And Alex?" Mrs. Mack asked. She gazed directly at her youngest daughter before asking, "Are you okay, honey?"
As Alex felt the familiar tingle on her tongue, she bit it furiously, trying to keep the truth from coming out.
She was far from okay and it wasn't just physical.
Fortunately, Annie saved her yet again. She put her arm around her and drew her close for a hug.
As Alex felt the tears come again, she let them fall and buried her face in Annie's shoulder.
As Annie comforted her through touch, she took over the explanation.
"Alex is having a hard time with me leaving. She's feeling sick too. I think that dip didn't agree with her."
Mrs. Mack frowned. She stood up and came around the side of the table to where the girls were sitting.
Out of reflex and due to her not feeling good, Alex pushed herself further into Annie's hold.
"It's okay." Annie said to both her sister and her mother. She patted Alex's shoulder comfortingly while gazing up at her mother. "Alex will feel better soon. All she needs is rest and some TLC."
Mrs. Mack nodded.
She went to stroke Alex's hair and was surprised when Alex pushed her away.
Mr. Mack saved her by suggesting that they head to the boarding area.
"We don't want Annie to miss her plane." He said. He pulled his wife towards him gently and whispered into her left ear. "Alex will be fine, honey. She'll probably sleep on the way home and we'll take care of her tonight."
"But she's never pushed me away before." His wife said with a worried frown.
"Alex didn't mean it." Mr. Mack said. "You know how she gets when she gets sick. She was always partial to Annie helping her if she could."
Mrs. Mack nodded as she glanced over at her daughters.
"Why don't you girls go on ahead of us and we'll meet you there." Mr. Mack suggested.
"Okay." Annie replied. She stood up, bringing Alex with her.
Pulling away gently, Annie took Alex's hand before wrapping an arm around her and pulling her close once again.
Once they were far enough away, Annie gave Alex a concerned look.
"Did you push Mom away because you thought she was going to separate us?"
"Uh-huh." Alex replied.
"Just checking." Annie said. "Come on." She got a mysterious glint in her eye. "Want to go for a ride? I mean if you're feeling up to it."
Alex thought about it. She was about to say no due to how she was feeling, but then took the chance.
Besides, she didn't' know when she would have this opportunity again.
"Okay." She said.
Annie embraced her, waiting for the familiar tingling sensation to take affect.
Once it did, there was no stopping the two of them.
Even though Annie cautioned Alex to slow down, her sister ignored her warnings.
"Come on, Annie," she said, sounding more cheerful than she had since they had arrived at the airport. "This is your last chance for a while. Live a little."
"While I'm glad you're feeling better, you need to pay attention to where we're going. Wow!"
"Relax." Alex insisted as they zoomed past a woman who had a three-year-old on her lap and a golden retriever next to her.
The golden retriever sniffed curiously at the silvery puddle as it zoomed by.
"That was too close. " Annie said. "Take us back to Mom and Dad, now!"
"Okay! Whatever you say." With that, Alex zoomed back in the opposite direction, nearly missing a few rolling carts as she did so.
"When we came to the airport, I didn't think almost getting crushed by a rolling cart was in the itinerary." Annie said as they zoomed past their unsuspecting parents. "Alex, you missed the turn."
"Sorry! We'll go back. Chill."
"That's easy for you to say. You're used to this."
"You're the one who didn't' want to do this more often." She pointed out.
As she said this, they passed the woman and her child once again.
"Mommy! Mommy!" The little girl cried excitedly.
"What is it, Alyssa?" She asked.
"The puddle's talking!"
The woman smiled at her lovingly.
"Sweetie, that's silly. You know puddles can't talk. You sure have an active imagination."
Alex giggled as she zoomed along the side of a diner they had visited an hour before.
"Okay, you know what?" Annie said, sounding irritated.
"What now?" Alex asked, sounding a little tired.
"This is the last time I go for a ride with you in a public place."
"Spoiled sport. " Alex mumbled.
"I heard that." Annie said.
It was then that she realized they had stopped and were flattened against a shop window directly across from Pizza hut.
"Alex, do you realized we've stopped?" She asked.
"Yeah. Since I'm the one who stopped us."
"The question is why?" Annie asked.
She was about to say 'never mind, when she felt a tingle throughout her body.
"I'm tired and feeling a little dizzy." She admitted.
"Okay. In that case you need to reform us now." Annie insisted out of concern this time.
"We have to get back to Mom and Dad."
As she tried to gather momentum to take them back, she only managed to go five feet from where they had been previously.
"Okay, Alex, reform us now." Annie ordered.
"You really know how to take fun out of stuff." She said as she caught her breath.
"I'm not kidding. Reform us now."
"What would you say if I told you I've been trying to do that for the past two minutes?"
"I'd say you're in a lot of trouble."
"It's not a big deal. We'll reform eventually."
"Are we gonna reform before my plane arrives?" She asked.
Alex felt the tingle once again, even though she wasn't in her Human form.
"I'm not sure." She said. "You might have to miss it due to liquefying circumstances."
Annie laughed, despite herself.
"Look on the bright side of this." Alex continued.
"What bright side?"
"We can have a few more days to spend together."
Annie softened just a little.
"I know you didn't mean to do this. " She said. "Just focus, concentrate and reform us. That's all you have to do. You've done it before."
"Hey, Annie?" Alex said all of a sudden.
"Ever gone to Massachusetts via pipe airlines?"
"Don't you dare!"
"It would get you there."
"Alex, I mean it."
"Kill joy." Alex mumbled.
"Just reform us, please?" Annie said, hoping Alex would be able to do it this time.
Finally, they reformed a few minutes later.
Annie was about to thank Alex for the ride, but stopped when Alex put a hand to her forehead.
"Alex, what is it?" Annie asked, growing concerned. "Are you okay?"
Even though Annie knew she wasn't, she wanted to make sure Alex told her the truth.
Alex felt the tingle on her tongue. The only problem was, the dizzy feeling was stronger at the moment.
"I feel really….dizzy…Annie, I don't think that ride was such a good idea." She added, trying to catch her breath and ignore the dizziness at the same time.
Annie put her arm around her sister to support her while scanning the area for a place where Alex could rest.
"Come on. Let's find a place to sit down so you can rest."
Finding a seat in the boarding area, Annie let Alex lay her head against her shoulder.
She glanced down at her and noticed she looked exhausted as well as a little pale.
"That ride really took a lot out of you, huh?" She asked more to herself than her sister.
"Yeah." Alex answered truthfully as the dizziness subsided. "But I wouldn't have traded it for anything." She gave Annie a tired smile. "You have to admit, it was fun."
"It was." Annie agreed. "But I would have rather it not zapped you of all your energy." She realized what she had said a minute after she heard Alex let out a little giggle. "No pun intended. Try and sleep." She advised. "I'll wake you up when it's time for me to leave."
Alex didn't have to be told twice. She closed her eyes and tried to obey her sister.
Shaking her head, Annie put a hand through her sister's hair as she watched her struggle to stay awake.
"What am I gonna do with you, my Al?" She asked lovingly. "I'm going to miss you, that's for sure. But I know you'll be okay. I'm so proud of you. I know you'll be fine."
Unbeknownst to Annie, Alex had heard everything she had just said.
Mrs. and Mr. Mack joined them a few minutes later.
"Did Alex fall asleep?" Mrs. Mack asked.
"yeah." Annie replied. "She really wasn't feeling good."
"Poor baby." Mrs. Mack said softly. She patted Alex's shoulder, causing her to stir a little.
"Alex, it's okay." Annie assured her. "You're okay. You're still with me. Go back to sleep."
It didn't take Alex long to return to dreamland. The motion of Annie stroking her hair was enough to lull her back to sleep.
Before long, it was time for Annie to leave. She still had a loving hold on Alex and their parents had gone to take bathroom breaks for the long car ride home.
Annie tried not to start crying as she ran a hand through her little sister's dirty blond hair.
This time it was to wake her up rather than keep her asleep.
"Alex? Al, it's time to wake up now." Annie said softly in her ear.
"Uh…what…" Alex said sleepily.
"I need to go soon." Annie said once she was sure Alex was waking up. "Mom and Dad will be back in a few minutes."
"No…" Alex said sleepily.
"I'm afraid so." Annie said with a sad smile. "You need to wake up."
Alex's hazel eyes opened and she sat up.
"Take it easy. " Annie advised. "Do you feel any better?"
Alex was about to answer when she felt the familiar tingle on her tongue.
"No." She said honestly. "I feel worse."
"Worse?" Annie asked as alarm bells started going off in her head. "What do you mean?"
"My stomach hurts." Alex replied.
"Okay." Annie said calmly. It was imperative that she remain calm. "Do you feel nauseous?"
"Some sprite might help." Annie suggested. "Let me go get you one. I'll be right back." With that, she kissed Alex's head and went to get her the drink.
Alex ended up laying her head against Annie's bag. She closed her eyes once again and tried not to think of water or any other type of liquid. She didn't think her stomach could tolerate it and she just wanted to sleep.
More than that, she wanted Annie to stay at least for a few more days.
As she thought of this, a few tears leaked from her closed eye lids as she fell back to sleep.
The last thing Alex thought of was how much she was going to miss her sister.
When Annie returned, she sat down and opened the can of sprite she had just bought. Sticking a straw inside it, she turned to try and get Alex to drink some.
"All right, my AL, here we go. I Got you some… Alex?" She asked as she looked around the immediate area for her sister.
'Oh great.' Annie thought as she scanned the surrounding area.
It was then that Annie remembered what Alex had told her before she had left.
Getting an idea, Annie slung her bag over her shoulder and ran for the nearest bathroom.
Thinking Alex had felt sick again, Annie pushed open the door. She was going to help her and bring her back to their parents.
"Alex? Are you in here?" She asked.
After a few minutes, she deduced that Alex wasn't there.
Feeling panic surge through her, she prayed her sister was okay.
Trying to think of an excuse to tell her parents, Annie rushed back to the boarding area.
Taking a deep breath, she mentally prepared to face her parents.
"There you are!" Mrs. Mack said in relief. She hugged Annie and kissed her cheek.
"Mom, I'm fine." Annie assured her.
"Isn't Alex with you?" Mr. Mack asked.
"NO." Annie said honestly. "She uh, she felt sick again. She went to the bathroom. We said good-bye already. She should be out in a few minutes."
"Okay." Mrs. Mack said a little uncertainly.
Just then, Annie's flight number was called.
Feeling a rush of emotions, Annie hugged both of her parents.
"I love you, sweetie." Mrs. Mack said, kissing Annie's cheek. "You call us the second you get settled tonight."
"I will." Annie promised.
After hugging her father, Annie gave them a watery smile before walking towards the plane with her bag in hand.
At the last minute, she remembered the sprite she had gotten for Alex.
Quickly, she ran back to her parents and handed the sprite to her mother.
"It's for Alex." She said. "It'll help settle her stomach."
"Thanks, dear." Mrs. Mack said. "Get going now."
"I love you guys." With that, she took a deep breath and headed for the plane.
As she was about to board, a security guard approached her.
After showing him her boarding pass and ticket, he glanced at her bag.
"If it's not too much trouble," he said, "may I see your bag?"
Annie nodded. She wasn't' sure why the security guard wanted to check it, but she had nothing to hide.
After the security guard was done his check, he gave it back to her and allowed her to board.
Sitting on the plane, Annie stared out the window and let the tears fall.
"I love you, Alex." She whispered. "I'm gonna miss you, little sister." She then added with a sigh, "I hope you're all right wherever you are. Please stay safe."
Annie tried to listen to the usual safety tips and announcements the flight attendant was telling them, but it was hard.
Her mind was racing a mile a minute with endless possibilities as to where Alex was.
"Oh Alex, I hope you're okay." Annie whispered as she wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.
Just then, her phone rang.
She was about to pick it up, when they started to take off.
Deciding to check the message later, Annie switched off her phone and tried to get some rest of her own.
As they taxied down the runway, the lights started to flicker on and off.
Annie's eyes flew open in sudden realization as she watched the incident unfold before her.
"Alex…" She said to herself. With that, she started looking around for any sign of her sister.
After peering under the seat and looking around the immediate area, she came to the conclusion that Alex wasn't there.
A kind woman's voice made her jump as she put her seat belt back on.
"Are you looking for something, dear?"
"Yeah. I'm looking for my sister, I mean my cider! My apple cider." Annie amended just in time.
"Well I'm sure the flight attendant can bring you some more."
Satisfied when the woman began to read a magazine, Annie looked out the window and tried to focus on the buildings they were passing rather than her missing little sister. But it was easier said than done…