A/N: This is my first attempt at writing something that's I AM NUMBER FOUR, so go easy on me. I've only seen the movie, so I don't know every little detail about everything and how their supposed to be. But, that's the great thing about fanfiction, nothing has to exactly right, and you can change things. I hope you enjoy this long one-shot :)
It's been five months since John, Sam, and I left Ohio in our rear-view mirrors. We've slowly been tracking down the other Numbers, finding Five in Chicago, and Seven in Kansas City, but my concentration was elsewhere. Ever since I had seen that green-eyed blonde girl, I've not been able to get her out of my head. John's noticed my distraction, but hasn't said anything to me about it yet, but I suspect he will soon.
I felt guilty. For one, thinking of something other than finding our fellow Numbers. And two, for thinking about John's girl. I knew I shouldn't be, but there was just...something about her that made my stomach feel like it was filled with butterflies. When I first laid eyes on her, I was taken back at her beauty. She was the most beautiful creature I had ever encountered, and I was immediately smitten with her, but I didn't let it show on the outside.
Though, just because I hardly ever show emotion, doesn't mean I don't feel things. When my Protector died, I cried my eyes out for days. But this world, with everything going on now, I had to harden myself, show no weakness. It was a mask of sorts, which grew harder over the time that I was fending for myself. I never let myself get close to anyone after my Protector, which was pretty easy, since I had never been a social butterfly anyway.
I come off cold to most people, and usually that's enough to get them to stay away. If not that, then my harsh sarcasm will do the trick, though Sarah laughed at many things I said, instead of being turned off by it. What I would do anything to hear her sweet laughter now, and that smile that comes along with it. The need to see her again was my driving force, and what has kept me going this long, even if I didn't understand why she was in my head all the time, it was a great motivator when I really needed it.
I wondered often if she ever thought about me, or were all her thoughts about John? She had only been around me about seven hours, so my guess was no. I knew John missed her too, but he was our leader, and I knew he couldn't think of her much, he had too much to worry about. Keeping all of us safe, sheltered, fed, and our hopes high. He was more than determined to find the rest of the Numbers, and he wasn't going to let anything get in his way.
We haven't run into any more of the Mogadorians since Chicago, where we torn up part of it's town collage campus, fighting them off, much like we did with Paradise High School. There was no other way around it though, we had to fight to survive, and we had to kill all the Mogadorians before we knew we were completely safe. We had no idea how many of them there really were out there looking for us, but I assumed quite a few. It would probably take years to hunt them all down.
They were hard to beat, considering they had guns like mine that were more lethal, and could take us down. But now, with all our four of our legacy powers combined, and John's shape-shifting dog, we were a great team, and we could defeat them fairly quickly. They always seemed to attack at night, which was a good idea. Less humans would be around to see, or get in the way. However, I did feel bad about messing up a place, and leaving others to clean up our mess.
Sometimes we burn down the places we stay, if it's an abandoned house, or just somewhere where there aren't many people around. I'm not sure if it helps mask our scent, or just makes it easier to track us, but we were willing to try almost anything. In the time that we were traveling, we would train in fighting, and controlling our legacies. John practice moving around larger objects, while I, knowing my gifts inside and out by now, taught combat fighting.
They were getting better and better every day, and I started to sit out more, watching them go at it. Well, looking like I was watching them, but as you already know, that wasn't really what I was focusing on. I was actually going through every second I spent with Sarah, and even though most my memories were during turmoil, I still was thankful for every second of memory I have of her. It tugged at my heart, knowing that I wouldn't see her for a quite a while, but I would get through it, I had to.
"Six?" John said as he sat next to me on the log, watching the others fight on the other side of the fire. "What's going on with you?"
"Nothing." I answered quickly, which wasn't too convincing.
"I've known you how many months now? I know when something is on your mind. Heck, you've been more distant than usual since we left Ohio."
"We all have a lot going on inside, John."
"Yours seems to be troubling you the most, though. You're distracted half the time, off in your own world..." He trailed off, still wanting an answer I couldn't give to him.
"I'm a loner, John, always have been. I'm not used to socializing."
That was the only excuse I could come up with, and he must have believed it, because he dropped the subject, and we haven't talked about it since. That was a two weeks ago, in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where we stopped on our way to Flagstaff, Arizona. Number Eight would be around here somewhere, we could feel it. We just had to find him or her. Setting up our camp in some nearby woods, just outside of Flagstaff, we pitched our tents that we stole not that long after we left Ohio.
I set up a little farther from everyone else, like usual, wanting my privacy to think, and look up at the stars, wondering if Sarah was too. And if not, wanting to know what she was doing instead. Probably taking pictures, or adding to her scrapbook she kept for herself, that John told me about. I was not one for photos, for many reasons, but I had let her take one of me right before we left. I was leaning against my bike, waiting for everyone to say their goodbyes, when I heard a click to my right.
Looking over, I saw Sarah, lowering her camera, and blushing slightly. I just nodded, looking her in the eye, silently telling her it was okay, and she smiled at me, as a thank you. Never will I forget that moment, and I hope she won't either, now that it's been captured in a form that will last a longer than we will. I just wished I had a photo of her to carry with me. To look at when I needed guidance, or just to look at when I missed her, to memorize her face and burn it into my brain.
I longed for her to take more photos of me one day, when it was safe to. When we didn't have to worry about Mogadorians and their plot to kill all of us Numbers. When I could just be me, Six. Or maybe I could get myself a new name...one that fits me better, and one that people wouldn't question. Right now, that was all just a really nice dream, but I wanted it, so badly. Never, have I wanted something so much in my entire life.
I sighed, getting up and crawling into my tent for the night, needing rest since we were to start our search in the morning. I laid down, still fully clothed with my shoes on, just in case, and rested my head on my small pillow, which hide a knife underneath. Tugging my blankets close to me, and I let my heavy eyelids shut, letting much needed sleep envelop me.
I was woken up by Sam, softly kicking my boot, alerting me that it was time to get up and get ready. I groaned to myself as I stretched my muscles, before grabbed my last clean pair of clothes and my backpack, heading outside. We had purposefully set up camp near a river, so we could not only drink it, but bathe in it, washing the dirt and grime of the last several days, off of us. We had grow accustomed to seeing each other at our most vulnerable, so it wasn't a big deal seeing each one another naked.
But, since I was the only girl so far, I tended to bathe the quickest, meaning I was always ready to go by the time the boys finished. This time they had let me sleep in, knowing how tired I had been, and I was happy to have the river all to myself. I savored the feel of the cool, clean water washing away the filth, and being able to see my naturally tan skin again. Though I missed having soap and shampoo, this was much better than nothing.
I rung my hair out and stepped out into the sun and sat down on a rock that looked semi-clean, letting my skin dry before I wrapped my hair into a pony tail and dressed in my clean clothes. I washed my dirty pairs and tied them to a tree next to everyone else's, to let the wind dry them while we were gone, and walked back to camp feeling refreshed. John was already on my computer, searching away, trying to find anything that would point us in the right direction to go. While Five was lighting our portable burner, to make coffee.
By the time I had finished my cup, John had gotten a hit, and started planning our route. The town of Camp Verde, Arizona was just an hour away from where we currently were, and recently strange things have been happening there. Fires that kept involving one particular girl, who after reading a few articles, John was convinced she was Number Eight. After I read the stories for myself, I had to agree with him.
Once everyone was ready, we made sure out tents were secure, and that we put all our personal stuff in the backpacks we took with us, just in case someone happened upon our site. John handed me back my laptop and I stuffed it in my black bag, then slinging it over my shoulder, straddled my red bike, as the others piled into John's new, used car that he traded his old truck in for, so all of them could fit in one vehicle.
We pulled out of the forest an onto I-40, and rode that for a few minutes before turning left on I-17, heading South. Stopping at a gas station about a fourth of the way there, I waved for the others to keep going. I quickly filled up my tank, and sped out of there, without drawing too much attention, catching up to the boys within five minutes, and passing them again to lead. Once we made it into the town, I stayed on S. Main Stree and looked around to see if there were any small coffe shops that we could stop at and do more research on this girl.
Within a few seconds I saw a sign for the Verde Cafe, and I glance back at the boys and gestured with my head that that was where I wanted to stop. I didn't wait for a response, I just flipped on my turn signal and and turned into the parking lot, making a small screeching sound as I did. I pulled into a spot on the side of the building that was shaded by the building, and cut the engine. Shoving my keys into my pocket, I hopped off my bike and strode into the quaint, little, cafe and waited for the boys.
I inhaled deeply, closing my eyes, enjoying the lovely smell of their coffee, which I was sure, tasted much better than the cheap instant kind that Seven stole. A waitress was at my side as soon as I sat down, asking me if there was anything she could get me. I declined, wishing we had the money to have a nice, hardy breakfast, just for one day. Once she left, the boys filed in, Sam sitting next to me on my side of the booth, John and Five taking up the other side, and Seven, dragging a chair over to sit at the end.
I unpacked my laptop, and booted it up, only having to wait a few minutes now that we were in a place that had amazing WiFi. Immediately I went back to Google, and typed in the name we had seen in the articles. To my surprise, there were quite a few Becca Donovans out in the world. One was an author, another a TV reporter, and another a famous animal rights activist. The list went on, and I finally decided to have Sam work his hacking magic, and get her information from the local police station itself.
Within twenty minutes, he had her address, and we were out of there, ready to find Number Eight. I followed the boys this time, Sam having the computer open, telling John where to turn. I followed them to just until we were close by the Verde River, and right across from Sunnyside Park. It looked like a nice enough neighborhood, but from where I was, I could see some of the treeline down the street was burned. I knew we were in the right place then.
I parked about a block away from the house, and John pulling up a bit closer. I got off my bike and went over to John's window, leaning against the door as he rolled down his window. We observed that there was barely anyone around, even though it was a school day, and most people had to work, it seemed oddly quiet. I volunteered to go search the house, to find more clues to see if this was actually Number Eight we had found, and not just some girl who liked to set fires to get attention.
John agreed, and the boys stayed in the car, while I walked up to the front of the house and knocked, waiting to see if anyone was home before I entered. I knocked and rang the doorbell a few more times, just to be sure, then I nodded to John, and went around the side of the house. There were no assessable entry points, so I just decided to use my power. I went around the back of the house, the woods covering me from anyone who might see, and zipped through the wall, making it into a dark hallway.
I climbed some nearby stairs, taking me to the second floor, where it was much lighter, due to two windows at each end of the hall. I chose to go to the left first, finding a bathroom first, then opening a door to what was the master bedroom. It was plain, not furnished except for a plain bed, and had some boxes in the corner. Finding nothing of interesting, I made my way down the other end of the hall, coming to another door. This time when I opened it, it was easy to tell this room belonged to a teenager.
Though there wasn't much in the room, there was a hairbrush with brown hairs stuck in the bristles, sitting on the nightstand. The bed was made, and a nauseatingly pink pillow was sitting on top of the blankets. I started looking around for other clues, going through the drawers of the desk that sat in the corner, raiding the dresser with only a few pairs of clothes tucked in, and the nightstand, that only held a sketchbook.
Curious, I pulled it out and opened it, finding our planet's symbol, drawn over and over again on just one page. Now I was sure I was in the right place. Quickly texting John what I found, then I looked through the rest of the sketchbook, finding portraits of, what seemed to be, random people. A girl playing in a sandbox, a older man sitting on a bench, a few guys playing basketball. Then I ran into one that was the most detailed, and I could only guess if it was her real mother, or her Protector that she drew.
I hadn't seen the face before, but something in me gave me the feeling of familiarity. The same feeling both John and I got when we found Five and Seven. I guessed from the feeling, that it was a self portrait, noticing that the color of the hair on the paper, matched the color of hair that was in the hairbrush. This was Number Eight, now we just had to wait for her and her Protector, if she was still alive, to return.
We figured that Becca wouldn't be back until about three o'clock, so we traveled to the next town over and got ourselves some lunch. I ordered myself a cheeseburger and curly fries, and so did the boys. That filled us up and we were quite happy, until it was time to leave. We had no money, so we had been dine and dashing when Henri's money ran out. We had this all planned out by now, Sam and I would leave first, me, getting on my bike and waiting for them around a corner, and Sam waiting in the already running car.
Then Five and Seven would come out, leaving John, to sneak out last when the waitresses were busy and not paying attention. We always got away, but we still felt guilty about not paying, but hey, we had to eat. I was relieved when I heard the car pull up behind me, and we headed back to Camp Verde, walking around Main Street, going into the shops to pass time. It seemed like forever had gone by when it was finally three, so we headed back to Becca's house, parking down the street again.
We didn't have to wait long before a school bus came along and dropped a brunette girl off at the house. Waiting until the bus was out of site again, John and I approached the house with caution. If she had seen us waiting, and now coming up to her door, who knows what would happen if she freaked out and tried to protect herself. She could blow us all up for all we knew. I kept cool though, knocking on the door, waiting for a reply. When there was no answer, I knocked again, this time a tad bit louder, and I heard a creak of a floorboard on the other side of the door.
"Who's there?" She asked, her voice shaky.
John and I looked at each other, shrugging. We've done this twice before and we still did know the right way to go about it. "We're friends." I replied.
"Funny, I've never seen you before."
I sighed, wanting to get to the chase already. "You don't have to fear us, we're from Lorien." I said in a lower voice.
There was silence on the the end for a minute, my guess is she was debating on whether I was telling the truth or not.
"Prove it." She finally responded.
John and I looked at each other again, this time, we knew what to do. We pulled our necklaces out from under out shirts and held them up, so she could see them through the peephole. Another minute went by, then the wooden door opened slowly, revealing a pretty young girl with pale skin, clutching her own necklace in one hand.
"Where's your Protector?" I asked.
"At work. Where are yours?"
"Dead. We've come to warn you about some bad people that are trying to track us down and kill us."
She nodded, opening the door a little more. "My Protector said something about that, but she never told me anything in detail..." She trailed off.
"Let us in and we'll explain, we mean no harm to you, we just want to help." John said with a sincere look on his face.
She bit her lip, still somewhat cautious of us. "How do I know I can trust you?"
Simple. "Because if we were the bad guys, we'd be attacking you already." I said bluntly.
Her eyes shifted nervously, seeming to not really know what to do for a minute, then muttered an 'okay', and opened the door all the way.
"When is your Protector coming back?" I asked, stepping inside the home, while John motioned for the others to stay where they were.
"Should be here within five minutes. She got a job at the school so she could be near me in case something were to happen." She explained, then looked to where John's attention was. "Who are they?"
John looked backed to her. "Their like us. Well, two are, one's a friend. I'm sorry, I'm John, but I'm also known and Number Four. And this is-"
"Number Six. Five and Seven are in the car with our friend Sam." I interrupted him, trying to explain further, to make her feel more comfortable.
"They'll stay out there if you don't feel safe with all of us coming into your space." John finished.
"When my Protector gets here, then she can decide. Until then, um, sit if you like..."
We sat in silence for a few minutes, Becca rubbing her sweaty palms on her jeans nervously, while I sat back comfortably in the recliner, and John sitting up straight in a wooden rocking chair, fiddling with his necklace. I let my thoughts drift to Sarah for the first time today, wondering how school was going for her. And what kinds of pictures she has taken today alone. Has she thought about colleges yet?
When I heard the front door open, I was annoyed that my thoughts were interrupted, but also relieved that we didn't have to sit in awkward silence anymore. That is, until the woman came in the living room with a laser gun pointed at us. It took Becca a few minutes to talk her Protector out of wanting to shoot us, but I assisted, showing her our necklaces, and our scares, to prove to the blonde woman we are who we said we were.
"How did you find us?" Her Protector, by the name of Emma, said.
"Well, we have somewhat of a tracking device built in, so we knew you were in Arizona, but we searched the internet for recent, unusual happenings, and we came across a few articles about fires." I replied.
"Ah, yes. I got the photos off the sites, but the articles remained. We were planning on moving sometime this week."
"The good news is that we found you," I started. "the bad news...is that if we found you so easily, than the Mogadorians might too, if not already. That's why we need to move ASAP."
"Six is right. We have a camp site all set up about an hour away from here. Come back with us and you should be safe, and we leave tomorrow morning, heading West, like we have been." John said.
"Why don't you just go get your stuff and bring it back here to spend the night? Then we can just take off from here, and you won't have to sleep on the ground." Emma suggested.
John bit his lip, thinking it over. "Okay. All of us don't need to go though. Six, " He turned to me. "I'll send Sam in, and you stay here with Emma and Eight, while Five, Seven, and I go get our things."
I nodded, agreeing with his order. We should be safe over night. And with that, John called Sam, telling him to come in, and telling the others to stay put, because he was on his way out. Sam came in, along with Bernie the beagle, who I explained was a Protector of sorts, and saved our asses before. This was all new information for Eight, Emma not telling her much because she was trying to do her job of protecting her.
But sometimes the less you know, the worse off you are. In this case, it was essential to know about the Mogadorians. I told the story of how I met John, and our journey together since then, Sam interjecting a comment every now and then, trying to impress Eight no doubt. When I finally got to where we were now, Eight and Emma were speechless, and I wondered what was going on in their heads.
Eight finally spoke up and asked if the dog that was laying in the corner of the room, next to where I had discarded my backpack, could actually shape-shift into a huge monster. I nodded my head, holding back a laugh. The look on her face was priceless as she glanced at the beagle, her mouth hanging open in disbelief. I assured her he would do no harm to us, he was just protecting John and us when he shifted. She nodded, but that didn't seem to calm her much, still glancing at the dog every one in a while.
About an hour after the boys left, Emma got up to start fixing something for dinner, leaving Sam, Eight, and I alone in the living room, silent, except for the TV emitting background noise. We stayed like that for a while, all of us now staring mindlessly at the TV, barely listening to what was actually being said, but it was better than awkward conversation. I wasn't even good a regular conversation, but that's my own fault.
Soon the smell of food drifted from the kitchen into the living room, and it made my stomach growl. I can't remember the last time I had a home-cooked meal, and I licked my lips in anticipation. The smell of the chicken and peas made my mouth water just imagining it on a plate in front of me. Soon, I couldn't stand it anymore, and went to check it out for myself, leaving Same and Eight by themselves. When I made it into the kitchen, Emma was opening the oven that sat in the wall, checking on the chicken.
I leaned against the counter, my knife bumping against it with a small clink, gaining the attention of Emma, who spun around. She gave me a light smile, and I asked if there was anything I could do to help, to which she handed me a hand held mixer, and shoved a bowl of chopped potatoes towards me. I flipped the switch and started, while I saw her check on the peas, lifting the lid, letting steam flow out.
Fifteen minutes went by, then I was finally done with the potatoes, satisfied with myself, since I hadn't really ever helped with anything food-wise. And just in time, because Emma pulled out the chicken and set the glass container on the stove, and I heard a knock at the front door before it opened, hearing John's voice saying something to Sam. Emma added some salt, pepper, and milk to the potatoes, and urged me to keep going. I guess I wasn't done like I thought...
After another few minutes of mixing, she took a small spoon and tasted it, saying it was perfect now, and I was eager to get a taste myself. Gathering the right amount of plates, Emma then started piling food onto each one, then hollering to the rest that dinner was ready. Eight came in first, leading the way with Sam on her toes, and Four, Five, and Seven right behind him. Each of them gave me a weird look as I dished out potatoes for my own plate, and I gave them a sneer back.
"Six, I've never seen you so...domestic looking." Five teased.
"Shut it, or I'll shut if for you." I threatened, pointing my spoon at him, which got him to lower his head, and the others made fun of him.
They all knew I could take them one way or another, so they knew not to take it too far with me. In this case, I had actually been teasing, but it was nice to see that I instilled fear in them, which made want to laugh. We all sat down at the table, myself sitting between Emma and John. We talked about what we planned to do in the coming morning while we ate, not getting into personal things. Except for Sam that is, him and Eight were sitting next to each other, talking about a video game they both played.
If I didn't know better, I'd say she was into him as much as he seems into her. It's too bad that our fight with the Mogs was a little bit more important at the moment, then finding love, but in the moment, it was cute to watch. Digging in, I was soon filled up with warm, delicious food, and felt fuller than I ever have. We all ate too much, so after cleaning up, we lounged around the living room, rubbing our stomachs.
As it got later, and we got more comfortable with each other, Eight told us more about her legacy, and how she could create fire. Though, it had caused her problems, because she hasn't fully learned how to control it, and it gets out of hand when she is angry. I thought it was interesting, she was a fire starter, and I was fire proof. I could protect everyone if she lost it by accident, which would help us, who were trying not to be noticed until we got all the Numbers back together.
It was about eleven o'clock when I noticed that pretty much everyone had fallen asleep. John and Five were on my right, both taking up their own half of the sofa. I was in the recliner, watching the news, with Emma sitting next to me in the wooden chair, still awake also. Seven was sitting on the floor, with his head resting on the cushion of the couch that Sam and Eight were sharing, her head on his shoulder. They all looked to peaceful.
"Seems Becca has taken a liking to Sam." Emma said quietly, gesturing to the couple.
"Don't worry, Sam is a really good guy." I replied.
She nodded, either because she agreed, or just didn't know what else to say on it. "You should rest, you look beat."
I looked at her this time. "We've all been beat for months now, you get used to it." I wouldn't get a good nights rest until I knew all the Mogadorians were dead.
I let out a breath as I leaned further into the chair, feeling the weigh of my eyelids get heavier and heavier. Before I knew it, everything went black. Much to my surprise, I was woken up by the front door being blown in. Everyone got up from their sleeping positions and stared, wide-eyed at the intruder. A Mogadorian smiled, then pulled out a black and silver gun, pointing it in our direction. John was already on it, gather strength, his palms lit up a light blue, and he pointed it at the intruder.
Everything felt like it was in slow motion, the red laser beam flying through the air, across the living room, and being shielded by John's unseen force, sending little sparks flying. I took out my knife, that was laying in my belt loop, ready to charge, and stab him with it, when he ducked out of the way and hid behind the hallway wall. We all ducked out of the way, knowing something was coming, and sure enough, the wall was blasted out a second later, shrapnel flying everywhere.
I saw his start to reload his gun, and I took that as my chance. Launching myself into the air, I sped over to him, knocking his against the wall, him struggling to keep his grip on the gun. I raised my knife, but John called out for me to stop, using his legacy power to knock the gun out of the Mogs' hand, then to keep holding him against the wall. I was confused, but then I realized that there were no other Mogs, and everyone else was just as confused as me.
"Where are the others, why did they just send you? Huh?" John yelled.
"You think you can kill us all?" He replied in broken English.
"Damn right, I do."
The man laughed. "How can you do that and protect your little girlfriend at the same time?"
My heart fluttered and John's eyes widened.
"Oh, yes, we know about her. What's her name? Oh, right...Sarah." He laughed louder.
"You son of a bitch, what have you done to her?" I yelled, ready to stab him.
"Why, I haven't done anything. But if you turn yourself in," He turned back to John. "then no harm will come to her."
John and myself were shaking with anger, when he decided he'd heard enough, taking my blade and shoved the blade into his chest, twisting it before he turned to dust in front of our eyes.
"I have to go back..." He said, ready to leave this instant.
"John, it's a trap." Emma said, taking the word right out of my mouth as the other joined us.
"She's right," I replied. "you can't go back because that's exactly what they want you to do."
"Sarah, is in trouble because of me, I have to protect her." He argued.
"You can't help her if your dead, which you will be once you enter the town." I said, hoping to knock some sense into him, but I wanted Sarah to be safe also. "I'll go." They all looked at me in surprise.
"But you're our best fighter." Sam said, coming forward. Although I hadn't proved it just a second ago.
"Which is why I'm the best choice to go to Sarah. I took care of myself for four months before I even ran into you all...I can protect her."
John let out a breath, pinching the bridge of his nose with his fingers before looking back at me and nodding. "Go now, and take Bernie."
"No, you'll need him."
"Take him." He said sternly.
I nodded, grabbing my backpack from the floor, and opened it, taking out my laptop and handed it to John, before zipping it up again, and throwing it over my shoulder. They would need it, and I had my hand-held GPS anyway. John instructed me to call when I got back to Paradise, and then handed my knife back to me, knowing they had their own in their bags. I let myself out the door, Bernie right on my heels, and ran down the street to John's car.
I quickly scrambled, opening the trunk and pulling out a strap that was from Bernie's doggie seat belt, and picked him up. Working with the straps, I had him secured tightly to the space behind me on the bike, and started it as fast as I could, then peeling out of the street, making a high-pitched screech.
Controlling the bike with one hand, I got my GPS out of my pocket and typing in my destination. It would take me approximately just over thirty-one hours to get back to Sarah, and that was without any stops. I shook my head in frustration as I pulled into the next gas station I saw, filling my tank up, and riding off into the night before anyone could even notice me.
I rode until I had to go to the bathroom, and I pulled over to a shady-looking gas station, letting Bernie off to do his business too. I had a water bottle in my backpack that was half full, but refilled it with drinking fountain water that looked questionable, but at this point I didn't care. Once Bernie was done and I let him have some water too, I strapped him back in, stole more gas, and was out of there.
This same process went on for the thirty-two hours it actually took to get back to Paradise. I was mentally and physically exhausted, not to mention starving, from not taking a few hours to rest and eat. But that just meant I got to Sarah faster, and that's all I cared about right now. Knowing that she was safe was my number one priority, other than just getting to her. I wove my way through the dark streets until I finally came upon her house, lit from the inside my warm lights.
I turned around, parking on the other side of the street and down a little ways, before parking. Unstrapping Bernie, I let him down, automatically running towards her house ahead of me. Nothing seemed wrong or out of place, and my gut told me that she was okay, but I had to see for myself. Quietly, we walked around the side of the house, where I could see into her room through a little sliver where the curtains almost meet.
I didn't know if she was in her room, but there was only one way to find out. I bent down to the ground, gathering the energy I had left, and shot myself up to the ledge, hanging on with one hand as I lifted the window with the other. I struggled to pull myself up, but I managed, resting for a second on my stomach, then climbing the rest of the way in as quietly as I could. I stood back up, breathing heavy from exerting so much energy when being so tired, and closed the window behind me, seeing Bernie start to walk around the yard.
"Oh my God." A voice came from behind me.
I spun around, finding Sarah standing in the doorway of her bathroom, her eyes wide, but when she realized who I was, they softened. She let out a relieved breath before maneuvering around her bed and enveloping me in a tight hug. I wasn't an affectionate person, but with Sarah, I never wanted to let go. Leaning into her, I rested my forehead on her shoulder, I let my body relax, which wasn't the best idea. My knees gave out and I collapsed to floor with a thud, bringing her down with me. I started to slip in and out of consciousness, until I felt a warm hand cup my cheek, lifting my face up. I opened my eyes, meeting the emerald ones that I've been thinking about for the last five months, but this time they were worried.
"You look so fatigued. When was the last time you slept? Or ate?" She asked, her voice as smooth as velvet.
"Thirty hourzzz, giver take afew minutez." I slurred, my brain shutting down on me.
"You need to rest, Six. We'll talk when you wake up."
With that, she lifted me up the best she could, and helped me on the bed. Taking my shoes off, then discarded my jeans, jacket, and shirt...I assumed they stunk or were dirty enough that she didn't want me rolling around her bed with them on. Once I was left in my underwear, she laid me down, my brain officially turned off as soon as my head hit the pillow.
I woke up to the feel of a warm hand lightly stroking my face. I basked in the tingly feeling it created until I couldn't go any longer without seeing her face. I opened my eyes and found her laying in bed next to me, looking at me with a shocked face, like she wasn't expecting me to wake up so soon. Her fingers immediately stopped their movements and she pulled away with a blush and a quiet 'sorry', although she had nothing to be sorry about, I was quite enjoying her touching me.
I opened my mouth to speak, but nothing came out, and I realized how dry my mouth was. She knew what was wrong, and got up quickly, still in her PJs, and ran out of her bedroom. Within a few minutes she was back, and carrying a glass of water and a bowl of something that was steaming. Once they were sat down on her nightstand, she helped me into a sitting position, and held the glass out for me.
I took it, and it felt like it weighed a million pounds. I barely got it back handed to her before my hand fell to the bed. I was in need of an energy boost badly, but John wasn't here to help with that, so I had to get it the way humans did. For the next ten minutes, she fed me some chicken noodle soup, and I had to admit, it was delicious. But I'm sure anything would taste good since I haven't eaten anything in over twenty-four hours.
When I finished the soup, I gulped down the rest of the water, and rested my head against the pillow again. I was slowly gaining my energy back, but I wouldn't be back to my normal strength for a while, and this was when I was grateful that John had me take Bernie. Crap, that reminded me he would need to be fed and given something to drink again...I don't even know how long I've been out of it.
"What time is it?" I asked, noticing the light coming through the window.
"Four-thirty in the afternoon. You've been sleeping for about fifteen hours."
Damn, it was later than I thought.
"Bernie's here with me-"
"I know, don't worry. He's in the house somewhere. I took care of him already."
I sighed with relief. This girl was perfect.
"I know you have questions..." I started. "so what do you want to know?"
She was quiet for a second, then looked back at me. "Everything from the time you left."
And that's just what I did. I told her in pretty good detail what we all had gone through in getting Five, Seven, and now Eight, and the threat against her, which was why I was here. I was surprised she hadn't asked the one question I was expecting her to; How John was doing, and if he thought about her. But I was thankful, I didn't want to talk about John or the Numbers right now. I just wanted to be with Sarah and keep her safe.
"So you don't know if the threat against me was real?"
"No, but he knew about you...which means the others most likely do too. That's why I'm here. I'm the best fighter because I can disappear and throw them off guard if they attack, which gives me the upper hand. Don't worry, I won't let anything happen to you." I promised.
"And the others will be okay without you?" She asked, concerned.
"Yes." I nodded. "We all have powers that the Mogs don't, so when we get everyone together, I believe we can beat them."
"What are everyone's powers exactly."
"Five has the ability to control the natural elements when he concentrates. He's working on it every day, and hopefully soon he will be able to do it easily. Seven can make people see things that aren't actually there, which will come in handy when fighting. The Mogs will see am army of us, when really there will only be six of us, plus Sam, and if Nine's Protector is alive. Also, with Seven, he has to really focus to do that at this point. And Eight, she can make fire out of nothing, but she hasn't gotten it under control yet, either. And since they haven't found Nine yet, we don't know what he or she can do."
She looked at me with wide eyes. "What about you?"
"You know what I can do, you've seen it."
"So you can become invisible, and you're fireproof?"
"Yes. As far as I know, that's all I can do."
After that, we sat in comfortable silence for a while; Sarah lying next to me, both of us staring at the ceiling. She let me know that her parents were currently out of town, and her brother was staying at a friends house until they came back, so I would be able to stay here for a few days, not having to be hiding half the time. And I was thankful, it would be much easier with her parents not around. I would have to be with Sarah pretty much all day every day to ensure that nothing would happen to her.
"Oh shit." I whispered.
"What?" Sarah jumped up.
"Where's my cell phone? I was supposed to let the others know when I got here."
She them hopped over to my backpack, and pulled my phone out, handing it to me. I turned it on, and was bombarded by voice mail messages and text messages from John, wondering what the hell was going on. I texted him back that I drove all the way here without sleeping, and as soon as I got here, I crashed. But the important thing was that Sarah was safe, and everything was fine. I sent it, and received a reply within thirty seconds, stating how worried they had been that something had happened.
I reassured him that nothing had, I was just out like a light, and Sarah had taken care of me and Bernie. Once I got back to my normal self, I'd check the area, and make sure there wasn't an suspicious activity going on. Relieved, John said they were still heading West with everyone, and things were going rather smoothly. At least, as smoothly as living on the run can go, anyway.
He said they also started teaching Eight how to use her power, but she was still having trouble controlling it, and took out a little patch of forest this morning, and they had to move to a new location. I didn't expect her to get the hang of it so quickly, but with some time and a lot of practice, her, Five, and Seven will be in control of their powers fully. And when we find Nine, we will be ready to fight, and we will win.
When I put my phone off to the side, my stomach growled really load, eliciting a giggle from Sarah. She asked if I was still hungry, and my stomach answered with an even loader growl. Sarah smiled and said she would fix me an earlier dinner, since I had only had one bowl of soup for thirty hours. While she was downstairs making me something, I took this time to crawl out of bed and use the bathroom. I automatically felt better after that, but still weak. I looked in the mirror, noticing the dark circles under my eyes from the lack of sleep, though I would have thought a fifteen hour long crash would have fixed that.
"You can take a shower, you know." Sarah said, popping out of nowhere, making me jump. "Sorry, I didn't mean to scare you..."
"It's fine, and thanks."
"Towels are behind you, and you clothes are in the dryer right now, so I'll bring them up when they're done."
I nodded, and she closed the door behind her, leaving me alone in the bathroom. Hobbling over, I turned the water on and while waited for it to get warm, I stripped out of my underwear. My sore muscles ached at the movement, but I ignored it the best I could, just needing to get through this shower. Stepping in under the warm spray, washing all the remnants of sweat off my body, and the grease out of my hair. That could not have been attractive...
By the time I finished washing my hair, my legs felt like they were about to give out, so I let myself slide to the floor before I fell and hurt myself. I let out a breath when I settled, and rested my head in my hands, annoyed at my body. I hated feeling this way...helpless, tired. I just wanted to get back to my normal self so I could protect Sarah like I'm supposed to. That's the whole reason I was here, not to play house...and I couldn't forget that.
"Are you okay?" Sarah asked concerned, kneeling beside me. "Did you fall?"
"No. I'm fine, I just couldn't stand up anymore..."
She let out a relieved breath, and rested her forehead against mine. "You scared me. When you didn't answer me, and I saw you down here, I was worried you had hurt yourself."
"I'm sorry, I didn't mean to scare you." I whispered back, noticing how close we were.
She must have noticed too, because she removed herself from me and grabbed a nearby towel that was hanging on the rack, and turned off the water, covered me up, and helping me over to the toilet seat so I could sit.
"It's weird...I'm supposed to be taking care of you." I thought aloud as she started drying my hair with another towel.
"I like taking care of you..."
I raised my eyebrow at her.
"I know I've only known you a matter of hours, but you seem like the closed off type of person...always doing everything for yourself, not needing anyone. But, sometimes it's nice to let someone take over some responsibilities so you don't have to worry about everything."
"After my Protector died, I had to..."
She nodded, then laid her hand on mine. "Now you have me. I know I don't have powers or anything of real use, but-"
"You're perfect the way you are."
After she blushed at my statement, she excused herself to let me dress in private. When I was done, she wasn't in the bedroom, so I grabbed my phone from them bed, then slowly made my way downstairs and into the kitchen, where a few noises were coming from. Bernie was gobbling down so dog food in the corner, and Sarah was working on something on the counter, with her back turned to me. I made my steps heavier, alerting her to my presence, so I didn't scare her again, and she turned with a frown on her face.
"You should be resting, Six." She said like a concerned mother.
I just smiled and sat down at a bar stool, signaling that I was resting now. She just shook her head at me and turned back to what she was doing for a few moments, then coming over to me with a plate full of two sandwiches and some chips. I liked my lips, so hungry I felt like I could eat a horse, as the Earth people say. It turned out to be turkey sandwiches, which, happen to be my favorite, and I dug in, eliciting a giggle from Sarah.
She ate with me, and I felt much better afterwards, feeling my strength start to really come back, all I needed was another good nights sleep and I should be back on my game tomorrow. When we were done, we sat on the the sofa in the living room and watched TV, Bernie joining us and laying at our feet. Sarah chose a movie and we started watching it...well, she watched it. I was thinking about her the whole time, and stole glances every time I could.
The next few days were much like this, though, when I got my strength back, I started to patrol the town, leaving Bernie with Sarah when I did. I never found anything out of the ordinary, which made me think that the Mogs threat was merely just that, to get John riled up and off his game. And now that I wasn't with them, it made them more vulnerable. I talked to John about this, but he insisted that I stayed with Sarah, just in case.
He felt they were getting close to Nine, and I felt it too, even thought I wasn't there with them. They were near California at this point, and had high hopes they would find Nine within the next week. I, however, had to change things up. Sarah's parents returned on Monday, and I had to hide in her closet or bathroom every time her mom came in, which was irritating. I had gotten used to roaming freely, now I would be stuck in her room now, or had to go outside to get some freedom.
A few more days of this and I was ready for a change. Sarah and I came up with a plan so I could be in the house with her parents knowing, so I wouldn't have to hide. She came up with the story that I lived a town over, and we had met while they were away, and then my parents kicked me out because I was gay. Her parents immediately wanted me to stay with them, since I had no other family that would take me in.
They were extremely nice to me, and sympathetic to my fake situation. I could tell they were also excited that Sarah had a new friend, since she really didn't hang out with anyone from school, and since it was Summer, she barely had any real interactions with people other than them. I was happy that they welcomed me with open arms, making it so much easier to protect Sarah this way.
When the week ended, John and the other still hadn't found Nine, but they kept looking, knowing they were around the area they were currently in. In that week, Sarah and I got closer...and I finally opened up about my past, which I hadn't told anyone about. I had grown up in Australia, which is where my accent comes from, and had been able to stay there until I was twelve. That's when I got my first scar on my leg, and I was told that One was dead.
Me and my Protector moved from Australia to New Zealand, and were only able to stay there about two more years, when I got my second scar. From there, we moved to the States, my Protector picking Florida, knowing I was used to the heat and wanted to live in a warmer climate. It was nine months ago that my Protector died, fighting off the Mogs that attacked our beach front home, and I had to fend for myself.
I knew when I got my third scar, that Three was dead, and I had to get to Four. Doing research online made it quite easy to find him, since his heroics landed on the internet for everyone to see, and I got there just in time to save him and Sarah from Mogs that were attacking their school. We all almost died that day, but I believe we survived for a reason; needing to defeat the Mogs so we can keep Earth safe, not only for us, but humans as well.
In revealing my past to Sarah, I felt freed in a way. I always kept things inside, but Sarah was someone that wanted to know everything, and in turn, she told me about her life before all of this. She was the popular girl that had the popular boyfriend and popular friends. But when they broke up, he lied about her, and from then, she's been a loner. She learned to love it, not being apart of the drama all the time, but she was lonely at times.
My heart ached for her, knowing that she didn't really have anyone other than her parents and brother, and I assured her that she had me. That I wasn't just someone that was here to protect her. I wanted to be her friend; be the one that she wanted to tell personal things to, without feeling foolish or embarrassed. When I told her this, I saw her eyes start to tear up, and she hugged tightly, almost knocking me over.
She promised the same thing to me, never wanting me to keep something in if it was bothering me...but that might take some practice. I wasn't used to much, and opening up wasn't one of them. And the main thing that was on my mind was her, and I didn't want to scare her off by telling her I...loved her. It wasn't a good idea, for two reasons: One, first and foremost, she was John's girl. Two, I didn't want to freak her out. I was already an alien being hunted down by other aliens, how much more could she take?
I kept my feelings at bay, restraining myself from doing anything stupid, but she was making it extra hard. Not only was she super cute in the way that she does, well, everything, it was torturous at night too. She would wear these tight boy-shorts, leaving most of her leg bare, and I couldn't help but find the way her muscles moved under her tan skin, sexy. Not only that, but she always wore tight tan tops that clearly showed that she wore no bra.
But my almost undoing came from when we were going to sleep. We slept in the same bed, and her warm skin always brushed against mine, making it tingle in pleasure, and made me wanting more. She had no idea of the affect she had on me, which was in itself, another form of torture. Though my focus shifted within the next few days. I started to get a feeling in my stomach that something was coming, and it wasn't going to be good.
I called John and informed him of what I was feeling, saying that they had got Nine just a few hours earlier, and they were feeling the same thing. They decided to use the money they Emma had for emergencies, and get on a plane to Paradise. When I told Sarah this, she got visibly nervous, and I didn't know whether it was from the idea of seeing John again, or the fact that she knew something was going to happen too.
The next day, everyone arrived in paradise, and we went to meet them at a coffee shop in town. The reunion between John and Sarah was awkward, and I was surprised that she came and sat next to me after their 'hellos'. Nine turned out to be another girl; she was about my height, with light brown hair that was almost a dark blonde, and green eyes. We learned that she has hyper senses, like hearing, sight, and strength, and is able to use a force field to block attacks.
Her Protector, Jaime, was pretty much the opposite of her, having dark brown hair and dark eyes that were mysterious. Her and Emma talked about what we should do, and figured that it would be safer if we all stayed at small motel, where less people would be hurt it the Mogs were to attack. We all agreed, and decided that Sarah should be with us too, where she had all of us to protect her, instead of just me.
While the others headed to the motel just outside of Paradise, I took Sarah back to her house and packed our things. I put my clothes and GPS in my book bag, and took out my knife, letting it fall into the belt loop of my jeans. We snuck out her window, me going out first, throwing her bag to me before catching her, and quietly going to my bike that was parked next to their garage. Just to be safe they wouldn't hear us leave, we walked it down to the end of the street before starting the engine and making our way to the highway.
Ten minutes into the drive I started to feel really uneasy, so I stepped on the gas, wanting to get to the motel as soon as I could, when a person stepped into the middle of my lane. I braked at fast as I could, and swerved out of the way, onto the grass beside the highway and flung off when we collided with a log. In a few seconds, I determined that I was okay, only a small cut on my leg from my knife. I got up and looked behind me for Sarah, who was getting up when she froze and whispered my name.
I looked bak toward the road and saw four Mogs walking towards us with smiles on their faces, and I got a boost of adrenaline. Letting my backpack fall off me, I took out my knife and grabbed Sarah's hand, pulling her deeper into the forest. It was so dense and almost dark outside, that we managed to get out of their sight behind a large-trunked tree. It was four against one, and there was no real safe way to go about doing this.
"You can't hide for long, Six! We can smell you..." One shouted.
I peeked out from around the tree, but I still didn't see them, and I turned back to Sarah who was in front of me, slumped against the tree.
"I have to go, before they get any closer. Call John, tell them we need help." I said, digging my cell phone out of my pocket and handing it to her.
"Six, there are too many of them to take on by yourself." She pleaded.
"I have to protect you, Sarah. Call John. If you need it, there is another gun in my bag."
I saw how scared she was in the look of her eyes. She didn't want me to leave her, but I had to fight them off until the other got here. I didn't know if I could hold them off long, or at all, so I said goodbye to Sarah in the only way I could express my feelings in that moments. I gently cupped her face with both of my hands, and brought my lips to hers, caressing them with mine. She was so warm and sweet, I never wanted to let her go...especially when she started kissing me back, but I had to.
Reluctantly pulling away from her, I gave her one last look, then darted out into the open, waiting for the Mogs to be aware of my presence. It didn't take long before there was a red laser shooting my way, and I ducked behind another tree. I got my gun out from the back of my jeans, and peered around the tree to see where they were. The one shooting at me was pretty much straight in front of where I was, about fifty yards away.
I shot at him, leaving my position as I did, leading them further away from Sarah, and closer to me. I hit him in the leg, evoking a groan from him before shooting a quick round at me. I saw another out of the corner of my eye, raising his gun, and I ducked to the ground, the red laser barely missing me. He was closer than the one in front of me, so I had to take him out first. I shot at him and I ran, then focused, letting my body become invisible as I flew towards him at a fast rate.
He didn't even know what hit him, when I knocked him to the ground and plunged my knife into his chest, watching him explode into dust before he could even cry out for help. When I turned around, the other three were nowhere to be seen, so I tucked myself behind a tree and waited. Waited for a sound, or a slight movement that would betray their location. It was quiet for a good minute before I heard something to my left, and I immediately turned and threw my knife as hard as I could.
The spin of it in the air was just a blur before it sliced into the Mogs chest, and he fell to the forest ground in a pile of dust. Changing hands, I trained my gun in front of me as I ran over to the dust pile to retrieve my knife, getting shot at in the process. I blocked a round of shots with my fireproof shield, and when he went to reload, I grabbed my knife off the ground, turned around and started shooting again.
I hit him multiple times in the shoulder before hitting him in the chest, knocking him over, his gun flying out of his hands. I took the opportunity to shoot at the other Mog that was to my far right. Hovering over the body of the Mog I shot, I kept shooting at the other one that was approaching me fast. I took the chance and disappeared, flashing over to the Mog that was shooting at me and kicking the gun out of his hands.
I tucked my gun on my jeans as I pulled on my knife, lengthening it for combat. I threw a series of moves at him, only slicing him in the stomach once. He went to punch me, but I ducked, swinging the blade at his legs, making him fall to his knees and cry out in pain. While he was down, I kicked him swiftly in the jaw, knocking him off balance, and giving me time to fly behind him and plunge the knife into his chest.
I let out a relieved breath, now only having to take care of the unconscious Mog. But when I turned around, he was standing, raising his gun at me. From there, it was like slow motion. He smiled as he pointed the gun at me, then pulled the trigger, sending a ball of red right at me, and all I could do was watch. The red ball hit me right in the shoulder, sending me flying back into the air, and hitting a tree. The wound burned like hell, but all I could think about was Sarah.
If I died and the others didn't make it on time, they might kill her as well, and I couldn't let that happen. He was laughing as he approached my motionless body, and I decided just to go for it. I used my left hand to pull my gun out of my jeans and aim it at the cocky Mog, wanting to shoot the stupid smile off his face, but he was closer than I thought, and kicked it out of my hand.
"Nice try, Six...but you lose." He said, holding up my knife that I dropped when I was shot.
He threw his own gun to the side, holding the knife above me, teasingly before his eyes turn angry and his nostrils flare. Growling, he lifted the knife up above his head, and I gathered up all the energy I had left. When he brought it down to stab me, I moved out of the way at the last second, and he strikes the ground instead, but his body keeps going. But it's too late to catch himself, and his weight bring him down on the knife and impales him, turning to dust a second later.
"Six!" I hear Sarah call for not too far away, her footsteps getting closer every second.
The pain in my shoulder was getting worse now, or maybe I just noticed it more since the danger seemed to be gone. Within seconds, Sarah was kneeling at my side, removing a shirt from my backpack after seeing my wound. She pressed the shirt into me to stop the bleeding, and I let out a cry. I felt tears well up in my eyes as Sarah let out a few swear words, not knowing exactly what to do. She assured me that John was on his way with the others, and didn't know what was taking so long. I begin to slip in and out, only catching pieces of was she was saying to herself to try and calm down. Starting to feel really light-headed, I turned to her, and put my free hand over hers, getting her attention.
"After we left," I started, referring to five months ago. "you're all I thought about." I confessed, only pausing to swallow.
She began to cry now, her bottom lip quivering as she responded. "Me too. I missed you," She sniffled. "even though I barely knew you. And when you came back, I was so relieved that you were okay." She stroked my hair gently.
"You're the first person to make me want to open up...and tell you everything about me." A tear slide down my face. "I love you, Sarah." I managed to say before everything became dark and muffled.
"No, Six! Six, stay with me! Please, don't leave me...please. I love you, too."
When I opened my eyes, I didn't know if I was dead or alive until the pain in my shoulder made itself known. I immediately looked around the room, only to find Sarah laying up against me on the bed. I leaned my head against hers, taking in her familiar scent. I sighed, knowing that she was okay was a huge relief, and that I seemed to be in a safe area too.
"Hey." John said quietly, sitting on the opposite sit of the bed as Sarah.
"Where are we?" I asked.
"The motel outside Paradise. I'm so sorry it took so long to get to you, we didn't see your bike on our first pass." He said remorsefully.
"It's okay, as long as Sarah's safe in the end."
"Listen, about Sarah..." He started, glancing at her, then back to me. "I'm...okay with it."
"You...but...really?" I stuttered in disbelief.
He nodded. "I had a feeling all those months when you were distracted, and then when you volunteered to come back here to protect her, I knew for sure."
"Don't be." he said, shaking his head. "I'm happy for you, but it's not going to be easy. We still have no idea how many more Mogadorians are out there..."
"I know." I replied before Sarah moved against me.
"If you need us, we're just in the next room." John said, pointing at the adjoining door before doing through it, leaving Sarah and I alone.
I kissed the top of her head, which caused her breath to hitch, before jumping up into a siting position to look at me. She smiled then cupped my face, leaning down, and kissing me. Her warm lips moved against with such lust it was hard to keep up with her. After a minute I finally took her bottom lip in between mine and slowly sucked on it, releasing her. She pulled back, looking me in the eyes with such love that my heart started to pound.
"You scared me..." She whispered.
"I seem to do that a lot, don't I?"
"Too much for my heart to take, but you're forgiven. How does your shoulder feel?"
"You're lucky. Jaime was a nurse for a while, and she patched you up."
"I am lucky...because I have you."
"I'll ignore the cheesiness and take that as the highest compliment." She teased.
I smiled at her before raising my free hand to her, gently sliding my hand behind her neck, and bringing her down to kiss me again. My heart fluttered in my chest, and I wondered how I got this amazing girl to love me. I am Number Six...and I never thought I would fall in love, let alone have someone get to know me as a person, instead of just Six. Sarah has taught me that anything is possible, and even though this fight isn't over, I am confident that we will survive this. With my love and my friends by my side, we will win.
A/N: Let me know if you liked it, I might be more inclined to write a sequel to this, where there's an actual battle with all the Numbers, and of course, more Sarah/Six love.
P.S. - I have picture references up for Five, Seven, Eight, Nine, Emma and Jaime up on my profile.