She was glad Cira took her hand. It meant he trusted her. Which way should they go? She already had half a plan mapped out. She was just waiting for the right moment. Still, they needed to be ready for it when it came.
“Please follow me,” she said, heading down the train, towards the main doors, the ones that open when you reach your stop. Of course, they simply could not just jump off the train. No, that would be far too dangerous. Her preferable way included risk, but it was a way they could get off without attracting too much attention. And she trusted herself enough to not hurt the father and son.
The train went dark and its wheels echoed around them outside. It was what she had been waiting for, a tunnel. Without wasting a lot of time, she clapped her hands and pulled them apart, creating the strong, sticky web that was her ability. She wrapped it around the father and son despite their confused and reluctant looks. With the web still attached to her hand, she stepped forward and pushed the ‘emergency door open’ button, the doors sliding open to reveal the dangerous outside. She heard the shouting of other passengers but promptly ignored them.
“We are taking the fast way,” she pulled them to the edge of the door, her arm around them, and with her other hand, flicked it forward, releasing a fair amount of web flying and attaching itself to the outside tunnel. The three were yanked almost instantly, her web proving its strength as they were pulled forward and out of the train together, swinging back and forward until they were hanging from the wall. The ground was about a meter and a half below them as far as she could see (it was quite dark), but she didn’t have to break her web to get down. Instead, she waited a few seconds, the father and son still quite confused.
“Please wait,” she said, feeling her arm pull as it held on to the web and the other held the weight of the father and son. She was strong and so was her web, but she didn’t think she could hold on for another minute. She was saved though, by a small pop beneath them. She smiled at their rescuer, the only person she truly trusted.
“Well, hello there! Why don’t we get a move on?” the voice below them said, grabbing Alex’s foot and with a pop, teleported them out of the dark tunnel.
They reappeared in a well-lit, well-furnished room, with the mysterious man’s face in full light and able to seen. He was young, very young, about mid to late twenties. His hair was short and he was well groomed, dressed in a waistcoat with a tie tucked into it. He looked straight out of the 1900s but his facial hair was quite modern, with a neat goatee. He smiled at his guests and held his hands out wide.
“Welcome, Alex and Cira!” he said cheerily, pulling the web off the two with ease and disintegrating them in his palms. His voice was a pleasant English accent and just the tone felt comforting and like home. “Welcome to my home! As dearest Adeline must have told you, I am the Librarian, but you may call me James. Oh, sorry dear, you liked to be called something else, don't you?”
"Yes, yes, that's right."
His home as far as everyone could see consisted of one room, though there were open-arch doors which opened out to many more rooms. This room in particular seemed to look like a sitting room, with comfortable chairs surrounding a glass coffee table. There was a fire place, elegant wall paper, everything looked… nice. Retro nice. And surprisingly well lit with natural light despite being underground.
“So, drinks, anyone? Food? I have a delicious Tarte Tatin that is dying to be eaten.”
"Let me take over."
"I can do this, c'mon!"
"No, let me. Please."
They both watched their target from a park bench, her face screwed up as she argued. They never got along, not since they met each other a week ago. Connor would argue that she was annoying and that he wanted her gone. Hannah would argue that she had every right to be here. He knew full well that he could 'take over' if he wanted to, but honestly, after he had spend every second with her since that point when the Atlanteans revealed themselves, she was starting to grow on him. Never the less, he would still argue he wanted her gone.
"I can see her, Connor. Please let me do this. You've been in control since yesterday. I need to breathe, please," Hannah said quietly as a random person passed her by, looking at her oddly. She felt so conscious when she was talking to Connor, but he had no shame. He didn't care what people thought, much to her dismay.
"Fine. But you'd know I'd do better."
She stood up, seeing Krystal and her school friends in the distance. How could she still go to a mortal school like that while she knew what she was? Did she know what she was? Hannah thought it would be overwhelmingly obvious. She had read the report with Connor, who had added his judging words at the end of every sentence. It wasn't very nice, Hannah felt empathy for her and Krystal’s brother. She knew what it was like to have this tingling sensation, to know that your ability doesn't go away when you wake up. Though, Connor would argue that she was the problem, that Hannah never went away.
Connor seemed to argue a lot.
"Hurry up. Jesus. We don't have all morning," Hannah felt Connor, adding his bit like he always did.
The truth was, Connor and Hannah were the same person.
On that day, a week ago, Connor had been at work.
He had worked as a white collar worker, unbelievably talented at what he did. He designed furniture for a living and loved his job. His co-workers hated him for his talent and his annoying, angry and aggressive attitude but he loved his job. Hannah had made her mark seconds after the Atlantean crystal had been raised into the air, and Connor's body changed instantly. Then, he was Hannah and he was this voice in the back of her head. His sandy coloured hair grew long and lighter, his body changed from well-built to thin. He grew breasts. He was suddenly a different person, but Connor was still there.
Hannah had lived in the alternate universe as Connor. She was the same, but different.
She had worked as a white collar worker, unbelievably talented at what she did. She designed furniture for a living and loved her job. Her co-workers hated her for her talent and her annoying, introverted and worried attitude but she loved her job. Connor had made her mark seconds after the Atlantean crystal had been raised into the air, and Hannah's mind changed instantly. Her light thoughts grew heavy and intruded and she no longer felt alone. She heard a voice. She was suddenly a different person, but Hannah was still there.
Now, they could switch bodies at any time, but they both hated the thought of sharing their thoughts with another person. They both had enjoyed living alone. And now they couldn't. It was something they needed to get used to.
“They’re not alone,” Hannah said, watching their target from afar. “Should we wait?”
“I don’t know, you’re the genius. I would just grab the losers.”
“That wouldn’t be very nice, would it?” Hannah smiled at a passerby-er, quickly closing her mouth as they realised she wasn’t talking to them. “I think I might wait until they’re alone.”
“How long will that take? You wanna watch them all day? What a dumb idea. I would take the police-paedophile option. Say you’re a police officer and ask them to go with you. You know their parents’ names, you could probably get away with it,” Connor snickered with Hannah’s mouth.
“You’re awful,” Hannah tapped her chin. “I could just tell them.”
“Around their friends? Yeah, great idea numb nuts. That wouldn’t be a bad idea.”
“I think I might just do that,” Hannah walked forward, feeling Connor’s mental reluctance.
“What? Are you stupid?! That’s dumb! Hannah, stop!” Hannah had to cover her own mouth to keep Connor from attracting attention. She continued to walk until she was just a little away from the group. Nerves hit her like a rock and she felt too afraid to say anything. Connor wasn’t.
“Hey, you! Krystal!! Kris!!” Connor’s obviously male voice blurted out, leaving Hannah rather embarrassed when the group turned around. Her face went red but at least she managed to communicate.
“Um, hello,” Hannah waved awkwardly at the group, leaving long gaps of silence between each word. “Can… Can I please talk to you two?”