Chapter 2?....Chapter 2.
I Do NOT own TOME or it's characters!
Pop pop pop....
A short half-imp was leaning against the counter with his arms crossed, listening to the popcorn popping away in the microwave. He had an icy blue skin tone, dark brown hair that covered his red eyes. He wore a dark blue turtle neck and light blue trousers that looked like they had seen better days. Being as short as he was, it wasn't easy to find clothes his size, so he had to make the majority of clothes himself. That wasn't the problem however. The problem was he was no good at it, so his clothes often came out in a bit of a patch work mess. He also wore a sock-like hat the same colour as his trousers made for him by a friend for his birthday last year. Since then he rarely took it off. Friends were hard to get when you were a hybrid. Though to be fair his friend was a hybrid too.
“Well, it's about time.” muttered the half imp as the microwave announced that his popcorn was ready to be eaten. He open the door and carefully pulled the bag out. Popcorn was a rare luxury for him. He can't always afford it with the meager income he's on. He actually doesn't have a job, that's boarder-line impossible for a hybrid to accomplish. Not to say he didn't try. He tried countless times but he didn't get as much as a call back. He was sure that the second they found out he was a hybrid, his application forms went straight in the bin. His income came solely from a special agency which are fighting for equal rights for hybrids. They managed to get him an apartment room and get some money sent to his account each month, but the agency have few supporters so the amount of money they could send to hybrids varied. The half imp was quite determined however and gave up the few other luxuries he had for the past month to get popcorn and have a movie night with a close friend.
Just as he placed the popcorn into a large bowl his cell phone rang. The half imp placed the now empty popcorn bag into the bin and picked up his cell phone. He smiled when he saw who was calling and promptly accepted the call.
“Hey, Flamey, what's up?”
He heard an amused giggle from the other end.
“You know, it's actually kind of amusing that we still call each other by our nicknames we gave each other. We came up with them when we were like, 10?”
“Hey I can start calling you Stephanie if you want.” said the half imp gleefully.
“No, I'm good. I can't imagine not calling you kirbopher anymore.” Stephanie said teasingly.
“Ha ha. If I recall, you started calling me that because I reminded you of Kirby. Real original Flamey.” said Kirbopher, with slight annoyance.
“Says the guy who started calling me Flamegirl because I can shoot flames from my fingers.” said Flamegirl with a giggle.
Kirbopher just sighed.
“So are you coming over for movie night, or is all this popcorn gonna go to waste?” he asked with a smirk.
There was silence for a few before he heard a gasp.
“Oh no, I totally forgot! I'm so sorry Kirb, I don't think I can make it. Something.....came up.”
Puzzlement etched Kirbopher's face. Since when was Flamey too busy to have a movie night? Especially since they didn't happen often.
“What came up that could possibly be more important than a rare chance to watch movies with a friend?” he asked, pretending to be hurt by such an injustice.
“Trust me Kirb, you wouldn't believe me if I told you.” he heard Flamegirl say seriously.
Kirbopher just smirked again.
“Try me, I like a challenge.” he said.
The line went silent again for a moment before Flamegirl spoke up again.
“Well it was the reason I called you anyway.” she sighed. “I found another hybrid.”
It was now Kirbopher's turn to go silent. He just stood there staring at the wall for what seemed like an eternity. It wasn't until Flamegirl asked if he was still there, did he finally snap out of it.
“Are...are you sure.” he asked, his voice shaking.
“Yep, I'm positive.” said Flamegirl with certainty. She then proceeded to tell Kirbopher how she found the lost hybrid and how she bought the terrified boy back to her apartment. Kirbopher just listened, not daring to interrupt. Once she had finished her story he sighed and said,
“I'll be over in a moment, sit tight okay.”
Not giving Flamegirl a chance to respond he hung up and placed his cell phone into his trouser pocket. He glanced at the bowel of popcorn on the counter.
So much for movie night. he thought sadly before sighing and chucking the whole lot into the bin. Then he grabbed his key and left his apartment, locking it behind him. It was raining buckets but Kirbopher hardly cared and Flamegirl only lived a flight of stairs below him anyway. Once he reached her apartment he knocked on the door.
“Flamey, it's me! Open up!” he called.
He only had to wait a few seconds before Flamegirl opened the door.
“You didn't have to come right now Kirb. It's coming down in sheets out there.” she said with a hint of amusement. Kirbopher just shrugged.
“Well now that movie night is officially out, I had nothing better to do.”
Flamegirl smiled and let him inside. Kirbopher took of his hat briefly to wring out the rain water.
“So where is the poor wee lamb.” in a mockingly sweet voice.
Flamegirl rolled her eyes and pointed to the corner of the room.
“Over there. He hasn't moved since we got here.
Kirbopher glanced in the corner and his eyes widened. There was indeed a teenage boy curled up into a ball, fast asleep. There was a blanket draped over him, presumably placed there by Flamegirl.
Jesus, you weren't kidding.” he said still trying to get over the shock.
“I know, and believe me, you do NOT want to see what's under the blanket.” said Flamegirl sadly.
“Yeah, I think I'll take your word for it this time.” said Kirbopher with a hint of sadness in his own voice. “So, he was just there, all by himself?”
“I didn't see anyone anyway.”
Kirbopher let out a sigh and glanced at the dozing teen.
“So what's the plan?”
“Well, he's staying the night here. After that, who knows?” she looked at her feet thoughtfully.
Kirbopher gave her a concerned look.
“I think I know what you're thinking Flamey, bad idea. You're barely getting by on what the Hybrid Agency can give you as it is.”
“I know that!” exclaimed Flamegirl, flinching at how loudly that came out. Thankfully though, the teen boy continued to slumber as if nothing happened.
“I...I'm just worried. I don't want to send him back into the gutter again. He just looked so cold and helpless. I'm more than happy to give up a few luxuries if it means he'll have somewhere safe to stay.”
“Flamey, I don't know if you've noticed, but you barely have any luxuries to give up in the first place!” said Kirbopher annoyance now evident in his voice.
“So are you telling me, that tomorrow I should just kick him out and leave him to his luck?!” Flamegirl snapped sharply.
“I'm saying we should be realistic about this!” Kirbopher snapped right back. “We should call the Hybrid Agency or something. I'm sure they'll find him a place to stay.”
Flamegirl sighed irritably.
“We'll only wake him if we keep arguing about this. We'll worry about what to do later okay?”
Kirbopher sighed, but nodded.
a gigantic scream suddenly filled the room making both hybrids jump. Kirbopher's eyes shot to the previously sleeping hybrid now screaming and pushing himself furtherer into his corner. Flamegirl was at his side in an instant.
“Hey, hey, it's alright, you're okay.” she soothed, but the moment she got close to him the boy crawled away from her to the other side of the room. Kirbopher felt his heart ache for the poor boy but refused to show it. He had his pride to think about.
“So has the kid got a name or what?” He asked Flamegirl though his eyes not leaving the teen hybrid.
Flamegirl sighed sadly.
“I'm sure he does, but he hasn't spoken once.”
Kirbopher smirked cheekily.
“Well if he won't tell us then I guess we'll have to give him one. Can't just keep calling him Kid, can we?”
Flamegirl gave Kirbopher an odd look.
“I guess not, but what do you suggest?”
“Don't look at me, I'm no good at names. If someone asked me to name a black dog, the best I'd come up with is Blackie or something unoriginal like that.”
“That explains my nickname.” said Flamegirl, smirking.
“Hilarious.” said Kirbopher sarcastically. He glanced at the teen who was eyeing them both.
“Hmm maybe a video game will calm him down. I thought about working on one, but with the income I get I'd be lucky to get it to the alpha stage.” Kirbopher then got an idea. “Hey, Alpha, that doesn't sound half bad. What do you think Flamey?”
“I think you're finally losing it.” teased Flamegirl.
Kirbopher rolled his eyes and glanced back at the teen.
“Aha! I saw that smile!” he cried with triumph when he saw the beginnings of a smile on the boy's lips.
“Alright that's settled. Alpha it is.” said Kirbopher with finality.
The teen, now known as Alpha just looked at his feet. That's when Kirbopher finally noticed his less-than-ideal footwear.
“What the hell is he wearing?!” he asked Flamegirl.
Flamegirl sighed sadly.
“I don't know. Thinking about it I should get them off.”
She tried to get close to him but Alpha who had no way of escaping since Flamegirl was approaching from one way, and Kirbopher standing in another, he panicked and waved his arm. Flamegirl barely dodge the jet of water.
“Whoa! Hey, what's you're deal?! Kirbopher yelled.
“No Kirb, it's alright!” cried Flamegirl. “He's just scared, that's all.”
Kirbopher looked at Flamegirl then at Alpha, who definitely looked very scared. He was trembling and his breathing was escalating.
“So what do we do about it?” he asked.
Flamegirl began approaching Alpha again but much more slowly, holding her hands up.
“Just relax, I'm not gonna hurt you.” she said gently. “I want to help you. Those things on your feet can't be very comfortable. Let's get them off. I'm sure they'll feel much better afterwards.”
Alpha didn't move an inch. He kept his wary eyes on Flamegirl not letting his guard down.
“I promise I'm not trying to trick you.” she said sadly. “Having to wear those must really hurt. I can take the pain away, if you'll let me.”
Kirbopher watched in astonishment as Flamegirl got close enough to untie the rope around Alpha's feet. Alpha still seemed apprehensive but didn't make a move to stop her. Flamegirl appeared to be having difficulty, but eventually managed to remove the first makeshift shoe. Kirbopher grimaced when he saw that the of his foot that was under the rope had been rubbed raw. It was even starting to bleed.
“Ouch.” he muttered. “I'm amazed he was even able to walk.”
“Kirb, could you get the First Aid kit from the bathroom?” asked Flamegirl, looking deeply disturbed also.
“Sure, no problem.” said Kirbopher giving Alpha a quick sympathetic look before doing what was asked of him.
He entered the bathroom and let out a sigh. He definitely didn't think something like this was gonna happen. All he wanted to do was relax and have movie night with Flamegirl, but that certainly wasn't gonna happen tonight. He opened the medicine cabinet and pulled out the First Aid kit.
What in the world happened to make this guy so terrified of....everything he thought sadly.
Kirbopher had no idea what happened to Alpha but he sure as hell was gonna find out. He went back in the living area and saw that Flamegirl had somehow managed to convince Alpha, who was no longer wrapped in a blanket, to sit on the sofa. Kirbopher almost dropped the First Aid kit in shock when he saw the numerous scars that littered his arms and legs. He could also see that one of his wings seemed....disfigured. Kirbopher shook off the shock and gave Flamegirl the First Aid Kit.
“Here you go.”
Flamegirl smiled and gladly accepted it.
Kirbopher stepped back and watched Flamegirl open the box and try to coax Alpha into letting her treat his feet.
Alpha was hesitant at first but eventually relented.
“This will sting a little.” warned Flamegirl before spraying disinfectant onto the Hybrid's foot, causing him to hiss in pain. Soon enough Flamegirl had both feet bandaged up.
“There. That should feel better.” she said with a smile.
Kirbopher let out an impressed whistle.
“Why thank you.”
Suddenly a loud thunder clap sounded. The loudest one they heard to night and the lights flicked and shut off. Alpha let out a scream, clearly startled.
“Hey, You're alright. Everything's okay.” soothed Flamegirl. She then got up and tried to turn the lights on, but to no avail.
“Terrific” she sighed.
Kirbopher looked out the window.
“Oh man. Looks like it's effected the whole town.” he groaned.
“Well might aswell turn in early then.” said Flamegirl. “I was gonna make some soup, but I can't do that without a working stove.”
“Mind if I stay the night?” asked Kirbopher. “I don't fancy going out there after that. Not that I'm scared or anything.” he quickly added.
“I don't see why not.”
So Kirbopher got as comfortable as he could in an old armchair wrapped up in a blanket Flamegirl loaned him and watched her place a blanket over the now sleeping Alpha.
“Well tomorrow should be interesting huh?” he asked mirthfully.
Flamegirl rolled her eyes but nodded all the same.
“I should think so.”