Sunderland Magic Ch. 04byclassymissm©
Braden and Alison had immediately gone to the University Hospital after scrubbing off as much of the extracts as possible. The two had decided not to disclose exactly what had happened to them, but they had still been seen by every elemental doctor and given a full workup. It had been close to midnight by the time they got out of there, and the doctors hadn't been able to find anything physically wrong with them. Every organ system was functioning normally, and there was no reason to believe they would suffer any lasting bodily harm from what had happened. Magically, it was different story. Slowly characteristics of the other's element would slip out, and it was hard to control an element that hadn't been with them all their lives.
They were driving to Braden's apartment when he first discovered his new powers. He was crossing through a four-way stop sign when the person on the right didn't seem to be stopping. Braden had pointed his finger and snapped at the car as if to say, "stay." The friction of his fingers meeting caused a spark to form, and then his hand was engulfed by an angry red flame.
"Fuck! Fix it Alison!" He yelled. She immediately grabbed his hand with hers, taking control of the fire with the palm of her hand and closing her fist to damp it out. He was shaking and clearly stunned by what had just happened. He had luckily been able to keep hold of the steering wheel with his left hand but he was frightened by what would have happened if Alison had not been so quick.
"Shit Ali, I'm never going to get used to that. Does it do that all the time? I just snap my fingers and everything goes up in flame?"
"Just like the Air magic, you have to learn to control it. It will come. You've had 25 years to get your Air reigned in, it's not going to happen inside a day with Fire either."
"At least you already have control over the dangerous element. I'm not going to be able to be left by myself if I don't get a grip on this soon."
"Well Fire may be dangerous physically but believe me Air can be just as exasperating. I know way too much about all those nurses in the hospital now. Sally cheated on her boyfriend and doesn't know if she should tell him, Jessica wants to quit her job and move to Utheria, because the people there aren't 'stupid, ignorant assholes', and Cynthia wants to get a puppy because she gets lonely at night. Oh, and all three of them desperately want to fuck you. While I know women are going to want to sleep with you because you're all sexy and stuff, I don't want to have to hear them talk about it in explicit detail."
"Hmm, yeah finding the block for that is kinda hard, you have to find a way to seal your mind. It's almost like a constant force-field and then you let it down when you do want to hear what's being thought. If it makes you feel any better, I almost punched out the Air doc in there. He was thinking about some very dirty things he wanted to do to you. I had wanted to make sure that he wasn't picking up on the small breezes you were throwing out, but he wasn't really paying attention to your actions while he was listening to you breathe. I swear to god it took all my self-control to not send him flying across the room when he looked down your shirt."
She reached over the consol and took his right hand. She wanted to make sure he hadn't burned himself, but mainly she just liked having the weight of it in her lap. She gently caressed the reddened flesh with her thumb, and they continued to drive in silence before a question hit her.
"Do you think we can mix the magics? I know that if Air and Fire meet in the right way it will cause an explosion, but can we do that now? And since Air is a long distance magic, do you think we can use Fire magic from a distance too?"
"I don't know. We are our own test subjects on this one. It would be a pretty powerful weapon if we could. We could cause explosions miles away. There's a park near my place; we can go there tomorrow and test stuff out if you want." He pulled back his hand, taking hers with it and placed a kiss on her knuckles.
"That's a great idea. You have a fire extinguisher right?" She asked, thinking about what happened earlier.
"I thought that's what I had you for."
So early Saturday morning had found Braden and Alison standing in an empty field that was surrounded by trees and sectioned off from the rest of the nature reserve that was near Braden's apartment. They had decided to spend the night with each other because Braden's lack of control over Fire made it too risky for him to stay by himself. That, and the intense fear they had felt earlier had them both hesitant to leave the other's side.
The morning began with them taking turns walking each other through the basics of their elements. They quickly discovered that they had all the abilities of advanced Air and Fire elementals, most likely because Braden and Alison were each advanced in their own element and the stuff they were exposed to was extracts of their own magics. The problem facing them now was control. Braden could easily produce fire balls, but if he wasn't extremely careful they would grow too large in size and Alison would have to step in to contain it. Likewise, Alison could produce incredibly powerful air vortexes but she couldn't control their direction. She had already uprooted a few trees because if it.
Alison was unsure about what this meant for her research in the long run. It was fantastic that they were able to successfully acquire another elemental skill, but would this really be of practical use now? She had expected to create topical creams or pills for patients; she had never considered it possible to give doctors additional elements. Who knows what the long term affects of possessing multiple elements would be? Suffice it to say she would have to give this a lot more thought. She still planned on meeting with King Medeas though. She now had definitive proof that she wasn't crazy, and she planned to get as much funding as she possibly could. Whether she would tell the king about the accident or that she could now control fires outside her visual range, she wasn't sure.
They had returned to Braden's apartment for lunch. It was a very masculine residence, with maroon walls and leather furniture. His front door opened into a small hall that led to a spacious living room. Mahogany shelves lined the left-hand wall of the room, and an antique globe stood in the corner. His couch and stuffed chairs were arranged to center in front of an elegant flat-screen TV that hung on the wide, back wall of the room. To the right of the TV was a door that led to the back half of his apartment where his kitchen, bedrooms and office were located.
Having finished eating and taking showers to clean up from the morning's exertion, Alison and Braden were curled up together on his couch watching a made-for TV movie and mindlessly letting the day pass them by.
"I talked to my Dad while you were in the shower." She told him during a commercial break. "My meeting with the king is scheduled for Monday. I'll need to leave for Lutheria tomorrow. Are you sure you won't reconsider coming? I shouldn't just leave you here."
He drew in his breath as if to immediately respond, but then stopped and thought further about his answer. "I'll be fine on my own for a couple days. I promise to keep a fire extinguisher next to my bed."
"You wouldn't have to be a part of the presentation you know. You could just come and stay at my father's estate with me. I'm sure he would love to meet the guy I've been working with." She really wasn't ready to be away from him yet.
"I really think its best if I stay here, hun. Someone needs to keep an eye on the lab, and plus, we need to get started on re-making the extracts we lost."
"Hmm, that's true I guess." She said, conceding to his decision. "But I will miss you." She nuzzled further into Braden's chest and then turned her attention back to the movie.
Her father's estate was really a small complex that was a part of the larger royal castle structure and contained a main house, a garden and a guest house. Her father was Senator Richard Morris, and since he was currently working on a peace treaty with the Utherians, he was often in the presence of the king. When she had arrived there late Sunday afternoon, she was told that he was in a meeting with King Medeas and his advisory council and that she should not expect him back until very late. Not having her father home to greet her, she took the initiative of making herself comfortable in the room that was always hers when she stayed with him.
It was a nice-sized room, with soft lighting that made the light pink walls glow and allowed her to see the dust particles floating in the rays of light that were coming in through the balcony windows. A white four-poster bed was covered with a frilly, pale yellow comforter and was pushed against the back wall. Long windows framed the bed and looked out onto the front yard and to castle beyond it.
She settled on her bed with her legs crossed and began to look over her notes for her presentation tomorrow. She had brought her lab notebook with her and had made Braden make copies of his Air stuff too. Since Braden refused to come, she had to quickly become an expert on everything he did. Thinking about him made her miss him, and with a sigh, she closed her eyes and flopped down onto the bed.
She felt her mind being pulled to the door of her room, and then down the stairs and out into the wide circle drive of the main house. The scenery began to speed up and she was moving past the castle gates, through car-packed streets and out onto deserted country roads. A whirl of green and brown surrounded her until she once again saw the blurred images indicative of a city. The streets began to look more familiar and she suddenly was in front of Braden's apartment building. She glided up stairs and didn't bother to stop before she entered his apartment.
She found him lazily spread out on his couch watching a basketball game and occasionally sipping from a beer. His hair was ruffled, as if he had run his hands though it in agitation. She wanted to let him know that she was there but she didn't quite know how to do it. She didn't want to risk creating a breeze because she might lose control of it and destroy his apartment. She looked around for something that might help her. Then, inspiration struck. On the table in one corner was an arrangement of black candles that were various heights and sitting on golden bases. She concentrated on centering her Fire magic and then started lighting each wick.
It took Braden awhile to notice the burning candles, but when he did he started and jumped from the couch.
"Alison?" The candles were immediately blown out and then just as quickly they were re-lit as if to confirm that it was her.
Alison? What are you doing here? He thought, hoping that she could hear him. He let the shield down that prevent others from reading his thoughts and focused on trying to hear Alison's.
I was missing you and started thinking that it would be nice to see you, and then suddenly my mind was zooming through the air and now I'm here.
Wow, that's really advanced Air magic, baby. You are really getting the hang of this. He sat back down on the couch, leaning his head back and closing his eyes. In no time he was able find her in her room, and passed a breeze over her to let her know he was there.
This is very odd. She thought. Can I ever just mentally talk to you? You know like telepathy stuff? Or is it always just going to be us reading each others minds?
I'm not sure, He responded. I'll carry a candle with me just in case.
They had been talking for over an hour, when she heard a car door and knew that her father had finally arrived home.
Hey baby, I gotta go. My dad just got back from his council meeting. I will be sure to talk to you tomorrow, and let you know how everything went.
Ok, but Ali promise me one thing.
What's that? She asked.
Promise me you'll be careful.
Much to Alison's surprise her father hadn't arrived home alone. Running down the stairs to greet her father, Alison had been pleasantly shocked to see her sister there as well. She learned later that her father's meeting had actually ended much earlier and that he was late because he was picking up Alexa from the airport. Alexa was 20 and currently attending Sunderland's finest music conservatory.
"Ali!" Her little sister was so excited to see her she threw her suitcase to the floor and rushed to embrace her. "It's been way to long Ali; I have so much to talk to you about!"
After promising her father that she would catch up with him later over a game of chess, Alison dragged Alexa upstairs so they could talk. Alexa was lying across the foot of Alison's bed with her long auburn hair fanned around her while Alison propped herself up against the headboard and began to ask her questions.
"So how is life at the conservatory? Is that theory class still giving you problems?"
"Oh, no it's a thousand times better now. It's by far my favorite class." Alexa had complained about her upper division theory class every chance she got, so the switch in opinion was surprising.
"Why the sudden change?" Alison asked.
"Well I got a really awesome tutor for it." Alexa was staring at the ceiling, but Alison could see the smirk that was beginning to form on her lips.
"Let me guess, the tutor is a guy."
"You know me so well." Alexa said, turning to smile at her sister. "He is by far the sexiest man I have even laid eyes on. He is tall, like not just taller than me, but like super tall. And he's all dark and mysterious and gorgeous."
"What's this dark, mysterious, gorgeous guy's name?" Alison asked.
"Damien Brice. He's a fourth year, and God, I would give anything to date him. Not only is he helping me to not flunk out of school, but he's the lead guitarist and founder of the school's hottest rock band. He named it Levanthal's Paradox and he is so hot when he plays." Alexa had by that point move to sit crossed-legged on the bed. "I want to have his babies, and not just one or two, like 10. He's beautiful; the man needs to procreate." Alison was highly amused by her sister crush and had to fight back her desire to laugh.
"You should probably tell him that. I'm sure he would love to hear that you are planning on having 10 of his children in the future."
"You kid, but it's gonna happen. I can feel it." Alexa was an Earth witch, and when she said she felt like something was going to happen, it usually did. "How about you Ali? I've never seen you seem so calm and happy before. I'm surprised you haven't made me listen to your boring presentation like a million times already." Alison grabbed a small throw pillow and threw it at her sister. Alexa blocked it with her hand and continued to press her. "So, come on spill."
"Well. There's a guy. You remember Braden? You met him when you came to visit me last year." Alexa looked up and to the right, trying to remember.
"The hot guy who was totally digging your chili?"
"That is the most disgusting euphemism I have ever heard. Where on earth did you hear that?" Alexa giggled and flopped down on her side.
"Sarah heard it from her co-worker, and it was so disgustingly amazing we obviously had to start using it on a daily basis."
"Well obviously. Anyway, to answer you question, yes that's Braden. Well, he and I are kinda seeing each other now, and I really like him. Like really, really like him."
"Aww, I'm so happy! I was so worried that you would die an old maid and I'd never get to be a maid of honor." Alexa laughed out loud at the offended look that Alison gave her. "Just kidding. I'm a shoe-in to be Sarah's maid of honor, so it wouldn't really have mattered." Alexa shrieked as Alison began to play fight with her, and soon the two girls were tickling and hitting each other with pillows. When they were exhausted and lying on the bed, breathing hard, Alexa became serious for a moment.
"Good luck tomorrow Ali. You really deserve it. I really am proud of you and how smart you are."
The rest of the night passed quickly for Alison. After her talk with Alexa, she had beaten her dad at chess of few times before turning in for the night. Her rest was peaceful, dreams of Braden giving her comfort for the day that lay ahead.
Braden had not been able to sleep that night. Thinking about Alison facing the king made him feel like he was just punched in the stomach. He was well aware of the interest that Medeas had in Alison's work, and he knew for a fact that the king had not just recently taken interest in the biomagical field. In fact, it had been about two and a half years since the king first heard about it. Whether Alison knew it or not she was about to be horribly exploited, and unfortunately there was nothing Braden could do to stop it. He had been called to the capital earlier in the week so that he could be told to his face that if he warned her at all he would never see the end of their harassment. This arrangement was the reason he had never pursued Alison before, but eventually he just couldn't take it anymore and he had to be with her.
He had been instantly smitten with Alison the very first day they worked together. While she was classically beautiful, she also had a penchant for making horrible biology jokes. While showing him the supply fridge where they kept all the solutions for their experiments she had said with a sense of humorous regret that she wished she was DNA helicase so she could unzip people's genes. At that moment he had known that he would eventually fall for her. Not telling her she was being used and letting her walk into their trap had been the hardest thing he had ever had to do. She would never trust him again when she learned his part in it. She may even kill him when she found out, but he couldn't help it; it was either he turned over her research or he turned over his life.