Chapter 1: A time of innocence, a time of emptiness, a time of obsessions
She isn’t broken.
Alisha realizes, a few days before their community service ends, that the Simon of the future was never in love with her. He was in love with an Alisha from the future, a ghost of her. She would catch him staring at her sometimes, just fucking staring, and there was something in his eyes that she could never place. Despair. Shock. Sadness. She could never pinpoint exactly what it was that was drowning him in those moments.
He would often let out a raspy, almost-pained "I love you" when he came and she grew depressed and confused when she reminded herself that he probably wasn't speaking to her, he was speaking at an Alisha from the future. His future.
It breaks her. That truth just breaks her.
Desperation and delusion. She was full of both and willing to ignore the voice in the back of her head telling her that this weird relationship with someone from the future was never going to work out. The prick managed to confirm that nagging voice when he killed himself. For her. For them.
She has a good cry from that realization, before silently telling herself to fucking stop it, to either curl up and die or to do something about it.
Bizarrely, she remembers a conversation she had with him, shortly before he killed himself. For her.
"So how old are you, Mystery Man?"
"Is that important?"
"Oh, fuck off, you know it is."
"I'm old enough," A pause as he ran his hand over her bare back. "Old enough to die, yeah?"
"Don't even joke about that, what the fuck is wrong with you?"
He never responded, and she never asked him about the future again. She figured he felt bad about the exchange because she found a note in her purse that he must've slipped in there while she was sleeping. She had opened it when she got home and had smiled happily at his scrawled words, short and sweet on a piece of notebook paper.
The first time we held hands was at a bar. We got pizza the same night. I've loved you ever since.
The night after he died, she read the note again and sobbed. After she had cried out everything she had, she tucked the note away in her jewelry box, cleaned her face, and went to meet the group for some take-out.
She isn’t broken.
* * *
As previously decided, the group goes to a nearby pub for a round of drinks to celebrate the end of their community service. After two hours of dicking around during which Nathan attempted to show them all his cock twice without anyone asking, the group slowly drifted out. Curtis went to do fuck all with Nikki, Kelly had enough of Nathan and just left, and Nathan found some poor, drunk soul to bring back to the community center.
And then there were two.
Alisha finds Simon staring at her, as he often does, as they sit across from each other. His long fingers grip his bottle of beer tightly as he sneaks another glance at her. "What?"
Simon quickly glances down at the table, an awkward twitch on his lips. Clearly waiting for her to snap at him. "You don't want to leave?"
She shrugs, trying to appear as nonchalant as possible. "I'm fine here." She pauses, eying him. "And you? You don't want to go home?"
He meets her gaze, the corners of his mouth turning up slightly in a shy smile. "I'm better here."
She doesn't bother to hide her surprise, then. "Why?"
The smile disappears from his face abruptly. "My family. They still act like I'm going to kill myself."
Alisha blinks rapidly now, thrown off by the shift in conversation. This Simon still doesn’t know how to have a proper conversation, is more about just saying what's on his mind rather than speaking for his company. "Are you?"
A ghost of a smile plays on his lips, then. "No."
"I'm glad," she fidgets just a bit, looking at her drink. "Are we friends, Simon?"
His brow furrows as he leans forward, his hands planting down on the table as if he’s sharing secret information. "We've always been friends."
What a lie. The sincerity in his voice almost kills her. She decides to ignore the lie, to focus on their present. They are friends, whatever that means. "You're right," she says with a faint grin.
"It's getting late," Simon says suddenly, straightening up in his seat. "Do you want me to walk you home? Since it's late."
She can’t stop the smile from growing, whether it be from the alcohol coursing through her system or the fact that Simon is being polite, and she nods quickly. "What a gentleman," she teases and he blushes, swiftly smoothing down his hair.
Simon gives her his jacket as they walk to her place and she has to stop herself from sniffing the fabric, from asking if she can keep it. She asks him questions about his family and he gives short answers, unable to keep the surprise from his voice. Clearly, no one has ever bothered to get to know Simon beyond the basics.
Simon has a sister whom he appears to adore. Simon's parents both work. Simon's parents don't know how to talk to him, but they try. Simon was beaten up regularly by bullies since the age of nine. Simon used to have panic attacks, which stopped after he started community service. Simon thinks Torchwood, whatever that is, is shit. His birthday is in October. Little things, Alisha now knows.
When they reach her flat, panic flashes in Simon's eyes for a moment. "I-I didn't ask about you, that was rude of me."
Alisha's brow furrows and she smirks as she slips off his jacket. Simon seems the kind of person to look up how to do certain things and follow it down to the smallest detail. How to Talk to People for Dummies. How to Be Polite for Dummies. How to Talk to a Pretty Girl for Dummies.
"I would like to know about you. Your family."
Okay, maybe he hasn’t read that last book yet.
She hands Simon his jacket, giving him a small grin. "Then I guess you'll have to talk to me some more."
Simon's lips purse together in a tight smile as if he doesn’t know what to do with that invitation, and he nods. "I can come to the bar more," he says slowly, and then his eyes light up briefly. "Get out of the house." The smile grows. "Make my parents happy."
"No one's stopping you-" Alisha pauses as he carefully folds his jacket. "Come to the bar, then. Keep me company. Keep me and Curtis company,” a frown twitches on her lips. "Don't bring Nathan, yeah?"
He smirks and glances down at the ground. "I can't make any promises."
She nods and bites back the grin growing on her lips. With a nervous twitch of her lips, she reaches into her purse. "Do you want a cigarette?"
"I-I don’t smoke."
"Oh," She drops the box back into her bag, forcing a smile on her face. "Thank you for walking me home," she reaches over, squeezing his wrist over his shirt. "Good night."
"Good night..." he hesitates for a moment, and she can almost see the quick talking-to he’s giving to himself in his eyes. Coaxing himself to say, "Sleep well."
To Alisha's surprise, a text pings on her phone twenty minutes later. Simon.
I'm home. Good night.
She can’t keep the grin from her lips. Progress. This is progress- he’s talking, he’s reaching out. So, she responds. Keeps it simple.
Glad ur ok. G nite.
* * *
Alisha lifts her gaze from her compact mirror, catching her mother's concerned stare on her. She quickly lowers her eyes, focusing on making sure her lipstick is perfect. "What."
"Are you all right, darling?”
"Yeah. Just tired. I work now, you know. You and daddy should be happy."
Her mother smiles at her, picking up her salad fork. "We are, Alisha, we are." Her mouth quirks in a way that makes Alisha hear her dad, loud and clear, 'god, you two are twins' and she pines for her father suddenly. Her mother glances at Alisha, sighing. "I know you're disappointed daddy couldn't come but he has to work, you know that."
Alisha nods, mustering a smile. "I know. I'm glad you came to eat with me."
"How're things?" her mother asks quietly. "You've been..." she trails off, rubbing her lips together. "You've been distant since your community service.”
A shrug. "Community service was shit, thank God I'm off it."
Her mother grins, her eyebrows rising. "Got a boyfriend?"
Alisha stares at her mother, frozen for a moment as she feels that familiar tightness in her chest. Her jaw clenches as she struggles not to cry. The grief always hits at the most random of times. A song on the radio, someone walking by wearing a hoodie, her Simon making a face that reminds her of her mystery man. Now.
Now isn’t the time to break down.
Alisha smiles, dropping her mirror into her purse. “His name is Simon,” she says slowly, tries to get used to saying it. "Simon Bellamy." Her mother looks elated for a moment and Alisha allows a rare happiness to fill her, telling herself that it isn't exactly a lie, that it'll eventually come true. "I met him in community service."
Her mother looks troubled for a moment. "Community service," she repeats.
"Don't worry, mum," Alisha says with a roll of her eyes. "Nothing scary. Arson, he accidentally set a fire. He's really nice. And sweet," she lowers her head, feeling the tears welling in her eyes. "I like him a lot."
"That's how I feel about your father,” her mother says softly. "So that's a good thing, love."
Alisha inhales sharply as her mother’s hand hovers over hers and she swiftly pulls her hand away. "Yeah."
Her mother stares at her for a long moment, her hand frozen where Alisha’s hand was just seconds ago and she immediately contains herself, pulling her hand back and giving Alisha a smile. "Can we meet him?"
"Not yet," Alisha says quickly. "He's shy...he’s not ready."
Her mother's brow furrows in concern. "Alisha, are you sure you're all right?"
Alisha gives her mother a tight smile. "I will be," her eyebrows lift as she picks up her glass of water. "Let's get dessert."
* * *
Simon finally holds Alisha's hand for the first time at a bar the group goes to one night, a few days after he had walked her home. Just like the future him had said. It freaks her out a bit- she’s always believed in freedom to do what she pleases, and here it is, playing out as destiny just like the future Simon had said. She had kind of brushed it off, even with that Vegas picture there in her purse, as the simple words of the mystery man. Just because he said it happens doesn't mean it has to.
Destiny was bullshit. She couldn't help it if she were in love with Simon, but she could control how they hooked up. Or at least, she hoped she would be able to. Despite that, at the moment, things played out like her future Simon said. And it both scared her and pissed her off.
They stand next to each other against a wall as the others are busy ordering more drinks, each sipping their own beers and not talking, and it’s more awkward than Alisha wishes it to be. After the previous night, she thought things would be easier. But Simon hasn’t come to the bar without Kelly or Nathan accompanying him, hasn’t done much, other than text her every so often.
Disappointed isn’t a strong enough word for how she’s feeling. He’s moving so slow, slower than molasses.
"You said I was beautiful a couple of weeks ago," she finally blurts out. She hoped he hadn't heard, but the way his eyes land on her tell her otherwise. "Did you mean that?"
"Y-yes," his mouth twitches as he leans forward and for a moment, she thinks he’s going to kiss her. His head moves, his mouth just short of her ear. "You're the most beautiful girl I've ever seen. You make me nervous."
She can’t help the hot flush of her cheeks or the odd feeling of her heart racing. Whether it’s just some misplaced confidence or the alcohol, he has definitely complimented her, and boldly. "Yeah? Is that why you only text?"
Simon nods as he straightens up and away from her, his eyes widening slightly. "I didn't mean to be rude."
"You're not rude," she lets out a faint laugh. "But when you promise to do something, I expect you to do it."
He nods again, shooting her a look. "I tried, but you make me nervous,” he says slowly. "You're funny. And you're smart, and you're beautiful."
She gives him an incredulous look. "You think I'm smart."
"Yes. And you don't put up with anyone's shit," Simon looks serious for a moment. "I like it."
Her eyebrows rise as he glances back at her and she leans forward, biting her lower lip playfully as she stands on her toes for a moment. "Are we flirting, Simon?"
There's a flush on his cheeks as his mouth twitches anxiously and he shrugs. "I don't know how to flirt."
"You're doing a damn good job of it right now. Are you going to hold my hand next?" she teases.
Simon's eyes narrow somewhat as he considers her question. "Do you want me to hold your hand?" he shoots back quickly.
She meets his gaze and falters for a moment at the strength of it. The heat of it. It reminds her of her mystery man. "I have this fucking power- is that a challenge?"
For just a fleeting moment, she hopes he’ll say yes, that she can touch him and drag him to the bathrooms. But he says nothing and she stays still. In that hesitation, rationalization takes over and she hopes he will drop the conversation completely, which has gotten to be far too intense for her liking.
It isn’t going to be. His lips press together as he set his drink down on the table in front of them with a bang. He pulls his sleeve over his hand and reaches over, hesitantly grabbing Alisha's hand in his makeshift mitten.
A bold move, for Simon. Completely chaste, like two children holding hands. But a move nonetheless. She likes it.
"All right?" Simon asks, his eyes searching her face, probably for approval.
"Yeah." Alisha grins, relaxing when he smiles back and they stand there for a few seconds until Kelly's booming "Simon!" fills their area.
Simon releases Alisha's hand, his eyes widening with panic as Kelly approaches.
Kelly stops in front of them, her eyes narrowing as she glances from Alisha to Simon. Alisha's brow furrows as she quickly realizes what Kelly is doing- she sensed the tension and sees how flustered Simon looks and is busy trying to read their minds.
Don't, Alisha thinks, glancing at Simon and seeing him staring intently at Kelly, probably thinking the same thing Alisha is. Please.
Kelly frowns at Alisha before facing Simon, giving him a grin. "We found a girl who wants to talk to ya. Nathan didn't pick her, I promise. Come say hello."
Alisha doesn’t say a word but her eyes drift in the direction of Kelly's attention. Some skinny, blonde thing with a nose ring. That girl is not Simon's type at all, Kelly should know that. He likes girls like her-
"Ya know what?" Kelly shakes her head, giving Alisha a pointed look. "Nevermind, mate. She's not your type."
Alisha's mouth drops and she blinks rapidly, glancing down at her drink. Kelly has read her mind again, she never stopped.
Simon turns to her as soon as Kelly walks away, his brow furrowing. "What's going on?"
She can feel the panic rising in her. Simon isn’t stupid and he definitely noticed the look Kelly had given her. "What?"
"Why are you being so nice to me? Talking to me? Flirting with me?" The more he talks, the angrier he seems to get. Confusion and Simon don't mix, she’s learning that. He doesn’t like to be confused.
She shrugs. Keep it simple. "Maybe I like you. Do you have a problem with that?" He’s taken aback, doesn’t say a word, but a smile plays on his lips then. So she grins.
"I don't," he finally says. "Do you?"
"Not at all."
Simon leans forward abruptly, his mouth near her ear. "Are you hungry?"
"Am I hungry?"
"We can go get some pizza, if you want." He nods at the crowd in front of them, adding, "It's a bit loud here."
Alisha is frozen for a moment, thinking about the note her mystery man had left her. It's all happening the way he said. Pizza also appears to be Simon's go-to as a date idea, a safe choice. At least his delivery is loads better this time. The way he’s looking at her is weary, almost like he’s expecting her to be as rude as she was the last time he asked her out for pizza.
She nods, willing herself to do something, anything. She gives him a smile and starts to move. Simon stays put and she glances back at him. "Coming?"
He quickly nods and follows her, his fingers resting on the small of her back on her shirt as they move through the crowd, as if he will lose her. She glances over at the group, still standing by the bar, and is met with their confused expressions. The only one not visibly affected by the scenario seems to be Nikki, and the only one who bothers to say anything at all is, of course, Nathan.
"Barry! Where are we going?"
Alisha's eyes close briefly and she wordlessly tries to will Simon into continuing to follow her out, to not tell Nathan where they are going. She peeks over her shoulder at him, catching the tiny smile he gives the group before gently pushing Alisha toward the exit.
Out of anything that has happened tonight, this pleases her the most. He wants to be with her, without the group. He could've said they were going to get pizza, but he didn't. He wants her all to himself. This is definitely promising.
The secrecy, of course, gets them both the constant bing of texts as their night continues elsewhere. Simon, being the gentleman- or fool- that he is, pays for everything and they both eat, checking their cells as they vibrate and chime.
"Have you talked to Jessica?" Alisha asks through a mouthful of pizza, wiping her fingers with her napkin. "Since..." she trails off, grimacing.
He shakes his head, meeting her gaze. "No. I took her number off my phone before our community service ended."
"Do you miss her?" she asks before she can stop herself, and he merely shrugs.
Then, silence. Horrible, awkward silence. Simon takes a long sip of his drink, his eyes on Alisha as she checks her phone, scrolling through the messages. She wishes he would say something, just to break the silence. Of course, he doesn't, so she must.
Alisha smirks at the third text from Kelly, straightening up in her seat. "Listen to this- What's going on, mate? Kelly."
Simon smiles, peeking at his own phone. "That was rude. Curtis."
"How drunk are you? Curtis."
"Are you mad at us? Kelly."
"Where are you, we're worried. Curtis."
"Good one, go fuck her. Nathan." Simon's smile falters as soon as the words leave his mouth and he sets his phone face-down. "I think we should text them back."
"Got it," she finishes off the text to Kelly, sending it and setting her phone down. "Told them we were just hungry, went to get pizza. So we should finish quick."
Simon stares at Alisha for a long moment, his eyes searching her face. He finally lowers his gaze, cleaning his fingers with his napkin. A faint disappointment is on his face as he gives her a brief, forced smile. "I'll walk you home," he says quietly.
Alisha feels her heart drop at Simon's suggestion, quickly realizing that he took her comment the wrong way. He thinks she wants to go home, not that she wants to leave before the group finds them. No part of Simon can consider that she wants to be with him alone, even after she fucking told him that she liked him. This is getting frustrating.
They manage to avoid the group, and Alisha reads the texts as Simon walks her home. He even laughs at some, so she read him some from Chloe and Lucy. He even humors her and smiles at those, which delights her.
She decides to skip Nathan's text asking her if she loved Simon.
"Did you mean what you said at the bar? That you like me?" Simon asks as they stop in front of her building.
She shrugs. "Yeah. You like to listen and you say what you mean. And you're nice. I like that."
At that, he leans forward, leaving the quickest kiss she’s ever had on her cheek. Quick enough for her to feel it, but not long enough for her power to take over. His lips are dry and kind of cold from the weather. He gives her a small smile, nodding. "Good night."
"Good night," she grins at him, before turning and walking into the building. She isn’t even inside her flat before the text chimes on her phone. Simon.
I like you too.
* * *
She still sleeps at the future Simon's flat. She can't help it, it's become the only place she feels...normal, other than with the group. It happens more often as she gets closer to the Simon of the present. Her Simon.
Sometimes she cries, staring at that fucking Vegas picture as she wonders when the fuck Simon is going to become who he’s supposed to be. She cries out of pure frustration and loneliness. She touches herself and misses mystery man's hands on her and wishes her Simon would just try to touch her, maybe he has some power they don't know about. It's all just delusion, she knows full well Simon can’t touch her.
Sometimes, when she’s half-asleep, she swears she hears the lift start, or the shower run and she always jolts up in bed, looking around the flat wildly. She even calls for him, always, hoping that the past few weeks have been a nightmare, and that her mystery man will pop up, that ghost of an amused smirk on his face.
Every time, she’s disappointed.
The sheets stop smelling like him, so she washes them. The little food that was in the fridge has long spoiled, so she tosses it. Dust collects on his table and his counter, so she cleans it. Stupid shit she does in that flat, like it is her own. She supposes it is, now.
Only when the loneliness and the grief gets to be too much, to the point that she feels like she's suffocating, does she leave. And every time, she texts Simon, hoping he's available to chat or have a drink.
He always is.
* * *
"Do you...do you believe in destiny?"
Simon glances at Alisha beside him, his mouth quirking a bit as he nods slowly. "Yes. How else would we all have gotten here? The powers?"
Alisha frowns, licking the ice cream around the edges of her cone. She and Simon separate as someone walks between them, and come back side by side as they continue walking across the estate. She’s going to count this as a date, even if Simon doesn’t. Coming out of the blue to the bar and asking her if she wanted to go get something to eat on her break is a date. It has to be.
She’s turning into such a girl. Fuck, she is turning into Lucy. This is troubling.
"But," Alisha shakes her head, looking up at Simon. "Destiny can be changed, yeah? It's not over and done with."
Simon considers Alisha's statement, shrugging as he takes a bite of his ice cream. "Well...that depends."
"If you believe destiny is infallible or if you believe in free will. If you believe in free will, anything is possible."
Alisha nods, her jaw setting. "I believe in free will," a smile grows on her face as his eyes widen briefly. "And you obviously don't."
Simon glances down at Alisha, a small grin playing on his lips. "I didn't say that. I just..." he trails off, inhaling deeply. "We all met because of destiny. We have these powers because of destiny-"
She laughs harshly. "Bullshit!" He slows and she stops, turning to face him. "That's bullshit," she laughs, pointing her cone at him. "What if Curtis had switched groups? Or I had gone to the loo before the storm like that other guy? Or Kelly had gotten your power? What if that fucking storm never happened?"
"But he didn't," he says quietly. “You didn't. She didn't." He meets her gaze. "And it did."
Her smile fades. "You really think all of that was planned?”
"What else could it be?"
"What about us?"
Simon's brow furrows in confusion. "What about us?"
Alisha shrugs, digging her sneaker against the concrete. She’s just vomiting out words today, no different from any other day she has spent with Simon. Why should she stop now? "Do you think this is destiny, us walking here?"
"Maybe. Maybe this is meant to happen, just as it's happening."
She feels the tears well in her eyes before she can stop them and she quickly looks down at her ice cream, rubbing at her eyes. She can’t accept that. This all isn’t planned out and unbreakable, it can’t be. "I think you're wrong."
"Alisha," she can hear the concern in Simon's voice, feels his hand light on her shoulder over her jacket. "I didn't mean to upset you."
She chuckles weakly. "You didn't."
He shakes his head, giving her a slight smile. "I like your idea of free will."
Alisha glances up at Simon, the urge to hug him overwhelmingly high. She resists, gesturing at his cone. "What did you get?”
Simon looks down at his cone. "Regular, with strawberry syrup."
"Can I?" He nods, holding out his cone and she leans forward, slowly licking off a bit of his ice cream. She can feel his eyes on her and she lifts her gaze, her eyes locking on his. A grin quirks on her lips as her tongue runs over her bottom lip. "Do I still make you nervous, Simon?"
"Not so much anymore."
As much as she hates to admit it, he makes her feel different. Shy. He makes her feel shy. Even after the ice cream cone moves, he can make her feel shy with just one comment. She likes that. It's different.
The moment holds between them before Alisha realizes they're just standing there grinning at each other like a bunch of idiots. As that hits, so does the stranger bumping into Simon, sending him stumbling forward.
Alisha's mouth curls in disdain as she looks over Simon's arm at the man rushing away. "Watch where you're going, you twat!" she yells after him before glancing at Simon, smiling at his wide-eyed expression. "Want to switch?" she asks, gesturing at his cone.
Simon nods and they carefully exchange cones. She grins up at him, taking a lick of her newly acquired ice cream and he smiles back as they continue their walk back to the bar.
* * *
"Don't do it."
Alisha lowers her lipstick, glancing at Kelly in the mirror. She wonders for a moment if she had misheard her, if Kelly had been talking to someone else in the bar bathroom, but of course, she wasn't. "Don't do what."
Kelly hands Alisha back her tube of mascara, giving her a firm look. "Dick around with Simon. He'll fall in love with ya and when you get tired of him, I'm going to have to sort him out."
Alisha's eyebrows rise as she turns to face Kelly. "What makes you think I'm dicking around with him?" She frowns as Kelly shrugs. "What, you think I'm just bored or something?"
"Or he's not your type?" Kelly offers, the faint aggression in her tone left floating between them.
"What do you know about my type?"
Kelly shrugs again, turning back to the mirror and checking her hair. "I'm not fighting with ya...I just see the way he looks at you special. And you know how Nathan is."
"Well, maybe we like hanging out,” Her fingers play on the chain around her neck as she considers what Kelly has just said. “He looks at me special?” Kelly nods, and Alisha bites back the smile on her face. “You really care about him, huh?”
"Too many people pick on him." She glances at Alisha. "I'm not going to even try to understand what you’re up to, but just don't hurt him. Seriously."
Alisha smiles tightly, throwing her lipstick into her purse and closing it swiftly. "You know, I'm feeling right knackered. Gonna head home."
Kelly watches Alisha in the mirror as she walks to the door. "Alisha, I didn't mean to insult ya-"
"It's fine!" Alisha exclaims too fast, opening the door. "I'm not going to hurt anyone. I promise."
That seems to satisfy Kelly and she nods, facing Alisha. "This talk never happened, yeah?'
Alisha gives Kelly the smallest of smiles, nodding. "Tell the guys I went home?"
As she's walking home, she can't stop herself from texting Simon. It's become their way of talking when they can't find the nerve to talk face to face. She actually loves that, he can go on and on in texts, it's easier for him that way. She’s going to slowly work him to talking on the phone. Maybe tonight.
She gathers up the nerve and sends him the quick text. Short and simple.
Call me when u get home :-) xx
He, of course, does what she says. She manages to keep him on the phone until four in the morning and falls asleep as soon as he hangs up, a smile on her face.
* * *
Amused, Alisha watches Simon's fingers slide over the neck of his beer bottle. Long, thin fingers moving up the neck, then down. "Enjoying yourself?" he stops abruptly, giving her a crooked grin. She sighs, tossing a pile of napkins in the trash. "Does it bother you that Nathan calls you Barry all the fucking time?"
Simon's smile grows. "Does it bother you?"
"Answer the question, Barry."
He laughs, shaking his head. "Not anymore. It's his way of being nice. I guess."
"I guess it's better than melon fucker," she says with a chuckle.
"Yeah," Simon's eyes follow Alisha's hand as she wipes at the bar counter with a rag, her bracelet clanging on the edge with each swipe. "I want to film you," he mumbles, pulling his cell phone out of his jacket pocket. He fiddles with it for a moment before glancing at her.
Alisha beams, throwing down the rag. "What? Right now? Here?" He nods and she poses, freezing when he gives her a disapproving look. "What?"
"The real you."
The smile fades and her shoulders droop slightly. "What do you mean?"
He slowly raises his phone, peering at her through the screen. "No acting. No games. Just be you."
She quickly grows insecure as his eyes bore into her through the small phone screen. He's not looking directly at her but she feels like he is, and she lowers her gaze to the counter. "Simon."
A smile perks on his lips as she glances at him through her curls. "You're beautiful."
Alisha lets out a breathless laugh, shaking her head. "You keep saying that..." she bats at his phone, covering it with her hand. "Can we do this another time? When I'm not working?" Simon nods, lowering his phone and she grins. “You're weird, you know that?"
He smirks. "So are you."
"A match made in heaven," she scoffs, picking up the rag and swatting his arm with it. "Wanker."
"I'm back!" Alisha and Simon both turn at the door as Curtis rushes in, catching the rag Alisha throws at him. "I'm not late, I came on time."
"Yeah, so did Nikki," Alisha mutters, grinning when Simon nearly chokes on his beer. Her smile fades as she catches Curtis' suspicious stare and she rolls her eyes. "What?"
* * *
She impulsively flashes Simon her bra one day during drinks at a pub. Mostly out of boredom, some curiosity over what his reaction would be. Just a quick glimpse, a flash of cup, a peek of purple. He has been staring at her for most of the night anyway and she decides to do something about it. Really, his staring isn’t all that creepy when you actually want to be the object of his attention.
She waits until Nathan is checking out a girl and Curtis is kissing Nikki and Kelly is checking her phone to do it. As expected, his eyes widen and he quickly looks away, his hand immediately flying to his hair as he anxiously smooths it down. His eyes lift, catching on her amused ones, and his mouth twitches.
And then, a slight smirk.
She has to laugh.
Of course, Nathan immediately notices the change in Simon's demeanor, the faint flush on his face, and calls him on it. "What?" Nathan starts looking around feverishly. "Did you see tits?"
Simon is a bad liar.
"Where? Come on, man! Don't hold out on me!"
Simon doesn't respond, quietly sipping his beer. His eyes flit up to Alisha before glancing back at his drink and thankfully, Nathan doesn't notice since he's too busy whining about Simon's secrecy.
"You are such an ungrateful little twat. I decide to make you my friend and this is how you repay me. How am I going to get you laid if you don't tell me when you see tits?"
"I didn't see anything,” Simon smiles slightly. "You've drunk too much."
Nathan holds out his empty beer bottle in Simon's face, wiggling it. "I'll forgive you for being a shit friend if you get me a lager."
Alisha waits a few seconds before standing and following Simon to the bar. She flicks the back of his hand with her nail, smirking when he glances at her. "Enjoy the show?"
Simon's mouth purses together for an instant before he allows the smile to form. "Yes."
"Buy me a drink?" she asks and he nods, already reaching into the pocket of his trousers. She hesitates for just a moment before standing on her toes, leaning in toward his face. "Feel free to stare at my tits anytime," she whispers in his ear before walking away.
She glances over her shoulder as she walks back to the table, catching him staring at her with his mouth open in a stunned silence. She smirks as she slides into her seat. He’s all hers.
Everyone is still preoccupied with their own shit except, of course, Nathan. "So," he says, making a show of turning toward Alisha with an expectant look.
Alisha shrugs. "You're not the only one who can get a free drink out of our mate Simon."
* * *
Simon ends up in Alisha's bedroom after yet another night of drinking. Drinking seems to be the only way to loosen Simon up so it's no wonder after a couple of hours at the pub, he agrees to a tour of her flat.
It was simpler than she would've thought it to be. "Wanna come up?" Just like that, and he nods, following her in. She isn’t sure if he understands what coming up usually means, or if he does and is just ignoring the signs. Either way, he’s in her flat, in her bedroom.
He isn't drunk, just relaxed enough to run his fingers over the holiday lights she has over her bed and vanity mirror. His fingers linger on the lights she decorated her headboard with and she wishes she had Kelly's power, just to get an idea of where his head was at. His back is to her, his hands brushing over her pillow as he glances over his shoulder at her.
She finally speaks up, unable to take the silence any longer. "Like it?"
He nods. "It's unique."
"I can do it for your room. In boy colors, like blue."
Alisha inwardly scolds herself over her awkward line. Terrible. Just terrible. The old her would've turned the room lights off, offering to give him a closeup view of the headboard lights. Now she stands around like an insecure teenager, nervously playing with her necklace.
Simon faces Alisha, an amused grin on his face. "I'm all right. Thanks."
She frowns, inhaling deeply with determination before walking over to Simon, stopping in front of him. Now or never. He's not making any steps forward, so she'll have to. "Touch me."
All right, maybe she is a little bit drunk.
His eyes flit to her bare arms before he awkwardly places his hand on her waist. She shakes her head, grabbing his clothed wrists and placing his hands on her breasts. His eyes widen briefly, a sharp breath escaping him as she pushes her chest up against his hands.
"When I said you could check out my tits," she says in a low voice. "I meant it, Simon."
He stares at his hands on her breasts for a long moment before his eyes dart to her face. "What...what are you doing?"
"I see how you look at me and I've given enough hints- you like me, yeah?"
She smiles, pleased, running her hands over his covered forearms. "Good," she takes a step closer, peering up at him through her curls. “Well?" She inhales deeply as he leans forward, his cheek brushing over her hair.
"What happens now?" Simon asks shakily, his hands moving down her breasts, over her stomach and under her jacket.
"What do you want to happen?" she whispers, carefully nuzzling her hair against his cheek.
He seems to gather himself and snaps out of whatever trance he’s in, stepping away from her. "We can't do what I want," he says shortly.
Alisha breaks free with an aggravated groan and the scowl on her face fixes on Simon. "This is killing me, Simon," she says angrily. "Fucking killing me- I'm the only one trying-"
Simon's eyes widen, his mouth opening and closing helplessly. "I'm scared-"
"I'm scared too!" she exclaims. "Okay? I'm fucking terrified but I want this and you won't make a move!"
He fidgets uncomfortably. "You know why."
Her eyebrows rise. "Oh?" He shakes his head and she steps forward, her hand lifting. "I can make you if I wanted to. I can do it."
She's going crazy. She's finally going mental. All of this is finally getting to her and she's losing her mind. She's finally a nutter. She's finally one of those people she avoids on the tube at four in the morning. Fucking hell.
The anger and fear in Simon's voice stops her cold, and her hand lowers as the tears well in her eyes. "You're afraid of me," she says softly.
"You said you were scared."
Simon looks lost for a moment, glancing around the room as if someone will pop in and come to his aid. "I-I'm scared of what I'm feeling, not of you," he says slowly. "I'm scared because this is happening and we can't-"
She sticks her bottom lip out in a pout. "So this is my fault?"
He shakes his head, carefully reaching for her. "None of this is your fault." And when she doesn't respond, he continues with conviction, "It's not on you, none of us asked for this."
Alisha feels her heart skip at his words, almost the exact same ones said by the future him months before. This is too much. "Get the fuck out," she mutters, a tremble in her voice.
Simon's eyes narrow in confusion, his hand frozen between them. "What?"
"Get out!" He freezes at her yell and she slaps his hand away, pointing at her bedroom door. "Get the fuck out, Simon!"
Anger flashes in his eyes for a moment before he stomps past her and out of her room. Seconds later, she hears her front door slam.
Alisha stands there, stunned, for what feels like hours, continuing to stare at the spot where Simon had just occupied. She had fucked it up. She had fucked it all up.
She shakes her head, grabbing her purse and rushing out of her bedroom. In a daze, she turns off the lights in her flat before turning them back on, just like a crazy person. Finally, she leaves, a sharp breath escaping her as the cool air hits her. She makes the familiar walk to the other flat.
Up the lift, the lights flicker.
She inhales and exhales deeply as she enters the lair, feeling as if the bricks on her chest have been lifted. She flops on the bed, burying her face in the sheets, before opening her purse and pulling out the picture of her and Simon. She slowly sits up, gazing at it.
It’s just too much. What if the future Simon was wrong? What if he really fucked things up and he was never going to come back to her? What if he never became this person and none of this will ever happen-
"What is that?"
Alisha cries out at the sound of Simon's voice as he appears over her, his horrified eyes on the picture in her hand. "Simon-"
He glances around the room, looking scared and suspicious as all fuck, before looking down at Alisha again. "What is this place? Where did you get that? How-"
Her heart is pounding. Adrenaline rushes through her briefly and she wonders her odds at escaping the flat and never running into Simon again if she shoved him and ran. She feels dizzy and there’s no way to lie to him now. "The man in the mask."
"Who is he?"
She inhales deeply, her eyes locking on his. "It's you." He blinks rapidly, a shuddering breath escaping him as he begins to look like he’s about to faint. He quickly sinks to the edge of the bed before he can topple over and she turns to face him, holding out the picture like a child would. "It's you, Simon."
And then it all comes out. Spilling out of her, weeks and months of secrets and pain. She tells him everything. How she got to the lair, how she found out the man in the mask was him, how she fell in love with the future him, how he was able to touch her, how they were able to have sex, how they were together in the future, how he died, all of it. It was finally out and she was briefly so fucking happy not to have that weight drowning her.
And he’s taking it better than she thought he would.
"So I'm going to die."
"No! I mean, I don't think so," Alisha gestures at the photograph now in his hands, shifting closer to him. She bumps his shoulder with hers, but he doesn’t flinch or move away, and she considers that to be a victory. "You did it to save me, so we can be together in the future. You're like a proper superhero."
His gaze is uncertain as he turns to her. “When do I become this superhero?” She shrugs and he nods, glancing down at the photo. “So what happens now?”
Alisha lets out a bitter laugh, shaking her head. “I have no fucking idea.”
Simon looks up, his eyes drifting over the vast space. "So you've been living here? Since he- I..." he grinds the heel of his right hand against his right eye, his face contorted into a pained grimace. "Since."
"Sometimes. He- you gave me the key."
Alisha abruptly stands, suddenly wanting to get out of the flat. She doesn’t want to leave Simon, but it’s too much. Her brain is finally catching up with her mouth and this is all just such a bad idea. He had told her not to say anything and she didn't listen. Just like that, everything has changed.
She musters a smile, pulling the chain from around her neck and holding it out. "I guess it's all yours, superhero."
He looks up at her, slowly taking the key and handing her the photograph. A trade.
She nods once, bending down and picking up her purse. "I-I'm sorry, Simon. I have to go," she says with a weak smile, stepping toward the lift.
"I could get a copy made," he says suddenly. "For you. If you want it."
Alisha stops in her tracks, glancing over her shoulder at him. "Yeah?"
Simon makes a face, as if his offer is the only, obvious one. "It's a big flat."
Alisha officially moves in two weeks later.
Chapter 2: Since we touched, I couldn't rest until I was in your arms again, like I'm losin' control
The forced distance makes her want to scream.
They don't mention the words "relationship" or "couple" at first- she overhears Simon refer to her as his roommate while on the phone with his mother and that suits her just fine. Mrs. Bellamy must have gotten excited over the idea of her son living with a girl because Simon is quick to correct her, telling her that Alisha is just a friend he made during community service. It isn’t a lie, not at all.
They don't even sleep in the same bed during the first couple of days- he gives her the bed and takes the floor. She finally tells him to stop being a twat and get in the bed with her. They plan their sleeping arrangements carefully to avoid Alisha's powers coming into play (solution: they would have their own set of blankets), and from that moment on, they are sharing a bed. They keep to their own sides of the bed and Alisha has to admit that this particular arrangement kind of sucks. It’s hard having him that close and not being able to touch him.
They split the chores. Each week, one does the cooking or the buying of take-out, the other cleans. Alisha hates doing both but doesn't complain because Simon doesn't. Simon doesn't complain about anything, ever. Hell, to him, anything is probably better than the life he was living a year ago.
They make the flat theirs. They take the hundreds of Polaroids and papers off the walls, remove the clocks, and begin moving their own things in. Alisha's lamp, Simon's books and comics, Alisha's stereo, their laptops, all of their clothes. The long table against the wall becomes home to their laptops, CDs, ipods, and stereo. Rods and curtains go up to separate the shower and toilet from the rest of the flat. Alisha suspects Simon isn’t a fan of the blue chainmail, but he’s going to have to deal with it. Plastic crates hold shit they can’t fit elsewhere. Hangers for their clothes. More sheets for their bed. They are properly domesticated.
There are rules. They decide not to tell their friends about the future Simon, they both agree that it’s just for the best, especially since the future Simon had warned Alisha not to say a word to them about him. Alisha is not to throw tantrums or give Simon the silent treatment. Simon is not to turn invisible during a fight or to spy or creep on Alisha. She cannot use her power on Simon without his permission. Simon promises not to ask awkward questions about his future self and Alisha promises to be as truthful as possible with any questions he does have. No depressing music on the stereo. No talk of Doctor Who or Made in Chelsea.
Of course, hormones also come into play. Alisha wakes one time to find Simon's arm around her covered waist, and she swiftly and carefully moves away from him, the move harder than it sounds, just because she’s ever-so-tempted to jump him right then. When one showers, the other moves to the other side of the flat. Alisha one time finds Simon in the lift, too fascinated in the metal door to be convincing. He finds her another time blasting music from her laptop, with her back to the shower area.
Finally, she starts working double shifts to avoid temptation while Simon begins to study and practice parkour. She tells him he's completely insane, he counters that he's trying to stay busy, and didn't they both remember what the future him had been like? So for the time being, she allows it, even though every time he comes home or to the bar with cuts and bruises, she silently panics.
The awkward part? They don't tell their friends that they're living together at first. They don't even tell them that they're a couple. Alisha can tell they suspect something is up, Kelly is always eying them now. Nathan, surprisingly, doesn't say a word, but she catches the faces he makes and the looks he shoots Kelly whenever she and Simon talk a little bit too long or take too long getting drinks or glance at each other during private jokes.
He visits her at the bar nearly every day. One night after watching intently as she sweet-talks some suit into buying yet another expensive drink, he blurts out "I don't like it when you flirt with other guys."
She laughs, shaking her head. "Simon. Are you jealous?"
"And if I was?" he shoots back defensively.
"I like that you're jealous."
The next time Simon's mother calls, he admits that Alisha is his girlfriend. Mrs. Bellamy must've exploded with glee because Simon just laughs, glancing briefly at Alisha before walking to the elevator for privacy.
They talk a lot, and try to touch as much as they can. He kisses the top of her head, over her hair. She pulls her sleeves over her hands to touch his face. Their hugs are awkward and stiff, but at least he's touching her. Her arms around his waist and his arms around her shoulders. Only when Simon is wearing a jacket or long sleeves. Most of the time, even this is too much.
Alisha wants more, and she can tell Simon wants more. She can tell by the way his breathing halts, the way he looks at her when they separate. For a moment, he always looks like her mystery man and she has to keep reminding herself, not yet, not yet, not yet.
It isn't easy.
* * *
"Let me get this straight-"
Alisha rolls her eyes, burying her face in her hands. "Fucking hell." Simon bumps her shoulder with his and she lifts her head, staring at Nathan. "What."
Nathan holds up his hand, glancing at the rest of the group sitting around him. Kelly lowers her beer, staring at him as the waitress set down their chips. "Hold on. I need to do this publicly. Curtis, pay attention-"
Curtis shakes his head, shifting in his seat as Nikki rubs his knee comfortingly. "You-"
"Just so we're all clear," Nathan interrupts loudly, "You and Barry have been acting awfully weird lately. All secretive-like and going off together with the smiling and I just want to make it clear- you are clearly a couple now, correct? We're not drunk and paranoid?"
The group turns to stare at Alisha and Simon, waiting. Simon is no help, giving the group a tight smile. Finally, Alisha sighs loudly. "Yes! Yes, we're a couple, all right?"
"I fucking knew it," Kelly says, tipping her beer at the two. "Cheers."
Nathan's loud yelp is heard above the chatter in the pub and he points at Curtis. "Suck my cock- that'll be ten quid!"
Curtis groans, reaching into his pocket. “You prick,” he mutters, before facing Alisha and Simon. "How did this happen?"
Simon shrugs. "It just happened."
Alisha nods, picking up her beer. "Yeah. You think you're surprised, imagine being us."
The table's collective groan makes it quite clear that their answers are not satisfactory. Alisha glances at Simon and he merely smiles, sliding over a plate of crisps in front of her.
Kelly's eyebrows come together as she looks to Alisha. "How does that even work with your power?"
"It doesn't...we don't," Simon admits. "We just...date and live together." his eyes widen as Alisha smacks his arm, shooting him a glare. Four pairs of shocked expressions zero in on them and Alisha sighs heavily, waiting for the assault of questions.
Later while Simon is showering, Alisha receives a call from Curtis. She had been expecting it, but it’s still surprising that he called so soon. She had expected him to corner her at the bar or something.
She knows Curtis. He’s gruff and he can have an attitude, but there’s always a level of concern behind it. Even at the pub, he kept shooting her glances. She could tell it wasn’t jealousy, not at all, it was worry for her. He was always worrying about her, for some reason.
"Here we go," she mutters, moving as far from the shower as she can in the flat before answering. "Hiya."
"We have to talk."
She stifles an annoyed groan, glancing at the ceiling. "Curtis..."
"Just listen. I don't know when or how this happened, but-"
"It just happened," she cuts him off sharply.
"I'm just worried about you-"
"Don't be worried. I'm fine, I'm happy."
"I'm in love with him, Curtis."
The moment the words are out of her mouth, Alisha regrets saying them. She hasn't even told Simon she loves him and here she is telling Curtis of all people. It’s even a bit of a surprise to her- she is still getting to know this Simon, and she’s considered herself to still be in the “fancy” stages of the relationship, but there it is. Love.
"Really? With him?"
Alisha glances over at the still-running shower before leaning against the wall. She plays with the drawstring on her pajama pants, winding the string around her fingers. "Yes. Don't go telling everyone, yeah? Not even Nikki."
"I won't," a pause, then, "I'm sorry I couldn't make you happy."
She smiles sadly, shaking her head as if Curtis can see her. "You did make me happy. You were great, it just didn't work out. Besides, you're happy with Nikki, you wouldn't have been able to put up with me," she hesitates as she hears the shower being turned off. "Listen, I have to go."
"Are you sure everything's all right? You’ve looked sad lately-"
"Yes. Thanks, Curtis."
He sighs deeply and she can almost see him rolling his eyes at her. "Be good."
She hangs up as Simon appears from behind the curtain, tugging his t-shirt on. Her eyes linger on his bare stomach before it gets hidden underneath his shirt, lifting her gaze as he approaches her. His own eyes drift over her arms, over her tight tank top and she inhales deeply as he stops in front of her. They simply stare at each other for a long moment as Simon ties up his pajama pants and Alisha wants so badly for him to come closer.
"Ready for bed?" Simon finally says, giving her a faint, shy smile.
Alisha nods, smiling weakly as she starts to move around him. To her surprise, he catches her shirt in his fingers, stopping her. Gently, he tugs her to him and she holds her breath, waiting, until he carefully leans down, kissing the top of her head over her hair.
"I'm sorry for ruining our secret," he murmurs against her hair.
"It's fine," her eyes close at the feel of his body against hers for just a moment. This is still so new, he's more willing to be open with her, but he's so far from the future him. He’s still at the awkward but craving affection stage and she’s considering every move and gesture he makes to be an accomplishment. The closeness is nice, she'll take what she can get and it will have to do for now. "They were going to find out eventually."
He pulls away, running his hand over her hair before walking to the bed. She stands there as the lights in the flat begin to turn off and she wants to cry. The gentleness of him with her makes her want to cry.
The forced distance makes her want to scream.
* * *
About three weeks after they move in together, Simon decides that sleeping next to each other and hugging every so often isn't enough, he's willing to experiment.
He might be awkward still, but he's also human and he admits as much to her during lunch one afternoon at their flat. Curtis is working the late shift at the bar so she thankfully gets to leave early, bringing home sandwiches and soda for her and Simon. They eat on the bed, which is an area of pride for Alisha, considering how fucking neat and clean Simon is. Little by little, he’s coming out of that bubble of his.
"We have to talk about sex," Simon says abruptly, and Alisha nearly chokes on her sandwich, quickly taking the soda Simon hands to her. He watches her as she drinks before continuing. "I'm getting...frustrated and I know you are- see, that-" he points at her. "You doing that gets me frustrated."
Her eyebrows rise as she lowers the can. "Me drinking gets you frustrated?"
He nods, a serious look on his face. "Everything. You drinking. Stretching. Breathing. Us sitting on the bed, like now," she smirks and he shakes his head, his brow furrowing as a comically tortured look comes upon his face. "You...you made a noise yesterday while checking your phone and it nearly drove me mad."
Her gaze darkens. "So this is my fault?"
Simon flinches at her icy tone. "No! No. But there has to be ways around this," he frowns. "I just want to kiss and touch you and there has to be ways to it."
"Oh..." She's actually thrilled that he's finding the closeness without gratification difficult, it makes her feel better about her own frustrations. "What do we do, then?"
Wanking off in front of each other won't work, Alisha already knows this. Simon's not comfortable enough yet and she has realized how weird doing that really was. Besides, she knows it wouldn't be satisfying, it never was. She doesn't even bother bringing it up.
Simon wipes at his mouth with his napkin, swallowing the food in his mouth. Her eyes narrow at the sight of a recently cleaned cut on his forehead, a dark bruise already forming around the redness. Her lips press together in an attempt to not deter the conversation and yell at him for continuing to practice that parkour bullshit. Instead, she stands, holding out her hands and Simon hands her the sandwich wrappers and soda can.
"Maybe you can wear gloves, like Rogue in X-Men. Would..." he trails off, watching as she throws out the wrappers. "What about condoms?"
Alisha faces Simon, her scowl silencing him. "I've tried that and our skin would still be touching, Simon. It will be impossible to fuck or suck you off without touching your skin."
His eyes widen at the sharpness of her tone. "I didn't mean to upset you."
She sighs, moving to the bed and flopping down. "I'm not upset, I'm... frustrated."
Simon shifts over to sit at Alisha's side, nudging her with his shoulder until she turns to look at him. He lifts his hand, his thumb stopping in front of her mouth. He turns his wrist, running his thumbnail over her bottom lip. She freezes as the back of his nail trails down her chin, his blue eyes on her face.
He tilts his head down to her neck, his mouth almost grazing her skin. She holds her breath as he starts blowing lightly down her neck, her mouth opening as he moves down over her clavicle. His hands brush over her tights and she finds herself clutching at his sleeves, waiting for his next move.
He stops suddenly and pushes off the bed, climbing to his feet. "I'll think this over. I have to shower."
Alisha lifts her head, looking at him incredulously. "That's it? You're going to stop there?"
Simon smiles slightly, glancing down at the ground. "You can look at my Rogue comics if you get bored," he looks over at her, the grin still on his lips as he turns, walking toward the shower.
She watches him go, letting out a laugh of disbelief. "Do you want company?" she finally calls after him.
"No, thank you!"
For someone with no experience, Simon sure knows how to tease. As he showers, she turns on his laptop and checks his search history. It appears Simon has been researching seduction techniques, and making friends with people on sex forums who were eager to share tips and advice on how to seduce someone without touching them.
Yes, she's pretty sure Simon's a keeper.
* * *
Sometimes, Simon scares her.
No, not Simon. Simon's ways. His intensity. His determination.
Some days he starts asking questions about his future self. Sometimes she humors him and answers, sometimes she's not in the mood and it leads to her snapping at him or a small argument. She can tell he thinks about it constantly.
Sometimes the questions are smart: do I have different powers? How old was I? Did I tell you where I came from? Did I tell you anything? Sometimes the questions are weird: Was I able to regenerate? You don't know what regeneration is? Did my eyes change color?
Sometimes his questions scare her, only because they're questions she wants answers to herself. Did I specifically say you're dead in the future? Are we all dead? Does it have to end like that?
That's usually when she tells him to shut the fuck up.
He becomes fixated on learning parkour. He YouTubes videos constantly, studying their moments, watching tutorials, messaging the video makers for tips. She catches him attempting a handstand in the flat one day, watches as he grows frustrated with himself when he can't do it.
That was on a Tuesday. By Friday, he's got the handstand perfected.
Simon's body becomes a map of welts and bruises and cuts. On his arms, his ribs, his face. She makes sure to have ice ready to go at the bar and in the flat. Before she goes to work, she leaves bandages, tape, and alcohol wipes on the kitchen counter. And she stays silent. Doesn't say a word.
She doesn't say a word until one afternoon. He rushes at her as she sets the bag of groceries on the counter, yanking his hoodie up over his head before pulling his sleeve over his hand. "Simon?" She laughs as he grabs her hand, leading her to the lift. "Where are we going?"
"I have something to show you," he says, almost breathless with a rare excitement.
He takes her to the roof and she pulls her jacket over herself, crossing her arms over her chest. "What's going on?" she asks with a grin, watching as Simon walks away from her. "What's so important that you couldn't help put away-" she freezes as Simon takes off into a run, right for the edge of the building. "Simon!"
Alisha's scream seems to startle him and he skids to a stop just by the edge and she rushes over, feeling that familiar tightness in her chest. "What the fuck is wrong with you?" she yells, smacking his chest as hard as she possibly can. He grabs her clothed wrists before she can hit him again and she quickly jerks out of his hold. "Are you crazy?"
Simon's eyes widen. "I was going to show you how good I've gotten, I was just going to do a handstand on the edge-"
"You could've killed yourself!"
"I've done it before-"
"Don't ever do that again!" She shakes her head, covering her face with her hands. "You're going to get yourself killed," she tenses as she feels Simon carefully embrace her, his chin resting on the top of her head. "Fuck."
"I'm sorry," he says quietly. "I won't scare you like that again."
Alisha shakes her head again, wrapping her arms around his waist. "Stop doing that parkour shit, okay? You don't need to do it."
He doesn't respond.
Alisha begins to walk around the flat in her knickers, trying to make Simon comfortable with the idea that, yes, she will be doing this a lot. The first time makes him visibly nervous, but he quickly recovers by the second time and she is proud of him.
Simon has been changing a lot since they've moved in together. They were both changing. Simon talks more, jokes more, is more open to voicing his opinions and thoughts on things. Alisha finds herself not being as defensive as she usually is, learns to relax and allow herself to be teased by Simon. They're evolving and doing that soul searching shit Alisha always reads about in her magazines.
But the seductive teasing is far more fun than the soul searching shit.
She can feel Simon's eyes on her as she walks around in her knickers, as she takes off her shirt in front of him when they come home after dinner at a pub. She begins taking off her bra before showering in front of him, and he tries to be a gentleman by not looking, but she catches him peeking as subtly as possible.
Alisha doesn't feel bad for teasing Simon, he's fucking asking for it. Girls are looking now, he's becoming fit and they're noticing, and it's pissing her off. He's growing more confident, speaking up when Nathan picks on him, joking back, throwing his two cents in. She knows it's partially because she tries to build up his confidence as much as possible, but she's not stupid- she knows the boost in confidence is also because of his parkour training. He's feeling invincible. Stronger.
His body is changing from the parkour, too. Leaner, firmer, more muscle. It's driving her nuts, watching him wear his t-shirts around the flat and walking out of the shower and changing into his regular clothes behind the curtain. Sometimes she does allow herself to touch him over his clothes, running her hands down his chest and stomach, feeling over his back and arms. He always gets still, both of them knowing full well that they were playing with fire.
Finally, Simon asks to film her one night and she agrees, she's that desperate. Wanking off when he was out trying to be a superhero with the parkour bullshit wasn't enough anymore. She readily strips down to her knickers and lays on the bed, allowing Simon to take her in through the lens of his phone. "Be yourself," he says.
"Want me to wank off for your camera, there?" Alisha simpers at Simon, giving the camera a wink before running her hands down her body, biting down on her lower lip. She freezes as Simon shakes his head, looking up at her over the phone. "What?"
"Don't do that, not when I can't touch you."
"I don't trust myself," he interrupts her firmly. "I want to remember. And I won't be able to stop."
Alisha grins slowly. "Maybe I don't want you to stop?" He shakes his head wildly and she lets out a huff of frustration. "What do you want me to do, then?" she asks, impatiently.
"Just be yourself."
"What exactly is being myself, Simon?" she snaps at him. He said he wants some sort of fucking connection with her, then when she gives it to him, he doesn't want it. She doesn't get his 'no sex at all' policy, doesn't want her to do anything sexual around him so he won't be tempted. He must think she's a saint. "You keep saying you want to be fucking close to me-"
"Intimacy isn't only sex, Alisha, I already like you," He says with a slight smile. He keeps his camera on her, feeling around for her shirt and handing it to her. "Just...talk to me. I want to know you."
She rolls her eyes, slipping her shirt back on. She covers his camera with her hand, pushing it away. "Turn that shit off. I'm going to bed," she mutters, slipping off the bed and walking to their bathroom.
"What are you afraid of?" he calls after her, and she ignores him.
Chapter 3: I see that look on your face that indicate a taste, you got a tongue full of hunger and eyes on your lover
She wishes she were able to just hold him, skin to skin. She wishes she could kiss his worries away, make him stop beating himself up over this bullshit.
Living in such close quarters isn't always positive. They're fighting. They're actually fighting. Not screaming-at-each-other fighting, but fighting nonetheless.
The future Simon had appeared to have gotten used to and was even amused by Alisha's attitude and mood swings, her Simon hasn't reached that level of understanding yet. He loves his routines, and she is anything but routine. He is neat and she is anything but. He is quiet and she is loud. He's about talking things through and she's about throwing things at his head. They have some things in common, are more alike in mentality than she thought they would be, but it's the personality differences that come between them.
One weekend at the flat brings it all front and center. The thing that really bothers Alisha is that they can't even kiss and make up, can't fuck the tension away. They just have to stew quietly or explode and this weekend, they choose to explode in more ways than one.
It starts over Alisha dropping her purse on the floor when they came back from visiting Nathan at the community center. There was already tension there from two days of fighting and sniping at each other over the smallest things. An ipod being too loud, the clicking of laptop keys, how loudly one was chewing, clothes being left here and there, the stupidest shit had been bothering them both, and it’s a purse that does them in.
She catches the look Simon gives her before he bends down to pick up her purse. She rolls her eyes, continuing to walk into the flat and only stopping when she realizes Simon isn't walking with her.
"Alisha," Simon says shortly.
"Just fuck off, Simon," she mutters, turning when silence meets her. She finds Simon glaring at her, his arm extended, the chain of her purse dangling off his fingers.
"Take the purse," he says quietly.
Alisha has to admit that it's times like this she wishes he were still nervous around her. The confidence she has been helping to build in him also comes hand in hand with him not taking her shit. It’s annoying. She snatches the purse from him, her eyes narrowing when his fingers curl around the strap, stopping her from taking the purse completely. "Cheers, Simon. I'll stop being a slob. Get off."
He drops his hand, releasing the strap of her bag. She watches as he walks past her to the side table, taking a seat at the desk and opening up his laptop. Of course, he’s about to disappear into that fucking thing. No confrontation, no argument. Just stay quiet and slip away.
She throws her purse on the bed before walking to the kitchen. She pours herself a glass of water from the tap, her jaw clenching as she listens to the clicking of keys on Simon’s laptop. Probably on one of his comic book forums, or fucking YouTube or something. She spits her gum into the sink, knowing full well Simon won’t appreciate that at all, before taking her glass and walking back to the bed.
For a moment, she lingers, waiting for Simon to notice her. He doesn’t, too busy typing something. An e-mail? Probably writing to his mummy about how mean his girlfriend is. She rolls her eyes at the thought, struggling against the sneer threatening to break on her face.
Finally, Alisha strolls over to Simon’s side, hovering over his shoulder. She waits for him to acknowledge her, which he doesn’t. This was just fucking unfair- she wasn’t allowed to give him the silent treatment and yet he could do it to her? Bullshit.
She sidesteps, putting her glass down on the table with a slam. Simon’s fingers freeze over the keys and he shoots her the slightest of looks. Without saying a word, he pushes the glass away from his laptop with the tips of his fingers.
Alisha stands, waiting. He doesn’t say a word, a single fucking word, as he continues writing. She peers over his shoulder, her eyes narrowing as she sees an e-mail addressed to her. From Simon. Fucking listing everything about her that annoys him. The first line of the e-mail just enrages her in its honesty.
I’m writing it like this because I can’t talk to you when I’m angry.
"Why can’t you talk to me?" she snaps, nudging his covered shoulder with her knuckle. She pauses as she sees his jaw clench. "We talk all the time."
He shakes his head, typing swiftly. Her eyes skim down to his current sentence.
You chew your gum too loud and you are always messy. I’m sick of cleaning up after you.
Okay, no. She wasn’t doing it like this.
She reaches over, slamming his laptop shut. "You are a twenty year old man- fucking act like it."
Simon jumps to his feet abruptly and she freezes at their closeness, staring up at him. He glares at her for a long moment before turning to walk away and she makes her move before her conscience could stop her.
Her hand lifts, pressing against Simon’s jaw.
She’s just so sick of fighting with no release, no real making up. It’s just driving her fucking mental. This wasn’t going to hurt either one of them.
He gasps loudly as the blue veins race down his neck, his eyes turning on her and her heart starts to race at the sight of the lust in them. Dark and intense, just like her mystery man.
"I want to fuck your mouth with my cock-" he says through gritted teeth as he reaches for her, turning and shoving her against the table, his hands pulling at her shirt. "Choke you with it-" he growls.
Alisha isn't scared- no, it's the opposite. Her body immediately begins responding to him, her hand sliding against the back of his neck as the other pushes his hand between her legs. She can't help it, she really can't. His mouth presses against hers in a hard, stiff kiss and she inhales sharply when he pulls away, his teeth grazing her bottom lip. She’s nearly panting as he presses his forehead against hers, her hand guiding Simon’s between her legs.
"I want to make you scream- suck on your toe- I want to fuck you with my tongue until you can't walk-"
"Promise?" she rasps out before he bites at her neck and she lets out a cry as his hips and hand grind against hers.
This is much better. Fighting is much more fun when you can turn that aggression into something positive.
"I want your ass cheek between my teeth, your hair all over my cock-"
She shakes her head, closing her eyes tightly. At least he didn’t want to piss on her tits again, she could work with this. "Go for it, baby-"
"-I want to sleep with your knickers over my face-"
"Okay, stop talking," she breathes, kissing him hard.
Then, her fucking conscience kicks in. He would be furious if she did this to him. Fuck, he was going to be angry with what she’s already done. And she can’t do this, she knows she can’t. She can’t shag him and have him not remember, she wants him to remember everything they do. She needs him to remember.
She inhales deeply, pressing her hands against Simon's chest and shoving him back hard. He stumbles back and the veins disappear from his neck and hand, the lust in his eyes replaced by complete confusion.
"What- what happened?" he says loudly, his eyes wide as he stares at her, still leaning against the table.
"I accidentally touched you," she says breathlessly, sliding off the table and adjusting her leggings. God, she can’t even look at him directly. Her eyes dart to his face, sees the confusion, and swiftly turns away. Her lipstick was smeared all over his mouth.
He glances down at his trousers, his lips pressing together and his cheeks turning red at the prominent erection that he quickly attempts to cover with his hand. "You accidentally touched me?" he repeats, eying her warily.
"Yeah...I was reaching for my glass and I touched your hand. I should've paid more attention."
Simon's eyes drift to her lips before his hand flies up, wiping at his mouth absently. "Your lipstick is messed up."
Alisha doesn't respond, picking up her glass from the table before walking toward the kitchen. She inhales sharply when Simon grabs her covered wrist, stopping her. They both stand there, not looking at each other, and Alisha waits.
"Why didn't you just let us go through with it?" he asks slowly.
She exhales shakily, her head lowering. Of course he wasn’t going to let it go. He never would. "I want you to remember it."
He doesn't respond, instead leaning over and leaving a quick kiss on the top of her head, over her hair. An apology and a gesture of forgiveness. She closes her eyes briefly as he releases her. He walks toward the bathroom and she turns to face him.
"It's okay for us to fight, Simon. You can talk to me," she says awkwardly, really not knowing what else to say. She was shit at this, she didn’t know what to do in situations like this.
Simon nods, glancing over his shoulder at her, a ghost of a smile on his lips. Her man, not knowing what to do with their situation either. "Fighting won't kill us."
* * *
"Um, what the fuck is that?"
Alisha is pretty certain Chloe is about to get her arse kicked in the middle of Topshop when she snatches Alisha's phone from her hands, staring at the screen before holding up the phone in Alisha's face.
"Who the fuck is that?"
Her wallpaper. A picture of herself and Simon, taken on the tube one night after they had gone to see a movie. She had put her hood on so she would be able to press her cheek against Simon's for the picture, and she had managed to convince him to smile for it. It was her favorite, other than the Vegas picture.
She grabs the phone from Chloe, shoving it in her purse. "That's my fucking boyfriend, who did you think that was, my brother?"
"Boyfriend? You?” Chloe's nose scrunches up in disgust. "Him?"
Alisha mouth curls in disdain as she scowls at Chloe. "What exactly is wrong with him?"
Her defensiveness seems to startle Chloe, and the girl simply shakes her head, a laugh escaping her. "Just not your usual type, Alisha. That's all."
"How do you know he's not my type?"
Chloe gives Alisha a look. "Um, he looks like a weirdo? Is this where you've been off to? Too busy for us now since you're hanging out with this bloke? Where did you even meet him, community service?" Alisha doesn't answer and Chloe's mouth drops, a pained look growing on her face. "Alisha! He could be a complete nutter!"
"He's not!" Alisha snaps, feeling the annoyance bubbling in her. "He's nice and sweet. You have to get to know him. You don't even know anything about him."
A giggle escapes Chloe as she shakes her head. "He looks like a weirdo. Have you gone mad?"
"Oh, really? How about you keep your mouth shut about things you don't know shit about, yeah?"
Chloe turns on her heels, walking toward the exit. "I don't know what the fuck they did to you in that community service bullshit, but I don't like it."
Alisha smirks, following Chloe out of the store.
* * *
Simon is still insecure. The future him always lingers on the back of his mind, she realizes that one night as they settle in for bed. It really comes out of nowhere- he hasn't mentioned anything of the future for the weeks they've been together. But then it happens.
"What was I like? In the future?" Comes Simon's voice in the dark.
She frowns slightly. "Why?"
"You were...serious. Kind of sad. You were way confident...and you still loved me."
Silence meets her, then, "How was I? In bed."
Alisha laughs, glancing over to her right. "What?"
"I just want to know."
"You were great. We had great sex," she smiles slowly. "You'll see. When we finally figure out how to get past my fucking power...you'll see."
"I hope so."
"Don't worry, Simon."
He inhales sharply. "Are you in love with me, or are you in love with him?"
She decides to answer honestly. Well, as honestly as she can be with him at the moment. She wasn’t ready to have the love discussion with him yet. Blurting it out at Curtis over the phone was one thing, saying it to Simon himself while he was inches away was another entirely. "I'm learning to love you," she says slowly. "But you're the same person...you just don't realize what you can be yet."
"I'm not him, Alisha."
Alisha can’t help but flinch at Simon’s tone. Sad. Lost. Ashamed. She wishes she were able to just hold him, skin to skin. She wishes she could kiss his worries away, make him stop beating himself up over this bullshit. She knows none of that was possible at the moment, she was just going to have to carry on.
“You will be, Simon,” she says gently, "He is you. You're him. Stop moping about it, you'll see what you're capable of."
"But you're still learning to love me," he says flatly.
She cringes in the dark, shaking her head. "I didn't mean it like that, dummy. I mean...it's like I'm falling in love with you all over again," she smiles. "I like it, it's like a new adventure."
"I think I'm learning to love you too."
Alisha pauses as a complexity of emotions rush through her. The backhanded proclamation of love. She doesn’t know if he was trying to be hurtful by saying he wasn't in love with her yet, or if he was agreeing with her that they were falling for each other, or both. She feels both hurt and elated with his response and doesn’t quite know what to do with it.
Humor. Humor always works. "So this whole mess is you trying to say you're in love with me, Simon?"
He's not in a joking mood. "No. Yes. I don't know."
Impatience fills her swiftly. He's acting like such a twat tonight, she doesn't know what to do with him. She's growing tired of reassuring him, she doesn't know how many ways she can say the same thing, over and over. "So why are you with me, then?"
"Why are you with me?" He shoots back just as fast. "If you're with me because of him...I'm not him."
"Him? Him?" Alisha lifts her head, looking in the direction of where she assumes Simon's form is. "Simon, you ARE him! You're the same person! How are you so jealous over yourself? Are you for real right now?"
"How do you know you’re with me because you want to be?" he says, his voice shaking. "How do I know you’re not only with me because of what he said? This is what I think about."
Alisha’s jaw clenches. "You showed me who you really are. You just don’t realize it yet because you’re stuck feeling sorry for yourself."
Simon lets out a heavy sigh. "Name one reason you're with me. Not him...me."
She flops back on her pillow. "You make me happy," she says firmly. "I feel happy around you," she pauses at the shake of her own voice. "I don't feel...I don't feel sad."
"I feel the same."
"Well, then we have something in common."
A pause. “Do you think this is worth it?"
Simon is quiet for a moment and she lays there, dreading what is to come. She hopes he will just say 'good night' and leave it at that, but she knows Simon well enough at this point to know that the conversation isn't over yet, the tension hanging in the air is too much now. And then-
"This isn't easy for me," he says quietly. "Knowing that he touched you- fucked you- before I did."
"What?" she laughs, her eyes narrowing. "Simon! You're the same person!" And that is true. She hasn’t been keeping the two separated lately, it was just two different moments of her relationship with Simon, as far as she was concerned. "Whatever happened...it was still you."
"But it wasn't."
Her smile fades at his short response and she turns on her side, pulling the covers up over her neck. "I'm done doing this right now, I'm tired. Good night, Simon."
"Good night, Alisha."
* * *
The first time they attempt sex without the sex, it starts out innocently enough one night at the flat. While carefully tending to Simon's latest round of injuries during his parkour adventures (luckily, this time it was only his elbows instead of his head), Alisha ever-so-smoothly brings up the whole wanking in front of each other thing. Yes, she knows it will probably end badly, but she figures he’s ready to move forward in their relationship. Simon looks at her as if she’s asked him to cut off his own arm, which makes sense considering he’s been talking about how much better he’s getting at jumping off buildings.
He immediately pulls away from her, yanking up his hoodie over his exposed arm as he eyes her almost suspiciously. "Why?"
"Why?" she smiles slightly, giving him a quick shrug. "Because we're together and frustrated as fuck? We're a couple-"
To Alisha's surprise, a smile perks on his lips, then. "Hugging isn't doing it for you anymore?"
"I've got an idea."
Her mouth clamps shut at his interruption and her brow furrows as he gently touches her shoulders, coaxing her down on their bed. He unties her robe as she watches before moving off the bed. "Simon?" Her words catch as he kneels on the edge of the bed in front of her.
He gives her a quick nod, his mouth twitching with visible nervousness. "Could you...touch yourself? In front of me?"
Alisha laughs slightly, slowly pulling back her robe from her body, giving him a look at her knickers. She tugs the robe free, throwing it at him. "Isn't that what I just suggested?"
Simon shakes his head, picking up her robe and covering his hands with it. He gently pushes Alisha's thighs apart before moving forward, settling himself between her legs. "Show me how you get off. Please."
"Don't. I'm concentrating."
She’s still for a moment, trying not to laugh at how methodically determined Simon is going about everything, like it’s a puzzle he has to solve. She can only imagine how he acted as a child. Jesus, she must've really have fallen hard for him, finding his intensity cute when less than a year ago, it was just creepy.
His brow is furrowed in concentration as her hands slides down her breasts, her stomach, and finally, between her legs. It’s like he’s making a mental note of everything she does. She starts to stroke herself through her knickers, feeling the arousal building as Simon stares, his jaw dropping slightly as her hips start to move against her hand.
Alisha's shaking hands push aside her knickers so Simon can get a better look and he actually tilts his head as she moves her fingers down, then up, and again. She slips the fingers of her other hand inside herself, her eyes on Simon's face as she does so. He sways slightly, almost stunned into silence as his mouth remains open, all of his attention on Alisha's hands.
She starts to moan, her eyes shutting as her fingers move faster and then her eyes shoot open as she feels the weight on the mattress shift. Simon oh-so-carefully slides himself on top of her and, God, he’s so hard. She lays there, frozen, as he hovers over her, their faces just inches apart.
Alisha gasps in shock as he starts to clumsily rub himself against her, and she quickly removes her hands from between their bodies. Her legs wind around his ass and her hands grasp at his hips and coax him harder against her. He obliges, pressing his erection hard against her, moving fast and rough... and he’s going to be great in bed, she can tell, he just needs practice...
She throws her head back, a high moan escaping her as the pleasure and ache intensifies, his hot breath hitting her forehead as he pants above her and- oh, God, why didn't she ever think of this? Simon was always the smart one in their group and he would think of this, the most logical thing, wanking was the dumbest thing ever, they could do the dry humping thing with all of their clothes on and stupid, stupid Alisha. Why wasn't this ever an option-
Her orgasm comes suddenly, a sharp, hoarse cry escaping her lips as her back arches and her hips rise against Simon's. His eyes widen when she comes, his gaze on her face as he watches her moan. He keeps moving his hips, faster now, and he inhales sharply, pressing his lips together as he comes. His head drops, halting just before his mouth touches her bare shoulder.
Slowly, he lifts his head and grabs her robe. He places the corner of it on the bottom half of her face before leaning down, gently kissing her. She kisses him back, careful not to make the kiss too wet, not wanting to find out what would happen if her saliva touches him.
Simon pulls back, giving her a small smile as he removes the robe from her face. "It worked," he says breathlessly, his eyes lighting up.
"That was your idea?" She smiles at his brief nod, leaving a quick kiss on his clothed shoulder. "Bloody brilliant." He stares at her expectantly and she laughs, covering her eyes with the back of her hand. "We really have to do that again."
They get too cocky.
They try the dry humping thing again not even twenty-four hours later, right before Alisha has to get to work at the bar. Alisha’s so excited to do it again, wanting to feel that again, wanting to hold on to that for as long as possible.
She climbs on his lap, planting her knees on either side of him and pinning him down against the mattress. The rubbing goes perfectly well, almost there. Simon's eyes close and he’s deep in with his hands on her hips, until she forgets her surroundings and their limitations, her mouth pressing against his jaw.
Immediately, he gasps and stiffens, those fucking blue veins sliding across his skin as he starts to hiss at her and she swiftly pulls back before he can describe in any more detail all the weird shit he wants to do to her. He blinks, falling back on the mattress and she scrambles off him, feeling nauseous.
Simon slowly sits up, confusion on his face for a moment before his eyes met hers. "What did I say?" he asks, a flush filling his cheeks. She doesn’t respond and he shakes his head, his eyes narrowing. "Tell me."
"Something about wanting to fuck my ass with your feet."
His jaw drops and he blinks rapidly. "Why would I say that?" He doesn’t wait for her answer, jumping to his feet. "You should go, this isn't going to work." His voice shakes in a way that she hates and he smooths down his hair with unsteady hands, refusing to look at her.
"You're going to be late."
"It wasn't you," she says quietly, adjusting her shirt. He’s retreating again, the insecurities rushing forward. "It was my power. We can try again later-"
Simon turns to Alisha, and she can see the shame on his face. "We should stop. For a while."
Alisha stands, walking in front of Simon. "It wasn't you," she says once more, reaching up for his cheek and biting back a curse when he swiftly moves his face away. He won't look at her, so she grasps his shirt as she stands on her toes, pulling him to her before planting a kiss on his clothed shoulder. "It's not us."
"I know that," he murmurs, running his hand over her hair. "It's just getting harder."
She steps away from Simon, giving him a small smile. "We’ll talk later, yeah?" he musters a smile, nodding and moving aside as she walks to the lift.
Alisha finds herself blinking back tears in the lift and she angrily wipes at her eyes. Too many emotions to deal with. Anger, depression, disappointment, shame, all of it she doesn't know how to handle. They're both trying and trying hard, but Simon said it himself, it's getting harder.
Halfway across the estate, she slows upon two men spray-painting on one of the walls a black and red design. Her brow furrows as she gets closer. Cash Paid for Powers.
"What's that?" she calls to them, pulling her earbud out.
"A business advertisement, love," one yells back at her before going back to the task at hand.
"Can't you read?"
Alisha stares at the sign for another moment, eying it suspiciously before continuing her walk to the bar.
The night is dead as usual, and Alisha has to sit through Curtis and Nikki making out and running into the bathroom for "breaks." She manages to keep from rolling her eyes so obviously at them, at least. Kelly stops by for a drink and near the end of her shift, Simon drops in. A happy surprise, she had expected him to wallow and mope at the flat.
She can't stop the smile from growing as he slides into the stool in front of her with a crooked grin. "Hey," he says quietly.
"Hiya," she replies, fixing him a drink. She makes a show of kissing the edge of the glass before passing it over and Simon makes sure to turn the glass to her lip print before drinking.
He fidgets uncomfortably as Curtis manages to convince Alisha to close up so he and Nikki can go back to her flat, and as soon as they're gone, he looks at her, giving a sad smile. Alisha returns the smile weakly before turning back to cleaning the counter.
She has to think of something, something has to change.
* * *
Trouble still follows their group around, mostly because of Nathan and his fucking mouth. Little things. An averted bar fight, Simon having to talk someone out of beating the crap out of Nathan, Kelly wanting to beat people up for attempting to hurt Nathan until Simon reminds her that they're all on probation.
But other than Nathan's bullshit and Nikki occasionally teleporting away down the street, they all manage to keep a low profile without using their powers too often. She likes it better this way.
And yet, Simon can’t seem to let things be, can’t seem to enjoy the normality. He has an eye for weird. He notices people.
"He just used a power," he tells Alisha and Curtis at the bar one night, nodding at a grimy-looking man in the corner booth. "He just melted the ice in his glass."
"So?" Alisha mutters, sliding a glass of beer in front of Simon. "Who cares?"
"Nice parlor trick,” Curtis quips dryly, leaning against the counter. "Melting ice."
Simon shoots Curtis a look. "If he can melt ice, he can do worse with it."
Curtis' eyes narrow. "So what do you want to do about it?"
Alisha laughs in disbelief as Simon shrugs. "You're not doing anything about it!" she exclaims, glaring at Simon before giving Curtis a look. "Neither are you."
"I wasn't going to do anything!" Curtis says defensively, holding up his hands.
Simon shakes his head, glancing down at his glass. "What if he uses it for evil?"
"And what if he doesn't?" Curtis shoot backs. "What if he just uses it to melt ice? Don't be so paranoid, man."
"Powers can be dangerous in the wrong hands," Simon says quietly.
Alisha gives Simon a warning look, wanting nothing more in that moment than for him to just drop the conversation. She knows him already, knows where his mind is going, knows he wants to follow the guy. It isn’t happening, Simon's little hero complex is not getting an audience tonight. "Well, he's just melting ice and we're going to mind our own business, aren't we?"
After a long moment, Simon nods, avoiding her stare.
She grows annoyed when she catches Simon and Curtis exchanging a look and she throws down the rag in her hand. "What," she says to Curtis. "You're encouraging him? This is bullshit- why can't we just be normal and not get involved in this stupid power shit?"
Curtis raises his eyebrows. "I didn't say anything, why are you so invested?"
"I'm not," Alisha says with an anxious laugh. "I just think we should mind our own business."
"Okay..." Curtis mutters, pushing off the counter. "I'm going to lock up the back. You can go if you want, I'll close up."
The next morning, Alisha walks to the kitchen after managing to pull a distracted Simon in for a quick hug before he went to shower. She finds the paper on the counter next to her cup of tea and toast, opened to an article on the third page. A sketch of a man that looks too much like the man in the bar, suspected of arson which killed three homeless men. Still on the run.
She crumbles up the paper, tossing it in the trash. After a moment, she tosses her toast in the trash and her tea in the sink, suddenly not hungry.
Fuck those powers. Just fuck them. It wasn't their business. It wasn't any of their business, no matter what Simon thought. It was all bullshit, why couldn't they just be normal? Why did Simon have to keep bringing shit like this to their attention?
Simon stands by the bathroom curtain, watching her, and she grows angry at the sight of him. "What, you want a medal?"
She stomps past Simon as he walks toward her. He stops, turning to look at her back. "You see what happens," he replies slowly, his eyes hard on her.
Alisha spins around, throwing her hands up. "Fine. This world's never going to be normal, it's always going to be bullshit. Are you happy?"
"Someone should do something."
Her eyebrows rise. "It's not going to be you," he doesn't respond, his jaw clenching, and she shakes her head, turning toward the bathroom. "Just forget it, Simon."
Chapter 4: Onto bodies slick and charged, together just one beating heart, all around us quiet now
She feels free.
And just like that, her curse is gone.
The man had grabbed her hand, she felt like her body was coming apart from the inside, and then...nothing. The man stared at her, a ghost of a smirk on his face as he gestured toward the exit. As she stood, she felt different, like her batteries had been recharged. She felt new again. Deep in her soul, she knew her life had just changed.
She’s still tingling as she walks home, touching people as she walks by to make sure it’s real, and she can’t stop laughing. Laughing like a nutter as she grabs at people, she can’t believe she hasn’t been arrested for public drunkenness yet. She even shakes some random bloke's hand who tries to sell her a kebab, just because she can.
She can’t wait to get back home. She’s tingling, still, from the power removal and now from anticipation. Simon is going to be so surprised, and she can’t wait to see his face. Hell, she can’t wait to shag him.
Simon doesn't have the reaction she had hoped for. She was expecting happiness and an immediate move to the bed, not the confusion and suspicion that comes from Simon. He’s thinking, he’s always fucking thinking, always worrying. She doesn’t see the point- her curse is over, their relationship can finally move forward! She’s over the bullshit, the thinking and the talking. She’s ready to show Simon how she feels about him.
It isn’t that simple.
Their first attempt at sex is disastrous. Catastrophic. Simon is too insecure, too frustrated, too intimidated. He's still worried, he's still waiting for the other shoe to drop. For Alisha to wake up and wonder what the fuck she's doing with a guy like him. He takes the failure personally, another blow to his still-fragile ego. All the confidence-building she had tried to work into him, gone in under an hour.
He’s awkward with her, getting visibly frustrated as she navigates his body with familiarity while he struggles to learn hers. He doesn’t know how to kiss her or touch her and isn’t listening to her when she tries to help. They’re both frantic for different reasons, Alisha to make up for lost time and Simon to keep up with her. They’re both naked and she’s on top of him when he pushes her off, embarrassed and angry at himself.
"It doesn’t matter," she murmurs as she tries to soothe him but he’s already too deep into his dark hole of misery. He accuses her of loving 'him' more than, well...him. And then he disappears, literally, and goes off to mope by himself, breaking one of their rules. It’s completely fucked.
He’s ashamed, unwilling to try again so soon. But he does eventually come back to bed. He apologizes, which she waves away. He hesitantly kisses her, he holds her hand, touches her face. She’s relieved that he at least wants to do that. He can’t stop touching her and she can’t say she minds the contact. That is, until she attempts to get him to try again.
Alisha runs her hand down Simon's stomach, stopping when he tenses under her touch. "What's wrong?"
Simon grabs Alisha's hand, entwining his fingers with hers. He doesn't look at her, opting to stare at the ceiling. "You know how to do everything, and I don't," he says quietly. "You know everything I like, when I don't know everything I like."
"What? What are you on about?"
He turns his head, gazing at her sadly. "You...you did things- you pulled my hair and bit my lip when we were fucking and I thought about how much I like that and how did you know I like that," his jaw clenches. "And then I remembered how exactly you knew I like that."
She inhales deeply, turning on her back. "Simon..."
"Imagine if it were you," he says, his tone rushed. "Imagine if I knew your body in and out and you didn't know mine."
"That's already happened," she says softly with a nervous chuckle.
He shakes his head, turning on his side, his back to her. "This is too weird."
"Don't go to sleep like this, Simon."
"I'm tired, Alisha. We'll talk in the morning. Good night."
"Night," she mutters, pulling the blanket over her chest. Her eyes drift over to the Christmas tree and she gazes at the lights, lost in her thoughts.
Alisha is a lot of things, but she isn’t a quitter. This isn’t over.
* * *
Everyone keeps wanting to touch her. Curtis can't stop rubbing her hands, Kelly can't stop grabbing her fingers. They also take notice of the man with the power to remove other powers. They want out of their prison and Alisha doesn’t think twice about telling them where to go and how to get it done.
She doesn’t mean to lie to Simon, and not with the lie about the future him. She just wants them to be normal together. She’s tired of worrying about their safety and the shit that comes along with those powers. He goes along with it skeptically but she feels good, ready for the future. No time for guilt, no more of that power bullshit, it’s just the two of them together.
She feels free.
The second attempt at sex is loads better. He goes down on her without her suggestion and with a certain determination. And with a bit of help, he gets her off. Finally. She even pushes his head down and he keeps going and it’s damn near perfect. She makes him laugh after, breathlessly telling him “Congratulations, you’ve given a girl an orgasm.” The change in his demeanor is instant- he looks proud. Happier. And he’s much more willing to continue now.
He’s a good student, following her lead and listening to her commands, paying attention to her touches. She goes on top for the second time, letting Simon find his own groove in her movements, taking her time. Even with patience, the shagging is frenzied, almost desperate between them. He comes quickly, but before he can let the guilt fill him, she grabs his shoulders, coaxing him to sit up. She takes the sides of his face, guiding him to the top of her breasts.
"Kiss me there," she instructs him firmly, taking his hands and running them down her breasts. He cups them impulsively and she takes in a sharp breath, her eyes closing as he leaves a quick kiss on her skin. "Good. Just do what feels right," she whispers, moving her hips slowly. "I'll tell you if it feels good."
When his mouth falls on her nipple, she's quick to tell him, "Suck," which he does almost immediately. When his hands go down her body, she lets him know, "Squeeze my arse," and he does. He listens to her gasps and whimpers and experiments with how to make those noises happen again. When she's good and ready, she takes Simon's hand, moving it down between her legs. She presses his fingers against her clit, watching his expression carefully. His eyes widen slightly as she lets out a faint moan and he's quick to start sucking on her neck, ready to help her get off.
Oh, thank God he was a fast learner.
The third time goes much, much better. He holds on until she’s close to coming apart to let go, and he uses his fingers and her coaxing to get her there. Her fingers dig into his hips as she comes with a groan, her back arching. She can't keep the smile from her face, it’s all going to be all right. He just needed practice.
As they lay in bed after the third time, both staring at the ceiling and the Christmas lights blinking off in the corner, Alisha finds her mind racing. Their new lives are starting. The future is here.
"Here's the thing, yeah," she blurts out and Simon's gaze immediately lands on her. She glances at him, her fingertips brushing over his arm. "I want to shag you again. Right now. You're going to need lots and lots of practice and I'm a great teacher."
His eyebrows rise, a pleased smile growing on his face. "Again?" She nods, lowering her head to his chest and biting on the skin, and he leans back on the mattress, gently pulling her up for a kiss. "Do you want to be on top this time?"
"Oh, we're doing everything, don't worry," she giggles between kisses, a squeal escaping her as he turns them over.
* * *
She lays on her back, watching as the ceiling changes color with each flicker of the Christmas lights. It’s nearly Christmas but they agree to keep the lights up until February, it adds extra cheer to the flat.
Her knees bend as her breathing quickens, her heels digging into the mattress as Simon applies more pressure underneath the blankets. Heat fills her lower region and she moans as Simon lets out a low "mm" against her skin, her fingers curling into his hair. He's nodding between her thighs, his tongue working hard and she can't breathe. Her other hand grips the pillow as he curls two fingers inside her, slowly pulling out before giving her a third.
She doesn't even have to tell him what to do, after nearly a week of multiple daily "lessons," Simon is nearly a pro at oral sex, no different than him and the handstands. And like the handstands, the fucking parkour, he enjoys oral sex immensely and strives to perfect it. The ideal student.
He grew uncomfortable the first time she tried to give him a blowjob, so she had gently pushed him back in his chair, running her hand down his chest. "Time for you to get an actual blowjob from me and not a shapeshifter, yeah?"
Simon had licked his lips anxiously, his hands in the air helplessly. "Alisha-"
"Relax," she purred. "You’re going to enjoy this."
"Stop thinking," she undid his trousers, pulling him out. She bit back a smile as his hands lowered to his lap slowly, as if he were hypnotized. "Close your eyes."
He had inhaled shakily as she started to stroke him, his fingers digging into his palms. "I don’t want to close my eyes," he had said, his voice trembling.
"Then watch me suck you off," she smiled as he let out a low moan. Her eyes darted up to his. "Pull my hair while you’re coming, okay? Keep pulling?" he had quickly nodded and she grinned, nodding in return. "Okay, relax."
He was like a new man after that, thank God. And here they were.
A cry escapes her as he starts to move his fingers faster and his tongue harder, his free hand sliding up her stomach before cupping her breast. Her hand slips down to his back as her shoulders lift off the mattress, nails digging into skin as he pushes his fingers deep inside her.
"God," she bites out as her back arches. "God, Simon-" she’s cut off by her own orgasm, her hands moving and clutching at his hair. Her body gives out on her completely and she collapses on the mattress, her chest heaving as she struggles to breathe.
Simon’s kissing a trail up her inner thigh, open-mouthed and wet kisses that are driving her mad. She’s still struggling to remember what two plus two was and there he is, wanting to keep going. Like any bloke who’s discovered the joys of making a woman come, he’s obsessed with making it happen again.
"Hold on," she says breathlessly. "Simon," the heel of her palm nearly slams into his forehead and she laughs as he lets out a huff of breath, a grin coming on his face. "At least let me return the favor?"
"Later," he says, slipping up her body. He leaves a slow kiss on her collarbone, his eyes closing briefly as she runs her hand through his hair. His eyes open and focus on her, his face bright with pride. "I want to keep practicing."
"You're doing a great job," she laughs.
"I have a great teacher," he replies, leaning down and kissing her. She touches his face, deepening the kiss and he slowly responds, relaxing into her. He pulls back, licking his lips. "I...I love the way your stomach clenches. When you’re..." he trails off, his mouth twitching.
She grins. "When I’m coming, Simon? You can say it."
He returns the smile. "Yes. That."
Alisha inhales sharply at the sound of Simon’s phone suddenly ringing. She doesn’t even know where the fuck the thing is but it keeps chiming and he needs to put it on silent when they’re shagging. "Leave it," she says firmly, a frown twitching on her lips as Simon pushes off her, looking around the bed for the phone.
"It could be my sister," he mumbles, feeling over the sheets. He grabs at her foot and she squeals, kicking his hand away. "Sorry," he chuckles, finally finding his phone by his discarded shirt. He glances at the screen, his expression blank. "Nathan."
"Oh for fuck’s sake," she groans, lifting her head. "Definitely ignore it. Do not answer, Simon."
"It could be important," he argues, pulling up his sweatpants over his hips with his free hand as he answers the call. "Hello."
She eyes him suspiciously as he starts to put his clothes back on the best he can with one hand. He reaches for his shirt and she swiftly sits up and yanks it out of his grasp, throwing it to the floor. He gives her a look before dropping to a seated position as he listens to Nathan.
Finally, Simon rolls his eyes, shaking his head. "No, I can’t meet you at the community center-"
Alisha’s had enough. Nathan of all people isn’t going to cockblock her. It isn’t going to happen. He has his bullshit job collecting money for the poor, she has a future superhero to train. Clearly, her mission is far more important than getting Nathan bladdered at the community center.
She lunges over, snatching the phone out of Simon’s hand. "Nathan," she says through gritted teeth, giving Simon a clear look that tells him not to say a fucking word. "We’re busy, what do you want?"
Nathan gasps on the other end. "What- are you two shagging right now?"
"None of your business!"
Nathan nearly cackles. "That’s a yes. Put Barry back on, I have questions!"
Alisha shakes her head as if Nathan can see her, a huff escaping her. "Goodbye, Nathan. Simon will talk to you tomorrow."
"Wait- Alisha- nooooo-"
She hangs up on Nathan, cocking her head to the side as she hands Simon his phone. "There. Was that so hard?"
Simon’s mouth sets in a straight line, although the amusement in his eyes betrays the sternness he’s attempting to give her. "That was very rude."
"Well," she crawls over to him, straddling his lap. "If me wanting to get us both properly fucked is rude, then I guess I’m fucking rude."
A smile plays on his lips as she leans forward, kissing him softly. They break apart for a moment and she takes the opportunity to bite down on his bottom lip. His hands rest on her hips as she runs her hands down his chest. "Say it again," he whispers.
Alisha grins, kissing his cheek. "Fuck?" she murmurs against his skin. "I want you to fuck me, I want to fuck you...really fucking bad."
He touches her hair, twirling a finger around a curl. "What’s next on the sex rota?"
She considers his question, chewing on her bottom lip. "Maybe we should..." she trails off, giving him a smile. "You wanna try it from behind?"
Simon’s eyes widen and she has to laugh, he’s like a cartoon. She expects his tongue to roll out of his mouth or smoke to shoot out of his ears, this living cartoon.
He nods quickly, watching as she takes his hands and puts them on her breasts, moving them down her body. "Whatever you want," he stifles a laugh, the grin playing on his lips. "Miss Bailey."
Her eyebrows rise as she slips her hand between their bodies. "Oh, we have a sense of humor now?"
He inhales sharply as she drags her hand over his cock. "You make me feel silly."
"Silly," she repeats, her hand slowing.
"Happy," he corrects himself. His eyes set on hers and the intensity of his gaze gets her heart racing. "I feel better than I have in..." he trails off, glancing down and away from her stare. "I see colors with you. Instead of black and white."
Alisha stops, staring at Simon as he grows increasingly and visibly uncomfortable over his admission. She can’t imagine how much that took for Simon to say such a thing. He surely isn’t expressing everything properly but the gist of it...she gets it. "Are you trying to say you love me, Simon?" she teases quietly, opting to go for humor to relax him.
Simon lifts his head and he nods. "For a long time. Since we got pizza that one night."
Her smile fades at his response, remembering the note the future him had wrote her. Just like he said. She decides then that when Simon was showering later, she would destroy the note. "I love you, too."
He hesitantly touches the sides of her face, pulling her in for a kiss. She’s stiff and he pulls away, gazing at her for a long moment before trying again. He’s so gentle and careful with her, she almost falls apart. Instead, she channels those fucking emotions into their kiss, deepening it.
As her eyes close and she allows herself to give in to all the emotions between them, she swears she sees colors in the dark.
* * *
They lay in bed after the latest round of lessons, both on their backs, their shoulders touching, staring up at the lights as they dance on the ceiling. Her hand awkwardly rubs at his jaw, her other hand resting on Simon’s wrist as his fingers absently tap on her bare stomach.
It’s nearly four in the morning and neither has gotten much sleep since they had started their "lessons" hours before. She isn’t even that sleepy, just tired. The silence between them is comfortable now, no longer awkward and it is just brilliant. She doesn’t feel the need to talk and he doesn’t feel the need to want her to talk. It’s nice.
She pats his wrist, glancing over at him. "Have you ever watched porn?"
Simon nods, his mouth twitching as he turns his head to look at her.
Alisha laughs at his somewhat somber expression. "What's that look?"
"It seemed fake, I didn't enjoy it much."
"You are the one person I've met who doesn't like porn!" she exclaims, turning on her side to look at him fully. "Are you for real right now?"
He shrugs, giving her a small smile. "I like what we do better."
"Is that why you try to film me?" she asks. "Want to make a porno of your own?"
Simon shakes his head. "I want to capture everything I love. About you."
He doesn’t respond and her mind begins to race. She begins to panic. He wants to tape her in case she dies, so he’ll have something to remember her by. He thinks she’s going to die, that they can’t change destiny. He wants to tape her so she’ll always be there, so she’ll-
"I want people to see what I see," he smirks suddenly. "That’s why I always tell you to put your clothes on."
The laugh of relief escapes Alisha before she can stop it and she covers her eyes with her hand in embarrassment. Of course that was the reason. Of course. What was she thinking, what was she scared of? The future Simon had already saved her. Nothing was going to happen to her.
"Can you kiss me, please?" she asks happily, her smile growing as Simon leans in, his lips pressing against hers.
Chapter 5: Road's long, we carry on, try to have fun in the meantime
They don't get to be normal, they have way more fucked up things to do.
Their happiness doesn't last long. In days, they lose a member of their group. Nikki is dead.
Alisha had been so sure that if they all got rid of their powers, everything would eventually go back to a normal they could all live with. But not even that was to be. They didn't even have any real time to enjoy it. Nikki is done in with one bullet and dies in Curtis' arms.
Nikki fades away right in front of them. After the panic and horror dulls enough for Curtis to decide he’s going to get his power back to save Nikki and the rest of the group follows him out, all Alisha can think of is how Simon had faded away in her arms after he was done in with a single bullet. They both had just...died.
Alisha ends up cleaning the floor stained with Nikki’s blood and she sobs. She cries until her head hurts, but the floor is clean now, it’s like Nikki hadn’t died there just an hour before. After the clean, she vows not to cry like that ever again.
That Jesus guy almost rapes her and things just keep getting worse. She sees the look in Simon’s eyes when she tells him, it’s the same look Curtis had when he thought Simon had hurt her. But Simon is calmer than Curtis, much calmer. There’s a cold resolve in his eyes and for a moment, she sees her mystery man, staring at his clocks.
They don't get to be normal, they have way more fucked up things to do.
They have to dispose of this creepy guy pretending to be Jesus.
Nathan suddenly becomes a father. God help that kid.
Alisha doesn’t cry.
They get new powers because Simon can’t just fucking let it go and is convinced that they need and have powers for a reason. He convinces them to go back to the power guy right after they get rid of Jesus’ body, he's so insistent that it startles Alisha.
He goes right after Kelly, asking the power guy for immortality or something close to it. Of course he hasn't forgotten about what he perceives his destiny to be. But he doesn’t want to die. He tells her later that he wants to change things.
The dealer tells him that's not possible and a look passes over Simon's face, a look Alisha can't place. But then Simon grins and says he wants to travel to the future. The dealer calls him a smart-ass and puts a power into him. Alisha goes after Simon, not wanting to be last.
Within a few days, they all figure out their powers. She can now see through others' eyes. Simon can see into the future, or at least the near-future. Close enough. Hell, she's just happy she can still touch him. Kelly's a fucking rocket scientist of all things. Nathan is busy messing with their minds with his power. Curtis can change into a girl but refuses to do so in front of them.
Normal. Why the fuck did she ever think that would work?
Nikki was prepared to die. Nikki left behind a will and strict, detailed instructions for Curtis on what to do with her remains. Nikki wanted to be cremated and her belongings sold and the money split between Curtis and given to charity. Nikki had no immediate family, so Curtis was her family.
Curtis won't let anyone help him with arrangements, he does it all on his own. Alisha is surprised he even told them where to go for the disposal of Nikki's ashes. She's worried about Curtis, he doesn't talk much, still devastated over losing his power so he can't save Nikki. Simon tells her it's not her fault, but she doesn't really believe him. She’s not even sure if Simon believes himself. Curtis doesn't say it but she's sure he's thinking it. They all fucked up.
Alisha kicks off her heels as soon as she enters the flat after Nikki's funeral, a deep sigh escaping her. Simon walks past her, removing his black blazer and tossing it on the table before running his hands through his hair. They don't speak, each silently getting more comfortable, or at least attempting to.
She throws her purse on top of Simon's jacket, licking her lips as Simon turns and approaches her, undoing the buttons of his shirt as he walks. "All right?" she asks quietly.
He shakes his head, walking behind her and unzipping her dress for her. "How are you?"
Her eyes close as Simon pushes her dress aside, rubbing at her shoulders. She shakes her head, tears forming. She realizes then how long she has been holding it all in, too stunned to truly react, too intent on staying strong for Curtis. But now it was just her and Simon in their safe place, she didn’t have to pretend here. So she doesn’t. "Sad. Upset. Fucking wrecked. I just want to get bladdered."
"We have beer here."
She shakes her head once more, burying her face in her hands. "Is it my fault?"
"No," he says firmly, gently turning her around to face him. "It’s no one’s fault but Jesus. Or whoever he was."
Alisha nods, wiping at her eyes. She was sure her mascara was smeared now and sure enough, Simon ran his thumb just under her right eye, wiping some away. She feels like shit, complete and utter shit. "I don’t know what to do."
Simon swallows hard, running his hand over her hair. "We...we can talk. If you want."
Talk. She had hoped he would’ve stopped with that talking bullshit after she got rid of her power. She knew what talking meant to Simon. Talk to me while I listen. Talk so I don't have to. Talk because I don't know what the fuck to say. Talk because I'm too fucking awkward to say anything comforting. Talk because I’m useless and don’t know how to fucking properly comfort you.
“If you just need to talk-”
Sometimes she hates him, she thinks.
“Simon, just shut up,” she mutters. He stares at her questioningly and she looks up at him. “I...I just want to stop feeling like shit.”
He watches as she pulls her top down and shrugs out of the sleeves, his eyes stopping on her black bra before drifting to her face. "Alisha?"
“Fuck me,” she whispers, grabbing his shirt and pulling him toward the bed, undoing his trousers as they stumble over.
"Wait," he breathes as she tries to pull his face down, her mouth on his jaw. "Alisha-"
"Just kiss me-" she practically begs as she pushes his shirt off his shoulders. "Just fuck me-" she shoves him down on the bed before straddling his hips, her hands slipping inside his trousers. She starts to stroke him and his mouth opens, his fingers digging into her thighs.
"Alisha- I don't know how-" he pants.
"I'll help you," she breathes, pumping a hand over his cock and she closes her eyes when he rests his forehead against her chest, feeling his ragged gasps on her skin as she continues to stroke him.
He’s hard quickly and she pushes up the bottom of her dress, the fabric now a bunched up wad on her waist. She slides herself up and bites down on her lower lip when she feels his mouth on her chest, his mouth dragging over her skin. She moves down on him and they both still, Simon’s fingers stretching over her hips.
Then, she moves.
Simon stifles a groan and she can feel his teeth on her skin as he moves his hands down her thighs, holding her against him. He meets every jerk of her hips and she knows he’s a fucking liar, he knows exactly what to do, he at least knows how to do that. She just fucking hates him sometimes.
With each thrust, each groan, she feels that fucking guilt hit her, getting worse instead of going away.
"Kiss me," she nearly whines, her nails digging into his shoulder. "Kiss me-"
He lifts his head, his hand sliding behind her neck and pulling her down. Their lips meet in a clumsy kiss, too wet and too awkward and God, she fucking hates him.
She drives down on him, her body shaking with each pained moan that escapes him, his long fingers stretching and gripping at her skin with each thrust. His other hand digs into her hair, tugging hard and she lets out a cry, moving unrelentingly as he moves his hips faster. It’s rough, too rough, but she doesn’t want to stop. Anything to remove that feeling of dread and hopelessness in her. She just wanted this flat to be a safe place where they didn’t have to fucking worry about dying all the fucking time, she didn’t want to remember all the shit that was happening around them.
He comes first, his hand pulling her head back as he pushes up into her. Her hand moves between their bodies and she rubs at herself, a shuddering breath escaping her as Simon's mouth falls on the top of her breast, opening and leaving a wet kiss on her skin. His hand presses against her lower back, pushing her against him and she finally feels herself fall apart. She slams her mouth against his as she comes, muffling her cries as her hips jerk wildly. She pushes her fingers down firmly, her high-pitched cry cut off by Simon’s mouth against hers.
She slows and they stay still against each other as they catch their breath for what feels like forever, both silent and awkward and she hates this. She hates feeling guilty, hates feeling lost, hates Simon for not caring about how much of a horrible person she fucking was. Maybe he knows now. The blinders that he put up, this image he fucking has of her is gone. Destroyed. She’s fucked up and he knows it.
"Sorry," she mutters, starting to slide off his lap. To her surprise, he stops her, wrapping his arms around her in a loose hug. She stiffens, her jaw clenching. "What."
"It's okay," he whispers, kissing her cheek softly. "We don’t need to talk."
Alisha closes her eyes, embracing him tightly as he buries his face against her neck. She doesn’t hate him at all.
* * *
With the power of suck behind her, Alisha begins her new life. Unafraid to go outside, happy to touch people, eager to touch Simon. God, she can’t stop touching Simon. Holding his hand, rubbing the back of his neck, kissing his lips, touching the sides of his face, her legs on his shoulders, her fingers in his mouth, his bare hands pinning her wrists to the mattress as he tickles her body...she had missed being touched.
A part of her feels horrible for avoiding Curtis but she just can’t deal. Looking at him now reminds her of their mortality, of how easy it really is to just fucking die. Curtis doesn’t talk much at the bar and she refuses to even look at the entrance, refuses to entertain the hope that Nikki would walk through with an unamused sneer on her face.
Instead of dwelling on her fears and those stupid conflicting feelings, she puts all of her attention on Simon.
She teaches Simon the map of her body. How to touch her, how to use his tongue, how to finger her properly, how to move his hips just right. He's an eager student and they practice. As soon as she gets home from work, when they wake up, before going out with the gang, they even spend an entire weekend in bed. They’re connecting. Sex becomes a release for them both.
She’s sure he appreciates the distraction as well.
Training him isn't hard at all. He listens and follows orders. She presses her mouth to his ear, manages a "harder, I'm coming," and he gets her there. Sometimes she brings her knees to her chest- he likes that- as she grabs his hips to pull him deeper inside her. Sometimes she wraps her legs around his ass- he really likes that- as they fuck hard in bed before getting up to shower in the morning.
Simon likes it hard. Intense. Rough. He likes to really feel it. Everything is at 11, he likes to go until it's almost-painful and sometimes beyond that. She can't complain, every time they have shagged is slowly getting close to amazing now. He's all about pleasing her and she can't get enough, they don't even make it to the bed a lot of the time.
She learns about things Simon likes in bed that she hadn't with the future him. Simon likes it when she talks- nothing too vulgar, but basic shit to get him going and she finds that it turns her on as well. Simple shit like "I want you," or "Deeper" or "Fuck me hard" get him. He hasn’t asked to piss on her tits, which is a good thing.
The future him was perpetually serious and slow and almost in a trance with their sex- he wanted it to last, wanted to never stop and she was always scared to find out what had put him in such a place. Her Simon, the present Simon, he's nervous but a bit more fun.
After the anxiety of being shit in bed fades away and she’s taught him enough to get her off without her orders, he starts to experiment. He gradually comes out of his shell with her. Vocalizes more, is louder with his groans and grunts, reaches for her, takes more control...he's slowly becoming the man she remembers.
But there's more than just sex.
They spend an evening just talking and making out. Just that. Making out, stopping to talk and laugh, then make out some more. She has never experienced such a thing, guys always wanted sex eventually. Not Simon. He seems perfectly happy to listen to Alisha talk about her childhood and she's mildly freaked out- no one had ever asked her before.
She tells him about her mother and father and all of her friends. He listens intently and even repeats names and she knows he’s taking down a mental list for later. He laughs at her stories of having adventures with her Barbies in the snow and she interrupts her own stories to kiss him, to show him how to kiss her with just enough tongue.
They’re truly connecting. She and Curtis had talked when they dated, but they hadn’t gotten the chance to really know each other, not like she had with Simon during the time before she lost her curse. It was weird, but nice. She feels like Simon’s actually getting to know her.
"I'm thinking of what color to buy this shirt," she says one night, turning her laptop toward Simon as he walks into their flat with a bag of take-out. "Guess."
Simon leans down, glancing at the computer screen before straighting up and walking to the kitchen counter. "The blue leopard."
Alisha smiles happily, closing her laptop and rolling off the bed. She dashes over to him, poking his shoulder. "Get out of my brain, Professor X," she says as she wraps her arms around his waist, pressing her cheek against his back.
"Professor X?" He stills, glancing over his shoulder at her. "Did you just call me Professor X?"
She grins at his reply, giving him a shrug. "You think I’m not listening when you talk? We saw the movies, I paid attention."
"Do you even know who that is?"
Alisha rolls her eyes as he turns to face her. "Um, yes. The guy in the cool wheelchair."
Simon nods, a hint of a smile on his lips as he embraces her. "Close enough," he presses his lips against her forehead for a moment before speaking. "I got Curtis some food. Took it to the bar for him."
He nods, pulling back and gazing at her. "I thought he could use it."
She manages a smile, pulling him into another hug. "You’re sweet, Simon," she thinks of Nikki then, thinks of the dullness in Curtis’ eyes. She thinks before she can stop herself of everything Curtis probably never got to tell Nikki and before she can depress herself again, she continues, glancing up at him. "I’m...I’m happy. To have you."
The smile on Simon’s face just about manages to make that dark cloud over her vanish.
* * *
It’s not always quiet in the safe place that is their flat. With Simon comes Nathan. Fucking Nathan.
Nathan invites himself over when he isn’t busy making Kelly’s day, when he’s not trying to coax a free drink out of Curtis. He follows Simon around or insists that Simon accompany him places, all while insisting that Simon needs him. Who the fuck is he? And yet, even though Simon eventually tires of Nathan, he seems to enjoy Nathan’s company most of the time. She doesn’t fucking get it.
She comes home from work one night to find Nathan in her fucking home, loudly telling a story and trying to hump the rack-thing that the future Simon had used to practice combat on. Nathan was too into his story to notice her, humping the rack as he spoke, as if he really did shag some hot girl from the pub by his mum’s house when he was in sixth form.
Alisha eyes Nathan as she throws her purse on the table before glancing around the flat. "Simon?" she calls.
"Alisha?" Simon answers from somewhere in the bathroom.
"What are you doing?" she asks, her nose crinkling as Nathan continues mimicking a woman having an orgasm.
"Fixing the shower head that Nathan just broke," he says tersely.
"Alisha!" Nathan cries out, thrusting his hips on the metal thing enthusiastically. "How turned on would you be if I said I could make your stomach clench inside out?"
"So turned on I would die, shouldn’t you be with Marnie and the baby?" she says with a roll of her eyes, glancing toward the bathroom. "Simon, come here," she turns to Nathan, her eyes narrowing. "Is that my dress?"
Nathan abruptly stops his humping. "Hm?"
She shoots him an angry look. "Is that my brand-new, never worn dress that Simon just bought me, stretched out on that metal shit?"
Nathan starts to pull the dress off, backing away as Alisha stomps over, yanking it off the metal stand. "Now, if Barry had just told me it were yours, I would’ve left it alone so you just might want to redirect your anger-"
"Whom else would it belong to?" she snaps at him, hastily folding up the dress before giving up and balling up the fabric. "Unless he’s shagging someone else and they are living here-"
Alisha sighs at the sound of Simon’s voice, shoving the dress at Nathan before dashing over to Simon. "Why is he here?" she hisses, lifting her head so Simon can kiss her hello. "It’s almost three in the morning."
"It's his mother’s birthday," Simon says softly, giving her a knowing look. "She and her boyfriend went on a weekend trip and didn’t tell Nathan. He’s been here all night, didn’t want to bother Marnie while she was taking care of Nathan Jr."
She frowns, clutching the bottom of Simon’s shirt in her fists. "You couldn’t have texted me with that before I was a total bitch to him?"
"He tried to hide my phone, he said you’re stealing me away."
Alisha laughs at Simon’s pleased smile, but the smile quickly fades at Nathan’s "Are you two about to shag? Can I watch?"
"'Kay, I don’t feel bad anymore. Kick him out, I want to shower and go to bed," she whispers before slipping past him toward the bathroom.
As she walks into the bathroom, she can hear Simon mumbling an excuse to Nathan and then came Nathan, still being such a twat-
"She's got your balls in her tiny little hands, man! Tell her I’m staying!"
Alisha stills by the curtain, listening for Simon’s response. It comes swiftly and Alisha feels a surge of pride flow through her at his-
"I want to go to bed too, Nathan. I’ll see you tomorrow."
Before, Simon wouldn’t have said a word, would’ve allowed Nathan to do whatever he wanted, just for the company. Before, Simon would just quietly sit as Nathan ran the show. Simon’s more assertive now when it counts, she loves that about him.
After she’s showered and Nathan’s left after whining and blurting out insults, she finds Simon sitting cross-legged in bed in the dark, gazing at his laptop screen. She crawls into bed beside him, kissing his neck firmly. "What are you looking at?"
Her smile disappears as she focuses on the screen, catches some bloke doing parkour in a gym. Simon’s eyes are intently on the screen even as his hand rubs at Alisha’s knee, distracted by the man doing his runs.
"So," she musters with a grin, running her hand along the inside of his thigh. "Want a blowjob?" she whispers in his ear.
Simon glances at her, grinning before returning to the video. "I thought you were tired."
"Not anymore...put the laptop away."
"In a minute."
Her mouth puckers in displeasure as Simon rewinds the video slightly, watching as the man takes a running leap off a row of mats. "Simon."
"Do you think I can do that?" he murmurs. "Do you think I could jump off a building like that?"
"I don’t want you doing that parkour shit at all," she snaps at him, flopping down on the bed and pulling the bedsheets up to her neck. She turns her back on him and after a couple of seconds of silence, she can hear Simon shut and set the laptop on the floor beside the bed.
Her eyes close as Simon lays down beside her, pressing himself against her back and wrapping his arm around her waist. "I’m tired."
"I'm not trying to shag you," he says with a chuckle, his hand slipping under her tank top and his fingers rubbed on her stomach. "Are you mad at me?"
"No," she rolls her eyes as he sighs heavily. "Let’s go to sleep, Simon."
"I love you, Alisha."
She nods as he kisses her shoulder. "I love you," she says softly.
After a couple of minutes, she can hear his breathing slow as he falls asleep. Still, she stays awake, unable to sleep as her mind races. That parkour bullshit is stressing her out more than it needs to. She doesn’t want to detour him from his hobby, but she knows full-well that the better he gets at this parkour shit, the closer he will get to being a proper superhero.
She has to stop him, somehow. Before it’s too late, she needs to stop him.
Chapter 6: Oh baby, can't you see, It's shinin' just for you, loneliness is over, dark days are through
Life is good. Life is really good.
I played a bit with how long Simon and Alisha were dating, just because we weren't really given a concrete timeframe, so I followed "Simon's" twitter for guidance. It's probably not accurate, but I tried.
Since we don't know much about Simon's family other than that he has a sister, I invented a family for Simon.
Simon finally takes Alisha to meet his family about a month after Valentine’s Day, partially because his mother is furious that he’s gone so long without introducing Alisha to the family, and partially because Alisha herself threatened to go to his parent’s house alone if he didn’t bring her.
Their Valentine’s Day was quiet and rather normal- as she told Simon, every day was basically Valentine’s Day for them, they were still in the honeymoon stage. She didn’t do boxes of chocolates, he didn’t do gifts of lingerie; so they decide on a quiet night of take-out, two Tarantino movies, and shagging. It was her best Valentine’s Day ever.
But back to the current nutter that was her boyfriend at the moment.
Backed-into-a-corner Simon is a stressed Simon and Alisha knows she has to deal with it. He fidgets when she stops in front of a car a block away from the house to check her make-up in the side mirror. She lets out a huff, chewing on her gum as he checks the time on his cell phone. "Settle."
He glances at his phone again, his jaw clenching. "I just want us to go home. I want us to go back to bed."
She looks over her shoulder at him, smirking. "Back to bed? I think I’ve created a monster."
Simon’s eyes widen suddenly as he lowers his phone. "Do you...do you think they could tell we had sex a couple of hours ago?"
Alisha laughs, shaking her head as she straightens up. "Simon!" She fluffs at her hair as she walks over, giving him a look. "Seriously?"
She links her arm with his as they begin to walk again. "No."
"They're going to know," he says in a rushed breath. "As soon as they see me, they’re going to know."
"Well, then stop looking like you fucking robbed a bank and they won’t," she says in a faintly exasperated tone.
Simon shakes his head, shifting himself as Alisha wraps her arm around his waist and he throws his arm around her shoulders. "Alisha-"
"Simon, you’re a grown man and you’re living with an incredibly fit girl- they know you’re having sex."
"Don't say fuck around them," he nearly hisses.
Alisha laughs, glancing at the sky as they approach the house. "Fucking hell..."
"And don’t try to...to grab me below my waist or kiss me or anything you do when we’re alone."
"Shall I put on my nun outfit before we go in?" she glances down at her denim skirt and floral tank top. "I don’t know, I think this is going to offend them. There’s leg, Simon."
"That's just not funny."
"Guess what, your parents have had loads of sex." He lets out a pained groan and she bites back a grin, rolling her eyes as she leans forward and rings the doorbell.
Almost immediately, the door is flung open and Alisha silently hopes that Mrs. Bellamy hadn’t heard her last remark. Mrs. Bellamy is a pretty woman with dark hair whose eyes light up at the sight of them. Alisha is almost frozen in place until Simon’s mother smiles and she mimics her, holding out her hand. "Hiya, I’m Alisha Bailey."
"I know who you are, love- you are beautiful!" Simon’s mother clutches Alisha’s hand, pulling her into the house and Alisha swiftly grabs Simon’s hand, dragging him in with her.
"Thank you, it’s a pleasure to meet you, Mrs. Bellamy," she glances at Simon, who continues to look like he wants to throw up.
"Isabelle! Call me Isabelle, Alisha," Isabelle looks down the hallway. "John! They’re here! She’s gorgeous!"
"Oh, God," Simon mumbles, smoothing his hair down.
"I'm going to get us some tea and biscuits," Isabelle says cheerfully. "The food’s almost ready. I apologize for Jennifer- that’s Simon’s sister- not being here, she had a school trip to go to, an art museum," Isabelle glances at Simon, sucking her teeth at him. "Goodness, Simon, please stop acting like you’re about to be executed."
Alisha laughs, glancing at Simon as Isabelle leads them into the living room. She pulls him down next to her on the couch, waiting for Isabelle to go running out to rub his leg. "I love them already," she whispers, excited.
Simon nods, his hand lifting to smooth down his hair again and she smacks his hand down. "They just want us to stay for brunch."
"Good, I love brunch."
Alisha lights up as Isabelle reappears with a tray of tea and treats, and Simon’s father with her. She sees where Simon gets his cheekbones from. John Bellamy smiles as he approaches and Alisha jumps to her feet, holding out her hand.
Alisha is shocked at how, well, normal Simon's family is. She had expected some weird, bugged-eyed people with an aversion to talking. What she gets is a relatively normal, pale family, if a bit reserved. Simon gets his nervous mouth twitches from his mother, as well as the beautiful color of his eyes. From his father, he received his father’s smile, the way he raises his eyebrows when he finds something particularly funny. His parents are more talkative than expected and they ask her loads of questions and after an hour, she feels like she has known them for years.
She puts on the charm, smiling brightly and making harmless jokes as Simon grins and slowly relaxes, sipping his tea next to her. She flips her hair and smiles and plays with her necklaces and when Isabelle comes in with the food, she makes sure to take enough to make Isabelle happy.
Alisha is sure she could win Best Girlfriend Ever for this performance. No, not a performance. No, she feels like herself, a self that was hiding, dormant, for too long. She’s actually happy, at ease. Simon’s parents are nothing like she thought they would be and she’s pleased to see that they seem to love her.
This she could get used to, a new kind of fun. It’s not clubbing or hanging out, but it’s nice.
Isabelle begins to gather up the silverware and Alisha jumps to her feet, starting to pick up plates. "Let me help you, Isabelle," she says, grinning when Isabelle shoots Simon a pleased look.
She helps Isabelle with the dishes and cups, carrying them into the kitchen. A quick glance at the refrigerator produces tons of pictures of a young Simon and Jennifer. In fact, pictures of the two adorned the walls of the living room, too. Isabelle and John just loved their children.
"So that’s Jennifer," she murmurs, setting the plates down. "She looks so much like you!"
"That's our Jenny," Isabelle sighs. "She adores Simon, always saying he doesn’t visit enough," she faces Alisha as she approaches the sink. "If I am to be frank," she says abruptly. "We had lost hope for Simon being...well, normal."
"Simon's always been a quiet boy, never had that many friends, and then the arson and the community service..." Isabelle trails off, giving Alisha a warm smile. "He's different now. We can see it. He's happier, and he talks more. It's because of you," she starts to reach for Alisha, before placing her hands at her sides. "Thank you."
Alisha lowers her gaze, nodding. This was too much for her. It was one thing to see the change in Simon herself, but to hear his own mother acting like she was Simon’s savior, it was too much. She was overwhelmed. "It’s fine," she mutters.
Isabelle smiles at Alisha. "And you’re beautiful, just beautiful. He said you were, but you never know with boys," her grin fades slightly. "You’re safe with Simon? With protection?"
"Y-Yes," Alisha says, trying her best not to seem uncomfortable with Isabelle’s question. Already, she was lying to his mother. They didn’t always use protection but she wasn’t about to tell Isabelle that. She hopes Isabelle can’t see the lie on her face, hopes she can’t tell Alisha is lying.
Shit, she sounds like Simon.
"We should get back," Alisha says suddenly, wanting to get back to Simon quickly. She might be doing wonderfully in the Girlfriend Test, but she isn’t ready to deal with the sex discussion with Simon’s fucking mum, of all people.
They return to the living room and as Alisha sits down, Simon hesitantly rests his hand on Alisha's knee, giving it a comforting squeeze. The gesture surprises her but she is pleased at his bold move. She catches John and Isabelle exchanging a glance, both looking genuinely happy as they turn back to the pair.
John and Isabelle hug Alisha when she and Simon leave, which is a pleasant surprise. They hug Simon as well, much to Simon’s own shock. She pretends not to catch Isabelle straightening Simon’s collar, pretends not to hear when his mother murmurs "I love you, my special boy."
"I think I’m going to invite Isabelle to have a shopping date with me and my mum," Alisha announces as they enter the lift to go to their flat. Simon doesn’t response, his jaw clenching and she frowns. "What's wrong? They were lovely," she laughs at his troubled expression, grasping the sides of his face. "Simon! Your family was lovely!"
"They always are."
"Then what’s that face for? They loved me."
"Every time I see them," Simon says slowly. "I think of who I used to be," his eyes meet Alisha's, suddenly sad. "I don't like the old me."
She kisses his chin before pulling him into a hug. "You're not that person anymore. And your family is wonderful," she tilts her head back as Simon angles his head and gives her a deep kiss. "What’s that for?"
"Because I love you," he breathes against her lips, his eyes on her mouth as the lift jerks to a stop. "Let’s go back to bed."
"'Kay," Alisha says with a grin, pulling the lift door open and yanking Simon into the flat. "You can just say you want to shag-" she cuts herself off as Simon pulls her away from the bed and toward the bathroom. "Simon?" she frowns as he leads her inside. "What-" he leans in, turning on the shower before pulling her to him, pushing her jacket off her shoulders. "Oh, I see," she giggles as he leans down, nipping at her neck.
Simon’s phone starts to chirp and Alisha pulls away from him with a disappointed groan. "Answer it."
He gives her an apologetic smile before pulling his phone out from his pocket, glancing at the screen before answering, giving her a look. "Mum."
She cringes as Simon quickly turns away from her, walking out of the bathroom and toward the kitchen. She removes her jacket, tossing it on top of the clothes hamper. If Simon isn’t going to ignore his phone, she was just going to have to get started without him.
She decides with a smile to let his mum have him for five minutes, then she was going to walk to the kitchen, completely nude. That ought to get him.
* * *
Alisha has nightmares, still. She dreams of Simon dying constantly, of the others dying, of herself dying.
She dreams of Simon getting shot again, shot in his regular clothes, shot in his superhero costume. She dreams of him dying in her arms. She dreams, bizarrely, of herself as a superhero alongside Simon. The same black costume and mask, side by side.
The worst dream, the one that gets her screaming herself awake, is the one where she is back in that ugly orange jumpsuit,walking down the hallway of the community center. The hallway is bright, too bright, and then she sees blood dripping down her jumpsuit. She’s gripping her throat, falling to the ground and as she goes, she sees her mystery man in his black outfit, staring at her from down the hallway. He turns and walks away from her and she gasps, watching as the ground covers with her blood, watches as she bleeds out on the floor. So much blood.
She wakes up screaming and to Simon clutching her shoulders and holding her down as she flails and he’s shouting something. It takes a moment for her to realize he’s shouting her name.
His eyes are wide and he’s panicked as he loosens his grip but he still holds her. He inhales sharply as she jerks up, embracing him tightly. "Are you okay?" he says, running his hand over her back. "Where’d you go?"
"I had a nightmare," she mumbles against his neck, blinking back tears. "Don’t fucking ask me to talk about it. Please."
He nods, kissing her shoulder and she’s grateful for his silence. They recline back on the bed and she curls herself against him, allowing him to hold her. After a long moment, she hears him whispering-
"I used to have nightmares too. All the time, I think it was the anti-depressants. I was always being chased by someone I couldn’t see and all I did is run. The last time I had the dream, it caught me."
"And then what?"
Simon sighs. "Nothing. I woke up."
She feels his lips press against her forehead. "And then I met you lot, and the storm happened."
Alisha closes her eyes painfully. "You still believe in destiny, then." He doesn’t respond, instead clutches her closer against him. She decides to let the conversation go, to try to fall back asleep. Before she does, she silently prays to have a dreamless sleep.
It's all fine. It'll all be fine.
* * *
"How are you?"
Curtis gives Alisha a sidelong glance before returning his attention to the beer tap that needed fixing. "Fine."
She leans against the counter, watching as his back tenses while he works on his task. "We’ve never..." she trails off, trying to find the right words. "You’ve never talked about Nikki-"
"I don’t want to talk about her."
Her shoulders sag at the terseness of his response. Really, she shouldn’t have been surprised, it’s just how Curtis is. Never one for deep talks, never one to truly discuss his feelings. "Maybe you should?"
Fuck, she was turning into Simon.
"Alisha," Curtis straightens up, turning to face her. "I’m fine. Nikki is gone. Talking about my feelings isn’t going to bring her back," he lowers his head, wiping at his fingers with the rag in his hands. "I wish it would."
She doesn’t know what to say to that. God, she was shit at this. How could she ask Curtis to express himself when she couldn’t do it herself?
Alisha’s gaze lifts. "Simon?"
Curtis nods. "We went out for a drink last week when you were out with your little friends. He said maybe I deal with things by not dealing with them, yeah?"
She tries to control whatever look of displeasure she knows is surely crossing her features. She wasn’t sure how to feel about her ex-boyfriend and current boyfriend hanging out together, she always thought they were too different to even consider it. Then, before she can stop herself- "Do you talk about me?"
A crooked smile forms on Curtis’ face, then. "Yeah..."
He shrugs. "How you’re doing. How you and him are doing," he chuckles slightly. "We don’t go into details, okay? We’re guys."
Alisha finds herself fidgeting uncomfortably. "Does it bother you? That me and Simon-"
"No," he says quickly. "I’m happy that you’re happy. I mean it."
She smiles slowly, the grin growing as he returns it. "Look at us, being all adult-like."
Curtis shakes his head, turning away from Alisha. "He really loves you, you know."
Her smile fades as a question lays in front of her, begging to be asked. "How does it feel?" she asks quietly.
"Being without Nikki."
He sighs heavily and it’s then his shoulders slouch. "It feels like there’s a hole in my soul. And I can’t do anything to fix it," he turns and looks at Alisha, giving her a tight, grim smile. "So I keep going. Because I have to."
Alisha nods, watching as Curtis walks off to the stock room. She’s suddenly blinking back tears and she shakes her head, her thumbs pressing against the corner of her eyes. After taking a moment to compose herself, she shakily reaches for her phone, needing to talk to Simon.
* * *
Simon grows smug. He grows cocky. That low self-esteem that had been practically draped over him for so long melts away to a smugness that Alisha finds herself amused by. When his fingers curl inside her to get that high-pitched cry from her, his eyes no longer widen at the noise, he no longer looks flustered, now he smirks before flicking his tongue over her lower lip and biting down. She clutches at him desperately now, not to help him move but to plead for release.
He learns every inch of her body. His hands move over the curve of her breast, his teeth on the delicate skin of her inner thigh, his wet open mouth on the sensitive spot of her throat. He becomes obsessed with not only the parkour but with her, wanting to perfect the art of Alisha, wanting to be the only man to truly know her inside and out.
"Let's go to bed," he whispers in her ear one night as she rinses out a glass the sink, his hands moving over her hips.
"Tired?" she teases, turning and wrapping her arms around his neck.
He allows her to pull him down for a slow kiss. "I want you," he murmurs against her mouth, his eyes lowered and anywhere but on hers.
Her hands slide down his neck and she gently coaxes him to look at her. "It's okay to say it," she reassures him firmly. "I want you to say it."
Simon nods, his fingers slipping under her tank top and running along her lower back. "I want you. Now."
He rarely asks for sex outright, she supposed he was still too shy to. She had told him many times how hot it was, but he merely nodded and blushed. That was all right, she got him comfortable enough to walk around naked around her, getting him to say "fuck" wasn't going to be a problem.
She eventually drags it out of him one night as they were fooling around in bed. She teases him with her hips and her hands, with friction, with pressure. His jaw is clenched, his fingers stretched out over her thighs as she keeps him pinned beneath her legs.
A broken groan escapes him as she drags herself over his hard cock, his eyes squeezing shut. "Alisha," he practically begs, a shuddering breath escaping him.
"Say it," she says, her own voice barely above a whimper, barely holding on herself as her nails dig into the skin of his shoulders.
"Fuck-" he hisses as she runs herself over his cock again, his hips bucking up this time.
"Fuck me," he gasps, his eyes opening and falling on hers. "Fuck me-"
Her lips slams against his and she inhales sharply as he flips them both over. His hand slips between their bodies and she wraps her legs around the back of his thighs, audible moans escaping them both as he moves inside her.
And with that, they cross another barrier.
Life is good. Life is really good.
Alisha has a boyfriend who loves her, cares about her, listens to her, satisfies her in every way. They have their share of disagreements and problems, but their relationship runs a lot more smoothly than she would’ve thought. She’s happy and so is he and she assumes that’s all that matters.
They’re absolutely obsessed with each other, can’t stop touching each other, can’t stop wanting to please each other. She likes it when he’s in t-shirts and shirtless, so he’s sure to do both in their flat. He loves it when she wears red lipstick, so she’s sure to wear it as often as possible, especially when she’s certain they’re going to shag later- he loves it when it’s smeared. He loves her hair in bows and she loves his hair slightly mussed in bed. He loves her long, often graphic stories and she loves when he talks passionately about anything. They’re just obsessed and she loves it.
She loves him.
Alisha likes to tease Simon in public. Run her hand down his lower back as she walks behind him at Nando's, rub her ass against his crotch as she passes by him at the bar, strokes the spot on his thigh just next to his cock. Sometimes she leans in and whispers what she's thinking about doing to him, very simple and quick. I want to suck your cock. I want to come all over your fingers. I want to fuck you until it hurts. Things like that.
Simon used to get embarrassed, even alarmed. But as their sex life gets better and better, he becomes eager to engage. He rubs her inner thigh when they eat dinner with the group at the pub, he'll allow them both a squeeze of her ass outside the bar, he'll rub his thumb just below the clasps of her bra. God, it drives her mental.
As much as she hates the parkour bullshit, she has to admit that it gives him extra stamina. He comes home after practicing ready for a go constantly. Sometimes they shag multiple times, just because of his adrenaline still pumping. And it’s always fantastic, the ripping-their-clothes off frantic sex they have. He’s stronger and his body is way firmer. He’s becoming loads more confident. She hates when he does his parkour but she’s willing to endure it if their sex life continued this way. They just can’t keep their hands off each other.
One time they can’t and don’t wait. After a night of teasing from both sides, he excuses them from the club, wishing Kelly a happy birthday before pulling Alisha toward the exit. She glances around, making sure no creepers are watching before yanking Simon into the girls’ loo. A smirk plays on her lips as she glances and even stares down the other women in the room, pushing against doors until she finds an empty stall.
Simon looks embarrassed and even scared, looking around as she locks the door. "People were staring," he whispers as she kisses his neck, sliding the zipper of his hoodie down. His hands slide down her waist as she undoes his trousers and moves her hands inside. "We’re going to get caught."
"That's the fun part," she smiles against his jaw, her mouth opening when he groans at her stroking. She shushes him, pressing her breasts against his chest as he slips his hands under her skirt. "We have to make this quick, ‘kay?"
She steps away from Simon, bending over and pulling off her knickers. With a raise of her eyebrows, she shoves her knickers into his jacket pocket. His lips press against hers and she stifles a moan as he slips his tongue in, deepening the kiss. He’s going to want to take his time but she can’t allow that, not until they get home.
She pulls away, grabbing the bottom of his hoodie and coaxing him around. She tugs down his trousers off his hips and pushes him down on the toilet, sitting on his lap with her back against his chest. "It’s easier this way," she says softly, yanking her skirt up around her waist.
"We're going to get caught-"
"Stop fucking worrying," she hisses, adjusting herself so she was over his cock. "Make me come," she whispers as she sinks, biting back a groan as he lets out a shaky breath.
Alisha’s teeth dig into her bottom lip as she starts to move her hips, her fingers of her hand digging into Simon’s thigh. He thrusts against her, his teeth grazing her skin as his hand presses against her stomach, holding her against him. She gasps as he moans against her neck, his free hand gripping at her hip. She rolls her hips against his again, and again, and again, a cry escaping her as he meets her thrusts, sucking on the skin of her neck hard.
"Don't give me a hickey," she groans, clutching his hair with her free hand and tugging hard. He lets out a surprised grunt, his hand slipping down and pulling her thighs apart. His other hand moves between her legs and she gasps loudly, her head falling back on his shoulder as he starts to rub at her. Her nails run down his neck before moving down between her legs, her fingers entwining with his busy ones.
It’s hard and fast, she can’t even moan before the next wave of pleasure comes. She can barely think between the pounding of the music outside of the bathrooms, the buzz from the beers she had earlier, and Simon’s fingers working overtime. Her hand grips at his knee, the other keeping his hand down between her legs as they fuck. He pants behind her, his mouth wet on her shoulder as his other hand pulls down her tank top and bra before cupping a tit.
She comes hard, a harsh groan escaping her as her nails dig into his knee. She keeps moving hard, feeling Simon's thrusts becoming erratic and he finally comes, his moaning muffled by her skin as he presses his mouth against her shoulder. He nearly collapses against her as she throws her head back, resting against him.
"Fuck," she sighs, swallowing hard. "Me."
"I thought I just did," he says breathlessly with a chuckle as he lifts his head.
Alisha lets out a slight laugh as they straighten up. She slides off Simon and they stand, she pulling down her skirt as he pulls up and buttons his trousers. "We have to clean up when we get home," she says with a laugh as she adjusts her bra and shirt.
He nods, reaching for Alisha. He jerks her to him, smiling slightly as he leans down and kisses her. "That was fun."
Alisha smirks, zipping up his hoodie. "And what did I tell you about hickeys?"
He smiles shyly, a flush coming on his cheeks as he glances down, pulling her tank strap over her shoulder. "Nowhere anyone but us can see. Unless you give me permission."
"Exactly. Last thing I need is my mum yelling at me-" she is cut off by Simon's lips against hers and she smiles against his mouth.
"Sorted," he mumbles, resting his forehead against hers. "I'll do it here," he runs his fingers between her legs, along her inner right thigh. "Later."
"Promise?" she whispers and he smirks.
She wraps her arms around his neck as they start to clumsily make their way out of the stall, Alisha walking backwards and Simon forward as they tumble out. She laughs at the dirty looks some skanks give her, smirking at them as she turns, leading Simon for the doors.
They move out into the chaos of the club once more, the hot air and booming music hitting them. Alisha glances up at Simon, giving him a grin as she fixes his shirt. She sees the look in his eyes change and she looks in the direction of his stare, spotting the tall, blond guy eying them. "What?"
Simon licks his lips nervously, glancing down at the ground. "Nothing."
The guy steps forward, looking from Simon to Alisha, and then back again. "Simon?"
Alisha looks the guy up and down, a slight sneer on her face. "Who the hell are you?"
"Matt," the guy says. "I...I went to school with Simon."
The name sounds familiar and it takes her a moment to realize who the fuck Matt is. The bloke whose house Simon tried to set fire to. She slowly smirks, wrapping her arm around Simon’s waist. "Didn’t he try to burn your house down?"
She shrugs. "Pity he didn’t succeed," she jerks Simon toward the exit. "Let’s go, babe."
Simon is grinning as he passes Matt and she bites back a smile as he raises his eyebrows at him. "All right?"
And just because she can’t resist the urge to put that look of dismay permanently on Matt’s face- "He just fucked me in the loo, have a good night."
She laughs as Simon nearly shoves her at the doors and her laughter grows as she realizes Simon is laughing with her. Genuinely laughing. His entire face is lit up with amusement as he doubles over against her outside of the club, his arms wrapping around her shoulders.
"I can’t believe you did that," he gasps.
"My boyfriend’s a pussy master!" she trills loudly, giggling as Simon covers her mouth. She pulls his hand down, grinning as he presses his chest against her back as they walk awkwardly down the street. "Fuck that guy, let him tell his shithead friends about that."
Simon holds her tight against his chest, his fingers entwining with hers. "I...I kind of wish he had heard us. In the loo."
Alisha looks over her shoulder at Simon, blinking in slight shock. "I can’t believe you’re the twat that used to film us while we were picking up litter."
Simon’s mouth twitches as he tries to hide his amusement. "That was really mean."
"Aw," she groans. He kisses her neck firmly as they walk and she shakes her head. "I was joking, Simon..."
"I don’t think I’m going down on you tonight."
"Okay, now that is mean," she laughs as he chuckles against her skin. "That is so mean. Fuck off."
* * *
Alisha learns the hard way that she cannot combine her old life with her new one, it just isn’t possible.
She supposed it was her mistake, taking Kelly to Topshop of all places, knowing that’s always where her girl friends go. And as soon as she sees Chloe and Lucy, it’s too late because of course, they’ve already seen her.
Thank God Simon and Nathan were off at some other store.
She inhales sharply, spinning around and she is ashamed to admit she stepped away from Kelly, like she didn’t know her. "Lucy."
The two girls come running over and Alisha is mortified at herself, completely mortified, for continuing to step away from Kelly as Kelly’s talking at her. Kelly just keeps on talking and Alisha wants to tell her to shut the fuck up, to just stay quiet. She doesn’t need the embarrassment, for fuck’s sake.
Lucy laughs, glancing past Alisha briefly to Kelly. "Who’s that?"
Alisha’s jaw clenches. "Don’t know."
Chloe simpers next to Lucy, giving the girl a knowing glance. "Sure it’s not one of your little community service freaks?"
Alisha eyes Chloe, her jaw clenching. "My boyfriend is not a freak," she stiffens as she feels Kelly rush past her, through the aisles and for the exit. She can feel the chill Kelly leaves behind and something in her breaks. "Neither is she."
She feels the panic build in her at the sound of Simon’s voice and she rushes at him as her friends turn. "Simon," she hisses, her hand on his chest. "Let’s go."
"Why's Kelly upset?" he glances over her head at the two girls now eying him. "Who’s that?"
"Chloe and Lucy."
He gives her a weak smile before looking back to the girls now approaching them. "Okay."
"So this must be Simon!" Chloe trills and Alisha can see it, can already see the girl planning her attack.
"Hello," Simon says, smiling tightly.
Alisha finds herself frozen, silently praying that Nathan didn’t decide to storm in at that moment. She just wants to die. "Simon, these are the friends I always tell you about."
Lucy’s eyes narrow at the sight of him, looking him up and down. "So what does our Alisha see in a guy like you..." she mutters.
"I give her a lot of orgasms."
Alisha frowns abruptly, unsure if she had heard Simon right. She glances up at him, catches his wide-eyed expression that tells her that the comment was not a planned one. Her gaze moves to an openly shocked Chloe and Lucy, and she slowly begins to smile.
"Are you for real?" Lucy asks, the pitch of her voice a bit too high.
"Yes," Simon says stiffly. "Loads."
Alisha’s hand runs over Simon’s stomach and she rushes to help him. "It’s true."
Then, suddenly, Chloe begins to laugh, pointing at Simon. "He can stay, that’s too fucking funny." She nudges Lucy. "Isn’t that funny? Her boyfriend is funny."
"Hilarious," Lucy says dryly, crossing her arms over her chest.
"We should go," Alisha finally says, entwining her fingers with Simon’s. "Say goodbye, Simon."
"Bye," Simon says shortly, turning and following Alisha out of the store. As soon as they were out of view of Alisha’s friends, he blurts out, "I don’t like them much."
"Me neither," she responds, glancing around for Kelly.
He frowns. "Then why do you hang out with them?"
"I don’t know," she murmurs. "Do you see Kelly anywhere?" He points at a bench a few stores down and they can hear Kelly yelling for Nathan to shut the fuck up. They approach the two and Alisha finds herself mouthing "I’m sorry" when Kelly finally glances at her.
Kelly turns away and Alisha feels as though her heart was breaking. It’s only later at the pub does Kelly finally go to Alisha with several drinks in her to loudly say- "Next time you want to play dumb, remember who your real friends are."
Alisha doesn’t respond, simply nods, lowering her head as Kelly rolls her eyes before walking off.
Later that night, Alisha stops Simon’s hand as it drifts down her stomach and she looks over her shoulder at him. "Am I a bad person?"
He gives her a quizzical look, leaning back slightly. "No."
"I think I am. Sometimes."
"You're not that person anymore."
She doesn’t respond, instead grasping his hand in hers and bringing it up to her chest. He gets the hint, silently embracing her and kissing her shoulder softly. Kelly’s words continued to repeat in her head and she’s surprised at how much Kelly’s words are affecting her. She doesn’t ever want her friends to look at her the way Kelly did, with that hurt and disappointment.
She’s not that person anymore.
* * *
One slow night, Simon visits Alisha at the bar, unable to keep the smile from his face as he approaches her. She grins at him as he slides into the stool in front of her, his giddiness quickly becoming contagious.
"What?" she finally asks. "Are you already drinking?"
Simon reaches into his jacket pocket, producing a folded piece of paper. He slides the papers across the counter to her. "Open it."
She picks up the piece of paper, unfolding it and quickly reading. A confirmation e-mail. She gasps, glancing at Simon before re-reading the text.
Two tickets to Las Vegas. First class plane tickets. Honeymoon suite in a high-class hotel.
"I had to use a lot of the money left over from that Jesus guy’s money, but we still have enough left for a long while."
She simply stares at him, so he continues.
"We already have the photo...I just thought it would be fun to go. To Vegas."
Simon has the decency to look guilty about it, at least. He had seemed to have the biggest problem with keeping the money Jesus’ stole, so the fact that he bought this trip with that money was a big step for him. And fuck morality, she was going to go to Vegas, finally!
Alisha practically lunges across the counter, grabbing the sides of Simon’s face and kissing him hard. "Simon!"
He laughs against her mouth, pressing his forehead against hers. "Are you happy?"
"Yes! Fucking yes!" she exclaims, ignoring the people in the bar who turn to look at her. "Oh my God!"
Her boyfriend is definitely a keeper.
Chapter 7: Wish the best for you, wish the best for me, wished for infinity If that ain't me, give it up, I can't give it up
Her mystery man had returned and instead of being thrilled, she stands there, blinking back tears.
Vegas. The future is now.
Alisha’s complete elation for the trip is completely done in when Nathan, Marnie, and their baby meet them at the airport. Simon had decided to keep that information from her and she in turn decided to give him the silent treatment for most of the long plane ride. Of course, that doesn’t deter Simon.
"I didn’t know he was buying tickets until a few days ago," Simon whispers, even though Nathan and his lot are several seats away. "Please stop ignoring me."
"You knew!" she hisses, throwing her magazine at him. "You knew and you didn’t tell me! What else are you hiding from me?"
"Alisha," his lips press together tightly as he inhales and she can tell he’s trying to keep his composure. "What was I going to do? He already bought the tickets and the hotel room."
"Why did you even tell him? I didn’t tell anyone where we were going, just that we were going on holiday," she crosses her arms over her chest, looking straight ahead. "You can just forget about the blowjob in the bathroom. You can forget about getting laid at the hotel. You can just forget about seeing my pussy at any point during this trip. And I got a special waxing for this- you can just forget it."
Simon stares at Alisha, a frozen look of panic on his face. "I don’t even know how to-"
"This," she gestures down her body. "You’re not touching. Don’t even try."
He lets out a huff of breath, unbuckling his seat belt and climbing past Alisha. He makes his way down the aisle and she watches as he crouches down beside where Nathan and Marnie are sitting. He’s talking passionately, and then she can hear Nathan, loud and clear- "So you’re going to ditch me to get laid?" and Simon’s head drops in embarrassment.
Simon makes his way back to his seat and Alisha can see how visibly flustered he is. He scoots past her, raising his eyebrows at her as he sits. "Sorted," he mutters.
But Nathan is right behind Simon and he jabs a finger in Alisha’s face. "You might think you’ve won, but this isn’t over."
Alisha scowls up at Nathan, silently mouthing "suck my dick" over and over as he begins to whine at Simon. She’s just over Nathan and his bullshit. She has been looking forward to this trip for weeks and here is Nathan, just ruining it like the twat he is. This was supposed to be a romantic getaway and now that is shot. He can go fuck himself.
She glances over as Simon tries to grasp her hand in his and she jerks her arm away, crossing her arms over her chest. "Don’t touch me."
She ignores him, glaring up at Nathan. "Go sit back down!" she hisses.
They reach Las Vegas after a tension-filled flight, and Alisha demands that Simon get two separate cabs which manages to get Nathan ranting again. As soon as they reach the hotel, Alisha stomps past Simon, leaving him to collect their luggage. She reaches the front desk, impatiently drumming her fingers on the desk as the clerk approaches.
"Hiya," Alisha says, forcing a smile on her face as Simon appears at her side. "We have a room-"
"Under Bellamy," Simon says, pulling out his wallet and giving the clerk his ID and a credit card. "Simon and Alisha Bellamy."
The clerk looks up, her eyes on Simon for a long moment before returning her gaze to the computer screen. "Honeymoon suite? Congratulations...you’re married."
Alisha’s grin fades as a glare forms on her face at the sight of the obviously disappointed clerk. She swiftly winds her arm around Simon’s, getting a look of surprise from him. "Don’t sound so upset," she says curtly.
The clerk forces a tight smile on her face. "Not at all, ma’am," she responds, handing Simon two key cards. "Enjoy your stay."
As Alisha and Simon stand near the lifts, she shoots a glare at the clerk. "That slag."
Simon frowns. "What?"
Alisha lets out an exasperated huff. "For fuck’s sake- you're fit! You're fit and other girls are noticing!" she rolls her eyes at Simon's blank stare, pointing at the blonde clerk across the lobby. "That slut was just checking you out. She practically stomped her foot when she saw that we were together."
Simon's eyes light up and he starts to turn toward the counter. "Really?"
She grabs his chin, forcing his gaze back on her. "DON'T look."
"Alisha," he says with a slight grin, cupping her face in his hands. "I only want you."
She gazes up at him, hooking her fingers in his belt loop. "Prove it."
His eyebrows rise as the doors of the lift open. "You’re not mad at me anymore?"
Alisha finally smiles, giving him a look. "Maybe if you turn off your phone and make it up to me, I won’t be."
Simon’s grin grows as he leaves a kiss on Alisha’s forehead. "I can do that."
It doesn’t go as planned. As soon as they make their way into their hotel room, they are distracted by Nathan mimicking shagging noises next door. Simon decides to unpack and Nathan only stops when Alisha bangs on the wall and yells for him to shut the fuck up. It all finally leads to-
"Hiya!" Alisha says cheerfully as the clerk picks up the line. "I’m in the honeymoon suite. Do you have any other rooms available? Like right now?" she cringes as she listens to the clerk ask for how many days. "Five days?" she licks her lips as the clerk regretfully responds. "Sorry, I don’t mean to be rude, but can you transfer me to a hotel that can help us? My boyfriend’s twat friend has crashed our vacation."
Finally, she sighs and nods when the clerk tells her that she was unable to do so. "I understand, thank you for trying," she mumbles to the clerk before hanging up. She flops on the bed, pouting as Simon sits beside her. "This is bullshit."
He lays down next to her, giving her a smile. "You’re being negative."
She rolls her eyes, glancing over at him. "Like I give a shit. I’m calling other hotels in the morning."
"Don't," Simon says quietly, leaning over and kissing Alisha’s cheek. "Let’s just make the best of it," his hand trails down her stomach. "Relax, please."
Alisha can’t stop the smile from forming as Simon’s mouth drifts to her neck. "Just keep Nathan the fuck away from me," she mutters before lifting her hips, allowing Simon to pull her skirt up.
* * *
"Thanks for the marathon shagging session last night, quite the show," Nathan gives Alisha a glare, as if she were the only one involved. He points his fork at her. "You are really vulgar, we have a baby, it's very rude."
"Um, isn't every third word out of your mouth twat and cunt?" Alisha snaps. Of course, Simon couldn’t keep Nathan away from her, Nathan follows Simon around constantly. The only good thing that has come out of Nathan’s presence has been Nathan Jr, whom she has surprisingly taken a liking to, three days into their trip.
"You twat," Nathan says indignantly, “Is not the same as lick my pu-"
"All right," Simon interjects abruptly, a flush on his cheeks.
And just because Alisha couldn’t allow Nathan to have the last word- "Your goatee looks like shit."
Marnie smiles at Alisha as Nathan looks more than a little offended, bouncing Nathan Jr. in her arms. "Don’t worry, Nathan doesn’t mean it," she leans in. "If I had known this was supposed to be a couple thing, I would’ve stayed home."
"It's fine," Simon says with a slight smile. "We’re having a good time."
"Why would we stay behind, just because Alisha is having a sulk?" Nathan says, scowling at Alisha. "Why are you being so mean? I thought we were friends-"
Alisha looks at Simon, confused, before turning back to Nathan. "I’m not your friend."
Nathan shakes his head with a smile, glancing at Marnie. "She’s joking..."
Alisha waits until Marnie is putting Nathan Jr. in his carrier and Nathan turns away, occupied with getting his meal for a cheaper price, to lean in to Simon. She slips her hand down between his legs, applying pressure to his cock before tilting her head, her lips brushing over his ear. "I'm not wearing my knickers," she purrs with a smile.
Simon is perfectly still, his mouth pressing together as he grabs Alisha's busy hand, stopping her. "Oh?" is all he can manage.
"Yes, so if you want to get properly fucked," she whispers, running her hand down the inside of his thigh. "You will excuse us from this table so we can go upstairs."
"We're in the middle of dinner," he hisses.
Alisha sighs. "It’s our vacation and I promise you we will have way more fun upstairs. And there's always room service," she nips at Simon's earlobe, going in for the kill. "I want your cock. So bad."
"I want you to come inside me-"
"We have to go," Simon says abruptly, throwing his fork on his plate.
Nathan’s attention jerks back to Simon and Alisha and his mouth drops. "Barry! You promised we would go to the strip clubs!"
Simon gives Nathan a look of confusion. "You said you wanted me to go with you. I said I would only go if Alisha goes."
"What kind of hold does she have on you, man?" Nathan exclaims. "Did she get the power to control your cock, what’s wrong with you?"
"Don't say cock around Nathan Jr!" Marnie scolds Nathan, trying to cover the baby’s ears with her fingertips.
Alisha pulls Simon to his feet, wrapping her arm around his waist. "Good night, Marnie," she leans down, gently rubbing the baby’s cheek. "Good night, Nathan Jr.," she coos. She smiles as she feels Simon’s hand on her waist, coaxing her toward the exits.
Nathan glares at Alisha. "I thought it would be fun, you being Barry’s girlfriend. I was wrong! I was very wrong!"
"Good night, Nathan," Alisha says with a grin, grabbing Simon’s hand and walking with him to the lifts. Simon was right- they had to make the best of their vacation. And if that meant fucking with Nathan in the process, she would gladly do so.
* * *
The girls’ laughter rings out by the fountain and Alisha’s gaze drifts over to them, catching the obviously drunk women chasing each other around as they spill their drinks. One of the girls has on a wedding veil with devil’s horns attached, a lime green drink clutched tightly in her hand. They ignore the dirty looks from other tourists as they run around.
She puts out the cigarette between her fingers on the ground, stubbing it out with the toe of her sneaker. She quietly reminds herself to brush her teeth before getting back in bed with Simon, he hates it when she smokes, he always makes the slightest of faces after kissing her. She tries to keep her smoking down to going out with her girlfriends but tonight was an exception.
A nightmare had woken her this time, the first in weeks. The flat was crumbling, lights falling and crashing to the ground. She was calling for Simon and he never appeared. As the final light went out, she woke up. Luckily, Simon didn’t stir and she was able to get dressed and leave the room. She needed some air.
"Don't run, you slut!"
Alisha is jolted out of her reverie by the screaming girls and she scoots over on the bench, trying to keep on the group as they play around, resting her chin on her knuckles. A smile perks on her lips as the bride trips on her heels, tumbling over comically. She remembers when she was like that, screaming and cursing and not giving a shit. It isn’t that long ago, but it feels like another lifetime.
Hell, she knows she still does it sometimes, she is still running around and having fun, but this is different. Ever since the storm, it has been different. Before, she had to worry about losers groping at her and her friends sabotaging her somehow. Then she had to worry about anyone touching her and her fucking power sabatoging her. Now, she has to worry about her boyfriend deciding he’s going to run and stop a mugger with his shitty power and hero complex. Everything has changed. She missed being that carefree and not giving a shit about anything.
Alisha glances around for a moment before realizing the girl is shouting at her and she quickly straightens up. "Yeah?"
The girl stumbles over, her blonde, curly hair falling over her eyes. She’s holding out a camera in one hand, a drink in another. "It’s my best bitch’s bachelorette party," she slurs. "Can you take our picture?"
Alisha nods, mustering a smile as she stands and grabs the camera. The other girl is shouting at her friends to come over and Alisha glances at the camera, readying the shot. She grins at the girls as they pose, holding up the camera. "Say cheese," she says as cheerfully as she can. They do and she takes the picture.
"Thank you!" the bride sings, snatching the camera back. "Are you British?" she asks in the most awful imitation of an English accent that Alisha didn’t know whether or not to be insulted by.
She nods. "I’m from London, yes."
"We've never met a British girl before," the bride says loudly, blowing a strand of black hair from her face. "Wanna hang out?"
Alisha hesitates, glancing down at her watch. 1am. She left Simon in bed to take a walk and she knew if she were gone for too long, he would wake up and start looking for her. He’s already too used to her in bed with him and she knew she would be the same way. "Um, yeah. Yeah, I want to hang. I just have to let my boyfriend know."
The girls start glancing at each other and for a moment, Alisha is scared. The blonde from before steps forward. "You have a boyfriend? Is he British too?"
Alisha frowns, giving the group a look. She didn’t get their fascination with the British, but whatever. "Yeah. He is."
"Bring him too! Is he cute?"
"He's sleeping," Alisha’s gaze shifts over to the bride who was now trying to touch her hair and she swiftly pushes her hand away. "And he’s cute..." she trails off, shrugging. "I guess I can wake him up-" she jumps at the shrieks that come from the girls.
Somehow, these group of girls end up in the lift with Alisha and she curses her tiny body for being unable to block the door when they all ran in. As they ride up to the honeymoon suite, Alisha finds herself relaxing, laughing as the girls begin singing some pop song and giving her their drinks to down.
The laughter fades as she realizes they’re following her- fucking following her- to the suite. She shushes them as they stop at the door, pointing at the next room. "There’s a baby in there," she whispers. The girls nod, shifting closer to Alisha and she tries to move her elbows out to make room.
She closes her eyes, inhaling sharply before running the key card through the slot and opening the door. The door opening is like a Pandora’s Box and the girls rush in, examining the room. Alisha flies in, trying to make it to the bed as a startled Simon sits up, watching the women look around the room. "Simon!"
"Alisha," Simon says shortly, pulling the sheet up over his bare chest. His eyes are wide as he looks at the bride, who has jumped on the bed beside him and reclines on Alisha’s pillow. His eyes dart over to one of the girls, peering into Alisha’s suitcase. "We’re being robbed. We’re being robbed!"
Alisha laughs, running her hand over his hair. “Shut up, no, we’re not- I met them downstairs. She’s having a bachelorette party and they want us to go party with them." Simon silently looks up at Alisha, dumbfounded. She nods at the group. "Don’t be rude."
Simon glances at the girls, mustering a weak smile. "Hello."
"Your accent is hot,” the bride says, gazing up at him. "Are you naked?"
"No," he says quickly, shifting closer to Alisha. "Why are they in here?"
"I told you, we’re going out," Alisha says matter-of-factly. "Get dressed," he stares at her and she gestures at the bathroom. "Go."
"It's one in the-" he cuts himself off at the look Alisha gives him, nodding and sliding out of the bed. The girls get silent, watching as he nearly runs into the bathroom, slamming the door shut behind him.
The blonde girl points at the closed door, smiling. "Boxer-briefs. I like that."
Alisha glances at the girls, stepping aside as the bride rolls over to Simon's side of the bed. "Where are we going to go?"
"Drinking!" one of the girls, a tall black girl says. "We want to get a picture by the Vegas sign!"
Alisha feels her stomach turn, then. "The Vegas sign," she repeats slowly.
The picture. Simon had mentioned finding the sign and taking the picture but she hadn’t been so willing and has been spending the bulk of their vacation avoiding taking trips near the sign. She had wanted to make sure they didn’t do anything like the way it happened for the future Simon. Now she was being forced to play that hand. Fuck.
The bathroom door opens and Simon pokes his head out, glancing around the room until he spots Alisha. "Do I have to go?"
The bride sits up abruptly, peering at Simon through her veil. "My boyfriend has that exact same Fred Perry shirt. You fancy?"
Simon shakes his head, exasperated. "I don’t know what that means. Alisha."
Alisha rolls her eyes, holding out her hand to Simon. "It’s just a couple of drinks. Come on, we’re on vacation."
The night isn’t so bad, really. The bride- who’s name was Reagen, Alisha learns- takes them all to a bar near the strip. Aside from the one bridesmaid who keeps getting handsy with Simon, it really is fun. Even Simon has a good time, drinking with the girls and listening to their stories of failed relationships and the need to get laid in Vegas.
As Alisha watches Simon talk to the maid of honor- the blonde whose name she forgot- his eyes lighting up as the woman reaches the punchline of her story, she can’t help but smile. He’s never going to be one of those blokes who’s the life of the party, who will be the first to be on the dance floor. And she’s all right with that. Her fingers run through the back of his hair and he glances at her, giving her a faint grin as he rubs her knee.
At nearly four in the morning, Simon is almost as buzzed as she is, his arm around her shoulders as they walk back to their hotel. They had lost the merry bachelorettes over a half hour ago at some dive to a group of Australian rugby players and Alisha couldn’t say she was that upset over the loss. She was enjoying the quiet walk with Simon.
"I had a good time," he murmurs against her hair, planting a kiss on the top of her head. "Thank you for waking me up."
She smiles, entwining her fingers with his. "My pleasure. Are you happy?"
"Very," Simon slows as they near the Vegas sign, nodding at it before glancing down at Alisha with a knowing grin. "There it is."
She returns the smile weakly, looking up at him. "You wanna?" He nods and she purses her lips together, nodding in return.
Simon manages to stop a waitress on roller skates with weird hair to take the picture. She leans against Simon, inhaling deeply as he wraps his arms around her shoulders. Her gaze drifts up to his and she sees the slightly drunk, happy smile on his face, so she forces the smile on hers, waiting for the woman to take the picture.
* * *
Alisha glances at the side table clock as Simon double-checks their luggage. He’s bent over her bag, making sure everything is zipped up and locked. If he continues on this way, they are going to miss their flight. "Simon, we have everything."
"Just making sure."
She steps behind him, grinning as she gives his arse a quick squeeze. He jolts up and she laughs, embracing him. "God, this week just flew by."
He faces her, wrapping his arms around her shoulders. "I’m sorry I didn’t win more money."
She shrugs. "Whatever, we had loads of fun."
"And we got our picture taken..."
Alisha smiles, resting her cheek against his chest. She hasn’t stopped thinking about the Vegas picture since it was taken. The event kind of scares Alisha and taking a closer look at the photo now that it has actually happened, she sees how she couldn’t even muster the joy Simon had. Not even that was different from what mystery man had allowed her to know. Or maybe it was. It was all too confusing and scary, it all just hurt her head.
She was tired of thinking about it.
"You make me happy," she murmurs, closing her eyes when he kisses the top of her head. "Really fucking happy."
"You make me happy too," he replies, pulling back slightly. He musters a smile. "I guess it’s time to go home."
"No more shagging in foreign land," she laughs as he chuckles and pulls her in for a kiss.
The table phone starts to ring and Alisha groans, nearly stomping her foot as Simon releases her and reaches for the phone. "Fucking..."
"Hello," Simon says, glancing at Alisha as she flops on the bed. His eyes narrow and he shakes his head in confusion. "Our flight leaves in three hours."
Alisha’s brow furrows in concern. "What is it?"
"Okay...we'll see you in a couple of days," Simon hangs up the phone, giving Alisha a baffled look. "That was Nathan. He’s not going back with us."
Her eyes narrow. "What? Why?"
"He says he has to go see a man about a dog that shits fifties. He and Marnie are going to get on a later flight," he blinks rapidly, his hand flying up to his hair as he smooths it down. "Should I be worried?"
She jumps to her feet, shaking her head as she picks up her bag. "No. No, you shouldn’t. If he wants to muck about in Vegas for a few more days, fucking let him. We have to go."
Simon grabs his own bag, following Alisha to the door. "Why do I get the feeling he’s going to call me in a couple of days asking for bail money?"
* * *
"So anyway, welcome home,” Kelly says on the other end of the call. “Come meet us for a drink later? We want to hear all about your holiday.”
Alisha grins, pressing the lift button and waiting. "I’ll see what Simon wants to do. He said he wanted to do some stuff first. How about I meet up with you and Curtis for lunch?"
"Simon wanted to do some stuff? Ya just got back!"
The lift stops and Alisha slides the door open, stepping inside. "I don’t know, he just said he’s got shit to do," she lies, knowing full well that the first thing Simon wanted to do upon arriving back home, after sleeping, was practice his parkour. "We slept, like, all day yesterday. The lag was rough. I’ll call you later, kay?"
She hangs up as the lift stops and she opens the door and steps into their flat. "Simon?"
She drops her purse, walking past the lift to the kitchen area. "What are you-"
Her heart jumps at the sight. The black outfit. The protective gear. Right there in front of her. He turns slowly, his hair mussed up as he runs a hand through it. Her mystery man.
Alisha is confused for a long moment, is unsure of who is standing in front of her. If she had died. If she went back in time. She suddenly has tears in her eyes and she doesn’t know how to react to it all. It’s the same outfit, the headgear on the kitchen counter, mocking her.
"Hey," he gives her an awkward smile, gesturing down at the outfit. "What do you think? I bought it while you were at your parents’."
She doesn’t say anything, can’t say anything. Instead, she walks over to Simon, silently embracing him. Her arms wrap around his waist tightly, her face buried against his chest. Her mystery man had returned and instead of being thrilled, she stands there, blinking back tears.
Simon’s arms wind around her shoulders, holding her against his chest. "What’s wrong?" he whispers. "I thought you’d like it."
"I don’t fucking care about the costume, I just want you to be careful," she says, her voice muffled by his outfit. Sometimes she thinks he doesn’t get it. She doesn’t need him to wear the outfit, doesn’t want him to. She just wants him.
He chuckles. "I haven’t done anything yet."
She lifts her head, mustering an encouraging smile. She has to be supportive, she has to be a good girlfriend. Nothing bad will happen just because he puts on the outfit. She has to stop being paranoid. "You look like a proper superhero. Very fit."
He kisses her forehead before releasing her. "I’m going to test it out, want to come watch?"
Alisha shakes her head. "I want to clean the flat a bit."
Simon stares at Alisha for a long moment and she feels a sudden, weird tension in the air between them. This is new. She’s not prepared for it, it throws her off, confuses her. It wasn’t the answer he wanted. She can’t read his expression, he’s frustratingly blank. Fuck.
"Maybe after?" she adds, grinning at him. Another lie. She won’t go. She can’t bear to watch him jump off those buildings, it freaks her out too much. She wishes she could just tell him that. It was one thing to enjoy what the parkour did to his confidence, body, and stamina...it was another thing entirely to actually watch him do it. "This place is a mess."
He glances around the flat and she immediately knows what he’s thinking. The flat’s not a mess. You’re lying to me. Don’t lie to me. His eyes meet hers and he forces a smile as he nods. She’s ruined his buzz, fucked up his excitement. Well, he’s fucked up her good morning.
Fuck, she wishes they had stayed in Vegas. It was so much better there. None of this bullshit had followed them there.
Simon picks up the mask off the counter, waving it at her before moving toward the lift. She watches him go, unable to say goodbye or even smile at him as he stares at her inside the lift. When she doesn’t give him any sort of a goodbye, he simply slides the lift door shut.
* * *
They have their first big fight one night. All over clocks.
The day starts off horrid. That ridiculous tension hadn’t really gone away since that day and they both opted to just not talk about it. He still visited her at the bar, she still bought dinner, they still shagged, still did all of their normal things. But something was wrong, she could feel it between them.
She had spent the whole day at the bar, working a double shift so Curtis could go do something for his grandmother. It sucked working on her own and Kelly couldn’t keep her company for the entire day. Simon hadn’t come to visit her all day, probably too busy jumping off those fucking buildings in his fancy new outfit.
There was the slight problem of the appearance of Rudy Wade, a part of her past that she just wanted to forget and she had spent all night hoping he didn’t pop in. He didn’t see her at the bar earlier in the week, and she hoped to never see him again. She didn’t need the reminder.
Curtis finally appears near eleven and she almost blows up at him as he walks in. "Excuse me, you were supposed to be here at ten."
"Sorry, there was a lot of police down the estate, couldn’t get through," he swings around the bar. "Some thugs shot a guy. Killed him."
And at that, a switch in Alisha shuts off. All she can think of is Simon. He tried to protect someone, tried to be a big fucking hero and got shot. Something in her stops and she goes into a sudden- what the fuck did Simon call it? A survival mode. She just had to find Simon. "What was he wearing?"
"The dead guy!"
Curtis frowns, shaking his head. "It was too dark to see, I-"
Not good enough.
Alisha hands Curtis the glass she was cleaning, moving around the counter and toward the door. She ignores Curtis’ "where are you going?" and dashes through the door, picking up speed as she catches the police lights. Lots of lights.
As she gets closer, she can see the body covered with a sheet. Black sneakers. She inhales sharply at the sight of the blood seeping through the sheet, skidding to a stop behind a crowd of on-lookers. With shaking hands, she reaches into her pocket for her phone, dialing Simon’s number.
"Fuck!" she bites out, blinking back sudden tears. She grabs at the sleeve of the person beside her. "What happened?"
The old woman shakes her head. "Some fellow tried to stop a mugging, got himself killed-"
Alisha’s off running before the old lady has finished her sentence and she doesn’t know where the fuck she’s going. Back to the flat? Back to the bar? She doesn’t know what to do and she can’t stop thinking the worst. She didn’t want to go back to the crime scene, wanted no part of that body under the sheet.
She turns a corner and runs into an alley, opting to take a shortcut to the flat. She slams into someone and she screams as the person grabs her shoulders. Her back hits the wall as she tries to get away from them and then they’re ripping the hood off their head.
Alisha freezes at the sight of him, a sharp breath escaping her. "Simon?" she asks, hating in that moment how weak she sounds. Before he can respond, she pulls him into a tight hug, her hand grasping at the back of his hair. "I thought you had gotten killed!" she cries, burying her face against his neck as the tears begin to flow.
"What?" he hugs her tightly, rubbing her back. "I’m fine."
"Someone got shot-"
"I saw the police-"
"I tried calling you-"
Simon chuckles, pulling back slightly. "My phone died, I forgot to charge it."
Alisha feels herself start to grow angry. He’s laughing at her. She nearly had a heart attack thinking he had died, and he is laughing at her. "I want to go home," she mutters.
He starts to touch the side of her face and she jerks back. He nearly flinches at her rejection, lowering his hand. "Let’s go, then."
They don’t talk on the way back to their flat, Simon clearly knows better than to say anything. He unzips his hoodie, taking it off and handing it to Alisha and she takes it. They stay silent and it’s like the tension from the last couple of days is suffocating them, not hiding and ignored like they tried so hard to do.
As they ride up the lift, Simon finally speaks. “I did something today,” he says, a nervous smile on his lips. "While you were working."
"What is it?" she says dully.
"Just something...to help me. For motivation."
The lift stops and she rolls her eyes, sliding the doors open. "God, Simon, stop being so fucking mysterious..."
She trails off, frozen at the sight before her. The clocks were back on the walls, ticking away. All of them.
On and on and on. All of them counting down, counting down. Her mouth drops as Simon walks in past her, turning to her before glancing at the clocks.
"I don’t want you to freak out," he says, his eyes lighting up with excitement.
"What is this?" she mutters. "You almost die and now this?"
He pauses and that look passes over his face again. The same look when she refused to go watch him parkour. She’s starting to understand what that look is, she had never been able to place it but she’s getting it now. Annoyance. Aggravation that she wasn’t sharing in his excitement. "I didn’t die. I thought this would help-"
Alisha laughs, unable to do anything else. She starts to pull off his jacket, not wanting the hoodie anywhere near her at that moment. She feels ill, physically ill. "How is this helping? You go out and jump off buildings, that’s not helping me. You...you put up fucking clocks, that doesn’t-" she inhales sharply, blinking fast. She has to calm herself before she fucking kills him.
Simon doesn’t say a word but his jaw is clenched. He’s angry. The fucking prick is mad at her. Unbelievable. Fucking unbelievable.
"Who is this helping, Simon?" Alisha snaps. "This isn’t helping me, this is all about you," she continues angrily, unable to keep the harshness from her voice. "Not once did you fucking think about me when you put these fucking clocks up, do you fucking know..." she trails off, jabbing a finger at him. "The last time these clocks were up, you...the future you..." she shakes her head. Fuck, she’s getting confused again. "Shit, I don’t know. YOU were killed."
"Why are the clocks up?" she cuts him off, throwing his hoodie at him. "Why are they up? What are you counting to?" His eyes dart toward the clocks and she eyes him suspiciously. "Simon."
He inhales sharply, looking at her as he throws his hoodie on the table. His jaw is clenched and he looks almost defensive and God, she thinks she hates him at that moment.
"I saw some dates with my power," he says slowly. "At different times. Over and over for like a week. I wrote them down but I’m afraid I’m going to forget."
Alisha stares at him in shock. His power had been working overtime and he hadn’t told her. He just went about his business, doing his own thing like this wasn’t happening. He hid it from her. She searches his face, waiting for the guilt and it doesn’t come. No, in fact, he still seems almost annoyed with her. "What did you see?"
"I don’t know. A newspaper one time, a cellphone another- a lot of things. I managed to get some dates, but I don’t know what I’m supposed to do."
She shakes her head, rubbing her eye with the tips of her fingers. "So you just decided to put those clocks up..."
"In case I forget. I don’t want to forget."
Alisha laughs, shaking her head. This is bloody unreal, he’s not even counting down to anything specific. Just some random dates his fucking power threw at him. He doesn’t even know what’s going to happen, where he has to go...he just put them up on a hunch. He wasn’t thinking. Simon was going to get himself killed over a vague vision. "Jesus."
He licks his lips, gesturing at the clocks. "When you saw the future me, these clocks were up. So these things have to be up for a reason. The future has to happen, just like this."
And there it is. Back to this fucking obsession with his future self. It had never gone away, he had never gotten over it. She’s just done.
"Fuck the clocks," she snaps, her hands clenching into fists as they began to shake. "Take them down."
Simon gives her a confused smile. "What?"
"Take them down."
His smile fades. “No. They have to be up. They were up when you first-"
"Oh my God!" Alisha exclaims, harsh laughter escaping her. "Oh my God, Simon! You’re, like, obsessed with this. What does it matter what was here when I first saw you- that was in the past-"
"My future," he says firmly.
"No!" she says, glaring at him. "Our past. If you think this is your future, then you think I die and..." she trails off, shaking her head. "You can’t make something happen in the future that’s already happened in the past. You don’t need the fucking clocks. We’re moving on."
Simon’s mouth twitches in displeasure as he glances down at the floor. "I saw the dates and times for a reason."
The anger bubbles in her again, swift and unforgiving. "Take them down," she says through gritted teeth.
"No," he says, firmer this time. "They have to stay up."
She gives Simon a hard look, moving past him to the wall. She starts to pull at the clocks, ignoring Simon calling her name, actually yelling at her as she yanks one off the wall, throwing it on the floor. She moves to the next one, tugging at it and Simon’s at her side, trying to pull her away from the wall.
Alisha jerks out of his hold, smacking his arm away. "DON’T touch me! Take them off the fucking wall!"
"No!" he says loudly, raising his voice louder than he ever had with her. "Alisha, this is my destiny-"
"Fuck destiny! Fuck that destiny bullshit," she says bitterly. "You can’t do something that’s already happened. You fucking used the clocks already, there’s no reason to have them anymore. How dare you do this without telling me? What were you planning to do, just run around looking for trouble until something you wrote down comes true? You fucking hid this from me."
"Sometimes," Simon says, his voice shaking. "Sometimes it’s not all about you, Alisha."
She laughs, shaking her head. "Fuck you, Simon," she mutters, turning back to the wall. "Fuck you and fuck these fucking clocks. Fuck your destiny," she starts to yank at one of the clocks. When Simon’s hands grab at her arm, she inhales sharply and finds herself swinging before she can stop herself. He’s pulling her back when she turns and connects with his chest.
He grabs her wrist before she can hit him again, holding her at arm’s length. "Alisha, calm down!" he says, his eyes widening.
"I hate you! I fucking hate you," Alisha screams, trying to free her arm as he yanks her to him. He’s trying to embrace her and she shoves him away hard. "Fuck off!"
The aggravation is so clear on his face, down to the way he stares pointedly at her. "God, Alisha, it’s not about you!" he says. "I have to do this- I have this power for a reason."
"You will die!" she exclaims, blinking back tears. "You will fucking die and I’m not going to lose you twice. You’re obsessed and it’s going to end right now."
"I'm not taking them down!" Simon yells suddenly, making her jump. "I need them. How am I going to protect you, how am I going to become this person-"
"If you do this, you’re going to leave me!"
"If I don’t do this, you will die!"
"I won’t die! Take them down," she says, breathing hard. Her entire body is shaking with rage, a rage she’s sure she’s never felt before. "Take them down or get the fuck out."
He shakes his head as he inhales deeply, gathering himself. "I have been nothing but supportive of you. Everything you’ve told me, I’ve never said a word. A word. And you-"
Alisha gives him a look of disdain, unable to believe he was going there. He wasn’t trying to compare support systems with her. God, she just hates him right now. "Don’t you dare say I’ve not been supportive, Simon. Don’t. I’ve let you jump from fucking buildings, I didn’t say anything when you bought that stupid outfit, I let you wear the fucking outfit but...it’s done. You’re obsessed and I’m over it. No more."
His jaw clenches. "It’s just a hobby."
"A hobby?" she repeats with an exasperated laugh. "This isn’t a hobby. This is a death wish. All this will lead to is you leaving me. And then you’ll die and I’ll be here, alone," she laughs again when he doesn’t respond. "You don’t care. You don’t fucking care."
He flinches at her words, glancing away at the wall before looking back at her. "I do care, Alisha."
"If you care, then don’t do this," she says, her voice shaking. "If you care about dying, then get rid of them. Let’s just forget this happened."
Simon’s hand flies up to his hair and he smooths it down. "Alisha, I-"
Alisha inhales sharply, nodding to herself. "If you don’t stop this, we’re over," his eyes widen and she quickly continues. "We’re done. I’m not going to sit here and let you count down to your fucking death."
His gaze softens as he moves forward, reaching for her. "I’m not going to die."
"The clocks," she says loudly before stopping herself, trying to gain some composure. "You leave those clocks up, you’re counting down to something. And the last time you did that, you left me. So...take them down because you’re not leaving me."
Simon appears to be at a loss for words then and he shakes his head. "I don’t-"
"Tell me you’re going to stop and we’re going to forget this happened," she says, unable to stop the weakness in her voice. "Tell me you’re not going to leave me."
"But if I don’t keep the clocks up, then I won’t..." he trails off, sighing. "I don’t want you to die."
"Simon, I’m right here!" she exclaims. "I’m not dead. I’m here, you’ve already fixed it."
"But what if I didn’t fix anything? What if I just moved events to later dates?" he blinks rapidly and she could almost see his mind working. "What if I didn’t stop it?"
Her eyes narrow as she stares at him. A sudden fear courses through her as she begins to think the worst. “Did you see something to do with me?” she asks abruptly. "Do I die?" He shakes his head. "Do you die?" He shakes his head again and she nearly crumbles, lowering her head as she blinks back the tears in her eyes. She’s suddenly tired, she doesn’t want to talk about it anymore. She’s tired of being afraid. "Take the clocks down. Please."
She freezes as he moves in front of her, his hand on her cheek. "Simon," she continues shakily, wiping at her eyes. "I’m getting scared. You’re scaring me. Take the clocks down right now."
"No. Do it," she looks up at him. "Or I’m going to assume that you want to leave me."
The anger bubbles in her again at Simon’s indecisiveness, his complete inability to make a decision. He wanted to do both, he wanted to have the girl and the destiny. He wanted her as his girlfriend and to be the big fucking hero. He wasn’t going to choose if he didn’t have to, he wanted it all. She was going to have to make the choice for him.
"I'm done talking," His eyes widen as she takes a step back. "If you can’t choose between me and those stupid clocks, then pack your shit and get out. I’m not doing this again."
Her own words surprise her just as much as they surprise him. They stare at each other, Alisha’s watery eyes on Simon’s panicked ones, both stunned into silence.
Simon gazes at Alisha, fear and confusion in his eyes. "Alisha, don’t."
She ignores him, turning and walking to the bathroom. She just has to get out of that space and away from him. She isn’t going to let him see her cry.
As soon as she gets inside the bathroom, she turns on the shower and finally allows herself to breathe. The sob catches in her throat and she swiftly covers her mouth, breathing deeply. She feels like her body is shutting down, everything is crumbling on her. She can’t even stand straight and so she leans against the shower frame, resting her head against the glass.
She doesn’t hear the lift starting and she’s partially relieved. Simon’s still in the flat. She doesn’t want him gone, doesn’t know what she would’ve done if he had left.
As soon as she manages to compose herself, she runs her hands under the water, cupping some water and splashing it on her face. She checks her face in the small mirror next to the towel rack, makes sure she looks presentable. If she was going to go through this fight, she didn’t want to look a mess like Chloe did that one time. She wasn’t going to give Simon that.
When she pushes past the curtain, she sees Simon sitting on the edge of their bed, his face buried in his hands. The clocks are all gone from the walls, piled up in a bundle next to the lift. She exhales.
He chose her.
Alisha moves to the bed, stopping in front of Simon. She runs the tips of her fingers over his hair and he lifts his head, looking up at her. "Thank you," she murmurs. "You scared me," she says as he stands, hesitantly embracing her.
"I thought I was doing something good."
She looks up at him, her jaw clenching as he gently wipes at the corner of her eye with his thumb. "You are good, but you don’t have to be a twat to do it."
"The clocks are gone, I won’t do it again." he gives her a small smile, although she can still see the tension in it, it was a forced smile. "I won’t lie."
Alisha sighs, her eyes lowering as Simon’s hand slips down her neck, his fingertips running over her collarbone. "Just be careful when you’re doing that parkour shit," she says quietly.
He nods. "Okay," he kisses her on the top of her head, pulling her into another hug. "I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean to scare you," he whispers against her forehead.
And just like that, he was her Simon again.
"I love you," she says, her arms wrapping around his waist as he buries his face against her hair.
Less than an hour later, she finds herself in bed, listening to Simon taking a shower. She can’t stop thinking about their fight, how bad it almost got. Was their relationship that fragile? Was she really willing to throw it all away in one fight? Fuck, she was just happy he was willing to give up the fight at the possibility of losing her, other guys would’ve let her walk. Not Simon.
Simon can’t choose what he sees when his power kicks in. One time he saw their little kitchen burn down because they had forgotten a rag on the toaster and another time, he saw some kid drop their ice cream cone on the floor. Stupid shit like that. But for some reason, he felt like those random images were important.
Alisha wonders if he would tell her if he got a vision of her dying. Or himself dying. She’s slowly learning that Simon’s a good secret-keeper beyond hiding dead probation workers. This is a problem.
She’s still kind of mad at him. Happy that they’ve stopped fighting and are in a better place, but she finds that anger still there. Her mum always says going to bed angry wasn’t good for the relationship but maybe she needed to do that, she couldn’t take another row with Simon.
He had yelled at her. Simon never yells.
Alisha turns on her back, letting out a huff of breath as the shower is turned off. A part of her wishes that she had Curtis’ old power so she could go back to earlier that night and stop the fight from happening. Fights are normal but she hates it, she hates the tension.
Simon comes out of the bathroom shirtless and in his sweatpants and she eyes him as he approaches the bed. "All right?" she asks as coolly as she can manage when he stops over her. She gasps as he grabs her by her ankle, dragging her to the edge of the bed. "Simon!"
She’s grinning before she can stop herself as he kneels on the mattress, pulling her legs on his hips. His mouth falls on her neck and she closes her eyes, her hands running down his still damp back. "What are you doing?"
"Apologizing for being a twat," he murmurs against her skin before running his tongue down her throat.
Alisha finds herself breathless as she runs her hands down his torso, his own hands moving down her body and underneath her tank, pulling on her knickers. "This is a start."
"You're still mad at me."
She shifts as he yanks her knickers down, lifting her hips and bringing her knees to her chest to help him get them off. "A little," she admits.
Simon nods, his jaw clenching as he leans down, kissing her firmly. She lets out a small cry as his mouth presses harder than usual against hers and she inhales sharply through her nose as his callused hands move under her shirt, feeling up her stomach to her breasts.
She moves her mouth away from his and inhales deeply when he immediately shifts to her neck, his hands pushing up her shirt. Her mouth falls on his shoulder, leaving a wet kiss on his skin, enough to make him press against her. Her legs wrap around his waist, the bottoms of her feet pushing at his pants as he rubs against her. His teeth graze her skin as she bites at his shoulder, her nails running gently down his arms.
Alisha knows what this is, they’re not going to take it slow and be romantic-like with the talking and the dinner and a movie beforehand. This is pent-up tension, she can feel it in the way he kisses her, the way his hands rub and squeeze at her tits. But this is better than fighting, she can be as vulnerable as she wants while still having control. This is perfect. He was as fucked up as she was, so this was the perfect way to make up. They were perfect.
Her hand slides into his trousers and she runs her hand over his cock, grinning as he lets out a grunt, burying his face against her chest. She waits for him to do something, until he finally runs his hand down her stomach, to circle her fingers around his cock and squeeze. Her other hand moves between their bodies, between her legs until his hand circles her wrist.
She stops, staring at him, and he shakes his head. "Let me," he says breathlessly.
Alisha lays back as Simon’s fingers run down between her thighs and she lets out a shaky breath, trying to focus on the handjob she was trying to give him. His fingers slip inside her and, fuck, he isn’t helping her focus at all. His mouth is on her breast and she silently pats herself on the back for teaching him well.
She releases him and he gives her a look, slowing his fingers and she bites back a smile, knowing this will go nowhere. They can tease each other with no submission, they know each other too well. Her hand wraps around the back of his head, pulling him up and pressing her mouth against his. She bites down on his lower lip and he lets out a groan, pushing his mouth against hers until she’s trying to get away.
He removes his hand from between her thighs as he leaves hard kisses on her cheek, her jaw, as her nails dig into the back of his neck. Her free hand slips down and she tries her best to yank his pants down, unwilling to release his head, not wanting to give him the upper hand. He helps her, pushing his pants down before grasping her thighs and jerking her against him.
Her eyes light up at the movement, her legs wrapping around his waist. She loves when he’s forceful, knowing hardly anyone saw him like this. It was a turn-on, just for her. She’s so fucking glad he didn’t decide he wanted to make love after their fight. This was much more fun.
When he pushes inside her, they both nearly crumble, Alisha finding herself grasping at him, her hands stretching over the back of his neck and his hip. She jerks up, trying to flip him over and he resists, bracing himself over her. His forehead presses against hers as he moves out and back in hard enough to get a cry out of her and his eyes darken at the sound.
Alisha pulls her knees to her chest as he starts to fuck her hard, hard enough to make her clench her teeth. Her legs wrap around his back, the heels of her feet digging into his lower back as she meets his thrusts. This position and angle was a mistake, she wasn’t going to have any upper-hands this way but at this point, she didn’t give a shit.
"God," she hisses as his head drops to her neck and his thrusts get rougher. He lets out a groan as she tightens around him and she shudders at the sound, pressing herself closer to him. He pushes her further on the mattress, dragging the sheets with them and her hand falls from his waist to the bed, grasping at the sheets.
Simon’s head lifts and he gives her a dark grin before kissing her hard. She opens her mouth to deepen the kiss as they move faster, her legs tightening around him. His hand slips down her thigh, his fingers digging into her skin as his thrusts become more erratic, his moans becoming the only thing she can focus on, wanting to make him sound like that over and over.
Alisha lets out a moan as he fucks her hard, her teeth gritting as he spreads her thighs apart more. Her shoulders lift off the bed as she bites down on his shoulder hard to muffle her cries as she feels her orgasm approaching.
"Harder," he pants, his body buckling as she tightens around him. "Fuck, Alisha-" he comes with a groan, his mouth pressed against her neck as he jerks against her.
Her hands move down to his hips, grasping tightly as he starts to slow his thrusting. "Keep going," she whispers. "Don’t stop," she moans as his hand moves between their bodies, rubbing at her as he moves his hips hard against hers. She feels that heat spread, lets out a shaky breath as she comes. She curls tighter around him, legs and hands and all, moaning as he kisses her hard.
Simon slows his thrusts and their kisses get slower with more passion and less anger. She sighs against him as he breaks their kiss, his mouth dragging over her jaw before resting his head against her shoulder.
Alisha grins as he lifts his head, giving her the smallest of smiles, his eyebrows rising. "You’re so weird," she says breathlessly and he silently laughs, kissing her cheek gently before rolling off her. She turns her head, glancing at him as he runs his hand over his face.
"We've made up, then?" he asks hesitantly before pulling up his trousers.
"Yeah," she turns on her side, throwing her arm over his chest. "We made up rather nicely."
"I love you," he whispers against her forehead, running his hand over her hip.
Her arm winds around his neck and she pulls him close, pressing her lips against his. "I love you, too," she murmurs against his mouth, her eyes closing. "Don’t upset me like that again, okay?"
"Never again," he says softly.
Later, Simon is sound asleep beside Alisha in bed, his hand grazing her bare hip. She can’t sleep, her mind working and turning with worry and annoyance. She can’t stop thinking about her fight with Simon. The fear of running into Rudy Wade again. Simon’s obsession with his destiny. At the moment, life is too fucking complicated and she’s just angry that it had to be this way. She just wants a simple, normal life.
The worrying prick of a voice in her head is interrupted by Simon stirring beside her and she feels him shift, pressing against her. "Hi," she whispers.
"Hey," he murmurs, kissing her shoulder. "You’re awake."
"So are you," she says, biting back a smile. Just like that, he makes her forget her worries, all without even trying. She think she loves that about him. Almost like he knows she needs the distraction. She gasps as she feels his teeth against the skin of her arm before he kisses the spot. "I thought you were sleeping."
"I was. Now I’m awake," Simon moves closer, sliding his hand down her stomach. "I want you."
Alisha’s eyebrows rise as she turns, grinning. "Do you?"
He smiles against her mouth, kissing her softly. "What do you think?" he whispers, his hand pressing against her thigh as he coaxes her leg over his hip.
She moves her hand between their bodies, her hand pressing against his hip as she pushes him back and climbs on top of him. "You’re in for a load of torture," she whispers, grinning as he chuckles. She grasps his shoulders, pulling him into a seated position as she starts to grind against him.
Out of the corner of her eye, she swears she sees one of those fucking clocks on the wall, ticking away, and she freezes. Her gaze quickly jerks toward the wall and of course, it is just her imagination. She eyes the wall, troubled for just a moment as Simon’s mouth opens against her neck. For the longest moment, she waits, as if the clock will reappear, mocking her.
Simon stills, his hand running down Alisha’s back as he gazes up at her. "Where are you?"
Alisha blinks, glancing down at Simon. She smiles slowly, forcing herself not to look at the wall, keeping all of her attention on him. Fuck destiny. All that she cares about at the moment is what’s happening now. She doesn’t need anything else. "I’m right here. With you."
Chapter 8: But if you hurt what's mine, I'll sure as hell retaliate
“I will always protect you,” he whispers suddenly, letting his words hang between them. “Always.”
Community service. They’re back in community service.
It’s bullshit, really. All because of Rudy Wade. Some bloke she hadn’t thought about in ages, now back in her life and it’s fucking annoying and awkward. Not only was he still hurt over their past, he had a power that made two of him. As if her life wasn’t complicated enough.
And of course, there’s more dead people to bury. She thought they had been over that shit.
She didn’t handle getting put back in community service as well as Simon did. No, that was a lie. Simon was upset with it all, but he handled it in regular Simon fashion. Well, except for him calling Rudy a "fucking twat" for getting them all in trouble before apologizing.
Explaining the situation to their parents wasn’t fun either. Her dad had exploded and his mum had cried, thinking Simon was back into dire territories. She pouted and snapped at Simon the night before their community service was to start again, until he just stopped talking to her and she decided to blame Rudy for that as well.
Those orange jumpsuits are still ugly as fuck, at least that hasn’t changed.
The second day back in, she catches Rudy staring at her on the roof. Simon is sitting in that big comfy chair they all used to have to fight Nathan for, listening intently as Curtis is off complaining about some bullshit. She slips on Simon’s lap, throwing her legs over the arm of the chair and her arm around his shoulder.
He gives her a brief smile as he rests his hand on her lap before turning to face a still-grumbling Curtis, a frown on his lips. "We all have to do this, though."
Curtis gives Simon an annoyed glare, sucking on his teeth. "Look, we should go...go appeal it or something. You’re just going to take it?" Simon gives the smallest of shrugs and Curtis rolls his eyes. "Man, I shouldn’t even be here!"
Alisha rolls her eyes, resting her forehead against Simon’s cheek for a moment. "Curtis, I’m not going to listen to you whine for six weeks, so settle," Curtis throws down the rag in his hand, jumping to his feet and stomping off. She watches him go before grinning at Simon, pressing her forehead against his. "My plan to get you alone worked," she purrs, kissing him firmly.
Simon returns the kiss for a moment before pulling back, glancing over her shoulder briefly. "We’re not alone."
She glances over her shoulder, spotting Rudy staring at them. He notices them looking and quickly tries to busy himself with his sweeping. With a low groan, she turns back to Simon, grimacing. "This is going to be awkward."
"I'm going to go help Kelly with the boxes," Simon mutters, gently coaxing her off his lap and standing. "See you downstairs," he says with a forced smile before walking past her toward the door.
Alisha stares at Rudy, who continues to act as if the sweeping needed his sudden, undivided attention. Rudy made Simon kind of uncomfortable, she could tell. He swore that it wasn’t because Rudy had been involved with her. It was the staring. Simon, of all people, was creeped out by someone else’s staring. He said that Rudy might still be in love with her.
Rudy glances up, then, meeting Alisha’s gaze before quickly looking down once more. Her eyes narrow. Still in love with her? Well, that was about to end.
Rudy grins wide at Alisha as she approaches, pointing the stick of his broom at her. "Still can’t believe you’re with that bloke, you know."
"Doesn’t seem your type,” he chuckles. "I wasn’t your type...”
Alisha glances at the ground, rubbing her lips together before looking up at Rudy. She needed to be honest with him, she owed him that. "We have something special and I love him. You and I, we were never going to have what I have with Simon. You get that, right?"
Rudy laughs loudly, shaking his head. "Someone thinks highly of themselves, don’t they?"
She frowns. "Stop staring at me when I’m making out with my boyfriend and I won’t think highly of myself?"
"Maybe I wasn’t staring at you?" His eyebrows rise. "Maybe I was staring at your little boyfriend!"
Alisha pauses, giving him a look. Okay, this was now too weird. "Were you?"
"Come on, love, look at me," he gestures down at his body. "Would I, beautiful man that I am, look at your boyfriend?"
Her eyes widen in confusion. "I don’t know, would you?"
Rudy appears to get angry then, throwing up his hand. "Why don’t you just go back downstairs and paint your nails? I have some sweeping to do."
She places her hand on her hip, her eyes narrowing. "Um, you started it!"
"I thought you were done picking on me!"
"I’m not picking on you!" she exclaims. "I’m trying to have a fucking adult conversation with you and show how much I’ve changed, you twat!"
Rudy’s mouth turns down into a frown and he poked a finger at her face. "This is why we never were a couple, you are so-"
"We were never a couple because I didn’t like you, oh my God!" she nearly shrieks. He rolls his eyes and she jabs a finger at him. "And don’t even try to do that body split thing because I am not dealing with two of you."
"Oh! Oh, now you’re not dealing with me? I thought we were friends now!"
Alisha rolls her eyes as Rudy begins his latest rant and she turns on her heels, walking to the door. That was the last fucking time she was even going to attempt to have an adult conversation with Rudy Wade.
* * *
"I thought I had told you this story already...anyway."
Alisha smiles happily, throwing her arm around Simon's waist when he wraps his arm around her shoulders as they walk across the estate. She is dead tired after a day of painting benches and then a short shift at the bar, but walking home with Simon is absolutely becoming the highlight of her day.
"So, we go to see Ellie because she’s not answering her cell and Chloe is just ready to kill her. And I've told you, Ellie is a proper slut."
Simon frowns. "But is she properly a proper slut?"
She bites back a smile, giving him a look. "Don't make fun of me. Anyway. We go, get to Ellie's flat, and she's fucking in there. Not with Will, but with Will's sister, Maggie." She turns to Simon, eyebrows raised expectantly. "Maggie."
"Is she bisexual?" A pause. "Curtis is bisexual, I think. No, Melissa."
She laughs, rolling her eyes. He’s being particularly silly today, she thinks she likes it. It happens so rarely, it always amuses her. "Out of my whole story, all you have to ask is if Ellie is bisexual?"
Simon struggles to keep a serious expression on his face, licking his lips. "Well, I know she's a slut, you tell me every time you talk about her."
Alisha smirks, entwining her fingers with Simon. "Stop distracting me. So, Chloe is just going mental, why, I don't know, since Ellie isn't shagging Will-"
She finds herself talking her head off around Simon all the time now. It's different than it was with Curtis. Curtis had listened but she had felt the need to be a certain way with him. It wasn’t Curtis’ fault, it just happened to be that way. Simon...he sees right past the bravado, he knows when she's faking anything at this point in their relationship. She didn’t like it, the first time he called her out on her bullshit. But now...she doesn’t really mind.
Her walls crumbled long ago, now a fine dust at her feet as she moves forward with Simon. She's not afraid to let him see her, to talk his ear off without the fear that he's judging her.
Most of the time. Sometimes, she swears she's her own worst enemy. Like now.
"Am I boring you?" she asks at the sight of Simon's mouth twitching as he sighs.
Simon blinks, glancing down at her. "No."
"Then what was that?"
His brow furrows. "What was what?" She sighs heavily before mimicking the pursing off his mouth. He slowly grins. "I was breathing. And that's just my face."
She slows in front of a shop window, giving him a look. "You could just tell me to shut up."
Simon’s chuckling nervously now and he glances down at the ground. "Why would I do that, I like your stories."
Alisha shrugs. "I feel like you are only listening to me because you have to."
"Because I have to?"
She laughs bitterly. "Well, you do, since I'm shagging you. What was the last thing I said?"
His brow furrows as he shakes his head. "Chloe called Ellie a deep-throating slag- why would you say something like that?"
She's startled by how confused and almost-offended Simon looks, then. No, she had misjudged him. Completely. "I-"
Simon looks annoyed now, and he unwraps his arm from Alisha's shoulders. "If you think I'm only listening to you because you're- you’re fucking me..." he trails off, shaking his head. "We've been together long enough. You should know better than that."
She lets out a breathless laugh, glancing at the ground. "We’re together because I told you we were together, right?"
He blinks, confused. "Where is this coming from?" She doesn't respond, avoiding his gaze. He sighs heavily, cupping the side of her face in his hand. "Do you want to know a secret?"
Alisha allows him to gently lift her head so their eyes met. "What."
"I had the biggest crush on you when we started community service. A paralyzing, stomach-clenching crush," he gives her a crooked grin. "It was embarrassing."
Her eyes narrow before she laughs. "Did you?"
He nods, his thumb running over her cheek. "You were the most beautiful girl I ever saw."
For a moment, her thoughts are on Rudy and how he had almost killed himself because of her. She thinks about how that could’ve easily have been Simon, and she can’t stop thinking it, even though Simon had repeatedly told her that none of Rudy’s actions were her fault. "I was such a bitch to you."
Simon steps forward, embracing Alisha. "I'm sure I deserved the looks, sometimes."
She stills against him. "You didn't do anything creepy when you were invisible, did you?" He doesn't respond and she cringes. "Simon..."
"I never said I was proud of it."
Alisha sighs. "We’re both weird and we're going to pretend we never had this conversation, aren’t we?"
Simon quickly nods and she smirks, pushing him in the direction of their flat. Her grin grows and she laughs when he jerks back, grabbing her hand and pulling her with him.
* * *
Alisha is not much for talking. Hell, she’s surprised she tells Kelly as much as she does. It’s nowhere near as much as she tells Simon, but Kelly is pretty much her best mate and she wasn’t quite sure of when they got to that point. But it’s nice.
But there are things she doesn't tell Kelly.
That she's had two abortions before Simon and only told him after a night of drinking. Both long before her DUI. She hadn’t even told her girl friends that information. And yet he was only slightly surprised and was more concerned with how she was feeling about it. He’s always more worried about her over anything.
That she stupidly spent an afternoon at the bar writing the different variations of Alisha Bellamy (Mrs. Bellamy, Mrs. Alisha Bellamy, Alisha Bailey-Bellamy...fuck, even Simon Bailey, just for fun), before crumpling up the paper, knowing full well that it was very likely she and Simon would never get married. She didn't even consider marriage with anyone ever until Simon, not that she really wanted it, but the thought was nice. It makes her feel silly.
Hell, she didn't want kids, knew Simon didn't want them either, but it didn't stop her from imagining what theirs would look like. She grows light-headed with happiness when Simon confides in her one night, unprompted, that he thought their pretend children would be cute. It was a rare glimpse into Simon’s head beyond "here and now," and it was one of those moments that she would never share with anyone.
She doesn’t tell Kelly that her happiest moments are when she’s in bed with Simon, right after they’ve shagged. When they just lay there, exhausted and staring at each other. When he’s kissing the tip of her nose and she’s running her fingers through his damp hair and they’re just lost in each other. Sex is a huge part of their relationship but it’s the quiet moments after that shake her, that make her think that this was all worth it.
She doesn’t tell Kelly that Simon sometimes whispers stories and shit about himself in her ear, sometimes after shagging or before going to sleep. He can’t really open up face to face, so he does it when they’re in the dark, or when he’s too exhausted to really care. There are rare moments he gets emotional and sometimes she cries with him, sometimes she just tries to kiss and hug his pain away. It’s all so fucking weird to her but it feels normal, it feels like this is how it’s supposed to be.
She doesn’t tell Kelly that her mum has warned her about being too involved with Simon, has suggested that they’re too obsessed with each other, can’t be without each other, how worrisome it is. How she brushed off her mum’s concerns, accused her of being such a parent. She doesn’t even tell Simon this, doesn’t need him being insecure about anything.
Alisha doesn’t tell anyone that Simon is the man in the mask. Doesn’t tell them that the future Simon had stalked them all, doesn’t tell them that Simon’s jumping off buildings now. Doesn’t tell them that they’re all her best mates, that she relies on them more than they’ll ever know. Doesn’t tell them she’s scared of the future sometimes. None of that leaves her lips.
She doesn’t tell anyone these things. She’s an excellent secret keeper.
* * *
For the first time in months, she spends the night away from Simon. Sleeping on Kelly’s couch is torture compared to her bed with Simon next to her and she hates it. She misses Simon’s arm around her, she misses hearing him move about the flat, she misses his “good night” being the last thing she hears before going to sleep.
She knows she’s not handling the breakup well, can tell by how Kelly looks at her. She would’ve started crying on the bus if Kelly hadn’t been looking at her at that moment. All she can think about is their last fight, she had almost dumped him but he didn’t leave the flat, he didn’t let it pass.
Alisha had almost had a row with Simon when he hurt his hand, his chatter had reminded her of the last time. He was so excited to be a hero, so fucking obsessed, it was like he had forgotten about their fight weeks ago. He was so eager to be a superhero and fulfill this destiny he thought he had. Maybe she should’ve had it out with him right then and there, maybe she could’ve forced some sense into him before all of this happened.
The day had been hell. Simon had just ignored her as they picked up litter, had looked right through her like he didn’t know her. The coldness of his stare had stopped her from approaching him during the day, it had startled her. Curtis had tried to talk to Simon and Simon had just walked away like Curtis was a stranger. It wasn’t like Simon at all.
She’s crying now, fucking crying. Her hands fly to her face, hastily wiping at the tears. She just misses Simon and she hates that comic book kid, then.
"Ya all right, Alisha?"
Alisha jumps at the sound of Kelly’s voice in the dark and she doesn’t bother to try to figure out where Kelly is. "Y-Yeah. Just thinking." She’s stays still, hoping Kelly hadn’t heard her sniffling, hoping Kelly won’t ask her if she’s okay.
"'Kay. Go to bed, we gotta get up early tomorrow."
The comic book kid did something to Simon and she needs to fix it, she needs Simon back. Simon had hurt her, emotionally and physically, but she knows it isn’t really him, it was this kid. The prick is going to pay.
This isn’t over. She’s going to get Simon back.
* * *
She and Simon have done a lot of things in bed. Went through the book of every way and position, it was all fun. But this, this is an entirely new thing. She’s pretty sure they’re doing something else entirely now, she’s pretty sure they’re making love and she doesn’t know how to handle it.
He’s still messed up over that comic book kid, over hurting her, and he’s gentle, so gentle. His face is still damp from where the tears had slid down his face as he held her, tears that he won’t let her wipe away before he kisses her. He’s kissing her forehead, trailing her wound as his hands slide down her neck. She can’t get her jacket off fast enough, wanting to undo his shirt and get down to it but he’s not letting her, intent on kissing her. Focusing on her completely.
They end up in bed and he takes his time removing her clothes, his eyes burning into her and oh God, it’s her mystery man, all over again. That same haunted look, the look of someone who’s been through some shit and didn’t want to be anywhere else but there, with her. She can’t keep her eyes off him and he doesn’t avoid the contact, sliding down to the bed with her.
This is entirely too new, she’s used to shagging and the rush and even with mystery man, there was something frenzied about it. She didn’t understand him at the time, didn’t understand why he was so serious and taking his time but she gets it now, she really does. Simon cups the side of her face, his mouth dragging over hers before dipping down her neck and oh God , she gets it.
They’ve always been near-frantic in their shagging, they had passion but there’s fucking love in it now. She can see it in the way he looks at her when he slides inside her, the way his mouth opens and he looks like he’s losing himself in her. She finds herself breathless for an entirely different reason as he kisses her deep and she struggles to return the embrace, her fingers gripping at his back, clutching at his hair like he was her personal savior. Like they needed each other to breathe.
Alisha can’t stop the desperate noises coming from her mouth as they move, she feels so damn near helpless. She can’t help the way she’s feeling, doesn’t really want to stop it.
What happened the last couple of days wasn’t something she wanted to experience ever again, the way he looked at her, like she were a stranger. She’s just so happy to have her Simon back, she’s just glad he’s not that zombified, cold version of her Simon anymore.
His hand slides over her wrist, her palm, entwining his fingers with hers. She uses that to her advantage, turning them over and he doesn’t miss a beat, his free hand holding her against him as he settles on his back. Her hand moves down his chest, sliding over his torso and she brushes her mouth over his open one. He lifts his head, pressing his lips against hers and she can’t stop the little moan that escapes her at the contact.
A soft groan comes from Simon as he grasps her hips as she moves against him and she leans back as he shifts to a seated position, running his hand over her hair before kissing her neck softly. She turns her head and he lifts his, his eyes locking on hers.
Fuck, she can’t stop the way she’s shaking as his hand drifts down her bare back, when he kisses her again. She lets out a shaky breath as he starts to move faster and she tries to keep up, her forehead pushing against his as they keep that eye contact that was making her lightheaded.
His mouth is moving, he’s trying to say something but he can’t get it out and her brow furrows as she tries to stay focused on him. It’s too late and too much now, she’s lost in him, just riding out everything and she can’t even hear herself cry out as she comes, she can only hear him. She grasps at him as he keeps moving, burying her face against his neck until he finally comes, his fingertips digging into her thighs as he muffles his moans against her shoulder.
Alisha lifts her head, gently grasping his hair as she coaxes his head up. “Look at me,” she whispers shakily and he does, his eyes wide. She smiles slowly, kissing him and he immediately returns the embrace, tightening his hold on her.
"I didn’t mean to hurt you," he murmurs against her mouth, his eyes closing.
He has to understand she’s not going anywhere, that it would take a lot more than some little prick with a drawing pad to drive her away. He traveled through time for her, she definitely wasn’t going to let some kid keep them apart. She wasn’t going to leave him, ever.
"It wasn’t you," she says quietly as he pushes her hair behind her ear. He nods but the shame is still in his eyes so she kisses him again, not knowing what else to do.
* * *
"We're going to get in trouble."
"Haven't we learned by now, that's half the fun?"
Simon smiles against Alisha's mouth, his arm winding around her body and swiftly locking the supply room door. "Lower your voice."
"Simon..." She unzips his jumpsuit, pushing him toward the freezer. "Probation guy-"
"Shaun doesn’t give a shit."
He was always looking, always worrying. The probation worker didn't care if they were on time any other day, why would he care now? They could probably shag right on his desk and he would just complain that they were blocking his computer screen.
Besides, the fucking probation worker isn’t going to stop her from getting Simon alone. They are back in a honeymoon phase after that incident with the comic book kid. Attached-at-the-hip, annoying their mates, always together. Being manipulated by a geek with a pen would do that do a couple.
"You couldn't wait until we were home?"
"Maybe I want you right now," she says, undoing her own jumpsuit and shrugging out of it. She steps out of it, kicking it to the side. "And you know I always get what I want."
Simon's eyes linger on her red bra for just a moment before he lifts his gaze to hers, his eyes darkening with lust. She had him. "Oh..."
She bites back a smile at his rather inarticulate response, running her hands down his chest before pushing his jumpsuit off his shoulders. "Yes, this is a new bra. Do you want me?"
"Always he whispers, his fingers curling into the band of her thong as he coaxes her to him. "Lunch is over in fifteen minutes."
"Then I guess we better be quick," she breathes against his mouth, pressing her lips against his. She lets out a small moan as Simon reaches around, cupping her arse before turning them so she was against the freezer. "It’s cold," she laughs.
Simon smiles, crouching down and picking her up by her thighs. She wraps her legs around his waist, her eyes closing as his mouth drifts to her neck. He walks them to the metal shelf and Alisha knows Simon was well over the worrying.
Twenty minutes and two rushed orgasms later, Alisha is feeling right happy with herself and the world. As she suspects, Shaun doesn’t give two shits about her or Simon, too busy trying to steal money from that creepy dog statue to care.
"Feel more relaxed?" she murmurs against Simon’s arm as they walk down the hallway, his hand clutching hers as he leads her to the doors. She can see him smiling and she grins, pinching his arm gently. "Told you we wouldn’t get caught."
She grasps the back of Simon’s jumpsuit as he opens the double doors leading outside, only to be greeted with-
"Oh! I heard you two having sex!"
Simon stops in his tracks at Rudy’s yell, closing his eyes briefly in embarrassment. Alisha laughs, pushing at Simon's back as they move outside of the community center. Curtis and Kelly don’t seem to pay any mind to Rudy’s exclamation beyond Curtis rubbing at his mouth and Simon hastily wiping at his own, getting rid of the last of Alisha’s lipstick that she had missed.
Rudy is already rushing at Simon as Alisha takes a seat beside Kelly on the picnic table and she holds her breath, waiting.
"Listen, mate," Rudy wraps his arm around Simon’s shoulders. "I heard some beautiful things coming from that room. Beautiful, beautiful things. But when she tells you to fuck her harder, you gotta do what she says. It's all about her pleasure, man."
Simon stares at Rudy, speechless. Rudy continues to look at him earnestly and finally, Simon nods. "Okay."
"Good. And when-"
"Did you honestly stand there listening to us the entire time?" Alisha interrupts, glaring at Rudy.
Rudy blinks rapidly at Alisha’s words. "For the record, you are very demanding. Less orders and more suggestions might give our mate Simon here some better encouragement."
Alisha shakes her head, starting to stand and Kelly’s hand slams on her knee, holding her put. "Someone change the subject, please," she mutters.
"I'm sorry," Came Shaun’s voice from the doors. "I didn’t know we were all on a break. Don’t you have some litter to pick up?"
"Time to go," Curtis mumbles, jumping to his feet as Kelly starts passing out their equipment. "Hey, has anyone seen the man in the mask after he roughed us up?"
Alisha glances at Simon, who quickly moves away from Rudy and to her, wrapping his arm around her shoulders. "Nope," she says, winding her arm around his waist as they start to walk down the estate. "Who cares?"
* * *
Something bad happens. As always, trouble always follows them around and this time, trouble goes after her. Again.
Alisha and Curtis start working alternate shifts since community service was taking up most of their time. It sucked, really. The decrease and change in hours meant less time with Simon, less time with her friends, less time to just hang out or sleep. At least she knew Simon wasn’t running around in that fucking costume anymore, it was one less worry.
So this night Alisha was working alone, only accompanied by some skinny man who kept drinking shots of gin. Her eyes drift to the clock, sighing heavily. Soon. Simon would be there soon, which means she can start closing.
To her annoyance, the man on the stool keeps staring at her. Fucking staring. She bites back an insult, reminding herself that this creep was a paying customer. The man stares at Alisha and for just a moment, she feels light-headed. "Did you need anything else?" she says as cheerfully as she can manage. "We’re closing up soon."
"Just you, Alisha Bailey.”
Whatever smile was left on her face begins to fade away as her brow furrows in confusion. "Do we know each other?"
She grins slightly, her head cocking to the side. "Do you know my boyfriend?"
He smiles slowly at her. "Simon Bellamy? Nope."
"How do we know each other, then?"
Alisha sets down her cloth, trying to push back the feeling of dread, the crawling of her skin. "I have to close up," she says shortly. "And my boyfriend's coming, so."
"Poor little Alisha Bailey," he sings softly, staring at her. "Having to rely on her body and her looks and her weird, affection-starved boyfriend to make herself matter. Deep down, she knows she's nothing- less than nothing- and she will be forgotten when she inevitably dies."
She lets out a nervous laugh before inhaling deeply, feeling her head begin to ache. This was far too weird, something was wrong, this guy had to have a power. She needed Simon to come quickly. "What- are you for real?"
His eyes bore into her and she feels so dizzy she grabs the edge of the counter for support. "Fact is, all you have are your looks and, my love, looks fade,” he grins, reaching over and touching a curl. She flinches, slowly moving her head away. "You’re not very nice, not particularly interesting or witty, not smart-"
"Simon thinks I'm smart," she mumbles. She feels like everything is going in slow motion, she can hardly move. God, she just wants Simon. Or Curtis. Or Kelly. She just wants someone to show up.
"My- Simon," she slurs. "Simon thinks I'm smart."
The man chuckles. "And you honestly believe that?"
"He wouldn't lie-"
"Of course he would...he's got to get laid some time. And let's be completely honest," the man smiles a slimy smile, leaning forward. "You're the only girl that would have him. If he had any other prospects, why ever would he be hanging about you and your constant whining? Do you see the way he looks at you? That constant disdain, only growing stronger every time you open that mouth of yours."
She shakes her head. "Simon loves me-"
"Only because you told him he does," the man grins. "Be honest...could you see any of your lot hanging out if not for those pesky powers?"
The door swings open and Alisha gasps, feeling a sudden sharp headache hit her. She blinks back tears as Simon approaches the counter and she shakes her head when she sees the concern on his face. Don’t say a bloody word, she thinks, hoping he gets the hint. "Hiya," she whispers.
"Hey," Simon glances at the man next to him, his body tense. "All right?"
"Yes," Alisha mutters.
"We were just having a chat," the man says, sliding off the stool. "Me and Alisha Bailey."
Simon’s eyes narrow. "You know each other?"
The man smiles. "No, no," he offers Simon his hand. "I’m Mr. Brooks, Simon Bellamy."
Simon doesn’t take the man’s hand, his eyes flitting down to the outstretched hand before meeting his gaze, his jaw clenching. "I didn’t tell you my name," he eyes the man for a moment longer before glancing at Alisha. "Closing up?"
After a long moment of tense silence, Simon stares at the man hard. "She’s closing up, so you need to leave," he says firmly. "Now."
Alisha moves slowly to the counter door, watching as Simon’s gaze follows the man as he exits the bar. As soon as the man was gone, Simon turns to Alisha and he reaches over the counter to cup her face in his hands. "He’s not the only one with a power," he mutters, rubbing her cheeks with his thumbs.
"What?" she mumbles, her eyes starting to close.
"Don't go to sleep, we have to get home first," Simon says, mustering a vaguely comforting smile on his face. "What did he do to you?"
She stumbles around the counter to Simon’s side, before leaning against his chest. "Did you see something?" He nods, reaching to her belt loop and unhooking her keys. "What did you see?"
He presses his lips to her forehead before leading her to the door. "Just how I’m going to fix this."
Alisha awakes to find both Simon and Curtis standing near the bed at the flat, both talking quietly. She stirs, blinking back the brightness of the lights and Simon is immediately at her side, touching her cheek.
She furrows her brow, trying to raise her head. "I was...how long was I out?"
Simon’s jaw clenches. "Almost eighteen hours."
She tries to sit up, only to have Simon gently push her back down. "What- I had community service, work-"
"I called in for us, and Curtis worked your shift."
"What time is it?"
Alisha’s eyes fall on Curtis, who stands silently behind Simon, his cross between his lips. His presence is making her uneasy. Simon’s grim demeanor is making her even more nervous. Fucking hell. "Why’s he here?" she mutters.
Simon glances at Curtis before turning back to Alisha. "We’re going to find Mr. Brooks. He’s hurt you, he’s probably hurt others, and we’re just going to take care of this before he hurts anyone else."
"What's he doing?"
He sighs. "From what my power showed me...I think he’s draining your energy through your insecurities somehow. Did he touch you at any point?"
She nods weakly. "He touched my hand when I was giving him his gin."
Simon nods. "He wanted to shake my hand at the bar, glad I didn’t let him," he looks up at Curtis. "Ready?"
Alisha grasps at Simon’s wrist, pulling him down so their faces are inches apart. "Don’t kill anyone, not for me," she whispers. After a long moment of hesitation, he nods, kissing her forehead before straightening up. "Simon."
"We're just going to talk to him," Simon says softly, glancing at Curtis.
Curtis nods, walking toward the lift.
Alisha finds herself drifting off to sleep again even before Simon’s closed the lift, she can’t even keep her eyes open. She silently begs Curtis to look after Simon, as if Curtis could hear her, before she finally loses consciousness.
She awakes suddenly, a sharp pain shooting through her head. A hoarse gasp escapes Alisha as she feels something like electricity coursing through her. It feels like when the power dealer took her power away, but worse. She feels like she’s dying, maybe this is it. Maybe this is how she dies.
And then, nothing.
There’s a ringing in her ears and spots in her eyes, but nothing else. She doesn’t feel weak anymore, just tired. She fumbles for her cell phone beside the bed, glancing at the screen. Nearly midnight.
She manages to get out of bed to go to the bathroom, makes it to the toilet before she’s vomiting. It takes her a few minutes to compose herself, blinking back the tears in her eyes as she swallows, nearly gagging over the burning in the throat and the taste of bile there. She splashes water on her face before glancing at herself in the small mirror, and she was startled by how dead she looked. Ashen face, dark circles under her eyes, chapped lips. She looked like shit, no wonder Simon had been worried.
As soon as she makes it back to the bed, she texts Simon.
where r u?
She waits five minutes for Simon to respond and when he doesn’t, she texts Curtis the same message, waiting. He actually responds rather quickly, a reply that only unnerves her further.
we’re fine. comin back
Simon and Curtis arrive back at the flat nearly a half hour later, both grim and silent. She sits up as Simon moves for her, closes her eyes when Simon cups her face. "I’m fine," she whispers.
"Good," Simon breathes, kissing her forehead as he sits beside her. She opens her eyes, her eyes falling on Simon’s arm.
Alisha eyes the spot of blood on Simon’s sleeve as she pulls away, focuses and sees the bruise forming on his cheek. Simon’s gaze locks on her as he swallows hard and she shakes her head slightly. "Did you kill him?" she asks dully, looking past Simon at Curtis. Curtis wasn’t going to lie to her.
After a too-long moment of silence- "You weren’t the only one he did that to. We didn’t have a choice," Curtis says quietly. "Simon tried to reason with the prick...he had a knife and went at us."
She inhales sharply. "The body?"
"Don't worry about it, it’s done," Simon says, lowering his head as he runs a shaky hand through his hair before smoothing it down. He can’t even look at her now. The look on his face- she hadn’t seen him look like that since he admitted to killing the other probation worker. Shame. Guilt.
She reaches for him with a shaking hand, runs her fingers down the back of his hair. Curtis silently backs toward the lift and she stays silent as he leaves the two of them in the flat.
When the lift starts, it seems to startle Simon and he lurches forward, his forehead pressing against Alisha’s chest. Her arms wrap around his shoulders as he embraces her by the waist and he pulls her on his lap, holding her tightly. She presses her lips against his temple, her eyes closing as he breathes heavily against her neck.
They’re both silent and she gives him the time he needs to regain his composure. Her hand runs over his hair as they sit and she inhales deeply, licking her lips. He didn’t speak, so she needs to, needs to get a hint of what he was feeling. "Simon..."
"I will always protect you," he whispers suddenly, letting his words hang between them. "Always."
Alisha nods, resting her chin on the top of his head. Nothing more needed to be said. What else could be said? "I know, babe. I know."
The next afternoon, she leaves Simon and Rudy with Kelly telling them some story about Nazis and corners Curtis in the locker room. Simon, she and him have their shit sorted. There’s nothing more that really needs to be touched upon. He was as okay as could be considering the previous night, but Curtis seems to have no visible reaction, no indication in his demeanor of what he and Simon had to do.
She waits until he ties up his trainers to speak and make herself known. "Did you really not have a choice?"
Curtis hesitates before lifting his head, glancing at Alisha. "If we had a choice, that man would still be alive," he says simply. "We didn’t want to hurt the guy."
"You did it for me."
He shrugs. "Between you and him..." he trails off, jumping to his feet and picking up his backpack. "We’re going to choose you. Every time. Just leave it."
Alisha stills, her jaw clenching as Curtis walks past her, out the door. She couldn’t place the emotions going through her. She wasn’t exactly grieving the loss of the ugly fuck that tried to kill her, but she was torn over what Simon and Curtis did to save her. Finally, she chooses to ignore the nagging voice in her head, knowing that they made the right decision, that if they hadn’t done something, he would’ve hurt someone else. Curtis had seemed to have come to that conclusion last night and wasn’t wasting energy on it any longer, so she wouldn’t. She couldn’t.
When she reaches the tables outside, she finds Rudy and Simon still listening to Kelly’s long story. She stops beside Simon, listening as Kelly describes shooting some Nazis in the head.
Simon shakes his head. "And this really happened?"
"Yeah!" Kelly exclaims. "It was some proper shit. Fuckin’ Nazis. And you two," she says, pointing at Simon and Alisha. "You were together in the other world. Or just shagging. But you were together."
Alisha smiles when Simon glances at her, his eyebrows rising. The small moment between them was abruptly ended by Rudy’s "But he was a Nazi."
Simon blinks, glancing at Rudy. "But Kelly said I switched sides. I was good."
Rudy chuckles, wagging a finger at him. "You were still a Nazi, mate. Do you have something you want to tell us?"
"I'm going home," Simon says, exasperated.
Alisha grins at Simon as they walk back to the flat, giving him a poke on the arm with her finger. "So?"
He glances at her, smiling as he throws his arm around her shoulders, pulling her against his chest. "So."
"So I’m feeling almost one-hundred percent, and we were together in another universe," she wraps her arm around his waist. "How about that?"
"I guess we're fated," he murmurs against her temple before leaving a kiss there. "Even in a Nazi world."
There goes that word again. Fate. Simon loves his fate and his destiny bullshit. She knows Simon- while she is amused by it and considers it romantic they were together in other universes, Simon will take it as a sign that everything was happening the way it was supposed to happen, leading to him becoming a superhero. It wasn’t going to happen, not after all they’ve gone through.
She decides to change the subject quickly, didn’t need him to bring up fate again as a reason to start the parkour bullshit again. "Want to see a movie tonight?" she asks as they walk into the building. "I want to stay in."
"Sure," Simon holds the lift door for Alisha. "I just bought Night of the Living Dead. The original one."
Alisha cringes, pressing the button to their flat. "That sounds scary."
His lips purse together as the lift starts to move. "Fine, we’ll see one of your movies."
She grins. "Thank you," her smile fades as they stand in silence for a moment. "What Kelly said about us...in the Nazi world. Do you think this is worth it?" she asks quietly. "Us? All of it?"
Simon meets her gaze as the lift stops. A small smile forms on his lips as he nods once. "Yes."
Chapter 9: Now you're all gone, got your make-up on, and you're not coming back
She welcomes this willful oblivion and in seconds, she has pulled Simon in with her. It’s just better this way.
Simon has an idea. Date night.
He plans it meticulously, like he does everything. Dinner, movie, fun. Those were his exact words on the night and she was both endeared by his simplicity and excited for the chance to be a normal couple having a normal date. They very rarely had a proper date night, their usual "date nights" consisted of take-out and shagging in the flat.
Clubbing was never an option, he always chose to stay home while she went out with her mates. He never complained, probably because she always came home tipsy and frisky enough to try to shag him. They had a lot of good sex when she was tipsy and still buzzing from dancing, so it was also a win for Simon. Other times when they went out, it was less than a win. The group also came along, so “date night” was always ended up happening in the flat. But this was a nice change, just the two of them.
Dinner is pizza, of course. For the movie, he picks some old film about a family stuck in a hotel. The Shining. He keeps telling her that she’ll love the movie, it’s just scary enough, really trying to sell her on it. She goes along with it, mostly because seeing Simon that excited about something makes her happy.
Simon sits next to Alisha in the surprisingly full theatre, handing her the bag of popcorn. "Light butter, lots of salt," he sets her drink in the holder. "Coke and candy with chocolate," he pulls the colorful candy box from his jacket pocket, handing it to her.
She smiles, pleased that he had remembered. Her smile grows as he leans back in his chair, wrapping an arm around her shoulders. She adjusts herself and leans against his chest, focusing on the screen.
Just like a normal couple.
"I knew it was you, mate!"
Alisha's smile fades at the sound of Kelly's voice, both turning around to see Kelly, Curtis, and Rudy taking seats right behind them. She glances at Simon, who’s weakly smiling at the group. "How did you guys-"
"Rudy overheard you talking in the locker room, sounded like a good movie, and here we are," Curtis says with a wink.
Kelly nods at Simon. "Give us some popcorn, yeah?"
Simon's lips press together as he takes the popcorn from Alisha, handing it to Kelly. Instead of giving it back, she hands the bag to Curtis. Simon turns back to Alisha, shaking his head and she rolls her eyes, slouching in her seat.
Simon sighs as the lights dim, turning toward the screen. "Rain check on date night?" he says quietly.
Alisha nods, entwining the fingers of her hand with Simon's. "Let's just enjoy the movie." Rudy’s head pokes in between them and Alisha bit back an insult, glaring at him. "What is it?"
"Do you have some candy? Not really fancying the popcorn tonight," he glances down, his eyes lighting up, "There we are!" he exclaims, plucking the box from Alisha’s lap. "Cheers."
Alisha glances at Simon, giving him a look. "I want to go home," she says tersely, pouting as Simon shushes her.
Right, the movie was scary. Simon bullshitted, he lied, it isn’t "scary enough," it was fucking scary. There was blood and creepy things. Scary children. Crazy men and music that makes her jump. Even Rudy and Kelly yelling at the screen and Curtis hissing for them to shut the fuck up wasn’t enough to keep her from getting entirely taken in and terrified by the movie.
Simon leans against Alisha, his lips pressed to her ear. "Are you scared?" he says over the chaos happening in the theatre and she can feel his smile against her skin.
"No," she hisses, although she’s sure she is squeezing the circulation from Simon's fingers.
"A little bit?"
"Shut the fuck up, Barry," she snaps, rolling her eyes when he laughs. She allows herself a smile until Rudy nearly gives her a heart attack with his-
"OH SWEET MARY, THERE’S AN AXE IN HIS HAND!"
"I'm done,” she says, her tone rushed as she shut her eyes, pressing her face against Simon’s arm. "Tell me when it’s over." Simon rests his cheek against the top of her head, rubbing the back of her hand with his thumb. Suddenly, something happens as the audience screams and she can feel Simon lift his head, turning around as shouts from their mates ring out behind them. "What’s happening?" she shrieks.
Simon turns back around and she can hear the laughter in his voice. "Rudy got so scared he split in two."
"What?" she lifts her head, looking over her shoulder and sure enough, there are two very upset Rudys, sitting side by side, one clinging to a now agitated Curtis.
She swings back around, unable to keep the perturbed look off her face. "We’re never going to be normal, are we?"
Later that night, Alisha knows she’s going to have a rough time sleeping. Every little noise is going to get her, all because of that stupid movie. Much to her annoyance and slight amusement, Simon seems less affected by the film and the complete weirdness that overtook their date and now appears to be determined to get in her knickers.
"Rudy was so bloody embarrassing and the two of him just walking around, it was weird. And the movie. Why did he have to be frozen in the snow with that awful expression on his face? I’m going to fucking see that in my dreams."
Simon doesn’t respond, his lips brushing over her cheek before he dips down to her neck.
"Just ...we couldn’t have seen a nice comedy?" she bemoans as Simon’s hand slips down her stomach. He mumbles a reply against her throat before opening his mouth, leaving a wet kiss on her skin. "Simon," she grabs his wrist, holding him still. "You’re not going to listen to me whine?"
He lifts his head, giving her a slight smile. "Not right now, we’re still on a date night."
"I thought we were taking a rain check?"
"Changed my mind," he starts to lower his head, stopping when her grip on his wrist remains tight. He gives her an amused lift of his eyebrows, a smile playing on his lips. "Let me move my hand."
Her brow furrows playfully. "Why?"
He tilts his head, letting his mouth brush over hers. "You know why," he whispers.
Alisha bites back a smile, loosening her hold on his hand and inhaling deeply as he begins to slide down her body, kissing down her tits, her torso, her hips as he goes. "Well, as long as you make it up to me," she says breathlessly. "For scaring me."
"I will,” he murmurs, tugging at her knickers.
She relaxes back on the bed, her hands light on his shoulders as he moves down underneath the covers. Her fingers run through his hair as he settles between her thighs and she closes her eyes, waiting. She could spend the rest of her life doing this. Not with the community service, of course, but everything else, she would gladly take. This was everything she wanted.
* * *
The view by the estate is peaceful at nearly two in the morning, the water splashing gently and it was so soothing. The air was cool enough and the sky black and perfect. Simon’s fingers rub against Alisha's hip as she lays her head on his lap and she was certain she could fall asleep to it.
That is, if Rudy wasn’t drunk and sharing with the group the most disgusting wanking tale that Alisha didn’t even want to repeat in her mind. He stands in the way of her perfect view, mimicking his wanking off into a cake box and she glances up, eying Curtis sitting next to Simon, both men looking disturbed by Rudy’s story. Well, if disturbing is what they want...
Alisha lazily sits up and raises her hand, glancing around at the group. "Not the worst wanking story I’ve experienced."
Rudy looks at Alisha, giving her a look. “Oh, really? Well, share with the pack, love.”
Alisha pushes back her hair, staring Rudy down. "My mates and I were walking along, heading on to the tube," she begins, peering over at Kelly, who was sitting on the ground next to Curtis, just to make sure she was listening. "We’re walking and I was looking hot as fuck, as I do," Curtis snorts beside her and she shoots him a glare. "Anyway, we’re walking-”
"Doing a lot of walking," Curtis intones, grinning when she slaps his arm. "Sorry."
"We pass along a fellow," she says matter-of-factly, making a show of spreading her legs as she hands Simon her bottle of beer. "Sitting there along a building, dog in front of him, I think it was a Labrador-"
Kelly shakes her head, throwing her hoodie over her head. "No, no."
Alisha laughs, raising her arms. "Kelly, let me finish!" Kelly looks up at Alisha, waiting, as Alisha glances at Simon, who is busy drinking the rest of her beer. "Hey!"
Simon glances at Alisha, giving her a knowing look. "I need to drink for this, I’m sure."
She gives him a playful scowl before facing the group once more. "All right, so he’s all jerking about, shoulders shaking and we think the bloke’s crying or laughing or whatever the fuck, so Ellie’s mate Nora peeps around, checking if he’s all right."
Rudy lowers the cigarette from his mouth at Alisha’s dramatic pause, glancing at Simon before looking back to Alisha. "And?"
"The fucker’s wanking on the dog," All three men groan and she laughs, holding up her hand. Kelly’s burying her face in her hands and Alisha shakes her head. "Oh, shut up, all of you. It’ll be all right."
Kelly rolls her eyes, giving Rudy a look as she pulls a joint from her purse. "Enjoying this?"
"It's a bit arousing," Rudy admits, taking his lighter out of his pocket and handing it to Kelly. "In a disturbing kind of way."
"So this bloke is seriously wanking off on that poor dog, all-" she starts mimicking the man jerking off, whiny groans and pained grunts coming from her. Curtis lowers his phone, staring at her. She gets louder, her fist pumping back and forth from her hips faster and Kelly’s mouth drops.
Simon has no reaction to Alisha's show, examining his phone until Alisha's fingers wind through his hair, pulling as she moans. "Ow."
"Is that how Simon sounds when you’re fucking?" Rudy asks, his eyebrows rising.
Alisha’s moaning stops abruptly and she sighs as she releases Simon’s hair. "That’s my story. Never forgot it."
Rudy shakes his head, dropping into the seat beside Curtis. "Couldn’t let me have one story to myself, could ya."
Kelly’s eyes narrow as she glances up at Alisha, passing her the joint in her fingers. "I’m surprised he didn’t get arrested, shoulda been hung up..."
"As opposed to getting arrested and put in this bullshit community service. Cheers," Rudy adds, tilting his beer bottle at Kelly.
"We're not doing so bad, considering," Alisha says loudly before taking a drag of the joint. She leans against Simon’s arm, adjusting herself when he winds his arm around her shoulders. "I mean, look at us a year ago."
Simon frowns, lowering his beer bottle from his lips. "We could not be in community service..."
"I said considering."
Alisha smiles up at Simon, running her finger down his cheek. "Open your mouth."
Simon glances at the others before looking down at Alisha. "Why?"
"You're going to let me blow some smoke in your mouth, you're going to hold it in, and then you're going to blow it out," she murmurs.
She takes a drag of the joint before tilting her head up. Her fingers push at the back of his neck, coaxing his head down and he opens his mouth, allowing Alisha to blow the smoke into his mouth before kissing him. He closes his mouth, holding the smoke as she kisses the sides of his mouth before turning his head and blowing the smoke out. Almost immediately, he began coughing and Alisha grins, running her hand over his hair.
Rudy watches, his head tilting as Alisha pushes her lips on Simon's. "That was erotic. Very erotic," he glances at Curtis. "Wasn't that erotic?"
"Man," Curtis shakes his head as Alisha leans back against Simon's chest. "Simon can't smoke for some reason, he’s got a thing with it. She has to blow it in his mouth like a kid."
Alisha glances up at Simon, catching the embarrassed twitch of his mouth and she then shoots a glare at Curtis. "He's fucking high with us, what do you care how he does it?"
Curtis' eyebrows rose in alarm. "I didn't mean it like that, calm down."
Kelly reaches over, taking the joint from Alisha before passing it to Curtis. "Careful, mate, she’ll bust your head for Simon."
"I'm seeing that," Curtis mutters.
A silence takes over the group as they sit around, drinking and smoking. Alisha doesn’t like it. It’s not like the comfortable silences she has with Simon, she can feel an unease with the group. No, there’s an unease within herself. She can feel it bubbling in, filling her, the question on the tip of her tongue, something she has been wondering since they had gotten in that freak storm so long ago, when they weren’t friends and with their own problems.
"Is this all there is?" Alisha asks suddenly, her brow furrowing as silence meets her. "Is this really it? Sitting around, fucking around, killing probation workers and then we die?” No one responds and she rolls her eyes. “HELLO? Where’s our second chances, are we going to be fuck ups forever?”
Simon's mouth presses against Alisha's temple. "This is our second chance," he murmurs firmly, an edge to his voice.
She knows that edge. He wants her to stop talking. Bullshit. "Or our fifth or sixth?" She shoots back. "How many chances are we going to get, Simon? How many have we had already? I know you’ve thought about it."
He blinks, trying to focus on her and she knows this conversation is too deep for him at the moment. "You’ve drunk too much. And we shouldn’t discuss this right now."
Curtis glances over his shoulder at the two. "What are you two even going on about?"
"Wow," Rudy chortles, his eyes lighting up as Alisha tries to sit up. "You're really high, love."
She ignores him, crawling away from Simon and reclining on the free bench space. She feels Simon touch her ankle and she kicks his hand away. She doesn’t want him to touch her now, she doesn’t know why she’s so angry, she just is. She can’t deal with this, not with the rest of their lot there.
She sighs, turning on her back and closing her eyes. The group remains silent and she’s sure they’re all giving each other looks and wondering what the fuck is up with her. Whatever. "Drifting and drifting...all we do is fucking drift," she mutters. "When's it gonna end."
* * *
Alisha hums to herself as she finishes up her job application, digging the toe of her shoe into the floor as she writes in her third reference. A new clothing boutique in town was the perfect transition out from that damn bar. Sure, she has a conviction and a probation violation to her name, but at least it wasn’t for shoplifting, she didn’t see the big deal. She even made sure to put her available start date as the day right after her community service ends.
Finally getting her annoyance with the state of their lives out in the open had convinced Alisha to head over to the shops and actually look for a real job. Something she could look forward to working for. Simon had mentioned applying for college, and she had encouraged him to do so, making him promise to get some information from local schools. But she wasn’t all talk, she was going to better herself as well.
She looks over her shoulder at the racks of clothes set up and she makes note of which items she will be buying with her discount when she got her first paycheck.
Positive thinking was key, like her mum always said. If she thinks the job is going to be hers, then it will be. And she always gets what she wants.
She pulls her ID out of her purse, sliding the application and card to the clerk. "There," she says with a grin.
"And you can work any available hours?" the blonde asks, skimming Alisha’s application.
"Yes," Alisha says, widening her smile. "I just want to work here."
The woman smirks. "Looking for the discount?"
"Well," the woman gives Alisha back her ID. "We will call you within two weeks if you get the job-"
"Does my violation affect me getting this job?" Alisha interrupts, placing her hand on the corner of her application. "It was just a DUI. And my stupid mate getting me in trouble. I’ve never shoplifted or anything."
The clerk gives Alisha a confused look, glancing down at her application. "N-No. I don’t think so."
Alisha grins. "Brilliant," she picks up her purse, hesitating before holding out her hand for the woman to shake.
She nearly skips out of the store, pulling her cell phone out of her purse as she heads for the bus stop. She dials Simon’s number, grinning when she hears Jennifer pick up. "Hiya, is your brother there?"
As soon as she hears Simon’s "hello?" she can’t keep the smile from her face.
"Guess what I just did?"
"I just applied for a job at that little shop I told you about," she can’t stop grinning. Hell, she’s enjoying the pride that’s swelling in her. "The pay’s shit, but I get discounts!"
He chuckles and she can hear the sounds of a video game in the background. "I’m very- Jennifer, that’s cheating," he says tersely. "Well, I’m happy for you. I hope you get it."
"I will get it, Simon," Alisha says firmly. "I’m getting the job."
"Okay, you are getting the job. Then we’ll get pizza to celebrate."
She rolls her eyes, laughing slightly. "You always want pizza...want me to meet you at your parents’?"
"Okay, see you in twenty," she hangs up on him, searching her purse for her pass. Nothing was going to ruin her good mood. Even though she was still in community service, things were looking way up for her. It was only going to get better from here.
* * *
Simon grabs Alisha’s wrist as she moves into the locker rooms and she jerks her arm out of his grasp, rushing for the bathrooms. She can feel him right behind her and she moves faster, trying to close the stall door in his face.
His hand hits the door, stopping her. "Alisha."
"Fuck off, I don’t want to speak to you right now," she snaps, keeping her gaze on the ground as her jaw clenches. She hates this feeling- angry and just the slightest bit embarrassed. She hates that he’s embarrassed her, she doesn’t care if it was unintentional or not.
Her eyes lift, her glare on him. "Is that what you think of me? You honestly think I would watch Curtis wank off, after everything we’ve been through?"
Simon pales and she nods, swinging the door shut. She lets out an aggravated huff when his hand slams against the door again. He takes a step forward, freezing when she shoots an icy scowl at him. "Alisha, I- I didn’t mean it. Not like that."
"That's exactly how you meant it," she says, her voice shaking. "I would never."
"I know! I don’t know what I was..." he trails off, sighing. "I just got really insecure. I saw him, and you, and I spoke before-"
"Shit," she cuts him off through gritted teeth. "A lot of shit came out of your mouth."
Simon nods, his jaw clenching. "I’m a dick. I’m sorry."
Alisha frowns but allows Simon to step into the space that separates them, closing her eyes as he presses his mouth against her forehead. “Say it again."
"The other thing."
She can feel his smirk against her skin. "I’m a dick," he mumbles against her.
Alisha pulls back, her brow furrowing. "I’m sorry, I couldn’t hear?"
Simon grabs Alisha, yanking her to him. "Forgive me?"
She wraps her arms around his neck, pulling him down to her. She just couldn’t stay mad at him. Ultimately, she knew there was nothing malicious in what he had done. It was his insecurities, the bit in him still waiting for her to run, to leave him. She’ll let it slide. This time. "Say it again," she sings softly.
"You're mine and only mine," he says firmly.
Her eyebrows rise as he kisses her cheek. "Cocky, are we?"
Simon tilts his head, stopping just short of her mouth before sighing. "Jealous," he admits.
"Don't be," Alisha smiles and pulls his head down, tilting her head up as he kisses her softly. "You’re mine and only mine," she murmurs against his mouth, sighing when she hears his soft "Good" before kissing her once more.
* * *
Alisha lets out a surprised cry as Simon nearly pushes her against the wall of the lift, pressing himself against her. His mouth clumsily presses against the side of hers, his hands slipping underneath her shirt. She bites back a moan as he starts to rub against her, and her nails dig into his jacket. "Hold on, we’re almost there," she whispers shakily.
They had both been in a weird place since that coma patient died in the community center. Couldn’t stop touching each other, couldn’t keep away from each other. They had gotten rid of the latest dead probation worker and as they climbed into Seth’s car, Simon had reached over and held her hand, his fingers still caked with dirt and mud. They had locked eyes and she knew what was going to happen once they got home.
Distraction. This is what it was, it was too overwhelming to deal with. Seth had filled in the blanks and Alisha wished he hadn’t. Two deaths. One girl so determined to stay with the guy that she loved, she was willing to burn everything down in her way. A devastated lover left in this woman’s wake and Alisha would never admit it, knew Simon would never discuss it either, but it cut a bit too deep, hit a very specific nerve with both of them.
They will never, ever talk about it. She knows how they are. They will put all of their feelings into the shagging they were about to do and they will forget about it. They won’t ever think of this girl and her lover and their fucking doomed story ever again.
It had nothing to do with them anyway, Alisha has no fucking clue why they were both so messed up over it.
That was a lie. She knew exactly why.
The lift jerks to a stop and she nearly throws the door open, tripping on her feet as Simon doesn’t even let her get inside before he’s pressed against her back, trying to remove her jacket. They stumble their way to the bed, Alisha managing to get his jacket off and his shirt unbuttoned and discarded on the floor. She pushes him down on the bed, straddling his lap and she gasps as he kisses her neck, his hands cupping her arse as he coaxes her against his chest.
Alisha’s hands slip down her body and she pulls her skirt up over her hips, enough for him to see her knickers. After a moment, she pulls her blouse over her head and tosses it on the floor. She lets him stare for a few seconds, lets him run his hands over her thighs, lets him press his mouth against her chest. His hands slide over her shoulders and down her arm, moving the straps of her bra down. Her eyes close as his mouth opens on her skin, her fingers grasping onto his shoulders before sliding down his body.
Her fingers fumble with his trousers, undoing them and she shudders in anticipation when he gasps at the feel of her hands on his cock and he’s lifting his hips, trying to turn or stand or whatever the fuck and she keeps herself steady on his lap. "You want the lights off?" she pants.
"Keep them on," Simon says breathlessly, grasping the back of her neck and pulling her head down. He kisses her hard, her mouth opening as he deepens the kiss. A cry escapes her as he slips his tongue in her mouth in that way he usually does when he wants to torture her a little, so she clutches at his hair, yanking just the way he likes it, just to torture him a little.
A couple of fumbling, awkward and frantic minutes later and they’re both moving together, clutching at each other as if their lives depended on the other. Each moan from their lips comes deep within them and Alisha can feel Simon’s hands shaking, just like hers were. It’s hard and fast and there’s nothing relaxed or carefree about what they’re doing, it’s nothing like their usual shagging. They don’t need fun, they need a release.
Simon groans against her neck as she rolls her hips against his, faster and harder with each sound that comes out of his mouth. She feels herself almost-vibrating, gritting her teeth as he thrusts up into her, his fingers stretched out over her thighs. Her mouth opens against his jaw when he lifts his head and he exhales shakily, his fingers curling into her skin.
Alisha lets out a cry when he fucks her harder still, his hand moving up to the back of her neck, the other slipping to her lower back, holding her tight against him. She grips at his hair, jerking his head back so he’s looking up at her and she presses herself against his chest, her forehead against his. Her mouth brushes over his, inhaling him with each groan that leaves his lips at her thrusts.
He falls back on the mattress and she follows, her hands sliding down his chest as they keep moving and her nails dig into his torso. His head lifts and his teeth graze her bare shoulder as he grunts against her skin as she moves faster.
"God," she bites out and the roughness of her own voice startles her, realizing then just how quiet the flat is, aside from their moaning. His hands on her hips, jerking her up distracts her and she cries out, her hands clutching at his shoulders.
She manages to get herself up, her hands pressing on his chest as she sits on his hips, thrusting as hard as she can, measured jerks to get that perfect moan from his lips. His hands slide up her waist before his fingers curl, sharp breaths escaping him as she moves harder, faster. She keeps moving, relentless, her mouth opening as he falls apart beneath her with a loud groan, his hips jerking up and his hands gripping her waist, spreading over her ribs.
Alisha leans forward, pressing herself against Simon’s body as she keeps thrusting, her movements more sloppy and erratic as she feels herself nearing that beautiful, perfect end. She lets out a high-pitched cry as she comes, watches as his eyes widen as he presses his forehead against hers, his hand pushing on her lower back, holding her as she jerks her hips against his. His other hand is grasping at her neck and she leans into it, her nails digging into his chest and finally breaking skin.
She collapses on him, trying to catch her breath. She listens to his own gasps, feels the vibrations of her body still as he runs his hands up her back, down her arms, over her legs and arse- he can’t stop touching her. With a slight groan, she slides off him but keeps her leg over his hips, keeping their bodies connected. Finally lifting her head, she touches the side of his face weakly, turning his head so their lips meet.
After a long moment, Simon pulls back before resting his forehead against hers. They lay there in silence, foreheads touching and Alisha closes her eyes, her fingertips trailing over his jaw. Then, just as she begins to get comfortable with the silence between them-
"I don’t want to live without you," he says suddenly, his voice shaking. "I can’t."
She’s silent for an agonizing moment, her heart nearly stopping over his words. She knows he’s thinking about that coma girl and about the future him, just like she had been. After a long moment of silence, she inhales deeply, rubbing his cheek gently with her thumb. It wasn’t the time to chastise him, to brush aside his fears, not the same ones she had months ago. All she could do was comfort him, because that’s what he would’ve done for her. "Then don’t," she says softly.
"I won’t ever leave you."
She feels his trembling hands on her back and she embraces him, burying her face against his neck as he begins to hold her tighter. They lay in silence as the minutes tick away and they don’t speak. She feels him run his hands down her back and she kisses his neck, not a single word uttered between them.
Alisha wakes the next morning to find Simon practicing a handstand next to the lift and she doesn’t ask him why he’s doing it, it has nothing to do with the parkour and it’s probably just him fooling about. She refuses to dwell. She sets the coffee pot for Simon and goes to shower, trying to not think about everything that happened and how fucked their lives were.
In the shower, she lets the hot water and steam relax her as she breathes deeply, trying to get herself into one of those moments of zen her mum is always rambling about. Her eyes open as she feels Simon’s arms wrap around her waist and she smiles when he presses his lips against her cheek. “Good morning,” she says, leaning back against his bare chest.
Simon doesn’t respond, his mouth slipping down to her neck and she gasps as he kisses her skin slowly. Her arm winds up around his neck before she turns, her arms wrapping around his neck as she kisses him.
He breaks their kiss, pressing his forehead against hers. "Are you okay?" he asks, his voice barely audible over the water.
"Yes," she lies, fixing a bright smile on her face. He stares at her for a long moment and she knows he can tell she’s lying. She stills, waiting for him to say something, but he doesn’t, giving her a tiny smile before he lowers his head. His mouth opens against hers, his kiss slow and deep and she melts into it, sighing as his hands trail down her back.
She welcomes this willful oblivion and in seconds, she has pulled Simon in with her. It’s just better this way.
* * *
"You look happy."
Alisha gives her father a bright smile, glancing down at the ground as they walked through the toy shop. Sure, she and her mates were currently laying as low as possible considering they had managed to get another probation worker killed and buried in the forest, along with having her own emotional bullshit happening, but her father certainly didn’t need to know any of that. "I am happy."
He winds his arm around her shoulders, giving her a quick hug before releasing her. "I thought we were getting dinner, what’s going on?"
"Simon's sister’s birthday is coming up, I wanted to get her one of those friendship bracelet makers, I saw it in a catalogue."
"How is Simon?”
She shrugs. "He’s Simon. Not much of a talker, you know that."
He nods. "Seemed rather nervous around me the one time I met him."
Alisha laughs, glancing up at her father. "Yeah, well, look at you."
Her father sighs, giving her a sidelong glance. "I like him, he doesn’t need to be nervous around us. Get your gift so we can go, I’m hungry."
She walks past her father to the crafts aisle, finding the bracelet box rather quickly. She loved the things when she was ten, so she figured Jennifer would enjoy it. Maybe she’ll help her make one, she’ll make one for herself, Jen, and Kelly. It’s silly, but she thinks she might really enjoy it.
Alisha glances over her shoulder at her father, laughing as she spotted him with a hula hoop, attempting to use it and failing miserably. "Oh, that’s impressive," she calls as she walks over to him.
"Remember, you used to love this thing when you were a little girl," he stops, stepping out of it. "You carried it around all the time."
"It was pink, not yellow," she says, holding out the box. "Give it."
Her father hands over the hoop for the box and she pulls it over her waist, starting to wind her hips. She smirks as he pulls his iPhone out of his pocket, aiming it at her. "Blackmail..."
"No, your mum will love it. Say hello to mummy."
She laughs, glancing up at the ceiling. "Don’t show this to Simon, please. Don’t."
"All right, all right," he laughs. "Come on, princess. Say hello to mum."
Alisha stops the hula hoop, making her way over to her father. She stands in front of the camera, giving it a little wave. "Hiya, mum and daddy. Love you much."
Her father smiles. "That’s my girl."
She rolls her eyes, pulling the hoop over her head. "I hope you’re happy, ‘cause that’s the last dorky video I’m ever doing for you two. Let’s go pay so we can eat."
* * *
Alisha's plan comes spur of the moment. Rudy's dragged her along for an ice cream run (Curtis happened to disappear at the right time, the prick), and she’s busy ordering Simon's usual cone when she sees it. The cherry red ice lolly.
A smirk had come on her face looking at it. Getting Simon alone has been on her mind ever since that morning when he had surprised her with a kiss to the back of her neck before distractedly running to stop Rudy from throwing a chair off the roof in protest over yet another day of wasting time at the centre. Since then, their little moment has seemed to have been forgotten by Simon, who has become something of Rudy's caregiver over the last couple of days.
One idiot for another. Nathan to Rudy of all people.
But she was done thinking about Rudy. It was all about getting Simon alone. The days were long and boring without a probation worker, strangely enough. There was only so long they could sit about and bullshit before they completely lose it. Kelly had managed to busy herself with Seth and Alisha didn’t see why she couldn’t do the same. It would help pass the time.
On the roof, she sits across from Simon in the big comfy chair, watching as he finishes off his cone. He sits on the edge of the bench, ready to run, perhaps just in case Rudy decides to flip out again. She smirks at the nervous look in his eyes and he sits still. She’s pretty sure he’s listening out for Rudy.
Simon’s gaze turns to her and he gives her a slight smile. "Hey."
She licks the tip of the lolly slowly, keeping her eyes on Simon, whose own eyes lower to her tongue.
"What...what are you doing?" he mutters.
"Mmm," She slides the lolly into her mouth, sucking slowly before pulling her mouth away as Curtis approaches, handing her the magazines he promised to save from his neighbor. She thanks Curtis before facing Simon, smiling at him innocently. His stare is intense, eyes darkened, and it takes all of her power not to jump him right there on the roof.
As soon as Curtis turns to leave, Alisha is back on task, sucking on the ice lolly, her eyes on Simon. She speeds up her movement before sliding her mouth off the lolly ever-so-slowly, a smile on her lips as she winks at Simon. By this point, he has tilted forward in his seat, his jaw clenched as he tries to remain as unaffected as possible, although a neutral expression can’t hide the way he shifts in his seat.
She runs her tongue up her lolly, her eyes on Simon, when he abruptly stands, walking hastily toward her. She grins, holding out her hand and he grabs it, jerking her to her feet and leading her to the door. She tosses her lolly in the trash by the door, giggling slightly as Simon leads her down the stairs and right for one of the supply rooms. He swiftly locks the door and she grins as he gropes at her blindly.
"You don't want the showers this time?" she breathes as Simon nips at her neck, pushing her against the shelves.
The showers were a new discovery for them. It was nothing new at the flat, but being early for community service one morning had Alisha convincing him to test out the showers. They had figured out if they turned the other showers on, they could carry on without anyone hearing. She hopes Kelly doesn’t figure that out, she didn’t want to share the area, that would be gross.
"Too far," he grunts, unzipping her jumpsuit. He pushes her top open, his mouth falling on her collarbone before licking a line down between her breasts. "Did you throw away the ice lolly?"
"Mmm," she closes her eyes, gripping at the back of his hair as he squeezes her breasts. "Why?"
"I wanted to lick some of that off your tits."
Her eyes widen in surprise and she lifts his head up from her chest. This was new, she wasn’t used to Simon vocalizing so soon, he usually waits until they’re way into it to start voicing wants and needs. This she can work with. "Really?" he nods, swallowing hard. "Simon," she continues with an excited laugh. "It'll be sticky."
He leans his forehead against hers, his lips brushing against hers. "I guess I'll have to make sure I clean you off."
"We have to go shopping before we go home tonight," she says breathlessly as her hands slide down his body and he nods, slamming his lips against hers.
Something happens around mid-way through their shagging and she can’t say it’s an accident. It’s been something she’s tried every so often while they were doing it and Simon always catches her. She can’t help it, if it was there for the taking, she had to experiment, what did he expect?
Simon moans against her neck as she rolls her hips against his when her eyes suddenly open and she’s zooming, flying, going through that stupid tunnel and then...darkness. No, she’s lifting her head and she’s staring at her own curls. Her own face, mouth slack for a moment before tensing as her chest heaves. She’s leaning forward, her mouth on her own jaw and- this is so weird, no, fun- her head falls back-
She gasps as she zooms back into her own vision and her head jerks forward. She sees Simon eying her as he slows his hips into a torturing grind. "Don’t do that," he pants. "It’s weird."
Alisha tightens her hold on his hips, coaxing him deeper inside her. "It’s fun."
A smile plays on his lips, then. He tightens his grip on her thighs, rocking his hips against hers. "You get off on watching yourself," he says breathlessly, pressing his forehead against hers.
"Get off on watching you," she grins, kissing him.
A loud bang damn near gives Alisha a heart attack and she screams as Simon jumps, nearly shielding her. The banging continues and it takes a second for her to realizing it’s someone knocking hard on the door.
"What!" she yells, her hand clutching at Simon’s hair and holding him still before he could pull away from her.
"You two have been in there forever!" Rudy shouts at them. "We need someone to watch me and Curtis race!"
Simon groans, his head dropping to Alisha’s shoulder and she inhales sharply. "Get. Kelly." she says through gritted teeth.
"I don’t think I’m going to do that, she’s very scary! Hurry up, we have the wheelchairs ready!"
Alisha glances down at Simon, who is still frozen against her. "I guess we should-" she gasps loudly as he jerks his hips, his mouth opening against her neck. "Really?" she giggles, her mouth falling on his jaw as he starts to move harder. She exhales sharply, biting back a moan. "Okay, okay..."
"We get a new probation worker, we’re changing groups," Simon grunts, a groan escaping him as she digs her nails into his shoulder.
Then, outside the door-
"Simon! We need a ref!"
"Fuck off!" Simon barks, glaring at the door behind him.
Alisha buries her face against Simon’s neck, biting back a laugh as silence meets Simon’s yell. Then-
"You're rude, that’s what you are! You’re supposed to be my mate!"
Alisha finally laughs as Rudy’s voice fades away as he stomps off. "Simon."
Simon shakes his head, giving Alisha a look. "He needed to leave, I’m busy."
"That's hot," she whispers, her mouth brushing against his as he smiles.
* * *
"I'd rather be lonely," Alisha sings quietly along with the song on her iPod, bouncing impatiently and chewing on her gum as people walk past her, some looking past her to the shop window behind her. At least no one was trying to talk to her. "Than to lose you..."
Kelly was taking fucking forever in the store. Her mum wanted a new skirt, not the whole fucking store, she had already been in there for five songs too long. She was giving Kelly ‘til the end of this one song to get out or she was leaving her. She had to buy a dress and run home to shower before meeting her parents and Simon for dinner. She, to her surprise, finds herself not wanting to miss it.
"I'd rather be blue, than to be all alone..."
She gasps as a woman bumps into her and she forces back a curse as the woman’s bag falls to the ground. She leans over, helping the elderly woman pick up her belongings.
"Thank you, darling," the woman says, giving her a smile. The grin fades as the woman gets a good look at Alisha’s face.
Alisha glances around, as if the woman could be looking at anyone else, before turning back to the woman. "What."
The older woman shakes her head. "You have such old, sad eyes," she gives Alisha a knowing look. "Lived a couple of lifetimes, huh?"
"What?" Alisha says suddenly, her voice sharp. No, this was just too weird for her. Simon could handle weird and crazy, she can not. This woman needed to just leave her the fuck alone and Kelly needed to hurry the fuck up before she just completely went mental. "What are you talking about?"
The woman’s smile fades at Alisha’s icy tone and she reaches for Alisha’s wrist, flinching when Alisha jerks out of her grasp. "It was nothing, dear. You just look like you’ve lived several lives. In your eyes. It’s just an expression. They’re very sad."
"Sad?" Alisha laughs, almost-bitterly, glancing at the sky. "Fucking hell, I always get the crazies. You don’t fucking know anything about me...just fuck off."
She doesn’t allow the guilt to fill her, refuses to give this woman a chance to make sense. She’s not hearing any of it. All of that fucking time travel bullshit has right messed her up and all she can think of now are all the pictures on her mystery man’s wall, all the fucking pictures, and that voice- that fucking voice- in the back of her head asks, very softly, how many times has he gone back?
Now, she’s fucking angry. She’s scared and angry. Fuck this old bint and her fucking expressions.
The old woman starts to speak and Alisha swiftly shoves her earbuds back in her ears, giving the woman a scowl. "I'm just a prisoner," she sings, loud enough to make it quite clear she was done talking to that old hag. Her eyes narrow as the woman attempts to talk once more. "Just a prisoner," she sings, louder now. "I done tried, I done tried and..." she trails off, glaring at the woman as she walks away. "I can't live without him..."
Alisha jumps as she feels someone tug on her purse and she spins around, coming face to face with Kelly. "Kelly!"
Kelly frowns playfully, confused as Alisha yanks her earbuds out of her ears. "Who’d ya think it was? Who was that?'
Alisha lets out a huff as she eyes the elderly woman, walking slowly across the street. "Some nutter," she mumbles, shoving her ipod in her purse. "Come on, I need to buy a dress."
"Sorry I took so long, Seth called and I guess I lost track-" Kelly cuts herself off as she looks at Alisha, her brow furrowing. "Ya sure you’re okay?"
"Fucking yes," Alisha snaps, jerking the strap of her purse over her shoulder. "Hurry up, I’m going to be late."
* * *
A grin plays on Alisha’s face as she checks her phone, reading the text from Simon.
I look forward to tonight. x
Tonight was a night in. She had an idea to have ice cream for dinner and to her surprise, Simon had agreed to it. And he was obviously looking forward to it, complete with a rare ‘x’ of a kiss. Slowly but surely, he was going to come out of his shell completely. He has already come so far. And it was going to be fun, she had even bought a load of syrup and sprinkles and flavors...they were going to have a wonderful time.
She shoves her phone into the pocket of her jumpsuit, shaking her head as the smile on her face grows. She never, ever would’ve pictured herself and Simon properly and happily domesticated together like a normal couple. It was just perfect. She has never been happier and the smiles have been on Simon’s face more frequently in the past couple of days. They were happy.
Sometimes she wonders if she and Simon could just pack up and leave their town and everything behind. Run away. What they were running from, she still isn’t exactly sure. Very quickly, she rids the ugly thought from her mind. She is in a happy place, she doesn’t need the depression.
A sigh escapes Alisha as she lifts the water bottle, shooting a spray of water on the glass of the office door before halfheartedly wiping at it with her rag. Fuck, she must be bored if she was voluntarily cleaning. They all were, it has gotten to that point and she never would’ve thought they would actually desire someone telling them what to do.
Alisha had another nightmare the night before, and this one had scared her more than the others.
She was alone in this one. A tub of water had sat in the center of the flat, filled to the top. The tub was tarnished and old as she knelt down in front of it, looking in. Her reflection in the clear water, staring back at her. She had inhaled deeply and thrown her head under the water, gripping the edge as she opened her mouth and screamed. Then she was lunging up and she was suddenly in front of a mirror, staring at her own reflection and she blinked when two, three of her appeared. She blinked again and her eyes were black, and one more blink and her reflection smiled at her, even though she wasn’t smiling at all, a slow horror building in her and she had brought her fist up, slamming it into the glass.
She had woke with a gasp that was loud enough to wake Simon and he was so used to her nightmares by now, he had just sleepily wrapped his arm around her waist, pulling her to him. It was only when she kept shaking that she felt him tense and his lips press against her forehead and she quickly had pretended to be asleep so he wouldn’t begin his interrogation.
God, she was so sick of having weird shit happen to her.
Alisha jumps as a hand slams against the glass and then Rudy’s head pokes in the room. He gives Alisha a grin, pulling the plastic spoon from his mouth. "Daydreaming, are we?"
Alisha’s eyes narrow and she lifts the spray bottle, shooting water in Rudy’s face. "Fuck off."
He gives her a dirty look before stepping back out of the room and she sighs, throwing the rag and bottle on the couch before walking out of the office. She moves hurriedly toward the stock room, needing to talk to Simon when she slams right into Rudy.
She groans, rolling her eyes. "Watch where you’re-" she freezes as she sees the flinch on Rudy’s face at her voice and she points at him. "Other Rudy," he nods sadly and she sighs, crossing her arms over her chest. "What’s happened?"
"A runner came around, very pretty girl," he mumbles, burying his hands in his pockets. "Lovely face, quite beautiful eyes..." he trails off, giving her a frown. "He told me to wait here."
Alisha’s eyes narrow as she glances over other Rudy’s shoulder at the prick that is the other Rudy, or Rudy the first, or whatever the fuck, she doesn’t know. He is definitely talking to a pretty young woman, all boisterous and bloody annoying. She glances at other Rudy, sighing. Spilling her heart out to Simon was going to have to be forgotten for the moment. "Wait here."
She inhales sharply, stomping over to Rudy and the runner girl. "Rudy!" she says shrilly, stopping in between the two. "How..." she pauses, forcing a sharp, angry tinge to her voice. "How could you! After you gave me herpes- you said that slag was the last!"
She smiles as the runner gives Rudy a look before turning and rushing away. Rudy turns to Alisha, an indignant look on his face as he opens his mouth and she stabs a finger in his face, silencing him. "You better be fucking nicer to your other half from now on, you hear me? I’m sick of seeing him mope about the fucking community centre. Get it together."
Alisha nods at Rudy’s stunned silence, turning and stomping away. She slows as she sees the slight, happy smile on other Rudy’s face and she grins, giving him a quick nod before moving for the stock rooms.
She freezes at the sight of Curtis and Simon standing at the hallway, both staring at her oddly. A smile plays on her face as she pushes past them. "I want a Cornetto..."
Simon turns, watching her go. "Herpes?"
* * *
There are moments when she realizes Simon really does know and love her, and those moments are the ones that Alisha begins to appreciate the most.
One lunchtime when they had began their community service stuck in her head, a memory she replays over and over when she’s alone and in thought. She and Simon sat at the lunch table, Alisha sitting on the table and Simon on the bench beneath her, both silent as they finished off the last of their drinks. The words came out of her, swift and clumsy-
"I like it when we’re just quiet. Like this. You and me."
He had smiled up at her shyly before nodding. "Me too."
She had shrugged, tensing when Simon had reached over, taking her hand in his. "It’s nice. You and me, together. I don’t feel like I have to bullshit with you," he had kept staring at her lovingly, his thumb stroking the back of her hand, and she had to look away, his gaze too intense for her at that moment. "I get scared sometimes. Like I’m going to fuck this all up."
"I'd fuck this up before you did," Simon had said with a faint laugh.
"Don't," Alisha shook her head, rubbing at her eyes when she feels those fucking annoying tears start to build. "Don’t fuck around. I’m trying...I’m trying. I’m trying to be-"
Simon’s grin had faded as her voice trembled and he had tightened his hold on her hand before she could pull away. "I'll be serious. I'm listening," he had said quickly. "Talk."
As soon as Alisha had opened her mouth, they had heard Rudy’s loud and clear- "Hello, my lovelies! What are you lovebirds-" Rudy had stopped short as Alisha avoided his gaze and his brow had furrowed in concern. "Are you all right, love?"
"She's fine," Simon had interjected. "Please leave."
Rudy took a step forward, his head tilting as he tried to look at Alisha. "She doesn’t look fine, does she. What’s the matter-"
"Leave," Simon had said sharply, his tone making it very clear that this was the last time he was going to say it. "Now."
Alisha had inhaled deeply, her jaw clenching as Rudy had quietly walked away. She had turned to Simon, rubbing at the corners of her eyes. "When I was fourteen, this prick in my class said I was only worth keeping around if my legs were open," she laughed, shaking her head. "I was in love with him...you and Curtis were the first guys who actually, you know." she sighed, glancing at the sky. "I shouldn’t have said anything, it’s not the fucking issue. Just forget it."
Simon had nodded, kissing the back of Alisha’s hand. "There’s nothing you could do to fuck this up, other than..." he frowned. "Killing my family or something. I wonder every day what you’re doing with me. Every day."
She licked her lips, giving him a grin. "You’re just saying that."
"You're worth everything to me," he said seriously. "I would give up everything I had for you."
Alisha had laughed, not knowing what else to do. She touched the side of his face, forcing a smile on her face. "Wanna hear about when I got my hair stuck in a pencil sharpener? I was five." He had grinned, nodding, and she had straightened up in her seat, beginning her story.
There was something about that memory that had stuck with her, weeks later. And she is sure this evening would join that memory, if just for the silliness of it. After all the baby and cock drama, it was a nice end to the day.
Alisha creeps up behind Simon in the locker room, watching as he remains bent over his messenger bag, probably checking to make sure Rudy hasn’t taken anything from it. She stands behind him, giving his arse a quick squeeze and laughing when he straightens up with a jerk. "Hiya!"
He gives her a grin before turning back to his bag. "Hey."
"Now, I don’t want you to think this is some sort of prize for saving Rudy’s cock," she starts and Simon freezes, glancing over his shoulder at her. She bites back a smile at the amused look on his face before continuing. "Look at what I made you," she holds up the bright purple paper flower as he turns, placing it in his hand. "I was bored and it’s super girly and I can’t believe I did it, but there you are."
Simon twirls the paper flower in his fingers before looking to Alisha. "You made a bunch of these with Mel, didn’t you."
She groans, stomping her foot. "Yes! Curtis won’t take them and I can’t get rid of them, Simon. We did the whole bundle."
He chuckles, placing the paper flower in her hair, behind her ear. "I almost believed that story. Almost."
She frowns, poking at his back as he returns his attention to his bag. "I really did miss you, you know. You were gone all day."
"Gone all day saving Rudy’s cock..." Simon trails off, zipping up his bag and giving Alisha a sidelong glance. “It really isn’t the kind of adventures a superhero should be having.”
Her smile falters slightly and she shakes her head, looking at him. She ignores the superhero comment, tilting her head as she grins flirtatiously at him. "Did you miss me?"
"Every time you’re not with me."
She feels her cheeks flush at his soft response and for a moment, she feels silly. She knows Simon isn’t shooting off some line, he’s just speaking his mind and still, she gets rather flustered. It immediately changes the shift of their conversation and she shakes her head again, tugging at his denim jacket. "You could’ve just said yes," she mumbles.
Simon’s arm wraps around Alisha’s back and he pulls her into a quick hug. "Yes," he says seriously. "I missed you."
Alisha grins up at him, hopping on her toes and leaving a quick kiss on his cheek. "Let’s get pizza for dinner."
He returns the smile, nodding as she leads him out of the locker room. "We’re still not having those paper flowers all over the flat," his smile grows as she lets out a whine. "Just throw them out!"
"I worked hard on them, we’re hanging them in the flat."
"No, we’re not."
Alisha gasps as Simon grasps her hand, hitting his chest with her free hand. "I’ll give them to Rudy! He’ll have to take them. Because of his cock," she laughs as Simon shakes his head. "What?" he licks his lips, biting back a smile as he remains stubbornly silent. She grins, throwing her arms around his waist. "Fine, I’ll throw them out."
* * *
Simon lets out a huff as Alisha takes a running leap on their bed, nearly jumping on top of him as the flat lights start to turn off. "Easy."
"Sorry," she says with a laugh, touching the side of his face before resting beside him. "Today was a long day."
"Mm," he sits up, feeling around the bed. "Have you seen my phone?"
"I think I fell on it," Alisha lifts her hips, feeling on the sheets. She produces the phone with a triumphant smile, holding it out. Her smile fades as he takes the phone, glancing at it. "Y’know, maybe being a super hero wouldn’t be so bad," she blurts out as Simon lays down next to her. "I mean, we did it today. Just saved the world."
His eyebrows rise in amusement and a certain surprise. "Are you seriously considering it?"
She shrugs. “I don’t know..." she trails off, glancing at him. "I mean, we saved the world, babe. Fucking zombies! I feel like a proper superhero."
"You enjoyed it," he says with a laugh as he fumbles with his phone. "Hold on."
"What are you doing?"
"I have to record this."
Alisha gives Simon a look as he turns on the bedside lamp before pointing his phone at her. "You would..."
He glances at her over his camera. "Go on, say it."
She bites back a smile as Simon pulls himself up over her so the phone is right over her face. "Yes, I enjoyed saving the world," she drones with a roll of her eyes. "It was brilliant and I wouldn’t mind if it happened again."
Simon smiles wide, glancing at her. "You’re the bigger person here."
"No shit," she says with a faint laugh, resting her hands on her stomach. After a moment, she fidgets, playing with the drawstring of her pajama pants. "Do you think this is how it always was? With us?"
He looks up from his phone screen. "What?"
"This time travel bullshit...do you think that’s it?"
Simon shakes his head slowly. "No...it had to begin naturally somehow. I don’t think we could’ve just jumped into it. Something had to start it."
She inhales deeply, looking up at him through his camera. "Still think we’re worth it?"
He smiles, then. "Always."
Alisha gathers herself up on her elbows, staring at the camera. "I love you, babe," she says quietly before blowing a kiss at the camera. She is serious for a moment, letting the moment hold between them before letting out a laugh, shaking her head. "Turn that shit off."
Simon reclines beside her and turns off the lamp. He silently plays with the phone for a moment before the darkness is disrupted by the soft glow of Simon’s phone. Alisha’s voice fills the space between them, sounding small and far away-
"I love you, babe."
Alisha lets out a groan, covering the phone with her hand. He moves it out of her grasp and she swipes at his arm. "You need to delete that now."
"One more time," he murmurs, his eyebrows rising as a pleased smirk plays on his lips.
"I love you-"
Simon lowers the phone, giving Alisha a sidelong glance. "It’s gone. Happy?"
"Very," she kisses him quickly before resting her head on his shoulder. She smiles as she feels Simon kiss the top of her head. "Night, Simon."
"Good night, Alisha."
* * *
Alisha runs through the corridor of the school, jerking to a stop by each door. She listens for moment and when silence meets her, she takes off in a run again. Her trainers squeak on the linoleum and she tries to be light on her feet like Simon is, he can run now without making a sound. She has to channel that part of him in her so that little shit couldn’t hear her, she couldn’t help her mates if he hears her.
After the zombie debacle, for some reason Curtis had done a search, wanting to know where Nikki’s organs were donated. He instead found a teacher who had also gotten a heart transplant...from someone who had had the power of force. Simon said it was some force field- no, no, he had changed his mind- it was a form of telekinesis? No, a force field. Whatever- the fucker could move shit, air, anything.
The teacher had a temper and couldn’t control his power. He had injured Seth when he refused to trade the power. Seth had gotten much more cautious since the ex-girlfriend problem and he had paid for it with a concussion. Kelly, of course, was ready to kill and dragged them all with her to the school where the bloke worked.
The man was ready for them, he knew Seth would have backup. The confrontation escalated quickly and Simon was thankfully smart enough to shove Alisha out of the classroom before the doors slammed shut. There had been loud bangs, shouts, she could hear Curtis yelling at Simon and then the door flew open as Curtis was thrown out and she had nearly leaped out of the way, letting out a yell as Curtis hit the lockers.
She made sure Curtis was still alive before taking off just as the guy walked out of the classroom, turning a corner just as a gust of something- air? energy? She didn’t fucking know- rushed at her and nearly knocked her off her feet. She had ducked into a closet, waiting.
After a couple of minutes of silence, she had slowly stepped out of the closet, thankful that they had changed into their regular clothes before confronting this prick. The orange jumpsuits would’ve made her get caught right quick.
Her goal was to get her mates safe and out of there. That’s all. But she had a plan.
She slips into a classroom, quietly shutting the door behind her. She quickly calls Seth and as soon as he picks up, she whispers the school address, adding, "We’re all in deep shit. You need to come here and take this guy’s power. No trade, just take it."
Seth agrees and she hangs up. She waits for a couple of more minutes as she hears movement and shouting outside the door. Clearly Kelly, then Rudy, and that was good, it meant they were all still alive.
When silence takes over, she carefully slips out of the classroom once more. She takes off running, looking for the teacher and her friends. She didn’t know how far she had run the first time, she wished she had paid attention when they first walked in.
Then, she hears Simon, off in a nearby classroom. "Just leave them. If you don’t want this power, you don’t have to keep it. I’ll call the dealer and you can have my power. We’ll trade."
Alisha glances around, catches the small fire extinguisher in its case against the wall. She takes it out slowly and carefully, listening to the conversation. She could hear Kelly, then Simon, then the man, yelling at them both. Then Rudy, and a bang and then Rudy was silent. This guy was angry. There was no way they were going to get out without Seth doing what he had to do.
She crouches beside a still unconscious Curtis, resting her hand on his forehead. He stirs slightly and she quickly steps away from him, gripping the fire extinguisher tightly.
Inside the classroom, Simon’s eyes lift as he spots Alisha outside and he quickly looks back to the teacher, starting to move around a desk. The man shouts at him to stay still and Simon’s still moving, what the fuck is he doing?
Then, the man is in front of the door. Oh.
She approaches the man slowly, lifting up her weapon.
The teacher’s yelling about some bullshit, there’s always a story with these guys, and she decides she’s had enough, slamming the fire extinguisher against the back of his head. The man crumbles to the floor and she drops the weapon, nearly jumping over his body and for Simon.
He embraces her briefly, glancing down at the guy. "Is he dead?"
Kelly checks for the man’s pulse, shaking her head. "No. We should give him a slap, though."
"We're not slapping him," Simon says firmly.
"I called Seth," Alisha blurts out. "He’s coming. To take his power away."
Simon glances at Alisha, pride in his eyes. "You’re like a proper superhero."
She finally smiles, glancing at the floor and feeling just a bit shy. "Shut up."
In under twenty minutes, it was done. Seth arrives and takes the power from the still knocked out man. They make sure the man is still breathing before Simon places an emergency call to report an unconscious man in a school. The group gathers Curtis and they leave as quick as they can, hearing the sirens getting closer.
Later, she and Simon find themselves at Curtis’ flat, Simon telling her they needed to make sure he was taken care of, just in case. She’s still impressed with how quick Simon is, as he tells Curtis’ mum that Curtis had taken a fall at the bar, had hit his head, and they were his friends and just making sure he was all right.
When the story seems to flow with Curtis’ mum, Simon and Alisha make their swift exits, neither wanting to be questioned extensively by anyone. They get dinner and continue their night like normal, like they hadn’t just been in a life-threatening situation, like they hadn’t just did some seriously weird shit.
Just another day in their lives.
Alisha waits until they’re in the flat to say what had been on her mind since she hit the teacher with the fire extinguisher. "Do you think Seth will trade me that bloke’s power?"
Simon manages to look surprised for only a moment, quickly regaining a neutral expression as he takes off his jacket. "Possibly. Why?"
She shrugs. "Getting sick of this sight bullshit," she nods as she plays with the flat key on the chain around her neck. "I’m ready for the big toys."
He smiles at her and she’s almost startled by the warmth and adoration in his eyes then. "We’ll ask next time we see him?"
Alisha nods, lowering her eyes as the intensity of his gaze gets her nearly flustered. She lifts her head after a moment, giving Simon a grin. "Sounds like a plan."
* * *
It physically hurts, watching Sally kissing Simon. She feels her stomach clench, her heart pounding, her head hurting. The tears are in her eyes before she can stop them and she quickly shuts her phone and throws it on the sink counter, refusing to watch anymore.
She feels dizzy and like she’s about to vomit but of course, she doesn’t, just continues to stand there. She stands there like a twat, staring at the space where her phone had been. He had been gone all day, just disappeared without saying anything. She had looked for him and had been concerned and kind of hurt that he would leave without telling her. She was worried something had happened and he was with Sally. Fucking Sally.
Simon was always a good liar, a good secret-keeper. This shouldn’t be a surprise.
No. No, that wasn’t true. She couldn’t even think through her shock, her anger, her devastation. It doesn’t make any sense. Out of everyone, this was the last thing she expects from Simon. He loves her. She trusts him.
Sally was in their bed and on top of Simon.
In their bed.
Alisha inhales sharply, lunging for the sink and the vomit comes up. She coughs and hacks into the sink until her chest is burning and there’s nothing left but the tears coming down her face. She lifts her head, weakly turning the faucet on as she stares at her reflection. Her heart is pounding and as she wipes at her mouth, she grows angry at the tears running down her face.
She was going to kill him.
* * *
Simon watches as Alisha slowly peels off her jumpsuit, keeping his eyes locked on hers. He reaches over with his free hand, turning on the shower behind him before facing her once more, a hint of a smile on his lips as he approaches her. His gaze was so intense, focused entirely on her and she nearly gets nervous from the heat of it.
She turns on the next shower as he backs her closer to the wall, his thumb running over her cheek. "I’m so sorry," he says softly.
Alisha shakes her head, her hands sliding up his chest. "It doesn’t matter anymore."
"I love you so much."
She nods, her mouth twitching with everything she wants to tell him as she looks up at him. How much she loves him, how hurt she was, how she had felt like she was about to die after seeing that video, how much she didn’t want to die when Sally nearly pushed her over, how much she needs him, how much she never wanted to have something like that happen again. How much she never wanted to leave him again.
Finally, she settles on, "I love you."
Simon nods in return and Alisha’s hands wrap around the back of his neck. She pulls his head down, capturing his mouth with hers. Her hand moves down his body, running over his chest and stomach before she’s stroking him, smiling against his mouth when he lets out a slight moan. She trembles as his hands move down her body, his thumbs hooking in the band of her knickers and he’s kissing down her body as he slides her knickers off her hips, down her thighs and knees. Her fingers curl in his hair as he kisses her hip before moving up her body, but not before licking a line up the skin of her neck.
"I love you," he whispers against her cheek, letting out a shuddering breath. "I love you."
"Prove it," she says, her eyes locking on his. Simon nods, crouching down as he grasps her thigh with one hand, the other supporting her back as he lifts her on his hips. Their lips meet once more, a slow and deep kiss that gets her grasping at his back as he carefully walks them to the wall.
Her back hits the cool wall and her hands move from his back to the pipes along the walls, holding on for support. His blue eyes lock on hers and oh God, she fucking loves him.
* * *
People say your life flashes before your eyes when you're dying. That's bullshit. Only some moments flash. Mostly, you think. A lot. You think about regrets, about the people you love.
Seconds feel like forever, to be honest.
The first thing that goes through her head is ow . Fucking seriously. Ow . Then confusion over the horror on Kelly's face, and then the realization that her fucking throat has been sliced open and then there's Simon, always Simon, holding her as she feels her body give out on her.
She thinks about her mum. Her dad. Oh, God, she wants her daddy.
Curtis. Kelly. Fucking Nathan. Rudy. Simon.
Simon's crying. She's sure there's more going on around her but at the moment, all she can see is Simon sobbing. He's saying something, yelling something, but she can't focus. It’s like she’s muted the television and he’s frantic, all she wants to do is tell him to shut the fuck up and calm down but she can’t focus enough to do it.
Her hand grasps at his jumpsuit and she feels the warm stickiness of her own blood on her hands and down her chest and into her own jumpsuit. She's trying to speak, trying to talk to Simon, she has to tell him-
Don't do it. Don't do it. Don't go back. Don't go. You promised.
Her vision is hazy now. Blurry. But she can still see Simon, his face contorted in pain. This is really happening. She was so sure they had beat it.
They had been so happy seconds before. Fucking destiny.
God, she is so fucking angry. She had fucking plans. She had a fucking birthday party to go to, Jen wasn’t going to get her gift. She wasn’t going to get a new power. She wasn’t going to get that new job. She wasn’t going to finish community service. She was never going to be Mrs. Bailey-Bellamy. She was never going to see another episode of any show. She was never going to buy that pair of earrings she wanted. She was never going to celebrate another birthday.
She is never going to do anything ever again.
She is so fucking scared.
As things begin to dim, Alisha realizes that Simon's promises mean nothing. He’s going to go back in time for her somehow. She can already see it in his eyes. He won’t be able to take it. He won’t be able to live without her. He won’t want to live. His promises are bullshit.
When you die, there's a lot of those bullshit emotions going on, but there are some strong, overwhelming ones.
Fear. Then acceptance. Then peace.
It's almost dark now and Alisha can't bring herself to be pissed off at Simon. Fucking destiny.
Before she fades away, one thing flashes through her mind, over and over, and she hopes he can see it in her eyes.
I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I love you I lo
Chapter 10: These patient eyes wait for yours to land on mine and rest your head for just the time it takes to kiss your face one time
Was it all worth it? Were they worth it? Was she worth it? Yes. For eternity, yes.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
So the countdown begins.
The shift in reverse isn’t painful, it feels like he’s drunk too much for maybe five seconds. He sees his friends from above, can’t really see their faces but he remembers that day all too well, like it was yesterday. He can hear Alisha, watches her move about and he wishes she would look up so he could see her face, but of course she won’t.
He takes Seth’s hand willingly. The sooner he gets the immunity, the sooner he’ll be able to be with Alisha again.
Simon thinks a lot. He has a lot of time to think now.
He thinks as he renovates the flat, cleaning and putting the clocks and Polaroids up. Thinks about how upset he is that he has to miss his sister’s party, that he’ll never see her grow up in this version of events. He thinks about the e-mail he wrote to his mum, some lie that he and Alisha were running away and not to look for them, he thinks of how heartbroken she will be but it has to be this way. He thinks as he watches his sister walking home from school, how much he misses her and his parents. He only follows his sister once, just one last glimpse. He couldn’t afford to lose track of what he was meant to do. He says a silent goodbye to her and moves on.
He thinks as he takes a break from his parkour practices, his mind is always working. Sweaty and aching and dead-tired and lonely, his mind is always turning and racing.
He thinks about his mates, now in the future, now going on without him and Alisha. He hopes they’re all right, hopes they’ll be able to take care of themselves. He allows himself some bitterness then, knowing they’ll keep on with their lives, will probably forget about them eventually and move on like he and Alisha had never existed. He supposed they no longer did, not in the future, anyway.
Curtis had tried to stop him from doing it, from leaving. Kelly had stared at him and he could tell she had wanted to say something but she didn’t, not in the end. But Curtis...Curtis spoke up. If anyone was going to understand, it would be Curtis and Simon knew he should’ve expected it.
"You're just going to leave?" Curtis had asked grimly as they waited on the community centre roof for Rudy and Kelly to arrive. "Just gonna go? What if you weren’t meant to?"
"I have to," he had responded quietly. "For Alisha."
"Man, just stay. It’ll be all right, look at me. Just stay."
"Look at you?" Simon had said, his eyes narrowing. "You’re only living without Nikki because you have no other choice. I can change this."
"What if you just go back to right before...right before?"
"No. Then there will be two of me and it’ll just mess up everything. I have to go back further."
"This is a mistake."
"If you could do it," Simon had shot back firmly. "You would, in an instant."
Curtis had been silent for a moment, clearly considering Simon’s words. Then, he had finally nodded, meeting Simon’s gaze. "Save her, man."
Late at night, he lays on his side, staring at the clocks as they tick, staring at the blurs of photographs on the walls. He thinks of the past, which will soon be his future. He thinks of how to change it all, if it will really change anything. There are some nights he can’t take it and he gets up, covering the clocks with sheets until the flat is completely dark.
He thinks as he lays in bed, staring into the darkness. Sometimes he turns to a girl that’s no longer there.
Simon has nightmares. He dreams of Alisha’s death constantly, of himself dying. Nightmares that get him screaming himself awake. Sometimes he’s able to go back to sleep after composing himself, able to sleep without dreaming. Sometimes he is so shaken he just sits, frozen, and cries. He can’t get the images out of his head- of Alisha’s scared eyes, the blood gushing from the gaping wound on her throat, the blood dribbling from her mouth, the way her eyes went blank right before she died. He had watched as her life slipped from her. She had just died.
He can’t forget it. He won’t forget it.
He had tested his new power on Kelly early one day before the community centre opened. Walked right past her on the estate, his hood over his head, thinking.
It's Simon, Kelly. Turn around. Turn around.
She continued smoking her cigarette, oblivious to his thoughts. Oblivious to him.
Simon’s not entirely prepared. He is taken by surprise as he walks away from Kelly, taken in by Alisha’s voice, shrill and giggling and echoing from the lower level.
Alisha walks beneath him toward the community center and he gasps in surprise when she looks up suddenly and stares right at him. He’s glad his face is obscured by the orange hood as he ducks away but can’t stop that stab of pain in his chest. Almost starts hyperventilating as he slides down the wall and to the ground. Almost has a panic attack. He has to cover his ears then, tries to shut her out as she yells something across the estate.
And just like that, he remembered all the little moments that he had cherished. Not the big moments, but the small ones. The important ones.
The kisses. The laughter from her lips. The intoxicating looks. The hand-holding. The conversations. The fights. The all-consuming, suffocating love. The way her skin felt. The way her hair felt. The way she tasted. The way she made him feel with a smile or a look. All of it.
It moves him forward.
He hadn’t taken that much with him when he went in reverse. The black outfit. The Polaroids left behind by the other him. Sweatpants, tanks, shoes, the basics. And of course, the picture of him and Alisha in Vegas. It’s all he needs.
The old Polaroids go up, not in the center but off on the top and to the sides of the clocks. Out of view but as a reminder. He examines those pictures, notices that not all of them are from their community service. He had no idea why he hadn’t noticed that before. Alisha looks different in some of the photos. Longer hair and slightly older in some, she’s even in a car in one, a picture he doesn’t remember ever looking at. He wonders if Alisha hid these from him. He almost feels betrayed. Almost.
He watches that Rachel girl hoard followers and for just a moment, he’s tempted to follow her home and just kill her, get rid of her before she can harm anyone else. Before she can harm Alisha any further. Of course he doesn’t. That’s not why he’s here, he thinks. It can’t be, he’s here for a bigger purpose. Alisha.
He steals a bike and goes, racing down the estate. The past- present?- him runs and leaves Nathan with the brainwashed cult of people. He saves Nathan for what won’t be the last time and gets great pleasure in throwing him off the bike before racing off.
It’s all coming together.
Simon follows Alisha home, makes sure she stays safe. He starts to obsess about her all over again. He thinks about her constantly, wants to have her by his side again. He wants to just hold her, simply hold her. It eats at him. The desire, the need, the desperation. Some things never change.
He starts taking more pictures. Of places. Of the group. And Alisha. Always Alisha. They all go up on the walls. The photos surround the clocks, and he always makes sure the ones of Alisha are the ones closest to the clocks so he can see them clearly in his line of vision.
Soon her pictures cover the walls of the flat. Sometimes he just sits there, staring at her frozen smile, her beautiful eyes. Sometimes her image makes him smile. Sometimes the sight of her stirs something familiar enough in him to wank off to certain memories until he is ashamed and wanting to punish himself. Sometimes he touches the photos when he misses her too much and he allows himself to break down and cry until his head and chest hurts. It haunts him. She haunts him.
He thinks he’s losing his mind again. The flat is too big and too empty without her. One night he stares at her photos, stares at her sad eyes, stares at her eyes lit up with joy, he just stares at her. He stares until his vision becomes blurry with tears and it’s then he hears her, loud and clear-
"Fucking hell, Simon. I hate waiting..."
He clutches the photo in his hand, his jaw clenching as he responds tersely, "I’m coming, Alisha."
Simon snaps out of it as soon as he hears his own voice echo in the empty flat. The last thing he needed was to start mumbling to himself. But he does allow himself some moments of weakness right before he sleeps for two or three hours. Always, "Good night, Alisha" and he foolishly hopes she can hear him in her room in her own flat.
Sometimes he wishes he hadn’t deleted that video of her, of her telling him she loved him. But he knows it was for the best, he wouldn’t be able to take having that reminder there.
The obsession grows. He watches her, follows her, yearns to hear her laughter and on the occasions that he does, it’s like a shot of adrenaline and a stab through the heart. With each passing day, he becomes more and more determined, more and more convinced that he’s doing what he has to do. It’s better this way, really. He can’t live without her. He won’t.
"You were...serious. Kind of sad. You were way confident...and you still loved me."
As time passes and the grief transforms into a firm resolve, he becomes calmer. He knows what he has to do. He stares at the clocks in his flat, focusing on each one.
One day convinces him more than the others that this was the right decision. He follows Alisha and Curtis as they walk across the estate, hood over his head as he stares at her, only her. Always her.
He watches as Alisha spins around to talk to Curtis and, for a moment, she is gloriously perfect. Her hair shining bright in the sun, her smile wide as she laughs, the wind blowing her curls over her face. The moment stuns him, stops him in his tracks. In that moment, he sees the Alisha that lays in his heart, the Alisha he had wanted to capture with his camera so many times. That image will stay with him for the remainder of his short life, just as much as all of the other memories.
For a short while, Simon obsesses over destiny, tries to think of ways to change the future. To keep Alisha alive. He entertains the idea of not going through with this, he really does. Of not getting involved, of allowing fate to play out, of leaving Alisha be and hoping for the best. Hoping that she survives and lives a long and happy life without him. But he knows he can’t do that, not this time. It has to happen this way.
And what if he leaves her and she dies anyway? He couldn’t allow that to happen.
He wants nothing more than to touch her. He wants nothing more than to touch and taste her skin again. He wants nothing more than to have her smile in her little secret way at him. He wants nothing more than to just be in her presence once more, to have her love all to himself once again. He just wants her. He misses her so much.
His love for her is overwhelming. It just grows in him, curling and tightening around his heart like a snake until he’s nearly suffocating with it. It’s painful and too much but he wants to bury himself and drown in it. He welcomes the pain because it’s real. His love for her is so real and he would never leave her.
Enough was enough. Now’s the time to jump into action and failure isn’t an option. Soon, Alisha is going to be his again. If he can change their destiny somehow and can save her and them for good, even better. If not...he is going to go out in her arms. Either way, it is going to be one fucking amazing ride, as Alisha would say. Off to the races. As long as it is with Alisha, Simon knows he is going to be all right. They were both going to be all right.
Was it all worth it? Were they worth it? Was she worth it? Yes. For eternity, yes.
Time's about to begin again. He can't wait to relive it all over.
Thank you to everyone who sat and read this long, long fic (and a special thank you to Heather, who sat and held my hand throughout, I couldn't have gotten this done without her). I hope you enjoyed it. :)