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The sounds of Nirvana could be heard down the hallway and down the stairs that led to the basement as Tom unlocked the front door to the house and walked in, luggage in hand. He smiled to himself some. He was glad that their house was in a more secluded part of the neighborhood, where the houses weren’t on top of each other and it set on a couple acres of land. The last thing he wanted after being gone for a while was to come home to police trying to get her attention for blaring music that the old lady down the street considered to be “devil worshipping”. At least it was good music, as far as Tom was concerned.

Dropping his bags off in the foyer, and making a note to drag them up to their bedroom later, Tom made his way into the kitchen. A half empty cup of coffee set on the counter, the k-cup hastily thrown in the trash, like it had been a second thought in someone’s mind on the way to something more important. Tom had to laugh. Especially because he knew that wasn’t the only k-cup in the trash and there had probably been about several consumed before he was even in town.

Tom grabbed a water bottle from the fridge and made his way to the basement door, where he could hear the music clearly. He knew knocking wouldn’t do any good, so he pushed open the door and made his way down to the finished basement where she had her office set up. And by office, it was more like a museum for archaic technology that she just couldn’t bring to let die. That’s why Nirvana’s Nevermind on a turntable.

Tom stood off to the side for a bit, watching her working at her disaster of a desk. She had her glasses on, meaning she had been staring at this work computer for a while now. She had a purple pen in her mouth, making it easy to jot down notes that she didn’t want to add to the programming quite yet. Her short, dark hair was pulled up with a red bandana headband. His beautiful Caia, hard at work. He moved just a bit, and she could see his reflection in her monitor. She dropped her pen and spun in her chair, a smile on her face.

“Tom!” Caia cheered, jumping up, making the chair spin around, and wrapping her arms around him. “Why didn’t you call me? I could’ve greeted you at the door.”

“I figured you were in programmer mode.” Tom chuckled, nodding at the computer where her top secret project was being worked on. Caia laughed some and rubbed the back of her sore neck. She didn’t realize just how long she had been sitting in the same position, staring at the screen, until Tom had snapped her out of her world.

“Well, I missed you.” She smiled at him. He smiled back for a second before closing the space between them and kissing her gently. She closed her eyes, letting her tired eyes rest for a second as she kissed her loving fiancé for the first time in weeks. They would Skype and text, but they hadn’t had the chance to be in the same room as each other for a while. He was off filming and she was working on the next big technological movement. But right now, it was just the two of them.

“God, I missed that. And I missed you.” Tom said softly after they parted. He held her close to him, not wanting to let go of her. He had been away from Caia for too long at this point. But after countless years as friends, four years of dating, and going on three years of being engaged, Tom knew that a little time apart was needed from time to time. Didn’t mean that it hurt any less when he had to be gone for a long period of time.

“Tom, I haven’t showered. I probably stink.” Caia laughed. “Let me clean up and save my progress then we can get some food. Or just go to bed. I’m sure that you probably have a little jet lag.”

“I’m not really sure what I want right now.” Tom said. “But maybe that shower would be a good idea for you.” He made a gesture of fanning a smell away from him, making Caia roll her eyes.

“Hahaha. You’re sooooo funny.” Caia made her way back over to her computer, starting the save process before heading upstairs.

“How is the VR coming?” Tom asked, following her.

“It’s…something.” She said with a sigh. “It’s just taking a lot longer to work out some of the bugs than I thought it would. But I’m going to the lab in a few days and going to try it out, see how well it works before I take it to the board.” Tom smiled, loving to hear her talk about her work. He wasn’t exactly technological friendly, but he knew how much she loved it, watching her get excited over finding the rare gem of an Apple product at a thrift store or finding a floppy disk in a color or design she didn’t have yet. She listened to him go on and on about Shakespeare and she worked through scripts with him, and she set through tennis matches with him, so it was the least he could do. Plus, she had introduced him to many American things that he didn’t ever think he would like, and here they were. A nice little combination of both of their interests under one roof.

“I’m just glad you have a job you love.” He said. “That you finally found what you wanted to do.” There had been a part in their relationship where Caia had had a crisis. Because Tom was doing what he wanted to do with his life, successful and on the way to being the go to actor. And she was still at a crossroads in her life, not sure if she wanted to teach, take up acting, be a homemaker, or what. But technology had always been a big part of her life, and after taking a couple certification classes, she started working at a software company as an assistant, and worked her way up to the development department. Caia Richards, queen of the programmers, as Tom lovingly called her.

“Let me go shower and I’ll take a nap with you. Then food. I need fuel.” She laughed. She had been living on coffee, junk food, and Kickstarts for a few days now. She needed a real meal sometime soon. Even if it was pizza. She just needed something a little better than Cheetos.

“Sounds like a plan.” Tom yawned. He would need a few hours to recharge before he did anything, whether it be eating or having some fun with his sweet Caia. He kissed her again as she made her way towards the stairs to their upstairs master suite, and playfully swatted at her ass.

“Thomas William Hiddleston.” She laughed.

“What? I can’t help it.” He joked. She shook her head and headed to the beautiful master bath while Tom stripped down and climbed into bed. He had planned to stay awake to talk to Caia, but before he knew it, he was drifting off to sleep. By the time Caia got out of the shower, fresh and clean, Tom was already snoring. Caia had to laugh. Mr. Actor claimed he didn’t snore. She shook her head, deciding to record him at another time. She climbed into bed by him. She wasn’t extremely tired, so she checked a few emails, mainly people from her team asking about progress and her friends telling her how excited they were to demo the VR in a few months. Finally, after doing a little reading, she drifted off by Tom, feeling his arms wrapping around her in her sleep.

Chapter Text

Caia was use to little sleep and long nights. What little time she had actually spent at a traditional college saw long hours playing games with friends and browsing the internet. That’s probably why her time there ended and she never went back. So it was no surprise to her that when she woke up, Tom was still fast asleep at her side. She smiled and played with his curls. She loved it when he did movies where they didn’t think they had to straighten his hair. She loved Loki’s hair, but she loved his curls even more. So bouncy and perfect, even though he claimed they made him look like a golden doodle or some other random dog hybrid.

She pulled herself out of the warm place right by Tom’s side under the blankets, wrapped her favorite one around her, and made her way back downstairs. She had a horrible case of dry mouth and knew that her fidgeting waiting for him to wake up would wake him up and he would be a little less than pleasant. Tom was a perfect gentleman unless he was awaken from sleep for a not good reason. She figured that she could get a little work done before he woke up and they got some food. She was hoping that he would just want to order food, because she didn’t feel like putting on outside world clothes. A t-shirt from one of those subscription boxes and a pair of yoga pants were her work from home wardrobe, and it was honestly the wardrobe for many of the people she worked with when she went to the lab.

Grabbing a bottle of juice from the fridge, Caia made her way back down to the basement in her blanket cape. Her progress had saved a while ago and shut down, so while it booted back up, she looked around at her decor. Tom never understood her wall of floppy disks, but he would smile as she would excitedly find one that she didn’t have yet. Tom had his library of books and she would buy him random ones for his collection. He didn’t even care if he already had it and would spend several hours just reorganizing. They both had their thing, and while Caia loved books, she wasn’t as into it as Tom was. Like the day they had went to a flea market and Caia had bought Tom a vintage copy of the works of Shakespeare and she was sure that he was having an orgasm right there in the middle of the place.

The familiar sound of the boot up turned Caia’s attention back to her computer. A picture of her and Tom was her wallpaper. A picture she took at Comic Con where she was dressed Spider-Gwen and she had convinced Tom to dress up as something, which ended up with him donning the makeup of the Crow. Nobody recognized him but he did get quite a few compliments on his costume. It was nice, being able to go out with him and not having a million people and their grandma coming up to him for autographs or to say hi. Someday, she hoped that he’d have more time for her, for them. They could get married finally and have more days like that, where she didn’t have to share him with a studio all the time.

Someday.

She sighed softly as she opened the program. Her work kept her distracted during the times that he was gone and he couldn’t contact her. There were times that phones and computers were banned from sets, because people would take pictures and sell them to tabloid sites that TMZ. She didn’t think Tom would do that, but the studio couldn’t take any risks. Caia just knew she would have to deal with the separation. But that’s why she was working so hard on this world. So that even when he was away, he wasn’t away.

The chirp of a chat box alerted Caia, and she couldn’t help but smile. Much like on Microsoft Word in the early days, where you had a little helper off to the side who would chat to you, Caia’s World, as the program was called, had the same feature. Caia’s were just a little more creative than an annoying paperclip. The box appeared, making Caia smile. When this would be sold to the markets, people could buy packages with characters and people that they could use as their helpers. But Caia’s package was a little bit closer to her heart. She clicked on the drop down box and scanned the list of available helpers, even though she knew who all was there. She programmed them after all. Finally, after a while, and much debating, she clicked the one that she wanted.

“Hello darling. It’s been awhile.” The chat box said as a blonde, curly haired Tom appeared on the screen. Not just any Tom though. It was Magnus Martinsson. Caia always had a thing for the blonde detective. She made a note to tweak the speech function so that the programs could talk to the person that needed help.

“Hello Magnus.” Caia said into the microphone on her headset as she slipped it on. He could hear her, but he didn’t have a voice yet. But he would, in time. Magnus seemed to smile as he chatted with her, keeping her company as she opened the language files. After typing in the right codes and crossing her fingers, Caia spoke up. “Magnus, can you say something?”

“What do you want me to say?” Magnus said, Tom’s voice in her ears. Caia smiled happily, doing a little dance in her seat.

“Fantastic!” She said happily, making Magnus smile at her. “You can talk now!”

“I’m glad.” Magnus told her, just glad that he could make her happy. He had heard the sadness in her voice the past few weeks and it pained him that there was nothing he could do. Funny, an AI feeling pain like that. But Caia didn’t seem to notice the emotion this avatar had. She was just excited that her program was coming along so smooth. Soon, Caia’s World would receive a new name and be marketed to people all over the world, but right now, it was her baby and she could now hold a coherent conversation with something from it.

Caia didn’t know how long she had been working on her program when she heard someone come down the stairs. Quickly closing the help feature, she saved all the progress she had done. She wanted to surprise Tom with it when it was out of the development status. She wanted to show him just how important he was in her life, that she created him to help her with it. She turned and looked at the stairs as Tom came into the basement. He had messy hair, was wearing a pair of basketball shorts and a Loki t-shirt. And he looked damn sexy to Caia.

“Hey there handsome.” Caia said, getting out of her chair and making her way over to Tom. He yawned some and stretched.

“I woke up and this beautiful girl that I went to bed with was gone.” Tom said, wrapping his arms around Caia. “Working?”

“Yeah.” She said, resting her head on his chest. “I’m getting so close to being able to demo it. This is so exciting Tom!” She smiled up at him. Tom kissed her forehead.

“I am so damn proud of you.” Tom said. “Can we get some food soon though? I don’t feel like cooking and Chinese food sounds really good.” Caia’s smile widened.

“You read my mind!” She said. “Come on. I want some sweet and sour chicken.” She took his hand and led him back up to the main floor of the house, turning off the light in the basement and shutting the door.

Caia had shut off the monitor on her computer when Tom had come down, just to save some energy. But, as they left, it turned itself back on. The help chat box popped up, no character attached to it like when Caia was chatting with Magnus. A message appeared on the chat box for a brief moment before the box disappeared.

I hate him. I wish he could just go away for good.

Chapter Text

White Chinese containers set all over the island in the middle of the kitchen. Caia carefully dipped her chicken into the sauce, savoring each bite. She kept glancing up at Tom, slurping at his Chow Mein. Damn, that man could even make noodle eating look sexy. She missed moments like this. They didn’t even have to talk, just sit together. Like the days where she wasn’t working on her VR. They would curl up on the couch together. He would read a book and she would play on her DS, sometimes they would switch, sometimes play a game together. They just liked being together, even if it was in silence. But they also knew how to be loud when the moment was right.

“Is there something on my face?” Tom asked with a bit of a laugh. Caia’s cheeks reddened at being caught staring. She spun around on her bar stool, facing away from Tom.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Caia said with a slight giggle. Tom shook his head and reached over and grabbed some of her chicken while her back was turned.

“Well, I’ll just eat this then.” He said, dipping the chicken and popping it into his mouth. Caia turned around and glared at him some, making him laugh loudly. Caia grabbed Tom’s Chow Mein and slurped up some of it. “Hey!”

“Eat my chicken, I’ll eat your noodles.” Caia said through a mouthful of food. Tom just shook his head and finished up his food. Caia finished up hers and took the leftovers to the fridge while Tom snagged a fortune cookie from the pile in the middle of the table. He cracked it open as Caia came back over and grabbed her own.

“What does yours say?” Caia asked Tom, reading her little paper.

“Prepare for the fight of your life.” Tom said. “Well then. Must be getting a new action role or something.”

“Probably meaning Infinity Wars.” Caia said with a shrug. “Mine says ‘You will be going to a new, yet familiar world very soon’.” Tom wrapped his arm around her and rested his head on her shoulder.

“Maybe it means that you’re going to get a break from work soon and will get to travel with me wherever I end up filming next.” Tom suggested, being very hopeful. He always had wanted Caia to travel with him, so he could spend more time with her, but she always had things to do on the trips where she could go with him, so she was forced to stay behind.

“As long as it’s not Alaska or someplace cold. And as long as I get the demo going so my team can start developing new worlds and features.” Caia put her hands on Tom’s and smiled. “Then we can go anywhere we want and just relax. Or I can relax with a Mai Tai while you’re working your ass off.” She laughed some.

“Well, I get to relax for a few days at least.” Tom said, placing a gentle kiss on her neck. “I get to spend some time with you when you aren’t hiding in your Batcave.” He chuckled some. “But it’ll be worth it in the end when you have your completed project.” Caia turned her head and was about to kiss Tom when both of their phones went off. She groaned softly.

“Of course.” She sighed, going off to her phone while Tom checked his. Luke was sending him updates on things such as press releases and photo shoots coming up. He looked up to see Caia on the phone, pacing as she talked.

“You’re kidding?! Really?! That will make everything so much better! I can’t believe you guys did this Kyle! I’ll come by and get it sometime soon to test it out with the program when it’s ready. Thank you!” Caia hung up then, a huge smile on her face. Tom raised an eyebrow.

“Good news?” Tom asked. Caia nodded and ran over to him.

“Kyle and Trigger got the prototype hardware done for the program!” Caia said, almost bouncing like a happy rabbit. “They said there’s a surprise that they want to show me when I come to get it. They said it’s something big.”

“That’s great!” Tom said. “Does that mean you’re getting close to demo?”

“Yeah! I just have to try it out, figure out any bugs and fix them.” Caia said, kissing him in her excitement. Tom smiled into the kiss and pulled her closer, wrapping and arm around her waist and deepening the kiss. After a few moments of just the two of them and nothing else, Tom broke the kiss to take a breath of air.

“Every time I kiss you, I see fireworks.” Tom chuckled some. Caia blushed and smiled, staying in Tom’s arms. She didn’t realize until that exact moment just how much she missed him holding her. It had been a long time without him. “Do you need to go get the hardware?”

“I probably should.” Caia sighed. Tom smiled.

“I could drive you. We could go get ice cream if you want to.”

“Can we just buy some pints and come home? I just want to spend the rest of the evening curled up with you.”

“I hope curled up isn’t all you want to do.” Tom chuckled, making Caia’s blush darken more.

“Thomas, is that all you can think about?” She laughed, even though she had been thinking about it a lot while he was gone.

“Well, the only action I got was from my hand.” Tom laughed. “Of course, I was thinking about the most beautiful girl in the world.”

“Salma Hayek?” Caia asked with a giggle, making Tom glare at her.

“I’m never living that down, am I?” Tom asked. Caia just smiled and headed back to their room.

“I need to make myself look like a human and not an extra from the walking dead, then I’ll be down.” Caia called over her shoulder, dodging his question. She loved teasing him about his crush on the actress and the long story behind it. She had her crushes, he had his. But they knew that they still loved each other.

She quickly got dressed into something more presentable to be out in public in before heading downstairs. Tom didn’t feel like changing, even though he was sure they would probably run into someone who would take pictures and sell them online. He just didn’t really care. Caia walked over to him and grabbed his ass as he was checking to see how much money he had in his wallet. He jumped some then turned to look at her.

“What was that for?” He asked.

“Well, I love the English countryside.” She laughed. “Come on. The faster we leave, the faster we can come home.”

“Mmmm, I like the sound of that.” Tom chuckled. “Let’s go.” He grabbed his car keys and wallet, and they left, plans of what they were going to do when they got home their topic of conversation.

****

There was a surge inside the program as the computer put itself into sleep mode. The surge meant that Caia wasn’t around and the characters were free to roam. The only characters that Caia had developed were Tom characters. He was, by far, her favorite subject and it was fun to craft him in this virtual world. When the computer shut down or the program was closed, the characters would meet in one of the territories developed in the world. Many people thought that things disappeared when the computer shut off, only to pop back when it turned on. But that was not the case.

“Hello Henry.” Loki said as the king took his seat by the god at the table. “I see that Caia didn’t talk to you today either.”

“She was too busy talking to the golden boy.” Henry said, rolling his eyes. “Speaking of which, where is he?”

“Beats me.” Jonathan Pine said. There were a couple other characters that joined, but two were obviously not present. “He and that scary one are never here anymore.”

“Probably up to something.” Henry said, shaking his head. “I’d be scared to cross his path.”

“Let’s just hope that it’s not something that will damage this.” Loki said. “I would hate for her to pull the plug on us because of something they do.”

“Maybe we should go talk to them. Convince them to just come join us.” Jonathan suggested, but Henry shook his head.

“People like that cannot be reasoned with.” Henry explained. “They are loners. And I do not wish to cause war with them. Thomas of Jaguar and Magnus can just keep to their own, and I will keep to mine. And I advise you to do the same.”

“But…” Jonathan started to say, but Loki growled at him.

“Enough.” He said. “We don’t mess with them. Got it.”

“Well…okay.” Jonathan sighed. “I just have a bad feeling about this.” The others turned their conversation elsewhere. Jonathan closed his eyes for a second and just told himself that the bad feeling was due to a glitch in his programming. That was all.

But maybe he shouldn’t have told himself that.

Chapter Text

There was a trail of clothes leading from the garage door to the stairs leading up to Caia and Tom’s bedroom. The box that contained the hardware for Caia’s program was sitting on the island, along with car keys, a wallet, and a purse just thrown haphazardly. Caia’s soft moans and soft words from Tom were the only noises that could be heard in the house. He had teased her all the way to the lab for her to get the hardware, an, in return, she had teased him the entire way back, making him even forget about the ice cream. All he cared about was getting her back into bed. And he got his wish.

“Dear lord Caia.” Tom said with a happy smile as he laid beside her. “I don’t think I’ll ever grow tired of doing that.” Caia giggled and proper herself up on her elbow, her full naked body visible for Tom.

“Well, I’m glad then.” She said, kissing his forehead. “Tired?”

“Why? Want to go another round?” Tom chuckled, yawning a little.

“I thought about showering and then doing some work if you were going to take a nap.” Caia explained, drawing patterns on Tom’s chest with her finger. He rubbed her back gently as she did that.

“What if I wanted you to take a nap with me?” He yawned again. Whenever she did that, he got sleepy. Maybe it was just the comfort and contact of her being right there, or maybe it was just post sex exhaustion. Either way, he was starting to feel the heavy weight of sleep tugging at his eyes.

“Maybe just for a little bit. I have a lot of work still left to do before I can move forward.” She yawned and rubbed at her eyes some. Tom pulled her to his chest, letting her head rest on his chest like a pillow.

“Just a couple hours and then you can work to your hearts content.” Tom told her. “Just rest with me. I miss this time together.” He placed gentle, loving kisses on all the parts of Caia he could reach. “Please?”

“For a bit.” She yawned, laying back down. “But I really do need to get some work done. I’m so close.”

“I believe that’s the second time I’ve heard that tonight.” Tom chuckled, wrapping his arm around Caia. “Just sleep darling. It’ll still be there in a couple hours.” Caia nodded and curled up next to Tom.

“Just a couple hours then.” She closed her eyes. Tom smiled and made sure she fell asleep first. He wanted her to take a little break, to relax with him and let the rest of the world just fade away. He played with her hair some, realizing just how much he missed the smell of her shampoo while he was away.

“I love you.” He whispered softly, placing a gentle kiss on the top of her head before he drifted off to sleep himself.

****

“Magnus has the media player activated again.” Jonathan explained as he walked along the Bifrost with Loki. “I can’t get a hold of him.”

“Didn’t we warn you to leave him alone?” Loki asked, looking out over the computer generated Asgard. Almost as beautiful as the sets that he had seen in pictures on Google. “As long as he keeps to his own devices, and doesn’t endanger our programming, we just let him be.”

“Loki, why won’t you guys listen to me?” Jonathan asked, a little frustrated. “There is something terribly wrong going on. We keep having random glitches and save fails. Things that weren’t happening before. And Magnus keeps locking himself away in that secluded world, working on something. And Jaguar Tom keeps disappearing until Caia starts the program up to work on us.”

“Look Jonathan. I was the first avatar Caia created. I have seen power surges, save fails, glitches, early terminations, blue screens, memory overloads. You name it, I’ve probably seen it. So this does not bother me.” Loki explained. Jonathan sighed.

“Look, I might be one of the newer ones and I might not have been around as much as you or Henry have, but you have to hear me out. I know that somethings not right.” Jonathan tried his hardest to convince Loki. Loki shook his head.

“Perhaps you can get one of the prototypes to listen to you.” Loki said. “Thomas Sharpe is a bit looney. Dr. Laing can’t hold a form yet, but I’m sure he would listen to your insane rambles.”

“They aren’t rambles and I’m not insane!” Jonathan yelled, gaining the attention of random, no name people, who were supposed to be villagers. Loki led him back to the portal between the worlds in the program.

“I think we’re done here.” Loki said. “I think it’s time you go.”

“I’m telling you though, something bad is going on here.” Jonathan said, getting ready to leave. Loki nodded.

“Well, if that does become the case, then we will fix it then.” Jonathan sighed and walked through the portal as Loki rolled his eyes at him. “He has a lot to learn.” Loki said to himself as he headed back into Asgard. Jonathan headed to his world, feeling a rush of energy as he stepped through the portal. Through the sandy beach and clear sky, he saw another portal open.

“What the fuck?” He asked himself softly, walking towards it. Right then, a Tom in a black suit with a venomous look stepped through, making Jonathan jump some. This Tom, frequently called Thomas, was the Jaguar Tom.

“She’s making them jumpy nowadays.” Thomas scoffed.

“What are you doing here? This is my world.” Jonathan said. Thomas laughed.

“And you were just in Asgard. I don’t see what a little world sharing between friends would hurt.” Jonathan laughed some, slapping Jonathan’s arm.

“Where were you?” Jonathan asked.

“Out mother.” Thomas replied, walking away from Jonathan. “I have things to do and I know that, if Loki and Henry and any of the others don’t trust me, you won’t either. So I’ll just be on my way now.”

“Who said I don’t trust you?” Jonathan asked. Thomas looked at him.

“You have a look.” He said, matter of factly. “See you around Jonathan Pine.” Thomas walked through the portal to his own world. Jonathan stared at it for a while before he turned and searched for the other one that Thomas had come through, only to find it gone.

“I will find out what’s going on here.” Jonathan declared to no one as he walked along the beach. He wanted to make sure he was safe and the creator was safe. That’s all that matter to him.

Chapter Text

Caia was up and going before Tom yet again. But that wasn’t really anything new. When Tom had a vacation period, he would slip into a sleep pattern of a teenage boy. Many days, they could both easily stay up until 2 am before heading to bed. Tom could easily sleep well into the late morning or early afternoon while Caia did some housework, got groceries, and did some work. But when Tom wasn’t on vacation and had to be up early for interviews and didn’t have to travel far, he would take care of some of that. He never expected her to clean everything by herself, even though she would not let him anywhere near the laundry room anymore after failing to separate her whites from his red t-shirts. Tom might have been a perfect man on the red carpet and out in public, but when it came to domestic work, he was cute, yet clueless.

Instead of heading straight down to the basement to work, Caia let her mind rest some and, instead, took stock of things they needed from the store. When it was just her home, she didn’t go through near as much food as Tom did. He always had a big appetite, and since neither one of them were the best cooks in the world, there were a lot of frozen or pre made foods. They had started a subscription food box that was teaching them to cook, but neither of them had the time right now.

Caia had an Amazon shopping addiction, having signed up for Prime and realizing that she could get basics shipped to her without having to put, what she called, big girl clothes on. She grabbed her laptop that she left in the living room and often times shared with Tom. He didn’t understand Snapchat and he sometimes struggled with new technology, but he had an iPhone he was perfectly capable of using and he wasn’t as technological inept as he claimed to be. She opened the computer and was about to log onto her browser when she saw a new folder on the desktop that hadn’t been there before.

Places I think you’ll enjoy

“What on earth?” Caia asked herself softly. She scanned it with her antivirus protection. After seeing nothing, she clicked on it and was greeted with pictures of beautiful beaches, wonderful cities, and other places that looked like a great vacation ideas. Caia smiled some, thinking Tom had done this. “It was just a fortune cookie sweetie.” She closed the file and went about her way buying some of the things they needed off of Amazon. After getting the confirmation email, she headed to the basement, not wanting to make too much noise on the main floor and wake Tom up.

She had already booted up the computer when she remembered the hardware that she was supposed to test was left upstairs on the island. She groaned softly to herself.

“I’ll just deal with that later.” She groaned. She opened the program, unaware of the happenings inside of it while she was gone. She logged in and saw the familiar faces of her available characters, all waiting for her to pick one. “I better actually focus on getting some of the settings finished before I chat with anymore of you.” She said, closing the ‘choose avatar’ box. She didn’t realize the confusion she had just caused the poor characters in her care. She focused on her work.

****

“She doesn’t want to talk to any of us.” Jonathan said to Loki when Caia had left to answer the door. “Do you believe me now? Something wrong is going on.”

“You’re just paranoid.” Loki said, dismissing Jonathan. Magnus watched their interaction, taking notes.

“Magnus.” Thomas said, approaching him. “You’re phasing.” Magnus looked down at his hand. It was transparent and a little shaky, much like some of the prototypes or ones that had been infected during power surges or forced shut downs.

“Thank you. I didn’t notice.” Magnus said, his voice a little dark.

“Is there something wrong with your programming?” Henry asked, watching Magnus. “Perhaps we should send a message to Caia, alerting her so she can look into it…”

“I’m fine.” Magnus snapped at him, walking away. Henry looked over at Loki, who just shrugged. Thomas took this chance to follow after Magnus, as did Jonathan. Loki didn’t care what was going on, as long as it didn’t interfere with his world and his programming. Henry just went off to check on the prototypes, to see if Caia had fixed any of them.

“Where are you going?” Jonathan asked Thomas as he followed him. Thomas turned and glared at him.

“Doing some work. Why are you following me?” Thomas asked, rather annoyed.

“I think that Magnus is doing something. That’s why we keep having the random surges of energy and he never joins us in our common areas.” Jonathan explained. Thomas shook his head.

“Can’t just leave well enough alone, can you?” Thomas laughed. “Well, if you’re going to spy, come along. I could use another pair of eyes.” Jonathan was a little confused. Everyone always called Thomas the scary one. That he was rude and violent. That he was Caia’s guilty pleasure. This was not the man he expected.

“So, we’re just going to go into his world and spy on him?” Jonathan asked. Thomas shrugged.

“Why not?” Thomas asked. “Where’s your sense of adventure?”

“According to my programming, I have had my fair share of adventure in a TV series.” Jonathan commented. Thomas glanced over at him.

“Maybe it’s time you broke away from your programming then.” Thomas suggested, leading Jonathan through the portal from the world they were in to the one that they suspected Magnus of hanging out in. “Stay quiet. We don’t want to spook him.”

“I know how to spy.” Jonathan whispered back. Thomas nodded and motioned for him to follow. Magnus’s world was a lot different than Jonathan’s. While Jonathan’s was warm and beach like, and even Thomas’s was an urban city, Magnus’s was cold, Siberian like. He was supposed to be in a Swedish type city, with a police station, but it was under construction and he liked this place. It was private. He could go about his plans in peace.

“Where is he?” Thomas whispered to himself, looking around. Out of the corner of his eye, Jonathan noticed smoke over a hill. He put a hand on Thomas’s shoulder and pointed over to where the smoke billowed. Thomas nodded and followed Jonathan over the hill. There set a small, one room cabin. This was starting to look more and more like a video game, like Silent Hill or some other apocalyptic land. The two looked at each other, exchanging words without talking, like two well trained soldiers. They crept closer to the cabin.

Magnus was inside, bits of data fluttering around him as he looked over a book then plucked one out of the air. Thomas raised an eyebrow and looked over at Jonathan who was studying Magnus. Magnus moved aside for a second to get something, and both men got a view of what was going on.

“No…” Thomas whispered.

“Are you seeing what I’m seeing?” Jonathan asked. Thomas nodded. “Then we need to get out of here. We need to alert Caia.”

“I’m right there with you.” Thomas turned and started to run, kicking up pebbles, which caught Magnus’s attention. Magnus turned and made eye contact with Jonathan before the spy took off after Thomas. “Did he see you?” Thomas shouted to Jonathan as they raced through the portal.

“No! I don’t think so.” Jonathan told him. They jumped through, landing back at the beach. “Shit man. He can’t do that, can he?”

“I guess you were right all along.” Thomas said, dusting sand off of his suit. “We need to get a hold of Caia. We need to warn her.”

“She turned off the chat box. I think she’s getting ready to try it out. I heard her talking about her VR set being ready.” Jonathan said. Thomas shook his head.

“We can’t let her do that.” Thomas told him. “I have an idea. But I have to do it alone. I’ll meet up with you when I’m done.” He looked over at Jonathan. “Don’t tell any of the other Tom’s. We can’t risk Magnus knowing that we know he’s building a virus.”

“Okay.” Jonathan said. “Good luck with whatever it is you’re going to do.” Thomas nodded and left through another portal, leaving Jonathan at the retreat alone. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, until another voice rang out behind him.

“Spying isn’t nice, you know.” Magnus said, making Jonathan spin around and stare at him. “And staring isn’t nice either. You really don’t have any manners.” Jonathan backed up some.

“What are you going to do then? Delete me so that I can’t talk?” Jonathan asked. Magnus smiled sweetly at him.

“You read my mind brother.” He laughed. “Command delete.” Magnus said, making Jonathan freeze in his spot. His eyes were wide with terror as a box appeared in front of him.

“Magnus please. Don’t do this. I won’t tell anyone what you’re up to! Please!”

“You don’t even know what I’m up to. But I can’t risk it. My beloved won’t come here if you find out.” He stepped forward and read the box before replying. “Yes.”

“NO!” Jonathan cried out as he pixelated and disappeared. Another box came up that said: File Jonathan Pine Avatar has been successfully sent to Recycle Bin. Magnus smiled to himself before whistling and heading back through the portal he had come through.

****

Tom came downstairs as Caia grabbed the hardware. He smiled at her, just seeing how excited she was about her program and all its advances. He got in the fridge, seeing the restocked items, and smiled more.

“Where are you off to?” He asked. She turned and looked at him.

“About to try out the hardware.” Caia explained. “If I don’t answer you, it means it worked.” She laughed some. “Kyle and Trigger said that this should put me in the actual program. Not just viewing it.” She kissed Tom. “I’ll be back up in a bit. Off I go to Oz.” She laughed and headed down to the basement, leaving Tom there to fend for himself. He smiled and went about his way as Caia set at her computer and plugged the headset into it.

“Next stop, Caia’s world.” She laughed. She put the hardware on, clicked something on the computer then pushed a button on the cord from the computer to the headset. The next thing she knew, the rest of the world melted away as she got ready to enter a brand new one.

Chapter Text

Bright blues and greens surrounded Caia and blinded her as she entered into the computer program. When Kyle had told her that they had developed hardware for her, never in a million years did she think that it would give her the ability to actually go into the program. She knew her heart was pounding with excitement as the light disappeared. She was expecting a beautiful landscape like she had worked on in her program. Instead, she was in a room that looked like it was pulled from Tron.

“Greetings.” A female voice, her own voice, greeted her. “Welcome to Caia’s World. Please state your name.” A giant, neon keyboard appeared in front of Caia. She realized this was the prologue part before entering the world. Much like having to talk to Professor Oak before starting your Pokémon adventure.

“Caia.” Caia said with a smile. She watched as the letters on the keyboard lit up as her name was typed out.

“Is your name Caia?” The voice said to her. It was so weird hearing herself talk to herself. But after testing it, she would change it to a more pleasing voice.

“Yes.” Caia said. The keyboard disappeared then.

“Would you like to view the tutorial or jump right in?” The voice asked.

“Let’s just start.” Caia said with a shrug.

“Very well.” There was a slight tingling on her twist, surprising Caia some. She was surprised she could feel anything at all and looked down to see a bracelet, like some sort of computer, appear on her wrist. While she had been in charge of characters and sets, Trigger had developed a lot of things for the player themselves, such as outfits. “If you need to view the tutorial, change settings, or customize yourself, you may access it there.” A portal opened in the dark wall of the room. Caia smiled and walked through it, bright light greeting her yet again.

“Oh my god.” Caia whispered to herself as she entered into one of the character worlds. It was a beautiful castle, elegant and bright. She spun around, staring at everything. Henry’s castle. She had actually expected to be in Asgard or something, but she wasn’t complaining. She heard the sound of a horse then and turned.

“Greetings Caia. We finally meet.” Henry said, dismounting his horse. Caia curtsied to him as he walked over. He gently took her hand and kissed it. “I believe you know who I am.”

“Very much so, your highness.” Caia said. Henry looked her up and down. She realized she was in her modern clothes and stuck out from everyone else. “Oh! Let me fix that.” Caia looked at the bracelet and click on a button that had a hanger on it. A giant screen appeared in front of her, with tabs to the side. Shirts, trousers, under garments, dresses, etc. Caia clicked on the dresses tab. Trigger hadn’t developed many clothes. There were only three dresses in this category and it made Caia roll her eyes some. Elsa’s blue dress, Tiana’s green dress, and Belle’s yellow dress.

“Really Trigger? This is it?” Caia sighed. She knew her friend loved Disney movies, but she was hoping for something more Oscar red carpet ready. “Well, I guess if I have to choose one, I’ll go with Elsa. Everyone seems to like Frozen.” A green light highlighted Elsa’s dress and Caia looked down to see her clothes changing into Elsa’s. She smiled some, feeling like she should be singing “Let it Go” at that moment.

“How do I look?” Caia asked Henry, waving away the choose outfit screen. She hoped that her outfit would fit with Henry’s kingdom and wouldn’t clash with the red leather he was wearing. Henry stared at her, his mouth slightly agape.

“My word. You look stunning.” He said. “Come. Let’s join the others inside the castle. I’m sure you will enjoy your time here.” Caia smiled and took his offered arm, walking into the palace with the king. Unaware that Magnus was watching from the hill.

“You better watch out Henry,” Magnus mumbled to himself, holding a glowing orb in his hand. “I’d hate for you to end up like our dear friend Jonathan Pine. Such a shame what happened to him.” He chuckled some as he walked away. “Don’t worry though. We’ll all have plenty of time with my sweet Caia soon enough.”

****

While Magnus had been sneaking around, working on a virus, Thomas had been doing his own secret thing. But it wasn’t malicious to anyone, just something for him. Thomas had found a weak spot in the program that allowed him to enter into the Internet. Over the past few months since he had discovered it, he had visited many websites from all over the world, from fun kid’s games to travel websites, from Amazon to things of the more adult variety. He had been the one to plant the folder of places on the laptop Caia had ordered from, thinking that she really needed a vacation and thinking those would be places that Caia and Tom would enjoy visiting. As Thomas searched the Internet, looking for the right program he needed, the hairs on the back of his neck stood up and he started to have a bad feeling.

“Open Viewer: Program Caia’s World.” Thomas said. A screen opened, showing several screens for the different worlds inside the program. “Find File Jonathan Pine Avatar.” There was a noise followed by a red box on the screen.

File Jonathan Pine Avatar could not be found

“What the fuck?” Thomas asked himself. That’s when he noticed something on the screen. A woman that had never been in the program before. His eyes widened. “No! She can’t be there!” He started to panic, effecting his programming some. “Find File Magnus Martinsson Avatar.” Thomas instructed. A green box highlight the screen and brought it up bigger, showing Thomas exactly where he was.

He was making his way to the entrance portal, glowing orb in hand. Thomas’s eyes widened.

“No!” He called out. He rushed back to the portal leading back into the program. He needed to find Jonathan and he needed to stop Magnus.

Magnus, on the other hand, didn’t care where all the other Tom’s were. To him, the only one he thought that knew what he was up to was locked away in the Recycle Bin, waiting for his fate. He walked to the entrance portal with a big smile on his face.

“Cry Havoc and let slip the dogs of war.” Magnus laughed some as he tossed the orb through the portal. “Take care of her body for me.”

****

Tom was making himself some tea, letting his water boil while he read a new book that he had bought at a thrift store. The kettle was about to whistle when the lights in the house started to flicker widely, like the house was being hit by a storm. Tom looked up at the light fixtures over the island, watching the lights going crazy.

That’s when he was greeted by Caia’s screams coming from the basement.

“Caia?!” Tom called out. He dropped his book and raced down the stairs to the basement, coming to a halt in her office. His eyes widened as he saw his fiancée laying on the ground, blood leaking from her nose, ears, and mouth. “Caia!” Tom screamed, running over to her. He checked her pulse and breathing before grabbing the landline that they left plugged in, just in case, and dialing emergency. He kept trying to wake her, unaware that she wasn’t even in her own body anymore.

Chapter Text

A glass window separated Tom from Caia as her doctor examined her body. Tom watched as vitals were taken and medicines were given in hopes of waking her up. After a little while, the doctor pulled off her gloves and came out to Tom. At this point, Tom had taken to one of the chairs set across from Caia’s room. He had his elbows resting on his thighs and his head resting on his hands, looking down at the floor as he waited for any news of his fiancée.

“Mr. Hiddleston?” Doctor Chitra Price said softly. Tom looked up at her, registering that it was Caia’s doctor. He jumped to his feet.

“How is she?” He asked, trying to hide his fear and anxiety. Chitra motioned for him to sit back down and set in the seat by him. She glanced down at her clipboard before looking back into his eyes.

“We…we honestly don’t really know.” Chitra said truthfully. “She’s not responding to anything. It’s almost as if she’s not even in her body. That her soul is gone.”

“That’s…”

“Impossible?” Chitra finished. Tom nodded. “The only thing that I can find that might cause this are two burns on her head, by her temples. Like she might have been electrocuted.” Tom’s eyes widened some. “Do you know what that could’ve been from?”

“She’s a computer developer. And her team sent her a new hardware to try out with the program they are working on. It could’ve malfunctioned or something.” Tom suggested. Chitra nodded and made a note on her clipboard. “Can I go in there now?”

“Of course.” She nodded. “I will come back and check on her later. I’m going to take my notes to other people of my team to go over. We’ll figure this out.” Tom nodded and shook her hand.

“Thank you Dr. Price.” Tom said before heading into Caia’s room, where she was sound asleep. Tom pulled up a chair by her bed and gently played with her hair. “We’ll figure this out sweetie. I promise.” He placed a gentle kiss on her forehead when he spotted the small burns on her head. He closed his eyes and held her hand, hoping that through sheer will, he could wake her up.

****

Caia felt like a real princess as she walked arm and arm with Henry into the main hall of his castle. She had based it off of what she had seen from other media, but she had to pat herself on the back. It felt like she was really in a medieval castle. There were even servants in the palace who bowed to her as she walked by with Henry. She knew that the Elsa dress alone was not enough to earn this respect, but it still made her feel like the actual heir of Arendelle.

“Do you like it?” Henry asked. Caia looked around in awe. She didn’t realize she had created this much detail for the castle. She had focused more on a couple of the other cities, but this still turned out amazing.

“Yes.” Caia said, walking over to a torch on the wall and touching it. Warm, just like the way she would thought it would be, and smooth, like it was molded perfectly. She turned and looked at Henry. “It’s so real.”

“Of course it is.” Henry led her father into the castle. “This is my home. It is very real.” Caia nodded and kept staring at everything as Henry walked her around, showing her everything from the throne room to the gardens. He even plucked a Dog-rose from the garden and gave it to Caia, who placed it in her hair. It felt so real. She didn’t think a simulation would feel like this.

“Your kingdom is most beautiful.” Caia said. “Thank you for showing it to me.”

“Don’t you want to stay?” Henry asked, sounding a little upset. Caia noticed the slight tone in his voice and looked into his sad, yet patient eyes.

“I’ll come back.” She said sweetly. “There’s just so much I still need to examine…” Henry nodded. Like a good gentleman, he knew not to get in a woman’s path when she was on a mission.

“I’m guessing I can’t convince you to stay for dinner. We can have a feast.” He laughed some, fingers gently dancing on Caia’s hand.

“How about I promise to come back by before I’m done for the day?” She asked. Henry’s smile lightened some. “I’ll take that smile as a okay.” She giggled and kissed his cheek before backing up and curtseying to him. “Until I return my king.”

“Be safe on your travels dearest Caia.” Henry said, gently taking her hand and kissing it again. “May I suggest something a little more modern for the continuation of your journey?” Caia looked down at her beautiful blue dress. As much as she enjoyed being the ice queen, Henry was probably right. She brought up the choose outfit function on the menu again, browsing through the options. She finally decided on a pair of nice fitting blue jeans, a simple black t-shirt, and sneakers.

“What do you think?” Caia asked after the transformation.

“You look beautiful in anything.” Henry said sweetly.

“I think I programmed you a little too much like Tom.” She giggled. “I’ll return soon.” She looked around until she saw a purplish portal. “Will this take me to another world?”

“Yes.” Henry said. “Just be careful. You might not like what you find on the other side of it.” Caia raised an eyebrow, but before she could ask him anymore about what he had said, he turned and left.

“Well then. Guess I’ll just have to find out on my own.” She shrugged and made her way through the portal and ended up on a beach on the other side. “My god. It’s so beautiful.” She knelt down and took a handful of sand, letting it run between her fingers and blow away in the breeze.

“Not near as beautiful as you are my dear.” A voice behind Caia said. She jumped and turned.

“Magnus?” She asked, remembering creating him and his world. “What are you doing here? I thought this was Jonathan Pine’s seaside chateau.”

“I’m just visiting.” Magnus said. “Did you not want to see me?”

“Oh no. That’s not it. Just wasn’t expecting you is all.” Magnus smiled at Caia like he was eyeing his prey. She might have missed the dark looked that fell on his face.

But Thomas saw it as he came to the top of a sand dune just to the left of them. He ducked quickly as Magnus looked his way. He couldn’t see Jonathan anywhere, but he could hear Magnus talking to Caia.

“Why don’t we go for a walk until Jonathan comes back?” Magnus suggested. “It might be fun.”

“Well, I do need to examine the setting, to make sure that everything is in order.” Caia said. “Well, let’s go then. I haven’t been to the beach in a while.” She smiled and walked along the coast with Magnus.

“Shit.” Thomas whispered. “I’ll just have to find Jonathan later.” He turned on his heels and went back through the weak spot he had come through, back into the internet and straight for Caia’s Gmail account.

****

Caia’s hospital room was dark, aside from the dim lights in the hall and the LED’s from her monitor. Tom had been sent home about an hour before due to the hospital’s visiting hour policy. He wouldn’t get much sleep anyway, and he wasn’t really disturbing Caia, but they didn’t make exceptions. It didn’t matter if you were an A lister or some sort of Z lister.

In the silence of Caia’s room, a static sound could be heard coming from the monitor watching her vitals. It flicker and buzzed before going out completely, like the power had failed it. But, about two seconds later, something strange happened.

Caia’s eyes snapped open and the dark orbs were now a deep, menacing blue.

Chapter Text

“I’m surprised Jonathan hasn’t come back.” Caia commented as her and Magnus relaxed on the beach. “This is his world after all.”

“Anxious to have him back?” Magnus asked, a bit of venom lacing his voice. Caia shrugged and looked out over the water. They were set up in two beach chairs. Caia had found a swim suit in the extras tab and put it on. Magnus had found drinks somewhere in the mainframe and left them sitting on a table between them. To Caia, it felt like some Corona commercial.

“No. I’m just worried that he’s not in the place he was programmed. Plus, it means I still have so much more work to do.” Magnus nodded.

“Sounds like you need another drink then.” He said. She shook her head.

“I really need to go check out Asgard and see how it’s holding up. And there are other Tom’s I need to check up on.” Caia explained. Magnus shook his head.

“There will be plenty of time to do that.” Magnus placed his hand over hers. “Just relax. This is supposed to be a paradise.” She looked up at Magnus. How could she say no to this, to him? He had been nothing but nice to her since she arrived. And she did have a soft spot in her heart for the detective.

“I guess it wouldn’t hurt to stay for a little bit longer.” You said, enjoying that the sun here actually felt warm. “And I think time moves a little differently here than it does out in the real world.” Magnus smiled at her.

“Now you’re thinking.” He chuckled, enjoying her company.

He absolutely loved it when a plan came together.

****

“Just change the account…” Thomas said to himself as he logged out of Caia’s Gmail account and logged into one he had created to access some sites that the firewalls wouldn’t just let him waltz right into them. After logging into his account, he bypassed all the spam sitting there and went to his contacts. He had copied a few from Caia’s that he might need in the future. Tom’s was one of them.

He access the address and composed an email before finding the paperclip to attach himself to the email. He closed his eyes, hoping that this would work and Tom wouldn’t just delete the email thinking it was junk. He couldn’t find Jonathan then, or save Caia, or even stop Magnus.

“Please don’t delete it.” Thomas silently prayed. “Okay, send.”

Suddenly, he was flying. It was like a scene from Stargate, a giant tube taking him from one place to another. He could see other websites flying by that he had visited since he found that weak spot in the mainframe of the program. After a few seconds, he landed in Tom’s email. He closed his eyes, trapped in the message, and waited.

****

Tom’s phone dinged, singling a new message. Figuring it was from his agent, Tom opened his email app and saw the new message up at the top of his clean inbox. He raised an eyebrow, but he wasn’t really one for waiting for virus protection to scan emails first. He clicked on it and saw the text:

Please open the following attachment about your past Jaguar commericals.

Tom laughed some. He figured it was some fan video that Chris Evans had found based on the commercial series and decided that Tom just had to see it. He just shrugged and clicked on the attachment. It downloaded and suddenly, there was a full body, digital version of him on his screen.

“Thank god,” Thomas said. “I thought for sure you would’ve deleted the email.”

“What the fuck?” Tom asked. “What kind of fan video is this?”

“I’m not a video. I’m a creation of Caia’s.” Thomas explained.

“Wait…you understand me?” Tom asked. Thomas sighed.

“Just plug your phone into the USB on the TV. It’s very cramped in here and I don’t want to have this conversation while on your iPhone.” Tom felt like he was being punk’d. Why would he do that? He had to be having a stroke or something. There were so many other options besides the fact that some AI program that Caia had been working on before her accident was on his phone right now. “Tom, listen to me. One of the avatars have gone rogue. I need you to plus me into the TV. Now.” Tom sighed.

“Well, I’ve already gone crazy enough. Might as well.” He grabbed the cord from one of the chargers he kept downstairs and used it to plug his phone into the USB port on the side of the TV. The image disappeared from his phone and before he knew it, materialized on the flat screen.

“Roomy.” Thomas chuckled. He looked at Tom, standing in front of the wall mounted TV, holding his phone. “You can unplug it for now. This has internet on it so if I need to escape, I can.”

“What are you?” Tom asked.

“I told you. An AI. Artificial Intelligence. One of Caia’s creations.” Thomas explained.

“She created something that looks like me?” Tom asked.

“Not just me. There are others. She uses us to talk to when you’re gone and don’t answer your phone.” Thomas told him. Suddenly, Tom’s heart felt heavy with guilt. He wanted to give Caia the good life that she deserved and he loved acting, but if she felt so neglected that she resorted to making digital hims to talk to, then maybe it was the wrong move. “I’ve come all this way though because Caia’s in trouble.”

“I know.” Tom sighed. “She’s in the hospital. Must have been electrocuted during her test run of the program.” Thomas shook his head.

“One of the avatar, the Magnus Martinsson one, has grown infatuated with her. I’m pretty sure he sent something to fry the headset she was using to keep her stuck there. Or something.” Thomas sighed. “He was developing a virus. I’m not sure what he’s wanting to use it for.”

“So…what you’re telling me is that I’m having some kind of breakdown and my mind is creating some sort of 2001: A Space Odyssey thing for me.” Tom said, making Thomas sigh in frustration.

“No!” He said, making the TV static up some. Tom jumped back a little. “Just listen to me. Caia is in danger! So is Jonathan! We have to find them and help them!”

“Who’s Jonathan?” Tom asked. “Wait, she made a Jonathan Pine, didn’t she?”

“She did. He’s my friend.” Thomas explained. “He helped me find out what Magnus was doing and he’s the only one that believed that something fucky was going on. I have to find him.” Tom nodded.

“So, what am I supposed to do?” Tom asked. Thomas thought for a second.

“Use the headset.” Thomas said. Tom shook his head. “Why not?”

“That thing almost got Caia killed. She’s laying in a hospital bed right now because of it.”

“It wasn’t the headset.” Thomas told him. “Please. Just trust me. Caia needs you right now.” Tom sighed and closed his eyes for a second.

“Fine.” He said. He started to turn to head to the basement. “But if my brain gets fried, ghost me will possess that computer and kill you.” Thomas had to smile before he left the TV through the internet and Tom made his way to the basement.

****

Caia’s unblinking now blue eyes stared at the TV in her hospital room. She stood in front of it, watching the imaged dance on the screen in front of her. A commercial came on for a blowout sale at some little outlet store. Caia reached out and touched the TV then, making it flicker and pixelate. She looked down as her hospital gown turned into the cute outfit she had seen on the screen.

“That’s better.” She said softly, her voice sounding more computer generated than before the accident. “I need to get out of here.” She looked around the room before she saw the computer over in the corner of the room that was used for patient’s records. She touched the screen with all the gentleness of someone touching a newborn baby.

A nurse came in with then, putting on her gloves as she walked into Caia’s room.

“Hello Ms. Richards. I know you can’t respond but I’m…” She froze when she saw Caia’s bed and room empty. She ran out into the hallway. “Did anybody get Caia Richards for tests?” She asked her coworker. He shook his head. “Then she’s missing. Call a code! Now!”

None of them saw Caia materialize out of a computer down the hall. With a smirk on her face, Caia walked out of the hospital without being stopped, blending in with the outside world.

Chapter Text

Magnus had left where there was a bit of a surge in the program. He needed to make sure that nothing was going to cause damage to Caia while she was here. She had promised to stay right there on Jonathan’s beach, but she kept getting this bad feeling from Magnus. He was one of her favorite characters of Tom’s, that’s why she had created him. But he was giving her some really weird vibes. So, while he was gone, Caia found a portal. She made sure to change out of his bikini beforehand. She wasn’t sure where she was going.

“Geronimo!” She called out, jumping into the portal. After the feeling of falling through, much like it had been coming from Henry’s castle to Jonathan’s beach, she found herself lying flat on a bridge. It felt like pure energy flowing through it. She opened her eyes and set up. “Oh my god…”

There, in front of her, was the golden palace of Asgard. She quickly got to her feet and looked around, seeing over the side of the bridge into a dark nothing. She hadn’t programmed anything there, because she wasn’t even sure what was there. She made a note to herself to program some water or something into it.

“Decided to join me then?” A voice rang out. At first, Caia was a little afraid that it was Magnus following her, until she looked up and saw the god in green and gold standing there in front of her. She quickly took her cue to curtsey to him. “Wow. I see that manners are something Midgardians learn.”

“I think I programmed you right then.” She looked around. “Does Magnus ever come here?”

“Very rarely.” Loki explained. “The only one that ever really came here was Jonathan. But he seems to have disappeared. Why?”

“I want to be away from Magnus for a little bit. Something isn’t right with him.” Loki walked with her down the rainbow bridge towards Asgard.

“What do you mean something isn’t right?” Loki asked, remembering the conversation that he and Jonathan had had just before the soldier turned spy went missing. Caia just shrugged. They walked into the bright kingdom, Caia being taken aback by the beauty.

“This is even better than I thought it would be.” She whispered to herself. “I didn’t create all this though. Did you do this?” She asked, waving her hand around at the perfect land. Loki looked at her before looking back over his beautiful landscape.

“I did.” He said. “You created the bones for me to build off of. I made this off of plans that were shown on your computer. Of course, I deleted a few things that represented Thor and Odin. Because this is my kingdom.” He smiled over at Caia. “Care to see more?”

“I would love to.” Caia said, allowing Loki to lead her to the palace. AS they did, Magnus came through the portal with murder in his eyes.

****

Thomas was waiting for Tom when he materialized in the program. He looked around, amazed by what he was seeing. This is what Caia had spent so long working on.

“Greetings.” The same voice that had greeted Caia now greeted Tom. He looked around to see where it had come from. “Welcome to Caia’s World. Please state your name.”

“Function bypass.” Thomas said, making the keyboard go away and the voice shut down. Tom turned and looked at him. “When you go out into the internet as much as I do, you learn the shortcuts like that.”

“So, what am I doing here?” Tom asked. “What can I do?”

“Well, first we need to find Jonathan.” Thomas explained. “I’m afraid of what will happen if we leave him to the hands of Magnus.” Tom nodded.

“Where would he be?” Tom asked, following Thomas to a portal. Thomas said a code of some sort before changing from green to purple. He looked back at him.

“In the heart of the program.” He said. “Come on.” Thomas walked through the portal. Tom took a deep breath and followed him through the portal. They came out on the other side. Tom looked around.

“Is this the heart of the program?” He asked. Thomas nodded. “This looks like the default wallpaper for Windows XP.” Thomas chuckled some, looking out over the blue sky and rolling green hills. “Where exactly would he be?”

“I’m not sure. I just know this is a safe place for avatars. For the most part at least.” Thomas explained. “Come on. We’ll find him.” He started walking through the eerily quiet landscape, humming some as they made their way. Tom looked around before spotting something on one of the hills.

“Hey, what’s that?” Tom asked, pointing at the object. Thomas squinted, looking at what Tom had pointed out.

“Looks like the Recycle Bin.” Thomas explained. Tom nodded.

“Could Jonathan be there?” Tom asked.

“Well, I guess let’s go over there and find out.” He led Tom over the hills to the Recycle Bin. Thomas’s eyes widened and he ran to the translucent walls. There, on the floor of the bin, was Jonathan. His eyes were closed as his body twisted in obvious pain as he seemed to glitch out. “Jonathan!” Thomas yelled, hitting the wall to get his attention.

“What’s happening to him?” Tom asked, noticing how upset Thomas looked.

“I don’t know.” He said. “I’ve never been in there before. Most things that get put in there don’t come back out either.” Thomas nodded and looked around, trying to find a way to scale to the top and rescue Jonathan.

“Is there anything that you can do? A function thing or something?” Tom asked. “Because if that thing gets emptied, I don’t think he’ll come back.” Thomas watched his friend laying there, withering in pain, before he snapped to his senses.

“Um, function right click.” Thomas said with a shrug, not even sure if it would work. He had been to the heart of the program before, but he had never dealt with the Recycle Bin before. Just then, a large menu appeared with several different options. Tom and Thomas looked at each other before examining their options. Open, Empty, Restore, and a couple other things. “Restore.” Thomas said. After a couple seconds, Jonathan appeared on the ground in front of them.

“Is he okay?” Tom asked as Thomas ran to him. He shook him gently. He wasn’t glitching, but he wasn’t moving either. Thomas looked up at Tom, not really sure what to do before Jonathan groaned and opened his eyes.

“What the fuck happened to me?” He groaned. “Thomas?”

“Oh thank god.” He hugged the other character. “Did Magnus do this to you?”

“Yeah.” Jonathan said. “He’s after Caia.” Thomas and Tom exchanged looks. “She’s here, isn’t she?”

“Yep.” Thomas explained. “Come on. We’ll need your help.” He helped Jonathan to his feet. “We have to find her before Magnus does. Because I have a feeling I know what Magnus did with that virus.”

****

Caia walked around downtown, the bright street lamps lighting up her way for her. A couple people that were out stopped to stare at her in her amazing outfit. A few others knew she was Tom Hiddleston’s girl and they were surprised to see her without him. She didn’t seem to notice any of them though, instead focusing on looking around at what there was to offer.

“I’m so hungry.” She whispered to herself as she approached a group of ATMs. She walked up to one and placed her hand on the screen, closing her eyes as the ATM seemed to panic, much like the computers and TV at the hospital had. She walked away from that one as it started to spew out money and went to the next one, continuing this process at all of them.

“Oh my god, they’re giving away free money!” A woman called out to her group of friends. They all ran over as Caia walked away from the piles of money.

“Hey lady, don’t you want any?” A guy asked her. She just smirked and walked away from him. He raised his phone to snap a picture of her, just in case the police showed up at his place the next morning. When he looked at the picture he just took, he was so confused. “What the fuck?” He asked himself, poking one of his buddies to show him the picture.

You could make out the outline of a human body, but it was all pixelated like Missingno. They looked at the camera, at each other, then for the mysterious woman who had made it rain, but she was long gone.

Chapter Text

“We should be safe here for now.” Thomas said, leading Jonathan and Tom into his world, a dark and gritty looking cityscape. “Magnus doesn’t seem to like it here. Probably because it’s always raining or something.” He led the two others to a large house, which Tom remembered as the backdrop for one of the commercials.

“Nice place you got here.” Tom said, looking around. Jonathan had been here a couple times when they were first created, before Thomas went off to do his own thing and the other avatars thought Jonathan had gone crazy. It had changed quite a bit, filled with things that Thomas had brought back with him from his trips to the Internet. Thomas smiled at both of them.

“Thanks.” He said. He walked over to a wall that was filled with all sort of screens. “Here, we can monitor what is going on in the rest of the worlds, and even access webcams from Tom’s world.” Thomas explained. He turned on the monitors. Jonathan watched as the worlds appeared, from his to Loki’s.

“Spying on me?” Jonathan asked with a smirk. Thomas rolled his eyes but didn’t answer. Instead, he watched the monitors, looking for anything that might point to where Caia was. Tom looked around while Jonathan and Thomas made small talk and investigated. He couldn’t believe that Caia had created this in such a short amount of time. He knew that she had been working on this for a long time, but she had spent most of her time creating a kingdom, which he could only assume was Asgard.

“You okay?” Jonathan asked, breaking into Tom’s thoughts. Tom turned to look at him. Thomas was still staring at the screens, but Jonathan was looking at him.

“As well as could be expected, all things considered.” Tom said, walking over to them. “Find anything yet?”

“No.” Thomas said. “But I think I have an idea of what Magnus is using that virus for.” He stood up. “While I was traveling the internet, I learned that humans get viruses all the time.” He looked at Tom, as if waiting for an explanation.

“Yeah. They’re colds and flus and other ailments.” Tom explained, watching him. “But what does that have to do with Magnus and his virus?”

“What if he gave it to Caia? To make her sick?” Thomas asked.

“But it doesn’t work that way, does it?” Jonathan asked in response to Thomas’s question. “She’s bio and we’re digital. I don’t think a computer virus could effect a human the same way that we can’t get their diseases.”

“But this one was different. You saw it.” Thomas said. “You said that she was in the hospital, right Tom?” Tom nodded. Thomas brought up a keyboard then. “Do you remember which hospital?” Tom thought for a second before rattling off which hospital. Thomas typed it in and the security cameras for the hospital popped up. Tom saw there was a larger police presence than there normally was.

“I wonder what happened.” Jonathan wondered aloud. Thomas looked at him.

“Why don’t we see?” He asked. “All it takes is a little password manipulation…”

“So you’re a hacker?” Tom asked. Thomas shrugged.

“I get what I want, when I want, and I’m digital so I can work around firewalls that even Mr. Robot can’t figure out.” He rewound the camera feed until Tom noticed something familiar, but way out of place.

“Stop.” Tom said, which Thomas did. He stared at the screen. He knew it was Caia. It was her body shape and her hairstyle. He didn’t recognize the clothes that she was wearing though. Thomas and Jonathan looked at Tom. “Play.” Thomas nodded and did that. Caia turned for a second to look at the camera before it pixelated out and jumped to what they were seeing. Thomas rewound it again and paused at the moment that Caia looked at the camera.

“That’s not how her eyes normally look, right?” Jonathan asked. Her eyes were glowing a weird color of blue. Tom’s eyes widened as he stared the image.

“Not at all.” Tom said. “We have to find her. Can you locate her here?” Thomas went back to the images of the worlds. Jonathan’s eyes flicked over the screens.

“Hey, something is going on in Asgard.” He said, pointing to people running around, screaming. “That’s usually a peaceful place. Loki keeps a tight lid on things.” Thomas watched the screen closely. His eyes widened when he saw the pixelated form of Magnus on the screen, much how Caia’s had been on the guys phone.

“You guys go there and see what’s going on. I need to get something from the internet.” Thomas told them. Jonathan and Tom watched him stand up.

“What are you going to get?” Jonathan asked. Tom smiled at him.

“A surprise.” He chuckled. “Just be safe okay? I don’t want to find you in the Recycle Bin again.” He patted his shoulder before leaving. Jonathan and Tom looked at each other.

“So…how do we get to Asgard?” Tom asked. Jonathan went to the window.

“The portal is out there.” He said. “Let’s go.”

****

“Stay here.” Loki ordered Caia as he heard people screaming. “There’s a sword right over there on the wall if you need it. I’m going to see what’s going on. If you have to, there’s a portal in the court yard. Take it and go back to Henry. He’ll keep you safe.”

“Don’t go!” Caia said. “You don’t know what’s going on out there.”

“These are my subject.” Loki said.

“They’re NPC’s, right?” You asked.

“They’re still my people. I’m their king.” He kissed her cheek and left her standing in the throne room. She ran over to the wall where the sword was and pulled it and the shield down. She walked to the window where she could look out over the kingdom.

“Magnus?” She gasped. She saw him attacking people left and right. His eyes were a strange color and he seemed to be glitching. She covered her mouth as she watched him stab a man with a knife he had. She backed up and tried to remember where Loki said the portal was. She found a hallway and ran down it, sword and shield firmly held in her hands. But as she came to the end of the hallway, she heard voices.

“This is better than the set. Damn.” A familiar voice said. She closed her eyes, took a deep breath, and then readied her sword. As she walked around the corner, she swang.

“Hey!” Jonathan called out, barely missing the blade. “Watch where you’re swinging that thing lady!”

“Caia?” Tom asked. Caia looked at him. She dropped the shield, but held on to the sword. She ran over and hugged him tightly, making sure he was real. Even though, in this world, it was hard to tell.

“Tom.” Caia said, pulling back. “How did you get here?”

“I used your headset.” He said. Caia raised an eyebrow.

“How can you use it if I’m attached to it?” She asked. Tom and Jonathan looked at each other before explaining everything to Caia. She stared at them like they were crazy, but after everything she had been through here, it was very plausible. She ran a hand down her face.

“Why do you have the sword anyway?” Jonathan asked. Caia looked down at it.

“Magnus is out there, slaughtering people. Loki went to stop him.” Caia explained. Tom and Jonathan’s eyes widened as someone appeared behind Caia. Tom quickly pulled her behind him and took the sword from her.

“He can’t stop me.” Magnus said, tossing an unconscious Loki to the ground. “No one can.” Jonathan went to Loki and checked to make sure he was still alive. “I didn’t kill him.”

“You sent me to the Recycle Bin! So excuse me for checking.” Jonathan growled at Magnus. Magnus just laughed.

“You were a special case. I had to send you away. And I didn’t kill Loki. But I will kill every single one of you if you get in the way of what I want.” He started moving closer to Tom and Caia, knife in hand.

“I wouldn’t count on that.” Thomas said suddenly, jumping onto Magnus and slapping something on his back. Magnus threw him off easily before crying out in pain. He fell to the ground, but as he did, a blue figure stood there. It was a bunch of pixels and looked like it was made of electricity. After a second, it made a loud squeal before exploding. Jonathan shielded Loki before looking up at Thomas.

“What did you do to him?” He asked.

“Anti-virus.” Thomas said with a smirk. Magnus groaned and set up, looking around.

“What happened?” He rubbed his head. “Where am I?” He looked up at Caia and Tom. “Is that Caia? When did you get here?” Thomas pulled Magnus to his feet.

“Looks like we have a lot to talk about.” Thomas said. “You have a lot of explaining to do. And we need to think of a game plan before that other virus destroys everything.”

Chapter Text

“The last thing I remember was standing on Jonathan’s beach.” Magnus explained. They were at Henry’s castle, having left Asgard to make sure all the avatars were involved in this. They all listened to Magnus tell his story. “Thomas had just appeared to talk with Jonathan about something in private and there was this shadow behind him. I went to see what it was, and then I woke up in Asgard.”

“I brought a virus through?” Thomas asked. He looked over at Jonathan. “And if Magnus hadn’t been there, it would’ve gotten to you or I and this would be a whole different situation.”

“Do you remember building a virus?” Henry asked. Magnus shook his head no.

“I remember hearing this hissing voice once and awhile that would talk to me. It said something about unleashing Kärlekskrankt.” Magnus explained. They all looked at him. ”Oh sorry. It’s Swedish for Lovesick.”

”So the virus is called Lovesick?” Tom asked. ”Correct me if I’m wrong darling, but wasn’t there already a Lovesick virus?”

“It was called ILOVEYOU.” Caia explained to them. “Some consider it the most dangerous virus ever. It hit before anti-virus programs were really a thing. It destroyed so many computers and crippled many businesses.” She sighed some. “If this Lovesick virus is a mutation of ILOVEYOU, then we’re all in trouble.” Thomas stood up then.

“If this virus had already destroyed any computers, would it show up if I searched for it?” Thomas asked. Caia thought about it for a second.

“More than likely. Especially if it involved other people’s information.” Thomas nodded and opened a large window in the middle of the room, starting a search to find anything related to what Caia had described.

“What’s that?” Loki asked, pointing at a news article. Thomas opened it.

“Several ATM’s around the city have been spewing out free money,” Tom read. “Many eyewitnesses report the same women being at all the machines.” Tom looked over at Caia.

“That has to be Lovesick.” She said. “What are we going to do? She’s destroying computers. She has to be stopped.” Tom reached over and held your hand. Jonathan and Thomas glanced at each other. Finally, Jonathan stood up.

“We lure her back here.” He stared, everyone looking up at him. “Once Lovesick comes through the portal, I’ll hold her off and Caia escapes to her body and the rest of you get out through the internet.”

“No!” Thomas said, making Jonathan jump. “I’m not letting you go out on some suicide mission.”

“He’s right.” Magnus said. “This was my fault. If anyone is going to stay behind and hold off the virus, it’s me.”

“No.” Jonathan sighed. “Not like anyone would miss me.” He shrugged. Thomas glared and stormed off then. Caia looked at Tom.

“Am I missing something?” She asked. He shrugged.

“You and me both I think.” He said. Jonathan looked at them.

“One of us has to stay behind to hold the virus off because once you leave, you have to destroy the program.” Jonathan explained. Caia’s eyes widened and she jumped up. She grabbed Jonathan’s arm and turned him to look at her.

“I can’t let you do that.” She said. “You’re like my family! I created you guys! I can’t just destroy you!”

“If you don’t, that virus will hurt a lot more people. And you’ll be stuck here.” Henry said, watching her and Jonathan. She looked at Henry then back at Jonathan.

“I can’t let you volunteer for this.” She said. Jonathan kissed her forehead. Tom walked over to them.

“I have an idea.” He said. “Henry, I will need pieces of straw. Jonathan, go get Thomas.” He said. Jonathan nodded and let go of Caia while Henry called for one of his servants to fetch him a handful of straw.

****

“Thomas?” Jonathan called out, walking into the courtyard garden. “Thomas, where are you?” He saw him standing in the middle of the roses. “Hey…”

“How could you say that?” Thomas asked, not even looking up at Jonathan.

“Say what?” Jonathan asked. Thomas glared at him then.

“When I was out looking for a way to find Tom, I looked into the program and you were gone. I wanted to turn around and find you before I even thought about going to find him, but I knew that if I did, things would be worse. So the first thing I did when I found him was look for you. I didn’t care about finding her right away.”

“Thomas…”

“So don’t you dare say that no one would miss you if we escaped to the internet and you stayed behind to hold off Lovesick. Don’t you ever say that.” Thomas looked him right in the eye. “Jonathan, I…”

“Hey guys!” Loki called out. “Tom has an idea. He needs all of us.” Thomas sighed and nodded.

“Be right there.” He called over to the self-proclaimed King of Asgard. “We’ll finish our conversation after we see what Tom wants.” He walked away from Jonathan then. Jonathan sighed but followed long after. They walked to where Henry, Magnus, Loki, Tom, and Caia were.

“So, here’s what we’re going to do,” Tom announced. “I cut pieces of straw into various lengths. Whoever draws the shortest will stay behind to keep Lovesick as bay. So if Jonathan draws the short straw, there’s nothing you can do to stop him.” They all nodded. “Well, let’s get started then.” He held out his hand. Each avatar took one and then held the pieces up to each other.

“No!” Thomas growled once he saw Jonathan’s straw. He took his own and snapped it in half so it was shorter than Jonathan’s. “Mine’s shorter now.”

“That’s not the way it works.” Henry told him. “I will give Jonathan a sword to protect himself while we head to the portal.” Thomas stared at Jonathan. Caia had hugged him after they revealed who was going to stay behind. Henry’s servant brought him a sword. “Jonathan, this will help keep you safe.” He said, handing the sword out to him.

“Thank you Henry.” He said. He turned and looked at Thomas. “It’ll be okay.” Thomas just turned away, throwing his pieces of straw to the ground. Jonathan looked back at the others.

“I think it’s time Tom goes back to his world.” Magnus explained. “He’ll have lure Lovesick to the headset and get her in it. The program will automatically bring the virus here and once it comes through the portal, Caia can run out, get back into her body, and destroy this place.” He missed Thomas squeezing his eyes shut at the thought. Tom walked over to Caia.

“I will get you out of here.” He promised, kissing her gently.

“I’ll take him to the exit.” Thomas said. “I brought him here. I’ll help him get out.” He left then. Tom sighed and followed him outside.

“Thomas…are you okay?” Tom asked as Thomas led him to the exit.

“Fine.” He said, a hard gaze on his face. “Just anxious to get this all over with I guess.” Tom had a feeling that he was lying, but didn’t say anything. “There’s the exit.” He sighed.

“Thanks.” Tom said, heading for it. “Hey Thomas?”

“What?”

“It’ll be okay. He’ll be okay.” Tom said before heading through the portal. Thomas closed his eyes.

“I hope you’re right about that.”

*****

Tom tore off the headset and set in his chair for a second, breathing heavily. He rubbed his eyes and ran a hand down his face. He didn’t understand how people could use these VR things all the time, but the normal ones you could buy at the store weren’t exactly putting your mind and soul right in the middle of it either.

That’s when Tom heard footsteps upstairs. He quickly scrambled up the stairs and his eyes widened to see Caia standing in the middle of the kitchen. The security system had been set, but if she could make ATM’s give out free money and escape the hospital, he was sure that she had no problem getting around that.

“Caia?” Tom asked softly. He wasn’t sure if she knew that they knew she was a virus, but he wasn’t ready to let her know that.

“I’m hungry.” She said, not turning to look at him.

“Well, there’s a whole pantry of food.” HE said. She turned to look at him, those blue iris’s staring into his soul. Around each pupil was a red ring, about three fourths of the way done. She smirked at him.

“I’m so hungry.” She said, reaching out and touching the microwave. Tom watched as the numbers faded out and she closed her eyes. “Much better.” She laughed. She turned and walked around the kitchen. “What else is there to eat?” Tom grabbed a heavy book off the table in the living room before creeping up behind Caia and smacking her in the back of the head. Her body crumpled to the floor.

“Please forgive me for your concussion.” Tom said before carrying her downstairs to finish the plan.

Chapter Text

“Are we almost there?” Loki asked as they made their way to the welcome portal. The world shook some as they made their way. Henry helped Caia stay on her feet. Magnus was scared to go near her after what he had done under the influence of the virus.

“Almost.” Jonathan said, holding firmly to the sword that Henry had given him. Thomas walked by him, wanting so badly to switch places with him. He didn’t want to leave this place knowing that Jonathan had died protecting them. “You sure there’s a weak spot near here so you guys can get out Thomas?”

“Yeah…” Thomas said softly. Jonathan smiled softly and let his hand brush up against Thomas’s. Caia watched them, secretly loving how they were with each other.

“Might need some pump up music.” Jonathan joked, trying to ease the tension. The world shook again. “Do you have any ideas Caia?”

“I listened to a lot of Nirvana while working on this.” She explained. “But for you, I think you need to play “Like a Boss” or some Eminem.” She laughed. Jonathan smiled and looked over at Thomas.

“Do you have any ideas?”

“Yeah. You not fighting this thing by yourself.” Thomas said. Jonathan sighed.

“Oh, just kiss already.” Henry laughed, making Jonathan and Thomas look at each other. Caia thought for a second that they actually were going to when there was a loud hissing noise that filled the world they were in.

“Oh fuck…” Magnus whispered as he saw black and white, pixelated humanoid figure walk through the portal. Jonathan looked over at it before looking back at the others.

“Okay. Get her to the portal and then you hightail it out of here.” Jonathan told them. Thomas looked at him, not wanting to leave him. He walked over to Jonathan, pulled him to him, and kissed him right there, in front of all the others.

“Yes!” Caia said, clapping. Henry and Loki both laughed, and Magnus had a huge smile on his face. “About damn time!”

“You be safe.” Thomas said, resting his forehead against Jonathan’s. Jonathan smiled softly.

“I always am.” The virus hissed loudly then. “Go on. Get Caia out of here.” Thomas reluctantly left Jonathan and went with the others towards the exit portal. Jonathan turned to look at the virus. “Hey! Ugly! Over here!” He raised the hand that had the sword into the air. “Come get me!” Thomas looked over at him as Lovesick stalked over to him.

“Thomas, come on.” Henry said. Thomas turned away as Lovesick launched at Jonathan. They made their way to the portal.

Jonathan ducked as Lovesick attacked. She hissed as she missed, standing up and facing Jonathan again. Jonathan glared her down, checking to see if the others were gone yet.

“You’re so willing to die for them.” Lovesick said, her voice like static. “They think you’re a joke. They literally ignored you. All your ideas. Everything.”

“Someone loves me,” Jonathan said. “And I will fight for him.” She laughed and held up her hand, her own sword appearing in it.

“But will he save you.” She was quick, knocking the sword out of Jonathan’s hand. Jonathan looked over, seeing the guys hug Caia before she disappeared through the portal. He smirked and chuckled. “What’s so funny?”

“Game over.” Jonathan laughed. Lovesick advanced on him.

“My words exactly.” She hissed before he felt a horrible pain. Thomas looked over as Lovesick ripped her sword out of Jonathan’s abdomen and he fell to his knees.

“NO!” He screamed. He ran back over to Jonathan and caught him as he started to fall over. “Jonathan! Hey! Look at me! I’m not leaving you, I promise.” Lovesick raised her sword, intent on cutting into Thomas, but her sword was blocked by the one that Jonathan had dropped. Thomas looked up to see Magnus standing there, sword in hand.

“Magnus?” Thomas asked, Jonathan held to his side.

“I’m not leaving.” He said. “Not without you guys.” Thomas looked to see Henry and Loki walking over, standing between him and Jonathan, and Lovesick.

“Get out of here while you still can.” Thomas said, looking down at Jonathan. “I’m not leaving him.”

“Either we all get out of here together, or none of us do.” Loki declared. Jonathan looked up at them weakly. Thomas cupped his face.

“Just stay with me, okay?” He asked. Jonathan nodded slowly. Lovesick turned and headed back toward the exit, hoping to get out. Just then, the world started to disappear, turning into the blueprints of the world before turning white.

“Come on!” Henry said. Thomas got Jonathan to his feet and the five of them took off to the internet exit, Lovesick on their tail.

“Just a little farther.” Thomas said as he felt Jonathan tripping over his feet.

“’M tired.” Jonathan whimpered. “Just leave me.” Thomas looked back at the world behind them, watching as it enveloped Lovesick. Her sickening scream was all that could be heard as she was erased with their home.

“I’m not going anywhere without you!” Thomas called out. “Almost there!” He said as they got closer to the portal.

But then, all he saw was white.

****

Caia set up violently and ripped the headset off her head. Tom jumped up from where he had been sitting, waiting for any sign that she was okay. Caia took a deep breath, then groaned and grabbed her head.

“Ow, my head fucking hurts.” She hissed.

“Sorry about that. I had to knock you out.” Tom said. Caia closed her eyes for a second before turning to the computer and bringing up the part of the program she needed, her finger hovering over the delete button. “What are you doing?”

“They’re all still in there.” She said.

“Caia, you have to do it.” Tom said. She nodded, tears in her eyes, as she hit the delete button. A progress bar popped up, showing what was being deleted and how much longer it was going to take. She closed her eyes after a moment, a tear falling down her face. Tom held her close as he watched the bar.

Ping!

“It’s over.” Caia whispered, wiping her eyes. “It’s all gone. They’re gone.”

“I’m so sorry.” Tom said, rubbing her back. He felt her trembling.

“I think we need a vacation.” She whispered. Tom nodded and picked her up.

“I think that’s a great idea.”

Chapter Text

Three Months Later

Caia relaxed on the beach in the Bahamas, sun glasses on, her cutest swimsuit fitting her just right, and her favorite book. Tom was out in the water, splashing around, and she was opting more for just the tanning part. But, for some reason, a barking dog kept drawing her attention. There had been plenty of barking dogs on the beach today, but for some reason, this one kept making her stop reading. Tom came over then.

“Hey sweetie.” He said, kissing her. “What’s up?”

“Nothing. Just distracted.’ She laughed, putting her book down. She looked around to where the dog might be, and found it playing a little bit down from her with two guys and a Frisbee.

“Just throw it already Thomas.” One of the guys said. “He wants to chase it.”

“I’m just having some fun with him Jonathan.” The other one said. Caia looked over at Tom, who was staring too.

“Coincidence.” He said. “It has to be.”

“Is there any chance they got out and somehow found bodies?” Caia asked. “Is there any way they could’ve escaped?”

“I…I don’t know…” Tom said. One of the guys, the one with sandy brown curls, looked over at them with a big smile on his face. He winked at them before lacing hands with the other guy and walking down the beach with the dog. Caia looked at Tom.

“If it is them, at least they are together now.” She said. Tom nodded.

“I’m going to go grab us a couple drinks.” He said, giving her a kiss. “I’ll be right back.” With that, he headed over to the little beach bar. Caia looked back down the beach, to where the guys had disappeared to, but they were gone.

“At least you’re together now.” She said with a small smile on her face before turning her attention back to her book, no barking dog this time to distract her.

The End