Chased by the Past
Part IX: No Pictures
“TakecareJaeger!” Tachyon yelled as she and Sentinel headed towards the school gates.
“And make sure the next time you leave the school it’s through these things with a friend,” Sentinel said, pointing upwards at the gates as they passed under them. I rolled my eyes but smiled at them.
I was heading back to the house when I got a text from Harley asking to hang out. I mean, I’d be sticking to the rules if we did. Then a new text came from Caroline talking about a group of us going to an under 21 club in town. I stared down at my phone, remembering a time when no one contacted me unless it was Syndicate related. After Kellen and then Ace had left I just didn’t bother pursuing relations beyond casual hook ups. I shook my head and texted back Harley, telling them of the houses plans. They immediately replied to say they’d head over to the house to meet me in a few minutes.
“You!” I blinked at Charlie and slowly closed the door behind me. I quickly remembered the prank I had pulled earlier.
“Yes shortie?” I asked, smirking.
“That was a cheap shot.”
“It worked. If you still need help getting them down, the step-ladder is in Sanjay’s lab.”
“Fine. Gloves are off, you will pay.”
“Show me what you got.” I laughed and walked past to my room. Sanjay was there, looking up and frowning.
“Did you say the step ladder was in my lab?” he asked.
“It may have possibly found its way there. I couldn’t possibly comment,” I replied, doing my best innocent voice. He sighed behind me. “Are you coming to the club as well?” I asked.
“I don’t really do the dancing thing, even when Sana tried to get me to – plus, I’ve got this little munchkin over here to watch,” he said, nodding to the small girl curled up on his bed. I wrecked what memories I had of last night before Kellen.
“Oh…Vani, right?” I guessed, hoping I was right.
“Yep. That’s her,” he replied. I let out an internal breath of relief. Then realised there was an awkward silence hanging.
“Cool,” I said to fill it. I’d never dealt with little children in my life, being an only child and working for a crime organisation didn’t exactly come with babysitting on the side.
“So, dancing’s your thing?” he asked, after shooting me a smile.
“Ehh, I don’t mind it. Just figure it’s worth having a fun night out. I tend to dance better with alcohol though, which apparently this place doesn’t have…” I shrugged.
“Well, we are underage,” he pointed out. Yeah, because that was going to stop me.
“But eh, maybe I should try the dancing thing sometime, has to be something if two people want me to.” He continued speaking in that rambly way he usually did when he was nervous and I couldn’t help a smirk forming on my face.
I just never really got it, but maybe it’s one of those things that requires friends or— I’m rambling aren’t I?” he stopped himself.
“Just a little bit,” I teased. “Have a good night in,” I added. He bit his lip, seemingly amused by my response. I averted my gaze away from his mouth and focussed on picking stuff from my wardrobe.
“Have fun,” Sanjay said.
I grabbed some clothes, hesitating when I came across an old hoodie. I picked it up and put it in a bottom drawer to be forgotten. I then went for a quick wash. Normal ripped black jeans and a grey shirt. I checked myself in the mirror, brushing some of my fringe to the side so people could actually see the black eyebrow bar above my right eye. I went back to our room and grabbed a black jacket and black and red checkered beanie.
I joined the others downstairs when the doorbell rang. I opened it and Harley was standing there, wearing a black and white pirate skull and crossbones patterned vest top over a long-sleeve purple mesh top that wrapped around their palms, loping around their thumbs. I looked downwards to see another signature lolita style skirt, complete with purple ribbons, only this was noticeably shorter. Also heels with fishnet tights.
“Hello again,” they said, smirking at my expression.
“Hey,” I said, before clearing my throat. “Come on in,” I said. As I walked past I noticed they’d tied up their hair in an intricate french plait, leaving bangs either side of their face. I introduced them to the others going with us which were quite a few, including some of the housemates I hadn’t really spoken too. Harley flew past me, going out of their way to learn people’s names and something about them. It was kind of impressive to watch. Charlie gave the call for us to move and Sage had to encourage Allen to come join us. From his expression you would think he entered a lion’s den.
“Nice hat,” he said.
“Thanks,” I replied, frowning.
The club was called Annex and was a converted warehouse type deal. It didn’t strike me as any better or worse than the clubs I’d been too before. Unfortunately the Legion had swiped my fake ID when they caught me. Although the bouncers looked like they’d catch me if I had tried to sneak anything in.
“You need to sign this waiver before entering,” he said, handing a copy to me and Harley.
“Live band, nice,” they said. I bit my lower lip as I read that the band used emotional psionic powers. More mental messing with. However I was also aware of the others waiting behind us and it was unlikely the band were going to zero in on individuals if they were going for a crowd effect. I signed it along with handed over $2 and followed Harley inside.
It was a large open space inside, with a generous dance floor and dotted tables and booths around the outside, a long bar on the right which only served non-alcoholic drinks of course. There was easy to dance to music playing along with strobe lights turning the dance floor into a rainbow of colours and swirling patterns.
“Let’s dance,” Harley immediately said, grabbing my hands and pulling me after them. I laughed but didn’t argue, and I certainly didn’t object as they pulled our bodies closer. After three songs we were sweaty and tired, I waved at the bar and they nodded. I took their hand and led them out of the moving sea of bodies. Drinks ordered we sat at a free table to cool down.
“So, you stole cars?” Harley asked. I choked on my drink a little, surprised by the question.
“What?” I asked.
“You told Shekaree that you hotwired cars. Which means you stole cars,” they explained.
“I could’ve worked as a mechanic as well you know,” I pointed out.
“Did you?” they asked.
“No,” I laughed.
“So. What I’ve established is you’re obviously here on a parole of some kind,” they said, watching people dance.
“Why are you here?” I asked. They considered the question before answering.
“I want to make my mum proud, and prove the rest of my family wrong,” they said.
“Are they not trans friendly?” I asked.
“Something like that,” they said, looking down at their drink, moving their straw so the ice moved. “What about you, was your family okay with you being trans?”
“Yeah,” I replied. Heppenheim had even researched and did my chest surgery for me. Suddenly the lighting around us changed, the music fading. We looked towards the stage where a band had set up. A tall, dark-skinned guy with long hair and lots of silver approached the mic stand.
“Good evening everyone,” he declared. “My name is Zayne and this is the Unkindness’ first performance of the year, glad to see the house is packed.” Some people in the crowd cheered, so they were obviously good and well-known.
“Are y’all ready to dance?” he asked, getting louder cheers.
“Let’s go,” Harley said. I laughed and shook my head, I wasn’t up for more dancing. The band started playing and the music was pretty good. Then Zayne started singing, and I felt the change. I’d spent enough of my life influenced by mind powers to recognise the influence. I tensed but reminded myself this was nothing directed at me, but at the crowd as a whole.
“Please,” Harley pushed, holding out a hand. I let the powers sway me and agreed, joining them on the floor again. I saw that Sage and Allison were dancing with one another, the chemistry clear. The band played a couple of songs, each one as good as the next. As the night progressed we moved closer, until we were kissing at regular intervals. Each time needing a minute to catch our breaths.
“Wanna get out of here?” I whispered while kissing their neck.
“Hell yes,” they replied. I smiled and led them from the dance floor again and waved at the bouncers as we left. We grabbed the bus and went back to the house. I saw the lights on in Sanjay’s lab so I knew our room was empty. Even so I quickly ducked my head in to make sure we weren’t about to scare Sanjays little sister Vani or give Sanjay himself a impromptu porno. Once I saw the room was empty we moved quickly, giggling, into the bedroom. They took a moment to stare at my side of the bedroom before turning to face me.
“No pictures?” they asked.
“No pictures,” I replied, not particularly interested in conversation. I kissed them and their tongue eagerly met mine. I pushed them on the bed and things soon escalated, with them failing to keep their moans quiet.
After Harley fell asleep easily, with a contented look on their face. I sat up next to them and looked across to Sanjay’s empty bed. I probably should’ve let him know in advance somehow that we were going to be in here. I got out of the bed quietly, making sure not to disturb Harley and grabbed some fresh PJs. I had a quick wash and pulled on the clothes. The house was still empty so the others must’ve still been out. I walked into the living room where Sanjay was sleeping and watched him for a moment, leaning against the door frame. It was easy to imagine a life where Kellen didn’t turn up, where I just let Ravenhold be my new world, where I could somehow answer all the questions Sanjay asked me. I shook my head to clear it of the childish fantasy and went back upstairs.