AN: I really wanted to finish this before tonight's episode. Not sure if I'll keep going, so let me know if you think there's more story to be told.
By the way, I really can't thank you guys enough for your absolutely lovely comments! They means so much to me, and I'm so glad you enjoy the story.
The morning had come, and it was time for Alisha to go back to community service. But this time it felt different. This time, she and Future Simon had a shared understanding that she wouldn't be coming back. At least not for a while. She had been about to leave when she stopped at the gate to the elevator and turned back to face him.
"I don't want to leave you."
"Don't worry about me." Simon dismissed. "Present Simon will give you more than enough to be getting on with."
He smiled his cheeky smile, but Alisha wasn't fooled. She knew he would be lonely and she wanted more than anything not to be the cause of that. She was about to say as much, when Simon stepped forward in a flash and bundled her up in a tight hug.
"I'll miss you." He whispered in her ear.
The sentiment was short and sweet, but she didn't expect anything else from her Simon. He could convey a lot of sentiment with very few words. It was one of the many things Alisha loved about him. She held him tightly back, savouring being able to spend some of the last few moments with the only person she could be completely honest with. Finally, Simon let go. With a quick peck on her cheek, he opened the gate behind her and she obediently stepped into the elevator. As the lift began to move slowly upwards, Alisha just caught some of his last words to her.
"Besides, you'll see me around."
When Alisha walked into the community centre change rooms, it was to find that Nathan and Kelly were already inside.
"…Well maybe she's got a Simon tattoo too!" she heard Nathan from around a row of lockers before turning the corner to greet them.
She just caught the tail end of their conversation before they promptly shut up upon seeing Alisha emerge from behind the lockers. It wasn't much of a reach to deduce they had been talking about her.
"Alright?" Kelly said in an attempt at nonchalance. Nathan, however, took a somewhat different approach.
"We need you to strip so we can check for a mysterious tattoo we think you might have."
"Fuck off." Alisha instantly replied.
She had heard all about their ridiculous run-in with a super-powered tattoo artist. She supposed that from their point of view, it might seem like some kind of fucked up storm-related shit was going on. In fairness, they were right. There was some seriously fucked up shit going on, but just not at all in the way they thought. She inwardly cursed herself for not being more careful the day before. She had known Simon wouldn't die, so why did she have to freak out so much? Though at the same time, if she hadn't freaked out, Simon might have died. So did that mean that the timeline had required her to be in love with him at that point for her to have saved him, so he could go back in time and make her love him? The whole time-travel thing gave her a headache, so she let it go. Instead, she turned to Kelly and Nathan, who were both looking at her expectantly.
"Look, I haven't been fucked with alright? I'm not under the influence of some bullshit power, so just let it go, yeah?"
With this, and her 'break-up' with Future Simon, this day was really not shaping up to be a very good one.
"How come you could touch Simon?" Kelly was clearly undeterred by Alisha's attitude.
"I don't know, alright? Just leave it!" She slammed her locker shut having fully changed into her jumpsuit, and left the locker rooms in a sour mood.
Once her day of community service was over, Alisha was desperate to leave. The one thing she had been looking forward to was seeing (Present) Simon. She was nervous about what he would think or say about their relationship, but even so, she was desperate to see him. When their community service had begun (they were sorting out sports equipment into two piles: functioning and non-functioning) Simon still hadn't arrived. When he did finally turn up, he apologized to Shaun for being late, claiming that he had trouble getting dressed that morning on account of the bruised ribs. Shaun had taken one look of Simon up and down, and told him to go home and sleep off the hang over. And so Simon had no choice but to leave. Alisha managed to make eye contact with him for a second, but as usual, his face was impossible to read.
Curtis had, of course, demanded to know what happened after he left the day before, especially after he had seen Simon's condition. Kelly and Nathan exchanged a few awkward glances and pointed stares at Alisha, but eventually they filled him in. When they got the point of Alisha freaking out about Simon getting hurt, Alisha was surprised to notice that both of them skated over the details of how upset she had been. They had no choice, however, but to tell Curtis the truth about Alisha's ability to touch Simon. It was a highly significant change to their established abilities, and it would have been completely unfair to withhold that from Curtis. Both of them, however, made sure to make it sound like an accident as a result of all the chaos, as opposed to something deliberate or significant on Alisha's part. Alisha, in turn, was shocked at the extent to which Kelly and Nathan had managed to make her part in the whole ordeal insignificant.
Thanks. Alisha thought pointedly, and from the look on Kelly's face, Alisha knew she'd got the message.
Still, while Curtis managed not to completely freak out about her ability to touch Simon, they did spend the whole rest of the day obsessing over two things: one, why Alisha was suddenly able to touch someone that they knew for sure she hadn't been able to touch in the past, and two, why Superhoodie hadn't showed up. Both topics of conversation made Alisha deeply uncomfortable for obvious reasons. The predominant theory about Alisha's power was that it might be wearing off. In order to test this theory, all three of them made Alisha go around touching anything that moved. As she knew it would be, her power was still in full force; everyone from Kelly to Shaun to the stray cat in the alley behind the community centre got insatiably horny for her at the slightest touch. Forced to abandon that theory, they decided that something must have changed with Simon and that they'd need to look into it once he returned.
So in the absence of any clues about Alisha's power, they moved on to trying to understand why Superhoodie hadn't arrived to save Simon. Alisha would have found the conversation funny if she hadn't been in such a foul mood. Their theories ranged from the completely ridiculous to the downright insulting, but none of them came even close to guessing the truth. So she suffered through the day in relative silence, preferring to tune out her friends entirely rather than participate in a conversation that would require her to lie prolifically At long last, Shaun came out of his office and told them to go home.
"What's up with you?" Curtis turned to her while they were alone in the change rooms together.
Alisha tried to remain casual, but as she and Curtis had spoken alone together very little since they broke up, she thought her behaviour must have been quite strange if it was enough to prompt him into talking to her.
"Nothing I'm fine. Just…" Alisha quickly conjured up a lie "I'm just freaked out about my power. I don't know what's going on with it." Alisha didn't enjoy lying, but she was good at it when she had to be. Increasingly, it was a skill that had been coming in handy, though the more she was forced to lie, the more she wished she wasn't so good at it.
"No, that's it. It just hasn't been a good day."
Again Curtis nodded. For a very brief moment he reached out and squeezed her shoulder over the fabric of her jumpsuit.
"We'll figure this out, yeah? I promise." He let go of her and moved to the door, but he stopped and turned back, clearly remembering something he wanted to say. "Also, I'm sorry we made you touch stuff today. I know you hate to use your power."
And with that he left, leaving Alisha feeling more guilty than she had since this whole thing started.
She dressed slowly after that, keen to avoid the others as they left. Eventually, she could find no excuse to hang around, so she left back for her own home. The desire to go see Future Simon was overwhelming, especially given how difficult the day had been, but she resisted the urge and turned the corner in the direction of her house. At which point, she spotted Simon, standing with his back straight against the exterior wall of the community centre. When he spotted Alisha, he stepped forward. He was wearing his usual shirt buttoned to the top and denim jacket. In a way, Alisha kind of liked that version of Simon's dress just as much as the style that Future Simon would develop; this one was familiar and comfortable.
"Hi." He said as she approached.
"Hi." She repeated.
"I broke up with Jennifer." He spoke slightly quicker than usual, suggesting to Alisha that he was nervous. She found that kind of endearing.
"Oh?" She knew her response was crap, but she didn't know what else she could say. "Ok."
Simon was looking at her in that way he had of really staring someone down without meaning to. His gaze was always intense, but the look on his face this time suggested something else. He seemed to be waiting for Alisha to say something. But now it came down to it, she was scared. She knew this was a pivotal moment in their future relationship, but she couldn't think what to say. When the silence began to grow, Simon appeared to give up.
"Anyway, I just thought you might want to know." With that, he turned and walked away. He had only gone two steps when Alisha remembered exactly what she wanted to say.
"Simon!" she called to him. He turned around expectantly. Alisha took a moment to compose her thoughts, and then she dove right in.
"Do you remember when you said you thought it was hard for beautiful girls?" Simon nodded. "Well, I think it's hard for you too. You don't deserve the way people have been treating you. You don't deserve the way I treated you."
"It doesn't m-"
"No, it does matter!" Alisha cut him off. "Simon," she stepped towards him until they were within easy touching distance. "I think you're incredible. I think you're smart, and kind, and really, really brave. And you care for all of us. You're the heart of this whole group, and I think it must be hard to feel that no one notices. So, I just, wanted to say that I notice. And I think you're incredible."
She leaned up to him and gave him a chaste kiss. When she stepped back, she felt Simon take hold of her hand. As they began to walk slowly together, hand in hand, Alisha felt that at long last, her future could finally begin.
AN: I struggled a bit with the very last sentence. I had about 3 or 4 different versions of the end. I still think this one is a bit cheesy, but I wanted to give a little bit of closure in case I decided not to continue with the story.
I hoped you liked it anyway! Reviews are absolutely my favourite thing in the world by the way. In case you were curious. xxx