Chase's head had been pounding all morning. He felt like he was going to throw up and or collapse and honestly, the latter felt more realistic as he wandered the halls to math class. He had what should be just a cold, but it felt far more intense. He had started subtly glitching, but he knew he was going to get worse and he just wanted to hide and sleep in his capsule.
He couldn't get home alone, though, he knew he wouldn't make it and he didn't want to call Mr Davenport or Tasha because they were busy. He stopped as he strained to think, something that frankly scared him with his intellect; he usually hated missing school. Did he actually want to go home or was he just feeling sorry for himself?
But then he sneezed, and as he did, a trashcan flew across the room. Yep, he needed to go home.
So, he diverted away from the route to math and started towards Bree's French class. He took a breath, or at least as much of a breath as his bunged-up nose would allow him and knocked on the door.
"Come in," the teacher called from inside, so Chase opened the door. He made brief eye-contact with Bree before turning to the teacher.
"Sorry to interrupt, Sir," he began politely, "But I've just had a message from our father, could I please have I quick word with my sister?"
"Sure," the teacher shrugged, "Be quick, Miss Davenport." Bree rolled her eyes at Chase and stood up, quickly making a beeline for the exit whilst avoiding stares from her peers. She closed the door behind him and stared at Chase, folding her arms, but he was too tired to let her hostility stop him.
"This better be a mission alert, Chase," she looked slightly worried, but Chase just sighed.
"Sorry for pulling you out of class," he muttered, "But could you take me home? I'm glitching and I feel…" he trailed off as he tried to stop his stomach churning and his head spinning.
Bree was holding him up before he realised he was going down. He looked her in the eye and she seemed concerned above any previous hostility.
"Sure," she sighed, "Hold on." Chase did the best he could, "But I swear if you mess my hair up with your laser bow, I'll drop you in the ocean."
"Bree? Chase?" Bree smiled a greeting at her father as she dropped Chase as gently as she could on a stool in the lab. Davenport stood up from his work desk, "What are you doing home? Why is Chase dying?"
Chase seemed borderline unconscious, he had definitely made the right call to be brought home. His nose was red, his eyes running and he only spoke in moans, croaks and coughs.
"He's sick," Bree sighed, holding him up, "He asked me to superspeed him home because he's –" Chase sneezed and a book flew across the room; Bree ducked and the book smashed into the wall, "Glitching."
Chase whimpered, "I'm sick."
Davenport sighed, "Why didn't you say something this morning, Chase? Bree, get him into his capsule, I'll see what's the matter with him."
"Mr Davenport," Bree did as she was told quickly and turned to her father, "Look, I'm supposed to be in class. I said I'd only be gone a minute." Davenport hesitated some more and Bree waited impatiently as she tapped her foot on the floor. She watched her father as he tapped buttons on the cyber desk and watched Chase.
"Sorry Bree," he eventually spoke, "Chase has two viruses: one in his chip and one in his body. Both should make him sick and now he's in a really bad state."
"Yeah, yeah, Chase is weak, yada, yada," Bree sighed, "Can I go back to French class? Jake Matthews was staring at me."
"Bree," Davenport looked at her, sharpening his tone a little, but then he sighed again, "I'm sorry, but I have to go to three back-to-back business meetings this afternoon and Chase is borderline delusional. Someone has to make sure he doesn't leave his capsule."
"What?" Bree's eyes widened, "No! I'm not babysitting my brother, he's fifteen!"
"He's really sick," Davenport told her, "I'm sorry, but he needs taking care of. Text Adam or Leo to pick up your stuff and bring it home at the end of the day." Bree looked over at Chase as he sniffed, half-unconscious in his capsule; she could think of nothing worse.
"Fine," she sighed as she rolled her eyes, "You owe me though."
"Yes, I do," Davenport kissed her forehead and he scoffed. "Right, I'm going. Bye Chase, feel better!" Chase groaned and whimpered, "Bree, text me if anything gets worse. His capsule is set to fix his chip, but he is going to majorly glitch if he gets out. It's really dangerous."
"Yes, you've mentioned and I get it, he's your favourite. Go to work!" She practically pushed him out the door and up the elevator; he tried to protest, but she smiled falsely, they both knew she was right and she deserved being right after being stuck on babysitting duty for God knows how long.
Finally, Bree was alone. Maybe Chase would sleep, maybe she would get a chance to relax.
She had almost sat down when she heard the tapping.
"Bree," Chase's whiny, pathetic voice was even worse than usual. Bree ignored him. "Bree, I'm thirsty," he said as loudly as his throat would let him. She did not want to wait on him. "Bree," Chase whined, "Can you get me some water?" Bree sighed, "Pretty please?"
"Ugh," Bree turned to face his stupid pouting, "Fine! God, you don't have to whine about it."
She supersped out of the room and returned seconds later with a cup of water, but she stopped when she realised that she had no way of actually giving it to him without unlocking his capsule.
"Can your molecular-kinesis work?" She asked him, Chase shrugged.
"Maybe," he said and visibly struggled to lift his tired arm to use his bionics.
"No, it's fine," Bree sighed, forcing on a rubber glove and unlocking his capsule, "Don't tire yourself out, here." She walked up to the capsule and held the cup at arm's length. Eventually he opened the door and took the water. She locked the door and sat back down at the cyber desk, facing away from him and reading her magazine.
"Thank you," Chase said quietly and Bree rolled her eyes. Pathetic little baby.
She didn't know how long she had been down in the lab, maybe an hour or so, but either way, she had thought Chase was asleep. She was just flicking through another magazine when she heard it. Those annoying little taps from that annoying little twerp.
"Bree," Chase called, tap, tap, "Bree," tap, "Bree," tap, tap, tap, "Bree!"
"What?" Bree spun in her chair and glared at Chase, who winced as she shouted. Bionic hearing; Bree sighed. "What do you want, Chase?"
"I'm cold," he whined, "And hot."
"Don't care," she flicked through her magazine.
"Bree!" Chase tried to stamp his foot, but he was too tired, "Mr Dabenpore said you had to take care of me!"
"I'm sorry," Bree laughed and turned to face her brother, "Mr Who?"
Chase sighed as Bree waited; she really should be taking care of her little brother, but this was too much fun. He always corrected other people and acted superior, this was her chance to get him back.
"Mr Dabenpore!" Chase said it again and sighed, "You know who I mean will you please just get me a blanket."
"If," she leant down on the cyber desk, "You can say his name correctly."
"Bree," Chase whined, "Why are you being so mean? I'm tired." He looked so pathetic that Bree honestly had to give it to him. She rolled her eyes, "Fine." So she supersped off to get a blanket and dropped it at the foot of his capsule. "Thanks," he sniffed and she went back to her chair. "Could I have some soup please? And some more water? My throat hurts."
"Chase," Bree stood up, exasperated, "I just sat down!"
"I'm sorry," Chase shivered, "It's not my fault I'm sick."
Bree shook her head at her little brother, "Back in a sec," she sped off upstairs, returning with more water and some soup. "You want a sippy cup with that, you big baby?"
"No," Chase retorted, "But a straw would be nice, my lips are getting a little chapped.
"Suck it up," Bree rolled her eyes and sat down; little brothers were so annoying.
But then she heard it, tiny little whimpers from inside Chase's capsule. She turned around and actually laughed, "Oh my God, Chase, are you crying?"
The door to his capsule exploded open and Chase ran out into the lab. Bree's heart beat faster, Davenport had said that was dangerous! Was Spike out again? Or was this just Chase being rebellious? She thought she had locked him in.
"Chase!" Bree walked up to him, "Chase, you're not supposed to be out of your –" But he ran past her, he skidded to a halt by a trash can and he violently threw up inside. Bree could hear him crying as well, gasping for air between vomiting and sniffing and… she sighed. Chase was a real mess; she had been awful to him. "Hey," she said more gently and walked up to him, "It's alright," she made to rub his back, "Get it out."
"No," he shuffled away, "No, no," he threw up again and gasped for breath, "Bree get away from me!"
"Your chip could get," he threw up again, "Infected. You're more important than me on missions and if two of us are down then," he coughed up more sick and, actually shaking, he slid down onto his knees; he looked green. He didn't finish his sentence in anything Bree understood, just vague, incoherent mumbles. Bree felt terrible for him, she tried to step nearer, but Chase wouldn't let her.
"Fine," she sighed, tapped the cyber desk and moved across to her own capsule. She watched Chase as she stepped inside, closed the door and felt the sharp stabbing feeling as her chip was extracted from her neck. She left it concealed inside her capsule and walked back over to her now completely delirious brother.
"Bree?" He looked up at her through squinted eyes, "No, get away."
"Chase," she said sternly and lugged him up into standing, "I'm sorry, okay?" She hated being wrong, "I thought you were making a big fuss out of nothing before, but you're really sick. Let me take care of you."
"But your chip."
"My chip is in my capsule," she told him, "And it's time you went in yours before you glitch again, come on."
They were almost at his door and she swung it open, but Chase fell and propped himself by chance against the doorframe. She wrapped him in the blanket and held his water cup up to his mouth. He took a sip, grimaced at the sore throat and smiled at his sister.
"Bree," he pouted.
"What?" She sighed, reminding herself to be nice.
"Arms hurt, feed me?"
Bree just stared at her younger brother and all at once she began laughing. "Just because I'm taking pity on your pathetic little immune system, okay?" And she couldn't believe she did it, but she sat there for half an hour spoon-feeding Chase chicken-noodle soup on the floor of the lab. Once he was done, Chase, contented, leant against the wall of his capsule and smiled, closing his eyes and pulling his blanket around himself further.
"Thanks Bee," he muttered, and he probably did actually say her name, or it was probably due to his nasally, bunged-up voice, but Bree was sure she heard Chase's old nickname for her.
"Bee?" She echoed, smiling, "Aww, Chasey, little baby."
"I said Bree," he argued back, "It's not my fault your name's diffi…diffim…you know?" He drifted off, so Bree stood up and closed the door.
"Yeah Chase, I know," she answered back and smiled as she watched him sleep. Well, back to her magazines.
Chase was alone. He was scared and it was dark and he couldn't see anything. All he could do was hear, he could hear the horrible sounds of the whole world, he could hear the earth moving, he could feel it and he was terrified. But the thing that scared him most was that he was alone. He could sense something, a threat in the darkness, it was coming for him and he tried to scan it, tried to use his laser bow to defend himself, but it wasn't working. The only bionics he could use was his hearing and it was horrible, crippling.
Chase could barely stand. He called for Adam and Bree but they weren't there.
"Adam!" It just echoed, making his hearing worse, no response, "Bree!" Again, same pain, same nothing, "Help me!" He cried, he could sense he was dying, he wished he was back in his capsule, "Help me!"
"Chase." He heard his name, he recognised the voice far out in the darkness. "Chase, wake up."
Chase jolted awake at the tapping on his capsule door; it was so loud. But his eyes shot open. Bree, he could see her looking at him.
"Chase, wake up!" She was calling to him and when he did, she finally opened the capsule door. But it got louder. The huge, deafening sound from his dream didn't go away and Chase shrunk further into a ball as he screamed. "Chase, it's alright, it's just a thunder storm."
"Close the door, you're making it worse!"
"Sorry," Bree chewed her lip and without thinking, she closed it shut behind her as she walked closer to him. She was just trying to help, Chase knew that, she had been told to help him. But she had closed it behind her.
"Bree," Chase groaned, he felt no better, "Please, please just tell me the lock is disabled."
"Um," Bree looked around, then gasped, "I mean, I could tell you, but it would be a lie."
"So you've just locked us both in my capsule?" Even the sound of Chase's own voice was torment; he had to stop speaking.
"Okay, okay, I'm an idiot," Bree was whispering, but Chase still heard her, "Let me look after you.
"You can't," Chase was adamant, "We're stuck." He was terrified, but he couldn't tell Bree that, she would just make fun of him.
"Come here," Bree shuffled and pulled Chase closer, she wrapped her arms around him and at first it felt weird, but then, although Chase could still hear the thunder, he felt safer. "Try and go back to sleep," she spoke so quietly it was quiet even for him and he loved her for it. "It's just thunder, Chasey, I've got you."
He remembered when they were little and they used to do this; he used to be able to hear Bree's heart beating and it used to absolutely fascinate him.
"Thanks Bee," he mumbled, and he tried to ignore the thunder as he fell asleep.
"Hey, Bree!" Davenport called as loud as he dared from the elevator to the lab with Adam and Leo behind him; he knew Chase's bionic hearing would be acting up and he didn't want to hurt the poor kid more than his sickness already hurt him.
"Mr Davenport, she probably didn't hear you," Adam shook his head, "Bree!" He bellowed and even Davenport winced.
"Adam," he lectured, "You'll hurt Chase, be quiet." Hopefully that freak storm hadn't done too much damage to him, but all worry was cut off when he led his two other sons into the lab.
"Where's Bree?" Leo asked, looking around, but when Davenport saw where she was, he let out an adoring laugh.
"Look," he pointed over at Chase's capsule and all three turned their heads. Bree and Chase were both in Chase's capsule, snuggled under the same blanket with Bree's arm wrapped around her brother.
"Aww," Adam sounded, which at first seemed to be a similar reaction to Davenport, but then he seemed put out, "They had a cuddle party without me? No fair!"
He stepped forwards, but Davenport held him back. "Adam, don't. Chase's virus will affect your chip if you go too near him for too…" he trailed off. Bree. Oh my God she was so stupid.
"Bree's just made herself sick," Davenport huffed, running over to the cyber desk. But then once he tapped a few buttons on the console, Bree's own capsule sparked. "She took it out," he blinked in disbelief, then his face softened as he stared at his sleeping kids, "Aww."
"Should we wake them up?" Leo asked, but Adam stopped them.
"Hang on," he got his phone out his pocket, "Let me get a picture first. They'll hate this, it'll be so awesome."
But Davenport shook his head once Adam had taken the photo and walked over to Chase's capsule. He opened the door and gently shook his kids awake.
"Hey you guys," he chuckled, "Bree, Chase?"
"What?" Bree sat up, blinked to get her surroundings as Chase did the same thing. Then they looked at each other.
"Ew," they chorused.
"Get out of my capsule, Bree!" Chase kicked, still sick, still adamant he was going to act like a toddler.
"Why were you even in there?" Leo laughed.
"Genius over there locked us both in," Chase rolled his eyes. "Stupid storm."
"I was trying to comfort you," Bree fired back, "You're welcome by the way."
"Comfort him?" Davenport looked at Chase, "Aww, buddy, are you still afraid of thunder?"
Chase stuttered, he looked at Bree, "No. Bree is. What's thunder? Ha, me, afraid." Another clap sounded that Davenport barely heard. But all of a sudden Chase screamed.
"Chase," Bree sighed and moved closer to her brother, "It's okay, just breathe through it," Davenport watched as Chase let Bree hug him. Yeah, he had done a good job raising these kids; they were there for each other.
But all of a sudden Bree sneezed.
"Oh God," Adam jumped back, "They're contagious! Everybody run!"
"Adam," Davenport shook his head, "No, Bree, you'll be fine, just get in your capsule. It's not your chip, just his biological cold, you'll be fine."
"Dibs not taking care of them!" Leo shouted and ran as far out of the lab as possible.
"Mr Dabenpore," Chase groaned, "Please don't make Adam take care of us, he'll kill us! He's worse than Bree!"
"Alright, fine," he rolled his eyes, "I guess you're stuck with Eddy then."
Bree and Chase shared a look from their capsules.