Chase had no idea what, but something made him wake up. He didn't know what time it was, just that it was dark – so either really late or really early – and he blinked a few times and yawned as he looked around. He had no idea why he did this, but as the one in the middle, he always looked right and then left at his brother and sister as soon as he woke up every morning. He saw Adam, snoring softly to himself in the capsule to Chase's right, but as he turned to look at Bree, he stopped.
Bree wasn't there.
Chase furrowed his brow and looked out of his capsule and around the dimly-lit, shadowy space of the lab. Tiny green and red LEDs lit up a few corners and as his eyes adjusted, he got a better look at the space. Or, as he came to realise, who was filling the space.
"Bree?" Chase opened his capsule and stepped out into the lab, whispering so as not to disturb Adam. Bree spun where she was standing, staring at her brother for a moment with wide eyes. She was on the other side of the lab, but as she walked a little closer, Chase noticed she wasn't in her pyjamas; she still had her bright pink docs on too. "Bree," he said her name again, "What are you doing up?"
"Go back to sleep," she shook her head to dismiss his question and whatever concern it was filled with, "I'm fine."
"What time is it?" He asked, yawning again and raking a hand through his hair.
"Late," she replied bluntly.
"Too late," Bree sped past Chase with her head down into her capsule; she nodded to the control panel. "Help me change."
Chase nodded obligingly and moved over to the panel. He squinted in the sudden brightness and tapped a few buttons; a second later, Bree was in matching grey pyjamas to him and Adam.
But Chase wasn't born yesterday. He may not be one for sneaking out himself, but he could tell when it was happening and he definitely knew Bree. She was terrible at lying and he could read her like a book.
"Bree." He folded his arms, trying not to let his tone sound too accusing. She opened the door to her capsule again and stepped back out into the lab; now that Chase could finally see her properly, he noticed other things were odd too. Her eyes were puffy and streaked with red lines, almost as if she had been crying and, although Chase might be able to put this down to the fact that it was the middle of the night, she just looked so exhausted and flat…he decided a better word to describe her was defeated. "What's wrong?" He asked her; he knew her and there was something off.
"Nothing, Chase, go back to sleep," she sighed.
"Why were you out so late?" He pressed and when she still stayed silent, he leant on the side of the control panel and raised an eyebrow. "If you don't tell me, I'll tell Mr Davenport you snuck out."
"I would and you know it."
Bree hesitated, "God, Chase, you're such a little rat."
Chase resisted the opportunity to make a joke and continued his interrogation. "Spill." He looked at his sister for a long time, and what he didn't expect to see was her eyes suddenly appear glassy. She looked away.
"I didn't sneak out," she said, "I just stayed out late. I had that date with Owen, remember?" Chase nodded as he recalled; he and Adam had gone to bed before Bree had come home, but he had just assumed she had got back at ten or something. Chase checked his watch – it was now half-past two in the morning. So where had she been for four and a half hours?
"How'd it go?" He asked as casually as he could, trying to get as much information out of her as possible. But she blinked away the shine in her eyes and just sighed again.
"Please Chase, I'm exhausted, can I just sleep?" The request came out a little more desperately than Chase thought she meant it and at the pathetic tone, she just shook her head. Now it was Chase's turn to sigh, and he moved closer to Bree and gently rubbed her upper arm.
Bree closed her eyes for a long time. "Chase," she began, caught her breath, formed a sentence in her mind and started again. "We saw a movie and everything was fine, and then we stopped by this party and, like, everyone who's anyone was there and I only wanted to just show up for five minutes and come home again."
"But?" He prompted to save her from rambling.
"And I caught Owen kissing one of the cheerleaders," her voice became hushed and raspy as she recalled the memory and forced herself not to cry. "And when I confronted him about it, he just dumped me in front of everyone at school."
"Oh Bree," Chase gasped and pulled his sister in for a hug, "Oh my God, Owen is a dick."
"Chase, my social life is dead," she sobbed, "My relationship is dead, everything is ruined and there is no way I can go to school tomorrow."
"Hey, look, come on," Chase tried, "Everything's not ruined, you've still got me and Adam."
She looked at him for a long time, then the crying got worse. "Oh God."
Chase let that one slide given the fact that she was hurting; he pulled Bree in for another hug and just stood there as he thought and she slid her arms around his back, quietly pulling herself together.
"So," he started speaking after a moment, "You can't have been at that party for four and a half hours. Where were you?"
Bree sighed and shrugged numbly, "I went on a run."
"Where?" Chase huffed a laugh, "Nebraska or Florida?"
"Don't know," Bree wiped her eyes, "Just across town. I didn't use my bionics I just…" she sighed again, "I just ran."
Chase looked at his sister for a long time; he didn't remember a time where he had ever seen her this broken before. She had been dumped before, but Owen was her first properly serious boyfriend. He really didn't want his logic to be clouded by an anger on Bree's part, but he was getting close.
"Look," he rubbed her shoulder, "It's late, you're tired, but you're home safe now. Why don't you try and get some sleep?" Bree nodded.
"You're right," she sniffed again, dragged her fingers across her cheeks and turned around to her capsule. Chase, given the situation, actually managed to think better than saying 'I'm always right' in reply, instead just sending her a supportive smile. "Thanks, Chase."
"Any time," he nodded and paused for a moment as she swung open her capsule door and he swung open his. "And Bree?" She turned to him, "I love you."
Bree smiled, "You too." And they each closed their doors behind them. As they settled to sleep, Chase looked over at his sister; he winked at her, which finally made her chuckle, and he drifted back into sleep, all the while his mind racing of how he could make tomorrow better.