A/N: This is only a chapter of a longer story, so here's some background information.
Layla and Will didn't last long. They're broken up but still good friends.
Layla and Warren are dating, it doesn't bother Will.
Layla has been having problems with the new boyat school, Eric, whos power is to turn himself and anything else he wants invisible. in the beginning, it was nothing Layla couldn't handle, then it started getting creepy. Though Warren, Will, and the rest of the sidekicks have been doing everything they cold to keep Eric away from Layla, in this chapter Eric crosses the line. Laylas mom went to South America for an emergency in Brazil, and I don't give her a father so Layla's home by herself.
I rolled over in bed, awake enough to know I shouldn't be awake, besides, my alarm hadn't even gone off yet. Groaning softly, I buried my face in my pillow. It didn't quite work since a chunk of my hair got stuck under my face. Plus I could only breath for so long before there wasn't any oxygen left in the dent I'd made in my pillow. Sighing I rolled back over, not bothering to open my eyes. Slowly I became aware of the sensation of eyes on me. Someone watching me.
Lying still, I let the instructions Mr. Boy had drilled into all of us sidekicks freshmen year flood my mind. 1.) Don't let whoever's watching you know you're aware of them. Keep your breathing steady, and don't flutter your eyelids. It may have seemed strange at the time when, while teaching us, Mr. Boy had us all lay on our desks pretending to be asleep to see if we could. Now though, I was thankful for the practice.
Focusing on keeping my breathing steady, I tried not to give any outward signs that I was still awake. My heart was pounding so hard I could hear it in my ears. I worried for a moment that my uncontrollable heartbeat might give me away. Relaxing my senses, I followed number two on the list. 2.) Open your senses, see if you can hear anything that might alert you to where exactly the person might be in accordance to you. Only, I couldn't hear anything. Either, whoever it was was being extremely quiet about what they were doing, or they were standing still.
By now my heart was still racing like nobodies business and the hair on the back of my neck was on end, but I was able to think clearer. Still keeping my senses open I remembered number three. 3.) Be aware of all exits and of which one is the closest to you at all times, which only applies when you know where you are. The window was above my bed, but would require me to crawl down my bed to open it. The door was across the room. But since I couldn't hear any movement I had to assume who ever it was was blocking it, since it was the obvious escape route.
With much reluctance, I moved on to step four. 4.) Only as a last step, after you have gained everything there is to learn from the other three, only then do you crack your eyes open enough to be able to see and take in your surroundings. Chances are, whoever is there is waiting for this show of awaking, so be ready to fight back at the drop of a dime. Cracking my eyes open, just enough that I could see, I looked around as much as I could without moving my head. Luckily I could see the door from my position on the bed. And there wasn't anyone there. Shifting my head, pretending with all my might that I was only shifting in my sleep, I continued looking around. All I could see was my room, still no signs of anyone.
Letting out a breath I opened my eyes all the way, blinking against the light shining in from the streetlight outside. Looking around now with completely open eyes, I still couldn't see anything out of place. Sitting up, I pressed my hand against my still pounding heart sighing in relief. It must have all been in my head. Maybe the remnants of a strange dream.
"Ah, you're awake."
It took every ounce of self control I had not to scream. Goosebumps raced up my arms, my eyes went wide, my heart pounding faster then it ever had. I slowly looked around my room again with wide terrified eyes. Still I couldn't see anything. Afraid to open my mouth, less the scream still lodged in my throat break free I kept quite, waiting to hear the voice again.
"I've been wanting to wake you, but you looked so peaceful sleeping I contented myself with waiting until you woke up on your own."
Wait a minute, I knew that voice. It sounded just like...
Eric materialized in front of my door, watching me with a smile on his face. "Luckily I didn't have to wait as long as I thought." Damn his invisibility powers!
Slapping my hand over my mouth, I swallowed audibly, swallowing down the scream I so desperately wanted to release.
Lowering my hand, I tried to speak. "W-W-What are you doing here?" I stuttered out, barely able to hear the sound of my own voice over the pounding of my heart in my ears and the low hum of adrenaline pounding through my veins. Out of the corner of my eye I could see the outside wall next to the window and noticed my powers had reacted to my threatened state. Ivy was crawling up the wall, offering a weapon should I need it.
"I wanted to see you." He answered casually, nonchalantly leaning against the doorway.
"And you couldn't wait until school?" I asked incredulously.
He shook his head. "School is no longer safe. Your little friends seek to keep us apart. Especially the American Flag and Time Bomb."
Pushing back my comforter, I slowly moved my legs around to rest my feet on the floor. I didn't stand up, but my legs were clear should I need to move quickly. I would have too if I wanted to get out of here. "Will and Warren care about me."
"And I don't?" He seemed appalled I dare even suggest the idea that he didn't have my best interests at heart. "I want to spend time with you, Layla. But they make it impossible to do so before, during, and after school. Them and the rest of those sidekicks." He practically spat the word 'sidekicks'. "So I had to find a time when I knew they wouldn't be around."
"Like?" I glanced over at my clock and did a double take, "Three in the morning." Instead of coming out calm like I had wanted it too, it came out sounding more like when Warren yells 'what the hell!' at Zach after he's done something stupid.
"Exactly!" He nodded as though I had just agreed with him. Apparently he thought showing up unannounced in a girls bedroom at three in the morning was perfectly natural. "Though I was aiming more for midnight, but three is fine too."
"M-M-Midnight?" I stuttered again, clenching my fists in my sheets. "You've been in my house for THREE HOURS?" I barely managed to stop myself from shrieking at him.
"Well, only two and a half. First I had to find your house, and it took me half an hour to do so. But once I did it was surprisingly easy to get in."
I blinked at him, amazed beyond belief that he actually thought it was okay to break into my house and probably sit in my room watching me until I woke up just to spend time with me. I felt the burn of vile creeping up the back of my throat, I was going to be sick.
Swallowing, hard, the burning from forcing the vile back down my throat threatened to overwhelm me. Tears swam in the corner of my eyes but I refused to let them fall. Fighting them back, I managed to ask the question I wanted to know the answer too, but was afraid of the answer. "Have you been in my room the entire time?"
He nodded, "You're so cute when you sleep."
Now I was fighting back the urge to cry and be sick. This boy had been in my room watching me sleep. I felt thoroughly and utterly violated. Dirty to the core. I needed to get out, HAD to get out. But how? He was standing in the doorway! And seeing as how he came all the way here at three in the morning, just to see me, I doubted he would let me crawl out the window.
"I never noticed the ivy on your window." He suddenly pointed out, "Very Layla-ish, I like it."
The ivy! How could I have forgotten? Pushing back the urge to be sick, the violated feelings, and the tears, I concentrated solely on the ivy. Reaching out I slowly coaxed the edge of the ivy underneath the edge of my always unlocked bedroom window. Being on the second floor I'd never had to worry about someone using it to get in, plus I liked using it as an escape to the roof whenever I just wanted to think. After tonight though, I'd never leave it unlocked again.
"You approve of my decorating skills?" I asked, pretending to be flattered, even though every molecule of my being was disgusted to be doing so.
He nodded, watching the ivy open the window. "Why is it opening the window though?
"It's my powers reacting." I answered, the cold breeze blowing in making me shudder. I watched his eyes narrow as he watched me. Something tells me he took the reason for my shuddering as something else entirely. "They're connected to emotions, sometimes they can be a bit hard to control." I left it at that, hoping to buy myself a bit more time. The window was almost all the way open now, hope swelled in my chest, I was almost out.
"It's not everyday a man sneaks into your room just to see you is it?" He puffed his chest out, emphasizing the word 'man'.
To my credit, I didn't grimace, snort, or roll my eyes. I also didn't feel the need to mention Warren had snuck in here quite a few times. But at least with him I always knew he was coming and he was always very welcome. This? Not so welcome.
The ivy spread across the ceiling and the tops of my walls, multiple strands of it slowly overshadowing the room while I gave him an awkward, heavily forced, almost grimace like smile. "No, it defiantly isn't."
He smiled a cocky smile in return, shifting his positing against the doorframe. I think he was trying to look cooler, but it didn't work.
At my command the ivy lashed out, holding him while some grabbed me around the waist, carefully pulling me out my bedroom window. I hit the ground running. I could hear Eric yelling but I couldn't tell what he was saying and I didn't turn back to find out. I just kept running.
I ran until I reached Wills house. Even then I didn't stop. Vaulting a few stairs I raced up the walkway, barely managing to stop before I crashed face first into their door.
"WILL!" I screamed, pounding on the front door with everything I had, constantly checking behind me for all the good it would do me. What hope could I have to see a guy who could turn himself invisible coming at me?
Adrenaline pumped through my veins. Terror clenched at my heart. I was still pounding on their door. "WILL! PLEASE LET ME IN! FOR THE LOVE OF GOD, WILL, OPEN THE DOOR!". Had I been thinking rationally I could've simply gone around the house, grown a tree, and knocked on his window. But in all honesty, right now I was only running on adrenaline and hysteria.
The door swung open and I had to pull back before I accidentally punched whoever it was in the face. "Layla?"
Warren had opened the door, which in itself should have made me pause but it didn't. Pushing him out of the way, I threw myself through the open door, slamming it shut and locking it behind me as fast as I could. Turning around, I slouched against the door, letting the sobs slowly take over.
"Layla?" This time it was Will, standing beside a still concerned looking Warren, Mr. and Mrs. Stronghold coming up behind Will.
I threw myself at Warren, knowing he would catch me. "He was in my room!" I sobbed into Warrens chest, soaking the wife beater shirt he was wearing with my tears as he wrapped his arms around me.
"Who was in your room?" He growled dangerously.
"Eric! He'd been in there all night just watching me sleep. He didn't want you around!" The bile came back. "I'm going to be sick." I muttered. Wrenching myself from his warm, comforting, embrace I raced through the living room and down the hall to the bathroom. I barely managed to get the light on and drop to my knees before I was sick, throwing up my dinner and dessert in the toilet.
Someone grabbed my hair holding it back for me as I heaved. All the while rubbing comforting circles on my back, patiently waiting for me to be done.
I finished soon enough. Reaching up I flushed the toilet, closing the porcelain lid. Whoever had been rubbing circles on my back stopped, but kept my hair pulled back away from my face. Closing my eyes I groaned weakly, letting my head fall forward to rest on the now closed lid. I could hear the water in the sink run for a moment, then a hand, I knew was Warrens, gently pulled my face off the lid. I felt what felt like scrunched up toilet paper run over my mouth, wiping anything left off my face. I heard a 'plop' as the toilet paper landed in the trash.
"You need to rinse your mouth out." Warren spoke gently over the sound of water running again. "Here." Something nudged my lips. Opening my eyes, I was met by the concerned gaze of my boyfriend and a colorful cartoon dixie cup full of water.
Taking the offered cup, I took a swig, swishing it around in my mouth for a few seconds before opening the lid spitting into the toilet. Warren took the cup back, resting it on the edge of the sink while I flushed the toilet again.
"Are you all right?" He asked, finally releasing my hair, his hand was rubbing comforting circles on my back again.
"No." I answered truthfully, letting my head fall forward onto the lid again, my eyes closed.
"Let's move this to the kitchen." Wills voice interrupted. Opening my eyes and turning my head, I noticed him standing in the doorway to the bathroom. "My mom already made some tea and both her and dad will be wanting to know what happened."
Warren stayed quiet, watching me to see if I was ready to move. Taking a deep breath I rose to my unsteadily to my feet. Warren was right there, helping me stand and keep my balance as my knees cracked and threatened to buckle.
Entering the kitchen, Warren led me to the kitchen table, where Will pulled out a chair for me. Dropping into the seat, I slouched against the back taking a deep breath. The comforting scent of lavender that filled my senses was more then I expected and the tears began anew, streaming down my face.
Warren wrapped his arms around me, silently pulling me onto his lap as Mrs. Stronghold set a cup of tea in front of me. Relaxing into his arms, the reality of all that had just happened set in. I began shuddering violently, shaking Warren with the sheer force of it, tears still streaming down my cheeks.
"My God." He muttered, his whole body warming as he heated up in an effort to warm me up.
"That would be the adrenaline wearing off." Mrs. Stronghold observed. "Would you go get her a blanket?" She asked, turning to Will.
A sudden thought flew through my mind. Jerking my head up I accidentally knocked my head against the bottom of Warrens chin. "All the windows are locked right?" Ignoring Warrens groan of pain my eyes flew back and forth between Mr. and Mrs. Stronghold, desperate for an answer. "All the windows and doors?"
It was Mr. Stronghold who answered. "Yes, I make sure of it every night." He nodded.
With the confirmation there would be no easy way for Eric to get in, I let my self sag against Warren again, the tears slowly coming to a stop.
"Will? The blanket if you would." Mrs. Strongholds asked, turning on the coffee maker. Will jumped up from his chair, walking quickly out of the kitchen. I could hear his footsteps on the stairs.
"I can't feel my toes." I muttered, the cold was finally registering over the shock. Distracted with running I'd failed to notice the below freezing windchill, the fact I had been running in pajama pants and a camisole, and my ice cold bare feet.
Warren chuckled softly, "I can fix that."
The sound of Wills footsteps returned, and he appeared around the corner, holding a red fleece blanket that looked really warm.
"Here you go, Layla." Pulling away from Warren I let Will drape the cover around my shoulders. I pulled it tighter around my body while he sat down in the chair next to me. Warren ran his hands up and down my blanket covered arms, heating it up for me. I leaned back, resting against him and letting him take care of me. I didn't have the strength to be strong right now and his warmth felt really good.
"Let me see your feet." Warren mentioned as Mrs. Stronghold set a mug of coffee down in front of Mr. Stronghold. Picking me up, he moved out from under me then sat me gently back down in the seat we'd been sharing, taking the other seat next to me.
"What's wrong with her feet?" Will asked, looking underneath the table as though that held the answer.
"She said earlier she couldn't feel them, probably num from the cold. Give me your feet, Layla." Warren insisted softly and I complied, turning to rest my feet in his lap. Heating up his hands until they were glowing red, he gently ran them slowly over my heels and toes, rubbing his warmth into them.
"I was more worried about getting out, then making sure I had socks." I muttered, a bit ashamed I hadn't thought to grab any.
Warren must have read my face. "Don't you dare be ashamed!" He growled, the heat on my feet spiking a bit before settling back down. "You did the right thing getting out of there as fast as you could. And I'm going to get this out of the way now." His eyes narrowed, watching me. "None of this was any of your fault. I know people always blame themselves, but don't you dare. None of this was any of your doing. It was all his."
"Will you tell us what happened?" Mr. Stronghold asked, wrapping an arm around Mrs. Stronghold as she sat down next to him.
Taking a deep breath I launched into the story, telling them absolutely everything.
"The bastard!" Warren raged, throwing himself from his chair, knocking it over in the process to pace around the room. "Bad enough he was in your room! But to be in there for hours!" His growl was just short of being a full blown roar. "I'm going to kill him. I'm going to kill him." He roared, pacing back and forth as steam rose off of him.
As horrible as it may sound, right now, I wanted Warren to kill him. Or at least burn him badly enough it would scar.
A loud snapping sound from beside me startled me. Whipping my head around I saw Will sitting in his seat, holding a broken off piece of wooden table in his hand. He was growling dangerously enough to make Warren proud.
"As much as I agree with you." Mr. Stronghold seethed, the porcelin mug is his hand shattering, "I don't think we'll be able to get away with killing him."
"Unfortunately," Mrs. Stronghold sighed, "There's not much we can do."
"I'm serious." She answered, "There's always a restraining order but they never work anyway. We do need to tell Principle Powers about this, Layla, and have you switched from any classes you two might share. Preferably into ones so Will's always with you. But since he did nothing but break into your house, there's not much we can do."
Warren growled louder, turning to Mrs. Stronghold. Mr. Stronghold stood up quickly, ready to defend his wife but both Mrs. Stronghold and Will remained seated. They both knew better then to think Warren would ever hurt her. "He violated her house and her room!" Warren was calming down. "Surely he can at least be arrested for breaking and entering!"
"With super heros it's different." Mrs. Stronghold shook her head. "The most he would have to do is pay a fine."
Warren groaned, dropping into his seat next to me. Scooting over I rested my head on his shoulder. Warren sighed in defeat, slumping back in his chair. Wrapping his arms around me, he pulled me back onto his lap burying his face in my hair.
Mrs. Stronghold took charge. "For now we should all go back to bed. Layla, you are not to go back home unless Warren, Will, or both, are with you and that's only to get your things. You are staying here at least until your mom gets back from South America, and even then you might be here longer. None of you are going to school tomorrow, and first thing in the morning Steve and I will fly up there and talk to Principle Powers."
I nodded, exhausted from the nights events. Leaning back into Warrrens warm body, my eyelids grew heavy. I was having a hard time keeping them open.
"Warren, I'll call your mom in the morning as well and explain the situation, see if she'll call you in." Mrs. Stronghold continued.
Warren nodded, gently nudging me off his lap as he stood up from his chair. I let out an undignified "Eep!" as he picked me up, holding me bridal style in his arms, blanket and all. Wrapping my arms around his neck I buried my face in his shoulder, letting him carry me up the stairs to Wills room. I was glad he wasn't willing to let go, I didn't want him to let go. Reaching Wills room Warren lowered me onto an air mattress on the floor. So that's where Warren had been sleeping, it all made sense to me now.
"Thanks Warren." I mumbled, closing my eyes and curling into a ball under my still warm blanket. I was tired enough to sleep for the next three days. A knock on what sounded like the doorframe had me awake enough to listen though.
"Here's an extra pillow." Mrs. Strongholds' voice spoke, the sound of fabric against skin, then Warren spoke. "Thanks." He muttered.
I could feel him standing over me and obligingly I lifted my head enough for Warren to slid the pillow underneath. The mattress jumped a bit as he lowered himself down onto the other side of it. Laying himself out, he must have grabbed another blanket because an extra layer of warmth covered me before his arms wrapped around my waist, pulling me to him. Rolling over I buried my face in his chest, letting the welcomed sense of safety lull me to sleep.
I know I made Layla seem like the 'damsel in distress' and needy even though she isnt', but they way I look at it, waking up to find out someone who creeps you out broke into your house and has been watching you can be traumatising, super powers or not.