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Aberrant: 2011 - A Saturday at the mall [Complete]


Alexander Vector

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The thing Alex had noticed in his first weeks of flying was the total lack of roof access. While most buildings have a rooftop entrance almost all were locked. The one time he found one that hadn't he managed to get lost inside the building's utility corridors. So while there was such a thing as handicap accessible there was not such a thing as flying accessible. So when he got to the mall he simply zipped down into the parking lot which was another trick he had learned. If you do not want to attract to much attention to yourself do not land where you will get a lot of attention. So by the time he got to the malls east entrance he just looked like another teenager making his way to the mall on a Saturday afternoon.

The entryway he picked opened directly in the cavernous food court decorated for spring. Plastic flowers and cartoonish bees and birds hung from the ceiling illuminated by the skylights above them. The crowd below oblivious to the decor as they sat eating their meals or waited in line at the many various establishments lining the octagonaly shaped food court.

Alex fidgeted, adjusting his button up shirt, smoothing it from the wind whipping it had taken. Realizing T-shirts were much better to fly in he made that mental note as he aligned the collar of his shirt and tucked a loose side back into his jeans.

One quick walk around outside of the tables made him feel confident that Lina had not arrived first. Of course that did not mean he was right, she could be in the crowd and unless she started glowing he might miss her. There were no signs over a Novas head pointing them out in a crowd (and he was most grateful for that).

The growling in his stomach brought him out of his search. When he wasn't a Nova people were amazed at how much he ate. They couldn't seem to understand how he ate so much being so thin but he never thought much about it. Now however knew he ate a lot, they warned him during his trip to the Rashoud clinic that his metabolic rate would at least double and they weren't kidding. Alex took a place in line at the Auntie Anne Pretzel kiosk then slipped his Opod from jean pocket and texted a quick message to Lina. 'at AA pretz, wnt 1? c u soon!'

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Lina got off the bus. She'd convinced the driver to stop at the mall before the bus station, and nobody else really seemed to mind. One or two others got off, using this as a spot to stretch their legs. When Lina got into the parking lot, she instantly stood out. Her black hair was in a bun, so that was normal, but what she wore really made her skin stand out. She wore a blood red sweatshirt which the sleeves were pushed up, a black and white plaid skirt, black and white striped socks which reached her knees, and a pair of black designer shoes. The dark really brought out her snow white skin and red lips, and everyone really seemed to pay her mind. I'll never get used to wearing these Lina thought as she looked down at her feet.

She heard a techno-tronic ring tone playing, and Lina grabbed her cellphone from her pocket. It read 'at AA pretz, wnt 1? c u soon!'. Lina smiled and began pressing buttons, sending the response 'plz et thx. am outside.' She put the cellphone away, and began into the mall. It was bigger than she had expected, and Lina used the aid of a mall directory to find the food court. She seemed to catch everyones attention, but no one seemed to catch her. She had forgotten what Alexander looked like, so was kind of nervous that she wouldn't recognize him. He'll recognize me. She hoped.

It was her birthday, and Lina had made plans with Alexander knowing that she had a layover in Pittsburgh, and it lasted for three hours. Lina had read that he could fly somewhere, probably the OpNet, and wondered if she could take him the rest of the way. That would be something. Flying. That means being closer to the storm, though. Luckily, the sky was clear today. She had heard rumor that it would storm later in the night, and Lina hoped with everything that it wouldn't. Lina found the food court, but saw too many teens around to realize which one was Alexander. Everywhere, people stared. Lina was used to it, but it might bother him. She pulled out her cellphone and sent him another text. 'in fudcort. look 4 me' She sent, than stood on an empty table and waited to either be noticed, or hear a ring.

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"Two of each.. No wait give me 3 of the parmesan!" Alex's gusto in ordering gave the lady at the counter pause Alex's cheeks crimsoned a little. "Oh uh. Just hungry!" The young man was given a dubious look as he was handed the large back of fresh warm pretzels. Fishing out some bills he laid them on the counter as he scooped up the bag.

No sooner than he had paid did the second text message appear. So she was here. Suddenly he felt a little self conscious, it was after all the first Nova he had ever met. What if she wasn't impressed, was he trying to impress her? A million other self doubts ran though his mind as his free hand shoved the Opod back into his pocket then ran through his wild dark bangs. He dismissed the negative thoughts quickly there was no reason for him to act that way. She was the one who asked to meet and she seemed friendly enough. She was also not hard to miss no one else was standing on top of a table in the food court.

Quickly weaving through the crowd Alex approached. 'Wow... She is cute.'His mind said as self doubt tried to creep back into his mind but he resisted. He couldn't help smiling and stifled as laugh as he watched her search the crowd finally making eye contact with her.

"So looking for someone in particular or do you just climb tables as a hobby?" Offering his hand up to help her down he kept grinning. "Lina? I'm Alex."

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Alex found her quickly enough. She had passed over him once or twice, dismissing him as just a pretty boy. Oh god.. he's cute! Calm down.. Daniel. Daniel. Lina smiled. She disacknowledged anyone who may have been watching, and took a step down with his help. "Well, I was looking for a nova, not some pretty boy." She stuck her tongue out and giggled. "Yes, I am Lina." She said, than gave him a quick hug. Oh god! Why did I just do that!? She withdrew, and her face was red. "Uh.. sorry." She looked around nervously, not wanting to make eye contact. Gosh, I need to stop being so embarassed all the time, it turns my face as red as my sweatshirt.

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'Pretty boy?!' His mind raced as he helped her down. When she hugged him he couldn't help but even think she smelled cute. As she stepped back his cheeks were as red as hers. "Hey no problem, I liked it er.. hugs I mean." 'Especially from you.' He didn't add. Didn't she have a boyfriend? He probably shouldn't try to flirt with her not that he'd be much good at it.

Quickly pulling up the bag between them he blurted. "I wasn't sure which kind you liked so I bougth some of each!" The smell of the pretzels helping clear his mind of her scent and her proximity. He opened the bag offering the contents to her as he gestured to the seats around the table she had just came down from. "We can try sitting at it instead!" He offered cheerfully.

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Lina smiled. She was picking up that he was as nervous as she was. She could tell that they were going to be friends. She smiled at his sitting jest. "I've got a feeling I will not live that down." She said, and turned away from him. She moved to the other side of the table, and looked at the bench awkwardly.

Lina ended up turning to the side and sitting, than swinging her legs over. It was obvious she was not used to wearing a skirt. Lina looked at the fake bee's and flowers, than grabbed a random pretzel. She wasn't picky. "This is easily the biggest mall I've ever been in." She said while tearing off a piece of the pretzel, and shoving it in her mouth. After she got done chewing, she smiled at him once more. Need to keep my mind on Daniel.. "Thanks for the pretzel, anyway. I am famished. I haven't eaten since I left Bruno. How far do you live from here?"

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He waited until she started eating before he did. He chose a tasty ranch flavored pretzel and pulled it apart eating it bit by bit like she was doing.

"Well actually I picked this place so it wasn't to far from the airport for you." He even liked the arc of her eyebrows as her expressions changed as they spoke. "I live on the sourthern side of Pitt. I would have said once not long ago this was pretty far away for me but.." He shrugged a bit. "Not much is far away for me anymore at least anywhere around here."

He paused for a moment then blushed slightly. "I never even got us something to drink!" He quickly looked around (trying to keep from eye to eye contact with her for prolonged periods of time) "Do you like Orange Juilius? I can grab us two, there isn't any line over there."

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Lina nodded. "Actually, I took a bus in. I'm not huge on flying in aircrafts. Not enough control. You can fly, right? How fast can you move, if you don't mind me asking. Have you flown anywhere far away yet?" She smiled again, than he brought up the drinks. "What's an Orange Julius?" She said while looking around. Once she spotted it, she realized what he was talking about. "I've never had an Orange Julius. But if you wanted to pick me up one, that would be great." She attempted to reach into her bag only to find that she no longer had it. "Damn! I left my bag on the bus!" For the first time since she showed up, Lina looked sad. Even while sad, Lina still looked beautiful.

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"I haven't really tried to go as fast as I can. I am sort of in the practicing stage of things. I am getting better though." He offered cheerfully. As her expression fell a bit Alex frowned. "The station isn't to far from here either." He offered. "Maybe we can go get it in a minute! I could try to catch up with the bus right now if you need it." He offered sheepishly. "I know I am faster than a bus."

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Lina thought for a second. She didn't particularly need it, but it might be a hoot to go for a quick flight. She could judge if he was quick enough to get to NYC in any timely manner. Lina smiled at him, with a little bit of mischief. "Do you think you could carry me?" She said, sounding meek, yet sexy. "I don't particularly need it, but I'd love to go for the ride with you." She smiled.

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Alex hesitated for a moment but then nodded. "Yeah I could carry you. Though.." He hesitated with another slight blush. "You'd be my first so this might be a bit awkward."

He popped the rest of his pretzel in his mouh and chewed it down quickly. "Let's go!" He grinned offering her his hand again. "Who would have thought I'd be flying around a 'pretty girl' and looking for a bus."

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Lina smiled brightly, both from the compliment and the answer. He offered her his hand, but she grabbed his wrist and began running through the crowd, nearly dragging him. She heads for the exit from wince she came, and people seemed to clear out of her way before she ran into them. She crashed through the double doors and than into the parking lot. Lina smiled at him while she quickly moved behind him, and jumped on his back. She held on around his neck. "Ready!"

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Jumping on his back alleviated the most obvious concern he had as she ran through the mall. How was he going to carry her while she was wearing a skirt hands roaming on accident was no exactly something he wanted to get slapped for.

But with the dark haired girl on his back that matter was settled though he when he looped his arms around her legs on his side he was greatful for the high socks she wore. 'Just play it cool all she wants is a ride.' he reminded himself as he gently lifted from the ground.

"If I got to fast just tell me okay?" He offered before taking off away from the mall. "It is probably already at the station so we can go straight there.." He offered as they picked up speed. She was nice, he wondered how serious she was with the guy he saw on the OP. He didn't want to entertain the thought but with her breathing in his ear and clinging to his back it wasn't easy to dodge those thoughts. Maybe she'd want to go to junior prom.

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Lina giggles while they fly though the air. For a moment she almost buried her head into him and nuzzled, but than she remembered that he wasn't Ravenshire. "This is a blast!" She screamed, needing to catch her breath from the laughing and giggling. She got a little uncomfortable when she thought about her body being pressed up against his, and wondered exactly what he was feeling. "Go faster!" She said, close to his ear so maybe he could hear it. "Faster!" She said again a little louder. "And hold onto me!"

Lina get go of her hands and sat up on his back, spreading her arms apart and screaming. She liked this flying. The wind was pushing against her strong, and had it not been for Andrew holding into her, she would have plummeted.

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Feeding off his passengers joy Alex accelerated laughing as he did so. It was coming easier than he thought holding on to her wasn't such a hard thing to do in fact it was all to easy to do. The only thing he worried about was holding her to tightly he could bruise her or break her legs without even trying. It wasn't to hard to judge it though and soon he tried a loop just to give he a bigger thrill as they sped through the bright spring sky.

"So I am showing you mine why don't you show me yours Lite-Brite." He teased as he titled his head looking over his shoulder at her as she screamed into the wind.

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She screamed and grabbed onto him when he decided to loop. She wasn't expecting it, and nearly peed herself. That would have been embarassing. She laughed and giggled once they complete it though.

Lina wasn't too happy to be called Lite-Brite. It reminded her that people thought who she was because of what she could do, and not what she did. "My name is Lina.. " She said softly, and into his ear so she could hear him. He could definitely feel the warmth of her breath. "And I am not my powers." She waited for a moment, than reached a hand were he could see it. She lit up into a white light, not far from blinding. "And my powers are nothing special.

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Alex had to turn away as Lina flared brightly upon his back. He could feel her displeasure of the tease in the tone of her voice. "But it is yours." He replied quietly slowing down from the aerobatic performances.

Letting go of one leg Alex took the glowing hand. "Seems special enough to me." He said turning over her luminous hand in his then with a grin he tried his best to overcome the downside of the conversation. "Although if I could make any part on my body glow I would worry about some of the questions I would be asked." He laughed a little before looking toward the earth trying to identify the bus station.

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"Its not that I don't think my powers are special. Its that I don't like being identified as my powers." She said solemnly. His joke made her smile, but she remained quiet. Her eyes scanned the ground, as she was not used to being this high up.

"I can't identify a damn thing from up here." She said. "Are you sure you know where it is?" She knew that he did, and she wasn't sure why she asked. She stopped glowing and sat back up on his back. She began poking, and drawing imaginary lines on the back of his shirt.

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Alex focused concentrating as he searched the ground below before his eyes finally found a line of large commercial buses lined up side by side. "Ah there we go." He replied as they began to drift downward.

"I am sorry then Lina. I didn't mean to offend you." Alex shivers as she doodles on his back. "It bothers me to. How everyone has looked at me so differently. Two weeks ago most people at my school couldn't even tell you my name if they saw me but now everyone knows my name. Everyone is my 'best friend'. Girls are asking me to the prom that wouldn't have even given me the time of day before." He circles over the bus station once before heading for a open sidewalk. "It's hard to figure out where I am inside the hype of novahood."

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Lina listens to his words, feeling sad for giving him attitude. She wraps her arms around him and gives him a weak squeeze. "Sorry, you didn't know and I yelled at you." She said, noticing their decent. "Look at it this way, if we weren't Nova's, we probably wouldn't have met." And if I've not met Daniel, I would have kissed you by now. She said, than quickly shook the thought from her mind. Lina points to the line of buses. "I think its the third one, number 4023."

People began to notice Lina and Alexander coming in from the flight. Several pointed it out to the others, and they all cheered when Lina and Alexander landed. "They're cheering because I forgot my bag." Lina said to him, in a giggle.

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One foot touched down then the other. "Well that wasn't to bad I guess for my first time." Alex blushed slightly realizing what he said could be taken out of context. Letting go of one leg then the other letting her slide off his back Alex looked around giving a smile and a nod to the gawkers.

"Hey where are you off to anyway? Going to see your boyfriend in the big apple?" Alex looked at the bus she indicated his blue irises glowing intensly filaments of energy swirling around within for a moment. "Oh yeah there is a bag in there sixth row back left side.."

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Lina looks at the bus, than at Alexander. She smiled, and led him towards the buses. She walked backwards so she could keep eye contact while speaking with him. "Thats amazing! How did you do that? Is that another one of your powers? I only have that glowing thing." Lina said, than turned her head to make sure she wasn't running into anyone. "Ravenshire? Yeah, I am on my way to see him. It's my sixteenth birthday, so we're going out and doing stuff. At least, I think thats why we're going out. There's actually a pretty great chance that it is just a coincidence."

Lina thought back for a moment to those two investigators. They were from the Special Victims Unit in NYC. She shook them from her mind and continued walking.

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As Lina entered Alex's field of vision he turned away quickly shutting his eyes. "Well I can kinda see through things." He informs her with yet another blush. When he opens his eyes again they are the baby blues they had been earlier. "Yet another perk of the node I suppose."

"It's your birthday?!" He exclaims as he moves forward suddenly pondering the implications. "Well happy birthday Lina!" He calls after her as she heads toward the bus to reclaim her bag. Her boyfriend is lucky or about to get that way I am sure he thinks gloomily. It dawned on him suddenly that when he was normal he was always at the back of the social order never having much a chance with girls. Now he was in a new social order but still at the back. He sighed and waited for his new friend to grab her bag.

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Lina smiles and yells back to him. "Thank you!" She said. She entered the bus, and exited after only a few seconds. The doors had been left open so passengers could come and go as they please. She donned the bag over one shoulder and began back to Alexander. She smiled at him once she came near, and opened her bag. After a minute of rummaging, she found what she was looking for. "I know you already have one, but it's the one thing I knew you would like." She said, than pulled out a blue superman shirt. "They're all the rave these days." She said with a smile, holding it up to herself, than handing it to him. "And I didn't know your size, so I guessed."

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Alex took the T-shirt with a shocked and silent smile. He turned it over in his hand then looked back to Lina before he started unbuttoning his shirt. "Wow. I don't know what to say!" Smiling at the girl who was giving him a smile in return. As he pulled his tucked in shirt free of his pants leaving him bare chested. Despite it he didn't seem at all self conscious about it as he pulled the T-shirt over his head then down over his muscled torso. "Looks like it fits!"

A truer and more genuine expression could not be given as he moved closer embracing the girl in a warm hug. "Thank you Lina." He spoke quietly in her ear as he tightly embraced her. "Here I am getting gifts on your birthday which just isn't right! What would you like?" He growled playfully into her ear.

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Lina feels a little awkward with her hugging him, and speaking into her ear. She hugged back softly, than withdrew. "Well. We could go for another ride!" She said happily. Lina looked up at the sky, than smiled at him. The onlookers were starting to scramble. "Half of those people were on my bus.. " She said in a whisper. ".. And they didn't act like that when it was just me."

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Alex nods. "Hey if all it takes is a ride that is something I can do." So overjoyed he was about the gift, so overwhelmed he was about getting along so well with the girl Alex didn't even put much thought into his act.

One arm placed under her rear while the other craddled her into his arms as he lifted off the ground and sailed quietly into the sky. "Well but I am not much of a noble steed but I am more than happy to give you a ride anytime." Pausing at a height over a thousand feet in the sky Alex spins slowly letting his passenger in his arms view all directions. "So. Where to?"

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Lina laughed and smiled with him holding her. As a reaction, she wrapped her arms around his neck just to be safe. "Aww.. I didn't mean it like that, Alex." And gave him a quick squeeze. "Flying is simple and I like it, but if you'd prefer to spend money on me, we can do that too." She stuck her tongue out at him, than viewed the scenery. She pointed out into the distance, where the woods began. "Lets go get some food and have a picnic in the woods."

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"Hey since it is your birthday your wish is my command." Alex grins and begins drifting in the direction his beautiful passenger pointed. "Any particular food you like? I have some pizza places on speed dial but if you want something fancy we can do that too!"

Her arms around his neck forced him to remind himself once again that she was seeing someone. Of course how good did this look, he knew he wouldn't be very happy about seeing his girlfriend in the arms of some flying newbie. Not that he had a girlfriend so that point was moot. Still he liked her arms around him it felt nice he suddenly imagined having her arms around his neck floating above his classmates at the prom. Swirling slowly in midair in a slow dance that only Novas could have.

Snapping out of his daydream he realized Lina was looking at him expectantly and he shrugged. "We could also get you a ice cream cake or something." He added with a smile to try to distract himself from his own thoughts.

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"Ooh! Pizza and ice cream sounds great!" She said with much enthusiasm. She didn't mind his day dream, as she is also often lost in thought. The Not-Riding-On-His-Back was making her a bit nervous. She was totally in his control and relying on her, but she kind of liked it, being in someone elses power. "Pizza and ice cream in the woods. Geez, we're so teenage" She stuck her tongue out at him.

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Twenty minutes, a extra large pizza (with everything but anchovies)and a chocolate ice cream cake later Alex settled down among the trees. Letting Lina hope off with her cargo of treats as he planted his feet on the leaf covered earth.

"I know mom was wondering why I ran in and grabbed a blanket and ran back out but I can tell her later." The teenager grinned as he unfurled the quilt he had draped over an arm over the ground. The babbling of a small stream and songs of birds celebrating the spring were the soundtrack to the moment and it didn't strike him until that instant what the situation was he had placed himself into. Beautiful girl alone in the woods.. I am so in over my head.

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Lina smiled as she sat down on the blanket, with both legs out to one side and her arm supporting the other. "I like you, Alex." She said smiling. "You're a great guy. I can't believe you are single! I gotta drag you along with Ravenshire and I to Nova dinners, than you can meet some people!" She picks up a piece of pizza and bites into it. "Crap! We forgot drink again!"

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Alex sighed. "Damn!"

It was the break he needed. "There is a store I saw about five miles that way." He pointed. "I will be back in a flash." Before Lina could respond he rocketed away in a swirl of leaves and bending trees.

Enroute he thought about the situation. She was trying to hook him up. He shook his head, how could getting these abilities cast this onto him all the sudden!? Nodeless no one cared he didn't have to worry about trying to kiss some girl while eating pizza in the middle of the woods who's only guilt was being nice to him and offering to help him find someone to smooch on.

Forgetting himself Alex literally flew through the double automatic doors instead of walking. Floating quickly down one aisle snagging a large pack of coke before floating to a register with no line. The lady behind the counter gawked as he tossed down a large bill and mumbled "Keep the change." Before heading back outside.

Despite the fact he could be back in seconds he slowed down a little. Self doubt being heavier than anything else he ever carried on his back.

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As Alex took of, Lina laid flat on her back. She was thirsty, and would not eat more until there was drink available. She thought about her past few days that she has spent with Ravenshire, and the bus trip she took out here just to see Alex. She told Alex that she was just coming through, but Lina went completely out of her way. Lina thought more about Ravenshire, his touch, his lips, and his love. For a moment, she thought of both Alexander and Ravenshire. She had to resist from pleasing herself right there, amongst the carpet of leaves and blankets. He'll be back any minute She told herself, and than there he was. "What kind did you get?" She said, with a broad smile on her face.

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Alex displayed the coke, setting it down beside her. "It was cold in the case so I grabbed it. If you want something else I can run back and get it."

One shoe touched the quilt then the other. "Miss me?"He smiled as he sat down across from her with the pizza and ice cream cake wall between them. It was quiet and awkward it almost felt out of place that they were not romantically involved out here all alone. Alex quickly broke the growing silence by opening the pizza box and twelve pack of coke and handing a slice and a can to his friend.

He took his own slice as he eyes drifted down to her legs them up to the hem of her skirt. His irises fluttered with glowing energy as the idea of peaking through the skirt came up but he shoved it away as soon as it appeared. He blinked and looked away taking a bite of his pizza.

"So you still planning on moving soon?"

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"Miss you? You didn't give me a chance to." Lina laid on her back, smiling at Alex until he offered her the soda and pizza. She was thinking about Ravenshire, and if Alex was really going to go on a date with Summer. Maybe they could double some time? Lina heard somewhere that Summer spent an evening with Troy, but she can't remember where, or even if it happened.

"So you still planning on moving soon?"

Lina thought on this for a few moments. "Yes, but I am not sure where. Once I stop in at a Rashoud Clinic, I can go to the same school Summer is, or I could apply at this acting school I've been checking out in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Then again, I might not because I don't want to leave my brother behind, and my parents will not see him off. I think I need to convince them to move with him, but that won't be easy for their job.

"Are you still planning on going out with Summer?" Lina asked between nibbling on her pizza and downing the coke. "I like her fine enough, but she seems a little stuck up. And for someone that can fly, you're really down to earth." She paused for a few seconds. "I mean, if you still were and wanted to, we could double date."

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Alex was in seek and destroy mode with the slice of pizza when she brought Summer up. "Shsh Pt Mm." He stopped and swallowed his bite looking a bit ashamed for being so rude.

"She kinda put me up to it." Alex laid the slice of pizza back onto the cardboard lid they were using as a plate. "I am really not sure she is my type." You are. "But I am not going to stand her up, who knows she might be nicer in person right? I guess if you go to school with her you will find out soon enough. But double dating I dunno. I might need the protection."

Chuckling Alex sighed and met Lina's eyes. "What about you? Going out with the older man?" To which I have no chance at all in competing with thanks a ton. "You two seem to be getting pretty serious."

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Lina sighs. "I doubt I'll go to school with her. I'm looking for more of an acting school, or some other kind of specialty school. I want to stay with my brother, and he isn't a Nova.. so yeah. I don't know. Maybe you two will be happy!

"Ravenshire and I have been serious since we first met." She stuck her tongue out at him, and giggled. "We met at Blackburn, and left before the fight. I taught him how to ice skate." Lina sighed. "I heard you wish to learn too, know any good frozen lakes around here?" She smiled at him, obviously teasing.

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Alex shook his head her words stinging him a lot more than they should have and he knew she didn't even realize. How could she? It wasn't her fault. Suddenly he didn't much feel like being out here with her or going to NYC tonight. He wanted to go lock himself in his room and play video games.

"No sorry it's a bit to warm now for that." He shrugged picking up the pizza and finished eating it. "He said he did mind stuff huh? I wonder if he does stuff like Corbin. Messes with people's emotions." Wouldn't that be an easy excuse.

Alex's sudden darker and colder reaction wasn't like him at all but he couldn't get over the fact that he suddenly felt like he was getting toyed with just like Matt had said. He was just a stop over on a birthday trip to see her rich blond Nova boyfriend. The more self doubt creeped in the more he just wanted to rocket into the sky and leave her in the woods alone on her birthday, that would teach her.

What did he expect!? She just wanted to say hello to a new friend! Anything that had been said online he either read to much into or was said in jest. He broke a smile trying to remove the resentment on his face before she caught it. "Don't write me off with the fire and ice princess just yet." He said quietly.

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Lina listened to his words, relating Ravenshire to Corbin. Alex's mood had changed, and Lina only noticed by they way he ate his pizza. The bites were larger now, and with less grace. She studied him, wondering what was wrong. A few ideas crossed her mind, but the last comment set it in stone. He likes someone else.. me? It would explain his Corbin comment towards Ravenshire.

Lina didn't know what to say. Alex was always friendly, but she was less than certain it was because he wanted to be with her. Maybe.. "Whats wrong, Alex?" She reached across the blanket and placed her hand on his knee. "I'm your friend, you can tell me anything."

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