Meraki and Nish ganged up on Elliott, towering over him with an angry gaze. He just smiled stupidly, hoping he could explain himself.
"You got me into this, made me almost burn down the school and also broke my watch. How are you planning on fixing that, Elliott?" Meraki said, balling up her fists with a smug smile.
"You made me relive my nightmare. The whole cafeteria saw it and now the whole school thinks I started dating that Benjamin i***t. You are so dead." Nish came forward too, cornering Elliott to a wall while the others watched the drama.
"No complaints, Elliott," Isis said, from behind Nish and Meraki.
"I- I had no other option. Sorry?" Elliott said, smiling innocently, trying to win them over.
"Oh no no no. That's not gonna work. You are in for something much worse." Nish said, walking towards him. Elliott had no option but to flash his unsure smile.
"I've got something planned for him, already," Meraki said, winking at Nish.
"What..?" Elliott's said but he was ready for it. Deep down he understood that he deserved it.
"Ms Gabrielle, aren't we starting our training from tomorrow?" Meraki asked, turning to her.
"Yes, dear," Gabrielle said, glancing at Elliott once.
"Then here's he, our ragdoll. All our powers will be tested on our beloved Elliott." Meraki smirked, placing a hand on Elliott's shoulder. Elliott felt like he was getting bullied.
"Oh, isn't that fun?" Nish giggled. And for a second, she looked as devilish as ever.
Elliott squinted his eyes in anticipation. He had a good idea of what he'd have to go through starting the next day. Given that no one of the three had an idea of how to control their powers, that'd be troublesome.
"You should get going now," Fred said, breaking off the seal of the canned food he always carried with him. Elliott understood the Fred was going to spend the night in the basement.
He did that every time he was upset or had too much on his plate. Ever since Garry's disappearance and Elliott's accident, he had been like that. He also noticed Fred constantly checking the TV but there was no news of Garry.
Fred didn't have much socialization in his life, let alone any such friends. He wasn't always like that, but since the day his ex-boyfriend dumped him and married a woman, he changed himself.
Elliott was sitting with Nish, Meraki, Isis and Jack. While they were talking, he couldn't focus on them. His clouded head was giving him a hard time to keep him from getting distracted.
"Let us stay a little more, I was having a good time," Nish replied to Fred, smiling at Jack flirtatiously. Jack smirked back, internally having the time of his life.
"No. It's late. Go back home." Fred said, eating. Gabrielle had already left.
"Yes girls, we'll meet tomorrow," Jack said, pretending to be mature with his charming smile. He was loving the attention.
"It's not safe leaving them alone this late. Jack, take them home." George ordered.
Jack started sulking while pretending to be okay with it. He was too lazy for his own good, after all. But soon, he got up and the girls followed behind him.
"I'll go back too, then," Elliott said, even if he didn't want to leave. He didn't know what Asami had meant by the words she said the previous night.
"I want to keep hurting you." She had said. As a shiver traced its way up to his body, he realised how scared he was of the unknown.
But he decided to go back, even if he could easily stay the night.
"You're gonna have it rough from tomorrow. Get your ass ready." Meraki said as they stood in front of the car, the other's cracked up laughing.
"Uh.." Elliott blinked a few times in confusion.
"Go straight home and don't run into trouble," Jack said and then got into the car with everyone else. Nish, obviously, took the front seat.
Isis waved at Elliott and got inside the car. Soon, he watched the car drive away.
Elliott drooped his shoulders down. He felt too tired to even carry his sling bag. But even so, he chose to walk his way back to his apartment. He knew a few shortcuts and it wouldn't take long.
He started walking through the footpath, past the lampposts and buildings. He was deliberately keeping an eye on the terraces of the buildings, hoping not to catch the glimpse of a dark shadow looking for victims.
Elliott tucked his hands in his pockets. He didn't want to see the dark figure, he wanted to see the girl on his window sill.
He wasn't in pain, the previous night. He was speaking to her, he could see her eyes with a hint of silver in them.
But that same night, he had promised himself to stop her. At any cost.
He snapped out of his thoughts, walking faster than before. He took a turn and continued walked. Winds weren't blowing even if it had rained the whole day. The sky was still dark and the cars drove through water puddles.
Elliott decided to take the path through the old playground to reach home faster.
He was walking on the empty street, his pace fast and body alert.
The old playground came up around the corner, empty. Elliott noticed the rusty swings slightly moving as a breeze blew by. The playground used to be bright and full of kids before. But since the exorcism of Peter Marcus, the incident which led to the license cancellation of Glendell detective agency happened at that very playground; people stopped coming anywhere near the place.
A lot of people who lived there moved out of their houses, even if they had nothing to fear. They seemed very afraid of misfortune or encountering something inhumane.
As Elliott walked past the playground, he realised how normal supernatural things were in his own life that he didn't even think twice before taking that path.
Suddenly, he stopped walking.
The playground was by his side silently and a house on his other side.
His eyes focused right in front of him.
The dull light of the lamppost gleamed above an old wooden bench. And on the corner of the bench was she, sitting.
She had her hands by her side, a distracted gaze on the ground and she looked so still like she wasn't even breathing.
Elliott lost track of the things he could've done at that moment. He was afraid of what could happen to him but he wasn't thinking of it. He was looking at her lifeless presence, white hair flowing with the wind and the psychopath within her.
He left it behind. He always had given in to what his heart said but this time, his mind was telling him the same thing.
He stepped forward, each step cautious. When he didn't see her react or didn't feel any physical pain like the previous times, he walked to the bench and sat down on the opposite corner of her, leaving a fair distance between each other.
This could be a night where Asami decided to go berserk with her crimes but Elliott couldn't care less.
"Taking.. a walk?" Elliott asked, trying to be humorous. He had no clue of what he was talking about or who he was talking to.
She remained quiet. He was afraid to even look at her.
A long silence passed, the wind rustled bringing in the faintest smell of rain.
"You never run away," Asami said, the words fill out the void between them. Her voice sounded as natural as ever and for a moment, it deceived Elliott into thinking she was just another person, living and breathing in a body.
"I did, once," Elliott said, referring to the day he had broken into the streets of Amberville and when he saw Asami, he started running away from her. Then he got into the accident and knew that he was saved by Asami herself.
"You weren't scared." She said. She wasn't moving an inch but her voice sounded very real and it almost felt like...
"I was." He said, admitting.
"Not enough." Asami's words bring Elliott to realise that it was true. If he really was scared of her, why would he be sitting beside her with not a person around? All alone?
It almost felt like they were having an actual conversation. He wasn't hurt, she didn't look demonic.
"Does that bother you, Asami?" He blurted out and then immediately regretted it. Gabrielle had warned him to never say her name out loud and he had called Asami by her name.
Suddenly, Asami turned to face Elliott. Her face was blank but she looked shocked. He saw her mouth open a little like she was waiting to say something. Elliott looked back at her jet black eyes.
She turned away from him, staring straight ahead. Her brows were a little arched.
"Do you like the way you live, Elliott?" She said, slowly. Elliott looked away.
"It doesn't matter..", he said, blinking up at the dark clouds.
"You don't deserve a life you don't enjoy," Asami said, pausing in between. He didn't know what she was getting at but it didn't feel right.
"What are you trying to say?" Elliott looked at her, a malicious grin was spread out on her face.
"Join me." Asami's face was cold, but her words were burning bright.
Elliott was shocked. He gasped in his breath, his face turned in horror. He didn't expect that. He couldn't understand what she was thinking.
"Don't play games. Just tell me what you want from me? Why do you keep following me around?" Elliott raised his voice, in frustration.
He saw Asami's grin fade away and a tiny hint of a smile replacing it.
"Come with me." She said.
"No," Elliott said, firmly. He stood up, backing away from her.
"You see the world like me, that's why I kept you alive." She said, her voice turning desperate.
"You're a psychopathic criminal. You aren't capable of being anything but that." He yelled at her, almost losing his mind.
"Think about it." She said, her face showing no emotions. Elliott was infuriated by how unbothered she looked.
"You can kill me if you want. I'd rather die than help you kill innocent people." He yelped in anger. He was feeling suffocated and he knew he could've handled it better.
That was the first time he had seen her in an expression that didn't send shivers down his skin. He felt the tension ease off his body.
She got up, her blue uniform crumpled at the edges, and she started walking away. Her shoulders were crouched and her walk was slow and unsteady.
As she walked past the lampposts, the lights shut off one by one, leaving Elliott behind in a dark and empty street. He watched her walk farther and farther till she disappeared into the dark.