After hours of irritatingly invasive tests, I was sent home. They couldn't find any traces of drugs in my system. They did, however, find that my heartrate had risen for some reason, and that the tell-tale hitch in my breathing (caused by my asthma) was worsening. With some less-than-helpful advice about keeping my inhaler close at all times - I carried it around in my purse anyways - they waved me off with a clean bill of health. Whatever had transpired during my blackout hadn't left any physical marks. On the drive home the boys were still oddly protective, asking me questions, trying anything and everything to jog my memory, but I kept dozing off so it was less than productive.

"Are you hungry?" Orion asked when we finally got through the door.

"No."

Two seconds later my stomach let loose a growl that would have impressed the entire canine species. Bentley raised an eyebrow and smirked at me, nudging me in the direction of our tiny kitchen. "Are you sure about that?"

Glaring, I slumped at our cheap plastic folding table, in one of our cheap matching chairs, and focused on breathing. I had fought asthma my whole life, struggling with both the exercise-induced and stress-induced varieties. Years of experience had taught me how to recognize when I was more vulnerable to having a random attack. The day's events so far had already succeeded in setting off some alarms in my head that made me want to do nothing more than some deep-breathing exercises and some gentle, calming yoga. And maybe a movie marathon.

Of course, a glance at the clock proved that wasn't going to happen anytime soon. "I have class in less than an hour, so this better be fast."

"Sit down, shut up, and eat your food. You aren't going to class today."

"Who died and made you king of the apartment?" I raised an eyebrow at Bentley, suddenly questioning why I was friends with the stubborn pain in the ass.

"Do I need to call your mom?"

"Did you really just pull the 'Mom Card'?" I scoffed, "What are you, twelve?"

Bentley stuck out his tongue. "I know you are, but what am I?"

Orion rolled his eyes at our antics, the blonde male being cut from a slightly more reserved clothe than Bentley and I. He had been one of the few people to answer my ad asking for a roommate when it became clear Bentley and I couldn't pay rent by ourselves. He was a year older than us, studying biochemistry, and had a steady, paying internship at a local genetics lab. The fact that he just so happened to be able to put up with our grumpy, sibling-like relationship was a plus. A few of the applicants had said that we were too 'immature' to consider rooming with.

It wasn't really our fault, though. Bentley and I had grown up together and we had the naked bathtub pictures to prove it. We had a lot of issues, and we fought more than we got along, but by the end of the day we were best friends. We had each other's backs. When Bentley's parents were getting a divorce, I was the one who climbed up the tree next to his window and held him while he cried (not that he'd ever admit it). At our first-ever high school track meet, he was the first one to get to me after my asthma attack. Though he was always embarrassed to admit it, he saved my life by giving me CPR that day, and I'll never be able to repay him for that.

"Whatever," I huffed, crossing my arms in defeat. "You're both stupid."

"I have several scientific awards that would say otherwise."

I mock-glared at Orion as he set a plate full of PB & J in front of me. "Where did you learn to be so humble?"

"It's not easy, but I make do somehow."

Rolling my eyes, I stuffed a corner of my sandwich and chewed aggressively. Orion went back into our tiny kitchen to clean up the minimal mess he had created. Bentley settled down into a plastic chair beside me and started stretching his legs absentmindedly. I couldn't help but watch out of the corner of my eye, noticing how his limbs stretched. There was a pang in my gut that I quickly stuffed down. My eyes focused back on my sandwich. After a long moment of silence I cleared my throat. "Thanks, you guys. For coming to get me."

Bentley grinned up at me. "What else are friends for? Next step is to get you rested, okay? And then we'll try to figure out what the hell happened last night."

"I don't think it's a big deal," my grip on my PB & J tightened, squeezing the jelly out the sides. "I woke up in a dumpster, so what? I'm okay! No drugs, no medical issues, no reason to be concerned. I'm fine!"

"You woke up in a dumpster," Orion pointed out. "That's not fine. Someone usually doesn't leave a body in a dumpster unless they think they're dead and they're trying to cover it up. What I don't get is how they made the mistake of thinking you weren't alive anymore."

"That is pretty weird. You think they'd be smart enough to check for a heartbeat or breathing or some shit, at least." Bentley frowned.

"Maybe they didn't care if I was dead? Maybe they knew I wouldn't remember whatever happened last night when I woke up?"

"And maybe Mayor Feng isn't behind Portland being a Bermuda Triangle for metas," Bentley scoffed. He shook his head, staring at me for a long moment before his expression turned towards a more stern thoughtfulness. "If you want to put it behind you, then we will. But you're fucking crazy if you think we're letting you go anywhere alone. At least for the next few weeks."

"Fine, but you're going to have to loosen up sometime. Not even the great Bentley Archer can follow my classes and make it to his own classes on time. I don't care how fast you are."

He waved off my concerns and stood up, wandering into the kitchen to rummage through the fridge while I finished off my sandwich. Orion wandered out and patted me consolingly on the head on his way to his room - where he would likely spend the remaining time he had before he needed to be at the labs.

I, on the other hand, had nothing to do. I had done all my homework previously and I was on house arrest. I considered giving both of my roommates the middle finger and going anyways but decided it wasn't worth the hassle. Not to mention my entire body felt heavy and tired from the day's events, anyways. Wearily I pushed myself away from the table, abandoning my half-eaten sandwich, and stumbled across our apartment to my room.

The gravitational pull of my bed was strong, but my need to be clean was stronger. A shower was necessary. On my way through my bedroom to the adjoining bathroom I grabbed a clean set of pajamas. The soft feeling of the fabric soothed the anxious jitters I was feeling and I rubbed at it subconsciously before setting the small pile on the counter and inspecting myself in the mirror. There were large bags under my eyes, accentuated by the smear of last night's make up. To anyone else I would have looked like someone who'd had a rough night of partying.

Except I knew differently. Or, rather, I didn't know. And the fact that my mind was totally and completely blank frustrated me. Beyond my completely blank mind, though, I felt... off. Even though the doctors hadn't found anything wrong I knew that something was different. Something was wrong.

The warm spray of water relaxed the tension of my body. With the smell of garbage and antiseptics washing down the drain I could feel my stomach begin to settle as well. Ten minutes later, clean and smelling normal once again, I collapsed into bed and fell asleep instantly.


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