Hartley sat in the dining room, in front of a real table with a bowl of soggy cereal sitting in front of her. Flicker sat across from her with Flutter beside him, all the morning Flutter had been giving Hartley curious looks but she tried to ignore them.
Whisper sat beside Hartley with his nose in his book and Trix sat as far as she could from Hartley glaring at her behind the paper she held in her hands.
“I’m sorry but does your hair really change colour along with your emotions or is that all rubbish because in my opinion you’ve showed plenty of emotions but have seemed to remain blue for the most part” Flicker says biting into a piece of toast.
Hartley nods “It was true, but a friend helped to teach me control without which this place would have been a bomb site” she chuckles.
Flicker shoves the rest of his breakfast into his mouth “Was it that Justin guy, I mean was it true you guys were like a thing before he…” he trailed off realising he had probably gone too far “Sorry” he murmurs.
She gives him a forced smile before shrugging “I’m not sure what we were to be honest with you” she says jokingly “But uh no it was actually Kit who taught me, at that time Justin was basically on his death bed so he couldn’t really do that” he nods and Flutter hits him hard in the arm causing him to wince “so” Hartley says trying to change the subject “why does Doc call you The Replacements, isn’t that a little harsh?” she asks curiously.
Flutter chuckles “that was an original idea from this one” she says pointing to the still pouting Flicker “because I mean that’s what we really are in the end, replacements for the originals, them” she points to a framed photo which hung on the wall “Doc talks about them all the time, they seemed really cool” Hartley gets up and slowly moves towards the picture, a smile taking over her face as she remembers the day.
Doc set the timer on the camera “Okay we have 10 seconds” he calls as everyone laughed, Justin and Hartley were off to the left and he swung his arm over her shoulder making her blush as he pulled her close to him, Bullet and Shooter stood hand in hand on the right side with huge smiles on their faces, Kit stood at the front centre pulling a weird face and Doc stood in the middle back with a proud smile as he looked over his team, the camera flashed capturing the picture leaving Hartley forever remembered with pink hair.
“It must’ve been hard, losing them” Flicker said sadly and Hartley nods.
“They were my family” was her answer but nothing more. She soon leaves and walks down an unfamiliar hall, the wall pain and carpet slowly turning to hard concrete the further she walked.
A soft whistling was coming through a door and Hartley presses her ear against a cold metal door so she could better hear it “ease dropping is rude Hartley” a croaked woman’s voice calls from the other side of the door. “don’t be shy come in, I can’t hurt you” Hartley hesitates and goes against her better judgment by opening the metal door behind it was a cell room.
In the cell room, there were only two cells which took up the majority of the small room “well aren’t you all grown up now” the woman muses and Hartley turns to see Wisdom sitting on the edge of her bed, her leg stump sat at the edge with her other leg dangling to the floor. “Yeah sorry it looks so strange” she apologises “Doc look my metal baby so I couldn’t get away” Wisdom looks up to Hartley showing her face which was covered in dry blood and cuts, her simple clothing looked sweaty and stained, somehow, she had gotten thinner and her once long purple hair was now black and shaven to a simple buzz cut.
“You look terrible” Hartley admits making Wisdom scowl.
“Can you give me some water, please my throat hurts and I haven’t had water in almost two weeks” Hartley sighs and grabs the cup of dirty water on the other side of the room swirling it around the cup “Please I know I’ve done nothing to deserve this but Hartley I’m begging you here” Hartley handed her the cup through the bars.
Wisdom smiles and lifts herself from the bed and hopped to the bars “thank you dear” Wisdom reaches for the cup but instead grabs Hartley’s shirt, she tried to break free of her grip but she couldn’t. Wisdom’s eyes rolled back and an evil smile creases her oiled face “My, my, the day you have had” she chuckles, Hartley finally pulls away causing Wisdom to fall back onto the ground “I know everything Hartley, you can’t hide anything from me!” she declares happily “they’re coming for me”
Hartley backs away slowly and leaves the room, once she was out of Wisdoms ear sight she took off running. Where she was going, she had no idea but she knew she needed to find fresh air.
Flicker was walking to his room as Hartley ran down the hall, she was running to fast to stop in time to miss him and they both fall to the floor with a hard crash. “Jesus Christ, watch where you’re going” Flicker groans rubbing his sore side.
“S-sorry” Hartley breathes jumping up and offering him a hand, he glances at it worriedly but grabs her hand standing up “I was just running” she coughs.
“Isn’t outside a better place for that?” Flicker chuckles and Hartley’s face goes slightly red “You don’t know how to get outside do you?” she looks up to him with an embarrassed face making him laugh “Come on I’ll show you, you’re not a prisoner here Hartley” Flicker grabs her hand and leads her to a staircase.
When they reach, the top Hartley notes they are hiding under a bowling alley “Free games on Thursdays” Flicker says happily, they reach outside and Hartley gasps at the fresh air enjoying the feeling of the cold air against her skin.
“So” Hartley asks as she sits on the grass “How is the new team?” she pauses “well technically they aren’t new for you, so I mean, how is the team? Tell me about them” she finishes.
Flicker nods and leans against a tree “well I think it’s pretty okay, kind of dysfunctional but it’s like a family” he smiles “Whisper doesn’t really converse with us much, he’s usually reading a book, Trix well she spends most of her time with or staring at Doc so my spidey senses are telling me she has a wee bit of an obsessive crush on him and last but definitely not least, Flutter, she definitely talks a lot and well her wings make her insecure but I don’t know why I mean they’re beautiful” Flicker smiles playing with his hand slightly “I mean yeah she’s cool, oh and Doc, I think he’s a good boss but honestly he just misses his old team, I think he is pretty disappointed we aren’t and never will live up to their legacy, I mean actually allowing yourself to die for your team. Pretty rough”
Hartley chuckles ignoring the last part of his ramble “Somebody other than Trix has a crush” she sings “Flicker and Flutter sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G first comes-” Flicker growls at her, his face a bright shade of red.
“Well no” he says in a slightly disappointed tone “I mean she doesn’t think you can, you know, date within the group” he mumbles and Hartley laughs again.
“I think it is, I mean it must me love, love, love” she sings but her smile soon vanishes as she remembers the familiar teasing Shooter and Bullet used to give her and Justin.
“Hey Hartley” Flicker says pulling her out of her daze “Doc has given us a basic run down over your abilities but I really just don’t understand it, could you” he trails off “could you show me?” Hartley thinks for a bit before getting up and nodding.
“Okay I’m a little rusty” she warns him before looking around to make sure there was nobody around to see what she was about to do “Okay” she repeats assuring herself before closing her eyes.
Hartley focuses on feeling embarrassment, her hair went pink and the winds around them began to pick up, she manoeuvred her hands pushing the wind at Flicker making him fall over, without opening her eyes she begins to feel jealously her hair changed to dark green, the wind calmed but all the green surrounding them began to grow rotten and die.
A smile overtakes her face and her hair goes bright yellow, all the green was restored and flowers bloomed around them, she moved her hands out and her hair went red making the air go humid, fire starts to burn the leaves of a nearby tree and it begins to flick across her hands. Lastly Hartley concentrates and her hair goes light blue, the sky cries before rain starts pouring down putting out the fires she had started.
With a deep breath, she opens her eyes allowing her hair to turn back to light blue. Flicker was staring at her with wide eyes and an open mouth “That was” he trails off “Bloody Amazing!” he screams jumping up “man there are not going to believe this” Hartley smiles slightly.
She looks around her destroyed surroundings and suggests they go back inside so he can show her around. Flicker happily agrees and they go back down to the base where he shows her every room, corner and crevice the base had making sure Hartley never found herself getting lost.
As they passed Doc’s office Hartley noticed Trix by the door unsubtly watching him as he wrote in his book, she shivers and looks away.