Detective Vasquez sat in her office feeling…off. She couldn’t put her finger on it but something felt different and at the same time familiar. She had never experienced Déjà vu before but she imagined that must be the feeling nagging her now. She was pulled out of her revelry by a slight knock on her door.
“Detecive?” It was one of the Staff sergeants. The younger woman peeked through the cracked door, waiting for permission to enter. Vasquez nodded and the girl pushed the door all the way open.
“Yes? What can I do for you?”
“There’s a gentleman here who says he needs to speak to you. It’s involving the” she glanced around and practically whispered, “the vigilantes.” Vasquez sat up straighter. She had been quietly investigating the young people in masks for several months trying to decide if they were friend or foe. Now information was literally landing in her lap? She didn’t buy it but still felt she should check it out.
“Send him in.” She straightened a few haphazard stacks on her desk as a handsome man with smooth dark skin wearing an impeccably tailored pea coat slid into the room, the staff sergeant closing the door behind him.
“Detective.” He greeted her. His voice was as smooth as his complexion and Vasquez felt instantly on edge. She gestured towards the chair across from her desk.
“Please sit down Mr.…?” She hedged for his name. He smiled a toothy, almost threatening smile.
“Buchanan. But please call me Darius.”
“Very well. What can I do for you Darius? You have some information for me?”
The visitor just smiled as he unbuttoned his jacket and settled into the chair, as comfortably as if she were in his office. “You are quite attractive for a police officer.” Vasquez was tiring quickly of the silver-tongued stranger. She was about to insist he leave when he spoke again.
“You’ve been investigating the 11:59, correct? The group of young vigilantes running around your city, that’s what they call themselves.” He paused to let the information sink in. “I know who they are behind the masks. Interested?”
Vasquez let what he had just said sink in. He knew who they were? Why would he betray them and why did she feel as if they had had this conversation before? Her confusion must have been written on her face as the stranger commented on it.
“Confused Detective?” He chuckled a little to himself. “I can imagine you must feel as if we’ve done this all before?” She nodded, cautiously reaching for her sidearm. She didn’t know where this was going but she knew she didn’t like it. “Now, now,” he clucked. “There’s no need for your weapon.”
Moving faster than anyone Vasquez had ever seen, his hand snaked out grabbing hold to her exposed wrist! His other hand quickly snatched her firearm. She struggled against his iron grip, truly in fear of him now.
“Let go of me!” She snarled only to be met with a scoff and an evil sneer.
“Don’t make me laugh detective. I should kill you right now but first you and I are going to have some fun.”
Before she could ask what he meant she was mesmerized by the sight of a viscous blue liquid pouring out of the man’s arms. When it began to seep into her skin Vasquez felt as if she were being burned alive! She opened her mouth to scream but found she could make no sound. She simply writhed pitifully in her chair, CLU watching her struggle and plotting his next move.
Later that same day, Jordan awoke to the sensation of someone stroking her hair gently, occasionally braiding and unbraiding pieces. Only one person liked to do that, especially when they were nervous.
“Nona.” She mumbled thickly through dry lips, silently praying for a response.
“Shhh now,” her sister replied. “I’m right here and I’m okay, just a little ‘crispy around the edges’.” She joked quietly. “You need to go back to sleep, I’ll be here when you wake up, I promise.”
Jordan felt a blanket being draped back over her exposed shoulders and the mattress dip in slightly as someone moved off the bed.
“Don’t go,” she mumbled again sounding pitiful to herself. She felt a kiss being pressed to her temple, her hair being stroked one more time.
“I’ll never leave you again.” The voice promised and then it was quiet as Jordan felt herself being pulled deeper back into the fog.
When Jordan awoke next she found she was propped up in bed, the room much different from the one she had fallen asleep in. She also noticed she was wearing an oversized sweatshirt from Colorado University, Kurt’s alma mater. As she tried to get her bearings, the door opened and Kurt backed in with a breakfast tray of food, tiptoeing as he obviously thought she was still asleep. He turned to see her eyeing him with an amused expression.
“Look at you!” He exclaimed, setting the food down on one side of the bed as he came and sat by her. “How are you feeling?” She could tell he was looking her over as he spoke, checking for signs something was wrong or if she was in pain.
“Honestly? Very sore and tired; still very tired. But much better.” She responded as he took her hands in his. “How long have I been asleep? Feels like forever.” He noticed her looking around the room curiously.
“This is my parent’s room. I brought you up here so you could rest undisturbed when the others arrived. Oh, and it’s been about sixteen hours.” He replied, and then barreled forward before she could object. “But you probably needed twice that!” She stared at him, then nodded. Kurt was certain there would be an argument about letting her sleep so long but he got none. The silence stretched on and he grabbed the tray off the side of the bed, offering it to her.
“You need to eat, love.” That was the second time he had called her that recently and she couldn’t say she minded all that much. The expression of endearment was something she had enjoyed during their previous relationship.
She remembered how safe she had felt spending the night back in his arms, even if she was injured at the time. She gratefully accepted the tray and began eating, shifting occasionally when her injuries nagged her. Kurt watched her intently, not convinced she was as well as she insisted. With a huff she set down a bowl of fruit and met his gaze.
“I’m FINE.” She asserted.
He reached out to cup her face in his hands and before she knew it, she was enjoying his warm lips dancing across hers. This was definitely something she had missed in their time apart. The nagging and fighting not so much but, this, oh yes she missed this. She grabbed onto his wrists and reluctantly pushed him away from her lips, his forehead leaning heavily against hers as they both tried to catch their breath.
“We need to talk.”
“I love you,” Kurt blurted out. “And I was stupid to complain about you wanting to help people, stupid to let you walk out of my life that night, and stupid every day we’ve been apart since.” He raised his eyes to hers, waiting for a response. Jordan was aware she was staring at him open mouthed but couldn’t form a response. She finally found her voice.
“Wow.” She stated simply but found the strength to continue on. “It wasn’t all your fault. I was stubborn and self-righteous and I didn’t treat you like my partner.” Now it was Kurt’s turn to be dumbfounded. “You are my partner Kurt. You support me when I need to take care of my crazy family, when I’m not sure of myself you root me on, and you are an amazing influence on Taylor. We had a nice little family and we let pride break it up. Can you ever forgive me?” Kurt pulled away from her and she immediately felt the crushing pain of possibly losing him again.
“Do you still love me?” He asked quietly. She couldn’t stop the exasperated sigh that escaped her lips.
“I never stopped. Never could if I tried.” At that Kurt swept her back into his arms and kissed her with more intensity than he ever had before. She melted into his embrace and only broke away to let out a pained hiss when his wandering hands skimmed over her injured side. “Ribs,” she gasped and he immediately moved his hand.
“Sorry,” he apologized sheepishly. “ I should probably let you eat, huh?” They both laughed as he settled her back against the pillows and began feeding her from the fruit bowl. Normally, she would have complained about being coddled but she couldn’t deny how comforting it felt.
“Fill me in,” she requested in between bites. Kurt told her how he had discovered her message and filled Nona in. How Nona had organized a search for CLU so he couldn’t release their names to the public and how the search had yielded nothing yet. How Taylor was downstairs enjoying a few unscheduled days off school watching Netflix and eating junk food. “What about Goliath?” Kurt seemed confused.
“What about him? He’s downstairs, too, if you need to speak to him.” This caused Jordan to shoot upright, spilling the tray of food.
“What?!” She exclaimed to a startled Kurt. “He’s working with CLU! Why is he here? Oh my god, oh my god…” She was fighting frantically to get off the bed while Kurt tried to restrain her.
“Whoa, slow down! What are you talking about?” Just as she was about to answer, a dark shadow filled the room.
“Well I guess the cat’s out of the bag.” A large voice boomed.
They both looked up to see Goliath standing in the doorway, blocking any exit. Kurt instinctively put himself between Jordan and the behemoth. He would protect her with his life if he had to.