By: Anne Olsen and Michele Bumbarger

Chapter Ten

Adam looked around as he and Megabyte materialized in Ami’s dorm room. After listening to Megabyte’s account of Ami’s behaviour earlier that day, he’d been torn between going to see her, risking upsetting her further, or…Actually he wasn’t quite sure what to do next. The whole meeting with Angel had disturbed him a bit too, though he was trying not to let his fellow Tomorrow Person see it.

“Ami!” Megabyte sounded shocked, echoing Adam’s own feelings. Neither of them had expected to arrive just in time to see Ami thrusting a stake towards Angel. True, they had sensed that their friend was extremely agitated, after all that was why they were here now, but this was something else entirely.

Angel acted fast. Before Adam or Megabyte even had time to think, the vampire took Ami by the shoulders and looked into her eyes squarely. Adam looked at the stake protruding between Angel’s shoulder blades, feeling quite sick at the thought that Ami could even think of doing such a thing.

“Ami, look at me!” Angel’s voice was very calm, especially considering what had just happened. Ami glanced around the room, panic in her eyes, looking for all intents and purposes as though she was about to flee, and then stopped, seemingly memorised by the look in his eyes.

[I don’t like this, Adam,] commented Megabyte. [There’s something really weird going on here, and I don’t mean the whole stake in the shoulder thing.]

When the vampire had asked him straight out, earlier when he had gone to see him at his office, whether Adam thought he was infecting Ami with his darkness, the Australian had denied it, at least to Angel’s face. After listening to what Megabyte had told him about Ami hurling objects at him telekinetically, the warning voice at the back of his mind was becoming harder and harder to ignore.

The strong telepathic transmissions they were picking up from Ami, both of confusion and anger, didn’t exactly help dispel that voice either. The vibes from her seemed a lot stronger in close proximity, much more so than they felt back at the ship.

[Looks like we made the right decision to come and pay a surprise visit,] continued Megabyte. [I don’t know about you, but putting stakes into people, even vampires, isn’t exactly normal behaviour for a Tomorrow Person. Adam? Well is it?]

Megabyte walked up to Angel, who was standing still, his gaze locked on Ami. He looked as though he was about to pull the vampire away from the young woman but stopped as Adam telepathed a warning to him.

[You might be quite happy to let him do the whole Vulcan mind-meld with Ami, but I’m not.] Megabyte sounded angry, or rather concerned with overtones of anger, Adam thought. His blue eyes were abnormally bright, a sure sign that he was trying to control his emotions, but not entirely succeeding.

“Angel?” Ami stared up at Angel, her eyes widening in horror as she seemed to notice the stake for the first time. “Angel, what happened?” She looked around the room, as she also seemed to become aware of the presence of her fellow Tomorrow People. “Adam, Megabyte, what are you guys doing here? Who did this to Angel?”

“Don’t you remember?” Angel’s voice was surprisingly gentle for someone who had a stake sticking out of his body. A voice surprisingly gentle and colored deeply with concern.

“Of course she doesn’t remember,” interjected an annoyed Megabyte. “I think she just finished telling us that.”

Angel would make an interesting study in contrasts, Adam decided, and found himself a bit disturbed by that realization. Because the sudden and completeness with which the vampire shifted from showering Ami with concern to glowering at Megabyte was very unsettling. Adam almost expected the vampire to growl, and hissed a warning at Megabyte before the American could make matters worse.


“I’m sorry Adam but I’m getting a bit wigged here. First Ami goes all wacko and chucks stuff at me and then we start picking up strange vibes from her. We come here and Angel starts working his vampire mojo on her. What do you expect me to do? Dance on the ceiling?”

Despite his tirade, Megabyte stopped short of any further approach towards Ami and the vampire. Angel was guiding the confused young woman to her bed, and the look that he gave Megabyte said 'back off' in no uncertain tones. Angel's familiarity and possessiveness, coupled with the 'Vulcan mind-meld' raised flags in Adam's mind, but he thought it would be best to deal with those later. Right now, they had to find out what was wrong with Ami; and picking battles with Angel was not going to help them in that respect.

“No,” Adam admitted. “Look Megabyte, I’m just as concerned about Ami as you are, but saying things like that aren’t really going to help the situation.”

“That’s a matter of opinion,” muttered the redhead under his breath.

Adam decided to ignore that last comment and concentrate on what was important. “Ami, are you okay?” he asked the young woman sitting dazed on her bed.

“I…think…so.” Ami still looked dazed, not with it at all. In fact she reminded Adam of someone waking after a deep sleep.

Angel hovered protectively near Ami, reminding Adam of a wolf protecting its cubs. It wasn't an image that made Adam feel any more comfortable in the situation.

“Er, Angel. That stake in your shoulder?” The vampire didn’t seem to be in any pain, though surely Adam reasoned, he couldn’t be feeling particularly comfortable.

Angel looked down at the Australian’s comment and with one sharp movement, pulled the stake out and placed it carefully on the floor besides the bed. As though moving the slightest distance away from Ami might cause a replay of what had happened before.

So you’re not too sure about what’s going on either, thought Adam, as he watched the vampire nudge it under the bed with the heel of his shoe, Angel's eyes never leaving Ami. He tried to read the other…man’s facial expression but Angel wasn’t giving too much away. Adam thought for a moment about trying to sneak a peek at his thoughts but decided against it. If the bond with Angel was somehow behind Ami’s strange behaviour, he didn’t want to risk doing anything to upset the vampire.

Adam sat down on the bed next to Ami, breathing a sigh of relief when Angel did nothing more than glance at him, a bit warily, but nothing as hard as the glower he had given Megabyte. Of course, Adam wasn't trying to pick a fight with Angel either. He turned his attention to Ami, noticing with relief that she seemed very calm, a bit too calm actually he thought. He wondered about reaching out to her telepathically, after all it couldn’t hurt, could it? They needed to find out what was bothering her, sooner rather than later. He shuddered inwardly, trying to dispel the memories of the latest dream as they crept into his thoughts.

“Not a good idea, telepathy I mean. ” commented Megabyte, breaking his silence.

Adam glared at him, wondering if he’d been eavesdropping on his thoughts. “Megabyte..” he started to say.

Megabyte raised his hands in mock surrender. “You’re broadcasting, okay? I’m surprised that Kevin and Jade can’t hear you back at the ship.”

Angel interrupted before Adam could answer. “Do you think Jade could be involved somehow?” he asked. “Not that she would do anything to harm Ami, but there do seem to be side effects to that little trick she does. Maybe it's affecting all of you. And me. Because of the bond."

Adam stiffened and felt Megabyte react the same way beside him. “Jade? What are you talking about? How do you know Jade?”

Angel laughed, and Adam felt a cold chill creeping up his spine. “Let’s just say she and I are…acquainted.” The vampire stopped, a pained look on his face, and seemed to be almost fighting some inner battle for a moment.

“Sorry,” he said. “What I meant to say was that I met her in Club Indigo about a week ago, and saw some of her powers in action. I turned around afterwards to ask her some questions and she’d gone. It just didn't seem important enough to mention. Until now.”

Adam exchanged a worried glance with Megabyte. [Do you know anything about Jade having powers like that?]

Megabyte shook his head. [No, but it explains some things.] Adam caught the tail-end of a few more of Megabyte's thoughts and memories, and understood where the other was coming from. Indeed, Jade had slipped one past them, several past them actually, and she was going to have some serious explaining to do.

[Let’s stick to the matter at hand, Megabyte. We can talk to Jade later and find out exactly what’s going on.] Adam stopped for a moment as another thought struck him. Was Angel being totally honest with them? Maybe he was only saying those things about Jade to sidetrack them from getting to the bottom of the whole Ami situation. Adam definitely hadn’t liked that ‘we are…acquainted’ line the vampire had used, it reminded him all too much of some of the off comments he had made earlier in the day. The tone of his voice had subtly changed as he made the comment too he noticed.

Adam decided it was time to try and take charge. “I think the best thing we can do for the moment is to take Ami back to the ship.”

“Away from me, you mean?” Angel's voice was quiet. Deadly quiet, and it sent another chill along Adam's spine. Something told him that they weren't going to take Ami anywhere without Angel's permission; and that the wolf wasn't yet looking to let the cub far from his sight.

“I never said that." Adam hoped his words had more conviction than he felt.

“Well I don’t mind saying it if Adam won’t,” commented Megabyte.

Ami's head jerked up then, her attention turning to them for the first time since she had settled on the bed. She divided her glare between the two Tomorrow People, her voice stronger than it had been earlier. “I'm right here, guys. Stop talking about me like I'm not. Or like I'm some invalid. And Megabyte, apologize to Angel. You're being incredibly rude."

Megabyte opened his mouth, and closed it again. “Yeah right,” he said. “So the fact that major weirdness sets in after he arrives in your life has nothing to do with anything. Like I’m going to believe that one!”

“Well I believe it,” said Ami simply. “Angel is my friend.” She flashed him a warm smile, her gaze lingering on his for a moment before returning to her fellow Tomorrow People.

Physical force could not have pushed the vampire away from Ami's side, but for reasons that Adam did not understand, her words seemed to. Angel stiffened and looked away, evidently wrestling with demons other than the one that inhabited his body. When he finally looked back to them, his voice was firm, and whatever control he had lost he now had again.

"Adam, Megabyte, we all want the same thing, here. To find out what's going on and to help Ami. I'm just not convinced that going to this ship of yours is the best idea. If -" Angel paused, swallowed and hurried on, "Whatever it is, maybe we could go back to the office and do it?"

Angel didn't say the words, but Adam heard them. If Ami lost it again. If Ami became a danger. If that happened, Angel could be close to her. Angel could calm her - however it was that he managed to do that. The vampire was truly concerned about their fellow Tomorrow Person, he simply wasn't well versed in the proper etiquette for dealing with others on the same level. It made Adam a bit annoyed with Megabyte for coming out with the comments that he had. One of these days, his fellow Tomorrow Person was going to learn the value of tact and good manners.

“No we can’t.” Adam remained firm. He didn’t really want to go into details of how a mind-merge with the ship, and the other Tomorrow People might help Ami. Even though Angel knew quite a bit about the Tomorrow People, how much exactly Adam wasn’t sure, he didn’t want to share everything with the vampire. If push came to shove and Angel was somehow behind or even indirectly involved, it would be good if they could keep some sort of ace up their sleeve.

"You're doing it again," Ami spoke up from her spot between he and Angel. "I'm here. I can make my own decisions."

Her words had a sobering effect. Angel reacted again, subtly, so much so that if Adam's eyes hadn't slid past Ami to see precisely how the other reacted to her words he would have missed it. It was a little thing, a simple blinking of the eyes, a brief shadow falling across the vampire's face, but enough that Adam knew Angel had indeed reacted to Ami's announcement.

"What do you want to do then, Ami?" Angel asked the question before Adam could, his words remaining gentle, almost crooning, but the flicker in his eyes as his attention divided itself between Adam and Megabyte spoke to the eldest Tomorrow Person as well. As bizarre as it was, Angel didn't seem to be able to trust them anymore with Ami's well-being than they did him.

Confronted with actually having to make the decision, Adam watched the turmoil play across Ami's face. He could feel her conflicted emotions and knew from the way that she ducked her head that she was trying to avoid hurting any feelings. But after a moment, her head rose and she gave Angel a sad, half-smile.

"I'm going to go to the ship, Angel." She said the words softly, almost apologetically. "Adam's right. There are things we can do at the ship that we can't accomplish as well elsewhere."

"You're sure you'll be all right?"

"Yes. Positive."

“Well let’s get going then.” Megabyte seemed anxious to leave the dorm room, and Adam noticed his face seemed a bit flushed. Maybe after hearing Angel’s concern for their friend, he was regretting his past words.

“We’ll be in touch,” promised the Australian. He closed his eyes and focused on the ship, noticing Ami and Megabyte following suit. His last thoughts before he teleported was that he hoped what he had told Angel was right, hopefully the ship would be able to help them.

[Back to Chapter Nine]

[On to Chapter Eleven]

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