Under the dim glow of the city lights, in an alleyway not far from two warehouses that have been put back together to use as housing instead of working units, there is a scuffle going on. Two slight boys, one with black and red hair, the other with blue and black hair, are struggling to get away from a group of young men who seem to be on the lookout for trouble. The two slight boys know that they can mostly handle themselves though they have been told that they should never use their gifts unless the situation is dire, it seems dire enough.
Just as Agni is preparing to use his fire to at least try to scare these men off, not wanting to hurt them more than he really has to, a tall figure steps into the alleyway. At first it seems as if not a soul from the group of men notice, they still beat on the two teenagers though suddenly one begins to scream, his hands are over his ears and he’s screaming bloody murder. This seems to distract the rest of their little gang, enough for the twins to run off towards the other end of the alleyway. They have no idea who this tall shadow is and have no desire to be in trouble for any reason at all.
At the end of the alleyway, they run into another tall man, this one very familiar to them and Mira latches onto Alexis’s arm for all he’s worth. The men at the other end are still screaming and even Agni reaches for Alexis, seeking the comfort of the man’s presence, away from whatever is going on at the other end of the darkness.
Silence falls for a moment before the echo of footsteps come, the sound of bodies falling over trashcans and stumbling to get back up and around to run away.
“No reason to be scared now though you two aren’t supposed to be out this late at night, what were you thinking?” Alexis’s voice holds a no-nonsense tone. It calls for respect. Agni still is quiet but Mira’s whimpered sniffling seems to finally quiet. He stiffens however as the tall shadow begins walking towards them.
“They won’t remember what happened here tonight, they’ll mostly have very badly pounding headaches and won’t know why.” Eoghan’s voice accompanies the shadow and Mira sags, dropping to the ground as he releases his hold on Alexis’s arm.
“Mira!” Agni, worried sick about his brother, releases his hold on the elder demon and crouches next to his brother. There is some blood on them but it is minimal.
“You two need to learn to respect your elders though. I’m not saying this because I want to rant away at both of you but there’s a reason why your sister asks you to never be out after a certain hour. This place is dangerous.” Eoghan’s tone is gentle, Alexis looks down to the twins and shakes his head with a sigh.
“We need to head back inside before cops show up. The idiots were screaming bloody murder and I bet someone heard them and called the cops.”
“You were just protecting the kids. Their lecture on safety can wait until we’re back inside, you get Agni to go along, I’ll carry Mira, I think he’s in shock.”
It takes some cajoling to get Agni to move, to release his brother enough. Eoghan walks him along the back of the building, knowing he can cut through Yael and Eoghan’s yard to get to their own. It’s easier to keep unseen by staying out of the light and he knows this place well enough to head anywhere out in the dark.
Alexis is a few yards behind them when they step up to their own building, rounding back up to the front to get to the doors there since the back ones are locked at this point. Mira is quiet in Alexis’s arms, sniffling softly with every breath though he seems to be done with crying for the time being.
Once in the lit hallway of the building, they head towards the elevator. Eoghan reaches out with his mind to let Zora know that they have found her brothers but that they need to have a talk to them about the safety of being outside at night and need to check them for anything that might require attention. He however makes sure to calm her by telling her that the worst of it might be a cut or two that will heal after a few hours.
In their living room, Alexis settles Mira down on the couch next to a somewhat confused Agni. Mira turns and huddles tightly against his brother who mechanically curls his arm around him. He looks up at Eoghan steps back up to them with a small white box, a red cross on it. He stares blankly before closing his eyes with a sigh.
“Where were you guys thinking you were going when you stepped out earlier? Zora was worried sick. She called us to check in to see if you boys were with us. We could have lied, told her that was the case but I don’t think you two would have understood how much she worried if we had. So we told her the truth.”
He reaches out, checks them slowly over, putting a bit of ointment on cuts and scrapes.
“I don’t know.” Mira’s words are meek, confused and Eoghan frowns. He reaches out, puts his fingers beneath Mira’s chin to turn his gaze to face him.
“What do you mean you don’t know?” He tries to keep his voice smooth and gentle but there is an undertone of urgency in his words.
That urgency all on its own seems to bring Mira to tears all over again, he begins to sob into his hands and Agni curls his slightly aching arms around his brother, offering his shoulder. “I don’t know! There was something calling to us out there!”
“All right, it’s all right. You’re both safe and sound for now. Just calm down.” Sighing, Eoghan moves away from them and towards his lover who had been standing in another room, giving them time.
“I hate to ask you for this, I know it’s a bit wearing for you but if they say something called them out there, maybe their minds are vulnerable. That worries me to no end, would it be a possibility to have bracelets for them until I find the source? I know at least it’s not as exhausting as protecting the whole building, I know that one will wear you out to no end.”
Alexis nods lightly, fingers brushing his lover’s cheek lightly. “I’ll see about getting them a couple of bracelets made. We both know it’s possible that there are others like you out there in this city. The chances are slim but not impossible. We’ll keep them safe.”
“Lex, they could have been hurt in a really bad way, they could have been raped!” His voice is low but filled to the brim with worries and he shakes his head. The thought disturbs him to no end. He knows it happened to Mira before. He couldn’t live with himself if it happened again while the youth was under his roof and essentially his protection.
“I’ll find whoever tried to get them hurt and I’ll make him pay.”