“Love is a strange thing,” Ben says. “It comes from the oddest places, especially when you least expect it,”
“What’s wrong?” Crab asked.
“It’s almost 2:55!” he yelled. Crab and I stared blankly at him. He let out a sigh of frustration. “Donnie’s game starts at 3!”
“Oh!” Crab and I said at the same time.
“Come here, we won’t make it if we walk,” Sandman held his hand out towards me.
I put my hand in his and he pulled me close. He put his arms around me easily and I closed my eyes. It’s funny, we had only done this once before but it felt so natural.
The silvery light encased us like it had before and the force tried to pull us apart.
Sandman held me tight and rested his head on mine, as if it would protect me from something. My fingers clutched at his cape hoping I wouldn’t lose him.
But just as soon as it started, it ended. The light faded and we were in another place. I blinked away the spots on my vision and looked around. We were standing just outside a massive stadium. People were filing in; I could already tell it was going to be packed.
“Perfect! We made it just in time!” Sandman said, relieved.
Behind us, Crab appeared in a puff of red smoke.
“Oh, good, we haven’t missed anything yet,” he said, straightening out his suit.
“I just hope Benzedrine saved us seats,” Sandman retorted. “Come on, no time to waste,”
He gestured for us to start walking and we joined the crowd. Strangely, I felt comfortable in the masses. There were enough people to hide in, but it wasn’t suffocating. I looked just like any other Suiteheart going to a local sporting ever; nothing out of the ordinary. Little did these people know, I was completely foreign from them.
Lost in thought, I accidentally bumped the person next to me.
“Sorry!” I said, apologetically. I met his eyes; just a normal Suiteheart boy. He was kind of cute though and I blushed unintentionally.
“No problem,” he said with a smirk.
I heard Sandman scoff next to me and turned towards him.
We flowed with the crowd until; somehow, we spotted Dr. Benzedrine and squeezed our way into a row of seats. I sat next to Ben with Crab and Sandman on my other side. We had amazing seats- really close to all the action.
“I thought you guys would never make it!” he said, smiling.
“You know me,” Sandman said from behind me. “I like to be fashionably late,”
Ben rolled his eyes and turned to me. “Did you have a good time?”
“Yeah,” I said, smiling. “I met Sally and The Toymaker and visited the Ringleader again,”
“How is that old Toymaker? I haven’t seen him in quite some time,” he asks.
“He’s very sweet- a little eccentric, but very kind,” I respond, cheerily. “Are Sally and him a couple?”
Ben laughs. “Everyone thinks they are, but they would never admit to it. Sally is the Toymaker’s muse; he’s always had his eye on her. Besides, he did save her life, I’m sure that’s got to cause a strong bond,”
“It crazy how such terrible circumstances brought them together,” I added. “But, I’m glad they found each other,”
“Love is a strange thing,” Ben says. “It comes from the oddest places, especially when you least expect it,”
My green eyes met his for a moment and it made my heart race. His words echoed what the Ringleader had spoke of; Love and Fate walk hand and hand- perhaps the terrible circumstances I was in was supposed to bring the two of us together. And the more looked into his beautiful eyes, I felt… right. Perhaps I did belong with him.
Just then, the announcer began yelling and Ben and I broke our stare and blushed, turning towards the baseball diamond.
He began to announce the names of the teams as they arrived in the arena, but people were yelling and cheering so loud, I couldn’t even hear what he was saying. I joined in when I saw Donnie.
Donnie looked like he was totally in the zone. He was calm-looking, as per usual, but he looked fierce and focused gaze. I wondered for a moment how different baseball would be in this universe.
The game begins, and the first pitch is thrown. Donnie was on a team called The Clovers that were all dressed in green and the opposing team was dressed in blue and was called The Electrics.
Donnie was up to bat many times throughout the game and always seemed to get homeruns, and when he wasn’t batting, he was catching every baseball he could. He was lightening fast and never ever missed a catch. He was the best baseball player you had ever seen!
At one point in the game, a small child in the stands caught one of the baseballs that had gone out of bounds. She was a young ginger haired girl with a frilly dress and curly pigtails. She was completely shocked that she had caught it at first, but the realization hit her and she became ecstatic. The crowd applauded her.
Another trigger must have been hit in my head, because the scene before me dissolved into another vision.
”Guys, no fair!” the little girl from the previous visions yelped. “Let me play!”
She was standing in between the dark haired boy and the blue eyed boy as they tossed a
baseball back and forth above her head.
“Pickle in the middle!” the dark haired boy taunted, making the other boy giggle.
“Guys, stop being meanies!” the green eyed boy came to the girl’s aid.
“Make us!” the blue eyed boy stuck out his tongue.
Suddenly, the curly haired boy jumped up and snatched the baseball from out of the air and handed it to the blonde girl.
“Here you go,” he said, timidly.
“Thanks!” she exclaimed and wrapped her short arms around him in a childish hug.
I gasped as the vision evaporated and was replaced by a hazy version of my actual surroundings. The world was spinning out of control around me and I had to grip onto the armrests on either side of me to get a grip. My head felt like it was going to explode and I began to break out into a cold sweat.
“Allie, are you okay?” Ben’s voice whispered in my ear. “What’s wrong?”
You shook your head, trying desperately to rid yourself form all the spinning. “I’m fine, I just need some fresh air…”
I didn’t want him to see you like this, so I swiftly pushed my way out of the row of people and out the first door I found.
I stumbled outside into a hallway where a few other people were milling around. I took a deep breath and fought through the blurred sight until I found somewhere quite and secluded just outside the stadium. The more I had these visions, the more dangerous they were becoming. I held my head in my hands and took a few deep breaths, trying to get control of myself.
When my sight returned to normal, I lifted my head and leaned against the cool concrete walls. I looked out towards the city and ran a hand over my forehead to rid it of the sweat. My heart rate was slowing down, and I fought the darkness that was ebbing at my peripheral vision.
I would’ve passed out if I didn’t get out of there when I did, I thought.
“Well, well, well, Tiffany Blews, we meet again,” an eerily familiar voice sounds besides you. “What’s got you all bothered? Think about me, again?”
Oh God no. Not now!, I thought, frustrated and opened my eyes.
Before me stood the Invisible Man.
Just the sight of him sent a shiver down my spine. He looked just as he did the night we met, if not more appealing now. My desire to feel the freedom of invisibility came on me like a flash flood. I fought to keep it at bay and avoided his dark eyes.
“Wh-What are you doing here?” I turn to him and take a few steps back.
“Supporting my local team, of course,” he says with a smirk. “You didn’t answer my previous question: what are you doing out here all alone, looking so disoriented?”
“That’s none of your business,” I snapped, trying to keep my desperation hidden from him.
“You’re feisty, you know,” he says, chuckling. “I like that,”
I rolled my eyes and try to walk around him. He moves in my path and puts his hand on the wall next to him, preventing me from moving around him. He was close, very close, and it wasn’t helping you from not caving in.
“Let me pass,” I demand, looking at him defiantly.
“Don’t want to stay and chat?”
“And here I was thinking you would want to share my gift again,” he says, haughtily.
“Well, you thought wrong then,” I tried again to go around him, but he just moved in my path once more, even closer this time.
“You do want to though; I can see it in your eyes,” he whispered, his dark eyes locking on mine. “I’ll let you go without payment another time, if you’d like,”
My heart rate quickens again and I managed to whisper, “Leave me alone,”
“No one has to know, Tiffany,” he whispers smoothly. “It can be our little secret,”
“I-I…” I began, feeling my restraint going weak. He began to reach for the bare skin of my hand- I let him.
“Hey!” a voice exclaims from behind the Invisible Man. “What’s going on here?”
The Invisible Man jumped and stepped in front of me, blocking my view. I took the moment to calm my breathing and regain my strength.
"We’re just talking, Mr. Mayor,” he says, quickly.
“It sure didn’t look like that,” the man says.
Hollywood has a mayor? I thought to myself, stepping away to distance myself from the Invisible Man.
“Well, I was just leaving anyway, Mr. Mayor, so I’ll be on my way,” he responds, then whispers, “I’ll see you soon, Tiffany,”
He then disappears in a flash of black smoke, releasing me from his trance. I let out a sigh and leaned against the wall, closing my eyes.
“Are you alright, young lady?” The Mayor says.
“Yes, yes, I’m alright now,” I respond softly. “Thank you for saving me,”
“Not a problem, miss,”
I finally got a hold of myself and opened my eyes. Blinking, I was met with a pair of concerned green eyes. The Mayor, I assumed him to be, was a man in his 50s. He had honey blonde hair that was slicked back under a black top hat. His suit was fairly normal-looking by my standards; just black and white with a blue tie and a matching blue flower pinned to it. His face looked kind, but was masked by a look of concern.
It was strange…as I looked over his face, I had the strongest feeling that I had met him before. I know that was impossible, but he looked so familiar to you. Even the soft way he spoke had a feeling of familiarity, like you had heard that voice before; like you had met him in the past, or somewhere in your dreams.
“Are you sure you are alright?” he asked, and I realized how creepy it must’ve been for me just to be staring at him.
“Positive,” I respond with more confidence this time. “I’m sorry, but have we met before?”
He chuckles. “I was about to ask you the same question, Miss…?”
“Tiffany,” I provided. “Tiffany Blews. And, I have no idea. You just look so familiar,”
“Well, I am the mayor, after all,” he says with a warm smile. “You may have seen me before,”
“Yeah, that’s probably it,” I said, even though I knew there was more to it than just that.
“Is it your first time in Hollywood, Tiffany?” he asks, “I’m not sure I’ve seen you before,”
“Yes, it’s my first time,”
“What brings you to my neck of the woods?”
“I’m visiting family,” I say, easily. “H.S. Crab is my cousin,”
“How nice,” he responds, smiling again. “Well, I do hope that the Invisible Man’s actions do not give you a false idea of Hollywood. I assure you that I run a good place here, and he is one of my biggest problems here.”
“It hasn’t, I promise you,” I responded adamantly. “I’ve really enjoyed my time here; besides him, all the people I’ve met have been really welcoming,”
“That’s good to hear!” he says, satisfied.
“Tiffany! Tiffany, where are you?” a voice called from behind me. It was Ben, I knew even before I turned around.
“I’m over here!” I called back. He saw me and ran over.
“Mr. Mayor?” Ben said, surprised.
“Hello, Doctor, I assume you’re looking for this young lady,” he said, “How do you know each other?”
“She’s been staying at my house with Crab,”
“I see,” he responded, smiling. “You’re in good hands, Miss. Blews. I hope you enjoy the rest of your stay,”
“Thanks again, Mr. Mayor,” I said, shaking his hand.
“Not a problem,” he tipped his hat. “Good day to you both,”
Ben watched until The Mayor is gone then turned to me. “What happened? Are you alright?”
“It’s a lot to explain,” I sighed. “If I tell you, do you promise not to freak out?”
He gives me a worried glance then takes a deep breath.
I nodded. I was not only going to tell him the events that just happened, but I knew that I had to come clean about my visions as well. If they continued in the same fashion, it would start to get more serious. Besides, he deserved to know what was wrong with me.
With a resigned breath I said, “Okay, here it goes…”
(A/N): OMG YOU'RE ALIVE!! Yes, I'm alive ;) And I apologize profusely for the lack of updates for like months :/ But as FOB themselves did show us, a hiatus can do some good!