Fang found himself in the kitchen fixing up the last bits of breakfast that still had to be made. This would be the first time in a long while they would all be eating together at the same time. Usually one or two would stay in bed and in Blue’s case refuse to leave his room but with some coaxing and pleading from Arisa he finally agreed.
Arisa’s bruise was healing nicely. She was even starting to go back to rough housing with Blue.
Shadow had begun talking to Fang again; he had received the silent treatment for almost two and a half days. Most people would give up after an hour or at most a day. But Shadow was unusually good at not speaking. He would wake Fang up in the morning with a pillow to the face and make is bath water as cold as ice. One time Fang disconnected the cold water from the house but instead of the water being warm like he had imagined he found ice cubes floating around in his bath tub. Shadow only started talking to him he recited a dialogue that Shadow wrote for him to read. After that, Shadow walked around like nothing ever was bad between them.
As for Alister, he was busy being…well…Alister.
Penelope had occupied herself with their stolen shadowcraft. There was no point in returning it. There was no way the Tower would shrug and say ‘Well at least you returned it!’. Any means the Tower had of finding it was gone a few hours after they landed a few days ago. The rumor going around is that she learned all this stuff from reading and watching too much manga and anime. But as she went out every morning and came back only to eat, go to the bathroom (maybe) and sleep she looked happy to have a big project on her hands. Fang just hoped it worked after she was done.
Raven mostly hovered around the others. Nothing really new or interesting in the last few days.
The clocks said it was seven by their chiming and gonging and noise making. The man who owned the house before must have had a strange fetish for clocks. Fang sighed he was running late. He had approximately five minutes max before the stampede of feet tumbled down the stairs. Fang shut off the stovetops and opened the oven. He pulled out a pan and set it on the counter as he turned off the oven. The cooking food on the stovetops was placed in separate dishes and placed on a cart. He cut what was in the pan and placed the squares on a large plate in a circular arraignment. Fang rolled the cart into the dining room with two minutes to spare. He could hear the stirrings up stairs as they woke up and began to change into their day clothes. Fang set the plates in the center of the table, put the cart to one side and sat down in his seat. The Wolves walked in as he took his first sip of tea.
“Morning,” Fang said as he set his cup down calmly.
“Breakfast!!” Arisa shouted as she ran in, “Isn’t it great Blue?”
“Another day, another dollar,” Alister said, “hopefully. You think the Tower knows it was us?”
“How many other teams would you know that would be insane enough to steal a shadowcraft?” Raven glided past him in her robe.
“Whatever,” Alister muttered.
“I’d have to agree with Raven,” Penelope nodded, “It doesn’t take a genius to figure out that this team is filled with the craziest people known to mankind except serial killers and rapists. If you look at the case of the stolen shadowcraft it’s pretty crazy. Connect the two dots and you’ve got who did it.”
“All you ladies have to always stick together don’t you?” Alister glared at Penelope.
“I agree with Raven,” Shadow stared at Alister enough that lasers could have shot out of his eyes at any minute.
“Well, obviously you’re not a gall,” Alister muttered.
Shadow rolled his eyes and took his seat. It was a relief to see everyone interacting again. As much as Fang wanted to be a part of the conversations his mind kept wandering to that night. He heard the others talking about something but his mind was elsewhere. The man with the different colored eyes. Fang felt like he knew him from somewhere.
“Fang? Hey Fang?!” Alister’s voice pierced though Fang’s thoughts like and annoying alarm.
Fang glared at him. Alister didn’t seem to notice.
“So what do you think?” he asked.
Fang stared blankly at him. He hadn’t been paying attention. So Fang took another approach.
“I think I have better things to do than waste my time with these discussions,” Fang said and took a sip of his tea.
There was silence.
“Yeah, you have no idea what we were talking about, do you?” Shadow asked.
“Of course I know what you were talking about. I deliberately blocked it from my memory because it was so dull and might make my IQ drop severely,” Fang said casually.
“Yeah, he spaced out,” Shadow muttered.
“In that case,” Alister started to explain their discussion when Fang glared at him again and he shut his mouth.
They started breakfast. Fang helped himself to some Breakfast Cake. There were so many unanswered questions. His eyes looked over at Blue. He seemed to be recovering. Blue’s eyes were starting to shine again but there was a lingering sadness that Fang still had to address. Fang made a note to ask Blue about it after breakfast. He seemed strong enough now to not black out with sorrow when he heard her name. Kyra.
The phone rang.
“Hello?” Fang said when he got up to answer it.
“Hey there Fang,” a voice said, “Mind if I crash at your place tonight?”
“Shifter?” Fang asked, “What are you talking about?”
“The Tower’s suspecting me. I just need a place to lie low,” Shifter answered.
“And going to the place where the residents actually stole a shadowcraft makes sense, how?”
“You guys are practically untouchable!” Shifter said, “As a black team you don’t exist! The Tower can’t just barge in here and arrest you…well actually they could. But they won’t!”
Fang looked behind him at the others. They stared at him wondering what was going on. Six. Six insane people living under one roof. Seven…
“No,” Fang said.
“Awwwwww, come on, Fang! You owe me one!”
“And the seventy thousand?” Fang said.
“You’re kidding! I earned that money fair and square!” there was a long silence.
“Fine! Consider the seventy thousand payment for staying over a night!” Shifter sounded broken.
“Thank you for choosing the Grand Wolf hotel,” Fang said, “Please consider doing business with us again some time.”
“Psh! Not for seventy thousand!” Shifter said as he hung up.
The doorbell rang. Fang went to answer it.
“Hey! Am I late for breakfast?” Shifter stood at the front door in a skirt, high heels, white blouse and a blond wig.
“Sooooo…you are a guy right?” Alister asked for the seventh time.
“No, I’m a girl. I’m just really flat chested,” Shifter sounded annoyed, “I’m a guy for Pete’s sake!”
“What’s with the get up, then?” Alister leaned closer as he sat on the couch. He looked like a detective about to break a major case, “Was it Drag Nigh over at the Tower?”
“I’d like to know,” Shadow said as he sat across from Shifter who was now in his regular clothes.
“Well if you must know,” Shifter started.
“It’s part of your fee,” Fang said as he walked by the living room.
Shifter turned around, his blue eyes looking at Fang, “That wasn’t the agreement!”
“It is now,” Fang walked back where he had just come from.
There was silence as they waited for him to appear again. But he didn’t. they heard the vacuum running. For a few minutes it ran before it shut off.
“You do realize that I’m listening, right?” Fang said.
“He can hear us over a vacuum cleaner?” Alister whispered to Shadow.
“He can hear us everywhere,” Shadow stated.
Alister looked at Shadow, “You mean he can—”
Shadow raised a hand, “Whatever your about to say, don’t! I was joking!”
Fang rolled his eyes in the next room, “I’m waiting!”
“Hold your horses!” Shifter said.
The vacuum cleaner turned on again.
“I did a little in house spying,” Shifter nodded, obviously proud of himself, “I was curious about what the Tower report said about your little adventure. So I dressed up as a secretary and hacked the computer network. Found out some interesting stuff, too. You know that man with the different eyes? The Tower calls him Zero. Apparently, they have been after him for quite a while.”
“That so,” Shadow said.
“That’s what I read,” Shifter shrugged, “His team is a bunch of misfits like you guys.”
Alister stood up, “I’m not a misfit!”
“Yeah, yeah, save it for the judge,” Shifter waved his hand dismissively.
Blue was walking by with Arisa at that moment. He overheard the conversation.
What about the one they call Flare?
Naturally, Shifter didn’t catch a word so Arisa helped out.
“What about Flare?” she asked, “What did it say about her?”
There seemed to be something bitter in her mouth when she said what she said. Fang noticed. He stopped vacuuming and peeked into the living room. Arisa’s right hand, the one not holding on to Blue’s hand, was closed in a fist. Fang thought it fortunate that the girl Flare wasn’t standing right in the room
“Oh, yeah,” Shifter nodded, “I remember something about her. Said something about Crawford Labs, I don’t remember.”
Fang raised an eyebrow. Things were beginning to make sense again. The equation was balancing out.