Lucid

~The Sequel to 'Little British Girl~
- Decide which side your on -
Three and a half month after Luci kidnapped her birth father, Xander Moore, Elia and her friends are on the run. Both north and south are engulfed in complete and utter chaos, and the resistance and the rebellium are gaining power through an alliance. Both sides want them out of the way, and they have nowhere to be, nowhere where they belong. The four friends must choose a side, the alliance, or the government, a decision that will forever haunt them all.
Nothing is certain, nothing is safe, nothing is lucid.

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18. Chapter 18

For some reason Max didn’t want to tell Annabeth the truth about his failed mission with Timmy, and he didn’t want me telling Daniel either, in case she found out through him. He said he wanted as little people involved as possible, at least until we get the evidence we need. I wasn’t in a position to upset him so I agreed to keep this from Daniel and Annabeth, letting Max take the lead. He knows the most about the mission, and he’s been busy these past few days chasing up dead leads, trying to figure out how to go about this. I’ve stayed out of his way, making sure I’m ready if he needs me, but still giving him some space. Instead of assisting Max, I’ve been spending more time with my dad, and when I’m not with him, I’ve been with Daniel. After Xander I gave up hope on ever bonding with my biological father, and with my mother dead the possibility of having a family was taken from me. But now, with my dad, I have a second chance. Whether it’s baking, walking around, watching old movies, listening to podcasts, or even tidying up around the house, we’ve spent a lot of time together. I always wondered what my real father was like, was he tall? Short? Freckled? Did he play sports? Cook dinner? Act? Was he kind? Intelligent? Brave? Did he like marmite? It was all a frustrating mystery to me. After all that fantasising, after all that wondering, I finally know. My father is just your average guy, he cooks most nights, exercises around twice to three times a week, enjoys sitting back and relaxing in the evenings, and always strives to do the best that he can do. He talks about my mum a lot, I can tell that he regrets leaving her, but most of the time he just wants to talk about me, to find out how I’ve got on. Because, just as I grew up thinking about him, he spent his lone hours wondering how I was doing back home in the south, with an armed border keeping us apart.

“Hey, what are you doing just standing there?” Daniel comes in, walking over to me and kissing me on the neck.

“I’m just thinking.” I sigh, shrugging him off gently.

“You’ve been doing a lot of that lately,” he chuckles, “What are you thinking about this time?”

“Just the fact that I’m here, with my birth father, after all this time…” I trail off, moving to go and boil the kettle, in dire need of a cup of tea.

“It must be nice for you, to be able to get to know him.” Daniel nods, trying to understand.

“It is.” I smile, “After my mum died, after Xander killed her, I-I didn’t think that I’d ever have a family ever again.”

“Hey, what about me?” Daniel laughs, trying to stop the mood from darkening, “What about Watson & Jackson? I thought we had our future together all planned out…”

“Oh yeah?” I play along, brightening up again, “Does that include little Watsons and little Jacksons?”

“If you want it to, then sure.” Daniel agrees. “As long as you’re happy.”

“As long as you’re with me, I will be.” I promise him, leaning in and wrapping my arms around his waist, pulling him close. I breath in deeply, enjoying the moment, enjoying the feeling of his body against mine, enjoying his warmth.

“Oh! Err...sorry, am I interrupting something?” Max walks into the kitchen. Me and Daniel pull apart, smiling awkwardly.

“It was nothing really-”

“Oh no, it’s cool,” Max cuts Daniel off, closing the matter for good, “I was just looking for Elia,” he shifts his gaze to me, “There’s a light bulb broken in my room and I was wondering if she’d give me a hand replacing it.” I can tell from the look that he’s giving me that this is about more than a dim bulb, he’s finally found a lead on Timmy.

“Sure.” I smile, “I’ll only be ten minutes.” I assure Daniel, giving him one more squeeze before I go. Once we’re upstairs, out of earshot, we get down to business. “What did you find?” I ask him.

“Going after the mission details wasn’t the right approach, there’s nothing there that can be used against him, so I tried a new tactic. It wasn’t just me and Timmy on that mission, remember? I thought that if I could track down one of the other team members we could get them to speak out against him.” Max explains.

“And you found one?”

“I found two,” he reveals, grinning from ear to ear, “Kyle Walker and Francesca Walker, brother and sister. Kyle had been part of the resistance for years, and was trying to get his little sister Frannie to enlist too, she helped us out on the occasional mission, this one included.”

“So, where are Kyle and Frannie now?” I dig deeper, getting excited. It’s good to see passion returning to Max’s eyes.

“That’s the best part,” he laughs, “There in Los Angeles, about a seven and a half hour drive away. If we tell everyone else that we’re going out tomorrow  to do some research in the library and could be out late they won’t suspect a thing, we can drive their early, and be back late when everyone else is asleep.” A feel a lump swell up in my throat over the thought of lying to Daniel further, but I try my best to ignore it, letting Max take the lead on this one. This is his mission, his chance at clearing his name, and it has to be done his way. There is something else about his plan that unnerves me though…

“Tomorrow?” I check, “Are you sure? Shouldn’t we think about this for a while longer?”

“We can’t afford to lose any more time, whilst we hesitate the alliance grow stronger and Luci’s life is put at an even greater risk...we have to act straight away.” Max argues.

“Have you even decided what you’re going to say to them?” I’m still not fully convinced Max has thought this through.

“I’ll think of something,” he confirms my suspicions, “I’ve known Kyle for years.”

“But it’s been so long, what if he’s changed? How can you be sure he’ll side with you over Timmy instead of telling Timmy what we’re up to and landing you in even more trouble?” I don’t mean to be so argumentative, but I can’t help it, this is the plan of a madman.

“I have to try.” Max says, looking me dead in the eye. Then, to my surprise, he begins to chuckle, his mouth spreading open into a smile as he fails to suppress is impromptu laughter. “I’ve just realised something,” he reveals, still laughing, “That's exactly the same thing you said to Luci when she tried to stop you going to rescue Daniel all by yourself, isn’t it?”

He’s right. The memory of that night flashes before me, Luci’s constant questioning, trying to break me, telling me I had nothing, when really I had one thing, I had got to try.

“I was wrong about you...you’re not such a little british girl after all, in fact-”

Even way back then Luci was playing me. She’d expected me to be fragile and weak. It actually gives me a weird sense of satisfaction to know that I defied her expectations of me, and I hope that I still do.

“You stood by me when I was going to do something crazy, now it’s my turn.” I decide, “I’m in.”

“Thank you.” He sighs, “We’ll leave at 5am tomorrow morning, that way we’ll be there just after midday.”

“Sure, whatever you want.” I smile, leaving Max to sort out the other details whilst I head back downstairs to Daniel.

Daniel’s still standing in the kitchen when I get there, gazing out of the window just as I was before him.

“Hey, what are you doing just standing there?” I mimic him, copying his words from earlier on.

“Just thinking.” He plays along, turning around to face me so I can lean in and hug him again, resting my cheek against his chest, finally back in his warmth.

“I’m going out with Max tomorrow, just to do some digging, we’ll probably spend most of the day in the library, and we might be back late, don’t wait up.” I tell him, still holding him close to me.

“That’s fine.” Daniel shrugs nestling into my shoulder.

“Yes,” I nod, “It is.”

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