Steve didn’t understand what was going on. First, he had been working his retail job, and then he was stuck in an endless cycle of nightmares after being kidnapped by aliens, then suddenly four teenagers saved him.
The weirdest thing was one of them was claiming to be his girlfriend but Steve didn’t remember having a girlfriend before he was abducted. The next 24 hours were a whirlwind of craziness as they fought to get the spaceship back to the planet earth and fight the aliens who had taken him.
Now he was back at school and he wasn’t sure how he was supposed to behave. The four of them, who he had never seen before the aliens, were suddenly everywhere. In his classes, his lunch period, shopping where he worked, he saw them everywhere.
He learned that Mike and Sam both worked in the mall with him, at the movie theater and sports shop respectively. Amanda ran in most of the same circles as she was one of the more popular girls in school and the star softball player. Hannah was a year younger but she was still in his AP English class, and he couldn’t figure out how he’d never noticed them all before.
After a few days he realized why he’d never seen them, Sam ran with the druggies and Hannah ran with the smart kids and Mike didn’t seem to have any actual friends. But after saving him they never seemed to interact with him, ignoring him in class, school, the mall, they ignored him almost pointedly.
They seemed to acknowledge each other slightly, but only in passing. Then everything seemed to change again, and they got closer and closer to each other. He would see Amanda and Sam walking through the school halls holding hands. Mike and Hannah would sit together pressed together during lunch. And then behind the school, Mike and Sam would be cuddled together passing a joint back and forth. And Amanda would play with Hannah’s hair while they studied.
He wanted to get to know them, join them, but he didn’t know how to approach them. He had reached a point where he was driving his friends crazy.
“Dude you need to chill the fuck out,” his friend Brad said, jabbing him in the arm with his fork. Steve snapped out of his trance of watching the four laughing at their own lunch table.
“I am chill! I’m very chill!” Steve protested, glancing at Brad for a second before his eyes flickered back over to the four.
“You have the biggest crush, I just can’t figure out who you have a crush on? Amanda or Hannah?”
“Uh.” Steve froze and stared at Brad, not knowing how to respond.
“You know man it doesn’t matter, but you should know that I’m pretty sure Amanda is dating the dealer Sam, and Hannah is dating that loser Mike.”
“He’s not a loser,” Steve snapped before he could stop himself.
“Whoa!” Brad threw his hands up and gave him a weird look. “I didn’t realize you liked Jaundice.”
“I just think you’re being an asshole.” Steve crossed his arms and glared at Brad. Their other friends had slowly moved away from them and were watching with wide eyes.
“Alright man, sorry!” Brad turned back to his food giving him a weird look every now and then. Steve stared at his food too and tried to figure out what was going on with himself.
For the rest of the day, he became very aware of how much he saw them and how much he wanted to join them. It was the first time he really realized that he did have a crush, but not just on the girls, on the boys too. He had thought he just wanted to get to know them but his feelings were different.
Steve felt for the first time a deep sense of longing, wanting to sit and smoke with Sam and Mike, study with Hannah, and just sit and listen to Amanda talk for hours. He was fucked for them and he had barely spoken to them.
“Fuck me,” Steve whispered and slammed his head into his desk. The class had been filling into the room and Amanda had walked in looking like a goddess. Everyone gave him a weird look but Steve refused to look up from his desk, worried about what he would say if he saw Amanda looking at him.
He felt everyone’s eyes on him but he didn’t look up until after the teacher came in and called everyone to attention. He spent the rest of the class period staring at the teacher and trying to avoid even looking towards Amanda. As soon as class ended he bolted from the class, hurrying to his locker to give himself a moment to breathe.
“Kane.” Someone slammed into the locker next to him and made him flinch.
“Fuck!” Steve jumped and whipped around, seeing Hannah Lee leaning on the locker next to him and glaring at him.
“What the fuck is your problem?”
“Ever since we brought you back you’ve been giving us weird looks and avoiding us, so what the fuck is your problem?”
“I- I don’t have a fucking problem!” Steve slammed his locker closed and glared at her. “I’m just trying to pretend my whole life is still normal and that aliens don’t exist!”
“Well, you need to keep your fucking problems to yourself, just stop acting like a fucking asshole.”
“Fuck you.” Steve stormed off. He got out of school and sat in his car for a second, realizing he’d just yelled at one of the people he’d had a crush on.
“Well, I fucked that up,” Steve groaned, slamming his head into his steering wheel before he started the car to head to work.
Steve threw himself into work that afternoon, handling all of the angry customers to keep his mind off of how much he had just fucked up what could have been at least a friendship. While he was being yelled at by one particularly upset soccer mom he happened to glance behind her and saw Amanda strolling through the store with Hannah. He focused again on the woman and fought the urge to drop behind the counter and hide from them.
“And I want to speak to your manager!” She finished yelling, crossing her arms and glaring at him.
“Of course ma’am.” Steve nodded and looked around for his shift manager, finally seeing him already walking towards them.
“What seems to be the problem here?” He asked, giving Steve a concerned look.
“This incompetent employee is refusing to let me use these coupons.” She waved a handful of coupons at his manager.
“These coupons are from about 2 years ago sir.”
“I don’t see why that should matter! I want him fired!” She was glaring and looked like she was ready to start taking swings.
“Ma’am, may I see the coupons?”
“Then I cannot allow you to use them.”
“I hate this stupid store anyway.” The woman stormed away, taking her expired coupons with her.
“How about you take your break now,” His manager said, giving him a once over.
“Uh, sure. Thanks.” Steve gave his manager a smile and walked out of the store, heading to the food court to grab some dinner. As he walked into the court he noticed that Sam was sitting at one of the tables eating alone. Steve felt his face get hot and he tried to avoid making eye contact as he hurried to one of the places to get food.
“Hey, Steve!” He heard Sam call out just before he could get out of the open area.
“Get food and come sit with me!”
“Ok man!” Steve heard himself agree before he could think about it. Steve hurried and got some food before sitting down across from Sam and giving him a hesitant smile.
“Hey man, how ya doin?” Sam asked him, taking a bite out of his burger.
“Alright, processing the fact that I’ve been abducted by an alien and rescued by some of my classmates.”
“It’s been like, two fucking weeks already, are you still on that?”
“Yeah, well I was abducted by the aliens three weeks ago so there’s a lot to process.”
“Oh fuck that’s right. You were up there for a while. How come people weren’t looking for you?”
“Uh.” Steve hesitated and gave Sam a weird look.
“That’s a rude question, Sam.” The voice of Amanda Hess came from over Steve’s shoulder.
“What? I was curious!” Sam glared at them but after a second both Amanda and Hannah walked over and pressed kisses to his cheeks.
“Just because you’re curious doesn’t mean you have to get the answers you tactless ass.” Hannah dropped down in one of the other seats and started eating Sam’s fries.
“But having tact is boring.” Sam pouted at Hannah and reached out and grabbed Amanda’s hand absentmindedly. Steve suddenly felt like he was trespassing on a very private moment.
“Well, then I’ll take a page from your book.” Hannah suddenly turned towards Steve. “What the fuck are you doing here?”
“I invited him, he looked sad.” Sam gave Hannah a weird look.
“I can go, I don’t want to make it weird.” Steve started to get up but Amanda waved her hand at him.
“No, sit your ass back down.”
“What about Mike?” Steve hesitantly sat back down and continued eating.
“He’s going to get on break in about 2 minutes and when he gets here we’ll pull up a chair.” Amanda waved her hand indifferently and turned back to Sam. The two of them got into a lively conversation about something that had happened in one of their classes, and Steve enjoyed watching them all converse. When Mike showed up Hannah scooted closer to Sam and Mike sat down next to her. Steve enjoyed watching and listening to the four of them talk and laugh from closer than across the room.
“Well, this has been beautiful ladies and gentlemen but I have to get back to work before my dad loses his shit.” Sam stood up and walked around the table, pressing kisses to the other threes foreheads and giving Steve a nod. Steve felt another pang of longing, wishing for just a second that Sam would have pressed a kiss to his forehead too.
“Bye Sam!” Everyone called, Steve settling for just waving as he left. Steve sat there for another five seconds before he realized everyone else was staring at him and he felt his face getting hot.
“I go to!” He blurted out, standing up and grabbing his food before hurrying away as fast as he could while still looking at least mildly in control of himself. He made it out of sight of the food court before he collapsed against the wall and cursed himself out internally.
For the rest of the day, he found himself glancing towards the store’s door, hoping to catch a glimpse of the four people that he was quickly developing a serious crush on. He was waiting so much that he got in trouble with his manager for not paying attention to his work.
At the end of the day he was hoping to see either Mike or Sam as they were leaving their own jobs, but his boss got so frustrated with him that he sent him home an hour after his break with a warning to get his head in the game before tomorrow or he would lose his job. Steve looked his boss dead in the eyes and handed him his nametag before walking out of the store.
He walked straight into the movie theater and walked right to the manager.
“Hello, my name is Steve and I would like a job.”
“Alright Steve, what can you do?”
“I’ve worked at Dilliards for the last year, working the register and handling merchandise and customers.”
“Would you be willing to work concessions?”
“You’re hired,” The manager smiled at him and then turned to scan the room. “Michael!”
“Yes,” Mike said, looking mostly at the floor.
“I’ll need you to train our newest hire, Steve.” The manager gave them both a smile before turning and walking away. Mike gave Steve a curious look and then a hesitant smile.
“So, uh, I thought you worked over at Dilliards?” Mike led Steve over to the concessions stand as he asked.
“Uh, yeah, I quit?”
“Why the fuck would you trade that job for this one?”
“I don’t know, the people?” He blurted out before he could second-guess himself. Mike smiled at him again and then started training him in how to work the register and the concessions stand. Steve felt like he was on cloud nine for the whole time and clung to every word that Mike said, no matter how boring.
He left shortly after his training was completed and walked home, still feeling as if he was floating from how much attention the four of them had given him. Even if some of it had been negative he was mostly happy that they were aware he was still alive.
The next day at school he had AP English early in the day, a class he shared with Hannah, and he was mildly dreading it. He wasn’t sure where he stood with her, she acted like she hated him but the others all seemed to like him at least as a friend. He got to class early and waited at his desk for her to show up. She didn’t disappoint, and as soon as she got to class she walked right to his desk and dropped a book on it to get his attention.
“You have a crush,” She said, staring him right in the eyes.
“What!?” Steve felt his face heat up as he shook his head quickly trying to deny it.
“The problem is, I can’t figure out who you have a crush on. Cause you watch all of us with the same look in your eyes, you sat with Sam yesterday, you quit your job to work with Mike. I just can’t figure you out.” She narrowed her eyes at him.
“I- All of you.”
“I have a crush on all of you.” Steve looked down at his desk and studied it like it held the answers to the universe.
“But, if you had such a big crush on Amanda why did you break up with her?” Hannah sounded genuinely confused and it made Steve’s head snap back up.
“I never dated Amanda! I barely knew her before you all, you know, saved my life.” Steve ran through his memories to try and figure out why Hannah though he had dated Amanda.
“If you two are done we would like to start the class.” Their teacher cut in, causing them to realize that while they had been talking the class had filled up.
“Sorry Mrs. Clarke.” Hannah moved quickly to the open desk next to Steve and glared at her desk for the entire class period. Steve alternated between paying attention and looking over at Hannah in concern. At the end of class Hannah booked it out, leaving Steve to try to figure out what he had done wrong.
Steve spent the next two periods before lunch worrying about it, ignoring his friends when they tried to talk to him. Steve decided that he must have said something right after he got pulled out of the tank to make people think they had dated, as he couldn’t really remember the details.
He walked towards lunch, ready to avoid them until they forgave him for whatever he did to them. On his way, he was caught by the arm and dragged into one of the now empty classrooms.
“Fuck!” He yelped as he tripped and fell into the room.
“Shit! I’m sorry Steve!” He heard someone say, and suddenly he was being lifted to his feet. He found himself face to face with a very sheepish looking Amanda.
“Amanda?” Steve blinked in surprise.
“Hi, Steve.” Amanda twirled the end of one of her curls around her finger as she gave him a sheepish look.
“So listen,” Amanda cut him off. “I told a bunch of people we were dating because they wouldn’t leave me alone and you weren’t around to tell them otherwise. And I’m sorry cause Hannah was one of those people and now that we’re, uh, friends, she felt like she needed to protect me from you.”
“Did they leave you alone after?”
“After you told them we were dating did they leave you alone?”
“Uh, yeah they did.”
“Then it’s fine. If you needed to get some people to leave you alone then I’m glad you could use me to do it. I am sorry though that Hannah hates me now because of it, I think she’s really cool. I’m glad you have three people who love you like they do.”
“Uh.” Amanda looked like she was trying to figure out if she needed to threaten him or hug him. “How did you know?”
“Sam kissed all of you? You all hold hands all the time? No one can figure out your relationship so I figured it wasn’t ‘traditional’. Were you trying to hide it?”
“Apparently not very well.” Amanda crossed her arms and pouted a little.
“Can we go get lunch now?” Steve glanced at the door and then back at Amanda.
“Oh! Yeah, sure!” Amanda jumped up and led Steve back out into the hallway and into the lunch room.
“Hey, you guys!” Sam seemed to be waiting for them right inside the doors of the cafeteria. “You both are coming to sit with us right?”
“Of course Sammy, we’ll be right there,” Amanda gave him a wide smile and a quick kiss before walking with Steve down to the food line. The two of them chatted the whole way and before he knew it Steve was being sat down at Amanda’s table, in between her and Mike and across from Sam and Hannah. He could feel the stares of his friends behind him but he ignored it in favor of the warm feeling in his chest.
“Ok Steve, now you can be a tiebreaker! Is eating a trash bag full of popcorn a decent meal?” Sam asked, grinning at him.
“Fuck no! Who told you it was?” Steve stared at him in horror.
“That’s what I said!” Hannah smacked her hands on the table and grinned at Steve. “I told you fucks it was bad for you!”
“There’s like, literally no nutritional value at all,” Amanda chimed in.
“You all are bullies.” Mike was pouting now, and Hannah threw a fry at his head.
“You’re just a baby who ate trash bags full of popcorn for nutrition.” Amanda took a bite of her carrot and gave him a look.
“Who the fuck measures popcorn in trash bags?” Steve wondered aloud.
“It’s how I ate it, I got it from the movie theater,” Mike said it so nonchalantly that Steve didn’t realize how weird it was for a moment.
“Wait what the fuck?!” He blurted out as he comprehended what Mike said.
“You, ate stale movie theater popcorn by the trash bag full?”
“Uh, Yeah? What else was I supposed to eat?”
“Honestly,” Amanda cut in. “literally anything else Micycle.”
Mike rolled his eyes at her and Steve just felt himself getting more and more lost in the conversation. He sat there with a dumb look for a moment before Hannah nudged his arm.
“I know it can get confusing but you really just have to let them do their thing and nod and smile.”
“They’re, special,” Steve said, smiling softly at the group. After a second he glanced back at Hannah and saw that she was giving him the same smile.
“I’m glad you joined us.”
“I’m glad I was invited.”
“Do you dare me to eat all of these fries in one bite?” Sam suddenly asked loudly, dragging their attention back to him.
“I will give you five dollars if you do it.” Amanda was already pulling the money out of her purse.
“Done!” Sam snatched the money out of her hand and shoved every fry from his plate into his mouth, immediately choking. Hannah and Steve immediately jumped up to try to save his life.
“You fucking idiot!” Hannah yelled as she started smacking him on the back. “You survived aliens and you’re gonna die for five dollars?”
Sam choked out all of the fries and gasped for breath, slumping against Steve.
“Is this normal?” Steve asked, holding Sam up and staring at him.
“Eh, kinda,” Mike said, already turning back to his food. Amanda stood up and took her five dollars back out of Sam’s hand grinning at him.
“Ha! I knew you couldn’t do it.”
“I,” Sam wheezed in a breath and glared at her. “I almost died you bitch.”
“But you didn’t eat them all in one bite.”
“I fucking hate you.” Sam slumped further against Steve and pouted.
“No, you don’t!” Amanda sang at him as she finished her fries. “Alright, Mike and I have Bio next and we have to study so we’ll see you later.”
“Sam, you and I need to go work on your English paper for tomorrow,” Hannah said, glancing at her watch.
“We’ll catch you after school ok Steve?”
“Uh, yeah sure! Bye guys!” Steve waved at them and then turned back to his own food. A few seconds after they all left he was startled by five guys slamming their trays down on the table and sitting down. He glanced up and saw that it was five of his friends from the football team.
“What the fuck Kane?” One of them demanded before Steve could say anything. “Why the fuck did you ditch us to hang out with these losers?”
“They’re not that bad,” Steve defended them.
“Bullshit!” Jeremy snapped. “They’re fucking losers and you’re gonna have to pick, them or us.”
“Well,” Steve stood up with his tray. “Since they’ve never asked me to pick I’m gonna have to pick them. Bye assholes, see you at practice.”
“If you think you’re still going to be on the team after this you’re a fucking idiot Steve!” Adam yelled at him as he walked away.
“You’re not the captain or the coach so good fucking luck kicking me off the team.” Steve flipped them off and stormed out of the cafeteria. He paused outside of the view of the cafeteria and tried to decide where to go, his next class, join Amanda and Mike, or Sam and Hannah. His next class was near Mike and Amanda’s bio classroom so he decided to duck in with them and hang out until class.
“And the powerhouse of the cell is?” He heard Amanda’s voice from inside the classroom.
“The uh, the Mico-chondria?” Steve poked his head in and saw Mike laying with his head in her lap as she flipped through flashcards.
“So close, it’s Mitochondria.” Amanda tossed the card over her shoulder and ran her fingers through Mike’s hair.
“Knock knock,” Steve drew their attention to him as he stepped in.
“Steve!” Amanda grinned at him and waved him in as Mike gave him a small smile.
“What are you doing here?”
“Eh, the lunch room got boring without you all, and my next class is pretty close.”
“Well, come sit with us!” Amanda patted the floor next to her in invitation. Steve sat down next to her and gathered up her tossed aside notecards and glanced over them.
Amanda continued to quiz Mike while Steve started going over his History notes for the next period. The last ten minutes of lunch flew past and before they knew it the bell was ringing again.
“Aw shit, thanks for letting me sit with you! I’ll see you guys after school!” Steve gathered all of his stuff together and started to hurry for the door before Amanda caught his arm and pulled him into a hug.
“Bye Stevie!” Amanda pressed a brief kiss to the side of his head before pushing him towards the door. Steve stumbled a little on his way out as he processed what had happened.
He spent the rest of the day in a haze, just waiting to see them again at the end of the day. He floated through his classes and as he left his last one he was barely aware of his surroundings as he hurried to leave. Unfortunately, this meant he didn’t notice that he was being followed by some of the football players on his way out.
He was almost to his locker when he was yanked into an empty classroom.
“Fuck!” He slammed into the ground.
“Sup Steven.” Steve twisted around to see who was talking to him. There were five other members of the football team all forming a loose circle around him.
“What the fuck?” Steve started to scramble to his feet but was shoved back down by Erik.
“So from what we understand, you’re ditching the football team for a group of fucking losers? What the fuck is going through your head, Steve?”
“They’re nice people! I don’t get why it’s a problem that I have friends that aren’t on the football team.” Steve glared at them from the floor but felt the nerves building inside of him as he realized the position he was in.
“You see when you hang out with the losers you’re gonna become a loser.”
“Amanda Hess is still one of the prettiest girls in school, star of softball, and very popular. Sam sells drugs to everyone at school, Hannah isn’t unpopular. Mike is just quiet.”
“Shut the fuck up.” Erik paused for a second. “You have a point about Amanda but it doesn’t matter. There’s a way that things are meant to go and you’re fucking with the social status.”
“Erik-“ Steve tried to reason with him but the other players got bored and started moving towards him.
“No, no you can’t change how things are. It’s time for you to learn how things are Steve.”
Before Steve could react the other members of the team started to attack him, and all he could do was try and protect his head. It felt like it lasted forever as they took their aggression out on him, kicking him in the back, side, legs, everywhere they could reach. It ended finally when one of them kicked him in the leg and he couldn’t hold back a scream.
“Fuck let’s get out of here!” He heard one of them yell before they all left the room. He laid on the ground for a minute trying to catch his breath and gauge how injured he was.
“C’mon Steve,” he started muttering to himself as he started trying to move. “Gotta get up.”
He started to push himself up to a sitting position when his ribs started screaming at him. He gently lowered himself back down to the ground and tried to figure out what he was going to do. He couldn’t move which meant that there was no way for him to get out. He felt his eyes getting heavy and against his will, he felt himself slip away.
Steve jerked awake a while later, hearing the sounds of people running through the hall and yelling.
“Steve!?” He heard the voices from the hall yelling. “C’mon man tell me you’re here!”
“I-“ Steve’s voice was quiet and it cut out after the first syllable. He heard the footsteps and voices get further away.
“No,” Steve wheezed out, holding back the sobs he wanted to let out. He slowly pulled himself up again and dragged himself towards the door. He pulled the door handle and found it locked.
“Hello?” He wheezed out quietly, knocking his hand against the door. When nothing but silence greater him he gave in to the terror and let out a small sob. His ribs protested to the movement but once he started he found he couldn’t stop.
A few minutes later he heard footsteps again and he tried to pull himself together.
“Help!” Steve slammed his hand into the door but he could only croak out the word. He heard the footsteps skid to a stop.
“Steve!?” It sounded like Sam out in the hall. Steve knocked on the door once more but he could feel his eyes getting heavy again.
“Steve? Man if you’re against the door I’m gonna need you to move, ok?”
“I’m right here, I’m gonna unlock the door and I’ll be in in a second ok?”
Steve grunted once and moved as much as he could away from the door. A second later he saw the handle being fiddled with before he heard a click and the door swung open.
“Aw fuck Steve!” Sam knelt down next to Steve and touched his cheek.
“Sam, fuck, Sam.” Steve’s eyes flickered closed and he struggled to breathe.
“I’m right here Stevie. It’s going to be ok!” Sam turned back to the hallway and yelled. “Amanda! Mike! Hannah! We need help!”
Steve’s eyes closed and when they opened again he was laying with his head in Sam’s lap and Amanda kneeling next to him and holding his hand.
“S’m, ‘M’nda,” He managed to slur out their names. They both snapped their gazes to his face.
“Hey Steve,” Amanda said softly, squeezing his hand. “I need you to stay awake ok, you probably have a concussion.”
“It’s hard,” Steve whispered squeezing her hand back.
“I know babe,” Sam gently carded his fingers through Steve’s hair. “But you have to stay awake for us, ok? The ambulance will be here soon.”
“M’kay.” Steve forced himself to focus on them.
“Good, that’s good.” Amanda smiled at him again before poking her head out in the hall. Sam pulled Steve’s attention back to him and started talking at him.
“We’re going to nail these people. They’re going to get kicked out of school and maybe we can get them arrested.”
“You’re pretty.” Steve ran his free hand across Sam’s face before it dropped back to his side.
“You’re concussed.” Sam was blushing and Steve got distracted by the red in his cheeks.
“No, he’s right you’re very pretty,” Amanda chimed in, reaching out and cupping his cheek with her hand. Sam blushed harder and he batted her hand away.
“Sam! Amanda!” Hannah came rushing into the room panting. “Mike’s coming with the paramedics how is Steve?”
“Han.” Steve smiled at her and reached for her hand with the hand that was still holding Amanda’s.
“Hey, Steve.” Hannah moved further into the room to sit by his feet. A moment later they heard a bustle of movement in the hallway and there was suddenly a rush of people coming into the room. Amanda was pulled from his side but he felt Sam’s fingers curl into his shirt.
He lost awareness for a few moments as a rush of noise and lights caused his head to feel like it was imploding. When he came back into awareness he was being loaded onto a gurney and one of the paramedics was asking him questions.
“What’s your name?”
“Ok Steve, do you know where you are?”
“School. Where’s Sam?” Steve tried to sit up and look around but the paramedic pushed him back down gently.
“Is Sam the friend you were laying on?”
“Yeah, where is he? And Mike? And-”
“Your friends are here but we needed space. Do you want one of them to ride with you?”
“Ok, I’ll go get one.” The paramedic vanished from his view and another took his place and they started wheeling him out of the building. Just before they passed through the main doors Amanda came rushing up and started walking at his side, holding his hand the whole way out.
“Amanda Hess.” Steve could feel the look Amanda was giving the paramedics from where he was laying.
“Well Ms. Hess, you can ride in the ambulance with him but when we get to the hospital we have to take him back for testing. A nurse will take you to a waiting area where you will meet your other friends ok?”
“Alright, is he going to be ok?”
“I can’t guarantee that ms. But you did the right thing in calling us.”
Steve felt himself starting to drift for a second before Amanda squeezed his hand to draw him back.
“Alright Steve, you know when you get all settled we’re gonna have so many stories for you about what you missed in the between weeks.”
“I’m looking forward to that.” Steve gave her a small smile and squeezed her hand as the paramedics were throwing words and phrases back and forth with each other. He tuned out the paramedics and focused on Amanda, worried about what he would hear if he listened to the paramedics.
“Hannah is probably going to call your parents as soon as she gets to the hospital. Sam and Mike are going to deck out your room, flowers, balloons, and any form of stuffed animal they can find. You are never going to be bored.”
“Good,” Steve said, letting his eyes drift closed. He found he couldn’t reopen he eyes again and he could hear the panicked voices of the paramedics and Amanda as his consciousness drifted off.
Steve slowly came back into consciousness hearing laughter and quiet voices murmur around him. He opened his eyes slowly and as his vision cleared he saw his four new friends sitting around his bed. Hannah and Sam were sitting on the foot of his bed, Amanda was lounging in the seat next to him, and Mike was in another chair a few more feet away.
“I’m just saying, when I’m world famous I won’t need to know chemistry!” Sam was gesturing at Hannah, which was amusing to watch as they were literally pressed together.
“What the fuck are you going to be famous for? Going to prison for dealing?”
“Fuck you! I’m gonna discover aliens!”
“I think,” Steve rasped out “you already did.”
Everyone whipped around to face him and he saw various forms of delight flit across their faces.
“Steve!” Sam touched his leg and grinned at him. “You’re awake!”
“How are you feeling?”
“Alright?” Steve looked up at the ceiling and tried to figure out what was going on. “Am I dying?”
“Not anymore, if you had still been unconscious tonight we would be more worried.” Hannah gave him a serious look. “They busted up a couple of your ribs, you’re bruised to shit, and you have a very serious concussion.”
“If we hadn’t found you, you would have been in serious trouble.”
“Then I’m glad you looked for me.” Steve took Amanda’s hand and smiled at her.
“Ok, time out!” Mike suddenly said, leaning forward. “Are we dating now?”
“Was that an option? I would like it if that was an option,” Steve said, glancing around hopefully.
“Well, the four of us are dating, and we all like you. Right?” Sam clarified the last point with the others.
“Fuck yes.” The three all gave their affirmation while smiling at Steve.
“I like you all too.”
“Well good, then we’re dating. No take backs.” Amanda said, standing up and pressing a light kiss to his forehead.
“You kissed me earlier,” Steve remembered and smiled at her.
“I did, and you kissed me.”
“Amanda! I wanted to kiss him first!” Sam was suddenly crawling up the bed managing to avoid putting pressure on any sensitive areas.
“He was my fake boyfriend first Sammy.” But Amanda was smiling at Sam and suddenly Sam was kissing him and that was all Steve could think about. Then Sam was pulling back and Mike was taking his place and it was an entirely different experience. Where Sam had a certain amount of cocky confidence in his kissing Mike seemed hesitant. Then Mike was pulling away and Hannah was taking his place and Hannah was completely in control of the kiss.
When Hannah pulled away Steve blinked at them all in shock, unable to form words.
“You know, I still haven’t actually kissed him, but I think if I kissed him now he would die.” Amanda was staring at Steve’s heart monitor that was beeping way faster than normal. “You may want to move back because I think the nurses are going to be here soon.”
Everyone scrambled back into their original positions just in time as two nurses come sprinting into the room trying to find out why their unconscious patient suddenly had a heart rate of 115 beats per minute.
“What happened!?” The nurse in the front demanded as she started checking over Steve.
“Nothing ma’am,” Steve said while giving her a small smile. “I was just remembering what happened and they were calming me down.”
“Hmm.” The nurse gave the four the stink eye before turning back to Steve. He let them fuss over him for a few minutes, one of them taking his blood pressure, checking his eyes, and a variety of other tests while the other lectured the other four about how Steve needed to rest. Eventually, they left and everyone started giggling.
“Steve where have you been my whole life? You just lied with a straight face and the heart monitor didn’t even give you away a little bit.” Sam was cackling and he collapsed against a giggling Hannah.
“I don’t know man,” Steve giggled a little and grinned at them. Suddenly a wave of fatigue washed over him and he found himself struggling to stay awake.
“Go to sleep Steve.” Amanda noticed his sudden onset of tiredness and ran her fingers through his hair. “We’ll be here when you wake up.”
“M’kay, you still owe me a kiss.” Steve’s eyes slipped closed as he said that, and he drifted off to the sounds of his new partners laughing lightly.
The next day Steve was released from the hospital, Amanda and Sam were the only ones who were able to help him on his way out of the hospital.
“Alright, you have the next week off of school, I don’t want you doing anything that will strain your head. So rest a lot, no reading, no bright lights. Can you handle that?”
“We’ll make sure he takes care of himself!” Amanda gave the doctor her signature smile and the doctor relaxed a little.
“Alright, well, be sure you do.” He waved them off and Sam took the cue to start pushing Steve in his wheelchair to the main door. Amanda led the way, clearing out the hallway for Steve and Sam.
“Thank you guys for coming to get me,” Steve said, keeping his eyes closed against the rush of visual and auditory sensations flooding him from the hallway.
“Course man, you think we could leave our favorite football player stranded.”
“Still I appreciate it, my own fucking parents couldn’t drag themselves away from their work to come take care of me.”
“Well, you can join the shitty parents club. With me and Mike, Amanda is half in it but not fully cause her parents are busy but they care. Hannah has decent parents.”
“We are a group made in heaven aren’t we?”
“Yeah, something like that, walking outside now,” Sam warned him before the light behind Steve’s eyelid suddenly brightened and he flinched.
“Alright, we’re almost to the car and then you can put something over your eyes ok?” he heard Sam rustle around for a second and then he heard the sound of a car door being opened. Amanda and Sam helped him stand up and he was slowly laid down in the back seat of what smells like Amanda’s car. A second later a jacket was placed over his eyes and the door shut again. He drifted off a little as the car started and when he woke up again the car was being turned off and Sam and Amanda were quietly teasing each other in the front seat.
“Stevie? Babe, we’re here?” Amanda reached back her hand and rested it on Steve’s side. Steve moved slightly and started to pull the jacket off but Amanda caught his arm.
“Hold on, I’m coming around to help.” Steve could hear Sam coming around the side of the car and then the heard the door by his feet opening. Sam took his hand and slowly helped him to sit up before pulling him out of the car.
“Thanks, Sammy.” Steve leaned against Sam and kept his eyes closed. They slowly made their way into the house and eventually, Sam helped Steve sit down on what felt like a bed.
“Where?” Steve opened his eyes and realized he didn’t know where he was.
“You’re in Amanda’s house,” Sam said, making sure the curtains were closed tight. “What, did you think we were going to leave you alone at your house?”
“Uh, is it rude if I say yes?”
“I know that I’m offended,” Amanda said as she came into the room holding a large cup of water.
“Shit man, me too.”
“Sorry,” Steve gave them a smile and they grinned back.
“Eh don’t worry about it,” Sam climbed onto the bed with him and rested his head on Steve’s shoulder, being mindful of his sore ribs.
“Alright, you two take a nap and I’m gonna go downstairs and make some snacks for later. The other two will be home in about two hours ok?” Amanda pressed a quick kiss to both of their foreheads before walking out of the room and closing the door. Steve wrapped an arm around Sam and let himself drift off once more, taking comfort in the presence of Sam.
A few hours late he woke up when the bed started moving and he cracked his eyes open to see the other three silently arguing about who would get to sleep next to Steve. He watched them silently fighting for a minute before he smiled and reached out and pulled Hannah down to his side. Everyone jumped in surprise before they smiled down at him. Hannah gave the other two a smug look as she snuggled in next to Steve, lacing her fingers with Sam’s across Steve’s stomach. Mike curled up behind Hannah and Amanda curled up behind Sam and the two of them laced fingers on top of Sam and Hannah’s.
Steve felt peace and safety for the first time since he was abducted by aliens, and it was all thanks to the strangest group of people he’d ever had the pleasure of meeting and falling in love with.