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I will hold your hand through the night

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Stretching out on the couch Tin enjoyed the peace and quiet of the empty dorm. More than happy to get out of the the mausoleum that his parents tried to pass off as a home Tin had practically ran out the door and to the school provided housing the moment it had opened for the students. In his excitement it had only taken Tin a couple of hours to unpack, setting himself up in his half of the room Tin breathed a relaxing free breath as he looked at the blank half of the room he knew would become the home for his best friend Pete for the coming school year. Grabbing a book Tin heading for the couch in the communal room, stretching out Tin felt his body drop tension he hadn't known he was carrying, not even three pages into his book Tin felt his eyes grow heavy and before he could stop it his eye slammed shut.
**Feeling his eyes flutter open Tin looked around and could tell that something was off. Unless he hadn't been seeing things right all his life he was sure that trees weren't normally purple and people weren't normally blue. Everything else had it's usual colour filled charm that Tin knew to be right, well Tin had thought had been right but as everyone seemed to be going about their day like it was normal Tin dismissed it as his misunderstanding. Tentatively walking around Tin tried to orientate himself, he couldn't quite put his finger on why it seemed so familiar, it had taken a mascot suit wearing guy yelling his pride at the top of his lungs for Tin to acknowledge that he was in fact on his new school campus. Tin put his obliviousness down to the purple trees still disorientating him. 

Hearing the commotion of a crowds excited babbling Tin headed in the direction of the noise making sure to weave his way through the collection of blue people still not sure why it unnerved him. Concentrating more on remaining untouched Tin inadvertently ended up at the inside edge of the clearing that was made in the center of the crowd. Quickly looking over to the other side of the clearing Tin noticed a spattering of green people but what caught his eye and woke him up was the only other colour filled person floating upside down in front of his face.**

Tin's eyes snapped open "you alright? It seemed like you were trying to scream but it was like your lips were glued shut" 

Sitting up Tin almost collided his head with the one hovering over his upside down, looking over at the stranger as he stood up, seeing that they were the only two in the room Tin searched for his other markers, his tells that told him it was safe. Spotting a shadow Tin let out a sigh of relief, keeping up his hope that he could get through one or two nights in this new place before they found him Tin pushed off the couch. "I'm fine, thanks I guess" Tin gave a halfhearted shrug and headed to his room. He hadn't meant to be rude to the guy but his dream still had him shaken, it was mostly the fact that he didn't normally dream that had him so on edge, when someone like him did have a dream it meant something. Unlike the other dreams he had had in his life this one hadn't been straight froward and Tin as at a loss as to how he would figure out what it meant. With every tick of the clock his memory of the floating person faded while everything else stayed crystal clear. Tin was just thankful that the stranger hadn't turned out to be one of the dead he had seen when he brought his stuff up from his car, he had pretended not to notice them and hoped to get through a few days before the spirit residence became aware of his presence.



Tin was woken the next morning by the warming gentle light of the sun. Moving to sit up Tin found that his hand was being held by the stranger who had found him on the couch the previous night, in the brief glance Tin threw at the stranger he found that he was still fast asleep sitting on the floor next to his bed. Snatching his hand away Tin scrambled to get distance from the slowly waking form, when he did raise his head Tin was standing on the foot of his bed clutching the blanket to his chest reminding the yawning stranger of a kid clutching a security blanket. 

"You carry some strong emotions" the guy said stretching his hands above his head trying to work out some kinks in his shoulder and back before he even attempted to move his probably problematic lags. "I could feel your distress from the other end of the hall, most people are fine with soothing words but whatever is playing on your mind had you so on edge that I had to stay with you for both of us to get some sleep"

Listening to the explanation it dawned on Tin what this meant "your an Empath" 

"I normally go by Can" he said flopping his front back onto Tin's mattress now that he could feel that Tin was no longer panicked but instead had moved into full curiosity mode. Can had learnt that it was best not to tell people that he was also a mind reader, just shallow thoughts, the momentary things that come to the front of peoples minds but it was more often then not that shallow thoughts were what people didn't want known.

"Hello Ai Can" Tin stepped off the bed and circled Can's prone body staring at him like he would be able to see how Can's ability worked "I'm Tin" 

Can stifled a laugh when he heard Tin thinking that his bed hair looked kind of cute "do you think you can help me up" Can inquired with a smile. 

Shaking out of his study of the only power he had met other than Pete Tin stepped up to Can's side offering a hand up and a supportive arm. When Can's hand fitted into his Tin felt an itch under his skin that he knew Can would be aware of even if he didn't feel it himself he would know Tin felt it. "So you know about my empath skills, what are you rocking?" Tin looked at Can with a strange expression unsure how he felt about being around someone like that. He had spent so much of his life with people who didn't care how he was feeling to now be around someone who couldn't help but know. 

"I can talk to the dead" 'and have slight seer abilities' Tin finished in his mind but the moment people heard that they always asked him to tell their futures like he was a carnival side show and it wasn't really how his ability worked. 

"That is! Do you have any ghost friends? Tests would have been so easy for you because you could have gotten them to get you answers" Can seemed genuinely excited and Tin was relived to meet someone who didn't just ask macabre questions. 

"I do fine in tests but that's because I study" Tin said lightly pushing at Can's shoulder.


After a quick breakfast and a conversation with Can about the people Can knew who had abilities Tin spent the day in the library trying to see if there was any information on the possible meaning of his peculiar dream but all the texts on dream visions were mostly rubbish or completely nonsensical. Tin's abilities had never manifested in his dreams before and the fact that Can's calming ability hadn't worked on him had worried Tin because he should have been more susceptible to them not immune in his sleep. It either meant that his seer abilities were evolving or that whatever it was he gleaned had been disturbing enough to shake his subconscious mind. 

After almost seven hours of fruitless studying Tin trudged his way back towards his dorm headphones in and head down so that he didn't alert the dead to his presence. Coming up on his dorm Tin involuntarily cringed, no matter how many times he saw him, the small child sitting on the bench outside the glass doors, it still made his stomach churn and his heart drop. Tin hated when kids came to him because even after they had passed on Tin would feel heart torn and like a stone sat in his stomach for days after. This kid promised to be one of those that would stick with him for months, he could see the child's death had been horrible. Turning up the volume on his music and squeezing his eyes shut Tin quickened his step to get past the child but it was too late. The half burnt face of the deeply sad child was already imprinted on the back of his eyes. But what chilled him more was the way the child still clutched the battered, burnt, falling apart teddy bear like it was his only comfort in the world. Feeling a lump in his throat Tin opened his eyes when he heard the buzz of the automatic doors slide open, keeping his attention on the steps in front of him Tin didn't lift his head until he had reached his floor. 

Walking through the common room Tin saw Can happily talking to more newly arrived students, dropping his eyes back to the floor Tin quickened his step ignoring Can calling out to him as he closed himself in his room. Pulling the blanket off his bed Tin wrapped it around himself as he paced the open space between his bed and what would be Pete's once he arrived. As much as he tried Tin couldn't shake the kid from his mind. The last time this had happened to him had been about two years ago with a girl that had died when she was around his age. Tin ended up having to confront her father who had been a despicable man and the cause of her death before she could pass on. It took him six months to stop seeing her face when he closed his eyes and a great deal of therapy to get over the pain of knowing her story. During that time he felt himself closing off to others but it just felt safer, the less he knew about or cared about others would mean the lass he got hurt. Though it started a rumor amongst his classmates that he was just as cold as the dead that he could see. 

Tin was shaken from his downward spiral by a banging on his door then Can's panicked voice reached his ears "Tin, Ai Tin, open up!" 

"I'm fine just leave me alone" Tin's voice had been weak as he struggled to get through the sentence. 

"Are you forgetting I'm an empath Ai Tin, I know you're not okay" Can said rattling the handle before he went back to banging on the door "just let me in Ai Tin, I can help" 

"What can you possibly do?" Tin shouted at the door before he turned his back to it "he is already dead, his ghost is already with me" Tin whispered as he dropped to his knees, his blanket tenting over him as the sad half burnt face looked up curiously at Tin before he looked around the room confused. 

"How did I get here?" his voice sounded like he was still choking on the smoke that had killed him "where's my mummy?" 

"I don't know" Tin pulled the blanket tighter around himself trying to shield himself from the monsters that hide in the dark.

"Can you help me?" the little boy asked stepping towards Tin making the blanket clad boy flinch back and fall over to the kid's amusement. Looking up at the face now hovering over him Tin noticed that the black burns had gotten smaller and that a tiny smile pushed at the kids lips "you're funny"  

"Thanks" Tin said with a wince as he sat up realising he had hurt his ankle in his fall "what's your name?" Tin asked the boy as he saw that he left strange shaped soot footprints on the floor.  

"I'm Sing" the boy said puffing up a little with pride.

"Hello N' Sing and who is this?" Tin asked pointing at the stuffed bear in the kid's hands with a forced smile. He could see his hand was shaking as his fear and panic still hummed in every one of his nerves. 

"This is Tummy" Tin watched the kid squeeze the bear and thrust it towards him, as it sailed through the air the burn to its fur lifted. Tin expected to see the soot settle on the wood floor but it just disappeared. 

"Why did you name him Tummy?" Tin reached out towards the toy as fascination began clouding his panic.

"Because he growls just like my tummy" the cheerful smile of the kids face shifted, Tin could do nothing as the child's face twisted into something wicked and the next thing Tin knew his hands were pinned to the floor under the teddy bear. It was like the toy weighed much more then Tin could lift but at the same time was no heaver than the toy that it was, the last of the burnt features disappeared from the kids face to be replaced with red-brown pointed ears and a matching tail with a white tip. "You're an idiot and a fool but I can't thank you enough for getting me past the wards. I have been trying for the past seven years but no one has ever been quite strong enough to pull it off" the slowly morphing child crouched in front of him a confident smile stretching over fast growing fangs. "You are quite fascinating, I mean I approached you in a few forms, most boys try to help me out when I appear as a damsel in distress. But you, you practically dragged me in trying to save the poor little lost soul of the burnt child" circling him Tin was only able to catch glimpses as the form of the child morphed. The next time he came into Tin's full line of sight he was tall, taller then Tin was when he stood at his full height but thinner and his hair had changed from black to the same colour as his ears and tail. 

Trying to make himself comfortable without being able to move his hands from their pinned spot on the floor Tin rocked his crossed legs to shift himself closer to the bear so that he wasn't as hunched over "so why would a fox demon want to get inside this building anyway?"
Chuckling at Tin's question the fox crouched down to look Tin in the eye "do you know the easiest way to hide magical items? Mr Handsome Bleeding Heart" the demon caressed Tin's cheek before scraping his black nails down Tin's throat. "You put a bunch of magically volatile kids on top of it, with their powers manifesting and evolving they have no clue how to control them, their flairs of magic output can cover up almost any magical signature" 

Tin watched as the fox demon started moving around his and Pete's room like he owned the place, all the while Tin had gotten his emotions to calm and his mind to focus. Figuring Can felt the shift based on the lack of banging and yelling he had been doing before Tin was free to concentrate on the task at hand. "So what is hidden here?" Tin asked hoping to get the demon's concentration elsewhere as he focused on removing the talisman that was making the plush toy pin him in place. 

"Something brilliant, beyond measure, powerful" the fox demon had on a toothy grin as he almost danced in front of Tin. 

"Wait!" Tin narrowed his eyes at the excited creature "you don't know what it is?"

"Well no............................................but there has to be something, it's the perfect place to hid something"

"So you are doing this because you think there might be something here. Not because you know that there is something" Tin felt the magical buzz he was waiting for "not even a rumor about it?" 

"Look mortal" the fox spat at Tin, not noticing that Tin wasn't paying any attention to him "there has to be something, why else would they have wards up all over the place?"    


Pete held up his mask of dignified indifference that Tin would have been proud of. But on the inside he was bubbling with excitement and happiness, he was getting ready to start his first year of college with his best friend all he needed to do was get his bags up to his room. But having decided to try and do it all in one trip was his downfall, he knew he could have used his abilities but he hated to because no matter how he used his gift it came with a physical manifestation that clearly marked him as different even from those that had abilities. 
Pete persisted through his struggle as he tried to carry all his bags but he lamented the idea of having to walk up the stairs multiple times with heavy items.

"Need a hand?" A gruff voice issued from behind Pete making him startle and almost drop his bags.

Flustered by a complete stranger being nice to him Pete blurted out the first thing that came to mind "I'm gay"

With a huffed laugh and what Pete assumed was a smile on his stern face the guy looked up into Pete's face "so does that mean you don't want help"

"NO!" Pete yelled in his panic "I would very much appreciate the help" by the end of his sentence Pete's voice had gotten so small as he seemed to hide in himself. 

"I'm Ae" Pete smiled at the guy as he took the handled of Pete's bag out of his hand and into his own. 

"I'm Pete" the cheerfulness of Pete's voice was a stark contrast to the fear and panic he had shown Ae moments earlier. 

Reaching his floor Pete walked past the small group of people gathered in the common room who all seemed to give Ae a quick wave as he concentrated on trying to find his room. Pete was surprised when he reached the door the print out in his hand indicated was his to find a boy sitting on the floor with his back pressed against it. A soft bang issued every time his head fell back against the door his eyes screwed shut. Stepping a little closer Pete could hear a stream of muttering issuing from the strange boy. Contemplating if he should talk to the boy his new acquaintance voice issued from beside him "Ai Can what are you doing?"

Can's eyes shot open as he cut his muttering mid stream "Ai Ae? Who is this?" Can looked up at the guy standing over him "you shouldn't be so ashamed of being yourself, you're a good person" Can said as he used the door handle to lift himself of the floor and turned to Ae ignoring the utter shock on Pete's face. "Ai Ae you have to help me break into Ai Tin's room" hearing Ae's mind yell at him while his face twisted with confusion Can raised a hand to stop Ae before he could voice the stream of thoughts "Ai Tin is inside and something is wrong but it doesn't make since, his emotions as jumping all over and he keeps muttering something I don't understand while he is talking to someone. But Ai Tin went in alone and I can't read whoever it is that is with him" 

While Ae and Can were distracted trying to work out how to get into the room Pete slipped past them unlocking the door and closing it before they could follow him, the only indication of his departure with the rustling sound of feathers. Closed in the room with Tin and a fox demon Pete opened his wings covering the span of the room with ease "Ai Tin are you okay?" Pete took a step towards the fox pushing his wings up scaring the fox back. 

An almost blindingly bright light flashed in front of Tin "I am now" Tin said before he jumped to his feet throwing the stuffed toy towards the scared fox "have your trick back" Tin said as he stepped back towards Pete.