Oliver sat quietly in the back of the car, with his arm resting on the car door and his chin in his hand, watching the passing scenery of England fly by him. England was fairly like America just more… grey. Glancing at his twin, he saw Eugene swinging his legs a little and looking down at his feet. He didn’t need the ability to read his twin’s mind to know he was nervous, and with good reason. Neither twin could work out for the life of them why Martin and Luella, the couple in the front of the car, had chosen them of all the children in the orphanage to adopt. Nor why they had come to America to do so.
Martin and Luella Davis were an attractive young couple, that much was evident to Oliver. It was clear when they had walked into the orphanage, everyone had stared at them. They looked picture perfect. Every child in the orphanage that day tried desperately to get a peek at the couple and some went out of their way to try and impress them. Eugene and Oliver were not part of that group yet still, Martin and Luella had approached them.
Martin had a friendly face, despite being very tall and well-built with dark brown hair and deep blue eyes. He had no facial hair, Oliver wasn’t sure if he’d suit it anyway, and for a man in his early 30’s he still looked fairly young.
Luella was the kind of mother Eugene had imagined adopting them. Her face was kind and pixie-like, large baby blue eyes and long wavy blonde hair that fell just below her shoulder blades. She was slender and tall, well she was tall to Oliver and Eugene, she wore small heels to make herself seem even taller. So perhaps if she took them off she wouldn’t be as tall as she seemed. When Martin and Luella had arrived at the orphanage, Oliver worked out very quickly and with some disgust that the two were hopelessly in love with each other.
Snapping his head towards him, Eugene had sensed his brother’s eyes on him and gave a half-hearted smile.
“Well, it’s really happening isn’t it?”
“I’m… I’m nervous. Is that silly?”
“No. We’re going to be living with strangers in a strange country with strange customs. I’d be more worried if you weren’t feeling nervous.” Eugene pouted slightly.
“But I want to be excited not nervous… I trust them, and I know you do too.” Oliver didn’t reply to that, Eugene grinned when he realised he had stumped his younger brother. Oliver almost always had a reply for everything, so Eugene took his silence as a victory.
Oliver’s eyes shifted back towards the window. He did trust them and he didn’t know why. Back at the orphanage, Oliver would utilise his… skills, to scare off potential parents and families if he or Eugene didn’t trust them. Sometimes it was easy to tell, you just had to look in their eyes and other times there was just bad energy or vibes about them, or simply that Oliver had realised they wouldn’t fit in with the family meeting them.
They had not done that with Luella and Martin though, from the moment Oliver and Eugene had saw them they had both felt… as ease. They seemed to genuinely be interested in the brothers, and not just feigning interests like a lot of adults do, they worked out fairly quickly that both boys were incredibly smart for their age despite having limited materials and also that they were both very different.
And that they were a two for one deal. There had been many incidents in the past where people had wanted to split the two brothers due to their stark difference in personalities.
“One of them barely smiles… He’s kind of creepy.”
“Does the quiet one have Autism? It seems like it, there’s something not quite right there…”
“If we’re adopting and picking our children we aren’t going to take one we do not want.”
“God that one has so much energy, I prefer the quieter one. Oliver was it? He won’t tire us out.”
“Jesus that one is a lot of work, his brother is so much more laid back.”
“The other child is to quiet… We’d be happy to take Eugene.”
“We’ll happily welcome Eugene into our family… But we don’t think Oliver would fit.”
“Oliver will do wonderfully in our family, Eugene however, we feel would be better suited with another family.”
None of these families got close or even saw the brothers after those comments. No way were they splitting up, between the two of them Eugene and Oliver had always managed to scare them away before the paperwork could go through. The boys had lost a lot over their short life spans, and they were all the other had left in the world. Until, now, maybe. Eugene sincerely hoped that their little world could open up and maybe, just maybe, Luella and Martin could be a part of it.
Oliver, was not quite as hopeful. Although Oliver would never admit it to Eugene, he knew he was more of a pessimist then him.
“Boys? Are you two alright?”
Heads perking up at being addressed, Oliver and Eugene saw Martin gazing at them through the mirror in the front of the car.
Eugene looked fairly embarrassed and nodded quickly, they had been speaking in Japanese in order for neither of the couple to understand them.
“Yes sorry Mr Davis. We’re just… We’re just nervous.”
“You mean you’re nervous Gene.”
“Noll!” Luella laughed into her hand, turned to the boys from her seat and smiled.
“It’s okay to be anxious, everything’s fairly new and we’re going to help you adjust the best we can… Please let us know if anything is worrying you.” Eugene nodded, a smile forming on his face while Oliver turned back to the window.
“We’re not far off now… About… How long would you say Martin?”
“About twenty minutes dear.”
“Just twenty minutes now, not long at all. We’ll get you both settled in and get food ready, I bet you’re both hungry.” Eugene grinned.
“Quite famished actually.” The couple smiled and laughed at that, Luella turning back around in her seat.
“Well we’ll make sure you’re both appropriately fed.”
Eugene looked back at his brother with wide eyes and an equally wide smile on his face, there was times in the orphanage the boys had gone without meals. Sometimes as punishment. Other times due the periods when the orphanage had been over-crowded, they had been limited to only one meal per day. Oliver couldn’t help but give Eugene a small smile in return, it would be nice to be able to have multiple hot meals per day, and not go to bed hungry so often. Turning away, Oliver rested his head against the door for the rest of the journey.
“And here we are boys!” Oliver and Eugene looked out the window as they rolled up the driveway to a somewhat large, detached and old looking manor house. A fair bit of land surrounded it, with gates separating the property from nearby ones.
“Woah!” Eugene exclaimed, his mouth dropping. Oliver wouldn’t admit it, but he too was impressed by the house.
Martin parked the car, and the couple got out of the front with Eugene and Oliver following. It was becoming increasingly more clear to the boys that Martin and Luella were extremely wealthy, and it raised the question of what the two of them did for work. Oliver had asked the first time they met the couple, and they simply replied that they worked for the university of Cambridge, Luella said she worked in the history department and Martin ‘one of the psychology’ departments. Which Oliver found rather odd, why did Martin not specify the department? And why not just say he was a psychology lecturer, to Oliver, it seemed like they were perhaps covering up Martin’s job for some reason or perhaps didn’t think the boys would understand what he did for a living.
Regardless, Oliver thought it was very suspicious. Eugene agreed although reluctantly, however it just made him all the more curious to get more information and discover more about the young couple who had adopted them.
“Now… we had your things taken upstairs but hadn’t placed them in a room yet. We wanted you boys to pick you own.” Eugene looked up at Luella as she spoke, eyes owl-like.
“We get our own rooms?” She smiled, a very caring smile.
“Of course! Martin and I will help you unpack if you need it too… There’s furniture in there but we’ll be taking you out some time this week so if you’d like new furniture or to change the wall colour or the sheet colour we can do too. Does that sound okay?” “That sounds… amazing. Thank you Mrs Davis.” Eugene smiled sincerely, Oliver just watched the interaction between them. “Please Eugene just… Call me Luella.”
“Okay Luella!” Martin chuckled at Gene’s enthusiasm.
“So let’s get inside and get unpacked now so we can eat soon.”
“It won’t take us long, it’s not like we brought a lot.” Martin and Luella’s smiles dropped a little and the two looked troubled. Eugene scowled a little at Oliver for bringing down the mood, Oliver looked immediately at the floor. Well he wasn’t wrong, they’d only had a bag each of things to bring over from America but that didn’t mean Oliver had to state it out loud. Eugene had asked his brother to try and be somewhat positive or at least keep his comments to himself, now Gene loved Oliver very much, don’t get him wrong. But neither boy wanted to mess this up or risk the potential family they could have here.
“Well that just means we can get food quicker doesn’t it?” Trust Eugene to save the moment.
“Come on Noll! Can we go inside now?” Martin smiled and led the way, opening the door and letting the boys inside their new home. Oliver looked around, taking in their new environment and trying to get a feel for the house. Glancing at his brother, Oliver frowned when he saw Eugene staring at the stairs with a frown on his face.
“Gene?” Eugene didn’t reply for a moment, his face troubled, before painting a perfect smile on his face and grinning at Oliver. “Well then, Oliver, Eugene, how about a tour?”
It took just under two hours for the boys to be shown around the entirety of the manor and to get unpacked. Eugene had actually teared up, the emotional wreck he was, when he’d seen his bedroom. He just couldn’t believe that it was actually his. Both boys were next door to each other, the bathroom was just across from them and Luella and Martin were just down the hall along with a guest room. Their rooms were similar sizes, both painted pale blue with sturdy oak furniture. Both boys had single beds, a desk, a dresser, a bookcase, a chest, and a large window with a seat on the windowsill which Oliver was looking forward to using when he found a good book. Martin and Luella kept insisting that their rooms were bare and simple, but to Oliver and Eugene, they were perfect. The young couple had left the boy’s alone in their rooms for the time being while they worked on dinner. Oliver was looking around his room when he heard the door creak open, he didn’t need to turn to know who it would be.
“Noll…” Eugene closed the door, bounced over to Oliver’s bed and very ungracefully flopped onto it. Oliver twitched in annoyance.
“Thank you for crumpling my bedsheets.”
“No problem!” The boy grinned, Oliver rolled his eyes.
“So… what do you think?” Eugene sat up, looking at Oliver with curious eyes. Oliver took a moment to craft his reply in his head.
“They seem like good people.”
“Yeah they do… We’ve got our own rooms!”
“I know I don’t have to put up with you kicking me in your sleep anymore.”
“How do you know I was asleep?” Oliver shook his head.
“You wouldn’t dare do it while I was awake.”
“Good point baby brother!”
“You’re literally a few minutes older then me.” Oliver moved over to the bed and climbed onto it, sitting near Gene.
“How you feeling Noll?”
“Same. I’m so tired.” Eugene yawned. “I can’t wait to eat then go straight to sleep. Although I got to admit Noll you look worse then me.”
“I’m trying to stay in control. It’s tiring… not to mention the time zone difference.” Eugene’s eyes widened a little, glancing at the door to make sure it was shut, he sat up and looked seriously at the other boy.
“You’re doing fine. I would’ve noticed otherwise.”
“For now I am Gene, what am I going to do when I slip and lose control?” Gene bit his lip, there was a reply on the tip of his tongue that died. He wanted to encourage Oliver that he wouldn’t lose control of his… abilities. But they both knew better, no matter how hard Oliver tried, and Eugene know he did, sometimes he lost control. It wasn’t a matter of if Oliver lost control, but when.
“We’ll just have to deal with it as it comes.”
You see, Oliver could do things that other people couldn’t. He had this abnormal set of powers that meant he could cause very strange things to happen. He could move objects and humans with his mind without looking at them, destroy things with a simple thought and could cause the room to go from warm to freezing. Now usually this would’ve been fairly cool, like in the superhero comics and stories Eugene had read, except for the fact that Oliver couldn’t control his powers and they were incredibly dangerous. Not just for those around him, but even more for himself. Oliver’s power had a tendency to explode out of him. Sometimes because he was angry or upset, and other times it was completely unprovoked. Making it impossible to predict really when it was going to happen. If Oliver purposely used his powers, as Eugene and he had discovered in the past, it could make him fairly ill.
The more he used his powers the worse it got. Starting with headaches and going on to nausea, nose-bleeds, fainting and vomiting. From there… well. It had only happened once, and it had been the scariest moment of Eugene’s life. Oliver had ended up in the hospital after his heart had briefly stopped. He’d gone pale and lifeless, just like the ghosts he was so used to seeing, he never wanted to see those ghosts again.
Oh, did he mention that his own set of powers included him being able to see and converse with the dead? Even become possessed by them. Honestly, it was a lot less scary then it sounded especially when Eugene had seen them his entire life. He didn’t know a life without seeing the ghosts, so to him it wasn’t scary or even that strange. Occasionally, particularly if these was an active ghost in the house or vicinity, he’d dream about their lives and deaths. He had seen some people lead incredible lives, who’d done amazing things while others led lives full of heart break and regret. Sometimes the dreams left him screaming or crying in his sleep, but Oliver was always there to comfort him and make him feel better. Oliver kept Eugene from being lost in his own head and in the lives of the spirits, Eugene kept Oliver from being destroyed by his own powers. They needed each other.
“Speaking of… dealing with things as they come.” Eugene watched as Oliver turned his eyes to him and raised his eyebrow.
“There… may be a ghost in the house.” Oliver groaned and flopped face first onto the bed, Eugene paused for a moment, staring at his back, before joining him.