“Uh…” Everett replied, even if it wasn’t much of an intelligent response. Nonetheless, it actually made Rae smile, which seemed to put him at ease.

“C’mon in,” Rae said as she swung her legs over the side of the bed, patting a spot next to her.

Everett happily obliged, sitting right next to her, but his orange glow transitioned to grey when Aria scooted a chair up to sit directly in front of them, looking Everett deep in the eyes.

“Come again?” Everett asked, causing Aria to beam at him.

“You were right! He really is telepathic.”

Rae shrugged. “When have I ever lied to you?” The way Aria looked at her told him that there were plenty of white lies the girl remembered Rae telling her, even if she didn’t remember herself.

“Aria is a freakishly smart daughter of Athena and should be able to answer any of your questions about your powers. Actually, she might be able to help you figure out some things,” Rae said to Everett, her lips slowly quirking up into a smile when she glanced down to see he was wearing the mood ring she gave him.

“Hey, what color is that?” Rae asked, picking up his hand to check the ring. She snorted then. “Feeling passionate, Mood Ring?” she teased.

→ ←

Everett blushed as the grey glow around him deepened in color and intensity. “No. I-I don’t think so,” he stuttered nervously.

“Nevermind that,” Aria interrupted their small conversation. “Do you have any questions at all, about your power, because I have theories.” Everett’s eyes widened at her enthusiasm. To be completely honest he hadn’t thought a whole bunch about his powers. When he shook his head in response, she huffed.

“Then I guess I’ll have to rant.” She sounded only mildly upset. “Where to start?” she said as she stared at him. When Everett flared a bright tie dye due to Rae poking his side, Aria’s face lit up.

“Oh, yes, the glowing. So we’re seeing your emotions, right? Well that’s basically like we’re seeing your aura, so to speak. It’s like emotional synesthesia that everyone else can see. Do you happen to know what colors go with what?” Aria asked, her eyes wide with excitement. Everett shook his head, but Rae, who was playing with the mood ring on his finger, looked up.

“When he’s confused he glows white with these little adorable black swirl things,” she said smirking, “and I think he glows that starburst tie dye when he’s surprised.” Aria pulled out a notepad and frantically wrote everything down.

“Okay so what do you know about Aura readers, Theo?” She looked at him with anticipation and huffed in frustration again when Everett shook his head. His color transformed to a light bluish periwinkle, making her squint. “Well, essentially everyone has an energy field around them, it might sound like hippie crap but there is actual physics to back it up. To the simplest effect, if one focuses they can see color surrounding a person. Basically,” she kept going, her eyes going everywhere as she pieced things together in her mind, “I think that is exactly what all of us see when you glow. If you focus on the energy around you, you might feel it too. Try,” she commanded.

Everett closed his eyes, and tried to focus. The only problem was he didn’t know how to focus on “the energy” around him. “I don’t… think… I don’t think I feel anything,” he said opening his eyes.

“Well, what I’m getting on now is that since everyone can tell what you’re feeling, I’m assuming you might wanna… turn it off, so to speak, sometimes?” Everett shrugged at her. “It could turn out to be inconvenient in some situations.”

“Oh,” Everett said as the glow around him turned a deep blue. Inconvenient, he thought to himself. A tear slipped down his cheek until it began floating up. Aria’s eyes widened.

“Woah, what are you feeling right now?” Aria asked, a big smile on her face.

“I forgot to mention,” Rae said as she swallowed some corn chips she was absentmindedly snacking on. “He glows blue when he’s sad, and his tears float up.”

“So, wow, you have hydrokinesis right now, do your… woah.” Aria stood up and began to pace back and forth. “Your powers seem to change as your emotions do, which considering your godly parent, makes complete sense, but I think the hydrokinesis, at least, is caused because of your unintentional manipulation of the energy fields around you. Have any other powers shown yet?”

“I think he gets clumsy when he’s confused, but that’s not really a power, is it,” Rae said, her mouth stuffed with more corn chips.

“I think I may have sped up time once,” Everett offered as his blue glow faded to nothing.

“How so?” Everett explained to her the time when he was fighting Rae, when he was done she jumped up. “Well, I personally think the first thing you need to do is learn to control your emotions, because once that happens you can control your powers.”

“Cool… I think,” Everett said.

“Really freaking cool,” Aria corrected. “It’s also really dangerous, which is why you need to learn control. Do you read much?”

“I like fantasy,” Everett smiled gleefully, his glow turning yellow. The light filtering through the window seemed to break into pieces, and some of those pieces started to bend and shape into little balls of light. Those balls of light then transformed into little book shapes that opened and closed and flipped through their pages.

“Wow,” Aria shook her head, both at the light and his statement before them. She took out her notebook and scribbled another few sentences. “Well, to sum all this up,” she said when she saw Rae’s somewhat disinterested look, “I have never seen anything like this in any of my books. We can’t train you right away because your power is based on emotion, and the probability of you holding an emotion long enough to to train it… Everything you do is so, weird and spontaneous. Unfortunately, it’s emotion,” she shook her head.

“You could turn out to be the best demigod of our age, or, to be completely honest, the most disastrous. I still think that the first step is to learn to control your emotions, like happiness seems to be harmless, but I don’t think I want to know what you angry is like.” She paused, sighing, her tone becoming more serious. “I think you need to find a place where you feel completely safe. A place where you can go when you need to be alone.” Her words made Everett remember why he came here in the first place.

His face lit up as he grabbed Rae’s hand. “That’s actually why I came here in the first place.”

“What might that be?” Rae said after swallowing more corn chips.

“The shack.” Everett told her.

→ ←

She was shoving food in her mouth, trying not to think about the fact that he was holding her hand. But when he said he wanted her help to fix up the shack she couldn’t stop her stomach from doing backflips.

Smiling slyly, her mouth still full of chips, she said, “I would love to help you, Mood Ring. And I know just where to get the supplies.”

His smile faded to a nervous look, following his glow that faded from yellow to grey. No doubt he was having second thoughts about asking for her help.

“I can help too,” Aria offered.

Immediately, Rae started to delve out jobs. “Theo, you go talk to Mellany or Leia since they like you better. See if you can get any kind of tools, such as a hammer, nails to refasten some broken boards, or any other gadgets you think we might need for repairs. Aria, you go barter for paint and brushes from the Techne kids. The shack could use a fresh coat of it. Once you two do that, meet me at the registrar building.”

“What are you going to be doing?” Everett asked accusingly.

“I’ve got something in the works. Just meet me there to help when you’re done.”

They split up to complete the tasks they had been given, Aria heading to the Art Room, Everett going to the armory workshops, and Rae hobbling slowly to the registrar building to scope out the furniture.

When she arrived, she plopped herself down on the lobby couch after leaning her crutches up against the wall. “Can I help you, Rae?” the sweet but skeptical receptionist asked. “You aren’t here to see the headmaster again, are you?”

Rae smiled amiably at the woman. “Good to see you, Rhonda. And no, not today. Just popping in for a visit actually.”

Rhonda eyed Rae warily. “So, is there anyone you’re here to see?”

“Not really, but there’s you, of course. And you always put a smile on my face.”

The flighty receptionist sat with Rae in silence for a grand total of four minutes before making some excuse about having to make copies in the bathroom.

“Well that was shorter than I expected,” Rae mumbled. She had been planning on making the woman uncomfortable in maybe ten minutes’ time so they would be alone when Everett and Aria arrived.

“Hurry up,” Rae urged in her mind, wondering if Everett would be able to hear her.

“Why?” a voice responded.

Rae smiled to herself. “Because I’m better at my job than I thought.”

Everett was the first to walk through the doors.

“This was your job?” he asked judgingly.

“Where’s Aria? We need two people to carry a couch,” was Rae’s only response.

Everett stared for a moment to process the information, then ran a hand down his face. “You’ve got to be kidding me.”

“They won’t notice if the couch is gone,” Rae argued.

“And how will they not notice the bulky object in the middle of the lobby when it’s missing?”

“Huh? No! We aren’t taking this one. We’re taking the one in the headmaster’s relaxation room.”

Everett stared vacantly at her again. “You’ve lost me. No, actually, you’ve gone mad.”

“He never uses that room! And furniture gets moved around all the time,” Rae argued. “Just c’mon and follow me.”

Stumbling to her feet, Rae handed her crutches to Everett to carry as she leaned against the wall, shuffling quietly down the hall.

She opened a door that led them into a dark room. Everett entered, his nervous glow casting a grey light on the room. “Thanks, Mood Ring,” Rae said as she limped over to the couch, only wincing a little as she took a seat.

Everett followed her in, not wanting to be caught in the hall alone. Laying a hand on the couch arm rest, he said, “So what now? I can’t move this on my own and you can’t walk. I’m not so sure that this was a well thought out idea. Can it even fit through the door?”

Rae opened her mouth to present her argument and justify the means, but a voice in the hall made her go silent.

“I’m sure you can handle it, Rhonda. Just don’t let the girl scare you and she’ll leave when she’s bored,” the deep voice of the headmaster spoke. Then his footsteps sounded as he walked towards where they were hiding. This was the only room at the end of the hall that he could be headed for.

“Crap,” Rae muttered.

Everett’s glow flared tie dye, and then suddenly they weren’t in the headmaster’s relaxation room anymore. Rae squinted in the natural light that filtered through the trees.

“What the… Where in Hades did you come from?” Aria exclaimed. She was standing next to the shack, having just deposited the paint cans and brushes there.

Rae was still sitting on the couch, Everett standing beside her. Her crutches seemed to have gotten left at the registrar building, but she wasn’t too concerned about that at the moment.

A smile grew on her face as she turned to Everett. “I think we just discovered another ability of yours, Theo.”

→ ←

Everett’s head spun. “Woah, did I just…” he trailed off.

“You just teleported, or something,” Rae said with a broad smile. Aria’s eyes widened as she pulled out her notebook.

“Woah,” she said as she scribbled down notes. “So I’m guessing he was glowing the same color he is now, right?” she asked, looking up at Rae.

“Yeah, the same lovely rainbow.” Aria nodded as she frantically tried to write everything down.

“This is all so cool!” Aria said smiling.

“Okay,” Everett said as he put a hand to his head. “How about we build this thing?”

→ ←

Rae arranged herself comfortably on the couch, giving orders and advice to Everett and Aria as they worked on the shack. First they hammered loose boards back in place on the exterior and then removed old junk left inside. When they started to paint the inside walls with a soft white, Rae hoisted herself up to use a rag and clean off the large, grand windows. Once the grime was wiped off, Rae was able to look in at Everett who was smiling at her.

The sun was beginning to set and the temperature was dropping as the cool evening air swept through the trees. They had carried the couch in and Rae was fast asleep on it. When she awoke, the shack had transformed into a cozy little cabin. The walls illuminated the last of the sun’s light streaming in through the windows, making the room seem to glow sleepily. Old beams were left exposed in the arched ceiling with string lights wound around them. Everett and Aria had retrieved blankets and pillows, classy yet simple decor, a small bookshelf to hold Everett’s favorite books, and a little cabinet to hold his art supplies. Rae hadn’t even known he was artistic until she looked.

A bell sounded faintly in the distance, but Rae didn’t notice.

She went to the door, which had been painted a rich green the same color as the pines secluding the safe house. Outside, Everett was planting little crocuses around the perimeter. “Oh, good. You’re up,” he said with a smile.

“It looks amazing, Theo,” Rae said about the house. He smiled again at her praise. “Where’s Aria?” she asked, noticing that they were alone.

“That was the dinner bell. She went to the Mess Hall. I told her I’d stay to carry you back since your crutches are missing.”

For a moment, Rae wondered if the headmaster would find out it was her who had stolen the couch if he found her crutches, but then a more pressing matter crowded her thoughts. “Dinner! We’re late!”

Everett stood calmly. “I’ll take you there now if you wa–” He was cut off as Rae flung herself on his back, momentarily choking him around the neck.

“Teleport! Do the teleport thing! We need to get there now!”

He chuckled at her, bringing his hands up around her thighs to support her on his back. “It doesn’t work that way. I can’t just do it on command.”

Rae grumbled. “We’re gonna have to work on that,” she said as Everett started carrying her through the woods.