Joe pushed his weight against the door, and turned the lock, "Please give me a minute, Agent."
Mal tucked himself between the zipper of hits pants, and zipped up. He scowled at Joe.
Joe, however, did not clothe himself. Instead, he took the sheet from the floor and Eve's gun - as he knew Eve had taken the gun from the van to kill herself. He tossed it up into the air with a theatrical grin, and dove underneath. And then both Joe and the sheet disappeared. And in his place, five strands of kerchiefs fell to the ground.
Bastard still has some powers left! Mal quickly tucked the magician's clothes underneath the bed, kerchiefs too, and opened the door. And the phone, he slid along the carpet into the bathroom.
Agent Nadine LaFleur stepped into the dormitory, surprised at how clean it looked. She looked around, "Was there another young man in here with you?"
"No, ma'am. You are mistaken. Joe left before you got here. But feel free to look around."
The top hat sat on the carpet, tipped on its side at the corner of the bed.
"We questioned a man with a hat like that earlier."
"The magician?" Play stupid, boy.
"Yeah, but we had to let him go hours ago. It was all too circumstantial - as suspicious as he was," Agent Nadine kept peering around the room, looking in the closet and the bathroom. She picked up the phone. And then she noticed the magician's gear under the sink.
"Joe does party tricks," Mal blurted.
"And the baseball?"
"Oh, that bat is mine. I guess I dropped it when I came in."
"And the rabbit?"
"Your rabbit pooped in your bathroom."
"Oh, yeah, she was out earlier."
"I have a warrant, Mal. Do you mind if I do a more thorough search?"
"Go ahead, Agent. I'm gonna lie down and study," Mal picked a book off the chair and lay down on a bed - the one that did not have the clothes tucked under it. He slid himself under the sheets and pretended to read.
You don't know what we can do yet, Mal. It was Joe's textbook. Human Sexuality. Mal reached a slender hand under the sheets. You're not the least bit tired after what you did to Joe, are you, Mal?
What are you?
I already answered that, Mal. Time for you to tell me - what are you, Mal? What drives you? What makes you tick? How can I please you?
Why do you care?
I gave Joe powers over the mind because he cares so much about the thoughts and feelings of others. He's an ideological young man. Cares deeply for Brittany - or at least, he did before I corrupted him. Pride in her accented thoughts, sent a chill down Mal's spine.
Nadine looked under the other bed, and found the magician's clothes. She looked them over, and knew they matched the man they had had in custody hours ago. And then she saw the wig and prosthetics - which confirmed it all.
I gave him limited powers of teleportation because he wanted so much to make others disappear, and to escape the dull confines of the university. Those were near the limits of what I could grant.
And what'll you give me, symbiote?
What makes you tick, Mal? What drives you?
Agent Nadine looked at him, "What relation does Joseph have to Brittany?"
"They're dating," Mal said. Lucky bitch.
You covet Joe, Mal. You are a man of envy. I admire that.
"Hmmm," Nadine said, as she looked under the other bed to find nothing of interest. She saw what she assumed was a flashlight, and thought nothing of it. "Cute rabbit."
"Yeah," Mal said, eyes glued to the page. You're wrong! I care for him deeply.
You're not envious of his affection, Mal. You want his body. You're a man of the flesh, Mal. You're gay because you like something you know will be tight - gives you the impression you've got a big one. You're just compensating, really. Wishing you had what your friend Joe has, hrrrmmm-ahhh?
Shutup! Mal turned the page, looking at the pictures. Get out of my mind!
Denial, Mal. You play baseball to be around the athletes. They could always build more muscle than you. You always felt inferior. And the locker room - you love the locker room. The thing is, Mal, you've eventually mistaken envy for attraction. Admiration and love are two different things. But not to you. And then when Joe twisted your thoughts, you stopped thinking about women completely.
Nadine stood in the doorway, with a bundle of clothing and other items in her arms. She looked at Mal, "I'm leaving now. Study hard, young man."
Mal nodded, absently. His face was red. You wish you were right. But you're not! My thoughts of women were nothing but fleeting bicuriosity. You're just prying at my low self-esteem!
Oh, Mal, I know I'm not mistaken. I pervade your mind far deeper than you can. And I can solve all your problems. And more. Your first power, I grant you - power over the flesh!
The demonic symbiote of his mind did not answer. She was gone - for now.