Ash swayed and almost fell. Will grabbed her and helped her sit back down.
"What did they do to you?"
Too weak to speak, Ash shook her head. She didn't know what had happened.
"Not too sure? Oh well, you'll probably remember in a couple hours." Will watched Ash for a moment.
"So you don't know anything that's going on?"
Ash looked at him. Will took that as a no.
"Well, this is a place that's not supposed to exist. It's called M-Blood Facility and is dedicated to keep people like us a secret.
"People…like…us?" Ash's voice was weak and raspy.
Will nodded. "People with type M-blood. It's the rarest of all blood types. It's so rare, that some doctors deny its existance. But if they ever find someone who has it, the doctors have a number they call. It's the number to that 'specialist' you saw before you came here. And let me guess, weird things were happening to you, right?"
Ash nodded. "My body temparature was always in the hundreds, water steamed anytime it touched me, and whenever I'd cough, I'd cough up blood."
Will nodded. "The coughing thing happened to me too. What color is your blood?"
"Because I think the blood color changes based on what you can do. Like mine's dark blue-green with a silver sheen." Will's eyes faded out as he began talking about a memory.
"My mom must have known something. About this I mean. She acted like what I was going through was normal. I think she called it a 'coming of age' thing. But she said it like she knew, like she was one of us."
Ash nodded slowly. Will snapped out of his reverie and looked at Ash. He was about to say something when Gustav came storming into the pool room.
"Vat jou two fink jou doing? Jou fink diz will go unpunished?" His obsidian eyes were blazing angrily.
"Jou both suffer vor diz." Gustav roughly dragged Will and Ash to their feet. He led them to another room and shoved them in.
"Shtay in here. Iv one ov jou try escape, jou both suffer even more." He threw Ash and Will in the room. The door clanged shut and seemed to melt into the walls. Ash layed against the cool floor, concentrating on not losing the contents of her stomach. She could hear Will pace around the room, looking for a way out.
"There's not a way out, Will. Save your strength, you don't know when we'll let you back out."
Will looked up towards the ceiling. "Blaze! You just wait! When I get out, you're going to find your neck between my hands, understand?"
Laughter sounded and then a click.
"That means they shut the microphones off. And that means the cameras are still going, they just don't feel like listening to us."
Ash sat up. "You say it like you've been in here before."
Will nodded. "This is the punishment chamber. It's impossible to break out of and into. And only Gustav and Blaze have the key." Will threw a ball of water at the wall and then sat in a silver chair. Ash remained on the floor. Her head was spinning. She didn't know what time it was, but she knew she hadn't eaten for awhile. Ash started playing with the buckles on her leather jacket, trying to keep her mind off food. Will sat in the chair, anxiously tapping his foot against the tile floor. He looked down at Ash.
"So what was your life like before you were sent here? What's your family like?"
Ash shrugged. "I live on my own. When I was young, my house caught on fire and I was the only survivor. I don't remember life before it. But I lost my mom, dad, and baby brother. I've lived on my own since then."
Will nodded. "So Ash isn't your real name?"
"No. I'm not sure what it is. In fact, all my memories start with The Fire, that's all I know. But even some of those details are fuzzy. I don't know how it started or where in the house."
"Do you know how old you are?"
Ash cocked her head. "I'm somewhere around sixteen." Ash wrapped a curl around her finger.
"Why is your hair two different colors? Did you die it?"
"No. It's natural. Well, it happened after The Fire. After I walked through the wreckage, I was sitting in the grass and random parts of my hair went from black to charcoal. I'm not sure how it happened, though."
Will reached out, picked up a charcoal curl and rubbed it between his fingertips. Ash studied Will while he studied her hair. His hair seemed brown on first glance, but up close, Ash could see that underneath the brown were traces of the dark blue he was wearing, along with shots of silver and forest green. Will looked up from Ash's hair. Ash blushed and quickly looked away. Will smiled.
"So Will, how did you get here?"
Will stopped smiling and his voice became hard as ice. "I was outside when a black van pulled up. Blaze stepped out and watched me for a few minutes. Then a coughing fit came on, and I was on my knees, coughing up blue-green blood. Blaze came over and helped me up. I was dazed, and he said he was taking me back inside, but instead he put me in his van. I passed out and woke up later in the same room you were first in. You were the first one to ever escape from there."
Ash nodded, then yawned. Will stretched.
"I guess it's getting kind of late. There's no beds in here, the only furniture are the chairs."
Ash nodded sleepily and stretched out on the cold floor. She zipped up her leather jacket and put her right arm under her head for a pillow.
When Ash woke the next morning, her whole body was sore from sleeping on the cold, hard floor. As she slowly got up, her body greeted her with new complaints. With a moan, Ash slowly got to her feet. Ash felt dizzy and grabbed a chair for support. Her stomach growled and she tightened her arm across it, cutting off the noise.
"So how did you sleep?"
Ash whipped her head around and saw Will sitting in the chair next to her.
"Okay I guess. Why do you ask?"
Will shrugged. "Did you know you talk in your sleep? You were going on and on about fire and not being able to remember. What were you dreaming about?"
Ash shook her head. "I don't know." Ash sat down in the chair. Will looked at Ash out of the corner of his eye.
"So do you have anyone that would be looking for you? Any friends, boyfriends, guardians?"
Ash shook her head but continued to look at the floor. "No. There's no one. It's just me. I look after myself. That's how it's always been, for as long as I can remember. What about you? Is there anyone looking for you?"
"My parents, my brother, my sister, my friends. They're all looking for me." Will's voice became uncertain on the last few words.
"You've been here awhile, haven't you? You're not sure how long, though. But you're afraid they're not looking anymore." Ash looked at Will and could tell she was right. Ash put her hand on his leg.
"Will, we're together now. No matter what, I promise that we'll get out of here alive."
Will smiled. "Well Ash, if you can get us out of this room, I'll believe you. And if we escape, you won't have to be on your own anymore. You can come stay with me. My mom's always wanted another daughter." Ash laughed for for the first time in months. She stood up.
"Will, if I get us out of this room, then you might have to carry me to safety. I'm already weak as is, and doing this fire thing makes it worse."
Will nodded. Ash walked towards one of the walls and knocked on it. It sounded hollow. Ash grinned. Will heard the sound and jumped up.
"Does that mean…?"
Ash nodded excitedly. She tapped into the fire again, finding it even easier this time. Ash smiled and held her hand against the wall. Her hand and the wall around it started glowing red. Ash pressed forwards and the wall melted under her touch. Soon she was all the way through. With her hand still flaming, Ash brought it down until there was a hole big enough for a person to fit through. Cautiously, Ash stepped through, followed by Will. They were in the pool room again. Unable to resist the water, Will dove in. Ash stood beside the pool, not wanting to get wet. Will surfaced near where Ash was standing. Another dizzying wave of hunger brought Ash to her knees. Will used his power to sculpt the water around him until it was holding him level with Ash. He pulled her chin up.
Ash smiled. Will leaned closer until she could feel his warm breath against her skin. His lips had just brushed across hers when Blaze walked in and jerked Ash to her feet by her hair. She yelped and tried to break free.
"Ash, I need to talk to you." Blaze let go of her hair and started walking away. Will grabbed Ash's arm and tried to tell her with his eyes it was a bad idea, but she continued walking after the short, silver-haired scientist.