[This is a rather old free write of mine that I've been trying to refine. You can check out the original rendition on the Slam here and here]
Seethe…" Naiad reached out her hand towards the hunched figure, already feeling the warm coolness of her twin's presence tingling in her fingers.
Warm coolness… It was sort of going against itself, and yet that was the best way Naiad could describe being with her twin. Without him, she felt… lukewarm. Sometimes dizzy. Sometimes unbearably cold. But with him set a feeling of security. It warmed her, and yet not so uncomfortably that she would wish she could even temporarily go back to cold. So, a warm coolness is what she called it.
Just as her fingers were about to touch her brother on the shoulder, he turned around sharply. The alley was lit in orange flames as his arms were set ablaze. Naiad leapt back, startled. The ten year older version of her brother glared furiously at her, perspiration gleaming on his face, his orange red eyes glowed with almost animalistic fury.
"Who are you, what do you want with me?" he growled. The happy-go-lucky tone Naiad associated with Seethe was gone, leaving only what sounded like an older version of Seethe's dangerous anger tone.
Naiad just looked at him, knowing that desperation was reflected in her eyes. The flames slowly waned until there was only a single ball of flame in one hand, and Seethe's heavy breathing slowed. The glow in his eyes died, showing them to be permanently reflecting anger, depression and sadness. Mostly the first two. They lacked the carefree gleam of the seventeen year old Seethe Naiad knew and cared for.
"Seethe," she whispered.
Seethe's eyes narrowed and he stepped forward, holding the ball of fire in her face. She didn't recoil, recognizing the very rarely used form of intimidation. Seethe liked playing with his younger brothers, but it never worked on Naiad. Ever. Naiad was able to see her brother's face better now. His face was set in what seemed to be a permanent scowl, and was actually lined slightly, not to mention the light, red shadow beard on his face.
"Yeah," Seethe muttered, voice low. He closed his fist over the fire, extinguishing it, and turned away. "You're Naiad."
"Of course I am!" Naiad said, for some reason feeling hurt. "Seethe, this may sound hard to believe, but… I didn't disappear ten years ago. I just accidentally fell through time… To this." She sagged.
"No," Seethe growled. "I can believe it." He turned on his ten year younger twin sister, glaring furiously. "You know why?" He set his hand ablaze, which actually succeeded in making Naiad back off at the inhuman pain and fury glaring at her in his red eyes. "This is why. I can control fire!" He let out a short, slightly maniacal laugh. "Why not believe you fell through a time hole or whatever? Naiad, this isn't a gift. Do you know why? Do you know why?" he roared, advancing on his sister.
Naiad backed off, and she could feel tears piercing her eyes. "No… No, Seethe, why?"
Seethe sagged, and the fire diminished into a sad candle-like flicker in his palm. The bright glow in his eyes died to a dull orange. "Because I wasn't able to stop you from disappearing. We are being hunted down by SCAR, and-and I wasn't able to protect my little brothers. Zephyr… I don't know where he is. Tor… They broke him, Naiad. He's in-"
"-a mental facility." Naiad nodded, shivering. Tears started to roll down her cheeks. "I know."
Seethe gave another short laugh, but it sounded more genuine. "At least you haven't changed." He closed his fist, and the flame hissed as it was extinguished. "Always being the leader type, looking out for us… No, you haven't even aged."
"But you have," Naiad said, looking at him. As the tears fell from her face, she collected them in her hands, rolling the small, salty water ball in them. Her eyes glowed a sad, dull blue. "And you were only seventeen yesterday. But now you look… old." She laughed slightly. "You don't shave much I can see, and your voice is all low, and… Well, I miss you. My you."
Seethe's eyebrow raised a bit. "Newsflash, people change. Why are you here, Naiad?"
"What do you mean?"
"Well, obviously you've seen Tor and Zephyr. And now me. Why?"
Naiad narrowed her eyes slightly, and the ball of water in her hands extended a little, became a fresher, ocean blue. The glow in her eyes brightened. "You said you didn't know where Zephyr was. Don't you want to know?"
"No," Seethe said shortly. "I could find him myself if I wanted to. No matter how paranoid he is now, he's still no good at hiding. But what's the point?"
"The point?" Naiad forced herself to keep calm, but an anger was beginning to build in her, and the water was starting to make wave sounds as it built in force and power. "What happened to you Seethe? Besides the obvious. I was leader, yeah, sure. But it was always me and you, no matter what stupid arguments we had, no matter what we disagreed on, it was always us. We lead the team. We cooked up plans. And the one thing we had in common? We never, ever abandoned our family, no matter what."
"And we didn't!" Seethe snapped. "I didn't! We looked everywhere for you! Even broke into SCAR! Heck, we even theorized going to the center of the earth, and looking for you there! Five entire years. Then, Tor got taken. It took everything to find him. And when we did, he was powerless, and terrified out of his mind!"
"So, that was it?" There was a spiteful laugh in Naiad's voice. "Dump him into a mental facility, and then you and Zeph go out on your separate ways! Free bird!" She threw the water in Seethe's face.
The older elementist coughed and sputtered, staring at her with a childlike surprise that hadn't been there for almost ten years. This snapped Naiad out of her anger. The bright blue glow in her eyes died, and she lowered her head.
Slowly, she turned, and walked away.
Seethe, apparently snapping out of his shock, started shouting at her, practically screaming really. "Yeah! Run off, just like we did! You're really one to talk, sister!" The way he spat that out made her heart clench. "And guess what? You're gonna have to deal with it! This is the future, and you can't change that, can you? So grow up! Get a life! And for once just leave me alone!"
She heard him stalk the opposite direction. Then, she saw a couple flashlights shining around the corner, and she froze. "Hey, what's going on over here?" shouted security.
Naiad turned and ran silently away, carful not to accidentally follow the man who she had once known as her twin.