SOL: Generation One – Chapter Nineteen


“Are you listening to me?”

Bethany’s amused, and sudden, question startled Loxley from his thoughts. He turned his attention to her, realising she must have put her hat back on now that Febe wasn’t around to scold Bethany for wearing it indoors. He shook his head. No point in lying. His thoughts had been somewhere else entirely: Lukas.

“Well I guess I wasn’t saying anything important,” Bethany shrugged, picking at dirt underneath her fingernails. She wasn’t at all insulted that Lox had tuned out of the conversation. Once again, Lox felt relief that his lab partner was so easy to get along with.


“What were you talking about?” Lox asked. There was no point in voicing his thoughts on Lukas. Not until he had more data. And something more concrete than strange observations and a gut feeling.

“I was just talking shit,” she shrugged. “About this girl in school who has a crush. And she thinks that this crush makes her entitled to the poor boy, who is already interested in something else.”

“I don’t get things like that,” Lox said, eyebrows drawing close into a frown.

Bethany grinned, all teeth. “You, not understanding social interactions? Shocker.”


Loxley drew his legs onto the seat, rubbing at a spot on his back. At least it wasn’t on his face. “No I mean…” He trailed off as quickly as he had started speaking. This was another thing that had been on his mind lately. With Summer’s infatuation with Uma, and Skye’s (now ex) boyfriend, he had turned his thoughts to something more unusual about himself than he’d previously realised.

“I’ve never been interested in that. I’ve never looked at a person and thought I wanted to kiss them.”


Bethany tilted her head to the side, studying him like she did particularly interesting data. “Have you ever got freaky with your hand under the sheets?”

It took Loxley a few seconds to recover from a fit of laughter at the way she had phrased it. He wiped at his watering eyes. “Yeah. Not as often as other boys my age, I’d wager.”


“Hmm.” Bethany stroked her chin with dramatic flair. “Well, maybe you’re not interested in girls.”

Loxley screwed his face up, trying to think back to the few times he’d properly noticed someone. He might be able to list all of their features – the colour of their eyes, their height, the shape of their face – but he didn’t see how putting these together made someone attractive. Yet another thing about people he didn’t understand.

“I don’t think I like guys either,” he said slowly.


Beth crossed her legs and leaned forward, her elbows balanced on her knees. “Maybe you don’t like anyone. Maybe it’ll come later.” She shrugged. “Does it bother you?”

“Only because I don’t know why.”

Her lips curled into a smile. Sometimes, Lox could see that other people would find her pretty. He found her fascinating, and that was it. “Typical scientist. Well, maybe we’ll figure it out together. Statistically speaking, you won’t be the only one feeling like this.”

Loxley shrugged. Another mystery to dwell on. “No, I guess not.”

——————————————————————————————————————————


“Can I join you?” Liam asked gently. Finn’s head snapped up and around and for a second he looked lost. Up until a few minutes ago, the three of them had been in Liam’s back garden. The cold was setting in quickly, despite how warm the end of Autumn had been, and they were making the best of the last warm day.

Then Serenity had made what seemed like an offhand comment, to Liam, but Finn had glared at her with uncharacteristic hostility and stomped inside. Since Ser wasn’t explaining herself, Liam figured it was time to see if Finn was alright.


“Well, it is your room.” Finn tended to be reserved in his expressions and gestures, a distinct contrast to Serenity, and today was no exception. There was only the slightest twitch of an eyebrow, only the smallest glimpse of a smirk.

“What’s up?” Liam asked, slumping down next to him.


Finn watched him settle with his usual blank expression, and when Liam turned to look at him expectantly he only shrugged. “Serenity just runs her mouth too much sometimes. She doesn’t always think about her words.”

Liam frowned, his mind running through her comment. The tiny clock on his bedside table struck noon with an eager buzz, momentarily distracting them both. “She said the bad-boy vibe you try to give off would suit a cigarette,” he said slowly, trying to understand what about that had hurt Finn. When he could find no clue, he turned to his friend helplessly.


Finn hugged his knees to my chest. “It sounds silly when I say it aloud,” he murmured, brow wrinkling into a deep frown. “My brother -”

“You have a brother?” Liam couldn’t help but interrupt. He had thought that he’d known a lot about the two of them, but suddenly it all seemed like he was just on the outside of their duo. It hurt.


“Yeah, well, he’s a bit of a mess. He’s still up north. Probably shacked up with some girl he’s got pregnant.”

“Oh.” Liam studied Finn and, uncomfortable under his friend’s gaze, Finn turned away.

“He’s ten years older than me,” he began, his voice low. “When I was six, he was already smoking. By the time I was ten he’d moved onto harder stuff. It’s not like we were close. Parents just worry that the next call they get will be about him dead.” He shrugged, uncharacteristically tense. “Whatever. Serenity needs to learn to think things through first.”


Liam reached out to Finn, but Finn shook his head sharply. “I’m gonna head home. She’s doing my nut in. Tell her I’ll see her at school tomorrow.”

Liam guessed this was Finn’s way to let Serenity know that she’d be forgiven, even if it wasn’t at this moment in time, and he also guessed that this was Finn’s way of running to avoid facing the problem. He didn’t feel comfortable saying anything after his attempt at reassurance was flatly refused, so he nodded and slipped out of his room to return to the garden.


“Finn says he’ll see you tomorrow.” Liam had slipped out of the house near silently; the glass door opened and closed without a squeak. He nudged her to get her attention, but she waved him off.

Ser closed her eyes and blew out a breath. “Did he tell you?”

“About his brother? Yeah.”

Her eyes snapped open. She turned her head to look at him, the eye contact only brief, before she went back to watching the clouds. “I didn’t think he would.”


Liam shrugged. He tried not to be hurt by that. The light caught Ser’s face, illuminating her cheekbones, forehead and nose. Liam was always aware of how pretty Serenity was, but it was times like these that he almost couldn’t look away. She was too busy staring at the sky to notice.

“He’s too sensitive,” she grumbled.


Liam nudged her again, his knuckles grazing over the cool skin of her arm. “Come on, Ser.”

“God, you do disapproving better than my mother, did you know that?” Serenity asked, screwing her mouth up. “And I hate it when you’re right, ugh.”

“I’m sure he’d appreciate an apology,” Liam coaxed. Serenity rolled her eyes.

“Yeah, yeah.” She paused, tracking the clouds blowing above them. One looked a bit like a dragon. “You know, I do this a lot. Put my foot into my mouth. Most of the time I don’t give a fuck.”

Liam nodded. “How long have you two been friends?”

Serenity grinned. “Almost since he moved here. I had the biggest crush on him,” she giggled, glancing sideways at Liam’s shocked face. “Didn’t know that, huh?”

“I had no idea. So, why did nothing happen?”

Serenity shrugged. “Who said it didn’t? But we were, like, twelve, so eventually things fizzled out.”

“Huh,” Liam said, tilting his head to the side and watching the dragon-cloud while he tried to process the information.


“Do you wonder if you’ll ever…?” Liam trailed off, not entirely sure how to word the question he so badly wanted to ask. He didn’t want to third wheel, for one, but also he quite liked the idea of him and Serenity. There was no point hoping for it if she was still hung up on Finn…

Serenity shrugged. “Doubt it. Neither of us really… I dunno how to explain it. We kiss at parties sometimes, but we’ve spoken about it. There’s no… no chemistry there? Maybe when we’re forty and alone we’ll just marry each other,” Serenity laughed, brushing hair behind her ears.


Liam felt somewhat reassured. “I don’t think either of you have to worry about that.”
Serenity cocked an eyebrow, looking at her friend slyly. “Oh? So which one of us would you prefer?” She burst out laughing when Liam’s face flushed an unflattering shade of red, his eyes going wide. “I’m just teasing.”

Maybe she had been, or maybe Liam had just missed an opportunity to tell Ser how he felt about her. The moment was gone; they watched, in silence, as the dragon-cloud as it sped towards the horizon.

——————————————————————————————–


“You haven’t really been focused on the lab project for the past few weeks,” Bethany said, her voice soft after sitting in silence for so long. She placed her empty cup of tea in the sink and watched Lox, who was lying on the bench. Loxley propped himself up, leaning on his elbow, and shrugged. They had survived a cold Winter and, slowly, were emerging into Spring. Most of this time, Lox’s brain had been whirring away on the subject of Lukas, not their project. Febe had noticed and was passively-aggressively reminding Loxley that he had to show his skills in order to win the internship.


That was the last thing on his mind. Every time he thought he had unraveled one of Lukas’ mystery, he realised it was more complex than he thought. It was difficult to know what he was looking at – he was probably too close to the data.

“What’s wrong?” she pressed.

“Have you ever noticed anything odd about Lukas?”

Almost immediately, Bethany said, “He doesn’t wear socks.”

Loxley laughed, the answer surprising him. “He doesn’t?”

“Nope.”


Bethany slipped down from the counter and came to sit beside Lox, who shuffled up and over to make room for her. She folded her legs underneath her and studied him.
“You’re serious about this?”

“There’s something strange about him,” Loxley said, unconsciously leaning forward. “Haven’t you noticed it?”

Bethany tilted her head to the side. Bright orange hair fell over her face; she brushed it away impatiently. “Well, I mean, I always thought it was strange that we don’t know much about him. I don’t think he’s ever answered a question about where he lived. He’s probably just a private person.”

Lox shook his head, fingers drumming a beat on his leg. “I looked him up. Lukas Smith. The name only comes up since he’s been working here. No previous publications. No internet trace. He hasn’t been working here for that long. Do you know how impossible it is not to leave a print on the internet?”

Bethany frowned. “So he doesn’t have simbook, or whatever.”

“No, he doesn’t have anything. No voting address. No mention in newspapers. No scientific contributions.” Lox stopped for a beat. “You know the best surname to use in the UK if you want to hide? Smith. It’s so common.”


Bethany turned away, her brow wrinkling, and leaned forward on her knees. She was silent for a while, and then, slowly, she spoke. “You think… Lukas is hiding?”

Loxley wondered if it was a mistake to bring this up, but if anyone would look at the evidence objectively, it would be her. He ran through what he had noticed: the odd fluid way Lukas moved; the hyper-vigilance; the healing cuts. They went well over their lunch break, but assumed no one would be waiting for them in the lab. Febe was content for them to grab her when they were about to start working again.


However, they were wrong; Lukas stood in the lab, eyes closed, leaning against the work bench. He looked at is he was listening to something, and the more he heard, the deeper his frown became, the tighter his lips pressed together. When Loxley had finished speaking, Lukas ran a hand through his hair and sighed, a deep and long sigh.

The problem with having geniuses try to work on a project – a project which could save Lukas’ life – was that they were often too smart not to question everything around them that didn’t quite add up.

Lukas, with the virus that was running through his blood, was one of those things that didn’t quite add up.

——————————————————————————————–


“I’m so annoyed,” Skye announced, shutting Felix’s door behind her a little too hard with an uncharacteristic scowl.

“What happened?” Felix asked, jumping up from his bed and reaching over to stop the music from his record player. Skye huffed.

“Dad is still having a go at me for ‘changing’” she said, raising her hands for half-hearted air quotes before dropping them back to her side. Felix stretched, cracking his neck in the way that made Skye shudder, and waited for her to continue. “Now he’s saying that he doesn’t like me going out in this dress. I should be wearing leggings with it.” She did her best to mimic her father’s voice. “And he’s never said the same thing to Faye, and look at her!”


Felix summoned an appropriate expression of sympathy. Truth be told, his parents were so laid back that Felix couldn’t recall a time when they tried to curb anything about him. “I think you’ve just got to talk to him. I mean, over the past few months you’ve changed a lot and that’s great – I’m proud of you! But he’s probably worried?”

Skye scowled some more. Why did Felix always have to be so reasonable and right?


“But can’t he see that I’m happy?” Skye wondered. She felt more cheerful in herself and, if she was honest, it hurt that her father kept trying to ruin that.

Felix snapped his fingers and grinned. “You just gotta be more open about what you want. Like me and ice cream. So, what is it you want?” Felix waited, frozen in a silly stance where he was half pointing at her, and it took Skye rolling her eyes and waving him off to make him relax.

“Sorry, I know you’re just listening and trying to help. But he makes me so frustrated!”

Felix shrugged, stuffing his hands deep into the pockets of his jacket. “Talk to him about how you feel. That solves a lot of problems. I promise it’ll help.” Felix smiled, a sweet and hopeful smile.


Skye sighed but returned the smile. She glanced at his shelf, wondering if there were any records that she fancied hearing. They planned to spend a few hours hanging out anyway, so she might as well cool down now. Some nice music would help.

Felix cleared his throat awkwardly and fidgeted, as he usually did when his mind was running at full speed, but Skye was content to let him get lost in his thoughts. He would say something if he wanted to talk. Usually, after a few minutes of silence, he would come out with a truly bizarre question that Skye had no idea how his thoughts had led there. She picked up a Queen record. What better way to calm down than with some classic songs? She remembered hearing it play in the house, James playing on an air guitar as she and her sisters tried their best to dance to it.


“Can we put this on?” Skye asked, just as Felix opened his mouth to say something. He blinked, shook his head a little to clear it, and reached out for the sleeve.

“Sure. Good choice.” Whatever his question had been, he didn’t voice it.

——————————————————————————————–

It had been exactly four months since Summer and Uma had last spoken. Four! Not that Summer had been counting except, well, she had been. It was difficult not to. It wasn’t like they had been close, just that they had run into each other a lot, and then suddenly that had stopped.

After a short (and rather emotionless) pep-talk from Lox, Summer found herself slinking into the bookshop on a Saturday, when Uma usually worked. The guise for this was that Summer was looking for a part-time job, and the bookstore tended to advertise for temporary help from April onwards. Sum wasn’t sure if she’d get the chance to work alongside Uma even if she was successful, but there was no harm in trying.


“Hi Uma,” she croaked, fiddling with her bracelets.

“Summer.” The girl sounded surprised, but not unhappy. “Are you looking for another book?”

“Um, no, actually. I was hoping for an application form?”

“Oh, we haven’t actually started to advertise just yet-”

“Yeah, I know. I just noticed that you usually do at this time of year. Thought I could try to get in early.” Summer scratched at her arm, looking away. The shop owner still hadn’t fixed the coffee machine, or maybe they had decided not to replace it since it was mostly Uma using it anyway. The smell of coffee somehow still lingered, months later.

“Ah, early bird and all.”

“Yeah, exactly.” An awkward pause. Uma hadn’t moved and didn’t seem to be planning on it; instead she was frowning at the desk. Summer cleared her throat.

“How have you been? We haven’t really had the chance to catch up much.” As soon as she said it, Summer felt her face burn. Stupid! They had never really been friends, had they? Just people who occasionally ran into each other and had some overlapping interests. Uma was probably laughing at her now…

“I know right!?” she exclaimed, becoming happier like a switch had been flicked. “It’s been so long!”


Uma turned around, bending down to reach a drawer on the nearest bookshelf. Summer’s face burned brighter at the view.

“Just because I know ya, I’ll give you an application early. I can put in a good word to the boss if you’d like.” She straightened up, much to Summer’s disappointment, and handed over a thin application slip.

“That would be great!” And then, feeling brave, she said, “do you think we’ll work together?”

“That’d be cool wouldn’t it? On busy days we probably would.”


“Great.” Summer folded the slip, taking her time, and put it into her back pocket. She didn’t have enough money to buy a new book but she also didn’t really want to leave. Uma picked at a sticker on the desk.

“I’d offer you a coffee and try to convince you to stay a little longer, but…” Uma gestured to the empty space on the desk. There were stains from where the machine had been. Summer wanted to stay anyway, but what would she say? She was already awkward enough.

“I’d love to,” she stuttered, “but I really should head home. More writing to do. I’ll see you next weekend when I hand this in, maybe?”

“Oh sure! I’ll be working, as always.” She gave a little laugh, seeming far more cheerful than when Summer had first entered, and waved to her friend as she slipped out the doors.


A/N: So for some reason I had it in my head that we were up to date on SOL, and that I couldn’t post more until I took more pics (which I now have). Today I realised I have two chapters worth of stuff, so there’ll be another update soon.

I’m not sure how I managed to confuse myself haha. Hopefully I haven’t mucked up anywhere and all this stuff makes sense 😛

13 thoughts on “SOL: Generation One – Chapter Nineteen”

  1. You can’t imagine how happy you made me when the new SOL chapter popped up on my Reader. I always love reading about these individuals and discovering their personalities more.
    Um…is Lox asexual or something like that? Or will it come as time passes? Maybe he was just too busy studying Lucas to focus on anyone else, lol. I think it’s good that he told Bethany, maybe together they will work out the mystery and Bethany is a rather trustworthy person. And smart, too. That question about the hand was so awkard, though. I don’t think I would like to hear such thing from a girl friend that I’m working on a sctientific project with, haha. And how could anyone not be wearing socks? I mean, that’s a really thing, isn’t it?!
    I can imagine how Liam is feeling. Being put to a group with people that are very close and have known each other for ages may make you feel like you don’t really fit in there, which is not good for Liam since he previously had so much trouble with finding his place in the world. Serenity’s actions were very immature, though, and if she can’t keep her mouth shut, at least she should feel a bit of guilt and come there to apologize instead of Liam. There are things that should not be turned into jokes, especially around certain people. I don’t want to imagine what it would be like if Finn’s brother really managed to get himself dead because of his ‘adventures’. It would be so sweet, though, if Liam and Serenity got together, although I’m not sure if this would ever happen.
    I’m not amused that James is worried about Skye’s sudden change since she was playing that role of someone she was not for so long that he may have thought that it was who she really wanted to be. I’m glad that she has Felix by her side, so she can always ask him for advice. I wonder what he was going to ask about.
    It’s so hard to tell whether Uma is really just being nice or if there is something more to it. Summer is still very awkward and she probably noticed and may just be trying to help her feel more at ease, haha. If they work together, there is a chance for Sum to see her crush more often ♥
    There are more coming? How lovely, then I can inundate you with more awfully long comments, right? Don’t worry, it made sense to me, haha.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can’t imagine how happy your comment made me! 😀
      Yes, Lox is asexual. Science is the only thing he’s interested in, haha. He’s too practical to want a relationship (or children) I reckon. I think the culture that I grew up in is quite nonchalant about those kinds of questions. I wouldn’t bat an eye if I heard someone say that to their friend. It’s commonly joked about here, though Beth could have worded it better haha.
      Serenity can be really insensitive. Her mouth is faster than her brain! She’s also quite stubborn, too, so her apologising would probably be buying Finn a hot drink in the morning before school and leaving it at that. He understands her fairly well, though, so they work things out.
      James is being an overprotective dad. He knows that guys don’t always have the best intentions (like his father), but he could certainly give her more space to change! Parenting is hard (I imagine).
      All shall be revealed! And I’m perfectly happy to have more long comments! xD Thank you so much! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Hmm, I kind of got the impression that Lox wasn’t into hetreo relationships, but I always flagged him as being gay. Guess I was wrong on that account.
    Lukas doesn’t wear socks? That’s kinda weird…

    Maybe I have too much of a thing for gay couples but I want Liam and Finn to be together. Please can it happen? ^-^
    I actually kind of get Serenity’s view point. From someone who constantly has to remove their foot from their mouth, I get where she’s coming from. It was probably a throwaway comment she didn’t think about fully before saying.

    I like Felix and Skye, I feel like they compliment each other well ^-^

    Ooh, Summer and Uma at a summer job together, eh? *nudge nudge*

    Liked by 1 person

    1. He just loves science too much 😛
      I know right!! I guess with vampirism his feet are always warm enough…
      Heh. OT3 is incoming, don’t you worry 😛
      Yes, she definitely didn’t and it wasn’t mean! But she could have apologised to his face still. She kind of does it too much for her to be bothered making the effort 😛
      Those two are VERY cute and I love them.
      WINK
      Thanks for the comment! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  3. So does Lox just not have romantic feelings, or does he not have sexual feelings? Or both? In any case, I hope that he doesn’t feel there is something wrong with him.

    In Skye’s situation I can see how both sides are frustrated. Yeah, she probably needs to talk to James about this. I wonder what Jessica is thinking though.

    I am just as confused by Uma as Summer is. From this chapter, i’d guess that she’s just a good friend. But there have been signs before, so I don’t know.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m leaning on the side of both. I think Loxley could be in some form of a relationship but it would never be physical and he wouldn’t really do romantic ‘gestures’ because his brain doesn’t work that way!
      Haha, I’ve noticed that I always use James in these situations, don’t I? Though I suppose he was always the better communicator! Jessica certainly wouldn’t be as worried, though I think she could get to the heart of the matter way easier than James.
      It’s hard in high school! It’s not worth the risk of others finding out – or is it? 😛
      THanks for reading and commenting! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I don’t know who I like the idea of Liam being with more Finn or Serenity. Both are super cute. Liam seems more attracted to Serenity though. Wish he wasn’t so unsure of himself and just go with the flow more maybe he wouldn’t feel left out of things. It’s difficult though when you’re in a group who have known each other longer than you’ve known them. You don’t know the stories or the history.
    Lox is more interested in science then anything else. Not unusual for him. He doesn’t seem the type to be crushing on anyone. I worry though that Lukas seems to be listening to their conversation. Makes me worry.
    Skye should definitely take Felix’s advice and talk to her dad. Communication is the key in any relationship. All the changes she’s making without explanation is bound to make a parent worry. She can’t expect him to just know why she’s changing. Her dad’s not a mind reader. He’s her dad and he’s going to jump to the wrong conclusions without any input from her.
    Summer and Uma just need to admit they have feelings for each but maybe working together will make that easier for them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, they have all the inside jokes and you feel left out so easily, but they both like him which makes it more confusing!
      Science takes up all the space in his heart 😛
      Absolutely! Something that James has always said to Jess. It wouldn’t be an issue if Skye explained to James how she felt, or even raised some of these issues when she was younger. He has no clue how she’s feeling and it worries him!
      Absolutely! Well, maybe one day? 😛
      Thanks for reading and commenting!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. So Liam is in love with Celeste! ❤ I must admit I didn't see that coming!
    I really want to find out more about Lukas, he seems very interesting!
    Summer and Uma seem both glad to be spending time together again, I hope they'll be soon more than friends!

    Like

  6. Aaaw, Uma and Summer are so adorable. If Uma doesn’t return the crush, I’ll probably be really mad, though I promise I won’t hurt anyone… probably 😀 (Okay, kidding, but I think those two are really great).

    Liked by 1 person

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