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The Unknown

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“Let me get this straight. You saw a light you didn’t know and heard a voice telling you not to run and that they needed help and you just went towards it?” Penelope questions incredulously. Of course Josie would run towards someone asking for help not thinking that it could be a trap. “You didn’t think it could be someone with less than honorable intentions?”

“Of course I thought of that,” Josie replies rolling her eyes. Penelope was treating her like an idiot again. “I just thought it was a risk worth taking. If it had been someone in need of help and instead of helping I ran away I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself.”

“God Jo…” Penelope exclaims running a hand through her hair not knowing how to reply to such disregard of her own safety.

“That was just stupid,” Lizzie spits out.

“Well stupid or not it’s what I did and what followed was a transfer of powers apparently. One of which seems to be creating blue flames,” Josie says shrugging helplessly.

“Did the woman tell you what other powers you would be getting?” Alaric asks curiously.

“She spoke of being stronger, faster and harder to kill. She said I might get a slightly telepathic ability as well as a power that would be specific to me so she couldn’t say what that was going to be,” Josie replies missing the way Penelope’s eyes widen when she mentions she might get slightly telepathic abilities.

“That’s not very specific,” Lizzie says rolling her eyes.

“Well she was dying so it wasn’t like there was a whole lot of time,” Josie shoots back.

“What was the woman’s name?” Alaric asks.

“Nora.”

“So you didn’t have time to question the specifics of powers you may or may not be getting but you had time for her name,” Lizzie mumbles annoyed getting a warning look from her father.

“Nora?” Alaric repeats vaguely remembering something. “What did she look like?”

“She had fiery red hair and bright green eyes. She was kind of beautiful,” Josie replies shrugging making Penelope narrow her eyes at her.

“I think I may have read something about her in an old diary somewhere. Give me some time sweetheart and I’ll look it up. We’ll figure this out I promise,” Alaric says while hugging Josie to him fully intending to start researching immediately.

“Dad? There’s something else. The woman, Nora, she hinted that if I was chosen to be an Unknown that it wasn’t my destiny to die in the near future or to kill my sister unless she was a danger to the world at large,” Josie says softly.

“So she hinted that the Merge might not be happening?” Alaric exclaims excited given that this was the closest they had ever gotten to maybe preventing the Merge.

“The Merge?” Penelope questions narrowing her eyes at all three of them.

“None of your business,” Lizzie snaps.

“I’ll talk to Caroline about it,” Alaric says ignoring Lizzie and Penelope and choosing to talk to Josie. “I’ll let you know as soon as I find out something more I promise. Now maybe you should get some rest? I know it was a trying day yesterday in more than one way apparently. Also, for now, try not to experiment with your new powers? I know it’s tempting to see what you can do but I would like to know a little more about it before you try it out.”

“Okay dad. I’ll take it easy today. I’ll just go look for Hope and MG to thank them,” Josie replies making Alaric nod and Penelope roll her eyes.

“I’m going to go rest. Sleeping in a chair all night was not ideal,” Lizzie exclaims feeling like her sister should be thanking her as well.

 

Penelope hangs back as Josie is giving her thanks to MG and Hope trying not to roll her eyes again. Josie is not as subtle as she thinks and Penelope is definitely not going to ask to get thanked again. Penelope gives into the urge to roll her eyes when MG and Hope start laying it on thick that she was the one that insisted they go after Josie making Josie look at her curiously. Hope smirks at her while MG grins and she feels the urge to strangle them both. With friends like these…

“Now that you got that out of your system. Would you mind telling me what the hell the Merge is?” Penelope asks annoyance clear in her voice making Josie stifle a groan not ever wanting to have this conversation with Penelope.

“Merge?” MG asks confused while Hope frowns. The term sounding vaguely familiar but unable to place it.

“Let it go Penelope,” Josie huffs trying to walk away but not getting far before Penelope stops her.

“It’s like you don’t know me at all,” Penelope smirks. “I’m not going to let this go so you either give me what I want or I’ll go look for it myself.”

“I don’t want to talk about this here besides with everything else going on it might not be a problem anymore,” Josie replies uncomfortably hoping against hope that that was the case.

“Fine if not here then where?” Penelope asks unwilling and unable to let it go sensing its importance.

“I…” Josie hesitates unsure of which place would be the perfect place to discuss such a thing.

“Come on. Follow me,” Penelope says dragging Josie away from MG and Hope who are both looking at them curiously as they leave.

“Tell me,” Penelope insists when they arrived in a small barn in between the school building and the forest.

“Penelope,” Josie sighs feeling a little uncomfortable being in the barn with her ex. The barn had been where they came when they wanted to be alone together when they were still together like that. Standing here now after everything that had happened between them felt strange.

“Just tell me Jo,” Penelope practically begs happy no one else was around to hear it. She could feel that this Merge thing was something important. Something she needed to be aware of.

“Fine but keep in mind that it’s probably not relevant anymore. Me getting those powers might prevent the Merge.”

“Okay,” Penelope agrees. “I still want to know though.”

“Really? But you’ve been so subtle about it,” Josie mutters sarcastically making Penelope grin. “The Merge is this thing within the Gemini coven apparently where they pick their leaders from a set of twins within the coven.”

“That doesn’t sound too bad so what’s the catch?” Penelope asks knowing it would have to be bad for Josie to get that upset.

“The catch is that they pick their leader by making the twins face off against each other. The stronger twin survives and becomes the leader of the coven while the weaker twin dies,” Jolie finishes.

“What? That’s fucked up! Tell me Alaric knows how to get you out of that?”

“My dad and my mom have been searching for years for a way to get Lizzie and me out of it but so far they haven’t found anything. I found out by accident yesterday and ran off. But this Unknown-thing might be the way to get us out of it.”

“And what are you going to do if there’s no way out of it?” Penelope asks feeling sick to her stomach knowing Josie is too self-sacrificing for her own good.

“You know me Penelope. You know I couldn’t kill Lizzie.”

“Not even when your own life depends on it?”

“What kind of a life do you think I would have after killing my sister? I wouldn’t be able to live with myself after that!”

“If you get killed you wouldn’t be living at all.”

“I know!” Josie shouts getting upset again hoping Alaric will be able to confirm that these Unknown powers will be the thing that gets Lizzie and her out of merging. “Do you think I want to die Pen? Cause I don’t! But I can’t kill my sister. I can’t kill someone I love and I know you dislike Lizzie and you feel like I should stand up for myself more but this wouldn’t be standing up for myself this would be ending her life. I couldn’t do that!”

“This is exactly why we broke up in the first place! You never think of yourself first! In a life or death situation you should at least be able to think of yourself first!” Penelope shouts back frightened by the prospect of losing Josie because she would choose not to fight.

“I would give my life for those I love, Penelope. I’m not going to apologize for that! And despite what you think I have put myself first before. I’ve gone after what I wanted knowing that Lizzie despised it before. I went after you didn’t I? Lizzie hated you but I didn’t. I never did and when I got to know you I loved you and no matter how many times Lizzie objected I would have never let you go,” Josie argues passionately her eyes never wavering from Penelope’s and then she seemed to lose her conviction remembering that Penelope was the one to let her go. “But look how well that turned out,” she mumbles breaking eye-contact.

Penelope loses it then and shoves Josie back against the wall before swallowing the sound of surprise Josie makes with her mouth. Josie had broken eye-contact and hadn’t seen the kiss coming but once she realizes Penelope is kissing her she kisses back immediately.

Penelope moans when Josie starts kissing her back. It had been too long since she had the other girl in her arms like this. Sure there had been the kiss in hallway but that had been pretty short and it had been way too long since then. This kiss. This is the way Penelope wanted to kiss Josie all the time but would never allow herself to since they broke up. Josie surprises her then by biting her lower lip during the kiss and she moans again quickly losing whatever self-control she had.