Hugo had opened the door to find himself face-to-face to a boy, barely older than Joan. He had long blonde hair that brushed his shoulders, beautiful aquamarine eyes and a slight smile on his face. Since Hugo wasn't answering, the boy went on talking.
"I am Brian Hahnel, I'm with your daughter in school" he said.
Hugo frowned. He'd never heard of him before, and Joan loved boasting about how popular she was ; she'd have told her father about Brian. "I'm afraid Joan isn't here right now."
"Good," Brian replied, "I'm here to talk to you. May I come in?"
Intrigued, Hugo let him in. They went to the living room, and Hugo invited the young man to sit down. "So," Hugo started, "what is it you want to tell me?"
Brian cleared his throat ; Hugo noticed he looked awkward. "Sir, do you know Joan's boyfriend? Edward Cullen?"
Hugo frowned once more. "Yes. What of him?"
"He's the reason I moved in here. In Forks." Hugo waited for more, puzzled. Finally, Brian explained. "We have found that he and his family were connected to a criminal organization. The Volturi family. They're what you could call an international mafia. As the mayor, we fear that they're trying to use Joan against you."
Hugo gasped. The Cullens, involved with the mafia? "And who are you, exactly?"
Brian picked something out of his pocket. A badge. "FBI. My mission is to protect you, and get you out of town if anything goes wrong. I can also gather intelligence if it doesn't put you in danger."
Hugo's eyebrows jumped. "The FBI? You're barely a kid."
Brian grimaced. "I get told that a lot. I was picked specifically because I'm young. It gives me the perfect cover. Officially, I'm the new guy in town, and I made friends with Joan."
Hugo nodded. Seemed like a decent explanation. "So what's the plan?"
"I have to get your out of their reach."
"What? Now? Why?"
"They are going to do something to you. Today. I'm not sure if they will kidnap or kill you, but it's not good in either way."
Hugo did his best to keep calm. He certainly felt like freaking out. "What's the plan?"
"As soon as Joan comes home, I'll pretend to arrest you and bring you to jail. But of course, I won't. There's a safe place, in the La Push reservation."
The idea seemed fine; Hugo knew the Cullens never went there. "And then?"
"I'll come back and pretend you're in jail. The longest they'll believe that, the better."
They heard noise coming from the street. Joan had come home, and her boyfriend was with her. Brian looked at Hugo. "Are you ready, Mr. Smith?"
"Hugo. And yes."
Brian picked handcuffs from his pockets — he had it all planned, Hugo thought — and walked close to Hugo. "Turn around, put your hands behind your back, Mr… Hugo."
As he was putting the handcuffs on Hugo, the door opened. Immediately, their ears were assaulted by an awful shriek.
"WHAT ARE YOU DOING???????????????" The windows shook. Typical of Hugo's daughter. Brian and he turned towards the newcomers. It was the middle of the afternoon, and it was sunny for once — Edward's skin was sparkling for some reason. As for Joan… she was as strange-looking as usual, with her eyes that changed color for no reason, her brown hair that reached her bottom, her skin paler than Edward's and that seemed to reflect light, and her bosom that was way too hugo for such a skinny girl.
Brian was shaken by the ear abuse, but he finally regained composure. "I am arresting your father, he's suspected to be a drug dealer."
"YOU CAN'T ARREST HIM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I AM ANGER NOW! YOU'RE A FAKE CHRISTINA!"
Brian blinked, and exchanged a puzzled look with Hugo, who shook his head — even after all those years, he didn't always understand his own daughter. Joan walked up to Brian, and tried to slap him. Brian grabbed her arm, then pushed her slightly; however, frail as she was, she fell on the ground.
"WHAT DID YOU DO THAT FOR??????????????" Edward was apparently as talented as Joan when it came to shattering eardrums.
Brian smiled. "Because I am the FBI and I can. Also, I'm a follower of Ma'at." He lead Hugo to his car and they drove away.
"You're the FBI?" Hugo asked.
"An old joke in the office." Brian burst out laughing. Hugo couldn't help himself do the same thing. He felt bad for leaving Joan alone, sure, but on the other hand, the relief of being away from her a few days…
A few days later, Brian came to the small cottage by the sea.
"Hey, Brian." Hugo greeted him. "How's it going?"
"Had to burn down the jail. Now Joan thinks you're dead." Hugo wasn't too sure whether that was a bad thing. "But I'm pretty sure the Cullens know better. I had everyone evacuate the jail beforehand, after all." Brian shrugged. "I'm pretty sure they didn't follow me here, so I'll stay for a few days with you, instead of coming and going. It's safer that way. The Bureau will call me when it's good for us to go back. I hope you don't mind?" Brian flashed a wonderful grin at Hugo. He had to admit, the boy was easy on the eyes.
"No, not at all."
"Okay then. Come on, I have brought some food, I need your help to unload the car."
They spent the evening talking; it was the first time Brian stayed here instead of coming by to check Hugo was all right and going back to Forks. Hugo learned that he was actually twenty years old, though he looked younger, which was part of why he had been chosen for the mission in the first place. Hugo told him that he hadn't planned to have Joan: her mother had more or less abused him and they had been unlucky enough that she was pregnant after this one-night-stand. Of course, Louisa had abandoned her kid as soon as she could, leaving Hugo with the girl. Since then, Hugo had never had time to fall in love. Brian commented on that many women must have cried because of this.
Soon enough, Brian felt tired; his mission had been quite exhausting recently. That's when they realized a small problem in their plan: the cottage only had one bedroom, and only one bed. Sure, the bed was large enough for two, but Hugo felt rather uncomfortable.
"You can have the bed." He said. "I have known worse."
Brian shook his head. "No. I'm supposed to protect you. I'll be fine."
They went on for a long time, each insisting for the other to have the bed.
"Fine. If we can't decide, we'll have to share it." Brian said. He walked up to Hugo, grabbed him by the shoulders, and pushed him towards the bed. Hugo fell on it, on his back, and Brian leaned over him. Before Hugo could understand, the young man was kissing him.
"I've felt like doing this since I met you." Brian had a sad smile. "Now things will be even more uncomfortable, I guess. Y'know, go sleep in the living room." He tried to get up.
"No. Stay." Hugo's mouth felt dry, his voice sounded weak. "Please."
The younger man looked at him, confused. Hugo washed the confusion away with another kiss.
A week later, it was finally time for Hugo to go back home. The FBI had figured out what there was about the Cullens and the Volturi. Out of all things, the families lead the American and European branches of a cult of people who believed they were vampires, putting glitter all over their bodies and drinking people's blood. They were arrested, the cult disbanded, and Hugo was out of danger.
Brian drove him home from the cottage. Joan wasn't back from school yet. According to what Brian had been told, they had tried to recruit her and she had freaked out after being forced to drink a gallon of warm blood. Hugo invited Brian to come inside.
"I have to tell you now." Brian said. "My mission's over. I'll probably be moved to somewhere else."
Hugo nodded, He had guessed that would happen. "I guess you can't be asked to stay in the state, or something?"
Brian grimaced; that same grimace he had made when they'd first met. "No. I'd need to have a family for that. A boyfriend's definitely not a good excuse."
"Fine. Let's cut this short, then. Goodbye, Brian." Hugo hugged him and kissed him. "I love you."
Brian smiled. "I thought you didn't have time for love." Hugo forced him to shut up with another kiss. Their last kiss, probably; and they made it last for as long as they could.
It lasted so long, and was so passionate, that neither of them noticed Joan coming back. Until their eardrums were abused.
"WHAAAAAAAAAAAT??????!!!!1111!!" Hugo didn't even wonder what there was one thousand, one hundred and eleven of, that was just Joan's usual weirdness. "HOW CAN YOU? That's not Christina? OMG You're sinnars! You shall burn in hell! You're not my father anymore! I hate you, you're mean, you're a drunk, and now you're gay too!"
Hugo sighed. Then he had an idea. "Brian, I want to leave with you. Follow you wherever you go."
Brian's eyes were round with surprise. "You'd let your daughter go?"
"You heard her. She hates me. I never really loved her. Simple choice. C'mon, let's go." Brian smiled, and they both walked to the car.
Joan kept screaming. "OH MY FUCKING GOD — but not god God 'cause that's blasphemy, so fuck off sinnars — You can't leave me! I'm the most sexah girl in the universe! You have to bow down to my will! NO PARTY HAT KITTENS FOR YOU! I hope the Bus to Apocalypse will ram into you!"
Soon, however, her shouts didn't reach Brian and Hugo. They laughed, unable to refrain their sudden happiness. Finally, Brian talked.
"You know, I had trapped your house with incendiaries, in case the Cullens had looked for you there when you were at the cottage. Do you think I should… ?" His smile was broader than hugo thought possible.
The thought was so wrong. And felt so right, as well. It was time for a new beginning. Without a crazy daughter who forces you to stop living. Hugo nodded. "Only if you give me the detonator." Brian told him where to find in ; it was in one of his bags, on the back seat of the car. Hugo found it easily, and hesitated for a second.
Then, he pressed the button.