FYI: This is a Sophitz/Fitzphie Fanfiction

“Sophie, wake up. We’re leaving. “ 

Sophie groggily opened her eyes, finding Grady and Edaline in front of her. Her windows were still dark, and her glance at the clock showed it was 4:00 in the morning. She squinted, unsure why they were waking her up. Then she remembered. Today was the day that Grady and Edaline were going on their vacation to Gonglade Falls, a mountain reserve, to study a new species that had been discovered. 

“Eh,” Sophie grunted showing them she was awake. 

“Okay, we’re leaving. Remember, go straight home with Biana and Fitz after leaving Foxfire, you’re staying with them this week.” Grady said, giving her a squeeze. 

“I left some flowroot for breakfast, the gnomes freshly harvested it. It supposedly tastes amazing. You’re sure you can get to Foxfire alright this morning?” Edaline asked, also giving her a hug. 

“Yeah, I’m sure. Plus, I have Sandor.  I love you guys. Stay safe. “ 

“We will. We’ll be back before you know it. I love you. “ Grady said. 

“Me too. “ Edaline chimed in. Sophie gave them both a tight squeeze before settling back in her covers. 

When she awoke, Sophie quickly got dressed in her Foxfore uniform and was about to go get breakfast when as she exited her room, she discovered Sandor in his usual post.

 “Good morning Ms. Foster. You might want to do something with your hair. “ the squeaky voice said. 

She reached up to feel her hair and realized she hadn’t brushed it, it felt like the top of a prickly pineapple. She reluctantly went back inside and then waited while Vertina walked her through a side braid. She wasn’t a fan of having her hair up, but she wasn’t great at making it look good down either, especially today.  She thanked Vertina and then went downstairs. It was strange having such a silent house beside Sandor, and she missed having Edaline and Grady to talk to. But still, the flowroot tasted amazing. It was a strange purple color with a lumpy texture, but it tasted like bacon, eggs and pancakes had all been combined in one food. Then she walked up to the fourth floor cupola and shouted “Foxfire!” 

After lunch, she headed to her Telepathy session. Upon arriving, she found Fitz already sitting in one of the silver chairs, with Tiergan in his respective mentor’s seat. She took the other chair, with Sandor and Grizel lingering in the corner as Tiergan announced “I am very pleased with your progress, but I fear Sophie’s secret is holding you back from further progress. To achieve full cognatedom, the participants need to be completely honest with each other. “ 

After hearing the words, Sophie’s palms broke out in sweat and her mouth dried up. No! She couldn’t tell Fitz! 

Tiergan continued, “Sophie, I totally understand if this is a secret you’d rather not share. But it is holding you back. Sophie, may I talk to you in the hall?” Fitz gave her a look, half what-is-he-doing and half I’m-so-sorry.  Sophie reluctantly followed Tiergan into the hall, with Sandor in close pursuit, already guessing what Tiergan was doing. When they were out of hearing range from the room he said, “Sophie, I know this  might be uncomfortable, but I think it might be better if you tell me your secret. I understand it will be hard, and probably awkward, but I also know that full cognatedom is your goal. I’m assuming I’m correct?” 

Sophie could only nod. 

“Now, would you like to tell me what you are withholding? I promise I will not judge.” Sophie’s mouth went dry. She couldn’t tell him. “Is it about the Neverseen? Or the Black Swan? Sophie, you can tell me anything.” Sophie shook her head, indicating that it was not about the Neverseen. “Well, if it’s not about the Neverseen, it surely can’t be bad.” 

“I..I...I... “ 

Sophie barely stuttered out the words. Her mouth dried up, and her whole body was blanketed in sweat. 

“Would you rather we communicate in my thoughts?” 

Somehow, Sophie managed a nod. Later, she realized she just agreed to tell Tiergan about her crush on Fitz. But it was too late. She had already agreed. She opened her mind to his, and she transmitted memories of all the times she had thought Fitz looked cute, all his perfect smiles, all the times her heart had raced. Somehow, communicating with memories was easier than words. She could see Tiergan’s face dawn with realization. 

“I see.” he said. Sophie wondered if she could die from embarrassment. She was just glad Grady and Edaline didn’t know. Tiergan gave her a sweet smile as he said,  “I’m sure Mr. Vacker wouldn’t judge. It would be awkward, yes, and I understand if you don’t want to tell him. But your strength at cognates would never reach your full potential. The choice is yours. I will inform Mr. Vacker that the secret will remain safe until you allow it. “ Tiergan turned, about to return to the class, when Sophie called out. 

“Tiergan?” He turned, staring at her. “If I tell him, our friendship will get ruined and that will ruin our relationship as cognates. That’s why I can’t tell him. “ The last words barely came out as a whisper. 

“I’m sure you can find a way, “ he responded, returning to class. Sophie just sat there, unable to do anything. What had she just done? She couldn’t tell Fitz. She just couldn’t. But she also wanted to be a cognate with him. Ugh, why was her life so complicated? When she finally regained the strength to walk back to class, Tiergan and Fitz were in a deep discussion about the history of telepathy. When she walked in, their conversation halted and both boys turned to look at her. She was sure her cheeks were bright red. Fitz gave her a sad smile, and it hurt her so bad. She wished she hadn’t had this silly crush. They resumed their trust exercises for the rest of class, but Sophie could tell that Fitz was hurt that Sophie wouldn't tell her secret. When class ended, she briskly walked away, trying to save her from the embarrassment. 

At the end of the day, when she walked to the Foxfire Leapmaster, Biana and Fitz were also there. Oh shoot,  I’m sleeping at Everglen tonight! she thought. Could my situation get any worse? Fitz just looked away, but Biana came over and eagerly chatted. Biana was so excited for her stay, but Sophie couldn’t quite match her enthusiasm. One time or another, Fitz was going to ask about what she and Tiergan had talked about. When it was her’s and the Vacker’s turn, she just stared at the floor as the light whisked them away. 

Even though she had seen Everglen’s expansive grounds and glowing gate many times before, she still gasped. It was still so breathtaking.

 Alden quickly answered the gate and when he saw Sophie he said, “Ah, the famous Sophie Foster! I’m so glad you are staying with us this week!” 

Any other time she would have been excited too, but not today. He didn’t seem to notice though, as he led them inside without a word. He led her up to the guest bedroom where she had stayed briefly before leaving to join the Black Swan. She packed her bags, and then joined the others downstairs. They all waited awkwardly in the main room, especially Sophie and Fitz, who sat on opposite ends of the couch,  until Biana asked, “So...what do we want to do?” 

Sophie could think of nothing, but Fitz suggested, “We could hail Keefe and play base quest...” For once, Sophie actually agreed. When Keefe arrived he exclaimed, “Wow, Foster, that’s a strong wave of nervousness that you’re hitting me with. Is it because you're afraid you’ll mess up in front of the great Keefe?” He flexed a puny muscle and striked a pose. Sophie was seriously tempted to smack him, but she was glad he didn't explain (or realize) her real reason for nervousness.  

“Ooh, that’s some nice anger coming off you.” he observed, as Fitz retorted, “Yeah, that’s because she wants to smack you right now. We all do.” he said sarcastically. 

“Anyway..” Biana chimed in, reminding everyone what they were doing, “I vote girls versus boys.” 

“No way!’ Both boys exclaimed. 

“I call Team Foster-Keefe!” Keefe announced, earning the comment from Fitz, 

“No, I call Sophie. We’re cognates!” 

“Boys, settle down. Your bickering  proves my point exactly. I will get Sophie.” Biana announced. 

Both boys seemed to settle on that and then announced that the girls would quest. Sophie and Biana both waited, then after a minute, Sophie fanned out her mental energy. Fitz was blocking, but Keefe’s thoughts were loud and clear. She pinpointed they were near the back of the large field, and then called out to Biana, “They’re back there, towards the gate!” 

Both girls ran off running, Biana distracting the boys from their base, and within seconds, Sophie had snuck from behind and tagged their tree. 

“Not fair!” they whined, but Sophie and Biana refused to play again. After a delicious dinner of orange leaves with green mush, which both tasted like orange chicken and rice respectively, Keefe went home and Fitz, Biana and Sophie all went to their rooms. She changed into her pajamas and then lied down in bed. The day’s events swam through her head. Telling Tiergan about her crush, Fitz’s hurtful stare. Why did she have to have a crush? she thought. She couldn’t tell Fitz. What if he didn’t like her? Soon, she started crying. It was just so sad. There was nothing she could do. She couldn't hide her silly crush anymore! Then, in the midst of the crying, she heard footsteps in her room. She tensed up, and Sandor shifted. When the figure came into view, she saw it was Fitz. Part of her was relieved, but the other part was nervous. What was he doing? 

“Hey, Sophie. Are you okay?”

“Yeah, “ she sniffled. 

“You don’t seem ok. Hey, what’s wrong?” he asked as Sophie sobs welled up in her chest. He put his arms around her, and she relaxed. And then she realized. This was a person she trusted and cared about. If she was going to tell anyone who she liked, she would tell him. 

But before she could respond, Fitz said, “So um, I overheard your conversation with Tiergan this morning. I know you told him you secret. Why would you tell him and not me?” 

The words pierced Sophie in the heart. She was about to respond when he said,  “I heard only snippets, but I know that you told Tiergan your secret. And I heard my name a couple of times.” 

Sophie didn’t know what to say. She couldn’t just blurt out her crush out of nowhere. When she stayed quiet, he said, “Hey, I understand it’s hard,  but please. I’m your cognate. Please. ” 

She could hear the obvious hurt in his voice. But she couldn’t manage to get the words out. 

“Can I guess it? Then if I get it right, you can just nod.” She managed a feeble nod. “Can we do this telepathically?” he asked, and again, Sophie nodded. Their cognate rings snapped together, and Fitz’s voice said in her head, Do you want me to guess, or do you want to just tell me?

Sophie thought for a long time, and finally mustered the courage to say, I’ll tell you. I…I...I... 

Sophie just couldn't complete the sentence. 

You what? Please, you can trust me. Please.  His softness convinced her,and she blurted, I...have a crush on you.

Then, realizing what she had just said, she ran out of her room as fast as she could.

 “Sophie…” Fitz exclaimed behind her, but she was already running. What have I done? As she ran, thoughts whirled around her mind. Fitz probably doesn’t like me back, she kept running. This could ruin our cognatedom, she kept running. What if this destroyed our friendship?, she kept running. Finally, she stopped running in the main room, and she just sat on the couch and cried. And cried. She didn’t know how long she had been crying until she felt arms around her. When she looked up, she saw it was Fitz. 

“I know you don’t like me. I’m just the freaky human girl. There, I said it. You can leave now.” Sophie cringed at her last words, but the response she got from Fitz was not the response she had been expecting. 

“No, Sophie. You don’t understand. I like you too. Like, like you. ” 

Wait, Fitz liked her? Sweet relief flooded Sophie through and through. 

“Really?” she said softly,  wanting to make sure he meant it the way he had implied. 

“Yes, Sophie. Ever since the auropletheura nearly killed me. Remember when I said I would wait for my match? It’s because I wanted you to register. “ Sophie didn’t know whether to laugh or cry. She felt like a silly school girl because she wanted to jump up and spin around. Fitz liked her! 

“Sophie, you should’ve just told me before. I would’ve understood. “

“I was just worried you wouldn’t like me. And it would ruin our friendship. “

“No it wouldn’t have.  Even if I hadn’t liked you, we would still be friends. You can trust me, Sophie.”

“I know. “ She said softly. 

“Do you want to sleep here tonight?”

She muttered okay, not wanting to spoil the moment. Sophie felt herself settle into Fitz’s arms, but it took her a second before she could sleep. She was so giddy. Fitz liked her! As she settled down to sleep, the last thing she heard was a  “I love you, Sophie. “,  from Fitz. 

“Aw, aren’t they cute?”

Sophie startled awake, and realized she was still on the couch. Fitz was still sleeping next to her, and they were curled up together. She scrambled away from him as she noticed who had spoken. Alden and Della were on the couch across from Sophie, both with the sappy aren’t-they-cute face. 

“Oh, don’t be so embarrassed. We knew it was going to happen.” Della winked at Sophie, which made her wonder how long she had known about Fitz’s crush. Then she remembered the awkward conversation she had had a couple years ago, when Fitz and Biana shared about their awful which-people-do-you-like conversations they had had with their parents. 

“Here, come get some breakfast. We’ll let Fitz sleep. “ 

She followed Della into the kitchen, where Biana eagerly waited. As Della prepared Sophie’s plate, Biana leaned over and whispered, “I want to know everything. “ Sophie didn't know what she was talking about, and if she did she didn’t want to accept it. 

“About what?” she asked, trying to shake Biana off the subject. 

“You know what I’m talking about.” Biana said, gesturing to Fitz curled up on the couch. 

“Ugh, fine. “ Sophie responded, ignoring Biana so Sophie could eat. Later, after breakfast, Biana ushered Sophie to her room. 

“So, what happened last night?” 

Sophie groaned, but responded. 

“Well, I told Tiergan about my crush, and then Fitz got curious about what we had talked about, and then, I just um, told him. And he liked me back. “ 

“Ok, I knew you had a crush on Fitz. Just like every other girl at Foxfire.” She muttered the last part under her breath. 

Focusing on the first part of her statement, Sophie responded, “You did?”

“Yeah, it was pretty obvious. “ Sophie’s cheeks turned bright red. Had it really been that obvious? “Ok, but back to the point, you had a crush on Fitz, and you told Tiergan?” 

“Yeah, well, for our cognate training I’ve always been holding back telling him about my crush, and then Tiergan wanted to know my secret, so I told him. “ she admitted rather sheepishly. 

“Well, I’m just glad you guys are happy. You know, Keefe’s going to be pretty mad. “

“Wait, Keefe liked me?”

“Duh, you idiot. Why else did he give you that necklace? And help you with everything? And Ro was always making comments about something Keefe was hiding when you guys talked about crushes. Remember?” 

Now that Sophie thought about it, it was pretty obvious. Why am I so oblivious? Biana left the room, and Sophie went to check on Fitz. He was still sleeping, so she gently tapped him. He startled awake, and then saw Sophie. 

“Sophie?” he muttered, still waking up. 

“Yeah. So uh...everybody knows now.“

“Wait,  they do? Well I’m glad.”  Fitz winked at her and her heart fluttered. He walked away to the kitchen, and Sophie just contemplated. Fitz and her were together! For the rest of the day, Fitz constantly helped Sophie, held her hand (that made her heart flutter) and eventually, it was time for Sophie to leave. It was almost dark, so Sophie and Fitz went for a walk. They strolled the expansive grounds of Everglen until Sophie voiced her fear. 

 “So, are we like boyfriend and girlfriend?’

“Only if you want to. “ Fitz responded with a smile that made her heart melt. 

She contemplated, then decided, “Yes, I would like that so much, but can we...“ 

“Can we what?” asked Fitz. 

“Can we not make it awkward? Like, can we just act normally around each other because I don't want it to get weird and super complicated and—” 

Fitz reached for her hand, and said, “Of course, Sophie.” This quelled all of Sophie’s fears. They held hands for the rest of the walk and when it was time for her to leave, she grabbed her home crystal and held it to the light. Then she told Fitz, “What am I going to tell my parents?”

“Whatever you want to.” Fitz winked as she glittered away. 

When she arrived at Havenfield, she was happy to see Grady and Edaline waiting for her in the main room and felt guilty that she hadn’t thought about them the entire time they had been gone. 

“I’m so glad you guys are safe.” she said as she tackled them in a hug. 

“We are too.” they responded as they returned her embrace. 

“Well, um, I’ve had a long day and I think I’m going to head to bed.” Sophie said, trying to seem normal. The last thing she wanted to do was tell her parents about her and Fitz. 

“Okay, in a couple of minutes I’ll come tuck you in, “ Edaline said. 

Sophie was very grateful to be back in her own house. She practically sighed a sigh of relief when she saw her room again. Soon she was all showered, changed and in bed, waiting for Edaline. 

“It’s nice to be home again,” Edaline said as she walked through the doorway into Sophie’s room. 

“Yeah…” Sophie agreed somewhat awkwardly.

“I can tell there’s something you’re not telling me…” Edaline said, looking at Sophie and raising an eyebrow. Sophie went beet red. “By that indication, I would guess….boys?” Sophie buried her face in her hands. Just the very conversation she was looking to avoid. 

“Um...Fitz and I are now…” Sophie didn’t know how to finish that sentence. Together? Boyfriend and girlfriend? Hopefuls? Edaline did it for her. 

“Together?” Edaline prompted. 

“Yeah…” Sophie mumbled, wishing she could turn in invisible. 

“Well, it sounds like things have changed since I left…” Edaline said, raising another eyebrow. Sophie then decided to tell her the whole story. When she finished, Edaline said, “There’s nothing embarrassing about that, Sophie. You know, we’ve all been just waiting for it to happen.”

“You knew too?!” Sophie said, shocked. 

“Yes, I think we all knew about it except for you and Fitz.”

Ugh, Sophie thought, why am I so oblivious! “Well, just know, dating changes some things, and I want you to be prepared for that, all right?” Edaline added, patting Sophie’s leg. 

“All right…” Sophie mumbled. “Can we be done with this conversation?”

“Not yet,” said Grady, stepping out from behind the door frame

“Dad!” Sophie shreaked, “You can’t just eavesdrop like that!”

“I can when it concerns my daughter and dating. “ Sophie rolled her eyes. 

“Kiddo, I just want you to know that if he doesn’t treat you right, he doesn’t deserve you, okay?”

“Dad, it’s Fitz. He’s going to treat me right.”

“Okay, kiddo, prepared, all right?”

“What your overprotective father is trying to say, “ added Edaline, “is that, whoever you choose, be it Fitz or any other boy, just make sure to  listen to yourself. Do what you think is right. Don’t let anyone pressure you or force you into things you don’t want to do.”

“Okay,” agreed Sophie, “Now can I go to bed?”

“Sure,” the both agreed, giving her hugs and leaving the room. 

When Sophie settled into bed, she was sure she had a smile on her face. 

The next day, she leaped to Everglen with Grady because Grady wanted to talk to Fitz. He brought Fitz into a different room while Sophie waited in the main room, pacing. When Fitz came back with Grady he said, “Wow. That was uh...intense.”

“Dad, what did you do?” Sophie exclaimed, half teasing, half genuine. 

“Oh, nothing. Just the same thing I did to Brant. He’s a good one. “ Grady winked at her as Fitz came across the room to her. He squeezed her hand and brought her into an embrace.

 “Sophie, can I talk to you?”

“Sure,” she said as Fitz led her into another room. 

Fitz gulped and his fingers twitched. He looked nervous. This worried Sophie, because Fitz was usually the harbinger of bad news when it came to it. “Um, Sophie. I just want you to know you can trust me. Always. this. ” Fitz approached her, and she was suddenly aware of how close they were. Then before she could react, Fitz pulled her in for a kiss. Her heart rate elevated and her palms slicked with sweat. But she enjoyed it. She didn’t know what to do with her hands, or if she should press back, so she just stood there, kissing him until they both finally pulled away. 

“That was “ Fitz breathed. Sophie’s heart fluttered. She had kissed Fitz! “It was so amazing,” Fitz continued playfully,  “that I think we need to do another one.” Fitz winked, and then pulled her in again. His lips were so soft, and she enjoyed every minute of it. She didn’t stop until a cough interrupted them. She looked over, and saw Grady with one eyebrow raised.  They both scrambled back from each other.          H              “Looks like you two were enjoying yourselves. “ He said, eyeing Fitz. 

But he dropped it and responded, “Sophie, you are welcome to stay here at Everglen for the day. Come back before dinner.” Sophie nodded as Grady glittered away. Fitz reached for Sophie’s hand and they walked back to the main room. 

There, Fitz proudly announced, “Me and Sophie are together!” to everyone in the room. 

Della immediately swarmed Sophie with a hug, and Alden patted Fitz on the back and said “Stay true, son.” 

Biana ran up to Sophie and said, “Yay! Now we might be sisters!” Sophie had never thought of that. And Alden and Della would be her parents, if they got married. Oh, that would be amazing! Alden had always just been a father, but then he would actually be her father! One thing at a time, Sophie. She mentally chided herself. Fitz and her might not get married. 

After everyone had backed away, Fitz asked her, “Is this too much? If it is, I can back off.”

“No, it’s fine.” She responded. 

“Well, if we’re together, do you want to go get your matches?  I could get mine.” The thought startled her. Did she want to get her matches? Part of her really wanted to know who was on her matches and even if Fitz was on her matches. But another part of her didn’t want to comply with the elvin system she had long disagreed with. 

“Um, I don’t know. It’s just, I don’t want to deal with the heartbreak if you’re not on my list.” 

“I know. Me neither. But we might at least try. ” 

Sophie pondered, but she couldn’t come up with a decision. But eventually she decided it would be for the best. So as she raised her home crystal, she responded, 

“Okay, we can go. Maybe tomorrow? We could invite everyone else.”

“Okay. See you tomorrow Sophie.” he responded as she glittered away.

  When she returned home, she quickly hailed all her friends on her imparter. Keefe quickly agreed, but was raising some eyebrows about her sudden urge to register. But she dodged his questions, inviting him quickly and then severing the connection. Biana of course said yes, being there for Sophie and Fitz’s conversation. Dex seemed hesitant, not wanting to register, with his parents getting scorn for a bad match and all, but Sophie convinced him that they could get through the struggles together. Linh seemed eager to register, and although Sophie couldn’t picture the angsty Shade registering for matchmaking, Tam went along with it, partly because he wanted to be with Linh, Sophie suspected. After all the hails, she settled into her bed, feeling weary to her bone. 

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The next morning, Sophie took extra care to put on a simple, but beautiful dress, put on some makeup and ask Edaline to braid her hair. She used to hate all these kinds of things, but now that she and Fitz were well, together, she quite enjoyed it. Then, Edaline and Grady accompanied her to the leapmaster, and glittered away. 

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When they arrived standing on a rock next to the ocean, Sophie was very confused. But then she remembered the Matchmaking office was in Atlantis. They would have to go through a whirlpool to get there. Grady opened the drawer that contained the whirlwinds, and threw one bottle into the ocean. A swirling whirlpool appeared, and together, hand in hand, they all jumped through. 

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Once they had emerged from the whirlpool and dried off, they hailed one of the boats to take them to the matchmakers. Sophie, Edaline and Grady rode in silence until they reached the glittering crystal tower that was really two buildings on either side of the canal, with an enclosed glass bridge connecting both sides. They got out of the boat, tipped the driver, then walked towards the building. 

Inside the lobby, Sophie found all her friends,with Alden and Della. Alden and Della gave Sophie a quick squeeze then went off to chat with Grady and Edaline, leaving Sophie with her friends. 

“I can’t believe we’re actually doing this!”, she squealed in a hushed whisper. 

“Me neither, “ said Fitz, reaching to intertwine his hands with her’s. Sophie accepted the gesture and turned to see him staring into her eyes. Sophie wanted to melt right there, but she refrained and just casually moved their hands so no one could see them, as she realized Keefe was right there. Tam also seemed to raise an eyebrow. During that awkward silence, a red-headed assistant walked over to them and motioned them to follow her. Their large group followed her to a winding staircase that climbed the entire tower. Then the assistant guided them to some couches in the middle of the glass bridge. The view was amazing. As they sat down in the couches, Sophie noticed how Fitz took the seat right next to her. On her other side was Linh, who seemed genuinely happy to see them together. One by one, an assistant would emerge from across the bridge, the second tower, and call one of her friend’s names. Tam went first, then Linh, then Keefe, then Dex, then Biana, until it was just Sophie and Fitz left. 

“Are you ready for this?” Fitz asked, staring at Sophie with genuine concern. 

“I’m not sure,” Sophie admitted, telling him her deepest fear. “What if you’re not on my list?”

 It came out barely as a whisper, and she sounded stupid saying it, but it was true. Fitz didn’t say anything, just let her sink into his shoulder, just like they had done many times before. Sophie let him comfort her, until she was sure they could get through anything. A shrill voice interrupted it though, yelling, “Sophie Foster!” Sophie quickly pulled away, and Fitz stared at her with eyes both comforting and sad. She gave him a small smile and Fitz whispered “Good luck,” She then walked away to the screeching attendant, into the unknown. 

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The blond female attendant led Sophie down a hallway to the left to a door marked 263, and Sophie briefly wondered if the number had significance. The attendant opened the door and motioned for Sophie to go inside. The room was small, probably only about 7 ft by 7ft, with silver metal walls. There was a small circle of stained glass breaking up the silver on the far wall, but other than that there was no decoration besides a silver chair and a silver table in the middle of the room. 

“Wait here, Talrisa will be here shortly,” the attendant said, then quickly closed the door. Sophie took a seat, and was suddenly aware she was alone. All of a sudden, Sophie’s old fears took over her, and she was suddenly plagued with the thought that maybe this was all a trap. The Neverseen could come out of that door right now and kidnap me, she thought. The walls seemed to close in, and Sophie counted the seconds to calm her down. It was 239 seconds before another attendant walked in, this one with dark skin and thick, coily hair. She was wearing a cream dress that shifted colors to white when she walked. 

  “Are you Sophie Foster?” she asked. 

“Um, yes.” responded Sophie. 

“Great,” the attendant gave a wide smile, “My name is Talrisa, and I’ll be your matchmaker today.” That phrase reminded her of when she would go to a restaurant back in the Forbidden Cities, and the waiter would always say something similar to, “Hi my name is ____,  and I’ll be your waiter today.” But thinking of her old life made Sophie sad, so she quickly shut down the thought. 

“Sophie, are you okay?” Talrisa asked, and Sophie quickly snapped back to reality. 

“Yeah, I’m fine.”

“Okay, since you already submitted your packet I just need to go over some things. First--” Sophie cut her off. 

  “Wait, if I don’t know my biological parents,” this thought suddenly occurring to her, “How will you match me genetically?” 

Talrisa must have expected this, as she flashed Sophie another smile and said “We switched some things around for you. We’ll be matching you by your preferences, personalities that suit you best and the ability matches that will create the most diversity.”

Sophie wasn’t sure she liked that they switched the system around just for her, but she was glad to have that off her chest. 

“Okay, first question. Which boys do you spend the most time with, your age of course.”

“Um, Fitz Vacker, Keefe Sencen, Dex Dizznee.” She thought more and added, “Tam Song, Wylie Endal, and um, I haven’t talked to him in years, but Jensi Babblos.” 

Talisa recorded something on the tablet she was holding then said, 

“Who do you want to pair with?” 

Sophie had to think about this. The obvious answer would be Fitz...but was that really what she wanted? Then she remembered their kiss, and suddenly made up her mind. 

“Fitz Vacker.” Sophie responded. 

“Okay, great. “ said Talrisa, and she recorded something else on her tablet. 

“Your packet will arrive tomorrow morning. We will locate you with your registry pendant, so it’s okay for you to go places.” Talrisa got up and opened the door, motioning for Sophie to leave. 

“Thank you!” Sophie said as she left, and Talrisa responded, “Your welcome, Sophie Foster.” 

Sophie walked out to the waiting room where she had come from,  and saw her group of friends all waiting, minus Fitz, who she assumed had gone just after Sophie left. 

Linh’s cheeks were bright red, and she was looking very embarrassed. Biana, with no shame, had a huge smile on her face. All the boys were staring at their feet, and Sophie even swore she saw a tinge of pink in Tam’s cheeks. But the one that most stood out was Keefe, who was making EVERY attempt to look at anyone or anything but Sophie. She was confused, until she remembered what Biana had told her. If Keefe wanted to match with me, Sophie thought, but I matched with Fitz...The thought made her sick, the thought of disappointing Keefe like that. So like so many thoughts those days, Sophie pushed it away, into a box labeled in her mind, Deal With Later. As she approached, Biana said “How’d it go?” 

“Great,” responded Sophie, but the conversation ended there. Sophie realized she had never thought about how awkward it would be. At that moment, Fitz came out of the hallway, so Sophie said, “You guys ready to go?” Everyone nodded their heads, so they exited the building the way they had come. 

Outside the building, Sophie realized she didn’t have any plans for what was going to come next, so she said, “So um...what do you guys want to do?”

Keefe, who was noticeably back to himself said, “We should play Make Foster Blush! It’s my favorite game!” Sophie blushed at this, and Keefe noticed, saying, “Aha! One point for Keefe! Who’s next? Bangs Boy?” Sophie elbowed Keefe hard, but Keefe just gave his signature smirk. 

Then Fitz said, “Why don’t you guys come to Everglen?”

and Biana added, “Yeah! We should have a sleepover!” 

Mixed choruses of “Yeah!”, and “Let’s do it!” came from her friends. 

The only objection was Tam, who said, “I don’t think we should--” but was cut off by Linh, who linked her arm in his and said, “Oh, c’mon. It’ll be fun!” 

Tam scowled, but Sophie could see the tiniest bit of a smile on his lips. “I’m going to go check with my parents,” Biana said, and Sophie came along to tell Grady and Edaline she was going. When she was next to them, she said, “Mom, Dad, can I spend the night at Everglen?” Grady and Edlaine glanced at Alden and Della, and Alden gave a small nod. “Sure,” said Edaline, giving Sophie a wink. Sophie didn’t want to know what that wink was for. She returned to the group, a heated discussion about who would be on what teams for base quest was going on. 

“I call Foster!” shouted Keefe. But Fitz butted in, “But I’m her cognate!”

Then Biana returned from Alden and Della and said, “Great news guys! You can all spend the night!” Everyone cheered. “We already contacted your guys’ parents, “ she added, glancing at Keefe, Dex and the twins. Then they all split up into separate boats that took them to the giant bubble wand that would take them out of Atlantis. 

Hoped you guys enjoyed that! It was months in the making. It's not finished, obviously, but I don't really have any plans to continue it any time soon. I wrote this before Legacy, and now, after finishing Legacy, I've pretty much switched to Sokeefe. So even though I have a epic plan in my head for how this story should continue, it will likely never happen. Sorry :(

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