Author’s Note: Since the last installment, Disquiet, might have been seen before, I went ahead and posted two for this one today.
Funny how that word was simple and yet so complicated, with so many different emotions behind it at any given time. Cress would know what they were even without the tone of voice, but no one knew when they were coming from him. Maybe Occie, but that was hard to say. Terra did not know. She never knew much of anything. She’d always had her head in the sand, Stone would say, and she wanted him to do it. All of this would be so much easier if he were here.
“You planning on waking him any time soon?” The fire rogue said as he watched Cress tossing in his sleep. “You said you wouldn’t discuss anything else while he was asleep, that he was the one that knew the most about what his parents had done to you and their connection to Aether, that we should all try and get some rest. I didn’t figure any of us would, but I’d swear I haven’t slept that good since before Maggie died. Since you don’t trust me and I’m not sure what to make of you, that… It’s…”
“We were all in the same room as Cress,” Enya said. “You’d be amazed how you feel after spending time around him. Another night without a nightmare. I should be happy about that, but… I’m going to end up killing him someday.”
“At the risk of setting you off again, I still think I could help. If waterboy over there gets back on his feet, maybe you could consider some training. Between me and him, we could probably get you past the worst of it.”
She shook her head. “No.”
Terra frowned. Maybe it was worth it, worth risking, but she didn’t know that Enya would ever accept that. She’d lost so much before, and Terra didn’t know that she’d want to use her abilities if she’d caused Stone’s death. In a way, she had, but not by what she’d done with her element. He’d moved to help her, and the agents had fired. She hadn’t gotten up a wall to stop the bullets, and he had been too distracted…
He was alive. She had to hold onto that. She could make up for her mistake once they had him back. She put a hand to her head. She shouldn’t have a second chance, and she didn’t deserve it. Not that she wanted her brother dead, but that wasn’t something that usually got “do-overs.” She shouldn’t have made any mistakes. She couldn’t afford to do that, couldn’t afford to lose anyone or give the agency a chance at them.
Cress grunted, and Terra looked over at him, watching him drag himself up so that he could lean against the wall. “Why does it always feel like I’ve got the worst hangover ever?”
“You know, even with the shirt, I wouldn’t have figured you for someone who drank a lot.”
Cress smiled. “What, you never celebrated anything in your life? We all turned twenty-one around the same time, and it was our first ‘legal’ drink that turned into… a few too many and some things done with the elements that should never be done again.”
Sherwin laughed. “Oh, some of them need to be done again.”
Moira shook her head. “The hell with that. That’s the one and only time I let you talk me into trying to cover up with the wind.”
“The guys reneged, too. Don’t forget that.”
“I didn’t,” Sherwin said. “I wasn’t a coward like someone I might mention.”
Cress rolled his eyes. “Do have any idea how hard it was to talk a very drunk Stone out of killing you for even thinking of looking at his sister or mine naked? I don’t think anything good came out of you trying talk us all into streaking that night.”
“Besides, it was cold.”
“Like Sherwin would have cared. He generates plenty of hot air.”
“You weren’t even there, Enya.”
Flint looked at them. “You’re all playing a prank on me, aren’t you?”