Author’s Note: The team can work together. Sometimes.
“I’m keeping this one.”
“Go ahead. It’s not like I want your cooties.”
“Cooties? Nice, Cress. What are you, five?” Sherwin shook his head. Enya giggled, though, enjoying Cress’ joke far more than she should have. She smiled, taking another bite of her sandwich, still trying to bait him, and Sherwin had to admit he’d missed that. She used to be good at getting a reaction out of the poster boy for elemental control, the one who never seemed bothered by a thing, never had trouble with anything he wanted to do with his element. No, it was nice to see him doing something more than ordering them around, being human again instead of so perfect all the time.
Sherwin settled back against the wall, picking up his own sandwich. “I didn’t sense anything out there. We should probably keep checking, though.”
“In shifts. Everyone needs to rest, but you, Moira, and Terra will have to keep watch.”
“If Occie or I could sense them coming, I’d have one of us do it, and don’t think we won’t be helping, but the three of you can use your attunements to give us some advance warning. We can’t. Enya can’t. So while one of the three of us will back you up during your watch, one of you has to be guarding at all times. Terra and I have the last watch—we’ll be headed off to get some sleep in a minute. I know you’ll say you want Enya with you, but I’d rather she was with Moira. You’d be too distracted.”
“He’s right,” Moira said. “All you’d do is talk old times or try and flirt with her. Enya can stand watch with me. Sorry, Occie. You’re stuck with my brother.”
“It’s fine,” Oceana told her, her eyes darting towards Terra. No one would say it, but Cress had already taken the worst partner for himself. Maybe he could keep her calm, but Sherwin didn’t envy him that task.
“If you don’t mind, Moira, I think we should have second shift. I… I tend to wake in the night and have trouble falling back asleep, so that would fit my schedule best.”
Moira grimaced. “You still have nightmares?”
“Yeah,” Enya said, shoving the sandwich away. Her nose wrinkled, and her hand went to her mouth, trying to hold back her nausea. Cress put a hand on her arm, and she let out a breath, just about collapsing on him. “Thank you.”
He shrugged, moving his hand back to his sandwich and taking another bite. After chewing, he pointed to her discarded food. “If you’re not going to eat that now, wrap it up. Occie can freeze it for you. She’s gotten pretty good at that over the years. I still seem to turn everything soggy and cold, not frozen.”
Enya nodded. “I think I’m done for now. I shouldn’t have brought up the memories. They always take my appetite away. The way that it smelled—No. I’m not going there again.”
Sherwin stirred up the air, sending it swirling around her, hoping to help clear the smell of charred flesh from her mind. He knew it wasn’t real, but everyone knew what Enya’s nightmares were about. Even with their parents to help them, Cress and Occie hadn’t put that fire out in time.
She gave him a slight smile. Sherwin smiled back. Maybe there was hope yet.
Sweet even with the bad memories thrown in. They’re not a team though—they’re a family. And as Zazoo told Mufasa: “There’s one in every family, Sire. Two in mine actually.”
Well, they call themselves a team, but yeah, family’s more applicable. They’ve got all the complexities of one, and a few black sheep, too.