Author’s Note: Siblings are fun, aren’t they?
“Stay out. You won’t wake him. There’s enough water in those pipes to make you regret trying it.”
“Occie, please. You either have to let us wake him or go after Enya yourself, and I don’t think you want to do that.”
She glared at Sherwin. “You can’t handle anything on your own, can you? You know as well as I do that he needs to rest. Stop trying to push him when we all know that he’s not ready. He might never be ready again. He can’t save us every time we start to disagree, and he can’t be the one that is always taking care of everything that’s wrong. Go away and let him rest.”
“Too late,” Moira said, putting her hand out and catching a drop in her palm. “He’s awake.”
Oceana cursed, sending all the water her brother had summoned in his nightmare toward the others, letting it soak them as she turned back to the bed, rushing to his side. “Do I have to get out a dictionary and let you read the definition of sleep and rest over and over again until you get some?”
“Can’t sleep with you arguing.”
She sighed. “What about the dreams?”
Sure. He could say that, but it didn’t make it true. She knew there had to be a reason why he pulled water toward him when he woke from one of those things, but he kept saying that he didn’t know what the dreams were. She could strangle him for it, but she loved him too much to hurt him.
She just wished she could stop worrying about him.
“I hate the desert.”
“Not enough water for either of us here, is there?”
“No.” He sat up, looking over at the others in the doorway, his lips curving into a smile as he watched Moira’s efforts to dry them off get ruined by Sherwin’s interference. He shook his head as he pushed himself off the bed. “Where’s Enya?”
“Out back,” Sherwin answered. “Trying to talk herself into walking straight into that desert, I’d imagine. I did my best to talk her out of it, but you know how she is.”
Cress nodded. “I know.”
He knew better than any of them, always had, even when they were kids. Oceana hadn’t ever gotten the same kind of empathic ability from her connection to water, but she’d always considered herself lucky. She didn’t want to know what he did, to feel what he did, to have that constant need to give. He had to pour out the water or the things he felt were too much for anyone.
Of course, she said that like she understood anything of what her brother was like, and she didn’t. They might have been together from the womb, but Cress was different, distant, a puzzle to anyone who stopped to give him any real thought.
The others assumed they knew him. She knew enough to know she never would.
“I’ll go talk to her. Do we have anything to eat?”
“Then someone had better get something for all of us.” He tugged on his shirt and frowned. “I thought I swore I’d always buy preshrunk fabrics. Damn it.”
Oceana shrugged. “At least it’s only the shirt this time. It’s worse when you forget with the pants, though we all find it hilarious.”
“Yes, you enjoy my misfortune.”
“It’s what sisters do.”
He kissed her forehead and rolled up his sleeves, though there was nothing he could do about the bit of skin showing around his waist. She poked him in the gap, and he frowned at her. “We’ll go into town and get you a new shirt, too. One that’s preshrunk this time.”
“I don’t trust you to shop for me.”
“I know. That’s why I’m volunteering.”