Author’s Note: This is where I really started writing again for Nano.
“It would be best not to move,” Bonaventure said, and she blinked as she tried to focus on him. Her eyes were having trouble adjusting to the light—the lack thereof, actually. It was a lot darker now than it had been when that bastard was here. “Drink this. It will help with the nausea as well.”
She took the cup, lifting it slowly to her lips. She glanced around, now aware she was sitting on Bonaventure’s couch in his office. The sun had gone down, so the light filtering in from the windows was much less than earlier, and shadows took up most of the room.
“Not back yet,” Bonaventure answered, and she swore. This wasn’t right. As angry as she’d been with Vershon, he’d been in no state to be interrogated, and they shouldn’t have moved him. That they’d gone and sedated her, too, galled her.
She hated feeling this helpless, this powerless.
“This anger will not pass, either,” Bonaventure told her, and she looked up at him again. He must hate this. He would have been capable of fighting them, she was sure of that, but he hadn’t made a move. If he had, he’d be like her right now, wouldn’t he? “It does not improve, though you will learn to pick your battles.”
“Letting him go like that shouldn’t have been one of them. He wasn’t able to move, and that combination of drugs—”
“They simply state he is in the care of a doctor, and we are not doctors, therefore we cannot contradict their experts.”
“That’s complete crap,” she muttered, but her head was pounding too much to do more than that. “That man is no doctor.”
“He looked past me like I wasn’t a person.”
“No one with a Talent is, not to him,” Bonaventure said, sitting down in the other chair. “You are fortunate he saw only a training opportunity in you.”
She could see that now. She supposed it wasn’t like it should have taken a forced sedation to see it, but she wasn’t the sort that just laid back and took anything thrown at her. She had fought hard to get where she was, and she couldn’t stop fighting against all that had ripped it away from her.
“Now that you are awake, you can return to your quarters if you like.”
“Why should I? All I have to look forward to there is being bored while they watch me.”
Bonaventure nodded, sipping from his tea. “The amount of surveillance will reduce in time.”
“Not for everyone, though, right?”
“For Vershon, you mean?”
“They don’t watch you?”
“They do not have to,” Bonaventure said, rising. Was he really that loyal to them? Or did he have them fooled by his ‘pick your battles’ act? She didn’t know what to think of this man at all. He was somehow more confusing than Vershon.
Something beeped, and he went to the desk, checking the screen. He frowned. “They’ve returned Vershon to his room.”
She didn’t try and force herself to move. “You didn’t expect it so soon, did you?”
“If you help me up, I’ll look him over,” she said, and Bonaventure turned his frown on her. “I may not get along with him, but I’m a doctor. And I am not like that man. Vershon is human, he’s a living, breathing man, and he might be an uptight pain in the butt, but… No one deserves what they’re doing to him. Not even that bastard—Never mind that. Just help me up, and I’ll treat him like a proper doctor would.”
Bonaventure studied her, and she waited. She had to figure he didn’t trust her, and she didn’t trust him, so fair was fair, but this was getting to be just as frustrating as the rest of it.
“Not everyone is like them,” she finally said. She wasn’t the government. She wasn’t about to take more from Bonaventure or Vershon than had already been taken. She had no interest in hurting either of them or experimenting on them. She hadn’t made any secret of hating being here, but that didn’t mean she wouldn’t help.
“No,” Bonaventure agreed. “They are not.”
She watched Bonaventure pass his hand over the scanner, and the door opened. He must have access to everyone’s room in the dorms, or at least every Talent that was stuck here. She didn’t figure anyone without a Talent lived here intentionally, but some might stay overnight on a case or something. That would make sense, and she doubted all of these rooms were occupied.
Talents were a very small part of the population, after all. The percentage was low, and that was the official number they gave, so it might be higher if some Talents managed to avoid detection, but that didn’t happen often, as she knew well.
She’d been lucky. She’d seen them waiting for her at her dorm and bolted, never going back to any of that even as she continued learning to be a doctor. She had never used that name again or contacted anyone she used to know. She’d left it all behind to try and keep her independence, and it worked—for a while.
Now all of that was gone.
She followed Bonaventure into the apartment. Vershon’s had the same layout as hers, but if anything, he had less in it than she did. The main difference seemed to be the bookshelves on the far wall. He had only one chair, but the shelves ran the entire room, and all of them were full of not one but two rows of books.
She couldn’t even assume he liked to read. That was probably one of the only things he could do around this place.
Bonaventure pushed open the back room, and she felt her Talent stir, the silver light starting to cover her skin as she took in Vershon’s condition. Damn it, had they actually beaten him? The drugs were enough, but he was bruised and unresponsive, and her Talent was tingling across her body, screaming at her to heal him.
Something they’d done was going to kill him if she didn’t.
She crossed over to the bed, aware of Bonaventure’s eyes on her as she lifted her hand and released the light. The color shifted, changing hues as it traveled along Vershon’s body and then faded away. She closed her eyes, exhaustion seeping into every part of her.
“I hate doing that.”