Author’s Note: Team dynamics are hard to figure out, and there are so many details that people could share, but there’s not always a good place for them to do it. It’s very hard to balance.
Enya walked as far away from the motel as she could, watching the winds sweep across the desert. She would have asked which one of them was controlling it, but she didn’t have to. Sherwin would be walking up to her in a minute. Moira had surprised her by being so commanding, but she should have known that the other woman was capable of it. She’d never seemed all that strong or intimidating before, but that was a deceptive illusion of her attunement. She was air, and air was transient, intangible, seemingly weak.
Yet those windstorms were not the slightest bit weak.
“You just couldn’t wait to get as far away from us as possible, could you?”
“I was mostly putting distance between me and Cress, but if you want to take it that way, you can. You know if he wasn’t half-dead at the moment, he’d be the one standing here, not you. He’d be doing what he does to pull us all out of our darker moods.”
“Yeah, Occie finally figured out he was doing that for all of us after Stone died, and Moira pointed out how long it had been. Terra might have gone off the deep end without it,” Sherwin said, putting his hands in his pockets. He shook his head. “Don’t expect a warm welcome from her.”
“I hate her, and she hates me. She used to accuse me of trying to steal her brother.”
“Stone was in love with Oceana since before any of us can remember. He just liked being with you. I don’t know. Sometimes I wonder if Terra took the counterpoint thing too far.”
Enya closed her eyes. “I remember my father telling me that the only way to cope with losing a sibling—the counterpoint—was to marry one, so I don’t know that you’re all that far off. I’d say that part of my problem is that I don’t have a counterpoint, but I couldn’t control it even before he was gone.”
Sherwin put his hand on her shoulder. “You know, with the exception of what Cress can do, we all got it easy compared to you. Our abilities are more defensive than offensive, and while Moira and I can make one hell of a storm and Stone used to throw boulders around, none of our gifts are outright destruction. Yours are.”
“People use fires for heat. My mother used to keep the whole neighborhood warm in the winter. Me? I burned it down.”
“Because Cress threw himself on me, made it rain, and flooded the whole place.”
“It was a spectacular show.”
She snorted. “I don’t want to play the memory game. I don’t want to do nostalgia. I don’t want to think about Stone or anything… I know they would have killed me, but I didn’t want to kill them. It didn’t matter what I wanted. It never does.”
“Maybe now that you’re older and it’s more of a must do than a thing you can turn away from, you’ll learn some control.”
She stepped away from him, tempted to shove him back into the building. “Don’t make me break a mirror on you, Sherwin. That was one of the most insensitive things you’ve ever said to me, and considering how any of the times we were ‘dating’ ended, that says a hell of a lot.”
He winced. “I was a stupid teenage boy back then. Of course I wanted to see all that the girls around us could offer, didn’t want to be tied down to just one. Last thing I wanted was a girlfriend ordering me around like Moira always does.”
“I’m not interested in picking up from any of the places we left off at.”
“I didn’t assume you were. I know none of us is as good at this as Cress is, not even Occie, but someone had to try and talk to you. Moira’s too busy planning, Occie’s with Cress, and Terra’s off the deep end. Oh, wrong cliché. She’s… burying her head in the sand.”
Enya laughed at that, shaking her head. Sometimes, Sherwin could be funny. She had missed that part, even if she didn’t miss the rest of him.
He smiled at her. “It’s good to have you back with the team.”
“I’m not part of the team.”