Author’s Note: Enya’s starting to see and feel her limitations.
“If you promise not to hurt me again, I can help. So can she.”
Enya shook her head, backing away from the rogue. She knew he didn’t—wouldn’t—understand and she would not do it. She would not let that monster out. She didn’t want to be useless, but she was not breaking any mirrors.
“Wait. The water. The reason it’s still moving…”
Oceana nodded, knowing what Enya was getting at. “Cress did it to help keep them from dying. It’s not much, but by keeping it going around their feet, he’d set something against the freeze, and since the temperature of the water is higher than the ice, it would have set part of them free, at least.”
“I have a feeling he’s unconscious somewhere after all that. Between their panic and all he did against the rogue, he’d have bled himself completely dry.”
“Lady, nothing’s dry at the moment.”
Moira stepped over the firebug, not quite clearing the step and kicking him in the stomach, but Enya figured that was deliberate. “It will be.”
Sherwin joined her, putting his hand on her arm as the wind stirred around them, shaking the outside of the buildings and rattling around. Oceana put a hand to the water, and it started to reverse itself, going back underground. Enya saw Terra close her eyes, and she could feel the ground under her them warming.
Enya was useless. She hated this.
“We still need to get inside each building, make sure that we get everyone unfrozen.”
Moira’s eyes opened. She nodded, troubled. “You’d be best at it, Occie, but if you take them all, you’ll be too drained to find or help your brother.”
“I can help. I’m really not sure why you’re not,” the firebug said, giving Enya a look before dragging himself up. He frowned again before going into the first shop. Enya swallowed, forcing herself to go after him. If he did something to the locals, she didn’t know that she could stop him, but Occie needed to help the others, so did Sherwin and Moira and Terra. Everyone could do something but Enya. She just had to hope that maybe she’d have better control over the rogue’s fires than her own.
She doubted that.
He walked up to the first local, frozen over the counter of the coffee shop, and put a hand on her, melting away the ice. Enya’s stomach twisted with envy. She wanted to hate him. That kind of control was something she would love to have, since she didn’t have any choice about being fire.
“Can I ask you something?”
“About why I’m just watching and not helping?”
“Sure. Let’s cut right to it, shall we?” He gave the woman he’d unfrozen a smile, jumping over the counter to help the employee at the espresso machine. “Why aren’t you doing this? Never got the hang of a little extra heat?”
“The version of extra heat I supply is almost always fatal.”
“Makes sense that you’d stick close to someone that good with water, then.”
“Makes more sense not to use it at all.”
The rogue laughed. “Sure. Like that was ever an option for any of us. We just had to work on it. Without my sister, I might have burned everything I touched, but we managed to work it out.”
“Lucky you. I killed my brother.”
The rogue froze. “Damn. You must be the strongest I’ve ever met. Never knew a fire that could overcome another fire. It’s always a stalemate unless water gets involved and settles things for us.”
She shrugged. She didn’t know how to react to that. She didn’t want anyone telling her she was powerful. She didn’t want power. She wanted safety. She wanted to be someone who could help, not someone who killed. She would much rather never break a mirror again, even if she was so damn useless around here that she felt like she should leave.
“Come on. There are more buildings to check.”