Part VII: Useless
I woke up early, stirred awake by one of those damn nightmares again. My nightwear stuck to my skin and my heart beat out of my chest. After all the poking and prodding by the doctor last evening, I’d dreamt of my my father. Of what he used to do…
Even though the sun wasn’t even up, I noticed that Ahti wasn’t in their bed. Their blanket also wasn’t in the bed. I scanned around with my powers and quickly noticed that my alarm clock had moved away from its place at my bedside and was now laying in a bajillion pieces. In addition, I was acutely aware of the hole I’d made in the drywall… Crap, this was going to be a pain if this got out that I’d lost control…
Rather than remain in bed, I got up and put on a pair of pants and a long sleeved shirt before leaving my room. The early birds were already up and cooking. Caroline offered me a plate of pancake and I accepted it graciously. Fuck, for once the universe was good; I would’ve killed for good pancakes and Caroline’s smelled fucking amazing… Doc Wallace said that I should enjoy the small things. Those small things are definitely pancakes.
I went to get it when something bumped into me. I looked down only to see the blurry orange, black and blue spotted form of Ahti.
“O-Oh sorry!” They said.
As annoying as bumping into them was, at least it gave me a chance to fix the alarm clock mess before it blew up. And the whole calling them an it. I didn’t really care about this whole pronoun thing, but it was worth going along with it if only to avoid pissing off dark and clawy some more.
“I should apologize to you, not the other way around.” I said.
“Why, what did you do?”
“I was being ignorant before.” Rather than begin with the alarm clock, I chose to take the opportunity to fix the pronoun thing. “I’ve also known Rowan as an ‘it’ in my mind, as well. I didn’t know any better, sorry. It’s easier for me to just label something and not worry about it.”
“Oh. That’s okay. I’m sure they don’t mind, either. Well, they probably do, but it’s okay with me. I go by ‘they’ pronouns for now. Rowan does, too.” I already knew that, but I nodded anyway.
“Do you mind if we start over, then?”
“From the beginning. I introduce myself and you do the same. Since we share the same room, it wouldn’t hurt, don’t you think?”
“Does that mean you won’t throw anything at me anymore?” They said, their voice rather shaky. Were they afraid of me? “You did it in your sleep… Annabelle said you can’t control it?”
“They’re right. It’s nothing personal. Just means I’m having some bad dreams.” I silently prayed they wouldn’t ask for details.
“Oh. I don’t like to be alone when that happens. It’s scary being by myself here.”
“Well, if you need to talk, I’m here.” I offered. Playing nice is easy, often it’s a lot less work than being a jerk really. Beside what were the chances Ahti would actually care to talk to me? “Just, like, don’t tell the others, okay? I don’t think they’re as forgiving as you. Also, if I’m throwing things around, please wake me up. It’s draining using my ability even while I’m asleep.” I stopped myself before I’d get carried away.
“It’s a little shocking, but okay. I’ll try to.”
Got to give it to Itharii, they are very easy to string along. I probably should’ve felt bad for taking advantage of their niceness to fix shit, but I didn’t. I’d stopped worrying about what others felt a long time ago.
Our little conversation done, I finally grabbed my plate and dug into it. I was almost done when the door to Mace’s room opened and he came out. He was one of the easy one to tell apart with my powers; Caroline had her metal leg, Jaeger had that piercing, Mace had his sword, Charlie had her hidden weapons. Oddly enough I couldn’t actually feel the sword itself, just whatever he used to carry it around. As he came into the common room, he seemed hesitant, just sort of taking the ordinary scenery in.
“Morning, Mace…” I said, walking up to him.
“Who…are you?” He asked, muttering the words.
“Is this a joke?”
“No, it’s not…” He said, trailing off before starting again after a moment. “Just tell me what’s going on here.”
“You forgot about everything?”
“I forgot this was a problem.” I grumbled. Mace had his own issues, it was like he wasn’t always the same person, he wouldn’t remember things or act strange. “Come on, let’s go outside and talk.”
I nodded at the door and he followed me outside where we sat down on some of the patio chairs lying about.
“What do you remember?” I asked.
“My…sword.” He took it off his back, laid it on his knees and traced the edge of it with his fingers.
“Well I think I—” Although he began a sentence, he didn’t finish it.
The patio door opened and someone else came in. Amber I think her name was? She was huge, carried massive metallic bracelets around her arm and against the Rook she’d wielded a massive fucking sword like it was nothing. Mace’s head turned her way and he stupidly stared.
“What’re you looking at?” She snapped.
“N-Nothing.” He muttered before looking away.
“You’re so weak, Mace.”
“I am not…”
“You keep trying to hit it off with people, but you’ve got nothing to offer it looks like.” Amber said, her voice just dripping with contempt.
What the fuck was their deal?
“Y-Yeah, well…you’re no different!” Mace answered, like an idiot.
“What’s that?” It wasn’t a question, more like a ‘fuck you’ pronounced differently.
“I saw you with Annabelle. You think she wants to see this side of you?”
Who the fuck was Annabelle? And what the hell was this, middle school?
“I’m gonna fucking break you.” Amber snarled.
Amber practically leaped forward and Mace just sat there uselessly. He even closed his damn eyes. The only thing that saved his sorry ass was that I took pity on him. Okay, not pity really. He could be useful to me, if he got his act together again. With my power I grabbed Amber’s stupid armlets and pushed her to the ground with all my force. She might have been strong, but I was stronger with my powers.
That done, I grabbed Mace’s arm and dragged him back inside and up to my room. Amber couldn’t get in without bashing the magnetic lock down so it was safe-ish.
Even though I’d only ran a little, I was already out of breath and feeling dizzy. Damn shitty health… Mace had to see it as he came closer and put a hand on my shoulder, making me cringe, but I didn’t remove it.
“Yeah. I don’t think I’ve ever run that fast before.” I said with a half hearted laugh.
“Did you hold her back somehow?”
“I had to. I was lucky to pick up that she was wearing those metal bands…”
“You’re welcome, Mace.”
“This your room?” He asked looking around.
“Yes, for now.” I took a few steps and sat down on my bed. Mace grabbed the desk’s chair and sat on that.
“So who are you?” He asked after a moment.
“I’m Jaime.” Capes had given me the nickname of Sliver back when I used to pick fights with them for shit and giggles, but I wasn’t going to be a freaking dork.
“I’m Mace, nice to meet you!” He said happily before offering his hand. I didn’t take it. One hand on my shoulder and bumping into an alien was plenty enough physical contact for one day.
“You really don’t remember…” I sighed.
“I guess I deserve it for how I treated you.” Karma’s kind of a bitch like that. I’d finally gotten someone to help and now he was useless.
“No, don’t think that. It’s just gotten a little worse, I think.”
“Any reason why?”
“Using my sword is a little demanding. Plus I don’t know how long the seal can hold…It might be why this is happening.”
“What’s this about a seal?” He hadn’t ever mentioned that before…
“It’s important, isn’t it? Will it take you away?”
“It’s not important. Not right now, anyway.”
Great. Now he was keeping secrets… Just what I needed. There was a long period of awkward silence between us until he decided to break it.
“What am I supposed to do? I mean about Amber.”
“She won’t act that way when there’s others around, I bet so you should be okay for now. I’ll also…look out for you.” Push come to shove, I was confident I could kick Amber’s teeth in. I’d fought much bigger fishes back on the street. “It would be nice if you could remember us, though…” I said, hoping to prod his memory.
“Yeah, for a while.”
Nothing big had happened really. I couldn’t stand letting him touch me sober and he was too much of a ‘gentleman’ to just get it over with when I wasn’t.
“Oh. I’m so sorry.”
“I’ve said some awful things to you and treated you terribly. Maybe it’s for the best that you don’t remember all of that.”
“No, I did. I got paranoid and scared when my ability started to get stronger and my health was deteriorating. The only thing I knew was to push you away and distance myself from everyone. It was only a short while ago that I realized that I couldn’t do it anymore…even though it would hurt them terribly if something happened to me…” I felt a tightness in my chest… I couldn’t tell how much of that was bullshit and how much I actually meant…
“No one should be alone during that sort of thing. I’m sorry you had to be.”
“I’ve learned my lesson, even though I’ve never been a social person to begin with.”
“I appreciate having you around, ma’am.” I gave her my best smile.
Guess that counted for something, right?