His head was bandaged, and his movements were painfully slow. The light amusement she had thrown into her voice faded, realizing he was not fully recovered. Not even okay or fine. There were no comments about her or the nurse or Olivia. No mention of how she had followed the man. There were a million jokes he could have made right there, but not a single one had been spoken. The situation lost any humor it had had in her mind. If Troy wasn't even up for a pathetic attempt at a joke...this was a lot more serious than she had thought.
She turned to Olivia as she answered the question Troy had not. Saved her life? She wasn't sure why or how, but the words surprised her in a way. Maybe because Olivia had always seemed as if she wouldn't ever need help from another? Maybe because she had never thought either of them would ever be the ones to need or give salvation? But Olivia was not lying, that much was clear. Aria's eyes flickered between the two. Troy was still moving slowly, now looking at Olivia. Olivia was not meeting his eyes or Aria's, she chose to stare at the ceiling instead. This saving action was clearly made of more than just a helping hand, then. Frustration poked Aria's memories, but she could not find anything about either of them needing saving. Last she had seen, they had been standing perfectly untouched. Now they were both in beds, bandaged and slow and avoiding. The only explanations she had received the entire night had been three and then four words. She knew, and yet she had no idea.
Troy either hadn't heard Olivia, or decided to avoid the topic as well. Start a new one. But his words, they were careful. Hesitant? Or thought-through? Aria's eyes narrowed the slightest, still jumping between them. She nodded, pushing the conversation he had started forward. "I'm fine, just the same stuff as always. You two don't look too great, though." The question was clearly there, this time directed towards Olivia. What happened that called for your need to be saved?
Oliva still didn't move when Troy spoke. She grunted in response, but offered nothing more. She was in good enough shape to get up and hold a converstaion, but her mind was still unable to wrap around what happened. What would I have done? she kept asking herself. She knew the answer, but in light of Troy's selflessness, she didn't want it to be true. So, she just watched the ceiling, calculating her words carefully. Against the white drywall flashed a face, looking down at her from where she hung on the balcony. She was still hanging, even now, and there he was, offering to help. Would Peter have hung there, hand out? Would Aria?
When her thoughts returned to Aria, Olivia remembered that she was not alone. She sucked in a breath, listening. Aria said something about how beaten she and Troy looked, and it was clear to Olivia that Aria was digging for an explanation. Sorry, Aria, Olivia thought, I'm not sure even I could answer that right now. She concluded that Aria would have saved her if she had been in that situation. The girl may have been quiet and hard, but she wasn't...well, she wasn't Olivia.
What's wrong with me, then? she asked herself for the thousandth time. Why was it that Olivia felt the way that she did? Was she repressing something? Was she just a cruel person? No, she wasn't cruel. She had the capability to care very deeply. Her thoughts turned to Michael. Christ. What would Michael have done? He would have saved her. She would have saved him. She would have done anything to save him. She would have given anything to have him lying next to her in that hospital bed instead of Troy. Were it him, she wouldn't have been so afraid. As it was, though, Olivia didn't know what to think.
She didn't understad why Troy had done what he had done. He had let the man get away. That was something far more important than Olivia's life, wasn't it? No. If it had been Michael, it would never have bothered her that her life was more important to him than the mission. All of these kids in this hospital room were just like him. They deserved a chance at life just as much as he had. Right then, Olivia knew what was wrong with her. She may not have been able to prevent Michael's fate, but she could prevent the fates of her teammates, just like Troy did for her. They were her family, whether she liked it or not. They needed her. Even more, she needed them, too.
"Who was that man?" Olivia asked, sitting up slowly and turning to look at Aria. Her feet dangled off the edge of the bed.
Still no answer. She hadn't thought Olivia would avoid her questions, but maybe she was wrong. Maybe Olivia didn't want to tell her, couldn't tell her. Maybe something had happened strictly between the two of them. Maybe this was a secret best kept.
She nodded curtly at the change of subject. This was the grand question. Who was the man with the eyes and the hands? Rudyard had given the slightest bit of information, but it told her nothing. He was Lynden's son, but he had been missing for five years. Whatever had happened to him in those lost years were the things that shaped hom. Until they knew what had happened, they didn't know who he was.
Aria shook her head, leaning against the foot of Troy's bed. "I don't know, I don't think Rudyard really does either. Clearly someone stronger than us, smarter too. He knew us," she admitted. "He knew what to say and do and how we'd react." She shifter he feet, scowling gently. "I don't know who he's working for, but they know a lot more about us than we know of them." Aria had replied as best she could, but the question remained unanswered.
Jack recognized the three older students, because she had to. She knew their faces, their names, their talents, strengths, and one or two weaknesses, where applicable. But for all the intellectual information, she'd never spoken to a one of them before. She wasn't shy, really, but these three, in particular, seemed rather...aloof. Olivia in a quiet, almost coldly calculating way. Aria was more reserved. She was lying, keeping something from her teammates, something big. And Troy. He was cute, he had that going for him. And he liked girls. A lot. He kept his chauvinism about him like a cloak, shielding him from the world, making someone pudgy and awkward as Jack practically a foreigner to him. She didn't mind that much. She was just concerned he wouldn't listen to her and die or something like that.
Then again, she'd handed off what information about the masque she could find, and it seemed it hadn't helped any of them at all. They were awake and coherent, but injured, and badly, by the looks of it. Jack ignored the sudden weight of guilt in her gut and gently rapped her knuckles against the door.
"Um....hi," she said after a moment. "I'm just looking for Peter, so...uh...better luck next time? Get well soon. Imagine I have, like, balloons and flowers and little stuffed bears, okay? Just think of it as an IOU."
Last edited by DotCom; 12-08-2012 at 01:52 AM.
Olivia nodded at Aria. She knew more than Olivia did, at least, though the information was scarce. No matter. That would come. Right then, everyone just needed to recoup. Olivia stood, walking over to Troy's bed and stroking his hair. He looked so weak and confused, nothing like the chauvinistic young man that she was familiar with. She had difficulty ditesting him when he looked like that, especially after what he had done for her. She watched him for a moment, realizing that though his eyes were open, he was not entirely with them. Her head pounded, but she wouldn't lie back down.
"What hurts?" she asked him instead. She was certain that she knew what the answer would be. She had seen the blood dripping into his face. She had felt the gape in the back of his head. She wondered about whether he had cracked the skull, but looking around she saw no nurse. The woman must have stepped out for some reason. Some help she was. What Olivia did see was Jack sauntering into the room.
Troy hadn't yet responded to her when Jack said, "I'm just looking for Peter, so...uh...better luck next time? Get well soon. Imagine I have, like, balloons and flowers and little stuffed bears, okay? Just think of it as an IOU." It was well-meant, but very awkward, just like most of the exchanges that the team had. Right then and there, though, it seemed completely ridiculous that Jack would have to have been awkward with them. In the right state of mind, Olivia would have understood and probably would have acted the same. She wasn't in the right state of mind, though. She giggled, and the giggle turned into a laugh. The laugh became uproarous, and Olivia's head split with pain. She couldn't stop laughing, though. She couldn't remember the last time she had laughed.