Chapter 15: Storm

The hospital bay on the Sandman was pretty damn impressive. It was entire floor dedicated to housing injured men and women, and their doctors. Surprisingly, a lot of people without any training had wanted to join up with Shade. Their position up in the skies made it sort of difficult to properly train anyone, so anyone with any skills like cooking or cleaning were put to work doing that. It wasn’t much, but they felt like they were helping. Of course, this also meant we had an entire medical staff, which mostly took care of injuries that occurred aboard the ship and sick soldiers. Every now and then, they’d work with Walter’s men after they came back from a particularly dangerous task. Of course, we had Miracle. But the rest of them didn’t, so about half of this floor on the Sandman was covered in curtained off sections for hospital beds, and the almost ever-present beeping of heart-rate monitors. We were normally kept very close to the door, so no-one could see us leaving or entering. Walter really didn’t want it getting out that there were Superhumans aboard his ship. I pushed myself up in the bed, and took a look at myself. All in all, I was alright. No new scars, or anything like that. In fact, where I’d been stabbed, there was nothing. My suit was lying down in a pile next to my bed, and I hurried to pull it on. My helmet wasn’t there, of course, but this would do. My leg stung a little as I stood up, but I wasn’t concerned with that. What I was more concerned with was what had happened to my team. From what I had seen, that explosion had been pretty nasty. I pulled back the curtain, and was greeted by a very startled looking Miracle.
“You aren’t supposed to be up yet,” She whispered. Like that was something I would’ve known.
“You shouldn’t be so bossy,” I said, and she blushed.
“Sorry,” She said. Whoa, what was this? Miracle was apologizing for something?
“Don’t worry about it. How is everybody?” I asked, and she hung her head.
“Not so great. I was actually just heading over to check on Thunderbolt, seeing as you’re doing just dandy, apparently,” She grinned at me, and poked me in the chest.
“Don’t say dandy. It sounds weird,” I said, and she smiled.
“Fine then, let’s go,” The two of us walked into the room next to my own. Thunderbolt was lying in her bed, and had the blankets pulled up to her chin. She looked like she was hiding from the world, or at least trying to. Whatever had happened wasn’t good then. Miracle pulled off her blindfold, and ran over to hug her sister, who pulled the covers up around her shoulders as she did so. Ah, shit. I walked out behind the curtain, and waited for a moment. Miracle gave me the okay to come back. She’d hastily donned her suit, which was still caked in mud and ash. She had little flecks of the stuff still sticking to her face as well, and she looked sad. Very sad.

“Did… did I help at all?” She asked me.
“I have no idea what you mean,” I said, and I walked over to the seat next to her bed. Her eyes followed me as I walked, and so did Miracle’s, which was incredibly creepy.
“I didn’t get in your way?” She asked. I had half the mind to laugh.
“Why would you think that? You did break the guy’s jaw a few times, after all,” I smiled at her, but she just looked down at her blankets.
“But he hit you. Because I didn’t move,” She said. That was true.
“Well, I had two options in that situation. Shove you like I did, or let him kill you. I’ll spare you the details, but If you had moved, I think the fight would’ve gone a lot differently. And I don’t mean good,” I said, and she at least lifted her head.
“What, so you wanted to get hit?” I heard a man ask from behind me.
“No, General Schmidt. It was simply my intention. If I may, it hurt like hell. But it worked,” He pulled a chair from across the room to sit beside me, and Miracle did the same.
“And you have my gratitude for that. But I’m still curious as to how we got out. May told me that when the military surrounded you all, you were the one to get them out. She didn’t say how though, other than a command you seemed to yell,” Oh yeah. I had done that.
“Blink. He’s a buddy of mine. Useful in tight situations like that,” I smiled, and Walter glared at me.
“And why don’t I know about him?” He asked. He could go from friendly to commanding in a split second, and when he was commanding, oh boy.
“Because. He’s not someone you could use,” I said, and Walter glared at me.
“And who are you to decide that?” He said. He was right there, but I wasn’t wrong.
“I’ll give you a full briefing on him later then, and prove my point. For now, I’ll be checking up on my team. I assume you’ll be doing the same with your men?” I asked, and he grinned. He stood up, and walked out without saying another word.
“Edward. That was really rude,” May said. Atlantis, or rather, Lake walked in after that.
“I know it was rude. That’s why I said it. Do you even remember how he and I used to talk to each other?” I said, and the twins laughed.
“From what I recall the moment you got on this ship you and Walter were at odds,” Lake said. That was a little disheartening. I was curious if he knew.
“Oh long before that. We used to get argue about some of the stupidest things, me and him. Of course, everyone else thought it was doubly stupid that a man like him would bother arguing with a kid,” The twins laughed again, and I was struck by one of the many arguments Walter and I had had on some dumb physics topic. Lake still looked confused. So I guess he didn’t know. Riley shifted awkwardly in her bed, and May stood up, worried that her sister was still in pain, or still injured. I looked Riley in the eyes, and she smiled at me.

“So it hurts pretty badly then. Where?” I asked, and Riley stared wide-eyed at me.
“Don’t be so surprised,” I said, and I stood up. I put my hands on her shoulders, and helped her come around so that she was sitting on the edge of the bed. When I pulled my hands away, it looked as if she was sitting a little bit more comfortably. So it was her shoulder then. Let’s see, what could be the problem there? I wandered around her, looking her over from every angle, to see what was wrong.
There was a small patch on her left shoulder. It was oddly colored compared to the rest of the suit, and I’d definitely touched it. It looked like it was charred. I sat down next to Riley, and gently placed my hand on the miscolored section of suit.
“It’s here, right?” I asked, and she nodded. It extended up to the collar of her suit.
“Right. You’re going to have to get May to fix the burns, and then you’ll need to get that replaced,” I said, and May dropped the tray of bandages and instruments she’d picked up.
“How do you know she’s burned?” May asked.
“Because of the severe heat damage to the armor. It feels like it’s made of stone, and it’s pretty badly charred. That only happens when the suit is subjected to around two to three hundred degrees. Normally, it can take the heat, but a direct blast exceeding that temperature can do some pretty nasty stuff to the suit, and to the skin,” I said, and Lake gawked at me.
“And how the hell do you know that?” He asked.
“I hit a suit with a flamethrower once. It was fun,” I said, and he looked like he was about to punch me. May ushered the two of us out before he could hit me and we went our separate ways. I thought it was probably a good time to go back to my room. Iris wouldn’t want me to go in and ask her how she was doing, she’d think I was trying to suffocate her with my presence.

*

The next day wasn’t all that eventful. After the Streamline operation, we spent our time resting. I had had a surprising influence on the team after it all. Penelope was excited that I’d managed to take down Pyrus after he’d caused an explosion, and was very curious as to how I’d done it. I didn’t mention the fact that Iris may have indirectly caused his hand to explode, but I did give her most of the credit. I could tell Penelope was upset because she hadn’t managed to stop him before he’d done that, and there was nothing I could say that would change that fact. If she wanted to blame herself, she could. It wasn’t going to be good for her, but I couldn’t help that fact. Iris was keeping her distance, go figure, and I intended to talk to her about what had happened, but she needed space as well.

Lake was understandably ecstatic about the entire thing. He’d helped take down his brother’s killer, after all, and three hundred other brutal gang members. I still had no idea how accurate that number was, but from the waves of them that just kept coming, it had certainly felt like it. The word going around was that. After the military had arrived, all of Streamline’s men had been captured. Apparently, the only casualties were the brutes I’d fought, which was incredible. I couldn’t help but wonder what the military intended to do with them though, after all, that was a lot of men, and, well, Streamline. The fact that he hadn’t died wasn’t something I was going to complain about, but the fact that he was potentially still a threat was. I definitely did not want the military to have the kind of power a brute possessed, especially seeing as I might end up fighting them one day.

I took a seat at the Doughnut with the rest of the team, and the general feeling of the room seemed much happier than it had previously been. Everyone was smiling and talking amongst themselves, so I switched my attention to the television behind us, and flicked around for a moment. There was this shitty sitcom rerun playing on one channel, some mediocre 3D cartoon playing on another, and a hodgepodge of terrible reality TV shows. I finally flipped over to the news, and of course, we were all that was being talked about.

“The president has released an official account of what occurred in the colloquially known Ashes last night. According to this account, the group of ‘Superheroes’ that have been operating in Meridiam over the past few months were involved in an altercation with the well-known Streamline gang. Two gang members were killed in the altercation. The source of the explosions seen in the Ashes are still unknown, but it is likely that this was a result of the altercation. The military also reportedly moved in to apprehend those responsible, but were unable to take the powered individuals into custody. President Harrison himself is currently looking into what occurred,” The news report cut to some overhead footage of my fight with Streamline, and it blacked out after I took the punch for Thunderbolt. It came back on a few seconds later, when I kicked Streamline in the face.
“This gigantic man is supposedly one of the members of Streamline, and was engaged in a fight with Skyfire, and a still unidentified blonde,” I muted the news, and turned to look at the team. Half of them had been taken out by the explosion, so seeing me fighting Streamline was new for them.
“Is that asshole dead?” Lake asked. He looked seriously fucking angry.
“No. But Riley and I broke his jaw several times,” Lake slid down in his seat. He was pretty annoyed that Streamline had managed to get the better of him, I suppose.

Riley walked in, and took a seat next to me, sitting between May and I. She looked worried, but she also looked like she was happy we were all alright.
“Walter told me what’s going to happen next,” She said, and took all of the room’s attention from me. He’d made it out of that fight okay. Tired from using his powers, but alright all the same.
“We’re going to look into Alphonse Harrison, and possibly,” She stopped, and looked at Penelope and Alan. They were the most likely to be set off by what she said next. They were his kids after all, but he had some really nasty rumors spread about him, and some of the worst had come from Alan. He used to have another younger sister. Her name was Cindy.
“Arrest or kill him. That’s what he deserves,” Alan said. The spite was very evident in his voice, and he sounded like he was ready to do the work himself. He had been exposing his father for a long time now, and he seemed to have an incredibly accurate knowledge of his plans. He’d told the online community that his father was going to warn France of war almost a week before he had. Actually…
“Alan. What do you think he’d want with Streamline?” I asked, and Alan frowned. He looked pretty damn focused for a split second, and snapped his fingers when a realization struck him.
“He’s a human weapon. I doubt that my father will risk weakening the army once he discovers the risks of Streamline using his powers on others, but one brute could be just as strong as any number of soldiers. We haven’t even seen the upper limits of his powers,” he said. That was a scary thought.
“We can’t let that happen,” Alan agreed, and so did the rest of the team. Anyone with a scrap of intelligence knew that the supposed war with France was nuts. They were a far stronger military power than we were, and had gained their dominion over so many countries in the empire through that strength. There was no way in hell we could win against them, but with Superhumans in the mix, that changed things up.
“Let’s move off that for now. That’s in the future. I’m more worried about how everyone’s doing after that fight. That can’t have been easy for anyone,” Alan rubbed his forehead where he’d been cut, and Iris massaged her cheek. She’d been burned by Pyrus when he made that explosion, like Riley had, but May had been able to fix her up pretty quickly, so she wasn’t left with any sort of scar.  The rest of the team had mainly just been left with a few scrapes and bruises, but I was slightly more concerned with the mental toll, especially after what Rumble had done. Riley grabbed onto my arm, and rolled up my sleeve, to get a look at where I’d been stabbed.
“How did you do that?” she asked. I was honestly a little weirded out by the fact that she was just grabbing onto my arm, but no-one else seemed to care, so I thought I’d explain.
“You know how I can heal myself?” I asked, and she nodded.
“I thought it would trigger if I got too badly injured. I just didn’t think it would do what it did. Like you said during the fight, I assumed it would fade,” I said, and May glared at me.
“You’re damn lucky it worked the way it did. You put yourself under so much stress in that fight that you passed out the moment we were away from it. You know, you’re heavier than you look,” She pouted at me, but it seemed more playful than anything she’d done in the past. I guess she was finally warming up to me. I was still a little bit worried about how she’d had to handle everything with the soldiers, after coming back with six of us unconscious and the General. That couldn’t have been a fun conversation to have.

“How did we get out of there anyway?” Penelope asked. I should’ve realised I wouldn’t just have to explain to Walter. He knew how it had all happened now, but bloody hell. I really didn’t want to explain Blink.
“We teleported,” I said, and before anyone could say another word, thunder echoed around us. Riley bolted onto her feet, and as another thunderclap filled the room, she ran out. I guess adrenaline really had been all that was carrying her through that fight. May stood up to try and follow her sister out, but she’d moved pretty damn fast, and as soon as May was at the door, Riley wasn’t in the corridor anymore. I got up out of my seat as well, and Lake followed suit. The three of us moved out into the corridor, and started searching for Riley. We all knew how she could get when she got scared, and with powers as part of the equation, I was worried. What if she accidentally let off some lightning, and fried the door? She would be trapped, and that wouldn’t do her any good, or us. Lake and I wandered into the diner together, and he started looking in the booths, while I moved behind the counter.

“Spill it, stickman. What do you know that I don’t?” He said. I didn’t know what he was referring to. I probably had a far better understanding of quantum physics than he did, but I severely doubted he was asking me a question about that.
“About what?” I asked, and he stood up to glare at me as I bent over. I was crouched down on the ground, just trying to think. I’d come in here the last time she’d been nervous, and the place had been torn to pieces. But then again, she had been searching.
“The twins. Why does it feel like they’re hiding something from me?” He was a good friend of theirs, although I was still pretty unsure what kind of friend. It made sense that he worried about that.
“Well, I don’t know what they’ve told you, but we were pretty good friends, oh, almost four years ago. They kind of up and disappeared without saying a word,” He laughed, and I almost zapped him. Almost.
“Seriously? Why on earth would they do that?” He said. He probably knew them pretty damn well, and had a few more years on me, but that didn’t mean he knew everything.
“Their father was scared, probably. My father was murdered, so, yeah,” I said, and the sound of his footsteps as he tried to sneak up behind me suddenly ceased.
“Damn. I mean, I’ve never met the guy, but that sounds cold,” Lake said. I came very close to laughing, but this was a serious topic.
“Just don’t say I was the one that told you this, but Walter’s a fantastic liar. What I said yesterday, in the med bay. I’ve known Walter for so long because he’s their father,” I said, and Lake took a seat behind me.
“But his last name is Schmidt,” He argued.
“Like I said. Liar,” Lake still looked confused.
“Why would he hide that though? That doesn’t make sense,” He said.
“Yes it does, when you consider that his wife is a military contractor on occasion,” I said, and stood up. Riley obviously wasn’t in here. Lake stood up, and followed me.
“So how did you meet them then?” He asked. It was a good question for another time. My childhood had been weird enough as it was, adding in the complications of Riley’s family and my adoptive family wasn’t exactly a good idea.
“Let’s go with business for now. How’d you meet them?” I asked, and he grinned. We walked out into the corridor, and headed further down. It looked like May was coming from the other end, and she was wearing a severely worried look on her face.
“Way back before they headed off to that all-girls school, we were classmates. Typical school ground friendship. Of course, because we were so young at the time, there were always the dumb rumors that I was in love with one of them, and rumors that I was only friends with them because my family wanted to meet some celebrities. None of it was true of course, I remember May saying it was because I was the only guy that didn’t make a big deal out of them. We stayed in touch once they left that school, but we didn’t actually see each other again until we were thirteen. The first thing that May said to me was something about how I was shorter than she expected,” May walked up to us when she heard that, and stared at the two of us. Maybe she was happy that we were past Lake’s joking side, but she seemed a little less worried when she heard us talking.
“It’s probably because of that monstrosity,” She said and pointed at me. Lake laughed, and May smiled at me. It still weirded me out that she could know that stuff when she couldn’t see. The three of us walked over to the last place to look, Riley’s room, and when May knocked on her door and no-one responded, we knew she was in there. I thought I’d try my hand at getting in.

I pressed my hand against the cool metal surface, taking in the brilliant engineering that had gone into its creation. The door was a solid sheet of steel held in place by two powerful clamps and a computer system that controlled the position of the door through a system of gears. As such, it was incredibly hard to force open, because you needed a magnetic key card and a password, or just a simple set of finger prints. Not even Walter could override the controls to our personal quarters, seeing as he technically wasn’t in charge of us, and I hadn’t been given an override code for obvious reasons.
“Stand back stickman, I’ll bust it down,” Lake said, stepping back to get a run up. I half considered letting him try.
“You can’t knock this door open, Lake,” May said. She probably didn’t want to deal with him breaking his arm. I knocked on the door, hoping to get a response. Nothing. A flash of lightning lit up the room, and I heard a soft whimper from the other side of the door.
“Move away from the door,” I said, and May and Lake backed up. I pressed both of my hands against it.
“What are you going to do?” May asked.
“This,” I pumped electricity out of my hands and into the door, tendrils arcing around wildly. Suddenly the door flew open, and I fell inside, just as the door slammed shut behind me.

Inside, the lights were out, but I could make out what was inside pretty clearly. There was a bed underneath the window, with a nightstand on either side. One was covered in books, roughly tossed onto it as Riley was done with them, and the other simply had a lamp and a photo frame on it. I searched the wall blindly for the light-switch, and when I found it and flipped it, the room looked a lot different. One of the walls was covered in photos of Riley and her friends, her family and some members of the team. Somehow, I didn’t realize I’d seen some of these people before. Lake appeared in a couple of photos, ones at places I remembered also being with the twins. Penelope turned up in one, what looked like a class photo from the private school Riley had gone to. It was dated roughly three years ago. Riley had dropped contact with me almost four years ago. I walked over to her bed, and picked up the photo from her cabinet. Goddamn, this photo took me back. It was taken at a party, well a dinner, my father had held celebrating his forty-fourth.  It was a one of a kind picture, Riley, May, Iris and I all together and happy. We were all twelve at the time and I was probably going on thirteen if I remember correctly. Dad had had to hold the party two months in advance because of his busy schedule, and so it had ended up closer to my birthday. The four of us had jokingly called it my party, and spent the entire night talking about how uncomfortable we were in the formal getup. My dad never made it to forty-four. Three weeks later, Iris was my sister, and the twins had apparently disappeared off the face of the earth, and now the four-year anniversary of that was inching ever closer. Another flash filled the room, and the window shook as the thunder rolled through it.

“I remember now. You told me about Lake before, you called him Mr Flamboyant,” Riley moved from her position in the corner to look at me. She hadn’t realized I was the one who came in.
“That was one time,” she whispered. I walked over to her, and sat down next to her.
“True. But you never called him by name when you talked to me about him. Mr Flamboyant was just the one that stuck out the most,” I smiled at her, trying to cheer her up. I showed her the photo in my hand.
“Look. It’s gross, thirteen-year-old me,” she giggled, and took the photo from me.
“This is the only photo I have of us. So many memories, but just the one photo. That’s why it’s in the frame. We’ve known each other how long, Eddie?” She asked. I even let slide the fact that she called me Eddie.
“Sixteen years. Supposedly, we met when I was eight months old. Mom and Dad took me over to meet you when you guys were like a month old. It’s a cute story, but it changed every time your mother told it,” she laughed.
“Yeah,” she sat back against the wall, relaxing a little. I moved so I was sat next to her. She rested her hand on mine, and I paid little attention to it. She done it before, she would grab the nearest person’s hand when she was scared.

*

I walked into my father’s office expecting to hear that he needed to do some work while the party was going on, I expected everything to fall to pieces with him. After mom disappeared, he hadn’t been very organised. I knocked on the carved wooden door, and surprisingly, he opened it.
“Edward Lucas, I thought I told you to wear a tie?” He grinned, walking me into his office. On his desk was a strange sight. Instead of the usual scraps of paper and notebooks strewn all over it, there were two boxes, both quite small. He picked one up, and brought it over to me.
“This is one of the ties I brought down before I chose which one to wear,” It was bright green, so I could see why he had chosen to not wear it, but why I had to, no-one could possibly fathom.
“And this,” He picked up the other box from his desk, “Is a watch your mother gave me,” he strapped it onto my wrist. He carefully did up the tie, and pushed me out the door, sending me to the party he was meant to be attending.

Walking through the halls was a weird experience. We’d been given this house in order to maintain Dad’s lab down in the basement, and so every day when I woke up to go to school, scientists were coming into my house for work. I’d been in the lab a few times, but there were still big portions I’d never seen, and a good deal of the house was kept empty. It was useful when dad wanted to throw parties like this, but most of the time this place was just guest rooms and other living rooms so that workers who needed to stay here didn’t impose on our living space. Frankly, it could be quite depressing, and I preferred visiting friends to staying in my own home.

I was brought out of my thoughts when I walked into someone.
“Sorry about that. Guess I was just a little distracted,” I said, standing.
“Seems you still are,” May said.
“May! Hey, it’s good to see you,” she smiled. Riley was standing behind her, obviously shy about the dress she was wearing.
“Good to see you too, Riley,” she tried to smile but her nerves were still getting the better of her.
“Edward!” I heard a shout come from across the room.
“Hey Iris! Come on over,” I waved her over, and the moment she saw us she laughed.
“Oh my god Ed, you and Riley match,” I didn’t initially realize what she was talking about, but then it dawned on me. Her dress and my tie were the same color.
“I don’t see what’s so funny about my tie being the same color as her dress,” Iris just kept laughing, and we all spent the rest of the night together, until I the party died down, and I was once again alone.

*

“Edward, can I tell you a secret?” Riley asked as she clutched my hand.
“I don’t know. Can I tell you one?” I told her, and she smiled.
“You first,” she was nervous, as usual. I didn’t really care if I went first so, with a shrug, I agreed.
“When you guys picked me up, that was about a week after the Incident that created the Ashes. I wasn’t in a great place, one of my friends had lost his brother, and it reminded of Dad,” Riley squeezed my hand tighter.
“That makes what I wanted to say seem kind of silly,” I smiled at her. I didn’t know what to say. It wasn’t the whole truth, and so many more people had died. I guess I just wasn’t prepared to talk about the fact that I had been there, when the first of the bombs went off.
“I had a crush on you, back then,” I felt a sudden heat rush into my face.
“Just back then?” I asked, and a sudden redness filled her face.
“Oh, yeah. Just back then. Not anymore,” she seemed flustered. I stood up and walked over to the wall of photos, waiting as she placed the photo frame back on her bedside table.
“You should tell me about some of these, now that the storm’s over,” I saw her glance out the window to confirm what I was saying. The dark clouds still loomed, but the rain and thunder had stopped. She walked over, and started telling me about each and every one. There was one with her, May and Lake that really stuck out.

It was taken on a lookout up in the mountains. The closest one was in the Everest ranges, hundreds of kilometers away from Meridiam. It was a two to three-hour drive, if I remembered correctly. We’d gone on camping trips up there as kids, and that was how I knew the lookout. Apparently, Riley had been inspired to go up there with Lake after we’d gone, and he’d loved it. She moved over to one of her school photos, and told me all about how she’d met Penelope, and how she’d been pretty icy at first. Apparently, all of the working out she did was a relatively new thing, and like I had been, Alan had been more of a bookworm than an athlete. Hearing her gush about the photos she had was interesting, and I fell into a trance as she spoke. She sounded so enthusiastic, so happy. She sounded like each individual memory inspired wonder and awe in her. It was like she was saying, ‘Look at all these cool things I did! How did I manage to do that?’ In all honesty, it was kind of cute? I didn’t really know what to think. What she’d said, that kind of messed with my head. I didn’t know how I was supposed to react to that, and just like back before we fought Rumble, I think she was glad I changed the topic. She grabbed a photo off of the wall, and thrust it into my face.
“Look at this one. May and I said what we really wanted for our birthday was for all of our friends to be there. Well, Lake didn’t turn up. His brother had just died, so we understood it, but the fact that you and Iris hadn’t been there… May will never admit it but if you look closely, you can see for yourself,” I looked at May in the photo. Her eyes were cloudy, but very faintly I could make out what Riley was trying to point out. They were ever so slightly red.
“She was crying,” I said, and Riley nodded.
“Neither of us wanted to leave, but we didn’t really get a choice. Dad never even told us why,” She said. Although she was smiling, she still looked like she needed a hug, so I decided to change the subject a little.
“Do you know why May disliked me so much when I arrived? I mean, I attributed it to the fact that I changed up how everything worked around here when I did, but the fact that she cried, it seems like it was more than just that,” I asked, and Riley smiled.
“I don’t know the whole story, but I think it’s because you weren’t the person she was expecting. You seemed pretty gloomy, and angry. You were in police custody and acting like that, so she got it in her head that you’d turned out to be some kind of crook,” She stopped, and turned her gentle smile to me, instead of the wall, where it had lingered as we talked.
“I think they preferred escort,” I said, and she giggled. Why did that sound so cute?
“Well, no matter what it was, that’s the idea she got. I don’t know, maybe she put some blame on herself for not being there? I definitely did,” Her smile seemed to be a little weaker when she said that.
“There’s no reason to blame yourself because I was an asshole. That was my decision. That was how I chose to deal with myself,” I said, and Riley grinned.
“Well, since you’re the one saying it,” She shrugged, and gently punched me in the shoulder.
“You’re better now, though,” She said, and walked over to the door with me. She opened it, and jumped when she saw Lake and May standing outside her room.
“We’re you two eavesdropping on me?” She said, and sounded surprisingly angry. The two of them hurried to deny anything, but that didn’t change the fact that Riley had to zap them before she finally took their word for it. I checked my watch, the same watch that my father had given me all those years ago, and decided to head off to the diner. It was midday, which meant it was time to eat.