Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Day Six-Thirty-Three: Besties

Thank the gods. We're back on the road again. That took less time than anticipated, considering... considering we're down a few people.

And I've been distracted.

And... yeah.

Dragomir has isolated himself in his mind, but I haven't allowed his body to go unguarded. He's been curled up in a ball almost non-stop for the last three days, and I've made sure someone's been there to watch over him constantly. If it's not me, it's Fynn. Or Grylock. Or Logan. Or Mitch, the surly peasant who only came along to see the world for free. I'm not stupid, Mitch, I know what you're on about.

When I'm not watching over Dragomir... which, admittedly, I do a lot... I've been working. There's been almost no time to sit back and really consider what happened last week. Grayson flipped our heads upside-down, and we're very lucky that we didn't kill one another while we were rampaging around the Dauphine. Very, very lucky.

I noticed that he made me draw pictures of him on the walls in Engineering. The two of us, in fact. Holding hands. They were the first signs of damage to go.

And, truth be told, I still don't have the time to really consider what happened. No one does. Shit goes down, we deal with it, we move on. We can't pause our progress to get down to the nitty-gritty, because the longer we stall out here, the worse things are probably getting back home in Pubton. We've passed a fair number of Imperium army battalions going the opposite direction, and Daena assures me that's not normal.

Daena. Oh, Daena. I wish you could've helped me more.

After the Dauphine's engine sputtered back to life and we set out again, my first inclination was to visit Daena. We haven't had much time to talk since Logan rejoined the fold (and his... girlfriend...? She's kind of a snob), and I wanted to chat with my bestie. Girl to girl.

Bestie. Eugh. I feel gross writing that. It's what she is, though. She's my bestie.

She pulled me into a hug when I walked up, despite being engaged in steering the Dauphine. She handed the steering wheel off to Plato, which, honestly, I thought was a little gutsy. That damned duck nearly got his killed the last time he drove the Dauphine. I like him, but I don't necessarily trust him.

"Hey," she said, hugging fiercely. "How is he?"

I drooped. Already? You couldn't have asked about the weather or Engineering or my crappy hairdo first? "He's... fine. He's fine. Really."

She studied my face.

Deep breath. "Well, fuck, no, of course he ain't fine. One of his friends... our friends... just died. You don't get over it as quick as that."

"Yeah." She let me pull away a little. Only a little. "I heard... um... I heard a rumour, about... well..."

"Grayson made him do it." Deadpan. I kept my rage and my sadness to myself on the subject.

"Oh." Another hug, much fiercer. "I'm so sorry. I... I know the feeling, of... a son, who's... well... erm..."

I tried not to be angry. "You don't really know, Daena. Trust me, y'don't."

"No, I suppose I don't. Empathy's tricky like that."

We chatted for a while, changing the subject a dozen times. Her husband. Her kids. Logan in particular. Nagi, the half-snake half-human all-prig. The weather. The geography. The Dauphine's handling. Baking tips, mainly from my end, mainly about pies. Edmund. In short, full circle.

"I don't know what to do, Daena, I really don't." I was sitting against her tree, cradling my head against a pounding headache. "This shit's complicated. He's been depressed before, but... doesn't matter if I kiss him or beat the crap out of him -"

"You shouldn't do that, you know."

"But it works! It... it usually works!" I threw my hands up, burying my forehead in my knees. "I wouldn't beat him up if he didn't... kinda... like it. Respond to it."

"You make him sound like a sadomasochist."

"I dunno what that is. Better ya not tell me."


"He won't respond, though." More headache. More pain. "He just sits there. Mumbles, sometimes. In these weird rhymes. Doesn't matter what I say, he won't say anything back. He's... I'm worried..."


"He's just... when I manage to pry his arms away from his head, he's always got this desperate look in his eye, like..."

I knew Daena, of all people, would understand. Look who she's married to. "You mean..."

"Yeah." I shuddered. "Like that."


So that's why someone's always watching him.


Libby the Mechanic