“What did you need to talk to about?” Katelyn asked, sitting down. Alexa, Yuni and Alena had been waiting for her in the commons area.
“I asked you all to come because I’m worried about Sirvanna,” Yuni said. “She’s been… weird lately.”
“I wonder what could be causing that,” Katelyn said. “Could it be her sleeping beauty?”
“I’d be more worried if she was acting normal,” Alexa admitted. “At least we know she’s trying to cope.”
“Doesn’t it worry you?” Yuni asked. “She moves around like a zombie and barely eats. She spends all her time in the medical ward.”
“Yuni,” Alena said. “It’s normal for someone with a critically injured loved one to react like that.”
“Right,” Alexa said. “Remember how you were when Alena got shot?”
“If that was all you wanted to talk about I’m going to head out,” Katelyn said.
“I just think we should do something,” Yuni said. “Find a way to help her.”
“The only thing that’s going to help her is Ines recovering,” Alexa said.
“You could always try wearing an Ines mask and offering yourself as a substitute,” Katelyn said.
“Not funny,” Alena said.
“Oh,” Yuni breathed a sigh of relief. “It was a joke. I was worried for a second.” She turned to Katelyn. “This isn’t a time to joke. We have a serious problem.”
“Yeah, yeah,” Katelyn said. “What can I say? I’m a bit pent up. Sometimes it seems like I’m the only girl around without a girlfriend.”
“I’ll be your girlfriend,” Blair said. Everyone turned to look at her.
“You’re a bit young,” Katelyn said.
“Do you even know what that entails?” Alexa asked.
“Sure I do,” Blair said. “You go fun places and feed each other at meals and at night you cuddle up to keep warm.”
“Close enough,” Katelyn said. “You’re still way too young.”
“Nuts,” Blair said.
They waited until she’d gone before resuming their conversation.
“Katelyn’s hormones aside,” Alexa said. “There’s just nothing we can do except wait.”
“Maybe there is,” Alena said. “Follow me, I have an idea.”
Sirvanna sat by Ines’ side. She was so still, so quiet. It was nerve-wracking. Sirvanna gently brushed some stray hairs out of Ines’ face.
“Why do you always have to spoil thing?” she asked. “You’ve been like that since we met. First, I wanted a professional team but you had to be so damn energetic and flirtatious. So I thought, okay, I’ll be professional. But no. You just kept… being you. How could I not fall in love with you? But I was determined, maybe stubborn is a better word.” Sirvanna rubbed her forehead and stared at Ines for a moment. “So I decided not to let you know, ever. Then you got captured and I couldn’t hold back anymore. But that was okay, because I was happier than I’d ever been after we got together. So I made a new plan. We’d get through this war together. Get a nice apartment and live together with two dogs. Not the little yappy ones but a couple large mutts. Anyway, we were going to spend a couple years happily and then I was going to buy you a ring and ask you to marry me.” Sirvanna wiped some tears from her eyes. “Stupid, huh? I know, you think that marriage is outdated. But I’m kind of sentimental. You’d point that out but still say yes. We’d have a small ceremony with friends and family. It was going to be beautiful.” She grasped Ines’ hand. “So please, wake up. Call me sentimental. Call me foolish even. Spoil my plans for the future. Take me by surprise. Just…” Tears were flooding from Sirvanna’s eyes. “Just stay by my side. B… bec…”
Sirvanna paused and let herself cry. She didn’t keep track of how long it took her to compose herself. “Because I don’t know if I can live without you,” she finished.
What do you want?
“You’re the psychic,” Katelyn said. “You tell us.”
“What Katelyn means,” Yuni said “Is that we need a favour.”
“Alena, you should explain,” Yuni said.
Alena stepped forward. “Could you project our minds into Ines?”
“We might be able to guide her awake,” Yuni said, bouncing slightly.
It’s not a bad idea, but it won’t work.
“Bu…” Yuni began.
“Can you explain why not?” Alena asked.
“Yeah,” Alexa said. “How do you know without trying?”
“I think her crystal ball needs a tune up,” Katelyn said.
Calm down! All of you. Naoko waited until there was absolute silence before continuing. I know it won’t work because Sirvanna already tried. Naoko looked them all over. If her mind couldn’t reach Ines, yours aren’t going to manage.
“I see,” Alena said.
“But still,” Yuni said. “Maybe all of us together…” Alena’s hand squeezed her shoulder.
“If anyone’s feelings could reach her,” Alena said “Sirvanna’s would.”
They left the office, feeling dejected.