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As One

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Jenna’s pissed and kinda jealous, after a few days, to find out Isaac and Garet have been doing perfectly fine without her: she expected them to be at each other’s throats within a week, Garet’s rash empathy clashing with Isaac’s almost cold determination; Garet mutters “well we had to save you, you know, that was more important,” and she gives in with a slightly guilty huff and snuggles between them, doing her best not to show how touched she is by his happy grin and Isaac’s head on her shoulder.

“I don’t need Psynergy to know what you’re thinking, you know~, it’s sooo obviously all over your face,” and she expects him to protest because okay to be fair he’s not that transparent unless you’re as good at reading people as she is, but he just gives her a serene smile: “Is that a bad thing?”

Ivan has always thristed for knowledge, has read every book in Hammet’s library and still come out hungry (accounting occupies the brain, but not quite in the way he wants); when he finally meets the fabled Kraden his friends have been talking about, he understands how Garet can be so sharp despite his simple looks, why Isaac’s silent mind is surprisingly good at solving riddles just by standing in their center; most of all, he comes to understand that his quest for knowledge doesn’t have to come at the cost of empathy, and that is probably what finally gives him the push, makes him want to use his mind to build for people’s sakes.

Sometimes, she finds Felix curled up in his cabin (she’s always the first one to notice he’s gone, before Piers, too busy keeping them afloat, before Jenna, constantly surrounded by her friends); they don’t talk about it, but she knows every moment spent sitting on him to keep him in place, every time she zaps him is precious relief to him, and if the others notice that she sometimes spends several days ordering him around, they don’t mention it.

“H-how do you stand around with so little clothing in that cold?” she asks, outraged by this blatant disregard of rules, and Mia just smiles and wraps her arms around her (this would work better if Mia’s body temperature was higher).

Felix has changed, in three years, and Isaac isn’t sure how, or how to bridge the gap between them, no matter how much he still cares about his friend; in the end, he decides to just treat him like an adult, like an ally, and is glad to see Felix stand tall and gain confidence again with time; maybe he’ll get to see him smile again someday.

He lies down with her in the silence of his cabin, and tells her all the things their parents said they would do when they finally saw her again.

It feels kinda cheap, sometimes, to let Ivan read his mind instead of saying the things he wants to say: he’s never been good with words, but that’s exactly why he should be making the effort, right? but Ivan smiles when he does, and maybe letting Ivan know how much he trusts him is more important right now.

Piers isn’t sure how Felix can both be so young and sometimes feel so old; it’s a subtle thing in the way he handles hardships like a core part of him can’t be reached and hurt anymore, but when he’s the one dealing with grief, Felix proves, again and again, that he’s still ready to reach out anyway.

"I apologise,” she says, and though they haven’t talked much, he accepts her empathy, and lets her share her own bitterness; “he really is adept at leaving people behind.”