7 months earlier
Noll wished the ambulance driver had had enough sense to turn off the flashing red and white lights. It'd been annoying enough that everyone and their mother heard the wailing cries of the sirens that announced their arrival, but he had a headache and these lights were not helping.
A crowd of nosy camp-goers had begun to form on the path between the cabins and the lake, everyone trying to get a glimpse of what was happening. He could hear the whispers, the beginning of rumors. He shook his head. On the edge of the crowd, the faces of his team glowed in the periodic flashes of red and white. Monk, Ayako, John, Masako, Yasu, and Mai. His eyes lingered on her, watching her hands move adamantly as she talked. As if she could feel his stare, Mai picked that moment to turn around. Their eyes met.
He flinched. In an instant, her thoughts flitted through his brain, humming so fast he couldn't make out one thought from the other. The only word he could make out was his name ー or rather his nickname, Naru. Curiosity made him want to listen longer, to decipher what she was thinking about him, but his head throbbed.
He blinked, deciding the ground was much more interesting to look at. The second his eyes left hers, the telepathic link disconnected and he was left with silence.
It looked like he'd have to avoid all contact with the girl until they learned how to control it. Or at least until she learned how to guard her mind better. It was a skill Noll had been forced to learn at a very young age, when Gene had used his brothers' thoughts as his personal source of entertainment.
Noll pinched the bridge of his nose.
He just wanted some peace. A moment to himself to think.
He tried his best to sit still on the edge of the ambulance car as a man in blue probed him for injuries. Noll had told the man he was fine but Lin, worried for his young friend, all but forced him into the truck.
Ironically enough, Luella had then forced Lin down beside her son so she could wrap a bandage around his arm where a gash had appeared from all the chaos. Lin stayed beside Noll when his mother had left to find her husband. Which was probably why Noll had not made a break for it.
"How are you feeling?"
The paramedic chuckled, removing the blood-pressure cuff from around his arm. "Your heart rate is a little higher than normal but other than that you're just fine, Shibuya-san. I recommend a change of clothes and an aspirin for that headache."
He sighed, waving away the offered pills. "No thanks."
Once the man was gone to give his report to Luella, Noll felt Lin's hard glare studying him. He didn't bother to look back at his chaperone; he already knew what was going to be asked.
"What did you see?"
He didn't answer. He knew he could trust Lin with many things but didn't know if this could be one of them. Noll had already told Mai not to tell anyone about what had happened inside the cabin; no one needed to know until he was sure he was right.
"You bonded with her."
A cold chill slid down his spine. Had it really been that obvious? His head thrummed a little harder but he forced himself to answer. "...yes."
"I know," he said, "I know it was stupid but it just happened. I...I was dreaming about Gene and..." He thought back to the moment when Gene had smiled and turned away reaching out for something he couldn't see but felt. The electricity, the feeling of refuge. The control.
Why he could hear Mai's thoughts? It was only in spurts when they touched or looked at each other, but it was there when it hadn't been before.
And that was something only he and Gene had ever been able to do.
Not to mention ー he had used PK. He had used a lot of PK; the state of the cabin was testament to that. So why was he perched on the back of the emergency van being told he was "just fine"? He should have been lying on his death bed, not that he wanted to be.
He let out an irritated sigh. He was Oliver freaking Davis and he was determined to figure this out. But before he could put any more thought into it, Lin's voice broke his concentration.
It was deeper and almost guttural, "I've known you and Gene for a long time, Noll. I saw the effect it had on Gene, on you even, when you couldn't control it." Noll made the mistake of looking at Lin whose eyes were burning with something like hatred. "You could kill that girlー"
"I know," he breathed, head bowed. The severity of the situation had not escaped him; he'd just tried to see a way around it. But now, hearing Lin's warning, Noll couldn't ignore it. "I have to train her."
"You'd need a secluded environment with paramedics on hand. Where are you going to get that in Japan?"
The thought struck Noll only a moment before Lin said it. But now, the 'where' seemed obvious and he was just about to say so when a terrible shout caught his attention.
A man clad in a wet suit broke through the crowd. Noll recognized him instantly. It was one of the divers from the lake.
"We found something."
"That's enough for today, Oliver." Doctor Arainn says, smoothing down her grey skirt as she stands. She glances at the dark teen over her shoulder as she fidgets with something on the desk beside her. "Open your eyes."
Noll feels the painful scene slip from his mind as he focuses once again on the white ceiling. He replays the two hour session in his mind, embarrassment settling in. It's astounding to him just how much he had shared. His thoughts ー his feelings ー are things he has always kept to himself, even as a child. And to think he was now sharing them with a stranger made him feel... violated.
Arainn is oblivious to his discomfort as she hands him a glass of water, "May I ask you a question?"
"You're my therapist. " He mumbles over the brim of the glass, "Isn't it your job to ask questions?"
Arainn regards him, "Is that what you think my job is?"
Noll raises his eyebrow.
"I see your point," she laughs, "but this isn't a medical question. It's more to satisfy my own curiosity."
"The incident occurred about three months after your last few days in Japan, correct?" Noll nods. "Why did you choose that moment to start? I mean, it's a bit... in the middle of things, don't you agree?"
He shrugs, leaning back further into the couch. "For me..." he starts, grabbing for the right words, "...this is the beginning."