When I step through, Mason’s gone already, and Chen’s neck just has a dark red streak down the side, which he keeps rubbing at as they do the mini-battery. It’d be a massive surprise to me if they turned up anything after that little scuffle, but, hey, bureaucrats love their procedure. Graham’s got that glassy eyed look like they injected him with painkillers, and Nightingale’s working on him, so I guess his arm was broken, after all.
“Hey,” says an excited voice, and I turn around.
Javier winks at me, flicking one braid behind her back. “Did you grab me a jockstrap?”
“Oh, sorry, in the confusion, it looks like we forgot,” I deadpan.
She narrows her eyes and purses her lips. “What confusion? Some jerk attacked you guys and ran away. Sounds pretty straightforward to me.”
I hand her the hockey stick.
Her eyes widen as she looks at, and then she bursts out laughing.
“I did bring you a bunch of evidence,” I add.
“Okay, sure, let’s take a look at it,” she says, pulling on a pair of gloves even as I peel mine off. Mine are white. Hers are the dark bluish-black the doctors and healers are wearing, and I wonder if she’s allergic to latex, or if she just grabbed the nearest ones off the shelf in here.
“Probably have Mason’s prints on it,” I say, gesturing at hockey stick. “She wasn’t cataloguing with the rest of us; I don’t know if she was wearing gloves.”
“Mm,” Javier says, shrugging, and holding up a baggie with paint scrapings. “Damn. She was right. You can get this shit basically fucking anywhere, double that if you order online.”
“Sorry,” I tell her. At least she’ll be faster at matching exclusionary evidence than most.
“Can I tell you how disappointed I was to learn it was a dude?” she continues, “here I was, counting on some chick showing up and making things interesting, but no. Has to be some bro.”
“Why a chick?” I ask.
She shrugs, flicking her other braid behind her back. “Bring up sports, everyone’s all, oh, it’s a he, it’s always a he, that’s just the way it is. I wanted a she-fan for once in the history of athletics.”
“Well,” I say, shrugging. “He’s not really a fan.”
“She anti-fan, then,” Javier says. “Better anyway. We’ve got enough stalkers around.”
“He’s not really an anti-fan, either,” I tell her. “He is, in fact, massively boring, and the only reason I can give even half a fuck is because he attacked us.”
Javier grins. “Mason says he just ran and caused all the damage by accident.”
“Remind me of that after I get my nose fixed,” I say, trying to ignore the increase in throbbing that comes more from thinking about it than from talking, although talking doesn’t help.
“Broken?” she asks, handing me a tissue.
I shake my head as I accept. It sends a kind of taunting stab through my eye socket.
“We still need more ladies in sports,” she tells me, “even anticlimactic archnemesis, accidental-punching ladies. Cackling semi- to mostly-competent ladies.”
“Maybe the lady villains are protesting women’s sports,” I offer, but the healer’s walked over to check on me at that point, so Javier takes the evidence off my hands and leaves. I don’t miss her Look.
He pokes at my nose. I clench my fists, resisting the impulse to pull away. I don’t know why they have to poke so hard – doctors, yes, because they’re prodding to see if the bones are broken or whatever, but not healers – but they invariably do, and I’m not going to give them an excuse to do it again by flinching.
Also it probably makes their jobs harder.
“Wow, you look terrible,” Saint tells me, poking at my eye now, “I can’t believe you can be so stoic about it. If it were me, that would hurt like a bitch.”
I’m tempted to punch him in the nose just to test the theory. I don’t, because he’s working on my injuries now, and my nose and my eye and even the forming bruise on my back have gone kind of numb at this point, and also because punching people in the nose is bad and I’m not the type of person who gets to resort to that kind of thing. And also kind of because people like Saint for some reason and you sort of have to be careful who you badmouth him to.
(People don’t punch Saint. Not even Hyde punched Saint. I wonder if it’s some sort of secondary power. You have to be careful who you suggest that to, too, though.)
“Okay, you’re good to go,” Saint tells me. “Try not to do any heavy lifting for the next day or two; you’ll strain your back and it won’t heal right. Got to have patience, man.”
“Sure,” I say.
Then he hands me over to a regular doctor, who checks over my injuries the regular way (with a lot of poking and prodding, but it doesn’t feel like much, for now), and pulls out a card, holding it up to me. I raise an eyebrow.
“Uh, no?” he asks.
I spin a couple of his little discs around for him, circling the card.
“Ah. I take it you’ve had those for a while,” he tells me.
He gives me a kind of rueful grin, double checking the new information against my chart, and frowns apologetically when it does in fact match.
“So, telekinesis, is it just telekinesis?” he asks, poking me with some new piece of equipment.
I sigh. “Yes.”
“Do you have all the normal secondary powers, or…?” he asks.
I wonder if he’d complain if I just walked out of here. I wonder if he’d refuse to sign off on me out of spite. “Yes.”
“Every single one?” he leans down a little, smiling at me. “No one has every single one.”
“No,” I agree, “but I got my powers when I was eight, so I have exactly the complex you’d expect. Can I go now?”
He frowns at me – almost pouts – and I wonder whether it’s just been a particularly slow day or I’m having more bad luck than usual. I wish Time were here. Time never pulls this shit. Plus Time’s both, so even when you do have to go through it you don’t have to go through it twice.
She dislikes me because of the puking incident, though.
Chen and I both have the same idea of well-wishing Graham, once we’re through, and almost walk into each other. Graham mumbles something incoherent at either of us.
“No powers?” I ask Chen, with a grin.
He rolls his eyes at me.