Sometimes I think that writing things down in my diary is the only thing keeping me sane. I’m going to have to send a thank you letter to that shrink with the broken leg who recommended I talk things out with a blank page if I couldn’t talk to people about what was stressing me out.
It’s not Jack stressing me. He’s been great. Things are a little less casual and easygoing between us at work, but it’s because there’s always this little flutter just under the surface. It’s kind of awkward and nervy, but in a good way. Him knowing my secret has made my job a lot simpler. I don’t have to remember to try to pretend I can’t lift heavy stuff. If we need a big piece of equipment, Jack just assumes I’ll grab it, and he grabs the other stuff. If we get a patient who might not make it with conventional help, Jack keeps watch for me so I can bite them without being seen. He even distracted a conscious patient with a crushed leg for me last shift, and convinced the guy I was giving him an injection. Thanks to Jack, that guy will walk again, on both legs. I may have taken a while to get around to picking a guy to date, but I seem to be pretty good at picking them.
I guess work might be part of what’s making me want to put my fist through a wall. Lord Vile’s goons went on a rampage and half the city looks like a war zone. I saw the White Knight in the thick of the fight a few times while Jack and I were on the sidelines trying to keep the civilian casualties to a minimum. I know the Knight’s a Georgian and he’d kill me without hesitation if he knew what I was, but seeing him fight Vile’s red-shirted, black goggled minions and protect bystanders, I don’t know. I just kept thinking that if I had let Fafnir kill him, those bystanders would be dead, and the Protectors would be short one front line soldier. I may not like the guy, but this city needs him.
Jack and I have been working double shifts all week because of the chaos, so no chance for a second date yet. The flowers he brought me are still bright and beautiful on my dresser. And they remind me that for once in my life, I’m not alone. There’s one person I can really talk to. More than one, even.
I called Fafnir the other morning when I was too wired to sleep after my shift. He has a heavy Norwegian accent that makes it a little hard to understand him, but he’s been really helpful. Fafnir treats me like an indulgent uncle with a five-year-old who is constantly asking questions like “Why is the sky blue?” He answers, but laughs at me a lot for asking things he thinks of as kindergarten basic. I’m just starting to get an inkling of how incredibly old he is, so I guess it’s normal for him to think of me as a kid. Annoying, but normal.
So, if working every day with my new boyfriend, a supervillain mob attack on the city, and being treated like a baby by the only other member of my species that I've met isn’t stressing me, you might wonder what is? Ma. She’s making me nuts. She’s a nervous wreck and it’s contagious. Plus, we've just never been this completely at loggerheads before.
She asked about my date when I got home the other night, and I made the mistake of telling her what happened. All of it. It was pretty hard to tell her about Fafnir falling through the ceiling without explaining what knocked him out of the sky. Now that she knows the White Knight is a Georgian, she has all her things packed and keeps harping on me to pull up stakes and leave town. She’s already contacted our usual guy to get us new ID’s and such.
I think it’s the first time in our relationship that I’ve put my foot down and just said, “No.”
I’m not moving.
Ma is way too old to deal with all the hassles of losing our trail, finding a new place to settle and establishing new identities. She won’t admit it, but her health isn’t the best and another move might finish her. But even if that wasn’t all true, I don’t want to run again.
I like it here. I’ve got a job where I get to use my special abilities to save lives on a daily basis. I’m not wearing a costume and getting medals and endorsement deals like the Protectors and the All American Alliance heroes, but there are a lot of folks in this town who are breathing and whole because of me, and I’m proud of that.
And those flowers over there on my dresser are another good reason to stay. Guys like Jack who can take my differences in stride don’t grow on trees. For the first time in my life, there’s one person I’m not related to that I can be myself around. I’m just starting to appreciate how much that means.
Ma says that if one Georgian knows who I am, then they all do, but I don’t think the White Knight saw my scales or my wing, either at the theatre, or when we were fighting that fire thrower. He was pretty preoccupied with Fafnir, and the fire guy. I’ve told her that, but since I’m only 90% sure, Ma doesn’t think that’s good enough. I'm also 90% sure that if the White Knight knew that I was a dragon, he’s got enough info about me, from the side of the ambulance, to find me. And he hasn’t come after me. So, I figure I’ve got an edge. I know what he is, but he doesn’t know what I am. As long as it stays that way, I’m not going anywhere.
And, if he figures it out, well, then, we’ll see. For the first time, I’ve got something worth staying and fighting for. It’s going to take a lot to make me run this time.D Dragon