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Aberrant: Phoenix Rising - Fic: Courier: Status Update


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One month after KB's rescue:

It’d been a long month. KB had gotten a lot better in the first week of her return. Of course “better” wasn’t the same as “recovered”, it wasn't even the same as "well". Outwardly her most noticeable change was her hair now blew in non-existent winds. The bruises had faded, her stolen eufiber had been replaced, she wasn't gaunt any more, and the effects of whatever drugs had been used on her had faded.

Inwardly, well, that was worse. She’d been beaten, drugged, malnourished, dominated, mentally abused, and forced to push her weather manipulating powers too far. Doug wasn’t sure if she’d been sexually abused as well and he wasn’t sure he wanted to know. Squidward had really done a number on her. Of all her injuries, the worst was the attempt to restructure her personality. The lesson to be learned was he should have pulled Squidward's head off the first time they'd met.

Raider had told of KB's rescue, including a description of the nova who’d been dominated KB. That fact gave Doug a certain amount of hope. They wouldn't have needed to dominate her if they'd been really successful. Doug had mixed feeling about Raider’s actions during the raid. If he'd been there he’d have spared a moment to put that fancy gun to the back of the dominator's head and pulled the trigger. For that matter, if he’d been there he wouldn’t have bothered with the gun. Of course if he’d been there then Squidward would have rallied his troops and they might have lost.

Mentally Doug shrugged and decided, again, he wouldn’t wait for Raider to pull the trigger on Squidward. But Raider’s actions were both understandable and forgivable. Less so was what passed for the local government's dithering about what to do about the aberrant city. No one wanted a war, and waiting for the aberrants to tear each other apart was maybe a viable option, but Doug didn’t think it was a ‘plan’ so much as a refusal to face reality.

One of the few pieces of good news was KB’s weather controlling abilities had increased. She'd mastered lightning, and she was now immune to the effects of weather as well as able to manipulate it. Worryingly, Her appetite had gone down a lot too. Side effect of being starved maybe, though one of the Docs claimed it was a side effect of being drugged. Doug wasn't sure what to make of it but she was getting her weight back.

Something else Doug wasn't sure about was the status of his and KB's relationship.

The bad news was she'd been either unwilling or unable to share the mental link since they'd gotten back. Possibly it had something to do with her new mind shield, but more likely it was just a distrust of mentalists in general. That could be a problem since having the link obviously made him a mentalist. He'd worked out the bare bones of a mind shield but hers was iron and it apparently wasn't coming down even for him. The way things were going they'd be physically intimate again long before she let him back inside her head, and he missed that aspect of their relationship.

The good news was that although she was withdrawn and hurting, she'd turned to him and not away from him. Squidward either hadn't been able to change that or he hadn't tried. Maybe his master plan had been to give her the same "rot" that he'd given his father and then return her, but in any case her mental idea of "Courier" was still associated with good things. She only seemed to sleep well if he were in the same room. This was the second time he'd come to her rescue. Well, fine, actually it was Raider who'd freed her, but Doug was happy to take the emotional credit.

On the other hand she seemed to have more than a passing fondness for playing "tag" with Courier, i.e. she threw lightning at him and he tried to dodge it. Doug very, very much wanted to hope this was the equivalent of practicing up with firearms in preparation of frying Squidward some day.

Time would tell.

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