I think Alycia is worried about the team. I think she wants to know what we’re doing, who’s the leader, and how we’re going to get stuff done, and it matters. But I think it matters because she’s worried there won’t be a team.
Leo’s conditions for parole were “don’t fuck up”, basically. He hadn’t even done anything wrong - I mean, making Otto and Pneuma probably broke some law somewhere, but he wasn’t using us to rob banks, you know?
Alycia did some real, real shit. I have to imagine they made her a much stricter deal. I think that means “be on the team”. I think with no team, there’s no deal. And that scares her. It would scare me.
I worry about Adam. I think he’s at a breaking point with his family and his life. I mean, what kind of pressure do you have to be under to rewrite reality, just because people are coming to your house? I think he’s going to give up something. The family or the team. I think it’s going to be the team.
I worry about Harry. He’s got pressure too, and there’s the fight or flight response to stress like that. Either strike back, or run. And if a speedster is good at anything, it’s running. But I think he’s too good a person to just give up, too. So?
If it was just Charlotte and Alycia and me, what would the Menagerie be?
I think the Menagerie is the same thing it’s always been.
Our team is the place where troubled kids come to find themselves.
Leo realized he can have friends again. Jason realized he can be a good guy. Harry realized he’s a hero no matter what his parents do. Adam, perhaps, realized he’s not quite the hero he wants to be. Charlotte realized that being alone sucks. Alycia realized that there’s forgiveness for anyone who searches for it.
What have I realized?
Or is that why I’m still on the team? Because I haven’t?
Anyway, here’s what’s funny!
- I talked to Alycia about my relationship situation.
- The last time we had this talk, she was all “Imma find you a boyfriend”.
- This time, having heard more of the difficulties I’m facing, her solution is literally “booty call with your ex and his fiance”. Jesus.
- I mean, imagine her face if I told her Aria had suggested I try to get with her and Jason. That’d be classic, for the 15 seconds it took her to recover from sputtering and shout at me.
- So basically I’m pretty sure I don’t have any hope of finding a guy, and even my most supportive friend knows it.
- I think she’s worried I’m after Jason. I’m not - not because Jason’s not a good guy, but because he’s not interested in me, and he’s happy with Alycia, and all three of us think that’s the best thing in the world for everyone.
- I’m not after her either, although that would be hilarious. Still, she’s smart, aggressive, and interesting to talk to. If she ever cuts her hair short and starts dressing more butch, I dunnoooooooo.
Here’s what I figured out about this, though, for serious.
My value as a person, as a team member, as anything, doesn’t depend on who I’m dating, or if I’m dating at all. Whether I have a love of my life, or even just a boy I go out with, doesn’t reflect in any way on whether I’m worthy of love.
And Alycia was so kind and sweet for helping remind me of that, every day. She’s come so far so fast, and though I can still be pushy with her personal space sometime. Sorry, 'Lycia!
I mean, even that old guy Lucius was telling me “hey you need someone to care for your needs”. I have so many people doing that! God. Listen to this.
- Leslie, my roommate. I almost never see her. Every time I do, she’s always so considerate of how I’m doing.
- Alycia, my other roommate. She went from “you’re not even a person” to “you deserve love”. I think a big chunk of that was Jason, a big chunk was the rest of the team, a lot of it was AEGIS itself being willing to cut her a deal and let her move out of the clink, all that stuff, but I like to think I had a tiny little part in that too.
- Nono, who’s really in the same boat with me. I don’t think she’s dating anyone right now but she’s amazing and cute and fun and could have anyone she wanted. She deserves so much happiness.
- Charlotte, who I get to hang out with at the shop and in the glade and stuff. She’s super classy and stylish and whip smart, but she’s cool too.
- Honestly, the rest of the team, who accepted me without hesitation or question. I love all you guys.
- Leo. I mean, what else could I say.
- Otto. You mean things I can’t even say out loud, big guy. You’re just everything.
- Aria. I never knew I needed a sister until I had one. And I know she feels the same way too.
So we’ll see what happens with the team, I guess. And with all my friends, no matter who or where they are.
Until then, I’ll keep serving coffee and saving the world. Love you all! :mwah:
author: Bill G.