Unsettled - February 23, 2069

It's been an odd few days. Aladriel has been working at the hospital the whole weekend, which has been something odd to get used to We're drifting into 'normal' territory here, and I have to find my place in the new paradigm.

'Skye', the red-headed elf that Aladriel calls Siannon, called us up over the weekend during one of Ally's breaks in shift. She is getting out of the biz and had a whole handful of things for Aladriel. There is a history there I am not aware of, a closed door to me. I got the feeling this Siannon was laughing at me behind her hand the whole time we were there. She made a few 'kidding' remarks about Aladriel and about me that I didn't care for at all, but I kept my mouth shut and just road it out. I do not care for this person, and I cannot say I'll be unhappy when she is out of her .. our .. lives.

Johny called me for a job this weekend, one that I handled in a way I likely wouldn't have in the past. I think he worries that I am getting soft, or losing whatever 'edge' that people tend to think you need to do things. Is he wrong? I can't tell.

I've a few irons in the fire to keep myself busy, things I can talk about in public without making weak allusions or having too many questions raised about how I get money. I need to do something to feel like I am contributing. With all the gifts and presents this weekend, Aladriel has become quite the businesswoman and wealthy to boot, which leaves me in an awkward place. I don't have things that are mine, I am not living on my own merits. The house isn't mine. The cars aren't. I feel uneasy about things, although it could just be my paranoia talking.

Hitomi seems to at least be genuinely happy for us. Alexander asked after us, but .. I hesitate to believe him. He seems simple on the outside, but like Johny there is always an extra layer going on beneath the surface, and I don't quite trust anyone who asks questions out of the blue.

Maybe it's just the weather change, or Ally working all the time. I feel tired, and cold, and lonely. I am ready for Spring.

Advice - February 17, 2069

Advice is a funny thing. You often ask for it, but when you get it you seldom want it. I've spent the last few days and weeks getting advice from an assortment of team mates and friends, or those I've thought of as friends.

I've been accused of being a whiny child, of being silly, of basically being a little crybaby. I had wondered how long you get to be upset when you find your feelings. How long are you allowed to grieve your past, your childhood. Are you allowed to be upset or is there some time limit imposed by those around you, a certain limit to the amount they want to help you or even listen to you.

You aren't supposed to be too silly. Too cute. Too sad. You are supposed to be some unfeeling automaton, saying all the right things and smiling at the right times. A fucking robot with no emotions beyond what is important to other people.

I've done that. I've been down that road and I refuse to go back. I like the person I am with Aladriel. I have to spend all my time out in the 'real' world as someone I don't want to be. And now I have the same thing being asked of me when I am in private? It isn't fair. It isn't right.

I have to find a happy medium, a way to stay open but not get hurt. It's been a very long time since I had to think about that. Maya and I will reflect on it.

Back again to the grind. Ally and I just returned from the Disney parks. It was a glorious time, made all the more special that there was no crisis that demanded our attention. No vast conspiracies threatened the world while were gone, no battles over supremacy in the streets of Denver. Just the two of us enjoying ourselves. I wanted to never come home.

The mission. Sorry, Mission. The Mission drew us back. Ally said to me that she couldn't imagine, knowing what we know now about how things are, sitting around while the World burns. She is right.

I've selfishly squandered my life in the quest of some petty vengeance against .. humanity? Someone long dead? Myself? It is hard to say. I've spent far too much time wallowing in the past and now I am presented with a possibility for the future, one I never even dreamed of. I have the chance with the Watchers to make a difference, to give everyone else a chance at tomorrow. Not at a happy ending, mind, not at an all expenses paid trip to some magical place where their dreams come true. No, just another day with their loved ones, another day to do whatever they want. Another day to dream and laugh and love and hate and cry and do whatever it is that they need to survive. It isn't much, but it is far better than the alternative if Alexander and Johan are to be believed.

I am one raw nerve since I've returned. With Ally, I can be myself, I don't have to be Silk. I don't have to put on a face and pretend that I am the Ice Queen of Denver, emotionless and willing to do anything. It has been a very long time since I let myself care, let myself feel. I need time. My walls are not as profound as some disguises, but they are all that kept me sane, kept me going day after day. Now, they aren't needed, and yet, I cannot imagine going onto the streets again, playing the same stupid games. There are larger events afoot in the world, larger concerns than petty bickering with a button man, larger concerns than some petty R&D heist.

Johan asked me if I were functional, if I could operate away from Ally. Honestly, I don't know. It is all different now. Now, there is something at stake if I screw up. Now there is a reason to take care, a reason not to go down that alleyway or take suicide missions. A reason to come home. Home. I never really thought about that word.

Can I function? That is the real question. I worry, not about myself but about her, which is abject foolishness. She is easily one of the most competent magicians in Denver, capable of feats of power that I can't even begin to imagine. But I worry. Can I function? If she is hurt, what will I do? If any of them are hurt, what will I do? It was simpler when I didn't care about anyone, even myself. Now, now I care too much. I care for my team. I care for the Mission.

I think I can function. I can make the choice, I can focus on what need to be done. I've talked to Ally about this, about how to deal with the problem. We're both willing to do what it takes to get the job done; I don't see our love as some sort of impediment. Rather, I see us as all the more dangerous. She focuses me. I ground her. Or is that the other way around? Regardless, we've worked together before and were highly competent. Now? Now there isn't anyone I wouldn't destroy to see her safe, nothing I wouldn't do to insure that Maya sees another day. I have things worth protecting: my team, my friends, my family.

Samuel once mentioned that if you aren't part of the solution, you are part of the problem. I listened, Samuel. I'm trying.

There really isn't more to say at this point. Just thoughts spilled onto paper as I try to focus myself and get back into the swing of things. I'm hiding now, not out of cowardice, but to protect those few special moments, those instances worth doing all this for. I write this sitting in my .. our room. I go through the motions of our 'job', the one we do while we wait for the Real Work to start. I wait, as cliché and overly melodramatic as it sounds, for the call to come, for Johan to point us at what needs to be fixed, what needs to be protected, and yes, what needs to be killed. Whatever may comes, I will treasure every moment I have been given, every single second that makes this life worth living, this World worth protecting.

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