"Ow. Ow. Ow. Ow! Ivy!"
"Don't be such a baby!"
"So does listening to your whining, but you don't hear me complaining!"
The brunet pretended not to notice the glare Jace shot her. She slid a pin through the bandage and clipped it closed. "There," Ivara exhaled, "your boo-boo has been fixed."
Jace pulled his leg from her lap and stared at the gauge around his ankle. "It still hurts," he muttered under his breath.
"I already gave you all the pain meds you can have right now." Ivara stood from the bed and relocated to the vanity mirror, observing the wreck of her appearance: hair in wild tangles, shirt rumpled, the hem of her jeans splotched blood. She wrinkled her nose and stuck a tongue out at the reflection.
Ivara moved to the closet and searched through them for a more comfortable change of clothes. The 12-year-old turned her back to the room and she exchanged the disheveled outfit for a purple tank top and cozy sweats.
When in public, Ivara refrained from wearing any short sleeve shirts, short, or other revealing garb that would expose the marks that covered her body. The violet lines, wrapped around her arms, legs, around her torso, were infinite cobra encircling her every limb. To Ivara, they were a relic from her past, but they still posed a threat of revealing abilities and identity. For that reason her public daily civvies consisted of long pants, turtle necks, and gloves to hide the marks. But as the hidden base provided privacy to all its occupants, the girl never bothered with the extra precautions here.
The atypical silence only occurred to her once she reentered the shared bedroom to find Jace in the same position she had left him in: stretched out on the bed, staring at his hands.
"It'll heal, Jacey," she assured, taking the brush from the bedside table and running it through the tangled mess of her hair.
"Do you think Seeker's mad at me?" Jace asked softly without lifting his eyes.
"Why would he be mad? You aren't the one who dropped this bombs on us."
"But I lost the harpoon. If I had swam faster..."
Ivara sighed and set down the comb, then retook her seat on the bed beside the other trainee. "Jace, look at me." She waited for him to raise his eye to meet hers. "Seeker won't be angry with you. You're safe and that's all that matters. Besides, he's too busy being annoyed with Titanium's outburst to care about us right now. Okay?"
Jace nodded, a layer of the dark guilt dissipating, leaving his sage irises a shade lighter.
"And I'll teach you how to swim better, slowpoke," Ivara added, ruffling his hair. He pulled away with a look of annoyance, but the frivolous irritation was quickly replaced by an irrepressible grin.
"Hungry?" she asked, and and then when he nodded she abided, "Let's go to the mess, then."
Familiar with the chilly atmosphere of the underground tunnels, they grabbed their jackets from where they had been discarded on the bed. As Ivara pulled hers over her head, an objet dropped onto the comforter.
"What's that?" Jace inquired, reaching for the object to examine it. When he picked it up, he froze and his eyes darkened.
"Jace?" Ivara recognized the look on the psychic's face. "Jace!" She snatched the blue brooch from his hand. The moment the relic left his touch, the distant expression was replaced by alarm.
"You got this from the wreck?" he asked, the urgency in his voice frightening Ivara. She nodded and was about to explain that she had forgotten all about it after all that had happened, but he cut her off. "Ivy, we need to get this to the Superiors. Now."