When after a refreshing shower, Kenner walked into the living room, he was startled to see Svetlana sitting on the sofa reading a magazine. On hearing him enter, she folded it up, put it down, stood up and turned to face him. Her expression was anxious.
“Are you feeling better now, Kenner?”
“Lana... aren’t you mad at me?” he asked, confused.
“I was,” she confessed, “but then I thought about it, and, Kenner, your wings had just been burnt. You weren’t going to be in the most patient of moods. I’m just sorry I provoked you. Can ... Can I give you a hug?”
“Sure.” He opened his arms and Svetlana came around the sofa and hugged him.
“I’m sorry for what I said,” he told her. “I don’t believe you’re sadistic at all.”
“I know,” she murmured. “I shouldn’t have got so upset: I should’ve realised you’d never really think something like that.”
“As long as we’re still friends, it doesn’t matter.”
“Of course we’re still friends, Kenner.” Svetlana stepped out of his arms and crossed her arms in mock reproach. “How long have we known each other?”
“Far too long,” he teased.
Svetlana stuck her tongue out.
“I was going to suggest I cooked dinner, but now you’ve said that, I might sit back and let you do it.”
“I don’t mind, actually,” Kenny said, heading for the kitchen. “I feel great.”
Svetlana came into the kitchen as well.
“At least let me help you: team effort means we’ll get it done quicker.”
“True. You can help if you want. But I don’t mind if you just want to relax.”
Well, that was that settled then.
Over dinner, Kenny told Svetlana “I feel bad about Jennifer. I can’t make it up to her because I can’t see her, but I don’t want her to think I hate her.”
“I could talk to her but I’d have to do it in a way that wouldn’t make Susanna suspicious: I’m not supposed to have met her yet.” Her eyes widened in sudden shock. “Oh, gosh! I didn’t tell Jennifer not to tell Susanna she’d seen me here. She might blow my cover!”
Kenny was less concerned.
“I don’t think she’s likely to talk much about visiting me at all. Remember she wants to help us out as much as possible. Plus, does she even know your name?”
“Well, I did tell her, but you’re right.” Svetlana was calmer now. “She won’t say anything.”
“She’s so great,” Kenny murmured, sighing slightly. He took a sip from his glass of water. “I wish she hadn’t been involved.”
“Do you, though?” Svetlana asked, with an intensity that was slightly surprising. “Do you wish you’d never met her at all?”
Kenny looked at the table.
“No,” he admitted.
“Maybe they’ll find a way that Guardians can be with humans,” Svetlana murmured.
“But why would they look?” Kenny pointed out.
Svetlana didn’t reply. She looked sad.
They went to bed early that night, Kenny to re-energise as much as possible after recovering from wingburn, Svetlana just because she didn’t fancy doing anything else. This time, Kenny dreamt of Jennifer, not in a situation where she was his girlfriend, but where they were friends, hanging out together like two Guardians or two humans. They walked along a street, chatting and laughing like it was the most natural thing in the world. It was blissfully beautiful. Kenny woke up from it feeling dejected from the unattainability of the torturous scenes. He stayed in the covers on the sofa until he fell asleep again because it was still too early to get up. Happily, he didn’t dream that time.