Reaching the back door of Bram's workshop, where his quarters were, Galen pounded the metal furiously. He was the only one who knew everything, having been the one who stopped it.
Bram suddenly opened the door, "What the he—what's wrong?"
Galen tried speaking, but a lump got stuck in his throat, and that water began rolling down his face, and he would've collapsed if Bram hadn't caught and brought him inside, sitting him on the bed.
Pulling his knees to his chest, he couldn't stop the waves of emotions crashing into him or the tears pouring from his eyes. So Galen leaned against his friend as he allowed himself to fall apart.
He couldn't remember the last time he'd cried like this. Perhaps after the incident, but not when he'd walked in on Soshi and her lover, and certainly not when she had passed.
Bram didn't speak but wrapped an arm around him, softly humming soothing melodies that parents often sang to their children.
It wasn't until the emotions calmed a while later that Galen was able to speak. "I'm sorry for showing up here, but I didn't know where else to go."
"No, don't apologize." Bram didn't let go of him. "I can feel the pain inside you."
He sighed, wiping his face, "Skye wanted to be on top and..."
"I see." Bram shifted, so they made eye contact. "So you haven't told her about the incident." It wasn't a question.
Galen shook his head. "I didn't think this would happen."
He snorted, rolling his eyes. "Well, that was idiotic of you."
"You need to tell her."
Galen froze, "But—"
Bram lifted a hand, stopping him. "Look, I don't know much about females," He paused, "or humans in general, but I do know Skye, and she'll be understanding if you explain."
Deep down, he knew his friend's words to be correct. "But I don't know how to tell her."
"Just tell her."
Now it was Galen's turn to snort, "Very helpful."
Bram chuckled, "I don't know what else to tell you, my friend."
"Fair enough." Sighing, Galen scanned the engineer's sleeping quarters, noting how much it looked like his workshop. "Would it be weird if I stayed here for the night?"
"No, but I'm not sure it's the wisest of ideas."
"I know, but I need space to mentally prepare for this conversation." And he knew Skye would be pissed at him, rightfully so, and he would require the energy to take on her anger.
"Very well," Bram shrugged, grabbing something from one of the cabinets and handing it to him, "There's a mat you can sleep on."
"Thanks." He stood as Bram moved back to his cot.
Quickly rolling out the sleeping mat, Galen laid down and let his eyes close. Hopefully, he could get some rest.
Standing in the boxing ring, Skye was ready to take on her newly enhanced friend, fists raised.
While she hadn't been able to sleep much after Galen's...whatever that was, fire flowed through her veins, and she needed to hit something. Preferably his stupidly hot face.
However, for now, she would settle for Ava, who looked poised for a good fight. Skye wasn't surprised, knowing how much Ava itched to test her new nanites.
Glancing over her shoulder, she spotted Max and Evan sparring with each other using wooden sticks, Jo'dan watching them.
It was very different from what the women were doing. But perhaps Evan didn't want to just jump in, either. It made sense.
"So this time," Nash began, arms behind his back, "I want to see how you can handle your new strength, love."
"Just let me at her!"
Skye blinked, noticing how agitated her friend really was. "Whoa. Calm down, girl."
Ava only glared, body bound with tension.
What was her problem? The last time Skye had seen her like this was when Nash had first brought her to the base.
"Go!" Nash called out.
Skye barely had time to ready herself before Ava lunged for her, both of them slamming into the ropes. She tried going for Skye's neck.
But she managed to keep Ava from grabbing her throat, throwing her off. Skye then charged, now pissed at her. How dare she try to choke her!
It quickly began a wrestling match, each woman trying to best the other. Not that Nash appeared to be concerned. He didn't say anything to Ava, who tried punching her in the face repeatedly.
Skye grabbed her wrists and yanked over, Ava's back hitting the floor as Skye sprung to her feet.
Ava groaned, "Ow."
Skye didn't relax, ready to defend herself. "You deserve it!"
"Do I, now?" Ava now crouched on the floor.
"For trying to choke me, yes!"
"Only because you were touching my mate!" Ava lunged, her eyes feral.
Skye barely dodged her, "What are you—"
But Nash intervened, yanking Ava to him, "Calm down, my love! She didn't touch me."
"Yes, she did!" Ava thrashed in his grip, "Now let me at her!"
Skye then saw how flushed her skin was. "Are you feeling okay?" She quickly touched her forehead. "My God, you're burning up."
Nash went still, "As in a fever?"
"Oh, shit." He hissed, making sure Ava couldn't move. "I did not expect this."
Skye noticed the boys walking toward them. "Expect what?"
Suddenly, Jo'dan was examining her, feeling every bare surface with the back of his hand. "I think she's okay for now."
She moved away from him. "Okay, what the hell is going on?"
Nash stared her down. "Mating Fever, that's what's going on."
Skye blinked, "I thought that was a Wanderer thing?"
Jo'dan looked at her. "It is."
"But," Nash continued, "both of you have the nanites now, which makes you more like us, physiologically speaking."
Ava suddenly stopped, eyes wide, "Oh my God. I am so sorry, Skye!"
Skye waved her off, still a little pissed at her. "So, it might happen to all of us?"
"Well, crap," Max mumbled, "that would've been nice to know beforehand."
Nash raised a brow, "What?"
"Being gay has its perks," he laughed again, "and this is one of them."
Jo'dan moved his head in agreement.
Max rolled his eyes, "Yeah, so frickin' funny."
Skye didn't comment, her mind racing. No matter how upset she was with Galen, she needed to find him. He had to know this. Now