Fifty-Two - Linkin

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Breakfast was full of laughs and celebration. When Stuart walked down the stairs, he seemed surprised to see us all awake and an above average breakfast being made. "Pancakes alright for you?" I asked him with a smile.

Tilting his head, I could feel him scan me. "Linkin, you look different." He said to me, Ira was busy helping Thierry in the kitchen and I could hear them bickering. "New clothes? Where are your gloves?"

They were new clothes, all picked out by Thierry. Some of them were a bit much, but the tight fitting white shirt which had the shoulders cut out wasn't just unique because it was white. I never trusted myself to have any skin exposed before, I often tried to wear turtlenecks to cover as much as my skin as possible. "The gloves are in my pocket," I answered him. I wasn't stupid. "But I woke up this morning and I felt a knot in my neck," When Stuart gave me a confused look, I smiled. "You must've done something right last night, Stewie."

Tears starting to build up in my eyes as I smiled at him. Just like Ira, his expression changed, softening as he rushed over to me. "You're squishing me," I said with a laugh in his tight embrace and his grip tightened around me again.

"Yes, yes I am," he seemed to be as emotional about the whole situation as I was.

As one more squeeze, he let go and looked at me. He reached out to place a hand on my shoulder and I pulled back. "Ira and Thierry can both agree that my touch still hurts," I said gently.

"Breakfast is ready!" Thierry called out.

"Is not. You don't have any fruit cut," Ira objected and I laughed as I glanced over my shoulder before looking back to Stuart, his eyes studying me.

"What's changed?" The doctor side of him was now coming out.

I shrugged and headed for the table as Thierry brought over the food, Ira staying in the kitchen to cut up some fruit. "So far I can feel temperatures, pressure, and some pain." Who knew pain was a good thing. "Like, I could tell you if you stepped on my foot or put an ice cube on the back of my neck. Not if you ran a feather along my arm though." I explained to him as I sat down at the table, Stuart sitting down beside me.

Thierry brought another plate over and smiled. "Did you tell him it took longer before Ira felt any pain but your tattoos still moved?" he added in like this was a normal conversation for people to have over breakfast.

"Really?" Stuart's eyes brightened as he glanced to Thierry. I hadn't seen him like this, so excited in a long time, and I nodded. "May I?" he asked hesitantly as he reached out, his hand hovering over mine.

Thierry started to get a plate ready for me. "May not be a good idea, Doc, Eagle still said it hurt like a bitch after a few seconds," he explained, and Stuart frowned at Thierry's nicknames for everyone. "Eggs?" Thierry asked me, changing the topic and I shrugged. Scrambled eggs weren't my favourite, but they'd do. Thierry fixed me a plate and set it down in front of me along with a cup of coffee. This was going to be the first time I didn't have to let Stuart try it to make sure I wouldn't burn myself.

Smiling up at Thierry, I was grateful to have him around. "Don't worry, I still find your touch tingly," he mumbled as he kissed my forehead. "I can take you." He winked before sitting as well.

The rest of the breakfast was talks of different plans we had for the day. Stuart, of course, talked about the different tests we would have to run as he hypothesized which test helped me regain some feeling. He could only lead it back to the vitamins that Thierry used for his neuropathy, which Stuart decided to try on me. Everything else was from a test which had failed before.

While we were doing tests, Ira asked if Thierry could continue to teach her to shoot. Thierry seemed hesitant to agree but said he would after a few of my tests. It was sweet that he wanted to be there for me. So there we were, all four of us in the lab in the attic. Ira was uncomfortable, shifting from foot to foot just inside the doorway, but she was still there.

I found that even myself was uncomfortable with some of the equipment. The first time Stuart and I had entered the room, we had hidden all the scalpels so they would be out of sight and out of mind.

"Ready?" Stuart asked, a needle hovering over my arm.

"Just get it over with, Stewie," I sighed, glancing away. Before I could watch him put the needle into my arm, but now with the uncertainty, if I would feel it, I couldn't watch.

Thierry was on the other side of me, holding my gloved hand and watching nervously. I winced as I felt the pinch of the needle before it faded away into nothingness again. "She felt it!" Thierry said with a grin.

No one else smiled as I glanced at him. "Sorry, we're all just less happy about needles and lab tests," I said gently. None of us would be able to breathe or celebrate until we were out of the lab.

Thierry sighed and nodded, squeezing my hand, his gaze looking over all of us. "I hate what they did to you, what they got away with. I wish I could go to that island and kill every last one of them."

"Why don't we?" Ira spoke up. The needle slid out of my arm and all eyes landed on her. "I was planning on going back eventually. There are so many people who need our help, we can't just abandon them. We could go back and stop this from happening to anyone else." The room went completely silent as we all stared at Ira. It was something I think we all wanted but didn't think it was possible.

Stuart placed the needle down on the counter and pulled the tourniquet off my arm. I knew we all thought about going back to the island with the idea that we'd be heroes, but it was never said out loud. Going back to the island, ending this nightmare for once and for all was just a dream. Wasn't it?

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