I wasn’t the only person who noticed. Adam stopped what he’d been doing and his eyes widened.
If that surprised him, he recovered quickly, “Dr. Klein! I didn’t expect to see you. I knew you were Nick’s father. I just didn’t think you’d be here.”
He gave a quick smile, “It’s a little weird to have different pieces of my life crossing like this.”
Dad glanced over at me. I had a hard time classifying his expression. Sadness? Melancholy? I don’t know, but his brief smile covered over some hidden emotion—probably more than one.
Dad said, “You’re not the only one. I’ve had a strange day. It’s been a long time since we last saw each other. I hope you’ve been doing well. Circumstances made it impossible for Nick to keep me updated. I didn’t even know you knew each other.”
Adam pursed his lips, possibly uncomfortable, possibly deciding what he could say or what he wanted to say.
Dad hadn’t ever explained it in detail, but there are rules for what therapists can say about their clients—which basically amount to nothing. I remember Dad avoiding shops where former and current clients worked just to avoid the complications of dual relationships.
When there was no choice, he kept it polite, positive, and vague, much like he was doing now.
“Superhero stuff,” Adam said, nodding. “It does get weird even when you’re on the edge of it. My parents still don’t know. It makes it easier. I’ve made sure that they’re being watched over to keep them out of it.”
Dad nodded as Adam finished, “I’m sure that’s a challenge. People have done their best to keep me out of it and safe, but it’s an unpredictable world.”
Taking a breath, Dad didn’t say anything for a moment, but added, “This isn’t my place and I don’t know enough about anything going on to tell you what to do, but please be careful. Be careful of yourself, but also of the lives of my son and his friends. They’ve already lost one of their own today.”
He stopped and said, “I’ll let you go.”
Then he walked away to stand with Mom and Haley’s parents, all of whom were still standing next to the capsule where Travis lay dead.
I wasn’t sure what to think. It had a little of the feel of your parents coming into the room when you’re not sure if you want to explain what you’re planning to do, but worse. Except for what the block covered—superheroes and anything related to it, I’d never lied to him about anything for years at a time.
He’d never come home to find dead supervillains in and around the house either.
When I thought about things that had gotten me yelled at as a kid, none of them held a candle to breaking down the front door or fighting in the basement. To be fair, I hadn’t killed Number Eight. Mom had. I could only wonder if they’d had that conversation.
Haley watched my father go and then turned back to Adam, “We can’t talk about this right now. Nick and I can’t make this decision for the rest of the team. We have to talk it through. Give us an hour. We can make a decision by then.”
Adam’s mouth tightened and I thought he might argue, but then he looked over at my dad and said, “I can wait for an hour. Just be aware that Major Justice might not.”
Then he stepped backward into shadow, disappearing.
Amy stepped in front of Haley and I. Cassie stepped into the group after her.
Taking a quick look back to where Adam had been, Amy said, “I got a good look at how he did it this time. He’s using magic, but it’s not a spell. He’s tapping a bigger power. I don’t know how big, but not the biggest—not one of the fairy queens, not a dragon. It feels like a combination of smaller powers combined in one. If I had to guess, it’s not from the nicer end of Faerie.
“That’s consistent with what we know of his history,” I said.
Cassie shook her head, “It’s exactly what we already knew about him. He makes bad deals with fairies. We can’t trust him or whoever’s holding the end of his leash.”
Haley let out a breath, “We might need him. We don’t know exactly who Major Justice is bringing in. We know he’s got Bullet and the Coffeeshop Illuminati. That means that we’ll be fighting people from school, people whose parents are also superheroes, and fighting on some of the country’s big teams. They’ll either be mind-controlled or mislead, but we don’t want to kill them. An army of fairies might make a difference.”
Cassie scowled, “Don’t tell me you’re really considering this.”
Haley’s lip quivered, “I don’t want to lose. Losing is like this, but more of us die.”
“I don’t like the idea either,” Amy looked from Haley to Cassie. “The last time we trusted Adam, I got punched by Izzy. The only reason I survived was that I’d absorbed part of one of the Cabal students.”
Cassie nodded, but Amy didn’t stop.
“But I think we need to consider it. The past Bloodmaidens would rather trust fairies than what they’ve seen of Major Justice so far.”