“Professor Charles Xavier,” Kerry relays, letting some of Cary’s reluctance into her voice. “The most powerful telepath Oliver ever found. Aside from you, of course. If anyone was capable of defeating Farouk—”
“Charles Xavier?” David echoes, looking around at everyone. Divad and Dvd look around, too.
“Professor,” Oliver murmurs. “I believe— Farouk mentioned a professor.”
“Recently?” Ptonomy asks.
“There was a woman,” Oliver says. “A driver. She knew the way to the desert.”
“What woman?” Ptonomy asks, sharper.
“<em>Tu étais assez riche, pour devenir cent fois toi-même en une seule fleur</em>,” Oliver sings, startling everyone. He turns to David. “We really must make that barbershop quartet. Long overdue.”
“It’s okay,” Syd says. “To be honest— I’m jealous of you. The closeness you and Divad share with him. Nothing will ever keep you apart. If you get through this, you’ll have a lifetime to make new memories with him. And those old feelings he still has, if you nurture them— He’ll love you so much. He wants to.”
Dvd’s anger fizzles out. Divad eases, and gives David a meaningful look.
“I’m glad he doesn’t remember me,” Divad admits, quietly. “You’re right. I was awful to him. Even before—” He pauses, turns to Dvd. “He loved you so much even Farouk couldn’t wipe it all away. You got the best of both worlds, you know that? A fresh start and a love that strong? You have everything Syd and I want, but you’re so angry you can’t see it.”
“Talk about leaving yourself wide open,” Lenny says, shaking her head.
“You think pain will save you,” Syd says, certain. “That’s what I thought, too. I tried to teach that to David but all it did was hurt him. That’s what pain does. It won’t make us strong, Dvd. It can’t. And if you don’t let yourself heal, you’ll lose everything you think you’re protecting. You’ll lose David. Even if you survive Farouk.”