HUMAN/SUPER Higher Learning 121

“Six weeks?!” Griffith snapped. “But I have work, and school. I can’t be grounded for that long!”

He tried to sit up from the hospital bed where he was lying facedown with his broken wing immobilized. Frederica placed her hand on his shoulder, gave him a little squeeze. He sighed and settled back onto the mattress. The doctor, a raven-haired goth with a face full of piercings, came around with an x-ray and held it down for Griffith to see.

“I want you to understand how lucky you were,” she said. “This injury could have had permanent repercussions. It still might, if you don’t take the time to rest and heal. Yes, it’s going to suck, but you’ll have to make do. Trust me, you won’t like the alternative.”

Griffith groaned and buried his face in the pillow. Frederica just stood by, feeling helpless. Nowhere in her bag of tricks did she have an ability that could heal him. All she could do was watch.

“Do you… want me to call your parents?” Frederica asked, grasping at straws.

“Hell no,” Griffith replied. “They’ll lose their shit.”

“Okay,” Frederica said. “Well, if there’s anything—”

He shook his head, turned his face away.

“Alright, you two,” the doctor said, clapping Frederica on the back. “I have to finish patching your boy up, so if you could wait out with your friends, I’ll have him back to you in a jiffy.”

Frederica leaned down and tousled Griffith’s hair.

“I’ll be right down the hall,” she said, and turned to the doctor. “Thank you.”

Then she stepped out of the room and made her way down the crowded hall. She found Karen in a little waiting area by the nurses’ station, the rest of the Barnstormers having gone home already.

“How is he?” Karen asked.

“Well, he’s not going to be flying for a couple months,” Frederica replied, slumping down into a hard plastic chair.

“Ouch,” Karen said. “How’d he take that?”

“Not well,” Frederica said. “He would barely speak to me in there. I wonder if maybe he blames me for what happened.”