Keith frowned as Pete literally pulled him through the door and plopped him down onto a stool. "Pete....what's this all about?"
Pete turned such a happy smile on him that Keith felt his heart give a litle twinge. "This, Keith, is about you." He slapped his hand onto Keith's knee and said, "And about side-effects."
"Side-effects? What do you mean?" Keith asked. "Has another one shown up?"
"Yeah," Pete grinned. "And this one is a pleasant one!"
"Wow, that would be a pleasant surprise," Keith grinned back. "So what is this pleasant side-effect?"
Pete shot a warm grin over his shoulder as he left the booth and motioned for Keith to put on the headphones. When Keith obeyed, Pete leaned over and keyed the mic. "I heard you singing in the shower a couple of days ago, and I was shocked."
Keith winced. "That bad, huh?"
"That bad? Try that good. So, on a hunch, I looked up a few things. And guess what I found?"
"In poetry and literature and a lot of other things, water is variously described as singing and whispering and making pleasant, soothing sounds."
Keith frowned. "Okay...I'm not following you, Pete."
"You can focus since we got our abilities, Keith. You've had to, to lead us as well as you do." Pete looked down, and he flipped a few switches. "So I want you to focus and sing for me."
Keith shook his head, but he launched into the Beach Boys' "Don't Worry, Baby". Two lines in, he stopped with a gasp and his hands flew to the headphones as he turned huge brown eyes to the window. "What did you do?"
Pete was grinning hugely. "I didn't do anything but let you hear yourself through the headphones."
"That....that was me?"
"Yeah, Keith." Pete's eyes and voice were filled with pride. "That was you. Now do you understand? Water sings, Keith."
"And I'm Water," Keith breathed.
"And you're Water," Pete nodded. "The way we were – before Stonehenge – your voice was slowly deteriorating. Like my ears."
Keith found his heart squeezing again. It was the first time he'd really heard Pete admit that before their empowerment, he'd been losing his hearing.
"So," Pete smiled at him again. "Let me hear it."
Keith returned the smile. Then, a restored voice rang out with power and joy.
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