Bree watches Chase freeze up during his eulogy for Adam, and for the third time she thinks that maybe she should go stand up there with him. They're back in the high school auditorium, something that took a lot of debate and a lot of emotional arguments, but in the end, it felt right.
Mission Creek High was the first place Leo took them, their first time leaving the lab. It was just as much a part of Adam's life as their house and the island, maybe even more so.
"Um," Chase mumbles, staring at everyone clustered in the crowd, all the students, some with their heads bowed, some crying. Tasha in a black dress and never without a tissue in hand, Leo beside her trying to be stoic. Even Perry looks like she's grieving.
Sandwiched between Leo and Mr. Davenport, who's been sitting hunched in on himself the whole service and keeps rubbing a hand over his eyes, Bree watches Chase try to stutter out the rest of the speech he wrote, but he stops again.
And this time she's really about to get up, to go stand beside her brother, but just before she can stand he stiffens up, rips the written eulogy in half and storms out.
Mr. Davenport starts to get up but Bree puts a hand on his shoulder. "I got him," she says, and speeds out of the auditorium.
She finds Chase stalking purposefully down the hall toward the door, his shoulders squared, his jaw tense. "Chase." No response. "Chase." She zips toward him and grabs his arm, but he shakes her off without a word and keeps marching forward. Bree watches him walk away. "Spike?"
She knows she's right because he whips around and slams his fist into the nearest locker and snarls, "What? Why should I waste my time in there grieving some idiot who was dumb enough to get himself killed?"
That stops her in her tracks— no easy feat. "Ch— Spike, you know it wasn't his fault."
"I'm out of here." Spike turns and starts to leave again.
"It wasn't your fault either," she calls out to him.
This time he turns around looking like he might wipe her out. Bree's never been a hundred percent sure how much of Spike is Chase, and vice versa. How far Spike would go if he got angry enough. "If you know what's good for you, Road Runner, you'll leave me alone."
And then he's gone.
Back home, Bree fidgets in the elevator on the way down to the basement, head fuzzy and hot with tears she won't let out, stomach full of lead. She thuds across the floor and collapses into a seat by the table. "We missed you at the service."
Douglas glances up from whatever invention he's messing with. "Mm? Oh. Yeah. Sorry, I couldn't make it." The lab is scattered with projects he keeps starting and then setting aside. Bree guesses that he hasn't left the lab since they got back from the island, the two of them and Chase and Leo, bunched into the hydroloop with Adam's body covered by a sheet.
Now, they've got a curtain pulled around Adam's old capsule, even though none of them have slept in these for months.
"We've got a problem," she says, feeling silly because when don't they? "Spike's back."
Douglas swears and pulls up Chase's data on one of his tablets, muttering under his breath. "When did it happen?"
"Halfway through the eulogy." While she'd been in the hall with Spike, apparently Tasha had stood up and made some final comments about Adam before collecting the urn and making sure all the students got back to the island with Perry.
While everyone else is falling apart, she's been stepping up, taking care of them. Bree wonders if Adam knew how much Tasha cared about them— all of them— before he died.
"Alright," Douglas says, chewing on a thumbnail as he stares at the screen. "Well, I don't think we need to worry about it."
"Excuse me?" Bree snaps. "He's running around doing who-knows-what, he's a mess. What if he burns out his chip?"
"Look," Douglas says, pivoting the tablet to show her. "His aggression level is low, and it's staying low. He's not at risk. He's probably just… coping the only way he knows how. Chase will come back when he's ready."
He looks just as tired as Mr. Davenport; both of them seem like they've aged twenty years since losing Adam a week ago. "Fine," Bree says, and as she goes to head upstairs she turns back like she might say something else to her uncle. But there's not really anything to say.
Chase does come back, but he's still not himself. "Don't get used to it," Spike growls at Bree as he raids the fridge. "I just got hungry. As soon as I refuel I'm out of here."
Bree watches him from the living room, taking note of how he's going for cheese and salami and raw cookie dough. Chase would want carrot sticks, or an apple, or cauliflower rice with a dab of imitation butter. "You know," she says, "you can stay here."
Spike takes a swig of chocolate milk and finishes off the carton before crushing it on the counter. "And do what?" he says. "Cry? Watch a commemorative slideshow? You don't get it, pixie, I need to hit something."
"Fine." She zooms at him and clobbers him in the side of the head. "Hit me."
Spike growls and spins around to grab her around the arms. "I'm gonna rip your hair out and use it as dental floss."
"Fine!" she says. "You could use some anyway. You have salami stuck in your teeth." Spike throws her across the room and Bree hits the couch, getting the wind knocked out of her. She stands up and gets her bearings back while Spike prowls toward her. "Go ahead, Spike. Get it out of your system."
He snarls and goes to strike her but her lightning-quick reflexes keep him at bay. They parry, Bree's speed combatting Spike's ferocity. "I get it," she tells him. "You think I'm not fighting to keep my head? You think I haven't come close to letting Spikerella out? We're all hurting, Chase."
Spike gets in a hit and then pins her against the wall. "Chase isn't here."
She could duck under his arms; she could kick his legs out from under him and leave him sprawled on the floor. She could fight back, but she's already tired. She's tired of shoving everything down and pretending it's okay; she's tired of being the strong one.
"Well, Adam's not here, either," she says, finally breaking and letting the tears come. "And I miss him. And I want him back, but I can't. But I can't lose you both. Okay?"
Spike growls, that gravelly low sound, and she wonders for a second if he's going to knock her out. She wonders if that should worry her more.
Spike doesn't move, but something flickers in his eyes. And then Bree doesn't need Chase to tell her that his Commando App just disengaged; she knows her brother.
"Bree?" he says, looking around in a daze. After a moment, he realizes he's pinning her and lets her go. "What…" But he trails off before he can ask her what happened, noticing that she's crying. "Oh my God, did I hurt you?"
"No, no," she assures him, shaking her head back and forth. She still can't stop crying. "Please, like your little doll arms could hurt me." She's trying to sound tough and normal and okay. She's trying to sound like Adam. "Oh, Chase."
And then they're hugging and crying and leaning on each other for support, and if Adam were there he'd call them both overemotional girls and punch Chase in the arm and make fun of Bree's ugly cry face. If Adam were there he'd interrogate them about who made them so upset, go out to make things even and then get distracted and just bring them back sandwiches.
"So," Bree says finally, "I'm going back to the island tonight to… to spread his ashes in the ocean. Do you wanna come with? Or. You can, you can stay here with Leo."
Chase shakes his head a few times like he's trying to get back the strength to say something. "I'm gonna go," he says. "I'm gonna come with you. I'm gonna say goodbye."
Bree and Chase board the hydroloop late at night and get to the island when it's pitch black outside. "We should, um," Bree says, carrying the urn out of the pod, "we should wait til morning. He loves the sunrise here. I mean, he used to. He used to."
A shudder drifts through her and Chase reaches out to put a hand on her shoulder. "That's a good idea," he says.
All the kids are asleep in their capsules. The academy feels like a ghosttown as they walk to their room.
Bree sets the urn on the coffee table. "Wait," Chase says, and carefully, carefully, he lifts the urn with his molecular kinesis and positions it on a ledge above the door. "He was right," Chase says. "He's still taller than me."
Bree chokes out a laugh and then turns to go to her capsule. "Goodnight, Chase."
"Bree," Chase says, stopping her. "Look."
He's pointing to Adam's capsule, which she expects to be heartbreakingly empty.
But the students got to it before they did. It's full of flowers and handmade cards, chip bags and candy. Someone found a stuffed animal dog back on the mainland and put it in there, as well as a two-foot-tall plastic hotdog.
"Goodnight, Adam," she says, quietly, quietly, and then goes into her capsule and shuts the door.
Chase walks over to Adam's capsule and leans down, puts a hand on the plastic hotdog. Adam would've loved it. He knows that.
And he knows that if his Commando App activates again, he's got Bree to pick up the pieces. For the past few days, he's felt painfully, achingly alone.
But he's not. Neither of them are.
Chase goes into his capsule for the night and shuts the door.