"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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The Way the Sun Can Still Burn Down
Hazel's plea was met with uncomfortable glances from Jeremy. He started, stopped, looked to be thinking, looked pained, started again.

And turned away from her. Hazel's face fell and she dropped back, holding her clasped hands to her chest. Her eyes began to well up with tears. After trying everything she could think of, she'd reached out and only had her hand burned in return.

She heard something. It was Jordan. In his own uncertain way he was reaching out to them. Hazel bit her lip and walked to Jordan with her head hung low. She stopped when they were perhaps two inches apart. Her low-hung head made her appear even shorter than she was.

Hazel put her forehead against Jordan's chest and her arms snapped forward, circling around him. She sobbed into him. The noise was muffled against his body, but her shoulders shook. Her fingers gripped the boy. The tightness of their hold seemed to correspond to her shuddering.

"I'm t-t-trying," she said into Jordan's midsection.

Hazel didn't want to do this. She really wanted to try and push through until they could figure out the right course of action and she really hated the idea of being seen as a "cry baby."

"I don't know--"

In a world where suddenly no one was trustworthy, there was at least a floss thread's worth of trust binding Jordan and Hazel together. Half the width of that was Jeremey. Was this their life now? How had they even managed to make it this far? Hazel had a pair of binoculars for godsakes.

"How much longer can we hold out?"

A moment of weakness.

"Should we....find Min?"


The Way the Sun Can Still Burn Down
((Hazel Jung continued from Woof Woof I'm A Dog Kill Your Friends

It wasn't her preference to leave Alex behind, mostly because she wanted to make sure he didn't do anything dangerous to himself or others. However, there was no budging him. She left with the others, mostly silent as they wandered. She hadn't slept well and felt tired, allowing Jordan and Jeremy to talk without her for the most part. It was morning now, and they'd made it without encountering anyone else, for good or bad.

"Do you feel like you're waiting around for it to be you?" she said quietly to Jeremy. "I feel like every face is kind of unfamiliar even if I've known them my whole life. I get this cold feeling thinking of people who were friends and I wonder 'Do they want to get rid of me?' I think about people who I thought of friends- now I-... and I feel this chill that makes me want to hug myself. Who else can I trust to hug me, right? Haha." She had a half smile that didn't even try to cover up her sadness.

"Sometimes I think, maybe I should....before someone else takes me out. Isn't that better than watching the people you've talked to and confided in for years trying to get you? I don't even really know why I'm trying or caring. I think it's out of habit. It feels like trying to hold up a sand castle after a wave just came along. It's mushy and running through your fingers and the harder you try to keep it up, the more it crumbles and in the end it's an impossible thing anyway. Every minute since I woke up I have this pang in my chest and it doesn't hurt me that much, but it does still hurt."

She don't know what she was doing. She wanted to see people again and remember what things were like. She wanted to feel warm and happy like she used to and smile. Hazel knew that she would never feel that again. Every minute was like being slowly poisoned and she don't know if she wanted to stay long enough to become swallowed up- a column of poison.

"But I don't know what else to do."

Jordan was still with her and she felt a certain responsibility not to just leave him. He'd been good enough to stay by her even after everything that had happened and every stupid thing she'd done. She didn't know him well, but it felt unfair to leave him on his own.

Woof Woof, I'm a Dog. Kill your Friends.
"Oh," Hazel responded to Alex. She kicked one of the cans gingerly, causing them to rattle a little.

She was now being asked to recall information about Liz and Vanessa, but a lot had happened since they'd encountered them. She squinted her eyes and tries to remember.

"Vanessa was...fine? I guess. Friendly. Liz was...um...crying and not doing so great."

Hazel smiled awkwardly at Alex's declaration that he was happy to see them.

"Would you mind if maybe we hunkered down some place less...cornered and creepy?" she ventured. "Not that I don't love what you've done with the place.

((Hazel Jung continued The Way the Sun Can Still Burn Down))

Woof Woof, I'm a Dog. Kill your Friends.
Alex looked into her eyes with a slight smile, but his gaze were cold. The touch of mirth didn't reach all the way up. He turned to pick on Jordan a little and before she could defend him and repeat that the blame should lie with her alone, he touched on it and complimented her acting as well.

It was not remotely the appropriate time or place to take on the compliment, but despite everything else happened, it flattered her. Hazel blushed just slightly at the recognition of her skill, something she once hoped she could be good enough at to do professionally. He looked down at his machete and she followed his eye line. By the time she looked back up again she found Alex staring at her.

He growled his disagreement with her ideology that being the same was a bad thing, asking her if she'd seen the mutilated corpse of one of their classmates and tightening his hold on her hand. Hazel let out a sharp, but barely audible gasp in response to the squeeze. Her heart sped up just a little, but she maintained her poise. She'd never been so close to someone who'd killed someone before.

At least, not after they'd killed someone said a nasty voice in her head. Hazel bit her lip.

His face matched his unhappy eyes gradually and he said something about intending to win and kill, but not become a puppet to the terrorists, which seemed totally contradictory. In fact, the entire thing was strange since by giving him a chance to tell his side of what happened, Hazel expected him to give some sort of justification for his actions or at least paint himself in a sympathetic light even if it was a lie. If he wanted to keep someone around he'd try to mollify people, but instead he was trying to make himself intentionally scary. Hazel wasn't sure what to make of that choice. It could be that he this was all a front, a shell to protect him from the realities of this place. It could also be that he truly was insane and bloodthirsty and some guilt was trying to warn them away. Internally she weighed both possibilities, not noticing that she had tilted her head a little to match the weighing.

He finished, her holding onto him and him onto holding her. He said something about a hobo maze and Hazel blurted "I don't know what that means," unable to stop herself.

Alex ended and Jeremy sought fit to break things up, accepting her apology and picking up a clipboard.

"Thanks."

She let go of Alex, breaking the electric current running through them. She went to Jeremy and looked at the names on the list.

"Mmm...no. I don't remember seeing any of them. We saw a different Luz though, Eliza?"