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Viewing Single Post From: Call Me Maybe
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The mood had changed.

Mel had been about to open her mouth and launch into another spiel about who knew what - probably about what was in her control and what was not, what she thought about the terrorists versus what Tessa thought and whether that really mattered or not and-

And here came Vinny, picking up on something that she hadn't, in fact, even begun to consider, a blind spot that she now realized she wished had stayed blind. Even Cameron had hinted at it, under the guise of them using Elmo to commit a mugging.

It had always been easy for her to take responsibility and paint herself as a bad guy or an idiot's straw man; she had never cared much about the consequences, had never felt anything but amusement for Astrid's death glares.

She saw what Vinny meant now. That there was another idea that wasn't ridiculous in its maliciousness or incredibly dumb, an idea that made far too much sense - that maybe she and Cameron had been working together, were purposefully lulling the other two into a false sense of security, to strike at them when they least expected it. That they might have already done so before, with a small hiccup in the execution. That was... that was too serious. Too real. She had somehow picked the silliest interpretation impulsively and not even considered the rest.

All of her thoughts came together at once. She didn't want to act like this was real. That was the point. She'd succeeded in a way, up to now, to cocoon herself in enough disbelief that the darker possible implications of Tessa's words had passed her right by.

They were stranded on an island with explosive collars around their necks, their lives at the mercy of the ones who held the triggers. She was probably going to die. That was what she was willing to accept as real. The rest - the distrust, the mind games her classmates played or would play, the divisions they made amongst themselves - she refused. Despite Tessa's words, she doubled down. Acting like that was real made it real. Accepting what the terrorists had set up would lead to doing what she'd told herself they wanted her to do. Better yet, it would lead to doing what she didn't want to do.

Say she was wrong.

Say Tessa was right. Say the terrorists didn't care.

She was still going to give them the biggest middle-fingered fuck you she could.

Vinny had the serious stuff all about covered. Mel just scratched her head with her free hand, said "Sure" and shrugged and shot Tessa a small smile, because now she was sure what she wanted and, selfish as it might be, that was all that mattered.
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