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But would she hurt them?

There it was again. The static, the panic overtaking him. Worst of all was something new - a brief, twisted sense of vindication. He'd been right. People had started killing.

Wayne could feel his hand on the side of his leg, the side not facing the girl, the fabric of his pants wicking away the sweat forming on his palm. His hand had moved there almost out of instinct. It had moved there because the hilt of his knife was there.

There was just one thing that had arrested him in his tracks, had stopped him from drawing the knife and to hell with anything and anybody that said otherwise - and it wasn't even himself, wasn't even a conscious choice that he'd made. It wasn't his concern for Asha's well being. It wasn't because it didn't seem like the right thing to do.

It wasn't even the blood.

It was that - and how stupid a thing it was to matter - the girl's hair was blue.

Not the right shade of blue, of course. Not even in this lighting. And her face - completely different. But for a moment he had hesitated, and the moment had passed, and reflexive panic was no longer the only thing in control. Now, if he were to act, to threaten or bluff or even attack, and put Asha in more danger than she had already put herself in... If he really wanted what he wanted, if he really believed that the best person should get out of here, and that both Asha and Dorothy were more deserving of it than him, he couldn't do that.

Or perhaps he really didn't care. Perhaps he just didn't want to see Asha die so directly because of his mistakes, because he just wanted to keep putting off guilt and shame like he always did. Perhaps... perhaps even any attachment, any gratitude towards them he'd formed in his mind was just an act to fool himself, to tell himself that he still had something other than selfishness left in him.

And what about why he had hesitated in the first place? How did that play into it?

He didn't know. He didn't want to know. He'd stopped going for his knife. That was all. His arm slowly relaxed, hand lowering, his eyes still focused on the bloody face of the unknown girl.

"It's all right," he lied, because nothing was, really.
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