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A Delicate Machine
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Worlds of meaning and implication, there. Cass was flattered, really, but Trav was being far too kind, extending such an invitation to a complete stranger. That pure trust was beautiful, but Cass knew it'd only be wasted on them. The peaceful moments they had shared were priceless, but it was better they quickly turned into a good memory and stayed that way, before Cass inevitably messed up and tainted them, shattered whatever illusion it was that was causing Trav to think so fondly of them.

Art was Cass's single redeeming factor, but it was worthless here, even if they could find a pen and paper. All they could do without it was, well, exist. Take up space, both physically and in people's consciousnesses. It was clear that Trav was a good person, so why should Cass force him to care about them? To waste his thoughts and time on a nobody, instead of any of the people he actually knew and loved?

Wonderful as it would be, people weren't infinite founts of empathy and devotion. Realistically, you could only really care about a small, finite amount of people; so what made Cass deserving at all of that precious place in a person's heart? Even Cass's dearest friends, people who did already care, like Clarice and Bernadette, were better off without them. Any time they spent concerned for Cass would be time spent not considering their own perilous states, cracked plates in their armor that anyone with ill intent could exploit; and Cass knew their friends. They would worry.

More than anything else, Cass didn't want to be anyone's weakness.

"I... think I need to rest a little longer. You should just go on without me," Cass said, making their excuses. "I'm sure you've got other people you want to be finding."
a tribute for the dead and dying

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