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frogue
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just a picture of a cloud
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
[Raina Rose and Johnny Ray McKay continued from Needless and Pins]

A change’d come over Raina. She was colder, Johnny thought. More professional in a way, though what that professional was he couldn’t say. Survival, perhaps, where your wages are paid out in hours, and you only have to fuck up one little order to get fired.

As long as she kept it together it didn’t bother Johnny.

He’d asked his brother, once, why Tom still kept chasing Jerry. Didn’t he know he could never catch him? Darren had asked him whether it mattered, and Johnny had taken that as a brother’s dismissal of a stupid question and left it alone. As Raina withdrew though, keeping more and more to herself, Johnny found his thoughts turning to Darren more often.

Did it matter, whether Tom thought he could catch that fucking mouse, or not? He’d always thought that it did, that Tom had to think he had a chance or he wouldn’t try, he’d just give up, right? Why bother trying something if you know, if you know you won’t succeed?

Now, Johnny saw things differently. What else was Tom to do? He didn’t have a job, he didn’t have friends, it didn’t seem like he really had hobbies, either. Maybe some cats had goals and dreams, but this one certainly didn’t He was waiting out the clock, basically, and when you’re waiting out the clock, you may as well do whatever. Even if you know it won’t work, even if the chance of success is tinier than the tiniest feather on the tiniest wing of the tiniest sparrow, because, still… maybe, right?

Could Raina get them out of there? Johnny had told the others she could, not that him saying that had stopped them from running off and getting themselves killed of course, but he’d told them. Anyone else they’d meet he’d tell the same, though for the past day it had just been the pair of them. He’d have told Raina that too, had she asked, though she was saying less and less and the days drew on. Could he tell himself that, though?

Johnny couldn’t. There wasn’t a way out, they were going to die here, any sane person would realize that, and maybe the fact that Raina hadn’t said she was further gone, more deluded than he wanted to believe. He kept following her, though, because he liked her, he liked her company, because nobody should die alone, and because, still… maybe, right?

Going after the tiniest chance was still better than sitting around, watching Jerry eat all your cheese or whatever. If anything could be done, it was worth doing something.

He’d seen mice running through the corridors. The mice were running, not him; Raina and he moved slowly, making as little sound as possible. The mice were long and skinny, shaped like furry little sausages, and looked nothing like Jerry.

Johnny missed his brother.
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