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Clarice hadn’t been paying attention to her surroundings. She’d been too focused on the camera, trying to figure out how to beat it. The sudden greetings—one hesitant, one stern—made her jump a little. Made her start to slide off the front of the truck—whether in preparation for fight or flight, she couldn’t be sure—before she realised no attack was coming.

She knew Bart and Jennifer in passing. In Bart’s case, it was admittedly because it was hard to miss him in a crowd, even with her eyes closed. She knew Jennifer to be pretty smart, and not afraid of telling people when they were fucking up. Clarice wouldn’t pick either of them for players. But what the fuck did she know about that so far?

“Jennifer Wallace,” she replied in kind. She looked at Bart. “Bart—“ She paused for a moment, trying to recall what Bart’s last name was. “...Bart,” she finished sheepishly.

She heard a scrapey, crumbly noise nearby. Faint, but still there. Clarice’s head started to turn in that direction, but movement behind Bart and Jennifer drew her attention back.

Now, Clarice wasn’t in the most trusting of moods. But there were things that could make her sure that someone wasn’t about to attack. And Kizi throwing her shotgun on the ground while running at her was a pretty big indicator that this wasn’t secretly some kind of ambush.

Even if it was a naive move. Even if it was just so similar to Harold putting aside his sword and Conrad picking it up—

A split-second of horrified panic crossed Clarice’s face when Kizi carelessly tossed her gun aside.

But that was Kizi. That was Kizi and it had been Harold and it had killed Harold. But Kizi was alive and Clarice wasn’t Conrad.

And so Clarice slid off the front of the truck, feet hitting the ground with a thump.

“Yeah. Same, just… god, same.”

Clarice reached out and gave Kizi a tight one-armed hug. That’s all she meant to do.

But she also started crying like a baby that had just realised Santa Claus was actually a burglar wearing a red suit and stealing all its toys. Clarice hated crying in front of people. She hadn’t done this since… since…

Well, since she was ten, that night she’d run off from her parents arguing and gone to Conrad’s house. And goddamn if that just didn’t make her cry harder.
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Why We Fight · The Storehouse