"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Don't cast aspersions on my asparagus.
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Kiziah had always been a good shoulder to cry on.

There was nothing judgemental. No inquisitive prying, no callous second-guessing, no heartless reminders they were all in this together, none of that 'just get over it' chastising. Those options didn't even occur to her. Were alien to her. Responding to someone in tears with anything other than a sympathetic look and open arms, that was unimaginable. Unthinkable. Something that, even on the island, she couldn't picture anyone doing. She just returned the hug, mindful of the obvious injury and gentle in movement in case there were other wounds concealed beneath clothing or skin.

Kizi knew she couldn't understand Clarice's pain. Knew she couldn't even hope to imagine a morsel of what she was going through. The physical trauma, the turmoil of bereavement, they had all hurt Clarice far more than they had hurt Kizi. There was no point in putting her on the spot. Forcing her to talk about her feelings. Clarice would talk when she was ready. She'd always been strong. She'll be strong again.

And she let Clarice get whatever she wanted out of that moment. She wouldn't pull away from the hug. If Clarice needed a long hug, she deserved a long hug. She was a good person, would do the same and more, probably show some helpful initiative, if the shoes were reversed. And so Kizi stayed still, gently stroking her back, letting her cry. Felt her tears seep into her shirt. No worry. It was good she was letting it out. That she was safe enough to do so.

And then her eyes came upon Kimiko.

Clarice and Kimiko, they were good friends! For a moment, a brief and fleeting moment, Kizi thought this was good news. A burst of comfort, a helping hand, that Clarice so desperately needed. And then, of course, realisation. Kimiko was a murderer. Even putting the announcements aside, her appearance was far from exonerating.

But the way she walked towards them was. It was disarming. Friendly. sincere. Kizi believed in the benefit of the doubt. Anything else was unthinkable to her.

"H-hi, Kimiko," she said, after that second of mental rumination.
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