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“How could anything be okay?” That had been what Clarice meant to say, but it came out water-logged and messy.

Kizi didn’t say anything, just hugged back, but already Clarice was starting to feel embarrassed. This was the exact sort of shit she didn’t have time for. She could cry and scream if she lived, but every moment she cried was a moment where someone else could die.

But stopping was hard. Near-impossible, in fact. Clarice couldn’t stop, until she heard Kizi speak to someone.


Clarice turned a little to look, and sure enough. Kimiko. Blood on her face and a weapon in her hand.

Slowly, Clarice turned back. She still had a grip on Kizi, and she moved Kizi slightly so that Clarice was between her and Kimiko before letting go and facing her friend. As she turned back to Kimiko, she tried to catch the eye of Bart and Jennifer and jerk her head behind her. Trying to tell them, without words, that they should get behind her too.

She didn't know if Kimiko would attack. Maybe Clarice could stop her just by... fuck, appealing to friendship or whatever. If nothing else, Clarice could probably stop any of the three from getting stabbed. She wasn't going to watch anyone else die like Harold had.

Clarice wiped her eyes with her good hand, trying to stop. Maybe succeeding a little more, if only out of… uncertainty and fear and stuff about what would go down next.

She tried to sign, but just the attempt at lifting her arm sent a bolt of pain through her injured shoulder. Clarice looked at her one good hand for a moment, trying to figure out what she could sign with just one hand, before sighing and lowering it again.

“Kimiko.” Clarice took a deep, watery breath before flatly saying, “What the fuck?”

Maybe not the best way to ask ‘why did you murder two people?’
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Why We Fight · The Storehouse