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A Delicate Machine
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Cass still wasn't okay, but they were starting to approach functional again. "It's alright," they said to Irene, still staring at the floor. "You didn't do anything wrong." She should have never had to waste her guilt on Cass, forcing apologies from her lips out of some twisted obligation to give comfort to the bomb that had exploded in her face. Their face flushed red with shame, intensified as they felt Wade's silent gaze.

There was no sympathy there, refreshingly enough. Cass was glad to know that they had managed to avoid dragging at least one person down with them into the perpetual churning cesspit of negative emotion. Still, they didn't understand why he was paying so much attention to them, and shifted uncomfortably in place as Wade shifted closer to them. He looked detached, analytical; a judge or a labcoat studying a particularly ugly specimen to figure out just what the fuck was wrong with them.

They were all too glad to accept Trav's offer of sanctuary, a brief respite from hurt and indifference. If he had been anyone else, Cass would have been sure that they had only disappointed him by falling apart again; but he was, as ever, collected. Trav held an admirable self-confidence, being unarrogantly secure enough in himself to be able to extend that feeling of safety to everyone around him. Despite everything, they found themself idly regretting that they'd never get the chance to paint him. Regardless, Cass shakily got to their feet, still avoiding looking at the others.

Both of them walked down the corridor, Cass trailing a few steps behind Trav. Once they were a safe distance from the room, Cass quietly said "Sorry... about, well. Everything."
a tribute for the dead and dying

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