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A Delicate Machine
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All it took was one knock to defeat Cass's attempt to turn the bedroom into a hermitage. One reminder that there was more to the world beyond the room's four decaying walls; not content to let Cass deal with it on their own time. Earlier, they would have sighed and gone to answer it; but the aftershock of the shotgun's salutation kept them in their seat.

Even if they doubted the owner of that impulsive trigger finger was knocking now, they had little to gain and everything to lose from poking their head out the door a second time. Even if the knocker decided to enter, reassured by silence; Cass didn't want their last thoughts to be a lament of how much could have been saved by sticking to a corner.

The knocker turned into an intruder once, then twice. Cass clutched their sketchbook to their chest again, then relaxed as they saw Asuka's face. They weren't really friends, and while Cass had wanted to change that they had never built up the confidence to try and start... anything. Asuka was cool, after all. She was kind of like what you'd get if you took Cass and gave them an actual functioning brain, complete with existential thoughts that were actually worth thinking.

Thus, it was like a daydream come true to have her actually approach Cass and tell them that they were legitimately, sincerely interested in them. It was so pleasant that it wrapped around to throwing them completely off guard. "Um. Hi? You sure you got any to spare? I mean, I don't mind or anything..." They trailed off, not knocking exactly what they meant. Food to spare? Time or care to spare with a vague imprint of a person?

"Sorry. It's just - you hear any, like, shotguns recently? Someone shot at me and ran like fifteen minutes ago and I'm still pretty freaked out." They gestured to the holy wall back in the living room.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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Rivers of Sadness and Mutual Need · The Hunting Cabin