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A Delicate Machine
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Cass couldn't really debate that, but it still didn't feel great to have it spoken out loud. Still, any discomfort was drowned out by Asuka continuing to pour her soul on the floorboards, too much sorrow for even two people to try and wade through. What did feeling sad matter in the face of this girl revealing that she had already tried to commit suicide by proxy?

Anything had to be better than just letting that sentiment sit there. Cass tried to think about when they had oh-so-recently felt numb and unfathomably alone, what they would have wanted to hear in the midst of their despair.

What they managed to say was "...Trauma's a hell of a drug." Given a second of thought, that wasn't actually the worst metaphor; even if it had originally sprung from the usage of a tired catchphrase. Forces your way into your veins, chilling them as it makes its way up towards your brain in order to rewrite it and leave you fundamentally changed, and even if you recover one day you might never forget the withdrawal.

Stupid. The human being in front of Cass was what mattered, not how much meaning you could read into an accidental turn of phrase.

"I mean, like... it's okay to be weak. I think. Not that I think you're - I mean, I am, too, but - it's not a personal failing? The not really feeling anything part, at least. Like, a lot of my friends are dead, but the only time I've cried was for someone I met like... fuck, was it five days ago? Six? That doesn't mean that I don't care about everyone else or anything, it's just... there's only so much bad shit a single human being can take before you start to shut down, right? Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with you, or me." Cass trailed off, hoping they had made some sort of comforting point but at a loss for what it could be.

Doesn't mean there's anything wrong with me. Ha. This might be the first time in their life that their numbness actually was justified, but that didn't magically make everything else better.
a tribute for the dead and dying

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Rivers of Sadness and Mutual Need · The Hunting Cabin