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A Delicate Machine
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Congratulations, Cass; you managed to raise your voice a little bit about something you cared about without bursting into tears. Of course, that selfish solace didn't matter one bit, since Asuka was crying instead. Stupid. Callous. Her reassurance of blamelessness didn't carry much conviction when it was delivered side by side with her sobs. It looked like she needed a hug, or half-believable reassurance, or anything, really; but from the moment they had met here there had been a strange disconnect between the two of them, a feeling of not being on the same page; and though it may have only been a symptom of Cass's continued isolation, it still brought with it enough doubt to leave them silent in their chair as Asuka weakly, bravely tried to continue the conversation.

"I... I can't think of anything to say," Cass said, idly spinning their pencil in their hand; gaze locked to the motion instead of looking at Asuka. "At least not anything worth saying out loud."

"It's like- everything that comes to mind is just... depressing shit. Like, the longer I've been alive here, the less and less I've been expecting to ever talk to another person again, I mean like, really talk; and even now that you're here, it's just..." They sighed. "I don't wanna talk about my dead friends, and I don't wanna talk about the 'future'. But if I try to think back on any sort of happy memory it just reminds me of how sick I am of these ration bars, and how much I miss my bed, and how much my wrist stings, and goddammit, now I'm just complaining like you're not exactly as uncomfortable as I am."

"I'm just not good at this. Sorry."
a tribute for the dead and dying

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Rivers of Sadness and Mutual Need · The Hunting Cabin