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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Nick understood the meaning behind her gesture, and vocalized it, causing Jennifer to smile a bit. So, this wasn't going to go badly, then. There was hope. Even amidst all of this, two people could still bring themselves to trust each other, to show a little faith in the basic decency of near-strangers.

She was not surprised when Nick joined her, the beam of the flashlight he left behind illuminating his form. What was shocking was the state he was in. Battered. Beaten. Damaged. His face a terrible mess, his arm bandaged. Clearly, he had been through some pretty terrible experiences. Nick's injuries made Jennifer flinch for a second, and she hated herself so much for it. That was the last thing he needed right now. She just... she'd never been this near anyone with nay sort of serious injury before, and it was terrible. And the worst part of it was, in a few days, that could be her state. All it would take would be a single mistake, a single moment of misplaced trust. Nick made that clear with his statements, and then... he thanked her. He thanked her for something she never would have imagined to be deserving of praise.

"Um," she said. "No pro—uh, nobody deserves to die."

It was simple but true. No one here had asked to be kidnapped, asked to be turned into some sort of sick psychological experiment/television phenomenon. Jennifer couldn't even find it in her now to blame those who had killed from fear. They were scrambling to avoid dying, but they were already gone. Already irretrievably altered. The others—and she was sure there would be others, if there weren't already—those who killed from some sense of sadism or revenge or some other stupid motive like that, she did blame, but she also pitied. They were the ones who lost the most. The ones who destroyed everything about themselves that anyone had ever valued.

"Here," she said, looking back at Nick. She had no idea what she was doing, but the words came naturally. "Let me see if I can help you a bit."

She dropped her daypack to the ground, unzipped it, and located the first aid kit. She had no idea how to use any of the items in it. Had never dealt with any sort of serious injury before. But she wanted to patch Nick up to any degree that she could. As she rummaged in the kit, she marveled briefly at how well it was stocked, packed to the brim with esoteric packages and wraps and pills. Finally, she came across a few packs labeled as antiseptic wipes, looking for all the world like those little moist towelettes provided by KFC along with sporks and napkins.

She straightened up again, and realized she hadn't even thought to ask Nick's permission. That was inconsiderate. Maybe he didn't want help.

"Um, that is, if you'd, uh, like. I don't... I don't really know how to use most of this."
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
Library Vee
Misty Browder drawn by Ryuki
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Spelunking · The Tunnels