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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Jennifer tried to wrap Phil in the bandages, tried to stop the bleeding. She had no idea whether the wound was a bad one. It looked bad. It was a cut, from a sword, and there was blood, and surely that couldn't be minor, right? Anyways, time to worry about that later. Maybe, if he didn't get better on his own, she could stitch him up. Was sewing a person up similar to sewing fabric? She still had her travel sewing kit.

Phil called out to her. Called her by the wrong name. Fuck. Jennifer didn't say anything, kept up a smile. She couldn't be mad at him, not now, not given his situation. Even if he had made the social mistake she hated most. Sharing a name with another girl of the same ethnicity was bad enough. It practically guaranteed confusion, even though the Jennifers looked nothing alike. Romita being one of the biggest sluts in the school, however, took the issue from the realm of the unfortunate into the land of constant irritant. It didn't happen often, but, a time or two a year, younger guys would bug Jennifer, hit on her, that sort of thing. It was one of the few areas where she felt comfortable just walking away, regardless of the rudeness.

She couldn't dwell on that, though. Couldn't afford to worry about things like school drama. She'd set Phil straight later, calmly and kindly. Right now, she had to keep him alive. Had to keep wrapping the bandages. Looking down, she saw his eyes come into focus a bit more. Then he realized his mistake, apologized. Jennifer's smile broadened, no longer strained in the slightest.

"It's, um, it's alright. I don't mind. Thanks."

She continued working on Phil's side until the bandaging materials had been used up. Hopefully, it would be enough. It had to be. Phil would be fine. She couldn't fail him too, like she'd failed Guthrie, sitting back and assuming someone else would take care of things. That was a fucking awful way to be. For some reason, she found herself thinking back to a night in the real world, sitting at the Varsity, watching Dustin Royal take advantage of a drunk Rosa Fiametta. What had she said at the time? "Someone should stop that"? Something like that. That was her method, wasn't it? Leave the hard work for someone else. Let the others take the risk, the blame. She only stepped up when there was no other option.

So, she'd failed Nick too, then, hadn't she? She was good at talking people down. It was one of the few areas of social interaction she actually felt somewhat useful at. And yet, she'd stood by, not even tried to do anything. And now, Phil was hurt, Guthrie was dead, and Nick was gone, run off by Jennifer herself. It was a fucking lovely beginning to the day.

Her smile was forced, now. She hoped Phil didn't notice, as she tied the bandage off.

"Um," she said, "I hope that'll hold. Are you, uh, how do you feel?"

She had no idea what she'd do if he wasn't alright, if he needed more extensive treatment, but she'd help him. Somehow, she would help him.
Juliette Sargent drawn by Mimi and Ryuki
Alton Gerow drawn by Mimi
Lavender Ripley drawn by Mimi
Phillip Olivares drawn by Ryuki
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Spelunking · The Tunnels