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In some cultures, what I do is considered normal.
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Roman feebly tried to wave Jojo’s concerns off, limply flapping his good right hand at him. As well meaning as the others were, they didn’t seem to understand the need to find Alex right *now*. He had to find her, never mind what his body was doing. Alex could be in even worse shape and who would take care of her if he didn’t find her?

As he gathered his waning strength for one more attempt to stand, he was nearly knocked off his impromptu seat by a force of nature. But even better than a force of nature, it was the force of Alex. He bit back a whimper of pain as she wrapped him in a tight but brief embrace. He had never been more glad to see her in his whole life. He smiled indulgently as she chattered away a mile a minute in typical Alex fashion. He allowed the sounds to wash over him, reassuring him that it really was his twin, safe and whole and healthy.

“Hey, you okay? You’re not saying much.”

A perfectly innocent question but more than he could deal with. He was hurt and exhausted but none of that was important anymore. Shakily reaching out, Roman tucked an errant strand of hair behind Alex’s ear before briefly touching her face. She felt so wonderfully warm and alive to his cold, clammy hand. She was here and she was okay.

The first tear slipped from his eye as fine tremors wracked his body. Learning forward, he grabbed Alex in a one-armed bear hug, burying his face in the crook of her neck and clinging to his sister as he began to cry.

Thank you, God. She’s here and she’s okay. I was so afraid I’d never see her again. Nothing else matters, as long as she's okay. Oh, thank you. Thank you.
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Instinct · The Felled Forest: South