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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Melissa found her, found her way to her, didn't die. Small comforts. Jennifer was ready to take anything she could get. Right now, that meant a lack of killers, a lack of fear. So be it. Melissa seemed ready to take a rest, sitting down with a comment about her feet. Jennifer nodded assent, sitting down herself, briefly pausing to make sure that she wouldn't end up with glass stuck in her legs. Most of the time, skirts were superior to pants in every way, in her opinion. At moments like this, though, she really regretted not just throwing some fucking sweats into her pack. It always paid to be prepared. She knew that now, not like it would help her in the future. She'd never pack a bag again.

At least the stench wasn't too bad here. Jennifer remembered a science experiment from middle school, something with a strong-smelling chemical. The experiment had been designed to demonstrate the human brain's capacity to filter out consistent sensory input, so as to better pick up changes to the status quo. That would work in her favor now, with the decay all around them. How long had it been for the smell to go away? Fifty-five seconds? This would take longer, of course.

Melissa had continued speaking, ending up stating things in the same vein that Jennifer had found her thoughts tracing earlier. It hurt, hearing Melissa thinking those same things, facing those same facts. The other girl didn't dwell on them, though, didn't sink into a depression. She managed to pull things back to a happy place, smiling and getting brighter and sharing their joke again, the one from the day they'd met.

Jennifer couldn't help smiling and laughing, her first genuine, non-crazed laugh in this place. It felt good. Felt fucking normal for a change. There was no tension. Melissa didn't look the greatest. She had blood on her, just like Jennifer did. The topic hadn't even come up. Jennifer didn't fucking care what had happened, what Melissa had done. She knew from the announcements that her friend hadn't killed. That was enough. More than enough. She'd have welcomed Melissa with open arms even if she'd been a murderer. It was stupid and naïve, but she didn't care. She just wanted to be around good people, friendly people. It wouldn't really be that much worse if she was murdered by someone she thought was a friend than if she got killed by a total stranger.

So she replied in kind to Melissa's quip, trying to seize another few minutes of happiness.

"You know, um, she can control time or something, right? I, um, I think I have a recommendation for, um, for a bus that could use some flat tires about a week ago."

Probably not the best thing to joke about right now. Fuck. She quickly plowed on.

"I'm, um, I'm glad you're okay. I just... so much has happened."

Great job spreading the fucking levity. She twisted her skirt a little, glancing around the hall of mirrors, hoping she hadn't fucked up yet again and caused more damage to her friend.
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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A Day Late · Hall of Mirrors