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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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Erik had bandaged her up pretty well, and for that Kimberly was thankful. It was strange, letting someone touch her injured arm. She hadn't willingly done that since parting with the group. It was also strange to think that she was the last one left. Who'd have fucking guessed that the girl they all thought was gonna die would end up the last one around? It didn't make sense. Only thing she had going for her was sheer determination.

Then again, that's all this game was, wasn't it? Plenty of innocents had been gunned down, yeah, but it was rare for that to happen without any extenuating circumstances. How many people just walked up and popped someone? Not many. No, they stopped, they stopped and they tortured and they talked, and the only reason they got any kills at all was because they were lucky or their targets gave up. She'd seen it. She'd seen Brook and Dutchy. Had it been her in Dutchy's shoes, no rescue would have been required. The trick was to scream and claw and bite to the bitter end. Make them pay for everything, like she should've done with Jeremy. Fuck this peaceful acceptance Zen bullshit so many of her classmates seemed to have going on. That just meant they'd been thoroughly whipped by the system. It meant the last shred of hope had been wrung out of them.

"Thanks," she said. It was strange, this conversation. Medical shit aside, they could be back in Saint Paul, maybe having a slightly awkward chat about school enemies over lunch. Man, that Kris bitch, she nabbed my Prom date, so I'm gonna make sure to spill punch on her dress. That sort of stuff. Kimberly had never really been dialed into the pulse of the majority of the student body, except insofar as she had to be to rebel against whatever garbage passed for popular at the moment. She'd sat down the block from the school, smoking with all the other people with dyed blond locks and striped clothing. She kind of hated most of her old friends now. They hadn't had a clue what they were talking about.

Everything in her old life felt fake. Funny, that. She'd been so sure she was the only one who understood authenticity.

"So," she said, mostly because she was enjoying hearing another voice after days of silence, "what activities have you got planned for the rest of this little vacation?"

She didn't want to stick with Erik, of course. Well, not if he was searching for someone or planning something that would take her away from her hunt. He was nice, but not worth losing her purpose for. But, if he was drifting aimlessly, well, maybe they could drift aimlessly together for a little while, just as a convenience. He'd just have to know to get the fuck out of the way if they did catch up with Kris. But it'd be better than to hear that she'd killed him over the announcements. It was sheer pragmatism, that was all.

Fuck all that self deception.

Kimberly didn't lie to herself. She wanted to stay with Erik. She wanted to travel with him, maybe enjoy the rest of her life. The only issue, the only reason she didn't come out and say it, was that she wanted Kris more.
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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Burn On · The Mountain