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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
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"Thanks," Kimberly said. Being polite felt a little bit unnatural. She'd never been particularly courteous, even when it had mattered. It felt strange to start now. On the other hand, she wasn't looking to offend Reiko into a fight or anything of the sort. Besides, the girl was actually being nice. It was pleasant enough, even if Reiko was no Erik when it came to engaging conversation.

Kimberly tried not to scowl at that. She tried to keep her face nice and impassive as she took the chocolate and took a big bite. There was no helping the past now, no fixing yesterday's fuck ups. There was no guaranteeing the future, not when all but one of them would probably be dead in less then a day. There was only the present, and the present included Reiko instead of Erik, and Kimberly had some things she wanted to know that Reiko could help her with.

She finished the chocolate first. Normally, she'd have tossed the wrapper into the flowerbed, but as she was moving to do so, she remembered it was doubling as a grave. The dead wouldn't care about some littering, but she didn't need to fuck up some grieving family's day even more. Funeral rites had always been for the living. These people were lucky enough to have had someone to care for their son or daughter. It wasn't Kimberly's place to spit on that.

Vaguely, she wondered if anyone would bury her. She wondered what they did with all the bodies, at the end. They had to check them, somehow, to make sure no one had managed to play dead.

It wasn't worth thinking about.

She shoved the wrapper into her pocket, checking at the same time that the lighter was still there. Good. Everything was in order.

"How've you been?" she finally asked, finding that none of her real questions was a particularly appropriate opener. There was no good way to lead with "Did you see your sister die?" or "Why'd you murder so many people?" or "How about that rescue we missed?". Faux-normalcy would have to suffice, even if it was stupid. WIth luck, Reiko would run with it and share the things that mattered.

And all the time, Kimberly was wondering how this was going to turn out. After all, there was no guarantee Reiko was half as stable as she looked, and it had to be getting pretty close to the end. She was curious as to how long it would be until Reiko saw her as just another obstacle in the road home.
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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