"We tried to be better, but we aren't. I don't think anyone could last more than a week here if they weren't willing to do bad things." - Alba Reyes

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Cicada Days
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👀 (credit to Kotorikun)
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Ben watched Lucilly shift through a series of verbs from second to second. He'd never seen her this hesitant, unsure before. She didn't wear it well. Every unwarranted tremor of her form, this way or that, it just threw her into the oddest of reliefs. Shadows that weren't supposed to be there. Why the hell was Ben even reading so much into it? He hadn't been holding his breath or clenching his fist or anything contrived and cliche like that, but it had been a weirdly close run thing. Of all the times to have a poignant moment he picked the one where he was holding what amounted to oversize dustpan.

Sadie.

Well. He hadn't even remembered that was going to be a thing. Lana made it a point to never attend and it had sort of fallen off his radar, some unconscious echo of his sisters conscientious boycotting. Not like he believed in her childish reasoning for not attending. Just like everything else it had seemed to slip off the radar.

Well it was definitely back on it now. Just a couple of feet from his face, a radar signature blaring as bright as Lucilly's blush.

Lucilly. He'd never really even gotten the sense that she was romantically interested in anyone at all. She was always there with a kind word and a touch. Nothing more. Ben couldn't even begin to guess at the reasoning... wasn't important anyways. What was important was that she wanted him, here and now. And he had to answer her, here and now. Lucilly. She wasn't some curvy radiant goddess or anything. She wasn't the target of the disgusting locker room talk Ben still had the misfortune to sometimes overhear even though he'd threatened some serious beat-downs to the perpetrators. She wasn't anything special to look at at all. She was just... Lucilly.

And somehow, that was all he really needed to see. Ben kept the body language as cool as he could, but he couldn't help the little bit of flush tinging his smile.

"Yeah. I'm surprised you'd ask me of all people, but... No other way to put it than hell yeah."
The Dies Before First Rolls Squad

The Nights
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Be Still · Before the Dance