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You Gave Up Being Good When You Declared a State of War; Open
Topic Started: Oct 10 2016, 08:19 PM (1,077 Views)
Namira
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Null sheen.
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Toby continued from The Cuckoo's Calling))

Toby hadn't slept much. What little had been snatched had been near enough force of habit from the days looking after the kids, studying, kids, studying, exercise... her schedule had beaten into her to steal somerest when she was able to. It's just that didn't come along too much. Always too much to do. Always too much on the schedule. Sucked, that way. She'd wound up curled in a little alcove in a bleak and dank corridor somewhere in the asylum, cold and aching, but at least able to lie down.

Maybe a tiny little fragment of her thoughts were clinging to the old-fashioned notion that things would look better in the morning.

Ha. Hahaha. Ha.

Abby had killed herself. One of her best friends, maybe even one of her two closest friends. This experience, this... place had been too much for her. She- Toby didn't want to dwell on the reasons. She didn't want to understand, or even really try to understand. Abby was a kindly, caring person - the person who more than anyone else would try to make Toby slow down, spend a little time caring for herself than everything else in her life and-

She was gone. Dead.

She-

Toby didn't cry. Wouldn't cry. She wanted to scream. Would've done, if not for the other worry.

Because, other than Abby - and thinking about her tore away at her resilience, over and over and over - other than Abby - there were killers, not just suicides.

Toby wasn't naive enough to call all that death accidental. Kimiko. Isabel? Once, one person, then maybe... but more than one incident, and in Isabel's case, multiple murders...

No. Deliberate. Premeditated.

Half of Toby wanted to be sick again. Except perhaps it wasn't half, perhaps it was less than half as, bit by bit, it sank away into a boiling, seething rage. How dare they. How could they? If not for people like that - and Toby might have known them before but that was then and this was now, then maybe Abby would still be alive. Maybe Toby wouldn't be standing here staring down the barrel of a world without that smile and sincere affection and goodness.

Too late. Too, fucking, late.

Voices, from an open door up ahead. Prickles ran down Toby's spine. Had she heard any of those before? ...Wait, that tone, that cocky drawl... Great.

Jerry Fury. Not who she wanted to see right now, but...

Well, he knew Travis too, and right now Travis - or even the idea of Travis - was what was keeping her together long enough to actually concentrate on something other than her blinding, white-hat anger. Maybe Jerry would know a little more than her.

She took a step forward, put a hand on the wall, just before the door. She could see the frame, but not inside - not who Jerry was talking to, nor he himself.

"Hey in there," soft, but enough to carry. "It's Toby."
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It wasn't Jerry who hailed her back at first, but one of those in the room with him.

Not the ideal start, even if Toby was trying to avoid tunnel vision. Not very well, mind, but she was trying. Her priorities had been more than rattled by the announcement, especially when it came to her actual goals. This wasn't the reality she wanted to live in, the reality where she was barely able to spare a thought to grieve over a friend dying because another friend was dead. Toby could barely process that Abby was dead, let alone deal with it. She didn't even want to address that the first person to die was Jennifer.

She was trying to calm herself down, and it wasn't working.

Toby slid just a little further around the door frame, catching a glimpse of who it was that'd spoken. Oh, Asuka. Their social circles - insomuch as either of them had ones that counted - had ... brushed, here and there, but they weren't close. Toby didn't think she'd exchanged more than a handful of words with her throughout high school. In any case, she made an asinine comment about said lack of familiarity, and Toby had to clamp down on an angry response.

No, actually, Toby didn't wish either of them had known each other better. Because there shouldn't have been a 'before' to look back on. They shouldn't be in this fucked-up situation for Asuka to express regret that the most significant conversation they'd ever had was one of them borrowing a pen from the other.

"Don't we just," was what she managed in reply.

Then Jerry piped up again, and Toby very nearly punched the wall.

He asked her exactly what she was about to ask him.

"I was hoping you would've seen him," Toby let the 'dead' part lie. If she didn't address it, it wouldn't be there.

She let out a breath. "Fuck."

All right. All right. She'd tried. That was important.

"I really need to make sure he's okay, so if he's not here..." she trailed off, looked at the three in the room. Asuka, Jerry - another girl just to the side, who Toby recognised as Nadia Riva. They'd crossed paths on runs on occasion, but again, nobody close. "Look, I don't know what you guys have all got planned or anything so I'm not going to get in your hair."

Another glance around them. Two people she didn't know if she could trust and one that she sort of trusted but didn't really like. Jerry was, well, Jerry. He was a jackass, but Toby couldn't see him hurting anyone.

But then, she couldn't see Kimiko hurting anyone, before this morning.

Company was... it was a risk, there were no two ways of slicing it. More of a risk than going it alone? It was hard to say. Damn hard.

"If you wanna come with, I'm going to go find Travis," she spoke looking right at Jerry. "But you better not slow me down, if you do."

Toby bounced lightly on her heels. She was prepared to run and not stop until she was sure her friends were safe.

She couldn't protect Abby. She hadn't even had the chance. She couldn't let that happen again.
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Leaving right now became not quite leaving right now as Jerry did the Jerry thing and pissed Asuka off. Toby stopped psyching up and for a second just stared.

For fuck's sake, was this actually happening, because she really didn't have time for ... it.

Asuka was giving Jerry a gun? That was... amongst the worst ideas Toby had seen so far today.

No, scratch today. Last few weeks, last months. Why oh why would you arm Jerry. Even to prove a point. Especially to prove a point.

She didn't think Jerry would actually shoot her. He was a jackass, but not that flavour of jackass.

It was still a colossally bad idea.

And now Jerry was 'with' her.

With a gun.

...

Fuck.

Toby started to jog away through the corridors, and had never been less reassured to have company.

((Toby continued in Ain't nobody got time for that))
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