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Nov 27, 2020 1:30 AM
in which kelsey's brain continues to want to throw a sad spike at things and bard is very accommodating
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Yeah. I guess.

 

I'm sorry. It's not - I'm not mad, or anything. And I know it's stupid.

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I don't think you're stupid. And I know you're careful. Do you know where to find us, if you want to, someday?

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Not really. I guess I should know that.

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I have a brother who teaches at MIT. You could go there and shout in your head. 

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Okay. That sounds - doable.

 

I always can come back, yeah? Not a point where it gets to be annoying?

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Karen, our debt to you will last until all of the stars have burned out, and then some.

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That seems kinda dramatic, but okay.

 

I didn't do that much. Personally.

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Yes. You really did.

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She ducks into an alleyway to sit behind some overturned trash cans. She hugs herself.

 

S'mostly that Wishbone knew the ritual. Woulda been other humans eventually.

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Only you could do it, Karen, only you could remember you were supposed to. With the humans - we wouldn't have been expecting that, wouldn't have been ready -

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I guess.

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Take - whatever you need, okay? Whatever you need. I just want you to have - everything.

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Okay.

 

I think I might need to be - kinda messed up for a while. And I don't wanna be messed up around people. Not until I'm - I don't want people to see all the messed up parts. Is what it is.

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I ran away, when I was a kid. It wasn't - good, but making me stay would've been so much worse. Came back a couple years later, riding a dinosaur. I love you. Go - go do whatever you need to do.

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...okay.

Love you too. And - thanks and stuff.

 

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Mmhmm.

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She wipes her eyes and comes out of her alleyway. She keeps heading towards Zeke's, trying to maintain a basic awareness of her surroundings. It's harder when you're crying.

 

She hears the Darth Vader mechanical breathing sound before she connects it to anything. She figures out where he is about a half-second before an invisible force is lifting her up by the neck, crushing her windpipe closed. And at that point she can't do anything, she doesn't have any contact with the ground and can't apply force to anything, doesn't have any air and can't make a stab at diplomacy. She frantically thinks through her options, and gets a little more frantic as she fails to think of anything.

The four-foot-tall Darth Vader berates a couple storm troopers and a pirate for having their territory insufficiently guarded. 

He doesn't put her down. She realizes that he doesn't have a reason to. She's gonna suffocate. She's gonna die. She's gonna die and go to hell and she won't ever get better and she won't ever see Azalea or Alex or Wishbone or Connor ever again.

 

Hey Alex -

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Hmm - fuck -

 

He races out the door. She is halfway across town. 

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I'm sorry I'm sorry I'm really really sorry I should have been paying more attention - shouldn't have been walking through the city alone - 

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Ssshhhhhhshhhhhsshhh calm down calm down it's fine -

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Right. She vaguely remembers that if you want to last a long time without air then you have to be calm. It's actually very hard to be calm while your throat is being crushed. Probably being specifically terrified of suffocation doesn't help. It's too much like drowning.

Darth Vader is saying something, but she doesn't know what it is.

She turns off her waterfalls. They're loud, and she doesn't want to be loud, she wants to be quiet, and still, and not wasting air, and trying to make her heartbeat go down. It's too high. She's not gonna make it long enough if she can't slow it down.

(She hates herself. She hates herself more than she's ever hated anyone. Exponentially more. She's useless and pathetic and immature and full of awful dark knotted ugly feelings, and she wouldn't be in this position if she hadn't been ridiculously, stupidly prideful, but she was, and she has to be humiliated about it now and if she's very lucky that'll be all it is, and she won't die and go to hell, it's just that everyone she cares about will be disgusted with her.)

can't breathe, she says, even though this is stupid and obvious.

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I know. I love you. We're coming.

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Okay.

I'm sorry. 

Trying to think of something to do but I'm floating and I think that means the laws of physics aren't gonna - I can't think -

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You are going to hold on tight until we get there. 's okay. 

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Okay.

Her lungs are burning. Like she's gonna drown again. She's so so so scared. She knows intellectually that she's not gonna die the second she loses consciousness, but it really really feels like she will, there's this desperate clawing need for air and her heart just refuses to beat any slower -

 

I didn't make a good confession, she says, because it's too hard to say I don't wanna go to hell but it seems like maybe information that he should have if she's gonna go and die here.

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