Dawn in San Francisco

Bathroom break

Wendy sat on the floor in the bathroom, trying hard not to cry. She didn’t know what had made her just snap this time, but something had tipped and she hadn’t been able to be around Kevin. She had stormed off and locked herself in here, leaving Kevin to deal with Buddy and the broken glass.

She wasn’t sure what was going wrong. They just seemed to be struggling all of a sudden, ever since the ball. Kevin had always been kind of blunt and a bit socially awkward, but it had never bothered her before. Maybe because she hadn’t been on the receiving end much before, or maybe things had just been different back then. She stared at her hands, vision blurry with suppressed tears. He had called her thoughtless and reckless, told her she had a tendency to do stupid things and she should be smarter. Maybe not in those exact words, but close enough. It had hurt so much at the time that she had wanted to just stand up and walk away, leave the stupid mantle thing and go off by herself to rage. And then again, just now with the drug remarks! It had been a perfectly civil conversation, a bit of light teasing maybe. She didn’t understand where all this was suddenly coming from, or why it was upsetting her so much.

The worst part was he was right. She was thoughtless and reckless sometimes. Her curiosity had gotten the better of her time and again, and she had made some stupid choices – even if nobody had been hurt, and she felt like she had learned from it. This time had been different though. She had just wandered off into the forest without waiting for the others – always the same, always ‘I’ll just have a look’ and then suddenly she was miles away. But Buddy had gotten hurt, because she couldn’t wait. Kevin had been separated from her, because she was curious. If Marco hadn’t been able to turn into a wolf, she would probably have been lost on her own. It could have been Kevin stuck in the chasm. She had given him the Wayfare ring before they crossed, just to be sure he would make it, but it wasn’t enough. She shouldn’t have wandered off.

She had lain awake most of that night on the ground. Some of it had been because she hated camping and couldn’t sleep outside. Most of it was still fear, lingering from the moment when she had seen the broken bridge and Kevin was nowhere to be found. The realisation that wandering off could have cost her everything important had almost crushed her – if she had been there, she could have done something, stopped it from happening. Her dreams were filled with visions of the bridge snapping, Kevin plummeting into the abyss. She had held tightly onto Kevin the whole night, just to be sure he was OK. She wasn’t sure if he had minded that she was clingy – he hadn’t pushed her away. But he had still said the hurtful things the next day. Even though now the distance had made her see that he was right in his way, she had still behaved childishly at the time, despite the fear from the day before. And she had touched the power source, because she had been angry at him for telling her that she should be more careful. She just didn’t know what she was doing any more.

Wendy rested her head on her knees, tears dribbling down her cheeks. She wasn’t really angry at Kevin, not properly. It was all just petty stuff, brought on by her stubbornness and his bluntness. But she had to sort herself out, make better decisions and patch things up. She was… afraid. She was afraid he had changed his mind and he didn’t want her any more, that they weren’t working for some reason. She was afraid that this Devil guy hadn’t done anything because he was planning something huge, and they would be too late. She was afraid because the idyllic little life they had built over the last few years suddenly seemed to be crumbling around her, and she didn’t have the time or courage to patch things up. It had always been so easy before. Why couldn’t she just fix it?

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Marlene

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