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[Title] Blood and Water
[Fandom] Repo! The Genetic Opera
[Rating] PG-13, mention of death, brief implied incest, drug use
[Notes/Summary] Set post-canon. Graverobber thinks he knows why Shilo is being kept safe.

After a while, Shilo begins going outside again. The streets start to know her. A tiny figure with a fuzz of black hair, skinny-legged and clutching a large satchel. He tells her to be careful, that it makes her look like she’s got something to steal, but actually he didn’t even need to put the word out that anyone who fucked with Shilo Wallace was going to have to fuck with him. People know who she is. Or who she was. Well, she was in all the papers. You’d think the kind of people at this level of the city, only a layer or two above the corpses, you’d think they’d jump at the chance to exploit someone who’d almost become heir to GeneCo. Okay, people know not to fuck with GeneCo, but they also know Shilo walked out on the whole deal. But they don't. Shilo says people hurry away from her when they see her coming.

It’s when Amber, sprawled against him in a hut in the junkyard, eyelids fluttering as she comes down from the high, murmurs, “How’s the kid doing?” that he works it out.

“She’s good,” he says. “And why do you want to know?”

“She was nearly my sister,” Amber says, pouting. “I look out for family.”

“Don’t bullshit me. You and your family spend all your time trying to off each other or fuck each other. And besides, she called you all on it.”

Amber shrugs, stretches her arms back behind her head to touch the blackened wooden wall. “If more people had called Daddy out maybe we wouldn’t be like this.”

“She only survived doing it because your father died before he could get rid of her.”

Amber pushes herself to stand, runs her fingers through her hair. Moving like she’s underwater. Her voice comes slightly slurred, the words far away. “Give it a fucking rest.” Then, “You want her to be okay. I’ve seen the way you look at her. So she’s going to be okay.” Snapping open a make-up compact that probably cost more than everything within a mile radius of them put together. She stares at her reflection like she didn’t expect it. Then says, “That’s what GeneCo does. Makes it okay for people.”

“For a price.” He doesn’t know why he’s even needling her like this. She’s a junkie who spends about seventy-five percent of her life doped up on Zydrate and shows little interest in anything that doesn’t relate to her. What, he cares whether she’s lying to him or not? It isn’t like Shilo’s going to be dumb enough to fall for it if Amber does try to sweet-talk her.

Amber stares round the hut. He’d thought he might never see her again in the flesh, not now she owns the megacorp which owns the city and most of the bodies of the citizens. But she still shows up, like this is nostalgia for her. She’s looking at the corner where Shilo sleeps, the nest of blankets, the pictures of Mag stuck up on the walls. “None of Daddy dearest,” she murmurs.

He says, not knowing why, “She carries him around. Got a case which opens up, she’s got her folks’ pictures in there. Said she can’t have him around all the time but she needs to know he’s there to call on if she needs it.”

“Exactly,” Amber says, like that proves something. “And. So. If anything happens to her, we’ll both make people pay.”

He thinks that Shilo would hate to know that GeneCo are keeping a watch on her. But then, Shilo knows now, as much as anyone else, how easily life is snuffed out. You take protection where you can get it. And, in this city, you take – god, it's insane even putting this word in the same sentence as something relating to Amber – you take friendship where you can, as well.

[Title] Patching Back Together
[Fandom] LIFE (jdrama)
[Rating] PG (brief mention of suicide)
[Notes/Summary] Ayumu and Shii-chan meet again.

They meet in a cafe. Ayumu thought that after what's happened this year she would never be scared again, but her heart thumps and her hands are shaking so much she almost knocks her drink over. Shii-chan points at it and says, “Strawberry, right? It's always strawberry milkshake.” Ayumu laughs – too loudly – and says, “Right!” and then they both smile like the shared memory is enough.

“You look so much older,” Shii-chan says before the silence can start.

Ayumu smiles and says in return, “So do you, you look really mature!”

“And your haircut's cute,” Shii-chan says. “Short hair suits you.”

Ayumu nods and almost wants to giggle, because she can hardly answer Thank you, I chopped it all off after we had our fight because I hated myself so much, haha. The silence is creeping back. Shii-chan stirs her drink with her straw and then says, loudly, casually, “So how's school?”

Ayumu cannot say it made me want to die or I nearly got expelled twice or two of the teachers have left this year and a girl jumped off the roof because of me. She feels a fake smile settle on her face. “Fine! It's... fine. You? Um, I mean, your school? It's...”

“Yeah, it's good,” Shii-chan says, and smiles properly. “It's... I mean, it's still school. But it's... it's all right.” She laughs, she starts telling a story about how their history teacher is so hilarious, how he constantly has them giggling. It's a happy story. Ayumu laughs at the right moments. She wishes she had some stories like this to offer. They could fill quite a lot of time just with happy stories about teachers and homework mishaps. But everything that's not horrible is a happy memory that she carries deep within her heart to keep it beating and she can't offer those up here. Not yet. It's not safe. Not when they both hurt each other so much.

The silence falls and this time Shii-chan waits a good few seconds before she says, “High school isn't like I expected it to be.”

Ayumu's stomach tightens. She slowly sucks up some milkshake before she can say, “It isn't?”

“I suppose... it seemed so important when we were in junior high,” Shii-chan says, “and then... now I'm there, it's... just normal. Just life.”

Ayumu says, keeping her voice low as if she doesn't want to frighten something, “Life can be tough, though.”

“Yeah,” Shii-chan says. “And... sometimes it can feel like... everything is falling apart, you know? And what's going on is... is everything there is. And then you look back and you realise that it wasn't... or... or that things have changed. Things have got better.”

Ayumu nods. Part of her wants to say I'm so sorry. Part of her wants Shii-chan to say it. Part of her wants to say I'm so glad you're all right. Part of her wants to say, what you did, it shattered everything, and I'm still only now putting things back together.

She knows that perhaps none of these things are true.

“It feels like we're both different people now,” Shii-chan says.

Ayumu nods, and says, “So, I guess we need to find out if different people can be friends, huh?” And Shii-chan laughs and nods back, and Ayumu thinks that perhaps they could be friends, or perhaps you can't put some things back together, and perhaps both of them want the other one to say sorry and want to say it themselves. But she knows, this time, that whatever happens, she can go on beyond it, and it sounds like Shii-chan knows that too.

[Title] White Whales
[Fandom] Homestuck / Death Note
[Rating] PG, underage drinking
[Notes/Summary] Roxy skips class to drink on the roof. She rejects nothing.

So it's ten a.m. and you probably shouldn't have a martini in hand already. But it was English Literature first thing, and, um, can you say yawn? Not that you don't like books. Some books are awesome. You probably shouldn't have thrown Matt's Gameboy through the window when he joked he and Mello were gonna make a bonfire out of your Harry Potter books, but on the other hand it did genuinely surprise him. And then you were super-contrike – ahem, contrite about it and you picked up all the pieces and you managed to solder it all back together. But you did say you'd included a kill switch in it, and if he – or Mello, 'cause you know threats won't work on Mello and only Matt can keep him in line – messed up your books, you'd activate it. Matt didn't know whether to believe you, but you think he was grateful enough about the Gameboy he was willing to go with it.

Point is some books are awesome, books about wizards, f'rinstance, are the shit, but right now your classmates-slash-competitors-for-the-role-of-L are slogging through a class discussion on Moby Dick and, a), you don't care, b) L isn't going to need to care either, whoever ends up being him, and 3), you really kind of love drinking on this little corner of flat roof among the gargoyles, looking at the sun. And it's England. They hardly ever get sun here. You gotta seize the moment.

So you're up here with your feet on a parapet, with the sky all milky-clear, and gin and vermouth from Roger's drinks cupboard in a green wine glass you found in a random cupboard somewhere. Wammy's House's full of random cupboards and places that lead nowhere. Like this rooftop, which is like some dude planned to make a balcony and then got bored and wandered off.

Class is on til eleven so you've got time. To. Make sure you're back down on the ground. Okay, you'll get in trouble for skipping class but, whatever, you are pretty sure you can make a decent argument about why it's just the kinda think. Thing. The kinda thing L would've done. And you can ditch the glass in one of the nowhere places, you don't reckon anyone'll be looking for it. And okay, Roger'll be kinda mad about you stealing his shit bu-uuuut, that's only if you get caught, and besides, the most important part of being a good detective is understanding the criminal mind. Right?

Jane and Jake and Dirk'll know why you weren't there, though.

You sorta don't want to think about that conversation. Like... you being drunk is kind of your thing, like Jane loves old-school detective novels, Jake loves adventure and sharpshooting, Dirk loves robots and puppets, Mello loves chocolate and causing mayhem, Matt loves Tetris. You don't know about everyone, but Jake grew up knowing his grandma had been a badass adventur... adventurer, and Matt said his Gameboy was the last thing his parents bought him before they fell apart and got him taken into care, and Dirk's older brother was apparlently - apparently as obsessed with being ironically weird as him. Same for you. You don't remember your mom so well but you remember wine glasses on the table shiny in the light, and she'd tap them to make them sing, and her sipping a drink, dressed in orange or purple, you looking up at her. Your mom, okay, your mom was cool. Person'lly, you would've been fine staying living with her but you think some shit went down and, whatever, she's still your mom. Is it so wrong to raise a glass to her? And like you like the way it makes you feel, all fuzzy and snugglgy. Snuggly.

And everyone makes fun of each other's things sometimes, you know it, but sometimes you think, they think, they're getting into lecture mode like way too often. When really, they should be glad if you're putting yourself outta the running for L. Which maybe you are? You don't know. Sometimes you think you'd be shit-hot at being all the detectives in the world. Sometimes you kinda don't want to do anything but sit out here and feel fuzzy. Fuzzy is nice. Hell, when you feel like this, you figure you can even take a stab at reading Moby Dick.

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