A/N: I made small change-Roy is Syntyche's roommate, not her neighbor. Let me know what you think so that I can decide whether or not I should continue.

"C'mon, Kiki. You know I'm not really comfortable with that." Aylen looked away, picking absently at her fingernails.

Because she knew she was going to do it anyway.

"I don't know, Len," Aoide, who happens to be Aylen's roommate and our co-best friend. "This could be a major help. It could benefit everyone in the long run. When posterity look back on this, they're probably not going to consider that Nadi'tra wasn't here. They're going to reflect on whether we were victorious or vanquished."

Aylen's forehead creased, and her grayish eyes darted around the room. She usually felt bad about listening in on other people's thoughts; but she usually did it anyway. But, as she had a bit of a soft spot for Roy, she was apprehensive about infringing on his privacy. "Guys…we don't even have an iota of a clue what he knows. What if it has nothing to do with all of us? What if it's personal?!"

"That's exactly the point! We don't know what the deal is, and we need to know what we can expect as far as duty goes…Look, Len: you can't let your feelings possibly endanger everyone. If it ends up being too…personal, then you can just tell us so without disclosing anything." Aoide's rich brown eyes glimmered with stimulation; persuasion was her favorite game.

Aylen shook her head idly. "Aylen…please, I need you to do this. For him. The only way that anyone can help him is by taking some of the burden upon her own shoulders…and, if this is a truly perilous situation, we'll all share the burden." I paused to let the idea sink in. "If not, then…I'll try to take some of his suffering. Aylen, you haven't seen the way he's been today, but I know you wouldn't like it. He's not himself. You might be the only one who can help him."

She looked at me with a pleading desperation in her eyes. "All right," she said, "I'll do it."

Aoide and I cheered softly, as Aylen heaved a sigh of defeat and lowered her head.

"Okay, ladies," I whispered into my headset a few minutes after I heard Roy's first soft snore drift out of his bedroom. It wasn't yet eleven o'clock; the day had taken a lot out of him. "Move in. Be careful."

Normally, Roy could sleep through a bloody stampede in which he was trampled by scores of honking lime green elephants. Our fear was that the precarious state of upset that he'd maintained the entire day would cause him to sleep more lightly, out of sheer vulnerability.

The front door's knob turned slowly, carefully, until it was turned all the way and the door could be pushed opened gently and silently. An ashamed Aylen slithered in; Aoide walked in behind her, standing tall (presumably to make sure that Aylen knew she couldn't back out at this point). Aoide lingered near the front door while crept quietly to Roy's bedroom door. I'd made sure that he'd left his door cracked open; she glanced nervously at me as she slipped inside. I moved around a close corner so that I wouldn't be caught if she woke him.

Of course, this left Aoide and myself blind. I hoped that Aylen hadn't chickened out and we wouldn't have to go through the whole convincing and executing ordeals again. I grinned at the thought of Aoide, losing her mind in anticipation and whining in frustration because she couldn't see what was going on. I prayed (silently) that she wouldn't actually whine audibly.

I was confident that Aylen was listening in now, intruding in my best friend's mind, trespassing where it shouldn't be possible to do so; the thought caused me to smirk in satisfaction. Unfortunately, with his being asleep, there was no guarantee that she was gleaning any useful information, but hopefully Roy wouldn't have been able to get this tormenting information off of his mind so easily.

"Ay…Aylen?" I heard Roy's tired voice mutter. Crap! "Whatcha doing here?" I panicked a bit, and rounded the corner to Roy's door. I peeked in for a few hundredths of a second, just to get a solid idea of how Aylen was coping with this unintended turn of events.

Well, she seemed to be holding her own fairly well. I knew this whole plan would work out nicely for her.

Confident that the two had one another sufficiently distracted, I snuck swiftly past the door and signaled Aoide to follow me out.

Once we had taken the elevator down to the third floor of our snazzy apartment building, I filled her in.

"Oh," she drawled. "Darn! I didn't think he'd feel her in his head but…My, my, Aylen…"

"So, I guess I'll be sleeping at your place tonight."

"Oh, yeah. Seems for the best. You can have my bed, I'll sleep on the couch…Knowing Aylen, she'll be home by midnight, maybe twelve-thirty. We could even wait for her?"

"Sounds like a plan," I said, and knew that we were both musing over pumping her for information-concerning more things than one.