Chapter 9


Regaining consciousness is like clawing my way out of a grave. When I finally open my crusty eyes I gasp like a swimmer coming up for air, like a corpse that's been resurrected and hasn't breathed in a century. I look around, something dangling from my nose shifting as I move. Anything remotely bright sends a sharp pain through my skull. I squint, trying to focus on something. I feel like a pile of clothes that've just come out of the drier: fuzzy, rumpled, beat up, hot. I feel like one giant ache.

I can't make sense of my surroundings for a few moments, wild disorientation making me dizzy, but eventually the shapes and walls resolve themselves and I realize where I am. Pale green walls, linoleum floor, toothpaste-blue bedsheets, comically mundane artwork, a soft, continuous beeping sound. I'm in the hospital.

I stare up at the pitted ceiling, thoughts racing, none of them settling long enough to make sense of. What am I doing here? What happened? Am I hurt? I must be, or I wouldn't be here. Was it bad? Did I… did I try to hurt myself again… I stamp down the shame before it can fully take form. I can't have. I was doing so well. Our music is finally starting to take off, Robbie called to have us open for him -

The show. The Warfield. The after party in Sausalito. I remember… drugs and… a fight? I remember a couple of fights, but I don't remember what order they were in, if they happened on the same night, at the same party, if I dreamed some of them, all of them. Everything else is a blur, faces and places blending together. I get snatches of the beach, of a bedroom bathed in red light, of running, of kissing, music, smoke. None of it makes sense but it all fits together at the same time, like a fractured dream.

I'm still trying to eke out the thread of a timeline from the chaos of untethered memories when I hear, "Kaleb?"

I turn my head stiffly to the door in time to see my mother drop a styrofoam cup of coffee that falls with a muted thud and a splash, splattering the closest wall in dark brown rivulets. My mother stands wide-eyed beside an equally agape Kim, leaning heavily on two crutches, her shin and ankle in a soft, navy blue cast.

"Hi, Mom." My voice is a disused croak. I half expect moths to come flying out of my dry mouth and scratchy throat.

She rushes to my side, kissing my forehead, smoothing my hair away from my face. It's embarrassing how comforting it is to see her. I instantly feel like a lost, scared little kid again and I have to quell the prickling in my eyes, the lump in my throat. When she pulls away her face is streaked with tears and I notice she's not wearing any makeup. I can't remember the last time I saw her without makeup. And her short, blonde hair is unkempt. I wonder, with a sinking feeling, just how long I've been here.

"I'm sorry your father isn't here," she apologizes, her brown eyes crinkling as she smiles down at me. "He was here yesterday. I'll call him. He should be here."

"No, it's fine, Mom." But I can tell she isn't listening.

"How do you feel, sweetie? The doctors said when you woke up you might be in pain. Are you in any pain?"

"Not really-"

"Your father really should be here. I'm going to go call him. Kimberly," she calls over her shoulder. "Can you keep an eye on Kaleb while I go outside and call Isaak?"

Kim nods mutely. She bizarrely hasn't moved from the doorframe, standing in a small puddle of coffee, leaning on her crutches, ashen faced.

"I'll be right back, sweetheart." Mom kisses me on the forehead one more time before sidestepping Kim into the hall. I lose sight of her when she moves past the curtained window.

I scratch my nose absently and feel something plastic. I start clawing at it, the feeling of something inside my nose utterly disconcerting.

"You shouldn't remove that, you know."

Kim's still looking at me like she's seen a ghost, but now maybe it's the ghost of a loved one and not the freakish librarian from Ghostbusters. The corner of my mouth twitches upwards in a weak smirk as I follow the thin plastic tube behind my ears with my fingers and unhook it, pulling the nubs out of my nostrils with one yank. I try to lift myself into a sitting position but a sharp pain shoots through my abdomen and the sense memory hits me so strongly it nearly knocks me unconscious. The pain and sickness must've shown on my face because in two hopping strides Kim is by my bedside, laying her crutches against the metal bed frame and putting her hands gently on my shoulders to lay me back against the pillows.

"Take it easy, Kay," she coos. "Nice and easy."

My vision swims when I look up at her. I remember that pain. I could never forget a pain like that. It's burned into my soul. I can see it in my mind, that thin metal rod. Something so small, so innocuous on its own, that I had been convinced had killed me. "Where is it? Where's the thing?" Suddenly I'm irrationally obsessed with seeing it, with knowing it's real, have that little piece of metal confirm that I was in a car crash, that I had pulled my friends from a wreck, that I bled to death on the highway. Wait. That's not right. I didn't die. I made it. I didn't die. It didn't kill me. I won. Fuck you, death! Kaleb Kotzias was here and he kicked your ass!

Kim's looking at me now like I'm a crazy ghost. "What 'thing'?"

"The - the rod - the metal thing, the one that - I put it in my pocket. I remember that. I know I put it there."

"Um, your clothes and things, I think your mom threw them out. They were all covered in blood."

I don't know why I'm so disappointed about that, but I am. I wanted to see it. I wanted to gloat in its smug, metal face. I wanted to show it to Kim and say See? This was inside my body, and I'm alive! How fucking crazy is that? I don't know, maybe it's all still catching up to me, hasn't sunk it yet. But for some reason, I really wanted that metal rod.

"Kaleb? Are you okay?"

"Yeah. I guess. Sure." I have so many questions, I don't even know where to start. Everything is still so insubstantial, just glassy images, like from a half-remembered movie. I cough, my words having scraped my raw throat like grit. Kim reaches for a pitcher of water on the bedside table I hadn't noticed before, pouring the contents into an empty glass and handing it to me wordlessly.

I smile at her in thanks, feeling my parched lips cracking. I take a deep gulp and sputter, like I've forgotten how to drink. When I finally manage to get the water down it's blessedly cool and I almost immediately feel refreshed. I'm still trying to wrap my head around the idea that I somehow survived, that I'm actually here, drinking water again, seeing my friend, my mother, when Kim chimes in, soft and reverent, "You died, you know."

I blink at her, her words not quite taking form in my mind. "What?"

"Your heart stopped." I can hear the tremble in her voice, the echo of tears. "In the ambulance. They told your parents later. They had to use the, um, those shock things, you know the ones, like from TV." She rubs viciously at an escaped tear, like she's trying to force it back inside. She sniffs before continuing. "You were dead for one minute and four seconds."

"Fuck." It's the only words that comes to mind. Honestly. I genuinely can't think of a single thing. All I can do is listen to Kim talk. It's like a trance, or a spell, or like being really high.

"Yeah. You lost a lot of blood. Like, a lot. They gave you a bunch of transfusions. They operated. I'm not really sure what they did, I think they closed something? Like an artery? And then you wouldn't wake up. We kept waiting and waiting, and you wouldn't wake up and -" Her voice cracks and she has to stop. She reaches for a tissue and blows her nose, wiping her eyes with it after she's balled it up. "I was starting to think you weren't ever gonna wake up, Kay."

I set the glass of water on the end table and grab her shaking hand, squeezing. I don't know how I feel about being dead for one minute and four seconds. Terrified, probably. I mean, I was dead and I didn't even know it, does that mean that there's nothing after? Like, not even a hell in which I'll suffer eternal damnation? Or maybe my mind can't even conceive of what happens after death so when I woke up again it all evaporated. I don't know. Whatever. Either way, the one thing I do know is that I'm profoundly, deeply grateful that Kim is here. I've always thought of her as the sister I never had, but seeing her now, after I thought I'd failed her, failed all of them, I'm filled with such immense relief I could cry. I don't think I ever knew until this exact moment how much I love her. I'd have prefered this realization not be at the expense of a billion liters of my blood, but still.

"I'm right here, Kimmy. I'm okay. I'm not going anywhere."

That does it. She gasps out a sob and collapses on top of me, making my stomach ache, her small body shaking with her cries. I hold her to me, rubbing soothing circles over the hoodie stretched across little back. I hold her as she weeps a wet spot into my flimsy hospital gown. And I hold her until her sobs subside to hiccupping whimpers.

I see my mother reappear in the doorway. She takes in the scene, smiles fondly, and points to the hallway, mouthing something, probably 'I'll be outside', before leaving again.

When Kim can breathe again, when her trembling has waned, she straightens herself and grabs a fistful of tissues, jamming the whole wad to her face, blowing her nose noisily. When it looks like she's mostly finished, I start with the first question that's been nagging at me since I saw her. "How's everybody else?" I wanted to ask How's Wesley? But I don't want to be that big a dick. I do care about James and Cody, honestly I do. But I have to know. I have to know he's okay. I have to hear the words. Most of that night is still fuzzy and disconnected, but I remember Wesley. I remember the first time I kissed him, when he was holding a bag of frozen peas to my face. I remember rolling in the sand with him, I remember fucking him senseless in Cody's roommate's bedroom, I remember him saying he loved me. My stomach clenches thinking about him. My chest tightens so hard it feels like I'm going to pass out when I think that pulling him out of the wreck, his wavy blonde hair matted with blood, might be the last time I'll ever see him.

Kim's hesitation makes my heart sink to the pit of my stomach. I swallow painfully, my throat dry again. When she starts speaking, it's slow and careful, like someone trying to step around glass shards. "James is great. He's already home. His leg was broken pretty bad but once they got pins in it and put a cast on they told him he could go. Glenn says he plays Call of Duty and smokes weed all day, and when he gets hungry he makes Hannah get him food."

"Sounds like James," I agree, scouring her face for a sign of what she's going to say next. Her red-rimmed eyes only reveal sadness and exhaustion.

"And Wesley's fine." My relief cascades through me like a wave, settling over me like a lovely warm blanket. I let out a breath I hadn't even known I'd been holding and feel the tension melt out of my shoulders. I can barely hear the rest of what she says through the dizzying rush of it. "He had a concussion and brain swelling, or something, and they drilled a hole in his head to relieve the pressure, which is pretty crazy. He's actually just a couple of rooms away. They're keeping him here for observation but he should be out in a day or two. He's already been here for five days."

Kim fidgets absently with the wad of tissues in her hands, compressing them, turning them over. I have a feeling I know what she's going to say now. It's not surprising. I think I knew it before I even climbed out of the wreck. And I feel awful that I'm glad it wasn't Wesley.

"Cody didn't make it," I supply for her. She just nods jerkily and stares at the Crest-blue blankets. "Was he…" I clear my throat, feeling it constricting. "Was he already dead, before the ambulance got there?"

She speaks so quietly she's practically whispering. "They said he was probably dead before the truck even hit us."

I stare back up at the pockmarked ceiling, a calm sort of numbness settling in. "It's my fault he's dead." My voice is flat, factual. "It's my fault we were hurt. The whole God damned thing is my fault."

"No!" Kim pleads, wrapping her hand around my wrist, trying to comfort me as if I'm on the verge of some kind of mental collapse. "No, Kaleb, none of it's your fault. It's no one's fault. If it was going to be anyone's fault it'd be mine. I was the one driving. I was the one who got distracted, who looked away from the road. Or it'd be the truck driver's fault, for not seeing us, for having been on the road for sixteen hours."

"No. It was me. It was all because of me. If I had stopped to think about anyone but myself, if I hadn't been thinking with my dick, Cody would have never flown off the handle. He'd have never… Everything was going to be fine. He was going to go to rehab. He wanted to go. If I had just waited, like you'd told me to. If I'd just gone home and gone to sleep. If I'd told Wesley I couldn't, if I'd just told him how I felt he wouldn't have thought he needed to-" I stop myself and look Kim earnestly in the eye. "I need to see him."

Kim looks at me like I've finally lost my mind. "See…" She shakes her head, trying to dislodge the thought that I might be asking to see Cody's mutilated corpse. "Wesley?"

"I need to see him." I push myself up, ignoring the radiating pain. Kim tries to stop me, hands on my shoulders again.

"No, Kaleb, you need to rest, Wesley'll-"

I level her with an icy blue stare. "Help me, or leave me alone."

She sets her jaw, searches my eyes for a moment, then takes my hand and helps to pull me to my feet.

Friday 7:22pm

Turns out it's not as easy I thought to go ambling about a hospital when you've been unconscious for five days. The first thing I found out when I tried to stand was that I needed a nurse to come remove my catheter. That was a painful and embarrassing experience I'd like to never repeat so long as I live. After that I had to piss like hell. I wheeled my IV into the little adjoining bathroom with me and had fun getting the first good look at my face since before the concert last fucking Saturday. Turns out Cody did break my nose. The giant bandage and racoon bruises around my eyes are evidence of that. I hope it never heals right. I hope my septum is permanently deviated. I want to keep that reminder with me, to see in the mirror for the rest of my life proof that I killed my friend. I can breathe through it though, so there's something. Also, I need one hell of a shave. I didn't inherit my father's Greek hirsuteness and the best beard I can hope to achieve are wispy patches of black hair that make me look like a dog with mange. I also need a shower, like, yesterday, but I'm not sure I can take the IV into the shower with me.

I scour the medicine cabinet and settle for brushing my teeth with the complimentary toothbrush and tasteless toothpaste, lathering my face with shaving cream from the miniature complimentary can, and shaving with the blunt, cheap, complimentary razor. Kim is banging on the door, asking if I'm alright, before I've finished. I might be vain, but I'm already starting to feel more like a person, more like myself, the memory of the car crash and my dead friend fading away into a vague nightmare, something so outlandish it couldn't ever have happened to ordinary me, with my ordinary face and my ordinary, lank hair, and my ordinary blue eyes. That must have happened to someone else, someone terrible, someone who deserved it. Not me.

When I step out of the bathroom, steam from the sink escaping with me, Mom is back. And she's got Dad with her. As soon as he sees me he lunges forward, pulling me into his big, hairy arms, hugging me painfully tight. He kisses the top of my head and I can feel him crying. My dad never cries. It's a tortured sound, like he can't catch his breath. He releases me and grabs my face in his hands, searching it for something. He must find it because he grins, the same huge winning grin that I'm famous for (at least I got one good thing from Dad), and claps me once, hard, on the shoulder, before letting me go. He doesn't say anything. He's never been a big talker, my old man.

Mom is holding a duffel bag. She sees me eyeing it and she drops it on the bed, unzipping it. "I brought some things for you. Just some of the clothes you keep at our place for when you visit. I didn't know what your style is these days so I just went ahead and threw some things in, some shirts, some pants, underwear, socks, oh and I packed a pair of sneakers, because the old ones were just falling apart and I had to throw them away."

I stop her ramble with a pressing question. "Mom, when you went through my things, the things I was wearing, did you find a metal thing, like a rod, about this long?"

For a second she looks like she's about to ask what I'm talking about but then recognition dawns on her face. "Oh, oh that. I didn't know what it was so I put it away. I thought maybe it was one of your music things. Didn't want you to get angry with me if you - when you woke up and didn't find it." While she was talking she walked over to the bedside table. She opens the top drawer and pulls out my wallet, a flattened pack of cigarettes, James' phone, and the long, sleek, black metal rod, shiny and new, except for the fact that it's bent and I still have no idea what part of the car it even came from.

I stumble towards her, tugging my IV with me, and take it from her numbly. It doesn't feel as heavy as it had. It's also not covered in my blood.

"I cleaned it up," Mom supplies, sensing my question. "Didn't think you'd want it all-" She makes a vague gesture towards me with her hand. "You know."

"Thanks, Mom." I close my fist around it, feeling a jagged edge of it bite my palm, like it's last ditch effort to inflict pain upon me. You tried to kill me, little guy. And you failed. Your fight's over now. I feel strangely powerful. "Thank you for keeping this for me."


Doctor Royce, a kindly faced older man with glasses several decades out of style, looked me over while I waited impatiently. He gave me a rundown of pretty much what Kim had told me, in more medical terms. A piece of debris from the car (I neglected to mention it was the same piece of metal I'm now keeping in the skinny drawer in the bedside table) pierced my upper lateral abdomen and spleen, fortunately missing my more vital organs, and severed an artery which led to the extreme blood loss. The damage was sewn up but I'd developed an infection, which contributed to the brief coma I was in for nearly a week. My septum was deviated (and I neglected to mention this was thanks to an earlier scuffle rather than the car crash) and would take a few more weeks to heal. He also told me that the driver of the big rig didn't make it. I'm not sure how I feel about that. He told me about all the medications I'd have to take, how to go about my recovery - when to change bandages, what not to eat or drink, how to wash my stomach wounds, when the sutures would have to be removed, etc - and that he'd like me to stay in the hospital for another day or two for observation. He even let me get dressed, miracle of miracles, and helped me by temporarily unhooking the IV drip from the little thingymajig in my arm so I could actually get a T-shirt on.

My parents, having been sufficiently comforted by the doctor that I wouldn't suddenly lapse back into a coma or spontaneously combust, agreed to let me out of their sight so Kim could lead me Wesley's room down the hall.

She hobbles slowly by my side as if by an invalid, which I suppose I am at the moment. I suppose we both are. Being awake for an hour's really taken its toll on me. I only have enough energy to shuffle forward at an elderly pace, which is just as well because Dr. Royce told me not to strain myself physically. Though at the moment it feels like just breathing is a physical strain. At least they injected me with a low dose of morphine to dull the pain from my wound so it doesn't feel like an angry dwarf is punching me in the side everytime I move.

The walk to Wesley's room, number 307, feels interminable. Keeping my mind off of what I'm going to say to him, how he's going to feel when he sees me, how I'm going to feel when I see him, proves to be easier than anticipated since all my cognitive functions are being focused on propelling me forward inch by inch, tugging the IV alongside me on its stiff wheels like my own personal Sisyphean burden. When I get there the door is closed. I look at Kim. She's watching me as if I'm about to fall apart. I might be, I just think I'm too tired to feel it coming. I raise my eyebrows at her. THE eyebrows. She nods, but doesn't look any less concerned, silently sinking into one of the blue, plastic chairs bolted to the floor against the hallway wall. I don't bother knocking. I just turn the handle and enter.

He doesn't notice me at first. He's lying in the narrow hospital bed, the top part tilted up to accommodate him in a semi-sitting position. He's wearing a hoodie over his hospital gown, a thick hospital-issue blanket thrown across his lap. His head is bandaged, unruly hair the color of wet sand poking out from under it at all kinds of odd angles. He's got a Nintendo 3DS open and earphones in, the light from the game flickering across his pale face in rainbows of color.

I hadn't really believed it when Kim had told me. That he's alive. I had been relieved to hear the words but I hadn't been able to make it fit with the last image I had of him, dying next to a car wreck in glass and blood and dead weeds and dirt. But he's here. He's breathing, he's awake, he's playing a fucking game. He's really alive. I think I make a sound, halfway between a gasp and a sob, and his eyes snap up. They return to the game in his hands, but after half a second his head jerks toward me, big eyes growing impossibly bigger, his jaw dropping, the 3DS falling silently from his fingers and onto the navy blue blanket. I seem to have that effect on people these days.

I can't think of anything to say. What do you say to someone you think you're falling in love with whose injuries and own brother's death you're responsible for? Fuck do I know. I don't really think he knows what to say either, shock written on every soft, white surface of his face. He remembers to pull the earbuds out of his ears and close the 3DS with a light click, never taking his eyes off me, like even blinking might make me disappear. The silence just seems to stretch, ever thinner, ever harder to bear, until it feels like I'm walking a tightrope and if one of us doesn't say something I'll lose my balance and fall. So I say the first thing that comes to mind.


It's probably the most inadequate thing I've ever said. And I'm caught completely off guard when Wesley's enormous black eyes suddenly become glassy with tears and he covers his mouth with his hands and begins to quietly cry.

My self-consciousness flies out the window. I go to him so fast I nearly forget to drag the IV with me. I sit on the edge of the bed and scoop him into my arms. He buries his face in my chest and clutches at my T-shirt, trying to quell his sobs and failing. I bury my nose in his hair. His parents must've brought him his things from home because he smells just like I remember. Clean laundry, white soap, powder fresh shampoo. I smile. I can't help it. He's alive. He's in my arms. And I don't think I'm falling in love with him. I am in love with him. I feel it with every fiber of my being. I feel it from the top of my head straight down to the souls of my sneakers. I feel it in the tightness of my chest, in the bubbles of my stomach, the pounding of my heart. And I realize that I've never been in love with anyone before. I'd thought I had. But that was before. Before this. I never want to let him go. I want to dry his tears. I want to take him home with me and kiss him and just look at him and wait on him hand and foot and never let him want for anything. I want him always. I love him.

"I thought you were dead," he mumbles into my shirt, his sobs having turned to sniffles. "They wouldn't let me see you, they wouldn't tell me anything. I thought you were dead and they were trying to protect me, because they thought I couldn't handle it, because of what happened to Cody…" He trails off, falling silent, his skinny shoulders stiff in my arms.

I swallow heavily before I speak, soft and careful. "I'm sorry." Please don't hate me, I think selfishly.

"Thanks," he replies flatly, rehearsed, used to hearing those words day after day.

"No," I stress. "I'm sorry. Cody's dead because of me."

Wesley's head snaps up, nose and eyes red, eyebrows creased. "What?"

My nerve seems to be waning, looking into his eyes, seeing the sliver of grey around his pupils, dark like volcanic ash. I force myself to plow on. "It's my fault. All of it. The car crash, his overdose. I'm the reason you got hurt. I'm the reason you're brother's gone. I'm so sorry, Wes. You have no idea how sorry I am. That I hurt you, that I hurt all of us. And I know being sorry won't bring him back, I know it won't change anything, but I need you to know how sorry I am. How I would do anything to take it all back if I could." Please don't hate me. I don't think I could handle it if you hated me.

Wesley's inscrutable black eyes are searching mine again, like they did when he was trying to figure me out that night a million years ago before any of this shit happened. He finds what he's looking for or he doesn't. He looks at me levelly and says, voice even, "Fuck you, Kaleb."

His words wind me like a punch to the gut. It's my turn to stare at him open-mouthed and uncomprehending. "What?"

"Fuck you for trying take the blame for this." He messily wipes his nose and eyes with the sleeve of his hoodie, sniffing. His face is hard, determined, unwavering. "You can't make me blame you. I won't do it. If I blame you, it'd be because Cody only ODed after he saw us together, so then I'd have to blame myself, because I basically forced you to do it in the first place. I made the choice to fuck my brother's friend instead of helping him when he needed me most, and because of that he's dead now. Because of that we all nearly died. I'm going to have to live with that for the rest of my life-" His voice cracks. He breaks his gaze from mine for a moment to regain his composure before continuing. "If I start blaming myself I'm never going to stop, and I'll never be able to forgive myself. So it's easier for me to pretend that it's Cody's fault, for being a drug addict, for being a selfish asshole who couldn't just hurt himself in peace but had to take the rest of us with him. It's easier for me to hate him than hate myself because he's gone, and he's never coming back, and I'm going to be alive for a long time. That's a long time to be miserable. I know it's probably really fucking selfish but there it is. That's how I've decided I'm going to get through this. Because if not - if not I'm going to go fucking crazy."

He takes a deep breath, looking down at where his hands are still fisted in my shirt under the wet patches his tears made. "So you can't just come in here and say it's your fault. There's no way in hell it's your fault and if you think that it's because it's actually my fault. Do you see that? Do you get why I can't blame you?"

I laugh. It surprises us both. Wesley frowns, and it's so inexplicably cute I just have to laugh again, this time ruffling his hair sticking out of the bandage. "I love the way your mind works. It's like the maze from The Labyrinth: all the walls move and nothing makes sense but you always end up getting to the center anyway." I tap him on the forehead and he wrinkles his nose. I can't stand it. It's just too fucking adorable. I don't hesitate. I just duck down and kiss him. He tastes like Jell-O.

The kiss isn't long and it isn't passionate. It's soft and warm and loving and it's exactly what I need. I drink him in, his smell, his taste, the softness of his lips, the peach fuzz of his cheek - too young and probably too blonde to ever adequately grow real stubble. I savor every last detail, remembering how I thought I'd never feel or taste or smell him again.

When we finally part, I rest my forehead against his, holding his face in my hands, stroking his high cheekbones with my thumbs.

Wesley's voice is husky when he speaks again. "Does this mean you don't hate me?"

I laugh again, hearing my own inner-monologue in his words. "Why would I hate you?"

"Just because I'm pretending not to blame myself doesn't mean you don't blame me."

"I'd sooner blame the sun for shining."

Wesley's laugh is sudden and sharp, ringing out like the peel of a bell and filling me with small, bursting fireworks. "That is the corniest thing I have ever fuckign heard."

"Shut up," I grin. "I get poetic when I'm really into somebody."

"Oh, so you're into me, huh?" I'm glad to see that smirk back on his face, even if it's thinly applied over a well of sadness.

"I'm so fucking into you, Wesley Bloom."

"I think I finally figured out what I can't live without." I feel my heart clench. I know what he's going to say before he says. "It's you."

A/N: And that's it, folks! Just the epilogue is left and it's super short so instead of waiting an entire week to post I'll be uploading it tomorrow. Feels like just yesterday I started uploading this little story of mine, but it's been two months. Insanity! I'm sorry the story's a bit on the short side, but better short and sweet than forever and boring, amiright? Thanks to everybody who subscribed and bookmarked and what-have-you, y'all are the best. Never stop being fabulous.
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