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It's Saturday

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"Li! Liii! Wake up!" A tug. Warmth fell away and cool air rushed to fill the empty space. 


Reluctantly, Kat shuddered, slowly remembering she was a person. Groggily, she pushed herself to her knees  on her bed, yawned and fixed the chipper young women standing over her with a blanket in her hands a heavy-lidded glare.


Who was this person and why she holding her blanket? For a minute, she was a stranger. A tall young woman with a bright smile and bright green hair style in an undercut. It felt like Kat was staring at the sun from her sheer cheerfulness. Or maybe because the woman had thrown open the blinds and let the sun shine into the room from behind her.  Kat decided she didn't care either way.


"What you staring for?"


"Maybe if I stare hard enough, you'll catch fire . . ." Ah, that's right! ". . . Tally." Her roommate in Emerald City. "Why am I not sleeping?"


Tally shook her head sadly. Gosh, she was even dressed! "You slept in! It's noon!"


"NOON?! I . . ." Kat's eyes startled opened wide, but then quickly irised back into their tired sag. "It's Saturday."


"I figured we could hang out together a little today." She said, her face falling a little. "It's been a little bit. Wanted to check up on you."


"Why would you think that?"


Tally gave a small, knowing grin. "Pizza, downtown. My treat."


Kat blinked, sat up a little straighter. Rubbed her eyes. "I hate you."


"You love me."


"I love pizza." She sighed. "Gimme an hour.

Edited by Curious Key
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Kat had always considered herself a stranger to Freedom.  An outsider. Because she was! Superheroes had never seemed real to her, even when she'd become one. When she came to Emerald City, she'd expected to find it something more familiar, more like home. But it still felt strange. Perhaps too much of Freedom had gotten into her blood, or maybe the places were just too different. 


Freedom was alarming and loud, but it was spectacular in a very different way. It felt like she was sitting at the heart of the world. Here? It wasn't quite the same. In Emerald City, the air was often thick with clouds, always threatening a light rain, a coffee shop around every street corner. It felt strange to live here, but the strangeness didn't come in the form of superheroes or super-science, but from people walking the streets in styles she wasn't familiar with. Styles like Tally's alarming hair. It felt unreal, but this time Kat couldn't roll her eyes at superheroic madness to dismiss it.


Maybe she just didn't handle change well?


"So, where've you been?" Tally asked, prodding at Kat's side as they walked down the street. "You're either sleeping or gone all the time. You never check in!


She rolled her eyes. "What are you, my mom?"


"Ha!" But the smile fell from her face pretty fast. "But seriously. You sleep half the day. You okay?"


Kat grabbed hold of her wrist and looked away. "I'm just, really busy and tired, sometimes." Well, Kat had reason to be tired! Being Warp wasn't exactly . . . Bah, but who was she kidding? That wasn't the only part of it. Maybe not even the biggest part of it. But she couldn't tell Tally.


"Li . . . You're gonna have to open up someday. You can't do this forever. Whatever it is."


No response.

A sigh. "Okay then. How've your classes been?"


"It's alright," Kat said. "Some guy's been messing with me in some of my classes, but I'll deal. Keeping my head above water . . . You know how it is."


"Yeah." Kat glanced over her shoulder. Tally was tugging at her collar, looking at the buildings as they passed them by. Kat looked down and bit at her lip, staring at her hands. 

Edited by Curious Key
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The pair were sitting at a small table outside, waiting for their pizza to finish, Kat's ankles twined nervously together under the table while Tally sat at ease on the other side, leaned slightly over the table.


"—It's pretty boring, really. Sometimes I get coffee, or have to wear some weird new thing until my teeth shake." Kat lied. 


Tally brushed a stray hair out from in front of her face. "Astro labs sounds way less glamorous than I imagined."


Kat looked away for a moment, shrugged. "I'm not really sure. They probably have real exciting experiments I don't get to touch." A partial lie this time. She didn't see everything they made. It wasn't her business.


"Probably. I bet they get up to a lot of stuff in there."


"They do. Some dimensional portal broke down in Freedom once and a dinosaur came through.


Tally let her hands rest on her table and pushed closer forward, her eyebrows rising. "Really?! Did it eat anyone?"


"Oh, um, no." Kat rubbed at her neck. "It was more of a scientist dinosaur." Blink. "What's that look for?"


Tally had let her head rest on her hand now, her expression so bemused. "You never talk about yourself." She smiled "—But then you do, and you always just drop one of the most amazing like it's nothing."


"What?" Kat tilted her head, her eyebrows knitting together. "—I mean, I know the dinosaur is weird, but what else have I said that's odd?"


"A ghost tried to kill you in a theater!"


Kat's eyes lit up in realization. That had been a mess. Her powers didn't really mesh well with the insubstantial. "Oh, right! That time."


"If you didn't care so little about it all, I'd say you were lying. The stuff you forget are the most amazing things I've ever heard.


Kat snorted. "Oh come on, I'm the most boring person in the world."


"No." Tally shook her head and looked Kat in the eye. "Lilly. You came here from Freedom and act like it's the most normal thing. You got an internship for Astro labs, for some reason. When you're not sleeping you're gone, and you never quite say where to. You are one of the most interesting people I've ever met."


Gosh, she paid attention. Kat's cover was in danger . . . Her last roommate hadn't paid much attention at all to what Kat was up to. "W-well. . ." Kat took a deep breath. "You probably need to find some more interesting people." But Tally was just smiling at her, and it took everything Kat had to not fidget. This is why she tried not to talk much . . . Tally remembered everything. If this was how it was gonna be, then, unless Kat covered her tracks better, it was just a matter of time.


A shout from the front saved her. "That's our pizza!" Kat bounced to her feet and did her best to walk to the front without looking like she was running away.

Edited by Curious Key
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She took the time to let herself rest against a pillar in the front, one hand raised over her heart, in a closed fist. That . . . was not how you lied to someone. Tally had to be SUPER suspicious now, if she wasn't already. She was so keen and aware, but Kat wasn't helping. She'd always been relatively good at deflecting, at fast-talking, at throwing out straight-faced lies.


But not here, apparently. Kat steadied her breath and felt the rapid thu-thum of her heartbeat's rhythm. Tally was so clever, saw through things so fast . . . Kat had had the chance to play the role of the ordinary roommate, but she'd be restless. She'd patrolled Emerald City . . . and found the city to be utterly boring. In the end, she had spent a lot of time in Freedom, where there was at least no shortage of excitement, but Kat's--well, Lilly's--auspicious absence had been noticed. What could she say to satisfy Tally's curiosity? And how could she ensure that she wouldn't just break and make a stupid mistake again?


She ran her hand over her face. Tally was waiting, too. How abruptly she'd left would already be suspicious. If Lilly spent too long up here, surely Tally would find another clue. Lilly shook her head sharply, tried to steady her face, centered her shoulder. Tried to orient herself with regular breathing. It was hard, though . . . Her whole body was crawling with a sickly, anxious restlessness and the idea of speaking with Tally again only made it worse.

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