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Akkey Black: Maya peeked in Akkey’s room and worriedly watched her chest rise and fall in rhythmic breathing. They had arrived only a few minutes ago and were herded directly to the medical portion of the dungeon, setting up equipment and beds. Hunter was rushed around, so he barely had to time to look at her sister.
“She’s fine,” he tried to say nonchalantly, but Maya knew he was lying.
Warren: Warren lingered outside the doorway hesitantly, one foot scuffing the floor in a slow rhythm as she peeked into the room. An impromptu cot had been set up and Akkey was laying on it, though she seemed to be more bandages than person at the moment. Warren pursed her lips and began to back out. She’d have to come back later, maybe….
Akkey Black: She noticed the half rabbit loitering outside, “Can I help you?” She slightly choked when she spotted her ears. She didn’t figure she would miss it so much.
Warren: Warren was taken aback by the woman’s reaction, and one hand reached up toward her ears self-consciously before she noticed and lowered it. Shouldn’t everyone in the camp be used to seeing half-breeds by now? “I,” she began sheepishly, “I just came to see Akkey, but, if it’s not a good time… I don’t want to be a hindrance.”
Akkey Black: “Oh… uh…” she quickly composed herself. Behind the girl she spotted Sayaka motioning for her to come, and she sighed reluctantly, “No, you came at the perfect time. I have to tend to some people, would you stay by her side, please? Keep her warm, try to get some of the soup in her… mmm…”
She glanced back at Akkey’s listless form before rolling herself out of the room.
Warren: “Oh,” Warren turned and stared after the nurse as she left. “Okay,” she said to the almost-empty room. She took a seat beside Akkey’s bed and took the soup bowl in her hands. Looking down at the half-breed, Warren was struck with a wave of nostalgia, and she looked down at her fingers. “Here we are again, huh? It’s been a while since I patched you up last. Training.” She gave a huff of a laugh. “It seems like forever ago. You looked different then.” She smiled as the memory came. “I was so excited to be in the rebellion. To change things. Everyone had so much energy, so much light…. Haddock was still grumpy as a wet hedgehog; I guess some things never change.” She looked down at the girl who had saved her life, now battling for her own. “I wish more things were like that.”
Akkey Black: I wish more things were like that.
Words echoed in the darkness, she couldn’t see a foot in front of her. There was laughter. Cackling. Hating. The wind picked up and fire rained down. there was an explosion of light, then it cleared.
Around her was destruction. The fortress was gone. The stables destroyed. The rebellion behind her, wounded, bloodied. She looked down on herself; she was soaked in red. But they were alive.
The laughter above dissipated and she smiled weakly. The battle was over. They won. She turned away and walked back towards where Haddock stood. She could tell she needed to see a healer immediately.
“I’m so glad everyone’s al-” There was a soft woosh behind her. She turned, and she met eye to eye with the same familiar that slashed her back. “-right…” It smiled grotesquely at her, and for a second time stood still.
Then it opened its mouth and bit her head off.
Warren: The broth was warming Warren’s fingers, which were constantly cold in the dungeon. It wasn’t the homiest of places by a long shot. She missed her tunic. Speaking of cold…. Warren pulled the blanket to cover Akkey more completely, hoping that this room didn’t suffer from the draft that some of the others seemed to. She stirred the broth with the spoon and began feeding it to the Chief, hoping she’d take it. “So, I wanted to say thank you, for saving my life and everyone else’s. I don’t know how you managed it, but if I live long enough to have kids, you better believe you’re going to be a legendary hero in their eyes. You didn’t have to save me, but you did. I would appreciate it if you’d let me return the favor.”
Akkey Black: Akkey’s breathing suddenly became quick and shallow, and her body temperature started dropping. Her body in random spasms, “Quickly… get everyone out…” she started mumbling.
Then she bolted upright in bed, eyes wide and wounds screaming in pain.
Warren: Warren recoiled in shock, quickly setting the bowl down and darting to Akey’s side. She grabbed the girl’s shoulder as gently as she could and leaned forward protectively, stroking the two-toned hair in an attempt to relax her enough to get her to lay back again. “Akkey! Akkey, it’s okay, shhhh it’s over, it’s okay.” It was like when she was a child waking up from nightmares, but on a much more amplified scale. Perhaps as a half-breed, Akkeys childhood hadn’t been so different from her own. On a whim, Warren pulled Akkey to her chest and wrapped her arms around her, careful of the wound across her back. She nudged the girl’s temple gently with her nose, one hand still stroking her hair, and snuffled lightly, hoping that at least she might warm up a little. “You’re okay,” she whispered, “we’re all fine.”
Akkey Black: Wild eyes darted around the room, waking up in strange surroundings. The last thing she remembered was the snow and telling Tree to see a healer. Her hand shot out and weakly pushed Warren, barely gripping her arm, “Quickly… get them out…” she gasped, a few of the wounds on her arm opening and bleeding. She was still not able to absorb where they were.
Warren: Warren gently lowered Akkey’s arm, speaking in even, friendly tones. “It’s over, Akkey, you did it. We’re out. We’re safe.” She maneuvered so that she could stare into Akkey’s face. “Hey, look at me. We are safe. Hunter is healing everyone. The King is safe, Stonegit and Blunt. and me, and Tree, and Vox, Mera and the kids, we’re okay. Just look at me. It’s okay.”
Akkey Black: Elohim, essaim.
"Quickly, get them out…” Akkey’s fingers twitched constantly, barely listening to Warren’s whispers, "Need to open more portals… go through… it will bring them outside…”
Someone cried out in pain, and they jumped. Akkey pushed the Pookan away, falling off the bed and stumbling towards the door. The motions stretched the stitches on her back, threatening to break. She leaned against the door frame, wide eyed and breathing heavily.
The rebels saw her up and walking, and they all called out her name in relief. “Chief!”
“You’re awake, thank goodness.”
“Thank you so much, you saved me!”
“Chief…” Tornpike hobbled up to her, gingerly putting the least amount of pressure on his leg, “Chief… are you alright?”
“You’re… you got out,” she choked. Tornpike was one of those inside the fortress, when it collapsed, “Where… where are the others? Rotgrass, the Hama brothers… Sumia’s little girl… I saw them…”
Tornpike shifted his gaze, his mouth turned down sadly, “They… they didn’t make it. The brothers and Sumia’s child were too far from the portal… they got crushed. And Rotgrass… a familiar bit his head off before he could go through. I’m sorry, Chief.”
Akkey froze. A familiar bit his head off… She just dreamt that. Her back felt like it was on fire, and she wanted to scream. But no sound came out.
You didn’t get them all.
Warren: Things had spiraled out of control in a heartbeat. Warren pushed out of the room and dashed urgently through the clot of people, searching for the woman in the wheelchair. “Maya? Maya?”
Akkey Black: Akkey stared numbly at the rebels. She didn’t see the people she saved… she saw the comrades she lost, the ones that weren’t there. Slowly she raised a hand, up to her eyes. She saw it bloodstained, broken, dirty… Useless. They were useless. No matter how many times she opened portals, it was pointless. She couldn’t save them.
Her pointer and third fingers twitched. The jug filled with water exploded right as Warren passed it.
Warren: A wicker barrel beside her burst and sent out a spray of water that soaked her entire right side, but thankfully it hadn’t been a clay pot or she’d be picking shards of ceramics out of her face. She kicked the shredded remnants out of her path and continued running, hind claws scrabbling against the wet stone. “Come on, come on….” She had to find one of the healers. Preferably the mage, surely he could calm Akkey with some magic, but she had to find him first before the chief hurt herself or anyone else.
Akkey Black: There was an anguished shout to her left, and Warren turned to look, just in time to see two half breeds disappear into the floor. It was a portal. More cries came from behind her. Tornpike, Sumia and the few rebels who had surrounded the chief to try and calm her were now struggling, knee deep in water. In the midst of it was Akkey, spraying the rebels and opening portals. Red started to soak her bandages.
Warren: Warren fought the urge to turn tail and rave back, but she would never be able to help them within Akkey in this state. “HUNTER!” Her stomach turned as she saw more rebels being sucked into darkness. She had to find him; he could fix it, he had to. “HUNTER!”
Akkey Black: The shouts grew louder, and soldiers ran in the makeshift infirmary, trying to keep people from sinking. Vox and Tree started slipping side by side, but Gaius caught them on time.
Hunter burst in with Sayaka, who had called him frantically while he finished up with his current patient, “What’s going on?”
Warren: Warren gave a quick sigh of relief as they entered. “It’s Akkey! She’s awake, but she’s having some kind of episode- she won’t respond to me, please, do something!”
Akkey Black: His face fell. He’d be lying if he said he didn’t expect this, but he completely forgot about her abilities. “Crap… gotta get near her.” Tendrils of water suddenly shot out from the puddles on the floor and went straight for him and Warren.
Warren: “I don’t see how you can-” Warren broke off as her eye caught movement and she reflexively stepped backward. Her foot slipped on the wet floor and she stumbled.
Akkey Black: “Be careful!” Hunter tried to pull her out of the way but he slipped, too. Sayaka rushed in and deflected the water, “Both of you alright?”
“Yeah,” he shook his head, and helped Warren up, “I need to get to her.”
The witch hunter nodded, “Right. Keep close.” They stuck to the wall, and almost reached the chief. Akkey was still staring, horrified, at her hands. “I couldn’t save them…”
“Stop her from moving. I can take it from there.”
Warren: "I’ll get as many people out of here as I can." They could do with a lot less chaos around here. She turned and set to work pulling out the sinking rebels and sending them out the door to safety. "Hurry!"
Akkey Black: Hunter slowly approached Akkey, “Hey. Hey, little lady. It’s me.” She looked up at him through her tears, blood dripping down her chin, “I couldn’t…”
“It’s alright, shh. You still saved plenty.” he inched closer, “We’re alright.”
He lunged forward and caught her in a bear hug, firmly placing his forehead on hers. He closed his eyes, “Senara tranquillo laxa.” The water froze in midair, then disappeared. People who were caught in portals laid on the floor, panting. Akkey crumpled in Hunter’s arms, staring over his shoulder at the havoc she just caused.
Warren: Warren looked out at the stilled chaos of the room, breathing hard, and shuffled back until she could lean against the wall. Everything was dripping with water, including her, and the wall was freezing cold against her back. She looked across at Akkey, knowing that she was in no condition to do anything at the moment, especially not discuss a potentially-distressing topic for everyone involved. Warren sighed heavily. Her questions would have to wait. In the meantime, they had a mess to clean up.
Akkey Black: He carried the motionless girl back to her bed, gently wiping blood and water from her face. Hunter glanced down on her arms, and saw that her wounds had opened again. Reaching for fresh bandages, he wrapped new ones around them, “Akkey…” he started to say, but the words caught in his throat. He heard snippets of what the half breed had done from the other rebels, a whisper here and there, and he had pieced it together. It was a brave yet sad tale, and he could not imagine what the girl had been through.
He glanced at the Pookan half breed that peeked into the room. Warren, he recalled her name was. She was the other girl Akkey had saved in the air, along with Treepelt. She was by her side when she woke.
He stood, and motioned for her to come inside, “She’s… she should be calmer now. Keep up the usual, warmth, soup… and see if you could talk to her. You’ve spent more time with her than I have. I have to see if there are others injured outside. I’ll be as fast as I can.”
Warren: Warren twisted her fingers together nervously, not wanting to be left alone but understanding the need for Hunter to do his job. “…Okay. Thank you for helping, I… had no idea what to do. Thank you for everything. This camp would be dead without your help. I’ll do what I can with Akkey.” I kind of owe you both anyway, she added silently.
She managed a smile. “Try to take care of yourself too. You’re no good to anyone if you’ve worked yourself sick.”
Akkey Black: He nodded, “I’ll send Maya over soon. Thanks.” With that, he rushed out.
There was a quiet rustle from the back of the room, and Warren turned. Akkey had turned away, gripping the blanket. She couldn’t bear to look at the half breed, “I’m… sorry…”
Warren: Warren sat gingerly in the chair beside the bed, chest panging with sadness at the chief’s broken apology. “You should be,” she said. “That was the sorriest excuse for a freak out I’ve ever seen. I mean, if you’re gonna come back with a bang, you’d could have at least thrown in some havoc and destruction you know. I mean, you only broke like, one thing. Honestly it was a little relaxing. Loosened me up. And, I was gonna take a bath, but it you took care of that too. Looks like you did more help than harm, friend.” She smiled. “Now if you’re really sorry, you can make it up to me by eating something and we’ll call it even.”
Akkey Black: Her head snapped back to face her, determined to be indignant, her mouth opening and closing like a fish. “Well I…!” She spotted the grin and was tempted to punch Warren on the shoulder, but the new bandages were tight.
“I didn’t… I mean… oh shut up…” she took the bowl with a huff, and gingerly started spooning the hot soup into her mouth in small doses, “I should up my game the next time we start training again, if that was relaxing. 50 lunges in one minute would be a good start. Then we’ll move on to 100 crunches, no rest, in two minutes.”
Warren: Warren sniffed and crossed her arms. “Come on, you know my feet are too long to do lunges that fast. And if you’re going to flaunt your adamantine abdominal strength then perhaps I’ll have you in staff duels again until you finally beat me?”
Akkey Black: “Ha! Adamantine abdominal strength… what strength… I couldn’t even save Rotgrass or Hyro or Teddi…” she gripped the bowl tighter, “What kind of chief am I? I keep leaving… useless… stupid… since the beginning. Just useless… I keep making the wrong choices, and everyone else suffers for it… Tree, Vox, Haddock… Greg… and Stonegit… and… everyone… I’m just a selfish chief… ”
Warren: "…What?" A stone cold lump thudded into her stomach and she suddenly felt nauseous. She remembered Grey’s words days earlier: "that’s something Akkey can tell you." Her wet fur and bandages were making her cold but she refused to shiver in front of Akkey. She took a few deep breaths and tentatively asked, "…How has Greg suffered?"
Akkey Black: She froze. Oh no… I slipped…
“I…” she glanced at her, eyes darting around. She deserves to know. “I… uhm… the Warden… possessed him… and I sent them through another portal.” she stammered, the good energy from a second ago gone instantly.
Warren: The nervous sickness that had begun to twist her stomach skyrocketed and she stood so quickly that the stool she’d been occupying tipped over with a crack on the stone. Her thoughts raced, jumping straight to the worst possible scenarios…. But why would Akkey send him… send them… away from the others if they weren’t a danger to the company? And Greg would never willingly hurt anyone he knew…. So…. Was she lying the whole time? Was Haddock right, were we naive, was I naive, did she take Greg, possess him, flaunt him as she did with the Ki-
“No,” she said to snap herself out of her thoughts; she took a shuddering wheeze of a breath, another; “No, no, no, this doesn’t make sense-” ‘Greg suffers because of me.’ That’s what she had said, wasn’t it? “T-tell me what happened.”
Akkey Black: “I…” she stared straight into the bowl, her knuckles turning white from gripping it so hard, “I… when they were kidnapped, it was the Warden who found them. She had possessed me, and used me to save them. But everyone… except for Greg and Grey… we all expressed our distrust and fear, so she transferred over to him. I saw it as an opportunity… to get rid of the Warden.”
Her voice rasped. She felt like she could cry any second, but none fell. She didn’t have any tears left, “So I opened a portal to the North… and made him go through it.”
Warren: Warren’s hands ran through her hair and lingered on her head- her chest heaved as she fought to force air into her lungs, her heart hurt, everything about the words Akkey was saying was painful. She felt herself shaking and couldn’t get herself to look anywhere but straight ahead. Get rid of the Warden. That’s all anyone had ever wanted, right? To destroy her? Finish her destruction once and for all? “You got… rid of him?” Her voice broke. She couldn’t ask why she’d done it, because she knew. She couldn’t ask why it had been Greg, because she knew. He was the only one who trusted Nala enough, and he was all Nala had to rely on when surrounded by the rebels. She turned at last to Akkey. “You… used him? And you knew….”
Akkey Black: She met Warren’s eyes, and saw nothing but pain. Pain, devastation, sadness The sounds outside disappeared when she tried to respond, “I didn’t use… he…” Stop lying. I used him. I did it again… I hurt my friends again. I thought I was saving them… when really… I…
The wound on her back throbbed, and the bowl broke in her hands.
Warren: “You did. You said you did.” It was unbearably quiet. Warren, shaking, fighting emotion and losing; Akkey with the shattered bowl in her hands. “You all hate her so much that you would betray one of your own to get her as far away as possible? She saved all of the kidnapped rebels, didn’t she? She saved everyone, and now where are they-” She had to pause, swallowing hard. She didn’t even have enough will to be angry. She just couldn’t. Not yet, not with Akkey looking so beaten, like each of the words Warren was saying was a punishment upon her. “Where are they?” she repeated.
Akkey Black: She clenched her fists, breaking the skin on her palms. Blood mixed with the warm soup, but it felt cold to her. Freezing. Numbing. The pain was incomparable to how much her chest hurt, her heart heavy and guilty. I can’t do anything right. Too selfish, too useless. I should have just stayed away…
“I… I don’t know. The North… it was a random portal. I don’t…”
Warren: Warren walked over to the corner in silence. She wished she could cry but she was too confused and it left her heavy and empty at the same time. He could be lost, but he could be found. He could be dead, but he could be alive. Free or Captured. Injured or healthy. Possessed or… she didn’t know. Wherever he was, he’d have Nala with him unless they were forced to separate, and then it would all be over anyway. She turned, slowly, and made her way back over to Akkey. Warren didn’t look at her, but carefully picked up the pieces of bowl and threw them away.
Akkey Black: The soup and the blood seeped into the blanket, staining it in murky brown and red. She stared at it, the bowl no longer in her hands, the cuts exposed to the air and stinging from the salts in the soup. Warren didn’t say a word. She didn’t scream, she didn’t cry. She didn’t hit her or get angry… she said nothing. “I’m… I’m sorry… I had to… I couldn’t let her come back…” she rasped, almost pleading her to respond.
Warren: Warren halted. She stared at the broken bowl in the trash can mutely, unmoving as Akkey apologized. I couldn’t let her come back…. She felt like she’d been stabbed. She straightened, turned and walked out the door.
Akkey Black: The back that faced her was cold and harsh. “Warren…” she faltered.
Warren: She stopped stiffly and twisted to look at over her shoulder after a beat of silence. Hazel eyes met Akkey’s, softened, and then flicked away. “…Don’t move.” She disappeared for a time that, in the empty room, felt longer than it was.
Warren slipped back in with something in her arms and knelt on the floor in front of Akkey’s bed. She paused to set a small wad of cloth strips into her lap and then took Akkey’s hands in one of her own. Wordlessly, she wiped the blood and broth from Akkey’s palms with a rag soaked in something that smelled bad but stung worse. Antiseptic.
The silence was somber, but not as excruciating as before. A stagnant ache had replaced the earlier taught emotion.
Akkey Black: Her fingers twitched as the medicine seeped in. She swallowed, doubtfully glancing at the half Pookan as she tied the bandages, unable to tell what she was thinking. Wanting to break the silence, wanting to explain herself, but not knowing what to say other than "I’m sorry”.
Warren: Warren finished with the bandages and let her hands drop into her lap. She noticed Akkey’s tension and felt restless herself, wishing that the silence was tangible so she could claw at it in frustration. It would’ve been easier than finding something to say.
The hollow gnawing in her gut intensified and she suddenly felt a need for confidence, or at least to lean on someone else’s. Her eyes flicked up to Akkey’s face, and twisted in childlike vulnerability.
"…They will be okay, won’t they?"
She didn’t care if Akkey lied to her, dint care if she said that Greg and Nala had rained down into camp from the sky an hour ago, she just needed to hear the words. She needed to hear that they would come back.
Akkey Black: I don’t know.
That was the first thought that passed Akkey’s mind. She really didn’t know. There were too many variables, too many what ifs. She stuck him in some unknown place with no means of coming back. It made her sick in her stomach. But the way Warren looked at her… it hurt her heart.
“Greg is a sturdy guy. Anyone who can throw a pie at Haddock’s face and live has me impressed,” she said through her teeth. Lying, hoping, wishing, “He’ll find his way.”
Warren: It was enough for now. Warren pursed her lips and her shoulders shook with a little laugh. “He is.” Was? “He is,” she repeated. She nodded mutely as Akkey finished. There was a short pause and Warren almost sighed. She spoke quietly, reserved but not unkind. “…I understand why you did it.”
Akkey Black: Her eyes flicked up in surprise,”You… you do?”
Warren: Warren set her folded arms on top of her knees and set her chin atop them. “Yes. I still don’t… I don’t like it. But… I used to hate her too. The Warden. I was afraid of her, but Greg isn’t, and he’s helped me to understand. But if he hadn’t, I… I wouldn’t want a demon with me either.” She scowled a little, still upset at the rebels’ decision.
Akkey Black: “…they said the same thing,” she absentmindedly played with a loose thread on her bandage, “Greg and Grey, they said she’d changed. Give her the benefit of the doubt…” She took a deep breath. “They probably would still be trapped in the pit if the Warden hadn’t found them.”
Warren: "Sounds like them," Warren agreed. "They’ve tried to convince people before. I wonder how many times she’ll have to save us until people are willing to listen."
Akkey Black: “She held most of them captive and tortured them for months, on top of killing Vox and Haddock and possessing numerous people…” she said, trying not to sound bitter. It’s not that simple.
Warren: "You’ve done things you regret, haven’t you?" It wasn’t a question. "I’m not trying to excuse her. She’s done horrible, horrible things. But I don’t know what it’s like to be born a demon, do you?" Warren’s gaze grew distant. "We must be like gnats to her. I dont feel bad for killing insects." She looked back at Akkey. "Then again I’ve never befriended one. Isn’t it possible that she didn’t know better?"
Akkey Black: Akkey held the gaze, not knowing what to think. What Warren said made sense. Is… is she right? People are capable of change. Didn’t you give Blunt a chance, too? She saved them, she apologized. Perhaps she isn’t the mindless killer that you first met anymore.
Warren: Warren shrugged and let the word hang in the air, then leaned forward to rub her temples. She sighed. “It’s been a really, really long past few days. I don’t even want to think anymore.” Especially about…. She rubbed her eyes, looking hopelessly exhausted. “I’m almost tempted to sleep, but I don’t think I’d be able to.”
Akkey Black: She was tempted to reach out and stroke her head, some sort of… comfort.. she could possible provide, but her hand hovered then pulled back, hesitant, “Hunter… he might be able to help you with that. You should go visit him.”
Warren: Warren gave a little head shake. “If anything, Hunter needs it more than I do. I’m surprised that he hasn’t collapsed yet. I don’t like to bother him too much.” She rubbed her soggy fur pensively. “…I should probably dry off though.”
Akkey Black: “Oh, uh… here,” she winced a little when she reached for Warren’s fur, eyebrows scrunching slightly. She hadn’t done this often enough, and it has still proven to be difficult. It’s just like the portals, pinpointing locations took quite a bit of concentration. It took slightly more than a few minutes, but she finally managed to take away enough so that the Pookan wouldn’t catch a cold. She exhaled, the water dripping down her hand onto a small puddle on the ground, “That should do it.”
Warren: It was an odd sensation. Warren stared at the puddle in fascination and then dipped a finger beneath her bandages, feeling them. Barely damp. Impressive. She allowed a look of appreciation to cross her face and then scowled. “You shouldn’t be exerting yourself.” She didn’t mention how long it had taken to draw the water out, (the nix was clearly not up to using her power at the moment) or the fact that she could’ve dried herself in the sun, which would’ve been cold and unpleasant but still effective. She pursed her lips. Perhaps it was Akkey’s own way of repaying her, trying to make it better, even the slightest bit? She didn’t want to make Akkey feel any more guilty than she already did. “…But thank you. That’s… much better.”
Akkey Black: Akkey nodded silently, slightly out of breath, “It’s the least I could do.” She looked at the half Pookan, “You should go sleep. I’ll be okay.”
Warren: She hesitated, lapsing into silence. Perhaps… perhaps she should. She wouldn’t have to think anymore, or worry, and it would at least give her a break from her aching body…. “I… you’re sure you’re alright? I don’t want to leave you.”
Akkey Black: She nodded again, half smiling, “I won’t be going anywhere. I’ll be fine.”
Warren: Warren clenched and unclenched her fists in indecision. The ease with which they had interacted earlier hadn’t returned, and she knew in her gut that it wouldn’t for a while. But… she didn’t want to think of what Akkey might do once she was gone. Being alone with one’s thoughts could be miserable. She would know. But…. Warren looked back at Akkey and relented, feeling herself give in to the emotions she’d been holding back. “…Okay.” She stood stiffly.
Akkey Black: She exhaled and twiddled with her thumbs, silently watching Warren stand. As the half Pookan headed for the door, she heard herself calling out her name, “Warren.”
She swallowed, wondering if she should really say this again, but felt that she needed to, “Warren… I’m sorry. Thank you.”
Warren: Warren hesitated. She stepped back and placed a hand on one of Akkey’s, avoiding her eyes. “…Me too.” She walked out to seek sleep.