Action, Reaction, and Inaction

“—ow!” Nataku yelped in the middle of her animated retelling of how she got her latest set of ‘war wounds’ as Washuu applied antiseptic to a nasty-looking cut on her arm. She gave her guardian a wilting glare. “You did that on purpose.”

“Serves you right for not minding your own business,” Washuu replied with an all too cheerful grin while she continued to dab at Nataku’s injuries.

“Well, I think you did the right thing,” Anne piped up as she passed through with a large box in tow. “But try not to get thrown through a window the next time.”

“Definitely not,” Nataku agreed, wincing again. “If I had any idea that plate glass could hurt so damn much, I would have taken my chances with the wall.”

“Then I would be splinting broken bones, instead of just stitching you up,” Washuu pointed out. “And I still say it was massively stupid of you to get involved. This is real life, not some anime where you can play superhero with impunity.”

“Hey, I never said I wanted to save the world. I just happened to be there when someone needed help. So I helped.” Nataku caught sight of Washuu rolling her eyes and frowned. “All right, so I didn’t accomplish a whole damn lot, but at least I tried.”

Washuu sighed. “And that’s your problem. You barge into too many things blindly and end up causing a bigger mess than you started with. Even if you meant well, nobody appreciates that kind of ‘help’.”

***

Alive.

Alive!

Junsui repeated the word in his mind, over and over again, almost afraid to believe it.

Owowowowowowow!

Yeah, he was alive. By the tiniest of margins, but alive nonetheless.

Everything hurt like hell. But nothing was broken, he hoped.

“Never bring water to a fistfight,” he joked to himself, and almost bit his tongue as another wave of pain washed over him. At this rate, it would take him days before he could move without wanting to scream.

Junsui sighed. Well, I always did want a vacation.

As he drifted off to sleep, he wondered what happened to the girl who barged in on the fight and got thrown through a window (ouch!) for her trouble.

***

Tessa added another origami crane to the pile and sighed. Street fights were a dozen a day in these parts of town, and most of the time she passed by them without a second glance, but this one—

Why’d it have to be her?

That idiot is going to get herself killed someday, Tessa thought, remembering how said idiot had charged head-first to her “rescue”.

But Tessa still walked away. She had to. After that last stunt, she couldn’t afford to draw notice to herself in any fashion, not when she was just going out during the day again.

And then this had to happen.

Dammit.

Dammit.

She didn’t owe that girl anything. And she wasn’t the type to swoop in and rescue people anyway.

So why now, a week after the incident, did doubts and guilt linger?

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