“I think we lost her,” Ami said, placing a steadying hand on Miss Murder’s shoulder. “Are you okay?”
Miss Murder nodded, taking a few moments to steady herself. Rachel hadn’t done any lasting damage, but her body was still trembling from the disruptive current. She grimaced. After what she’d tried to do to Rachel, maybe she deserved it…
“I’m… I’m glad you messaged me,” Ami said. “And I’m sorry I didn’t get there sooner.”
She reached for her phone to type out a reply, only then realising Sabrina still had it. Aggravated, she pulled away from Ami. That would be a difficult problem to sort out. She’d need a new one; even if she could get the old one back, there was no way she could trust it after it’d been in the hands of the tinker. That meant considering the old one compromised, and starting entirely fresh.
It had her entire message history with Ami on it, too…
No pen or paper. Did she know enough sign language at this point? Did Ami?
“Thank you,” she signed. Ami smiled.
“Happy to help,” Ami said.
“Don’t have my phone,” she signed. “Need a new one. Not sure how I’ll contact you.”
“You’re not as hard to find as you think you are,” Ami said. “But, I’ll tell you what. Forty-eight hours, the place where we first met. We’ll sort something out then. You need to get back to your boss, right?”
Miss Murder nodded. Forty-eight hours. That would be enough time to make her report, get a new phone sorted out, rest and recover from the day’s bullshit, and figure out an excuse to be away from him again. Hell, maybe he’d want her away. He was paranoid enough to believe she might have given something away.
“I want to leave him. I just can’t, yet. He…”
“I know,” Ami said. “You know what you’re doing. I just wish I could help.”
“You are helping.”
They stood in silence for a while, neither of them moving. Occasionally, they caught one another’s eye, and quickly turned away.
“I need to get back,” she signed, wishing it wasn’t true. She felt a lot safer with Ami than she did with him.
“Okay,” Ami said, then sighed. “Look, I know you’re not… Ugh. I just want to, without, err… I just want you to be safe. That’s…”
She contemplated signing something back, but didn’t know what to say. Ami was talking, but it wasn’t her words that were important.
Instead of replying, she reached out, a still trembling hand covering most of the distance between them. For a moment, a painfully long moment, Ami didn’t react, and she tried to think of ways she could play it off, pretend that it was nothing.
Ami took her hand, a gentle grip that spoke volumes. They looked at each other, momentarily defenceless.
The kiss was quick, soft, daring.
It was perfect.
It wasn’t long enough, but she was out of time. She’d been reckless, hadn’t checked for cameras. If the Celestial saw, if he knew…
She needed to get back to him. She needed to deal with everything that had happened, everything that was going to happen.
She blinked away, leaving Ami alone once again. No goodbye, no explanation.
Next Week: What Are You Doing Here?