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Episode 10 Part 24

By:  Lenady

She could sleep through the pokes. They were an annoyance of course, but nothing her sleep-filled mind couldn’t work around and ignore completely. The nudges were a little more difficult, and the foot shaking was something else entirely. She still wasn’t prepared, though, for the sudden yank pulling her downwards, her head sliding completely off the armrest of the couch and onto the cushion itself.

 “Wha-?” Tilly yelped and turned, stopped halfway around by the twisting sensation in her ankle. Sanrook was sitting at the opposite side of the couch, gripping her foot. Tilly jerked her foot away and pushed herself into her respective corner, settling the blanket which had fallen off during the night back onto her shoulders and pulling it around herself. They stared at each other for a moment before finally Sanrook broke the silence

“Hey.”

“Hey,” Tilly replied.

“I, uh, came to apologize,” Sanrook said. “I mean, I was wrong, but also Toren said she’d break my arm if I didn’t. I guess I’ve lived alone for so long that I’m not used to this.”

Tilly glanced away from Sanrook for a moment, fixing her eyes on the television, which must have been left on the night prior. The same show was still playing, but a different episode. “You’re not the only one. Not used to it, I mean,” she said.

Tilly was rather surprised by the fact that Sanrook didn’t press for details, and instead simply turned around to watch the TV as well.

“It’s not like I was really making it easier though,” Tilly continued. “Sorry I was being a pain.”

            Sanrook looked back towards Tilly, drawing her attention away from the screen.
“No worries,” she said, waving it off. “It’s not like that. I’m just not used to being around people. But Norians adapt pretty easy. It’s a survival trait. You gotta be mellow when you’re in a sporting arena full of people who can bite through your femur.”

            Tilly could almost feel herself paling at the thought. She began to say something, then realized that she had no clue as to how to respond to that bit of information.

            “By the way,” Sanrook continued. “This isn’t about spoons, right?”

“No, of course not!” Tilly exclaimed, feeling a little confused. Did Sanrook seriously think this was about the spoons the whole time?

“Sorry, just… no, it’s not about spoons. I wouldn’t hold a grudge over spoons,” she said, before glancing back at the TV. “Not that I was holding a grudge,” she supplied quickly.  “But yeah, the spoon thing’s not an issue.”

Sanrook seemed to have taken on a more cheerful expression at that news. “I’m glad, cause wait til you see the broom closet.”

“I’m not even asking.”

They sat in near silence for a few minutes, trusting the sound of the television to fill a bit of the gap that was still so tangibly there.

“Um,” Tilly finally said. “Could I have my bear?”

“Oh, yeah. She’s in the broom closet.”

“Do I want to know why you stuck her in the ‘broom closet?’” Tilly asked, somehow thinking she should have put the last two words in air quotations.

“You wouldn’t look there,” Sanrook said, shrugging. “So this really wasn’t about spoons?”

Tilly sighed and looked directly at Sanrook, waiting for the other to face her before she spoke. “It wasn’t about spoons. It won’t be about spoons.” She smiled, then nudged Sanrook with her foot.  “Let go of the dang spoons, already.”

“Good, cause we can buy more,” Sanrook said with a grin. Tilly could sense something lacking in it, however; it still didn’t have its usual brightness. A bit of the gleam seemed to be absent from her eyes.

Tilly leaned back against the couch and turned her eyes back towards the TV before speaking. “Don’t worry so much. It doesn’t suit you.”

They once again settled into relative silence for a moment before Sanrook got up off of the couch. “I’ll go get your bear,” she said as she walked away.

Tilly frowned, watching Sanrook walk through the common room exit. ‘What was up with that?’ she thought. She expected things to be a little off-kilter between the two of them, at least for maybe a day or so. But Sanrook was acting weird, even for her. Especially for her. She pulled the blanket more tightly around her and tried to focus back on the episode. Not easy, since it had been halfway over already when Sanrook had woken her up.

At least the situation was an improvement over what they’d been dealing with for the past few days. She could deal with a slightly out of sorts Sanrook, as long as they were still speaking. The laugh track responded to something on screen, pulling Tilly back into the episode. ‘At least we’re not fighting anymore’ she thought as she sat back to wait for Sanrook to return with her stuffed animal, crossing her fingers.

 

*  *   *

 

“Hey Toren,” Sanrook said as she walked down a hall in the lower portion of the ship. “You know Tilly wasn’t wearing her wristbands.”

“Saw that. Did you notice-“

Sanrook interrupted Toren mid-sentence, the tone of her voice low. “Yeah, I did.”

At that point Sanrook reached her destination and walked through the door of the broom closet. Madeline J. Bear was still seated where Sanrook had left her, enthroned upon the small bench along the right wall.

            “You know, I wonder what Tilly would think about our broom closet having a bench”

            “Watch it there tin can. There’s nothing wrong with my broom closet”. Sanrook commented as she picked up the bear and walked back out the door. She made it halfway down the hallway before Toren’s voice piped back in.

“So yeah, I was kind of messing with you guys for a while. It got kind of boring after a bit though.”

“Mer,” she replied.

“Life’s definitely more fun now with two of you to play with though.”

“Thanks Toren”, said Sanrook sarcastically as she walked up the stairs.

 

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