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a guest Jan 31st, 2016 20 Never
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  1.  
  2.  
  3. 1. twilight
  4.  
  5. Anne got three chapters into the old book before she chucked it in the fireplace where it clearly belonged.
  6.  
  7. 2. burn
  8.  
  9. Fury simmered in the bit of her belly; Eva drove the knife through the murderer, sick satisfaction at his screams igniting the hot blood that dripped down her fingers.
  10.  
  11. 3. silence
  12.  
  13. He wasn't much one for noise, but the silence of the underground sewer pressed down on him, and Benny swore to himself that as soon as he dislodged this weird corded doohicky he was out of there.
  14.  
  15. 4. secrets
  16.  
  17. For something that wasn't a secret, Benny and Anne's obvious infatuation with each other certainly was a forbidden topic, Felix thought wryly.
  18.  
  19. 5. blankets
  20.  
  21. “Stop hogging the blankets,” Anne muttered irritably, yanking the covers away and sending her boyfriend tumbling to the floor with a magnificent thwomp.
  22.  
  23. 6. linger
  24.  
  25. “The sooner we get out of here, the better,” Felix says quietly, and Benny can't help but agree.
  26.  
  27. 7. clouds
  28.  
  29. “One of these days I'll see a nice, normal colored cloud,” Anne declares, pointing at a picture of something white and fluffy, “and it'll be a miracle.”
  30.  
  31. 8. liar
  32.  
  33. Eva won't ever tell them what happened; she refuses to be cast out now that she's finally got friends, and even if they're willing to be friends with a liar, they definitely won't with a killer.
  34.  
  35. 9. remember
  36.  
  37. Sometimes Benny thinks he should get birthdays and anniversaries tattooed into his arms, because god knows he's never going to remember any important dates otherwise.
  38.  
  39. 10. glitter
  40.  
  41. The old tube explodes into a shower of glitter when he pops the top; Eva stares for exactly two point three seconds before she breaks into laughter so hard she makes no noise.
  42.  
  43. 11. hand
  44.  
  45. “Hand in tentacle,” Eva says, staring at the couple for a second before she mock gags, “walking off into the sunset – I could make a living off of their romantic goop if I wanted, you know.”
  46.  
  47. 12. distance
  48.  
  49. An old music player introduces them to pre-apocalypse music, and Jeff sings (badly, and off-key) about going the distance for so long Benny starts to think uncharitably about burlap bags and acid lakes.
  50.  
  51. 13. february
  52.  
  53. “Look, according to the calendar, it's February -”
  54.  
  55. “Who cares?” Eva interrupts her friend, “Cold is cold!”
  56.  
  57. 14. fill
  58.  
  59. Anne's cookies are the best food on the entire planet and Benny'll fight anyone who says otherwise after he's done digesting.
  60.  
  61. 15. hold
  62.  
  63. Felix wraps Jeff up in a hug; then, when his tears die down into sniffles, he plops his hat onto Jeff's head and tells him to hang onto it for him until he gets back before he tugs the mask on properly over his face, disentangles himself from Jeff's death grip, and leaves.
  64.  
  65. 16. fire
  66.  
  67. His greatest find is still the stuffed octopus, second only to the actual working lighter he stepped on twice before finally noticing the plastic thing.
  68.  
  69. 17. tomorrow
  70.  
  71. There's not much point in staying up for the new year, but Benny does so anyway, complete with a sip of gag-worthy booze and a great deal of coughing.
  72.  
  73. 18. closer
  74.  
  75. “Come on,” Jeff wheedles, crackers in his hand, “they taste good, I promise.”
  76.  
  77. 19. heed
  78.  
  79. His life would be so much easier if they actually listened to him when he asked them to do things – but then again, if they did, they wouldn't be his friends, and Benny kinda likes having friends that are totally willing to kick him in the face if he deserves it hanging around.
  80.  
  81. 20. alphabet
  82.  
  83. “I can so read,” Jeff protests under Eva's cackles and her request for him to “sing the alphabet so I know for sure, Jeffy-boy.”
  84.  
  85. 21. underneath
  86.  
  87. “Looking 'underneath the underneath' – what a load of rubbish,” Eva snorts and tosses the leaflet aside.
  88.  
  89. 22. hide
  90.  
  91. “I totally understand how you feel,” Jeff whispers to the animal so far underneath his bed all he can see is the flash of its eyes, its terrified growl high pitched and shaky.
  92.  
  93. 23. flash
  94.  
  95. “Oh, god, my eyes,” Benny moans and Jeff jerks the flashlight away with a fervent apology.
  96.  
  97. 24. anger
  98.  
  99. “Damn it, this is not my fault!” Benny snaps, resolutely ignoring the way Felix's brows draw together in heavy disappointment.
  100.  
  101. 25. shame
  102.  
  103. He loves Anne, but sometimes she makes him feel about five years old, caught with his hand in the cookie jar.
  104. From:
  105. Lilbluebox
  106.  
  107. 26. adoration
  108.  
  109. Jeff's face lights up in a joy normally reserved for animal species of all shape, size, and varieties of cuddliness as he hugs the plush toy tightly.
  110.  
  111. 27. waves
  112.  
  113. Jeff waves so hard at the retreating Felix that Benny's half afraid his arm will fall off – not that he has any room to talk, since he's pretty sure his tear ducts stopped working about five minutes ago.
  114.  
  115. 28. apologize
  116.  
  117. “Look – Anne, I -”
  118.  
  119. “Yeah, I know.”
  120.  
  121. 29. waiting
  122.  
  123. “She won't wait forever,” Eva tells Benny bluntly.
  124.  
  125. 30. nostalgia
  126.  
  127. A quip about Felix's nostalgic tendencies leads to Eva enacting a very dramatized mourning scene over half a grapefruit smoothie and Felix covering his head with his hands, cheeks flushed red with embarrassment.
  128.  
  129. 31. watch
  130.  
  131. “Eva,” Felix says after a moment, “I really don't think they'll appreciate -”
  132.  
  133. “Pipe down, Hatguy, I think they're gonna smooch!”
  134.  
  135. 32. regret
  136.  
  137. There's a lot of things Eva regrets, but none more so than giving up on that cheese sandwich before they left on this stupid scavenging hunt.
  138.  
  139. 33. plain
  140.  
  141. “Well,” Benny says after staring out over the flat desert for five minutes, “if there's nothing out here, I'm going back.”
  142.  
  143. 34. shy
  144.  
  145. Benny nearly chokes on his drink at the assertion; “Yeah, no,” he says as soon as he can breathe again, “Eva's anything but shy.”
  146.  
  147. 35. moonlight
  148.  
  149. The moonlight reflects through the haze of misty chemicals, putting a very nice 'moonbow' in the street that puts a grin on Felix's face and tickles his artistic sensibilities.
  150.  
  151. 36. melt
  152.  
  153. “Okay, note to self, don't leave plastic outside in the middle of a solar spike,” and Anne stares mournfully at her melted fake flowers.
  154.  
  155. 37. half
  156.  
  157. Jeff snaps the bread in half and tries to crumble up the second half to give the birds something to snack on.
  158.  
  159. 38. leave
  160.  
  161. They don't argue often – not like this, where the anger is so palpable that neither can bear to be in the same room with each other – and it isn't until after he storms off and several hours have passed and her temper has had a chance to cool and sense has reasserted itself that Anne fears that she might truly never see Benny again.
  162.  
  163. 39. neutral
  164.  
  165. “Oh, no,” and Felix held his hands up in the universal signal for surrender, “I am not getting involved in this.”
  166.  
  167. 40. buttercups
  168.  
  169. “Are those buttercups?” Anne asked; Felix shrugged and set the colored pencils down, giving his sketch one final look before he carefully tugged it out of the sketchbook and offered the picture to his friend.
  170.  
  171. 41. winter
  172.  
  173. “Acid rain sucks enough,” Benny grumbled, hunching further under his makeshift umbrella, “but acid snow is just cruel.”
  174.  
  175. 42. flowers
  176.  
  177. “I think it's supposed to be a sunflower,” Anne decided, mouth twisted in an uncertain frown at the giant sickly blue-green monstrosity that had sprung up in her garden overnight.
  178.  
  179. 43. gentle
  180.  
  181. “Pretty sure you were a duckling in a previous life,” Eva told Jeff as the boy hesitated with the bandage, not wanting to hurt her more than she already was.
  182.  
  183. 44. speak
  184.  
  185. Felix didn't talk very much; it wasn't that he didn't like conversations, it was just that he learned so much more about people when he was quite – and besides, inserting himself into other people's conversations was always much harder than it looked.
  186.  
  187. 45. last
  188.  
  189. Benny couldn't tell what the animal was – some sort of mutated kitten with a scorpion tail, maybe? - but Jeff had the thing cuddled up against his chest with the biggest set of puppy eyes he'd ever seen, begging Benny to let him keep it - “It's all alone; I think it's an orphan,” Jeff pleaded and Benny let out a groan of defeat.
  190.  
  191. 46. dew
  192.  
  193. Any day that didn't start with morning dew trying to dissolve his shoes was a good day, so far as Benny was concerned.
  194.  
  195. 47. night
  196.  
  197. It's not night; the smoke just makes it look like it is, and Benny's heart simultaneously constricts and sinks even as his feet pound into a run – the town is burning.
  198.  
  199. 48. footsteps
  200.  
  201. “It's just me,” Benny's voice said tiredly as Anne sat straight up in bed, hand wrapped around a lead pipe at the heavy sound of footsteps in her house.
  202.  
  203. 49. end
  204.  
  205. The apocalypse hasn't driven away the doomsayers, and Eva resists the urge to take the nearest one by the throat and shake sense into him – the end isn't coming, it's been and gone and left a lovely little toxic postcard to commemorate its passing.
  206.  
  207. 50. caution
  208.  
  209. One wrong step means death by chemical disintegration – Benny takes one look at the acid lake, grabs Jeff by the back of his shirt, and hauls his friend off before he gets the bright idea to go swimming for mutant guppies.
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