Chapter Twelve

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AN: There is a little app called Monument Valley. You need to get that app.

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He didn't sleep, and by sunrise he was still there, stiff and sore and honest-to-god exhausted.

She nestled tighter against his chest and he wondered if she was still warm. He was tempted to wake her up, actually, but decided it was better to let her sleep.

The doorknob twisted and he closed his eyes. Mrs. Richardson-he could smell the cream in her coffee. Deep, even breaths...still asleep...

The door closed again and he heard her whisper, "Still asleep."

"Maybe we should call a doctor."

"Her temperature was down last night...and the doctor in this town, you know how he is, we had to drive five hours to get your appendix out!"

"What is going on?"

"I don't know..."

They moved off down the stairs and he opened his eyes again, reached over for his glasses. He doubted this was contagious-he'd be, at the very least, suffering malaise. So what was it?

She murmured something and he froze, half-hoping she was waking up. She was only rolling over and he relaxed again, running his thumb absently along her wrist.

That scratch hadn't healed and he tried to remember where did she get that and came up blank. It was bugging him now. Batman? No, she hadn't had it when they left...must've scraped it when they were looking for that deed...

Oh, never mind. He'd ask her later. If there was a later.

"Jon'than?"

"Hey."

"Where am I?"

"You came in here last night. Remember?"

"Ada won't like that."

No, probably not. But the man had to come to terms sometime. Denial was not healthy.

"He doesn't mind." Not if he knew what was good for him, anyway. "How are you feeling?"

"Fuzzy." She stretched a bit. "Hungover."

He'd take hungover. Better than death.

"It's something."

She nodded.

"I don't feel very well."

"Sore throat?"

"Mm-mm. Just don't feel well."

Improvement, then. Maybe this would turn out to be nothing.

His hope for that was shattered a minute later.

"He won't stop talking."

"Kitty..."

"Says he'll string you up like Marcus."

He went very still and looked at the door. There was nothing there, but she'd gotten that from somewhere. The diary was still in the drawer, but...

"What else is he saying?"

"That's it. But he won't stop laughing..."

"All right. All right, listen to me. If anybody is going to 'string me up', it'll be Batman for killing one too many people. You know that, don't you?"

"But..."

"I am going to get a cup of coffee. Do you want one?"

She shook her head and he got up, half-expecting to walk through a cold spot on the way out. He didn't-of course he didn't, that was ridiculous!-and he made it downstairs unscathed.

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