(above is a lil thing i made, showing you the cast members of some characters. WHY IS DARRIN JONES SO HOT?? i stalked his instagram for like 15 mins after finding him because DAMN. also, i couldn't find any celebrity faceclaims for clark, so it's just some guy i found on weheartit. jos canela is such a bean too omg...if only i spoke spanish and could understand him...)

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Newt came outside the next day.

Minho and I had been sitting outside when he did, in our little exclusive spot with the wooden chairs just outside of the Homestead. When the door creaked open and Newt took a step into the sunlight, Minho choked on the apple he had just bitten into and dropped it. The half-eaten fruit fell to the grass. Minho hardly seemed to notice.

"Newt!" he exclaimed with a shocked expression lighting up his face.

"Hey," Newt replied uneasily. There were dark circles beneath his eyelids, making his face look haunted and papery thin. He was definitely more pale than before - not that he'd ever been deeply tanned anyway - but the contrast was so startling in broad daylight that I couldn't help but fidget.

Minho stood and clapped a hand around his friend's shoulder with a grin. Newt somewhat lifted his lips in return, squinting from the sunlight he wasn't used to.

"Nice to have you back, ya shank," Minho said jokingly. I noted that he had taken my advice in treating Newt normally and let a smile light up my face. "We've all been worried about you."

"Yeah, well, it's all thanks to Nadia," Newt brushed Minho's words off, taking his arm out of the Runner's and turning to look at me. "If it wasn't for her heroic speech, I don't think I would ever have seen daylight again."

I could see it in his haunted brown eyes that he was completely serious. The realization faltered my smile to a halfhearted grin.

Newt took a step forward and winced, barely able to walk without a heavy limp. I watched his bad leg with a gulp. He would forever have the pain, forever unable to move like he used to.

"I can't run anymore," Newt announced to nobody in particular. His gaze was somewhere else as the breeze blew his tousled hair around his face. "Clint already told me that long ago. Leg's too messed up."

Minho heaved a sigh, his demeanor almost deflating. "Nad, we might have to make Alex a Runner after all. I don't think we'll have a choice."

"No," I protested so firmly that his head tilted in surprise. I clenched my fists at my sides and looked out into the corridors beyond the West Door. "No. There's still time. And besides, I have the final vote. He disrespected me- I don't let that slide anymore."

Newt was still trapped in his own realm, so Minho was the only one to respond. A proud smile stretched across his face. "That's my buttercup."

I ducked away so he wouldn't see the flush turning my cheeks my favorite color. My buttercup.

Minho assumed Newt was hungry, leading the taller blond toward the Kitchens with a hand still across his shoulders. I could tell by the queasy expression twisting Newt's face that food was the last thing he wanted to think about, but since he was letting it slide, I decided I would, too. Old habits die hard.

I followed behind the two best friends with a small smile lifting my lips. It pleased me to see such a big grin on Minho's face once again, and I didn't miss the warming of my heart when his eyes flickered to me. His expression brightened even further.

"C'mon, slowpoke!" he exclaimed happily, waving me closer. "Maybe Fry will let us have some food."

I knew that was a stretch because the Cook was careful about who he gave food to and when, especially between meals. We couldn't risk running out of animals or goods before the next supply box came up.

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