this is 100% what you wanted

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Qannen wakes up in a hospital. It hurts to even move her eyeballs but she strains around enough to see that she's on an episode of HEV: Healthcare Emergency Victims. There are 2 hospital shows attached to the Arena Mall; at least she didn't land at MEDSKOOL.

The room is quiet except for the bleepy hospital machines and at some point a very hot nurse comes over to check on her. Qannen asks what's been happening but the nurse interprets this as Qannen wanting to get caught up on *his life. He's halfway through a story about a surgeon he's engaged to almost catching him f*cking the hospital administrator on the limb printing machine before Qannen can summon a rasp loud enough to say "No, what happened. In the battle?"

He starts saying stuff about how it was really important, great content, super original. Not sure about winners and losers. It almost doesn't matter, you know? It's about the moment and what it means to each individual.

"Where's my sister?"

"They needed her for interviews. We got her patched up while you were still unconscious. She said she'd try to stop by to check on you after."

He's joined by another nurse and they check to make sure Qannen's ribs are setting back in place. They finish sewing up her face and applying the contour glue that will keep her skin intact. They inject more painkiller gels into her arms and legs and back.

When they're done she looks better than when she started- they do really great cosmetic work besides. It hurts every time she moves, or thinks about moving, or thinks. But still. Her teeth will need longer to reset and they want to monitor her vitals for a bit so she visits the TL and is still lazily scrolling when Qynka finally wanders back and sits quietly on the edge of Qannen's bed.

Qynka's wearing a glittery blue dress by -BByWing- that she definitely didn't own an hour ago. Qannen looks down at her blood-stained HEV logo gown that says WON'T DIE THAT EASY across the front.

"Wyd," Qynka says.

"Rewatching this footage of you leaving me for dead to go win the event yourself," Qannen says. No anger, just: a statement.

Qynka inhales deeply, bracing herself. "I,"

Qannen holds her phone up towards her sister. An endless loop of Azelbeth beating Qannen mercilessly, well past the point of consciousness, and her sister watching this slaughter, and then turning away, running in the opposite direction. "As close to death as I've come yet."

"I had to make a call."

"And your instinct was: save yourself."

"My instinct was for us to win, no matter what. I thought if I could get to the 3rd floor, if you could just hold on for a minute, we could win. I had zero seconds to make a choice and I chose, OK? I'm sorry. I'm glad you're OK."

Qannen, still scrolling, finds another angle from the fight, this time a zonny that was able to get a tight shot of the glee in Azelbeth's eyes as she pummeled Qannen's face, the blood splattering back up across her smile. She points her screen towards her sister again.

"I actually get it."

"I would have chosen differently."

"You don't know what you would have done."

"When have I not put *us first."

"That's exactly what I was doing," Qynka says, her voice rising. "That's what I did. We're not dead. We live to fight another day."

Qannen puts her screen down and faces her sister. "You were wearing that f*cking Raminashi t-shirt underneath your outfit the whole time, so don't sit on my bed and talk to me about snap decisions and the greater good and f*cking us vs them. There's no us. You decided this was all going to be about you before the battle even started. Nothing you did today was for us."

"That's not true. Or fair. When you feel better you'll feel better. I would never put me before us."

"Wood2." Qannen tries to sit up, feels like her body is being torn in half, sinks back into the pillows. "But anyways it worked. Congrats, you got what you wanted."

"What do you mean," Qynka says. "The trio is contesting the battle, we didn't actually win."

"Doesn't matter. Were you too busy with interviews to check our numbers? We're way up. Well, you especially. I'm up but it's sort of ancillary." Qannen looks at her profile. 498k to her sister's 650k. The widest disparity that has ever existed between them. "Everything will be different now."

"Well. That's good, right? We build wealth and grow."

"From high atop the Grand Butera." Qannen fakes a smile that hurts her teeth. "Just like old times."

"Wait, what?" Qynka turns to her sister, suddenly cold and panicked, as Qannen scrolls through gorgeous wide-angle photos of their new apartment.

"We get a whole floor to ourselves. All kinds of new brands unlocked. Can't wait to be able to move my arms again so I can try on one of those SoMyTrashion jackets."

Qynka rises to her feet, unsure what to do with her body. "Wait wait wait. We're moving? We're moving. Out of Aubrey Plaza?"

Qannen looks at her sister. "Yes? You hated it there?"

"But my room. The void. We can't just leave. I need to go back. I have to figure this out."

"idk what void you think that room filled but I'm sure you can find something else to fill it. Anyways you can't go back, they already moved us and updated our profiles."

"WHAT." Qynka's screaming now. "Wait WHAT? They can't do that!"

"What the actual f*ck is the matter with you? This is 100% what you wanted. This is what your little maneuver earns us. Your plan worked. Yay."

"I have to go back," Qynka says. "I can't just leave it."

"Can't just leave what?" Qannen shouts, as Qynka runs out of the room without a goodbye or another glance back at her sister. "WHERE WAS THIS OUTRAGE WHEN I WAS GETTING MY FACE TORN UP? I MEAN????" The staring from yelling at her sister makes it feel feel like every stitch in her body is coming unglued. Pain tears through her sides and back and arms and neck. Her machines start bleeping louder and the nurses run over to fix her back up.

As the space between her and her sister widens Qannen swipes to get to Syklomeme's TL. She can't believe what she's doing but it's also important not to really think about it. She scrolls back, furiously, deeper and deeper into the TL, until she finds the arc where their relationship fell apart. The pictures of Syklomeme and Qannen together, and then the part where the Lamaqynks started to dissolve, and Lamantine started appearing on Syklomeme's TL more and more, and then, like blood seeping under a door, Raminashi begins to emerge. First in the background of Syklomeme's photos with Lamantine, but as Lamantine disappears from the TL, he comes closer and closer to the camera. Next to Syklomeme, arms wrapped around her, larger than her, enveloping her, taking up more and more space on her TL.

Qannen finds 3 old pictures of Syklomeme with Raminashi buried deep in the TL, and without hesitating: Likes them with 3 lightning-quick stabs. Then she falls back on her bed, f*cking exhausted but not even a little tired.

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