Wednesday 31st March 2027: Evan

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"I don't know why you're still doing that face. I don't have anything for you. You should know by now that look doesn't work on me."

Evan had a sudden flash of familiarity triggered by his own words, a memory that hovered at the edges of his consciousness before vanishing completely. For no reason he could make sense of, through a haze of painkillers and lingering concussion, he thought of Chance and the club.

"What do you reckon happened to that old bastard anyway? Probably got a few new scars to add to the collection, still kicking about strangling whatever poor fuckers get in his way, taking everyone's money even when there's nothing left to spend it on. You know what though? He was fucking hot. I definitely would have, if he'd been into it. Which he wasn't, even though I'm basically irresistible. Heteros, eh? I'm generally up for a challenge but sometimes there's just no point."

Little Cat settled into Evan's lap, purring.

"And here I am, talking to a cat. I'm not a cat person. I hope you realise that. I'm not any kind of animal person. You all require far too much responsibility and looking after for me. Richie said he'd bring food back for you later, you know. He was all smiles when he said it, like he thought I'd give a shit. I don't, by the way."

Little Cat pushed her head against Evan's hand.

"And don't go thinking I'm your friend just cause I'm letting you sit on me."

Another push and loud purring.

"Fine," he said, trailing his fingertips through soft grey fur, "but don't be expecting me to do this all the time. Once my head stops feeling like something shit in it, I'm not going to be sitting here all day doing nothing. I thought Richie was going to lose his mind last night. He drove my car into a fucking lamp post, he was that much of a mess. Knocked one of the headlights out. And he kept staring at me all night like he was waiting for me to drop dead. You'd probably eat my face if I died, wouldn't you?"

Little Cat shifted and turned so Evan could stroke her other side.

"Well, maybe you're not so bad. You lot know what you're doing, being all tactile and adorable so gullible people give you what you want." Evan experienced a moment of self-recognition. It was not entirely uncomfortable.

"What do you think of Richie? He's alright, isn't he? I only let him in the car with me in the first place cause I was bored and he seemed like good entertainment. Not the talking kind of entertainment. You know what I mean, right? I thought he'd annoy the shit out of me with all the chat, and he kind of does sometimes, but he's OK. Some face on him anyway, and the rest isn't bad either."

Little Cat shifted and turned again. She paused for a moment, looking up at Evan.

"OK, I like him. Alright?"

Little Cat settled, satisfied with the answer.

"Sarah's a good one too. Obviously my appreciation for her isn't the same as it is for Richie cause I don't swing that way, but she's smart and she takes no shit, and I respect that in a person. You know she stapled my head up last night? I get the feeling she'd never done anything like it before, but I was too busy bleeding and trying not to puke to start interrogating her about transferable skills. Worst thing is, she's going to have to take the fucking things out again and I'm not looking forward to it."

Little Cat stretched and moved, trying to make her way from Evan's lap up the front of his sweater.

"I know, you don't have a clue what I'm on about. I'll let you in on a secret then. This hurts like hell. My head, I mean. I feel like death on toast. I know I've been telling them I'm alright, but I'll be a lot better when I can see straight again."

Evan shuffled down until he was lying on his back, wincing as his head made contact with the rolled up coat he was using as a pillow, then turned carefully onto his side, the world spinning in twenty different directions as he moved. Little Cat somehow managed to stay attached to his sweater the entire time.

Later, when Richie and Sarah arrived back at the farm with much-needed supplies, they paused for a moment in the doorway, taking in the unexpected sight of Evan fast asleep with Little Cat tucked between his chin and his arm, held tightly against his chest.

"He looks sort of angelic like that, doesn't he?" whispered Richie.

"She," corrected Sarah. "Little Cat's a she."

"I meant—"

"I know." Sarah nudged Richie with her shoulder.

"I really like him."

"I know that too. Come on, let's unpack and leave him to sleep for a bit."

They crept back out of the bungalow and Little Cat head-butted Evan in the face, picking up on the subtle shift from asleep-breathing to awake-breathing, possibly wondering why he hadn't opened his eyes yet.

Evan smiled.

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