“And then she just left,” Lizzy finished. “I hope she’s feeling better. Doctor Clarke has some pills for headaches, right?”
“Probably,” I admitted. As usual, Lizzy had grabbed me after she finished her class. Technically both her her normal history and my advanced class ended at the same time, but her professor tended to drone on, so I usually got out a little earlier.
“She also left her bag and sword behind,” she added, probably not even aware that I had responded. “Derek is taking care of that. Was there somewhere you wanted to go for dinner?”
“The DC is fine.” The Dining Commons might not be the highest quality food, but it was free. Well, included in tuition. My dad was paying for it, but money was tight, so anything extra I had to pay for myself. And I hadn’t taken a consulting gig since I came back to South Central.
“Don’t be silly,” she admonished with a pout. “Aren’t these the End Times? Isn’t this when you pig out on pizza and ice cream?”
I raised an eyebrow. Lizzy had been conspicuously avoiding the subject of the screamers for as long as possible, especially regarding her ability to hear them. I hadn’t asked what her power was, and I wouldn’t be surprised if she didn’t know. Obviously, she wasn’t to know about ours, either.
Regardless, there are some comments I just can’t let slide.
“If the end is coming, you need to do everything you can to stop it,” I insisted. “If nothing else, too much junk food will slow me down when I need to run.”
She rolled her eyes. “Your metabolism can handle it.” She grinned. “C’mon, a new Peach’s opened up down Mechanus. Shouldn’t we celebrate my test?”
“Oh yeah, you got the results back,” I mused. “What’d you get?”
She stood proudly. “Ninety-three percent!”
I shook my head. “When we study together, you can’t remember any of it. How do you keep passing tests? Are you seducing your teachers?”
She looked genuinely horrified. “No! Of course not! It’s just…” she shrugged. “In an emergency, the brain can do some incredible things, you know?”
Well, she was proof of that. I almost considered the possibility that her power had something to do with memory, but quickly discarded it. She had been like this for as long as I could remember. When it comes down to the wire, something strange happens, and her brain dredges up old memories with uncanny accuracy.
I suppose that was the only way she survived past childhood. She was too ditzy and nice to pay enough attention to anything.
“Hey, you heard about that drop pod, right?”
That woman switched topics too fast to keep up. “The…Chinese one, right?”
She nodded. “Yeah, that’s it. Butler did an interview on it.”
I frowned. “I must have missed that. What’d he say?”
“Nothing important. A bunch about how the USP is trying to choke the independents by buying back the station.”
I shook my head and sighed. “What’s your point, Lizzy?”
She leaned forward eagerly. “What’d Adam say about it?”
I threw up my hands. “Why would you care what he said? You’ve never cared about politics before.”
“Yeah, yeah, but he’s the one who found it! Organized a recovery and everything. Very heroic, don’t you think?”
I frowned. I honestly wouldn’t have thought that he had it in him. It was becoming increasingly clear that he was some flavor of psychopath, but you could say that about a lot of people in Domina. The fact that he rescued someone for no reason other than because he could was probably a good sign. Well, I didn’t know enough details to be certain that was exactly what happened, but I made a mental note to look into it.
“Do you think we should go get Derek and the rest?”
I blinked. “What?”
“For the pizza, silly.”
Oh, we were back on that? “I don’t think so. They’re very busy with homework.” And preparing for the next screamer attack. There hadn’t been one in four days, so another was due soon. “Honestly, I’m tired too. I’m not really in the mood for anything.”
Lizzy pouted. She seemed to think it was cute, but it just looked silly. “Why are you always like this? First you just want to eat at the crappy DC, then not even there! C’mon, a bunch of people said the new Peach’s was good. I’ll even pay, how does that sound?”
I sighed. There was no reasoning with her like this. If I didn’t give in, she’d just drag me there anyway. “Fine,” I muttered. “Pizza it is.”
She grabbed my arm tightly and started dragging me down the sidewalk. “Yay! Ooh, can we stop for ice cream after?”
I rolled my eyes. “Sure.”
She ate most of the large pizza we were supposed to share by herself, then did the same with the triple-scoop ice cream cup we got after. She also didn’t pay for either.
Seriously, if she wasn’t so goddamned nice to everyone, somebody would have shot her in the face when she was a kid just to save the hassle of dealing with her.
Behind the Scenes (scene 63)
Dear lord, a short one. Didn’t notice until I was done. Well, next one is a bit long, and this one isn’t too important anyway. Just a bit more of Lizzy and Laura’s relationship.