justbeingbay: ([neg] very solemn)
[personal profile] justbeingbay


Bay had tentatively followed the group toward the Observatory, but when the fire broke out she'd decided to leave the heroing to the semi-professionals and jumped back to wait in Leapfrog. (The ship's sound system had played smooth jazz for her while the fight went on. That would have been comforting -- if she'd felt like she could be comforted.)

Eyes stinging from the smoke, Bay chewed on her thumbnail as she watched the action through the windows. She couldn't see what was going on inside the fire, which was horrible, but she saw enough of Victor's Transformers act to figure the team wasn't losing the fight. It was just damn hard to wait.


It took a while, but eventually Molly, Xavin, Chase, Nico and Old Lace made their way out of the burning building and back to the Leapfrog, Nico supporting Chase on one shoulder and Molly carrying Xavin in her arms. But Chase's red eyes and the absence of one other team member served as pretty clear indicators that something was wrong.

There was an awkward moment of hesitation before anyone addressed Bay, but finally Nico cleared her throat. "Bay, are you hurt at all?"


"I'm fine," Bay said softly, rubbing her eyes to try to clear away some of the redness. "Are you guys? Where's Gert?"

She could have guessed the answer, but was firmly blocking the possibility from her mind. Of course Gert was going to be along any second. That was what happened, right? Things got scary, and then they got better. Fandom had taught her that much.

Molly and Chase

"All of us are fine," Molly said, jumping on the easier question to answer. She was trying to sound encouraging, but it didn't really work that well.

Chase looked down. "Gert isn't coming back," he said quietly. "She was... Karolina just went back into look for her body."


The sentences didn't make any sense to Bay at first. Gert wasn't a body; she was Bay's best friend, and in a few days they'd be back in Maryland laughing about how insane L.A. was.

"No," she said firmly. "She's -- maybe she was following Old Lace and got lost somehow. She's fine."


"I'm so sorry," Chase said, shaking his head as he stared down at his feet. "She was convincing Wilder to let me go. And he did, but then he stabbed her in the chest."

His voice cracked sharply halfway through that last sentence. "I didn't want her to do it. She should have let it be me."


Bay looked at him in utter disbelief. "You let her get stabbed?" she asked, anger creeping into her tone. "She was only 16."

Nico and Chase

"Bay," Nico interjected quietly.

"I didn't mean to!" Chase burst out. "I thought he was going to let us go. It seemed like she was convincing him. Then he threw his sword at her and I wasn't fast enough to save her."


"Well, maybe you should have been," Bay snapped, then turned to Nico. "You -- you can magic her back, right? Make her not be dead?"

Nico, Molly and Xavin

"Magic can't raise the dead, Bay," Nico said, tearing up. Behind her, Molly sniffled, then ran to hug Victor's legs for comfort. "Even if there's a spell, I don't know how to use it. Believe me, I wish I could."

"I am very sorry for all of your loss," Xavin said suddenly. "But I believe we must act quickly and bury her. Before the fire trucks arrive."


"We can't tell the paramedics what happened?" Bay asked in quiet disbelief, sagging in her seat.

Nico, Chase and Molly

Nico sank down into a seat. "Not if we don't want to all get in trouble," she realized.

"They don't have to think we caused it!" Chase burst out. "We'll just hand over Wilder. He deserves to spend some time behind bars."

Wilder, tied up with unbreakable beams of Majesdanian light that Karolina had created, was being guarded by the gang of nerds he'd recruited. They didn't seem too pleased with him.

"But if we let them send him to jail, then he can't go back to his own time," Nico argued. "And if he never grows up and has Alex, then our own history will get messed up. Alex was a dirtbag, but we could never have stopped all of our parents without him."

"This is hurting my head," Molly complained.


"Mine too," Bay complained, eyes shut to ward off tears. "Look, my friend is dead, probably, and I want the guy who did it to hurt for a long time. I don't really care how."

She knew there wasn't much to defend that "probably," but she needed to hang on to it.


"Guys?" came Karolina's quiet voice from outside the Leapfrog, interrupting that train of thought. "I've got her. Do we want to... bury her here?"

Suddenly, his face streaked with tears, Chase choked back a sob and stomped outside. This was all a lot to take in right now.


Bay swallowed hard and followed him. She had absolutely no desire to see the body, but she knew she'd never believe the news if she didn't look.

"If that's the only thing we can do --"

She hated it. Hated the fact she was even thinking about it. But they couldn't just leave Gert there like a piece of trash, and it didn't seem like there was a safe place to take her back to.

Nico and Molly

"Yeah," Nico said, planting the Staff of One against the ground as soon as she got outside. Crying, but concentrating hard on not letting it affect her magic, she whispered to the Staff, "Dig."

As a grave started to magically form in the ground, Molly looked up at everyone else. "Should we say something? Like we did when we buried Heroine?"


"Maybe we should pray?" Bay asked, as she watched the grave grow. This was all happening too fast; she couldn't think. "Except -- maybe she wouldn't like that."

Chase and Karolina

"She wouldn't want any of this," Chase said harshly. "Gert hates stupid rituals." He swallowed. "Hated."

"But it's still... respectful," Karolina argued softly. "If anyone has something they want to say."



Bay wasn't sure if an atheist's funeral was a praying kind of occasion, but she'd spent enough time in church over her life to feel weird about not talking to God at all when someone was dead. So:

"Dear God," she said thickly, bowing her head and averting her eyes from Gert's still form. "I hate you right now. Gert should be with us, not with you. But -- if you have her, take care of her, okay? And give us the strength to go on without her. Amen."

Nico and Victor

"Amen," Victor and Nico echoed. Nico reached over to try to set a hand on Bay's shoulder, though she was ready to withdraw it if it didn't seem appreciated.

"Bay, you can stay over tonight if you want, before you head back," she said quietly. Any conversation that would delay the process of actually getting to the burial part was fine by her.


Bay leaned into the touch.

"If that's okay," she sniffed. "I'm not sure I can be around people. Other people. You know."


There was nodding from most of the rest of the group. They knew the need to stick with other trauma survivors as well as anyone.

"When you go back," Chase said finally, his voice choked with emotion that he was making no effort to hide, "can you bring Old Lace? Gert wanted him to go to someone named Evan. We can at least do that for her."

A part of Chase wished he could have kept the reminder of Gert. But then, he didn't think he'd need help remembering.


Bay sniffled and tried to think. "Yeah, sure," she said. "Evan seems like -- a really good guy. He'll take good care of her."

She wanted to offer to keep Old Lace, but somehow she didn't see a pet dinosaur working out in her world. Better to give her to Evan.

Chase and Karolina


Chase stared down at the hole in the ground.

Finally, Karolina spoke up quietly. "I guess we have to do this."


"I guess so," Bay said, then hesitated and admitted, "I don't want to watch her go in."

Xavin, Molly and Nico

"Me neither," Nico confessed, looking away.

"I will do it," Xavin volunteered. "If you would prefer not to watch, you may wait in the vehicle."

"I'll help," Molly chimed in.

Nico nodded. "Yeah, okay." She shut her eyes tightly. "'Bye, Gert."


"Bye," Bay echoed, wishing she could think of something better to say.

She was back in her seat in Leapfrog before she broke down in sobs.

[OOC: Preplayed with [livejournal.com profile] arsenicmauls. Follows this and all that came before. Warning for discussion of character death. WE MADE ME SO SAD WRITING THIS.]


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