Hey, y'all! First update in awhile. It's a little clunky, but hopefully it hits the spot. Thanks for your continued support! I'm trying to keep this one going, even though we haven't had the show in far too long... xo P

Auggie had never been one for love at first sight. Lust at first sight? Absolutely. Hell, he'd even concede to "like" at first sight, with the right couple, but it wasn't possible to love someone that quickly. Human beings weren't built for it. Everyone had their four-drink rant, and that was his. Rather than raving about atheism or the Mets or that ridiculous Berenstain/stein Bears conspiracy, Auggie liked to corner otherwise polite people at house parties and subject them to his thoughts on the biology of attraction. It was a real fuckin' hoot.

That's why, when he saw her in that Adams Morgan laundromat, he had to open a thesaurus and find a synonym. He settled on "mystified." He laid eyes on the girl reading Snow Crash, lit by the nasty flourescents and the dust swirling in the sunset through the big front window, and he was mystified at first sight. She had a little stud in her nose and a small strip of blue in her hair- both typically passe, adolescent style choices, but on her they looked like hot, primal anarchy. She wasn't wearing a bra, either, which helped her case, but his mind wasn't there. It wasn't lust, it was fascination. When he realized she was his mark... well... what a plus.

He seduced her quicker than intended. He wanted to prove to himself that this wasn't about sex, and she at first seemed determined to do the opposite. With so many girls, sex diminished the mystery. With Natasha, the fascination only deepened. She was so wild, so untouched by rules or laws that she reminded him of Julia from 1984.Except, at the end of their rebellion, he was the one who'd report back to Big Brother.

It made sense that they'd reunite with a slap. It made a lot of sense that she would doubt his injury. It made the most sense that she'd flee the country and drag him back down with her. She'd quickly gone from a mean, mystical unicorn to an object of his frustration, a piece of his consciousness, a difficult fever to sweat out. She made him want to be a better, purer person. She made him want to be a harder, stronger, crueller person. The point was that she made him, and that was the beginning and the end of it.

The past few years with Tash read like a reverse self-help book: How To Fuck Up A Friendship Without Really Trying. The Art of the Dealbreaker. Who Moved My Commitment Issues? He cheated on and with her, hid her out, ratted her out, and ran her ragged. He beat her already guarded emotions to a pulp and always managed to convince himself that he deserved another chance. Why? Because she was a bad person, that's why. If that's what needed to be true, then that's what he'd tell himself, her feelings be damned.

And here he was again, a man unemployed, a man against the world. He wasn't Winston Smith anymore, and she wasn't Julia. They'd broken out and they could do and be and think whatever they wanted. It could be like this forever, if they wanted it to.

Auggie wasn't sure what he wanted. All he knew was that he'd lost his sight. If he lost the mystification... well, he didn't know what he'd do.