Force of Habit: Dismantling -- The coat trilogy ends?
Disclaimer: the author does not claim ownership to the characters or plot development mentioned from "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" or "Angel". These properties expressly belong to Joss Whedon, Mutant Enemy, Greenwolf Corporation,20th Century Fox Television, WB Network, etc. Any other characters contained in the original story are the author's.

Season Two Historical Note: The action in this story takes place shortly after "Epiphany".

Author's Note: This is the end of the trilogy begun with Wiseblood's "Force of Habit". Odd, because the second part hasn't been written yet, but I got a vibe one night and this just started to come into being. Thanks to Wiseblood for getting the whole trilogy ball rolling; a yodel to CamDK for a snowball of influence; a nod to BigN for the scenery and Suzy Q's. And a huge hug for Ebonbird who took time off from studying to Beta me.

"Fortress Around Your Heart" by Sting fits this piece perfectly. e.c. 15 April, 01

by Evan Como

Gunn rolled his golden brown eyes at his associates. The Host rolled his ruby reds. Each, for different reasons, shook his head in disgust.

"Y'all are just too weak, is what is." Gunn slammed his Sprite on the tiny table in front of him. Carbonation bubbled up with his complaint.

"Now, now, children. No one's weak. You're all just wrong, wrong, wrong," corrected The Host.

The overhead lights dimmed to nary a glow and, with one click, the lights in the center of the bar tables were doused. With their closing duties completed, the restless and grumbling Caritas staff waited near the Karaoke stage for the last three patrons to vacate the premises.

"Ami*go*s, GO! Really! My scorecard for this roundabout of verbal contention says 'draw'. Draw, and use one of *your* quarters to finish it in," the not-so-jolly, green songmeister fussed. The gold-stitched trapunto of his carrot-colored cuff glittered as he raised his cocktail glass to his lips.

Gunn leaned forward, his insistent palms facing Cordy and Wes. "I'm telling you, he rushed the door -- "

Wesley interrupted Gunn with a dubious huff. A dismissive flip of The Host's wrist sent the Caritas staff scurrying for the exits.

"He didn't rush the door, you let him in!" Wesley redressed.

"Nuh uh!" Gunn protested, body language all up in affronts. "I was catchin' the door for the pizza guy!"

"Puhleeze!" Cordy pointed her comment with an index finger. "Dennis even tried to warn you."

Wesley nodded. "That's very true. Slamming the door closed after you've opened it? In DennisSpeak that means: 'keep this shut!'"

They exhausted him, these three -- Gunn, narrowing his eyes; Cordelia, fingering her cheek; Wesley, Wesley... massaging his right arm. Roundtabling wasn't his thing, per se, but The Host couldn't bring himself to turn them out any more than he could bear listening to them sing. The Seer's non-key warbling insulted his ears; the Soldier's strident defenses waged battle on his empathic nerves (usually winning); the Watcher was repression personified -- his identity, destiny, and sentimentality assaulted The Host's entirety.

The Host was wrung to the nth degree. Surrendering to curiosity, he finally asked, "Dennis? Have I heard him sing yet?"

"Cordy's apparitional roommate is a mime," Wesley explained matter-of-factly.

"Forget Dennis! What did *you* guys do?" Gunn interrogated.

Hoping for support, Cordelia and Wesley turned to each other and met mutual shame. Wesley ducked into a sip of his drink.

"But you *don't* understand!" A swell of tears magnified the sorrow in Cordy's eyes. "He had -- " She looked at each of her tablemates then dropped her head, miserable.

"He had . . . " Wesley focused on the ceiling, his brows peaking at the bridge of his nose.

Suddenly, ten Firecraker-colored fingers exploded across the table to clutch the Host's forearm. Cordy gasped. She gasped again. Her youthful complexion was no match to the seizing torment and she aged -- two or three weeks, at least, in front of her audience.

"Grocerieeeeeeeeeeees!" Cordelia wailed. Her doleful cry was suspended by the room's acoustics for a moment before expiring. Spent, she collapsed over the table.

"And to think, no one in this town has discovered the fair Cordelia's talent," The Host asided, unable to extricate himself from the aspiring actress's woeful attachment. "Miss Desmond-in-training, I don't mind the touchy so much, but I can do without the ouchy."

At Gunn's prod Wesley came back around, exhaling "prawns" as if in prayer.

"Look, ya'll. I'm not gonna let Angel crawl through my stomach anymore than I'ma let him gnaw on my neck. And he can't just come over to Cordy's apartment like he has an open invitation," Gunn railed while prying Cordelia from The Host's arm.

"Well, technically..." Wesley grimaced. "And, also technically, Cordelia was the one who hired Angel --"

"Oh, nooooooooooooo, buddy boy," Cordy snarled. She stood up straight, squared her shoulders, and, with one sparring finger, jabbed Wesley into his seat."If *you* hadn't been such an ass pansy --"

"Stop-it-ch'all!" Gunn barked. Pounding his fist on the table additionally upset everyone's drinks.

The Host was inflamed. "First, interrupting my sleepy. Now, interrupting my sippy? No, no, no," he waggled a green index finger at each of the three. "Either explain *exactly* what happened -- " He deliberately directed his chiding sight at Cordelia, "-- with the least amount of theatrics, or shoo!"

Cordy, Wesley and Gunn opened their mouths at the same time, but it was Gunn that got off the first sound. "So, here's what's the what," he began...

Gunn hadn't even considered that anybody but the Dos-por-Uno Guy would come knocking at Cordelia's door. Besides, his thoughts were distracted -- he'd been too busy trouncing English at Risk -- man! homie was just rank at board games. Plus, he'd figured Dennis was just being his usual cranky self.

As soon as he'd seen Angel, Wesley froze. He was unsure if he'd managed to catch his excitement or if it had slipped out and displayed 'oh, goody! you're here!' across his face. Remembering how stupidly he'd just lost the entire South Pacific put the appropriate glower on his face.

Angel had shown up at the door bearing gifts in Gelson's brown paper bags. All the little snackables that made Cordelia's tummy purr with delight. She forced a scowl while visions of kebabs pirouetted in her mind's eye.

There he was. Pale-assed as ever and wearing an enormous grin. Gunn hadn't reacted quickly enough to slam the door closed and, besides, before the insult crossed his mind, Angel had sped inside, tossed his coat across the back of one of Cordy's dining room chairs, and vanished into the kitchen.

He'd said, "hi," somewhere between the door and the coat-toss. As if...

As if he'd been expected. Gunn charged the table and leveled his sight at Wesley, taking full advantage of being slightly taller and several layers deeper of pissed-off.

Within the huddle, Wesley hushed his innocence. "*I* didn't ask him over."

Cordelia glanced over her shoulder and into the kitchen. "He's making mango salsa!" she whimpered.

Gunn wheeled her shoulders forward. "Look, you two, we made a pact. He's on probation *and* he's just an employee."

Wesley had to grip the tabletop to catch his balance. "Please..." His hand capped his mouth and he shuddered. "Tell me he's *not* making guacamole."

Momentarily distracted, Gunn leaned askance and peered over the top of Cordelia's head. "What's he making in there?"

"It doesn't matter," Cordy replied, zombie-like. "It's *all* good."

"No," Gunn said to himself. "No!" he scolded his counterparts. "He goes. Now! Tell him, Wesley!"

Wesley looked for Cordelia's guidance in the matter, but her hazel eyes were glazed. She yawed towards the kitchen, her resolve having long before flooded away. Wesley felt his own emotional breakwater crumble, bombarded to bits by the culinary tempest in Tencel.

After a spray of water, the clatter of stoneware, and the rhythm of a practiced dice, a mélange of tropical fruit and cilantro perfumed the front room.

"He goes," Wesley repeated weakly.

Taking his cue, Dennis flew Angel's coat the short distance from the chair and slopped it over Wesley's head. Wesley swallowed in the darkness. He was damn tired of being the referee. Unfortunately, no one else wanted the position.

For the several minutes at curbside, Angel had been agreeable. "I completely understand. You know, it's gonna take time for everyone else to trust me again and... You know --" He paused and allowed reality to catch up with his words. A frown replaced his amiable smile and he leaned in confidentially, "how long *do* you think it'll take?"

What resembled a laugh was anything but. "Everyone else, Angel? You keep forgetting that *I* haven't completely cozied up to your reentry into our lives. We've been fighting fine without you.

Crossing his arms and his legs, Wesley tipped back against the Plymouth's fender, an action that, before the first of the year, he would have never considered doing. He also brandished a smugness he didn't really feel. There just wasn't the same degree of satisfaction in such brash gestures when Angel didn't seem to mind.

Wesley considered snatching the coat Angel strangleheld by its collar, of gleefully running down the street with it billowing kite-like behind his head but there was no way to anticipate Angel's reactions, not anymore. There was one possibility that Angel might tackle and actually hurt him, or -- Wesley tried to avoid the plaintive look on the vampire's face -- more likely, Angel might consider the theft a romp, much like an ebullient puppy teased with a chew toy.

Wesley didn't much feel like laundering grass stains out of his Dockers.

Angel's mouth listed on one side and he shrugged. "I could come by *your* place tomorrow," he suggested without removing his wistful brown gaze from the silhouettes in the upper front apartment widow.

"Uh," Wesley readjusted his glass frames by their right arm, stretched the tip of his nose to wriggle them into exact place, "no."

Angel reluctantly made eye contact. "You uninvited me," he assumed.

"I'm not inviting you, Angel," Wesley retorted before pushing upright and striding away. Back in the bar, he polished off the rest of his ale in conclusion.

The Host pinched the corners of his eyes. "Go. Please," he begged.

"You can't dismiss us. You guide us," Wesley pointed out. He gently set his glass in the center of the small table, sliding both Gunn's and Cordy's empties next to it.

The Host studied them. "I'm your host, and that's all I am," he responded, disappointed a bit that was truly the case. When he took an extended breath, his petitioners did the same. "I'm not your pilot."

"But you are ground control." To The Host's puzzlement, Wesley amended, "or, at least, you have been."

The Host stood up, tugged the hem of his jacket, and walked his drink behind the bar. He took a bottle, tipped its chrome spout and then, a second thought later, put it back on the shelf. The glass went into the sink.

"Why did you let Angel back into your lives at all?" He blew across the necks of his premium liquors and adjusted a few spigots, making sure his loss margins would remain as air tight as the precious essences. "Anyone got an answer for me?

"When he showed up at your apartment, Bright Eyes, you didn't have to invite him in, but you didn't want to die." In reply, Wesley rearranged the glasses again.

"You hired him, Goldilocks, why? Because you had a vision?" Cordelia's answer came in the form of smoothing her skirt across her lap. "You've had plenty of visions without him."

Turning off a display light put the liquor into hibernation. "And you, my Nubian princeling, what's your reason going to be for giving Angel an accidental second chance?"

Gunn, smirking, folded his arms across his chest and reared back in his chair. "Don't have none; won't be one."

"You know, instead of all this aggression, you guys should just cut him loose," The Host suggested, removing his jacket as he returned to the table. "Or, better yet -- find that one ultimate act of humiliation. Say . . . bowling?"

Gunn's hands clasped both sides of his bald head. "*I'm* visioning!" he exclaimed.

"That Angel hurtling 16 pounds of fiberglass... not the best idea?" Cordy finished for him.

"Maybe just the shoes?" Wesley recommended, but that got zero response.

Cordy, Wesley and Gunn shifted more heavily into their chairs. After tucking up the sleeves of his cobalt lamé shirt, the Host did the same.


He was trying his best to work on their terms, had even adjusted his sleeping schedule to their hours. Angel still didn't understand the 9 to 9 on Saturdays, but if that's what they wanted, then --

He glanced again at the written instructions: 4) Left leg.

He quickly unbagged the head and set it aside, checking over his shoulder before making the exchange. He had to admit that Gunn had hacked the creature very cleanly after Wesley had incanted. But, if Cordelia hadn't distracted it in the first place, the Funghoid demon would have never gone down.

Angel blinked a couple times, trying to reassemble his concentration. But his thoughts kept drifting to the different colored toes -- *his* toes, to be exact. Although he had to admit, that for a multicolored patchwork of blue, red, green and off-white, the bowling shoes were unusually comfortable.

"My brother," Gunn began, handing the rescued teen a deflated innertube, "there's a reason why the peeps don't hang in the Angelus Crest National Forest. Two words: 'e' and 'vil'."

Cordy plucked Angel's coat off the young man's back before she sent him on his way. With his hoodie hanging in shreds down his back, he hurried across the snow, back towards the recreational slope.

Angel contemplated the youth's dazed departure, unsure if the look was a result of nearly having his life exhumed through the base of his skull or from the brilliance of Cordelia's reassuring smile. It was pretty safe to assume the kid wouldn't even have noticed Angel going into alterna-face.

Some things just couldn't compete against genuine Cordelia Chase congeniality.

"Brrrrrr! It's getting cold out here!" Cordy remarked, sweeping the coat over her turtleneck sweater as a late-afternoon breeze rustled the pine trees. "Snow would be so cool if it wasn't so cold and wet."

"Sorry to hear you feel that way, Cordelia," Wesley said over a sprinkling of Boric Acid. It had been getting more difficult to differentiate the demonic secretions from the late season snow with the sun dropping farther behind Mount Wilson. "Granted it's not Gstaad, but I was going to suggest that next year we come up to try out the slopes. I'd love to try snowboarding."

"Oh, right," Cordy cackled. She pointed to a missed a spot. "You on a snowboard? You'd break your ass, Wesley!"

Gunn chuckled. "He'd be aw'ight, Cordy. As long as it's not hard-packed, he can snowbutt."

Cordy directed Wesley towards another splotch. Then, with her eyes rolled to one side, she spoke her mind, "mmmmm. A nice toasty lodge, a Jacuzzi, prime rib..."

"So does that mean that she's willing to come?" Wesley asked Gunn.

"You've known her longer than me and you still can't read between the free association?"

Wesley shrugged.

Gunn nodded 'yes'. Pulling a lighter from a side pocket of his cargo jeans, he set it to his blade.

Angel deposited another Funghoid piece in another trash bag. "Snowboarding looks fun," he said from the ground.

Gunn scowled. The customized axe ignited and intensified the obdurate sheen of his visage but failed to sparkle his flinty eyes. During Angel's absence, Gunn's daring had been tempered by Wesley's guidance and the young man had become all fight, with his sense of play -- fair and otherwise -- mortared firmly away.

And Angel knew, personally, he'd been holding that trough.

But, if the years since returning from hell had taught him nothing else, Angel had been refining the skill of restoring confidence. He offered his most conciliatory smile at Gunn and, from behind the fading torch, Gunn's lips quirked --

-- then eased into insolence. To Wesley he sneered, "your dog needs cleanin', English," before tipping the handle of his axe handle against his shoulder and starting towards the truck.

Wesley crouched at Angel's side. "We need to hurry." Double-checking the list, he rolled off one of the dark green garbage bags. He snapped the bag open, draped it over his next piece, scooped it in -- hands off -- and knotted the top. "These Funghoids can actually reanimate, given the right circumstances," he schooled.

"So -- you ski."

Wesley, immersed in the project, bagged another piece before glancing up. The vampire was an absolute mess -- his pants were soaked to the thighs despite the barely two inches of meager snow; there was pinesap across his shoulders and down the front of his shirt; a smear of mud underlined one eye.

"Not since moving to the States," Wesley answered, reaching and taking Angel's hand. From the breast pocket of his polar fleece vest, he retrieved a pinch of powder. He dashed the Boric acid onto Angel's hand. "Even you shouldn't let this get on your skin."

The Funghoid's scent was no more potent than light machinery oil, its blood about the same density. Upon contact with Angel's dirty hands, however, its light amber hue turned olive. Delicate blue tendrils attached to hairy brown spores groped from spec to spec of dirt, multiplying and dividing at an almost incalculable speed.

The powder caused the growth to effervesce upon contact. Angel's fingers tingled for an instant before the fluid stopped hissing.

"Amazing what such a benign substance can do, isn't it?" Wesley asked. He flicked the hardened Funghoid remains into Angel's open bag. "Cordelia swears it has the same effect on roaches."

Angel poked at his palm. "It seems like skiing -- or snowboarding -- would be fun," he intimated.

Wesley grinned. His grey eyes gleamed. "It's just exhilarating is what it is! That brisk air rushing up as you spirit down the slopes. That sense of speed -- of being in control but so nearly out of it. But, I dare say, the *most* thrilling part of the experience is when you're standing at summit, looking down upon earth, feeling as if your feet are planted in the clouds and your head is adorned with heaven. The sun's so warm, nearly at your fingertips and, yet, the chill under-boot reminds you exactly where you are. I remember the air being so arid that it singed my nostrils to breathe."

Cordelia backhanded Wesley's shoulder. "Let's go!" Bending over, she assembled a slush ball and immediately lobbed it at Gunn.

Wesley took to his feet to follow the others, trash bags in hand.

Angel unrolled another bag. It was strange sitting on the sidelines while his former teammates made all the plays, making him wonder if he'd ever be invited for Gatorade. Patience, he reminded himself, was a virtue. It had been written on that list he'd tossed into the incinerator with all those renderings of Darla.

8) Right hand.

Number eight reminded him that remorse was on that list, too; and, despite all of his years at practicing the feeling, he'd rarely been good at it. Something he'd felt, but never understood. Not that he'd ever take back slicing off Lindsey's hand -- he had no doubts he would continue justifying that deed until the day he could justify no more. Lindsey, after all, had to assume at least a finger of responsibility.

It wasn't the first time Angel wondered if The Scroll of Aberjian had predicted the severances -- a hand from a wrist, a vampire from humanity.

Trash bags over his shoulders and penduluming, Angel caught up with Wesley. "Do you ever look at The Scroll anymore?"

Wesley swallowed the guilty taste in his mouth. "I've been rather preoccupied, as of late," he maintained, tossing his bags in the truck bed.

Angel nodded, hefting his parcels on top. "Just wondering if, you know."

Wesley searched the vista, identifying with the forest. Some deformed by fire, most barely earthed by their roots, even the scruffiest of conifers had declared an intent to survive by remaining upright.

Despite the poor air quality.

"Another day, another demon!" Cordy quipped, socking Wesley's arm. She stamped her feet, shedding the snow from Angel's coat before Wesley helped it off. "I get to sit by the door!" she sang, backing away a skip.

"Guess that leaves me in the bed again," Angel joked. The vampire took the coat from Wesley's hand and tossed it over the tailgate before doing the same with himself.

The engine roared. A sharp Gunn-sounding mom-voice shouted Wesley's name from the cab.

"I haven't read it because -- " Wesley tugged, helping Angel spread out an industrial tarp, " -- because I didn't want to read that you were lost forever."

Angel pinched Wesley's sleeve to keep him from bolting. "Maybe you can start reading it again? Maybe verify I'm staying?"

Wesley's step was deliberate and forceful enough to break Angel's delicate hold. In profile he asked, "why would telling you you'll remain or go make any more difference than telling you 'stay' or 'you're fired' when you've never, in the past, taken anything I suggested to you seriously?"

Pulling the tarp up and over his head didn't diminish Angel's sincere, "because I do, now."

The occupants of the truck's cab leaned into the curve. They bounced side-to-side when the truck ran over a softball-sized rock.

Gunn checked his rear-view mirror and readjusted it the same way he'd checked behind and readjusted for eight miles. "I'm picturing a hyena, comes from straight outa nowhere..." he dropped his hand and swooped it across the dashboard. "BAM! Snags that baby gazelle right from under his mom!"

Wesley's cheeks took on defensive coloring. "What are you suggesting?"

"Angel's culling your name, Wesley," Cordy mock-sympathized.

"Mommy," Gunn mewled.

"I resent the insinuation -- "

Gunn elbowed Wes in the ribs before tweaking the mirror again. "Look, man. This is his game. You should know that. Find the weakness; make the kill. But united we stand, right?"

Holding his fist out, Gunn wasn't surprised to be left hanging for dap. "C'mon, you guys."

"I, for one, wanna sit down," Cordy sighed.

"No doubt with a knife and fork in your hand," Wesley said archly.

"Yeah, well... a girl's got nutritional needs that you, Lord SimpleFare, and you, BlueBox Charlie, just haven't been meeting."

"Hey!" Gunn shot a look across Wesley. "I threw down breakfast the other day!"

Cordy retaliated, with a look of her own and "tamales."

Gunn visibly weakened. "He does *not* make tamales."

Flexing a dimple, Wesley taunted, "lard-free." He looked down, mildly surprised to see Cordelia's arm looping around his.

She winked and mouthed, "Mexican food will. Kill. Him."

Wesley tipped his head and disagreed, "one otherworldly more than we can handle on our own..."

The truck bucked. As Gunn eased off of the gas and into an off-camber curve, the back tires set off a carom of stones.

"You know," the driver began, double checking both door mirrors, "a layer or two or ten, ski mask, and black-out goggles... Some mad pride-dissin' mountain tumbling might do the trick." He laughed under his breath.

"Timber," Wesley laughed under his.


Angel waited.

Nonplussed, Kate yawned again and her head fell back with gratifying abandon. Leveling her blonde head with a bounce, the ends of her hair sprouting from a ponytail bead at the top of her head danced playfully, resembling palm fronds buoyed by a gentle breeze. The lilac cotton pajamas she wore, bedecked with white aspirin dots and cordedged in matching satin, fit her generously. Despite her statement of "I was sleeping" when she answered the door, she didn't look the least bit rumpled.

Hinting of wintergreen, she smelled of bubble bath and line-dried sheets.

"Making rounds?" Kate eyed her caller suspiciously.

Angel pulled his attention away from the thunderbirds beaded on the throats of her fawn-colored slippers. He glanced down the brightly lit corridor, then looked past Kate's shoulder. With her mouth open wide and her eyes clenched shut, the subtle means of communication went unnoticed.

Stifling another yawn, from behind her wrist Kate said, "I'm too sleepy to test the laws of nature, Angel." Awkward but balanced, her upper half disappeared behind the door while one finger rimmed each heel of her slippers and set them properly onto her feet.

She turned around after twisting key in the lock and narrowed her exotic blue eyes at him. "You gonna gimme your coat, or let me freeze?"

"Maybe they figure if you do a whole lot of cleaning up, then you'll remember how messy the destruction part is," Kate surmised.

Angel liked that definition and he said so as he leant his head back against his window. A jet roared upon approach then screamed over-ragtop. Kate continued the observation as it climbed over the sea.

She yawned. Again. "God. I would have never thought unemployment could make a person so exhausted, but -- I swear I must be making up for all those graveyard shifts in my rookie years." She kept her eyes open long enough to see Angel keeping his laugh to himself. He seemed to glance up despite the fact that he'd never been looking away.

With an elbow propped on the steering wheel's crest, Angel raised and lowered an eyebrow with his fingers.

He'd gotten funny... No, he'd stopped being scary... Or something. Kate hunkered into leather coat, loving the satin lining's heavier weight. She smoothed the soft nappa grain down her forearms, rubbed her jaw against the collar's edge. The skin's scent was barely detectable -- Angel's scent was even fainter, both mobbed by the odors from the other bodies the coat had obviously cloaked. Her own contribution would be the minty freshness augmenting the shoulder she'd yawned against earlier while tilting her head at the windshield's angle for better vantage of an AirBus screaming upward.

Half-asleep... Or whatever... It was easy for Kate to let her imagination take hold during a survey of the area. Her view was limited, of course, by the solitary streetlamp they were parked under but she'd been in the area enough times during the day over the course of her lifetime to remember what it looked like. Beyond the GTX fenders lay the relics of a former neighborhood -- patches of foundations, plants that had learned to survive on their own.

Under single illumination, sea mist drifted inland, contributing a post-apocalyptic serenity to scenery fit for a futuristic movie. There had been a battle to save Los Angeles from...

The usual bad guys. Or the usual evil things. Or primates. And now everyone was fleeing.

Kate sighed. The Pacific Ocean was out there, churning. Its foamy edges lapped at the desolate shore in homage to an empty Lifeguard house. At some point it had become an endless night. She, the last woman on earth and Angel...

She awoke with a start, startled out of her reverie to think that one day Angel could just be 'the last'.

"This all used to be homes," she explained to him the same way her father had explained it to her, as if that had been the topic of the conversation they'd been having. As if they'd been talking forever, instead of just sitting around.

Angel nodded. "I remember," he said. He'd held up wincing when her hand wisped across his forearm. He looked up, caught the side of her smile.

The larger planes had been replaced by smaller, slower ones. With her arm folded back on the window sill, Kate rested her head and counted until one was swallowed by the lowered cloud ceiling. "So, what'd they make you mop up yesterday?" she watched herself say, lips reflecting on the glass.

Angel laughed. "Yesterday, I got a break. Bideworms self-destruct."

Kate shivered. She took a long, ragged breath.

"You sure you're doing OK with this?" he asked, deeply concerned.

Kate's head wavered side to side until she finally agreed with herself. She pulled her knees up and hitched the heels of her moccasins on the edge of the wide bucket seat. "Sometimes... No, not really. But then I remember that a month ago all of this was so much worse," she mused drowsily, extinguishing a yawn with a length of lapel.

Angel's Journal