The Days Before

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When Claire and the doctor announce their engagement to the entire waiting room, Elli is the first one to bounce from her seat and squeal a delighted congratulations.

After all, the doctor is such a nice man, and she thinks that more nice people need to get what they want in life, because it sometimes seems like the only people who do are the ones that aren't so nice.

And even though she doesn't agree at all with the blonde farmer that selfish is just a lazy man's way of saying motivated, and cruel another word for competitive, she knows that Claire is what the doctor wants.

She hugs Claire, and tries not to notice the way the woman stiffens at her embrace, the way her arms dangle at her sides.

She hugs Tim, and tries not to notice a pair of eyes fixed warningly on her as her boss's hand lands briefly at her hair.

She hugs Popuri, because Popuri is waiting with her mother and hugged her first, seems to think that she needs a hug right now.

She hugs Lillia, beautiful, frail Lillia who looks like she might break if someone breathes the wrong way, because she's been softened up by Popuri's warmth and sweetness, and kind of feels like she's going to break apart, too.

Then she begs off the afternoon with a migraine – and don't look at her like that, it isn't much of a stretch right now – and goes up to her room and cries until she falls asleep.

She might have worried once about the doctor coming to check on her after Jeff and Lillia's appointments and all the paperwork that she left him with, because they weregood friends before, you know.

But nowadays, Claire doesn't like the idea of the doctor living alone with a girl – even a plain and ugly one with boy-hair like Elli – and she likes the idea of the doctor in another girl's room even less. So now he only comes in when the girl in question isn't here, to steal back his textbooks and sometimes the homemade candies Claire doesn't like other girls making for him, either.

They were very good friends, before.

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End Notes: The first part of probably many, disjointed pieces of varied length that will (hopefully) manage to form a coherent and cohesive story. Or at least, great big load of angstfluff surrounding Elli and...um, someone. XD

Claire's characterization is dedicated to the Ushitard who lovingly described Elli as a "jealous idiot" for liking the doctor. Yup, Elli's the jealous idiot. That's why you're inventing characteristics to justify hatin' on her. My thoughts on how the Claire played by such a creature might come out.