A/N: Well, I've got another chapter for you. Yes, it's short, but I think it's better to have a good short chapter than a bad long one. I can't continue a story once I get too mentally tired to finish it, or get writer's block, and I think I might be tired and have writer's block, so I'll leave it here for now. Please bear with me: I am honestly trying here. It's been a...very eventful day, and I need to rest, but I'll try to continue this soon; I'm really into this story and I refuse to drop it. So please hang in there with me.
Disclaimer: I don't own JTHM. Jhonen Vasquez does.
A few factors influenced her decision. One was the plan to get Todd to return to the asylum with her. The other was a frail hope that her manic captor would get bored with them or slip up, and she could make an easy escape with Squee. The final reason was that human decency and her conscious dictated she not leave Todd with a killer. These elements reinforced her resolve in her decision.
Her determination to be strong allowed her to stare Johnny in the eyes and respond calmly.
"I don't know if I can trust you, therefore, I will not let my guard down. However, I see no reason why we can't get along."
She paused, her intense stare earnestly asking him to comprehend her request.
"You must understand: I can't just suddenly feel at ease with you. I can, however, be polite, or even amicable; we are all adults, so, despite the situation, I am able to be civil."
The blonde turned to Squee, the boy having fixed the woman with a mixed expression of doubt and reluctant admiration.
"Todd, I can't leave you here. It simply would not be right."
She released a deep sigh.
"I don't understand your need to remain here. Even so, as your doctor I can't abandon you. If you are resolute in your decision to stay, then I will abide as well."
Todd's eyes narrowed, as if sizing her up. Then, he relaxed.
"Alright, then it's agreed. We'll get along from here on out."
Johnny eagerly agreed.
"Squeegee, Jennifer, and I will now be bestest best friends!"
He displayed such an innocent smile that Jennifer stared, mesmerized, for 3 seconds, before averting her eyes.
Johnny either didn't notice or didn't mind. He started to resume eating, but paused, spoon halfway to his mouth, and stared straight ahead for a moment as if having remembered something. Addressing the other occupants in the room, Johnny made a casual statement.
"Oh, by the way, I have...things to attend to. Squeegee, you will have to keep Jennifer company while I am otherwise occupied."
Todd shuddered, having a very good idea what things Johnny was talking about. He didn't know what Jennifer and himself could do besides talk, and that might be a bit awkward. But having Johnny around wasn't much better, so Squee was almost happy to hear that Nny would be leaving for a time.
Jennifer didn't mind Johnny leaving - in fact, she felt relieved. She'd meant it when she said she couldn't relax around him; who could relax with a murderer in the room? The young doctor would much rather have him gone. Besides, there were a few things she wanted to talk with Todd about.
Recalling his activities caused Johnny to wonder just how long he would be able to hide his less than savory deeds. Deciding it was only a matter of time before Jennifer found out, he made a mental note to do something about it when it happened.
With their respective thoughts, the trio continued the meal in silence.
A/N: I would like to thank all of my reviewers. You guys are the best.