All through the night by planet p

Disclaimer I don't own E.S.P. or any of its characters.

She cannot sleep because of the voices. They chatter all night but she cannot make out their words. She lies very still in her bed, but still they are not silenced: they don't care if she sleeps or not. Why can't you have a little care? she wants to ask. I care about you: I want to help you! Why can't you let me sleep!

She doesn't say the words aloud: she isn't willing to let that happen. She's not going mad! She won't let it happen! She'll help them when she can – but only when she can! They cannot rule her life!

She is hardly sitting up in her chair in the food court: she's almost slumping in the chair. Her hands shake when she reaches for the paper sugar sachets.

She has gone to the shopping complex to meet Anne and Dave, but Anne sends her a text message to tell her she has been held up by other things and can't come. Cassandra's eyes feel like they're closing; it's loud in the food court – there are a lot of people – and she can't make out the voices of the dead woven in between the chit-chat of the living.

Her eyes snap open at the sound of a chair scraping on the floor and ripping paper: she sees that it is Dave; he's finally arrived. He's stirring the sugar into her coffee with the plastic spoon she'd been handed at the counter when she'd asked for it. She'd been so quiet when she'd asked for it that she had to ask twice.

She watches Dave return the coffee to in front of her. He explains that Anne isn't going to show; that she is busy with something else.

She slowly reaches for her coffee to sip it, wondering if it has cooled enough. "Anne told me, too," she says. "She sent me a message on her mobile phone."

He nods and asks if she's going to have anything to eat: it's almost lunchtime and he hasn't had anything to eat yet.

She sips her coffee; it is okay to drink. "I'm a little tired," she admits.

When she finishes her coffee, they leave the table to put the cup and the trash in a bin. They walk around looking at the food outlets in the food court, before she finally decides that she will have something to eat: she is hungry, too.

When she sits down again, to eat her takeaway food, she feels a bit better. She's starting to wake up, at least.

Dave tells her about the weather: he'd listened to the news in his car on the way over.

She eats her food silently, just listening. She doesn't mind listening to Dave.