Silence and warmth filled her world, caressed her skin and made her muscles relax.

Voices would sometimes lull her to sleep, singing sweet lullabies that made her forget the nightmares of the waking world.

A form moved against her side, and a faint string of equations and theories filled her ear.

Darkness crept across her mind like a wraith, as if the slight awareness of reality had let the nightmares slip in.

Before the nightmares could latch onto her throat…


The voice that had been mumbling in her ear whispered sharply, and she woke with a start.

Looking up at the redhead beside her in the closet-sized room, she rubbed her eyes free of sleep.

"De? What's wrong?"

"I heard something…" De admitted, green eyes concerned as her rusty-red braid fell over her shoulder.

Sighing, Karm rolled out of the small bed, ignoring the chill from the dusty wooden floor.

The room was empty except for the bed, and the door was only open a crack.

"I'll take care of it." Karm whispered, fists clenching.

"Don't be too rough on them." De warned, the blankets seeming to tuck themselves in.


Opening the door soundlessly, she slipped into the one of only two other rooms in the apartment.

Moonlight streamed in from the window to her left, illuminating the threadbare couch, the worn-down coffee table, the old, dented television set…

Peeking around to the right, towards the small corner kitchen, she spotted a shadow moving near the paint-chipped fridge.

As silently as possible, Karm walked towards them, crouched down low so as not to be seen.

Once she was within reach, she grabbed the person by the back of their collar, tossing them easily onto the floor.

Whoever it was, they got up as fast as they could, grabbing a rickety chair and swinging it at her.

It connected powerfully, but Karm didn't even flinch, and the wood splintered against this immovable object.

Skin unblemished, the only sign she had even been struck was the over-sized t-shirt, ragged and torn, hanging off her shoulder.

A gasp, and Karm knew the moonlight had revealed her lack of injuries from the blow.

"You chose the wrong apartment to bust into, bub."

Grabbing the person by the throat, she lifted them up with ease, squeezing enough to constrict their windpipe.

"Remember this next time you want to break into someone's apartment."

With a kick to the front door to open the misshapen obstacle, she threw him down the hall and down the first flight of stairs with one toss.

Dusting off her hands, Karm closed the door with ease, the frame shaking, before heading back to bed.

"You didn't hurt them, did you?" De fretted, hugging a flat pillow to her chest on the stained twin mattress.

"They're fine." Karm assured, slipping under the covers.

"What happened to your shirt?"

"A chair."


"Jeez, quiet down. You're worse than my mother…"

Running a hand through her bed-ruffled hair, it brushed her chin as it fell like a curtain over her face.

"We'll get another one tomorrow…"

De pouted, not amused by her friend's dismissive tone.

Letting it go, she lay down with her back to Karm, hugging the pillow tighter.

"Fine, but I'm not going to the junkyard alone tomorrow."

"Yeah, yeah…"

When Karm's even breathing hit the air, De smiled, curling up into a ball and letting the dreams return.