Not mine, and also, not betaed. No quality guarantee, folks.

"C'mon, stop it, Bets." Gladys plucked the cigarette from between her fingers, took a hit from it, the stubbed it out against the brick of the building.

"I just… I can't even function. It's like, every time I try and do something, my mind just misfires."

Gladys pulled her to her feet. "This is no place for talk of misfire." She dusted an insect from the blonde's shoulder. "What do you say, we build our boys some bombs, head to your place, and we locate a bottle of something potent. Girls' night."

She nodded and a familiar smile returned to her lips. "Look at you, trying to liquor a poor girl up when she's down."

"I'm just waiting for the suspicious activity reports to flow in."

They sat in silence on the edge of the bed, the only sounds in the building coming from the slosh of the whisky.

Gladys took a deep breath and held it for a few seconds before turning to Betty. "Have you any idea where she is? Where her family lives?"

Betty shook her head and bent it down toward her drink, absently biting the rim of the glass she held in her hand.

"She never mentioned-"

"I don't even know her real last name," Betty shot.

Gladys gave a quick glance to her liquor and downed the last of it. "Well, maybe we can investigate. Surely we have some clues. Don't we?" Waiting for a response, she turned to catch a silent tear begin its descent toward Betty's chin, and chose to say nothing.

"I'm so scared, Princess. Never been scared of anything before in my life."

"What is there to be afraid of? I certainly hate to say it, but if she isn't here, who is there to tell?"

Betty nodded her head toward her and raised her glass. "Here's to finding that silver lining in a cloud made of shit." She guzzled the last of the drink.

"You know I-"

Betty's beautiful lips met Gladys' in a quick, fumbling maneuver. The brunette obligingly and gently returned her kiss for a few moments, cupping her cheek with a steady hand.

"This isn't what you want," she said softly, pulling back.

Betty collapsed into her, sobbing violently, and she pulled the distraught woman in close, patting her back and kissing her hair, rocking her gently as if it would somehow soothe such a horrific pain.

"I don't even know what I want!" She sobbed between heaving breaths.

Gladys petted her hair. "Yes you do. Betty McRae knows exactly what she wants all the time. I know, I've seen her in action."

Betty shook her head fiercely. "She doesn't this time."

"Well, I do know what she wants. And I'm going to take the authority in this situation."

Betty sniffled loudly (and sort of obscenely) and raised her head. "Look at you. First you find the silver lining, and now you're taking charge. Did anyone ever tell you you're on the annoying side?"

Gladys nodded. "You did. Several times." She pulled Betty upright. "Come on, let me set your hair and get you to bed before I'm too drunk to get myself home." She got up and began searching the room for sleepwear, as Betty remained seated, staring at her hands.

"A-actually, Princess, would you be too above slumming it here in this hovel tonight?" Her eyes flashed to Gladys for an instant before moving to the floor.

Gladys, who had turned to a dresser, glanced back at the blonde. "Oh, sure. Thanks. That will save me loads of explanation. I really don't want to impose, but I do appreciate it."

Betty perked up a little. "Oh, I, uh, no. It's not a problem at all. I mean, I would enjoy the company."

Gladys smiled to herself. "Even my company?"

"Yours is the best company I've got," Betty admitted, throat hoarse.

Gladys returned to the bed with a nightgown. "I'm here, Betts. You've got me."

The blonde nodded silently, choking back the urge to cry again. "Thanks." She leaned her head against her friend's shoulder. "Who'd have thought?"

"I think we're full of surprises."

"Ain't that the truth." She stiffened momentarily, and then relaxed again. "Why is it…. Why is it that you don't hate me? Do you think I'm disgusting?"

Gladys moved to face her directly and take her hands in her own. "Who am I to tell someone about love, or who to love?" Her tone forced Betty's eyes to meet her own. "Why is the love you feel any different from the love I feel for James? Or the love any of us feel for anyone?"

Betty smiled sadly, a corner-of-the-mouth smile. "I like that. I wish everyone thought like you."

Gladys brushed a stray hair from her eyes. "Maybe someday." She smirked. "You wouldn't have said that a few weeks ago."

"Those thoughts you got in there are going to get you into trouble someday."

The brunette chuckled. "Well, if they haven't cut me from Victory Munitions, who knows where I could go?"

Betty stood to unbutton her blouse. "I wanted to show you where you could put your ideas a few times."

Gladys laughed. "I always liked you. I don't understand how someone so vivacious could keep her thoughts to herself."

Betty sighed. "As we just found out the hard way, there are too many consequences I'd rather not face."

"But how would we ever get anywhere if we didn't… test? Like bombs. How would we know if we were building the right thing if we never tested them? Sometimes things just…"


"Yes, sometimes they do." Gladys pulled the pins from her hair and lay them on the floor. "Do you have another blanket for me to put on the floor? I can-"

"You can sleep in my bed. I can't have a fragile daisy on the cold floor."

Gladys folded her clothes neatly into a pile. "I bet we can both fit."

The blonde was reaching for a blanket and stopped midway. "That's not going to, uh… bother you? Being so close to someone… like me? And you sleeping in your under clothes?" Shame crept into her cheeks.

"Not a bit." She slipped under the covers and beckoned for Betty to join her.

She turned out the light and hesitantly filled in the space beside her unlikely friend, careful not to touch. She was surprised to feel a warm arm slip around her waist, pulling her aching back to fit against the brunette's chest. So surprised, in fact, that she didn't even move.