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Virtue

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There are a lot of marriages one can choose from when getting married. Lethe tries to not list them in her head, tries to feel happy for the bride and groom. It's hard.

But she knows her place, when the time comes. And she steps forward to do her part, to tell the bride all her new love's virtues. “He's rich,” She manages, and the bride smiles but she grimaces. It's all she can think of to say, and how pathetic is that?

But there's nothing good to say of him. He's taking away her friend, her sister, the Amazon who's shared her warmth and affection. There's nothing good in this wedding. She can't think of any virtues he holds; she thinks about lying, fabricating some of them, and casts it away. The bride is relying on her to tell the truth. The wedding is all about virtues.

“He's rich,” She says again, and the bride's smile seems to get bigger.

“Lethe,” She hears, all honest and innocent, and the bride is wide-eyed and harmless, features soft and gentle and feminine.

“He's got enough money to take care of you. You'll never have to worry about anything like that.”

“Lethe,” The bride says again, and Lethe stumbles over her words.

“He can't protect you.” She says fiercely, and the bride drops her bouquet and lays her hands on un-armored shoulders. “Not like I can!”

“Lethe! Wake up!”

She jerks awake at once. It's a wild swing in the dark, and it hits something-- no, someone!-- and metal goes a clattering. She's blind in the darkness; someone scuttles away.

“...Lethe?”

“I'm here,” She breaths out, blinking, hoping to clear the world around her. Make it light up. “I'm here. I'm awake.”

“You were having a bad dream,” The other admits, quiet and shy. Hard to admit she ever got a Cloth that way, but she has one, so she had to have. “Are you okay?”

Her heart sinks a little. She woke her up. “...yes. I'm okay now. Go back to sleep, my friend.”

“Okay.”

Something shifts. The other female crawls back into her bunk, and Lethe waits until her breath settles before she moves. It seems to take forever to find the mask in the dark, cold steel in her hands. She's only ever seen the other's face once.

Did it count?