The first thing Laura does after they’re finished sewing her back together is lay her hand against her ex-friend’s cheek, lips curved into a parody smile. It’s disturbing as hell because Audrey’s been trying really hard to think about that arm as piece of meat, sponge-like and cold to the touch but not any worse than tying up a roast.
“Thanks,” she says, and it’s hard to tell if the lack of inflection is just a zombie thing or if she really doesn’t care at all.
Audrey shrugs. “Yeah, well. Bitches get stitches, right?”
Now Laura’s fingers are curling around the base of her neck, and the mixed signals between dead flesh and spider-live movement make Audrey cringe. If she notices that it doesn’t show in her smile. “You want to make things even before I go?” she asks.
Even her voice sounds wrong, like she’s squeezing the words out without really taking a breath. It’s a parody of a bedroom voice, a come-on made deeply disturbing by context. But the most horrible thing is that it still works. Audrey’s gut twists. First with excitement and then, too late, with revulsion.
She wants to tell Laura that this isn’t even at all. How the hell does sleeping with the other half of a marriage she destroyed balance anything out?
But she knows how. She just didn’t realize Laura'd ever been aware of why she'd invented so many excuses for double dates and girl's nights out, why she hadn’t cared where Robbie was until it was too late, why no matter what bullcrap had floated to the top of the shitter she’d clung to this lopsided relationship, still damn grateful to have Laura as her best friend.
Ex-friend, she reminds herself. In more ways than one. Dead friend too, no matter how bright Laura’s eyes look right now as she watches and waits for Audrey to crack. They’re the only fully live thing about her, still sparking with the same old wicked amusement that’s always drawn Audrey in and held her no matter how cruel the joke was. And fuck Laura for that-- for a lot of things, really.
Fucking Laura would be no revenge at all, but it’s the only option Audrey’s got.
“Fine,” she says, “what the hell.”
She regrets it as soon as she tastes the afterlife straight from Laura’s mouth.