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Blood

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Disgust. That was all Leda could feel when she was around.

Her. Calliope. Leda’s close friend.

“Leda’s girlfriend,” Dell used to say.

“No,” was what Leda said, but what they thought was maybe someday. Maybe in England. Maybe when we're safe.

But now all they could feel around Calliope was disgust. Cal with her bloodstained smirks and so-called good intentions. Cal with her soft looks and sharp teeth. Cal who fouled their stream by murdering Tommy.

Leda was fine with blood flowing down their stream. It had happened many times. Their original stream in Greece was bloodied often. War happened. Death happened. Blood poured into the water. Leda cleaned up the mess. When it ran dry and their spirit moved to another stream in California, so did Leda, and this one was no less bloodied. Leda spilled a lot of blood themself, with Cal by their side.

And then Calliope spilled blood she shouldn't have.

Tommy’s. Tommy, who was innocent. Tommy, who had a whole life ahead of him. Tommy, who may have been the only thing that made Emmeline happy. And his blood was at the bottom of Leda’s stream and Emmeline was crying for Tommy and crying for herself and crying because she trusted Calliope and she killed him just like that.

“For your own good,” Cal had said.

Leda felt ill. They felt hopeless. They felt enraged. There was only one thing they could do.

They cleaned up the blood.