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through the looking glass

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“We’ll always know each other, even if we don’t.”


“A girl came looking for you today,” Rodgers says.

Tilly stops picking at her piece of toast and her eyes go wide. There’s a hole in her jeans and she doesn’t remember how it got there. She’s been living with him for a week and she enjoys the central heating, enjoys being able to have a hot bath, she doesn’t get attached. The room Eloise Gardener kept her in never changed. She knows she’ll be trapped forever, unless she keeps moving.

“Really?” Tilly puts her elbows on the table and rests her head on her hands. “Who is she?”

“She said she stopped you getting hit by a car,” Rodgers explains. Tilly doesn’t remember much but it would be hard to forget her. “She was just hoping you were alright, that’s all.”

“Margot!” Tilly can’t even say her name without breaking into a grin. “Did she...she didn’t leave her number or something, no?”

Rodgers smiles and pulls out a scrap of paper from his pocket. “She did, and she said she’d be at the library this afternoon.”

“Yay!” Tilly claps and she can’t stop smiling. Places are dangerous to get attached to, people even more so - but she can’t help it. There’s something about her. “I thought she’d forget me. Everyone always forgets me, eventually. Except Eloise Gardener.”

Rodgers never asks her about Eloise Gardener and she can’t decide if it’s because he doesn’t want to know or if he’s afraid she’ll run if he does. She is tired of running.

So, Tilly pulls on her coat, and makes her way to the library.

-:-

She spots Margot immediately, her copy of Alice in Wonderland opened on the desk in front of her. Alice takes down her good, shakes out her hair, and grins at her.

“Hi!” Margot says, even though the librarian is asleep, and pulls up a chair for Tilly to sit. Tilly sits on the table instead, their hands brushing as she sits. “Have you...have you been here before?”

“No,” Tilly admits, shyly. She enjoys reading, it’s just that her mind always feels as though she is very late for something she doesn’t know.

“That’s good,” Margot whispers. “I like to think I’d have remembered seeing you. Besides, I love showing people around. The last owner was a real beast, you know? But his wife was lovely.”

“I’m sure you - she was,” Tilly mutters as Margot stands and holds out a hand.

“Do you trust me?”

Tilly barely blinks before responding. “Of course I do.”

-:-

Margot begins with showing her books on archery.

“I always wanted to learn,” She admits. “But my eyesight...my dad was an Olympic archer.”

“He sounds great,” Tilly says. “I never knew anyone but…” She stops herself because she doesn’t want to frighten Margot away with her tragic life.

Tilly begins scanning the shelves herself, but she sees a large book about to hit Margot on the head and yells something -

The book hovers in the air, unmoving and Tilly holds back a scream. She shuts her eyes, counts to ten, and before she knows it she’s sitting on the itchy carpet, her head between her legs. She’s not sure how much time passes before she calms down, but she does eventually.

“Tilly,” Margot strokes a hand across her face, ticks a piece of hair behind her ear. Her hands are so warm. “I’m here, if you want to talk.”

“Thank you,” Tilly tells her and grips her hand. Margot helps her up. Margot sees her, understands her in a way not many people can claim.

“Wanna grab a coffee sometime, Crazy Tilly?”

Tilly doesn’t even hesitate. “Yes!”

It’s a little too enthusiastic, sure, but Margot winks at her as if this was a date or something. Wait -

She calls Rodgers. “You’re not gonna believe this, but I think I just accidentally went on a date with the girl of my dreams.”