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Picking Your Poison

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The SECRET Journal of Sara Torres
NO LEER
That Means YOU

Mama is so mean!!! It's not fair! Cy was out ALL NIGHT last night and he's not in trouble, but I get home TEN MINUTES after curfew and I'm grounded! BV says I'm ridiculously lucky to have a madre who lets me get piercings and I should thank Dios instead of complaining, and I have to admit that Julia's mom won't even let her wear makeup yet and she and Christina are all jealous that Mama took me to get the labret and nosering after I let Ana do my ear, which Mama says if it wasn't for little Tomas is one more reason she'd stop having them over even if they are parte de nuestra familia, but I still say it's not fair about being grounded.

***

Cyanide Torres had been in the bathroom for eleven point five minutes.

Monopolizing the bathroom was not actually a capital offense in the Torres household, but it came close. In a family with eight children, seven of them girls, and only one bathroom, the set of rules and regulations governing bathroom use was extensive and rigorous. Cyanide was currently breaking numbers 1, 3, 6, 7, 8, 15, and 31.

Twelve minutes.

Errica was sitting in the hall with a stopwatch. Emma was carefully making an entry into the Logbook of Bathroom Violations that hung by the door. Cyanide, although he did not know it, had already accumulated a $1.65 fine to be paid into the Excursion Jar at the next Family Council, assuming Mama managed to get everyone sitting down for another Family Council.

Twelve point five minutes.

Errica and Emma looked at one another, communicating through a moment of silent twinspeak. What was he doing in there? He had already had his turn for the shower that morning.

Thirteen minutes stretched on into fifteen, then twenty, and then their question was answered as out stepped a very dapper Cyanide, who had evidently been so preoccupied about something that he had forgotten the rules against hairstyling and makeup-applying in the bathroom. And he was unusually well-dressed, too, wearing a deep red silk shirt that neither of them had ever found while hunting through his closet looking for clothes they could forget to ask if they could borrow.

There was only one explanation.

"Cyanide has a date!" Emma screamed.

There were running footsteps from all over the house as Torres sisters bolted in.

"He has a date?" "Dude, you have a date?" "Omigod, you're going out?" "Ay, someone's going out with you?" "Que chica afortunada" "Chica desafortunada" "¿Quien es?" "Yeah, who is she?" "Do we know her?" "Are you going to kiss her?" "Ooh, I bet he wants to!"

Everyone stopped babbling and puckered up their lips. The hall filled up with smooching noises. Cyanide started to blush, and then - "¡Caray! You were out all night with her, weren't you!"

There was a chorus of oooohs, and Cyanide turned a deep red to rival his shirt. He tried to dive into his room but there were girls hanging off both arms and one who had jumped on his back and was nearly strangling him.

"Tell us, tell us!" they shouted. "What's her name? Where does she live? Where did you meet her?"

He viewed the arrival of his mother as an embattled garrison views the cavalry. "Calmense, mis hijas," she said gently, helping Cyanide extricate himself from the clutches of eager siblings. "No necesitamos todo esto griterio, ¿no? Don't make your brother late, let him go now. Cy," she added, "Call me and let me know if you're going to stay somewhere else tonight, okay?"

A greatly relieved Cyanide nodded and escaped out of the house before anything else could be said.

As soon as their mother had gone back downstairs, Emma and Errica conferred with a glance.

"This calls for immediate action," said Errica. "Poison Scouts meeting, my room, ten minutes."

***

The SECRET Journal of Sara Torres
NO LEER
That Means YOU

Mama says that Cyanide is allowed to stay out all night because he's in uni now and that when I'm a uni student I can stay out too. BV says she's going to try to live in the dorms because she can hardly study as it is with all these screaming kids in the house and don't they know she has AP tests this semester and has to study? I think she's just worried she's not going to do as well as Cy did, but I'm not going to tell her that, because she would go off on one of her rants about how she doesn't care what he did she's a completely different person and it's stupid to expect her to live up to his example when she has completely different talents and interests. Maybe she has a point but does she have to dress like such a total preppie to make it? She is SUCH a nerd. I don't mind when people tell me I'm so much like my brother, although it's funny how most people say it about my clothes and Mama says it about my math grades. Maybe if BV would just chill out she'd get better math grades *and* stop dressing like such a total geek. I've told her she can borrow my stuff (when MariFer and the twins haven't stolen it) but she never wants to do anything except read and talk on the phone to her stupid geek boyfriend. She wouldn't even come to the Poison Scouts meeting. Okay, maybe the Poison Scouts are a little infantil, but she didn't have to call us all tontos. I think maybe she's jealous that Cy made up the Poison Scouts for me first. It was because of my name, Sara, Sarin, you know? We were talking about why he had such a weird name and he was explaining how actually the way Mama chose BV and the twins' names was kind of weird too and then I was kind of sad that I had just been named for Papa's abuela but he said my name was almost like his if you changed it a little. And then of course everyone wanted poison names and Cy got out his textbooks and before long we had our whole little family of toxic avengers. I remember he made MariFer and Lupe cry by calling them Tetrodotoxin and Curare for a whole week, which is funny cause Fernface ended up actually liking Curare when she was old enough to know what it was, and then Lupe said it was hers first. I can still remember tetrodotoxin from that, though, like I can remember paradichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane from that limerick. Julia thinks I'm crazy for trying to memorize stuff like that and like the periodic table, but I got her good when I convinced her all the chemicals with long names in her shampoo were going to give her cancer. She wouldn't wash her hair for three weeks until her mom got Mr. Cibarra to talk to her. Cy thought that was pretty funny... almost as good as teaching Lupe to egg houses.

***

Sailor Strychnine tiptoed in exaggerated slow motion through Cyanide's room looking for Clues. Clues were in short abundance, while heaps of notepaper and dirty laundry were everywhere. She tried going through some of the notepaper but found mostly chemistry equations and scribbled-out lyrics to what looked like was going to be yet another angst anthem. Her eye had just fallen on a piece of notepaper covered in hearts and initials when Sailor Arsenic hissed from the hallway that Bonnie was coming and she had to get out. Stupid Buenaventura. Of all of them, she was the only one who could have possibly tried to follow Cyanide to see who he was meeting. But she claimed to have better things to do with her time than "spy on her hermano estupido para sus hermanas estupidas". At least Sara was willing to try to "accidentally" pick up the phone in their room next time Cy had a call, although they did that a lot anyways and only ever got Skids or Harley. Who did their brother even know with the initials G A, anyways? That new girl in the band was R something. It must be a girl in one of his classes...

***

The SECRET Journal of Sara Torres
NO LEER
That Means YOU

Oh my god. OH MY GOD. I don't know what to do. I don't know if I should wake up BV or Mama or what. I wasn't even supposed to be awake so late but I had my headphones on so it wouldn't bother BV and I was sort of looking out the window and there was Cy coming home and he was just with Skids and I was so disappointed because I thought maybe I would find out who his date was with and it would be so cool to be the first to know, you know? And Skids was all dressed up too, I couldn't really tell the colors under the sodium lights but I don't think I had ever seen him look like that and, honestly, I *always* thought he was kind of hot, or at least I used to. And then Cy's about to come in and Skids puts his hand on his arm and he turned around and put his arms around Skids and they KISSED. First Skids put his hands on my brother's waist and then ew I swear he was grabbing his ass and they just kept kissing. I don't think I've ever seen Dan kiss BV like that. I don't even think I ever saw Papa kiss Mama like that. I'm not sure anyone else *has* ever kissed like that. It was like those Siamese twins where they have the same heart, like someone had glued them together. I didn't think they were *ever* going to stop but then Cyanide tipped his head back and I think Skids was licking his ear or something and then Cy pushed him away a little and said something, and Skids smiled, and Cyanide just looked at him, just gave him this look like "you are my whole world and the most beautiful thing in it and contemplating you fills me with solemn joy and by the way do you want to fuck sometime." I would die happy if a boy ever looked at me like that, but this was my BROTHER looking at a BOY like that! And then Cy came in and I snuck into the bathroom with a flashlight to write this and I hope Em and Errica don't wake up and give me a bathroom fine but I just HAD to write this. Because I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO. I mean, Skids has been at our house thousands of times, and I just thought he was a normal guy, you know, like I thought my brother was just a normal guy. I mean, I've known Harley was gay since forever and it's not a big deal, it's just Harley, and I even met his boyfriend Mik once who if he was heterosexual I think I would have a *major* crush on. But that's different, it's not my brother. And, like, everybody's always said I'm so much like him... does that mean I'm going to be gay too? I've only ever had crushes on boys but maybe I'm just in denial or homophobic or something. Or maybe I'm not and it's just Cy and the rest of us are all straight and he won't want to have anything to do with us because we're not cool like his friends and what is Mama going to say? Does she already know? She knew about Dan and BV way before BV said anything, but it was so unusual for a boy to be calling so much. All of Cy's friends have always been boys... how would we ever guess if he was dating one of them? I wonder how long they've been more than friends. Ew, I wonder if they're doing it. He did stay out all night after that party. Oh my god, what if he gets AIDS or something? What if he gets beaten up? That happened to my friend Marcus when he put those gay pride buttons on his backpack, and he wasn't even dating anybody. Dammit, Cyanide, why did you have to make things so complicated? Should I tell HIM I know? WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?

Me again. I was about to go to bed when I realized that was a really dumb question. Not what I'm supposed to do - I still want to know that! - but why. Because I *saw* how my brother was looking at Skids, and if I ever found somebody I could look at like that it would be really sad to never actually get to. I guess even if they were a girl or whatever. Although I still don't really want to be gay myself. Hey, maybe what Cy and I have in common is that we both like boys. Anyways, I really ought to go to sleep. But somehow I think I'm going to have a lot to write about.

***

The SECRET Journal of Sara Torres
NO LEER
That Means YOU

I thought I was going to go loco today! Because everything was just so normal, and it was like, how can things be normal? But I got home from school and there were Tere and Lupe fighting over Juancho and BV trying to act like Mama and lecturing Tere about calling her sister "Loopy" which was "not a respectful form of address", well duh, BV, and all I could think was that none of it was real, that I was the only person who knew the truth. Then stupid Em called a Scouts meeting and said she and Sailor Arsenic had gone through Cyanide's senior yearbook looking for a girl with the initials G A and they hadn't found any, and my big mouth blurted out "of course not," because, *girl*, but I sort of coughed at the last minute and said "because he met her at the university". Real smooth, Sara. I could have been all, "hey, isn't Skids' real name Giovanni or something?" and maybe they would have gotten it and I wouldn't be THE ONLY PERSON WHO KNOWS.

***

When Cyanide arrived home from his next date, MariFer was still up doing vocabulary homework in the kitchen. She had to be prepared for the test, right?

When Cyanide arrived home from his date (at exactly 9:48, on Emma's watch), the twins were still in the middle of "a really, really good game of chess, Mama, we can't stop or we'll forget what we're doing, and chess is a good challenge for your brain, right?"

When Cyanide arrived home, having left just before dinner in ripped jeans, a mesh shirt, white gloves, and a black silk bowtie, Lupe had just remembered that she was supposed to interview a family member for their journalism unit, and had cornered Buenaventura on the living room couch, drawing out her five questions as long as possible, but she was just trying to do a careful job, right?

When Cyanide arrived home, Teresa was in the living room watching _Sailor Moon_. This was both the most dramatic violation of normal bedtime rules and the only one that had not been specifically invented for the purpose of staying up later. Tere felt about Sailor Moon the way Cyanide felt about Buffy, but the networks seemed to delight in playing a game with Tere, changing the day and time of broadcast as fast as she could figure out the new schedule. She had finally taken to just turning on the TV at random times hoping to catch it, insisting on sitting down and watching if she did. Mama had finally decided that unless it was time for school it was easier to just let Tere watch than to drag her kicking and screaming from the TV.

Tere's Sailor Moon obsession had also been a source of frustration to the twins when she got interested in the Poison Scouts. She had insisted that she had to be one of the Sailors from the show. In desperation, Errica had finally gone to Cyanide and asked him if mercury was toxic. "Yes, it's very dangerous," he had said, going all big-brotherly. "Did you break a thermometer? You shouldn't play with it, you should get an adult and have them clean it up." Errica had rolled her eyes and said she was just asking, and Tere had been Sailor Mercury from then on, although unlike the rest of her sisters she wasn't even remembering she was a Poison Scout, when Cyanide came back from his date.

Sara was sitting in the living room waiting, when Cyanide arrived home.

She heard the front door open and Cyanide step into the little entranceway, followed by someone else. She heard a low murmur of someone talking.

Sara stayed in her seat as five eager girls (not including the rapt Tere, but including the slightly embarrased BV) ran-tiptoed to the cracks of kitchen and living room doors to spy on their brother.

She stayed in her seat as both doors were flung open with resounding crashes to the chorus of five astonished cries to reveal her white- faced brother with his arms wrapped around a rather flushed and red- lipped Skids. Tere got up to see what all the excitement was about.

"Um, hi," Skids said, while Cyanide staggered back, slid down the wall, and started banging his head against his knees.

To Sara's surprise, all hell failed to break loose. Everyone just stared at each other in a paralytic silence that Sara was starting to wonder if she was going to have to break when Tere walked up to Cyanide, tugged on his hair to bend his head towards her, and loudly whispered, "Cya, that's a *boy*."

Cyanide looked up and tugged her hair back. "Yeah, Tere. I had kinda figured that one out."

The ice broken, the twins started babbling questions, MariFer told Skids she liked his (very bright orange) shirt, and BV abruptly cut across the entranceway, stomped up the stairs, and vanished behind a slammed door.

Mama appeared a full three seconds behind Sara's mental countdown.

Smiling her "perfect hostess" smile, she somehow managed to calm things down enough for Skids to extricate himself from the clump of Torres girls and leave, with a promise to be up if Cy wanted to call. She herded everyone into the living room and looked expectantly at Cyanide.

"I think your sisters have some questions, mi hijo, and I don't think I ought to answer them for you."

Cyanide looked at her with a look that Sara guessed meant something like "you tried to tell me what to say during my college interviews but you're throwing me to my sisters alone?".

The little girls looked at each other. Errica poked Emma.

"So, um," said Emma, "he's, like, your... *boyfriend*?"

"Um," said Cyanide. "We haven't really been using that word, but, yeah."

"And, like, you kiss him and stuff?" Errica said, wrinkling her nose.

"Yeah," said Cyanide, a little dreamily.

There was a moment of quiet, then Lupe said, "How come you kiss boys instead of girls, Cya?"

And he grinned at her. "Well," he said, "I kiss girls too, or at least I used to. Right now, I just kiss Skids. Is that okay with you, Senorita Lupecita Catarina Maria Tortilla Torres?"

"That's not my name, Cyclops," she squealed, laughing. "Psycho Cyclops Cyanide, nyah nyah," and everybody was laughing, even Mama, who took it as a sign to shoo the younger girls off to bed. Leaving just Sara sitting there with Cyanide.

"So," he said, "Any questions from the old-enough-to-have-a-clue crowd?"

"You're admitting I'm in that category? What did he do to you?" she joked. "No, um. Cy. I, um, I already... I saw you guys the other night."

He ran a hand through his hair. "Must have freaked you out, huh."

"No!" Sara said. "Well... yeah. But not really. I mean, I'm surprised. How did it happen?"

"You mean how did I figure out that I liked him? Or how did we get together?"

"Both. Or, well... I don't know."

"It took me a long time to figure it out," Cyanide said, getting into his "big brother giving you the benefit of his experience" voice. "I mean, I just had these feelings, and it was like, whoa, and then eventually it made sense. As for how we got together... I finally just told him, and some things just sort of happened." He paused. "Things that are not okay to just happen to a fifteen-year-old girl, ¿claro?"

"Si," Sara said, rolling her eyes. "That's it?"

"Well, he used to say he was waiting for someone to sweep him off his feet. So, after some.... things... happened, I was kind of worried that I had messed it up, and I asked him, 'Wasn't I supposed to be doing some feet-sweeping back there.' And he told me..." Cyanide's voice softened, and he gazed off into the distance, "He told me, 'You do that just by showing up.'"

Sara was unable to stop the "Awwww!" that broke loose from her throat. "That is the sweetest thing..." she gushed, trailing off. Cyanide was glaring at her. "Seriously, Cy. I'm, um, really happy for you."

"Yeah?" Cyanide said. "Even though, like, the boy thing."

"Yeah," Sara said. "I mean, it sounds like anyone would be lucky to date him. My dorky brother? Very lucky."

"If I'm so dorky how come you're wearing my earrings?" said Cyanide affectionately.

"Salvage," she shot back. "But, um. Look. One thing. You, um, you think it, like, um..."

He waited.

"You think it runs in the family?"

Cyanide paused. He put his hand on her shoulder. "I think only if you want it to."

"Well hey then," Sara said.

"Now I have a question for you," Cyanide said in a low voice. "What's the deal with Bonnie?"

Sara sighed. "Other than the stick up her ass? I don't know."

Cyanide squeezed her shoulder and stood up. "Talk to her, okay?" he said as he left the room.

"She doesn't want to," Sara said after him.

***

The SECRET Journal of Sara Torres
NO LEER
That Means YOU

I read somewhere about twins that made up their own language and didn't talk to anybody but each other... why couldn't I get twin sisters like that? Of course they had to go and tell everybody they knew, including kids with older siblings, so I had five people come up to me in homeroom and tell me they heard my brother was gay. Not one of whom had an answer to "So?". People are so stupid! And then Ms. I-wanna- be-your-friend called me over at the end of English and told me that if I wanted to talk about anything she was there, and I just wanted to go to math and she kept talking and then she didn't give me a pass and I was almost late! To math! And then Julia and Christina were all "why didn't you tell us" at lunch, and Julia was all upset because she's had a crush on Cy since forever, and Christina was all, "I bet it's because your dad is gone," and I was like "what the hell does that have to do with it." And then they're mad I didn't tell them? I had a headache by the time the last bell rang, then MariFer was trying to start a Poison Scouts meeting, and got all upset when I didn't want to go. And BV isn't talking at all, and of course everything is always all my fault.

***

Sara sat in her room, absolutely mortified on behalf of her sisters. Mama had invited MariFer's friend Ashley's mom over for dinner, and she had brought her other daughter Brynn. Who was a senior in high school. And Ashley and MariFer had. Sara stopped, cringing. They had physically dragged Brynn to Cyanide's room, by the wrists, pushed her into the room (despite her valiant attempt to get a grip on the doorframe as a courtesy to Cyanide, who had headphones on and was obviously not looking for company), and had attempted to push her into Cyanide's lap. Sara had heard the girls cackling and had shown up in time to rescue the embarrassed Brynn and apologize profusely. Brynn had pointed out that it was just as much her own sister's fault, and Cyanide had taken off his headphones and they had all had a nice civilized conversation about music after shoving the brats out and locking Cyanide's door.

Sara had asked her sister later what, exactly, she had been thinking. And MariFer had confessed that she and Ashley thought it would be really neat if their siblings started going out with each other, "and if Cyanide dated Brynn he could stop being gay."

She had tried to explain to MariFer that it didn't work that way, that Cyanide was not going to magically fall in love with Brynn if he was pushed into physical contact with her. She wondered if MariFer's education on such matters was perhaps a bit lacking, or whether she had fallen down on the job of helping her sisters adjust to the notion of their brother dating a boy. But mostly she was just embarrassed. Brynn, despite being the same age as BV, was smart, and cool, and fun to talk to, and hadn't even blinked when Cyanide had mentioned that actually he had a boyfriend, and she was probably going to permanently think of them as "the family with the crazy sister". It wasn't fair.

***

The SECRET Journal of Sara Torres
NO LEER
That Means YOU

Sometimes Mama is pretty smart. Cy told Mama about MariFer and the Brynn thing and she let him have Skids over overnight (but he had to sleep in the living room) and she let us all stay up late and Cy and Skids told ghost stories (Cy's are really scary but Skids' were just silly) and in the morning Skids watched cartoons with the mocosas and now they all think he's the coolest thing ever. And MariFer and the twins decided he needs a poison name so we're trying to come up with one. MariFer suggested plutonium and Errica came up with botulism because she's in that "kitchen science" elective. I don't think "botulism" is actually a toxin - it's botulinum or something. I like dioxin or thalidomide, or I guess there's always tetrodotoxin. Lupe says we should ask him, since she's still proud of coming up with Radon all on her own.

Me again. Through some mysterious process, Errica and Emma have determined that "dioxin" sounds the most like "Skids". I'm dubious, but they say he's officially Honorary Sailor Dioxin now. Maybe he should have been benzene, nobody seems to be using it.

***

It started to be less exciting when Skids showed up for a date with Cyanide, and eventually it wasn't even very interesting to come into the living room and catch them snuggled up on the couch together. It was just their brother.

Cyanide still spent too much time in the bathroom though.

***

The SECRET Journal of Sara Torres
NO LEER
That Means YOU

Mama is so mean!!! It's not fair! Cy gets to invite Skids to the big Easter dinner with toda la familia and BV gets to invite Dan, but I can't invite anybody just because I don't make out with any of my friends. I bet I get stuck watching Tomas, too. Errica says it's because I'll have her and Em to talk to but BV only talks to Dan. I bet they just have stupid nerd conversations anyways.

***

Cyanide was wishing for some of his namesake.

His grandmother's house was packed wall-to-wall with what he thought of as his "overextended family", all of whom were talking at the same time, except for his aunts, who like silent specters would materialize out of the crowd, grab any older children who were caught off-guard, and drag them off to the kitchen to be sacrificed to the latest pile of dirty dishes.

But in addition to being on guard against his merciless aunts, Cyanide was also inwardly braced for the explosion likely to be set off by the arrival of Skids. Easter tradition was that one invited novios, but not amigos. His mother had quietly informed her mother that Cyanide's novia was a novio and had been told that if he was a nice boy and it looked serious he might as well bring him sooner rather than later and that "he probably couldn't be worse than those anarchists you used to hang around with, your poor Gustavo excepted God save his soul." She had reported this back to him and said it was up to him.

Cyanide wasn't sure now what he had been thinking. Well, sure he was. Skids wanted to meet his family, and he didn't want to have to answer questions about why he hadn't met any girls yet.

But he could have at least planned to arrive with Skids, instead of this agony of waiting, not knowing when the axe was going to drop! And he could have held his hand on the way, instead of standing here picking at his neatly polished nails. Where was Skids, anyways? His fidgeting attracted the attention of his little sisters, who clustered around him giving him encouraging pats and pinches for luck, which only made him less relaxed.

When the doorbell rang, he dashed to answer it, and was so relieved to see Skids that he almost threw himself into his arms right there. He settled for squeezing his hand.

He heard the chattering cease behind him and turned to see the entire room of aunts and uncles and twelfth-cousins-seventeen-times-removed staring at him. And at Skids. At him and Skids.

Just when he was sure it was the most uncomfortable moment of his entire life, it got worse.

"¿Que es esto?" asked his cousin Tomas angrily. "Cyanide? ¿Tu eres maricon?" He stepped forward and looked at Skids like he was something found in his son's diaper. "¡Aqui no hay ningun lugar para tu tipo! ¡Y para ti tampoco!" he said, turning to Cyanide. "Mi hijo no va a asociar a los ninfos." As if on cue, little Tomas started to cry.

Skids stopped smiling. The rest of the room was shifting nervously. Cyanide heard someone mutter "how rude" and "such nerve" but he wasn't sure whether they meant his cousin's comments or his bringing Skids at all.

Skids dropped his hand and looked at Cyanide like he was about to cry. Tomas was turning a dark, angry red as he waited for some response. His sisters were all staring with round eyes and trembling lips, except for Sara, who looked furious, and Tere, who started bawling, quite drowning out the small Tomas.

He wasn't sure what to do. Tomas looked like he was about seconds away from flying off and hitting him, and he wasn't sure what would happen if his uncles got involved, except that it would probably be bad for everyone. He was about to cut to the chase and at least land the first punch -

When Buenaventura stepped forward smiling a perfect hostess smile.

"Skids!" she said, stepping deftly around Tomas and taking his hand. "I'm so glad you were able to make it. Mama had said you might be spending the whole day with your family."

Tomas sputtered, but was clearly not about to push Buenaventura aside in order to take a swing at either Cyanide or Skids.

"Just church this morning," Skids answered, looking happier.

One of Cyanide's aging great-aunts leaned forward and asked "¿Son Catolicos?" with her best suspicious scrutinizing-the-girlfriend squint, and one of his uncles smiled determinedly at Skids and told him not to worry, "because whether or not you're Catholic we're really going to judge you on what you think of the Yankees losing."

The babble of conversation picked up again and a cluster of relatives formed around Cyanide and Skids, including them both in the conversation by various degrees of effort and with varying amounts of awkwardness. Cyanide, watching Skids smile, decided it hadn't been such a bad idea after all.

On the edge of the cluster, Buenaventura caught her sisters' eyes. She crossed her index fingers under her chin and smiled. Eyes lit up as they all smiled and crossed their fingers back - it was the secret Poison Scouts signal, the skull and crossbones.

Sailor Benzene, thought lost beyond all hope, had saved the day.

Sara smiled again and went to talk to her sister.

::End::