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Motel rooms smelled of mildew and sex. Five years ago, Chloe Price never would have thought she’d be quite so used to the scent, but nowadays, all it reminds her of is her dead best friend. Considering the last week, it’s oddly comforting. She needed this break from the storm. Exhaling smoke, she tried to carefully move her numb arm out from under Max Caulfield’s small body. The girl was sound asleep; it was no use. She stared at the ceiling, holding her best friend. She only ever held her best friend once before, at least just like this. Before they knew the hell coming their way. She exhaled smoke, loosening her grip on Max's shoulder. Combing through her mousy brown hair, Chloe leaned on her side to press her chapped lips against Max's forehead. The girl softly blinked awake.

"Sorry."

"Don't be," Max uttered, thumbing Chloe's lips gently. There was something familiar in her eyes. "I don't ever want to wake up with you not by my side."

Chloe's throat tightened, anxious with this new "unconditional love" overwhelming her at once. She didn't know what to say.

The sunlight filtered in from the blinds. Back home, Chloe Price kept them half-assedly shut. Any other option felt like too much anyway. It was just enough of a nuisance that every time Step-Douche or Joyce walked in, it's the first thing they complain about (unless it's the "loud punk shit music" or pot smoke - which is probably why they'd barged in in the first place - but they weren't going to barge in ever again, were they?).

"Are you going to be okay?" Max breathed, fingers still playing with the blue-haired girl's mouth. She pressed her body closer. Out of convenience, she was the little spoon. They just fit like that.

But sometimes Chloe wanted to be taken care of.

"I can deal." she sighed, turning away. "But, you, this is all so traumatic for you - I'm hella used to it. I should be asking you."

Max sat up, reaching to grab her girlfriend's face. "Stop."

"I should-"

"Chloe, stop." she cut her off, holding her head mere centimeters from the blue-haired girl. "You're allowed to cry. After everything- everything I have done was to save you. I couldn't throw away all that just to see you die again with nothing but my memories! You wouldn't have remembered anything because she – you – didn't experience what we did at the pool and at school and I would live with all this shit and have nobody to talk to and die alone and sad and traumatized and fucking crazy and you'd be dead and you don't fucking deserve that and you wouldn’t know a thing and she, Chloe, that sad girl a few days ago. She wasn’t you. I couldn’t do that. I love you too much. You know I'm always on your side."

Max's rambling softened Chloe. For once, someone was always going to be on her side. She leaned down again and pressed her lips to younger girl’s warm forehead, fingers pushing her messy bangs out of the way. "I needed that."

"So, what's next?"

"Los Angeles." She closed her eyes, breathing in heavily. Chloe slipped her fingers into her pocket, remembering the folded photo of the blonde girl that started it all inside. "For my angel."