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3SQs (3-Sentence-Quickies), 5th Edition

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Since they're both broken images of what a human is supposed to be, it shouldn't come as a surprise—or a disappointment even—when they don't really give each other anything. They're not taking either; Kyle wouldn't know how, and Madison feels too worn out these days to take the world by force like she used to.

It's okay for now; they may both be empty inside, but at least, they're not alone.

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Waiting for Casey's excitement to ebb, Zeke raised his eyebrows, but Casey didn't notice; he rambled on about emulsion and reticulation and whatnot until Zeke couldn't take it any longer.

“That's all good and well,” he said, “but you're aware that I don't know dick about this, nor do I care much?”

For about ten seconds, Casey pulled a face, but then the corners of his lips curled into a smirk as he said, “Since one might argue that it's the fabric of any good relationship to endure the other's ramblings about whatever it is they love, I'll let you tell me all about car engines as soon as I'm done,” and there was no disagreeing with that.

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Dear Diary,

As I entered my room last night, I walked into Josh, who was rummaging through my closet and mumbling crazy things to himself—and he was wearing my fucking sparkly new dress that took forever and a day to be delivered and that I meant to save for a special occasion! The idiot wouldn't react to me at all, so I had to take out the broom once again (one of these days, it's gonna break) and hit some sense into him; needless to say that there was no saving the dress: the seams were ripped around his broad, muscular shoulders.

But I have to admit: the gold sequins and fringe really looked sharp on him, even though he'd need the dress a size or two bigger; I may have to check if they still have it in stock.

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Ellie's breath comes out in a shaky staccato as she stares at Jake's face. Her hand hovers over the phone with twitching fingers. Then, those very fingers curl into a tight fist that wants to smash the pain, but is caught before it can do any harm; Ellie looks up into steel-blue eyes.

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“What do you—what's this supposed to—you're kidding; you gotta be kidding.”

Delilah blinks and shifts her gaze from Tim to that thing in his hand and back, and although it clicked right away, it still doesn't register because it doesn't make sense at all, not even—especially not—when he shakes his head and says, “Nope, not kidding.”

It registers only when he asks her again, this time almost faltering, just like his smile starts fading, and—“God, oh my god, Tim, you got to be kidding!”—not for the first time, she wishes she could simply launch herself at him, only now, she sort of does.

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It whispers, murmurs, calls for her, even though it's well hidden underneath the remnants of a life out of control.

It's hardest at night, when all other sounds have long died down; Cassie lies awake, listening to the book's promises, and more than once, she finds her feet have moved without her realization. For now, she's stronger, but she knows the calling—her true nature—can't be resisted forever.

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Where scars tell the tale of his hunting days, Chris's skin is rough, but Derek doesn't mind. It only separates him further from his sister—whose scent still haunts him at times—than age and gender and character do. And while Chris and Kate smell alike, as family always does, Derek had learned to discern between them with his eyes closed and his heart wide open a long time ago.

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Erica keeps pleading with him, but Isaac can't—“I can't leave just yet. I have … a purpose here.”—and when she realizes he means it, her heartbeat stutters and her jaw clenches.

“Come find us later if you can do that,” Boyd says, and Isaac promises although he knows deep inside that a purpose doesn't equal a future.

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“You're like a living blanket,” Stiles says, “one of those really warm blankets, like wool—yeah, maybe not wool, that's really itchy, and you're definitely not—you're more like soft, velvety—velvet, that's it, you're like—”

“I swear to god: if you don't shut up now, I'm gonna let you sleep on the floor without any blanket whatsoever.”

Stiles can't help a smirk—“Why so sour, wolf?”—but since he doesn't want to risk it, he simply snuggles closer and lets Derek's warmth embrace him.

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The city lies wrapped in mist and night, but Isaac moves quickly, with confidence. While he can hear mumbled proof of life from behind closed shutters, the narrow streets are bare of any living being, and he's glad of it; he seeks but the presence of one person for now. Following the faint scent of something almost like pack, Isaac tries to find his way home.

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The moment Scott cracks his eyes open, he notices two things: the first rays of a tired sun sneaking past the blinds and a hand firmly stroking his semi hard dick.

“Leave me alone,” he means to say, tired as he still is, but out comes a sound that resembles a moan more than it does words, and dear Lord, at eighteen, there isn't much withstanding any seduction, much less when said seduction is your very determined, very hard-against-your-back boyfriend.

Closing his eyes again, Scott surrenders to whatever it is Isaac has in mind.

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“What's this?” Derek asks as he turns the plastic clothes bag reading Tinkerbell: Dress, Wings, Wand in his hands and eyes it warily as if he's afraid the green glittery thing inside will attack him any moment. “And by that I mean: what the actual fuck?”

“This, my friend,” Stiles says with a way too innocent grin, “is your part of the bet.”

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Back here, it's only the metal and her. She calls it art, calls it a distraction, calls it many things, but what it really is goes deeper and touches on a reality that she denies.

Sometimes, the metal screams when she bends it until it bows to her will, and while she is just as bent and broken, she's devoid of a voice of her own.

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They should have avoided this terrain despite the two-day detour it would have meant; this much is crystal clear now as the group finds themselves surrounded by phytos. While these zombies aren't particularly fast and don't pose a real threat in small numbers, this is bad: they're everywhere, closing in, leaving only a small path to escape, now, now!

Warren darts towards the small opening between the phytos last, with merely a breath separating her from cold fingers and sharp teeth, and then Addie grabs her arm and pulls her forward until they collapse on a clearing: another close call, and another day to live.

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It remains unclear which is worse, not eating at all or eating something that looked run-over at least twice before they'd picked it up. Either way, chances are somewhat synonymous with the apocalypse.

The animal, whatever it is, makes for a quick bite that doesn't stave off their hunger, but that'll have to do until they come across the next snatch of anything remotely edible that Doc will turn into something he gives some or other burger menu name to elicit tired smiles.