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'Does the moon look bigger to you tonight?'

The Book of Ataniel

Rat Packers in Search of Better Medication, Part Three



“Oh, fuck me,” Rani groaned. “You’re telling me we all have to leave together?” She’d been hoping she could ferry them across a few at a time, once they located Ebreth and Jack. “Flicker, it starts getting unstable when there’s three of us in the same place at once. I don’t know if I could hold thirteen of us together to save my life.”

“Well, it would be twelve,” Flicker offered. “I can’t help you exactly, but I do seem to be able to move my own self around pretty freely. Khyrisse thinks it’s something to do with me being Deathless.”

“Can you see if Asinus is okay, then? I dropped him somewhere and I couldn’t find him again.”

“I’ll look for him,” Flicker said. “I don’t think anything in here can hurt you unless it comes from within, though.”

“That might be more reassuring if it weren’t the Rat Pack we’re talking about,” sighed Valende.

“Oh, don’t worry, Miz Val. There’s, like, nothing within my head.”

“Hard to argue with that,” Rani conceded.

“We have been able to help each other face Hotel dangers, though,” Mina pointed out thoughtfully. “You killed that su-monster... and then Val and I helped Rani banish them.” Val frowned; she was still pissed off about Mina chewing them out for sleeping together, Rani knew, and resented the younger woman taking the liberty of calling her by a nickname. If Rani kept grudges that long she would have been dead of a heart attack years ago. “I don’t think there’s anything we can do to avoid individual confrontations with our destinies here,” Mina continued obliviously. “But while we’re getting there... we’re probably safest, mentally speaking, in the company of our friends.”

***

“Val!” cried Skitch in relief, as the priestess materialized in front of them. Rani appeared too, and almost fell over; Marty blinked in just in time to catch her. “Am I ever glad to see you!”

“Vastarin?” she said, blinking in surprise at her uncharacteristically depressive brother. “What in Corellon’s name--”

“Some stupid girl ditched him and he’s really, really upset,” Skitch told her behind his hand.

“Some stupid... oh, Vas, no...”

“Whoa,” interrupted Marty, looking around. “Where’s Mina?”

“Shit,” muttered Rani, and sagged into the wall. “This--is bad.”

“It’s not that bad, dear. If you find two people every time you lose one, then we’re making progress, right?” Val offered the half-breed an encouraging smile as she took her mopey brother sympathetically into her arms.

“I know,” sighed Rani. “It’s just that she’s the one with my Prozac. When this emotion spell runs out, all hell is going to break loose in here.”

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