“There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing wrong with you.” Xir mouth was unbearably close to eir ear, xir voice warm and rich. Ey resisted the desire to melt into that voice and lose eirself.

“I know that,” ey replied instead. “In my head, I understand it. But you have to understand, it’s hard to feel that. After everything, my first reaction right now is to run from it.”

There had to be something xe could do, sitting here doing nothing made xir want to peel xir skin from its flesh; but xir lungs seemed to fill with wet concrete and xir bones transmuted themselves to lead when xe tried to change anything. There was nothing to be done, then. There was everything to be done.