“When they no longer need you, they’ll toss you away,” murmured the shadows in xir ear. “That’s what they do with tools that no longer serve their purpose. And that’s all you’ll ever be to them.”

Xe scoffed. “You think I don’t know that? You’d do the same, given the chance.”


“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.”