THE NEXT DAY
SMS message log from: Aoife Dooley
well, none of us can reach Tom.
What’s that supposed to mean?
It means none of us can reach Tom, christ
He won’t answer phone, text, e-mail. Isn’t answering the door to his apartment.
Oh. … Any ideas as to why? I mean I’m pretty sure we’re both thinking the same thing, but humor me.
You took out Billy, Pete, and Grom in one day, and he don’t trust me and Sean by ourselves. I doubt he’s outright scared, but Tom ain’t stupid. He’s gonna hang back and regroup.
Should probably try to find him before he manages that. Ugh. Now what?
Well that sort of depends on what you want to happen now. We should probably talk that over in person.
Yeah, sure. Come on over.
To your place?
Does that not work?
No its fine
Send me a maptag
JENNA AND RORY’S APARTMENT
Jenna looked up from her phone, returning attention to her immediate surroundings. It was a bit chilly in the place, especially since Rory had the kitchen windows open in order to broil steak without setting off the smoke alarm.
The dog girl was singing some kind of folk song whose lyrics Jenna couldn’t quite make out due to the generalized din in the kitchen.
Up she got, ambling (because it really was more of an amble than anything else) to the doorway to the kitchen and peered around the corner. “Aoife is coming over – Tom’s gone to ground, so we’re gonna see what we can figure out.” She hesitated “–I mean. That- that is okay. Right?”
“Oh what Aoife!” Rory’s face lit up, and she turned to grin at Jenna from her crouch in front of the broiler drawer.. “Oh dang should I give you two some like private time? Is this a date? I can clear out—” glancing down at the broiler. “Um. Once the steak is done. And I’ve eaten it. Should I make extra steak?”
She deduced then, that she just wasn’t going to understand this, but shook her head. “I don’t- I don’t think it’s a date. We’re talking about tom. You know. Asshole gang leader? Convinced his buds to beat you senseless?”
“Hey c’mon I know who Tom O’Bedlam is, geez,” Rory said, looking mildly stung, “scuze me fer tryin’ ta wingman for ya.”
She opened her mouth. Made a faint, quizzical noise. … Nope. “..Uh- I- .. I dunno I guess I thought you misheard me or something…”
“Nah. If Tom’s wise, we’re just gonna have to keep ears to the ground until he’s back. Sortin’ stuff with yer ex is way more important right now.”
“I have the distinct feeling that when I get the door, I will come back to the kitchen, and you will have like. Snuck out the fire escape or something.”
“If you want moral support, I can stick around!” Rory grinned again. “But if you need me out, um, the secret word is…” She fell silent, trying to think of a secret word.
Jenna stared at Rory, flabbergasted by this point. She still kind of felt like Rory should be, if not livid, at least not gleefully accepting this. That just confused her. “…uh.” she should probably not participate in this particular exercise, though.
“Pizza!” Rory slammed her fist into an open palm. “So if you say ‘pizza’, I’ll make an excuse an’ make myself scarce.”
“What if I just really want pizza though?”
“Oh dang, good point. Um. What’s… what’s something we both don’t like.” Rory pulled open the broiler drawer and grabbed a two-pronged fork from the counter, prodding at the steaks briefly before turning them over.
“You know we really don’t – need to – figure this out this probably isn’t gonna be an issue?” Jenna offered this as though it would somehow stop Rory from trying to devise code words.
“How come?” Rory blinked. “Don’t ya… want to get back together with her?”
She flushed pink. “That’s not really the issue – the issue is trying to find a way to snare you-know-who before he has time to compensate.”
“Right sure but don’t ya?”
She was red now, and deigned not to respond. It was kinda hard to tell, even for Rory if she was annoyed, embarrassed, or both.
Rory frowned, sighed, and stood up to her full slightly-taller-than-Jenna height. “I know yer still inta her, Jeh, and she wants to know where she stands with ya.”
Why do people want to talk about feelings. Worse, why do they want to talk about her feelings? Ugh. she did what she always does. She responded to the part that she could. “..Jeh?’
That elicited a sheepish ear-scratch. “It’s hard to come up with ways to shorten yer name.”
She squinted, green eyes narrowing. “…you- .. You could just. Call me Jenna.” There was an odd note in her voice, too, aside from her usual What Accent Is It Today sort of deal.
“I… guess.” Rory’s face fell as if Jenna had just told her that she’d just lost her job at the happiness factory.
“..do- do you not-” She blinked. And she stared at Rory. “…I think I misunderstood,” she says, slowly – kind of the same way she says ‘thank you’, although there’s slightly less implied knife-twisting.
“…there’re no good ways to shorten my name. No. Um. ..I always kinda figured it was short enough.”
“Yeah, but, like, nicknames are real important for best friends o-or partners or girlfriends or whatever,” Rory said all that pretty fast, as if trying to sneak it by Jenna somehow, “an’ like. Aoife calls you kitty, so I like. I shouldn’t use that?”
“Yeah. Hence ‘I misunderstood.’” She fussed with an ear … There aren’t many choices for a nickname for her, but she still tries to think of one. After a moment of kind of staring into space, she says. “Y’could just make a new name entirely? I mean. You don’t have a lot to work with here, unless you’re confident you can do something with my last name.”
Rory nodded slowly. “I’ll, um. I’ll think about it.” She sniffed the air. “Oh geez I’m gonna overdo the steaks.”
And then she was back at the broiler, opening it, prodding the steaks, spearing them and shoveling each one onto a plate. For the moment, the interaction was forgotten.
And for one short moment, Jenna’s eyes land on Rory, and something like apprehension crosses her face. She quietly says, “Uh. Enjoy yourself, huh?” and finds something to go busy herself with. …probably the fishing channel.
Jenna hadn’t been sitting for long when the doorbell to the apartment chimed.
She hopped up out of her chair, opened the door. “Hiii~”
Aoife had dressed up. On anyone else, the look would have come across as strictly, perhaps aggressively casual: a camisole, jeans, and a bomber jacket. But the cami was nice and the jeans were freshly laundered. There’d been an effort made.
She offered Jenna a nervous, lopsided smirk. “Hey.”
Jenna gave Aoife a similarly lopsided sort of grin. “Hey. You- ..” She paused. “I haven’t seen that jacket in forever.” … well of course you haven’t, Jenna. You dunce. “‘S nice to see you. Um. C’mon in.” She stepped aside.
She’s watching the fishing channel again, Aoife. She really has a problem.
“The least you could do with a guest coming over is turn off your porn,” Aoife said. “Nice place.”
“areyouseriously – Why are you gonna give me guff for my taste in television! – and yeah I thought it was pretty nice. That’s. That’s why I live here now. Also it was cheap. Mostly it was cheap.”
“Well, like. It’s Boston Nice, y’know?”
“Heyyy!” That floppy-eared head appeared around the corner to the kitchen. “Aoife! Welcome to the house! You want a steak?”
“Nah, I ate.” Visibly nonplussed ex-girlfriend is nonplussed. “Smells real good though.”
If one were being honest, Rory is probably the only one who isn’t nonplussed. Jenna plopped down on the couch and kind of shrugged. “Well. How we wanna go ‘bout this thing?”
MAYBE if she tries real hard to keep on task she can avoid every uncomfortable conversation.
All of them. Forever.
“To be honest, Tom is real good at scrambling his trail, so mostly we gotta keep our ears to the ground and our noses in the air.” Aoife took the space on the other side of the couch, leaving a space ominously open between her and Jenna. “Best thing we can do is try to make sure he can’t pick the Boys back up when he shows.”
“…Ughhhhhh. This fuckin’ guy.” She huffed. “Alright. That shouldn’t be too hard.” She shrugged again, looking over at Aoife. “I mean, they’re pretty willing to listen to you, right? Or at least worried about ending up on the shit list again?”
“They don’t take me too serious, but I bet they don’t wanna fuck with you any more than they got to. At the very least, with Tom gone they got nobody pushing ’em to go after you. If I take word back that you’ll stop stalking ’em, they’ll probably agree to leave you alone for now.”
“Tell them that if they wind up listening to Tom again, that I can be a lot less nice.” Aoife of course, knows that Jenna proooobably wouldn’t seriously hurt someone if she could help it. The rest of the boys have plenty of reason to think that she was, in fact, being nice, is what she figures. “…But yeah. Alright. That works. Uh. Anything else you think we should take care of?’
Aoife shrugged, face nervous, smelling a bit like peaches. How did she not notice peaches. “I mean. I dunno.”
Rory poked her head out of the kitchen and gave meaningful glances to Jenna, then mouthed the word ‘pizza?’
She sort of quirked a brow. … Then internally sighed, because Rory had it in her head, and what the hell was she gonna do about that? A tiny, barely-perceptible shrug.
Big thumbs up. And then… the sound of somebody on the fire escape God Dammit Rory
God Dammit Rory.
“You okay?” Aoife asked.
“Y-yeah.” She smiled. “So um.” Was she always this awkward? … She wasn’t sure. She just knew she had no idea what to say.
“Can I—” awkward pause. Sigh. “I don’t wanna offend your roommate or anything but can we talk privately?”
“Go ahead.” She gives it a second, then adds, “Didja hear that clanging? Yeah. She decided we should do that too.”
That drew an explosive exhalation from Aoife. “What’s your deal with her?”
“I dunno.” Shrug.”I- I really really don’t. I’m sort of confused? I kissed her. But we never declared anything, we never like… went anywhere, and when I told her you were coming over, she asked if it was a date and sounded like that was the coolest idea ever.”
She fussed with a few locks of hair, tug-tug– oops. Old, bad habit. “…Does that make sense to you?”
“Yeah, but… what is she to you?” There were unasked questions behind her queries that Jenna could all but hear aloud.
“…I- I’m not real sure. I couldn’t really figure it out. It was. Nice to kiss her. But that just felt nice?” She’s trying, and Aoife knows that feelings talk and Jenna just don’t mix, but it may not be explanatory enough to be anything more than annoying.
“I want you back.”
Tug-tug-tug- “… Y-you do- i mean- after-” She stares at the floor. “…After what I did…?’
An uncertain nod. A pause. Then another nod, and several more, growing more certain.
‘I – don’t. Understand?” Jenna wishes she knew what was going on, and part of her was vaguely annoyed that Rory was right. Because of course she was.
“Why… why not?”
“…I was shitty to you. You didn’t … really, deserve… y’know. What I did.” She makes a vague, frustrated noise. “…But you do. You’re sure?”
“Yeah, you were. And I didn’t deserve it.” Yeesh Aoife you didn’t have to agree so readily. “So… don’t do it again. Don’t ghost on me. Talk to me. Tell the dog girl that it was just a kiss and you’re taken now. Promise you’ll do me right and yeah, I’m sure.”
She finally catches on that yes, she’s pulling on her hair and damn it she was doin’ good for a while there. Both hands find their way to Jenna’s lap, and she kind of just makes a noise. “…Can I ask somethin’?”
“Yeah,” Aoife sidled closer on the couch.
“You – .. You knew where I worked. I didn’t change that.” Her mouth keeps moving for a moment, but the actual question goes unspoken, a little swallow that does nothing to help her speech or her nerves as close as she comes.
“That ain’t a question, kitty.”
“..you’re- gonna make me?” A faint smile. Of course Aoife is. ‘…F-fine. Um. Why. Didn’t… why didn’t you find me?”
“You blocked my calls. You ignored me.” Aoife looks at the floor. “I figured you didn’t wanna be found.”
“..I- I guess I figured it would just make you mad – and. You’d come yell at me and we could finally talk about it, and I wouldn’t just get brushed off. … and then a week. A month…”
“I can’t brush you off if you don’t try to reach out none, kitty.”
“..I – I did. Remember? When you first got tangled up with ‘em? I looked for outs for you. I found some. And what did you say…?”
“That… that I wasn’t gonna give up the first thing that’d ever made me feel like I was a part of somethin’.”
“…So I didn’t know what to do. That was all you told me, that was all I could get from you. …s-so I – So I tried something dumb.” She laughs, and it’s bitter, and is more of a mockery of joy than anything. “…And-” She gestures vaguely at Aoife. “Here we are.”
“Yeah,” Aoife says, then sighs. “Is this dumb? Should I not be doin’ this?”
“I uh. I haven’t told you to get out yet, right?” She tries to smile – one of those rare actual smiles. It lasts a second or two, before faltering. “…imean. Idon’t- think it’s dumb.”
Aoife gets a little closer. “Okay, well… how bout it? Are you mine or what?”
“Um- uh. … I- I’m inclined to make sure Rory won’t decide to grind our bones for bread, but fuck it.” She scoots over, hugging Aoife tight.
Aoife returned the hug, then pulled back and drew Jenna into a deep kiss, pushing her down against the arm of the couch.
There was a faint, pleased hum, and Jenna traced her fingers down Aoife’s arm, catching one of her hands and brushing her thumb over the back of it.
The kiss lingered for almost a full minute until Aoife broke it, lopsidedly smirking as she looked into Jenna’s eyes.
“God damn, but I missed you, kitty.”
“Missed you too, d-” She trailed off. Dork? Doofus? Is she that bad at terms of endearment? Yes, she is, and everyone knows it. So she grinned broad, and murmured, “..Yeah. Missed you too.”
“Y’know, ‘sunshine’ would work just fine.” Aoife smirked, then dove in for another kiss.
A half hour later, there were metal noises from the fire escape.
Aoife broke the kiss and pulled her hand out of Jenna’s shirt. “Shit, is that your—”
Blank stare. “Oh uh shi- yeah it – yeah that’s probably her,” she said after a few blinks and properly interpreting the question. Rory why.
Just as Aoife managed to right herself and not look like she’d been on top of Jenna for the past however long, Rory’s curly-haired head poked around the corner of the kitchen. She was grinning. “Heyy, how you two doing?”
Jenna shrugged. “Well, you know. Things are fine? Hi?” she did her very, very best to at least seem like she was cool, fine, and all that nice stuff. She was very good at it – but given her previous reactions, she doesn’t seem to realize it’s something of a give-away.
Aoife shot a Look at Jenna. Rory winked. “I can tell! Well don’t mind me, I just, uh, kinda got hungry.”
She didn’t seem to catch the look. “..wait what can we tell?”
“That things are fiiiiine.” Wink.
Aoife nudged Jenna’s thigh and jerked her head toward Rory, her face in a light scowl like aren’t you going to tell her?
Aoife you are trying to rush a cat you know better by now. (should she actually, though. Learning things?) She clears her throat at the nudge though. Opened her mouth. Promptly forgot what she was going to say. “So- uh.-” who invented speech, and why couldn’t she find them to kick their ass.
“You’re back together, right?” Rory clapped her hands together, her tail wagging a mile a minute. “You were kissin’, right? Oh, I’m so happy for you! That’s awesome.”
Oh no hesitating only made her feel – aptly enough – like she was about to kick a puppy. “..ummm. Y…es.” Another pause. “…And by extension uh. I- …probably should not-” …Jenna you could have been more delicate you idiot “..beeee. Kissing. You.”
“Haha, what?” One second. Two. There. The moment that Jenna could watch a light die behind Rory’s eyes, her smile going from animated and lively to a stale husk hanging on her face. “Oh! Right! That, uh, that’s a thing, ain’t it? Ha ha!” Oof wow her laugh sounded awful. She was still smiling, Rory, why.
Aoife put her arm around Jenna.
Jenna’s knee jerk response was run away and never stop. Aoife probably felt the teeny twitch before she caught herself. The jerkass that invented speech was now below the jerkass that invented feelings on the list of people who needed to be hurt. “…okay sit down Rory.”
“What? Why?” The edge of Rory’s mouth twitched, and her eyes seemed a little bit shinier than usual. “Hey, listen, it’s fine! So we gotta stop kissing, so what! We’re still best friends, ain’t we? So I got nothing to complain about!” Rory your voice just hitched.
Oh my God. Why can’t people just not. Everything happening right now was a result of people failing to Just Not. Even her. (But mostly those two.) “Rory,” she repeated. “Sit down. Okay? Juuust for a little.”
“No, listen! It’s fine! I’m, uh,” fuck that was a tear get it Rory okay she got it, “I think maybe those steaks didn’t… agree with me? Ha ha! Betrayed by meat! Can ya believe it? I gotta go! Lie down! For a minute.”
Four huge strides carried her to the door of her room and through it, and then the door slammed with enough noise to feel it in your ribs.
Jenna’s ears promptly flattened and she winced a little.
“Ha ha! Sorry!” From behind the door. A pause. Then, irish rock ballads. Loud.
“Christ, that was awkward,” Aoife grimaced.
“Fucking shit.” It was just short of a pretty unjennalike snarl. “..ugh god damn it.” She frowned sharply. “I don’t get it. Christ.” She stared at Rory’s door, then shrugged, huffing (angrily? Upset? Who knows. Not Jenna.)
“She’ll get over it,” Aoife consoled. “It’s rough getting turned down when you’re as into somebody as she’s into you. But this shit happens and she’ll get past it.”
“..Wait. What? She just said it was a crush. That seems kind of … like an exaggeration when it comes to what I heard.”
Snort. “You are such garbage at reading people, kitty.”
“What.” Jenna just looked lost. “I am not. I’m very good at it.”
“But you believed that girl when she said she just had a crush on you. Even though she’s looking at you all the time. Even though she can’t be away from you for a half hour without missing you and wanting to come back. Even though she nearly had a breakdown in front of us. Like, she’ll be fine, but that ain’t no crush. C’mon.”
“Oh my god, Aoife. Why would you tell me th- sonofabitch.” She seems a bit distressed, yes. Aoife, you are giving someone with the emotional range of a teaspoon even more things to deal with.
“Look. It’s fine.” Aoife shrugged. “I know her type, all right? She wants to support you. She’ll need a few days to herself, be a little down for another week, then she’ll be right as rain and you’ll be best friends again. You did the right thing.”
She opened her mouth. Closed it. Opened. “…fuckin’-” she repeated, like a record skipping. “..I mean. You’re. Probably. Right. I still don’t feel all that good about it.”
“Sure. It’s hard to let a friend down.” Aoife hugged her tight. “You wanna get out of the house for a minute? Grab some food?”
“Um. Not really – all that. Hungry.” Jenna shrugged, but she did lean into Aoife, and the hug.
“D’you just want some time to yourself?”
Jenna visibly hesitated, then asked, “..you sure you don’t mind?”
Aoife smirked. “I waited for years to be your girlfriend again. Now I am. I can handle giving you a little space.”
“…still ain’t sure why you waited years.” She reached out, squeezing Aoife’s hand. “..Alright, yeah. I’ll talk to you soon.”
A couple of minutes later, Jenna was alone in the apartment den while slightly muffled celtic rock music played.
…does- Does she say sorry? How do you say sorry? She laughed to herself, almost amused, realizing that Rory had yet again, managed to blind-side her. Why’s the dog gal gotta be so earnest?
…She should at least try. She hesitated, then before she could reconsider (or say, consider leaping out the window and moving to Alaska, maybe, or Costa Rica), stepped smartly and knock-knock-knocked on Rory’s door.
Jenna’s knock heralded a minor racket, the sound of something crashing to the ground, a thump.
“I’m—not decent!” Rory sounded pretty awful.
“Can you get decent?”
“Um,” came the reply. A moment later the music got a bit quieter. “I… I dunno. Shouldn’t you be hangin’ out with your girlfriend?”
Jenna considered this. Slowly, quietly tested the door to see if it’d open. “…She left. I want to talk to you.”
It wasn’t locked. Rory never locked her door. But as it swung open, the dog girl, still on her bed and hidden from view, blurted: “No!! Wait!!!”
She probably timed that about as well as she timed most things, meaning she said “No wait,” After Jenna had stepped through. “..Oh c’mon, Rory, we’re both girl-” … Wait. No. That doesn’t work at all.
She did not think her words through.
While it might yet be true that Rory was not ‘decent’ in that she was only ever so suitable for delicate company, she was not actually unclothed. Curled into a ball at the head of her bed, clutching a soaked pillow in which she was currently hiding her face, surrounded by ripped up pieces of paper, the Hound of Fort Point was a truly pathetic sight.
Jenna settled at Rory’s bedside. Close enough to the edge that if Rory didn’t want her there, Rory could make that readily apparent without needing to say. Throw her. Which would end not well.
‘Least for Jenna. “…Hey, dog gal,” she said quietly.
“I wasn’t crying!” Rory whined into the pillow.
“..I never said ya were.” … Rory why.
“I wasn’t crying,” Rory croaked into the pillow in a voice that said, I am currently crying.
Why. Why – oh god she is not qualified for tears. She hesitates (It’s more of a freeze really). Then slowly, like maybe Rory is scalding-to-the-touch, lays a hand on Rory’s shoulder. “..D’ya want me to – um. To go?”
“Yeah,” Rory’s voice was still muffled by the pillow, but even weepy dog girls are loud enough to hear pretty clearly. “…w-wait, no. No I… yes? No? I… I dunno…”
“Oka-” ..Pause. Okay. Rory was still deciding. “If you want me to go, Rory, I will. Otherwise, we can talk. We can take all the time you need for everything you wanna say – or we can just sit here. Just tell me what to do.” It wasn’t quite what she wanted to say, but the phrase ‘tell me how to help’ probably made Jenna ill.
Beat. “…I’m sorry.”
“What. Why are you- sorry?”
Rory gently raised her face. Red eyes, tear-streaked flushed cheeks, runny nose: this’d been a bad one.
“Because. I ruined your date, and I made stuff weird with my stupid feelings and now you feel crappy because you hate having to talk to people about emotions but you want to help but I’m just a big dumb idiot who can’t control herself.”
“You’re right. I absolutely do hate talking about feelings, and you absolutely are a big dumb idiot.” Jenna stop. “…Now gimme a hug you big dumb idiot, because you matter, and I care and I’m really bad at this but I want to help you.”
“I know you care.” Rory hugged the pillow close, as if trying to crush it until it became a gravity well that would swallow her up, “that’s why I’m tryin’ ta stay outta yer way. I want you to b-be happy.”
“…an’ I wanna help you so as you can see we are at an impasse, Rory.”
“Oh.” Rory snuffled, then let go of the pillow and looked at it, then the paper shreds, as if noticing the mess for the first time. “What… what should I do, then?”
“What can I do,” Jenna asked, her tone slipping just so to suggest that’s what she’d been asking all along.
Rory looked confused. “There’s—I don’t know what you could do, yanno? I’m just… sad. Sometimes things happen and you get sad, that’s… just the way it is.”
“…Yeah but there has to be something that’ll at least distract you for a little bit. We could. … netflix the times the Sox made the playoffs? …isthatathing?”
“Not… really? Sports reruns just ain’t…” Rory shrugged. “Jenna, when I’m around you what I think about is you. Sure I get distracted if there’s a live game, or food, but that’s like. I dunno.”
Jenna opens and closes her mouth. “Um,” is all she manages after several attempts.
“I didn’t mean to, okay?” Rory mumbled, looking away. “I wasn’t s’posed to.”
“..I don’t understand- .. Didn’t mean to? Supposed to whatnow?”
Rory stuffed her face back into the pillow. “Are you really gonna make me say it.”
“…I’m going to guess. I don’t think that was in the agreement you signed though- I – I guess I’m just trying to say you don’t need to feel bad about that and oh my god I’m the worst”
“Stop!” When Rory raised her head, fresh tears were streaming from her eyes. “You’re not the worst! Don’t talk about my best friend that way! You’re fine, you didn’t do anything wrong, I’m just—” She gesticulated helplessly, unable to find words.
“I just want to do something for you. C’mon, there has to be something, right?”
Their eyes met. Rory snuffled, then looked away. “I, um. You’re. You’re happy with her, right?”
“..I was before. I – don’t se- ah fuck.”
“Okay.” Rory nodded firmly, her jaw set, her expression determined. “If being with Aoife makes you happy, an’ you can’t be with her without bein’ exclusive, that’s… that’s the best possible outcome. That’s what makes Jenna happy, and when Jenna is happy, Rory’s happy too.” It was like witnessing a pep talk from Rory to Rory.
“…ain’t relationships ‘sclusive by like. Definition?” She squinted. “..Well I mean, no I know they’re not. Just. … I dunno. I figured it’s probably just not fair after a certain point, like. Someone would always be third wheel?”
Rory snuffled. “Why?”
“..I dunno. I just figured that’s what would happen. ‘S like when two friends who are dating have a friend along who ain’t? ‘Cept now you’re all dating but-” She throws her hands up. “I dunno! Now you’re askin’ it doesn’t make that much sense.”
“If Aoife don’t wanna… share you, ain’t the point moot though?”
“…I s’pose. Ugh. This’s all way more complex than I wanted today to be.”
“I’m sorry,” said the dog, whose fault all of this was and who should probably just go away foreverrrrrr
“…yes. Well.” Jenna paused. Thought. “…I could go make you fish-sticks. The good ones.” Jenna is trying. One must assume, at least.
Rory… didn’t respond to that.
“…Rory?” Jenna stopped musing and thinking and just – looked to Rory, a completely unsubtle and very visible frown tugging at her lips.
“I’ll be okay,” Rory hugged her knees. “Please don’t worry about me.”
…Jenna crept closer. “Rory.”
“I said I’ll be fine,” Rory shoved her face under her folded arms. “I’m not right now but I’ll… I’ll get over y—it.”
“I know you’ll be fine. I know you will. I just-” …And suddenly, Jenna wasn’t so close. “..nevermind. I’ll just go.” And then – she had done just that, quietly closing the door behind her.
The apartment was eerily quiet for the rest of that night.