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Stritchy

Sweethearts

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Shawley was tired. She'd spent a lot of the days working between Arcadian construction and Bhasir woodworks, taking in as much as she could learn. Her somewhat vague goal was to build for the mine, to support Hugon and Carl, to feel almost irreplaceable. This was a remnant of teachings from her ship, where every individual was unique and important, but none so special that they couldn't be replaced.

The Geroo leant up against Carl, her black fur almost invisible in the late evening that would be pitch black if not for the dazzling stars in the night sky. The little light that Carl was using barely illuminated her distinctly from the likewise dark blanket stretched over the two of them, trapping in warmth and offering a reassuring presence between the two of them. She sprawled sideways every time, letting her long and thick kangaroo tail curl out to the side. Her coffee had already been consumed, but her body was already well past being able to fight against sleepiness. She'd already dozed off against the white wolf a few times this evening alone, his hand around her pudgy middle while the other gently turned the pages of his book as he scoured pages of his book. He was looking for something, anything that would help even a little bit with Fegov's situation.

"A" Shawley started quietly, looking up to the white wolf, the light giving off a yellow-grey appearance. Shawley and Carl would start walking through the alphabet, trying to hear each other's voice when they didn't know what to say. It was a reassuring habit she and Carl started doing sometime during tremors, when Fegov and Kaerwyn at large was falling apart. It helped them to focus. It let them know that the other was there.

A short pause hung in the air as his ears perked and he looked over to Shawley. A small smile creeped across his face as he noted the drowsiness in her voice. She wasn't upset. He could hear that, but she was very tired. "B" he replied, playing the game.

Shawley would smile if she could. She'd tried to practice in the mirror, but it never looked right. It looked like she was trying to pick at her teeth rather than trying to show how happy she was. "C"

The letters rolled on. D, E, F, G.

The calming effect drove Shawley to yawn. Reflexively, she squeezed Carl a little tighter, as she briefly. Her eyes drooped as her breathing slowed and deepened, the stomach bowing out, then folding in as the lungs filled itself a giant and deep breath. She could barely form the letter properly, "I"

"H" Carl replied after a short pause. The single letter spoken softly as he encouraged her to sleep. He tried to stop the wagging tail flicking around endlessly when he smelled the little whiffs of sweet aroma in the air. The sure way to tell that Shawley was extremely happy with something. He half-heartedly tried to calm his tail down, being the butt-end of many self-inflicted jokes where he said he could just about power the town with its constant force.

Shawley's mind trailed to her other thoughts, how if that was possible, he could self charge his robotic limbs. Or how Jeremiah's tail could potentially power the town on the full moon. She didn't respond for a couple of minutes as her mind wandered about to the times she spent with him. She was clearly on the verge of sleep. "I"

Carl briefly kissed Shawley on the cheek, "J"

Shawley's mind was now blanking, vivid dreams and wandering thoughts dancing around in her mind. A poker night where people threw chips everywhere, and someone scoring an impossible 11-card straight. The next letter came automatically and dragged on, "kaaaaay"

"L" Carl said, far more awake than his little, round sweetheart, grinning from ear to ear as Shawley went to sleep again. It wasn't long before the soft snoring came rumbling gently through her nose, evidence that the game was over.

"Sleep well, Shawl" he said before he went back to study.

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