My bad

Abraham was nervous about this.

It was the right thing to do, for sure. But he felt such a level of responsibility over this that it was like he'd turned this poor fucking chick. Also, he kind of hadn't explained the locked in a porn room bit to Asha.

They had a heated blanket plugged into the cigarette lighter of the car, already toasty where it stretched to the back seat. There was pizza in Tupperware that he'd picked at but felt like he owed this girl who probably wouldn't even be awake yet.

As they neared the back of the building, he saw scraps of his own clothing and felt weirdly kind of emotional about that. All of this left him feeling very fragile Abraham and how fucking rude of him when he wasn't even the one in the dumpster.

Getting her out would require climbing in, which definitely sucked. Hopefully it was mostly paper and cardboard boxes and shit.

Pulling up just far enough from the dumpster to block some view of it and open the back passenger door, Abraham screwed his face up in some attempt to look focused.

"I can. Um. Climb in and get her out. And look for her stuff."

She really, really hoped that they weren't gonna come back to a dead croc girl. Other than that, she focused on being focused. On this. Not dwelling on shitty feelings or guilt or shame or anything. Just that they had this girl that they needed to help get out of a dumpster.

They got there and she nodded. "Yeah. I can look for all the stuff outside," Asha offered, so it wasn't like she was letting him do everything.

Getting out, she'd hand him the blanket that he would use to wrap the girl up, and settle into... Finding pieces of stuff. His stuff. Maybe also some bits of her stuff.

Meike was passed out in the dumpster.

Thank you, he meant to say, but he felt like a murderer coming back to the scene of the crime. Except. Like. An accidental murderer. Not a proud one.

Nearing the edge of the dumpster, he carefully lifted the lid that he'd rudely closed on this poor chick. What was even her name? Moonrise Kingdom? That was definitely a movie.

Jaguar eyeballs helped him spot her inside and... oh. God. Somehow he'd forgotten that she would be naked and that was so much worse. Warmed blanket in his arms, he realized he'd have to hop in. And. That was going to suck.

"Might have to pass her off to you," he said, putting his hands at the edge of the dumpster. Okay. Okay. Just. Gotta. Hop in. One. Two. Lucky dice roll.


Again the jaguar helped him out, and with a hop he managed to catch himself on his hands, the blanket slung over his shoulders. A little wiggling allowed him to sit on the edge, and with little further adieu, he carefully sunk his feet into the trash beside her. Abraham flung the warm blanket over her, trying to look as little as possible at some unlucky naked stranger. Lifting her was an unsteady process, and he wavered dangerously for a moment before he held her in his arms with an expression best described as Very Distressed.

He turned to face the outside of the dumpster, looking to Asha with Continued Distress and uncertain how to pass her out of the stupid trash bin.

In the meantime, she managed to pick up quite a lot of stuff.

Asha looked up when he called her out, and she gave an inhale and nodded. "Okay, let me just," she said but never finished as she just did the things. All the stuff she'd found in a bag, she set it on the passenger's seat and kept the back door open so they could settle the crocodile girl in.

"Okay," she bounced over, arms propped out in preparation to... hold? Grab? Help her help you Barlit.

So sorry Abraham was so sorry the most sorry extremely sorry Abraham was so sorry.

Holding a blanket-warmed but notably cold probably-teenager not-corpse, he leaned over the edge, trying to lower himself down at the middle to offer the chick out to Asha.

Except like. No offense, but this girl wasn't weightless, and Abraham himself wasn't the heaviest guy. So he tipped forward perilously, and he did his best to brace his knees against the edge of the dumpster.

This was also when the whiff of trash hit him, and this was bringing back a whole lot of shitty dumpster memories and this wasn't ABOUT YOU, ABRAHAM, but he still felt really delicate-feelinged over it all.

Ugh. Garbage smell. Not cool.

Asha wrinkled her nose and decided that this was just going to be her life. Abraham and occasional garbage dumpsters.

She did her best to take the girl, though his slip had her eyes widening some. "Got it?" she asked him warily, not wanting him to face plant. Man. She needed showers after this. More than one.

He seemed to stay upright enough, and then the girl was in her arms. Asha nodded, strained with the awkwardness of carrying her body bulk but not otherwise incapable. She'd done this before.


Okay. She gave him space to come out as she looked at the girl and ferried her to the car as carefully as she could.

"Yep- I- thank you," he breathed, passing the girl off and then taking a moment to just stand here like an asshole in a dumpster.

Focus. Don't be an whiny bitch about all of this. Bringing his hands to the edge of the dumpster, he sought to just kind of... drape himself over it and let his legs hit the ground. Except he slid over the side faster the expected, losing his grip and ultimately falling all of about five feet onto his ass.

"I'm okay!" he said immediately, praying there wasn't dumpster juice on his ass. He hurried to his feet and toward the car, looking to see if Asha needed help.

"Did you find her wallet and stuff?"

She was very sorry Abraham but she only managed to look at him as she grunted an "Okay!" with the girl in her arms. He was okay. That was all mattered.

"No," she answered, strained as she tried to lower down and guide her in. Also a thing she'd done before, but.

Her arms were kind of wiggly.

"Halp," she meeped out.

Of course not. Fuck. He had to find it. Except Asha was already struggling loading her in, so he elbowed the door open wider, squeezing in to grab Moonrise Kingdom and help load her in.

"We got it, weee got it," he said in a supportive mumble, and eventually they could have her flopped into the back seat. Finding her stuff was a necessity, and he reached into his pocket to grab his phone for the flashlight and...

Of course it wasn't there, you goddamn dingbat.

"Can I borrow your phone flashlight? I fucking- fucked my phone by accident."

Not like that. :(

With their powers combined, they managed to get a gross garbage smelling teenager into the car. She was going to have to get that cleaned, like, immediately.

"Oh no," she sympathised, but pulled out her phone for him to use, flipping the flashlight on for him.

"So what was it like?" Asha decided to ask, going back to picking up the other 14 visible stuff remaining. "When she started like... turning."

Asha was being so fucking nice about all of this. And calm. It was giving Abraham a different kind of delicate feelings. She calmed him very effectively with her own demeanor, and he took her phone appreciatively to flash light across the dark parking lot.

"Man," he began as he answered her question. "It was bad. Even for one of us. Her face was just..."

A full body shudder.

"I was trying not to look at her because I was trying to keep calm, but whatever you picture — it's like that but worse. But I was just carrying her and running and trying to talk but she wasn't-"

The flashlight hit something beneath the dumpster itself, and Abraham crouched, squinting beneath. There it was, her... wallet. Or phone. Or both? Both. He snatched it up, feeling a small rush of victory. The least he could do was return her fucking stuff. Abraham turned back to face the car, looking with a faint smile to Asha.

Maybe they could just take this poor chick home and... she'd... freak out less. Or something.

That wasn't as descriptive as she hoped, but Asha would let her imagination run rampant just to see if she could dream up some crazier shit for now.

He cut himself off, so she didn't really respond, instead looked at whatever he'd found. What a good good Barlit. Asha smiled back.

"Perfect, let's — oh, uhhh... her keys?"

Car keys? House keys? She glanced around as if she'd be able to find it. Not Asha :(

Asha smile back roo roo idiot animal brain btw let's eat a crocodile stop.

"Keys," he repeated as if that might summon them. Abraham turned back toward where he'd found the wallet with confidence, flashing the light there and... no. Nothing.

"Her arms and legs got real short and shrimpy and it kinda made me want to puke."

This was the additional details he belatedly offered, pacing the parking lot with a focused frown and hoping for the glint of keys in the light.

They were... probably in the dumpster.

Her poor pukey boyfriend. Asha giggled at the description because she couldn't help it. Just like... weird baby arms and legs on a person?? Like Deadpool.

Anyway, she helped him as best as she could, but there were no keys.

"I can check inside the store?" she offered.

That left another spot for him to look. Sorry Barlit, she loved you a lot, but...


Yeah. She could check inside the store. And Abraham would. Uh.

He looked at the dumpster, trying to decide if his guilt was great enough and the answer was very close to no. But Asha had sort of told him to do it with her eyes, so he would just. Yeah.

"Okay. I'll uh. You know."

Abraham put the wallet in the car and headed back to the dumpster. With a similar technique to last time, he brought his hands to the cold metal, performed a little hop and... in went Abraham Barlet, a man who belonged in the trash.

"Love you!" she said apologetically, but like a very thin apology. Sorry. Sorry. No. She would not reach into a dumpster to find a stranger's keys.

Asha went into the store, claiming she'd dropped keys, and of course they were not there but an older lady employee helped her look anyway.

A dumpster was a big, smelly place. Away from Asha, he dry heaved some as he dug through one bag of spoiled garbage, the sweet sour smell of rot very difficult on a sensitive jaguar nose.

There was no clear plan for searching a dumpster. Just clawing through, in the dark, because he'd left Asha's phone in the car for fear of losing it here. Every now and then, something would jingle, and he'd tear toward it only to find absolutely nothing.

Abraham searched until his back hurt and he'd fallen on his ass twice standing on unsteady garbage. Maybe if he could empty the whole dumpster out, he could find it.

But like this, he was defeated, sighing managed to clamber back out of the trash pile with a lot more grace than before.

Not in the store.

Asha thanked the lady and stepped back out and around, finding Abraham was also climbing out.

"Find em?" she asked, but it didn't look like he did.

He shook his head.

"No. I suck," he said, defeated, shoulders slumping as he huffed a breath and looked back at the dumpster. Finding something so small in a container so full of shit was fucking impossible.

"Do we just... take her to her house? Or our house?"

Abraham mostly wanted to lie down on the pavement and whine a little about how terrible he was, but that was pretty self indulgent, Abraham.

Heyyyy. Barlit. >:(

"You don't suck," she frowned reassuringly. "Come on then, let's go. We'll put a blanket over the seat and I can drive us back. Probably can't take her home like this since we can't get in so... our place."

She wasn't washing a stranger. But they could put her in the tub and leave a note? Yeah.

Yeah. They could go do that. Asha was so nice.

Abraham nodded, and he'd do whatever was helpful with blankets and warmth before climbing into the car to prepare to head home. With a naked stranger in their backseat. What was new, honestly.

"Thank you for being so..."

Nice good nice really nice and good.

"Thanks. With all this. I really appreciate you."

Among the few times Asha could do things right, it felt, were times like these. It was probably because she'd fucked up enough to get it from now until the end of time. Nothing ever really beat murdering someone your first week of being a monster.

She smiled to the thanks.

"Of course. I gotta take care of my Professor."

Probably a bad time to make a joke. Oh well.

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