Disclaimers: Lost and Delirious, its characters, its plot, and its wonderful angst are not mine. (Wow, this is short.)
Note: Inspired by a conversation about Tori's tattoo, the G clef on her back that can be seen during the dance.
Mouse has wings that Paulie never noticed. Each an inch long, extending from the silhouetted bird of prey in flight between her shoulder blades. It's a recent enough addition, inked after the glass sliced her hand, after she fed the raptor. After she and Paulie were the only ones left, running through the fields, suddenly wild with abandonment.
Paulie's hands had found that spot often enough when her hand, resting on Mouse's shoulder, would start to drift down, or when Mouse was reading, and Paulie would lean over her shoulder to skim the text. Or when, or when, or when...
When she wasn't lying crushed, broken, and unconcious in the hospital bed. Mouse was allowed to visit once, not long after Paulie jumped and missed the death she had wanted. Tori never came at all.
Mr. Bradford notices one day in the middle of the summer. His little Mouse, not so little anymore, is bent over one of the flower beds she's been working on. A nearby tree's early morning shadow, receding, dapples her bare back, but his eyes find one shadow darker than the rest.
He thinks he doesn't know how close he came to losing his daughter when the Oster family lost theirs, but he doesn't realize that she's taken. Not taken from him, but taken, voluntarily given, belonging to someone who's more than he can be in Mary's life.
He doesn't know, though, so he shivers and turns away, grateful to still have his daughter, even though there are certain things she won't talk to him about, that he can see but not hear or ever erase.
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