“Yeah! He thought I was a girl! Didn’t you hear it?” It’s hard to describe the look in their eyes, this sort of unhinged desperation. Almost as if my hearing this myself would make me go, ‘Oh my gods, AJ, you’re right, you’re the most tragically estrogen-laden person on the planet, clearly the only solution is to starve yourself and take chainsaw to your hip line, I can’t believe I’ve been so blind.’

After three hours, we arrived in Augusta at 10:30am. As it turned out, Augusta had an entire network full of medical buildings. See, it had two or three of the most prominent medical universities within one district. And when I followed the directions to the building my appointment was in–… Just like Heaven itself, the fuckers locked the door on me.

That’s right. A fucking dating sim, literally Dream Daddy, had opened up Buchanan telling my new partner that I was an abuser, in a public comment section, on behalf of fucking Kirra. Yknow, the one who cracked my goddamned rib cage.
I should have thrown you into the Savannah River when I had the chance, I bitterly thought at Buchanan, for not the first time.

“It’s an apology– kind of. Like the ones actors make when they realise there’s no way they’re not getting cancelled. You can read it now, if you want.”
I shook my head. “I can’t let her have the last word, Cotton. Otherwise, she’d win.” I’d meant that as a joke, but that was answered with another question about how much progress I’d made on finding a therapist.

But in this particular day, when Avery hadn’t responded to any of my texts, I happened to notice what their last status update was:
“Either I will fix this body or I will destroy it.”
Oh.
That’s not a good sign.
That’s when April pretended to be struct blind, because of course she did.

It was quite an auspicious arena for Avery’s blunt, pragmatic, interrogation-esque nature to fight April’s absurd, flighty convolution. Avery’s not the sort of person to exactly filter their reaction, either, so I had a very specific prediction about how this would go:
“Wait, did you JUST say you got hired by BLIZZARD but turned it down? AHAHAHAHAHAHAAHA!” I could just hear it now.