“This is not good. Not good, man. I don’t like it! It’s been too long. What if…maybe…”
“Maybe she’s dead?” Garret asked, voice dead pan. Eduardo turned on his heel and shoved a gloved finger in his face.
“Don’t say that! Don’t!”
“Will you cool it?” The redhead smacked his hand away. “I know she’s not dead—you know she’s not dead—quit worrying so much!”
“Yeah, well…it’s just—she’s been like this for a week now!”
Both ghostbusters looked down simultaneous to Kylie’s prone form currently taking up the couch. Her breathing was low and even. If one didn’t know better, they’d say she was just sleeping. Certainly no cause for all this alarm.
Trouble was, as Eduardo pointed out, she’d been sleeping like this for a week straight.
The latest ghost had gotten to her. The Sandman. Turned out that, once again, their normal equipment wasn’t enough for the spook, a realization made too late and at Kylie’s expense. Roland and Egon were currently off putting the final touches on what would hopefully put the problem to rest. The less scientifically prone busters were left babysitting their comrade and hoping beyond hope for a change in her condition.
“It’s Kylie,” argued Garrett as he changed focus from the now disturbing sight of her sleeping form. “She’s tough; she’s gonna pull through.”
“I don’t like it, man.”
“What is with you, huh? It’s not like this is the first time something like this has happened. Near death experiences; you’ve had them, I’ve had them, she’s had them. It’s part of the job.”
“Well, maybe it happens too much.” Eduardo’s expression hardened, the man suddenly determined. “That’s it. After this I’m going to tell her.”
“What? Tell her what?”
“You—you know. How I feel. And stuff.”
“Yeah seriously! What, you don’t think I will?!”
“It’s not like you, no.”
“Hey, shut up, man. It’s plenty like me.”
“Yeah, that’s why you’ve been after her since day one and said zippo.”
“I said shut up!”
The conversation ended as stomping feet drew their attention to the staircase. Roland appeared and tossed a containment unit at one of them. “We’re done—let’s go!”
“That’s what I’m talkin’ about!” Garret crowed as he grabbed the round unit out of the air. “C’mon, Romeo!”
Eduardo only paused long enough to steal another glance at Kylie. He whined low from the back of his throat—it wasn’t fair this happened to her—then followed.
Kylie felt consciousness return and in its first moments, she wasn’t happy it’d arrived. The sleep had been good. She’d liked it. It was allowed to stay.
And now she could recognize light through her eyelids.
She rolled over and groaned, face burying into the side of the couch.
“I think she is.”
“What?” she muttered, rolling back over and cracking open one eye. “Wha’da you guys want?”
Roland and Garrett’s arms suddenly enveloped her. She let out a startled cry that turned quickly into awkward laughter.
“Alright—arright, someone wanna explain this love-fest?”
“We came,” replied Garrett. “We saw, and we kicked sandman butt!”
Kylie blinked. “Sandman?” Just as the question was asked, she remembered. She groaned, head leaning back. “Oh, he got me!”
“That he did,” said Garrett.
“But we got him!” finished Roland.
“Bagged and tagged and stored away for safe keeping.”
Kylie sighed through her nose, scratched her head, then allowed herself a small smile for her friends. “Thanks you guys.”
“Not a problem.” Garrett grinned at her while he shifted his weight and pointed his chair towards the hall. “Actually, it looks like that sleep did you some good. You finally lost those dark circles under your eyes.”
“Haha!” she swatted at him, but he was already making his escape. “Very funny. Hey, where’s Slimer and Eduard—Oh.” She looked past Roland and there they were; the former being held back by the latter, both equally relieved.
“I, uh, didn’t think you’d want to get slimed first thing in the morning,” Eduardo admitted. He was trying to hide his nervousness, she could tell. She didn’t know what was causing it, but it was obviously, blatantly there.
“Thanks, I guess,” she replied. “But it’s okay.” She opened her arms. “I’ll take one for the team.” Eduardo obliged with a bit of a look in Slimer’s direction just before he’d let him go. The ghost whimpered all the way over, shoved itself into Kylie’s arms, and whined gibberish in her ear. “Yeah, I missed you, too,” she told him with a stiff pat to his wet back. It was a lie—it’d been a good sleep…
“Arright, arright,” Eduardo suddenly snapped. He walked over and shooed Slimer away. “I think she gets it.” The ghost, dejected, floated off elsewhere.
Kylie realized they were the only two left in the living room.
“I…think I need a shower,” she announced. She didn’t allow Ed room to answer, just got up and headed towards the bathroom. Her mind was brimming with questions; how long had she been asleep? How much school work had she missed? Had anyone fed Pagan while she was out?
She stopped in front of the bedroom mirror and checked her face. Just like she though, Garrett had been full of it. There was no way he could tell if her circles had gone away—not like she had any to begin with, thank you—because her eyeliner had been smeared absolutely everywhere. She leaned in to inspect a little more closely when—
“Eduardo!” She gasped, spinning around and bracing herself against the sink. “What’s the big idea—you knew I was coming in here to shower!”
“You’re not showering now, are you? You’re just checking yourself in the mirror. I didn’t think you’d mind.”
“Well, I do mind.” Kylie pointed towards the door. “Get out!”
“Can—can’t I just tell you something first?”
“Just a little something?”
“Look, I gotta do this now before I lose my nerve! It’s important!”
“I-I really like you!”
“Oh yay, you finally admit it, get out!”
Eduardo blinked and sputtered. “You mean—you knew?”
“Of course I knew, chowder head.” She put her hands on her hips. “What do you think I am, blind and dumb?”
“No just—I didn’t tell you…”
“But you dropped hints a mile long.” Kylie paused and gave him a once over. He really was surprised by this. “This took a lotta courage, didn’t it?”
“No!” He nearly flinched at the unimpressed look that earned him. “Well…kinda.”
“…why? Oh, I dunno, because maybe you’ve always treated me like an idiot and a slacker?”
“You forgot a failure.”
“Yeah, that, too. I don’t think you like me. I’m almost positive you don’t like me.”
Kylie crossed her arms and leaned back against the sink. “Why ‘almost’? What’s keeping the hope alive?”
“…I dunno.” Eduardo shrugged and looked at his feet. His expression took on that of a kicked dog. “Just stupidly hopeful, I guess.”
There was a long pause after that. Eduardo was stubborn not to leave until he got some form of rejection (other than silence), and Kylie continued to give him that, and only that. When he finally looked up, he realized she’d been smirking at him.
“Nothin’. Just thinking yer sorta cute, that’s all.”
Eduardo instantly perked. “I’m what?”
“You’re keeping me from my shower that’s what!” She shoved him towards the door and he, still awe struck, limply obeyed.
“You think I’m cute?”
“And stay out!” The door slammed in his face, jarring him out of the happy stupor.
“Can I take you out when you’re done?” He yelled, pressing against the door.
“You’re not that cute!”
“Not even for coffee? You like coffee, right?”
“I like showers—you’re keeping me from one!”
“A small coffee!”
That got a laugh.
“I’ll think about it!”
On one side of the door, Kylie turned on the shower. On the other, Eduardo slid to the floor. Both were smiling.
“Took him long enough,” she whispered.
The drawn smut;