Party Poison's POV:
I wasn't really asleep, but when I heard Fun Ghoul's approaching footsteps, I pretended anyway. He told me it was my turn for watch duty.
So there I sat, staring at the fire, willing it not to twist itself into shapes that haunted me. Shapes that wound around each other and crescendoed as they got closer to the black, starless sky...
That's another thing: There are no stars anymore. It made me sick that Gift would never know what they were because of that worthless bastard. I thought I had hated him before I met her, but we were practically besties compared to the unadulterated loathing I felt for him now.
I put my face in my hands, feeling a migraine coming on. It was a pretty predictable one, seeing as my head was a battlefield.
Why did I do it?
Why did I let Crescendo kiss me? The moment was such a blur, I could barely reconstruct the thoughts going through my head. I didn't even like Crescendo that much; I mean, sure, she was a laugh, but she was also mean, slutty, and not nearly as beautiful, exquisite, or just plain old fucking perfect as Sweetheart Gift.
I could go on for hours about the way her gorgeous brown eyes lit up when she made a discovery, about her determination, and willingness to take one for our team and receive beating after beating, day after day, for the sake of what's right. When I closed my eyes, I saw her, crying during that first week, pouring her heart to Denominator over the phone. I saw her holding Ghoul in her arms when she finally got him to open up. She was more than beautiful, she was amazing.
Elise, not so much.
So why did I do it?
Oh Jesus, I hope she didn't see...
I whipped my head around fast, internally facepalming myself for saying that out loud, and my eyes fell on Grace, who looked like a lion.
"I said she saw you, you fucking moron. Want me to dumb it down for you more?"
I put my face in my hands. "Oh, no..."
"Yeah, she's been crying about it for hours, jackass."
I turned my head a little. "How come I didn't hear her?"
Grace snorted. "Believe me, she's had a lot of experience with crying so no one can hear her."
I folded my arms across my legs and let my head fall into my lap. I felt tears welling up in my eyes.
"How could you hurt her like this?"
I looked at her incredulously. "Do you have any idea how much this is killing me?"
When she raised her eyebrows, something clicked in my head.
If Gift was crying about me and another girl...
I felt my face muscles slack. "Grace..." I said softly. "Does Gift...love me?"
She rolled her eyes. "Is the Pope Catholic?"
"Of course she does, dumbass!" she cried (quietly). "But she doesn't know that! And I'm sure she's all torn up inside because she doesn't even understand what love is! She's Peter-Fucking-Pan! Someone has to show her!"
My eyes were wide open. I mouthed, "Me?" and pointed to myself.
"Yes, you, my little genius." She punched me in the shoulder.
"That was for ripping my big sister's heart in half. If you don't tape it back together..." She left the rest to my imagination. "Go to bed, I'll take over."
I didn't even think of disobeying. As I laid down I thought: For a kid who's basically our collective daughter, she's a helluva lot smarter than the rest of us.
"Is the Pope Catholic?"
Also, Grace has a rather colorful vocabulary that I did not have when I was her age. But I guess she is a Killjoy after all.