A cracky little short story about… survival.

“I like this,” she said, laying her head onto his bare chest and sighing, sounding replete with every heaving breath. “Do you like this?” she asked him, turning her face up to his.

She didn’t give him time to think or answer, giggling and twirling a coarse hair on his chest and giggling some more. “You’re furry! Were you that furry before? Hmm…”

For all of seven seconds she pondered the question, leaving him again no time to answer. “Sometimes I think we’re all furry inside, you know, like we’re all beasts inside and we only evolved from chimpanzees beause we had nothing better to do and one of them found some spark of intelligence and found out how to push all that fur back in so we’d be more human. Only, you know, it comes out sometimes. Like… your chest, or my legs. I have to thread my upper lip, did you know?” She pouted, growing somber. “My aunt has a beard – as soon as I saw my first body hair I saw a grim future as a chimpanzee and freaked out.”

After a moment she looked up at Tom, great big eyes curious and innocent at once – a very disarming side of her, he decided. “Do you ever get scared like that? Like your future is out to get you?”

“Umm…” he said, at a loss.

“I do. I like milk,” she continued, as though she hadn’t been waiting for any answer. “It’s the purest substance out there. When everything else is a disaster, you just sit down with a glass of milk and the world seems a little whiter. Chocolate is okay – it’s comforting, too. It makes gravity less heavy.”

Tom quirked a brow at her last statement – not that he hadn’t had a perpetual raised brow since the beginning. “I would have thought it’d be the opposite,” he mused to himself aloud, thinking of all the women he knew that craved and yet despised chocolate’s effects.

“You’re wrong,” she persisted insistently, turning her face up to him. Something fragile swam in her eyes, lending her great breakability. “Tom?” she asked suddenly, sounding more sober than she had since he first met her.

Tom took a deep breath. He was lost, he realised. Totally and completely lost and suddenly he didn’t understand a damn thing anymore. “Mm?”

“D’you like me?” she whispered, sounding small and uncertain.

The million-dollar question. How exactly had he ended up here? Ah, yes, Hanna drugged out of her mind (abandoned) on the dorm roof, and his stupid chivalry complex. “I, er, Hannah, I…” But, really, she’d looked so small and sad and lost, and he couldn’t have helped himself (chivalry’s not dead). One thing had led to another (he had no idea, couldn’t remember a damn thing), and they’d fucked (she tugged him to her like he was her buoy) and it had been… like something messy and disordered and totally real despite (or perhaps because of) the drugs hanging like a veil over Hannah’s jaded and twisted conscious. But she’d been beautiful, naked and gorgeous and real above him, taking him slow and sometimes hard, like she was trying to run from something that wouldn’t let go of her.

So he’d taken over, pressing deep into her and filling her and she’d closed her eyes, moaning brokenly as she opened up, that he’d taken her lips, too. She’d tasted sweet and fragile. He’d stopped thinking of her as “that crazy bitch” and kind of… wanted to take that hard edge of hers off at least for a moment so she could be liked, so he could get a glimpse of the real Hannah beneath the dormant calculating nutjob.

He freaked himself out then, thank you very much, even as he found release in cradling the sweet girl within, caught in the insane whirlwing of “she’s her she’s not her”.

Yet even injured cats need to survive in the jungle.

“Tom?” Hannah interrupted his ruminations, worry settling in in her drugged haze.

“If only you could be high all the time,” he replied evasively, drawing her loosely to his side.

“Okay.”