He was staring out at the astral horizon when I found him outside the ship. His back was up against a broken post, and his face screamed to nobody in particular that he was worn out.

"Hey," I said. Blu turned a fraction.

"Hey," he replied.

"You OK?"

Blu sighed. "Dunno. Lot's happened in the past forty-ish days… Still trying to digest the last few hours."

I nodded. "Right."

"How 'bout you?" Blu cracked his neck. "You holding up all right?"

"Uh…barely." I walked over to him. "Just…letting the reality that we're now running with a trio of fugitives sink in, is all."

"Yep… Another day at the office." Blu leaned back, eyes closed, and breathed. "Beyond our 'pay grade'."

"Could you stand up straight? Please?"

Blu looked directly at me. "Huh? Uh…okay…?" Pushing off the post, he uncrossed his arms and turned to me. "Why?"

I responded by giving my big bro a bigger hug.

"Ohfff!" he sputtered.

My face was against the torn shoulder of his jacket. The new smell was unpleasant: cotton, faint hint of the metal that had cut it, and Zeros' blood.

But it also meant that he was here. Here. A reassurance that my brain organ needed. I choked back a sob.

After a few seconds, Blu returned the hug. Which was more like squeezing my ribcage, but I didn't have much to worry about.

"Yeah," he replied. "I missed you too, sis. Very much."

I freed myself of the jacket, but I held on. "Thank goodness…"


Minute later, we untangled ourselves from our arms.

"Well…" I started, "one family down."

Blu laughed. "Ha! Yeah, that's right."

"That leaves two to go, and the usual suspects." I exhaled. "Foo… This job's gonna get messy, fast."

"Yeah, well, we'll cross that bridge when we get to it," was Blu's response. "Right, Leader?"

"Indeed, Bluefield. Indeed. Now then!" I clapped my hands. "Why don't we help the others with making ourselves at home before it gets dark?"

"…Goddammit, Dee."

Laughs erupted between us as we headed back to the ship.