Ugh. Okay. Don't kill me. I don't usually write this kinda stuff but it was just too much fun to pass up. That's right ladies and gentlemen, I'm dabbling in AU. For the record, I enjoyed writing it immensely. You'll either love it or hate it. But if it was the former, drop me a review pwease. Cause you loooveee me. Secretly.

(Edit/ rewritten and edited March 2013. Also, I suppose I better pre-warn you about Zidane's potty mouth. That is all.)


Part One

The station was eerie at this hour. Close to midnight, it was spared from the darkness by a spluttering light that had attracted a storm of moths; they bumbled into the fluorescent lights as if trying to brain themselves, wings tinkering noisily against the glass. The train tracks stretched left and right into the gaping night, whipped by the litter caught in sporadic gusts of wind.

The quiet was broken by the trip-trap of heels on concrete. A girl emerged from the set of stairs connecting the underground tunnels to the platform. Short of breath and looking flustered, her long hair was a windswept mess around her shoulders and lacy dress provided inadequate protection from the night's chill. In one hand she gripped a polystyrene coffee cup and in the other a small purse. As she breached the platform she glanced around and lost her footing. The heel of her velvet ankle boot snapped, flinging both the girl and her coffee to the concrete.

"Ah!" she yelped, more angry than hurt. Her eyes darted from the empty cup in her hand to the shard of her heel and then to the coffee stain gradually spreading across her pale dress. She repressed the urge to scream and stared imploringly at the sky as she muttered, "Okay, I get it. I get the message. What have I done wrong, huh? You can't send me the 'Day from Hell' without an explanation. Are you guys really that mad with me?"

The gods answered; it started raining.

The girl gawped at the a sky burdened by clouds so thick that the moon was only a memory. For a second she didn't know whether she was going to curse like a sailor or burst into tears. However, that emotional dilemma was severed when the intercom sounded.

"Last train to Alexandria, Platform Five."

Platform five?

Just as the thought crossed her mind a train pulled into the station. Its brakes shrieked against the tracks, headlights glaringly bright in the midnight darkness.

The girl looked at a sign swinging above her head.


"No!" she yelled, and clambered to her feet. She momentarily fought to gain her balance on one heelless shoe, carelessly discarded the coffee cup over her shoulder, then broke into an ungainly run. She made for the stairs that connected the numerous platforms together and slipped on the first step, landing on her rump so hard it shot pain all the way to her shoulders. She gritted her teeth, cursed the gods once more, and continued running.

Oh gods, please don't let me miss this train, please please please, I'll be good for the rest of my days as long as the train is still there when I reach the –

It was. A dark snake in the night, lit by a dozen yellow eyes; it chuntered impatiently on the tracks then whistled to signal its imminent departure.

"No!" she shrieked as she launched herself across the platform, as if her very desperation would stop the train from moving. She hammered the button beside the door. "No no no no –"

The door whizzed open and she fell forward onto her knees. She winced, then scrambled into the carriage, just as the doors shut permanently behind her.

"Mind the gap," someone drawled with evident humour.

The girl threw an angry glare at the man who apparently found himself rather funny, just in time to watch his eyes slide to her breasts. Of course she'd chosen this day to wear a white dress, and the mixture of rain and (cheap, watery) coffee had made short work of making it transparent. She felt her face heat up from either anger or embarrassment. Or both. She wrapped her arms around her torso and staggered gracelessly to her feet.

"Excuse me," she seethed as she slid past him and into the carriage proper. The train rumbled to life and lurched, almost pitching her forward, but she managed to grab a pole just before gravity had its way. Again.

The train was small, only three carriages, but they were mostly full, despite the time of night. Shivering, the girl shimmied along the aisle, carefully stepping over people's outstretched legs and luggage. The occupants were businessmen mostly, returning home after doing overtime at work, or kids on their way out to party. It was Friday night, afterall.

Aren't Fridays meant to be the best day of the week?

Eventually, the girl secured a seat. It was one of a set of four, each pair facing the other. The seat opposite her was unoccupied, while the one beside her was taken by a portly gentleman who was asleep with his mouth open. Opposite him was a stately lady reading a book. She glanced only once at the girl, noted her transparent attire, sniffed disdainfully, then went back to reading.

The girl crossed her arms over her chest again and sank deeper into her chair. Stupid dress. Stupid rain. Stupid public transport.

It hadn't been her choice to ride the local train back to Alexandria, except her car had broken down on the freeway between Burmecia and Cleyra, miles from a friendly face and helping hand. At least, the repair men had been neither of those. They had charged her fifty gil for calling them out in the middle of the night, then charged her triple just to have it looked at. Then they reeled off a bunch of car-crap that roughly translated to: 'we'll be keeping your car overnight and charging you a fortune tomorrow'. Once she handed them the money, they told her to show herself out, there was a train station up the road and the last train to Alexandria was at eleven fifty three.

And here she was, experiencing her first taste of public transport. She could have phoned her mother and arranged to have Steiner to pick her up, but Mother was gallivanting with her idiot socialites and before she had a chance to ring Steiner herself, her phone battery died.

The girl stared out the window. The station's lights had slid away into the darkness, so now the only scenery was the raindrops streaming down the glass and her own tired reflection – hardly a pleasant sight. Her dark hair was soaked, drooped in lank rat-tails over her shoulders, and her mascara was smeared under her eyes. She looked like a wraith, haunting the dark glass. Surreptitiously, she adjusted her arms to look at her shirt, then grimaced. Of all the days to wear your lacy red bra, you chose today.

Sighing, she turned her head to the empty chair opposite and closed her eyes.

She was about to doze off, caught between the stuffy noise of the carriage and a dream about swimming in motor oil, when the train's brakes shrieked and the vehicle began to slow. She opened her eyes and blinked around in a daze. There already? Maybe she had fallen asleep.

The intercom sounded. "Penultimate stop; Southgate."

Penultimate? she thought with relief. That means the next stop is Alexandria.

The train crawled to a halt at the next station and light flooded the carriages in mechanical hues. The doors hissed open and a thin line of passengers trickled on and off. The sleeping fat man and snooty woman made no move to leave, unfortunately.

Newly arrived passengers trailed past her, claiming the seats of those who had left. A few minutes later, the train chortled to life again and began moving.

"This seat taken?"

The voice startled her slightly. She glanced up long enough to deduce that the voice's owner was as drenched as herself.

"No, help yourself."

She was suddenly sprayed anew with rain as the newcomer reached up to stash his bag in the overhead compartment. The sleeping man snorted but didn't wake, but the woman huffed indignantly and flicked water off her book with a theatrical flourish. The girl bit her lip to stifle a giggle, but any humour was immediately muted, when the boy – definitely a boy – reached a little higher, causing his shirt to lift high enough that she had an up-close and personal view of his well-toned stomach. She averted her gaze, intensely embarrassed.

The boy slammed shut the baggage compartment then slumped into the seat opposite her. The girl stared uncomfortably at his sneakers and the drenched ends of his jeans, wondering if he was staring at her likewise. Discomfort growing, she lifted her gaze if only to slake her curiosity, but the boy had conjured a handheld video game's console and was mashing the buttons with his thumbs.

With his attention diverted and little else to preoccupy her time, she cautiously studied him. He was around her age, she guessed, and actually quite good looking. He was wearing a blue hoody over a white shirt that had the words 'Bad Man' written across its front. The dirty blonde hair poking out from his hood was long enough to be called unfashionable, but he had a small, mischievous smile playing across his lips that intrigued her. She wondered what he did for a living and guessed it to be nothing high paid. His sneakers were well worn and the hoody was threadbare and inexpensive looking.

Her experience with the male kind was decidedly limited, but there was something about him that suggested he was different from the private schooled, wealthy boys she'd come across. The small line of concentration between his brow and the playful crease around his eyes made her relax rather than feel the need to put on the mask of formality she so often had to wear. Perhaps its was -

He looked up and caught her staring. Mortified, she glanced away while striving to make it look natural – or at least nonchalant. She self-consciously crossed her arms over her chest and half-scowled at the opposite window.

There was a small silence, then his console began to bleep again.

Stupid stupid stupid public transport.

Just as she began to wonder whether the gods had finally moved their eyes onto some other unfortunate soul, a uniformed man tapped her on the shoulder, making her jump.

"'Scuse me," he said, tipping the brim of his hat. "Tickets, please."

The girl's heart dropped to her stomach. She glanced around and noticed how everyone was conjuring little orange slips from various pockets. Her gaze slipped back to the attendant, expression openly mortified.

"I-I'm very sorry but I… I forgot to buy a ticket at the station! I was in a terrible rush and muh-my shoe… the heel it bruh-broke…" And just to add to her humiliation, she felt the first signs of tears prick her lids. If a half dozen passengers hadn't been watching, she would have slapped herself. Instead, she continued to babble. "I'm just having a bad day, m-my car broke down a-and the m-men just told me to go to a station, and then it started raining and I almost missed the stupid t-train –"

"It's not a problem," the controller interrupted with a half-smile. "You can buy it now." He unstrapped a portable ticket machine from his belt and held it out, tapping various buttons to kick it to action.

Audibly sighing with relief, the girl reached into her little strap bag and pulled out her purse. She unzipped it, and stared in horror.

"It… it's empty," she observed lamely, then the memory hit her like a slap to the face. "I left my credit card in my car and gave all my cash to those stupid repair men… That was all I had on me!"

Her eyes trailed reluctantly to the official, who was looking a lot less understanding now.

"Really, now? You just conveniently happened to not buy a ticket, then conveniently happened to have no money?"

"I uh… Look, I'm sorry… I know how it sounds but… I'm not lying, I assure you…"

He stared at her darkly. She felt the eyes of the other passengers on her and her cheeks burned.

The controller said, "I'm going to have to take your name and address, miss. I'll be –"

"I'll pay."

The girl glanced up in surprise. The boy opposite was rifling through his pockets. He turned out a wallet and looked at her disinterestedly. "Where ya goin'?"


The boy waved his wallet in front of her. "Where ya goin'? I'll pay for your ticket, alright?"

"Whuh… I… um…" She shook her head. "Alexandria. I'm going to Alexandria. One way."

The boy eyed her flatly. "Alexandria?"


The boy glanced at the official, then back to her again. "Uh, sorry to burst your bubble, babe, but this train is going to Lindblum."

The girl's stomach plummeted to her feet and she turned an interesting shade of white. The boy's expression went from indifferent to extremely concerned in the blink of an eye. "Uh, you okay? You gonna pass out or somethin'?"

"I…but I… I… I don't know Lindblum," she stammered. "I've never been to Lindblum!"

The boy's face screwed up incredulously. "Never been to…? Uh, well, whatever. Look, lemme just buy your ticket 'fore this asshole kicks you off. We'll figure something out when we get there."


She watched as the boy handed over a few notes of gil to the disapproving man, who was attempting some kind of lecture over the buzzing of her panicked brain. Gods, she just wanted to go home, and now she was going to Lindblum? Lindblum was five times the size of Alexandria and she'd heard of its reputation. Who hadn't? Just her luck that she would end up travelling to one of the roughest cities on Gaia – alone, lost, penniless and without a phone.

The police, she thought frantically. They'll have to help me. I'll tell them who I am, ask to use their phone… they must let me –


The boy was staring at her. For a moment she was struck by the blue of his eyes, soft as celandine petals but bright as the ocean's glare.

"We'll figure it out."

He smiled at her, and for some reason, she felt a little bit better.

The station they finally stopped at was considerably more run down than the last. The ground was made treacherous by shards of broken glass and the occasional syringe, while discarded crisp packets twirled above the concrete, caught in the wind of the disappearing train, like ugly leaves. A homeless man occupied a bench, and further along the track a group of drunken teens were playing chicken.

"So… uh… you're really not from around here, huh?"

The girl startled and turned. "You're still here?"

"Uh, yeaaah? Wasn't just gonna leave ya."

She frowned. "Why?"

He scratched his neck, mirroring her frown. "'Cause that would be a dick thing to do. I've never met someone who's never been to Lindblum before – and I've met a lot of people – but you do look a little outta place. No offence." He smiled. "Don't worry, though. I'll look after ya!"

"Oh…" she said, suddenly feeling awkward. Who was this guy anyway? Mother and Steiner – especially Steiner – had always warned her to be wary of strangers. Especially strangers of the male variety. What if he knew who she was? Maybe he was plotting something. Or maybe he just wanted to rape her…

He met her stare with a wry smirk. "I know, I know. No need to say it. There's nothin' I can do to convince you, but I'm not a creep, okay? Just uh… goes against my nature to leave a damsel in distress alone on the streets. Not a nice side of town you've stumbled into, either."

When her worried expression didn't lift, he rolled his eyes and stuck out his hand. "Okay I surrender. Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm Zidane."

She stared at his outstretched hand, then shook it cautiously. "Garnet."

He grinned widely at her. "Better now?"

She sighed, feeling disarmed by his open manner. "Sorry. It's just I'm not used to… ah… mm. Nevermind. I just want to go home."

Zidane rolled his shoulders and squinted at the homeless man snoring on the bench. "Well, m'not sure I can help you with that. Trains aren't runnin' this time of night and a cab to Alexandria will cost you… geez, I don't even wanna think about it. But it'll cost more than the shrapnel in my pocket."

Garnet's eyes lit up. "Hey, do you have a cell I can use?"

He shook his head. "Nah. Had one, but the bastards at NTL cut me off when I didn't pay my contract."

Her spirits sank. "Do you have a car?"

"Nope. Trashed it a few weeks back. Pigs took my licence."

Garnet rubbed a hand over her face. "Okay, okay. That's fine. I'm fine…I'm okay… okaaayy…"

Zidane's expression turned thoughtful, then brightened. He rummaged through his pocket and turned out its contents. A packet of cigarettes, a broken lighter, a plastic toy boat, a chewed up piece of gum, a bobby pin, and finally some loose change. He chucked the junk over the side of the platform then counted the coins into his palm.

"I got four – five – six gil. Enough to make a call on a pay phone right?"

She could have hugged him. "Thanks, Zidane, you're a star!"

He beamed brightly at her, then led her to the exit.

Unfortunately, the rain hadn't let up. Despite Zidane's presence, Garnet had given up trying to hide her treacherous bra. For all the good her dress did, she might as well have been wearing nothing at all. She did manage to rake her long hair over her front though, in a lame attempt to scrounge at least some of her dignity.

"It's just over there," Zidane indicated, gesturing to the other side of the road. "I think that one works, anyway. Who the hell even uses pay phones nowadays?"

"Girls who are stupid enough to get on the wrong train with no money?" Garnet suggested.

They crossed the road at a jog, darting from one form of cover to the next, even though it was somewhat futile, considering both of them were soaked to the skin. If the way had been dry, Garnet might have considered kicking off her broken shoe. The way she bobbed up and down made her look a little crazy.

When they reached the phone box Zidane opened the door for her and she slipped inside, grateful to be out of the rain, even for a moment. He handed her his loose change then, much to her surprise, shut himself out. She banged on the glass.

"What are you doing? Come inside, out of the rain!"

He spared a glance at the very tiny enclosure, then at the rain, then he shrugged and stepped inside. Immediately Garnet kind of regretted asking him in. The box was barely big enough for one person, let alone two. He did his best to press his back against the glass, but even then she could feel his warm breath on her neck and the brush of his chest against her back. He smelt good too, like rain and boy cologne, underlined very slightly by cigarette smoke. She hummed awkwardly and inserted the money into the slot, then punched Steiner's number into the pad.

The phone rang. The sound of the rain hammering against the phone box was almost deafening. Through the combined efforts of all the water dripping off their respective clothing and hair, a small puddle was growing beneath their feet. A stray droplet dripped from the brim of his hood, falling down the back of shirt. She shivered.

The phone rang.

And rang.

"Adelbert residence."

"Steiner!" Garnet yelled down the phone, never so happy to hear his voice. "It's me, Garnet!"

"Garnet?" the croaky voice of Steiner repeated. She'd obviously woken him up. "Whuh… what are you doing up at this hour?"

"Steiner, I'm such an idiot. My car broke down on the freeway. The repair guy picked it up but they charged me a ridiculous amount of money so now I don't have any left and then my stupid phone died –"

"Wait, what? Your car broke down? Where are you now?"

"No, no, it's okay. I got on a train. I thought it was going back to Alexandria but I'm such an idiot – I got on the wrong one."


He was definitely awake now. Garnet snatched the phone away from her ear as his booming voice threatened to inflict semi-permanent damage to her eardrum.

"What a loud mouth…" she heard Zidane mutter behind her.

"WHO WAS THAT?" Steiner roared.

"Uh, it's Zidane, he's…" She trailed off for a moment. "He's my friend. Don't worry, I'm safe." I think. "I –"


"It's okay, Steiner, really. I'm in –"

And then the world exploded.

Garnet screamed and dropped the phone. She could hear the bellowing of her bodyguard through the headset like distant thunder just before he was cut off, but she was too preoccupied by bright blades of death raining around her ears to pay him much mind.

"Fucking shit!" Zidane yelled.

She felt his hands around her waist and was pulled backwards. She screamed again out of shock as alien pain exploded from various parts of her body.

"Gods' damn cocksuckers!" Zidane swore again. He let go of her and she fell backwards onto her rump, for the second time that day. "Fucking wankers!" he hollered. "You could've got us killed!"

Garnet was vaguely aware of laughter coming from somewhere down the street. When she looked at the phone box she saw that one of the glass sides had shattered, a brick lying on the floor amidst the debris. The phone swung from side to side like a pendulum, the deadpan note of disconnection faintly audible above the whirring in her brain.

"Someone… threw a brick at us…?" she murmured incredulously. "What… why?"

"Welcome to Lindblum, babe," Zidane muttered, then added, "Fucking kids." He spun around, noticing for the first time that she was on her butt in a puddle. "Ah, shit. Sorry. Here, up ya get."

He hauled her up by the arms, then stared wide eyed at her face. "Oh, fuck."

"What?" she said, then reached up and touched her forehead. Her fingers came back bloody. Suddenly, the world started spinning. "Ugh… oh…"

"Hey hey hey, c'mon, it's just a scratch! Don't pass out on me!"

But it seemed she was about to do just that as she all but swooned into his arms, head resting limply against his chest. Zidane patted her cheek. "Alright, up and at 'em. Ain't that bad. Never seen a bit of blood before?"

Garnet swallowed down an urge to gag, and tried to tell him that actually, no, she hadn't, thank you very much, but all that came out was, "Blurgh…"

Zidane clucked his tongue. "S'alright. I won't leave ya, okay? C'mon, let's sit you down and look at them cuts."

He propped her on the edge of the curb, where she did a very convincing impression of being intoxicated. She flopped her head between her knees, looking like she was about to vomit all over her coffee-stained dress. Zidane perched beside her, rubbing her back with one hand while lighting a cigarette with the other. Grey clouds of smoke whirled into the rain like a ghostly serpent as he spoke softly . "Deep breaths. You're doin' fine."

They sat like that for a while, in the light of a single street lamp, getting wetter and wetter in the downpour. Garnet took deep, shaky breaths. Somewhere in the distance she could hear sirens and laughter and screaming. At one point a police car roared past, casting them briefly in shades of blue and red. Yet despite that… despite everything… she felt… safe.


Zidane threw the butt of his smoked cigarette into a puddle, where the cherry guttered out like a faulty firework. His face blossomed beside hers with a grin. "Better?"

She nodded. He pressed his fingers under her chin and tilted her face, big blue eyes examining her injury. She jerked back, surprise by the unexpected contact.

"I might not be a doctor, but I reckon you'll live," he concluded. "Just needs to be cleaned and dressed. You hurt anywhere else?"

She glanced down at herself. Nothing appeared to be embedded in her skin although there were a few nicks and grazes that might need attention. But on the whole he was right; she wasn't exactly knocking on death's door.

"I'm fine," she said, then noticed the trickle of blood running down his arm and cheek. "Are… are you okay?"

He nodded, then ran a hand over his face, smearing the blood. "Gods, I'm really sorry. What a shitty way to end the day, eh? Well, I guess you better come home with me."

The little tendril of dread and suspicion unravelled itself again. "With y-you?"

"What, you wanna sleep on the streets or something? Perfect weather for it." His expression dampened a little. "I mean I would offer to pay for a hotel room for you but ah… I don't have access to those kind of… funds, right now…"

"Oh no, no, gods no, I wouldn't dream of asking!" She considered her options. "Mm, I don't really fancy walking back to Alexandria though. Maybe you're right."

He stood up and offered her his hand. She took it and hoisted herself up, and they began the trek back to his place.

What am I doing…? she thought dismally. The only thing I know about this guy is his name.

He was looking at her out the corner of his eye. She pretended not to notice, and observed the streets of Lindblum instead. True to the stories she had heard, it was indeed a vast, decrepit metropolis. Buildings that weren't boarded up were lit by flickering neon signs that indicated their contents weren't exactly up-market boutiques. The streets were clogged with filth; every bare wall was ruined by graffiti and most alcoves were occupied by sleeping homeless. A group of men staggered past, jeering and shoving one another drunkenly.


Garnet glanced at Zidane, who was holding out his hoody. "Wha… Ah, Zidane, don't, it's fine! I'm fine, put your jacket back on, it's pouring."

"Nope." He threw the hoody at her and she caught it clumsily. " It's not waterproof and totally drenched anyway, but it might keep you warm and uh… stop people from starin' at your… bra." She was just about to marvel at his chivalry when he added with a wicked grin, "Red is one of my favourite colours by the way."

She groaned inwardly but donned the hoody without protest, and zipped it all the way to the collar. "Do you live far from here?"

"Nah, just a few blocks away." He stared at the sky. "The gods are fucking pissing on us. Wanna jog it, or are you still feeling queasy?"

"No, let's go."

By the time they reached his place she was quite out of breath, though Zidane had barely broken a sweat. His shirt was now a transparent second skin against his chest, drawing attention to the tight muscle underneath, but she politely kept her eyes averted (though it took some effort – maybe she couldn't criticise Zidane for looking to closely at her chest after all).

Zidane gestured grandly to the six-storey block of flats that was wedged between two boarded up buildings. It was a rundown structure that seemed to sag in the rain like an old man against a walking cane.

"Ta-dah!" Zidane exclaimed with no small amount of sarcasm. He jabbed a number onto the keypad outside the door. "It ain't no Alexandros mansion, but it's home!"

Garnet visibly cringed and made a commendable attempt to get swallowed by the neckline of his hoody. Ugh, even in Lindblum…

They entered the flat and traversed a few flights of stairs before stopping outside a door that read '32'. Zidane nimbly lifted a set of keys from the hoody's pocket, then fumbled with the lock, cursing a little, until he gained entrance. He kicked the door aside and swaggered in. Garnet Shuffled after him apprehensively.

It was kind of what she'd expected: a proper bachelor pad. Barren of any superfluous ornamentation and womanly touch, the walls were grubby and unpainted and the carpet was riddled with fag burns and food stains. The living area and kitchen was open plan, separated by a bar that sported a fake marble countertop. There was a shabby couch in front of a widescreen TV that was spewing more wires than there were sockets, the area in-between littered with various game consoles. At least, Garnet noted, the place was relatively clean.

"Blank!" Zidane bawled, tugging off his shirt and throwing it brazenly over a radiator. "Blank, turn the fucking heating on you cheapskate! Blank! Blank?" No one replied, and Zidane huffed indignantly. "Huh. Just us, then."

Garnet lingered awkwardly on the outskirts of his apartment, until he beckoned her in.

"Bathroom's through that door," he said. "Bedroom's through there. Uh… actually, just a sec." He darted into the room he'd just gestured to then shut the door behind him. She fiddled with the cuffs of his hoody as various bangs and thuds sounded from inside, until he reappeared a few minutes later, looking frazzled.

"Heh, sorry just uh… had to move some stuff. Here." He held out a t-shirt and a pair of tracksuit bottoms. "You can change into these if ya want. They'll be a bit big but it's better than sleeping in your wet clothes. You can throw 'em over the radiator. The heating'll kick on in the morning."

"Um… th-thanks. Where will you be sleeping?"

He cocked a thumb over his shoulder. "Couch. Hey, don't look like that, I'm fine. I usually fall asleep on the couch anyway." Grudgingly, he added, "Ah, I'd say you could use our phone but… um… that's been cut off too…"

She managed a watery smile, not even mildly surprised. "It's fine."

They stared awkwardly at each other for a moment, the silence a tangible presence unfurling between them. She shimmied a bit closer and he stared at her expectantly, eyes roaming the contours of her face.

"You're… kinda in the way," she whispered.

He glanced around, as if noticing his location for the first time, then tittered sheepishly and stepped aside. She entered his room and smiled at him from around the door. "Goodnight."

"Yeah," he said with a dopey grin. "G'night."

She closed the door and waited on the other side until she heard him pad away. The TV blared on, making him curse, then the sound died down until it was barely audible. She smiled, wondering why she was feeling a little ditzy and warm.

She changed into his clothes and slipped gratefully between his sheets, too tired to care about the weirdness of the situation. She fell asleep instantly, with the smell of rain and boy-cologne filling her head with strange thoughts.