(This fanfiction can also be read at Archive of Our Own under the same title and penname.)


Chapter 3: On the Morning of May 5, 2012

The red eyes of the thing that had been Trismegistus found him, and the twisted helm sunk down to meet Junpei's eye level.

"I am a Shadow," he declared, speaking in Junpei's own voice, weighty with darkness. "The true Self."

"I did it!" Junpei's other shadow said, laughing. "I fucking did it!" It laughed again, its voice growing deep and rich. "You're dead, son!" And with that, it seemed to be finally gone. The yard suddenly stood empty, empty but for him and his true shadow.

Junpei sagged over, falling listlessly on the ground, and he lifted his head as his vision swam—the shadow's helm a dark scar on the moon. He felt—'Ripped out,' he thought, his eyelids fluttering. 'He ripped me out.' He opened them again, the black maw looming closer.

"I am a hero! A hero for all time!" Trismegistus pronounced, snapping his jaws as a cloak of flames blazed along his back and shoulders. "And I will slaughter the worthless and the weak!" A line of bony spikes lanced up along his spine.

Junpei dropped his head back on the ground. 'Fuck.' The night sped by him, the memories as vivid as a montage, and he sighed. 'I guess…this…is how I die. Huh.' He could barely move, and if he had the strength to fire his evoker, nothing would answer.

Trismegistus buried his hand in his own chest, grasping within the cavity for the hilt of a fiery sword. He dragged it out, flame licking the blade, and stretched the katana fully, longer than Junpei was tall.

"Let me hear you run from death," Trismegistus boomed, "and cry for my mercy, o pusillanimous one!"

'I didn't even know I knew that word,' Junpei thought fitfully. "I'm—I'm not gonna beg—"

"Then, I shall kill you, swiftly and without ceremony." Trismegistus drew his sword back in a long swing, cutting the air with a hiss of momentum before he swung back, and Junpei held his eyes open. He would not die hiding in dark—

But the blade connected—halted by a small and shining sacrificial dagger held aloft by a red and spindly arm.

'I am not corrupted,' Medea said, sliding from the limp young man. 'I—am myself. This is not how it should be.' The embers of the broken red orb trembled on the ground and leapt into the empty lamp she carried to burn in a rippling plume of flame.

'It seems I was discarded. How fortuitous.'

She held the great blade still.

'But I cannot fight. He and I, we are too kindred,' she turned to gaze down at Junpei, her wheat-colored hair wild and the red hollows of her skull on him. 'He will not cease. He will rage endlessly. You must stand, stand and do right by him.' Her lamp burned suddenly brighter, and the spring of life welled in Junpei's body, restoring an inkling of strength, power enough to stand.

"What—what does that mean—" He sat up.

'You were cruel,' Medea said and evaporated, her dagger vanishing and leaving Trismegistus's blade hanging perilously in the air. 'Remember your cruelty.'

"Have you risen to beg, boy?" Trismegistus thundered, and Junpei glared at him. 'I'm getting real tired of this RPG talk.'


"Then, you've risen to die—"

"No." He looked down. "I wanted to say something—I was a dick to you."

"Insincere formality will not sway me."

'Insincere formality'—this was like talking to a teacher, or that disciplinary committee rep who was crazy about cigarettes. The shadow regarded him, his patience a thread, Junpei's life a thread—a thread before a sword and a firestorm.

"You're right, I wasn't a dick to you," Junpei said, his voice softened with thoughtfulness. "I thought—well, I wanted to be past those days. I really don't want to be like him, like my—my dad, I really want to be different. And I thought back then—like I thought now. But I'm not a hero."

"No, you are worthless," Trismegistus pronounced as he brought his sword to hover at Junpei's shoulder, the flames dancing the edge nearly licking his neck.

"Yeah, but so is everybody," Junpei said, his voice weighted. Sweat crawled down his neck and the line of his back from the nearness of the blazing sword. "There just—aren't heroes and villains out there. I remember seeing this movie once—with Minato—and I hated the ending, where you learned the villain was just—sad. And I felt—sad like that—and I hated knowing people do terrible things for their—reasons. And I did shitty things for my reasons." Junpei paused in the shadow of Trismegistus. "I've got some villain in me," he said finally. "Villain enough that I was a dick to my friends, and my best friend, just so I could feel like a hero, like I was different, and I was a dick to you over it, because, well, you're me."

The blade floating at his shoulder dissipated, curls of black smoke blowing away across the yard, and his mind seemed to come together suddenly quiet and complete. He felt two selves hover within him for just a moment of separation. Then, they met in the sea of the soul and fused, and Medea spoke to him a final time.

'Remember your cruelty.'

'What else is there—' And he remembered her like the flash of the frozen day not yet risen, the lip of the stilled sky yellowing with its locked promise.

"Yuka-tan," Junpei said to no one. He searched the horizon of the junkyard for her. The black steele pulled high above the yard, stabbing heaven as an emerald storm circled and clutched the tip. The monolith poised like a rod above the broken skyline of abandoned televisions and refrigerators, and a bolt of blue lightning struck the tower.

The lightning tore in rivulets down the sides of the steele, breaking the tower into a spinning coil, an unnatural geometry, that bloomed into a flat, mushroomed head full of circles that betrayed circles. Flecks of light gathered and darted away in darkness, splitting into branching, brilliant filaments crackling with—

"Shit! No!"

[- - -]

She heard familiar laughter, laced with a predatory mirth, behind her and Yukari jumped, tugging away and out of the shadow of the steele. 'He' or it stood there now, and Junpei's shadow's half of the white mask had cracked. A second red eye glowed through the net of fractures. It grinned manically, twisting what it had left of Junpei's voice with its words.

"It's fucking over, bitch," it said. The mask split deeper, spilling a dusting of white glass through the sick smile.

"Get away from me!" Yukari ordered. The shadow pushed its hand into the skin of the steele and it gave like sludgy water, sucking its forearm up to the elbow as streams of shadow leapt along its bicep and shoulder, snatching into its face and dragging it away in tar-like streaks. She felt the air hiss and shift, loading with power.

"Where you're going," the shadow warned, its voice monstrous. "It doesn't matter how close I am."

[- - -]

Junpei knew the distance was shorter than it seemed, but only desperately so, and still, time dragged on too slowly. He cut into a sprint across the yard, tripping over the electric rubble as an jagged antenna bit through his jeans, shredding the fabric and brushing his calf with blood. He pushed his legs, his muscles flagging and stretching stiff against him, and Yukari stood in the shadow of that—crazy Tesla coil or something.

The straying filaments thickened in a vivid, pulsing cloud, a vein of energy too bright to bear, and Yukari slipped a step back, her arms crossed in front of her face as the intense flash dried out the shadows. Junpei threw himself across the last of the gap, into his friend, and the bolt struck his back between the shoulders.

Yukari fell messily in the ruined grass, soaking the sleeve of her jacket with red as she broke the placid face of a puddle with her fall. She recoiled from the cold thickness of the liquid, tearing the reflection of the moon. Something had run into her from behind. She looked back and—


Even after the dash of agonizing whiteness passed, Junpei's teeth still seemed to hop and buzz in his mouth, and he staggered a step, his body jolting and moving without him—how the hell did Akihiko take hits like this and not flinch?

"Ow-wow!" he grunted. "I was not ready for that." Junpei slumped, and the bones of his arms rattled with tremors. A shadowy web of ruptured nerves coursed down his left arm and lightly along his neck, the scarring of the lightning strike.

"You fucking worm!" his 'shadow' growled, shaking furiously in the tangle of the monolith.

"Junpei!—" Yukari called, moving a step toward him.

"Go get him," Junpei told her between his teeth. "I'm—he's—right there, go fucking get him. You know what to hit him with!"

She knew, and Yukari pulled back from him reluctantly. But the tower did not hesitate, and already, it drew itself up for another strike.

"No, you don't!" Yukari said, her evoker at her forehead. "Help me!" And the shot tore through her, the golden wings of Isis gleaming eerily in the still face of the monolith as the windstorm of Garudyne scattered the clouds and tossed around the steele. Its structure liquefied, flopping and spinning within the twister. The shattered face and melted body of Junpei's shadow bent and blurred, flushing into the stream of the tower. The wind faded, and the monolith burst into a fury of hands, twitching and clawing at nothing, as the shadow deflated on the ground.

"Do it again!" Yukari urged, evoking the winds again with another shot. She paused, her breath heavy with the exertion, and the shadow struggled on its mess of arms and collapsed again, too battered to move. The smelting torso of Junpei's shadow twitched in the knot, its golden eye gone dark as the remaining red eye slid into its cheek.

"You—you—" it muttered in a gasp. "Fuck you! Fuck both of you—" Its mouth dripped down its chin, and the jaw collapsed abruptly into the muck.

"Still talking? I'll—" Yukari threatened, evoker at ready. The tangled shadow concerted its arms and snapped at her, shoving her back into Junpei before it tore around like lightning, lugging its dribbling body with it into the tiny face of a television. It twisted back to rasp at them, the pointed fingers condensing into fangs, and dived, sucking its wet bulk inside the TV.

It dragged the Dark Hour behind it, the dead greenness leaking down from the sky and draining away through the TV set. The moon, newly milk-white, pulled away into the sky and faded in the rising light of dawn. Birdsong lifted up from the woods crowded on the edges of the yard, and Junpei groaned under Yukari.

"Sorry," she said, still shaken up from the shove, and pulled off. A morning mist rose around them, and in the gray light, Junpei looked worse than he had all night, the tremendous, branching scar spraying the length of his arm now and darkening a corner of his face. Yukari frowned at the damage and glanced down. "You idiot."

"Like you were gonna take that hit?" he asked roughly. "S'not a video game." He didn't sit up and let his head fall back on the ground, the grass curling soft and dewy against his face, but then, he coughed hard with all of his lungs and chest, and Yukari winced. She looked within herself once, feeling out the edge of Isis's power and how close she was to that limit. She put the mouth of her evoker to her forehead again and fired. Isis manifested as a pale phantom, sunlight drifting through her, in a final Diarahan, mending Junpei's wounds and buffing out the lightning-bolt-shaped scar sketching his arm and shoulder. Junpei sat up, shaking off the last of the dizziness.

"Thanks. You gonna heal you?" he asked, and she felt his gaze rest on the stretch of collarbone left exposed by the jacket where the graying bruises of her shadow's hold glared out alongside her skin.

"I used up what I had left on you," Yukari said, righting the hoodie over the wound. "It's not so bad anyway."

"Battle scars," Junpei joked as he stood up. "That Zio thing was cool-looking, but I'm kinda glad it's gone. Not so hot with that."

Yukari smiled, pulling the cuffs of the jacket over her hands.

"Hey, Junpei," she started. "I'm—I want to tell you I'm—" She stopped, absorbed in looking at her hands as she turned them over, her palms out and beginning to shake. He caught her hands suddenly and held them still.

"Hey, it's okay," Junpei said. "It's over, it's okay—" He said it, but her brain or her heart or both wouldn't believe it, and Yukari's eyes began to burn.

"But—but all those things—all those things you heard, they—" Yukari stopped again, her voice cracking as she broke his hold, covered her nose with her hands, and pressed her fingers to the corners of her eyes, catching the warm trickle of tears. "They were—they were—"

"I—I know they were true," he said slowly. "You—you heard a lot of true stuff about me too. It's—"

"But—but—no—" she said, hunching over. Sobs hitched in her throat, and her shoulders shivered as she lost the will to contain it anymore. She dropped her hands and finally cried. "I'm sorry—"

Junpei opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out, and he picked up the front of her hoodie and dabbed her cheek, brushing up the tears.

"I—I haven't got anything else," he said uselessly. He dropped the hoodie and got the tears from the other cheek with a smudge of his thumb. "You don't need to cry—" Yukari blinked, new tears sliding through the streaking of Junpei's thumb and a fresh sob on her breath, and sunk against his chest and clung to him.

"I—I thought about that," Junpei said into her hair as he carefully wrapped one arm around the small of her back and the other across her shoulders; she trembled. "But Minato—Minato said you were a little weird about hugs."

"I just don't like getting them," Yukari mumbled, her face buried in his shirt. "It's—not—personal."

"Oh, okay." Junpei's arms tightened, building a band of heat and weight across her back as the warmth from his neck, the skin there faintly prickled from the chill of dawn, lit across her cheek.

"She said that—I felt that," Yukari corrected as she blinked, and what must have been the fattest tear she'd ever cried in her life rolled along her face and caught on the edge of her chin, "I think—because I was really mad at you." On the final word, her lips slipped past the strap of his A-shirt and brushed his collar—and Junpei's spine locked. Unaware, Yukari turned her head and hid her face in the crook of his neck, a tear or two streaking, and very slowly, very subtly, she shook against him—and his nervousness suddenly melted. This was Yukari, his friend, in a place neither of them had ever seen before, in a place more alien than Tartarus, than the Dark Hour.

"Heh," Junpei chuckled, trying to lighten the oppressive air. "I'm always making you mad—"

"No. I was mad—I was mad you just left, like that, without even telling me you were going," she explained around her tears. Her voice lifted, shook, and then rebuilt itself on a tearful fierceness. "You know, you remember, it wasn't that long ago, me, you, and him, we were all in class 2-F together, the three of us, we started this, this thing we have to do, the three of us—and—now, now, we're," she paused, and her voice grew forlorn. "We're apart. And we never—we never got to say good-bye. S-sometimes, sometimes, I think, that back in that weird place, in that Abyss, the only reason I wanted to open that stupid door, and—and go back, was so I could say 'good bye'—really tell him 'good bye'—but I can't—so—and then, everything and last summer happened—" Yukari's tears dried and her crying finally eased, and she pushed back against him. "And we're apart now, and—not just us and him."

Junpei let her go, releasing her and dropping his arms to his sides again. Yukari sniffled, not wanting to even remember what she had just committed to the air. Even all the things her shadow said hadn't left her feeling so, so—vulnerable.

"Thanks," she said anyway in a very small voice, and the living closeness and the lingering warmth of the embrace, that funnily awkward, comfortably warm, but just too close feeling, put the prick of oncoming tears in her eyes again.

"Hey, anytime." And Junpei seemed to stop and think before he said, "I'm—I'm sorry I took off last winter—without telling any of you guys. I—I didn't think—" He grinned wryly. "Well, I just didn't think. After what happened last summer." The last twenty four hours brought home hard to Yukari that she hadn't sat alone at that long, black table in that red meeting room in the Kirijo Spire last summer. The others had fallen away in her memory, her last fight with Mitsuru rising and blotting out everything like a brilliant, painful star, but they filtered back now. Suddenly, she could remember Fuuka sitting at her right and Junpei at her left with the vase of explosively red roses between the three of them and Akihiko.

Yukari sighed and said, "Last summer. I think I don't blame you anymore."

"It still doesn't make what I did okay. I should've—" he trailed off suddenly, a clarity occurring to him. "Yuka-tan, we don't gotta fight together to stay friends, y'know? And of everybody in S.E.E.S., Tartarus or no Tartarus, we'd be friends anyway—you and me, and him. Class 2-F represent."

She giggled lightly, her eyes clearing and her face a little less dismally pink. A bright ray of sunlight broke over one of the refrigerators and slashed across the yard.

"Yeah," she said. "We would. We should—catch up again. It's been…a really long year."

"Junpei-kun! Yukari-chan!" Fuuka's voice sung through the silence, through the chorus of birds and crickets, and she appeared from the mist, waving with her braid falling over her shoulder. She was smiling, and her smile infected Yukari too, and she rubbed out the last of her tears.

But Fuuka stopped at her side, her face tensed and her smile falling as her eyes met Yukari.

"Oh!" Her hand went to Yukari's shoulder. "You're crying—what happened?"

"We—we kinda had a close call out here," Junpei said, rubbing the back of his neck.

"A close call?" Fuuka echoed. "Are you all right—"

A motorcycle cut the silence of the junkyard, and all eyes pulled to the mouth of the dirt road roping into the e-dump as its rider pulled up. He braked, cut his engine, and his dust had barely settled when he stood up from his bike. The man stretched up taller than any of them in black slacks and a deep red, collared shirt with the sleeves rolled up to his elbows. He wore riding gloves, black, and a matching tie, knocked half over his shoulder from the ride. He set the off-kilter tie to rights casually and pulled off his helmet.

"…Suou-san?" Fuuka asked. Yukari squinted in the morning light, the man certainly looked like Katsuya Suou with his red hair and complexion, but the rider just seemed too tall. He wore his guns (actually) differently than in her memory as a black harness crossed over his shoulders with a handgun in a dark holster tucked at each side. Katsuya had favored a compact, classic, and fashionable utility: a single gun in a simple, leather holster hung at the belt.

"Tatsuya Suou," the rider corrected. "We haven't met."

"Oh, it's nice to meet you, Tatsuya-san," Fuuka said. "We know your brother—"

"I know."

"I'm Yukari Takeba," Yukari said, pushing the conversation over the rough answer. "This is Fuuka Yamagishi, and—"

"Junpei Iori! What are you doing out here in the sticks?"

"That doesn't matter," Tatsuya said, collected and curt. "Where is Kirijo-san?"

"They—she exited the TV world somewhere in town," Fuuka said and folded her hand over her chest, her voice entreating. "She accomplished her mission; we recovered Labrys. Please tell Nanjo-san—"

"I'm sure he already knows," Tatsuya said. "I moved out as soon as the Dark Hour fell." He took a seemingly conventional touchscreen phone from the pocket of his slacks, but its screen brimmed with foreign apps. A fleeting touch brought up a green meter positively ecstatic with data as Tatsuya stepped experimentally into the yard. "The Dark Hour's circumference took in most of the region, but this place was the centre." He glanced back at his bike. "I ran out of battery before I could reach you."

He stopped, his eyebrows quirked and his gaze, heavy and perplexed, on the twisted heap of the Kirijo limousine. It cooled in the morning light, a rainbow of gasoline rimming the still surface of a puddle beneath a crushed wheel.

"What happened to the car."

"It didn't make it," Junpei said.

Tatsuya touched out of his meter, moved through a few screens on his phone, and made a call.

"This is 19," he said. "I need a car at the Yasoinaba centre. Yes, I know there is one in the area. It won't respond to satellite connections. There is a reason for that." He paused to listen. "Thank you." Then, he turned to them. "Another car is on its way." He picked up the helmet from between the handle-bars of his bike and held it out to Fuuka. "But you'll ride with me. I need to speak with Kirijo-san; I assume you can tell me where she is."

Fuuka nodded hurriedly.

"Good. We will go once the second car gets here."

"Uh, yes," Fuuka affirmed again and took the helmet, glancing at Yukari and Junpei and back at Tatsuya again. He missed or ignored her darting look, stepped back around the smashed limousine, and returned to his phone.

"I'm sending you the K-meter data," Tatsuya said deadpan to his unknown listener. "Yes, it is off the charts. I've never seen it anything like it either. The intensity levels should match samples taken in Tatsumi Port, but the patterns look—different. Yes, Dr. Saitou, I understand you're excited about that. I need you to calm down and authorize an immediate sweep of this area—Excellent. I sent my coordinates with the K-meter data-link. Have a good morning too, doctor." He hung up and looked coolly at the trio.

"I will need your Operative numbers for the case report—"

"We're unofficial," Yukari interrupted. Around them, the morning grew warm and strong as the sun lifted over the mountains and filled the valley.

"I see," Tatsuya said, and then his lips twitched a bit as if he thought about smiling. "I was unofficial for a while too. I finally got my Operative number last winter."

"But your number is—" Yukari stammered. After all, '19' was awfully close to '1' and '0' for someone so—so—new.

"The numbers don't mean anything," Tatsuya told her plainly. "But I can relate, to your status."

"What—what took so long?"

"My persona can be—unreliable. On a good day, Apollo answers most of the time. But for the rest of the time, I have this." Tatsuya paused to pull not his gun but his evoker from its harness. She hadn't recognized the other evoker at first with its coal-colored finish and slim build. The only feature that might distinguish it from any standard-issue law enforcement pistol was the no-nonsense identifying inscription along its barrel, 'SHADOW OPERATIVE 19 – SUOU TATSUYA,' and the Operatives' emblem on the stock.

"Ever worry about shooting yourself by accident with the other one?" Junpei interjected.

"No, my evoker has my name on it," he said and spun the evoker, looking on it fondly, like a long and favored friend. "My brother resisted my membership in the Nanjo network for five years," he continued, his eyes not leaving the gun. "He only relented in the end because I experience the Dark Hour. The others can't."

"Why not?" Fuuka asked.

"The Dark Hour is strange," Tatsuya answered. "Having the 'potential' does not guarantee entry. We don't know why. We had persona users in the Nanjo network who could sense the Dark Hour, and knew when it occurred, but only I was conscious through it. My brother believes I experience it at all because I was traumatized in some event I no longer remember." Tatsuya looked away from the evoker finally, as if his personal admission surprised him (but in an unimpressive way), and holstered the gun again. "I don't know if he's right, but that doesn't matter now. I've forgotten whatever it was."

"I'm sure you'll remember someday," Fuuka said optimistically, and Tatsuya seemed to grin, small but earnest.

"I don't know if I need to," he said and returned to his original subject. "Since we merged with Kirijo, several of the old Nanjo network users have learned to enter the Dark Hour—but it doesn't always work, and they get sick in there. So, wait it out, and there will be a place for you."

A smile pulled at the corners of Yukari's lips—a place for them, a place for her, alongside Mitsuru and everyone else. 'We don't have to fight together to stay close,' she thought, but at the same time, that was so much of who they all were together. These evokers, these guns, silver and inscribed, had become more than just weapons.

"It's coming," Tatsuya said, glancing ahead up the road where a limousine slid quietly through the countryside, patches of morning sun and clouds floating over the midnight finish. It met them by the lamp-post at the front of the yard, where the road passed off into walls of dead televisions and empty refrigerators. Glass crunched in the grass as the driver's door opened and out stepped a young man in a white suit and cap, the Shadow Operatives' emblem embroidered in deep blue on his pocket. He opened the passenger door for them as Tatsuya mounted his bike. Fuuka slipped his dark helmet over her hair and climbed up behind him, fitting her arms awkwardly around his waist. Inside the visor, her eyes darted nervously—from Tatsuya's back to Yukari and Junpei.

Yukari left the limo's side long enough to touch Fuuka's shoulder and smile.

"We'll catch up with you later," Yukari told her. "Call Junpei, okay?" The helmet hid Fuuka's mouth, but the reassured grin reached her eyes. Tatsuya started his engine, the roar tearing the country quiet.

"You two—stay on the line!" he ordered in a shout over the noise. "And wait it out!" He kicked the stand, and the bike bolted down the country road, looping effortlessly around the limo and becoming a black and silver rocket streaking light among the rice fields.

Yukari found herself waving until her hand stilled and she climbed inside the limousine and on to familiar leathers, just the same as yesterday. Junpei followed in after her, maneuvering his phone out of his pants and shutting the door behind him in a vaguely gymnastic motion.

Then, he frowned—deeply.

A spectacular, branching crack had torn up the face of his phone. The touchscreen responded decently to his prodding, the icons and contacts hanging like flickering ghosts behind the splintered face.

"Man," Junpei said, putting the phone away, "do we get electronics insurance in that big pack of paperwork she gave us?"

"I hope so," Yukari said. "I gotta call my bank. My purse was in there." She sighed, remembering glumly that her purse, her wallet, and her cellphone had probably melded into a wad of pleather and plastic mush in the ruins of the limo by now. "I've got nothing but the clothes on my back." And her evoker, lying still on the seat beside her, as if she could ever lose it.

"Ouch," Junpei said, hissing in a funny empathy. "Well, you can keep my hoodie then."

She tugged the baggy sleeves up to her elbows, the heat of the late spring morning beginning to cling even as the limo's air-conditioning rolled into the cabin.

"I was going to," she said with an airy smirk, "but thanks." The wheels turned and Yukari glanced outside, the maze of televisions receding into the grass and a light morning fog. She fidgeted with the zipper of the hoodie just for a moment, and the Kirijo's monitors gracing this limousine flickered on, boasting a new e-mail for the both of them. Junpei leaned forward, touching through the panels, and Yukari slid back against the seat, a light smile playing on her lips.

'But no matter what happens, fighting isn't all we have.'

El Fin

I posted this chapter to Ao3 a few hours early by accident and decided to just commit. So, with that, Benched is complete! :) My lovely reviewers from last week, returning Jin and Ryuichiro Sakuraba, put me on cloud 9 with their praises. I really appreciate it! As of this evening, Benched has also pulled 325 views and 230-ish individual readers. So, thank you x230-ish to all of you reading already! And thank you to all of you reading in the future!

For a day or so after I finished this, I had a Benched-shaped hole in my life, but my heart did not sit empty for long. I'm already a few thousand words into another P3 project that should be ready for posting within a Monday or two. It will be a darker, longer, and (go figure) funnier story more involved with P3's male characters. I hope, if you enjoyed Benched, you will give that a look when it goes up!

I hope you've enjoyed reading Benched. It drove me up the wall now and then, but I really enjoyed writing it. :D

- Some Magician