Chapter 39: Fantine's Confession
TSAB L-Class Inspection Cruiser Arthra
First Recovery Ward
Erika Kurumi's eyes opened just a crack. The glaring light from above was much too bright for her, so she groaned and squeezed them shut again. It took more effort than it should have, like the command got stalled on the way from her brain to her eyelids.
"Erika!" said a familiar voice next to her. "E-Erika, are you awake? Please say you're awake!"
"Dun' wanna," Erika muttered. She rolled over to go back to sleep… or attempted to, she didn't get far.
The arms that seized her around her neck and hugged her tight were Tsubomi's; nobody else smelled like a fresh-cut spring garden even weeks removed from any real flowers. "Erika…" said Tsubomi, choking back more tears.
"Oog," said Erika in reply. Surprisingly articulate for first thing in the morning. Or whenever.
"I was so worried, I thought I'd lost you, I tho