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Nov 17, 2019 5:03 PM
in which karen teller saves expat fairy celegorm from zombies
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....okay.

".....hi."

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"Hello," he says. "I wanted to compensate you for saving my son's life last night. This is a check for eight hundred twelve thousand, six hundred and two dollars."

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.....what.

This is terrible.

Why that number, specifically.

"Um, thank you, but that's - not really necessary. Sir."

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He looks annoyed. "You want something else?"

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"...no? Um, like, thank you, and stuff, but it's not really - I don't need anything for it."

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He stands there looking frustrated for a moment. Then he turns and walks away.

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"What, you thought of something you want even more?"

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"...no? I like you better alive. That's all. And, like, I wanna respect your - cultural - whatever, but like, you can't just accept hundreds of thousands of dollars from people you haven't met, that's a terrible idea."

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"He's not - it's not a trick, it's exactly the right amount. All it'd do it get us even."

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"All it would do is mean that I'm, like, super indebted to your dad, who I don't know anything about, and who also goes around writing checks for eight hundred thousand dollars, apparently, which is terrifying? And just - look, not that your life isn't worth that much, but I didn't save you from cancer or anything, I killed a zombie because it was gonna bite you, and it took like twelve seconds, and I didn't do it for a reward, or anything, okay, I did it because zombies eating people is bad, and I'm against it. Heroism is its own reward. - I gotta get to work."

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"You wouldn't be indebted to my dad," he objects, "that's what I just said." 

But fine. 

They can get to work.

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Fine.

She's not very talkative most of the time, but she's even less talkative today, because she did something weird and she doesn't understand it and the way she deals with weird social things is mostly by hoping they go away. 

She buries people. There are no zombies. After work she finds the paperwork and fills out a proper incident report about yesterday that says stuff like where the attack occurred and that nobody was actually injured (except the zombie), because probably that's useful information to actually have on file, or something.

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After work he goes home.

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"Did she say what she wanted?"

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"She was worried it was too much and you were trying to indebt her? And she said some stuff about heroism? - and she said she liked me better alive."

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"I'm not a little kid anymore."

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"You're not. I'll think about it."

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He's at school for the rest of the week. 

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Well, she's still super ignoring him. This isn't actually a change from normal, during school, since she mostly ignores other students all the time and ignores her teachers about half the time. Some of this is because she's reading, and some of this is because she's always doing homework during lunch and during lecture classes where she can pass it off as taking notes, and some of this is because social interaction is terrifying, unless you're in the stupid catacombs under the mausoleum, where it used to be less terrifying but is now about equally terrifying. Which does, on the whole, work out to ignoring him way more than she used to.

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This makes everything significantly more confusing. On the other hand confusing things are precisely the sort of things they're here to learn about, in principle. 

On Saturday her doorbell rings.

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She tells the ghost to hide herself and gets the door. 

" - hi."

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"Hello," he says. "You've refused other compensation, so I have no choice but to offer you this; the life you saved. I hope you're worthy of it."

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He avoids looking at her. 

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