Little Deaths



Diza shook the man's shoulder gently.


He still didn't wake.

Diza pursed their lips. They had to talk to someone. With a sigh, they pulled out their desk, turned it on, and pulled up their contacts list. Only Kodak was on. She wasn't ideal, for a plethora of reasons. They didn't want to keep her up further. They didn't want to her to think they were still...interested. Another of one of reasons was because of the person sleeping besides them. Still, her name blinked up in tempting citrine. Diza gave in, and tapped her name, requesting her a voice call.

It rang only once.

"Diza?" Her voice was confused. "Um. Hey."

"Hi," Diza said, lip catching on their teeth. "This isn't--I'm not--" They stuttered for a few moments. They could feel a blush rising to her face.

"This isn't--romantic, alright?"

"Oh, um, okay." Diza swore that they heard disappointment in Kodak's voice. "Well--why are you calling at this hour?"

Diza lowered their voice, casting a glance at the figure besides them. "I heard voices again. Ghosts."

"Oh." A pause. "You, um, wanna talk about it?" This was painfully awkward. Of course Diza wanted to talk about it. There was a time when they would talk about it, no hesitations or questions asked

But things had changed since then.

"Yeah. Yeah, I do." They swallowed. "I-I'd prefer it to be outside though."

"Uhm...yeah. Okay. I can do that." Kodak took a deep breath. "Where?"


That elected a laugh from Kodak. "Sure, dude." Diza smiled. "I can do that."

"Alright. Bye."

"Bye. I--I hope you're doin' alright, Diza."

"Same here."

The call disconnected, and Diza smiled. 3:02 PM, ghosts, and Denny's. It felt almost like old times.


Kodak stared at the wall.

She'd fucked up. She'd fucked up so, so badly. She'd picked up embarrassingly fast, said, 'oh' and 'um' way too many times. Calling Diza "dude" as if they weren't a high Caste's datemate, and almost--

No. No, we aren't doing that right now, Rufia.

Kodak stood up from her chair, cracking her spine loudly. She'd have to put on actual clothes for this, huh. Going to her admittedly small wardrobe, she tossed on a brown t-shirt that had a glitchy skull printed on it, a yellow aviator's jacket, ripped jeans, and shoved a pair of shoes. She grabbed her sunglasses, shoved them on her face, and opened the door.

"Wher'yagoin'" The voice was sleep-slurred and came from her roommate, Phoenix. Kodak rolled her eyes under the glasses.



"Just out. You aren't exactly my fucking warden. I'd think that you'd be thankful that I'm willingly going out," Kodak snapped, voice laced with sarcasm.

Phoenix rolled over and muttered something about energy drinks.

Kodak locked the door behind her. She considered taking the car out of spite, but decided against it. She could walk.

She arrived in a matter of minutes. Diza hadn't arrived yet, leaving Kodak alone. She sat down on the cool sidewalk, under the yellow, flickering light of the looming sign, waiting.

Maybe they stood her up.

Except she couldn't be stood up because it wasn't a date.

Speak of the Insomniac, Diza appeared in the distance. They grinned and waved, wearing a red sweater with a cream undershirt, and maroon leggings. "Hi!" they chirped.

"Hey." Kodak stood up. She had to physically bite her tongue to keep herself from snarking. God, why was so hard to be nice to someone? Especially someone that she'd been friends with for cycles, and was maybe a little romantically interested in?

Which had taken so fucking long to admit that to herself, and soon after she did, Diza had--

Kodak headed in abruptly, simply to avoid letting seeing Diza seeing the yellow blush that was forming on her cheeks. Diza followed her in quietly.

They sat in a snug booth. The restaurant was mostly empty. Kodak leaned back in her seat. "So. Tell me about your ghosts."

"Right." They shifted forward. "So, it was this Caste Two, right? He was killed by his girlfriend."

Kodak whistled low. "Damn."

"Lovers' spat. He was angry, and I guess she was angrier. She stabbed him in the back--literally. She hit an artery, and he bled out." Diza monologued in a casual voice. They could've been talking about the new episode a TV show for all the emotion they she showed.

"Why were they fighting?"

"She was killing people."

Kodak tipped her head to the side in confusion. "And he didn't want her to get in trouble or...?"

"Oh, no." Diza cleared their throat and clarified. "She was Caste Seven."

"Ah." That was an unusually large jump in the Caste system, but Diza themself was only Caste One but currently dating a member of Caste Eight, so she figured she shouldn't bring that up.

"But--the thing is that she had to."

"How? Why?"

"What do you know about wardens that are carnivores? The large ones, I mean."

"She had to kill in order to feed her warden," Kodak realized.

"Right! And I guess he wants closure? I mean, if Matee was--I mean, if my partner was killing people to survive, I'd hope that all those people didn't die in vain, you know?"

"I know." Kodak could feel herself shutting down. This outing was going so well, and then they brought up Matee. Why they'd have to do that? She was openly hostile to him, and Diza knew that, although they didn't know the real reason.

Diza rattled on, oblivious to Kodak's feelings, "So I guess the only reason that it's really a problem is because I don't know how to help him? I can't guarantee that she'll make it through Acclivity."

Normally, this was where Kodak would say something nice or funny, like well-she's-a-seven-so-its-not-likely-she'll-die-before-she-gets-an-assignment or i-mean-if-she-doesn't-make-it-he'll-have-an-excuse to cross over.

She didn't though.

Diza looked down. "I'm sorry I mentioned Matee."

The worst part that it was genuine, and it made Kodak feel like shit that it was. You shouldn't feel bad about bringing up your boyfriend to your best closest oldest friend.

"Yeah, it's not—it's not a big deal," Kodak mumbled.

Diza didn't say anything.

Kodak didn't say anything either.

"The thing is—" The words were tumbling out of her mouth before she could think about it, Diza looked up, surprised— "I really don't care that he's a blueblooder. Really, I couldn't give a shit. But, like, you told him you weren't—interested in anyone else, but you were interested in me. Because that—some of that wasn't platonic."

There was no mistaking that Kodak and Diza's relationship had extended beyond platonic. Making out didn't exactly scream just friends.

"And then you and Matee became a thing, which sucked, but then you just...cut me off. Which I guess sort of makes me goddamn hypocrite, you know, but I’m already at a sort of rock bottom, so..."

Kodak shrugged. "So, yeah, that fucking hurt." It came out crueler than she meant to.

Diza was silent. "I'm sorry."

"I know."

"I really am." They bit their lip. "I didn't—I guess I thought—" Diza sighed. "I don't know."

Kodak felt tears start to sting her eyes. "It's not even...I’m not that upset about it anymore. I guess I had to get that off my chest."

"Do you want to keep talking about ghosts?"

Kodak's mouth quirked into a smile. "I would fucking love for you to tell me about all the poor suckers that got taken by the Insomniac, and then we can write our own killreport."

Diza threw back their head and laughed, echoing through the diner. "Right. Let’s do that."
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got a bit away from the prompt, oops