Picking Up The Pieces, Part 6: Sounding Board

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(August 13th, 2008)

Amber sighed, watching the TV’s flickering light, and shook her head. “What a disaster.”

“I don’t know, I kind of like you with short hair.” Sitting above her, Amber’s head in her lap, Wave ran a hand through Amber’s curls. “It’s not as impressive, maybe, but it sort of suits you.” The two of them were sitting on Wave’s old brown couch, watching a late-night movie. After the Champions’ gathering had broken up, Amber had stopped by Wave’s place for dinner, and had wound up staying. But she was having a hard time focusing.

Amber glared up at Wave. “Not what I meant, and you know it. But I’ll have you know, I like my old hairstyle. It’s consistent.”

“I know, I’ve seen your family photos.” Wave grinned. “What’s it been, eight years since you tried something different? Keep this for a bit – it’s good.”

“We’ll see.” Timebender shifted, staring up at the ceiling. “I’m just thinking about the whole Cold Casey thing.”

“Ah.” Reaching over, Wave flicked the remote with one finger, and the TV winked out. “Alright, so you got beaten a couple of times. It’s happened before.”

“I know, but it’s just a zombie. We should be able to handle that.” Amber frowned heavily. “Who makes fireproof zombies, anyways?”

”Dr. Byron, apparently. She’ll get the most out of her new Malefico labs.” Wave grinned suddenly. “She was absolutely wasted at Diabolico.”

“Who wasn’t?” Timebender chuckled thoughtfully. “Whatever happened to the Witch Doctor, anyway? Not that I liked him, but you know…”

“No changing the subject.” Wave poked Amber on the nose. “You were discussing your zombie issues.”

“I’m fine.” Amber started to sit up. “We’ll figure something out, don’t worry about it.”

“Yeah, right. Come on, talk through it. Maybe you’ll think of something with an outside input.” Wave smiled encouragingly, pulling Amber back down.

“Isn’t this a violation of your status as an SEA agent?”

“Not until Ecchs starts doing something illegal. What’s the problem?”

Amber sighed heavily. “Fine, have it your way. The problem is, the three of them shouldn’t be a match for the four of us. I can still handle Nightshade, and Lucky’s more than able to take care of Phil normally, but Casey can keep Jim and Nadia busy, and still distract us.”

Wave blinked. “Wait, wait. Lucky fights Phil?”

“Sure. He knows Phil’s tricks.”

“But… he doesn’t wear armour.” Wave shook her head. “And he doesn’t have a mobility advantage. Why doesn’t Mayfly do it?”

“Because she…uh…” Timebender trailed off. “Because Lucky’s always done it,” she concluded guiltily.


“That’s it? No scathing comment?” Amber sat up again, raising an eyebrow as she twisted to face Wave.

“I don’t think I need one. That pretty much speaks for itself.”

Amber started to open her mouth, then sighed and nodded. “Yeah. I guess it does. And I’ve been so busy fighting Nightshade that I haven’t really thought about…” She broke off abruptly, and her eyes widened. “Casey’s a zombie.”

“Yes…” Wave gave Amber a confused look. “And that’s important for pairings?”

“Critical! Wave, you’re a genius!” Amber sprang to her feet. “I have to talk to the others! We can…”


“…reorganize our positions, I bet Lucky can handle Nightshade long enough for us to pull…”


“…if they try and switch their formation we’ll just need to…”



“It’s after midnight.” Wave smiled, holding back chuckles, and patted the couch spot that Amber had just vacated.

“Oh.” Amber sagged a bit, sitting back down. “I guess it can wait until morning.”

“I think that would be best, yeah.”

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