The rest was almost laughable in its anticlimax…at least, someday she’d laugh about it. For now, she simply relished the relative ease of making the careful stretch and scrabble to the next few rungs, then slipping sinously up onto the roof to look down on the milling, furious pack below. Sighing softly, she called down toward the street, couching her voice in as casual and concise a way as she could, considering her condition. Here, boys…it’s over. Just go home now, like nice doggies…and maybe next time we’ll find time to play. This had the expected effect of stirring them to frenzies of scrabbling and leaping after her, and she simply shook her head and turned to head home over the rooftops. The path was clear from here, and with the pack occupied below, as safe as any she’d find on street level.
It was a very tired and dirty Blue that slipped in through the gate at the back of The Mall that morning…not that anyone there would’ve recognized her in her current condition. She padded slowly down the cool floor with its tile pattern of blue and green waves, hearing the soft stirrings of morning in the stores as she passed. Head hanging low, she slipped under the curtain and into her current home, tossing a soft smile up at the ever-smiling head of the stores mascot/angel, above. Careful to find her way to the spot that she’d prepped, where she hoped that she wouldn’t be spotted, behind a pile of boxes in the back storeroom, she almost immediately collapsed on the cool cement floor, and fell asleep licking her wounds…
The sound of The Mall opening for business woke her several hours later, and she stretched, wincing as her elbows hit the sharp edges of the boxes, and her knee came unstuck from the floor, reluctantly. Sighing, she reached for the handful of clothes she’d left here before heading out the night before, and slipped them on, taking the time to examine herself from head to toe as she did. Apart from the long scrape on her side, and the cut on her knee, and the usual wicked headache, she seemed to have once more slipped through without taking any serious injury. How long this state of grace would last was unknown and unknowable, but for now she’d settle for being grateful it existed, instead of whining about it.
Tying her hair back in a loose knot, she made her way down the hall and out into the main store, carefully not meeting the accusing eyes of her “boss”, and the resigned pair belonging to her best friend. They curled up with each other in the soft corner, and she felt the eyes follow her out the door. Jamie felt that she was hiding something from her, and when Jamie was upset, Spike felt it as well, even though he had no real clue what. Blue sighed, already seeing the loss of yet another “family” and home in her near future.