Barker had pushed me, I’d left him mewling like a baby.

At the same time, I faced a dilemma on the opposite end of things.  I wanted to help people, and I wanted to build friendships with the others.  With the way Bitch sort of mandated that I go the extra mile, it was hard to be nice to her without seeming weak to others.

And seeming weak to her isn’t good either, even when trying to be nice.

Well, what they didn’t see didn’t hurt them.

So basically you’re going to be nice to her in secret?

First tsundere Rachel and now secret meetings where their true feelings can shine? You’re spoiling the Taylor/Rachel shippers this chapter.

I stepped downstairs.

“Bitch?” I asked.  “A word?”

She frowned, glancing at the food.

Take it with you.

“We’ll be done before the food is,” I promised.

Oh, right, it’s not done yet.

She followed me up the stairs.

“It’s not complete,” I admitted, walking over to where I had fabric draped over a workbench.

Ooh, costume show-off time!

Fashion montage! Fashion montage! Fashion montage!

Except… wasn’t Taylor not supposed to make one for Rachel?

I picked up one piece and flicked it out.  “I just figured you’d want to see it and voice any complaints before the others got here, so your voice doesn’t get drowned out.”

That really is a good thing to do. The others are quite a bit more talkative than Rachel, so she can have trouble getting her points across.

She took it from my hands.  It was a jacket, not dissimilar to the one she’d lent me once upon a time, but it was naturally lighter.  There was a hood with a fluffy fur border at the edges, extending around in front of her shoulders.  Besides the zippers and buttons, the fur was the only thing I hadn’t made myself.

Ooooh. Taylor made a costume but made sure it was in Rachel’s style.

So does that mean this jacket is made of spider silk?

“I dyed it dark gray.  I figured if you wanted it any color, you’d want it something dark, so I can tint it dark red, dark blue, dark green, or whatever you want.”

Rachel: “I’m colorblind.”

She stared at it, her forehead creased.

“It’s spider silk.  Tensile strength like steel, but flexible enough to resist wear and tear that steel wire would experience.  And it’s lighter than the steel would be.  Knives won’t cut it.  I figured you’d want a heavier feel, judging by the jacket you lent me before, so I put rectangular panels of armor in between the inner and outer layer to give it more substance.

Awesome.

I originally meant for there to be an undershirt or something you can wear to protect your upper body for when you don’t have it zipped up, but I kind of cannibalized it for my own costume, after I burned my legs.  I’ll have the shirt ready for you in a week or two.  Here, there’s leggings, too.  They survived.”

I picked up the leggings.  Unlike the jacket, they were skin-tight.

I don’t know how Rachel’s going to feel about that.

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