I looked over my shoulder.  “What?  Nothing.”

“You’re trying to get some favor from me.”

She already got one of those today…

“No, I’m really not.  It might feel like it, with the timing and what we’re going to talk about with Lisa and the others, but it’s really not.

Hm? So this upcoming meeting is not about their costumes.

Is it about going up against Coil?

You’re free to argue and disagree with me or the rest of us, just like usual.  The costume’s a gift.”

“I don’t get many gifts.”

Well, then this can be considered a first step towards fixing that. 🙂

I shrugged.  What was I supposed to say to that?  I couldn’t help but feel that if I were a little more socially adroit, I’d have had a snappy answer.

She kept talking.  “All of the stuff I’ve gotten, it’s been with strings attached.  Used to get gifts from one of my foster dads,” she paused.  “And I get the money from Coil.”

Money from Coil may seem like a gift but I really don’t think it is.

“Those aren’t really presents.  They’re more like bribes or enticements.  Really truly, this is no strings attached.  You can act like you normally would, I won’t expect any different.”

Again, that glower.

Maybe the glower is just Rachel’s way of saying “thank you”.

I swallowed.  “Wear it or don’t wear it.  It’s okay either way.  It’s not a big deal.”

“I’ll wear it,” she said.

Excellent 🙂

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