Subject: Cassandra Aubrey and the Peculiar Headgear
Posted on: 2018-01-25 09:09:00 UTC

"Mornin', sleepyhead."


"I said, mornin', sleepyhead!"



"Aaa!" Cass sat bolt upright for exactly 0.3 seconds. Then her head collided with the top bunk and she bounced back down onto the pillow. There were words. Most of them had four letters.

"Sooooo, d'you remember what today is?"

"with a rusty- mwha? No, not really, too busy being in pain at the moment."

Em stepped back and spread her arms wide. "It's your unbirthday! Wooooo!"

"... I don't follow."

"And that means we're going out to celebrate-"

"You wake me up in the middle of the night to tell me this?"

"It's three pee emm, Cass."

"Yes, and I'm still technically a student. Three in the afternoon indeed. What the hell kind of waking-up time is that? What sad, demented people are ready to do anything by then?"

Em quirked an eyebrow. "Most of them."

"That is both lies and slander." Cass still stretched, yawned hugely, and glanced at one of the clocks. "Anyway, look, it's only twenty past five in the morning."

"That's the clock tells time in Tahiti."

"Then today I am being Tahiti-ish. Tahitian? Tahitese? One of them." Cass blinked and rubbed her eyes, moving her thick mane of hair out of the way and tucking it behind her ears. "Wait. Hold on. What's that coming out the top of your head?"

"Uh..." Em paused, smiled sheepishly. "It's a plume."

"I know it's a plume, but - wait. You're wearing a knight helmet. Why are you wearing a knight helmet?"

Em lifted the visor up and rubbed her brow, the movement of her wrists making the metal hinges squeak. "Look, Cass, I know you don't go out much, but... well, a few days ago I went to the cafeteria and a huge fight kicked off. Some doofus in a uniform showed up and started posturing, and Sally from group therapy - you know, the ex-Suvian from NCIS? - saw her and had a flashback, and before I could do anything there was this mass brawl. And, and I hadda get out, y'know? An' I got dinged in the head by a plate on the way out, which is... which is why I'm wearing the helmet."

Cass just sat there, staring. Then she got up and wrapped Em up in a wordless, fierce hug.

"Thanks, Cass."

Time passed.

"You don't want to go back alone, do you, Em?"

"Gurl, I don't wanna go back period. But I have to eat, and I have to make you eat - yeah, Cass," Em raised a hard, forestalling the objection, "I know I'm not your carer, but you kinda suck at remembering to eat most of the time. I just... yeah."

Cass let go and stepped back. "Well, I'd better go and get dressed then. But before I do..."

She fished her wand out from under her pillow and flourished it at Em. The other girl's clothes suddenly ballooned outwards and adopted a metallic sheen, as well as joints, hinges, and a general armoured theme. Alas, the newly-Transfigured suit of armour still had the same Paw Patrol print as Em's pyjamas, but it was the thought that counted.

"Uh, what?"

"Now you match!" Cass grinned and hugged her partner again. "Right then. Let's get this over with. I'm... actually hungry for once."

And so they wandered off towards the cafeteria, clanking noisily, arm in arm.

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