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They’re on the way back from the venue when Bianca spots emergency lights up ahead on the bridge.  Traffic slows to a crawl, and their driver catches her eye in the rear view mirror.

”Sorry ladies, I’ll see if I can find an alternate route, but this could take a while.”

Adore blinks sleepily from the seat next to Bianca, pouting between yawns.  Behind them, Courtney is busy texting someone (probably Willam) and Darienne heaves an emphatic sigh.  

“Well then,” Darienne mutters sarcastically, “at least we’re not the ones in an accident.”

It’s a sign of how truly tired they all are that no one offers even a partially shady response, although Bianca considers and discards half a dozen comebacks about airbags and elephants.  Instead, she slouches further in the seat and tugs her hood down to block the flashes of blue light.  The rhythm of Courtney’s fingers on her phone fades into the background, and she doesn’t bother fighting the urge to close her eyes.

At least they untucked before leaving.

********

Bianca raises her chin from her chest to the sound of the driver cursing quietly.  They’re moving slowly down narrow streets lined with shops, still bumper to bumper with other cars but making progress nonetheless.  

To her left, Adore is slumped against the window, head bouncing unevenly against the glass with every dip in the cobbled streets. The heater is on, but it’s still too cold inside for her to offer her own hoodie as a pillow.  Adore doesn’t seem to be bothered by it though, so Bianca supposes it won’t do her any harm.

She’s on the verge of drifting back to sleep when a particularly jarring bump produces a cringeworthy knock followed by a low groan.  Behind her, Courtney and Darienne have both given in to sleep as well and neither of them have anything more cushioning than a sequined clutch between them.  

Adore doesn’t wake up when Bianca carefully untangles her from the seatbelt, all fluidly loose limbs and lolling head.  She’s too much shorter than Adore to prop her easily on her shoulder, but leaving her to be concussed by a window isn’t doing them a favor either.  

The next thump (and what is it with the UK and uneven roads?) and swerve to avoid an oncoming cab solves the problem, as Adore tips right over and onto Bianca.  She shifts just enough to free her arm, and Adore settles comfortably against her chest with a soft sigh.  If asked, she’d pretend to be annoyed, but deep in her currently less-than-chilly heart there’s nothing but incredible fondness for the lapful of mermaid.

Bianca doesn’t go back to sleep, but spends the next hour warm and strangely content.