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you looked at death in a tarot card (and you saw what you had to do)

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It is known to all that Sophie Foster has the fucking weirdest taste in music.

He's heard her scream about 'closing the goddamn door' and how she's 'not okay'. He's also heard her hum about 'letting it go' and some other cheesy love ballad about being 'her September song'...

"Let's get down to business to defeat the...hans?" Finals week. In a desperate bid to cope with the mounting stress that came with the exams, Sophie started pulling out moves from nowhere and nearly socked Fitz in the nose.

(When asked, Dex shrugged. "Something about...Dizznee?" he replied vaguely, before rushing off to his next class. "Nothing to do with my family though." ....what did that even mean?)

What's worse, was that some of the songs weren't even in English. That he could recognise. Others just went over his head as Sophie excitedly belted out obscure lyrics. (What's a despacito?)

With all the strangeness of the music that she listened to, it was a pretty good indicator of her current mood. A warning sign for bad weather.

Every time after something particularly fucking disastrous happens (Mr Forkle's death being one more in that motherfucking long list), it's a toss-up between the angry screaming ones that threaten to pierce through his ears and into his brain or the sad ones. Yes, the graphic description was necessary. He always hopes for the angry ones. Not a Song himself, but the rage and power portrayed through the lyrics encapture his tumulous emotions pretty well. 

(He might've sneaked in sometimes when his mood was particularly low and he was being self-deprecating. They would just scream and jump as they raged about the fallacies of the society that they were born in. All of them had.)

The sad ones are the worst. Because half of the time she'd be crying along with sombre chords of the song.

He's faced the most notorious elf in recorded history and worried charge-less goblin bodyguards, but nothing scares him more than watching Sophie Foster cry.

What a sap.

So when he popped over for a visit - at her request, no less - it unnerved him to realise that the entire walk from the Leapmaster to Sophie's room, he's heard nothing. When asked, Edaline pressed her lips together and shook her head, worry plastered over her ageless features even without sensing them. "I'm not quite sure myself, but she's just been - quiet. She's barely said anything or ate anything at breakfast this morning, and I've only just returned from the birth of a pair of Eckodons this morning. Grady's still tending to the babies. We thought- since she's been doing so well for the past few days-"

The unfinished sentence was left hanging in the air, but it's meaning was clear. The group of them all had their bad days, trying but failing to cope with all the shit they've been through.

Sophie has never been this - withdrawn about it. Yeah, it always took some coaxing, but she was always willing to share.

Not this time. A series of soft knocks prompted a weak come in,  with him pushing her bedroom door open. only to see her sitting on her bed folded up upon herself, arms wrapped around herself. Sophie didn't look up as he stepped in. Something twinged in his chest, sharp and sour.

"You called?" As he walked in, attempting to diffuse the situation and trying his best to be gentle, she drew up a shaky breath and buried her head into her hands. The entire room was dim and gloomy, like she didn't pull her curtains back when waking up.

He could see Vertina hovering on the edge of the mirror, but when he glanced at her, she quickly shied away. It must've been ...intense, whatever it was, for the usually proud spectral to be so subdued.

"Hullo." Sophie sadly intoned, her downcast face tilted to the floor. She looked a right mess, and it wasn't because of her waking up or anything. Droplets of sweat beaded at her hairline, despite her shivering in the cool September chill. Her prominent dark eye circles as she whipped her head up for a brief moment of eye contact showed how little sleep she has been getting.

It was obvious that this wasn't the first time it happened, whatever it was that led to her lack of sleep. "Rough night?" He gingerly manoeuvres himself so that he's sitting on the edge of her bed, close enough for her to be in arm's reach, but not too close. And waits.

"Mmmhm." Incomprehensible murmuring could be heard as Sophie shifted slightly. When she spoke, her voice was barely louder than a whisper, hoarse like sandpaper.

Like she had been screaming all night. "Couldn't sleep."

"Yeah?" He was surprised that she started talking this easily. She must've been really out of it today. "Day-dreaming about anyone in particular?"

She huffed out an almost-laugh in amusement, a short exhale really, but Keefe took it as a small victory. "I see...when I-at night-. I see lots of faces when I close my eyes. I-I- don't really remember how it-them-no, they look like anymore, but they just keep-keep looking at me and I just-" The emotions that were thrown at him were border lining on hysteria, and Keefe knew that he had to do something to change the topic, fast.

"Eckodons." It was such a random change of topic that Sophie's emotions immediately changed into one of confusion.


"Do Eckodons show when pregnant?"

The laughter that bubbled out of her was unlike any cool spring or bubbling stream that one might've found depicted in literature. If Keefe had to describe it, it would be desperation.

Desperation for some sense of normalcy in every changing times. Keefe pitied her, to a certain extent. Their lives have not been normal for a long time.

"Where's Fitz?" He couldn't help himself from asking. It was well known that Fitz would've grabbed any chance at being Sophie's knight in shining armour. The lack of his best friend was highly suspicious, especially when Sophie and Keefe were alone.

If it were in any other situation than this, Grady would've busted a blood vessel.

"D-didn'- I didn't wanna bother him. He said Al- he said that Alden was bringing out and-" To hell with boundaries. Keefe immediately stretched an arm out to wrap around her shoulders and pull her slightly in. Not close enough to be romantic, but to enough to ensure that she could sense the underlying affection.

The embarrassment and shame that was being projected towards him were evident in her blotchy cheeks. "I wanted to talk to an Empath. No-none of the mindreading that always happens with Telepaths."

Another time, Keefe would focus more on how disturbing the normalcy of mind-reading deemed by Telepaths. Some may say it was similar to his own Emphatic abilities, but now it was more about the distress that Sophie was feeling, how she was tearing herself up inside. Right now, she's thinking that everything happening to them was her fault, but Keefe knows that it was just a passing low.

All that he can do for the moment is to keep her company, to try and prevent her from letting her guilt consume her. 

"Aw, you know I'll always make time for you Foster, all you had to do was just ask." The burst of happiness that sprung in his chest surprised him, yet made him feel incredibly guilty. He shouldn't be feeling so happy now when Sophie was obviously miserable.

"What are friends for? You listened to that long rant on the parents the other day." He hoped that she wouldn't detect the emotion that was in his voice as he spoke, lightly squeezing her shoulder as they swayed in tandem to some unheard beat. Whatever it was, it was soothing for Sophie, her sobs reduced to sniffles.

"You're never a bother to me."