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They All Go

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Tahani goes through the door.

Of course, she does. Everyone does eventually. But for her, it just took a little longer than most. After all, she’s Tahani Al-Jamil, she had to make sure she had been the best Good Place architect the damn afterlife has ever seen!

And she did.

Even Vicky was impressed, her designs subtle yet brilliant. Her success rate consistent and effective. She had single handedly became the first—and so far only—human to not only become an architect, but one of the best.

So it only made sense, after her latest—and last—design was put into action that she stand up from her desk, bid both Shawn and Glen a farewell, and walk out of the building forever.

“You know,” she says to Janet, her legs crossed under her floral printed St. Christian Garden Party Frock. “I thought I’d be sadder.”

“You are,” Janet says, knowingly. “But you’re trying to hide it from me.”

She was correct of course, and her words sent a bubble of…something up into Tahani’s throat. Tears pricked her eyes and suddenly her breathes were uneven and rapid. She wanted to go. It was her time and it shouldn’t be sad. It should be happy and joyous and calm. Maybe a little bittersweet, but not like this. Not like this.

“I’m sorry.” Janet said, as Tahani buried her head into the crook where Janet’s neck met her shoulder. She doesn’t know how long or how many Bearimies go by before she final, miraculously, stops crying.

“Thank you,” Tahani muttered, sucked snot back up into her nose with a truly unladylike snort. “Please tell me I’m not the only one who broke down like this.”

“Eleanor wanted to,” Janet replies. “But found she didn’t really feel the need too. Chidi had already cried about it to himself in the bathroom. And Jason…never really thought it was something to cry about.”

“And the others?” she asks. “William Shakespeare? Stone Cold Steve Austin? The man who invented the Jalapeño Popper?”

“I don’t know,” Janet says. Then pauses. “Actually, I do. But I wasn’t the Janet who took them here.”

Janet doesn’t need to elaborate and Tahani doesn’t need to ask. This will be Janet’s last visit to the door for the rest of eternity.

“I’m scared.” Tahani whispers.

“Me too.” Janet whispers back.

They sit for a little while longer. A few more Bearimies until Tahani is ready.

Then she stands. Hugs Janet so tightly. Sighs a single, breathlessly sigh. And marches through the door with her head held high and shoulders back, which is a very Tahani Al-Jamil way to go out, Janet thinks to herself as she sits on the bench alone.

 

When Michael calls Janet to the door. She knows.

She was wrong with Tahani. Because this will be the last time she is in this clearing.

Michael opens his mouth. Then closes it. Then opens it again.

Then Janet is crying. And he’s crying. And then Janet is crying even harder because he is crying. She didn’t even know when, during which reboot it was, that she sudden found herself able to cry like this.

There are no words to say. No sappy goodbyes or fond memories of times long gone. Just a demon turned architect turned human and a Janet, held together by nothing more then a single, unbreakable bond.

She doesn’t know when they’ve pulled away or when Michael walks through the door. Just that they have and he has.

Then she’s alone. And bings away.

 

The Judge is in the middle of a burrito when Janet appears, startling her so much that meat and black beans squirt out onto her lobster-themed bib.

“Janet what the he—” she starts.

“I’d like to be marbleized now, please.” Janet interrupts, thrusting a paperclip at the Judge. Her voice is wet and her throat is tight. The Judge blinks at her for a second. Then another. Then another. Then takes the paperclip from her hand.

“Ok.”

The Judge does not ask questions. She does not try to talk Janet out of it. She does not say “that's not how this works” nor “you’re just a Janet.”

Instead she bings the two of them to the door. Inserts the paperclip into the small hole behind her ear and presses her nose.

Janet counts.

One.

Two.

Three.

But then keeps going.

Four.

Five.

“Alright.” The Judge says. The paperclip disappears and the Judges gestures to the door behind her.

And Janet goes.

Then the Judge is alone.

 

Six little lights like fireflies drift through the dust of time. They are barely a whisper. A second thought. A kind gesture. They are little things, little kindnesses in the world that brush up against humanity and make their lives a little more bearable.

Who these six little lights are does not matter. They have no minds. No thoughts. No soul or spirit. Whoever they were, they are gone and their essences returned to the universe that created them.

But maybe it does matter, as these six little lights come together like old friends reunited and the world is suddenly a little more reckless. A little more anxious. A little more courageous. A little more determined. A little more excited. A little more knowledgeable.

A little bit better.

And those six little lights are not alone.