Penny smirked as Emily began to freak out over this Babylon person, although admittedly Penny was in the dark on who the hell was Babylon and why they deserved any sort of excited response. Madison floated the idea of it potentially being someone else. Penny tilted her head. The only other person she knew of with any sort of borderline interest would have been Saul, and that man, despite his denial, would want Annabelle dealt with more than anybody else in the world. At least that was what Penny had originally thought, but the dude did lead a cult and any good cult needed a doomsday prophecy. Annabelle was that for the Forgiven—end of the world type shit.“Fuck,””
said Penny, throwing her head back. She’d assumed Saul played dumb about Annabelle because he didn’t want to admit her existence. What if he’d wanted to protect her? She couldn’t decide if her theory was completely stupid or just stupid enough that it might be the truth. She didn’t have a chance to voice it as a swarm of insects buzzed overhead. Penny snapped her head over to the lamppost and spiraled a ring of coins around her hand, in the process shouting out one loud, “Fuck!”
as a Dollhouse croney appeared.
Penny’s eyes narrowed as Johnny appeared as well, but she held her hand and heard them out—clamping a hand tightly over her mouth as she snorted at his suggestion of them making an alliance. Fucking christ, the dude sees one deal go south and he’s ready to stab the entire organization in the back? Yeah, no way teaming up with a creep like that could ever possibly backfire. Fortunately, she wasn’t in the Coven. She didn’t have to go along with their choice, whichever one they picked—but it seemed like the girls were leaning towards the sensible option.
Penny shook her head in denial as Johnny listed off Kimberly’s sins. It had to be utter bullshit. He revealed to them that the girl with shitty dreads was none other than Sharon. Penny bite back her lip as the idiot girl she’d executed had the gull to wave at her. She returned Sharon’s greeting with a disgusted huff but resisted the urge to strike. However, the look of malice softened as Penny recalled her conversations with Odessa. A look of guilt crossed her face as Penny lowered her head.
She fell deaf to the rest of the conversation, tuning back in as it seemed like the Coven had made its decision to not work with the Dollhouse rejects to stage a coup. Penny watched as the DENS booked Johnny and Sharon before she turned to join Madison in her car, taking the spot that once would’ve belonged to Claudette. Penny paused before entering the vehicle, told Madison to hold on, and marched over to Sharon as she was being escorted by the agents into the back of their black car. Penny called out to the agents to stop and held her hands up, showing that she meant no harm, and gave Sharon a soft smile.“Hey, I want you to know that I forgive you. Don’t fuck up your second chance more than you already have. I’m pretty sure this is the last one you get,”
she said, with a hint of genuine concern lingering at the back of her strained voice. Penny quickly turned, not wanting to hear what Sharon had to say, and walked away. However, she stopped after a few feet, looked over her shoulder, and with a wrinkle of her nose added, “You should really do something about your hair.”
With that, Penny hopped into Madison’s car.
Vashti was lucky. She was lucky because Cindy didn’t lock her up alongside Kimberly. She was lucky because Meifeng didn’t let her grudge about the truck stop her from taking the girl to the hospital, although a part of her felt like the only reason she’d been kept alive was so she could cash in on that debt at some point. She was lucky that her wounds had healed quicker than anticipated. She was lucky because despite Kimberly fucking things up (and it was Kimberly, probably), the DENS agents in Miami had managed to get their hands on a few cures when they had hunted down the Dollhouse.
Actually, that last part hadn’t just been pure luck: if not for Vashti, DENS wouldn’t have known that the Coven was dealing with the Dollhouse. Claudette was dead, which Vashti felt more of a weird tinge of guilty relief about than anything else, but nobody else had died thanks to the girl narcing the group out. Vashti hoped the Coven would recognize that she’d tried helping them, as little as she could do, but as she kicked water at the edge of the pool she couldn’t help but feel uneasy. Her jacket and her headscarf sat folded on a deckchair, holding a seat as far away from Madison as possible. Vashti lifted her head as Lyss joined the group. "To put it plainly, there are only two potions to give today…”“Huh?”
Vashti felt her heartbeat quicken. She closed her eyes and gripped her chipped nails against the siding of the pool. Slowly, she counted backwards from ten. It’d be okay. They’d recognize that she deserved one for sending backup their way in Miami and then she’d be cured and then she’d no longer have to deal with this merry band of jerkasses. She opened her eyes and heard Emily start roaring with laughter. Vashti shot her a look. This was not funny. Okay, maybe it was a little funny. Of course this is the way things would be. Soon, Vashti heard her own laugh. The sound was almost foreign. She stopped laughing as Emily started to talk.
"I'm gonna be nice here and inform people of a few things; my sister is dying. Herik's mother is also dying. The other person with a curse just throws a magical temper tantrum," said Emily.“Wait…”
Magical temper tantrums? Every time the Leviathan attacked she nearly got herself killed. Every time the Leviathan attacked it nearly killed somebody else, too. Son of a bitch, Vashti was pretty sure she’d eaten a motherfucker. She needed it more than the others. She deserved it more than the others. The only reason they had any cures was because of her. The Coven would’ve came back empty handed if at all otherwise. “Emily!”
"I'm sorry Vashti, but it's the truth. We can get you another cure."
Bullshit, bullshit, bullshit. This was some sick fucking joke. Vashti scrambled up from her poolside seat and turned towards Emily, a verbal beatdown held fast on the tip of her tongue, ready to unleash a flurry of blows. Vashti sharply inhaled and said, “Okay.”
Okay? No, no, no, not okay. The word had come out in Vashti’s voice, but it hadn’t been what she wanted to say. She wanted to call Emily out for being the world’s biggest fucking bitch. Vashti wanted to let her know that being dead would’ve be better than being related to Emily. She wanted to let Herik know that his mom was old and had a good run and might not even really be cursed in the first place so why waste a potion on her when Vashti clearly deserved it more? She wanted to yell at them for failing to have her back, as if promises made at a Red Lobster meant nothing. No, no, no, this was unfair. This was so unfair. “It’s okay, Emily. You’re right. They need it more than me. I’ll manage,”
Her words came out slow and strained, the Leviathan forcing her will over Vashti to deny the girl of a cure. Perhaps the Coven would think that Vashti had taken Madison’s words about her selfishness to heart, unaware that she was internally screaming herself ragged. The Leviathan forced Vashti to smile an unnatural smile at Emily, as if two spectral fingers had pushed the corner of her lips up for her. She turned and walked towards her deckchair in a near catatonic state, sat down on the edge of it, and stared at the ground in horror.