Bak strained under her own weight, pressing against the familiar pattern of the school with both hands. She pushed herself up enough for her to take a breath, then started the awkward process of getting her legs up under her so she could stand.
She rose slowly, trying ineffectually to brush the dirt and black grime off her uniform. She was definitely going to have to be doing some laundry tonight. At least the black gunk was no longer leaking from her launcher. She would need to find a way to clean that too. After all, she couldn't go looking like this to the next council meeting.
Yuuto had fallen unceremoniously to the floor as she'd fallen through, and after checking that he had no real noticeable injuries from that she scooped him up and placed him on a nearby bench. Luckily they seemed to be near the gym, so if nobody came for him she could go get one of the mats to lay him on. After he woke up he would be getting that lecture about trying too hard to win.
She spotted David off to the side and gave him an appreciative nod for getting them home. He might have been the one to out Yuuto in this state, but she had already chalked that up to a misunderstanding considering everything else that had happened today. Yeah, all this infighting had just been a series of horrible misunderstandings and everything would be just business as usual come tomorrow. Christine would be a pervert, Vittorio would be depressed, Gilliam would be weird, and Rurik would be lazy. Speaking of Rurik, he had better not be lollygagging on getting through that portal-
"Where is portal?" She asked, looking at the blank wall she had stepped through to get back here. Bak turned slowly, looking up and down the hallway to try and get a glimpse of Rurik. He wasn't there. "What has happened?" She asked, stepping up to the wall. She searched the wall like she did the hallway, looking like she thought she'd find him in the off white paintjob if she just tried hard enough. Then she raised a fist and pounded on the wall like it was a door. "Rurik?" She called, knocking again with both hands. "Rurik!"
They had left him.
She had left him.
She just stood there for a moment, the flats of her hands pressed up against this wall like it was the only thing keeping her from her friend. Her eyes flicked over to her hands, to the dried blood that was starting to fleck off as she pressed her fingers against the drywall, harder and harder until there was a cracking sound as they went straight in, sending out a spider web of fissures around her hands. She stepped back, cold, and looked down at Yuuto. All the events of the past hour came flooding back to her.
Vittorio, hurt then abandoned.
Celestine, abandoned at a place that was destroyed.
The only person fine was David, who she hadn't even known before today. And herself, of course. During all of this nonsense she had managed to keep herself safe. Bak Tsarevna had somehow gotten out okay!
She put her head in hands and stood there, shaking. A great sheepheard is willing to fight for a single sheep. So what do you call a sheepheard that hadn't protected a single one? That had just sat there and let them fight one another? That couldn't even go get them because she didn't know where they were?
She had one job...
"Can you send me back?" She asked quietly as she lifted her head, despite knowing the answer now.