Once her bruised pride had recovered, she yanked her wings in, doing her best to hide them under the thin, flimsy hospital gown. She shivered, despite herself; it was early enough in the morning to be cold, and now that she wasn't in rigorous physical activity anymore, she was starting to feel it. Her teeth chattered together for a few moments before she forcibly stilled them, and she clenched her elbows against herself. She was ninety percent sure that a few feathers of her wings were visible from outside the gown, but at the moment, she was more occupied with the need to get warm.
Luckily, the green area—Mal frowned, weren't there supposed to be less trees in cities?—was drop-dead deserted, and it looked like so was everything else. She tailed after Flick, trusting the older, more knowledgeable boy to lead her somewhere she could stop freezing. She looked at the road with fascination as she walked over it. She'd never seen one up close before, and wondered how they made something like that. She briefly realized that all of the tangential thoughts she was having were a coping mechanism, and that she was desperately trying to distract herself from two things: the aforementioned cold, and the fact that she was about ten seconds away from going absolutely ballistic with claustrophobia. She'd never really considered before what might happen if she got out; despite her fighting, she never really had any hope for leaving. So now that she was being inserted once again into a relatively closed area, she was starting to feel the blood boil in her brain, and was overtaken with the primal urge to leave, get out, oh god oh god oh god
. It wasn't so much being closed in that made her tense up, but a lack of sight; the buildings were blocking her sight line entirely in a quite unnatural way, and it was taking a toll on her.
Somehow, she managed to hold onto it until Rook popped the donations box open, and a cascade of black bags poured out. Ignoring any warning, outside or inside, she shredded into them, searching out underwear (the thermal kind, since she was still really cold), pants, a long-sleeve shirt, socks, and some ratty sneakers, hastily stripping and tossing them on at record speed with no care for privacy.
Once the clothing was on, she felt much
more comfortable, less exposed, and slightly less like she was about to vomit her guts out. Still, though, she was shaking, and she didn't know whether it was from the cold or because she felt like she might faint any second now. Food. Food, and then out.
The spires of the buildings around her were oppressively tall to her eyes, and she could feel her heart pulsing in her ears. It was a wonder, she thought, that nobody could hear her heartbeat racing at mach speed. If anything, the lack of gashes in the back of her new clothing only made her feel more constricted, and she found herself desperately wishing for a knife. For a multitude of reasons.
She shut her eyes tight, willing herself to calm down. Everyone else is just as lost as you are, and you aren't gonna do much when you're freaking out. Pull it together.
She stopped shaking, and her heartrate and breathing slowed enough that she didn't think she would lose it. Opening her eyes, she took a single ragged, deep breath, and gave a shaky smile.
"So, how do I look?