Being woken up unexpectedly is something everyone gets used to, but nobody is enjoyed with. I'm not an exception to that rule, espessially when the thing that woke me up that day was the cloth I used as roofing slowly floating onto me, and then the piece of broken off dead coral slamming the side of my face.

A rather average cookie stood above me, holding the other one, with a look of concern in their eyes. And next to them was --

It seemed like a pattern, to see the savior of my life around, but it had started to occur less and less as we aged into adulthood, and how the most words we shared were thank-yous for small favors you'd do for anybody. But now, the closest we had been near each other since that fateful day, she stood, with that same concern as the other one, the older one. And I was still grogged from slumber, lifting my upper self up, sitting up, asking what they wanted from me, explaining that I was perfectly fine where I was and that I could fend and feed myself and it's not like I needed any better because it's either this or so much worse and --

The sudden realization with a few words that most cookies weren't, in fact, homeless, and even fewer trying to justify it that badly. I shut up quick, the two talked, and I was given the closest advice and the closest they to an offer. Guardianship program. Guaranteed housing. The things most people took as granted, I could be served in exchange for my usefulless. And a remark the one I knew less made...with claws like mine, I could be an asset? Strange.

But after a few minutes of shambling what I could into a small bag, the same size or smaller as I had come with into that makeshift home, I was taken by the hand of Mocha Ray, who I still actually didn't know the name of, but god, her hands, soft hands. Soft, unscarred, hands. The feeling it took me with, the first of butterflies in the stomach, the maturation of my head brung feelings aimed at the only person I could aim it at, and the chest feels heavy.

This was written on 1/1/2022! Happy New Year's to those who see this then, some relevant art is your reward.