"Arabella... do you love me?" The words stuck in Kat's throat, but she tried to keep her voice steady anyways. She knew the inevitable answer, the answer that wasn't Bella's fault. It was the scientists' fault.
"No," she expected to hear, but instead Arabella replied with a soft, hesitant, "I don't know."
For some reason, this sparked hope in Kat. Perhaps it was because Bella's expression told her that she wanted to say yes, but couldn't. ...Or wouldn't. Then she instantly felt guilty for even thinking it. So she nodded, took Bella by the hand, and trudged on, searching for a new topic. "The others are really picky about food," she said lamely, trying to make herself sound interested. "But we should just grab anything that we find and bring it back."
Arabella gave her a stiff nod, scanning the area. The pastel girl took that as an invitation to be quiet. After a few moments the brown-haired teen hurried over to an abandoned building, waving for her friend to follow. Kat couldn't understand why until she saw the faded letters of a supermarket sign. "Stand back," warned Arabella before she suddenly grabbed a rock and hurled it at the glass.
It instantly shattered, pricking her arms and dotting them with beads of blood and scratches, but she barely seemed bothered by it as she grabbed another rock and used it to knock away the jagged edges. She then slipped in, heading off to an aisle without waiting for her friend. Shaking her head, Kat ducked in after her, keeping her arms close to her sides to avoid being cut.
Kat felt some of the weight being lifted from her shoulders. Back when things were normal, this was how she would've felt if she was told that she was switching schools. This was how some would feel if they won the lottery. The store was like a treasure trove, barely any of the food taken from their shelves, and there were other supplies stacked neatly against the left wall. This could keep them fed for weeks. Maybe they could settle down and make this area their home for awhile.
Once they shook themselves out of their daze the pair immediately grabbed as many bags as their arms could hold and started filling them. Matches, blankets, canned foods, can openers... Even soap and some cheap changes of clothes, and Kat went a little overboard on stocking up on paper plates, pans, and silverware. Bella's good eye gleamed with hints of excitement, although she was incapable of eating, and she stacked their things into a shopping cart.
"I can already imagine Laine's face when they see this," Kat puffed, out of breath while she grabbed a few extra bags that wouldn't fit and started to head back.
"Mhm." She pushed the full cart along without even breaking a sweat, casting a glance at Kat every now and again. After a few minutes, she stopped and turned to face her friend.
"What's wrong?" Kat furrowed her brow. The one eyed girl took a few steps towards her, leaning forward till their lips connected. Both of them were hesitant and bad at it, but it felt good; it felt comforting. Kat's face heated up and a tiny smile came to her lips. But when Arabella pulled away her expression was blank, and she started pushing the cart again. Kat followed her, a rare spring in her step. Maybe Two-Bit's "emotion lessons" really were getting through Bella's apathetic barrier..
That's when everything went wrong.
Arabella grabbed a frying pan, and, out of nowhere, swung it hard at Kat's head. The nimble lavender-haired girl barely managed to duck under it in time, and she vaguely remembered Bella telling her that she had an "expiration" date, the day when the chip that kept her human would shut down. But she refused to believe it. It was only when Arabella swung again that she realized it was too late. They should've been figuring out a way to prolong Arabella's life instead of traveling, but it was too late.
Dodging the blow again, she drove her knife into her love's chest, biting back a sob when Bella let out a cry of pain and crumpled to the ground. Blood collected in a steady pool around her body, and Kat could feel something damp on her hand, but she was only focused on the tangled mess of hair on the ground, and the slim fingers that had been intertwined with hers only moments before. With a blood-curdling scream Kat hurled the nearest can at the building across from them, tears streaming down her face.
It wasn't fair... The expiration date wasn't fair, the fact that she was experimented on at all wasn't fair... The fact that she had had to kill her wasn't fair.
Numbly Kat picked herself to her feet and started pushing the cart. She was so focused on putting one foot in front of the other that she didn't notice the faint touch of a hand on hers.
She didn't hear a quiet whisper of "I'm sorry."