After relinquishing the rat, Lelia curled tightly on her side of the car, pressing her cheek against the window. She glanced briefly at Tophat pestering Princess and then shook her head, reminded of her girlfriend and their easy banner. But that was over now...

She stared out the window. Leila hated being confined with other people in control. She looked at the driver.

"How close is the nearest town?" 

Princess looked at her, surprised at her uncertain and anxious tone. Lelia had always seemed pretty tough.

"Oh, not a long while. I'd say about another hour and a half of driving, at the most."

She gave a slight whimper and curled tighter in her seat, giving in to the moment of weakness. Soon she dozed off into a light sleep.

A rough whisper was in her ear.

"Are you okay?"

Lelia started, jerking and being pulled back by the seatbelt. It was a moment before she calmed and realized Tophat was speaking.

"Yeah. I'm fine." She shrunk back.

"It's only about a half hour to town. We'll be able to get food then," he said. "No need to make rat gumbo," He chuckles.

"Good, yeah," she responded, making clear the conversation was over. She didn't want to talk right then. 

They all spent the remaining twenty minutes in relative silence, with Street Rat stroking his pet protectively, Princess flipping through her camera, and Tophat seated on the other side of Lelia's seat.

"Thank you," said Street rat politely as the man ground to a stop. He smiled and nodded, and the group was let out into the cold, brightly lit night.

The End

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