Memento Mori — II

"Listen, Mo," Infernaga whines, lying on her sofa with a blanket draped over nearly all of her, "I know what you're gonna — you're gonna say that Valentine's Day is, like, fundamentally connected to primal needs and drives and essential humanity but — can I still hate on Valentine's Day? Just for a bit? 'Cause I hate Valentine's Day—"

"You can hate anything you want to," Memento Mori says. "I would never prevent you from hating things. This, too, is entirely human."

"Yeah, but. You're." Infernaga laboriously turns over, tucking the blanket tightly over her head, and continues, muffled. "You're all wise and shit and I want to be, I want to be calm and thoughtful and be angry about the right things, but...."

Memento Mori pulls the blanket back from her face and stoops over her, sinking and looming, black shroud settling around Infernaga.

"I hate the little sweets," she says, in a chilling hiss. "The terrible little round pastel ones with little words on. They taste like chalk. This is a betrayal. This is a betrayal of candy and humanity and taste."

Infernaga turns her head, looking into the impenetrable shadow of Memento Mori's hood, seeking the tiny glints of her eyes within uncanny blackness.

"Okay," she mumurs. "That makes me feel a bit better—" and then cold lips muffle whatever else she might have said.

"When you have finished indulging in sadness," Mememto Mori says eventually, drawing back ever so slightly, "We are due at the city's most expensive Italian restaurant at eight."

"We are?"

"To witness the automated delivery of a bomb threat to every single cell phone in the building."

Infernaga's lip quivers. "For me?"

"For you."

"God, I think I love you," Infernaga says in a helpless little wobbly voice.