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I've Walked That Road, I've Felt That Shame (No Place Is Home, But Times, They Are Changin')

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“Are you okay?” Sebastien asked softly as he sat down next to her on the grass.

“Yeah, I’m fine,” Nile said.

“Okay,” he said, despite the fact that he could see the tears running down her face and had heard her crying. She’d talk when she was ready.

“What- what are you doing out here?”

“It’s a nice night,” he said, looking up at the sky. “I like looking at the stars, especially when it’s clear. There’s so many missing, but it’s still beautiful.”

She looked over at him, and it all came crashing back down on her. She was immortal, these people were immortal. Sebastien remembered a time before there was this much light pollution, when you could see so many stars.

Nile let out another sob and buried her face in her hands.

“Do you want to talk about it?” he asked, resting a hand on her back.

“I- I just miss them,” she whispered. “My family.”

“I’m sorry,” he said.

Nile moved leaned over to rest her head on his shoulder, and he wrapped his arm around her, resting his cheek on her head.

“I miss my family, too,” he said quietly. “Sometimes I think that the others just don’t understand it. Nicky and Joe have each other. Andy gets it a little more, because of Quynh, but she knows Quynh’s alive, has hope that she’ll get to see her again, someday. It’s a… different kind of sadness.”

“I miss my mom, my brother. I just- I miss them.”

Sebastien said nothing, just tightening his arm around her. She didn’t need someone to try to convince her it was okay, or that she had a new family now, she just needed someone to be there with her. That was what he had needed, and it seemed to hold true for her as well.

He just held her as she cried, mourning her life, her family. The people who were alive, alive and well, but that she could never see again.

She eventually began to calm, her tears slowing, and shortly after that, he looked down at her to see that she’d fallen asleep on his shoulder.

“You’ll be okay,” he whispered. “I promise.”