Chapter 2 "Snakes" 15

After the gods are gone, Sage looks down at Mayumi’s feet, then back up at her.

“Where did you go, May?” he asks, sternly. “She’s been rushing around, looking for you.”

She looks down at her own feet and sees the dirt of the streets on them. “I had to...follow someone. I had to! Don’t look at me like that, Sage!”

“She’s already worn out from making our home for us,” he says, his voice tight. “All this is new to her too, not just us.” He turns and moves away from her.

“Wait, you went outside?” asks Cherry. “What’s it like? Oh, I wanna go!”

“May! Y’shouldna gone outside! It must be dangerous out there! And Cherry, don’t you dare!” Rosemary gasps.

“Sage...I was investigating a crime...” Mayumi pleads, ignoring Merri and Cherry.

He turns and looks at all three of them, clearly upset, raising his voice. “Yesterday was the first time we’ve truly been together since... ever! We have all been separated for all these years, nothing but thoughts in each other’s heads. This is the first time we could all be together, be family, and you’re wondering off into the streets, and you two,” pointing at Merri and Cherry, “are already talking about moving into your own room and leaving her! And you keep bothering her with questions about the bar! Can you give her one day, one day to just be with us?”

After his words, the silence is absolute. The younger Bunnies look at their older siblings with worry and a lack of comprehension. Rosemary and Cherry hold hands, looking miserable. Mayumi, eyes downcast, looks up at Sage after a moment, then steps to him and embraces him, her face against his shoulder, nodding in unspeaking acceptance of his criticism. He holds her gently in return.

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