The Contingent

One Day More

This Never-Ending Road to Calvary

“So this is it, man, one way or the other. We win or we die. Or maybe we win and we die. ¿Quien sabe?"

“Girl, why you gotta be so damn depressing right now,” Reggie replied, “when y’all so damn close to the end of this shit?”

“Because I need it to be over, hermano. I was ready for it to be over in Raleigh. Two seconds away from picking Mal up and walking through that door straight into Hell, just to finish this. Church says that’s a sin, but then, we’ve apparently been praying to robots all along, so I’m not sure how much sin really matters, you know?”

“Listen, kid, before I was a car, I was drunk and homeless, so I know a few things about not feeling like anything matters. The only place that kinda talk leads is further down the hole. And that’s the last place you need to be if you’re gonna be fighting the zombie apocalypse or whatever. So, seriously, get your shit together and go kick ass, baby. It’s what you do. And quit asking your damn car for advice, chica. That’s what that half-wit down in New Orleans is for.”

The soft huff of a suppressed laugh escaped Eva’s lungs as she answered, “ _ Si, _ Regg, I know. But no one knows me better than my car. Not even my girl, since the whole soul replacement thing.” She lovingly ran her hand along the steering wheel of the ‘70 Impala. “Anyway, ’mano, I rigged up the walkies like I said I would, so that I’ll still be able to talk to you even from a distance. You won’t be able to answer back, but you should still be able to hear me if I call for you. Hopefully, it’ll help in a pinch. We’ll be on the road in the morning.”

“You and your lady get some rest, girl. Long road ahead.”

_

Sleep took a long time coming. Eva lay staring up at the ceiling, as Mal curled into her side, and could only think “By this time tomorrow, we’ll probably be…” She didn’t finish the thought, not because she was afraid of it, but because she wasn’t. Not really. Not anymore. There had been a time, not so long ago, when being dead had seemed like the worst possible outcome. But there were worse things. Case in point: zombies. Dead really wasn’t so bad.

The last few years with Mal had been a gift. Eva had never believed that she could love someone like this after the way she’d shut down when Mamá had died, but Mal and her weird ways had weaseled their way into her heart. Granted, they had also been years of pants-shitting terror, but that was on the vampires, and Carver, and the Patrons, and…

Anyway, people like Eva, they didn’t just get good shit handed to them without having to pay for it somehow. First it was just the running. Then, failing to stop Mal from losing her soul. Maybe…maybe this was gonna be the last payment. That was fair, right? For three years of love with Mal, and friendship with so many others that she never would have met otherwise? For three years of being more than just a mechanic and a thief? Totally fair.

Besides, she might even survive.

Especially if she got some goddamn sleep.

One more dawn.

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