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Disclaimer: I own no characters or settings, more's the pity. No copyright infringement is intended.

This is a just a random little thing that suddenly appeared in my head a few months ago. Dusted it off the other night and kept writing, and I think I might go on.

For DD, as always, for encouraging me and being amazing.
Shane was sitting in the photo studio again, for whatever it was worth. She tended to do that a lot lately. Whether it was masochism or a way to keep Jenny's memory alive didn't seem to make any difference. She was just there, staring blankly at the walls for hours on end. There wasn't anything else to do, and she had no desire to do it even if there had been.

The house was gone now, at least for her. She'd given it to Max, figuring he and the baby could use it a lot more than she could. Not that she could really bring herself to step inside anymore. The only thing she seemed to feel at all was empty, and it just got worse the more time she spent at the house. She hadn't wanted anyone else to touch Jenny's things, so she'd sorted them herself, despite the rest of them trying to talk her out of it. She felt like she owed it to Jenny, though, so she spent day after day in her room, looking through clothes and books and personal effects and feeling like she was losing it with each item.

She didn't know how, but she'd gotten through it. It was impossible to sleep in her own room and she couldn't handle the couch, so she's started to sleep in the car. Max had offered her the shed, but she wouldn't have been able to sleep there either. It had been Jenny's. A long time ago, granted, but she knew that if she went in there that would be all she'd see. Not that she really slept in the Jeep. It was more like passing out from being too exhausted to stay awake any longer. Max would wake her up most mornings, but they'd generally almost turned to afternoon by the time he did.

There was nothing to get up for, really. Jenny's will had been updated not long before her death, and Shane wouldn't have to worry about getting up for work ever again if she didn't want to. Jenny's car had also sold for quite a bit. She didn't care. She wasn't eating anything more than Kit forced her to, and it wasn't as if she had rent to pay on the fucking car. Max had insisted she stay at least until she found herself another place, but with Jenny's things gone she couldn't do it. She spent her days at the studio and most of her nights too, sleeping there sometimes rather than going back to the house to sleep in the driveway.

She didn't consciously think about it, but for some reason her mind always drifted back to Jenny's funeral. She tried not to dwell on it, but her mind didn't seem to be in agreement with that idea and constantly went back to it. She supposed she should think of it more as a memorial service, since that was the terminology Jenny had used in her will. She didn't see a lot of difference between that and a funeral, though, if they'd even done it right. She had no idea and had refused to be part of anything but the most basic planning. Kit had had to step in and make the arrangements since Shane was so useless in that regard. Kit hadn't seemed to mind, even when Shane had told her rather angrily to stop asking so many questions and just follow Jenny's instructions for things.

Shane had told everyone that she wasn't going. Hadn't thought she could, after everything. But that nagging feeling of obligation had won out in the end, and she'd stood in the shadows in a dingy old pair of black jeans and a black shirt and listened to some old rabbi give what she assumed was a Jewish funeral service. She still found it odd that Jenny had wanted something like that, but she supposed she could understand. She definitely didn't practice anymore, but she couldn't see herself having anything other than a Catholic service when she died. Not that she really gave a damn what happened then, but when she thought about it, it was always a funeral mass. So the Jewish thing didn't seem as strange to her as it must for most people, not that there were many at the funeral to begin with.

She'd followed them to the cemetery, but hadn't been able to look at the gravesite and what seemed like far too few of her friends' faces around it. Instead, she'd gotten back in the Jeep and driven for what had to have been hours until she got to the studio, and she'd been coming here ever since.

She didn't even know how many days had passed. She could easily have looked it up, but she didn't care enough to exert that kind of energy. Kit came with food every day and always expressed concern over her gaunt appearance, but Shane was unable to make herself care enough to eat more than the few bites it took for Kit to lay off a little. Alice had come around for a while, but she seemed to have given up after a couple of weeks, because Shane hadn't seen her in what felt like a long time. It could have been anywhere between a few days and a few months, and it was all the same to her. She didn't blame Alice for giving up; even when she'd barged her way into the studio and demanded that Shane talk to her, she got no response other than a halfhearted glare.

She'd missed hundreds of calls. She knew that; it was right on the display. She'd set it to silent and never made a move to answer even when she saw it light up, though. There didn't seem to be much point. It would just be someone asking if she was all right, and how was she supposed to answer that anymore? She was the same as she'd been since the second Jenny had been pronounced dead; numb. That was all she was and she hated trying to explain that, because nobody ever understood.

Alice kept trying, though. It surprised her a little since she seemed to have given up the in-person visits so soon. The rest of them had called a lot the first week or so, but those calls had tapered off recently. It was almost always Alice's number now, though. Shane figured her voicemail must be full by now, but Alice kept calling anyway, and when she allowed herself to feel anything she thought it was nice that at least she was making the attempt.

She hadn't really talked things over with her. She knew they needed to eventually; there was a lot to say. But she couldn't bring herself to do it yet. She didn't blame anyone for what had happened since it had obviously been an accident, but they'd all played a part in the events leading up to it and she couldn't shake the guilt. Probably never would, but that didn't change the fact that the others felt guilty too. And as much as she wanted to, she couldn't support any of them right now and couldn't accept any support from them either. She didn't know if she ever could.

She'd have left LA immediately if there hadn't been something holding her back. She wasn't sure exactly what it was, and she wasn't sure she wanted to know, either. At first she'd been convinced that by leaving she'd lose any connection she still had to Jenny and her memory, but as the days went by she knew it wasn't really that. Still, she felt like something was keeping her here, and decided not to fight it for the time being.

She considered selling the studio and had come close several times, but was never able to go through with it. Jenny had given it to her, and no matter the reasons behind that or how guilty she felt for taking and keeping it, the fact remained that it had been a gift. She simply couldn't go through with selling it, even when she'd received several nice offers. Jenny had wanted her to use it, though, so she did. Not that she took many pictures these days aside from some landscape shots every now and then, but it was better than nothing at all.

Most days, she got to the studio early and left late, unless of course she'd spent the night. She usually just went to the gym to shower, and for the most part that was the only real time she left. She knew she could go to the house if she really needed to, but there were too many memories of Jenny in that bathroom and that hallway to make it possible anymore. Besides, she had a gym membership and figured she might as well use it for something.

That was where she saw Cherie, one morning not long after the doors had opened. No one was usually there this early except for the gay muscle guys, so the locker room was virtually deserted. Shane preferred it that way. She had no energy to make small talk with the girls who tried to strike up conversations with her, and it made things much easier when she could just shower and change and get out of there as quickly as possible.

She'd accomplished that and was walking out with her duffel bag of dirty clothes and soap when she saw a familiar profile off to the side of the room, partially hidden behind an opened locker door. There was really no mistaking who it was. Thinner than before, but still obviously Cherie.

Shane was at a bit of a loss as to what to do. The last time she'd seen her had been bad for both of them, and she really didn't have any desire to strike up a conversation about things. Still, she felt a bit rude just walking out. Hedging, she switched her bag to the opposite hand and stood there considering her next move.

She didn't have to do anything in the end. Cherie shut the locker door and headed for the gym floor in her workout attire, seeming not to see Shane at all. While she could have followed, Shane really didn't feel comfortable doing that. With a sigh, she decided to let the past go and walked back to the Jeep.

She didn't notice Cherie watching her sadly as she went.

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