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The brief detour to Milliways does eventually land Kohl back at his flat in Bristol, where the blinking IM window on his PC informs him that he needs to call Emily.

He can't say that what she answers the phone with is what he was expecting when she'd said it was important.

"I DANCED NEXT TO KEIRA KNIGHTLEY!"

"Your concern is overwhelming, Emily. I'm still alive, thanks for asking."
 

"As if I ever had any doubt you'd squirm out of trouble. You're good at squirming. What did the troublesome Goddess want?"

"Someone's screwing with one of her aspects. She wants me to look into it."

 
"Well, better than your scrotum having a new career as an adorable miniature handbag. Which aspect?"

"Britannia."

 
"Ha! Britannia? Dead Britannia? Someone's 'interfering' with a dead god? Ick! Double ick! You must succeed, if only for good taste's sake."

"Maybe. I just saw a ghost of Beth, looking like she did back then. Except Beth's not dead. I hope she isn't, anyway."

 
"Wait...David. Is this the Beth who stalked you for a whole year then slept with your best friend in a futile attempt to make you jealous?"

"...yeah."

"So why are you a member of the Giving A Fuck club?"

"I care."

"You don't care. You never even slept with her."

"I do care. She was a friend. I just didn't like her very much. Besides. Seeing her like that...it's not right. Even if it's nothing to do with this, I'd like to help her. Not all of us are monsters."

"Oh, David. You almost sound as if you actually believe that."

_\|/_


It's not the beer at the former haunt, now trendy wine bar. It's more like the 'nightcap' he had at the Bar, combined with Emily's words ringing around in his head.

That and mornings are the work of a demon conjured by Crispin Mills' highly competent yet still awful and disappointing evil double.

Still, there have been many mornings like this one and it's not as if he doesn't have a routine he can walk through with his eyes closed. Which he frequently still does.

It's only when it's time for the post-brush rinse that something starts to filter through.

Something.

Something not quite right.

He remembers something. Not as it should be. Should have been.

"Beth? Are you alright?"

"I don't...don't know where he is. I don't know where Richey is and I... I miss him so much."

...

...

Kohl can remember kissing her, Beth, there on the bridge. Then being led into her front room, her t-shirt on the floor, a black bra and...


...and last night, he had remembered Kid there with her on the bridge. Last night, Emily had mentioned that he'd never slept with her.

So why does he remember it now?

Something else filters through. Something not memory, but right here and right now.

Why the fuck is he listening to Echobelly?
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