Oh, duh, Phoebe said breezily, glancing away from Michael for a moment when Darren and Marcus expressed their confusion with the daisy chains. She spent many afternoons in her backyard growing up making them for herself and her brothers and instilling the Queendom of Cho and just assumed the boys had, obviously, done the same.
It's easy, I promise. Gather round, kids, She said, flagging them in before picking a couple flowers from the bed, You can either just tie the stems together, like this, or, if you wanna get super fancy, She eyed Marcus expectantly, You can poke a hole through the stem and tie them together that way.
She tied together a couple more, slowly so the boys could follow, before handing the incomplete chain to Tim, whom had kept mostly to himself within the group. She was like that too with strangers, never quite one to spark up the conversation, but always appreciating when someone else did it. Hopefully he was the same way and wanted to get immersed. Or maybe he just didn't have time for their games. That was okay too.
You can give it to someone special, She teased, before Marcus called her attention and forced a shriek from her, Marcus! You can't show me! It's bad luck! Although the damage was already done and she'd glimpsed part of her crown, she quickly shot a hand to the side of her face, cupping it to shield her from further glimpses as she rejoined Michael at a separate flower bed a couple feet from the rest of the boys.
We've been... good, I guess. Marcus and I have been together since the first day and found Darren the day after in the reactors. Since then, we've just been avoiding everything the best we can. What about you?
She watched thoughtfully as Michael told his story, absently picking at the flowers just so she'd have something to do in the meantime. Everything was fine, normal even, which was a relief. Up until he asked about Daniel. Phoebe had never been close to Daniel, but she, well, everyone really, knew how close he was with Michael. And nobody had told him. The color drained from her face in an instant and she quickly diverted her gaze to the flowers, letting her long ponytail fall forward to, hopefully, hide her features.
There had already been so much sadness, so much mourning. It was what the people behind the cameras wanted. But this was their little pocket of happiness and Phoebe wasn't ready to give it up, not yet. If they could just forget everything for a little while, just a little, and be happy and healthy and hopeful, it'd make everything else so much easier to handle.
She retreated with a smile from her sheath of hair, pulling Darren's hoodie tighter around her as a light gust of wind rattled the area.
Neither of them have been on the announcements, so they're around somewhere. We can look for them after the wedding. Darren wants to go to the beach, anyway, so two birds with one stone, yeah?
Her smile stung at the corners, protesting the force, and she felt as though someone had punched her directly in the gut. She knew it was wrong and that when he found out, he'd be angry. And she'd tell him. She would.
But right now lying was easier than the alternative.
She just wanted everyone to be happy for awhile.