Kate was almost to her next class when Kisha stepped out of the bathroom, stopped abruptly, and gave her almost the same look that Julian had. She slowed, stopped, and returned the girl's regard. "Yes?"
"Girl..." Kisha drew the word out, then stopped and said, in a clipped, precise, academic accent: "What have you done?"
Kate opened her mouth, closed it again, then made herself take a breath. "Okay," she said. "I know you aren't working with Julian, so what the hell is going on? Why do you guys keep staring at me?"
Kisha stopped, eyes wide and head slightly turned. Then her eyes narrowed, and she grabbed Kate's hand and pulled her into the bathroom. Kate didn't fight it; privacy suddenly seemed like a very good idea.
When the door swung shut behind them, Kisha stepped back and looked her over. "You're... more than you were yesterday. And it wasn't one of those half-assed white-boy rituals that Julian and his friends with Families are so proud of, either."
That was when everything fell into place. "Oh, shit," said Kate, stepping back and leaning against the wall. "There was a shadow in my brother's room. He's afraid of the dark, and it kept coming back, and he was waking up. He was waking us up."
Kisha looked puzzled. "So you...?"
"I got tired of it. I told it to stop bothering us."
Kisha's eyes widened. "You took it into you."
Kate nodded warily.
"That's..." Kisha shook her head. "You've got some balls, girl."
Kate shook her head and looked away. "I was just frustrated and angry."
"...But you must have walked into the dark. You must have spoken with it. It must have understood you."
Kate stopped, frozen by the memory, and felt the shadow raise itself to look out through her eyes again. It curled around her spine, wary and interested, then withdrew. "...Yes," she said, when that moment had passed.
"And Julian noticed too? Dismore?"
Kate nodded uncertainly.
Kisha let out a breath, eyes narrowed. "Maybe we can confuse him. Get to your class, I'll find you after."
Kate nodded, turned towards the door, and then turned back. "Kisha?"
The other girl looked at her. "Yeah?"