“Mate,” says Baz, half cut already, “I don’t give two shits what it is, you can tell me, okay? We’re blood.”
“Well,” says Cass, looking down at her beer, “it’s just that-”
“We’re blood, okay?” says Baz, looking Cass straight in the eye, “We’re family. There’s nothin, and I mean it, absolutely nothin, that we can’t tell each other. Whatever it is, I don’t care. I don’t even care, I swear to bloody god, all the bloody oaths at once mate, there is nothin in this whole world that could ever get in the, that could ever get between you and me, absolutely nothin. We’re blood. Blood is thick, eh? Thicker than water, they reckon, and I’m no bloody scientist, but it’s gotta be true, eh? Family. Blood.” He taps his beefy forearm, taps his heart. “My blood is your blood, okay? We’re twins mate, bloody twins, we bloody shared a womb, no offense to our dear departed mother, but we were both up her at once. Pardon my French. We’re cut from the same cloth mate. Thick as thieves. Apple falls close to the tree, mate. Chips fallin off the same bloody block, right? Eh? So you can, you can bloody let it all out, just lemme know, whatever it is. Fire away. Just come on out with it, eh. Fire at will.”
Cass sighs, reaches into her bag for her smokes. Lights one up. Lights up another for Baz. This was even harder than she’d feared.
“Are you preggers? Coz-”
“You’re not a lesbian are ya?” he leans in and lowers his voice, as low as Baz can, which to most people is still pretty bloody loud. “Coz I don’t even care. I don’t give two shits, I’m proud of ya, just the way you are, mate. Couldn’t give a rats, mate. But you’re not are ya? Coz if that’s what it is, don’t you bloody worry. Coz I’m here for ya come rain or come shine, hell or high water, rocks or hard places or bloody whatever mate, okay? Eh? I’m here for you.” He taps his heart again, with the hand holding the smoke. “Blood. Blood. Nothing between us.” He ashes the ciggie even though there’s nothing to ash. “But it’s not that is it? Coz I know you’ve been with guys-”
“It’s not that.”
“So what is it? Spit it out, sis!”
Cass drags on her smoke, sighs again, grey and dense, like a cloud preparing to rain.
“Anything mate. Anything. Blood, remember?”
“Did some digging and… turns out…” Cass looks Baz in the eyes again.
Cass shakes her head and pulls the papers out of her bag.
Baz looks at the papers. Frowning.
“Nah,” Baz says, and tears them up, really tiny pieces, and shoves them in the spinning metal ashtray thingie. They don’t all want to fit, but he stuffs them right in. Then he shakes his empty beer bottle, and grins. “Your round, sis.”