It was the kind of day schoolchildren resented—sunny, warm but not too warm—the last gasp of summer before the leaves began to turn. A horrible day to be stuck inside. The sirens had never experienced such dull, spiteful jealousy, or maybe they had and Rabbit just hadn't been there to see it. He had never asked and he never would.

The weather wasn't quite beachy, but they were beach-adjacent anyway, Rabbit sitting on a bench in a shoreside park, watching his children play too far away. He had kept them so close in the weeks after he had learned they were going to die, but as it turned out, no one actually wanted to kill them. Not in broad daylight. Presumably not until whatever was to happen started happening. They had time. He had time to save them. But, as always, he had waited for someone to take that responsibility from him, to solve his problems while he jittered and fretted nearby.

It was on the anniversary of their hatching when he realized no one was going to. It was up to him. So he did what lots of people initially thought to do in a crisis.

He called up a couple of mothers.

They weren't his or anything, which made the whole thing kind of awkward, but working next door to Equinox had afforded him a glimpse into their lives and the part they played in the lives of others. Teenagers, mostly. He was about as far from a teenager as one could get these days, but it was a start. He had it on good authority that they already knew a little about what he wanted to ask anyway.