Dandelion Crowns and Paper Butterflies

See You Again

"Winston. Winston, wake up, you shank."

Winston opens his eyes as Jack's voice wakes him up. He props himself up on one elbow, sleepily rubbing his eyes.

"What?" he asks, his voice still hoarse of the sleep. "What's going on, Jack?"

"Well, the Box came up," the other Slicer says, "which is weird anyway, but..."

He gets cut off by Winston, who holds up his hand. A familiar voice sounds from the Box's direction, and he immediately knows who it is.

"Clint, leave me alone! No, I'm not sick. Guys, I can walk on my own!"

An immense happiness flows through Winston's body as he listens to Flore's half-laughing voice, too stunned to do anything for a moment. Then he shoots out of his sleeping bag and races towards the Box.

She is standing in the middle of the metal elevator, her hands on her hips. Several Gladers have surrounded her, and the Med-Jacks are trying to look if she is injured or something.

Winston makes his way through the crowd, dashing towards the redheaded girl. She gasps happily as she sees him.

"Winston!"

Before he even realizes it, she is in his arms, and he is in hers.

"Flore... I thought..." Winston pants, out of breath of running all the way to the Box. "I thought I'd never see you again."

Clint throws his hands up in the air, showing that he is giving up.

"All right, guys, go back to your business!" the Med-Jack shouts to the other Gladers. "Give them some privacy."

The boys shrug and walk away, but not after curiously peeking at them, as if they are wondering what is going on.

Flore giggles.

"God, I'm so happy to see you again," she says, smiling uncontrollably.

Winston hugs her even tighter.

"Where were you?" he asks worriedly. "You were gone for more than a day. Did they kidnap you?"

Flore's face darkens.

"I'll explain it later," she says. "Not here."

Then she brightens up. "Where are Tim and Josiah? How are they?"

Winston notices that he doesn't feel anything of jealousy for the two boys. Of course she is worried about her friends.

Then he swallows difficultly.

"Did you know that they were gay?" he asks.

Flore's eyes grow huge. "Did they tell you?"

"No," Winston replies, shaking his head. "Someone told everyone about them. The Gladers were so mean to Tim. The poor boy got so desperate that he broke up with Josiah."

Flore gasps and clasps her hands over her mouth.

"No," she whispers.

"It got even worse," Winston goes on, nearly being sorry about having to tell her this. "Josiah is missing since then. He's not in the Glade. We think that Gally, Billy and Victor took revenge on him for killing George. Tim has locked himself in a room, crying. He's so worried."

Flore pulls herself out of the hug.

"I need to find him," she says, starting to climb out of the Box. "I'm going to get Tim and then we're going to search Josiah."

Winston grips hold of her arm.

"No," he says. "It's too dangerous. Remember the last time you went into the Maze? I don't want that to happen again. Besides, the Runners are already looking for him. Whether he has survived it or not, they're going to find him. For now, we can't do anything but wait."

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