You felt a little weird cracking eggs for breakfast. As you gave each shell a hard tap against the counter, you felt a small lurch of anxiety. Every time, a regular yolk plopped harmlessly into the bowl. You had cracked one more than you strictly needed to, just to be sure, but no cartoonish eyes greeted you this time either. Still, you regarded the remainder of the carton with a squint.
When Filbo walked into the kitchen, you were on the last egg. You turned around as he entered, trying to discreetly push the pile of empty egg shells to the side before he noticed them.
“Good mornin’, Buddy!” Filbo greeted cheerfully, rubbing an eye. You had shoved most of the eggshells behind a jar of pickles and a bottle of olive oil on the counter.
“Uh, morning, Filbo. Have a seat. I hope you like scrambled eggs.” You hoped he liked them a lot. It was a whole carton’s worth. “...I think I need to see a therapist.” You said it half to yourself, and half as a joke, but Filbo still heard and took it seriously.
“That’s… Probably not a good idea, Buddy...” He rubbed his head. “We can’t have anyone else finding out about Snaktooth, remember?” Filbo looked concerned.
You were careful not to meet his eyes, shrugging casually as you stirred the eggs on the hot pan. It was reassuring to cook. You didn’t think you could ever eat takeout again. Not for a few years, at least. ...Or months. These eggs weren’t coming out great. “Yeah, I know, I know. I’ll get over it. It’s just funny that going to the grocery store has started to feel like exposure therapy.” You laughed halfheartedly, though it didn’t really feel that funny to you.
You almost leapt out of your skin when a paw landed on your shoulder, you and Filbo both taking a step back. He had his paws up in surprise. “Sorry! Sorry, just…” He touched your arm lightly, worry tugging at his features. You covered the paw with your own without thinking.
“This is just… Hard on everyone.” Filbo explained, eyes downcast. “I’m just really, really sorry. We could all probably use some therapy, and it makes me feel bad knowing we can’t risk it. But at least we have good friends, right…?” He chanced a glance at you, trying to smile.
You wanted to hug him, but settled on patting the paw on your arm. “Yeah, of course.” You smiled back at him, though you were worried too. Filbo had lost his two closest friends on that island, and here he was apologizing to you.
“Hey… We wouldn’t have gotten out of there if it wasn’t for you, Filbo. I don’t, uh…” You put down the spatula, putting your paws on your hips awkwardly. “I don’t think I told you this on the island, but you really did a good job. A good leader has to care about the people they’re leading, and believe in them, and ah, you do that better than anyone.” You finished quietly, glancing at his eyes. For a second, he looked vulnerable, brows furrowed as he pulled his paw back. He opened his mouth to say something and you frowned a bit yourself, leaning closer, when all of a sudden you became aware of the fact that the scrambled eggs were starting to pour smoke.
“AH, OH WHOOPS,” You reached for the pan, almost knocking it off the burner. Filbo scrambled to help, making a false start towards the sink before reaching back to turn off the burner.
“Buddy, why the grump did you have it turned up so high!?” He turned on the faucet for you as you held the pan, grimacing.
“It cooks faster!”
“How many eggs did you-”
“We’re having cereal.” You concluded, forcefully.