As they returned the pack of smokes to its rightful location - floating aimlessly in his absurdly empty tote - Leon flipped its top, performing a quick count of the darts that remained. His reserve had shrunk from twelve to eight, and he knew he only had himself to blame.
Still, he found himself wondering if there was an official quantity to "a few" or if it was completely arbitrary. If not a solid amount then at the very least a socially acceptable limit. Four seemed just slightly excessive, but then, he supposed, that was the nature of addiction. Was she one of those people that accepted it, that knew who wore the pants in the relationship between lung-haver and cigarette?
They'd looked up from their phone at the sound of a loud click. The customized Zippo lighter in her hands turned the situation from mildly annoying to highly amusing. She was willing to spend at least fifteen dollars on a lighter and yet here she was, bumming smokes off of him. Rich people - ignoring the fact that this was an assumption based solely on her possession of a specific lighter - were a fascinating breed. Their favorite lie to tell themself was that they hung out with wealthy people to understand them rather than strictly to mooch. The girl beside him might be the first to make the lie a reality, partially because she seemed interesting and partially because she definitely didn't seem like the type to buy anyone anything.
"Devotchka Kult. With a 'k'." Mention of the letter in isolation flooded Leon's mind with a stream of memories with Lexi, including a realization that he should let the rockstar know she was probably making her way to them. Unsurprisingly, they decided against it, figuring Lexi would make her presence known however she saw fit.
Even if he'd wanted to, he hadn't been able to get a word in as his companion plowed through a monologue about her band. "I fuck with local gigs heavy, I've probably seen you," he answered, only partially omitting the truth. He knew with absolute certainty he'd seen them live more than a handful of times. He didn't care much for the composition of the band, though found her willingness to provide so many extraneous details about it before they'd even exchanged names endearing.
"Oh shit, for real? That's sick. Like, on the 31st or?"
He shouldn't have been too shocked that news of the upcoming show had missed him; he hadn't spent a significant amount of time with the folks that kept him in the loop over the break. They wouldn't openly admit to being a fan for the sake of not feeding an already seemingly healthy ego, but they'd had a great time at the performances they'd been to. "'Cause I'll try to pull up for sure," he said through a smoky exhale.
A metallic banging coupled with an odd and mildly unpleasant vibrating sensation startled him fully awake. A grin took over his features as he shook his head slightly, his curls bouncing slightly. Trust Lexi to make an entrance. He shrugged, turning his body towards the stranger before answering, "Well, she's the singer of a dope local band playin' the Cage soon. 'Bout all I've got, though."
Trust Lexi to take the remains of his - their, now - joint. His smokes were destined to be community property today, it seemed. At least he knew Lexi would return the favor.
Kind of strange, how every time she introduced her band, it became more like a glorified sales pitch. Which she supposed wasn't a weird thing, right? Surely, every other musician at school did it just the same. If you asked Lauren Finley about his band, he'd probably launch into a spiel about who was in it and what kind of music they played and maybe even their next show, which Luke Tellegio had all but begged Vera to open for at the previous Magnolia country club party.
Come on. You guys will be great. You might even get a boost in popularity.
Vera knew who her audience was, and she wasn't prepared for hyperpop douchebags to not take up her space and understand her music. Really, if it's your thing, you could probably tell just by looking at some of their photos. Vera splayed across the floor like a bearskin rug in a black negligee, with the other three girls standing on her. In a hospital. It wasn't really a hospital, just a white room with a few medical-looking props in it, but that was good enough. Definitely not a mainstream fair, though maybe a bit less left of the dial than some more hardcore noise acts. (If Vera was a solo artist, her music would barely sound musical.)
She huffed out another mouthful of smoke, knowing that he was eyeing her lighter. Reasonably so, it was hella cool.
"Yeah, the 31st. I feel like it's been forever."
CLANG CLANG CLANG
Vera managed to hold herself back from covering her ears like an overstimulated child. The tinny metal of the bleachers was already loud enough just to walk on, let alone when a stranger was slamming a fist against it.
"Who is she?"
She was used to rude greetings, but at least managed to catch that the girl's name was Lexi and she had probably exclusively shown up to get a hit off of that joint her pal was holding. Vera didn't bother to ask if she could have a hit, knowing she'd already taken more than her share and she'd have no trouble finding weed on her own if she really wanted it.
"Right, I forgot to uh... My name's Vera." She tapped some ash off of her cigarette, allowing it to get lost in the grass below. "Vera, Lexi, and..." She sniffed. "...You." Dammit why didn't she ask his name beforehand? It was a little embarrassing, but she did her best not to show it, since being embarrassed is woefully uncool and shame is for the spineless.
“Is that him?” Giselle stuck her head out the window, attempting to get a better look at the oncoming pair. Emily was as pretty as always. Her outfit perfectly complimented her warm undertones. Elle wished she could wear Autumn colored pants like the pair Emily was sporting. She had tried before and it looked odd with her hair color. The exchange student Emily walked with seemed to be smiling ear to ear. He looked tall in an awkward way, almost as if he had a growths spurt last night and he hadn’t gotten used to it yet. To be fair everyone looked towering from her perspective. There were a few people at her school who she had to crane her neck to look at. It made her wish for a growth spurt herself.
“Good morning you guys!”Elle replied, practically bouncing in her seat as Emily opened the car door and settled in. She looked from her to Eino as she introduced them all to each other. “It’s so nice to meet you,” Giselle grinned huge and wide as she leaned over the side of her seat to face them. While the stranger himself didn’t come off as a prince from a foreign place he sure did try. The moment he slipped into the car he seemed to turn up the compliments. It was adorable in an incredibly dorky way. Elle couldn’t help but giggle with Ava after she sent a wink; breaking out into a full laugh when she called Eino a dog.
Giselle was listening to Ava and Eino’s conversation intently. Well, she tried to give it her full attention at least. Little things outside the car windows kept grabbing at her. Woah a cute squirrel. That car that passed by drove a little too fast. That neighbor's trash bins were placed too far apart. Her brain snapped back to Eino at the mention of Twitter.
“Yeah, try not to listen to what others say online. It can be a mean place, but it has nothing to say about who you are,” Elle gave him a reassuring smile as well. Ava was good at saying what others needed to hear. Eino seemed to bounce back like a sponge. Social media could be nitpicking and cruel, especially the more attention you drew. People were always so quick to tear another person down from behind a screen. Even without anonymity. Maybe it's because they can't see your face as they hurt you. The internet wasn’t all bad when talking to the right people. It happened to be a great place to build connections, with yourself and others. They say all rewards come with risks, and the positives of social media tended to outweigh the negatives for most.
“Are we excited for school?”
Giselle seemed to buzz hearing the replies to Emily’s question. Eino’s optimism and Ava’s sheer kindness made it impossible not to get pumped up as well. She shared her childhood friend’s thoughts about it too; school on its own wasn’t a thing to look forward to without the other students there. Classes were long, hard, and boring. The people however were wild, and every single one was a joy to talk to. “Seeing everyone will be so fun!”
Ava had an amazing musical taste. It was easy to get lost in the beat and words as the world passed by from the car window. The wind from Ava’s open window had Giselle’s poofy hair bouncing around as they vibed to the song. Soon they reached a red light and Ava took to her phone. Some people wouldn’t get into a car with someone who used devices while they drove, even while stopped, but Elle trusted Ava’s judgment more than her own. One of the big reasons the redhead was hesitant to learn how to drive was how bad she was at focusing. If she was on the road the other cars would be in peril. That was her putting it lightly. The public was far safer with Ava.
Giselle looked up to the mirror to see Eino’s face as he asked her a question. He quickly got cut off by Ava jerking the car into a left turn, luckily missing the vehicle behind them. Her heart was beating out of her chest, managing out a little “Woah.” A detour? Elle certainly didn’t mind. While the child star had never skipped class she didn’t mind arriving late to one. It was often she found herself caught up talking to people in the halls, making her frequently late to most of her periods.
“Psh, it should be fiiiine,” Giselle replied to Ava, hoping that Eino wouldn’t be worried about it. “We’re arriving fashionably late! Oh, and my hair is natural! At least the ginger part is, I bleached the blonde in a few years ago and it’s stuck,” the girl played with it as she spoke. When she quit the movie industry she wanted a change. It was a sporadic one AM decision that’s become a part of her signature look. “My hair is a bit curly,” she continued, “so when I brush it out it kinda becomes giant.”Giselle mimicked an explosion with her hands.
“b-barbacue guy…yes..” lola recited slowly–clear confusion in her voice. still, she nodded in willful confidence to pretend she knew exactly what the girl was talking about. it was something she picked up from all her awkward years trying to learn from her peers--their body language, new manners of speech, innuendos and what-have-you's.
she figured if she just nodded and looked like she knew what was going on that even when she didn't, it'd turn out alright.
nevertheless if something unfortunate happened to mallory hawke, it had to have been a good thing.
the platinum blonde flinched as the girl smacked the same stranger who’d bumped into her just seconds ago. her eyes widened in blinking succession at the quick violence,
“ah–it’s.. okay.” she managed a smile at her, but genuinely it was of true admiration. sometimes lola thought about smacking people who irked her too--but she never went through with it. here was a girl her age, her height--who was totally skipping over the part where you might ask politely for someone to move..then handling it without a moment’s notice. wow.. surely this experience would be something to blog about later on.
lola returned her attention to the scuffle. she tried to recollect her thoughts..
this was surely scary. she’d overheard kids at school talking about fights, but she’d never really witnessed such a thing in front of her. this strange sense of adrenaline filled her up with excitement. why did she.. sort of like this?
oh and.. that boy–standing with his hair ruffled and his face twisted in wince and strife. who could that be? she’d never seen him around school before..
“he’s so b–” THWACK–smacking straight into the stair's metal bar, luckily enough at least to catch herself, lola found herself almost face first into the concrete steps.
“UH UH UH–NOT ON MY CAMPUS. EVERYONE. GET TO CLASS.”--a fuming short woman had somehow figured out how to get through a crowd of backpack wielding teenagers and into the circle of prior violence–as well as nearly killing lola in the process,
“you heard me! get to class! there is absolutely nothing to see here.”---RRRRRRINGGGG
quick as they came, kids filed in around lola and the pig-tailed girl–all rushing to their respective classrooms and already mumbling about the prior events.
lola was quite flustered and trying her best not to shed a single tear in front of the only classmate who’d bat an eye at her that wasn’t a cringe or mean comment. she sniffled, her nose and ears visibly red from both the cold and her embarrassment. “wow.. t-that was something..” she smiled through the burning feeling in her face, “--i-i’m lola by the way. m-maybe we could have a snack sometime…” she uttered softly, eyes tremulant as she couldn’t decide whether she felt strong enough to look her in the eyes just yet.
“you boys are in SO much trouble. both of you shearys, jesus almighty–and you too alexandria–i’ll be calling ALL of you to my office. don’t even THINK about not showing up.”
ms. mancini continued to rant to the boys but decided to shoo them towards the school building–making very clear that their talk was ‘nowhere near finished yet’.
the middle-aged woman briskly walked up the stairs to return to her office, muttering to herself.
first period would definitely be an interesting start to the year
Living amongst neighbours religious to chasing highs like hounds to mutton meat, devotees of opioid rushes and bearing limbs steeped in pocks; strange surroundings and strange people had always been rendered as the norm for Raoul Auclair.
The turmoil of a trailer park, a dark stain unable to be burnished from the map, both home and heart had always resided on the wrong side of the tracks. Unconventional, crumpled fortunes and ungovernable forms, their nation had a persistent pull of abnormality. Neighbours rotating monthly, there were few built with content perseverance to withstand such imposing personalities.
A bearded hippie named Vipar, (yes, with an A, as Raoul was particularly distressed to learn one afternoon when he’d decided to be charitable and actually hold a conversation), dressed in eye-aching blooms of tie dye bandanas that were carefully matched on a rotund pet hog; its horrid little name was Pig-Lit.
Raoul very quickly abandoned talking to stoner Gandalf after that.
Mrs Uma, who demanded you greet not only her, but the cremation box she kept faithfully under an arm— her late husband Niklaus, who met a gory demise by a garage door. Frequently lazed out on a lawn chair, Raoul and many others were unfortunate to notice her depraved habit of making out with the wooden urn. Perhaps toxic fumes from licking away at wood polish had rotted her brain, he wasn’t sure.
And truthfully, for once, Raoul didn’t even want to know.
Arturo, a big guy with an oily handle-bar moustache and weakest liver known to mankind. Under the light of daytime the man would occasionally grunt, which was an impressive response to most, yet after a late-night beer, unlocked a terrifying habit of soprano singing. For many moons did insomnolence bruise Raoul’s eyes, haunted by the sound of distant Italian opera in which solace was only found hiding his head under a pillow.
One does not know true fear till they are woken at 4am by an Italian man serenading the moon.
An elderly couple Alda and Paolo. Outside of their copious (obsessive) frog souvenirs, relatively tame. One of the few people Raoul could actually trust to babysit Sarita without the threat of feeding her tide-pods or a weed brownie. Instead, tea in frog cups on frog chairs with frog-shaped cucumber sandwiches. Strange, but admittedly harmless.
And then his favourites: Georgina, a busty blonde muppet of a woman who greeted Raoul’s father several octaves too high, and Bo, her very, very sensitive fiancé. Akin to roosters did their caws ring out each morning, without fail a fight over some inconsequential circumstance. Clothes strewn from window to dewy lawn, full-scale dramatics and door slamming included.
Huddled in a cardigan on the steps to a nearby trailer, cup cradled in hand and soot eyes peering over its rim, Raoul would watch.
“Look, Gaga.”Fat bunny held against chest now intentionally angled to watch the melodrama, the soft button of its nose wiggling to morning air. “Georgina’s about to make him weep.”
Sometimes a sheer glance from Bo was flintlock ignition to have the Auclair boy scrambling up the steps to hide inside like a roach fleeing from flame. Yet alas, when not quick enough to feign ignorance, Bo would invite himself over and sit next to Ra on the galvanised steel.
Then sob for thirty minutes about “the love of his life” and try to use Raoul’s cardigan to wipe away snot. In which the boy would pinch the black fabric between two fingers and petulantly tug it away.
After enduring further “love is pain” shit with unsolicited advice of, “never date a pretty blonde they'll hurt you”, a tired Raoul would awkwardly pat Bo’s quivering shoulder. A sombre and incredibly uncomfortable attempt at soothing the grown man.
“Please lay off the crack.”
People came and went from their trashy community, usually deterred from Uma tonguing the corner of a wooden box or Pig-Lit getting a drooly underbite on their clothing. Occasional shady stayers and runaways, even police were regular visitors. Ra had watched and listened for years how households, even his own, would lurch and creak unmoored. Crumbling and rebuilding, filling fractured plasterwork to revive their catacomb.
Auclair’s were equally as weird. Sarita? Unhinged like all seven year olds are. His father? Let’s not. And Raoul? Nosey as fuck.
A heir of oddity, very rarely did behaviour fall into a category of decency. He had morning rituals, important little habits to cleanse away the dire dog-vision grey of morning light. Phantasmal creature crawling from bed, puppeteered over a shaggy rug and cleaving golden disc curtains to what summoned his interests; ambrosia, liquid sun.
Bean nectar retrieved, he’d stand and watch the television with disgust: colourful lumps scuttling around their empty hellscape, stuffing themselves on round smiley Tubby Toasts— as Ra had begrudgingly learned on behalf of his sister.
The mumbled, “little bread-eating freaks,” from the rim of a coffee cup had not gone unheard from the psychoactive ears of said sibling.
“They’re not little,” she’d correct matter-of-factly from the table. Feet swinging off the floor and face barely reaching her bowl of cold cereal, the plume of dark curls was the main indicator of her presence. “Dipsy is actually ten feet tall.”
A choking noise from Raoul, backwashing a mouthful of hot coffee back into the mug with no amount of grace.
Raoul knew a lot of strange people.
Vipar, Pig-Lit, Mrs Uma, Arturo, Alda & Paolo, Georgina, sad little Bo, Sarita, a 10 foot tall Dipsy; which is why a frail old lady with a silver perm and green dandelion sweater shouldn’t have been so taxing. Sequestered to the school library to return a book before the beginning of classes, Raoul had found himself unlucky to be ambushed by a winter-break spiel about cats.
“And Mittens the Third,” Agatha would lick age-cracked fingers and pass them through the silky sheen of vinyl corners, “not the First, he’s dead, that darned lawnmower,” Raoul was not even going to ask. “–But Mittens number three looks exactly like the kitty cat on page forty.”
“Uh-huh.” Broken record response, sourced from a pair of melancholy eyes watching over a stack of books. Balanced precariously in arms, unwanted feline material of varying volumes. Perhaps Raoul didn’t quite have the heart to silence an old lady spilling her cat-loving delight, or perhaps so early in the semester, he still had the patience to endure it.
Or maybe, he’d consider, he was just more masochistic than he thought.
“See? See, right there!” Novel turned, Raoul chased the point of a pastel blue nail to reveal a black and white cat with columns of ideal feeding rituals.
“Looks…” a pause easily read as awkward, they didn’t have any special descriptors reserved for cats. A wince, biting the odd word between teeth.
This was the boy tasked with tutoring several students.
“Yes,” Agatha would sigh airily, looking again as if to replicate the image into every pathway of her mind. “I thought so too. And in this other one, such sweet little baby-man eyes,” she turned to scuttle off again, impressive speed for someone so ancient, “let me show you, you’ll adore it.”
“I honestly don’t n–”Another book slapped onto the pile, stealing another three inches of sight from Raoul’s already craning head.
Silver knocked against hardbacks as bejewelled hands struggled to steady the stack, a slight buckle of legs tipping the books against his body for stability as they staggered after her. Protests from the tall figure clad in black went unheard by the short chatty librarian, only released from feline fate at the encroachment of classes.
With an abhorrent total of sixteen books.
One he wanted, fifteen unwanted; about cats. All being forcefully shoved into his locker, and not without a great deal of rabid struggling. It took two hands, one foot, and a pronounced draw of side-eye attention to finally get it slammed shut. And even so, the inner echo of cataclysmic clattering inside the locker mourned itself. Novels settling against the shut door, awaiting combination and give to spill out.
He could regret his actions later. That was for future Raoul to deal with.
Victorious, they calmly returned their foot to the linoleum floor and turned to leave before the faintest smile paled to grave realisation.
He'd forgotten to get his math books out beforehand.
Drifting into Trigonometry after the second fight with a locker that morning, the perpetual disorganisation of seemingly the entirety of his life would not be stopping anytime soon. Dropping into a seat like a lead weight, relief to be found in engaging in what he did best: learning.
No crackheads snotting on their clothes, no eerie Italian opera in the distance, just the peace of being able to take notes and—
There was a steep drop to his eyes, hand hovering the horror of the page before him. Same color, same size, contents wrong: not math, whiskers and eyes.
He’d had it. He wanted to go back to bed.
Raoul, defeated, slowly lowered their head to the table, forehead pressed to the cold image of a black and white cat. Just like Mittens the Third, Agatha’s nasally voice floated to the crown of his mind. Not the First, he’s dead.
Ra knew a lot of strange people, and here, laying with his head on a cat book in Trigonometry class, he couldn’t help but feel on par with them.
ahhh, so american kids must be able to arrive to school when they desire to..
“late for school..?--cool!--fashionably late.. i like that.” eino leaned forward with his arm over giselle’s seat, watching as ava approached what looked like his own dirty streets from back home. the sight confused him a little–especially since it seemed to look even worse than his slums of mjolnerparken. he didn’t want to be rude and ask about it though. the thought of his own country sent a small shiver down his spine. the environment around him, while familiar, was not what he expected to see at all. instead eino watched as they passed through trash littered streets and tent-lined fences, trying to focus more on the rustic buildings and graffiti’d art to calm his emotions.
luckily, giselle distracted him for the time being–hearing her talk just put an unmoving smile on his face. eino nodded every so often, keeping his eyes on hers any time she made the contact. “it’s a great look, you know–so unique. i’ve always wanted to dye my ow–”
“there!” ava stopped abruptly, making the car jerk every passenger forward a tad bit–to which she apologized for, “this is gonna sound crazy, but that girl over there..” ava pointed out to a dark-haired girl donned in fishnets and a black hoodie–quite obviously a victim of seattle weather. “geez she looks cold as fuck, i wonder if i still have those chanel courduroys in the back of my car..–anyways–..i found her on twitter. she said she needed help or something.. and i don’t think she’s from here either.”
“hey!!--live laugh lunge!!!” ava hollered from across the street and over the car speakers blasting from her playlist. she grinned, her arms draped over the side of the open window–motioning at her to hurry, “get in here babe, we’ve come to the rescue~”
eino looked over though the tinted windows, curious to the new girl dragging what looked like two heavy bags over. without a second thought, he opened the car door and rushed over to the her–”here, let me get those for you.” he said confidently as he ceded his signature smirk–blue eyes trying to find their way into hers, “this is no place for a girl like you. better get in the car, i’ll put these in the back.”
eino immediately relieved her from the baggage carefully. in one swift motion, he slung the duffle over his shoulder and swooped his hair out of his eyes–”i’m eino by the way.”
ava couldn’t help but laugh alongside emily and elle as they all watched the virtuous act,
by the time jack had arrived at roosevelt, the front steps were desolate—not a single person was seen around concrete floor nor by planted bushes and trees. he considered the silence as sign for the coast being clear—entering into the auditorium would be much easier through here, with avoidance of any fence or gate hopping. however a quick peer into the hallways from the metal doors spotted a security guard in approaching pursuit for the outside.
i thought ren said security was lax?
jack quickly turned, sneaking his way around the building and nestled himself between it and the fence. it wouldn’t be so terrible to be caught by one. except this particular one he didn’t recognize from last semester—he must have been a new hire which made him automatically suspicious. and either way, his cover being blown would lessen his chances of getting to his friend who was waiting for him in the auditorium. if jack got stuck in mancini’s office right now there’d be slim chance for dodging a chaperoned send-off to first period math or even worse…a therapy session lasting nearly the entire period with the woman.
yea, there’s no way that’s happening to me.
jack squinted at the bright sky showering him in light as the clouds shifted. i guess jumping the fence is my only way in.
not right here though.
he stuck close to the fence and scurried down west as far as he could from the front steps. he looked over his shoulders and carefully tossed his jansport and skateboard over the fence. following swiftly, he hopped the fence—landing feet first with a thud on the ground and almost slipping on the dewy grass. he grabbed his backpack and threw his skateboard on the concrete—the best part about getting to school late: being able to skate in peace on the perfectly paved ground.
“ren?” jack said softly as he entered the doors. the theatre auditorium room was dim, as it was usually only in use the last couple periods of school days, except for the two lights set over the stage. he walked over, gripping his skateboard and scanning the area for the familiar platinum blonde braids. under the folded upright tables?
“hey.” he said sheepishly—his aloof exterior dissipating at the sight of the blonde girl. blue jeans with a knit vest to match, wendy looked as pretty as ever. he could never really tell if she was trying to look as good as she always did. for some reason it just went over his head. it seemed effortless to him anyway.
“i like your ..vest.” —was all he could offer at the moment.
the last time he’d seen her was still a blur in his head. he knew they were smoking..drinking even. and maybe doing some drugs too, though wendy wasn’t all that into drugs. he knew something happened, but he couldn’t really trust his memories. opiate brain tended to give you hallucinations—mostly due to insomnia and dopamine depletion. it wouldn’t be the first thing he confused with real life.
by the way she was acting—both in text and body language—seemed like maybe nothing really did happen. but the fact that she was also sitting on..the couch—didn’t really help his brain keep away from these thoughts.
aside from this, the last time he’d hung out with wendy was the night before he overdosed—another day he didn’t remember very well.
keeping the topic off of last december entirely—while optimal, was probably just in both of their best interests anyways.
Chaos was ringing in the new year at Roosevelt High.
Marshall ran off towards the fight which was progressively getting worse with each passing second. It truly resemble a car crash; he wanted to get closer to observe, and to get a better grasp of the situation at hand. The curious human nature in him who wanted to discover how a body could resist such trauma caused Hyun to take a step or two toward the action. However, within a split second, the curiosity was stomped on as realisation flooded his mind. Had he not witnessed first-hand the outcome of a body full of trauma? Why was there such a curiosity to seek out additional information of how much a human body could take? It’s not like someone is going to die here today. Get it together, you weirdo he cursed himself.
As the path of destruction only grew, pulling in and capturing more victims into the traumatic waltz of violence and big men trying to prove they’re big, Hyun was left standing in awe of the situation in hand. There was nothing that he could do. Nothing could be done. But to stand and watch as the wild winds howled and consumed those now currently involved. He was standing there, waiting for the calm of the eye of the storm so each bystanding, observing and recording with their phones could finally have a moment to reflect and breathe. But with the howling winds, came a mighty rawr; Ms. Mancini.
Hyun flinched as he heard the woman’s bark, storming down towards the pile of bodies throwing fists at one another. She spat at them, telling them to get to class before being cut off by the ringing of the school bell. And there is was; the eye of the storm was here. People were beginning to disperse to their respective classes, and Ms. Mancini began her clean-up as she scolded the boys for their antics. Hyun was about to turn around and follow the rest of the herd towards the entrance when he paused for a moment. His eyes landed on Marshall who had gone head first straight into the confrontation without any anxiety or worry. Well, at least he didn’t show it on his face.
I wish I could be like that, Hyun thought to himself, watching the boy’s profile from afar. The yearning of wanting to be as confident as the other pooling in the pits of his being. But, alas, it would take a miracle for such a thing to happen.
Hyun released an exhale - how long had he been holding it in for? - and turned around. He made a mental note to properly thank Marshall for assisting him this morning. I suppose he could during physics today or during… Oh, God. During English. With Mallory. Hyun wanted to internally scream until every ounce of anxiety that was consuming him would vanish into thin air. He prayed that maybe the fall from this morning caused her some sort of amnesia and she would forget the whole thing. However, he had heard in the past from the grapevine that some girls around the school called her an elephant. Hyun was going to assume it was to do with her amazing memory and how she would never forget anything; and not that they were implying that she was heavy in weight or stature, or that she resembled ‘Dumbo’ in any way shape or form.
His quick step and swift movements (and his now new ability to not run head-on straight into another person) brought him to his locker with time to quickly place items away and take the selected books and materials he would need for his three classes before lunch. Once all rearranged within his backpack, he zipped it up, slammed his locker shut and made his way towards the classroom with a distinct goal; to not be the last person to enter the room. He didn’t need that sort of attention.
Cam had tackled Ayden to help that bald motherfucker? Really, he was more upset about that reality than he was the fact that Ayden was hitting him. With his face. An interesting tactic, but perhaps one that should be retired after being performed more than once.
Fuckin' Octavian. Trust him to start some shit like this on the first day back from break. Christmas in the De La Vega family clearly hadn't been eventful enough. Or maybe it had been too eventful, and he felt the need to fuck up the morning for everyone else. Whatever the situation, the sad sack of shit had caused all this, and yet Cam knew they'd all get in trouble for trying to clean up his mess.
It was his fault that Ayden had even felt the need to throw his whole head at Cam's face. If he hadn't been so busy sitting there like a fucking idiot, Cam wouldn't have noticed it was him and maybe he would've heard the boy he was on top of asking him, ever so kindly, to get off of him. A reasonable request that was twice lost in the chaos of the Octavian-orchestrated shitshow, and the reason Cam's head was now pounding.
Yeah, maybe the blaring of an airhorn hadn't helped. Did that little girl even know what she was saying?
When the fuck did Noel get here? Had Octavian somehow managed to call his boytoy and his sister for help? Why was he on top of Marsh? His ears prickled at the word "boss" falling from Noel's mouth, because of course that fucking buffoon would refer to Octavian like that even in school. He could only hope Marsh hadn't heard him, or that he at least wouldn't ask questions.
As he rolled off of Ayden, lower half of his face streaked red, Ms. Mancini's voice rang out through the air. It was impressive how loud she managed to be, and how much authority she exerted. Cam was damn near convinced she'd hand any of the Fight Club boys their asses in a scrap. The overwhelming urge to laugh came over him as she instructed everyone to go to class. Between the five of them, there were at least three broken noses, probably some broken fingers, and three fully-fledged gang members, and she wanted them to go do math. And they were - probably - going to listen to her.
Though he managed to contain the laughter for the most part, the absurdity of the situation at hand caused most of his anger to evaporate. Sitting up and wiping his face with the back of his sleeve, he grabbed one of the tangerines lying on the ground. "You just couldn't help yourself from starting some shit, huh?" His voice was less venomous than he would've liked, though he hoped the look in his eyes as he met Octavian's was sufficiently intimidating.
Getting up, he put the tangerine in the pocket of his hoodie and looked out at the bloodied boys and Alex. "Y'all think Mancini wants us to walk into class lookin' like this, or?" He couldn't afford to keep this shit going. He was outnumbered two-to-one, and Noel's completely blind loyalty was terrifying. It didn't help that he could already imagine the disappointment he'd surely see in his mom 's eyes later that day. Octavian wasn't worth making it worse.
Dazed and somewhat confused, he laid on the gravelled concrete of the carpark, staring up to the sky. Constellations danced triumphantly, tangoing and waltzing across the blue-painted clouded sky. Oh my… what was happening. He knew the concept of seeing stars but was never one to experience it first-hand like this. Blinking to regain his sight, the white noise that deafened his ears began to whine until, finally, he could hear the shrieking of their principal. Ayden tilted his head to the side to catch a glimpse of the miniature woman stomping around and making her demands. Straight to class she demanded from the group of them.
With Cameron finally off of him, and regaining full sight once more, Ayden took a split second to consider his options right now. Well, if we were honest, there weren’t many he could go with. His skateboard was now destroyed by the hairless molerat with a god complex and rather disturbing (platonic?) relationship with his car. His funds were at an all-time low because he hadn’t been doing house chores nor could he bring himself to try and get a job of any sort. How was he meant to skip school with a skateboard to ride on or without bus money? Just jump into the bald weirdo’s dented car and drive off? Somehow, Ayden didn’t think it would go down very well. So, there was only one other option - to stay. Befriend someone who could loan a board, or could give him a ride. Eventually get home somewhere afterwards.
With that firm decision in his mind, he made a daring move by sitting up straight and standing up; as if nothing had ever happened. A slight sway from him as he felt his head increasingly become lightheaded, but he managed to compose himself just in time. No one saw that he declared to himself, hoping these words of affirmation would come to existence. One glance to the group that had formed before him, completely and utterly stonecold faced, and then he was on the move. He would rather get a shotgun to the face than spend another second in the presence of the bald man (Are we going to talk about how there’s a dude going to school who looks like he’s a bald sixty-five years old? Where did his hair go? Did he have the Benjamin Button disease?).
Adjusting his backpack that had clung to his figure throughout the whole fiasco, Ayden began to pace out his thoughts. Fuck, my head he grumbled to himself as he travelled towards the campus bathroom. First things first; clean up at least. Well, he would’ve cleaned up had the door to the boy’s bathroom wasn’t locked. A giant yellow sign plastered across the door, indicating that it was out of service which warranted it a famous eye-roll from the boy. What was he meant to do? Walk to the other side of campus to clean himself? And get in more trouble for being late? Nah, that wasn’t going to happen.
Without a moment of hesitation, his eyes examined the girl’s bathroom door. No warning signs and no indication that it was locked. Bingo. He walked straight into that bathroom as if he owned the damn place, making his way straight to the basin without even thinking that there might be some female students in there also. Dark, tired eyes travelled upwards, meeting their reflection in the unbreakable bathroom safety glass. Wow, you’re a mess, he told himself. Flexing his nostrils, he could feel the crisp dried blood slowly rip against his skin; like a sunburnt skin finally shedding. Followed with an exhale, he turned on the bathroom tap and reached forward to cup the water with his hands to start his tiresome, mind-numbing cleanup.
Alex watched as Marsh violently headbutt Noel, she took a step back, her eyebrow raised in mild concern, something had obviously gotten under his skin, was it that this man had called Octavian Boss? Her eyes widened slightly as Marsh went full attack mode, Alex's hand automatically went to her forehead as she pinched it gently she could already feel herself developing a stress headache which only got worse when the sound of an airhorn blared beside them. Jumping slightly in shock at the sudden noise, Alex turned her head to where the noise was coming from but her attention was drawn to Cam who at that exact moment received a headbutt from the skater kid. Alex shook her head as she signed internally, what was with all the headbutts today? Don't they realise they hurt the person doing it just as much? quick acting .. Boys.
Her attention flickered to Octavian as he tried to break up the fight between Cam and Ayden whilst also shouting for Marsh and Noel to stop. She couldn't help the smirk that played on her lips, like he really had a chance of breaking this up, surely even he knew that at this stage things were far too gone for words to help. Realising she probably should help before this drew the attention of the teachers, Alex stepped forwards ready to interject herself between Marsh and Noel but she was too late as Alex reached forward to grab onto Marsh's shoulders the booming voice of Ms. Mancini could be heard behind her loud and clear over the rumbling noise of the fight. Alex groaned as she stayed frozen or a moment, arms outstretched, slightly bent as she closed her eyes and took a deep breath. Maybe if she didn't move the old dinosaur wouldn't see her. Hearing her name being called confirmed that he plan hadn't worked and Alex slowly turned to look at her as she continued to shout at them. Happy first day back.
When Ms. Mancini finally left Alex turned her attention back to the boys in front of her as she looked over each one of them to judge the actual damage done. Her eyes lingered on Octavian longer than the rest as she took in his features, he was cute, something she hadn't really noticed before. Cam's voice broke through her thoughts and she gave Octavian a small somewhat flirtatious smile before turning her attention to Cam. "I say she'd rather you clean up but... i think its a good look .. i say do it" Alex commented amusement clear in her tone. She watched Ayden run off quickly without so much of a word and knew that she should probably do the same but with Octavian and Cam standing so close together still and Noel and Marsh doing the same, Alex refused to leave until they all did. Her eyes lingered on Cam, once the eye contact she received was confirmed she shot him a look that he would know to mean "Are you ok?" before doing the same to Marsh.
Emily couldn't help the amused smile that played on her lips as she watched Eino interact with Ava and Elle, he seemed to have no issues with shyness anyway which was a good thing. She was sure he would make friends in school and was relieved to now have that worry off her shoulders, besides she knew her friends would also take him in if needs be.
Emily leaned back in the car as Ava took them off route, she shook her head but the amusement was clear in her expression. "I suppose you could say fashionably late" Emily commented the etchings of a laugh present in her features as she gave Eino a small smile. Her eyebrow raised towards Ava as Emily caught site of the rundown streets outside and she wondered what Ava had in store for them, she was about to ask but when Ava cut off a car behind them, Emily figured it was a question to ask later, best to leave Ava focusing on the road.
Leaning back into her seat, Emily took out her phone and went into her group chat with Laury, Jack and Luke to let them know she was going to be late. She had been looking forward to seeing her boys first thing this morning but she supposed lunch would now have to do. As she went to put away her phone, a notification of a new message in a bigger more hectic group chat caught her eye and she clicked into it. She bit her lip as she read the message which was quickly followed by a string of other messages from various people, Emily had completely forgotten about this group chat and the concept of it amused her, there was so many different types of people present, the types of people that wouldn't really socialise in person and that was one of the reasons she was happy this group chat existed, it was also why things started between her and Billy.
A small smile played on her lips as she thought about her relationship but was quickly replaced with a frown as Billy openly shut her down in the chat, confused and upset Emily tried to brush it off but after it happened again she exited the chat, unable to deal with the humiliation of it all, instead she private messaged him but was met with the same anger and annoyance. Tears pricked at the corner of her eyes as he called her "high-maintenance and difficult" and she placed her phone back into her pocket as she closed her eyes for a second. Emily wasn't sure where things changed for them but their relationship had really taken a turn during the christmas break, he told her it was her and maybe it was, maybe she was as annoying as he said. Her fingers played with the hem of her long sleeve shirt as she pulled them over her knuckles. It had started off so nice and was at the time exactly what she needed when her and Javadd broke up but now, well, she wasn't sure what went wrong. She knew herself that they way he spoke to her was not right and if anyone dared speak to any of friends or hurt any of her friends the way he had to her she would kill them and yet she found herself believing that she deserved this, that it was her fault.
Emily jumped from her thoughts when Ava stopped the car. Blinking back the threatening tears, she placed a grin back onto her face, a mask she had perfected years ago that she had not used since her brothers death now firmly back in place. She watched as Eino got out and approached the girl, and a laugh escaped her lips as she watched the interaction. "Yeah I can't wait for them to meet". " she laughed, amusement laced in her tone
Tori froze when Ben called her "Tor" a name that had really only been reserved for him, to everyone else Tori was her nickname, it was enough and hearing it again after so long made her heart flutter once again. The butterflies she once had for him bubbling back to the surface and fighting away the anger that had consumed her since he vanished. She had tried to hard to get in contact with him, especially after hearing about the accident, but she never received even so much as a text in reply. She had even thought he was dead at one point but thankfully that fear was very short lived as people could confirm he was alive.
Ben's next words brought her back to reality and she instantly felt the heat sweeping across her cheeks as she blushed at his words, a small smile played on her lips "Well I'm hoping to be, I know my parents want me to be anyway" she said with a slight laughing tone present in her voice, hiding the stress that the idea of valedictorian brought her. It was all her parents wanted for her to be and she also hoped that maybe, just maybe, her parents would finally be proud of her, finally see her as their daughter.
When Ben placed his hand on her shoulder, Tori honestly didn't know how to feel, the comfort from his touch once again swept through her body, it was a feeling she had been craving for months, she needed him but then this was quickly replaced with anger and disappointment in herself. She needed him and yet he easily just brushed her off to the side, no note, no words just gone. Tori bit her lip as she pushed down the bubbling emotions, she needed to get out of here as she was afraid she might explode. She couldn't be perfect if she had a meltdown in the corridor.
As though by some miracle the bell suddenly rang and Tori almost could have cried with the relief, someone must be looking out for her. "Yeah honestly if you have any questions at all please just ask me" Tori directed at the girl "I'm always happy to help" Tori gave her a small yet inviting smile before turning her attention back to Ben, the same smile was still present on her lips as she turned her attention back to Ben "Right I better get to class, it was good seeing you again". Before he could reply, Tori had already darted past him and was making her way to her first class, trying to calm her beating heart and get her emotions back under control.
She entered class thankfully just before the teacher and took her seat in the front row. Allowing herself to get fully consumed by the maths she was now learning, she was not going to let herself crumble not again.
TW FOR MENTIONS OF DEPRESSION, DISTURBING
IMAGERY, HALLUCINATIONS, STRONG
Viewer discretion is advised.
↻ ◁ II ▷ ↺
Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump.
White hot pain and pure rage floods through his veins.
Ba-dump. Ba-dump. Ba-dump.
Marshall faintly recalls a crack when his forehead connects with the ginger's nose. Once he lets his fist fly, he hears a resounding crunch.
A part of him wants to feel guilty. However, Marshall can't hear anything over the roaring thunder of his accelerated heartbeat.
The parking lot disappears.
For a moment, it's like Marshall is walking inside a dark tunnel and a bright light guides him to the other side. However, before he can reach the other side, a certain strawberry blocks the exit.
Or so he thinks.
The ginger imposter won't let him through and has the audacity to tell him to go back.
You don't belong here, it hisses. Instead of the mongrel's whiny tone, the voice is deeper and suspiciously familiar.
He's mine now. He chose me. He doesn't want you anymore, it sneers. The ginger's face twists and morphs into a horrendous fusion of the stupid mutt and his ex-boyfriend. The voices overlap.
Marshall grits his teeth. If he can't walk out, he'll fight his way to the other side, consequences be damned.
He'll pain the tunnel red if he has to.
Suddenly, a loud hooooooonk snaps him out of his violent haze. The dark tunnel and Garfield's smug grin fades away. Reality crashes down on him like a giant wave, evoking a gasp. It takes him a moment to register the very angry harpy's threat.
"...COS I DON’ FIGHT BUT I KNOW HOWS TO END IT!"
Before he can react, the harpy starts honking again like a deranged goose on crack. Her lungs must be massive—
Wait a minute, honk? Marshall spots the airhorn clutched in the blonde's manicured hand.
Somehow, that's worse than a goose on crack.
"The fu—FOR THE LOVE OF—!" Marshall slips into his mother tongue. He clutches his head and glares daggers at the insane harpy. He wants to rip the airhorn out of her wicked talons and whack her upside the—
Of course Ms. Mancini — if Lucifer was a woman with bleach blonde hair and fake everything, his name would be Mancini — arrives. She smells trouble like a shark who smells blood from a quarter of a mile away.
The harpy didn't help with her airhorn. It's like she waved a giant blinking red sign depicting TROUBLE HERE with an arrow pointing down.
Y'all think Mancini wants us to walk into class lookin' like this, or?
Marshall clicks his tongue. "Skater Boi needs an ambu—" He watches the aforementioned boy run toward the main building. He heaves a sigh and shoves Garfield away. "—or not," he mutters.
He rises to his feet and snatches his sunglasses off of Alex's face. He shoots her a silly wink and slips them on. He pats her on the shoulder and reaches for his backpack.
I'm fine for now is left unsaid.
He slides his arms through the straps and adjusts his backpack. "I already know we'll receive detention for this. There's no use pretending to be a goody-goody and hope she'll forget about us. Have fun in math class without me, De La Vega," Marshall spits with venom. He spares Avian a final glare glance and pivots. Instead of walking toward the main building, he crosses the parking lot and heads toward a sleek limousine.
His sister has impeccable timing.
In his current state, Marshall doesn't trust himself to drive Diana.
The New Moon is a time to reflect on life and to simmer into the realm of the present, to enjoy the now and start manifesting the intentions of the near future. That’s why Chloe McQueen decided to invite practically the whole student body of Roosevelt High to her “Mystic Moon Manifesting'' party once again. She always invited everyone to one of her get togethers but she was just grateful to have her dearest friend, Dianelys, to join her in the celebration. The trip from Queen Anne to Magnolia wasn’t too far but Chloe took it to heart that her friend put the effort into showing up when no one else did. Even with a spectacular name as “Mystic Moon Manifesting” for an event, in all ways, this was a simple sleepover. The two did their intentions ritual with the moon, ate some cauliflower crust pizza, sang some karaoke songs badly, and then talked the entire night about random things on their mind. Dianelys was the closest thing to a best friend to Chloe, they shared so many interests and mostly, importantly, Dia never made Chloe feel out of place. For a long time, her dads worried about her not making friends but here she was, having proper sleepovers!
Since it was the two of them in the house, Chloe figured it would be better if Dia just took the guest room instead of sleeping on the floor like a regular sleepover. She basically was a second daughter to Chloe’s dads but she wouldn’t know that. Her parents loved every friend Chloe brought over so the bar was low and the number of people who visited the cape cod mansion was less than the number of fingers Mr. Grants has.
In the morning, the two teen girls decided to do some meditation before the day really began. It was early in the day when they started, before the sun began to rise but the ambient music and the sun rays helped the girls stay in focus. Her dads were respectful of their little girl’s hobby, although it was concerning how she made yoga a daily streak competition with herself more than anything. They left the two girls with breakfast burritos on the counter to munch on before heading to school, although Chloe would forget all about the tinfoiled gift until later when it was room temperature.
(insert a cute paragraph about how they get to school because sometimes minor details gives me anxiety)
Chloe was bright and sunny by the time the two of them stepped food into school grounds. There was gross and sticky residue of citrus on the ground, something students tracked into campus that Chloe didn’t want to understand. She made sure to step around the smashed pulp since the smell of rotting citrus made her gag and her new thrift boots didn’t need the smell to linger on them.
“Dia, thanks once again for staying over.” Chloe told her friend in the weird half-formal way she always did when she was guarded, “I appreciate your companionship. Let’s do this again another time.” She fixed her beret before nodding a goodbye to Dianelys, her hands clutching her messenger bag before walking off. Algebra 2 was probably her least favorite class of the day, mostly since Mr. Van Galder was a huge factor in how the day was going to go for her. He had sent her to the office for dress code violation twice already this year and going to class made her panic. Her journey down the hall was expected, some freshmen calling her names or looking at her like she had two heads… She was swift to walk into the class to see the tables were now arranged differently, the map of where she was seated made her more sick than the citrus stench. She would rather smell like rotting fruit than to sit with the meanest person she barely knew… Sitting near Oiwa will be a disaster but Chloe picked her seat and tried to do some breath control meditation before anyone else showed up. She could feel Mr. Van Galder’s judgment is already on her.
“No hats, Ms. McQueen…” His creaky voice pushed through from across the room as Chloe quickly took the beret off without even opening her eyes.
Thu, January 18, 2018
Livia was trying to remember the streets to the school. Her phone was now dead, the long time sitting on the train was finally hitting her, and her two bags were just annoying now. She was grouchy and miserable and she had Lauren Finley to blame. Take a left on East, straight until Locust… She was in her head, gripping a rusty screwdriver as a weapon when a car pulled up behind her. Usually she would walk the opposite side of the road for safety but she was too turned around to care.
“Hey!!--live laugh lunge!!!” A girl’s voice called out to the cold California girl as she snapped her head to the direction of where she was called. By instinct she lifted the screwdriver up just in case but she stared at the occupants in the vehicle instead.“Get in here babe, we’ve come to the rescue~” The blond boy was lucky she was frosting over as he would have been the first victim of a full-fledge attack. He had taken her things - easily and already decided she was going in… She ended up loading up her decision with the gust of wind hitting her. It wasn’t like she didn’t jump into cars with strangers before, and these kids looked her age. If she was going to die, it would be blood on Lauren’s hands.
The blond kid introduced himself first as Liv shimmed into the back with the other girl. Livia propped her legs up on the center console as a power move before crossing her arms to stay in character. She was actually just freezing cold but it worked out in her favor. She glances at the two in front before sighing and speaking, “Name’s Liv. Thanks for the ride - I guess.” She was actually extremely relieved she didn’t have to worry about frostbite, “I’m here from Cali and transferring to Roosevelt.” She cringed at the nickname of her home state, but people outside of California thought it was cool right? Livia looked at Eino once again before properly sitting like a human in a moving car. “Your accent’s weird.”
Thu, January 18, 2018
Kenzie only laughed away the nerves with Calli’s question back to him. He was peeling the tangerine all in one swoop instead of worrying about bits falling apart. Man, the tangerine had a soft spot… Just like how Kenzie had one for Calli. Even though he was a whole grade older than her, the two of them became close quickly in middle school. Kindness went a long way as Kenzie’s mother would say, and even though Kenzie didn’t always follow that mindset, he could still tell when someone exuded it. Kenzie lifted his eyes towards his friend, even with a protective crush on her, he loved her as a friend first.
“Oh, they were just around the parking lot…” He didn’t want to explain to Calli the joke about his dad being a surgeon - a doctor… It was a dumb joke anyways. An apple a day keeps the doctor away… And it was too early in the morning for that kind of cleverness. “I can walk you to your class if you want. Ms. Guzman loves me so she doesn’t care if I’m late. That was a lie of course. Kenzie was pretty sure Ms. Guzman only loved her Italian Greyhound and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. She had a huge poster of him during his WWE years hung up on her door. Kenzie had the luck to have his desk right in front of the thing.
The bell hadn’t rung until they were halfway to Calli’s Trigonometry class. The loud talking in the hall gave both of them bits and pieces of what had happened outside. Kenzie had walked right past all of that without even noticing. A fight that sounded complicated and boring. Something about railings. It was too much and Kenzie was now only slightly worried about Ms. Guzman’s tardy policy… Good thing he had a 103% in her class.
“Lunch today?” He spoke up once they arrived in front of the class door. Kenzie and Calli didn’t share a single class, ever, but he tried to make it a routine to see her at least once during lunch. Calli had more friends than enemies at school, which meant she was a bit harder to find than Kenzie was. Now as a senior, he could go out for lunch and get her something nice too. He was just glad he didn’t have to stumble upon Carter Fallon groping her in the dark corner again. Kenzie hated that the most. “I’m feeling Chipotle…”
Wendy only rolled her eyes when the air horn was merely effective. At least it stopped her brother and that’s all Wendy cared about - ever. Whatever the hell was happening to the rest of them, she didn’t care. They could get hit by that ugly car with the dent it in or drown in a pool of their own blood. She would have done something bad if it wasn’t for the Queen Bitch herself coming in.
“Both you Shearys...” That’s all the blonde wrinkly bitch had to say to get Wendy to scrunch her eyebrows together and glare at her brother. This was exactly what Wendy didn’t need today, to be caught in the middle of his bullshit. She had plans on checking out the new Muji store and now she had to prepare herself for possible detention or worse, a late review post! Instead of saying another word, she turned around and headed straight inside. Noel would hear her complaining later about this!! As she put the airhorn away, she swiped her phone into her hands, texting quickly with anger even if her texts had no inkling of them to Jack.
Ren: A little birdy told me you're free from your cage. Jack: haha it's true im out on good behavior Ren: wouldnt want you getting into more trouble then huh? wyd rn? Jack:no mam im a good noodle now. Jack: skating to school taking the long way prob gna be late Jack: wyd ? Ren: gonna be so sweaty when you get here. im headed inside now. peanut brains fought in the parking lot. missed out, tardy pants.
She grinned as she pivoted to the girls bathroom instead of getting closer to class. No way she was going to class now with what she just had to endure. If anything, Ren wanted to see Jack more than anything. She hadn’t seen him since… that night, and it was long overdue for them to have a talk after his unfortunate institutionalization. She hogged a whole sink to herself as she playfully braided her hair even if the look didn’t match. It was a soothing mechanism for her since she was little. The prissy freshman girls who couldn’t find a spot in the school to meet scoffed at her before the bell rang while Ren didn’t move one bit. She even took a pouty selfie of herself before sending it to Jack.
Ren: when the boy leaves you on read. we aren't even like that.
The moment she sent the photo, her eyes looked up at the restroom door opening. Her eyes through the reflection seeing one of the fighting boys from earlier. She sneered at his presence. Boys really think they own everything. Ren didn’t want to start a conversation with the loser of the fight, instead whipped her braids as she turned and walked right out. Not her problem. Ren used the movement of the students to her advantage to get to her real destination.
The auditorium was a good hideaway, her favorite spot when she didn’t want to go to class. And she didn’t want to witness her last name being smeared by Principal 4th Husband Whore through the intercom in first period. The stage was only lit by the two ceiling lights, but the key was the extra tables that blocked one side of the backstage room. She heard stories about “the couch” from upperclassmen but she didn’t care about them either. The couch was still comfortable although crusty in weird places. Ren had settled into sitting pretty and reading his reply when the devil himself whispered to her. Her softest smile appeared to him as she patted the seat beside her. He looked - alright? The kind of alright most boys her age were by default, but the potential was there. Jack was her comfort human after all, even if comfort came along with some recreational activities. Ren didn’t subscribe to the idea of her being a “drug person” just a “person who does drugs - sometimes.” She didn’t like how she wasn’t in control… The anxiety of piecing what happened after was too much for her to want to do it often enough like the other people she knew. It kinda made her lame to most of the student body but Jack was always too cool to be mean to her about it. Probably why she was comfortable doing things with him… Like ditching class on the first day of school…
“Hey~” She shifted over just a little on the couch to cue him into sitting beside her, “Thanks… Glad you found me. Not scared of a little couch are you?” She made sure to be clear in her American accent after her slip up from earlier.
If the plume of her hair was not an indicator, the cacophony of warning solidified it. Haloed in a blonde mane that only a heavy can of spray could manage, divorcee Ms Mancini. Perhaps through the butterfly effect of only knowing weapon-carrying women, Ave was much obliged to listen. Stood sheepish in the bedlam, naught but a bald, bloody, very innocent perpetrator.
Tangerines did this.
Chewed and spat out by Mancini’s rage, the dispersion of onlookers signalled a grateful conclusion to the drama— granted nobody threw another headbutt. There was a slither of amiability, yet Avian knew better than to take shards of ice into numb hands and mistake its burn for warmth. You just couldn't help yourself from starting some shit, huh?
Octavian drew in a slow breath, flaring azalea lungs with a desire for patience. Anything to avoid starting a second fight, as at a ripe 17, he was too young to fall victim to a chancla beating.
“It’s ‘cause I love your attention.” Delivered steady, withdrawn emotion like a panel slid shut. There was much he could linger on with their forever feud; the bitterness from detachment and betrayal. Ave swallowed down further impulse that dared creep his sternum. Do not do it.
Do not lunge at the mustard shit.
Mausoleum expression and petty silence watched the fruit be tucked into their pocket— Mimosa’s! —valiantly resisting the urge to wrestle it away like a jealous child with an unwanted toy. Hands found his own pockets to settle their itch. Teeth to tongue, letting white sink as half moon arcs to let the fight drain from his stubborn frame.
Mimosa would share. Make friends, nieto.
Befriending Cam was just out of the question. So was being nice to Cam. And speaking to Cam. Being around Cam. Cam. Dressed like fucking oatmeal Cam.
Noticing the lack of weight to the bridge of his nose, attention chased the asphalt before locating the discarded eyewear. Moving to retrieve and return the sunglasses back to his face. Akin to Marshall shouldering their guitar, comforts restored.
But Marshall shouldered other weights, bearing enough to make a fraction of it known. A wrong glimpse through fissured ice, the scorching glare that left Avian with further questions of: what did I do now?
The use of his name, one of undoubted hate.
“Yeah, whatever.” A frown, gaze lingering in watching them walk off from the scene. It coated his mouth with ash, a subtle hurt to once again be left in the dark of Marshall’s troubles. Uncharacteristic for someone of their direct and outspoken nature, Octavian continued to be confused by their new avoidant habit borne throughout Winter break.
He’d apologise later. For now, everyone could just be pissed off at him.
Excluding Alex, who’d acknowledged him with the smallest of warm expressions. Ave returned an awkward half-wave to her faint smile. Smooth.
Unlike the clumsy— and now absent —bastard who’d brought harm to treasured Martina, one could not so easily forget the damaged yet faithful individual in their vicinity.
“Noel, buddy? Are you all good?”
Nose busted, blood abundant.
“That’s just–” Noel was fucked up. “Just a scratch. Yeah we’ll just–” Kindness nursed in hands, Ave stepped closer to steady their head and try to dab the blonde’s face with the sleeve of his jacket. Futile, unable to efface the haemorrhage and only spreading the mess.
“Okay, okay maybe not. But you know,” a kindred motion, a pat on the back in trying to lighten Noel’s mood, “girls probably think blood is cool.”
The underlying question from Cam was regrettably, as much as Octavian would never verbalise, a valid point. Mancini and majority of staff would most likely harbour some qualms about the blood.
“Bathroom, come on.” Aimed to Noel rather than a direct invitation to Cameron, as that would be fraternising with the enemy, he turned to leave the parking lot conflict behind him. “You gotta be more careful, man. You’ve been looking real banged up lately.”
Yet contrary to their plan, their shared path was soon idled to a stop. Motionless before the yellow sign that blocked their way.
Out of order.
Lips in a small o, a reluctant head turn to the other option. Girls bathroom. A foreign place, where they did mysterious girl things like huddle in girl groups and tell girl secrets in girl voices.
“We’re not creepy for going in there, right? I mean– everyone’s probably in class?” Searching reassurance, or just someone to agree with the plan, they wouldn’t even be in there that long? — he’d grown confident enough to push into the forbidden bathroom.
Ave stopped. Bent over a basin, that same neon motherfucker inhabiting the space. Like a stubborn mould they’d made another appearance, unable to be scrubbed clean.
“No.” Avian muttered, shuffling in the doorway to weave behind Noel like a kid with their parent. “No, you fuckin' go first. I can’t even look at him.”
Childish, yes, but woe, his heart still ached for Martina.
Giselle’s brain was being fed lunch, breakfast, and dinner all at once. Great music blasted under the sound of their chatter, barely managing to not drown it out. The world sped past from the car windows. The cold slightly tickled her skin thanks to the car saving them from the icy air. Not to mention the conversation with the foreign “prince” kept her well entertained. All of her senses were playing in a jazz band.
It was hard not to notice the neighborhood slowly go from high end to... What was a nice way to phrase it? Low-budget housing with trash sprinkled throughout the streets. Giselle had little reason to go all the way out here, she had no idea how bad the area had gotten. It was hard to believe people really lived in places like these. Giselle wondered if the residents ever got used to the feeling of being on edge. Like people could be watching from every angle. The car came to another sudden stop, something Elle had quickly gotten used to.
“You should totally do it Eino,” the ginger smiled, encouraging the boy to follow his dreams and dye his hair. Calli could even help if Eino and her got along. She always had the prettiest colored hair. “Oh, she’s our detour? She’s so pretty,” Elle was practically leaning over as close to the window as she could get to see.
The student they were picking up was breathtaking. She didn’t look dressed for the weather, which Elle could relate to slightly even if she was half-covered up herself. The stranger seemed well-packed for school though, sporting what looked like two heavy bags. Maybe she was an athlete? Should she talk about sports to make her feel more comfortable? Eino had hopped out of the car to go help her with her bags.
“Geeeez, luke’s getting a run for his money,” Ava said. She didn’t really get the joke but laughed along anyways. Was it because they were both nice? Luke was always very sweet and complimenting, just like Eino had been so far. The pretty girl and the foreigner made their way over to the car.
“Oooo you’re from Cali,” Elle smiled from ear to ear. “Nice to meet you Liv!! I’m Giselle, Ava’s the only driving, thiiiis is Emily,” Elle pointed to each person as she introduced them, “And you met Eino!”
finally, a wave of familiarity relieved his anxiety for the time being. in between the time he first encountered her and the words out of her mouth, he was really just operating on autopilot.
seeing wendy again was great, but after being away for so long with lack of memory to pick up off of–it was strangely nervewracking. what happened those couple months? jack was always midway between being satisfied with the absence of retention. remembering meant reliving any painful moments of the past in a nostalgic standstill that lasted for years in seconds, but it also meant forgetting the best parts. the parts that made life worth living–even sober.
however, it seemed there was nothing that would warrant sour feelings between him and wendy. and thankfully so..
as for his childhood friends? it was hard to tell. thankfully, his favorite distraction was in front of him now. sad thoughts, ever consuming, could mitigate themselves.
well, at least for a little while.
every chance presented to him was taken with much gratitude.
his little crush on wendy sheary was one thing that probed at his thoughts, but his friendship with her meant more to him. it was rare of an occasion for him to be so comfortable with any person. he was close to a small few–luke, emily and laury (him–like almost a literal brother to jack). and then there was wendy who he’d met at the very end of sophomore year. though their relationship was a lot different than with his childhood friends, it was company he found himself desiring.
withal, her gentle yet aptly tone of voice pulled him back to the present and put him at ease.
he took the seat next to her on the peeling faux leather, “you always find the strangest places to meet up.” he inferred, already messing with the couch–abrading at it quietly. he tossed a piece away then made eye contact briefly with a small smile he tried to contain.
when they first started hanging out, it’d always be the same process. he’d leave the door unlocked. she’d walk in and find his room, exchange a greeting, and then he’d sit in awkward silence until she said something ironic or funny about it. regularly scheduled programming followed suit, but it almost always began like that.
since then, the way wendy looked at him whenever they first met up always cracked something out of him. the look–like she was waiting for him to sit there in awkwardness like he usually did. and he always did.
jack shook his head, letting his grin out as he looked at the botched carpentry below them, “uh, how was winter break?” he asked, “bet it wasn’t as cool as mine.”
mood: impatient, cold, a bit high
outfit: lavandar long sleeve crop top, pleaded denim miniskirt, pink chunky sneakers
Interactions: TheVoidQueenTwin Fantasy
partners in motion - wild nothing
Lexi nodded her head with pursed lips, looking from Leon to Vera, back to Leon, then back to Vera. "Cool, cool, cool.." She looked down at her feet awkwardly, tucking her hair behind her left ear. Keeping her head pointed at the ground she used her eyes to look over at Leon, a smile beginning to form on her face before she let out a laugh. Looking back up at Vera, biting her lip trying to conceal her laughter.
"Sorry sorry...uh he's Leon." She nodded her head in his direction. Lexi nudged him in the side with her elbow, using her eyes to point to her hand that peeled back her waistband to reveal the clear plastic baggie with the two white pills. "Speaking of...Leon and I need to go take care of something so...you're free to join but it will probably be boring." She gave the girl a lopsided frown. In truth, Lexi didn't want Vera to join. She only really said it to be friendly, first of all she didn't have enough drugs for the three of them, and secondly, she didn't know what Vera would be like high.
Lexi only really like to get high with people if she could vibe with them. Or if they were the ones offering the drugs. She really wasn't trying to find out if she vibed with high Vera on the bleachers at their high school. At a party, now that was a different story. If she wasn't a fan of high Vera she could just fuck off and find other people to have fun with. But there really wasn't anywhere to go at school if she didn't like her, I mean she could go to class. But that's no fun now is it.
Lexis hand found it's way to the joint that Leon was holding. Bringing it up to her lips and taking a long drag of it, and blowing the smoke at his face. She went to let out a laugh but was instead met with a fit of coughs, which in turn resulted in her laughing. Slapping her hand on her chest wildly she fought to gain her breath back. "Shit!" She joked, laying back on the cold steel, or aluminum, or tin, or whatever the cheapest metal the school could buy to build these sketchy ass bleachers with.
Taking another pull of the joint before extending her arm to Leon to return his weed. Turning her head to the side, her cheek was met with a shock of coldness, but the blonde didn't mind. Instead she repositioned her arm so that it was in Veras direction, offering her the last few hits of the joint, a genuine smile on her face as she waved the smoking roach enticingly.
Dianelys couldn't have asked for a better weekend. It was spent with Chloe at her house during her "Mystic Moon Manifesting" event. With a name like that, there was no way that she would turn down the invite, especially coming from her closest friend. The two spent the night doing typical new moon things like setting intentions and manifesting.
Chloe was generous enough to allow Dianelys to crash in the guest room that night, even though she could've made do with sleeping on the floor - which she has been known to do on occasion - she was filled to the brim with absolute appreciation. Even though the girl tried to be friends with everyone, her personality was an acquired taste, which thankfully Chloe had.
It was before dawn when the two girls woke up, they planned on doing some meditation as the sun was rising, focusing on their goals and aspirations for the day. Once they wrapped up their session, it was time to get ready and head out, Dianelys put on her outfit and was ready to go. She much preferred to go bare face to school rather than putting on a full face of makeup.
Arriving at the school, the girls had both noticed how the parking lot was sticky, it had a strong aroma of citrus, which had they been there earlier, they would know the reason behind it, but Dianelys took it into her interpretation that it was the universe letting her know she was set up for prosperity and success for the day.
“Dia, thanks once again for staying over, I appreciate your companionship. Let’s do this again another time." Chloe spoke up as they approached the entrance of the school. A smile spread across Dianelys' face, she was more than happy to have spent time with her friend and would be there any time that she was invited. With a nod, she spoke up, "Well of course! I would love to do it again." After that, the two went their separate ways.
Math was the day's first class, trigonometry to be exact, and without much time to spare, Dianelys made a b-line straight to the classroom. As soon as she walked through the door, the bell rang, and she was right on time. The school probably would call her parents once again if she was late to class, especially on the first day back to school, but it didn't make much of a difference when they did.
Dianelys sat down at her desk, pulling out her notebook and pencil, studying what the teacher was writing on the board. Her brain would've been quite fuzzy this early in the morning, but thankfully after years of mediation, she has been able to overstep those limitations.
Splattered on the pavement like strawberries and cream. Noel felt dizzy. So dizzy, he could almost tune out the nasal whine of Ms. Mancini giving him his first staff lecture of the semester. He'd been trouble since day one. His old man would bludgeon him stupid every time he got in hot water, but Noel didn't really care. In a way, he was a lot like his father -- neither of them were meant for normal society. They were for the fringes. For the toilets.
Poor Ren. She belonged someplace Noel could never reach with his grubby little hands.
Clearly Avi's little friend was put off about something. Noel couldn't be bothered to give a fuck, he didn't even really feel sorry for knocking him over anymore. Such feelings pass with great haste. He wheezed as he stood, head pounding. His legs threatening to give out underneath him as he wondered whether or not he might have some kind of head trauma. Hopefully not, I'm already dumb as bloody crayon wax. He shook his head a bit, attempting to chase away some of the fogginess in his skull. But he stilled to allow Avi to check on him. Warm yet firm fingerpads on his face, piercing his skin with their heat. The feeling of Avi's sleeve on his nose, leaving dull pains in its wake as he tried in vain to wipe away the mess of blood.
Noel nodded without question, hardly even acknowledged how Cam looked at him like something that had been scraped off of the bottom of a car. Who really cared what Cam thought, anyhow? Who cared about Avi's friend, or that girl who pulled his hair? As far as Noel was concerned, he only had three people worth pleasing in his life -- Avi, Mimosa and Wendy.
He followed behind Avi as closely as he could manage, not bothering to apologize to anyone he bumped or nudged along the way. The crowds were thinning out as everyone made their ways to class. He tried to hide any sign of nervousness as Avi mentioned that he'd been looking banged up recently. "I guess." He was nowhere near ready to explain what was happening at home. Because Avi would tell Mimosa, and then Mimosa would send an armed squad out with the sole task of turning Craig Sheary's insides into his outsides, and Noel would be shit out of luck when it came to housing.
Then he and Wendy would be separated, and he'd be sent somewhere new, somewhere scary. So he'd take it. He could handle cigarette burns and backhands. Even full-on hits with large objects, shoes, belts, bottles, toasters, all of it was fine for now. He just needed to turn 18. That was all he had to do.
When they finally arrived at the bathroom, Noel almost reached for the door handle before realizing it was out of order. Avi said some stuff and tugged Noel over to the girl's room. His face flushed. For fuck's sake, man, there could be girls in there! But maybe Avi was right, and they were all in class. Noel could taste the blood on his upper lip, he needed to wash this mess now or it was only gonna get worse.
But there was someone else in there. Another guy. Someone Avi was upset with, apparently.
Noel nodded once more at the command he was given, and strode in as best he could, what with him looking like a wet red mess and feeling just as bad as that sounds.
eino placed the bags in the opened trunk, shutting it promptly. before he could hop in after the new girl, a man in dirt-stained blue jeans, an old carthartt vest and bandaged crutches approached him with pleading eyes–mumbling something about needing cash for a greyhound. initially, the boy had no idea why someone so poor and injured would want to purchase a purebred dog instead of spending their cash on medical aid or clean clothes. however, it wasn’t his place to critize how the man spent his money. after all, certain things made people happy. to penalize them for it? eino could never.
fishing in his pants pocket for his wallet, he opened it to find..not very much. he wanted to sigh at the unfortunate display, but instead he smiled and reached for a crumpled up ten-dollar bill to hand it over to the disheveled man. the man gratefully accepted and ran off with a snicker, practically dropping his crutches in the process. eino grinned at the sight before heading back into the range rover.
someday i’ll make enough to do that everyday!
hopping in the back seat, he caught the end words of liv mentioning her move from california. “cali? wow! that’s where los ange–angeles is!” he exclaimed, struggling for a bit to pronounce the spanish name.
“wait what do you mean my accent is a weird? i am from copenhagen, denmark!” he followed, “--guess we are transferring together, it’s my first day too.”
“cali? oh wow. must be strange being up in washington from california…” she said, a bit distracted as she manuevered the range around a woman standing in the middle of the road to continue their drive to school. “well, welcome! it’s not much, but i think washington’s beautiful~ maybe we don’t have the best tacos, but we make up for it in scenery–and parties.” she grinned.
“parties? oh yes i love to party!”
the range rover crew managed to snag a spot in the school’s parking lot before donnie locked it up until lunch time. ava nodded her head to him as a sign of gratitude for not shutting it before they arrived.
ava locked her car before skipping over to join the moving crowd, “oh i’m so sad i don’t get to join you two in mrs. mills,” she voiced in a jesting wine to elle and emily, “trig is gonna kick my fucking ass this semester i just know it...i think i have di though.. and–oh my god–♫~calliope~♫”--mention of two of her friends she'd had the pleasure of getting to know better this school year. di, her fellow free spirit, and calli--one of the sweetest, most fashionable girls in school. she hoped she got to sit with at least one of them this time around.
the coffee from this morning was quite clearly doing a number on ava..though even if she was without it–her sunny personality could count on shining through. the sprightly girl turned around making sure the newbies were doing alright, “hey liv, you know where you’re headed first period? i think eino’s off to galder’s..which is by trig–i’ll walk you guys, i don’t really mind being late.” she continued sweetly, attempting to find a way into the girl’s eyes through her designer shades. ava found a chance to shoot flirty looks whenever she got, but she wasn't exactly sure this girl was gay enough to catch the hint. all in all, ava was just thrilled to have such an eventful first day back.