Snippet #2630291

located in Laurea, New York, a part of Laurel, one of the many universes on RPG.

Laurea, New York

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov
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Erin prides herself on her ability to bounce back from unhappy situations, and it is this pride which pushes her to smile and interact with her classmates as much as possible during swimming. To the untrained eye, she seems to have shrugged off the breakfast situation almost too easily, but those who know her, which is in fact most of the Yearlies due to a great amount of time together, can read the strain in her smile. She hates to have friends be unhappy, and hates even more to feel as though they are closing her out. The young woman realizes how oblivious she can be at times, and therefore assumes that once she is actually able to tell that someone is closing her out, it is nearly too late. That's how it had been with Nina, after all. This pattern of people putting so much stake in romantic love frightens the shit out of Erin. Perhaps it is childish of her to wish that everyone could simply be friends and accept that as enough. Erin never was one to look forward to growing up, more of a lost boy type herself. Laurel nearly functioned as her Neverland, until the crocodile's clock began ticking once more, propelling everyone into near adulthood.

The class ends and Erin rinses off and changes in the locker room, smiling at people but not partaking in their chatter as she normally might. She heads out such that she is near people but not exactly part of the group, which consists of students from six years old to eighteen years old. PE is when the Yearlies might mingle to some extent- Erin had almost forgotten that the school accepted people so young, though she herself had entered at an early age. She spots two girls, looking about ten, laughing and purposefully bumping into each other. Erin smiles, mood lifted by the sight. She remembers before Nina came, when it was just her and Lane against the world. Two dorks with calloused fingers from their respective instruments and burnt skin from playing outside without sunblock. Occupied with her thoughts, Erin doesn't realize that her pace has slowed and the group has grown further away. She doesn't notice Daniel Ahn walking towards her.

A shower and change later, Daniel has resolved himself to ignore the issue for now and head to lunch. Whatever else, he feels it important that he see Nina. However, a girl familiar only from a distance and from stories is wandering just a bit away from him, and a new resolution becomes set. Daniel increases his pace to a brisker walk until he has easily caught up with the girl. She immediately begins moving away without a word, eyes cast down. Daniel steps in front of her, thwarting the evasive effort. "A word, if I may, Miss Hill?" He does not sacrifice at least the image of courtesy in the pursuit. The girl seems set on avoiding eye contact at first, but something stiffens and she finally looks him in the face. You helped mold her. And then you took my spot. But it doesn't matter anymore. While pain may linger here or there, Nina is one thing that Erin has finally learned to give up on.

"Fine. But maybe not right here- I doubt your Queen would want to hear that you were speaking to some nobody like me," where she would normally be acidic, Erin simply sounds tired. Resigned.

"Of course," and the two move further out of the way, hidden by a collection of trees. "I can see that you have stopped attempting to change Miss Ro- Nina. I think that's for the best."

"Look, she isn't my business anymore, okay? If you are here to warn me away from her, you're right- I'm done."

"Your presence has done nothing to hurt Nina, not anymore. It's not you I'm concerned about."

Sterling. There is no specification needed, they both know. As far as Daniel is concerned, Sterling is only hurting Nina. Blisters should be allowed to deal with themselves and become callouses, a form of protection. Sterling seems intent on popping them and tending to the fresh skin underneath. It is easy to blame him for the more blatant pain in Nina's features, for her apparent inability to at least confide in Daniel. Sterling had his spot by her side, and he gave it up. Daniel can be very territorial.

"Look. You're the man who knows everything, aren't you? So you should know that Sterling and I aren't exactly friends. I don't have any control over what he does. Besides, has it occurred to you that maybe this sudden pain you are seeing is easier dealt with bec-"

"Miss Hill, please. I did not come over to illicit your anger or opinions. But if you could keep your friends in check, it would be greatly appreciated,"

"I don't give a damn what you would greatly appreciate, okay? I don't know how it works with you and your mistress, but I don't tell my friends what they can and cannot do. And if us minding our own business bothers her, then that isn't my-"

And then she is closed in. Daniel has her pinned against the tree, one hand on either side. Erin flinches away, doing her best impression of a wood nymph and trying to merge with the tree. "I think you're being unnecessarily stubborn here, Miss Hill. I will not allow you, or Sterling, or that musician of yours to hurt Nina, alright? And if I think that you may be a threat, I can assure you there will be little problem in terminating it. Someone has to be pushed in front of the trolley, Miss Hill. It doesn't have to be you." Daniel straightens his posture, adjusts his sleeves, and runs a quick hand through his hair to fix it.

Erin is silent, mouth sealed, carefully keeping her gaze over Daniel's shoulder.

"I am correct in saying you once cared for Nina, yes? If any of that remains, remain out of sight, out of mind, and make sure the rest of that crew does as well. Nina does not need you or anyone else to make her happy. I am perfectly capable of protecting that." He takes her silence for understanding and begins to walk away. A few steps out, he turns his head slightly.

"What was the name of the place your mother is working now? The Versailles in New York? I'm sure she's getting older now- a promotion would be comforting, wouldn't it? Or perhaps she's getting too old to continue working." With that, he walks off to the Dining Hall to find Nina.

Erin remains paralyzed, as if still pinned to the tree, a few moments longer. Once the distance between the two of them is great enough, she too starts walking in the hopes of finding Lane or Anthony or someone safe. This is, in fact, her first real interaction with Daniel Ahn. She prays it will be her last, as well.

Cool as a cucumber, Daniel reaches the Influential table and takes his seat at Nina's side. Food is soon in front of him, as well. "Good afternoon. I don't suppose that Mr. Smalley has become any more tolerable since I've seen him last?"

Erin enters from a different entrance, such that she is not in Daniel, or Nina's, line of vision. After grabbing a small amount of food, her normal appetite having left her, Erin takes a seat and she and Lane's usual spot. The moment she sits, Erin is ravenous and wishes that she had grabbed more food. More jalapeno mac n cheese, in particular. She begins to eat, sending a text to Lane. If the girl does not respond within five minutes, Erin decides to bring food to her dorm room.

To: Lane
Are you coming to lunch?

From her spot, she can see Daniel much too well. Erin shivers, and sends another text.

To: Mom
How's work? I love you.