Laurel

Laurea, New York

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a part of Laurel, by Mac n Cheese.

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Mac n Cheese holds sovereignty over Laurea, New York, giving them the ability to make limited changes.
1,254 readers have been here.
2,972 readers have visited Laurel since Mac n Cheese created it.

Copyright: The creator of this roleplay has attributed some or all of its content to the following sources:

influenced by the charlie bone series and the alphas series

Setting

Default Location for Laurus
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Minimap

Laurea, New York is a part of Laurel.

17 Characters Here

Aimee Hart [68] "I never do things the easy way."
Lane Blackwell [62] "Music completes me in a way that nothing else ever will."
Erin Hill [57] "Engineers turn dreams into reality. That's my magic."
Lucas Long [56] "It is sometimes an appropriate response to reality to go insane."-- Valis
Nina Nikolayevna Romanov [55] "A closed mouth gathers no foot."
Anthony Carraway [46] "I'd rather be loved than feared, actually."
Daniel Ahn [38] "If you have to use force to get what you want, you are a moron."
Sterling Walker [35] "There are many people I could bless with my presence, but I chose you."
Rebecca Sayre [26] "Money is such a funny thing, don't you think?"
Keevan Brennan [22] "Books are a uniquely portable magic."

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Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan

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#, as written by Saerith
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As Erin spins him around, Carr laughs and his laugh drags, more high pitched than his usual timid chuckle. He hadn’t drank so much, but also wasn’t very used to the effects of alcohol, so while he could still - kind of - lead Erin in a modest dance, his feet actually felt quite heavy and lowering his head in Erin’s direction actually felt a lot easier than lifting it to look ahead. But most of all, he felt calmer. He couldn’t place what had changed, but his nervousness and anxiety had almost completely vanished, so know he was nothing but contempt to spin around with his friend.

Erin wasn’t a good liar, never had been. Having her face so close to his, and knowing her like he did, it didn’t take a seconds for Anthony to realize, once more, the girl was hiding something from him. Maybe she actually had no idea what happened, but certainly the thought disturbed her more than she let it show. Then again, Anthony could not be the smartest guy around, but even he could tell it wouldn’t do any good to keep pushing her to say something. He smiled brightly “Yeah, you’re right. Forget it.” It would be better, he decided, to just get her mind off of it, and if she felt like it, she would say something whenever. Hearing her seconds question, his smile diminished into one of discomfort and his cheeks blushed slightly, a barely noticeable shade darker than the one alcohol had painted them. “Nah, not really. Plus, I don’t think there’s enough liquid confidence that’ll get me talking to these people. Teenagers are scary, Erin” He said quite seriously, before pouting, and laughing once again while jokingly spinning Erin multiple times. Becoming a bit dizzy himself, he proceeded to hold on to Erin a little closer in something that resembled a really uncomfortable, swaying, clumsy hug. “You're not. You're small and… silly.”

However, the question resounded quietly in his head, as if Erin had said it in song. His gaze, lingering behind Erin’s head, examined some couples whose forehead’s touched as they embraced each other, accompanying the soft music. Some laughed and some stared lovingly into each other’s eyes. It made him happy to look at them, and how close they seemed to each other, but he couldn’t help but wonder how that must feel. He wondered if Erin or Aimee knew, and if it was in anyway possible to explain. He thought, and somehow hoped, it wasn’t. The couple who attracted most attention, and therefore Anthony’s as well, was Daniel Ahn and Nina Romanov, who after the enormous scene, now seemed to mind nothing, to be surrounded by tranquility and indifference.

Than, suddenly, a pair of blue, almost transparent eyes catch his own. Almost instantly Anthony shifts his gaze, directing it at the fire. It felt as if her gaze could physically harm him, pierce through him, shred him to pieces. No, that was not it. Frostbite. That’s what it felt like. His breathing turned faster as he struggled to not look again and check if Nina still had his gaze on him. There was nothing he wanted more than to actually run and hide at that instant. Of all people he could have attracted attention from, this was the worse possible option imaginable. He looked at Erin’s face again in an attempt to distract his thoughts. “You… How about you? You shouldn’t waste your good looks on me and Lane, you know?”





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At his question, she can’t help but smile a bit. Perhaps he was right and this was more risky than actually dancing in the light, but if she would be the one to have to catch the curious glares and hear the intrigued whispers the next day, she wanted the words whispered to be, at the very least, enticing. They could call her all the profanities they thought suited, but she wouldn’t let herself be called uninteresting for once, that’s for sure. And anyway, they had left right when everyone was way to distracted by Nina’s scandal. Being out of the spotlight, losing it to Nina, she must admit, did have it’s advantages. “Well” She laughed close to his ear, letting her sweet breath reach his skin. “If there are going to be rumors about us, let them be juicy, right?”

This type of rumor wasn’t one that Becky minded at all. She had no reason to. She had always cared a lot about what her people had to say about her looks, about her future and her family. About they’re money or they’re business. This were all things she had masterfully made sure she had under control and could very easily convince otherwise whoever criticized them. But in the sexual reputation department, as long as there wasn’t gossip that could affect her position as part of Laurel’s royalty, there were no concerns. Rebecca was a virgin, and had absolutely no intention of changing this for a long time, not before she could find her prince charming. She distanced herself a little from Keevan and examined him discretely. And this she thought is definitely not it.

From there, she gently let her head rest on his shoulder. If this was something she had to do, at least she could get some rest out of it. He felt warm and the slow swaying and gentle darkness made her eyelids heavy and her breath, calmer. Her mind was fixated on the fight a few minutes before. The harsh movement Cameron had made in Nina’s direction and Daniel’s strength seemed like an odd fantasy, everything had went down so fast, and it was such an improbable situation that she had a hard time wrapping her mind around it. And although she didn’t exactly feel bad for Nina - she had a feeling this would soon be forgotten and never talked about again within her circle - this was probably the first time she had not been jealous of all the attention Nina received. The way that guy touched her, her lips in her neck… It made her sick in every way. But Daniel had been rather sweet, she thought, with a sleepy smile forming over her pinkish, sparkling lips. Lifting her head from where it rested for just one moment, she looked into Keevan’s eyes, but really seemed to look thought him, at something far more distant.

“Cameron Hillcock is a disgusting brat. Whatever you wright tonight, remember that.” By making her voice a bit more severe than it usually were, although not completely serious, her intention was to leave clear her feeling was not that of sympathy, but of repulse.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Aimee waited for Lane to answer her, wishing that she had said anything but that. What do you want? Really, Aimee? You couldn't do anything better than that? She sighed, also wishing for the night to end. What was the point of sitting there awkwardly? It wasn't like Lane was making the situation any better. It was mean for her to think that, since it was mainly Aimee's fault that there was any awkwardness at all, but she had a miraculous ability to place blame on anyone but herself. Taking responsibility was never her strong suit. She looked around for Carr, slightly miffed that he was having a great time dancing with Erin, when she corrected herself. Stop sulking, grow up, she thought.

"Uhm...dance? I..." she trailed off. The buzz had warn off, meaning there wasn't nearly enough in her to cause her to make a fool of herself like dancing surely would. Aimee was too heavy in the steps and wiggly in the shoulders to make anything impressive of dancing. You know, I'm actually not...feeling too well...I'm just gonna...tell Anthony I'll catch up with him later, okay?" She said lamely. She stood, glad when the trees didn't blur around her, and started walking away. She stopped mid-step and half turned back to Lane, tucking her hair behind her ear. "I'm...I'm sorry, Lane..." For what, well, that was up to interpretation. Aimee didn't really know herself, whether it be leaving her that morning, ignoring her, or just for leaving her again now. She just knew it needed to be said.

Walking away from the party, she headed towards the summer dorms. No one would be around, almost everyone was at the bonfire, so it was eerily quiet. She thought about all of her interactions from the night. Anthony, Lane, Lucas...now there was a troubling thought. She had literally reeled from everything she learned about him tonight. Of course, she would never do anything with that information, but it was still boggling to think about. And just to touch on the real kicker, he could read minds. He didn't get life stories, but he got a decent amount. And he didn't have a wall like her. He couldn't block it out. She thought about it as she walked, and decided to try something. Hey, Lucas, can you hear me? she thought, and immediately felt like an idiot. So you think in the mass of thoughts on campus he'd pick your head out of everyone? Right... she sighed, entering the summer dorm and curling up on the couch. Tonight was definitely not what she was expecting.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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#, as written by piearty
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Lucas' eyes flung open.

Did someone say my name just now?

Can you hear me?, the voice continued. It was faint, very faint, but in the dead silence, he couldn't help but notice it. It wasn't close enough for him to discern through his power who it was, but there was only one person on campus who would be asking that question in their thoughts, to him. Aimee?

As she approached, he traced her path, following the trail of her thoughts. So you think in the mass of thoughts he'd pick your head out of everyone? she thought as she entered the dorm. A sigh. Well, you thought right, he mentally replied.

He sat up and rubbed his eyes, dread making his stomach lurch. He was trying to forget all about tonight and had been hoping to just go to sleep, but now he had to be reminded of how he accidentally blew his secret with the most embarrassing move he'd done in a while. What did you even trip over?? he asked himself for probably the 10th time.

You should talk to her, the faint mental voice that was his own suggested, and this time the louder voice agreed, hissing, Yes, talk to her, make sure she doesn't tell everyone you're a freak!

He sat up and threw his hoodie back on, even though it was a muggy, warm night. The hoodie made him feel comfortable, somehow, made him feel swaddled and protected from--well he wasn't sure what from, but he deemed confronting the girl who now knew his biggest secret, in the middle of the night no less, a a worthy enough cause for such protection.

He padded down the hallway in his socks to Dorm #14 and raised a fist to knock on the door. But, despite his protection, despite his determination, his hand suddenly felt frozen. C'mon Lucas..., he thought, his teeth gritted. Just knock...on the damn door...

But knowing that Aimee was within, and not even far within but laying on the couch mere feet away, scared him into inaction. Why would she want to talk to you? his mental voice spat, conveniently ignoring that she was the one who called to him in the first place. He reminded himself of this, drew back his fist, and sent it toward the door at a perhaps unnecessarily-fast velocity-- only for it to rapidly slow down as it approached, hitting the door with barely any force at all.

Yet, Lucas' heart dropped. Shit, did that make noise? I have no idea. Did she hear it? Is she coming to the door, did she not and is just gonna fall asleep, I-- He began to back away and turned to hastily walk back to his room.

And then his knees buckled. Again. And with a loud THUD he fell onto the wooden floor of the dorm hallway, shutting his eyes at the brief shock.

Well, she certainly heard that, he thought, not moving to get up. He shifted so that he was staring with a frown up at the ceiling lights, which were dimmed but still on. What if I just lay here. What would she think of me. That would make a great second impression, huh? He continued to lay still.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Aimee had been just about to shut her eyes when she heard a faint knock at the door. She opened one eye, frowned at the door, and decided it wasn't worth her effort. Tyler always did call me lazy... she thought, closing her eyes again. Suddenly, there was a loud thump from outside her door, and she groaned. This time it was loud enough to actually draw her attention, and she sat up. Her buzz had long since faded, leaving a headache in it's wake. That also probably had to due with the large amount of claircognizance she'd drawn on earlier, but eh.

She walked over to the door and opened it slightly. She opened it wider when she saw Lucas laying on the floor. "What the hell?" she said. Realizing a minute later that he couldn't hear her, she switched to thought. Are you okay? she asked him. She kneeled down next to him and looked at his face. He was staring up at the ceiling lights, a bit of hopelessness in his expression. She was careful not to touch him, she had a feeling it wouldn't be welcome, so she just sat there instead. Do you...want to come inside? she asked cautiously. After all, she had been the one to call to him. She couldn't exactly just leave him laying there.

Aimee stood, leaving her door open for Lucas to enter. She flipped on a lamp so that they weren't in complete darkness, then proceeded to get some water bottles from the closet. Weird place for water, but there was really no where else in the small dorm. She found herself slightly nervous, whether it be from talking with someone who could read minds or just in general from the nights previous events. Regardless, she ignored her rapidly beating heart and sat down. It's weird, thinking that you can hear everything in my head. If it's anything like my ability, I'm sure it's annoying.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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#, as written by piearty
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The longer Lucas continued to lie there, the heavier his bones felt and the more natural it seemed. The tiny part of his mind was running around in circles, waving its metaphorical arms about what Aimee would think-- what other people would think when they filtered back into the dorm-- if he really did just stay here. The bigger part seemed to accept that this was where he was now; this was his new state of being: lying on the fucking floor in the middle of a dorm hallway.

"What the hell?"

Shit. In his zen-like state of despair it somehow slipped his mind that Aimee was bound to open the door and find him after that loud sound, though he had been thinking about it only moments before. He froze, muscles tensing.

Oh, right, he can't hear me, she thought. She was a bit mistaken there, but Lucas couldn't help but mentally despair at the thought. Great, so she knows about that too. He glanced in her direction. Ah ha, she's approaching me now, shit shit shit shit

She peered over him and asked if he was okay through her thoughts. Lucas found it stunning how quickly she'd managed, in general, to adjust her behavior to him. For him. That was weird. Though her main emotions were confusion and concern rather than repulsion and dislike, he still desperately began to wish he could melt into the floor, ignoring her gaze. She was making special effort not to make physical contact with him, though, weirdly, it seemed to be more for his sake than hers.

After a few painfully long seconds, Aimee asked if he wanted to come into her dorm. The concern in her mind grew stronger, mixed now with nervousness. Lucas' eyes widened as he watched her, out of the corner of his eye, stand up and enter her room, the door hanging open. His mind was a confused sludge of emotions. Why did she invite me into her room?

Does she think I'm brain-damaged from the fall?

God, she thinks I'm pathetic.

This is what you wanted, right? To talk alone?


Lastly, A guy and a girl straying early from a party to go to a dorm room alone? He flushed a faint pink. Won't people talk?

But, as he reminded himself again, this was what he wanted--t-that is, to talk to her alone, not the other thing! So he got up-- Oh, wonderful, now you want to move, body --and plodded through the open door, closing it behind him. Aimee was sitting on the couch, feeling nervous and awkward. He felt similarly. It's weird, thinking that you can hear everything in my head. If it's anything like my ability, I'm sure it's annoying, she directed at him, and he gave a soft chuckle.

"Annoying is kind of an understatement, but yeah," Lucas said. He wondered how crazy they both looked, her staring at him silently while he replied to nothing. He ran his hand through his hair absentmindedly. "Before, uh, before I say anything else, uh, you can speak aloud. I may be d...well, even though I might not be able to-- well, I can, I can understand you when you're speaking even...despite." He bit his lip. Even just making reference to his issue made him feel absurdly vulnerable, and he wished, he wished she didn't know at least that. He shook his head and glanced at her. "Ahehe...one of the perks, I guess. He gave a wry smile.

Alright, he reminded himself. You wanted to ask her; now's the time to ask her. Lucas dropped the smile, his eyes turned imploring. "Aimee--" come to think of it, it was vaguely pleasant to be able to say someone's name without them freaking out that they haven't told you yet-- "You're...you're not gonna tell anyone, are you?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Lane waits for Aimee to reply while establishing in her head that's this has been the worst start to summer in at least 10 years. When Aimee finally beings speaking she declines Lane's request to dance. Nothing Lane hadn't seen coming, although a girl can dream right? Then she stands up and gives an excuse for her leaving. Her apology is weak in Lane's eyes, and it means almost nothing. Aimee if you felt any pity for me what so ever why are you leaving me alone on this metal bench? Lane watches her go until the darkness consumes her and she's gone. Taking a deep breath Lane ponders her next move.

She had always been a giggly drunk, not that it happened very often, if ever but it was true. Everyone knows that there are many different kinds of drunks to be: sad, violent, giggly, touchy, dancing, crazy, and so on. So maybe that is why Lane decided to expand her taste outside of Twisted Lemonade and go from something a little more adult for the night. Lane finds herself at one of the coolers, knelt on the ground. She's searching through it like a kid searching a toy box, trying to find the best option. When her hands are too cold to search any more she settles on a Korona. Lane hears footsteps behind her, approaching the cooler as well. She whips her head around as the familiar face plops down next to her.

Shira Madison, a graduated senior. The girl's a music student as well and is into much of the same music Lane is. The two had spent a lot of time together over the last 10 year at Laurel. It was bitter sweet that Shira would be gone next year. While she has been exceedingly talented, Shira was not always nice to Lane, she was a little more harsh with her criticism that Lane likes. Shira smiles, her white teeth shine and she wraps an arm around her younger classmate. "Whatcha doing Lane? Where are your friends?" She asks curiously.

"Trying to get drunk and gone." Lane replies bitterly. She pops the cap off of the beer bottle and downs the drink. The coolness runs down her throat, it is instantly refreshing aside from the slight burn of alcohol in her throat. "If you're going to get drunk Lane, do it the right way." Shira pulls a glass bottle, half filled, of out her jacket. Squinting at the label Lane is able to see that it's some kind of Raspberry vodka. "Now we don't have any shot glasses so don't drink to much at once, but here." She pulls the cap off and passes the bottle over. Lane scrunches her eyebrows and she smells the drink before pressing the bottle to her lips. She takes a swig and the burn comes quickly. Coughing profusely she hands the bottle back to Shira, who in turn does the same, minus the coughing. "Good right?" Shira asks. Lane nods taking the bottle back she repeats her action again, and again and again until the sight of someone walking by causes her to burst out into a fit of laughter. Shira resides next to her, laughing as well she tosses the empty bottle into a table. "This is great isn't it Lane, one last fling, you and me?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Aimee flushed with embarrasment when he said he could hear her. She felt like even more of an idiot now. From the way he stumbled a bit over his words, she could tell he didn't like her knowing, and really didn't like talking about it. "Oh, right. Should've figured that," she said. He gave her a wry smile and she smiled back. It seemed like his personality, at least what she could get from it right now, was similar to hers. But, the joking was short-lived. Lucas got serious with her, but what he asked dumbfounded her.

Aimee prided herself on keeping people's secrets. She had to, based on how much she knew. She had learned fast that everyone had a screwed up past on some level. And that they didn't react well to having those pasts shared. It had never even occurred to her to tell anyone about Lucas. The only person she ever would have would be Carr, but if Lucas asked her not to then she wouldn't. That was just the kind of person she was. "I would never tell anyone," she answered. "You never have to worry about that with me," she said. She smiled earnestly at him. She may not be psychic like he was, but she could sense that he was nervous. She wanted to make him more comfortable, but she wasn't really sure how.

"I want to help you," she said. It had taken her awhile to build up her mental wall, but now that she had it, it made her life a whole lot easier. She didn't feel the need to use it now. She felt open with Lucas. She didn't need to hide her thoughts from him. "If you want me to, that is. If not, I totally understand," she said.

The reality of their situation hit her. From the looks of Lucas, it had hit him a little earlier. "You, uh, don't need to worry about anyone wondering why you're here. My roommate never showed up and everyone else is at the bonfire," she said. The only people who would ever spread a rumor like that were the snobby Influentials, and they were more concerned with getting drunk right now than they were about two people talking in a dorm room past midnight. Not that there was anything to talk about. "And you're probably getting every awkward word in my head right now. Great," she looked away, still embarrassed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Mimi Arquette Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay

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Monday, June 22nd | Laurel Summer Academy
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Colin's eyes had widened in undisguised amazement as he witnessed Anna's ability for the first time. He'd known she was a power, and yet, he'd never bothered actually asking after what exactly she could do. Which was odd, considering most would, if faced with the same circumstances, be driven by the typical curiosity to learn and witness such as soon as possible. Perhaps he'd been distracted by the other goings on, and school's return into his life after a too-short holiday. His lips began to part to make a comment, perhaps even an expression of praise, but as the stick returned to its prior form, and Anna's expression switched to one of annoyance and disappointment, his words melted instead into a scoff. "Bravo. How impressive." Anna made a grotesque face in response, and olin cracked a small, amused smile at her reaction.

"To be beautiful and loved, even for the smallest of time is a gift." Detecting a hint of something quite out of character in Mimi's typically cheery tone, a crease appeared between Colin's brows, and his eyes flickered to the girl's dark face. His expression of concern darkened more so as he noted the glimmer of gloom in her eyes, before her thick lashes quickly batted away the remnants of what looked like escaping grief.

"I like England, but I like France much better. They have macaroons, I love macaroons."At the turn of conversation, and her morph back into her usual, airy self, Colin found himself listening in on the two's conversation, less out of interest, and more as a result of having nothing better to do. That is, until he heard his name mentioned, and his curiosity piqued as he turned his head back to the pair. "Colin Reminds me of a macaroon. They're cold and they look like they'd be hard. They're cute, but appear kind of boring in comparison to other french treats." Colin's eyebrows rose, hiding his annoyance at being seen as 'boring' behind a facade of indifference. However," Colin's shoulders perked slightly, and he found himself listening more intently for whatever the 'however' could be preceding. "With all that in mind I find myself unable to give up on the treats. Want to know why?" Colin almost found himself asking 'why?', but was relieved when Anna cut him off with the same response. "Because, they are so delicious on the inside." Colin blinked once. Twice. Thrice. Before letting out a little 'ahem', and fixing his cool-headed exterior, and shrugged, as though accepting the nickname. "A macaroon, huh? I've been called worse."

He watched lazily as Mimi wandered between them, trying to find a satisfying source of warmth, and tried to act natural when she suddenly draped herself over him, looping her slender arm around his waist. "Why are boys so much warmer than girls? You're like freaking heaters." Colin responded in an equally ponderous tone, "I'm not sure. Perhaps it's our scorching masculinity? Our sweltering egos?"

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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#, as written by piearty
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Aimee seemed hurt by the assumption that she would ever tell anyone--she had her own power after all, and Lucas realized with a mental headslap that she probably knew how to, and had to, keep secrets far worse and far more numerous than Lucas' petty problems.

She said she wanted to help him. He blinked a few times. What? It was a genuine offer, not one of clinical interest or of pity, and he felt the concern radiate off her again along with something else that surprised him--comfort. After she informed him, with a bit of embarrassment, that their reputation was and would be fine, he focused back on the offer.

"Thanks. And I'm sorry, I uh, can't exactly help that..." He shook his head. "You said you want to help me...how?"

Aimee rocked back on her heels and smiled at Lucas. "Create a wall, kind of like a barrier, to other people's heads. Once you learn to control it, it'll allow you to block out everyone's thoughts," she said. Then, for a second, the stream of Aimee's thoughts hitched, skipped like a broken record, before they began to play steadily again, throwing Lucas' mind out of time. He could tell she did it as a demonstration to him.

His eyes widened. "I-I...how did you?"

"See? It comes in handy."

A wall...? He frowned. "I...I'm not sure I can do that..."

He looked at her shyly as he wondered something. "Um, out of curiosity...could you..how long can you keep that up?"

Aimee smiled kindly. He could sense her pride at her development and how much she had grown since she first discovered her powers. It filled him with shame. He had no such luck controlling or even really understanding his power despite having it for, what, four years by now? Mostly he'd been exploring all the myriad ways in which it sucked. "It depends. Tonight? Not that long since we bumped each other earlier. I need to recharge. Usually I can keep it up all day. At least while I'm around other things that I have to touch."

What's wrong with me that she could figure it out and I couldn't? Lucas thought. Though he'd dreamed of blocking out the thoughts, he'd never tried to figure out a way how to. Am I stupid? Am I really that much of a failure? He felt his already fragile confidence give way to despair--but stopped himself before it could get too far. No, no...now's not the time for that, he thought, eyeing Aimee.

She patted the couch in front of her. "C'mon, I can show you." Tentatively, he sat down next to her.

Aimee crossed her legs so she was facing him directly. "Don't worry if you can't get this right away, or at all. You've dealt with it so far, haven't you? And you've done it pretty well. This would just be extra," she said.

"Extra", he murmured. She was being so considerate of his feelings, trying not to seem like she was better than him. As far as she was concerned, they weren't much different, and, powers-wise, she was right. He wanted to try because she seemed so confident he'd succeed.

But what she said next baffled him.

"Close your eyes, and go into your mind. Start by emptying your thoughts so that there's nothing standing in the way of you blocking them. Once that's done, start building from the bottom up."

He could go into his mind alright, but clearing his thoughts? Even if he managed to quiet his own, there was always, always the buzz of feelings and images and emotions from other people, and they were so distracting; he couldn't just ignore them easy as that. Then, she said, he had to 'build from the bottom up'. Build what? From the bottom of where? What was she talking about?

He opened his eyes and looked at her, brows furrowed. Doubtfully, he said, "I don't think I can do this."

Aimee grinned sheepishly. ["Sorry, I'm not that good of a teacher," she said. She pursed her lips, thinking. Suddenly she got an idea. "Try observing me. I'll put my wall up, and you can read my mind as I put it up to see if you get an idea, yeah?" She nodded and closed her eyes. It was far too easy for her to clear her mind since no one had, apparently, been in her dorm room since last summer to leave residue for her to pick up on. He couldn't help but feel jealous.

And just like that, Aimee's thoughts began to fall away piece by piece; as her wall was built, holes in his awareness of her mind grew until again there was silence. He stared at her in wonder. I can't hear her...and she can control what I do and don't hear...this could-- this could be-- Her thoughts came rushing back far too soon.

"How about that?"

He wasn't even thinking about trying himself, to be honest. His mind was reeling at the idea of someone, someone who could maybe make him feel like he was normal. Aimee was staring at him expectantly. That's amazing,, he wanted to say. Instead he said, "Ok." He set his jaw. "I'll try again."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Holden Cunningham Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Christine Garner Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Mimi Arquette Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Throughout the dance, the Queen continues to press herself against the knight, a sort of chess in which pieces are clung to rather than taken. Daniel has always been rather good at chess, with his unending patience and levelheaded intelligence. It is a matter of strategy, of foresight, of never taking too long or too short of a time to play just a little glimmer of one's hand. This dance is, to put it bluntly, nothing like any game of chess that Daniel has played before. His jaw tightens, his eyes shift slightly away, looking into Nina's eyes only when they are completely composed. To say that he is beginning to feel confused by her flirtation, escalating beyond the normal banter he so enjoys, is an an understatement. The normal back and forth has become so routine, so reflexive, that a divergence threatens to disturb his balance. Of course, this is Daniel, one must remembers, and no amount of vertigo will knock him off of his feet after the little mishap earlier. He has bound the doors will every tool in his arsenal, and checked the bolts twice simply for some peace of mind. Daniel takes Nina's new game as a test, and is determined not to fail it by becoming one of those idiots who surround the two. He is calm, collected, and apparently unfazed by the way her hips graze against his.

Her breath is against his neck. She plays a timid hand, Monroe in her innocent seduction. By no means a Kennedy, Daniel will not allow himself to be taken in. He will not fail this test, for he is above such things. How else could he properly be her right arm in all things? Besides, this feigned look of timidity is one which Daniel dismisses readily, it not corresponding with the Nina that he has come to be so devoted to. The new Sam. So he studies her shoulder, face now against his neck, and keeps his hands an appropriate distance above her hips. Daniel Ahn, after all, is every bit the gentleman, a knight whose battles are fought under the rules of court etiquette. Forward two, left one. He guides her around the light, reflected in her eyes as she now looks at him once more. There is a strange, unnerving desperation in the Queen's voice when she speaks. Daniel does not understand it. He is so clever, so insightful, and yet so painfully unobservant. Preset boundaries can be so difficult to break, and he has always been one to play within the rules.

"See me."

Only as you are, Nina, he thinks, the words cryptic in meaning even to the young man himself. Ironic, as he knows nowhere near as much about the depth of her mind as he believes. But at least Daniel is aware of something swimming leagues beneath the surface, occasionally sending ripples across the water like a fault line prepared to separate and consume all in its path. He is concerned of the day on which the earthquakes will begin, but is confident that he will be able to hold onto the cracks until his fingers are bloody from it. "I want to."

The meanings are tragically misconstrued between the Queen and her dog.

"Are the stars flattered when astronomers try to claim them with names? I should think not, Miss Romanov," he is now looking directly at her- while she looks beyond his shoulder. The two are incapable of looking at the same time, it should seem. Perhaps there lies part of the problem. The song ends. He takes her hand and bows languidly, lips brushing against her knuckles.

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Erin is glad for Carr's compliance in dropping the subject, knowing that he does it not out of lack of personal curiosity but in the interest of her comfort. Carr has sensitivity in bounds where Erin often seems to lack it completely, and it is for this reason that she depends so greatly on his friendship. Erin depends rather greatly on all of her friends, in fact, though she does manage some level of independence. She is too open to them, someone more cynical might say, too vulnerable to any secret blades hidden between their pages. Luckily, Erin refuses to listen to such cynicism, even when it has proven true in the past. She grins and twirls, deciding that the lightheadedness is entirely the good kind, and that any inclinations that it might be nausea or discomfort are pure rubbish. Right now, her desire is simply to dance and have fun with the friend before her, who so rarely comes out to things like this with her.

A friend who is apparently made uncomfortable by her prodding question. Perhaps it is partially the alcohol or proximity to the fire, but Carr's face flushes quickly upon her offer to help out as a wingwoman. The question was half in jest, but there is some thought that perhaps if he is willing to come to the bonfire and dance and laugh, he will be willing to take a step forward towards someone as well. More than anything, Erin would like for Carr to expand his horizons and befriend new people. She sincerely worries about him, as one would a younger brother, wondering how he will fare when separated from the people whom he has been around for the entirety of his life. She worries the same thing in regards to herself.

Distracted by the spins, Erin laughs and practically topples on top of him thanks to a mix of dizziness and alcohol. Having fun with Carr is far to easy, the young woman dreads being without him once she goes off to college. How will she succeed without her curly-haired and dimpled-cheeked teddy bear? Not very well, she fears. So she must enjoy his presence while she can. "Not you. You're small. . .and silly." Erin is struck by the impulse to trap Carr in a bear hug when he says this, but is prevented by the fact that he has already wrapped his arms around her in the sort of position that is reminiscent of a middle school dance. Erin smiles and nuzzles into his shoulder. With Carr, she is safe. No drama, no fear, no tension. He may seem to be the more anxious one, may seem to require more care, but much of the time it is in fact the reverse that is true. There is a brief lapse of silence, but Erin doesn't notice it. She is content in the arms of a friend.

As Carr does speak once more, the song comes to an end. "You… How about you? You shouldn’t waste your good looks on me and Lane, you know?" Erin frowns slightly at the thought that anything she does should be 'wasted' on Carr and Lane, two of her favorite people in the world. That they are willing to be around her is a gift. Still, the frown curves up in a smile of sorts.

"Oh, you know me. I only ever want to use people for their cuddling abilities," not entirely untrue, as Erin is known for her love of cuddling. Still, she has been one to enjoy a few flings, though nothing ever seems to last for one reason or another. "I'm starved. Let's grab a snack."


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The proximity of Becca's lips to his skin is not lost on Keevan as she laughs and encourages that rumors be interesting if they are going to exist. Of course, she is not immune to the tendency of rumors about the Influential girls to be somewhat more slanted in a sexual direction. As far as the other two groups are concerned, the members of the Influential are constantly messing around with each other, probably using protection made from silk and hand stitched in Italy. Keevan certainly knows this- as the master of whispers to the common people, there is not a rumor, true or false, that has not passed by his ear at least several times over. It is to him to determine which ones hold grains of truth within them. He doesn't know about Nina, but is rather certain that those spread about Becca's are false. If they were true, he would have noticed some sort of hints indicating it, her sneaking off with people, something.

Not to say that he is constantly watching her, of course. But Keevan would probably have noticed eventually.

She pulls away from his neck to study Keevan, briefly, making him feel squeamish and inferior under her scrutinizing gaze. It does not show, of course. He raises an eyebrow in response, a lazy sort of half smile across his frightfully pale face. "If you take a picture it'll last longer," he quips, disappointed with his own lack of originality. Perhaps she had been too distracted to respond, or too uninterested, for soon Becca's head is resting warm against his neck. The space between their bodies is lessening, and it is a good thing her eyes are closed because his neck is beginning to flush slightly. Even if they were open, hopefully the shadows would have hidden the visible reaction to her presence from view. He likes the feeling of her resting in the curve of his neck. It feels natural. Unfortunately, it is over too soon that she raises her head and speaks, with some severity, on the topic of the fight, which will naturally be in the Onion tomorrow morning.

"Even my saint-like heart is not so forgiving, Rebecca. He brings shame to me and all the other teenage dirtbags out there. Now, I believe my five minutes are up- you can return to your perch, love. I hope to see some more stories by the end of the night," he gives her hand a quick squeeze, but is the first to walk away.


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Time Skip- it is now 11pm, around an hour and a half after the first dance. Any faculty who may have been there to supervise have returned to their own homes in the nearby town or on campus, leaving the party to rage on. Collab posts are encouraged, and ideally we will have a mention of each character unless the writer states otherwise in the ooc. Thank you!

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Aimee and Lucas had been sitting on the couch for two hours already, trying desperately to formulate some sort of defense in Lucas’s head. While she couldn’t read minds like him, she could tell from his posture that he was wearing thin.

Finally, he stood up. "Fuck it, ok?" He rubbed his head. "I give up."


She nodded, leaning back on the armrest and raking her hand through her hair. "It's okay, it took me awhile to get it, too." She remembered the hours spent building it up brick by brick. She imagined it that way, as if it had been her physically building a wall. She knew it was a form of the placebo affect; that if she believed she had put in the time and effort to defend herself then the wall would work. Apparently, it wasn’t as easy as she had once thought.

Lucas shook his head, a flicker of irritation crossing his face. "No no, that's not it...I don't think you get it..." He looked a bit pained. "Like, I can see exactly what you're doing and I just can't do it. How can I explain..." He trailed off and was silent for a few moments.

Then, avoiding her gaze, he extended a hand out to her. "If you want to know," he said quietly.

Aimee looked at him, surprised that he would allow himself to be so vulnerable with her. Tentatively, she took his hand. She may have closed her eyes, or it may have just been her blankly staring at Lucas, she didn't know. The only thing she was seeing was Lucas. Or rather, inside Lucas's mind. She felt his emotions, his frustration and confusion, and she knew that this was hopeless to him. No matter how many times he watched her do it, it made no difference.

The longer she held his hand, the more she got. Some of it was stuff she had already known from earlier, like his mother kicking him out and his deafness, but there were some new things. She could feel that he was impressed by her, which embarrassed her a little, but also something else. Or rather, someone else. Someone that she reminded him of. The name Alex flashed through her head, and she immediately broke the connection. She felt that she had invaded his privacy, something she always hated to do.

"I'm...I'm sorry, I shouldn't have held on that long."

Seemingly mortified, he mumbled, "It's o--I mean, it's not a...dont worry about it. Anyway, yeah...now you get it." He rubbed his head and stood up. "I'm so tired now. I'm going to bed. Thanks...for helping me. For thinking I could do it." He opened the door, turning toward it. "Sorry I can't."

Aimee raised her hand at him, as if to say something of encouragement, but he had already walked away. She hated leaving things on bad notes, so she switched to thoughts, knowing he would hear her. You’re going to be okay. I can feel it.

Walking over to her bed, she pulled out her phone, intending to send Carr a message before she fell asleep. She, too, was exhausted from the previous events and the extent to which she had used her power. Not really seeing what she was typing, she said,
Sorry I left. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do, and called it a night.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell

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Lane lay on the ground, dizzy. Shira was laying by her side and the two gazed up at the stars that gleamed over head. Maybe it was the alcohol but Lane could see hundreds, hundreds of tiny white lights above her, still as can be. She turned her head towards Shira. The girls large black curls blocked Lane's view of her face. "Shira I think this is the first time we've ever been together longer than 10 minutes with out you critiquing me..." Lane sighs and then suddenly bursts out laughing. She looks away from her friend and runs her hands through the grass giggling to herself. "Yeah, well Lane your writing can be pretty crappy sometimes..." Shira comments and sits up, looking back down at her younger classmate. "I'm done for the night Lane." "Can we walk back together-" "No." With that Shira stands and it gone, leaving a drunken Lane alone with the stars.

Where is she?

After Erin had gone to dance with Carr, it seems that Lane had disappeared. When the pair returned to the bench, neither of the two girls whom they had left there could be found. While she liked Aimee well enough, naturally Erin's first instinct is to search for her best friend. She partially blames herself for this, for having left Lane alone after promising her the first dance. Today hadn't exactly been an easy one for the musician, and Erin knows that. If she can't find Lane soon, the girl will also miss her chance to play tonight. So Erin darts through the crowds, engaging a new dance of sliding by and stepping around people, always on her toes, scanning across the crowd for a sign of familiar dark hair. But the school has plenty of brunettes, and none of them are the one she is looking for.

"Will, have you seen Lane?" she asks a fellow Gifted student, a sophomore who can put the greatest of chefs to shame. Right now he is more than a little drunk. As far as Erin goes, the search has made her sober once more- she hasn't had a touch of alcohol since discovering that Lane had vanished without so much as a text as to her whereabouts. At his confused expression, Erin is prepared to thank him and move on down the line, asking if anyone else has seen the girl, or perhaps her trademark guitar. But his expression shifts with understanding and he nods before taking another swig.

"Shhh was with Shia. Ithink they went thataway," his words slurr and blend slightly, and Erin probably should doubt his sense of direction at the moment, but she's never been one to think things through, and especially isn't right now.

Luckily, Will had still been somewhat coherent. She spots a dark figure laying in the grass a little ways down. Sliding into her accustomed spot at Lane's side, Erin stares at the stars. She doesn't have any basis to scold Lane for disappearing, and doesn't want to regardless. She is just content to have found her. "I was looking for you."

The stars seem to keep Lane busy until a familiar blonde reaches her side and her eye widen as Erin lays next to her. She hadn't seen her friend in a couple hours and is relieved at her site. It was very rare for the two girls to not keep in touch, especially at a large event like this one.

"Well, here I am!" Lane answers, grabbing Erin's arm as to show she is there. She plays with her fingers and continues on "I was with Aimee where you left me remember? So you could go dance with a little boy..." Lane pauses to turn on her side and face her best friend. She pulls grass from the ground, a smile slipping across her face. "But then Aimee ditched me... which I was hoping she wouldn't do because Erin, Aimee and I have a lot to talk about." The musician pauses, thinking back to her conversation on the bench.

Things are becoming blurry and suddenly she can't decipher her last two encounters with Aimee, the girl with powers. Her blurry vision continues to shift, first she's seeing Aimee standing at her dorm room door, tears running down her face. Next she's seeing her sitting on the bench avoiding eye contact. Making the air thin and stiff. The image shifts and shifts until something very clear comes into her mind, Aimee below her, giving her permission to remove her shirt. Lane frowns and presses her hand to her forehead. Her next words come out crisp and clean, though her mind is crowded and confused.

"Erin, I slept with Aimee Hart."

Erin smiles gently at her friend, thinking that perhaps Lane has overdone it just a touch with the alcohol tonight- and the evening isn't even quite over yet. Of course, given some of the nights that Erin has had while under the influence she isn't in position to judge. She's done some bizarre things on drunken dares before, and has had interactions that make her ears burn with shame while her mind was clouded with alcohol. Besides, Lane seems happy enough, smiling and picking at the grass. She is reminded of the first Summer when they became friends, before Nina had ever come to the school. Lane and Erin, the dynamic duo, laughing under the stars and leaving their names all over the school in colored chalk.

And then her friend's smile slips away, and as if connected by an invisible thread Erin's slips away right behind it. They have always done so much together people joke that they are attached by some string of fate. Erin would argue that it is more like a seat belt- stretching but always ready to snap back in place in order to keep the two girls safe. Were Lane and Aimee always close? What have I been missing?

"Erin, I slept with Aimee Hart."

Erin jerks up suddenly, like a jack-in-the-box on it's final note. Of course, rather than a manic smile her face is painted with confusion, sudden new creases in her smile lines. She blurts the first thing that comes to mind.

"Isn't Aimee straight?"

Isn't Nina, probably? some little voice asks her. It's funny, Erin actually no longer has any attraction to Nina. It isn't a crush that keeps looming over her, but the anger of having had one in the past. Erin doesn't care who Nina loves. She cares who she herself loved.

"Why didn't you tell me? Lane, when did this happen?"

Lane is startled as her friend shoots up to a sitting position. She had almost forgotten what she had said that shocked Erin until her friend started asking questions. Lane sat up as well, slower, and turned her head both always dramatically checking for any lurking students nearby.

"I don't know if she's straight or not Erin! She won't even talk to me anymore," Lane answers. "It's been two months..." She mumbles, pressing her fingers to her temples, her head begins to pound thinking about it. She looks away from Erin, embarrassed and confused. The only thing more painful than keeping a secret from Erin was when she finally found out about it. Which wasn't often because the two told each other everything.

"And Aimee made me swear I wouldn't tell anyone. She said..." Lane scrunches her eyebrows trying to recalls Aimee's exact words. She feels bad enough for keeping such a giant secret from her best friend for this long and figures it's time to come 100% clean about what happened. "She said 'not Erin, not Nina, not anyone. And she asked me to go to breakfast... No wait I did that part, that last part was me, I wanted breakfast with Aimee, because Erin it was a really good night and I think I really li-" Lane cuts herself off and looks up into her friends eyes. "Sorry, I lied."

Lane is babbling. Of course she is, the girl always does when she gets nervous. Erin is often guilty of rambling when anxious as well, smiling and chatting on about dumb things such as her dislike for plus bits or the fact that she really ought to get a new drill bit. Erin dislikes seeing Lane so distressed, a repeat of this morning when the musician had run to her crying, interrupting her small spat with Sterling. Perhaps it was for the best that Lane had come when she had, before Erin -who isn't exactly an expert at biting back words and knowing when to stop in a fight- had said something truly stupid.

"Sorry I lied."

She puts her hand over Lane's, an olive branch before anything might have started. Erin refuses to speak any doubts out loud, not when she is tired and Lane is drunk and upset. She doesn't mention Lane's babbling about want to get breakfast with Aimee, or the fact that Lane has clearly grown incredibly attached over a single hookup. There is just a slight squeeze, a tug at the seat belt to prove that it is still as secure as ever. In the event of a crash, neither will be left without someone to hold them up. It is a promise they made three years ago. One Erin intends to keep.

"Come on, Lane, let's go back to the party. I don't know about you, but I never got a taste of one of those hot dogs and I am starving," She stands up and, still holding Lane's hand, pulls her along. Another quick squeeze. Safety. This is the promise Erin makes, both to Lane and to Carr. One of security, as best as she can provide. She will never abandon as she has been.

Erin grins and tugs Lane along. She's always tugging people along, it seems. There is occasionally the creeping fear that if she is to let go, they will gladly part from her.

Are there other secrets?

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Mimi Arquette Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Time Skip It is no around 1am, and people are beginning to leave the bonfire. A few might linger a bit longer, but they have broken off into groups speaking in hushed voices around one fire or another. Many people will now be making decisions to return to their dorms by themselves or with another person. Regardless, if the people are important enough, it will be in the Breadbowl the next day, so no one needs fear that they have missed anything interesting.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell

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After Lane's big reveal to Erin the night seems to take a turn for the better. The two girls are able to get some food, hang out with their fellow peers, and dance all the problems of the world away. Lane is too drunk to perform her piece as planned but takes out her guitar anyways. Sitting by the fire, she strums old songs for everyone to sing along too. The flames felt safe, and so did being next to Erin. It's a pleasant scene, everyone around the fire, a moment Lane won't forget for a very long time. By the time 1AM roles around Lane makes her way back to her dorm. Guitar strung over her shoulder she unlocks the door and heads straight to bed.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell

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So sorry, ignore this.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Anna-Marie Beckett Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Mimi Arquette Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan Character Portrait: Colin Dartonay Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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People coalesce like pools of ink dispersing through water. Scattering. Tangling. Clarity giving way to murkiness. Nina floats like a stream of glitter through their depths, winding through but never dissolving into the mass. The wind sinks its fingers through her hair as she spins, head tossed back in laughter. It is the sound of sirens and breaking glass.

She'd moved away from Daniel after their first and only dance, saying nothing in response to the poetry that slipped through lips that have always been slow to smile. Beautiful words. But that's all they were and all they might ever be. Beautiful words from a beautiful man who spins gold from straw, truth from deceit. She is a puppeteer that has never laid eyes upon her own stage. What does she know of Daniel Ahn but the sheen of his armour and the glint of his sword? Who will she find when she lifts the helmet from him? It is his nature to know all secrets and Nina has too many to risk.

Her civilians calls for her demise. "Shots, shots, shots!" they chant. To my head or my chest? she muses. Nina grins, devouring the row of tequila shots as if she's drinking water. The alcohol fills the cavern in her chest like molten lava.

Colors blur, rippling into a swirl of movement as her body sways. A hand on her hip. Lips pressed against her neck. The warmth and cold of meaningless companionship. They tug and push until she's standing at the edge of the lake, the music a distant echo. Her head throbs to the bass and her body sways to the melody. She hums under her breath and tips her head back. The stars sway and her body decides it's been too long since its last collapse. She lets herself fall back.

It is for the royalty to revel and make merry, to put on a show in which gilded elegance merges with a chaotic sort of fun and creates the image of a court of careless fae, such that others may watch and wonder how they can be so drunk and still look so good. It is for the Royalty to dance and sing on an evening so fine as this one, to bask in a moon so full that it mirrors their own radiance.

It is not for Daniel. Daniel, who so treasures the firm grasp he has on his mind, whose greatest strength his his constant (or near constant) clarity, refuses to take part in alcohol. He will remain sober throughout their solemnity. One or two, emboldened by liquid courage, stumble up and offer him a drink, or chide him for being a 'party pooper,' but all are sent away with a raised eyebrow and a slight raise of a cup that holds nothing more toxic than a few ounces of soda. Even this is something he usually ignores, soda, knowing them to be bad for you. Perhaps this is as loose as Daniel is willing to let himself become.

The Queen, however, is far more willing to celebrate. Under the influence of drinks and an encouraging crowd she takes one shot after another. Daniel does not consider it his place to stop her, but all the same hates to see her taking orders from people and losing hold of the normal sharpness of her mind.

He is briefly distracted by another person, encouraging him to take another drink. When he has brushed them away, he notices with a brief moment of panic that Nina has vanished. Several questions direct him closer to the lake. Please don't be thinking of a swim, he is rushing towards the lake. He has lost before to the influence of alcohol and drugs, and for not the first time tonight Daniel's heart is racing with the thought of it happening again.

But she is there, swaying in the moonlight as if to challenge Diana herself to a battle of beauty. His heartbeat shudders and calms, panic passing as his pace slows and he walks towards her, all traces of panic sliding off of him as rain off an umbrella. And then she falls.

Daniel lurches forward to catch her, goddess fallen.

For a moment he merely stands there, adjusting such that she is held bridal style in his arms. The weight to her is bizarre, making her more corporeal, rather than just the usual brief touch and kiss on the cheek. More human. He does not like it.

The sound of a firecracker, probably brought by one of the students, reminds Daniel of his whereabouts. He is by the lake, by the fire, by the dorms. He needs to get Nina back to her room. Without much thought he knows to avoid the fire, knows to avoid letting people say Nina passed out. As far as they are concerned she is capable of getting raving drunk and then disappearing with the moon, her eternal drinking buddy.

But Nina's door is locked and Daniel doesn't have a key. For a moment he stands there, boy interrupted. Of course there is really only the one solution- and luckily Daniel's roommate is nonexistent due to some pulled strings. He shifts her weight over to one arm, and walks over to his own room, managing to unlock the door and enter. It is dark, leaving the two of them to be one shadow molded together until his eyes adjust. He finds the concept interesting, but cannot grasp why.

He stretches her out on his bed and pulls over the blankets, previously having been tucked in with military precision. A cup of water by her bed, an alarm set for classes the next day. Daniel makes accommodations as befits his position: he takes the chair by her side, and makes do.


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Time skip
It is now 8am. During the Summertime, classes do not begin until 9:30 am, so students can sleep in a bit and still have time for breakfast. Due to the nature of the summer session, one much like a summer camp, classes are as scheduled:

-Elective (Shop Class (Works both with cars and carpentry), Choir, Orchestra, Band, Art, Theater, Speech & Debate, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Political Science, Guest Lecture, Marketing)
- Physical Period (Archery, Swimming, Canoeing, Gymnastics, Self Defense/MMA, Basketball, Soccer, Jogging, Dance) [Basically a free period, students must sign into the class they are taking]
- Lunch
- Elective (One of Listed)

Each segment is one hour long, such that the school day begins at 9:30 and ends at 1:30

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell

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8AM came a lot faster than Lane had hoped when the sound of her alarm filled the room. Irritated, she rolls over and switches it off while moaning through out the process. The sun is peaking in from behind the curtains, which failed to be closed shut all the way the night before. A yellow orange glow lays across the blankets, warming the bed and the room. Lane opens her eyes, hung over, only slightly. She always believed something she had inherent from her birth parents was their quick alcohol recovery Boy if only, they could see me now. I bet they'd stop sending these letters... Lane looks over the side of her bed to see that 2 of the unopened letters had fallen out her pillow. She reaches for them and slides closer to the edge of her bed. Balance fails her and she falls to the ground with a loud thump. "Ouch." Lane mumbling, shoving the paper back into her pillow. She stands up, her eyes kept open only enough to see where she is going. A shower is her first thought, breakfast a close second.

1 shower, a pair of Keds, Jean shorts, and a light blue v-neck tee, later, Lane has clicked her door shut. She's heading towards the cafeteria, but first stops to bang her hand a few times on Erin's door. Erin should be up by now but always seemed to take longer. Maybe it was because of her long blonde hair that required up keep as to Lane who put little to no effort into her own short dark head of hair.
"Erin meet me in the cafeteria I'm saving you a seat!" She says loud enough for her voice to travel through the door, probably, but hopefully not, waking Erin's roommate, Becky.

As Lane reaches the cafeteria she try's to recall the night before and all the antics that took place. She clearly remembers Aimee abandoning her on the bench, dancing with Erin, and watching Nina take shots. Apart from this though, nothing else comes to mind. Lane grabs a muffin from the line and pays for it quickly before joining some of her gifted friends. She places her feet over the chair beside hers, claiming it for Erin.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Rebecca Sayre Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan

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Every morning, Erin hates herself for that damn alarm clock she made freshman year. She's rather certain that her roommates every year aren't exactly fond of her for it either, truth be told. In an attempt to keep herself from oversleeping, which in middle school became a serious problem for the young woman thanks to her tendency to stay up far too late working, she built herself a trinket that zips about the room blaring folk punk (not due to a dislike for folk punk but because it never fails to wake her up) and she must walk over to her closet to solve a riddle and turn it off, wherever it is. Sure, moving alarm clocks already exist, but this was made more in the interest of expense than innovation- she didn't feel like buying one already made.

Today, the creator loathes her creature all the more for the ringing it adds to her pulsing headache. In the end, Erin had a few more drinks than planned the night before thanks to various things, and her body is less than pleased with her. She almost hates Lane for the girl's almost instant rebound from these things, for that gift is not in Erin's arsenal, and she is feeling it quite heavily now. She rolls out of bed, accidentally steps on the machine, and nearly falls straight on her face due to it. "Eech," she lets out a little squeak of pain but tries to muffle it. Her walk to the alarm has become a hobble, but eventually she is able to turn the damned thing off. I need a hot shower, and like magic, thought becomes reality. The young woman takes a quick shower, which for her is still rather long because she is an avid fan of hot showers, taking her time to enjoy the warmth. The steam from the heat helps clear her mind to some extent, though the heat threatens to make her drowsy once more. So she allows a quick burst of ice water before hopping out, covered in goosebumps and rushing to towel dry her hair.

She feels better now, and is trying to remember the events of last night. Laughing with Lane, dancing with Carr- as the memories come back she is happier for them. Stifling a yawn she returns to the dorm room and changes into clothing. While doing so she notices a broken toy like thing in the chair next to her bed. Her heart breaks slightly- she had been making keychain cameras to give to her friends, but apparently sat on the prototype. This morning is just a prototype, she reassures herself, but still cannot bring herself to pick up the pieces at the moment, as if a shoe elf will magically fix them by the time she returns in the afternoon. A girl can dream.

Sliding on her sunglasses in a headband position, a staple accessory, the young woman leaves her dorm and heads down the hallway. She spots a familiar face leaning against the wall and starts to raise her hand in greeting before freezing.

"Erin, I slept with Aimee Hart."

Erin's hand drops, and her reaction to this memory is painfully clear across her less than subtle facial expressions. It is a sudden quick drop of the mouth, a flash of confusion, panic, and then a desperate attempt to fold everything back into the neat container they fell out of. She tries to walk on as if nothing had happened, hoping Aimee wouldn't notice that she had started any greeting at all. Erin knows that if questioned, her excuses won't be sufficient. Best to avoid the situation entirely.

Silly girl.


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The Breadbowl
Well, last night was certainly a hoot, wasn't it Laurel?

The Queen went into play without her knight in sight for protection, and boy did things go south fast. Big fish in a scum puddle, our very own Cameron Hillcock, did his very best impression of a future (current?) sex offender and leaped in for her neck. As it turns out, breathy slurs are not the way to woo a lady such as Nina Romanov. Things were said, tempers triggered, and then out of the blue our dark knight came into play and did his very best impression of a future murderer. we don't know about you, beloved readers, but never have we seen such a display of pure aggression, and we know no one expected it from the King of Control- even his Queen seemed a bit surprised if we do say so ourselves. If this weren't anonymous we at Breadbowl might fear a visit from that bezerker after this article, but the truth must be written, especially when it's that interesting.

We're told Cameron slept in the infirmary last night and the reason why goes without saying.

And by the way, if any readers have more information on the guy who stepped into the fight, please email us because so far all the staff has managed is that his name is Lucas Long and he might be a polygot. He's certainly got more than a healthy dose of guts, based on the Queen's reaction to him.

But let's return to peace in our times, shall we? The long awaited dance saw the usual couples- Queen and Knight (Although we thought the Queen was a bit more into it than usual tonight- sadly the only grinding Ahn understands is those of the gears that run his soul), William Shasburg and Quinn Lewis (We're hoping to be invited to their wedding), on and off Kendra Hardy and Benjamin Jorg, etc.

But here are the highlights:

Josephine marked today as the first dance in three years not with Mark Brady, despite no information on them having broken up. Trouble in that dukedom, perhaps? There goes the B-list power couple.

We hate to be the messenger, but it looked like Hunter Jordan left early with Josh Ricks- and his other half Steven nowhere in sight. Steven, we'd look into that if we were you.

Did anyone else notice Rebecca Sayre sneak off with some non-influential boy? Laurel's JK Rowling, Keevan Brennan, perhaps has some in we don't know about. Or more likely it was either a pity dance or an attempt to get a sneak peek of the new book.

Justin Lewe and Amy Clougherty disappeared and reappeared looking somewhat flustered, so we're guessing they weren't berry picking in those bushes.

And if you want to know more about Alfred Monk's drunk escapades, we suggest his twitter, because wow is it a show.

Have a beautiful first day of Summer Semester, Laurel. Keep it hot.

xoxo,
The Breadbowl Staff



Keevan shuts his laptop and lets out an impressive yawn. He must have been a snake in another life from the way his jaw practically unhinges. Naturally he had stayed until the night was fully closed, in the interest of staying on the scene. That being said, there had been some helpful tip offs coming in for other details to add in. Looking at the pictures on the blog, the only detail he wants to add right now is food to his stomach. Keevan throws on a pair of jeans and a T-shirt and is off to the races. Well, races being breakfast.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Anthony Carraway Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Aimee's eyes had already been wide open when her phone alarm rang. Turning it off with numb fingers, she pulled the blanket up to her chin as she tended to do when troubled. She'd had a nightmare; one she hadn't had the pleasure of experiencing since she was a little girl. Her parents -- they were screaming for her, and she couldn't get to them. She heard them screaming, was clawing her way through the flames to get to them, but no matter how hard she tried or how loud she screamed with them, she could never get close enough to see them; to touch them. They were gone.

Closing her eyes and blocking it out, she blew out a breath and rolled in a heap off the bed. While she hadn't nearly been drunk enough, her head still throbbed slightly and it felt better than it should have to touch it to the cold, wooden floor. An image of military boots flashed in her brain; probably the last person who had walked on that spot. Reaching blindly for her phone, she sent a quick text to Tyler informing her older brother that she was still alive and he could call off the dogs for one day. Then she winced, not liking how her dark sense of humor just reminded her of her restless night.

Aimee sat up, grabbed a Bob Dylan tee and some shorts out of her freshly packed dresser. She applied a tad bit of mascara to counteract her swollen eyelids, and walked out the door towards the caf. She pulled out her phone again, checking for a message from Anthony but was disappointed when she didn't see one. Surely he couldn't be that hungover... Regardless, she didn't want to seem needy (ridiculous assumption since she knew Carr would never think that of her), so she put her phone back in her everyday shoulder bag.

When she got to the caf, she saw it was full and decided instead to wait outside for someone she knew so she wouldn't have to deal with any awkward situations. She leaned against the wall, glancing up at the ceiling in boredom. Sighing, she looked slightly to her right and saw Erin walking towards her. Straightening, the hints of a smile echoing on her features, she saw Erin start to wave...and then seemingly backtrack and put her hand down abruptly. Aimee frowned, coming off the wall and walking closer to Erin. Something was off, that was fairly clear. Erin's features quickly became awkward and withdrawn, and for some reason this brought out Aimee's temper. Perhaps, in the very back of her mind, she suspected the truth: that Erin knew.

"What's going on?" Aimee asked confrontationally. She scowled, suddenly very annoyed with the girl in front of her, possibly verging on pissed. Aimee hmphed and quickly grabbed Erin's wrist, quite unhappy with how suspicious she was being. The whirl of images and information that went through Aimee's head were substantial. But the biggest outlier was a confirmation of what Aimee already knew. Erin knew that her and Lane slept together.

Aimee's eyes snapped open, her hand dropping Erin's wrist and her mouth making a small O shape. She took a tentative step backwards, her eyes blurring as she looked at Erin. "I...I..." she couldn't muster the words. Quickly turning on her heels, she practically sprinted into the cafeteria, spotting Lane within seconds. She made her way over there, a combination of shoving past people and weaving. All of this was done with a clearly angry tone. When she got to Lane's table, she slammed her fist right in front of Lane, making an extremely loud bang echo throughout the caf.

"What the fucking hell, Lane? You fucking told Erin! What part of don't tell anyone did you not understand, you bitch?" Aimee yelled, not able to control her tone or her volume. She didn't care about the reasons why; she didn't care that she maybe was being too harsh; she was terrified. Everything that she had feared was coming true. And when Aimee got scared, she got angry. She lashed out. Most of all, she was hurt. Hurt that Lane hadn't trusted her, hadn't kept her word. All of this was masked by anger as she took it out on Lane. No one could possibly know what she was really feeling, so all Lane would see was her vehement rage.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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#, as written by Layla
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      XXX
      XXX
      XXXThe wail of an unfamiliar alarm tears Nina from her restless sleep. Her eyes flutter open and she flinches. Bad idea. The light streaming through the curtains sear her retinas. Her head pounds.
      XXXNina groans as she pulls herself upright. She is tangled in the blanket and her limbs feel like led. She rubs the sleep from her eyes with a fist before opening them.
      XXXFear is the first to stab through her, but calm is quick to settle.
      XXXThe room smells familiar. Fresh linen and forest pine, with just the right touch of expensive cologne. Daniel. His dorm room isn't so different from the man himself. It possesses an almost military organisation and spotlessness. Yet the furnishings are minimal, nothing beyond the bare necessities. It reminds Nina of a luxury hotel. Beautiful, but wholly impersonal. There is nothing about it that belays the soul of the owner, save the multitude of books which Nina would not be surprised to know are alphabetically ordered.
      XXXThere is a glass of water by Nina's - by his bedside - and her chest twists uncomfortably at his consideration. Then it lurches for an entirely different reason. Her hands dart to her chest and she exhales at the feel of her clothes. She's dressed. Though she can't for the life of her remember last night's events. How did she end up here? Though there are certainly worse places a girl could wake up in after an inebriated night than the bed of a tall, dark and handsome Influential.

      XXXDaniel left earlier than usual for his morning jog, stepping out before even the sun could muster the energy to peek over the horizon. This is in no small part thanks to the fact that he had slept in a chair last night- not exactly the most comfortable of places to rest. For the most part he had been in and out of sleep the entire night, constantly shifting and adjusting, getting up for a glass of water, checking that Nina did not vomit in her sleep or something along those lines.
      XXXThe moment that it seemed reasonably late enough he sprung up, glad to quickly change (in the bathroom, out of concern for the possibility of Nina waking up while he was undressed) and go out for a long run. This part of his routine would go uninterrupted, at least, much to the young man's pleasure. While he may never get the runner's high that many track and cross country people speak of, he certainly finds it easier to clear his mind when focusing on the feeling of the air and the movement of his limbs.XXXBut it has to end eventually, and he returns to the dorm to shower and prepare for the day. Normally Nina would have been up earlier as well, for her own morning routine, but he supposes that the alcohol has put her natural alarm on snooze. Thus he had let her sleep on, and set another alarm for eight so that she might wake up with time for breakfast. Of course, he was back by then regardless.
      XXXAfter a shower of a temperature so scalding it left red marks on his skin and thick steam in the bathroom, Daniel realizes that he had neglected to bring clothing to the bathroom with him. He usually doesn't feel the need to, and had begun to work on autopilot, meaning accommodations were not made for the slightly altered situation. Wrapping the towel around his waist, he returns to his room.
      XXXThe Queen has already risen. Ignoring the fact that his efforts earlier to not expose her to him in some state of undress have fallen in vain, he nods in greeting. "Sleep well, Miss Romanov?" When was the last time he referred to her as Nina aloud? Had he ever?


      XXXWith hasty movements, Nina jerks the blanket around herself as the door swings open. It was a reflex Nina feels absurd for succumbing to. There was nothing to cover, and Daniel, as it most likely was, had seen her in much less, especially during this time of year when the days were long and warm.
      XXXWhen Daniel enters the room, he seems the foil to her shyness. The Queen has never in the past four years been demure, yet a blush spills across her cheeks like scarlet blood drawn with her knight's sword. The towel hangs low on his hips, revealing hard lines that dip beneath the white cloth. His abdomen is solid muscle, his chest sculpted in a way Nina had never observed. Or rather never thought to pay much attention to. She'd supposed Daniel was attractive, as she'd seen the admiration in the eyes of girls and guys alike when he passed. Even if they were terrified of him - though she was sure that added to his allure for some. But she had never been attracted to him.
      XXXWhen did the somewhat scrawny youth give way to a man? He wears his armour so well that often she forgets what he looks like underneath the silver and steal.
      XXXBut now, scarcely clothed and voice flowing like warm honey, she can't help the hammering of her heart in response to his presence. She snaps her gaze away from his body, clearing her throat as she does so. Nina forces the blanket away from her chest, straightening it over her lap. Hastily, she rubs the corners of her eyes, cursing how she must look, hungover and newly awoken. She tosses her hair over her shoulder in a gesture that might be perceived as haughty, but is really just a cover for the hand she runs quickly through her dark waves. A sordid attempt at taming the nest on her head, she's sure.
      XXXTo say Nina Romanov is mortified is to say the sun is a little bright.
      XXX"Fine, thank you," she mutters absently. Nina pauses and clears her throat again as her mind processes his words. "I mean, I slept well. Thanks. For asking, I mean. And you know..." She gestures vaguely at the room and the length of his body, what apparently equated to, "All this."
      XXXIn her haste to escape, Nina pulls away from the bed without first untangling herself from the sheets. They catch her around the ankles and nearly send her plummeting to the carpeted floor. She lurches upright and unravels the blankets from her legs. Her cheeks are warm and she waves Daniel away in case he thinks it his duty to help the poor, pathetic girl who seems to experience getting out of bed as a novelty. It's the only explanation for how a person can fail so terribly at it.
      XXX"I'm fine, I'm fine. Nothing bruised but my dignity," she grumbles under her breath as she searches for her shoes but finds none. It's likely that they slipped last night and were now lying in six layers of muck accumulated overnight. Still she skitters around, shifting from foot to foot as she prepares to dart around his tall frame.
      XXX"Well, I should... Get to class. Before I'm late. You should, too, so you're not late for your modelling gig," Nina slaps a hand over her eyes. Did she say that out loud? She said that out loud. Oh God, someone have mercy on the world and shoot me. "Haha. Just kidding! Got you there, didn't I, Daniel? I mean, not that you couldn't model if you wanted to. You have the face, the jawline, the six pack. Like a fashion model. For Abercombie. I mean, you're toned, I guess. Which is nice. For yourself. Others? Is there an other? You probably work out." Shut up shut up shut up. "We should... We should work out some time. Together. I mean, not that I'm saying you need to and I'm not staring at you or anything, We just don't- Oh for God's sake."
      XXXNina rushes from his room without awaiting his response and races down the hall, glaring at a boy who is just leaving his room as he notices her leave Daniel's abode.





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      XXX
      XXX
        XXXSterling slips out of the girl's room before she awakens. Erin's back is turned to him when he shuts the door. There is a palpable tension in the air as the feisty blonde stumbles to a halt a short distance away from Aimee. He witnesses the tense exchange between them. He knows such highschool dramas are petty, but his curiosity is peaked and once the spy-in-training fixates on the unveiling of a truth, the truth he will unveil.
        XXXHe heads towards the dining hall, keeping an inconspicuous distance away from the sprinting girl. She's fast but his legs are much lengthier and he manages to keep her pace with a few long strides. He tells himself he's doing this for the safety of everyone involved. There could be a fight that needs stopping. But honestly, he's just nosy and he appreciates a catfight as much as any other teenage boy. Though he'll never admit it. He likes to think himself above such things.
        XXXAimee's explosion is immediate. Sterling cannot help but feel genuine pity for Lane, whom in the span of two days has had two separate people humiliate her in public. Sterling considers interfering but it is not his place to do so. Nina was once his responsibility - but after yesterday... Perhaps it was too much to even call her an ex-friend. Had he ever truly known her at all?
        XXXSpeak of the devil.
        XXXNina strides into the dining hall with the grace of a panther and the dominance of a lioness over her jungle. But there is a slight haste to her movements that is unlike her usual languid disregard. She nods at some things her pet Elites say, lips quirking mechanically and eyes roving like a hawk over the room. She seems to be looking for someone but finding them absent, her shoulders drop slightly. Sterling doubts anybody else notices these slight shifts. But he'd spent a lot of time with her, once. She's a stranger now, but he supposes some old habits die hard.
        XXXNina's gaze skips him entirely, which brings a smile to Sterling's lips. He knows she did that on purpose and it means he still aggravates her. He enjoys reminding her of her past. Her past which he knows is much better than whatever Gossip Girl whirlwind she has fallen into.
        XXX"Good morning, Nikola," Sterling says, calling her by her middle name which most are not privy to. It is a reminder of a friendlier past.
        XXX"It was until you appeared," Nina snaps in response. There is no evidence of the previous night's rowdiness in her. She's as perfectly put together as ever. Like a doll.
        XXXSterling grins. "You say the sweetest things sometimes."
        XXX"Someone has to counterbalance your bitterness."" Nina takes a delicate sip from her drink. Scowls. She holds out the cup of coffee and a trembling boy takes the cup from her hands. He nearly trips over his feet as he flees to get a new drink.
        XXX"Mmm, you should be careful, sweetheart. Diabetes is a real possibility," Sterling mocks.
        XXX"Disease seems a happy alternative to your company."
        XXX"Where's your pet, Nikola?" A muscle feathers at her forehead. [color=#408080]"Ah, my apologies. Your dog has a name. Daniel, was it?"
        XXX"He's more human than you or anyone could hope to be. But think what you will, at least he knows loyalty." She glares at him, an obvious challenge in her eyes.
        XXXSterling holds up his hands, palms up, in mock submission. "Hey, I respect the man. Prior to yesterday, I thought him the blandest person alive. He really proved everyone wrong."
        XXX"Or maybe you're all just damn blind," she says through clenched teeth.
        XXX"My, my, did I touch a sore nerve? Unrequited love is such a pain."
        XXXNina darts her gaze from one Elite to another before waving them a step away. They scuttle a step back to give Nina and Sterling space, hovering like with greedy eyes, their eyes perked towards the conversation.
        XXX"You're absurd," Nina hisses.
        XXX"No witty comeback, love? Did I hit the nail on the head?" Sterling leans back with his arms crossed, satisfaction evident in every muscle and sinew.
        XXX"Evidently not," she says. "Since I don't see a nail lodged in your hollow skull."
        XXX"Ouch. you wound me."" Sterling presses a palm to his chest and feigns devastation.
        XXX"If only," Nina says drily.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Daniel Ahn Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Keevan Brennan Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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#, as written by piearty
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Lucas'd fallen asleep quickly after he parted ways with Aimee since it was so silent except for her mind, which he could deal with. It was a couple hours of dreamless bliss before the rest of the people in the hall slowly filtered in, loud thoughts, drunken thoughts, buzzing in his ears in lieu of actual sound.

Two girls, Lane and Erin, laughing, the occasional alarm of pain in their heads as they tripped down the hall.

Daniel and Nina's minds in close proximity (not much of a surprise), Daniel's a-whir and Nina's a fuzzy darkness (a bit more alarming). Lucas found himself holding his breath, feeling a bit afraid, a bit skeeved out, when the two entered Daniel's room together-- but nothing happened other than Daniel falling asleep at a distance from her, like a robot being shut off.

The last person in the hall, Keevan, drifting in at near 3AM, gossip about people Lucas neither knew nor cared about flitting in his mind.
At that point Lucas decided to no longer attempt sleep.

From then on Lucas laid awake, staring at but not really seeing the ceiling. Like he was strapped to a chair with his eyes pried open, he was subjected to people's turbulent dreams, their disturbing nightmares. Somehow this is worse-- because of the higher number of people around him-- and better than-- because of the thicker walls muting everything substantially-- my shit apartment back home, he mused.

He tried to think of other things (though it was like attempting to do so in an IMAX) and a voice, a memory, floated up in his mind. You’re going to be okay. I can feel it. Aimee had said that last night, hadn't she? After Lucas'd quit with that 'wall' thing? He wallowed in negative feelings about that for a bit, about failing, about giving up, but a small part of him couldn't help but be impressed that he'd kept trying for that long. How did he...? Aimee. She kept saying I could do it. He found her belief in him a bit stupid, to be honest. She knew so much about him now, knew his mistakes, his fears, his failures, yet was convinced that he was worth something. That he'd "be okay" despite his miserable life. Misguided, but sort of admirable, he supposed. Maybe...maybe they could be friends.

After an agonizing amount of time, other people started to wake up. Muted thoughts and voices replaced the incoherent images around him. Probably a normal time to eat breakfast now, right? He got up, slipped back into his familiar hoodie, worn jeans, and ratty sneakers, and headed to the dining hall.

When he entered, he was hit with a wave of anger from different directions. He stopped short, looking around in confusion. On one end of the dining area were Nina and a silver-haired guy, Sterling, who's mind Lucas recognized as that of the other Russian speaker from the party. They were spitting insults at each other like cats. Lucas got a vibe from the ease at which they mocked each other that this happened a lot, and he had already decided to avoid Nina from here on out, so he paid them no mind.

On the other end of the hall was Aimee, leaning over the girl, Lane and glaring with a ferocity that Lucas never would've imagined possible from her. Her emotions were a roiling mix of fear, hurt, and anger, but only the anger showed. It was a bit unnerving to see in comparison to the soft-spoken girl from last night, who rocked on her heels and bit her lip when she was nervous and smiled at him gently, telling him to try again. Now she was all pain and rage, hurt at some betrayal. He couldn't read exactly what it was from over here but he was curious, and worried.

He began to walk towards the scene.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Lane sits peeling the wrapper away from her blueberry muffin. Any headache she had possessed upon waking up is vanished. Only her empty stomach is yet to be cured. The musician opens her mouth to respond to a discussion her friends have begun on which instruments should not be included in the band when a fist is slammed down on the table interrupting the girl before she had even begun. Silence sweeps over the table and the brunette jumps in her seat, eyes flicking up to see the owner of the fist.
Aimee?
Lane sees rage, absolutely fiery through the girl above her's eyes. And she does not look like she's messing around. There is only a single string that attaches Lane and Aimee, that string happens to be both girls biggest secrets. Lane rules that this one string is the reason why Aimee stands in front of her now. The girl begins to speak, throwing out vulgar language like it was second nature.

I told Erin? I told Erin? When did I... I told Erin. Surprise is erased from Lane's eyes and replaced with panic. The memory falls back into her mind as if it had been hiding in a corner she hadn't checked this morning. The shots of vodka with Shira and... Laying in the grass with Erin. All the guilt of holding back a secret from her. I had to tell her, and I was drunk and I did tell her... shit.

The brunette stood up slowly, the pit of her stomach aching, more so then yesterday with Nina. "Can we please talk about this somewhere private, please?" As Lane begs she glances to her right to see someone unfamiliar approaching. Her face has already begun to brighten, turning a cherry shade of red. Her ears soon render the same color, and they burn. In this moment reasoning with Aimee doesn't seem like the easiest thing to do. Instead Lane circles around the table in order to get face to face with her enraged peer. She grabs Aimee's shirt sleeve and pulls the girl away from the table of gifted and now exceedingly curious students.

"You know what? Maybe if you actually put in the slightest bit of effort, it would be worth keeping..." Lane bites her lip. A single tear sliding down her cheek is quickly brushed away. "This isn't just about you you know, I want to talk about... I needed to tell someone and I was drunk... I wasn't thinking." Her voice is lowered to a whisper and she stands still, holding her ground. Lane knows Erin is on her way down and will hopefully be here to back her up soon.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Aimee Hart

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Aimee took a forceful step back to accommodate Lane's rising, but the betrayal-fueled rage continued to burn inside her. Here in front of her was the girl who knew everything. Her parents, her brother, her power, her desires. This brunette standing meekly in front of her was the single person on this planet who had seen her at her most vulnerable. And now that that was no longer hidden, that there was someone else out there who knew, it was everything Aimee had in her not to throttle Lane.

She scoffed, shaking her head, "What, you wanna make this a secret now? Because apparently secrets don't work with you, Lane!" Saying her name made it worse, increasing the feelings of hurt inside Aimee. She wanted to cry. She wanted to run back to her dorm room, curl into a ball, and sob until there was nothing left. First the nightmare, now this? Aimee's emotions were all over the place. Fear, betrayal, sadness, anger, rage, violence. Lane grabbed her shirt sleeve and Aimee quickly yanked her arm away, snarling at the other girl.

She watched the tear crawl down Lane's cheek, but instead of making her sympathetic like normal it was as if the old Aimee was gone, replaced by this fiery being who only knew how to hurt other people. "You weren't thinking? What the fuck is that supposed to mean?" Aimee shouted, her face coming inches from Lane. While it seemed that the other brunette's tears were out in the open, Aimee's were shoved down deep inside where no one could see them. "I don't give a shit if you weren't thinking! You knew!" Aimee's voice picked up volume, if that was even possible, and she instinctively grabbed Lane by the shoulders, shaking her as she yelled, "You knew how much I hated this, how much I wished I could make it go away! You had to! You knew me! But you didn't care, Lane! You didn't care at all."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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Abort. Abort. Shit shit shit shit, Erin bites the inside of her cheek, angry with herself over the very much failing attempt to avoid the problem -which really isn't her situation and she is concerned about becoming overly involved in- at hand. Aimee immediately confronts her, catching on that the girl has some sort of information that is holding her back as if the words of it were written on Erin's cheeks in permanent marker. Erin values honesty, but at times like this really sincerely wishes that she had learned to fake expressions and spin lies. There are times where such a talent would make things far easier, would make avoiding hurting people far simpler. Unfortunately, Erin's face is a blueprint and the specifications are meticulously written, making everything clear to those who may view it. A good trait in a sketch, perhaps, but a person is more than a rough design. Or she hopes to be, at least.

Please don't do this. Please just- Aimee's hand is around Erin's wrist, quickening her deceleration to a stop. The young women stand there, both silent for a moment, Erin still trapped by a grip strengthened by a resolve of angry. Aimee stutters a non-sentence, a broken thought, and sprints out. A familiar flash of silver-white hair follows behind her, and then an unfamiliar dark-haired boy. What have I done? self criticism paralyzes the girl briefly, though a single thought is capable of restoring movement to her legs.

Lane.

And Erin is running out the door, towards the dining hall as fast as she can manage. Still, when she bursts into the dining hall the fight has already spilled over. There is no prevention now- only an attempt at ending. Aimee is shouting at Lane, vehement rage spilling out of the normally reserved girl such that Erin had not known was possible. The scene before her is almost painfully reminiscent of one she has been part of before.

The ripping and destruction of a friendship, breaking as two hands might desperately tear apart a fabric they had worked so hard to weave together. Yours are not the hands desired to keep stitching away at the tapestry. Yours are not the hands deemed worthy. So it is better ripped apart and left as bitter tatters of the beautiful potential it had. You stitched with reds and blues when the other wanted something silver. Something sterling silver.

"Aimee. Lane," She is the first to broach the bubble forming around the girls, putting a hand on the shoulders of each of them and shoving the two apart. "Aimee, Lane was drunk, she didn't know what she was saying. Lane, you can't try to force this. I promise." You can't try to force this, the thought that had chimed through Erin's head throughout middle school. The words keeping her an arm's length from what she thought was the happiness that could ruin everything. Her voice is a stage whisper.

Erin has begun to learn to keep friends in your arms, and romance out of them. Lane and Aimee are a replaying memory, explosive words never quite said, emotions revisited in the form of others. "Is this really worth it?" The future terrifies the blonde, but the past is not a place to be revisited either. Especially not this part. She is not Gatsby and is not asking for this time loop. "Please," it is desperate, quieter than her other words. Erin is looking at Lane now, not Aimee. This is a direct plea.

"Please."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Erin Hill Character Portrait: Sterling Walker Character Portrait: Lane Blackwell Character Portrait: Nina Nikolayevna Romanov Character Portrait: Aimee Hart Character Portrait: Lucas Long

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#, as written by piearty
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Lucas quickly pieced together what had happened, both now and two months ago, as he approached the girls and read their thoughts. He didn't think especially well of Lane now, but he was almost scared by this new version of Aimee, made of wild fury and fire. Lane was standing there, trying to be resolute, but her voice was wavering, her thoughts a sort of mushy panic. She didn't deserve this.

Aimee was shaking Lane now without any thought to her power, which Lucas wondered at, and he wanted things to stop but he wasn't sure how. He'd barely met Aimee and he didn't know Lane at all; most of him was screaming to get the hell out of there.

As he was standing there awkwardly, uselessly, a blonde haired girl-- Erin, he recognized-- appeared on the scene. Her mind seemed to be going through a deja vu, and from it he gleaned more clues about the soap opera-like history of the yearlies at Laurel, which he was already getting tired of. He stole a glance at Nina and Sterling, who seemed to be still exchanging insults from across the cafeteria.

Erin pushed the two girls apart and spoke pleadingly to first both of them, then exclusively Lane. Lucas took the opportunity to walk right up to Aimee and gently tug her sleeve to get her attention, careful to not touch any skin.

"Aimee...?" he said quietly. He didn't know what to say after that. Are you ok-- no, she wasn't. What's wrong-- she probably knew he knew. So he left her name hanging in the air.