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Being a degenerate is okay these days
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Vanessa answered all the questions thrown their way easily enough, not bothering to wait for Jae to compose himself. On one hand, it saved him from making more of a fool of himself. On the other, having her announce to everyone they came across that Alvaro had been the one to beat the shit out of him was pretty goddamn embarrassing.

"Yeah," he punctuated Vanessa's statements with a shrug. "Long story short, Alvaro's gone nuts and, well... you guys heard." He grimaced. As far as he knew, Hazel wasn't close to anyone whose name had come up either. She seemed more concerned about him either way, and that brought a pleasant bit of warmth to him.

Jae glanced over his shoulder at the tower again as Jordan from drama asked about it. "We just got here, so no. Place looks pretty useless, anyway." When he turned his attention back, his eyes were drawn to Hazel again. She didn't look hurt or particularly traumatized, just worried and tired. All in all, it was probably a sign that she'd had it better than a lot of people so far.

He took a few more steps forward anyway, closing the distance between them. Should he hug her? Would that be weird to do in front of everyone?

...Ah, fuck it. He reached out and pulled Hazel into a firm hug. "You've been okay?"
"Art enriches the community, Steve, no less than a pulsing fire hose, or a fireman beating down a blazing door. So what if we're drawing a nude man? So what if all we ever draw is a nude man, or the same nude man over and over in all sorts of provocative positions? Context, not content! Process, not subject! Don't be so gauche, Steve, it's beneath you."
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We're Here Because We're Here · The Radio Tower