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"Nah, doesn't look right."

Marie looked at her face in the bathroom mirror. Falling asleep in class with her head resting on her hand had caused the faint imprints of pimples to sprout up on the right side of her face. Even with makeup - she dreaded to even think the word - she couldn't quite cover them up in a way that looked right. When it came time to head over to Diamondback, she made sure to show up early - last time she'd been late, and if there was anything that Arthur had taught her, it was that punctuality was of the utmost importance.

She smiled to herself. He spoke in a fake British accent sometimes to her, like a professor lecturing a student, self aware enough to know how he sounded yet wise enough to know that the knowledge he needed to impart was worth the awkwardness. "Don't be late" wouldn't suffice. He needed to tell her things in a way that she'd remember.

Her eyes were starting to droop. Marie shook her head side to side, waking herself up. The past few nights had been relatively sleepless as she looked for any news of her brother's return. He was a big dork, sure, and he was a bit intrusive, but he was her brother. She'd lost too many family members to lose him, too.

Nevertheless, she was sure he was okay. He always was.

With one last splash of cold water on her face to keep herself alert, she stepped out into the ice cream parlor. There, Marie saw Lana, walking in zig zag lines across the floor, looking down at her phone anxiously. Her heart hit the bottom of her stomach. Even if she hadn't actually been late, she'd kept Lana waiting, and that was bad enough. Worse still was the fact that she now had to find some way to explain her absence. Clouds of words and ideas floated through her mind as her feet started moving her automatically toward her friend.

"Sorry!" Marie blurted out in a stage whisper, all of her clouded thoughts slamming into the front of her head as she hit the brakes and suddenly stopped only a few inches from Lana, "I'm not actually late, I was in the bathroom, I swear!" Woozily, she took a step back, letting static cloud her vision and her sense of balance disappear for a few moments before it returned again as if nothing happened.. This sort of thing would occur when she was just getting up, or if she suddenly started moving after standing or sitting for a while. Her voice stayed clear, and her thoughts stayed where she left them, but her body lagged behind and froze up. She knew the layout of her own house well enough that she could find her way in her dizziness, but the air and shape and color of the ice cream place threw her for a loop.

"How've you been?" she said with a smile, leaning on Lana's shoulder slightly, slowly regaining her sense of self in space.
~~~~~ Creativity's Burning Pyre ~~~~~



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From Here On Out · V6 Meanwhile...