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Who is this sassy lost child
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Nathan checked his watch for probably the tenth time in the last few minutes as he hurried down the sidewalk. He wasn't running late, actually, but he couldn't discount the possibility of some kind of disaster striking between his leaving rehearsal and arriving at the Diamondback to meet Mia, like road construction or a stray asteroid striking him out of the blue. Meteorite? He didn't know what they were called and when, but it wasn't entirely out of the question.

These rapid, irrational trains of thought were unlike him, but the reality of the situation hadn't really sunk in until shortly before he left. He'd asked a girl out on a date. A date. With Mia. He'd always thought she was cheery and nice, not to mention cute, but hadn't even considered the possibility of making a move until he'd already gone and done it.

Unless of course she didn't take things that way at all and he made things unbearably awkward between them for the rest of their admittedly short high school lives. The thought of that was almost enough to stop him in his tracks and make him reconsider, but if he stopped to reconsider he'd probably be late. Better late than never, perhaps, but... well, if he let his nerves get the better of him, "never" was a distinct possibility. Mia didn't deserve that, especially when any potential awkwardness was Nathan's fault.

He nearly stopped anyways when he arrived in front of the ice cream parlor and saw Mia staring out the window right at him. Dammit, was his watch slow? Had she just gotten here early? Didn't actually matter in the end, he supposed, and she'd already seen him so he couldn't let nerves take over now.

Nathan took a deep breath and oh God what if he was all sweaty and gross-looking? He'd freshened up as much as possible after dance, but then he'd rushed over here and it was a warm day and...

And well, she'd already seen him. Nothing to do about it now, yeah? She didn't look repulsed, so he took in another breath and entered the ice cream parlor, sliding into the seat across from Mia with a smile. "Hey, did I keep you waiting?"
"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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Death of a Bachelor · Before the Dance