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"Not a bad idea, y'know?" Mel traced the back of the chair with one fingernail, taking a bite out of her banana as she did so. Chewed. Swallowed. "Could carve my initials - go all Zorro on it. Swish!"

That was a joke, of course. She was probably breaking enough library rules already.

To be honest, she didn't remember Maxim asking for the chair in the first place, but hell, she hadn't been listening. She wasn't going to complain when the sanctity of dibs was on the line, despite anything Astrid said.

That glare, by the way? Made dropping in totally worth it. She'd never known exactly why Astrid always seemed so annoyed with her - but this was all in good fun. Maybe someday she'd get to the bottom of it all, discuss some soccer, broker a peace. Maybe not.

Right, right, the chair.

Mel stood up, walked a few steps... before plopping her rear end down on the other side of the table, on the table itself. She wasn't picky.

"Go ahead," she said, pivoting to face the two of them again.

As for Astrid's tattoo, she had to admit that caught her attention. For the briefest of moments, Mel leaned in, her free hand impulsively lifting as if to brush aside the strap of Astrid's top just a little bit to get a better look - then she thought better of it. She sat back, eyes still on the tattoo, her banana almost forgotten in her grasp.

"That's a sweet tattoo." She had never felt the urge to get one for herself, mostly because of their tendency to give a negative impression in the job market, but she appreciated the artistry, the ink. Tattoos got a bad rap sometimes. Perhaps the cause was the perceived low status of its customers, or the unskilled efforts that were publicly seen and mocked. In some ways, though, she thought it shared similarities with watercolor in that tattoo artists' challenges were in many ways unique - to work directly on human skin, to create something that lived and breathed in time with the person that wore it. "It really is. Like, I wouldn't even complain about staying in if that's what you get in return."

Mel paused, her eyes flitting to Astrid's wrist and back again, catching only momentarily on the tissue wrapped around one of the other girl's fingertips. "The guy's the same artist that did your other one?"
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The Dynamo of Volition · Beale Library