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Georgia Lee made a gesture, a combination of a shrug and a nod, that served to draw her shoulders and head together, shrinking her. It wasn't the effect she'd wanted, and it annoyed her. She folded the tissue over the bread, then tucked in the sides, so it was wrapped in an enclosed package, and tucked it into an inside pocket in her jacket.

"For bad times, then."

Fiyori settled into the chair opposite her, folding her ungainly limbs together, the poncho flapping about her obscenely. It was like a bat, settling itself in to to roost at night, and Georgia Lee resisted a sudden, perverse urge to crane her neck an look at the girl from upside down. Fiyori leaned in close, close enough for Georgia Lee to smell the bread on her breath.

Why did Fiyori even care, why she was the way she was? It wasn't her business. It wouldn't make a difference to her life, the reasons for Georgia Lee making the decisions that she did. She didn't tackle Fiyori from behind. She didn't taunt her, insult her, mock her. She left her alone. She'd leave her alone forever, given the choice.

Or was she jealous? Did this insect, in some part of her, want to be like Georgia Lee? Want to be Georgia Lee, even? The huge, bulging lenses of Fiyori's glasses made her dead eyes massive and unreadable. If there was envy in there, Georgia Lee couldn't see it, but it seemed ton be the only reason that made sense. Reflected in the glass, she noted, the teacher's desk behind her was empty. Fiyori no doubt saw this too - was she going to try something? Was she planning another attack?

No, if she was intending to do that, she'd've stayed standing. Stay calm, Georgia Lee. Don't get hysterical. She knew that seeing her riled, seeing her agitated was exactly what this delinquent wanted. Georgia Lee wasn't given to excessive displays of emotion. She didn't cry, when she got a poor grade. She didn't get poor grades of course, but even failing wouldn't be enough to bring her to tears, she was pretty sure. Georgia Lee had never in her life jumped for joy, or howled in rage or any of those other cliche, animal reactions to feelings. Georgia Lee didn't wear her heart on her chest, or open it to others, or do anything with it except pump blood. She prided herself on her practicality.

When she was younger, Georgia Lee would have cried had she got a bad grade. She'd've cried at the drop of a hat, but she'd cried her eyes dry then, and now she had no times for tears. Georgia Lee kept very, very busy. She didn't have time to wail, or to telegraph every feeling that flitted into her brain at whatever asinine nonsense was happening in front of her. What she felt was her business, and to their credit most people respected that. Even her parents, begrudgingly, had grown to accept it.

Some people, though, saw it as a challenge. Georgia Lee had worked hard to make herself the way she was, but like grasping children, some people's instinct upon seeing anything that hard work had gone into, was to try and break it. She could appease Fiyori, she supposed. What would the girl respond to? Something lazy, probably. Something degenerate. Saying she didn't really try, or blaming someone else, saying her parents made her work this hard. Saying she needed a good job to pay for all her cocaine - Fiyori'd love that, no doubt.

But no, Georgia Lee wasn't a liar. Any sort of deception made her uncomfortable, and besides that, she was bad at it. She wanted to say it was that she was naturally truthful, though if she were being honest, which of course she always was, she would probably have had to admit that a lack of imagination also had something to do with it.

Besides that, Fiyori wasn't worthy of a lie. Georgia Lee did not have to diminish herself, for the sake of this girl's approval. To hell with Fiyori, and her opinion. Georgia Lee resolved to tell her exactly why she was the way she was.

She gave an almost-smile, drawing her lips taut, in a straight line against her teeth, her mouth closed. It was an expression that could, she supposed, have meant anything. Here it was almost apologetic.

"I guess I'm just trying to be the best me that I can be."

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Acid Rain · East Wing