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This. Means. War.; Owen Vs Naomi: The First Showdown
Topic Started: May 19 2012, 09:17 PM (2,318 Views)
Serpico
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[ *  * ]
Owen Veveris rapped his fingers against the desk, in a few moments he would be paired up for an assessment, considering that this was English class and the only class he really cared about, he hoped that he would get a good partner. He didn’t like group assessments that much, but he always wanted to pull the most weight. This was more of a matter of pride than anything else; he didn’t want to appear stupid in front of his peers.

The teacher called the name of Naomi Bell, Owen didn’t really pay attention until his own name was called. Now that he could see his partner, he paid full attention. Firstly he acknowledged that she was pretty, and then wondered exactly how smart she was, he knew of her and her reputation certainly gave him the impression that she was very involved.

So his partner was cute, and he figured that it probably wouldn’t hurt to make a couple of moves on her while they were working together. After all, he was now a single man again. He was trying to work out how the next few moments would unfold, he would probably ask her if she would like to discuss the assessment over coffee or something typical like that, he’d offer to pick her up on his motorcycle and then discuss the assessment. He’d act charming to make a good first impression and he might just come out of this assessment with something more than a good grade. Personally, he hoped that he would have something other to ride than his bike by the end of it.

So Owen quickly ran his hand through his hair and straightened his clothes, it was time to act with his best behaviour. Though he wasn’t sure exactly how to act, he was leaning towards charming, but figured nonchalant would be better. He would do better if he knew what she was into.

Okay, just act casual and don’t do anything dickish. You want to hit that so be just a little charming and not a suck up. You’ve got an advantage by being the best looking guy in the vicinity.

Neither had any idea that this was going to be one of the worst pair ups in the school's history.
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
As the teacher read out the names, Naomi silently prayed to whatever god existed that she would get a good partner. She wasn't the sort who prayed for things, normally. If there was something she needed she could get it herself. But when it was something dependent on luck, a couple of prayers couldn't hurt...

Normally, she chose partners who were pushovers that didn't like voicing their opinions and let her control the bulk of the assignment. When the teacher said that her partner was Owen Veveris, Naomi ran through a mental encyclopedia of classmates, trying to remember what she could about him.

Owen Veveris. Rumoured pickpocket. Slacker.

The first point wasn't pleasing, and there was no way Naomi was going to let him in her house. The last thing she needed was something from her mother's collection of little crystal animals going missing. But the last part... Owen was a slacker. That was solid gold from her perspective. It wouldn't be hard to convince him to give up the entirety of creative control to her. He wouldn't even have to be present. She could do it all on her own.

She walked over to him, stretched out a hand and put on a practiced, friendly smile.

"Hello. I'm Naomi Bell. I'm sure you'll be an excellent partner."
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[ *  * ]
He shook her hand, sure to be firm but not painfully so. After all, he did not want to make a bad impression by crushing her hands. He noticed that she was smiling, so everything seemed to be going well. He was certain that this assessment would go very smoothly.

“I’ll be the best partner you ever had.”

In his mind he added the words in bed and supressed the urge to chuckle. He let go of her hand, and sat back in a comfortable position. He paused briefly and thought of what to say next, as he did not want their conversation to reach a point of awkward silence. He couldn’t quite think of anything interesting to say, so he said what came to mind first.

“So, what’s up?”

He resisted the sudden urge to face palm as that was a typical and boring sort of conversation opener. Then his brain started with the negative thoughts.

That was it? Stupid Owen, that was dumb and now you sound fucking stupid. That was neither intelligent nor witty. You can come up with better and God knows that you have. You both know precisely what is up, THE SKY AND YOUR FUCKING ASSESSMENT.

After a brief moment Owen stopped screaming internally, he had plenty of time to make an impression on Naomi Bell. He figured that he was probably thinking way too hard about it.
Edited by Serpico, May 21 2012, 07:46 AM.
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Well, he was acting nicer than Naomi would have expected, considering that he had a reputation for thievery. There was, of course, always the possibility that his criminal reputation was based off something innocuous, like accidentally taking someone else's pen. Rumors could be strange that way. She still wouldn't be letting him anywhere near her house, but...

Naomi just hoped his reputation as a slacker wasn't based on a misconception.

"Oh, just the usual. Now, concerning this assignment..."

Naomi considered telling him right out that she didn't need any help, but the teacher was in the room and saying it in front of him would probably be a bad idea.

"I think we should meet briefly after class to decide on what we're going to do. I'm sure you have other things to do so it'll be quick."

If he said yes, she'd explain that she didn't need help. If he made an excuse for why he couldn't work that day, she'd say it was fine and do the assignment by herself anyway. Either way would work.
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[ *  * ]
He smiled, seeing that he would probably have ample opportunity to work with her. It was now time to focus on what she just said.

“Well, if you want, we could talk it over at the mall once school is over. I could pick you up from your place, you know, if you'd like. It would also be nice to maybe drink coffee while we discuss the assignment, don’t you think?”

He was focusing on maintaining a friendly attitude and arranging a meet up, something casual. If she agreed to allow him to pick her up, he’d drive his motorcycle, after all it was pretty bitchin’ and he loved to show it off. He was pretty sure that there was a spare helmet in his brother’s old wardrobe, so safety wasn't a problem either.

Owen hoped that she would say yes.
Edited by Serpico, May 22 2012, 07:51 AM.
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Naomi had to stop herself from frowning. There were a number of things she didn't like about that plan. Meeting at the mall for coffee... that didn't sound at all like a study plan. Which she was absolutely fine with. And there was no chance of teachers overhearing, so they wouldn't complain and ramble about how the work load was supposed to be equal.

But it sounded like it would take a long time. Was it going to be one of those assignments where the slacker would be there constantly? Just lazing around and being distracting? That could get irritating. And Naomi didn't want him picking her up from her house. That would mean... well... he'd know where her house is.

But she didn't want to appear rude, either.

"That sounds good. Give me a moment and I'll write down my street. I'll wait for you on the corner." If she waited on the corner, that meant she wouldn't have to give her full address. And it was better than the alternative of meeting him in front of a different house. This way she technically wasn't lying to him about where she lived, so there'd be no fallout if she was called out on it later.

She just hoped he wouldn't wind the windows of his car down. Wind that strong played havoc on her hair, and it was hard enough to keep straight as it was.
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[ *  * ]
Owen took the paper from Naomi; he read the street name before pocketing it. He found it strange that she would wait on the corner for him, after all most girls waited inside the house or on the porch.

He figured that her house might the type that is difficult to find, either that, or she didn’t want her parents to see her riding off on a motorcycle with someone who was a stranger to them. It was always a problem when parents thought that some hoodlum was riding off with their little girl. So that was his conclusion.

“Alright, how about I pick you up about an hour after school?” He thought it was acceptable; he’d have more than enough time to get the helmet and find his way there. He would even likely be early.

It was too long after that the bell started to ring, class ended and their peers began packing up and shuffling out the door. Owen hastily pushed his stationary in his bag before waving goodbye to Naomi.

“I’ll see you later, Naomi.”
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Naomi hated motorcycles. Well, she had nothing against them in general, barring when hooligans would ride down the street at three in the morning. Really, her opinion on motorcycles was rather similar to her opinion on elephants. They're fine at a distance, but she still doesn't want to ride one around.

By the time she realised Owen rode one, however, it was too late to say no. Primarily because returning home would involve giving away the location of her house.

The ride to the mall had been short, but it felt like it went for an eternity. As soon as the motorcycle came to a halt, Naomi jumped off it and stumbled away, trying to stop herself from throwing up. She removed the helmet and shoved it at Owen.

She meant to say, 'thank you for the ride.'

What came out was "Guuurhhk. Guhh."

Well... that was embarrassing.
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Owen received the helmet from Naomi; he didn’t bother to remove his as that meant that he would have to carry two of them around. He was a little concerned, as Naomi looked about ready to throw up and he didn’t want it to be on him. To be fair, the ride was a little rough and she didn’t seem to handle that well. She sounded as ill as she looked, as what she had just said was unintelligible. He made a mental note to go slower next time, if there was a next time.

“First time on a motorcycle?” He laughed, trying not to sound nervous. “We can wait a while for the motion sickness to pass.”

Owen wasn’t quite sure if it was the tinting on the visor of his helmet or not, but Naomi looked pretty off colour. For now he would wait for Naomi to regain her composure.
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Naomi didn't like that laugh Owen made. It felt like he was laughing at her and it made Naomi's bad mood sour even more. Were she calm and in control, like her usual self, she would have been able to cover this up. But the motorcycle ride had shoved her far out of her comfort zone. And she hated being out of her comfort zone.

"Don't laugh at me," she snapped. "And I'm not some pusillanimous piece of china that can't handle one motorcycle riiehhhhh--" In the middle of her angry rant, she realised that she was being needlessly aggressive. She stopped.

Yoga breathing exercises. In. And out. In. And out.

"Disregard that. I'm fine," Naomi said shortly.
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Owen was startled by Naomi’s sudden outburst; he actually moved back a step before doing a double take.

Oh, dear sweet baby Jesus. What just happened?’ He didn’t understand why her normally calm demeanour had just performed a 180.

If it were possible to see his expression through his helmet, one might notice that it was an aggressive scowl. It was something he did subconsciously, a reaction to the negativity. If he knew he was pulling that face he might have thanked himself for keeping the helmet on.

Her outburst was over as soon as it had started, and Owen honestly found that behaviour baffling.

“…That’s alright.” He spoke slowly and cautiously, hopefully he wouldn’t set off another of… whatever that was that just happened. “I’m sure that it was the motion sickness talking… or whatever.”

Things were starting to look kind of bad, and suddenly Naomi didn’t seem that cute anymore. It started to click that maybe Naomi wasn’t as nice as she let on, but he figured that no one was perfect. It was unfortunate, because he thought himself pretty damn close to perfect. He knew that girls sometimes tended to be temperamental, his recent experiences with other girls could attest to that.

Yeah, she probably just had a few kinks in her personality, that’s all.
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In and out. In and out. Naomi continued trying to do her breathing exercises without Owen noticing.

Now she really wanted to speed this up. Bad moods were sometimes difficult to contain, and she didn't want her negative behavior to become widely known. She just had to find a coffee place, stay long enough so that she didn't appear rude, explain that she didn't need any help on the assignment and would prefer to do it herself, and then run away like Paris running from Hector.

In and out. In and out.

Naomi let out one more breath and fixed a smile back onto her face, albeit a slightly strained one. "Well, standing on the street isn't any fun,"she said, trying to inject some cheerfulness back into her voice. "Let's go. I assume we're going to one of the three or four Starbucks they have in the food court?"
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At the food court Owen ordered his coffee and was quick to find a free table, he would place the two helmets he carried down and take a seat. He would wait for Naomi to settle into her seat before talking to her about the assessment. He chose to take a few sips of his coffee, it was pretty hot, that was good because that was the way he liked it.

He tried not to dwell on what just happened in the parking lot. Instead he enjoyed his beverage as he waited for his partner to get ready.

It was discussion time.
Edited by Serpico, May 24 2012, 02:33 AM.
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Naomi's bad mood wasn't entirely gone, but the caramel frappuccino was definitely helping it. Lots of cream and caramel sauce. Honestly, it was barely coffee at all and it was going to put her in danger of acne breaking out, but it was worth it.

Moving onto the work... well, she supposed there was no point in delaying her intentions to do the work on her own.

Naomi sipped on the straw for a few moments, pondering the best way to phrase her argument, so that he didn't think she was insulting his capabilities and so he wouldn't feel guilty for leaving her with the workload.

"So, concerning this assignment... Let's be honest here. I'm sure you don't really want to do this assignment. It is rather boring, is it not? And I'm sure you'd rather be working on other things... So, how about this. You just leave all the hard stuff up to me and I'll take care of it. It'll be fine, I like doing this sort of work. So you wouldn't have to feel guilty about it. And, naturally, I won't tell the teacher."
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Owen now wore a wry smile; he was kind of unimpressed and very insulted. He wasn’t taking it well; she was practically telling him to lay off the work as if he was some sort of hindrance. He wouldn’t accept that, he refused to accept it. This was a pair assignment, and she was judging him. And because of that he absolutely had to work hard on this assignment now.

So she thought he was stupid, he’d simply have to show her that she was wrong, wrong, wrong. She was wrong damn it. He’d tell it to her honestly, he wanted no coddling and he wanted the work done his way.

“Actually, I was really looking forward to this assignment. In fact, I’ve already started planning for it.” He wore a serious expression. Naomi was pretty, but not pretty enough for him to act like a yes man. “See, I wasn’t telling lies when I said that I would be a good partner.
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