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The Party Was Over Then, Too; open
Topic Started: May 21 2012, 11:55 PM (2,225 Views)
ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Juliana hesitated, about to answer Steven's question before her brain caught up with her mouth. Did she really want to be in the paper mouthing off about prom? She'd coasted neatly through high school by never getting caught up in the drama that seemed to pervade every large group of teenagers, and from what she could understand prom was supposed to be, in her mother's words again, a Big Deal. Everyone's dream. An excuse to get all dolled up and spend too much money to eat bad food. The kind of memory which would remain clear for the rest of your life.

Eh. She still couldn't see the appeal. And the more she thought about it, the more she realized it didn't really matter whether or not she talked to Steven for the paper. Her thoughts were still her own, and she didn't care who knew them. She couldn't be the only one thinking like that either; Steven appeared to feel the same way about prom as she did. Aware that she'd waited a beat too long than was really socially polite to answer, she smiled at the boy across from her and pushed her book a little further away.

"Sure, why not? If you want to seem extra-cool you can even quote me as a professional. 'Prom expert Juliana Jones'. Has kind of a nice ring to it."


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Prom expert," Steven said. "I like that. It makes everything seem professional, somehow. I can see the headlines now. 'Prom Expert: Prom Actually Enormous Waste of Time'."

He chuckled a little. That was unlikely to actually be the headline, just like he was unlikely to actually let the article get too bitter. Steven preferred to keep his columns amusing, light, and fairly inoffensive. Sure, if there was ever actually a situation that called for some righteous fury, he'd be right there, ready to fight with the editors even if the inevitable result would be his censure. Most of the time, though, he respected the fact that everyone was just in this for fun and to learn. He was probably somewhat unusual in that he hoped to pursue journalism after graduation. Not everyone thought blogging was a wonderful investment of attention and energy.

The only question now was whether Juliana was up for an immediate interview or if she'd rather meet somewhere later. Steven wasn't particularly attached to any timeline; for once, he was getting his work done with a significant safety margin. He didn't want to pressure Juliana, but at the same time he did not want to let what had the potential to be a very good interview get away.

"You want to talk now or later? I'm good either way. I actually do have my gear with me," he said.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Juliana laughed at Steven's idea for the headline. Although she figured he wouldn't actually do it, she couldn't help but feel in a small and slightly ashamed part of her mind that it would be absolutely hilarious to see the looks on people's faces. Oh, no one would really take it seriously, but maybe at least a few people would find themselves to be in like-minded company. The prom-haters. Not that she even really hated it exactly...the prom-dislikers? The prom-neutralers? Something like that.

"I can talk now," she offered with a final glance at her biology textbook. The intricacies of the kidneys and bladder would just have to wait for later. Oh, what a sacrifice. "I mean, I feel obligated to point out that I'm not actually a prom expert, but if that's not a problem I'm game."

She was surprised to find herself feeling flattered. She didn't interact a whole lot with the other people in her grade as a rule, too busy with her own things to really bother with them. She generally did homework at school when she could since pretty much every spare hour she had outside was spent working, and it was hard to hold a really serious friendship down when she had no real time to herself to do anything. It was okay, though. She was okay with it. She could live with it. She didn't meet a whole lot of people she really wanted to be friends with anyway.

Steven seemed cool, though. She'd talk with him. No pressure, right?


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Awesome," Steven said. "I can credit you as 'self-proclaimed Prom expert' if you prefer. Or I can say that anonymous sources pointed me in your direction. That'd make you 'reputed Prom expert Juliana Jones', which sounds a little more legitimate."

He dug through his pack, searching for his microcassette recorder. It wasn't long at all before his fingers brushed it. He slipped it out of his backpack and set it down on the table. He'd popped in a new cassette this morning, and he hadn't used the recorder since, so he knew he was ready to go. Of course, there was the usual courtesy check first.

"You mind if I record this? It saves a lot of time on note-taking and lets me focus on the interview better."

Some people really did not like the idea of being recorded, even if it amounted to roughly the same thing as having notes about them doodled on a pad of yellow paper. Steven could respect little irrational preferences, though. At least, he could respect them if he respected the person he was talking to. Otherwise, he'd usually just assume permission unless told otherwise.

The worst thing was when people wanted to hear what he'd recorded. Steven had discovered that most people really disliked the sounds of their own voices. Well, no, that wasn't quite correct: they disliked the sounds of recordings of their own voices. It had even been a hurdle for Steven himself when he'd started keeping vocal notes. He still wasn't very happy with how he sounded, and he put conscious effort into his speech precisely because of his awareness.

Well, no matter. He'd just hope Juliana was secure or, barring that, disinterested in hearing what she sounded like on tape.
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"'Reputed prom expert... I like that." Juliana smiled. "That's the kind of reputation I wouldn't mind having around this place. Go ahead and use that. And yeah, sure, I don't care if you record it." She wasn't big on the sound of her own voice as heard on tape or video, finding it lower and rougher than the way it sounded to her ears when she was speaking, but that was no reason to inconvenience someone.

She hesitated momentarily as a thought occurred to her. "Hey, uh, I don't mean to be inconvenient or anything, but...you think maybe we should do this outside the library?" No one was looking at them yet but she wanted to be free to talk as she felt necessary, not keeping her voice down for the studiers. Considering how much she bitched about other people being noisy it felt weird and hypocritical to stay here while doing an interview for the paper. "Just so this particular interview doesn't end up being censored by angry library patrons. Books hurt."

She offered up another quick smile in the hopes of showing that she wasn't really getting cold feet, just wanted to move somewhere a little nicer for their chat.


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Juliana suggested moving the interview out of the library, noting that she didn't want to cause inconvenience. Steven felt a little bit embarrassed that he hadn't thought of taking things elsewhere himself. Perhaps he'd just been too focused on the conversation. Maybe he took for granted that he wouldn't get in trouble because he was on Mrs. Garvey's good side.

Either way, being loud would be quite rude to everyone who was studying here. Juliana was completely correct.

"I think you're right," Steven said. "Maybe I can add 'Etiquette Maven' to your title."

He slipped his recorder into his shirt's breast pocket, rolled his shoulders, then stood up, being sure to push his chair back in.

"Anywhere specific you'd like to go? Outside is always refreshing, but it could be a little too invigorating. I didn't check the weather forecast today."
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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ifnotwinter
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half Iago, half Fu Manchu, all bastard
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"Etiquette Maven...I'm less sure about that. Makes me sound like some cranky old British lady." Juliana followed suit as Steven prepared to leave the library, gathering together her now-neglected study materials and stuffing them haphazardly back into her bag. She ignored the faint pangs of guilt which settled in her stomach and reminded her that she really should be studying...she'd have time later, right? And did it really matter all that much if she got a slightly lower than average mark on an assignment worth precisely doodly-squat of her final percentage?

Rationally, she figured it didn't. Emotionally she wasn't quite there yet, but she pushed it away with the ease of long practice and swung her bag over her shoulder.

"I think it's cloudy with a chance of torrential downpour, but I'm willing to risk it." She was only wearing a loose hoodie but there was a jacket in her locker against weather-related emergencies and after being inside all day, she found herself craving fresh air. Even if it was scented with the warning of rain. "Baggie up your tape recorder and let's head out."


marc st. yves


light it up or burn it down we'll all die in fire


lydia hausen


if you don't look down you don't have to fall

sebastian conway


everything will be okay in the end


(so you've got to keep in mind, when you try to change the world for the better not everybody's gonna be on your side)
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MurderWeasel
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You've been counting stars, now you're counting on me
[ *  *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Sounds good," Steven said, getting the rest of his stuff packed, then heaving his backpack onto his shoulder. "And we can avoid any implications of crankiness."

With that done, he turned and headed out of the library, giving Mrs. Garvey a nod on his way. He hoped he'd get a good interview out of this. It seemed likely. Juliana was a nice, interesting girl. He was sure she'd have a lot to say. Then, it would be up to him to spin it into something worth reading.

((Steven Salazar continued in After the Battle))
V7:
Juliette Sargent
Alton Gerow
Lavender Ripley
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