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Tiger in the Night; Open
Topic Started: Jun 13 2012, 10:35 PM (3,341 Views)
Mimi
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Summer struggled to maintain her pleasant countenance, smiling through the mounting discomfort that had been gradually snowballing the more Deborah spoke. Truthfully, shefelt a little sorry for the girl, whom had managed to more or less chase both Francis and Mallory off to the other side of the student center. It was obvious she hadn’t exactly mastered the art of socializing, between her speech and her… frank disposition. She couldn’t help but wonder if people would be more open to her if she’d changed the way she spoke or the way she carried herself. Not to mention the frustration that came from watching Jake focus all his attention on her.

Summer rubbed Jake’s back softly once more, as if to comfort the smaller boy. He was already so timid normally that she couldn’t imagine how freaked out he must’ve been when Deborah came at him so intensely. And then insulted his sister, no less.

Summer knew the Mordetsky kids didn’t get along, mostly because of Stacy, but they were siblings and it seemed in bad taste to talk so freely about someone’s sister; a sentiment that Mallory had, much to Summer’s relief, agreed with.

“Stacy can be a little colorful at times,” She said thoughtfully, still smiling as she tilted her head slightly and ran her free hand through her hair once more, “The Mordetsky kids are hard to dislike, though, they’re just too charming.” She wrapped her arm around Jake’s shoulder and gave him a gentle squeeze. She knew Jake wasn’t as comfortable with physical contact as most of the people in her social circle, but she hoped he’d make an exception for her.

She could feel Jake go slightly rigid in her arm after Deborah proposed a ‘meal’ and fought back a flurry of jealousy. Not that Deborah had taken Jake’s attention, no. Not that Francis and Mallory were off talking to each other without her, no. But that Deborah, someone she had meet personally for the first time not even ten minutes ago, hadn’t been the least bit interested in getting to know her. Summer couldn’t even say for sure that she liked this girl, but there was a part of her that just couldn’t accept not being chosen over someone else.

In an attempt to compose herself, Summer glanced behind her, hoping to catch Francis’ eye. He was busy taking down the posters and chatting with Mallory, whom had, unknowingly to Summer, just been insulted. She’d seen the way Francis blushed and the look on his face when she’d flirted, it was the look she lived for, the look that told her she had someone’s complete attention and that there wasn’t a chance someone could swoop in and take that from her. What she should’ve done is cut her loses, forgot about Deborah and Jake, and went over to Francis; who she knew would give her what she wanted.

But she didn’t.

She couldn’t let it go, knowingly leave people to like someone better than her.

“We should all go out, the five of us,” She proposed, once again pulling Jake closer into her, “My treat, of course. It’s the least I could do to repay you guys for helping me out.”
Edited by Mimi, Jul 16 2012, 10:30 PM.

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Recycling Paper Bin Girl (a.k.a Deborah, according to Summer and Jake) talked like an old lady. But otherwise, she didn't seem too bad, even with the 'telling them to do the obvious' thing. At least she realised Stacey was a jerk as well, and had the class not to state it as bluntly as Mallory had.

I should develop some class. That'd be awesome. Although not the whole sipping wine thing, not big on wine...

Mallory then felt someone bump into her. She turned to see Miles apologise, which would have been fine if he hadn't clearly been about to call her a sasquatch. Wouldn't have been the first time he had. Dick. Mallory responded by tossing a bit of crumpled up poster after him. It missed by a long shot, and Mallory quickly grabbed it before Deborah brought up the 'it goes in the paper recycling bin' thing again.

"Honestly, Francis... I really don't understand your taste in friends," Mallory muttered.

She tugged down another poster and tossed it in the bin before looking back over at the other three. She didn't catch the words that Summer was saying. Although it did kinda look like she and Deborah were playing tug-o-war with Jake's shoulders. Which made no sense. It would make more sense to use someone stretchy. Like that guy with the straw hat in that show about pirates.

"Guys, clinging to each other like that isn't going to help take posters down," Mallory pointed out. "Unless you're really acrobatic and can take down posters with your feet."
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Aura
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((Sorry for the wait. Stuff happened, and I lost track...))

Jake was now caught between two girls who each had a hand on one of his shoulders. Deborah had asked him out to eat, and he could feel his muscles tense up immediately afterward.

Huh? DId she just ask me out? Did a girl just ask me out? I'm so confused...

Summer countered the offer by suggesting that the five of them all go out together. In all the confusion that was taking place, Jake had almost forgotten about the other two in the student center. He thought for a while about what he should say, trying to figure out how he could do this without screwing it up. Eventually he spoke up, despite still being nervous.

"Yeah, we could go somewhere. I don't mind."
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Debbie pondered the situation. She was fairly certain Jake would have accepted to her suggestion, even despite his actual shyness. Old acquaintances for her were certainly rare, and she had figured out that his case was none too different.

But then Summer Simms spoke, in that colourful nice language of hers, and then physically touched Jake a couple of times. Deborah wondered if these two were friends or if she was just naturally pushy. Her opinion seemed to shift towards the latter when she actually suggested all five going out for food. While she seemed friendly enough, Deborah didn’t appreciate the move. The whole poster removal was about her already, that much was true. But she had not talked with her at all, only a single sentence.

Deborah had not helped her at all, so the invitation was lost in the meaning. It sounded certainly forceful. She did not like getting credit for something she had not even done, and there was certainly the way she was trying to get everyone’s attention. A simple free food offering.

Her right hand crept up, sustaining her chin by just one finger. She had several options now. One: decline, cut loses and try again when Jake Mordetsky was all alone in his own. Two: accept Summer’s offer and play her game, and wait for a chance to get what she wanted. And three: use her money and her car to win the people over with a better offer.

It was then when Mallory’s quip woke her up from her trance.

“Very well.” Deborah Vickers stated at last. “A five person meal, that is.” And without a second word, she began to move towards Mallory and the other boy, her nimble fingers prying out some other posters. She had no desire to engage in further conversation with Summer Simms.

“You are right, miss Mallory. I should help with these, so that I can properly take miss Simms’ most generous invitation.” She finally stated, wrapping a poster in her hand.
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Francis looked over to the doors of the Student Center, where Miles had just left, before responding to Mallory. Sometimes, honestly, he had to agree with her. But loyalty was loyalty, and simply abandoning the guys after so long was a proper dick move.

“People change, yunno?” Francis muttered, carefully pulling a poster from the wall. “There was a reason I’m friends with Miles ‘n all those guys, hell, there still is… but…”

It was then that Francis noticed that Mallory wasn’t really paying attention. She’d dumped her stack of posters in the bin, and her attention was now fixed on Summer, Jake and Deborah. Francis sighed, and ripped another poster off of the wall with one hand, the other holding his own stack of posters. He guessed he had been rambling a bit. Hell, his problems had probably sounded pretty stupid anyway. Although, if Mallory had thought so, she would most likely have said so.

Francis took hold of his pile of posters with both hands, and made his way past the other four to the recycling bin. As he did so, he noticed Summer putting her arm around Jake, and a slight pang of jealousy hit Francis. It was stupid really. He hadn’t even asked her to Prom, or anything, yet, and Summer wasn’t exactly shy to physical contact. Still. Principles, that sorta thing.

Francis made his way back to the wall, now half empty, to take down the remaining posters. He stopped, hanging slightly outside the group of four, as Summer suggested that all of them go out sometime. It sounded like a good plan to Francis, and Jake seemed to agree. Deborah’s words, on the other hand, suggested her thoughts were the same, but there was something frosty in her voice that suggested otherwise. The shortness of her words also reinforced that.

Frowning, Francis stared at her, before looking back at Summer and shrugging, making sure he caught her eye.

“Well, ah, that sounds good to me. I could definitely go fer that.” Francis’ voice then dropped to little more than a mumble. “Could possibly do with three or so less people, but whatever. ‘s still cool.”
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Mimi
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Summer’s smile remained firm as her question was digested throughout the group. For a moment she wondered if she’d gone too far or acted hastily in her zeal. Truth be told, she probably had no place inviting not only herself but two others to an outing and she almost immediately regretted it, fear and anxiety instantly weighing down on her as the possibility that she’d driven people to dislike her dawned on her.

Thankfully, however, her worries were quick to be abolished when Jake and Francis agreed, neither showing any signs of liking her any less. Making a mental note to one day thank the boys for giving her a chance, Summer swallowed the lump that had formed in her throat and combed her free hand through the hair over her shoulder, smoothing out the fly-aways that had surely worked up.

Turning her attention to Deborah, Summer titled her head and widened her smile. Although she’d agreed as well, her chilly diction seemed to come with some hesitation, though Summer was unsure if it was just the way she spoke or some underlying feelings. “Awesome! We can get to know each other this way, at least,” She said, hoping to warm Deborah up. “I get dibs on you though, Mister,” she added, bringing her hand up to her chin and pointing at Francis, “You’re forced to sit right next to me! I share food though, so it’s not such a bad deal if you’re okay with vegan,”

“And sorry, Mal! I wish you’d have joined our hug-pile though!” Summer said, feeling terrible after realizing Francis and Mallory had done most of the work removing her posters and quickly moved to take down several, thanking Deborah as she did the same. “You hungry, by the way? I think we’re gonna go get something to eat afterwards, on me. You should come!”

She’d felt much better than she did when she first started removing her posters, admittedly, now that she was sure the student body didn’t wholly hate her. There would always be work, though, that was one thing she was sure of. More ways she could fix herself in peoples’ eyes. Deborah was just the start.

If there was one thing Summer had always known, is was that if she could have everyone in the world love her, she would. She didn’t care what she had to change, she’d do whatever it took.

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Francis mumbled something about there being a reason. Mallory didn't really catch it all. Something about people changing.

"Sure. Changing. Circle of life. Well, whatever, it's your... whatever it is."

The other three stopped their weird tug-o-war game. Although Summer claimed it was a hug-pile.

"It didn't look like a hug-pile. It looked like a tug-o-war game," Mallory said. She tugged down another poster and folded it into the shape of a paper hat before plopping it on her head. "But sure. Helping. S'good. Also, food? I am so down with food. But can't help pay. No money."

Everyone seemed pretty cool with this going out to eat thing. Although Francis had mumbled something about less people, which was odd. He wasn't anti-social, was he? Why less people? No-one here was douchey or anything, hell, Summer seemed to be acting quite friendly towards—oh, wait.

"Ohhh. You know, you could do the whole 'less-people-and-sharing-food' thing if you just freaking asked each other out instead of... whatever you're doing," Mallory said, while tugging down another poster. She didn't really understand the whole 'subtle hints and flirting' thing. Wasn't it easier to just say it?

She started folding the poster she was holding into a paper airplane. It would fly better than the crumpled up paper she'd thrown at Miles earlier. Maybe she could aim it at the espresso that seemed to be constantly glued to his hand.
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Everyone seemed fine with the idea of going out to eat, but something still seemed a little off to Jake. Deborah's overly proper English did not do much to ease the tension, and Summer's omnipresent and ever-widening smile was beginning to creep him out. Summer and Deborah went to the wall to continue removing posters, and Jake followed suit.

Things changed a little bit when Mallory verbalized a suspicion that what Summer and Francis really wanted was to go out together, without the others. If that was true, then why was she inserting herself into Deborah's plans with him? Come to think of it, what were Deborah's plans in the first place, and what do they have to do with Jake?

Is this place always this confusing, and I've just never noticed until now?

Not really knowing what to say, Jake just said the first thing that came to mind.

"Er... whatever you guys want to do is fine with me."
Edited by Aura, Aug 7 2012, 10:35 PM.
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Deborah had resigned herself to play according to Summer Simms whims. She had more or less sorted out how to handle the possible throughout interrogation this kind of girl looked she could give her to. Smile, nod politely and just give only the necessary information.

Yet there was something she did not account in this whole set up. That was, the spontaneity of other people. Mallory, the athletic girl had said out loud something that shouldn’t be said. However, it was a piece of information Deborah could work with, spin it to her whims so she could produce a more favourable response.

I think I could kiss you, Mallory. That was just what I needed.

Deborah coughed, as she raised her hand so slightly.

“I was not aware of such a budding relationship. I thank Miss Mallory for revealing said fact. Far from me to be… a thorn in your side, Mister.” Debbie spoke, as she showed one of her best fabricated, polite smiles.

“I am sorry, Miss Simms, but I will have to politely decline the offer in light of these new circumstances. It is said that if one tries to reach for too much, said person will not grasp anything tightly, and it is also true that people cannot get fed up of spending time with romantic interests. It would be best for us if I just took Miss Mallory and Mister Mordetsky to his father's restaurant. That way I could rekindle old acquaintances. You could go out with less people, and Miss Mallory could get one of the finest steaks I know on my expenses. Everyone would be reasonably satisfied.”

Debbie made sure to put emphasis in the last sentence. After all, Summer’s overly eager attitude was alienating Debbie. And possibly others too. Jake, as always was too shy to act, but the other student seemed also resigned to play along Simms’ designs.

Debbie smiled. She was not a people’s person, but she could make interesting offers. It was up to Summer to choose whether was more important: a possible date, or being known by people.

You can’t have it all, Summer Simms, can you? She thought as she put a hand on her hip, awaiting an answer.
Edited by AtomicVandal, Aug 14 2012, 02:19 AM.
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Sometimes, Francis really wished that he thought before he spoke. As it turned out, this was one of those times. Everything seemed to be continuing smoothly at first, with Summer making a remark about forcing him to sit next to her, which Francis couldn’t help but chuckle at. “Hey, it’s food.” He responded. “I’ll eat pretty much anything.”

Summer then invited Mallory as well, who seemed cool with the whole idea as well. Francis went to take down a few more posters when Mallory, tactful as ever, voiced her opinion that all Francis and Summer really wanted to do was ask each other out. Francis honestly felt like, to borrow a phrase his brother often used, facepalming at that very moment. Okay, there might have been an element of truth in there, from Francis’ side at least, but still.

Francis was certain his face had gone red, and he tried to say something to deny Mallory’s accusation, but all he could do was splutter incoherently. Eventually, he just decided not to say anything at all. Better that than saying anything stupid.

Debbie, on the other hand, seemed to take the opportunity to talk, speaking directly at Francis, in that same, overly formal tone that was starting to get on his nerves. Her choice of words also didn’t exactly fit her polite smile, and overall, Francis was getting very irritated with the girl.

Debbie kept on speaking, and further cementing herself as someone Francis wasn’t fond of. Not only did she decline Summer’s invitation, despite having seemed perfectly happy with it moments before but she also dragged Jake and Mallory into her own plans. Yeah, Francis really wasn’t a fan of how she was acting.

“So since when’s it been your decision as to what Jake ‘n Mal do, eh?” Francis looked directly at Debbie, frowning, but not saying anything more. He didn’t want to make a complete fool of himself, after all.
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Summer tried to mask the hurt washing across her features with a small, closed mouth smile, meekly playing with her hair as Debbie informed her that it’d be just her, Jake and Mallory going for lunch, despite having agreed to the outing just minutes prior.

It was situations like these that struck cords with Summer. She hated feeling excluded or like people didn’t want her around. She felt smaller than a bug, wanting nothing more than to protest and plead with Debbie to let her come along, like a child with its mother.

Stifling a heavy, ragged breath, she tried to compose herself. Inviting herself on an outing had been a mistake, she knew that for sure now and the only option she had to dig herself out of the hole she made was to suck it up and not fight it and hope people would like her more for it.

“I mean, personally, I wanted all of us to go out and get to know each other, that’s all. I might have missed something, but Francis never asked me out on a date. If he wanted to, he has my number and knows how to get ahold of me. Not to mention I can’t exactly go on a date dressed like a hobo,” She feigned a laugh to hide the disappointment in her voice as she motioned toward her sundress.

“It’s okay, though,” She said, partially in response to Francis’s comment, not wanting him to get into a fight with Debbie. “You guys have an awesome time! And tell you what,” She continued, reaching into her large purse and pulling out four of her unused campaign buttons and a purple sharpie, quickly scribbling ‘IOU’ and her phone number over them before handing them to the group, “I owe each of you a lunch, okay? We’ll hang out when everyone is up for it. Just call or text me if you’re ever free and hungry.”

Returning her sharpie to her bag, Summer forced a smile and made her way over to her locker to retrieve her coat. She quickly put her combination in and opened the door, flushing brightly when she saw one of her own posters staring back at her along with a handwritten note. Grabbing the note and her coat, she quickly shut the door to prevent anyone from seeing, not wanting, especially Debbie, to look down on her for having it.

Reading the note, Summer’s feigned smile became real. Miles, or Smiles as she called her, never gave her a reason to dislike him. Despite all the horror stories she’d heard, she couldn’t remember a single time he’d ever treated her badly—if you didn’t count voting for Naomi over her.

Stashing the note delicately in her purse, she pulled out her cellphone, scrolled down to his name and quickly wrote out a text.

hey, tell me a joke? I need some cheering up :-(

Feeling no better than she did when she entered the Student Centre, Summer left the bleak area, still smiling at people like she always did, a thin veneer protecting her emotions from everyone but herself.


** Summer Simms continued in...


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Francis sounded like he was choking for a few seconds. ...Perhaps he didn't want the whole date thing to come out so bluntly. But it would probably be awesome in the long run. Because then they wouldn't be all 'oh no it's prom time and I haven't asked out the other person and now they have someone to go with noooo.'

And now Deborah was saying something. The formal talk was kind of losing Mallory, it was long-winded and kind of blurred together.

Something decline something something grabbing things tightly something something rekindle something something steak something.

The gist of it seemed to be that Francis and Summer weren't going with them anymore. Eh? Why not? Because they were into each other? Mallory had just meant that the two should just go out instead of coyly flirting, not that they should kick Francis and Summer out of the group meal as well. That just seemed kinda mean, why would Mallory suggest that?

And now Francis sounded kind of angry all of a sudden and Summer was handing out IOU buttons and running off and what was going on? Mallory wasn't sure, she just knew that everything had been fine, then she'd made one comment about Francis and Summer and suddenly everyone was acting weird.

Fuck, she'd said something wrong and she didn't even know what was wrong about it. And if she stuck around she'd probably say something to make it worse. There was a point where even she realised it was probably better to get the hell out of Dodge.

Mallory didn't try to find a more delicate excuse to leave, she just said, "I'm leaving before I say anything else. Later."

She turned around and left, stopping only to grab her math stuff from the table she'd been working at earlier.

I need to learn when to keep my mouth shut.

((Mallory McCormick continued in Dark Tony Hawk Is Born.))
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Even without him saying anything (well, almost anything), Francis could see that the whole situation had gone completely to shit. Summer’s face had instantly changed from her normal cheerfulness to a look of hurt, and even though she tried to mask it almost instantly, Francis still saw the change.

Summer tried to clarify the whole situation, saying that her whole plan had always been to just get to know everyone. Anything else that had been said had been blown out of proportion, or twisted round to mean the opposite of what had been intended. She also mentioned that if Francis ever did want to ask her out or anything, he had her number and all. A couple of minutes earlier, Francis would have almost literally leapt at the chance, but now was not the right time to be thinking about that. Not just yet, anyway.

And then Summer was gone, handing her campaign buttons to everyone, her number written on them in purple. A few seconds later, Mallory took her leave too, not wanting to say anything else that could be taken the wrong way. Francis couldn’t help but feel bad for her; sure, what she’d said had been the catalyst for this whole fiasco, but it wasn’t as if she’d intended it. It had just been normal Mallory, speaking her mind. And then Debbie had taken that, and used it to her own advantage.

Francis waited until both Summer and Mallory had gathered up their stuff and left, before turning back to look at Debbie, scowling.

“Well, that’s fuckin’ excellent!” Francis said, voice low, sarcasm dripping from every syllable. “Real nice job, there!” That was all he had to say to her, and he turned to leave, before remembering poor old Jake. He’d seriously been caught in the crossfire there. Francis looked over his shoulder at the guy.

“Sorry you got dragged into this shitfest, Jake. See ya round, some time.”

With that, Francis hurried back to his locker, and stuffed his books into his bag, before making his way out of the student center, trying to put as much room between himself and the room. Tomorrow, once all the dust had, hopefully, settled, he was going to try and work up the courage, and phone Summer.

((Francis St. Ledger, continued in A Tree Grows in Seattle))
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