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It's Traditional To Nap In Gazebos; (Open)
Topic Started: Jun 19 2012, 06:16 PM (2,959 Views)
Violent-Medic
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((Joe Carrasco continued from ...And Then They Poked At Cushions.))

Joe was sleepy. So very, very sleepy.

He'd stayed up all night to study for a Biology test. Biology ones were the most important to him, because as well as being an essential subject for any future doctor he also had to make up for having to flee the room any time dissections came into play. He was fairly sure he'd done well, but now he had to finish his Chemistry homework. Plus, after that he had to go over his notes for the Chemistry test...

And he was so very sleepy.

He'd thought maybe doing his homework out at the gazebo would help. Fresh air and all that. Maybe it'd keep him awake.

Joe squinted at the letters on his homework sheets. They were slightly blurry. He thought he'd forgotten to put his glasses on for a few moments, but no. They were right there on his face. Joe removed them for a second to rub his eyes.

"Focuuuus," he mumbled under his breath, staring back down again.

He needed energy drink. There was some in the fridge at home. Crazily potent energy drink that was probably going to give him a heart attack later, but that didn't matter as long as he passed high school. Of course, what good did having that drink at home do when he was sleepy at school?

Maybe if you recall the effects enough, you'll get placebo energy. Nah, if it doesn't work with pencils and weed...

Joe yawned before trying to focus on question 12 again.

You can do this... focus, damn you!
I can rest my eyes!
Nooo, never think that... you know resting eyes is just how you say 'going to sleep when you shouldn't.'


Regardless of inner protests, Joe couldn't stay awake. Within a couple of minutes he was curled up in a corner of the gazebo, fast asleep and using his Chemistry homework as a pillow.
Edited by Violent-Medic, Jun 29 2012, 05:47 PM.
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((Michelle Wexler continued from Clouds Up))


Michelle was strolling through the school grounds with her biology book in hand and a Go-Gurt tube in the other. Her feet brushed against the grass in her wet flip flops and her hair dripped slightly. Little droplets rolled off the glossy cover of the text book. Peaking just outside of the cover there could be seen a magazine shoved into the book that appeared to read "LISA FRANK QUARTERLY MAGAZINE."


"Okay guys! Good practice! Remember, everyone bring something for the pasta party tomorrow night. Freshmen bring drinks, sophomores bring salad, juniors bring desserts and seniors will bring paper plates," she'd enthused.


Michelle had been too lazy to put on real clothes just yet. There were a pair of sweat pants in her bag, but for now she was just roaming around in her bathing suit from morning practice and a red t-shirt on over it with the word EXPENDABLE in stylized font.

As she approached the gazebo she noticed there was a slender figure curled up near the back. She looked around. There was no one near by. That was good for her considering if a school monitor saw her she might get in trouble for not wearing pants. It depended on the day and mood of the school monitors whether she got in trouble for roaming around outside the pool deck in her bathing suit or without her shoes on.

Michelle continued slurping on her yogurt tube and walked up the steps to the figure.

"Hey. Hey, José."

She nudged him gently. Michelle bit her lip and looked down at him with concern. A bit of her wet hair dripped onto him.

Poor guy. We have that test today.
things
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(Gavin Hunter - Start)

The good little drones are all crowding around their hive.

That was a thought not usually associated with the mind of your average nineteen-year-old, Gavin thought. Then again, nothing about Gavin could be reasonably described as 'average'. He was loitering aimlessly on the edge of the Gazeboes, his thoughts turned inwards. He was feeling oddly depressed today, and shuffled himself deeper into his thickly padded jacket.

He wasn't entirely sure why he felt so much ennui in this last year at Aurora. School would be over for him soon, procrastinating at this point felt like asking for an appeal after already having been measured for the noose. As much as Gavin disliked the concept of school as an entity that consumed his free time, he had to admit what a large part of his life Aurora had become. Leaving it would mean a radical change to his very existence.

Gavin disliked radical changes. They were inimical to his mindset; they were things that disrupted his carefully arranged trains of thought. To him, this was as destructive as casually smearing paint across a Picasso masterpiece.

It also means I'll have vastly fewer opportunities to feel incredibly smug at the misfortunes of my fellow man.

Gavin would've been the first to admit just how selfish that thought had been, but it still made him crack a small smile. A lot of his self-assuredness came from his own perceived stability, when in his view other teenagers seemed to positively relish in setting themselves up for as traumatic a life as possible. He would have far less opportunities for self-aggrandisement on his own.

With an effort he dragged himself away from the inevitable mental debate his mind was gearing up to. He couldn't afford to fritter the day away absorbed in some complicated internal dichotomy. He was also aware that his feet were starting to ache. Gavin had been standing in the same position for a while now, and the backs of his legs were petitioning him for other options.

Irritably, he shifted about, easing the rigidity from his muscles as he began walking slowly towards one of the Gazeboes. He intentionally chose the one furthest away, goose-stepping a few paces to stretch his legs before he reached the stairs leading up into the structure. He hadn't expected anybody to be inside, which is why he was surprised to be confronted at the top by the sight of a girl in a swimsuit standing over a boy who was apparently asleep.

Gavin had spent many years practicing control of his facial muscles, but even he could not stop his eyebrows rising sharply at the strange sight. He cleared his throat quickly before speaking. "I'm not . . . interrupting anything, am I?"
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Joe had been having a rather pleasant dream about playing basketball with his middle school friend, Jamie, and former president Bridges. Just a regular dream, until suddenly someone started prodding him and dripping water on him.

"Noooo, stop poking me, we need to make it to the playoffs! And fix the ceiling leak!" Joe protested to former president Bridges. Though in the world of the living, this just manifested as a sleepy "Noooo, playoffs..."

At which point the dream dissipated and Joe woke up properly. Well, as properly as he could manage, he still wanted to go back to sleep and everything was kind of fuzzy.

He heard someone say something about interrupting something.

Yes. You interrupted the best basketball dream ever.

All that came out was a "Mehhhh."

You are so eloquent today.
Why, thank you, self.


Joe sat up, eyes still half-shut. His chemistry homework had stuck to the side of his face, but he hadn't summoned the energy to acknowledge it yet. He squinted at the two people standing nearby. Girl in a bathing suit and a gothic giant. ...Maybe he was still dreaming.

Joe blinked a few times before rubbing his eyes. "Um... 'lo." His hands found the piece of homework stuck to his face and pulled it off. "I, um... dunomarrynazebos." (Translated, that mumble meant 'I don't normally nap in gazebos.')
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From behind her someone made a noise and asked if they were being and interruption. Michelle whipped her head back in the direction of the question, unintentionally flinging some water towards the asker.


"Oh...."

It was that big guy who wore dark clothes and ruffled shirts. They didn't have classes or activities together so Michelle didn't know much about him but she recognized him as being familiar.

"N-no. You weren't. Nothing really, I mean, I always go around without pants."

A moment passed and Michelle had a few seconds to process the statement.

"Er, no, that's not what I meant! What I meant was-"

Joe was starting to come to it seemed and he sat up mumbling and slurring. Michelle set down her book, wiped her hands on her shirt to make sure they were dry and carefully gathered up the homework that was strewn around the gazebo floor, taking the last piece from Joe after he'd removed it from his face and adding it to the stack.

"Hey Joey, it's Michelle from class. I think you fell asleep while studying. Good news is that it looks like your homework is drool-free."
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Gavin slowly removed his water-splashed glasses and wiped them down. His expression didn't alter as Michelle babbled on, remaining slightly amused and with one eyebrow still raised. He wondered briefly if he had met her before, then decided that he would've remembered the name of somebody possessing such a nice figure.

"It's alright" He said with a small smile after Michelle had finished "I can think of few women I'd rather see running around without pants."

Well, didn't that just come straight from your little professor? Said the perpetually sarcastic voice inside his head.

Shut up. He thought back as he slipped inside the Gazebo and sat down on one of the benches with the smallest grunt of satisfaction. He wondered if he had been a little too overt in his compliment, a tiny flash of anxiety running through him as he considered the possible ramifications of his smoothly-spoken words. Gavin decided that it was up to her to make the next move. If he had caused any offense, then digging himself deeper was the last thing he wanted to do.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Michelle had gathered up Joe's homework before he'd even fully realised he'd dropped it all, commenting about how he hadn't drooled on it. Hooray for that. Now that he was more awake, he recognised her from a lot of his science-related classes.

Oh, that probably meant she'd witnessed his little mental breakdown last year. That's a good first impression, only completely not. Joe kept his eyes to the ground as he took his homework back.

"Um... th... thankoo."

He attempted to acknowledge the other guy as well, but it was difficult when looking at his feet and he didn't have the courage to look upwards, so he just attempted a half-hearted wave in his general direction.

At around that point he made a comment about how... wait, what?

Ohh, not the terrible flirting... Joe covered his face with his hands in embarrassment. Although he hoped they just thought he was still trying to wake up. But if seeing Travis try to flirt with girls had taught him anything, it was that whether it succeeded or failed it was going to be uncomfortable to watch.

Though he only kept his face covered until he realised that he had no idea how long he'd been asleep for.

"Ohgoddirramillass? Er... I... I mean... did I... muh... miss class?" Joe asked, panic creeping into his voice.
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Michelle put the papers neatly by Joe's side and smiled warmly.

"No problem, amigo."

Michelle swept her hair back and tucked it behind an ear to get it out of the way.

But then the other boy said something and what? It was about her. Was he hitting on her?

Michelle turned bright red. She turned but didn't look at him straight on. It was more like eye contact with the guy's knees.

"Ah....a- ha. Ha ha ha"

Ooooh my god no. I'm doing that thing where I start nervous laughing and then I can't stop like that time at first aid training when the guy in the video got a pen jammed into his eye somehow and people thought I was super inappropriate but I'm actually really just freaked out by eye injuries and I couldn't stoooooop- GET IT TOGETHER

"ha ha. You sure are a funny guy," she said scratching the top of her head.

Joe was panicking again and she turned back. She felt bad for how often he seemed to be stressed out. She sometimes wished she could help, but didn't want to be awkward or nosey about it since they were just casual acquaintances if even that.

"Naw. It's still a bit away. Class isn't for a little. Up partying late last night, hu?" she said, trying to lighten the mood.
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Gavin found himself having to suppress a grin as Michelle blushed so radiantly and half-stammered out her response.

If I were a less disciplined man, He thought as he watched the two I could derive great pleasure in seeing just how flustered I could make that girl.

But no, he wouldn't. Not intentionally, at least. With the addition of the obviously panicky Joe it seemed too much like exploitation. Watching somebody try to keep up with his quick and complicated method of speech was amusing, but driving them to tears was just cruel of him.

He leaned back against the Gazebo wall and folded his arms, adopting the position he found most effective at keeping the stiffness from his limbs.

So, just why did you try and hit on that girl? Asked the internal voice. It sounded curious.

I didn't, to be honest. I was just capitalising on what I viewed as an opportunity.

In other words, you saw a chance to both fill up your snark meter and make a girl blush at the same time.

Something like that.

Silence. Gavin sometimes wondered if it was entirely natural to conduct such involved conversations with himself. Still, it had never been a problem before. He refocused his perceptions outwards again just in time to register Michelle's last comment. He thought about cutting in, but finally settled on waiting for a more appropriate interval in the conversation.
Edited by Ghost Of Ravenstar, Jul 2 2012, 06:24 AM.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Michelle assured Joe that class had not in fact started. He must have only been asleep a few minutes, then. Joe nodded, panic levels receding slightly. Though they were always kind of close to the tipping point.

"Oh. Okay... Um, nuh... no, I... don't really... parreallamuh..." Joe trailed off and just ended up mouthing wordlessly at the floor for a few moments. Besides his normal speaking troubles, he didn't want to accidentally reveal his pot-smoking habits. Though, admittedly, the last time hadn't exactly been a party either, unless cowering in a mall bathroom on the edge of a panic attack counted.

Joe scooted back just a little, hugging his homework tightly in front of him like it was a shield. His urge to flee was starting to act up. He didn't want to be rude and suddenly run off, so he tried to push down the flight instinct. It was difficult, but doable. Even though the attempts Michelle was making at conversation were making him feel awkward, if only because he was terrible at responding (why can't I ever talk like a normal person?) and the gothic giant's silent observation was, if anything, making him even more nervous.

Plus, he'd only realised a while after replying to the 'partying' question that it was a joke. Gah, of course he would ruin an attempt at breaking the ice.

"Erm. S'rry," he mumbled.
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"It was a joke, see? Because I know you study so much. I guess I didn't do it right so that's my fault," she giggled.

Michelle sat down next to Joe and placed her backpack on her lap. She opened it up and started digging around inside.

"Sorry I got you wet. I was just at morning swim practice. There's a morning one for people who are too busy or having something happening during the afternoon one. Sometimes I do, but sometimes I just like to minimize my time at home and leave early. That second one is today."

Michelle succeeded in producing a second yogurt tube. She tilted her head to the side, shifting the hair away from her face and held it out to Joe.

"It'll help you wake up to get some sugar in you. And yogurt's full of good bacteria. And it's got a pun for a name, so you can't beat that! Yogurt. Go. Go yogurt. Go-gurt? Cause it's portable!"

Michelle giggled again, this time accidentally snorting a bit and trying to stifle the laugh when she was embarrassed. As the sound tailed off she remembered the other person with them. She glanced up hesitantly.

"Um, I only had two yogurts but I guess if you're hungry I've got...um....a granola bar.....a snack pack sized pringles, a plastic bag of frosted flakes....a box of raisins..."

True they weren't familiar but Michelle sort of had a compulsion to offer something to all if she offered something to one. Sort of a "if you bring something, bring enough for the whole class" mentality.

"I'm Michelle by the way."
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Gavin listened to Michelle impassively. He had decided that he liked her, despite or maybe because of the fact she was his polar opposite in so many ways. Her attitude was infectious, and he felt himself relaxing. The offer of food piqued his interest. His appetite for packed lunches was slightly less than his appetite for raw sewage, but it was going to be a while till he could patronise a decent restaurant and he could do with a snack.

"It's a pleasure to meet you, Michelle. My name is Gavin, and I make it a point never to turn down the offer of pringles from a beautiful woman."

. . .What. Those last words had tumbled out before Gavin could stop them. Is her thought process actively. . .contagious?!

For a second he considered trying to make some kind of saving throw, but it was hard to try and brush a statement like that under the carpet. Even less so when coming from the mouth of somebody like Gavin, a master of making even his worst mistakes look like something he had intended to do all along.

Oh well, if that drives her off then at least there's a good chance of her blushing again. He thought resignedly.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Joe shook his head at Michelle mentioning that him not getting the joke was her fault. Anyone with half a brain would have realised it was a joke. He was just stupid, that's all. He didn't manage to voice any of that outloud, though. Partly because he got distracted when she sat down next to him.

Don't. Shuffle. Away. It'd be rude.

Joe listened to his inner 'don't-be-rude' voice, but he was clinging to his notes even tighter. He looked up a little (just a little) when Michelle made an offhand comment about minimizing her time at home.

"Yuh... yuh... Yeah. I can... can sima... simathuh... sympathise with th... that."

Then she offered him a gogurt, before giggling at the pun. Joe made a strange sound that was meant to be a laugh but it kind of got lost somewhere in his throat. He managed to look up for a second and actually make something close to eye contact, though he quickly looked down again. He hesitantly reached out and took the offered gogurt.

"Um, th... th... thanks."

He managed to relax just enough to stop using his notes as a makeshift shield, at least. Michelle did have a very nice, cheerful, non-judgmental kind of vibe and it was helping quiet the urge to run away.

At which point the big guy--Gavin, he said his name was--then made another flirty comment, and Joe got uncomfortable all over again.

Seriously? Did he not pick up on the nervous laughter and realise it was uncomfortable? Seriously?

Joe couldn't hold back a noise that came out as a mildly exasperated 'guh' sound, though he quickly covered his mouth and shook his head again, as if to say 'no, I did not make any exasperated grunts, just ignore me.'
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Michelle tried to duck her head down to peer up at Joe. It was difficult to see his face sometimes so it required some positioning on her part. She found his sort of twitchy nervousness kind of endearing. He reminded her of a rabbit she used to have when Robert brought one home from his job at the pet store. Laces the rabbit.

She softened a little when he seemed to also not want to spend a lot of time at home. She didn't know much about the guy, but she saw how hard he studied and she saw him start screaming in the middle of the test last year. It didn't take a genius to figure out something was up at home. Normal people didn't wig out like that. She felt sort of protective at that moment.

Or she was until she heard Gavin's comment.


Michelle stared dumfounded for a few seconds, looking rather silly with the chips in her hand.

"A- ah...um"

Michelle stared open mouthed and red faced with one finger pointing at her own chest as if to say "Me?". Her eyes discretely slid back and forth as though looking for some other girl in the gazebo holding chips that he might be referring to.

She was completely unused to someone telling her she was beautiful, well, someone other than Kam and of course Kam said that she'd probably had love goggles on. It wasn't something she got often. Sure she was cute but with all the supremely pretty girls at Bayview, Bianca, Stacy, Naomi, Andi, Rebecca, why would anyone think twice about the chick with the torn up jeans and no shoes?

"Uhhh...well, if I see one of those I'll let you know, but if you want I've got chips too," she said handing him the small pack of chips.


"Er, I'm not so great at chemistry either so if you want maybe we can flashcard or something later?" she asked Joe.


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Well, today is certainly turning out rather appreciably. Gavin thought as he idly crunched his way through a pringle. He was glad to be able to put his jaw to work on something, as had it remaining unoccupied for much longer he was absolutely certain that it would have twisted in a fatally broad grin. At first he had thought coming to the Gazebo had been a bad idea, but by now he was genuinely enjoying himself.

Think she would appreciate an offer to dinner? He mentally queried.

You've got to be joking. The girl is probably already scared stiff of you. Besides, why her?

Gavin thought for a moment; why her? He had known Michelle for all of about two minutes, and yet he was already idly toying with the thought of asking her out after class. He wasn't looking for a date, but it had struck home to him just how alone he usually was when not at Aurora. His leisure activities consisted of gaming, shooting and occasionally drinking. None of these were exactly social, unless teabagging counted.

You have a point. He finally conceded. I'm overreacting to this situation.

What you are is depressed, when was the last time you cracked a smile that wasn't prompted by sarcasm?

Since when were you concerned about my mental health?

There was no reply, not that any was needed. Gavin sighed. He hated times like this. They always required decisions that he was never certain were rational, or even logical, at least from the perspective of the rest of humanity. Bunch of useless conformists that they are.

His urge to grin faded, some of his professional attitude returning. He sat up a little straighter in his seat, then looked over to where Joe and Michelle were sitting. He mentally replayed the last few seconds of real time, sorting them out in his head before his short-term memory erased them in favour of saving his internalised debate.

"Is there anything I could do to help?" He asked. "Chemistry isn't my strongest subject, but I'd be more than happy to take a look and see if I've anything to contribute."
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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