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He's So Tall and Handsome as Hell; Enter Mr. and Mrs. Harte-Reyes
Topic Started: Mar 2 2016, 04:37 PM (1,142 Views)
Laurels
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"Yeah, doing more fun things would be awesome," Alba told Brendan. "I mean, dances are great, but it'd be fun to go play golf or go shopping or whatever."

"And please, don't worry about your dancing," Alba said. "I mean, I saw some kids really working it, but this isn't a competition, so I don't think anyone needs to really try hard here. You'll be fine."

Alba then noticed that Brendan was waving over at someone. She followed his gaze and saw someone standing against the wall. Alba didn't know who he was, but Brendan seemed to know, and the guy was now coming over.

"Hey, who's this?" she asked Brendan.
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Whoops.

Brendan let out a small nervous stutter when Alba asked who Maxim was. He should have at least asked her that if it was alright to invite his friend to join them. That was a bit rude of him not to ask her before waving Maxim over to the two of them. Maybe Brendan had gotten a bit too confident tonight. He could at least now tell Alba about Maxim. Maybe he could make the two of them become friends. He was hoping that he hadn't accidentally ruined things. That would really be a disappointment and it could possible break Brendan's heart.

"O-Oh, this is Maxim. He's a good friend of mine. I think he is a bit more shy than me. I hope you don't mind him joining us. He just looked really lonely standing over there by himself." Brendan was whispering very quietly to Alba as Maxim was getting closer to the table, feeling embarrassed. "I hope you will like him, Alba. He's really nice."

Brendan glanced up to look at Maxim once he was more closer to the table and he smiled shyly. "H-Hey, Maxim. I'm surprised that you actually came to the dance. But I'm glad to see you. You really do look great. This is Alba. She's my um.... um...." Brendan suddenly stopped talking as he wasn't sure what to say. He and Alba weren't exactly boyfriend and girlfriend. So he couldn't call her his girlfriend. Date? Friend? Maybe one of those? "....Friend date?"

Brendan was a bit puzzled by what he said. But he was also hoping that Alba wouldn't get upset at him for saying that. And he was hopeful that Maxim would not get confused by him saying that. He wanted to hide under a rock right at that moment.
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Maxim came to a halt two steps away from the other two's table, trying his best to keep the perpetual frown off his face. Brendan was looking quite appealing in his white dress, but then again, he did look good in almost everything he wore, Maxim himself thought so, at least. He did like him quite a lot. The guy was no braggart, good at heart, a very down to earth and genuinely caring kind of person. Yes, the German was glad to have crossed paths with him.

He looked over at the girl, who did not seem familiar at all to him. Could be that she had passed him in the hallways of Cochise a few times, he couldn't quite remember. Probably of Hispanic descent, given her appearance. Looked like a nice person at first glance, but who was Maxim to say that? After all, he didn't really have all that much experience with people. She, too, was pretty to watch, he had to admit, the burgundy dress did fit her well, especially since she was partnered with the white-clad Brendan.

Now, let's see if those two harmonize as well as the colors of their clothes.

He patiently waited for Brendan to finish his greeting words, brushing away a strand of his hair gone rogue. Friend date, huh? Funny term, he hadn't heard that one before. Maybe it was yet another thing teenagers used to say that he wasn't aware of, had been the case more than enough times in the past. Maxim decided to simply smile and nod at his friend. "I see. Have to return the compliment, Bren, you are sporting quite a sprite outfit yourself."

That had gone well. Strange, but it seemed to him that he was less nervous talking to people when Brendan was around. He figured it was because the other boy was rather shy himself, therefore giving a boost to Maxim's own confidence. Another reason to like him. Having paid his friend his due respect, as he liked to put it, he now reached out a hand to the girl who had just been introduced to him as Alba.

"Pleasure to meet you, Alba. Name's Maxim. I am glad to see the two of you are having a pleasant time this evening." He held his hand outstretched for another brief moment or so, then pulled it back again.

Handshakes are far too old-fashioned, that's how you'd great a business partner, not a schoolmate! Gott, only five seconds in and I'm already embarrassing myself in front of them.

Slightly abashed, Maxim casually caressed the back of his head with one hand, then put his other one on the backrest of the chair in front of him. "May I sit?", he asked, still looking at Alba.

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Alba nodded along as Brendan explained who his friend was. Alba didn't have any classes with Maxim, probably because he was a senior like Brendan.

"Oh, he can join, it's fine with me," Alba explained.

Once Maxim arrived, Alba gave him a smile. Brendan introduced her to him, and she gave him a nod in acknowledgement. Brendan had trouble figuring out how to identify Alba. He settled on "friend date," which Alba had never heard of.

"Yeah, 'friend date' sounds right," Alba said in agreement with Brendan's comment.

Maxim then asked if he could sit. Alba nodded and gestured to an empty seat at the table.

"Yeah, definitely. Take a break with us."
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Brendan would feel his face going red after Maxim complimented him back. Was he really blushing right now? He didn't want Alba to get the wrong impression. Maxim was just a friend. Brendan just didn't think that he would get a compliment from another guy. He had to calm down and not get the wrong idea himself. Maxim was just a friend. Brendan really didn't want to go into a stuttering mess in front of the other two. He needed to cool it and speak back to his friend in a sensible manner.

"Thank you, M....Maxim." He mumbled quietly and he cursed himself in his head for talking too quietly. He hoped Maxim had heard him say that.

He noticed that Alba and Maxim were chatting to each other. And he just feeling really nervous. He started to relax when they seemed to be getting along. He was happy that it didn't end badly. Maybe he just worried about things going wrong too much. He just needed to think positive. He noticed that Alba seemed to not mind him calling her a 'friend date'. That was a huge relief to him as he just panicked and called her whatever came to his mind. He would possibly apologize for that later to her. Maxim was now asking if he could sit with them. Just act normal, Brendan. Don't be too nervous around Maxim.

Brendan started to open his mouth after Alba finished speaking herself. "S....Sure. You can sit with us if you like to...." He smiled up at his friend and then he quickly averted his green eyes to his cup of punch. "Hey, um.... Would.... Would you like me to get you a cup of punch, Maxim....?"
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"Thanks." Nothing else he needed to say, really. Carefully, Maxim shifted the chair around, so he could take a seat. Only now did he notice how tired out his legs felt, unsurprising, considering that he had been standing around on the same spot since the beginning of the festivity. He probably wouldn't leave his chair too soon.

He cast a side glance towards the dancing floor and immediately felt uncomfortable at the mere idea of mingling with the crowd there. Far too hectic for his taste. He really was glad to have found one of his friends, who knew how to maintain a low profile, take it easy. Maybe the evening was going to turn out worthwhile after all. Best to start it off by finding something suitable to talk about in the presence of Brendan's "friend date."

One possibility was for him to ask how the two of them had met. Yes, that didn't seem to shabby and it would also divert the attention from himself, at least for a bit. Just then, he overheard his friend asking him if he wanted some punch. Though he was initially tempted to decline, he figured it wouldn't do wonders for Brendan's confidence if he did so, maybe even make him think he had done something wrong and that was something he really wished to avoid at all costs.

So he simply smiled in response and gave a brief nod. "Oh, that'd be lovely - really nice of you. I am really thirsty, in fact. Wouldn't even have noticed it if you hadn't made the offer. Thank you, Bren." Maxim was content with the way he had phrased it, surely it would reassure his friend a good deal. He knew that Brendan tended to be a nervous fella, even more so than himself. Probably why he liked him so much.

"You don't have to get me the punch yourself, though. I can do that myself, no problem." Though having said that, Maxim was still expecting Brendan to insist that he would get it for him. Well, not only expecting, he was hoping it, really. He had just gotten comfortable in his chair and getting up again was on the very bottom on the list of things he would have liked to do next.
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Alba smiled as Maxim took a seat at their table. It was a fun evening so far, but maybe it would be better with other people around. If this was Brendan's friend, Alba was sure she'd enjoy his company.

The guys were talking about punch and who would get some. Alba quickly finished her cup.

"Actually, I can get punch for the table," Alba said.

Alba stood up from her seat.

"I got to use the bathroom, so I can get some on my way back."

Alba didn't wait for their response. Partially because she really had to go to the bathroom, but also because she figured it'd be easier if she jumped on this grenade.

"I'll be back in a moment. Max, don't steal my date."

Alba chuckled and quickly walked away from the table. She didn't want to keep the guys waiting, so she needed to be as quick as she could be in these shoes.
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Before Brendan could get up to get the punch himself, Alba had offered to get it herself and she was already up on her feet. He felt a bit bad but Alba seemed to be set on getting Maxim a drink after she would go to the bathroom. Brendan actually thought that was really sweet of her to do. Although, he had wanted to really do it himself. He shifted slightly in his chair uncomfortably. He couldn't even say anything before what Alba said next.

"I'll be back in a moment. Max, don't steal my date."

Alba had already walked off as Brendan was already starting to get red in the face. Was he really blushing in front of Maxim? He was sure that Alba was making a joke. Although. Brendan was known for falling for other people easily. He let out a small nervous laugh. He glanced over at Maxim and he picked up his cup in one of his hands. Don't get nervous, don't get nervous. He was just alone with another guy. No big deal. Maxim was just a friend. So why was his heart beating like crazy? Sure, Maxim was an attractive guy and he had a great personality but Brendan was sure that Maxim didn't think of him in a romantic way. He needed to say something. Anything.

"I....I....I...." Brendan's voice was getting quieter and his smile was a little wobbly. He didn't know what to say. Had he ever acted like this before in front of Maxim? Maybe he wasn't sure. He needed to speak. "....Um...."

Good job, Brendan. Maxim possibly thought that he was being weirder than normal. He couldn't even think of anything different to talk about with him. His confidence was sinking lower and lower. He took a sip from his punch cup. It did taste very sweet in his mouth. He felt so embarrassed by his behaviour in front of Maxim. He didn't want to get a crush on Maxim right now as he didn't want to mess things up with Alba and he really did like Alba a lot. But he also liked Maxim a little bit more. He was starting to feel bad about his unwanted feelings.
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There she went. He didn't even have time to thank Alba before she was gone from the table. Blink and you'll miss it. On the plus side, he was now alone at the table with Brendan, a guy who he was both familiar with and found to be quite pleasant. The other boy's "friend date" was a nice enough person, sure, but the prospect of having to initiate a conversation with someone he knew next to nothing about didn't seem all too endearing to him. Maybe Alba would come up with a topic herself once she returned, that would be preferable.

Maxim shifted his focus back to his friend, who appeared to be distressed in some way. Was it because he had interrupted his sort-of-maybe date with that girl? No, that was unlikely, Brendan himself had waved him over to their table. Something else had to be the cause.

The other boy picked up his cup. Was he imagining things or was Bren's hand slightly shaking? No, he was quite certain now. His pal was nervous, anxious, tensed, whatever one might call it. Now if he only he knew the reason for it. Sure, Maxim wasn't the most confident person himself and even that was an understatement. But Brendan, he had always been something else. Maybe delicate was the right word for it, he wasn't quite sure.

The other boy opened his mouth to talk. Huh, now with the stuttering as well. Maybe he himself was the reason for it? Was he making his friend feel uncomfortable in some way? Maxim almost raised one arm to get a whiff of his own armpit, in the event of him having a bad case of sweating and not realizing it. But no, the idea was ridiculous, he had applied plenty of deodorant before leaving the house. Hell, he had no idea what was bothering his friend, then.

Poor guy. He was starting to feel bad for him, more so with every second that passed without either one of them saying a word. Seemed like he had to take the helm and release Brendan from his plight.

"So, you and Alba, yes? You make quite the lovely couple, no doubt about it. How'd the two of you meet up?" Yes, that ought to work. Maybe his friend would grow more confident over the course of an actual conversation.

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((Laurels gave me the okay to post ahead.))

Brendan was actually relieved that Maxim was starting a conversation with him. It was better than them just sitting there in silence. After all, Brendan had been the one who invited Maxim to join the table. Brendan didn't even know what his problem was. Was it because they were at the dance? Maybe he was just losing it. He should answer the question. And try to stop being so weird. Just talk like you normally do with Maxim, Brendan. Just stop being too nervous.

Him and Alba being a couple..... Brendan blushed. He was thinking about it. She was a really sweet girl and she was talkative. Not in a bad way. But he thought that maybe it wouldn't work out. Why was he thinking of the negatives of a relationship? He was being foolish. He shook his head a little. No, no. He just needed to think positively.

He was still feeling a bit tense but he showed Maxim a somewhat more calm smile. "You really think that me and Alba make a good couple?" He asked curiously as he was still holding his cup in his hand and he placed it back down on the table slowly. He was glad that he hadn't knocked it over. That would have been more embarrassing. "Actually the first time we met, we actually crashed into each other while I was out jogging at the park. Not the best way to meet someone but we got to know each other a little. She really seems like golf, she can be funny, really sweet and outgoing. She's really fun to hang out with and I did have a fun time with her out on the dance floor. Uh.... Were you watching us, Maxim?"

His smile faded slightly. He realised just then that he only really liked Alba as a friend than a date. He was having a great time with her but he didn't want to do any romantic stuff with her. Like kissing. Or holding hands. Or anything else. He glanced at Maxim and he was thinking that he should tell him how he really felt about Alba.

"I....I don't think I like Alba in a romantic way. Does that make me a bad person? Wanting to just be friends with her? Will Alba not like me anymore if I told that?" He was feeling a little panic and he knew that he had to calm down. Maxim would probably think he is overreacting. "I don't even know why I am panicking about this. I...I...."

His hand was shaking on the table and he took a deep breath to try to relax. It wasn't working.
Edited by Primrosette, Apr 2 2016, 03:58 PM.
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Brendan seemed to already have gotten a firmer grip on himself, judging from that smile he showed, at least. He had made a good call for once, predicted what would be suited to help his friend out. He, Maxim, the epitome of awkwardness had showcased a hint of social skills. Awesome.

Just had to keep the ball rolling now, just listen and nod every once in a while. That was about all he was good at, when it came to socializing. Kind of lame, relying on the same technique over and over, sure, but it worked, so he couldn't really give a damn about anyone judging him. Wait, judging him? What was he even thinking, who could possibly call him out on something like that? Who would even bother to, better question.

Maxim gave himself a light slap on the forehead, hoping it was subtle enough for his pal not to notice. Mind trailing off again. Happened way too often recently, not a good sign. He had to focus on Brendan and Brendan only. Not listening to the one he was having a conversation with sort of defeated the purpose of having a conversation in the first place.

Bren was getting to his relationship with Alba now. Huh, funny way to meet someone, while jogging nonetheless. Right, that was a thing Brendan did, he had almost forgotten. Speaking of forgotten, he couldn't really remember how he himself had first met the guy. Must have been the library, right? Most people Maxim knew had made first contact with him there. Didn't matter now, just had to keep listening.

What a question, asking if he had watched the two of them while dancing. Code red, potential for awkward dialogue ahead. Then again, he had nothing to worry about here, really. Just say no, that was the truth, after all. Would have been more slippery if he had actually been watching them, what with him being a piss-poor liar and all.

He wouldn't have minded watching Brendan, really. The guy certainly was a looker, with his toned muscles and tall build. Nice view to glance at, but that was it, really. His looks weren't the reason why he was friends with him, he wouldn't repeat the same mistake again, ever. He could care less about anything related to romance. Waste of his time. But hey, he didn't judge if others were into it. With others obviously meaning every other individual on the entire planet.

Right, he still had to answer Brendan's question, almost forgot. Or did he? Seemed like the other guy wasn't finished talking yet.

Whoa. They had barely sat together for two minutes and Brendan was dropping bombs already. So much for him and Alba being a lovely match. Made sense though, really, every first impression Maxim had of anything love-related had to be amiss. Showed how little he knew of anything.

Really though, he had to stop thinking about himself so much. His friend was obviously feeling anxious again, even he could see that. Body language, stuttering getting out of hand - Jesus, Brendan really needed his help here.

But how was he of all people supposed to aid him with this sort-of-kinda relationship trouble? Whatever advice he'd give him was only bound to make things worse. So approaching the problem on that sort of level was already out of the question. What if he just...?

Suddenly, Maxim's right hand was on his friend's shoulder. One second passed. Then he realized.

Oof. Awkward. Not what he had wanted, not at all. He hated touching people, even his own father. It was completely against his instinct, made him feel all uncomfortable, so why he had done it now, in a public space to boot? He could only think of one reason, namely that he had chosen to act, to not watch like a passive waste while his friend was having a panic attack in front of him. Maybe some sort of heroic alter ego underneath all those fleshy geek tiles. Or maybe, and that was the more likely explanation, he had simply acted without thinking. Probably that. Long time since the last time that had happened.

In any case, it was too late to go back on it now. The situation wouldn't get less weird if he pulled his hand back, he had to roll with it. Pretend like he knew what he was doing. It was hopeless, basically.

"Hey, Bren, listen." Nice and easy. Try to sound compassionate. "It's...uh, it's going to be alright, yes? I mean, it isn't really that big of a deal."

Maxim winced. Bad choice of words there. "No, I mean, it is! But, not like you think it is - if that makes sense. Which it probably doesn't." Only making it worse. Try something with honesty.

"Alright, look. I won't pretend like I know anything about this sort of thing, okay? I have never been in a relationship myself, you know that." Seemed like that could get them somewhere. Good track to follow. "All I can do, is say this, I guess: Don't work yourself up over this so much, yeah? You and Alba, you'll figure it out and she seems like a nice girl, so I'm sure she'll understand. Just my two cents. Might be worth nothing, but it's all I got."

Edited by Rorick Skyve, Apr 2 2016, 07:00 PM.
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Alba dance-walked over to the refreshment table. She made her bathroom trip as quick as possible so she wouldn't miss anything, and so she wouldn't leave the guys waiting too long for punch. She reached the table and hummed to herself.

Alba grabbed three cups and laid them out in a row on the table. One by one she started to fill them with the ladle. Once she had them filled, she tried to push the three cups together so she could carry them with both hands.

"Okay, the next part is crucial," she muttered to herself.

Alba walked around the dance hall, past all the other students and towards the table where Brendan and Maxim were seated. She approached them from behind, trying to step carefully without spilling any punch. She couldn't hear what they were talking about over the music, so she spoke loudly as she got close.

"Hey, muchachos," she shouted, placing the cups on the table. "Who's thirsty?"

Alba began to pass the cups down the table to Maxim and Brendan. She then took her seat.

"So, did I miss anything?"
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Brendan was happy to hear some advice from Maxim. Even though he was sure there were some mixed words from Maxim. But he was alright with that. Maybe he could at least try to make things work between him and Alba. He should at least try see if he could have a relationship with her. If it didn't work out, he was hoping that they could remain friends. Alba was definitely the type of girl he would like to hang out with. He was just being silly over panicking about things.

"T....Thanks, Maxim. That kind of helped calm me down a little." Brendan said as he was getting less tense and he smiled at Maxim. "....Uh... Do you--"

Before he could even ask Maxim the full question, Alba was back and she had brought three cups of punch that she had placed down on the table. He was happy to see her even though he had a little meltdown a few moments before her reappearance. He had to act normal. Then she asked if she missed anything. Oh....

"I.... Well...." His voice was getting quieter and he fiddled with his fingers, starting to sweat a little. "....We just talking about.... about...."

You. Just say you, Brendan.
Edited by Primrosette, Apr 5 2016, 06:15 AM.
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Huh, it actually worked. Again. Seemed he was either more socially competent than he would have given himself credit for, or he simply knew how to cheer up Brendan specifically. Either way, he was content.

There ya go, Bren. Smile a little, shake off the anxiousness. He recognized the state that his friend was apparently in or going through, he had been there himself, more times than he could count or care to remember. Not that he would have had it any other way, he was fairly happy with who he was, how he was. Brendan, on the other hand, he didn't seem happy at all. And being his friend, he couldn't just let that be, of course. An unfamiliar feeling, people relying on him for something. He wasn't quite sure how he liked it.

Maxim pulled his hand back from his pal's shoulder, just in time, it seemed, as he spotted Alba approaching the table a split second later, punch in hand. She sure was an energetic one, no doubt about it. Bren and her really were a somewhat odd couple, now that he thought about it. But at the same time, it was also kind of...cute? Was that the appropriate term?

Not really important now. What was of utmost importance now, however, was coming up with a suitable response to her question. Awkwardness potential: Dangerously high.

He gave Alba a somewhat nervous smile, before glancing at his friend, who seemed to have just as much trouble as him coming up with an answer. Could he really trust Brendan on this one? The guy looked just as anxious as he had been seconds ago, all that work for naught, it seemed. Though "work" was really kinda exaggerating things.

In any case, he did fear what his pal would tell his "friend date". An elaborate white lie? The likelihood of that was beyond negative. Damn, what he if he told her the truth? Sure, he himself had advised Brendan to discuss things with her, but now was certainly not the time, nor the place to do so. Especially not with Maxim still around. Witnessing potentially intimate relationship talk was at the very bottom of things he hoped to do this evening.

"We were just talking about..."

Brendan was gonna say it, he was absolutely going to say it. Say that they were talking about his relationship with Alba, which would inevitably lead to exactly what he was hoping to avoid. Time to intervene, then.

"About some book stuff, new volume of a series we both read. Nothing too special." He turned his head slightly towards Brendan, trying to indicate to him to go along with it. He then shifted his gaze back towards Alba, still wearing a slightly strained smile.

"Anyway, thank you for getting us the drinks!" He reached out and carefully took one of the cups into his hand, trying his best to act completely casual. "Hope you don't mind us men letting the woman do all the work." Ouch. Painful joke right there, but all he could come up with, in order to change the subject. Just had to hope that she wouldn't see right through him.
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Alba took a sip from her cup of punch as the guys spoke. According to Maxim, they were talking about a book series while she was gone. She remembered that Brendan liked books from their previous conversations. Maxim did look like the guy who would read a lot, so she was sure that conversations about literature were common for them. Maxim also thanked her for the punch, asking if she was okay letting the women do the men's work.

"Eh, it doesn't matter," Alba said. "I offered to do it."

"But anyways, what kind of book series?" she asked. "I haven't read anything in a while and I'd be up for recommendations."
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