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Early Morning, Early Days; Open, taking place at their first day at Cochise
Topic Started: Jul 8 2016, 10:29 AM (612 Views)
Cicada Days
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((Ben Fields continued from Where The White Boys Dance))

Mom had decided to drop them both off today. Really putting her life down for the troops, as she looked like she'd had a pretty bad shift that night. All melting eyes and pale pallor over sallow cheeks. Not like Ben would ever judge his own mother on any distinction of physical appearance. Lana, meanwhile, looked like she was going to get kicked out of school for the day on dress code violations. How could any shirt worth it's salt have so little sleeve to it? They'd rushed out the door that morning though, so no time to try and fix her shit. Whatever. Lana's middle school would put in the call, so even if Ben didn't get to pester Lana about her wardrobe choices Mom would.

Ben bounded out from the open car door, his strong-arming carrying him right to where the curb melted into the dewy grasses of the Belt. His sneaks clapped with twin squelches against the concrete.

Not a lot of kids out, looked like. They were pretty early, seven fifteen was the dubious claim of the car's barely digital clock. Lana's school was even further across the neighborhood, so Ben needed to be early so Lana could be on time. Traffic on the rickety Kingman streets and all. He sized up his environment with some modicum of trained finesse to the sweep of his neck. He liked to think it looked efficient. There was a tall- tall, he could feel his manly ego shriveling up even at a distance- redhead girl also on the curb a bit away. There had been a nice ass Mercedes rolling in around the same time as them. Hers? Was this the newest rich kid to somehow get tossed out of the lofty heights to land in Arizona's dusty asshole? Eh, didn't matter. He wasn't about to cold approach a girl out of the blue when their introductions had been car windows passing in the night.

"Hey Miss, my brother here's got a thing for you!!"

Huh. Well that had happened.

Lana's voice echoed away, her shout ebbing like a tide against the ground. The door neatly slammed shut and the old Honda began to pull off. Mom was an accomplice, the getaway driver. They must have been planning this one for... okay, no way it was planned, but they had thrown it together fast. In some perverse way he was proud. His Mom and his sister, using teamwork with immaculate form as they betrayed him to social faux pas. He really couldn't be mad. Besides, it was no biggie, unless this girl was somehow a dumbass. But they were teenagers, so it wasn't exactly impossible...

Anyways, he had to deal with it now.

"My sister's just got a thing for making my life awkward." Ben curtly shrugged to effect, as he dared to draw a little closer so they could talk without shouting at one another. A bit closer Ben's impression was that the girl was a freshman. Just... something about her. Maybe something as innocuous as the way she looked at the school buildings like they weren't melting unnoticed into the background canvas of high school life. He wasn't going to jump to conclusions or anything, though. "Sorry about that."
V7

V6 - Like you imagined when you... were young...
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He met her gaze evenly. At an angle. Fucking hell this girl had been whipped into shape by puberty. He eyeballed at least five inches she had on him, give or take. Why were half the girls in this school taller than him? He swore the number of six foot laffy taffy behemoths in Cochise wasn't supposed to be indicative of the national average. Looked it up and all.

"I'm okay with people being open about their feelings towards others."

"Sounds good, but I don't have much in the way of vibes being sent your way." Brusquely said. He could have run with the joke, probably hit a full home run with it- whoa, not in the euphemistic sense- and left onlookers eating his dust. All of the absolutely nobody in the vicinity watching the both of them. But nah, it didn't strike him as worth the time. They were both fresh, novel sights for the other. Possibly even literally foreign, judging by the girl's colorful tinge of some accent Ben's hick ass brain couldn't certainly guess at. British? Aussie? Whatever. Point was, the dumb jokes could be saved for if they were still on speaking terms at the end of the day. Slash hour.

"Stop me if I'm making assumptions, but I'm thinking you're new to Kingman? Most important advice from a hometown boy, watch for the scorpions. They crawl up walls." Ben had seen that shit with his own two eyes. Still got sudden flashbacks to the shrill screams of middle school girls from time to time. "What brought your folks around? Can't imagine the locale was all that inspiring, but I swear to god that's what everyone I ever ask says: 'We fell in love the miles of fucking rocks and blistering desert wind shear'."
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Sounded like bull, USDA approved.

"Australia, huh. I'm ill-educated enough to sort of buy into the deadly animal stereotypes but that one's pushing it." Maybe if one of the lethal spiders happened to Spidey-web into a toilet. But fuck semantics and technicality. He'd already had enough English for one life time his Freshman year go at it. "But yeah I guess if you're from Down Under the wildlife here in Kingman's kiddie pool for you. Maybe that's why your parents wanted to have a go at it out here. Neighborhood safety. Just, uh, ignore the drug busts and shit." Most of the neighborhoods immediately around Cochise weren't especially problematic in the 'bored white people on meth and heroin' department, to be fair. So it wasn't an immediately apparent problem. What were the stats? Three hundred something arrests last year?

Welcome to Kingman.

"You know your schedule yet?" Helpful instincts rising like red on the USSR flag. The girl probably had everything on lock, or more likely her parents would be managing that for her. But it didn't hurt to be sure. An early trip to the counselor's office was always a good call to make, Hunt's draconian attendance policies meant most of the staff tended to be in early. "Oh, and the name's Ben."

He casually rolled a hand out for the obligatory shake, hand half-limp and kinda still shriveled from the rushed morning shower.
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Did she really need to bend down for the hand shake? As if their limbs didn't have a range of motion. Ben was going to obviously give her the benefit of a doubt on this one, but for a lesser friend he would have called bullshit.

"Full name, huh? Fields is my last. Nice to meet you, Rea." If she wanted something weird and frivolous like 'Miss Adams' or whatever best to get the haranguing out of the way fast. When their hands parted his idly cleaved a few of the tufts of his hair apart. Unnecessary. He quickly shoved the idling hand into a pocket before it did more damage. She riposted by putting even more height differential into the equation, and he swore he could physically hear the smug comment that wasn't actually said. His response? Shit, she had even more inches on her? He didn't even have any slack in his own posture. He'd been straight as an ironing board because of an unfamiliar face.

Putting his best foot forward he found a way to shoot it. He could appreciate that on a dramatic irony level. Wait, that was what dramatic irony referred to, right?

Nope. Not putting his mindspace into that academic morass again.

"So I guess you've got your map and directions down as well? I hate to be the guy that has to ask but I knew some freshman with spatial reasoning skills that nicely crush your hope in future generations. And, nah. Usually the only kids hanging around school at this hour are those seeing teachers or who drive from home or whatever. Most of the others start showing in a few."
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Yep, Ben swore he heard the condescending commentary piping out from under her mopcut somehow. But it wasn't being said. No leads, even though they both dubiously knew what was up.

"Different in what sense? Can't really imagine just how different the architecture standards can be between two modern countries." Maybe he was betraying his lack of experience here. All Ben really knew of the lands beyond the borders of Arizona- let alone over international waters- was pixels on a coughing and chugging too-old-to-be-antique television set. Travel was a different concern for a different time, anyways. He was busy with more immediate concerns day to day. Here and now.

"Well tell me your classes and I'll be able to show you all of them. While we're waiting around we might as well." The way he said it, almost seemed like neither of them had a choice in the matter.
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'Rustic', huh? Rea's quickdraw had a sort of pretentiousness about it. Ben almost wondered, guessing 'budding interior designer' or 'Daddys little princess' before he recalled just as quickly: Mercedes. Mystery solved, case closed. Cross-examination concluded, Rea was probably at least sort of a spoiled ass. But that wasn't his immediate concern, passing character judgement. The topic swap was bold as it was obvious, and Ben had this girl in the drink now. Or would have if he'd deign to dare a direct comment.

"You should see the rest of Kingman then, plenty of rust." Maybe a bit of running commentary. "Alright, West Wing it is. Follow me then, Mrs. President." Eh. He'd tried to make the reference, at least. Probably shouldn't have bothered. "If you've got Math and Science as your morning lineup you're in luck if you're looking for quiet. West Wing's also got all the elective classes with loud machines, so later in the day you're hearing the future Bobby Flay drill a hole through his pan with an egg beater while you're working on your quadratics." See, Ben knew this much from very poignant experience. A flash in the frying pan moment, literally. The smoke alarm in Mrs. Brown's class was fucking loud.

He began to move, with a backwards glance to be sure she followed. It was a short walk from where they were to the main doors of the campus building, multistory 'rustic' edifice it was. They had to go up a flight of stairs the moment they were in, and then a hallway that stretched into the squeaky tile bulk of the heart of Cochise's science department. Ben moved at a relatively quick clip, well within his athletic power. He only barely lingered enough to keep Rea in line of sight if she was a bit too laggard for his tastes.

"There's also a floor below, but most of the sciences specifically are second floor. You got a lab... Graham... Barks..." He pointed out each door as it cropped up in periphery vision.
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Huh. That was a question.

They were hovering somewhere around a window now, one of all of five piddly glass affairs the school had. Ben vaguely wanted to glance out it, but he had a question to answer here. He exchanged a stare with Rea evenly. If she was looking at him, even.

Honest answer? "You seemed fine until you asked that question." Ben shrugged noncommittally, even though he was pretty sure of himself on that one. What kind of socially adjusted person felt they had to ask a question like that? Nominee for question of the hour, that. With plenty of hopefuls to come, possibly. Assuming either of them could make a pass at anything resembling literary genius during the pre-first period times where thought was nascent and far from fresh.
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So why ask it then?

Ben hadn't been particularly close to actually blurting that shit out. Yeah she'd asked for his opinion, but she hadn't asked for his lip. Man. What was it with people and blowing all social situations way out there? Bringing their goddamn rail guns to the fistfight. Ben wasn't going to be the one who prescribed all his peers calm the fuck down for once in their overstimulated, overinflated egotist lives.

But he was going to be the one, at least sans vocalization.

"Well you did ask it." There, that was something to say. Don't take it the wrong way, personally, or anything else that will make you say something stupid, Rea. "It's like... shit." Very good points in his opening statement, but Ben was just getting warmed up. State position, expound. "I swear everyone nowadays just takes talking to their fellow peers way too seriously. All this anxiety and fear of misstep, I think. I mean I guess it makes sense in modern political climes, but if it's just between folks from your school I don't think it works at all, you know? Guess what I'm trying to say is relax. Don't overthink it or psyche yourself out. People are judging you less than you think they are, I'm sure."

Man, that had been a mouthful. Ben's flexed his jaw a bit, chewing on his words a bit while they simmered.
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Almost before he was done Ben knew his spiel had amounted to a shit pundit rant. He knew what 'effective' was, and that hadn't been it. Rea gave him a moment of silence. In memoriam of his fallen stock, probably.

Shit, anyways. They had to get on with it. Rea still had a class to find. Ben held up two fingers, time out in the guise of dusty knuckles. Swept his hand down the hall in a brisk motion.

"Let's keep going."

Maybe they were friends, maybe they weren't. Maybe they'd actually find Rea's class or maybe it would turn out to not be on the map, the administrative cock up of legend. Either way. Only an idiot with too much time on their hands put that much thought into it before all was said and done. On and on it went.

((Ben Fields continued in Is This It))
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