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Sometimes when we reach for the stars...; Spring of 2014
Topic Started: Sep 20 2016, 06:13 AM (656 Views)
Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
First floor and a window side seat made for a good day. Well, for Miss Latanna Beckstead. There were others not so eager to neatly drink down knowledge like she, whose throats weren’t so parched for want of accomplishment and personal glory. All else lay aside: dull protests of her body’s bloodshot eyes and exhausted heart, taunting siren call of a perfect spring day precipitated from thin air, atrociously shoddy dog-ears and scoliosis spines of the library’s selection.

Oh dear, oh dear. Latanna thumbed over a flaking and frayed corner of a European History text, dulled from its once proud sharpness. She’d told them at Council that funds from the fundraiser could be diverted into the honorable mission of returning Beale to the glory of its antiquity… or at least the lower bounds of modern academic standards! Instead of that they had themselves Sadie Hawkins 2014, replete with a quaint wild western theme. Hmph! Latanna wouldn’t waste political acumen contesting the masses their bread and circuses. They were owed it if they wanted it.

And honestly it was quite the fun dance! If sometimes the awkward sashay of two left feets, times one thousand.

She flipped the book’s cover over, though neither of her study partners had arrived yet. She’d keep an appraising eye towards the shelves for their familiar faces, but. It was her right to take the opening shots by herself. Second Amendment assured, and Latanna wouldn’t dare contest the founding fathers’ noble birthday wishes for America. Greater a chance that she’d rip her clothes off and go careening wantonly through the halls.

And of course, there was no chance of that. The optics would have been atrocious.

She counted in her willful possession a number of things at present, all held through informal laws of proximity and immediacy. A cozy table with four chairs, Latanna at the corner closest to the window that she could bask a bit in the warmth of a sun that, any stronger, liked softly caressing her to an itchy death. Books aplenty, of course, the standard weighty textbook issued for their history class. A number of personal selections whose historical views she favored. Degler, Moyar, Lind. Men of ideas, whose ideas would be valuable sources for her essay and would be likely ignored by her study partners.

Historical American foreign and domestic policy. Compare and contrast. Ah, yes. She’d have a field day with this one.

Hopefully she could say the same for her comrades in arms. Who would hopefully show up. Latanna was a stickler for timeliness, she was sure Kanuho knew that. Least of all her darling Olivia. A delicate band of satiny silver on her wrist told her it was a minute to a quarter ‘til. One minute remaining until it was officially time to get to work!

She flipped a few more pages to the relevant chapter and began to read. Being on time was great. Being early was glorious.
The Dies Before First Rolls Squad

The Nights
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Maraoone
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yes thomas why
[ *  *  * ]
As the second hand drifted past 2 on her watch, Olivia began to regret everything.

First off, she should've prioritized fixing her watch back home because she knew that it was behind by, what, thirty seconds, one minute, two minutes? God forbid five minutes. Or no, maybe she was misremembering, maybe it wasn't the khaki fabric watch she was wearing that was delayed, but the leather one. Or perhaps the blue one? No, she was sure that that one was on time, she'd just aligned it with the school clock two days ago. You know, for a watchmaker, she sure was bad at keeping time. Like, how could she expect to run a watchmaking shop when she couldn't even tell her watches and minutes and seconds apart and, no, she was walking too slow, she shouldn't even be thinking about this.

She picked up her pace and half-walked, half-jogged, weaving in and out the crowd of students going to their own classes.

Another thing she regretted was choosing a math class on the second floor that ended right before lunch. Like, sure, she and Latanna hadn't even planned the whole study group thing with Rod back then, but maybe she should've thought about how the library and west wing were on opposite sides of the building, or at least it seemed like it, and now the second hand was drifting past six, and she still wasn't sure if it was on time or if they were all there already, just waiting for her, tapping their fingers while waiting for her, and the library was in sight, she could see it, and yes, she was in now.

Olivia strode towards their table, sat next to Latanna, and dropped her bag next to her seat. It was a minor relief to her that Rod wasn't there yet, meant she wasn't the last one to come. She hoped that Latanna didn't notice her sweat, or how flushed her face was. She looked at her, tried to read her face. Was she late? Had Latanna been waiting here by herself for a long time? She looked down at her watch. Ten seconds till 11:45. Too close.

So, she looked at Latanna. Still couldn't read her expression. And she asked, "Am I late?"
V6 Characters:
G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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"Mara was a mistake." - Cicada, 2017
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Roderick Kanuho continued from Ceremony, although appearing earlier in the timeline))

Roderick would arrive when he arrived. This was understood. As inevitable as Earth rotating round the Sun. Soon the 2014 Arizona state wrestling championships would be here and Roderick, who had not lost a match in scholastic competition or off-season tournaments since the 2013 state semifinals, would be off again to pursue honour and glory. It had been all he could think about for a month and near the front of his mind all year and now he could practically taste it, feel it in his grip when he closed his hands. He'd spent more time on a wrestling mat or in the weight room than in class and had half a mind to skip classes entirely during this runup in favour of training, training, training.

Coach had laughed and gone "sure, go ahead" until he realised Roderick was serious. Roderick had read up so much on his likely opponents in the tournament he was vaguely sure he knew more about them than their own mothers, watched match videos so often he could reenact them with his eyes closed, drilled moves and situations until while in idle thought doing homework last night he caught himself doodling diagrams of wrestling techniques on his worksheet. People knew where he was going and what he was preparing for and the air was heavy with expectations and hopes and people remembering that last time he almost got to the top of the mountain. Perhaps that was why his teachers were so forgiving.

Now, more than any other time in the season, this little thing he had with Latanna and Olivia and anyone else who flitted in and out of the study group as their needs demanded was essential. It wasn't that he didn't have the brain for his work so much as he didn't have the time, so rather than fill any empty spaces with electives and further classes he chose to have a free period or two. If he was done with his work he could train, if he wasn't he could polish it off.

The faint smell of sweat and a hasty locker room shower radiated off his skin, drawn tight over his muscles. Someone from the school paper'd wanted a sit-down while he wasn't in class, then he'd been off to do a few quick sets in the weight room, then he zipped over to the gym to roll out a mat and spar with some of the teammates. Not running the gauntlet like Coach had been having him do the past few practises, just keeping himself fresh and getting the blood flowing and having them wrestle like some of his opponents would wrestle. In all the commotion, somehow he'd remembered this meeting was a thing.

Some seconds after Olivia, the door swung open again and in he strolled in tank top and jeans, backpack loose over one shoulder. He didn't even need to look where he was going, he knew their table just like he knew the perfect instant to hit someone with a blast double or fireman's carry or lateral drop. All 195 pounds of him stalked over like a tiger through tall grass and dropped into his usual seat, glancing first to Olivia, then to Latanna, and nodding.

"Yá'át'ééh."

No need to ask if he was late. He either was, or wasn't.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Five seconds, two seconds. Time! That, Olivia had plenty of.

Neither of her study mates could read her expression, perhaps, but she made sure they could read her body language. The sun caressed her form, again just narrowly short of prickly sunburn. Even on a school day the contour of her face was expertly managed. Eyes brown or hazel- fact and opinion liked to dramatically deviate on that one- appraised her two acquaintances in turn. Olivia, a close friendship with a historically solid precedent of Latanna's dominance. Kanuho, something of an antithesis of that ideal. Latanna smiled at both. They knew where the chairs were, and she'd already pulled them out to that effect. One beside her, one for Kanuho. A bit further away, for all parties involved needed the room. Kanuho took his seat without preamble. Predictable!

A page flipped under her fingers. She made something of a casual show of scanning a few lines, giving herself a few moments to think.

Kanuho and his lingual skills. He made an excellent case for matching her talents. Made his tongue sound so smooth and neat instead of slurring the triple vowel. Home territory advantage accounted for it was all rather impressive, as he generally tended to be. Imposing in wit as he was in form. Hm! Well she could have responded in kind or at least made an attempt, she'd essentially learned bits of his language from him secondhand, but she doubted she'd look any better for paper cut pronunciation.

That talking point was thus silently conceded.

"I hope you've both managed to eat? Putting together this paper'll be quite the doozy." A few more lines cleared, Latanna doing her best to navigate multitasking with dignity. Doing a good job, she liked to think. "How's school been? Final few months and we're all hanging in there, of course." Latanna was doing far above and beyond the mere 'hanging in' but setting the bar low set it for all constituents. "I've heard rumors of Sadies asks already flying around! Bit early, but I suppose now's a good time as any." The page flipped once more, with Latanna setting a smattering of considerations to pen and paper. Blue ink, like all Student Council correspondence had to be by rule. "Either of you get or give one yet?" Hopefully Olivia would be willing to fairly contribute. The grape vine that curled through Student Council as thick and vein-like as it did the rest of the school gave Latanna something of an idea of Kanuho's possible suitors...? But Olivia's gentle tongue sometimes failed to betray her intimate thoughts quite as much as Latanna would have liked it to.

"I could never ask, myself. I know it's in good fun but it just doesn't seem proper to me."
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Maraoone
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yes thomas why
[ *  *  * ]
((May edit content, but dialogue/actions will remain the same.))

If it weren't for the fact that this was Latanna she was talking about, Olivia would have thought that Rod and Latanna had somehow become a thing. After all, both she and Olivia had nothing in common with Rod aside from the fact that they happened to have the same history class. Different interests, different friends, different languages, different worlds.

Olivia still leaned back slightly whenever Rod came close, a part of her keeping in mind his rather fiery temper. Of course, she knew him better than that now after a few months of this studying arrangement. He was no longer just some variable defined by his wrestling career and his temper and his face and all, Olivia knew that there were some brains and soul behind all that muscle. It was just mere instinct, that's what it was. And Olivia was better than this. So, she righted herself into a normal sitting position, pretended that she hadn't moved back.

And then her shoulders relaxed as Latanna started zipping from one topic to another, her voice somewhat perky. They weren't late. Nothing had gone wrong so far. Great. Olivia tried to keep up with all the questions Latanna was asking, but she'd barely open her mouth before Latanna moved on to the next one, leaving Olivia with unsaid words tumbling, piling up in her throat. She'd started wondering if she should answer them all sequentially or just answer the most recent one when Latanna mentioned something about Sadies.

Her eyebrows scrunched together. She leaned closer.

Asked if she'd given one yet.

Olivia laughed, and then stopped herself as soon as she started. She frowned a bit, looked at Latanna. Was she insulted? That wasn't what she meant, it was just. Like, even if Olivia somehow summoned up the confidence required for that, even if she were to give a card to, say, Rod- no, not him, he's right there and your face is blushing, stop- or some other guy, that implied something odd. To give that card would mean that she'd think she'd have a chance. That she'd think herself to be ready for relationships, boys, etc. That she'd be worthy.

That simply wasn't true.

She looked at Latanna with a tight smile, and said, "Sorry, I'm not laughing at you or your question, it's just... no, I don't plan on giving anything."

She looked down.

"It's too weird."

She looked at Rod, tried to smile bright again. "How about you? Have you gotten anything?"
V6 Characters:
G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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"Mara was a mistake." - Cicada, 2017
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Girls have asked me but I haven't really thought about it. After State I can decide or ask somebody."

Some of them had been... pushy. Others had at least understood the monumental task before him and where his focus had to be until he returned from Prescott. It was nice to know on some level that he could get attention from girls if he really wanted it - he'd be a stone cold liar if he tried to say advances were never welcome or followed up on or that his eyes had never roamed - but when he didn't it was mostly a distraction. How many of them liked him for him as opposed to his handily tying people in knots on the mat, anyway? The sheer novelty of someone from this hole in the desert doing something of worth made it tough to discern the genuinely interested from the hangers-on and the types to flock to anything that kicks up dust. Roderick shrugged as someone might while guessing whether it would rain that afternoon and gently set his books down before him while speaking.

"I don't see anything weird or improper about it though," he offered after letting his words hang in the air for a moment. He'd noticed Olivia's blush - which he'd greeted with a gentle raise of one eyebrow - and Latanna's continuing insistence on what was or wasn't proper. That remained ever the case even as an idle glance in either's direction would show them as girls who probably wouldn't have any trouble getting a "yes" or two if they just went out and asked people.

"Maybe you'd have fun if you gave it a chance."

...And maybe if Latanna weren't so typically red state in world view, but this was Arizona. Even the weirdly liberal sections of Cochise's student body were still from Kingman. They still carried that weight invisibly around their necks and found themselves beaten into the ground by the sun of the Mojave Desert. Roderick had been trying to stop being the kind of person who would write people off, nobody could help where they were born and when Kingman had its claws in you it was a Herculean task to escape, but he did find himself reminded of that fact in more conversations than he would have liked.

For her part, Olivia was nice, and maybe Latanna could escape that world view if she took that brain of hers and did some critical thinking. Maybe.

Edited by The Burned Handler, Oct 12 2016, 07:32 AM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


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18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Latanna watched Olivia, how she relaxed. Then, not so. Predictable! Latanna's eyes carefully scanned for the familiar. The omnipresent watch on her friend's skinny wrist, the battle worn cuticles. Pyrrhic battle, that. Something of a Fredricksburg, arguably. Futile, butchery, poor form. But Latanna had brought that up enough times in the past for one time.

"It's too weird."

Latanna nodded, sympathy carefully carved into the glossy wax of her lips.

"Hm! I understand." She'd compliment Olivia on the pivot though. It left Kanuho, predictably sharp. Too sharp for Latanna's taste, the sort of riposte that left her unsure of herself. A moment's hesitation. Uncertainty. Irritation. Arousal, but heaven forbid that was simply improper. The page between Latanna's fingers hadn't been turned for a second too long, and she remedied that without further outward sign of duress. How silly of her.

"Maybe you'd have fun if you gave it a chance."

Latanna nodded, idly. Was that too dismissive of her, perhaps...? Latanna glanced up, to be very certain, held Kanuho's gaze evenly. Her eyes casually wrought of steel.

"Perhaps."

She nodded sagely. A page in her textbook turned, in time to the clockwork tick of her heart. "At any rate, I both encourage you to attend, even if stag. I can assure both of you council has pulled out the stops for this one!" And the cowboy hats, and the lassos.

"Either of you have preliminary thoughts on the essay?"

Flip.
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
What a strange look to give him in response to a bit of encouragement. Roderick met Latanna's gaze with calm, slightly befuddled dignity, no real steel in his expression but presenting a mountain unwilling to bend before the wind. Whatever, a corner of his mind whispered. Latanna was an odd one even during the times she managed to be all right.

She'd moved on in the space of a thought and Roderick internally shrugged. One day he'd have her figured out but maybe it wasn't today. Olivia remained silent, whatever her own private reasons, which meant it was his job to fill the gap left by Latanna's question.

The essay. Right. The other day he'd had to go to a different classmate hat in hand and confess that, in all the excitement caused by the upcoming tournament, he'd forgotten what the essay was actually supposed to be about. Or when it was due. He'd recovered decently at least, and the evidence was in a little yellow folder he fished from his backpack and delicately placed before him.

"I've a few. Already wrote up an outline for mine and everything."
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Something in the look he threw back her way was questioning, searching.

Expected. Even a man of his caliber probably didn't easily understand a woman's heart.

"I've a few. Already wrote up an outline for mine and everything."

Also expected! He seemed to manage most everything else just fine.




Latanna managed her textbook deftly, several pages filleted at the edges dancing between her fingers.

"Nations considered historically dependent on the United States strike me as, well, especially afflicted by history's tides. McKinley's Philippines ambitions..."

She chewed on her next words, carefully.

"The Five Civilized Tribes." As she had the definitions in front of her in neatly stenciled paragraphs that beautifully adhered to the fencing of the line, she could use the terms she liked to presume were most neutral. Present company considered. "And all other Native bodies. The American government alternated between providing them self-determination and otherwise. Abundantly clear in the back-and-forth of Supreme Court precedents." Latanna was musing to herself. Aloud. She believed her opinions were more palatable if they lacked a direct audience. If she didn't project them this or that-a-ways, but offered them as ambiance.

"In modern day terms I suppose the judicial controversy over affirmative action would be a clear continuance of the pendulum swings of self-determination of America's minorities." The white of her skin caught on the white of her eyes. Latanna mewled to herself. She had a bulky opinion on the present day of her musings, of course. Enough meat to the brain that she wondered if her peers could smell it's seasonings.

Oh, she knew one of them would. But his opinion wouldn't matter so long as he held his tongue.

Not that she trusted him to do that. She'd sooner run each individual ridge of her fingerprint over the sharp corners of her book's earmarked pages.
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The Burned Handler
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Latanna had a tendency to lay out bait for him, little barbs or peeks at her more typical-Kingman worldview she knew would set fire to his blood and get him to bite not unlike a fisherman casting a line. Or perhaps a schoolboy tugging on a girl's pigtails unsure how else to get her attention, given how often she seemed to be after a response of some kind. Maybe she just got a kick out of pissing him off. It had been Latannas and their ilk that committed genocide against his ancestors and even today tried to erase everything about their culture. That the Navajo language and people still existed was probably an unforgivable affront to some. "Five Civilised Tribes" was rich coming from the people who had raped and murdered and burnt until almost nothing was left of this land's true owners.

His thumb pressed hard against the base of his pencil, almost hard enough to snap the instrument in half. Not now, Roderick, keep your head in the game, he told himself. He couldn't afford to snap at someone so close to his day of redemption. He couldn't give Latanna the satisfaction this time, even if she knew exactly what would set him off. It was probably just his nerves and all the stress recently, all the expectations being placed on his shoulders. He wasn't a rampaging monster after all. They were discussing and writing about history, objective facts. What had happened had happened.

He would be training today, that would let him dispel the flash of anger that caused the buzzing in his head and blurred the words on the paper before him. He reminded himself of the fact, sent a little "I heard that" sort of grunt Latanna's way, continued his work. What was there to say on this front they hadn't said to each other tens of times before anyway?

The buzzing continued and continued and continued not unlike machine guns at the Somme. Then he looked up.

It was not his head but his phone, left on the table and set to vibrate. The number on the screen made his expression somewhat resemble a deer about to catch a semi-truck going a hundred miles an hour right to the face. Why now? People knew when he was and wasn't available. It went to voicemail and he knew he'd have to call back soon.

No sound existed in the world. He stared at his phone for a few long seconds as if mortified, then slowly brought his gaze back to his study partners. Startled, embarrassed, apologetic.

"I'm going to have to take that, sorry," he volunteered while packing all his things away again, hurried but efficient movements clearing his space. Amateur mistake, Roderick Kanuho. Screw up like that at Prescott and you're done. "Don't worry, I'll get my essay done. Let's meet up later?"

Their responses, whatever they were, got a little nod but not much else. Everything was gone, phone was in hand, he pushed the seat back in once he stood. He turned to go, took one last look over his shoulder.

"If either of you'd like to go, I think the team's still giving out tickets for the tournament. And hey, let me know if you change your minds on the whole dance thing."

He was off in the space of a thought, almost before words could be comprehended. Just a little note for two people who, like himself, seemed like they really needed to take their noses away from the grindstone and get a little fresh air, just every now and then.

((Continued elsewhere))
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
A casual observer would have remarked that the discussion was civil. Even Olivia herself, maybe, though it was also distantly possible she knew better. She saw the look, and saw the meaning of that look. Something quite easily read! For how unpleasant a read it was.

Still, he held his tongue. They'd go on uninterrupted, this time.

Or. Not.

Latanna smiled sympathetically when he glanced up, she could turn the page on his face into the embarrassment. There was no need to make anything more of it. But Latanna was annoyed, no mistake about it. Her phone was off, stowed away. Disciplined fighter, that Kanuho, but even his slight error had cost them. Concentration, like any other resource like political capital, was to be spent shrewdly. Latanna already felt something of an ebb in the riptide that had carried the words of their shared History teacher to the fore. Less clear, less whetted. How annoying.

"Of course. We can arrange a meetup to edit, later on. Kindly keep your phone on for me." There was an obvious barb somewhere in there, but Latanna abandoned it to be prudent. Her target was already fleeing her crosshairs anyways. "I'll send a message later."

"And hey, let me know if you change your minds on the whole dance thing."

It seemed Kanuho, instead, took the last word for himself. Ah. She'd given an inch and been beaten back a mile, but she was quite willing to let him have that. It was a fine proposal, food for thought as their congress took recess. Before the back-and-forth would inevitably return. Whatever, whenever. She'd savor anything, she had the mentality for it. All just an exercise. Like here and now. Something to munch on while she and Olivia continued what was left of their work, with hopefully no lost momentum for Kanuho's departure.

Latanna's page turning did briefly stall.

"He seemed to assume that we were outright not going," Latanna remarked dryly. She looked up from her book, searching her friend carefully for a response.
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Maraoone
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yes thomas why
[ *  *  * ]
Truth be told, Olivia had stopped paying much attention to their discussion after Rod shot her that look, that raised eyebrow that told her that he'd noticed, that she was an open book. She just looked at her book, continued reading and re-reading through the pages, somewhat hoping that she'd sink into them. Besides, they were talking about Sadie's, and there was no chance that anyone would ever want to be with her, or that she'd even be allowed to go there. It was the type of thing her mother would describe as lewd, improper like Latanna said. So why bother talking about it?

And like that, she continued, just staring at the pages. But the words Rod and Latanna traded didn't completely escape her, and indeed, her ears perked up when she heard mention of tribes and the government. Her fingers stopped flipping pages completely as Latanna continued. It wasn't so much disagreement, offense taken that made her stop. In fact, she and Latanna were rather in step when it came to worldviews. It was who she was directing those words that made her tense, tense in the way she would be while re-watching some film, at the minutes before the break-up, the car crash, the downfall. And while a wiser, more prudent part of Olivia stopped herself from speaking, another part wanted to stop this car crash, to keep things civil, alright, fine.

And then Rod's phone buzzed, and he left. And Olivia was left wondering whether he really needed to take that, or if he had just found a nice excuse to leave them behind. It was probably the former, but her mind was still buzzing with what-ifs, with things she should have done to keep him from leaving. Her mind was still filled with guilt.

It took her a few seconds before Latanna's remark registered, before she realized there was supposed to be an answer. A few seconds for the question to hang there, waiting. And it left her a bit confused.

"I-I thought we-" and then she remembered that Latanna had been part of the planning for this, that at the very least, she'd want to see the results of her hard work. "I mean, like." And then she found what Latanna really meant, the statement behind the statement, and she realized what she had said, and she didn't mean it, and, "Sorry, no, I just know I had no plans on it." And she looked back at Latanna, hoping she hadn't said anything wrong, but knowing she probably had.
V6 Characters:
G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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"Mara was a mistake." - Cicada, 2017
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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
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"Hm!"

That left the pages. Latanna was quick to resume turning them, and quicker than that to try and get her mind back on track. Supreme Court. That was what she was here for, less so the romantic woes of two high school girls who had no cause to worry about such things.

What had Olivia been thinking, in the few seconds of silence she'd needed to have anything passable as an answer? Well, barely passable, as the case had been. Latanna hoped for more coherent essays than what dear Olivia had just half choked over.

"I see, well." Olivia was looking at her, so Latanna half glanced up. Half her eyes were still trying to drink down the masses worth of written political discourse, but the other half could pin the hue of Olivia's green irises within maybe three off shades. "I see." Purposeful repetition, that. Classic rhetorical device for speech, repetition. Probably not the right time or right place, but even Latanna knew when to not take herself seriously. Olivia, hopefully, knew the same. And if not, well. More power to her regardless.

"And I am wondering what you meant when you said 'we' just then."

Back a page. She needed the full context of this one particular quote that spanned between pages. Among the other quotes she was dissecting at the moment, yes?

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yes thomas why
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"Nothing."

Olivia's hands gripped the book, her fingertips white. What exactly did Latanna see? What was she looking at? Well, obviously, she was half-looking at the book, half-looking at Olivia, examining her, seeing. But what did she really see? Did she see that remark hidden within 'we' as some attack on her, as a betrayal, as her siding with Rod? Olivia could see how it could come across as that, but she didn't mean it, she didn't mean a word of that, she would never do that to her friend, and she was sorry, and she meant

"Nothing at all."

And the only thing Olivia wanted to see that moment was the paragraph she had been reading before then. The whites between the lines, surrounding the serifs.
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G062 - Olivia Fischer prayed a thousand prayers in Ye Not [37/107]
Previous Threads: Sæglópur - Until all our yesterdays are lighted fools... - the way to dusty death - a concrete cave - I'd Say That I've Had Worse Days, but Then I'd Be Lying - Get Me Away From Here, I'm Dying - Until Then, You Are Free - Cast in the Name of God
Memories: Sometimes when we reach for the stars...
Weapon: Lobotomy pick.

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"Mara was a mistake." - Cicada, 2017
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Cicada Days
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keep running yoshi
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
"You're sure."

Her mind was whetted again, or at least some majority of the information she needed was back to the fore. Competence was a state of mind, as per usual. She hoped her antics weren't distracting Olivia to the point of dysfunction. Latanna had learned over the years that it was a fairly easy line to toe at times. But it was, at the very least, a reminder to Olivia about the structure of their congress. They were founded friends, time-tested even, with these particular dynamics and checks and balances in mind.

"All words have a meaning, Olivia. Above and beyond the abstract realm of 'nothing'. I'd just like you to clarify what you meant!" The cheerful, banal tonal upswing right at the end of the sentence was measured out by the individual kilohertz to be casual. A concession, as it were.

All the while, Latanna's nascent thesis continued to grow in the separate, more important realm of her mental operations.
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