It doesn't, does it?
Sun Mar 17, 2019 13:09

Speaking to Connor so passionately was alien. It was usual for Claudia to make every effort to conceal her emotion as best as was possible when conversing with her like-minded friend, so as to avoid an unnecessary scene. The past several years she had spent at RMI however had taught Claudia that she was not especially adept on keeping her feelings hidden: the best she could manage was to suppress the more theatrical of her reactions, merely sobbing instead of bawling, keeping silent instead of fleeing, and the like. In essence, that was what she was doing right now; her countenance was far from calm and collected, but neither was she the tornado of rage and hurt that she desired to be, were the opinions and judgments of others a non-issue. She kept her mouth clamped shut while Connor made his reply, in order that she allow him the opportunity.

He claimed he was going to tell her, which Claudia wanted to believe, but it wasn’t as though he hadn’t had the opportunity. It was the exact response someone would offer who knew they should not have kept something from a person, but was trying to conceal the ugly truth to preserve their own best interests… a fact Claudia was uncomfortably familiar with, considering how she was handling the Dakota-shaped debacle. She could hardly fault Connor for keeping something from her, when she had been doing the same thing to him, but there was, she considered, a pivotal difference: Dakota’s journey was her own tale to tell. Furthermore, Claudia never held any intention of telling Connor, and would certainly not claim that she had been on the brink of doing so, should the situation ever arise. Connor, meanwhile, was directly involved in this scenario, and should Remington have behaved untoward in any manner, he ought to have related that to Claudia so she could act on it (she allowed him the small shadow of doubt in case he was seeking to protect her feelings, but without much conviction).

“After we played Roulettes at your party, I must admit to having been rather uncomfortable,” Connor said. Well certainly, Claudia could understand that. Under the influence of his potion, Connor had very publicly complimented Nolan in an obvious demonstration of magically-created affection. Meanwhile, under the influence of her potion, Claudia had privately propositioned Remy in an unpredictable demonstration of friendship. Only the two friends had been present for the conversation, and neither of them had mentioned it since, and that was sufficiently troubling for Claudia, so she could easily imagine the distress Connor must have suffered as a result of his fate. Being approached by anyone in that moment of solitary recovery would have been perplexing, she was sure, and Remington and Connor were not friends at the best of times. She was beginning to understand how an altercation had occurred.

“She told me directly that I am not a good enough friend for you,” Connor continued, and Claudia didn’t doubt that for a moment - it echoed the sentiment Remy had expressed to her many minutes earlier in the theater. Or, well, Claudia had believed Remington was hinting more at Connor not being an adequate romantic partner for her, but it was close enough to the same message that Claudia believed Connor’s tale. He confessed to being frustrated, and Claudia commended his honesty, until, “and I commented that her choice of attire was not particularly suitable for the circumstances.”

Hardly daring to trust her senses that Connor had, in fact, uttered those words, Claudia kept her mouth sealed tightly but she was unable to prevent her eyebrows rising in disbelief. It was a pool party, and Remington had been wearing a swimming costume - almost always with a layer over the top, as Claudia had similarly elected to wear - which was eminently suitable, in Claudia’s opinion. What exactly did Connor think Remington should have been wearing? He had not, as far as she was aware (although evidently much had occurred at the event of which Claudia had been unaware until today) commented on Marley’s considerably more revealing two-piece. If Remington was incredibly offended at that statement then Claudia would forgive, support and even encourage these feelings. How dare Connor comment on her friend’s decision to wear a bathing suit when Claudia herself had expressly encouraged this attire for her guests? He implied that he would have apologized, and therefore must realize he was in the wrong to comment thus, but he somehow hadn’t gotten around to that, the same way he hadn’t gotten around to telling Claudia about the interlude.

She waited to hear his take on the spell Remy said he cast, and the comments on her physical attributes, but Connor neglected to mention them. Instead he claimed the uncivil interaction was on such a small scale that he’d elected not to bother Claudia with it, irrespective of the obvious fact that he’d caused Remy to leave her party early, and had not refuted being rude to her guest when he ought to be in a position to demonstrate civility, not succumb to crude insult in moments of personal weakness.

Claudia wanted to sympathize with Connor, and also reprimand him, and then inquire further about the spell he had not told her about, and the alleged slurs made against Remington’s mother. She was calmer than she had been on initially seeking him - she ought to have realized her friends would rile each other up when circumstances were against them - until he reiterated his apology of not telling her the previous evening. Claudia bristled. “I am sure the situation with your family is very troubling,” she snapped irritably. “You might remember I have some experience with a wayward brother.” Of course, she hadn’t told Connor about being turned away from the party, of her parents’ rescinded invitations - she had been too embarrassed - but Connor was very aware of the personal distress that Danny had caused Claudia. She had some semblance of what he was going through, and for him to indicate otherwise was insulting. “But Connor,” her voice altered, trembling in a way that conveyed her vulnerability more than she desired, “you were with me for a whole day,” she emphasized as her eyes prickled with tears she was desperate not to shed. “You kissed me!” she reminded him, her voice raising in pitch and volume, the fact that technically she had kissed him rendered immaterial in the moment. “If you’d had any inclination to tell me about this interaction you had ample opportunity!”

Desperate to cling to any dignity she had remaining, Claudia clenched her hands into fists, her perfectly manicured fingernails digging their familiar crescents into her palms, the pain grounding her. “I trust, you, Connor,” she exclaimed, more loudly than was necessary. “I thought you respected me, but now I learn that you speak disrespectfully to my guests, at my birthday party, in my home!” Her accusation resounded shrill and clear through the hallway.

“Did you insult Remington’s mother?” she asked him directly. “Did you comment on body?” The skin-crawling sensation of Jordan Williams looking at her like he wanted to devour her engulfed her. “Did you split her swimsuit?” Claudia was no longer shrill; her voice had dropped to an icy rasp.

  • That doesn't sound good for me - Connor Farnon, Fri Mar 15 17:31
    Connor wouldn’t go so far as to say that he was having a good day, but it had certainly turned in his favor. He had artfully negotiated a ceasefire with Andrew during Spellwork, and immediately after ... more
    • It doesn't, does it? - Claudia, Sun Mar 17 13:09
      • It's not looking up - Connor, Sun Mar 17 17:38
        There were a number of useful things that could be flying through Connor’s mind at the moment, but the one he found most prominently present was the argument that no, he had not kissed Claudia.... more
        • There's no knowing where it's going - Claudia, Sun Mar 17 18:15
          He denied it. Connor denied doing those unimaginable things to Remington, and Claudia didn’t know what to think. She could barely believe Connor capable of it, and his expression of horror matched... more
          • You think we'd have learned by now - Connor, Sun Mar 17 21:18
            Connor wouldn’t admit that he was trying not to cry, walking away from the girl who had been his best friend for years. It had just been a truly terrible two days, and this was somehow the worst of... more
            • Round and round and round we go - Claudia, Tue Mar 19 08:33
              Claudia found herself wondering why it was so important to her that Connor liked her. True, he had been an invaluable friend to her since the incident , and she would never forget his unfailing... more
              • This is one hell of a merry-go-round - Connor, Tue Mar 19 12:13
                If a bolt of lightning had come out of the ceiling of the Admin Quarters, Connor would be a little more crispy but no more surprised than he was now. Actually, he would probably be less surprised;... more
                • Are there merry-go-rounds in Hell? - Claudia, Sun Mar 24 17:45
                  Confessing to Connor what Jordan had spoken affected Claudia in a markedly negative way: she felt more exposed, more self-conscious than she ever had before in his company (which was a feat, as she’d ... more
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