Russell Drew
Super Unwanted Bad Stuff, perhaps
Sat Aug 12, 2017 22:23

Ever since puking up his dinner at the ill-fated Sleepover Party, Russell had been laying low. Very low. He had managed to interact with almost no one, actually, since he’d taken to eating his meals at weird hours and arriving to classes late enough to slip in the back and then slipping out again early and immediately scampering back to his dorm. RMI’s hidden passageways were an anxiety-inducing reminder of the party, but also had become very useful as a way of getting around while avoiding the rest of the student population. His disability meant he didn’t exactly need to light a torch to get around, and in fact Russell now took advantage of this on a daily basis via a winding maze of the narrowest, darkest passages skirting around the more occupied ones.

It had been nearly two weeks, though, and he was starting to feel… maybe not better, exactly, but less like he would be able to vomit reflexively at the memory of it. He assumed this meant the memory was fading, helpfully suppressed by whatever part of the human brain decided it was best to ignore or at least pretend to ignore All the Bad Things, so this was some kind of improvement. The announcement of a special class today had been a little strange, but the timing was better than if it had come up the week prior, so Russell had decided he would make a minor effort to seem normal today. He had chosen a combination of comfortable plaid shorts and a button-up shirt which had been gifted to him by his uncle over the summer. It had a repetitive, geometric pattern on it (er, mostly geometric; there were a couple fish, too, for no apparent reason) which he found calming, like he could just stare down at himself and let his eyes wander along the lines. Maybe, he hoped without any real hope at all, the other students would react the same way to it and it would distract from their most recent (weeks-old) memory of him hanging over the garbage bin.

Upon entering the lecture hall, actually on time for the first time since the party, Russell hesitantly sat down and hesitantly took a cookie as the plate came around and hesitantly picked off a large crumb to feed to Jaws in his pocket. Did they have a test today? But, no, that didn’t make sense. A lot of people he didn’t normally see in Cultural Studies were here. And then any hope he had held about today being a decent day to return to something resembling ‘normal’ immediately ran for the hills as Professor Ofosu pulled up a diagram of-- of-- of naked people and then started talking about the s-word except he didn’t actually say it or any other words that really fit in but it was obvious that was what he was talking about and Russell wanted to run for the hills, too.

Slowly sinking further and further down into his chair as the class went on, he was startled by the sudden arrival of their normal professor and managed jump violently enough to slide off the chair onto the floor. He did not bother to get his hopes up that Professor Blair-West would save them. He was disappointed anyways. Russell opted not to bother pushing himself back into his chair and instead gently extricated Jaws, transferring the mouse to his head before hugging his knees to his chest. Jaws didn’t seem to notice anything unusual about this, because it really wasn’t all that unusual, and just started meandering around his hair and poking at his messy bun with a paw or nose or something. In an ideal world, this would be enough that Russell could just focus on it instead of anything else, but he quickly realized that wasn’t working today.

The Cetus wanted to look away but he couldn’t and it was awful.

Suddenly he was being shouted at and that was also awful for both the same reasons and new reasons entirely. Russell scrambled upright at Professor Blair-West’s instructions and grabbed for his bookbag. In his haste to flee literally anywhere else that didn’t have a riled Australian with a baby, he failed to notice that one of his Defense Against the Dark Arts texts fell out of the partially-unzipped bag and bonked into the person in the seat below him. All he saw was Professor Blair-West’s finger pointing him to move to sit next to… Marissa?

As he sat gingerly in the seat beside her, entire face feeling flushed with too much heat, he noticed that the professor was actively splitting up some of the friendgroups. Being paired with Marissa, then - did that mean that even the professor thought their friendship couldn’t be real or he wasn’t worthy of it or something? Well, that was oddly reassuring. Russell could be appalled and embarrassed and want to melt into the floor and then immediately evaporate and float into space, but at least he knew he wasn’t totally bonkers when it came to his evaluation of Marissa acting like they were friends. Not that he didn’t want to be friends with her, but, like, it didn’t make sense, they were on opposite ends of the social spectrum, etcetera, cue every thought he’d previously had about this, blah blah blah.

“Hi, Marissa,” he greeted her weakly, unable to look her in the eye when he knew he was probably blushing hard enough to no longer look human. “So, this is, uh, well, very, um, different.” A box floated past and he reached in automatically at Professor Blair-West’s direction. When he realized he was holding a baby, and a faceless one at that, he audibly eeeep’d and tossed it to Marissa. “Where’s its face?! I can’t, I can’t, I can’t do this, I can’t--” Russell could tell he was on the verge of either hyperventilating or having a fit of some sort and, not really wanting that but not knowing how to stop it either, he clapped both his hands flat to his face, fingers sliding under the lenses of his sunglasses.

  • Literally nothing about this is Super Special Fun - Marissa Kendrick, Sat Aug 12 10:00
    Marissa was mortified. She’d arrived to the mandatory class a little disheveled and nearly late. There had been no time to fix herself back up after her run-in with Ruben on the Pitch. She’d done... more
    • Super Unwanted Bad Stuff, perhaps - Russell Drew, Sat Aug 12 22:23
      • “Hi, Marissa.” Oh, no. Oh no, no, no. Marissa was paired with Russell. She was paired with sweet, innocent, kind Russell who showed her really cool new dance moves and was her friend and thought she... more
        • I always prefer to flee - Russell, Mon Aug 14 23:15
          Even flattened across his cheeks, a theoretically stable position, Russell could feel his hands shaking. Bony fingers trembled, the tips rubbing over his eyelids, and it was a good thing that his... more
          • Run away! - Marissa, Sun Aug 20 13:48
            Marissa hated how self-centered she’d been since term started. It probably helped scare Danny off. The group hadn’t been hanging out as much, for which Marissa felt fully to blame, and she definitely ... more
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