In that case, let's resign ourselves to imperfection
Wed Jan 31, 2018 21:43

--what was his name, again? Russell knew he’d seen the man before, but he couldn’t remember what he was called, or even what class he taught. His chest felt too tight for thinking. It had started when Danny had given him a clear ‘stop’ signal and he hadn’t stopped (of course he hadn’t stopped; he was in the middle of an explanation, he needed to explain himself). Looking down at the binder was a good excuse to avoid looking the other boy in the face. It was, however, an awful excuse for pretending Everything Was Fine, because now he was just staring at that professor’s face whose name he couldn’t think of because his chest was tight because Danny was here and clearly uninterested in being here.

His attention was caught by the door with the old-aspen-tree-root-grey splatter opening. Er, opening not on its own, but because Danny was holding it open. And… telling him to go first? Why? But he wasn’t about to protest, so with a shrug and a quiet “Alright”, Russell closed the binder and stepped ahead. He somehow managed to walk forwards while simultaneously feeling like he was shrinking backwards, like his upper body was trying to detach itself and hide from the unknown past the door while his lower body was -- well, not taking on the ‘fight’ side of fight-or-flight, exactly. But doing the thing, at least.

Inside, the room was set up like a tea shop. Sort of. He verbalized his confusion. “Huh. Some kind of… café, maybe?” There was a spindly table with a teapot lying on its side and several spindly chairs arranged around it. But the ceiling had a weird sloped angle to it, with just a single lightbulb swinging from a chain off-centre. It was dark enough that Russell was, tentatively, OK with pushing up his sunglasses. Sunken green eyes stared out, unhindered, skirting wide around where the lone bulb illuminated china shards on the floor. (Green was what it said on his ID, although in Russell’s opinion, his eyes were definitely more of a deep-mug-of-coffee-with-extra-cream-but-no-sugar grey.)

“Kaz,” he suddenly announced when there was a moment of silence. Russell then immediately blushed because a) oh no, cue flashback to the most terrible round of truth-or-dare, how could he ever forget his answer to the worst question, or more importantly, how could he ever bring it up in front of another truth-or-dare participant, and b) that had been an awkwardly random thing to say and what if he had accidentally cut Danny off? that would’ve been so rude, Danny definitely would think less of him for it and it would probably get back to Holland too, and c) see a) again.

“Sorry,” he apologized, glancing at Danny and offering a bit of a sheepish grin. Only a bit, because sheep were known for following the flock closely whereas he apparently couldn’t even follow basic social cues like ‘no random outbursts’ after sixteen years of life. “I couldn’t remember his name at first. Or at second or third, I guess, since it took so long.” The attempted joke had possibly gone over fine, but with how heated his face was right now, it just felt to him like it had been ruined, so Russell gave up on that and offered the binder to Danny. “Kaz is on the first page. Listed as a suspect.” He fervently hoped that the word combination most bangable wouldn’t cross Danny’s mind. Slim chance, maybe, but at the very least, if the other boy did think of that, Russell didn’t want to know it.

  • Might not be the perfect partner, either - Dardanius Dubois, Tue Jan 30 16:09
    With his recent distractions impacting his grades, Danny was less inclined than usual to show off in class by providing correct answers to class-wide questions. He passed up the opportunity for... more
    • In that case, let's resign ourselves to imperfection - Russell, Wed Jan 31 21:43
      • Is that your mantra? - Dardanius, Tue Feb 6 15:16
        The scene that greeted the two students as they entered the room was reminiscent of a cafe, as Russell suggested, but with several jarring differences; for example, there was no food counter, a... more
        • More like a lifestyle - Russell, Sat Feb 17 21:00
          “Scrying café?” Those existed? Russell looked around the room once more, and this time identified what looked like an empty box, about the right size to be from a deck of cards, lying near one of the ... more
          • Are you enjoying it? - Danny, Tue Feb 20 16:22
            Maybe Russell had already been about to step further into the room, or maybe he’d been so deep in thought that Danny’s tap on his arm startled him, but the aborted stumble that followed was so...... more
            • I don't think that's the priority here - Russell, Sun Feb 25 16:07
              Even if he had been completely confident in his interpretation of the teacup’s landing, he still would have found Danny’s agreement reassuring. As it was, with no protractor or weights to calculate... more
              • Just a curiosity - Danny, Wed Feb 28 15:39
                Russell confirmed - with superfluous, self-doubting commentary, naturally - that there were tea leaves where the cup had fallen (or more likely been thrown, or swept, or whatever). “Yeah, that’s what ... more
                • In that case, no, not really - Russell, Mon Mar 5 22:33
                  For once, it didn’t bother him very much that Danny sounded disagreeingly hesitant when reacting to his comment. (It was worth noting that ‘very much’, in this particular case, like in all particular ... more
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