And some is unknown territory
Tue Aug 7, 2018 22:46

As soon as the word ‘okay’ had finished, she exhaled in a short sigh, forgetting for a moment not to be too obvious about her relief. She couldn’t help it. Although logically it wouldn’t make sense for Claudia to refuse to work with her, because refusal would have meant she needed to go back outside and probably everyone else was all partnered up by now and there would be no other option for either of them, logically it also totally would’ve made sense, because they had broken up stopped being friends for long enough that why would Claudia agree to work with her? Except she had agreed, and whether that was because she actually wanted to work together or just because she also recognized the logical argument for why to agree instead of why not, that didn’t matter at all, because just the fact she agreed was a relief.

Immediately feeling better about her decision to follow the blonde girl, Marley’s grin settled into something more genuine, only to widen further at Claudia’s absolutely unsurprising admission about her lack of tenting experience. “Yeah, that makes sense.” She couldn’t imagine her in a tent. Like, there were some fancy ways to go camping, and maybe if it was a nice old log cabin beside a quiet lake somewhere in the mountains but not far enough to lack running water and electricity and not small enough to have no room for the dresses and stuff she would have to bring with her and not isolated enough to make Apparition necessary every time she wanted to get a new book to read, Claudia could be persuaded to go camping. But she was pretty sure there was no way that even her mum’s cozy magicked tent would be good enough for Claudia.

“Before Mum upgraded to a trailer,” she shared, because this might be one of the few facts she hadn’t previously told her ex-BFF and, now that it was relevant, it was a good time for it (and maaaaybe also because a part of her deep down wanted to confirm that Claudia didn’t still think poorly of her for her, well, poor upbringing, as if the time they’d spent apart might be enough to undo all of their previous bonding and respect for each other), “we lived in this gorgeous tent. She’d done an expansion charm on it so it had, like, a few separate rooms, and a space big enough that she could bring cars inside to work on ‘em. Probably could’ve had a proper kitchen,” Marley laughed, and in retrospect she wasn’t sure why her mum hadn’t added one, although maybe the unfortunate reality that Mum was a terrible cook had factored into that decision, “but cooking outside together was really fun. But she always used some kind of packing charm when we had to move. This tent is like, super simple in comparison, but I don’t know where to start.”

While she talked, she had begun getting ready to tackle the tent. That was the one thing she could start with. Pulling off her robes and carefully folding the mass of shiny material on the ground, Marley pushed an exposed purple bra strap back up her shoulder -- erm that is, it hadn’t previously been exposed, because sleeves, but she had felt it slide down and that was uncomfortable, and now that she had nudged it back in place it was exposed, because her top could basically hang off one shoulder or the other and not both at once. Anyways, now that her robes were out of the way, in theory she could get to work on this tent, as long as they could figure out a place to start that didn’t involve shedding unnecessary and cumbersome extra layers.

Except then Claudia asked about Teal, or more specifically asked about her, and her ever-optimistic smile dropped. It was hard to be ever-optimistic when you had broken up with an (almost) amazing girlfriend and practically made her cry in class in addition to making yourself cry too. And, Buckley being a butthole aside, she had been starting to come to terms with how it had changed her. And now Claudia wanted to know if she was okay. Flashing back immediately to how she had reached out to the other girl post-Dade, and how upsetting her response had been, Marley almost couldn’t believe she was returning the gesture now, and simultaneously hoped this time wouldn’t go as badly, and simultaneous to that her eyes had started watering again. U g h breaking up sucked. (Did it suck as much as having to Secretly Date had sucked? TBD. But hopefully not, because that might mean she had made a mistake after all, and no matter what Holland said she would feel even worse if that was the case.)

“Yes and no?” was her hesitant answer. “Like I know it’s better than ending the year with a break-up, probably, but it’s… kind of awful to start it like this, too. Sorry,” she added, using the heel of her palm to scrub off the random tear that had just broken free from her eye with an equal mix of embarrassment and annoyance and resignation. “I don’t think I’m still sad, or not too sad, but my body just. Reacts. It’s lame, I know... And I guess you probably don’t actually wanna hear about this, hey?” Marley sighed again - less relieved this time, more rueful - and offered up a weak shrug. “I know you didn’t exactly approve of us dating in the first place.”

  • Some of this is familiar - Claudia, Mon Aug 6 23:08
    “Um, hi.” Claudia paused as if frozen (she would not be surprised if Holland had taught Marley how to execute that spell, but on this occasion her motionless was a result of surprise, not literal... more
    • And some is unknown territory - Marley, Tue Aug 7 22:46
      • Ready to explore? - Claudia, Wed Aug 8 16:23
        Marley seemed relieved; Claudia wondered why. Did it have more to do with absence of rejection, and with it the need to find another partner, in addition to any negative emotions experienced, or to... more
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