Yup, that's how the saying goes
Fri Sep 14, 2018 23:52

There was a moment where she felt a little guilty for her hesitation in admitting she hadn’t forgiven Claudia for her actions against Holland. Well, specifically, not guilty in the fact itself, because it seemed quite valid to struggle with not holding something that severe against her ex-best-friend, and really she’d feel more guilty if the opposite was true and she had managed to forget about it as easily as she could forget about minor transgressions like when you loaned out a pencil in class and the other person didn’t return it until days later. But it felt… just Not Right to be so concerned that her ex-best-friend was gonna get mad at that admission, you know? Like true, they hadn’t had such a civil conversation in a long while, and also true, she had reason to be worried about causing offense since apparently she’d done that over and over again without realizing it, but more also true, this wasn’t a situation Marley was used to at all and she didn’t like the feeling of expecting upset in response to what she said. It felt sorta like betraying their former best-friendship. Thus, Not Right.

But Claudia acknowledged that what she’d done was also Not Right (and way more Not Right, not that Claudia said exactly that but she didn’t need to spell it out for both of them to know it, Marley thought) and the moment passed. She took a step to the side, setting down the screwdriver and her fingers reaching instead of a scrap of sandpaper, but her eyes stayed on Claudia as she listened intently, trying to focus on what Claudia was saying and not just what she thought about the words. Pushing over her initial reactions was impossible - there was definitely still some defiant mental retaliations of ‘suuuure you’re not making excuses’ and ‘just because you don’t want me to believe it doesn’t mean you didn’t intend it anyways’ and ‘of course that doesn’t change things with us’ - but there was also definitely a little returning guilt at paying more attention to that ugly voice in her head - and maybe it was impossible to push them all over, but Marley metaphorically poked at them enough while literally roughening up around the tire-hole that she managed to make them go properly silent when Claudia’s voice hitched and she started wiping more tears.

“I know what people are saying about me...”

Wait, people were saying things? Marley knew what she personally had thought about Claudia, and it wasn’t a stretch to conclude that some of the other students might’ve reached similar conclusions (the first example that came to mind was Dade’s weird sneaky-whispery rant earlier in the year that basically summed up to his opinion of how Marley herself wasn’t safe from Claudia, although that might not be a good measure of the average population at RMI seeing as Dade was… not average). But people were actually gossiping about Claudia? How had she missed that? Like, she was friends with Alice who was Kateri’s sister who was basically glued to Heather half the time, and she was also friends with Myffi directly who was friends with Heather, and in sum she had a lot of ties to the main gossip tree or whatever; had she really been so caught up in her own relationship drama not to notice?

But even if it was true even if it wasn’t regardless of accuracy, gossip in general was totally rude, and could be a form of bullying, and then Claudia mentioned centaurs of all things. A spontaneous giggle burst out of her, helpfully drawing a contrast that made her realize her own freshly-prickling eyes. Marley put down the sandpaper and scrubbed her hands over her eyes again, which accomplished just as much as it did the first time, successfully doing nothing more than spreading pinpoint tears across her cheeks. “I’m-- Claudia--” It was such a relief to hear her say it out loud, and probably that was in part because her brain wasn’t currently unhelpfully trying to question it, but also probably that was mostly because it was a genuine relief. Not hesitating this time, without even thinking how Claudia might respond, Marley took a few purposeful steps around the table and flung her arms around her in a firm-but-hopefully-comforting-instead-of-just-tight hug. Gosh, it had been forever since they hugged. And oops now she was crying again. Too bad she’d already done such a good job of rubbing tears over her face and making it all wet, because this was really negating the effort.

  • Give up and go home? - Claudia, Wed Sep 12 15:48
    Manual labor was not something to which Claudia was accustomed. Potions and Magizoobotany had both required her to engage in some unpleasant physical tasks on occasion, but Claudia had not continued... more
    • Yup, that's how the saying goes - Marley, Fri Sep 14 23:52
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