Slice of Life

K

Kitti

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Crescent beamed, her arms full of happily smiling children. Alita was standing back, watching her coddle the children with utmost adoration and care. Still, eyeing the young woman with the new piercing, Crescent was brought back to the fact that they were still standing in her tattoo parlor and kids were not best suited to be in a tattoo parlor. Reluctantly, she stopped hugging the younger or the two children, a little boy with dirt smudged on his face despite having reportedly been in an airplane for the last few hours.

"Ah, Travis, there you are. These are my most beloved people in the world. Alita, you already know Valerie. This is the new hire, a piercer, named Travis. Travis, this is Miss Fertility Clinic, my older sister, Alita" she motioned to allow the two of them to shake hands. Turning to the children, she patted each on the cheek fondly before looking up at the clock.

"Oh, Val, what time was my next appointment?" the time she read off happened to be fifteen minutes from the time the clock read. Crescent covered the little boy's ears as she swore, fumbling for her keys. "Here, Alita, you can just go into the apartment and forgive the mess, it's at Sixth and Holly, just past Kalamath Boulevard. It's building two, number ten twenty" these directions seemed to pass right over Alita's head.

"You're hopeless... I can't have you stay here..." Crescent fretted, shooting Val a pained look. Val wouldn't be able to, she had to sign the forms for the under eighteens, the credit card information, and legal documentation so that they wouldn't have to deal with a lawsuit. "Alita, you're the most inconvenient person on the planet" she sighed, glancing again at the clock.


The bell rang shrilly, breaking Hibine from his reverie, signaling that the class was now over. Hibine was angry, angry with everything and everyone but he couldn't help going to answer April's text. She rarely ever texted him and the nagging worry in the back of his mind always was that there was something terribly important or grievously wrong with her. Biting his lower lip, Hibine swung his bag over his shoulder and exited the building once more.

The streets were still not crowded, with everyone t work or school, and he made fine time by walking toward the cafe. He knew that he would be fuming if she wanted him to meet her for something trivial and selfish, namely another falsified date so that she could do as she pleased. It was only at he moved to tug at his habitual scarf that he realized he was still in his fashionable attire. It was embarrassing to meet anyone looking this way, he had only felt fleeting confidence in his outfit before thinking he looked silly. It was like this, dressed to the hilt and scowling darkly, that Hibine entered the cafe.


Orianna laughed lightly at Reyna's words, her mood as cheerful as it had ever been. She patted Reyna's arm with an indulgent smile on her face. "You look marvelous in what you're wearing. As for me, all I can do is look nice, I wish that I could cook half as well as you" mischievously, she grabbed for the bottle of wine. Reyna's speechlessness flattered her immensely, making her feel vibrant and breathless herself, bold and teasing.

"Wine, hmm? And what do you plan for after the first two glasses, when lightweight Orianna is already drunk?" her eyes flashed with a jolly twinkling, her slender fingers tightening a little around the neck of the bottle when she caught Reyna's eyes with her own gaze. For a second, it seemed as if the world had halted its revolutions jus to let her eyes admire Reyna's entire body before locking with her stare once more.


Darius held the book in his hands, cradling it as though it were a newborn infant. The homey smell of coffee and the musk of books soothed him immensely and he was loathe to leave with his simple purchase now, especially since he was intrigued by the meek and tender clerk. Ripping his eyes away from a detailed examination of the cover of the book, Darius gave the young man his warmest smile, replacing the suave one he tended to wear for good face. The effect was to crinkle his eyes and softening the harsh lines of his face, making him look changed and more approachable.

"Would you have anything that you would recommend? Any amusing and worthwhile books, something to read instead of collect?" he fingered the emblazoned lettering absent-mindedly, letting each groove make a note on his fingertips. "The whole reason I even began collecting rare books was because literature enchanted me after all, don't look so surprised. I'm more than willing to take a look around the bookstore, now that I've found my prize."
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K

Kitti

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Original poster
[size=-2]
Crescent beamed, her arms full of happily smiling children. Alita was standing back, watching her coddle the children with utmost adoration and care. Still, eyeing the young woman with the new piercing, Crescent was brought back to the fact that they were still standing in her tattoo parlor and kids were not best suited to be in a tattoo parlor. Reluctantly, she stopped hugging the younger or the two children, a little boy with dirt smudged on his face despite having reportedly been in an airplane for the last few hours.

"Ah, Travis, there you are. These are my most beloved people in the world. Alita, you already know Valerie. This is the new hire, a piercer, named Travis. Travis, this is Miss Fertility Clinic, my older sister, Alita" she motioned to allow the two of them to shake hands. Turning to the children, she patted each on the cheek fondly before looking up at the clock.

"Oh, Val, what time was my next appointment?" the time she read off happened to be fifteen minutes from the time the clock read. Crescent covered the little boy's ears as she swore, fumbling for her keys. "Here, Alita, you can just go into the apartment and forgive the mess, it's at Sixth and Holly, just past Kalamath Boulevard. It's building two, number ten twenty" these directions seemed to pass right over Alita's head.

"You're hopeless... I can't have you stay here..." Crescent fretted, shooting Val a pained look. Val wouldn't be able to, she had to sign the forms for the under eighteens, the credit card information, and legal documentation so that they wouldn't have to deal with a lawsuit. "Alita, you're the most inconvenient person on the planet" she sighed, glancing again at the clock.


The bell rang shrilly, breaking Hibine from his reverie, signaling that the class was now over. Hibine was angry, angry with everything and everyone but he couldn't help going to answer April's text. She rarely ever texted him and the nagging worry in the back of his mind always was that there was something terribly important or grievously wrong with her. Biting his lower lip, Hibine swung his bag over his shoulder and exited the building once more.

The streets were still not crowded, with everyone t work or school, and he made fine time by walking toward the cafe. He knew that he would be fuming if she wanted him to meet her for something trivial and selfish, namely another falsified date so that she could do as she pleased. It was only at he moved to tug at his habitual scarf that he realized he was still in his fashionable attire. It was embarrassing to meet anyone looking this way, he had only felt fleeting confidence in his outfit before thinking he looked silly. It was like this, dressed to the hilt and scowling darkly, that Hibine entered the cafe.


Orianna laughed lightly at Reyna's words, her mood as cheerful as it had ever been. She patted Reyna's arm with an indulgent smile on her face. "You look marvelous in what you're wearing. As for me, all I can do is look nice, I wish that I could cook half as well as you" mischievously, she grabbed for the bottle of wine. Reyna's speechlessness flattered her immensely, making her feel vibrant and breathless herself, bold and teasing.

"Wine, hmm? And what do you plan for after the first two glasses, when lightweight Orianna is already drunk?" her eyes flashed with a jolly twinkling, her slender fingers tightening a little around the neck of the bottle when she caught Reyna's eyes with her own gaze. For a second, it seemed as if the world had halted its revolutions jus to let her eyes admire Reyna's entire body before locking with her stare once more.


Darius held the book in his hands, cradling it as though it were a newborn infant. The homey smell of coffee and the musk of books soothed him immensely and he was loathe to leave with his simple purchase now, especially since he was intrigued by the meek and tender clerk. Ripping his eyes away from a detailed examination of the cover of the book, Darius gave the young man his warmest smile, replacing the suave one he tended to wear for good face. The effect was to crinkle his eyes and softening the harsh lines of his face, making him look changed and more approachable.

"Would you have anything that you would recommend? Any amusing and worthwhile books, something to read instead of collect?" he fingered the emblazoned lettering absent-mindedly, letting each groove make a note on his fingertips. "The whole reason I even began collecting rare books was because literature enchanted me after all, don't look so surprised. I'm more than willing to take a look around the bookstore, now that I've found my prize."
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F

Fluffy

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Travis truly adored children. After walking around the counter to meet them, he ruffled the hair of the little boy that was standing next to Crescent. He smiled at the little family as they were introduced to him, taking the mother's hand into his own so he could shake it.

"Howdy do!" Travis said when she mentioned he was their new piercer. "Good to meet you!"

He began comparing this woman's features with his coworker's. Both of them were very beautiful, but Crescent was so much more lively and young looking. As he turned around to face all of them inside of just one, he showed a crooked frown when he heard that Alita was inconveniencing Crescent. This lady needed help getting to a place to stay; specifically, her younger sister's apartment.

Travis had no appointments today. In fact, his style was more of a walk in, then walk out basis. He was familiar with the area, though and could certainly lend a hand to this family. "If you trust me, Crescent, I'll direct your dear sister to your apartment."

He was already zipping up his jacket and feeling around for his keys, wallet and chapstick to be certain he was prepared to leave here. "Some people don't know I work here yet, so I'm not expecting a lot of customers until the ads all get through and the word gets spread around, y'know?" Travis smiled.
 
A

Anglkate

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Original poster
While she was waiting for Hibine, Taylor happened to be passing by. Seeing April upset in the window, he'd made his way inside and taken a seat with her. April perked thinking Hibine had actually came, but she wasn't disheartened to see Taylor either, "Hey, you okay?" Taylor asked taking a seat. April gave a feeble smile, "Yeah I'm fine...just...no I don't know anymore. God I know that he saw us, and the look on his face. Then Cecelia came and she said some things and I know she's just going to use him, but...maybe that's all I'm doing too" April's lip quivered as she put her head down trying to fight back tears. Why was she being so emotional?

Taylor frowned and scooted closer to her putting an arm round her shoulder and trying to comfort her, "Hey, forget about him. Sounds like him and this Cecelia girl are perfect for one another if he's going to hurt you this much" he said kindly. April lifted her head with a frown, "Don't say that! Hibine is a good person, and he deserves much better than Cecelia or myself. He deserves someone who will respect him and love him and not foolishly hurt his feelings like me" she prepared to get up thinking Hibine wouldn't show, "Look, thanks for your support, but I've gotten myself into a big mess. I probably wont' go to the party...you're a nice guy and all, but--anyways. I'll see you around, Taylor" with that she began to walk away. Taylor frowned and stood grasping her wrist, "April, please...you don't know how long I've had my heart saved for you. Even before your marriage was arranged...I"

April frowned now. "Let me go. You're starting to freak me out, Taylor," she demanded angrily. Taylor said nothing but pulled her close to him, "please, April.." and suddenly he kissed her.

At that exact moment Hibine walked into the cafe, the scowl on his face seemed to deepen as he just stood there watching April kiss Taylor. Taylor pulled back as April gasped and took a step back, shaking slightly. She turned to see Hibine, her eyes wide in shock, "H..Hibine! Please it's not what you think!" she insisted moving toward him, reaching out she gently took hold of his arm, "please Hibine, believe me, let me explain." Panic arose in her, her heart pounding.


~~

Reyna laughed some, "It's low proof, and a few drinks to loosen up won't kill us! i think we both deserve some unwinding time" she chuckled, "I'm going to make dinner then go shower and change, kay?" quickly getting the ingredients ready the kitchen area was soon filled with the smell of dinner being prepared. By the time Reyna finished, she let the meat simmer on very low while she excused herself and went to change, "Just keep an eye on the meat. Everything else should be fine to simmer" she said gently touching Orianna's arm as she passed, her gaze lingering a moment before she hurried toward the room to shower and change.

About a half hour later, Reyna returned, her hair (which had previously been pulled up) now fell down freely about her face and she wore a comfortable black tank with a white shoulder bat sleeved loose blouse that hung off one shoulder some, and a pair of comfortable pants. It was slightly dressy but still casual and comfy. She smiled faintly, "I still don't look as good as you" she joked as she went to check on the food, "Dinner should be ready!" she said happily as she began to serve. When she got to the table she marveled some, "oooh you did a nice job decorating" she smiled and served the food pouring each of them a glass of wine before taking a seat, "Shall we?" she held her glass up for a toast before their meal. This was going to be a great night!
 
K

Kitti

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Original poster
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Crescent nearly dropped her keys with surprise when Travis made his offer. Her anxiety felt as though it were tumbling off of her shoulders in a cascade, leaving her lighter and as upbeat as normal. Alita smiled secretly behind her hand while she watched their exchange, drawing her children in close to herself.

"Would you? Oh, I'd be so grateful. It's a pain having to ask for your help your first day here, but what are friends for, huh? You heard the directions, right? I'm sure Alita rented a car to get here" a quick glance to her sister confirmed this when she nodded "I have utmost faith in you, Travis, and in Alita to keep you in line." Crescent handed over the keys to her apartment and stooped down to hug each of the children in turn, then straightening and embracing her sister.

"Work will be done soon, I might clock out once I'm done with this next tattoo. I have something I have to do tonight, and before you give me that look, maybe you should warn someone, huh? But I'll spend some time with you before I go."


Hibine exhaled, letting the air rush from between his pursed lips so quickly that it emitted a high whistling sound. Cooly, he straightened his back, only just realizing that he had slumped a little at seeing April kissing Taylor. He lifted the hand April wasn't clinging to and pushed his glasses up the bridge of his nose, watching her with as expressionless a darkness as he could muster.

"April, I was worried about you. You made it sound urgent, so I came and I'm now missing my last class. I'm not lying for you again, I've gotten sick of eating dinner alone in a nice restaurant where wealthy men entertain their girlfriends and their mistresses. If you're so desperate to be free of me, you should have only said something. I was willing to allow you your freedom, I know exactly what it's like to have a predestined future. This, however, is too much for me to explain away with the empathy I feel for your lack of options. Instead of toying with my emotions, I would have preferred you be honest."

Hibine tugged away from her grasp and stood coldly, offering his arm to interlink with hers. "I promised you that I would walk you back home. Are you coming with me?"


Orianna made a face at Reyna, her nose wrinkling upward. "Stop saying things like that, you look... enchanting" she breathed, looking up and down Reyna's outfit change. "Especially your hair, I just want to bury myself in that soft, dark mass of waves..." she stepped over to Reyna dreamily, nestling her face against her hair.

With a start, Orianna broke away and backed up from where she had been standing. "Dinner smells great, you're a good cook. And thank you, I didn't work a hard on the decoration as I should have." She flushed with embarrassment and took the plate Reyna handed her with delicately curved hands to distribute the weight.

"Did you have any idea for the movies we're going to watch?"
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F

Fluffy

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Original poster
It warmed him to see her gratefulness towards his kind offer. Aside from wanting to impress her, he felt like she really could use the help. Travis was pretty withdrawn from his family because they were annoying to him... Always in his face about what was going on in life and asking if he was getting married yet. His family was full of sweethearts, but behind all that excitement, they were expecting too much of him. The mere thought caused him to smirk and shake his head while accepting the keys from her. As he could recall, his mother said something along the lines of "Don't talk to me again until you bring me a grandchild."

Travis smiled to the beautiful little family before walking over to the door, opening it so Alita and her children could walk through. He was glad to hear that Crescent would still have time to spend with him tonight... She clearly had some sense of loyalty, to both friends and family.

"Don't worry, everything will be fine!" he assured her, giving a wink and a handsome smile. The door closed behind him once the people he was escorting walked out, his head looking left and right before he got in step with the woman.

"Alrighty, it shouldn't be too hard to get there," Travis promised while walking to the car with everyone. He then glanced to the kids and asked curiously, "What are their names?"
 
A

Anglkate

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April wasn't sure how to respond to Hibine's reaction, it wasn't what she'd expected. His words sliced through her and actually stung. If one could feel their being shatter, April felt like that now. She looked at Hibine with a hurt expression, "Is that what you think, Hibine?" she bit her lip trying to fight back tears once more. She had no idea what to do anymore. Panicking a moment she turned and gathered her things, handing Hibine back the scarf he'd dropped. Burying whatever emotions she was feeling she glanced at Hibine's offered arm, "I'm sorry, Hibine. You're right, I shouldn't toy with people's emotions. I...I have been cruel and you do not deserve that. I hope you can forgive me" she said softly leaning forward and giving his a kiss on the cheek, "I...will walk myself though. I'm sorry for making you come all the way out here to miss your class." Another faked smile and an apologetic nod, and she turned, "Just tell my father that I had some things to take care of after school" she glanced at Travis and then Hibine before walking past Hibine and simply leaving the coffee shop. All through that scene April had almost perfectly acted as if she were still the same arrogant girl who did not care and wanted nothing to do with an arranged marriage or the likes. Deep down, though, she didn't know what she felt anymore.

Pausing a moment once outside, she gave a soft sigh before walking away from the coffee shop and back toward the High School. When she was far enough to not be seen by the boys anymore she suddenly broke into a sprint, tears falling from her eyes as she ran. April didn't stop to think why she was getting so emotional now, when she never did before. Was it because someone else was now vying for Hibine's attention? Isn't that what she'd always wanted? Slowing down a moment she wiped the tears from her eyes as she realized she'd pretty much sprinted all the way back to school. Sighing, she walked inside to grab her things so she could change back into her previous clothing. She was half expecting to run into Cecelia again after all this. Walking to the bathroom she went inside to change.


~~

Reyna chuckled softly as she took a seat and began to eat, "Eh...not sure. Wasn't sure if you wanted to do a scary movie night? Comedy? adventure? Chick flick? So many choices!" she smiled and began to dig into her food, hungry from the day even though it still seemed early, "The wine is superb!" she added with a wink as she continued to eat. The dinner itself was rather uneventful. The two chatted and ate while boozing up some on the wine. Reyna had already had three full glasses by the end of it and had a slight tint to her cheeks. Smiling, she poured herself a fourth glass, "So, Orianna, I can't figure out why you haven't snagged yourself anyone special yet! You're so gorgeous!! Any guy who could win your heart is a lucky man!" she said with a smile, "Come now, you can't tell me there isn't ANYONE that you have found to tickle your fancy?" She reached over and cupped Orianna's hands in her own, "Or is there and you're just not telling me, dear?" she chuckled again.
 
K

Kitti

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Alita patted each of the children on the top of their dark heads of hair with the proud smile that only a mother could achieve when watching two sticky, grinning, chattering children walk on either side of her. "My little boy is named Desiderio, or Desi for short. He's the younger child, four years old. My daughter is Graciela, or Gracie. She's seven. You must like children, huh?" she watched attentively as the two children darted into the back seat of her car and fought briefly over which of them would be able to sit behind their mother's seat.

Alita started the car and looked helplessly at Travis. "It's not often I'm out here, I usually only see my little sister on the holidays when she comes home." The traffic was mercifully not great and he pointed her in the right direction with little ado to begin their trip with.


Orianna giggled a little nervously, patting Reyna's hand. "I think you've had too much..." she tried to hedge the question, to change topics in her usual effortless manner that she used for work, but Reyna was insistent. Orianna placed her fingertips together and looked at Reyna over the tips of them. She knew that her own complexion was starting to pink as well, but there was a certain doll-like quality that the coloring lent to Reyna that Orianna was almost jealous of herself.

"Well, I'm generally just busy. I don't have much time for people and the upkeep that relationships require, since I'm either pampering myself for work or I'm actually working..." she took another long drink from her glass before standing up. "I think we should get to watching movies before it's too late, don't you?"


Taylor had attempted to say something to Hibine but, emboldened in part by his more masculine wardrobe and partly due to the turmoil that his emotions were wreaking, he was having none of it today. Hibine shoved Taylor back, a dulled fire in his eyes. "I will never forgive you if you in any way harm her. You know absolutely nothing about her and thinking that you can exert your dominance over her will get you results you could never have foreseen" he was unsure of why his heart was thumping faster and his clenched jaw did not stop the prickle of tears at the edges of his eyes.

Woodenly, Hibine made his way back to the house and hardly noticed the surroundings, only noting that everything seemed dreary and wet. Once back to April's house, Hibine knocked politely on the front door. He was warmly greeted in almost an instant by April's mother, a woman who had been very pretty once but had truly taken to herself wit motherhood and became the epitome of a motherly, nurturing figure. Hibine delivered April's message to her mother and declined repeatedly her invitation to come inside and warm himself by the fire with apple cider until she essentially grabbed him by the collar and yanked him into the house.

Hibine felt the room warm him inside and out while April's mother bustled and managed to return with a mug of cider. He was alarmed when she settled him in an armchair facing the fire, confused in all ways as to what was going on before him. Then, a familiar creak in the staircase alerted him to the approaching Mr. O'Hara.

Cecilia started in surprise when April entered the bathroom. Her wide eyes and normally pert smile narrowed. The air suddenly became tense, bitter almost, as Cecilia stopped drying her hands with the little cotton towel provided by the sink. She watched April, no real speech coming to mind but a hot resentment simmering beneath her surface.

"So you've decided, in your downward spiral, to take Hibine with you and cause him to miss even more class despite him returning to attend his lessons?"
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A

Anglkate

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April paused when she heard Cecilia's voice. It grated on her nerves and she wanted to just up and slap the girl, but she restrained. Wiping the tears from her eyes, she frowned some, "I gave him a choice, he didn't have to come, but he did because he was worried about me--" she trailed off as the scene replayed itself in her mind. Shaking her head she turned, "I mean it...stop toying with him. He doesn't deserve that...I may not be good for him but you are even WORSE. Stay away from him" she warned again and slipped into one of the stalls to change back into her other clothing so she could return home.

~~

Reyna pouted, "But orianna you're so preeeeetty" she insisted but at the mention of movies, in her slightly tipsy state, she quickly changed topics, "Right...hmm. How about we find something with some hot steamy men in it? Those are always nice relaxing movies" she said with a chuckle as she quickly got up and moved toward the living area. Plopping herself infront of the movie cabinet, she began to scan the titles, "hmm I don't know what sounds good...though..." as she scanned, she was leaned over on her hands and knees before propping herself up on her elbows and scanning the titles for a third time. "What do you think Ori dear?" she smiled
 
F

Fluffy

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"Yeah, I love kiddos," he answered, making a friendly smile. The names of the children intrigued him... In fact, the names of all these family members were interesting. Crescent was a name he never knew existed for a human being, though it was perfectly fitting for a woman like Crescent. So beautiful and mysterious, like the moon itself.

Travis made an understanding nod when Alita mentioned that she wasn't familiar with this city. "It's all good. I know this place like the back of my hand, so you've got nothing to worry about."

He looked down to the paper that Crescent wrote on, reading the letters and numbers so he could memorize them. It was important to pay attention as the navigator and there were times when staring at the map distracted a person from seeing what they were looking for all along. When it seemed necessary, he made conversation with the children to help keep them entertained. There was a certain charm to Travis that could make people of all ages laugh, no matter how lame the joke was. Travis had a feeling that it helped keep Alita calm as well, the smiles on his face never fading for a second.

"Well, there it is," he said, pointing to the exact location that matched the words of the paper. When the car came to a stop, he offered to help her and the kids inside; not to mention, he was curious about what her home looked like. He let Alita lead the way, the young ones trailing behind her. It wouldn't hurt to keep them company and he felt like Alita should relax, since she was carrying another child. He proclaimed to be the servant to Desi and Gracie if they needed help with a refreshment or entertainment.

Looking at a shiny silver watch on his left wrist, he said, "She won't be too much longer, I'm sure..." Travis was anxious for her return because they had a date tonight. It had been on his mind ever since their conversation at the restaurant during lunch time.
 
C

Charbovari

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A fiery eyebrow fuzzily crawled its way up Jakub's forehead, lending a slightly comical look to his confused expression as he pondered Thanos's leading question: "You two seem... close?" At this cautious sign of interest (or was it mockery?) from the artist, Jakub shifted on his feet and responded with a bit of a grin.

"Well, ah, Trey and I, yeah, basically we grew up together, kinda riffing off each other all the time, we spent more time in others' rooms than our own, just shooting the shit and talking about everything you can think of, making music together now, though there are times when I wish he'd focus on his own life instead of hovering over mine like some kind of dive bomber, dropping lame jokes all the damn time..." He tossed a glance at his friend who, for once, was still across the room, giving them space.

Jakub wondered at the fact he so easily threw Trey, his best friend, under the bus just now, beguiled as he was by his curly-haired inquisitor. Thanos, in his skeptical and aloof way, had some kind of pull over him, which Jakub found both thrilling and dangerous. The guy was extracting thoughts and words from him, apparently without even trying. He felt a bit like a prize trout being reeled in by a seasoned fisherman - or rather, like a ship at sea being sucked into a vortex. Jakub crossed his arms and lowered his voice.

"'Nough about me though. This is your show, dude. I can't wait to scan these pictures in and work them into an album cover. Lemme go get my checkbook from the car..."

Jakub made a swift exit, walking towards his hatchback in the parking lot, one hand holding his hat, the other scratching his head in a frenzy. In the studio he left Trey, who stood around taking it all in with a dopey, bemused grin. Jakub opened the door to his car and sat in the driver's side - not turning the ignition, but rather, just resting his hands on the wheel and breathing calmly and rhythmically, in an attempt to collect his thoughts.
 
K

Kitti

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Original poster
[size=-2]
Crescent was out of breath when she finally made it to the top of the flight of stairs that led to her apartment's hallway. Her cheeks were tinted pink from exertion and she attempted to preen herself to look her best before she knocked on the door. Dark, mischievous eyes were glimmering from the excitement of her date and she was aware that this man made her heart beat in mighty irregular ways.

After deciding her hair was as tame as it would get, Crescent experienced the peculiar sensation of knocking on her own apartment door. There were sounds inside that made her smile a little as her knuckles made contact with the thin faux wood, and she almost paused in knocking because she didn't want to drown out of halt the delighted peals of laughter that she could make out as clearly as if the children were standing next to her. There was a low murmur, voices, and then foot steps. A bit of curiosity prompted her to wonder who would answer the door.


Cecilia laughed when April entered the bathroom stall. "You're so intimidating, I'm really very scared" she was still chortling when she sashayed out of the bathroom. Cecilia was certain that Hibine would prefer her, after all, she had not burned the bridges that April had achieved burning. Casually, she tossed her hair over one shoulder and continued along her way.

Hibine nearly leapt to his feet when he saw the imposing figure of April's father, still shrouded in the shadows of the hallway. He looked even taller from this angle and Hibine shrank a little in his chair when faced with the man. The booming voice of Mr. O'hara was friendly but Hibine was still alarmed. Then, the conversation that had begun with tentative replies from Hibine and response from the man veered into uncomfortable territory when he mentioned April.

"Where are you?" Hibine wondered to himself of April as he shifted nervously.


Orianna laughed but selected a movie and popped it into the small DVD player in front of the television screen. Actors swam across the screen as she petted Reyna's hair lazily, Reyna having nestled her face against her shoulder. This was calming and peaceful, she assured herself. Her increased heartbeat disagreed with her however, she she fought back whatever it was she was feeling.

Orianna's eyelids began to droop part way through the movie and she moved to adjust. When Reyna raised her head, she realized with a start that she had not been asleep as she had assumed. "Sorry" she laughed, smoothing her skirts with the hint of a blush.

"Are you tired?"


Thanos watched the man with curiosity, as he took his leave, following along behind like an obedient animal but on a second thought he paused and returned to the gallery. Though there had been a hint of cynicism when the reply had begun, there was a genuine note of fondness at the end that nevertheless reassured Thanos that this fascinating man was in no relationship with the goofy friend of his still examining the gallery.

Lightly, Thanos removed the sunflower and the iris from the wall with a careful, steady hand. In general, he treated his own work roughly, he only saw the imperfections of it, as every artist did. There was, however, something in these two paintings that had been found precious by someone and thus they warranted a sort of reverence from him in having succeeded where he generally failed -- they had been approved of wholeheartedly.

Thanos stepped carefully around the car and knocked with a light touch on the windshield, trying to get Jakub's attention.
"Are you all right?" he asked, quirking an eyebrow.
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A

Anglkate

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April listened to Cecelia's words and heard her leave, anger making her cheeks flush. Changing quickly she stepped from the stall to examine herself in the bathroom mirror. Her eyes were puffy from crying, but a quick do-over with make-up would fix that up. Composing herself, she shoved everything into her backpack as she took out her cellphone to check and see if she had any messages or missed calls. Slipping from the bathroom, the final bell rang as April quickly made her way toward the exit, avoiding whomever she could so she didn't waste anymore time. A few guys offered her a ride back, but she knew that wouldn't look well. Declining, she hurried back toward home.

Breathless, she finally came to her house as she moved toward the front door, unaware that Hibine was inside being questioned. Unlocking the door she made herself presentable, "I'm home" she called hurrying up the stairs to her room so she could deposit her bookbag. A servant intercepted her, "Your parents are in the living room and would like to see you, miss. Mr. Yasu is there as well"

April's eyes widened, "What?" she said surprised but quickly composed herself. Nodding she hurried back downstairs and made her way to the living room, her eyes instantly falling upon Hibine, but she quickly glanced away when their eyes briefly met. "Ah pumpkin, there you are! Why didn't you walk back with Hibine?" Her father asked in a kind yet firm voice. April blinked a moment, "Oh, well there was a meeting after school for the student council and I was obligated to stay late. I'm sorry I didn't call ahead father, but it was sort of last minute" she forced a faint smile, "Is everything okay father?" she asked looking between her parents. For some reason she felt tension in the room, but perhaps it was just her nerves. Either way, per usual, everything was a lie or an act for her in this life. She wanted to just turn and run away from everything, but she remained where she was her heart racing. Anticipation.


~~

Reyna was on the verge of sleep, so comfortable wrapped up with her head resting on Orianna. She felt like she was in heaven. When Orianna asked if she was still tired, she turned so she was looking up at her friend. Her eyes were still glazed from the wine, but she was in a good place, "No...not at all. I'm just very comfortable"

They say that alcohol is a good truth serum right? Perhaps that's so. She certainly was feeling less inclined to hold back anything she was thinking. "Orianna..." she said her friend's name softly, tenderly, as one might say to a lover as they prepared for a steamy night. Just her name, nothing else. Reaching up a hand, she softly cupped Orianna's face and smiled at her before continuing once more, "Orianna...you're so...beautiful--" with that said she drew her other hand up to cup the other side of her head, pulling Orianna down toward her and bringing their lips together into a kiss. At first it was hesitant, but soon she began to pour what she felt into the kiss. A deep passionate kiss unlike the usual friendly ones she generally bestowed to Orianna. This was more, much more. As strange as it might seem, it just felt right. At that moment everything just felt so right!

Her stomach was doing flips and her heart was pounding madly in her chest through the entire kiss. It felt like it lasted forever, but really it was only a few brief moments passing by. Finally, she pulled back breaking the kiss and looking up into Orianna's eyes as a blush clearly spread across her face. Her chest rose and fell slowly with each uncertain breath she now took, and her mind swam with many emotions. Perhaps it was the alcohol affecting her, but still. Even sober she knew she felt like this around Orianna. It was almost intoxicating in itself.
 
F

Fluffy

Guest
Original poster
Travis was enjoying his time with the children and idly wondered if he'd get to see them more in the future. They were family of a woman he was seeking a relationship with, even if it was happening rather quickly. It also felt good to be doing someone a favour... Alita was carrying another child and seemed stressed by the still new territory. He didn't mind tending to the needs of these children for a second.

He heard a knock on the door and doubtlessly, it was Crescent. Travis was in the middle of searching for a television show for the kids to watch, settling on a Nickelodeon cartoon. He waited for their Mother's approval before leaving it at that and smiled widely as they sat down silently to watch.

"Gonna get the door," he announced, walking over to twist the doorknob after unlocking it. The door was open a crack so he could peek through, his heart skipping a beat when he saw that it was Crescent. Travis decided to take a chance; he very well may get a hand met with his face.

Swiftly, he stepped out of the door and shut it quietly behind him, his hand on the knob while his other arm snaked carefully around her waist. She was pulled towards him so he could meet her face with his own, fiery passion in his eyes as he gently pressed his lips to hers, his bottom lip giving her a combination of warmth and cold metal. It was all very brief, this being payback for that short kiss she gave him after their lunch today.

"Hello!" he said in a singsong voice after moving his face away.
 
C

Charbovari

Guest
Original poster
The rapping sound of knuckles on the window jolted Jakub out of his statue-like, catatonic state. Rubbing his eyes, he looked up, and encountered an otherworldly apparition in his windshield. Curly golden locks, backlit by the afternoon sun, formed a halo of solidified sunlight around the man's head, while his facial features were mired in shadow - a rogue angel from some solar kingdom, come down to judge him, Jakub suddenly thought. The sunlit seraph asked Jakub if he was okay. He had the paintings under his arm. Jakub immediately put his best face on, cranking down the car window and offering a grin. "Yeah, I'm good! Here, let me pop the trunk, just drop them in back there."
Jakub leaned forward to pull the trunk release - but it didn't budge. "Dammit." He opened the door and stepped out of the car, leading Thanos around to the trunk, talking as they went. "Ever since Trey got old Mitzi here in a fender-bender, she's been stubborn about letting me use the trunk..." Mitzi evidently was the name of his car, a 1985 Mitsubishi Mirage hatchback. Jakub stuck the key in the trunk latch and turned it - still no effect. "Egh... here, hold this for a sec?" Jakub took off his guitar bag and his hat, handing both to Thanos. With his left hand, he held the key turned in the latch, while he curled the fingers of his right hand over the edge of the trunk lid, and pulled. "She doesn't trust me any more... but at least she still gets me where I need to go," Jakub explained, straining as he yanked on the trunk, a bead of sweat forming on the flexed muscles along his neck. "And she's got plenty of space in back... when I can get it to work...!" The trunk finally popped open with a metallic creak. Jakub used his shirt to wipe the sweat from his forehead, admiring the trunk with a pleased smile, as though opening it were a great accomplishment. Without lifting his gaze from the trunk, he stood there for a moment quite self-consciously - catching his breath, but also wondering whether Thanos was looking at him, what he was thinking, what he was feeling. He couldn't shake the sense that something important was happening, right now, right here, this meeting, this moment--

"Guys! Guys! Oh hey, Van Gogh, your boss kicked me out. I think he thought I was trying to rob the place. So where we going?" Trey's voice cut across the parking lot as he approached, waving at Thanos and Jakub and, given that he was wearing a loose-fitting tank top, revealing a tuft of armpit hair as he did so. He leapt into the open door of the two-door vehicle and sat in the middle, between the driver and passenger's seats, resting his big arms along the back of both seats. Jakub rolled his eyes.

He turned towards Thanos and locked eyes with him. "Sorry," Jakub said, though what he was apologizing for exactly, he wasn't sure. "Anyway... we can chill until tonight's show, if you're free." He opened the passenger side door for Thanos, revealing a cramped interior (which Trey was taking up half of already). Jakub made a small welcoming gesture with his hand, directing Thanos towards the passenger's seat, next to Trey who would be sitting between the two of them. "You in?"
 
K

Kitti

Guest
Original poster
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Crescent was so surprised that she stood for a moment, completely alarmed by the greeting she had received from Travis. She blinked as steadied herself with one hand by grabbing the rail. He looked mischievous and was pretending to seem entirely innocent when he backed off to greet her in warm tones. Crescent brushed several loose strands of hair from her face and tried to read his expression deeper than the projected intent but it was too difficult for her currently addled brain, and she didn't have the time.

"Hello to you too" she replied, angry with her traitorous voice for being so breathless. Crescent slid past him to open up the door, chiming her arrival for only a second before she was against pounced on by the two children who seemed to absolutely adore her. After a small scuffle, she managed to detach the children at the same time that Travis's presence was made clear by the click of the door closing again.

"I just wanted to let you know that I made it back all right. Feel free to make yourself at home, Ali, I've got something that I've got to do and then I'll be back. You don't have to wait up for me; there's the guest bedroom that you already know about. You can tuck one of the kids in my bed for the night and keep the other with you or if the guest bed is too small for that, you can put the other on the couch. There are blankets in the closet by the bathroom..." she flashed her sister a shy smile and gave her a hug before heading to the door and waving.


Hibine looked up to April and watched the immediate transformation take hold of her. It pained him to see her smile become artificial and scripted but it made what he had been planning easier when he thought about how much happier April would be for it. He stood woodenly out of the chair and straightened his posture from his usually slightly slumped average.

Standing at his full height, he was only perhaps an inch shorter than April's father, though his youth and nervousness were plainly evident. It was hard for Hibine to look at the sweet, gentle Mrs. O'Hara and her expectant tray without beginning to feel the pain. There was a picture on the mantle of April and Hibine as children in a park, little things like this littered both houses and it picked his heart to watch the world he'd built his entire life begin to crumble.

"Mr. O'Hara," he began, facing him with tenuous conviction in his voice, "April and I have been discussing and it seems as though the previous arrangement that we had would be... difficult for us to uphold. April has every right to choose who she wants to spend her life with, I support her fully. Each of the budding young men at the school would be impeccable choices for her, there is no loss in value" he was turning pink at the cheeks and before anyone could respond, he bowed curtly to all three people present in the room and fled in the most dignified manner that he could muster.

Orianna blushed scarlet, her skin warming beneath Reyna's kiss and she fought valiantly against her every instinct that burned for her to not only accept the kiss but to deepen it. Too soon, however, the moment was over and she was left with her blood boiling in her veins, as well as a rapidly pounding heartbeat. The scent of Reyna's perfume was overwhelmingly sweet in her nostrils, thrilling each nerve cell it seemed as it short-curcuited her brain.

It took the utmost concentration from Orianna to lift Reyna's sleepy form off of the thick cream carpets where her body only seemed to sink in deeper, but it was eventually managed. Reyna, for her part, seemed unwilling to be lifted from the ground.

"Come on, let's get you to bed, sweetie, I think you're a little drunk..." she tried to laugh casually.

Thanos smiled wryly, looking at the enthusiastic Trey running toward them and trying to act sociable so he didn't seem so out of place in their casual friendship, "He seems very intent on giving at least the impression that there's great value tucked inside there" he laughed, a little too forced still but he was trying.

"Uh, I would really like to hang out, if you don't mind. You can show me around, as payment for the art" he offered, resting against the little car. It was hard for him to try and be so casual when he already knew how he wanted the night to end. He'd known since he'd seen Jakub that he wanted this evening to end with listening to his music and becoming lost in the sounds. From there, his mind had filled in the rest of the night's details: perhaps he'd buy him a congratulatory drink for a great show, one drink bleeding into another until he'd seduced him into coming to his hotel room. Alternatively, he thought, perhaps if he could get Trey to move away he'd manage things without having to get Jakub quite that drunk, although he presumed alcohol in all cases.

With great effort, Thanos refocused on the subject at hand. Trey and Jakub were indicating their bent up little metal deathtrap and gesturing for him to climb inside. Thanos warily opened the door and slid onto the seat while listening to Trey chatter next to him. He was curious where they were going but could hardly get a word in edgewise to ask them and contentedly stared at the window while daydreaming to himself about tonight.
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F

Fluffy

Guest
Original poster
Travis was smiling at her reaction, both proud and relieved because she didn't slap him or act afraid. He felt like he was part of a game and that he just tied the score.

As she walked past him to walk into her apartment, he followed close behind and shut the door. The children ran from what they were doing to attack her with love; that made his smile broaden. She looked to be so friendly with children, though like many others, only family was truly tolerated. As for Travis, he loved all kids. Even if they were spoiled rotten with bad attitudes, he enjoyed them and knew how to counter their statements with smart ones of his own.

While Crescent talked to her sister, he pulled out his wallet and looked through it for some cash. There were some ones in there from the tip his customer gave him today, a twenty and a ten. Should that not be enough for their date tonight, he had his debit card handy. The ones would at least suffice for a tip to the waiter, maybe the video games in the lobby if she was interested in that. He recalled past girlfriends liking it when he'd play the crane game to win them a stuffed animal and if he failed, he bought them a dessert to make up for it.

Travis closed the wallet, nodding with approval to himself before putting it back in his rear pocket. He was set to leave whenever she was ready, standing there patiently while giving Alita a friendly look. "It was a pleasure to meet you and your kiddos."
 
A

Anglkate

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Original poster
After Hibine's little show, the entire room was speechless. April felt her entire being drop in shock as he broke off, in as polite a manner as he could muster, the marriage arrangement. Though in a sense it was little shock to her, it still hit her like a ton of bricks. Her parents were simply speechless and unsure how to take the news. As it slowly began to settle in, April noticed the slow furrowing of her father's brow signaling that his anger was about to flare. Hibine wasn't to blame for this, she knew that, she was. She bit her lip and stepped forward, "Father--"

"Not now, sweetpea...Daddy has some discussing to do with the Yasu family I--"

"Daddy! Don't...not yet. Let me talk to him. I...I think this may be my fault anyways. Please Daddy" she said trying to hold back the tears that were brimming her eyes. Her mother sat there speechless still but suddenly snapped her fingers to signal a butler to arrive, "Adams...please...can you get me a glass of sherry... and some Scotch for the Mr"

"As you wish madame" he stated and hurried off. Eyes fell back to April, their loving daughter whom looked quite beside herself. Her father's eye twitched ever so faintly in his agitation, but he gritted his teeth, "For you, my dear, I will wait! But when you return we shall all have a VERY long talk" he stated gruffly, his voice raising. It wasn't very often that her father raised his voice to her, so she knew this was serious. April nodded and turned, hurrying from the house in the direction that Hibine had gone. Was this really what he wanted? What about her? Shouldn't she be happy that her wish to be freed of an arranged marriage came true? If so, why did she feel like everything she'd ever known had been ripped in half and thrown away.

Hurrying down the street she made her way toward Hibine's house first to see if he was there. Hibine..I'm sorry She thought to herself the entire time. What else could possibly go wrong on this day?


~~

"Bed?" Reyna said finally standing on her own two feet. She swayed slightly, but she managed on her own. STretching her arm out she waggled her finger back and forth, "Uh uh...I'm not drunk! You know this! It takes much more than some wine to get me drunk. I'm just...happy. In a good mood!" she giggled some as she took hold of her friend's hand within hers, "You can't tell me you've never felt anything more between us, Ori?" She pouted her lips some, "How can we know unless we try? Come on...it's just us. A girl's night in! Why shouldn't we BOTH enjoy ourselves?" she laughed a bit and kissed her friend's hand. Her eyes begged from more, but she finally sighed after a moment and seemed to calm down.

"Ah, perhaps you're right, hun. Please forgive me for how I'm acting, I'm not myself tonight" she stated and moved forward giving Orianna a kiss on the cheek, "I'm going to go take a bath and then head to bed. Dinner was AMAZING" she added as she slowly slipped away and headed to the bathroom after leaving a trail of clothes behind her. Shutting the door partially she put her glasses on the counter and put a bubble bath on. Slipping into the warm waters she gave a soft sigh of contentment as she washed away her day. Her mind, though, was on Orianna.
 
C

Charbovari

Guest
Original poster
Gripping the wheel of his car with iron fists, Jakub carefully pulled out of the parking space and out onto the street. Despite his devil-may-care, rock-and-roll appearance, he drove cautiously, hunched over the wheel - like an old man would. He drove especially cautiously this time, on account of the precious cargo in his care - not only the paintings in his trunk, but the golden-haired painter in his passenger seat. Jakub stole glances at Thanos from time to time as they drove, watching curiously as the creature gazed out of his passenger side window. He struck an interesting contrast, Jakub thought, this graceful, gentle being called Thanos, trying to make himself comfortable sitting in his junky car next to his junky friend. Jakub wondered at what mysterious collection of circumstances led to him having this man in his car. If only Trey weren't there too, sitting stubbornly between them...

"Why don't we stop by my place, drop off the paintings. I'll show you around the 'nabe' a bit. By then it'll be time to head back for tonight's show." Jakub clicked on the turn signal and navigated his way up a highway onramp. The Mitsubishi revved and whined along like a race car engine as it zoomed down the highway, sputtering and slowly picking up speed. Jakub looked to his right and grinned privately as he realized that the sun was setting over the city skyline on Thanos's side of the car, a sight he knew the artist wouldn't miss. Tossing his head back, Jakub spoke, "They say the reason our sunsets are so brilliant here is just the pollution--"

SCCCCRRRRCH! Honk! The whole car jolted as a speeding van in the neighboring lane sideswiped them, accompanied by a screech of metal against metal that rang in the passengers' ears. The van sped past, a terrifying gray blur right outside the window, taking along with it (CLACK!) the rear-view mirror on Jakub's side. "Fuck!" Jakub cursed, while Trey laughed maniacally. Jakub swerved off to the right side of the highway, coming to a stop on the rocky shoulder of the highway. They were on an overpass. Cars whizzed by them and under them, each one buffeting the car with a gust of wind. The trunk on Jakub's hatchback was popped open, and he realized with horror that the paintings had fallen out of the back of the car, and were sitting in the middle of the road. "Fuck! Fuck!" Jakub leapt out of the car, dodging a red convertible that whizzed past him, and ran over to where the paintings were, scooping them up and dashing back to the shoulder of the road. With a blank look, he inspected the paintings. They were still physically intact, due to their rigid backings. The dark iris looked fine, if a bit scuffed and flecked with dirt. But the brilliant sunflower had a painful scar - a thick, brown, muddy tire-track cutting across it diagonally. Jakub stood and stared at the two paintings in the fading sunlight, wondering what he could possibly say to Thanos when he came outside.
 
K

Kitti

Guest
Original poster
[size=-2]
Crescent blushed a little at Travis's behavior - not that it was inappropriate but that it made her feel like a teenager out again on her first date. She wanted to toy with him some, to get back at him, yet with the two wide-eyed children watching she decided against it at that point in time. Crescent tugged Travis out the door and to her car, deciding all the while where she'd like to eat and eventually just assuming Travis could choose.

"So, stud, where are we headed?" Crescent asked as she eased out of the parking lot and waited in front of the street, her foot toeing the gas pedal in anticipation. There weren't any cars behind her, yet, so she had some time for debate but not much. She glanced out the rearview mirror just to make sure while she offered no suggestions for the meal. She tried hard to keep from meeting his eyes because the youthful, goofy charm that she saw reflecting in them was almost enough to make her want to be tender with him, to gently kiss his lips and allow herself to trust in him. That was foolish and she'll only end up hurt and on the fence about whether to fire him or let him do good work still should he break her heart, should she let him touch it.


Hibine was safely ensconced inside his home when April arrived and after his sea of barely controlled emotion, the butler was hesitant to let April into the house. He made faces, subtly, and attempted to explain to her that the young master was not in the mood, but April simply wouldn't listen. Finally, when she let a single tear slip down her cheek, he gave up, threw his hands in the air, and started polishing the silver again whilst muttering about how he'd never like to be a rich man.

Hibine was curled on his bed inside the house, knowing that he was not late enough home to really spur the interest of his mother and that his father was still at work. Mrs. Yasu was still in her bath, oblivious to her son's distress, in fact. Hibine expected utter silence for at least another twenty minutes or so, which caused him to be quite alarmed when his door burst open to show April standing in the doorway.

"April?" he said, sounded completely confused to see her in his house. "I've done.... as you wished. I never meant to trap you."


Orianna collapsed on the floor, her cheeks flooded with color, as she tried to comprehend what had just occurred. She knew that something had happened, something momentous. She was sure of it, yet she could not exactly place what it was. Reyna left her standing outside of the bathroom, slipping away inside. Orianna wondered whether or not Reyna was feeling the same as she was. Taking a deep breath, Orianna decide to venture, just a little.

"Are you working tomorrow, Reyna?" she asked hesitantly, her breath catching in her throat as she tried to exhale. She couldn't really tell what was happening, only that she had never felt this way. Her knees beneath her were trembling and she felt a little sick to her stomach with anxiety. She wanted more than she had ever wanted anything to hear Reyna's answer and she didn't want to admit, even to herself, why this was and instead, she chose to ignore it and not think about it at all.


The accident jarred Thanos, giving him a slight headache since he had pressed his nose to the glass of the window while he was looking out of it. Everything had happened so fast, he didn't know what to think or how to react and instead could only focus on the fact that he felt a throbbing pain in his head - otherwise, though, he was certain that he was perfectly fine. Slowly, Thanos climbed from the car, intent on assisting Jakub, when he saw his paintings flutter carelessly from the back of the car and into the road.

Thanos paused, not sure what to say. He felt a little detached and yet still somehow sad, for those had been feelings and emotions that he had tried to capture in messy strokes of a paintbrush. Before he could react, however, Jakub had darted onto the road and scooped up the paintings. Thanos gaped at him for a moment, opening and closing his mouth slightly. Finally, words came back to him.

"Don't do that again! You could have been killed, this is the highway! Skata, those paintings aren't worth you getting hit by a car" Thanos snapped at Jakub. Seeing the look on hi face, however, Thanos softened his tone and expression, trying to twist words into what he wanted to say, though English was not his dearest ally and words in general never seemed to come out right because he never quite knew what to say.

"Next time? I would rather you let my paintings fall into the water and disintegrate with the fish than risk yourself to save them, all right?" he finished in a slightly stilted tone, embracing Jakub awkwardly. This was what people did, to express apologies, right? Thanos broke away and tried to change the topic.

"I think it is better with the grime on the flower..."


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