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Look, I got lost on the way to getting some jajangmyeon and it'd be foolish to leave now.

Most Recent Posts

Location: The Stentorian Estate —> Hailey’s car —> A cafe —> Hana’s home
Featuring: Butler, Hailey Green-Locke, and Hana Park
Collab With: @Fabricant451

As long as there were people like Henry Green in the world, Hana was probably going to have a decent time. It had been less than a week and she was already roughly ten point five thousand dollars wealthier than she was at this time last year. Getting paid six hundred cold cash in school of all places was certainly enough to brighten her mood even as it meant having to stop by her suppliers and endure their lurid gazes and off handed remarks about the way her legs looked in her skirt. But, what a customer wants, a customer gets, especially a customer that was willing to pay without even trying to haggle down. Hana wasn’t able to get the full amount as paid for, but the way she figured it, Henry would soon be too blitzed out on the white powder to even care; hell, she might’ve even saved his life. There wouldn’t be any refunds, however.

As her Uber dropped her off, she assumed the six hundred dollars would not even be missed.

For all intents and purposes, the Green’s lived in a goddamn castle - especially compared to the rather moderate two bedroom apartment that Hana lived in with her sister. To say she was impressed would’ve been an understatement. Henry wasn’t kidding when he brought up Tony Montana earlier - even he would feel inadequate within this place. Still, she couldn’t let herself seem too impressed. She handed the driver a ten dollar bill as she got out and checked to make sure the bag within her purse was still there.

Walking up to the gate was a feat in itself; she half expected some kind of guard station asking if she was on the list. What was the code again? One zero...eight five...three? She pressed those numbers and saw that she was missing a few digits. She cursed herself silently and tried again. Why did Henry talk so goddamn fast sometimes?

It was on the third attempt that the gate beeped angrily at her, and seemed to lock itself even harder. Would it be a poor choice to try again? Most likely. From the looks of the place that Henry called home, it seemed likely that a fourth attempt may end in the end of Hana Park, but there was a silver lining. From behind her, trailing up the winding road was a bright blue luxury sedan. The windows were blacked out, and it was impossible to get a good idea of who was driving, let alone of who was in the backseat.

The car pulled up next to her, the rear driver’s side next to her. The window rolled down and revealed the stone cold face of Hailey Green, with the accompanying music pouring out of the window, though Hailey gestured and the music was brought down to a more agreeable level. She smiled at Hana in an almost condescending way. “May I ask why you’re standing in front of my gate?” Despite the smile, the voice was almost venomous. Hailey hated strangers, especially those trying to break into her house, no doubt to pester her parents.

For the briefest of moments, Hana assumed it was the police. It would’ve made sense, strange girl angrily typing at a keypad, clearly not a resident. Turning to the music, and specifically the voice, Hana wasn’t sure this was much better. Still, she made a go of it, putting on a smile before she figured that was a bit unnatural and made her seem like some kind of weird salesperson. Still, Hana was a bit hesitant, not that she didn’t have an answer, just that the sight of a clearly unamused Hailey Green was...not what she expected to see today. It wasn’t exactly intimidation, though it was as good a reason as any for the pause.

”Yeah, why am I not surprised he didn’t tell anyone.” Hana thought about stepping closer to the car, for ease of conversation, but common sense got the better of her. She rolled her eyes, if anything this was the fault of someone else. ”I’ve got a package for Henry. I don’t normally make house calls but your brother seemed really desperate. And he paid up front.” There was the ever present possibility that Hana’s presence was mildly less annoying than Henry’s existence, which would be all Hana needed to get inside anyway.

“A package, hm?” Hailey’s smile instantly disappeared, and she leaned forward, looking Hana up and down, her eyes resting on the skirt longer than they perhaps should have — not that Hailey much cared. After finishing her blatantly undressing of Hana with her eyes, Hailey shrugged. “I didn’t know our school had the type, but I guess you should work with what you get. One isn’t enough? He has to buy another Korean? I can’t stand him.”

After rather blatantly calling Hana a prostitute, Hailey rested her head against the headrest and stared at the ceiling of the car with her eyes closed, considering her options. She could open the gate for this girl, and let her inside to do her dealing with Henry… or she could try something else. Without opening her eyes or looking over at the young woman outside of the car, Hailey spoke. “How much did he pay you?”

If Hana noticed Hailey’s gaze she didn’t comment on it, nor did she seem to react to it. It was different when her suppliers remarked because they were sleazy; with Hailey...well...girls admired other girls all the time. For fashion and such. Even so, the part that irked Hana was the insinuation that the package was some kind of sexual favor. She had standards, and Henry wasn’t even near the top of the list.

”It’s not...I’m not. I’m not the package.” She was flustered. That didn’t bode well. She was not the type to get flustered. A sigh and a moment to calm down after the prostitution comparison and she was a bit more talkative. ”He paid six hundred dollars and was pretty open about it in class. Honestly if it wasn’t for that I wouldn’t even be here. No offense, but I’m not exactly the ‘hang out with Henry Green’ type.”

One of Hailey’s eyes cracked open after Hana’s insistence that she wasn’t the package, and that Henry had paid upfront. “You’re not? Unfortunate. And good, you shouldn’t be. Henry Green sucks. It’s exceptionally unlucky that he and I share the same parents.” Hailey paused, and there were a few seconds of silence before she opened her eyes and leaned forward to the driver’s seat. “Butler. Do we have cash? We do? Good.” Hailey pulled her head back and turned to look at Hana.

“It’s your lucky day. I’ll quadruple the six hundred if you get in the car and come have coffee — or something else, if you’d prefer, I’m not picky. Donuts sound good, though. — with me, and don’t deliver Henry his package. Why? Because I’m a petty bitch and I want him to have a no good, very bad, terrible day. This would simply be the icing on the metaphorical cake. Plus, you’re cute and I like your skirt.”

There was a bit of a code that Hana lived by when it came to doing her side job and that was never disappointing a customer. Happy customers were returning customers and returning customers were how money was made. When Hailey made her counter offer, though Hana raised an eyebrow as anyone would when basically offered twenty four hundred dollars...she knew she had to say no.

But then Hailey had to go and say that Hana was cute. Suddenly Hana was self conscious about the skirt, not that she looked bad in it - clearly she didn’t if Hailey Green remarked on it - but because she was sure her knees were shaking. Cute? No one had really called her cute apart from people remarking on a change in hair style or how cute an accessory went with an outfit. ”I like donuts.” She wanted to slap herself. First impressions didn’t get second chances. ”I mean...You don’t have to pay for my company. I’m pretty sure I’d have a better time...what I mean is...Henry’s a big boy, he’ll live without his fix.” In a very flustered and roundabout way, Hana did away with her code in favor of a far better offer cropping up.

“Wonderful.” Hailey smiled, and this was less icy than her first smile. She showed more of her sparkly white teeth, and it seemed to be completely genuine. Hailey held up her hand and snapped her fingers.

Almost immediately, the driver door open and out stepped a burly man, and Hailey glanced over at Hana. “This is Butler. He’s my, erm… butler.” As Hailey spoke, the man gestured for Hana to follow him and walked over to the other side of the car, opening the rear passenger side door for Hana to get in. “This is quite embarrassing, and I do apologize, but… I don’t believe I ever quite caught your name? I’m Hailey — but you probably already knew that.”

If ever there was something intimidating it was Butler getting out of the car. Hana took a step back on reflex, but realized what a ridiculous notion it was. Sure he looked like he could probably kill a man with his hands, but he was on Hailey’s employ so as long as Hana was in good graces everything was copacetic.

”I did know that. I think everyone knows who you are.” She tried to hide her obvious bit of pandering, but did it really count as pandering when it was the truth? ”I’m Hana. Hana Park. You can call me Hana.” What the hell was she doing? What else would Hailey call her? Mentally kicking herself, Hana entered the car, stepping in and finding it immediately comfortable, a far sight more so than her Uber had been. ”Do you mind if we, err...get rid of Henry’s package? I’d rather not get donuts and coffee with you with grams of...stuff.”

Once Hana had climbed into the car, the behemoth shut the door for her and lumbered around the car to the driver’s seat.

Hailey immediately turned her attention to her new plaything; rather, new friend. “Hana? That’s a lovely name. The greatest woman in the world — not counting my mothers, of course — is named Hana. Maybe you’ll be in that echelon too, hm?” Hailey smiled once more, but then it disappeared when she considered what Hana had said, and she held out her hand. “Give it to me. It’s unfortunate that the package of Henry’s I have the privilege of doing away with is drugs and not his ability to have children, but such is life. Actually, just hand it to Butler. He’ll make sure it makes it to Henry later tonight — so as to avoid me dumping it out the window and to avoid Henry yelling at you over something stupid.” After Hailey spoke, the driver’s door was shut almost af if on cue.

While the car began to roll backwards to turn around and head out down the driveway they had come up, a large hand reached back toward Hana, palm facing upwards, waiting for the baggie.

”Please. Henry yelling at me? It would be like...a chihuahua barking at a wolf.” Hana unclasped her purse and took out the duct taped baggie, handing it to Butler without so much as a concern. Caveat emptor, as some pretentious people said. There was something Hailey said that stuck with Hana, and after getting rid of the stuff she had to ask. ”Who is the greatest woman in the world? The one named Hana, I mean.” Hana hadn’t know many other Hana’s, certainly not any ones that would be considered great. But Hana figured her own social circle was remarkably smaller.

”And also I’m not so sure I’d worry about Henry having children. A girl sleeping with him would probably need six hundred dollars just as insurance.” It seemed Hailey didn’t think too highly of her brother, and if it meant scoring some extra points, Hana wasn’t against throwing a loyal customer under the bus. In softball, sometimes you had to go for the steal to win a game.

“I wish I could say that you’re right, but Henry somehow pulls a lot of girls…” Hailey paused for a moment, hooking a lock of her jet black hair behind her ear, before addressing the question that Hana had asked. “Hana Song. Deathadder. She’s a professional wrestler, and she’s my hero. She’s going into the Hall of Fame this year, perhaps five years too late, if you ask me. She deserves it, and I’m hoping to attend. Normally, such a feat wouldn’t be an issue giving my stature and wealth, but… the tickets sold out because someone--” there was the venom in her voice again, and this time Butler seemed to visibly grimace. “—was incapable of purchasing tickets on time.” Hailey’s voice was suddenly like a sour grape, and annoyance rose up inside of her.

She shook her head as if to get rid of the bad vibes, and turned the smile back on. “Anyway, no love loss. I’ll watch my queen get something she deserved long ago from the comfort of my own home. We’ll go to a bakery. How do you like your coffee?”

Hana held her tongue, though it came as a bit of a surprise that Hailey Green was a fan of wrestling. It seemed...out of character, somehow. But then, what did Hana know about Hailey other than what others said about her and how she was essentially the queen of the high school castle? Hana wasn’t privy to such information, all she had was second and third hand information; in that sense it was kind of endearing that Hailey was a fan of wrestling. It made the seemingly untouchable queen feel human. Hana shook her head quickly; she couldn’t think like that. Yes, Hailey was popular but of course she was still human. Hailey was probably used to people treating her like some deity.

And there Hana was over thinking things.

”I’ll have to look her up, she must be impressive to leave that much of an impression. My sister might’ve heard of her, she’s into that sort of stuff. Before she joined the police academy she did amateur boxing.” Surely talking about her sister was a faux pas. ”I like my coffee, and baristas think this is weird for some reason, with some vanilla extract. It’s like sugar in the sweetness but it’s vanilla. It’s about the only way I can drink coffee, otherwise it’s a bit too bitter.”

“Yes, she is incredibly impressive. I’ll have to ask your sister, if I meet her.” Hailey listened to Hana talk about how she liked her coffee, nodding to herself. “I don’t actually much care for coffee? I understand that may seem strange, given that I asked you out for coffee, but I prefer tea. They have a fantastic blackberry raspberry chai tea. You simply must try it. I insist.” Hailey said as the car drove deeper into downtown LA.

Hailey was enjoying this, surprisingly. Hana was being a bit awkward, which Hailey found to be both endearing and cute. Most likely, Hailey assumed, she was intimidating the young woman. Hopefully, in time, it would fade, but for now Hailey was happy to enjoy the effect she was having on Hana. “Tell me about yourself, Hana. What do you do? When you’re not dealing drugs, I mean.”

”Oh, I’m fond of tea. There’s this blend I like, it’s a vanilla chai and oh my god there’s nothing better than having a cup of it while I’m grinding on weekends.” What she meant by grinding she didn’t specify and it seemed she didn’t even notice, or care, that she said it. Her taste for vanilla was certainly rearing its head. ”But I’ll give the blackberry raspberry one a try. I think I can afford to step outside my comfort zone.”

So the donuts and coffee seemed to be turning into tea, which suited Hana just fine. The donuts and drink seemed secondary.

”You have no idea how hard that question is to answer.” Hana laughed just once like a nervous, exasperated chuckle. Talking about herself was not something she did often. ”Well, when I’m not selling drugs I’m selling pizzas. I work at, uh, Captain Cuddles. It’s a good cover for how I can afford things like this skirt, my purse and computer parts. I come from a pretty large family. I don’t know if you’ve heard of Kumiho? It’s a Korean fusion restaurant, well my dad owns it and none of his four kids want anything to do with it. Oh, right, I’ve got three siblings, an older sister and older brother and a kid brother.” Hana paused, realizing she was mostly talking about the non interesting parts of who she was. But it was basically all she had.

”I recently got made captain of the softball team, but it’s off season now which is great. Honestly, softball is fun but if I wasn’t captain I’d probably think about dropping from it this year. It’s not like I’m going for a sports scholarship. So I guess...I guess what I do is find activities to keep me from just holing up in my room on weekends.” Hana was being quite candid; it remained to be seen if she was oversharing or not.

“You work at Captain Cuddles? Good decision. I hope my father treats you well. Daddy runs and owns Captain Cuddles, he’s very fond of it. It’s basically his life’s dream. I’m very proud of it, almost as proud of it as he is.” Hailey smiled warmly, and it seemed Hana had touched on a good spot. Luckily for Hana, it seemed being open was the right move, as Hailey moved to talk about herself in return. “I have two siblings, and two half-siblings. The half siblings are twins, and you know my brother. My sister, Cindy, was traded off for a Korean to satisfy Henry’s urges, which hasn’t worked very well…” Hailey paused and allowed herself to think.

Could she blatantly tell Hana: I play a game that involves total and utter control of the entire student body and people either play or be forced to? No, she absolutely could not. But, she could talk about similarities they may have. “I like to hole up in my room on the weekends too. I enjoy watching anime and movies with my father, as well as playing video games — chiefly different MMOs — either alone or with Butler. Butler plays a healer, as I don’t have any friends willing to do so. I bounce between DPS and tank depending on what I’m feeling. Let’s see… I’m not quite as busy as you may think. I put family very high on my priority list, far higher than a social life. I would rather spend time with my parents than with my ‘crew,’ so to speak. School and the social ladder is like work for me. I deal with it while I’m at work, but I clock out at three thirty. Making an appearance at the stupid Elite party for as long as I did was a chore.”

Hailey paused once more, though this time she simply smiled at Hana. “However, this does have one upside, at least from your perspective: this leaves me with a fair amount of free time. All of which is yours for the taking…”

”Captain Cuddles is a good gig, except when people from school try to swing discounts because ‘they know me’, or whenever your brother brings his…loud friend and she spills stuff by accident. But fortunately there are new hires to handle that sort of clean up.” Hana hadn’t even made a connection between the owner and his family, but it was quite the small world as it turned out. It was when Hailey brought up MMOs that Hana’s eyes seemed to light up and she turned to glimpse at Hailey as if she had said some magic word.

”Shut up, you do not play MMOs.” Her tone was both incredulous and excited, and the smile making its way across her face was proof enough. ”Which ones? I primarily run groups through dungeons on my tank but I’ve got all three roles basically good to go. You know if I hadn’t been paid to go to your brother’s stupid party I would’ve just been playing all night. God, that probably sounds pathetic but like...I dunno, it’s just fun. I get to feel strong and cool when I taunt a big monster and just lead people to victory. The money from the party? Finally getting a second monitor.” Of all the things to have in common with Hailey Green, MMOs would never have even crossed Hana’s mind. But Hana spoke with a clear passion and excitement, as if she had found someone who understood, who she could admit to playing them without reprisal.

”I don’t wanna, you know, assume but we should play together. You’re bound to be competent, which is more than I can say for half the people I run with. Careful, though, or I might take up all your time with it.” It took a moment for Hana to process but when when she did she couldn’t walk it back. ”I mean, if, you know, you like spending time with me or…” She couldn’t walk it back, but she could certainly want to put her foot in her mouth.

“While the outcome as to whether or not I enjoy spending time with you is yet to be fully determined, I can say that as it stands, I would be fully okay with playing video games with you taking up the vast majority. Plus, it would probably make Butler happy if he didn’t have to be my pocket healer all the time. I like to call him a healslut. I think it’s hilarious; he disagrees. In a perfect world, I would have a girl fulfill that world, but I don’t. So I just make Butler play a lalafel and pretend. Oh, Final Fantasy XIV is what I primarily play. It’s old, but… I like the classics, I guess.” She shrugged her shoulders and the car pulled to a stop in front of the bakery. Hailey didn’t move, and Butler came round and opened the door for her. “He’ll get your door as well, so don’t worry about it. It’s in his job description,” Hailey explained, and like clockwork, Butler made his way round to her side, and opened the door.

“You shouldn’t try so hard. You’re making a fool of yourself. I’m not going to bite unless you do something incredibly stupid.” Hailey stretched her hands over her head and peeled off her Turtle school jacket, depositing it in the back seat. She adjusted her t-shirt, tugging it down a bit before she was satisfied and she looked to the sky. “It’s a beautiful day. I’m happy the sun is out. I can only handle overcast days for so long before I get irrationally upset. Perhaps some other time, I’ll show you my setup, though be warned, it would likely cause immense amounts of jealousy.”

”Hey, it’s a classic for a reason, and the good servers still have people playing. My healer character on that game is a miqo’te so sorry to say if lalafel is your go-to pocket healer I’m not sure I qualify.” Things were going better, or so Hana thought. She wasn’t stammering like she was in front of the gate and they had had something in common to talk about; even if Hana previously put her foot in her mouth she figured she was at least more positive than negative.

Which is why her smile faded when Hailey offered the advice. If Hailey could see that Hana was trying hard, then Hana was probably trying way too hard. She paused a moment before leaving the car, letting out a deep breath. Don’t blow it now. ”I’m sorry, I just...I have to be a certain way at school and I see you and you’re you know what? I’ll just...I’ll be myself. The girl who gets excited to grind for legendary gear on weekends.” What a novel concept, just being herself. It was worth a shot.

”I might be jealous of your setup but between your brother’s poor spending habits and your quadruple offer I might not be so far behind you before long.”

“Your chances are much higher if you commit to being yourself. I understand where you’re coming from, though. I am rather beautiful, aren’t I? I’ll accept a miquo’te, by the way.” Hailey led Hana into the bakery, and Butler followed them at a slight distance, though Hailey shrugged her shoulders as she kept speaking, “You declined my offer to buy your time in an effort to get in my good graces. While resoundingly successful, it was arguably foolish — there won’t be another offer of money, I’ll be expecting our mutual enjoyment of one another’s company to be enough.” Hailey delicately shrugged her shoulders, and stepped up to the counter, drumming her fingers on it while waiting for the attention of the rather busy attendant.

Regardless of how busy she was, this did nothing to cool off Hailey’s rising ire. When she finally turned to address the Green with a smile and a ‘how are you?’ Hailey’s response was quick, cold and to the point. “If it takes this long for you to bring us our beverages, I’ll own this place by the end of the week and take a great amount of pleasure in firing you.” Hailey’s voice showed the simple truth of the matter: she was salty. Without giving the poor girl behind the counter a chance to respond, Hailey continued to speak. “We want two of the berry chai teas, but don’t use your own water, it’s most likely tap water, which defeats the entire purpose of freshness.” She snapped her finger and Butler stepped up, holding out a thermos to the girl behind the counter, who accepted it while staring dumbly at the demanding young woman.

“Use that. We want hot.” Was Hailey deciding what Hana wanted for her? Yes. “And two creampuffs. Both chocolate dipped. And make it quick, I won’t wait long before I get annoyed. You’ve already tipped the scales by making me waste precious seconds waiting for you to take my order. Honestly, help these days.” She scoffed and shook her head. She walked away, taking Hana’s hand and pulling her to a corner booth, while Butler paid the frazzled barista.

A few moments after Hailey and Hana had sat down, Butler walked over, and shook his head in Hailey’s direction. “She was nearly in tears. There was no reason for that.”

“I’m almost positive my date has homework to do. We can’t waste time with incompetent waitresses. Now shoo.” Hailey waved her hand dismissively at the mountain of a man, and Butler shrugged his shoulders, ultimately walking away and sitting down at a seat a few tables away. Not far enough away that he couldn’t monitor the situation, but far enough away that he couldn’t eavesdrop.

Hailey turned her attention back to Hana. “I apologize for Butler. He can be a little overbearing sometimes. Now, the real fun can begin; we finally have some privacy.”

There was the reason Hana had been trying so hard. Rumors circulated around the school but it was quite another story to see Hailey Green be so...domineering in person. Had Hana been the stammering git she was initially, it was possible she’d have wound up like the clerk; that was worst case scenario for Hana, and her problem really was overthinking it, assuming she’d have to put up the act to keep Hailey interested. But Hailey admitted to liking wrestling. To playing MMOs. And she was almost certain that the jacket left behind in the car was some kind of nerdy reference, which was cute. Why the hell, then, was Hana trying to hard when clear signs were there that the rumors and talk, while not completely unfounded, weren’t all that Hailey was.

”I declined your money because I didn’t want you to think I only came along because I was paid.” Hana followed up on a hanging comment as she settled in the table, sitting opposite Hailey, trying her damn hardest not to blush and melt at the two hit combo that was having her hand taken and being referred to as a date. That’s what this was, wasn’t it? From an outsider’s perspective anyway. Was it a date? When did it turn from spiting Henry to a date? Maybe it always was. Maybe-

Hana shook her head, getting those thoughts out of there. This wasn’t the time.

”And besides, I think you like my company. Enough to take me here despite my incoherent babbling at points in the car. To that point, the way I talked about MMOs? That excitement? That’s who I am. The person your brother knows, hell the person damn near the whole school knows? Let’s just say I’d probably be a lot less noticeable if everyone knew I spent my weekends doing dungeon runs and reading Heinlein and David Weber novels.” Hana was being candid, which in turn had her sounding far more natural; whether or not the real Hana was received well was out of her hands.

”Don’t take this the wrong way or anything, but you can understand that, right? I mean, you have your Butler play games with you instead of one of your friends so, and if I’m wrong tell me, but I assume they aren’t aware of that hobby. It’s the same with me. I’ve cultivated this image. Athlete. Dealer. No one really assumes otherwise and I guess I try to like...keep those things separate because in my mind it’s like...the softball captain and the school hookup for party favors can’t be some computer gaming nerd. That...that’s a bit weird, isn’t it?”

Hana let out a sigh like one does after a doctor’s appointment. ”Well, that’s off my chest, and that’s basically me, take it or leave it. I don’t want to have to lie to you to win favor, otherwise I’d have just taken your money and actually been a prostitute.”

Hailey smiled again, and decided she would do her best to maintain the candid, open atmosphere. After all, first dates either went well, or you lied about yourself and resentment built up over the course of a relatonship until it ended in flames. Hailey didn’t much care for flames; she much preferred ice. “You’re slightly off the mark, but only slightly. My friends do know about my habits as far as playing video games, but… They won’t play them. It’s too grindy, too much time for them to be wasting on such a thing. Butler plays because Butler doesn’t have a choice. My family pays him a lot of money and his job description is quite literally to do whatever I want.” Hailey shrugged her shoulders, thinking about what Hana had said, and remembering something she’d mentioned earlier. “You ought to consider being more open and more like yourself. Hiding who you are is just you being afraid of yourself, which can’t be a fun life to live. Look at me. I wore a jacket with a very blatant and large reference to an anime for preteen boys on the back of it.” Hailey twirled a lock of her hair around her fingers, thinking to herself. This Hana girl was something!

“I didn’t mention it earlier, but I figure now is as good a time as any. I think you should just quit the softball team. If you don’t enjoy, and it isn’t really you… why bother? You’re working very hard to keep up an image for the duration of high school, a time in your life which ultimately isn’t going to matter. I understand that may seem hypocritical, given that I’m, well, me. I understand that I have quite the image and reputation. Where you and I differ, darling, is I don’t have to try to maintain it. This is just how I am. It’s all about how your carry yourself. Be confident and true to yourself, and no one will care what your hobbies are.” After speaking, Hailey froze for a moment, then frowned as a sudden realization washed over her. “Oh, darn. I didn’t ask for whipped cream with our cream puffs… How will you ever forgive me?”

Hana was right at the very least: that jacket was some reference. There was a clear confidence Hailey had, and not in the sense of her being the head of the pack that was BHHS. A confidence of self and that was admirable. The kind of confidence and swagger that would have people turning heads even if Hailey had shown up to a formal gala in cosplay. Hana wondered if some of Hailey’s confidence would rub off on her. And then, for a moment, she wondered if Hailey herself would rub on her.

”It’s not that I don’t enjoy it - I mean have you seen how I look in uniform pants? It’s just that I don’t see a future where I’m playing sports or going to Wimbledon.’ve got a point. It’s like a value proposition, how much fun would I be having elsewhere, that kind of thing. Sports just seemed like something I should do because I liked playing catch with my sister as a kid and that jocks were always popular in movies. But looking at me I don’t exactly look like a jock. More a cheerleader. Still, I suppose my whole outward dealer persona wasn’t all bad. Without it, I wouldn’t be in this bakery with you right now.”

Hana thought that final line was in the category of smooth, given that she smirked after the fact. Confidence was key. ”And I wouldn’t worry about the whipped cream. You sorta whipped the clerk into a frenzy so I bet she’ll give us extra just to try and make amends.”

Hailey laughed, and rolled her eyes as a combined response to both Hana’s statement about her own character, and how it’d brought the two of them together, and the comment about the clerk giving them extra. Hailey had to give some leeway though, it was actually kind of true. If Henry didn’t have a drug problem, and Hana didn’t have a drug hook up, then it was possible they’d never be sitting in a bakery together.

“I suppose to some extent you’re right. No, I haven’t seen how you look in your uniform pants,” Hailey pulled a pen out of her jeans pocket and scribbled on a napkin. “This is my phone number. I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep well unless I know what you look like in your uniform pants. I need my beauty sleep, don’t you think? Please, don’t leave me hanging.” Smooth? Maybe. It didn’t matter, Hailey was powerful enough to get her way regardless of how loud or controlling she had to be to do so. She picked the napkin up, but rather than immediately hand it over, she brought it up to her lips, kissing it just well enough to leave traces of her lipstick on it, before finally sliding it across the way to Hana. Then, without even waiting for Hana to accept it, Hailey was back to talking.

“The girl must be new. The people who work here know me better than that. They know to show me the proper respect and to never make me wait. It’s in the first half of my last name. A Green should never be forced to wait… especially not by someone who works as a clerk.” Hailey scoffed again, hooking a lock of her hair behind her ear, and she was off again, this time on a different subject. “Join the cheerleading squad. You would look good in the uniform, and it would please me.” Subtlety? Not Hailey’s style.

It was becoming clear that Hana was still in the minor leagues when it came to damn near everything. Her little bit of smooth talk, or what she had assumed to be, was utterly destroyed by Hailey’s at-bat. Hana was already blinking in surprise when Hailey was writing her number down, but the follow up was like a critical hit. Unless her ears deceived her, Hailey was asking - no, not asking - for Hana to send a picture. That would’ve been bad enough ,but then to go and kiss the napkin. Hana was practically shaking when she took the napkin, careful not to smudge the ink. She wasn’t going to just put this in her pocket - hell she was probably going to frame the damn thing. Her attention was on the napkin until she caught the tail end of Hailey’s continued speaking.

”What? Oh...uh...yes. Okay.” Hana hadn’t fully processed that she had essentially agreed to joining the cheerleading squad, but at that particular moment Hailey probably could’ve told Hana to go rob a bank and she’d have done it. ”I’ll do it as soon as I get home.” She was still thinking Hailey had been talking about the softball uniform.

“What? You can’t do that, you missed tryouts already. But don’t worry about it, I’ll inform Ophelia that you’re a member of the team now. She’ll probably call you tomorrow evening about it, I think their practice begins Wednesday, so just make sure you’re present for it…” Hailey trailed off as a completely different person, a slightly older woman — perhaps Butler’s age — brought their tea and their food to them. She sat the cream puffs in front of each of them, and the mugs of tea. Additionally, she sat down two extra plates, each one having a slice of chocolate cream pie with graham cracker crust.

“Sorry, Hailey! She’s really new. We’ll talk to her.” The woman said quickly and Hailey nodded, eyeing her darkly.

“Please, do so. Now, shoo. Give Butler my thermos.” The woman nodded and quickly backed off, before Hailey turned her attention back to Hana. “The chocolate pie is very, very delectable. You’ll enjoy it, and I’m incredibly jealous you’re getting to experience all of this for the first time.”

”I can’t? But you gave me your number for-” The realization hit Hana at the mention of Ophelia. Did she...was she a cheerleader now? How did Hailey do that? Hana was so focused on the allure of showing off her baseball uniform that everything else just seemed to sound like the adults in Charlie Brown for a little bit. Well...that was one way to tender resignation to the softball team, jumping ship to cheerleading because the hottest girl in school asked her to.

”I don’t have work Wednesday so I don’t see why I couldn’t make it. Ophelia...she’s the blonde one, right? Whatever, I’ll speak to her.” It seemed Hana was going through with it, at least so far as making a mental note for Wednesday after school. Maybe she’d get to do a flip. ”Wow, they’re really good about customer service here. I think that server took an early lunch break.” Hana picked up her cup of tea and took the first sip, her eyes widening and the nod of approval coming out as she set it back on the saucer. ”That is really, really good. And I don’t even miss vanilla. I’ll have to see about getting some for myself. I take it you come here often? The other waitress knew your name and everything. With this tea I don’t blame you.” The period of idle conversation was drawing near, the make or break moment in any date.

No, there would be no idle conversation. Hailey wouldn’t stand for it, that sort of thing bored her, and a bored Hailey was good for no one. Picking up her tea, she sipped at it idly, and then nodded at Hana’s question. “Yes, I do. They have delicious sweets and I enjoy sweets. That woman was the owner though, she likes to keep me happy. I’m famous. Famous is good for business.” Hailey leaned forward and slyly smiled, “if you play your cards right, I may just make you an overnight celebrity.”

Hailey leaned down, holding part of her hair out of her eyes. She leaned closer to one of the cream puffs, but kept eye contact with Hana, slipping her tongue out of her mouth and very carefully, meticulously licking at some of the excess cream that leaked out of the pastry. “Mmm…” She murmured, pulling back and smiling at Hana after the perhaps overly sensual display. “Delicious. And, yes. She’s the blonde one. I still expect my phone to buzz with pictures from you. Either of you in your uniform, or of you wearing less than you are now. I’m not picky.”

Had Hana been in mid-sip of tea there would have been drink spilled on the table from her spit take; fortunately for both parties the only thing Hailey’s rather provocative method of enjoying a pastry was met with Hana biting her lower lip. She couldn’t look away - and suddenly she was jealous of a goddamned pastry of all things. In the scant few seconds between licking and resuming conversation, Hana had forgotten what words were. The owner of the bakery wasn’t about to be the only one interested in keeping Hailey happy.

”Which uniform? Doesn’t matter. I...I think I can arrange that. Maybe you could offer me wardrobe advice.” That was a little joke, and Hana smiled about it; she knew what Hailey was asking, what she was insinuating, and she was agreeing. Girls sent each other photos. It was what they did. ”I might give your phone a play by play of how I get my uniform on. It’s a very involved process.”

The lip bite. There it was, all the confirmation that Hailey needed, and all the motivation in the world to keep it up. Plus, Hana was really making this easy on her… After she finished speaking, and offered a play-by-play, Hailey’s eyebrow slowly raised. This, it seemed, had surprised even Hailey. Good move, Hana.

“I think that sounds look a good idea. I like forward thinking like that, keep it up.” Hailey sipped at her tea, putting it down after she had tasted enough. “You know,” As Hailey spoke she reached across the table to Hana’s pastry, slowly scooping the cream onto her finger, staring at it, “it would be only fair if I return the favor with a few pictures. We’ll see how you do.” Hailey lifted up her finger, covered now in the sweat cream filling, but she did not bring it to her lips.

She raised the finger up to Hana’s lips, and spoke in a firm, commanding voice. “Taste.”

In baseball terms, Hana had done a base hit; her remark about a play-by-play seemed to go over well and she would, of course, follow through on that. The pizza man always delivered, after all. But for as self-satisfied as Hana felt from her successful at-bat, along came Hailey with the home run. It wasn’t even subtle and Hana didn’t even care. Her proud little grin turned into a mesmerized little stare, her lips forming a little ‘o’ like one does when thoroughly surprised and desperately wanting to see what happened next.

Her eyes flicked from the cream-covered finger to Hailey, as if gauging to see if this was some kind of elaborate joke; maybe as Hana went for it she would have her nose booped and covered in cream and laughs would be shared. The question was then was that what Hana wanted to happen? The answer was clear as her gaze returned to the finger and her still-surprised expression made it easy for her to give the cream a taste. Like a lollipop, not an ice cream cone.

”Very sweet.” She pulled back, bringing her palm to cover her mouth and check if any got on her lips. ”And the cream wasn’t bad either.” Smooth as a bumpy suburban road, that was.

“Smooth.” Hailey reached out toward the chocolate pie that had been given to Hana, and put it on the plate her own was on, looking up. “Daddy likes the chocolate pie. So I’m going to take your piece for him. I hope you don’t mind, darling.” Hailey smiled and took the last sip of her tea and snapped her finger. Butler came over from his table, with boxes. He boxed up the pie and the cream puffs, before handing Hana a box. It was up to her if she wanted to take anything back, not him.

“I do apologize, Hana. I’ve had an absolutely lovely time, but I must cut it short. I need to get home and change into something more comfortable. Besides, our real fun won’t begin until you’re home in your bedroom, on your bed, with the door locked, desperately waiting for me to respond to your texts.” Hailey spoke matter-of-factly, as if there were no question that it would happen. Butler finished his task, and left the building, going to get the car started. Hailey slid out of the booth and stood in front of Hana, holding out her hand. “I can only hope you’ve had as nice a time as myself. Maybe we’ll come back here sometime. Who knows? I’d much prefer a date to Captain Cuddles, but alas… we can’t have a pleasant, romantic evening at your place of employment.” Hailey shrugged her shoulders, and waited.

So, was this the end? How much time had passed? Was it good? Bad? Hana didn’t know, she’d never done this before, though she did let out a laugh when Hailey mentioned changing into something more comfortable; it seemed they were both going to be doing some changing. It was immediately followed by a quick, subtle lip bite and a not-so-subtle flash of red. Hearing it put so bluntly was...well it made Hana all the more determined, like a challenge of sorts. But still, the comment had rendered her flustered, which was why she could only dismiss the offered take-home box with a wave of her palm.

That same palm was then used to get out of her seat, using Hailey’s hand to aid in the process. Her knees weren’t shaking like they were back in front of the Green house, but she did need a moment of standing or else she was in danger of falling forward from excitement. ”Well, we could always get a Captain to go.” Hailey had used the ‘date’ word. So this was a date? If there was a second one did that mean they would be dating?

”But I wouldn’t mind coming here again. With you. I hope your father enjoys the cake. Am I...are you going to drop me off at my place or should I call a ride?’ The rush of information, the use of the ‘date’ word, and the prospect of another had sent Hana’s thoughts into a bit of overdrive, now that the date was effectively coming to an end all the thoughts she had pushed aside were rushing to the front of her mind. ”I’m just going to assume yes. Maybe a little part of you is curious about where someone like me lives.”

“Yes, I’m going to see you to your house. What kind of a person would I be if I abandoned my date after I drove her halfway to nowhere in the center of Los Angeles? Come along.” Hailey tugged Hana out of the bakery and put her in the backseat, before climbing in herself. Butler shut the doors, and they were off. “You can tell him where we’re going. He’ll get us there. But then, back to me.” Hailey explained, leaning back in the seat and patiently waiting for Hana to speak with Butler and then turn her attention back to what mattered.

Hana didn’t want to keep Hailey waiting too long, she had seen what happened to those who did, and so quickly gave the address. It wasn’t the fanciest apartment complex in Beverly Hills, but it was cable ready and didn’t have any bandwith caps, plus she didn’t pay any rent until she was eighteen and her sister would start charging. After repeating the address, Hana leaned back. There was still the ride home to leave a good impression.

”I just want to say thank you for asking me to join you. It was much more interesting than if I had just dropped off the package. It’s not every day I get to spend with...well...with you.” A bit cheesy, but Hana was on cloud nine at the moment, and that’s all that mattered.

“We’ll see how I feel after tonight, and you just might spend so much time with me you get sick of it.” Hailey replied with a smile. Then, she went a step further, taking her hand and reaching over across the way to Hana, resting the hand on her thigh and giving a squeeze. Was it a step too far? Perhaps, but it did send a simple message: Hailey liked her enough to touch her. “So far, though, you’re certainly on the right track. Keep at it.”

”I don’t think I could get sick of you.” Hana tried to keep her cool but there was the very real instance of a very attractive girl currently squeezing her thigh. She was practically frozen in place but she was not at all complaining. If anything at that moment she would’ve been fine with Butler going well below the speed limit just to make the trip that much longer. And yet, Hana didn’t seem to have the confidence to return the favor and touch Hailey - other than placing her hand atop the hand that was on her thigh.

”Well, it’s like I told the softball team before every game. Play to win. But then, this has already been more enjoyable than any softball game. All we get winning there is a pep talk.”

“You’re going to get a far tastier treat from winning here.” Hailey explained with another squeeze of Hana’s thighs, and it seemed like Hana’s enjoyment would be cut short, due to Butler driving slightly above the speed limit, as the car was already coming to a stop in front of the apartment complex. “I suppose this is where we say goodbye, hm?”

It was great while it lasted as evidenced by Hana still grinning ear to ear and not exactly in any hurry to get out of the car; granted the door wasn’t yet open so that gave them a few more seconds by Hana’s count. ”Hopefully not for the last time. Maybe next time you can see my uniform in person.” Hana was past being coy and nervous; hand on thigh was as close to a sign of ‘success’ as there could be.

As Hana spoke, Hailey slowly and casually drew herself closer and closer to Hana, listening to her words. When she was inches away, and Hana finished her statement saying that next time Hailey could see her uniform in person, Hailey smirked and spoke softly. “You’d like that, wouldn’t you?” Hailey hand slid further up Hana’s skirt, and her free hand found its way to the back of Hana’s head, pulling her in for a soft, sensual kiss — nothing sloppy or pushy, not yet.

The word that came to mind was unexpected, but as with the thigh Hana wasn’t complaining, she was far too shocked to do anything other than enjoy the kiss. It might’ve been painfully obvious from how she tried to place a hand on Hailey’s shoulder and only wound up groping the air but this was Hana’s first kiss. With another person. And despite her awkward hand gesture, she gave back, not just letting her lips lie still like a fish. It was nothing like how she had so often written about in her little stories; it was better. Hana closed her eyes for the duration of the kiss, well aware that she was mostly reacting to it, hoping that her lack of experience wasn’t too obvious.

And when it was over, she could still taste the strawberries on her lips.

Hailey pulled away and licked at her lips, smiling at Hana as she fell back into her seat properly. “Wednesday morning. I’ll be here to pick you up at 8:40. I have a brunch meeting; it’s unfortunate that I’ll have to conduct business, but that will be our second date. Now, run along, Hana. I believe you have some pictures to take. Do you still have my number?” As Hailey spoke, the door was opened on Hana’s side by Butler.

Did she still have Hailey’s number? Of course she did. It was gently situated in the palm of her right hand, the one she hadn’t used to hold Hailey’s hand or grab at the air behind Hailey’s back. ”Wednesday. 8:40. I’ll be here.” That was really soon and Hana practically leapt out of the car. She gave a final wave to Hailey and was heading up the stairs to her apartment before the car had even driven off.

Hana entered the apartment, closing the door hard behind her. Abby Park had been watching television while sprawled out on the couch and jumped up at the noise. ”Oh, hey, Hana. Welcome back. How was school?”

Hana didn’t respond, having taken off her shoes, damn near tripping over herself to do so, and was now making a beeline for her room. ”What? School? Yeah, it was fine, sis. Look, lotta homework. Don’t come in. Gotta concentrate. Call me when dinner’s ready.” Hana zipped into her room, shutting the door and locking it behind her.

She unfurled the napkin. The number was still legible. And the imprint of lipstick was still very prominent. Hana brought the napkin to her lips, kissing the lipstick - it was a pale imitation but she still had that taste of strawberries to make it all worthwhile.

And then a minute later Hailey Green’s phone lit up with a message. And it continued to buzz with new ones all the way home.

By the time they’d arrived at the gate, Hailey’s mind was made up. “I’m going to keep her, Butler.”

“I had a feeling.”

I'd be down @AimeChambers

Saying goodbye was not something that crossed Audra's mind nor did she quite understand others doing it, but it had been what Fiore wanted to do and the least Audra could do was wait outside. Leaving the village could only be seen as a good thing in the case of the brown-eyed girl standing with her arms at her side and looking towards the sky; she didn't have many fond memories of the place and she didn't really have anyone to say goodbye to. She knew others in the lab and she knew Fiore, and in the case of the latter she was coming with. Audra was taking everything about the village she cared about with her. So saying goodbye didn't make any sense.

Everything had been leading to this moment, the training, the hard work, it culminated in today - the day those selected were flown away and who was even sure when or if they would be coming back. If Audra was excited it didn't show on her face. If anything she was happier for her friend than anything else. She knew firsthand how much this meant to Fiore, how excited she must have been to see the results of her work and dedication paying off in strides.

Audra, on the other hand, saw it as just an expected result. When she had made it through the rigorous and uncomfortable training program it was instilled in her that this was where it would lead. With that in mind as the dawn of the departure rose the only feeling Audra had was that of expectation. But for the sake of her friend, she would feel wistful. If this was the last she saw of the village and its people, well at least she would remember the trees. The grass and how it felt when falling off said trees. The skinned knees.

Audra stirred when her friend appeared, no doubt having said the necessary goodbyes to bring a sense of closure. "Are you ready, Fiore?" Audra spoke, smiling at the sight, the memories of how they had helped each other get to this place swimming at the forefront of her mind. The skinned knees and near broken bones had been worth it.

"I can carry you there. If you want." The offer was there, but even if it wasn't accepted Audra knew the two of them would arrive together. They'd come this far, and now they could carry on together. With the others.
It wouldn't be me if I didn't have at least two characters. So here's another one submitted for approval.

Good. No catfights need to happen. Yet.

I'm comin' for that VP spot.
Oh boy we can't reserve roles guess I'll just catfight anyone else trying to be the sorority vice president.

hello people of earth

reminder that fiore is still waiting for audra!! I'm ok with longer time between posts but... I would like to get in more than two before this rp dies a horrible death

Catch me posting tomorrow how bah dah

Digimon Tamers was the best series since it had the backing Chiaki Konaka and wasn't afraid to be a bit darker in tone and themes. Frontier was lame but Savers was okay. I fell off after that but Cyber Sleuth was a real solid game and Adventure Tri is pretty good and not just a nostalgia trip like I feared.

I like Digital Monsters. They are the champions.
I will go on this trip
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