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I'm a 32 year old woman just looking to keep those writing muscles in whatever shape I can. I'm also Canadian, so fill the rest of this bio with every stereotype you can think of. I've also been single for over a year now, so clearly I'm a catch.

"She's horrible and stuff" - @BangoSkank

Most Recent Posts

In Paramount 4 days ago Forum: Casual Roleplay

Jet lag sucks.

That was the big lesson of the day. Not that the groggy woman in the Seattle Airport Marriott had anything to compare the experience to, but it was clear that being pent up in a metal tube for what amounted to an entire day was not good for her body. Previously, the longest flight she had ever take just took her from Sydney to Queenstown via Auckland for amateur competitions at Cardrona. Even then, there were enough distractions at the Auckland airport to keep her placated in between the short hops. But 14 hours over the Pacific just to get to Los Angeles. And not even the good part of Los Angeles. All she could see from the terminal was concrete and hucksters selling fake maps to stars' homes. She had exhausted her iPod and her laptop movies somewhere over Easter Island and couldn't sleep over the roar of the engines. By the time she made it to Seattle, she was so bushed, she had her flight into Bellingham pushed back a day just so she could try and get some level of sleep at the nearby hotel.

It worked a little bit, but it still didn't blunt the effects of traveling back in time a day and trying to behave completely as normal.

So Jessika Fuller managed to sleepwalk her way onto the plane that would take her up to as close to the Canadian border as the Americans would dare go. If nothing else, it was an easy run up to British Columbia should things go pear-shaped and she had to get out of the country. But that would mean leaving her boards behind, which she wasn't exactly keen on doing. She wasn't sure what this Second Horizons would have on hand for equipment, but she wasn't about to be using the stuff they reserved for the bunnies just hitting the hills for the first time. That would be no test of what she could do against the Americans who were surely up to some level of skill here.

And that was the point of the excursion. To test her mettle in a controlled environment before she had any dreams of going against the big guns around the world.

Although that would mean Jess really had to get used to this whole jet lag thing in a hurry.

Once her flight touched down in Bellingham, she was able to spot what she assumed was the ferryperson taking everyone to the camp. The logos on the shirt made things pretty easy to figure out. Plus the buses. But Jess was in no state for talking at the moment. Someone said her name and she nodded softly in an effort to expedite things. Anything that would get her to a place where more sleep would be on offer. Thankfully, the ride was relatively quiet. Not quiet enough to allow for some quick z's on the way, but enough that her head wasn't totally out of sorts. She was pointed in the direction of the blue cabin by the person who grabbed her name at the airport. She wasn't learning names at the moment. Names could come later when she might have a wallaby's chance in the outback of remembering them. Instead, she ambled her way towards her home for the next couple of weeks. There was talk of a bonfire to celebrate the first night, which sounded like it offered a much better chance to get used to things in the Pacific Northwest.

For now though, there was only one thing on Jessika's mind. Maybe if i just pass out fawr long enough, i won't feel liyyke a zombie. Solid plan. I'mmah do that.

Tonight. Tonight she would show the Americans what's what.

(A Collab Featuring: Melissa Elliot @NeoAJ & Billie Grey @HaleyTheRandom)

Billie made her way across the school yard in just a few short moments. Walking through the door, she didn’t have to look very far to find her guide. The blonde girl from earlier stated that she was, indeed, Melissa.

”Awesome!” Billie responded with fake enthusiasm. ”Maybe now we can get things started?”

Melissa just stared at the brunette in front of her, demanding that things be started? Start what? She was started. This was her job.

“Um, sure! Are you looking for your tour guide? There should be Rosefell students around here to be offering you the full splendor of the school!” And if not, I’ll have their heads…

Looking Melissa up and down, Billie rolled her eyes. "You are my tour guide. Do you honestly think that I would speak to you if you weren't?"

A slight eyebrow twitch caused the tweezing job Melissa had done to waver ever so slightly. This girl had the nerve to speak to her like that? Fuckin’ Liberty bitches already starting to get on my bad side.

But it wouldn’t do well to get into a fight on the first day with these rich snobs, so Melissa did her best to maintain her practiced happy guide face. “I don’t know who you would speak to because I don’t know you yet, but that’s fine! It looks like things are clearing out here so I can show you all the sights that Rosefell has to offer. The sounds will come later. So, we can start now…” Melissa was trying to scan for a name tag but was coming up empty.

”Are you st--” Billie took a deep breath and closed her eyes, doing her best to gain back her composure. ”My name is Billie. Billie Grey. My email said that Melissa was going to be my tour guide, and since you’re Melissa…”

Her words trailed off, as she focused on her breathing. Detention on the first day would not be an ideal situation. Fiona would be disappointed. Best to grin and bear it.

Billie cleared her throat before speaking again. ”Now would be perfect, yes. But only if I’m not keeping you from anything else. I’d hate to impose.”

As her brain went through the contact list in her head to try and remember if there was another Melissa in Rosefell, which Ms. Elliott knew wasn’t possible after she drove Melissa Berg to transfer schools in sophomore year with her unique campaign to make sure she was the only Melissa of importance in senior year, she was forced to concede the point. Apparently Principal Jamieson was lying through his teeth when he said she wouldn’t have to get too up close to any Liberty students today. Bastard.

Still, she did her best to keep the visage intact. “All right, Billie. Like the singer, right? Well, I think things are starting to calm down a bit, so I can show you around the place. Is there anywhere in particular you’re interested in? The cafeteria? The gym? Where the lockers are?” How bout a one-way ticket out of my sight?

Arms crossed, Billie glared ever so slightly as Melissa brought up Billie Eilish. Ever since the singer had rose to fame, Billie couldn’t hear the end of the jokes, analogies, and other dumb shit high schoolers came up with. With another deep breath, Billie stated her requests.

”My first class is Biology with Mr… Osmond. I’d like to know where the drama class and auditorium is - My brother Nicholas is into theatre. And that’s honestly about it. I don’t really have time to worry about the rest at the moment.”

Well at least she knows how to get to the point. That’s good though. The shorter the tour, the more time I have to get back to Alycia and figure out what we need to do about all these Liberturds invading.

The prospect of a curt show around the school made Melissa’s smile a little more authentic. “You’re brother’s into theatre? That’s great! They did West Side Story last year, it was so good! I bet he’ll fit right in. And how about you? Anything you’re into from an extracurricular perspective?” Better not be fucking cheerleading, don’t need that happening with this type of attitude.

Billie shrugged her shoulders. ”Not really. Fiona got the musical gene, Nick the acting and theatrics, and I just got both of mom and dad’s anger…” Her voice trailing off, Billie observed the walls as they walked. ”I do like to grafitti things, but I doubt there’s a club for that. And I’m sure that if I managed to create one and get it approved that it would just attract the exact sort of people that I don’t want around. Perhaps I’ll try going out for student council. You guys do have a student council, right?”

As she attempted to keep paying attention to her unexpected tourist, Melissa kept getting distracted by just what the hell had done to the school without her permission. Whoever decided to barf silver and blue all over the place needs a good swift kick… followed by some more. This glitter is going to remain until the end of time. God damn it. It was enough to put a girl in a sour mood.

But she had trained for this. Years of working her way to the top of the high school food chain had prepared her to ignore even the most blatant, obnoxious things done to the halls. Billie hadn’t proven herself to be worth ignoring yet, although she wasn’t off to a fine start. Noting the anger issues she brought up unprompted though made Melissa’s radar go off a little though. She could be another Colin-type, and it was always useful to have people in her sphere who could do some dirty work.

“You would be surprised how much blank canvas is available around here for graffiti artists!” she responded, adding a little chuckle. “Although the student council in the past has looked down on it, so it might be a little hard to reconcile those two desires! But, there are new elections happening this year, so who knows? You could run and then make it so that there is funding for those kinds of art projects around the school!”

Unless Melissa had her say. While she hadn’t explicitly decided to run for student council president, it was another thing that would look very good on her resume, and if there were enough gung-ho wannabe future politicians kicking around, she wouldn’t have to do nearly as much work as would be expected. It would just be another reason to be in the spotlight and assert her dominance over the student body. And she did enjoy that.

“It’s going to be a pretty stacked field, but if you’ve got some fight in you, I’m sure you could make a very convincing run for a council spot!”

An eyebrow raised in curiosity as she took in Melissa’s words, Billie nodded her head. ”We’ll see. No offense, but Rosefell needs a little bit of a clean up, and something tells me you guys can’t afford it. Maybe instead of new paint, we can just graffiti it all. But not like… street art… more… refined. Blocky letters and school mascots.”

She could imagine the images on the walls. The bright Liberty red, the rose sigil on the knights armor… Maybe this project would be enough to keep her distracted from Callie ghosting her.


”Say, Mel, what’s your opinion of the teachers here? I know the education won’t be anything near what Liberty had to offer, but I’ll still be able to pass my finals, right?”

Melissa wasn’t going to say anything about not having the cash to afford repairs to the school. That was just a way of life in Rosefell. She knew that better than anyone. And if Billie wanted to spearhead sprucing up the school with some artwork, more power to her. As long as she did it right, which from the sounds of it, she had the right idea. Just needs to be in silver and red.

As for the teachers, well… the ones that still thought they were in Lean On Me tried their best, but you could tell which ones had abandoned all hope and settled into the routine of pouring Bailey’s in their coffee in the morning. “The teachers do their best with what they are given, but honestly, I wouldn’t worry about finals. A smart cookie like you? You’ll probably pass with no problems at all. I mean, our mascot is on track to graduate this year, and that guy… well, you saw him, right? If he can do it, you can’t possibly fail.”

Pursing her lips, Billie wasn’t exactly happy with Melissa’s answer. Did Rosefell just give up all hope and pass all of their students, regardless of grades and effort? Billie nearly shuddered at the thought.

”What some things that I should know about Rosefell? People to look out for? Where can I find the hotties? Give me all the dirt.” A playful smile spread across her face. ”I’m sure you have nearly all the tea.”

This conversation was overcoming a rocky start to play well into what Melissa thought she might have on her hands in Billie Grey. Clearly she knew how to identify the people at top of the pyramid. Melissa was a sucker for compliments after all.

“Oh Billie, I am the freaking Starbucks here,” she confirmed. “Let’s see, well the football team is a reliable source of hotties. I mean, of course it would be. Um… you know what, I’ll give you a hot tip. If you can get DeShawn Marcus interested, that guy can rock some worlds you don’t even know you have.” Part of the perks for DeShawn in keeping their relationship at the FWB level was that Melissa always made sure to put in a good word for him with other girls. He earned a package that was well above what Hunter got.

“If you need anything that may need to be acquired discreetly, you want to talk to Colin Gallagher. He is a miracle worker sometimes. And I have a booze hookup if needed.” There was no need to be subtle about things in this area of the school. None of the teachers roamed the halls in the drama wing aside from Ms. Sweeting, and she was usually in some kind of dreamland anyway. Helped her visualize the progression when it came to her art, she said. “In fact Billie, if you need anything, you just let me know and I’m sure I can find someone who can get it to you. Starting with some scarlet red spray paint, if you catch my drift.”

Confident that she had shown enough cards to the Liberty transfer to earn some level of trust, Melissa decided to see if she could use that to pump some information out of the dark-haired girl. “Now, what about your incoming class? Is there anyone I should be watching out for? Guys who look hot, but are scumbags? Someone who might be coming for my spot as head cheerleader? Just general bitches? What’s Liberty got coming?”

As Melissa rambled on about DeShawn, Billie pushed open the doors to the auditorium. It sounded like DeShawn was the sort of guy who didn’t like commitment. She could get behind that. Taking in the scenery around her, Billie tried her hardest not to grimace, but she could feel the disgust on her face. How was Nick ever to perform on such an unpolished, scratched up stage? And they way those curtains had faded.

Fucking hell. I’m sorry, bro.

”Have you ever watched any teen drama about rich kids at school ever? We’re kinda like that,” she said, half smiling as she thought about her classmates. ”Some of us have drug problems, some of us go to therapy, most of our parents are to busy with their careers to love us, and we all have skeletons in our closet - no matter how much we try and deny it. And we all treat each other like shit.”

As they exited the auditorium, Billie began to give Melissa the scoop.

”First off, you personally might want to look out for Miki Park. The Devil really does wear Prada, and he comes in the form of Miki. She was the self proclaimed Queen of Liberty. Huge bitch. Kinda excited to see how her transfer to Rosefell has been this far…. There’s Christian. He’s joining the football team here, I believe. Over the years he’s kinda been known as a protector of us girls. Dude is pretty honorable, kinda easy on the eyes. Way too fucking soft for my liking though. Marcos is one of the douche bags you mentioned. Goes through girls like candy. I hear he humiliated the absolute hell out of poor Juno back in the day. Aiden Howard is his right hand man, and his sister Liv totally makes my list of Liberty cuties. The Zabrecky twins are both gorgeous in their own way, but fairly… I dunno. They’ve always seemed bland to me. There’s also that gamer chick, Sam. Fiamma, the good-two shoes. Jackson the ice skater - I’ve never talked to him much. And finally, there’s Caspian Grey - a mysterious young man from very old money.”

Once Billie started rambling, it was hard to get her to stop. ”Those are the most noteworthy students that come to mind.”

“Slow down, girl! Damn! I gotta try and commit this to memory!” Bingo. Billie had the goods. And she gave Melissa everything she wanted. Including the tip on the bad guy. If those were all the noteworthy students coming over with Billie, she could bury them all, friend and foe alike. Especially this Miki Park that was mentioned. Queen of Liberty, eh? Well she should see me in a crown, then. Doesn’t matter if she wears Prada, she’ll be wearing claw marks if she tries to take what is rightfully mine. Cause I got no time to die. I’ve got my future to think about. So Miss Miki, hope your toney ass is prepared for me to blow your mind.

Melissa snapped out of her brief daze to confirm she got everything that Billie was offering. “All right, I think I got it all. Christian sounds like a nice guy, even if he is a bit soft. Sometimes those football players can surprise you with that sweet side. I kinda like it. You’ll have to point him out to me. Oh, and Miki. Gotta make sure she doesn’t try anything to disrupt what we have going on here at Rosefell. Or at least, what we could have going on, eh? I mean, I like what you’re putting down, Billie. And if you think any of those other students can help with that vision, then I am all ears.”

It was easier to maintain the sweet helpful veneer with how beneficial having Billie Grey all to herself was proving early on. Maybe Jamieson wouldn’t deserve a delivery of I-71 roadkill from Colin directly on his desk. “And if your first class is Biology… that’s going to be on the second floor, with the other electives. All the basic science is on the ground floor with the English and Math classes, but it sounds like you won’t need to trouble yourself with that!”

”Sweet,” she responded simply. The buzzing from her phone had caught her attention. Fiona was calling from college. ”Well, Melissa, you’ve been quite helpful. I’m sure I can find the rest from here. I really have to take this call.”

“Hey, no worries! It was my pleasure, Billie! Glad I could help, and like I said, if you need anything else at all,” Melissa leaned down and pulled a scrap of paper and a pen from her bag, quickly jotting something down. She mouthed, “Here’s my number,” not wanting to disturb the phone call.

Billie happily took the note, mouthing back ”I’ll text you” before turning to her call.

Melissa smiled and gave a wave before giving Billie some privacy on her call. As she walked away towards one of the stairwells where she conducted business, she was still figuring out what needed to be done to make sure these incoming Liberty kids knew their place. Ms. Grey was allowed a special place for her service, but for now, there was planning to be done.

Once in her “office”, she locked the doors thanks to a trick she learned from DeShawn during junior year. Confident she would not be disturbed, nor would anyone be able to hear her through the old concrete walls, she dialed her bestie. “Hey girl! … Good, good, you? … Really? Basketball player? Well, hold steady and don’t go head over heels for Payton yet! … Well, what did he tell you? … Aw, that’s too bad. Don’t worry I bailed you out … Because I ended up being a tour guide too … This girl, Billie Grey? … Yeah, like the singer. Anyway, she had the whole roster covered … Yeah, girl! So we need to put the word out … well, stay away from anyone named Marcos, he’s a skeezebag … Yeah, I don’t know. Also, we know who we gotta take out. Miki Park … I dunno, but she apparently thought she was queen bitch at Liberty, so she’s gotta learn how much she ain’t anymore … Same way we always do, Aly … Well yeah, get to the channels, and I dunno, we’ll figure something out. Maybe Friday … Well of course! First weekend of the school year, we’ll have some beverages … Then we’ll get more! … All right, well go back to Payton and make sure your new boo isn’t too lost … Uh-huh. Sure … OK, talk later, hun … Bye.”

As Melissa rested her head on the back of the wall between levels, her mind was still turning. She now knew her enemy. She had names. Now it was a matter of deducing and planning the attack. Nothing was going to stop her from executing what she had in store for this year. Certainly no "Miki".

Featuring: DeShawn & Alina

The wait for his Libertine lady had left Dee somewhat directionless. Without the person to give a tour, all he could do was simply wait for the bell. As he listened to the latest track from one of his favorite artists, he continued to casually scan the hallway from time to time hoping to see a sticker with Alina Zebrecky stuck to the breast of some face he had never seen. It wasn’t until all hope was lost and the last beat of the song had ended that in the silence, DeShawn decided it was time to leave. He turned towards a set of double doors, only for them to swing open violently and he almost collided with the girl powering through them.

”Hey yo, shawty where’s the fire? You ok?”

Alina had to shake her head for a moment. After what had happened in the corridor, it was probably a good move, but following the near-crash, she had to kind of reset anyway. There was a boy there, an admittedly very good-looking boy, but she didn’t want to base a first impression on that. At least he asked if I was OK. That’s one person in this school with manners, I guess.

“Yeah, yeah, I’m… no. Not really OK,” she admitted. "I’m kinda lost at the moment. Today has been a rough start.”

"I can see that.”

DeShawn took a step to one side to give the poor girl some breathing room. She was obviously a bit out of sorts and him crowding her with his great size was probably the last thing she needed. He refrained from putting a hand on her shoulder as much as he wanted to because he knew that personal space could mean a hell of a lot to someone. The linebacker didn’t recognize the young woman’s pretty face, she was obviously one of the new faces brought in by the school mergers.

"You know, there’s a little balcony just off to the side there. You’ve got a few minutes before the bell, why don’t you step outside there for a time and get your bearings. This place can be real overwhelming sometimes, especially when you're new. Trust me, that was me last year. A new school doesn’t really take into account your own self and your own personal shit.”

Dee pointed over to a set of double doors just off to the side of the hallway. The balcony was usually sealed for some reason or another but DeShawn had broken the lock a few semesters past with the intention of making it his own private Idaho but he has found himself sharing it with a few lost souls now and again.

Something told Alina she should be cautious with this offer that the boy was making, but he was also speaking a lot of truth. There was nothing really helping her situation here, it certainly wasn’t making anything any clearer. Some time outside would probably help. “I could use some fresh air. I could use a lot of things.”

As the gentleman led the way, she tried to think about what exactly happened and what if anything she got out of Cas. It seemed like he was looking forward to this as much as Niki was. So why wasn’t she more excited about this? If she wanted to make a change in her personality or reputation, this was the time to do it. What was stopping her? How can I change to something if I have no damn idea what I can possibly change to? What the hell am I supposed to do in this place? And then next year! What the hell. I don’t even know. Alina was however interested to see just how her unofficial tour guide was going to offer her this outdoor space.

It felt strange leading a complete stranger to his secret safe haven but there was just something in her eyes that was telling Dee that she needed something like this right now and if there was one thing that DeShawn couldn’t resist, it was someone in need. He almost had what one could call a compulsion to step into matters where one needed help, much to his own detriment. This had led Dee to more fights and conflicts than he would care to admit but he just could not help himself; the boy had a savior complex almost as big as his six two, two thirty frame.

The giant teen opened up the doors for Alina and took a step to one side. The balcony wasn’t anything special or inherently beautiful; in fact, it was probably if anything a little ugly looking. There were a few slabs of concrete and cigarette butts decorating some questionable looking plants and candy wrappers below the ledge that overlooked the city of Columbus. It wasn’t any kind of breathtaking but for what it was worth, it was some quiet.

"It ain’t much but it’s yours. Chill here for a time, get your head right, and when you’re ready I’ll see if I can’t get you where you need to go.” The linebacker grabbed a chair that was sat by the other side of the door and put it out onto the balcony.

"Name’s DeShawn by the way, DeShawn Marcus; welcome to Rosefell.”

The view paled in comparison to that which the patio at home offered, although the cigarette butts made it feel a little more like she was back in the sanctuary. Hard as Niki tried to hide that habit. But it was elevated away from the world below. The muffled sounds that could be heard were inconsequential in relation to the sounds of traffic, but it was something for Alina to focus on aside from the constant humming of her own brain.

The giant boy pulled up a seat, signifying he didn’t have anywhere else to be, which was good for Alina. She didn’t want to be anywhere at the moment right now, so this was as good a place as any. There was a slight breeze passing alongside the school, allowing the loose strands of her hair to be somewhat picked up in the winds. It was something to feel.

As the boy spoke and confirmed his name, Alina didn’t look back, but she did smirk. That’s pretty funny. Maybe this school felt like it had to make it up to me after… whatever the hell all that was this morning. Maybe it’s really trying to pull me into being involved in this place before I get out of here.

“If you’re the person I think you are, I think it’s your assigned duty to get me where I need to go, huh DeShawn? Because I’m guessing you’re looking for a girl named Alina to show around this place." She finally turned around. "Well, you found her.”

”Oh shit.”

Dee was shocked by the girl's admission; she was the girl that he was looking for! Damn; Lord above did work in mysterious ways. Faith was a big thing for D, there was a reason he had a rosary around his neck. He was not a bible thumper but he did believe in a power higher than himself. It was something that he had learned from his old grandma back in Baltimore. For Dee, everything had a purpose, everything happened for a reason and there was no such thing as coincidence. Thus this “chance” meeting with Alina probably had some deeper meaning than his dumb, probably concussion-addled brain could currently and properly comprehend.

"Well well well, Alina Zabrecky, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Shame it’s when you ain’t feeling your best. Imma be straight with you, girl. I’m more than happy to step outside and wait for you to get yourself correct before we get on with our pre-ordained tour but if you wanna shoot some shit, then yo I’m down. Sometimes a stranger is better than a friend.”

“Well if we’re going to be straight here, you didn’t have a chance of catching me at my best right now, DeShawn Marcus. Not at this point.”

The conversation with Niki on the ride over now played back in her head, how perceptions were made based solely on the names of their assigned tour guides. Right now, DeShawn was offering to be a lot more than she expected out of this arranged pairing. At least he was proving to be someone willing to listen and not just rush her around the school in an effort to be done with the task as soon as possible. Hope they are getting as much out of Hunter as I seem to be getting right now.

“And since we are being that straight, I’m fine staying here for a bit. I don’t know how much I want to be moving around at this point. Especially after we nearly put each other in the infirmary back there. But yeah, you’d think with basically all of Liberty moving over to this place, I’d have a lot more to lean on going in. But I don’t, and it sucks. And now I’m not sure how the hell I’m going to fix that.”

“Fairs. There’s not much to look at in this place anyway.”

DeShawn placed himself against the balcony, leaning back a bit whilst trying to not get whatever the damn hell that white stuff was on the railing on his brand new shirt. "All the classrooms have their name on the doors so you can’t really get lost. Your usual gear is on the first floor, maths, English, etc, electives on the second, cafeteria on the ground, and gym and field off to the back. There’s your tour.”

Number Forty Four had learned a long time ago in another life to keep his head down and his mouth shut. He was not known to anyone to be much of a talker but sometimes, people needed to hear his words because he shot straight in his own kind of way.

Now as far as your other thing; now I ain’t the type to wax philosophical, there’s better people than me for that but what I can speak on is experience. I was new here last year, didn’t know a soul. Like, it was hard to start. I’m a pretty motherfucker but would you come near me on a good day? Hell no, people be afraid and whatnot. So ya already got me beat on that. What I’m tryna say is you gotta look at all this like it ain’t no thing, cos it ain’t. You are a strong ass woman about to enter a new world and dominate. Ain’t nothing to fix. You don’t need no one to lean on cos they gonna come to you. I got a feeling, ya feel me?”

Maybe Alina could decipher that, maybe she couldn’t but he didn’t know how to say it any better. This was a strange new world she was about to enter and to feel alone was natural but time beset good fortune and friendship. Maybe Dee could be the helping hand for her this time around?

If nothing else, that was about the level of touring Alina expected, so it was nice of DeShawn to get it out of the way with ruthless efficiency. She didn’t expect to be riding that kind of wavelength with someone already, but it was nice to be able to have someone willing to work with her in this… state she was currently residing.

And it seemed like DeShawn had some level of experience with this sort of thing. She listened to what he had to say as he quickly confirmed that he was in her shoes just last year. But that was where their paths diverged.

“The people leaning on me are part of the problem, though,” Alina admitted as she continued to do likewise on the balcony railing. “And I haven’t been strong enough to keep them up. Plus, my main pillar isn’t around anymore, because she moved. So I’m coming into this trying to hold up a bunch of shit, and that was before this whole school switch, and I just don’t know, dude. I really don’t know how I’m going to keep going with this before everything just falls apart.”

Dee glanced down at the girl whom like so many he dwarfed in stature but who so obviously matched him in heart. Through the weight of her words, he could see that she was carrying a lot. Indeed in his relatively short time at Rosefell DeShawn had become a confidant and glorified baggage handler (in both senses of the word) for way too many of his newfound compatriots. Perhaps they were working with the assumption that the broader the shoulders, the more they could carry? Any which way it was painted, for a place that had nothing, Rosefell had a lot going on inside its walls.

"I don’t know what kind of stuff you’re carrying, girl but my two cents? If it’s getting too much or if you need to lighten the load then just do it. Don’t think on it too long. It ain’t your responsibility to be everybody’s Supergirl. Take today as the first day from a fresh start”

There was no way of knowing if anything he was saying was making any kind of difference; he didn’t know Alina from Adam but he hopes that just saying some of this out loud was some kind of help or therapy for her. He put a tentative hand on her shoulder and smiled.

"Do what you feel, not what they want”

What do I feel though?

That was the million-dollar question. It seemed like it had been so long since Alina even thought about such a thing. For so long, she defined herself as being able to protect those she needed to protect. One way or the other. So now that Niki was running off by themselves trying to deal with things, and Cas was stepping ahead himself, where did that leave her? What did she feel? What did she want?

She tried to think but was drawing a blank. The hand on her shoulder wasn’t half bad though.

“I feel like I still need to do a lot of work trying to figure that whole side of things out,” she told Dee. “Supergirl was kinda my thing for a while. Now? Now I guess I don’t know. Maybe I just need to try and figure that out sooner rather than later. Maybe some kind person can help point me in the right direction?” The question was meant to be rhetorical, but there was physical contact that Alina was pretty good with right now and if DeShawn wanted to continue offering up support in one way or the other, she was going to jump at the chance to have it.

Dee offered her a supportive smile; he felt like he had only really scratched the surface of what was going on inside of Alina’s head and yet in some strange way he felt like that was for the best. She seemed like the type of girl that probably needed to let out this kind of stuff in small doses, much like himself with much of his venting of frustration and feeling coming on the court with Jo, a party with Hunter, or a night with Melissa. Perhaps a balcony conversation with a stranger like him could be her way of getting the poison out of her system.

He glanced down at his watch and noted the time. Pushing himself back up to his full huge frame, Dee placed his other hand on Alina’s free shoulder for a brief moment before removing them both and placing them into his pockets.

"Well baby girl..” he began "Take a breath and get yourself correct. It’s day one...ish and imma get you where you need to go. So...where to first?”

Alina heeded the advice, taking in a deep breath of the outdoor air before planning on heading back inside for whatever Rosefell had in store. “Well, you did such a good job with the ten-second tour… let’s just go inside and you can show me the area. If there are any other hidden oases like this one around, I may need to know where they are in the future.”

She finally eased herself off the railing that felt like it was tethering to the world for a minute before DeShawn started talking. Another deep breath escaped her lips. “So lead the way through the promised land, DeShawn.”

First vacation I've been on since Spring Break 2014, and it's a damn singles cruise. I'm going to be the only person under 40 on this thing, aren't I?"

As she sat in the rental A5 in the parking lot in Port Canaveral, staring out the windshield at the massive ship that sat in front of her, Crystal Powers was starting to feel some regret for signing up for this pleasure trip. But she didn't exactly want to go off the deep end immediately with all her newfound wealth. Whirlwind tours of Europe and Asia and New Zealand would surely beckon in the future, but a girl could get herself into a lot of trouble tackling that kind of trek. Especially a member of the "nouveau riche". So acting on a tip from her friend Samira, she signed up for something simple to start and get her mind out of her new duties. A simple cruise of the Caribbean for a week seemed like a great way to get some rest and relaxation. However, Samira failed to mention the whole "singles" aspect of her journey until she drove her amiga to the airport. Crafty devil.

So here Krista remained, getting the most out of the Audi she was paying the week for, but only driving for two hours. Debating whether she was rich enough yet to completely write off the cost of a vacation on the pretense that she didn't think there would be anyone worth knowing on this thing. "Probably can't start that kind of precedent with these things," she reasoned to herself. "I paid how much for this trip?" She sighs. "At least I'll get to go back to Cozumel... and see some of the islands... I guess I can just hole up on the deck for the majority of the trip. Try not to make eye contact... Hah... it won't be fun, but it'll be a week out of the New York winter." Having finally convinced herself, Crystal got out of the driver's seat.

After retrieving her suitcase, she walked up the gangplank, getting a bit of a sour look from the crewman on hand, who looked like he was ready to haul up without her. Crystal gave him an innocent look and mouthed "Sorry" as she tried to figure out which way to the VIP section where she could hopefully hole up for a moment to let the older folks have their fun and get the tour of the place until it was safe to come out. She heard enough cruise stories from Gram and Grandpa McLean to know that was their forte. But it wasn't hers.

Crystal wasn't going to have a choice though. Once she flashed that VIP pass, it was over. The crew was on her; taking her bag, giving her champagne, escorting her to the upper deck. There wasn't a lot she could do about it. Just try to quickly look over the package that she was given to figure out where her outfits were being spirited away to. Once she was on that sundeck though, at least one of her fears was being put to bed early.

"All right, all right, this isn't the AARP meeting I thought it was going to be... Guess Im'ma be the bull at the top of this hill...

It was so hard to maintain her composure. Not in the face of all the ignorant people that were laid out in front of her. No, it was in the face that knew her all too well. As Melissa tried to figure out what exactly she had to do in relation to her school-bound duties and exactly what she had to do in relation to the people who just knew how they needed to act, she was torn like Natalie Imbruglia. And it was really hard in the face of people that didn't deserve it. And yet, there would be a savior...

”You look fine as hell today, Queen. You get bored of ruling with an iron fist, you know where imma be at girl”

She knew indeed. She gave a soft bite as DeShawn passed by, knowing that he would know the kind of effect that a simple brush against the thigh would have on the head cheerleader. It was a look as if to say how game she was for a follow-up investigation of their particular experiences the night.

Deeee... just you wait, boy. Once I get done with this bullshit... we'll figure something else out.

People were dispersing in front of her, which made her job so much easier, so Melissa was free to roam a bit. However, her desire to end this necessary tour business led her to the area of the name tags. "Hello! Anyone looking for Melissa, please, look no further! I am here to help guide you if needed!"

@LovelyComplex & @NeoAJ

Without Callie, the hustle and bustle of this new school was getting to Caspian much faster than it would have with her around. Seven minutes ago Alina had asked him how he was, with such low-spirits, and in that time span he met a boy in a tuxedo and a mask, he took in the sight of the boy that served him coffee weekly, and he was thrown off by an energetic boy with a dog’s name. This school had a strong sense of identity and it washed over newcomers like a tsunami.

Keeping silent, he directed his ex-girlfriend and best friend to follow him. Those next minutes he didn’t answer her. He looked ahead to find a private place where they could talk. In his peripheral vision, he caught sight of a vacant bench in an empty hallway. From the looks of it, it seemed like the art hall and the lack of funding was blaringly painful. The art on display wasn't in proper exhibit cases and frames. Instead, some were taped on the wall and the sculptures were on a cheap, fold-up table.

How unfortunate.

Taking a seat on the bench, he patted it for Alina to sit. Then, and only then, he would speak, “Alive and well, Al.” She knew him well enough to know how particular he was. He wouldn’t go any deeper until she sat. Caspian Grey was a private boy and if you wanted to get him to say anything of importance, you had to absolutely make sure no one else was in ear shot distance. Even now they weren’t for certain if people were near, but it was private enough for a casual conversation. Casual was good for him. School wasn’t a place to show vulnerability, especially a school where half of the student body were complete strangers.

The quick tour of the place that Alina got while following Cas’ whims did not inspire confidence in the place to be one that had what anyone from Liberty really needed. Or wanted. It was… sad. Callie wasn’t even here to take potshots with her. But, her spirit definitely needed Alina to be here for this poor boy.

Knowing that Cas was never one to share too much if he thought there was a chance others could hear, Alina took the seat next to him on the bench and sat as close as she dared without making herself uncomfortable. There were a whole lot of things to unpack and she wasn’t sure if they were going to be done here or need some more time. “I think you’re doing better than me then, if that’s the case. Are you… all right with all this? This is a far cry from Liberty.”

“You’re not wrong. This place does need some tending to,” Caspian’s gaze followed the peeling paint of the wall in front of him. Shaking his head, he looked at his friend’s deadpan expression with optimistic hope in his eyes. Something Callie was more known for than him. “My sister would call this a beautiful mess. As he took a brief pause, his dark eyes surveyed how tired looking Alina appeared. He could only imagine how much she must be thinking about when it came to him and Niki. How worried sick she was. He worried her, and that was entirely his fault. “I can see her thrive. All she would have to do is laugh and this would be a changed place.”

Sighing to himself, he crossed his arms and leaned back in the bench, contemplating all the work he had ahead, “What other choice do we have than to be alright?” Wasting his time and energy being upset at a sudden change in his situation was not in his planned schedule. He only had time to make the most of his situation and to clean up the school as efficiently and effectively as possible so that his sister could return back home where she belonged.

“Your sis would have been all over this place from the start, that’s for sure. Hell, I’m still not sure whether or not it was her that snuck in and did up all the decorations in the main lobby,” Alina offers, forcing a chuckle as she did. “I…”

She was still struggling. There were thoughts of wanting to confront him and just yell at him for the way he handled Niki in the summer. How he let himself stay buried in his own shit and let Niki hang to dry. Left Alina to try and deal with the repercussions of everything that happened even before Callie was forced to leave. There was a soft anger there, but it was tough to tell who it was pointed at. Caspian, or herself.

And those tears that fell in her arms made it very hard to fully blame Cas. It just made everything very confusing. And there was no one Alina could ask for clarity.

So she kept stalling for now. “I don’t really know how I’m going to handle it. Niki is pretty adamant about me joining a club or something, but I don’t know. I doubt this place can even afford paint.” She stares at the wall in front of the two. “Actually, now I know they can’t.”

“I was thinking…” Caspian hesitated, taking in the woes of his friend. He knew she wanted to say more, but he also knew he didn’t give her a setting that would allow her to ‘talk’. They weren’t necessarily the most sociable individuals. So, add a public bench, some rowdy students not too far away, and it becomes an unlikely scenario for them to talk about their summers. When the time was right, they would talk. He would make sure of it.

Since she brought up possibly joining a club, he too will put his curiosities on the table. “... I was considering running for school president.” The thought of him in such a limelight position made him anxious, but he believed if he wanted to make changes for the school, fast, he needed to be part of the team that could make that happen. “Or any position on the council, really. I—” he subconsciously tapped his foot in thought, “— I need to help this school, Alina.”

Clarity definitely wasn’t coming here. Not with this sudden announcement. In all the time that she had known Cas, one thing Alina was certain of was that he wasn’t one to put himself in such a prominent position. Even adjacent to such. But that need he emphasized, in regards to the previous point of conversation, it had to be Callie. It had to be for Callie, anyway. She would have been that kind of person, instantly inserting herself into the situation to try and improve things.

That used to be me...Could I? …No…

“If that’s something you really, REALLY feel you need to do Cas, then you know I’ll help you as best as I can,” she assured him. “I don’t know how. I don’t know who I would even talk to, but I can try to help you. But…”

Help with what? You can’t even get him to talk about what happened! What is wrong with you? You’re going to let him make a fool of himself. Who in this school is going to vote for him? Probably some stuck-up queen bee bitch already buzzing around that position. This is going to be a mistake. He needs to know. He needs to know so many things! Freaking just-

Something derailed Alina’s self-destructive train of thought.

Caspian turned his attention from one Zabrecky to the other. Niki. They were exiting the building down the hall. The sound of the door abruptly opening in a relatively quiet area caught both him and Alina off guard. His foot tapped faster. If he didn’t seize this chance to get to the bottom of why Niki was ignoring him, he may never have another opportunity. He could hear his sister cheering him on and tell him he let this go on for far too long already. Turning back to his best friend, he whispered more to himself than her, “I want to try, at least,” before clearing his throat, “I need to go.” With his eyes, he gestured back to the exit, signaling his friend that he’d like to talk to her sibling. Privately.

Nothing about this damn school was helping Alina. At all. She didn’t even get the tour yet and now in addition to Cas dumping more things to worry about on top of her brain, her sibling comes tearing through into the room. That just raises further confusion. It seemed like Cas wanted to take the initiative and have the talk with Niki on his own.

“I…” she starts, then sighs and stops. ”Go. It’s fine.” She pulls out her cell phone. “I need to check my messages anyway.” It was subconsciously a message to both Cas and Niki that the second something was up, she was the lifeline. A text away. It would give her something to do. Besides look for DeShawn, anyway.

Briefly, Caspian watched her. Although his expression lacked emotion, his eyes said enough. He worried for her, just as much as she did for him. Not wanting to let his lingering gaze make her uncomfortable, more so than she probably already felt by their intimate proximity, he shook his head and stood up, “Thank you.” Not wasting another moment, he paced himself down the hall and to the exit. Before pushing it open, he closed his eyes. Inhale. Exhale.

Once more, the noise of the door opening and closing resounded in the hallway.

Alina was alone.

Maybe this is what I deserve. This is what I’m good for now. Just being left here by myself. I can’t help Niki. I can’t fucking talk to Cas. Christian and Billie are god knows where. Callie is gone. This is just it, isn’t it? This is my life. Destined to be abandoned and left as this useless husk…

...I gotta get out of here.

Not wanting to spend another minute in the depressing corridor, Alina grabbed her stuff and bolted through the doors that Niki entered through. Whatever was on that side couldn’t be worse than what was left for her here. Maybe there was someone else she could yell at.

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