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Class was moving by as slowly as ever. Since it was the end of the year the teachers had decided that with no tests or work to do then they’d only have to go to their home rooms, the only exception being students who were helping with setting up the graduation ceremony. The preparations for the party were scheduled to begin today and all students willing to help would be allowed to do so after lunch until the end of the day. Jherrichho wasn’t very fond of doing things like that and normally probably wouldn’t go about doing so, yet he knew deep down that because of his height he would no doubt be asked and accept. It was never easy for him to turn down those who needed him.
Jherrichho kept the thought of all the busy stuff out of his mind though and instead decided to focus on the speech. Public speaking, the bane of all people who have something to keep secret. It’s as if when you use your words you have to hide your emotions to keep from revealing your true self... Yet he knew exactly what he would say. He didn’t even have to write it down because it was etched into his heart. What he had gone through, his potential, and his overall personality had their own way. Chrys’ words were still ringing in his mind, tempering his will into a fine blade. He couldn’t budge now. What he’d say wouldn’t be exactly what he felt everyone needed to hear. He closed his eyes and leaned back remembering words from his father.
[i We all have our own paths, our own hearts, and our own will. Our experiences mold us and our loved one temper us into something great. We just-]
“All right class, I’d like you all to listen up for a moment!”
His thoughts came to an abrupt end, as his eyes opened and focused on his teacher. “Since this may very well be the last day you all have in this class, seeing as to how those of you who choose to help with the graduation and senior party preparations will be spending the entire day tomorrow doing so, I thought it would be nice for one more class activity.” Jherrichho wasn’t pleased with this as all. His teacher, Ms Saikyo, was know for having poor class activities that ended up getting very personal in some way or the other. He could feel this would be no different.
“How about we all take turns telling each other about our plans for the future? There are no wrong answers and there’s no need to hold back. I’ll ask in order of attendance.” The class went into an uproar of chatter, whispering, and mumbling between students. Yet Jherrichho was ready to disappear at a moments notice. He didn’t know anyone personally in that class, but he wasn’t at all an unknown person because of how carelessly trustful he was with everyone which made him easy to just talk to. He had at least met all of his classmates although they didn’t really talk because he wasn’t much for approaching others to talk. Yet thinking on it he’s never told anyone what he ever planned for as a career or any future projects.
He listened as name after name was called, casually hoping the lunch bell would ring before it reached his. Of course it was to no avail though. “Mr Einjhord, what do you plan to do in the future”, the teacher asked. His eyebrows furrowed and he tightened his scarf, making sure it covered his mouth. His eyes strayed downward to the ground before he turned his head to look out the window. Thought after thought crossed his mind and his focus was oddly wavering back and forth. Why was he so nervous? He could easily just say anything and get this over with, but did he want to do that? Did he want others to see him as being so simple now? His path, his heart, his will... it wasn’t something to lie about or something to be so nervous about was it? [i I know I’m going to regret this, but I can’t be so secretive about my purpose like this. Even if it’s odd, I’ll have to own up to it and make it my own!]
He jumped up out of his seat and his scarf fell down from his face. His cheeks were a bright red by now but he took in a deep breath anyway, readying himself before blurting out without thinking. [+maroon “I will protect everyone I care for, everyone I hold dear, everyone I love! No matter what it costs me I will do all I can to make sure they’re safe and I will do it in my own way! I’ve lost more than I can bear already and it hurts more than I could have ever imagined”], he said as he lifted his bandaged hand and clenched his fist. [+maroon “However I’m here now, alive for a reason. That reason is to keep those who I can’t be without safe no matter what. And to hold onto those I love with everything I have...”]
The classroom sat silently as the normally quiet Jherrichho stood still after speaking. No one expected what was said from him of all people. Deep down he normally wouldn’t have said anything like that out loud, but he just couldn’t help feeling a bit braver today. That didn’t keep him from putting his scarf back over his mouth shyly as if trying to hide away in it, and it definitely didn’t keep him from darting out of the class as soon as the lunch bell rang.
A sigh of relief escaping his lips as he made his way to the lunch hall. Everyone had permission to eat lunch wherever they wanted, so long as it was on school ground, and Jherrichho would normally spend his lunches in the study hall. Surprisingly no one ever went there during lunch unless they had left something in the classrooms there. Yet he found himself patiently waiting near the cafeteria. [i I can’t believe I was so nervous I forgot to ask her where I should meet her!] He couldn’t help but feel rather foolish, pulling his scarf from his neck and letting it hang down from his hand. It still didn’t manage to keep him from closing his eyes and smiling like he normally did at the thought of a not-so-lonely lunch.
All he had to do now was be patient.
Maurica bit her lip. He was taking a rather long time to answer. Maybe he was upset with her. Had she said something wrong? Then he started talking and she remembered that she had had to take a minute to formulate her response to him earlier and was a fool for jumping to conclusions.
He paused and Maurica was about to say something, but the bell rang and she forgot what it was she was going to say. She was filled with a sense of freedom and rebellion, and she reveled in it. This wasn't the first time Maurica had missed school; she had been late before for things like dentist appointments and the hair dryer catching on fire, but she had never been late to school for no reason. Well, she supposed there was a reason, she was talking to this kid...that she met on the street...who knows her name even though she didn't tell him and she doesn't know his...and is talking to her while she's spacing out--ohgodMaurica why cant you seem to pay attention to anyone for more than five minutes?
Maurica jerked herself out of her thoughts only to be hit with a question that made her want to sink back inside them and never come out. But she couldn't do that if she wanted to at least try to be his friend. He was looking at her, down at her, but like she was an equal, rather than a short stupid thing. If she didn't answer, he would think she was a freak.
If she told him the truth--the whole truth--he probably wouldn't get it. Her mom didn't get it and she was her [i mom. ] Maurica didn't want to lie to him either, even though that was the smart choice, because then she'd stop thinking of him as a friend and start thinking of him as just another human. Which was for the best.
But she didn't want the best, she wanted a friend! She wanted excitement, adventure, she wanted something interesting to happen. Just like he did.
But nothing interesting would ever happen to her or him or anyone, because they were all too wrapped up in their secrets!
[+olive "Everybody has secrets here and everybody's expected to, but we're also expected to pretend like we don't, even though we do, and if you pretend too well, they'll think you don't have any problems at all and treat you like a naive freak of nature, and if you don't pretend well enough they'll think you're a jerk and throw you in the gutter, but if you pretend just right and tell them what's up when they finally figure out you have problems, even though everybody has problems so they should have figured it out, like, instantly, and then you never mention it again you're a good person and everybody loves you, and if that isn't a convoluted pile of horse dung then I don't know what is!" ]
Maurica's face went white as she realized that the boy was still beside her, probably gawking at her muttered rant which was completely uncalled for from his perspective.
[+olive "Sorry. I--sorry." ]
They were almost at the school. Maurica continued with a much softer tone of voice.
[+olive "That probably wasn't the answer you were expecting. I guess I'm not really looking forward to the next chapter. Honestly, I have no idea what the future will bring. I know what I want to do. I want to improve communications because, you know. Everything's as convoluted as horse dung.
"I just don't know who I want to [i be. ] Or who I am.
"If you still want to hang out I'll be at the ice-cream place after school. I have something to show you. Maybe it'll make your filler more interesting.
"I'm going to class." ]
[h3 [center Nathan]]The silence seemed to drag on forever as each second seemed to last an eon. Despite the discomfort he felt Nathan was careful to keep his mouth shut this time around to prevent any further gaffes. He had said more than enough already. It was up to Maurica whether she wanted to continue the conversation, and if not he would settle for being the weird story she would share throughout the day. It was only fair.
He couldn't help but breathe a sigh of relief when she broke the silence with an affirmation that she understood him. She may disagree with him, but it was at least something to be understood. Her explanation of her own philosophy on the matter got him to turn his head more to her to make sure that he didn't miss a thing. His curiosity had been piqued.
It took him a moment to process it all, and after he thought it through some he had to at least partially concede. [b “Fair enough. I'll be honest I don't think I'd mind the filler so much if at least something interesting was going on, but without that even if the next chapter is worse for me I'm still on board with it. I'd rather go through something bad than something boring.”]
He let out a laugh before he continued. [b “I admit that's probably not the healthiest outlook to have on life. It makes me immune to that old curse of 'may you live in interesting times' at least. Which is something.”]
One more step after that he could hear the bell ring from the school and let out another small laugh. [b “I guess we aren't going to make it in time for our first class after all.”]
Just another step was enough for him to notice something that he had not picked up on before as he thought about his response. [b “Since we're going to be late anyway I'd be happy to talk more if you're interested. I've said I'd prefer something difficult over something dull which should be a part of my next chapter, but what about you? Are you not looking forward to what comes next?”]
He was interested to hear her response and made sure to focus his face on her to show that he was ready to listen. This was the first time he really got to talk about what comes next. Sure he had talked about it with the guidance counselor, but they're an employee of the school who was expected to tell him to push himself to be the best that he can be. Plus he had gotten to talk to Molly about it. Of course everyone who knew her could tell what she was going to do after they graduated given all the work she had put in to her extracurricular activities. Maurica by comparison was an unknown and that got his attention.
[h3 [center Molly]]Molly sat at her desk doing a last minute review before class just to make productive use of the time. All of her extracurricular activities left her with less time to study and so she made sure to make it up where she could. It also helped her out on test days as the material was far fresher in her mind. Her work was interrupted though when she heard people whisper as Chrysanth walked in the door with just about a minute to spare.
[b “Good morning.”]
Molly made sure to greet Chrysanth just as she did for everyone who sat next to her. Even though she had never gotten a response from her fellow tall woman it did not deter her from doing her best to make sure that Chrysanth felt included. Today was a bit different though as she made sure to give a look to the rest of the class afterward. She was confident that Chrysanth was at least somewhat shy given her lack of response to all the greetings and so Molly did her best to keep people from talking about her. Chrysanth's delay was her business and nobody needed to pry.
Just like every other day though Chrysanth ignored Molly's greeting which was well enough as it left them both to focus on their work. Molly did let out a small sigh about it though. It was almost the end of the year and to have her greetings ignored throughout the entire year was a bit tough to bear. She just hoped she was not a bother.
When class started the teacher opened with an explanation of the plan for the next few days, although it was all information that Molly was already privy to thanks to her positions. She had also been given a heads up on the unique plan for the speech. The idea was one that she could easily agree with as it could work to keep the students interested in school for the last few days. Being as involved as she was she had heard more than a few complaints about the end of the year.
Molly was already prepared with several different speeches in case they changed their minds about the random selection. She made sure to have one for each of the positions she had filled throughout her tenure. Even if she didn't get the opportunity to deliver any in front of the whole student body she still wanted to have something to say to her respective teams. Their support throughout the years meant a lot to her and she wanted to be sure to show her appreciation.
/ 1y 164d 10h 8m 19s
Chrysanth only blushed deeper when he called her tea the best he had ever had, and had to remind herself that he didn’t know what he was talking about. She watched him leave, and looked down at her hand. He didn’t know the tea actually came out of her skin, would he think the same thing then? With a Potential as monumentally private as Chrys’s, hearing Jherrichho say something like that was shocking and embarrassing. The girl distracted herself by putting her thermos to her lips, taking a long sip of the not-Potential-created tea that was inside it. Turning on her heel, she swiftly walked to class and managed to get there with about a minute to spare thanks to her swift pace.
The girl’s cold persona came back full force, the blush nowhere to be found once she entered the classroom. She walked to her seat in the back at a controlled, even pace and sat down. Her thermos was put at the upper corner of her desk, but was sealed so she wouldn’t get in trouble for drinking in class. She pulled out her notebook from her book bag, setting it open on the desk and starting to write in it despite class not having started yet.
She got a few looks from her classmates. Chrys was almost always early, and it would usually just be her and the class President Molly sitting in the back when everyone else walked in. Nobody was used to seeing the quiet bookworm Chrysanth almost late to class. The sapphire eyed girl ignored the stares, working instead on the draft of her speech. If she wrote out ideas for new tea blends in the margins of her notebook, well, nobody had to know.
Chrysanth hated this class. Molly was too cheery, energetic, and extroverted for Chrys’s comparably mild self to handle. And she sat right next to the girl, because Chrys wanted the silence and obscurity of the back of the class and Molly just so happened to sit back there too— it didn’t help that both girls were very tall and would obscure the view of other classmates if they sat closer to the front. Chrys made it a point not to ever talk to her. Chrys wasn’t someone who liked socializing too much, Jherrichho was only an exception because he was calm and similarly mild mannered like Chrysanth herself. Molly was just too much energy.
So, Chrys poured all her effort into writing to try and ignore the bubble of energy to her right.
He removed his hat when they entered the school revealing a messy head of black hair, he wasn’t going to risk having this conversation interrupted by any teachers after all. He kept his eyes locked onto her as she spoke, taking every word into consideration. He shyly pulled his scarf down below his chin and his eyes strayed off a bit, [+maroon “It’s that obvious huh? Although I’m pretty cautious, I put a lot of trust into others. I guess that’s one of my weaknesses. Although something makes me feel like I can trust you a lot more than other people, I believe I can trust you with something so personal. Call it a hunch I guess.”]
He then darted his eyes directly at hers, making sure not to look away for an instant yet keeping a smile on his face. [+maroon “I promise I won’t tell anyone about what you’ve done for me. You have a gift, something special that could do quite a large amount of good”], he said with sincerity. [+maroon “I know full well that people aren’t always good or have good intentions. A lot of people would throw their potential away to know how to do what you do or have control of you for it.”] In fact the moment Chrys even told him about it he knew that it was something that couldn’t be spoken of so freely to just anyone. He couldn’t help but feel as if even what he had told her wasn’t enough in comparison. To do something like that for him? He couldn’t help but feel undeserving.
Jherrichho’s eyes widened though as she moved to her second point. He had never thought about it that way at all. Something so unstable and difficult to control, she managed to see the good in it and put it into words. He disliked everything about his potential from it’s affinity to revenge, to it’s partial control over his feelings. Yet it kept him alive and deep down he had always seen that as a curse. It wasn’t until today that he felt different. He lived for a purpose and that purpose was his to decide. He could feel his heart pounding in his chest, yet it was a good feeling. From this point on he knew his purpose clearly and all it took was a few words, an opinion from someone he never even expected he’d get the chance to talk to. She managed to give him more and more, so there was only one thing he could give in return.
The last thing she said caught him by surprise, but he was happy nonetheless. He would normally tend to spend time alone yet now he’d get to spend that time with someone else. He couldn’t help but feel that wave of nervousness sweep over him when he looked into her eyes again. That and the sight of her blushing made him smile, a failed attempt at keeping that warm feeling off of his cheeks. [+maroon “Alright, it’s a date then”], he said jokingly. [+maroon “Besides, I don’t think I could pass up an opportunity to taste more of the best tea I’ve ever had even if I wanted to.”] He chuckled a bit before glancing his eyes over to the nearest clock. [+maroon “Well, I’ll see you at lunch then”], he said giving a final smile and a wave before heading to class.
He walked slowly, thinking on what had transpired up until that point. A smile stretched across his face and his cheeks lit up with a soft red as he approached his class. He managed to make it to his seat as soon as the bell rang. He sat next to one of the windows and looked outward towards the sky. He couldn’t manage to shake that warm feeling from his chest. He took note of the teacher informing the students of the next few days and how they’d be allowing the students to prepare the graduation ceremony. They’d be assigning students to do speeches and set up the decorations and technical things as well as letting the students set up a final party for the senior class the day before graduation. Apparently the person who would give the speech was a specific pick who would be revealed the day of graduation, but it was set up to be some type of thing to have all student prepare just in case. I guess it was to keep everyone wondering, but it didn’t seem to be something very important. What was really on his mind though was the rest of the day, mainly how he was going to be having lunch with Chrysanth. It was at this point that he realized his arm was hurting much less than before. The Legion had done all they could at the time when he damaged his arm, the most notable thing being that one of their healers used their potential to put the broken bones back into proper place. Still it hadn’t felt so considerable better at such a pace. It took the entire rest of the summer just for him to be able to move without feeling intense pain and just that morning there was a constant stinging pain shooting through his arm. Now he only felt the stiffness he’d normally feel. His healing process still should have taken a few months before the pain was gone, or at least that’s what the doctors told him, but it was as if a bit of that was just shaved off. Now he had more questions for her, but wasn’t going to pry. Instead he’ll make sure to properly thank her when the chance arises.
Maurica was surprised to find the boy beside her, his long strides easily matching the pace set by her much shorter legs. She often wondered what it was like to be tall. Some things would be much easier, like walking and reaching the tops of things. Actually, most things would be easier. But if she was tall, people would notice. People tend to notice tall people much more readily than they notice shorter ones. It only makes sense; tall people take up more space. You have to look up to see their face if you're any shorter than them, and they're always looking down at you.
Then he started talking, to fill the silence, Maurica figured. She never understood people who felt the need to carry on a conversation simply because no one else was. She listened to him anyways, and by the end of of his rant, Maurica was captivated. It wasn't what he was saying necessarily, she had heard many other people complaining about the same topic, and while wholeheartedly agreeing with the assertion, didn't think it was worthy of captivation. No, it was how he said it that caught her attention. She felt like she could listen to him talk for hours, whereas her teachers she could barely pay attention to for a few minutes.
[+olive "Yeah, I get it," ] Maurica responded after a moment of collecting her thoughts. She realized she had slowed down quite a bit from when she first set off. [+olive "It's like filler in the story of our lives. But who's to say that the next chapter will hold anything better? We might as well make use of the filler while we can. Filler can be fun too, you know." ]
Nathan caught the indifference in her tone and couldn't help but laugh at it. [b “I don't mean to laugh. It just sounds like you aren't looking forward to this any more than I am.”]
Despite his shared disinterest in the attendance of school he made sure to match her pace on the trip. If they were going to be miserable on the way they might as well have the benefit of being miserable together after all. The fact that he wasn't keen on going any faster though also helped his decision making process.
[b “It feels like we'll just be doing busywork these next few days to fill time before we get to move on to life beyond school. Felt like that since we finished with tests. If there was something of value they could teach us in just a few days they certainly should have covered it by now.”]
This was a bit of a sore spot for Nathan as he was of the opinion they should have been done with schooling even earlier. He was normally a bit better at keeping his tongue about it, but he felt more at ease with Maurica. Probably because her presence was diminutive enough that it did not feel like it intruded on his own space in the slightest. It made it much easier for him to get into his ranting mind space. One that was visible even with his face covered as it involved a lot more hand motion than usual for him.
[b “Instead we get to keep going until the end of the year just to have everything wrap up at a nice neat designated point in time. If they were more interested in developing the students they wouldn't need such rigidity. They just try to solve the problem with brute force learning methods though and barely cover the topics that matter most.”]
Even with his tongue in a loosened state he kept from voicing his truest opinion on the matter as he knew that could cause him problems. It was a care he had taken from a young age at the behest of his parents. They knew what could happen to people with his level of curiosity and had done their best to keep him from snooping too much. Their lessons took enough for him to be cautious, but given his choice of career it did not take completely.
It only took a few steps after that for him to realize that he had just unloaded on this poor girl. He could try to shrug it off as the recompense for giving her the coin, but that hardly seemed fair since he was also making her late to class. His shoulders scrunched up as soon as he realized, however he was careful to continue to match Maurica's pace.
[b “Sorry for ranting about all of that I know you didn't sign up for it. The end of the year has just always been the worst in my opinion. All it feels like is wasting time until you get to start the next chapter of the story, you know?”]
/ 1y 166d 14h 8m 23s
Chrys watched as he eagerly drank the tea, having to bite her lip to not chuckle at his expression. He seemed to be trying to hide it, but the woman’s observant eyes could easily pick up his excitement. She didn’t think the taste of her teas were anything amazing, but apparently Jherrichho was of a different mindset. It was oddly endearing. But she was confident in the more unnatural effects her teas had, and was smug when he handed the glass bottle back with seeming satisfaction. She tucked the empty bottle back into her bag, but it was barely a moment later that he stopped them and mentioned a secret. Chrysanth’s sapphire eyes widened in shock, and she was about to stop him since she hadn’t really wanted anything in return for her help, only for him to pull his sleeve up before she could do anything.
The sight of the bandages rendered her momentarily mute, and she could do nothing but stare and listen for a long moment as he explained the painfully personal event he was describing. She blinked repeatedly when he reached the part that described the exact injuries his potential had caused, the sheer thought of the pain that had to cause making her head spin. Sure, her tea probably cut a few days or a week off his recovery time, but... but that was nothing! That amount of injuries would take months to recover, maybe even years, and that was if it even fully recovered at all! And she had never realized how much pain he had to have been in, and she saw him in the hallways almost every day. Just how good was he at hiding his struggles?
[+teal “That’s...”] she murmured when they got to the school, careful to keep her voice soft so that nobody overheard. She completely understood his desire to keep his Potential a secret, she was the same way after all. She couldn’t help but look over at his again, eyes wide but eyebrows slightly furrowed in confusion and concern. [+teal “You have a bit of an issue with trusting people too easily, don’t you?”] she couldn’t help but ask bluntly. [+teal “You didn’t need to tell me all that, that’s incredibly personal! What if I wasn’t trustworthy? You’ve known my name for, what, ten minutes?”] she shook her head in disbelief. [+teal “First off, I won’t tell anyone. I’d actually like it if you kept what I did a secret too, if you don’t mind,”] sure, she had given him a valuable tea. But she hadn’t explained her Potential, and she had made sure that he had no idea about he full scope of her abilities in case he betrayed her. In the face of his blind loyalty she felt dirty for being so cautious and distrusting, but not enough to change her actions. She had very strong reasons for her trust issues, after all. [+teal “If people knew what I could do, they’d take advantage of it,”] she muttered, only loud enough for him to hear her. She took a breath. They were cutting it close, so she’d say what she had to say quickly so they weren’t late.
[+teal “And secondly,”] she whispered. [+teal “I think your potential is pretty poetic. Not at all convenient, but poetic. Push past your boundaries to achieve what the world normally wouldn’t let you. If you didn’t unlock it, the world might not have let you live,”] she eyes fell meaningfully to his bandaged arm. [+teal “And lastly, try to find me at lunch today. You’ll need more than just one tea if I’m going to be looking after an innocent guy like you that trusts strangers. Honestly, if I’m going to help you with that many injuries...”] she grumbled a little, but it was all for show. Her eyes were warm, and she was blushing. She didn’t trust him, not yet, but she [i did] like him, and until he gave her a reason to not trust him she would look after him.
She looked down at her thermos. Forget the Legion. Ever since she unlocked her Potential, Chrys knew she’d have to make her own place in this damned city if she was going to avoid being taken advantage of and used. She’d start by making herself this boy’s nanny. He clearly needed someone to help make sure he wasn’t taken advantage of, either.
Chrys’ smile was more comforting than he expected. It made he the expression she gave him before pale in comparison, or, at least that’s how it was in his eyes. A smile carries many emotions and feelings, it can reveal the hearts of those who carry them and there was nothing he enjoyed more than the smiles of others.
When she agreed to walk with him to school he noticed that her words seemed to come into conflict with her expression, but he couldn’t keep himself from smiling again when she ate another cookie. It was comforting to think that she might have been as nervous as he was. At least he wasn’t the only one. It was at that point though that he noticed her eyes turn to his hand, something he had expected yet could still not get used to.
He looked down at his hand and his mind started to race. It’s not like others never looked at it, but it wasn’t something he could ever get used to. The accident that caused his hand to get like that had happened over the past summer and it was also when his potential was unlocked. [i I hate this potential so much. It just isn’t like me], he thought to himself. Ever since the school year had started he’s had to deal with it, but at least the pain had died down since then. Now it was just that feeling as if someone were always watching him that he couldn’t shake. As much as Jherrichho tried to ignore it he couldn’t help but keep his potential on his mind or risk more trouble from it.
He snapped back to his senses when Chrys started moving her arms about. He couldn’t pin point what exactly was happening until she pulled a vial out of her bag’s pockets and thrust it towards him after a short moment with an embarrassed look on her face. He leaned back a bit causing his scarf to fall below his chin and reveal the slightly red glow on his cheeks. He reached out and grabbed the vial, a calming aroma filling his nostrils as she explained what it was she had given to him. “It took me two days to brew, so be grateful.” He looked at her for a moment with a bit of surprise. He never expected anything like this, and he was indeed grateful.
“And you can come to me if you’re hurt. I don’t do miracles, but I can probably help out.”
[+maroon “Thank you, I don’t know if I could ever possibly return the favor for something so valuable”], he said with a smile on his face. He had always wanted to try the tea she made. The smell was always enough to catch his attention, but he never expected to be so lucky. He tried to hide his excitement as much as he could, opening the small glass and drinking its contents. The warmth stretched throughout his body and the flavor had distracted him so much that he didn’t even notice the pain being alleviated from his arm. He closed the glass when he finished, pondering how he could possibly repay her for this. Something so important and time consuming used on him like this? He had to do something special in return. That's when it hit him.
Jherrichho banded the glass vial back before he looked around to make sure no one was within hearing distance or sight before letting out a sigh and halting to a stop. [+maroon “I don’t know if this will be enough, but it’s something no one else really knows about. My one secret I guess I could call it”], he said as he grabbed his sleeve and pulled it up to his shoulder. Upon doing so you could see that the bandages reached from his hand up past his elbow and stopping half way to his elbow. He looked directly into her eyes and held his arm up.
[+maroon “This is an injury caused by my potential”], he started. [+maroon “Almost a year ago my home was raided by thieves using potential. Me and my parents happened to be out and we were just getting home at the time. We entered the house and saw their faces so they came after us in fear of being reported to the Legion. Both of my parents were murdered right before my eyes that day trying to protect me, and that was when I unlocked my potential. Unrefined and ungraceful, I fought because I had no other choice but to hate them for what they had done. My potential fed on my feelings and before I knew it I was moving as if I wasn’t in control of my own body anymore. With this hand tightly clinched into a fist I just punched one of them in the face, that’s all I did, but the rest of them ran off. I blacked out and by the time I woke up I was in a hospital. My potential had caused me to disregard the limits of my body, forcing out every ounce of strength I possibly could, but completely tearing my arm apart in the process. All the bones up to my elbow were shattered and the muscles were torn up all the way to my shoulder.”]
He rolled his sleeve back down as they continued to walk, the school coming into sight not too long after. [+maroon “My potential uses a few of my emotions as catalysts to push past my body’s limits, but in doing so my body can’t handle it, so it just destroys me if it’s capable of doing so. I can gain power, negate pain, even heal myself under the right conditions, although that last one is harder than it seems”], he said with a bit of a blush. [+maroon “I’d prefer if you didn’t tell anyone else about this though. You’re the only person who knows, and I haven’t told the Legion much about it either when they questioned me over it. It’s just or secret for now”], he said with a smile, lifting his scarf back over his mouth as they entered the school. [+maroon “Thank you, I’m grateful for what you’ve done for me, Chrysanth.”]
Maurica took the coin and slipped it into the side pocket of her backpack, making sure to put it in the one that didn't have the hole in it. She debated saying thank you, but she didn't see any real need to and felt it would make the situation even more strange.
They stood in silence for a moment. Maurica thought he looked like a wolf, playful, but not quite sure how to show that puppy-like eagerness in a way that other people would appreciate and understand. Then again, she could be reading too far into things that weren't there.
Maurica had always thought of herself as a sparrow, drab, but with a sweet song to share. Although lately she hadn't been doing much singing. Not since the accident. Her mother kept saying she needed to get out more, make some new friends. Maybe this wolf could be her friend. He seemed pretty nice, and although she was still a bit skittish after her bout of terror, as long as he didn't bite her head off trying to be friendly, she thought they could make a great team.
Realistically, this would never happen. Why would it? The kid would probably go home after school and forget all about her. Besides, she wouldn't allow it.
"We better hurry if we want to make it before the end of class Maurica."
The boy's words pulled her out of her thoughts, making room for another, crazier one to flash through her mind.
What if they skipped? Her mom wouldn't care, not really, and if his attendance really mattered he wouldn't be walking so far behind everyone else. They could go somewhere peaceful and sit and eat ice-cream and talk about things they'd never say to anyone else because they knew them too well. She could be free again.
"Yeah, let's go," Maurica replied, barely trying to hide her lack of enthusiasm. She started walking at a pace not quite fast enough to be called a jog towards the school, feeling rather angry but not knowing why.
[h3 [center Nathan]]Nathan took a small step back when he saw the expression on the young woman's face. There was not much more he could do to make himself look less threatening, but he did at least try to soften the visible part of his expression. He was just trying to return a coin not give the poor girl a heart attack. That might make for a good story to tell, but it would almost certainly make them both later than either would appreciate.
While he was waiting for a reply he scanned over her face to see if she was someone that he should recognize. There were enough people in the school that he couldn't remember everyone. He was able to remember her though for a few of her rodent related escapades that had caught his attention on their morning commute. It helped that she had a unique name that made it easier for him to recall.
His attempt at maintaining a soft expression faltered as soon as she spoke as his brow furrowed. He cocked his head to the side as his mouth moved enough to cause his scarf to visibly shift even as he remained silent. Luckily his focus was on the coin in his hand as he seemed to examine it carefully. Just a moment of analysis later and his expression loosened up again as he chuckled at it before responding.
[b “I only noticed it because it hit the ground, but maybe you just happened to kick it up when you were walking by. Since I can't say I would have even noticed it if not for that it seems only fair that you get it if you want it. I don't have much use for it.”]
He managed to say it with at least a somewhat friendly expression on his face, although the effort was mostly wasted since half his face was still covered by his scarf. Still he did what he could to make the transfer of the coin easy. Especially as she seemed to be especially jumpy based on how she responded to him gently tapping her shoulder.
When he noticed that this little detour left them the only two students this far from school though he made sure to speak up. [b “We better hurry if we want to make it before the end of class Maurica.”] He might not care about his own attendance record at this point, but he would hate to impact hers if it mattered. Especially for a misunderstanding about a simple coin.
[h3 [center Molly]]It did not take long for Molly to get a bit of a crowd around her as her teammates were quick to chat with her. Although she did make sure that they were not in the way of foot traffic. She was happy to get to talk to her friends before class, but she still had to set a good example as the student president. Especially as it was just a few days before she would be handing that title over. Molly would take no chance in tarnishing the title in these last few days so as to make sure that it remains pristine for the next person to carry it.
All of the graduating members of the teams seemed focused on the future and where they would go from here. Molly was a good fit for the Legion, but most of her teammates hoped for less demanding careers. The presumed pressure of being the sole source of security for The Moving City was a bit much to ask of someone fresh out of high school after all. They all agreed it would not mean much to the pressure president though. She had sought out more workloads of her own accord often enough that having a single set job was sure to be like a vacation.
The talk of the futures was a quite interesting one as one teammate detailed their intricate plans to become a successful pastry chef, and another said they just hoped to avoid being kicked out of the Moving City. Unfortunately it would not last though as they had to go their separate ways to make it to class on time. Just like always Molly made sure to be a few minutes early. It was understandable enough that she wanted to set a good example for the rest of the class, but she also always had to make sure she had a seat in the back. Her height could interfere with others learning experience otherwise. Something that she had learned the hard way early in her high school career, and a mistake that she intended to never make again.
While she was early as always there was a distinct difference in the scene today as everything seemed to be more positive. The chatter seemed more upbeat than usual for this early in the morning. Just the recognition of it was enough to put an even bigger smile than usual on Molly's face while she waited for class to start.
/ 1y 168d 13h 31m 21s
Triumph roared inside Chrys pleasantly when the boy responded, only to be cut short when he met her eyes and faltered. She frowned slightly, confused. Was there something on her face? When the boy continued to introduce himself, she figured it was either a fluke or something with his Potential. Hopefully nothing bad, she thought vaguely before refocusing on the mostly-stranger. She tried out a smile, something she didn’t often do among her peers. The expression was surprisingly soft on her normally cold face, though slightly awkward considering this was a someone she barely knew anything about.
[+teal “No worries. I’m Chrysanth Ocha, but I prefer to be called Chrys,”] she introduced herself not long before the boy suggested they walk to school. Chrys blinked, and then nodded and stood up. Normally she was a perfect student who would never even consider being tardy, but with so few days left she wasn’t inclined to be so concerned over it anymore. All the important things were past. [+teal “Sure, I mean we’re headed the same way anyway,”] she agreed verbally. It came out slightly colder than she meant for it to, and she shoved a cookie into her mouth to give her a moment to silently stew over her mistake. As they walked, Chrys couldn’t help but find her eyes drawn to Jherrichho’s bandaged right hand.
The woman’s eyebrow furrowed, and she stared into her thermos in thought for a long moment, taking a sip to give her more time to think. On one hand, she didn’t like people knowing her Potential for various reasons. On the other hand, she had a very simple way to help without completely giving it away. Despite how cold or standoffish she seemed, she couldn’t always keep herself from helping others. Jherrichho, in particular, stuck out in her mind because she had noticed his bandages on multiple occasions and just used the fact that they had no common classes as an excuse to not help.
Well, now she had no excuse. She closed her thermos up tightly, holding her almost empty bag of cookies in her mouth and holding the thermos in her armpit as she threw her now-free hand into the outermost pocket of her school bag. She pulled out a glass vial that looked a lot like a potion bottle. It was narrow on top, and ballooned on the bottom where light brown liquid sat. Zipping up the pocket and putting her bag back on her shoulder correctly, she turned so that Jherrichho would be able to see what she had grabbed.
The liquid had gone lukewarm, so Chrys stared at it for a moment. It wasn’t visible, but she used her Potential to heat up the liquid so that it would be pleasantly hot but not burning when drank. Done with that, she looked away slightly embarrassed, she thrust the bottle towards the bandages boy.
[+teal “I don’t know how you got hurt or anything, and obviously you wouldn’t want to tell a stranger something like that so I won’t ask. But this will help. It’ll heal any injuries your body has as fast as your body can safely take it, and numb the pain at the same time. It only lasts for ten minutes but it could save you recovery time,”] it obviously wouldn’t heal broken bones or anything, but all small injuries and most slightly-more-than-minor injuries would be taken care of, fractures would be soothed and halfway taken care of, and it would at least cut recovery time of broken bones by a weak or two depending on how healthy the person who was hurt was. [+teal “It took me two days to brew, so be grateful,”] she couldn’t help but mutter in embarrassment despite not really wanting thanks or anything. [+teal “And you can come to me if you’re hurt. I don’t do miracles, but I can probably help out.”]
He turned his head to see a familiar person. Not a classmate, but someone he had seen often in the halls at school. They never spoke but Jherrichho could always smell the aromas from her thermos and this time wasn’t any different. He could never tell what it was but a wave of nervousness would always sweep over him when he saw her. It was unexpected for her to approach him like this yet it was a nice surprise. He couldn’t help but smile.
[+maroon “Morning”], he said in a somewhat shy tone. [+maroon “I don’t believe we’ve met. My name is Jherr-“], he stopped mid sentence as his eyes met with hers. The color was so deep and it was as if they glowed as the light hit them. For a moment he felt as if his breath was taken away, but he blinked a few times and shook his head before pulling his scarf over his mouth. [+maroon “S-Sorry about that. I’m Jherrichho Einjhord.”] [i What was that? She probably thinks I’m some kind of weirdo now!]
It was odd, this was a new experience. Jherrichho never had any problems like that before. Was this an effect of his potential? No, not so intense but it left a warm feeling on his cheeks. He didn’t know much about her, he never even heard her name before, but he never missed her when she passed by. It wasn’t just her tall frame or long hair, but the smell of tea that seemed to always be close by when she was near. Yet her eyes, he somehow had never seen her eyes before. It was as if they could never stop glowing, almost drawing him in. Maybe he was just more emotional than he thought over school ending, having to remember that the things everyone had gotten used to were ending. Either way he could think more on that later, if they stayed there any longer they would end up being late.
Jherrichho looked over to her after they exchanged words and took off his hat for a moment to run his hands through his tangled hair. [+maroon “So, you wouldn’t mind walking to school with me would you? I’d hate for us to both be late”], he asked as he stood and slid his hands into his pockets. [i Hopefully this makes up for that failure of an introduction.]
Maurica Night was no stranger to sharp claws, but that didn't stop annoyance from radiating through her stout body when those claws showed up on her shoulder unannounced.
"Jason," she hissed at the sleek black rodent. "Get back in the bag! I'll let you out when we get to school."
The rat, unable to understand English, as Maurica well knew, was not going to give up his quest for attention that easily. After a moment of internal debate, the rat attacked Maurica's hair, thoroughly tangling himself in the chocolaty colored curls.
Maurica howled in annoyance, not caring that someone might hear her. She ducked off the street and began the tedious process of untangling rat from hair. Student after student passed her by, most giving her a strange look as they passed. Maurica responded to each with a smile. Okay, so it was an exasperated smile, but who could blame her. One kid even offered to help, but Maurica denied needing help while doggedly untangling.
This wasn't the first time this had happened, Maurica noted. This was the third time in just a week he had plunged himself into her hair, looking for attention. She would have to have a word with him later.
Maurica held the rat up in front of her, enjoying how helpless he looked dangling from her hands. However, this moment of triumph was ruined slightly as the rat was still covered in loose strands of hair. Maurica huffed at him. If the rat could have smiled, Maurica was sure he would have. Instead he just stared at her with dark, beady eyes.
Maurica shoved him into her backpack, making sure to close it all the way this time. She caught a glimpse of her watch and did a double take. There were only a few minutes before school started and she was nowhere near where she needed to be.
Grabbing her bag, Mauricia stumbled back onto the street, adopting a brisk trot that she figured would be fast enough to get her there on time. Not late, but not early either.
Just a moment later she heard a voice behind her call, "Excuse me."
Well, at least I won't be the only one late, she thought, dismissing the words as not meant for her.
Almost before she knew what was happening she felt someone tap her on the shoulder and the same voice say, "Excuse me, I think you dropped this."
Maurica whirled around, her heart pounding out of her chest. She could hardly remember the last time she felt afraid, and yet here she was, freaking out over a tap on the shoulder. Then again, it wasn't often she came into physical contact with other humans.
She realized he had asked her a question and blinked a few times, trying to recall what he had asked. He looked familiar, like he might be in one of her classes, but she had no idea which one.
She glanced down at the coin in his outstretched hand.
"That's uh, not mine. But I'll take it if you don't want it," she added, trying not to sound greedy.
[h3 [center Molly]]The early morning was cold and quiet as the tall young woman rolled her bicycle out to the road. She was one of few commuters to get such an early start and stood out even among the few. Her height was easy enough to notice as she was taller than most people, but it was the fact that she was in full motorcycle gear on a bicycle that tended to draw a double take. It made sense given the speed she had reached on her electric assist bicycle. However it also contrasted ridiculously with the relatively simple looking bicycle that she rode into school each morning.
She was usually the first student to arrive at the building and just like always her first stop was Mr. Ramirez's class. Since he also biked to work he kept a spot outside his room for fellow bike commuters. Her spot was the only other one that was named as she had parked her bike next to his since her second week at the school. It helped that she had been one of his favorite students to have in class given their shared love of maths.
The removal of her helmet revealed her short cut dark brown hair and green eyes. While the removal of her padded motorcycle suit revealed her the dark blue sweater and black jeans that she wore underneath. She kept her boots on though as she made her way into the school. Even without them she stood over six feet tall with an athletic build, but their addition to her height only made her stand out more even without a crowd.
After a quick chat with Mr. Ramirez she made her way to the newspaper room to finish her editing work on what would be the last student newspaper she would get to work on. Since it was their last edition she wanted to put in her best work. There was not much left for her to do though as most of the student journalists were already looking to take time off at the end of the year. She was able to talk at least a few people into one last good article though.
She also wanted to finalize the plans for her graduation party for the class. There would be several of them given the various groups that popped up at the school, but Molly wanted to make sure there was one that would accept everyone. A fun time intended even for the less wild students. It would be her last act as student president and she wanted a chance for everyone to say goodbye to one another on their terms.
Being as early as she was meant she got over an hour of work in before other students began to arrive in large number. It would be easy to focus on the newspaper, but Molly wrapped up as soon as she saw a few people. These would be their last few days together and she wanted to enjoy them as much as possible after she had kept her nose to the grindstone for the majority of her tenure there. They would all be together in the moving city and so friendships were important. So with a friendly smile on her face she made her way out to the hall to greet one of her fellow classmates on one of their last days in class together.
[b “Good morning.”]
[h3 [center Nathan]]Nathan was at the back of the pack as they made their way towards the school for one of the last times. Just like usual he was one of the slower movers as he rarely had any interest in going to school when he did not have an interesting thing to report on. The past few days had been even more boring for him than the previous hundreds in that regard. It seemed like all of his classmates just wanted to enjoy a quiet and peaceful end to the school year together. That boring proposition put a small frown on his face as he carried on.
His slight frown would go unnoticed thanks to the dark blue scarf that covered his mouth. Those that knew him would know it was there though as it was as much a trademark on his face as the slight glare from his light brown eyes that always accompanied it. Combined with the messy short black hair on top of his head and it was easy to see why he was usually alone. Of course the all black outfit with the long coat and combat boots that brought his height over six foot did nothing to help. He never complained about being alone, although as long as he was able to do his work unimpeded he never seemed to complain about anything to be honest.
He may be a loner, but he made sure to give a nod of greeting back to everyone that gave one to him. There was a line to be drawn between loners and pariahs that he wanted to stay on the right side of as long as he could. It was something he had been told numerous times to be mindful of given his desired career. An investigator would need to be able to interview people and work with others to be successful after all. Whatever his feelings on the matter he made sure to take the advice to heart. Especially given the success of the source that had given it to him during his first work as a reporter for the student newspaper.
The sight of a dropped coin brought him out of his thoughts of that though as the person in front of him seemed to carry on unaware. [b “Excuse me.”] Nathan was quick to scoop the coin up, but the person was slow to stop at his muffled statement. A burst of speed from his long legs though was enough for him to close the gap to give them a light tap on the shoulder. This time he made sure to enunciate.
[b “Excuse me, I think you dropped this.”]
/ 1y 170d 19h 41m 58s
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