Angel Hunt + Streifen: AU01 Pt02

Angel Hunt and Streifen in AU

(Alternate Universe 01)

(Part 01)


C H A P T E R  O N E : P A R T 02

Zephyr: The final bell chimes at the end of a long day, students hastily packing up books and calling to one another before the teacher is even out the door. Out of seemingly nowhere a group of kids surrounds the Dark’s desk, chattering and firing off questions so quickly that he couldn’t keep up even if he wanted to. Midnight eyes flick over toward Jun’s desk, their impromptu conversation during lunch playing back through his head. He’s pretty sure he really fucked up their whole meeting, forgetting for a minute how formal this place is and just talking like he always does. It seemed to have kind of weirded his classmate out, which is too bad since he seems pretty cool and is the only one in their class who doesn’t look like a clone of every other kid. The white-haired teenager is already half out the door, though, trailed after by a knot of guys and girls and not looking too pleased with the attention.

Gathering up his books and other belongings, Zeph manages to get one of the students crowded around him to move long enough that he can stand, instantly towering over everyone else. He should stay and make nice, but he kind of wants to get a shower and unpack his shit, so they’re going to have to cut him some slack. “Yeah, that’s cool,” he says in reply to whatever it was that the girl on his left was saying, apparently giving her the answer she wanted to hear from the excited smile she trades with another chick. “Look, I really want to stay and hang out, but I’m wicked tired from traveling, so I’m gonna crash for a while.” The protest is immediate, but he just grins and shakes his head, long fingers reaching up to push strands of white gold from his eyes. “Actually if someone could show me where I can pick up some snacks on the way or whatever, that would be cool. I kinda missed most of lunch.”

Ushered into the hallway, the Dark catches sight of Jun almost right away, his white hair so eye-catching amongst a sea of black. Midnight blue meets pink for a moment, holding until a pair of arms are thrown around the shorter teen’s neck and he’s half tackled by an upperclassman. Oddly enough, the new kid has white hair as well and his silver gaze goes almost immediately to Zeph, narrowing in the slightest. His looks aren’t the only thing that stands out about the tall student, he’s just about blazing magic compared to all the humans around them, and an unfamiliar magic at that. Maybe he’s one of those ‘Angels’ that they’re supposed to be finding stuff out about…

The flow of movement in the corridor propels him forward along with the other students from his class, but he leans down to ask the boy next to him who the guy with their classmate is. He’s told his name is Chung-hee Song and he’s a second year who always hangs around with Jun and is supposedly really nice and funny. Which, also interesting… Zeph files it away to ask Sashi about later and continues on, watching as Song makes some joke that causes everyone standing around the pair to burst into laughter, well everyone except Jun. The white-haired teenager doesn’t even crack a smile and his eyes are trained down on the floor. Either he’s just really shy or… something. Walking past, the Selestarri is compelled to lean in just a little close, pitching his voice low enough for only Jun to hear. “Second floor, since you asked. My room’s on the left hand side…”

Jun: The moment the series of chimes have gone off to signal the end of another school day Jun has risen from his seat, just a little hurried in his attempts to make it out the door as fast as he possibly can. Ever since he and his new classmate’s meeting during the lunch hour, he’s been feeling kind of off. He doesn’t know if he’d stepped over a line or what when he’d asked about Zephyr’s boarding assignment or why that question had even come from him to begin with but once they’d all returned to their homerooms -hell even in the subsequent classes that came after he swears he’d catch the other teenager looking at him or find himself doing the same in return and it’s made him feel just…weird. He doesn’t know why… maybe it’s the fact that the blonde is foreign and new or maybe it’s because he’s still really tired since he never did get to catch up on his rest, but whatever his deal is, at the moment he just wants to make it back to his own room and try to sleep the rest of the day away in hopes that come morning, the weird feelings will just go away.

Which… would be a whole lot easier to achieve if he could make it past his fellow classmates and dodge the constant questions about his status for the upcoming party. God, some days he wishes he could just pop himself instantly out of existence in order to get away from all this and it’s definitely one of those days.

Jun manages to make it down the long winding hall with little incident before that odd feeling of being watched creeps up on him again and almost unable to help himself, he dares a quick glance back to find the blonde’s eyes on him, staring rather pointedly from above the sea of students he towers above. For a moment their gazes lock, one teen looking at the other until a pair of long arms suddenly slide around his neck. He’s practically tackled from behind with a force that propels him forward by a couple of steps, his attentions torn completely away. ”Hey-“ Jun starts, missing a narrow gazed flash exchanged between the other two teens when his body is twisted partially around. Finding that normal wide grin Taz is known for beaming down from above, his pink eyes lock with silver and he frowns.

“Dude, you missed all this stuff at lunch.” The white haired Angel grins and he mutters a quick apology in response before he’s let go.

It only takes seconds for the crowd he’d been attempting to dodge to gather around them, and while the normal jokes are being cracked and everyone is laughing or chatting about this or that, he begins to feel a little distanced from it all. His best friend is always open like this and he has this easy way about him that can drag laughter or smiles from the others with very little effort lent and… here he is standing close by, silent and unsmiling, like some freak albino fish out of water. In ways he’s found himself pretty envious of Taz ever since their friendship began because he can’t do what the Second Year can do and never could. He doesn’t feel like he can open up to anyone here any more than he seems able to muster even the smallest of smiles and there’s been a lot of times throughout his stay at this school that he’s wondered why any of them want to be friends with him at all. Sometimes he thinks that maybe they’re all there for Taz and they just have to take him as well, but mostly he just doesn’t know.

Before he can delve too deeply into the same whys he always does, the surrounding tide in the hallway moves past their group and along with it; the blonde passes by as well, his deep midnight gaze glued to him. The white haired teenager blinks in surprise when the Selestarri leans in to speak quiet words meant only for him, causing an embarrassed flush to flood beneath pale cheeks. Early dawn hued eyes remain locked on the back of a crown of white gold as he’s carried away until blue glance back over a slim shoulder to catch him, his gaze quickly shifting away only to find himself staring at flat, rather un-amused silver.

“Who’s that?” Taz demands and for some reason Jun can’t seem to think of anything to say in response before another classmate pipes up with news of the new student that had transferred in just that morning.

It’s then that he has to start dodging the questions of what had been said to him and the only thing he manages to comes up with is that he didn’t catch it. It’s immediately apparent that his best friend doesn’t buy it because of the lasting skeptical look the other teenager gives him, but luckily he’s saved from any further inquiries when another classmate mercifully takes the attention away from the subject by piping up about the dorm party again. Not looking to waste the opportunity, Jun bows out so he can try to catch up on his sleep. Shaking his head, Taz slaps him playfully on the back and makes an offhanded comment about how if he’s not careful he’ll end up wasting his life away. After another short round of laughter in response from the rest of their group, the white haired teen says his goodbyes before moving out of the emptying hallway towards the exit, quickly making his way across the grounds towards the boys’ dorms…

space03Sashi: A shrill whistle cuts through the crisp fall air, signaling the start of the play and setting the red and black clad field into a flurry of motion. Gray eyes follow as the ball is kicked long down the field, the Dark’s feet already propelling him into position on the grass just past the painted white half circle. He shifts easily past the defender who tries to block, outmaneuvering the shorter teen while the ball is directed toward him from a well-placed rebound off his scrimmage teammate’s head. It’s coming in too high, though, and without enough time to hit the grass first, which is definitely going to fuck up the play. Frowning slightly, he watches for another moment as the ball streams closer before jumping into the air at the last second and twisting his body around to slam his foot against the soaring ball. The ground comes up hard, jarring the Selestarri even as he automatically rolls to his side on instinct, pitch-black strands of hair falling over his face while he watches from the grass as the ball easily sails past the goalie’s head and into the netting beyond.

The coach’s whistle blows again and guys on his squad whoop in celebration, crowding around to help him up before they all trot off the field to wait in line for their next practice round. The next round begins and Sashi takes one of the water bottles offered to him, following the movements of the play from the sidelines until his attention is drawn back in the direction of the school. It’s after class hours and groups of students dot the widespread lawns around the campus, some horsing around, others talking quietly or listening to music and a few still wearing their uniforms and hurrying from the building after late-running clubs. Laughter erupts from a knot of kids near the field and it’s the tallest in the grouping that draws his attention, the slight wind blowing shaggy hair around his shoulders.

The Bright, the same one who had approached during lunchtime just to say hello and then taken off right afterwards, laughs along with his friends, the girl who is usually positioned on his arm standing in her familiar place. That whole meeting had been strange and thrown him off kilter through most of the afternoon with how unexpected it had all been. The last moment had continued to linger as well, the brush of their fingers and the rough skin he’d felt beneath the flawless illusion spell, almost as if the Bright were scarred in some way… Chocolate brown eyes shift to meet his over the eyes of the tall teen’s friends before holding for a long moment. Sashi is suddenly aware of what he must look like, grass stained and damp with sweat from the rigorous practice and he pulls his gaze slowly away. Not before noticing, however, that the other Bright has realized what’s going on and flashes him an angry look before rounding on her shaggy haired companion.

The whistle calls the Dark back to attention and he briefly considers what it would be like to feed it to the middle aged man who coaches the team. Taking a last drink from the water bottle, he tosses it to the grass and follows the other players back onto the field…

Lan: someone in their circle makes a joke that sends the entire group laughing as they find their ways casually across the grounds of the school and he smiles along with them, his thoughts elsewhere despite his outward demeanor. Another day has ended and while he’s trying to enjoy the sun, fresh air and company he’s in, his mind is stuck on the brief exchange he and a Dark had earlier in the afternoon. It isn’t the words they’d spoken that has stayed with him or the circumstances that had caused him to step over their unspoken line, but rather the touch… that final brushing of their fingers, that’s bothered him ever since. He’s pretty sure the other teenager had noticed something beneath his masking spell, even if he’s sure he didn’t know exactly what it was that he noticed and it bothers him quite a lot. He’s attempted to push the entire incident out of his head, reminding himself on more than one occasion that his lapse in decorum is not a lapse that will happen again, that things will soon return to the normality where he and the Dark remain separate in their factions and neither bother with one other overall, and that the touch was accidental, probably mostly unnoticed and was in fact just a touch, nothing more.

But as the slightest of winds drags across the group to send shaggy brown locks shifting, something prickles at the back of his neck and pulls his attentions away from both his thoughts and his friends towards the field that lies behind. Sliding his masked gaze back, Lan finds the raven haired Selestarri staring at him, his face, practice uniform and body riddled with sweat and grass stains. The tall Bright isn’t sure what it is about the other teen that holds his attentions in that moment, but when their eyes lock from across the distance, he’s almost unable to look away. The older teenager doesn’t seem to share the sentiment though, his gray gaze slipping back to the field stretched out before him in a way that brings a small, involuntary smile to his lips. A split second later however, Halacie pulls his own attentions back by rounding on him with that look she’s famous for, reaching out in an instant to smack him rather hard on the arm in a way that silences the rest of their friends. All eyes widen in surprise, confused as delicate fingers slide up to sign while she speaks in a tone pitched high enough for everyone within earshot to hear.

“What is going on?” she demands and he simply smiles in response before sliding his own fingers up to reply in sign that he has no idea what she’s talking about.

[Don’t lie to me Key,] She demands, switching to telepathy and the anger in her voice clear. [I saw him looking at you and you looked back. Why?]

[Hail…] Lan can’t help but smirk down at her. [Of course he looked at us… what do you expect? We’re Bright, it’s not the first time one of us has looked at the other since we’ve come here.]

The skepticism in her narrowed gaze is abundantly clear but she stares at him with such intensity that it quickly causes him to break out into a sudden bout of amused laughter. Sliding his hands up once again, he signs that she has no idea how cute she is when she’s angry moments before he reaches down to wrap his arms around her waist and lift her off her feet. She yelps loudly while their friends ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ as the taller Bright slides her up until she’s almost over his shoulder before he turns them away from the field. The commotion of her protests while she beats at his back playfully with lightly balled fists and that of their group of friends that follow cause more than a few eyes around them to turn in their direction as Lan begins leading them all back towards the school…

space03Sashi: The field has cleared of soccer players with the exception of a few first years who are gathering up the equipment, placing the cones and balls into their designated bags and hoisting up the large water cooler to carry it back to the sports storage area. One of them waves to the raven-haired fourth year as they depart, shouting that they’ll see him tomorrow and he gives a cursory nod before turning to the bench and easing down on the painted wooden surface. Tapered fingers unknot the laces of his cleats, slipping the shoes off and peeling the long socks and shin guards away a moment later. God, the coach really tried to beat the shit out of them today, calling for an endless series of training plays and then running them ragged in sprint drills for the last half hour. Now his feet are paying, sore and aching, and that doesn’t even include how the rest of him is going to feel in the morning. With elbows resting on knees, tanned fingers thread into thick black strands, pulling the unruly hair away from his face with a quiet sigh. Gray eyes slip shut and he spends a few minutes just sitting there, listening to the sounds of other students out on the grounds and the calls of insects and birds that usher in the beginning of evening. Reluctantly the Dark straightens and gets to his feet, bare toes digging into the grass as he tosses the cleats and gear into his bag.

He needs a shower in a desperate way since he’s streaked from head to toe with grime, sweat, and grass stains and could also use a cigarette pretty badly… As if on cue the edge of his magical awareness raises alarms and he turns, thundercloud eyes reopening to sweep over the grounds until he finds the presence that’s becoming increasingly familiar today. Shaggy black hair stirs in the breeze beneath the broad-limbed tree where the Bright stands, his tall frame leaning against the trunk, the friends who had surrounded him earlier no longer present. The red school-issued uniform jacket is slung over one shoulder, his crimson tie loosened, and shirt sleeves rolled up to his elbows, an air of casualness surrounding the third year in a way that doesn’t seem forced at all, just natural. The lanky Selestarri’s hands are pushed deep in his pants pockets and as he takes notice, Sashi can’t help but to absently touch the place where their fingers had met earlier, the feel of rough skin against his called to mind once again…

Okay, what the hell is he doing? He must be tired as fuck to let any thought at all be given to the other teen, especially since they have no need for any contact whatsoever. Yeah, their assignments are most likely similar, but they’ve gone two years without introductions and only the barest acknowledgement of each other’s presence until the Bright walked up to him during lunch. So why now? Why suddenly care to say hello like they’ve got a reason to intermingle? He’d assumed in the storage room that it had something to do with Zeph’s arrival, but no mention was made… Tugging the heavy bag over his head and settling the strap across his shoulder and chest, Sashi steps away from the bench, bare feet silent on the grass as he walks toward the tree. It’s obvious that the Bright is here to see him, so he might as well find out what he wants.

Just as it had been during their two previous meetings, the Dark can’t help it as gray eyes are drawn toward chocolate brown despite all efforts to pull his gaze away, holding as he approaches. There’s no shift in the taller Selestarri’s stance as he gets near, nothing aggressive to indicate that he’s looking to pick a fight. Nor is there a draw on his magic, just the calm and patient gaze that holds his own so securely. This whole thing is just odd… When the distance between them falls to the space of several feet, Sashi stops and his eyes are finally able to slip away from the hold of chocolate brown, training instead on the Bright’s lean frame to watch for any shift that indicates he wants to do more than talk.

Tanned fingers flip black strands from his eyes before long arms cross loosely to wrap around the telepath’s narrow waist. “I thought earlier was just a convenient ‘hello,’ so what are we going to call this?”

Lan: The tall Bright stands statuesque against the thick looming tree as the other teenager draws near, gray eyes holding his as solidly as he holds them in return every step taken in his direction. The rest of his friends, Halacie included, decided that they wanted to go into town and for the first time in a while, he didn’t really feel like joining them. Originally he had planned to go back to the dorms and spend the rest of his evening alone studying for his upcoming test despite it being unnecessary, but somewhere along the lines he found himself making his way back here instead. The exchange between himself and the raven haired Dark continues to bother him, in truth. It’s been a slight nagging at the back of his mind that he can’t push away despite his every attempt to do so and he’s come to the conclusion that it needs to be addressed in order to put it to rest.

He smiles softly when a bare footed and disheveled Sashi stops at his front and when the question is leveled at him, the taller teen simply slides one hand free of his pants pocket and reaches up for the flap on his shirt. The smile on his lips widens just a little when his movement causes the Dark to tense just a little, slipping long fingers into his uniform pocket to pull a single cigarette free. Holding it out for the other teenager to take, calm chocolate colored eyes remain locked with storm colored gray.

“We can call it repayment if you like…”

Sashi’s gaze remains on his for a few moments longer before he allows it to travel down to the offering held out and in a slow, hesitating movement, he slides one hand free of his waist before reaching out to accept his gift. Lan pulls his fingers away the moment tan contact, careful this time to avoid being touched before he casually drops his arm back down and slides his hand into his pocket once more.

“Or…” the Bright continues while pushing his lanky frame away from the tree. “…it can be a much needed break after what looks to have been a rough practice for you, perhaps.”

Smiling, the younger Selestarri turns away and begins walking oppositely of both the school and the dormitories, speaking as he goes. “There’s a path back to the dorms I found a while ago not too far from here,” he motions towards the direction he’s moving while reaching into his shirt pocket to retrieve another cigarette for himself. “It’s secluded enough to keep prying eyes from watching and I don’t think very many of the students or the teachers here know it even exits. Though…” Lan glances back over his shoulder and smiles. “…you have been here almost as long as I have so perhaps you already know about it yourself?”

Sashi: There is absolutely no reason he can give as to why his feet carry him after the tall Bright. Nothing he can say at all really beyond the fact that at the moment, this is what he wants to do. Which, honestly, how fucking stupid is he? There has never been a time in his life that he’s fit in with any of their people and it’s not like it’s going to start now, so what is he expecting from this? He doesn’t owe the lanky Selestarri anything and it’s not like this will help his assignment at all, so there’s nothing to stop him from turning around right now and going back to his dorm for that much needed shower. Only, he doesn’t. Bare feet keep treading through the grass, gray eyes fixed on the back of the one ahead and the frown on his lips deepening with each step.

They come to a halt beside a tall lilac bush, the characteristic purple flowers long since departed in the midst of the autumn weather. The Bright pushes aside some of the lower branches to reveal a path, completely hidden to anyone who wasn’t looking directly for it. He knows many of the school’s secret pathways and passages, all places to keep from the eyes of adults and classmates, but this one is new to him. From the lack of trampled grass or other marks of usage, this one seems to be a secret from many. The soft smile the telepath has seen more than once today returns to the full lips of the other student and with a sweep of one long arm he indicates that Sashi should go ahead. After a long minute of hesitation and an internal argument stemming from all the times he was told as a child not to ever turn his back on an enemy, the raven-haired Selestarri slowly ducks down and moves through, bare feet making no noise on the grass below. The remaining light is dim under the canopy of the tall trees and the thick shadows stretch out to cloak his slender frame with darkness as tanned fingers rake unruly strands away from his face. He waits for the Bright to step past the lilacs and then follows a ways further down the trail.

Several fallen trees block the path about five minutes from the entryway and the taller teenager stops and takes a seat on one of the thick trunks. Sashi drops his heavy bag and leans against an enormous piece of rock that juts up from the earth below, the gifted cigarette finding its way between full lips a moment later. A single scrawled rune draws the fire necessary to light the tip and the Dark is pulling the familiar and comforting smoke down deep into his lungs when foreign magic suddenly springs to life. Gray eyes narrow as they turn on the tall Selestarri, a spark of flame rising up from his fingertips to light the slender stick held in his mouth. That’s… not any kind of magic he’s ever sensed. It’s gone in an instant, but his telepathy doesn’t pick up anyone nearby which means that it had to come from the Bright. How can that be possible, though? Even if the form were something he wasn’t familiar with, it would still have the same feel as any other kind of magic that’s generated by one of their race. It’s not so much the vessel as the way that the energy is produced and this was not even remotely similar…

Illusionary chocolate brown eyes meet thundercloud gray calmly, the other teenager giving no indication that anything is wrong or out of place. When no further movement is made Sashi relaxes just a bit, the initial suspiciousness fading to a curiosity that he keeps to himself and lets the quiet of the woods sink in, listening to the distant sound of running water and bird calls as he works through the cigarette. “This place is… peaceful,” he says, immediately regretting how asinine it sounds. He’s not really used to talking to others all that much and he’s not actually sure what people speak about when standing around doing nothing. For that matter, how the hell did he end up in the middle of the forest talking with this guy… with—he frowns, realizing that the only name he has for the Bright is most likely not real. There had never been a reason to learn it before now and so he loosens the hold on his telepathy just enough to slip past the barriers of the taller Selestarri’s mind and skim through his surface thoughts to find the information he’s looking for. Kealani.

Taking a long drag, Sashi pulls his gaze up from the grass and tilts his head back to blow smoke into the air. Pushing pitch black bangs from his eyes he catches the smile that’s being directed at him again, calm and soft and just seeming so… natural on Kealani’s lips. Just like the talking thing, he’s not really used to being smiled at so genuinely and without any hint of smugness or false promises. It’s strange to have something like that directed at him. “How,” the telepath asks after a moment, sarcasm tinting his tone a little, “did you get lucky enough to get assigned here by your Assembly?”

Lan: Peaceful… calming and natural. Surprisingly these words would best describe how he feels as he and the Dark make their ways down the shade ridden pathway. There’s no exchanges passed between them as they walk, not even a glance given or taken, something that would normally indicate an awkwardness and discomfort when in another’s presence. Yet it feels oddly natural this way and he feels surprisingly calmed and at ease. It’s not exactly something he expected, especially considering the ingrained animosity between their factions but he finds rather nice and so he’ll enjoy the time for as long as he can, especially since he knows that it won’t happen again.

The tall Bright smiles at the light sarcasm he’s thrown as he pulls the smoldering stick up his lips to inhale the smoke deeply, leaning forward enough to release it into the air before resting long arms against his knees. His free hand slides up to run briefly through strands of magically masked black, his shaggy hair blown wayward again in the breeze that soon flutters past. “It was my own curiosity, I suppose.” And he had been curious when the assignment was presented to him, both about the supposed new race that had been “discovered” and the intrigues of what that new race had going on… “I wanted to see for myself if Angels really do exist.”

Without taking his elbow from his knee, he slides the smoldering stick up to his mouth again while his other arm falls back to rest on his leg. “I also happened to excel beyond my peers in illusionary magic, which was needed for this particular assignment, I’d been told. Basically, the Bright Assembly thought I was best suited for the job. I’d been pretty honored to be chosen at the time, if I’m to recall.” Though if he knew then what he found out soon after arriving, he’d probably have done everything in his power to keep himself away from the task. He learned a lot more about the true nature of both his own people and the Angels than he ever truly wanted to learn.

“Hail came in a few months after me; perhaps… a month or so after you arrived, I’m not sure.” He isn’t sure because he wasn’t here when it happened. He’d been… confined after the incident and he’s sure it was his own failure to report back in that caused his Assembly to send another down to find out what had happened. Knowing Halacie as he does he’s sure she requested to personally be that one, and even now, he will admit that he’s rather grateful to her for it. “She claims they forced her to accept the assignment and likes to remind me daily of how taxing it is for her, but I think she enjoys life here a little too much for that to be true.” Lan chuckles softly before sitting back up, pulling his arms away from his knees and straightening his lanky frame.

“What about you?” he smiles. “You seem to be more of a loner type in all truth. They don’t allow you to do much of that in this place, so…” Slipping the cigarette up, he takes another drag. “What got you volunteered?”

Sashi: He really needs to find a place for his eyes to go that isn’t staring at the Bright. Looking at the ground or the sky or the trees doesn’t seem to be working since each time Kealani shifts position he ends up looking right back at him. What the hell is with him today? Did Zeph kick him in the head or something as they slept last night and he woke up with a new fascination for the other faction of his race? He doesn’t even know this kid so there’s no reason to think he’ll be any different at all from the other assholes he grew up with. And besides, they’ve had about half a conversation in total and two cigarettes, all of which will more than likely be the last things they ever share.

Still… Sashi frowns and flicks ash off the end of the cigarette. What still? There’s no debate to be had, no arguments to make because he already knows how this story will finish. Tomorrow it’ll be like nothing ever happened and they’ll go their separate ways to continue with their assignments. It’s how things always are with him and it’s how he prefers it. But, still… Even if he’s seen that soft smile directed at him more times in the space of twenty minutes then he has in his whole life, even if he can’t seem to manage to look away when those illusionary chocolate brown eyes settle on him, even if he actually feels kind of… okay, at the moment… it all adds up to nothing in the end.

Speaking of which, Kealani is looking at him expectantly and the Dark has to search for a second to remember what they’ve been talking about. The cigarette slides back up to full lips for a long drag, the smoke exhaled out into the sky as thundercloud eyes harden. “I’m not wanted at home.” The bitterness he feels inside is too powerful to keep in and the telepath doesn’t bother to make an attempt to mask it. “So this was as good a place as any to dump me.” There had been no volunteering, the Assembly had pretty much demanded he take the assignment, which was absolutely fine since staying on Nova had never been something he’d wanted in the first place. Drawing in another lungful of smoke, Sashi looks down at the grass that surrounds his bare feet. “You’re right, though, that I’m a loner.” Not by choice, at least not by his choice when he was little. The other Dark made him so out of fear and hate, but he’s not really up for sharing that with the other teenager. “This place is all about fitting in, so I do what I need to for the assignment.” Somehow his cold, detached manner makes the other kids think he’s cool and they’re always trying to get him to hang out, go into town, attend parties, or whatever other random shit they come up with. He can almost understand that treatment from the other soccer players due to team loyalty or some bullshit, but when the other kids do it he just finds it kind of strange and a little mystifying.

Tanned fingers reach up to brush away strands of black as the breeze pushes them into his eyes and he shifts his weight a little to ease the ache on his feet. Tapping the slender stick to free the ash, Sashi changes the subject. “So you and the other Bright—Halacie, right?—are pretty close. The rumor mill says that the two of you are together.” At a slightly surprised look from the tall teenager, the Dark shrugs. “Part of my job is to listen to gossip and our female classmates are always happy to run their mouths…”

Lan: He frowns. The hint of bitterness comes through loud and clear when the Dark speaks and the tall Bright briefly wonders if that’s what it’s like for them in general on Nova… just a cold sort of distance and an eagerness to get rid of the Selestarri that live there, or is it exclusive to this particular one alone? And if it is something exclusive, what could possibly be the reason his counterpart wouldn’t be wanted? The other teenager doesn’t appear abnormal in any way and aside from his standoffish nature –which he hasn’t found off-putting even once since they began speaking, he doesn’t seem close to what he’d always expected from his faction at all.

Though it’s not as if he really knew what to expect to begin with considering this is the first time he’s actually been in a position to speak with a Dark, and none of it matters much in the end because it’s not as if he has any reason or excuse to pry. When it comes down to it, the other teenager’s business is his own and he highly doubts that he’ll be told if he were to ask simply because he’s curious. If he’s sure of one thing, it’s that things don’t usually work that way within their race.

A slight trace of surprise shifts through illusion screened eyes when he’s questioned about Halacie and he can’t help the amused smirk that forms on his lips even as he pulls the cigarette up towards his mouth. Hail seems to be at it again with her tall tales if the rumors have reached even the Dark’s ear and he can’t say he’s very surprised… She does it when it suits her these days, staking a claim on him that she knows she doesn’t truly have and he’s not sure anymore whether he finds it cute or just annoying.

“We do have our moments, I suppose.” Lan answers quietly, exhaling the withheld smoke into the air. “Hail and I have been friends since we were little… we were raised in the same tower and all. She’s seen me through a lot and I owe her for it, probably in more ways than I’ll be able to repay…” His chocolate brown gaze shifts away from grey and falls to his own fingers as he’s flicking the ash free of the smoldering stick, his voice falling just a little low while the smile fades from his lips. “…it’s something she likes to remind me of often…” trailing, the taller teenager falls silent for only a moment before the smile returns and he glances back up. “So yes, basically, I suppose the rumors would currently be true… though who knows if they’ll remain that way come tomorrow.” Pulling the last of his cigarette up to his mouth, Lan chuckles softly as he cups it in-between full lips, rising to his feet before raking his free hand back through shaggy strands of black.

“It is peaceful…” Sashi blinks in response to his partially stifled statement, the sudden change of subject seeming to catch him off guard and after a moment of continued silence, the Bright pulls the smoldering stick free of his mouth and waves at their surroundings. “I come here a lot when I want to get away from the others, it’s kind of… my own little hideaway I suppose” brown eyes slip from grey and he turns to move back towards the hidden entrance while dropping his free hand down to latch into his pocket once more. “I’m careful to keep my signature masked so I don’t think Hail knows about it either” Sliding the last of his cigarette up to his lips to take one final drag, illusionary eyes trail back over his shoulder to meet the stationary Dark’s gaze and he flicks the butt away before it combusts in mid air. “It’ll be our little secret okay?” winking at Sashi, a sly grin forms on his lips before Lan pulls his gaze away. Sliding a long arm out to push at the bushes before him, he steps out into the shadowed grounds to leave the other Selestarri alone.

Sashi: There it is again—the same magic he’d felt a few minutes ago—flaring to life for just an instant. Gray eyes lift from the ground in time to see the wink and smile flashed in his direction and then the movement of branches as they spring back into place in the Bright’s wake. Okay, what the hell was any of that? Their race doesn’t have access to magic that isn’t innately theirs, so how is Kealani doing that? Is it some item of power he has on him that they gave him over at the Eyrie, maybe for protection or something? Both the floating islands contain a shitton of artifacts imbued with magic and many of them are from ancient times and not made by the Selestarri. That has to be it, but why bother flashing it around other than to let him know about its existence? And even more pressing, the Dark’s mind interjects, is what was with that wink and smile? Who does that with someone they just met? Maybe Kealani does it with his friends or something or maybe he was actually being flirtatious… A scowl slides over the telepath’s lips at allowing his thoughts even move in that direction. Seriously, what’s the point?

Letting his head fall back against the tree trunk at his back, Sashi pulls the nearly spent cigarette to his mouth and inhales deeply. All around him the evening songs of birds and crickets fills the forest and just as the Bright had said, it’s peaceful being surrounded by the trees and not by a bunch of other students. The taller teenager’s words about keeping his signature masked come floating back and the Dark lets the smoke free from his lungs in a long stream. Yeah, if only Kealani knew just how tight he already keeps it at all times. If he really let go of his magic most of the school would be wiped out and he’d have a one way ticket back to Nova…

The frown returns and gray eyes stare down at the thick carpet of grass a little blankly. It’s better if he keeps it inside and hidden away so that he doesn’t get that look from other Selestarri or even the instinctual avoidance from the humans, who seem to sense the strength of his magic on some level. He’d learned the hard way several years ago that he needed to keep it locked away. The instructor of the training class had made them all channel everything they had into a specially marked area surrounded by wards, trying to gauge their strength. As always, he’d heard the older Dark’s thoughts despite any telepathic barriers, the sneering hatred and prepared taunts that the man readied as Sashi took his place within the wards. The resulting damage to Nova’s forests that he had wreaked in the space of five minutes would take his entire lifetime to repair and it was some kind of miracle that no one was killed. He’ll never forget it or the look on the face of the instructor, either—a mix of awe and horror. Not that it stopped the older Dark from suddenly being kind to him, luring him in close with attention and all the nice words that he’d never received before. He’d taken him down to Earth on field trips and convinced Sashi to run ‘experiments’ with his magic, the results of which ended in the bloodshed of several humans. It was only then that he realized he was being used, but the kindness was too much to turn his back on even when he knew it was faked. A few months later the instructor got what was coming to him and the raven-haired telepath’s nightmares lashed out, the magic that the man had wanted slamming into him like a giant mallet, crushing his chest and drowning him in a pool of his own blood…

A sigh slips from between full lips and Sashi presses long fingers against the spot between his brows. All of that had happened before he’d grown in his wings… just a little kid… So yeah, keep his magic and its distinct signature masked? Not a problem. The tail end of the cigarette is snuffed out against the rough bark at his back and the Dark scrawls a rune to turn it to dust in his palm and then reaches down to retrieve the bag he’d dropped earlier. Settling the heavy weight on his shoulder, Sashi turns toward the branch shrouded trail, bare feet silent on the grass. God, this whole day has been odd as fuck and he wants to just go to bed and let it all pass. Although he still stinks from practice and could use some food, so maybe he can wait just a little while longer…

space01Zephyr: Midnight eyes snap open as he jolts upright, breath coming in gasping pants that shake his slim frame so hard that the entire mattress moves beneath him. Fear holds on with a vise-like grip that squeezes at the Selestarri’s chest and throat and slicks pale skin with a cold sweat. His heart beats at a thousand miles an hour, so fast that it feels as though it’ll explode through his ribcage at any moment. He can’t… he just can’t… Jumbled thoughts race through his mind at lightning speed, layered over one another until he can’t distinguish where one ends and the next begins. The Dark blinks, his wide and staring gaze finally focusing in on the wall opposite the queen sized bed before dropping down. With trembling slowness, he untwists his hands from the sheets that have wrapped themselves around his legs and lifts them, palms up. There’s no trace of red and the blonde exhales a long, shaky sigh before allowing himself to fall back onto the slightly damp bedding.

Pulling his hands up, Zeph presses the heels against his eyes as if it’ll stop the throbbing ache and wipe away the images that had been there only minutes previously. Screaming and pain, blood splattered across his face and drenching his hands, blood that won’t seem to go away no matter how much he washes… Goddamn, he’s got to stop having these dreams. It’s been a month, so why won’t it leave him alone? He knows he took too much of Sevyrikk’s mind, knew the instant it happened, but didn’t have the control to close himself off before it seeped in and now his father’s memories chase his sleep. His own memories, too… memories of what he did… He’d thought it’d stop if he left Nova for a while, it was one of the reasons he’d pushed for this assignment, but he’s only been here one day and that doesn’t seem to be the case.

With a groan, the Selestarri rolls over onto his side, the action entangling the linens even further. He’s a Dream Walker, able to manipulate what a person sees while asleep, so why can’t he keep the nightmares from his own head? Doesn’t seem particularly fair that he can mess with other peoples as much as he wants, but when it comes to his own he’s screwed. Whatever power out there in the cosmos or shit that dishes out their magic is seriously retarded. Long arms wrap around his slender body and the blonde suddenly wishes he weren’t alone, the solitude feeling a little strange after years of sharing his room with three or four others in the limited space of Nova’s twin fortresses. At home he could curl up next to his friends for comfort, but here he has only Sashi and not only is his brother’s room on the other end of the dorm, but he’s not exactly the type to soothe and comfort.

Frowning, Zephyr kicks away the sheets and places bare feet on the chilly hardwood floor, stretching long limbs and then reaching for the pile of clothing beside the bed. Freeing a pair of loose pants and a long sleeve shirt, he slips into them, fingers combing through tangled and sweat damp hair as he steps toward the small bathroom. The reflection in the mirror is paler than usual and drawn, the midnight depths that stare back have that same haunted look, not as pronounced as it had been a few weeks ago, but he can see it. With a sigh, the Dark lowers his head toward the mirror as the water runs into the sink basin, trying to will the cold of the glass into his aching head. Blue eyes are almost closed when out of the corner of his sight he catches the hint of red flecked across the backs of his hands. Pushing frantically away from the mirror Zeph stumbles, catching himself just before he crashes to the floor by grabbing onto the towel hanging from the bar beside the shower. Willing his feet to move, he strides across the floor to his bag, yanking the music player and headphones free and stopping long enough to stuff his feet into a pair of sneakers and snag the sweatshirt tossed across the desk chair.

He needs to get out of here, out of this room and away from the dreams for a little while. Maybe take a walk or a run, it doesn’t matter as long as he can be somewhere else. There’s some kind of curfew thing he saw in the quick scan of the student handbook, but fuck it, he can always just erase the memory of anyone who sees him because he doesn’t give a shit right now. The hall is empty and silent as he steps out, softly closing the door to his room and locking it with a set of keys that appear one moment and disappear once the task is complete. His hands are shaking again as he slips the headphones on and makes his way through the puddles of light that shine down from the skylights above. Everything else on the floor is darkness, the deep shadows following Zeph along at his heels like puppies as he walks. The doors of the neighboring rooms are closed and even behind his barriers his telepathy is strong enough to tell that the inhabitants are asleep. The glow from the iPod indicates that it’s close to two in the morning and he scrolls through the playlist just as midnight eyes catch a glimmer of light beneath the last door before the small side staircase to the first floor.

The embossed Korean lettering on the name plaque beside the frame declares that the room belongs to his classmate, Jun. There are folded notes taped to the lacquered surface, mostly bunched around the handle and a few others stuffed into the space between the floor and the door. Some are embellished with stickers or doodles and smell faintly of perfume while others are plainer, but they all bear the white haired teenager’s name. Before he even realizes what he’s doing, Zeph has knocked softly, a moment passing while he hears quiet noises from within and when the door opens just a little he grins. “Glad to see I’m not the only one who’s up,” he says, keeping his voice just above a whisper. “Tell me there’s something fun to do in this place…”

Jun: Pink eyes stare blankly at his paper, the pencil in his hand tapping absently and his mind about a billion miles away from his current location. God… tomorrow is going to suck majorly. He’d come back after school and crashed like he had planned, thinking he was going to be out for the rest of the night. But instead he found himself wide awake and no matter what he did or how many positions he tried to move himself into, he couldn’t find a way back to his normal dreamless sleep. So after spending a long time simply staring up at the ceiling through the darkness, he finally gave up and decided to at least try to get some school work done instead. But no, he hasn’t been able to do even that and the entire time he’s been upright, he’s just been staring at his paper like an idiot and hasn’t managed to jot a single thing down.

He feels really… off. He’s felt off ever since the arrival of the new student and he doesn’t understand why. Sleep should have set him right but it didn’t and now, he kind of wishes he could go back in time or something and start the day all over. If he could, he’d make sure to spend his lunchtime anywhere but the classroom so that he wouldn’t end up talking one on one with the transfer student and in turn, avoid the situation that’s caused him to feel this way in the first place.

He doesn’t understand what’s wrong with him or why the blonde had to talk to speak to him on such a personal level. Actually, he doesn’t understand why he even cares about it in the first place…

A light knock at the white haired teenager’s door rips him from his scattered thoughts, causing him to start. Early dawn tinted eyes slide across the room and Jun simply stares for a few moments before pushing himself back in his chair, rising to his feet. Crossing the room in only a few steps, tapered fingers hesitantly twist the brass knob and as he cracks the heavy wooden open, a bunch of folded notes flitter down to his feet, going un-noticed as pink eyes find themselves staring into deep blue. Blinking a little in surprise in response to the grin he’s offered, Jun is so completely caught off guard by the blonde’s presence that for a few long moments, he has absolutely no idea what to do. But the moment he hears the softest echo of footfalls somewhere in the hallway behind the other teen, his attentions snap instantly back and without any thought lent to his actions he swings the door all the way open and reaches out to grab onto Zephyr’s shirt before yanking him inside. The shorter teen’s head dips out into the dark corridor momentarily to take a few quick glances in all directions before he pulls himself back inside, quickly closing the door once more.

Freezing in place with his hands planted on the rich wooden surface before him, the white haired First Year spends a moment in stillness listening for the commotion he’s sure he’d heard. But it’s the movements of the taller teenager behind him that pulls his attentions back to his room and his eyes widen in the slightest as it begins to dawn on him of what he just did.

Oh god, he did not just pull the new student inside of his room… did he?

Frowning at himself, he dares a glance over his shoulder to find the blonde staring at him and he can’t help cringing a little inside. Taking just a moment longer to gather his senses, Jun turns his head slowly back to his front before dragging his palms away from the door.

Okay, so apparently he did. Great, now what is he supposed to do?

Turning around, Jun meets Zephyr’s gaze for only a second before pink eyes drop “Sorry…” he mutters as he begins moving towards his desk, purposefully refusing to meet the taller First Year’s gaze as he passes. “But… okay, you gotta understand that new or not if you’re caught out of your room after hours, they’ll make your parents pay big time fines for you breaking the rules…” When he heard those footfalls in the hallway, he just sort of acted without thinking because of that. He doesn’t know why he didn’t close the door in Zephyr’s face instead of pulling him inside though, because that probably would have been the smarter thing to do, but whatever the reason for his actions; he feels owes the other teen some kind of explanation at least. “We’re not even supposed to be up right now, but they don’t get on you as much so long as you stay in your room…” Drawing nearer to his desk, Jun suddenly detours to his bed without thinking when a sudden self conscious urge to straighten his bedding takes him over. “Uh… you asked about fun… um, there’s a Rec Room on the other side of the school grounds. It’s totally off limits after like eight or something and they only open it up full time on the weekends but it’s something to do at least. Other than that, there’s not much for First Years to do on school days… I think.” He shrugs.

Zephyr: The hand that latches onto his t-shirt and yanks him through the doorway is surprisingly strong and before the Dark can react he’s standing in a room identical to his own in size and furnishings. He’s not really sure what just happened, one minute he was standing in the hall and the next he’s in here because something had apparently spooked his white-haired classmate. This isn’t exactly what he expected when he’d knocked… Actually he has no idea what he expected, but not this.

Those unusual pink eyes meet his for only a moment before Jun is moving past, veering toward the bed after a few steps. The blonde nods absently at the explanation of the rules and the fines, much more interested in watching the shorter teenager begin to straighten the sheets and blankets on his bed. He’s not really sure what to make of it for a second since no kid he knows bothers to mess with this kind of thing of their own will, well except maybe his brother. Sashi’s room probably doesn’t even have dust in it. Zeph’s gaze travels over the rest of the space as the deal with the Rec Room is explained, noting how absolutely nothing is out of place save a couple of books and supplies on the desk and the leather bag Jun had been carrying around earlier on the floor. He must be some kind of neat freak or something… The lanky Selestarri sits in the wooden chair, careful not to touch anything and slips the headphones down around his neck. His hands have stopped shaking, which is good because he doesn’t really want to make an attempt to explain that. For all that he’s tall, blonde, and obviously foreign, he’s supposed to be fitting in with these kids and none of them seem to have issues getting all shaky from seeing imaginary blood on their hands and in their dreams.

But the tightness and residual feelings from the nightmare are fading into the back of his mind as he quietly watches Jun finish with the bed and move onto the bag with the two whole books spilling out of it. He’s always been decently neat with his belongings because it’s just how things are on Nova, keep your shit in order or lose it, but this, wow… After a second he just shakes his head a little and reroutes his thoughts back to what his classmate had been saying before. “Yeah, my… Dad, can pay the fines for all I care,” he mutters darkly, catching his tone only after the words have slipped from his mouth. The faintest of tremors shakes his hands at the mention of the older Selestarri and with a frown Zephyr pushes them into the front pocket of the sweatshirt. Seriously, how long is it going to take for that to stop? “But anyway,” he manages to continue, “it kinda sucks about there not being anything to do. I guess I’m just used to being in a city where things are running twenty-four seven, you know?”

Jun keeps straightening the room and doesn’t spare a glance in the blonde’s direction, but he can see the slight red tinting his cheeks. Apparently he has this effect on the other teen and while it’s still kind of cute, he isn’t looking to impose. Long fingers slip from within the sweatshirt pocket to push through his hair and Zeph sighs. “I’m… kind of fucking this up, aren’t I? I mean, being familiar or whatever?” He doesn’t get a response and after a moment the Dark shakes his head just slightly. “Sashi tried to warn me about it, but I just don’t know how to do that shit. So I’m sorry if I’m making you uncomfortable. I just saw your light on and knocked for whatever reason…” The tall teenager rises to his feet. “I’ll go run or something and leave you alone…”

Jun: When the other teenager seats himself, he finds himself increasingly flustered by an overwhelming need to straighten not just his bed, but everything in his entire room. No one but Taz has ever seen his room even slightly messy so far, and before he pulled the blonde inside, no one but Taz had even been inside of his room save an occasional adult when they do their inspections. So he’s not sure exactly what to do about the fact that the blonde is here because it’s entirely too new.

While he moves around the room, working to put the very few things that are actually out of place back in order, it begins to dawn on him how weird he must seem to the taller teen and how standoffish he’s probably coming across. He hasn’t responded to the blonde, he can’t even bring himself to look in his direction and it’s not that he’s trying to be rude by ignoring him or anything; he just… doesn’t know what else to do.

Jun does however find a way to stop his movements when Zephyr apologizes to him, overcome by guilt for making his classmate feel like he’s imposed when he didn’t mean to make him feel that way at all. He doesn’t want to come across like some snobbish jerk, but he can’t seem to help it and hasn’t seemed able to help it since the blonde introduced himself earlier on in the day. He wants to tell the other First Year that it’s not him personally that’s making him feel uncomfortable, it’s that he feels uncomfortable around everybody but he can’t seem to bring himself to do that either even when the blonde begins moving away. Instead, the white haired student just stands in place while staring at the floor, unable able to offer his classmate anything beyond a small nod in response.

Seriously, something is really wrong with him today…

“I wouldn’t.” Jun suddenly blurts out just as the other teenager has reached the door, surprising himself a little for speaking up. Pink eyes slowly work their way away from the floor, rising up to find curious midnight on him and he holds the blonde’s gaze for only a moment before he again looks away. “Go run, I mean. Cause, um… the curfew.” Slowly, the shorter First Year slides his hand up to wrap around his other wrist, frowning at himself for the words he just said. What is he doing? Why did he stop Zephyr from leaving? Wouldn’t it have been easier if he’d just kept his mouth shut and let him walk out of his door?

Unable to figure his reasons out, Jun simply slides his hand away from his arm and allows it to travel up into mid length spiky strands of white, his fingers scratching a little absently at the back of his head. “It’s just… I mean, even if you don’t care that your dad will have to pay the fines and stuff… it still goes on your record that you broke the rules if you get caught… I think” Actually, he thinks that’s both true and also not true at the same time. While breaking the rules goes on their records for sure, as long as their parents have the money to back them, the school board could really give a crap when it comes down to it so it won’t affect them much in the end.

“And…” he has to push himself to continue, “You didn’t fuck anything up.” Early dawn hued eyes slide away from the floor again and up before he shrugs apologetically, “I’m just… not used to having someone new talk to me all normal. No one ever does that when they come in here. I usually get stared at like I’m a freak while they go on about my condition and so… it’s just kinda… weird for me that you haven’t done it, you know?”

Zephyr: Deep midnight eyes slide over the length of the other teenager’s body even as hands slip back into the front pocket on his sweatshirt and he leans back against the desk. “Your condition?” A slight hint of confusion laces the Dark’s tone and their gazes meet again before Jun returns to looking at the floor. His brain must still be rattled by that dream or the long day or whatever since it takes a second for his brain to kick in and point out the obvious. Hello? This is South Korea and he’s in a whole school full of South Korean kids, so it sorta makes sense that his classmate feels set apart in the looks department. “You mean your hair and eyes?” The taller teen pulls one hand free to flip bangs from his eyes and shrugs. “I guess I didn’t really notice… Well, I noticed of course, but it just didn’t really register to me.” It’s the absolute truth because while he took note, there wasn’t really some alarm that went off or anything that screamed ‘different!’ The Selestarri come in every hair, skin, and eye color imaginable, so Jun’s appearance didn’t really strike him as off in a serious way. He’s seen it all, but his reaction probably did seem out of place to Jun, since it wasn’t a particularly human response. Yeah, way to work the fitting in part of the assignment.

Still, on the serious side, what ‘condition’ is he talking about? The white-haired teenager doesn’t look sick at all, but he is Asian, so maybe it’s that thing that takes away all of someone’s pigment…? Whatever, it doesn’t matter to him much since in a way it just makes them a little closer because they both look different. “I’ve been living in Europe my whole life, you know? People there are every shade of the rainbow and probably a few shades that haven’t even been invented yet. I guess it’s weirder for me to see so many kids in one place that all have similar looks then someone with orange hair or pink eyes.” The Selestarri tilts his body sideways until Jun lifts his gaze and then he grins. Actually, those pink eyes are kinda awesome. Not just the color, but the depth he can see there as well as the… sensitivity? He’s not entirely sure, but he likes it. “If you want, though,” Zeph teases lightly, “I can definitely make a big deal about the way you look if it’ll make you feel better.”

The joke doesn’t bring a smile to the other teenager’s mouth although it does look like he’s relaxed at least the tiniest bit, so maybe that’s something. Maybe he’s not completely fucking up this familiarity thing so incredibly badly that it can’t be fixed. “Seriously though, do they give you a hard time about it? Because that’s some shit if so.” Zephyr frowns and blue eyes narrow just slightly. “People are just way too focused on stuff that shouldn’t matter at all, you know?” He’s been kind of finding out while on Earth the last couple of days that the reason people get so hung up is because what the Elders have been saying his whole life is pretty much true: people are dumb. Like completely, scrape-the-bottom-of-the-gene-pool, dumb. God, it’s no wonder they’re killing the planet like lethal parasites… “Anyway,” the Dark continues after a moment, “it seems like you have a ton of friends since whenever I saw you today there were always kids around. I think you actually got more notes passed to you today than I did.” He laughs softly, watching the hint of a scarlet flush creep over Jun’s pale cheeks in that cute way that it seems to so frequently do. “Some of our classmates were pretty intent on knowing if you were going to a party this weekend.” The grin returns to the Selestarri’s lips. “So are you?”

Jun: he isn’t sure what it is exactly about the other teenager that causes him to relax a little, maybe it’s the natural smiles he’s given or the easy way he has about him, or maybe it’s that Zephyr honestly doesn’t seem to care that he looks so different and for the first time since getting to know his best friend almost a year ago, his hair, eye and skin color might not set him apart in someone else’s eyes, he’s not entirely sure. But no matter what the reason for it is, he has to admit that it’s a nice enough change from his usual norm.

Usually he gets a constant stream of attention because of his looks, as if he could help being born the way that he was. He’s always wished he could fit in somehow though, wished the other kids and teachers didn’t pay attention to him because of how he looks or make such a huge deal out of it, but so far there’s only been one person he’s met here who didn’t seem to care… well, okay so now there seems to be two. It’s refreshing and gives him hope that for the second time since he’s come to this school, he might have met someone who truly doesn’t care about what shows on his surface and might actually want to get to know what lies below.

The white haired teenager’s cheeks flush a little at the blonde’s teasing, a flustered reaction he hasn’t seemed able to help since the beginning. It frustrates him in a way because the only other person he’s gotten this kind of flustered with has been Taz and even then, he doesn’t remember the heat flaring beneath his skin as many times as he’s felt it happen with the other teen. He wants to tell Zephyr that he’s wrong, that he’s pretty sure all those kids only like him because of his best friend, but it sounds a little too personal even in his head to start spouting off about how distanced he feels from the rest of his group and not something he needs to unload on someone he’s really only just met. He doesn’t even know the new student enough for that kind of conversation, it’s not even stuff he’s told Taz…

When asked about his status of the oncoming party he’s pulled away from his thoughts in time to manage a small shrug and a sigh. “I dunno.” Jun mumbles quietly while slipping his hand up to his hair in order to scratch absently at the back of his head. “It’s kind of one of those things I’m not sure about right now. Like… I’m just kinda… not feeling it I guess.” He’s not feeling it at all in truth, and there’s several large reasons why. “I mean, I’ll probably get dragged out to it anyway cause my best friend is always on about me going to those thing so I’d feel bad for saying no but…” pulling his eyes away from the floor he slides them over to meet midnight blue. “Okay… so there’s this girl from 2-B that’s been making passes at me right? And yeah, she’s pretty and all that I guess, but not only am I not feeling it towards her, it’s just… I’m kinda sure my friend likes her already and even if I did want to go for it -which I don’t –I’m so not on about chasing after some chick that he’s out for, know what I mean? I just want to avoid it by not going at all so I don’t have to deal- which…” He catches himself and flashes the blonde an embarrassed look before he pulls his eyes away again, realizing he’d just said a whole lot more than he’d meant to. “…is a lot of personal crap you probably didn’t want to hear about. Sorry.”

“Anyway…” Jun starts again in an attempt to pretend he hadn’t just spouted off to the other teen, his tone both questioning and yet little shy. “What… what about you? I know you’re new and all that but they kinda don’t waste time here so I’m sure you’ve been asked. So…” early dawn hued eyes glance back despite his attempts not to. “Are you going?”

Zephyr: Their gazes hold for a long minute before the shorter teen pulls away, his face still showing tints of scarlet and a distinct shyness is clear in his voice. Together the combination is so cute and the Dark is beginning to understand why many of the other students seem to like Jun. Somehow he doesn’t think that it registers with him, though, like it really is natural and not some kind of act. There have been a lot of people he’s met, both Selestarri and human who fake it for attention and he’s always been good at spotting them and then confirming the charade with his telepathy. This time he doesn’t need to reach out and wander through Jun’s mind because the truth is pretty obvious. And it does make him cuter…

Tapered fingers slide upward to push long bangs away from the blonde’s face as he recalls the onslaught of questions he was asked over the course of the school day. About a million of them concerned the party this weekend and whether he’d be there. A couple had even been bold enough to ask if he’d wanted to go with them, but he’d declined. “Yeah, I got asked, but I don’t know…” he shrugs, “I like parties, but it’s always more fun to go when you know someone.” Shifting his tall frame, Zeph leans back a little further against the desk. “Other than you, the only person I even remotely know beyond just a name is my brother, but it seems more like a thing for first and second years, so I doubt he’ll be there.” Actually, Sashi had already mentioned that he would be going into town with the rest of the upperclassmen in order to pick up any gossip or rumors for an upcoming report. He’d seemed less than thrilled, which was unsurprising given how little the older Dark likes other people.

Midnight eyes slide back to Jun, the shorter teen still standing in the center of the room, the discomfort he’d seen just a few minutes earlier no longer evident. Not that he looks one hundred percent at ease either, but at least he’s still not cleaning everything in sight, and Zeph will take that as a sign that maybe they can be friends. He likes his white-haired classmate and other then worrying that he made him really nervous by being too familiar too fast, the Selestarri has enjoyed their short conversations today. Also, he’s kinda feeling like he wants to see more of the blushing and shyness, although he doesn’t really understand why aside from the cute thing…

“So it sucks about that thing with the girl and your best friend.” The Dark switches subjects and rounds back to the issue that Jun had shared. “I imagine that it’s a little awkward, huh?” Pink eyes don’t move from the floor, but long fingers latch into the pockets of the loose pants that the other teenager wears, his whole stance reading embarrassed. “I can get not wanting to give your friend the wrong idea,” he hurryingly continues, not meaning to make Jun feel bad, “so maybe next time she makes a pass tell her straight up that you’re not interested. Otherwise she might not get it into her head, which I’ve kinda noticed about girls sometimes…” Zephyr trails off a bit, his tone getting thoughtful for a moment before he smiles. “It’s always best to be up front with stuff like this, or at least it has been in my experience. She might get pissed or whatever, but better her then your best friend, right?”

Jun definitely doesn’t look like he agrees with that idea and he probably just suggested something that the white-haired student wouldn’t do in a million years or even if the whole world was about to end. “If you’re not comfortable telling her, I can help out if you want. I’ve done it before in the past for my other friends.” Straightening to his full height, Zeph pushes away from the desk. “I probably shouldn’t keep you up any longer. But thanks for the company and I’ll make sure tomorrow to ask you a hundred questions about your hair and eyes, okay?” He can’t help teasing Jun just a little bit once more. Crossing the hardwood floor, he slips the door open, the hinges so well oiled that not a sound is made aside from the rustle of paper from a few more notes falling to the ground. Just before he steps back into the hall, the blonde glances over his shoulder, his voice turning serious once again as midnight meet dawn-tinted pink. “And hey, about the personal stuff, it doesn’t bother me to hear it at all.” Pulling the door shut behind him, the Selestarri heads down the hall toward his own room on silent feet…

Jun: pink eyes only manage to stare at the door for a few minutes after it’s been closed while his mind goes in about fifty million directions at once, before he pulls his gaze away and allows it to drop back down to the floor. He’s not sure what to make of the blonde yet in truth… no one has ever just comes up to him and immediately acted familiar as if they’ve been friends from the start. You just don’t do that sort of thing here… Even his friendship with Taz took a few months of the both of them talking before they actually became good friends and while yeah, a lot of the other kids at the school are all up in every one’s grill constantly with their rumors and notes and wanting to hang out nonstop all the time, it’s still pretty formal until you’ve been around them for longer. But with Zephyr, there’s been none of that since they met earlier on in the day and while at first it really weirded him out to have a complete stranger come at him like that, he does have to admit that the other teenager seems… honest about it in a way he’s never gotten off any of his other classmates. It’s as if he’s like this with everyone all the time and is really and truly interested in being his friend.

A friend…

That’s the part that’s been going through his head nonstop since it’d been said. The taller teen has called him a friend… not only called him a friend but offered to help on an issue he had no business imposing on him in the first place as if it was perfectly natural to tell someone about stupid shit like that on the first day they meet. Pulling his hands free of the pockets of pants that hang low on slim hips, the white haired teenager sighs while reaching up to scratch at the back of his head. He doesn’t really get it, maybe it’s just normal for people that come from other countries or something, maybe they are all open and honest and natural from the start instead of having to hold it all in and be polite and stick to a standardized set of social rules….? It’s not like he’d know, he’s never been anywhere but here and here is the way it’s just done. Maybe… maybe if they really are going to become friends he can ask Zephyr about it at some point because he’s always kind of wondered what it would be like living somewhere else anyway.

With another small sigh, Jun finally decides to pull himself free of the spot his feet had been glued to in order to move towards the light switch near the entrance and flick it off. A moment later he’s treading back over to his neatly made bed and flopping back against it, his early dawn tinted gaze slipping closed as he slides his arms out to his sides, his mind just a little too full to actually allow him any sleep.


…to continue.


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