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High Point University

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Thu Jun 03, 2021 1:58 am
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veeren says...

Morri felt the breeze whip past his face as he sat on the park grass. The tree he rested his back on gave him enough shade to keep him out of the blistering sun and away from the eyes of most of the students making their way to the campus. The one person he couldn't seem to manage to get away from, however, was currently running towards him with a speed unmatched by any animal on the planet- even though he had only parked his car about 4 seconds prior.

"MORRI!" Lordy shouted, getting closer, "Morri! The bag exploded and we have fourteen pounds of salty cheese pouring out of the windo- hey are you okay?"

Morri looked up at him, "It can be hard to find words for the empty spaces that are meant to be filled by your emotions."

Lordy sighed and sat down next to Morri, "Something got you stressed out?"

"Existence itself is difficult," Morri pursed his lips, "Everything that comes with it is just extra baggage."

"Don't beat around the bush you nerd, tell me what's banging around in that head of yours."

Morri leaned his head back and rested it on the tree, "Every day we learn new things- and yet the more we learn, the less we realize we know."

"Mm," Lordy nodded his head, "It's a gift and a curse, isn't it? Knowing so much yet still feeling like you know nothing?"

"Can't the same be said about our lives?"

Lordy turned to face Morri, who was still looking up, "How's that?"

"I think we've each had our fair share of living, don't you think? Done so much, seen even more, yet each experience just leaves us craving- begging for the next. Even if just for a moment. Our only barrier is our imagination."

Lordy sat there silently and watched him as he continued.

"It scares me how little we all are. A few little wisps of time that pass and go like nothing in the grand scheme of things. I know we're meant to enjoy the few seasons we're given here, but man- when did everything start feeling so insignificant?"

"Are you worried you'll never feel fulfilled, Momo?" Lordy asked.

"It's not fulfilment I'm after, Lordy." He finally turned to face him, "It's purpose."

"You ask the same thing people have been asking for centuries, my boy. Why are we all here? What's the meaning of it all? Some people turn to religion, others look to philosophy, some may even search the universe. I can't tell you where you'll find it, but I can tell you where to start looking," Lordy put his finger on Morri's chest, "Within yourself. What is it you want out of your life?"

Morri looked down at the grass. They let a few moments of calm silence pass between them before Lordy spoke up.

"I'm not sure what makes you happy, Morri. I struggle to keep myself happy even on the best of days, but I hope more than anything you'll let me know if I can help you find it."

Morri smiled. In the back of his head were a million thoughts fighting to make their way out, but all he could muster was a simple, "Thank you."

Lordy stood up and brushed himself off, "Don't mention it. What are buddies for?" He stretched his hand out, "Now come on, we have a giant omelette to make."

"Yeah," Morri wiped his eyes and took Lordy's hand, allowing Lordy to pull him up, "You burnt something, didn't you?"
"Love is the name for our pursuit of wholeness, for our desire to be complete."
-Plato's Symposium

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Thu Jun 03, 2021 4:37 am
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Carina says...

Evaline sat on one of the round plastic chairs in the waiting lounge, nervously bouncing her leg up and down as she stared at the motivational poster on the wall in front of her.

Spoiler! :
Temperatures will rise and fall. Winds will shift in speed and direction. Leaves will drop and buds will form. But the strength of your character and commitment to excellence should never waver.

So, the movies were true. The walls in the therapy waiting rooms always had cheesy motivational posters, and now she felt like a character in a movie who was overanalyzing the poster because she was about to lower her defenses in front of a stranger. It wasn't like she particularly wanted to be here now, after everything that happened. She felt like she could stand up on her own feet now since she recovered from the rock bottom of the summer, but it occurred to her that she could only walk so far without outside help.

Talking to James did actually help. It was harder to open up to Mel or Elias about her problems because it felt like she was going to ruin her fragile image more than she already had, and although it wasn't like she and James were strangers to each other, it was easier to talk about...

Evaline may be turning a new leaf soon. She knew that, with the application still being considered and all. But what did she even want? She didn't know. Would a stranger help figure that out for her? She didn't know either.

She sighed, leaning forward and burying her face with her hands as she finally tore her gaze away from the stupid motivational poster about change.

One session. She'd shell out the money for one session. And if it helped, maybe she'd come back.

She hadn't even started yet. Why did this already feel so hard?

Suddenly the door to the doctor's office opened, and Evaline tried not to stare as the doctor and her patient chatted and said their goodbyes.

Evaline sunk a little deeper into her chair, trying to feel invisible as they did so. She did her research and found out that this was one of the more cost effective yet better therapists around for self-improvement, and yes it was odd that her name was Dr. Shady, but maybe that was why she had cheaper rates. At least, that was what Evaline told herself.

"Evaline Levesque?" Dr. Shady called from her door.

It was painfully obvious that that was her since no one else was around, but Evaline stood up a little too quickly, forcing a smile as she made her way over to the door.

"That's me," she forced out, darting her eyes between her and the room behind her. "Nice to meet you."

"You as well," Dr. Shady said with a smile. "My name is Dr. Shady -- an unfortunate gift from my parents, I'm afraid -- but you can just call me Shady."

Evaline really didn't want to call her therapist Shady, but she wasn't going to argue.

"Sure," she said with a nod as Dr. Shady led her in. "You can just call me Evaline."

"Sounds good, Evaline." Stepping back so that she could close the door after them.

It was a room lit by lamps rather than overhead lights so the light seemed soft and friendly. There was a couch in the corner, with a chair off to the left. There were various decorations around -- small figurines, a vase with fake flowers, a book shelf. Along the opposite wall was another chair.

"Please, make yourself comfortable -- whichever you'd prefer." She gestured at the couch and the chair next to it.

Evaline nodded and wordlessly sat on the chair, not really wanting to appear too casual by sitting on the couch by herself. She spent too long getting comfortable, not really sure what to even say first, and feeling nervous despite her choosing to come here.

"I'm excited to get to know a bit about you, Evaline, but first I need to let you know about our confidentiality limitations." Dr. Shady went on to say she'd keep her mouth shut, unless Evaline admitted to child or elder abuse or if records were requested by court -- but otherwise, do your worst angst. "Do you understand?"

"Yes," Evaline said with a nod. "I understand."

"Great! Now that we have that out of the way, how about you tell me a bit about what you're hoping to get out of our time together."

This shouldn't have been a hard question, but Evaline found herself at a loss of words for a second.

"Well..." she began first to stall, shifting her position so her leg was over her other lap instead. "I guess I just... I don't know. Am trying to figure things out, not by myself. If that makes sense."

"Of course!" Dr. Shady said warmly. "You've come to the right place. We can talk things out. Do you have a topic you'd like to start with?"

"I'm not really sure where to begin, to be honest," she said with a slight nervous laugh. "What topic do people usually start with?"

"Everyone's journey is different and it's a personalized conversation between us," Dr. Shady said. "Common topics are relationship strains -- parental, spouse, sibling, friends. Or work or school related issues. Or simply general stressors."

Well, Evaline didn't really want to start off with anything that deep. She opted to talk about the recent stressors first.

"Maybe we could start with my friends," she said softly. "They came to visit me last weekend, so I guess that's been on my mind."

"That seems like a good place to start," Dr. Shady said encouragingly. "What was that experience like for you?"

"It... was nice," Evaline continued, then paused. "Am I allowed to say their names...?"

"Absolutely," Dr. Shady said. "Everything here is confidential."

Evaline nodded in assurance, trying to untie the nervous knot in her stomach since she didn't want to be vague like she tended to be to others. She was paying for this experience, after all.

"I had two friends visit me," she said. "Elias and James. I get along with James well even though I've only known him for a few months. Elias I've known for many years, but we aren't as close as we used to be. From when I was a kid, I mean. But they both visited me to support the university art show I was in, which was really nice of them."

She decided to leave out the part that James visited for more than that. As weird as it was to say, Dr. Shady only needed to know about her problems.

"How did that visit go?"

"It was weird at first since I didn't expect Elias to stay the night, and he kept teasing us because -- well, anyways," she said quickly. "I don't know, I didn't mind it, I guess. I do feel bad that Elias seemed to rush out, but at the same time, I didn't..." She looked down at her hands, fidgeting with them. "Is it bad that I wished he didn't even come at all?"

"Why do you wish that?"

Evaline was quiet for a moment, her hands interlaced as she thought through her answer. She already knew; she just never said it out loud.

"I think he pities me, and I don't like it," she said softly.

"What makes you think that?"

"I don't even think he likes me as a friend," Evaline continued. "We don't even really get along. We're so different now. I think he just wants to make sure I'm doing okay, but I don't need or want a pity friendship."

"That's reasonable," Dr. Shady said gently, nodding slightly. "What about him leads you to believe he's not offering genuine friendship?"

"Maybe he is. Maybe," Evaline said quickly, feeling anxiety rush through her veins. "I just think he's holding on to who I used to be, and if it weren't for our history, we wouldn't even be friends. I'm not the person I used to be and I don't like that that's the only commonality I have with him. It's like, every time I look at him, I'm just reminded of my past."

"Any specific parts of your past?"

Evaline took a deep breath, trying to be more careful with her next answer.

"I don't know," she said quietly. "All the years before this one. Even college, despite me being in the other side of the country and barely seeing him. And now, after five years, I happen to be a two hour drive away."

"So you're more accessible than you've been in the recent past?" Dr. Shady asked.

"Yeah," Evaline said. "I guess that's why it's been bothering me more lately."

"What about it has been bothering you?"

"I already told you," Evaline said defensively, looking up to meet her eyes, although still feeling nervous. Protective. "He pities me, and I dislike it."

"What makes you think he pities you?" she asked calmly.

"I've already said that too," Evaline continued, not able to prevent the desperation in her voice. "Because he doesn't really see me for who I am now."

"And how do you see yourself now?"

It felt like Dr. Shady was just picking apart her words and asking open-ended questions, and if this were anyone else, Evaline wouldn't bother answering. But she had to remind herself that she chose to come here, and she chose to get help. She had to force herself to lower her walls and just say what was on her mind, even if it pained her.

"That's a good question," she said in defeat as she relaxed her hands that were gripping each other too tightly. "If it would be one word, then..."

She trailed off, unable to finish the thought.

"It can be more than one word, if that's easier," Dr. Shady said encouragingly. "And it's also okay to take your time. We're in no rush."

"A failure," she blurted out instead. She wanted to say more words, but none came to mind.

"Okay, let's unpack that," Dr. Shady said gently. "Why do you view yourself as a failure?"

Evaline felt herself sinking deeper into her seat, unable to meet Dr. Shady's eyes as she panicked in trying to figure out an answer.

"I... I don't know," she said, unsure. "I just do."

"Whose expectations do you believe you're not living up to?"

A long silence passed, and Evaline was at a loss of words. She wasn't sure she was fully certain of the answer herself. She decided to switch topics instead of answering the question.

"In college, it was my husband at the time," she said emptily. "I married at eighteen. I didn't really know him. It was for him to get a green card and eventually obtain citizenship. But I didn't even complain, even though I didn't want to do it. I went to UCLA with him. We lived together. And I hated every minute of it. I felt like I was pretending to be someone I wasn't... and I was. I had to. I didn't even want to be a fine arts major, but I did it anyways. Because I had to."

Dr. Shady was silent for a moment, then, "Why did you have to?"

"I -- I guess I didn't, in the end," Evaline said, knowing she was still avoiding the question. "I broke it off before we graduated."

"And what was that separation like for you?"

"It was freeing," she continued, and it was the truth. But she knew that she couldn't swallow down what happened next. "But I... I didn't do it myself. Or rather, I needed help. Someone to pity me, I guess, because I only separated because of another man who I actually--"

She groaned, stopping that mess of a sentence before she could get too far, and pinching the bridge of her nose.

Dr. Shady gave a moment, then, "Another romantic partner?"

Evaline couldn't help but feel embarrassed that she just bluntly laid it out there.

"...Yyyyes," she admitted. "At the time."

"I see." Dr. Shady said. "What--?"

"I was young and stupid," Evaline quickly cut in, feeling a need to justify herself. "And still am. I don't know what I was thinking, thinking I can just throw my whole life to someone I don't even know. Not even once. Twice. And the second time, I chose to do it. So now I'm stuck in a university I don't even want to be in, and have lost all connections to people in my past. Except - ironically enough! - not my childhood friends, including Elias."

Spoiler! :
dr. shady be like

"That sounds like a lot for you to be carrying," she answered thoughtfully.

"Isn't that why I'm here?" Evaline continued with desperation and a forced smile. "People with problems like me come to therapy and get 'fixed', right?"

"Humans are complex creatures. I don't view it as my job to 'fix' anyone -- I'm just here to help guide you to understanding yourself better," Dr. Shady said better. "And understanding your relationships with others. Do you think Elias, and your other childhood friends, remind you of a time before your painful relationships as an adult?"

Evaline took a deep breath, choosing to not focus on Dr. Shady and instead her nameplate on her desk. She noticed that the engraving was chipped against the edges, like it was made a long time ago.

"You mean... are you asking about my childhood?" she asked with a strained voice.

"Yes," Dr. Shady agreed. "How did you view yourself back then?"

Evaline thought back to her childhood memories, trying to figure out how exactly to answer her question. It seemed that she viewed herself differently depending on who she was with, so the answer was muddled at best.

"I guess... passive," was what she settled on. "I listened to others a lot and did what I was told. I was quieter back then. More gentle, you could say, than I am now."

"And which version of yourself do you prefer?"

"Not that version," she said without hesitation. "Maybe I'm not as nice as I used to be back then. And to be honest, I don't care. Because I'd never want to turn back time to be the person I used to be."

"How do you think that colors your view of your relationship with Elias?"

Evaline glanced up, feeling the anxiety return again. The answer was deep inside her, she just had to pry it out. How much time was left of this session? Surely they were almost done.

Spoiler! :
eve be like

"I know," she said softly. "I know. I haven't been nice to him. I've been pushing him away. I don't know, I guess I just think he deserves better. If I push him away enough, he'll leave me alone like everyone else, and it's just easier if I do it instead of the other way around. But he hasn't. And now I don't know what to do. I just want to leave and start over."

"Mm," Dr. Shady said. "Do you think it's possible that he sees something in you that you might not see in yourself?"

"I... maybe," she answered. "Yes. No. I don't know."

Spoiler! :
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"He's like this for everyone. I'm no exception," she continued.

"Does he actively try to maintain relationships with all of his childhood friends?"

Evaline squinted across the room, trying to remember what it was like for him back then. Elias did have a lot of friends, but yet he stayed with Mel and herself the most.

"Not all of them," she said. "But I don't know."

"I think it says a lot about his priorities that he's chosen to keep you as a part of his life," she said, then continued quickly. "And it's entirely valid if you want to choose to separate paths. But you might be being a little bit hard on yourself. Have you always felt that he's friends with you out of pity, or has something changed?"

These were questions that Evaline needed more than a few seconds to think over.

"I'm... I don't know," she said. "Maybe something has changed. I think I've changed more. I just haven't been the same since I've been on my own."

"So, you've mentioned a few times now you'd like to start over," Dr. Shady said. "What is it that you think needs to be reset?"

Evaline was staring at the clock now. Just a little more, and then she was finished. She just had to answer the questions straight. Rip the bandaid off.

"I don't think I've ever really had the chance to live my life," she admitted freely this time. "I've always been under the control of someone else. I want to start over living the life I want to live without anyone in my past that could interfere."

"Who controlled you as a child?"

That was it, wasn't it? Everyone's problems tended to stem from childhood. Evaline knew that. She just didn't like to admit it.

"My parents," she answered quietly.

"What's your relationship with them now like?"

Evaline bunched up the loose fabric of her pants, gripping it tightly.

"I don't talk to them anymore," she said. "Or... they don't talk to me anymore."

"What happened there?"

She took a deep breath. "They were upset that I disobeyed," she said.

"What do you mean?"

Evaline looked down at the floor, tracing her eyesight along the edges of the wooden plants. Absorbing the detail of the knots in the wood, the color changes, the soft light hitting the polish. It was a mild distraction from the thought she didn't want to say out loud.

"All my life," she began quietly, "I was taught to listen and obey. They had influence. An image to upkeep as famous artists. I don't know if they really saw me as their daughter, but instead, an asset. They carved my own path for me."

"And what were the consequences for straying from that path?"

Evaline still stared at the wood, trying to distract herself, trying not to blink as she felt the tears well up behind her eyes.

"They would hurt me," she said softly, trying to repress the memories of the times she dreaded coming back home in the summers, knowing the pain and hurt she had to endure for the months, and not tell anyone. Because she couldn't.

"And you know what the worst part is?" Evaline continued with a shaky breath, daring to glance up at Dr. Shady even though she felt like she was on the brink of completely losing it and crying. "I still come running back to them. I wanted to keep seeing them. And I still do, but they don't want to see me. All I've ever wanted was--"

The pent-up tears started to stream down her face, and she let out a cry as she buried her face with her hands, sniffing loudly.

"All I've ever wanted was their love," she finished hoarsely between cries. "And I hate that I still want it."

Dr. Shady stood up and moved a box of tissues from the bookshelf down to the table next to Evaline's chair, then stepped back and sat down so that she wouldn't be looming in Evaline's space. "And why do you think that is?"

Evaline reached out and took a few tissues as soon as Dr. Shady stepped away, bunching it up and setting it on her face so that it could absorb the tears she couldn't hold back. She hated that she felt so vulnerable right now, but she knew that that was what therapy was for. So that she would be more comfortable being herself instead of internalizing all the feelings she wasn't allowed to express when younger.

"I... don't know," she sobbed. "I just want..." She bit back a cry so that she could form a comprehensible sentence. "I just want someone to love me."

"Are there other relationships you feel like you can get that from?"

"Both of my relationships failed," Evaline said as she wiped her eyes. "And I thought I could move on. Find someone else. But it was all loveless. I wanted it to be loveless. I didn't want... I didn't want to get hurt. Again."

"Have you considered looking for love in platonic relationships?"

Evaline sniffed again, wiping her tears enough time that she was able to finally look up at Dr. Shady and see without blurry vision.

"You mean, friendships?" she asked.

"Yeah," Dr. Shady said.

Yes, Evaline had friends, but the friends she made at Prestige were shallow and not genuine. There was Elias and Mel, but she knew she was consistently pushing them away because of their past, and she knew that was her own fault. There was also James... they were friends, although long-distance.

"I guess," she answered softly. "I think I'll be better if I transfer schools. To the animation school I applied to in Paris, if I get in. I think I just need to start over. Figure out who I am. I don't know. Is that the right step? Should I be doing that? I don't know what I'm doing."

"Do you think there's anyone you could try to get closer to in the process?" Dr. Shady asked. "Someone to figure it out together?"

There was no chance that would be with any of the shallow friendships she made at Prestige, and she would find it difficult to "figure it out" with Mel and Elias. Even though she knew they would be supportive, it was difficult for her. It was difficult that she associated them with a past she despised, and she knew she was taking it out on them, whether it was subconscious or not.

That left...

"There is one person, I think," Evaline said in soft voice. "James. He's actually..." She sniffed again and shifted in her seat. "He doesn't realize it, but he helped inspire me to come here. Because he listened to me, and it did help. I think he'd listen again... I don't really know what to say to him about this, though. He's not my therapist. You are."

"I am," Dr. Shady agreed. "But that doesn't mean that I have to be the only person that you open up to. Vulnerability within friendships is healthy. Do you think it would help you if you told him any of this?"

"I don't know," Evaline said, feeling like a broken record. "I told him some things already. The marriage, breaking out of it, coming to Pristige, possibly transferring. Should I tell him more?"

"What do you think?"

"I think it's unfair to deepen our friendship if I'm just going to move farther away," Evaline admitted.

"Unfair to whom?"

"To him," she said. "I can't do that to him."

"Do you think that he's capable of setting his own boundaries?"

Evaline wanted to say yes, but there was still a lot she didn't know about James. They only saw each other in-person in three separate occasions.

"I think so," she said. "But he doesn't go to the same university as me. We text and call a lot, but it's still long distance."

"Wouldn't that make it easier for him to establish boundaries?"

"...I guess so," she said after a hesitation. "What do I even say to him, though?"

"What do you think is important for him to know about you?"

Evaline was tempted to turn this around and ask what Dr. Shady thought was the most important thing she said today, but based on how she had avoided all her questions that asked her opinion, she had a feeling she wasn't going to answer it. She sighed.

"Okay," she said. "I'll open up. More. A little. I know he'd listen. I know he would, and it wouldn't be as difficult, it's just... it's a little scary, I guess. And if we get closer, I'd be worried that I wouldn't even want to leave in the first place. It just seems easier to wait this out until I do leave, but I know. I know I shouldn't."

"Do you think your remaining time here would be more fulfilling if you had a friend you felt like you could truly be yourself around?"

Evaline knew in her heart what the answer to that question was, but she still hesitated, mulling it over.

"Yes," she admitted openly and honestly. "I do think that."

"Then what do you think you should do?"

It was funny. Evaline came here to hear someone else tell her what to do because she clearly had no idea what she was doing, but Dr. Shady was reframing the question so that she would pick up the pieces and answer the question herself.

It wasn't something she was used to doing since it went against what she was always taught.

Evaline swallowed the pit of nerves, knowing that this was a safe place, and Dr. Shady just wanted to help her.

"I should talk to others more," she said. "Or at least, James because I trust him, and he would listen. I should open up more, and push less people away."

"That's a good start," Dr. Shady said with a smile. "Everyone's journey to wholeness looks different, and every journey starts with taking that first step. Having a support system, now matter how small, is important. It's scary to let others in, but I'm glad that you're going to try."

Evaline was quiet for a moment, choosing to believe her words. Choosing that this was the path forward, and she was right. She was not a failure, her past does not define her, and most important, she was not alone.

"Thank you," she said softly as she wiped her puffy eyes. "This does help. I appreciate it."

"I'm glad to hear that," Dr. Shady said, offering a smile. "I think we're nearing the end of our time together. Would you like to schedule another appointment, so we can continue unpacking some of these big questions?"

Evaline told herself that she was only going to do this for one session. But now that she was at the end of it...

"Yes," she said with a small smile, looking up at Dr. Shady with appreciation in her eyes. "I'd like that."
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Carina says...

Elias had a puppy. Yes, a puppy.

Spoiler! :

He and Daniel went to PetSmart (or was it... PetsMart?) to get some chicken feed and chicken toys, and people did look at him funny when he came in with Nugget wearing a collar and leash, but she was so well-behaved, Elias couldn't be mad. Daniel was insistent that he give her actual chicken-approved snacks rather than the random scraps he found in the kitchen (some of which were, uh, chicken), so Elias walked away with a bunch of goodies.

But then they walked past the adoption center, and Elias instantly fell in love.

"Look at da wittle puggy wuggy!" Elias cooed to Bo after he came back from the store and brought the dog over to the apartment for the first time.

Bugs the pug the was in Elias's arms, cradled and panting with its bug-eyed stare over at Bo.

Bo was sitting on the couch with his long legs stretching out across the floor. But when he looked up and saw Bugs, he immediately sat up straight, uncrossed his ankles and got to his feet, walking over.

"Aww!" Bo cooed. "Who's this? Where's you get him?"

"Bugs, meet Nugs," Elias said as he pointed at the dog and then to Nugget, who was in her pen. "I adopted him at PetSmart."

"Another pet?" Bo asked, but he was still talking in a baby voice as he reached over and pet Bugs' head, and Bugs started panting happily.

"Another pet, that's right," Elias cooed back in the same baby voice.

"What a cuuuuutie," Bo said. "Can I hold him?"

"Aaaand we're off to the dog park!" Elias said instead, gesturing Bo to follow him out the door. "Let's go!"

Bo smiled and quickly grabbed his shoes by the door, hopping as he slipped on his socks and shoes, following Elias out the door.

"Okay, okay, wait for me!" Bo said.


Elias was holding Nugget's end of the leash, humming as he was taking his chicken out on a walk. A few people gave him odd stares, but Elias smiled and waved.

Spoiler! :

"Hey, what's up, nice dog," he would say to each passing person. He only got weird stares, with one dude on a bike saying "nice cock." Elias took it as a compliment in both regards.

After he had walked around the park, he finally walked up with Bo and Bugs while Nugget obediently followed behind him. Elias beamed as he saw that Bugs seemed to already be catching on to the game of fetch, and he was clumsily running over to Bo with a small puppy-sized tennis ball in his mouth. Bo was clapping and congratulating him as Bugs made his way over, and then Bo grabbed him and rubbed him all over with rough petting. Bugs's curled little tail was wagging very fast.

"Awwww, good boy!" Elias said as he reached to pet Bugs.

As Elias walked up next to them, Bo brought the dog leash out and quickly clipped it back onto Bugs' collar, holding the leash loosely as Bugs rushed to greet Elias. Instead, Bugs clumsily found Nugget instead, who looked disinterested in the dog.

Nugget then pecked Bugs.

"Hey! Bad Nuggy!" Elias scolded, pushing the two apart. "Bo, Bugs needs medical attention!"

Never mind that Elias was the medic here. He wasn't a vet. Basically different medicines.

Bo scooped Bugs up in his arms, but Bugs looked unbothered, and his tail was still wagging.

"I think he's okay," Bo said. "Nugs didn't get him too bad. Just like a little nip is all."

Elias aggressively patted Nugget's head as a scolding, but he couldn't bring himself to do more than that. Not that Nugget cared, anyways. She started to peck at the ground like nothing had happened.

He then turned towards Bo and smiled seeing little ol' Bugs in his arms.

"Good Bugs," he cooed.

In the corner of his eyes, Elias saw someone holding up their phone, pointing it at the two of them.

"Psst, Bo," Elias whispered, not moving. "Make a funny face. We're going to be famous."

Bo smiled in confusion. "What?"

Elias didn't respond. Instead opening his mouth wide and sticking out his tongue towards the cameraman. It seemed that the action freaked the person taking the picture, because they then promptly walked away with their dog.

Yeah. That'll show 'em. Who takes pictures of two men walking their chicken and dog, anyways?

Bo was looking around, none the wiser.

"What was that about?" Bo asked in amusement.

"Hmmmm," Elias hummed out. "I don't think it'd be too bad if we went viral. I think it'd be pretty dope."

"Wait, was someone taking a picture of us?" Bo asked, like he was still playing catch-up.

"Yeah, did you make a funny face?" Elias said with a toothy grin.

"I... uh..." Bo smiled and shrugged. "I think I was just smiling. Darn. Missed opportunity."

"That's okay," Elias said with a smile of his own as he took a step back, hands on his hip. "Your smile is goofy enough, in a good way."

"Aw, thanks!" Bo beamed, bouncing Bugs in his arms. Bugs seemed to get excited at the small movement, and Bo had to adjust his grip on the puppy before Bugs scrambled out of his arms.

"Oh! Speaking of goofy," Elias murmured, awfully proud of that seamless transition.

He then fished around his pocket, pulling out a few wrappers and receipts until he found the balled-up wadded invitation he printed several days ago. It was faded because he forgot it was in his pocket when he washed his pants. Ah well. Not like anything else changed.

"What do you think of this invitation?" he asked Bo as he unwrinkled it and handed it off to him.


"Haha!" Bo laughed as he took it. "I love the mummy chicken. This is great."

"The chicken drinking the beer all mummified really sells it, huh?" he said with a proud grin and snort.

"It really does," Bo said. "And the comic sans really says 'graphic design is my passion.'"

Spoiler! :

Elias looked up at him with another toothy grin. "Finally, a man of culture."

"And the 420 Boo Lane. What a coincidence," Bo said.

"Okay, actually, it's at the frat house," he said through a laugh.

"Do you think you should like, put that on the back just in case someone takes it literally?" Bo asked.

"Nah, bro. Chad and Thad are like, wicked Silicon Valley software engineers and can code Google Maps to reroute it. No one will ever know."

"That... wait," Bo said, squinting like he was trying to piece things together.

"I don't know how they do it either, bro," Elias said as he leaned over to admire the invitation some more.

"So... if someone puts 420 Boo Lane in google maps... it'll lead to the Frat house..." Bo said with a slow nod, like he was finally getting it.

"Yeah!" Elias said with a smile with a quick pat on his back.

"Oh dude, that's sick," Bo said with a genuine little grin. "This sounds like it'll be fun. I'm still baking cookies for this and stuff, right?"

"Is that okay? Carter gave me a lil bit of money for buying the stuff."

"Oh, that would be awesome," Bo said. "Especially if I'm catering for a whole event."

"Do you need me to help with anything, man?" Elias asked as he realized that this was actually a lot of work.

"Do you know how to mix cookie batter?" Bo asked.

"Yeah, that's just like mixing two colors of Play-Doh together."

Bo patted Elias's arm, cradling Bugs in the crook of his elbow.

"Then I can use your muscles," Bo said with a little laugh. "It'll be a lot of dough. But the actually edible kind."

"Ya know what they say," Elias said as he mimicked throwing dollar bills off his hand. "Let's get that dough."
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Carina says...

Elias hummed a chipper tune down the hall (probably of some random song he heard on the radio or something, likely the Chainsmokers because they all sounded the same to him), holding two neatly-wrapped envelopes with Rek and Jerica's name on it. He spent a lot of time putting these invitations together for the Halloween party, and now came the fun part: distributing the invitations.

He walked down the hall and knocked on Rek's door, knowing that at least he had to be home right now. Jerica, he wasn't so sure. That girl's schedule was unpredictable, but so was his, so who was he to judge.

Elias waited for about twenty seconds, impatiently tapping his foot, waiting for Rek, Jerica, or someone to answer. After not receiving an answer after knocking and waiting again, he decided to reach out to see if the door was locked.

And it wasn't. Well, either they were out and forgot to lock it (in which case he'd be doing them a favor by chilling in their apartment for a bit and locking it behind him), or they were inside and didn't bother locking it... and answering the door, apparently.

Well, no harm done for either option! Elias opened the door and stepped in, closing the door behind him. It was oddly quiet, and Jerica wasn't passed out on the couch, so that meant no one must have been home.

That was, until, he started to hear a muffled piano song coming from Rek's room.

Spoiler! :
phpBB [media]

Elias started to bop his head to the beat. It occured to him that he had never heard Rek play the piano before, and wow, he was very good.

Elias sneaked up to his room, poking his head in at first. Rek's back was facing him, but he could tell that he was totally concentrated, tapping away the little keys. Not wanting to interrupt, Elias continued to bop his head to the beat, slowly and silently approaching him, enjoying the song.

Spoiler! :

Elias was standing directly a few feet behind him when Rek finished, and he grinned and started to clap his hands, the cradling the invitations with his upper arms against his torso.

"Sick song, Rek!" he said.

Rek jumped, stumbling off the bench and whirling around, eyes wide. He took a deep breath then relaxed a little as he let it out. "Elias... hi."

Elias offered another toothy grin, waving flatly. "Sup?" he said.

"Not... much. I was uh..." He gestured vaguely at the piano. "Jerica is... not in the living room? Anymore?"

Elias shrugged. "Guess not," he said. "But I mean, you're my friend too. It's not like Jerica has to be here for us to hang out, man."

Still grinning, he reached out and patted Rek's shoulder.

Rek blinked at him, then belatedly, gave a genuine smile. "That's true. What's up, Elias?"

"Oh!" Elias said as he shuffled the cards out of his arm, handing both of them to him. "Invitiations to a Halloween party. I figured you can give Jerica's whenever she comes back."

"Oh, yeah, of course." Rek hesitated, looking at both of them. "Oh, wait, I'm --?"

"Open it open it open it," Elias chanted.

"You're inviting me to a frat party?" he asked incredulously.

"Open itttttt," Elias kept egging on, really wanting him to see the invitation first.

"Okay..." Rek gave him a suspicious look. "Is it gonna, like...?"

"OPEN ITTTTT," Elias said again.

"Fine!" He still looked unconvinced, but opened the envelope and took out the card, slowly opening it.

Just as expected, colorful confetti then sprung out of the card, landing on his face and the air next to him before slowly floating down towards the floor. Rek didn't react beyond a "I'm done with life" expression and sigh.

Elias smirked, pleased. "Got 'em," he said, reaching his hand out for a high five even though it was Rek who got confetti'ed.

Rek laughed weakly and gave him the high five. "Yeahhh... so, uh... this...?"


"So yeah," Elias confirmed. "Frat party. But don't yell it out to everyone, 'cause some people hear the word 'frat' and run away. It's not a typical frat party, though. Just a chill party at a frat house, you feel?"

"Oh, so just like a party with a few hundred of your closest friends?"

"No," Elias said before the sentence fully sank in, but after saying it, he realized that Rek was basically right. "I mean, kinda. It'll be big, like spacious big. The earth has a gazillion people but enough land for all of us, right? Same with his party."

"Right, yeah." Rek set the envelopes down on top of his piano. "I'll, uh, be sure to let Jerica know. I'm sure she'll have fun dressing up."

"And you will too," Elias nudged.

"Uh, yeah, I mean, heh." Rek smiled tightly. "Halloween's not really my thing, you know?"

"That's only because you haven't gone to an awesome Halloween party yet," Elias said. "I guarantee you'll love it after this year's Halloween."

"Um... I really appreciate the invite, Elias," Rek said, trying to be gentle. "I really do. But um... yeah, it's not... you know?"

Elias pursed his lips in thought. He wasn't going to force Rek to go, but he'd also be sad if even one of his friends didn't want to go. Ideally, they'd all be there under one roof, having a good time.

But Elias was used to being around people who were apprehensive with these kinds of things. He just had to roll his sleeves and use his big brain.

Subconsciously, Elias did roll up his sleeves while he spoke.

"What if you go for just the beginning?" he asked. "And if you still don't like it after an hour, you can leave. A lot of people show up late anyways, so there won't be as much people around. You can vibe and eat all the snacks and drink all the drinks and stuff. Plus, Bo's catering. And I know you love Bo's food."

"I do love Bo's food." Rek hesitated, looking defeated. "Like... who's gonna be there, though?"

Elias paused, trying to think of their mutual friends, while also trying to include people he thought he'd hit it off with.

"Jerica, obviously. She'll go even though she hasn't seen the invitation. Bo too, of course. Carter is as well. Mel -- you've met Mel. Daniel as well. Oh, and James too! Yeah, he's coming and will be dressed like a cowboy."

"You convinced James?" Rek asked skeptically.

"Yeah," he said with a nod and the beginnings of a grin. "Between you and me, he's going because of a girl. But if James is going, you gotta come too, huh?"

"So James is going 'cause of a girl and I've gotta go because of James?" Rek mused, smiling a bit.

Elias laughed and playfully elbowed him. "Hey, don't make this a love triangle," he teased.

Rek laughed, then rubbed the back of his neck. "I... will honestly also be coming because of a girl. I don't see getting out of this between you and Jerica. Heh."

Elias hummed. "I mean... I've been told I make a great wingman," he said casually. "And know all of the people who are coming, including the guys. Ya know, if you're interested in actually going because of guy, but not James."

Rek laughed, a little bit of redness creeping into his cheeks. "Yeah, we'll, uh... I mean... what's Bo gonna make?"

Elias shrugged. "I dunno. Croissants, probably. And other stuff. Anyways, does this mean you're coming?"

"For, like..." Rek hesitated again, clearly having no idea where he was going with this. "I'm not promising I'll stay a whole hour. But--"

"So what are you dressing up as?" Elias cut in, assuming that was a yes.


"See, I told Carter I think you'd make a great Mozart," he said as he reached over and started to noisily jam some of the piano keys. "Like, wig and everything. I think it fits."

Rek cringed. "I could... come as a party crasher. You know. Just there for the food. I think I could be believable."

Elias paused in making the noise and pursed his lips, narrowing his eyes at him. "You know what, I'll bring my banana suit," he said. "I wore it last year for Halloween."

"I -- no," Rek repeated.

"You're lucky that James said he didn't want it," Elias went on anyways. "He said he didn't want to dress up as fruits or vegetables."

"I knew James and I had a lot in common."

"Wait, does that mean you're going as a cowboy too?"

"What--no--that--no." Rek shook his head, putting up one finger. "No."

Elias suddenly snapped his fingers. "I got it!" he said. "You can be that one character from that one Disney movie. I think it's Disney. Maybe it's Pixar... I forget. But it's the guy who smashes everything."

"Are you..." Rek rubbed his face. "Punning--?"

"Rek it Ralph!" Elias said as he snapped his fingers again and pointed at him. "Yeah, that's the one."

"Let me guess," Rek said tiredly. "Dress up, then -- get rekkkked?"

"See, you already got the lines down," Elias said, pleased. "Just need an orange shirt and some overalls now. And scruff up your hair."

Rek smoothed his hair down subconsciously. "I will... think about it -- not it, as in that, no -- but like... I'll think about maybe dressing up... I guess... what are you going as?"

"Great question," he said. "Should I go as a dinosaur or a sexy nurse? Or something else?"

"What about a sexy dinosaur?"

"Why, wanna be twinning?" Elias teased.

Rek laughed. "Hah, no, I--" you could see a thought cross his face and his eyes widened a bit. "For the love of god don't plant that idea in Jerica's head. I am not twinning with anyone."

Elias made a mental note to text twinning sexy dinosaurs to Jerica.

"Worst case, you can be a banana," he offered.

"Not feeling the 'nana," Rek said. "What's everyone else going as? Is there like... a theme? Or just like... sheer frat boy chaos?"

"There's no frat boy chaos," Elias said defensively. "Just sheer fun. No theme. Dress as whatever you like."

"Okay... I'll think about it."
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soundofmind says...


October 31st, Halloween

Spoiler! :
phpBB [media]

Invitations and costumes required for admission.

People were starting to roll into the party. Bo was already there in the kitchen, with all of his Halloween-themed snacks, drinks, and desserts nicely laid out on the table and the counters. Carter had come early to ensure that everything was going as planned with the decor. He'd hired a few students to come in the day prior and go all out so that the entire frat house had the right vibes. He was going for haunting, but warm. Welcoming, but still spooky.

Thaddeus and Chaddeus rolled in with a keg, and they set it up in the corner of the main room. Thaddeus stuck a last-minute sign on it that read "blood" instead of beer, and Carter thought it was a little crude, but laughed, letting it slide.

He took out his phone and connected it to the bluetooth speaker on the first floor, and started playing his halloween playlist. It started playing Monster Mash, which was an old classic. He set it to a bearable volume so that people didn't have to shout at each other, but loud enough that you could actually hear and enjoy it.

The room was starting to fill up slowly, and Carter set Chaddeus - who was dressed like a mummy, apparently inspired by the invitation - at the front gate to check people for invitations and costumes. Carter very much intended to enforce the rule, but he gave Chaddeus three exceptions on a secret list known only to them.

Meanwhile, Carter sat back in one of the couches by a fake skeleton. He was dressed like a knight, just for Elias. He even had a helmet and a fake (and very blunt) sword. The armor itself was made out of a hard plastic, but shaped and painted to look like medieval armor. He felt legitimate enough without looking like he'd gone overboard into cosplay territory. It was a good balance.

One of the girls he met from the start of the year - Brittany, was it? - she walked in dressed like a sexy catgirl, which was overdone and predictable. She looked excited to see him, though, so he flashed a warm smile and welcomed her over.

The party begins now.
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ShadowVyper says...

Jerica had been waiting for this moment.

All semester.

She'd had the hilarious idea to dress up as a frat boi. In fact, a specific frat boi. Who would, hopefully, realize that she stole some of his clothes expressly to dress up as him. She'd been watching Carter in the weeks leading up to the party and discretely snapping pictures, so she got the most-recently-worn-and-yet-had-been-washed outfit that she'd seen him in. And stole it. And now she was giddily on her way to the frat house, dragging Rek along with her.

Spoiler! :
Vibes of the girl on the right (unless sound says that's not Carter's style, in which case, just think generic frat boi


Rek was... less than enthused. But it was clear that it mattered to Jerica. And Elias. And, though he wouldn't have admitted it to anyone even if they asked, he still felt strangely flattered that Elias considered Rek his friend, too. He was so used to just being "Jerica's cousin" and "That other Ainsley"

So, he grudgingly dressed up. Jerica had thrown dozens -- hundreds -- of costume ideas at him. Every. Single. Costume. that she saw on Google, he was fairly certain. But he relented and went as the Beatles. He even got a kiddy guitar and everything. Well, Jerica had got it for him. And he decided he'd carry it.

Spoiler! :

"Chaddy!" She ran up to him and threw her arms around him in a hug.

"Jer-y!" He hugged her with a laugh. He looked her over skeptically. "Are you--?"

"Oh, uh, yeah, right." She dropped her voice as low as it would go and took on a cooler-than-you persona, then hit him on the arm. "I mean, hey, man, whazzuppppp? It is I, your fellow frat boy, here, at the frat boy house."

Chad cackled. "Oh my god, I love you, Jer. Is that Carter's shirt?"

"You know it," she giggled, voice rising a solid octave. "All of this is his. Can't wait to see his face when he notices."

Chad shook his head and laughed again, then looked at Rek. "Rek! Hey, man, good to see you! I'm so glad you came!"

Rek smiled shyly. "Thanks."

"Sick costume, dude! Love the Beatles!" Chad looked past them at others starting to arrive, then waved them in. "See y'all in a bit, okay?"

"Yeah, like, whatever," Jerica said, dropping her voice again and re-assuming her dumb-frat-boi persona. "See ya around, dude."

"You really gonna keep that up all night?" Rek muttered as they walked into the house.

"I'm sure I'll forget once I get," she answered quietly. She had, of course, pre-gamed. Because who showed up to a party totally sober? Well, probably a lot of people. But not her. That much was certain. She had a nice little buzz going. She looked around. "I bet Bo's already here. Let's go see."
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Magebird says...

They were walking up to the frat house when the gravity of the situation finally hit Benji: he was going to a frat party. He had never gone to one at his old college, and he had never gone to one at HPU. He hadn’t even been to a party before. Not a party like this kind of party. He had gone to the holiday party The Skeptic had last year because he was on winter break then and his editor wanted him to interact with his other writers. And he had gone to ones in elementary school, back when it was normal to invite entire classrooms to birthday parties.

A frat party was definitively neither of those kinds of parties.

“I can’t wait to see Elias and Jerica’s faces when they realize we both came,” Daniel commented. He had a little skip to his step when they left their dorm earlier and probably had one now, but Benji was too busy staring at the frat building to actually look at him. There was someone by the entrance. It looked like he was checking people as they came in. What if they weren’t allowed in? What if the other people here took one look at Benji and realized he didn’t belong? He was dressed like Castiel from Supernatural. Did people even wear costumes like that to frat parties? Why had he thought it was a good idea to wear something like that? If he wanted to do a matching costume with Daniel, he could have just suggested they go to a convention instead-

He suddenly walked into Daniel.

“Are you okay?” Daniel asked, concern in his voice.

Benji blinked. They were almost at the mummy by the frat house’s entrance now. He had fallen behind Daniel and hadn’t even noticed.

“I’m…” His heart pounded in his ears. “...I’m fine.”

“You don’t look fine.”

Benji bit his lip. He was not going to cry right now. Not in front of Daniel, not in front of a frat house, and not in front of the frat boy that was guarding said frat house. He had worked on not crying so much when he got anxious. It made him feel vulnerable in a way that he didn’t like. Digging his fingernails into the palms of his hands, he gave Daniel a strained smile and walked right up to the frat boy with his invitation in hand.

“Benji, wait-” Daniel started to say as the frat boy let Benji through, but Daniel was cut off by said frat boy suddenly sticking his hand out in between them.

“You need an invitation and a costume to enter,” the frat boy said.

Benji blinked. Daniel frowned.

“I am wearing a costume,” he said as he held out his invitation in front of him. Benji looked Daniel’s costume over. He had done it earlier before they left today and when Daniel had gotten all of the pieces together last week, but looking at it now made him realize how...normal it looked.

Spoiler! :

The frat boy crossed his arms. “Doesn’t look like a costume to me.”

“It’s a Dean Winchester costume,” Daniel said. The frat boy just looked lost. Benji, already sensing trouble, grabbed his phone and started to search through their texts. “From Supernatural.”

The frat boy opened his mouth.

Benji held up the photo Daniel had used for reference. The outfit Daniel was wearing was identical to the reference—save for the ring Daniel was wearing.

"It still doesn't seem like much of a costume," the frat boy said. Benji could tell Daniel was trying to stop himself from saying just long it took to get each individual part of his costume. "But I guess I have to let you through."

Benji sighed in relief as Daniel passed the frat boy.

"I knew I should have bought that toy Impala," Daniel said, dejected.

"I thought your costume looked convincing," Benji said, giving a hesitant smile.

He was the one who had suggested it, after all.

Daniel perked up. "Your costume looks good, too. You really do look like an angel."

Benji froze ten steps into the main room.

Daniel froze, too, his face bright, bright red. He quickly looked away. Benji wisely followed suit a moment later.

"I-I mean, you make a really good Castiel," Daniel stammered. "Even without the angel wings."

"Of course," Benji replied. Why were his cheeks burning so much right now? And where was someone they knew? He had wanted the comfort of a familiar face earlier, but now he just wanted a distraction.

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soundofmind says...

James felt ridiculous, but Carter, Bo, and Elias had hyped him up so much in the days leading up to the party that he didn't really care anymore. It was like they'd drawn all of the anxiety out of him to the point where there was nothing left, and he was just begrudgingly going to subject himself to the overstimulation that the undoubtedly chaotic frat party was going to be. And he was going to do it all dressed as a cowboy.
Spoiler! :

He tried not to think too hard about it as he found street parking and walked up to the front gate. He'd been to the frat house a few times, but it was only ever to stop by quickly or pick Carter up. He'd never actually been here for an event or a party. He'd intentionally avoided those.

And here he was, trying to make amends. Trying to heal a fragile relationship with an old friend, because it seemed like Carter was really turning around this time. And who was he to deny Carter that second chance? He felt like he owed it to him.

They'd been through a lot together.

He stopped behind a group of sorority girls all dressed as various scantily-clad versions of whatever occupation of choice, keeping his eyes on the ground until they all showed Chaddeus their invitations and went laughing through the gate.

When James stopped at the gate, and and Chad made brief eye contact, and Chad stared at him through his mummy bandages, looking shocked to see him.

"Omg, James," he said. "Bro. You actually came, and in a costume. I thought Carter was just joking that you'd come as a real cowboy. Finally, we get the honor of partying with Carter's best friend, though. Welcome, bro."

Chad extended a hand, and James had been ready to pull out his invitation, but Chad seemed to have forgotten about that little rule. James quickly gave Chad a firm handshake and then pulled away.

"Yeah," he said briskly. "Don't mention it. Like, actually. Don't mention it."

He stepped through the gate.

"YEEHAW!" Chad called out behind him.

James paused, glancing back to give him a "really?" expression, but Chad had already turned his attention back to the next people in line.

The line was growing fast, and James had a feeling the frat house was going to get very crowded very quickly. He needed to find a corner where he could be alone, and find it fast.

He hurried down the cobblestone path and up the steps of the porch, through the front door.

Dear god.


It was toeing the line between a haunted house and... he didn't even know what. He tried not to look too creeped out as he started toeing around the edge of the room. He spotted Benji and Daniel not far from the entrance, and James would've said hello, but he was already planning an escape to get to the backyard, where he could breathe. He ducked his head and turned away, hoping he wasn't painfully recognizable in his "costume."

He was almost to the doorway to the kitchen before Carter appeared out of nowhere, dressed as a knight.

James already knew what his costume was going to look like though, because Carter had tried it on a week ago and shown it to him, asking for his opinion.

He'd thought it was a little showy, but that was what Carter wanted.

"James!" Carter said, tilting back the face guard of the helmet to reveal his beaming smile. "You made it!"

James offered him a small, far more shy smile in return as his eyes flicked around the room.

"Hey, Carter," James said. "It looks like you did a really good job capturing the Halloween spirit with all of the decorations."

Carter glanced around, standing up a little taller (not that he could really get much taller than 5ft4) with a proud grin.

"Yeah, I think so too," Carter said. He reached over and gently patted James on the arm.

"Want to grab a snack?" Carter asked.

"Sure," James said with a small nod.

But just as they were about to head into the kitchen, two vaguely familiar faces came up on either side of them. There was a girl dressed as some Halloween version of a sexy cat, and then another who looked like she was supposed to be a sexy nurse... who apparently had fake blood dripping from her mouth, and vampire teeth.

So... a vampire nurse?

James didn't know. Halloween was weird.

The vampire nurse clung to Carter's arm, and the cat girl got a little uncomfortably close.

"Carter!" the nurse chirped.

"Kayla!" Carter echoed, mirroring the excitement.

Oh. Right. That was her name. The other was...?

"Brittany, I see you came early," Carter said like he was teasing. "Are you two...?"

Brittany and Kayla looked at each other, and without any words being said in the second that passed, James just knew that there was likely some weird, petty drama going on between the two of them. And he didn't want a part of any of it.

"I'm going to the kitchen," he announced, and he and Carter exchanged a brief look of understanding. Carter hung back with Kayla, putting his arm around her as the two of them looked like they were going off to talk, but as James retreated into the kitchen, Brittany followed.

"I like your costume!" Brittany said with a smile. "You look like a real cowboy. Kind of reminds me of my dad."

James had no idea how to take that.

"Is you dad... a real cowboy?" he asked, looking over to her with a raised brow.

"Nah, he's just very southern," she said.


"Ah, I see," James said. He turned his attention to scan the room, first spotting the large snack table which was littered with halloween-themed treats, and some different drinks in big jugs with little spouts. He could see Bo hovering by the table, and he quickly recognized Carter's clo--

Wait a minute.

That was Jerica. Dressed as Carter. Wearing Carter's actual clothes. She was heading to Bo with Rek following behind, and James couldn't make out what Rek was dressed as, but all he saw was several cardboard heads and something like a guitar.

"So did you like, buy a cowboy hat, or did you already have one?" Brittany asked, but James found himself distracted as he stared at Jerica in bewilderment.

"I already had one," he answered as he started walking towards Jerica, and Brittany still followed. "Did you always own cat ears?"

Brittany laughed at that. A little too much. James didn't think he was being funny, but he only looked over to Brittany with a slightly forced smile before he caught up, walking up behind Jerica.

"Jerica," was all he said.
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ShadowVyper says...

Jerica decided to practice her persona on Rek, since it was clear that this was going to be harder to maintain than she originally thought. She basically was a frat boy with the way she acted normally. But she really wanted to exaggerate it tonight. Any excuse to be extra-dramatic was a good excuse. So, Jerica off. Frat boy on.

"What ya think Bo-B--" she cut herself off. Frat boys didn't call him Bo-Bo. "Bo made?"

Rek smirked at her. Jerica and her nicknames.

Maybe this was going to be fun to watch after all.

A full night of Jerica seeing all of her friends. And trying (and probably consistently failing) to resist the urge to call them their forced-upon-them nicknames. They'd see how well she did.

"Dunno," he answered, still smirking. "What do you think?"

"I dunno, man," she said, recovering the persona. "I'm sure it'll be good though, you know, man?"

"I know," Rek agreed. "Bo always makes good food."

They rounded the corner into the kitchen. Bo was standing by a table. Jerica walked a bit quicker, grinning already, psyching herself up to 1) not let her pitch rise when she greeted him and 2) to not call him Bo-Bo.

Then she heard her name from behind her. She knew that voice. But could hardly believe that it was here. At a frat party. For realsies.

"JAMES!" She whirled around with a broad grin, then hesitated. This was going to be much harder than she'd anticipated. She cleared her throat and lowered her voice again. "I mean like, yo. Wazzup my dude?"

It felt so wrong to be talking to James like that. Of all people. But.

"ur already a big kid scientist in my eyes" - veersies
"u and rina are systematically watering down the grammar of yws" - Tuck
"The chaos quad is here" - FireEyes


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soundofmind says...

James blinked, looking Jerica up and down, and he knew without a doubt that she indeed was wearing Carter's clothes. She even had her hair done up in Carter's usual bun.

It was slightly disturbing, and it also seemed like Jerica had not only decided to wear a "costume," but was also committed to doing an impersonation of Carter as well.

This... could get tiring. At least, if she was going for an exaggerated version of Carter.

As much as he loved Carter, he didn't really need two of them. One was enough.

But with that said, Jerica wasn't exactly doing a Carter impression. Just a frat boy one, really. Or so it seemed.

"Howdy," James said, deciding to play along and be mildly 'in character' for his costume. "I see you raided Carter's closet."

At that moment, Bo had come up behind them, having noticed the three of them.

"Hey guys!" Bo said, pointing at Rek first. "Eyyyyy. The Beatles. I like it. And you make a good cowboy, James."

He then looked down at Jerica, patting her shoulder.

"And you look just like Jerica, Carter," Bo said with a big goofy smile.
Pants are an illusion. And so is death.


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ShadowVyper says...

Jerica smirked as James looked her over. Admiring her costume. Or judging it. She didn't particularly care which it was. She was proud of herself, if nothing else. It was so delightful.

And so was this. At a party. With her buds. With James. At a dress-up party. Imagine.

"Hey man, thanks. That's what I was going for, y'know?" Jerica said, maintaining her frat-boy persona. She was proud of herself for not getting over-excited and calling him Bo-Bo by accident. "And you look pretty good yourself, Mr. cooker man."
"ur already a big kid scientist in my eyes" - veersies
"u and rina are systematically watering down the grammar of yws" - Tuck
"The chaos quad is here" - FireEyes


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Wed Jun 30, 2021 12:40 am
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soundofmind says...

"Oh, you like it?" Bo asked, adjusting his chef's hat on his head. He looked like he was dressed like a chef.
Spoiler! :

"I feel official," Bo said with a big smile. "Also don't look under my hat. I'm totally not being controlled by a rat."
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Carina says...

Elias woke up sweating, suddenly feeling extinct and misplaced. Everything felt wrong. Like he wasn't supposed to be here. Like his existence in the present was off. Like a giant asteroid had hit the Earth and BOOM all dinosaurs were extinct.

Spoiler! :

Oh right. Never mind. That was just his costume. Silly brain.

Elias rolled off the bed, finding it difficult to move his arms and legs due to the inflatable costume. He had asked the -addeus's to blow up his costume, and while he stood around to do so, tiredness hit him like an asteroid blowing up the earth, and next thing he knew, he was in the bed of a decorated room, hearing spooky music.

What was this, writing of a lazy sitcom episode?

Elias stumbled to his feet and bounded down the hall in excitement, ready to get the party started.

Spoiler! :

Turned out, he was still fairly early, but that didn't matter since people were still coming in. The first people he saw was Daniel and that one-dude-always-with-him-what-was-his-name-again-he-forgot or something.

"Hey Dan!" Elias said with a grin, flopping his dino hands in front of them.

He stopped to frown for a second, realizing they weren't wearing a costume. Wasn't Chad on watch? Did he forget? Well, at least he prepared for this.

"Oh, bro, I brought my banana costume," Elias said as he glanced between Dan and the other guy -- he wanted to say his name was Billie. "Uh, don't think you can share the banana though. You'll have to split it. Hah. Get it? Banana split."
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Magebird says...

Whatever emotion had overtaken Daniel just a minute before vanished when Elias showed up in his dinosaur costume. It took Benji a moment to realize just who was wearing it; he had to look around to find his face. Daniel had perked up when he saw Elias, but the excitement vanished right as Elias said they weren't wearing costumes.

Benji grimaced. He had a feeling this was going to be a reoccurring incident tonight.

"I'm wearing a costume," Daniel said, shoulders hung low. "Benji is, too."

"We dressed up as characters from Supernatural," Benji added. He glanced over at Daniel; he still looked more than a little upset.

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ShadowVyper says...

Jerica laughed, grinning back at him. "Right, right, that rat-show, right?"

Rek gave her the side-eye. "Ratatouille."

Oh. But Jerica wasn't one to back down, even when she was wrong, so, "That's what I said."

"Is not."

"Is so." Jerica turned her gaze back on Bo before Rek could go on to prove that she was, in fact, lying. Besides, she was desperately curious. "You know, I've never wanted to see under a hat so much in my life."
"ur already a big kid scientist in my eyes" - veersies
"u and rina are systematically watering down the grammar of yws" - Tuck
"The chaos quad is here" - FireEyes


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