Antares "Boy School!" Antares drops her lunch tray next to Ras. "I heard you'd transferred here."
Ras Alhague "That's me," he says, not looking up for a second. Then he recognizes the voice, and turns. "No way! No fucking way!" He laughs. "Maybe I will have a chance to trounce you at kickball after all."
Antares "Only in your wettest dreams," Antares scoffs, taking a bite of pizza and talking around it. "Holy shit, the rumors going around about Big Scary Ras, I thought I must be remembering the wrong guy."
Ras Alhague He grins. "Well, I *am* pretty damned big. But most of the rumors were flying before I ever showed up." He shakes his head. "Hell, one kid just wouldn't shut up about me being a murderer or something. I think he was looking for a fight."
Antares "You know the kids these days, they like their excitement," Antares says loftily, waving a pepperoni-studded slice around at the cafeteria for emphasis.
Antares "So you here for reals, or just stashed until the semester is over and they bounce you somewhere new?"
Ras Alhague "Once the semester is done," Ras says, talking around his food, "that's that. I'll be 18, I'll have my diploma. Anywhere I bounce, I'll be doing it on my own."
Antares "Nice," Antares says, washing things down with a gulp of chocolate milk. "No vacation in Siberia, just cut straight to your real life?"
Ras Alhague "Yeah," he says. "Whatever that's gonna be. You ever think about what you're gonna do, after all this?" He waves his hand vaguely at... everything. "What's your real life gonna be?"
Antares "Shit, I dunno." Antares looks away, shrugging. "I'm not exactly college material. Music, maybe."
Ras Alhague "There's so much out there besides college. I hate that they cram it down our throats. Four more years of keeping us locked away, sheltered. Fuck that noise." He shakes his head. "I've thought about enlisting... but not here. I won't sign my rights away to the fucking United States."
Antares grins. "Soldier boy, huh? Yes sir, no sir?" She eyes him speculatively. "I could see you as Martin Blank, maybe."
Ras Alhague "The glass sculpture guy?" Ras wrinkles his brow.
Antares rolls her eyes. "The guy who tries to tell people at his high school reunion that he's an assassin. Damn, they don't have ANY good movies at boy school, do they?"
Ras Alhague "Something about movies rotting the mind." He sighs. "Music too. I haven't touched my guitar since... hell, since I played it for you."
Antares "That's a goddamn shame," Antares says, sobering. "Shit, most of the stuff worth saying, I can only say with music."
Antares She looks down at her tray and takes another bite of pizza, as if she hadn't meant to say that much.
Ras Alhague "Then go for it. Fuck college, fuck what they want. Once you're free, chase after your music. Change the world."
Antares looks up, flashing Ras a brilliant grin. "Nothing changes, but what the hell. It'll be fun trying."
Antares She slouches back in her chair, toasting him with her milk before draining it.
Ras Alhague "Everything changes. That's why we're here." He smiles back at her.
Antares looks like she's about to say something flippant, then pauses, looking at him and tilting her head. "You really think that?"
Ras Alhague "With all my broken heart."
Antares "Wouldn't've figured Big Scary Ras for an optimist." Something bitter flickering in Antares' eyes before she banishes it with a crooked smile. "Shows how much I know, huh?"
Ras Alhague He laughs. "I never said it'd change for the better. That part - that's up to us. But things *are* going to be different by the time we're done with this place." He sighs. "And it can be better. I know it. I've seen..."
Antares rests her chin in her hand, watching Ras with an unreadable expression.
Ras Alhague "Just... don't give up. Okay?"
Antares "Hey, don't worry about me. I always get by."
Antares slides back from the table, crumpling her milk carton and sailing it into the trash can two tables away. "Anyway, it's good that you're here, Boy School. I'm glad you didn't make it to Siberia after all."
Ras Alhague "Glad you didn't fall off the Earth either, Annie." He gets up, grabbing his tray. "Keep shining."