Maia shows up on the root first, pencil case in hand, looking around curiously.
Furud skulks onto the roof, a #2 pencil between his lips like a mutant cigarette. He sees Antares first and offers a wan smile, then notices Maia. "What the fuck."
Antares rolls her eyes, slouching against an air conditioner. "Oh, hey, fancy meeting you two here."
Furud snorts. "Yeah. Great." He turns on his heel and heads back down.
Antares Quick and low, Antares says, "Maia has shit you need to hear, Furud."
Maia freezes up when Furud shows up and doesn't say a word until Antares says that, then shifts her eyes to her. "Antares, what are you doing?"
Furud "I've already heard plenty of SHIT from her." He glares over his shoulder, one hand on the doorway to the stairwell.
Antares flicks her eyes sideways at Maia, keeping her voice mostly steady although her stomach is clenched. "You can't protect him by not telling him, Maia. Keep trying and he's gone." Her hands fist, hidden in the pockets of her jacket.
Maia glares at Antares, then Furud, then Antares again.
Furud "I don't need anyone's protection, especially Hers." he says icily.
Maia walks over to Antares and hisses, "I'm really fucking pissed at you for this," then turns to look at Furud.
Antares "Hit me if you want later, but TELL HIM," Antares hisses back.
Maia "Do you remember Cassie?"
Furud eyes her warily. "Yeah."
Antares With Maia turned safely away, Antares leans her head back against the wall, closes her eyes, and listens.
Maia "That boating accident?"
Maia "That was bullshit."
Maia "Cassie was kidnapped."
Furud crosses his arms.
Furud "You lied about her too?"
Maia boggles. "Excuse me. I don't control the Coast Guard."
Maia "THEY lied about it."
Maia "I found out the truth."
Furud "You kept it a secret."
Maia "No. I told someone."
Maia chokes up a bit, but wavers on. "I told my mom."
Furud "Next you're going to tell me she's not dead either." he scoffs.
Maia just looks at him.
Antares opens her eyes and looks at Furud, flat and hard.
Furud "What the CRAP"
Furud puts his head in his hands, rubbing his forehead. "You better not be fucking with me again."
Maia "I never fucked with you, Furud. I just did what I had to. To keep you safe."
Antares grimaces a bit behind Maia's back, in expectation of how well that one will go over.
Maia "I never told anybody. Johnstone came to ME. He already knew what was going on."
Furud "Why the hell would you care. I thought you hated me anyway."
Antares rolls her eyes heavenward, as if imploring God to tell her why he made boys so stupid.
Maia "Furud, you're my best friend!"
Furud "But I didn't protect YOU."
Maia pauses. "No. You didn't."
Furud leans against the wall beside the door and stares at her.
Furud "I'm sorry." he says quietly.
Maia is silent for a few moments, then, "It's okay. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to...make you choose, or anything."
Maia "I just...I dunno. It doesn't matter. It was a long time ago."
Furud nods, and sinks down into a crouch, trying to make sense of everything, all the fight gone out of him.
Maia "Promise me, Furud. Promise me you won't go off and do something crazy. They'll take you away, just like they did the others."
Maia "It's getting worse again. They took Zav, just like they did the others. I don't know why. I don't know what's happening."
Furud "I can't promise anything, Maia. Johnstone threatened Pol. Yesterday."
Maia "Johnstone's in the HOSPITAL, Furud."
Antares bites her tongue to keep from saying anything.
Maia "I don't know what he was doing, but whatever it was, he isn't doing it any more."
Furud "I don't care. He'll get out again. You think he's going to stop just because..."
Maia "I think he's better than the alternative."
Maia "But I don't want to find out if I'm right."
Furud "He's working with the kidnappers. What's the alternative?"
Maia "Furud," she says quietly, "he's working AGAINST them."
Furud "that doesn't make any sense! Why all the files, and the threats, and everything?"
Maia "I don't know. To keep us in line. To keep us from attracting attention."
Maia "Maybe to make them think he's already got us under control."
Maia "He never told me why he did what he did."
Maia "Just what he wanted me to do."
Maia "I'm sorry," Maia breathes.
Furud "What are we going to do now?"
Maia "I dunno."
Maia "Try not to die."
Furud laughs. "Yeah I'll keep that in mind."
Antares is starting to get ideas far beyond that, but doesn't want to spoil the peaceful moment.
Antares She slits her eyes open again, appraising the two of them and how they're looking at each other now.
Maia walks over and offers Furud a hand up.
Furud hesitates for a second, then takes her hand. "Thanks." he says quietly. Then, he leans forward and puts his free arm around Maia, hugging her.
Maia hugs him back, hard.
Antares relaxes against the wall, breathing out a silent sigh.
Antares "Anyway," she says, hopping up, "we've got a test to take. I dunno what you people are slacking on the roof for."
Maia snickers, and nods.
Maia "We better hurry. This test is going to determine our future!"
Furud snorts. "The future's so bright..."