Maia hums to herself as she hauls amps out of the back of Tyler's van.
Antares shows in costume, courtesy of Cats: unitard raggedly brushed with gold and gray paint, cat ears with one ripped off at the base, broken tail, eyepatch. "Sorry I'm late," she says, grabbing some stuff and avoiding eye contact.
Maia takes a moment to check her out. "Wow. Nice outfit, superstar." She puts down her amps and squeezes Antares's arm on the way back to the van.
Antares reddens a bit, which is abnormal, then grins a bit and continues with the unloading. "So I was talking to Furud earlier."
Maia "Oh yeah? How's he? I hope he's not too pissed at me for that whole Merope thing."
Antares "If he was, he didn't get around to mentioning it." Antares scowls at the van door. "Swear to God, Maia, one of these days I'm going to start hitting that boy and I don't know if I'll be able to stop. Does he do that to you?"
Maia snickers. "Maybe not quite to the same degree, but yeah, he's pretty difficult. You just have to get used to the fact that he thinks life is unfair."
Antares "I just... I dunno." Antares hesitates. "On Friday afternoon..."
Maia quiets down a little as well. "Furud was...I mean, he was just really upset about...everything."
Maia "I mean, I guess I can't really blame him."
Antares "Okay, I know I brought Furud up, but I guess I don't really want to talk about him."
Antares "Look, with Johnstone..."
Antares looks away. "You know I would never hurt you, right? On purpose, I mean."
Maia looks at Antares inquisitively. "Yeah. Yeah, I know. Don't worry." She smiles tentatively. "Everything is okay."
Antares "Is it?" She finally looks back at Maia, like she's trying to read something secret from her face.
Maia loses the smile, wrinkling her forehead in concern. "Yeah. Don't worry." She comes closer. "I..." she looks away, then looks back, and smiles again.
Antares "It's just that. I mean."
Antares "What you said..."
Antares looks away, blinking her uncovered eye furiously. "Fuck. I'm no good at saying things."
Maia waits, eyebrow half cocked.
Antares clenches her fists. "I don't know what I'd do if something happened to you. If I did something bad."
Antares She shakes her head.
Antares "You called me back. But I didn't really hear what you were saying until Furud threw it in my face."
Maia "What...what do you mean? What are you so worried about?"
Antares "Oh, shit, I dunno," Antares lies, looking down. "Let me try again later when I've got a few more beers in me?"
Maia stares, then smiles, and half-shrugs. "Sure. Let's get the rest of this stuff set up, then, huh?"
Antares Later, Antares makes it back to Maia with another round of beers. "Only the finest for you," she snickers, leaning on Maia a bit unsteadily between sets.
Maia "Thanks, darling. Whoo." Maia breaks the end off her bottle, and chugs half of it.
Antares leans back to watch her, then leans back a bit more, thumping gently against the wall and taking a long pull of her own beer. "Careful, little girl, drink too fast and I'll be babysitting you over the toilet."
Maia "Oh, I'm working it off." Maia mops sweat off her forehead. "We're doing pretty good, huh?"
Antares "Yeah," Antares grins. "We're on fire." She snickers and takes another drink. "If I'm still allowed to make jokes like that."
Maia snorts, coughing beer. "You're TERRIBLE!"
Antares slaps her back, enthusiastically helpful. "Oh thank fuck," she says. "I think you're the only person in the world I can say that shit to, now." She kicks the wall. "Hey, know what we should do later? Go over to Furud's place and burn those fucking files, so we can all talk like normal people again."
Maia gets quiet. "It won't solve anything, you know."
Maia "What's going on is still going on. We can hide from it, but that doesn't make it go away."
Furud As if called by the unseen hand of fate, Furud stumbles into the room - dressed in a Ceasar-style toga, complete with burgundy sash and gold-laurel headband - laughing raucously at someone in the other room. His laughter dims immediately as he spies the two girls.
Furud "Oh, hi."
Antares "Hey, Nero. It's okay, I've forgiven you." Antares is obviously a little proud of herself.
Maia "Hey, Furry. Nice toga."
Maia "Hey, I'm sorry about that whole thing with Merope. I totally overreacted."
Furud eyes Antares for a second then smiles at Maia. "Thanks." He waves his beer. "Shit's going down, you know? Hard to know who you can talk to these days."
Maia "We still gotta talk with her, find out what she knows."
Furud takes another drink, searching Maia and Antares' faces for signs of... closeness. "Yeah, sure. She doesn't know much more than what I told her when we were together, though. And she's prolly still in denial bout that."
Maia "I dunno."
Maia "Something...happened, this week."
Maia "And I don't know what, but I bet somebody does."
Furud "What do you mean?"
Maia "Johnstone wants me to find out what happened to Station Cassiopeia."
Maia "Three guess what that is."
Furud "Station... Cassie?"
Maia nods grimly. "He says it...SHE went off the air, and that's why Zav's suddenly missing."
Antares Antares, who has been hanging back against the wall, finishes her beer with a grimace. "You should stop doing what he wants," she says quietly.
Furud "Off the air? What? Cassie runs some sort of radio station? What's that got to do with Zavi?"
Maia "You got a better plan, superstar, I'm all for it."
Antares has a dark look on her face for a second, like she has a plan she knows they won't like, then it's cleared by surprise. "Hey, wait a second. Maia, was Cassie Ras' old girlfriend?"
Antares "'Cause he's got her stashed in his bedroom, apparently."
Maia blinks. "What?"
Furud "Well... shit."
Furud "You guys totally ruined my buzz."
Maia passes her beer to Furud absently.
Furud takes it and chugs the second half.
Furud "So. Lemme see if I got this straight. Johnstone wants you to find out what happened to Cassie, who's on some kind of radio station for the bad guys, even though Johnstone's NOT a bad guy or some shit, and Ras has her locked in his bedroom? Does Merope know?"
Furud "And..." he waves his hand around "something about Zavi."
Antares "Merope knows, 'cause she was pissed at Ras about it. Dunno how much more she knows."
Antares "And if you think Johnstone's not a bad guy, you got some kinda bullshit in your head."
Maia "Zav's been missing most of this week, remember?"
Antares "Shit, I was supposed to close my eyes and wait five seconds before saying that."
Maia "Johnstone said he was supposed to be safe."
Maia "Before Cassie went offline."
Furud "Five seconds?"
Maia "What the hell do you mean, Ras has her stashed in his bedroom?"
Furud "Yeah, really. I mean I know the dude's mysterious and shit, but that's a little kinky right?"
Furud "Though... if Mero's mad, i guess it's not THAT... anyway."
Furud produces another beer from the folds of his toga and proceeds to drink more.
Antares "I mean," Antares pushes away from the wall and puffs out her chest and arms to indicate Ras' bulk, "'My girlfriend found my first kiss in my bedroom and got mad, she is SO IRRATIONAL.' And now you know as much as I do."
Furud laughs despite himself.
Antares "Boys," she adds aside to Maia, rolling her eyes.
Maia "I know, right? Who needs 'em."
Furud "Right. Girls for everyone!"
Maia tosses this off absently as she's trying to think.
Maia "We gotta talk to Ras."
Maia "And Merope."
Antares "Hoo, I'm gonna need a couple more beers for that one, especially if he's telling her how to eat again."
Furud "But not Johnstone."
Antares "I can talk to Johnstone."
Maia "Just let me worry about Johnstone, guys."
Furud "Uh. Really?"
Furud "I think nobody should talk to him. I still don't trust him."
Maia 'I don't trust him either, but we don't have a choice."
Furud "Actually, we do."
Maia "Oh yeah? What is it, genius?"
Antares "He wanted to know some things about me. Maybe I should tell him what he wants to hear." Antares' mood has gone from flippant to grim, although she's still smiling.
Furud "Just figure things out for ourselves." He looks sideways at Antares.
Maia glances uncomfortably at Antares and puts an arm around her waist, half possessively, half protectively.
Furud glances uncomfortably at Maia's arm and takes another drink.
Antares "No, I think it's a great idea. We didn't really finish talking, last time." Antares squeezes Maia's shoulders a little too tightly.
Maia "Maybe you should, uh, give him time to recover from your last little discussion."
Furud turns away and leans his forehead against the wall. "Yeah you guys should go together." He says between swigs.
Maia glances at Furud and shrinks into herself.
Antares looks between Furud and Maia and her face clears a bit. She slumps onto the couch. "I'll stay away from him," she says softly. "I just dunno what to do, guys."
Maia 'Yeah. Welcome to my world."
Furud turns around and slides down the wall into a crouch, leaning back against it. "Shit I dunno either. Know anyone who can wipe memories? We could go back to being ignorant teens again, it'd be great."
Antares "If I do, I don't remember 'em."
Antares After a few seconds of uncomfortable silence, Antares says, "Hey, I've got an awesome idea."
Maia "Oh shit."
Furud grunts, his eyes closed.
Antares pushes herself up to the couch and heads to the door a little unsteadily, pausing with her hand on the knob and staring at the wood grain.
Maia "Wait wait wait. What's the idea? Can we come?"
Antares "Let's head back to the party and pretend that Maia never spied on anyone, Furud will find what he's looking for someday, and I never set a bus on fire."
Antares The door bangs against the wall behind her.
Maia pauses, then: "What are you looking for, Furud?"
Maia "I'm really curious now."
Furud shakes his head. "I don't know. All I know is that there's something missing. Or someone." His fingers reflexively brush the torc that's half-hidden beneath the costume. "You know the saying 'reach for the stars?' Well I'm reaching back."
Maia "That's deep."
Maia "Furud, I'm..."
Maia "I'm sorry."
Furud "For what."
Maia "This...thing...I dunno."
Furud looks up at her, then away. "Whatever."