Furud exits Merope's kitchen with a cross between a grin and utter confusion on his face. He wanders through the party, hoping that Mero's given up on that 'you stay on HEKA'S side' thing.
Merope is surrounded by a gaggle of girls, a glass of something in hand. She is laughing about something. They're all dressed as various movie stars, with varying degrees of sluttiness.
Merope has had her hair dyed blonde and curled for the occasion.
Furud spies her and waves, looking her up and down with a grin. Oh and checking to make sure she's "grounded" and all that. Yeah that's it. He's wearing a Caesar-style toga, and the way he moves with something that's either more swagger or more stagger indicates his level of sobriety.
Merope "OhmiGod Rochelle that is the cutest necklace! Where'd you get it?"
Rochelle "Well, I..." her eye is caught by Furud waving, and she glares at him. "Oh, UGH. Merope, jerk alert."
Merope "Huh? Oh, Furud... yeah."
Merope looks a little uncomfortable.
Furud s(t/w)aggers over to the girls and grins. "Hey ladies!"
Merope "Oh, hey Furud...." Merope glances between the girls and Furud, unsure of herself.
Rochelle "Hi, Furry. It is Furry, right?" Rochelle's voice is icy-sweet enough for an entire pint of Ben & Jerry's.
Furud "Furud, yeah." He offers an ice cold bottle of beer to her. "Great party huh?"
Merope "Did... did you want something, Furud?"
Rochelle rolls her eyes and starts drifting toward a group of cooler people.
Furud "Uh." He looks at the girls. He squints at one of the girls... sure he's seen her somewhere before. "You know, it can wait or something. Too crowded here."
Merope "Is it, uh... important?" She puts lots of spin on the word "important", the auditory equivalent of a knowing nudge in the ribs.
Furud weighs this, "Kind of?" He takes a swig of beer. "I just have a couple questions you might know the answers to."
Merope "Oh... well, if it's important..." She turns back to the already dwindling grou of girls. "Um, catch you girls later, yeah?"
Merope A few girls smile as she departs, Furud trailign behind. There's a certain amount of amused whispering as soon as she seems out of earshot: "Hey, I thought they broke up?"
Merope reaches a corner which is a little quiter, although the music is still loud.
Furud leans against the wall and fixes his laurel crown. "So. You're a girl, right?" He rubs his forehead, and the grin fades a little. "I need some advice."
Merope stares at him, slightly unsteadily. "Wait... you're asking me for girl advice?"
Merope "Like... advice about girls?"
Furud "Uh. Yeah."
Merope "So you want relationship advice, from me, Merope, on my birthday. And this didn't strike you at all as being a really bad idea?"
Furud "I thought we were friends again!"
Merope gives him a look, as steady as she can manage. "Well... we are. I guess. I dunno. It's complicated, isn't it?"
Furud "Yeah..." He thinks back to what Pol said and cringes a little. "uh. Happy birthday!"
Merope raises her eyebrows at him slightly, but then smiles in an amused way. "Gee. Thanks."
Merope She sighs. "You may as well tell me. You were going to anyway."
Furud "Well it's Antares." He closes his eyes and takes another drink of beer. "I can't figure her out at all. First we're friends, then she wants to punch me, then we're friends again and maybe I think we can be more, you know? And then like, there's that whole thing with Maia, and like does she love her back? I DON'T KNOW!
Merope absorbs this silently.
Furud takes a deep breath and goes on, "And then we're in the kitchen and Pol is telling me to uh.." He looks guiltily at Merope. "Well then we're looking at the katana and Antares trips and I catch her and.. I'm looking into her eyes, and she kisses me right? And I think that's great, and then she freaks out and pretends like nothing happens and then she DOES IT AGAIN and runs out of the room, and I don't know what to think anymore."
Furud "Why are girls so WEIRD?"
Furud is by this time a particularly distraught shade of red.
Merope looks at him for a few seconds, then down at her drink.
Merope There's a small pause, and then she downs the entire thing in a gulp.
Merope winces as whatever it was goes down. She blinks, slowly.
Merope "Furud." She speaks calmly, like the water before a shark attack. "What were you looking to get out of this conversation?"
Merope "Oh yes. That's right, you said."
Furud eyes her. "You told me to tell you."
Merope She leaves another pause here, staring absently down at her glass as if drunkenly willing it full again.
Furud "Can I get you another drink?"
Furud grabs the glass and exits as fast as possible.
Merope looks stunned, but just accepts it, and stands there dumbly for a while.
Furud comes back, somewhat more slowly, with Mero's favorite drink. And a little umbrella sticking out of it.
Merope is still staring at the floor when he returns, but looks up. "Oh. You're back."
Furud "Yeah. OK look, before you say anything, I know this was a stupid idea. I'm sorry. I just needed someone to talk to, and I used to be able to talk to you about everything, and you always gave me really great advice, except for that thing with the cat, but that was different. And you're with Ras, so you're IN a relationship, and you know...
Merope seems to be focusing about an inch in front of Furud's actual face. She takes the drink without looking and takes a gulp.
Furud "I'm sorry. I'll go now. Should I go now?"
Merope puts up a hand.
Merope "Furud.... no, stay. But, shut up for a few seconds, ok?"
Furud opens his mouth and then closes it and just nods.
Merope rubs her forehead meditatively with her free hand, and takes another sip.
Merope "Okay. Um. So, you and Antares."
Merope She pauses, unsure what part of the whole thing to tackle first.
Merope "So... you... like her back, right? I mean, you said..."
Furud nods solemnly, looking a bit lost.
Merope nods. "Right." She drinks, again.
Merope "So you. And Antares." She pauses. "Okay."
Merope "So, she kissed you. Or you kissed her. There was kissing. Of you. The two of you."
Furud nods again. This isn't going how he'd planned at ALL.
Merope "Well, that's... that's fine. Nice. Good, even."
Merope "Um... but she didn't seem.. happy?"
Furud "She said uh it was a problem. But then she did it again."
Merope "When did all of this even happen?"
Furud "Um tonight."
Merope "Just now?"
Furud nods again.
Merope "Just now. And so you came straight to me."
Furud "Seriously if you want to punch me just do it. I can't take this."
Merope "Furud... if I'd wanted to punch you I would have." She sighs. "She ran off, right? You didn't, what, follow her maybe? Ask her what was up?"
Furud "I thought she needed uh space."
Merope "Right. And you needed to pick you ex-girlfriend's brain about how women are crazy."
Merope looks around her. "The wonderful thing is, it all makes sense in your head, doesn't it? It really does."
Furud glares. "You TOLD me to tell you. I could have gone off and I don't know. Figured it out myself. Maybe I should. I'm SORry." It's true. women ARE crazy.
Merope She turns to face him. "Look, Furud, in a sick, sorry sort of a way, it's sweet that you came to me with this. But if you want to understand how Antares is feeling, the person to ask is Antares. That's my advice. Ok, sweetie?"
Furud runs his hand through his hair, knocking the laurel leaves askew. "Yeah... thanks I guess." He wanders off, slowly, towards the door to get outside.
Merope watches him go. "Good luck," she says, much to herself.