Furud , courage now fortified by a number of drinks which he can no longer count, lurks around waiting for Antares to walk off by herself. He'd been thinking about what Merope said, and, still confused about THAT whole encounter, just dwelled on the end.
Antares has short friendly conversations alternating with sullen silences, picks drinks up and then forgets them after a swallow, moves restlessly from group to group, and finally slinks off in the direction of a quiet part of the house.
Furud endeavors to make it look accidental that he is heading in the same direction, and catches up with her. "Oh hi!" he says a little too brightly. "Having fun?"
Antares When Antares sees Furud a panicked look flashes over her face. "Hey, I was just looking for the..." she fumbles the door behind her, opening onto an expensively furnished office/library "...hell. Uh, okay, I'm hiding." She avoids eye contact.
Furud looks past her into the office/library, "This seems like a good place for it."
Antares Antares shoots a look at Furud, trying to read his mood, and slips into the room. She curls up in one corner of the sofa, not her usual territory-grabbing sprawl. "Hey, um."
Antares "Thanks for the ginger ale earlier."
Furud follows her into the room, closing the door behind him to mute the raucous noise of the party. He moves towards the couch, then changes his mind and sits akwardly on a big, officious looking, not terribly comfortable chair a short distance away. "Hey, no problem." He grins, but his fingers play over the carved armrests nervously, and he tries to remember what he was going to say.
Antares Hunching her shoulders a bit, Antares says, "So who are you hiding from? Or..." she isn't sure how to finish that sentence, and she looks away.
Furud looks confused for a minute, then it becomes clear that he's thought of something clever to say. " 'Been hiding from m'self." He pauses and shifts a little. "Now 'm trying to... figure myself out. Figure you out."
Antares barks a laugh. "Waste of time. Not you, I mean. Knowing yourself is a good idea."
Furud "Stop that! Stop hating yourself. You're NOT a waste of time." he retorts earnestly, before he can stop himself.
Antares looks startled, then rallies. "I don't. I mean. Goddammit, Furud. Why can't you just believe me?"
Antares "Why do you always have to be like this?"
Furud "Like what?"
Antares "Like everything's okay, we can take on the world, all that bullshit. It's not. We can't."
Furud looks down and says quietly, "Maybe we can't win, but we have to try. To do /something./ Or else... or else why bother?"
Antares "Exactly. I was doing just fine at not bothering until they sent me back here." Antares looks like she didn't exactly mean to say that, and huddles a little deeper into the couch.
Furud "I'm sorry..." he says akwardly, looking away. "I thought you... liked being here. With us. With me." He finally turns to look at her, his voice finding anger instead. "I didn't mean to ruin your perfect life."
Antares opens her mouth to fire back an angry response, to put things back on their normal course. She chokes on it and turns her face away from him, shoulders shaking.
Furud glares at her for a bit, then his anger ebbs and he feels terrible again. "I..." He gets up and crosses the distance between them, kneeling in front of her on the couch. "Antares?"
Antares "It's okay if you want to shout at me," she says, unsteadily and still turned away. "I hit back, but shouting is okay."
Furud "I don't want to shout at you." He touches her shoulder, pulling her around to face him. "I want..." He leans in and kisses her.
Maia wanders into the room, looking for Antares, and finds her. She stares for a second, unsure of what to do, then says, "Furry! Get the hell off my girlfriend."
Furud turns suddenly, staring at Maia. "What the hell are you doing here?"
Maia "Looking for Antares. We have to go back on thirty seconds ago. What are YOU doing here?"
Maia looks pissed. "Try again."
Antares "Oh fuck." Antares half-stands from the couch, wiping her eyes.
Furud "You said thirty seconds ago."
Antares "I lost track of time," Antares says, looking like she's ready to bolt from the room at any second.
Antares "I was just looking for someplace quiet. I didn't mean to..."
Furud stands, fists clenched.
Maia positions herself for an angry speech, then stops, and sighs.
Antares looks from one to the other, trying to figure out who's mad at who exactly.
Maia "Does everything have to be this way, Furud?"
Furud , gearing up for a fight, is thrown off yet again by girls not continuing to yell at him today. "I don't... know! I don't even know what the fuck is going on anymore."
Maia "Yeah. Me neither."
Antares takes a deep breath. "It's my fault."
Furud sits down heavily on the couch, still warm from Antares' body heat.
Maia "No, it's not. It's us."
Antares "It is?"
Maia "I'm pretty sure."
Furud looks from one girl to the other. "So what do we do?"
Antares "Uh, I already suggested pretending everything was normal, and that didn't work so well."
Maia "I dunno."
Maia "I don't..."
Antares "I'm listening." Antares looks like she realizes she doesn't do that very often.
Maia "I think we need to talk about this more."
Maia "But I'm trying to talk about it NOW and it's not working."
Furud "Yeah." He says helpfully.
Antares "This is around the time I start to think about leaving, normally."
Antares "But I can't just do that with you guys."
Maia "Look, I love you. And Furud does too. So that's a problem."
Maia "There, I said it."
Maia "I feel better now."
Furud "Does it have to be a problem?"
Maia gives Furud a particularly female look he will come to know well in the years to come, assuming he lives. "What are you suggesting?" she responds blandly.
Antares leans on the couch, shoulders hunched, looking between the two of them like she's trying to find words for an explanation.
Furud "Well, I mean. If Antares wants to date both of us, why can't she?"
Maia "I..." Maia thinks about this, pretty sure there's a good reason why not.
Furud "We're all friends... right?"
Maia "Yes. I think so. Yes."
Antares looks even more skittish than before, but nods.
Furud looks at Antares. "Do you want to... try it?"
Maia "Wait. I don't..."
Antares "There's this thing where all of my exes hate me. I mean really, you would be amazed."
Maia "You can't date two people at once. It doesn't work. Then what if they both needed you at the same time?"
Furud "Most of mine do too."
Furud "Then you all go to the same place."
Furud shrugs. "Already going."
Maia "What if they both needed you in DIFFERENT places?"
Furud "what would you do if your two best friends both needed you in DIFFERENT places?"
Maia glares. "I dunno. It hasn't happened yet."
Furud "Well it's the same thing, isn't it?"
Maia "Is it? Is it REALLY?"
Furud "Uh huh"
Maia storms up at this, close to tears.
Maia "I don't...fuck."
Maia "Do what you want."
Maia half stumbles, half runs out of the room.
Antares takes two steps toward the door, looks back at Furud.
Antares "This is all my fault."
Furud starts after Maia himself, and stops when Antares speaks. "No. It's all of us."
Antares "But I don't know how to FIX IT."
Antares "We have to find her."
Furud nods. "Let's go."