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Antares 2:13 AM, text message on Furud's phone: "3rd st church now punk".

Furud blinks and looks at his phone, not recognizing the number. "Well who the hell...?" He turns away from the computer, and grabs one of Ty's knives that he hadn't given back. He slips it in his back pocket and heads over to the church, looking around cautiously.

Antares is leaning against a tree, contemplating the roof. She scuffs her foot at Furud's approach. "Hey."

Furud squints at her in the dim light. "What do you ... " he stops and stares for a minute. "An TA Res??"

Antares grins hugely. "Fu RUD?. Got your number from Maia."

Furud runs over and squeezes her in a huge hug! "Wow, nobody told me you were back!" He remembers his image and steps away a little, trying to regain his cool. "Yeah..so... whatcha been up to?"

Antares squeezes back, hard, then takes a critical look at him as he steps back. "Getting transfered, mostly." She touches her throat to indicate his torc. "I like it."

Furud grins easily. He's gotten handsome, since last time they'd met, five years ago, and more self-assured. "It's star-metal." He looks her up and down appreciatively. "I almost didn't recognize you -- you look different."

Antares isn't sure what to say to that, so she snorts. "I haven't changed much. Nobody does." She looks away. "They still keep that cheap-ass lock on the trapdoor to the roof?"

Furud sticks his hands in his pockets and leans back a little, "Oh sure. Remember back when we couldn't actually get through that thing?" He laughs. "Then you got that book on locksmithing, and we read it while our parents were asleep."

Antares "One of my better ideas. So what's starmetal?" She pats the pockets of her army jacket, extracts a couple of cheap beer cans, offers him one.

Furud takes the beer and cracks it open. "Do you remember The Hole?" He moves towards the church's back door, which is never locked.

Antares follows, slipping inside after him. "Yeah, sure. The spot we used to tell everyone was haunted?"

Furud closes the door behind them and heads up the rickety stairs, skipping the squeaky ones, "Yep. Turns out that it's really a crater." He grabs the ladder from the ceiling and pulls it down, then gestures. "After you, milady."

Antares "I'll milady my foot up your ass," Antares says as she climbs the ladder, but she smiles. "Wait, so you found a meteor or something?"

Furud smirks and follows her up, admiring the view. "Yeah. After I found this, I climbed all the way to the bottom. There was this big scorched rock thing in the middle. It was all shattered, though. There wasn't much there."

Antares squeezes out the opening to the roof, then scoots to the crest of the roof and cracks her beer open. Looking up at the sky, she says, "Long way to fall."

Antares "What do you think it means?"

Furud leans back against the steeple and looks upwards. "It means... I don't know. But we're special. Different from the Sleepers, that's for sure." He puts his foot back against the wall of it, "Unless you ask Merope."

Antares "What's Merope say?"

Antares "She's touchy about you."

Furud "Merope says we're not special. Just different. She just wants to be like everybody else." He shrugs and falls silent, looking up at the stars.

Antares "Not gonna work," Antares says, taking a swig. She looks over at Furud. "Remember the bet?"

Furud remembers his beer and takes a few seconds to drain about a third of it. "How could I forget?"

Antares Looking up again, she says, "I said I could get across blindfolded because I could just tell where to go. You said prove it, and then I fell and broke my arm." She shuts up to drink for a second. "When I told you afterward I'd slipped, I was lying."

Furud "You jumped?"

Antares "It sounds bad when you say it that way."

Furud "Why'd you do it?"

Antares "It was... okay, you're gonna laugh and I'm gonna hit you. It was working too well. I got scared, and I figured I knew how to stop."

Furud runs his hand back through his hair, and looks down, remembering the sound of her hitting the ground. "Shit, next time you get scared don't jump off things. You could have died... because of me."

Antares laughs and drinks. "Furud, I swear to god if you ever try to take responsibility for me, I will go straight to Maia and tell her what a mush you're being." She stands, finishes her beer, stops laughing. "Anyway, I know it's dumb, but I always felt bad for lying to you. So, sorry."

Furud "Don't you dare!" He breaks out of his memories and shakes his head, smiling wryly. "Apology accepted... can you still do it?"

Antares "Yeah." Antares turns to face him square, sets the empty can on her head, and puts her hands over her eyes. She takes several steps toward Furud, feet stepping surely along the narrow peak. She stops in front of him, twirls quickly, and opens her eyes with a laugh as the can falls. "Oops."

Furud 's hand shoots out and grabs the can before it hits the roof, and he offers it back to her. "You know," he says gravely, "you shouldn't litter. It's naughty."

Antares "And you know all about naughty, huh?" Antares grins at him, mockingly.

Furud laughs, finishes his beer, and drops it off the roof. "Damned straight I do."

Antares squeezes her can suddenly, crumpling it, then drop-kicks it off into the night. "Anyway, you got shit to do, I got shit to do. But I wanted to say hi before you ran into me at school." She looks at him seriously. "Still friends?"

Furud "Still friends," he replies quietly. Then he smiles again, "Listen, don't get kicked out of school this time okay?"

Antares thinks about it for a second. "No promises, but I'll try."

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< HSoS 66 | H So S Timeline | HSoS 52 >