Antares After detention, which Antares spent carefully on the opposite side of the room from Furud, Maia's phone rings.
Maia glances over to her bag, then scrambles across the school roof, which she's climbed up to illictly, and answers. "What up, superstar?"
Antares "Detention's out. Mind if I come over?" She wants to have this talk face-to-face.
Maia "Sure. You wanna come up on the roof? Sunset's pretty soon. Take the back left fire stairs out of the gym, the alarm doesn't work."
Antares "K," Antares says and hangs up. A couple of minutes later, she steps out onto the roof. She looks a bit wrung-out, less of a spring in her step than usual.
Maia springs up. "How're you? Watch out, don't step on the black stripes."
Antares glances down curiously, stepping over them as directed. "I'm okay," she says. "Furud and I almost knocked the shit out of each other earlier."
Maia "Geez, what about? I thought you guys were getting along."
Antares She drops her bag, drops her coat on it, and steps to the edge of the roof, standing with her arms outspread to the waning sunlight. "We were before I broke his cousin's fingers." Her back is turned, and her expression is difficult to read from her voice.
Maia pauses at length, then crosses the roof, stepping across the black stripes, and comes up behind Antares...but not TOO close. "Yeah. That was pretty...I mean, I wasn't...is she going to be all right?"
Antares shrugs. "Guess so." She has her eyes closed, tilting her face to catch the breeze. Still without turning, she points back to her jacket a few steps away. "Left front pocket."
Maia heads back carefully and reaches into her jacket. "I've still got her backpack. I'm not sure what to do with it...."
Antares Inside is a bottle of Seroquel. "I don't need them, and I don't take them, but those fucks at the Academy pulled strings for the prescription." She rocks up on her toes, opening her eyes to watch as the sun starts to set. "I've been expelled twice for fighting."
Maia "What do they do?"
Maia comes back and steps to the edge, next to Antares, still holding the bottle.
Maia "I didn't...expect you to do that to her."
Antares "It's an antipsychotic. Like I said, it's bullshit." Antares looks over at Maia, her face unreadable. "What were you expecting me to do?"
Maia meets her eyes, then drops them, opening the bottle and looking inside. "I dunno. I mean...you were really pissed at her, huh?"
Antares turns and walks a few seconds along the edge of the roof as she speaks, balancing as surely as she did on the church roof. "You're my best friend," she says. She turns around again. "I get angry a lot. It got worse once I got sent to the Academy."
Maia "You're my best friend too, Antares. Maybe my only friend." She takes a couple steps, wobbling, and stops.
Maia "What happened up there? Did you see Miss Rose when she was teaching there?"
Antares "I know how this is gonna sound, but they weren't trying to help. They wanted me to get deeper into... whatever it is that's been happening to me since the bridge. They set up the prescription when I left, so it'd look like I..."
Antares shakes her head. "I'm telling you because I don't have a good reason for what I did to Polaris, and because I thought I'd gotten away from this shit by coming back here, but it's still hanging around my neck."
Antares "And I need you to tell me about Mr. Henley."
Maia darkens at the mention of the bridge, remembering the conversation they had after practice.
Maia Then she darkens even MORE when Mr. Henley comes up.
Maia "What about him?"
Antares takes a calm step backward, not even looking behind herself. "I'll back you all the way, Maia. You know that. If it's going to take me to a bad place, that's okay, I'd just like to know why."
Maia drops to her knees, leaning over the edge of the roof, her voice almost inaudible. "When that stuff...when it happens to you...do you hear the music more? Or less?"
Antares "It gets louder every time."
Maia "Mr. Henley...wanted to help me. He was excited, about what I could do."
Maia "That's why I was always staying late after school and working with him."
Maia "He told Mr. Johnstone. And Mr. Johnstone decided to get rid of him."
Antares tilts her head, putting two and two together. "Sonofabitch."
Maia "Polaris was right. I did lie."
Antares looks down at Maia sharply. "What did Johnstone have on you?" She shifts forward as another thought strikes her. "Or did he say he'd hit Henley harder if you didn't play along?"
Maia "It's Mom."
Antares takes two steps back toward Maia and hunkers down, looking at her steadily and indifferent to the edge they're both hanging over. "What about her?"
Maia "Do you remember when she died?"
Antares "I remember." Antares' hand makes a brief movement, like she wants to reach out, but she stops herself to let Maia finish.
Maia looks up finally. "She didn't."