< HSoS 66 | High School Of Scenes | HSoS 68 >

< HSoS 64 | H So S Timeline | HSoS 72 >

Furud collects the broken pieces of his pencils, which he has arranged into artful patterns out of boredom after skimming through the test, filling out a few that he knew the answers to, and then filling the rest of them with C. He ambles to the head of the class and dumps the test in the stack, and heads out the door, waiting for Antares to come out.

Antares comes out calling over her shoulder, "Yeah, later" to someone. She doesn't break stride when she sees Furud, but raises her eyebrows at him inquiringly.

Furud jerks a thumb towards the roof, and raises a brow.

Antares doesn't even bother nodding, just swerves in the direction of the appropriate door.

Furud follows her up.

Antares On the roof, Antares reassumes her earlier slouching spot, looking at Furud with a clear 'whatever it is, I'm not going to start it for you' expression.

Furud walks over to the low wall that surrounds the roof's edge and perches on it, looking out over the football field. "How'd it go?"

Antares "What? Oh, okay I guess. Square grids aren't my favorite."

Furud "I know the feeling. I hate these stupid tests."

Antares shrugs. "I'd rather show up than fight with Mom about it, anyway."

Furud laughs, "Mine thinks I could be 'college material if I would just shape up and pay attention.' "

Antares grins. "Mine too. Denial's not just a river in Egypt, huh?"

Furud "Nope." He turns, looking over at Antares. "Speaking of."

Antares The warmth goes out of Antares' face like a snuffed candle. She just looks at him.

Furud "I read your file," he says carefully. "Looking for things Johnstone shouldn't know."

Antares doesn't move a muscle, but her face goes several degrees stonier. "And?"

Furud looks distinctly uncomfortable, and he turns away again, voice going a little distant. "He had a few theories. About the bridge."

Antares "Oh, so now you want to talk about that?" Antares' voice is quiet, her eyes glittering at his back.

Furud "Yeah."

Antares "Huh. 'Cause when you didn't have Johnstone's files backing you up, you didn't have a whole lot to say. That's fucking fascinating."

Furud shakes his head. "I saw what happened when you got mad yesterday."

Antares "Yeah? What did you see?" If he's not paying attention, Furud might even miss the slight rustle of her rolling to her feet, padding two steps closer to him.

Furud "People got hurt. Johnstone I don't care about."

Antares With one long stride Antares is up on the low wall next to Furud, looking at him with a strange gleam in her eyes. "That makes two of us," she says.

Furud "So what do you want to do about it?"

Furud glances her way

Antares tilts her head at Furud. "Do?"

Furud "Do." He rocks back on his heels. "So you don't hurt the wrong people by accident."

Antares Something flickers through Antares' eyes too fast to identify. "What makes you think I want to talk about this?"

Furud "Nothing. But I think you need to."

Antares "Why? You think I have the answers you're looking for? You didn't find it in the files, so let's bait Antares a little more and see if that unravels the great fucking mysteries of existence?" She faces him, fists clenched in the usual 'talking to Furud' posture.

Furud looks up at her, confused for a moment, but not rising to meet her anger. "Well sure if you've got answers to life's mysteries, I'm all ears. But I mostly thought you might want to learn a few tricks I've taught myself. To stay in control. Mostly."

Antares leans down, her face inches from Furud's. "You can't /fix/ me," she says softly, "because I'm not /broken/."

Antares A flicker runs through her fingers, a snatch of the earlier melody with Johnstone.

Furud tenses slightly, looking up at her. "I didn't say you were broken. If you don't want my help, that's fine." He looks away again. "Just try not to leave too many scars."

Antares Looking away, Furud doesn't see the shattered expression on Antares' face as she pulls back, or the mask that slams in to replace it. "Find another project," she says in an empty voice, and then her footsteps are scuffing away across the rooftop.

Furud looks up, and gets to his feet. "Antares..." He calls after her, his voice choked, then follows a few steps. "Wait."

Antares turns around, scanning Furud's face for something. "What do you want to know?" She pauses, one foot behind her in an arrested half-step back.

Furud is searching Antares' expression in turn, his own anguished, worried that he's driven her away, and suddenly unsure of himself. The question he really wants to ask has nothing to do with the past. He opens his mouth to ask, and instead, forces out the wrong one, "What happened?"

Antares opens her mouth, hands half-lifting as she tries to trace the shape of something she can't even name. "It was like... it was like being filled with light. So hard to keep it in." Her eyes are faraway, remembering.

Furud stays where he is, listening, watching her.

Antares Her eyes refocus on Furud, though she still looks like she's seeing him across some great distance. "You say we're special. Ras says keep shining. Do either of you ever stop to think that not all of us are going to turn into something wonderful?"

Antares "Anyway," she says, letting that thought pass with a wisp of a smile, "Johnstone surprised me. I know how hard he's willing to push, now."

Furud "Maybe," he says softly. He looks like he's going to say more, but shakes his head with a wistful look, then clears his throat. "I'm not sure what to think about Johnstone."

Antares "I think I need to talk to him," Antares says thoughtfully, then shakes herself and smiles almost like normal.

Antares The smile falters a bit as she considers Furud. "Look..."

Furud 's eyes flicker as he meets hers, then looks down.

Antares "What you said earlier." Antares swallows but doesn't look away. "You really think I'd do that to you?"

Furud hesitates, "No," he looks back at her, then his steady gaze falters. "Not on purpose. I just... after what happened with Maia, and you..." He takes a deep breath, "you love her, right? So you wouldn't hurt her on purpose."

Antares "Of course I do," Antares snaps to cover the hurt of his uncertainty. "She's my best friend."

Antares Then Furud can see the memory of scene in the hallway replaying in Antares head, can see the exact moment when she reaches what Maia said.

Furud "Your best friend," he echoes.

Antares The blood drains out of Antares' face. She looks at Furud, momentarily wordless.

Antares "She wouldn't... why would she..." she whispers.

Antares Then, "I have to go now."

Furud looks concerned, and relieved. "Are you okay?"

Antares looks at Furud like she can't hear him clearly and isn't sure she speaks the language, anyway. "I need to go," she repeats, then she spins around and heads for the stairs.