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Toby Aldebaran

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#21 Toby Aldebaran

Toby Aldebaran

Posted 17 September 2013 - 04:04 AM

It was easy for Toby to skim right over the good things the guy had done. Not the night he'd done them, of course; at that time he'd felt strangely grateful for his presence, as he knew none of that could've been done without him and the others. Just because he was grateful for that one thing, though, didn't mean he approved of the guy hooking up with his cousin just because he could (as that was how he saw it), and as such it was easy to forget the better details of it. Like the fact that he appeared to care, and that Melli appeared to care deeply for him in return. That they seemed good for each other.


So for the most part he didn't understand Callie's hesitance to help him. It was a simple matter, right? Prevent Melli from getting into trouble-- as that was, inevitably, how Toby saw it. Had he thought through it, he might have realized that there weren't any guys good enough for some of his cousins. He always envisioned Melli with some cello-playing nerd, Miranda with some super nice guy (her age, mind you), and Cricket with-- well, no one. She was a different matter altogether and he'd be damned if something like this happened with her.


He waited, eyebrows raised curiously, for her to finish what she was saying. "She stabbed a dinner table with a knife when she got overly upset. Her decision-making when she's kind of 'emotional' hasn't been all that great, not sure if you've noticed." He wasn't giving his cousin enough credit; honestly he hadn't seen her in a moment where she had to make a real, clear decision. And he knew nothing of her relationship and the difficulty she had in accepting her feelings for the guy, either. He just assumed she wasn't capable of handling herself.


Toby sighed in exasperation as she said she wouldn't try to hook her up, but he nodded nonetheless. "Fine, you don't have to do that. But let me fuckin' know when he shows up somewhere, okay? Or if she seems upset. Especially if she seems upset." The thought of that alone broke his heart. Perhaps, if he really thought about it, he'd know why; between her and Miranda, they were the heart of the family at all. In a way he was afraid that if one of them was fractured, the entire structure of their family would be as well.


He seemed completely taken aback by the idea of not telling his sister. "What?" He asked incredulously, shaking his head. "No no no, man, you don't get it. My sister and I, we're--" A unit. One and the same. The protectors of the family. All of that shit sounded so stupid in his head, so he kept it buried back, falling silent and shaking his head. "How am I not supposed to tell her? She's gonna react badly either way, and I mean-- she's gotta help me out too." There was something she said that got to him, though, and he paused for a second, brow furrowed even if he didn't look happy to be thinking it. "What do you mean by a clusterfuck?"


#22 Guest_Callie Sutters_*

Guest_Callie Sutters_*

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:21 AM

Much like before at the campsite there was something about that overprotective side of Toby that surprised her completely. The more and more time she spent around him the more Callie realized that she'd really misjudged him quite a bit. The more and more time that spent around him the more she wanted to be his friend, too, and the more that she saw those similarities between the two of them. Had she been told this when they first met, when he'd pissed her off in the student center and she'd had to walk away she would have laughed her fucking head off.


But now, now that she'd spent so much damn time around him, now that he was sitting there across the table from her actually wanting to be friends and showing a side of himself that she would have never guessed him to have originally, well, now she didn't think that she couldn't be friends with Toby. Weird, really, as he definitely wasn't the sort of person she'd befriend on her own but neither did she regret it, either. He was pretty fucking cool even if he did frustrate her sometimes.


Though admittedly, she liked that side of him, too. Odd as it was there was something about that attitude of his that she enjoyed. Maybe it was the constant flirting banter that the two of them carried on so damn often, Callie would have been lying through her teeth if she said that it wasn't something she found strangely fun. Hardly did she realize what she was doing though, and it was all perfectly harmless to her. This side of him though, she liked it, even if she found him to be a bit too overprotective and misplaced in his worries. It made it easy for her to give in, to be honest.


"To be fair, Brandon was an asshole," she told him, lips pressed together as she remembered that all too well. Shit. Melli wasn't inherently frightening but she'd been pissed off to say the least. "And yeah, she's fucking emotional, but she's got good judge of character you can't deny that. Maybe the guy's not so bad. I mean..." she'd been about to say that just because he was Kappa sponsor didn't mean he was a tool but she'd been adamantly against her brother joining Kappa in the first place so that really wasn't the best way to convince Toby.


Instead, she shrugged, giving in to at least one of his requests. That wouldn't be so bad. Truth be told it was something she would have looked out for anyway. Melli was one of her closest friends at the school save for Cricket so of course she wanted to make sure the girl didn't get hurt. "I will, alright, I'll let you know if anything happens. I'll look out for her as much as I can, dude, I promise." 


Callie still didn't know the extent of Toby's relationship with his sister. Her and Brennan were close sure, but they didn't tell each other everything. From the sound of it though, Toby and her were close so she could understand his hesitation but she still shook her head. "Close?" She asked, finishing his sentence. "I get that but...whatever her reaction's gonna be, it's still none of your business. S'not your place, dude, it's Melli's and just...imagine the sort of reaction she'd have if your sister blows up on her because you told her. Can you need to trust Melli enough to tell people on their own terms, it's just gonna get everyone mad at each other."

#23 Toby Aldebaran

Toby Aldebaran

Posted 17 September 2013 - 07:09 AM

The idea of not telling Nat was simply unacceptable to Toby. There wasn't a single thing in his life that he'd hidden from her, and there'd never really been anything she held from him, either; even the knowledge that she was gay was something he'd known for a long time. There was something in her general attitude, in the look in her eye during one of their dad's rougher sermons, the way she seemed to be more fascinated with the idea of a Disney princess than a Disney prince-- it was all telling, and he knew long before she told him. When she did it was a relief but just a formality, and in the end they'd grown closer for it.


This was a smaller matter, so he had no idea why in the world she wouldn't be the first person he came to. He'd done so with that dinner just a couple of months back; she was always the first person he texted when something went on with his family. They were a unit. They took care of the family together, and as much as he could be a cocky asshole, he didn't make a single decision without her. It wasn't up to him to decide whether or not she could handle it. The fact of the matter was that he couldn't go this without her.


When that thought occurred to him, he realized that he wanted to tell Nat for mostly selfish reasons. Her anger would downplay his; while yes, he wanted to make it known that he didn't approve of the relationship, he also didn't want to be the asshole of the family. Which would undoubtedly happen if Nat wasn't involved-- not that she was the asshole of the family, so much as when they bound together as a unit it was easier for them to be that way. But now that he was older he could see the flaw in that thought process. They were all adults; no one needed policing and it was perhaps a little immature for him to run off and tattle to his sister.


Still, the idea didn't settle well and it was clear by the sour expression on his features. What she said made a lot of sense; Nat would take it much worse if she didn't hear it from Melli directly. And he remembered fully well how Melli reacted to him finding out by accident in the first place; she made it more than clear that this guy wasn't going anywhere. Perhaps he was starting to think along the right lines, if only for a moment, in the sense that they had to accept this sooner or later. And the only way for Nat to do that was to find out through Melli herself, not through him.


It was difficult to resign himself to do, considering he was so goddamn against the relationship in the first place that the last thing he wanted to do was show respect for it. But it was showing respect for Nat too, wasn't it? It wasn't as if he was being dishonest with her; he was just waiting until she knew so they could bitch together. And maybe plan that guy's demise, who knew. Regardless, he gave a long sigh and looked off to the side in exasperation, shaking his head as if he was absolutely put out by Callie even suggesting it.


"Whatever," he said, though it was clear by the way he spoke that he'd resigned. "If Melli doesn't fucking buck up and tell her by the end of the month I'm doing it myself." There was a childish part of him that wanted to pack up his tray quickly and leave dramatically, but instead he managed to compose himself. Senior year, after all, he needed to act his age. Rubbing the back of his head, he started to release some of the tension in his shoulders, looking more exhausted than anything else. Honestly there was just too goddamn much on his plate sometimes-- Kappa shit, football, this stupid family-- and it might have shown a little in his features there. "Just make sure you're there for her if it goes sour, okay? I don't... I don't know. She's a good kid."


#24 Guest_Callie Sutters_*

Guest_Callie Sutters_*

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Posted 17 September 2013 - 11:52 AM

Despite the fact that she'd never really had a confidante like Toby had, Callie understood the need to tell his sister. Why he needed to she didn't really know but the fact that he seemed so damn close to her, close enough to tell the girl everything wasn't all that hard to get a grasp on. She'd never had that sort of person in her life, not someone she told everything to, but had she, she would have felt a similar way to him. Maybe it was why she could take such a different stance on it, too, as she didn't feel the need to tell someone like he did, so she was able to talk him out of it easier. 


And she was glad she had, too. Now it wasn't just a matter of her caring about Melli, though yes, she cared about her friend a great deal and didn't want to see her get hurt in whatever this relationship was. But, well, she cared about Toby, too, and neither did she want to see him anger his cousin and get in over his head with something that was ultimately not his business in the end. The only thing she could do at this point was try and stay neutral. On neither person's side, even though she was already wondering if she'd ruined that by agreeing to keep an eye on the girl.


But it wasn't as if she was doing something terribly wrong in the end. She had just said she'd do it for his family after all. Especially after his agreement to look out for her brother and yes, the whole idea of Melli in a relationship--in a relationship with someone so much older than her no less--was not only difficult to grasp but could be a little bit anxiety inducing if you really thought about it. He was a professor and there was that whole authority stigma attached to it even though she was no longer worked for him in any way, shape or form.


There was another, smaller and definitely more hidden part of her that found the whole thing...well kind of fucking romantic. This was a part of herself that she would hardly dare to admit aloud as she always wanted to be viewed as that person that didn't really see relationships as something necessary but Callie was without a doubt a closet romantic and that sort of thing, well, it got to her. She couldn't help but wonder some of the details of their relationship as yes, she'd seen even from a far how he'd been with her friend at the campsite.


That was something that she hardly needed to touch on though and she just wanted to leave it at that. She'd look after Melli to Toby. Christ that was a little fucked up when she really thought about it but it was the least she could do. She wouldn't meddle after all. Only look from a far. She nodded at his words, relieved that he seemed to finally agree with her. Almost. "Yeah, alright. That's fair I guess. Just y'know, wait. I'm sure Melli'll tell your sister and everyone else soon and then you two can talk about it. But in the meantime, I'll make sure everything's going alright and I'll tell you if it isn't."


The expression on his face actually made her a little sad. She felt a little bad for him, too, and yet again she was finding herself seeing another side of Toby that she hadn't before. Callie offered him another sympathetic smile. "If anything ends up badly, I'll be there for her. Don't worry, man."

#25 Toby Aldebaran

Toby Aldebaran

Posted 17 September 2013 - 05:40 PM

It was, at least, a relief to have some sort of help out of Callie. While it wasn't exactly what he wanted, it was something nonetheless, and he was sure she was the only person he could recruit outside of his family to help. He was well aware that Melli didn't have any friends aside from Callie and Autumn, and he was also well aware that Autumn was the type that would accidentally spill the beans in 2.5 seconds. Callie seemed to be a better secret keeper, or at least he hoped, and besides-- he didn't owe her anything in the end. They were just looking out for each other, right?


What a radical turn that had taken over the course of the summer-- he remembered all too well how much he despised her in the beginning, yet here they were, confiding in one another. Entrusting one another with the wellbeing of people very dear to them. It screeched close friendship, though he realized he didn't know much about Callie aside from her competitive nature, her unabashed geekiness, how she didn't take shit, and, well, now the fact that she was protective over her brother. Past that he was clueless.


It occurred to him that maybe he should get to know her better, but the thought was fleeting; Toby didn't get to know anyone better. That wasn't to say he didn't have friends, as he did and many of them, but rarely did he open up to anyone outside of his family. Why he'd even thought for a second that this redhead might be an exception was beyond him, but it was an easy thought to drop and as such he bounced back, remembering the actual subject matter at hand.


"Yeah, whatever." Maybe he needed to thank her, but clearly it wasn't about to tumble from his lips anytime soon. He wasn't about to thank her for talking him out of telling his sister, anyway, as it was clear that he wasn't so cool with that bit. But he wouldn't do it-- somehow she'd successfully done so. Shit. Quickly he jotted down his number on a napkin and slid it towards her. "Text that. So I've got your number and I can tell you what the hell your brother's doing and you can tell me how Melli's doing."


He didn't find anything odd about that. It made perfect sense to exchange numbers. With that he rose, packing up his tray, though he didn't huff off dramatically like a childish part of him wanted to. Instead he paused for a second by his seat, observing Callie curiously before nodding his head. "Gotta get to class. See you 'round." After that he was gone, walking all too quickly to toss out his food, as there was something about that conversation that was getting too uncomfortable for his liking.


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