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Mr. Brightside

Raj Rangan Tidus Hendrix Melanie Sirius Toby Aldebaran

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#1 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:02 AM

Being with Pippa was easy. They fell into step naturally on the first day they met, and the friendship unfolded past that was expected and mutual. Rarely were people just as receptive as he was in friendships; not that he always knew that, as he could oftentimes be blind to the fact that he was clingy and not all people were okay with that, but thus far he'd encountered no hiccups with Pippa. She seemed to return his desire to hang out just as eagerly, and often she was the one inviting him places. 


As such he'd just started to show up unannounced to the bed and breakfast. Sometimes, anyway-- every now and then he'd remind himself of boundaries, as he knew he couldn't annoy her all the time. There was still an inherent fear of her getting sick of him and moving on after a while; it'd happened in past friendships, particularly those from childhood, and he knew all too well that people changed every day and he wasn't the sort of person to change with them. He'd only learned this through experience and careful observation, as these sorts of formalities didn't come naturally to him. When he told himself to stay away from people it was a conscious decision-- it was made out of respect for the other person rather than a need to be alone.


Not that he necessarily minded being alone, either. He was such a strange mixture of dependent and independent that it was hard to define him one way or the other. He was independent in the sense that he didn't need just anyone's approval; he was perfectly fine being who he was, and rarely did he have moments when he questioned that. He was independent in the sense that he didn't need constant entertainment, as he was perfectly fine with wasting away a Saturday night in front of the TV rather than going out in socializing. In fact he preferred it.


But he was dependent in that, when he did make a close friend, he was hard to shake. His love for a person was genuine and quick in that sense; while he wasn't terribly good at showing it all the time, it was evident in his constant desire to be around that person. It was evident in the way he just seemed to appear out of thin air, classic Raj stare in place, and oftentimes that was far too overwhelming for another person. As such he'd learned to tone it down over the years, and while he hadn't perfected the technique, he was at least navigating some healthy friendships. Like Pippa's, for instance.


There was something different about Pippa, though. The more he was around her the more he was aware of it; there was just something else with her that he didn't experience with his best friend, Josh. It was oddly domestic and pleasant and normal all at once, and while he hadn't quite placed what it was, he knew very well that she made him feel like he was genuinely wanted somewhere. Accepted. She made him feel normal, so to speak. So when she asked him to hang out it was always an easy decision-- yes-- though there might have been an eagerness to it that he didn't experience with others. Not that that showed on a surface level, no; from the outside he appeared to treat her the same as he did everyone else.


He didn't even pause at the door once he reached the bed and breakfast. Perhaps that disregard for formalities annoyed some, but he hardly noticed; besides, Pippa was expecting him. It took him all of five seconds to make it to the kitchen, where he stood off to the side, watching her quietly. He might have been a little too quiet, actually, as when he spoke next it broke the silence a little more abruptly than he anticipated. "What are we making today?"


#2 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 04:26 AM

Pippa would have been hard pressed to deny that she enjoyed Raj's company. She wasn't the sort of person who ever lied and that included about things like this and she wasn't about to start either. There was something about him and his presence and his unflinching honesty that she found refreshing and enjoyable to be around. The time that they spent together was easy, like they were old friends and she hardly if ever hesitated to invite him along to things whenever she had plans. In fact, despite the fact that she hadn't known him for very long she was starting to realize that besides Ruth, he was her first choice whenever she scrolled through her phone.


He was sweet. Incredibly so, and she'd noticed that right away. She'd also noticed that he wasn't like anyone else she'd met and that there was something underlying in the way he presented himself and the way he acted that she couldn't quite place her finger on. Whatever it was didn't necessarily bother her though as she quite liked Raj the way he was in the first place. Honest and upfront, observant and with hardly any reservations at all. He was so damn different to anyone she'd ever met and it was so nice to not hang around with someone who played fucking games.


Everyone was either too sensitive or too brash or too aggressive and she wasn't really equipped to deal with those sorts of personalities. They were exhausting and he somehow wasn't. She was hardly bothered by the fact that he was there all the time either and while usually some people, herself included, might have found that sort of clinginess exhausting and difficult to deal with, Pippa didn't mind at all. In fact, his presence was always welcome. He made the day that much more better by being around. Honestly, they were starting to become a bit of a unit and she didn't mind at all.


But if there was anything different about their friendship she'd yet to notice. Maybe it was the fact that he was so different that blinded her to that sort of thing as she didn't really see him as being that sort of person. They were friends, great ones, and that was okay. Though the fact that she wasn't sure if he was that type hardly ever stopped her from being as affectionate as she was with him. It was all too easy for her to reach over and loop her arm around his when they were walking together, or put her head on his shoulder when they were watching a movie. 


At first she'd realized after a few times that he wasn't too keen on physical contact, and she'd tried to hold back, too. But the more and more time that she spent around him the more she couldn't help herself. Little by little she'd started to initiate that contact. She always sought it out in him, though it was perfectly innocent and harmless on her part, that much was true, there was just something about being right there next to him that made her feel incredibly comfortable.


Although, honestly, that was his presence in general. It was why she invited him to do things like this as menial as they were. Sure, Pippa could cook a few meals all on her own, she didn't need help at all. But if Raj was willing to come along and assist, if he was willing to keep her company then she was definitely not someone that was going to protest at all. It made the day better for her in the end. And yeah, maybe she'd been anticipating his arrival since she'd gotten there and literally unloaded everything she'd bought all over that kitchen.


Her concentration was fully on the task at hand though and Raj breaking the silence admittedly did startle her a bit, she jumped, though she turned and smiled widely at him. "Hey! I didn't hear you come in!" She nodded towards one of the counters and raised her eyebrows. "I'm making a bunch of stuff for them to freeze. Easier you know? Since they're always working on the house they can just heat it up and have dinner. We might be here for awhile, hope you're up to it?"

#3 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 18 September 2013 - 05:11 AM

Raj had certainly noticed the physical contact. Perhaps that was one of the first things to separate his friendship with Pippa from his friendship with Josh; it went without saying that his best friend and roommate wasn't exactly getting cuddly while they were watching reruns of their favorite shows. In fact, Josh had probably picked up on the fact that Raj didn't even like to sit near a person by now, much less be in any sort of physical contact with them. Even if it was more acceptable with Pippa, in a way, he didn't accept it freely. Usually when she looped her arm with his he kept his stiff at his side, uncomfortable with it and unsure how to receive it, much less dish it out in return.


When she hugged him he wanted to hug her back every now and then, but it was difficult for him to do anything but stand there. From his observations over the years he'd learned that it was supposed to be comforting when someone made such a gesture, but he found it unnecessary and uncomfortable; someone could just say something rather than illustrate it like that. Kissing and hugging and touching made for emotional scenes on screen, certainly, but he couldn't say the same for himself. As such he felt guilty for not returning it, but she hardly seemed bothered by it. It wasn't rejection, after all, just... something he had to get used to.


And not once had he requested that she stop. For some reason, while he was uncomfortable and unsure how to receive it, he didn't exactly want her to. Again, he wasn't quite aware of what that meant in context, as he'd only ever seen people in a friendly light; he could appreciate that a person was beautiful in an aesthetic way, like he thought about Pippa, but never before had he felt something akin to actual feelings. So it was easy to assume that his friendship with her was different just because it was different, not because it had some other meaning to it.


Seeing her did brighten his day, though, and now was no exception as he smiled softly as she turned to him. "I guess I should have said hi," he said, tone as blank but strangely curious as always. His eyes scanned the current wreck that was the kitchen, fighting the urge to tidy it up behind her, as he knew she had it all where she wanted it. So instead he stepped forward, ready to offer his services. "Yep, up for it. What do you need me to do first?"


What she was doing was actually rather sweet. That occurred to Raj often while he was spending time with Pippa; even if she wasn't as obvious as Miranda or some of the others in her love for the family, it was undoubtedly present. She wasn't painting walls, no, but she was cooking dinners for Wes and Chase and being very helpful in the best way she knew. Perhaps that was why he offered to help so regularly, as in a way he wanted to be part of this family, too. He wanted to help them, not just her.


Somehow he didn't feel like an outsider around this family. There were enough people talking and milling about that he was perfectly content observing, anyway. Pippa was a nice security blanket, and slowly some of the other members of the family were starting to warm up to him too; not once had he ever felt truly uncomfortable in their presence. Which, of course, was exactly why he'd resigned to hang around the house way more often. It would only be a matter of time when he started to show up even without Pippa.


"What all are you making? Are the others here?" He listened closely for anyone else, but it appeared to be just them for now.


#4 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 05:33 AM

Again, she was completely aware of the fact that he didn't seem too comfortable with the whole physical contact thing. It was hard not to be aware of it, as she wasn't stupid or obtuse in any sense of the word. She could tell in the way he didn't necessarily return it when she did so, though this was hardly something that bothered her at all. While she wasn't exactly sure how Raj's inner mind worked, she knew at least that it wasn't like any others' and it was something that was hardly worth getting offended over. If he didn't want her around, if he didn't want her to do the things she did, he would have told her so.


And that was something she always appreciated in him. With anyone else, they lied right to her face and stated that they weren't bothered when in actuality they were. Had Raj been anyone else and Pippa had been just as affectionate and they wouldn't have returned it, she would have been offended, she would have been upset because she knew that the other person would have been lying to her about the way she acted and that above all things was something she never liked. The easiest way to get on Pippa Altair's bad side was to lie.


But with Raj it was easy not to fret. He was honest. Had been from the first moment she'd met him and there was no reason to believe otherwise. She knew without a doubt that she could count on him to tell her the truth, as his sort of openness came with the same brutal honesty that hers did. He didn't stop to think about being harsh or offensive, he didn't sugarcoat anything, much like she did, he spoke freely, from his mind without filtering a single thought and while some of the things he was prone to say could have been hurtful to some, she was glad that he was the way he was.


Besides, she knew he wanted to spend time with her and that was all that really mattered in the end. Even if he wasn't so keen on returning the affection she gave out--which was in her mind all friendly to begin with--there was no doubt in her mind that he liked hanging out with her. It was something she was used to already and she wasn't planning on stopping. Although, even though she wasn't offended or bothered by the whole thing, there was a part of Pippa that wondered if he would ever get used to it.


Although Ruth was her best friend, she knew that the blonde wasn't too keen on doing the whole cooking thing. She didn't much mind her cousin's laziness but she surely wasn't the one that she called whenever she took on a task like this. Besides, having Ruth in the kitchen was more of a hindrance than a help considering she'd just eat a bit off of everything before it made it's way into the oven. So it wasn't even a second thought to invite Raj over. "Next time, you're good at sneaking up on people you know." She waved it off though, as she wasn't too affected at all. If anything, she was happy to see him.


"You can dice up all of those tomatoes over there. And mince some garlic when you're done." She pointed to the counter again where she'd set the large bag of tomatoes and garlic, before turning back to the task at hand. This was something that had always come so naturally to her. Cooking was her passion and while she was being nice by doing these sorts of things for Chase and Wes, she couldn't lie and say that she didn't like coming over here and taking advantage of the kitchen space. Plus she got to do something she loved. This was her element after all. 


"Couple of different things. Enchiladas, lasagna, a few other pasta dishes, some vegetable soup. I'm making my own spaghetti sauce though, I have to start that first." At his question about others being here she stopped and shook her head. "It's just me and you, Chase and Wes are out." Though she'd almost forgotten about Melli. "Oh! Melli's coming over with Han Solo and some other guy. She's tutoring him, I told her we'd be here. That's okay right?"

#5 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 18 September 2013 - 06:51 AM

People were usually bothered by Raj's honesty. It wasn't your typical sort of honesty; it wasn't the kind that was delicate and careful, so much as blunt and sometimes abrasive. Not that he was the type of person who meant to be abrasive, never, but there was still no denying the fact that he came across that way on a regular basis. If someone asked for his opinion he gave it in the most upfront terms he could; he didn't dance around the truth, he didn't play any games. While others might have suggested careful constructive criticism to certain things, he just pointed out the flaws and yes, was alright with giving suggestions, but he didn't sugarcoat them. 


The fact that Pippa liked that about him was... sort of perfect, really. It was why he appreciated her in return as she could be just as blunt. She wasn't afraid to share her thoughts or concerns; for the most part he thought she was honest about her feelings and emotions, too. Then again, he wasn't terribly perceptive with knowing whether or not someone was hiding something unless the signs were obvious, like with some of her family. He wasn't terribly open with his feelings, himself; getting him to talk about his rare concerns was like pulling teeth. He just didn't like obligating others with it.


Truth was, as much as he was confident most days, there was the occasional period of time where he did feel like he was destined to be alone. It only made sense. He'd been "different" than most people ever since he was a kid, and he was aware of that at some point in his adolescence. He was aware that most guys his age were getting overwhelmed by hormones, while he was getting overwhelmed by the amount of television shows he wanted to watch and whether or not he wanted to watch the same one again rather than a new one. He was aware that people wanted relationships at that age to test out their feelings, while he was disinterested if only because it just didn't appeal to him. That level of intimacy wasn't necessary, and it was so foreign to him that he was terrified of how to handle a potential situation like it.


Simultaneously, he saw through the bullshit. Wasn't a relationship a form of courting? A prelude to something like marriage? Dating itself was sort of useless from his perspective, as why would you get into a relationship with a person and share yourself like that unless you wanted it to go somewhere? Unless you did think of the possibility that this might last forever? Yet guys who were scared of commitment got into relationships over and over and over again. He just didn't understand that thought process.


He was alright with friendship. The point wasn't that he wanted more than that at some point in his life, so much as "typical" people would find that. They'd settle down and have kids of their own and he'd be left to have nerf gun fights with a damn mirror, and that was a lonely thought. He just wasn't capable of the same thing in his mind. The desire to do so had never struck him. So for the most part he was aware that Pippa would move on someday, but it was hard to remind himself of that when he was abiding by her every request, perfectly willing to just spend time with her. 


"Sure," he replied, setting to work on the task immediately. It was fortunate that he was so detail-oriented; each piece of tomato and garlic were precisely cut at the same size. In a way he found some sort of comfort in that sort of organization. He'd always been like that, too, the kind of person who arranged things in his room according to size and color. Even if he could be messy at times, he was still very in touch with his environment, more so than most.


There was something about the way Pippa freely called Jackson 'Han Solo' that made Raj outright grin. It was a rare expression on him, as usually he just lightly smiled or even smirked. But hearing a reference spouted right back to him reconfirmed their friendship. "Totally fine," he said with a nod. "I've been wanting to check them out anyway, they were interesting to watch at the campsite. Think anyone else has figured it out by now?"


#6 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 18 September 2013 - 07:15 AM

For Pippa, there had never been any other way to be. The way she saw things was that there was absolutely no need to sugarcoat the truth. She didn't need to put a spin on her words just to spare other people's feelings. In fact, she was pretty convinced that lying to someone whether a small white lie or a pretty damn big one just to not hurt someone ended up being worse in the end. And sure, she realized that she was harsh, that her honesty and bluntness wasn't usually well received especially by people who didn't know her that well at all, but that wasn't something that ever stopped her from being the way she was and neither would it ever, just to save someone a bit of grief.


It wasn't ever in her intentions to be mean after all. She was a surprisingly nice and welcoming sort of person, but she didn't waste her time with people who needed to be babied. People who needed to be coddled and sheltered from the truth because their feelings were going to be hurt. Pippa wasn't the sort of person to play games and she was always glad when she found someone similar to her. Before, it was always Ruth. Her best friend had a knack for saying what was on her mind and never shying away from the truth. They were entirely too similar in that sense and while they were both fairly nice, together they could be a nightmare.


Now she had Raj though and as much as she loved Ruth, it was nice finding someone else to have a common ground with. Not that she would hesitate to speak her mind to someone that wasn't one of them as she didn't do that sort of thing without worries but it was just nice to know that that aspect of her personality was actually appreciated by more than one person. That Raj didn't find her bitchy or too honest or afraid of her presence whenever she made her rounds with her cousin. She had one more person to share that side of herself with and it really, truly was perfect.


Without a doubt, Pippa was incredibly grateful that Miranda had befriended Raj. Even though she'd sort of snuck in and stolen her friend away from her--she knew Miranda didn't mind anyway--she had her to thank for bringing him around. She'd become fairly attached to him, in a way that she normally didn't get, far too easily and he was honestly hard pressed to get rid of him. Though she hadn't much noticed nor was she bothered by it, it was a damn good thing that he was the sort of person that was sort of clingy as she never ever minded his presence at all.


Just having him there was nice enough for her, even if they were fairly silent as they were both at work. It was strange to think that just his presence was comforting but hardly did she dwell on it. Pippa had always been the sort of person that liked having other people around. She wasn't a lone wolf herself and she could easily chock it up to that with no problems. Raj was great company, she knew that and wouldn't hesitate to admit it and even in their moments of quiet she could appreciate having him around. 


In fact, had she not been wanting to look at Melli and Jackson with an observant eye now that she knew what she knew, she might have been a bit put off by having her time with Raj interrupted by her cousin. But she couldn't deny that much like Raj she wanted to see what was going on. She grinned as she scooped the tomatoes into a large bowl and set a few onions in front of him. "Me, too. Now that I know what's going on I've been dying to see what they're like. I can't believe I missed it." She shook her head, still remembering how surprised she'd been when Raj had told her.


"I don't know, I mean I know Miranda knows, that's obvious. But I don't think so? I think it's just us. Unless she's told someone else. I'm sure she'll tell everyone soon though." She shrugged and hardly did Pippa stop to think to tell Raj that it was a secret. Everyone needed to know anyway, right?

#7 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 18 September 2013 - 08:10 AM

There was something painfully normal in their current situation and Raj couldn't help but notice and appreciate it. Sure, this normal sort of situation wasn't exactly uncommon with him; he experienced it at home, with his family and with Varun, even if he was detached and off to the side most of the time. And he experienced a normal friendship with Josh, too, enjoying their radio shenanigans way too much. But with everyone else it was always nothing but introductions. Nothing else but trying to look past the funny looks he got, nothing else but trying to decipher exactly what that expression meant. His family rarely got together nowadays anyway thanks to being busy with their own things, and while he experienced this regularly with Josh, it just wasn't... this normal.


Chopping vegetables, having a casual conversation, already knowing Pippa and not being judged-- it was ridiculously nice, so it was no surprise that he wanted more of it. He wanted more confirmation that he wasn't different or weird, that he was just fine the way he was and Pippa actually liked him for some of his weird qualities. He wasn't blind, though, as he knew eventually she would register just how different he was. And maybe she'd have questions, too, but he wouldn't hesitate to answer them. They were close now, weren't they? Why should he hold back?


Hopefully she wouldn't see him as any different afterwards. He'd never officially been diagnosed with anything, after all; it was manageable on his own, even if he'd had a lot of difficulty as a kid in elementary adjusting to some of these things. Awareness of his sort of... problem wasn't exactly widespread back then, so for the most part he was left to his own devices. He was left to make himself scripts, to watch movies and relate and learn how the human mind worked through them. That was certainly how he'd become fascinated; the only way he had a link to a real social life was through that, as he didn't have to participate. He didn't have to worry about whether or not he was saying the right things.


It gave him practice with emotions, with what facial expressions and body language meant. It gave him the right words to say in certain conversation, and while he could get quite repetitive and sound mechanical in an uncomfortable situation, it was still something beyond a blank stare. While others thought his obsession with tv and movies was obsessive-- which, at times, it could be-- he saw it as educational in ways they didn't understand. He was able to literally study it.


Perhaps that was part of why he was so keen on getting to know this family. They, too, were practice, though interactive practice. All sorts of personalities were around here, and already he was being plenty observant, even more so than some of the others. He could pick up on the telltale cues that pointed to "Han and Leia" being in a relationship, as he'd seen it on screen more times than he could count. In that sense he was almost more equipped to handle observation of that kind, even if he wasn't so good in responding with his own range of emotion or understanding what others meant in relation to him.


So the two of them coming over wasn't a problem at all, and considering she was bringing him with her, he figured their relationship wasn't much of a secret anymore. Why else would she risk it? It seemed a little odd to drag him to the house while she was tutoring someone else, so already he was making the assumption that people would know sooner or later, so it was alright to talk about it. Too bad he was awful at picking up on social cues.


"It's easy to get caught up everyone, I think. I'm an outsider, so I sat around observing most of the time. I'm pretty sure your sister and his brother have something going on, too. Not the point of a relationship but there's something there. She seems hesitant. Why would she be hesitant?" He was making a hell of a lot of assumptions, and it didn't occur to him that his question was perhaps a little too prying.


#8 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 03:01 AM

She'd noticed. She had. Of course she had. There were times where his quirks where more obvious than others. Like the scene at the campsite where she was pretty sure his brain had short circuited momentarily when it was time to swim. Or his small freak out at the party. These were things that she didn't see in every day people, they weren't...well, normal, so to speak. So yes, Pippa had certainly not been oblivious to the fact that he was definitely different than anyone else that she'd met and yes, she was curious, incredibly so, how could she not be? But hardly was she the sort of person who would judge or think any less of him, either.


For her, Raj's...eccentricities were an afterthought. She'd seen them, had recognized that they were there but they weren't anything that was a hindrance to their friendship whatsoever. The questions that she had weren't ones that she needed to be answered in order to go on with her life either. They were there, sure, in the back of her mind but it wasn't anything necessary in order to continue being friends with him. If he wanted to share that part of himself, whatever it was, then she'd be more than willing to listen.


Otherwise it was all perfectly normal to her. Things like this. Cooking in this kitchen with him helping her. Camping with her family and any other shenanigans that Melli and Miranda planned, watching movies and fireworks, Pippa was more than willing to share them with him. He was a refreshing and welcome part of her life now and she wasn't about to stop inviting him to things, asking him to hang out because of anything that she didn't deem ordinary. 


It was pretty easy for her to realize that he was quickly becoming one of her best friends, too. She'd never been one to shy away from her emotions or things like this, Pippa was wholly accepting when these things happened after all and she recognized this already. He was, after all, the first person she thought about contacting after Ruth and she'd known her cousin practically all her life. There was no doubt about the fact that he was part of her life now, and she was more than happy to have him there, in the house, around her family. He was welcome in all aspects of her life.


It was why his impromptu visits never really bothered her. Why she'd never found him bothersome or clingy when he dropped over unannounced. He was always welcome and the fact that he didn't think to text or call or even ask if she was there before coming over hardly was something that she was affected by. Hell, she was flattered that he wanted to spend both time with her and her cousins.


And it was also why she was so willing to discuss things like Melli and Jackson and the rest of her family with him, too. Otherwise this wouldn't have been something she would have readily talked about. As honest as Pippa was, this sort of conversation was sacred. A topic that wasn't just anyone's to discuss. No one could talk about her family except family and he was now included in that. She was constantly amazed by how damn observant he was, too, and almost kind of grateful, really as she seemed to be missing everything he pointed out.


"You're not an outsider," she said, shaking her head with a small smile. At least not in her mind. He belonged. The whole Kaida thing wasn't too big of a surprise as she'd been with the guy all week long practically but hearing Raj's perspective was still interesting nonetheless. "Yeah, I thought so too but...well Kaida doesn't really do relationships you know? I don't know. He seems nice right? Bit on the skittish side but he might be good for my sister, hm?" It occurred to Pippa that he was far more observant than she could ever be, and she turned to him, small smile on her face as she raised her eyebrows. "Have you noticed anything else?"

#9 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 19 September 2013 - 05:44 AM

Raj wouldn't take offense to Pippa's questions. He was a curious person himself, and rarely hesitated to ask such questions if he wanted to know the answer. For the most part that wasn't private business, as it was something that was easily identifiable to an outsider, and sometimes it merited questioning. Sometimes his seemingly abrasive behavior called for a label of some kind, in which case he was usually understanding when people asked what was "up" with him. But neither did he know how to answer said questions, as it was something he'd never sought out. Raj was Raj, and no amount of diagnoses or doctor's opinions could change that, so what was the use?


Besides, Pippa seemed alright with Raj just the way he was. And for the most part he was fine; save for a few "quirks" here and there, he was like anyone else. He felt the same feelings, had much of the same thoughts, and enjoyed the same things in life-- he just happened to be wired a little differently. There was no need for a label in that sense, either, as it wasn't as if he needed it to lean on. It didn't define him, not at all, it was just a facet of who he was.


And despite how people sometimes saw him, he liked himself well enough at the end of the day. He liked the fact that he could look into the mirror and honestly say that he'd never met anyone quite like himself. People who were similar, sure, but not the very same, and not once in his life had he tried to be anyone but himself. That, perhaps, was the best part about him. He just didn't have a need to conform to anyone else's standards, if only because he didn't understand them. As such he made an excellent friend, too, as "judging" hardly existed for the guy.


He never judged any of her family, not for a second. His questions and observation and general discussion about them were hardly out of malice. He wasn't curious in a gossipy, giggly sort of way, as if their mistakes would validate his own, so much as in a harmless way. In a way that was a little silly, sure, as he often acted as if he was watching a television show rather than interacting directly with people, but it was still... nice. Much nicer than some of the others "observing," anyway.


Her reassurance that he wasn't an outsider didn't really touch him in one way or the other. He was an outsider in his mind, and that was a fact-- it wasn't something that discouraged him so much as something he'd have to work on over time. The fact that she thought of him as one of her own was nice nonetheless was nice, though, and he smiled softly to himself. The smile was fairly short-lived, however, as he was just far too curious about all of the things to let it settle for long.


"Why is she not the relationship type?" He asked, cocking his head, always too full of questions. He just didn't understand "y'know"s or context most of the time. "It did look like there was something going on, though." He paused for a second, pushing the vegetables he'd chopped into perfect bits off to the side.


"Your friend, Ruth. And Max's friend-- Brady. There was something there, too. They were hanging out all week and then for some reason the night of the party they started to avoid each other." Observant as always-- too observant. Hopefully Pippa wouldn't think it was creepy. "I don't know why they would suddenly choose to do that. Is Ruth the relationship type?" His questions were a bit prying, a bit too curious, but it was clear how harmless he was when he added his last one. "What do you need me to do next?"


#10 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

  • Guest

Posted 19 September 2013 - 06:17 AM

As much as Pippa loved her family, it truly was nice to have someone that wasn't necessarily a part of it as a close friend. She'd never really been the sort of person to shy away from social situations, though neither had she been the one that was easy to befriend either. Most people weren't a fan of her personality as they found her blunt honesty and direct ways too harsh to handle. For some reason she'd gotten some weird reputation as a girl made of stone and most thought that she didn't have a sweet bone in her body.


Of course that was only half true. She was unflinchingly honest, yes, and that was nothing that was going to change. Pippa was also the sort that didn't hesitate to call bullshit on even the most sincerest of her peers and as such a lot of people hardly bothered to get to know her. But she wasn't terribly mean like they thought. Not really. She just happened to take no prisoners. Either way, it wasn't often that people that weren't related to her really took to her the way Raj had and admittedly she valued every friend an incredible about. 


So it was needless to say that he was already important to her. That having him around was something that she didn't think she'd get tired of. There was a nice reprieve from constantly being around her family. Ruth was her only friend, Kaida and her fought constantly, Teddy...well she didn't even want to think about Teddy. And the rest of her family, well, she loved them but they could be a bit too much sometimes. Truth was, she needed this. She needed a friend, someone unrelated to her that she could spend time with.


The fact that he was so much like her, the fact that he appreciated those aspects of hers that people usually fervently disliked just made the whole thing better in her mind. There was no chance of hurting any feelings, no chance of being lied to, no chance of games whatsoever. They were so damn similar that it was easy to know what to expect from having him around. Raj's friendship was a much needed addition into her life, that much was definitely true.


If he hadn't seen it by now, if he hadn't realized that he was important to her, he should have realized it in the way she so freely spoke with him about her family. She shrugged at his question as she busied herself crushing the tomatoes in a large pot. "God knows. She doesn't want to get involved with someone I guess. No long term attachments. No commitment. If it's not fleeting and temporary and she can forget about them in a week she probably doesn't want it." Honestly, Pippa never really understood the whole anti commitment thing. It was such a silly thing for her.


Except of course where Ruth was involved. Her expression softened there, as yeah, she'd noticed. She knew, even if they hadn't discussed it. "Yeah, I knew that one." Pippa knew Ruth like the back of her hand after all, there was no need for her to tell her anything. "She doesn't want to get attached. She doesn't want to lose him. And no, she isn't." And that was all she said there, a lump in her throat and her heart shattering slightly at the thought of the whole thing. She always felt bad for her best friend.


There was a knock at the door right as he asked his question, breaking her out of that sad moment. "Um--boil that pasta for me. And keep an eye on these tomatoes, I'll be right back." she handed him the wooden spoon before heading towards the door and swinging it open.

#11 Melanie Sirius

Melanie Sirius

Posted 19 September 2013 - 07:40 AM

Unlike most students, Melli had no reason to dread the end of the summer. Then again, she'd never been like most students anyway; during her college years she'd always overloaded herself with courses no matter the semester, so she hardly had room for a supposed summer break to begin with. As such the second summer semester always flowed into the fall semester with hardly a gap between, and she didn't bat an eyelash or feel any sense of dread.


Nor did she usually feel any sort of happiness upon seeing the fall semester approach, but this summer was clearly different than usual, though not for academic reasons. In just a short week she wouldn't have to keep this relationship of hers a secret anymore. The closer she got to that date the more excited she became, yet the more she started to worry about it, too. Soon it would be time to tell her whole family, though really the main issues there were the "Wonder Twins," as Jackson liked to call them. The fucking oldest and youngest Aldebarans; she really didn't look forward to telling them at all. 


Not that they could do anything about it by this point. In fact, the idea that they thought they could was almost laughable. She and Jackson were the real deal, okay, and ain't nobody touchin' that shit, no matter how much they "didn't approve" of him. Admittedly she'd grown a little annoyed with their overprotective shtick after that bit at the campsite, as in her mind he'd done nothing but prove himself there. Now that she was about to be unaffiliated with him on a university level, there was no reason to dislike their relationship anymore.


But Toby and Nat would always be Toby and Nat, so she knew she had to approach the situation delicately. For a while she'd been meaning to ask Pippa for help in that situation, actually, but she'd had her hands full recently, what with Jackson being sick and her being sick and it being finals week. Some guy that kept talking to her throughout the semester (why she didn't know, as she was usually pretty oblivious to that sort of thing) suddenly needed tutoring at the last minute, and even if she had a bit too much on her plate already, she couldn't refuse with a clean conscience.


So it was very easy to come up with a happy medium-- she could tutor him at the house and ask Pippa for advice afterwards, right? The last thing she'd expected was for Jackson to tag along, though she supposed that didn't hurt anything; now that she knew it would only be Raj and Pippa, there wasn't much to worry about save for this Tide guy's questions as to why he was there. But he appeared mostly stupid, so she wasn't terribly worried about that, either.


He was odd outside of class, though. Meeting him on campus was awkward, and he seemed a bit too keen on the idea of studying somewhere else. Repeatedly he mentioned his room or the coffee shop down the street, but she felt incredibly uncomfortable with the first and knew the second wouldn't be conducive to tutoring. It didn't take him much convincing to get him to follow her to the house (she also didn't want to ride with him), so once he was there she met him at the door, knocking and smiling quietly.


When Pippa answered she felt a strange sense of relief, as she was starting to finally pick up on the fact that Tide wasn't as innocent as he appeared. "Hey! Oh, uh-- Pippa, this is Tide. Tide, meet Pippa, my cousin. I'm tutoring him today since it's finals week and apparently J-- Professor Dahl has been a little tough this semester." God, she was horrible at lying. With that she stepped inside, Tide trailing behind her.


#12 Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 08:01 AM

Tide couldn't figure out for the life of him why he was having so much difficulty with what he considered a simple class. The subject matter was actually interesting to him, and for once he actually paid attention in class. That had a little more to do with a cute, bookworm TA sitting off to the side, yeah, but he was still faithfully taking notes and learning the subject, wasn't he? As such he expected to pass the course with flying colors, as he completed his assignments on time and had even done his best to become buddy-buddy with the brunette after class.


Buddy-buddy, of course, didn't entail laughing and being chatty like it did with most people. Instead he often put on his best sad face and gave perfectly long sighs that often left people curious. It didn't seem to work on her as well as it did others, but he supposed she would give in with time; he could be persistent, after all, and it wouldn't be until someone else caught his attention that he officially gave up on this project.


Don't misunderstand him, though. Tide wasn't a womanizer in the sense that he wanted to sleep with a girl and leave her the next day. In a weird way he was a romantic at heart; he played up the dramatics because he liked a girl, because he thought she was cute, and he figured that was the only way to make himself intriguing or interesting. In turn they swooned over him and wanted to "fix" him, but it was all fake and empty in the end. Besides, Tide would be hard-pressed to care about anyone but himself; the only reason he ever wanted to enter a relationship was because of the way it made him feel. The moment the honeymoon phase was over, it was done.


Not that he was completely aware of these facts. Even if he had been, he likely wouldn't have cared much about fixing that selfish side of himself. Regardless, when he started to like a girl he really did think it was the real thing, even if he put on such a fake act to get her to pay attention in the first place. With Melli in particular he put on the "misunderstood genius" face, claiming he had dyslexia and a plethora of other things that interfered with his ability to make perfect grades, despite his intelligence.


She seemed to dismiss him for the most part, though. For a while he wondered if she had a boyfriend already, though she never mentioned it and he'd never seen her with anyone. Save his professor, anyway, and he figured that was a given since they taught together. If he'd only known. Regardless, he still kept his routine up, hoping she'd give in one day and go somewhere with him. The tutoring excuse happened to be perfect, even if it was a bad circumstance; while she didn't exactly want to meet up where he did, it was still something and he was grateful for it.


He expected this to go the way it did in romances. Somewhere in the middle of studying they would stop and catch each others' eyes, and he would lean over to push a bit of her hair behind her ear. They would linger that way for a while until he told her how pretty she was, and-- no, really, he actually had these things planned out. These things weren't a fantasy for him, so much as something he would make sure happened before the day was up. Something like a mission. So imagine his surprise when not only is Professor Dahl there, but the door swings open and there are other people there, as well.


The moment he saw her, though, he was breathless. All thoughts of Melli fled from his mind immediately, as now there was another target in sight-- whoever this Pippa girl was. She was unreasonably pretty, and for a moment he just stared at her, eyes widened as if he'd just had a major epiphany. "It's wonderful to meet you, Pippa," he said a little too formally, holding his hand out for a shake.


And as he followed the other brunette inside-- her name hardly mattered anymore-- he mostly forgot about why he was there. Instead he gravitated towards this other girl, following her directly into the kitchen, though instantly he turned his head away at the sight of meat"Oh, goodness. You'll have to forgive me. I should stand outside the kitchen. You all carry on-- I'll just--" Dramatically he backed into the dining area, hand over his heart as if he'd just seen a cow butchered right in front of him.

#13 Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 12:40 PM

He wanted to get one thing straight. He wasn't jealous. No. First of all, Jackson Dahl didn't get jealous. He wasn't one of those irrationally angry men who couldn't deal with someone being incessantly annoying with the person he loved. He was comfortable in this relationship, aware of the fact that this girl, who fucking meant everything to him, wasn't just going to go and traipse off with some long haired idiot and leave him to the wayside. So no. He was not by any means jealous of this Tide douchebag, he was just...there for moral support. Right.


Okay. Maybe he was a little bit jealous. Though not in the sense that he didn't trust Melanie. He trusted her implicitly of course. At the very least he knew that nothing would happen there, that she wasn't the sort of person to do such a thing and he was also pretty fucking aware that she wasn't buying any of this kid's shenanigans either. Whatever those were. He could never get close enough to actually know what he was saying to her, he could just see from a far that he was trying to do something and he didn't fucking like it.


But that emotion was a bit too off and unlike Jackson to be used to describe this situation in general. It wasn't envy he was feeling it was pure fucking annoyance. The kid didn't seem to take a hint and even though he knew, even though he trusted Melanie, even though Tide--fucking Harvey thank you very much--wasn't aware that she was in a relationship, the fact that he didn't know when to back off, that he kept trying whatever bullshit it was that he was trying frustrated him to no fucking end. He just didn't like it, okay?


And maybe, just maybe, he was taking his frustrations out on the kid. It was unfair, something that he usually wasn't, he was a pretty good professor after all, and he took his job seriously, too. But he also took this relationship seriously and something about someone who didn't know any better chasing after his girl with the intents of--well it was better not to think about that really. So yeah, he'd been a bit unethical. Just a bit. As he was grading the kid's papers a little bit harsher than he normally would, his tests barely making the mark. Shit, he was practically failing the fucking kid, an asshole mood, but well, he wasn't the most rational thinker was he?


Either way, he'd realized that it was almost idiotic and now this was happening. He'd brought it on himself honestly and he was starting to realize that. The moment Jackson found out that he'd asked Melanie to tutor him he was tagging along as there was just no fucking way they were going to be on their own thank you very much. He was relieved to find out that her cousin would be there with her friend, and that he could come since those two already knew about their relationship and without hesitation he was inviting himself along.


It was probably obvious in his face how unamused he was. Jackson only arrived a few minutes after the other two did, the door just barely about to shut close in his face before he ducked in and smiled at Melli's cousin. He was pleased to see that he followed the other brunette, too, and he quickly went into the dining room, giving Melanie a quick peck on the lips when he knew no one was looking before he sat down and raised his eyebrows. "Don't tell me he's fucking harassing your poor cousin."

#14 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 12:52 PM

It should have been of no surprise that Pippa was...well she was kind of nosy in all honesty. Most people who knew her well enough already knew that about her. She liked being kept in the know, especially where her family was involved. That small part of her that turned kind of gossipy when Ruth was around was fed by that sort of thing and as such, things like Melli being involved with a professor, a much older one at that, intrigued her to no end. Just how much though, she actually hadn't realized until the doorbell rang and now more than ever she was actually eager to see the two of them in action.


This was different than it had been at the campsite. She knew the two of them were together. Even though she'd found out back then, she really hadn't had too much time to react on it considering as soon as she and Raj reached the area that fucking party was going on. All thoughts of Melli and her illicit affair had gone out of her mind the very moment that she'd seen all of those strangers milling about and pissing all over everything that belonged to her family. She didn't get to really study it first hand, though she had seen how he'd helped calm her down after the crowd had been cleared.


Pippa had been handed a perfect opportunity. Even with other people here, even with her tutoring some stranger, it was a great chance to observe, to watch how they looked at each other when the other wasn't looking. She wanted to see what this relationship was all about first hand and she was glad that she was there when the two of them would be there. Already she was expectant and sort of eager to see this shit. It was almost like she was taking on Raj's line of thinking and it was like a mini soap opera for her. It was just...well...Melli didn't involve herself in relationships and this was kind of a big fucking deal.


For a moment she'd almost forgotten that she was there to tutor someone and she'd been just the slightest bit disappointed to see her standing with not Jackson but some other guy. That was short lived though as she realized that he was cute. Really cute. And the momentary frown that graced her features switched up instantly. "Hi," she said, smiling back at him before looking back at Melli. There was something on her own expression that piqued her curiosity but she left it at that, holding out her hand as he introduced himself. "Wow, nice manners. Good to meet you too...Tide. That's an interesting name. Different."


It was obvious that Pippa was impressed by the guy's overall good manners and formal introduction and yeah, she thought he was cute, that was obvious by the way her eyes lit up and the corner of her lips ticked up in a smile. She wasn't there for flirting though, as much as she would have liked to get to know this guy, so she kicked the door shut as they made their way in and went back into the kitchen, taking the spoon from Raj's hand and hardly hesitating before she was back to what she'd been doing before. Hardly did she realize that he'd followed her in until he...well...acted like that. As soon as he backed away, Pippa's eyebrow raised at Raj. "What do you think that was about?"


She was curious, too curious, and that wasn't going to go away by just standing around the kitchen, so she handed the spoon back to Raj and ducked the corner to the dining area, smiling again as she came across him. " everything okay?"

#15 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:53 AM

Something about this situation was strange. The only reason he'd been so intrigued and had resolved to be around this family was for observation purposes. They were an endless television show, entertaining all the time, as there were enough of them that he doubted things ever settled down. While it was the scandal of a student/teacher relationship for now, next month it could be a fight between siblings and the month after that something else. The pattern went on and on, and had it only been a few people he was sure he'd run out of material. But these guys? These guys were different.


He'd already been thinking about taking them on as a project for his documentary filmmaking class. There was something simultaneously heartfelt and interesting about all of them, and he was dying to tell their story. To find out their stories, really, as he still didn't know where all of them came from, what their traditions were at holidays, what sort of things they'd been through as a family. The more he learned about them the more he wanted to be included, too.


So it was odd, then, that when he heard the knock at the door he felt mildly disappointed. He had plenty of time with Pippa, after all; there was no need to feel like this, but the feeling of being interrupted existed nonetheless. Quickly his disappointment was replaced by curiosity, though, as he heard voices at the door, one of which he didn't recognize. Peering around the corner, he raised his eyebrows as he watched this guy who needed apparent tutoring come through the door.


And at first he had no bad impressions of him. Raj was like that; he didn't judge people on the surface, nor by the way they spoke or acted unless it was mean. He was out of the ordinary himself, so he didn't have the right to judge someone else for being... whatever this guy was. For a moment he was tricked, too, into just believing that the guy was formal and that was it, plain and simple. It struck him as odd that Jackson would tag along for a tutoring session (especially since, aside from family, this was still supposed to be a secret), but he supposed that was a question for another time.


But then he picked up on the way Pippa looked at him, and the way he looked at her in return. He didn't get it at first. Did they know each other? For a second he almost asked, his mouth opening, but no one appeared to be paying attention to him in the first place. Instead he figured he could just observe for now. "Maybe he's vegan," he answered her question, but she disappeared around the corner before he could expand on it.


His eyes turned to Melli and Jackson next, now that the other two were out of sight, and an all too familiar and unwelcome feeling hit him. This... strange feeling of being left out. Like it was a bad idea to be here, even if he'd been invited. He caught himself straining to hear what was going on with this "Tide" guy and Pippa, though all he could hear was this overdramatic soliloquy that he didn't even get. The fuck?


It was then that he picked up on what Jackson was saying, and he paused for a second, unsure of what 'harassment' meant in this case. He didn't seem to be harassing her, just having a conversation. Right? "What do you mean? Harassing?" He asked him, blinking, very clearly confused.


"Is this the guy you're tutoring?" He asked curiously turning to Melanie, trying not to form negative opinions from the start. Again, it wasn't like him, so whatever this feeling of irritation was, it was brand new to him. She nodded, eyebrows raised. "Why is he talking to Pippa? Are they friends? Shouldn't he be sitting in here with you?" His panic may have been somewhat evident; while typically his expression was rather blank, there was a tinge of concern in the way his brows furrowed, in the tone of his voice.


"I just introduced them, so I don't know-- and I thought I came here to tutor him. I have no idea what's going on," she answered him, looking from him to Jackson and back. Clearly she was just as confused as he was. Her answer didn't comfort him in the least; in fact, it just heightened his panic a little.


And then it hit him-- he was jealous. 


#16 Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:23 AM

Tide was no stranger to her smile. He'd been blessed with good looks, he knew, but a simultaneously dull personality, so the act that he put on was usually to keep interest going past the first glance. Now that he'd perfected it he was quite confident in the fact that, if she showed interest from just him standing in the doorway, she'd stick around for a little longer. Taking her hand, he nodded just as politely as before. "My parents graced me with a unique name. I feel it expresses who I am. But of course, not everyone agrees." He might have looked somewhat dejected at that idea, as if he'd been teased as a kid over it.


Truth was, Tide was not Tide. He was fucking Harvey. He'd only adopted that name just because he felt like it "fit" him, like it brought him to his center. So that bit about being teased was all complete bullshit. Regardless, everyone here seemed to by it. As such, a hint of a smirk played at his lips as he entered the home, though he still managed to maintain that strangely sad demeanor of his.


He was surprised to see his professor of all people showing up last minute, but he was usually so trapped in his own self-centric world of his that he rarely picked up on things like that. Had he thought about it, he would've realized the obvious signs-- first of all, he was here, and secondly the looks they exchanged in class weren't exactly innocent-- but naturally he was more concerned about finding a girl for himself. So much so that he rarely paid attention to whether or not a girl was taken in the first place, which was majorly douchey, but he felt as though love transcended all. No reason to hold himself back from what could be the love of his life just because she happened to be involved with someone else at the time.


Besides, his target was no longer the brunette from before. Now his attention was all focused on Pippa here, even if he was supposed to be getting tutored at the moment. He did wonder if the other guy was her boyfriend momentarily, but again, it didn't matter a bit. No one bothered to introduce the guy, so he figured it was safe to ignore his existence altogether; he had a knack for doing that with most guys, considering he felt like they were competition.


He was hardly surprised when Pippa joined him. Turning to look at her in an overdramatic fashion, he placed a hand on her shoulder and shook his head. "It's alright, darling. It's nothing of importance. Meat just tends to make me queasy. When I was a child I had a pet pig and--" He stopped talking about it, closing his eyes and shaking his head as if it pained him to say, even if it was a completely fabricated memory.


"I apologize. I hope I didn't come across as rude. I am not here to judge; I am here to be educated." Right, he was supposed to be, but he was more concerned with Pippa at the moment. He still needed to save face, though, as he didn't want to appear odd so much as coincidental. Serendipity that they'd meet, sort of thing. "I suppose I should join my tutor over there." He pointed towards where the other three were, looking back to her.


"I do hope you join us. I'd like to know more about you, Pippa." With that he headed over there and plopped right down next to Melli, leaning over a little too close to see what pages she'd turned to. Had to leave the door open in case the other one wasn't interested, after all.

#17 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 02:44 AM

The thing about Pippa was that as much as she could be open and honest about everything as much as she didn't sugarcoat things and wasn't the sort of person who let people's bullshit slide no matter who it was, well, she was a bit blind when it came to the whole relationship department. Not that she was one of those girls that was throwing herself at the feet of any guy who paid attention to her or anything, no, she was strong independent woman who didn't need no man thank you very much and she was hardly the sort to fawn over someone just because they had very pretty hair.


But it was true that her judgment was a bit cloudy when it came to that area and that she was very easily charmed and tricked into thinking that someone who wasn't very genuine was. As such, the fact that he was actually pretty fucking charming already, and cute and didn't act like a complete moron with no manners, well, Pippa might have already been a little intrigued by this Tide person in general. 


After all, Pippa was blunt and could be harsh but she wasn't an incredibly perceptive person when it came to strangers. And it was true that she could get tricked into thinking someone who was an asshole wasn't. It happened before. Her past relationships had always been shit, as she'd always been fooled by a guy's more endearing qualities in the beginning. One would have thought she learned her lesson, and in a way, she did, becoming a little bit harsher and more brutally honest than she typically was but the same thing always seemed to happen. 


A friendly smile, an attractive personality, knowing how to speak to a person and her attention was caught. It was exactly what this scenario was. He paid her attention, he was nice and well...although she didn't know it yet, he'd pulled the wool over her eyes pretty damn easily. Although even if she hadn't been attracted to him, both physically and otherwise, she still would have gone to check on him as of course she wasn't rude. His reaction had made her curious, so she left Raj without another word just to make sure the guy was alright.


Pippa was a little taken aback by the contact, glancing over at the hand on her shoulder and raising her eyebrow, though that was instantly forgotten the moment he spoke, the word darling tumbling out his mouth the way it had. "Oh. Wow that's unfortunate." She shook her head and shrugged as she wasn't sorry. She was cooking for her family after all, though neither did she say anything about finding this all overly sensitive in the first place. "Don't worry about it, you weren't rude. Just wanted to make sure you were alright though."


Shit he was pretty. That was really all it was. As she hardly knew him. It should have been a tell tale sign that it was a bad fucking idea but she wasn't too concerned with that at the moment. She actually frowned at his offer and the fact that she had to refuse it. "Oh. I--I'd love to but I can't. I mean I'm in the middle of making all this food and I can't leave Raj to handle it all, he wouldn't even know what to do." She offered him an apologetic smile though. "You're more than welcome to join me when you're finished of course." But she remembered the whole meat thing and she frowned. "Or...maybe I can take a break after all."

#18 Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 03:01 AM

As selfish as it was, Jackson had definitely noticed the very moment this asshole stopped paying attention to Melanie and started in on her cousin. He was relieved, he couldn't fucking deny that though he still felt bad for the other girl in general for having to deal with it. And...well he felt bad for Raj, too, though he wasn't actually aware that there was anything going on there, the way he asked he and Melanie questions made him sympathize with him for sure. Harvey, was an incredibly annoying presence in his life and though it felt like maybe he was fucking free of him, he was still being a pesky motherfucking fly that wouldn't leave the vicinity.


So yeah, he really wasn't sure exactly how to feel about this whole thing in general. On one thing it was fucking nice to have the asshole's eyes elsewhere for once and he didn't feel like clenching his jaw so much when he was hovering around his girl. On the other the way Raj questioned the two of them made him realize just how selfish he was being. Shit, he just didn't like this guy in general. "He's a pain in the ass s'what I mean." He shook his head and offered Raj a sympathetic look but he was sure his annoyance was clearly written on his face. There was a lot of doubt that he was any help at all.


The frown that formed on his own face was pretty fucking permanent as his irritation grew. Poor Raj man. Though even then he didn't think he was home free either. There was no denying that he was still glad he'd come along even if Melanie's cousin had proven to be a nice distraction. "He's probably waxing poetic about how they're fucking soulmates or some shit, who fucking knows. Don't even worry about it kid, he's just a thorn in everyone's god damned side." It was clear by the way he spoke that it included him, too.


Jackson quite literally glared at the guy when he sat down next to Melli. His eyes narrowed and his chin in his hands. What bothered him most about the whole thing was that he couldn't say shit as the guy was his student and he didn't need to give anything away. Even when Pippa joined them, sitting across from Harvey quietly he was still annoyed as all hell by the whole god damned thing. Frustrated he groaned, getting himself up the table and moving into the living room. He didn't need to see that bullshit right in his face thank you very much. 

#19 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 20 September 2013 - 04:49 AM

Raj's original panic had been over what the hell this guy was doing. It wasn't something he identified all that easily; sure, he'd realized he was jealous, and that wasn't something he was new to. Various times in the past he'd been jealous of his brother, of his friends, of just about anyone who threatened to come between him and someone else. Never openly so, though; it was a passing sort of jealousy, a harmless one, as he was hardly possessive so much as clingy. It was always an imagining of a worst case scenario rather than something toxic, and it was usually kept to himself. It was more fear than anything else, really, but either way he was accustomed to it.

What he was not accustomed to was this particular type of jealousy. While at first he assumed it was just over friendship, he knew that to be untrue the moment he heard Jackson speak about the guy. Clearly that jealousy wasn't just his problem; he could see it in him, too, and it took him a moment, but he realized why. He thought it was a threat to his relationship with Melli, and while he didn't quite understand that (Melli was obviously very smitten with him and was going nowhere), he still knew it wasn't a friendly context.


He blinked in Pippa's direction for a moment as the word "soulmates" was thrown out there, his brow furrowing, as he didn't like that word one bit for some reason. "Does he think that? That he's Pippa's soulmate? He just met her." He still didn't get it; he didn't understand that this guy was putting on a ridiculous act so much as he was just strange. And Pippa seemed receptive to it, which worried the absolute hell out of him. It made him feel sick to his stomach, actually.


But they were already headed back in their direction, and he watched the two of them sit across from each other. He was still standing, and again that strange feeling of being left out hit him all over again. Should he sit? Stay right where he was? He found himself in a place where he had no idea what to do socially, as he was worried and kind of scared and strangely miffed while still trying to hold onto a composed expression. He hated situations like these.


There was this stupid part of him that wanted to yell out to Pippa and beg her to stop. He'd grown so close to her lately and here she was, her attention completely focused on this other guy; he felt forgotten and that was the worst feeling imaginable. Unfortunately he was familiar with that feeling, but somehow it was exponentially worse with her. Suddenly he lost the ability to look anyone in the eye, his own gaze averting to the table instead as she said she could take a break for a while. Which meant he wouldn't be going back to the kitchen with her, clearly, and their entire day had been ruined.


Normally he wasn't so pessimistic, but it was impossible for him to see anything good coming of this. "I thought we were going to finish what we were doing," he said, pointing back to the kitchen, confused, as he was so strict with structure and routine for himself that going out of the plan was a lot more devastating for him than it was for others. But suddenly Jackson was getting up and walking to the living room, and he felt that structure falling apart altogether.


The only way he knew to cope was to paint on a different face, at least for the time being. The only role he could think of was Jackson's, though, as his mind was a complete blank, so he suddenly just... dismissed everything altogether. Shrugged it off. "Ah, we'll finish it later," he said all too casually, heading over to the refrigerator and grabbing two beers that Toby'd left there. He wasn't a drinker. Ever. But this seemed like something his "role" called for. 


He entered the living room a little slowly, dropping his act the moment he was in privacy, as he didn't have to make any impressions. He'd hoped that leaving the situation would help, but instead he found himself straining to hear what they were talking about. Plopping down next to Jackson, he handed him a beer, confusion still written all over his expression as he looked down at his own. "Who is that guy?"


#20 Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

  • Guest

Posted 20 September 2013 - 05:22 AM

In Tide's mind, he was the only guy in the room. Really he didn't find his professor to be a threat anyway, considering he was too old for either of these girls and that would be inappropriate (if only he'd known), so it was easy to think he'd lucked out here. This other guy was weird and he could see it from the first ten seconds of looking at him, so again, he didn't think he had any threats. It was just him and two pretty brunettes, and one was bound to give in sooner or later, right? Especially the one who was actually paying attention to him, and it was all he could do to keep his smirk at bay.


Having people react to him like he wanted was honestly a massive ego boost. How could it not be? Even if that wasn't really him, it was nice to be liked nonetheless, and Pippa's smile didn't hurt. She was charming as hell and falling for all of his antics thus far, even if this other brunette seemed to tune out his existence entirely. The only excuse he could think for her was that she likely had a boyfriend. Too bad he'd never seen him around.


"Thank you for your concern. You're quite kind," he told her as they made their way to the table, and he was satisfied to see her sit down across from him. It'd be difficult to get any work done in this situation; yes, he needed the tutoring, but he was much more concerned with the two girls right here with him, though the second girl was more of a presence than anything else. A backup plan, so to speak, if somehow Pippa was turned off by his existence altogether.


He was even more pleased when she agreed to stay. "A break never hurt anyone," he said with a smile. "Once you're finished handling the meat I wouldn't mind helping you cook. After this tutoring session, of course." He returned his attention to Melli long enough to smile at her, to acknowledge that yes, he was still somewhat aware of why he was here. She just looked at him like he was crazy for a few moments, and shortly after that both guys were leaving the table.


Tide couldn't help but notice that Pippa's friend seemed... bothered by all of this. And in true douchebag fashion, he felt a little smug about it. "I won't keep her long," he reassured him, his voice mostly harmless, though there might have been a smidgen of arrogance to it. But the guy didn't stick around anyway, so he was left with these two girls all to himself. Time to turn the act up to eleven.


"I'm afraid I'm dyslexic. It's hard for me to keep up with schoolwork sometimes. My IQ is actually quite high, I just have difficulty. I've always been easily distracted by different causes, too-- sometimes I can't help but wonder if college is merely a fund we pay, a societal construct that we adhere to rather than actual education." Melli was staring at him like he really was crazy now, and for some reason looking over his shoulder and towards where the other two disappeared. "Right..." was all she said in return, and she started to try to teach him, but he ignored that attempt altogether.


"Did you take sociology, Pippa?" It was a random question, but still an excuse to speak to her nonetheless. Perhaps he could make some sort of segue into this tutoring session with that. Or convince her to tutor him instead.

Also tagged with one or more of these keywords: Raj Rangan, Tidus Hendrix, Melanie Sirius, Toby Aldebaran

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