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Mr. Brightside

Raj Rangan Tidus Hendrix Melanie Sirius Toby Aldebaran

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#21 Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 05:53 AM

Jackson felt the need to reiterate that he was not, by any means jealous. That this feeling of irritation was anything but that and that this guy could do nothing at all. He kept reassuring himself of that as honestly that sort of feeling wasn't one he wanted to have and the thought of a 'green-eyed monster' rearing its ugly head over some asshole flirting with Melanie was a little ridiculous to say the least. He could trust her. He really could and he knew just from her expression alone that she wasn't all too impressed with this guy's antics whatsoever.

 

Nonetheless it was hard for him not to grit his teeth and roll his eyes at guy. He really was trying to maintain his composure, but that shit was hard when the kid was sitting so fucking close to Melli in the first place. To add to his annoyance the guy was clearly flirting with her cousin right then and there and that was just some fucked up bullshit right there. Who did that sort of thing? What kind of asshole was he? Really just everything about him pissed him off and it sent him into a terrible mood, sulking and pouting like a petulant fucking child.

 

At the very least, he was sure that he wasn't the only person agitated by Harvey's presence. Though he was hard to read, Jackson interpreted Raj's questions as him feeling similarly to what he did. While he wasn't quite sure if the kid was jealous or what exactly was going through his mind--his face gave away no clues really though he could hear the panic in his voice--he at leas knew that there was something there and that the kid didn't approve of this douchebag whatsoever. As such, he tried to console the guy the best he could. Not that he was very good at it. "Yeah, he just met her and he's already trying to charm his way into her fucking pants. Ridiculous. What a douchebag." Right, well, so much for consoling.

 

His agitation was honestly too much and he couldn't stick around. He trusted Melli, he did, and while part of him wanted to sit right there at that table and glare at the asshole until he bore a whole into the side of his face the moment he sat down was too much for him to take in. He'd come so he could assess this whole situation but he wasn't about to sit there and watch this whole thing go down. Last thing he needed was to yell at a student after getting too fucking frustrated with him after all.

 

He'd hardly expected for Raj to join him, though he didn't mind much as all he'd been doing was mindlessly flicking through the television channels with no intents on landing anywhere. There was something about the kid that was a little peculiar, something he couldn't quite put his finger on, but he didn't mind his company. He'd been entertaining the few times he'd been around and admittedly it was nice to have a comrade in this situation in the first place. The two of them were clearly not impressed with Harvey's presence.

 

With a raised eyebrow, he took the beer and tipped the bottle towards him, taking a long swig before scoffing at Raj's question. "Student of mine. Calls him self Tide. Tidus. Stupid right? Pretty sure his name is Harvey. That's what my roster says." He shrugged, rolling his eyes as he did so. "Kid's failing my class. Who fails Sociology?" Hardly did Jackson admit that he might have been a part of that reason. He certainly wasn't helping. "He asked Melli to tutor him but I'm pretty sure the only thing he was trying to do was get in her pants. Can't do much about it myself without getting in trouble." Shit was Jackson glad that this kid actually knew about this whole thing. In a way, it was nice to talk about like this in the open. Knowing that he didn't have to hold himself back for once was a relief.



#22 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 06:18 AM

It was actually kind of ridiculous when you really thought about it. He was just a guy. Just some random stranger that she'd never met. Sure he was cute, he had nice hair and a nice smile, she wasn't fucking blind after all, but hardly should she have been so eager to talk to him. Pippa met plenty of guys, she was no stranger to flirting. No stranger to guys trying to charm her, asking her out on dates and so on. Though of course the main difference was that most of them were complete and total fucking idiots and she never bought it.

 

For some reason though, she bought this. His charm and the fact that he was well spoken. He didn't seem rude or crass or any of those things that made her skin crawl. So yeah, it was easy for her to buy his act as sincerity. She didn't for one second think that he was putting on an act, there was no reason for her to and as sad as it was she'd sat down with the intentions of talking to him, of getting to know him better--he'd asked after all--without the realization that well, Raj was in the kitchen and they were doing things together and that he was clearly not amused.

 

The thing was, she didn't think of Raj that way. It was a conversation that she'd had with Melli already. Not for one second did she get the vibe from him that he was that sort of person. There as something about him that was very straight forward and she'd gotten it in her mind that Raj much like her twin sister wasn't the relationship sort--though for different reasons. She thought he was cute. Adorable and precious really, he was important to her without a doubt, but hardly did the word relationship come to her mind when she thought of him.

 

As such she didn't think it was too bad that she was taking a break to talk to Tide a bit. They were friends right? Friends understood that sort of need. Hardly did she realize that she was sort of ditching him. Those weren't her intentions in the first place. This was just a break after all. At her friend's words she glanced up and shrugged, waving off his question. "I'm taking a break. Take a break." And her attention was back on Tide in an instant. She nodded at his offer, too, not thinking much of it at all. "Can you cook? You're not allowed in my kitchen if you can't cook." But she already figured she'd find something for him to do if he was offering. She wanted him around.

 

His words to Raj hardly affected her as she didn't see it for the move it was, her eyes followed him curiously as he made his way towards the living room, the beer bottle in his hand definitely making an impression but neither did she get what that was about at all and in moments her focus was back on the cute guy in front her.

 

God, it was almost comical. Had this been anyone else, had Pippa not been weirdly charmed by his personality she wouldn't have hesitated to call bullshit on the crap that was coming out of his mouth. Her eyes would have rolled so hard and she would have scoffed, calling him pretentious and walking away in a fucking second. But not with this guy, christ, it was ridiculous. She didn't say anything in response so much as awww at him, obviously feeling a little sorry for the entire situation in general. 

 

She shook her head at his question. "'Fraid not. I'm in a different program actually. None of that for me. But you're in capable hands. Melli's a great tutor. And when you're done I'd be more than happy to have your help in the kitchen. If you're up to it."



#23 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 20 September 2013 - 06:48 AM

Raj wasn't so lucky. Even if he wasn't quite aware of his romantic feelings for Pippa, nor was he willing to act on them, he was still very jealous of this Tide guy and what that meant for his friendship with her. He wasn't so lucky because Pippa didn't have feelings for him; he wasn't so lucky because she was already falling for the act and he laid no real claims to her. This fucking sucked and he was sitting right here in the next room while practically walked away with his best friend.

 

Perhaps it was one of the first things that clued him in to the fact that Pippa wasn't like any of his other friends. Anyone else and he might have felt a little worried, sure, but not outright panicked and even irritated by it. Not at her, no-- she had every right to act however she wanted and again, he had no claims to her-- but at the situation altogether. That some guy could just waltz right into the house, just like that, and detract attention from him. Not that he needed attention, either, as he'd never been that sort of person (in fact he normally wanted to be a background presence), but there was a difference in between being quiet and being ignored.

 

And while a lot of the implications Jackson had made previously went right over his head, "getting in her pants" was something he understood thoroughly. For some reason that threw him for another loop; he didn't like the idea of Pippa being intimate with anyone at all, and that in and of itself was such a foreign feeling that he didn't know how to handle it. In fact his brain shut down for a moment; he just stared at the beer in his hands, brow furrowed, as it usually didn't make a damn difference what people did when they were with another person. But Pippa? Somehow it mattered.

 

He almost reached the right conclusion-- that he was jealous because he liked her-- but it was easy to prevent that conclusion with the idea that he was just worried for her sake. That he didn't like the idea of his best friend being charmed into something, only to be hurt in the end. Then again, Raj never had a problem being honest with himself, so perhaps on a subconscious level he realized it. It explained the unfamiliarity of it all, at the very least.

 

"She seemed into him," was all he said, his voice unusually thoughtful and quiet. He'd always prided himself on being observant, and had this been anyone else, he would have assumed something would happen eventually. It was a telltale sign of attraction; even if a relationship didn't come from this, something else might. Both notions bothered him an insane amount, and it was all he could do not to just get up and leave the house. He knew it wouldn't do any good, though, and a part of him wanted to stay close by so he could know what the hell was going on.

 

Tidus, though. Automatically he responded to that, feeling his fear channel into something like anger. Tidus. "That's a name from Final Fantasy Ten," he told Jackson, craning his neck in an attempt to see them, but they were well out of sight. Normally he didn't judge for things like this; sure, it was a little odd to name yourself after a goddamn video game, but he had the feeling this was the sort of guy who would deny that claim altogether. "He doesn't even look like Tidus. I wonder why he would choose that for himself. It seems--"

 

Wow, there was the anger. Raj had never really felt this before, considering he'd always been neutral to people by default. The people that teased him in the past had always annoyed him, sure, but not to this extent. This was... very different, and worrisome in its own way, and he didn't like the feeling one bit. Suddenly he was popping the top off of his beer and taking a sip, doing his best to ignore the horrible taste of it.

 

"He seems like an idiot," he caught himself saying, and the words felt foreign on his tongue. "Is he an idiot?" His voice might have sounded hopeful; it was ridiculous how much he wanted to dislike this guy. "What's he going to do? Do you think he'll actually get into her pants? Have you seen him do this before? What did he do with Melli exactly?"


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#24 Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 07:14 AM

Win win win. He couldn't see anywhere he'd failed so far, and part of him wanted to sit on his high horse and feel happy about it for the rest of the day. Honestly he hadn't even been trying all that hard; he'd had girls call him out on his phony attitude before, especially when he was half-assing it like he was at the time. She'd given him no reason to work hard for it, after all, so he was perfectly pleased with the way things were going at the moment. Even if he was trying to maintain a somewhat sad demeanor he was already starting to smile ever so slightly, his eyes a little brighter than before.

 

Pippa's dismissal of her friend was just too perfect. It made him confident in the fact that he'd have no trouble charming her. There was one thing everyone had wrong, though; his intentions weren't really to get into her pants so much as... charm her in general. It was an ego boost for the most part, and truthfully he was just the sort that liked relationships. He liked the honeymoon phase, the way a girl made him feel, the way they looked at him and cuddled with him and-- well, he wanted as many romantic partners as possible, though not necessarily to sleep with. It was strange.

 

Conversely, he did want to find the right person for him. It was why he went through this over and over after all; he liked to think that Pippa could very well be his soulmate if he got to know her. It was so easy for him to go through relationship after relationship for that reason alone. The moment it got boring he assumed they weren't "meant to be," and so it was easy to move on, even if he acted heartbroken in the process. 

 

But don't misunderstand him and find him completely innocent, either. While he wasn't the random hookup type, he wasn't against that sort of thing in a relationship. And if they just so happened to initiate a relationship tonight, then... well, you know. So perhaps, in a roundabout way, he was attempting to charm the pants off of her, though it certainly wasn't his first intention. Either way he didn't quite mean well, as he was always being selfish, even if he didn't recognize it most of the time.

 

"I'm not well versed with cooking, but I'm a quick learner with hands-on experience. Textbooks, things like sociology--" He said pointedly, looking over at Melli, who was eyerolling by this point, "--those aren't my strongest suits. But I'm sure I'll pick up on it if you're willing to teach me." He smiled pleasantly at Pippa, tossing his head to the side so as to move his hair out of the way. His ridiculous hair.

 

"I'm certainly up for it. Hopefully this tutoring session won't take too long." He looked down at the book, though his attention was still focused on Pippa for the time being. "What program are you in?" He asked curiously, and Melli might have groaned from her seat next to him, considering she was starting to figure out that this session was useless. No way she was going to get anything done when he had tunnel vision on Pippa. "Sociology's actually quite fascinating. Wish I'd taken it in the Fall or Spring semester so I could dedicate more time to studying it. But, of course, I was trying to finish early since--" He trailed off, shrugging. Hopefully she'd ask.



#25 Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:18 PM

Consoling people when they were upset had never really been Jackson's strong suit. He'd been in this situation many times, not exactly the same one, no, as this was actually kind of ridiculous in the first place, but he had been there for his best friend several times when things started to go south in one of his relationships. It just wasn't something he was very good at, in all honesty, though he meant well, really he did, usually his comments and attempts at reassurances didn't hit home the way he wanted to, his tact could be lacking sometimes. Though, he did try.

 

At the very least he understood that Raj was upset. He might have not really grasped the full concept of what was going on, as he was totally lost on the relationship between he and Pippa in general, but it didn't take much for him to see that the guy was clearly not taking this well. Again, he was hard to read, it was difficult for him to tell what he was thinking as his expressions hardly changed at all, but there was something there that told him that this wasn't just any old conversation and that Harvey's presence really did bother him as much as it did him.

 

In that case, he wanted to push his own feelings aside and help this poor kid out. How exactly he had no idea as there was still that general annoyance lying underneath it all but he at least was lucky in the fact that he trusted Melanie and that nothing could go wrong there. The guy could be as relentlessly obnoxious as he wanted to be and he had no doubts that nothing would go on. Jackson was reassured, even if he couldn't stop being agitated by the whole situation overall. As such, he did his best to push it to the back of his mind. Just this once.

 

But even then he still wasn't too sure what to say. How the hell to make this kid better? This kid he hardly knew. He only shrugged at his first comment, opting not to say a damn word. Truth was, she did seem into him. Completely receptive to the dude's bullshit and he very well could have pulled Pippa aside and warned her, that hey, this guy seemed shady as fuck and a bit of an asshole, you've got a perfectly nice guy here, but he hardly knew the girl and he wasn't about to butt into her business just like that.

 

He did recognize that there was something there for the kid. That had to be it right? Why he was acting like this in the first place. Even if there was no relationship between then, even if they weren't actually dating, it was clear to Jackson that Raj had a thing for Pippa. Of course, he wasn't aware that he didn't know that. "You shouldn't let him get between you and your girl man. Just because she seemed into him doesn't mean a damn thing. She doesn't even know the guy, right? She knows you. Just...get in there before it's too late." 

 

In his own mind he thought it sounded like perfect advice, of course he hardly knew Raj and the way he was at all. Despite that, he could tell he was agitated himself, especially in the way he spoke, his tone of voice, and he clapped a hand on the guy's back, not really aware that he wasn't keen on physical contact. "What a tool." He said, shaking his head and scoffing. "What kind of person adopts a name after a video game character. Shit." He laughed humorlessly and tilted his back much like his new friend, trying to see if he could hear what was going on. "You should hear him talk about how unique his name is. Yeah, right. What a load of bullshit."

 

It was obvious that there was still a little bitterness in the tone of Jackson's voice. The way his face was set. He was still fucking agitated by his general presence. But he was still trying. "Dunno, kid. Like I said, you shouldn't let it happen. Don't know what the deal is with you and Pippa but he's over there trying to take her away." He shook his head, taking another long swig from the beer before looking over at Raj. "He is an idiot. I think he just tried to play up to Melanie's sympathetic side. Something about dyslexia, total bullshit if you ask me. You see why I came now, huh? Had to keep an eye on that douchebag."



#26 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 12:32 PM

God she was buying it. Hook, line and fucking sinker, and had Pippa realized just how phony he was being, had she realized that this was all an act she would have felt incredibly fucking stupid and incredibly pissed at that. She was incredibly oblivious of course. There was nothing in the way he was acting that gave that whole thing away from her and she could do nothing but feel her heartstrings tugging for the poor guy. He was sweet, intelligent and well spoken, how could she not? Even if she was usually considered someone who didn't have much of a sweet side herself, things like this were what caught her attention.

 

It wasn't that the girl had a bad judge of character. Not necessarily. It only seemed to happen on a rare occasion. Interestingly enough after having met one too many guys that were complete idiots and total assholes, Pippa had even told herself that she was going to just focus on what was important, that she wasn't going to get caught up in relationships or flirting or anything of the sort for a good long time. Just her and school and her family and all the things that actually mattered. But well, she was never the type of person to turn down something if it was meant to happen.

 

Perhaps it was the difference in personalities and the fact that in a way she found it refreshing, too, was what got her in the end. Not in the sense that she found Raj refreshing, no, as he was in a totally different category for her altogether. His honesty and the fact that he didn't hold back what he was saying, the level of comfort in general that she felt around him and the fact that she naturally gravitated towards him when he was around put him on an entirely different level. They were, in a way, kindred spirits and she was totally aware of that.

 

But Tide and his mannerisms and his formalities was different than what she was used to dealing with. Assholes with too much mouth and no intelligence to back it up, guys that ended up treating her like shit until she was given no option but to rip them to shreds despite the fact that on the inside she was kind of hurt over it. There was something about this whole thing that seemed volumes different and Pippa couldn't help but wonder if maybe, just maybe, she could actually meet someone that was worth her time in the romantic aspect of her life.

 

So yes, she was charmed. No doubt about it. She hardly noticed Melli's reactions to the whole thing, too, hardly remembered that he was there to do something and not just to talk to her and well, she knew she needed to get back into the kitchen but surely that could wait. "You're in luck, I'm a great teacher. No textbook needed," the corners of her mouth ticked up slightly and she watched the way his hair moved. How the hell did that even happen in the first place. His hair was too pretty. She wanted to touch it.

 

"Hm." She said, turning to Melli and raising her eyebrows. "You won't keep him long will you?" It was a little selfish, sure, as he was there to learn, he wouldn't have asked for her cousin's help if he didn't need it right? But she wanted to get to know him better, too. "I'm in the culinary school." she pointed towards the kitchen with an all too proud grin on my face. "See, I'd be a damn good teacher." And that much was true, that was where Pippa's pride and joy was. She was a damn good cook. Of course, she was curious about his comment, and already her expression was softening, her chin rested in her hands and she gave him a sympathetic look. "Since?"



#27 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:15 PM

There was this small part of Raj that kept hoping Pippa would come around the corner and plop right down next to him or insist that they go back to work. It was stupid, really; he felt like some child wishing someone would pay attention to him, and as such he kept glancing towards the doorway as if she would magically be in it. But she was never there. Vaguely he could still hear her voice in the dining room, chatting away with this Final Fantasy Ten idiot, and it occurred to him that if this continued, he wouldn't be her favorite anymore.

 

Not that he was ever really her favorite-- she had Ruth, after all, and he was aware of it-- but there was still a strange comfort in knowing that he was one of her favorites. If she continued talking to this guy (yes, admittedly he'd noticed that he was one of the only actual guys in her life), she might find that same camaraderie in him and have no need for Raj anymore. He was aware that he was awkward, too blunt, too odd, and otherwise hard to deal with. This guy was probably 100% normal, and in the end that was exactly what broke his heart.

 

He should have expected it anyway. Over and over he'd reminded himself that this would inevitably happen someday, he just didn't expect it to happen so soon. Clearly he was getting ahead of himself; anyone else in this situation might have just seen it as flirtation, simple as that, but it was difficult for him to see it in anything but black and white. For him, it was the same thing. Even if she wasn't marrying the guy and having a bunch of babies with Final Fantasy names, she was still paying a hell of a lot of attention to him. She could still very well end up dating him, something Raj just didn't do, so in the end he lost her just the same.

 

There was something about Jackson's words that confused him, though, and he turned to him, brows furrowed as he shook his head. His girl? Did he mean girlfriend? "She's not my girlfriend," he said quickly, blinking as he looked back toward the doorway. Even if he was in the middle of a fucking crisis right now, it didn't occur to him that he might eventually want her to be. That that was exactly why he was so fucking jealous-- that it wasn't friendship, it was something else. "She's just my friend. I can't stop her just because--"

 

Just because he had attachment issues. Just because he was clingy. He didn't feel like going on about that, so he shook his head and focused his attention back on the television. Obviously his thoughts were nowhere near what the hell was on it, but it was something to look at at the very least. It occurred to him just how different he and Jackson were, just based on the way they both spoke; he wondered if he would've had an easier time going in there and "not letting it happen" if he was more like him. But again, Raj just saw the world in black and white sometimes-- Pippa wasn't his, so what right did he have to go and stop it?

 

And the guy seemed annoyed, too, that Tide was in there with Melanie, but he wasn't panicking like he was. He wasn't absolutely beside himself in upset. Perhaps all Raj needed to do was calm down; he recalled many situations as a child where he'd overreacted to a small schedule upset, and it occurred to him that this felt very, very similar to that. All he needed to do was breathe. So he did; he took in deep breaths and let them out slowly, letting his muscles relax, though he did all of this quietly. Years of practice made him feel a little less like a weirdo when he needed to take a moment.

 

"But why would he lie? About dyslexia?" That was something he just didn't understand in the least. That was similar to lying and claiming he had something similar to Raj, which-- why in the world would someone want that? It complicated things, and he didn't really understand the sympathy card. Perhaps it was because his own disorder made him rude and otherwise awkward, but he'd never really had the pity card played on him, so he wasn't quite so sure what that even meant. "Do you think Pippa likes people like that? Flawed people?" For some reason that hurt a little to say.


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#28 Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

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Posted 20 September 2013 - 09:40 PM

Tide had no idea what sort of shit person he was. Honestly he saw most of this as harmless-- it wasn't as if he was out to break hearts-- but there was no questioning how shitty it was to lie to another person just because you wanted to be liked. There were little white lies that might have been acceptable, but faking something like dyslexia or memories from childhood-- that was all just fucking ridiculous, and it demeaned issues that others went through. He had no idea how shitty that was, if only because it was the way he'd always been. Tide had always looked out for himself, first and foremost, as it wasn't as if there were a lot of others around willing to do the same.

 

That isn't to say he grew up in a bad household, per se, as he had a lot of things most kids didn't. His parents were what you might call "well off," and while they cared about him, they just weren't around all the time. Instead it was up to hired help to look after him, and oftentimes he was a little shit to them just to see if he could be. All the poor kid wanted was some attention, truthfully, but he'd never really been given it the way he wanted, so it was only natural that he'd learn to milk every situation for all its worth. It didn't excuse his shitty behavior, though, nor did it excuse the need to flit around and date as many women as possible.

 

Perhaps that had something to do with why he grew so easily bored with girl after girl, too. Not only was the relationship founded on nothing but lies, all the way down to his very name, but nothing was ever quite enough for him. Hopefully he'd eventually find the right sort of fulfillment to fix that issue, but for now he was left going from girl to girl, relationship to relationship, not ever quite settling on something healthy.

 

And at the moment he wanted Pippa. The more she spoke the more he was starting to like her, too, even if a lot of his reasoning was selfish. Even if a lot of it had to do with the fact that he really, really liked the way she kept grinning at him like she thought he was cute. "I'm sure you are," he agreed with another pleasant smile. "I look forward to learning. I'm always open to new educational experiences, after all." (He wasn't. No.)

 

He was more than satisfied with what she asked Melli, and he wondered how obvious it would be if he just dismissed the girl right then and there. Just, 'hey maybe I can read the chapters on my own.' Then again, he knew he needed the help, and he doubted his professor would be sympathetic, considering he was sitting right there in the next room. He watched the other brunette shake her head at her cousin, though, jotting down something in her notes and otherwise trying not to pay attention. Poor girl looked like she felt like a third wheel.

 

"Oh, I--" He started, shaking his head. "It's no big deal. I'm just trying to finish early. My siblings back at home, they-- well, my father recently lost his job and they don't have a lot of funds to get by. I'd just like to finish so I can help out." He gave another pleasant smile, despite lying through his teeth. For one, he was an only child. And two, his dad was perfectly employed and rich. And three, he had no intentions of finishing early-- in fact, he was behind.



#29 Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 04:30 AM

He was starting to realize a little bit about how this kid ticked. Not completely, no, as it definitely wasn't that simple and he didn't know the guy, but the way he bounced back questions at him gave him enough to realize that he wasn't thinking in the same wavelength as Jackson was. While he wasn't completely sure what was going on in his mind, there were little things he at least understood, bits and pieces that were starting to make sense to him and he was realizing that he might need to...put things a little bit differently for the guy than he normally would.

 

That still didn't make him very good at this whole thing. He was upset, that much he knew, but Jackson still wasn't sure how to get him to not be upset. Clearly his advice wasn't the best and he'd been wrong on the whole girlfriend thing in the first place which honestly put him back to square one. Add to that the fact that he was still fucking irritated as hell himself, that he was still internally stewing over this whole situation in the first place and Jackson was a terrible candidate for this whole trying to make the dude feel better about everything task.

 

So he stopped trying. Shitty as hell, yeah, but honestly he didn't see himself getting anywhere. He resigned himself to the role of comrade instead, they could both sit there and vent about the asshole and glare and wax on about how much of an obnoxious presence he was in the house. Of course that was ridiculous, too, as Raj had it worse in this scenario completely. He'd stopped looking at Melanie and turned his focus on Pippa completely and now that he realized that she wasn't even his girlfriend, he knew the likelihood of something happening there was pretty high.

 

"Hey, I'm sorry, kid. I didn't know. But I get it. He just came in and took her away from you, shit sucks." Jackson could certainly understand, as he was known to have some issues with clinginess himself. Those deeply rooted abandonment issues that he dealt with constantly had made him so and there were times where he did get that way. "Still, you should let her know y'know, kinda fucked up that she just ditched you." He raised an eyebrow and nodded towards the direction of the kitchen. He wasn't trying to trash talk the girl, but well, it was kind of true wasn't it?

 

At Raj's question he sort of grimaced, scratching the back of his head awkwardly. "I don't know if he's actually lying. I mean, shit, for all I know he could be telling the truth, but if it's true he sure as hell uses his sob story to his advantage. Either way it's pretty fucked up." He shrugged and glanced down at the beer bottle, peeling the corner of the label with his thumbnail. "You know her better than I do, kid, I can't tell you that, let's just hope she realizes what a douche bag he is before anything happens, right?" He couldn't help but wonder what in the world was going through his mind.

 

With a heavy sigh, Jackson tilted his head once more, straining to hear what the fuck was going on, but he didn't really want to put the kid through all that fucking torture. So he figured he might as well distract him instead. "Just...forget about it, hopefully he'll leave soon and you and Pippa can go back to cooking in the kitchen right?" He picked up the discarded remote and handed it to him, pointing at the tv as he did so. "See if we can find anything good."



#30 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 05:20 AM

That whole, girl made of stone reputation that Pippa had earned herself was honestly not all that true. Sure, she certainly wasn't one to hesitate on calling out bullshit when it really came down to it. She didn't stop herself from saying the truth no matter who the person was or how sweet they were, and she didn't really sugarcoat things for anyone at all, that was the way she was, the way everyone knew her to be. Her harsh words and blunt honesty had made her seem scary and unsympathetic to most observers but really it wasn't the case.

 

She definitely wasn't one of those people that couldn't form an emotional connection with someone and she wasn't the type of person that just didn't care when something was sad or tragic. Even though she was a bit rough around the edges when it came to the way she handled things, it didn't mean that she didn't care, that her heartstrings didn't tug for people when their story warranted. There were a lot of things that got her emotionally. A lot of things that made her want to wrap her arms around someone and hug them and tell them that everything would be okay.

 

Most people didn't assume that of her. It was ridiculous, really. She wasn't scary or intimidating. Hell, she was hardly the type of person that could be considered imposing at all. Tiny as hell, the only thing she had going for her was the fact that she didn't hold back on her opinions at all, and often it baffled her when people thought she was mean, or a bitch, or anything in that vein. People hardly realized that she was incredibly caring, and sure, she mostly showed that side of hers with her family only but it was still there and it came out on occasion.

 

Already she was giving Tide sympathetic smiles and sad looks. She felt bad for him, yes. The more he spoke, the more she picked up that sad tone in his voice the more she sort of wanted to pull him in for a hug or something. Hardly did she know it was an act of course. After all, she had no reason to believe he'd lie to her and though she wasn't naive enough not to understand why someone would do such a thing, she certainly didn't jump to that conclusion automatically.

 

She nodded at the compliment, her mouth ticking up at the corners and her eyebrows raising. She really was sort of a sucker in this situation as she was already buying everything that was coming out of his mouth. Including his eagerness to learn things as yes that sort of thing actually impressed her, too. "You never know, you might be naturally talented at it. Just need the right teacher."

 

And yeah, Pippa was starting to like the guy, too. Something about him was enjoyable to talk to. All an act of course though she had no idea. The more and more he spoke the more she wanted to get to know him, the more she found him sweet and compassionate and just an all around nice guy. Of course his story about his siblings got to her, too, and she found herself awwing again. "That's so sweet. You must be a great big brother." As someone who's family was important to her, this sort of thing definitely got to her. "I think I should maybe let Melli tutor you then, I'd hate to hold you back in that case, but feel free to join me when you're done. I'll be here for awhile."

 

And with a bright smile she rose from the table and headed back to the kitchen and though Raj was on her mind, she figured he'd already settled in the couch with Jackson and she wanted for him to make a new friend, so she didn't bother him, instead went to work again and hoped that this Tide guy would join her.



#31 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 21 September 2013 - 05:35 AM

Raj understood this gesture. He understood that Jackson was trying to make him feel better. And had he been like anyone else he might have been comforted, but considering the literal way he took everything, it was difficult to find any solace in it. Still he listened to every word the guy said, a little glad that someone was there to talk to him regardless. Even if some of what he was saying was only enhancing his panic, it calmed him down to have a presence there to listen and understand him. He was walking away with something from this, at the very least.

 

And in any other situation he would have been excited and eager to make a new friend. Not outwardly, no-- Raj rarely showed that on the surface-- but normal conversations like this often made his day. It made him feel like people liked him. But considering the circumstances it was hard to feel glad about anything, which was also abnormal for Raj. Typically he was very easily pleased, and things didn't bring him down. He'd even grown used to schedule upsets, something that really bothered him as a kid, and he'd grown used to people leaving. He'd grown used to knowing that his clinginess was a problem. He'd grown used to a lot of things, but this wasn't something he was prepared for at all.

 

Why she was different from his other friends, he didn't know. Maybe it had to do with the fact that he never risked losing his previous friends to a romantic prospect before. Then again, the more he thought about it, the more he realized that he wasn't necessarily losing her. Perhaps she could balance a friendship with a guy and a relationship at the same time; it was really stupid for him to just assume that she was done with him, but it was hard to see it any other way. Had he thought about it, he might have realized that he did project something like a relationship onto her, and he didn't like that to be threatened.

 

He did, at the very least, realize that the amount they hung out was akin to something like a relationship, and sharing that with someone else would change that dynamic entirely. But he figured that was exactly why he and Pippa worked so well as friends, too; she was just as willing to spend a lot of time with him, and she dealt with his clinginess without even realizing it existed. It was still all friendship in his mind, but with change in the picture it threw him off. He'd never dealt well with change, and this was no different.

 

He still listened to Jackson's words amid this flurry of thoughts, swallowing harshly. Took her away. That was exactly what he feared, but he supposed he could appreciate the guy's honesty at the very least, even if he was taking it too literally. "I don't blame her," he said as Jackson mentioned her ditching him, his voice flat and devoid of any self-pity despite his wording. And the truth was that he didn't blame her. This guy was attractive and interesting and normal. Raj was none of those three things, even if he was normally self-confident.

 

The more he thought about this Tide guy-- excuse me, Harvey-- the more he became annoyed with his entire existence in general. Raj wasn't used to disliking a person, so this was all incredibly new to him, but it was undoubtedly the emotion he felt at the time. That was something he couldn't deny for a second. "He still seems like an idiot to me," he said, returning his attention to the television as he took the remote from Jackson. Idly he flipped through the channels, glad to at least have something to do, even if his heart wasn't in it.

 

"What kind of person calls himself Tide, anyway?" He asked, even if the topic had already been discussed. Suddenly he looked down at his beer bottle, only to discover that it'd been drained. He wasn't even aware that he was drinking it-- perhaps it was out of nervous energy. "I wonder if he plays guitar. I bet he plays guitar. I bet he's exactly that stereotype of jerk you see in television. Have you ever seen Community? Like that Vaughn guy. I bet he considers himself an activist. You know he implied he was vegan before. What a--"

 

Whoa, this rage was new. It didn't feel right, either; he didn't like to be unhappy, so this was something he wanted to get rid of as soon as possible. Instead he fell silent, shaking his head as he finally settled on a TV show. LOST reruns would do. "I don't like him."


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#32 Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 06:13 AM

The more he spoke to her the more his initial confidence started to fade away and he just settled into the routine of charming a person. That didn't mean he wasn't arrogant about it, no, but he wasn't feeling like strutting around as much, as he clearly didn't have to try all that hard. She was easily swayed, wasn't she? The brunette next to him wasn't, but he'd all but given up on her by this point. No need for plan B if the original plan was basically right there in his hands already.

 

He just smiled at the idea of being a great big brother, acting as if that compliment really meant something to him, when in all honesty he had no idea how that felt. Sometimes as a kid he'd really wished he had siblings, as perhaps that meant someone in his house that didn't fucking ignore him. Someone to actually spend time with. And sometimes he felt lucky to be an only child, as that meant his attention wasn't split down the middle. It meant he didn't have to try too hard to be anyone's favorite.

 

Regardless, he had no idea how that felt and it was sort of douchey for him to pretend to. Oftentimes he knew he was backing himself into a corner with these lies, as if he met someone that he truly, really liked, it would be pretty difficult to deal with those lies after they'd already passed his lips. Sometimes lying just came naturally to him; sometimes even he was convinced of what he was saying. His persona sometimes was him through and through.

 

He felt greatly disappointed when she went to the kitchen, though he nodded and smiled on the surface. "Of course. I won't be so quick to leave." With that he turned back to Melli (yes, inching way too close to her and practically breathing down her neck as she tried to tutor him), though he clearly wanted to be done sometime soon. In fact, he might have interjected every now and then just to ask specifically about Pippa, in which case the brunette became clearly frustrated.

 

He assumed it had to do with the fact that she was into him. Of course she was jealous; his attention was focused on her cousin now, and she'd missed her chance by trying to play hard to get in the classroom. Little did he realize that she was brewing because her time was being wasted, because he clearly wasn't into his fucking studies and she hated people like that. She hated it when people didn't take their education seriously, and he represented everything she despised about the college experience. He was way too busy chasing after a goddamn girl-- her cousin, no less, which left her worried that she'd have her feelings hurt-- to pay any attention to his grades.

 

Eventually she grew frustrated enough that she just agreed to email him her notes so he could study on his own. He was perfectly happy with that prospect, though, and as such just grinned and nodded. "You're a doll," he told her as he ruffled her hair, hoping that he hadn't quite closed that door all the way by showing interest in her cousin. Perhaps in the future, right?

 

He didn't waste any time making his way to the kitchen. Once he was there he leaned on the counter, eyes closed. "Any meat that I should worry about?" He asked, though he was smiling.



#33 Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:08 AM

For some reason, he expected the guy to get sort of exasperated and walk away in a huff. Truth be told, had this been him, he would have definitely done so. The only reason why he wasn't literally seething with rage was because he knew nothing would happen for him to actually worry about. Nonetheless he was still very much agitated, somehow he found a way to keep his composure in this whole situation but internally he was very much brewing about the whole thing. There was a part of him that wanted to march into the fucking dining room and pull the guy out by the hair all the way out the door.

 

He had to hand it to Raj. Really, he did, as while he recognized that he wasn't very happy about this whole thing, he didn't know how in the world he managed to remain so calm about it, too. Even while Jackson was mostly composed there were clear signs of his agitation. The way he kept fidgeting around. The frown on his face. The fact that he looked back there every three fucking second as if the view would change and suddenly he'd see everything. Shit, he needed to calm the hell down. He had no reason to be upset after all.

 

And he at least wanted to be there for poor Raj, too. He didn't have many friends after all. Not that he thought he should have been making friends with someone so young but well, it was too late to think about that anyway. Besides the fact that it really was nice to have a comrade in this whole thing. Miranda and Dan aside, Pippa and Raj were the only ones that knew about their whole relationship between he and Melanie and there was something relieving about the fact that he didn't have to put on an act around them.

 

He definitely felt bad for the kid. That was for sure. A look of sympathy on his face mixed in with irritation. That sort of self deprecation was something that he wasn't that he was used to himself so he wasn't all too sure of what to say there. Instead he clapped a hand against his back again and shook his head, another attempt at shoddy reassurance. He really was pretty fucking shitty at this sort of thing. 

 

Even while Raj huffed though he still didn't seem to express his anger too much. Jackson knew the kid was upset, that was a realization he had already, but he was still pretty fucking impressed by the fact that he wasn't doing exactly what he himself wanted to do. "Yeah, he's an idiot. You're right." He nodded, and drained the last of his beer, staring straight at the tv as he changed the channels. He had to raise an eyebrow at his rant, as this was really what he'd been expecting. He shook his head at his question, too, no idea what he was talking about. And for a long moment he was silent. Stewing in front of the television and frowning at the long blond haired guy in the show--something about him that he didn't like okay?

 

Eventually he stood up, grabbing Raj's empty beer bottle and making his way into the kitchen. The first thing he saw was this asshole extremely close to Melanie. Way too fucking close and he sort of huffed like a petulant child, past Pippa and into the fridge for two more beers. When he sat down and handed the guy the bottle he huffed again and shook his head. "That asshole has some fucking nerve."



#34 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 21 September 2013 - 08:27 AM

It didn't take anyone knowing Pippa all too well to tell by the look on her face that she was charmed by him. It was obvious by the coy smile on her face or the way she paid so much damn attention to him as he spoke that he'd caught her eye. It was obvious in the fact that while her cousin was clearly agitated with this whole thing, she didn't much think about her in the mix. Her mind didn't cross to Melli or the fact she was wasting her time at all. And that much was a dead give away, too.

 

This part of her that was a bit won over with Tide was being selfish. A part of Pippa that didn't come out too often and had she realized what she was doing she would have actually stopped herself and chastised herself for this ridiculous behavior. It hadn't really been in her intentions to waste Melli's time. It hadn't been in her intentions to ditch Raj, either, hell that was definitely not something she did on purpose as she always looked forward to spending time with him. Besides Ruth, he really was her favorite and casting him aside wasn't done purposely.

 

But then again these really were the rare moments where she wasn't herself. She was easily charmed by people like this and again it was his different personality that really grabbed her attention all too well. She went back into the kitchen with the thought that she'd met a really nice guy. A nice attractive guy who paid her attention and didn't seem like a self-absorbed douche bag. And honestly, how could she not want to get to know him more? There was no blaming her in this situation was there?

 

For the most part she busied herself pretty easily. There hadn't been too much time wasted and it wasn't as if she would protest about spending too much time in the kitchen anyway. Though she did set to work right away, doing as promised and taking care of anything that had to do with meat first. It was comical, too, as any other person she might have scoffed over their fucking ridiculousness. Not that she was terribly judgmental but there was something pretentious and haughty about vegans that made her grit her teeth. 

 

Had he not been winning her over she might have scoffed at him about how no one was forcing him to eat it and it was just a few feet away and to jesus christ calm down. Instead she prepared her lasagna, sticking it in the oven and wiping down the counter area. At the very least she wasn't the sort of girl that was looking over there every few minutes to make sure they were done. It was a good thing, too, or she might have noticed the fact that he was sitting incredibly close to Melli which would have changed her opinion about him completely.

 

Eventually he joined her, just as she was putting another pot out and filling it with water. "You're all set for now. This is a meat free zone." She wrinkled her nose and looked up at him, he was ridiculously tall, christ, before she pulled out a knife and set to chopping vegetables again. "That was fast, huh? She really didn't keep you long." She turned her body partly towards him so she could have eye contact as she spoke. "If you want to help you can slice some of that cabbage, you really don't have to though, I'm fine with just your company." 



#35 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 22 September 2013 - 05:35 AM

The more Raj felt this strange anger, the more he didn't now how to deal with it. This sort of behavior was typical in some men, wasn't it? He'd seen plenty of distasteful personalities around campus, and for the most part he dismissed it because it wasn't his business. Hell, Raj wasn't even completely certain that this guy wasn't being genuine. Maybe he was just some sad, dramatic guy with great hair; he'd always been great with observation, sure, but he could easily have the wool pulled over his eyes. Understanding actions and the way a story was unfolding he was an expert with, but he wasn't great at picking up on small distinctions in facial expressions that might have betrayed someone just acting. The guy he was sitting next to could've been a douchebag for all he knew, but his actions made Raj think otherwise. This jealousy, for instance, was a telltale sign that he liked Melanie a lot.

 

Which might have spoken volumes for the way Raj felt about Pippa if he'd connected the dots. But instead he was focusing entirely too much on the fact that he was having these stupid anger issues to begin with. They didn't settle well with him, either-- extreme emotion never did-- so he felt like fleeing before it got any worse. Retreating to his dorm room to watch episode after episode after episode of television, like a binge of sorts, until he forgot about it. 

 

Still, he was the type that trusted anyone who was nice to him wholeheartedly, so he believed Jackson when he said the guy was a phony in so many words. Besides, it was easier to project his jealousy onto him instead of Pippa, and it was easy to dismiss why he felt that jealousy in the first place when he had the disclaimer of the guy being a douchebag. He was just looking out for his best friend, right? That was all.

 

When Jackson left he felt exponentially lonely, and for a while he just sat there, blankly staring at the tv screen. LOST reruns usually got him into a good mood; they were perfectly dramatic enough to catch his attention so he could analyze every last second of it. But instead he was just too focused on the situation at hand, straining his ears to try to catch even a word of what they were saying. Before long Jackson was back, and he willingly took the beer from him and started in on it immediately, even if it wasn't his sort of thing.

 

But hey, the situation called for it; he was so nervous that he just wanted something to occupy himself with. Even if he'd never really had alcohol before in his life, it was fairly easy to accept this as a new experience and drain it. If he didn't watch out he'd be in for a surprise, but at the moment he didn't expect anything. "What did he do?" Raj asked, curious as he turned to the guy. He wanted to hear every little detail-- where Pippa was, what Tide was doing, whether or not he seemed genuine.

 

Around that time he heard the sound of a chair scraping against the wood, and as he craned his neck, he saw Tide making his way across the dining room and towards Pippa. Melli wasn't with him, either; clearly it would be just the two of them in the kitchen and he hated that idea. Would he be helping her? That was his job, wasn't it? That was why she'd invited him over. So why in the world would she do that? He wasn't irritated with her, per se, so much as completely baffled and feeling maybe the slightest bit betrayed.

 

But again, he didn't blame her. Sighing and leaning back into the couch, he decided to try his best to focus on the television screen. Eventually Melli joined them, plopping down next to Jackson and cuddling automatically into him. A day ago-- hell, an hour ago-- that would have been interesting for him to see, considering how he kinda shipped it in the weirdest of ways, but at the moment it made him feel lonely. Why, he wasn't so sure, as it wasn't as if he wanted something like romance in the first place, but all of these emotions were new to him anyway.


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#36 Guest_Tide Hendrix_*

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 06:27 AM

Tide was actually starting to really like Pippa. Sure, the way he liked girls was always selfish, but it was still surpassing a point that was just ego-boosting. She was cute, she was nice, and she was very receptive to him, even if he wasn't being sincere. Every now and then he encountered a girl he'd have to chase, and while he didn't mind the chase, this was actually nice, too. She was falling for his every charm and it was sort of cute on her, actually; he liked the way she smiled at him.

 

Honestly it didn't make a goddamn difference if there was meat in the kitchen. He'd just been overdramatic before if only because he wanted some attention, and apparently it fucking worked. Regardless, even his veganism was just because he was pretentious. Just because he jumped on a cause because it sounded nice to say-- it had nothing to do with his actual concern for animals so much as the right to claim that he had the willpower. The claim that he was an animal lover, even if he honestly didn't know what to do with his hands when he was around one.

 

And vegan food all tasted like shit to him. Technically he wasn't completely vegan, as he was guilty of dropping by a Sonic for a giant fucking milkshake when he was hungry enough, but that was maybe once every could of months, and usually after a really big breakup. Admittedly he did take breakups pretty hard, if only because it was usually a massive bruise to the ego. Even if he'd done the dumping, he always felt a little butthurt when the girl didn't try to stop him, and he might have felt a little guilty about it every now and then, too.

 

By this point he hadn't quite forgotten about his vegan act before, but he wasn't going to play it up anymore if only because he wanted an excuse to sit and talk to her. Fortunately things worked out in his favor; the meat was already put away, so he didn't have to pull out an excuse for double standards. Perfect. "I suppose she--" He started to say that she recognized what could be going on here, a budding romance, but he stopped himself. Not that he necessarily wanted to, but it was still a nice little act in case she wanted to pry.

 

"Perhaps she had other things to do today, I'm not sure. She'll be emailing me her notes from the previous semester, so I suppose that should help. Professor Dahl grades harshly." He frowned lightly at that, unable to figure out why he specifically was making bad grades. Other classmates weren't doing so badly, after all. Maybe he just wasn't grasping the subject exactly how this guy wanted him to, in which case having the TA's notes would be perfect, right?

 

He set to work on the cabbage without a complaint, smiling to himself at the thought of her being fine with his company. He might have been experiencing a budding crush, himself, but that didn't mean it would last long. "I'd love to help. I'd hate to stand here uselessly. I'll do whatever you'd like me to do-- I'm at your service." He paused for a moment to bow to her, smirking lightly as he pulled back up.



#37 Guest_Jackson Dahl_*

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 07:58 AM

Well, shit. Now he was just fucking pissed. Any and all attempts at consoling Raj and making him feel better about this whole situation were out the window the very moment he walked in that dining room. It had taken all his strength of character not to pick up the asshole's chair and move him as far away from Melanie as possible, and honestly, he had no idea how he just walked right past them without blowing up completely. But he knew, he knew that it was a bad idea, it was the only thing that was keeping him from setting the kid in his place.

 

Last thing he needed was someone in his class finding this shit out. It was bad enough that they were in the god damn gossip column every five seconds, the only thing this would do was stir him up more shit. Neither did he want to lose his job or get Melanie in any sort of trouble at all, so he needed to keep his cool, even if his grip was tightening around the beer bottles as he walked by and his eyes were practically rolling into the back of his head. This asshole really was a piece of fucking work, wasn't he?

 

There was also the fact that he was grading him a hell of a lot harsher than anyone else. A petty fucking move, sure, but well, he just didn't like him hanging around Melanie like that. Now that he was starting to get tired of seeing the guy's face though he'd have to back off a bit. It was mean as hell anyway, but he really didn't want to have to deal with him in another class if he failed him. He wasn't sure that he would figure that whole thing out as Jackson didn't think the guy was terribly smart in the first place but he didn't want to take any chances at all.

 

Regardless of whether or not he actually controlled his rage, he was pretty much of no help to Raj whatsoever. His attempts at keeping down his agitation weren't working anymore and the only thing he could do was look back again, craning his fucking neck and trying to see what the hell was going on. He gave up again, as they were out of sight, but his lips were in a straight line. "He's sitting way too close to Melanie for my liking. What an asshole, huh? Guess since Pippa wasn't there anymore he had to go back to slobbering all over her. Fucking tool is what he is."

 

He scoffed. Shaking his head and fidgeting like fucking crazy in his seat. Honestly he didn't know how the hell he managed to stay put as he really wanted to know what the fuck was going on. He wanted to pull up a chair and plant himself right between the two and make sure that the guy wasn't trying anything at all but he at least managed. Trying to focus on the tv show in front of him and draining his beer in a few seconds. Though he felt bad for Raj he made no other attempts at helping him out. He really wasn't going to be anymore help.

 

There was definite relief as Melanie sat down next to him. His shoulders relaxed and he curled his arm around her pressing a soft kiss to the top of his head. Now that she didn't have Harvey breathing down her neck, Jackson could at least breathe a little easier. Despite the fact that the guy was in the other room he didn't bother with not sitting close to her. They'd hear his footsteps, right?



#38 Guest_Pippa Altair_*

Guest_Pippa Altair_*

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Posted 22 September 2013 - 08:44 AM

In a way, Pippa was sort of a perfect candidate for this sort of person. Even with the fact that she was incredibly honest and didn't hold back, her past experiences didn't lend themselves to that aspect of her personality. It was the only time she really fell for shit like this. It wasn't that she was a sucker, she was smart and somewhat receptive, sure,  but she was easily charmed by guys, she was a shameless flirt when it happened, too, and as such she basically made it all too easy for someone like Tide to win her over the way he had. 

 

Her cluelessness really was going to come back and bite her in the end, too, and she would regret this whole thing completely. Already she was being dismissive of other people. Wasting Melli's time, ignoring Raj. Shit, who knew what sort of things she could do if he kept grabbing her attention like that, too. It was rare of her to do these things and Pippa liked to thing of herself as a really good friend, but well, sometimes her priorities became a bit too skewed for her own good.

 

But she meant well. Honestly, she did. It was just easy for her to get carried away in these situations. Not that she was boy crazy or lost a sense of herself around guys necessarily. But she always focused on everyone else. Pippa was definitely the sort of person who put others ahead of her, she looked out for her family, spent time with Ruth, made sure Wes and Chase had food and didn't have to do any extra work that they were already doing, and sometimes, she liked having something that was just for herself.

 

This was what this was to her. Making a new friend, someone who was cute and paid her attention, someone who showed interest and wasn't a part of her family, it flattered her. She wanted something like this in her life. And yes, Raj was very much important to her. He was her favorite without a doubt, so she wasn't discounting him as a person on her life whatsoever. There was just something different about her interactions with Tide than there were with Raj. Again, he didn't strike her as the relationship sort so that thought never crossed her mind whatsoever.

 

Tide had quite a way of catching her attention, too, and Pippa hardly realized it was all an act. It was easy for her to be curious when he left her hanging like that, and she raised her eyebrow at him as he trailed off. "Hm? She what?" She'd always been the type to ask questions. As with her honesty she expected the same from other people. If she only knew that he was pulling the wool completely over her eyes here. "Well, Melli's a diligent note taker, so hopefully that'll help." The news of Jackson being a harsh grader surprised her for some reason as he seemed a bit laid back to her.

 

"Is he? Huh. Well, study hard then, if he's a harsh grader I can't imagine how that final will be. And you do want to graduate early after all." Admittedly she felt sort of bad for him. Usually Pippa had no sympathy for people who couldn't keep up in class, but the thought of the guy trying to get home to his siblings tugged at her heartstrings. She sort of grinned at him and his offer though that was short lived as he bowed and she burst out in full on laughter to which she shook her head, her lips pulled up. "That was cute. Honestly you don't have to do much, I'm pretty picky in the kitchen so you can either chop more vegetables for this stew I'm making or just keep talking to me. I don't mind either way."



#39 Raj Rangan

Raj Rangan

Posted 22 September 2013 - 09:26 AM

Raj felt guilty, but he was glad to know that momentarily that guy was away from Pippa. The idea that he was all up on Melli bothered him too, though not in the same way it bothered him with Pippa; it bothered him because he knew this guy didn't take her seriously. That if he could be so unabashedly ridiculous with both of them, then he wasn't interested in his best friend like he should've been. Then again, perhaps he was the sort of person who didn't understand personal space, as he'd met quite a few people like that in his lifetime. In fact, Pippa often didn't understand that Raj wanted his space at times, though slowly he was starting to get used to it.

 

But, of course, now Melanie was here and Harvey was there in the kitchen, doing his job. It was what he'd been invited here for and now some stranger was taking it over for him. Almost anyone else might have felt thankful to be freed of the activity, but Raj had actually been looking forward to today for a good bulk of the week. Now it was completely ruined and he was drinking a fucking beer and he had no idea how this had happened. Though he supposed he wasn't all that surprised in the end, anyway.

 

He tried not to be annoyed with everything, but suddenly it was channeling into his surroundings. It was as if his world had been invaded with a little upset, and now everything was thrown off course; this, too, was a familiar feeling, even if he hadn't felt it in a couple of years. When one thing went wrong it infected the rest of him. Everything was painted in a negative light, and as he looked around, he couldn't help but feel like things were grating at him. The disorganized way things were arranged around the television, the overwhelming quietness despite the vague sound of the television in the background, even the affectionate, comfortable way Jackson and Melli settled into one another. 

 

He wasn't sure why that last one bothered him. Being the third wheel hardly ever irritated him; he rarely realized he was until he wasn't being paid attention to, in which case it was fairly easy to remove himself from the situation. Sure, he'd get a little down over the fact that he was losing a friendship to a relationship, but it was always a passing thought, nothing like it was with Pippa at the moment. Jackson wasn't even making him feel like a third wheel, either, so much as he was just sitting with his girlfriend. That was natural. It'd be weird if they didn't relax into one another. So why was he feeling irritated with it? Not irritated with him, per se-- he didn't want the guy to quit doing it-- so much as he felt... jealous.

 

God, that was becoming a familiar emotion. It was all he could do not to get up and storm out, but something kept him right there in his seat. Perhaps the beer and a half contributed; he was feeling sort of tipsy and knew it was a bad idea to drive off. That was simply common knowledge. Another one of those strict rules that he wasn't about to break.

 

Perhaps he was brewing a little too much, perhaps the tv was at just the right volume to cover it up, or perhaps the front door had opened so quietly that he hadn't heard it, but he didn't even know Toby was there until he heard his voice. His voice was raised and he didn't seem all that happy, but it was beyond him as to why he was feeling that way. Raj's mind was so clouded with this strange jealousy (and worry about the fact that he was having it at all) that he didn't even link the fact that Melli was all up on Jackson with Toby's protectiveness. He just thought he was pissed off-- maybe he knew Tide.

 

"What the fuck is going on?" Was the only thing Toby said, and without missing a beat, Raj replied. "I was here helping Pippa cook, and Melanie agreed to tutor Harvey since he was failing Jackson's class, but Jackson tagged along because he doesn't trust the guy. Or he's jealous. I don't know which." He had no idea what he was doing; he had no idea that he'd just made the shitstorm worse. It was obvious by the way he nodded, satisfied with his explanation, that he hadn't intended on dropping a bomb. But Toby didn't seem relieved with his explanation, either, so his brain started to click into place as he looked over at Melli and Jackson.


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#40 Toby Aldebaran

Toby Aldebaran

Posted 22 September 2013 - 09:41 AM

Food. Motherfucking food. The moment he heard that Pippa was cooking at the bed and breakfast, he jumped in his car and headed that way. Having a break from practice for a day (the coach agreed that they all needed a rest for a change), he was actually sort of bored. The Kappa house was quiet, there was nothing good on TV, and he had this strange urge to be social that he couldn't quite satiate. Hell, even his few good friends were busy, including Chase-- which was how he found out that Pippa was there, of course.

 

So he drove there without thinking twice. Why would he? It was his family, after all; in his mind they had no business that wasn't his business. There was no need to announce his arrival, there was no need to do anything but walk in the fucking door and grab himself a plateful of whatever the fuck the girl was cooking. He was so damn hungry by this point that it didn't even matter what it was, and as such he ran up the steps and opened the door which was... strangely already cracked ever so slightly. As he glanced at it he realized that it hadn't been replaced quite yet, so it wasn't shutting all the way. Oh well, not his problem.

 

For that reason alone, his arrival was quiet. And he almost sped right past the living room without even looking into it, too, as he was so hungry that his stomach was practically guiding him to the kitchen. It wasn't until he heard the television that his interest was piqued, as he couldn't help but wonder who else was here. Perhaps his boredom was cured after all. So he stopped in the doorway to glance in, though what he saw there simply infuriated him.

 

His cousin-- the one he'd been so insistent on protecting at the campsite-- was cuddling right into this asshole professor in the middle of the day like they had no regard for anyone else. Like it was just common fucking knowledge that they were together. The moment she caught sight of him she jumped away, too, betraying the fact that yes, this was something. It was no accident or mistake on his part; her wide eyes and the way she looked at him was enough to tell him that. What the fuck were they doing? Did she have any fucking clue how stupid she was? And what the fuck sort of person charmed one of his goddamn students? Why the fuck did this weird guy that Pippa brought around all the time know and he didn't? What the actual fuck was going on?

 

So, of course, he voiced that thought. "What the fuck is going on here?" He asked, voice louder than he intended and not level whatsoever. It was clear that he was absolutely brewing with anger. And before he could continue with any more of it, this Raj guy was speaking up and basically told him, in so many words, that Jackson and Melli were a thing. If this guy actually had the nerve to get jealous of some other guy, he laid some sort of claims to her. And that was not. Fucking. Okay.

 

"So this is a thing, then," he said, laughing hollowly and shaking his head. "So you're stupid enough to give into this, are you?" He looked directly at Melli, disbelief and pure rage written all over his features. What the fuck kind of nerve did she have just cuddling with him in the fucking bed and breakfast like this? Where anyone could walk in? How many people knew, anyway? And what the fuck kind of nerve did he have? It was all he could do not to walk up and punch the guy in the face, as it was simply the language he spoke when he was angry, though somehow he kept his feet planted right there in the doorway. Perhaps he was hoping that he'd be talked down, that he somehow misunderstood all of this. Besides, punching a professor... well, that could get him in a lot of fucking trouble, couldn't it?

 

"How fucking long? At the campsite? What the fuck-- you're a fucking asshole, man. This girl--" He wasn't even sure where he was going with that. It was very, very clear that Melli was as innocent as they came-- shit, he wasn't even sure if that was the case anymore-- and here she was dating some old guy. "Couldn't you find some other student to fuck around with? Why her? I swear to god--" His fists tightened at his sides and he stepped forward, though somehow he managed to stop himself before he made a huge mistake. But who would really get in trouble here, anyway? The student who punched a teacher or the teacher who dated the student?


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

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