There Are No Crowbars Here

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There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Jaymie Elderton on Fri Oct 09, 2015 3:39 am

When you think about it, there are some good reasons why most teachers don't let students pick their own groups for assignments. There are also good reasons why students probably shouldn't always be paired with their friends for assignments. One of them is that students tend to spend more time talking than researching. Unfortunately, when a teacher (such as the World History teacher) uses the same method of randomly assigning groups by seat pattern for every group project every year, word gets around.

This was how Jaymie and Hitomi found themselves in the library, sitting at a table next to a pile of books that may or may not have been useful. The assignment was on tracing the spread of different ancient inventions from different places. The topic of conversation thus far had been... various things.

Jaymie had started poking around on his iPhone to look something up, but soon it had begun acting funny, turning the screen on and off at random and emitting colorful lights it shouldn't have been emitting. He turned it all the way off and sat it down in annoyance, making a face.

"So what were we doing? Oh! Have you picked out your costume this year yet? Can I help?" He grinned.

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Fri Oct 09, 2015 11:51 am

Hitomi had originally meant to actually study the topic at hand — it had seemed relatively interesting, at least for a history assignment — but being an extrovert who was easily distracted by conversation and had a hard time staying on task even on her own, group assignments tended to be a mixed blessing for her.

She'd somehow ended up flipping through a book of different classifications of fae, which had been laying on the table when they'd found it, rather than any of the books they'd needed.

"I haven't decided," she said. "I definitely know I want to do something good, though — something no one will expect. Did you have any ideas for yours?"
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Jaymie Elderton on Fri Oct 09, 2015 12:57 pm

"Hmmm... I might." He gave Hitomi a conspiratorial grin. "And if I did, it might involve giant monsters with scales that look like death turtles and way too much work making a headpiece out of sculpey."

"What kind of "no one will expect" are we talking, here? Date-safe? Creepy and gruesome? Lady Gaga?"

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Sat Oct 10, 2015 12:14 am

"Something elaborate and preferably a little creepy," Hitomi said. "And different, definitely. No vampires, no witches, and definitely nothing from Star Wars because you have no idea how many times I had to be Princess Leia as a kid."

She drummed her pencil on her book in thought. "Or at least something that involves some really intense costume makeup. I wonder if I can get the electricity to work right long enough to check Pinterest."
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Jaymie Elderton on Sat Oct 10, 2015 10:11 pm

"Hmmm. There's got to be some way to have a horror movie marathon. I bet that would give you some ideas."

"You were Princess Leia? Did you have the little braid buns?" Jaymie waved his fingers near his ears. "God, now I'm imagining your brother as Luke. Tiny, death glaring Luke Skywalker. Hey, maybe some kind of pumpkin monster? Or one of those old porcelain dolls?"

That made him think of all the work he still had to do on his own costume, and that made him think of how he still didn't have a date for the dance. He frowned for a second and looked down- and remembered they were supposed to be working.

"Mmh." He opened the book on top of the stack, flipping around to see if  there was some kind of index.

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Mon Oct 12, 2015 3:45 pm

"Hitoshi was Luke," Hitomi said. "And Rudeth and Thrall argued over which one of them got to be Han and which one of them was Chewbaca. And I did have the braid buns."

Hitomi stopped on a particularly grotesque looking picture in the Big Book of Fae and made a thoughtful expression. "Hm, no, that won't work. I don't think I'd have enough time to make that."
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Jaymie Elderton on Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:15 pm

"Wow..." Jaymie's mind would not stop imagining tiny Hitomi and Hitoshi re-enacting scenes from the movies. He tried very hard not to bust out laughing. "Ffff- wow."

His eyes caught the page Hitomi was looking at. "Oh. That is nice. You might be able to-" he paused and considered, "well, maybe not and do other things like go to class and sleep. Hm."

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Alex Matsuoka on Mon Oct 12, 2015 4:34 pm

September was over and gone, and it was even chillier in the castle. Alex had taken to layering shirts, which wasn't entirely a bad thing; when he was in a good mood, he supposed he preferred being cold sometimes to more hours of sunlight and feeling uncomfortable in covering clothing.

He was in a good mood on occasion, at least. (How or even whether Dunehelden had proper seasons, much less Northern Hemisphere ones, he wasn't sure.) His stupid magic classes were terrible; Intro to Magic was bad enough, but he could at least focus on the ritual parts even if he still felt really silly about it. Shapeshifting... he didn't want to think about shapeshifting. Math, though. Math, he was good at! English, he could do! There were real classes here, and that made him feel less horrible. He only had to get through two years of this crap and find a way to get into a normal college.

If he wanted to do that, though, he needed friends. He was a little desperate for human contact. Just a little.

Eventually he went looking for Hitomi again, and found her and a very, very pretty boy (good lord) sitting together at the library and chatting. He walked by with a book in his hand he wasn't intending to read and tried to catch her eye.

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Tue Oct 13, 2015 1:20 am

Hitomi was midway through explaining her most recent idea when she caught sight of Alex. "Oh — hello there." Hitomi's voice was quiet, and the awkwardness doubtlessly crept through. Her last interaction with Alex hadn't gone so well, though she'd been sympathetic to his difficulties adjusting.

"Did you need one of these?" Hitomi asked, gesturing to the books in front of them. "We're kind of hogging all the good ones."
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Alex Matsuoka on Tue Oct 13, 2015 5:38 pm

Alex heard the undertones in her voice and cringed inwardly; that was a bad start. She didn't seem completely unwilling to talk, so hopefully at least he wasn't interrupting anything. The two of them weren't doing any of the little cutesy nonsense people did when they were trying to have a romantic moment, but some people were unusual.

He decided to hedge his bets and extend the conversation. "Hello. I don't mean to interrupt, but what have you got?" His eyes caught the gruesome picture Hitomi had pointed out before and made a face. "Oof."

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Tue Oct 13, 2015 11:46 pm

Hitomi gave an awkward laugh. "Sorry, we're, ah, brainstorming Halloween costume ideas. It's actually a pretty good read, though — if you're not in any Faerie Studies classes his semester, you should check it out. It's a really good overview of faerie lore and history."

Deciding to take a risk, and maybe try to break the tension, she gestured to the empty seat on the side of the table between hers and Jaymie's. "Sit with us? This is Jaymie, by the way. Jaymie, this is Alex. This is his first year at Dunehelden."
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Alex Matsuoka on Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:02 am

"Not a problem." He relaxed a hair. "I might. Halloween costumes, hm? I remember you mentioning something about a haunted house before."

Jaymie. That was one of the more normal names he could imagine, outside of being a little androgynous. He gave the other boy an ambiguous smile and put out his hand. "Hello. Nice to meet you."

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Jaymie Elderton on Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:13 am

"Hey, new guy." There was a look in Alex's eyes that took Jaymie a second to recognize, but he'd seen it before. He squared his shoulders and tried not to look sheepish as he shook Alex's hand.

"Nice to meet you. Sorry, I'm straight."

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Wed Oct 14, 2015 12:52 am

Hitomi shot Jaymie a look of judgment that she could only have learned from her brother. Then, back to Alex, "Sorry, don't mind him." She smirked and leaned in for a conspiratorial whisper. "If you think he's rude, just wait until you meet my brother."

Hitomi snapped the book closed and steepled her hands on the table. "So, what brings you here? To the library, I mean."
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Alex Matsuoka on Fri Oct 16, 2015 11:30 pm

Alex turned his head a bit and pretended to scratch his jaw, hiding a smile. That was a bit on the nose, but he appreciated the look of fear on the other boy's face. He might have to make that happen again.

"I was bored, really. Wanted to see if they had anything interesting in here." He sat down where Hitomi had gestured; he wasn't sure how long he could keep it up, but now he was here, and that was a bonus. "I'm... mostly in non-magical classes this semester. How about you?"

His eyes kept flickering back to the book. Did... did what he was count as "faerie"? He still wasn't entirely sure how to tell the human people here from the rest.

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Sun Oct 18, 2015 3:06 pm

"Oh, gosh, I'm in a lot of different things." Hitomi thought for a moment. "I'm in English literature, Advanced History of Arcadia, Intermediate Divination... Oh! And Creative Writing. This is the first year that it's been offered, at least while I've been here."

Hitomi noticed the way Alex's eyes kept slipping back to the book. He must have been more interested than he let on — after all, he didn't seem to know much about their world.

"Really, if you want to borrow it, you can," she offered. She gave him a small but genuine smile. "It's a really good read, and I've read it already so I don't mind. I was mostly just looking over the pictures."
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Jaymie Elderton on Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:19 pm

Jaymie's cheeks burned. He'd seen that look before, but it somehow that never lessened its impact. He decided being chill and social was the best response, though he wasn't sure if Alex was only meaning to talk to Hitomi.

"Some of the magic classes here are pretty fun. I'm taking Intermediate Glamour with this Professor Caliban guy- he's a pooka and he's literally a talking lion. Weird, I get it, but... you get used to it, you know?" He gave Alex a friendly smile. "That and Enchantment. I wouldn't recommend anything involving elements or conjuring unless you're already good at that, though. What are you into, anyway?"

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Alex Matsuoka on Sun Oct 18, 2015 6:32 pm

Alex's eyes flicked between both of them and then to a point off in the distance. His hands were folded in front of him, and his face kept a neutral expression that was very much not how he felt at the moment. He barely managed not to wince when Jaymie mentioned the damned lion.

"I don't know," he answered Hitomi with a shrug. "I'm just curious what that thing was. Er. If it was a "thing". I don't know what sort of... fae are common here. I've only had a few introduced to me."

"At the moment, I'm into making friends and calculus. Is there magic for either of those things?" He allowed a bit of humor to get through.

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Sun Oct 18, 2015 11:50 pm

Hitomi raised an eyebrow. "Well, for friend making, I'd suggest card tricks, or maybe pulling a rabbit out of your hat." She shot Jaymie a sly grin that implied some kind of inside joke.

"But seriously, if you want to make friends, just talk to people. I guarantee you half of the school is just as freaked out by all the craziness as you." She wrinkled her nose. "As far as the calculus goes, I really have no idea. I'm on grade level for math, so I'm not going to be dealing with calculus for a few more years. I'm sure my brother has some calculus-related math on file, though."
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Jaymie Elderton on Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:34 pm

Jaymie played with his hair and looked innocent.

"There's a lot of stuff here. I've met elves, dragons, werewolves, were-other things, vampires, mermaids, bird-people... and a whole lot of mages and changelings, obviously, who are more or less human. Hitomi and I are mages."

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Alex Matsuoka on Thu Oct 22, 2015 9:57 pm

Alex listened to the list with growing frustration. This clearly wasn't Harry Potter, it was... it was something else, weird and complicated and probably closer to an anime. He supposed he should be grateful for the lack so far of great heroes and magical KKK analogues, even if that also meant no gorgeous brooding men to sweep him off his feet. On the other hand, he was the mysterious transfer student, so maybe he was supposed to be the one-

He brought himself back to the present, giving Hitomi a smile that was almost genuine. "I think I can make friends all right without magic. Your brother is in calculus? Which one is he? I think there's only the one Academy class, isn't there?"

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Tue Oct 27, 2015 2:41 pm

"He's my twin," Hitomi replied. "Same age as me, short, long black hair, brooding — you can't miss him." Hitomi gave a wry smile. "He's kind of a jerk, but he's not so bad once you get to know him. He just doesn't really like letting that happen."
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Alex Matsuoka on Tue Oct 27, 2015 3:04 pm

Faces passed through Alex's mind. Long black hair, looks like Hitomi, brooding; come to think of it, he knew exactly who Hitoshi was. He remembered someone of that description scowling the whole class period after the last exam had been handed back, and guessing it had something to do with the announced scores. He couldn't quite hold back a prideful little smirk, and with a small burst of confidence, reached for the fae book Hitomi had been looking at.

"I can see how that would be hard to miss, though he doesn't quite have your sense of style, does he?"

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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Hitomi Gilespi on Sun Nov 01, 2015 4:57 pm

Hitomi didn't notice Alex reaching for the book, at least not until his hand had already brushed against hers. It was something she generally tried to avoid. Being able to pick up bits and pieces of people's history, their lives, their thoughts and their futures... well, it could get a bit awkward.

Then she felt his skin brush hers, and a jolt, like a static shock, as a flurry of images and sounds filled her head.

... a white fox with three tails, bounding through a snowy field ...

... Hitoshi's face across a chessboard, frustrated as a black king falls ...

... a Japanese woman, gray at the temples, pulling freshly baked raisin bread from the oven ...

... Hitomi and Alex cramped together in the hollowed trunk of a tree, cold and soaked, and the overwhelming feeling that someone dear to both of them was in grave peril ...

... fresh baked sugar cookies, with red and green sprinkles, in a Christmas tin, perfectly round and fluffy and unmistakably her brother's ...

... Alex, older, in a crisp white suit, shifting into the fox from before ...


Hitomi pulled back suddenly. She wasn't sure how long had passed, though it was surely no more than a few seconds.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I think I shocked you." Hitomi gave a sheepish laugh, though she didn't look back at Jaymie. She had no doubt that he would know exactly what happened. He was one of only a small handful of people who knew about Hitomi's psychometry. She didn't think Alex would be too pleased to know that Hitomi was gleaning information about him, accidental or otherwise.

But she had learned two very interesting things about Alex. That he was a fox shifter of some sort, and that he seemed to have some sort of connection to her brother in the future.
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Re: There Are No Crowbars Here

Post by Alex Matsuoka on Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:01 pm

Alex pulled his hand back, rubbing it and searching Hitomi's eyes. He had felt the shock too, and had been scared for a moment that- well, it had come and gone too quickly to dwell on it. "Th- that was probably me. Sorry, it happens."

He snatched up the book and turned idly to the table of contents. "I should probably think up a costume myself..."

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