Log:Encounter at Rotary Park
It's a warm March evening at Rotary Park and there are people coming and going, some grilling, some playing frisbee, others wandering down along the beach beyond the park. Morrison is seated on a picnic table under one of the picnic shelters and there is a ring of tables around him that are not occupied, almost as though he possessed an aura that kept people at a distance. He's got a clove between his lips, the pungent smoke curling away from them, dressed in his usual Docs, jeans, and a black band t-shirt for a local band that he used to go and listen to for a while. It's a bit on the faded side, though.
Hector's in skinny black jeans, strategically torn and patched in purple, with a Faith no More concert tee from the previous year. He's got black eyeliner, a deep red lip, and mismatched silver earings, one a dangling cross and one a stud. He's shaved the sides of his head, leaving a wide, curly stripe down the center. He has several band pins arrayed on the left side of his chest. Instead of the old simple pink triangle, he has a more elaborate one with the legend: 'Love is a human right.'
It's the clove smoke thatdraws him that way, like a moth to a flame. In his defense, he's approching from behind. Of course the prosecutiion might point out he oughht to be well familiar with that view. At this stage the defense might argue he has a lot on his mind and anyway, it's dark. Whatever the verdict, there he is in in his doc martins, zeroing in on that smicy sweet smoke, "Hey, could I..." His tone goes flat, "Oh. It's you."
He hears the voice before he sees who it is. It's a familiar voice, even if it is one he hasn't heard in a while. Turning, he looks at Hector, letting his eyes run over him from head to toe and then back up again. His expression belies absolutely nothing, however. Morrison looks much the same as he has since the last time they'd seen one another, virtually unchanged. He reaches into his pocket and pulls out the pack, holding it out in Hector's direction. "Guess I do still owe you a pack," he says, hearkening back to that first day they'd met, when he'd pushed him into the water. His tone is even, but there's no hint of that smile tonight.
Hector cocks his head, clearly nomore afraid of the big man than he was that first night. His tone is cold, "Among other things, but I don't want anything of yours any longer."
Morrison doesn't seem to be making any particular attempt to be intimidating, but when Hector doesn't take the clove, or the pack, he shrugs and shoves it back into his pocket. "Yeah. Heard that," he says in response, instead. "Heard you're real popular right now." One brow ticks up just a little bit.
Hector rolls his eyes, "This isn't home. Looks like it'll never be now. Odds are, I'll be gone in fall anyway." His gaze is steady, "At least I have someone to care about who cares aboutt me. What do you have beside the occational quick fuck?
"You were going to Berkeley in the fall anyway. That's not new," Morrison observes, taking a drag off of his clove and letting the smoke curl away from his lips toward the wood beams above them. There's a flicker of that wolfish smile that returns to his features when Hector mentions having someone to care about who cares about him. "Cash," he says the name in a kind of slow drawl. Then he laughs, "Who says it's occasional?"
Morrison pauses and adds, "Or quick?"
Hector nods, "Cash." Eyes him, "I figure the lake here isn' that deep and it would be easy to over fish for someone like you."
"You're assuming I need to fish," Morrison says, lifting the clove to his lips once more, taking in a drag. As he blows it out he says, "Never needed to."
Hector's tone is pure teen sarcastic, "so you're saying you are soooo incredibly popular that you don't go trawling for teens at keggers anymore?"
If he'd been contemplative before Hector showed up, now Morrison is full on grinning. He gestures a bit with his clove and says, "Trawl? You practically threw yourself in the boat, man. I pushed you off a /cliff/ and you still spent all night in bed with me."
Hector says, "I was bored and had been through some shit the previous four months. What's your excuse?"
There's a paved path through the park, and there's suddenly one Amy Lester, skating. Without any safety gear, because a helmet and elbow pads are for pussies, clearly. She's zipping along the path on her inline skates, in her black shorts and her black t-shirt with the Nine Inch Nails logo on it. She dodges people, when she needs to, but mostly they get out of her way as she's cruising along, her bag over her shoulder.
There's that sound of the skates sliding on the ashphalt as she comes to a stop. Hector and cousin Morrison. What could possibly be going on. Well now she has to know, doesn't she. So she's awkwardly stepping off the path. It's weird being on skates in the grass, okay. "All night?!" She echoes as she just sets herself down on the bench nearby, clearly having over hearing upon her approach, already working at getting the skates off. "Man, is there anyone I know that you haven't fucked over, Hector?" Because of course it's Hector's fault?
"You were bored an awful lot for a while there," Morrison says, entirely unphased. Then he glances over as Amy appears and smirks. "Chill, punkette. We're just having a conversation." He lifts his clove to his lips and takes another slow drag off of it. "That's the difference between you and me, I don't need an excuse."
Hector sneer at Amy, "Seriously? You know fuck all about what happened and I am definately not the asshole in this situation." He shakes his head, "Not for sex or for cliff diving. Maybe I wasn't thinking all that clearly, but don't you think there's a point where fucking High school guys for a couple weeks then dumping them gets creepy? Because in retrospect, it kind of does."
Kicking off the skates and digging into her bag for her shoes, Amy practically leers back at Hector, glancing up. "Pretty sure you're the asshole in every situation, de la Huerta," she decides after a moment. Don't you try to change her perspective with logic or facts. But Morrison asked her to chill, so maybe she will a little. Getting her running shoes on, and pulling out a bottle of water to sip at for a bit, she shrugs.
One might expect Morrison to turn on Hector, to get defensive, but he doesn't. Instead, he says to Amy, "He wasn't." Just those two words and nothing more. He watches her, though, as she switches into her running shoes, as though making sure she's not going to suddenly haul off and hit him. When she doesn't, he nods, once.
It's the 'he wasn't.' The silences Hector. Given that Amy hauled off and hit the first time he ever spoke, he's eyeing her himself, not frightened, but not willing to be meekly sucker punched a second time. When it looks like she's not going to start hitting right away he turns back to Morisson, studying him, waiting to see if he says anything else.
Another mouthful of water, Amy caps the bottle and sets it on the table, leaning back against it, elbows on it, shrugging a little. "Ah well," she takes Morrison's word for it. "Well, get over it I guess." She decides after a moment, nodding the once, brows lifting up. "Why are you all lookin' at me like that?"
"I'm making sure you don't haul off and slug him again," Morrison says plainly to Amy, though he hasn't moved from where he's sitting. He is between them, however, so there's no doubt if physical intervention were necessary, that he could move quite a bit faster than one might expect. For the moment, however, his posture is just as relaxed as ever, boots on the bench in front of him, seated on the table itself. He isn't looking at Hector at all, still focused on Amy for the time being. Though when she leans up against the table, he reaches over for her bottle of water, uncaps it, and takes a swig before capping it back up and setting it back down next to her.
Hector sounds incredulous, "Because weve met you, Amy." His lips quirk up in amusement despite himself, watching them. Still he says, "That what you do? Get over it? That why you said yes to spear?"
It's Cash's beloved V6 Buick that heralds his arrival. He parked a few picnic shelters down and seemed to be setting up his own mopey alone time. But he hears Amy and looks to see a girl on inline skates and next thing anyone know, Cash is walking up towards the Lesters. He starts to speak to Amy, the tone indicates a question but he looks over and notices Hector. Since Hector changed his hair, Cash is always a little behind on recognizing him by sight. Morrison? He knows him by way of living here his whole life. Whatever he was going to say to Amy is forgotten and he deflates a bit. "Hey, guys..."
Cash is in typical grudge wear. His hair is long enough for a curly red ponytail and sunglasses, big retro and red, (Cobain Clone, Cash is) are stuck on the top of his head. Cash is not known to be great with people in person. But, he puts something together quickly. Bluntly, "Hector? Was it Morrison? That guy you fucked before we started to talk again--" Spear's name has come up and he boggles at Amy. "Wha? Yes to Spear about what?"
"Hey, he's the guy who got in between me and Jade Marchant and then decided to look away while I was pissed off." Amy says with a smirk and a shrug of her shoulders, as though that makes everything okay. The smirk becomes a bit of a grin at Hector's words. "What is this, some kind of comparison? I'm a fucking ray of sunshine, myself." She shrugs a little, glancing at Cash as he approaches and rolls her eyes. "Spear's taking me to Prom or something," she waves a hand like it's whatever, you know. Prom is months away.
Morrison takes another drag off of his clove, holding the smoke for a bit before he lets it out slowly, letting the two of them talk without interruption from him. When Cash comes over, he glances over at him and lifts his head in greeting. He recognizes the guy easily enough, but he doesn't answer for Hector, letting him decide what he wants to say about that. Instead, he just looks at him, expression near unreadable as he focuses on Hector's features.
The appearance of cashearns a quick smile, Hector not seeming to mind the delay in recognition. He rubs the back of his neck at the question, and nods, "Yes, Cash. A couple weeks in January." He eyes Morrison, but keeps talking to Cash, "I thoought we were talking about it, for obvious reasons, but I guess we are now." He says quietly to Amy, "He bruises easily. You hurt him, it's not just me you'll be contending with."
Cash has a few things to unpack and if he gets overwhelmed, god help...them all. "Amy...what abo--" He stops himself and shakes his head. "Nevermind. Jade's going for Prom King and said he was taking Ash and I got my wires crossed. Spear is...he is, or was, my skinny little ray of sunshine so, yeah, take care of him, please? Should be me taking him but things work out as they must." He says at the end. Now, something slightly more important. Morrison and Hector. The way Cash avoids faces and gazes makes it a little tricky to suss out who is addressing at first. "So, in January, you had sex with a emotionally vulnerable eighteen year old kid? A kid with a dead mother and new family in a new town. Same town his summer fling whose heart he broke the previous summer lived." He says to Morrison, or more like Morrison's boots. "Shame on you, dude. Are you like...twenty-something? That's predatory."
Amy does push up to her feet now, rolling her shoulders. "Careful with the threats de la Huerta." She does seem like she's about to just hit him, but her posture is imposing, intimidating body language as she eyes him. "Unless you wanna just sort this out proper here and now." Her hands lift up and make a little 'come on' gesture, fingers curling towards her, watching him with a level gaze. She doesn't look away, even at Cash's words, just frowning a little. "Hey Cash, back off dude."
It's nearly impossible to read Morrison's expression. He isn't looking at Cash but at Hector as Cash admonishes him for what went on between them. It's not at all hard for Morrison to know who Cash is talking to. He holds up one hand to Amy, though, when she addresses Cash. "Let him say what he's got to say," he says in a tone that is even, once again, not rising to the accusations. He crushes out the clove and flicks the butt into a nearby trashcan, resting his elbows on his knees and letting his hands dangle in front of him.
Jade trundles along, coming up the path. He's in slim blue jeans and an oversized stripped shirt in shades of grey and white. He's got a discman held loosely in one hand and a pair of earphones on. His steps slow, and he turns the discman off, then takes down the headphones to hang around his neck. He glances at Amy, then Hector and Cash, and it doesn't take him all day to figure out what's about to go down. He comes closer, close enough to talk, but he sure as hell doesn't get between Amy and who she's glowering at. "Hey, Morrison," he says in a lilting, kind voice. Then, "Hey, Amy. Hey you two."
Hector winces at Cash's description of him. Really none of this looks good for either him or Morrison. He says calmly to Amy, "I'm glad you said yes. Getting to go to prom with you makes him happy. he deserves to be happy. It would be extra cool if you danced with him there. I just don't want you to haul off and hit him or drop him off a cliff or try to wrestle him." Because spear is a lot more fragile than he is. When she tells Cash to back off, he steps closer to the red-head, as if to protect him. It's Amy, he's watching, not Morrison now. Still he waves in Jade's direction without taking his eyes off her, "Hey, Jade."
Cash exhales, relieved and surprised.. He used to people shutting him down the moment his words catch fire. "I-I...uh..." Jade's coming and Cash happens to look up and notice it. He was standing right at Hector's side. Then, he talks a half step away. It's a smooth move because it looks more like he's circling to face Morrison more directly. "I'm not calling you anything really, really gross but...dude, come on? Like, really, you gotta find people closer to your age. M-Maturity isn't a thing that appears the moment you turn eighteen. Eighteen is an arbitary number enforced by our capitalist society as a way of making the young accountable as soon as they possibly can for...countless reasons that mostly involve the gaining of wealth. While I was told when I got my braces I was still in good shape for them because I'm /still growing/." He takes a big breath. "Point being, stay out of the kiddie pool, Morrison. It can be doing more harm than good." He steps back towards Hector, chewing his lip and humming something soft and tuneless.
When Hector doesn't rise to her challenge, that seems to please Amy somewhat, and her hands drop and she shrugs. "It's not like I've never hit Spear Thistle before," she decides to say after a moment, shrugging. "He knows who I am, and made his choice anyway, so fuck off for a bit." She waves a hand, rolls her eyes and sets herself back down on the bench, leaning against the table again and claiming her water bottle, eyeing Cash in turn, and looking ... pretty damn confused, actually. She waves a hand very vaguely at Jade.
Morrison's gaze flickers from Hector then and fixes firmly on Cash as he continues to go on, and on, and on. He doesn't move, doesn't interrupt him, instead just watching him until he's done and steps back toward Hector. Taking that as the signal that he's done, he looks over to Jade and says, "Jade," in greeting. Then he straightens, standing up on the bench and then hopping down to the ground, boots crunching on the concrete beneath the table. He looks over at Hector once more, and then he turns and walks off, heading in the direction of the black camaro parked not too far away.
"Speak for yourself," Jade tells Cash. "Some of us are more than ready to swim with the grownups." He watches Morrison as he starts to walk off. Of course he's straight (honest), and he's cagey enough it's not //entirely// obvious he's checking the Lester fellow out. Hate to see him leave, but the view doesn't suck. "Bye, Morrison," he says sweetly. Then he looks at Cash and says, "Dude, what gives? He's cool."
Hector does seem offended my cash's side step. He does blink several times as Cash talks, lips curling gently up. This is not a side of him Hector's seen before. When Cash stps back, he flashes him a reassuring smile without quite looking away from Amy and thus not directly at Cash. He agrees with Amy, "He made his choice. He meets Morrison's eyes in that last momment, an echo of pain and bafflement apparent for only a few heartbeats, before his expression goes nuetral again. He very carefully doesn't watch his favorite view of the man as he leaves. He says quietly to Jade, "The lake is cold in january," ass if that makes sense."
"I thought I was being nice." Cash says to Jade and looks between Amy and Hector. His posture slumps even more, defeated. "I just wanted him to know it's dangerous to mess with anyone below like, twenty five if you are older than that. Young people are touchy, sensitive, insecure, and sometimes under a lot of pressure from three sides. Educational, family, and uh, friends and lovers. They all expect things from you, want things we aren't capable of giving because we aren't mature enough to start thinking outside of ourselves properly. Even you, Jade. The first decent sign of maturity is when you stop saying it." He sighs. "And I never said I was mature, by the way. I'm so not. I'm still whiny and self centered and my skull is still growing." He looks at the ground and hugs himself. "I'm trying..." He mutters at Hector with a quick little side glance.
"Yeah dude, back off on my cousin. And don't call us 'kids'." She's 18 years old. Not a kid! Amy barely even notes Morrison leaving, just giving that little snap at Cash and shrugging her shoulders. "Dude who says that. 'My skull is still growing.'" Amy blinks at Cash and shakes her head, apparently even more confused at the whole damn idea. Hector's talk about the lake is even more confusing. "I'm surrounded by whining morons." She declares, gesturing at Jade, not even really noticing him checking out her cousin either. "Marchant, you seem like the only person right now who's actually y'know, fucking remotely cheerful. Which is fucking depressing when you think about it."
Morrison lifts one hand in the air when Jade says bye, apparently in response. It's a kind of half-wave, but he doesn't stop or look back after that. He opens the door to the camaro and slides in, starting it up and pulling out of the space, then out of the parking lot, and heading off down the street in the direction of the gym. There's no squealing tires, no hurry, just a silent departure.
Jade comes over to sit where Morrison was sitting, on the table with his feet on the bench. "I know you're not trying to piss anyone off," he tells Cash. "It's just that people don't like to be told what to do. And you're basically telling him he's fucking kids, and that's problematic. Yeah, we're young, but we're not kids. And not everyone wants to be helped. Sometimes you gotta just shrug and say whatever floats your boat, man. I take it him and de la Huerta ended badly? So be it. Your net gain, right?"
He smiles at Amy. "I"m back to not giving a fuck about anything. That always puts me in a good mood. You're looking particularly savage. I mean that in a good way."
Hector says very firmly, "You did just fine, Cash, and it was nice having someone hve my back. I'm not used to it, but I like it." He smiles sadly, "I did tell you Morrison was a mistake and a terrible idea. It was concensensual though and... the first time we each thought the other was the same agish." Which doesn't excuse either of them continuing. "The shitty part came later." He looks away embarrased, "It was kind of the other way around, Cash. I was the one wantng things he's not capable of giving." His tine is very tight when he tells Amy, "he no wrong about skulls." He is a thistle after all, even without the name." He flashes a quick smile, "And I am happy, mostly." He asks carefully, "I here you sked Ashly out, Jade?"
"I'm happy. I just can't show it." Cash says, with a shrug. "My happiness has become offensive and I would prefer to keep others happy first." He nods a little and adds, "My orthodontist. He said my skull was still growing.--See! Hector knows! Also, Guys keep growing into their twenties." And with Cash at six feet, two (188cm), who knows how tall he'll end up. When Jade sits and speaks to Cash, his brow furrows. "I specifically said he wasn't like...gross or anything. I just warned him of the danger of fucking with teenagers." He looks back at Hector, briefly. "So you didn't know, and that's okay but only because you happened to be of age for the state laws." It was around the 18th anniversary of the Multiples Boom that Cash took a whole portion of his Friday who to discuss age of consent. Listenership was low that night.
"Now you're speaking my language, see." Amy points at Jade in agreement with that particular attitude, giving an almost wolfish sort of smile that's somewhat reminiscent of Morrion's own. "I don't really give a fuck if he's right or wrong, it's a weird fucking thing to say," she notes with a quizzical look at Hector, shaking her head. "You fixate on all the strangest fucking things, Cash." She states with a nod of her head and a wave of her hand. She lifts her water bottle, tipping it back and downing a few mouthfuls. She's thirsty, it has nothing to do with covering her expression and keeping her distracted when Ashley's name is mentioned.
Jade tells Hector, "She's the obvious choice. She's popular, she's beautiful, and she's smart and interesting. I'm going to see if she wants to go horseback riding sometime before prom. Of course I want her to come to our masquerade party. I can't think of anyone better to ask out."
He fishes out his cigarettes, gold-boxed Dunhills, and he lights one up. "I'm just saying, Cash, people don't like to be told what to do, even if you are trying to help. Anyway, if a hot twenty-five year old wanted to go out with me, I wouldn't have a problem with it. I don't think it's all that weird."
Hector says quietly, "He's twenty six, actually." He considers the things he mightsay, and opts for, "That sounds really sweet Jade," rather than get into an arguement with amy over who is and isn't weird. He turns to Cash, not quite making eye contact, "So we've been invited to this msquerade party."
"Age difference can create a power disparity! If I'm an eighteen year old college freshman without a job or car and fucking braces and a twenty-something shows up and wants to date me? Fuck me? He's got a job and/or diploma and his own money and you know what?" Cash throws up his hands and shakes his head, letting the whole thing drop when he hears he's been invited to a party. "Huh? The kind of ones where you have to wear a mask and a tuxedo? I have neither but I'll figure it out. I'll go." He leans over to Hector and says quietly, "Don't leave me alone. I panic at parties." Cash Freeland has been to many parties since high school. He did, indeed, panic at all of them at the exact moment whoever he came with found something else to do and he lost sight of them. A few nastier kids used to place bets on how long he'd last. Cash turns to Jade, "Can I bum one?" Cash rarely smokes and has a habit of bumming them...and returning the favor with an entire pack. He's an odd one.
Amy lowers her bottle and shifts slightly aside from the cigarette smoke. "Some people like a power disparity," she says in a very suggestive tone, grinning at Cash a moment before giving a bit of a laugh. "I think as long as you get the mask part down, the rest might not matter so much. Good enough mask, they won't even know it was you who showed up under fucking dressed." She snorts at the idea. "What's the deal with the masquerade party anyway." She wonders, super casually.
Jade nods toward Amy. "Yeah, some people are into that kind of thing. And maybe sometimes it works out that way, Cash, but, like, I'll never have to worry about money. If I come up to a twenty-six year old and am like I got a nice car, lots of money, and you work a minimum wage job, who's holding the power? It's not always cut and dried."
As he speaks, he shakes another Dunhill out of the box and offers it over. "Just find a costume, you don't need a tuxedo." He then tells Amy, "You're invited, too. We're celebrating Spring Break. Everyone's inviting unless you do something to get you shunned." Which must be rare, since hucking a bottle at Jade's car hasn't gotten Amy nixed.
Hector looks at the dirt during Cash's tirade, looking deeply embarrased about the whole accidentally fucked a twenty-six year old thing, but it looks like the topic change attempt worked. He gives Cash a gentle smile, "Of course I won't leave you and if you start panicking, we can go outside for air." He glares at Amy, "Wasn't like that. I don't think he'd have liked it as much if I couldn't keep up." He nods to Jade, "sometimes it's complicated."
Hyper Empathy Cash Powers are go. He ranted and looked back at Hector to see the embarrassment. "You didn't know, Hector. I'm sorry I went off. I worry big and I kinda fixate on people and relationships and that's why I do a whole radio thing. Outlets are nice." He plucks up the cigarette, thanks Jade, but doesn't light it right away. "You're right Jade. B-b-but, the takeaway here is avoid power disparity." Now he lights up. "I need to get home. I had a dumb fight with my dad and I just needed some space but they still don't like me out too long. Need a ride, Hector? Want one?" He smiles, coyly.
Lifting her hands up in a gesture of surrender, Amy blinks at Hector, "Dude, not everything is about you. I don't want to know a fucking thing about how it was between you and my cousin. Too much information, put on the fucking brakes right there. I was fucking generalizing." She glances sidelong at Jade, shrugging her shoulders. "Maybe. I mean, fuck yeah, Spring Break is gonna be fucking ace, but I dunno about masquerade parties. I might show up." She's just too cool to say she'll be there. She'll totally be there, though. She stares at Hector and Cash though, inclining her head as one is offering the other a ride. "Man, I don't get it. I thought you hated each other." She shrugs though, because truthfully, she doesn't really care.
Jade exhales a plume of smoke into the air and tells Hector and Cash, "I hate you both, and watching you together makes me want to throw up. If I catch you making out at my party I'm going to set you on fire." He waves pleasantly. He tells Amy, "I'm so looking forward to having some time off from school. I'm over it." He then adds, "They did hate each other, but now true love prevails and I swear to God I'm going to projectile vomit."
Hector smiles back, "I'd very much like a ride, yes." He explains to Amy, "we worked it out." He studies Jade, "That's fair. I... Nevermind." he follows Cash.
Cash adds, "I never hated Hector. Just his behavior. Good night!" and off they go.
"Amen," Amy agrees with that, rolling her eyes a little at the pair of them as they leave. "Oh, I never hated him," she mimics in a faux high pitched tone. "Fuck that Cash, you told him to his face you hope he dies." Not that Cash is around to hear it, she's just muttering really, shaking her head. "So where's this Masquerade thing happening anyway?" She wonders of Jade.
"Our house," Jade says. "Standard rules apply. Don't do anything that'll make our parents lose their shit. If we get grounded, we can't throw any more parties." Jade logic on good behavior and morality. He takes a drag off his cigarette and exhales with his head turned away from Amy. He watches the black Buick pull out of the parking lot and drive away, and he wrinkles his nose. "Must be nice to be able to rewrite history."
"Yeah yeah," Amy waves a hand. She always promises her best behaviour! And really, she doesn't always mean to get into half the trouble she does. She just has some major anger management issues. Lester Temper. She has no idea how Morrison was able to sit there and just take all the abuse from Hector and Cash aboth. She stares at the car as well. "Yeah it's a bit fucking weird. I dunno how he could do it. Cash, I mean. After what I heard, wow."
"I know, right?" Jade says. "If I told someone I hope they die of AIDS, then tried to get back together with them, I'd probably get punched. What does that guy have that I don't? It's not fair. He must be some kind of fuck." Then he tells me I need to have empathy." He snorts. "No, I need to have a party to blow off some steam." He glances up at the sky and calls up to it, "Still waiting on that meteor."
Amy nods gravely at that. "It's something worth punching someone over, that's for fucking sure. Probably a whole lot more than that. Not cool." She shakes her head at that and lifts her water bottle again. "Well, fuck 'em, that's what I say. Hector keeps eyeing me like that though and I'm gonna have to sort this shit out. God, I can't wait for this break." She glances up to the sky too, and shrugs.
Jade looks to Amy. "Hmm? How's he eyeing you? I was watching Morrison." He takes another puff off his cigarette, then stabs it out under the table. "Fuck 'em. The thing is, though, most of the time Cash means well. He's just got this weird inability to relate to people or intuit how the stuff he says is going to be taken. Normally, I get along with him. I'm just pissed because if I'm not getting any, don't get your relationship drama on me."
"Like I'm going to break everyone I look at. Really I'm only likely to break him though," Amy says with a shrug of her shoulders. "I know Cash. Cash is fine. Weird fucker with that sort of thing, but fine. And geeze, Marchant, that was ages ago." It was like, a week maybe! That's ages to her. "Get over it already, nobody even cares anymore."
Jade says, "You did kind of punch him, and that's all he really knows about you. He's probably scared of you." He shrugs then and says, "Yeah but now I have to look at them being together and happy, and I hate people being happy when I'm not. They should know better." He considers, then says, "Though I bet it's going to end spectacularly badly, and that might be fun."
"I ain't sayin' it ain't fair, but I don't really give a fuck about fair. It's pissing me off." Amy shrugs her shoulders and leans back, staring up at the sky. "No one's fucking happy, Marchant. Everyone is pissed off and sad and just pretending, that's what I've got figured out. And you're right. Just content yourself that some day, soon, you'll be roasting fucking marshmellows on the remains of their relationship." She blinks. "It's not a perfect metaphor."
"We'll say the fiery remains of their relationship," Jade says, "then it sounds perfect." He sighs wistfully, hoping for the pain and loss of others. "I want to be happy, though, and I'm going to be. If God won't give me that meteor, I'll have to go to New York and get famous." Like that's the obvious next step. "So, is Morrison, like, single now?"
"That's my plan. World famous athlete, Amy Lester bringin' home the gold," She says in that way that only teenagers can dream. Where she's going to get the money to be able to achieve that plan is anyone's guess. She does roll her eyes. "What do you care, Marchant. I don't fucking know, I don't keep tabs on my cousins love life."
"I don't know, just making conversation," Jade says. "I don't know him very well, but I see him around, and he seems pretty cool." He shrugs. "Beats hanging around a bunch of kids. Anyway, I'm just being friendly. Lennon and I hang out sometimes, but I haven't been around lately. So I'm just asking."
"He's training me. I hang out at the gym every week and go a few rounds with him." She rubs at her shoulder, as if remembering. "I haven't managed to beat him yet. Maybe one day. Maybe not." She shrugs her shoulders. Beating him doesn't really matter that much, to her, except for the bragging rights it would give. Never mind the hundreds of times she lost. "It's good for working out aggression."
Jade glances down at his manicure. "I can't fight," he says. "It's brutal, though. I love watching it. I wanted to take martial arts, but..." But he's made of glass, and he's been sickly all his life. "Maybe that's why I like watching fights. It's living vicariously."
"It's a bit hard if you can't take a hit. You just need to toughen up, Marchant." It's that simple! "Some healthy living would set you right. Besides, there's plenty of martial arts that are about using your opponent's strength against them or whatever. You'd probably be surprised." She shrugs her shoulders. "Until then you can just watch the fights, I guess."
"I cut back on day drinking," Jade says, and he sounds proud of himself. "I might look into the ones that use an opponent's strength against them. That'd be handy. Mostly, I try to stay out of fights." By putting Hector de la Huerta between himself and Amy, for starters. "Make love, not war. Though I don't want people to stop fighting, because I love that shit."
"Fuckin, fightin," Amy shrugs her shoulders, suggesting they're near the same damn thing. "Both good at working out aggression," she clarifies after a moment, grinning at some thought or another as she stares across the park. "Yeah, well." A pause, and then she kind of awkwardly says, "Sorry about that shit in the parking lot the other night."
Jade smiles and says, "We're cool, Amy. I shouldn't have called you what I did. Water under the bridge. I don't want you to think that I'd go after you. I wouldn't. It's just, you know, if I come home with my car fucked up, I can't stop my dad. That's all I was trying to say. I never even told him anything happened. He doesn't need to know what goes down in my private time."
Shrugging her shoulders, setting at one of the picnic benches, leaning back against it, Amy reaches into her bag and pulls out a ziplock baggy with ... strips of apple cut into pieces in it. She opens it up and takes out a piece of apple, munching at it thoughtfully. "I just get so fuckin' angry sometimes. "I almost had a go at Hector again right here with what he was saying to my cousin. If Morrison hadn't told me to chill out I probably would have. I dunno how he does it."
Jade nods to Amy. He's sitting atop the table of the picnic bench, with his feet on the seating. It's under one of those covered pavilions. "I get it," he says. "It's not anger with me, but sometimes you get to feeling something so strongly you feel like it's going to consume you, and you'd do anything to blow off some steam. It's like torture. Then you've got people dressing down your kin. That's not right."
Silver is dressed in jeans and a floral top and her jean jacket. She is wandering a bit aimlessly through the park. Seeming on her way to the swings. The ever-present messenger bag is over her shoulders, but her cameras are tucked away at the moment. Reaching up she adjusts the shades she is wearing, lifting them to peer at her watch as she walks.
Sean Winters is just one of the many eighteen year olds in Havasu. He's in drama and so knows Jade pretty well, and hangs out with Spear and Star pretty often. He's the sort of kid who always seems cheerful, good-natured, charming, has it all together. Even after his sister vanished when his folks got divorced. So it's no surprised that there's a big smile plastered on his face as he sees folks gathered near the picnic tables. He's in a pair of faded jeans and a white t-shirt, some ratty sneakers on his feat as he sees folks by the picnic tables. "Hey!" he calls out. "How's it going?"
Amy is in her jeans and her sneakers, and a black t-shirt with the Nine Inch Nails logo across the front. "It's not like I don't think Morrison can't be a cunt, but it doesn't matter, I look out for my family you know." She shrugs. "Whatever, he doesn't need some eighteen year old chick defending him anyway. Maybe I just don't like Hector." Another shrug from her, she idly watches Silver wandering past. "Fuck. I totally forgot about that tutor session," she says, blinking at the woman. Sean gets a look as he approaches and she just gives a nod. "Hey."
"All men are cunts," Jade says, "but some of them are charming." Speaking of charming, Sean approaches, and Jade smiles at him. "Hey. It's going all right, I guess. Are you looking forward to Spring production? I wish I knew what we were doing." He glances over at Silver. "Hey, Silver," he says. "What's up?"
Silver's head comes up as someone says, 'Hey!' and looks around herself. "Hmmm?" Her eyes focus in on Sean. She recognizes him given he hangs out with her siblings. "Oh. Uhm...well enough. Tired, but that's nothing new," She says with her pleasant, doll-like smile. The sunglasses are adjusted again, as if they were annoying her. "And how are you, Sean?" That pleasantry done she turns her smile on Amy and nods once. Amusement shines in her green eyes and the smile is a tick more genuine. "I noticed. If you want to come over later tonight, after dinner, we can go over things?" Those green eyes slip to Jade and her smile once more extremely polite. "Hello Jade. Have you rethought the boutonniere yet?"
"Yeah," Sean says as he wanders over toward the table and plunks himself down on one of the benches. "I don't know either, but I can't wait to get to work on it. But it's almost Spring, so, soon. I can wait." He smiles over at Amy. Then he says to Silver, "Doing good," that familiar broad smile on his features. He glances between Amy and Jade, but doesn't comment on whether men are cunts or not, and definitely has no opinion about Morrison Lester.
"Ugh." Amy says with a slump of her shoulders. "You want me to come over to your creepy ass house?" She almost looks upset at this idea and gives Silver an almost pleading look. "I ... er. Fine." She waves a hand, eating another slice of apple. She crunches at it thoughtfully. "I had plans tonight." She probably didn't, but there it is. Apparently even suffering Silver's house is better than failing the final year of high school. She eyes the two talking about Spring Productions and rolls her eyes.
Jade grins when Amy rolls her eyes. To Silver, he says, "I'm thinking about it. Still needs to be red and white, though, maybe with gold accents. Nothing too green or it'll look like Christmas, and I can't do that." He must stand up for aesthetics. He simply must. To Sean, he says, "I hope I get to help with the choreography. I don't really care which part I get as long as I can do something with the dance routines."
Silver hums softly for a moment as she returns to watching Amy. "I -could- come over to your place, I suppose. But that will require at least 2 jolt colas," And she holds up two fingers for emphasis. She's easy to bribe when it comes to studying. "Otherwise, my house because I have a stock in the mo- basement," Not so smooth a save as she might have hoped. "Why not a burgundy cala lily with jasmine with a few springs of eucalyptus?" Always happy to help. It isn't like she hasn't pulled floral arrangements together for the funeral home on short notice. Because grieving people forget little details at times. "You should do Cats. Or Nosferatu the vampire?" Always helpful with suggestions is she. Then she snaps her fingers, "Blue Brothers!" And her smile, for a moment, is more genuine than her usual doll one. "Hey...since you guys are here...were either of you at that bonfire the other night?"
"Hey, the funeral home is actually pretty cool. They have a lot of fascinating stuff over there," Sean says to Amy completely unironically. He genuinely likes it over there for some reason. "Oh, for Prom?" he asks when they're talking about boutonniers. "Isn't that like.. forever away?" Then they're talking about dance routines and he grins, "Yeah, I don't care what part I get so long as I get one." Though he grins a little at Cats and says, "I don't know if the school has the budget for the costumes for Cats." Maybe it does, he doesn't know, but it seems pretty costume-heavy. "Nope, there was a bonfire the other night?"
"Fucking hell Silver, that stuff is awful for you, you know?" Amy frowns at the jolt cola. Then she shrugs. "But what the fuck do I care, I'm not drinking it. Sure, 2 colas and we do it at my place! I'll buy like, 4 and you can take the rest home." See, she's not unreasonable. Today. Sean gets a withering sort of look from Amy Lester. "Spear already tried to give me a fucking animal skull the other day. That's enough weird shit for one month." She chews on another apple slice, washing it down with the last of her bottle of water. "Yeah, I don't know anything about a bonfire."
"He made it himself," Jade tells Amy. "I mean, from him, that's kind of a sweet gift." He then tells Sean, "I missed it. I'm still bummed. Was it awesome? Don't tell me if it was awesome. No wait, tell me. I want to know. I need to know what I'm missing so I can be proplerly mad about it." He has his own internal logic, it doesn't have to make sense to anyone else.
Silver turns that smile on Sean as he defends her home. "If he tried to give you a skull, it means he really likes you. He is very happy you are going with him to the dance. Thank you for that. I'll try and make sure the corsage he gives you is, ummmmm, appropriate?" One brow quirks and she gives the softest little giggle before looking from Amy to Sean and then to Jade. "Yes. Apparently a couple of people were there, Esme included and...someone was passing around some really potent drink. It packs a doozy to the memory, that's for sure." She moves to dig in her bag then, searching for something.
"What kind of animal?" Sean asks Amy, seemingly immune to her withering look, and more curious about what exactly Spear tried to give her. "Are we talking like, mouse skull, or moose skull?" He makes a tiny pinching motion to indicate a tiny skull and then holds both hands out wide to indicate the size of a moose skull. Because there's a definite distinction in the two gifts. He can't help but laugh at Jade's need to know and need not to know all at once, shaking his head. Then he looks over at Silver and frowns, "Yeah? What was it?"
Amy's shoulders slump even further. Why. Why did she agree to Spear's weird request. It was 'days' ago. She was in a whole different mental state then! Ugh. "Man, I'm an idiot," she declares after a moment, shaking her head, eating the last slice of apple and shrugging. "Oh well." No sense bitching about it. "What is this drink then? Not that I'm likely to drink some random thing being passed around at a party. Seems crazy if you ask me." Then again, Silver is pretty crazy if you ask Amy. Another glance at Sean. "I don't know. It was bigger than a mouse. I'm not a fucking skull expert." Then she laughs, glancing at Jade with a grin. "Although apparently my skull is still growing."
Jade whines, "I want to drink that drink." Because missing out on potent booze is heartbreaking to someone like Jade. Heartbreaking! "Next time I have a headache, I'm going anyway. Maybe getting sauced would've made it go away." He sighs. Then he laughs at Amy's comment about her skull still growing. "You're so mean," he says with affection and admiration. He then tells Silver, "I've given it some thought, and the red calla sounds fantastic."
"I didn't go to the actual bonfire. But after hearing about it from Esme, and worrying about roofies or some other horror going around, the paper crew went out to the beach. Found the remains of the party and then the host showed up. She had a bottle of wine. Same stuff from the party. A mescaline wine from Spain. You know The Cure song? Anyway..." She pulls out a bag of spicy seaweed pieces. Nibbling on a chunk as her eyes glaze over behind her sunglasses. "MMmmm...anyway...her name was Fran. She was English. That was interesting. I liked her coat..." She doesn't finish and just kind of smiles at Amy. "It was the best wine I've ever tasted. I think it was kind of like absinthe, except a wine. Everything was so...so...bright. And colorful. Hard to describe, yeah?" She shrugs a shoulder like it's no big thing and nibbles more seaweed crisps. "It was a cat skull," She offers helpfully. "Or a raccoon. Might have been that, we found a dead one recently and he'd been cleaning the skeleton off. I think..." She glances at Jade and sighs. "I want more." A pause and she perks up, "Good! They're much better than roses. -Everyone- will have a red rose. And Jade Marchant has to be just that much more, right?"
Sean squints at Amy and says "Your.. skull is growing?" As though by squinting he could see this mysterious skull growth of which she speaks. Nope, not seeing it. He's a little distracted by the whole skull growth thing that he misses some of the conversation about the potent booze, and glances back toward Silver. "So.. some chick named Fran from England had Spanish drug wine?" He's trying to follow the conversation as it bounces from one topic to the other, "That why you're wearing the glasses? Still hung over?" He grins a little bit in amusement.
"It was something Cash said," Jade says to Sean. He then tells Silver, "Yeah, you're right. I don't know why I was playing it safe. My mood has been all over the place lately. Part of me wants to go traditional, and another part of me wants to go absolutely crazy. I'll consult with Mona over the tux, of course. She always knows what to do when it comes to clothes."
Silver raises a brow at Sean's question and shakes her head. "No. Photo sensitivity. I get it sometimes when I'm especially anemic," She says with a shrug, then waves a seaweed at the lot of them. "Anyone want to try one?" She offers as she crunches in and offers out the little baggie with the strips and some pieces. "I'm only going to take pictures," She says with a shrug of one shoulder. "So I don't really have to worry about what I wear too much."
"Oh," Sean says when Jade says that it was something that Cash said. It obviously still doesn't make much sense to him, but he doesn't ask any further, instead drawing one foot up onto the bench and wrapping his arms around his leg, resting his chin on his knee. He just listens to the two of them talk about prom plans for a bit, though when Silver offers bits of seaweed, he shakes his head, "Nah, I'm good. Thanks, Silver." He smiles at her though and says "Hey, even if you're taking photos, you should still look fantastic doing it."
Jade reaches for one of the pieces of seaweed, and he munches on it. "Yeah, you should look good doing it. Show all the boys what they're missing out on. You should at least dance once, too. It'll be fun." He glances to Sean. "Are you asking anyone to go? I don't know if Thea or Mona have dates yet. I should ask them who's in the running to take them." He then asks Silver, "Does Star have a date?"
"I'm behind the camera. And it isn't like I'll have a date, or really want that kind of attention from most of the 'boys," And she makes air quotes, "In the school" Silver says with a smile and shrugs, taking a bite and kind of looking at the remainder in disappointment. The seaweed is especially spicy, they may just be wasabi flavored. "Star?" She blinks and considers. "She's probably chosen someone already. If they resist her I'll be surprised. But she hasn't told me. Yet. What about you Sean? Have you asked anyone?"
"You should definitely dance at least once," Sean agrees with Jade on this one, "Even if we're just lowly 'school' boys." He grins, even putting in the air quotes with how he puts emphasis on the words. Though, when asked if he's asking anyone, he shrugs his shoulders, "Haven't really thought about it. It's still a ways out, you know? Not even really sure that I'm going to go, to be honest. We'll see." It's a very noncommittal kind of wishy-washy answer and he knows it.
"Psh," Amy says suddenly, snapping out of her daydreaming and looking up. "Being stuck behind the camera is hardly an excuse for not gettin' any action, Silver." She rolls her eyes. "And you should. Dancing is good." Any physical activity is good, pretty much, if one consults with Amy. Which none of them did, but that doesn't stop her from dispensing with the advice. "Wait, what are we talking about, exactly?"
"Prom," Jade tells Amy. "It's a ways out," he agrees with Sean, "but people will be pairing up fast. And you have to go, man. It's prom. You only get one senior prom. Besides, you'd be depriving some girl of a date, and look at you. You're cute, you're active in drama. You're a hot ticket item. If you stay home, some girl's got to stay home too, and that's not really fair, is it?"
Silver give Jade a bit of side-eye at his encouragement. And just to be opposite, "Of course not everyone likes big parties. Or dancing. And that's cool too," She says with a hand of a hand. "You want a wasabi seaweed strip?" She offers the baggie to Amy as she seems to perk up again. "I'm more interested in this Fran person and her specialty wine."
"First," Sean says, raising a finger, "That's presuming that there are precisely an even number of boys and girls in the class that would be interested in pairing up. Second, that's presuming that I'd even be going with a girl if I were going. Third, I could always just go by myself if I really wanted to go." The second and third fingers tick upward as he counts off his points. "Fourth, if they're already paired off by the time that I decide if I'm going or not, then that means they didn't want to go with me in the first place, right? So." That seems to be his final point.
"Hey, if some girl isn't going I could just be there to keep her company," Amy says with a grin and then a bit of a laugh, taking the baggie from Silver and shrugging. She'll try a thing. Seaweed strips. She fetches one out for herself before handing the bag back, leaning back and nibbling at it. "Is this Fran lady hot?" She wonders casually of Silver. She's not all that interested in the wine, honestly.
Jade admits, "Okay, you have me on the girl-asking point. Maybe you'd ask a boy. The point still stands, though. But there might be someone who'd totally go with you, but who doesn't wait til the last minute to be asked, because that's social suicide. By the way, my sisters and I are throwing a masquerade party over Spring Break. Speaking of avoiding social suicide, you should go. Pretty much everyone's invited."
Silver considers Amy's question for a brief moment and then nods. "Yeah. She's pretty hot. You like goth and she was definitely sporting the look," She says before taking the bag back. The wasabi is full of spicy, but it doesn't even seem to phase her. Like eating saltines or something. "A masquerade? Mmm...can I take pictures?"
"Sure, I'll go," Sean says to Jade when he mentions the masquerade. "Like, full on masquerade with costumes? Or like, fancy dress up with masks? Or a mix of the two things?" He's seen all kinds of different masquerade type parties. He drops the talk of the prom for the time being, stretching his legs out in front of him and resting back on his elbows which are propped on the table behind him. "So random goth chick on the beach giving underage kids wine. Not a thing sketchy about that."
Amy waggles a hand. "Goth's okay, it's not like a big deal, y'know. It's not actually really my type now that I think about it." She shrugs though, leaning back, nibbling very gingerly on the wasabi seaweed. She can handle it! Just you watch. She nods along to the masquerade talk, chewing thoughtfully without really offering further comment on the party, though does point at Sean. "Now that's the fucking truth. Wine is kinda shitty anyway."
"I leave it to the interpretation of the partygoer," Jade says, "but I'm going to do something ridiculous, so go nuts." He snap-points at Silver and says, "You can if you come in costume. I understand if you don't want a mask to make it weird taking pictures but you've got to at least do something." Tilting his head, he asks Amy, "If I ask you what your type is, will you tell me, or will you say 'fuck off, Marchant?'"
Silver considers Jade's offer and then nods with a small smile. "All right. What are you going as?" She asks curiously, her green eyes twinkling for just a moment as she adjusts her sunglasses. Then there is a sound. A beeper going off and she looks down in surprise. "Oh parsnips!" Yes, she says that, as she looks at it. "I was supposed to pick up veggies for dinner! I am -so- sorry. I've got to go," And she turns to begin trotting back the way she came. "I'll dress in something!" She calls back before she is out of earshot.
"Alright," Sean says when Jade says he will leave it open to interpretation, though his expression is a little dubious, as though he's not quite sure exactly what to go with with such a broad and undefined set of parameters, but he nods anyway. He'll figure it out by the time the party rolls around. "Wearing a mask would make it hard to take pictures, probably," he agrees, though. Though Jade's question to Amy gets a little bit of a laugh, and he glances over at her, curious if she's going to answer him or not.
Continuing to nibble at the little strip there, Amy shrugs her shoulders. "It ain't you Marchant. No fucking chance," she says with a sidelong glance and a grin. "I dunno. Chicks with good legs and a nice ass." It's pretty generic, sure. "The volleyball team is like the best place. Lady Knights, let's fucking go!" She laughs and waves vaguely at Silver. She's probably going to forget to buy that cola, too.
Jade tells Silver, "I can't tell you, it'll ruin the surprise." But she is dashing off home, and his future mystique is preserved. "Whatever it is, it's going to be stunning. This might be the last masquerade we throw living here. I want to go out on a bang." He gives Amy a photo-worthy pout. "You're breaking my heart. If only I'd been born a sister instead of a brother."
Sean lifts a hand to wave to Silver as she heads off, watching her go for a moment before he glances back over at Amy, chuckling when she does in fact answer the question. Then he glances back over to Jade and says, "Why? You moving after graduation and not coming back?" That seems to disappoint him a bit. He figured most would be going off to college, but he figured /some/ would be around, or at least back once in a while. But he quickly brushes it away and smiles, "The party will be amazing. They always are."
"Psh," Amy waves a hand at Jade. "There'll be plenty of shit. I'm not going anywhere, anyway. I'll be sticking around, training and working at mom's auto shop." She gives a bit of a huff and shrugs her shoulders. "Assuming I don't fuck up and not graduate or something, ugh. I'm gonna have to make sure I don't miss this tutor thing." She starts undoing her shoes, to put them back into her back and get back into her roller blades.
"Sure, we'll be back to visit," Jade says. "I guess I should say it'll be our last masquerade of high school. My sisters want to go to New York, and I could probably get into a decent dance program there, but of course we'll come back to visit. Can't let Mom get lonely without the pitter-patter of her favorite children. And God knows this town will be lost without us." He watches Amy, and he asks her, "Will you teach me how to roller blade? I want to get places without driving or walking."
"You'll graduate," Sean says optimistically, once more regaining that positive outlook that faded only momentarily at the reminder that this is their last year together, that everyone will be going their separate ways after graduation. But that gets pushed aside to be forgotten again for as long as possible. He laughs a little and says, "Well the drama department definitely will. That's for sure."
"You'll break your fuckin' ankle or something, Marchant, you know it," Amy says with a roll of her eyes as she does up the skates. "I'm not a great teacher. I get pissed off when people don't know things. Maybe." Fair warning! "Just put some skates on and learn to balance." She shrugs, rubs at the back of her neck and shoulders her back. "Later, bitches." She quips easily, doing the awkward skate-walk across the grass back to the path before just zipping off down the way.
"Oh, if it's just about balance, I can do it," Jade says. "I'll buy some inline skates and you can show me." He's not afraid of pissing Amy off! He's bold, not smart. As she leaves, he calls after, "Bye, beautiful!" He then tells Sean, "Without Thea, they'll never know what to do. She's the ideal leading lady."
Sean watches as Amy skates off, waving to her as she departs before he glances back over to Jade and says, "I bet you can do it. If you can ice skate, I think it's pretty close, right? And dancers have good balance, and strength." He smiles at the mention of Thea and says, "Pretty much. But, you guys will do amazing things in New York. I'll have to come out and see you when you're all performing in something cool out there."
"You totally will," Jade says. "You could crash with us. We'll probably going to get a place together, and trust me, we're not going to be squatting in some Alphabet City loft like starving artists." Like the Marchants would ever end up in such a state. "It's going to be awesome, but I'm kind of going to miss it here. I mean my house is here, and all my friends. I don't know anyone in New York. Not yet, anyway."
"You will, though," Sean says with a warm smile. "You'll make a ton of new friends as soon as you get there, and they'll have friends that they'll introduce you to. And you'll meet other performers and artists, and before you know it you'll be having fantastic parties filled with new friends from your new home. I'm sure it's going to be great." And he really does sound like he honestly believes that it's all going to work out that way. Why wouldn't it? They're Marchants.
Jade smiles and says, "You're probably right." He tilts his head as he considers Sean. "What are you doing after school? Any big plans? Are you going to still do theater? I hope so, because you're really good."
Sean smiles at the question and says, "Oh, you know, I don't know. I guess I'll figure that out eventually. Probably." It's the most non-committal of non-committal answers possible. He then pulls himself up from where he was sitting on the bench and says, "Guess I should probably head back."
"You have to," Jade decides. He glances at his watch, an expensive piece no doubt bought for him by Mommy and Daddy, and he says, "Yeah, I should be heading home soon. I've got to do homework." Of course he's put it off til the last minute. He's a reasonably good student, but not a very devout one.
"Yeah," Sean says with a laugh, "Of course." Then he nods about the homework and says, "Good to see you, Jade. Have a good one." Then he turns and slips his hands into his pockets, heading further up the beach, away from the pavilion where they were sitting, but definitely not in the direction of home.