Near the window area, Spear is sitting underneath one of the boards that is currently advertising a number of student bands. One of which has his sister in it. The goth kid is sitting in a long black jacket, his hair spiked up into a Robert Smith cloud. Right now he is writing in a large art journal, with a lot of thin detailed notes using a fine point pen. The place has a number of other students and people meandering in - lunch started five minutes ago, and most are already peeling off into their groups. Some dude who loves his own noise is plunking away with a guitar in a corner, and a couple of girls are trying to work out if they can hit him with a crushed up lunch bag.
Spear is ignoring his own meal as he writes, but then? He _is_ a skinny bastard.
The New kid slopes in. Sure Hector started in January and it's February now, but in a town like this, a new kid can be a new kid for a long time. He's wearing a Faith No More tee shirt, torn black skinny jeans, and Doc Martins. He has a brown bag and a vending machine cola. He starts to walk towards his half brother out of habit, but then he remembers and stands there conspicuously trying to figure out where to sit while avoiding the loser table.
Ashley strides into the cafeteria ahead of a small group of like-dressed girls - though she is dressed by far the best. Since grunge was soooo last year, she is clad in sensible shows, knee high socks, mini-skirt, blouse, and jacket. Did they bring back school uniforms? Nope, but the fashion is to look like you're wearing one (yes, the Clueless look is 1994). A gesture to her posse and they disperse while Ashley glances around as if trying to find someone. Most likely her twin brother.
Spear has been in this town his whole life. Rumours about Spear say that even for a Thistle, he is a weird bastard. He collects and eats roadkill - everyone knows it. Insects, too. Or he kills animals and makes them into 'art'. As a result, he may not sit at the Loser table, but mostly because even the Losers are friends with one another. Spear is more or less alone a good deal of the time unless his sisters are around. So he writes. His attention goes up briefly as Hector enters, and his face does a weird transformation. Emotion drops out of it. He does not look tense, or hateful. Just. Something else entirely. And he nods to Ashley - as if, like, he is even on her level. Spoiler: He is not.
Grunge is timeless if you ask Cash Freeland. He appears in the cafeteria wearing his best ripped jeans, Nirvana t-shirt, with dirty converse that were once red. He has a red plaid shirt around his waist and his ever present leather jacket. He looks vaguely uncomfortable as he gets his tray of food and scans for his usual spots. Cash is a weird kid but has a chameleon quality. He's a swimmer so the jocks are alright. Losers welcome him too. Drama and band nerds feel his vibe. Or they did. Everything feels like the past tense as his runaway stunt combined with Thistle breakup has left him alienated. Because everyone knows a Thistle. He spots his sister and smiles, relieved but wincing. His mouth is still sore from the recent application of his braces. At least his got colorful elastics! Upside. He beelines for Ashley. If he see Hector or Spear, he is not acknowledging either.
Hector hasn't really figured out who's related to whom yet. Hell, he's still trying to work out who some of his cousins are. He has no idea how dangerous the posse of girls in mini shirts is about to be to him. Until he sees the nod. His search for a safe harbor suddenly becomes urgent. Which is when he spots cash and his expression is as if he's been shot but doesn't quite grasp tht he's dead yet.
Spear nodded to her? Ashley narrows her eyes in his direction - an overly dramatic attempt to 'remember him before she is distracted by her brother's arrival. "Hey, Metal Mouth" she grins with her pearly whites unhindered by metal. "Want to sit with me? Of course you do." Ashley purses her lips before waving an imperious hand in the direction of a window table. "That one" her brother is informed, even if it is rather close to Spear's hideaway. She strides on over, expecting Cash to follow.
Spear is generally not in the habit of making anything especially dramatic out of himself. He keeps to his corner, he writes, and lately he has been real quiet. Last year he bounced around with Cash being a beam of sunshine for everyone, but in the last couple of months the rumours about him have been apparently irking him more. Like the anti-Cash, it does not _matter_ that Spear likes art and is good at climbing. He fits in with no one, and without his previously outgoing attitude, it keeps him by himself. Now, however, he gets up, and is about to - except Ashley is leading Cash there, which means if _he_ runs, he will be the one who looks as though he is fleeing. He puts his head in his hands and stares at his book. His composure is wobbly. But no one really ever sees Spear actually mad, right?
"Get it out of your system. Brace face, metal mouth, whatever, okay?" Cash says, with a little smile. Staying even mildly annoyed by Ashley isn't in his nature and today, he is just grateful to have her near. "I get to take these to college so...out of your system please?" The orthodontics were Cash's choice. His teeth weren't terribly crooked, just a bit crowded. But Cash wants to sing and perform one day and he wanted to get a headstart on the makeover portion of fame. He follows his sister to the window seat, still ignoring Spear. Hector isn't as fortunate. As he sits and looks over his tray, he groans. "My teeth still hurt. This gravy hamburger thing is too tough." So, as easy as anything, he picks it up and wings it at Hector. "There. In the trash." And he moves on to mashed potatoes.
ROLL: Hector rolls Finesse+1 for: : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 7 8 1 1 6 -- d8)
Hector sees the Freelands approaching, his eyes flick between his half brother and Cash and back. Like a deer in the headlights, he is frozen, unwilling to abandon kin, but alarmed that whatever is about to hit him will splash over on Spear. He's a swimmer and a runner and he was a surfer when there's surf. He clocks the arm coming up and just manages to sidestep getting whacked in the face with Cash's meat.
"The braces are in your mouth, not on your face" Ashley points out with a grin as they sit. "You have a grill, not a cage." She doesn't have her own food because one of her clique will be bringing it to her soon. "You'll be wearing them still in college? Oh. My. Gosh. How can you be a cool radio star when your teeth are interfering with the signal." A wink over the table to her brother. "I have only started the teasing." She frowns at the food complaint. "You do remember this cafeteria's cooking, don't..." But before she can finish, there is meat flying through the air and just missing the new guy. Ashley's eyes open wide in surprise, and perhaps a little amusement. Still, she doesn't want to get involved in a food fight in this outfit, so she springs to her feet to apologies. "Sorry, it slipped out of his hand."
Spear is writing, writing, well. Writing the same thing, really, doodling nervous, anxiety-ridden content about his own name. And then Cash is flicking a hamburger at Hector. Spear stares at his page, trying to focus on it. Working it all out. His eyes are very wide. But Spear never seems to get particularly upset. He just deals with stressful things by being convinced no one actually ever really means it. As Ashley speaks, however, Spear looks at her, and he just seems like such a weird, strange guy compared to last year. He stands up and he says "No, he threw it at the Garden Gnome. Why'd you throw that at him, Mister Freeland?"
Cash rolls his eyes at Ashley. "I was promised they would not fuck with my radio signal, thank you. Otherwise, it's a good thing that the radio doesn't require me to look any certain way." Because he's always pantless while broadcasting. Always. "And I don't have anything to create a lisp or shit. And colors!" Blue and green elastics alternate. "I'm just sore. Speaking of sore." He turns all the way around to face the Thistle, new and old. "Why? Because I didn't want it and you put those thing in the trash." And then he levels his gaze at Hector. "Right? You throw away the things you don't want, yeah?" He looks back at Ashley. "He's an expert--well, not exactly. He gets the law to do his dirty work." Cash looks at Spear, eyes softening. "Spear, Sunshine--" And he used his pet name. Cash blushes but doesn't take it back. "My issues with Hector are personal. He and I. Nothing to do with you now."
Hector's face is a total blank in the aftermath of the flying meat. He opens his mouth to answer Ashley, but then snaps it shut as his half brother speaks. He stares at him for several beats, then his head snaps back. He smiles sadly at Ashley, "Meat can do that. Get out of hand. A lot of things do." He says quietly and calmly, "Sometimes you make a mistake and get rid of what you need the most. Sometimes you want them back desperately, but there's no getting back what was lost."
Ashley is no dummy. She is aware there is subtext happening here. Nothing to do with her directly, but since her beloved brother is involved, she will make it so. "I really don't think this is the best place for this discussion to happen." Everybody is probably looking at them...and not for good reasons. "So, how about we all go somewhere else, and you three can resolve it?"
Spear says "Yeah, I guess. You throw away stuff you don't want any more, or you know, maybe not even that much - like, not even do the throwing away bit. Just drop it. From a distance." He stares down at his piece of paper, and then he closes the book up, and he says "Law?" That bit, he does not understand. Finally, he stands up, and he says "But it is personal, right? I mean. Hector is my brother," he says to Cash. He nods to Ashley, but he is not moving, Spear is not "So like, whatever happens, it's to do with me, Mister Freeland. Sorry, Ashley."
"Yeah. The law. The police. That's why I came home. Hector ratted my out as 'that missing kid from Arizona'. I freaked out." Cash concedes. Growing up with Cash meant bearing witness to his meltdowns with their utter loss of control. They don't come often but when they do... "I was carried out in handcuffs. I was all cut up because I can't stand being restrained when I get like that. I still have scars." He says, subconsciously tugging on the sleeves of his jacket.
If others are watching, it's not much of a show, yet. He looks back to his sister and says, "You don't have to sit here with me while we...sling shit at each other. I understand." And he does. Ashley has a reputation she likes to maintain and Cash protects it as best he can. He regards Spear, struggling to look him in the face once or twice. "I didn't think I was coming back like, ever. It was a shitty thing to do to you but I didn't have a choice. I had to tell you something and I couldn't call because I didn't want anyone to get a lock on where I was. And I didn't want to leave you hanging...waiting. I made a bad choice. I'm sorry, Sunshine and I'm broken hearted about how that fucking letter stole your sunshine." His gaze flicks to Hector. "You want 'them' back? How could that even cross your fucking mind?"
Hector is still calm as he tells Ashley, "I was the one who sent him home. I shouldn't have, but it can't be undone. I didn't think they'd hurt him, but intentions don't matter. Harm was done. He has ever right to hate me I know I'll never forgive myself myself." He turns to hector, "I thought your parents would come for you. I didn't think they'd really send police. Fuck!" He tugs at his hair. He turns to his half brother begging him, "Please, don't blame Cash. Blame me. Hate me, I deserve it. None of this is Cash's fault. It's all mine."
Ashley looks from one dramatic teen to another before smiling at Hector's words. "All sorted then, it was all his fault" she notes with a wave of her hand in the new student's direction before looking to Spear. "And Cash is sorry for what he did to you..." She looks to her brother "...which was really mean..." before back to Spear, smile returning. "So that's all sorted out too. Gosh, isn't it wonderful for us all to be so mature. No need to sling meat or shit. Speaking of meat..." Ashley looks for that stray gravy burger and spots it on the floor. Right in the path of one of her girls bringing her lunch.
Spear shoots Hector a look, and he shoves his hands in his pockets, and then he says, watching Cash and his sister. His eyes are dark, and slightly too big, and not a hundred percent at focusing "I'm not. Slinging anything. You two are so dramatic. You really should, you know. Be more logical about this. Situation." After a moment he packs his book into his bag "I'm not upset -" he cuts a look across at Hector, and really, only with the two of them together is the family resemblance from the same father that visible. They are completely different in build and skin tone, but there are facial similarities "I'm not upset. You upgraded. You found someone who was just better. Same genepool, even. Just better. Stronger, fitter, doesn't get lost, more popular, no bad reputation, better looking, smarter, a musician. And now he's living with me, and he gets to be the better brother and son too. So yeah, I'm not upset. I don't hate anyone - that's mature, like Ashley said. It's important to be positive about stuff, and to accept I'm worth nothing, and that's okay, because-" The stray burger is pretty darn slippery. It has that cheese and sauce on it. Slick and oily and right on the floor where the teens are walking.
Cash stands up and closes his eyes. Deep breath. "Spear...I would give anything to make you shine again. I didn't upgrade. You--you wouldn't hurt me. You just loved me and made my day so bright and happy. Every moment with you was better by your mere proximity and I don't give a fuck what people say about you. Never did. And...and I am sorry and I'll spend as long as we are here in this town, together, trying to make us square. I miss you." Cash pours his heart out in front of /everyone/. The fact that Hector is right there? Just a minor upside. To know Cash Freeland is to know he is honest to a fault (Because he has zero guile) and wears his heart on the outside. "I fucked up. Consider forgiving me, please? I think the world of you."
He sits and glances at Hector. "Get off the cross, Hector." He hisses and picks up his backpack. His turn to write.
Hector 's suddenly furious, "You're not worth nothing! You're clever and talented and kind and I'm not better at any of those things. She still died!" And then he's trying to grab his half brother's elbow, "Careful!" He hisses back at Cash, "I'm not the victim, I'm the asshole. I know that."
Heather Burnett, clad in sensible shoes, knee high socks, green plaid mini-skirt, blouse, and jacket is carrying Ashley's lunch on a tray, and chatting with the other member's of Ashley's entourage. She lifts her foot, oblivious of the gravy slick meat in the shadow of her descending shoe. Unstoppable, that shoe glides forward and the tray flies up, food projectiles flying towards unwitting entorage members even as heather screams. Down she goes, butt first into gravy and grease.
As Ashley listens to Spear's self-flagellation, she gets the idea that he doesn't quite understand what being 'positive about stuff' means. His self-pity in such a public setting, not something she understands well, making her roll her eyes. And her brother is begging him to come back? Loudly. Does no one have any self-respect? Certainly not the guy proclaiming himself an asshole. It's like a help group for martyrs.
And if it's not one thing, it's another. That other being Heather flying through the air with Ashley's lunch. "Heather!" Ashley squeaks, delicately making her way over to the similarly dressed teen, avoiding her own food all over the floor. "Are you alright? Did you hit your cocyx?" She offers a hand to the girl before glaring at the boys. "You can add Heather's cocyx to the damage you've all done."
Apparently just how Cash feels about Hector is how Spear seems to feel about Cash right now. He continues putting his book back in his bag, leaving the rest of his meal (also one of those burgers) on the table. Heck, even the guy who apparently eats roadkill does not want to eat those. After a moment, he says, firmly "No. No, I think, sneaking away so no one knew if you were dead or alive to go be with my _brother_, that's basically in the 'even Spear isn't too stupid to look past that' category." Yeah, dirty laundry! Aired in front of _everyone_. So if there were any rumours, well. Now they have been confirmed. And Cash might get some splash back from Spear's reputation as well. Then he says to Hector "Ughhhhh. You need to listen to Morissey -" And the girl goes flying. Spear suddenly says "Wait, what did I do?"
And here's Amy. Black t-shirt, black denim jeans, stompin' boots and all. She's wandered into the Cafeteria, presumably in search of something to eat. But watching some woman who's name she can't quite remember go ass up naturally gets her attention. That's pretty funny stuff! But maybe she's spotted someone else! With that sort of distraction there, suddenly Amy's approaching the table of Freelands and Thistles, sort of just casually moving herself to be right where Ashley was before she decided to hurry over to her friends. "'sgoin on," she greets, super casual, giving Hector a glance with a slight curious frown, like she's trying to place the face. But Ashley? Ashley just gets a notable smile when she's looking back, and then a snort of laughter at Ash's words. Sure, it's juvenile, but that's what you get.
Hector rolls his eyes, "We weren't slinging my meat in people's faces." It is at this point he spots Amy, and deliberately steps between her and his brother, just in case she starts hitting people, expression wary. He may not know a lot of people yet, but he sure remembers her, the bruise on his jaw a testament to it.
Heather takes the hand, "Fuck me gently with a chainsaw! Oww!"
Cash gets up to help the fallen girl but she has plenty, especially now that Cash fucks brothers. Ew. Dejected, he returns to his table and starts packing up. "My teeth fucking hurt so I'm going to take something and sleep in the chorus room." Ms. Hellenbrand lets Cash get away with that. Just that. And no one else gets any quarter. Amy gets a smile, showing off his colorful new braces and cause of one pain in his ass. Someone mutters something about brother fucking and Cash yells. "I didn't know! HE didn't even know! Fuck you, Craig." He looks to Hector and slams his hand on the table beside him. He gets in close and says, "You really, really are the asshole. Lying piece of shit." It's an odd insult. No fresh material. But, as Cash exits, he left a note behind with Hector, where his hand had slammed down. No name on it. Just a triangle.
Maybe, technically, Spear didn't do anything directly affecting Heather's cocyx, but he's one of the Triumvarate of Tantrums so Ashley is including her. She helps Heather to her feet, looking over her damaged clothing with a frown. "I don't think a chainsaw will help. You're going to have to go get cleaned up." Another of those imperious gestures and others in the clique are helping Heather towards the bathroom. Leaving her, cool kids wise, alone when Amy shows. Ashley doing her best not to return the Lester girl's smile, or even look at her directly. "Hello, Amy, I hope you are well." As to what is going om. "Oh, you know, drama outside Drama class."
And now the hoi poloi are getting involved. And admonishing her brother for his wayward boy parts. This shall not do. "At least he's used it with more than himself around, Craig. And I know the truth about you and Madison. Want me to tell everyone? No? I thought not." Still, her brother is disappearing and Ashley really should follow him. Her path taking her close enough to Amy to discretely caress the back of her hand with her fingers.
"Don't say shit to my brother, Thistles protect one another," says Spear to Cash, though admittedly, Spear does sound hellaconfused. The Teen Guide To Drama does not really cover this kind of situation. He kind of wants to punch both of them, but thankfully he is roughly as tough as the average sponge. Spear stares at the floor, heated up to the ears, and then he just looks miserable. Cash left a note, and Spear's fingers twitch. After a moment, he reaches for it - not his. Hector's. He must know that. With Amy here, he looks just a little cautious, too.
"Oh you know me, winning and grinning," Amy quips easily back at Ashley. The smile turns into a bit of a grin, and she offers a silly little wave back at Heather as she takes off. She glances at Cash and then back at Hector. "Man. What is it with you two even. Who the hell are you anyway?" She demands of Hector, barely even reacting to that touch to her hand, though there is a sidelong glance at Ashley. "Wait." She pauses. "Your brother?" She peers at Spear, seemingly uncaring that Spear is reaching for that note. She might be hella curious too!
Hector snatches the note fast before his brother can get it, casting him an apologetic look. He opens the note quickly and calls after Cash, "That's fair!" He folds it carefully up and tucks it in his pocket, watching Cash leave like a man standing on the deck of the Titanic watching the last life boat row away, oblivious to the more subtle flirting going on right in front of him. He starts as Any addresses him, "Hector de la Huerta. You punched me the other night, remember?"
Heather, deciding Ashley must know who's at fault, "Someone owes me a dry cleaning." She returns Amy's wave, then turns on her heal and goes off to see what can be salvaged.
Spear pauses. The note is gone. And Hector is staring after Cash with this big mooning expression "They're both dicks," he says to Amy "But Cash is the bigger one." He pauses, then he stares down at his feet "Ugh. I hate being like this. This is the worst. Gotta look on the bright side."
"Well, you did get between Jade Marchant and me and then you said 'hit me', and Cash was awfully pissed and you know, I don't hate Cash." Amy says with a shrug at Hector, running a hand through her hair. "Seems like we're square." Are they? Apparently in Amy's mind, somehow. She glances at Spear and says. "Well aren't you a fucking ray of sunshine. Have some ice cream or something, Thistle." She does glance after the departing Ashley, inclining her head slightly as she watches her go.
Hector thinks that over and only just manages to stop himself from commenting on the size of Cash's dick, being sure that will get him punched by someone. Instead he says, "I really am sorry, Spear." He eyes Amy warily, "That offer was for Cash and only Cash. Please remember that." He takes a breath and lets it out slowly, "I think I'll go eat my lunch somewhere quieter." He stalks off.
"Hey, you don't know about my life!" says Spear to Amy, and he shoves his hands in his pockets "This day is just. This day is -" He mutters, and he eyes the rest of the food left abandoned on the table. Plus the fact that people are talking now, and everyone is all angry. Including Spear! Who is trying to...stay angry. Instead, his shoulders sag a bit as he sees everything dissipate. Somehow, yelling at Cash did not feel great. Then he says to Amy "...okay, you can buy me some icecream."
"Maybe if you're gonna try and break up a fight you should focus on that, asshole!" Amy calls out after the departing Hector, rolling her eyes. "Can you believe that? Honestly, who says 'hit me' and then complains when you do! Some people," she shakes her head and then gives a snort. "Yeah, nice try, Spear. I'm not buying icecream for you to cry into, fuck off. Man, Johnny is right. Too much self pity round here." She shifts away then, glancing around and nodding once like she's done with the place.
"Well, it's always worth a try," says Spear philosophically. He watches Hector go, and he says "...he wants Cash to beat him up." He adds "It's annoying." And then he says "Ugh, you think you know what's going on, but you don't!" to Amy "There's like, currents! THINGS." However, apparently he is his despised brother's keeper, because after a moment he groans and slides off the table to go after Hector.