Log:Old Wounds

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Old Wounds
Characters  •   Devereux Jaden Marchant  •  Felicity Bloomquist  •  Hector de la Huerta  •
Location  •  Jade's Room
Date  •  2019-09-27
Summary  •  Jade opens up to Hector and Felicity, proving the rich, spoiled brat has a heart after all.

Hector is shown to Jade's suite. Jade's stretched out at his couch with Meezer on his belly. Meezer is purring and making muffins on Jade's chest while Jade scritches him behind the ears. The door is ajar, so Hector can see the pair. Jade's in jeans and a Breeder's t-shirt. The stereo is playing Belly, and Jade's singing along quietly, "...she's just dusted, leave her..."

Hector knocks lightly on the jam anyway, "Hey, Jade!" He opens the door a little wider, "Hey, Meezer, My man!"

Jade laughs and says, "I see who's the popular guy around here." Meezer looks up from his muffin making and meows at Hector. Jade scritches his ears and says, "Yeah, you're the man around here, Meez." Jade gestures to the loveseat. "Take a seat, man. Can I get you anything?" He calls into the hallway before the person showing Hector in can leave, "Hey, could we get a couple Pepsis?" He then looks to Hector. "What's up, man?"

Hector settles in the loveseat, "Just checking in." He blushes a little, "Giving them space, you know? Also, I may have bought some pounce treats and they are burning a hole in my pocket. You all set for prom?"

Jade gestures with a magnanimous flick of his hand. "Go ahead, you can feed him." Meezer walks back and forth on Jade's stomach and whaps him in the nose with his tail, meowing the while. Jade sputters, then laughs. "Yeah, Spear and I are set. We're going to look so good together." He pauses, then mentions, "We didn't wait. You know, to consummate."

Hector fishes the pounce container out of a leg pouch, "You always do. Look good togeher I mean." Then he's grinning, "congratulations, Man! I'm really happy for you both!"

Jade grins. "It was awesome, man. He stayed over." Meezer launches off of Jade's stomach, making him oof. The cat hops onto the love seat, meowing at Hector plaintively. They never feed him. He's starving to death. Jade just shakes his head. "He knows a sucker when he sees one," he says.

Hector rattles the pounce can, pops it open, and dangles one aboveMeezer's head. "I'm definately a sucker." He meets Jade's eyes, "nothing like sleeping with the person you love in your arms. I'm glad the waiting's over, you know? Life's short."

Meezer rears up to sniff the treat, and then he puts a paw on Hector's hand to steady it as he nibbles the treat from his fingers. Jade sits up, thus freed from the cat, and he settles into a lounge on the couch. "Hell yeah, life is too short. And you don't need to give him anymore pamphlets. He knows what he's doing."

Hector laughs, "I think the book on beginning bondage last month was the last of my gifts along those lines." He tells Meezer what a good and clever cat he is and produces another treet for kitty temptation, "I'm glad he does. I'm so glad it all worked out. So much better than amanda, right?"

Felicity peeks her head in the door. "Oh. Hey. I just finished having a fitting with Mona and I heard voices. Am I allowed to join you or is this guy time?"

Jade says, "Come on in, Felicity." Meezer takes another treat from Hector, his tail flicking at the tip. Poor animal is never fed, clearly. Jade grins at Hector. "Yeah, it is. We're happy." One of the household helps comes around and has a few cans of pepsi, glasses, and ice. Jade nods to his coffee table, where the drinks are put, and the servant departs. Jade sits up and pours himself some soda.

Hector flashes her a grin, "Come on in, Red. I can't wait to see you in that dress at prom." He's busy feeding Meezer a third treat, because he's a sucker for moon eyes and a plaintive meep. "Jade and Spear are doing really well, sounds like."

Felicity grins at Jade and then narrows her eyes at Hector. "Who's been showing you the dress? The dress is supposed to be a surprise." Still she comes over and sits next to Hector, leaning against him. "Excellent. I approve of people being happy and doing well."

"He might be talking about my dress," Jade says. Meezer eats another treat, then looks at Hector to keep them coming. "Meez, have some dignity," Jade says, Meezer meows, always one to sass back. Jade laughs and shakes his head. "Spear and I are still going to get a hotel after the prom after-party. I mean why wouldn't we?"

Hector laughs, "No one showed me the dress. I just meant I am excited to see what it looks like and how you look in it. I have faith in Mona's taste and your beauty." He offers her the pounce can in case she too would like to spoil Jade's cat, enjoying her lean. He flashes Jade a grin, "It's true. I bet you will be stunning. Does spear know what you're wearing or are you going to supriise him too,Jade?" He scritches Meezer, "we don't need dignity do we, Bro?"

Felicity takes a treat and delivers it to the poor starving kitty. Then laughs. "Oh, well, yes. Jade's dress is also going to be amazing. There will be many minds blown that night."

Meezer grabs Felicity's hand in his paws and takes the treat from her. He's a good kitty and doesn't use claws. Jade watches his cat sucker treats out of his friends. "I can't wait," he says. "It's going to be great. We're definitely going to have to have champagne afterward. Do we have a location for the afterparty yet? I don't know if my parents are going to be around that night or not."

Hector says, “I'm... going to try not to think about what else might be blown." He watches Meezer with real fondness. "I think inside a house is dafer than a hotel room.... I admit I feel a lot better knowing they are taking the security threat seriously.”

Felicity grins and lets the treat be taken, then scritches Meezer behind the ears. To the question about location, she shrugs. "I have no idea. I am leaving this up to everyone else. I presume someone has arranged something. Maybe check with Ashley and see if she knows anything?"

Hector says, “I wish we could have it at our house, but better not to draw potential trouble there." He studies Felicity, "So does the no drugs promise include alcohol?"”

Felicity snorts and leans up to kiss Hector on the cheek. "Not explicitely, but I'm not really big on being impaired in general. So I am totally fine with being the designated sober person. I'm not sure the world really needs me with my inhibitions dropped, anyway."

"I'm not sure what I would do if I were unimpaired," Jade admits. "Get bored, probably. A little wake and bake never hurt anyone." He takes a drink of his Pepsi, pauses, then takes a flask from his pocket and tips a little brown liquor into it.

Hector returns the cheek kiss, "I am tryinng toimagine what that would be like. I suspect it would involve hang gliding. I've been trying to not... impair myself either what with the Painkillers loose. I miss pot more than alcohol, it turns out. I get cash's temptation to just let loose. Be normal though, you know?" He studies Jade, trying to decide if he should say anything, opting for, "I didn't realise it was all the time."

Felicity beams at the cheek kiss and then shrugs. "Not on anything is normal for me. My excesses lie in other directions." Pause. "Though I do get bored. And then I do things which eventually get me in trouble, but which are fun along the way."

Jade smiles a little at Hector. "Maybe not all the time, but every day. It's just, like, part of my schedule. Wake up, smoke a j, drink a little at lunch, relax at home with some pills or a shot." He shrugs. "I'm a junkie. But I'm rich, so it's not tragic. It's chique." He smiles, and his cheeks dimple.

Hector grins wickedly, "I like your idea of fun along the way. It sounds like adventure." Hector looks genuinely concerned about Jade, but decides he's likely heard all he things he might say. "Ah."

Felicity nods to Jade. "Hey, if it works for you. Just try not to go too far with it." Then she smiles wickedly up at Hector. "Mmmhmmm. Just remember to ask me what the risks and rewards are first."

Jade shakes his head and says, "I'm not going to overdo it and end up in rehab again. Not this close to graduation. I don't want to spend another summer pretending to be in the French Riviera. I've reached a balance. I just can't do cold, light-of-day sobriety. The light's too bright, and noises are too noisy. Everything is sharp and it hurts. I need to dull out a little."

Hector smiles fondly at her, "Like dating a Faery Queen.... What if I like surprises? What if I trust any calculation you consider safe for you is also safe for me." He is scritching Meezer again, hoping to lure him into a lap cuddle. He nods, "Just... don't inject anything, okay? That Ketamine thing worried me, you know? Once you start injecting stuff... Nothing good comes of it... I never did thank you properly for stopping cash that time, so thanks. i mean it."

Felicity nods her head to Jade and then blinks at Hector, her expression sobering. "I do have some mercy, at least, but... I'll try to be worthy of that, but I'm not sure I want that responsibility. What if you'd weigh things differently than I do?" At his comment about stopping Cash, she sits back. "Wait. What? What was Cash going to do?"

Meezer settles down on Hector's lap, purring contently. Jade glances between Felicity and Hector and says, "Just don't turn this into a cuddle or makeout fest. This is my sanctum, where I'm safe from nausea." He's such a romantic soul. He tells Hector, "I usually rail ketamine, but what I had at the time was injectable. Which I can handle. I stopped Cash because he doesn't know what the fuck he's doing, and you don't just go from zero to heroin. You work up to heroin. Then you get off it, because it's too much. I know you don't like the Special K, but it keeps me off H." To Felicity, he says, "We skipped school because he said he had heroin, then I realized that he was the one intending to take it, and I told him not to be stupid."

Hector thinks that over, "All right. I'll ask." He fondles the cat contentedly. "We won't. It would be rude to make out in your bedroom, and anyway, it's against the rules we worked out. I'm sorry about last time. Things were really new then." He eyes Jade, trying not to look as worried as he is. "Off heroin is ddefinately better than on it." He explains to Felicity, "Cash was in a bad place for awhile with the vampire blood situation and some other things. He kept looking for something to make him feel almost as good as blood, but he's better now." He takes a breath, "They can't really taste things properly after they come down from it, and things tendto be all flat and the withdraw's not pleasant in itself either."

Felicity laughs and then nods to Hector's statement about rules, though she rolls her eyes a little. "Things are still very new, but we have established rules for what are or aren't appropriate PDAs. So you shall be spared." Then she frowns and sighs. "Yeah... heroin is not something to mess around with. The statistics on that are not good and the LD50 is scary. I'm glad I missed that, I think. I would not have reacted well."

Jade says, "Thank you. My tender sensibilities can only take so much. But hey, you guys should get yours. If you stay over, I can hook you up with a guest room. Then you can do whatever crazy monkey circus sex you want. Seriously, go nuts." He raises his Pepsi to the pair, then takes a drink. "Heroin creeps up on you, too. It's fucking magical, like a new relationship that goes bad fast. Everything's great, and the next thing you know just the sound of its name makes you want to punch something. You get so sick, and you try to leave, but that bitch keeps pulling you in." He shakes his head. "Fuck heroin. I'd rather see Cash fall into a k-hole than take a hit of heroin."

Hector nods, "It's probably good you missed the meth experiment, Red. He was _roofing_ while high. I could have strangled him. But it's better now he's really clean, and it wasn't that bad for him just generally the last month. It's hold was weaker so the cravings weren't so bad. I worry all the time about sil, though." He blushes, suddenly very busy with the Meezer love, "we do all right."

Felicity reaches over and scritches the cat behind the ears, then grins at Jade. "MAY-be," she sing-songs. "Depends on if we can get Cash over here tonight." Then Hector talks about meth and she blanches. "Yeah. Yeah... it's really good I wasn't around for that. I... well, I would have explained to him exactly how stupid he was being in excruciating detail. There would have been a power point presentation on it. With diagrams. And injury statistics." She reliquishes the cat loving to Hector, but grins again at the blush and just laughs. "Alright, hmm?"

Meezer soaks upt he attention, rubbing his head into the scritches. "I wonder if you could get Cash and I in the same room under my roof and not have him insult me or mine. I'm honestly not sure it's possible." He takes another drink. "Cash isn't cut out for drugs, and frankly, I hate to see and amateur horn in on my racket."

Hector nods, "Fuck Heroin. And Meth. We'll stick to shallower waters...." He winces, "He's trying to do better. The shopping trip went okay didn' it?"

Felicity sighs and leans back in against Hector, head on his shoulder. "And I'll be designated driver and trip sitter." Jade gets a shrug. "He... doesn't really mean it the way it sounds most of the time. Or he does, but only in the moment. It helps if you can figure out what's driving the statements. He cares about you guys. He just..." She shakes her head a little. "I'm not sure if I'm just naturally better at taking that extra moment to think about what I'm saying most of the time or if I had to learn it because I'm a girl. Could do either way. Neither of us are naturally good at seeing the social lines, though." She's pulls a small koosh ball out of one of her pockets and starts playing with it.

"The shopping trip was good," Jade says, nodding. "Don't get me wrong, I like Cash, despite..." He gestures vaguely. "Everything. The thing is, I know he means it. That's why I don't give him a pass. Oh boo hoo, he has no filter. That means I have to eat shit?" He shakes his head. "I'm a Marchant. We read social eddies before we can walk. Knowing what to say is our stock in trade, not to mention how and when to say it. I'm the fuckup in our family and even I know you think about what your words are going to cost you. I guess I get a little tired of seeing his not cost him anything."

Hector curls an arm around her, "I haven't tripped on over a year. Agin, not so good with vampires around., and i didn't like doing anything stronger than weed around Cash. Last summer... he seemed so innocent you know?" Hecloses his eyes, "He's trying. I'm sorry, Jade."

Felicity rolls her eyes and bounces the koosh. "I didn't say he shouldn't face consequences, but... that's exactly my point. You are naturally good at reading social cues and lines. You grew up steeped in that. He is naturally inept at it and didn't. It's kind of like expecting someone who's colorblind to learn to see color. They can learn sort of how to correlate shades of beige or grey with what color it probably is to everyone else, but they're always going to have a hard time with it, no matter how clearly one is red and one is green to you. That said, he does really need to learn to stop and check in before saying something dumb."

"That I get," Jade tells Felicity. "I do. But this is more like he's colorblind and when I say something red is red, he says fuck you it's green. Honestly, I get over it, because I know he just is who he is. But when someone shows you who they are, believe them. He's made it clear he thinks I'm a worthless junkie. What I don't get is why he pretends to be nice to me all those other times. I just assume it's because, when he's nice to me, he wants something." He holds up a hand and says, "But it's fine. Like I said, I like Cash."

Hector shakes his head, "He doesn't pretend. He just... lashes out sometimes when he really, really shouldn't. Like at taco bell that time."

Felicity sighs softly. "No. He likes you. And doesn't think you're worthless. He just... it's all genuine, just sometimes mercurial. And emotion regulation is one of the things that he's especially bad at. But yeah, the tendency to reflexively dig his heels in doesn't help. Not that I'm not also guilty of that sometimes."

Jade regards them both dubiously. "I think you guys want to think the best of him, and when he's nice to me, I believe him in the moment. It's just that..." He shrugs. "The word 'junkie' comes to him awfully easy, and once you spit that out, you can't take it back. You don't say that much venom unless ou hold it in your heart. And it's fine. I'm glad he was honest, and I'm glad he's civil, but I don't think for a moment he regards me as anything but filth." He shrugs a shoulder. "And who knows? Maybe he's right."

Hector leans forward and says with real concern, "You aren't filth. If I thought that of you, do you think I'd be this happy you are dating my broother?"

Felicity narrows her eyes at Jade, then glances sideways at Hector's response and nods. "I will, however, totally admit to a certain amount of bias where Cash is concerned."

"I like Cash," Jade says, "He said what he thought, which is more than most of the suck ups and popularity chasers at our school will do. I know what they think of me. What most people think of me." He waves a hand dismissively, and he doesn't look bothered. "He just, you know, said it. And he's nice! He's really nice. But he'll say it again. And I guess I just prefer to know that."

Hector studies Jade and asks carefully, "Are you okay? I mean, do you maybe want to... talk about what's going on inside of you? Because I really do like you and I worry."

Felicity nods slowly. "Yeah. Okay. Just remember the niceness and care is real, too, okay. And... yeah, if you want to talk, we can listen. Or I can duck out and you can just talk to Hector. But I like you. And I would never think you were worthless."

Jade shakes his head and says, "Yeah, no. I don't know. It's the emotional rollercoaster I can't handle." He takes another drink, and the booze in the soda settles him some. "We weren't getting along, and he called me, and he told me how much he cared about me, and he always would, and I believed him. I believed in him. So, like, calling me a worthless junkie hit me, like..." He takes another drink. "He was just like everyone else, and now, no matter what he says or does or claims, I hear him calling me a worthless junkie, and that feeling of trust just shattering. I can feel the fucking shards, man."

Hector carefully disentangles his arm from Fellicity, lifts Meezer gently, and sets him on her lap, if neither protest, and crosses quickly to hug Jade, "Jesus, I'm sorry, Man. That must hve been like being stabbed."

Felicity winces hard. "Oh. Ow," she says softly whlie accepting Meezer and snuggling him, scritching his ears. "Yeah, that's... fuck."

Meezer complains as he's moved, then snuggles close to Felicity. Fine, he'll just snuggle someone who appreciates him! Jade blinks a bit in surprise as he's hugged, and he returns the gesture slowly. "Yeah, it sucked," he admits. "I don't let down my guard that much." As evidenced by how weirded out he is right now about Hector showing such open emotion. "But it happened, and now I know not to, you know, not to think he'd never say that. Because he probably will again."

Hector closes his eyes and says softly, "I won't do that to you Jade. I know you have no reason to trust me, given the givens, but I really do like and care about you. I always have. You're not worthless; you're wonderful. I'm just... really, really sorry."

Felicity sighs softly and snuggles Meezer more. "He was wrong. Wrong about you and wrong to say it. And I'm disappointed in him for it."

Jade pats Hector on the back, then feels around the coffee table to put his drink down, and he even hugs Hector back with both arms. "He said what he thought," he says. "I guess there's just part of me that resents I should just forget he said it because he has no filter, when I know he's going to say it again. I've forgiven him. I have. I just haven't forgotten."

Hector pats Jade's back gently, "I get that. I was... destressed by the harshness of the language at the time, but i didnt quite grasp the context. Just know, that it's not true and I thhink you are really good for spear and that you definately deserve to be happy." So much hugging.

"Nooooo, no I wouldn't expect you to forget that." Felicity sighs softly and then sort of buries her face in cat fur for a moment before sitting back up. "You shouldn't forget. You should, possibly, recognize that that's not all of what he thinks about you or even the most prominent piece and that he may have changed his mind and really regret saying that, but there is no requirement or expectation that you should forget it or trust him not to say something hurtful again. Because he probably will. And Hector and I signed up for riding that particular roller coaster, but you didn't." There's a small pause. "Fortunately for Cash, I am extremely fond of roller coasters. It's like physics and engineering made as exciting and possible - super fun math with sudden drops and loops and things."

"I'm used to the looks," Jade says, "and the few people who say something when they have the balls. I mean, aside from my sisters, I just assume people think I'm a fuckup. Theo's said way worse than Cash ever has. And I don't want you guys to get it twisted. I'm not mad at Cash. I'm his friend, and I'll protect him. It's fine. It hurt, but it's fine. Life's pain, right? That's why I dull out."

Hector smiles softly, "I like ccceleration, dramatic drops, and flying upside down...." He shakes his head and says firmly, "You aren't a fuck up, andof course it hurts worse with someone who's opinion matters to you. And life doesn't have to be pain, man. If you hurt all the time and he only way it's okay is when you're buzzed, something is not okay, Jade."

Felicity grins at Hector. "Okay. Once this is over. We're doing tours of Six Flags parks. We'll see if Cash can deal. If not, it can be our dates." Then she shrugs at Jade. "Life is life. If it's unending pain, then yeah, something's wrong. I mean... yeah, there is pain, but life should be other things, too. Joy and love and peace and wonder and sometimes bone-deep exhaustion and other less good things. If life is the tag on your clothes that always itches, then no wonder you drug yourself."

"It isn't always," Jade says. "I mean, like, when Spear's around I don't even think about using. We have so much fun, and he's so into me, and I'm so into him, and I know he'd never, you know, say things like have gotten said. I love him, and while I'm not naive enough to think I'll just stop using because of him, I know he's a reprieve from the things that make me want to use."

Hector says, “Amusement parks are definately on the menu. We'll have to ask Cash." He ruffles, Jade's hair, "What she said Jade. I'm glad spearmakes things better for you. Just... If it gets bad, talk to us, okay? Don't suffer in silence."”

Felicity nods to Jade. "Okay. That's as it should be." then she grins at Hector, "I mean, we may need to go off-season for him to come along and I think he'd hate the ones with too many animatronics. But Six Flags parks are mostly about the rides themselves and not the creepy trapings around the rides and they don't play as many of the weird perspective games as like Disney and Universal Studios. I swear, Disneyland makes me feel off balance and the rides are mostly really tame as coasters."

Jade smiles at Hector, then gives his head a toss and his hair falls into place just like it should. Whatever else is wrong with his train wreck of a life, his hair is amazing. Seriously, it's shampoo-commercial amazing. There are girls who would murder for hair like that. "I can already tell Spear's been good for me, because I don't hate the idea of you three going out and enjoying a theme park. It's still kneejerk for me to hate seeing people happy together, because of how long I would see it and think that'll never be me. I had just kind of resigned myself to being in the closet forever."

Hector says, “We can get him stoned first. Maybe sneak in a flask of something in case it gets to be to much, but i bet it'll work." He smiles sadly, "I think spear has a little of that too, but it'll wear off for you both with time and love, I bet. I'm so glad you came out, Jade. This is so much better."”

Felicity winces a little. "I. Oh. I'm so..." And the hand that had been petting Meezer ends up in the air sort of waving around a bit before she finally sighs. "Yeah. Better. You shouldn't have to hide how you feel or feel unloved or unlovable. No one should, but... definitely not you." Hector gets a little nod in acknowledgement of this plan.

Meezer looks up at Felicity and meows at her. The ears aren't being scritched? And they could be getting scritched. Is the thing. Jade laughs a little as he looks at his absolutely mercenary cat. He sniffs a little, then says, "I'm fine. I mean, not always, not really. The thing is, I know why I use. Because I spent most of my life almost dying, and I don't know how to just live without the spectre of death hanging over my head." He pauses, then says brightly, "Huh. Maybe that's why I haven't been freaking out about the vampires. This dread feels totally normal."

Hector gives Jade a gentle squeeze, "Dread should definately not feel normal. Is there... any way we can help? Besides not making out in front of you?"

Felicity gives the cat a guilty look and returns to her petting. "That's... disturbing, but okay. At least you know. Now it's about finding safe ways to trick your brain into having that death feeling without actually risking death so much."

Jade explains to Felicity, "I was really sick as a kid, in and out of the hospital a lot. We weren't sure I was going to make it. I still get out of PE all the time because of it. I mean thank God for money, right?" He picks up his drink again and takes a drink. "I don't use so I can feel death looming over me. Just to dull the edges."

Hector settles next to Jade, but is still watching hi with real concern, "What do you like to do that helps? Besides using I mean?"

Felicity keeps scritching the cat as she nods. "I remember. Kinda. We didn't interact a whole lot back then. I just hadn't thought about what it would mean emotionally."

Jade shrugs and says, "I mean, it's my normal, but yeah, it's kind of fucked up having your first real inkling of what death is being overhearing your folks talk to the doctor about your odds. But, like, I'm okay now, so I dunno. Yeah, it messes you up." He looks at Hector. "I'm using a lot less than I used to. Seriously. Especially since Spear and I started going out."

Hector nods, "It's good your using less now. Just... oh man, Ouch."

Felicity nods a little, still petting the cat, but seems to have decided she doesn't need to add anything else to the discussion.

Meezer purrs and rubs his cheek on Felicity's fingers. She belongs to him now, sorry, cat law. Jade groans. "Don't tell anyone, okay? I don't want people thinking about me like I'm made out of glass or that I'm a sad story. I want people to know I'm a Marchant, and I'm awesome, and nothing can break me."

Hector squeeezes Jade's shoulder, "Of course I won't go telling people. I'm glad you trusted us enough to talk about it. And of course you're awesome. Everyone knows that.""

Felicity is, indeed, Meezer's, though Meezer will just have to share with her boys, but as they're not cats, that should be fine. "I won't tell. And you are awesome."

Jade grins, then nudges Hector and says, "Go cozy up with your girl, man. I'm okay. And I'm genuinely glad you guys are happy. I got nothing to be jealous aabout. Spear's good to me, and we're going to be together for as long as he'll have me. And thanks. I work hard at being awesome. I'll talk to Mona about whether we should have prom's afterparty here or somewhere else. Either way, we'll make sure it's safe."

Hector ruffles Jade's hair again, but does as he's bid, "If anyone doesn't know you are awesome, I'm pretty sure that prom dress will prove it. Safe is good."

Felicity gives Hector a kiss on the cheek, once he returns to her and then just beams happily and leans back against him as she continues petting the cat.

Jade resettles on the couch. "Thanks, you guys, for being good friends. Please don't make Cash feel bad about any of this, either. I don't want anyone to feel bad." He glances over at his cat, who soaks up the attention. "Meez, you have no shame," he says. "None."

Hector returns the cheek kiss then cracks open a cola to drink. "It's all good. I thnk this has to be between you and him in the end."

Felicity's smile brightens a tiny bit more at the return kiss. They really are a little too twee and they're not even doing it consciously. She shrugs and murmurs to Meezer, "What do you have to be ashamed of? You're awesome, too. No shame." then she laughs. "I only make Cash feel bad when he's being particularly stupid about something and then only long enough to bring him back out of whatever brain loop he's gotten himself stuck in."

Hector explains to Meezer, "Shame is over rated. You be you, Man." He blushes a little, "And I'm so glad you do, Red, for both our sakes."

This time, Jade smiles a little at the kiss rather than rolls his eyes. "Siamese are supposed to be snobs," he says. Meezer just purrs and lounges on Felicity's lap, unbothered by 'supposed to bes.' "Anyway, it's all going to work out. We just gotta make it til graduation, and then our real lives will begin. A clean slate for everyone."