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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:20 am
Noelle gives a loud PSSSHHH and grabs the mason jar from below. The mention of studying law gave her intense motivation to drink. This one's for you, dad she silently toasts. She looks at Agnes, straight in the eyes "They might threaten it, but they won't. You notice anything about the accepted applicants of our scholarship?" She unscrews the top and takes a smaller swig of booze, winces, and hisses.

After a moment of silence, she adds "We're all goody two shoes. Smart kids who have never fucked up with their powers. Or if we have, we kept our mouths shut about it. And the grant that the school receives for this scholarship, which is a wicked sum mind you,  depends on the fact that they have a certain amount of mutants. And if they were to take his scholarship away, they might not get the grant next year. Which would suck, because this school is falling apart? The buildings were built for shit and everything is outdated. So they need us. Now-" She screws the lid back on and sits up, thinking about it "Reapplying for next year might be tough, but he has now until may to make up any bad blood that he's initiated. And I think he is fully capable of that."

Her voice is slipping into a slight accent- her r's drop and her vowells slowly become much broader and wider. It's slight, but it's there. Noelle didn't care- she had spent so much time learning how to speak normally her whole entire childhood. Another coping mechanism. She looks at Tobi, her eyes warm again.

"And no, I'm not studying law. I'm a lit major. My dad-" her voice breaks, but her face hardens "He was a lawyer."
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:35 am
'Damn,' Agnes thinks as she watches Noelle. 'Girl gets wordy when she's half gone.' Nonetheless, she's comforted. Tobi's been playing the academic song and dance for long enough that reapplying probably isn't going to be a problem. He'll get it again through the grace of his own merit and shitty bureaucracy, and everything will be just fine. She plucks the jar out of Noelle's hand again and swallows a generous amount. This stuff goes down so much smoother than her Ma's.

Noelle's slipping into some sort of accent now, not one she's too familiar with. She hasn't ever been much more north than Highmauve. It's cute though; she wonders briefly why she hides it and how. The two of them had never been able or entirely willing to kick their own speech habits. Tobi's Rhetoric class had been hell, more for the teacher than anyone else.

"Lit major." Agnes rolls this information around in her head. It slots neatly into what little she knows about Noelle. "Fits."

She picks up on the hardness, the sudden drop in expression. If she had to guess, which she most definitely will, she'd say...

"Bad blood with your Pa?" she asks.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 12:50 am
Noelle shrugs. She figured Tobi had told her about it and it makes her inside all fuzzy that he didn't. She reaches for the jar "Yeah. Haven't seen, spoken, or heard from him in 8 years. He left right after my sister was born. It's a bit of a long story. But he's not a part of my life anymore. He pushed us all away. I think he started a new family."

Her heart aches, but she ignores it "And yeah. Lit major. I want to write children's books. First ever mutant author to write children's books."

The words flow out easily, but it wasn't something that she ever really said aloud to anyone. Not even Tobi. But she could trust Agnes to not dash her dreams. "When you think of the books and stories that have lasted in the memories of the public, there is a shared experience. The Chronicles of Narnia, The Hobbit, Grimm's Fairytales, Anne of Green Gables, Little Women... They have formed the minds and consciousness of the children in the world. Those children grow up, and then they are the ones calling the shots."

She speaks freely, her accent still faint.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:22 am
Agnes nods. "Playing the long con. Y'wanna do good on a grand scale, tryin' t'lead the next generation on a better path." She grins soft. "Kick ass. I can totally see you doin' that."

She's not lying. The girl seems passionate about what she does, what she wants to do. Agnes has always seen her with a book on her person or nose in the pages of some novel. More important, she's got the will to do it. Noelle seems like the persistent sort, someone who refuses to give up even when beaten down again and again. She's got more iron in her bones than people probably give her credit for.

There's a pause then. Agnes shivers as the evening breeze filters through the open window. She reaches back to grab one of Tobi's quilts and throws it around herself, snuggling further into the couch. She remembers this one, had seen him working on it when they were still young and living with their parents. She carefully rubs the material in between her fingers, finds the even line of stitches her ma made followed by the shakier, more uneven ones Tobi had tried to do. She'd been watching him try to do the delicate work with his calloused fingers, had laughed when he got embarrassed. Her Ma had chided her and sent her outside to her Pa. He had ruffled her hair, let her try her hand in skinning the deer he had brought back that day. That deer would later become the well worn leather of her Pa's, then Tobi's, leather jacket. It had been a good day.

She looks over at Tobi, comatose on his bed in this too small room. She wonders how much easier their lives would have been if they had gone with their parents. Tobi certainly wouldn't be here, nose crooked and face bruised. At least not from a fight with another kid. She feels pang of longing for the woods of their home, for the sunsets and the night skies, for the fog along the mountain, and the rivers and streams that they used to run through. It was so much simpler when they were kids.

"When did everything get so complicated, Noelle?" Agnes huffs out a long breath.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 1:38 am
Noelle thinks about the question, takes a drink, then purses her lips. She often thought the same thing. She remembered being young, not having a care in the world. Her biggest worry was what she was going to have for dinner. Her life was charmed and perfect. Or at least she remembered it that way. "I think it's different for everyone. I think everyone has one change in their life that sets it into motion. It's a catalyst. It leads to others."

Noelle sighed and recounted her own life story. From fourth grade, when she had first created a jungle in a classroom, to her mother championing an immersion program, to her father's turn and eventually leaving. She even goes into the tight anxiety that keeps creeping up on her. It's a much shorter version than the one she tells Tobi. But she finishes it and says "Basically, what I'm saying is that things can be simple for a long time for some people. But there is always a choice and a change. No matter what."

There is silence except for the night outside. It sounded like students were heading back to their dorms for the night. Gossiping and laughter could be heard. A night that had been so monumental in her own life was nothing to others. She became hyper-aware of the complexities of her classmate's lives- every voice she heard had a different perspective of the events of the dance. She hums thoughtfully.

Then her attention focuses on Agnes "If it makes you feel any better, you and your brother are some of the best people I've ever met. And I wouldn't have met you if I didn't make a series of choices that were lead by a drastic change." She pauses and then says "Of course, I haven't met many people."

Her lips go into a slight smile, but it disappears in a flash. How could she?
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:59 am
"Kinda feels like we make the wrong ones sometimes." Agnes starts. She makes a motion for Noelle to hand back the jar, draining half of what's left when she gets it. "I mean," she pauses again. "God, how do I even word thi'." she mumbles low.

She's been turning these thoughts over in her head ever since her parents left and the two of them had chosen to stay behind in their old house. It was an old, gnawing insecurity, something she had never really even shared with her brother, though she had seen the same thoughts on his face some nights. He always refused to voice it, comfortable to pretend that he didn't miss their parents, that he wasn't wistful for the forests, thinking of how much easier it would have been to just fade further from any sort of public eye. She worries the quilt between her fingertips, counts the stitches once more.

"Our parents let us choose what we wanted t'do when they went away." she finally says. "If we wanted t'stay with them. We chose not tah, obviously." she smiles wryly, but there's no real mirth to it. He hands cross in front of her knees, the jar dangles from her fingertips. She looks like half the woman she was at the dance tonight. "Went t'school, grew up from then on wi'out 'em. I always had this thought, always wondered 'bout it, 'specially as we got older."

"Was it worth it?" she closes her eyes, shakes her head. "Were we jus' bein' stupid kids, choosin' not t'stay with them? There are times when I jus' wanna grab him," she motions to Tobi on the bed, "by the hair and drag us both off t'find them. I know there ain't much to do about it now, but I jus' wonder."

She sighs, leaning her chin down onto her knees. "But it ain't too bad where we are either. We're happy here, he's happy here and so am I. We meet good people, he falls for one of 'em." she looks sideways at Noelle with a small smile. "Maybe I'm jus' romanticisin' the past."

"This ain't a slight on you, string bean, I'm always gonna be happy he met you. I jus'," she pauses again. "wonder 'bout it sometimes."

She wraps the quilt a little tighter around herself.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:38 am
Noelle's eyes stay glued to Agnes the entire time. She listens thoughtfully. While she couldn't relate with the experience, she could relate to the feelings and emotions behind them. She thought about her own mother and sister- granted it wasn't the same in magnitude, but she thought about when she left for college. The fear and anxiety running rampant and the fear that there would nobody for her to share it with. Truly, she found one person.

Two people now.

She had noticed how drained Agnes was earlier, and she understood that carrying Tobi and changing him and getting him on the bed was no easy feat. But this was something different. The big and powerful goddess that was Noelle had thought untouchable had just been brought down to her level. Whatever she was thinking about, it wasn't something she shared often, Noelle read that on her face.

She takes the jar and takes a drink. smiling just the tiniest bit at the mention of Tobi and how he had fallen for her. Her mind goes far away for a moment- a Rolodex of memories with Tobi. The warmth, the smile, the rare laugh. The comfort. But she forces herself back to the present and listens to Agnes.

Then it clicks for her.

"I don't really think it's a right and wrong sort of thing. I think it's just... different." Her words are quieter "And while looking back at the past and feeling wistful is great, you can't change the choice. And nothing is stopping you to take Tobi and finding them and living as you did. You can make a new decision that will lead you to something similar, but it will never be the same as before."

She gives a small, bitter chuckle "I should follow my own advice." She hands the jar back, rolling the information around in her head. "And I don't take offense. I get it."
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:01 pm
"Some days it's real hard not to. Drag 'im by the hair, I mean" she murmurs as she takes the jar. "Some days it jus' feel like an itch under the skin, jus' a little somethin' missin. But I know soon as I do, I'll miss what I got o'er here." She snorts out a laugh. "Real lose-lose sitiation."

She thinks over what Noelle says. "Different huh."

There's a silence in the room as she considers, though outside she can hear the sounds of students returning, walking up and down the halls. All students that Tobi was in charge of. They didn't know just how lucky, how safe they were.

He runs a hand through her own hair. It's started to dry, puffing up a little bit into a messier version of her usual mohawk. Her stomach growls loud in the small space. "God, now I'm hungry. Feelin's give me th'munchies." She gets up to root through Tobi's minifridge. "Thank God tha' boy hoards food like we still in fear'a Y2K."

She pulls out a second sandwich and a small tub of fruit before settling herself back on the couch and under the quilt. She unwraps the sandwich and takes a slow bite, washing it down with the rest of the moonshine.


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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 2:57 pm
Noelle watches her carefully. She was a pessimist most of the time- she saw life being a glass half empty. So she understood what she met by a 'lose-lose situation'. Agnes was trapped between two worlds- her past, and her present. One foot in each.

She heard students coming inside the building, and the empty hole in her stomach was starting to form again. Noelle wishes that talking about this stuff made her hungry. Granted, she hadn't talked about this evening or Evan or how terrified she was.and had been. She watches Agnes go to the minifridge and frowns.

She tried to reach for the moonshine, but she sees Agnes drain it. She pulls out her book again, flipping through, trying to find something, anything that would give her a drink so she didn't have to feel the gnawing numbness in her stomach. She pages through her book and says, off handly "I wish it were the same for me. Food and Feelings."
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:38 pm
Agnes watches Noelle as she munches on her sandwich. The girl seems almost desperate to find another passage to get her more to drink, and that settles real wrong with Agnes. She's young, probably hasn't ever had anything to drink in her life, and is now downing moonshine like she's aiming for death by drink. It's why Agnes drank the rest. She'd let Noelle drink to calm her down and this wasn't calm, this wasn't what she intended.

"Hey," she says softly. Her sandwich and fruit is set to the side. "Maybe we're done f'r tonight. No more drinkin'." Her hand comes out to push palm down on the book Noelle's holding. She applies a gentle pressure, forces the book down Noelle's lap.

She looks at Noelle now, really looks. She's pale and drawn with dark circles around her eyes. The soft lighting of the dorm room has smoothed the edges, made them less noticeable, but they're definitely there. There's a flush to her face, but it's not healthy; it's from the alcohol. The book had gone down without any resistance and while Agnes knows she's strong, took down her brother in a breath kind of strong, she was expecting even a touch of resistance from the other girl. Noelle's tired, strung out, traumatized.

"Maybe it's time t'call it a night."
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:52 pm
Noelle looks at Agnes. She opens her mouth and closes it. The world was hazy without her contacts, but drinking had made it warmer. She didn't need to sleep. Well, she didn't want to sleep. A million thoughts ran through her head, and she was about to tell Agnes that she couldn't call it a night because every time she closed her eyes, she felt fingers on her wrists and all over her body. She felt someone grabbing her arm.

But she looked back at Agnes, and that girl needed sleep. She needed a reset to the day. Her eyes were weary, and her face made it clear that if Noelle protested that it would just delay the inevitable. She puts her book away. She grabs her phone while she was down there, and sets her own sandwich aside. When she sits back up and looks at Agnes, trying her best to give a small smile of reassurance "Okay. Yeah. That sounds fine."

Noelle says this to comfort Agnes, but she knew that her own night was going to be spent, staring at the ceiling, counting backward from 100, then upwards, then backward again, until the sun was up. But Agnes didn't need to know that. All she needed to know was that Noelle was done drinking and that she was going to settle in for the night. Both of which were true.

Then, in a quiet voice, Noelle says "Thank you. I'm sorry."

The gratitude was from the suggestion to stop drinking, but also her conversation, and her cool head when shit had hit the fan.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:26 pm
Agnes is thankful when Noelle agrees. The girl needs sleep like a sinner needs saved, but Agnes herself is one beat away from passing out on the couch. She's starting to feel the weight of the day, the pain of carrying Tobi all the way over, the physical and mental exhaustion. The quilt that's wrapped around her is too warm, too full of pleasant memories. She can almost feel her Pa wrapping it around her shoulders on a cold day, Tobi beaming proud beside her in his own small way. Her ma bringing them out something warm and thick and rich in ceramic bowls, the smell enough to make her mouth water. She smiles, nostalgic.

"Ain't no thing, bean." Agnes says, the sentence fading into a yawn full of sharp teeth. She snaps her jaw shut after it, smacks her lips once. She's fading easily into a deep sleep. Something snaps in her and her eyes close, her body snuggles further into her crook of the couch. She pulls the quilt around her tight and curls her body under it.

"I swear t'god tho, you better sleep." she growls softly, her eyes still closed. "I'll put you out, y'know i can." she mumbles with a soft and sleepy half-smile.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 10:38 pm
While Noelle knows fully well that Agnes will put her out, she also knew that she was not going to get any sleep. The twins were so similar, so Noelle came to the conclusion that A. Agnes' hearing was at the same level of Tobi's, which she had noticed was below average and B. Tobi slept like a log. And Agnes was tired enough that Noelle believed she would do the same.

Noelle tries to fake a smile "No worries. I'll see you in the morning. Sleep tight." She hated lying, but the woman needed sleep.

She watched as Agnes' breath started to get deeper, matching Tobi's in depth. Once she is certain that Agnes was fast asleep, Noelle finally cries.

They're silent tears, falling down her cheeks and onto her knees. Everything had hit her like a truck. The excitement of the dance, seeing Tobi, dancing and kissing him, talking to Evan, Evan ruining the night, Evan hiting the pavement, Tobi passing out, Agnes' confessions. That, combined with the moonshine that hit her system was making her feel like she had been sucked into a black hole. She gasps for air, quietly, taking out her phone. She did what she always did in distress. She texted her mom.

Karen Scott was a notorious texter. She replied in seconds, no matter the time of day. And she didn't fail Noelle. The girl texted her mom about everything, the dance, the kiss, the fight. She tried to talk to her mom biweekly, but that had been thrown away while Evan was around. Her mom knew about the context, but not the impact.

Noelle does this for hours, not sleeping a wink. She begins to become jumpy-shadows and creaks making her head snap to the origin. The hole in her stomach grew until it was an all-encompassing dread that was only alleviated when she looked at the burly man lying in bed, his feet hanging off the end. The memories of falling asleep, curled up into him would flood her consciousness, filling her with light. But it would disappear. It was a cycle
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:23 pm
Hours pass.

The sky above the world is quiet, twinkling soft like fireflies disturbed in a field. The night air is silent save for a sudden, small breeze that works its way through the quad, through the trees. It flutters leaves loose from their branches, picks up loose flowers, passes by the coffee shop and the library.

The breeze finds its way through the open window of Tobi’s dorm, fluttering soft and brushing against the loose papers of his desk. They pick up and scatter through the room to settle in different locations. A medical diagram on his bookshelf, a syllabus on his desk chair, a graph paper full of equations lodges fast against the small minifridge.

A piece of lined paper full of Tobi’s scribbled handwriting settles soft against a woman’s bare foot. Slender fingers wrap around the sheet before picking it up. Bright grey eyes set against dark blue, almost black sclera run over the sheet. A fingertip traces the messy scrawl, curious. Strange drawings, scribbled handwriting, things that mean nothing to her past who wrote them.


The woman lowers the sheet, looks towards the boy on the bed. Her boy. Her son.  


It’s been so long. He was so small when she saw him last, so little yet so strong. She and her husband had raised them that way, raised them terribly strong and so capable. And yet, here he is, unconscious on a too small bed in a too small room. Who had put him here?

She pads silently across the floor towards him. Under her feet, flowers bloom and wilt with each step. She pauses before him, watches him breathe deep and even before settling on the bed next to his head. Unusual material, how could he sleep on this? Strange, so strange.

She brings one graceful yet calloused hand to his forehead and runs her fingers back through like how he enjoyed as a child, crooning soft noises as she does.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Sun Sep 23, 2018 11:38 pm
Noelle was scared shitless.

She was still awake, counting and breathing. She was trying to quiet her mind a little bit, but it hadn't been working. Shadows would dance in her eyes, and she felt like someone else was in the room with them. She had tried everything to calm herself down, but the chaos of the night had put her on edge.

And now there was a woman in the room.

She did see the breeze making its way across the room. She noticed how it was purposeful, which freaked her out. But it was the sudden appearance of the tall and almost ethereal woman that was now sitting next to Tobi- she was sure that she had lost it. The flowers that bloom and wilt leave an intoxicating scent, which made Noelle instinctively stop breathing. Noelle was frozen in fear. The only thing moving was her eyes. They flick between the woman, Agnes, and Tobi, not lasting more than a second on each. This was something out of an ancient book of fairytales that nobody reads because the kids are too terrified.

At this point, Noelle didn't really have any room to talk. She was lookie quiet undead herself- the sunken eyes and pale skin, as well as the clothes, hanging on her like a scarecrow, she looked like a zombie.

When the woman started to brush her fingers across Tobi's head, it was extremely natural. So Noelle did what she did best- she made conclusions. This woman knew Tobi. So, either this really was a scary, nightmarish monster that visited people at night for whatever reason, or she was-

The thought was seconds of connecting, but her terror and paranoia didn't let the last conclusion snap together.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 12:07 am
She brushes his hair back from his eyes, looks at his face. Oh, how he had grown. A strong jaw like his father, nose crooked like hers, and freckles splashed across solid cheekbones unique to just the two of them. She worked her fingers through his tangled curly hair, worrying the strands as she goes. She had been worried about her children, had felt uneasy that whole day. Her husband had told her after listening to her concerns to just go check on them, so here she was, and glad she had.

Her son. Her reckless son. He really had to get a better handle on his abilities.  

Nonetheless, she could fix this. Had fixed this before.

The fingertips in his hair flicker with a soft light. Trails of it flutter up in imitation of lightning bugs before fading into the air, lost to the wind. Tobi's breathing deepens, shutters, and then he begins to snore. She smiles softly. Even this she had missed. A soft pang hits her heart as she removes her hand from his hair. Nothing to say in the daytime, but come night, he suddenly found he had things to announce loud to the world.

Her daughter should be here too. The two tended to end up together whenever the other had gotten in some sort of trouble. She looks up from her spot on Tobi's bed, scanning the too small room.

Her daughter is there on the couch, wrapped in one of her son's quilts. Her heart melts at the sight. Her children, goodness how she misses her children. Packages sent just weren't enough, no matter how packed with love and care they may be. She craved them near her, had a compulsion sometimes to simply steal them back away. But, they had given them a choice, and respected their children enough to abide by that choice. She's about to get up, move to see her daughter, when she sees another.

Two sets of eyes catch each other. The woman startles slightly; the noise that escapes her mouth is similar to a bird startled from a bush. She pauses in getting up, simply stares at Noelle.
She had not expected another child here in her son's room. Tall, this child. Tired looking, wrung out, and staring at her like she's seen a ghost..

'what,' she begins to gesture in sign language, 'who are you?'
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 2:11 am
Noelle's eyes were about to pop out of her sockets when she saw the magic that this lady was performing. The little lights illuminated the room.  Her heart warms at the sound of Tobi’s snoring. This woman was helping him so she must be-

The eyes flick to Agnes. A warm, maternal expression on the face, then her eyes flick to her. Noelle is frozen in place, immediately understanding the words signed to her. It takes a second for her to realize how she understood this woman in the silence, but she snapped herself out of it. ‘You learned ASL in fifth-grade dummy.’

With her interest in literature, language fascinated Noelle from a young age. Texts always read best in their original languages so she was able to read many different languages, even if she was unable to speak them. But shortly after her abilities manifested, she had stopped speaking. Her mother knew that Noelle could pick up on anything, so she took a couple Library books home from work about ASL and had her learn so she could communicate. Noelle took to it like a bird to air. It was a way for her to communicate without making a sound. She grew out of that phase quickly, but she was always fascinated by it so she kept learning. It wasn't like she had anything better to do.

She blinks at the woman, and quickly signs the letters of her name "N, O, E, L, L, E Then, as a reflex, she pinches two fingers to her thumb, and signs another letter L "No L"

She didn’t even have to think about it. Her hand did all of the talking. "I am-" her hand stops. Who was she? How could she get this woman to understand the relationship she had with the twins in the room. Especially Tobi. Friends? Boyfriend? Classmate? He is my one person?

Finally, she signs, pointing to Agnes I am her friend. She points to Tobi "I am more than a friend."

Noelle’s face was bright red at the admission of her statement. No taking it back. She knew the answer to her question, but she needed to be polite, especially if it’s who she thinks it is "Who are you?"
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:18 am
She is delighted when the girl signs back. A little surprising, but that makes conversation so much easier. She watches with sharp eyes as the girl signs out a name, shortens it into something more manageable.

'No L,' the woman signs back, testing it. She smiles quietly, her eyes crinkling at the corners in a smile so similar to Tobi's own. It's only a little wider, a little more open. 'But where has the L gone?' she signs back, teasing.

Flowers sprout under her feet as she slowly eases halfway off the edge of Tobi's bed, seemingly hesitant to leave his side. By the time her feet hit the floor, they swish against tall grass and a large column of foxglove. A breeze filters through the room, catching in her hair and the flora underneath the woman and whispering through the grass with a soft 'swish'. Her dark eyes follow Noelle's signs intensely, the focus almost unnerving. When Noelle is done signing, she opens her mouth and trills a soft sound, soft like faraway birdsong. It feels like she's trying to repeat what Noelle signed, trying to repeat 'friend' back to her. A different noise now, something a little extra tacked onto the first, 'more than friends'. She sizes Noelle up in her stare, evaluating, like she's working out a puzzle.

Tobi shifts next to her onto his side at the noise. He pushes his face into her side as he settles and the woman's eyes quiet with something a lot like love. Her hand comes back up to settle on his large shoulder; Tobi quiets as she rubs small circles into the warm grey of his t shirt. Eyes so similar yet so different to the twins own look up at Noelle once more. She pulls her other hand up, signs just once.

'mother.'
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:32 am
Noelle watches the woman back with untouched focus and determination as well. When she signs back her name and smiles, the clenched up terror she was feeling completely changed. It was something with so much more longing. She started to miss her home, her mom, her sister... No wonder Agnes was so caught up in nostalgia and wanton need for the past.

After Noelle signs her relationships with the twins, she kept her eyes on the woman and listens. The breeze ruffles Noelle's hair as well. She unfreezes the rigid panic she had, and readjust. She is acutely reminded of Tobi doing that same. She listens to the trill and tired her best to not put her surprise on her face. It was beautiful but strange. Much like the twins in the room.

As Tobi sitrs, Noelle's eyes flick to him, and immediately warm. Her eyes flick back to the woman's, looking at them with such familiarity. She watches the sign. She knew. And she also knew what she would sign back.

"They miss you so much"

It was something her own mother would have liked to hear. And Noelle knew that Agnes and Tobi hadn't actually seen this elegant bird woman for a long time. And correspondence through mail can only do so much.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 3:00 pm
The hand rubbing circles into the muscle of Tobi’s shoulder stills. It rests light on the man, long elegant fingers draped loose around the curve of his arm. The woman regards Noelle with her cool grey eyes.

“My children,” she starts, pauses. Her hands fall slowly into her lap. Next to her, Tobi snores peacefully. A snore gets stuck in his throat causing him to snort and cough. She absently touches her fingers to his forehead, the light pouring out of them once more. It leaves trails in the air that leisurely drip and fade on their own time. He quiets under the touch.

“They live their own lives. Just as we do.” She starts again. “We couldn’t understand all…” she motions to the dorm room around her. The gesture goes farther than that, encompassing the whole campus, the town, society. Her hands flop to her legs; it’s akin to a shrug. “We would have held them back.”

“They are capable of so much more than we could offer, and they chose…” her hands start to shake. She blinks, sets her hands back in her lap.

There’s a long pause. She doesn’t seem willing to say much more at the moment. Instead she leans over to Tobi and very, very gently brushes a kiss to his forehead. One last brush of his hair and she stands in the small patch of grass and flowers that’s been steadily growing and expanding at her feet. She reaches out to grab the corner of the blanket covering him, finds it, and pauses. She looks down at the quilt as if she’s noticed it for the first time. Her eyes widen, glistening in the soft light of the moon filtering in through the window.

She made this for him. He had kept it, still used it. The girl’s words echo in her mind, over and over. She looks at her children who had grown tall and strong without her and her husband for the past seven years. She thinks of every gift they had sent them that now feel so hollow, of her son and his broken nose and bruised body lying on the bed, of her daughter who was clearly just as exhausted. How much of this could she have prevented, had she missed over the years? She hadn't been there for her children for seven years. The sudden realization of just how long clutches at her heart, squeezes it close to bursting. She breathes in sharp as something inside her breaks.

She turns back to Noelle, silent tears tracing lines down her cheeks, only visible when the moon hits them just right.

“I miss them too.”
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 4:07 pm
As soon as the moonlight hit the woman’s face and illuminated her tears, Noelle lost it.

She had watched her very carefully, tracking each gesture and expression that crossed her face, processing it. She almost shed a tear when Tobi’s mother had touched the quilt with such fondness. But it was her tears that had made Noelle undone.

It reminded Noelle of her own mother. How she had supported her no matter what, had defended and protected her, sheltered her. And the tears when Noelle had left for school. It compiled on top of everything else. Her eyes were now puffy and red and her nose was runny. She looked like a hot mess. But she held it together enough to think about what she needed to say. Finally, she looks at her.

“You know, you don’t have to understand all of this-“ she makes the same gesture, the campus, the town, even society as a whole “-to be close to them. Yes, they are here and you are there but that doesn’t mean that they don’t miss it with you. In fact, they tell me all the time how much they miss it. They miss you. And their father. You can have an active-“ she emphasizes this word “-role in their life. It won’t be exactly the same, but you should be able to see them. They should be able to come home for winter break or Thanksgiving or spring break or whatever else.”

Noelle stops for a moment, thinking “I don’t know you too well, but I know you miss them so much it hurts. And it’s the same for them. You deserve to spend time and enjoy each other.”

She stops and sniffs, giving a small smile “Also, I promise I’m not usually a crier. It’s been a long night.”
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 5:05 pm
The woman consider's Noelle's words as the tear tracks dry salty on her face. "I will," she stops, looking between her children. "talk to my husband about it. We have both missed them so very much." She stands tall in the room and looks out the window, towards the stars before turning towards Noelle.

"We let fear fuel us once, and it took a heavy toll on us, our son most of all. I shouldn't happen again simply because we are afraid." She nods and begins to walk towards the couch where Noelle sits and Agnes sleeps.

The patch of wild grass at her feet wilts and dies as she moves further towards the two of them. Smaller patches crop up underneath her steps, but she doesn't stay in place long enough for them to take root. The woman approaches Agnes first and runs a hand through her hair. So different, she thinks, than the long hair she had as a child. Despite the difference, she finds herself liking it. It fits her much more than her long curls did. Always a spitfire, always so strong. Her Agnes. Her lips press soft against her forehead before she tucks the girl in tighter. A low cooing sound escapes her lips and Agnes leans into the noise. She turns her head towards her mother, makes a sleepy sound back. The woman's eyes soften, unbelievably fond.

After a long moment, she turns to face Noelle still sitting on the couch. "Child,", she signs. "I wish you the best." She smiles, much more similar to Agnes's wild grin this time before standing.

"Thank you." she signs, holding Noelle in her sharp gaze for a heavy moment. "And get some sleep. You won't be able to say anything to my son when he wakes up, as tired as you are." She smiles knowingly, shaking her head.

'More than friends.' she thinks, amused.

There's a beat, and then it looks as if she's been cut loose from whatever string have been holding her upright. Her body tips without a hint of panic or resistance backward towards the floor. Right as she would have hit the floor, her body dissolves in a soft flutter of autumn leaves. They scatter and settle with a quiet 'whoosh', leaving the floor of Tobi's dorm covered in leaves. A small box sits in the middle of the mess.

From outside the window, the chittering of the early morning birds sounds a bit like laughter.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 8:40 pm
Noelle watches her make her rounds. Just before she leaves, she signs quickly "I'm going to talk to them too. I want you all to be happy."

She watches her moment with Agnes and her own heart aches for her own mother again. She felt a distant longing for someone else as well, but she brushed it aside, focusing on her love for her mom and sister.

When she meets Noelle's eyes and signed her gratitude, pride bubbled in her chest. She gave a smile, which grew a little when she mentioned sleep. Noelle felt oddly at ease- she had made her own decision after talking to both Agnes and her mother. She needed to go home herself. For a little while. She would text her mother in the morning to see if she could pick her up.

When the woman falls, Noelle let out a small gasp. Then the leaves tumbled, and a breeze swept through the room. She gave an incredulous smile, then saw the small box. Her head tilted, thinking. She wasn't sure if it was for her- the woman hadn't said anything about a present. Maybe she brought it for the twins. Noelle wasn't going to worry about it.

Finally, she closes her eyes and falls into a deep and, thankfully, dreamless sleep. It lasts a couple of hours. She snores and drools, proving that it was successful.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:16 pm
Late Morning, Sunday.

The bright early morning light of the sun filters in through the open window of Tobi's dorm. It scatters, dapples across the leaves leftover by the twins' mother last night as she had left. The crisp leaves skitter along the floor with any sort of breeze or movement. Each rustle of the leaves echos in the quiet space, adding a quiet white noise underneath the various sounds of sleep. Noelle snores soft in her spot on the couch. Agnes is surprisingly quiet in sleep, the only noises she makes are high pitched, kitten soft wheezes. Tobi, normally so taciturn in his everyday speech, snores like he's trying to raise the dead. It's a deep, shuddering rumble that seems to echo in his thick frame. He shifts in his sleep, turning to face the window.

The bright light of the almost noonday sun fall directly onto his closed eyes. He squints in his sleep, grumbles soft and catches on a snore. His eyes flutter open slowly as he's pulled into wakefulness. With wakefulness comes the crashing feeling of screws tightened flush against his temples, the rushing wave of the long term consequences of his actions. He gags down the sudden wave of nausea, reaches for a trashcan Agnes had the foresight to move last night, and hurls into the bin.

He coughs as he finishes and rests his arms around the opening. He doesn't have quite the energy to move just yet, the nausea having taken everything he had and then some. He looks tired and a little paler than usual, just extremely drawn and exhausted.

He groggily notices that his floor is covered in leaves. 'Seems odd.' he thinks, but doesn't get much farther than that.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

on Mon Sep 24, 2018 9:42 pm
Noelle is sleeping soundly. Her hair is a rats nest; matted and sticking all over the place. She curled up on herself, using her knees as her pillow. And she slept through the rest of the night.

Until she hears Tobi throw up.

Her eyes flash open and she sits up, the bun in her hair flopping to the other side of her skull. She still looks drained and washed out, but her eyes were flashing with hope. She carefully stands up and walks quietly to him. She hoped she wasn’t overstepping or doing too much. Noelle didn’t want to be too over bearing- he probably had a migraine and she had no clue where his thoughts were at.

‘He probably sees you as too much work. Too much baggage.’ She brushes the thoughts away, and carefully leans against the wall next to his bed. She doesn’t say anything. She doesn’t want to give him anymore physical pain.

She looks at him. Part of her is startled by how pale and tired he looked. But a very small part of her felt a sense of solidarity. She looks like her.
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Re: Highmauve: Tobi's Dorm

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