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The Aria Chronicles Finale! - Final Update - updated 1-1-18

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  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    edited June 2017
    I have a day off tomorrow, I'm thinking new chapter?
    Post edited by Irishsong on
  • minjee_kangminjee_kang Posts: 285 Member
    Ooh yes please! :)
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    So sorry, guys. I was called into work today to fill in for a sick coworker. If the chapter gets posted, it'll be late. I'd say it should be up tomorow for sure.
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    Chapter 15
    The Wolf and the Lamb

    (Caution: Not appropriate for young readers. There are some adult topics referenced in this chapter, you have been warned. I give this chapter a pg13 rating.)
    This school didn’t smell like the last one. Von Wind smelled like dust and rain, this one smelled like lemon polishing solution. It smelled like new paint. It smelled like growing things.

    It was the first day of class. Of course she was a bit nervous. She had been in the school three days, and still hadn’t seen the Headmaster. He was always up in his room on the third floor which doubled as his office. Aria saw no reason to go up there, she didn't need to meet the headmaster and draw attention to herself. So she hid in her room, texting Tori, playing her violin, reading, anything to keep her away from the other people. She was getting lonely.

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    {Tori, I miss you. I don’t know how to act around these people. I want to come home.}

    {A, you are home. That school is your new home. Or Maggy’s house. This school was just a bump in your road of life. Move forward... I miss you too, hun.}

    {But- but-} Aria looked at her phone for a hard moment. {I don’t want to move forward. Von Wind was my world, and now I’m an Alien on a new planet. The atmosphere is different, the culture is different, everything is new. I don’t like it.}

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    {Man, I have trained you well in the ways of geek. A, do you remember when you came to stay with us? You were bright eyed and almost excited to meet us. Sure, you were sad that you wouldn’t see your family for a long time, but you grew to like us and we became your family. Your sisters. Now you have 5 new bros. Don’t hold yourself back just because you’re afraid.}

    Aria started to tear up.

    {Go and be glorious, my little bird. Go and be glorious. signing off, it’s time for class.}

    Aria turned off her phone and looked at the door.

    She jumped when she saw Darian. He was at her door.

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    “What the hell, man?” She shouted in her fake lower voice, yanking open the door. She’d have to put a curtain on that door as well. She stepped out of her room.

    “Ah, I’m your buddy for the day. I volunteered actually. See, every new kid gets a buddy the first week. Not that there is much to get accustomed to, but hey, I guess we want to know that you can swim before we shove you in the deep end.” He smiled at this, laughing at his own joke. Aria simply looked speculative.

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    “So, it's time for class, man. Yah ready? Oh, and, nice room. Very, springy. You like music?” he asked, noticing the guitar rug.

    “Time for class?” echoed Aria, cutting the topic short.

    “Ah, yeah. Come on.”

    Aria quiety cursed herself for shutting Darian out, but it happened by instinct. He seemed like an ok guy, but Aria just wasn’t sure how to live a double life yet, so she kept it to herself.

    They walked down the hallway and down the stairs to the classroom. How they stopped the room from smelling like chlorine from the pool, she had no idea, but the room smelled like the dirt the bamboo was growing in. It blocked the street from view of the students, trying to hinder distraction.

    There was a greying man at the front of the room, but it wasn’t Mr. Merriwether. This man had black- going- grey hair, and a suit jacket that was slightly rumpled. He wore plain black pants and comfortable shoes rather that the matching sets that the butler wore.

    It’s the Headmaster. Aria thought. She froze up a bit. Was her posture good? Was she going to use proper English? Was her hair a mess?

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    The man turned around and looked kind. He was a father after all, though Aria didn’t know what sort of a father he was after the encounter she had with Alec. He didn’t seem to interested in talking about him before…

    The four other boys were already seated, leaving two chairs in the front of the room open. Alec sat by himself in the back of the cluster, as did Iago. Justin, the dark skinned boy, and Adriel were seated up front on the left, and there were two seats available up in the front right.

    Always the front right… Why?

    The two of them sat down, Aria instinctively sitting on the outside, just a she had when she sat at the old school. It made her heart ache.

    “Hello, hello. Thank You for joining me this morning! It’s a fine day today, We should definitely spend some time outside today. But first, I understand that many of you have no Idea who I am. I’m your new headmaster, Mr. Rhys. I like coffee, long walks, and beautiful artwork. I find that the human brain can do next to anything it sets its mind to if given the right chances and resources. That’s where all of you come in.”

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    This guy barely stops to take a breath. He must have had his coffee this morning to be this chipper by eight in the morning.

    “I don’t want to be the only one teaching you. No, no. I want you to be teaching you. Or rather, eachother. I’ve seen all of your profiles. You’re a talented group of minds and just imagine what you could learn from each other. Sure, I’ll still be teaching everyday, but as part of your finals for the semester, I expect a lesson to be taught and for your fellow students to learn something from you. A skill. Now, how about a walk outside? It hasn’t gotten hot yet, and it’ll be good to wake you all up. Come on, up and up!”

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    Iago groaned, and Alec rolled his eyes.

    Aria rose from her chair with a straight back, and that’s when Mr. Rhys realised that he had forgotten to introduce her.

    “Oh, right! We have a new student with us! His name Is Aaron. He’s come from a school out of state, so everyone be nice while he learns the ropes. Ok, now we all get up and go!”

    Please, I don’t do nice, thought Iago. I do people, but I do not do nice. Iago was a bit girl crazy. Or rather, just craving a physical fling whenever he could. The school wasn’t far from a prominent night club, only a frisbee’s throw away, really, if thrown from the roof.

    The boys all filed out the back door of the school which faced the rest of the neighborhood. It was a beautiful area with fountains, the bay, and all of the modern architecture. Aria couldn’t see herself getting bored of it.

    Darian was by her side as they walked out of the building. “If there was any chance of you getting lost in the school, there’s ten times more a chance of you getting lost outside. I’m just gonna make sure no one runs away with my little lamb.”

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    “Lamb, dude? Why do you say that?

    “Well, you seem sheepish, pardon the pun. You seem so naive that someone has to look after you. Make sure that you don’t get hurt or taken advantage of.”

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    If only he knew what that meant to a girl. Aria was sure he meant that no one would use Aaron as an opportunity, or Aaron would wander into something and just laugh when he came out of it on the other end. But to Aria, it just reminded her that she was different and while she wanted to be make friends, it could never be the same friendship that she had with Tori. Some lines here couldn't be crossed and some walls couldn’t be scaled.

    Mr. Rhys came up on her right and said to Darian over the top of her head: “I’ve got him from here. You can go and be rowdy like the rest of the boys.” Sure enough, the others were running around and howling. They could be loud; there were no other residential buildings nearby. There was no one to disturb except for the people out for a quiet morning walk. Aria silently said sorry to them, apologizing for the loud disruption.

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    Darian looked at Aria for a moment, not sure if he wanted to leave, but then broke away and ran after his friends, a smile breaking out on his face.

    Mr. Rhys and Aria were hanging back, about two feet away from each other, a comfortable distance.

    “I know about you, Aaron. And I want you to know, your secret’s safe with me. I think what you’re doing is incredibly brave. You have taken on an alternate identity just to further your education. It’s rather remarkable.” He didn’t look at her as he sad this, even using her fake name to ensure that if anyone overheard they wouldn’t know what he meant.

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    “I'm not doing this just to further my education. I’m doing this because it’s the road that was laid before me. I have very little choice in the matter. My choices are made for me.” Aria was stone-cold as she said this. She felt bitter about it.

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    “But, Aaron,” He turned and looked at her. “We make choices all the time. You choose to hang back, to be quiet, to play the violin. You chose to keep going, You choose to not let this block you from being you, and that is brave. Don’t let what must happen stop you from what you want to happen.”

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    Aria’s heart was heavy in her chest. “Thanks, Mr. Rhys,” she said, slipping out of her deep voice and into her higher one. “But I don’t think you understand.”

    She walked away, walking to get close to the bay.

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    Mr. Rhys looked after her as she walked away, and then her looked at his son, Alec. “Oh, I understand, Aaron. I understand more than you know.”

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    “Ok,” Mr. Rhys said after he finished a lecture on biology, “Everyone down to the gym. Get ready to go swimming, we're going to be making sure everyone knows the basics before we get too in depth with lessons.”

    Aria panicked again. It will be fine. I'm prepared for this. Following the other boys, she blushed at the thought of what happened in locker rooms. Gym clothes were kept in the locker rooms for efficiency, so they had to change out and into clothes.

    She hadn't been in the basement yet, and it wasn't disappointing. There was a wall fountain, walls of windows, a very state of the art gym. Down the hall there was a library.

    Turning to their right, they entered the locker room and the boys proceeded to start pulling their clothes off! Blushing wildly, Aria opened her locker and grabbed her shirt and swim trunks. She had been told that while not common, some men did go swimming in a shirt, a thing Aria was thankful for.

    Grabbing her clothes, she rushed to the shower stalls and closed it quickly. She kept her eyes to herself, not wanting to see any unguarded male anatomy.

    “What's the matter, Bambi?” heckled Iago. “Shy to see what you don't have?”

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    “Dude, if he is insecure about himself, you're not making it better. Let him be.” argued Justin's deeper voice.

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    “Maybe I'm trying to give him confidence by showing him he's normal.”

    “No, you're not, and we all know it.” Justin said bluntly.

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    “Well, we should all ba surprised Addy still has some confidence after all of that feminine yoga he does. Ain't that right, Addy? Gonna show us all how good you at being flexible today?”

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    Adriel scowled, but stood down to Iago, knowing who the alpha of the situation was.

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    “Too bad, I wanted to see how far you could-”

    Aria came out of the stall fully dressed for swimming and stared Iago in his eyes, not backing down. She wouldn't see another person be bullied while she could do something about it. She made sure to keep her eyes on his and not to stray.

    “Maybe I don't want to put you to shame. Get your pants on, tiny, see you on the pool deck.” she swaggered away.

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    Furious, Iago followed her out, grabbing a towel for decency and wrapping himself in it. Seeing the anger in his eyes, Darian hastily put on his trunks and quickly followed.

    Aria was in the pool room by the time Iago caught up to her.

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    “‘Ooo, I'm mister new kid and I'm better than everyone else. Aren't I so cool? I keep to myself and talk to my girlfriend on the phone everyday.’ You know how many girls I've messed around with? Too many to recall. Or maybe it's because I drink like an adult, something you'll never do because poor Bambi’s too pure!” Darian opened the pool room door and approached, but Aria held up a hand to stop him. He had worry and concern in his eyes, but respected her wish.

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    “Iago, you're scared of your sensitive side. There's nothing wrong with the way Adriel spends his spare time.”

    “Oh really? And what about the others? One cooks, the other sings and plays the guitar. The other one no one knows about because he keeps to himself, locked away in his room just like you, Aaron! Maybe you too should hook up?” he sneered.

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    “At least it's better than spreading STDs, like you! We want to better ourselves, not devalue ourselves by jumping on any girl that breathes!”

    “How dare you insult me like that!?” So enraged at the notion he wasn't the best, he shoved Aria, right into the pool. She screamed in a high pitch that bounced off the walls.

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    What the? Thought Iago. He's more feminine than I thought.

    He must be horrified! thought Darian. I need to help him!

    Darian jumped in right away to assist her. At this time, everyone else arrived, including Mr. Rhys who had changed up in his room. They all stood there in shock. They hadn't heard any of what was being said, but had simply seen Iago shove Aria.

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    Aria hadn't swam since the camping trip several years ago. She was rusty, but it came back to her easy enough. Darian grabbed her hand and pulled her up to the surface. He held it to make sure she didn't go back under again. She seemed to be doing fine, so he let it go.

    “What in the world is going on here? Boys, this is not how we handle things!” belowed Mr. Rhys.

    “I swear it wasn't my fault, sir! I was provoked! I mean it! He was insulting my manhood! It was all I could do to distance myself from him, he kept following me like some creep!” Iago groveled.

    “Sir, that's not what ha-” interjected Darian.

    “We will deal with this after class. Until then, if i hear a single syllable that sounds negative from any of the three of you, I will assign a dictionary page to be hand copied to the antagonist.”

    “Yes, sir.” they said in unision.
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    Chapter 15.5
    Written by @minjee_kang
    It was getting late – but Aria couldn’t sleep. Thoughts after thoughts were popping up in her head, and she did try her best to shut them down but they wouldn’t go away.

    Thoughts of her life at Von Wind, thoughts of her parents, and thoughts of what she should do here at this new school.

    Nothing seemed right, and she knew she didn’t belong. She was frustrated but she also couldn’t force herself to pretend that everything was alright and go on with life like everybody expected her to.

     

    Aria drew in a shaky breath as she pulled herself up from her bed. It was dark outside, and she wasn’t sure if she’d get in trouble for leaving her room so late at night. But she needed some air.

    Aria didn’t even bother changing her clothes, as she led herself out her room in her sleepwear. The corridor was dark, and she could hear low-key snores coming out of one of the boys’ rooms. She softened her footsteps as she passed the other rooms as she headed downstairs, and out the lobby.

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    A slight chill brushed passed her as she stepped outside.

    The night was silent and she could see the city lights gleaming mere miles away. It was oddly peaceful.

    Aria sat on the floor and laid down.

     

    ‘This is much better.’ She thought to herself, as she looked up and the stars filled her sight. She remembered what it was like to look up the stars when she was only little.

    She changed so much – everything changed so much – but the stars were the same. They didn’t judge, and they offered her comfort.

    Aria looked at the night sky and searched for the constellations that she was familiar with from her childhood. She traced the starts with her finger naming them one by one: The bear, the scorpion, and the lion.

    As she was concentrating on finding the clutter of stars, her worries faded away one by one – but she was also too focused on her own thoughts to hear a pair of footsteps headed her way.

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    “Couldn’t sleep?”

    Aria tensed, but didn’t get up. She knew that voice – It was Darian. He was… okay, friendly – not a threat.

    She turned her head towards the voice, and saw Darian standing a few steps away from her, looking not at all embarrassed in his underwear, with a smile in his voice. Aria quickly averted her gaze as Darian softly chuckled.

    “Mind if I join you?”

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    Aria didn’t answer, and Darian must’ve accept the silence as a yes. He came a bit closer, but not too close, and laid down next to her.

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    Aria half expected Darian to start talking and break the peaceful silence that Aria preferred, but surprisingly he didn’t say anything as they quietly looked at the stars.

    ‘He’s a bit strange.’

    Aria thought, as she felt Darian shuffle a bit to a more comfortable position. She wondered why he decided to leave his room this late at night, did he also have problems sleeping?

    But Aria couldn’t ask that.

    She couldn’t risk asking questions and having to answer to some of his. Instead, she remembered what Tori said to her: Don’t hold yourself back just because you’re afraid. Aria channeled her low, boy-like, voice and murmured quietly.

    “Hey, thanks for looking out for me.”

    Darian seemed surprised for a split second, but his kind-voiced laugh followed right after.

    “No worries, little Aaron. I do my best.”

    “You don’t have to, though. I can take care of myself.”

    She heard Darian snort halfheartedly, and she was sure he was thinking of the swimming pool incident with Iago.

    Aria felt herself blush slightly – it wasn’t her fault she was pushed into the pool, and she knew how to swim. It wasn’t a big deal. She didn’t need to be rescued or protected.

    “I’m aware of that. But I’m still going to try.”

    “Why?”

    It came out more bluntly then she thought, but Darian didn’t seem to mind as he answered with a more cautious tone.

    “You remind me of… well, me. A few years back when I first started.”

    Aria was slightly confused by his words – she reminded Darian of himself?

    They were very different. Not just because Aria had secrets that she couldn’t tell anyone about, but just as people they stood on very different grounds.

    Darian – at first glance: flirty, friendly to a fault, and a bit of a jock. And her…  not anything like that at all. Aria couldn’t imagine Darian being like her.

     

    Silence landed between them once more, but it wasn’t as comfortable as before. Aria was curious now – Why did Darian care? And how was she like Darian? What was he like before? What happened to him? – but she didn’t want to pry.

    After all, she had her own secrets to keep and it would be hypocritical to ask too much… wouldn’t it?

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    Aria furrowed her brows and wished Tori was here to give her advice, or even just a nudge to the right direction. She would know what to say, and not make things too awkward…

    As Aria was deep in her thoughts, she didn’t notice Darian propping himself up on his elbows and shifting a bit closer to her. She flinched as he laid down again, this time at a distance where their elbows were almost touching. Aria open her mouth to protest.

    “Hey…”

    But Darian’s out of the blue questions stopped her mid-protest.

    “Do you ever think about what could’ve been?”

    “What?”

    Aria could feel warmth from Darian’s body lingering in the air next to her skin. She shuddered involuntarily, feeling strangely too close and too far from Darian and his late night sincerity.

    “It’s just… interesting… to think that one event that happens to you by luck, can change the whole course of your life. What if it didn’t happen? Would we still be the same people?”

    Aria didn’t reply, but she thought about the first day at Von Wind and why she ended up there.

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    ‘Would my life be much different if I’d stayed with my parents? …Would I be the same me?’

    She didn’t know the answer to that. She doubted anybody knew, but she knew one thing for sure.

    She couldn’t change the past – she could only change the future.

    Aria realized that without meaning to do so, Darian gave her mind a bit of clarity.

    She briefly wondered why Darian had asked such a question, and what troubles he harbored in his mind to have had to think of such things. But, again, it was not her place…

    Instead, she slowly opened her mouth to answer Darian’s strange question with her own question.

    “Would you? I mean, if you had the chance to go back and make the change – would you?”

    Would I?

    Darian seemed taken aback by Aria’s sudden inquiry, and he laid still for a few moments trying to form words.

     

    Aria muttered, more to herself than to Darian – as she remembered what Mr. Rhys told her not so long ago: “You choose to not let this block you from being you, and that is brave. Don’t let what must happen stop you from what you want to happen.”

    “…What could’ve been is less important than what is, and it takes real courage to face it with all your flaws and faults.”

    “…I guess you’re right.”

    Aria felt her face heat up faintly, as she registered what just happened. She didn’t think she’d be able to talk like this with one of the boys, and… she felt guilty for not telling the truth about who she was.

    But she didn’t lie. Not yet.

     

    “The stars are really bright tonight. The Dog Star is blinding! Do you know any cool constellations?”

    Darian’s easygoing voice brought her back to reality. He talked as if nothing happened, and she was glad that he did so. She could keep her secret safe for now.

    Aria held up her hand and pointed out the constellations she traced before Darian came along.

    “Yeah, there’s the bear, the scorpion, and the lion.”

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    Inspired by: The Serenity Prayer

    Grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change; 
    courage to change the things I can; 
    and wisdom to know the difference.

  • minjee_kangminjee_kang Posts: 285 Member
    It was really fun writing the last semi-chapter :) It gave me the chance to write a bit about Darian which I appreciated, and also writing Aria is fun!

    It's been a while since I was a teenager, but I still remember how hard it was to go through things that happened in life back then! Much drama. And I also went to a boarding school and only saw my parents once a month-ish, it was a bit harder to get the support I needed. Thankfully I had someone in my life give me similar advice - to go forward in life, and be who you are - and it really helped.

    I thought maybe as the story progresses, all the characters from the story can have a bit of a semi-chapter written by their contributors (people who made the characters)? I think it adds extra dimension to the story, and I'd really like to read what the other characters are like as well :)
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    I thought maybe as the story progresses, all the characters from the story can have a bit of a semi-chapter written by their contributors (people who made the characters)? I think it adds extra dimension to the story, and I'd really like to read what the other characters are like as well :)

    I like that idea. I'll contact the people and try for that. :) :cookie:
  • RedDestiny92RedDestiny92 Posts: 5,232 Member
    meh I really don't like Iago he has such a complex it seems to be the center of attention that the new face getting noticed at all riles him up, but I love Mr. Rhys, her former headmistress could learn a few things from him.
    Finally changed my words here again...nothing fun, moving on.
  • MINEZMINEZ Posts: 706 Member
    This was good!!
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    New chapter in a bit. Just gotta upload.
  • minjee_kangminjee_kang Posts: 285 Member
    Awesome blossom with extra blossom x
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    edited June 2017
    Chapter 16
    Cooked Wolfe
    When Headmaster Rhys said that they were going to be learning from each other, Aria had thought that it was going to be a one time deal. Instead, they had a lesson plan schedule of a new lesson every other day.

    Once everyone had given a lesson, then the three week cycle would repeat. Mr. Merriwether was added to the list because he wanted to participate. Having many good skills to teach the students, Mr. Rhys heartily agreed.

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    Justin was the first up to give a lesson. Having been told a week in advance, he was prepared for it, but still nervous. Everyone would be participating, including Mr. Rhys and Mr. Merriwether. Coming from a cooking background, he figured he would teach everyone how to cook.

    It wasn't exactly an original idea. Mr. Merriwether could obviously cook, and he was very good at it. He knew that some of the boys couldn’t cook if their life depended on it, so he thought that it would be best if he started with something easy. Macaroni and cheese it would be.

    Mobile stoves and counters were brought out for the teaching. Aria was somewhat surprised to see that class would be held in the cafeteria instead of the classroom, but supposed it made sense. It was a kitchen after all and that’s where the ingredients were.

    Justin took a shaky breath as he reached the front of the improvised classroom, trying to get rid of his jitters.

    “Just teach like you’re teaching your fellow students, not me.” hollered Mr. Rys from the back of the room. It wasn’t really that big of a room, but there was a bt of chatter here and there.

    Aria was on the other side of the room than Iago, and Darian was at the closest station near her. Alec was next to Adriel, and Mr. Rhys was next to Mr. Merriwether. Iago had few friends lately.

    Justin wiped his hands on his pants. “Ok, Let’s get down to business.”

    To defeat, the Huns. thought Aria and Darian.

    “First thing you’ll want to do is make sure your hands and working surfaces are clean. I’m rather certain that your stations are clean, but I want everyone to wash their hands.”

    The stations weren’t equipped with sinks, so everyone stood in line and washed their hands at the kitchen sink.

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    Once that was accomplished, everyone returned to their stations.

    “Next thing you want to do is determine which pot you want to use. A larger pot means a larger cleaning surface and a less efficient cooking experience. Because we are all making single servings, we should all choose the smaller pot.”

    This school’s budget must be large. Aria thought. Everyone et’s their own set of pots and cooking supplies.

    “Next thing we need to do is start boiling the water. Again, we don’t all have our own sinks, so just bring up your pots and I'll fill them up with water. I said the small pot, Iago, not the large one.”

    “I’ll cook how I want. Maybe I need a big pot. You don’t know what I need.” Disagreed Iago. He acted like Justin was judging him.

    “Dude, I do know what you need. I’m teaching you what you need.”

    “Psht, dude, whatever.”

    He didn’t go back to get the smaller pot.

    Once everyone had water, and was back at their station, the lesson continued. “Now, I want you all to notice that I left enough room to add the noodles once it’s time to boil them. If I had filled it up all the way, you would have water spilling out all over the place. Now, before We add the pasta, we need to boil the water first. Turn your burners onto the high setting. While we’re waiting for that to boil, we’ll start our sauce.”

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    Mr. Merriwether seemed rather pleased at how Justin was teaching the class, so he must have been doing it right. Mr. Rhys was a bit rusty at cooking, so he burned some noodles to the bottom. Darian and Aria did wonderful jobs, though Aria could have made simple macaroni and cheese with her eyes closed. Alec’s food was alright, good for a beginner, but not extraordinary. Iago over-cooked his noodles because he was taking a selfie, and Adriel’s were a bit under done but was still enjoyable.

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    “Ok, now that we have all enjoyed our food, it’s time that we clean up after ourselves. We'll each take turns washing out own dishes.”

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    “What!? That’s maid’s work! I’m not doing that!”

    Why was Aria not surprised that it was Iago who was making a fuss.

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    “And why is that? Do you think you’re better than everyone else?” Justin stood his ground.

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    “I’m better than this work.”

    “You think that Mr. Merriwether should have to clean up after your mistakes? What makes you better than him, Iago?”

    “I’m of higher status! It’s his job to look clean up after us.”

    “Can you name a single classical composer? Can you polish things to look as bright as if they were newer than new? What about cooking? He’s obviously better at cooking than you are. You won’t have a cook all of your life, so get used to the idea of cooking and cleaning.”

    Iago was exastornated. He looked to Mr. Rhys, who shrugged. “It’s Justin’s call on how he teaches his class. Besides, he does have a point. You need to learn eventually.”

    Iago fumed for a few seconds, threw his plate, and stormed out of the room.

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    “Skipping a class will fail you for the day, by the way. Word to the wise.” commented Mr. Rhys with forced lightness. He was really flustered by what had just happened, “I, however, am not being graded, so if you’ll excuse me, I need to make sure he doesn't do anything he’ll regret for years to come.”

    Mr. Rhys left the room and everyone looked a bit shook up. They washed their dishes, helped Mr. Merriweather put the counters and stoves back in storage, and continued on with their evening in a quiet and uneasy way. They didn't hear from Iago or Mr. Rhys until everyone had gone to their rooms.

    ***

    Iago raced out of the building. How could they possibly think that he was worth just as much as a waiter? It was insulting beyond belief. The Wolfes were powerful people in the government, and they had several large estates with considerably large wait-staffs. There was a class difference and everyone knows that the wealthy are worth more than the poor. Economics aside, the wealthy are better educated, make better life choices.

    He couldn't stand to be around people who thought that wasn't true.

    Mr. Rhys exited the building, but he wasn't in a hurry. He had a general idea where Iago went when he was angry, and that was a frisbee’s throw away if you were on the roof of the school.

    He walked into the club and tried to spot Iago, and it wasn't too hard to do so. His bright blond hair was easily visible among the heads.

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    Iago was sitting at the bar, his fake I.D. getting him drunk. Mr. Rhys sat on the stool next to him. Iago gave him a sideways glance.

    “Gotta go home already?” he said with a slight slur. For a boy who says he drinks like an adult, he was a cheap drunk.

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    “No, not yet, but know that when we get back you're in big trouble. I'll be in a chair near the door, you have an hour.” Mr. Rhys was calm but stern as he said this. He stood up, walked over to where he said he would be, and opened the pocket novel he always had with him, glancing up every once in awhile to check on Iago.

    Iago didn't need instruction on how to behave at a club. He found the nearest free girl he could find and danced with her. He bought her a drink, and kissed her.

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    He sure moves fast, thought Mr. Rhys.

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    Iago got her number, and swayed toward the door. Super drunk, he and Mr. Rhys walked back home. Iago had his computer taken away, a dictionary page to write, and an iron tight grounding of not being able to leave the premise without a chaperone. He also had to write an apology to Mr. Merriwether.

    Iago's personal journal entry:
    Today we were taught by Bacon Grease how to make macaroni and cheese. I feel that I must have been sabotaged; my finished project was the worst of all ones made. After that, I was told I had to wash my own dishes. The nerve of some people. Wash my own dishes when I'm in the same room as an able butler!? What has the world come too? Wait until my father hears about this.

    I have been watching Bambi closely. He seems to be more and more feminine everyday. Today, I noticed he leads with his hips, as a woman would, instead of turning with his shoulders as a man would. He also has very clean and dainty hands, like a girl. What this means, I do not yet know. Could he be a girl, or a transboy? Both are scandalous and I hope to use it as blackmail in the future.


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    Meanwhile:
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    Extras!
    Justin thought that sitting at the pool was a good choice for a spot to do homework?
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    Iago and Merriwether got in a fight. I'm pretty sure Iago started it, though I can't tell. They were on free autonomy at the time, and I wasn't watching them. Iago won.
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    (We'll all imagine Aria is playing a soundtrack for them...)
  • minjee_kangminjee_kang Posts: 285 Member
    'Let’s get down to business - To defeat, the Huns.' This bit! Loved! Haha that song was the first thing that popped into my brain, Mulan was the first movie I saw in the theater when I was little!

    Oooooooh *gasp* That girl that Iago kissed! Ooooooooh I smell drama! Iago does remind me of Malfoy (but better with girls) Mr. Rhys is a good educator, he's firm and knows the right amount of discipline when it comes to dealing with teenage boys.

    I love how you made a timetable and brought in the idea of students teaching each other! It can really show the individual students and what they're like, and also I think it's a good way to learn as well :) I did some tutoring/mentoring to younger students last break, and I remember learning so much about something I thought I already knew when I was going through the material and prepping for classes! The best way to learn is to teach! :)

    I wonder when Iago's going to find out the truth and what he's going to do about it! I love troublesome antagonists, they spice up the story :) - and the funny thing is, I knew somebody very much like Iago from my private school years haha - comes from a rich family, conniving piece of poo, massive plum to almost everyone... heard he hasn't changed a bit. Boys.

    Amazing chapter! Looking forward to the next one :)
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    edited June 2017
    @Cement is going to do a mini chapter, just like you did, @minjee_kang. I hope it's great. :D
  • minjee_kangminjee_kang Posts: 285 Member
    Congrats for 1k, Irishsong! Woop woop! How exciting! :)
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    edited June 2017
    Chapter 16.5
    Justin, written by @Cement
    The pattering of rain brushed against the windows as Aria looked out at the view.

    So far, so good.

    None of her classmates—to her knowledge—was aware that she was a girl, and she felt like she was settling in well. She turns away from the window and heads to her room while still in thought. How long could she keep up the façade?

    As she turns the corner, a loud bang sounded from the opposite end of the hall, followed by a crash. Startled, Aria whips around to find the source of the crash.

    What was that?!

    She cautiously walks back out the hall into the commons when almost instantaneously, the cafeteria doors slam open and Justin comes bursting out in a sprint, his face torn in panic. He makes a direct line to his room, running into the door and slamming it shut behind him with a bang to which Aria flinches.


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    She pulls an expression of confusion at the odd scene that unfolded before her.

    Justin seemed like a level-headed guy from what she observed, often found with a charismatic smile and an air of confidence around him. Seeing a glimpse of him so distraught was almost shocking.

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    Is he okay?

    Aria peeks through the transparent door, seeing Justin with his back turned taking in deep breaths. They’ve barely held a real conversation since she transferred, and the only things she could recall off the top of her head were the few words they’ve exchanged during classes. Would she be overstepping boundaries if she pries?

    Justin turns around, catching her looking. Aria flashes an awkward grin in return. He walks up to the door and opens it, walking out to her. The frightened expression he had moments earlier was changed to the usual calm expression he carried.

    “Aaron?” His brows raise in surprise, “I thought you would hit up the town or something. We have some free time before lights out.”

    “O-Oh, no,” she squeaks.

    Justin raises a brow. Realizing she spoke with her normal voice, Aria clears her throat quickly, trying to get her “man” voice to come out.

    “I-I mean, no, man,” she repeats in a lower octave.

    “Oh.”

    They stood in an awkward silence. The quiet was almost suffocating, and it felt like it was lasting far too long.

    “…This is kind of awkward, isn’t it?” He spoke, breaking the silence with a smile. “We don’t really talk much.”

    “It is sort of awkward,” Aria agrees. “You’re usually off doing your own thing and I do mine.”

    “That’s true,” he chuckles.

    Although the mood lightened, Aria still felt like leaving—There’s a very slim chance she could keep the conversation going.

    I wish Darian was here. He’s better at conversing with these guys.

    “Just to make sure,” Justin continues, “did you um, see anything?”

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    “I saw you running,” she admits.

    He chuckles nervously as he puts a hand to his neck.

    “Sorry,” he apologizes, “I hope it didn’t bother you.”

    “I wasn’t really doing anything earlier, so there was nothing to be bothered,” she tries to assure him. “…I thought cooking class was over after we cleaned up. What were you doing back in the cafeteria?”

    “I was just feeling a little homesick,” he smiles, “I’m from Oasis Springs, see. My parents are in the restaurant business and my dad owns the Foundry Fish & Grill restaurant chain both in Oasis Springs and Willow Creek. Heard of it?”

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    Aria shakes her head, a little embarrassed.

    “No,” she clenches her teeth, “sorry.”

    “It’s all good,” he laughs. “It’s more popular back there anyway. Just to cut my story short, I was just looking for some fish to fry. There… There isn’t any more, so I’m probably going to go into town to pick up some fish sticks for a midnight snack, then I’ll head down to the pool for a quick swim.”

    His expression weakens as he continues, his eyes sneakily inspecting the cafeteria through the windowed slats.

    “Honestly, I’d rather cook things myself but, between you and me… I think I’ll have to give up cooking. …Just for a little while.”

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    Aria’s eyes widen in surprise at his response.

    “Wait, isn’t cooking like your… Strong suit? Or something?”

    “You see, Aaron,” Justin rests a hand on her shoulder, “sometimes you have to admit defeat. That’s what I’m doing right now.”

    “Defeat…?”

    Aria was puzzled—Earlier in the day, Justin was just teaching them how to cook basic things with pride, but right now he’s ready to give up. Just what exactly caused him to feel this way?

    “You’re welcome to tag along with me if you want,” his expression was smiling, but he kept glancing at the cafeteria door. “To town, I mean. I don’t know if you’re up for swimming since that incident with Iago.”

    She noticed the subtle gestures he was making and furrows her brows.

    Why does he keep looking at the cafeteria?

    “Justin?”

    “Yeah?”

    “Did something happen in the cafeteria just now?”

    It looked like she hit the nail on the head—Justin flinched at the question, gulping hard.

    “W-What? No, nothing happened,” he replies unconvincingly.

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    Aria turned to the cafeteria doors and begins making her way toward them as Justin’s eyes widened.

    “N-No, Aaron, don’t go in there!”

    She balks in her step, turning back to Justin.

    “Why?”

    Justin walks up beside her, his face no longer hiding his unease.

    “There’s… Well, there’s s-something there.”

    “Something there?” She repeats unamused.

    Why is he being vague?

    Justin checks his surroundings for anyone else. Seeing that there was only the two of them in the commons, he lets out a breath.

    “Y-You seem like an okay guy, Aaron,” he finally says, resting his hands on his hips. “I know we’re not exactly buddies, but… Can you do me a favor?”

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    “Depends on the favor. I don’t want to get in trouble.”

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    Or at least lay low for the first few days here.

    “You won’t get in trouble,” he assures, “it’s… It’s really minor.”

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    ***

    Aria looked at the kitchen surprised—It was clean when she and the rest of the boys left, but now a mess was left on the counter. She furrows her brows in confusion.

    Is Justin embarrassed he left a mess or something?

    “I-It’s over there,” he points near the sink, “hopefully it didn’t move.”

    “It?”

    A croak replies to Aria’s question. Suddenly Justin yelps, taking cover behind her.

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    “It’s still here, please make it go away!” He says in a rushed, almost pleading voice.

    From behind the counter, another croak sounds as Justin flinches again.

    “Uhh… Okay…?”

    Aria peels his hands off her shoulders as she walks toward the counter. On the ground near the mess was a small frog, eyeing her with its big eyes. She glances behind her at him, watching Justin cower in fear with his eyes shut.

    You can’t be serious.

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    “Justin, how did it… Get inside?”

    “I-I opened the d-door to let the smell out,” he explains with his eyes still shut. “Fish smells pretty s-strong when you cook it, you know…”

    She wanted to ask why he couldn’t just pick it up and toss it outside, but seeing his fearful state answered that question pretty quickly. Aria bent down to the frog, carefully nudging it to her palm. Now with the frog in her grasp, she backs up into the door and lets it out. The frog croaks and hops off under the cloak of darkness.

    “It’s gone now, Justin,” Aria says as she closes the door.

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    Justin lets out a breath, putting his hands on his sides.

    “Thank you,” he gulps.
    “Are you…” Aria hesitates, “er, with frogs?”
    “…It’s not just them,” Justin mumbles. “Anything that’s just... Disgusting and slimy and—”
    “Justin? You’re mumbling. I can’t hear what you’re saying.”

    Aria tilts her head forward to hear.

    “I’m working on it,” he replies in his natural tone, flashing his usual smile. “ …Kind of. Somewhat.”

    He clears his throat, straightening his shirt.

    “And um… I know this might be pretty obvious, but… Can you keep this between us? I don’t want Iago to get wind of this. He won’t ever let me live it down if he finds out.”
    “Sure,” Aria smiles.

    She thought back at the texts she exchanged with Tori several days before.

    If they’re all my brothers now, Justin’s probably my little brother.

    (Editor's note, i felt this deserved a highfive ending)

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    Extras!
    Iago and Alec got into a fight.
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    And then another one right after it. Iago started it. (I know this because even though it was free will, Mr. Rhys could only dicipline Iago for fighting and not Alec.)

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    (Also, Aria just got back from a weekend at Maggy’s (off chapter, just some playing), that's why she's not in uniform. )

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    Also, Tori asked if Aria wanted to play hookie with school, and i felt like this is something they would have done, so even if it doesn't make sence to the story, they hung out with some pigeons in Windenburg.
  • minjee_kangminjee_kang Posts: 285 Member
    Awww I think it's endearing that Justin's afraid of frogs (and other slimy things) - I, personally, think frogs are cute but I can't stand bugs... even the cute and pretty ones like butterflies, and... um, butterflies? It's nice to get to know Justin a bit more, he's quite a nice lad :) I think Darian and him would've gotten along quite well - especially since Darian is also keen on cooking :)

    It's also nice to see Aria having some time to get to know the boys one on one, I think she was a bit apprehensive before to get along, but I think she's slowly getting used to the idea now and trying to get out there and make new friends! Cute!

    Love the extras haha Iago, the forever troublemaker... and that pigeon is huge!
  • CementCement Posts: 3,120 Member
    Coming out of the lurker cave to say hello :joy: The screenshots were great (and the high five at the end was cute, haha) <3

    I thought of Justin as a silly guy since he's squeamish--But since I gave him self-assured, I like to think of him as a more confident guy on the outside and a complete baby on the inside. He's great at fronting, but putting him anywhere near frogs is gonna make him flip. :joy: He's gotten over things like bugs and creepy crawlies to a point where they don't make him projectile vomit. ...But frogs (and generally anything else that are slimy aside from fish) are going to be a hassle for a while. And long term messes. And sweat. (Which is why he prefers to swim, hehe.)
    I personally love frogs a lot. They're so cute :joy:

    Darian's such a slick dude, I'm sure they'd hit it off too @minjee_kang :) I also had a headcanon that Darian is aware of Justin's fears since he seems pretty observant and a good "older brother" type--But not really anyone else. I'm sure Justin would pass out if there were more who knew. Man's gotta have pride. :joy:
  • minjee_kangminjee_kang Posts: 285 Member
    Hello hello @Cememt :) Loved the chapter you've written! Justin is quite cute - the imperfections and the flaws make him real! Is that why he thinks he might not be fit for cooking? I wonder what his childhood was like, trying to get over his fear of yucky things to learn how to cook! Did his father teach him how to cook? Love getting to know the characters! :) Teen boys are so hard to write though, having never been one myself but it's quite interesting to get into the POV of one!

    Ooh I like the sound of that headcanon, Darian does think that everybody has things they want to keep hidden, and I'm sure he understands that Justin wants to deal with it on his own. :) He has a bit of a big brother thing going on, I'm fond of that :)

    At first, I've loosely based off Darian's personality on Sirius Black (with Weasley hair haha) from HP in an alternate universe where he'd been adopted by the Potters - as in he's fiercely loyal, hides family secrets (abused/neglected then adopted), flirty and confident on the outside but overall a troubled and insecure youth. But I can see Darian sort of growing into his own character in the story and I love seeing it happen yay :)
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    Hey readers, I'm a bit busy at the moment. I have a few different intrests on my plate at the moment, and i haven't had the time recently to really just sit down and play. I by no means mean to stop posting, just maybe not as frequently.
  • minjee_kangminjee_kang Posts: 285 Member
    @Irishsong That's fine, that's life! I'm the same at the moment, haven't had time to play for a while - glad to hear that you're not stopping, I'd definitely like to see more of Aria's adventures! :) Take all the time you need!
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    Ok, i have three days off this coming week, plenty of time to churn out a chapter.
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    I thought I'd have one up this evening, but then I remembered I forgot to shoot the first half... oops. Let's count on Wednesday at most.
  • IrishsongIrishsong Posts: 1,054 Member
    edited July 2017
    100th post on the thread! Yahoo!

    And...

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    Post edited by Irishsong on
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