Difficult Company

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Post by Ren Caverly on Mon Apr 14, 2014 2:22 pm

”Could you go to town with the new girl? She needs supervision, and you like helping people.” People underestimated how terrifying that was for Ren to hear. She did not want to babysit anyone. She did not want to be with most people. However she didn’t have the willpower to say no to anyone, it was a well proven fact.

Ren had told the woman, in a very quick passing comment, to meet Ren near the front doors of Lamia Scale. She then went about her business. Mostly hiding from people and wandering about. She’d changed into a slightly different outfit that day. A light gray shirt with dark gray and red checkering on the front, and sleeves that went a good six inches past the ends of Ren’s fingertips. She still had the usual black Mary-Janes, and lighter and darker brown striped tights. She had on her red and yellow striped school girl skirt, so everything was mostly the same, but her big black hoodie wasn’t there, and that was a crucial part of Ren’s style. She fidgeted with her two high piercings and the ear cuff on her lower ear, although they never changed much. Her black choker, for the first time in a long time, was visible around her neck, as was her guild tattoo on the back of her neck. Today was an odd, and intimidating day.

They met up at the door and Ren felt instantly intimidated by Astra’s odd behavior. She was talkative. She was weird, and Ren was alone with her. She couldn’t just hide somewhere, she was stuck with this woman and she was stuck trying to be social. Ren said very little until they got to town, “D-do, you um, w-want to go get some food maybe?” She hoped so, Ren was hungry, and as per usual, ate far less than the healthy amount.

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Post by Astra Creed on Mon Apr 14, 2014 3:04 pm

Part 3
Cerulean Town - 11:50am
Town Entrance



Astra had wanted to go to town rather badly today when she woke up, but after her last stunt of running off with Kasimir there was no way they were letting their guard down with her anytime soon. They were afraid she’d get hurt. Or maybe that she’d accidentally hurt someone in her random and clueless behavior. Astra  had whined a bit, but had given up when they told her who was going with her – Ren Caverly. She hadn’t heard the name before that morning, but she did recognize the girl when she told her to meet her at the front doors. She was the one that avoided all of the nice people. Astra thought maybe she liked being alone. She was small, though not quite as small as Astra. It would be hard to find someone as short as her – though Ren looked skinnier, especially in the hoodie, which was missing today. That was certainly curious.

As soon as they met outside, Astra had introduced herself as Astra Creed, and had given her the biggest, friendliest grin she had in her arsenal in an attempt to make friends. It hadn’t worked so well, because Ren didn’t seem to want to say much during their walk. Astra might have insisted on talking, but for a while she got lost in her own little world, admiring the plants and animals running around on this cool (but not too cold) spring morning.  Astra’s hair was less messy than normal. Partially because she’d spent nearly an hour trying to comb out a specific tangle and kept going over the rest of it too. It certainly hadn’t been entirely intentional. Hopefully Ava appreciated Astra’s sore head. It wasn’t used to so much brushing anymore.

She had her usual dark red streak in her ebony hair, which was down as usual. She was wearing a jacket this time, and for once as dressed in less skimpy clothing – though the shirt still didn’t go quite all the way down, and showed off about an inch of her midriff. She was wearing tight black jeans as well. She had a strange affinity for the color black despite her generally sunny disposition.

Shortly after they walked into town, Ren asked Astra if she wanted to go get food. Astra chose that time to lean over to Ren. “I like you. You’re very pretty and quiet,” she told her, wishing Ren would talk a bit more. The two had nothing to do with each other, but that was how the words came out of Astra’s mouth. The shorter of the two small girls shrugged her shoulders, turning and walking backwards rather gracefully. As oblivious as she was, she wasn’t clumsy at all. “We should eat lunch together, yeah!” Astra told her excitedly. The energy coming off of the girl was almost tangible now, where earlier she had simply seemed like she was lost in a daydream. Sure, having lunch together instead of separately was probably exactly what Ren had in mind, but Astra was still telling her what she thought they should do as well.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Mon Apr 14, 2014 8:51 pm

Ren didn’t think people should be kept on a leash. People should be allowed to go off and have their own adventures if they wished. However she also knew that children had to be supervised. Astra was an adult, of course, or at least she was old enough. Ren didn’t know how old she was. Unfortunately she acted like a child, and she didn’t have the sense or the memories to be seen as an adult. Maybe it did make sense that Astra needed a…. handler more or less. Ren was no one’s handler. She managed somehow to be three inches taller, and yet still skinnier. Generally when two girls both stood under five-three, and both weighted less than a hundred pounds each, neither qualified as the other’s handler.

Ren looked smaller today, since her shirt actually didn’t fit, but it was still a small. It was a thin shirt and it still floated a bit off her body. She didn’t like to look so small, but she had spilled something on her hoodie and it was still sun drying. The sun could dry her hoodie, but Ren was still avoidant of the light, as shown by her pale skin. When she met up with Astra, Ren noticed the slightly different appearance. It wasn’t that Ren stalked anyone, but a girl had to know where people were so she could avoid them. She’d seen this woman, and that was how she knew who to talk to.

Suddenly, when they got to town and Ren asked Astra about food, her personal space was being absolutely violated. Ren was a girl who had been in a lengthy and unhealthy relationship. She was easily used to allowing people in her personal space without wanting them there. In fact, having a conversation usually involved some of that. This was much more. She immediately stepped back and managed to stumble and fall down. Ren brushed herself off while blushing brightly, and she stood. “U-u-uh, th-thank you?” she wasn’t sure if quiet was a good thing, but pretty was, and liking was. It threw her off, and it was confusing. Then Astra said they should eat together. The fact that she reiterated what Ren found obvious made her more nervous. It seemed to imply something, but she assumed it wasn’t. “Uh, y-yeah…. D-do you like bakeries? There’s one a-around here,” she said, her earlier stuttering picking up very quickly. She normally didn’t eat there because, well, she didn’t spend money, but she couldn’t avoid it today, so she might as well enjoy it.

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Post by Astra Creed on Mon Apr 14, 2014 9:54 pm

Astra made an “oop” noise when Ren fell down, though she didn’t seem hurt when she started to get up, so the ebon-haired girl didn’t ask the other small girl if she was okay. Instead she just kind of pretended she didn’t see it. What else was she supposed to do? Astra didn’t know if there was something else. Hopefully she wouldn’t get in trouble for doing the wrong thing. She had never heard of Ren scolding anyone before though. “Bakeries? Those are the bread ones right?” she asked, looking thoughtful. Her face lit up. “I’d love to!” she told her giddily.

Whether she meant something by reiterating what Ren had said or not… well Astra wasn’t even sure. She did find Ren rather cute. She shrugged at her own thought and just grinned again. “I know the way,” she told Ren, taking the lead, though only just barely. She spun around again, this time nearly knocking into someone, though she was agile and avoided it. Even if the woman seemed convinced that she was about to get run over by a small, scantily clad girl. “Oop.” She said again, looking slightly embarrassed for once. She didn’t like hurting people.

“I can buy if you want,” she offered Ren as she walked backwards, thinking of the jewels she’d been given. She would have to earn her own soon, but she’d somehow managed to save up a lot of her money she’d been given to buy supplies a couple of months ago. Maybe her taste in clothes was just that cheap. She wasn’t really sure. She tilted her head as she looked at her ‘new friend’ curiously. Why was Ren so quiet. And why had she fallen over? She felt like she should know at least one of those answers.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Mon Apr 14, 2014 10:20 pm


Astra was pleasantly agile, and perhaps Ren appreciated, on some subconscious level, that she ignored Ren’s fall, and seemed to dislike making anyone fall. Most people did make note of Ren’s clumsiness. Usually in annoyance, mocking, or just feeling bad for the awkward young woman. Most people felt bad for her, she was perfectly used to and in acceptance of that. People did not however, say she was pretty and that they liked her. Ren still wasn’t sure what to make of that s she did what any mature adult would and she tried to ignore it.

Y-yes,” Ren said as far as what a bakery was. It seemed like this had been a good suggestion on Ren’s part because Astra was thrilled. Ren had formerly had a bakery in mind, but since Astra seemed to be under the impression there was only one in existence, she proclaimed knowing the way and ran off, sort of. She nearly bowled some woman over and Ren looked mortified. “I-I am so s-sorry Ma’am, she didn’t mean to, s-sorry,” she said.

Ren had no time to talk more, she had to follow Asta. She worried immediately that Astra would hit someone, walking backwards like she was, but that only made Ren think about her own walking, and she stumbled a few times, but didn’t fall. “I-if you want, I don’t, uh, I can though,” she said. She didn’t want to mention not liking to buy things. No one every understood, except people who thought she wanted to hoard money. She just avoided it really. She kept it safe in her room, out of sight out of mind, but she did have some today.

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Post by Astra Creed on Tue Apr 15, 2014 12:08 am

Astra kinda felt bad that Ren seemed so concerned with the way Astra barely dodged people. She’d said oops… oh right, sorry was the word she was supposed to be saying. “Sorry!” she called after the woman loudly, to make sure she could hear. She’d waited a bit before realizing that Ren had been apologizing for her. Oops. Again. She blinked, then returned to the conversation they were currently having. Ren had said she could pay for the meal, but Ren could pay for it if she didn’t want to. Astra shook her head. “I want to buy you food,” she said with a shrug. She never got to buy anyone anything. Just herself. With Kasimir he’d managed to pay for her coffee without her even realizing it until later.

“I want to because you’re pretty,” she decided. She had heard someone tell her that before at the little bar in Lamia Scale. She had had her first alcohol the night she heard that. She actually didn’t remember much about that night except that somehow she’d wandered away from the man who said it and ended up somewhere in the woods behind Lamia Scale passed out happily. She’d simply wandered back into the guild hall the next morning like nothing had happened, though some people wondered why she had twigs in her hair. It was true though. She did feel like paying for Ren’s food. Her being pretty helped.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Apr 15, 2014 3:33 pm

Ren was a sweet young woman, and she didn’t like running into people. She also didn’t like being run into, so she was sure that lady hadn’t liked nearly being run into. She had no way to know what Astra’s story was or why she was a bit of a spazz. Actually Ren didn’t know why Astra was a spazz, but she didn’t like to judge people. It was mean, and being mean was…. Er…. Not nice. Astra did apologize to the woman, after Ren had, so that was good at least.

Astra told Ren that she wanted to pay for Ren’s food. Ren blushed again, really wishing that she had her hoodie on right now. She could have pulled the hood up over her head and let the soft fabric completely encase her. She was going to hide in it as soon as they got back. “Y-you can do that if you want to, I guess…” Ren said shyly, feeling she had let the silence go on way too long. Unfortunately Astra wasn’t done. She said it was because she was pretty. Ren fidgeted awkwardly. Why do you have to keep saying that? she thought, getting more nervous. This was not what babysitting was supposed to be like. “Uh, th-thanks…. S-so….. l-lead the way,” she said, feeling her ability to speak fading quickly.

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Post by Astra Creed on Tue Apr 15, 2014 4:07 pm

Ren was stuttering again. It was confusing, but kind of cute. Possibly because Astra had no idea why Ren was stuttering, and simply accepted it as something she did. She was both one to question everything, and not question why people did things at the same time. It was inconsistent, but she was trying to figure out why *she* did things before she worried about why other people did things. She was easy enough to confuse without other people’s reasons clouding her own. Astra put her hands behind her back, clasping them as she tilted her head and grinned. “You’re welcome!” she answered before turning and leading the way, as asked.

They eventually arrived at the bakery, and the freshly baked bread could be smelled throughout the building, and even in the streets nearby. It was surprisingly uncrowded for the time of day, but that was probably good for ordering things, or that was what Astra figured. The pair walked into the building, and Astra started walking close beside Ren again. Partially because of the confined space. Astra stopped at the counter. "It smells sooo good," Astra said aloud, mostly for Ren's benefit. There were always so many options, and she tried a new one every time she came here. Of course… that number was twice now. But the goal was to try a new one each time.

“What do you want?” she asked in a surprisingly gentle voice, echoing Kasimir a week or so ago. He had been more sneaky about paying for the meal, but Astra was anything but sneaky. She probably could be… if she concentrated long enough to try. She usually didn’t. She would order for the both of them and pay when Ren decided. Astra was getting some brown bread called pumpernickel just because it looked so different.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Apr 15, 2014 7:15 pm

It was just something Ren did, stuttering, but there was a reason it was something she did. She did it because she was a little nervous wreck, and because Astra was extremely confusing. She honestly probably wouldn’t have made Ren much more nervous if she had been trying to. She was doing such a good job unintentionally. At least she seemed pleased with herself. Ren sighed and followed behind.

When the two of them reached the bakery Ren’s mouth started watering. She was very pleased to get to eat some of the food here. She had smelled the food before, but not actually eaten it, which was a shame, but today that would change. Ren didn’t even get too uncomfortable with Astra being close to her again, she was distracted by the food. Ren nodded when Astra said that it smelled good, but then she asked what Ren wanted. Well, if Ren was being paid for she supposed Astra did need to ask. This was Ren wouldn’t need to tell the clerk. Although, she would feel bad asking for a lot since Astra was paying for it. Luckily she wasn’t a big eater, clearly.

Uhm….” Ren spoke quietly, “that one looks good,” she pointed at a chunk of bread baked with cheese throughout it. The whole room smelled amazing, and Ren was getting hungrier just standing there.

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Post by Astra Creed on Tue Apr 15, 2014 9:58 pm

Astra nodded at the cheese bread. It was a lot like the cheese bagel she’d had the first time she went here. That poor bagel had been assaulted and stamped out in its prime. But Astra really shouldn’t get stuck on that whole bagel fiasco again like she had the entire day she was off with Kasimir. At least until she’d returned to a rather harsh scolding from the wizard who had been assigned to look after her that she’d snuck out on.

“I’ll have aaaaaa pumpernickel aaaand Miss Ren will have the cheese bread,” Astra told the clerk as she stood up straight again to talk to the woman. It was hard not to stand up straight when talking to adults. Her short stature meant she was usually looking up, after all. Even to small Ren, even if not by much. The woman charged them the appropriate amount of jewels, which Astra eagerly handed over, and the girls were handed their bread. Astra took both pieces at first, making sure to only touch the wrapping the bread was in. She turned around and grinned at Ren again, handing her the bread she’d ordered with a grin. Her cheeks were slightly rosy because this was the first present she’d ever given anyone, and Ren unintentionally made her blush when Astra thought of handing her the bread.

“Let’s go sit down,” Astra told Ren, deciding they could relax a bit while they ate. She looked around. There were a lot of booths and things available. “I’ll let you pick though,” she decided as an afterthought. Ren was a nervous girl, obviously, and it suddenly occurred to Astra that she should get to sit where she would be the most comfortable.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed Apr 16, 2014 9:48 pm

Ren didn’t know much about Astra’s sneaking out. She knew enough to know that Ren wasn’t supposed to let Astra wander off. Ren was a pushover though. Why did they think she was capable of babysitting anyone? Literally if Astra had been mean to Ren and told her to go away enough times, Ren probably would have wandered off. Then felt absolutely horrible about it. Ren was nothing people couldn’t manipulate, and she knew it, she just couldn’t change it.

Astra ordered for the both of them, mentioning Ren by name, causing the young woman the shrink a bit back into herself. She really missed her hoodie. It was soft, it protected her, it kept her warm, and it made her feel more invisible. She liked to be invisible.

Astra was blushing when she gave Ren her bread. It didn’t really make sense to Ren. She wondered what Astra was thinking, and it made her squirm a little bit more, but she went to sit with Astra when the girl suggested sitting. Apparently Ren was supposed to pick, Ren didn’t like picking, she just wanted to be invisible. She bit her lip a bit more and sat in a booth, scooting against the wall like she might melt into it. She focused on the warm bread in her hands now, tearing off a piece and eating it. At least this was good. “Th-thank you,” she said, staring at her bread and not looking up.

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Post by Astra Creed on Wed Apr 16, 2014 10:21 pm

Ren thanked Astra as she took the bread and sat down, taking a bite without looking back up. Her shyness was strangely endearing to Astra, who wasn’t at all shy, but she did know what feeling awkward was like. She often had no idea what to do in social situations. This was one of them. She sat down beside Ren, though she didn’t scoot in too close, also trying her own bread. She wished she would have gotten Ren’s, though she supposed the bread was still good, and took another bite happily. She stared at her own bread for a bit without looking over at Ren or giving her too much attention for a couple of minutes. She was trying to clear her head and think a bit so she would figure out how to stop scaring the girl… but she just wasn’t sure.

“I’m glad you came too,” she told Ren finally. It was true. She liked most of the members of Lamia Scale, and this was her opportunity to get to know Lamia Scale’s quietest wizard. “If you want to do something just let me know okay?” It had taken more effort than she would have liked to puzzle out that short bit of what she wanted to say. Calling her pretty just made her shrink back. She’d been hoping for a smile. Most people smiled. Ren should smile. She tore a part off of the bread that she hadn’t bitten. “Want to try a piece?” she asked, offering it to Ren and being obviously more subdued than before.

You could say that she was naturally airheaded and excitable. Which seemed to be true. But what was equally true was that due to her strange state of mind she could flip her general demeanor rather quickly, and often without meaning to. It depended on what was going through her mind... or rather, what her mind would let her access. Most of what she'd known that people found important seemed to be gone. But fragments of random knowledge remained. And sometimes the fog in her brain lifted enough for her to say something intelligent rather than just spazzy. She brightened up again slightly though as she offered, giving Ren that big, honest grin as the colored part of her bangs fell down into her face.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Thu Apr 17, 2014 2:20 pm

Ren really wanted Astra to sit across from Ren. Maybe across and a bit to the side, so she was more like just around, than actually with Ren. Ren really felt uncomfortable. Nope, instead Astra sat on the same side of the booth as her and Ren tensed up. It was impossible to tell when her tiny muscles tensed under her long sleeves, but it was certainly happening. She didn’t know anything about being endearing, she just couldn’t grasp why this woman never left her alone, when she was clearly highly uncomfortable. Most people would. Ren kept pulling pieces of bread off and eating them, at a slightly accelerated rate due to her anxiety.

Astra, being a bit less intimidating, said that she was glad Ren had come. Ren hadn’t really chosen to come, she’d been asked to, it was the same as an order. Ren had trouble saying no. Astra more or less asked if Ren had anything she wanted to do, and she forced herself to shrug enough that it was visible. Then Astra offered her some bread, “Uh, s-sure, th-thanks,” she said, putting her hand out to take the bread, and then slowly nibbling on it. She watched as Astra kept smiling. It intimidated her because Astra was so… outgoing, but Ren supposed Astra deserved to be happy, so she didn’t react to it any more than giving her a very slight smile, then looking back down at the table and continuing to nibble. She felt like a frightened bunny rabbit. She also cautiously took a piece of her bread, tore it off, and handed it to Astra before pulling her hands back and eating again.

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Post by Astra Creed on Thu Apr 17, 2014 8:46 pm

Astra took the bread from the stuttering Ren in turn, popping it into her mouth happily. She grinned a little wider as she chewed. "I think you picked the better one for sure," she told Ren truthfully, wishing she had more of the bread. She wasn't about to ask her for the bread though, even if she wasn't aware of just how much of a pushover the cute nervous girl behind her was.

Ren was eating her bread rather fast, so Astra subconsciously sped up her own eating, feeling rather slow. She wasn’t sure what else to do. She just felt the need to make a good impression on the girl and felt like she was frightening her. Maybe it was because she never really got to talk to Ren. She wondered if after today she would have another chance, since Ren didn’t ever seem to purposefully talk to anyone at the guild from what she had seen in the past couple of months. She wanted to. Ren was interesting and different and a lot nicer than some of her other ‘caretakers.’ She was tired of having babysitters follow her around, and Ren was a nice change of pace. Someone who actually let her walk around and get into what she wanted. Not to mention she was sweet and adorable in her nervousness.

Astra switched sides of the table in a flash, still kind of leaning over on it so she was closer to Ren than if she had been sitting back, but this way she could at least look at her when they talked. “Want a cupcake while we’re here?” she asked the girl finally. Astra wanted a cupcake. “They’re pretty big though. We could share?” she offered.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Thu Apr 17, 2014 11:50 pm

Ren looked away as Astra chewed and spoke. Ren had been taught very specific manners from her parents. She probably broke most of them on a regular basis. Not thanking people was bad, but she thanked people often enough. Arguing was bad. Stuttering was bad. There was her big issue. It was bad manners to stutter, she was supposed to calm herself and think about what she said. If she did that then her words would come more fluently. Well her parents ditched her, so she didn’t have to follow all their rules.

Th-thanks,” Ren said, as for picking the better bread. It might not have been a compliment, but it seemed nice. Ren wasn’t really eating quickly, she was just nibbling constantly to keep herself distracted. She couldn’t help it. She probably wouldn’t avoid Astra any more than anyone else at the guild after today. No… on second thought, she would. Astra was more intense. Ren avoided Kade more than Ava because Kade actually sought Ren out, and the same, socially, was true of Astra. Ren knew Astra didn’t mean harm, and Ren wasn’t mean, but she was intimidated.

Astra suddenly switched to the other side of the table and Ren’s shoulder’s dropped slightly. She wasn’t pushed quite as far into the wall anymore either, “U-um…. Are you sure? If… you want, s-sure, I like sweets,” Ren said quietly, trying to add a bit to the conversation, for Astra’s sake, but she still wasn’t sure what to say overall.

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Post by Astra Creed on Fri Apr 18, 2014 1:11 am

Astra nodded happily as Ren accepted her shared cupcake offer. Astra should probably be more careful with money, but she still had plenty as far as she could tell. And maybe if she ran out they would let her start going on jobs to earn her own. She was so restless being watched like a hawk all the time. No wonder she snuck off if she didn’t like her babysitter. Ren was fortunate Astra was rather fond of her. Or unfortunate. It depended on whether she was more uncomfortable getting all of Astra’s attention or losing Astra for a few hours.

Astra got up and went to find a cupcake, looking around at the ones on display. She saw one and turned to Ren, pointing at it with a questioning look until she found one Ren thought looked good too, although that probably would happen on the first cupcake. Astra purchased the cupcake and got a knife and two napkins, sitting down across from Ren again. “Okay, I’ll cut and you choose,” she told Ren in a singsong voice. She then cut the cupcake relatively neatly in half. She could have just used her magic, but the knife was already in her possession. “Here you go!” she handed Ren the piece she picked out and started nibbling on the sugary treat happily, herself. She was still being rather friendly, of course, and kept glancing at Ren curiously as she ate.

She wanted to know more about Ren, but something in the back of her head said now was not the time, and she should concentrate on being nice to the girl instead. Astra agreed with the back of her head and offered Ren the strawberry that had been placed on top of the fancy cupcake for decoration. “You should have it,” she told Ren. “I like seeing you happy. It’s cute.”

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Post by Ren Caverly on Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:16 pm

Ren was more comfortable being awkward with Astra than losing her. She didn’t want to disappoint people, and that would definitely happen if she lost Astra. Although if she’d found her before they returned, Ren wouldn’t mention it. Not that she’d lie, she just really didn’t say much. Astra could have gotten in trouble though, and Ren would feel very bad about that. She could handle the general awkwardness.

Astra left and started pointing at cupcakes. Ren wasn’t really sure what she should do, so she nodded at one of them. Astra returned with something that seemed vanilla with chocolate chips and dark icing. Astra cheerfully commented on cutting the cupcake and Ren picked the side that seemed smaller. It was hard, since they seemed even, but Ren just went with what looked that way. It wasn’t really a bit deal. “Th-thank,” Ren said with a small nod of gratitude. She pulled her sleeves back so her delicate fingers could swipe off some icing to eat.

She felt so scrutinized with Astra just watching her. It was something Ren noticed fairly easily, and Astra was nod hiding it. She sucked some icing off her finger and kept looking at the cupcake, before taking the strawberry. She wanted to decline, but she didn’t want to argue, “Uh, th-thanks. You r-really don’t have to…” she then coughed at being told that being happy made her cute. Why did Astra have to do that. “I, u-uh, I’m n-not cute, y-you can k-keep the strawberry, ” she said, putting the strawberry down on a napkin immediately. It felt like an agreement that Astra could say those things, and Ren didn’t want that. Then she felt bad, really bad, “I’m sorry, I don’t…. I’m being rude…. I’m sorry…” she said, getting quieter and quieter, and shrinking again a little.

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Post by Astra Creed on Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:50 pm

Astra had apparently made a mistake giving Ren the strawberry. Or maybe it was calling her cute again. Astra had just wanted her to know she thought she was cute. Was that so bad? Astra liked being told she was cute. Her face scrunched up in a concerned manner as Ren started apologizing profusely… or…  at least as profusely as someone who barely talked ever got. Astra’s eyes went from the strawberry to Ren’s concerned face then back to the strawberry as she tried to think. She didn’t understand what she kept doing wrong to upset Ren.

“Nonononono,” Astra tried to stop Ren from shrinking, speaking hastily  at first before remembering outbursts were not Ren’s friend. She shrank back into the booth a little bit herself, mostly because of Ren and the way she seemed to inflate when people got further away. Specifically Astra. Her face remained concerned though. “It’s okay, I don’t think it’s your fault,” Astra told Ren gently, looking a bit upset herself at the fact that her lack of understanding was getting in the way this time. “I’m relearning talking to people and you’re so different than most people,” she admitted, finally being the one to glance down at her hands. “I’m just saying what I think. Maybe I shouldn’t I’m sorry. You can keep the strawberry though.”

As much as it seemed like Astra was fighting a strange fog in her head that only made it harder to do what people considered appropriate, Astra did want to relearn what she needed to know. She had fun regardless, but not if it hurt other people. That was like... her one rule. And she felt like she was somehow hurting Ren if she was acting like this.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Mon Apr 21, 2014 3:03 pm

Ren was having a bad day. It had been a bad idea. No one ever should have asked Ren to babysit. She was just awful at everything and she felt like running off and hiding. He didn’t want to make Astra sad, and it did look like she was making Astra sad. She also didn’t want to be upset herself. She kept telling herself how awful she was, over and over in her head on repeat. Ren did not like being told she was cute. She did not like being flirted with, or having her personal bubble touched. She didn’t like a lot of things that she would have liked were she more comfortable with herself. There were reasons for everything.

Astra started talking quickly. Ren felt like something that had been dropped and Astra was trying to take it back. It just made Ren feel guiltier. She was really wanting her hood right now. It was becoming clear how much she needed that hoodie the more time she spent without it. She rubbed her arms awkwardly when Astra said that Ren was different from other people. In a bad way…

Astra said she could keep the strawberry, but Ren didn’t want it. She really didn’t. She didn’t even look at it, “Okay…” she said, looking a small bit more relaxed. Honestly Ren wasn’t relaxed, she just felt bad enough that she was slouching more in defeat. She wanted to get away as soon as possible, but she remembered that she had to spend the day with Astra. Ren went back to eating her part of the cupcake. She wasn’t hungry anymore, and her mouth felt dry, but she couldn’t just leave it, Astra would be more sad. Normally when Ren wasn’t hungry, which happened if she got upset, she just refrained from eating, but it wasn’t an option today. She still didn’t look at the strawberry, but once her part of the cupcake was gone Ren did speak some more, “So, uh…. what do you want to do next?” she asked Astra quietly, trying not to sound especially fragile.

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Post by Astra Creed on Mon Apr 21, 2014 7:53 pm

Even Astra could tell that the girl she had been trying so hard to befriend was being pushed away more and more the more she tried, and she couldn’t figure out what she was doing wrong. She liked Ren. Honestly she did. But it didn’t’ seem to matter. Liking her was bad. Not liking her was probably worse. If Astra hadn’t already finished her cupcake half she would have not wanted it anymore, herself. People could react badly when she got hypercompetitive or if she overstepped bounds, but she’d honestly thought she had been doing extra good today.

Astra poked at her napkin idly when Ren asked what she wanted to do next. Fix whatever she’d done wrong was the correct answer. Was she even allowed to say that? If she didn’t it would be a lie at this point. Whatever she’d wanted to do afterword before was forgotten now. “Probably to fix whatever I keep doing wrong…” she decided to tell the truth. It probably wouldn’t be taken well either. But what was she supposed to do? She couldn’t just lie to Ren. She didn’t care to lie, and in her quest to learn new things she’d come across needing to learn how to interact with Ren.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:56 pm

Astra had been good today. She’d been nothing but nice…. And familiar and friendly and near Ren. Most people were not like Ren. Most people made more sense. Astra probably made more sense to Ren than Ren made to herself some days. It was easier to say “she’s learning” than “she may react well to this…. But who honestly knows?” That was how Ren ended up working, and she felt bad about it. Feeling bad only made her feel worse, and worse, and this is how she ended up wanting to go and hide.

Ren asked Astra what she wanted to do next, and Astra, unfortunately, said that she wanted to fix what she did wrong. Ren fidgeted, taking the strawberry and eating it. It made her mouth less dry. She looked like a timid animal, trying not to be watched too closely. She was anxious, but she didn’t want Astra to be sad. “I’m just…. I’m…. I d-don’t like…. C-compliments, or being touched, or talking, o-or…. I’m broken, I’m s-sorry,” she said, really hating this conversation, but feeling bad enough for Astra that she kept talking.

She stood up, brushing off her outfit once the strawberry was finished. She sucked on her fingers a little to get the juice off. She was broken, and she knew it, and Astra could argue, but it meant nothing. Astra didn’t know. Ren knew. Still, that didn’t make it fair to upset Astra, “S-so… I th-think there might be a park s-somewhere, if you want to go find it, near the beach maybe…?

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Post by Astra Creed on Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:22 pm

"B-broken?" Astra shook her head furiously. Maybe she was broken and poor Astra wouldn't know. She didn't like hearing it though. Broken people were sad. Astra hoped she wasn't sad to other people too. But no, this wasn't about her, it was about the poor freaking out girl in front of her. Astra wanted to hug her or something, but obviously that was a bad idea. “You’re not! I- I mean maybe but… but I don’t care. I mean I do but I think you’re fun anyway. I uh I mean… I… Shutting up now.” She decided as she realized she kept saying things Ren wouldn’t react well to. She didn’t want Ren to think Astra judged her for being weird. Astra knew she was weird too, and didn’t think it was important, as long as you were a good… well… as long as you didn’t hurt anyone.

“Sorry. Yeah let’s go to the park. I’ll try to stop saying weird things for now. Bad Astra. No more making nice Ren upset,” she scolded herself aloud as she leaned back in her seat and slouched a bit. She scooted out of the seat before long, though, and tried to get herself to stop worrying so much. It was probably making Ren worse. At least she knew better than to do something like kiss Ren. From recent experience… well if it had frozen Astra it would probably just cause poor Ren to shatter into about a million pieces. They couldn’t have that. Ren was too nice to be in a million pieces.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:40 pm

Ren was trying so hard. She was trying to be nice and happy and exactly what she didn’t feel, because Astra was nice. Suddenly she was being yelled at now. Ren visible shrunk. Her shoulders rose up, her head shrunk down, her arms were tight against her sides. Her eyes glued themselves to the floor, and she could feel her heart pounding. Conflict, argument, loud voices, being snapped at. She wanted to just run away. Had it not been for the shock of it all, she would have run. She would then have felt awful, realized she couldn’t go back, and tried to maybe watch Astra from afar to keep her out of trouble, or slunk back to the guild to tell them how she failed. She already wondered how anyone could have put faith in her.

Astra had continued to talk. To snap, to falter, didn’t care, Ren was fun, the girl said, incorrectly, then she just stopped talking. Ren kept staring at the ground. She wasn’t sure why, but Astra was talking…. To herself? They could go to the park, something Ren no longer wanted to do. Astra also called Ren nice, but Ren disagreed, quietly, not saying a word. Ren felt the temporary hope that she could fix things wash away in a wave of anxiety, and it was cold again. She wanted her hoodie. “’Kay…” Ren said meekly, simply so that Astra would know she wasn’t just running away. Ren was meant to be followed, to find the park. Ren left the bakery and walked down the road, keeping so close to the walls of buildings that she scraped against them sometimes, though it was gentle. Her fingers were invisible in her sleeves, and she didn’t say a word, didn’t really even look at Astra until she saw some playground equipment on the sandy beach. She found a swings set and sat down on it awkwardly, “We’re here…” she said, still quietly.

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Post by Astra Creed on Mon Apr 28, 2014 1:51 pm

Astra kept looking at Ren even though she wouldn't look at Astra. Maybe she should just leave the poor girl alone and tell her they could both go back to the guild. Ren wouldn't get in trouble then. Astra wasn't sure this was a good day to be out doing things anyway. It had started off fun... but maybe she was too much of a handful. Maybe she really did need people looking after her so she didn't cause trouble with people accidentally while she relearned things.

Astra's gaze swept off to the side as Ren weakly said they were at the park. Astra didn't care. The first person she'd actively tried to flirt with beyond just telling them they were pretty or handsome and she had probably made the person never want to talk to her again. She'd realized she was a natural flirt when she was around Kaz... but this time she'd actually tried.

"...I'm so sorry," Astra told Ren, sitting down in a swing. "I keep screwing everything up and all I wanted to do was cheer you up because I didn't want you to think so badly of yourself..." She sighed, wishing she could have just skipped today. Learning wasn't always pleasant. She just wanted to hit a reset button and get to talk to Ren again properly or something. She wouldn't even call her pretty even though she thought she was. "We can go back to Lamia Scale... so you don't get in trouble or have to follow me..." She got up and stuffed her hands in her jacket pockets, not exactly starting the walk back. She felt like crying. It wasn't Ren's fault Astra kept doing things wrong. She just wanted to stop hurting the girl now, since she couldn't say anything right.

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Post by Ren Caverly on Tue Apr 29, 2014 1:28 pm

Ren wanted to fix things. She wanted to take back the whole day and maybe try again, maybe make an excuse. The fact that Astra was actively trying to flirt with Ren was sincerely terrifying. She didn’t know why anyone would want to do that. She’d been flirted with before, and she’d been taken home and kept like a possession for a long time. Still, even being a possession was tiresome after a while because Ren was just so…. Unlikeable. Even if she was likeable, she did not want to be flirted with…. Flirted at, it was really being flirted at by this point.

Astra apologized, sitting on a swing. Unfortunately she kept going. Why did she always keep going? Ren tried, she fixed it a little, then Astra started yelling. Why did she keep…. Going? Ren bit her lip. I know myself. You don’t know me. You don’t know what’s true and what’s opinion. You don’t know Anything about me, she thought, upset. Astra didn’t get to know Ren, but she was sure she knew better than Ren. Ren wasn’t going to say anything though, Astra was allowed to think what she wanted to think.

Astra offered to go home, so Ren wouldn’t get in trouble. Well, it was an offer Ren appreciated, but it was Astra’s day trip…. “I don’t know, we can do whatever you want,” Ren told her. She didn’t want to hurt Astra, and she didn’t want to be here. She was awful. Awful. She made Astra feel bad for being nice, and then, even when Ren was trying to push everything down, she still managed to hurt Astra’s feelings. I’m so broken… she thought, waiting to see what Astra would do.

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