> Previous threads are here: http://suptg.thisisnotatrueending.com/archive.html?tags=Urban%20Story%20QuestThe last thing you see before you fall asleep are the sinister, red digits of the digital clock, counting away the minutes. You remember it was at 2:40 or so when you closed your eyes. When you snap awake again, you’re still staring at the bloody thing, which tells you nonchalantly that it’s 3.32 AM. Still half immersed in the mist of sleep, you gently pat the other side of your bed; you’d been sleeping on one side to accommodate another person on the other, after all. But there’s nothing. Just a space on the mattress where Elina was last night. You didn’t dream about her either. You didn’t dream at all. Why did you wake up at this time? Sitting up in bed, you sigh and stumble your way over to the working desk and computer, and along the way you see the hippo-print pyjamas lying in a little heap on the floor, looking pathetically small without someone to fill them. In the harsh streetlight from outside, nothing seems real; it all looks as if your desk is a well-drawn desk from some animated film. That’s all it is, the last three days - an animated film. Soon you would be forced to conclude that none of that had happened. Except - your eyes widen, straining to capture every bit of that normally irksome white light, as you look out the water-spotted windowpane. There’s something there. It’s a shot glass. And there’s a little piece of paper, the same yellowed paper you’ve seen twice before already, sitting snug and dry as water splashes all around it. Your fingers, disobedient for some reason, force you to put down the cup before trying to unfold the note.> cont'd.
>>28346941This time round the words are written with a fine-tipped pen - maybe Elina went out to buy one - but the letters are still a mess, slanting this way and that like grass in a windstorm, with big, uneven circles and misaligned words. Annoying, perhaps, since you take a long time sitting in your chair trying to decipher her words. But also cute, perhaps. Stan, It’s good you’re going out of town. I need to settle things with Kelvin. It’s best you are away.I hope your father is well, and that you enjoy the weekend. Please take care of yourself.Please do not be angry at me. I am not angry at you. I like you too, and I want you to be safe. Your Elina.As you manage to decipher the last line, and when you see the salutation - ‘Your’ Elina - you take a deep breath, and the air in your room seems to smell fresher already. Even the little tick of pain in your ribs seems a good sign. Another deep breath, Stan - you’re alive because air is filling your lungs, making your chest creak a little. You’re here, and Elina’s here too, even though she disappeared - like smoke - earlier today at the motel. That kiss was not in vain; that shower was not for nothing. This is real. And yet, when you read the note again, and once more... something seems off, in the way the letter is phrased. Settle some things with Kelvin - what’s that mean? And if she wants you to be safe, and she wants you to be away and out of town as well, then… ‘Fuck’s sake, Elina.’ This is how it always is, isn’t it? Things are always fine and simple, right up to the point when you want to commit something to someone. Once you do that, everything gets complicated. You want her to be safe too! But... > Listen to Elina. Get on that train and leave town. > Damnit! Go look for her. She could be in trouble. > Other.
>>28347109>> Listen to Elina. Get on that train and leave town.We'd likely be more of a hindrance than a help to Elina anyway. And given that she's very fast and has an excellent sense of smell, if she doesn't want us to find her we are almost certainly not going to find her.
>>28347109>> Listen to Elina. Get on that train and leave town.
>>28347109> Listen to Elina. Get on that train and leave town.She hasn't led us wrong yet, right? If it were less rainy, I'd say leave her a note in response, but...
>>28347220>>28347267>>28347580At first the course of action is clear. To hell with Elina's instructions and all that. You didn't kiss her in the shower just so you could run away the next day. Besides, with what you now know about Kelvin, 'settling' things with him sounds really, really dangerous. You have to look for her. You have to find Elina, and then- but that train of thought stops when you recall what happened yesterday at the motel. She walked out the door, and a few seconds later she was not in the corridor, not at the lobby, probably at the stairs on the other end of the walkway. And she managed to slip out without even the receptionist noticing. Elina clearly *wants* to settle this alone, Stan. And given what you're like - given what *she* is like - no matter how you search, you're not really going to find her. Sighing, you read the piece of paper again, taking a little comfort in the last line. Well, it shows she can be silly too if she thinks you're mad at her. 'I'll listen to you then, you silly girl,' you mutter, just as you hear the door opening. Mom must be home. The train tickets are with her. > Go out and talk to Mom. > Try to get a little more sleep. > Relax, have a wank or something. > Other. > So, now that you've decided to go to Dad's - what attitude are you going to go with? Play nice? Or be antisocial? It's not like you know anyone else out there...
>>28347603>> Relax, have a wank or something.>Play nice.
>>28347603> Go out and talk to Mom.Find out if there are specific plans for our visit, make sure she'll be alright while we're gone, etc.> Resigned acceptance of events.
>>28347603> Go out and talk to Mom. She was dating somebody new right? Let's pry into her private life.>play nice
>>28347710>>28347708>>28347673All you can think about for a short while, as you hear Mom pottering around outside, is to sit back and play with yourself a little. In the past, this was always a bit of a game - jerking off while knowing someone's outside, going about their lives, and might well come in at any time. Of course, these days, she doesn't really come in anymore - your room's yours, and Mom is simply too tired to care. But still... you stare at Elina's note to you, remembering how she looked in the shower, hands by her side - she doesn't even know to cover herself. Then those arms, flinging around your neck. The softness of her lips, the little girlish grunts as she kissed you back... But then, as if it can never get enough of ruining your sensations, your mind inserts the image of her stare at you when you asked about her strength and speed, and in your frustration you let out a little groan and stop. Bloody hell! Glancing at your newly wilted appendage, you realise there's something you ought to ask about Mom. She's... she's dating someone, isn't she? She must be. > cont'd.
>>28348034With a sigh, you get up and open the door to find Mom in the kitchen filling the kettle with water, still in her work clothes. Her trousers and blouse almost seem a little more form-fitting than usual, as if she's chosen some clothes suitable for work that also show her off a bit. 'Mom,' you mutter, trying to get your hair in order as she turns around. 'Hey, Stan. How come you're awake? I didn't wake you up, did I?' She's got quite a bit of make-up on, too, noticeable in the kitchen lamp. 'Do you want anything to drink, dear?''Dear' - the word makes you pause, though you try not to look at her funny and alert her. Instead you sit in the couch. Rrrgh. The electric kettle clicks, and immediately begins to growl softly. 'I'm okay, Mom. Was it you or Da who wanted me to visit?''Oh, Stan. Well, Bill called me - on very short notice, too - and said that since he's free this long weekend, it'd be nice if he could see you. You haven't seen your Da in like, a month?' Oh. Oh yeah! It's a long weekend - Monday is the National Students' Day. Damn, Friday would normally be a day of celebration, if not for the attack on Caitlin. But it's good too. You don't like celebration days, when everyone is clustered in the assembly hall. It means it's easier for them to pick you out and 'go to the toilet together'. 'Do you not want to go, though? I mean, you don't have to-''No, no, I'm going. Course I'll go.' You smile, and so does Mom, unknowing that it's not her instructions, or Da's, that you're following. If Elina told you to get on a boat and sail to Rotterdam, you'd probably consider which boat. But let's not try it. Mom smiles and gives you a hug. > Make breakfast, make small talk. > Ask about the new date. She's dolled up, it's obvious. > Take train tickets, go back into room. > Talk about something else (write-in). > Other.
>>28348243>> Ask about the new date. She's dolled up, it's obvious.>>Make breakfast.
>>28348321>>28348352>>28348354> I'm going to run errands after this post. Might be a while. > But this will be continued later. Sorry bout it!Mom even *smells* dolled up - make-up, of course, but also a dash of perfume, and something in her hair as well. Well, if you were her age and unmarried, you might well be charmed. But you're not, of course. As she lets go of you, still smiling, she says, 'I've always wanted for us to start getting together a bit more. As a family, you know? If we're closer to each other. Bill's made a move, at least, when he got back in touch.'Yeah, of course. And you're reciprocating by getting a new squeeze. Smiling, you get up and put some bread in the toaster, while trying to think of the nicest way to say something that's not very nice at all. Why you bother, you don't know. It's not like Mom thinks about the nicest way to do something that's not very nice at all, is it? Then again, were you really hoping and praying that the family might get together again? It... huh. It felt like a nice thing when you didn't have it, and when the first two visits to Da's went smoothly. But then on second thought, you... you don't feel that much for it either. 'Mom?'> cont'd.
>>28348595'Yes?''So... were you out on a date or something?' Well, the tenor of the conversation had to change. A long, awkward silence drapes itself over the room as you scratch, butter and deliver the toast. Mom looks at you. 'Do you ask because you disapprove?''Well, were you?' Would you volunteer, for example, that you were? It is a few more moments before Mom nods. 'Yeah. Yeah it's with someone at work. His name's Aaron, and...' she sighs. 'Is it all right, if we talk about this over the long weekend?'Things are beginning to make a little sense now. A long weekend with you away at Da's? Now that would be quite handy if, say, you were to be all horny and have a new partner, no? You'd feel that way too, except you don't - which makes you a little more frustrated. > Nonchalance. > Anger. > A smile. > Other.
>>28348625> Nonchalance.Wait until we meet Aaron before judging her.
>>28348735>>28348744>>28348915The feeling that comes over you when you learn about Aaron surprises you. It's not the flush of anger, and it's not the breeze of some sort of vicarious joy. Looking at Mom, how she's paying attention to her own appearance - in a way, maybe you should be heartened. Maybe this is some sort of recovery from everything. But you don't feel that. Your Da is not being snatched by anyone, either - he never was. He walked out, didn't he? So there's nothing to be concerned about on his front, either. Nothing on this side, nothing on that side - nothing. Is that worse than anger? What might Mom want? She wants you to be happy for her, surely - requesting it of you. Or maybe she wants you to yell at her out of concern. 'Stan? Are you okay?' Yeah, it's either of those two. Well, you're not really playing along. You nod. 'Aaron, is it?''Yep... you don't mind, do you?'You're not playing along. You shan't. Shrugging, you give a little smile. 'No, why would I? I mean, it's up to you, right? Just wondering if you've got the train ticket to Da's.'The look Mom gives you as she munches on toast and fishes the little grey slip of cardboard from her pocket seems a little... wounded. Yeah, you figured that might happen. But... Elina having disappeared, on the way to a long weekend in fuckall nowhere, you don't feel much about *that* either. 'How about you, Stan?' Mom follows up, pushing the plate of toast to you. 'That neighbour from downstairs... she seems pretty nice, doesn't she? What's her name again?'> What do/say, Stanley?
>>28350030"Elina? Yeah, she's got an...interesting personality. You and Aaron have fun this weekend, I gotta go pack."
>>28350197This; say something, get away.
>>28350030Sally? Yeah she's pretty cool.
>>28350393>>28350197>>28350483'What, Sally?''Sally? It's not Sally, is it? It's like, Lynn or something.' Huh. So she was paying attention, after all. Learn something new every day... 'Oh, Elina, you mean?' You try to say the name with as much nonchalance as possible. Aaron is nothing, but this one isn't; it sticks to your tongue as you try to roll it out smoothly. 'Ah yes, that's it! Elina's a really nice name.' Mom smiles a little, edges closer to you. You can't tell if it's concern, or a certain slyness that comes with a counterattack. She's trying to pry, isn't she? Pry. Pry, try, scry. Cry. Damn, at least try to stay focused... 'So have you figured her out? You said something about her being Swedish, right?''Oh that. Yeah, she is. And she's... interesting, I guess.' The toast, your slice, is not eaten, but there are more pressing needs now, and you get to your feet, noticing Mom's surprised look. 'Well, I think I better go and pack.''Pack? But you're going to Da's, aren't you?'Oh yeah, damn. You slam on the TALK TALK TALK button and go. 'I'll need the... laptop, and stuff. And my charger, you know? Computer won't last three days without charging. and I'm always on it, right? Well. Anyway, you have fun with Aaron...' The look on Mom's face turns palpably hostile when you say that. Yeah, that's what the talk button does. You're going to need to install a STOP button, but make it a whisper, like Elina's. 'Yeah... okay,' Mom says, coldly. 'I'll go wash up. Have a good weekend.'Meh, you've offended Mom. But it's true, right? What *could* be more convenient for her? You walk briskly to the door and close it behind you. Pack. Right. > What do you want to bring along, other than laptop/charger? > Do anything before timeskipping to the train station? It's not far from here, and the train's at about 10. You'll be at Da's by noon. Not that it matters with the fucking weather.
>>28350561>pack some necessities i guess>leave a note for ElinaBe Safe.
>>28350561Any way we can toss a message down to Elina? Maybe put it in a plastic bag so it won't get wet, like she does with the glass. > bring alongChange of clothes, maybe a book.
>>28350561Straighten up room and fold Elina's pj's>pack some clothes, lucky toothbrush, maybe something to read on the train>tell mom sorry on the way out
>>28350561elina note => be safepack what you need
>>28350806>>28350786>>28350705>>28350669Grabbing the backpack you take on trips - not your school bag, because you don't like what that bag means you're getting into every day - you get packing a little. Laptop, charger, toothbrush... heck, you might as well bring deodorant as well, not that it matters... a book... well, why not a notebook as well... 'Huh,' you mutter, lifting the bag onto your shoulders. Nah, it's still fine. That should do. You consolidate all the washing into one basket, fold the duvet, but then look at the pile of fabric that's the pj's, with that little round bloodstain still on the sleeve. Curious, you pick it up and sniff at it, and blink. The citrusy smell that accompanied Elina the last two days is... somehow gone, replaced with a slightly greasy, oily odour. It's not *unpleasant*, but... Heck. You fold the pyjamas and then pack them in as well. It's not like it weighs that much. There's something more important though. There's a big puddle of rain in front of Elina's window downstairs - you can actually imagine that, if the rain gets heavier, water might start pouring *into* her room from there. That would be horrid. But if you take a plastic bag... tearing a page off your notebook, you scrawl on it. Elina, Be safe. Take care. Stan. Hmm... heck. You insert a 'Your' before your name, and wrap it tightly into the plastic bag before tossing it down, where it plops into the water and floats there. She'll smell it or something, you bet. Heading out into the hall, you want to apologise to Mom for raising her boyfriend so casually; but then the door is already closed, and she must be sleeping. Blocked and strained through clouds, the sunlight that filters onto the city and into your home is blue-grey and cold, like a dead person's skin. > cont'd.
>>28351054The train station - The Bridge, as everyone calls it - is not too far from here, a giant glass roof from a century back vaulting over 8 platforms, a vast, chilly space dotted with shops and kiosks. Getting out of the bus, you check the board though you don't really have to - you know the train to Da's is at platform 7. That's the great thing about trains, isn't it? Unlike people, they have patterns. Getting into the train, the first thing you see is the grumpy conductor, who grunts his demand for a ticket from you and looks over the thing closely. What's there to see, anyway? But then he hands the ticket over to you, and you nod gratefully to be allowed in. At least the train is clean. There's not many people on this train, outside of the evening rush when people working in the banks and consultancies and big corporations down at the business district go back to their nice bungalows and detached houses up north. It's weird how people who have the money to get all those things take the train anyway. Wandering down the aisle, heading through doors for the front of the train, you suddenly spot a figure in the third car you get into who is familiar. Huh. It's a girl, wearing jeans that also show off her long, shapely legs, and a navy blue cardigan. She's staring out the window. What's her name... Tina? Tessa. Tessa. She's a year above you, a school councillor. You've said maybe twenty words to her all year, but given the usual record of your conversations, that's not a bad thing. Is she going up north too? Well, it is the weekend... > Go and sit near her. > Sit within gazing distance. You always thought she was cute, except she's a senior so... > Turn round, head back. (If you wish to do something on train, write in; if not, this timeskips.)> Other.
>>28351228>> Go and sit near her.
>>28351228>> Sit within gazing distance. You always thought she was cute, except she's a senior so...
>>28351288seconding, sit near and talk.
>>28351228> Go ask if she minds if you sit near her.Oportunity to train our social skills. Pull out book, make small talk, read to fill uncomfortable silences.
>>28351288>>28351313Stan isn't the type to do thisgazing distance
>>28351377That's the point, we're trying to change his behaviour.Otherwise we're just going keep getting dunked in toilets and beaten with towels.
>>28351407W-What if that's my fetish?
Stan is not the sort to make small talk. He'll probably fuck it up. So let's ogle her. > Sit within gazing distance.
Fuelled by a sudden burst of good sense, you dodge out of the line of sight before considering your next move. Normally, you already know what you'd do - you'd sit quietly maybe two seats away, in such a position that you could look up and glance at her. Except, since it's someone you always thought to be pretty cute, you're not kidding anyone, Stan - you'll stare at her the same way you stared at Elina when you first met her and was struck by her. Come think of it, you really *did* stare - and in that moment you kind of neglected the fact that she smelled like what the pyjamas now smell like, deep and greasy and earthy and a little like flesh. A little like the steak that she brought you as a return gift. Nice of her to pick something you *can* eat, heh. > cont'd.
>>28351486But then if your revenge in school is to work, you already know fighting is not going to be enough. You can punch one person out - maybe you can even punch two or three. But that just makes you a violent pervert, someone no one will touch and no one will talk to as well. Is that what you want? It wouldn't be an improvement, would it? No, you'll need to learn how to *talk* to people. And since Tessa is a year above you and not entangled in all the arguments of your classmates, she'd be relatively neutral. That makes sense, right? But then if she's relatively neutral, why the hell does she want to talk to you? That makes *no* sense, Stan. She'll just ignore you. Then you'll sit there ogling her like the fuckwad you are, and now *everyone* in school will think you're the staring pervert. Your year, and the seniors too. Tessa's a councillor, and she's popular, and you know she'd tell. Look, you little coward, if you can't talk to her-Why do you *need* to talk to her? It's not like Elina won't talk to you anymore, right? She says she likes you too. What, are you two-timing? Stan, you fucking-You fiddle with the strap on your bag absentmindedly, trying to figure this argument out, when a voice renders the whole debate moot as it jerks you back into the world. 'Stan?' You wheel around. Oh fucking hell, it's Tessa, she's right in front of you, she's tall and a brunette and has little dashes of freckles on her cheeks and slim and- STOP, Elina would say, STOP. > What do/say, Stan? You're standing in a corner of the train. Tessa's probably headed for the loo or something.
>>28351506Oh hey Tessa! Going up north too?
>>28351506Fiddle around with your bag some more and mumble some unintelligible at her.
>>28351602>>28351615Seeing as it's a draw, > Roll d100 to keep from rambling/muttering. > Really, getting Stan to talk is like herding cats, eh?
>>28351506>try to play it down, yeah surprise seeing you here but its not like we noticed or anythingSorry who... oh Tessa, what're you doing here? Headed up north?
Rolled 36>>28351852I reject the stutter
>>28351877Suave Stan is go
Rolled 83>>28351852Socialize, Stan, socialize!
>>28351884>but its not like we noticed or anythingis San tsundere now?
> 83, 85: success! Well, damn - so much for whether or not to avoid talking to her. You realise quickly that she's taller than you, and that's without wearing heels or anything, since she's in sneakers. She raises one hand to hold a handrail, but it is another hand, pale and delicate looking and strong, which you feel clasping around your upper arm in a tight but gentle grip. Remember the advice, come on, take three breaths. Come think of it, how does Elina know to socialise? Or is the three breaths thing some advice she uses for other situations she's more likely to get into? Because other than you and Kelvin, she doesn't really go out, does she? Well, if it works... you look away and take your breaths, knowing that Tessa is looking at you with a little curiosity on her face. Then, when you look back up again, it's squarely into her eyes. No tit-gazing here, man, you're trying to talk. You want Tessa to talk to you. This isn't hard. You can do it. > cont'd.
>>28352160'Hey, Tessa. Sorry, I was miles away.''Yeah, you looked it,' she says. 'You all right? Going up north as well?'Ah, shit, that was your question! You nod while scrambling to think of another one. 'Yep. Going to see my dad who lives there. Nasty weather, though.''Well, so long as it doesn't delay the train...' Well, both of you can agree on that! You chuckle, following Tessa's cue. What is it about pretty girls? You consider her hair, which falls evenly on either side of her face, turned into little spirals cascading one from the other. It's beautiful. But... but it's artificial. That's all it is, right? People *make* themselves into pretty things. Well, up to a point. 'Anyway, I'm off to the loo,' she nods over your shoulder. 'But I'm sitting there.''Are you? That's nice. Well, have a nice... nevermind.' ... YOU HAD ONE JOB, STAN. But then you have an invitation too, and Tessa gives a little titter as she sidles past you. 'Yeah, I will.'You sit across from her seat, looking at her stylish bag. Your own backpack looks... pathetic. And then there is a little jolt, and the train begins sliding away from the platform, heading northwards. ... wait. Doesn't this mean you'll need to keep it up for another *hour*? But then, would it not be a bit of a pity if she's only on the train for 5 minutes after this? You recall your orientation fair, when Tessa was demonstrating the school dance as a councillor. That cardigan's hiding some lovely things. Remember *not* to say that. You hear her footsteps heading back. The carriage is empty, the weather is shit, and you're not completely alone. Wonder what Elina's doing now...? > What do/say when Tessa comes back?
Rolled 6>>28352210Your cardigan is hiding some lovely things.loljk"Y u goin up north?"
>>28352210Feel guilty we're talking to girls when Elina's not around, clam up. Read book.
>>28352210Don't discuss school.
>>28352210What's up north, do make the trip often, other small details. Let tge conversation die or continue naturally.>>28352276Elina is trying to improve us, she'd approve of us being more social. Nog like we're hitting her or anything.
>>28352210>we could actually try to socialize, she may be a year older than us but maybe having some older friends would help with our plan
>>28352254time to never forget to remove a dice roll again
>>28352378>>28352345>>28352306>>28352276>>28352254As the footsteps get closer, and pause momentarily while the train rocks about, you take the few moments you have to think of what you want to talk about - well, not that you'll always get what you want, but still. For one, you're really not eager to discuss school, even though it's... kind of the only thing you and Tessa share. Well, no, now it isn't, is it? You're both on a train going up north. She's not going there to take a nap, there must be a reason for it. You could talk about that. Maybe you could talk about your dad too, though probably let's not ramble about it. Who knows? Maybe she's going to talk about her dad. Perhaps she's also got a fucked up family? You can't tell, right? Also, once again, as you reach into your backpack for the book you brought and your hand grazes against the soft fabric of the pyjamas, you think about Elina. Wonder what she'd say if she could see you? Maybe she'd be glad. You think, you're reasonably sure about it, that she wants you to be... better, even if she expresses it in a weird way. She'd rather you hate her and hit her than be a bullied wuss, right? Even if that completely is not what *you* would rather? Then again, that one time you mentioned having more friends around Elina, her reply was silence, deep and foreboding. Damn. You remember Jeremy saying something about how once you pull one girl, you tend to become more attractive to all the rest. And then you have to choose between one or the other. Well, you'd know what to choose, you think. Maybe. The dog, bleeding from a crushed skull into the yellow soil. ... maybe. > cont'd.
>>28352535'Damned train,' Tessa mutters, which kicks you out of your reverie. Put dead dog away, please, and don't mention *that* either. She slumps heavily into her seat with a satisfied sigh, and then crosses her legs. Right, this time you should make the approach. It's a neutral question, right? It's not offensive, surely. Anyway, it's the same question as the one she asked you, kinda. 'So... you're heading up north too. Do this a lot?''Hmm? Oh, maybe every two or three weeks.' She shakes her head a little, the curls of rich brown hair swinging this way and that, before sitting back. 'Didn't know you made this trip too, though. A long weekend holiday?''Eh... you could say that. I'm visiting my dad, he lives up there.''Oh right... don't you live with him?'See, Stan, why do you even bother thinking about what would or wouldn't be offensive? All you need to do is to have a nice figure and good skin and a cute face, and you can ask this sort of shit and no one would think of being offended, right? 'Ah, well... they're separated,' you mumble, somehow thinking it's *you* who needs to hide away. 'Oh! Oh dear, I'm sorry.' 'Nah, it's... it happens, right? And you visit someone regularly as well, then?''Oh yeah. My sister. She lives with her boyfriend in the town, and sometimes I drop in.' Tessa smiles, revealing pearly, neat teeth. Her eyebrows are pretty prominent, you notice. 'Just to get in the way, eh?''Yeah, well, if they're fine with that...' Tessa grins. Okay. This is going okay. Come think of it, didn't Jeremy say he had a crush on Tessa?> Probe more about sister. > Probe more. (Write-in)> Talk a little about your dad. > Just let her talk. Not talking is a skill too, right? > Let convo die, read book. > Other.
>>28352693>> Just let her talk. Not talking is a skill too, right?
>>28352693> Probe more.> Just let her talk.Prompt her with simple questions, but let her talk as much as she wants about whatever. Do ask if sister is working or doing college.
>>28352783> Give a general idea of what you might want to ask about?
>>28352896Ask about sister, msotly.
>>28352896>>28352919This, as well as what she does during her visits. Also anything that naturally comes up during the conversation.
>>28352919>>28352783>>28352726You're not about to mention Jeremy, since he comes under the 'school' topic. And since there isn't much else to ask about for now, maybe you should just see if Tessa wants to talk. Stop rambling, Stan, just let things flow a little. Fortunately, this seems to work; Tessa sees your silence - and your appropriate looking at her face tactic - as a cue for her to continue talking. 'Yeah, no, they're all right with that. He's pretty chill. He's like twice her age, though, maybe even more. They met when she was working as a barista in summer.''Oh, right. So she's... in college now?''Well, kinda.' Tessa shakes her head. 'Now that she's got a rich dude, Penny isn't that into school anymore. Sometimes I think maybe I'm being sent there to make sure she isn't slacking too much, you know?'You nod. Getting sent to a certain place for someone else's purposes - well, that makes the two of you. Tessa's got a nice voice, at least; that's not something that's artificial about her. You do like deep-voiced girls, for some reason. Beats those squeaky-voiced girls. 'And what about you? So what do you do over there with your dad? Just chilling out?''Kinda, kinda. He's got a nice library.''You're a bit of a shut-in, aren't you?' Tessa laughs. 'Of course, I mean that in a nice way. I'm a bit of a shut-in too. I mean, partying all the time, like those guys do at Anton's apartment - can't do that. It gets you into trouble too, even if it's free. Like... have you heard about the case with that girl? Caitlin?'Oh *fuck*. Great, we're on about school now. And about something as serious as Caitlin, too. 'Uh... a bit...''It's terrible. They found scratches all over her.' Tessa shakes her head. 'But I mean, a girl walking alone in a park in M&M, half-drunk. It's not her fault, but how can someone be so careless?'How, indeed... oh god, if Kelvin gets into his rape and murder mood again over the long weekend... > What do/say about this, Stan?
>>28353123>> What do/say about this, Stan?Ask if they found out who did it.
>>28353123"Yea, parks around M&M have always been sketchy, but now? I wouldn't enter one at all after sundown." Clammy palms activated.
>>28353123Try to awkwardly talk about the case
>>28353123Yeah, you could say I heard of that case.
>>28353252>>28353259>>28353299>>28353428> Sorry, internet borked so I came home. Give me a few minutes before I type.
'I...' your mind is a blank, not because you know nothing but precisely because you have a pretty good idea who it might be. Shit. Now you'll have to talk about it without seeming like you know a little too much. ... especially since rumours are already beginning to fly about whether *you* might be the attempted rapist. Oh *please*! Caitlin? Actually. You... no, you wouldn't *rape* her, but you would, wouldn't you? And how many steps is it from there to 'you would indeed rape her'? 'You?' Tessa's clearly heard you and is waiting for the rest of your opinion. Great! Now your hesitation is obvious. You're clearly the guy who did it, right? Hah! You look up at her, and again she shakes her head. 'It's just terrible. And I mean, now I'm worried too. It's one thing to have gangsters, right?''Yeah... the parks have always been pretty dodgy,' you say quietly. Okay. Keep to that line. 'But that's not quite the same thing as a serial killer...''Precisely, precisely.' Tessa sighs. 'That's the thing. I've been trying to get the council to organise where people are walking home, so they can walk together in groups, you know? Everyone will keep a lookout for each other. Maybe we can get the sports teams in on this so people keep track. I just really don't want anything to happen.''That's a good idea, Tessa.' You mean that, nodding along. 'But then... if they go out partying...''I can't stop that, I don't think. Unless you have an idea.' Nope. You don't. But something she mentioned piqued your curiosity. You've been hearing about this Anton dude and his apartment where they have parties and dances going on now and then. Pretty wild stuff, too, apparently... > cont'd.
>>28353725'Nah, I don't know anything about those scenes,' you shrug, all your helplessness going into that little shoulder-movement. And then, as a little defiant footnote, 'don't really want to either.''Well, maybe if you go to one or two of those parties, you might change your mind. They *are* fun. People just... talking, drinking, and the shit people do when they're drunk, right...' Yeah, well, it's only worth talking about if you are worth talking about. Nice as Tessa is, this is a lesson she'll never learn, and that thought puts your mind oddly at ease regarding the little guilt you felt just now, socialising with her. No matter how nice these girls are, with their positions in school and their relationships and their fun, they'll never quite understand being *outside*. You know what it is. You're always *outside*. Elina knows what it is, too. And now you're outside together, which makes things a lot nicer. 'I guess,' you say nonetheless, since you have to nod at this sort of thing and make it look like you might like it. 'Mmm. It's where I met Steve, after all, and...' she blinks a little, then titters. 'Uh, that's my boyfriend, Steve. Anyway, it's funny. Neither of us are really the partying sort, and then one day both of us got dragged to the club, right... and we spent two hours sitting outside it where everyone was smoking, complaining about how daft it was. And that's how we got together.'You smile and nod. Steve... from the looks of it, it might be Softball Steve. Or maybe Poet Steve. No idea. 'What about you?' Tessa leans back, and for a moment her breasts push against the cardigan, becoming visibly more prominent. 'Any cute love stories or gossip? I guess we're in different years so our gossip doesn't really cross, but...'> What do/say, Stan? Aww, Jeremy's gonna be broken hearted. Then again it's not like he had a chance, as you well know.
>>28353837"People don't really share gossip with me."
>>28353837"Nah, us shut-ins miss out on the really juicy gossip, you know? I do follow the news quite a bit, though. You hear about what's happening in <other country/region>? It's pretty wild."Subject change time!
>>28353837I meet some one recently but is complicatebut i don't have any thing ells >>28353916
>>28353837Seconding this >>28353946
>>28353946>>28353965Agreed, let's not talk about the murder/possible rape with parallels to the murder/possible rape of our sister and about which we may know a bit TOO much.
>>28353965>>28353964>>28353946>>28353916>>28354123'What, me?' To your surprise, you find yourself having to resist the urge to start talking about Elina straight away - well, at least about the parts that don't involve mauling people and killing dogs and living with a serial killer. Come think of it, that covers quite a long list. Also, you don't really want to talk about the way Elina smells, and how that makes you, uh, aroused. Or the way she laughs, which is also adorable... and arousing. Okay okay, everyone gets the idea. 'Yeah, you. Are you drawing a blank, or just flipping through a really long list?''Nah, drawing a blank! Shut-ins don't get a lot of gossip, do they?' You smile a little awkwardly. 'I end up reading international gossip instead, which is the news. Like that huge flood in Europe...''Oh god, that...' You spend the next 20 minutes, as the train slowly slips out of the city's grasp and the scenery around you turns into industry and greenery, talking about similar things. Floods in Europe, and then the massive typhoon in the Philippines, and whether aid groups do much good at all. 'Look, I mean, a lot of the time we donate shit we think they want, and then it just ends up gumming up the system. It's ridiculous,' Tessa says, beginning to gesticulate. You blink at how much Tessa seems to know, and also - how much she seems to *care*. Interesting. This is what it's like on the inside, then? You see a glimmer of- of appeal in that. > cont'd.
>>28354189'But then, I mean, they mean well, right?' You find yourself a little surprised by that argument, and how much it makes sense. And it's a depressing thing to think, isn't it? Even the best-meaning people can do stupid things. And then things get fucked up, and whose fault is that? Even the good are evil. What more you, when you're not good and you know it? 'Well, it's meaning well that's one thing, but you also have to figure things out properly. Sometimes, the more you try to help...' Tessa shrugs, herself, and then smiles. 'Heh, it's nice to talk about this kind of stuff. Sometimes I try to talk to Steve - I mean, bless him, he's very nice and I like him a lot - but he's just like, not my business...'Better just let her continue. Boyfriend bashing is reserved for girlfriends, you know that much. Instead you look out and see the great expanse of forest, as the train crosses a bridge and you know you're just 5 minutes or so from Da's station. 'Also, Stan,' Tessa leans forward a little, 'what you said - it's not true. Shut-ins are the ones who get the most gossip. People don't pay you any attention, but that means you can spy on them, right?'... good point. The train eventually pulls into its destination, and you ask Tessa where she's going, and the answer feels like a slap in your face. 'Oh, Onraet Street, that's where Penny's boyfriend lives.'That's where your dad lives too. Uh. Would it be too far-fetched if-?> Let's walk there together!> Imma get milk for my dad first, and the market's like over *there*. > Other.
>>28354254>> Let's walk there together!
>>28354254>> Let's walk there together!Tell her the address that you're walking to as well, so it doesn't seem like you might be stalking her.
>>28354254> Let's walk there together!>prepping spaghettiDo we dare ask her sister's boyfriends name?
>>28354254> Other."Huh, I'm headed that way myself. What did you say Penny's boyfriend's name was?" I swear, if da got with a college chick, guh.
>>28354335>>28354302>>28354288'Right,' you manage to say, just a little too long after Tessa, so it becomes obvious you're thinking of something. Then again, you spent the entire train trip being like that, so maybe she doesn't see a problem in it anyway. But seriously, right. You know Onraet Street isn't very long, but still there's maybe 20 houses along that little stretch of tarmac. So... 5% chance? Heh, what are the chances, right? Haha, and Da, with some barista from... okay actually, seeing as he was 8 years older than Mom, that's not really something in your favour. 'Yeah, Onraet... and you?''Would you believe it, Tessa, my dad lives there too,' you say, and then the critical number - that number which is in gold in front of his dark green door - chokes on the way out of your mouth. Coughing as you make a few steps in that direction, you ward off the choking by offering to walk there together. 'Sure. It's so quiet here anyway on Saturdays. I bet everyone's still in the city or trying to struggle back in now. So which house in Onraet Street...'Haha, haha, you were, you know what's amazing, Tessa, you were just about to, what a coincidence, get to that! This time you cough beforehand, and then smile. 'Fifteen.'> cont'd.
>>28354380Tessa stops dead in her tracks, but it's okay, because the moment you see her stop, you also stop dead in your tracks. In a single moment, all the aches and pains you suffered yesterday with Elina - some of which you slept away, some of which Elina massaged away, and others you just kind of ignored - came back, twisting at your tendons and kicking you all around. 'You're kidding me,' she mutters. 'Fifteen. Your Da is Bill.'A hand appears out of nowhere and whams into your gut, and it takes a moment to realise it's an illusion and not make yourself look even more stupid. But, no, halt, you've got something to say. 'No, that's not... but I've never seen Penny before. When... okay, is Penny's boyfriend really my dad?''Unless there's two Bills living in 15 Onraet Street,' she says. Unlike you, Tessa's lips are curling at the sides, though there's nothing sneering about that - she just, in her infuriating but non-malicious way, seems to find this rather hilarious. There's *nothing* funny about it, though. Nothing! ... then again. You do recall seeing a little red bra on the floor once, when you were at Da's, and thinking that's a pretty sexy thing to be lying about. Da having a fling, though, that's like whatever. A long-term relationship with a college girl, though? Tessa points out the way, you nod, and the two of you walk along for a minute or so, past a grocer's and a kebab shop. 'Well,' Tessa says. 'This is a bit awkward...'No shit, Sherlock Poirot Holmes!> How do you react as you're walking there, now that you're walking there together?> Also, how do you react on seeing Dad? You bet Penny's going to be there...
>>28354499>Stay silent.>Act nonchalant.
>>28354499>Try to force a laugh, and then ask how long penny and Bill have been together for.>Act nonchalant but try to talk to dad alone asap.
>>28354499Follow Tessa's example, good-natured ribbing.
>>28354499change >>28354541 to>>28354585
>>28354499I'm up for>>28354585time to become super awkward secret friends
As far as step sisters go, you could do a lot worse then Tessa
>>28354669>"Hey Jeremy, guess who my sister is?"
>>28354585>>28354541>>28354527>>28354604It's a pretty damn long walk to the same place, but along the way, you begin to see the amusing side of this - just like with yesterday's little dog-killing fracas. Think about it! You met Elina, you were just about to say 'maybe if you were to be a little nicer about your family, then things could turn out well because they *can*', and then this happens! *Both* your parents get hooked up! You chuckle at the thought, and Tessa glances at you before seeing that as permission to laugh as well. The laughing makes the journey a lot shorter, both of you shaking your heads as you go. 'For *god's* sake, man,' you say. 'Well, I guess my sis is a bit of a gold-digger, eh?' Tessa replies. 'And my dad, well, I rest my case...'Oh, dear god, this is hilarious. Both of you shush each other dramatically when you approach 15, and then you nudge Tessa to ring the bell. 'No, you do it.''You do it! It's your sis!''You do it, it's your dad's house!' Okay, okay, before you start laughing out loud again, you stumble up and slam the button. And then, when Penny appears at the door - long, bared legs and a flat tummy and lovely bronzed complexion covered by denim shorts and a sleeveless crop-top - what she sees is both of you standing there, mouths writhing and trying not to corpse. 'PfffHAHAHAHAHA Hey Penny, oh GOD!''Is it the both of them?' You hear your Da say from behind. From behind, get it? AAHAHAHAHAHA> cont'd.
>>28354773It takes a few minutes before you finally manage to put on your 'Hey, Da, it's Stan' face - slightly serious, with a hint of filial love for your father, and some pffffhehehehehe. Sorry. All of you are seated in the spacious, white and green-themed hall, with its huge flat-screen TV and surround sound system, and a glass coffee table with a zen garden, and okay let's stop here. 'Right, right,' Da says, sitting next to Penny, his arm around her waist and hand on her thigh. 'Well, this was going to happen eventually, I guess. So yeah, well, you both know now.''Yep, I suppose we do,' you mutter. 'Well, I kinda knew it first,' Tessa says, shrugging. She looks a little like her sister, though now, before her, the younger one seems a bit... less gorgeous. Wow, it must be tough when it's like that. You used to know that feeling too, didn't you? Suddenly the sense of hilarity drains from you, and you feel like slapping yourself for letting a thought as dark as this intrude. You were just about to think this weekend could be relaxedly awkward and quite funny, too. But it's okay, Stan. Just don't *say* it, don't mention Cath, and we'll all be okay. We'll be fine. 'Stan. Are you all right with this? I mean...''Oh Da, it's up to you man,' you say, with a smile that is now a conscious effort. Damnit, Stan! And you said it this morning to your Mom as well. It's almost like everything's falling apart to compensate for your good luck in one area. 'I'm just curious - how long is this...''Just two months, so far,' Penny says. 'So far so good.'Yeah, you'd say that. > cont'd.
>>28354869After that little introduction, Da insists on some tea. Penny brings out a tray full of snacks, some of which you recognise are from the Ikea halfway between the city and the town - heh, you know a Swede who wouldn't touch that stuff - and you sit, rather quietly, while the others make small talk. 'So, Stan, how's school going?' Da asks you, and you nod. 'It's fine. Same old, same old.''Got a girlfriend yet?' He grins. 'Come on, you're a chip off the old block, aren't you?'You grin while considering the latest in self-vaporising technology, but Tessa comes to your rescue by talking about the never-ending rain, and you continue to sit there, being on the outside. Watching and observing. You can sense that Tessa is, despite her ribbing, a little stressed by this situation. And Da isn't doing much to help; he's practically painting the Mona Lisa with his fingertips on Penny's thigh, while she turns occasionally to peck him on the cheek. And again. And again, and again. Tessa glances at you, and you give a tight-lipped smile, and she shrugs slightly. After tea, you go up to your room to find that it's been redone with new furniture and a lovely, new double bed. Woohoo! Now this is a good thing, this you can do. Sitting down on it, bouncing a little, you suddenly realise why the room next to yours was always closed. It's Tessa's. Well, at least Da's got that bit of decency, eh? > Riiiiiight. Well, have a nap on the bed. > Close door and fap. So many pretty girls. > Go and talk to Penny. > Go and talk to Tessa. > Talk to Dad. > Go out for a walk (Write in for a general idea of where you'd like to go; you should find something suitable, or nearly.)> Other.
>>28354984> OtherI feel we should write a letter to Elina from here. Maybe inject a bit of levity to our relationship, its been tense.
>>28354984> Go and talk to Tessa. Ask her what she thinks about Dad and Penny as a couple, then ask her about Penny.
>>28354984>> Riiiiiight. Well, have a nap on the bed.
>>28355010How would we write her a letter? Do the mailmen deliver letters on public holidays? Do we have her email address? Besides, she said she'd settle things with Kelvin - how do we know she's still living at the same place?
>>28355032She's below us, we must know the address. Besides, if the letter's on the floor when we're home, then we know what's happened, right? Better than guessing.
>>28354984>>28355017I'll second this one.
>>28355017>>28355075Yeah, ask Tessa if this is as awkward for her as it is for us. Make it clear she's not the only one a little shocked by situation
>>28355010>>28355017>>28355023>>28355032>>28355045>>28355075>>28355120You go and plop down on your chair, belatedly realising it's also a new chair - a swivel chair, with ergonomic armrests and a slanty-back thing and really comfy. Bloody hell, it's nice working for big money, it really is. Then you unload your laptop, which looks decidedly matte and pathetic, on the desk, and connect it up, while trying to untangle this mess. No, no, Stan, you were right to see it as you originally did, which was as a bit of a funny situation. It might be weird, sure, for someone in his late 40s to be doing someone in her early 20s. But is it your problem? To be very honest, why would it be? It's not like you're a family anymore. It's not like your Da's got any promises to your Mom. It didn't even take anyone being evil to break all those promises, anyway. It's like being sad over a vase that got smashed ages ago. You could go and take a snooze, or... there's a notepad here, and the idea occurs to you that you could maybe write a letter to Elina. It's been a pretty hectic two days for the two of you - first it was all fun and games and Bish Bash Bosh, next you're running and covered in blood and you ask a stupid question and she seems to be entering negotiations with a serial killer. Between the two, you do know what you'd like. It'd be nice to write something funny to her. You also know the basement flat's address, since it's just B3, just like yours is 3. But then, it being a long weekend... you might well be home before the letter. If the letter gets there. ... if she's still alive by then, oh god, oh god... you force yourself to stop thinking about that, which also means giving up on the letter plan. Let's go talk to your possible future step-sister instead. That's safe, right? You're still acquaintances. Things might go well. And Tessa doesn't look like the sort to get easily covered in blood... not that you're complaining too much about Elina. > cont'd.
>>28355190Going to the closed, white door, you give it three knocks, smiling at how the action reminds you of a door in much worse shape. But unlike that one, this door opens smoothly, without creaking, and it opens in a jiffy. Tessa's changed into shorts and a loose-fitting t-shirt that almost covers her shorts entirely. That's a nice effect. Look away from the legs, dude. 'Yes, Stan?' 'May I...' soundlessly, she nods, and you're allowed in. This room has got a theme of blue and green, and you sit down in a green chair, looking at how neat it is. Does Penny maybe clean up for her sister? Or maybe she's just neat. Tessa sits on a corner of her bed. 'Okay. This is a bit of an awkward situation, eh.''Tell me about it,' Tessa sighs, rubbing her face. 'I mean, in front of them, I do kinda laugh it off. And I hope they haven't installed a camera in my room so they know how I feel about them.'Somehow you think there are more serious problems with a hidden camera than that, but you just keep quiet, looking at your hands. 'Well... so you think they're... problematic? I kinda know Da. With Mom, he was quite... disciplined, but then after they separated, well.' You're not about to go into details of why. > cont'd.
>>28355307'I don't know,' Tessa says, furtively. 'I'm not saying your dad is a bad person, by the way, Stan.' She sounds anxious to make that clear. 'I think he's cool as it is. But, see, Penny might not... know what she's getting into. She's only 22, right? She's still into, you know, parties, and shopping, and having fun, and I don't know. Maybe this will help her grow up quicker, or maybe she'll just break and then it becomes messy and all. You know, Bill gave her a pendant the other day, that was worth about $1,500. I checked.''What?''Yeah. I don't want Bill to either spoil her, or exert power over her. But I don't want her to hurt Bill or just treat him like a sugar daddy too. He's not that creepy sort. I think he really fancies her.' Tessa glances at you. 'He's not, right?''Not as far as I know.' Then again, you now set the bar pretty high for creepiness. As for really fancying Penny, though, you don't know. You'd like to say yes, but then somehow your confidence in people - even in your own father - isn't that high. Penny's young, she's got a great figure and a nice face - and maybe that's all there is, or maybe it's not, but maybe that's all Da cares about. There must be a time when he was better than that, but you don't know if this is it anymore. > What do/say? > You can explore the house if you want, with Tessa or alone, or go out. The town's not *that* small, and it's got amenities etc.
>>28355329>Go make some food.
>>28355329Ask tessa if she wants some food, then >>28355354
>>28355329>>28355364Agreed, cooking is our relaxation. I suppose we could offer to do something up for Da and Penny, too.
>>28355401>>28355364>>28355354> Another few posts, and I'm done for today, I think. > Thanks very much for playing! Tessa gives you a slightly amused and slightly stressed look, and both of you stop talking for a long time before you finally give a shrug. She follows suit. 'Well, suppose they'll figure it out.''Suppose so. Suppose there's nothing much we can do.''Yeah...' you get up. Maybe it'd be best to get out of Tessa's room before it feels a bit too weird. The smell of young womanhood, with its skincare and haircare and all that, is beginning to slip into your radar. 'Say, do you want any food? Maybe some lunch?''What, you can cook?' She smiles. 'I'm fine, though, thanks.''You haven't had any breakfast, though, I bet. Maybe some noodles? Salad? Da's kitchen's big, anyway.'Tessa's head bobs a little as she considers the offer, and then finally she gives in to the temptation. 'Right, okay... could you make me something like, a noodle soup of some sort?'Oh please, you could do that with your eyes closed. Well, maybe if someone did the cutting and the turning on the gas for you. Safety first, Stan, always. 'Yeah, sure. If there's noodles I'll make something.''Thanks a lot. Just yell when you're done, I'll come join you.' She rushes to open the door for you, as if your offer to cook for her has already made you some sort of hero. 'You know, you gotta teach me one day...'> And course I'll teach you. Tomorrow? > I don't think I've got much to teach... > Other.
>>28355483>> And course I'll teach you. Tomorrow?
>>28355483>> And course I'll teach you. Tomorrow?Why not, we have a weekend to kill.
>>28355483"Never really taught anyone before, but sure, if you insist. Tomorrow maybe?
@OP Thanks for doing the quest, it's well written and you write pretty fast given the content of each post.
>>28355498>>28355536You're really not sure you've got much that you can teach Tessa, unless she's a complete dweeb when it comes to the kitchen. And you can never tell with anyone about that. But on the off chance that she is... look, you've got an awkward weekend ahead, and worries about what's up back home, and let's relax. Let's fucking relax, the Stan way. So you grin at Tessa, hoping it's not too big a grin that looks like the 'Imma eat you up' sort. 'Yeah, sure. I mean, I've never taught anyone before, but if you don't mind... maybe tomorrow? Once I see what's in the fridge?''Yeah, yeah, sure,' Tessa says, then leans in to whisper. 'Beats sitting around awkwardly while they do their thing, right?'Yep, that too is something you can agree on. > cont'd.
>>28355601> Thanks very much! Glad you like it. Just then Tessa turns around quickly at her desk, and then says she's got a call, and you close the door and sod off. Dad's room is at the end of the walkway, with the library between his room and yours - a pretty spacious room, too, with a window installed in the slanting roof to let sunlight in - and maybe you should ask him and Penny also what they want to eat. It'd be nice if they all agreed on soup noodles. Soup noodles sounds like a pretty good idea in this weather, and given how bleak the town always looks. You know it's glorious when sunny, with reeds along the river and the distant hills for trekking and sheep-watching, but now you can't even see the hills even though they're maybe half a mile away, for the fog. You're just about to knock when suddenly the sound of girlish giggling comes from inside the room, and a moment later Penny's voice sounds. 'Oh, why not just here- ah, ahh!'Fucking hell- you sigh and lower your hand. The sound of those high pitched moans, of the pleasure that they signify, get to that part of your brain, though, and you feel yourself getting hard at something that's really a bit squicky to get hard at. It's your *dad*, mate. Well, it's with a really hot college girl, but YOUR DAD, mate... 'Ah, Billy, you little- ahhh, mmm...' Nrrghhh. > Stick around and listen. It... it sounds quite hot. > SOUP NOODLES PLEASE. > Go back to room, call Mom. > Do something on computer to de-stress. > Other.
>>28355678>> SOUP NOODLES PLEASE.Can't disappoint Tessa.
>>28355678> SOUP NOODLES PLEASE. And be loud in the kitchen. Maybe they'll get the hint, remember that they have company (not bloody likely).We're gonna guilty-fap to those sounds later
>>28355678>> SOUP NOODLES PLEASE.
>>28355773>>28355703Haha, hahaha, YES SOUP NOODLES PLEASE. You turn, trying hard to keep your appendage down, and trot downstairs. YES! KITCHEN! Ahahaha, look at all the stuff you can use to cook! And the radish - it doesn't imply anything! Neither does the firm, ripe, soft tomato, hahaha! Muttering softly to yourself, you quickly gather the ingredients you can think of that would make a nice noodle soup. There's udon, which is the best sort, and then leeks and tomatoes and a lovely packet of pork slices which you find. You sure hope it isn't Penny's stuff, though you do know that Da is quite into Japanese food... As you cook, making sure to make a little more noise than you normally would just to inform everyone that you're there in the kitchen, and meanwhile you start humming a tune which even you can't figure out at first. Wait a minute, isn't this... You sputter a little when you realise what you're humming. It's the Swedish Chef's tune! Hehe... bårga dycka du, lykki BÖRK BÖRK BÖRK! You yell that out, resist the urge to fling cutlery around, and then realise what's happened and blush. Okay. Okay. Soup noodles... It's easy, really, so easy that you're almost done and are getting ready to portion the noodles and soup into two nice, blue porcelain bowls when you hear someone padding down the stairs. Turning around, you catch sight of Dad, and choke. 'Hey, Stan,' he says. For someone in the immediate post-coitus, he sure looks... well-dressed, in a shirt and jeans with flipflops. 'Hey Da.''How're you?' He sits down at the chair, and you can feel him looking at you from behind even as you continue portioning and watching the cooking noodles. 'I think, aside from being uncomfy with Penny, you've also got something else you're uncomfortable about.'Damnit, dad. You can't hide things from him, you really can't - never could. > What do/say, Stan?
>>28355969"Regarding your earlier question, there may be someone that I am intimate with."
>>28355969>So...Penny..>How're things?>There might be someone, she's a little awkward in a good way. Things are just...weird right now i guess
>>28355969It's... there's this girl I like, but she's a bit weird. In a good way... but I think there's something really wrong with her...
>>28355969"Got a lot on my mind, is all. I'll let you know when I'm ready to talk about it, okay? Don't worry about it, it's nothing to do with you. And as far as Penny goes, I'm mostly just surprised. Gonna take some getting used to all this. Really, I'm fine. You want some of this?"
>>28355995>>28356025>>28356048>>28356052> This is the last post for the evening. The errands don't end. > I'd like to know your plans for Sunday, other than teaching Tessa to cook. Don't be shy to go out! The town is more boring than the city, but also quite a bit less stabby. Or rapey, or bully-ish. 'Eh?' You scoop the udon into the two bowls and chuckle softly. 'Man, there's no hiding anything from you, is there?''Course not. You're my son, damnit.' You pause at that remark. It must be the first time he's said something akin to this in quite a while, but you don't really know how to react to it. Is Da simply being kind now that he's let the family go completely, and is all happy and squeezy and getting sexy times with his girlfriend? Or is it just something fatherly and nice? Maybe if it was the latter, he might have done better doing this some time back rather than now? 'Sit down,' he says. Well, what else can you do? You obey. But to your surprise, despite the strangeness of the surroundings - new house, new furniture - it's still your dad, and it's still you. It only takes a little stewing before you finally spill the beans. 'I'm really okay,' you begin.'Yep, say that. Then you'll say all the reasons you're not okay.' You really dislike it when he's right... and you feel even more miffed when he is accurate. 'Is it girl issues?' Then again, is he accurate? Does he know you have the shit kicked out of you every now and then by bullies? Does he know that no one gives a shit about you, that you have hardly any friends, that the whole school hates you and that maybe some of them think you're a freak, a pervert, and even a rapist? Nope. Still. He has his pulse on that one thing. > cont'd.
>>28356135'I... yeah, kinda,' you hang your head, admitting it. 'It's a girl. Just met her a little while ago, and I like her.''So far so good. So how complicated is it?''What do you mean?''Well, if she doesn't like you, then it's simple, because you know what needs doing.' Da smiles and rubs his chin, transforming into his wisdom dispenser mode. 'But if she *does* like you, then it's bloody complicated, because then there's a million things that need doing. Which is it?'You- he- pffff, you know what, he's right. You even had that same thought earlier. 'Complicated.''Aha. Congratulations. So now you need a priority list.''You don't even know what I was going to say was the problem.'> cont'd.
>>28356207'It doesn't matter,' Da grins, then gets up to turn off the stove. Oh fuck, to think you forgot... 'it's just a list of the things that need doing. Is it something you have that needs changing? Is it something *she* has that might need changing? Is there something you need to talk about? Which one is the more pressing issue? Then focus on that and do what you need to do. Tadah, problem solved. Well, in a general sense.' 'She's weird, Da. And she's... awkward. And there might be something wrong with her, though I don't know what it is or how serious it is.' You sigh. 'And yet, despite all this, I do like her. She's kind and she means well, and she cares.''Have you got a name?'Pffft. 'Elina,' you mutter. 'Elina.''What you have, Stan, is a classic starting out problem. You like someone because you want to know more and more about her. But then once it turns out she likes you, then it feels like both of you are trying to dig at each other's secrets and what they are. And then it feels like you're undermining each other, right? And then there's stress. But look. If you like someone, you just have to hold off and give a little thought to what she wants. When she wants to tell you what she is, she will. And if she wants something of you that you can't give away yet, be upfront about that. See, if you're not comfortable about where you are, then neither of you will have peace. So you must be comfortable first. Get me?'... no, not really. Man, you've really inherited your dad's thinking process - except, being older, he's willing to say it out loud. But then on second thought, well, maybe. Elina was annoyed because you kept asking. Maybe she felt that if she told you too much it would threaten you... But then, what on earth could be such a secret it would *threaten* you? That she would want, so desperately, for you to be *safe*?> What do/say, Stan? > It's like 3 PM now. Lounge around or something?
>>28356233Yell out to Tessa saying the noodle soup is ready.
>>28356233>announce Noodle Time"Hey Dad, thanks for talking. And try leaving a hangar on the door next time at least"
>>28356233"Alright, so the key is to do whatever we need to to be comfortable with each other? What if what needs done is the opposite of what would be the normal response? And, how do I fix it if we've already pushed too hard?"> Sunday is exploration and teaching day.
>>28356267>>28356307>>28356333You look down at your hands, mulling over Da's words, and then suddenly realise a little problem with you and Elina hanging out. You enjoy cooking... but it's very unlikely, seeing Elina's rather unique eating habits (whatever they are), that you'd ever do much cooking for her. What else do you know how to do? You're still young, right? Maybe you can still learn something she'd like. But you don't yet know what she'd like to do, maybe other than play silly Funstation games. And now you kind of see what Da is getting at. Of *course* you want to know what Elina's into. You kind of have to if you like her and want to hang out with her. But what you know - that she doesn't eat, uh, a lot of things; that she can fight and is physically superb; and that she really, *really* doesn't like dogs - all that feels a bit like gazing into a single glimmer, on the reflection of a deep, alluring pond. It's not even the surface, right? There's something... a lot deeper, in there. And all your senses, which enjoy Elina's presence, her voice and her eyes and the feeling of her skin, don't seem capable of delving into it. 'So... whatever makes us comfortable with each other? But what if I... what if what I would normally do is not the right way? And is there any way of repairing it if I've already pushed too hard?' You get up. 'Also, TESSA! NOODLES!'> cont'd.
>>28357259No reply, save for footfalls. Bill pats your hand. 'Man, if you know her just a few days, you couldn't have pushed too hard. Be patient. Things will get better, eventually, eh? Also. If you can, maybe get her a little present, you know. It's not a woman thing. *Everyone* is a sucker for some material attention.'Well, judging by the girl he's getting laid with, he would know. But that'd be very rude, so you acknowledge Da's advice with nods and a grin. 'Now,' he gets up, 'maybe I should ask Penny if she wants something in her.''Christ's sake, Da, maybe leave a hanger on the door or a pair of slippers or something, please?'He gives you a salute and turns the corner, just as Tessa comes down. 'Man, that smells *really* good! What's it?' Her voice sounds a little less chipper than before, you sense, even though she's saying something more enthusiastic. 'Oh, just udon in a light chicken broth with some leeks. Garlic. Onions, tomato... some pork slices... and some mushrooms.' And- okay, okay, stop, Stan. More and you'll scare Tessa. 'Okay, that sounds really a little confusing, but it smells amazing,' she sits down and, leaning over, takes a deep, long sniff of the dish. Man, there's nothing that doesn't remind you of- 'okay, I could probably eat the hell out of this. Don't mind if I do.''Oh, go ahead,' you say. 'I could teach you this tomorrow.''Oh, that'd be wonderful *slurrrrp*...' A gift. Hmmm... > Roll d100 for memory. > I'll take the results whenever I run next. Twitter at @Stratocumulus1. > There's still quite a bit of afternoon; Da's house has a small library, a gym, a music room, and a basement as well. Oh man, basement...