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Jun 14, 2021 1:35 PM
A Caden and a Zeke in Citrouille.
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Zeke can tell precisely how distracted Caden is, and he finds it adorable - scoop? 

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Scoop!

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And then he can finangle the door open, and they can walk down the hall!

(There are posters on the wall, advertising that the hall meeting is in the common lounge, and the common lounge is right there. It isn’t a very long walk.)

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Or it wouldn’t of been, at least, if they hadn’t been interrupted.

A door to one of the rooms slams open, in front of them: a tall, thin, dark-haired, winged woman storms out of it.

”You’re a liar, a creeper, a cheater, a freak!” says a small, blonde woman, the other’s opposite in every physical respect, storming out after her while holding a bottle of wine. “You got no self-respect, no respect for me, no respect for anybody! You gonna waltz in on my space, and you gonna -“

“It is over, Barbara,” says the winged woman. “It has been over. I was merely returning your -”

”Don’t. Get out! Get outta here! Don’t go back in my hall again, bitch!”

”I see no need to ever return, and suffer again this unjust -“

The unwinged woman hisses, in the way that’s ordinarily reserved for snakes and cats and goblin-fruit derived snake-cats, and the winged woman huffs, walks past Caden and Zeke, and stomps down the stairs.

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... Caden is disinclined to interact with these two people in any way!

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Zeke agrees wholeheartedly.

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Too bad; the unwinged woman - Barbara, presumably - notices them, and lets out a little snort.

Happy new couple, right? Lemme give you a piece of advice - if they ain’t treatin’ you right, tell ‘em to fuck off, and tell ‘em fast. Hurts too much, if you do it different.”

She raises the bottle of wine, as if to toast this proclamation, and takes a deep, angry swig, before casually tossing it into her room, where it clatters. She gestures in the direction of the lounge.

”C’mon, kids; mommy’s got a floor meeting to run,” she says, stomping in the direction that she’d gestured at.

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“She’s totally our dorm supervisor, isn’t she.”

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“Um. Yup.”

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“Fun.”

And then, after a mildly awkward pause, Zeke continues walking into the lounge. 

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Barbara is sitting down on a stool, and there are about twenty other people, scattered throughout rather rest of the room. It seems overdone in about the same way that the dorm’s rooms are - lots of space, large furniture, hardwood floors and plush carpets, more leather and fur and intricacy than seems strictly necessary, oodles of house plants and porcelain pots containing plain dirt.

She steels herself, and applies a patina of excessive cheer.

”Hello! I’m your supervisor, Barbara die Weintraube; I’m ‘ere to welcome you to Citrouille Academy, because the imperialistic bastards who pay my salary decided to standardize witchy education, and because they don’t want you to get blood on the carpet when you kill each other. Lost cause, if y’ask me, but who cares. So! Introduce yourselves, don’t give a shit what order you do it, ‘n tell us whatever the fuck you want.”

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... Zeke sits down, positions Caden comfortably in his lap, and declines to be the first to speak.

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People continue declining to speak for several moments.

 

And then, from one of the many men in the room who’s taken the dress code’s pointed lack of commentary on shirtlessness as an invitation -

“I am Daiam Nârengi, third circle vampire, from the Land of Coffee; I am going to personally ensure that you are fired from your current position.”

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Barbara laughs.

“Good luck with that, doll,” she says, once she’s subsided to the occassionally giggle. “Good luck with that! Goblin-gods, got us someone with a sense ‘a humor, ‘ere, don’t we, should liven the place up!”

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“Thank you,” says Daiam, calmly.

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There’s another awkward pause.

 

”Um,” says a blonde girl, perched awkwardly on a chair. “My name is Julia. I dO NOT LIKE CONFLICT. And I like eating. And sleeping. And board games. And music. Um...”

She spends a few moments fidgeting, and then abruptly points towards someone semi-randomly selected.

“I REALLY HATE AWKWARD SILENCES OKAY YOU CAN GO NEXT AND CHOOSE SOMEONE ELSE WHEN YOU’RE DONE. PLEASE.”

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She’d pointed to the other vampire that had mated to their roommate, this morning, and who’d received a vague ‘we think that the spider pumpkins select for compatibility’ when he’d started menacing a secretary about how unlikely that was. He’s rather covered in swirls of blue tattoos, trailing down from his cheeckbones, to his chest and abdomen, to less visible regions, and he seems to have considered wolf’s ears and a wolf’s tail aesthetic enough to acquire.

“An interesting idea,” he says. “I might even go along with it. Alexander die Zitrone; I mated to my lovely, Jamie, this morning. And I can introduce the most relevant trait of my mate on his behalf; anyone who touches him without my consent is going to spend the next several hours most unpleasantly, and then they are going to die.”

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“... I also dance,” says Jamie - sitting close to Alexander without actually touching him, possibly as some sort of negotiated concession - while gesturing vaguely towards -

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- a woman, in a wooden wheelchair, sprouting flowers from both the wheelchair and her hair.

These little introductions are fascinating. She’s already started sorting her recently-obtained information into mental files - this lever to push, that lever to pull - like she’s a spider, and people are obediently handing her all the webbing she needs to wrap them up or let them fly - and she isn’t so keen on handing other people the threads they’d need to ensnare her, since she can already fly just fine -

“Della,” she says - quietly, oh so quietly, in the tone of someone who others strain to hear. “I can count the petals of a flower I picked when I was six.”

She taps the person next to her on the shoulder.

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- who rolls her eyes, and holds up a piece of paper.

 ‘Am Amaris Banane,’ reads the paper, in elegant calligraphy. ‘No speech, difficult writing, prefer not to use goblin fruit to compensate. Also think that pointing/gesturing is bad solution; go clockwise from here, skip over people who already went, instead. Easier.’

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The fellow in that direction from her, sprawled out casually on an oddly placed recliner - whose aesthetic decisions seem to include ‘having skin made entirely out of metal’ - snorts.

”Guess I get the baton, huh? I’m Sandy, if you use my last name I’m gonna to punch you in the face, if you fuck with me I’m gonna punch you in the face, if I fuck you I’m gonna punch you in the face. Any questions? No? Cool.”

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“Oh, honey,” sighs the woman leaning against a wall, to his right. “I’m about to blush. Save that talk for the wedding party.”

She turns to address a broader audience.

“I’m Henrietta Peach, second circle vampirette, Land of Milk, just pleased as punch to meet you all.”

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“... hi,” says the next person to go, smiling awkwardly. “I’m Summer Sagwa... I don’t know what to say. Sorry. I’m very boring.”

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“Marcus Ananas, also very boring.”

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“Marcus, darling, I think that you lose the ability to call yourself ‘boring’ when you paste someone’s furniture to the ceiling within five hours of getting to college- and I’m Melvin Jangmi! I actually consider myself intensely interesting - you may have read my paper on the influence of blue-tilting on the efficacy of healing fruit - everyone knows that goblin fruit tend to be more efficacious when grown in particular configurations and shapes, people tend to acquire an instinct for it over time, half the reason we’re going to school is to acquire a systematized understanding of the rules governing goblin-fruit-potency, but nobody actually knows the underlying rules, not in any concrete format - it’s more artistic than scientific, most days, and that is fixable, so any hint at a concrete, formalized, practically applicable formula is rather exciting.”

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