the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

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    Lucina Alkire
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    the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:09 pm

    Luce was on her way to the eilemaiden training zone on the sports fields to meet up with Henrik Selway-Sommers, who she had managed to convince to come out with her here to practice their eilemaidens together. Of course, Luce didn't really need to practice her eilemaiden. The whole thing was just a pretense to hang out with him. He was such a shy kid, painfully so, but he seemed sweet as well. Luce wanted to get to know him, find out who he was underneath all that awkwardness, maybe get him to come out of his shell a little bit. It was like a project to her, or something.

    She was running fashionably late, so predictably Henrik was already there waiting for her by the Solas training section. She wondered how long he had been there. "Hey, sorry I'm late!" she called, jogging over. "You weren't waiting long, were you?"
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:29 pm

    Henri, stop. pacing. Lydia told him for the third or fourth time. They'd arrived at the field close to an hour early, and Henri had spent the entire time trying to find a way to leave. You will never think of a good enough excuse, and besides that, you're almost out of time. In fact, Lucina should have been there already, Lydia thought. Not that she was going to bring that up to Henri.

    "Listen, I just can't do this, okay?" he told her, stopping the pacing like she'd asked and taking a seat on a set of bleachers. "I am going to be nervous the entire time, I get all clammy and my words get all tied up and I just can't do this." He sighed and let his face fall into his hands. "Why did I think this was a good idea?"

    Too late, Lydia said with a smile. Henri shot up, dropping his hands to his sides and spinning to where Lydia was looking. Lucina was jogging over, a casual smile on her face. Gods, Henri felt anything but casual.

    Lucina wrote:Hey, sorry I'm late! You weren't waiting long, were you?

    Henri shook his head, used to keeping his voice to himself. Then, considering that might be rude, he added a bit too quickly, "No, no, not at all." He looked at the ground, unable to keep eye contact for too long.

    In the beat of silence that followed, he swallowed. "I, um, well, hi," he said, looking back up at her.

    That was awkward, that entire exchange. He was being awkward. Why couldn't he just speak normally?
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    Lucina Alkire
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Mon Aug 21, 2017 10:43 pm

    He looks like he's about to faint, Tuli pointed out, as if Luce couldn't see that for herself. Poor guy couldn't even look her in the eye for more than a few seconds. How did he function in the world? she wondered.

    "Hi," Luce replied, offering him a smile. She leaned towards him a little bit, feeling like if she got too close he'd dart away like a rabbit. "You okay? You still up for some eilemaiden stuff?" Henrik had said that he found his eilemaiden calming, so maybe he'd relax a bit as they practiced.

    That's a big maybe, Tuli said dryly. Luce playfully swatted at him, and he fluttered up and out of her reach.
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:07 pm

    Henri nodded before following with, "Yes. Yeah." He cleared his throat.

    Breathe. She's just a clio. A pretty clio, but still, just a clio. Lydia was calm and patient, hoping that she'd be able to help Lucina coax Henri out of his shell.

    "I've never been out here to practice by myself," Henri said, taking the opportunity to look away from Lucina and glancing around at the field and equipment. "My sister plays sports. Sometimes I have to come watch her play, but that's at the Adhbhar arena." His eyes trailed over some of the things that had been left out for students to work with. He imagined someone using the tools, taking their time to get stronger with their eilemaiden.
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    Lucina Alkire
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Mon Aug 21, 2017 11:30 pm

    "Haha, you 'have to'? Not 'want to'?" Luce asked. She followed Henrik's gaze around the field, looking at the Solas equipment. There were wires and giant circuits and huge lightbulb-looking things. Luce had used some of these things in her eilemaiden classes when she had to, but had never really needed the tools to learn or improve. It just came naturally to her. "I've never practiced out here either."

    If you did, you might be able to improve even more, Tuli pointed out. He had a point, but...meh. Sounded boring. She picked up one of the big lightbulbs and easily made it glow. The trick was to produce enough electricity to make the bulb glow without making too much and burning it out. Easy peasy.

    "Hm. Maybe we should go to the Ughdarras section," she said, tossing the bulb over her shoulder. Even Tuli gave a little start at that, but it landed harmlessly in the grass without so much as cracking. "I'd love to see what you can do."

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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:29 pm

    "I come when my parents are in town," he told her. While he could appreciate the work that went behind manipulating the various eilemaiden for sport, he could never quite get behind the competitive nature of it. The group watching wasn't really his thing, either.

    Henri watched with fascination as Lucina picked up a light bulb and made it glow. The filament in the middle hummed with electricity which Henri found beautiful. Solas was definitely a pretty eilemaiden. For a pretty girl. He stole a quick glance at Lucina's face as she stared at the bulb; she was beautiful in a very harsh way, and though it was obvious this Solas thing was easy to her, Henri could pick out the hint of concentration on her face as the light flickered on and and then off again. Lucina shrugged and tossed the bulb over her shoulder.

    Lucina wrote:Hm. Maybe we should go to the Ughdarras section. I'd love to see what you can do.

    "Oh, um, alright," he said, looking away from her with warm ears and hoping she hadn't caught him staring.

    The Ughdarras field had pools of water as well as a variety of objects meant to be used in conjunction with the water. Henri stared at everything, taking it all in. This was his first semester in his settled Ughdarras classes, and they had yet to make it out to the field to train.

    "Wow," Henri said, walking around and looking at all of the instruments and various pools of water. He forgot his embarrassment as he studied the stations that had been set up, then watched with patience as a snake of water float from the pool closest him, twisting slowly into the air. It was thin and shiny, and it slithered through the open air, moving toward what Henri assumed was some sort of water obstacle course. The line of water turned gracefully at each intersection, separated with ease around the forks, and then returned together when the paths converged. It was beautiful, the way the light rippled and shined on the suspended water, and the way the water flowed like the material of a scarf but never lost its formation. It went in loops, like some sort of silvery dance, twisting and glistening around the obstacles as Henri watched.

    When it had completed the course, it continued snaking through the air until it returned to the pool, not a drop wasted.

    Nicely done, Lydia told him, impressed. And here you'd been worried about using your eilemaiden with Lucina watching.

    Lucina! Oh gods, he'd been so caught up he hadn't even been thinking about the fact that she was probably watching him.

    He turned to look at her, hoping he didn't look as stupid as he felt. What had he even been doing while he was manipulating the water? He hadn't been paying attention to his body at all--he had probably just been standing there stupidly with a dumb expression on his face. He felt his face warm as he told her, "So, this place is kinda cool." Dumb. Stupid. Dumb. What were words, anyway?
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    Lucina Alkire
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Tue Aug 22, 2017 6:04 pm

    When Luce and Henrik got to the Ughdarras training zone, he let out a little "wow" and then seemed to momentarily forget she was there. His whole demeanor changed as he used his eilemaiden. He looked relaxed and maybe even, dare she say, confident? as he rather effortlessly maneuvered a snake of water through a complicated obstacle course. A far cry from the boy she had watched splash himself in the face a few days ago, and who struggled to string sentences together when face to face with a girl. It was a side of him she hadn't seen yet, and she liked it.

    Then he turned around, remembered she was there, and his face went bright red. Oh well, so much for that, she thought with amusement.

    "No, that was cool," she told him. Maybe a little positive reinforcement would make him less afraid of her? She kind of felt like she was working with a frightened puppy. She laughed a little and shook her head. "C'mon. What are you all embarrassed about all the sudden? That was impressive!"
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Tue Aug 22, 2017 9:58 pm

    He shrugged and bit the inside of his cheek. "It was fun," he told her, too embarrassed to take the compliment directly, but also feeling it would be rude to completely deflect it.

    He looked back around at the things they had set up. "They've got a ton of interesting things here," he said, taking the spotlight off of himself. He would definitely be coming back here, he decided. Whether or not he was willing to admit it to Lucina, he loved that she'd been impressed by his wielding. A warm feeling pitted itself in his stomach, and he liked the way it felt. "I guess they probably have cool stuff at all of the eilemaiden arenas." He wondered what they all looked like.
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    Lucina Alkire
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Tue Aug 22, 2017 10:21 pm

    Ah, he was talking in full sentences now. Positive reinforcement worked! "Let's go check them out," she said, looping her arm through his and starting to lead him to the next closest training zone, which according to the signs was Adhbhar.

    She could feel Henrik tense when she hooked arms with him, and wondered if he'd ever had any physical contact whatsoever with a girl before, besides her kiss on the cheek the other day. "So, Henrik," she said, wanting to start a real conversation. "I feel like I've known you my whole life without actually knowing you, you know? You're such a mystery." Whenever he and his sisters had come to the Solas estate, he'd always disappeared off by himself somewhere. "Tell me something about yourself."
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Tue Aug 22, 2017 11:27 pm

    Henri hadn't expected Lucina to grab his arm, and he stiffened for a moment after she looped hers through his. But somehow his legs started moving when she did, so he just went with it. His back was entirely too straight as they walked, to the point where it was uncomfortable, but he did his best not to show it.

    Lucina wrote:So, Henrik. I feel like I've known you my whole life without actually knowing you, you know? You're such a mystery. Tell me something about yourself.

    "Really?" A mystery, huh? He'd definitely never been called a mystery before. To him, it was everyone else that was the mystery; and right now Lucina was the biggest mystery of all--he'd never had someone talk to him the way that she did. Most of his classmates had grown up by now, but the majority of his socialization in early years came from them teasing him relentlessly about his awkwardness. Now they just mostly ignored him.

    "Um," he said, fishing around for something to say so he wouldn't look stupid not answering. "I like to read?" Why did that come out sounding like he was asking her if he liked reading? He felt his cheeks get warm again. What else did he do? Everything he liked to do was so lame by common standards--reading and studying and learning. "I mean, I guess I don't know. I mostly just, like," he was drowning, not sure how to get back on track. "Learning."

    What do you like to do? Lydia supplied.

    "Um, what about you? What do you like to do?" he asked, feeling a little less panicked now that he had made it through his horrible garbled mess.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Wed Aug 23, 2017 4:24 pm

    Hrrmph. Of course Henrik would supply the one fact about himself that she already knew; he liked to read. Everyone knew that. "Well, I know that," she told him, playfully nudging him with her elbow. "But I also know there's more to you. Like, uh, what do you want to do after you graduate? What's it like being the son of an overloridian? What's your deepest, darkest secret? That kind of thing." She was mainly just being rhetorical and giving examples of things she didn't actually know about him. And of course the last one was a joke.

    Henrik wrote:"Um, what about you? What do you like to do?"

    "Oh, you know. All the cliche fun girl things," she said with a short laugh. "Going out, travelling, exploring. Oh, one kinda different thing is I really like card games. Like poker and stuff. The Solas Estate security guards used to play on their off hours, and they taught me how when I was younger." That had been fun. The first time she'd watched them play was a night she'd helped sneak out Kinley, who wasn't allowed out after dark. The two girls stayed out all night with the guards, after they promised not to rat Kinley out. Luce kept going back after that, and once she was old enough they even let her gamble with them. She'd won (and occasionally lost) quite a bit of money that way.
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    Henrik Selway-Sommers
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Wed Aug 23, 2017 7:43 pm

    Lucina wrote:Well, I know that. But I also know there's more to you. Like, uh, what do you want to do after you graduate? What's it like being the son of an overloridian? What's your deepest, darkest secret? That kind of thing.

    Henri felt himself panic at the questions. He wasn't sure how to answer, especially not when he was given so many things to think about at once, but was saved a little when Lucina started to answer his returned question.

    Lucina wrote:Oh, you know. All the cliche fun girl things. Going out, travelling, exploring. Oh, one kinda different thing is I really like card games. Like poker and stuff. The Solas Estate security guards used to play on their off hours, and they taught me how when I was younger.

    Henri would never be able to compete with the adventurous hobbies. The things Lucina listed off reminded him greatly of his sisters and mother. The card thing was definitely something he felt more comfortable approaching, though. He, too, could appreciate a good card game. Anything that involved logic and strategy was very soothing for him, and some of his favorite evenings growing up were spent in his father's study with the two (or sometimes three, when his mother was able to join) of them playing games like cards or chess. There was a time he'd tried playing chess with Senna, but she was too competitive and it sucked the fun out of it.

    "I like cards," he told her, happy to give her something about himself (even if she'd shared, first). "I mostly play alone, though."

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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:14 pm

    Henrik wrote:"I mostly play alone, though."

    Shocking, Tuli deadpanned.

    Oh, shush, Luce replied, amused.

    "Well, you're missing out," she said aloud to Henrik, glad that they had found some common ground. Sort of, anyways. She'd take a group game like poker or rummy over solitaire or whatever any day. "It's more fun with at least one other clio. I know you don't like clio, but trust me on this."

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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Wed Aug 23, 2017 8:50 pm

    Lydia arched a kitty eyebrow. Ask her if she wants to play sometime, she all but demanded. Ask her.

    Henri swallowed. "Maybe--maybe sometime," he started, before unceremoniously tripping on a rock. He stumbled forward, pulling Lucina down with him. Oh gods, why???

    "Oh, gods, I am so, so sorry," Henri sputtered. They'd fallen in the dirt, having just arrived at the edge of the Adhbhar arena. Why hadn't he been looking for rocks? Of course there were rocks. It was ADHBHAR. "I wasn't looking, I'm sorry." It wasn't a big deal, he knew it wasn't a big deal, but he felt like such an idiot. "Are you okay?"
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:10 pm

    Henrik wrote:"Maybe--maybe sometime-"

    Luce looked over at Henrik expectantly when he piped up, sounding like he was maybe going to ask her to play sometime, when all of the sudden he tripped. And since her arm was still hooked through his, she was going down with him.

    They both tumbled into the dirt at the Adhbhar zone. After the initial surprise, Luce surveyed the damage; she was covered in dirt, but otherwise unharmed. Beside her, Henrik was frantic, apologizing profusely. "Henrik. I'm fine," she said, almost wanting to laugh. You'd think he had just stomped on her daemon or something. (Hey, NOT funny. -Tuli) "It's just a little dirt."

    She got to her feet and futilely brushed herself off. She held out her hand to help him back up. "Now, what were you saying before you tossed us both into the dirt?" She smiled, hoping he'd realize that was a joke. Attempting to joke with Henrik was a bit like navigating a minefield.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:33 pm

    Henri slapped a hand to his forehead. Why was he the most cringe worthy clio on the entirety of Amelia? Lucina sounded ready to laugh at him as she tried to reassure him she was okay. When she stood up her pants were still covered in the dusty dirt that covered this field.

    He let her help him up, feeling like the lamest clio alive. He couldn't even walk in a straight line without falling over, apparently. And it wasn't like he was exceptionally clumsy or anything--he just had the worst luck, the worst anxiety.

    Lucina wrote:Now, what were you saying before you tossed us both into the dirt?

    Her voice was playful, but Henri couldn't help but offer a last, "I really am sorry, I don't know how I didn't see that there, I don't know what I was thinking."

    Answer her question, Henri! Lydia said, trying like hell to get Henri back on track.

    "I was just, I thought, maybe, if you wanted, we could play cards. Not now, obviously. Maybe later, some other day."

    At this point even he didn't want to play cards with himself, so he waited painfully for her to make up some excuse why she couldn't. He wanted to look away instead of staring at her, but she was so pretty, even with her dirt covered jeans. Or maybe she was more pretty because of the dirt covered jeans; they suited her. And there was a bit of dirt on her nose, which somehow suited her too.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Wed Aug 23, 2017 9:48 pm

    Luce had to try really hard not to roll her eyes when Henrik apologized again, but she managed. But then, then he actually managed to ask her to do something with him! Specifically, to play cards with him. The way he asked was jumbled and stuttery, but still. And he was even looking her in the eye. Aha, he was making progress.

    "I'd love to," she said, holding his gaze. "How about Saturday night?"
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Wed Aug 23, 2017 10:38 pm

    "I--wait, really?" Whatever he was expecting, it hadn't been that. He waited a second and then said, "Um, Saturday works." The pit of his stomach, where his almost constant state of anxiety usually lived tight in a ball, felt suddenly lighter. A nervous sort of smile spread across his face.

    Good boy, Lydia thought to herself.

    He turned to look at the Adhbhar field. This was the field Senna played on, often. It was different now--they must change the landscapes out a little bit depending on what the areas were being used for at the time. Now it was littered with rocks and boulders of different sizes. Instead of the grassy fields that Solas and Ughdarras had shared this one was covered in dirt and sand. It was almost like a desert or something.

    Henri ran a hand along a giant boulder of some beautiful, polished rock. "Adhbhar can be so beautiful," he said.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Thu Aug 24, 2017 4:49 pm

    "Great. Saturday it is, then," Luce said. Henrik was actually smiling at her. She was pretty sure it was the first time she had ever seen him smile. He had a nice one.

    She looked out over the arena as Henrik described it as beautiful. "If you like rocks, I guess," she said with a little laugh. "Nah, I'm just kidding. It is pretty in its own way, isn't it?" Some of the boulders were polished and shiny, and marbled with color. She couldn't imagine wielding Adhbhar, though. Earth just seemed so immovable and unchangeable.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Thu Aug 24, 2017 8:58 pm

    "I think all the eilemaiden are," Henri said thoughtfully. He'd been interested in them all from a very young age, and had spent a considerable time studying each one. "My dad, he's Adhbhar, and he and my mom are like these amazing gardeners. I didn't realize when I was super little that it included rocks--I thought it had more to do with the garden." He'd always thought of it as a gentle eilemaiden.

    Now that they were walking around the arenas he was curious what the others looked like. What would be at the Earalas one? Or Cuir? He had a feeling the Nadar one would be much like, well, Nadar.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Thu Aug 24, 2017 9:24 pm

    "Seems appropriate that the overloridian family of Nadar would be good at gardening," Luce said, absent-mindedly kicking a small rock across the sandy arena floor as they trekked through. She didn't know much about gardening herself, aside from the fact that you had to water plants to keep them alive. Solas was known for its beautiful wildflowers due to the sunny and temperate climate, but actual gardening wasn't as big a thing as it obviously would be on Nadar. "I guess being Ughdarras probably helps with gardening too?"

    They exited the Adhbhar arena and started walking to the next one. Luce wondered why she'd never checked all these out before, they were actually pretty cool! Then they passed a sign that read 'WARNING - STUDENTS ARE NOT PERMITTED TO USE EILEMAIDEN ARENAS WITHOUT PERMISSION OR TEACHER SUPERVISION.' Oops, heh. She hoped Henrik hadn't seen it, it would probably make him wanna leave.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:00 pm

    "Maybe," Henri said. "Well, hopefully," he added, feeling the all too familiar sense of his ears burning. For years, one of his favorite things to had been watching his parents garden. It was a quiet activity, something that Henri appreciate, and he had always loved sitting with his mom and dad, surrounded by the beauty of the Nilsley Garden. Both his mom and dad had tried helping him learn too, so he could garden with them. But, try as he might, he had never been able to keep anything alive. He was horrible at it, actually. Horrible at gardening--what a joke. Like Lucina had said, you'd think the family of the Nadar overloridian should be good at it.

    "It's partially why I picked Ughdarras," he admitted sheepishly. "I'm kinda...not that great at it. Gardening, I mean. I thought maybe Ughdarras would... I don't know."

    Henri was so preoccupied with trying to converse with Lucina that he totally missed the warning as they walked past.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Thu Aug 24, 2017 10:25 pm

    Luce looked at Henrik for a second, and then couldn't help but let out a giggle. "Sorry," she said, knowing he would take it the wrong way. She couldn't help it though, it was just plain funny. The Nadar overloridian's kid couldn't garden. "I'm not laughing at you, I promise. It's just--come on, you have to see the comedy in that."

    They arrived at the Cuir arena next, which began with a ladder that led up to a tall platform. Luce looked up and saw what was essentially an obstacle course in the sky. How freaking cool was that? She hopped up a few rungs up on the ladder, hanging on with only one hand and one foot. "You scared of heights?" she asked.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Henrik Selway-Sommers on Thu Aug 24, 2017 11:10 pm

    Henri couldn't appreciate the cute giggles because he was too busy focused on the fact that he was being laughed at. It reminded him of all the other clio who had laughed at him, and for all the different reasons. Lydia felt him pulling into himself and sighed.

    Lucina wrote:You scared of heights?

    "Yes," Henri said, because he was. "I--I'm not sure that looks, well I don't think that looks safe." Definitely not for someone who couldn't fly, anyway. The Cuir arena was unlike any of the others, in that half of it was suspended in the air. There were objects laying in baskets on the ground, too. Things that were probably meant for pushing through the air or something.

    "I...I think I'll stay down here," he said, noticing that Lucina seemed to really want to climb up the ladder. He definitely was not taking a foot off the ground, though.
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    Re: the date that wasn't a date -henri2-

    Post by Lucina Alkire on Fri Aug 25, 2017 7:46 am

    Luce looked at Henrik for a second before hopping back off the ladder and walking over to him. "Hm, maybe we should just head out," she said with a shrug. The fact that he was afraid of heights and didn't want to climb the platform didn't bother her--lots of clio were scared of heights. It was how goddamn sensitive he was clearly being over her giggling for three seconds about a silly situation. She liked Henrik, she did. He was sweet and nice and intelligent. But she was getting kind of tired of walking on eggshells to keep him from getting upset over something tiny. She still wanted to hang out with him, but she'd had enough for today. "I'll still see you Saturday?"

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