((Steven Salazar continued from Pretend This Thread Title is a Witty Lyrical Reference
Steven stepped into the journalism room, took one look around, and nearly walked back out.
It was clear, at a glance, that things had gone wrong in a hurry. There was Mara, standing off to the side. There were Claire and Jack, standing up. There was Zubin, the only seated person in the room. Everyone looked angry and confused, and Steven had heard some really harsh tones as he'd approached the room. The tape recorder in his pocket was already running. It wasn't exactly unusual for tensions to run high when it came to Aurora's journalism department; it was a popular program filled with strong personalities and ideas. Half the members were nice enough people but woefully deficient in the art of prose. Steven had to skip articles now and then to keep from rolling his eyes, and he'd said this a time or two. The staff knew how not to take stuff personally, or at least the ones worth their positions did.
So, he was expecting an editor to be reaming someone out for messing up there/their again, or maybe for some of the reporters to be disagreeing on how to spin a story. It looked, however, like this was a little bit more personal than that.
Zubin was probably the source of the chaos, since he was very definitely not a member of the newspaper crew. Steven didn't begrudge him that; Zubin had his fingers in every other pie around school, between his failed bid at class president and his leadership of several teams and clubs. It wasn't unheard of for students to spill into the journalism room during quieter times of day, especially if the computer lab was full or if, like Zubin, they were eating. There weren't usually people around the journalism room to scold people for risking getting food in the keyboards, and as long as the interlopers weren't disrupting actual newspaper business, Steven didn't mind their presence.
That was not a universal point of view. He really, really hoped things weren't about to come to blows. There'd been too much of that of late. All the computers were off, which wasn't a good sign. He had a few theories as to what might've happened, but that was less important than preventing this from spiraling into total chaos. The newspaper room was a room for professional behavior. It was dead fucking serious business, and Steven did have some stuff to work on. More than that, the last thing he wanted was for his compatriots to get a grudge going. That would make the rest of the year a real nightmare. Journalists never forgot wrongs, and while they could handle disagreements when it came to their work, clashes of personality were a little more likely to hurt feelings long-term.
"Someone's gonna have to run me through the Five Ws, 'cause it looks like we're all set to make the headlines, huh?" he said. "I thought I was the only one who liked being a part of the news. Slow week?"