Shinin'

Jilly
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Jilly
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Joined: April 14th, 2012, 4:13 pm

February 25th, 2013, 3:48 pm #1


"Shake". "Sh-bo-body". Drop. "Bod-s-sh-body." Drop. Sweep. "Nothing ever staaaaays~". "Body". Drop. "Sh-sh-shake". Drop. Another sweep. "Feel the nooooiiissseee~". The sweeper resets.
((Megan Emerson continued from Joy))

The hypnotic house beats of "SHAKE YA BODY" filled Megan's ears as her fingers dashed around the PSP's button pad. Ah yeah, this was all she needed as a break from getting ready for the senior trip in a few days. Lumines in the park on a somewhat cool late spring afternoon while waiting for Gavin to show up. The perfect setting.

She took a moment to pause the game and check the clock - okay, he should be here in a few minutes. Just enough time to get through this skin and the next. But first, time for a break. Megan leaned back in the park bench as she lowered her headphones onto her neck. She took a quick scan, but no. Gavin wasn't here yet.

This was why Megan always made sure to be several minutes early for any meeting. Well that's actually a lie, since her nervousness about just being "late" has a part to do with it, but mostly it was for this sense of relaxation. No worrying about how someone will react to you being late. No worrying about how to get there in time. No worrying about anything; you just get there and admire the scenery. Plus, you can relax with some rounds of a favorite video game. Yes, it was just...sublime. Yeah, that's it. Sublime.

Even on this light-orange late Sunday afternoon, there were a few people around. A few cyclers using the bike path. Some random children playing. A woman running with her border collie. A couple making out...okay, that was enough for admiring the scenery. Back to Lumines.

Megan readjusted her posture and her white headphones and resumed her game. Oh yeah, here came the part with the acoustic guitar sample. It was definitely the best part of this level's music.
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Joined: January 28th, 2012, 4:09 pm

February 27th, 2013, 2:41 am #2

((Gavin Hunter, continued from A Tree Grows in Seattle))

Change is not something that comes easily to the autistic brain. It tends to be fought both consciously and subconsciously until it has inserted itself as an unalterable fact in the psyche.

Some might argue that Gavin's life was one of constant change, what with his active lifestyle and nearly obsessive-compulsive fixation with dangerous weapons that often took him well outside of Seattle in order to get reasonable usage out of. But underneath it all was a firm, regimented order that Gavin adhered to with almost religious fervour. Things happened at their duly appointed time or never at all.

The school trip was one of those little things that Gavin didn't want to consciously accept. The journey itself was not an issue; Gavin positively relished the idea of getting away from Seattle for a while and seeing other parts of America. The issue was that the trip was almost a physical representation of the thing that Gavin most feared; upheaval. When he returned, the reality of adulthood would be unavoidable.

Not that Gavin was some totally introverted loner desperately scrabbling to hold onto a life of dream-like security punctuated by gunshots, ho no.. Even the most neurotypical (how he loathed that word) teenager would be shaken by the prospect of imminent transition from childhood to adulthood, Gavin just took it a little harder than most.

That was the reason he was here right now, in Centennial Park. If there was one way to assuage his fears about the future, it was to spend time with a friend. Gavin had decided that if he was going to recall this time in his life as one of great change, he might as well also flavour it with some good memories. Few things generated those better than time spent with Megan Emerson.

The late afternoon sun was warm on Gavin's shoulders as he strode through the park. He was wearing his trench coat, but the cool breeze and a light shirt made the heat quite bearable. In addition, he had scrubbed until the flannel had applied for political asylum, shaved until his razor was blunt and finally emptied half a bottle of shampoo over his head.

Now feeling sufficiently clean enough to meet with Megan's approval, Gavin looked for her among the greenery and passing couples. He was carrying a small bag that hung around from his wrist as he walked, filled with cakes that his mother had baked early this morning. He considered them to be fitting payment for her agreeing to meet with him this Sunday afternoon.

After a minute of searching, he spotted Megan sitting at a park bench some distance away. A smile formed on his face as he changed course to rendezvous with her position. He timed his stride so that she would have time to look up and spot him before he allowed himself to turn and slump onto the empty space beside her. A greeting seemed pointless while she had her headphones on, so he gave her a chance to reach up and remove them before he spoke.

"Wonderful to see you here, Megan, glad you could make it. How've you been keeping?"

He surreptitiously placed the bag of cakes off the one side as he spoke, deciding to get the initial greetings out of the way before he brought them into the equation. Neither of them were in any kind of rush, there would be time to savour the labour of his mother's hands in a minute.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Jilly
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Jilly
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Joined: April 14th, 2012, 4:13 pm

February 28th, 2013, 4:48 am #3

"SQUARE DANCE"

As the synthesized voice announced the next skin, the game board changed appropriately. Megan figured this would be a good time to check the clock, so she did - and now it was time. She glanced up from the game screen and saw the guy in the trench coat approach her. Yeah, it was him. Gavin Hunter, right on time as always. Megan gave him a smile in return as she moved over and let him sit next to her.

She turned off the system and took off her headphones, returning them to her backpack slouched on her side of the bench as she replied to his question. "I'm 'aight, I guess. Just hoping that my exam grades won't be too bad." After she was done fiddling with her bag, she nodded her head and continued, "Ya know, same old end-of-year anxiety...can't wait for Disneyland, though."

It was at that moment that Megan noticed how Gavin looked today, what with his trench coat and clean-shaven-ness and shit. She felt a little guilty that she never "tried" as hard as he did. Like today, she just slapped on a generic olive green hoodie and a pair of blue jeans, and that was it. Maybe it was just destined to be this way, and it didn't help that Gavin didn't seem to really care about their clothing dissonance. Then again, he had clothing dissonance with most people at Aurora, so it probably didn't matter anyway, right? Unless he never said anything because he didn't want to hurt her feelings. Or maybe he really just didn't care. Whatever, it didn't really matter.

But wait a moment...Gavin brought a bag with him. Was there something in it- oh, wait. Durr. Of course there's something in it, dumbass. No one goes around with an empty bag. It was probably just books or something. Still, though...

Megan shook the thought out of her head and reflected Gavin's original question back at him. "But yeah...what about you? I haven't seen you all week. You've been busy?"
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Joined: January 28th, 2012, 4:09 pm

March 1st, 2013, 3:33 am #4

Gavin pondered Megan's question for several seconds before answering. In most ways this week had been like any other, unless you added in the odd bout of near-panic at the thought of the impending trip and all it signified. Eventually, he answered thusly; "Yes, I have been busy. I'm sorry I didn't contact you much in the week; I've been rather caught up with preparing for the trip myself."

He grinned ruefully before continuing; "To be honest, the trip is pretty scary for me. It represents such a big change in my life that I'm not totally sure that I could ever be ready for it." Well, there goes the understatement of the century.

Gavin paused at this point, letting the pensive look on his face tell Megan that he wasn't quite finished yet. Part of him wondered if he really should unload all this on such a seemingly carefree soul as the one Megan possessed. After a brief moment, he decided to hell with it. "That's actually the reason I asked you out here today. With all that's been going on in my head recently, my hobbies just aren't clearing away the stress like they used to. Your company is all that does that."

With a slight theatrical flourish, Gavin brought the bag up from his side and opened it. He then reached inside and pulled out a freshly-baked chocolate chip muffin, wrapped in grease paper to keep it intact and still warm from the oven. He handed it to her with a smile of equal warmth. "These are for us to share; hopefully they'll make listening to me complain about impending adulthood slightly more bearable."
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Jilly
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Jilly
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Joined: April 14th, 2012, 4:13 pm

March 1st, 2013, 6:29 am #5

"...I see." That was all Megan could make out. But what else could she say without being somewhat inappropriate? It's not like going to Disneyland is a life-altering event unless you were terrified of the animatrons on Jungle Cruise or something. Sometimes Gavin could just blow stuff up out of proportion.

Then again, how could Megan really understand? She never really knew where he was on the autistic spectrum; obviously he was high functioning, but some stuff must get through, 'change' anyway...

Megan nodded after Gavin confessed his intentions. Maybe it was just her innate codependency, but was certainly very sweet for Gavin to say he enjoyed her company. She certainly enjoyed his, too. She liked having a friend so close to her outside of her own family...but wait a minute. Wasn't he just bring up "change" a minute ago? He wasn't about to...nah. Couldn't be.

And then there was the grand reveal of the contents of the bag. Megan's eyes widened as he pulled out the chocolate-chip muffin. No...no...no...not today. This wasn't happening. No...please, no...

Megan bit her lip as she eyed the muffin. Damn, was that a fine lookin' muffin. Smelled good too. Whoever made it obviously was a skilled craftsman. But what would she be saying if she accepted it?...but what if she rejected it?

Decision time.

Megan hesitantly smiled and accepted the paper-wrapped muffin from Gavin's hands. "Thanks...it looks good..." She held the baked good closer to her face and continued on, "No nuts, right?" She couldn't bring herself to take a bite out of it, though. Not right now.

After a hesitant pause, Megan met Gavin's eyes and asked, "So...what's worrying you about 'change'?"
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Joined: January 28th, 2012, 4:09 pm

March 2nd, 2013, 10:23 pm #6

As he looked into Megan's eyes, Gavin paused to reflect what a tremendously lucky – no, fortunate person he was. Admittedly, it was rather a cliche thing to think, but sometimes even cliches could be accurate at describing a situation. His feelings at that moment were a mixture of apprehension and relief; apprehension that he was coming on too strongly, and relief that Megan didn't seem to think so.

Despite this, Gavin felt it best to return to more philosophical matters. Her question had pleased him, and he felt his mind shifting into high gear, dissecting the issue and spitting out a result. He took a deep breath and began to speak in his best scholarly tones; "Change is something that I find hard to deal with. The trip represents the last major event in my life before I leave school, and thus I find it difficult to treat with anything less than apprehension. While I'm eager to leave school and explore the opportunities that adulthood provides, the prospect of it having to change my routine after so long is one I find it very hard to come to grips with in any other terms but fear and uncertainty. Do you see?"

Hey, wait, haven't you forgotten something?

"Oh! No, there aren't any nuts in these." He added hastily, feeling a bit embarrassed. Was he blushing? No, no, he didn't seem to be. While he waited for Megan to formulate a reply, Gavin reached down into his bag and plucked a second muffin from the warm recess. He unwrapped it delicately, letting the soft chocolaty scent fill the air. Gavin knew his mother to be an excellent baker, and any opportunities to sample her produce were ones that Gavin was quick to capitalise on.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Jilly
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Jilly
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Joined: April 14th, 2012, 4:13 pm

March 3rd, 2013, 2:51 am #7

"Last" major event before he leaves school? Whew...Megan's nerves relaxed after Gavin went on his spiel about his fear of change. It appears that only that was on his mind, nothing else, or at least nothing that would be overly awkward.

But rather than responding back with a philosophical view on change, Megan responded with a laugh. "You're so funny sometimes, Gavin. Here we are about to go to Disneyland, and you're going into philosophy mode over the concept of 'change', and it's just-"

Instead of continuing that train of thought, she closed her eyes, shook her head, and started on another. "...I'm sorry, I shouldn't have laughed. It's just...I dunno. I get scared of change, too. Or at least the 'fear' of change. But at the same time (without meaning to sound like an after-school special), change can be a good thing. I mean, you have to change if you want to be better at something, right? You can't just expect the world around you to accommodate for your fears. And besides..." She shrugged her shoulders. "New experiences can be fun, ya know? Sometimes you have to just dive right in, head first." A smile formed on her face as Megan's eyes squinted.

"Diving right in, head first?" That was kind of a hypocritical thing for Megan to say, wasn't it? She certainly never thought of herself being a super adventurous person, but still. Anything to make Gavin to feel better.

Megan nodded her head and continued on, "I can see where you're coming from, but...sometimes it's better to not think about something so much, ya know? And if it starts getting to you, take it out on your armory or something. Don't be a gloomy Gus...at least not all of the time."

With all of that said and done, she took another look at the muffin grasped in her right hand. Now that she knew that Gavin wasn't trying to kill her with her tree nut allergy, she felt safer eating it. But still, one last question was on her mind before she could feel satisfied to devour it. But first, she gave Gavin a chance to respond. Then she'd ask her question.
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Joined: January 28th, 2012, 4:09 pm

March 4th, 2013, 8:09 pm #8

Contrary to what she probably assumed, Megan's laughter was refreshing to Gavin The more time he spent with her, the more he realised that his attraction stemmed not from her ability to match wits with him (and she certainly could at times), but from the lightness of tone she could infuse into discussions that he otherwise found it impossible to take less than seriously.

"You're right, of course." He said at length. "Change isn't always a bad thing, and it can even be very pleasant at times. I just don't have all that many ways to distract myself from it."

Turning his head to look Megan in the eyes again, Gavin reflected briefly on why he was here and not back at home doing just what she had suggested. He had no immediate answer. Maybe it was the novelty of her company over that which he experienced every day. On the other hand, maybe it was because time spent with Megan appealed to the less-visceral, more benign aspects of his personality that he often neglected.

To his great surprise, Gavin found that he liked this ambiguity of intent. The revelation gave him a sudden smile, which Megan's final comment only broadened. Sympathy made a wonderful cocktail when skilfully mixed with the twin spirits of friendship and humour. Shaken, not stirred!

With that mental image cackling away in the back of his head, Gavin carried on his previous train of thought. "I do tend to over think things, don't I? It's a useful trait to have at times, but there are downsides as well. I can work out a lot of stress with a good shooting session, but at the end I'm no closer to coming to terms with the initial problem than I was before." He softened his tone a little. "That's why I count myself so fortunate to be here with you right now. You have a great way of putting things in their proper perspective where I can't. I owe you for that."

While Gavin watched Megan digest his words, the tempting smell of the baked goods in his hand became overwhelming. Deciding that there was no danger of a forthcoming revelation earth-shattering enough to disrupt his enjoyment of this treat, he brought the muffin up to his lips and slowly bit a chunk off, a slightly dreamy expression crossing his face as the delicious doughy mass made contact with his taste-buds. Today was a good day.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Jilly
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Jilly
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Joined: April 14th, 2012, 4:13 pm

March 9th, 2013, 6:06 am #9

Megan felt herself blushing as she smiled at that last compliment. If Gavin was working her up for something, it was certainly working.

Now it was her turn. She nodded her head in acknowledgement, set the muffin down on her lap, gripped the edge of the bench with her hands and said, "I like you too, Gavin. In this world full of idiots, I need someone to overcomplicate things from time to time." Another light laugh.

"But seriously, you're really cool. I can't say that I've heard of a 'gunslinging philosopher', or at least not one in real life. I guess I find someone who collects guns and actually...well...reads interesting. Or maybe I'm just a sucker for the 'loner' type."

Megan looked down at the muffin and bit her bottom lip. slightly exposing her uneven front teeth. Now was as good of a time as any to ask. Her expression became more solemn as she finally asked Gavin, "...Is there anything else on your mind?"
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Joined: January 28th, 2012, 4:09 pm

March 15th, 2013, 2:42 pm #10

There were few things in life that created a surge of emotional and sensory fulfilment better than biting into a really good freshly baked muffin. It was right up there with inserting bullets into a magazine or listening to the click-clack of a pistol slide racking back to chamber a fresh cartridge.

He was not quite so enraptured by the taste of chocolate that he did not register Megan's replies, however. Gunslinging... philosopher? Her words brought an involuntary chuckle to his lips. Yes, this was why he'd asked her here. The nail-biting mental images of the trip and all it signified seemed like a distant memory already, replaced with the happy glow of real companionship.

Then Megan's question brought all of Gavin's anxiety surging back up like a fountain. The natural flow of time seemed to come to an abrupt halt as the full implications of her question made their way into his brain.

I didn't expect this. Said his conscious mind.

Yes, yes you did. Replied his subconscious.

It was true. Gavin knew he wasn't nearly autistic enough not to have expected this kind of situation with Megan sooner or later. But just like with the trip, he'd dissociated himself from the idea of their relationship changing. The status quo was like a warm blanket, something comforting and safe he could curl up inside when the pressures of the world grew too intense.

Remember what she said earlier; you can't expect the world around you to accommodate for your fears.

It was a simple fact and one that Gavin had heard many times before. He hadn't wanted to listen then, had always found ways to push the significance to the back of his mind until it could be conveniently forgotten. Now it had all come crashing down. The situation represented a crossroads for Gavin, one that far transcended the implications for his relationship with Megan.

Decision time.

He turned towards Megan again, meeting her eyes. A sudden surge of adrenaline slowed the moment down in his perspective, allowing him to absorb every tiny detail of her face with perfect clarity. Megan was a pretty girl, filled with a vivacity that Gavin found surprisingly intoxicating. He had come to associate her company with both spontaneity and relaxation, looked forward to it, and missed it greatly when it wasn't available. But was this true affection, or simply dependency? It was time to find out.

"Actually, there was something I wanted to talk to you about." He began in a soft voice. Now that his mind had chosen a path, he found the words coming quite easily. "You know I value our friendship a great deal, and I'd hate to lose it for any reason. But I also know that in recent months, my feelings for you have started to grow beyond friendship. Normally, I wouldn't be so forward, but with the end of school coming up I think our chances to be together could be curtailed. So I've decided to tell you now, in case I lose the chance."

It was a very formal, precise declaration, yet Gavin felt it somehow fitting. If on the off-chance he was entirely misinterpreting Megan's words, at least he hadn't broken down and made some cringe-inducingly pathetic declaration of undying love. Such a thing would've been both demeaning to himself and her friendship.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Jilly
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Jilly
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March 18th, 2013, 4:07 am #11

Well, Gavin certainly just dove in head first. However, it's not like it was entirely his decision. Megan did just open the door for him, or at least gave it a nice shove. But what could she say?

Megan sighed and her line of sight fell on the cooling muffin. "...I see," she repeated.

There were only three things Megan absolutely despised: anticlimactic endings to stories, escort missions with terrible AI, and worst of all, confrontations. If it meant that she would have to face someone and be put on the spot, she would rather just avoid the situation. She knew that no one exactly loved getting into them unless they were argumentative in general, but she...just can't do it. Any attention was bad attention.

Some things just have to be settled, though, and she knew it. Something's gotta give, even if it meant exhausting all of your courage.

Without looking back up, Megan continued, "...That's how you feel, huh? I...I mean, I've had my suspicions, but..." Something was preventing her from making eye contact with her friend. Was it fear?

Of course she liked Gavin. He was always there for her, no matter what. She could bitch about her ninety-nine problems to him, and he would never give condescending advice (on purpose, at least). Overall, he was a good person and a good friend, but...

With all of her willpower, Megan met Gavin's eyes and continued her monologue. "...I don't know...Seriously, I don't." She felt an uncomfortable smile forming as she crossed her arms. "...It's just...I..."

Goddammit, girl, just spit it out!

Eyes closed. Deep breath. Goodbye eye contact.

"...I...I just want to be friends."
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Joined: January 28th, 2012, 4:09 pm

March 19th, 2013, 12:18 am #12

There were times when Gavin wished that he had some kind of book that explained to him exactly how a normal person was supposed to react to certain situations. This was one of those times. Yet perhaps he was oversimplifying things. He felt oddly disconnected, as if he was floating freely above his emotions and dryly offering the occasional comment rather than occupying the same body in which they were being generated. Now that he had actually gotten the decision to speak up about his feelings out of the way, digesting Megan's reaction seemed almost childishly easy.

Gavin saw his choices outlined before him, along with their arguments and conclusions. Megan's reply had generated a sick feeling in the pit of his stomach, a seething concoction of misery, disappointment and embarrassment, but he knew it was a gut reaction at worst. Like a skilful gambler, Gavin had thrown the dice only when he had been absolutely certain he could afford to lose.

Instead of dwelling on his own emotions, Gavin focused on those he guessed his question must've elicited within Megan. He reflected that of the two, she had been the braver. She could've panicked, broken down, even run away, but she had stayed and expressed herself with admirable restraint and kindness.

As a coping strategy, this process of rationalisation was without peer for Gavin. He suddenly felt grateful to Megan; grateful for her honesty, and proud that she felt able to express herself to him without too much anguish. He still felt bad, but not half as bad as he'd expected.

With a soft smile, he reached out and gave Megan's arm a squeeze. "Hey, that's no problem. I value our friendship as much as I value anything else, you haven't hurt me." Yes, she has.

Ignoring that recriminating little voice in his head, Gavin shouldered on, "I know how hard it was for you to say what you just said. I'm sorry I put you on the spot like that, but I'm also pleased you feel you could be honest with me." He smiled again. "I don't want to put you in any position you don't feel comfortable being in. My feelings aren't going to go away, don't think you've created some tortured stalker lamenting the fact you don't have a car for me to steal the engine from."

To his surprise, Gavin found the levity to be unforced. He was already relaxing again, and he hoped that Megan could pick up on his change in attitude and follow suit. It wasn't that he was treating this discussion any less seriously, but he'd been able to contextualise it by now, and understood his options better.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Jilly
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March 26th, 2013, 11:52 pm #13

Megan broke out of Gavin's grasp. What the hell was he doing? Shouldn't he be the one who needs consoling? She never hated being touched, but this time it just felt...off. Of course, Gavin can't help but be inappropriate a few times, but still. Now's not the time, especially after just being denied from progressing their relationship.

Least she could do was give an explanation on "why". Another sigh.

With the now lukewarm muffin in her right hand, Megan propelled herself up and walked behind the bench, resting her arms on the back as she looked at Gavin (geez, him sitting would be the only time Megan could look down on him).

"It's just...I dunno. You're a cool person. Like...a cool person to hang out with, on days like these. I like what we have now, and...well...I don't want to change it." God, she was being such a hypocrite now after pretty much telling Gavin to seize the day. But the truth can be hypocritical sometimes, right? "And, it's just..." Oh God, here it came.

"I mean...I'm sorry, but I can't..." Silence. Megan straightened up and faced away from Gavin, her head hanging down as her free hand struggled to wipe her face. Maybe it was the fact that he just confessed his feelings for her, or maybe that this would be the last time they would see each other alone for some time, or maybe only God knew the reason; she couldn't stop crying.
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Joined: January 28th, 2012, 4:09 pm

March 31st, 2013, 2:24 am #14

Everything was falling apart. Gavin didn't understand why; one moment everything had seemed as if it would be fine, then Megan had suddenly started crying. Of all the variables his analytical mind could've accounted for, this was not one of them. Surely it should be him who was supposed to be feeling upset, not her. It. Made. No. Sense.

He was adrift once again, lost in the great sea of incomprehension without compass or paddle. This was an unprecedented situation, one where Gavin had neither reference point nor experience to draw upon. As he listened to Megan cry, Gavin felt his vaunted self-control starting to crack, like safety glass gradually giving way under pressure.

"I...I'm not sure what to say." He began, somehow managing to almost stumble over the words despite his slow and uncertain tone. This was so unlike him, the ever-unflappable Gavin. His analytical abilities and his experience, so valued up till now, were all utterly worthless.

You should take a stand. Said a voice in his head. This isn't you, you're the person who always has an answer to a problem. If you know there's no hope of understanding what you did wrong, then try and fix it, don't wallow in self pity!

Easier said than done. Still, mind over matter had never failed Gavin before. He pushed himself slowly off his seat and turned to face Megan – or her back, to put it more accurately.

"I didn't mean to hurt you." He said softly and sincerely. "I've been a fool about all this, and I can only say how sorry I am for that. I should've been more tactful, I should've..." He trailed off again, every word felt wrong somehow, but there was nothing for it but to press on. "Your friendship is very precious to me; the last thing I would want is to see you in tears over it. Please... if you need space, then just say so. I don't want to lose your friendship through my own carelessness; I value it far too much."

A step down the path to oblivion? Probably. The only thing he could think of to say? Absolutely.
#B051: Gavin Hunter - Equipped with oh gosh a whole lot. "Well, we break for two months and I'm now suddenly in high definition..."

[08:46] Ghost of Ravenstar: I love the AF2011-A1 as it fits Gavin's perceived personality so damn well.
[08:47] Alex: Overcompensatory, unnecessary and appeals to what someone who watches anime obsessively would perceive as "cool?"
[08:47] Ghost of Ravenstar: BINGO!!!
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Jilly
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Jilly
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April 3rd, 2013, 7:41 am #15

With these words from Gavin, the mix of emotions in Megan's mind began to untangle themselves. It wasn't because of his wordsmithing or anything, though. No...it was what he said. She was still crying, but now it was accompanied by laughing.

After a few moments of drying off the tears and settling down, she responded with her back still turned to him, "...Gavin...you're so stupid sometimes..." Her eyes still burned from the tears, but she didn't care anymore. She turned to face him. "...Of course I'd never want to break off our friendship over something you said...or anything, for that matter. You're worth something to me, too." A smile broke out as she tried one last time to wipe off the remaining tears.

"In fact, you're worth so much to me that it's why I don't want to get any further than what we have now. You're not just my best friend, Gavin; you're probably my only real friend...Oh, uhm, let me rephrase that." Megan took a moment to choose her words carefully and then proceeded, "...I feel like out of everyone I know from school, you'd really be one of the few that I really want to keep in contact with after high school is done with...I mean, of course, I still want to keep in contact with all my friends, but it's just...agh..."

And there begins the tongue tying. Megan really didn't know a good way to explain what she meant, and it showed. "...I probably sound really lame, don't I?" Her head hung off to the side in shame.
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