(2019-02-16) Happy Birthday, Cora!
Happy Birthday, Cora!
Summary: It's Cora's birthday and she wants to avoid it. Luckily, there are other students around to make it even worse.
Date: 2019-02-16
Related: None
NPCs: None
Scene Runner: NA
Players:
besa..bronwyn..buddy..cora..kaylee..

The sun has begun its trek downwards towards the night. Many students are out enjoying themselves either outside (if they enjoy the cold) or upstairs in the game room. However, Buddy is doing a very weird thing. He is pacing back and forth in the student body room with a worried look on his face. On nearby desk is a folder with over 20 pages in it. Each page has 6 student profiles each of which include a photo and a name. "Uh, Brownie?" He then dashes over towards the folder and slams his hand down on the desk.

Walking in to the student building, Kaylee Blake hugs herself and rubs her hands up and down the white sweater she's wearing. "Gosh, I shoulda grabbed my coat!" she muses out loud as she enters, shuddering a little and adjusting the knit cap on top of the blonde locks that now reach just past her shoulders. She stamps her feet a little to get the snow off of her boots and then turns to head further in, when she notices Buddy. Smiling, Kaylee heads his way. "Heya, Buddy. How are you?" she calls after the boy, offering him a small but animated wave.

"Can't we get Nile Rodgers? Yeah, the guy from Chic." Bronwyn is speaking on her phone as she wanders in…as usual. "When was the last hit he produced? Really? Gosh, that is a while ago. Hmm…well I guess we could go Swedish like everyone else. They do know I get writing credits, right?" A glance at the anxious Buddy and the nemesis that is Kaylee before she says, "I have to go. Call me soon. Ciao." The call ended she studies Buddy for a moment. "Still working on that project?"

Buddy quickly hop-turns when he hears the stomping of Kaylee's boots. Lifting his hands up, he then relaxes when he sees who it is. "Oh, hi, uh … wait…don't tell me." He snaps his fingers and then starts to pat his head several times as though trying to get the information to come out of his head like an apple from a tree. "Maypee?" He then shakes his head. "No, that isn't right. And you aren't Brownie, are you?" He asks Bronwyn as she enters. "Yes, I have a test on Monday. If I get a good grade, Dr. Pretty Hair said she'd give me a treat better than biscuits!"

Kaylee blinks and cants her head to the side when Buddy says 'maypee.' "… may … pee?" she questions. Though, hearing Bronwyn's voice, she winces and shuts her eyes, grimacing for a second before she takes a deep breath and summons as much nice as the universe can muster for her. "Do you need to study, Buddy? If you're working, I don't wanna interrupt you.

Buddy looks at Bronwyn with an open mouth as her little box rings again. She starts talking on it before he points back to the folder. "I am studying or trying to at least. I'm not good at it. I'm going to be given a test with a bunch of pictures, and I have to give their names. Their names! Do you know how hard names are? They make absolutely no sense." He snaps his fingers again as though trying to recall her name. "Cayzee? Oh, that sounds like crazy."

There's more blinking and Kaylee looks very confused. "… Kaylee?" she offers, tentatively. "And really, names aren't THAT hard. The trick my parents taught me was to use a person's name three times in a sentence to help you remember it."

Ah ha! "Kaylee!" Buddy proclaims as though he thought it of it himself. "Of course. Oh, I bet you knew that." He goes back to the folder and flips a couple pages to find her picture in the book. "mmHmmm." Turning back to her, he says, "Parents make up names when people are babies which is why they don't make sense to me. Nicknames are way much better. Like, Bright Eyes is so much a better name for you. See, easy to remember."

Cora has been exceptionally elusive the past few days, and today especially. But now? She comes walking into the student building with her hands in her school jacket pockets and her head down. A hood up to help hide herself. When the door is opened the small freshman starts to move straight towards the commissary on the other side of the building. This sees her walking by the others quickly.

"I think Maypee is a much more apt name" Bronwyn sniffs as another call dealt with. "How are you, Maypee?" she asks with a /totally/ polite smile in return. "Still losing basketball games?" Her attention turns to Buddy. "If there's anything I can do to help, you let me know. Wouldn't want to miss those treats." Not so fast, Cora! Bronwyn is on her in a thrice, arm around her shoulder and turning her back towards the others. "How is my BFF today?" A wink for Cora - it looks like she knows something. "Do you know Maypee?"

"Names don't have to 'make sense,' Buddy. Table, chair, window, all those words are also invented. Their only signifigance is what we attribute to them. Names are the same," Kaylee explains. And then Bronwyn is there. "Actually, Bronwyn, basketball's been done for two months now, so I haven't even played recently," she replies, polite but definitely not being fake-nice. "And regardless of what you think, my name is Kaylee, so." And then, with Cora turned more towards her, Kaylee's able to identify the smaller girl and she brightens up again. "Cora! How are you?"

Buddy sniffs the air and notices Cora's scent; however, she is trying to hide herself. When the other two get her attention, Buddy just waves at her. "I'm sorry," he then says as he drops his head to Kaylee. "I found out that some people are bothered with me not using their names. I don't mean anything bad by it. I don't want to be bad." Hearing Bronwyn repeat the messed up version of the name, Buddy reaches up and holds his head with both hands. "May, Cay, Kay?" He clears his throat and then shakes his head. "I'm so going to fail." With a big sigh, he says, "Maybe I should take a break and work on my other project." He sneaks a quick peak at his folder and then asks, "Kaylee, what do you think is the cutest cuddliest animal not counting a cat or dog."

Cora is a total deer in the headlights as she's suddenly caught, and guided along as she bites her lower lip and swallows nervously. She definitely seems more than a little uncomfortable! Her hand then raised to Buddy and Kaylee to wave too. Nothing to do for it now, she's been apprehended! "Err, even animal breeds have names Buddy. Just like, be a Honey Badger and stop worrying. You can do it. Because I know you can remember more animal names than I can."

"Two months ago? Gosh, wonder who it is that keeps playing then. Maybe you were just dropped" Bronwyn shrugs nonchalantly at Kaylee. "Of course, Kaylee. How silly of me. Lucky Buddy didn't think it was Lay-me. That would have been terrible." A sweet smile for the tall blonde before looking to Buddy. "As Cora said the other day, what if there are more than one person with pretty hair? What will you do then?" The cute animal question she's already answered so she will turn her gaze on Cora, giving her a quick side hug with the arm around her. "Someone's special day" she teases.

"You mean … NOT a kitty or a puppy?" Kaylee asks, surprised by the question. And then Cora makes an excellent observation and Kaylee smiles at her. "Plus, going by nicknames, you'd have to wait a while and what would you call people until then? I didn't have bright eyes until I was fifteen!" And then Bronwyn's continuing to heckle her. Instead of getting riled up, she just explains things. "I guess things might be different where you're from, but, here in America, high school basketball starts in October or November. The Thunder Bay team I was on is a club team, not a high school team. That's why our season was over in October, and now high school basketball is going on. A lot of the girls will still play together because they go to school together. But, since we don't HAVE a team and it'd be pretty hard to let us play for Shady Cove, I only get to play during club basketball season."

Buddy gasps as he looks over at Cora. He rushes over towards her and stops suddenly a couple of feet from her. "Oh, oops. Sorry." He makes a big hop back to keep a safe distance from her. "Animal names. That makes so much sense. Animal names!" Somehow, that comment of her gave him an idea. "Oh, different people get different nicknames. That is pretty easy to keep apart. If multiple people have pretty hair, you just pick something else." He then gets a bit excited. "Special day. What type of special day? Is there cake?" Buddy the nods to Kaylee, "Not a puppy or kitty. Dr. Pretty Hair wants me to find a new animal to turn into but wants it to be a cuddly and cute one. I'm supposed to ask a bunch of people their favorites and then make a compylation and find the best. It is supposed to be an animal I can't already become though. I'm thinking of Cova's idea," he says pointint to Cora. "Red panda."

"Red Panda is a much better idea than a Honey Badger then." Cora says with a sagelike nod altogether more sagacious seeming than someone her age could be, thus, it looks pretty stupid. Especially with her hood up and all. She seems to be very pointedly not reacting to some other stuff that has been said. Though she's also shifting her weight from foot to foot and looking towards the commissary. "But, yes, names are just… how to make a person distinct. Just like different types of animals."

"Sounds like we need a school basketball team then. So everyone can play and not be discriminated against" Bronwyn decides before moving on. "There could be cake" she smiles to Buddy, "But that would be up to Cora." And Cora still isn't giving up the info, which makes the Italian girl sigh. Looks like she will have to save the day. Again. "It's Cora's birthday today so we have to make sure she has a special day. She's all alone, since her family is in jail, so we need to prove she has a new family that loves her."

"Omygosh, it IS your birthday, isn't it!?" Kaylee gasps, both hands going to her cheeks in shock. "Ohmygosh, I'm so sorry I didn't say anything yet! I know we have the monthly party next weekend for everybody's birthday, but I still like to make sure everyone gets something special on their actual day. I'm sorry, Cora! Happy birthday!" she exclaims. And then she holds her hands up and wiggles her fingers, making a bright "Happy Birthday, Cora!" sign appear in the air, complete with silent fireworks and LOTS of colors.

Buddy starts to dance around in a very unusual fashion. It is mainly just hoping from one foot to the other while waving his hands in the air. "Yay! It's your birthday. Happy ….. OOOOoooOHHhoooo." He stops and stares with big eyes at the fireworks display. "Cake sounds great. Where is it?" Then, with the biggest goofest grin on his face, he asks, "What is a birthday?"

Cora shifts around more uncomfortably and starts to look really, really sheepish too. She even looks down towards the ground and looking even more deflated and horrified as something else is said - particularly the bit about her family being in jail too. "It.. It…" OK, now she's just sheepish and looking embarrassed as can be! Not to mention speechless.

Bronwyn is, reluctantly, impressed by the light show, even if Cora isn't. "Look at that, Cora. How cool is that?" It takes a lot for her to say that about something Kaylee originated. "A birthday is a celebration of when someone is born. They get presents and smiles and happy times. And it usually involves cake so I'm sure the cooks have made one. Or three even. There's a lot of birthdays today." Another squeeze of Cora. "Everyone have a good Valentine's Day?"

"Well, in the Prometheus dorm, we have one big party every month for all of the people whose birthdays fall in that month. As much as I'm sure Nevada would love to bake every single person a cake, it's just not practical," Kaylee explains about the cake. She lets the flashy light banner hang in the air for several seconds, even after it doesn't seem to cheer Cora up any. So, if THAT didn't work …. "Cora, it's your birthday. If you could do any one thing that you liked absolutely most of all, what would it be?"

Buddy nods at Bronwyn in a most exaggerated manner. "Presents? OH, was I supposed to get a present?" He then sits down on the ground so he can look up at Cora's face. "She doesn't look happy. Why don't you look happy?" Of course the talk of party gets him interested. "Can anyone come to that party?" he asks Kaylee. "What is valleytime happy? Was I supposed to do something for it too?"

Cora looks more shocked and embarrassed and terrified or something than happy. "No, er, um, it's ok. We don't need to. I didn't want to make a big deal of it because I didn't want to think of it. Just glad to be here and… um…" Yep, she's definitely trying to pass it off. So much that she focuses on the Valentine Day thing, "It was just… it was. No problem with it. I didn't really see much use for it, since, erm, I'm single." Cora says. Somehow that's less embarrassing than the rest!

"All birthdays are big deals whether you want them to be or not" Bronwyn points out with a smile. "Especially yours. And it doesn't matter if you're single, Valentine's Day is when you change that. Didn't you get some cards or anything? I got loads of cards" she sighs. "All those fans wanting to marry me. And other stuff that I won't talk about. It's part of the job I guess." She smiles to Buddy. "Valentine's Day is when you send secret cards and presents to someone that you like a lot. You don't have to do something about it unless there is someone you really, really like. Like, you want to kiss them and stuff."

Kaylee pouts when Cora tries to dismiss her birthday. She crouches down and reaches out to put a hand on the girl's shoulder, doing her best to look her in the eyes even though she's not wearing her glasses. "I'm sorry you feel that way, Cora. I would like to talk to you about that, later, if that's alright. But, either way, I'M super happy you were born today, just like I'm super happy you're here. So you'll have to forgive me if I like to make a little extra effort to make you feel special about it, too," she says. She then offers the girl a wink and one of her bestest smiles before straightening back up. "And you don't necessarily have to like anybody a lot to celebrate Valentine's Day. You can just be friends and remind them of how much you appreciate their friendship and love and stuff. Or, you can just avoid it all together, if you prefer. It's not a super serious holiday, just one where you get an excuse to be cute and stuff. Unless you have a girlfriend. Then, it's like, absolutely mandatory that you do something special. Totally critical," Kaylee states, nodding in affirmation at the gravity of the statement.

Buddy hops up runs up to Bronwyn and says, "Yay. You are getting married. You must be pretty awesomeness to have so many people want to marry you." He then starts to look worried. He gets that big eyed look that a puppy gets when it thinks it might be in trouble. "I like a lot of people. I didn't give any one cards. Was I supposed to kiss someone? Who?" He then places his hands on his cheeks and opens his mouth wide. "I have a lot of girl friends. Mandytory? Critical?" He flops back down on the ground in a cross-legged position with his head down.

Cora just takes a seat then. This entire situation has her more than a bit overwhelmed. She ends up holding her head with her hands while her head hangs. ""I just did class then ran back to my room. No boyfriends or girlfriends." The girl says in a rather quick, silent sort of way. Still totally avoiding the rest! Too obviously so too, particularly given how embarrassed she is to have been caught. the way the other two start to explain it to Buddy might even have amused her, but… not so much right now.

"I'm not getting married, Buddy. It would be bad for my career. /They/ want to marry me. You use Valentine's Day to see if anyone is interested in kissing you back. You just don't kiss them out of the blue. That's sexual assault" Bronwyn points out. "Mandytory and Critical? Hmm, I don't think either of them would liked to be called that. You need sweeter nicknames for your girlfriends." A curious look for Kaylee. "You have a girlfriend?" She moves to stand next to Cora, giving her shoulder a squeeze. "Not interested in anyone? That's fine. Play the field."

Kaylee has a little bit of a giggle-fit at Buddy's expense, covering her mouth to at least hide her smile. "Ohhh, Buddy," she intones, her nose crinkling up in her smile. She sighs and tries to regain her composure, especially noticing Cora's uneasiness. "No, I don't have a girlfriend. Or a boyfriend. I've been single for a couple years, now. And, before you hint at it, it's NOT because people haven't been interested. I'm just too high maintenance for anyone at the school right now," she says, tossing her hair back over her shoulder like in the movies.

Buddy hops up again and places his hands on his hips looking a bit defensive. "I've never ass-salted anyone's sexual even if I don't know exactly what that means." He nods his head. There that confirms it. "I thought you were going to marry Beesah." AT least he got close with that name. "A lot of girls give him gooogly eyes. I think it is his hair." Then, with a naivety that only he can pull off, he asks Cora, "Did you want one?" not even realizing what the question sounds like. Slowly he walks over towards Kaylee. He reaches out as though to touch her though he stops himself at the last moment. He has a very tender compassionate look on his face when he seriously asks, "Do you have a booboo?"

Cora blinks. Blinks. Blinks some more. The awkwardness is reaching a critical level at this point! "What? No. I don't!" She holds up her hands, shaking them from side to side so much it almost looks like jazz hands. Then even starts to shift around in her seat for a moment or four. She takes a few deep breaths. Everything else just has her a bit incredulous.

"High maintenance? So you piss off anyone that comes near you?" Bronwyn translates. "I'm easy to get along with. Everyone likes me and knows to keep me happy" she sighs; it's such a curse. Though there is a blush at Buddy's words about Besa. "One day. He has to stop his experimenting with Dilburger first though. Once he gets that out of his system, he'll know who is best for him. And it's definitely his hair." Did Buddy just offer to woo Cora? "Don't knock him back too quick, Cora. I'm sure Buddy would be really sweet. But you have to give Cora time, Buddy. She's still getting used to being with us all."

There are several blinks at Buddy. "… a … booboo? … no, I'm fine, Buddy. Why do you ask?" And then Bronwyn goes in on her again. "Oh, no, the only people who get mad just because I'm around have already graduated. Most of the other students like me just fine. After all, they made me a captain," Kaylee responds. "When I say high maintenance, I mean I require someone to actually try to woo me, get to know me, do sweet things to get my attention, before I'll date them." She then frowns a little and decides to just put it out there. "And I don't like you, Bronwyn. But you've always tried to insult me and make little digs at me since we met, so I doubt that you care. Which is fine, you don't have to value my feelings at all. I just can't hide mine, so."

Buddy shakes his head vigorously. "No…uh, I'm salty. And very chewy like - like old dried jerky. Wouldn't be worth it to eat me or anything." It seems that he took Bronwyn's comment about him being sweet a bit too literally. He then says, "Okay. I'll let him know," as she talks about Besa. When Cora says that she doesn't want a boyfriend or girlfriend, he nods his head and says, "Okay. Where do you go to get one anyway? Are they different from regular friends?" Buddy then nods at Kaylee. Just once so it is a serious nod. "When you said you were high mannytence….Ooooh," he says as she explains what that means. "Well, that doesn't sound too hard. I like feelings. So woo you is good?" He then starts to giggle. "Woo you…hehehe. It rhymes."

Poor Cora just looks really uncomfortable right now. She may have just turned 15, but this sort of thing is obviously more awkward for her than most. Especially with everything else being spoken of. She starts to massage her temples too. "Please don't fight." She asks. But it's really soft, even by the standards of her pretty weak voice.

"That's your problem" Bronwyn shrugs at Kaylee's dislike. "But let's make it clear that you started it by dissing me when I came to you to play basketball. You crushed my dreams without hesitation. Didn't even try to help me out." Still, she nods to Cora's request before carrying on. "Sorry, Cora, no fighting on your birthday. This is supposed to be a good day for you. You don't go anywhere to get girlfriends or boyfriends, Buddy. You ask people you know. Or send them a Valentine's card to see if they are interested. They have to like you too."

Kaylee shakes her head a little and smiles to Cora. "I'm not gonna fight with Bronwyn, Cora. I promise," she offers. Then, she turns back to Bronwyn and nods to her. "And you're absolutely right. Not liking you IS my problem. Like I said, I just wanted to make sure you weren't including me when you said that everybody likes you. I try my best to be nice to everybody, I just wanted to be clear that it wasn't because I like you." She then takes a breath and turns back to Buddy, reaching out to scruff up his hair a little. "And Buddy, I wouldn't worry about boyfriends or girlfriends for quite a while yet. You've got a lot of other things you're already working on, right?" she asks, smiling at him.

Buddy just looks really confused at the back and forth between Kaylee and Bronwyn. "What does all that -" His ponderings are cut off as Kaylee scruffs his head. He leans into it much like a puppy would to a good head scratching. His eyes half close for a moment when he hears her mention what he is working on. "Oh, no! My test. I get distracted … a lot."

Cora doesn't say a thing now. Instead? She's just silent. Not even really moving now. Her gaze is blank too, like she's started to totally withdraw into herself and isn't hearing a thing that is being said around her. Even her facial expression is looking blank. No emotion showing on her face whatsoever.

Bronwyn mentally places Kaylee in the same category as snobby music critics. Everyone else likes her. A shrug to the tall girl before she says, "I'm going to go and get Cora's birthday celebrations organised. Good luck with your test, Buddy. I'm sure you'll do great." She leans down to kiss Cora on the top of the head. "Everything will be awesome. Trust me."

Kaylee frowns when Cora withdraws in to herself like that. She can't see great, but all of the cues are pretty obvious. With a small shake of her head, she turns and begins walking off to some place away from the highly sensitive students. "Bronwyn, let's have a chat, you and I," she says. And everybody should feel pretty durn special because they get to hear Kaylee using her 'I'm not angry' angry voice, which is right up there with Bigfoot and unicorn sightings!

Buddy watches everything just looking more confused than ever. He slowly walks over towards Cora and sits down on the ground next to her. He isn't close enough to touch her, but he is close enough that he could if he wanted to. "Are you okay? Look. I'm being good. Not touching or nothing. Or is it or anything." He shrugs.

Cora is really, really still for a while. Despite everything that's being said. That's being done. The bit between Bron and Kaylee? It's impossible to say if she noticed. Even Bronwyn's kiss of her head gets not reaction. It's like she's completely disassociated from everything. that said, it's Buddy's bit that finally draws at least something. "It's not you, Buddy." She says quietly. "I… I don't want to be special, or a special day, nothing. Just want normal instead of being an awful person. My life isn't normal, my parents weren't normal, nothing is normal, my brother is the worst, no one cared, I don't want to be cared. Nothing. I just want normal and to feel safe and just nothing. No party, no cake, nothing. Just normal."

"Cakes and parties /are/ normal" Bronwyn points out before a curious look at Kaylee. Are they about to have a set-to? So much for captains being mature and inclusive. "Sure" she replies lightly, giving Cora a ruffle of the top of her head - through the hood - before following the tall blonde.

Stepping around a corner and waiting with her arms folded under her chest, Kaylee's foot is tapping away when Bronwyn joins her. "Okay. So. Your WHOLE deal with me is because YOU showed up to school, too late to try out for the basketball team I play for, and have to wait until next season to try out?" she asks.

Buddy watches as the two girls walk around the corner. He can hear what they are saying because he has good hearing, and it doesn't seem like they are trying too hard to be quiet. Maybe he can distract Cora. "But you are special to a lot of people even without the berfyday. It seems like being happy and having cake is normal on berfyday. Kayvee said so." He is getting closer with the name. "I hope you don't mind if I care because I do. Even animals don't like to see their friends hurt or mad."

"Kaylee's a good person." Cora says softly. "I'm not." The way she says the latter is surprisingly venomous and self deprecating. "It just… didn't want today to matter. Or Valentine's day. It just… it was what it was. I like not being too noticed. All of this is more than I am used to. So many people who know me. Too many things. Classes. You're not the only one with problems Buddy. And not everyone can just become an animal to escape them."

Bronwyn gets the arm folding going as well as she stares up at Kaylee. "No, my WHOLE deal with YOU is that YOU didn't even give me a chance. You were all hoity toity and mocking me and couldn't even be bothered trying to help out a fellow student. Didn't even want to see me play to decide if I was worth just a /little/ stretching of the rules. In seconds you decided I was worthless. I was, like, TWO days late. And that's my fault? I'm only fifteen, you think I flew myself here?"

Kaylee's eyebrow quirks. "Okay, so. It's not MY rules. /I/ don't run the team. It's a club team out of Thunder Bay. THEY make the rules. And you were a LOT more than two days late. And what about that makes it okay to be SO disrespectful and rude to me?" she asks, frowning.

Buddy thinks quietly for a moment. The scrinching of his face makes it clear that he is trying to think very hard. Unfortunately, it doesn't seem to be working. "I'm sorry. I'm not good with brain stuff and words. I wish I know how to make you feel better, but …" He leaves that hanging in the air for a moment. Hoping to his feet like some excited frog, he holds down his hand to her. "If you want to escape, I can help with that." He offers her a big grin.

"I just need to, like, not be. Or not be noticed. Or…" Cora gets a pained expression on her face. "I don't even know what to say!" She sniffles. "I suck at everything!" She despairs in a soft tone. "I don't even know what to do, but I suck at it anyways. I can't even figure out how to help people or stop demons or creepy doll girls or anything. I'm just awful. I don't deserve to be here, I should be in jail too." She is talking in higher and higher pitched tones with each moment. She takes some deep breaths then, closing her eyes as she does. Trying to at least even them out. "So it's not you, don't worry. You're not why."

"Gee, I don't know. Maybe you way YOU were disrespectful and rude to me" Bronwyn replies. "I thought you were the star player and had a bit of influence. Heck, you could have even suggested the reserves or something, but nope, it was just a 'fuck off'. And it was only two days. You might remember differently to justify your cruelty to me. But, hey, you don't like me, so I guess that was what was really behind it."

Kaylee shakes her head, looking incredulous. "Cruelty? CRUELTY? I have never been cruel to any single creature in my entire life! And even if you think I may have been rude or disrespectful to you, which I can almost guarantee I wasn't because I try very hard to NEVER be rude or disrespectful to ANYBODY, I would never have been CRUEL to you! Even now, when you go out of your way to cut me down in front of other people, I don't bite back, I don't badmouth you …. Except for that ONE time when you got the better of me, the worst I've ever let myself be to you is polite!" And, if Bronwyn pays attention, she might notice a dark blue glow starting to shine around Kaylee. "And the ONLY reason I don't like you is because you're so mean to me! I try really hard to like everybody! Grayson, Nevada, Carmichael … even you! I've NEVER said I was a star player or anything, Bronwyn. I WASN'T! And I don't have ANY influence over the rules or anything. The most I could have done, the most I could do now, would be to see how good you are and let you put me down as a reference on your application for next year," she says. And … are those tears welling in her eyes?

Buddy just stands there with his hand outstretched to the seated Cora for a few seconds. As the verbal jousting continues between Kaylee and Bronwyn, he sighs a bit. He can't help Cora. He can't help them. Buddy is more of a doer than a talker. Finally, he says to Cora, "Maybe you are just a baby ducky trying to fly too high. Start with swimming and flying low. Maybe, maybe help easy people for now." He shrugs and says, "I guess all I can do for you is give you some quiet, huh?" He isn't even allowed to touch her even though others can. So confusing. Buddy heads off to his folder full of pictures and names. Closing the book, he holds it in one hand and starts to walk out of the building. As he passes Cora, he says, "Happy Berfyday. Bye Girlses!" he shouts to Kaylee and Bronwyn who are just around the corner.

If this was a bar, and Cora had a glass of whiskey or something, she'd probably pick it up and slam it down. But it's not, and she's only just turned 15 this very day. So she doesn't have that option. Instead, she holds up a hand. "Good luck Buddy. You can do it, just practice and study." Then she lets out a big sigh and leans back in the chair she is sitting in and looks up to the ceiling.

"I guess I missed your apology to me for how you treated me since you were busy being nice to others" Bronwyn counters. "Not everyone has to like everyone here, Kaylee. You didn't like me from the first day. Yeah, you made my first day so pleasant, thank you very much." She is trying to keep the anger out of her voice, but everyone can hear her. "Oh my gosh. Are you going to cry? Is that how you make everyone like you?" Girls can be so cruel to each other. "Fine, I won't cut you down anymore since I am the better person. Are we done?"

"I'm sorry you thought I was rude or disrespectful to you, Bronwyn. I truly never meant to be." And Kaylee sniffles, straightening up a little and rubbing at her face with the back of her palm. "And you're right. Not everyone has to like everyone. Not everybody likes ME. But if you can at least be polite to me, I promise I will be polite to you, too. Thank you." And then she'll wait for Bronwyn to leave so she can let the tears fall.

Besa hears the chatter, but it's not registering. Walking next to him is Cocoa, the ancient teen has on his warmest sweater and seems to be heading towards the stairs for the games room. He looks tired, but not as bad as he has int eh past few days. He did a lot of healing after the attack, and the nightmares haven't helped. He slows, eyes widening at th two powder kegs butting heads catching his attention. As carefully as he can, he heads towards Cora, giving Buddy a nod as he passes. "Are you well, Cora?"

It takes Cora moment or two to respond. Then she just says, "I'll be fine." Even if the tone of her voice doesn't make it sound like she's being very honest, at all. Even to herself. Mostly, she just seems a bit distant. She's not even looking down from the ceiling yet.

"Polite will be fine" Bronwyn sniffs at Kaylee before heading off and leaving the tall captain to have her tears. "Happy Birthday, Cora!" she yells out as she disappears.

Kaylee nods, waiting for Bronwyn to walk away before she wipes at her eyes with both hands and breaths deep. Taking a final deep breath, she turns and heads back towards the dorms.

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