(2021-02-06) Maybe The Opposite Sex
Maybe the Opposite Sex Isn't So Terrible After All
Summary: Marcus has some important information to share with Karina. And then a whole lot more important information is shared. And then Keyson throws cookies at everybody.
Date: IC Date 2021-02-06)
Related: 2021-02-03 Filth Flung, a Fist Follows
Scene Runner: N/A

Ares/Athena Lobby Coral Springs
Thu Feb 04 21:31:31, 2021 — Thu Feb 04 18:31:31 2021

This is the lobby of the Ares/Athena residence hall. The walls are nearly 2 meters (6 feet) thick, and that there are no windows wider than 10cm (about 4 inches). For all that, it's cheery and bright inside, lit with high-quality LED lighting. The travertine floor is covered with warm rugs, there's a fireplace with holographic fire when it's on, surrounded by comfortable La-Z-boy overstuffed sofas. At the other end of the room is a hallway leading to the girls' halls, and stairs and an elevator leading to the boys' halls upstairs. There's also a counter, staffed 24x7 and post office boxes. The defensive turrets in the room are carefully hidden, as are the blast doors that can close to protect the residents. There are rumors of defensive turrets, too, but if they're there, they're cunningly hidden. The lobby's cream paint is accented with Ares blue and Athena red trim, and the emblems of both teams are prominently emblazoned on the wall.

It is a winter night. The weather is freezing and fair.

As it would happen, Karina is sitting on the floor to one side of the fireplace. Her back is leaning against the wall. She has her knees bent up, her feet flat on the floor. Her cane is folded down into the bundle of rods that it usually is, sitting on the floor next to her. She's dressed comfortably, in a pair of light grey sweatpants and a long sleeved knit sweater that's a dark shade of orange. There's a book open and resting against her thighs, one of her hands simply resting on the book and no doubt holding it in place, and the fingers of her other hand moving across to read the braille dotted there. Her feet are bare, and she seems rather calm and at ease where she is.

<FS3> Marcus rolls Physical: Good Success.

Having previously spotted Karina near the fireplace, Marcus had immediately dashed to his room to claim his adventure backpack and the notebook he'd started for taking notes on his excursions to Paragon Island. Racing back into the main lobby, once again hurdling over tables, chairs, couches and other obstacles, Marcus beelines for Karina's position. As he nears, he calls out, "Karinnaaaaaaaaaa." After vaulting the last obstacle, he hits his butt and slides, much like in baseball, managing to stop directly next to the girl. He then sets his backpack down and grins. "… /hi/."

The girl's hand pauses on the page, and she tilts her head a bit to one side. Listening to the sounds of someone dashing across the space, her brow furrowing just a touch. She wriggles her toes a bit against the floor, then goes back to her reading as the sounds fade with the person leaving the room. Yet it's not that long before her reading stops again, this time at the sounds of obstacles being overtaken, and a smile tugs a bit at the corners of her lips. She reaches one of her hands to where her cane rests, feeling a bit for the ribbon of a bookmark, and then tucking it into the book before folding it closed in the moment after hearing him call her name. And she smiles as she looks sort of towards him. "Hey yourself, Marcus," she says warmly, lifting a hand to brush aside a bit of her hair that teased across her cheek. "You sound energetic and in good spirits. Did the mission happen, to see the dinosaurs?" she asks.

"It did! TherewerethreeofthemandtheyattackedusafterSebastianshotatthemwithhisiceblastanditwasSO AWESOME!" Marcus blurts, unzipping his backpack and rummaging around. "But that's not even really the cool part, since it was over so fast. I … got to /ride/ … in … a … HELICOPTER!" He spaces that last bit out dramatically, since it's absolutely the coolest thing that's ever happened in his life up to this point. Powers included!

Karina can't help but to giggle at his answer and the way his words tumble one right after another. She sets the book aside, just next to her, and then she shifts to be sitting cross-legged there. Turning just so, to be facing him as best as what she can tell, at least. She rests her hands on her calves, leaning forward a bit. Her eyebrows go up a the part about being attacked, and she reaches towards him, aiming to touch his knee or there abouts. "You weren't hurt, were you? I mean… everyone was okay, right?" she asks, sounding a bit concerned. "The helicopter was cooler than the dinosaurs? I've never ridden in one… I'm kinda of afraid of flying, of any kind," she admits, ducking her chin a bit. "What happened that it was over so quickly?"

"Well, I mean, it /hurt/," Marcus admits, wincing and reaching up to pat at the base of his skull, where the braids end. "I got a pretty huge bruise on my side and some scratches from all the rolling after one of them hit me. But, I didn't /get/ hurt. Like, nothing broken, nobody died. Sebastian got the worst of it, and he deserved it. That guy is /such/ an idiot. And a jerk," Marcus glowers. And then, he remembers and winces again, closing his eyes an making a face. "I'm pro'ly go'n be in detention and like, grounded for a while. I … kinda punched him yesterday. … in the face." And then he watches for Karina's reaction, to see how upset she'll be at him. As far as her hand reaching for him, it's pretty close, so it's probably not hard for her to reach. He's sitting with his legs straight out, facing perpendicular to her, so. Lots of leg to find!

"You were hurt?" Karina echoes, worry coming to her voice. She tilts her head a bit to one side, as though trying to suss out what he might be patting. It's hard to tell, by sound. "I trust that you've been to the infirmary and been checked out already, everything tended?" she asks, her brow furrowing a little bit. "I'm glad that nothing's broken, and that no one was hurt that badly," she adds, giving a small nod to him. She tilts her head a bit when he mentions Sebastian, her eyebrows quirking up. "I met him, once," she says in a thoughtful tone. She gives his leg a bit of a squeeze, keeping her hand resting there near his knee. "What happened that you kinda punched him in the face?" she asks, curious. It would seem that she's not upset or judging, at this point, waiting for more details first. There's a story there, clearly. "Were the dinosaurs killed?"

"I mean, /no/, I wasn't … /hurt/," Marcus says, again, still equivocating on the subject. "Like I said, I just got a big bruise and some scratches. I've gotten just as much here, fooling around or when one of my experiments doesn't go as planned. Oh!" he remembers. "Speaking of which, if I'm grounded, I may have to ask you to go and check on the bushes for me. But that's a whole 'nother story, so let's wait and see how much trouble I'm in." He then takes a big breath and sighs, drooping. "So I didn't /kinda/ punch him in the face. I did punch him in the face. Not, like, with my powers or anything, I didn't do /that/. But … well, I was just so mad at him. And then he kept going on about the reason I was mad is because I didn't get to do what /I/ wanted, which wasn't the reason I was mad at all. I was mad because I got hurt, he got hurt, and Reese /almost/ got hurt, and then we got sent back here without even investigating, because of what /he/ did. We were supposed to be scouting and gathering information- which I'm totally a pro at- but, the instant Sebby saw some dinosaurs, he tried to shoot them with his ice powers and only succeeded in pissing them off."

The girl blinks at him a couple of times, and then she gives a little shake of her head. "But… you said that you had scratches and a huge bruise…?" she asks, tilting her head a bit to one side. "That kind of sounds like hurt to me," she says, half biting her lower lip. Then she raises an eyebrow. "What other experiments have you been doing?" she asks, curious. Then she gives him a smile before nodding. "Mmhmm, if you need me to do that, I can check them for you. It'll be fine, whatever trouble you might be in won't be permanent," she says, giving his leg a bit of a squeeze again before withdrawing her hand and settling back a bit. "At least you didn't punch him with your powers. That would have been much worse… right?" she asks. She blinks a couple of times, attempting to piece things together a bit, and then she nods. "So… what did you want to do? And I can see how being shot at with ice would piss them off. Is there going to be another mission there?" she asks.

"/Well/. There's /hurt/, and there's … you know … hurt. Or, more like, hurt or injured. I've been hurt /lotsa/ times. I mean, I'm not a very careful kinda person, ya know?" Marcus says, smirking a little because it's the understatement of the week. "I don't consider getting bruised and scraped up getting 'hurt.' Even my mom wouldn't be worried if all I got was a bruise. Sebastian musta broke his arm or his chest or something cuz he's in a sling and bandaged up and stuff. So, I'm better off than that." At the mention of punching Sebastian with his powers, Marcus winces again and nods. "Yeah. I dunno how tough or durable he is, but I can punch pretty hard if I need to. I could probably hit like a boxer if I tried. But, I also gotta be like, super amped up with adrenaline and stuff, which I wasn't. So." He shrugs and leans back on his hands, letting the green-and-white composition notebook labelled "DINOVENTURE NOTES" sit on his lap. "Honestly? I have no idea what I wanted to do. I had actually just found a whole bunch of dinosaur dookie and was gonna go tell everybody else about it when Sebastian and Reese found the actual dinosaurs. And, when I saw them, my brain just kinda went blank, ya know? I mean, there were /dinosaurs/. It was pretty incredible. I hadn't had time to think more than that before he was shooting ice at them and pissing them off. After that, I just tried to distract them and get them to chase /me/ instead of Sebastian or Reese, because I figured, out of the three of us, I was probably the most likely to survive a dino assault."

"Oh… okay, that makes more sense," Karina says, giving a small nod as she considers the difference. She quirks a grin, reaching out to pat his leg. "I hadn't noticed," she comments, about his not being careful. "Hopefully he'll be all right, but it must not be too serious or they'd have kept him at the infirmary. I'm… not sure about other people's durability, or even my own," she says, considering it for a moment. Then she can't help but to giggle. Dinosaur dookie? "I don't know why, but I never considered that would be something that would be found," she comments, giggling again. She lifts a hand, brushing a bit of hair from her face, the curls often stubbornly returning to tease her cheek. "I've heard sometimes that happens. Going blank like that. I wonder if they could be caged," she wonders aloud, tilting her head a bit to one side. "How big were they? Did they have sharp teeth? And long tails?"

"Oh yeah! There was a bunch. I mean, it wasn't like Jurassic Park or anything," Marcus says. And then grimaces. "… not that you'd know what that was like in the first place …." Stupid Marcus! Bad analogy! "But it was just, like, little piles. I poked at one of them, it didn't seem abnormal or anything. Just … animal poop. I did put a sample in my Dinoventure Notes!" he says, sitting back up and lifting the notebook from his lap. … which, /again/, is useless for someone who can't see. "… well … I was gonna show you, but … it's really just kind of a brown mess in the pages. It made them stick together a little, too, until it dried. It still smells like poop, though," he admits, making a face. "Oh! But I did get some of the leaves from the vines they were eating!" he says, pulling one out of the pages and brushing it against the back of her hand so she can find it easily.

"I seem to recall it being described in the one part of the movie," Karina says, a smile quirking at the corners of her lips. She reaches out, patting his leg again before bringing her hand back to her own lap. She's used to sighted people making reference to things that were seen — it becomes habit for people to do, and breaking or changing habits is hard. She wrinkles her nose and then giggles. "You put it into your book? That sounds… squishy," she says, giggling again. "Somehow… it doesn't surprise me that it still smells like poop," she comments, giggling. Her attention perks at the mention of the vines, and she tilts her head to one side as she feels the leaf to her hand. She turns her hand, after a moment, to be able to feel the leaf a bit, careful of it. "They were eating leaves? I wonder if they're omnivorous, then?" she wonders.

Marcus shrugs a little. "No clue. We didn't get a chance to observe them, check out their teeth or fangs or anything. We saw them, Sebastian shot at them, I tried to distract them, we all got charged and then we came back to the school. Mission /unaccomplished/. Sebastian has like, /zero/ idea of how to do investigations!" Marcus flaps his notebook in the air for emphasis. "Observe! Take notes! Experiment! Test hypotheses! Just plain, good science!" … as though Marcus were accomplishing anything even close to 'good science.' "But! My helmet didn't break! So I think I've got a pretty good design with my latest model."

"Oh, well that's unfortunate. It would be nice to know more about them to know how dangerous they are to us. I mean… if they're just eating plants then we don't have to worry about them eating us. Just… killing us for no apparent reason that we can suss out," Karina says, quirking a smile. "The main concern after seeing them might have been getting everyone else out safely. Just at a guess. It would be interesting to try to cage them, in rock, to see if it would contain them," she says, a thoughtful note to her voice. She tilts her head a bit to one side at the flapping of the notebook, an unexpected sound. Then she raises an eyebrow. "You have a helmet? And you made it yourself?" she asks, sounding a bit surprised and impressed.

"Ab-so-/lutely/ I have a helmet! You can't /be/ too careful these days!" Marcus exclaims and rummages around in his backpack again. And then he pulls it out. It's a helmet, made out of tin foil, with something that's managed to make it actually a little more stable than not. He places it on Karina's leg so she can pick it up and examine it. It's homemade, obviously, and dome-shaped, with tapered parts that ostensibly cover his ears, and a chin-strap made out of string.

When the helmet is placed on her leg, Karina tilts her head to one side and reaches with both hands towards it. She feels around the edges of it, over the chin strap, then runs her fingers around the outside before the inside of it. "What's in it to give it the stability?" she asks, curious. "What's it covered with?" She can't see that it's tinfoil, and it's hard to know by touch. "Was it just the one kind of dinosaur there?" she asks.

"I used some of the heavier cardstock from the art room!" Marcus explains, grinning. He's obviously quite proud of it. "And it's tin foil, of course! It's the best way to protect against mindreaders and stuff. Those dinosaurs are from another dimension, so who /knows/ what tricks they've got up their sleeves?" At her last question, he shrugs. "I doubt it, but that's the only ones we saw. Sebastian decided to shoot first and ask questions never, and we had to come back and get patched up after that. So we never even saw the entrance to the school or /anything/. Just the landing area, the bleachers, the dinos, then boom. Home again, home again, jiggity jig."

"Oh, that's a good idea, with the cardstock," Karina agrees with a smile. "That makes sense, about the tin foil. Though I'm not sure if it actually stops anyone with mind reading abilities. I've never used it for anything," she says in a thoughtful tone. "They could have tricks in store for folks, or… they could just be scratching and biting and stuff. Maybe if I go then I'll have to try to communicate with them. Though I'm no sure that they would listen. Or want to listen," she muses, her brow furrowing briefly. "Well… it sounds like there'll be another investigation mission, then. Maybe we can take one of the dinosaurs captive," she suggests.

Marcus shrugs. "There will be more, but I dunno about capturing anything. I think, really, the main goal is to figure out /why/ they're here and try and either send them back or get rid of them. They're coming from another dimension and we need to make sure it's not gonna get worse or grow beyond the island or something." Then, he shrugs again. "At least, I /think/ that's what we're doing. But, I'm not in charge or anything. I'd really just like to check the island out more and see what it's like, and explore the old school. Even if there weren't dinosaurs, I'd be super interested."

"Well… it would seem that if they came from another dimension then there has to be a doorway or something from there to here. Somewhere that they're coming from. Maybe they're over populated on the other side and need a new place to go," Karina says in a thoughtful tone. "So if we want no more dinosaurs, then the door needs to be closed. Or blocked. Or something like that," she muses, ducking her chin a bit. "I wonder if a dome could just be put over the island and just leave it at that if the door can't be closed?" she wonders aloud, curious. "Maybe next time it can be explored more?"

"Welllll," Marcus intones. "We were /supposed/ to be scouting and seeing how dangerous the path into the school would be. But /somebody/ had a better idea." And there's a roll of his eyes there, which should sound obvious by the way he says it. "And yeah, we definitely need to figure out how to close the rift. I mean, they're dinosaurs. I don't think they got together and said, "Hmm, it's crowded over here. Let's open up a portal into a different dimension and settle over there, instead." That … doesn't seem very dino-like."

"Wasn't this the second mission there, though?" Karina asks, raising an eyebrow slightly. "I mean… what's the first group find out?" she wonders, curious. "Maybe the dinosaurs were a bit… startling… to discover. So how do you close a rift, then? I'm sure I couldn't just toss a great big boulder in front of it and expect it to work," she comments, quirking a bit of a grin. "Something, or someone, had to have opened the way there. Although if a way was opened there then could there be another way opened from dinoland to somewhere else on Earth?" she suggests, curious. "What if there's some super intelligent and transdimensional dinosaur that's leading them all?"

Marcus listens to Karina, just staring at her, blinking. Finally, when she finishes, he just throws his hands up and shrugs his shoulders. "I don't know! I'm just a freshman!" Then, he looks contemplative for a second. "You know, you might be the only girl that I know that is ready for investigations and adventures. I mean, you sure ask a lot of questions! And some of them are even better than mine!"

Karina tilts her head to one side at his words, and then she giggles. "I'm just a freshman, too. And I just ask the questions. I don't know the answers," she says, quirking a bit of a grin and reaching out to pat his leg once. One of her eyebrows quirks up at his comment, and a blush of colour comes to her cheeks as she ducks her chin, looking down. Then she rins, looking to him. "Well… you -did- say that I was awesome, so… I have to live up to that. And asking good questions seems a good place to start. So long as you don't mind helping me with the more visual side of things, then I'll drop rocks on the head of any dinosaur that attacks."

That last bit causes Marcus to snicker, his hand coming up to cover his mouth a little. "How 'bout you not go dropping stuff on things you can't see?" he says. But, then, he pauses, and realizes, "Wait, you could pro'ly tell where they is from them stomping on the ground, huh!? Shoot! You'd be perfect to have tagging along, because you could be like our early warning system or something! We'll call it Kay-Dar!" he says. When she pats his leg again, he moves it over to nudge her a little, before settling it back. "Shoot. I would so go and get you an adventure notebook right now if it would do you any good. And I'm never gonna remember all your questions. We need to get you, like, a voice recorder or something, like they use in those detective and doctor shows and stuff."

"Well… dropping rocks on their heads would be a really great and effective way of making them stop. Maybe," Karina says with a grin. Then she giggles before giving a nod. "Mmhmm! I can. Well, if I'm touching earth. It has to be skin to earth contact for me or I can't sense anything. That's why I go barefoot. It's how I've known a couple of times when you were coming over to me," she says, a smile tugging her lips. She snickers and giggles. "Kay-Dar," she says, then giggles again. "You can still get me a book, just make sure that the paper is for braille and then I can still write in it. Maybe between both of us, we can remember the questions," she says with a smile.

Marcus shakes his head adamantly. "Oh no, don't go expecting me to remember /your/ questions with all of mine rattling around up there, too." He chuckles, then leans back on his hands again. "I think getting you a recorder or something would actually be kinda cool. You can keep all your case files and stuff as recordings, and then someday, when you've got a whole lot of them, you could write a book or something! That'd be neat." Then, at the talk of being barefoot, Marcus peeeeers and notices that her feet are presently bare as well. And even though she's sitting cross-legged …. INVESTIGATION TIME! With an impish smirk, Marcus leans in and, using a crooked index finger, tickles the bottom of Karina's nearest foot just a little, immediately flinching away and raising his arm protectively in case of dangerous reactions!

Karina quirks a grin at his comment, and she lifts a hand to brush a curl back from her face. "You can write them in your dinoventure book as questions that I suggested need answering in order to face the dinothreat. You must have something to write with in there," she comments, pointing roughly towards his backpack that she's heard him rummage in before. "A recorder or something like that could work. I'm not sure about writing a book. My english teacher doesn't seem to like any essay that I've turned in, so far," she says, wrinkling her nose a little bit. It's one of those things that she needs to work on. She tilts her head a little to one side when he's quiet, and then there comes the testing tickle to the bottom of her foot. There's a slight twitch from her foot. "Hey! That's cheating!" she exclaims, surprised and giggling even as she pulls her foot back and away.

Well, he wasn't obliterated to high heaven! But, she /did/ appear to be tickled. Marcus's smirk turns into a grin and he files that away in his mental notebook. "No, I can't write them in /my/ dinoventure book. They're not /my/ questions. Plus, that's a whole lotta writing and since it's not my question, I won't be able to put it in code that I can read back later. See, that's how I keep all my investigations secret. It's all written so only I can understand it. But if it's not something I wrote, I won't understand why it's written the way it is. At least … I don't /think/ I would …," he trails off, thinking about it. After a few seconds, he frowns and shrugs. "I mean, I guess I could /try/." And yes, of course he has a pen in his adventure backpack. He has almost everything else. "… let's put these under … hmmm." Marcus ponders, tapping his pen to his lip for a few seconds. Then, he ah-has and turns the notebook upside down, opening it from the back. "Got it. They're not my ideas, I'll file them backwards! Okay. What are the questions?"

There wasn't a rock that fell on his head either! Maybe she's not against being tickled, or maybe she just wasn't expecting it and didn't want to haul up a piece of the floor to whomp him with. She blinks at him a bit at his logic, which seems… faulty to her. Boys! They think everything differently! "Well… but… why do you use a code if you're the only one that reads the book? You can write them however you want to… I won't be able to read them, either way," she comments, quirking a grin. Unless he writes them in braille, which is unlikely! She giggles then, and nods. "Backwards sounds like a good way. If I remember right, there was: what'd the first group find out?, how do you close a rift?, what or who opened the rift?, could there be another way opened from dinoland to somewhere else on Earth?, what if there's some super intelligent and transdimensional dinosaur that's leading them all?"

"… just in case," Marcus answers her question as to why it's written in code. As if that were the most obvious thing in the world. He stares at her, too, for all the good that'll do. Of /course/ you write your adventure book in code! What else would you do? "Wait wait wait! Slow down!" Marcus says when she starts listing the questions. He scribbles pretty quickly, but he's not /that/ fast! He then makes her repeat the questions he needs until he's got them all down, his tongue perched inbetween the side of his lips as he concentrates. "… okay. Got 'em. That it?"

'Just in case'? In case of what? Karina wonders, but she doesn't ask. She's not really used to the thought that people would read her books. They're in braille! She giggles softly at his request for her to slow down, and then she gives a nod and complies. And she'll repeat the questions as many times for him to get them written. "Oh. Well, I suppose you could add the question about possibly trapping one to bring back for potential study. But that might be trickier than I think it is. I mean… it's not a mouse or anything, it's a -dinosaur-," she comments, quirking a grin. "I can't think of any others, off the top of my head."

"Oh yeah, you asked. They're like, cow-sized. At least, the ones that rushed us were that big. Who knows how many kinds of dinos are coming through the rift!" Marcus says. Then, he starts collecting his stuff and sticking it back into his bag. "But yeah, it was definitely cool going there. I hope I get to go back again really soon, even with the fact that I punched Sebastian. … but he should definitely not be allowed. Like, /ever/."

"Umm… cow-sized…? You realize that I haven't ever before seen a cow, right? Or touched one," Karina says, giggling. "Was the dinosaur taller than you?" she asks. That's something she can have a better understanding of, maybe! "Well… maybe they'll make you do something instead of detention or something? I wonder if there are other kinds that are there. You'll have to tell me if any of them are smaller. Maybe I'll come along next time," she says, a thoughtful note to her voice. "If you're going next time, that is."

"Well a cow is bigger than me!?!?" Marcus exclaims, flailing a little. "If you haven't seen anything, how can I tell you how big it is?!" Marcus folds his arms across his chest and harumphs a little. "So … they were smaller than cars, but bigger than people. The biggest one was /maybe/ the size of a really tiny car. And I'd tell you what they look like, but they looked like triceratops without horns, which doesn't tell you anything, /either/, so nyaah," he says, sticking his tongue out at Karina. When she mentions going along, Marcus smiles. "You should totally sign up to go, whether I'm going or not! The Unit 23 people are all over there, protecting people. And … I may not be going /anywhere/ for a while, since I punched Sebastian. So you shouldn't miss out just cuz I have to!"

"I know, right? I've never seen things, and it's hard to have a good image of something's size just from reading a blurb in a book. And cows are different sizes depending on the breed, too," Karina says, quirking a grin. Yes, she's teasing a bit. "It would be like if I asked you to explain the colour red to me. How do you explain a colour to someone that's not seen it?" she suggests, a touch rhetorically as she doesn't expect him to try to do so. "So… smaller than a car but bigger than a person. That's… a fair size. I think I can make something that can hold it. Well. Correction, I can make something the right -size-. It's the strength part that may need to be tweaked," she comments. "Y'know, I heard you stick your tongue out at me," she says, giggling as she pokes his leg. "Well… I trust you to to keep an eye out for me if you're there. I'm not sure that other people would necessarily think to. I know that sounds terrible to say. I'll think about it, though," she says, giving a nod towards him.

"Of course other people would! And it's not like we're over there alone, there are adults!" … if Calli and Daxton count as adults? But there are other Unit 23 members there! "But you're fun and nice and smart, so I'm sure everybody likes you and would definitely be looking out for you. You shouldn't have to worry. … I mean, you shouldn't worry any more than anybody should worry with man-eating dinos around. So you should definitely worry! But, an appropriate amount of worry, not extra worry cuz you can't see. Feel me?" he asks. And the poke at his leg gets another nudge from said leg. And she can't see it, but he's got that devlish smirk again and is eyeing her bare foot. He's restraining himself, though. For the moment.

"Well… I don't mean to say that they wouldn't. I mean… I'm sure that they would, but… people who can see tend to take advantage of that they can see and often take for granted that others around them can see as well," Karina says, her cheeks blushing and her chin ducking. And the colour in her cheeks deepens at his compliments of her, and she lifts one of her shoulders in a bit of a shrug. "I… haven't really gotten to know many people, yet," she says softly, looking towards him. "So find a happy medium of worrying that's the right amount of possibly and probably man-eating dinos. Got it," she says, quirking a grin at him. Lifting a hand, she brushes aside a curl, tucking it behind one of her ears. It won't stay for long. "What's Unit 23?"

"The ADULTS," Marcus says, with all the austerity such a word should muster. Then, he smirks and snickers a little. "It's a super-powered team of … I think government contractors? That normally live and operate out of Shady Cove. If you look up the history of the school, the whole school was actually housed at Unit 23s facilities before this island was made ready." And then, Marcus, noticing the blushing and slightly confused by it, cants his head to the side and asks, "How come you haven't gotten to know people? I mean, you talk to me just fine. … but, I guess I do talk to everybody. What about Keyson? … well, I guess I hardly see her without Sebastian. But you could get to know them!"

Karina giggles at his answer, a grin tugging at the corners of her lips. "Well, I had a feeling that they were the adults," she says, amused. "I didn't know there was such a team in the city. I wonder if they're there because of the proximity to the school. Or in case something goes awry at the school," she adds, a thoughtful note to her voice. "I'll have to take a look at the history some. I've never really checked it out," she admits. She shifts her position a bit, then tilts her head a bit ot one side. "Umm… well… I haven't been here for very long, yet. Just less than a couple of months. I've met Sebatian once, but I haven't really come across him again other than just hearing his voice in halls and stuff. I've met Keyson, but not really gotten to know her much. Yet, anyways. I could get to know them, and probably should. I'm a bit shy, I guess."

"I dunno why they're here, either. But, I know the two that were with us the other night were graduates of Coral Springs, so … maybe they're linked?" Marcus offers, shrugging his shoulders up again. And there Karina goes about being 'shy' again. Marcus groans and rolls his eyes, flopping back on the ground and spread-eagle-ing. "Oh gosh, everyone is so much cooler and less weird than me! Nobody else is just learning about their powers or trying to figure out how they work or why they have them and how to get by with them. Nobody will possibly understand me or like me if I take a chance to get to know them," he drones, quite obviously not serious.

"Hmm… it could be a related thing, that they're in the city because of being graduates," Karina says, a smile coming to her features. She lifts a hand, pushing aside a bit of her hair from her face. She lifts one of her shoulders in a bit of a shrug, uncertain of it as well. Her eyes narrow a touch as she hears him flop back to the floor, and she can hear it in his voice that he's rolled his eyes again. "There you go again, rolling your eyes at me!" she says with a grin, teasing him. She tilts her head a bit to one side, then chuckles. "I inherited my powers from my parents. I don't really need to wonder -why- I have them," she comments with a bit of amusement. "I don't have anything against getting to know people, you know," she adds, quirking a smile.

"Yeah, but you said you were /shy/," Marcus responds. "I just don't get that. Not that I think there's anything /wrong/ with people who are shy. I just don't understand it. The way I see it, everybody's my friend until they prove otherwise. So why be afraid to talk to your friends?" He then smirks and uses his knee to nudge Karina again. "Especially when you've got awesome super powers to impress them with!"

"I am, a bit. I mean… the last school that I went to was… a school for the blind," Karina says, her brow furrowing a bit. "Everything here is new and different, and it's taken time for me to get used to where things are. It's even a completely different country," she adds, ducking her chin just a touch and quirking a smile. "I'm still getting used to being able to use my powers, here. At the other school, I couldn't. I could only use them at home," she says with a smile. "I'm… not really sure that I'm afraid… it's kind of hesitant-ish? But… it's a good point that you make, about them being friends until proven otherwise," she says with a smile.

"A different country!?" Marcus asks, sitting bolt upright. "What country?" he asks, suddenly back in investigation mode. "Did you know about the school before you came? Did you come /just/ for the school? Does your home country not have a school? Do they not have recognized heroes!?!?" See? Marcus can come up with questions.

Karina tilts her head a bit to one side, and hten she gives a nod. "Mmhmm, a different country," she affirms, a smile coming to her features. She giggles, lifting a hand and brushing a bit of hair from her face. "I'm from Canada. I used to live in the northern part of Ontario," she says. "We moved here. When I was old enough to come to the school and once all of the paperwork and everything was in order," she explains, reaching out to poke his leg briefly. "I'm sure there are recognized heroes, but… my parents were able to get transfers through their jobs, and this was the decision that they made. So, here I am," she says with a smile.

"OHhhh. Canadia," Marcus says, sounding somewhat disappointed. Because Canada isn't special? "Well, that's cool. How'd you guys hear about Coral Springs, then? I bet our government and your government work together on this kinda thing. I'm sure governments keep pretty good tabs on stuff like us. I mean, I know there's a whole bureau that deals with aliens, since my mom's one."

"Mmhmm," Karina agrees, giving a small nod towards him. "You sound disappointed about that," she adds, tilting her head to one side. "I… don't know. My parents found Coral Springs. They said it was where I would go to high school. I didn't question it or anything," she says softly, a thoughtful tone to her voice. "I'd expect they likely do keep good tabs on stuff like us. Between the government here, and the government back home. I'm sure they would, it would make sense," she adds, a smile coming to her features.

"Oh, it's just that Canadia isn't /that/ interesting. If you were from, like, England or somewhere, you'd have an accent and lots of stories about how different it is," Marcus explains. "Canaida is just like America Junior. Or America 'North.'" Then, Marcus smirks a little and shrugs. "Well, you could go to worse places for high schol."

Karina arches an eyebrow at his words, and she sits up a bit straighter. "That's not very nice to say. How would you like it if I said that America isn't that interesting?" she says, her brow furrowing and a frown touching her features. She hrmphs, crossing her arms in front of herself. "How would you like it if we called America 'Canada South'? I mean, the land is connected because of being on the same continent but that doesn't mean that the countries are the same."

Marcus smirks, first, and then at Karina's continued indignation, he chuckles. "Well, before 2016, I woulda argued with you. But … we can't really brag too much about 'Murika, now. We're kinda trash," he admits, not at all phased by Karina's reaction. "Hey, did you know they named Canada by pulling names out of a hat at random?" If only she could see the grin on his face, she'd know he was about to hit her with a terrible joke. Or maybe she's heard it before? It's not his most original material.

"All countries have their issues," Karina comments, lifting her shoulders in a bit of a shrug. Some of the issues are just bigger than others or made more public than others. "I think the media plays a lot of things up, though," she adds, a thoughtful tone to her voice. She raises an eyebrow slightly at his joke, then giggles. "Names or letters. I've heard it said both ways," she comments, quirking a smile. "They think it's actually from the native people, though," she adds.

"… what? No, it's letters. It doesn't work any other way …," Marcus says. His eyes narrow as he thinks about it, then he shakes his head. "No, it wouldn't work any other way. What other way have you heard it?"

"I know it's letters," Karina says, lifting a hand to push one of her curls from her face. "You said names, though, so… I was being polite… or trying to be, anyways," she adds, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips as she reaches out to poke his leg. "I don't say 'eh' that often, but it comes out now and again," she adds, giving a soft giggle.

Marcus rocks his leg back and forth when she pokes it again. Then, he sighs and shakes his head. "Whelp! That's it." And then he'll set out to start trying to tickle the bottom of her bare feet.

"Eh? What's it? What's what?" Karina asks, a bit puzzled and tilting her head a touch to one side. Then there's the tickling, and she can't help but to squeak and giggle, her foot twitching. "Hey! That's cheating again!" she says in a light tone, reaching out a hand to try to catch his by the wrist if she can.

See, the problem with trying to catch his wrist is that he has two of them. And he is, more than likely, stronger than Karina, even without using his powers, which means grabbing his wrists may not prevent him from tickling anyway. "You must learn the error of your ways!" Marcus cries out, as he attempts to move so he can tickle her other foot, too, to further frustrate her defense.

There are many issues with her defense, not the least of which is the fact that she can't see. And he does have two hands, which makes it even harder to keep track of them since she only knows where they are when he's actually tickling her. She gives a little squeal, giggling as he tickles her. And she switches from a defensive tactic to an offensive one, aiming to find his side in order to try to tickle him in return!

Oh crap! That's not good! Marcus is /definitely/ ticklish, so when Karina turns the tables he yowls and twists away, laughing and grabbing at one of Karina's wrists, trying to stop her from tickling while he tickles. It's a delicate balance, but he's totally got the advantage of sight, and he's totally willing to use it. There can be no mercy in a tickle fight!

All's fair in tickle wars! Her attention perks a bit with surprise at his reaction to her tickling, and she grins. Shifting her position, she leans a bit more towards him. She doesn't realize until it's too late and her wrist is caught that he was aiming for it, and she gives a startled eep. She doesn't fight against it but instead uses it to help her, leaning a bit on his hand around her wrist and reaching out with her other hand towards his side to tickle him more.

Curses! Marcus did not anticipate the fact that she could use his limbs to direct her where his body is! While he's still laughing out loud, he growls a little as he tries to move around to a point where she can't reach him quite as well. And, since she's tickling /his/ sides, he might as well take advantage of the increased target areas and tries to tickl her side back!

After all, at the end of his arm is his shoulder and thus the rest of him, so it's a good way to mentally plot out a body. One of her eyebrows quirks at the growl that he emits, and there's a soft little squeak from her at that, amongst the giggling and laughing. There's a slight twitch, when his fingers find her side for the tickling of them, and she tries to move her side away from his fingers while still being able to tickle him. Which doesn't work entirely well and almost puts her off balance.

After several minutes of tickling and dodging, letting go and grabbing, and the utter futility that is a tickle fight, Marcus has found himself on his back and laughing too hard to be able to defend himself any further. Instead, he's been relegated to simply trying to twist away or grab Karina's hands to keep her from tickling him, which has been made that much more difficult due to the lack of oxygen and THE FACT THAT SHE KEEPS TICKLING! With any offense now impossible due to a lack of defense, all Marcus can do is writhe and beg for her to stop, even while he's laughing about it. And it's clear that the main reason he's begging for leniency is mostly because he's not able to fight back, not that she's actually pushing him to discomfort.

It's futile on both parts for a little while, no doubt. She's not that wily, but she's small and agile. And she has little hands. Grabbing her hands turns out to be an effective defense at least until she figures out how to slip her hand from his grasp. After a little while of tickling torture and laughing herself, she flops halfway across him where he lays on his back. "Truce?" she offers, giggling. And she stops tickling him, giving him a break and letting him catch his breath.

"TRUCE!" Marcus yells, holding his index finger as high as he can reach from flat on his back. And then he's laughing again, his hand coming down to rest on Karina's back as she lays across him. He's still laughing a bunch, and his chest is heaving, and if Karina's feeling or listening, she'll notice his heartbeat thumping harder and faster than a regular person's. He doesn't seem at all worse for the wear because of it, though. Probably part of that alien physiology. "You're too quick and squirmy! I don't even know how you do all that when you can't see," he complains as he fights to get his laughter under control.

Karina giggles, and then she gives a nod. "I shall grant you mercy, then," she says with amusement, grinning at him. She settles a bit, relaxing. She's a bit out of breath, but working on catching it. And though she can feel that his heartbeat is different than a regular person's, she doesn't say anything about it. Perhaps presuming it to have to do with his powers, or the physiological difference of being half alien. "Well… I might not be able to see, but I can feel," she says in a thoughtful tone. She lifts one of her hands, then moves it by his forearm, near enough that air stirs across his skin. "You see? And it helps that I have little hands. Though I think some of it is instinct. It's been a while since I've had tickle fights. They're fun," she says lightly.

"The best," Marcus agrees, his head dropping back down on the ground. When she moves her hand over his forearm, it tingles and he mrrrs and uses his other hand to poke her in the side. "Hey! Truce! That tickles." He doesn't, however, otherwise move to make her stop. Then, as his heart slows down, he winces, and then groans a little, before chuckling. "Owwwwieeee. Apparently? You can tickle past my super toughness. That whole time, I /totally/ forgot I was bruised. And it hurst, /now/, but … it hurts less. I mean, less than it hurt before we were tickling." He considers, for a second, before musing, "I wonder if the good thingies … endorfuns? I wonder if they do stuff like adrenaline does stuff to me."

Karina gives a little squeak and a soft giggle at his poke to her side, which hits just right to tickle her. She grins at him and gives a nod. "Fair, truce… though I didn't mean to tickle, that time," she says, settling her hand atop of his chest instead. His wince and groan causes her to raise an eyebrow, and she tilts her head a bit to one side. "Oh, I didn't know that was a thing. Though I also wasn't considering that your super toughness would apply against tickling. I should probably move, so that it doesn't hurt you so much, maybe? Endorphins are good things, I know they do a lot of good to a body," she says, considering. "I'm glad that it hurts less for you," she says in a warm voice, sounding pleased and comfortable.

"I mean, /you're/ not hurting me, /now/. Just … the bruise hurts. … on my side. … where the dino hit me," Marcus says, lifting his head back up and looking down. Oh hey! Karina's laying on him! When did /that/ happen? He blinks a few times, and then lays his head back down. Now /this/ is peculiar. She's laying on him. Her hand is on his chest. And he … doesn't mind? The hand that Marcus had used to poke Karina in the side returns, except this time, instead of poking, he likewise rests his hand on her. And then gives a very small squeeze, followed by gentle rubbing. She's soft. And? She smells nice. Marcus's brow furrows as his brain takes in all of these new stimuli, all of these new facts, and tries to sort them into what he already knew about girls. Except … these things don't fit anywhere. He is utterly perplexed at the moment, and probably for the first time since Karina (or anyone, really) has ever met him, he is utterly silent.

Since he's said that she's not hurting him, then she doesn't feel a particular need to move. Though she does shift a little bit, folding her arms across his chest and then resting her chin atop of her uppermost forearm. "Well… so long as I'm not hurting you, then. And let me know if I do anything that does," Karina says in a thoughtful tone, a smile tugging the corners of her lips. She's comfortable here with him, like this. When did boys stop having cooties? She doesn't know! But apparently Marcus doesn't have them, or she doesn't mind if she catches them from him. Which might be a thing that she'll wonder about later. The scent of him teases her nose, but… it's a pleasant thing to her senses. The fingers of her lower hand stir a little against his chest, a soft sort of thing whilst there's silence from him. And she doesn't mind the silence, it just strikes her as a sort of curious thing. There's a smile that comes to tug and tease at the corners of her lips, and she voices the most dangerous question that might exist. "I can practically hear the gears of your brain turning. What're you thinking?" It's a softly voice question, a gentle tone to her voice, too. She's not trying to spook him or anything, but… she's genuinely curious.

"Hmm?" Marcus asks, looking down at her again. "Oh. What am I thinking?" he repeats. There's a few seconds as he looks up at the ceiling, trying to connect his thoughts. It's hard, and he's not sure why. His brow furrows a little, since he's not /used/ to not knowing what he's thinking. "… I dunno? Just … stuff." There is one thing he knows he's thought, because it is still present. "You smell nice." This is a statement of fact, that just happens to be complimentary. The hand on Karina's side leaves as he puts both of his hands behind his head and shifts to lay a little more comfortably, without disturbing Karina's position too much. "Also, I don't hate having you lay on me. I would think I would, but I don't. You're warm. And soft. And you smell nice."

It seemed a fair question! Karina is patient, though. She gives him what time he needs for gathering his thoughts and sorting them, and the fingers of her lower hand continue to make lazy and semi-serpentine sort of tracings there on his chest. The initial part of his answer brings her to tilt her head a touch to one side. Just… stuff? And then there's the compliment, which causes a blush of colour to come to her cheeks and a shy smile to find her lips. "Thank you," she says softly, half biting her lower lip after the words. "You smell nice, too," she adds, tapping one of her fingertips against his chest. Her tongue flicks out, damping her lips, and the blush lingers in her cheeks. She doesn't find herself disturbed into moving by his shifting of position, and so she remains, with just a minute shift, a resettling of sorts. And she giggles at his choice of words. "Well… if it helps at all… I don't hate being here like this, with you. Laying on you. It's nice… warm," she says softly. It's not easy to find words to put to something that you've never done before! She's quiet a lingering moment, turning her head to rest her cheek against her arm. "I like you," she adds.

When Karina says she likes him, Marcus snickers. "Well, I think I'd be in trouble if you /didn't/ like me and were laying on me," he says, smirking. "And like I've said before, you're pretty awesome," he adds, easily. And he totally doesn't think about it for a couple of seconds. But, then he /does/ and his eyebrows shoot up. He looks down at Karina, a mix of shock and … well, confusion or bewilderment would probably be apt descriptions. "You mean … just … like, /like/ me, right? Not /like/ like me?" he asks.

There's a soft giggle that comes after his words, and she quirks a grin. "You might be. Or I might be. I could see that going both ways, in a way," she says with a bit of amusement to her voice. She blushes again and ducks her chin a touch at his additional compliment, then gives another little giggle. "I do seem to remember you saying that before… and me saying that I wouldn't argue it. Maybe I'm just the right amount of awesome," she suggests, though there's a shy note to the words, like she's not entirely sure she is awesome. But she's not denying it, at least! Which is something. "You're pretty awesome, too, y'know," she adds, the words sincere. And she's quiet for a little bit, until there's a realization on his part. A realization that causes different gears in her brain to start turning. She blinks a little bit, half biting her lower lip. "Umm… I… don't know…," she says quietly, sheepishly. And a bit shyly, too. She definitely likes him, she knows that part. But she hadn't thought about the other kind of liking him! "I've… never /like/ liked anyone before," she adds in a quiet and shy tone. It's the best answer that she has to offer!

Marcus physically relaxes when Karina admits that she doesn't know. He lays his head back down and chuckles, smiling. "Phew! You had me worried, shawty," he says. And then he grimaces and quickly tries to explain. "I mean, I haven't ever /like/ liked anybody either, so if you said you /like/ liked me, I didn't wanna hurt your feelings cuz I don't know if I /like/ like you, either! I mean, I /like/ you, that's kinda 'duh' at this point. But …," he trails off. Then he makes a face and laughs quietly, from his chest. "Thinking about kissing /anybody/ is just … /weird/!" And he laughs again. He shakes his head as he lays back on his hands, smiling. "I've never /wanted/ to kiss anybody but my moms and my siblings."

It might not be a thing that can be seen, but she can feel how he relaxes at her admission. "Mmm… hopefully not -too- worried," she teases, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. "I'm not that short! Well… maybe I am, though," she muses, then giggles softly, "It's not like I know how my height compares to everyone else, anyways." She raises an eyebrow at his explanation, and then she giggles softly. "If you can accept an 'I don't know', then so can I. It's fair," she says, a smile easily coming to her features. "I'd have to pretty much agree on that. Thinking about kissing anybody is -weird-," she affirms, giving a nod. Which now she's going to end up doing later, since the idea's been planted! She giggles. "Although I guess I can't be accused of peeking during one, if that's actually a thing. They made it a thing in a show I watched, but it's hard to tell if that's really how things are. Family kisses are different, though. They're like… little pecks. The definitely don't sound the same as most of the ones in tv shows and movies," she comments, quirking a grin. "What's it like, having siblings?" she asks.

Marcus nods in agreement at her agreement about kissing other people being weird. And then she mentions how it sounds on movies and TV shows and Marcus laughs again. "Oh yeah! ANd it /looks/ even weirder! It looks like they're trying to swallow each other's faces. And then mush their lips together, and sometimes they lick each other and stuff! It's crazy. I'm like, '… how can you like that?'" he says, making a face again. "And, I think, you pro'ly /gotta/ kiss with your eyes open until you get used to it. I mean, how else can you make sure you're not gonna just bonk foreheads or miss or something?" Totally logical, right?
Then, Karina asks about siblings and Marcus sighs again, smiling. "I love being the big brother. I've got three little siblings. You've always got somebody to play with, or to help with investigations and experiments and stuff." Then, he chuckles a little. "Sometimes, we fight. But, more often, we have so much fun together. It's awesome."

There's a moment where Karina tries to imagine what it might look like. This smooshing of lips to lips called kissing. It's a challenging sort of thing! She wrinkles her nose a little bit, and then she gives a small shake of her head. "That's just… eww! That just doesn't sound appealing at all. I don't want to be licked by someone," she says, making a sort of scrunched up and nose wrinkled face. "I mean, why would anybody want that? That's just gross," she adds, giving a little shake of her head again. There's a point where that changes, but she's not quite there yet. Then she giggles, finding amusement in part of what he's said. "Any aim is entirely and totally on the other person, in my case. I have no contributions, there," she says lightly. Everything's dark anyways, for her! She tilts her head a little to one side as he explains about siblings, and then smiles warmly at him. "It sounds awesome and pretty amazing. Even with the occassional fight and squabble. So long as ya'll make up afterwards, anyways," she says a bit wistfully. She's an only child, and though she understands the reasons, sometimes she wishes she had siblings. "Have you ever created a sort of mystery for them with clues and everything and sort of let them loose on it?" she asks.

Marcus smirks and nods. "Gotcha," he responds to her indication that aiming is all on the other party. And then she asks a question that once again boggles him. "… /no/!? That sounds /amazing/!" he says, grinning. Then, he laughs and looks up at the ceiling, imagining what that might be like. "I don't know if they'd be as excited about it as I would be, but it sounds really cool. … but … how would you do it? Like, I know how to figure mysteries out, not make them."

Karina raises an eyebrow at his answer, and then she giggles, a grin coming to her features. "You totally should!" she offers brightly. Shifting a bit, she lifts her head from where it was resting on her arms, and she moves one of her hands in a soft motion to settle her hand at the front of his shoulder. "Well, since thy're related to you and you already get them into your experiments and investigations, I suspect they'd likely get right into any mystery you devised for them," she comments, giving a nod towards him. "Make a treasure map with clues every so often. So they get to point 'a' and have to find something… maybe the next piece of the map, hidden under a rock or in the knot of a tree or behind a flower or something. And once they've found it, then they can move on to the next point. Until they reach the destination where they actually have to dig. 'Cause 'X' marks the spot and all. It could be just a bag of coins from another country or a small LEGO set or a little figurine or something else that they'd appreciate that's buried. You can have them all do it together and maybe have in reserve a prize for whoever gets to the end first. Or whoever is the most helpful to the others. Or multiple prizes. But don't tell them what the prizes are for and just keep notes along the way to figure out who earns what," she offers.

Marcus listens intently to Karina's plot, then just grins. "Sounds like you've already got this figured out, so how 'bout I just let you do it?" he offers, grinning. "That's like, /way/ more detailed than anything we usually do. Most of the time, we just tried to see if we could climb this or that, or tried to figure out how to get on top of things, or stuff like that. Or we just ran around and chased each other, or played sports together or stuff like that. But your idea sounds pretty awesome." Marcus shifts again, moving one hand out from behind his head to reach down and rest on Karina's back, gently touching her in a fashion similar to the way she's been running her fingers over him. "But it'll be a long time before I could try to do anything like that. We won't have a break long enough for me to go home for a couple months."

"It's just a rough idea, really. Kind of along the lines of buried pirate treasure. You could even try to sell them on the idea that it's a buried Native American treasure or something," Karina says, quirking a smile. "Well, you could put clues up in the trees and then there'd still be climbing," she adds, sounding amused at that. "Carrying out the plan is a little bit challenging, though. I can help you create one, 'cause you'd know best what to put at the end of it or what to make as prizes and stuff like that," she comments, a smile easily returning to her features. "And you can make it as long or as short as it needs to be. Like you could do one that spans overnight and have them camp-out in the backyard or something," she says, quirking a grin. The fingers of her hand there on his shoulder lightly trace little patterns. She hears him lift his hand, and since he's touched her back before it doesn't startle her when his touch returns there. "Spring break?" she asks, a touch of curiosity to her voice. "That's coming up in a while, I think. Middle of March-ish. I think."

"… it /is/ February, huh?" Marcus realizes when she points out that Spring Break isn't /months/ away. But, then, kids perspective of time is usually a little … excitable. Marcus mulls over her suggestions for a few seconds, then shrugs. "You're hired. Head Investigation Designer, Karina … um …. Well, whatever your last name is," he decides, giving her back a playful tickle when he realizes he doesn't know her last name. "We can even make them even more excited by telling them you're an alien, too. From Canadia." And then he snickers again.

"Mmhmm, it's February already. For all of… six days, I think, now," Karina says, quirking a smile. Idly, one of her fingers traces along his collarbone, feeling it through the fabric of his shirt. She giggles at the tickle, wriggling a bit, then lightly pokes his shoulder. "No fair! We have a truce. It's Anderson. My last name," she says, sounding amused. "So… there's Valentine's Day in a while, and then other February stuff, and then spring break in March," she comments with a small nod. Right… 'other February stuff'. She laughs then, the sound merry and light. "I -am- an alien, in that respect! If you really want me to throw them for a loop then I can pull the earth up around me and look like some sort of earth monster or something," she says, giggling.

Once again, Marcus's finger is shoved up into the air as he pronounces, "TRUCE!" And then he laughs and lets his hand fall back down. Except now, he starts playing with Karina's hair a little. Marcus snickers at the idea of an earth slash rock monster. "No, no. Just saying you're an alien should be good enough. If they get it, they get it. If not, they'll just think you're even more cool," he says. Then, he contemplates. "Oh … huh. Valentine's day is next week." Then, a pregnant pause. "… do you think we should be each other's Valentine?"

Karina giggles at his pronouncement of the truce again, a grin easily finding her features. Her head tilts just a touch to one side at the rustle of cloth that happens when his hand falls back down. Though when his fingers find her hair, she blinks a little bit, surprised, and then she ducks her chin a touch as colour creeps to her cheeks. "Is it all in a tussled mess and sticking out?" she asks, a bit sheepishly. It's happened before! "Mmmhmm, next week," she affirms. She half bites her lower lip, the blush persisting in her cheeks, and one of her fingertips taps against his collarbone in a thoughtful sort of way. "Doesn't being someone's Valentine kind of mean the /like/ like sort of liking is a thing?" she wonders aloud, a bit… uncertain about it since she's never had a Valentine before! Does that mean he likes her more than he'd admitted? Which, notably, isn't her saying no either.

"… I don't think so?" Marcus says, lifting his head for a moment so he can see her hair. "Nope, looks good," he decides, before laying back down. And then, she asks /that/ question and Marcus's shoulders shrug way up. "… probably? But … I mean, they can't /make/ us /like/ like each other. And I don't think they can tell us /not/ to be Valentine's. It's not like there are like, dating police here or anything. Although …," he trails off. He frowns, as he considers. "I guess, normally you buy like, flowers and chocolates and cards and stuff for your Valentine. And you go on a date and do something romantic. And you're probably supposed to … like … kiss and stuff." Yup, he definitely makes a face at that, somewhere not quite yuck, not quite confused. "But we don't have to do any of that, if you wanna be Valentine's. We can just go on an adventure, instead, and I can give you a helmet and you can … do … whatever you think you'd want." Yeah, while the idea started out sounding exciting, it didn't end that way.

It's later in the evening, sometime after dinner and such, and the lobby is fairly quiet. Just two people present, currently. Marcus is laying on his back on the floor near to the fireplace and the fingers of one of his hands happen to be toying with Karina's curls. There's a book sitting nearby, with a bookmark in it. A book in braille, that Karina had been reading. Karina's next to Marcus, and sort of half atop of him as well. Her rump is on the floor, her knees bent, her feet bare. She leans a bit against his side, one of her forearms across his chest and the other with her hand at the front of one of his shoulders, sort of propped up there. Seeming comfortable and relaxed. "Oh! That's good, at least," she says, a smile tugging at the corners of her lips. And she giggles! "Well, no, I wouldn't think that they could make that happen. Dating police," she repeats, giggling again and lightly tapping the front of his shoulder twice. She quirks a grin, looking relatively towards his face, but her aim is never that great since she can't see. "So… non-kissing friend-type adventure Valentines of the no gifts expected variety?" she suggests, giggling a little bit.

Marcus also snickers as she repeats his 'dating police' idea, the whole idea quite silly. And then she has to go and clarify things and make them even muddier. Ugh! "… well … I mean … if that's alright? I mean, did you /want/ to kiss and give gifts and stuff? … I mean … you are a /girl/, after all. I guess I've always just thought that that's what you wanted. And I was gonna make you a helmet … if you wanted, I mean." Why Marcus has to say what he means so often is not particularly clear. But it's probably mostly to convince himself that he knows what he means, since he's in uncharted waters here.

Keyson's been in a mood since talking with Sebastian early in the day. She's dressed in jeans and a hoodie that's zipped all the way up like she's cold. In hand is a ziplock bag with crumbles up snickerdoodle cookies. The tiny Metis has been looking, and has finally found Marcus….in a very compimised position. Into the Ares/Athena Lobby she comes! "Marcus! Quite konoodling You big bully!" She come stomping over, throwing the bag of broken cookies down in front of Marcus and poor Karina. "Here! I was worried about you and baked you cookies after that terrible island. And then you go and attack Sebbie while he's in a sling?!? I don't care who was in charge of the mission, you attacked an injuired students, I thought better of you. I thought you were a hero." She's upset, her fists clenching, but there's a tone in her voice, she's pretty upset.

The girl tilts her head to one side, and then she gives a nod. "I was giggling about it, so… that does seem to be a fair indication that it's okay," she says with amusement. Then she wrinkles her nose and makes a face and shakes her head! "Ewww! No, we just had that conversation, didn't we? Kissing is gross," she says. "And yes… I had noticed that I'm a girl. We're friends, the other sorts of gifts are for the not just friends. I think. I could be wrong. But I think that's how it works," she comments, giving a nod towards him. "You can make me a helmet. If you want," she adds, tapping his shoulder once. And then there's… stomping? Definitely stomping! Karina's brow furrows, and she shifts her weight, rising carefully from where she was atop of him, and she tilts her head to one side. "Canoodling? Doesn't that mean kissing? There wasn't any," she says, frowning. She considers what Keyson's said, then looks in Marcus's direction before looking back towards Keyson. "Wasn't Unit 23 in charge of the mission?" she asks, raising an eyebrow. She doesn't know, so she's asking. She gets to her feet, tilting her head a bit. "I'm sorry you're upset, Keyson. Sometimes things get a bit out of control… tempers go off," she adds, her tone gentle.
<FS3> Keyson rolls Baking: Failure.

"… okay, good," Marcus says, about the kissing and stuff. And then, here comes Keyson's crumbled cookie comet! Marcus blinks several times as Keyons gives him what's for, and sits up. And then Karina stands up. Marcus, on the other hand, just sits up, looking up at Keyson. "Well, you shouldn't have been worried," he says, moving to pick up the baggie that had been hurled down in front of him. He collects it, holds it up so he can inspect it, and then holds it out to Keyson. "And yeah, I shouldn't have punched him. But he definitely shouldn't have been on that mission. He could have gotten Reese or himself killed. I've got super defenses, so I probably would have been okay. And you can have these back."

"Tempers? Karina, he punched Sebbie while Seb was in a sling!" Key doesn't really care what they were doing, really. "That's not okay!" Her arms fold, not accepting the cookie bag back. "Don't do that. Sebbie does that too." She then bobbles her head and says in a not really mocking voice (But not not, either), "I shouldn't have done this, but he did that." Ugh, boys. "Ugh." Her dark gazes goes down to the offered bag and her chin goes up defintley, although tears are gathering in her eyelashes.

Karina tilts her head to one side as she looks to Marcus, and she shakes her head a little bit. "People worry about each other because they care. It's a thing, and you'll just have to get used to it being a thing that friends do. I was worried about you, too," she says, reaching a hand out towards his shoulder and missing it. It happens! There's a puzzled sort of look towards the crinkling of the baggie, and then she looks sort of from one of them to the other. "You know, you'll have to apologize to Sebastian. Despite how you feel about whether he should have been there or not, it's the right thing to do," she says softly, a gentle note to her voice. "And having super defenses might make you hard to hurt, but you were headbutted by a dinosaur! You could have been hurt a lot worse than bruises!" Then she lifts a hand, pushing a bit of hair from her face. Misbehaving curls! "I know it's not okay, to punch someone. Sling or no sling. I'm not saying it is all right. I'm just saying that sometimes boys are boys and that's what boys do. They get protective and they get competitive and they get mad at each other and they punch each other," she says. She steps forward a bit, towards Keyson. "Why are you almost crying?" she asks in a quieter voice.

Marcus listens to Keyson, then shrugs his shoulders high, holding them there for a second before dropping them. … and the bag of cookie crumbles. "Well, it's true. I shouldn't have punched him. And I wasn't try'na say that it was okay that I punched him because he's an idiot. It's not. I was just saying, I shouldn't have punched him, /and/ he's an idiot. And I'm not gonna apologize cuz I'm not sorry I did it," Marcus says. "If I had to do it over again, I'd still punch him. You shoulda heard him …. But, ya didn't, nobody was there, and it's not worth it to me to rehash it." And while everybody else is standing up, Marcus just pulls his knees up so he can rest his elbows on them, spreading his legs and putting his feet flat on the floor. "So you got a right to be mad at me. That's fine. What I did was mean. I'm pro'ly gonna get detention or grounded or whatever else for it, too, since it was right in the courtyard and the admin pro'ly couldn't have missed it. So. If it's worth anything, I'm sorry you're upset and I'm sorry you worried. But I'm not sorry I punched him."

Keyson's jaw trembles, but she just pulls her hoodie around her tighter, "Look, I don't know what happened. All I know is that two of my friends were hurt, and now they hurt each other and I just…" She shakes her head, her hand rising to tug on her braid. "This place was suppose to be differnt. We were supposed to learn to be heroes and be a team and …" She sniffs, head shaking at Marcus, "Marcus….you can punch Sebastian and he can punch you, but….But…" Damn it, there's tears.She wipes her eyes almost angerly, "Whatever." She'll turn to leave, but stops to tell Karina, "I'm…I'm not mad at you, I'm just…upset."

"Apologizing isn't always about being sorry. Sometimes it's about knowing you did something that you shouldn't have done," Karina says softly, her brow furrowing a bit. She steps over towards Marcus, bare feet scuffling a little bit on the floor and one of her hands reaching towards him. This time, she does manage to find his shoulder, and she shifts her fingers a bit before giving him a soft squeeze there. Shifting a bit, she crouches down next to him, keeping her hand on his shoulder. Then she looks sort of towards Keyson, and she tilts her head to one side. "This place is different, Keyson. Here, I can use my powers. I couldn't, before. We're learning to be heroes and to be a team, but that all takes time. And not every team agrees all the time. I mean… look at the Avengers. They smacked each other sometimes," she says, frowning a little bit. "Is it… something more than Sebastian getting punched?"

Well, now, see, tears are different. Tears aren't okay. Especially not when they're his fault. But, wait a minute! These /aren't/ his fault. These are Sebastian's fault! Marcus glowers and looks down, shaking his head. Which lets him spot the baggie of cookie remains again. He closes his eyes, and that's when Karina tries to intervene. He opens his eyes again and looks at Karina, then over at Keyson, then back at Karina. Then he sighs. "What would make you stop crying, Keyson? I don't ever want anyone to cry because of me if I can help it. So … tell me what I can do and I'll see if I can do it."

"Just….be fair. I know people fight, but….They should be fair fights, Marcus." Her hand tugs on her braid again, "I know Karina, I just….I wanted this to be better than…." Than Chicago. A deep breath, "I hate crying." She looks away and then warns Marcus, "I don't know if they're any good. I've never made them before." Hopefully she's talking about the cookies.

Karina's just trying to help with things, though those efforts may not be working as well as she hopes. But it doesn't stop her from trying. She gives Marcus's shoulder a bit of a squeeze, and gives him a bit of a smile. Then she looks towards Keyson before giving a small nod. That makes sense to her, at least. "I hate crying, too," she says softly, a gentle note to her voice. Shifting her weight, she rises to her feet and pads over towards Keyson with the intent of lightly touching her arm. "I know we don't really know each other too well, but… would a hug help?" she offers.

"Well … we won't fight again, Keyson," Marcus says, still looking down. She mentions the cookies again, and now Marcus smirks just a little. "Did the cookies gang up on you? Is that why you had to smash them to bits?" he asks, teasing a little. Because the opposite of sad is funny, right? "Poor, hapless snickerdoodles. You never even stood a chance." When Karina moves to go hug Keyson, Marcus just stays put. Karina's got a higher diplomacy skill.

Keyson doesn't answer Karina, instead she wraps her arms around the other girl. Sometimes a good girl hug is what's needed. The tiny metis trembles a little bit in Karina's arms, there's more going on than just the punch thrown, she's clearly stressed out. ""Thank you." She sniffs, looking over at Marcus, "I tried baking your favorite…I don't think I did a good job…." Oh, here comes the tears again. "I messed up the gingerbread dinosaurs and I don't know if Reese's….almond cookies are… any good!" So much drama! She turns and back buries her face into Karina's shoulder. So much tears!

"Cookie bits? They'd be good for topping ice cream with," Karina offers, trying to find the silver lining to the cookie issue. There's a look towards Marcus, and then her attention returns to Keyson. And as the offer of the hug is accepted, she slips her arms around Keyson to give a hug and gently rub her back. "It's all right, Keyson," she says quietly, a gentle tone to her voice. "Whenever you need a hug, all you have to do is find me. Okay? I'll always have one for you," she says softly, giving a small nod. "I'm sure that they're good, Keyson. I heard a rumour that you made a wonderful chocolate cake one night," she says with a warm smile. She lightly rubs Keyson's back, giving her a gentle squeeze and just… being there and hugging her back.

D'awww /shucks/. His joke just made the crying /worse/! Daggum it. Marcus sighs and pats at the braids at the base of his skull again, looking sheepish. See? He doesn't get girls. This is why it's a good thing Karina has agreed to be his Adventure Valentine, so he doesn't have to try and do anything romantic at all. But, if it's the cookies she's worried about …. Marcus reaches for the bag and opens it. He then takes a bite and his eyes go wide. Well, she's not looking, so …. "They're not bad, Keyson. Just a little smashed. Would you like to make another batch together?" he offers. Because maybe he can help.

For being skinny, Keyson hugs hard. Talk of what to do with the cookies helps, the crying slows. Poor Marcus, poor Karina. This is more than just cookie crying, but she's not saying what it is. Her voice is soft when she answers Karina, "…Okay…you too." About the hugs. As for the cookies, look. She was upset and worried about everyone, and that was before she knew about the punch! "I did kitchen duty for three days helping Miss Annalee to be able to use the kitchen to make those…." So, for realz baking, not sneaking into the home ec room this time. "I…I don't know. Maybe I should just stop baking…"

Hugs are good! And Karina doesn't seem to mind that Keyson hugs hard. She rubs Keyson's back with a gentle but firm touch, and then she gives a small nod. "I like the sounds of that, and I promise I will," she says softly. She lifts a hand towards Keyson's face, with the intention of brushing away the tears. "So? If all three of us help in the kitchen for a day then we should earn some kitchen time for making more cookies. Or, y'know… you guys could come over on the weekend and use the kitchen at the house. If you want, that is. And you should keep baking, Keyson," she says, giving a nod.

Having never had a sample of a correctly baked confection, Marcus doesn't necessarily try to encourage her to continue. What he does encourage, however, is, "It normally makes you happy, right? And it's how you show people you care? No reason to stop doing that." And, since the hug fest has continued and seems to be helping, Marcus finally pushes himself up off the ground and walks over, reaching out to try and gently rub Keyson's arm. "There, there, Keyson. It'll be okay." Yes. He really did that. But, from the way he says it, he seems completely genuine about it. As if he legitimately thinks that would help comfort her. At least he's trying.

Keyson's cheeks are wet, tears are easy to find for the blind girl to wipe. Although she may feel Key's soft smile of embrassament. "I don't know that I should leave the school anytime soon." She nods, one hand releasing Karina to grab at her braid, "I used to bake with Nana…She's way better at it than me." She eyes Marcus a little unsure as he approaches, but he seems to be trying to be good so she sighs, "I just…don't want to have to worry about you and Sebbie…"

A person should do things that make them happy! Karina looks towards Marcus and gives him a smile at the effort that he's making, and then her attention comes back to Keyson. She brushes more of the tears aside, and then she gives a small nod to Keyson. "I understand, and it's okay. Maybe another time," she says with a smile. "I help my mom with baking, sometimes. It's… challenging," she adds. So much of it uses sight! "It's hard, worrying about people," she comments in a quite voice.

Well, having given Keyson his warm fuzzy, Marcus goes back to patting at the back of his braids. He looks away and shrugs a little, helplessly. "You don't have to worry about /me/. I think Sebastian is a whole 'nother story. Dude has some serious issues he's gotta work out before I'm gonna have anything to do with him. But, I promise I won't try to punch him again." And then he hazards a glance back at Keyson. "Truce?"

Keyson frowns softly, 'It's not //all/l vision based. I can help you." Not with the rolls she's been failing! ha! Key turns back to look at Marcus and the frown stays, "Sebbie's not going to punch you." And if Marcus isn't going to punch him, well…..it's a start. She nods, "That's good. Truce. I don't want to have to kick both of you." The Ares is offered the tiniest of smiles in return.

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