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PostSubject: The Courtyard   Mon May 19, 2008 5:41 am

In the midst of the tall brick buildings that make up the school, there lies a single patch of lush, neatly-kempt lawn where students can lounge and relax during lunch hours. The courtyard is square, with narrow concrete sidewalks that run around the perimeter. In the north and south corners are brick planters, overflowing with red and white petunias when the weather is warmer. During the winter, they lay dead and forlorn.

On the east and west corners are L-shaped benches, which are usually occupied by students working on laptops or talking with one another quietly about weekend plans. In the center of the courtyard stands a gnarled old oak tree, which stands as tall as the buildings surrounding it. It casts a constant, inescapable shadow across the courtyard, and its untrimmed branches scrape the sides of the buildings that have held it hostage for thirty years. . .
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Tue May 20, 2008 8:10 am

Oliver Vandrose

Maybe a motorcycle. A Harley. Silver, with chrome exhaust. . .

A shout from across the courtyard burst through his imaginings, and the mental image of the silver brute of a bike dissolved. He sighed, and slumped against the base of the tree, where he sat alone. Ross was MIA, but Oliver didn't care. That only meant he could crack down on the assigned reading from English class, a strange little story called "The Yellow Wallpaper."

Basically, a woman suffering from post-partum depression went deranged after being cooped up in a room with ugly yellow wallpaper for too long. Sounded like a lot of the people around here -- always complaining about Bela Nombre, ticking off the days until the could leave for college. Of course, Oliver was here by neccessity, and that tended to change his views on the matter. No where else was quite as safe as Bela Nombre. . . and there was no other place he could do as much good as he was doing here.

He flipped open the heavy yellow textbook and flipped through the pages lazily, until his eyes landed on the right page. Once it was open in front of him, he began to read, and prepared to get lost in the prose, as he usually did.

He had not read three sentences when a certain, unmistakable babble of laughter rang through the courtyard. He closed his book with a heavy sigh, knowing concentration was a futile effort anymore; the rising voices and shrill shrieks of mirth were too annoying for that.

He didn't need to look for the sorce of the commotion, but he did anyways, and was not disappointed. A small cluster of girls, all fawning over one another and rolling their eyes at the latest gossip, had broken the perimeter of the courtyard, tainting the relaxed, calm atmosphere. They occupied the corner bench directly in front of him, and Oliver suppressed a groan.

The Vanderbilt posse strikes again, he mused, and pulled out his English book again, determindedly willing himself to concentrate on something other than the mindless chatter of clothes and parties and popularity.

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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Tue May 20, 2008 12:18 pm

Blair Vanderbilt

Ugh. She hated when, one of the few times she actually wanted some privacy from her adoring fans, they would not leave her alone. Sometimes when she made herself throw up, she felt so weak that she could collapse any second, and that was definitely not something she'd want to show to the public. This was one of those times. "Please, guys, can you just leave?" she said in her most annoyed tone, still maintaining her perfect posture and the sharp look in her eyes. It was draining her more by the second, but showing any sign of weakness to anyone but Esther was something Blair Vanderbilt did not do. When they still did not leave, she glared at them and said, "Now."

They looked disappointed and confused, but her fans left. When she was certain they were out of sight, she sighed, letting herself slouch and letting the color drain from her face. Blair walked to the nearest tree in a manner reminiscent of the way Audrey Hepburn walked when the writer guy in Breakfast At Tiffany's pressed her buzzer and woke her up - even in this state, she relished the reference - and collapsed before she could lean her back against the tree. Close enough, she thought as she fell.

Unfortunately, she collapsed on top of some guy she hadn't seen. Well, her head landed in his lap, anyway. "Oh my God," she said, getting off him. "I am so, so sorry, Oliver," she added when she saw his face. "That's your name, right?" Blair said this all in her best, Audrey-needs-your-help voice. Because Oliver was sort of antisocial, but he was really, really hot.

Blair shook back her hair and primped a little bit. "So tell me, how is my hair?" she asked. She knew it was pretty much perfect, but she wanted him to notice, too. It wouldn't just be like that for Oliver, either - she liked to be told how fabulous she was. Was that a crime?

"Hey, did you get any early decision letters from college?" she asked him. Oliver was pretty smart, and she was wondering if anyone except her had gotten accepted early decision. Blair had asked everyone she had spoken to since she had gotten her own letter, but nobody seemed to have gotten anything, except for some random person who had gotten into her safety school. Ew. Some people were so incompetent.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Wed May 21, 2008 12:33 am

Oliver Vandrose

The posse hadn't been in the courtyard for five minutes when their ringleader turned on them, her eyes full of annoyance. "Please, guys, can you just leave?"

Oliver looked up to watch. Blair looked ill, as if she were to collapse any moment, and the admirers -- Oliver scoffed at the ridiculousness of it -- all appeared to be buzzing, swarming flies around her. Ugh. Was it bad that he felt kind of sorry for her?

The group didn't seem to be dissolving the way Blair wanted, and Oliver could almost feel the heat of her glare as he looked down at his English text again, disinterested in the lives of those too popular to be privy to other people's wants or needs. "Now."

He hid the roll of his eyes well, for he was still skimming over "The Yellow Wallpaper." He could just see, from under the brim of his lashes, a pair of long, slender legs making their way towards the tree, and he siddled to the side just slightly as to not disturb her. But there really wasn't any need.

Her moment to collapse had come.

She fell, and her head fell directly into his lap, completely succeeding in disrupting his concentration on his reading. He hadn't been prepared, or he would have avoided it, caught her before she fell. His lightning-quick movements would have prevented this form happening. And this was a completely awkward moment.

She sat up quickly enough, her eyes wide and her expression shocked. Oh my God," she said, pushing herself up and away from Oliver's lap. "I am so, so sorry, Oliver," she added, clearly attempting taking control of the situation and backtrack, erase her mistake. Oliver offered a small, reassuring smile, before she added, That's your name, right?"

He scoffed, and closed his book, packing it away in his khaki messenger bag. "Yes, Blair. That's my name." He prepared ot pull himself to his feet, to walk away and leave her here. But she'd already begun to talk again.

She shook her head a fraction of an inch either way, aloowing her hair to fall back into it'd proper place. She patted it, primped it, and fussed over it. "So tell me, how is my hair?"

Digging for a compliment. Go figure. "Perfect, Blair." Then a coy smile blossomed across his features. "But of course, that's what you want to hear, so how would you know if it's the truth?"

She changed the subject. God. This girl was like a never-ending tickertape of fashion, gossip, and questions. "Hey, did you get any early decision letters from college?"

He knew what answer she wanted to hear, and was smug to know he wouldn't be satisfying her need to be special. "Dartmouth and Harvard," he said, his tone flat. "I got an acceptance from New Bela Community, too, but I'm weighing my options."

Ah. New Bela Community College. It was nice, and definitely close to home, but when there were options like Dartmouth and Harvard. . .?

Of course, it wasn't like there weren't other opportunities. . . who knew how many times Oliver would be attending high school? This was currently his second, but it would be his first time attending college. He wanted to do it right.

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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Wed May 21, 2008 4:50 pm

Blair Vanderbilt

"Perfect, Blair," Oliver said in reply to her query about her hair. Blair smirked in a decidedly un-Audrey-like fashion. That was exactly what she wanted to hear from him. Then a perfectly sexy smile came to his face. "But of course, that's what you want to hear, so how would you know if it's the truth?"

Blair smirked again. "Clever," she said, settling down next to him, her Audrey-ish demeanor back in place. "I like that." She shot him her signature, 'you just can't stop looking at me, can you?' smile. The one models spent ages perfecting. Well, not Blair. Blair smiled that way without even trying. Next, to spark conversation, she asked him if he had gotten any early acceptance letters for college.

She was pretty impressed with his answer. Harvard and Dartmouth were top-notch. Bela Community, though...she assumed it was his safety. "Nice," she said. "I got Yale, Cornell and Sarah Lawrence." Blair still felt a rush of pride when she said the word 'Yale.' It was her dream, pretty much. She could see her whole life mapped out. First she would graduate and then go to Yale and go into entertainment law and become wildly successful and then have a Breakfast At Tiffany's-esque romantic adventure and live happily ever after. Although she wasn't sure who would be the Paul to her Holly...but she'd find out.

Blair still felt pretty weak, for some reason. Usually it was a matter of minutes before she recovered, but this time it was taking longer. She tried not to show anymore signs of weakness, though - it was bad enough that she had collapsed on Oliver; he didn't need to know that she was still feeling poorly. She needed to be like...Audrey Hepburn. Audrey Hepburn was always composed and elegant and graceful. Even when she was in the rain, shouting for Cat, she was still so classy. A lot of times Blair pretended she was Audrey. Whenever she was Audrey, she felt like she could take on the world.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Thu May 22, 2008 1:08 am

Oliver Vandrose

He furrowed his brows when Blair shot him her best sparkling smile. Was he trying to impress him, specifically, or was she just trying to impress in general? Most likely in general. Blair sought everyone's approval, and that included Oliver's, as well. He was sorry he had to disappoint her, but how could he approve in the epitome of what he loathed? Blair was the definition of vanity, power-hunger, and greed. She just didn't look it -- all these things folded into one tiny, clothing-obsessed frame. He sighed. He kind of pitied her.

When he answered her question about which colleges he'd heard back from, she raised her eyebrows in approval. "Nice," she said. Oliver waited for the comment she'd been wanting to make since she started the whole college discussion, and he wasn't disappointed -- Blair was quick to please. "I got Yale, Cornell and Sarah Lawrence." She said Yale with a bit more exhaultation than she had the others, and Oliver nodded, one short, sharp movement. It was obvious she'd been bursting to tell someone -- the first person who'd listen -- and here Oliver was, ready-made and too chivalrous to simply walk away like he wished he had. Actually, he wondered how many people had already listened to her mini-celebration over getting an acceptance from her dream university. Oliver highly doubted he was the first.

"Impressive," he said, his tone free from inflection. I wonder if Yale offers a course in subtlty. Blair could use one. But Blair already seemed preoccupied by her own inner musings. Probably trying to figure out what accessories work best with a bulldog and the Yale colors. He laughed at himself, a small, quiet chuckle, before he shook his head, his mussed bronze locks falling over his forehead, and quietly pulled out his English book, hoping Blair would take the hint.

Although he doubted Blair was capable of remaining quiet for long. He was surprised she'd been hushed for this long, as he flipped through the pages in his book and began reading again.

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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Thu May 22, 2008 10:14 am

Blair Vanderbilt

Okay, that was it. She seriously needed a drink. Or a light. Unfortunately, though, all she had was some Lexapro. That would do until she could get home and have a nice, stiff drink, though. Blair took out her pill case and swallowed the pill (she took them so often that she didn’t even need water anymore). It was pretty unhealthy to ‘recover’ this way, but it worked. She’d still look pale, but she’d pretend that she was going for a new, Snow White type look. Blair felt glad she’d worn her red lipstick today.

She looked at Oliver, already not paying attention to her anymore. “You don’t like me very much,” she remarked to Oliver, despite the fact that he was reading that thing for English. The Yellow Wallpaper. Blair had already written the essay, a long thing about how she could relate to the lady, because she felt like if she was stuck in Bela for much longer, she’d pretty much go insane. Or that was what she had implied, anyway. Blair shrugged. "Just stating the obvious." Blair leaned in a little closer to Oliver, grateful for her Chanel No. 5 perfume. She had worn exactly the right amount – just enough to be alluring but not so much that it was overpowering. Blair gave him her best, puppy-dog-eye!Audrey look. It probably worked even more than when Audrey did it, because Blair had the advantage of large, brown eyes, while Audrey had lighter ones that weren’t as big or soft or limpid. Her eyes were pretty much the only thing about herself that she wouldn’t make more Audrey-ish if she could.

Just then, her cellphone rang. She checked the caller ID before answering it. Crap. Her mother. "Sorry, I have to take this," she said, and then started the call. "Hello, mother," she said as she pressed the phone to her ear. "How was Paris?"

"Blair, I was looking for my mascara in your room and I found a test."

Blair gulped. She usually showed her mother all of her A grades, so that was probably the test she had gotten an A minus on. How incompetent. And if there was anything her mother hated, it was incompetence. She hated it even more than Blair did. "Oh?" she said.

"A 90 is an unacceptable grade. You obviously hadn't prepared for it enough," her mother said. "How do you expect me to pay for Yale if you don't follow through with good enough grades?"

Blair frowned. Yale was already paid for and it wasn't like it was too expensive for them or anything like that at all, but she still felt a pang of worry when her mother made threats like that. "I'm sorry, mother, but I was really busy with that charity event. I just slipped up..."

"No excuses," her mother snapped. "If I find out about any other 'slip-ups,' you'll be in big trouble."

"Yes, mother. Goodbye."

Her mother hung up without saying goodbye. She always did this, but Blair still hated it. It made her feel so...unloved. And if her own mother didn't love her, who did?

She remembered that Oliver was still there. Whoops. No more weakness, Blair, she told herself, replacing her troubled!Audrey look with a nonchalant!Audrey look. "So," she said, flipping a few curls over her shoulder, "where were we?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Thu May 22, 2008 11:59 pm

Oliver Vandrose

He watched out of the corner of his eye as Blair pulled out a a small case and withdrew from it a miniscule pill, which she placed on her tongue and swallowed without a drink or without grimacing. He honestly had no idea what it was, and didn't think he wanted to know. To Know would mean to ask her, and he didn't care for the long-winded explanation that would follow. . . or, worse yet, the silent denial, complete with aversion of eyes, that would mean this was Blair's deep dark secret. Eh.

He turned his attention back to the story at hand, trying to focus. But Blair, it would seem, didn't approve.

“You don’t like me very much,” she said, and he looked up. He raised an eyebrow at her, and she shrugged. "Just stating the obvious." She didn't seem to be accusing him of anything, just pointing out the awkwardness in the air.

But then she leaned in towards him, and the scent of her perfume wafted over him. Her bright brown eyes were wide and pouting, and he attempted to lean away. Not because she wasn't alluring -- Blair took too many precautions to come off as appalling -- but because his resistance to what he was was already waning. I need to hunt, he thought desperately, as he pulled away a few inches, and sighed.

"It's not you--" he started, but was cut off by the sharp ring of a cell phone. Of Blair's cell phone. She pulled it out and grimaced at the caller ID.

"Sorry, I have to take this," she muttered, before pressing it to her ear. Hello, mother. How was Paris?"

Oliver averted his eyes, trying not to listen to the private conversation. But the buzz of Ms. Vanderbilt on the other end was loud enough that he could hear it, if not make out her words. He attempted ot make the outside sounds disappear and concentrate on the writtenw ords before him, but it seemed predestined that he wouldn't be able to concentrate. He couldn't block Blair's conversation out. . . perhaps because she was still sitting very close to him. He discreetly squirmed an inch to the side, attempting to put some space between them. But the scent of her skin was still there. . . and Oliver's throat burned terribly. I need to hunt tonight, he corrected himself.

"I'm sorry, mother, but I was really busy with that charity event. I just slipped up..." Blair seemed to be doing damage control. But about what? Was her mother angry? But if her mother just got backf romParis, shouldn't she be glad to talk to Blair again?

Why did he care?

"Yes, mother. Goodbye." He heard the little beep of the end button being hit, and averted his eyes to his book. He couldn't concentrate, no, but at least he wouldn't look as if he'd been listening.

For a moment she looked worried, and then she looked flippant and carefree. "So." She brushed her hair back, and Oliver furrowed his eyebrows. perhaps he should stop breathing through his nose. Or breathing all together. "Where were we?"

Oliver cleared his throat -- it hurt horribly -- and furrowed a brow. At least he remembered what he'd been planning to say. "It's not that I don't like you, Blair. I'm sure you could be very nice. . . in a different circumstance, a different environment. But I don't like that things you symbolize -- the vanity, the value you put in class and in wealth." He sighed. Talking was taking some of the pain away -- or at least, dulling it. "There's so much more to being a human being, and I wish you could see that."

Hmm. So much more to being a human being. . . What a great way to be a hypocrite, he chided himself.

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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Fri May 23, 2008 6:01 am

Blair Vanderbilt

"It's not that I don't like you, Blair," said Oliver after her little conversation with her mother.

She shot him a sarcastic smile. "Like I haven't heard that before," she quipped.

"I'm sure you could be very nice. . . in a different circumstance, a different environment," he continued. "But I don't like that things you symbolize -- the vanity, the value you put in class and in wealth. There's so much more to being a human being, and I wish you could see that." Blair rolled her eyes at this little rant. He sounded like one of those characters off an after-school special (not that Blair was ever home in time for those). Like he had just copied to script to, like, Seventh Heaven or something.

"You don't know anything about me," she said with the same sarcastic smile. Because you can't know. No one can know, she said in her mind. It was the kind of thing she'd never say out loud - it would lead to questions - but she figured she was safe in her mind.

Oliver seemed to be...in pain or something. Blair furrowed her eyebrows. She hadn't done anything, had she? "What's wrong?" she said in her best 'Audrey's concerned' voice. She put a hand on his arm and leaned in closer again.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Fri May 23, 2008 9:04 am

Oliver Vandrose

Before he could really say what he'd been waiting for, Blair shot him a sarcastic look, with a hint of melancholy on the side. "Like I haven't heard that before," she said, and he sighed, before continuing.

But it was usless. Blair was so inescapably. . . Blair, that nothing he said really reached her. She didn't believe him. That much was apparent from her expression.

"You don't know anything about me," she said, and he snorted.

"Well, I know that, Blair. That's the whole point." He closed his book for the final time, shoving it roughly into his bag. "No one knows you. Not your friends, or your mother," he said, raising an eyebrow. "And I doubt you'll put any stock in what an anti-social like me says, but I think it's because you hide behind those things. Like if you haven't got money and you haven't got your clothes, you're going to fall apart." He looked down wistfully. "Maybe it's true. But you'll never tell anyone that, because you're afraid someone will see that weakness and use it against you." He looked back up at her again, and gave her a truly sympathetic smile. "You're scared. That's all."

He stopped talking then, and took a deep breath. Bad idea.

Her scent hit him full-blast, and it sent him reeling. He cringed, and leaned away again, feeling behind him for his bag. Have to leave, need to get out. . . now. . . right now. . .

Her hand was light on his arm, and he almost shook it away, potentially hurting her in the process. "What's wrong?" she asked, her voice light and semi-concerned. He now had tunnel-vision, and the only clear thing was her face. But he didn't see the expression there, just that it was moving, it was warm, and bright crimson liquid gold flowed just beneath its surface. . .

He scrambled away from her, finding his feet somehow. "I'm sorry, Blair." His apology ran so much deeper than sorry I must leave early. . . more appropriately, it stood for sorry I considered killing you. His voice came out mumbled. "I have to go."

He took stock of his surroundings very quickly, and then turned on his heel, his bag swinging over his shoulder, as he darted for the nearest exit, carefully avoiding breathing through his nose.

Oliver has left the Courtyard.

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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Sat May 31, 2008 11:22 am

Blair Vanderbilt

She wondered if Oliver had stress-induced-regurgitation (Blair didn't like to think of it by its proper term; bulimia was for losers with no friends or self-esteem), too. He pretty much ran out of the courtyard, his face contorted with what looked like pain. So that eliminated stress-induced-regurgitation. It was annoying, but definitely not painful. At least not before one threw up. Uh, bye? she thought as she saw Oliver's retreating back. She wondered where he was going.

Her thoughts were interrupted by her cell-phone ringing. Again. This time, fortunately, it wasn't her mom. It was one of the members of her posse, no doubt calling to ask where she was. "Hello?" she said, starting the call.

"Hey, where are you?"

Blair rolled her eyes, annoyed. "I'm in the courtyard. But I have to go talk to my guidance counselor," she lied. "About Yale. So bye." Blair hung up and dropped her phone into her Hermes Birkin bag and looked around. There really wasn't any reason to stay in the courtyard - she felt better and she didn't feel like sitting alone doing nothing. With a sigh, Blair left to do...well, she didn't know what she wanted to do, except have a drink.

Well, she knew what she wanted to do. She wanted to go to Yale and graduate and become wildly successful and meet her perfect guy and marry him and have a girl named Audrey. But that would have to wait.

Blair has left the Courtyard.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:14 am

Ruby Gehringer

Ruby slowly made her way into the courtyard, her nose still buried in Return of the King, but she wasn't focusing on the story very much. Snide comments followed her everywhere she went, a constant reminder of her new social status. Social leper. Tell me, Miss Blair, exactly how is that different from my former social status?! Everyone ignored me before, mostly. Now I get ignored AND antagonized. Not much of a difference if you ask me.

Keith's revelation of his past was also still churning away in her mind. Would that ever happen again? It sounded like the plot of a movie, but as Ruby looked around in disdain at the popularity vortex that surrounded her, it didn't seem like such an outlandish idea. Could Blair really torment someone to the point that Keith's friend had been, drive someone to such a point of no return that they would really...kill themselves rather than continue on in their misery and lonliness?

For some reason, Ruby thought that it was possible.

Feeling suddenly weary, Ruby went to sit down on the nearest bench, which, to her amusement, vacated of the two people already sitting on it the moment she approached. She arched one eyebrow as she sat down. Wow, Blair, I'm impressed. The entire school must know by now. Turns out that the gossip superhighway at Bela Nombre High School is wireless.

She tried to focus on her book, but it was no use. Feeling the need for something more mindless to occupy her thoughts, she dug out her current knitting project: her purple fingerless gloves. One was already finished, but the other needed a lot more work. With a smile on her face, she began, oblivious to her surroundings.

"Hey, go back to Middle-Earth where you belong, you freak!" someone called. Ruby saluted them happily. "Hey, wrong CENTURY, Gehringer!" someone else added. Ruby paused in her knitting to consider this. "On the contrary, I believe that you all are in the wrong century, if I may be so bold as to point it out." She stood and curtsied deeply before continuing her knitting.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Thu Jun 12, 2008 3:47 am

Johanna Montgomery

Johanna had already checked into the school's office, and was excited to explore it some more. She was headed toward the couryard, as she thought about what the school was going to be like, and, more importantly, the people. When she arrived, there, she immediatly noticed a girl about her age sitting on one of the benches by herself, knitting something purple... It was mostly the way she was dressed that caught Johanna's attention. Wow, she must have a lot of confidence to dress so out of this century... Never seen that in Brussels. Oh, yes I'm definitely going to like it here.

"Hey, go back to Middle-Earth where you belong, you freak!" Johanna heard someone yell. "Hey, wrong CENTURY, Gehringer!" Didn't I hear that in a movie once? How creative. Johanna would have been far more concerned for the girl, but it looked like she could hold her ground quite well. If she doesn't, though, I will have to step in of course. Johanna couldn't stand it when people were mocked for their individuality.

"On the contrary, I believe that you all are in the wrong century, if I may be so bold as to point it out." The girl responded, setting aside her knitting for a moment to curtsy deeply. Johanna couldn't help but smile at the look on their faces when they heard that. Johanna walked over to congratulate her.

"Brava. " She said, applauding her. "I always enjoy a good retort, especially to people who deserve it." Johanna spoke just loudly enough for them to hear her. "My name is Johanna Montgomery. I'm from Brussels, and no, that is not where brussel sprouts got their name."


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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:14 am

Ruby Gehringer

Ruby had just sat back down when she heard the sound of applause coming from somewhere near her right. She looked to see a girl she did not recognize smiling at her. "Brava " she said. Ruby detected a faint, almost British sounding accent in her words, and her curiosity was peaked. An exchange student, maybe? Or just a newcomer? Interesting... "I always enjoy a good retort, especially to people who deserve it," the girl continued, her blue eyes sparkling with amusement.

Ruby grinned. "I do what I can, my lady," she said, deciding that if this girl had the courage to speak to her, she might as well know what she was getting.

"My name is Johanna Montgomery. I'm from Brussels, and no, that is not where brussel sprouts got their name." Ruby laughed. "As hard as you may find this to believe, I knew that!" She stood up, casting her knitting aside. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Johanna of Brussels. I am Ruby Gehringer, formerly of Holly, Michigan but now a resident of this lovely town," she rolled her eyes and continued, "and not enjoying any of it." She studied Johanna thoughtfully. "You're new. I can tell. So here is some advice---I am what is known around here as a 'social leper'. That means that if you hang around with me, you'll be one too faster than you can say "Renaissance Faire". And it isn't necessarily the most fun thing to be." She smiled. "Just a warning. Feel free to heed my advice---but if you don't, more power to you. I admire people who don't let popularity rule their lives, as you can tell." She sat down and picked up her needles again, beginning another row of stitches as she awaited Johanna's reply.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Fri Jun 13, 2008 2:49 am

Johanna Montgomery

Johanna was quite curious to hear how the girl would respond, and she was not dissapointed. "I do what I can, my lady.' I suppose this must be normal for her... I don't know whether I should stay away from her, or learn more about her. Either way, this will be an.... interesting year Johanna thought, with a smile. After she introduced herself, the other girl did the same.

"As hard as you may find this to believe, I knew that!" Johanna smiled, contented that the girl had a sense of humour. "It is a pleasure to meet you, Johanna of Brussels. I am Ruby Gehringer, formerly of Holly, Michigan but now a resident of this lovely town," the girl said, sarcastically, "and not enjoying any of it." Is it that bad here, I wonder? Johanna noticed that the girl--Ruby-- "You're new. I can tell. That obvious? Johanna thought, mockingly. [/i]So here is some advice---I am what is known around here as a 'social leper'. That means that if you hang around with me, you'll be one too faster than you can say "Renaissance Faire". And it isn't necessarily the most fun thing to be. Just a warning. Feel free to heed my advice---but if you don't, more power to you. I admire people who don't let popularity rule their lives, as you can tell." Johanna saw Ruby pick up her knitting again, and started another row.

"Done with your speech, then, Ruby formerly of Holly, Michigan?" Johanna said with a hint of sarcasm. "Social leper, huh?" She asked, casually, as if asking if it is going to rain. "You know, I've never really been one for stereotypes."
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:20 am

Ruby Gehringer

The girl didn't seem fazed by Ruby's warning--on the contrary, she seemed rather bored. "Done with your speech, then, Ruby formerly of Holly, Michigan?" Ruby nodded. "Yes, yes I am."

"Social leper, huh?" Johanna asked casually. "You know, I've never really been one
for stereotypes."
Ruby laughed. "Believe me, neither am I. Defy stereotypes! Be your own person!" She laughed. "But I'm guessing you already knew that, huh?"

She looked around at the crowded courtyard, seeing everyone there as what they truly were--people so obsessed with status, image, and popularity that they would do anything to get themselves to the top...and become devastated when they didn't. "But I don't make the labels. They do." She gestured to the other teens. "And to them, it's everything. Everything in the world."

She adjusted her corset and Ren Fair skirts before returning to her knitting, all the while wondering what Johanna's reply would be.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Sat Jun 21, 2008 10:53 pm

Oliver Vandrose

He's avoided the tree, hoping that maybe it wouldn't attract the same attention it had last time he's sat there. He really was looking for peace and quiet; his weekend trip to Upper Washington with Ross had left him with no time to do homework, and that meant he was forced to do it now.

So he sat on one of the cold stone benches instead. The sky overhead was gray and dull, and every now and then it let loose a few random drops of water, as if it couldn't make up its mind as to what it wanted to do. He sat hunched over his Calculus text, doing the work mindlessly. It wasn't as challenging the second time around. His pencil scribbled across the paper as if of its own accord; his mind was certainly elsewhere. Just where exactly, though, he couldn't pinpoint.

Anywhere but here was a relief, though. School was the bane of Oliver's existence, but the charade kept him and his privacy safe.

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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Sun Jun 22, 2008 2:57 am

Blair Vanderbilt

Blair looked straight ahead of her. She was used to people gossiping about her behind her back, but, after the whole debacle with Oliver and things, she was feeling too vulnerable to deal with it right now. Which was why she was here instead of with her friends. She'd told them that she was having a meeting about an extra credit project with the math teacher, and they'd bought it. Blair always was looking for anything to impress the people at Yale, even though she was already accepted.

She arrived at her destination - near Oliver - big-eyed and vulnerable, clutching her tiny salad, just like he liked her. Or so he said. She doubted he actually did like her - if her mom didn't, why would he? - but he was the closest thing she had to a real friend. Which was really rather sad, but whatever. "Hi," she said. "Can I sit with you today? The rumor mill has been...particularly vicious." Blair said this all in her best, 'Audrey needs your help' voice. "There's been the usual ones, and also some others...that I lost it to him," she said, the venom in her voice when she said 'him' indicating that she meant Mr. Molester from the party, "that I was doing crack at that party...that I lost it to you..." Blair said the last one reluctantly, with an apologetic face and tone. "Listen, I'm really sorry your name got pulled into this," she said, stooping down and putting a hand on his shoulder. "Can I make it up to you?"
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:04 am

Oliver Vandrose

The gods were not playing in his favor today. He silently cursed every strain of fate that he believed in as Blair approached, breaking his concentration for good. Her eyes were purposely wide and bright and pleading as she halted in front of him. He looked up form his Calculus with a sigh.

"Hi," she said, her voice a far cry form the strong, condescending thing it had been the other night. "Can I sit with you today? The rumor mill has been...particularly vicious."

He shrugged, figuring she'd sit down anyways if that was her plan; Blair was like an unsinkable ship, and whatever course she was headed on would be plotted out, or someone was in trouble.

But then again, the Titanic had been unsinkable, as well. He half-grinned at the thought of Blair sinking in her own mess, and what he would do if that were the case. Probably help. He didn't like how things were turning out; he was getting involved involuntarily.

Blair went on to list the latest gossip about her. "...That I was doing crack at that party...that I lost it to you..." She looked up, her face painted with apologies. He sighed, bending his head over his textbook again. People would say what the wanted, but it annoyed him that Blair was bringing attention to him. That was the last thing he needed. "Listen, I'm really sorry your name got pulled into this," He felt her hand on his shoulder, and his eyes darted up to hers. "Can I make it up to you?"

Oliver glanced around; a few people were watching them surreptitiously, pointing and whispering behidn their hands, narrowing their eyes at Blair's hand as it rested on his shoulder. He nodded sharply. "Yeah. Sit down. You're drawing attention. And in case you haven't realized, I avoid attention at all costs." He said all this through gritted teeth, and moved his shoulder slightly so that her hand fell off of it. If he didn't know any better -- and he wasn't sure he did -- he'd say some of the stuff she pulled was her own assessment of a publicity stunt. See, be seen, be loved.

He suddenly wished he could disappear from it all, be as invisible as air.

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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Sun Jun 22, 2008 5:14 am

Blair Vanderbilt

Blair bit her lip after Oliver's harsh reply and bowed her head to conceal her hurt. Dammit, she hated that she had to be vulnerable around him - it made it that much easier to get hurt. She sat down, smoothing her skirt. You don't have to be so nasty about it, she wanted to say, but that would be hypocritical. She was the queen of nasty. And people say that I have a Manolo stuck up my ass, she would have said if she were being Queen B, but she wasn't at that moment.

"Sorry," she said softly. She was beginning to regret coming here. Apparently Oliver didn't like her after all. Apparently he was just saying that so she would stop crying. Well, that was just...

She didn't care. She was used to people lying to her. Or so she told herself.

Blair concentrated on eating her salad - since Oliver obviously didn't want to talk to her - spear the salad, chew the salad, swallow the salad, she chanted in her head. The thing was absolutely miniscule. She was determined to lose weight without resorting to throwing up. Absolutely determined.

As if. This would probably last about a day. Just like the brief feeling of having someone to turn to, this was ephemeral.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Mon Jun 23, 2008 1:31 am

Oliver Vandrose

Blair sat down and began spearing her salad, picking it apart in tiny pieces of leafy green vegetation and putting them in her mouth. He sighed. She seemed to be pouting, if only slightly.

So it was one of those days. She didn't speak to him, only kept her head down, and ate the salad that looked much to small to even consider being fufilling. She was playing the vulnerable, hurt card, and Oliver took a deep breath.

"Dammit, Blair," he exhaled, laying down his pencil and pinching the bridge of his nose. "Stop taking everything as a personal attack, okay? I didn't mean it like that." He looked up at her, his eyes narrowed. "That's part of your problem. You act like the world is against you. Like you're your own one-woman army, determined to defeat the entire universe. Did you ever think that maybe, if you stop playing the defensive all the time, you'd fit in somewhere? With someone?"

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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Mon Jun 23, 2008 5:06 am

Blair Vanderbilt

"Dammit, Blair," Oliver said suddenly, causing her to look up from her tiny salad. Why can't I be one of those people who can lose weight without even trying? she thought. "Stop taking everything as a personal attack, okay? I didn't mean it like that. That's part of your problem. You act like the world is against you. Like you're your own one-woman army, determined to defeat the entire universe. Did you ever think that maybe, if you stop playing the defensive all the time, you'd fit in somewhere? With someone?"

She put down her fork. "I'm trying, okay? It's just hard, considering the way I can't help but remember that the last person I completely trusted left me all alone with her in favor of a male model and a vineyard in France." She was surprised the words even came out of her mouth - she never talked about what happened with her father.

Blair stabbed another piece of lettuce - sans dressing - with her fork again. "And you act like I'm the only one with problems here," she continued, looking back up. "You've got problems, too, and - who is playing effing Vanessa Anne Hudgens?" Blair glared in the direction the music was coming from. Freshmen. Figures. Some people really had no taste.

She took a deep breath. "Look, I'm sorry. For what it's worth," she said. "I overreacted, and I was out of line, and you didn't mean any harm. It's just...well, to be a total hypocrite, you could have been nicer about it," she added with a wry smile.

Blair looked back down at her salad, which was somehow already finished. "Ugh, I'm still hungry. Stupid diet," she said, more to herself than anyone else.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Thu Jul 10, 2008 4:20 am

Oliver Vandrose

When Blair's fork hit the table, he braced himself. Knowing her, she could have been setting it down so she wasn't tempted to use it as a weapon. Not that it would really hurt, but if he thought Blair merely talking to him caused a scene. . .

"I'm trying, okay? It's just hard, considering the way I can't help but remember that the last person I completely trusted left me all alone with her in favor of a male model and a vineyard in France." she said quickly and, seemingly, without thinking, because she looked surprised that the words she'd chosen had slipped past her reserve. And Oliver was surprised, too. A male model? Well, wasn't that just the epitome of scandal. No wonder Blair never talked about her father; letting information like that out for the Social Ladder to devour would mean chaos, undoubtedly. He kept silent, knowing that she wasn't finished, only detoured.

"And you act like I'm the only one with problems here," she continued, looking back up. "You've got problems, too, and - who is playing effing Vanessa Anne Hudgens?" She glared across the courtyard, but Oliver didn't bother to look; he kept his eyes on Blair.

"I know I have problems, Blair. I never said that I didn't. Or are you forgetting our conversation in the woods?" As he spoke, his voice had lowered in volume and his eyes had ratched up in intensity, so that he glowered across the little table at her, trying to force her to remember. After a minute or so of that, he blinked, and looked doown at his textbook, scribblign down a quick note.

He saw her take a deep breath over the fringe of his lashes, and he looked up. "Look, I'm sorry. For what it's worth," she said. "I overreacted, and I was out of line, and you didn't mean any harm. It's just...well, to be a total hypocrite, you could have been nicer about it." She smiled wryly, and Oliver shook his head.

"You're right, Blair," he said with his own smile. "You are a hypocrite." He raised a brow at her. If two can tango. . . "But, I suppose. . . apology accepted." He looked back down at his book, and resumed his homework. "By the way, how's the rumor mill? Are you sitting at the top again, or still battling your way up?" He chucked an half-hearted glance at the surrounding courtyard, two-thirds of which was muttering incoherently about her -- no, them, as the spotlight usually trained on them somehow stretched out to include him today. All of them looked away quickly when they saw him glaring at them, for he'd furrowed his brow and frowned at the sight. Attention. Blech.

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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Thu Jul 10, 2008 6:09 am

Blair Vanderbilt

She couldn't really concentrate on what Oliver was saying. That intense look he had on his face was really distracting. But she got the picture, basically, so she took a deep breath and apologized. She didn't know why she'd blown up at him, anyway. Well, she did - he'd hit a sore spot with the whole, 'with someone' thing. But it wasn't like she was going to tell him that.

"You're right, Blair," Oliver said with a dazzling - seriously, either he brushed his teeth about ten million times a day or vampires just always had smiles like that - smile. "You are a hypocrite. But, I suppose. . . apology accepted." He looked down at his textbook. "By the way, how's the rumor mill? Are you sitting at the top again, or still battling your way up?"

Blair smiled. "Look around you," she said, gesturing around the courtyard, where there were about a million and two Blair wannabes, dressed in the sort of preppy outfit that Blair always wore to school - they were wearing skirts, plan white shirts, the collars of which were visible over the sweaters they wore over it, because it was what Blair wore the other day. Only Blair's sweater was Ralph Lauren and 100% cashmere, and theirs were probably from some random store nobody had ever heard of.

Today, on the other hand, she had a different look, which, of course, put the other girls' cheap imitations of her to shame. After all, imitations were never quite as good as the original.
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PostSubject: Re: The Courtyard   Thu Jul 10, 2008 7:08 am

Oliver Vandrose

Oliver asked about hte rumor mill, and Blair gestured around the little courtyard, saying, "Look around you." He did, and noticed that most seemed to be similar in appearance. . . or at least in clothing. He chuckled quietly and turned back to Blair.

"I take that as a yes?" he said quietly, finishing up his work and closing his text. "I don't mean to interfere or anything, but doesn't it bother you that they all want to be you? It doesn't creep you out, that people take notes on your clothes, your appearance? It doesn't really help you stand out if there are twenty Blairs cavorting across Bela Nombre."

He folded elbows and tucked them onto the table, leaning his chin against his balled fists. "I kinda pegged you for individuality, Blair."

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