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 The Morning After, A Sober Second Look
Hikalyn
Posted: Jul 13 2012, 09:27 PM


"Heinous Bitch"


Group: Headmistress
Posts: 610
Member No.: 6
Joined: 14-July 05



[Tongue not at all in cheek, of course...]

She was already on her second cup of coffee, and suspected that before long she was going to regret it. Necessary evil, though; otherwise she'd never make it through the day. Two days since her "talk" with Tao and she still felt drained. She was getting too old for all-nighters, apparently.

It was a relief to get away from the school for a while, though. She'd spent most of two days ago hiding in her office with the door shut and most of yesterday resisting the temptation to do the same thing. She'd also asked Tao if he wanted to meet her for coffee today. Not just for the pleasure of his company, unfortunately. They needed to figure out how they were going to handle this, and while she hadn't taken any flak from her colleagues--yet--she'd noticed just enough sidelong looks and whispers from students to suspect that sooner was probably better. No doubt they'd find something else to gossip about before too long; there would always be new grist for that particular mill. Still...

She hadn't headed back home after dropping Bree off at school this morning. Instead, she'd detoured to a little tea shop that had just opened up a few weeks ago. She suspected that Tao would love the place, if he hadn't seen it already. It was also off school grounds, at a time when most people were in class, and public enough that it wouldn't raise any eyebrows. She'd been tempted to bring up Hayz's schedule and arrange for coffee at a time when she knew Hayz would be busy, but it was bad form to stalk one's students. Even if kissing them was apparently just fine.

She took another swig of her drink, but there wasn't enough coffee in all the world to drown out that thought.

Definitely a mistake. She wasn't used to tossing the stuff down like this; it was making her a bit jittery. She thought about throwing the rest of it in the garbage. But at least drinking it gave her something to do until Tao came in...


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Tao
Posted: Jul 17 2012, 09:05 PM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



The lean figure of Tao Binter strolled casually enough down the quiet street, nodding absentmindedly to passerby. He glanced at his wristwatch occasionally, but beyond this small indication of agitation, there was no outward appearance that he was going to rendezvous with a woman he had not two days before kissed rather pleasantly atop the astronomy tower.

The tea shop that Hikalyn had indicated was new to him. He hadn't been out of the Academy for much in the past few months, and apparently the world had continued turning in his absence. He seemed to recall the building that she mentioned it now occupied being a bakery of some sort...perhaps an ice cream parlor...last he had looked.

He half expected to see Raymeth's face amoung those walking the streets, Kalloni not being that big a place, but then he remembered that the man was likely used to a schedule which accommodated his late nights as a bartender. All the better, really. He was not entirely sure how his old friend, some time rival, would take this particular turn of events.

Tao soon stood before the tea shop, and with a quick, though irrelevant, hand-comb of his hair in the reflection of the tin mailbox, he strolled up the stairs and through the door. He noticed Hikalyn immediately, sending her a grin and a wink before going up to the till and ordering a simple English Breakfast tea for their table. He had noted her coffee cup, but if she didn't want tea, it was hardly out of the question for Tao to finish the pot himself.

His task complete, he quietly whisked over to the table and sat opposite the girl. "Good day to you, Hikalyn." He said, warmly. "I know we've got a few things to talk about but please pardon me if I can't help but mention how lovely you look today."


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Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

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Hikalyn
Posted: Jul 18 2012, 06:19 AM


"Heinous Bitch"


Group: Headmistress
Posts: 610
Member No.: 6
Joined: 14-July 05



She saw him as soon as he came in, of course--with the little shop at maybe half-capacity, she had an unimpeded view of the door--and returned his smile. Almost, when he disappeared from her field of vision in the direction of the tills, she twisted around to watch him. Then she caught herself doing it and felt a bit ridiculous. She turned her attention back to her coffee mug, reminding herself that he'd be here in a moment.

And so he was, sliding into the seat across from her even as she set her mug back on the table. "I look the way I always look," she said wryly, smiling at him to take the edge off of her teasing. Proof that her brain was working better than it had been the other night, at least: she wasn't getting flustered at every little comment. "But thank you. Morning, Tao."

Now that he was here, her reason for asking him here in the first place didn't seem quite so pressing. Important, yes, but not immediate. "How are you, anyway? Manage to avoid any more surprise ambushes from Hayzie?" The serious talk could wait a few minutes. Right now, it was enough to just enjoy his company, after all.


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Tao
Posted: Jul 24 2012, 03:56 PM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



Tao was glad to see that Hikalyn was looking like she was comfortable in his presence once again. While the evening's activities a few days ago had come to a lovely resolution, they had certainly agitated the two of them, and he had been sorry to shake her up so much.

He grinned at her reply to his comment. Since she had always looked beautiful to him, it was hardly a point on the negative side. He held off responding, however, as a server approached and the tea was set between them. He waited until she had left before saying, "I've been fine. Keeping out of trouble, and, of course, immensely happy." He gently reached across the table and let his fingers lightly brush her hand, accompanying the gesture with a smile, before settling back again, a bit of a worried frown creeping onto his face. "I haven't seen Hayzie, oddly enough. I thought that might be your doing."

He started serving the tea, indicating the cup they had brought for her and raising an inquisitive eyebrow after filling his own, and sighed. "But I can't imagine even you have the power to hold her back from her teasing, so perhaps I have been particularly fortunate in dodging her. How about yourself?"


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Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

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Hikalyn
Posted: Jul 24 2012, 07:51 PM


"Heinous Bitch"


Group: Headmistress
Posts: 610
Member No.: 6
Joined: 14-July 05



She smiled in response to the brief brush of his fingers against her hand. She shook her head at his raised eyebrow, though, indicating her still half-full coffee cup. No sense in wasting it

"It wasn't me, actually." She hadn't seen much of Hayzie either. She couldn't say she was particularly sorry about that, really, although she supposed she would have to face Hayz eventually. She let her smile turn wry. "If I tried to stop her I'd probably just make things worse."

She shrugged, took another sip of her drink. "I'm fine. Hands full, mostly. Especially now that Bree's recovered from her coffee hangover the other day." She smiled at him. "I didn't dare tell her I was meeting you after I dropped her off today."


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Tao
Posted: Jul 25 2012, 08:30 PM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



Tao set down the teapot and added a bit of sugar and cream to his cup as he listened and nodded to her words, a wry grin settling on his face as she commented on Hayzie, and finally a little chuckle escaping when she mentioned Bree. "Yes, she certainly did seem to be excited by us when last I saw her. It's probably best if her enthusiasm can be kept down as much as possible. Wouldn't want her bouncing off the walls all the time for you."

He sighed and took up his cup, taking a small sip of the scalding liquid before ruminating again, "I suppose many will be excited by us when it all really comes out."

Tao set down the cup, smiling a little apologetically. "So, I suppose we'd best plan for that."

He drew out his student council pin from his pocket. "I was serious the other day, you know. I could just leave the student body. That would involve a lot less sneaking around."


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Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

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Hikalyn
Posted: Jul 31 2012, 09:55 PM


"Heinous Bitch"


Group: Headmistress
Posts: 610
Member No.: 6
Joined: 14-July 05



She snorted into her coffee cup. "No, we certainly don't." Not that there was much she'd be able to do about it. If there was a trick to keeping Bree's enthusiasm down to a dull roar, Hikalyn hadn't found it yet.

She nodded as he continued. "It is going to raise a few eyebrows," she said quietly, when he was finished. If raised eyebrows were the only thing they'd have to deal with, it would make both their lives a lot simpler. "And our options are pretty limited." She glanced at the pin in his hand and then back up to his face.

"There are only a few weeks left in the current semester," she pointed out, taking another sip of her coffee. It would be too late for him to officially drop his coursework, and so close to the end of the semester that hardly seemed advisable in any case. "How would you handle that, if that's what you decide to do?"


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Tao
Posted: Aug 1 2012, 08:20 PM


Student Council Rep


Group: Student Council Member
Posts: 216
Member No.: 18
Joined: 14-July 05



Tao sighed and shrugged. "I suppose I would resign from the student council and recuse myself of the examinations. I'd likely have to move to Kalloni for the rest of term. It would mean severe damage to my marks, and possible academic probation, likely culminating in a loss of my chances to become a research associate with the professors."

He shook his head to himself. "It's not a particularly easy road. There would be a lot of questions and assumptions, and we wouldn't really be able to hide from that. I would have to figure out some other direction for my future here." He looked up at Hikalyn. "But it would be much harder for you to get castigated by your peers on the staff for our relationship, if I left my position as a student. If they find out now, however...I'm not so sure what might happen."

He allowed that to sit for a moment, before allowing a small smile to curl the edges of his face. "Not that we've done anything terribly scandalous."

He tried again at his tea, and this time allowed the warm liquid to pass his lips in larger quantities.

"The other option, of course, is to keep quiet and lay low for the few weeks until term end." He smiled lightly again. "As difficult as it might prove to be...I should be able to hold myself from your presence for that long. After that, I will have graduated, and we might be more free."


--------------------
Light dispels Darkness
Darkness turns upon itself
Tread not down the
Dark path,
Walk with confidence into the
Light

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Hikalyn
Posted: Aug 5 2012, 07:12 AM


"Heinous Bitch"


Group: Headmistress
Posts: 610
Member No.: 6
Joined: 14-July 05



She sipped at her coffee as he spoke, and found, when he was done, that she didn't have much to add. "I wouldn't advise leaving your studies so late in the semester in any case," she said. "Certainly not with your graduation right around the corner."

The coffee was lukewarm at best, and mostly gone anyways. She downed the rest and set the cup aside. "I should say that I'm not worried about my position if this were to come out." As it almost certainly would. She was under no illusion she was somehow the centre of her students' lives, but it was a small school, and she and Tao were both fairly well-known on campus. And while she certainly wasn't beyond censure--no doubt some of the staff would be less than impressed, and she couldn't blame them--she was hardly in any danger of losing her job. The wonders of nepotism. "But I do have to take the principle seriously."

She offered him a little shrug and a half-smile. "Not that we'd have to avoid each other entirely." They'd have a hard time pulling that off, in any case. "But we'd have to be careful to conduct ourselves just as friends, for now."


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