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 First Signs of Friendship [Jae]

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Amber Carter

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PostSubject: First Signs of Friendship [Jae]   Sun Feb 25, 2018 6:21 pm

First Saturday of Nov || Year 2

Almost two years in school and Amber still had not gotten a full or proper grip on her abilities. She thought she had full control over her mental shield, that she could now properly block people's thoughts from entering her own mind and eavesdropping. She thought wrong. When it happened, it had happened rather unexpectedly, leaving her not so much embarrassed but hurt.

It had started off innocently enough. She'd gone to one of the study rooms to write, having finished all her homework. Elleon was meant to meet her later that day, but he'd given her a note not half an hour ago, telling her that he was needed by one of their teachers for something; it hadn't been anything upsetting, for she didn't mind. It had taken them a long time to get together, and now that they were, she wasn't going to ruin it by being clingy. Besides, it wasn't like they wouldn't see each other the next day.

So she sat, pen in hand, and let her mind wander. There were poems to be written about him -- about how much she loved him -- and that would take time, which she now had. And then a group of females had wandered in, talking among themselves, and Amber adjusted her mental shield a tad too late, and the thoughts, Urg, why is she here? and She's such a freak, came flooding in.

Amber stood, taking a deep breath to settle the tears she could feel -- rejection still stung, no matter how used to it she was -- and gathered her books, placing them in her bag with hands that only shook a little. Her head high, not allowing them to see the hurt in her eyes, she brushed past them. A fleeting thought -- her mental shield always wavered when she was upset -- was heard as she did, mocking in tone: It's like she heard us.

She let her feet guide her, moving outside into the frosty air and out onto the path. She only recognised where she was headed when she saw the trees pressing in around her. Of course; she should've guessed sooner. The camping grounds would be abandoned during winter. Nobody was daft enough to camp in November, unless their powers allowed otherwise. She was lucky she had a coat in her bag, from the last time she was outside and forgot to hang up in her room. Digging it out as she walked, she put it on, before picking up her pace until she reached the clearing.

There were no tents pitched, as expected, only marked out areas where they were to go. Empty barbeque pits lay abandoned, waiting for spring to come around, next to picnic tables. There wouldn't be snow for at least another month, but that didn't mean it wasn't cold, and as she sat at one of the tables, she idly noticed that the morning dew had frozen, creating ice drops on the edge of the wood. Not allowing herself to feel the chill in her heart that had nothing to do with weather, Amber slipped out her notebook. When all else failed to comfort, she had her poems.

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Jaehan Hwang

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PostSubject: Re: First Signs of Friendship [Jae]   Thu Mar 01, 2018 12:22 pm

For the first few months of Jae’s second year, everything had seemed fine — even Arthur was back in school, now in the same year and some of the same classes. But at the same time, Jae was still obviously nervous about what could go wrong. And, barely two months in, he was proven right.

His parents, over the phone exactly two weeks ago, had broken the news that they were getting a divorce.

It had been the farthest thing off his radar—and for Jae, that was saying something—yet somehow made it to the forefront of his concerns. He knew that his parents weren’t close, his mom was too worried about her own career which left his dad to take care of him and his brothers, but a divorce? It almost seemed too extreme. Jae wasn’t able to stop thinking about it for the past two weeks, slept not nearly enough, and the stress easily got to him and effectively choked every word out of him.

And that was what spurred him more to run that particular weekend, to get away from school and avoid people he wouldn’t even be able to speak to. Music wasn’t enough, so he knew he had to run, not using his speed but just… run. Fortunately it wasn’t too cold, and he was off before he knew it, running on autopilot while his mind whirred in the background. But didn’t they love each other? Why—who would I live with—why? ... Great birthday present, I guess. Soon enough his thoughts were dominating his mind and his feet were finding their own places; he wasn’t even entirely sure where he was running, but it seemed fine enough terrain, the trees around were—trees?

Wait—am I—when did I get to the woods—this is near—

Jae’s foot caught on a loose tree root and he tripped, hands barely reaching the ground before his face did, knees and palms taking the brunt of the fall. He hissed at the pain, likely the most noise he made all day, and cursed in his head—F***, goddamnit that hurt—shifting to take the pressure of his hands and knees, wincing at the dirt and specks of blood underneath and the new rips in his pants. He let out deep sigh before gingerly pushing himself up, almost stumbling as he put his full weight back on his knees but using a nearby tree as support for a second.

Can’t believe I f***ing fell, a sharp exhale and he looked around for somewhere to sit, only then realizing how close he was to the empty campground. Oh, right, benches, okay, he mouthed the last word, slowly making his way toward where he knew the picnic benches were placed. It took a good minute to get himself situation on a lone bench, occupied with inspecting the damage to his hands — not horrible, but they still stung when he moved them, eliciting another hiss. Just had to go and f*** this up, too…

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Amber Carter

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PostSubject: Re: First Signs of Friendship [Jae]   Thu May 17, 2018 5:31 pm

She heard his first thought long before she saw him, a cuss breaching the silence of her mind and she stiffened not just physically but mentally, too. She sighed. She had hoped to be alone for more than just half an hour; she had intended on spending as long as possible out here, thinking and escaping the world for a little bit. And now someone had interrupted that, breached the privacy of her bubble, and she was half annoyed and half resigned. Who was she to demand privacy like that? To expect the world to favour her and grant her what she wanted? No, she was a nobody.

And then the words she had heard before she put up her mental shield registered. Fell? Someone was hurt? Amber steeled herself for human contact, building up her shield stronger than before and taking a deep breath. Then, slowly, she turned around, looking for the person who had arrived.

It didn't take long to find him on one of the benches further away, and Amber frowned a little. He looked only vaguely familiar, like someone she'd seen around. That wasn't a stretch; she saw more than she interacted, observed more than participated. Hardly anyone saw her of course -- she was far too silent for them to know she existed -- but that was probably why she knew so much. People let their guards down around people they didn't think could hear, not realising that she saw and understood far more than she let on.

The male was a Korean student, from what she could tell. He didn't seem to talk much, if at all, but she never really spent enough time around him to know; she'd only caught glimpses of him here and there. Still, he intrigued her. The way he held himself, the way he'd thought his swearing instead of swearing aloud (there was a difference in the kind of thought that one had as they were speaking and the kind when they weren't speaking)...

Amber stood, half decidedly, half subconsciously, and as she did she knocked on the table a few times to signal the male that someone else was there. She didn't want to full-on startle him by suddenly appearing beside him. Taking a few steps forward, Amber was already reaching into her bag. She always kept a clean cloth in there, and had antibacterial spray (force of habit, mostly). There were a couple of plasters, but only the small ones for paper cuts and small knicks. If it were anything worse, she wouldn't be able to do much; she wasn't a healer, or had healing abilities.

As she approached him, she gestured towards his hands, making a 'may I?' motion as she sat beside him.

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Jaehan Hwang

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PostSubject: Re: First Signs of Friendship [Jae]   Sun May 20, 2018 1:10 pm

Jae let out a deep sigh, glaring at his hands as if that would make the cuts go away and erase his mistakes, but nothing happened. So instead he sighed again and started inspecting his hands thoroughly and brushing off dirt from the abrasions, not noticing at all that his knee was bleeding ever so slightly down his leg. It was colder outside than he remembered, maybe just because he had stopped running, but then he noticed the ice on the edge of the table and realized that it was definitely cold.

He heard a vague series of noises, taking a second to recognize what they were—wait, is someone else—before turning one way then the other and being faced with someone. Jae stiffened slightly, but recognized the girl from classes—not any kind of direct interaction with her, but at the very least he'd seen her sign before. If anyone would understand him not speaking, it was probably her; but he didn't quite want to show that yet.

Jaehan did relax a little once he realized she was just another student, but he had no idea what she was doing. A gesture toward his hands… did she want to help? He resisted the urge to scoot further away as she sat down, the desire to not appear rude overpowering the slight discomfort—granted, he still looked at her apprehensively, but wasn't actively trying to get away. If she wanted to help him, he wouldn't resist, but talking was a different story.

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PostSubject: Re: First Signs of Friendship [Jae]   Fri May 25, 2018 8:47 am

Amber shot him a gentle smile, hoping to convey that she meant no harm. It was always tricky helping people when she couldn't talk to them; how could she offer them comfort, or ask if they were alright? It was one thing to know what to do, but it was another thing altogether to tell them what she was going to do, especially since sometimes in order to help, you had to first do something that hurt.

Gently taking his hand, she turned it over, inspecting the palm. The scrapes there weren't too deep, which was good, but they were bleeding, and her eyebrows furrowed momentarily. Taking out the clean cloth from her bag, she touched it to his palm, not wiping in case she made any cut worse, but rather dabbing at the wounds.

It took a few minutes to get the blood and grit off, but once she felt she'd sufficiently got enough away, she took out the antibacterial spray and held it out for him to see. It would sting, but she couldn't really say that, so instead she motioned to the bottle and then to his palm, a questioning look on her features. Hopefully, he'd understand what she was trying to ask.


[[OOC: Sorry this is a bit short. Amber was being very silent.]]

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Jaehan Hwang

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PostSubject: Re: First Signs of Friendship [Jae]   Fri May 25, 2018 3:54 pm

Jae was reassured a little by the smile she offered, but was still not looking forward to the stinging from cleaning a wound. He knew from experience that any kind of wound, from small scratches to bruises to a broken arm, could hurt more than you would think. He had fallen countless times before, with consequences much worse than this time—if he had been using his speed in full, he could have certainly ended up with a broken bone or two, like that one time in seventh grade; but fortunately this was just scrapes and nothing deeper.

Unfortunately, that didn't mean it wouldn't hurt. Jae tried to distract himself with watching his surroundings—the inner workings of the forest were sometimes very interesting—but couldn't stop himself from hissing slightly at the pain as the girl cleaned his hands with a cloth. It was kind of strange that she happened to have exactly the things he needed, but he supposed maybe she just liked to be prepared. Maybe it wouldn't hurt to have some stuff for myself, Jae mused, letting her take his hands to clean. The pain had subsided to somewhat of a dull throb by then, and he even managed a small smile in thanks.

She drew something else from her bag and held it up for Jae to see, and his eyes skimmed over the label, grimacing slightly as he realized the spray would hurt a little more. Despite that, he tried to offer a hesitant smile with a nod, hoping he wouldn't regret giving her permission and steeling himself for the stinging. In another attempt to distract himself, he started to think about how easy it was to communicate without words—he would never even get the chance to say something wrong, or even say anything at all, though there was the higher risk of misunderstandings. But as far as his anxiety, it seemed to have calmed as soon as he realized she only wanted to help.

At the same time, his mind jumped to what would happen after she finished. Would she want to try to talk one way or another? Ask for his name? Try to sign? He didn't think he was ashamed of being nonverbal, it just… wasn’t something he brought attention to usually. But if he showed he knew sign, would she want to have a conversation? Jae knew he was never very good at those, even if he could communicate. Needless to say, the anxiety was starting to creep back in, and he started to wonder if she wanted something from him in return.

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PostSubject: Re: First Signs of Friendship [Jae]   Fri May 25, 2018 7:29 pm

The nod came, and Amber offered him another smile before looking back down to his hand. Two quick sprays later -- Amber herself holding back a wince at how it must have felt for the male -- she was done, and she slid the tiny bottle back into her bag. It had started, of course, with her mum's habit of having a whole medicine kit (or so they liked to joke) in her purse -- from pills to plasters of all kind -- and rubbed off to her; she didn't go anywhere without a clean handkerchief, some small plasters, and that tiny bottle that had the added benefit of being particularly helpful when it came to making sure utensils were clean and all that.

Besides, Amber was often outdoors, and scrapes and cuts from random things -- trees, mostly, or spider and ant bites -- were common enough.

Now finished with everything she needed to do, she looked back up at him. She wanted to know if he was alright, of it there were other things he needed her to help with. She wanted to know if he'd hurt himself badly anywhere else, and if she needed to go back to school to get someone to come out and help. And yet, she didn't know what to say or do; how could she ask those things if she couldn't speak?

She gestured for him to wait, then quickly dashed over to the table she was at previously. Grabbing her notebook and pen, she scribbled down a quick sentence and walked back. Holding it out to him, she again smiled, although this time it was more tentative and timid than anything; this, social interaction, was the part she was most unsure of. Why couldn't it have been Elleon who found her? He, she could talk to.

She waited for him to reply to her simple question: Are you alright?

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Jaehan Hwang

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PostSubject: Re: First Signs of Friendship [Jae]   Fri Jun 01, 2018 1:52 pm

Jae grimaced as the antibacterial spray did its work, still trying to distract himself. It wasn't quite working, but it was all he could do besides maybe stare at the girl. He was sure they had never talked at all, for obvious reasons, but he wondered what her power was—she was a student, so that meant she must've had something, but he wasn't sure what. Of course, lots of powers weren't visible or obvious at all, but sometimes that meant they were fairly dangerous.

The girl got up unexpectedly—Jae realized belatedly that she had motioned for him to stay, probably—and he let his eyes follow her. He was confused as to why she got up, but waited for her to come back—oh, a note. He read the question, replying almost unthinkingly with a short sign, “I’m okay.”

And he was; in that moment he'd been absolutely fine. Then he realized what he'd done, his hand stinging from the movement, and his heart jumped to his throat, speeding up as if he were running—a pace more natural to him, but still too fast to be normal. He wasn't nervous she wouldn't understand the signs themselves, she certainly knew sign, but she didn't know that he couldn't speak. What would she think if she knew he was just hard of hearing and not deaf? That he just didn't speak because he couldn't get the words unstuck from his throat? Not that signing was any easier, he could still say something wrong and completely mess things up with a misplaced word or motion or anything—but all he could do was wait.

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