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TheAbsurdist

Surrender, and Other Cheap Tricks

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Fang dipped her head down, sniffing at the water distrustfully before prodding the bowl with one paw, shoving it a couple inches across the floor.

 

Matt just shrugged one shoulder. "Maybe," he said, noncommittally, watching his dog try to figure out if the water was real without drinking it. "I like to pay my own way most of the time, but let me know if something's coming up? Might be going anyway if I could swing a ticket. Some shows let you watch free if you pitch in with setup and tear-down. And the powers...I dunno?"

 

That was another shrug, the boy clearly trying to carefully mull his answer over. "I guess it probably depends on...when stuff happened?" he said. "Like, some people don't have powers so much as they're just crazy-trained because their childhood was weird, so it's nothing new. Some people got their stuff really young, or were born with it, so they've been dealing with weird crap most of their lives. I'm, uh. In the second group. I never knew other people who weren't normal, but I've seen a lot of junk that's sorta taken the edge off new stuff, I guess."

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"Well..."  Corinne frowned and shrugged then, sort of flailing a bit.  She was trying to make friends, though it seemed apart from her roomie that has been at best a push.  At best.  "Well, I mean, can you cook?  Cause, I can't."  She made a face as she looked at him, a little helpless, and expressive.  "I mean, if you have a car that will be fine for me, too.  I guess I got the rich kid thing."

 

She turned a bit, looking to the window, and out.  "Yeah, I understand it, it just hasn't sank in, y'know?"  Pursing her lips in thought, eyebrows knitting together impressively as she did so.  "I mean, so like, am I supposed to talk about what I like, and who I am as a person with people here, or do I give them the baseball stats of what I can do?  I feel like I am treading water socially, school work wise, and all things related to powers."

 

Then she ducked her head, and lifted her arms to lace her fingers together of both hands against the nape of her neck, "I am sorry, didn't mean to ruin the whole vibe. It's just..."  She trailed off, not really having the framework, let alone the words for all of this.

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"Ehh." Matt had pulled a face; the dog at the water bowl had been joined by another, and they'd decided on a game of pushing it around the floor for some inscrutable purpose. "People will be pretty curious, but they're still people. Anybody who only cares about your powers isn't worth your time."

 

One of the dogs stopped to look up at him, sacrificing control of the bowl for a moment. "....yeah, okay. Unless it's an emergency," he corrected. "Then, sure, what you can do is probably more important in the moment. But anybody you're talking to when stuff isn't, y'know, on fire?" He made a vague hand motion, as if that was a possible but unlikely scenario. "They're gonna want to know, but if it's all they want to know, they're sort of terrible and you can probably do better. If you aren't used to dealing with, you can...man, I don't know."

 

He ran a hand back through his hair, trying to puzzle that one out. He'd been dealing with it for so long, and he almost never told anyone anyway, so....? "Treat it like a hobby, I guess? As far as topics go. It's interesting, it's part of what you do, but it's not everything."

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She looked at the puppers, and she moved to them, sliding down into a crouch smoothly, "It's water guys.  Pinky swear."  And then she reached out to offer more pettings.  She was good at that.

Corinne lifted her head and looked at Matt.  "I guess... I mean, I dunno how useful I will be in an emergency?  I can dance, I can backflip, paint, and keep a beat.  But, then we're just retreading."  She sighed a little, and dropped back to sit on the floor proper, folding her long legs together, and looked back to the dogs trying to work out the water.  "Not like Hollywood made much sense, really.  Or ballet.  That's all just as weird, just a weird i am used to, like, yanno? I guess I am just pissed that this all came Miley Cyrusing into my life and is probably derailing my dreams and what I've worked hard to do..."

 

She trailed off, and in doing so her stomach made a loud noise, as it was want to do when she wasn't actively eating.

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"I mean, it might not have to." Matt was too polite to comment on the stomach growling, but couldn't entirely hide his notice of it - amusingly, his head subtly turning toward the sound for a moment almost perfectly mirrored the way both dogs did the same. "I don't know what your whole thing is," he said, "but for a lot of people nothing says they have to do anything with what they've got."

 

He shrugged, walking over to set his guitar against a wall near his bag. "Some people don't have a lot of choice, y'know, but other people plan to just learn to control what they've got and then more or less ignore it. Maybe use it a little but still do, uh, whatever they were planning to do before. Acting, or dancing, or whatever. Some people might guilt you, but nothin' says you have to go punch muggers or let your powers control your life, unless that's part of the deal."

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Corinne made a face, catching the doggy head tilts (there were so many!), "It's true people do resemble their pets..."  She trailed off, and it was clear she was suddenly reappraising the dogs, and Matt.  Because, wait, there weren't all of them to begin with, and the door hadn't opened...

 

"Erm, sorry, hungry.  Always hungry."  She looked mournfully at her purse, for a moment.  "Yeah, but you're like the first person to say it's okay, well Hannah, my dorm mate, she's cool.  Everyone else is telling me dancing is just fooling myself, or judging me..." Trailing off before she jumped to her feet.  "I mean, statistically, I will be shot at less there, but am more likely to blow out my knee.  On paper at least, it seems way more viable."

"Wanna go score some food?  Or, um, yanno, like whatever, I don't want to cut into your practicing time," she looked from him, to the dogs, and back again.  Trying to work that out.

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"Heh, I think practice is over," Matt noted, nodding toward his guitar; there was a dog between him and it, having apparently shown up out of nowhere to deny him access to the instrument. "It was good, though. I don't get to play with a real drummer much, it's good to try it out sometimes." The dog by the guitar was staring at him, and he made a face. "Pretty sure they're reminding me that I promised to do a thing for them, though. My own, uh, weird stuff. Sorry, gonna have to take care of it and get food after, so I'll leave you to yours."

 

The dog didn't move when Matt tried to retrieve his things, and he frowned right back. "I'm comin'! I said I would, and I will, c'mon." It gave him a long look before stepping aside. "Getting more impatient every day, Hunter. I'll catch you later?" That was apparently directed at Corinne, the young guitarist turning his head to look her way as he grabbed his bag off the floor. "It's a pretty small campus, I'm usually around unless I'm not."

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Corinne nodded at that, frowning a little bit, before she bit on her lower lip and chewing.  Though not in a cannibalistic urge her stomach might indicate she'd be feeling.  "No, s'good, I am around, well I guess I have to be, huh?"  She laughed a little bit at that and rested her hands on her hips as she watched him and the dogs go.  Her expression made it clear she was trying to work them out.  Probably.  But the press of lips, and the little scrunch at the bridge of her nose looked like the expression of someone trying to working it out.

"Yeah, catch me later.  I'll show up here, or the gym, or somewhere dancing.  Might be throwing a party too, ish.  Yanno, stereotypical lost new girl trying to make friends when all she has is money.  Boring plot point!"  She made an amused face, sticking her tongue out, and biting on it as she shrugged.  She winced, inwardly, at the awkward way she was handling it.  "Anyway take care, and puppies too..."  She waved to them, before moving back to the drums, and picked up the sticks.

 

When he left, she pounded out a thunderous drum fill, attempting to occupying herself with drumming again.

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