2009-12-17: Harmony and Dissonance



Date: December 17, 2009


With avoidance no longer an option, the not-couple do their best to move forward.

"Harmony and Dissonance"

Central Park

Randall stares up at the sky. It's such a peaceful sky, now that the clouds have broken up into a faint stubble of cirrus. Not like Female Drama, Round 3, which is sure to bulldoze him any second now— at least Jade's finally taken off, but not before sharing all the wrong things with Portia.

Yeahhhh. There was plenty that Portia had to be mad about. Her guitar, however, acts as her shield as she settles it closer, resting an arm over it while the other grips its neck. "So. New girlfriend or something?"

Randall lolls his head over, keeping an eye on the guitar. Especially if Portia shows any sign of using it as a club instead of a shield. "Or something, yeah," he murmurs, sitting up once again. "Remember what happened with us that one time, only we stopped at a certain point? Well, sort of the same type of thing happened with her, only—"

Abruptly, he turns away, drawing his knees up to his chest. "I almost hurt you, Portia. Why are you bothering to even talk to me?"

Portia wets her lips a little, looking back down at her guitar. "Maybe because you're a friend. You know? I don't have a lot of those. I love music, don't get me wrong, but it's my crutch. I don't have a life outside of it because I'm afraid to. I don't have a lot of people to talk to and it's not like I'm desperate for a friend, but I like you as one. I /trust/ you. Even though things are… weird." She shrugs, plucking idly at a string, almost as if she cared nothing for the instrument in the way she handled it.

Randall sighs. "I know how that is. Jade and I were talking earlier - well, before she decided to torture me some more - well, I know a few people here and there, but I had too much tied up at the Lair before that got all awkward. So I like having you as a friend, too… but I don't know if I trust myself any more."

He flops back onto his back, rubbing his eyes. "I don't know, I'm probably overthinking it, but you know what I mean, right? I need to figure out where I want to go."

"Nothing really /happened/, though! It'd be different if something happened. You can't just go about worrying about if something COULD happen and base your life on the worse possible outcome of every situation. You'd never /get/ anywhere in life." Portia sighs a little bit. "It's not as if something really would have happened, would it?" She takes a moment, pausing as she looks at him, her tone a little different, but quite serious. "Would it?"

"See, that's the thing." Randall closes his eyes, thinking back. "The second time I was in that type of situation, when she and I were pushed just a little harder? Something did happen. And she's not that much older than you are." Old enough that he doesn't feel like a completely horrible person, but only just. "So no, I'm not just worrying about nothing. If we'd stayed at the bar for another round or two— I don't know."

Portia pauses, shifting her guitar as she sets it down beside her. No hiding behind it now, even if it made a good security blanket. "But.. were you friends with this girl? I mean, we're friends. It's different if it's someone you only sort of know and someone you've known for a while, right?" There's a long pause, and she looks back at her guitar, her expression a little hard to read save for the fact she was in pretty deep thought. "I don't know that anything really would have happened anyways. It's not like I'd just go along with /anything/…"

Hey, good point. Randall's been too close to the situation to think about certain aspects clearly enough. "We were, but not for nearly as long. There's a lot of things different… You saw what kind of attitude she has, you'd think she was born and raised here. And she still— Well, I haven't really seen what she's like when she goes out and she's herself. Probably help if I did."

Portia's last comment remains unanswered. There really, really is no good way to respond to a subject like that.

"Yeah, see.. it's not the same thing." There is an awkward pause, though, as he doesn't quite respond. Portia blinks, looking at her guitar for a moment. Fighting urge to pick it up again. Must resist. "You really think something could have happened between you and I? Honestly?" It's hard to tell if she's asking because she wants to prove that nothing could have happened, or that she actually just wants to know if older guys could actually go for a girl like her. With her expression, it's kind of hard to tell the difference.

"…we were both drunk," he finally says. That's ambiguous enough, right? Please let it be, so he can stop asking himself the same question. "Anyway, at least now you know to double-check if you ever go back there." Or to some other bar, who knows where her mostly-friendless social life will end up taking her after all.

Portia frowns slightly, looking back to Randall. "Well.. I guess that's true. People do stupid things when they're drunk." The guitar is returned to its protective position. Guitar shield—go! "At least we've got that part cleared up. So, what, going to stop being my friend now, now that you don't trust yourself around women? Or just underaged ones?"

"I didn't say that," says Randall, shaking his head. "No, I'm not going to avoid you— actually, while I'm thinking of it, you want to come by the shop some time, do another duet? I need to convince Jade that it isn't just a pickup line." Which it could be, but it isn't only that.

For a moment, Portia looks skeptical. "You're serious, though?" It's another moment, but she actually smiles—genuinely. "Yeah, I'd like to. It was really fun… minus the awkwardness, of course. And that was pretty good money, at least." She looks at her guitar, then at him. "I accept."

Randall nods. "Okay, then, it's a—" Oh God, he did not almost say that word. "…anyway, yeah, I'll see you there. The Bible-thumpers haven't been so bad lately, so that's one good thing at least."

"Yeah. Guess that's a good thing, huh?" Portia smiles again. "Thanks.. means a lot to me." She nods. "I'll see you there. And.. just don't go around telling that story if you can avoid it, okay? I don't like the image of me as the 'half-naked girl on the couch'. Especially when I've got few enough friends as is."

At that, Randall's face turns a lovely shade of crimson that the cool weather alone had not yet managed to bring out. "Believe me, I haven't been. I brought up the music thing with Jade and she was all 'bullshit, you've never even talked about playing' and… well, I tried to gloss over it but she'd just make up worse things if I hadn't told her the truth at that point."

Portia nods. "Good enough excuse as any. Just.. you know. If you see her.. make sure she doesn't go around spreading it, okay?" She rubs her head. "That's the last thing I need, especially if my family finds out what happened that night. You have NO IDEA what trouble I had trying to keep /that/ a secret."

Randall winces. "You'll have to tell me some time. But yeah, I'll talk to her— she just likes torturing me, I think she'd be cool with not doing it to you. I hope."

Portia offers another smile. "Yeah. Otherwise I'll have to see what I can do about torturing her in return. And teenaged girls have a particular way of being nasty when it comes to the revenge thing." She grins. "Anyways.. good luck with that." She gets to her feet, lifting the guitar. "I've got to go practice."

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