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Navigate This Maze Tal

#1 User is offline   Leigh Anna Barker-Alcott 

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Posted 20 October 2011 - 01:44 AM

Leigh Anna knew that Halloween was a big day in terms of college parties. That fact slightly intimidated her- sure, she'd enjoyed perhaps more than her fair share of high school parties, but that had been in Akron, where she'd ended up as prom queen and had always been surrounded by the rest of Vocal Adrenaline: it was safe and comparatively contained. The very worse thing that had ever happened was her getting drunk and breaking up with her girlfriend... mostly because apparently her drunken self was an extremely paranoid creature. College party sounded a little more... scary. It wouldn't be like high school where she knew half of the people there and they pretty much all knew of her. That fact was sort of making her want to just say forget Halloween and stay home in her dorm room and read or something. Except not because if her roommate was there, she didn't really want to be.

So she'd decided to go out, having been invited to a party by a classmate in a musical theatre class. She knew the artsy crowd could probably be just as rowdy as the rest of the school... if not moreso. But at least it'd hopefully be more her kind of crowd? She sincerely hoped so anyway. She'd thought of asking Casey to go with her, but then had figured that her friend would probably be too busy with her boyfriend or something to accompany her. So instead she'd asked Casey's roommate, Tal. She didn't know the girl very well, but liked her well enough. So what did she have to lose? The absolute worst that could happen was they realized they had nothing in common and were better off not going out one on one ever again. Not that this was going out, like a date going out. It wasn't a date at all- she was pretty sure Tal didn't even know she was gay? She wasn't hiding it per say. If she was ever asked about it, she'd say she was a lesbian. She thought she would anyway. OK, maybe she should've said something when a guy in her English lecture asked her if she was dating someone, but all she'd said was no. She wasn't dating anyone. And she did like Tal. She was a very pretty girl. Based on looks, at least, she'd be interested. But she didn't know how the other girl felt about being gay. For all she knew Tal was as straight as they came. And that would be perfectly fine, of course. Leigh wasn't looking for someone, at all. She wasn't ashamed of herself at all, but she also didn't really have any desire to wave the big rainbow 'I'm a lesbian' flag around. She really did not want to be 'that sort've bitchy bust mostly OK lesbian chick that sings' or whatever. She wanted to be judged for who she was. Not judged for the fact that she was attracted to girls, not boys.

She made her way down the hallways, turning her nose up a bit at some of the other costumes. Most of the boys seemed to have put very little effort into it. And the girls were mostly wearing outfits Leigh was pretty sure they would be arrested for any other day of the year for indecent exposure. She wasn't bashing them by any means- if they were comfortable in what they were wearing, she was all for it. It just seemd a little... trashy to know that most of those girls were just doing it to impress someone. She'd gone for Little Red Riding Hood, composed completely of items she already had in her closet- yes, including the cape. She had a feeling she was a lot more comfortable than a bunch of the girls in store bought costumes with short skirts and cleavage. Not that she minded looking at it (because, well, she didn't), she just didn't want to be uncomfortable because she was dressing to please someone else or fit in. Besides, she figured she was significantly less likely to get pneumonia this way. She lightly knocked on Casey and Tal's dorm room door, waiting for her "date" for the evening. She figured that if it was a bust she could always take Tal to get cheap food somewhere or something, to make up for it?

((She said 'it wasn't a date' and I about screamed. WHAT IS IT WITH MY GIRLS LATELY? Granted, Leigh's meaning was slightly different than the others when they say things like that....))
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#2 User is offline   Natalia Archer 

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Posted 24 October 2011 - 12:21 AM

To say that Tal was happy that Leigh had invited her to the arts party was an understatement. The girl liked parties, a chance to dress up and use the skills she was being taught in her fashion classes to create a new outfit (even if her teacher's views on good fashion sense often clashed with Tal's significantly), but, more than that ... well, from the first moment she had noticed how pretty Leigh was. She'd noticed at the Glee auditions, but hadn't had a chance to go and say hello, so when Casey introduced them formally, she'd been pleased. Of course, the likelihood that the girl was either bi or a lesbian or single was low - they really didn't know each other well enough to be at that stage of personal information sharing - but going out to spend time with her, to see if the personality matched the good looks, well, she was way up for that. Plus she'd heard about the party in her travels from her fine arts block to glee and back again about this party ... all she'd needed then was an invite. Otherwise she'd have to grace one of the more general parties and those always ended messily.

However, once Leigh had mentioned the party to her, Tal had agreed to go instantly, thinking up an outfit to make on the spot. An outfit that had ended up taking far longer to make than she had imagined. It didn't sound hard to create a flowing cross between a toga and dress with various rainbow-colour materials, but ... well it was amazing how uncooperative the fabrics she had chosen were being. She had just about managed to make sure the thing wouldn't slide apart and leave her indecent even by her standards when Leigh knocked at the door. Tal glanced up at it, her shoe still freshly glittered in her hand, and called out, "Just a minute!"

True to her word, Tal answered the door a minute later, simultaneously bending to place the shoe on her foot, while looking up at her through her hair with a smile. "Hey, sorry, costume not ... behaving quite as I imagined," she said, her tone bright even if the outfit had begun to irritate her. "And rainbows always seemed so agreeable." Straightening up, she looked at Leigh properly, her heavily made-up eyes widening a little and her smile growing so that her cheeks dimpled. "Wow, you look amazing. I didn't have time to make anything that keeps, you know ... warmth in, so if it gets cold later, you're going to have to share it with me," she cocked her eyebrow cheekily. "After all, that's what good dates do, right?" She had no idea how the other girl would take that, but then if she reacted badly to what on the surface was just a joke about being a couple, then Tal would have no interest in being friends with her anyway.

This post has been edited by Natalia Archer: 24 October 2011 - 12:23 AM

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#3 User is offline   Leigh Anna Barker-Alcott 

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Posted 31 October 2011 - 01:42 AM

"No rush!" she called through the door, wishing she'd come up with some sort of costume-appropriate satchel to stick her keys, cell phone, and a little bit of money in. As it was, all three managed to get shoved into her bra- maybe not the classiest move in the world, but it worked. When Tal opened the door a minute later... she stopped thinking for just a second. "I think it's behaving just fine," she quickly said. "And they, um are." Part of her was going 'you might not've wanted to waive the whole lesbian rainbow flag, but your date says otherwise'. The rest of her brain was telling that part to just shut up and enjoy the view. Just because Tal liked rainbows didn't mean she was trying to be a walking pride flag, she just liked the colors. And even if it was a pride flag thing, that was Tal's choice and Leigh more than respected that.

"And, um, I will do that- I mean of course I will do that, warm is good." Stop talking, Barker, before she thinks you're damaged. She really normally wasn't like this. She was capable of talking to loads of people without acting like an idiot. She just had a bit of a thing for this girl. And that was OK- she just couldn't act like an idiot over her. "And yeah! That's what good dates do." Wait, was this a date? She wasn't sure if she wanted it to be or not. Was Tal doing that straight girl thing where you pretend you're a couple with a friend, though? Like when straight girls say they're married to a straight female friend on facebook as a joke? So, yeah, this totally wasn't a date. It was a joke. Laughter. Funny. Haha. She told her brain to shut up and just enjoy herself. Acting like an idiot would just ruin the night.

She smiled, potential social blunder hopefully avoided. "Are you ready? I'm not in a rush or anything and I totally apologize if this is lame. If it's a bust, we can totally... I don't know, get cheap food somewhere. In costume- that'd be fun, too? And I'd buy, of course." Leigh wasn't so sure that she trusted her own ability to find a good party- she'd always tended to just stick with Vocal Adrenaline in high school.
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#4 User is offline   Natalia Archer 

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 12:39 AM

Even though she heard the call of 'no rush' from the other side of the door, Tal still made a conscious effort to try to hurry up the progress of finishing up her costume at least to the point of being able to open the door. What could she say? She was excited about going out to the Halloween party with her friend ... her incredibly attractive friend. Yeah, so maybe she was happy to be able to pretend, at least in her own head, that this was a date (it was about as close as she'd ever come to the real thing), but there was no real harm in that was there? She blew on the still setting glitter and glue on her shoe without thinking, cursing lightly to herself as most of the adornment scattered through the air and settled over her side of the room. No doubt it'd end up on Casey's side too - glitter was really a law unto itself that obeyed no boundary markers - but she'd deal with that when she had to. Right now she was just going to settle for having one slightly less rainbow-like shoe. Well, hopefully people would be more interested in the rest of her outfit, rather than just her shoes.

She pulled open the door when she was ready with a gigantic smile, pretty much her standard greeting to someone she liked, even just as a friend. Really, the only thing that stopped her from launching herself at the other girl in a full-on hug, like the one she gave Annie in the café was the fact that she was fairly sure that if she was too rough with her costume the entire thing might just fall to her heels. As bold as she was about showing more skin than average, she did not favour all-out nudity in public, especially when she was the one lacking the clothing. "Yay, thank you!" she exclaimed enthusiastically, pressing her hands together, trying to get at least some of the loose glitter from her palms. Though really, considering that she had employed edible glitter with make up, it would hardly make a difference. "I'm, um, glad you like it. Not sure people are going to get it unless I yell out about being a rainbow or something, but still - I like to be different."

Smiling at the slightly stumbling agreement she got from Leigh Anna about sharing the cloak should it be cold outside, she pulled her lower lip between her teeth and pressed down lightly for a moment. Despite appearances, and the impression that she liked to give, Tal was incredibly naive when it came to relationships and reading signs from other people. Still, Leigh's demeanour was making her heart feel lighter. She just ... liked it, she supposed. She grinned then quickly covered that up with a light laugh as Leigh reiterated the 'joke' about them being on a date. No doubt she was just following the line of banter - no reason to read anything into it.

Patting herself down and moving somewhat gingerly, Tal nodded slowly, glancing round the room in case she'd forgotten any bits and pieces of the costume she'd attempted to put together. "Yep, I think so," she said, looking up with a bright grin. "Don't worry about it - bound to be better than sitting in my room until Casey and Evan get back and then, you know, trying to find somewhere else to sit around until they're ... uhh ... done." She shrugged awkwardly, honestly not really enjoying that the couple tended to use Tal and Casey's room for 'quality time' together. As much as she had grown to like the redhead, she didn't need that in her life. "But if it really does suck, I totally support going getting food. Whatever, we'll make it a good night anyway." Letting Leigh out of the room and then locking up after them, she turned and walked close to her friend, noticing some of the glitter and paint transferring already. Oops.
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#5 User is offline   Leigh Anna Barker-Alcott 

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Posted 10 November 2011 - 02:29 AM

"Awww, well you look really nice, even if they don't get what you are," she said, truthfully, trying to not think about exactly how she meant those words. It was just a simple fact from a purely aesthetic standpoint, Tal looked very nice. And that was nice. And it would be very nice if Leigh didn't make herself dig any deeper into those thoughts. She kept her expression carefully controlled, not letting her face convey how she'd feel about the whole 'I'm a rainbow' thing. Because if you didn't actually know Tal, saying you were a rainbow could sort've sound like you were saying you were gay. Which Tal... wasn't? Leigh wasn't making any assumptions. She was pretty sure she filled the whole glee club gay girl quota. If she made some sort of assumption, she'd get her hopes up and end up heart broken and embarrassed, probably ruining any friendship she could hope to have with the girl. That would just be stupid. It was much smarter to assume that Tal was a nice, very pretty girl who liked rainbows and art- the creative type. But straight. Straight was important. Straight would keep her out of trouble.

She watched Tal bite her lip- oh really, was the girl trying to kill her? No, of course she didn't. Because she was a straight girl who assumed Leigh was also a straight girl and had no interest in Tal in any sort of romantic way and wasn't suddenly thinking about things like lips and teeth and tongues and... and Leigh really needed to get outside into the cooler evening air to clear her head. Because she was clearly insane and her brain was just so completely wrong about everything. Or her hormones were, anyway- and they weren't letting her think clearly. She gave herself a good, firm mental shake and told herself to stop acting like a teenage boy and get over it all.

"Oh, no- there's no reason for you to sit alone all the time. You can always come hang out with me or something. The only place I'd really be other than my room is in one of the rehearsal rooms, anyway. And you could hang out with me there, too, if you wanted, though I don't know how interesting that would be for you. But you wouldn't be bothering me at all and I'm not dating anyone or anything." She told herself she'd just said that last bit so Tal wouldn't think she had some significant other that she'd be getting in the way of. She was just making it clear that they really could hang out whenever and Tal wouldn't be stuck as a third wheel. Leigh was not telegraphing her romantic availability. Of course not, that would be ridiculously stupid.

"Yeah, you're right... how often do you get to sit in some place, dressed up like this, anyway?" And for just a second Leigh's hand brushed against Tal's waist, sort of nudging her along in the direction of the stairs that would take them outside. She didn't know why she did it. Maybe out of instinct? She'd usually rest her hand against Hannah's back when they walked together or take her hand. Maybe it was just an old habit. Leigh was a touchy person. If she'd brushed up against Harper she wouldn't have thought anything of it (nevermind that she thought of Harper as her younger sister or something), and she was a hugger. It didn't mean anything. Neither did the fact that her hands were suddenly back at her own side, where they belonged.
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#6 User is offline   Natalia Archer 

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Posted 24 November 2011 - 11:23 PM

Tal smiled lopsidedly, feeling a slight flutter in her stomach at the compliment from Leigh that was really quite unfamiliar to her. Okay, so she wasn't even attempting to deny it to herself (even if she wasn't quite ready to proclaim it to anyone outside of her own head), she had a crush on this girl. Well, before it had been raw attraction, but it was definitely developing into a full-blown crush. To be honest, for her that wasn't something that happened easily. Perhaps it was because she'd had such a bad experience in middle and high school, when most kids started getting their first crushes, but back then she'd not been attracted to anyone she saw. Of course, it was sort of hard to get over being universally loathed enough to like someone. It'd taken her first year of college getting back into her own skin before she'd gotten to her old self (or at least the one that she was sure she would have been had she had the chance to), so maybe now the whole feelings thing would make themselves known too. "Thank you," she said after a moment. "I mean, you can't lose with sparkly right?"

However, even if she was willing to admit to herself that she liked Leigh, Tal knew that the likelihood of the other girl liking her back in the same way was low. Probably almost non-existent. Half the problem at school was exactly how few out people existed in that community - she wasn't sure whether she was really the only bisexual girl in the place, but difference bred intolerance, and it was hard not to be different when you were the only one that way inclined. Tal wasn't exactly and specifically hiding her sexuality (that tended to be what got her into trouble the most), but she was hardly boasting about it either. Plus, even if she did tell Leigh that she liked girls, that only left the awkward hanging sentence that she was telling her that because she liked her ... Yeah, Tal would prefer just to pursue a friendship with the pretty girl before she ruined everything by being entirely too forward. Well, she would be slightly forward, but if she kept that joky air over it ... it was all harmless right?

"Oh you may regret saying that," she joked as Leigh offered her room as a temporary sanctuary for when Casey and Evan were, uhh busy, and whenever else she was alone. She grinned, dimples etching themselves into her somewhat ample cheeks. "I may be there more than you intended ... If there's anything I feel out of my depth with it's the Glee stuff. I mean, don't get me wrong - I do love it. But my school never had a glee club or anything really like that so ... I guess it must be pretty obvious I'm sort of coming at it all from scratch. Maybe I could absorb some of your talent by watching you practice." Her eyebrows bounced up just slightly as Leigh told her about her relationship status. Single ... that was ... well, it for some reason filled her with a little more optimism. It still wasn't an indication that she was into girls, and she probably just brought it up because Tal had mentioned Casey and Evan, but even so, there was at least some hope.

Grinning again, she nodded enthusiastically, sending a shower of glitter out over her immediate vicinity. For a moment she felt like Tinkerbell or something, commenting, "Heh, if this keeps up, you're probably going to be covered in as much glitter as me by the end of the night." However, the hand that suddenly nudged at her waist distracted all of her thoughts from that altogether. She didn't know why it jolted her head so extremely - Tal was a close person with little idea of what people called 'personal space', especially when she liked someone, but there was something about it. She shook herself internally. She wanted to have a good time with Leigh tonight, not spend every single second analysing the girl's every movement. Jeez, even if she didn't wind up looking like a creepy stalker, it'd definitely be a joy killer. And that was not what Tal Archer was about, at all. So she wasn't going to ponder what it meant that her new friend had shifted her hand back down to her side with ... was that deliberate haste? "Anyway, our party awaits ... but plan B is definitely a good one if we need it."
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