Sunday, August 6, 2017

0.11 A Learning Experience


Dustin spun on his heel halfway to the dance floor and headed in the opposite direction. What the hell was he supposed to say if he went over there? Of course he had seen it, that wasn't going to change anything. Meghan had let that happen, maybe even wanted it to happen. He pretended he was getting hungry and got up from the bubble bar to get something to eat, trying to walk off the feeling that someone had just kicked him in the gut.



Karl was sitting on the floor just soaking up the party atmosphere. “Man your cousin really can move.” He says with a note of approval in his voice. “I can see why Beaker likes her.”

“I don't want to hear it Karl.” Dustin ground out.

“Calm down, man. Don't you think they make a pretty good couple?”

“I don't want them to be a couple of anything. Loki can stay the hell away from her.”

“Well he's coming over here. Guess you get to tell him that.”



Dustin spun back around, mildly aware that walking it off was not going to work. It would be much easier to speak his mind for once than sit idly by. Loki was no coward, and that was something Dustin had to admire about him, angry as he was.



Loki waited for him calmly, as if nothing was wrong.



As a clumsy tension break, most of the people at the dance decided to randomly dress the right way for F's sake, thereby alleviating the mental pain everyone who saw them all had previously been experiencing. Danielle looks mildly better now, even if she still is miles away from the party in her mind. It's safe to assume she did not witness the kiss.



Lynn just had this lying around, collecting holes. Now she intends to see how much food she can drop on it while she eats.



Loki met him halfway and reached out his hand: Dustin's grip was far tighter than necessary. “Dustin!” His friend greeted him warmly. “How are you feeling? You look like you have more energy now.” He commented, returning the firmness of the handshake.

Dustin relaxed despite himself. Loki was a good person and it was hard to be mad at someone who had no idea what was going on below the surface. “Yeah I'm good. Listen about Andrea...” He started to say.



“Your cousin is amazing,” Loki confessed with a small smile, cutting him off. “I'm thinking about asking her out, you know. She doesn't have anyone she likes right?”

Dustin clenched his jaw, and Loki misinterpreted the nervous action. “She does?” He cast a glance behind him to the dance floor. “It's usually just the two of you that I see together, I know you're close as family and all...” He trailed off.

“She's not the same as other girls.” Dustin said with an edge in his voice. “If you do anything to hurt her in any way, intended or accidental, I swear to you-”

Loki smiled more broadly. “Look it's not that big of a deal. A couple of dates or whatever. You're my friend and I wanted you to know.”



“It's a huge fucking deal. Either you treat her carefully or I come find you one day and send you to the fucking hospital.” Dustin was glaring now, and he knew he was visibly on edge but he didn't care.

Loki shook his head, grinning, until he began to laugh. “Okay, okay I get it.” He put his hands on his hips. “You really had me going there for a second. The hospital. I'll take that as your blessing then. And don't worry, I really like her.”



Dustin took a deep breath and raked a hand through his hair, pissed. “Look-” 

But Loki clapped a hand on his back and grinned. “We've got to find you someone too.” He said cheerily. “Lynn's pretty good-looking, but she dates everyone. Hmm Danielle is way too quiet...”

“I don't need anyone right now.” Dustin shakes his head, muttering. “Thanks...”



“Right sure.” Loki hummed, unconvinced. “Anyway we're cool, right? Shaka Braaa!” He says excitedly, he really gets into things like this.

Does anyone even surf, in this northern coastal town?

“Shyeaaa...” Dustin was less enthusiastic. Sure, no hospital trip for you yet, he thinks. But I'll be paying attention. His hand stays in a fist at his side and watches as Loki leads Meghan back out on the dance floor.



So that was it. The party was energized; Drea became prom Queen and Dustin, who hadn't participated in a single dance somehow earned the King's crown. He didn't want it, but his classmates liked him for some freaking reason. This took him back to how things were in Twinsburg where he didn't really belong among his peers. People held him to a different standard that wasn't higher or lower than theirs, it was just a realm where everyone thought they knew him and didn't. Probably because he diffused situations with humor, but lately he was beginning to see that even close friends had no idea what made him work. He was safe to tell anything to, and he could say or probably do anything without ever being in their bad graces. Maybe he should just embrace it.



Screw that. He downed his drink and headed for the door to see how long it would take him to freeze to death outside without a coat on. Okay that sounded dramatic, but he knew he needed to get out of here right now before he went off and ruined everybody's inexplicably nice opinions of him.

He wanted to throw this glass against the wall, so he settled for placing it down gingerly and stalking away from the buffet.



The night had been nothing short of amazing for Meghan. New experiences and new friends, and most of all she was not a disappointment to anyone. Her grades were good which meant that her father had been wrong about her, and she was able to make a connection to someone who seemed to like her in a way that she didn't confuse with pity or tolerance.



Loki asked her to be his girlfriend during one of the final dances, and she smiled. “I would like that.” She said, knowing she had no idea what he really meant by it, or what people did when they dated. But she liked feeling wanted and when he looked at her like that she felt excited, so she said yes. It was simple for her.



He leans in and places another gentle kiss on her lips. “I'm glad you asked me to this. I've always thought you were pretty, but you're so much more than that, I can't take my eyes off of you.”

It's a sappy line but Meghan has heard no other lines to ever compare it to, so she just smiles at him, a little awestruck. “Do you want to go out this weekend?” She asks because she has no idea what else to say.

“Of course.” He confirms.



The display was discreet, in a little corner of the dance floor so of course Dustin saw it as he was headed out the door. It was disgusting. 



Lynn comes up behind him, a small smile playing on her features. “You ready for that dance yet? You keep looking at other people having fun, you'll never have any for yourself.”

He didn't turn around. “Give me fives minutes.” He says over his shoulder.

“Sure.” Her voice sounds bemused.



Dustin made it safely outside, took a few deep breaths of crisp, chilly winter air, and set about destroying the first snowman he came across. It helped him feel a bit better and oddly worse at the same time. Now some kids didn't even have a snowman to look at and feel proud of tomorrow.



More importantly by the time he made it back inside he felt ready to face his friends and to move on. Lynn was nice company and he didn't step on her feet once, so there was something he could do better than Loki.

Tonight had been a learning experience, he would choose to look at it like that. He felt a little bit stronger. 



When they made it back home and their (loathsome) friend was no longer with them, Dustin got up a moment of wary courage to ask her why she didn't want to ask him to prom. He felt like he was ready to hear her answer now, especially after seeing how much she had enjoyed herself that evening. She must really have liked Loki to ask him, he thinks.

She smiled brightly, as if glad he'd asked. “Well I couldn't ask you because I knew you'd say yes, you're my best friend and you'd have to say yes. I asked Loki because I thought he would say no to me.”



He stared at her, for once having nothing to say.

Eventually he blinked and arranged half of a thought. “What!?” It came out as a bark.

“Yeah, I wanted to challenge myself.” She explained helpfully, except it wasn't much of an explanation at all.



“To... challenge yourself?” He repeated weakly. What kind of logic was that? Did that mean that this whole thing to her was some grand experiment, a way to prove that she could function like a normal person, like someone who hadn't grown up in an 80 square foot box in the middle of a marsh? It made sense, in a crazy way. But there's no way she could understand, no way to show her what guys his age were like, were capable of.

He liked Loki as a person, which just made the whole thing worse because there was no great reason to tell her not to date him. But that didn't mean he wanted to just sit idly by and let Loki date her, just because she wanted to have the experience of dating!

This was insane.



“I like you.” He blurted out suddenly, and she stopped talking about whatever she had begun talking about. Shoot, now wasn't the time to confess, what was he doing!? His mouth went dry. “I wanted to ask you I mean, I didn't want you to feel pressured about it, but I should have asked you to go with me.”



But she just smiled, inclining her head, like she already knew that. “Dustin. I like you too. You're my favorite person, and you're always there for me, of course I like you.” She replied, too easily. “Why wouldn't I?”



His heart pounded in his throat. Once again like so long ago he felt like he was someone else, watching him as he reached for her hand and pulled her gently towards him. For some reason it felt right to tell her now. Or maybe... he needed her to know how he felt and there was no getting around it anymore. “No, you don't understand. I mean in a different way. I like everything about you.” His thumb traced a circle on the back of her hand. “Ever since...”

Confused, she repeated. “I like you too Dustin, but why are you telling me this now?”

He let out a short breath and shook his head. She didn't get it. He steeled himself to be slapped in a few moments, stepped forward and told her once more with soft conviction, “Because, you don't understand.”



It seemed like one of their normal hugs at first until she witnessed the intensity of his expression. She watched him lean in, and thought this couldn't possibly be what she thought it was. In that second her phone rang and she pulled away, relieved of having to know.

It was Loki. Of course it was. They had only left the dance what an hour ago!? He saw her face light up when she answered and let out a long, slow breath. “I'll give you some privacy,” he mumbled. His heart drummed an angry rhythm in his ears all the way down the stairs. He was going to upgrade every hammer-able object in the house.

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Nice try there Dustin.

I actually did have Meghan ask Loki for kicks figuring I'd never seen a sim get rejected for a prom date (because they were merely acquaintances) and I was curious about the interaction. Then he responded with 'Don't let your hands roam when we slow dance' or something like that and said yes. By the end of the prom event he 'hadn't left her side all night' and they were dating. Way to go, me. >.>

But it fits Meghan's personality so I went with it, complicating everything. 

I was really happy with the lighting at prom, some lights were set to cyan and others to flame, and the effect was a warmer and a colder side of the room which I think came out great considering one side of the room ended up representing conflict (bubble side) and the other was more romance (dance floor side). It was subtle but nice.

Dustin asked Lynn to dance, but she ended up leading. Guy can't catch a break! Also I really like Loki and 'Andrea' being together, it's an interesting relationship. He is family oriented, lucky, and ambitious, I forget the other trait.


Sheesh prom took forever.  Next update will have them aging up (finally)!

4 comments:

  1. Ha! I love Dustin's face after Meghan that she only asked Loki because she thought he'd say no. It looks like his eye is twitching. <3 He just can't catch a break, can he? And Meghan still doesn't understand.

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    1. She's smart with numbers and not people, he's good with humor and not being serious.

      I really like the threesome of Dustin, Meghan and Loki, but that's not the roll I have. This weirdness can't continue for too much longer. :/

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  2. KARL! I turned him into a werewolf in my game. He's so cute. ;_;

    I just can't find Dustin intimidated. He just seems too sweet. Besides, if Loki is anything like his namesake he can take him. XD

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    1. I can't wait to finish reading your blog! lol Karl as a werewolf. Really!

      Wouldn't they make a great cop movie though, Loki can be the bad cop who smiles like a grimace and Dustin the good cop who looks stupid when he's mad. Loki is way too chill to have that name.

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