TT1

TT1.24: Understandings

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PART 24: UNDERSTANDINGS

“Chartreuse,” Mr. Veniti said in surprise. “We weren’t expecting you. I think Laurie’s upstairs, hold on.”

“I’m here to talk with Corry,” Chartreuse clarified.

Mr. Veniti blinked. “Corry?”

“Hello, yes?” Corry inquired, poking his head out into the hallway behind his father.

“Corry, we have to talk about what, like, happened today.”

“No, we don’t,” Corry refuted with a wave of his hand.

“Yes, we DO,” Chartreuse insisted. “But NOT, you know, here in the hallway.”

Corry sized her up. Then he nodded. “Okay, fine, come in. It’s a band thing,” Corry added for the benefit of his father. “Let’s go talk in my room, okay Chartreuse?”

Chartreuse nodded again and the two of them retreated upstairs. Once in Corry’s bedroom, with the door closed, the redhead leaned back up against the wall, hands behind his head.

“All right,” he said. “You’ve got your serious look on, so I’ll give you thirty seconds to convince me not to toss you out of here. Go.”

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TT1.23: Rock Bottom

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PART 23: ROCK BOTTOM

Principal Dell Hunt rose, his gaze shifting away from Carrie and onto the new arrival in his office. “Excuse me…?” he said pointedly.

“It’s Chartreuse. Chartreuse Vermilion.”

“Yes, I am aware of who you are. Am I to understand that you are claiming responsibility for what was discovered?” The principal waved off the office staff member who was now standing uncertainly at the door. She nodded and left, closing the door again behind her.

“That’s correct, sir,” Chartreuse said. “Though in fact, I don’t own the drugs either. So, well, okay, like, you might want to take a seat, this is sort of complex what I’m about to say.”

Mr. Hunt slowly sank back down into his chair. “I had a feeling.” He gestured at the seat next to Carrie.

Chartreuse moved to sit down as she spoke. “See, I actually found the bag in question this morning on my way to school. I thought ‘whoa! I’d better, you know, turn these in somewhere’ so I put them in my bookbag.”

“In your bookbag.”

“Yes, sir, just temporarily. I figured I’d better get them out of the area lest the dealer, like, double back and retrieve them.”

“Indeed,” Mr. Hunt said dryly. “And where was it that you found this bag?”

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TT1.22: Locker Up

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PART 22: LOCKER UP

“Chartreuse? Golly, Chartreuse, are you okay?”

The pink haired girl blinked her eyes open to see Laurie kneeling next to her. Laurie was holding her shoulder, and had been shaking her. Sunlight streamed in through the bedroom window. Chartreuse felt a shudder pass through her body.

“I’m… I’m okay,” Chartreuse murmured, pushing herself up into a sitting position. “I…” The memories of the previous night flooded back to her and her stomach wrenched. “Excuse me,” Chartreuse managed to get out, even as she stumbled to her feet and ran for the bathroom.

She emerged some minutes later, having cleaned herself up following a reencounter with the previous night’s dinner. “Chartreuse, I don’t think you’re okay,” Laurie observed, moving to offer physical support.

Chartreuse smiled weakly. “Well, I will be. It was, you know, only a bad dream,” she assured.

Laurie frowned. “Don’t even. I saw your vision stones out on the floor, it was more than a dream, wasn’t it?”

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TT1.21: Serious Matters

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PART 21: SERIOUS MATTERS

Corry reached out a hand to knock on the bedroom door. “Laurie?” he called out. “Laurie, Chartreuse is here to see you.” There was no answer.

Corry turned to the pink haired girl. “Just go in. She doesn’t want to see me after what happened at Friday’s dance, and the phone call the school made afterwards didn’t help matters. Seeing as we’re already into Sunday… well, hopefully there’s something you can do for her.”

Chartreuse nodded, reaching out for the doorknob. “Laurie?” she ventured. “How are…” The door was unlocked, and her voice trailed off as she peeked around the frame, getting her first look inside. “Omigod. Laurie!”

Giving a curt nod to Corry, Chartreuse hurried into Laurie’s bedroom, shutting the door again behind her. She bent down near to where Laurie was huddled in the corner and reached out to grab the hand of the red-haired girl.

“Laurie, honey, you look terrible. You’re not still beating yourself up over what happened at the dance, are you?”

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TT1.20: Fallout

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PART 20: FALLOUT

Luci’s gaze snapped away from Julie and onto Lee, who was now standing in front of her. “Lee!” she said redundantly. “No, I… there’s something else I need to do right now,” she said, scrambling for words.

“Yeah? Hey, I’ve been meaning to ask you, what brings you here tonight, don’t recall seeing you at these…”

“Later Lee, okay?” Luci interrupted. Julie was almost out of sight.

Lee shrugged. “Okay, whatever. You’re looking stressed though, you shouldn’t be stressed at a dance.”

“Y-Yes… I’ll work on that,” Luci said.

Lee snapped a finger and pointed at her. “Good idea.” He moved to follow a few others into the cafeteria while Luci hurried back down the hall in the other direction. But by the time she’d reached the hallway junction point, Julie was nowhere to be seen.

***

Julie strode purposefully down the hall, keeping one eye ahead of her and one behind. There was no point being sneaky – that would only draw unwanted attention. However, there was also no point being slow.

She didn’t stop until she saw the unexpected shadow back in the hall, outside the stairwell near the gym. Having climbed five steps to gain the high ground, Julie turned around, folding her arms. “Come out, come out, no point in hiding.”

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TT1.19: Dance Dance Redux

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PART 19: DANCE DANCE REDUX

Luci peered into the black box sitting on Frank’s lab table. She smiled – being done a little ahead of schedule meant a chance to chat with Frank this evening. They’d been so focussed on their work, both Saturday and today, that there hadn’t been much opportunity for idle conversation.

Then again, Luci still felt awkward whenever talk shifted to personal lives – partly because of how Frank tended to talk about Carrie. Luci wasn’t quite sure what to say about that.

Why did Frank think that Carrie was anything more than the shallow persona she displayed at school? Even as Luci pondered this, the basement door opened and she heard someone coming downstairs. She looked up, reading the expression on Frank’s face.

“She’s coming over then?” Luci guessed.

Frank nodded, running a hand back through his hair. “Carrie’s on her way,” he affirmed.

***

Several blocks away, Carrie threw on her jacket as she headed for her front door. “I’m going out, Dad,” she called out in passing.

“Carrie, wait,” her father requested.

The blonde poked her head back around the entrance to the living room. “Yes?” she said with thinly veiled annoyance.

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