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 walking like strangers among these states, Skye Larkin
madison doran
 Posted: Jun 10 2014, 12:24 PM
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now we're wading in the grass, swimming through the weeds up to our necks, and roses started growing in my brain. tell me, can we make it last? down the rabbit hole so far and fast, each moment like a stop-motion still frame.
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madison doran


Maddie wandered into Hyde Park with his guitar bag over one shoulder and his satchel over the other. He tried his best to direct everyone’s attention away from him as he passed groups of all sorts of people lounging and talking and playing catch, although he knew the magic wasn’t quite so strong here. He wasn’t overly fond of people watching him arrive at places, nor the way they subtly watched him set up his spot for playing. He liked performing on his own terms, is all.

Madison sat on the ground after finding a spot that was somewhat secluded, but people would still be able to notice him and give him tips. Because he was shy, but he wanted to be able to finally afford those shoes he’d seen at Aldo.

He set himself up at his leisure, carefully taking his guitar from its case and balancing it over his crossed legs. Then he took off his hat and placed it on the grass in front of him for tips. He shimmied around a bit to get himself comfortable and started to tune his guitar. It only took a couple seconds to do so before he was ready. With a sigh, he took down the mental walls he’d put up and began to play.

You say we’re both little people and you like it that way, but in time I’m gonna put this body to shame, grow old, wear a suit like my old man, pack up all my things and get my ass out of town…

It was a cheery and simple tune; he’d had fun practicing it since he first heard the song not long ago. He’d started frequenting this one music store that had these stations where you could search their database of music and listen through headphones. Maddie still struggled with the whole technology thing, but this system was simple enough. However, practicing songs at home without the music readily available wasn’t so easy, but he managed.

…We’ve got it good, whether you like this town or not. I know it’s small but with a big head it’s bound to get hot in the summer, but the summer is a bummer if you can’t leave…

A couple people passed by without giving him a second glance, a few paused briefly to listen then continued walking, and only one lady chucked in two quarters and a button, muttering something about a ‘decent haircut’ without slowing her pace.

Maddie shrugged to himself but didn’t stop playing. He was thinking it might take a little longer than he’d hoped to save up enough for those shoes.

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skye larkin
 Posted: Jun 11 2014, 12:36 PM
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Way down 'til the fire finally dies out You've got 'em wrapped around your finger Watch 'em fall down There's something beautiful and tragic in the fallout
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skye larkin


Skye was bored. She’d been stuck inside, working on a hack for to many hours. It was an easy one, proving very little challenge. She hated not being challenged. So it was with a sigh that she closed her laptop and pushed into a beat-up black back pack. She jumped up and pulled on a pair of skinny medium blue jeans, a back tank and a purple, grey and black plaid flannel shirt. A pair of black ankle boots completed the look. She ran her fingers through her naturally wavy hair and left it at that. She didn’t care for make-up, so instead of bothering with anything more she just swung her backpack over her shoulder and waltzed out the door.

She walked around for a bit before finding herself wandering Hyde Park. It was beautiful day and there were plenty of people meandering about. She liked people watching. It allowed her to relax and often provided quite the entertainment. So she watched the people as she moved around.

It wasn’t until a faint song caught her attention she began to move with purpose. She the closer she got the more she found she liked the sound of the guys voice and the way he played. It was light and quite nice. She found for some reason the way he sang made her smile. She liked music, but this guys voice just made her heart happy and brightened her day. She got closer to get a better listening spot. She quietly began to hum and sway to the music, still not recognizing the figure strumming the guitar.

It wasn’t until she reached down to give him a tip that her eyes caught the shaggy dark hair and familiar face. Her hand outstretched, holding a few coins towards him, she froze. Her heart leapt into her throat as she squeaked out his name, ”Dandy?”. She was completely and utterly surprised to see her favorite weed, and little brother Dandelion perched so naturally in Hyde Park. Her surprise had made her completely forget that he now went by Madison.

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madison doran
 Posted: Jun 13 2014, 02:00 PM
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now we're wading in the grass, swimming through the weeds up to our necks, and roses started growing in my brain. tell me, can we make it last? down the rabbit hole so far and fast, each moment like a stop-motion still frame.
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madison doran


When he saw someone in his peripheral vision approach him, Maddie didn’t really acknowledge them, just continued playing as usual. It was going a lot better than he’d expected for a song he’d so recently learned, and he was just about finished with his song when he saw a hand reaching down to offer a tip. The hand froze, though, which was peculiar, but not so much so as when he then heard something he definitely wasn’t expecting. His name. And not his new one, but the one he went by a long time ago.

His hands jerked on the strings to make an unpleasant sound, but he immediately pressed the palm of his hand down to mute it. Then his head shot up so fast he almost got whiplash. In front of him stood a young woman with long brown hair and a familiar face, though it took him a couple moments to figure out who it belonged to.

At last, it came to him. The woman before him was none other than the Larkspur – or Skye, rather.

He smiled brightly as the memory came to him. “Skye!” he said warmly…then more memories emerged.

“Skye??” he then said, more concerned this time. The Larkspur had disappeared during the revolution without a trace. Most people thought she had died, and some thought she just ran. Well, now, clearly it was not the former. Maddie dropped his guitar and stood up to face her directly. “You’re alive?” he asked her, then glanced around at people nearby. No one else was paying attention and it probably didn’t even matter, but he still lowered his voice, “is this where you’ve been all this time?”

There were so many things he wanted to ask his flower sister, but he couldn’t even begin to decide what to ask first. So instead he just sort of stared at her, willing all the answers to simply come out of her.

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skye larkin
 Posted: Jun 14 2014, 08:43 PM
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Way down 'til the fire finally dies out You've got 'em wrapped around your finger Watch 'em fall down There's something beautiful and tragic in the fallout
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skye larkin


The noise that came from the guitar showed just how startled he was. She'd used his Wonderland name, so...yeah, she would assume that would startle him easily since they were in London. It had just slipped out.

Skye swallowed slowly as she stood up straight, watching with wide eyes as looked up at her with such speed that it made her own neck hurt. He said her name, and the way he said it made her heart leap. It was Dandelion saying it, warm and welcoming, one of the many things she'd missed about her little brother. She bit the inside of her cheek to keep from tearing up.

He repeated her name, this time with less warmth and much more confusion. The look in his eyes made her heart ache. If running into Nadine had been hard...seeing Madison was even harder. She'd been rather close with him, loving his sunny disposition and willingness to share her daydreaming.

His next question made her heart drop. He was surprised she was alive. Of course, some would have assumed she died. She figured they all had thought she was a coward. Yet it made sense. As odd as it may have seemed, she was a little happy he thought her dead instead of a coward. Yes, the idea of him mourning pained her, but him seeing her in such a dim light as cowardice, that was worse.

She had to swallow a few time before she could speak without squeaking. "Um...yeah...I'm alive." She shrugged at his follow up. She didn't want him to know she'd been avoiding him. Last thing she wanted was for him to be hurt further. But she didn't want to lie out right either. "Yeah...I've been here-ish." She added the 'ish' to make it sound a bit less. "How long have you been here?"

She knew he had made the transition to London and usually knew when he was in town, because Jenna knew, and wouldn't let her run the risk of bumping into them. Jenna had her back that way. But Skye hadn't seen Jenna in a bit and hadn't had the chance to see who was in London. Thus, the bumping into. Of course it would happen to her.

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madison doran
 Posted: Jun 23 2014, 08:12 PM
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now we're wading in the grass, swimming through the weeds up to our necks, and roses started growing in my brain. tell me, can we make it last? down the rabbit hole so far and fast, each moment like a stop-motion still frame.
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madison doran


Skye looked uncomfortable as she answered his question, and Maddie felt like she might be hiding something. It worried him, but he tried not to assume anything bad. He supposed the best thing he could do was to just be supportive and let her open up at her comfort level. After all, they hadn’t seen each other in such a long time. And if she decided to tell him what was up, great. And if not, well…

He shrugged. “ I’ve been here-ish too,” he told her. “Kind of still living back home but I come here often enough. I’m surprised I haven’t seen you if you’ve been here all this time.”

Maddie looked at her guilty expression and frowned. A reunion like this with his long lost sister should be a happy affair. He stepped a bit closer and put a friendly hand on her arm.

“Hey,” he said caringly, “you wanna go talk somewhere? Get some coffee? We don’t have to talk about anything you don’t want to. I just want to hear how you’ve been. And if you want, I could tell you how home’s been, too.” He smiled at her, hoping she wouldn’t say no. “There’s a shop just nearby. The owner likes me so I can get you half-price muffins.” She was an older lady who was always begging him to perform at the café’s open mic nights. Maddie always politely declined on account of being the type to turn in around 8:30, but promised that one day he’d do a show just for her. Maybe once he’d possibly moved here for good. The thought gave Madison a funny feeling in his stomach and brought him back to reality.

“I mean, as long as you’re not busy with something else,” he added, attempted a cute, pleading little puppydog look (which didn’t tend to work so well on someone as tall as him). “Are you?”

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skye larkin
 Posted: Jun 24 2014, 04:39 PM
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Way down 'til the fire finally dies out You've got 'em wrapped around your finger Watch 'em fall down There's something beautiful and tragic in the fallout
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skye larkin


The noise that came from the guitar showed just how startled he was. She'd used his Wonderland name, so...yeah, she would assume that would startle him easily since they were in London. It had just slipped out.

Skye stood frozen, holding her breath for a moment, just waiting for his response. She exhaled in relief as he shrugged it off. She knew he was smart enough to know she was hiding something, but her relief at not being pressed for information was immense. She should have known better, he’d always been one of the most understanding and easy going of her siblings. Even if she told him the truth, she doubted he’d hate her. But he might think less of her and that would kill her.

The mention of home made Skye sigh softly, she got homesick sometimes. This was one of those moments, though she did her best to quell the feeling. She ducked her head at his confusion as to not having seen her around. There was a reason for that, she’d avoided him. ”Yeah…” she mumbled, running her fingers through her hair again. Nervous habits die hard.

Skye flinched as he stepped forward and laid his hand on her arm, though she instantly felt guilty for the automatic reaction. Maddie would never hurt her, not in any lifetime, so her reaction to his touch was stupid. She just couldn’t help it.

His caring tone brought tears to her eyes as she held her breath again. She desperately wanted to get coffee with him. The idea of spending time with him again pulled at her heart. She shouldn’t, she’d tried avoiding the Wonderlanders for so long, yet her desire to spend time with her little brother was intense. Then he pulled the puppy-dog eyes and her breath caught. It wasn’t that it was such an effective look, it was that it reminded her of the old days when he’d beg for stories of her adventures or to go with her. Without realizing it she moved forward and wrapped her arms around him, enveloping him in a big hug. She pressed her face against his shoulder, her arms around his waist. He was taller than her 5’5” frame, by a good few inches. She tried to keep the tears in but one or two slipped out.

Finally she pulled away, nodding in agreement. ”Yeah…yeah coffee would be good.” She said with a half-smile. She laughed at his offer of half-priced muffins, ”I like muffins.” She motioned towards his small collection of cash. ”I’ll treat since I’m interrupting your tourist time.” She offered with a slight shrug. ”I’d like to hear about how you’ve been…and home. Maybe a little about home. I can’t promise you’ll like what I have to say…but we’ll see.” She offered, knowing she’d been too silent. She felt bad and wasn’t sure how much she’d tell him. Perhaps she could just omit a few details, give him a brief over view.

What she really wanted was to hug him again. It had been comforting, something she didn’t get too often. He had reminded her of the good times at home.

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madison doran
 Posted: Jul 3 2014, 08:01 PM
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now we're wading in the grass, swimming through the weeds up to our necks, and roses started growing in my brain. tell me, can we make it last? down the rabbit hole so far and fast, each moment like a stop-motion still frame.
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madison doran


Maddie saw tears start to form in his sister’s eyes, and he worried for a moment that he’d made her upset somehow, probably from mentioning their home and their family. Before he could even try to apologize, though, Madison found himself being squeezed around his middle by a sudden hug from the larkspur. He frowned when he felt the warm wet feeling of tears soaking into his shirt, but he didn’t say anything, just wrapped his arms around her tightly until she pulled away.

Maddie smiled brightly when she nodded and agreed to get coffee with him.

“It’s not like I was getting much business, anyway,” he laughed, then crouched down to gather up his stuff so they could go (and before she could possibly slip away again). Skye warned him that he might not like what she’ll tell him, but it didn’t worry her as much as she probably thought it might. He was just glad to see her again, and he couldn’t imagine her doing anything that he’d judge her for. He’d never been that type of person. He finished zipping up his guitar bag and popped his hat back on his head before standing up, slinging the bag over his shoulder.

“Like I said,” he reminded her with a shrug, “you don’t have to say anything you don’t want to.” Then he smirked. “But I’m pretty sure I can handle it. I’m a big boy, Skye.” He looked her over once more, and something just came over him. Before he realized, he was pulling her into one more, this time a tad quicker hug.

“It’s just really great to see you again,” he mumbled into her hair. When he pulled back, he left an arm around her shoulders that were just the right height for him to do so. “Now,” he said as he sort of nudged her along, “the shop’s just over here. I’m really glad you offered to pay because I’m absolutely broke.” He giggled.

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Skye Larkin. 330. boop.
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skye larkin
 Posted: Jul 8 2014, 06:33 PM
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Way down 'til the fire finally dies out You've got 'em wrapped around your finger Watch 'em fall down There's something beautiful and tragic in the fallout
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skye larkin


Skye was relieved beyond belief when Maddie returned her hug and with his usual exuberance. She may be the older sister, so to say, but he gave such amazing hugs and always seemed to make her feel protected. She’d never vocalize this, because she was the tough Larkspur, the rebel child who could hold her own. But a hug from her young brother still meant the world to her.

She chuckled slightly at his comment about making money. ”This isn’t really the best place for it. Though, you were about to make a bit from me…then again, your song made me think of home. And anyone who can do that deserves the money.” she paused thinking, then snorted slightly at her own silliness. ”Of course, the only person who has done that is you and well…you kinda are home, so…yeah.” she shrugged, suddenly feeling awkward again. It was amazing how for a moment it had disappeared. That was one of his many wonderful traits, he always made everything feel better.

Skye laughed at his comment about being a big boy, ”Yeah, yeah…I know. You’re all grown up and spreading roots.” She teased, reveling in the feeling of joking with her brother. ”We’ll see…get a couple cups of coffee in me and you never know what happens.” she smirked.

Skye squeaked in surprise when he pulled her into another hug, but she quickly relaxed and hugged him back just as fiercely. It was a quick hug but it still made her smile. She settled herself to walk in stride with him, the comforting weight of his arm across her shoulders. ”Lead the way and I shall follow.” She said as he explained where the café was. ”And don’t worry, I’d be happy to treat! I make decent pay as a photographer. It’s not super prolific, but enough to treat my brother to coffee and brunch.” She smiled up at him, wanting to ruffle his hair but resisting. It was too familiar a gesture, and while she had no doubt he wouldn’t be bothered by it, she wasn’t sure she could handle it. She hadn’t seen him in years and despite what he said, she still had a fear of him not being too keen on why she left…if she told him. Or when she explains that she’s been avoiding him for years…if he took that badly, she didn’t want her original attachment to have returned only to have to lose him again. So, best to keep those sisterly urges reined in.

Time for small talk, which of course was never Skye’s strong suit. ”So…do you have a place here, or stay in Wonderland and just visit?” Okay, so maybe she already knew that answer, but he didn’t have to know that. It was because of Jenna she knew the whereabouts of her siblings, and to expose her knowledge would possibly expose Jenna and there was no way she was doing that! Not even to the gentle soul that was Maddie.

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madison doran
 Posted: Aug 6 2014, 07:17 PM
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now we're wading in the grass, swimming through the weeds up to our necks, and roses started growing in my brain. tell me, can we make it last? down the rabbit hole so far and fast, each moment like a stop-motion still frame.
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madison doran


Maddie’s heart seemed to grow two sizes when Skye said that he was home. He supposed it made sense since they had lived as flowers together for such a long time, but the thought that he could bring a sense of comfort to her like that was enough to make him blush. And he could see she felt a little awkward after saying so.

"Well, thanks," he said earnestly with a smile, reaching out to squeeze her arm warmly, "you too."

As they were walking toward the shop, Skye seemed slightly hesitant to tell Maddie all that she had been up to lately, but professed that she might be more willing if he got some coffee in her system.

Maddie laughed. "Oh, I intend to," he said.

As they made their way towards the coffeeshop, smalltalk ensued as it often does. Skye asked Maddie if he had a place in London. He shook his head.

"Nah," he said, "although maybe I should. I'm here often enough. Yeah, I'm still technically living Wonderland. I don't really mind the commute, though, since I don't really do that much." He chuckled, though he couldn't help feeling a little down at the thought that he was pretty much a bum, a useless member of society. But what else was someone whose whole life used to consist of standing in the sun all day, rooted to the ground supposed to do with himself? He supposed he was fine just doing the same as he always did.

The walk to the shop was rather short, as he'd mentioned before, so that conversation soon came to an end. The coffeeshop they arrived at was at the very corner of two streets, the fenced in outdoor seating area wrapping around it on both sides of the corner. A small number of people, tourists and locals alike, were seated at the white chairs and tables there, while more were inside the building in the air-conditioning. Maddie turned to Skye as he held the door open for her so they could go in and order.

"What do you think?" he asked her, "inside or outside? Your pick."

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skye larkin
 Posted: Aug 16 2014, 05:31 PM
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Way down 'til the fire finally dies out You've got 'em wrapped around your finger Watch 'em fall down There's something beautiful and tragic in the fallout
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skye larkin


Skye ducked her head at his response to her being home too, though she figured he was probably being nice. Still it made her smile a little and made the walk a bit more comfortable. She listened intently as he talked about his living situation and while she already knew it, she still preferred to hear him talk about it. Skye nodded, ”Nothing wrong with commuting! I know I would go back to Wonderland more if I could.” she paused, chewing her bottom lip a little bit. Then decided to move on instead of addressing that just yet. ”If you want a place, I’m sure I could help you find one. You may need to have a roommate or something, but that’s not really so bad. If you find the right person, it’s actually nice. It’s a bit more comfortable than being alone…I mean we lived in a garden together for so long…living alone is…strange.” she wrinkled her nose. She’d been lucky that Jenna had taken pity on her, not made her leave. The idea of living by herself, especially in the beginning, had been nearly as terrifying as what she was hiding from.

”I got lucky and was able to find a good roommate. She’s awesome really, one of the best things about London.” she laughed at how sentimental she was sounding. She glanced up from the ground they walked as they arrived. She realized she’d been staring at her feet for most of the walk and had just gotten into the old habit of trusting Maddie to lead her. It hadn’t occurred to her that he would do anything to harm her. Even now, though she was surprised at how easily she trusted…it only made sense because it was Maddie.

She recognized the little café, ”Oh! I like this place! Let’s sit outside. I avoid inside when I can, and it’s such a beautiful day.” Skye always gravitated towards being outside, when she had a choice. A lot of the past few years had been spent hiding indoors, so when she could be outside, she was.

She moved to the counter, looking at the array of goods. ”Um…I’ll have a salted caramel macchiato with three shots of espresso, biggest size you have, a cup of your lemon tofu orzo soup and….hmmmm…oooh, a raspberry and cream scone. And an apple turnover.” she smiled up at Maddie, ”What do you want? I’m paying, so get anything you want!” She grinned, really excited to be treating him. It felt nice.

Once he gave his order, she moved to go outside and find a table. ”Here okay?” she asked, indicating a small table at the corner of the patio set up. ”So how have things been other than your commute?” Once again, it showed how awful Skye was at small talk. She really hoped Maddie would pick up on it and lead the conversation.

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madison doran
 Posted: Jan 8 2015, 02:54 PM
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now we're wading in the grass, swimming through the weeds up to our necks, and roses started growing in my brain. tell me, can we make it last? down the rabbit hole so far and fast, each moment like a stop-motion still frame.
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madison doran


Maddie blinked in confusion for a second at what she said. If she “could”? What was stopping her? But then he shrugged it off. She probably meant like her commitments in London kept her too busy to make time for a visit. Maddie wouldn’t know anything about that. So he decided he wouldn’t ask, and instead just let the subject drop.

Madison was still more than a bit hesitant about moving to London, even though it was pretty much inevitable considering how often he visited. He was quite positive that someone as unambitious as him wouldn’t be able to handle it the way his sisters could. And yet…a small part of him was feeling just adventurous enough to risk it. But for now, he simply considered what Skye told him, with a short, noncommittal nod.

He couldn’t help but smile when she described her roommate as “one of the best things about London.”

“In that case, I’d love to meet her sometime.” If Skye thought someone was that wonderful, then she really must be, and Madison was a fan of meeting nice people.

They arrived at the café that apparently Skye also knew, and Maddie was happy to hear his sister suggest they sit outside. Maybe it was a flower thing, but being inside where it was stuffy and the light was artificial just wasn’t at all appealing, and he’d avoid it whenever possible.

“Yeah, sure. I was thinking the same, actually.” They went inside to order, since apparently Londoners didn’t mind it so much, and the dandelion’s eyes widened a bit in wonder at how easily the larkspur belted out her mile long order. It usually took Maddie ages to decide what he wanted. While his sister finished up her order, Madison focused harder than he had in his life on figuring out what he wanted. Maddie made a face as if to protest when Skye finished and told him happily that she was paying, but he let her have this one, just because his head was too dizzy from deciding to really make any coherent response. He’d get her back sometime.

“Just a small cappuccino for me,” he told the barista, then glanced over at the pastry display, “and, uh, a slice of double chocolate cake, thanks.”

He followed Skye outside to the patio, and she gestured toward a table towards the corner, asking if it was alright.

“That’s fine,” he said with a smile, then went to pull out the chair for her as sort of a hurried afterthought (right, he thought, politeness.) before sitting down himself. The corner was nice. He could easily look at the people who walked by, and it wasn’t in the middle where everyone was trying to walk.

“I’ve been great,” he half-lied when Sky asked how he’s been. It wasn’t like anything particularly exciting had happened recently, but he also couldn’t quite complain. With everyone he knew off doing their own things and Maddie with the energy and motivation of a blade of grass, it was a little lonely. But Maddie kept himself company with his music, so it was nice. “I’ve been thinking about trying a new instrument, actually. I saw a guy the other day with some metal rectangle he’d blow into and it made a lovely sound. Like a bunch of honey bees or something. I’ve no idea how much they cost, though.” He shrugged, afraid he’d start rambling. “Other than that, I’m afraid I haven’t been up to very much. You know me.” He laughed. “But, uh, how about you? What’s your place like? Does it have a telephone?”
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Skye Larkin. 601. it’s been 500 years.
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