Cain glared darkly at a five-year-old girl who had the misfortune to shriek a little too loudly a little too close when he was already in a foul mood. He'd been thoroughly enjoying loitering outside a convenience store, shocking old ladies with his leather skirt, pretending to smoke an unlit fag, and generally coming across as a menace to society, but the sudden thunderstorm had driven him to take shelter in the library across the street (he'd tried the convenience store, but they'd thrown him such filthy looks that he left before they had a chance to call the police or his father or something else equally terrifying). He would have stayed outside, but the sheer amount of metal he was wearing made him a walking lightning rod, and he wanted to stay alive at LEAST long enough to convince Riff to ask him to Senior Prom.
Which was the other reason Cain was crankier than a snapping turtle with severe premenstrual syndrome. Riff, the love of his life, was both completely oblivious to his affections and in France.
"Stupid exchange programs," he muttered, earning himself an odd look from the librarian behind the desk. He waited until she turned her back, and with all the dignity and maturity he could muster, stuck out his tongue. He let it stay there for a moment, crossing his eyes to examine the brand-new piercing there. Still a little sore, but damn, it looked sexy.
Jezebel blinked as the door to the library shut, startling him out of his strict routine of study. Looking down at his pages, and then at his watch (an electronic wrist watch, more for the convenience of it than its appearance), he realized that he had read through nearly a hundred pages of textbook since he last took a break - which, according to his watch - was nearly an hour and a half ago. Weighing his options, he decided to allow himself a short break, and leaned down next to him into the pile of water bottles, groping for one that felt as if it had more than a few drops left in it. Finding the half-full one - the only one left that had more than a sip - he realized that he would have to make a trip to refill some of them before getting back to work again.
A quick glance down at his book again showed that the remainder of the book - all 103 pages of it - consisted of references and bibliography - such things, he wouldn't be tested on. (College professors didn't care if you knew names - only if you knew the material that was needed.) Closing the large textbook, he placed it on the opposite, more cleanly side of the table, he grabbed four bottles from the floor next to his seat, proceeding to the library's lounge to fill them again.
Passing through, he gazed at the entryway to the library, where he had heard the loud crash of the door, only to see possibly his largest distraction, and the person he wanted to see least.
Averting his eyes from the entryway, he hurried along to the lounge, rolling his eyes. What would Cain be doing in a place like this?
A flash of familiar platinum blond hair distracted Cain from examining his tongue, and he looked up just in time to see his beloved older brother disappear into the lounge.
He made sure his sweet smile betrayed nothing of his intentions and followed the older boy, thoroughly excited at the prospect of entertaining himself with one of his favorite pastimes--irritating Jezebel, er, having long, thoughtful discussions with his most dearly treasured relative.
An unfortunate and unexpected puddle of water caused a bit of a delay in Cain's persuit, but after he managed to avoid sustaining a concussion from the myriad of books he'd knocked over and pacify the angry page who had /just/ finished shelving them, he made his way safely into the lounge and within bothering--/chatting/ range.
He held the bottles of water underneath the cold stream of water coming from the faucet one by one, filling them to the brim until they flowed over onto his hands, and he capped each one as he finished, setting them to his side. Momentarily, Jezebel thought it amazing how much water he could drink absent-mindedly while studying, but he supposed it made up for what he didn't eat when he had the opportunity to. Due to his studies in medicine, he knew that a vegan's diet, such as his own, wasn't nearly sufficient for the body, and it made it worse, that he ate so little to begin with. He supplemented these losses in his diet with vitamins, but he still found himself stressing a bit too much at times, and over-exerting himself.
Putting the cap on the last bottle of water, he turned to find the paper towel dispenser, pulling the brown towel paper out of the dispenser, and drying off his hands --- until he saw a certain skirt-clad figure standing behind him.
He sighed, turning to Cain.
"Is there any particular reason you've decided to interrupt my studying, Cain?" he inquired continuing to dry off his hands, and wringing the paper in his hands in irritation, eyes narrowed.
Cain walked forward and stood a sink away from his brother. He stuck his tongue out again to examine the silver stud more clearly, making a show of turning his head to look from different angles before drawing his tongue back into his mouth, where it could be used for speaking.
"What? I'm not allowed to use the lounge?" he replied, his tone disinterested, and began fussing over his rain-wet hair. The fall had mussed it, but he conceded that it looked just as sexy as always and lifted his shirt to examine the new, lovely bruise forming where his hip had made intimate contact with the wall. Inwardly, he grinned, thrilled that Jezebel seemed to be riled up already. /And I've been in his presence less than a minute./
He glanced at the piercing that his half-brother was examining in the mirror, and within a few seconds, looked away in disgust, verbally showing his irritation at the youngers' presence next to him, especially when he insisted on using it as a restroom mirror to examine his tongue and hip.
"Frankly, I'm more amazed that you set foot inside a library, whether it was with or without a purpose. You don't seem the kind of person to pick up a book, other than some sort of trashy magazine." he said, picking up his bottles of water and placing them in his arms roughly, and quickly brushing past the other. He stopped, though, before reaching the door to the lounge. "Please, do your best to avoid me. You may not care about your mid-terms, as an underclassman, but some of us actually intend to pass our classes with flying colours." he said, turning again and walking out, while making one last comment.
"And take that damn piercing out. It's disgusting."
Cain scowled at the jab at his intelligence, prodding the bruise once--/ooh, that's an interesting sensation, it's sort of burning and aching at the same time--/ before pulling down his shirt.
"I read, Jezebel," he responded indignantly. "And I can't take the piercing out; it'll get infected. Anyway, why shouldn't I talk with my older brother? It's not like I've got anything better to do; Riff, 'Dianna, and Em are all away, Merryweather's at a sleepover, and Oscar's grounded. I WAS loitering, but then the storm hit." He sniffed.
And was promptly hit by a deliciously evil idea.
He darted in front of Jezebel to block his exit, an innocent smile on his lips.
"You and I should spend the day together!" he crowed, just as the door swung open.
Jezebel stopped still in his tracks, staring down in stern disbelief at Cain.
"You're joking, right?" he asked, the same straight expression on his face. He could feel his hand tightening around one of the water bottles he held in his hand, and made an effort to relax his hand, as to not have he bottle explode over the floor of a building he respected so much.
As he attempted to get past his shorter half-sibling, unable to use his hands to knock the teen out of the way, he continued talking. "Why don't you go find Crehador, or someone?" he asked, half sarcastic. "Or Cassandra. I'm sure he's more than willing to take you under his wing, what with his love of cross dressers and feminine men." he said, shuddering slightly at the thought of Gladstone - the man gave him the creeps.
"Either way, I don't intend on spending any time with you - any more than I have to. And no, this is not a requirement of 'brotherly bonding'. Not when I have midterms in two days."
(OOC: Will post in detail tomorrow. Must sleep now. v__v)
He was trying to get to the bathroom here! "Excuse me." His voice was impartial, with a slight bite of impatience- those six bottles became top priority right now.
But there were two people arguing in the doorway, and he'd identified one as Cain Hagreaves, a cellist with mediocre musical skill.. And a student with long hair nearly as pale as his own.
"Excuse me!" His voice became louder- couldn't they pick a place that wasn't in his way?
"You do realize you just called yourself feminine, right? Unless you're secretly a transvestite, which I highly doubt." He smirked. The mental image of his studious older brother in a frilly pink dress was rather entertaining. "Dominic won't get out of jail for quite a while, and you know the only reason Cassandra would ever associate with me would be to get to you. If I were to request his company, I'm sure we'd both end up bothering you anyway, so why not just--"
An annoyed voice interrupted Cain's mini-rant, and he whipped around to locate the source. His eyes rested on a white-haired figure who looked a bit like he had a mouse crawling around in his pants.
"Hello, Owl." He addressed the other carefully; he'd been a little wary of the other boy ever since he'd called Cain a talentless fop the year before.
Jezebel's gaze drifted up from his shorter brother to the white-haired man that was attempting to get into the room. It seemed that Cain was blocking movement on both sides of the door - it wouldn't surprise Jezebel if this sort of thing was common for him; to intentionally get in everyone's way.
Upon closer observation of the other teen, he recognized him from school, as only being one grade below himself. The musical prodigy, or so he had heard, of the school, and one of the oddest looking as well. The Owl, as the school had dubbed him, was another person he hadn't expected to see at the library, if only for the fact that he seemed like the type of musician who would rather spend the day rehearsing than reading. But then again - he didn't know much about the teen. "You'll have to excuse my brother. He doesn't seem to understand the concept of doors, and how people have to be able to pass through them."
He then turned back to Cain. "I want nothing to do with Cassandra. So get those ideas of torturing me with him out of your head."
((OOC Remind me to find myself a Cassandra and a Cassian.))
(ooc--sorry it took me so long...busy day. ><)
Cain subtly shifted to the side to give Owl room to pass, unintentionally bringing himself closer to Jezebel. He would take the thought with him to the grave, but he hadn't realized quite how starved he'd been for human contact until he'd started engaging in it with his older brother. Interesting reaction, given that he usually hated Jezebel for his undying devotion to their sadistic father, but four weeks without his best friend was really taking a toll on him emotionally.
"I was suggesting that you skip the Cassandra part and just spend time with me, because if you sent me to Cassandra you'd end up with both of us anyway. What if I study with you?" he asked. Oh, well, if his mind insisted on making him clingy, he'd just milk it to the best of his ability; maybe even get in some bothering as well.
((I'm at a friend's house.. with DIAL UP. I'm going to kill someone.))
Those two were having a fight of some sort... But whatever they were doing, they could do it later.
Brushing past Cain, he just nodded in their general direction as he walked past the lounge and into the actual bathroom. Damn those six bottles.
As soon as the Owl had passed by him, he moved to the opposite side of the doorframe as Cain, passing by him and back into the open library, then turning back to face his younger half-brother. Looking at him, he frowned, visibly showing his apprehension towards the situation he was presented with.
Sighing, he let his head fall a bit, signaling defeat. "Fine." he said quietly, grasping slightly tighter to his water bottles. "If you will refuse to leave me alone, I suppose I could assist you with your studying. It's not like I need to review for my AP Biology midterm, anyways..." he said, straight-faced. It was his second year in the class, and he was already far ahead of most of the other students. "Though I have to say, if you're just looking for social interaction, and you wouldn't be doing any studying, I prefer Cassandra's company to yours."
((Daww, I'm sorry, Bianco. :/ Dial-up sucks.))
Cain followed his brother at a slightly more respectful distance than previously; now that bothering seemed to have been replaced with studying and his own emotional neediness had reared its ugly head, he figured it would be prudent to try to keep civil. He really didn't want to left on his own, now that he had company.
"Um, will you help me with maths?" he asked tentatively. It was his worst subject, and without Riff there to tutor him, his grades had been falling miserably behind. "And you must really hate me, if you'd rather spend time with Gladstone than I..." he added under his breath.
((I'M HOME. WITH BROADBAND.))
He was already washing his hands when he'd overheard Cain ask for help in math class. Sharp ears picked up the name Gladstone before the two finally left, and he frowned.
There was only one Gladstone in the school, he was sure of that. And he was one hell of an evil man. Shuddering at the thought of him, he dried his hands and left the lounge at last- part of him instinctively avoided anyone that initiated eye contact, and the other part... well.
Making his way back to the table where the rest of his studying materials were situated, Jezebel sat down in his chair, carefully setting the water bottles back into his pile on the floor next to him, and then organizing them, so the full ones would be closer to him, and he could grab them easily without looking. Grabbing his folder full of miscellaneous notes from the last year or so, which he had kept all of for reference, should he forget something that he needed for any of his new classes, he opened it up to his mathematics notes, which he hadn't needed since the previous year of school. He had taken all but the second part of the Advanced Mathematical Concepts, and all of which he had passed with flying colours - he figured he had enough experience in mathematics to answer any question his half-brother may have.
Picking up the folder, which was opened to the first page of the math section, he placed it further up on the table, between himself and the empty chair next to him, which he figured that his brother would sit in, once he took the opportunity to sit down. He wasn't the most... adamant about helping Cain on such a thing, especially seeing as disliked tutoring of any sort in the first place, but when he had no other option to get the younger teen to stop pestering him... he was grudgingly willing to oblige to assist him.
"What exactly are you struggling with?" He asked Cain, not looking up from the notebook he had placed between them as he flipped through them, making sure they're still all in order.
(ooc--these posts are getting a tad squished...should we go back to commenting from the top, just to widen them out a little? ^^; And a note. Plz no judgmentalness, but I'm a homeschooler, and while my reading comprehension is college level...I'm struggling with math. Like, seriously struggling. Like, I'm sixteen and I'm roughly fifth-grade level with it. Mostly because I'm a hippie unschooler, and when I said I HATE MATH WITH A BURNING FIERY PASSION, my parents said 'okay' and focused on my reading and English. As such, I have no idea what Cain would be studying, or what kind of specific questions he could ask, because it's material I haven't covered yet. Maybe I'll say Cain has a very selective learning disability. ^^; Or that he's just a total moron.)
Cain took the seat next to his brother, staring confidently at the wall in an attempt to counteract the embarrassed blush happily frolicking across his face. /Curse my low pigmentation levels./
"Most everything," he responded stiffly, still refusing to make eye contact. Part of the reason Riff tutored him was his friend's unwavering patience; Riff never judged him for being unable to understand a concept, even if it was one they'd been working on for hours. Somehow, he wasn't expecting such a reaction from his brother.
"As far as the concept of mathematics goes, I was fine up until fourth grade, when they introduced multiplication and division. It's all gone downhill from there," he muttered.
((OOC Don't worry at all. I may have taken my high school mathematics classes... but I hardly understand it. I think the best alternative would be for us to... I dunno. Do a time lapse? What do you think?))
The long-haired teen eyed his half-brother, as if questioning whether he was serious or not. A high school student really had this much of a problem with math, yet could master counting and music? And chemistry, as well? It mystified him, yet he kept his mouth shut about it. The less he antagonized his sibling, the shorter amount of time this would take.
He closed his folder, knowing that nothing would be of use in there - it was advanced algebra, geometry, and above. Then pulling out another piece of paper, a blank, lined one, he took a drink out of one of the water bottles on the floor, leaving the cap off and setting it on the table next to him.
"We'll start from the beginning, then. How much of a grasp of multiplication do you have, if I provide you with a calculator?"
((Yeah. Forgot about it with this post, but we can start another column.))
The library was a place that he was not accustomed to visiting- hell, he didn't even know where anything was, including the actual library. He spent his days in the music wing, violin in hand and eyes glaring at a sheet of music.
But today, of all days, he needed to pick up books; he required a volume on violin technique, and the piece he'd chosen for his midterm did not make it any easier. Shostakovich's Concerto No. 1 was an ambitious choice, but he had faith in his abilities.
Now, if only he could find the book he was looking for...
((Psst. Owl. Go pee so Cain can annoy you. xD))
Forget it. He'd look for the book later- those six bottles of water he'd downed during rehearsal suddenly reminded himself of their presence.
...Where was the bathroom? Ah. A sign.
Quite literally, a sign pointing to the men's room, and he just walked inside.
((Good, good. My plan is working. >3 And look, he's been integrated, just like that (see above post). ^^))
((Time lapse works for me. ^^ Phew, I'm kinda glad... I was feeling a little stupid, there. x3))
Cain relaxed a little; while Jezebel certainly didn't seem as gentle and patient as Riff, it looked as though he would at least refrain from ridiculing him. He turned a little to look his brother in the face.
"If you give me a problem, such as five times seven, I can punch the numbers into the calculator, press the equals sign, and read aloud the little numbers that come across on the screen," he answered honestly. Hey, it wasn't really his fault; he suspected that the rat poison had something to do with his brain's stubborn inability to process numbers.
With another sigh, Jezebel shook his head, closing his eyes. This would take far longer than he had anticipated. Cursing the bit of generosity that he had offered - or rather, his breaking point - Jezebel set out drawing a table, explaining how multiplication worked, and how to calculate such things in one's head. "One number times another - for instance, seven times three." he started, writing the problem out. "Think of it this way - the amount of the first number is determined by the second. There are three sevens -" he drew out three in a row, "- and you add them together." he said, adding plus signs in between the three.
Within an hour of explaining, two more water bottles emptied, and three full sheets, front and back, of lined paper, he had hoped that he had drilled something into Cain's head that would assist with higher equations.
"Is it any easier to understand this way?" he inquired.
Utterly pole-axed, Cain stared at the piece of paper with mouth slightly open. He looked up at Jezebel and fixed him with a stare, confusion etched across his face.
"I understand it perfectly. Why do I understand it perfectly?" he demanded, slamming the paper down on the table. He couldn't remember what his brother had done to make him understand the concept of multiplication, but whatever it was, he wanted to bottle it up and keep it with him at all times.
((ooc--I know it's a little short...I'm kinda feeling uninspired. v__v))
"Perhaps the reason why you can't retain information when Riff explains it is that you're far too distracted by the person doing the explaining." Jezebel said, voice flat. "Distractions make it much more difficult to process much of anything - though if you have to have some sort of distraction, music is usually best. It stimulates brain cells, which makes them more apt to absorb information, and to make connections." he said, starting to get on a topic that truly interested him. "Seeing an MRI of the brain while listening to music closely resembles a fireworks display, to say the least." he said, setting his pen down and brushing the papers aside.
"At least you understand the very basics now. Perhaps equations won't be so difficult now." Jezebel said, taking another drink of bottled water, now on to the third bottle he had refilled. "Can Riff explain the rest to you?" he inquired, voice slightly irate, hoping he wouldn't have to spend any more time on this.
((Okay, I'm very quickly running out of ideas. v__v))
"Are you implying something?" Cain responded quietly, letting his eyes narrow a little. He really didn't like the tone of Jezebel's voice during that statement--condescending, and it suggested he knew a little more about Cain's feelings towards Riff than he was keen on letting on. He clenched his hands in tight fists.
When his brother mentioned music, however, Cain perked up just a bit; music was something he knew and loved and actually understood, and therefore could carry on a conversation about without feeling like a fool.
"That's intriguing. I've always studied better when I'm listening to music; now I know why. Thank you for that information," he said coolly. "Yes, Riff should be more than qualified to help me from now on, as he has always been," he finished pointedly.