Her Heart Grew Three Sizes (open)

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Her Heart Grew Three Sizes (open)

Post  Victoria Larkin on Tue Dec 27, 2011 8:55 pm

As much as she disliked Christmas personally, Victoria thought that this dance was a fun idea for the kids. Of course, when she was a teenager, she would have utterly scoffed at any activity of the sort, but how she had spent her teens years was probably how some of these kids had ended up here. It was more fun for them than sitting in their rooms all night wishing they were home, anyway. She was more than happy to chaperone -- in fact, she was probably having more fun than most of the kids were. Victoria bobbed her head along to the music, occasionally throwing a little arm motion into her routine. When she knew the words to the songs, she sang along, smiling at the kids who passed her. A few of them smiled back, but mostly they just gave her odd looks. She knew that she was probably looking gawky and old, but somehow she didn't care...there needed to be more cheer in the room, in the whole place, actually.

She had only seen minor problems of yet, stationed as she was in the function hall, and hoped that it would stay that way. Victoria was confidant in her ability to deal with the petty arguments between girls who were wearing the same dress or couples who had just had encountered a romantic hurdle, but she didn't know that she could take down a two hundred pound teenager about to disembowel another with the ladle from the punch bowl or something. As long as the kids stayed relatively happy, she was happy. Looking around the room one last time, Victoria walked to the punch bowl and began to ladle herself a cup, greeting the other person that stood beside the table with the same smile that she had been wearing all night.
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Re: Her Heart Grew Three Sizes (open)

Post  Ace Finn on Wed Dec 28, 2011 2:37 am

So far, Ace couldn't complain too much. He was given a lovely glass of red wine earlier, met a very nice girl, Beth, and dinner wasn't half bad. Christmas wasn't the same and never would be again, but for tonight, that didn't really matter. He either just flat out refused to think about it, or the pills they were giving him were working, or maybe both. There was one person Ace really wanted to see, though. The boy who talked with him often even though they were in different classes, who flashed him smiles during the groups they ended up in together... Truth be told, Ace's spirits rose a little when he saw him, for whatever reason. But he just hadn't been able to spot him yet...

The most obvious thing Ace could think of to do to both battle the loneliness and kill some time was to hang out by the punch. That was what he always did at those silly get togethers his family used to have -- except at those he liked to hide under the table and grab people's ankles as soon as he figured they had their drinks, at least until he was accused of being a little shit and then he stopped. Of course, when he got older, about ten or so, he graduated to just plain weirding people out.

However, he elected to behave himself that time; staff was everywhere, and they weren't likely to find any of that amusing. It wasn't as if he was even feeling up to being silly, anyway. Instead, Ace calmly picked up a plastic cup, eyed it suspiciously, checked for holes (and likely didn't realize how silly that looked,) and filled it up. As he took the first sip, one of the teachers came up to get herself a cup. She smiled at him, and he returned it as well as he could. "Hi, Miss Larkin," he greeted. She was a strange teacher. Quite weird. And for that, Ace liked her. "So, how are you?" He didn't really know what else to say to her, but at least a silence with her was a hell of a lot more comfortable than it would be with, say... Bjorgen.
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Re: Her Heart Grew Three Sizes (open)

Post  Victoria Larkin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 7:14 pm

"Hello, Ace," she replied. He didn't look too happy, but then, he never looked exactly exuberant. Not a lot of her students did. Ace was a nice kid in Victoria's book -- he never rolled his eyes at her or talked back, which she appreciated immensely. Here, that was all it took to get someone on the nice list. "I'm doing pretty well, actually, although to be completely honest with you, Christmas isn't my favorite time of the year." She said this last in somewhat of a conspiratorial tone, leaning in slightly. She didn't know how much of her personal life it would be appropriate to discuss, but she guessed that no-one would slap a lawsuit on her for hating Christmas.

"How are you? Having fun?" she asked, taking a sip of her punch. Victoria had no idea why he would want to talk to her instead of one of his peers; if she had had any friends when she was his age, she would definitely have chosen them over a teacher. But if she was indeed the best conversation prospect, she wasn't going to complain. It beat standing by herself. "I know dances are dorky, but it's better than nothing, right?" She glanced around the room, at the clusters of kids, and experienced a moment of sadness. 'Better than nothing' shouldn't have to do, but this stupid Christmas dance was probably the most fun they would have for the rest of the miserable, frigid winter. That was truly depressing.
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Re: Her Heart Grew Three Sizes (open)

Post  Ace Finn on Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:34 pm

Her too? It seemed like half the kids had something against Christmas, and that was no surprise. It was supposed to be a family time, one you shared with those you love, no matter you beliefs. It was the only time when Ace and both of his parents all went to mass together on Christmas Eve. And then they would do presents early the next morning, as soon as Ace woke up and his mother had her coffee, and his father his tea. It was the only time when Ace's parents didn't argue with each other.

Like him, a lot of the kids no longer really had families to celebrate with. He wondered if maybe Miss Larkin was in the same boat. He figured the staff could go home for the weekend if they wanted, so perhaps that was why she was chaperoning.

"I can sympathise with that," he said. "It's just not the same without my... family."

How was he doing... He missed his mother maybe even a little bit more than usual, and he was nervous, because he didn't really know how he was supposed to ask someone to dnce... he decided to leave out the first part. "I'm doing decent, all things considered. Trying to decide if I want to ask someone I... sort of might like, to dance." He glanced out over the dance floor, shaking his head. "I probably won't end up doing it. Every time I make up my mind, I get jet-fueled butterflies attacking my internals." That was silly, of course. They were just friends, so there was no reason to be nervous.

"Yeah," he said. "Better than nothing. A right exhilaration if you just think of it as better than what half of us normally do. I do think the dinner was quite good, too." That had made it easier for him to eat as much of it as they wanted him to. No matter how good it was, he would give anything to groan about how his culinary-challenged ma fucked up the goose and then reverted to ordering 'Christmas takeout'...
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Re: Her Heart Grew Three Sizes (open)

Post  Victoria Larkin on Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:55 pm

Victoria wanted to cry when Ace said that Christmas wasn't the same without his family. That was just so damn sad; she couldn't help but imagine every one of the kids here thinking exactly the same thing, wishing for whatever family they could claim as their own. Maybe it reminded her a bit too much of herself, and that's why it was such a downer. She would have given anything to have a family that wanted her home for the holidays. If Victoria ever had children, she wanted to make all of their Christmases special. That way, when she died they would all sit around on Christmas and sigh and think of how fun Granny Victoria's holidays always were. That would teach her parents...she would be sure to rub their faces in it in heaven, assuming they all made it there.

"I know what you mean," she said, making a face and nodding. "But, hey...everyone here can't be the worst surrogate family in the world." That was a little lie; they could be, in their own way. Some of her coworkers were regular pricks, and so were some of these kids. But there were worst places to live, namely her hometown and prisons, neither of which had Christmas parties. It could be worse, really.

"Oh, don't be silly!" she exclaimed when he said he was too afraid to ask a special someone to dance. "Who wouldn't want to dance with a nice guy like you? Here, I know." She set her cup of punch on the table and continued, "Just pretend I'm that person. Ask me exactly the way you're going to ask them; it's easier if you practice first." She struck a thoughtful pose and raised her eyebrows at him comically, flipping her hair over her shoulder like a teenage girl. She half expected him to edge away slowly, making exuses about having to go to the bathroom or something, but if she helped him, all the better. If she even made him laugh, that would be nice.
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Re: Her Heart Grew Three Sizes (open)

Post  Ace Finn on Thu Dec 29, 2011 1:44 am

She was sort of right. Ace could have been sent to a hospital rather than to Highgrove, and that would certainly have been a bad surrogate family, what with people having to work Christmas and maybe being bitter about it, like that one nurse had on Valentine's day... He nodded. "Yeah... Well, I've got friends, one of my favorite teachers ever..." he gestured to her. "And that's good company, at least." Now, if only he could feel like that, rather than just feigning optimism.

He took another sip of his punch, still looking around the room, trying to mentally quell the butterflies. If he could have jus KO'd the lot of them somehow, it would have been great, but when he thought of that, he only succeeded in getting a mental image of him punching himself in the stomach. That wouldn't work, for obvious reasons.

He turned back to Victoria, a slight, amused smile ghosting his lips. "I don't think he flips his hair like that... but... I don't know, really. I mean, first off I'm not sure exactly how I even feel. I'm not sure if it's one of those 'okay, he's cute' crushes, or if I am really, well, interested..." He put his punch down on the table next to hers and then lifted a hand to scratch his 'thinking spot,' the area above his left ear. "Did that ever happen to you? What did you do about it?"

He decided to play the game, so he sighed, fixed his lapel, and put on a friendly, chipper smile that he knew probably looked fake. "Hi... so, um, it's okay if you don't want to, or if you're with someone else, but if not, would you... Would you like to dance? With me?"

Ace then shook his head. "See... Too nervous. He'd probably just get weirded out, anyway. I think I should just wait for a while and maybe try to figure things out. Now that I think of it, it's probably a shit idea."
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Re: Her Heart Grew Three Sizes (open)

Post  Victoria Larkin on Fri Dec 30, 2011 9:43 pm

Victoria was, of course, flattered that he would say that she was one of his favorite teachers. She didn't know how true it was, but she liked hearing it all the same. It made being here a little more worthwhile, a little easier. When Ace mentioned that his intended dance partner was indeed a he, Victoria internally chastised herself for assuming that everyone was straight. This was not Olney; people could be openly gay without a posse forming to chase them with pitchforks or something. Okay, so everyone didn't really have pitchforks, but she felt as if they should have. It would have made it more aesthetically pleasing.

"When I was about your age, I was ridiculously forward. I had a crush on this boy named Albert, but he had no idea. I thought I was a bit of a tough girl, so I walked up to him and said, 'Hi, Al, I'm Victoria, if you didn't already know. Let's go out sometime.' So we did, and we had a great time. Sometimes just putting it out there and seeing what happens is what's best." What she was not going to tell him was that after she'd gone out with Albert once he had humiliated her in front of all of his friends and then never talked to her again. That would not be good for his morale. Remembering it still wasn't good for her own morale. Victoria concluded her speech with,

"And there isn't anything wrong with dancing with someone just because they're cute anyway. At least, I don't think so." Reacting to his fake proposal, she replied,

"You're right...it did sound a little unsure. If you don't want to do it, that's totally fine, too. Everyone gets scared about things like that. I'm sure there are a ton more ways to have fun than dancing here. I just don't see them right away because I'm old and the most fun I ever have is crocheting scarves." She was trying to sound reassuring, but Victoria was running out of reassuring sentiments quickly; she smiled and finished with,

"It's terribly hard being a teenager, isn't it? I wouldn't go back to it for anything."
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