by Voleuse

They fascinate him, Skin and Husk, names emblematic of what he's become.

Hollow. Empty. Chamber.

The irony of their chosen labels, however, are not what draws him.

An interesting place, this school, and filled with interesting people that he's avoiding. He doesn't want to get in the middle of whatever weird tension Cassidy and Frost share. Everett and Jubilee are clever and quick, but ultimately too slangy and cheerful for his tastes.

He can't remember ever being as young as Jubilee.

St. Croix is snobbish and glib, and reminds him too much of girls he's known. Mondo is an enigma that he doesn't wish to unravel. Penance is...Penance, and while he's drawn to the girl, it's difficult to have a conversation with her.

Espinosa and Guthrie--Skin and Husk, Angelo and Paige--are different. For one thing, they know how to enjoy a beer or two, from what he's assumed about their backgrounds. He's never really asked.

He thinks he might have guessed right when he finds them in the woods. Angelo has two empty cans at his feet, another in hand. Paige is still working on her first, but she's just as tipsy.

Her clothes are disheveled as well, but he's not going to pay attention to that. (The girls' dormitory was never really the same.) Angelo's smirking at him, now, and he can't help but glance at him sharply.

"You fall out of a tree, you'd look the same, amigo." Angelo holds his hands up, innocent. "I haven't touched her."

Jono glances against Angelo's mind. It's truth.

"S'true." Paige is giggling now, and nodding. "I fell."

::You're drunk.:: Jono's finds it easy to sound disapproving, though he's spent hours in the same state. When he had a mouth.

"Not really, Jono." Angelo points at the last two cans of beer. "We left a couple. For you, in spirit."

"Or somethin'." Paige's accent slurs her words even more than the alcohol, and Jono concedes that they aren't that drunk at all.

Not on alcohol, anyway.

His mind winds its way around the unfamiliar idea of drinking buddies. Distracted, Jono doesn't quite notice that Paige has, yet again, wound herself around his body. Legs entangled, arms wrapped around a partially-destroyed torso, and Jono twists their bodies around so he lands on the bottom when they fall.

"See?" Paige giggles, splaying her elbows on his shoulders. "Now you're all dis-disheveled, too."

He's got a clear view into the gauzy contraption that functions as her blouse. Lack of nerve endings in his chest notwithstanding, Jono can't help but become aroused as Paige wriggles, almost knowingly, against him. A quick glance at Angelo confirms it; she planned this.

Or, they?

An attempt to gently dislodge the girl fails. She only clutches his thighs tighter between her own, and he doesn't dwell on the roll of her hips.

::A little help here, mate?::

The smile on Angelo's face deepens, impossibly so. Impossible, at least, for a human. "You're doing fine on your own, Jono." His gaze remains on Paige.

She's begun rocking against Jono in earnest, now, and her eyebrows draw together as she concentrates.

It's all Jono can do to not thrust back; he doesn't want it to be like this. He's close to panic, and he desperately clamps down on his powers, dampening the telekinetic swell within the remains of his ribcage.

The result of that, however, is the amplification of his psionic powers.

His mind expanding to engulf his peers, he can feel the frustration and desire rocketing through Paige. She will, later tonight, decide none of this has happened. If she admits to anything at all, she'll blame it on the beer, and the boys that should have known better.

She's amazingly close, just from this, and he mentally ricochets away from that.

She wants more from him. This only whets her appetite.

Angelo's cravings are similar, when Jono touches his mind. He wants Paige, unsurprisingly, but he wants Jono as well. For Paige, certainly; he won't touch her himself. He won't ask, and doesn't expect her to approach him.

What else does he want?

He can almost catch it, it's almost at the surface of Angelo's mind, but--

Paige launches herself off his body with a growl; Jono breaks off his delving with a start. ::Wha--::

She's gone before he can finish the word.

There's laughter in Angelo's voice as he answers Jono's half-formed question. "How long has it been since you been with a chica, Jono?"

He doesn't answer, instead sits up and brushes dirt off his coat.

"She needs more than that."

Jono stands, mentally takes a breath. ::What does she need, Angelo?::

Angelo finishes off the can in his hand, opens another.

"I'll let you know when she tells me."

Jono leaves him, alone with his beer.

He wonders what will happen tomorrow.


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