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Olivia's Subeta Stories

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Nairu and Seratonin [Nov. 24th, 2006|10:43 pm]
Olivia's Subeta Stories

flightofpassage
Funny. Nairu and Seratonin seem to have similar styles of sarcastic, somewhat aloof attitudes, but the two arrive at this point from different directions. They are both decent people deep down, but they also walk a bit more on the wild side than most of us willingly venture.

Poor Seratonin deals with all the things a vampire does. She must manage her appetite carefully, getting nutrients from socially acceptable sources such as meat and other strange (but less cruel) foods, and if she relapses too far, she will lose her basic resistance to sunlight and garlic, built up from removing certain unneccessary parts of her diet. Of course, she would also gain those other abilities of vampires, such as flying, transforming, and the resistance to injuries other than the familiar wooden stake and silver bullet. The one thing Seratonin liked about those powers was the ability to fly, and that ability can be obtained from plenty of non-bleeding sources. Seratonin is a wild animal attempting to become civilized.

Nairu, on the other hand, grew up with a huge family and little supervision. She thinks the world is generally a huge place with little concern for most individuals. Because this seems normal, she thinks that people who try to give too much advice are nagging. Therefore, she tends to be rude toward people, trying to weed out immediately the ones who are too uptight to deal with sarcastic jokes or a little criticism. She'll show her fun side later to those who make the cut. In fact, when alone or with people she really trusts, Nairu can be something of a "wild child," sleeping at odd times of day and otherwise doing anything she pleases.
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Thanksgiving [Nov. 23rd, 2006|08:35 pm]
Olivia's Subeta Stories

flightofpassage
Thanksgiving is a time renowned for family. All the residents of the Veta Lake apartments who had families to go home to went home and the rest did whatever they felt like, waiting until later to celebrate with their collective roommates.

Clonie scooted around outside and played with Fred and Professor, who didn't remember their pasts and could only assume that their absences wouldn't seriously hurt anyone, because they didn't know who to visit. They went shopping. No one really knows where Loopy went. Seratonin wasn't necessarily getting along well with her family, so she attended their residence briefly just to make it known that she still cared - a little - and after that left.

Lumierre, on the other hand, and Salenia, Nairu, Claws, and Shields all had families who were having big celebrations.

That evening, they all gathered in Apartment 327 to eat popcorn out of a bowl and generally visit for Thanksgiving. Seratonin mostly ate coffee beans instead. Some minions sat patiently next to their owners and some dozed on the beds behind their owners.

"So, how did everyone's visits go?" asked Nairu, settling back against one of the beds.

"It was nice," said Claws. "My family and I get along very well when we're not living together," he added, grinning.

"I hear that," said Nairu. "Going back to the house-mansion-thing today where I used to live, there were so many people that my parents started calling us all by the wrong names."

"Whoa," said Lumierre. "Yeah, I was afraid my family wouldn't handle the whole becoming-Reborn thing very well. I was afraid they'd think it was too intense, but they actually seemed to like it. Even my grandparents."

"Pssh, how could they possibly not like how you look?" Clonie said, grinning up at him from his side.

"My family is always asking me what I'm going to look like," said Nairu. "I don't think they really know how often they ask me if I've decided to change my appearance yet, but basically, I end up explaining to all of about thirty extended family members that I LIKE being Common without any amazing endowed powers. No offense to those who have them," she added to Lumierre.

"None taken," said the Torrey happily.

"Your family sounds kind of crazy but also kind of fun," Clonie told Nairu.

"Yeah, we descended from a large crowd of escaped circus freaks," sighed Nairu, smiling nonetheless at her friend.

"How was your holiday, Sally?" asked Fred, having listened and wanting to include the quietest member too.

"It was lovely," said Salenia. "It's so cool seeing all my family members in one place every once in a while."

"I know," said Shields. "It's a little weird because I haven't known them all my life, but I guess that makes Thanksgiving more important to celebrate because we found each other again."

"It was such an awkward performance going to see my family," said Seratonin. "They all don't quite understand my situation, so they serve a lot of stuff I can't eat and look at me funny all the time. Seriously, it's the exact same look people give me when I say I'm a vampire. ...You people and us have so much in common." Seratonin rolled her eyes in amusement, then turned them to Loopy. "And where did you go all day?"

"I...I just hung out," Loopy said. "I don't really know. Mostly explored the Sacred Lands just a bit, the unpopulated parts."

"Neat," said Clonie briskly. "Hey, I have an idea. Let's light a bunch of candles and put them in the middle of the floor and turn off all the lights and roast marshmallows over them." She sprang up to grab the candles from a drawer.

"Clonie, you can't cook marshmallows over candles," said Nairu.

"Says you," said Clonie.

"Oh, well. If it doesn't work, we can just eat the marshmallows and pretend we're sitting around a campfire," said Nairu.
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A Couple Ideas [Nov. 19th, 2006|05:14 pm]
Olivia's Subeta Stories

flightofpassage
Hey! These aren't stories, but they are ideas I had about Subeta :D I think everyone has their own idea of how things work on the planet, so I figured I'd post mine. Share your thoughts, too.

The Adoption Agency

The Adoption Agency seems mysterious to many, pets and players alike. Of course, because of this, I also got an idea for how this works, too.

Any sort of organization of legal matters in Subeta - which generally has a very loose organization - is split between the human population and native Subetan population. Because of the important connections between Subetans and their legal owners, if someone is to adopt a pet or abandon it, this must be documented and the pets cared for until either they decide to live on their own or find a new owner. Some pets, after being abandoned, will be so upset that they will withdraw from all people. Others are willing to give humanity more chances.

The Adoption Agency isn't a horrible place. Granted, it's probably the worst place to live in Subeta, because everything from food to bedding is mass-produced and everyone is crammed into a tiny little facility. Each pet has living quarters just big enough to squeeze into. How are the necessities provided for? Owners must pay 3000 sP to the "pound" as soon as he or she disowns a pet. Even if the pet later decides to leave the Adoption Agency, this money will help fund the agency as a whole. Pets themselves are charged nothing for staying there, but if and when they are adopted, the new owner has a bill to pay.

Some pets opt to go live in the wild. If so, they are taking their own risks.

Humans on Subeta

Now, keep in mind that the adoption of Subetan pets is very complicated. :p They have souls as much as people do and, when left to their own devices, are equally capable of becoming self-sufficient. However, human beings came into the world of Subeta and soon became partners.

Now, this is somewhat surprising, because humans are notorious for being total jerks and completely taking over everyone else's societies. However, anyone who managed to discover a world like this was special somehow. I'm not saying they didn't open the doorway to people who have done terrible things to Subeta, but enough excellent people came here that the locals, instead of trying to wage a war on the newcomers, became teammates. They helped people learn how to live here.

Human beings learned eventually that to become skilled in battling, healing, vending, sporting, or anything else they decide to become skilled in, they tend instead of going to school and making their own way to become attached to a mentor. These "students" work much like apprentices, until eventually they are as self-sufficient as their mentors. And that's when Subetans started being "pets" to people. Those people care for (or are supposed to, at any rate) the Subetans. In exchange, the Subetans sort of work for the people. Or sit around and be cute.

The whole thing is very foggy and mysterious to most Subetans, especially with people constantly seeming to pop in and out of existence. Mostly, the system is beneficial both to native Subetans and people. Some Subetans are extremely negative toward human beings, which means that both sides must be careful to be fair to one another. Who can really blame them? Overall, however, Subeta became the marvel it is today through remarkable teamwork.
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Look It In the Eye [Nov. 16th, 2006|09:55 pm]
Olivia's Subeta Stories

flightofpassage
Clonie was walking home along her usual path. As she walked, she swished her tails happily and they tapped together, making a sound like softly-shaken maracas. There was a spring in her step, as usual, and - also as usual - Clonie had a song playing loudly and clearly in her head. She started to run, letting the beat carry her as though she could fly through the moonlit, starlit night forest.

Finally, she felt as though it was a waste to keep it in any longer. She sang in a loud, clear, surprisingly...decent voice.

"Don't make fun of it! Don't destroy it! Don't cheapen it!" she belted out. "That one special thing that everyone has: my love, my dream, and you. On those nights when you can't settle down no matter what you do, you feel like throwing it all away, don't say a word, just open the door! I don't have time to quibble with you. I wanna fly all over the place! I wanna throw caution to the wind!"

She could swear she felt the world's revolution under her feet. "What do you want? Where do you want to go? What do you want to do? Grab what you want and rip through the dark as you run through the night! Don't make fun of it! Don't destroy it! Don't cheapen it...!"

Clonie was approaching the edge of the forest now, at least the part where it thinned out enough for the apartment complex to have plunked itself by the side of the dirt road. She stopped singing so loudly and noticed her friend Lumi standing on the sidewalk underneath a street lantern. It was hard to tell whether he or the lantern was brighter.

"Hey, Lumi," she said happily, walking up to him. "What are you doing here?"

Lumierre nodded his head in greeting. "Cloe, we should talk," he said, turning around. When she just looked confused and didn't follow, he grabbed her paw and tugged her along. Now they walked alongside the house toward the woods, beyond which would be a spacious meadow. Lumi's eyes were wide and he blinked a bit too consciously. He was obviously very nervous.

"What are you doing?" Clonie asked bluntly, smiling to show that she wasn't angry or anything.

"Cloe, I want to say something really important, but I don't want to do it there."

"Well, what about here?" she asked.

"No, too close to people," said Lumierre. He immediately regretted saying that, because now she would definitely know it was a private matter. Or she'd be scared.

But he was wrong about both of those things. Clonie had butterflies in her stomach. What was that supposed to mean, too close to people?! Was this possible? Had Claws been right? Was Lumi leading her off to tell her something important because it was something they were both too shy to talk about, and was this thing he was going to tell her the one thing she constantly wanted to hear but never let herself believe she would ever hear?

On the other side of the very thin woods, Lumierre stopped. He sat down and gestured for Clonie to do the same. Their outlook was a huge moonlit field.

"Cloe, I don't want to do too much talking and bore you," he said. "I mean, you see people do that all the time. It just delays them so much that they often just look stupid and that's mostly what they remember about the conversation. What I'm about to tell you is so important that it just has to be said right away..." he trailed off, realizing that he was, in fact, babbling with nervousness. He stood up. Clonie followed suit, feeling more breathless - if that was possible - every moment. She stood in front of Lumi, so desperately nervous that even though she was facing possibly the best news of her life, she couldn't smile convincingly. She just looked very serious.

"Lumi," she said. Most of Clonie was screaming at her for opening her mouth at all, but there was this one little part that didn't want to be quiet any longer. "Lumi, I love you."

Lumi looked incredulous. "Really?"

"Yeah," said Clonie, deflating. He looked kind of surprised. Maybe his mind hadn't been on that subject after all.

"That's amazing," he said, smiling, still looking a bit shocked, "because me too. I mean, that's why I brought you here. I mean, I love you too."

Clonie couldn't stand still. She did this odd sort off hop, a 'jump for joy,' one might call it, and then tackled Lumierre with a huge hug. He was so warm and she couldn't yet grasp the idea that he was hers! Clonie wasn't really strong enough to bowl Lumierre over, but she did manage to knock off his balance. She drew away. "Sorry, I got a bit excited there," she said, turning around and looking over the field. Lumi embraced her.

"So did I," he said. "You were faster than me, though, as usual." There they stood. She could hear his fiery heartbeat. He could hear hers.

Both of them were pretty much dead in one way or another, but there was still this beat emanating from within them.

*The lyrics used are from "Outlaw Star," and the URL where I found them is http://meikoanime.tripod.com/olslyrics.html.
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Blob Kitties [Nov. 14th, 2006|11:21 pm]
Olivia's Subeta Stories

flightofpassage
And then, Shields woke up.

She lay there for a minute, blinking in the early morning sun that streamed through the window of the tiny apartment. "Today," she thought, "is going to be an absolutely beautiful day." As her vision cleared, she noticed a big white blob next to her head and immediately added, "with S'mores."

When the big white blob moved, however, Shields sat up startled, which woke up Fred, who slept next to her.

"Aww, a Blob Kitty!" said Shields happily, petting the little minion's head with her paw. "Where did you come from?"

"I've got one over here, too," said Fred. Across the room, Salenia and Nairu were also sitting up staring at a pair of the little blobs.

Nairu blinked several times. "What just happened??"

"We have four Blob Kitties," said Shields.

"Thank you. I mean, WHY do we have four Blob Kitties?"

Meanwhile, the creatures weren't content to stay and be stared at for long. They jumped off each of the beds and started playing together, as cats do, on the floor. They were very bizzarre-looking, almost like globs of half-dried glue. When they ran, they ran on little legs that seemed to shape themselves and then retract into said mass of glue. It was amazing that they didn't stick together. Shields approached them and tried to pick them all up at once, but they were simply too hyper.

"This is so strange!" said Shields. Blackwing Lair and George approached the pack of creatures with caution. George was running around amongst them soon enough, however, even though he was at least twice their size, and Blackwing Lair soon warmed up enough to laugh when they accidentally richocheted off of his nose.

"It's like they were waiting for us to wake up and notice them," said Shields.

"It's like an invasion of mice, only they're...cats," said Fred. "And instead of trying to hide and steal food, they're running around in the open stealing food" (for they had just learned how to crack open the refrigerator door).

Meanwhile, Nairu went out into the hall and knocked on the door across from them. Short little Clonie opened it. There, too, were four Blob Kitties.

"This is ridiculous," laughed Shields.

"You have them too?" Clonie asked, grinning brightly. Now there were eight Blob Kitties running between two rooms.

"Close one of the doors," suggested Loopy. "I don't feel like letting them into our neighbors' rooms by accident." And so everyone crammed into Shields's, Fred's, Nairu's, and Salenia's room. Before long was a knock on the door. I had decided to say hello that morning before class.

"Hey, where did all the Blob Kitties come from?" Professor asked me as she opened the door.

The sight ahead was quite interesting. Professor was obviously standing on the handle side of the door; on the other side was Shields, sitting on all fours, a Blob Kitty balanced right on her nose. She was looking cross-eyed at it and grinning. Fred, Claws, and Loopy sat in a row on one bed. Nairu and Salenia were casually lying on the bed across, and Clonie, unsurprisingly, was in the middle of the room bouncing around on all fours with seven Blob Kitties.

I burst out laughing. "Where did you get all those?!?" I asked.

"I don't know!" shouted Clonie, sounding out of breath. "They just showed up in the morning! There was this one chewing on my neck!"

"There was one sitting right next to my head," said Shields. "I woke up wondering why I had a giant marshmallow."

"There was one sitting on my face," said Loopy.

"They all just appeared," summarized Claws.

"Hmm," I said thoughtfully. "I didn't know they lived in packs."

"Can we keep them?" asked Professor, Clonie, Shields, and Fred at once.

"Do you actually want to keep them all?" I asked, looking around at everyone. To my surprise, no one, not even Nairu, complained, and I think every female in the room actually looked happy.

"It seems like they know how to get in here whether we like it or not," said Claws. "I'm guessing they came in through a hole in the wall or something and can pretty much fend for themselves..."

"Okay," I smiled. "I'll have to pay for them to be here because it would be a bad idea to try to keep anything here for free, but if you want to deal with it I'd be happy to oblige..." I smirked at my Subetans.

"We don't have to keep them if it's going to cost you too much..." Shields said. "We just thought it would be cool to have them around."

"Oh, that's no problem," I said quickly. "Don't worry about it. But you now have eight young, energetic, and presumably highly mobile Blob Kitties living with you. I think you're in for some...fun."
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Starry, Starry Night [Nov. 12th, 2006|03:46 pm]
Olivia's Subeta Stories

flightofpassage
As she padded around late at night standing on only her back feet, Sera passed the apartment building where most of her friends lived. She smiled up at the window she suspected was theirs and kept walking.

Seratonin liked to go off on her own and just observe the natural world. There was something about friends' company that just started to make her feel trapped if she had no escape, no matter how much she loved them. As she passed the apartment, the dirt road into the woods got darker. Trees blocked out the light of the waxing gibbous moon and the stars for the most part, allowing only a faint glow on the trunks and branches.

After walking for about half an hour, Seratonin reached one of the banks of Veta Lake. This wasn't a highly populated area; the resort was invisible from this place and nobody was out on a boat.

Sera wore a big black cloak with a black hood. She took the hood off and removed a small package from a well-concealed pocket. Then she flopped down in the tall grass, lying on her back and observing only the stars and the mountains in the distance. She smiled wryly upon seeing the shooting stars and the satellites; there was so much life in the universe even when one was alone.

Sera took something from the package and put it in her mouth. "I absolutely love chocolate-covered coffee beans," she said to the universe.

"Yes, me too," seemed to come the reply from the universe.

"So what have you been up to lately?" Sera asked the sky.

"Busy, as usual," everything seemed to sigh collectively. "How about you? How is the coffee addiction going?"

"Very well," said Seratonin, swallowing her coffee bean and eating another. "I start to get kind of shaky after not having any coffee for a while and I crave coffee, not blood. And when I have enough coffee, I literally could not care less about blood, except perhaps wanting to be as far from it as possible."

"That's good," said everything. It paused, and then asked, "Do you blame yourself for being a vampire?"

"Well, no. I don't blame myself for being born that way. But I would feel lame and weak if I didn't try to change my ways, no matter how natural and unavoidable they may have started out."

"Everyone else is very relieved at that," said everything. "But, you know, by the same token, very few of those who don't control themselves are in fact evil..."

"I know," shrugged Sera quickly. "I just don't like that kind of life very much at all."

"Look at every intelligent, soulful race there has ever been," continued infinity. "They always make mistakes, step on other people's feet, hurt some people, help some people. Conflict is the center of change and growth. It is also the way anything goes forward."

Sera pondered this for a moment.

"Am I schizophrenic and imagining that the universe talks?" she asked.

"No, you just have a habit of answering your own questions by analyzing the look and feel of your surroundings," said everything. "You are characterizing the universe. Also, you have a vivid imagination, a lot on your mind, and you are a bit lonely."

"I see," said Sera. "Do you mind about the whole characterizing bit?"

"Sera, if I minded THAT much, do you know how many people would have been squashed like bugs by me already?"
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Late-Night Chatter [Nov. 12th, 2006|02:48 pm]
Olivia's Subeta Stories

flightofpassage
The day Claws discussed Clonie's situation with Lumierre, Lumierre was not aware of a conversation he had the previous night.

"Hey, Claws," said Clonie from her curled-up position on top of a bed. Next to Clonie lay Professor, and across from both of them were Claws and Loopy. A flickering pumpkin with a heart shape in it sat next to Clonie's half of the bed, the only active light source in the room. Across the way, Claws lifted his head to pay attention while the other two eyed them with interest.

"Actually, everyone," addressed Clonie, standing up and stretching. "I uh, can I trust you?"

"Yes," they answered in unison.

"I..." Clonie stood on the edge of the bed for a long time. She glanced around the little room where they all lived - cozily yet comfortably - courtesy of Livi. It was incredibly disorganized. Everyone continued to watch her expectantly as she stared around at the walls and the ceiling.

"I'm in love with Lumierre," she said, staring off into space. It was much easier to face people when you weren't facing them.

"...Ohhhh," said Professor softly.

"I know I absolutely sprung it on you," said Cloe, grinning toothily, "but it just needed to be said. Good night, everyone." She began to curl up again for sleep.

"Hey, wait," said Claws, laughing. "That was pretty sudden."

Cloe opened her eyes and stared at him. "I know. I just needed to tell you guys. I love him so much."

Professor had stood up, and now she put a reassuring paw on Clonie's shoulder. "I think he likes you, too," she whispered, referencing the heart-carved pumpkin.

"Meh. In my dreams," giggled Clonie.

"Then why did you bring it up?" asked Professor.

"Because it seems like the kind of thing that should be recognized," answered Clonie. "Even if nothing will ever come of it."

"Why won't anything come of it?" asked Loopy from the corner.

Clonie looked down at her left wrist. It was bone. "Because I'm dead, he's alive, alive things think dead things are gross."

"First of all," said Claws softly and carefully, "you aren't gross. We all know that. I have to admit," he added, glancing around the room, "we were a bit surprised at how fastidious you are."

Clonie shrugged and smiled.

"Secondly," continued Claws, "you'll never get anywhere if you don't try to get somewhere."

"Thanks, Captain Obvious," smiled Clonie.

"I'm serious," said Claws. "No one can ever promise you that everything will work out, but I can promise you that you are a better person than you think."

Clonie sat for a minute; Loopy and Professor nodded their heads in agreement.

"Thank you," she said, making a sort of bowing motion toward everyone.

"Ah, I really was just pointing out the obvious," said Claws.

After a moment of lying in the dark - trying to sleep, assumed Clonie - Clonie spoke up and asked, "Hey, Claws? Could you try to talk to Lumi for me and just see what he thinks? I mean, don't tell him I sent you. But don't lie if he actually asks. Just...could you?"

"Of course," said the Paralix. A calm settled over the room and soon everyone had dozed off.
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Guy Talk [Nov. 12th, 2006|02:45 pm]
Olivia's Subeta Stories

flightofpassage
Lumierre and Claws sat at a table in downtown Centropolis. If you must know, both of them were in the peudo-anthropomorphic form they preferred - not animal enough to be unable to handle food utensils but not human enough to have to wear clothes. Both were very bored that day - not with each other, just with what was around. They were out job-hunting and happened to run into each other at a lunch restaurant, and both had generic-looking hamburgers and tried to talk about interesting things.

"So...what's going on in your life, exactly?" asked Claws. "You know, we have the same owner and we talk a lot, but I don't really know what's going on with you."

"Ah, not much," said Lumierre, settling back in his seat. He glanced up at the sky, down at the ground, back at the restaurant, and finally directly back at Claws. "How about you?"

Claws smiled. "Not very much. Life is sort of one big party now with all the folks I've gotten to know and all the time on my hands. I need a job to feel less gluttonous, lazy, and bored."

"Yeah," said Lumierre, "Me too."

Claws smiled. "Everyone wants me to have a girlfriend," he added. "ALL the girls I know, actually, want me to be involved with someone, but I don't think any of them actually want to be involved with me."

"Really?" Lumierre sat forward in his chair. "We've met a lot of female characters lately, both through Livi and through random encounters in Subeta. I'm surprised you don't have a good feeling about any of them."

Lumierre would not have said this aloud because it could obviously be taken the wrong way, but he thought that Claws was actually a good candidate for female partnership. As far as Lumi could tell, Claws was - well, he wasn't ugly, and he seemed like a pretty thoughtful person, and he had his own unique but interesting calmness. There was no boredom about him, and it was one reason why he was a good person to talk to on boring days.

"Well," said Claws, "I guess you don't know for sure. But what about you?" He looked at Lumi with a knowing smugness. "I've seen you hanging out very enthusiastically with a certain person lately."

"Like who?" asked Lumierre, his cheeks getting hot.

"You're blushing because you know I know that you have a huge crush on Cloe," said Claws, smirking. As an afterthought, he added, "Wow, I have never seen you so embarrassed before. You're usually calm."

Lumi laughed out loud, certain that his friend - no matter how condescending - wouldn't sell him out. "Yeah," he admitted plainly.

Claws sat back in his own chair for a minute, hamburger forgotten. He paused, then said, "If it's any help, I think she flirts with you on a regular basis, like every time she breathes."

"You know, you brought this up completely out of the blue," laughed Lumierre. "Did you just start that whole thing about girls just so you could tell me you think Cloe flirts with me?"

"Yeah, and also, that's why I asked how your life was," answered the Paralix. He took on a more serious note. "I think you should try to get closer to her."

"Man, I'm working on it!" confessed Lumierre. "I really am." As an afterthought, he added, "I think Jessie and James are too, and it sort of brings up the issue of romance between Cloe's side and my side. Jessie and James are practically inseparable. I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Jessie walking around in a little wedding dress any day."

"I see you being as much of a friend as possible to Cloe," continued Claws as though the words about the Celovix had never been said. "An amazing friend. And that's really cool. But the truth is, if anything is going to happen, one of you is going to have to make the first move. I think she's too shy to do it."

"Shy?!?" sputtered Lumierre. "She's the happiest, loudest person I know!"

"Yes," said Claws. "But I think it's possible to be loud and happy and shy all at the same time. She, not being the type of person who will allow one single person to rule her mood, will want you to make the first move to prove that you care enough to do so. If you don't say anything, she will assume that you don't feel the way she wants and she will move on with her life." He paused. "Despite all of her joy and optimism, you know, she really is self-conscious."

"I think I knew that all along," said Lumi a bit uncertainly, "but I didn't really want to count on that being the reason she hasn't been more blatant."

"She hasn't been blatant enough for you?" laughed Claws. "She loves sitting next to you."

"Friends always sit next to each other. Or across from each other," added Lumi.

"She pokes you at random."

"She pokes everyone at random!"

"Not any other males," answered the Paralix. "She keeps the pumpkin you gave her for Halloween right next to her bed at all times. She hugs you when you show up after you've been gone for more than about two hours. If you're not around for over one day at a time, she starts saying she misses you all the time. She's always going on about how certain songs - and mind you, they are mushy love songs - remind her of you. She always takes your side in arguments, no matter what."

"You're tempting me very much to give up the job hunt and go find her right now," said Lumi uneasily, "but they all seem like they could be little things. Maybe she's like that all the time to everyone."

"She's generally very affectionate," said Claws, "But not to anyone as much as you."

Lumierre looked down at his plate. "I'm not hungry anymore."

"Go ask her so you can be happy," grinned Claws.

"I can't do it now," groaned Lumi. "I don't know how she'll react."

"Lumi," said Claws, looking very seriously into his friend's face, "You absolutely have to trust me on this one. I mean it."
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