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 Meet the Whites

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PostSubject: Meet the Whites   Mon Apr 20, 2015 9:06 pm

It was 8:00 PM sharp in Helena, Montana. The White Residence was in an outer borough of the city, in a pleasant suburban neighborhood lined with fresh-mowed lawns and a minivan in every other driveway. Driving through it, staring out the window, brought back a flood of memories.

Evelyn felt on the verge of a panic attack.

She was visiting home again.

That would've sounded like a dream come true a year or two ago, but right now, things had changed. Her boyfriend was right beside her as they stood out in the driveway, staring up at the house. Their house, where she'd lived most of her life before starting life at Beata. That seemed like a stranger's life now, a stranger's home, some stranger's family. It'd been years since she'd last seen her parents...

Of course she was excited, and relieved, and happy to be able to see them again. Who wouldn't be? But then again, there was that niggling fear in her heart, in the back of her mind. "Um, s-so... here we are." It would've been proper to take Jace's arm and lead him up to the door, but this time she chose to keep it firmly planted at her side, standing a full foot away from him. She'd dressed up special for the occasion.

With a low gulp, Evelyn started her funeral march up the pathway and to the door. Before her courage could break, she jammed her finger into the doorbell, letting it resonate through the house.

"Um... s-s-so... I s-s-should w-warn you..."

She'd meant to warn him earlier. Honestly, she had. It'd just... kept getting caught in her throat, and she could never just spit it out. It was now or never though, so — ...

The door opened.

An aging man with brown hair stood in the doorway, with ruffled brown hair and square glasses resting on the bridge of his nose. He had the same blue eyes.

Benjamin White pulled his daughter into a hug, smiling. Evelyn hugged back, tight, relief flooding through her that it'd been him who opened the door and not...

"Evelyn," he greeted, pulling away and holding her by the arms to look at her. "You already look so much more grown-up! It's been too long since we last saw you. You know, your mother—..."

She let out a small squeak, like a cornered mouse.

"...kept asking you to send a picture every once and awhile," he finished, with a small, knowing half-smile. "Welcome back home."

"...o-oh." Ben let his hands fall to his sides, and Evelyn rubbed the back of her neck, fumbling for words to say. By then, Ben had already turned to the tall blond boy beside her.

"And you must be Jason." He stuck out his hand. "It's nice to meet you, finally. I'm Ben, Evelyn's father."

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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Tue Apr 21, 2015 9:16 pm

She did seem a tad bit quieter than usual, didn't she?

Jason glanced at the door of the plain, seemingly-cozy suburban home. He'd hadn't given much thought to Eve's behavior on the drive over, more-so concentrating on not getting them lost - or trying to imagine her parents - while she was admiring the scenery, or so he thought she was anyways. Now they were standing there, he'd just noticed exactly how dressed she'd gotten for the occasion, while he was only in a button up and jeans. "Warn me?" Jason had started to mutter back to her quietly, getting the slightest feeling there was more than one thing she wasn't letting him in on here when the front door swung open.

He wasn't sure what he was expecting, but the way that Mr. White appeared seemed... fitting. Jace put on a smile, grabbing his hand and giving it a small, firm shake. "It's good to meet you as well, Sir." The words seemed well rehearsed, "I hope we haven't come here too late." He shot a glance down at the girl beside him.
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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Wed Apr 22, 2015 11:17 pm

Evelyn returned his glance, trying her best at a reassuring smile... and failing, for the most part. Something about her light laugh carried a strain of distress, like she was being held at gunpoint instead of visiting her parents' house. Ben White just nodded. "No, no, you're right on time." He stepped aside. "Come on in. My wife's just finished making dinner."

Dinner. Mother's cooking. Was there ever a more horrible torture? With one deep breath, Evelyn stepped inside, nervous eyes flicking over every inch of her old home. There was a pang of nostalgia looking at it all, smelling it all. They were standing in a spacious foyer, with a crucifix sitting prominent on the opposite wall and a staircase leading up to... well, her room. A small table sat pushed to the side, with three dated family pictures and a vase with fresh flowers. Everything seemed in its prim and proper place.

How long had she wanted to come back here? How much had she pined for this old house, only to feel so out of place now that dream had come true?

She gulped. Ahead, past the stairs, the foyer opened up into the rest of the house.

A woman walked into view.

Her raven black hair cascaded down her back in a sheet, and she had the piercing green eyes of a hawk. Her bangs were cut straight, just above her eyes, and she was dressed in somber tones for the occasion. A black sweater, long gray skirt that went from waist to shin, and a silver cross necklace looped around her neck.

Unlike Ben, she didn't slouch, and she lacked any of the casual, Evelyn-ish air that he might have had. Her smile was thin, her face unmarked by any make-up.

"Evelyn," she greeted, holding her arms open. Her daughter stumbled forward to hug her. It was a brief embrace, and she soon went shuffling off to the side. For whatever reason, there was somewhat of an awkward tension in the air, rising in the room around them.

"Jason, this is my wife Alice," Ben introduced, clasping his hands together. If he sensed it too, then he tried his best not to let it show. "Alice, this is our guest, Jason."

"You must be Evelyn's friend."

She cringed. Off to the side, forgotten, Evelyn was cringing.

Eheh. A few white lies never hurt anybody. Nobody but herself, anyways... and maybe Jace too.

Her tone was more flat, terse, less cordial than her husband had been. It was less like a host greeting a guest and more like some kind of formal business exchange. Alice's hands were clasped in front of her, but discrete to anyone else, she clenched them. "It's very nice to meet you, Jason. And I'm glad to see Evelyn's been making friends. She hadn't mentioned any in her letters..."

He cringed. Off to the side, forgotten, Benjamin was cringing too. Maybe he was the only one who could sense the killer intent glowing in her eyes. That was probably for the better.

Oh god, kill me.

It wasn't that she'd even lied, really... just that she hadn't really told them the whole truth. Evelyn had managed to arrange a visit home, there were a few letters and phone calls, and she mustered up the courage to ask her dad if she could bring a... guest. He'd wanted to meet them, for God knows what reason. People acted in strange ways.

This hadn't probably been what he had in mind, but... oh well. It was better than the alternative. She shot him a hopeless look, hoping he wouldn't be mad, and desperately hoping he wouldn't say anything stupid.

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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Fri Apr 24, 2015 10:25 pm

Eugh. The weird, eerie and neat atmosphere... The tame family pictures arranged perfectly around the house... The crosses looming on the walls and in every knick-knacks... This place reminded him of his Grandmother's, who by far wasn't his favorite person. Still, he kept any looks of distaste tucked away, not wanting to offend her parents. Or her.

Jason stood off to the side as mother and daughter got their awkward hug in. It was awkward just watching that happen, but he was still determined to make a good impression, smiling again. That was, until...

... Friend? It was hard not to shoot a sharp glance at Evelyn then. Had she really never told them? Why not? It'd been like six months now... Jace tried to hide the hurt on his face, smiling on. Snowflake had some explaining to do. "Mrs. White, thank you for having me." He muttered as politely as he could. "Beata's a pretty busy place. I'm sure she was saving the best things to talk about in person." The blonde went on to say reassuringly in Eve's defense, yet still, he couldn't help but finally shoot her a questioning look.
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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:32 am

That sharp glance hurt worse than a knife. Evelyn couldn't help but flinch a little as everyone else seemed to talk over her... not that she could think of anything to say anyways. Oh god... This was already turning out terrible.

She wanted to explain. She really did. But... didn't he realize? They'd lost any chance to talk in private the moment they'd walked through the door. They were in her mother's house now, and she knew her own mom well enough to know when she didn't approve of something. Not that she ever approved of anything.

And he was so smooth, even beside that. Had the roles been reversed, Evelyn knew she wouldn't have been able to hide her hurt or anxiety. Hell, she probably would've found some excuse to bolt out the door right now. But instead of that, he just flung that remark right back at her no problem. It was almost admirable, in a way, but so awkward too. He really had no idea who he was dealing with. Bringing up Beata in their house too... He was really trying to push her mom's buttons.

"That must be it," Alice answered, smiling. "I'm sure she'll tell us all about it at the table."

Mom gave her an expectant look, a sharp look with those green hawk's eyes, and Evelyn instinctively took a step back, fidgeting with her fingers. "O-o-oh, um... y-yeah, I m-mean... of c-c-c... I don't... s-s-sorr..."

Her eyes were darting left and right, looking like a deer frozen in headlights. She was already a jabbering mess. It just took that look, that one look she thought she'd forgotten, to bring it all flooding back. Her gaze dropped to the ground, but Alice lightly lifted her head back up with a light finger on her chin.

"You still haven't fixed that." Alice pursed her lips, and she leaned in closer, her voice dropping to a lower whisper.

Ben gave an awkward pat on Jace's shoulder. "Why don't I show Jason the rest of the house?"

"And you're slouching still. Straighten up. And don't look away while I'm talking, it's rude. Didn't you learn anything while you were away?"

Neither of them turned to look. Evelyn just stared up at her mother, looking equal parts petrified and mortified that this was happening thirty seconds within their first meeting in however many years now, right in front of her boyfriend... who she'd just pissed off, probably. Fuck. Fuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuckfuck. c:

"...s-s-sorry..."

"Speak up, and don't stammer, it's embarrassing. You're not going to do this tonight after how much we've prepa..."

Coughing, Ben was already leading Jace away from the girls and toward what looked like the living room. Alice's frantic whispering trailed off as they distanced themselves away. "Haha, they'll just need a second to... catch up. Alice gets all worked up when she's been worried over someone. Hem." He passed it off with a smile.  "But I'm glad you made it all the way out here. It's great to know Evelyn's been making friends."

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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Sat Apr 25, 2015 3:09 pm

His face only turned the more uneasy as he saw her flinch back, fiddling with her hands, tripping over her own words - way worse than usual anyways. His eyes only narrowed slightly as things went on, her mother muttering some comment about her not 'fixing' it, leaning in close and whispering other things he couldn't quite make out. Half-mindedly, he reached out to say something else, but pulled his hand back and rubbed his temple instead. The Winter looked terrified.

It was hard not to interfere then. If Ben had waited one second longer, he would've said something for sure, but instead he found himself being led away into some quaint-looking living room. "Yeah..." Jason tried to come off as agreeable, but the words still fell rather flat. "She's the most popular wallflower." He joked, going quiet for a moment, straining to see if he could hear them still. No luck. "We've been - good friends for a while now..." He almost tripped on his own words. He wanted to ask a few good things, but...
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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Sat Apr 25, 2015 6:16 pm

"Good," Ben chuckled. "That's good. It's great to see her coming out of her shell and fitting in." It went without saying that Evelyn was shy. Shier than maybe was good for her. Ever since she'd gone away, they'd both worried she'd be lost without her parents near her—honestly, they were probably the closest people to 'friends' she ever had before going to Beata. So here she was, visiting back home with a guy friend... it was relieving to see. He felt almost a little proud. "If I'm being honest, this is the first time Evelyn's ever brought someone over. So sorry if I sound a little lost, heh. We don't get guests too often."

He cast a glance behind him, toward the foyer, but neither mother or daughter had appeared. It looked like they'd be awhile.

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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Sat Apr 25, 2015 9:56 pm

Jason laughed along quietly with him, though once he actually thought about it, he didn't really know any friends of hers - besides Kimply, and Lotte too, he supposed. Still, he knew she was shy, and damn - her gift never helped manners (he'd ran the infirmary out of their tylonal once before...), but he couldn't have been the only one, right?
The Autumn glanced back, imagining what was still happening between the older and younger women. Then again...

"I know one friend of hers' gift can override Evelyn's power, luckily enough. They're dorm-mates, so that worked out." He said with half-a-smile, as if the talk of gifts and such were no big deal. It didn't occur to him then how clueless her muggle parents might be. "And I almost broke her fishtank on the first day. He joked a bit, rubbing the back of his neck. The last thing Ben said still bugged him. "No other friends nearby? Or family? At all?" Was it because of Eve or her lovely, God-fearing mother? Ben seemee like a nice man himself, but...

He shot another glance back to where they were.
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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Sun Apr 26, 2015 1:33 am

"Her power..." He seemed to turn the words over in his mouth. "That's good to hear. 'Most popular wallflower', did you say?" Ben chuckled, rubbing the back of his head. "And it sounds like you've been friends for awhile then," he continued, still chuckling. "I guess that fish was worth giving her after all. Does she still have it? She wouldn't stop staring at it the whole day after we got it for her."

He looked more uncomfortable at his next question. "Erm, no. No friends. There's some family in Billings and Denver, but uh, they don't visit anymore." Ben gave another halfhearted chuckle and led him into the dining room, past the kitchen. Four plates sat at the edge of a modest dining table. Steak, baked potatoes, broccoli and carrots and green beans. eat up eve uwu. "Alice's aunt lives nearby though. Evelyn always loved going over there."

Ben gestured toward the table. "Have a seat."

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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Sun Apr 26, 2015 9:48 pm

"She was nominated for Prom Queen her first year, I think?" He mused quietly, trying to think back on it. It wasn't working all that well.

It felt like a small, sharp jab to the heart every time they called the two of them 'friends'. Nine months, and not a single word? That's what he couldn't help but keep thinking, anyways. Although, the way Ben was starting to put it, it was becoming more understandable why she couldn't want to drop something like that on them - with her nature, but she couldn't at least told him at least? Why did she have to hide that? Jace tried to shake the thoughts away. "We've had a few ups and downs, but yeah." He smiled. Might've been a little but of an understatement. "Sushi is doing pretty good too. I have a pic of him Eve sent me on my phone if you're really that interested." The young man joked.

Jace couldn't help but give him a slightly strange look at his answer. It explained so much about Eve, but at the same time, it only raised more questions. He simply nodded instead of going on about it, bring led quickly out and into the dining room. The first thing he spotted was the steak, raising an eyebrow and giving Benjamin a questioning glance. They had to have known - didn't they? She never exactly told him, he'd just assumed and figured it out, but...?

Ooh, boy. :'D /shot

The blonde said nothing again, picking out a chair and taking a seat.
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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Sun May 10, 2015 2:46 pm

Ben almost laughed at that, giving Jace a look like he wasn't sure if he was joking or not. "Prom Queen, huh? Then that really is progress." He took the seat across from Jace, folding his hands at the table. "It sounds like she's been enjoying herself at Beata then. I'm really glad to hear it."

Finally, as if on cue, the two Whites entered the room.

Evelyn looked somewhat rattled, with a plastered on smile and a stiff walk. She hurried to the table, taking the seat between her father and her boyfriend, staring straight ahead into a blank wall. Don't look down at the floor, don't look down at the floor, don't look do... oh shit, is that steak? The Winter almost hadn't noticed it, with how pre-occupied she'd been with maintaining her posture. Just the smell of it made her want to puke.

A reassuring look would have meant the world, but she didn't dare look to Jace. The embarrassment from a few minutes earlier was still fresh in her mind, but more importantly, Mother was looking.

She took her seat with an almost sort of grace, opposite of Evelyn, folding her hands and staring straight ahead. The awkward tension was thick enough to cut through.

"S-so, who wants to say grace then?"

"Evelyn does," Alice answered at once.

"Aghhh..."

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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Sun May 10, 2015 3:14 pm

Jason laughed a little under his breath, taking his own seat and glancing across the table. The decorations were plain, subtle... and really stale, much like the rest of the house. He pondered on what it could've been like to grow up in a place like this, where it was if everything was completely for show and nothing was to be touched. Evelyn's appearance only matched all this as she shuffled into the dining room with them. Her smile was strange and every movement of hers rigid. She looked more like she was sitting with a knife pointed at her back.

There has to be something he could do to try and ease this whole thing up a little, right? And preferably to keep Snowflake for rushing for the nearest bottle of rum available. "Actually, would you mind if I started?" Jason smiled, glancing past the girls and to Benjamin, looking for his permission firstly. "Since I'm the guest, it'd be an honor." The young man reached his arms the table, offering a hand nimbly to Alice. Hopefully she would catch on. At the same time, he reached out and grabbed the Winter's hand, whether she looked or not, and held it on the table.

"Hope you don't mind that we join hands." Jace muttered, hardly skipping a beat and smiling. He, nor his family, were never exactly the big religious types, but how hard could it be right? The Autumn closed his eyes. "Lord, thank you for this day, and this kind family. Thank you for this meal. Bless that it will nourish our bodies..." He squeezed Evelyn's hand as he spoke reassuringly. Hopefully he'd gotten the worst out of the way for her.
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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Tue May 12, 2015 12:35 pm

It might have been another mundane meet-the-parents! moment for Jace, but for Evelyn this felt like a major milestone... or a major stumbling block, depending on how you looked at it. It was almost surreal to be sitting here, back in her old house with her parents, with Jason right beside her. That should've made her happy, happier than anything, but right now she just felt nauseous and lightheaded. Maybe that was the smell of steak wafting up to her nose... ugh.

She couldn't think right now, could hardly speak, but she didn't dare try to mutter out some excuse or protest. Right. Like they talked about. Just speak clearly, no stuttering, no stumbling, no...

Jace's words froze her in place. Perhaps for once her father was oblivious to his wife's lethal glare, because for the moment he looked genuinely impressed. "We wouldn't mind at all," he said, a moment before realizing his mistake.

Evelyn gave his hand a tight squeeze, as relieved as she was terrified. Alice's squeeze was an iron death-grip, like he'd caught his hand in a bear trap.

As terrible as it felt to admit it to herself, Evelyn couldn't remember the last time she properly prayed over a meal like this. Having to speak out loud, all the familiar feelings came rushing in. The blood rush to her cheeks and ears, the sweaty palms, her heart clenching up in her chest... Don't mess up, don't mess up, don't mess up...

"Annnd b..."

Her tongue, tying itself into knots. There were moments, days, where as long as she didn't raise her voice, she could talk almost as smoothly as anybody else. That had always been a comfortable feeling, to just be able to talk. Right now though, it felt as worse as it'd ever been, despite the repercussions, despite where she was.

It was too much. Really, really, really too much. So it all came out in a rushing flood.

"andb-blessthisfoodandthankyouforallyourgiftsamen."

Her father didn't skip a beat, like this was some ordinary occurrence. Alice couldn't let go of Jace's hand fast enough. "Amen."

"...Amen."

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PostSubject: Re: Meet the Whites   Sun May 24, 2015 11:05 am

Jason hid his smile as he prayed, not that it mattered with all their eyes shut anyways as they prayed, but he felt like the elder woman beside him could still see him smirking; in fact, he was almost certain of it. She was starting to seriously make his hand hurt. The Autumn tried his best not to focus on that though, even if it was weirding him out only... a lot, and squeezed Evelyn's hand back again instead. While Alice had moved so fast his hand nearly flew off the table, he was slow to let the Winter go.

"Amen." He muttered, giving the brunette beside him a small, reassuring look, if only for a moment. He couldn't bring himself to watch her long, turning his attention back to the dinner, a hundred different questions still running through his head.

The young man picked up his fork and knife, cutting into the meat and tearing off a small piece. It looked good enough just at first glance, but as he too a bit, he was quickly disappointed. It was bland. And chewy. He tried not to make a weird face as he ate it, there was just hardly any flavor whatsoever. "This is good..." He said anyways, forcing himself to take another bit. God, this sucked.
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