Logs:The Heart Has Its Reasons

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The Heart Has Its Reasons


Characters: Fawn and Lance
Date: 2020-03-16
Summary: Fawn and Lance find they have a lot in common. A lot.
Disclaimers: Feelz~~

Among those who gather in the park today, Fawn is here and doing what comes natural for a Thursday afternoon. She's found herself a spot away from any other musicians (as best she could have), and tucked herself up beneath a large oak tree near one of the walkways. Her guitar case is open before her and she's perched on a small stool of sorts, which has her at the perfect height for resting her guitar in her lap as she strums along. Her current song is slow and melodic, much like her sweet, breathy voice as she sings along to a popular song 'Can't Help Falling In Love With You'.

--

Despite it being work hours, there's still a fair few faces hereabouts and it turns out that one of them is Lance's. The guy who showed up to the fish fry in worn out hoodie has upgraded to something slightly better - something newer, at any rate, if not any more creative in wardrobe. This time it's just a plain T-shirt, but the particular color of grey seems to set off his eyes. He might have been drawn toward the performer because of her voice, her guitar, or simply because there might be some recognition in the guy-with-the-good-drugs' face as he approaches, hands tucked into his pockets. He doesn't roll up on the spot away from the other musicians like he owns the place, more that he just can't help coming a little nearer, to hear a little better. He doesn't interrupt the song but he does give Fawn an up-nod of more than just listening acknowledgement when he's near enough to kind of hover in the way that spectators do.

--

When Fawn sings it appears she is at her happiest, tucking away anything that could be bothering her and allowing the music to take hold. She has a lazy smile on her lips as she sings, and her head hangs just a bit, lightly canted to the side while her fingers pluck and strum along. Her lashes are down and eyes glancing over her fingers as she continues to play, singing the last bit, "Ohh, I can't... help, falling in loveee.. withhh.. youuuu." As the music fades to a stop she begins to smile more, lips pulling back even wider as her tanned skin starts to tinge with pink. It's only then she glances up and immediately finds the familiar face among any who are wandering or have stopped, and when she sees Lance she offers him a wide grin. Fawn puts her guitar across her lap then and frees her hands so she can gather her hair behind her and secure it with a tie, and once that's done she's saying with a light squint in her eye, "...Laannnceee? Maybe? Or was it.." she pauses, giving way to a soft laugh followed by another smile. "I remember your face better. Fawn," she offers to him.

--

Lance adds his own hands to the smatter of applause and even stops to drop a couple crumpled bills into the guitar case before sliding out of the way of a couple of others doing the same before they're moving on and he's sliding a couple steps closer into a sociable conversation range. Fawn's grin is met with a broad smile, expression briefly pleased by the return of recognition. "Lance," he confirms. "You're Fawn," is not really a question, just proof that he was paying attention to more than the way some people were licking their fingers free of fish fry. He rocks himself onto the toes of his sneakers, making himself briefly, unnecessarily, taller before settling back on the flats of his feet. "Nice playing." Blue eyes fall to the guitar before traveling back up to the woman holding it. "You give lessons, at all?"

--

"Yep," Fawn agrees with who she is. "That's me! Sorry I wasn't more social at the fish fry.. Ya know. Had to make sure Axle didn't get herself caught in a grease fire or something. And ya seemed to be busy with Ramsey.. so it's nice to more formally meet you?" she questions with a bit of a laugh as she relaxes on the stool beneath her. "Thanks," she says to the compliment, and that question brings her to tilt her head just slightly as she thinks it over. "You know.. no one has ever asked me that. I suppose I could if someone was interested in learning. Are you interested?" she asks, brows lifting slightly as that cheerful smile remains. Her guitar is put aside and she rises from her seat then, long hippie-ish skirt swaying about her brown boots she wears, and she lowers to the blanket sat before her so she can begin gathering the bills and change out of the case to safely tuck away into a small zippered bag.

--

"Nah," Lance dismisses the apology with one shouldered shrug and tip of his head, smile shifting into one that's lop-sided. "Priorities are important." He did, indeed, have his with Ramsey that day. "If she'd caught fire, I could've probably done something useful, but honestly, my rec is always for avoiding burns when possible. They sting like a son-of-a-" he stops short, clearing his throat as a grin blossoms and he gives a helpless shrug.

"Anyway. Yeah, nice to be a priority, however briefly." There's humor there, but nothing that suggests he's in the least slighted by putting Axle and the grease first. He watches her as she moves to deal with the bills from the guitar, intelligent gaze no doubt taking in more than just the details of her dress. "I am, actually. Interested, that is. I have this friend that sings. I played violin when I was real little, but that was a long time ago."

He chews on his lower lip a moment before he starts, "This is going to sound weird, but don't ask for money, okay? If you're up for it, let's figure out something other than money that works. I can't really explain," because this isn't weird at all, "but if you ask for money, things might get hard." Maybe he's broke? He doesn't look broke, but nor does he look loaded. What he does look is a little agitated, unusually so, chewing the heck out of his lower lip as if it deserved to be the recipient of sudden expressions of stress.

--

The cash and coin is zippered up and tucked away in her drawstring bag nearby before Fawn reaches for her guitar and begins to put it away. As she lifts it and brings it down into the case she pauses there, chin lifting so she may glance to up Lance after blowing a stream of air upwards to get a lost strand of hair out of her eyes. She studies Lance with a curious gaze, one that shows there must be many questions drifting around in that head of hers, but she doesn't ask. Well, not yet at least.

Fawn looks back down to the case as she closes it, and with that done she rises to stand. "Okay.. I'm curious now.." she murmurs as her lips tug back at the side to give a bit of a smirky grin as she lifts her right arm to rest her hand on her hip that gets cocked outwards just a bit from the way she stands. "I won't ask for money. Check. Can't really explain? Alright. I won't ask even though I'm too curious now, but I won't!" she adds quickly with a laugh. While laughing she watches Lance, and something about his behavior makes her laughter fizzle out, leaving her with a softer expression on her feature. "..Are you alright?" she asks, sounding concerned.

--

Don't let the model-level good looks and jock physique fool you. Lance is a man of mystery. Poorly hidden mystery, because frankly, communication in all its forms is not his strong suit. He's great at an awkward stand, hands tucked into pockets, expression showing the embarrassed thought (marked by the blush in his cheeks) that is him running through his last couple sentences and realizing just how dumb he's made himself sound this time. It's a curse, to be a smart man with a dumb mouth. Clearly he's lived with it this long, though, so this mild idiocy is unlikely to kill him. Not even when it means Fawn is laughing at him. He can live through that, won't even get mad about it, even if it might make the blush a little deeper.

"Oh, I don't know," he blows a breath out, letting his tone pitch philosophical, "Are any of us really alright? The world's a crazy place and every time we learn a new piece of the crazy, has anything really changed besides us knowing it's a crazy place?" He slips his hands out of his pockets so he can make a broad gesture that would probably be what the shrugging emoji is meant to look like on a real person of flesh and blood. "I might tell you someday, but for now, let's... walk and talk?" He gestures. "Hungry?" He nods in the general direction of where some of the food vendors are set up. "We could grab something. My treat."

--

Brows quirk again and Fawn gives a slight nod of agreement. "I guess it's kinda.. engrained in us to say we're okay. Almost as a way to move on and talk about something else. But I mean it.." Fawn offers as she turns then, moving to gather her guitar case and move it, her bag and folding tripod seat from the blanket so it may be shaken out and folded up before being slid into her bag along with the stool. Once Fawn has gathered her things she slings the bag over her shoulders to wear it like a backpack, and her guitar case is taken into her right hand.

Nodding to indicate she'll walk, Fawn steps towards Lance and gives him a little smile as she makes her way back onto the path to let him lead the way. "I didn't mean it in that passive sort of way, though," she offers. "You seemed a little.. on edge for a second. If I said anything wrong, I'm sorry," she adds, a touch of smile given with her words. "And yeah. Heh. This world.. is fucking crazy." That's for sure! "I swear, I've never come across so much crazy till I got here. It's like some kind of crazy vortex," she adds with a wider grin. "It's kinda scary and leaves me feeling.. I dunno, unprepared? To deal with what it dishes out, I guess. In a way."

--

Lance's poor lower lip is released from its punishment of nerves and he crack a smile at the musician. "You didn't say anything wrong. Crazy vortex sounds about right, honestly. I grew up here," though oddly there's no trace of accent, "but I only ever noticed the normal kind of crazy, until recently." That implies a whole other kind of crazy, of course. "I mean," the jock starts again, brows knitting down as he reviews that last sentence for the obvious gaps that leaves. "New Orleans has always been known for Voodoo and crazy shit. I mean, just think of the number of TV shows they've based in and around this area." He makes a gesture. "But-" where was he going with this?

His ears are pink now, along with his cheeks. "God, I sound crazy even trying to avoid sounding crazy." He reaches up his hands and rubs them across his face a moment before letting them drop away and he turns a kind of adorable goofy smile on Fawn. "Can I start over?" He doesn't wait for an answer, instead offering his hand. "I'm Lance Skov. I want to learn the guitar, I helped your friend Ramsey steal a cursed float because apparently I believe in curses and saving the day," okay, maybe just curses, honestly, "and I'm trying not to say anything that makes you smile and nod and just count the seconds until you're seeing the back of me." Not that the view would be bad, but that's not at all what he's referring to.

"I'm feeling underprepared, too." He adds after a beat, because although he's endeavoring to start over, that doesn't erase Fawn's words, not one bit. "I'm starting to learn that friends are important to have." Just now. This week. This month. It might make a person wonder what he's been doing with his life before that and why, but he doesn't offer up that much of an autobiography just now.

--

As she walks alongside Lance, Fawn looks his way often, showing she's paying close attention and not at all counting the seconds for him to be gone. Her brows are lifting again and the young woman looks like she's trying very hard not to laugh, though she has trouble keeping it contained. She may just be one of those people who laughs a lot. In fact, she is! This time it's Fawn who bites into her lower lip, but soon enough it's no good. She's laughing a delighted sound and reaching (a bit awkwardly) with her left hand to shake Lance's offered right. Hey. The guitar was in the correct hand, so she has to make due!

Still laughing a bit as her hand is lowered, Fawn says, "I like both explanations. No need to start over! Both are quite fascinating.. and it's so true. Lots of strange shows using this place as their backdrop, which is kinda cool. At least your hometown isn't boring." Smile. She glances forwards then while listening, and what Lance says about friends makes her nod! "Ohhh hell yeah.. As much crazy as this place has provided, I feel like I've never had as many friends as I do now.. I've met some pretty great people here, and.. It's kinda strange. I like people, but I sometimes feel like I don't know how to be around them. It's strange to suddenly have people on your side who would do anything for you, ya know?"

--

In truth, the world needs laughter. New Orleans perhaps especially. Maybe even Lance especially. For all those lovely lines and planes on his face that lend him attractive symmetry, he also seems to have something of a permanent touch of gloom, a brooding quality to it. Maybe that's how his life has shaped him, maybe that's just how his face looks, maybe it's part of his mystery. In any case, Fawn's laughter draws a smile from the blond, his brow smoothing just a little as he glances back to her. He's returning some of those looks, but not all, but not because he's not paying attention, but rather because he's still fumbling through how to make his words at least slightly less stupid.

He does shake Fawn's hand (wrong one or not), with the exaggerated mockery of courtesy or job interview seriousness before letting his smile come back to his lips. "I guess it has its perks," Lance will grudgingly allow New Orleans even if he doesn't seem to be its biggest fan. He actually does do a double-take on Fawn at that last thing. "That's... I mean, that's sort of it exactly. Or to have more than half the things you used to worry about just... I don't know, fucking magicked away as if it was nothing. Because it's nothing to everyone but you. Or not everyone, but you know what I mean, right?" There's a light kindled there in Lance's expression, an animation that wasn't there before (or at least, was more shuttered), like this is a thing on which a friendship might be built, a real connection anyway.

"And how do you even be yourself around people who ... care so much so suddenly, but don't even know you? How do you dare be anything less than perfect? It's a lot of pressure." Did he go too far with that? He bites his lip glancing down at Fawn as if to check. Did she follow? Did he run down this mental rabbit hole alone?

--

Glancing up to Lance again at what he says last, Fawn sends him a big, reassuring grin. She even nods a bit and opens her mouth to say, "I don't know what it has been like for you.. life and all, but for me it wasn't always that great. I had friends, but none that I ever felt very close to. I moved around a lot, kinda, so I never got to know anyone that well.. I haven't been here for too long, but I feel like i already know the people I've met more than those I knew for much longer elsewhere. If that makes sense?" she asks, glancing his way again to check.

"I don't think you have to be perfect.. Or are you meaning like.. You gotta keep up this.. persona you've created for everyone else, because you're worried if they know the real you, they'll stop wanting to be around you? Or is that not it?" She laughs a little at herself. "I feel like I'm kinda still finding my footing with the people I've found here.. but they seem to be great and they like me as I am. It's the closest thing I've ever had to any sort of family, so it's great." She smiles again. "But really.. I doubt you have to be perfect. Perfect is boring?" she offers, trying to make perfect sound bad, ya see?! "I'm not perfect. Far from it. Sheesh!" Now she's laughing more, her smile bright.

--

Lance digests the singer's words in silence, worrying that lower lip with his teeth again (always, poor lip). Words are not Lance's friends, not really. Not if they're not scientific words, paired with data, with things that are quantifiable and readily understandable. Feelings, thusly, are also not really the blond's bosom companions in any way that doesn't feel like a figurative ghost in the attic, rattling pointless chains.

"'Not great' sounds like a good broad heading," he manages after a moment, a fleeting glance going sidelong to Fawn again. "Kind of the persona thing, I guess." Another beat passes before the inevitable burble of words that hopefully come out making some kind of sense to Fawn. "I let people assume things a lot. It's easier that way. People do it anyhow and correcting them is a pain in the ass."

He reaches up to shove a hand through the mane of golden locks, disheveling the wavy array. "And I never really met anyone I wanted to take the time to correct before, you know? Like you were saying, with the people you're meeting here being closer faster and... I don't know, feeling real? Feeling like you can trust them? Like I can trust them?" Lance's words sort of stumble awkwardly to a halt and just as awkward a smile is given helplessly over to Fawn.

"This is kind of deep shit for a first real conversation. Sorry." Nevermind that Fawn was participating too. "Where all were you before you ended up here, Fawn?" That's a better question for a get-to-know-you, right? It's probably off a list he looked up on the internet. It's fine. No one needs to know.

--

"Do all first real conversations have to be lesser than?" Fawn asks with an impish grin aimed at Lance as she walks along with him, enjoying the occasional breeze and the warmth the sun provides. "I don't mind deeper conversation when you find it, but I can stick to asking what your favorite color is if you like," she offers in way of a tease, that grin remaining. She snickers a bit and adjusts the bag on her back, shifting it around before she thinks over Lance's question.

"Mmm.. Oh geez. Um, lots of places.. Started in Nevada and headed up to Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado.. a bit of Oklahoma, Texas for a bit.. Well, a lot a bit thanks to how fucking huge it is," she muses with laughter. "Then here. I'd stay a few months or so.. Just scooting around trying to find a place that spoke to me. A reason to stay or anything, ya know?" she offers, her smile a bit lopsided at that. "I like it here so far, weird shit and all. I guess it's not too bad when there's never a dull moment.." She chuckles again, looking away and to the path.

"Have you ever had the chance to travel anywhere? You said you grew up here, but have you ever ventured out to see what lies beyond state lines?" Her golden eyes find his face again and she gives another friendly smile. It seems to be her usual expression. Fawn's just one of those people who appear to have been born with a smile on their face.

--

"You can ask me anything you want," Lance unwisely replies without the right amount of thought going into the offer, his hands tucking into his back pockets this time as he shrugs, a little awkward laugh leaving him. At least he doesn't promise to answer - small saving graces. "I'm probably the worst person to ask that question of. I don't do a lot of first conversations." Maybe Fawn should feel honored if it weren't getting progressively more hapless. "That... I mean, usually when I'm talking with people, it's about a thing, you know? Like swimming, or medical stuff, or like-- guitar," for example. He nods to the musician's instrument. "I don't really end up with a lot of practice with 'what's your favorite color' stuff." Maybe that helps explain it better.

The list receives its due consideration. "That's a lot of places." How can a smart man be this dumb? The world may never know. "I've only travelled with the swim team and mostly we don't do anything that we'd need a plane or a lot of driving to get to." So most of the states Fawn listed are out.

His blue gaze strays to Fawn again and this time it's the upper lip that's briefly caught before he adds, "I hope you stick around a while." There's a small smile, sort of shy, but he follows it up with a quick, "What's your favorite color? And the weirdest thing that's happened since you got here? Oh-- and what do you want to eat?" That's important because they're starting to approach the array of street vendors with food items. His glance casts particularly toward somewhere with empanadas.

--

"Annyytthhinnggg? That's kinda dangerous," Fawn says, scrunching her nose up and snickering happily about it, but she also knows, "Not that you'd answer anything, right? We don't have that sort of trust built between us yet, now do we?" She smiles a bit. "I'm a pretty trustworthy person, I like to think, and I don't judge anyone. Never have liked that. I always figured it's better to be nice and trustworthy than some jerkish asshole." She makes a face at that, nodding as she does. A bit of hair slips against her face from the nod, so she tucks it behind an ear and takes a deep breath through her nose.

As it's released she says, "That's a lot you do. I only swim for fun. You ever go skinny dipping? That can be fun, at least till someone thinks it's funny to hide your clothes and steal your flashlight an they leave ya out there in the woods, making scary sounds to freak you out." She starts to laugh a little, calming soon enough. "You into medicine? Me, too. Not really like.. Pharmacist stuff, but roots and herbs. That sort of thing. I like to go out and collect ingredients and make stuff from it. It's fun to be out there in the wilderness, just picking around for things." She smiles a little again.

"Yeah.. and it's a lot of traveling, but when your home is a converted bus, it's kinda like the thing you have to do. It's nice not having to pay rent and put down deposits.. Plus, if I go out drinking I never have to worry about getting a ride back to my place," she says with a cheerful laugh, her eyes going bright at that. "I enjoy driving around, but yeah. I hope I stick around some more, too.. I have a feeling I will. Nothing's run me off yet!" she exclaims with another happy laugh.

When Lance asks about the strangest thing she looks at him, eyes narrowing slightly as she rolls the question around in her brain. "Mmm.. You wanna know a real crazy story or something that's still crazy, yet believable? I'm not insane or nothing, but I've.. eh." Maybe not. "I've seen a gator up close while picking up trash with a friend. It coulda snapped us in half, but didn't.. And ah," she thinks, "I survived an abandoned warehouse with this.. very strange person living inside of it?" Yeah, when ya can't tell the whole truth it just sounds lame!

Fawn notices they're getting near the food, so she quickly says, "A hot dog. Or pretzel is good. With nacho cheese.." She grins. "And favorite color? Ahh.. Teal.. or pink and purple. Or all three." She notices his glance about and offers, "Or empanadas.. Those are bomb."

--

Hey, woah, hey, woah. If some people want to be jerkish assholes in this conversation... well, it's not probably going to be Fawn is it. That really only leaves one suspect, but he's been trying to be better lately. Too much has turned his world too fast to retain every old habit he had. Trust has also become a much more present commodity in trade. "Nah, we don't. Not yet. But you can still ask. You never know. Might just feel like sharing." He does another shoulder shrug without moving his hands from his back pockets, managing a grin down at Fawn that holds a little something of the mischief-making to it, without it overtaking the expression. "You are pretty cute, so." Cute people have a way of getting what they want. Nevermind that Lance's cheeks have taken on a touch of a blush there. He's just not smooth. It's not his thing.

If Fawn hasn't run for the hills (as arguably good sense might dictate), Lance has a nod. "Yeah, skinny dipping's a good time. Gotta watch where you do it around here." Alligators and nudity do not mix. Not to mention leeches and snakes. It's fine. "Pools are good for that." He glances at her, "Got the keys to the one on campus, actually." That may or may not be some kind of offer, but it might just be the reflexive kind; golden college jock that he is, despite his word fumbles, he's probably not got trouble getting companions for that kind of thing when he wants them.

Much more seriously is his interest in the roots and herbs. "Maybe we can trade some information about that, then, too. I'm not one to turn down what works in my line of work." Be that herbs or roots or whatever. He doesn't look like he'd go for healing crystals, but then again, a lot of things are changing for poor, human Lance.

"Driving around sounds like you'd see a lot," he won't knock the lifestyle, even if it doesn't sound like he's about to quit school and find himself his very own bus to do likewise. The crazy stories are given a, "Hm," that's thoughtful but not exactly impressed. No, they don't sound that impressive when some key details are missing. "Careful with the gators though. Been on EMT calls to that stuff before. It is not good." No one really needs that warning, right? AND YET, if Lance had ended up on calls, surely someone would have benefitted.

"Hot dog it is. Or pretzel. Lady's choice," he offers gesturing her to pick a line that pleases her best. "I'm not sure I know what color teal is." He does observe, but he doesn't comment on the pink or purple.

--

Fawn is laughing softly again at being called cute, and though it makes her own face turn a bit pink she says with a sweeping bow, "Thank you." Leaning down for that bow makes her long hair fall forward over her shoulders, returning to that messy look it often has, which doesn't seem to bother Fawn judging fro the way she ignores it once standing. "Too bad the ladies never tell me that." Exaggerated sigh! She's grinning again, and notes, "I'll think on it.. and have my questionnaire ready soon. Don't you worry." She sends a wink Lance's way at that, snickering afterwards.

As she listens about the pool she murmurs, "Yeah. Gators and leeches.. Those things are fucking creepy.. I'll take a dip in the pool, though. You guys ever sneak in at night and have parties or anything?" she asks with a brow arching. "It kinda feels like the responsible thing to do when you've been trusted with keys." Sage nod. She's trying very hard not to laugh about it, but that lower lip is trembling and she's trying hard to press her lips together and not let it out! She decides to look away from Lance as if that would help her out some, and she turns to look over the vendors.

"Empanadas! C'mon." She's grinning brightly now and leading the way over to them to get in line if there is one, and while she goes she says, "That's interesting.. EMT calls? You helped out with them or something?" which leads her to another question now that she's had time to think. "What's your line of work, as ya mentioned? What -do- you do? You said people often make wrong assumptions about you, so tell me. What are they? I'm curious to know." She gives a beat, then notes, "Teal is like.. a bluish-green.." She looks around those who wander the park, and she points to a girl wearing the color on her shirt. "That one."

--

"I mean," Lance begins. Brace yourself for just how truly wonderful a guy Lance really is, "If you want me to send you the ones who'll be in need of comfort," when he's not calling them back, mind, "I can do that. I'm sure they'll call you cute." Maybe that's not the best offer in the world, but it could be one of the most awkward. Someone should hit Lance. Really.

"I haven't risked a party yet, but it's getting to be end of the semester, so... you know, anything's possible." He flashes a grin to Fawn. "You know anyone who'd want to show up to that kind of party?" He probably does, but it never hurts to cast a wider net, if one is bound to get in some kind of trouble for it anyway.

The rest requires a little consideration as he walks with her to the empanada line. In point of fact, he waits until they've made their transaction and backed off from the other hungry people hereabouts before he looks to Fawn. "Trustworthy, right?" She is one of Top Hat's associates, after all.

"Just got a new job, used to work for the EMTs, but really, I'm the guy you call when shit gets ugly and you need to not go to a hospital. Insurance or just... because you can't." Does she get his drift? Blue eyes are weighty as they look at her now. "Not licensed," he adds, just in case that needs to be said. "But good at what I do." Theoretically. (Damn you, dice gods.) "So maybe, you teach me to play guitar and I'm in your phone favorites for when shit gets real. No charge." Surely there normally would be a charge and probably a hefty one at that for services rendered and silence. "What do you think?"

--

Fawn's eyes widen at what Lance says about girls who would need comfort, and it makes her laugh hard for a second. She shakes her head and looks at him with wide eyes, and she gives a playful punch to his shoulder. "Hey now! They may not all call me cute, but I have no problem getting laid if I need it.. And I'm.. well, I'm not really into the whole one-night-stand type of thing. Fooling around can be nice, but I enjoy a little more than that.." And now her face is starting to turn bright red so she looks away, deciding to focus on empanadas for the moment.

While acquiring the empanadas, Fawn says, "I know some people who would love to show up for a pool party. So you just tell me when and we'll come with beer." She grins wide at that and gives him a little wink. As she takes her empanada she continues to walk along with him, and what he tells her makes her give him a curious glance. "Oh yeah? You do that kinda stuff? That's.. pretty awesome, actually. Is that what you're in school for then? You going down the medical path?" She starts to smile once more. "You guys all make me feel bad. Here I am, playing music for coins, and you're.. -maybe- doctor guy, Jeanie's going for law, Marek finance.. Sheesh!" She starts to laugh a soft sound. "But yeah! I'm totally up for it.. My friends could probably use your help. They're always finding trouble to get into, and while I can help with bruises and whatnots, I can't exactly do much when, say, someone gets stabbed in a bar fight." She shakes her head.

--

Lance's amusement presses his lips together but doesn't let him do more than look like he wants to smile, but then the look does come at the shoulder punch and he gives a helpless shrug. "I'm just learning about not one-night-things, so I'm probably not very helpful with that. Except, you know, a pretty good ear, probably." Even if he will understand exactly zero of the emotional complexities.

"Used to be-" uh-oh, he did not think this one through. That's why he has to pause and clear his throat and blush deeper, "used to be just girls that... well, and then... guys." He almost sounds unsure about that as he gazes off an nothing in the distance. It's not the easiest thing in the world to admit, but he did. "And those haven't been so much... one-night things, as I kind of... well, I don't know." Because he doesn't, but look there's an empanada do distract him! He does that for a moment.

It's easier, much easier, to talk about his schooling. That's at least still pretty normal. "Yeah, I'm pre-med so I can get the licensing eventually. Occasionally I learn something. Mostly I work out how to seem less competent at what I'm doing." And then... then his brain catches up and he chokes on his empanada.

Choking accounts for the crimson flush, right? "You know Marek?" That's when he gets his breath back, not having choked (for who would save the doctor?!). Then because obviously this will throw someone as keen as Fawn off the VERY OBVIOUS trail, "I didn't really get a choice about the doctoring stuff." It's actually a piece of information Lance wouldn't normally share with a new acquaintance, but it's the first thing that comes to mind in that moment. "Maybe I can show you about some things you can do to help them out until I get there. You teach me guitar. Deal?" He wipes his hand on his jeans before offering it.

--

While holding her empanada, Fawn lifts it to take a bit while listening to Lance talking about boy girls and guys, and as she chews her bite she gives Lance an evil little grin. She waggles her brows at him, swallows her bite, then starts to giggle about it. Those waggling brows calm, but the impish look remains, and then she's saying, "That sounds exciting.. Never hurts to try both, does it? Figure out what you like?" She takes another bite then and continues to listen.

When Lance asks her about Marek, however, and she catches that blush and choke, Fawn nearly does the same. Like a mirror of Lance, her face goes bright pink, too, and she stares at him. The bite is swallowed with a grimace (thanks to not chewing it fully), and Fawn says, "Uh-huh.. I know Marek.." Now she's studying Lance with a new set of eyes. She takes him in as is assessing something. "He's my best friend," she states, though her face is still pink. "How do you know him? You have class with him?" she wonders since that would make sense. She's forgotten about the medical stuff for now, and the empanada in her hand. She's forgotten about walking, too!

--

They can, collectively, even forget the more general category of this conversation now that Marek is taking center stage (without him even being present). Lance is briefly without words. What exactly to say here? "I--" am so awkward. It's fine. He shakes his head abruptly before the neurons fire right and fill his mouth with words (that he may regret later, thanks, brain!).

"I may be moving in with him. And Hudson. At the condo. Their place. The place. With them." Nevermind that his face is still pretty red. "I met Marek at the gym and..." He glances sidelong at Fawn, "A friend of ours set us up?" He sounds a little unsure about that entire sentence for so many reasons. His brows dip down, but he seems to have enough sense to ask, "Is... that okay?" As if maybe he needs Fawn's permission. Maybe he does?

--

While standing there looking up to Lance, Fawn keeps her eyes on him, though after a moment it's as if she's looking through him and not hearing a thing he says. She holds her empanada in one hand in an absent way that always causes some of the filling to drip out, but it barely hangs on. She snaps out of it soon enough, however, and her eyes give a slight shift away and back to Lance. She gives a quick glance again, lips relaxed and showing little emotion, but soon she pushes that bright smile right back up.

Fawn glances down to her food then, and after taking a small bite she looks to Lance once more and asks, "Set.. you up? Like.. Set up, set up?" She lifts her brows slightly at that. "Are you.. dating him or something or.. are you.. Are you his boyfriend?" she wonders, her voice sounding smaller now, lips having a harder time keeping that ever-present smile up as if it was suddenly too heavy. Her lashes bat quickly and she gives a small shake of her head, saying, "Of course it's okay! He.. he's gay, after all!" Here comes the nervous laughter.

--

Lance... is not great at cues. It's possible all those reactions even though observed go over his head in terms of meaning, but he does seem to grasp that treading carefully might be helpful, as much for himself as Fawn. "Nah." That's reassuringly casual, but then the bumble-worded blond blunders on when he should have stopped. "We're friends. Good friends." Obviously not best friends, since that slot is filled by the girl with the guitar, and yet there's something in the way that Lance's brow knits that seems to indicate he's not sure how to put any of this. (That's probably because he's never tried to word things aloud before.) "Not exclusive or anything like that. Living together is just... I mean, the dorms suck. Have you seen them?" That's a little attempt at humor, but he's looking more worried as he watches Fawn's face.

--

Fawn's laughter dies down as she waits for the answer, and once she has it she gives a slow shake of her head. She begins to slowly walk again, not trying to get away or anything, but just starting up their little walk they had going before they both choked on their food. Well, almost choked! Good thing they didn't.

As she walks, Fawn is silent for a bit, her golden eyes held lower, watching more of the pathway than Lance now, and she murmurs, "No.. Haven't seen the dorms. Marek told me they were terrible.. Said he plopped down a half mil on a house for him and his buddies. Said there are some really nice tubs for soaking," she says with a little half smile. She takes a little bite of her food then, just nibbling at it, quiet again for a few steps.

"I was hoping he'd invite me over sometime. Let me meet.. well. You and the others.. His friends, you know? But he hasn't yet.. I mean, we hang out all the time anyway, just," she pauses, shrugging there. She's quiet again, lost in thought, empanada forgotten about.

--

Well, silence is one thing Lance does, in fact, know how to do. Given how bad he is with words generally, existing without them seems to be easier, even if he's shooting that worried look sidelong now and again with Fawn as she begins walking again and he moves to keep up. His empanada seems likewise forgotten, poor empanadas. His brows dart down at Fawn's words and he opens his mouth and then just shuts it again, letting her have the room to talk or be silent.

After a moment, he exhales softly. "I mean, I don't see why he wouldn't invite you over sometime? I don't really know Hudson yet. Pretty nervous about that. I wanna get out of the dorms in a bad way, but... I mean, bad roommates kind of suck, so..." It'd be important to Lance that they at least can get along. He's still not great with emotions, but a medical man does seem to see when there might be more than what's being said. "Do... you wanna talk about it? More?" Listening, he can do listening.

--

Biting her lip softly at the question, Fawn gives a hesitant shake of her head. She keeps her eyes down and head lowered slightly, thankful that her face is mostly hidden by her long, dark hair. She walks along in silence for what feels like ages (to her at least), and then she finally murmurs, "I.." She takes a little breath. "I think.." It's hard to even admit. She lifts her empanada hand to her face, wiping it lightly with the back of her wrist and clearing her throat afterwards. "I'm.." Fuck, just out with it! "I'm sorta maybe, you know, kinda.. I dunno.. Maybe fa-." She can't say it.

Fawn gives another shake of her head and murmurs softly, "It's okay.. I mean, I knew he was gay. Fuck. -I- am, too, but.." She shakes her head again and takes in a shuddering breath. "It's good that he's making friends.. He's such a nice guy, you know? Really sweet and kind and.. Just a genuinely good guy.." Her voice makes it seem like it's getting harder to talk, but she tries anyway. "He's silly and funny, and a good listener.." Any guesses who she was singing about earlier?

--

Lance may not be good with speaking words or feelings, but he's probably pretty good at crossword puzzles given how he figures out that phrase without a problem. His footsteps briefly falter. "Oh," is all he manages at first, but it's an illuminative one. A moment later, he's finding a few more words, "Yeah. He's... all those things." His brow is drawing down again, pensive expression drawing a touch of the broody storm that seems to routinely cling to Lance. That bears some thinking about. It's more than the blond can really handle here, now as he blows out a processing breath between his lips. "It sounds... complicated." That's real, true; he can say that.

What else can he say that's true? "I want him to be happy." It's true. It's also really complicated. One hand comes up to push through his hair. "I'm glad you guys..." This one is harder. There's too many things that would be half-truths or flat out lies, "have each other." That works. It doesn't even ring hollow. It does have a lot of layers to it which probably won't be examined here and now.

He chews on his lower lip, thoughtful. "Still... willing to teach me guitar? Or does this... all..." all, so much all, "make things too complicated for that?" Lance's blue gaze is no longer fleeting glances but steadily watching the musician.

--

When Lance agrees with her on everything Marek is, Fawn shoots a little glance his way, only giving him a split second to see her expression, which is much different than what she's been showing at the start of their conversation. There are tears in her eyes and she looks hurt and confused, but she's still managing to stay calm.

She looks away and back don towards the ground then, staying silent for a while after that before she agrees, "I want him to be happy, too.. I.. I wouldn't ever try to stand in his way of it. Wouldn't want him to.." she doesn't finish the thought. "We're.. friends," she says, nodding to herself at that. "I just.. I dunno. I wish he had told me about you himself?" A little shrug. "Not that.. he had to or anything. We're not a couple. We're not even dating... It's just.. probably this stupid idea in my head.." she says, her voice cracking just slightly, but enough to make her hush up.

When asked about the guitar lessons she slowly nods, whispering, "Yeah. I'll teach you." She goes quiet again.

--

If Fawn is going to briefly show an expression Lance hasn't seen before, Lance is going to return it with one of his own. It would be impolite not to give tit for tat, but that's not why he makes this face. His jaw tightens after Fawn explains, the muscle working just slightly in suppression of some kind of strong feeling of his own.

The words, when they come, and it takes a clearing of his throat to manage, Adam's apple bobbing in a noticeable swallow, are simple, the tone resigned. "He probably didn't tell you about me because I don't matter like that." It's fine. It's whatever lies his tone.

"Look, I know I'm probably the last person in the world you want comfort from right now, but do you want a hug? Seems like... I don't know. That's what people do when people..." Look like they need a hug? There go those fantastic linguistic skills again. "I'm not telling you you shouldn't feel whatever it is you're feeling, I'm just saying... he probably didn't think about it." Why would he, the words seem to imply as Lance glances off in the distance. "I'd appreciate the lessons." Because he would, in spite of everything.

--

Fawn slows her steps and turns her face upward so she may look at Lance, and as her watery eyes meet his her shoulders slump. She tries to keep it together for longer, but she just can't as tears begin to roll down that cute face of hers. Her trembling lower lip pulls down into a deep frown, and as she stares up at Lance she croaks, "Then why didn't he tell you about me? I'm supposed to be his.." Best friend? Maybe that's all in her head, too. "So what's that supposed to mean?"

Fawn takes a few quick steps to Lance then, seeking him out before the offer even rolls from his tongue, and as she drops the empanada and her guitar case to the ground she all but throws herself into his arms, wrapping hers tightly about his waist as she releases all she held inside. Fawn cries hard, the kind of sob someone gives when utterly heartbroken, and she hides her face against his sweater-clad chest. She sobs against him, body shuddering and knees a bit weak.

--

Adding to Lance's list of things he's actually good at: he's super good at comforting hugs. The words? Still a problem, but the hugging is solid. "Because I'm nothing." It's supposed to be helpful, to be reassuring. "I'm sure that's all there's to it, Fawn." He really does sound sure, almost like that's an essential truth confirmed.

He rubs her back, moves a hand to stroke her hair, nothing untoward, in fact, but in an act so reflexive that it suggests he's had to comfort other heartbroken people, though surely none of them have been the girls he doesn't call back. "It sounds like Marek's just one of the people who grew up with a lot of secrets." Pot, kettle. You're both black. "Sometimes," he speaks with notable authority, "it's hard to turn that off, even with people you like and trust." He'll hold her as long as she seems to want or need to be held. As with listening, for this he has patience.

--

Fawn is content to just have a good cry as she hides herself away against Lance, not shying from the hand petting her hair or anything else Lance does to comfort. She sniffles as she sobs, head jerking a bit as shuddering breaths are taken in, the occasional whimper breathed out, and she cries for several more minutes before ever so slowly lifting her face.

Fawn stays close to Lance as she glances up to him, lifting her hands and grasping the sleeves of her sweater so she can wipe at her eyes, and she soon looks to him again. What's been said does help her calm down slightly, and she slowly looks down to Lance's sweater. Her hands lift and gently grasp at it, fingers busying themselves with the fabric, the girl going quiet for a bit.

When she's finally able to speak again she whispers, "I have to tell him.. How I feel.. It's not fair not to.. Even if.. Even if it risks freaking him out and making him not want to be around him.. I can't hide it and.. just not say anything.." She looks down then, shaking her head quickly and wiping her eye again, and then she says, "I'm sorry.. I didn't mean to.. sorta unload everything on you.. and you seem to like him a lot, too.. I'm sorry.." She slowly looks up to Lance and offers the smallest of smiles as she peeps, "See? Totally not perfect.." She gives a pained smile at that, then takes a step back as she lowers to grab the case and empanada. "I'll teach you some guitar stuff, though.. Want to take my number?"

--

There's probably a lot of things going on behind Lance's pretty blue eyes as he stands and hugs Fawn, murmuring in a way that's just a sound of comfort. When she's ready for a little distance, he doesn't try to keep her close. He glances down at her briefly, but then gives her that moment to collect herself, to find her words and conclusions. He studies her face a long moment and then offers what he can say that's still honest. "You should do what you need to do." The street doc probably is, even if it's hard to say at this point just what that might be.

He manages to meet Fawn's gaze when she looks up at him and his shoulders rise and fall. "Sometimes shit hits when you least expect it. Sometimes it's too much to keep inside." He seems to be doing a good job of the latter, though, for now. There's a beat of hesitation before he nods. "Yeah, I'll take your number." He fumbles a little as he fishes his phone from his pocket and navigates the screen. "Sorry," as it takes a moment longer than might be expected. "New phone," is a mutter, and it does look to be a nice one, but he'll take her number when she offers it.

--

Fawn takes the phone and goes about adding her number, and once it's handed over to Lance she slowly looks up to him again, saying, "Sorry again.." She studies him, then says, "You should, too. If he makes you happy?" The left corner of her mouth tugs upwards at that, though the smile doesn't reach her eyes. "Sounds like we both want him to be happy.. You.." she pauses, breathing a faint sigh. "You probably have a better chance at that than I do.. so.." She shrugs gently and looks away, watching as a few people walk on bye. She watches them for a bit, and soon enough she looks back to Lance and says, "Just.. text me or something when you want to get together.. Kay?" She gives a little nod, then turns to slowly walk off down the path.

--

Blue eyes slide to Fawn as she hands the phone back and speaks. There's the slightest shake of Lance's head and a shrug of his shoulders, one hand coming up to scratch his face. "It's not a contest." That could be taken a number of ways, of course, but that's not because he thinks he's won; if the remark weren't face value, the tone of the remark is much more indicative of defeat, but even that... well, it's probably not as simple as it might seem. He watches the people with Fawn a moment before he returns the nod, though he seems to be out of words at this point. "See you." He manages to her back before turning to head off his own way, with so much more to think about than when he started through Jackson Square this afternoon.