Things are okay.
Kate Gregson vanillajello
Previous Entry Share Next Entry
Office #26, Wednesday (but not during the faculty meeting)
Kate was the most productive person on Earth.

She was spending her office hours on Tumblr.

Okay, sure, she'd done some sother stuff too, gotten some lesson plans ready and all that stuff, plus tried to get a hold of some people at SkyKans to check on what the situation was. And then called her fellow flight attendants when those people were completely unavailable. It didn't get her any new info.

Tumblr had no info on crappy midwestern airlines either, but it least it had a ton of nice pictures.

[ooc: Open post, open door, open office hours, open everything!]

"Thanks! I like your office," Rapunzel decided, stepping through the door and tugging her hair in behind her so she could pile it on the floor at her feet. "I mean, not that I've seen a lot of offices," or any, ever, "but yours is nice."

"Thanks," Kate replied, trying not too gawk too much at all the hair. Even though it was pretty and there was seriously a lot of it. She gestured towards a chair. "It used to belong to one of my best friends when I was a student here. I like it."

Rapunzel took the offered seat, tucking her feet under herself and neatly folding her hands in her lap. "You inherited another teacher's office? From when you were here? That's sort of...poetic, actually. Are they still here, but...in another office?" She realized how dumb that sounded, but it was possible!

"Nah, he stopped working here before I even graduated," Kate said with a little wave of her hand. "And then he was my boss at the movie theater in town, and now he's in Wales."

The story was much more complicated than that. But, Kate leaned forward in her chair a little and rested her elbows on the desk.

"So, anyway, hi. What's up?"

"Nothing, just thought I'd visit since you offered," Rapunzel said cheerily, though she was fussing with her hair a little bit nervously. "Yesterday's class kind of made me think, is all."

Aaaand that was as brave as she was going to be, in terms of bringing up unawesome people and things again. Because now she was instead distracted by --

"Is that your dog?" Rapunzel pointed to the picture on Kate's desk. She already recognized Bod, from when he'd taught.

Kate had her doubts about the randomness of this visit (hey, she'd basically invited the girl over so she had to) but she wasn't the pressuring kind. She could talk about her dog for a sec.

"Yup, that's Seamus. Full name Seamus von Slade because, I don't know, it seemed like a great idea at the time."

"He looks like a Seamus," she assured Kate with a firm nod. "And he's cuuuuuute. Did your boyfriend get him for you?"

Bod had said that was a good move in relationships, so.

"Did he share that with the class?" Kate guessed with a wry look and a little chuckle. "Yeah, Seamus was a Valentine's Day present last year. Way more long-lasting and fun than chocolate."

Also great for getting Kate's lazy butt out of the house, but she wouldn't be sharing that.

"I've actually thought about bringing him to class sometime. He's a great example of being effortlessly awesome."

"You should!" Rapunzel declared. "I mean, we got to play with puppies when he taught, and that was fun, so I don't think anyone would object." Because puppy.

She frowned thoughtfully, though, and added, "What's Valentine's Day?" Obviously a holiday of some kind, but she wasn't sure of the significance.

"Um, it's a holiday," Kate replied, starting with the obvious and chewing thoughtfully on her lip as she figured out how to say it. "Basically this whole thing about love and friendship, although mostly love. Like, romantic love. It's a big deal for couples."

"Well, that'd explain why I haven't heard of it!" Rapunzel declared. "For all I know, it exists in Corona and I've just never celebrated. It sounds wonderful, though. A whole day dedicated to making sure someone knows how much you love them?" She slouched a little, sighing at the romance of it all.

Somehow Kate wasn't entirely surprised by that reaction.

She considered pointing out the highly commercialized aspects of it, then thought better of that. It seemed a little mean, somehow. "Yeah, it's pretty sweet," she said instead. "But y'know, I think I prefer spreading out the love all around the year. Works better for me. But, all the heart-shaped candy you get around Valentine's Day is pretty great."

"I mean, who's gonna say no to candy?" Rapunzel pointed out with a giggle. "But I agree with you, with celebrating year-round. I just think it's really...nice to have a whole day devoted to it! I mean, if you've been slacking or feeling bad about your romantic life, then at least this Valentine's Day thing is there to make sure you know you're appreciated!"

That wasn't really how it worked, no.

"That's –– yeah."

Really not how it worked, and for a second there Kate looked like maybe she was going to say that out loud. She was taking a slightly different route.

"But you know, you really need to make sure you feel appreciated all through the year, too. And also, not just romantically. You know?"

Rapunzel frowned thoughtfully, twining a bit of her hair through her fingertips. "But what if you don't do...much of anything that anyone thinks is, um, worth appreciating?" she asked hesitantly.

Things were changing, here. Anders appreciated her mural, Barry appreciated her sharing her secrets, and Edward seemed to appreciate her help. She was starting to understand that maybe, just maybe, her mother was wrong.

Kate immediately shook her head.

"Unless you're somehow the type who goes around just kicking puppies all day, I am pretty sure that's just totally not the case," she said. "I mean, jerks are always going to exist because I guess that's human nature or whatever, but on the whole, pretty much everyone's got something worth appreciating."

"Sure," Rapunzel said carefully. "But what if someone just appreciates something that's...not necessarily part of your personality, or whatever? What if someone just appreciates what you can do for them?"

No issues there, at all.

"That's not the same, is it?"

"Then," Kate replied carefully, watching Rapunzel with a slight tilt of her head, "I'm not sure they're really being too awesome with you. I mean, if they just appreciate what you can do for them instead of appreciating you, it kind of sounds like using."

"Yeah," Rapunzel sighed. "But...but like what if you've known them a long time, and maybe they don't...mean to be like that? I mean, have you had to deal with that kind of thing before?"

She was really sort of afraid that she was slowly stumbling onto the truth about her mother, though part of her wanted to believe that Gothel just had a very different sense of humor than she did, or something.

Kate's nose scrunched up. "Kiiinda?" she hazarded, leaning back in her chair a little bit. "But, that was someone who wanted me to be a certain way with very little appreciation for the way I actually am. It was pretty bad."

Damn Zach.

"Seriously, when people don't appreciate you for you, it's not good."

Rapunzel frowned deeply at that, shaking her head. "That's not right," she said quietly. "I mean, someone forcing you to be a certain way. I mean -- I always thought that, anyway."

She paused, clearly considering her words carefully, and added, "But I dunno. I kind of...only knew one person, before I came here. And she always told me the outside world was really different from what I'm seeing. People seem a lot...nicer than she said they would be. And now I'm wondering why she would say that, if it wasn't true."

"Maybe she was trying to protect you," Kate offered. And, okay, she was kind of a cynical person so that wasn't really the first option her mind went to but she also wasn't a cynical asshole, so that seemed like a softer thing to say.

(Seriously, when had she become the adult in these situations? What happened?)

"Or," she added, "she had other reasons. But with all respect to whoever this person is, it seems she's really been misrepresenting things to you."

"She said that there were men with pointy teeth out here, and I haven't seen one," Rapunzel told her doubtfully. "She said it was to keep me and my hair safe but it doesn't really seem like there's all that much danger here. And no one cares about my hair."

She sighed, frustrated. "It's just hard to know what to believe, you know?"

"Well, there's at least one man with pointy teeth that lives in town and runs the club, but he's not that bad," Kate had to say – and congrats, Eric, you were now officially 'not that bad'. "And, I don't know, maybe Corona's different and way more dangerous. Fandom's kind of a different beast in a ton of ways."

"Wait, really?" Rapunzel asked, wide-eyed. "There's a man with pointy teeth and he's not scary?"

She was kind of stuck on that, at the moment.

"I don't think Corona's scarier. At least, the part I saw wasn't."

Kate shrugged at the first question. "Well, he's a vampire, so he's still pretty scary to a lot of people. But he's not like, dangerous. Most of the time. Just a little creepy."

Occasionally gross.

"But um, if it's okay for me to ask... If the outside world was supposed to be dangerous, how small was the inside world?"

Rapunzel bit her lower lip, a little worriedly. She'd told a few people about her tower -- it helped with her occasional bouts of homesickness. But that was different -- sharing it now put her whole arrangement with Mother in an unpleasant context, even if Rapunzel knew it was the correct context.

"Smaller than the dorms, bigger than my dorm room?" she offered hesitantly. "I kind of...lived in a tower, with just a window entrance. No way out or in, except for seventy feet in the air. It kept me safe."

That last was said with a trace of doubt and a small frown.

Kate kept herself from making a face. "Seriously? To tell the truth, I would've been terrified of falling out the window."

See, there was a little attempt at a joke and everything.

"Well, I guess other than that it had to have been pretty safe, you're not wrong about that. But..." Yeah, she had a pretty careful tone with this next bit. "That sounds really lonely."

Rapunzel shrugged, smoothing her skirt. "I mean, I had Pascal!" Who was napping on her pillow in her room at the moment. "He helped a lot. And I kept myself busy. And my mother came to visit a lot, too."

Which probably helped with figuring out the identity of the mysterious female person who had been so awful to her. Rapunzel was bad at maintaining intrigue.

"But...yeah. It was really lonely. And I love it here, and I have friends, and people who...seem like they like me for me, and not what I can do for them. I can't believe anyone here would hurt me, ever. It's just hard to reconcile what I was told with what I'm actually...seeing."

Yeah, the mystery around the not-great person was pretty easy to figure out after that. Kate didn't zero in on it immediately, though. (Despite being the kind of person who had, at one time, yelled at an actual Greek god for being a terrible parent.)

"Sometimes people lie," she said, twisting her lips a little. "But what's extra important is that you're seeing things for yourself and seeing them yourself. I know it's hard to make that mesh with what you thought you knew before, but at least there are positive sides to it."

?

Log in