Things are okay.
Kate Gregson vanillajello
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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!]

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."

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