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Cause we have chemistry together~ [priv/penguin]

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"A-ah.. right."

Averia pulled back her hand immediately and scratched her cheek in awkwardness. She almost forgot the girl didn't like touching all that much. Not only was it a force of habit for Avy to lend a hand, perhaps the past few minutes that they had been physically close made it slip her mind. She stood there rather awkwardly as she waited for the girl to pack up. Her head turned to the girl when she offered her jacket back to which of course made Averia grimace. Using the barrel of her gun she took the jacket from the girl, making sure not to touch any part of the jacket with bare hands, then dropped it back to the ground.

"That's trash, Scar. It's covered in dirt. Ah tsk, see you dirtied your hands." She shook her head as she placed her gun back to its holster to free her hand. She then dug inside her bag to take out her sanitiser as the two proceeded to head out of the... wherever they were.

"As I was saying, obviously I'm not busy if I have the time to work on a boring project when I could've just made someone do it for me." She shrugged as she extended the sanitiser to Scarlett to offer her some. With her motion though, it appeared she demanded that she have some. "Besides, it can be pretty dangerous here, wherever we are, especially if you're walking alone. So meh. We might as well walk back together."

A few more walking and Averia was already bored. "Hey, wanna play a game?"

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In mild bemusement, Scarlett tilt her head as she watched Avy take the jacket rather awkwardly and throw it on the ground. Was it the redhead that was being weird in this situation because she didn't mind getting her hands dirty a bit. Although that may have been because her upbringing was more 'outdoorsy' so-to-speak. Her grandfather was never one to shy away from getting dirt, grime, or even oil on his hands, and that certainly rubbed off on the meeker girl. It caused Scar to giggle once more, more than amused by how there's certainly one thing that she wasn't nervous about that Averia was. It was even rather cute, even when Avy 'demanded' her to take hand sanitizer, which Scarlett did of course, having no problem with ensuring her hands were clean for her friend. Not that she expected to touch her friend at all, but still!

As the two walked back to the academy campus together, Scarlett worked the sanitizer into her hands slowly, "Hm... fair enough, I suppose..." she said, soft spoken as ever, "Sorry that it was boring, if there was anything else to let you do to entertain yourself, I would have... I, erm... I enjoyed it though. E-even with the whole... well.. cave thing." she said, not wanting to directly mention to event. Even mentioning it in passing made the meek girl feel quite terrible about what her own inability and fear forced Averia to do. But that was just her being far too hard on herself as she always was, "But uh yeah... I enjoyed it..." she admitted, biting down on the inside of her cheek.

"Hey, wanna play a game?"

That certainly caught Scarlett's attention, causing the bashful girl to give Avy a sideways glance, "Erm..." she was hesitant, of course. This game really could just be a trick to get her into awkward situations and tease her more. She certainly wouldn't put it past the blonde as she has done so quite a few times in the past. But she was always the person to give someone, especially friends, the benefit of the doubt, "Oh, uh... sure... what kind of game..?" she asked hesitantly.

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Averia looked at the redhead at the corner of her eyes as she began to apply the sanitiser. She bit her bottom lip and nibbled on it as she continued to stare, bothered and tensed. Her perfectionist side triggered every alarm in her body. That's not how you do it properly, Scarlett. She whined to herself since she couldn't voice it out loudly. She didn't want to look like such a weirdo in front of this girl after all. Instead, she decided to tear her eyes away and apply the sanitiser for herself.

"When I said boring, I mean the whole idea of the project itself. The cave thing is fun, especially with your juggling and fireworks and all," she said. "Although next time, we should come prepared with flashlights just to make it less dark inside.""She paused then chuckled. "Unless you want to be carried out again like a princess, which I'm totally fine with too," she added just to tease the girl.

Averia smiled brightly when the girl agreed to play the game, although judging from the tone of her voice, she was hesitant - doubtful even. This caused the blonde haired to laugh. "Hey hey, what's with that expression. You make it look like I'm some predator ready to take advantage of you or something." Now that she thought about it, she is. Still, she didn't need to know that from Scar. "It's a simple game really, something to kill time."

She took out her gun and spun it in her hand. "A modified version of tag and hide-and-seek. Since we're both gunslingers anyway, first one to get hit loses. Don't worry, I'll use only one gun and switch it to semi-automatic mode to be fair." She grinned. "Up for it?"

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"P-princess..?" Scarlett asked, herself getting caught by surprise by Averia's question. And due to that question, various images flashed through the redhead's mind. Pictures of her being carried by Averia in an almost romantic way, causing her cheeks to flush lightly. As she let her mind wander, she considered if she really would like that. Well, there's no question that she would; she definitely would. But the problem was her entire touching anxiety made that quite hard. She would definitely need to trust someone a great deal to be able to get to that level. And that level was something that Scar wasn't entirely sure she'd ever reach. But she hoped that she would someday. Maybe not with Averia, but perhaps she could find her charming prince someday. However, soon came the time where she realized she should stop zoning out. With a blink, "N-no... of course not..." she answered.

Scarlett was, of course, hesitant about the entire idea of a 'game'. To her, it sounded a bit more like a spar, but that may have been because of her previous experience with such things. For when Scarlett was younger and in training to use her Prism, she and her grandfather would often use the forests that surrounded their house as battlegrounds for duels. Scarlett would lose every time. Even during the night when she had the advantage due to her semblance, her grandfather was just that much better than her. In fact, she only ever seemed to best him once and that was the last time they did it before she left for Syne. Perhaps he even just gave the girl the victory? It was difficult to say.

But as Scarlett considered the 'game' more heavily, she seemed to edge closer and closer to the idea of sparring with her friend, "Erm.. alright then..." she said with a meek tone, unsure how well she'd do when put up against the girl quite possibly much stronger than she was. But it was still worth a shot. But there was certainly a problem as to what to do with her Prism. She certainly didn't want to fire actual dust at the girl, even if she could take a few hits. That was valuable dust and they cost money, "And, uh... I'll use some training bullets. They don't hurt all that much, even if they're coming from Prism. I'll just, uh... try not to get you in the eyes, alright..?" she asked, giving her partner a side glance as she slowly moved her hand towards her handgun's holster. She wasn't going to draw it just yet as she wasn't sure what move Avy was going to make. But one trick her grandfather always used was to set the match and then shoot Scar right there when she wasn't expecting it. Which taught her to always be cautious.

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Now it's settled. Scarlett agreed to the game and the only thing left was for her ulterior motive. "A normal game without risks is kinda boring don't you think? We should have a bet." Averia stopped in her tracks and finally dropped the bomb. "The loser gets to do whatever the winner wants."

Averia turned to Scarlett with an innocent smile before leaning closer to the poor redhead. "Surely your pride as a gunslinger who doesn't have poor accuracy, poor gun handling and poor marksmanship won't make you back out of this one, right? Surely you don't think you're gonna lose, right? Surely you don't think all your years of training are for nothing, right? Surely you're not gonna shame whoever trained you in the first place, riiight~?"

She was trying to provoke the girl into accepting the deal since knowing Scarlett, she wasn't the bravest person out there. Averia dug on her bag and took out a fancy-looking magazine case. She pressed a button on her golden gun and the magazine case slid out right down to her bag. She then slipped the fancy looking one inside the gun and showed it to the girl. "I got training bullets of my own. See~"

Averia turned the gun to the tree next to them and pressed the trigger - the resulting bullet that hit it was actually made of water, wetting the surface in the process. "My modified version of a water gun~ I built it. Cool, right? Ha! I know. It doesn't have the strength and speed as my normal bullets, but hmm... this is enough to take you down." She smirked.

"And just to make it more exciting, I'll change the rules a bit. First one to hit the other person's chest wins. Of course the chest cause you know, it's where the heart is, which is a vital organ. And we wouldn't really wanna aim on each other's heads even if it's just a spar, so the head is a no-no. What do you say~?"

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Scarlett seemed to grow gradually uneasy as Averia spoke about making the challenge more interesting. She tilt her head curiously, showing that she was at least a bit intrigued about the idea. Although, she was more wary then anything, not sure what the blonde was up to. What would she have made Scar do if she won against the redhead? Things she wouldn't want to do? Perhaps just do an assignment for her? That seemed like a safe bet, actually. Which means... what could Scarlett possibly get Avy to do for her if she won? Nothing necessarily came to mind, but she figured it would just be an 'IOU' at that point.

Scar knew that Averia was just trying to goad the meek girl into accepting the challenge, most likely to get her into debt. But the thing Avy didn't expect was that Scarlett had almost no pride! Not in herself at the very least, but she did have some amount in how well her grandfather trained and taught her. And that part of the blonde's prodding hit right in the spot it should have. She couldn't just let those skills go untested at all, so she accepted with a slight pout, "G-geeze... fine, I already said I would, didn't I?" she asks "We'll spar or play or whoever you want to call it." she said, her cheeks puffing up slightly in defiance.

Scarlett tilt her head as she watched Averia's display with the water bullet. Well, it certainly wouldn't hurt much, perhaps only sting at the very worse. Although as she imagined hitting Averia with a water bullet and it soaking her clothes, the redhead... somewhat wished she had bullets like that to train with. It's actually be quite fun, she thought. Perhaps some other time. She pulled out her Prism from its holster, giving it a somewhat theatrical twirl on her finger before flicking it open, "Mhm. Alright, fair enough. We'll go until someone gets hit in the chest. Seems alright. How should we start? Ten paces and turn or one of us is the 'seeker'?" she inquired.

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Oh~?

Averia's eyebrows raised at the sight of Scarlett's pout and puffed up cheeks. She quickly turned away and basked at the memory of the redhead's brief yet precious display of defiance. Why~ Why was this girl so.. ngh, she couldn't even find the word to describe it! And then Averia began to ponder about life. Why is kidnapping illegal? Why are there people born with such adorableness and still be oblivious of it? Why are there someone like her who are tormented by these said people? Such deep complex thoughts continued to linger in her mind.

"How should we start? Ten paces and turn or one of us is the 'seeker'?"

The girl's inquiry caused her to return to reality and focus on the task in hand. She dug something out of her bag before unslinging it from herself to place it down next to a tree. On the palm of her hand was a small black device no bigger than an ice-cube. She crouched onto the ground before looking up at Scarlett. "It's just a fancy-looking timer. I set it 20 seconds and you'll hear a really loud resonating beep once it's done. It's up to you what you wanna do within those 20 seconds, go run or hide, whatever, but once the alarm's done, that's our cue for the start of the game~ Ready?" She grinned.

Averia pressed the opposite surfaces of the cube, activating the timer as the number 20 flashed on its surface, then came the countdown.

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Scarlett tilt her head slightly to the side as she watched Avery reach into her bag and pull out a strange device. She blinked when it was turned out, finding that such a shape to be a rather peculiar way to design a timer like that. Why a cube, was it meant to be used in such a way? Regardless of the reason or any other mostly irrelevant questions about the timer that may have come to the redhead's mind, a much more important fact was quite prominent.

Twenty seconds. Scarlett had twenty seconds for her to decide what to do with her time. She could certainly run and hide, but that would give Avy the role of the 'seeker', as Scar herself put it just moments before. What else was there? She could run, hide, and set up a trap for when the girl inevitably came for her. That would quite be a good idea, if not a bit expected. But that brought the question: what was Avy going to do? Was she waiting for Scarlett's action; for her to run and hide? Quite the interesting circumstance.

Instead of running, Scarlett simply watched the timer count down from twenty. Nineteen, she mentally read to herself. Eighteen. And so on. Before she could allow herself to simply be frozen with fear and indecision, she let her tongue snake out past her lips, giving a slight slow lick to them before swallowing. Raising her gun, she pointed it at Avy's chest. Quite the unexpected action Scarlett decided to take.

"Or... I could just wait for the timer to go out and shoot you then, right?" Scarlett asked right as the timer reached fifteen. It certainly wasn't the honorable thing to do, but it gave her time. Plus, she wanted to see what Avery would do at the idea of being taken out immediately. Now /she/ would be the one forced to take action.

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To Avery this wasn't a play or a game. This was her way of getting what she wants. Even before the game started, every rule was tailored to her advantage. Avery casually loosened her tie and undid the top button of her blouse to prepare herself for the hunt. Knowing Scarlett, she's the type of person to run, hide and prepare traps. That's why it came as huge shock to the blonde-haired when she stood up to chase after her only to see Scarlett standing there.

Avery froze in her tracks as she was confronted by a gun pointed at her chest. Her eyes widened and she took a steady step back, gaze shifting to the girl behind the trigger. She raised her hands slowly to appease the redhead. "W-wait, Scar, this isn't how it's supposed to be played. We're supposed to run off on our own, you know," Avery stammered nervously, swallowing the nonexistent lump on her throat.

Then she dropped the act. A smirk curved on her lips and she stared at her slyly. "Is that what you thought I'd say?"

Utilising her speed aura and their short distance, her eyes burned a bright blue and she sped forward. It didn't matter if the girl pulled the trigger; a shot before the 20 seconds wasn't counted. She'd just wince through it and continue, reaching for the girl's wrist holding the gun all the while tackling her to the ground. She used the latter's discomfort of physical touch to her advantage. Being the perfectionist that she was, she used her semblance to create a flat ice floor before their fall to prevent the girl from hurting herself on the rocky path, to not dirty themselves, and because Avery herself didn't want her knees grazing the surface. Apparently skirts weren't ideal for sparring.

Her free hand went to the back of Scar's head to cushion it from the impact of their fall while her left hand exerted just enough pressure on the girl's wrist to force her to let go of her gun. Once on the ground, Avery assumed a position on her waist straddling her somewhat but supported by her own knees so she wasn't sitting on the girl. Her eyes quickly located the other wrist and pinned both above her head. Just as quickly, she used her semblance to solidify a thin layer of ice on them and to the ground to pin them in place, still holding them with one hand just in case. This way, she wasn't directly touching the girl in any way.

"Very cute, Scarlett. That might have worked on others but not me~"
Battle Log:
Aura: 160/180 (-20) | HP: 140/140
Unarmed attacks
Attack 1: Tackle - 10
Attack 2: Wrist grab - 15
Attack 3: Wrist pin - 5

Potential Damage: 30 <-- for formalities sake. xD

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Scarlett may have been insecure and had anxiety problems, but she wasn't as naive and stupid as many would think that she was. She narrowed her eyes at Avery's display, not buying it for even a moment. The girl that was already so confident and rather energetic suddenly turning nervous after just someone pointing a harmless gun towards them? It would have been more believable that Warren had found a girlfriend. But the facts being what they were, Scar merely narrowed her eyes in response to the girl, keeping her gun trained on her form for as long as she possibly could.

Scarlett found herself right immediately afterwards as Avy dropped the nervous and desperate act. Not much more to prove, Avy was simply attempting to throw Scarlett off her game, something that was harder than would have been expected. Staying silent, the redhead merely watched as the blonde made her move. A flash of blue, followed by Scar activating her own semblance, her eyes beginning to glow a contrasting ethereal red. She took a step back when she realized her opponent moved, aiming right towards her. Almost in a single movement, she found herself on the ground - a fall that was surprisingly soft - and her wrist being grabbed onto. Writhing under her opponent, Winchester wasn't eager to lose her gun, but the combination of someone prying it away from her and someone touching her at all made that an inevitability.

Prism was out of her hand as panic began to well up in her chest, "I... I thought this was supposed to be a duel of gunslinger!?" she asked, beginning to hyperventilate. Despite Avy's best attempts to not have her freak out about touching, the ice did very little to keep her concerns and fears in check. Scarlett was afraid at the moment, but not from losing the game as that seemed so far in the back of her mind, "I... I su... Surr-" Scar attempted to get the words out, finding that forming a complete sentence was getting harder and harder the longer Avery was on her form and restricting her movement.

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"Did I say anything about duel of gunslinger? I said whoever gets hit in the chest loses." Avery smirked.

She spared a glance over her shoulder to see the time: ten seconds left. She clicked her tongue as the girl began to hyperventilate underneath her. The sadistic part of her mind had wanted to torment the girl more, make her discomfort last, make her beg to be let go. But her sanity and conscience couldn't take the sight of Scarlett frightened before her.

Avery located Scarlett's gun and snatched it from the ground before getting off the redhead. She took a couple of steps back and snapped her fingers. The ice on the girl's wrists shattered, freeing the girl at last. She sighed and pouted a little in discontent. Raising Prism in her left hand, she aimed it at the girl's chest just as she glanced at the timer again: five seconds left.

"You're unarmed, there's five seconds in the clock and I'm at a point-blank range. I don't want to hurt you with your own gun, so it's best to yield now." She tilted her head and looked at the girl eye-to-eye. "It's checkmate, Scarlett. Admit that you lost to me."

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Finally, Avery had gotten off of Scarlett, followed by the ice that was restraining her shattering, releasing her. Immediately, she writhed on the ground for a short moment, moving her body in such a way to discreetly attempt to reach just where her gun had fallen from her hand. Drat, the girl thought to herself, it was gone. Even after such a display, Avy was still more worried about winning, was she? As it turns out, Scar was a lot better off than she let on, hoping that seeing her in such a state would cause the blonde to slip up and forget about her gun, giving her the perfect opportunity to grab it and use it again her. Turns out, she was much more prepared than she had thought. Peering upwards, she found not only her own Prism being aimed at her, but the blue eyes of Avy meeting the her own that continued to glow red.

She narrowed her eyes, lifting herself to a sitting position with the use of her elbows. Scarlett certainly wasn't happy about the turn of events, but wasn't interested in continuing it any further, "F... fine, whatever, I give up. You win." she stated as she lifted herself up from the ground slowly, brushing her knees and clothing clean in case any dirt had found its way onto her, "Not like I wanted to do the stupid thing anyways..." she said defiantly, "Now just give me Prism so I can go home already." the redhead said, taking a step closer to Avery and holding out her hand to take her gun. But of course, that left the girl rather open to whatever nefarious things that her opponent may have been planning.

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Oh?

Apparently it was a good thing that Avery had taken the gun, for right after the redhead was freed it was the first thing she searched for. That made Avery smile. The little redheaded devil had her own tricks up her sleeve eh~ Too bad she was one step ahead of her.

Her smile widened when the girl admitted to her defeat. That meant she won the game. And that meant she gets to make her do whatever she wanted~ Avery chuckled and was about to help the fuming girl up out of force of habit when the next few sentences stunned her.

"Not like I wanted to do the stupid thing anyways..."

S-stupid..? Avery's eyes lowered and shoulders dropped a little at the redhead's statement. She simply wanted to play a game with her. It wasn't in her intention to upset the girl, well maybe a little, but not seriously so. Was she being insensitive again? She should have known something like a random game was immature and stupid.

A master of her emotions however, she simply sighed and looked up to the girl then smirked. "You're just mad cause I defeated you. Ha! Sore loser," she teased as she spun the gun in hand before giving it back to its owner.

Thereafter, she turned around and her smile vanished. She walked towards her timer which was now blaring loudly on the ground and swiped it off the path, pressing its two sides to stop the alarm. She went to retrieve her bag and slung it on herself before returning the cube on the back pocket. Avery turned to Scar again with a smile.

"Let's go. I'll walk you home. No more stupid games this time."

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S-sore loser? Was Scarlett just being upset because she lost? Well, partially. Although part of it was being convinced to do so in the first place without having any prior desire to under the impression that it would be about skill with firearms more than anything else. That and her being a sore loser was not a combination that would make the red-haired girl happy. Even when she realized this, she was in no mood to ease up on her mood, snatching the Prism from Avery's hand when it was offered to her. Spinning it once in her hand, she moved it to the holster on her right thigh and gave a soft sigh, watching for a moment as Avery turned around and went towards the bag and her timer.

By the time Avery turned back around towards Scarlett, the redhead was already moving on her way back, her own bag slung over her shoulder. She bit on the inside of her cheek as she continued down the trail back towards the academy, allowing how upset she really was to settle before she decided to do anything. Hopefully the walk back would give her time to do just that. Or perhaps it would have if the origin of her bad mood hadn't caught up with her quite easily.

"Let's go. I'll walk you home. No more stupid games this time."

"Mm..." Was the only response that Scarlett gave and even that much was quite begrudgingly. The gunslinger was all but pouting on her way back to the academy, not saying or giving her companion a single word of acknowledgment. But quite the shit of moods Avery seemed to be capable of Making Scarlett go through. From feeling bad about herself, to awkward about being around her. And then thankful that they were friends, and even now with more annoyance and loathing than anything. Quick a roller coaster of emotions, but it was quite difficult to say if that were a good and healthy thing.

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Avery raised an eyebrow as the girl simply passed her and was already heading on her way, giving a simple grunt to her statement. Wait, did this girl just grunted on her?! "Excuse me?!" Avery said as she jogged to catch up to her. As she looked at Scar though, she realised the redhead was mad - annoyed, evident from her cute pout. While Avery would have enjoyed looking at that pout for the entire travel, she didn't quite appreciate the cold shoulder, especially when she knew she didn't do anything wrong.

In fact, she was the one wronged. Stupid. That word still resonated on her ears. No one had ever called her or her games that before and got away with it.

Why is she the one mad? I'm supposed to be the angry one here for calling my game stupid. Avery pouted, her eyebrows lowered as well. Yes. Now that she thought about it, this girl had done more harm to her than good really. And now she had to appease her? No!

She glared at an innocent lone stone on her path and kicked it begrudgingly, sending it propelling away in high speed. Not satisfied yet, she stomped the ground childishly. Avery wasn't the type of person to hold a grudge; she was very open with her annoyance and very destructive as well. Thus this was the first time she was mad and couldn't even let it out on the very same person who caused it anyway. If you.. weren't... Scarlett.. graah! Then went off another high-speed stone.

Suddenly, an idea popped in her head. Why was she here being angry alone when she could get back on the girl without being violent. Yes. Something even better to torment her with. Avery stopped in her tracks and folded her arms beneath her chest.

"Hey you, girl with red hair. Come back here. Did you forget all about our bet?" She smirked as she rested her weight on one leg. "That's right. Did you think I'd let that one go? No no. I won fair and square; you even admitted to that with a surrender, remember? Or are you that much of a pathetic lowlife to run away from your word?" she grinned as she provoked the girl again.

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Scarlett gave little response other than to frown lightly. At Avery's calling out to her or her rather ridiculous display of frustration, all that the redhead gave was a brief glance to her side. Perhaps she would have found Avy's actions humorous in any other circumstance. All she really felt while partially watching the girl was a deep feeling of regret. She felt terrible about what she was doing and how she was acting. Sure, she may not have been going through a temper tantrum like her companion, but the redhead knew that she was putting the blonde through an ordeal. And that fact wasn't a pleasant one to know. She continued to walk though, chewing on the inside of her cheek more and more as she attempted to find something to say. Scar wanted any way to apologize. Eventually, she found the will to open her mouth and begin to speak, "H... hey, A-"

Whatever soft apology Scarlett was going to give to her partner, she was suddenly interrupted by Avery stopping in her tracks. The redhead got a few more steps away before she paused entirely, looking towards Avy from over her shoulder curiously. Judging by how she stood, putting her arms under her chest, looking more than upset with the meeker girl. Was she too late to apologize? Regret filled Scar's stomach as she watched her, not sure what to say at this point. Did her partner hate her now?

Or are you that much of a pathetic lowlife to run away from your word?"

Scarlett listened intently to the girl's words up to that point. Her face with a tinge of regret filled with defiance once again, narrowing her eyes at Avery. Not answering immediately, she allowed the question to linger for a few moments before, "... Yep, guess so." she gave. She wasn't about to be taunted into doing even more things that she disliked. As she turned away, she bit down on her lower lip rather hard, wondering if turning was the right decision. Either way, she wasn't going to allow herself to be toyed with and teased much more. Something about Avery caused Scar to want to stay, even though she was... quite detestable. She didn't know what that was exactly, but if she were anyone else, Scar would have left long ago. It was quite a miracle that she stayed for that long.

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"... Yep, guess so."

Avery's mouth parted in shock, caught speechless by this... creature in front of her. This girl had no pride whatsoever! Once again the blonde-haired found herself stomping on the ground, annoyed beyond relief. Unexplainable annoyance. Why was this girl so... hardheaded? Stubborn? Someone who's pushing all her temper buttons!

"Wait! Wait!" She growled jogging towards the girl and when she was at a close distance, she finally had enough.

Her arms wrapped around the girl's waist and pressed her own body against her back, giving the redhead a hug from behind. She smirked, loving that she was taking advantage of the poor Scarlett's discomfort of touching to her advantage again. She didn't plan to stay for long though; she only used that as a distraction. Her hand immediately shot to the girl's holster and snatched her Prism before dashing away a good distance from her.

Avery then waved a hand, immediately producing a circular wall of ice that spanned 5 metres high and 10 metres around them. This was the only way she could think of that'd stop the girl without physically touching her for long. Actually, now that she thought of it, this was a brilliant on-the-spot plan~

Avery smirked arrogantly, producing a royal ice chair with a flick of her wrist. She sat on it, crossed her legs, rested her elbow on the arm of the chair and chin on her fist all the while spinning the gun on her other hand to mock the redhead.

"As I was saying. Scarlett~ Be a good girl and behave. You haven't even heard of what I have to say." she said.

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Scarlett wasn't looking back, she had neither intention nor reason to. Although the young woman would find herself regretting that choice immediately as she heard footsteps approaching her, swiftly followed by being embraced from behind. It was a turn of events that, unsurprisingly, the redhead did not appreciate and that was shown through her frantic flailing, her arms and legs thrashing about in an attempt to be free from the hug. Although it was a hug, it felt quite malicious, something that she wouldn't enjoy even if she were someone more comfortable with being touched. As Scar attempted to get free from Avery's hold, she let out an ear-piercing scream, actually terrified of her well-being and what could potentially happen to her.

Scarlett wasn't a girl that was terrified often. Sure, she was often nervous or found herself victim of her anxiety, but rarely was there moments that the girl was truly fearful. This having been one of those times, she almost went limp when Avery finally let the redhead go. Staggering forwards a couple of steps, she was only stopped when her hands met a wall of ice, stopping herself from falling flat on her face. She hyperventilated once again, much like she had a few times before when Avy touched her without her permission, her legs feeling weak and slowly going out. She carefully and slowly lowered herself to the ground, resting on her knees as she leaned onto the wall with her shoulder.

Doing something rather uncharacteristic, Scarlett bit down on her lower lip as she shot Avery a hateful glare. Malice was quite present in her eyes as she stared at the girl and her throne, gritting her teeth as she seemed to resist rushing towards her right then and there. However, this being the doormat that was Scarlett, there was little that she would have actually done, even if she had the courage to. Her eyes were red, not due to her semblance glowing, but almost as if she were fighting back tears as she stared at her 'friend'.

"I don't care what you have to say..." Scarlett said back somewhat quietly, but loud enough for her to be heard by the one she needed to speak to, "I thought we were becoming friends, but... you're just the worst... nothing but a terrible person like everyone else..." she said, withdrawing into herself steadily, pulling in her legs to wrap her arms around them, hugging her knees to her chest. "Why won't people just leave me alone... I could just stay in my room and not have to be tormented by everyone..." As Scar's words became more and more hoarse, they became more distant, as if she were no longer talking to Avery, "I wish I had never come here..."

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Ping.

The gun slipped from her hand and dropped to the ground; something that never happened before. She bent down to pick it up and just as she went back to her seat, the sight of the redhead's teary-eyed glare and her position on the ground caused Avery's eyes to widen and she immediately bolted up to approach the girl. "S-Scar, you're not crying, are you? It's just a joke..." she said but abruptly halted in her tracks as the girl began to speak, hurt evident in her tone while she expressed her loathing towards her.

No. Not again. She had done it again! Avery stared in panic as Scarlett hugged her legs protectively to her chest. And those words, "...not have to be tormented by everyone..." A sudden pang of regret hit her upon hearing them. Avery never knew. It never occurred to her that everything she'd done so far was contribute to the torment the girl was already going through. Because to someone like her, it was the only way she could show her affection to people she treasured.

Yet their personalities differed, opposite even, and one had to adjust in order to make their bond work. She was the stronger of the two both physically and emotionally, thus the blonde-haired knew she had to take the initiative. She couldn't let what happened before happen again after everything they've gone through. With newfound determination, she took a deep breath.

"Scar, I-I'm..." And then she hesitated, suddenly finding herself lost. Would she really succumb so low for this girl as to say the word that was echoing in her head? Who was this girl even to her? A mere friend. Yet... a friend. Something she never had before. An honest and precious close friend. She clenched her jaw and closed her eyes shut, tightening her hold on the gun as she, for the first time, threw away the pride that she held dear.

"I'm sorry," Avery said breathlessly. She opened her eyes and stared at the girl on the ground. "I'm sorry. I just... wanted you to hear me out. I didn't mean to hurt you."

Biting her lower lip hard, she'd unconsciously drawn out blood from the wound she'd created. "I didn't know what to do and... you walking away from me.. it almost seemed like you're abandoning me.. and that's something I can't.." she struggled to find the right words to say.

In the end, she sighed and lowered on the ground, placing the gun in front of Scarlett. "I'm sorry. Please don't cry. I-I'll do whatever you want to make it up to you. Anything at all."

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"I'm not crying..." Scarlett said back almost immediately. True to her word, her eyes were dry, even despite their red appearance and the girl's raspy voice. And some joke that it was supposed to be, something that many bullies would call their cruel teasing and, well, bullying. Something that the poor redhead had gotten from time-to-time in her earlier years, and now even here at the academy. But no matter what, she prevented herself from crying, even with the sharp sting in her chest from Avery's actions. Not that she wasn't partly at fault for this situation, but hugging her from behind, betraying her trust and after confiding in her that she wad hard times getting close to people. And even further, stripping the redhead's weapon away from her, something that was so vital to being a huntress, it felt like the blonde was taking away all of her hope with that action.

Avery wasn't the only one that was trying to make the friendship work; to bend to have it possible. Reaching out to people may have been simple and easy for the blonde, but Scarlett had it much harder. Reaching out with a heart full of anxiety only to find most of her attempts come back to hurt her even worse than the attempt was a terrifying reality that happened far too much to the meek girl. Would she ever get a break and maintain an actual meaningful relationship? The only one that came to mind was Warren, but having only one friend would rarely be enough for anyone.

"Scar, I'm... I'm sorry,"


Those words caught Scarlett by surprise, the girl blinking once in response as she watched Avery's movements and listened to the rest of her words with intent. Not saying a word, she didn't want to interrupt, and wasn't even sure if this was something that she should be hearing. Just apologizing in such a way seemed to put so much strain and stress on Avy that it was quite clear that she didn't apologize often. Was Scar just being needlessly troublesome? That was the last thing that she ever wanted to do, especially to Avery. She didn't want to see or hear her in pain or struggling at all. She was such a despicable person, Scarlett thought to herself. How could she have said such terrible things to someone that she cared about?

Scarlett waited until Avery was done with her speech. She wanted to interrupt and tell her that it was okay and that /she/ was the one that should be sorry. But the words wouldn't find their way from her mouth once again. Instead, she did something that was quite un-Scarlett-like. As Avery lowered herself down to the ground next to Scar, she moved over slightly, attempting to reach out to her. And she did, finding her target and wrapping her arms around the blonde in a delicate embrace, swallowing down her anxiety for the time being, "N-no... I'm sorry..." she returned. She allowed it to linger for a few moments, tightening her hug, not wanting to let go. Wanting to just stay there and cling to the girl for the time, "I'm not going to cry again... and I'm not going to leave you... I'd never leave a friend."

Scarlett found herself exhaling slowly, resting her head on Avery's shoulder, "I didn't want to leave, I'm sorry... I wanted you to follow me and... I'm terrible, I'm sorry..." she apologized once again. And there she was, clinging onto someone that she very much wanted to be friends with in the middle of a long ring of ice. She wanted to cry and probably would if she were any younger. But as afraid and terrified of reaching out to people as she was, she was much more terrified of losing out on someone that could potentially mean so much to her.

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A small movement from the redhead and Avery flinched, shutting her eyes to brace herself from perhaps a slap or a punch... only to feel warm arms wrap around her. Her eyes opened slowly to look at the girl on her shoulder and her heart raced. W-w-wait, what?! Did she faint?! Does she plan to stab me on the back? Is she crying?! Several unnecessary thoughts went through her head unable to register the fact that Scarlett had actually hugged her. When she finally did, she just sat there listening to everything she had to say. Avery was thoroughly relieved to know she wasn't that mad but what concerned her more was the hug.

"E-ehm.. are you sure you're okay with this, Scar? You don't have to force yourself, really. I understand." Avery said, somehow feeling discomfort at the idea that she might've made the girl uncomfortable. She didn't want to force the girl into anything anymore. It happened many times in the past and it never ended well. She now decided to respect the girl's personal space fully until the latter was ready to initiate it herself. So here Avery was lowered on the ground, arms and hands awkwardly placed on her sides as she didn't know where to put them. Hugging back wasn't a good idea either. Scarlett was struggling with her own hug as it is, she didn't want to top it off with a return of her own.

"I didn't want to leave, I'm sorry... I wanted you to follow me and..."

At those words, her eyebrow twitched and she glared at the girl. "I did follow you, you idiot! You're the one stupid enough to--" Her eyebrows scrunched as she held her tongue. She grumbled and lowered her eyes, shifting her gaze away from the redhead. "I-I mean.. I did plan to follow you but you were giving me the cold shoulder so.. I didn't know what to do."

She sighed and stayed in that position for a while. It was warm. The only form of heat that not only did she not hate, but also liked more than any cold her ice could bring. But there's only one thing that even warmth couldn't save her from getting annoyed at.

"While I do appreciate the hug, Scar, you're on the ground again! Geez woman, do something about that habit!" she scolded as she dug on her bag for her sanitiser once again.

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"It's okay..." Scar replied so faintly, her words being imperceivable if they weren't being spoken so closely to Avery's ear. She let out a shuddering sigh, maintaining the hug for the time being. It was obvious that she wasn't entirely comfortable with the contact, but it showed how far she was truly willing to go. Avy was her friend, and that fact was something she was willing to go out of her way to keep.

Scarlett did seem to shrink back at being yelled at, feeling Avery's glare as she kept her eyes closed. She was so close to letting the hug go, but she didn't feel it was time yet, wanting the two girls to share their warmth for the time being at least. Of course she felt bad about what she did and she felt so very stupid, "N-no... I was stupid... I didn't know what to do. I shouldn't have gotten so upset because of losing and... I shouldn't have ignored you like that, I'm really sorry..." she apologized once again.

Scarlett blinked as she was getting scolded from sitting on the ground once again. This caused a very slight smile to gradually appear on her face, followed by a soft giggle. Avery was always so silly... Letting out a soft sigh, she lifted up her head from the girl's shoulder and looked up towards her partner, "I'm sorry... I need to stop being so inconsiderate..." she said, shifting over slightly, "Should I let go or... I don't really want to just yet... if that's alright..." Her grip tightened just slightly, but not enough to bother the much more physically stronger Avery. She shifted her bottom over slightly, not sure where to go. But she moved over just enough to lift herself from the ground so that Avery could place something under her. But she was leaning onto her partner, almost just climbing into her lap.

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"You have nothing to apologise for so stop saying sorry," Avery said a little sternly. The girl should really learn not appear weak in front of people. That way it'd put a stop to others treating her like someone inferior. Avery knew Scar had a long way to go to change that part of herself but it'd be a good start if she knew how to stand up for herself even just a bit.

As the redhead shifted off the ground, Avery shuddered with every small brush of physical contact. Sure she was used to touching people all over but that's because she's the one doing it. Being on the receiving end was so foreign to her; who would even dare touch the queen and think they'd get away with it? Add the fact that Scar's face was so close to her, it made her squirm on the hug and her face flushed a little, heart racing as she flustered all over the contact - very uncharacteristic of an Avery Frost.

"E-errm.. okay." She said lowly, eyes darting everywhere but the girl. Tilting her head to look at the ground where Scarlet was, it suddenly occurred to her that she had nothing else to put underneath the girl. Both her blazer and her handkerchief were already used. Her bag was.. well, there are things inside that might not be good to be sat on, an explosive for one.

Her semblance? She couldn't see how sitting on ice was anything close to comfortable to a normal person. Seemed there's only one thing left then.

"Ah, you can use my shirt. Hold on, let me just unbutton it..." she said casually as though it was the most normal thing to do. She loosened her necktie and slid it off her neck then started to undo the top buttons of her shirt.

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"B-but... I really do though..." Scarlett argued quietly at being scolded once again. In a way Avery was right, Scar really did have such a long way to go before she was able to stand up for herself like both of them wanted her to be able to do. Although one thing was certain was that the redhead wasn't completely hopeless. Perhaps a bit lost, but given enough time and encouragement, she could certainly get over her anxiety someday. That is... if she's given those things that she needs. But perhaps it'll be far too late for her to improve. Perhaps she'll lose out on what she wants someday because of her crippling shyness? Only one thing was for certain, Scarlett knew that Avery cared about her, and could tell that she wanted her to improve, "A-all right..." she said with a nod.

As Scarlett shifted around Avery's form, she found it curious that the blonde continued to shudder and react so intensely to her moving. Worry flooded her mind as she looked upwards at her partner, finding that her face was quite flushed. She wasn't doing anything that she wasn't supposed to, was she? Looking around carefully, the redhead didn't think she was doing anything wrong, was she? She'd suspect that it was Avy's own reaction to being held, but she was often so touchy and that wouldn't make sense if she were nervous or embarrassed. Wait, could that have been what this reaction was? Scarlett found herself simply watching the girl for some time, her mind barely registering much else until...

"Ah, you can use my shirt. Hold on, let me just unbutton it..."

Those words alone sparked Scarlett's imagination, causing flashes of Avery undressing and then topless. "W-wait..!" she called out, not wanting that to happen. Not because she didn't want it, but because she wasn't sure if she would be able to handle such a thing. Her face was already crimson with how much she was blushing from just then. She might even just explode with how nervous she was if her friend had gotten even somewhat undressed! Such an impure mind Scarlett had after all, "I could just uh... h-here..." she scooted over somewhat, slowly sliding into Avery's lap. There, now everything was in place. Scarlett was in her friend's lap while she continued to hug onto the girl as if it were her only hope for survival. Such a blessed moment this was.

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"W-wait..!"

Avery stopped by the button on her chest and looked at Scarlett. The latter was... blushing? The blonde-haired blinked as she wondered why the girl was being shy all of a sudden. Surely she's not flustered over something like this, right? They were both girls. And didn't friends often take baths together? So it wasn't like it'd be the first time she'd seen another girl in her undergarments.

She stopped nonetheless and watched the redhead's movements, until Scarlett sat on her lap.

Sat on my what?!! EHHH?!!!

Avery threatened to spontaneously combust at that moment. In fact, the walls around them shattered into tiny ice crystals due to her tremendous shock over the situation. Her face burned a bright red going all the way to her ears and neck, and she had to turn her head away to hide it from plain view. It didn't help that their bodies were pressed so... intimately against each other. The erratic beating on her chest made her feel warm all over. In such a short time she'd undergone a mixture of feelings and emotions: embarrassment, fluster and confusion of the sudden unfamiliar feeling.

She couldn't quite comprehend the situation. Do friends sit on each other's laps like that? Sure she did it all the time but... this felt different. And for someone who was uncomfortable with physical contact, the redhead sure didn't have a problem doing such a thing.

And so Avery was there on the ground, a blushing mess, with a little redheaded devil on her lap, both surrounded by a rain of ice crystals. She wanted to say something, really, but her body failed to move. Avery Frost was rendered speechless for the first time in a while.

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