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The Past-Sequel of "Cool, Calm, and... beautiful?" ((Alia Lornell))

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((muse for SH is coming back! Weehee!))

After a few minutes of shifting his own feet, Bryan Loski finally let out a sigh of relief when Alia said that a coffee wouldn’t be bad. Turned out that his offers were still acceptable after all. He knew that he was invisible for so long, therefore he was anti-social as well. To tell the truth, Bryan was unsure that those kinds of options were still hip or not. But apparently it was adequate, since Alia’s answer wasn’t so bad. Bryan scratched his head while laughing nervously, failed to calm himself down. “Cool then. Oh, wait.” The illusionist quickly packed his backpack. When he reached his sketchbook, Bryan couldn’t help but smile seeing his previous drawing of Alia. But he abruptly closed the book in case Alia was going to peek. No, he wasn’t ready to share that with the muse. At least not yet.

It took a few seconds for Bryan to finally finished packing, and he stumbled on a chair while approaching Alia who was standing in front of the door. He grinned after arriving in front of the girl, can’t hide the fact that he was happy. Genuinely happy, after such a long time. But the Bryan realized something: he never drank coffee anywhere near the school. Biting his lips again, this time out of frustration, Bryan tried not to look so flustered and worried. However, Alia’s word managed to yanked him out of his thoughts for a moment. “Oh. About myself?”

There was nothing much he could say, really. But since he decided to open up, might as well do it all the way. Since talking to her, Bryan could tell that Alia was not the type of person who would judge someone based on their past. So, while his eyes were scanning the school ground looking for any kind of building that resembled a coffee shop, the illusionist started his story. “Well, I’m the youngest child of two. As you know, my sister Hillary was a hero too, and she still is. Just not that active anymore. She prefers to do her daily job, which is a lawyer.” He smirked while imagining his sister trying to fight a case normally, even though she can be cheating sometimes. Not only she was tough, Hillary Loski could read the mind of everyone. That was her super power. She had promised that she would tone it down, but she rarely did it. But his face dimmed a little after that. As they walk passed the school ground, Bryan tried to sum up the darkest part of his past: his parents. “As for my mom… She’s a tough lady. Ever since my dad left-which was pretty soon after I was born, by the way- she has been supporting us by her own hands. Working two, maybe three jobs at the time… It was hard. I never knew my father personally though. I know he’s the ‘powerful’ one, but other than that…” He left that sentence hang. “Yeah. That’s about it. Oh lookie.” Bryan let out a loud relieved breath. So there was a coffee shop nearby after all, thank goodness. “We’re here.”

Ignoring the bell jingle when they came in, Bryan immediately sat down and pull out his sketchbook. Then he quickly hit his own forehead: what was he thinking? Bryan was with someone now. And it’s a girl that he liked, of all people. Smiling apologetically, Bryan stared at Alia with pleading eye. “Ah, eh… do get what you like. I’ll just sit here. I-um… I’ve never drink coffee before. I mean, not here. I-I drink at home.” Again, his awkwardness got the best of him. But Bryan’s sentence was a lot firmer afterwards, for he still wanted to get to know Alia better. “And maybe after that, I can hear you talk about your story. That is, if you want to.”

((Yeah, since he's awkward, Bryan is not exactly a gentleman. You could snap or dislike what he did, he won't mind. Very Happy ))


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While waiting by the door, Alia shifted the straps on her backpack a few times. She could practically feel the papers being ripped to shreds in there, but she ignored it, watching Bryan pack up instead. And finally, when they left school grounds, Bryan spoke, a confirmation statement. Alia gave a grin as Bryan’s eyes wandered elsewhere. “I was actually talking to the purple zebra next to you, but go ahead,” she joked, also scanning the surrounding area. She usually spent a lot of time out of the apartment she and her parents lived in, to try and avoid extra studying time, but she’d never really gone to coffee places, so she left that to Bryan, and focused on his words instead. It was sometimes hard, listening to other people’s stories, since Alia herself had never had to worry about not knowing either of her parents, so she didn’t make any comments until she was sure Bryan had finished. “I’m sorry,” Alia replied, wishing she could say more. But what else could she say?

It turned out she didn’t have to say anything. A coffee shop was finally located, so Alia followed Bryan in. She did a quick look over of available seats, and then sat down across from Bryan, who had pulled out his sketchbook. Alia wasn’t sure what to do, so she just tossed her backpack by her feet, and watched Bryan for a bit. She was definitely happy to be here with him; Bryan was an amazing person, and Alia wanted to get to know him. Sure, he had basically just given a 30 second account of his life story, but she wanted to get to know him. Who he was, how he acted, and how he interacted with the world. So far, she had gotten a basic idea, and she liked what he had revealed.

At some point, Bryan must have realized she was here, as he put away the sketchbook. Quickly nodding her head at Bryan’s statement, Alia got up quickly, and made her way to the counter. Maybe it was a bit odd to not drink coffee or eat anything at a coffee place, but whatever. There was no line, thankfully, so Alia walked right up to the counter, where the barista was waiting. “Um…I’ll have a cappuccino…” Alia hesitated, looking at the menu. “And a blueberry scone,” she decided. The barista nodded, and gave her the grand total of $5.64. Well, at least she could just pay cash for that. Digging through her wallet, Alia finally pulled out a 10 dollar bill that looked like it’d been through a windstorm. Sheepishly handing it over, Alia took back the change, the coffee, and the food.

Slightly struggling to hold everything on her way back, Alia walked slowly until she reached the table. Slowly putting each thing down, Alia finally sat back down, where Bryan was waiting. She smiled, and pushed the scone across towards him. “You gotta eat something, so here you go.” She remembered Bryan saying something before she had left, as she prepped her coffee for drinking. “Mm, my story? It’s no fun. My dad’s just a…what do you say? Mortal? He’s normal, my mom’s the superhero,” Alia began, ignoring the coffee momentarily. “She used to do international stuff. I’d always get calls from her saying she was in London, or Paris, or something, saying she’d be home late. She’s busted quite a few villains.” Alia wasn’t sure if what she spoke with was pride, or what. She just knew that it was super cool. “Super strength,” Alia said thoughtfully. Focusing back on Bryan, Alia gave a small smile. “My mom has super strength. Likes to call herself The Tank.” Giving a small shrug, Alia decided to move on. “Anyway, my dad asked her to just catch criminals here. Hypocrite. He’s always gone, on business trips. So that’s how my mom is here, and her cover’s a physical trainer. She went to Sky High, obviously, one of the top in the hero class. Valerie Lornell.” Again, Alia didn’t know how she felt about that. It was a big legacy to live up to, and Alia wasn’t sure if she could fit in her mom’s shoes.

“Yeah, that’s about it. Now Mom has high expectations for me, need A’s, etc.” Alia wrapped up, finally finishing. She didn’t want Bryan to somehow see her insecurity, so she avoided making eye contact, focusing on her coffee, which was starting to get cold. Taking a sip, Alia waited for Bryan to possibly say something, wondering if she should have given so many details. Then again, Bryan didn’t seem like the person to laugh at that kind of stuff. Hopefully not. Alia was struggling with a lot of things right now, and she didn’t want to add Bryan to that list. Better to keep it innocent. Breaking herself out of these thoughts, Alia looked up at Bryan, to see what he would do next.


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Made by the totally awesome Bryan in their HBH shop When I Grow Up
Alia speaks in blue
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Thankfully, Alia didn’t snap when Bryan practically ignored her to order the coffee alone. Bryan gave out an apologetic smile as the girl walked towards the cashier and order some coffee. Though after making sure that Alia could handle things on her own for a while, Bryan started to sketch again. He can’t release his sights from that girl, memorizing every detail and imprinted them on his sketchbook. Alia’s outfit, her hair, her body… His hands moved like storm now, tracing his pencil quite loudly and fast until some of the guests looked at the illusionist with a curious face. Only when he was finished, Bryan realized that he attracted some unwanted attention. Nodded with an embarrassed gesture, Bryan bit his lips and pull his sketchbook downwards, just as the same time as Alia came back. When staring the girl once more, Bryan blushed and muttered, “Thank you.” He nibbled on his scone for a bit, then put it back while pulling his sketchbook upwards once more.

As he listened to her story, Bryan nodded thoughtfully every once in a while. He flipped his sketchbook to a new page, and began to draw again. The illusionist could only hope that instead of fully listening to her story, Bryan was examining Alia’s facial feature with a close look. His face was gradually moved to a smirk, but quickly wiped clean when Alia told him that her mother’s power was strength. “Oh. The Tank?” He tried his best not to laugh, but Bryan can’t help a short snort that escape his nose. He suddenly imagined Alia, an older version of her, with bulky look and firm stand, complete with stretchy outfit and a cape. Bryan shuddered to erase that image from his mind. No, he would never imagine the girl like that ever again. It would be way to awkward. One glance at his sketchbook, and that thought dissolved as quickly as salt on water. But the boy made a mental note to search that name: Valerie Lornell. Bryan would do his best to search on Alia’s past. Unlike him, the girl actually have a past that’s worth telling, and… he did find her attractive in every way.

Biting his scone once more, Bryan Loski exhaled loudly and finished his latest sketch. He then smirked softly while tilting his head. “That means she wanted the best for you. At least, that’s what I think.” Flipping the book to his previous drawing, the illusionist stare outside the window, trying to count the red things that he could spotted. “At least she show her eagerness to give you the best education possible. My family… we don’t have that kind of luxury.” He played with a flower that was on the table, making Alia believed that it was changing color: from red-blue-violet-white-black-then red again. “Trust me, if Hillary didn’t showed her ability and I didn’t showed mine, we both would still be in public school. Struggling to survive.” Bryan chuckled, then move his book to the table and stare to the coffee that Alia was sipping. But quickly shaking his head, he decided that the subject would be to depressing for both of them if he continued on. Instead, he wanted to show what he’d been drawing to her.

Trying not to blush so much, Bryan opened the first page he drew since they arrived at the coffee shop. The boy was a talented sketcher, alright. It showed Alia’s back and the cashier, when she was ordering coffee. Anyone could see her gorgeous feature, and even a hint of her face peeking through her side hair. “Do you like it?” But before Alia could answer, the illusionist flipped the page, showing the next sketch that she drew. It was Alia at close-up range: her beautiful eyes, her tiny fingers holding the coffee cup, even the estranged strands that escaped her nicely combed wavy hair. It was everything about her: from close look or from afar. Finally closing his book, Bryan looked Alia with pleading eyes. “So? What do you think?” Of course, Bryan had done sketches before. It was how to keep his illusion and creativity alive. But to actually focused on a being… he never done that before. “I hope you’ll like it, because… I really… do want to know you better, Alia. You are… a mesmerizing human being.” But he blinked his eyes a few times afterwards. Mesmerizing? Human being? What kind of word is that? However, fighting the urge to run away, the boy tapped his shoes rapidly while glancing to her every once in a while, anxious if Alia would feel the same about him.


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