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[Real Time Log] Albel; Rinoa

Who: Albel Nox, Rinoa Heartilly
When: November 05
What: Rinoa wants to work on a paper. Albel's spying on her, but he doesn't want her to know that.
Warnings: None. Just Albel being a douche.

Oh, how pathetic Albel Nox felt at that particular moment, stalking a girl in the middle of the library. No, he was not out to "get laid" as his "allies" often suggested. This was clearly business. Or rather, an obligation that he was forced to comply. He hated himself for yielding to "that" man. How could he refuse after what he said about his father? He knew that the general was only manipulating him to do what he wanted. That maggotty douche.

He laid a clawed finger across the spines of the book and brushed across them as though searching for something to read. It appeared as though she was working on an essay for tomorrow, meaning that she would be here for awhile. He might as well get some light-readnig while he's there to baby-sit.

It was all so immensely dull, drab, and boring. In fact, Rinoa could have thought of many words to use that would properly describe it. Who really cared about artistic theory anyway? Of course, like the history of expression, it obviously meant something. Nothing ever comes from nothing; it all comes from somewhere. One couldn't make something out of nothing either. When she thought about it like that, it seemed to make all the sense in the world--but it still didn't prevent it from being utterly tiring. A single glance over the page and with her chin in the palm of her left hand, she thought she'd fall asleep.

Finally she reached her arms above her head and stretched as though she hadn't moved in quite some time. In actuality, she'd had a difficult time sitting in one position and had continuously adjusted herself. Then she pushed herself up from the table, flipped the book closed, and drew it to her chest. "You're kidding me, right? How do people even pass this class? It's so stupid." Rinoa sighed with disbelief and she moved to the shelf behind her, replaced her book, and tipped her head to the side to examine the titles along the other spines.

Albel had successfully kept an eye on the general's daughter for a few days now, but he knew that it was only a matter of time before he would notice his presence. What he would do in such a situation... well, he had yet to decide. He didn't think that he would be caught so soon, so he had plenty of time to figure out his responses. However, he wouldn't have the time to carefully think this out. He turned the corner in his search for a book and stepped into the next aisle and came face-to-face with Rinoa who was exploring book titles in this row. Would she even recognize him? He certainly hoped not.

If the titles had been more fascinating, chances are Rinoa would have glanced over him. Instead, she found herself glancing past the collection of hardback and paperback alike and into eyes of red. Well, they looked like they were a reddish brown, but it could have been the lighting. That was one thing she began to notice about all colours. How the light hit everything explained why things were perceived the way they were. No matter how they might have been, however, it didn't stop Rinoa from moving carefully. From one side of the shelf and to the other, her eyes never once leaving his.

Was... it just her, or was he paying exceptional attention?

Rinoa's eyes were sharp, more so than the ordinary vapid individual anyway. It was like comparing the eyes of a pigeon with that of a crow. There was something behind her gaze that told him that she was actively looking at him. Not just a passing glance. Actually looking.

He stopped, his head quirking as he continued to meet her eyes. "What are *you* looking at?" he drawled softly.

He was. He was looking at her, not at a book in particular, but actually in her direction. ...Why? She tried to remember for a moment if she'd spilled something on her. It was a little too late to look herself over. He'd see her do it, and then her own insecurities would pop out. So she had to play it cool. Well, composed anyway, and if there was one thing having a general as a father taught her, it was how to remain dignified--even in the odd situations.

"You're the one who was looking at me," she replied as she lurched forward and drew close to the spines of the books. Those were some musty pages, and for as near as she grew, it was easy to determine that these books were likely ancient compared to her.

Albel had made contact with Rinoa sooner than expected. If another such mistake were to happen in the future, it was likely that it would cast unnecessary suspicion on him. He'd have to actually *talk* to her. How incredibly troublesome.

He rested his claw on his hip, considering how he was going to go about doing this. "...you look familiar..." he said, tapping his chin in thought. It was true that he had seen her before. He must have, though his memory of the whole event was vague. Was she there in attendance at the funeral? He couldn't remember. He had been so full of tears on that day that it was hard to tell.

Her dark eyebrows furrowed as she listened to him. Familiar? She didn't recognise him from anywhere. In fact, he didn't seem like her kind of company in the least. He seemed more like the type of person she would avoid. She could be rude, of course, but that probably wasn't necessary at this point. Yet. That could always change.

"Do you go to school here?" Rinoa asked nonchalantly. "If so, then it would sort of common sense for you to see me, even if we don't share any classes." Because she would certainly remember someone who looked like him in a class.

"No. I don't go to school here at all," he admitted. He supposed that he did look as though he fit in. Art students can be one of the more...eccentric types. He was no different. His long well-cared-for hair with blond streaks and a fashion sense that could be best described as bordering on the feminine side. Not to mention that prostethetic arm that ended with a claw at the end of his hand. "I came for the library," he lied.

Her suspicions confirmed, Rinoa rested one hand upon the shelf, more there for support than anything else. She was beginning to grow fidgety again, likely due to the idea that her essay was sitting in the back of her mind, reminding her that it demanded to be done before she was to dilly-dally. With those thoughts knocked out of the way, however, new ones arose.

What could he possibly recognise her from? Rinoa had yet to participate in any exhibitions. She hadn't been given the opportunity, nor did she seem to think that she had enough discipline in the art world to have anything put on display. One day it'd happen, though. She'd make a beautiful painting and everyone would be able to see it sit beneath a layer of perfect glass.

"The library? Well, are you looking for something in particular? I might be able to help you." She laughed. "I've been here long enough in the last week that I know where pretty much everything is."

He supposed that he would have to humor her. He could do with a stalker lawsuit and a restraining order placed on him. It would be more fitting to get on her good side rather than bad. "A bookworm, I take it?" he smirked. "I'm just new to this area, so I'm simply exploring."

She shook her head and found herself chuckling, "No. Never. Well, I read when it's on my own time and not for classes. I'm actually doing some research for a paper I have to write." Then she lifted a hand and cast a single gesture around, "What are you looking for? I'll try to at least find the right section for you. Then I'm sure you can handle things from there."

"Just direct me...over towards the fiction section. I'll be able to direct myself there." He arbitrarily chose a section that was somewhat near the art section so that he can discrete pick out a book and stay somewhat close to her. He didn't even remember her name from what the general had told him.

Rinoa's eyebrows lifted and she nodded to him. In just a moment, she edged around the bookshelf, met him on the other side at the entrance to the aisle, then lifted a hand and beckoned for him to follow after her. "Come on, then. It's this way." That was the section she wanted to read. Fiction sounded so much better than the damn books on artistic theory.

Albel wondered why he was assigned to this. It didn't seem as though she needed any help or wanted any help for that matter. What was he doing? Really? He felt awkward as being pleasant wasn't even his expertise. A fish out of water.

"You're being rather helpful, aren't you, fool?" he slipped.

There was a sharp pause and as though she'd been pointed out in class, her turn was quite swift. All at once, her expression hardened and she folded her arms over her chest. "I don't need to be. I do, however, know how to be civil at least, which seems to be more than you can say for yourself."

"Well excuse me little miss prissy fool," he scoffed as he mirrored her gesture and crossed his arms. "But that was exactly what I was trying to do." A single word and suddenly she's up in arms. People can be incredibly ridiculous.

"The name is Rinoa," she corrected him, tipping her head to the side. "I don't care if other people don't care if you call them "fool" or not, but my name is Rinoa. Rinoa Heartilly. I'm not in this school so people can call me degrading names, you know." Then the irritation melted away and she turned back toward the aisle for the fiction section.

Rinoa. That was her name. Albel sighed to help vent some of the frustration he had over that little rant of hers. "Then what are you in this school for?" he asked, holding back the urge to add in a harsher honorific at the very end.

She stopped halfway down the aisle and vaguely drew out a book to check the title. Then she pushed it back, thinking over the question Albel asked. She was there because her father sent her there. She said she wanted to be an artist, but was that for her or Caraway? "I was sent here, but this place isn't so bad, so I can't complain too much."

Oddly enough that sounded a lot like his own situation. More than likely, the same man was responsible for them both being here. Even while he was serving in the military, Albel hated to be under the command of another person. Even if he followed orders, he did so reluctantly. "Doesn't sound like you wanted to be here. Initially at least," he noted.

"Let's just say I didn't get much of a choice. I'm not paying for the tuition, so again, no sense in complaining about it. I'm doing something I enjoy and nothing's coming out of my pocket for it." Not that she really had any pockets in that weird getup of hers. "There are worse things in the world. By being here, I'm going to take advantage of the situation, and one day the knowledge I get here I'll use to help those who really need it."

That was all fine and dandy and an incredibly noble goal to aspire to. However, Albel just had to point out the obvious as harsh as it might be. "You're going to an art school. There's only oh so much you can do with that sort of knowledge," he scoffed.

She looked over her shoulder at him and her lips upturned into a light smile. Oh, how simple minded he must have been not to understand what she was meaning. She'd find a way to incorporate her art into a means of helping others. It helped that her father was in the military too. That gave her the leg up that she needed. "Well, there's more to it. I'm not worried about my future in the least. Try not to be so close-minded."

Albel had some difficulty trying to wrap his mind around what Rinoa meant. After all, what was art but a few scribbles on a canvas? With how spartan he lived his life, it wouldn't be surprising that he couldn't see how art could indeed "help" someone as he believed Rinoa meant it. "Whatever makes you happy," he scoffed. "I suppose I should thank you for taking me here, fool," he smirked, letting his claw slide past the backings of the books. Hm. Twilight. ....no.

That "fool" thing again. She nearly heaved a sigh and for a moment, said absolutely nothing at all. Then she lifted a hand and waved off his comment, as though it hadn't hit her in the least. "Yes, well. Spend enough time in here and soon you'll know your way around as well as I do, even if you're not a student." Then she paused, "Out of curiosity, you said you weren't a student, right? Why are you checking the library here? There are libraries all over San Francisco."

"I don't think it matters not whether I go to this one or another one," he replied. It wouldn't be wise to divulge exactly why he picked this library over the others now would it? "I just so happened to come to this one to meet with one helpful..." Albel tapped his chin, quite amused at Rinoa holding back her fury over his little name for her. "...artist."

No. Perhaps it didn't matter. Whatever the case, he didn't seem to want to tell her, which meant she wasn't going to press for information. She arched an eyebrow, clearly not buying what he had to say. Then she forced a smile and nodded, "I guess so. Well, I've managed to help you, so will that be all?" She did have a paper to write, after all.

"I suppose that this will suffice," Albel replied as though she was obligated to serve him, though there was an obvious hint of mischief in his voice. "But I think you'll be seeing some more of me in the future, Rinoa," he said, finally pulling out a book for him to read.

For a moment, she almost accused him of being serious. Then she caught onto his tone and dismissed it. Idly she tapped her forefinger against the base of her chin. What did he mean by that? Did he have plans of attending the college? "...What are you doing here? I thought you weren't a student."

"I think I'll be getting a job here," Albel smiled slyly. "I think I have a good feeling about this place." That excuse should be good enough for Rinoa. It'll also give Albel an excuse for... well, spying on her from afar. Yes, this would work out quite nicely if Albel could pull this off.

Oh. That made sense. She didn't understand why anyone would want to work on the campus, but that was really his prerogative, wasn't it? She didn't have a right to say yes or no to it. In consequence, she simply tipped her head to the side and nodded once. "Well, then. Okay. I guess that settles that. I'll see you around campus, then. It's pretty nice when you get used to it."

"Oh, you *definitely* will," he said, though his tone sounded more creepy than it really should. Just a tad. "Name's Albel Nox. I'm sure I'll take a liking to this place."

What a creeper. Rinoa would have preferred not to get to know him. She made a face and nodded once, just to be polite, although he didn't really deserve it at all. "Alrighty, Albel Nox. Guess I'll be seeing you around then. Have fun with that reading of yours." Then she lifted a hand, gave a rather halfhearted wave and turned to head back to her table. Where her paper waited.


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December 2009

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