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 Rough Edges

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Sapphire

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Posts : 19
Join date : 2017-04-15
Age : 29

PostSubject: Rough Edges   Wed Apr 26, 2017 1:17 am

April 24th, 2017
Seattle, Washington
11:49 AM Local Time

Virginia Stone is in her apartment. It looks slightly less bland than before. The main living room still has the bare beige walls and the minimalist feel, with just a TV stand and a chair in front of it. The kitchen is a little better, having been stocked not only with food and cleaning supplies, but also with a blender and various cannisters, at least one of which is almost guaranteed to contain Sapphire’s protein supply.

Her bedroom, however, looks much different. As opposed to the beige and the blandness, the bedroom now sports an almost violently blue paint color, and while the bed is a fairly basic queen sized affair, its got a comforter and several pillows and generally gives off the impression that Sapphire went a little hog wild in furnishing her bedroom.

We find Sapphire in this bedroom, but rather than on her bed or looking through her closet, she’s sitting at a folding table that’s been set up in the corner with a fairly standard looking laptop computer on it. She’s got several tabs open, and from the icons, one of them might be her e-mail, but she’s looking at her Twitter feed at the moment.

Aside from the mention from Angelica and the brief exchange she got into there, she sees mostly fans mentioning her and how they saw her at the gym this morning. Some of them seem disgusted, some of them enamored but too intimidated to approach her, and some of them largely indifferent to her.

All three are reactions that are foreign to her, because she’s not used to being in a profession where the object is to be seen and heard, but here she is, being asked to be a public figure and fight once a week for the world’s enjoyment.

It’ll take some getting used to.



March 29th, 2010
Seattle, Washington
8:01 AM Local Time


“Expelled?”


The younger Virginia Stone is standing in the principal’s office, eyes wide as she stares at the man himself, a well-built African-American man who, while tall to most people in the school, both adult and student, was several inches shorter than Virginia. Seeing her with such a startled expression clearly made him anxious, as he is flanked by two security guards in full uniform, one white and one black.


“You assaulted an innocent student, Virginia,” the principal responded.


“You mean innocent in the sense that he’s abused me for years and I’ve never done anything about it before now?” Virginia’s jaw is set so tightly, it’s a wonder her teeth haven’t shattered.


“Unfortunately yes. Being teased in middle school is not a justification that really holds up in a court trying adults.”


Virginia makes a noise that comes from the very center of herself, but she can’t articulate anything more than the most annoyed of guttural grunts. The principal shakes his head.


“I’m sorry, Virginia, but that is the decision. You should be pleased that William’s parents have decided not to press charges, and this is the worst that can happen.”


Her fists clench, but she feels a hand on her shoulder. Her parents, both of whom are of average height (and thus much shorter than her), are behind her, and her father is the one who has his hand on her shoulder.|


“Getting angry isn’t going to help anything, Virginia.”


“We’ll be in touch, Mister Looper,” her mother said as her father started guiding her out of the office. Though he couldn’t have forced her to go anywhere if she really didn’t want to, Virginia felt the full force of the revelation and her shoulders sagged, and she complied.






9:14 AM Local Time


It’s about an hour later, and the three are gathered around the kitchen table. Steven is dressed in a well-tailored but drab suit that might have been olive-colored once. Virginia’s mother was dressed in a blazer and dress slacks, but she has abandoned the jacket, wearing only a nice, but informal on its own shirt. She has also ditched the dress slacks, now wearing sweat pants.


Virginia looks from one to the other of her parents, her face full of anxiety and despair. All her life she’d been groomed to go to college, to make a good life for herself on the back of her education, then after it became a viable option, off of her athletics. Now that path was closed to her.


Her building fear forces her to break the silence first. “What happens now?”


Steven looks at his wife, and she looks back to him.


“Don’t look at me, Steve, I don’t have a fucking plan.”


Steven Stone sighs. There aren’t many ways in which he is similar to his Pokemon namesake. Being assertive and forward thinking is clearly part of that.


“I won’t lie to you, Virginia, we’ve spoken to William’s parents, and we are worried about what they told us.”


Virginia feels the color draining from her face. “And what did they tell you?”


“That you punched William after getting upset at some good-natured banter.”


And just like that, she feels it all rushing back as she turns red from rage. “Is that what they call it now?”


Steven puts his hands up, even though he has a table between him and his daughter. “Look, I have no doubt the banter was more loaded than they let on, but that still doesn’t justify assault!”


Virginia just stares ahead, looking slightly to the left of her father as he lectures her. He can see that her eyes are unfocused, but he continues anyway.


“I’ve discussed this with your mother and with Mister Looper, and I’ve decided that you can live here while we figure out how to move forward from this, on one condition.”


This brings her eyes back into focus, and she stares at her father. She says nothing, but the question of what that condition is sits as clear as day in her eyes.


“We want you to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.”


There is a short, but pregnant silence as Virginia’s eyes go wide, then narrow as her jaw sets again. “You think I’m crazy.”


Steven puts his hands up again. “I think, if you have been as profoundly affected by the teasing as you claim, it is a prudent first step.”


Virginia laughs, but strangely, it only makes her father more anxious. “I’m glad it only took seven years to convince you.”


Steven sighs, pinching the bridge of his nose. “You’re not helping your case, dear.”


Virginia glares at her father. “And what happens if I refuse to take the test?”






April 2nd, 2010
Seattle, Washington
2:04 AM Local Time


Virginia Stone, dressed in a hoodie and jeans and with a backpack slung over her shoulder, walks out the front door of her childhood home for the last time.






April 9th, 2010
Seattle, Washington
11:54 PM Local Time


This has not been a good week for Virginia Stone. She stayed at a friend’s house for a couple of days, but her parents were quick to kick her out when she found out the story of why Virginia had been expelled from school. Virginia spent a night on the street before landing a couch with another friend, but that only lasted a couple of days as well before she wasn’t allowed to stay there anymore.


Tonight’s looking like she’s going to have to find a warm corner somewhere again, but all thoughts of her next meal or where she’s going to sleep are sucked away when she sees William, Thomas, and George walking down the street towards her. They have a fourth guy with them, another of the school’s basketball players, named Alexander. She stops, gripping her backpack a little tighter as she looks at the reason why she has no direction and no future.


And they are looking at her. They all stand up a little straighter as they walk down the street, and she might be imagining it, but they look like they’re trying to box her in.  She clenches her fist and stays out in the street, trying to find the most well-lit spot.


“You’ve got a lot of nerve, showing your face around here,” William says as they get within earshot. Virginia has to fight the urge to laugh. “Haven’t you done enough damage?”


“I could ask the same about you,” Virginia says, eyes flitting from one stoic expression to the next, her own expression growing angrier with each.


“I am an innocent man,” William says, shit eating grin breaking through his facade. “All I did was speak, and you threw first.”


“You’ve got your goons with you. Finally cashing in on a challenge I made when we were twelve?”


William’s shit-eating grin falls away. But before he can answer, Virginia continues.


“Or maybe I’m wrong and your balls have finally dropped, and you’ll finish the job yourself.”


William scowls, a poor attempt at grinning again, before raising his hand to wind back. But Virginia is quicker and blasts him in the face again, this time with full intent. He staggers back into a wall, but the other three all close on Virginia. George goes for a punch, but she ducks it. She gets nailed by a punch from Alex and staggers back.


As soon as she feels the pain of getting punched, it’s all over.


18-year-old Virginia is not as big as 25-year-old Sapphire, but she’s still big and strong, and now she’s angry, and her fight-or-flight response has kicked in.


She has chosen “fight.”


She charges Alex, ducking down and grabbing him, but instead of tackling him, she charges forward with him, ramming him back-first into a lamp post. As Alex cries out in pain, George and Thomas both try to grab her, but she breaks free of their grip and lays out Thomas with a well-placed punch. William is sneaking up on her as she turns to George and lashes out with a kick that whiffs, but causes George to retreat back wildly to avoid getting blasted by that kick.


His efforts are in vain, as William blasts her in the back of the head, causing her to stagger forward and knock him over. Virginia wheels around to William, who is the last one on his feet. He charges at her, but she is ready this time and gut checks him. She does tackle William, and once he’s down, she proceeds to unload on his face. She gets in about a dozen punches, some of which he manages to deflect but some of which land true, before his goons manage to pull her off of him. He’s got a bloody nose and cuts on his face in several places.


Once back on her feet, she heaves herself back, throwing off the other three. They scramble to the side of the ringleader as Virginia looks around at the crowd assembled. This time they’re jeering William, and on a quick check, she sees a couple of storefronts where they’d been fighting have cameras posted. She grins.


“Go on. Tell them I started it again. See where it gets you.”


William scowls through the crimson mask forming and waves her off, staggering in the other direction. Virginia stands there, chest heaving, and feels something she’s not familiar with that courses through her even as she hears police sirens in the distance and all of her witnesses start scattering.


Pride?


Purpose?


Is it just the adrenaline?


She doesn’t find out that day, because it turns out that shot to the back of the head was worse than she thought, as she staggers, suddenly dizzy, and props herself up by sitting against the very wall she’d knocked William toward until the police come.
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