(1938-11-15) Suddenly, a Chasm
Details for Suddenly, a Chasm
Summary: Gus asks Eibhlin out, and things go downhill
Date: 1938-11-15
Location: Workshop

Early afternoon on a Hogsmeade weekend finds the workshop relatively empty, many of the older students having jaunted off to town for a pint of butterbeer, a bag of sweets, time away from school or what have you. The younger students too have found many things better to do with their time that study or work on projects. A parchment spread out in front of her on the table, the redhead is relatively oblivious to whether or not there's anyone else around.

At first, the noise is faint. It's repetitive, and grows a little louder was whatever it is comes near. A strange sort of dragging, scraping sound. Other noises are perceptible as well. "Hng," at the start of the dragging, and someone laughing. "Hrrrr," drag. "Uhng," drag. "Grrrrrah!" drag.

Then the door pops open, and Gus's behind comes in, first. "Go, Rousseau!" cheers a voice, and some boyish laughter. "Raaaa!" Gus groans one more time, and hauls in… an enormous piece of wood. It looks to be a section of tree-trunk nearly four feet tall, still clad in its bark. Gus wrestles it through the door and finally lets go of it, then drags his hand across his forehead. "Whew!" he exclaims. "That's ten sickles you owe me," he tells the boys, and holds out his hand to collect.

Eibhlin has tendency to have something of a one track mind when it comes to studying and research. At least a times. The faint noise down the hall is easily unnoticed, even as it becomes closer and louder she's either oblivious or ignoring it. When the boys enter the workshop however she does lift the briefest of glances towards those gathered, noting their presence with a relatively quiet suggestion, "Could you keep it down?" before she's focused once again on the parchment.

There's another round of laughter as the boys pay up, but they quiet again when Eibhlin asks them to. They sort of stare at her. Then Gus grins and nods toward the door. The other boys tiptoe out with knowing smiles. Gus meanders over toward Eibhlin, and rolls up his sleeves as he goes. He sits next to her, leans his elbow on the table and props his chin on his hand, and then just looks at her, grinning.

Its the sensation of a closer presence that causes her to look up again. "Oh…!" Eibhlin remarks, startled, a hand flying to her chest as she looks away. "Don't scare me like that," she notes further sounding a bit upset, if only for a second, as she reaches to roll up the sheets in front of her.

"Did I scare you?" Gus asks, sounding contrite. "I'm sorry." The room is starting to fill with a delightful pine scent. "I just won ten sickles hauling in that enormous hunk of wood over there," he tells her. "By /hand/. The boys bet me I couldn't do it." He jingles the little silver coins in his hand for a second. "Would you like me to buy you a nice dinner with my winnings?" he asks.

"A little," Eibhlin replies, though it was likely more than she'll admit to. "Not your fault," she adds, she shouldn't have let herself get so deep in thought. The parchment carefully tucked into the satchel beside her she turns to survey the log. "By hand?" she repeats a bit unbelieving as she turns blue eyes on Augustin. "I doubt I could even roll it once," she comments, not that she's about to try either. "But two sickles?" she sounds almost as if that's more unbelievable than him moving the thing. "No," she replies to the offer of dinner with a slight shake of her head. "You don't have to do that."

"By hand," Gus confirms, nodding proudly. He holds up an arm and tenses the muscle, making it bunch impressively - all the more so for his recent work-out. "And it's /ten/ sickles," he says, showing her all 10 coins. He looks disappointed when she turns him down for dinner. He slowly drops his arm, his smile slipping off his face. "Oh," he says. "I thought… oh."

"Ten," Eibhlin repeats the amount in surprise as she looks down to the coins in his hand. "That's…" well that's quite a bit of money from her perspective. Despite her lack of attention earlier she does notice his disappointment now. "Its very nice of you to offer, but … You thought?" she trails off only to attempt to prompt for him to continue just what that thought was.

"Oh, well, I just — well, I — I thought you, ah, liked me, is all," Gus stammers out. "After our picnic, you know." He's blushing.

Eibhlin shakes her head, "Its not like that at all," she attempts to assure him of any misunderstanding. "I just meant… I mean surely there's other things you'd rather spend your winnings on?"

Gus stares at her for a second as relief settles into his expression. "Oh," he says. "Well… Evie, I'm sixteen. What /else/ should I spend my money on, besides taking out a pretty girl who likes me?" He chuckles a bit at that.

"I don't know," Eibhlin admits, "Something new for your carvings or something…" she replies with a shrug. "But if dinner is what you really want then I'd be happy to accompany you," she agrees leaning over to leave a light peck on his cheek.

"Oh!" Gus says when she leans over to kiss his cheek. He seems quite pleased with that, truthfully. And before she pulls back all the way, he'll try to steal a proper kiss from her lips.

Its when their lips meet that Eibhlin's cheeks redden and when she does pull back she bites her lower lip just a bit. "Just don't spend it all on me, hmm?" she suggests, "Its a lot of money." And she'd feel bad if he did.

Gus watches her teeth touch her lip, and sighs wistfully. But he won't try to kiss her again, since they are in a classroom. The he looks a bit more serious. "Does it embarrass you when someone wants to pamper you?" he asks.

"No," Eibhlin replies with a shake of her head, denial evident enough in the quickness of her answer. Silence follows a moment longer. "I wouldn't say that exactly," she adds, turning to collect her bag and place the strap over her head to rest on her opposite shoulder before gathering her hair to pull it free let it drop over the top, her back partly to him in the process.

"Then… why do you always protest?" Gus asks quietly. He's got a curious, gentle look on his face. "You always say, 'You shouldn't have,' or 'You don't have to,' and… I dunno. It's just different from what I'm used to."

Eibhlin shakes her head, "Its not like that," she tries, shifting to turn out of the bench in order to stand up, though she doesn't just yet. Instead she turns to look back to Augustin. "It just… well it doesn't always have to be so much," she admits, ducking her head to look away again.

Gus looks puzzled. "A picnic is too much?" he asks. He just doesn't understand. "I don't understand," he says, in case she didn't realize that. "It didn't… is it the money or the effort? Because the picnic was some effort, but free… and now the dinner that I want to take you to will cost, but be very little effort. So… I mean…" He's just lost, poor thing.

"Both?" Eibhlin admits, a touch of her own uncertainty in her voice. "The picnic," she starts as an example, "Was perfect, but it was just so much. I mean a blanket and some tea and biscuits would have been plenty. Not," she adds quickly, "That I didn't appreciate all of it." She pauses, a shake of her head, "You don't need to try and impress me Gus. You already have."

Gus puts his hands on his hips and takes a deep breath, and lets it out in a long, thoughtful sigh, cheeks puffing. "Alright, then," Gus says. "See… I guess I just take that sort of thing for granted. It's hard for me to imagine growing up without. Why don't you… take me on a date?" he suggests, and gives a short, self-conscious laugh. "I mean… you know. I'll pay. But you take me on the kind of date you'd be comfortable with. I'm not trying to impress you, honestly. Well," he says. "Okay, the picnic was a bit of that. But really now I just want to get to know you, and I guess that'd be easier if you weren't so concerned about things. So. Your choice."

"Gus," Eibhlin starts with a sigh, "you just won /ten/ sickles from your friends on silly bet." No wonder he'd take that sort of thing for granted. "We would be lucky to see that in a week," if that puts any sort of perspective to things for him. Reaching to slip her hand into his she pauses, "I just… Gus.. No," she finally says, standing in an attempt to head for the door.

"Well, there were /five/ of them," Gus says a bit defensively. "Two sickles each." He's rather taken aback by a statement of just how poor her background really is. He'll grab a hold of her hand easily enough, and stands with her. "What's the matter now?" he asks, utterly confused at this point.

"That's not the point," Eibhlin replies equally defensive as she tries to pull her hand free in order to walk out. "There can't be an us," she tries to explain, which comes out more forcefully than she likely intended.

Gus's face falls. "There can't?" he asks in a very small voice. "Did I do something wrong?"

There might be a glimmer of a tear in her eye when Eibhlin glances back, or maybe its just a trick of the room's lighting. Either way her look is fleeting, her answer to both questions a quiet "No," and a shake of her head as she heads for the door as quickly as she can without actually running.

Gus follows. "Then why?" he asks. "I like you, and you like me… what's the problem?"

Eibhlin just shakes her head, pushing through the door. Once out into the hallway she picks up her pace just a bit before disappearing around a corner.

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