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Blood in the cut

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Beau has been absentmindedly staring out of the window of the cobalt blue Tesla for what seemed like ages before she even saw the first sign. "Trostenwald 231" it read, and she closed her eyes.

This was going to be an absolute nightmare.

Next to her in the driver's seat was Dairon - her new supervisor, or the guard in another house arrest she was going to unwillingly endure, this time away from crime syndicates of a big city like Zadash. Dairon was a dark skinned, elven woman. Lean and muscular, with piercing eyes and a strong sense of right and wrong.

"The ideal person to set you straight, Beauregard." She could almost hear the voice of her social worker, Xenoth, proclaim in her head. It was true, of course, because Dairon was a no bullshit kind of person, with policies and boundaries and borders that would infuriate someone like Beau.

The elf has been calm the entire ride, hands holding the steering wheel with confidence, eyes set on the road.

'It will be hard to distract her' Beau thought 'but hell knows I will try.'

As time went by, Beau got increasingly more bored. She tried looking out of the window again, but the landscape was unremarkable ; she tried listening to music, but her favorite songs sounded boring and lacked the youthful anger all of a sudden ; the low hum of the car engine was driving her insane.

A month ago she wouldn't have thought that her life can go to shit even more, but it happened - she got sent away a second time, even farther. To a small town in the middle of nowhere, with no prospect of coming back to Zadash or even leaving. Beau hated it when people made decisions for her, and yet it kept happening. How ironic.

The only thing more miserable than moving to a new place against her will was the prospect of joining a high school in the middle of her senior year, knowing absolutely nobody. Which was, of course, going to happen a week from the present, Beau remembered. Oh, schools just about loved her. That's why she got expelled seven times in her life.

-



She must've fallen asleep sometime during the ride, because next thing she knew, they were pulling into the driveway of a small, outrageously clean looking house.

Beau didn't bother waiting for Dairon to fully stop the car before she opened the door and almost jumped out, stretching her arms trying to settle down the dull ache in her shoulders. She looked around, and immediately deemed the neighborhood just as boring as she expected it to be - rows of houses just like the ones she was about to move into, neat grass in the frontyards and scandalously even curb. She sighed quietly.

"What's wrong, Beauregard?" Dairon's voice called out from behind her.

"Should I make a list or...?"

"I would prefer it if you helped me with unpacking, instead." She cut Beau off before she could even start to get on her nerves. This woman was good.'

She kicked a stone and watched as it skipped across the pavement with a soft noise, before getting her hands out of her pockets and walking over.

She took the boxes Dairon passed to her, and then (not without fumbling with the keys for a little) entered the house she would be living in for an undetermined period of time. It was barren, plain, uninteresting. A little living room, kitchen with a granite counter, simple bathroom, already furnished. Beau went upstairs, setting down the boxes with Dairon's possesions in the woman's bedroom. Beauregard herself didn't own much - just a few pieces of clothing, a few uninteresting books, boxing gloves, phone, earbuds... Her father sent her away without a chance to collect all her belongings, but that was okay. They reeked of Kamordah, anyways.

"I'll be in my room if you need anything!" She hollered, upon hearing the sound of footsteps downstairs. She wasn't sure Dairon heard her, but she hoped she wouldn't be needed, anyways.

Her room was painted a light shade of blue (by the gods, why did her supervisors have an obsession with that color). The furniture was an average set from IKEA - a pseudo uniquely shaped bed and bedside table, simple desk and a wardrobe with a mirrored sliding door. Great. Now she could also see herself every time she entered. Just what a piece of shit like her needed.

She dropped her duffel bag in the middle of the floor unceremoniously and plopped down onto the bed. It was actually quite comfortble, but she'd never admit that.

The next few hours she spent plotting an escape, or, at the least, how to make her room look shitty without commiting to it. Commitment was the first step towards acceptance, and she would never accept the fate that has befallen her.

Beau ended up taping a picture of a topless model onto the mirror and smirking at what little triumph she'd achieved.

-

The calm before the storm went by unremarkably - Beau spent her time trying to figure out the new neighborhood by jogging (and ended up getting lost almost immediately), ignored Dairon's attempts at conversation as much as she could, watched dumb youtube videos and browsed the web for opinions on her new high school. Apparently it was a shithole.

But then again, probably what she deserved.

-

The Dreaded Monday finally came, and with it an uneasy feeling in Beau's gut. She hauled herself out of bed at seven o'clock, put her hair up into a bun, grabbed a pair of sweatpants and a tank top that smelled okay enough. She then splashed cold water onto her face and went downstairs to grab breakfast, though she wasn't hungry whatsoever.

Dairon obviously noticed her lack of appetite as she caught a glimpse of Beau on her way out to work.

"Look, Beauregard, if you're trying to starve yourself to make me feel guilty, it's not going to work."

"Well" She replied, faking the best shit-eating grin she could under these circumstances "I haven't thought of that, but now that you've given me the idea..."

The glare she received from her supervisor expressed more than a thousand words.

"I know you don't want to go to school here, and I understand that. " She said, softening up a little, all of a sudden. "If you want to talk about it, I am always willing to listen."

"Bullshit." Beau muttered, finally taking a bite of her food, simply to avoid more awkward conversation. Dairon sighed deeply, looking down. It was the truth, and Beau knew it. Nobody in the universe wanted to listen to her stupid, bratty problems. And if there was someone willing, she almost felt bad for the poor bastard.

"As you wish. I am leaving now." The woman responded, opening the front door. Just when Beau thought she was gone, she turned around. "Please, have fun and be reasonable." She added.

The teenager finished her breakfast in near silence, only accompanied by the regular ticking of the clock. At seven fourty she set out, phone in hand, checking google maps everytime she was about to turn a corner. Miraculously, and to her own dismay, she didn't get lost, and almost fifteen minutes later stood before the high school she was now, unfortunately, attending.

'This is your last chance to turn away and book it, Beauregard Lionett. Maybe become a strawberry harvester in Xhorhas. If there are any strawberries in Xhorhas.' She thought.

-

Walking in, she found out that it wasn't as bad as it could've been- sure, she got a few funny stares for being the New Girl, but people mostly seemed not to pay her any mind. (Thankfully) It took her about ten minutes or so to find the principal's office, where she was supposed to go right away to get her scheduled awkward tour of the school with a random person who would rather be in advanced calculus than interact with Beau at all.

She raised her hand to knock on the door, her insides twisting into knots.

But before her hand even made contact with the wood, the door opened dramatically, and next thing she saw was a blur of blue.

"Ohmygosh you must be the new girl!" Chirped the person, who now stood still enough before Beau for her to recognize as a tiefling girl. "You're a little late but that's not important right nooow because I've gotta show you the school! I'm literally so excited!" Truth be told, she was kind of adorable; a round face splattered with freckles, neat horns that curled like little buns on the sides of her head, adorned with elaborate jewelry. She was wearing a puffy, dark green dress. The color went well with her skin.

"Uhh... Hi." Beau said awkwardly, subconciously cracking her knuckles one by one, a habit that her mother would describe as unacceptable and not ladylike.

The tiefling girl, however, didn't seem to mind at all. "Hiiiii! I'm Jester!" She introduced herself in her high pitched, heavily accented voice. "What's your name?!"

Before Beau even got a chance to respond, Jester grabbed her hand and started quite literally dragging her through the hallway. She was surprisingly strong for her small frame.

"The name's Beau." She managed to respond.

"That's really pretty!" Jester giggled, skipping down the hall.

This was already shaping up to be interesting.

The tiefling talked about the school; telling her how big the gym is, and how nice the teachers are (except for that one guy), and where each class takes place... Beau tuned it all out, finding it at least annoying. If this was her new life, she wanted out.

When she came back to reality, she found Jester staring at her intently, and realized that the girl had probably asked her a question a moment ago. 'Fuck. Shit.'

"...Yes...?" She answered lamely, not knowing what the question was, even.

"That's lovely! We sit at the table in the far left corner of the cafeteria. I'm sure you'll love them, they're very charming!" Jester leaned in closer to her, looking around as if there was someone spying on them. "You'll meet my boyfriend! Well... he doesn't really know he's my boyfriend yet, but I know he likes me! He always helps me with homework and he's so nice... ohmygosh you'll totally love him!" She brought her hands together and puffed out her chest a little, looking up towards the ceiling.

Beau didn't know how to respond to neither - the flood of words or the straight nonsense. But it seemed like she just got invited to eat lunch with a group of people who probably have as many psychopatic tendencies as Jester.

"Why are you looking at me funny? Do I have something on my face?" Jester cocked her head to the side like a cute little animal would do, her eyes going big.

"Nah... It's just, uh, the accent." She waved her hands in front of her face vaguely. "Unusual to hear in the empire." Beau breathed out, proud of a good excuse.

"Oooh!" The tiefling's ears perked up a little at that. "Well, I'm actually from Nicodranas, you know, I'm an exchange student! But everybody still loves me because I'm very active in the student body, you know? So I get to do these tours for people! Isn't that wonderful?!"

"...Sure." Beau muttered, standing there awkwardly, not knowing what to say.

"Anyways! I have to go to class right now, do you know where your first period is?" She asked, and Beau nodded. "That's very good! See you at lunch, Beau, I love you!"

And just like that, with a flash of blue, she was gone. Beau looked down, only to find a crumpled up piece of paper she had apparently been gripping for gods know how long. Well, that was bizzare. She didn't even feel a thing.

She straightened the faded green paper. It looked like some kind of a flyer, big, pink letters taking most of the place up, and a drawing of a cloaked figure at the bottom.

"DO YOU NEED A NEW GOD?

DON'T KNOW WHERE TO TURN?

OR MAYBE YOU JUST LIKE DRAWING DICKS ON THINGS?!

WELL, CONSIDER WORSHIPPING

THE TRAVELLER!

(HE'S THE TITS)



What the actual fuck.

-

After all, class turned out not to be so bad, either. She muttered an introduction that didn't matter, because nobody cared about her name, sat in the last row and tried not to draw more attention than necessary.

She listened to the teacher drone on about the subject, took some notes... No fatal accidents so far, so it seemed like she wouldn't get into a fist fight today.

-

Eventually, lunch came around, along with a sensation of extreme unease and an urge to flee.

Beau contemplated grabbing lunch and eating it in a bathroom stall like a loser whom nobody likes, which perfectly described her current social situation, but she figured that if she somehow didn't manage to escape in the near future, it would be good to at least have a second option. (there's only so much eating in a restroom a person can do).

She took a deep breath, following the crowd of students into the cafeteria.

After getting food, she was confronted with yet another challenge of the day – finding a spot to sit where nobody would mind her presence. She walked aimlessly between the tables, receiving only uncomfortable stares and the classic 'sorry but I need a place for my bag'. Of course, it was just what she had expected to happen. She was about to turn back and make a beeline for the restroom when she heard a familliar, accented voice shout.

"Beau! Over here!"

Upon looking in the direction Jester's voice came from, she saw the tiefling girl, right where she said she would be, waving her over like crazy, while a bunch of uncomfortable looking individuals tried best to ignore everyone staring at them. Beau did her best not to pay attention to all the eyes that were on her as she made her way to the table in the far left corner.

Jester sat there with (presumably) her friends, which included another, purple tiefling, whose whole outfit almost gave her a sensory overload, a half orc who looked like he had just answered wrong to question in a subject he was confident in, and a goblin girl who was preoccupied with trying to peek at the book held by the guy next to her – a human redhead with dark circles under his eyes suggesting he hadn't slept for at least a month.

The blue tielfing scooted over, pushing the half orc to the side. "C'mon Fjord, we gotta give her some place!" Fjord rolled his eyes subtly, but obeyed, and soon there was a spot just big enough for Beau on the edge of the bench.

Beau silently sat down in the spot, not knowing what to do.

"Guysssss, this is Beau! She's new, so be nice to her!" Jester announced, and the human girl couldn't help but cringe a little. "Beau, this is Fjord" she gestured to the half orc, who gave her a nod of acknowledgement. (She immediately decided that he's the least annoying) "This miracle over there" she pointed at the purple eyesore – "Is Molly! He's really cool and he can read fortunes, it's like... super legit!”

"It's true" He shrugged. "I can offer you a tarot reading if you want, darling." Beau's eyes narrowed. And she thought Jester was kind of annoying.

"Full offense, but I think that's bullshit."

He held up a hand to his chest, gasping theatrically. "Oh no! Whatever shall I do?! Ms. Boring called my magic illegitimate!"

Before Beau could deck him in the face properly, the redhead looked up from his book, sending Molly a glare. "Mollymauk, don't say that word, please. Not in public." He had a strong, Zemnian accent.

Magic was a touchy subject among the masses, everyone knew that. It's been dying out for centuries, even though long, long ago it was vital to Wildemount. The only person in the empire who wielded magic anymore was Trent Ikithon, a super high-up motherfucker. Stuff like that was definietly not a casual conversation topic.

Mollymauk shrugged and grinned triumphantly at Beau, showing off golden fangs placed among his teeth. She hated that guy.

"Aaanyways. This is Caleb! He's reeaaally smart!" Jester continued, unphased by the bickering. Caleb didn't so much as look at Beau, nose deep in the pages of his book. "And next to him is Nott! I hope you're okay with goblins because if you're not, we're going to ask you to leave, this is a no discrimination zone.”

"They're chill." Beau hasn't actually, in her sheltered life, encountered a goblin yet, but they weren't treated with much respect in the empire, so she understood the concern.

Jester's expression immediately turned back to excitement. "Welcome to the Mighty Nein, Beau! We're like... the coolest friend group in Trostenwald!”

She doubted that. "There's only five of you."

"It's an inside joke, unpleasant one." Mollymauk replied. "Nein means no in Zemnian." Great, he just had to mansplain something to her.

"I'm not dumb." She grumbled, furrowing her brows.

"I really thought so." He said casually, looking at his fingernails, and Beau gave him the bird.

"Hi guys." Said a new voice all of a sudden, and everyone except Caleb nearly jumped, startled. It was soft and thoughtful. "Did you save a seat for me?"

Beau looked up, and felt blush immediately creep up her neck and face. She could only stare at the miracle of a girl before her – she was tall, very tall, easily six foot something, well built, with thick, muscular arms and legs (she could probably bench press Beau without an issue). She had pale, almost white skin and a storm of tangled, braided, black hair which gradually faded to white at the bottom. Her eyes were gorgeous – one teal and the other a darker shade of blue, just like the sky after a downpour.

"Of course!" Mollymauk replied casually, allowing her to sit next to him, and immediately putting an arm around her. "This is Yasha – Yasha, this new addition to our group is -"

She cut him off before he could introduce her, leaning in slightly. "I'm Beau, but you can call me anytime." She winked, trying very hard to be flirtatious.

"I'm... sorry, but I don't have your number." Yasha responded, looking down, and Jester giggled. Mollymauk facepalmed at Beau's awkward attempt at flirting, and whispered something into Yasha's ear, at which the girl's eyes widened and she blushed furiously.

Beauregard realized she fucked up. "Oh. Fuck, I didn't know you guys were like... together." It seemed, however, that she's made the situation even worse, because Molly almost collapsed to the ground in a laughing fit, and Yasha had to haul him back up.

"Yasha's his adopted sister." Fjord chimed in, explaining. It was the first time he actually spoke in Beau's presence. He had a pleasant, polite voice. "That'd be kinda gross, don't y'agree?"

"Yeah, totally." She nodded awkwardly.

"Doesn't stop Avantika from wanting to fuck you!" Jester said happily, throwing a french fry at him.

Beau almost choked on her food. "Excuse me, what?!"

-

Lunch passed eventually, the group mainly making small talk and jabbing at each other in a joking (or not) manner. Beau was surprised how fast they seemed to accept her, but then again, they were probably just a mashup of losers who had nowhere to sit, so they sat together. She got an invite to hang out with them in the auditorium during the breaks (Molly's the theatre club's president, so he has the keys, Jester explained) and Jester's phone number ( if she needed anything).

The rest of the day was uneventful, and as the final bell rang, she was super ready to leave.

As she was making her way back to the house (very reluctantly), she heard someone come up behind her, and she clenched her fists, ready to throw a punch. She turned around just in time to deck the person in the face.

"Ow! Fuck!" She heard Fjord's voice, and did a double take. Indeed, it was the half orc, now reeling back in surprise. "What the hell, Beau?!"

"Sorry! Reflexes, you know." She apologized. "I get nervous when I hear a motherfucker sneak up behind me."

" 'S fine, I understand. We all have our own shit, y'know." He shook his head. "Just don't go 'round punchin' folks on the street, next time. You goin' this way?"

Beau nodded.

"Yea, me too. I live on the Loch, actually. On a boat." Fjord explained as they started walking.

"With that crazy kind of sister that wants to fuck you?" She smirked, side eyeing him.

"It's not my fault she's kinda fucked up. Things happen, y'know." Beau couldn't contain her laughter, and Fjord realized what he'd just said. "Not like that, I mean! Nothing ever happened between us. I'm a virgin." He blurted out, which made the situation even worse. Beau almost doubled over.

She finally contained herself after a few minutes, wiping tears away from her face.

"Gods, that was so fucking funny."

"Depends." He looked at her pleadingly. "Please, don't tell Jester."

She mimed the motion of locking her mouth and throwing the key away.

-

When she walked into the house, Dairon was busy making dinner.

"How was your first day at school, Beauregard?" She asked. Gods, that woman was absolutely terrible at talking to teenagers.

"Horrible." She lied, and the corners of Dairon's mouth almost curled into a smile.