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Georgina placed one hand over Cal's, stilling the movement of his fingers. "I'm not sure it deserves that," she said, indicating the muffin Cal had disemboweled and strewn across the tabletop.

Cal actually managed to look sheepish. Well, as sheepish as one could look while sitting in a booth in an ice cream shop, fingers covered in muffin crumbs. "Sorry," he murmured, making a half-hearted attempt at cleaning up the mess. "I've…" He looked up at her through dark bangs, a frown in his grey eyes. "This is the second time this week."

Georgina cocked her head, hand still folded over his; dark over pale. She smiled, letting it light her eyes. "You must have something against muffins."

"I'll just…" He made to stand, but Georgina grabbed firm the hand she was holding, stilling his motion.

"It's all right," she said. "I know it's not the world's best muffin or anything."

At that, Cal almost smiled. Almost. It took a lot to get this boy – this man – to smile. Georgina had made it part of her mission to do so, and she took the opportunity to try whenever she could. She wasn't often successful.

"Why are you here?" she asked. She knew he wasn't here for her; at least, not entirely.

Cal pulled his hand out from under hers, and this time, she let him. "We met this… thing. This puck." He wiped his hands on his jeans, his frown back in full force. "I need to know if we can trust him."

Georgina exhaled in relief. Cal, lately, had been asking her questions that she couldn't – that she wouldn't – answer. It was a relief to be asked one that she could. Placing her palms flat on the table, she closed her eyes and let it happen – Cal, Niko, the puck… Rob… Robin. She smiled at the images that name brought to mind. She'd need to make a careful election of exactly which images, if any, she shared. Opening her eyes, she raised a brow. "Robin is a trickster," she said, trying to stifle her amusement. "He lies, cheats, steals, does whatever he feels he needs to do, to get whatever he feels he wants, be that things or people."

Cal leaned forward across the table. "But can we trust him?" he asked, emphasizing the word.

Georgina nodded slightly. "You can." Cal stood, and she held up a finger in warning. "But tell Niko to watch his ass around Robin," she added, deliberately using the swear.

Cal froze in place. "I thought you said we could trust him."

"You can," she said, letting her smile break through. "It's Niko's, erm… Anyway," she giggled, unable to help it as a flood of images came to mind of the Puck with various and sundry.

Cal closed his eyes against the idea. "I don't think I wanted to know that."

"Never mind," she said. "Niko will figure it out on his own, anyway. Or have that knowledge, erm… thrust upon him."

"George…" Cal said, half shocked.

"I can't help it," she said with a shrug. "I'm a seventeen year old girl." She shook her head back and forth, a deliberate imitation of a bobblehead doll. "Hormones." She shrugged.

Cal stood and traced a finger along the back of her hand. Then he ruffled her hair.

If anyone else had done that to her, she'd have taken their hand off. But she knew that treating her as younger than he was – which she was, but only by a couple of years – made him feel more comfortable. When she could, she played into that, as she'd done with the giggling and the "hormones" comment.

"Later, George," Cal said as he slid out the door.

Georgina watched his retreating back. His life was hard enough. He didn't need her as an added complication.

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End

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