A hastily dashed-off love note to the pairing, as promised - my apologies for the lack of usual finesse, as this was written primarily on the fringes of a biology essay and four hours of sleep. Enjoy!


"Paradizo. Delinquent's here to see you again."

The student in question glances up with carefully feigned nonchalance, needling as much irritation into the raven-haired prefect as she can reasonably manage (while sustaining subtlety, of course) as she scrambles for an reply. That's the game, of course— push too hard and she'll never forgive herself for the consequences, but push too little and the punishment his classmates weave together will be brutal at best. Narrowed smile playing at her lips, she says, "Send her away."

The prefect — what's her name again? Anna? Aria? They're running through girls to fill the position like candy — simply smirks, regarding her with ice in her eyes that's every inch as real as that which caps the grounds. "Oh, I assure you," she murmurs confidentially, "she was veryinsistent."

At a loss for a proper response, Minerva simply sighs and tugs his coat closer to her chest. When she picks up coffee from the kitchens on the way out, she asks for two.

"You shouldn't leave that running, you know," she says as she leans against the chain-link fence, nodding to the motorcycle exhaling smoke on the other side. "Distaste for pollution seems to be quite the trend, these days."

Juliet Butler hardly looks the delinquent that so many headmasters and newspapers have declared her to be, and to her credit she seems to thrive on defying expectations; presently she's dressed in a scarf and leggings under a Burberry trenchcoat, new and easily over two thousand dollars. Her hair is unfailingly tousled and trimmed, her posture straight and casual, and in truth he looks more like a favorite aunt or cheerleading coach (albeit a decidedly young one) than anything else, pardoning her eyes — a sharpness like that is hardly ever becoming of a heroine.

"You're full of it, love," she replies breezily, lighting a cigarette with the flick of a match. If she notices the way Minerva's brow fractures at the sardonic endearment, she makes no mention. "Oh come on, now — you can take off your wings, there's no one around. They could never get you quite as high as I did, anyway, hmm?" She twirls a stray lock of hair around a free finger.

"You can't— " Minerva interjects starts sharply; she sighs, and the edge in her voice dissipates as quickly as the smoke Juliet's blowing to the wind. "Your presence here is... disruptive, at best. If it ends badly for both of us, we still could count ourselves fortunate, all things considered."

"Oh?" Juliet arches a brow and brings the cigarette to the swell of her mouth, ribbons of smoke curling lazily from her lips. "And how do you figure?"

Ignoring the bite of iced steel on her skin, Minerva leans her forehead onto the fence, peering through with an edge of annoyance. "My reputation, for one."

She snorts incredulously and takes another drag. "If you gave a flying fuck about your reputation, princess, you wouldn't have even thought about sneaking me into the dormitories the other night. Try again."

"My education," Minerva says, a sour note entering her voice. "If I'm caught fraternizing with a known criminal, expulsion would be a favorable alternative."

"…and then what? Let me guess – you'd get put into some other boring little prep school, probably with better curriculum and a better disguise to cover up its blatantly obvious status as a hellhole for the upper-crust teen society. Strike two, Paradizo— really, I'm disappointed."

Minerva looks away with a sound of disgust grating her throat, shaking her head incredulously. "If you want me to stand here fabricating empty concepts with which to defend myself, so be it. But what about you? If you're caught… a twenty-year-old blonde committing large-scale cat-burglaries. Do you really think they won't be able to catch you if you're spotted? Your only advantage right now is that they have no idea where you are — the NYPD is likely still scouring the streets there, if they haven't guessed at your disappearance by now. Do you want to have to run away again? Do you want to l—"

"Hey," Juliet interrupts quietly. Her voice is warmer than it's been all day, a ribbon of autumn unfurling against the winter twilight. "Don't worry about me, okay? I won't let them touch me." She threads a few long fingers through the chain-link fence, long lashes dipping to watch Minerva brush them with her own, as lightly and as tentatively as a javelin of moonlight on the ocean. "Touch… us."

Minerva closes her eyes and takes a breath, recollecting her thoughts in an instant. "Turn off the motorcycle. You can stay here tonight."

"How did you—?"

"Of course you were going to ask. You would've left the second I started arguing with you, had you planned to leave again, anyway."

Juliet's gaze falls, guilt fracturing her brow. "For what it's worth, I really am sorry to ask this of you again — if I frequent too many hotels while I'm here, someone's bound to notice. Trust me, if I had a choice, I'd take somewhere with a bed I can use."

Rolling her eyes, Minerva picks up the coffee cups from their place on the ground as motions for Juliet to climb the fence. "Keep up the niceties — maybe you still can."