xliv. blessing

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"I'm still in shock that you're actually going through with this," Tina commented as she watched Indie paint over the wall she had painted the summer before. She agreed to cover it up so Tina didn't get dinged when she was finished with school. "You're actually going to California."

"I know," Indie hummed. "It doesn't feel real," she laughed as she ran the roller over the wall. "I think it'll be good though. I need a fresh start. I did it all wrong last time."

"Well, this will be good for you then," Daniel sat up on Tina's bed. "You and River found a place?"

"Yeah," she nodded. "Really cute place actually. Two bedrooms, nice kitchen, reasonably priced."

"And you're both driving up?" Tina asked the next question as she leaned back against Daniel.

"Right now that's the plan, yeah," Indie nodded as her eyes went back to the now blank canvas of a wall. "It looks so boring in here now."

"I know," Tina frowned. "It'll take some getting used to."

"You're going to make it without me?" Indie laughed as her phone started ringing on the surface of her dresser. She managed to get her way out of the obstacles of paint supplies and got to it just in time. "Hey, Rive. Are you on your way over?"

"Yeah, I was just wanted to ask if you had my leather jacket over there," he asked as the wind passed through the speaker and into the receiver. "The one I was wearing the other day."

"The black one, right?" She asked. "With all the zippers?"

"That's the one," he nodded and Indie managed to prop the closet open long enough to see that it was hanging with the few clothes of hers she still had inside.

"It's here."

"Okay, good, I'll be there soon," he said before hanging up the phone. He slipped the device into his back pocket as he rubbed his hands together, warming them up as he walked.

"River, wait up!" The British accent called out and River turned his head to find Harry running to catch up with him. "Haven't seen you in a bit. How are you doing?"

"Good," he nodded.

"I hope what happened with Gwen doesn't change things between us," Harry commented.

"No, of course not," he shook his head. "I've just been busy the last few weeks getting stuff going. How have things been?"

"They've been better," Harry admitted. "I know I shouldn't ask but-."

"She's okay," River patted his shoulder. "How are you doing?"

"Surviving," he chuckled. "You have plans to go home for Christmas?"

"Uh, not currently no," River shook his head. "Indie and I usually stay on campus and have our own Christmas. You know, there are so few of us leftover during the holiday. It's almost peaceful."

"That's the plan for this year?" He asked.

"Yeah," River lied. "What about yourself? Gwen and you have plans to go home?"

"They are actually coming here," he explained. "Gwen and our mom have been talking quite a bit in the last few days. My dad promised not to be such a dick. Should be interesting to see how it all plays out."

"Sounds like it," River laughed. "Hey, I've actually got to get going. I'm supposed to be meeting Indie and Tina but I'll see you around, okay?"

"Yeah, sure," he nodded and waved him off. River headed in the opposite direction of where he needed to go, needing to go the long way to get away from Harry. It wasn't that he was trying to avoid him, he wasn't and he felt bad that he hadn't told him about his plans for California but Indie had begged him not to say a word.

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