Title: After That
Rating: R (for profanity)
Word Count: 1179
Summary: An encounter between enemies, just before sunrise.
Notes: One scene, unconnected to anything else.



Outside, at night. BYERS, smoking. Enter SOLOMIN, wearing a cardigan.

SOLOMIN

Byers.

BYERS

Solomin.

SOLOMIN

What are you doing here.

BYERS

Smoking. What're you?

SOLOMIN

I'd have thought that would be obvious.

BYERS

Playing boogeyman in children's closets? Robbing nuns? Skinning puppies?

SOLOMIN

Honestly.

BYERS

Hell if I know, dude. I don't keep track of your activities. What are you doing?

SOLOMIN

Going to my room.

BYERS

Uh-huh.

SOLOMIN

I've been out for a walk.

BYERS

At four-seventeen in the morning. In the same clothes you were in last night.

SOLOMIN

I thought you didn't keep track of my activities. Or is clothing not an activity?

BYERS

Not every day you see a millionaire fashion guru in a granny cardigan.

SOLOMIN

Fuck you, Byers.

BYERS

Likewise. Smoke?

SOLOMIN

Why not?

BYERS

Because you hate me?

SOLOMIN

It would be impolite to refuse.

BYERS

I'm not sure it would. But since you seem so sure.

The passage of time is strange at this hour. It's hard to know how much passes before they speak again.

BYERS

So where you walking at this hour?

SOLOMIN

Campus. I'm not stupid enough to wander off in the middle of the night.

BYERS

I'm thinking any self-respecting petty criminal has gone home to sleep it off by now.

SOLOMIN

Leaving the ones who lack self-respect.

BYERS

That - is a very good point. How long have you been out? Solomin. Have you just been wandering campus since assembly was over?

SOLOMIN

Of course not. I went to the library.

BYERS

Oh, pardon me. Have you just been wandering campus since the library closed? Four and a half hours ago?

SOLOMIN

Not four and a half.

BYERS

I'm rounding. Seriously?

SOLOMIN

Pleasant night for it.

BYERS

Jesus shit, dude. Are you okay?

SOLOMIN

Careful, Byers. Anyone might begin to think you care.

BYERS

Yeah, well, that's me, protector of the innocent, crusader for justice. I'm nice. You're the one not allowed to worry about your enemies.

SOLOMIN

Ah. How foolish of me to forget.

BYERS

Well?

SOLOMIN

What?

BYERS

God, you're irritating. Are you okay?

SOLOMIN

I'm perfectly fine. Assembly simply did not agree with me.

BYERS

Assembly. Well, it was a fucked-up thing that happened.

SOLOMIN

Yes.

BYERS

Was anybody - Solomin. Did you know somebody?

SOLOMIN

I've been disinherited.

BYERS

What?

SOLOMIN

Disinherited.

BYERS

Does that have something to do with the shooting?

SOLOMIN

Indirectly. And in answer to your earlier question: yes. I did know someone. A long time ago. High school. But did I know one of the victims. Intimately.

BYERS

I see.

SOLOMIN

Yes. Well. You're the first. No one else knew. That was why it ended, in part. When the news came - I did not handle it well. My father now knows. And thus. I have -

BYERS

Been disinherited. Damn. That's rough.

SOLOMIN

Yes.

BYERS

I mean - kind of an understatement there. I'm sorry, man.

SOLOMIN

As am I.

BYERS

Are you going to be able to stay in school?

SOLOMIN

I'm here on an academic scholarship, Byers. Full tuition, room and board. Yes, I'll be able to stay in school.

BYERS

Just checking. Jesus.

SOLOMIN

I doubt very much that he had anything to do with it. What are you doing out here?

BYERS

Smoking?

SOLOMIN

I didn't believe you the first time you said it. That is why I asked again. Somehow, it is no more convincing now than it was before.

BYERS

Uh-huh. Right. Okay.

SOLOMIN

Well?

BYERS

Wha - ? Not cool, dude. It's true, anyway, I am smoking.

SOLOMIN

I can see that. And?

BYERS

There's not really an 'and'. I'm just smoking. I don't really sleep much, lately.

SOLOMIN

Since-the-shooting lately?

BYERS

Nah. Well, it doesn't help. But I didn't sleep much before, either.

SOLOMIN

Ever?

BYERS

Comes and goes. These days it's gone.

SOLOMIN

And so you're outside smoking at five in the morning.

BYERS

Better than inside staring at the ceiling.

SOLOMIN

Yes. I suppose it is.

BYERS

Hey, Solomin.

SOLOMIN

Yes, Byers.

BYERS

Why do we hate each other again?

SOLOMIN

Because I'm insufferably rude to you and your friends. And you were involved in the expulsion of two of my friends.

BYERS

They plagiarized. A lot.

SOLOMIN

They were my friends.

BYERS

Are they still?

SOLOMIN

I haven't spoken to either of them since they left.

BYERS

Why?

SOLOMIN

They plagiarized. Academic scholarship, Byers. I did earn it. Honestly. If they had weaseled their way out of expulsion our association would still have been terminated.

BYERS

Then why hate me?

SOLOMIN

You were immensely irritating about the whole thing. You still are.

BYERS

Thanks.

SOLOMIN

You're not going to ask why I defended them at the time?

BYERS

Nah, I get that. Loyalty's got to be good for something. I mean, I disagree with how you expressed it. But I understand it.

SOLOMIN

Is it my turn to ask an uncomfortable personal question now?

BYERS

Sure.

SOLOMIN

Why don't you sleep?

BYERS

Why isn't Hamlet king of infinite space?

SOLOMIN

You've got really shit luck.

BYERS

Believe me, I know. I'm terrified no grad school will take me. I'm like a magnet for psychos with guns. Middle school in Texas, high school in Oregan of all places. Thought it was third time lucky.

SOLOMIN

With luck it's the last.

BYERS

Your lips to God's ears. You've got no idea how much I hope so.

SOLOMIN

I might.

Long pause.

SOLOMIN

Sun's rising.

BYERS

So it is.

SOLOMIN

I should go to bed.

BYERS

You should. Got a morning class?

SOLOMIN

At nine.

BYERS

Me too.

SOLOMIN

Then you should go to bed, too.

BYERS

Probably. You should fuck off class.

SOLOMIN

Should I?

BYERS

Yeah. You should.

SOLOMIN

Why should I do that?

BYERS

Because. My mom gave me a fifty dollar IHOP gift card. And I could really go for a waffle right now.

SOLOMIN

What part of 'disinherited' doesn't translate to 'impoverished'?

BYERS

Waffles don't cost fifty bucks, dude.

SOLOMIN

Are you offering to buy me breakfast? I don't need charity, Byers.

BYERS

Solomin. I want to go to IHOP.

SOLOMIN

Compelling argument.

BYERS

If you come along. I'll make it worth your while.

SOLOMIN

You'll - Are you coming onto me, now?

BYERS

If you don't fuck off class you'll never know. Come on, dude. You're a college student. You can't turn down free food. There are laws about this kind of thing.

SOLOMIN

So I either go with you or get arrested?

BYERS

You either go with me or get arrested, forever in ignorance of whether or not I'm coming onto you. I don't think you'd like prison, Solomin.

SOLOMIN

Well. I suppose it would be impolite to refuse.

BYERS

Fuck yeah it would. Let's go. And hey. You know what I remembered just now?

SOLOMIN

How could I possibly know that?

BYERS

I remembered why we hate each other.

SOLOMIN

Enlighten me.

BYERS

Because you are one irritating motherfucker, Solomin.

SOLOMIN

Be assured, Byers, that the feeling is entirely mutual.

Exeunt.
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