{Introductory chapter for me and @rocknroll-stoneroses}

++SUMMARY: Valy and Georgia have been sharing an apartment together with Magnus Bane and Chairman Meow (cat) for two/three years, and the time has drawn to a close as Valy moves out to her own apartment.
-- Friendship between Valy and Georgia explored, together with the mention of the group of friends. Discussion of Georgia's love life, and Valy's lack there-of.

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Well, it seemed like this was going to be the end of an era.

Carboard boxes littered what used to be my room.
I was moving out of the place I had grown to call home. Ever since moving to New York three years ago, sharing an apartment with the crazy Magnus Bane and the sassy Georgia Turner. We had shared so much, it sometimes felt like we had grown up together. With nights spent watching Disney movies until 1 am, and arguments at 6 am for who got to use the toilet first, and our crazy drunk-cooking video-blogs we had filmed and wanted to post on youtube for a laugh but never got around to doing it... Well, I felt empty and hollow as I found myself in my old-room, packing everything away for the new apartment I would soon be getting just for myself. Sometimes, parents with lots of money weren’t always a good thing.

I sighed, and got started on packing up the last few things - my clothes. Courtesy of procastination and firm denial that I was moving where the two things that stopped me from putting my clothes away before last night. “Georgia!” I called out after a moment, having to raise my voice with the effort of lifting out my luggage bag from deep within my wardrobe. “Have you seen my sweater? The pretty grey one. The one I....” I paused, and had a mental flash of her wearing it, “the one I leant you on Wednesday?” I twirled around, looking to look quite suspicious whilst trying hard to hide my amused smirk.

Georgia was sitting at the end of my bed, flipping through a popular-culture magazine, her pale fingers playing with the edge of the page she was reading. “Nope,” She replied coyly, “don’t think so.” But she was wearing an amused smile whichgave away the lie. “Wait,” She glanced up from the magazine with a cheeky, “I thought you said that one looks better on me anyway.” She tilted her head to one side, making her dark hair tumble over one shoulder, and shot me a playful wink.

I laughed, and dropped the black shirt I had began folding into the suitcase. “It’s a deal,” I mused, “only if I get to keep the blue shirt you leant me yesterday. And, if you forget to mention to Magnus that I still have that Glamour magazine of his.”

She flipped the page, and glanced up. “I thought you’re the one who’s leaving?” She chuckled, “Aren’t you supposed to be the one showering me with gifts so i have to have something to remember you by?”

“In which case you’d be supposed to be helping me..?” I trailed off teasingly, giving her a pointed look at her sitting position.

“I am helping!” She protested, pointing at the magazine in her lap, “I’m keeping my mind occupied on other things other than my friend moving out, trust me, I’m doing you a favour - upset Georgia is not a good look for me.” She smirked, chuckling.

I laughed softly, and -shaking my head- turned back to focus on my work. “Just be glad I’m used to moving about, or we’d be having an emotional breakdown right now,” I pointed out. She agreed with a “You and me both, girlie” and coughed briefly - I guessed to hide any stray emotion. I fumbled around in search of my clothes, trying to work out where to place the jumpers and where the shirts - not an easy feat, when some materials were expensive or crippled easily. “So where’s the only man of the house gone?” I asked, not having to look behind me to hear her responce.

“Magnus, yes, the man of the house is out with /his/ man getting cat litter for Chairman Meow and doing god knows what else,” Georgia giggled, flipping through her magazine pages.

I rolled my eyes softly in amusement, before voicing out my doubts which I’d had for years: “Makes me wonder how I’ve been able to preserve my innocence with you two around.” I flashed her a quick grin, before I laughed to myself, turning back around to my work. “Maybe next time we meet, I’ll be as scandalized as I was the first time.” But it was an exaggeration, although not completely - with an open female room mate, and a vocal gay one, I had been quite surprised as to which conversations could drift across the table during dinner. Luckily, the three of us had been as tight as spandex, and I had never felt too awkward, although I was definitely the most discreet.

I paused for a moment, before adding cheekily: “so how’s it going with... what’s your newest lad called again?” I grinned to myself at the mention of Georgia’s many boyfriends. She was the type of girl whom boys could talk easily to, but bad boys were her speciality.. and one which unfortunately caused a lot of collateral damage. Luckily, she seemed to have this last guy under control... or not.

“Ended it. Well, he ended it, technically.”

I turned myself around in surprise, feeling my own eyes big with shock.

My petite friend was crazily flipping through magazine pages, obviously distressed. “If you call him taking another date to the opening of that club I ended up going to with Magnus, remember? The one in Brooklyn?” She caught herself with her nervous rambling, and started again - this time holding up the magazine she had been reading. “Anyway... this time the magazine made page twelve, an insult really, my last one was page eight last time.”

I watched as she bit her lip nervously. This was obviously a bigger deal to her than what she was trying to make it appear, even with one of her closest friends and roomie. “That’s a cute cardigan,” She said, hoping to change the subject.

She wasn’t so lucky. I raised my eyebrows in concern, and tilted my head forwards to look at her through my lashes, as if I was trying to examine something at a closer distance. “And he’s dating someone else.” I concluded, drawing conclusions from my friend’s behaviour alone. “So... who is she?” I asked carefully.

She pretended not to be that interested. “Ummm, yeah, it says in the small text here next to her picture” She brought the magazine up to her face, squinting. “Umm, skinny biatch, umm...” She raised an eyebrow at the page, “Sounds foreign.”

“She’s not even that pretty.” I said immediately, without even knowing who we were talking about, but still - this was my friend in need, and anyone who was against her, was also my enemy. That’s how close we were, “The hair colour doesn’t suit her.” I looked worriedly at Georgia. “G..?”

“Yeah, well, she likes lettuce and I order big macs.” She shrugged her shoulders, and snapped shut the magazine, letting it fall down on the side of my old bed. “Seriously though, every girl has a different type, no? So why can’t guys be the same? It seems they don’t give a hoot about what we look like or our personalities and only if they can stick it in us.” She huffed out angrily as she finished her rant, and breathed in deeply. 

In all truth, I totally wasn’t keeping up with my friend’s busy relationships. The last relationship I was in had been more than five months ago, and I hadn’t taken anything seriously since then. Talked with guys every now and again, sure, but I often came off as too.. perfect. Too elegant, too polite, too... whatever. With Georgia, they took a chance. With me, they didn’t. So I had no advice to give her on this matter. I kept silent.

After a moment, Georgia added calmly “I’m fine V, seriously.” She said, just as she had said for the guy before, and the guy before that yet, and so on a few times - but I didn’t point this out. “Now, tell me why you think you’re so much better than Bagnus, Chairman Meow and I to get a place of your own?” She teased with a quick wink, before she looked away and fumbled with keeping her own emotions back.

I guessed there were tears in there. I knew her well enough to know her breaking points. “Awww, Georgia! Don’t do that to me. Look, I have a shovel burried somewhere in this mess - is it too late to go threaten that jerk?” I quickly paced over to her, and threw my arms around her neck, pulling her into a tight hug, and felt her respond tightly. After a few moments, I pulled back. 

“No shovel needed,” She reassured me, “although he’s lucky there’s a charity I’m going to next week against abuse, or I would have broken his noselike the last one.” She giggled.

“Good.” I smiled, “and rememeber there are many hot guys out there, you know. Besides, if you start going off with the Sex Talk again, I really /will/ buy a chastity belt and keep it on until marriage.” I chuckled.

Georgia held up her hands in mock defeat. “Fine, no sex talk.”

There was a pause as she sat back down and picked up her magazine. “Penis.” She finally stated, and opened her magazine with a snap, giggling over the rim to wink playfully.

I laughed loudly, and shook my head to clear my thoughts from the mental image. “But hey,” I added after a moment, “all hope is /not/ lost. Us three peeps can still meet up and have dinner together sometime. I could invite you guys over to my place, but that’s only if I found a whole SWAT cleaning team that could get the place cleared up on short notice!” I laughed and ran a hand through my wavy dark hair. “And my bag is almost done!” I added as a positive side-note. That was, before I noticed Georgia taking out a few souveniers from boxes. “Hey pal, hands off the merchandice!” I warned playfully, but quite seriously. 

“Magnus sitting through dinner? Unlikely,” She laughed, before backing off the boxes. For a moment. Next time I looked, she was pulling out my old teddy bear and high school hoodie.

“Hey!” I cautioned again, “I’m moving /out/, remember? Not /in/.” I laughed, and walked over to her, putting the stuff back in. “How about you come on over to my place and take the things out there, yes?”

“I’ll come on over and... /continue/ helping,” She giggled. “We can have some sparkling wine whilst unpacking, and then we can make our plans for the rest of the Summer break!”

“You know what?” I started enthusiastically, “That sounds like a brilliant plan! How about I direct the transfer guys, and meet you after they’ve left. Say, seven? I could call up the others and we can have a friendly house party... among brown cardboard boxes!” I grinned.

Georgia smiled and winked. “It’s a date!” But suddenly her expression grew a little bleaker. “Are you sure you want to do this, V? Move out?”

The question made me pause because it was a bit late to change my mind now, but still. I smiled weakly and shrugged out of habit more than genuine feelings. “Parents’ orders,” I explained seriously, “I’ll survive. I always survive.” I chuckled, and reached over to hug my petite Welsh friend again. “But thank god you guys only live one taxi-ride away!” I laughed shakily, breathing in my friend’s familiar scent - one which I would not have there to soothe me in the big white apartment. Well, it wasn’t that big, but as I thought about the empty rooms, void of furniture... it felt immense.

I let out a small grunt as Georgia returned the hug enthusiastically, squeezing my ripcage shut. “I’m going to miss you, chica,” She said firmly, “Who’s room can i run into when another guy breaks my heart?” She pulled away and we smiled at each other, “Who’s going to make the best hot chocolate for me during snow fall?” She chuckled weakly.

I pretend-patted her cheek. “You’re going to make sure your crappy taste in men improve, or I’m signing you up to a singeton website, got it?” I grinned. “And who’s going to give me lingerie tips and corrupt my innocence? See - you’re not the only one loosing here,” I laughed jokingly.

She gripped my hand and pulled it back down from the teasing patting, “Don’t do that.” She chastised, before adding “And make a website? No doubt I’ll only attract more jerks, but at least i’ll access them from a conveniant location.” She said with playful sarcasm, and once again she added: “and you know what I say: there is no such thing as innocence. Just naivity - you have to open your eyes and see past it. Trust me, I’ve seen the way you look at the... older sort of men, and deep down you’re no more innocent than I am, the only difference being -apart from Eric-, I play with the boys my age.” She shot me a wink behind her shoulder as she grabbed a box and eased it out of the apartment and to what I guessed were the elevators.

I gasped dramatically, although I genuinely was surprised by her observation. I looked at the older men... because. Because, they seemed unreachable in some way. Just like I was unreachable to guys my age. It was a vicious cycle. “It’s not /my/ fault if I’m attracted to the calmer, wiser, maturer men,” I called back after her, mixing dignity with playfulness. “But if I’ve never been mentioned in a magazine before, and you have, then you must be doing something right, after all,” I chuckled. “You know you have good tas te in men when the media envies you,” I added, not so loudly this time, as it was more like a personal observation.
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