There was just something in the air that made people lose their minds after being at RMI for too long, Dakota had decided, and it hit them around sixth year, and it was hitting her friends so hard right now she didn’t want to be around any of them. Drew and Remy were somehow dating, which Kit had all sorts of opinions about, except for Kit and Anssi had also gone on a date which was also mind-boggling. Dakota wasn’t strictly sure if Anssi and Kit were actually together and kind of didn’t want to find out, because she suspected she might be ethically obligated to extract him from that situation (Dakota couldn’t imagine anyone willingly dating Kit, despite the fact that Satveer had managed it for a little while). However, Drew and Remy were definitely together, and Dakota was...not actually as upset about it as she’d thought she would be. Kit was upset enough for an entire horde, so maybe it was just the comparison that made it look better.
Regardless, Dakota had been making it a point to spend more time on Pearl Street and less time underneath Pearl Street because there were honestly just more people to hang out with up here. There was the LGBT Youth Center that she’d spent some time at and she had actually made friends there. Muggle friends mostly, so she’d spent some time fudging the details of where she lived and went to school, but in the midst of the fudging she’d found out that there were two other magical teenagers at the center (and one twelve year old, but nobody wanted to hang out with twelve year olds). One of them, Lark, was kind of a bitchy lesbian who liked to say a lot of things about breaking stereotypes and feminism and almost sounded like Holland, except that for someone who was into breaking stereotypes, she sure did spend a lot of time talking about people in generalizations. Dakota tended to stay away from her. She was in some sort of magical schooling co-op thing that was located in Denver, which was where David lived - David being the actually tolerable magic-using teenager at the youth center.
Dakota had been spending a lot of time with David, like a lot of time, and if the phone she’d gotten to stay in touch with her Boston friends had worked underground, she would have spent a lot of time texting David. And it was because of David that she found herself at this weird carnival thing on Pearl Street, wondering how many people were going to die on the giant roller coaster that seemed to be held together with spit and prayers. And duct tape.
She was wearing skinny jeans and a cute patterned sweater with a jean jacket and heeled boots, which she had picked out with an extreme amount of care that morning, and had been waiting for David by the Ferris Wheel for about ten minutes before he showed up, late because his parents had to drive his little brother to soccer practice. He had just finished explaining why he was late when, out of nowhere, Magdalena Adler appeared and...offered Dakota cotton candy? What?
“Uh.” Dakota was so unsure of how to handle this situation. But the older girl was smiling and offering her food and Dakota couldn’t help but wonder if there was something off about the cotton candy because why in the world would Magdalena Adler come up to her with cotton candy and interrupt Dakota meeting up with her - friend? She stared at the sugary mass. “Sure…” Dakota hesitantly said, taking the fluff. “Uh, Alena this is David. David this is - Alena is one of the Head Students at our school. She’s a friend of my brother’s.”
David stuck out his hand and introduced himself to Alena, as polite as anything, but Dakota knew that he would be just as on guard as she was. He had heard all the Connor horror stories.