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Nov 13, 2019 2:31 AM
change the way the story's told
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"Sounds good!" 

The room still looks kind of bare after he's done unpacking, but he has a room all to himself and it has windows and a desk and maybe he can have books. He flops on the bed until lunchtime, and this time he knows not to try and ask Charlotte questions. 

The bed is big and soft and excellent and he still can't sleep alone; he keeps reaching out for Nat or Nico and not finding them and waking up and then remembering where he is and wondering how they are and whether they're eating and whether they're okay and then struggling to get back to sleep. There continues to be plenty of food; Sasha doesn't stop storing away parts for later, just in case. 

Computers are weird. He figures out how to use it, slowly. Safety Rules for the Internet contains lots of very obvious advice about not giving personal information to strangers in chatrooms (as if he'd trust someone that quickly anyway) and almost nothing about how the hell you find what you're looking for, but it's better than nothing. Auradon in general is weird. Apparently people who look like men don't wear skirts here, and when they do they wear very flamboyant almost villain-kid-ish makeup and lots of shiny things and use women's names. 

Charlotte takes him shopping for new clothes and he can't stop staring at how big everything is, how bright and soft and clean and colorful, how much of everything — most of the people he knows only have one real set of clothes, and when he and Charlotte are done he has more soft whole undamaged fabric in his arms than he thought he'd ever see. (Sasha doesn't ask for skirts, even if they would look pretty when he twirled in them, which he's very sure they would.) 

He eats. He eats more than he had ever imagined he would be able to. Auradon might be bizarre and lonely, but it's colorful and bright and soft and there's enough to eat and nobody tries to stab him or punch him or steal from him, and so he's pretty happy with it. 

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Sasha is taken to a doctor, who takes his height and weight and tests his vision and listens to his heart and draws his blood and makes him pee in a cup. The doctor gives him some pills called "antibiotics" and "antiparasitics" he's supposed to take every day for a few weeks, and some other pills called "vitamins" he's supposed to take every day until the doctor says it's all right to stop. The antiparasitics make him throw up.

Sasha has private tutoring sessions on video chat, two a day, in math and science and social studies and literature. The math tutor assures him that they're just covering what he missed and he should move on to middle-grade math very soon; the literature tutor loves him. 

Charlotte lunches with her friends (all white) and brings Sasha along for them to coo over, shops with Sasha, takes him on promenades along the streets of New Orleans, and invites him to charity events and balls and plays. (If he goes, he'll notice that everyone at the charity events and the balls and the plays is white; even the black characters in the plays are played by white people wearing makeup.)

Ralph appears solely interested in the subject of angling, about which he speaks with great enthusiasm and multiple sentences; he's out on the ocean most afternoons.

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He takes the antiparasitics even though they make him throw up. He has strong opinions about literature and less strong opinions about math and even less strong opinions about science; this science doesn't seem like it involves asking annoying questions until everyone gets tired of you but maybe that'll come at a later level. 

He does not talk to Ralph about angling. 

The actors thing is just fucking weird — why would you bother with makeup if you could just get an actor with the skin color you wanted anyway and save yourself the effort — but the internet doesn't give him a real answer and he's learning not to ask too many questions. Charlotte's friends coo over him and he really isn't sure what to do with that but smiling prettily and thanking them and maybe blushing a little bit seems to work fine. 

It's honestly kind of creepy how white Charlotte's friends are; he wonders sometimes how they'd see Nico or Legion, then does his best to put the thought out of his mind. Missing them won't bring them here. 

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And on Friday it's time for Remedial Goodness class!

Unlike the other classes, it's two hours long; Sasha doesn't have any other tutoring sessions scheduled for that day. Also unlike the other classes, Claudine and Carlos and Mackenzie are also skyping in.  

"Hello everybody," says the cheerful lady on the screen. "I'm Fairy Godmother, and I'll be your teacher for Remedial Goodness class this year. The class will primarily be discussion-focused; I'll put situations on the board and we'll talk about what you should do and why, to build your moral reasoning. I expect to be able to give all of you an A. Your placement tests suggest that several of you seem to have an advanced understanding of goodness already, in spite of your... background."

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Did answering every question with "yes that's wrong".... work. 

He's sort of curious which of the others also thought of that trick but obviously he's not going to ask. He nods seriously and pretends not to notice the way Mackenzie shifts uncomfortably. 

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"I thought today we'd start with a fun icebreaker game, and then we'll have everyone ask any questions they have about Auradon! Let's go around the circle and say our names, the weirdest thing we've ever eaten, our heroes, and our favorite toys to play with as a child. I'll start. I'm Fairy Godmother, the weirdest thing I've ever eaten is a snail, my hero is King Beast, and I was never a child!"

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"My name's Claudine daughter of Frollo," Claudine says, "the weirdest thing I've ever eaten is my own blood, my hero is St. Marie of Oignies, and giving children toys to play with leads to the sins of sloth and frivolity."

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"My name is Carlos DeVil son of Cruella DeVil," Carlos says, "the weirdest thing I've ever eaten is probably that mold that made me hallucinate, my hero is my mom, and I liked playing with the broom that we used to sweep the floor."

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"My name is Mackenzie Gothel daughter of Mother Gothel," Mackenzie says, "the weirdest thing I've ever eaten was... probably my own hair? My hero is also my mom, and my favorite thing as a child was hearing my mom read to me." 

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"My name is Sasha son of no one," he says, a little uncomfortably aware that this boils down to 'Sasha and also fuck off,' "and the weirdest thing I've ever eaten was," poisoned bread, "a plastic salamander, my hero is Queenie Hearts, and my favorite toy as a child was a stuffed rabbit with one eye and no arms." 

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Fairy Godmother looked increasingly unhappy after the first two answers and perked up with Mackenzie's and Sasha's answers. 

"Well! And now it's time for our icebreaker game. We're going to pretend that we're about to be stranded on a deserted island. We'll each choose something that represents ourselves that we might want to bring to the island. For example, if you love animals, you might want to bring a dog--"

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Carlos whimpers.

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Fairy Godmother ignores him. "--Or if you like music, you might bring an iPod, or if you're a foodie, you might bring sirloin steaks. Be creative! Then we're going to talk about how you could work together to use all the things you brought to escape from the island!"

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"If I were going to be stranded on a desert island I would bring a boat." 

There is maybe some subtext here. Just a little. 

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Yeah. Just a little. 

"If Mackenzie's bringing a boat then I would bring lots of food to the island." 

There might, possibly, be subtext here too. 

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"Is that because you like sailing, Mackenzie? And Sasha, you like food! You're lucky you're in New Orleans, it has such a unique regional cuisine."

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"...no," she says, as if Fairy Godmother is very young or an idiot or a very young idiot, "it's because I know I'm about to be stranded on a desert island, and I would really prefer to instead be somewhere that is not an island, and you get to places that are not islands with boats." 

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"Well," she says, "that's not precisely the point of the exercise, but I guess we're all getting to know that Mackenzie is very practical! --Claudine, Carlos, what would you bring?"

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"I would bring my rosary," Claudine says, "so I can pray for my salvation."

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"That's very good!" Fairy Godmother says encouragingly. "You're telling all of us that your religion is very important to you."

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Claudine also thinks that Fairy Godmother is very young, or an idiot, or a very young idiot, but she has been taught not to question authority.

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"I would bring my engineering kit," Carlos says, "so I could build something that might help us radio for help, or make a fire, or help with any other problems we might encounter."

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"You like engineering, Carlos?"

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"I... guess?" he says, in the uncertain tones of a person who has never had a preference before.

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"...I think I like food a pretty normal amount? Does anyone want to be stranded on a desert island with nothing to eat?" 

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