It's All Happening At The Zoo (Part 3)

JP with LSP and Cindy

April and Dawn were having fun but weren't particularly spending a good deal of time looking at anything. This left them heading out of the hummingbird exhibit before anyone else, even the people that got their before they had.

"Where to now?" Dawn asked.

"I guess we could just see what else is in this area." April said.

The couple held hands as they wandered around the area, they got two drinks at one of the stands and sat at a table to finish them.

They were caught up in each other, so, it wasn't until Dawn got up to through their cups away that she spotted him.

A smile crossed her lips as Dawn said something to April, who then looked around and nodded.

The two walked up to Dante, hand in hand. They hadn't had a chance to give him the good news.

As they approached Dante, Dawn spoke up. "Hey, How's it going?"

Dante sat on a bench near by, holding a bag that looked like a hanging sloth, and was wearing a weird green beanie, that one closer inspection was actually shaped like a sea turtle.

Dante didn't hear the two of them walk up, since the bench he was sitting at was in a walk way plenty of people had come by.

Dante looked up fixing his glasses.

"Oh hey." he said, "Fancy meeting you two here." he said. "Wasn't really expecting to see anyone else here today, but it's a nice day so to be expected I guess."

"Oh," Dawn was a little surprised he hadn't heard the group was going but she hadn't seen him more recently. "The whole group is here. The ones we," clearly meaning herself and April, "Usually hang out with. Who are you here with?"

Based on the bag he was holding, Dawn wondered if he was on a date or something.

Dante feigned offence. "What a man can't carry an awesome sloth bag?" He asked but couldn't keep a straight face.

"Yeah, I'm here with someone." he said, "Jocelyn."

Dawn and April both breathed a laugh at his joke.

Dawn nodded as he said who he was with. Then said, "We have news."

Dawn and April, pulled there clasped hands up just enough to be seen and then Dawn said, "We're official. Well, to our friends. We've not told the admin yet because they'll make us split up as roommates. "

April spoke up,"We're going to do that on Monday,". Adding a little grin. "Or maybe Tuesday."

"Mazel Tov" Dante said, "While I respect the schools rules, I can't blame you for forgetting for a few days." he gave a cheeky smile.

"Where are the others?" he asked, "Don't want to keep you from your group, I gotta wait here till Jocelyn gets back from the restroom."

"Some are in the Reptile House, some are in the Hummingbird Avary. We went though them a little fast." Dawn said, "So, we decided to see what else was in this area."

Dawn then joked, "If you want to avoid a ton of couples you might want to wait until we've moved on to one of the other areas before going to either of those exhibits."

"Oh okay." he said. "Doubt we can avoid them all day." he added.

"If you hang around a bit I'm sure Jocelyn will be back. Not sure how much you two know her but she's got pics from the Hummingbird Avary one landed on my hat." he said unsure if they'd want to add more unknowns to their secret but if they'd meet up with the others later knowing she was around might make things less stressful.

"That sounds like it was fun." April commented.

Dawn then added, "We know her but I can't say very well. She seems nice though."

Dawn glanced around for a moment, "Mel is here. Carter convinced her to come. He said he'd cover for her. But interesting development with that. Carter is hanging out with Blossom and Melissa is hanging out with Jason. Do you know Jason? He's the guy that plays that the saxophone, Jazz musician, mostly. I mean they aren't a couple, of course, but he's been helping her out today. "

Dawn wasn't gossiping but they were all in helping Mel together and to know what was going on with the girl was an important part of it.

"Carter I know sort of. Football player who's playing double agent right?" Dante asked. "Jason also sort of, I know a lot of people kind of." he added with a laugh.

"Yeah she's nice. Bit down so brought her here to get her mind free for a bit." he explained. "Plus it's an excuse to see Sloths and Capybaras. Win Win."

Dawn nodded about Carter, "Yes. Doug , for some reason, trusts him."

Neither Dawn nor April were surprised, that Dante sort of knew Jason.

Dawn nodded, "It's a good day for it."

"So Jason, Carter, You two Blossom and Mel. Any body else?" Dante asked.

Before they could answer Jocelyn arrived. "You don't need to hold that anymore, doesn't suit you anyway." she said taking the bag.

"I happen to think it goes with my eyes." he added.

"Oh..." Jocelyn paused noticing the others. "Hi...didn't expect to see others here." she said with a nervous laugh.

Dawn and April gave Jocelyn a friendly smile.

"Hi," they said, in unison. Then giggled.

Dawn said, "Oh, we were just filling in Dante on who was here with us. Ok, well Rose and JD, Sam and Heath, Zander and Riley. " She paused, "Roxy, Ash, and Jack. Can't ask me what's going on there, I don't know." Dawn joked. "Kyle, Justin. Matt and Courtney. Oh, and Conner and Kaylee. I think that's everyone."

Dawn thought for a moment to make sure she hadn't forgotten anyone.

Dante behind Jocelyn stiffened up as he saw her shoulders drop.

"Oh...Conner." she said. "Okay."

"Ah..." Dante mumbled. "So much for that..." he mouthed.

Dawn had no idea about anything with Conner and Jocelyn. So she was confused by the response.

"Did I say something wrong? Is everything okay?" Dawn wasn't prying, but she hadn't meant to upset anyone.

"No." Jocelyn said. "It's complicated just forget it." she gave her cheeks a slap and smiled, "Not going to be sad. I have funny animals to see."

Dawn nodded and felt April squeeze her hand.

April clearly trying to change the subject, asked "So, where did you get the sloth bag? It's so cute."

"Oh." she held it up. "Wal-Mart." she said. "My mom bought it for a birthday gift."

"I'll have to remember that." April smiled.

"Have either of you been here before?" Dawn asked.

Jocelyn shook her head. "I haven't lived here very long and used to try and not leave the house besides work." she answered.

"I've been here a few times." he said. "My mom took me. Good fairly cheap day-cation." he said. "She never was big on flashy stuff."

"Neither of us have been here, " Dawn meant herself or April. "Any tips?" She smiled.

"Enjoy yourself." he said, "and know where you want to go." he added, "The place is fairly big so you don't want to go to one end and have to double back or crisscross all over the park. You'll get to tired to see everything you want to see."

April said, "I guess it's a good thing you can get a map of this place, online."

Dawn added, "And that there's busses."

Mel and Jason had finished looking at the tiny birds. Jason was pushing Mel in the wheelchair, when he stopped and said. "Isn't that Dante, talking to Dawn and April?"

"Yes," Melissa answered. "I think that's Jocelyn with them as well. Let's go say hello."

"Your wish..." Jason smiled.

He pushed her towards the small group.

"Hi," Melissa said, when they got close enough.

"Hi Mel." Dante said.

"Hi" Jocelyn also responded.

"Crazy how many minds think alike." Dante said.

"I'm not really sure who's idea it was to come here." Mel responded. "I, sort of, got talked into it."

Jason added, "It does make me wonder who else might show up."

Now, it was Melissa's turn to tense up, she glanced around as if on instinct. Dawn leaned down and whispered something to her and she nodded and relaxed some.

Dawn asked Dante and Jocelyn, "So where are you two off to next?"

Dante turned to Jocelyn with a shrug.

"Tapirs." Jocelyn said. "They might look like pigs or ant-eaters but they are related to horses and rhinos. Which is pretty strange to think about but the babies are super duper cute so we can't miss that."

April said, "Those sound cute."

Dawn then commented, "We should probably go to the gift store that's down here while we have time."

April agreed.

Dawn turned to Dante and Jocelyn, "Have a good time. Talk to you later."

Mel asked Jocelyn, "Are you going on the shopping trip on Monday?"

"Shopping trip?" Jocelyn asked. "What shopping trip."

"The one the school is doing, after school. The girls are going one place the guys another. I think it's so some of the students can get stuff for the dance but there's other stores to go to, as well." Melissa responded

Jocelyn shrugged. "Maybe." she said. "I don't know if I really need a dress." she added.

Mel nodded, "I think a lot of girls are going that don't need dresses but either way."

Melissa wasn't going to force the issue, and being she has already said it wasn't just dress shopping figured Jocelyn just wasn't interested. It wasn't a big deal.

"Should we head back to the group?" Jason asked Mel.

"Yeah, we probably should." Mel responded, then said to Dante and Jocelyn. "We'll see you later."

The two headed off back in the direction they had come from.

"Oh okay, see you later then." Dante gave a small wave.

"Do you think they left because of me?" Jocelyn ask looking slightly down at her feet.

"No, from the sounds of it a lot of people are out on dates, or they are using what they think are sly tactics to turn a normal hang out into a date. Either way, don't worry about it. Just have fun." Dante told her.

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