2007-03-01: Study Partners

Starring:

Claudine_icon.gif TC_icon.gif

Summary: Claudine bumps into T.C. in the library. There is some exchanging of secrets. They go back to her dorm. To study.

Date It Happened: March 1st, 2007

Study Partners


Columbia University - Library

What a hectic and crazy day. After removing all the blood in what could've possibly been the best shower ever, Claudine tries regain some normalcy in her life and as such, she's headed for the life sciences library. Studying, what a normal, college thing to do, but with not much to study for, she's just looking over something else. 'Activating Evolution' by Suresh is on her mind and she's flipping through pages, reading intently while scribbling down her own notes.

Her laptop is in front of her and she hrmms for a few moments as she tries to find this Suresh guy. Upon finding his email address, she starts writing something..who knows what it contains, but she wants to reach him. She needs to reach him…

T.C.'s day has been hectic, but far from crazy — there was, at least, no blood involved! Only the normal hecticness of a student with a courseload significantly heavier than is recommended for sanity; even on a weekend there are things to do in the lab and work to catch up on. At the moment, he's heading into the library with a backpack whose bulky ponderous weight is visible reflection of his courseload. His fingers twist absently at the straps at his shoulders as his grey eyes scan the room for empty space. He notices Claudine's book before he notices Claudine herself; as his gaze lifts from text to girl, hesitation and curiosity war on his features. Curiosity wins in the end, and he approaches uncertainly, though he keeps an awkwardly big distance between himself and her table, even as he greets her. "Hey, Claudine."

There's a little yelp as she's startled, but then sighs and lets out an amused chuckle under her breath. "Oh..hey T.C…" Claudine says with a warm smile. She doesnt look too good, a bit pale and there are bags under her eyes as if she hasnt really slept much in the past couple of days. Maybe she's just a really frazzled freshman, who knows.

"Why am I not surprised that you're here..studying again?" she asks curiously while closing the book as she tries to hide her notes. If he looks overwhat she's scribbling, there are things like 'how do I do this?' and 'biomineralization' on her notepad, which she tries to cover it with her arms. "How have you been?"

He certainly does look over what she's been scribbling, inquisitive (nosy!) nature prodded even more awake by the book she was reading. Answering her question is a delayed afterthought; T.C. blushes faintly and looks back up, hands still wringing at the straps of his backpack. "Studying — always," he admits sheepishly. "How's your work going? You look sorta tired."

"I havent had much time for it in all honesty. I've kind of been..distracted.." Claudine admits ruefully as she sighs and idly runs her fingers through her hair, smiling once more. She cants her head to the side a little and peers curiously towards him,"What about you?"

"That's not work, then?" T.C. points with one finger towards Claudine's copy of /Activating Evolution/. "I mean, I guess it is a little far out there for evolutionary biology, but some professors are big on exploring all theories. Even taking a look into the cracked ones."

"It's not cracked..I mean, I thought it was, but..now I dont think so.." she says somewhat defensively as she raises her brows a little towards TC. "I mean, it's entirely possible that things are happening on amacroscale. It happens all the time with bacteria..why not with us?" she asks curiously.

"/Cracked/," T.C. replies with a shake of his head. "Come on. People who can fly and — what, shoot lasers out their eyeballs? I read a lot of comics, but even I know the difference between them and real life. I've been reading the same book. I think that Chandra Suresh guy was a little too fond of X-Men." His hands return to the straps of his backpack, curling tighter around them. "If there were actually people out there who could do that stuff, don't you think someone would've noticed?"

Claudine shakes her head as she wrinkles her nose once more while shrugging her shoulders. "Who knows..he might have been, but I still believe him. God only knows I didnt before, but I've had my mind changed. You can say I'm a..believer, so to speak.." she says with a warmsmile before looking around for a few moments. "So..you dont believe him? And what makes you so certain that this guy is a charletan?"

"Common sense," T.C. replies promptly, but despite his professed disblief in the book's subject matter, the curiosity in his eyes is clear. "What makes you sure he /isn't/? What changed your mind?"

"You really want to know?" Claudine quips with her brows raised while she chews on her bottom lip for a few moments as she motions for him to take a seat. "Well, first question..know anything about geology?" she asks curiously.

"Wouldn't be asking if I didn't," T.C. answers with a briefly puzzled furrowing of his brow. He does come closer, though, and drops his backpack to the floor with a heavy thud as he takes a seat. His eyes flicker warily to Claudine's laptop, and automatically he pushes his chair slightly back, putting more distance between himself and the table. "I'm no expert, but I've read a bit."

There's a bit of hesitation for a few moments as her mind is racing. Should she tell him? should she show him? Claudine takes a deep breath and reaches into one of her bags, pulling out a piece of quartz before tossing it over to him. "Crystals like these..generally form in different habits. Seven different Bravais lattices that have edges and they can only be cut along those edges and shape as such using those edges lest they shatter, right?"

Even from this close distance, T.C. doesn't manage to catch the tossed crystal. He flinches back from it instinctively, even, blushing as the quartz bumps against his forearm and falls to the floor. He bends over in his seat to pick it up and examine it thoughtfully. "Yeah, sure," he agrees easily enough. He doesn't say anything more; he is listening to Claudine, intently.

Claudine cant help but giggle impishly as she shakes her head and watches him curiously. "Nothing's wrong with it, right? It's orthorhombic, quite sharp edges and very solid, right?" she asks, wanting him to see that this isnt a trick or anything like that..

T.C. blushes deeper at the giggle, and his eyes drop abruptly from Claudine to the mineral in his hand. His fingers trace over the rock, and he hefts it in his hand, getting a feel for it. "Yeah. It's — y'know. Quartz. It feels solid."

"Give it back..and be quiet.." Claudine whispers softly as she leans forward so that her face is just inches away from his, smiling the entire time. With that she plucks the crystal from his hand and keeps it in her hand, palm up. "What if I told you I can change that.."

"Change it?" T.C. relinquishes the crystal without protest, but his eyes narrow thoughtfully on Claudine. He shies back slightly away from her. His voice drops lower. "What — what — what d'you mean?"

"Look now.." she whispers once more as she has practiced enough with this one piece to where she can feel it now. In the few seconds that he was distracted, the quartz is now completely spherical as she places it backin his hand. "Like that.." she whispers.

T.C.'s already pale face drains of colour even more. His gaze drops to the quartz, and then lifts back to her. His fingers, suddenly, abruptly trembling, close around the sphere of rock tightly. There is a very brief flicker from the lights in the room, and on Claudine's laptop, a warning flashes suddenly — critical low battery, going into hibernation to protect open documents; the alarm barely has time to sound before the laptop powers down. Around the room, a few other students seem to be having the same problem with unplugged computers; they grumble in puzzlement and reach for power cords to connect them to outlets so they can be turned back on. Meanwhile, T.C.'s eyes are wide. His jaw clenches. His hands are white-knuckle-tight around the rock. His mouth opens and closes, but no sound is immediately forthcoming.

"Shit.." Claudine says, figuring things out since she had a similar reaction when she 'discovered' what she could do. Her eyes widen and she grabs a hold of T.C.'s shoulders, "Calm down.." she whispers, "Please, calm down.." repeating herself over and over again. Gah, now she's the cause of someone else's flipping out.

The students start grumbling around and she looks over to the nearest one. "Can you watch our stuff real quick?" she asks as she grabs a hold of T.C.'s hand and tries to get him out of there. She knows that when she's flipping and she's moved things generally calm down. Maybe the same will happen here, and as such, she tries to take him towards the stacks..far away from any electronics..

"I'm calm," T.C. protests tersely, although he is, quite clearly, anything but. He jerks away from her touch, which is more instinctive reaction than actual protest — touching him comes accompanied by a brief jolt of static shock. He doesn't argue with the implied suggestion of getting away from there; he pushes himself out of his chair and scoops his backpack up as he stands, heading with her towards the stacks. His other hand is still gripping the sphere of quartz, tightly.

Claudine winces a little at the static shock. "Y-you're one too.." she says with a bit of disbelief, her tones hushedthe entire time. "Just…I dunno…you're causing a freak out amongst the computers. I sort of do the same thing, except mine's a bit more destructive..in that I cause earthquakes.." she admits ruefully, her cheeks flushed bright red asshe looks over him once more.

"Look..the reason why I'm frazzled..there are..I think there might be people..bad people.." she says matter of factly. "I only realized what I could do after someone shot at me yesterday, and today someone shot at me again. I promise I wont tell anyone what you can do. I..I'm so sorry.." she says, closing her eyes for a few moments as she tries to keep herself calm, but the books around them start to rattle as the earth underneath starts toripple..

"You should be /careful/," T.C. hisses between clenched teeth, but his startled panic melts away in favor of worry as he listens to Claudine. "Jesus. Are you alright?" His empty hand lifts, pressing tiredly to his forehead, and he leans back against one of the shaking shelves of books. "Calm down," it is his turn to plead. "I'm not going to /tell/ anyone. I just — never met anyone who —" His head shakes abruptly. "You just have to be careful. You hardly /know/ me. You can't just /tell/ people — I mean, you never know how someone's going to — it isn't safe."

"I.." and her cheeks flush a slight tinge of red. "I dunno..I felt like I could tlel you somehow. It's wierd, but yeah.." she says with a nervous little chuckle. Following that chuckle, the trembling stops, though a few books did fall onto the ground. "I know..I'll keep it a secret, but you didnt exactly keep quiet either..considering your little display. You're the second one with powers like that..at least as far as I've seen.."

"What would you know?" There's a bit of an irritable snap in T.C.'s tone, born more of stress than any actual anger. "You found out yesterday? I've been keeping my secret for /years/," he grits out. "Display? It's not like a single person in there thinks anything except that they got too distracted by what they were doing and forgot to pay attention to their battery level. If I ever have any /displays/, there wouldn't be a single person in that room who —" He breaks off abruptly, and his head bows. He takes a deep breath. "Sorry," he says, more gently and sounding genuinely apologetic, hands shaking as they drop to his sides. "I'm sorry. I just — this is — all this time I've felt so — I've never met anyone else —" More deep breaths.

Claudine winces when he snaps at her as if it was a slap to the face. She chews on her bottomlip a little, though she blinks blankly and forces a smile to her lips as she takes his hands and gives it a gentle squeeze. "Well, now you know one.." she says with a warm and sincere smile as she lets out an impish giggle. "I..I dont think I justmanifested a few days ago..that was..me realizing I could do it. I was being shot at and I made the earth rise up like a wall..it was pure instinct. I..I never felt so free,but then..I've freaked out. That's why I've been hiding in the visual media center the past day and whatnot.." she admits ruefully. "Then, there was this evening when someone shot again, and.." she closes her eyes, stopping right there as she tries to calm herself down once more.

T.C. blinks down in mild bemusement at the squeeze of his hand. Some of the tension is easing from his posture, but his hands are still shaking. He moves away from where he leans against the bookshelf, to pick up the books that had fallen from the shelf, glancing over them to see where they should go back. "Who tried to shoot you? Was it — because of —"

"I..dunno. I dont know who did it or why, but whoever it was, it was definitely shooting at me..cause no one else was around.." Claudine admits ruefully as she follows along, still giving his hand a gentle squeeze as if it's as much for her as it is for him. "Until a couple of days ago, I didnt know I could do this, I mean..back when I was younger, a landslide stopped, but I just thought it was a miracle, ya know. What about you..how long have you..been ya know..been zapping things?"

"I don't know. Ten? Eleven? It's when I started fritzing electronics. The — rest came later." T.C. does not particularly elaborate on what the rest is. He does, hesitantly, squeeze her hand back, shooting her a small, shy smile. He slides the books back into their places on the shelves. "— I don't believe in miracles, though. — Are you — gonna be — safe? I mean. After getting /shot/ at. You shouldn't — maybe shouldn't be alone for a while. I don't know."

Claudine's eyes widen a little as she chews on her bottom lip, before a nervous little chuckle escapes from her lips. "Well..that's about as old as I was when the land slide happened, but in the Philippines..it's very, very Catholic, and things are more miracles from God than because people have powers.." she says softly as she looks around. She then cants her head to the side as she doesnt let go of his hand yet as she peers curiously towards him. "I..I guess I shouldnt. My roommate..she's off at her boyfriend's, but I've sort of been crashing in one of the studios in the VMC. Why..are you..will you..um..ya know..stay with me?"

T.C.'s eyes widen, and a deep blush floods his cheeks; he fumbles the book he is currently re-shelving, and it tumbles to the floor along with the quartz sphere he still holds. The ball skitters away, coming to a halt halfway down the aisle. T.C. stoops to pick up the book. "I — uh — I don't — I mean, you're — there must be — I —" He sounds rather flustered, and his quiet laugh is as tinged with nervousness as Claudine's had been. "I — okay. Yeah. Sure. Just seems like it would suck to be on your own after — that."

"You dont ha.." and then she just smiles warmly as he eventually says yes. "Thanks, you're sweet.." Claudine says softly as she finally lets go of his hand to pick up the sphere before helping reshelve the rest of the books. It is her fault afterall. As she restacks the books, she watches him curiously before giggling once more. "So um..that last homework set sucked huh…" Yeah..she didnt know what else to say. Cute shy boy who just offered to stay with her..yeah..cat's got her tongue.

"I am?" T.C. blinks again, and his head bows, though there is a tiny flicker of a smile on his lips. "I — thanks. I mean. /Shot/. I couldn't let you — after that —" He breaks off, shaking his head, and welcomes the subject change, though he is not much less awkward here. "It was a lot. Barely had time to get it all done. Do you want to — uh." He frowns, and looks around for more books to put back, but they are all cleaned up now. Drat. No escape from conversation! "Maybe — get back to your —" His blush deepens. "I mean. Studying. That's what we were doing, right?"

Her brows raise a little as she lets out impish little giggles as she watches him stumble over his own words. Awww, he's nervous. That's just too adorable, but she nods. "Yeah..we should get going ya know..to study and all that.." even though there's really nothing to study. "And yeah..I dont want to get shot, I imagine it wouldnt be very pleasant.." she says, not really having much else to say. A warmsmile curls onto her lips as she idly brushes herfingers through her hair before taking his hand once more to give it a gentle squeeze before heading back to the study tables to get her things. "Lemme just grab my stuff.."

"Okay." T.C.'s answer is somewhat muffled by the fact that his hands have lifted to cover the bright crimson of his face. He has his stuff with him! So he does not need to go anywhere. He doesn't follow. "I'll just — wait — by the door." He straightens up, and grips his backpack tightly as he scurries in the direction of the exit.

As he goes off towards the door, Claudine shakes her head a little, definitely amused by his response. Maybe she scares him, who knows. Fortunately, it doesnt take too long for her to grab her things as she soon meets up with him at the exit, with her copy of the Suresh book held tightly in her arms. "So um..shall we then?"

Truth be told, almost everyone scares T.C. The idea of spending extended periods of time alone with a pretty girl /might/ scare him a bit more than the average. He is back to twisting nervously at his backpack straps by the time she reaches him, though he drops his hand from one so that he can push the door open and hold it for her. "Yeah. Okay. We — shall." After a moment's delay, he tacks on: "/Study/. We'll do that. And — not get shot."

"I really dont feel like experiencing the latter.." she quips with another impish little giggle escaping from her lips as she bows her head towards him once he opens the door for her. This time, she has no real excuse to hold his hand, but she'll try to reach out for it anyway. It's sort of nice afterall, as she leads him to her dorm…

His hand is rather clammy with sweat, which may not be the nicest thing ever, and he fidgets awkwardly as it is taken but makes no protest. "Which dorms are you in?" His eyes flicker around the street uncertainly once they're out the door, following her lead meekly.

"John Jay..it's pretty private and you dont really run into many people that often.." Claudine says matter of factly as she looks down at his hand and grins wryly. She hrmms for a few moments before allof a sudden asking, "Um..do I make you nervous?" she asks curiously.

"Oh! I was there last year. Got moved to Wallach, now." T.C.'s nose wrinkles, and he shrugs one shoulder. "Yes," he answers, truthfully.

Well, that wasnt too much of a surprise, but she still giggles with amusement. "Why? Why do I make you nervous? I promise I dont bite.." Claudine quips with a wry smile.

T.C. grins, lopsided and rather uncertain as he glances towards her. "I'm not much of a people person. This is already a longer conversation than I normally can have without —" He breaks off, and scuffs his free hand through his rumpled hair. "Scratch that. I totally already fumbled things and dropped stuff and got tongue tied."

"Then, we have to get you some practice dealing with people.." Claudine says firmly and resolutely, while giving his hand a reassuring squeeze. "Unless you dont want to, then it's all right, but is this the longest conversation you've had ina while? That's surprising, I heard a few of the other girls in our class say you.." and then she stops, beaming against, rather mischeviously, "Dont worry about it."

T.C.'s eyes widen, and his steps freeze momentarily, so abruptly that he nearly trips over his own feet before catching himself. "Y-y-you heard the other girls say — I what?" he stammers out, before reminding his legs to keep moving.

"That's you're cute.." Claudine says with a wink before letting out another amused chuckle under her breath, running her fingers through her hair once more.

There's another furious blush fron T.C., and he blinks rapidly at this. "Oh — I — they — /me/?" His lips catches between his teeth. "I think they had me confused with someone else," he decides presently. He squints around at the dormitory buildings before nodding over towards Claudines. "Let's — we should — really be getting to — I have a ton of work," he finishes lamely.

"Maybe.." Claudine says with a slight shake of her head before she leads him into John Jay, nodding towards the RAs who are making sure every one who checks in is kosher. It's not too much longer before they reach her room and she unlocks the door to a rather girly looking room, which seemsto be dominated by her roommate's stuff. "Um..ignore all that..my roomie is kind of a slob.." she says grimacing a bit.

"S'alright. You should see my room." T.C. enters, though he lingers near the doorway, glancing around somewhat awkwardly and shifting his weight from one foot to the other. He is back to twisting at his backpack straps, again. From the way the padding is squished and worn down, it is clearly a rather prevalent habit of his. "So. Uhm." His words finish at 'uhm'. He chews at his bottom lip.

"Why are you so nervous? We're going to study, not make out.." Claudine says as she motions for him to come on inside as she shakes her head, definitely finding it quite amusing now.

"N-n-not /what/?" T.C. blinks rapidly, and shakes his head abruptly. "Of course we — I mean not that you're not — I mean I wouldn't — I mean I just —" He bows his head and skitters into the room, taking a chair at the roommate's side of the room and dropping his backpack onto the ground beside it. "/Studying now/," he says, cheeks bright red and his expression torn between laughter and grimace.

"Make out. I believe, the colloquialism amongst you American is the smoochies?" Claudine quips as she heads on over and ruffle's T.C.'s hair playfully before flopping onto her bed. She kicks off her shoes and opens up 'Activating Evolution' again though she occasionally glances towards his direction, giggling every now and then..

T.C., for his part, pulls out his books and bends his head over them. Pointedly! But not so pointedly that he doesn't occasionally glance up and over towards Claudine, either. It takes a long time for the red to fade from his cheeks.

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