Continued from yesterday:
“Her bike, or *a* bike?” Harley whispered.
“Scooter,” Todd supplied. “It’s currently resting in pieces, waitin’ fo’ the last parts to fix it up.”
Harley giggled as she wrote.
“Hey lookit. Toady Tolenski’s gonna ride the Harley.”
_Ah, fuckit._ “No, I’m'a go ride Eileen wit’ Sara. Shut up, foo’.”
So it’d be all over the school in less than three seconds. Expecially with txt messaging. So. Fucking. What. It wasn’t *his* fault that they couldn’t handle the truth.
Harley was bright red and meeping behind her hands. “Omigod… Ican'tbelieveyou*said*that…”
“Their fault fo’ not list'nin’ right,” he breezed. “‘Sides, last I looked, the only person in this school named Eileen is Mrs Kaydovar, th’ librarian.”
“Isn’t she older than dirt?”
“Xac'ly mah point, yo.”
“Some silence *please*,” said Mrs Grear.
Her plea worked for exactly two minutes.
“So what happened to your hand?”
“The broken one.”
“Ah. Someone stood on it. Hardly hurts no mo’.”
 Aussie slanguage. Bike == someone [usually a girl] who’s 'easy’ because anybody could “have a ride”. If this doesn’t work in the US, please let me know…
 'Cadaver’ spelled creatively
Mr. Haufman hadn’t proved to be such a great teacher at all really. He’d assigned them review questions based on Mr. Hinkley’s notes, and passed out some test papers. Watching him try to answer student questions was funny. His stance was casual, resting against the desk and still pointlessly holding the roll book open in his hand. There was a sheet of paper in it that, when rustled, looked anything but a roll sheet. More like an answer key. Sara knew because if an answer wasn’t on the sheet, Mr. Haufman would excuse himself saying that they didn’t teach that particular theory over in Germany. For most of the students, that answer was completely acceptable. Not for Sara.
It was all Jean could do to keep the girl’s mouth shut. _*Please* cut him a break. I know he’s a horrible Chem teacher, but substitute teachers can’t be proficient in *everything*. And it’s not like they know who’s class they have to take over before they’re told._
_He’s still faking that accent._ Sara insisted. However she turned her attention to her notepad and started doodling absently. Mr. Haufman could jabber whatever he thought passed as Chemistry notes, and Sara could draw caricatures. At length, somebody behind her tapped her shoulder and held up a cell phone so she could see.
Sara read it out of sheer boredom and then giggled. The student hoping to embarrass Sara reread his txt message to see why *she* would be laughing. Unfortunately, Mr. Haufman heard the exchange and marched over. “Young Fraulein,” he said sternly which didn’t help Sara stop laughing.
_Stop it,_ hissed Jean to no avail.
Mr. Haufman wasn’t terribly upset however. Rather relieved since he was running out of things to ramble on about. Being a stern teacher he could better handle.
“Let me see that telephone,” he said, glaring at the other student. Sara noticed that his accent had dropped. Sheepishly, the cell phone was handed over.
Mr. Haufman scanned over it and frowned. There had to be more than a dozen possibilities in one state with the name Todd T., but he hadn’t gotten this far by being careless. His mind went back to the boy he’d seen in the washroom. Familiar and cringy enough, but then he’d been scrubbing with soap. (1) “Who eez this Todd? Last name?”
Sara rolled her eyes. It was ridiculous how many teachers went after somebody for being in a rumor.
“Todd Tolensky,” the student confessed. Mr. Haufman’s face didn’t change but he became calm too fast. He put the cell phone down and walked back to the front of the room. “Put zat thing away. I shall talk to him about disturbing zee class,” he muttered and picked up a text book this time instead of the roll book. His mistake, the paper wasn’t in this one.
(1) I have no idea how long Todd’s trouble with soap stretched back to. Tell me if I’m wrong, but I’m guessing childhood since he’s a second generation mutant, and that he didn’t start smelling too bad until puberty hit.
“In his defence, mein Herr,” said Sara, “Eileen is my scooter. I’m the Sara.”
He glared at her. “You, I have heard enough from. No more interruptions to my class, ja?”
Sara switched to German. “[If you please, I cannot remain silent forever.]”
Not even a *glimmer* of comprehension. At least this time, he sensed the trap. “And since ve are in America, please to be speaking ze official language, fraulein.”
Sara snorted, straining herself to keep a straight face. Fortunately, her paroxysms looked like nodding and Mr Haufmann was temporarily pleased.
_I’m serious, Sara. *Stop* it._
_The man’s an impostor. I’m not even sure he’s an actual teacher._
“Now…” Haufmann flipped through the book. “Vhere vere ve?”
“…vini vidi vichi…” Sara muttered.
Fish-eye glare. “Your pardon?”
“Page two hundred and forty-three.”
“Ah. *Ah*. Ze chemistry of organics… Ah…” he fumbled through the book, looking for his loose page. “Er…”
_Oh brother._ “Carbon,” she supplied. “The keystone of organic chemistry?”
“Ah! Yes. Our friend Carbon.” flip flip flip. He copied a molecule onto the board. “Now. Who can tell me vhere ve might find dis particular example of Carbon?”
One of the jocks tentatively raised his hand. “Uh. Sir? I think that’s plastic.”
“Nylon, to be precise,” said Sara. “Bravo, George.”
Five minutes later, she was being glared at by Principal Kelly.
“Tell me, miss Adrien… Do *enjoy* making a mockery of this school?”
“Sir, I honestly don’t know what you mean… I was merely savouring a mockery that presented *itself*.”
Things went downhill from there. Evidently, Principal Kelly didn’t want to hear about Haufmann’s spurious German origins. Nor did he listen to Sara’s suspicions about his credentials and lack thereof. It finally ended up with Kelly threatening a punishment detail instead of Study Hall.
“Fine. I’ll do my utmost to restrain myself,” she grumbled. “But if he’s a genuine High School teacher, then I’m next in line for the Royal Throne.”
“That will be *quite* enough, miss Adrien.”
Sigh. “Yes, sir.”
“You may go.”
The bell rang, indicating it was time for Study Hall. At least it was *peaceful* in Study Hall. Just her and the workbook… she tore open the envelope… And the continuing correspondence from Professor Montegna.
Sara picked her seat up the back and in a corner, so that less people would be inclined to bug her.
_Dear Miss Adrien,_ the Professor had written. _Your eagerness to prove yourself is both unnecessary and moot. Surely an intelligent person such as yourself would know a few ways to fake such evidence, since you already know a few ways to procure it in the first place._
“Rats,” muttered Sara.
_However, you can rest assured that I will be verifying your prowess independantly, in my own time._
Translated, he didn’t exactly trust her, but he was willing to believe she was smart enough to *really* fake it.
Sara put aside his letter for later and sought the calm of cold, logical equations and the peace of the text and the theorem they represented. Assuming a world made like *this*, and given *that* information, the numbers behaved *thusly*. Much cleaner and better-organized than Social Math.
Someone was looming.
Sara flinched, going into an automatic defence stance Logan had taught her.
The gentleman peering over her shoulder was apparently transplanted from Hollywood, which churned out pretty people on a regular basis. His smile, however, was one of surprised amazement.
“You really *do* read that quickly,” he said.
Sara tried to swallow an instant dislike of the man. He was… too *perfect*. “Is there something I can help you with, mr…?”
“Montegna. Professor Montegna.” He offered his hand.
“Sara Louise Adrien,” she said, shaking it. “Imitating a paramecium, evidently.”
Montegna laughed, easing himself into a seat. “You’ll have to forgive me, miss Adrien,” he soothed. “I’m far too used to students who are *just* smart enough to fake being smarter. It’s a tremendous ruin to the system, our grants, and so forth. Especially when these so-called paragons of education inevitably flounder.”
“Believe me, sir. No-one was more surprised regarding my apparent intelligence than yours truly.” And, given the recent kerfuffle with Haufmann… “How do I *know* you’re the good Professor?”
“Zero to paranoia in twenty seconds. Impressive.” He gave her his wallet. “Check the illegible scrawl that otherwise passes for my signiature against your letter.”
She did. Not exactly the same, but with just enough variation to be genuine. “My appologies, but I’ve already run foul of one impostor, today. I wouldn’t be surprised if they came in threes.”
He raised his eyebrows. “Superstition?”
“The human brain likes patterns,” said Sara. “Threes are instilled in us from the cradle, re-enforced by dominant religion *and* leftover pagan symbolism, stirred thoroughly into our culture and regurgitated by the masses. In brief, we *look* for threes.”
Montegna laughed. “Remind me to send you some sociology material. I think you and Professor Schwartz would spend many an educational hour arguing over miscellany.”
“Thanks, but I’m having enough fun messing with my own head.”
“First-year psych texts?”
Todd spent the rest of the math class trying to find faces in the wooden desk surface. Mrs. Grear had managed to quiet the class since nobody had txted back a funny Sara reaction. Not funny to them at least. The only message received had been: “She went lol. wtf?” and it had not been shown to Todd, therefore he was unaware of its existence.
He was expecting a reaction like that anyway, so affirmation of it wouldn’t have done enough to draw him back out of his retreat. Todd was carefully keeping his mind blank by focusing on multiplication tables. Just simple multiplication that was tedious and yet easy, so he didn’t get discouraged enough to let his mind wander back to the real problems. Harley at length poked him in the good arm. Todd blinked and discovered that the bell had rung about a minute ago. People were already clearing out.
“Here’s your notes, Todd."
"Thanks,” he murmured, taking them and stuffing them one handed in a folder. He put them in his backpack and stood up.
“End o’ the day syndrome,” he offered as explanation.
“Ah. I’d hate to see how 'end of the week’ syndrome affects you."
Todd smiled wanly. "I wish.” He waved goodbye and headed down the hall to P.E. Todd briefly entertained the thought of skipping, but there was little point in it. The teacher was going to let him sit on the bench and at worst make him repair holes in the volleyball net(1) - why get into trouble for nothing?
The teacher had nothing for him to do today. He made Todd a few of the warmup exercises with the rest of the class, and sent him to the bench. After a few minutes of watching a bunch of jocks run around in pointless circles, Todd knew he was going to go crazy unless he occupied his mind. Even walking would help. He *should* have brought a book. Eventually he gave up on not thinking about it when he realized he could take advantage of his injuries to do some office snooping. It would mean he didn’t have to put off seeing Sara after classes. The coach was only too passive to the idea of him going to the nurse to get 'that nasty rash’ looked at and sent him off with a hall pass.
Todd went, singing 'Reasons to be Miserable’ (2) to try and cheer himself up.
His voice echoed in the hall, even while singing quietly, so he stopped. Sara’s study hall room was to the left of him. The door was closed. Todd stood there for a while staring at it. _Not now, yo. You got things to find out first. Then you have to explain._
He moved on reluctantly. Past the nurse’s office and toward the main. There, the secretary was on the phone but she saw him. Todd sat down and waited. When she’d hung up, she looked at the boy and sighed. “Mr. Tolensky? Why are you in trouble this time?”
“I’m not, yo.” He showed her the hall pass. She raised an eyebrow.
“You were supposed to have gone to the nurses’ office, it says."
"Yeah, and I’ll go, but I just need to ask something real quick."
"Okay, what?” She looked confused.
“You guys hire any new teachers recently?”
“Yes, we’ve hired several over the week. Why are you asking?”
“Curiousity. Any of them just started today?”
“*Mister* Tolensky. Is there a legitimate reason you’re here asking these kind of questions when you *should* be getting something for those blisters?” And just like that, her tone became concerned. “Is there something wrong?"
Todd looked confused and then realized his posture. He was now perching in the chair with his arms crossed over his ribs and shoulders hunched protectively as he leaned forward. Old habits die hard. He forced himself to uncurl. "Ah. No, nothing. I’ll go to the nurse.” And he’d better if he didn’t want to get into trouble. On the way, he passed the teacher’s lounge. Somebody inside was laughing, walking out backwards at the same time as Todd moved by.
“Ach!” Todd heard as he was bumped off course.
“Oh, sorry-” he apologized, and looked up. Fuck. Twice in one day. _Don’t Panic._ he told himself, a few seconds too late. Too late as in tearing down the hall in the opposite direction at warp speed.
Usually this time of day the halls were mostly empty. That’s why Todd didn’t check himself when he zipped around the corner. They both went down hard. The only way Todd knew he’d run into a female was because of the scream and because somebody genuinely German cried out her name in alarm.
Papers were floating everywhere and Todd could taste blood. “Shhiiiit… Sorry…” he croaked, trying to sit up. Amanda was rubbing her head and wincing. There was no blood on her at least. After looking her over, Kurt gave him a less than favorable look. “Sara’s not out of class until the last bell rings, ja?” he growled at Todd. At least Kurt was assuming a reason behind Todd running recklessly through the halls.
“Tha’s not what this is about,” Todd moaned. “I din’t mean to hurt yo girl.”
“I know that,” Kurt sighed. He turned his attention back to Amanda. “Poor liebe. Does it hurt much?”
“Naw, I’ve had worse in gym,” she joked. She let Kurt help her up and looked at Todd. “So where’s the fire?”
“Eh.” He was crawling around picking up papers and constantly looking over his shoulder. “I think it’s out for now. You okay?”
Amanda shook her head. “I already said I’m fine.” She took in Todd’s pale face and broken left hand. Not to mention his skin. “I should be more worried about you."
Todd was about to answer that when someone walked around the corner from behind him. "Ah, guten tag, Kenny. Bitte(3) you dropped ze hall pass."
"GAaaaAH!” Todd nearly jumped out of his skin. Without turning around, he shoved the papers he’d gathered at Amanda and took off with a whimper.
Amanda stared after Todd while Kurt gawked unabashedly at Mr. Haufman. “What in the world was that about?” she wondered aloud.
(1) Whenever I had to sit out on physical education class because of sickness or that one time I got the shingles across my chest and under my arm, there was always something for me to do. The teacher in my high school could never stand idleness. She’d have me patch up and reinflate rubber balls or she’d have me help correct tests.
(2) Reasons to be Miserable - by Marvin the Paranoid Android. Of HGTHG fame. I’ve seen the new movie. And adore it. ^^; Such catchy tunes! *hums 'So Long and Thanks for all the Fish’*
(3) Bitte used as 'but’. Classic blunder. I think Bitte means 'please’ in affirmation, as in 'yes, please’.