March 21, 2013 by Lyn
This takes place after Chapter 22: Speed.
Saturday February 1, 2004
Llew was the first one to Professor Valerian’s, but Sofia got there while he was knocking on the door.
“I wonder what this about.” She frowned at the door. She, Llew noted, painted her face to clean, although she was wearing blue jeans and a kerchief.
“Maybe her apartment is really dirty?”
“Llew, Sofia, come on in. Dressed for the occasion, I see.” The professor was in very loose pants, almost like a skirt, and her normally tightly-bunned hair was in two messy braids. She looked more human than she normally did.
Llew smirked at himself. Since when had messy meant human?
“What’s this all about, Professor?” Sofia liked to get straight to the point, it seemed.
“Well, with the recent disturbances, my apartment is more of a mess than it normally is, and I need some help cleaning it up.”
“Yes, but why make it a — party, or whatever?”
“Well, I don’t have a Kept, and haven’t in… well, quite a while, let’s just say that. And, while I’d normally invite a bunch of friends over, we’re all quite busy.”
“So instead you borrowed the school’s Kept.” Llew was amused.
“Ahem.” Sofia, on the other hand, didn’t look amused at all.
“Students Belong to their Teachers, after all.” Laurel smirked at the two of them. “Now, I don’t really know how many people are coming, so let’s just get started with basic picking up and sorting.” She gestured at a large stack of papers. “I’d like to get these arranged by subject, on this bookshelf.” She pointed at a bookshelf which had clearly just had all its books removed. “Then we need to rearrange the books somewhere else.”
“Why?” Sofia liked that word. Llew, on the other hand, was more curious about the papers.
“Here, wear gloves.” The professor was already pulling out three pairs of nitrile gloves. “The papers are older than you are. Be gentle.”
“Lots of things are older than we are, Professor.” Llew grinned. It was the weekend. He could have fun.
“Yes. Including my son. Impudent children.” The professor was smiling as widely as Llew was.
Sofia shook her head. “All right. We’re sorting papers. Into…”
“I trust you children to come up with an organizational plan.”
“Children.” Sofia huffed it out indignantly, but she still sat down and began flipping through the papers. “Here, clear off a spot so I can start making categories.”
Llew considered bristling. Instead, he cleared off a spot and picked up a paper.
“This one is on… Uh.” He frowned at the blue text on the bluish paper.
“What is it?” Sofia hadn’t, he noticed, started looking at her own paper yet.
“Anatomy of winged Homo Sirenes. What makes them fly.”
He flipped through the pages carefully. The diagrams weren’t bad. The photos, on the other hand…
“Here, make an anatomy pile, then. I’ve got the effects of iron on homo sirenes. What’s a Homo Sirenes, Professor?”
“Look.” Llew flipped open another notebook. The photo, chosen at random, looked a lot like him: pointed ears, long fingers, skinny body. Except that Llew wasn’t cut open from throat to groin.
“…oh. Oh.” She turned pale, almost green. “Oh.”
A knock at the door distracted them. The professor moved from what she’d been doing — watching them? — to answer it.
Amadeus stood in the doorway. “Professor?” The big guy was hunching — he was no taller than Llew, really; he could fit through the door just fine. He just <i>looked</i> like he didn’t fit.
“Amadeus!” If Valerian was surprised, she didn’t show it at all. “Come on in. Are you here to clean?”
“Yeah… yes, ma’am.”
“Without your Keeper?”
“She doesn’t know I’m here.” His lips curled. It could have been a smile, or a snarl. “She gave me the day off.”
“Interesting. Well, let’s see. Llew and Sofia have those papers well in hand, I believe. Why don’t you help me with this room over here. I have some things in this back room I’d like to get sorted out…”
Llew and Sofia shared a look as the two of them vanished into the back of Valerian’s apartment. “This day keeps getting stranger.” Sofia’s smirk lasted only a moment, before she looked back down at the papers. “All right. This one is a specific subject study. Subject number one three seven. Departed gods, I hope they didn’t start with one.”
This story was written in response to Rix’s donation and request for the cleaning session at Valerian’s
For every $5US donated, I will write 300 words on the character or situation of your choice. In addition, every donation will bring you to a small snippet of story – a new snippet every Wednesday! Want more?