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Post by Guest Fri Apr 12, 2013 8:56 am

Leaning back in his chair, Wynter kept his eyes to the ceiling. Pressing the straw of a juice box to his lips, the young man took only half a sip but kept the end of the plastic to his lips. He was lost in thought, thinking back to the night before. The dinner was nice, but the conversation, as expected, was dry and slow paced. Peyton was a good cook, and it was nice to have something besides a boxed lunch.

He'd learned a bit more about his research aid though, so, aside from the food, the night hadn't been a total waste. Firstly, she wasn't married; a single parent. Next, she knew Gelemortian, a language Wynter wasn't very familiar with but had heard a few words of in his time in Central City. Lastly, he had noticed she seemed to stray away from questions about her past. As such he hadn't asked her about the automail leg yet, though it ate at the back of his mind. Some things were better left unsaid, or, in Wynter's case, ninety percent of all things were left unsaid anyway.

Tipping his chair back a bit more, he finally allowed it to fall back on all four legs as he quickly sucked down the rest of his juice. Tossing the box into the bin, he kept the straw between his teeth to chew on slightly. Tapping a finger back upon the thesis he'd yet to turn in, he opened the drawer next to him and slid it inside. There was still time before he would need to present it for review, so he wasn't really worrying anymore. He could relax until he was given his next orders.

Thinking back, he recalled skimming over Peyton's report that was given to him. At first he was upset by the fact the military had assigned him an underling so quickly, especially given his disposition to social contact, and this had blinded him to the advantages of such a thing. She was an alchemist as well, which meant she had to have her own studies to attend to. Today, he decided, he would ask her if she needed help with her own research. A role reversal of sorts, giving her some time to lead the show as he had the past week.

"We can only pray that all will be well." He mused out loud to himself. It was a phrase his mother seemed to say quite often. They were in no way a religious family, and never had been, but she spoke those same words every time a new challenge was presented upon herself or Wynter. Wise words in hard times were difficult to come by, but if there were any he could hold onto those were the ones he'd choose to never slip through his fingers.

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Post by Peyton Sat Apr 13, 2013 5:50 pm

"Shit shit shit, I am so fucking late," Peyton hissed under her breath as she shuffled down the halls. This morning, her crappy car had decided to poop out on her. Peyton had to practically sprint to the bus station in order to catch the bus. When she had gotten onto the actual bus, she had discovered she had left her wallet at home! So Peyton had no bus fare. She had to get off, run back home to grab her wallet, and walk to work. The walk to work took her nearly half an hour. Ugh, nothing was ever on her side these days. Not even her own car.

In Gelemorte, she didn't really have to deal with these things. Hell, she didn't even need to work. If she wanted to, she could have just lazed on the couch all day long. Nothing to worry about. Nothing to fret over. The most she had to think about was "What should I make Marcus for dinner?", "Do we need groceries?", and "Oh boy it's a little messy, I should clean the house." While she was pregnant, it was a better life for her because that meant less stress, and Peyton was already high-strung without the stress that her old job and life provided. Living with Marcus did have it's downfalls though... Living with a man who refused to give up drugs for his own newborn child got difficult, so Peyton left that comfortable life.

It was for the best anyways. Peyton was able to grow and reach her goals here. This was a better environment for Anja anyways. Sure, Peyton cried on an almost daily basis over the fact that she and her first love were split now because he wanted drugs more than her, and now she had nobody but herself to lean on and depend on, but it would get better... maybe. Hopefully. Somehow.

"Ah-! I-I'm s-so sorry that I-I'm late! My c-car broke down and and.." Peyton was panting as she walked into the room and leaned against the wall, trying to catch her breath. "I-I'm just really sorry...."

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Post by Guest Sat Apr 13, 2013 6:10 pm

As the girl walked in, panting, Wynter fumbled slightly in his seat, straw falling from his mouth onto the desk. Giving a small sigh, he shook his head and stood up. Putting some papers back in order, he then walked over to a shelf and picked up a book from it.

"I-it's... fine." He said, opening to the table of contents and scanning down the list of chapters and articles. Making a mental note of the page he'd start his read at, he flipped through the pages quickly before leaning against the wall. "I w-was thinking that m-m-maybe we could w-work..." He closed his eyes and shook his head slightly before continuing. "W-We could work on sssome of your studies." Looking up from the book at her, he gave a short hum.

"Y-Your research is j-just as important as m-mine, and since y-y-you helped me... It would b-be equival-l-lent exchange."

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Post by Peyton Sat Apr 13, 2013 11:54 pm

Peyton blinked a few times and stared at her superior. He actually wanted to help her with it? Why on Earth would he do that? He probably had far better things to do besides helping her with her silly old work. "A-ah.. n-no you d-don't have to... r-really.. I'm flattered but you're already so so busy.." She looked down at her feet, red in the face with a blush and tugging at the end of her shirt nervously. It was a habit that she still hadn't broken.

Peyton quietly slipped into her chair in front of her desk and sighed, face still red from embarrassment. "I-is there anything you want me to do for you today sir..?" she mumbled. "H-have you eaten? I could go get you some lunch if you haven't..." her poor boss sometimes forgot to feed himself while at work, which Peyton saw as a problem. So whenever she noticed that, she'd go get him food and just set it near him for him to eat. If he didn't notice it soon enough, she'd give him a friendly tap.
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Post by Guest Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:51 am

Blinking a few times as she declined his offer, he turned back to his book. The words coming from his assistant next went mostly unheard as he thought of how he could pay her back. Continuing to read for a few minutes, he looked back from the book at her.

"Y-Yes, we should eat." He closed the book and walked over to her, rolling his back before standing at full height. Eyes widened slightly, he nervously added, "But afterwards w-we are going to work o-on y-y-your research. Th-That's an order." Closing his eyes, he exhaled slowly and went back to his former posture, a small smile curling upon his lips. "I w-w-wouldn't feel right if I d-didn't pay you b-back somehow."

Turning back around he headed towards the exit and stopped in the doorway. He could return to his own work at any time, but it still wasn't top priority. In fact, he hadn't been assigned any work that could be considered such in a good while now. Those higher up than him may have been deciding to give him time before he took the State exam. It would make sense.

"Sh-Shall we be on our w-w-way?"

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Post by Peyton Sun Apr 14, 2013 2:20 am

"Ah.." Peyton sighed in defeat, giving up to her Boss' will. Her work was completely different from his, on the biological side of things. She wasn't sure if he'd understand if and be able to comprehend what she was trying to accomplish. He was a smart young man though, so he had the potential to catch on quickly. "Yes, let's go then." Peyton nodded curtly and grabbed her coat. She shrugged it on and stretched lightly, a soft moan following.

"Um, w-where do you want to go? Wanna just uuh go to a fast food place or go someplace nicer? I don't really have my car today soooo..." She looked her slouching boss up and down. "Take your pick.. s-since my car crapped out on me, maybe we can find someplace good and have a bit of a um, later lunch..?"
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Post by Guest Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:27 pm

"Y-You can decide."

Waiting for her outside the door, he shook his head slightly. There wasn't really any preference he had for food, other than his extreme distaste for anything spicy. It didn't really matter to him where they went to eat, so he'd just follow along to wherever she chose. What mattered was what came after their lunch.

Letting out a small sigh, he flicked a few stray strands of hair from his face. He thought carefully on what sort of alchemy the girl was accustomed to. If it was anything biological, he'd have to really do his research. Precious metals and the like wouldn't be too far from his own alchemy, so he'd only need a few hours to get through the transitional studies. She'd been an outstanding help over her time working under him, so the latter could be possible, but even then he was in for a lot of work.

Wynter had no problem with that though. He'd dealt with staggering work loads before and always pulled through in the end. Even back when he was tutored by his father... Another shake of his head, and the memories scattered back into the back of his mind. He didn't need to think about that right now.

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Post by Peyton Sun Apr 14, 2013 5:45 pm

The pair walked together to a small Xingese restaurant. Peyton liked Xingese food, which is why she had chosen it. There also wasn't that many spicy things, which she knew her boss had a great disliking for. They both found a small booth and their orders were taken by a young waitress. Whilst sipping their drinks and waiting for their food, Peyton decided to pick up some light conversation.

"S-so uh, Mr. Geist. I've noticed that you always managed to be at work before me, even when I come here early. Why is that? Do you live close by to the building..?" It was always a question that bothered Peyton. She only ever saw him at the lab, and nowhere else. He also had blankets and a pillow in the office. Peyton had found some rather odd things in their section of the lab. Toiletries, clothes, and a few other household items. Why on Earth were they there...

"Ahaha, it's almost like you live in the lab," She said jokingly as she sipped at her coffee. Peyton paused mid-sip. That sounded like something her boss would definitely do. "... You don't live in the lab do you?" Her voice was filled with concern, and her eyebrows furrowed with worry. If he was living in the lab, Peyton was going to change that TODAY.
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Post by Guest Sun Apr 14, 2013 6:41 pm

Xingese food? Wynter was raised on it, his mother being from the country of origin. The meals served in this restaurant were supposed to be as excellent as if it were prepared in Xing. He'd be the judge of that.

Peyton had asked him about whether or not he was living in the lab while they waited for their food. He staid silent for the most part, sipping at his drink nervously. Then, sitting his cup down, the young man gave a short nod in response. He hadn't told anyone about his living conditions, not even his mother. He didn't want anyone to worry about him. When people worried, they tried to help, and when people tried to help you it only gave rise to more and more contact with them.

"I... I stay th-there because it helps me to k-keep up with my w-w-work." He tilted his head down slightly as the waitress returned with their food, laying their plates in front of them. He didn't speak again until she had left.

"A-And... I d-d-don't want my m-mother to think I c-can't do well on my own."

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Post by Peyton Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:13 pm

Peyton dragged out a heavy sigh and ran a hand through her hair. Of course, she had been right. Her poor poor boss. Peyton couldn't believe he was homeless. This had to stop, right now. "U-uh, Mr. Geist... that's not good... if people find out.. y-you could be fired..." Peyton would hate to see all his hard work go to waste over such a silly and trivial matter. Something had to be done here. And it appeared that Peyton really was the only one who could do anything about it.

"L-listen... if you don't have anywhere to go... you're welcome to stay in my apartment. I have an extra bedroom there that nobody is using. I'd really really like it if you stopped living at the lab sir. S-so please accept my offer..." She looked at him with pleading eyes. "I-I really like being your aid. You're a brilliant man and it'd be idiotic to just let all that slip through your fingers because of this."

Peyton hadn't touched her food yet. She couldn't even think of eating at a time like this.
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Post by Guest Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:34 pm

"U-uh, Mr. Geist... that's not good... if people find out.. y-you could be fired..."

Fired? That was preposterous. He'd been staying there for weeks now, there was no way they could... Could they? Would the military drop him simply because he had no home? Putting down his fork, Wynter picked up a napkin and held it against his lips for a moment. He was starting to feel shaky. As Peyton continued to speak, he spoke beneath her, quietly objecting.

"L-listen... if you don't have anywhere to go..."

"No..."

As she kept going, the word came from him, repeated, and each time it grew louder. He dropped the napkin, his hands moving into his hair, face down to the table. He was fine with her helping him with his research, he was even fine with helping her with her own, but help like this... He couldn't let her help him this way.

"Ch-Check please..." Pushing his plate away from him, he rose a finger at a passing waitress. She seemed confused at first, tilting her head at the young man, but his expression noted that he didn't want to have to repeat himself.

"Check. Please."

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Post by Peyton Sun Apr 14, 2013 11:50 pm

"Mr. Geist!" Peyton snapped, but not too loudly. Wynter was like a bunny. Loud noises frightened him and made him run off. She turned to the waitress and quickly shook her head. "No check, do not bring the check." She motioned for the waitress to just continue with her work, which she did. Peyton felt anger rising up at the pit of her stomach. He was such an idiot! Refusing help he so desperately needed, shutting everyone out! It reminded her too much of her old self, and she hated it.

"Listen. To. Me." Peyton emphazied her words in a commanding and no nonsense tone. She hardly ever pulled this tone or attitude out, except when people were being incredibly irrational. "You need help, whether you like it or not. And I'm going to help you. I know you want to be independent, I GET that. But sometimes you just- you just need to depend on someone. A-and that's okay! There is nothing wrong with that. I can't allow you to keep living like this though. I-I just can't stand seeing you like this!" Peyton was starting to get a little upset herself.

Giving him a speech like this, it made her realize what it felt like to be on the other end of the stick. Years ago, she was Wynter. She was that kid who tried to deny her need for help and shut everyone away. It wasn't until somebody finally told her what's what that she actually stopped being an idiot and let herself lean on people. "Please... I'm begging you.. stop shutting me out sir..." she said under her breath.
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Post by Guest Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:05 am

Wynter's eyes widened as his subordinate shooed away the waitress and broke out into an angered rant at him. The tables seemed to have turned here, the introvert no longer being in a position of authority. Sinking back into his seat as she grew louder, he looked every which way for a means to escape. Then he stopped, looking back to her as she seemed finished. The last words she spoke came out soft, but he could still hear them. She sounded so sad...

"Ms. Powers... P-Peyton, I..." He sunk further into his seat, pulling his legs up into his chest like he would when speaking to his therapist. His eyes lidded, he realized there was no way for him to get out of this. She wouldn't stop until he agreed. Still, there was one thing bugging him about this. One question he hadn't asked her yet, and one he had only asked one other person, albeit in a different language.

"W-Why... Why do you c-care?" He slid his face down into his knees, pulling his legs tighter to himself. "Why d-d-do you even want t-t-t..." He squeezed at his pants, nails digging deep into the fabric. He was scared. He'd never admit that emotion, but that's how he felt all the time. Afraid. He was letting fear control his life now.

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Post by Peyton Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:19 am

"Why do I care...?" Peyton let that question process for a moment. Why did she care? Why should she care? Ah... as Peyton racked her brain for the answers, she found many reasons. Wynter was.... the only person that had ever been a friend to her. He didn't judge her, he didn't call her out on her differences. He treated her like a person... he treated her like a friend. A soft smile crossed her features as she looked down at Wynter.

"Because... we're friends... friends help each other. Friends don't like to see their friends suffer. So please... a-as your friend... will you let me help you..?" Peyton said this in a soft voice, one she used whenever talking to her baby. It was soothing, and calm. "I-if you lived there, you'd always have whatever you needed. A bed, a shower, warm food, and someone to talk to.... plus I'd give you a ride to work in my car. I-I want you to be able to get back on your feet, so I'll help you find your own place too..." Peyton mumbled, now looking down at her lap as she came up with all these reasons he should come live with her.
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Post by Guest Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:30 am

That definitely hadn't been the reaction he expected. The last time those words came out of his mouth, he was smacked for even thinking such a thing. No, this time he was given legitimate reasons. He wasn't told how things were going to be, he wasn't being lectured further. Peyton was far too nice for her own good, but, even so, the offer he was being given sounded a lot better than sleeping under a desk or table.

"I-I'm sorry..." Letting go of his pants legs, Wynter turned back around, sitting upright at the table now. He still held his face down, however, ashamed of his actions. "I r-ruined our lunch w-w-with my ch-childish outbursts. I'm sorry..." Continuing to eat, he tried not to make eye contact with the girl again. Was she going to be mad at him now? People were probably staring now, and it always made his mother mad when people stared after he did something like this.

"I g-guess... I guess I c-could ssstay w-with you for a little w-while." He spoke up, trying to return the conversation to a more sensible pace. "Th-Thank you..."

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Post by Peyton Mon Apr 15, 2013 12:50 am

"Ah.. you're welcome." Peyton smiled again and started to eat. "I'm glad.." Peyton mumbled as she popped a bit of chicken into her mouth. They ate quietly for the remaining time, and when it came time to leave they paid for their meal. The two walked side by side down the concrete sidewalk. Whenever they weren't talking about work, they were usually silent. Since they'd be living together, Peyton figured she'd have to change that. She'd need to make her introvert boss reveal more about himself.

"Um... after work today... we can move your stuff in..." She muttered as she gently kicked a rock aside. "What do you want for dinner? It can be your pick tonight." Peyton was trying to make him feel as welcome as possible. She knew it sucked going into somewhere where you didn't feel like you belonged. Peyton was determind to make him feel like a part of her family, even if her family was small and only had one other person in it. Ah, but it'd grow one day. She'd either find someone to love properly and make more children with them, or she'd just adopt. The latter seemed more likely to her.
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Post by Guest Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:05 am

Walking alongside her, he still didn't look up. He gave a muttered response of nothing in particular when she asked him what he'd like to eat tonight. Moving in with someone, anyone, was a big step for him. Something he didn't think he'd be ready for for a long while. Fiddling around in his pocket, he found his marker. Uncapping it, he drew the transmutation circles on his hands again. No reason in particular, he just felt like they completed him. Maybe one day he'd get them tattooed on his palms, but that was a tricky process. Ink tended to fade quickly under the skin in your hands.

Stopping as they neared the entrance to Central HQ once more, he pulled at a vial of sand in his sleeve. Emptying it upon the ground, he clapped and crouched down to transmute something. It was corny, even the awkward alchemist knew that, but he felt like he should make it up to her for his lack of manners at the restaurant. Standing back up, he caught up with Peyton, tapping her on the shoulder softly.

Holding out his hand to her, waiting for her to turn around, a glass flower laid in his palm. Nothing fancy, just the first thing to pop into his head. A simple, appearing clean cut, glass flower.

"It's n-not much, b-but... I don't know, I th-thought I'd t-try to make up for lunch." Looking up to make eye contact with her, he gave a sheepish smile, grey eyes fully open now.

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Post by Peyton Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:24 am

Peyton felt a light tap on her shoulder. She glanced back to see what she was needed for. To her surprise, her eyes fell on a beautiful glass flower. And the one holding it was Wynter. A flower, such a simple gift. Flowers were nice though. Peyton had never ever received flowers from anyone before actually. Not even from Marcus, her previous boyfriend.

"U-uh..." Peyton could feel heat rise to her face as it flushed. Her chest tightened and she looked from the flower to Wynter, repeating this action a few times. "U-uh.. t-thank you very much..." She reached out and gently took the fragile flower. "I-I've never gotten a flower from someone before, and you gave me a permanent one. T-that's really sweet of you." Peyton smiled lightly, blush still apparent on her face.

They both went inside and headed back into the lab. Peyton set the flower in a pencil holder on her desk, wanting to keep it somewhere safe. "Ah, back to work then."
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Post by Guest Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:35 am

Following silently behind her as they walked back into the headquarters, Wynter's smile faded. He couldn't help but wonder why her face had become so flushed over the gift. He hadn't been one to come into contact with other people very much, so things like getting flustered in a positive way sort of escaped him.

Still, he knew what turned his face red, so that was something to go on. Having to admit that he didn't have things normal people usually did was one of them. Another was when people made note of his oddities. Other than that, he couldn't really think of anything else. Maybe he was more strange than he thought. He'd have to look into this or ask his mother about it.

Turning through the halls of the first floor, they eventually reached the lab. He watched her place the glass flower in a pencil holder, and, still slightly confused, walked around and back towards the book shelves at the end of the room as she noted they would be back to work. Skimming over them, he tilted his head. He hadn't even asked her what sort of alchemy she studied yet.

"So, w-what sort of b-books should I be looking f-f-for?" He asked without looking back to her. "Y-You never told me w-w-what alchemy you excel at."

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Post by Peyton Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:45 am

"Ah...." Peyton sighed. Of course, she had forgotten about him wanting to help. And since she had basically forced her help on him, it'd be rude for her to deny him now. "Well.. I'm doing alchemy that involves blood and blood defects.... so whatever is related to things like that I guess..." Peyton shrugged a little before looking down at her notes.

She drummed her fingers a little, sighing again as she stared at them. She was so dang stuck. She didn't know how she'd go about repairing damaged blood cells, and what she'd need to use for it. And how would she be able to do this all at a microscopic level?! She rubbed her temples a bit and grumbled. Everything was so damned complicated, she was about ready to throw the whole project out the window! Still, deep down, she knew she could never do that. Peyton wanted to help people. She wanted to take care of the damage that had been done....
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Post by Guest Mon Apr 15, 2013 1:56 am

"B-Blood... cells?" Wynter gave a puzzled expression before he shoved his hands in his pockets and turned to lean on the book shelf. Blood alchemy? He'd never even considered such a thing when he was younger and deciding what he, himself, would work towards.

"Th-The only work with b-b-blood I've heard of is i-i-in... umm..." He moved a hand from his pocket to his head and scratched the back of his neck. What was the word he was looking for? It was on the tip of his tongue. It sounded sort of like Alchemy, but..."Alkahestry!" He chuckled before shaking his head and turning back around to look at the books.

"I d-don't know much about it, b-b-but I'm sure we could fff... find someone who d-does." Picking up a book, the title on the binding in Xingese, he opened it. "M-My mother might kn-know someone, but... I-I would r-rather keep her out of m-m-my work."

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Post by Peyton Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:05 am

"I-I'm not asking you to bring her into your work... and there are branches of medicinal alchemy. I'm not going to deviate from Alchemy, because it might screw up what I've got now. Uh, b-but thanks anyways." She turned around and smiled at him before leaning over her work again. She knew he'd be clueless about it. There weren't many alchemists in Amestris focusing on the medicinal practices of alchemy. Most were focused on using it to kill...

Peyton didn't want to kill. Never ever, would she take a life. Life was precious, and so fragile. It was a gift that everyone had, and she wasn't going to take it away. After her near death experience when she was a child, she learned this lesson quickly. Now all she wanted to do was save lives. She wanted to help people. Yes, Peyton just wanted to save and give life. With her alchemy being used in hospitals and medical treatment centers, thousands of people could have their blood defects cured. They could live a normal and healthy life.

"H-here, come over here Wynter. Sit next to me. We can um, look at this together and see what we can do. Alright?"
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People Are Strange Empty Re: People Are Strange

Post by Guest Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:16 am

Looking up from the book he'd found, he gave a hum before he stepped over. Nearly tripping over his shoe laces, he inhaled and exhaled slowly, continuing to walk over. Sitting down next to her, he made sure their chairs were exactly two inches apart before he finally relaxed. He was getting more and more used to her; letting her even within four feet of him was quite the accomplishment.

Opening the book back up, he flipped around in its pages until he found the page he was on previously. She may not have been interested in Alkahestry, but there was still some things she could learn from books on it. Laying the book down on the table, he pointed out a diagram inside of the human body, as well as a thorough examination of cells on the opposite page.

"Th-This seems useful. Y-Y-You can correct m-me if I'm wrong though."

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People Are Strange Empty Re: People Are Strange

Post by Peyton Mon Apr 15, 2013 2:26 am

"Hm?" Peyton glanced over at the book. It did look somewhat useful. "Yes, thank you Wynter." She nodded and pulled the diagram closer to herself. She wrote down her notes and examinations while occasionally peeking at the diagram in the book for reference.

They continued sitting together for the rest of the work day. She'd write, he'd watch and give pointers, and she'd occasionally send him out to get books or coffee. When quitting time came, she told Wynter to round up all his belongings. He did so, and she assisted. Then they left the lab together, chit-chatting a little along the way. Peyton noticed how he was much closer to her than he usually was. He had this thing where nobody could be within four feet of him, but now he was less than a foot from her as they walked. "I'm glad that.. we're friends now.."

((Exit thread))
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