A Different Kind of Integration [Closed]

Anaxas' oldest and most prestigious University of Sorcery, the de facto cultural capital of the kingdom and a city in its own right.
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Madeleine Gosselin
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:54 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Galdor
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Writer: moralhazard
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Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:21 am

25th Bethas 2719
The Dormitories, Brunnhold
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"Miss Gosselin, just a moment please?” Professor Heissman didn’t bother to look up as he made his request, sharp yellow eyes focused on the notes sitting on his desk. Math class had ended only a few seconds earlier, but the students were already packing up, shoving away papers covered in equations and leaving behind any thought of calculus as they went through their days.

Madeleine stopped from where she had been putting her notebook into her bag, turning wide-eyed to her professor. After the test they had taken the week before, not yet handed back, hearing that she needed to stay after class wasn’t encouraging. She swallowed, hard, finished putting the notebook away, and stood still amidst the desks as the rest of the students filed out, dressed neatly in her uniform, hands clasped tight around the strap of her book bag. There was a burst of sharp laughter from the door, and a few eyes slid back to her. Madeleine couldn’t bear to meet them.

“Over here, Miss Gosselin,” Heissman’s voice had a hint of sharp impatience.

Madeleine swallowed again, harder, and made her way forward amidst the desks, standing with her heart pounding and nervousness throbbing faintly through her field in front of the Professor’s desk.

“Control your field,” Heissman said, finally looking up.

Madeleine took a deep breath, swallowing her embarrassment and pulling the emotions out of the rippling flow of mona around her.

Hesissman lifted a stack of papers tied together with thick yellowed string and set them on the desk in front of her. “You had top marks on the last exam,” he said, simply. “But, if you’d like to earn some extra credit,” his tone called into question whether Madeleine really had a choice on the subject, “your classmate, Mister Maste, is in the infirmary. Take these notes to him and work through them with him so he can catch up.”

“Oh,” Madeleine’s eyes went slowly wide. “I – top marks?” She asked.

Heissman raised his eyebrow at her. “Keep up, Miss Gosselin. I know you can do it. Do you want the extra credit or not?”

“Yes!” Madeleine blurted out. “Yes, please.” She grabbed the notes. Eirik Maste – Madeleine didn’t know him well. He was odd, not just for his pale Gioran coloring, but because he was always out of class for being sick, and when he was there he never seemed to want to talk to anyone. Madeleine had said hello to him a few times, and he had just – looked right past her, as if she wasn’t even there. She couldn’t think of anything she had ever done to merit that kind of treatment, but it was pretty clear to her that the Gioran didn’t like her very well.

But, extra credit was extra credit.

“Thank you, Professor,” Madeleine said, holding the stack of papers in both hands, a bit tightly. “I’ll help Mister Maste catch up, I promise.”

Heissman nodded, continuing to work on the notes in front of him without looking up at Madeleine again. She stood there in front of the desk for a long moment, then turned and hurried out of the room. It was the last class of the day, and that meant – there was no point in putting it off, Madeleine felt. She should go and find Eirik straight away and get started. Maybe Professor Heissman would be impressed if she helped Eirik to learn about derivatives. Maybe he would send a note to her parents telling them how well Madeleine had done.

Madeleine couldn’t help a small skip in her step. Braving the grumpy Gioran seemed like a small price to pay when faced with such rewards.

The challenges, unfortunately, were immediately obvious.

“He’s not here?” Madeleine stood at the front of the infirmary, eyes wide. “Are you sure? Professor Heissman told me that – that Mister Maste was in the infirmary and I really, really need to find him.”

“I’m sorry, dear,” the nurse looked down at the ledger of student names. “Let me see if I can find out where he’s gone? My shift only just started.” She stepped away, leaving Madeleine standing alone and confused in front of the infirmary desk. Madeleine edged slightly to the side, peering down the rows of beds as if she might spot a really tall pale classmate sitting there, but she couldn’t see any students at all, let alone Eirik.

The nurse seemed to take ages, long enough that Madeleine had time to take down her now messy braid and redo it in a neater French braid, starting from the crown of her head and going down her back, reddish brown strands a bit frizzy after a long day of studying, but neater than they’d been before.

Finally, the nurse returned, smiling. “It looks like he was released to his dorm for bed rest just an hour ago. He should be there now, Miss.”

“Oh!” Madeleine’s face brightened. “Thank you! I’ll find him there. Thank you so much!”

Madeleine was halfway to the dorms before it really dawned on her. Eirik was in his dorm room. Eirik, like her, was a sixth form. That meant he was in his dorm room alone. A boy. Alone in his dorm room. She couldn’t – she couldn’t possibly! The thought was so horrifying that Madeleine stopped in the middle of the hallway, causing two students behind her to nearly crash into her, and provoking an angry flare of a field, sharp enough that Madeleine began to walk again.

Extra credit, Madeleine told herself, visions of Professor Heissman’s praise drifting through her mind. That, and she had given her world. If she were to be worthy of herself as a galdor, if she were to be worthy of the mona, she had to at least try. She had to.

Madeleine kept walking. It wasn’t too difficult to track Eirik’s room down, and before long she was standing outside his door, the notes still held in her hands. Madeleine took a deep breath, staring the door down, then shifted the notes under one arm and knocked on the door, once very softly, then a second time, more firmly.

“Mister Maste?” Madeleine called. “It’s – Madeleine Gosselin? Your classmate? Professor Heissman sent me with notes for you.” She took a half-step back, swallowing hard, and held the notes tightly to her chest. Oh, what if he was asleep? The thought hadn’t even occurred to Madeleine. She shouldn’t have – maybe she should have just sent him a note. Madeleine flushed red and waited, swallowing hard, already feeling awkward about the whole thing. Probably Eirik wouldn’t want her help with the notes anyway, but – she had said she would do it. She had to now; she couldn’t give up, at least not before she had tried.

word count: 1189

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Eirik Maste
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:06 pm
Topics: 8
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: CS
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Plot Notes: Grumpy Scribbles
Writer: Mythic
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Wed Jun 12, 2019 7:27 am

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Food? Untouched.

Sleep? Unreachable.

Eirik Maste found himself as a jumble of thoughts, his active mind far too engrossed in the reality of illness. Tension ripped through his musculature, the product of incessant coughing. He'd hacked through most of the day, disrupting the peace within the ward. Seeing that there was little else the nurses could do, he was given a myriad of medicines and pushed into a wheelchair to be guided back to his bedroom for forced bedrest. Eirik didn't need the transit, but he didn't fight it either, quite pleased to let the ward attendants hand him off to a passive who pushed him along towards Ameter.

Eirik preferred the solitude regardless. It'd been determined that despite the severity of his coughing and the obvious pain he'd been in that there was little else to be done. "Try to eat something..." and "Get some rest" were the best advice they could give him and it was absolutely not good enough for the orphan.

They have no idea what it is...

The reality that Eirik resigned himself to was one where illness could rear its head at any time, a viper in the grass just waiting for signs of weakness before taking him altogether. The Maste was raised to his feet and guided to his bed. The attendants saw fit to end his journey with a meal as well. A tray of steaming porridge, several slices of buttered toast along with hash and picked strawberries were presented, but his stomach seemed to reject it. He couldn't bother with eating and instead allowed himself to sink into the black abyss of sleep. Little by little, the stinging sensation in his extremities gave way to unconsciousness and even the sleepless could fall into a dream.

At least, for a little while?

A light sleeper by the nature of his predicament, Eirik started in his bed when he heard the second knock on his door. The student couldn't be bothered to change when he was brought back, dressed still in the infirmary gown that was far too immodest to force on anyone at all. When he hear the name, he was dumbfounded, recognizing it immediately as a girl he'd worked in tandem with at least once. Perhaps more? A heavy breath blew upwards and into a tuft of his own hair, a disapproving groan at being woken up rumbling within his throat. The motion within his maw agitated his sensitized flesh, and a fit of coughs followed before he collected himself.

"Errr, yes. Coming!" he called out, his fingertips on his mattress as he sought to gain purchase and bring himself back to a sitting position. With some effort, he threw his feet off of the bed, seeking to gain traction on the ground to no avail. His body threw forward, and with a loud groan, he fell to the ground, his gown coming undone and leaving him in only his undergarments. How fortunate that the door was locked! He gritted his teeth, pushing himself to his feet and towards his closet. He threw on a pair of linen trousers and a loosely-fitting shirt of the same material. He raised his hand to his lips, stifling a yawn before, at last, making his way towards the door.

Fully awake and with his numerous scuffles behind him, Eirik made it to the door and undid the lock, heavy eyes opened just wide enough to see Madeleine, though the brightness of the world outside had her visage dressed in an excess of light. He groaned again, turning away with a push to the door to open it wide enough for her to enter should she choose to. Eirik, when Madeleine had a proper chance to look at him, certainly looked a sight. The Gioran was taller than most of Brunnhold, more than a head higher than Madeleine herself. His heavy eyes were mottled with red, spidery lines and his large hands hosted perpetual movement in the form of involuntary twitches. One hand closed around the door's edge, the Gioran's faded pink irises looking up and down to find the mentioned notes pinned tightly to her chest. Eirik's gaze hovered a moment too long, and he pointedly looked back into his bedroom. The reality of the situation was all too clear to him, the teenager stepping away from the door and back into the sanctuary of his room.

"Heissman sent you? Can't be bothered to visit the sick kid," he mused aloud. Then, he gestured to his desk, offering Madeleine that space should she choose to take it. As for him, the Maste moved back towards his bed, letting his head rest back into the pillows before he added,

"Heissman... Heissman... That's mathematics, right? I'm sure I missed out on an absolutely riveting lecture."

I bet the kids in the class got a better time of sleep there than I did at the infirmary, he reasons, unable to help the chuckle that emanated from his lips.

"Don't mind the... mess. I don't have company over. But, whatever. I'm sure you'd like to get this over with so you can leave," he surmised before giving the floor over to Madeleine to share whatever it was she was coerced into sharing. While he waited for her to prepare whatever it was she had going on, Eirik looked to the now-cold plate of food on his nightstand, setting the tray on his lap and half-heartedly picking at it.

Last edited by Eirik Maste on Thu Jun 13, 2019 1:29 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 947
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Madeleine Gosselin
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:54 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: moralhazard
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Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:05 am

25th Bethas 2719
The Dormitories, Brunnhold
It was quiet for a long moment. Madeleine frowned at the door, waiting; if the infirmary had sent Eirik home, and he was sick, then he had to be inside the room, but maybe he was asleep? She could come back another time. Then there was a loud groan, followed by a fit of coughing, and a familiar voice through the door. Madeleine perked up a little and waited. And waited. The door didn’t open, but a series of deeply alarming noises echoed out into the hall, groans and ruffling sounds. Madeleine took a half-step back, staring at it wide-eyed. Eirik must really be sick!

The door opened, and Eirik was there, squinting at her. He looked dreadful, his half-closed eyes red where they should have been white, his hair mussed as if he’d been lying down just moment ago – Madeleine experienced a faint twinge of guilt – and his hands twitching oddly. He didn’t say anything, just vanished back into the room.

Madeleine hesitated at the threshold, her heart pounding slightly. In a boy’s room? Alone? She hadn’t expected Eirik to go back inside so quickly. She stood there for a moment which seemed to stretch out indefinitely, teetering on the edge of a precipice of impropriety. Then Eirik started speaking from inside the room and Madeleine, not wanting to be rude, hurried in after him. She shoved the door as wide open as it would go with her elbow, nudging it further and hanging back to check that it stayed, before taking the offered seat at Eirik’s desk, the papers finding their way to her laps.

“Professor Heissman, yes,” Madeleine blinked at Eirik. Was he – was he being sarcastic? “It was a very interesting lecture,” she said, a little hotly, a red flush rising in her cheeks. Mathematics was interesting, and Professor Heissman wasn’t exactly very friendly, but Madeleine was sure he was brilliant. He wouldn’t teach at Brunnhold if he wasn’t brilliant, and anyway they were finally – finally! – really learning calculus, and it was interesting.

Eirik was so rude – why was he so rude? Madeleine stared at Eirik, cheeks still red, and frowned at him. He didn’t even bother to look at her, picking at a plate of food even as he invited her to start talking, pushing what looked like cold porridge around a bowl. And he was right – his room was a terrible mess. Was it because he was sick? But, then, Sebastian’s room – the only other single boy’s room Madeleine had really seen – was always messy too. Didn’t the boys have passives who cleaned up? How could they have let his room get like this? Didn’t he feel gross being in such a messy, awful room?

“Well – well you did miss a lot,” Madeleine told him, frowning still. She knew Eirik was sick and it wasn’t his fault, but it felt like he didn’t even mind missing lecture. Didn’t even mind! And she had the oddest feeling that he wasn’t very grateful for her to coming to explain the notes to him. The fact that she’d only done it for extra credit was immaterial; Madeleine felt thoroughly self-righteous, and self-righteously offended by Eirik’s terrible attitude.

“It was a really important lecture,” Madeleine continued. “We started talking about – about calculus and derivatives. That’s why Professor Heissman,” she laid a faint emphasis on the professor, “asked me to come talk about the notes with you.” Madeleine glanced down at her lap again, and tugged at the string, carefully unwrapping the papers and setting the string on the desk.

“Calculus,” Madeleine said, loftily, “is the study of continuous change. If we want to understand physical processes or chemical systems, then we have to understand calculus perfectly. We’re starting with differential calculus, which calculates the rate at which things change or evolve.” Madeleine paused, looking up at Eirik again. She didn’t even think he was listening! He wasn’t writing anything down.

“The simplest way,” Madeleine continued, blushing with a mix of embarrassment and a faint but growing sensation of anger, “is to think of derivatives like slopes. If you have a function f of x, the derivative of f of x at the point where x equals some value z is the slope of the line tangent to the function at the point a.”

Madeleine glanced down at the notes and found a drawing of an exponential curve with a line drawn tangent to the curve. Primly, she set the notes down on the desk, got up, carried the sheet over to the bed, and thrust it out at Eirik, holding it there fixedly until he took it. “Like that,” Madeleine said. “You do remember what a tangent line is, don’t you?”

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Eirik Maste
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Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:06 pm
Topics: 8
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: CS
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Plot Notes: Grumpy Scribbles
Writer: Mythic
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Thu Jun 13, 2019 2:05 am

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Like every other dorm room in Ameter, Eirik's was maintained by passive servants that cleaned the surfaces and did his laundry. However, unlike other students, who might fold their clothes or hang them in a closet, Eirik often left the clean laundry loads in the baskets they were delivered in. On occasion, a rather generous passive might take the responsibility on themselves, but in the past few days, no such soul existed. Eirik's clothes were in stacks around the bed, some of them tussled up by the Gioran rising up and out of his room. Trash was both in the receptacle and adjacent to it, as if the boy threw his trash from afar.

"I couldn't really help it," he murmured, taking note of the frown on her expression. The sight of it caused a twitch on Eirik's lips, his faded pink irises blaring with displeasure. The monic cloud of Eirik's field festered with annoyance at the girl's tone. What right did she have to barge into his room and look at him like that? She'd interrupted his precious chance at sleep and moreover had (indirectly) caused him to literally fall out of bed! The twitch on his lips sought to form into a full scowl, but the girl moved on and began to educate him on the nature of the classroom lecture he'd missed.

How many other ones have I missed? he wondered, having to stop himself from rolling his eyes at the emphasis she placed on the title of professor. At the very least, Professor Heissman saw it appropriate to send a student lackey after Eirik to 'catch him up.' Based on Madeleine's attitude, however, he surmised that she wasn't put up to it out of the goodness of her heart. Is it extra credit...? Or is it the pity points that Heissman can send straight to mummy and daddy?

Madeleine's explanation of what calculus was, at least, earned her a bit of reprieve from the mental lashings his opinion of her was getting. Young Mr. Maste hardly needed to write down what she was saying, his gaze hovering along with the soggy porridge before he took a somewhat stale piece of toast and forced it bite by bite down his throat. He washed it all down with some water before prodding at the strawberries and deeming them suitable for galdori consumption. When he finished his food, he put the tray on his nightstand and then raised up a hand in a polite effort to interrupt her.

Even in the midst of his frustration, Eirik wasn't so rude as to blurt things out mid-sentence.

"It's Gosselin, right? Could you bring my rucksack over here? Please?" he emphasized. As she continued to speak, the girl's interest in the subject was apparent. It endeared even the prickly teenager that was bedridden in front of her. His features were schooled into a more neutral expression. Once she answered his request and his rucksack was placed within reach, he retrieved his mathematics notebook, a pencil, and his Static grimoire, using the latter book as a writing board. He didn't answer her question immediately, his face screwed up in an obvious effort to remember.

Then, he scribbled down his notes, framing her previously uttered definitions before looking to the paper she handed him and copying the notes on it with but a glance. He didn't take the paper from her, instead neatly folding his hands over the page he'd crafted. No longer was the boy squinting, and the spidery lines beneath his irises were as time passed slowly diminishing. With food in his stomach, his mood lifted, and he took another sip of water before answering her inquiry.

"Vaguely. It's supposed to be the straight line that connects to a plane curve at a given point of tangency? Something along those lines?" he offered. Once there was a void in the air, a silence that he filled with a far-too-late explanation for his earlier rudeness.

"I'm sorry, Gosselin. I'm not ignoring you, I swear. I've been in the infirmary all day before this. Hardly a chance to eat much of anything even if I wanted to. Then I come here and pass out, right?"

Eirik's expression turned to the ghost of a smile, his head resting back into his pillows for a moment as his eyes closed and he shut her out for a moment. As he heard more and more of her voice, it became more and more apparent that...

There's a girl in my room. There's a girl in my room... And she's... pretty? I must look a sight, was the momentary flicker of self-conscious internal rambling, and a hand rose to his chest for a brief moment to feel the accelerated tick within. He sought to collect himself, but his uncontrolled field showed the nerves that bundled within his mind. He shook his head as his eyes opened, a genuine effort to ground himself in reality rather than the prison of his thoughts.

"There's more to go over? Or was the lecture really short?" he asked, genuinely curious once he got over the increasing discomfort of the situation. He allowed himself a semblance of calm, deep breaths let in and out in a slow rhythm until he was properly at ease.
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Madeleine Gosselin
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:54 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: moralhazard
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Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:16 am

25th Bethas 2719
The Dormitories, Brunnhold
Madeleine stared wide-eyed at Eirik when he put his hand up during her sentence, her field flooding with feelings of embarrassment and annoyance, her chest rising and falling a little quicker as she tried to control herself. What was wrong with him? Why was he so – so – awful?

He spoke, and his first words heightened the red color in her cheeks – how could he have forgotten her name already? She had introduced herself not even ten minutes earlier? – and the request somehow made Madeleine feel even worse, frustrated and ashamed as if she’d done something wrong. It was his fault, Madeleine told herself defiantly. He had told her to get started. He could have asked for the rucksack first. It wasn’t her fault. Her movements were stiff and awkward as she fetched the rucksack, but she did it, and left it on the bed for him, before going back to her discussion of slopes.

By the time Eirik was sitting there watching the piece of paper in her hand, Madeleine was on the verge of giving up. There was a hot red blush on her cheeks that she could feel had spread to the back of her neck and her chest, red-flushed skin thankfully hidden by the high neck of the uniform. Her hand was trembling a little. He was frowning, as if her question was the stupidest thing she could have asked, and at least he was taking notes now, but he was making her just – just stand there, with the paper thrust out towards him, when he could have just taken it and set it down on the bed. He didn’t even answer her question.

She was done, Madeleine decided, an unpleasant but all-too-familiar heat burning behind her eyes. She was done with Eirik Maste. He could figure out the notes for himself, if he even could. She stared down at the Gioran as he folded his hands and still didn’t take the paper. With a hard swallow, Madeleine turned and walked back to the desk, back very stiff and straight. She set the paper down on top of the others and stared down at them for a moment. She knew just what to do. She would take the papers and dump them on Eirik bed – no – she’d throw them at him! No, he was sick, that wouldn’t be very nice. She would set the papers nicely next to him, and then she’d tell him – she’d tell him –

Eirik’s voice interrupted her thoughts, first with his answer, rather finally, to her question about tangents. There was an awkward silence between them; Madeleine didn’t know what to make of the answer, and she couldn’t quite bring herself to turn and look at him, upset and confused, misery throbbing through her field.

Eirik spoke again, and he – apologized?

The surprise of it cut right through the hot, thick misery that had settled into Madeleine’s chest. “Oh,” she said, quietly, still looking down at the notes on his desk. She hadn’t thought – now she felt embarrassed again, but it was a gentler sort of feeling, no longer tinged by shame and hurt. Her posture relaxed a little, and Madeleine glanced back over her shoulder at Eirik.

“Oh,” Madeleine said, again. She looked down at the notes on her desk. He had been rude. He’d been really rude, but… Madeleine supposed that it did look like the food hadn’t been eaten, and if he was hungry, then… he was sick. Steadily, the hard wall of frustration that Madeleine had built up inside her mind was crumbling, especially the more she looked at Eirik, really looked at him. He did look really dreadful, although maybe a little better than when she had opened the door. It was hard to tell.

“No, there’s – there’s more.” Eirik asked into the silence if the lesson was over, and Madeleine shook her head. She turned the rest of the way, and sat on the chair again, picking the notes back up off the desk and settling them onto her lap with a deep breath. “It’s all right.” Madeleine was quiet, looking at Eirik, then down at the notes again. “Would you like me to come back – later?” She offered, tentatively.

At Eirik’s insistence that they could study now, Madeleine nodded. She felt more centered again, although she took a deep breath before she started talking about. “Right. Um, so – tangency. Yes, it’s… it’s like you said, a straight line that connects to the plane of a curve. The drawing,” Madeleine held it up again, staying in her seat this time, “it’s a good example in two dimensions. We have a curve,” she traced it with one small finger, “and a line,” Madeleine traced the line next, “and they’re tangent here. Depending on the shape of the curve, the line might intersect it elsewhere, but we’re focused on the point of tangency, which is where they touch. It’s – um – I suppose it’s a bit tautological, but I think it makes sense that they’re parallel there, at least in the two-dimensional example,” the hot red blush was fading from Madeleine’s face as she continued into her subject, and she was smiling now – maybe not a bright, vigorous smile, but at least a little one that smoothed out the pinched look of her face.

“A nice way to think about it,” Madeleine said, more brightly, “is that it’s a line through two infinitely close points. Professor Heissman didn’t say that, but I read it in a book and I think it’s nice. So – umm – this will be good, I think it’s – it’s um – it’s really the same as derivatives. Well, so,” Madeleine picked up her satchel, pulled out her own notebook, and bent diligently over it, drawing a large graph across the page with perfectly straight lines, and sketching a neat exponential function across it. She pulled out a ruler next, and brought the notebook, ruler and her pencil over to Eirik, hovering next to the bed. She could – she could stand and sketch and show him afterward? But it would be difficult for him to follow, Madeleine thought. She could only think of one possible solution.

Madeleine set her things down on the bed, went back to the desk, and brought the chair over across the room, settling down onto it, now sitting just next to Eirik.

“So,” Madeleine looked up at Eirik, “it’s like this! If you – um – let’s say you wanted to draw a line between these points.” She marked them on the curve, two points a little far apart. Carefully, Madeleine lay the ruler down, and drew a perfectly straight line between them. “Then,” Madeleine continued, small reddish-brown head bent carefully over her notes, leaning over the bed a little so Eirik could see them too, “let’s move the second point closer,” she drew a new second point, halfway to the first, “and we repeat the exercise…” Madeleine carefully moved the ruler, set her pencil down, and drew another perfect line.

“And again, and again,” Madeleine explained, cheerfully. She halved the distance a second time, then a third, until the line was between two points so close together they seemed to be touching. The last line Madeleine drew looked very much tangent to the curve. She looked up at Eirik. “You see?”

“And,” Madeleine was smiling at him now, earlier frustration forgotten, “if you think about it, if we call this point a,” she labeled the horizontal axis below the first point she’d made with a tiny, perfectly neat script a, “the rate of change of the function from a to our other points,” she tapped the other points she’d drawn, just as carefully, “is the slope of the lines we drew. You see? If we call this one b,” Madeleine labeled the horizontal axis below the furthest away point with a tiny b, “then naturally we would approximate the change in the function over that time with this line, and the slope of the line from a to b would be the rate of change. That is, x goes from a to b, and y goes from – well, here to here,” Madeleine hovered the pencil over the line.

“So, if we follow that logic with the other examples…” Madeleine carefully labeled the other points as c, d and e, “we just have to think of continuing the exercise – well – forever! And we get infinitely closer and closer to a, until we have the tangent line, and then – so – the rate of change right at a must be the tangent line. Isn’t that brilliant?” Madeleine beamed at Eirik.

Abruptly, as the thrill of explaining math faded, Madeleine realized just how close she was sitting to Eirik. She went bright red, dropped the paper with the example on him, and hastily stood up from the chair, easing back a few steps. “Um,” Madeleine turned and hurried back to the desk, fetching the papers. She turned back to look at Eirik, holding the notes in front of herself like a shield, clasped against her chest. “There are – that’s – most of it. Next lecture Professor Heissman said we would explore it more formally, with limits,” Madeleine said. “There are some exercises though, I – if you – if you want? I mean – does it all make sense? Do you have any – um – questions?”

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Eirik Maste
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:06 pm
Topics: 8
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: CS
Post Templates: Codes
Plot Notes: Grumpy Scribbles
Writer: Mythic
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Thu Jun 13, 2019 4:24 pm

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Oh...

Eirik Maste didn't agree with the concept of continually damping one's field to control the emotions that permeated within. While certainly he understood the uses of remaining a calm front in the presence of other galdori, he was neither interested in doing so or even very good at it at all. It almost brought Maste a sense of relief to feel just how poorly Madeleine fared at the same. No, her field waxed with the high tensions of embarrassment. The presence of such vivid feelings was a fire on the verge of assaulting Eirik's own. He hardly needed to capris to understand it with just so how close Madeline Gosselin was to him.

Ba-bump babump babump.

The rapid tick of Eirik's chest paired with an inkling of shame. Madeleine, as she carried on, was proving more and more capable as a tutor, and his "gratitude" for her efforts was nothing but callous disregard? Guilt swept through the field of the Gioran, a pulse within the relative calm that had washed over him in his acceptance of this situation.

What am I doing to make her so livid? he thought, the self-blame encompassing sensation and bringing color to his extraordinarily pale complexion. Then, as he spoke, he felt the changes in her field. Full of rapd turns of sensation and the sloping depths of misery, Eirik had to stop himself from furrowing his brow. Every change in his demeanor seemed a personal attack on Madeleine and he struggled to find a balance until a new wave of embarrassment washed over her.

What have I done now? he asked, his fragile hold on his boiling feelings broken as the guilt within steepened. She turned away from him to look back at the desk, then back towards him in a conflicted display. Eirik pulled back on his capris of her field, his thoughts bloated with the spikes of feeling that had him almost nauseous. He'd just begun feeling better and her ups and downs were driving him towards illness again! The stress of their encounter was driving him insane up until she spoke anew, answering his inquiry about the length of her little lesson before...

"Would you like me to come back - later?"

Eirik wanted to say yes, but... as he recalled the conflicting sensations within her field and his gaze fell over her once again... First Eirik shook his head before he answered,

"No, I'd prefer we finish this while I'm feeling up to it," was his offering, his lips formed into the smallest of smiles as he followed her words with the movement of pencil across paper. Madeleine's affirmation of Eirik's answer was well-deserved, the bit of attention Maste paid to mathematics coming to fruition. Luckily, the boy held an exquisitely sharp memory and used the asset to his advantage whenever he could. While Eirik's ears remain bound in rapt attention, his eyes wandered along the plane of Madeleine's face. Once her expression wasn't screwed up with distaste or frustration, it became clearer still that she was, indeed, very pretty.

She keeps getting closer and closer, he observed. First, she'd stood as far as possible, almost across the room and speaking louder because of it. Then, when Eirik apologized and her lecture continued without the obstacle of negativity, she loomed closer and closer until she sat next to his bed, almost like a friend visiting a sick mate in the infirmary. He'd seen the occurrence many times, and every time he was livid that no one would ever do that for him. Warmth curled within his chest, the smile curving his lips. Her proximity, however, found a new obstacle in his path. The fragrance of floral soap wafted about his senses. Instinctively, he shifted, moving just slightly closer as she drew new lines and framed additional points of tangency as to elaborate on her lesson. With Eirik's complexion, the flush that warmed his cheeks and filled the toneless flesh of his neck was impossible to hide. So was, with his proximity to Madeleine, the swell of his field with heavily conflicting emotions of discomfort and fascination embroiled into one jumbled abomination of sensation.

Then, all at once, Madeleine finished speaking and retreated to the safety of his desk. She fussed with papers, then held the papers over herself like some sort of field. Eirik wondered again what he did wrong, for his callous disregard had already hurt Madeleine more than once. Guilt swept through him, intangible in the monic cloud about him, but written for a fraction of a moment on his expression before she posed her question. In the midst of his conflict, he'd drifted off just slightly. The lesson she laid out was noted, somewhere (most likely in his notebook!) but only the Gods could tell. Eirik couldn't look down. He was lodged into looking straight at Madeleine, vestiges of guilt and a desperate desire for the persistence of his company arisen within. He gathered his thoughts, far too aware of the hammering pulse within his chest as he said,

"I think I got the gist of it... But maybe a few exercises couldn't hurt. But first... let me get up for a moment. Too much time in bed is going to be the death of me," he added. Eirik wouldn't realize it just yet, but the deep, burning pain within his musculature was dimmed. So used to it he was that the absence of it was hardly a concern. Neither had he coughed or twitched more than the norm during the entirety of her lecture. He'd copied notes up until he'd become distracted, and that distraction was all to present until she'd distanced herself. Only in that distance did he realize the danger of this situation. Eirik was a fragile creature. He knew how tensile the glass within his chest was, prodded and poked at by hateful and likely jealous classmates. At any moment, Madeleine's own feelings could turn him towards reprehension. Constantly at fault, never the victim. Always the unintentional bully, Eirik Maste blamed himself for the way she reacted to him.

Eirik Maste rose to his feet, rising up on his toes before pulling his arms behind his back and holding them as high as they'd go. His shoulders rolled with the gesture, a groan escaping his lips as the stretch hummed a healthy burn throughout his arms. He gestured towards his desk, then took his notebook from his bed. He set it down on that desk before he shifted into his closet for an unused hamper. He turned it upside down, using the base as his chair before he said to Gosselin,

"Alright, I'm ready whenever you are."

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Madeleine Gosselin
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:54 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: moralhazard
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 1:37 am

25th Bethas 2719
The Dormitories, Brunnhold
Madeleine was all too aware of Eirik’s field, and equally, uncomfortably, aware that he must be able to feel the heightened emotions surging through her own. She knew that she wasn’t terribly good at controlling her field; it had been easier when she was younger, but somehow it had gotten harder over time. No one had told her to expect that, and no one seemed to be able to tell her what to do other than to control herself. But it was hard. She felt things, and then suddenly they were in the air around her. She could try to suppress the feelings themselves, swallow them down, but it was hard and it took a good deal of focus, and the knack of feeling things without letting them show seemed to elude her. But it was terribly embarrassing. Angelique had said that being near her was like being forced to watch a hideously melodramatic play.

Madeleine didn’t like to think too much about that.

Perhaps it was that they were in the same room – Madeleine still had her doubts about whether it was really all right to have come in like this, she was quite sure Professor Heissman had intended her to tutor Eirik in the infirmary – or perhaps it was that their fields were belike, Eirik’s with remnants of static spells similar to those Madeleine had, herself, cast, though stronger. If hers was tinged as well with physical, it seemed not to matter too much. She could feel his guilt when he apologized, and it went a long way towards convincing her that he genuinely meant it.

It wasn’t until Madeleine finished her lesson, looked up and realized how close she was to Eirik that she saw he was red, very red. Even after she’d moved across the room, he still looked just as red. Was he feverish? Maybe he’d pushed himself too far – calculus was terribly interesting, after all – and he was feeling worse. Madeleine was aware of the heat on her own cheeks, but she blushed easily too, and she seemed even less able to control it than she was her field. Surely Eirik wasn’t also – blushing?

A look flickered over Eirik’s face that felt achingly familiar. Madeleine stared at him for a moment, trying to decipher it, not sure why it brought up a heavy ache in her chest, a sensation of having done something wrong. She dropped her gaze, aware that she was probably being rude by staring. Eirik did seem to be feeling better, and he did want to do the exercises. Madeleine determinedly averted her gaze as he got up. It seemed dreadfully improper to watch someone get out of bed, as if – as if – well, Madeleine wasn’t quite sure of the implications, but she was sure that they were scandalous.

“Are you feeling better?” Madeleine asked, peeking back at Eirik. He was stretching now, and Madeleine couldn’t help smiling at the sight. He looked like he was really trying hard and he made a noise as if the stretch really pulled at him, but his arms seemed to barely lift up behind his back. Perhaps he just stiff from sitting for such a long time? Madeleine was sure it would get terribly boring, sitting in bed all the time. When she’d had to rest after dancing injuries, she’d always been bored, but at least there were lots of books to read.

Eirik had gestured to the desk. Madeleine thumbed through the notes, pulling out the pages with the exercises and setting them down. With a deep breath, she left the rest of the notes on the desk as well, hands empty. Just for something to do, Madeleine went and fetched the chair she’d left at the bedside, expecting Eirik to sit on it at the desk. Instead, he went into the closet and emerged with a hamper. He really did have quite a few. Madeleine always put her things away the moment they were brought, and the passive would take the hamper away, leaving just one for her dirty things. Madeleine couldn’t quite tell if the clothing in Eirik’s were clean or dirty; if those were all dirty, then the passives really ought to be doing their job better. All the same, Eirik had a hamper in hand; Madeleine thought, for a moment, that he meant to clean up now that he was out of bed, but instead he turned the hamper over and sat on it and declared himself ready.

Madeleine stared at him, wide-eyed. She was standing, half-against the desk again, and sitting Eirik was shorter than she was, naturally, although the difference wasn’t as much as she’d have expected. His legs were bent up a bit, awkwardly, and with his hair mussed it just – he just looked –

Madeleine giggled. It was a soft, natural sound that seemed to start somewhere in her chest and bubble up through her lips, sending a little pulse of joy through her field, impossible not to feel with how close Eirik was to her. She felt guilty immediately, the second feeling chasing the first through her field for a brief moment. Her face shuttered, worry replacing the happiness in her eyes. “I’m sorry, I didn’t – I didn’t – I wasn’t laughing at you,” Madeleine paused, aware that she’d been doing that exact thing. “I mean, I – it’s only – you look – are you comfortable?” She tried a tentative smile; it quivered on her lips and didn’t catch, and she dropped her gaze to the floor, holding her feelings in as best as she could.

“I just meant…” Madeleine tried again, voice small once more, the bright enthusiasm of the math lesson almost gone now. “… Would you like the chair? I can…” she looked doubtfully down at her skirts, then at the hamper, and brushed them off, decisively. “I can sit on the hamper.” Madeleine offered decisively, looking back up, shoulders squaring and chin jutting forward. It would be a sacrifice – Madeleine had never sat on a hamper in her life, and she wasn’t sure if she approved of the idea – but then, Eirik was sick, and she was sure it wasn’t good for his cough to sit so cramped up.

Assuming the seating arrangements were worked out, Madeleine would offer Eirik the first exercise. It was a mathematical example of the principle she’d just explained, a fairly straightforward calculation of slopes to see how they evolved as one traveled shorter and shorter distances along a quadratic curve. The problem asked them to do it from several different points, to see what the slope of the tangent line converged to in each case.

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word count: 1164
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Eirik Maste
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:06 pm
Topics: 8
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: CS
Post Templates: Codes
Plot Notes: Grumpy Scribbles
Writer: Mythic
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 7:11 am

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The mona was truly an awe-inspiring thing. The ebb and flow of the fields within Eirik's room was palpable. The galdori, those receptive to the mona and bearing such clouds of it, were conquerors. And yet... the struggle to conquer one's mind seemed the most impossible of them all. Self-control among galdori children was a difficult thing. Eirik saw it time and time again in others and moreover, in himself. This moment in particular, with two fields stained red with high tensions and embarrassment, was a perfect representation of that eternal struggle.

Eirik allowed those thoughts to grow within, the idea mingling with the depth of the mona itself and how emotions bled into it so readily even distracted the boy from his inner turmoil as he stretched his body. Perhaps his mind needed the stretch as well. Maste rolled his shoulders before throwing his head from side to side. When Madeleine's voice rose over the crescendo of thought, he noticed his eyes had fallen shut. The capris of her field showed her genuine curiosity, and though his eyes were shut, he thought for a moment that he could feel the smile on her face as like emotions waxed within those monic clouds.

Once Maste completed stretching to his satisfaction, he'd follow Gosselin's movements, seeing her thumb through notes before he shifted his attention to retrieve the hamper and join her at the desk. The boy noticed the thickly lain piles of clothing, all of them clean. In his closet, there was a hamper in use with his used attire within and waiting for one of the passives to take them away. The mess of his room had, at last, become a bit too much for him to bear, at least... with so much company. However, rather than take the time and clean his room with her in it, Eirik uttered a single syllable of Monite, the wax of his field pouring the Push into being. The mona carried his clothes into his closet, and Eirik maintained the upkeep of that spell. A simple verse twisted the spell, curving the trajectory of the pile he'd manipulated into a cozy corner of that closet.

Then, in a final effort of his magical machinations, the door shut, hiding the room's largest pile of clothing from sight and putting Eirik's mind at ease. While the mona did the task, Maste had already shifted his attention elsewhere, his fingertips playing along the surface of his notebook page before he took hold of his pencil yet again. When Madeleine giggled, Eirik had a quizzical expression upon his features. sure that he certainly did look quite the sight. But, it wasn't like he could really help it. He'd been attempting some form of sleep when she arrived, after all. The jump in Madeleine's field was apparent, from a bubble of joy to an immediate twang of guilt. Eirik, feeling better, showed it most of all in his field. His feelings were a flow of calm, and perhaps in the middle of it all a fervent excitement. Was that excitement from an eagerness to learn? Or was it the fact that he was stuck in this situation? Eirik Maste was with company that didn't seem to dread him. She even, after a moment, offered him his chair in a gracious attempt to avoid further discomfort for the Gioran.

She's a nice girl, after all, he surmised, unable to hide the smile that cracked his lips before he shook his head. He stretched out his legs beneath the desk, making a show of 'it's okay' before he answered her properly,

"There's really no need. Please take the chair," he insisted, his faded pink orbs cast plainly on the Anaxi girl. For the first time in their meeting, Eirik seemed to have picked up his nerve, his lips curved in a smile and his fingers bereft of the sickly twitching that plagued them before. While his countenance still held signs of his fatigue, his eyes were sharp and his mind willing to continue their little tutoring session. If Madeleine pressed the point, he'd insist twice over that she keep the chair. She'd relent and begin guiding him through a mathematical set, showing the principles she'd just finished explaining. Again, he was struck with the notion of just how engaging of a tutor she was. Once they completed the triad of problems, Eirik set down his pencil and let those pink irises set a glance at Gosselin. A bit of intrigue swelled within the monic cloud about him, and he raised a pair of digits to his lower lip before he asked her,

"If it's not too bold... What're you studying to become, Gosselin? I bet you'd make a fine teacher," he encouraged, even a bit of a smile joining his admission before he looked away. Eirik Maste was known by most of his form (those who bothered to remember him as anything but a target, that is) as a moody, problem-child. And yet, once at ease he began to smile and converse just like any other boy. Eirik was jarred by the change in him, too, and wondered for just a moment if this was how it felt to have a friend. The idea was dismissed, however, as he shifted his notebook and looked toward what life in Brunnhold was really about.

Friendships are trivial... They're a pipe dream. The mona is all you need, were the reminders that arose. A faint recollection of those utterances flashed through his mind, Eirik Maste all too aware of the times he'd made those reassurances with bitterness and tears stinging at his eyes.
word count: 983
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Madeleine Gosselin
Posts: 28
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 3:54 pm
Topics: 5
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: moralhazard
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Fri Jun 14, 2019 10:30 am

25th Bethas 2719
The Dormitories, Brunnhold
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Madeleine made a little face at Eirik’s push spell; she was as bad at keeping her emotions off of her face as she was at keeping them out of her field. It was a nice use of the spell, well done and smooth, and it wasn’t like Madeleine had never asked the mona to make things easier for her. All the same, she found it a bit questionable to use the mona for something that could easily be done with out them. Still, Eirik was sick, which Madeline supposed gave him some extra excuse. Besides that, they had math to focus on, and so Madeleine didn’t say anything, and the face only lasted a moment before she was distracted by his seat on the hamper.

Madeleine was so busy worrying over having accidentally insulted Eirik that it took quite a bit of fumbling and apologizing before she realized that all the negative emotions were in her field, and hers alone. A gentle caprising was hardly necessary with how close together they were, but Madeleine pushed, tentatively, encouraged by the smile on Eirik’s face, and felt the calm and excitement in his field, nothing like what she had feared.

Madeleine relaxed as well, slowly, the guilt fading away from her face, field and form, until the two students were in easy harmony once more. She smiled back at Eirik. “Oh, but I don’t mind,” Madeleine insisted. She did mind, a little, but she had offered to sit on the hamper, and so she thought she had better at least try. Eirik refused again, and Madeleine offered one last tentative try, before yielding and sitting a little gratefully on the chair.

Madeleine wasn’t sure Eirik really needed her help with the exercises, but she did her best anyway. He seemed to listen very closely when she spoke, something Madeleine wasn’t exactly used to. Madeleine relaxed again as they went back into the math, blooming slowly. When they started her face was still closed and pinched, just a little, but as they worked the bud of it opened, slowly. By they were through the second problem she was unfurled and smiling, brightly confident in explaining the underlying principles behind the problems.

The compliment shallowly hidden in Eirik’s words caught Madeleine off-guard, and she looked at him wide-eyed. There was no giggle this time, but that same soft sort of joy pulsed through her field, and her cheeks pinked with the blossoming of warmth in her chest. “Oh, I don’t - I don’t know about that,” Madeleine said, more than a little self-conscious but clearly pleased, sitting a little straighter than she had before. It didn’t seem right to thank him, somehow, like she would have needed to if the comment had been more direct. In a funny way, it was even nicer than if he had complimented her directly. Not that Madeleine had much experience with compliments, but sometimes they left her with a sense of obligation, and this one hadn’t.

“I’m not sure what I want to do,” Madeleine made the confession a moment later, looking down at her hands in her lap, then back up at Eirik, making a slight face at herself. She regretted saying it almost right away. Couldn't she have thought of something clever, just to pretend? Maybe she could have just said she did want to be a teacher, or that she wanted to be a scientist or - well - anything.

Madeleine kept talking anyway. “I - I’m mostly studying physical conversation, but static is very interesting as well.” She hesitated, not sure how interested Eirik really was, then plunged on ahead, finding a little bit of boldness herself. “Actually, I dance confisalto. I wish I didn’t have to chose between that and - you know, all the rest of it,” Madeleine would probably have shrugged if it wasn’t, unfortunately, the sort of thing that humans and wicks did, and not at all fit for the proper young galdor she wanted to be.

Madeleine really didn’t know what she wanted to do. It was hard for her to imagine herself staying at Brunnhold; she wouldn’t go so far as to say it aloud, but she didn’t think she was smart enough to become a professor. Careers in the world beyond were a bit intimidating; she didn’t think she would be any good at the sort of things her parents did. Confisalto was utterly wonderful, except that it didn’t need any science or any mona, and Madeleine liked both very much.

“What about you, Maste?” Madeleine smiled at Eirik and shifted on the chair to face him more fully. Genuine curiosity was writ large on her face and in her field. Very gently, her field caprised his once more, a more deliberate reaching out. The similar bits met almost like a handshake as Madeleine sought to reaffirm her impression of Eirik as a static conversationalist.
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word count: 866
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Eirik Maste
Posts: 33
Joined: Thu Feb 28, 2019 4:06 pm
Topics: 8
Race: Galdor
Character Sheet: CS
Post Templates: Codes
Plot Notes: Grumpy Scribbles
Writer: Mythic
Contact:

Sat Jun 15, 2019 5:22 am

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The mona was an intimate thing. Conversation was an art form and a science enmeshed in a delicate balance. However, it was both the purview and the pleasure of a sorcerer to tread that balance and forge their path in the navigation of it. At least, that was Maste's view on things, taking indulgent pleasure and academic interest in the furtherment of his understanding of it all. While Eirik Maste was oblivious to many cues in social settings, he meticulously analyzed his understanding of monic clouds and the spells that thickened them with the precious hum of spellcraft. It was, as a consequence, apparent when small changes to the output of Madeleine's field formed before his senses.

Madeleine seemed to take issue with his use of push, but didn't voice as such aloud. She pressed forward and into the cloud of his field, and he pushed back in almost a playful manner before diverting his attention back towards the problems at hand. As they went over the exercises, the complexity of circumstance seemed to wane. The earlier exchanges, heated and tense wilted into a pleasant hum that vibrated about the both of them. From the excitement in Eirik's field to the gentle joy within Madeleine's. When Eirik made his comment, the flush carried on her features, and Eirik's lips curved into a half sort of smile, nodding in emphasis before he leaned forward. His elbows landed on the desk as he felt the groan of his body in the position he was in.

While Eirik felt a soreness building in his body, he was grateful for it. He'd decided to get out of bed. He decided to sit next to her, and he was actually enjoying himself. And surprisingly... so was she?! Listening to Madeleine voice her interests in dance, physical and static conversation was so light-hearted, so stark in contrast to the bitterness that most of his interactions suffused within him. He felt at ease around Madeleine, though the ticking of his pulse was mirrored in his field. Never did it quite escape his thoughts that a girl was still in his room. Never did he quite get over the fact that she was smiling at him with a face so written with curiosity that Eirik felt an unfamiliar joy settling into him in turn.

"Confisalto? You don't really need to choose, do you? Surely you can dance and cast and find the time for everything? Everything in its place?" he inquired, trying to keep the question voiced in a gentle tone. Eirik didn't have such a hobby. With isolation as the ruination of his youth, Eirik delved deeper and deeper into himself, seeing less and less that he liked. And, he saw less and less of the world that he might someday inherit as a grown galdor. Eirik caprised Madeleine's own, the flex of his field a woven intimacy that perhaps only Madeleine had ever felt from him. Guarded. Broken.

Wanted? Eirik considered. A flush bloomed along his throat and up to his neck. It burned into his cheeks at the very thought of being appreciated by anyone. Madeleine's curiosity brought a smile to his features. Perhaps, for the first time that day, Eirik Maste didn't look sick at all.

"I haven't thought much on it at all. I've been digging up more and more on chemistry for the sake of the study of Static, though. It's so fascinating, and if you visualize it well enough during casting, you can really entreat the mona to do things... Truly incredible things. I've thought of turning that interest into a life's goal... but then the idea of being a duelist..." he mused, his lips quivering as a soft sigh coaxed its way past his lips. Eirik Maste knew himself to be a duelist at heart, even when his body was prone to bending under pressure.

"I write spells," he blurted out as if changing the subject. He wiggled his grimoire out from under the notes, his lips curved into a wide grin as he looked over at Madeleine,

"Professor Phore taught us the theoretical basis of spellcraft, but Professor Sonfield is much more hands-on. She's been encouraging us to be... bold? I don't think the rest of the class really got it, though," he added, a hint of pride caught in his tone as he pried his grimoire open. He flipped through the pages, moving overextended incantations that he'd started working over. The pages were marked with hatched lines, crossing out words and adding meanings in the margins. It was clear that Eirik was working through spells in real time before circling the ones that worked properly afterward. Upon further inspection of the book, Madeleine might find that the tome, wondrously thick and elegantly bound in leather, was filled with page after page of spells. Three bookmarks stuck out underneath towards the end of the time, labeled as 'Completed spells', 'Spells in Progress', and 'Staticaster's Glossary'.

Throughout their time together, Eirik doetoed Madeleine's field, careful not to prod at the sensitive girl and even cautious of what further inquiry could result in. However, as time went on, Madeleine's capris was more pursuant, asking more of his and Eirik was keen to perpetuate it. He let a foreign warmth suffuse into his monic cloud, the belike clouds wound just slightly tighter together. An unspoken inkling was posed, a curiosity neither acted upon or mentioned. But, he didn't feel it needed to.

Am I reading into things too much? She's just here at Heissman's request... Right?

word count: 968
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