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Nervous Questions

Posted on Wed Mar 27th, 2019 @ 6:35pm by Nathan Sinclair & Katherine Rankin

Mission: Mission 1 - From Normal to Super
Location: Lobby of Building H
Timeline: 2018/09/04 1000

Nate Sinclair had just finished his first day of his Introduction to Geography course. A basic 101 course that was a requirement for his degree, but was filled with people from all over the university. He had gone through much of this first lecture’s content during his grade 12 geo course last year, but it was always good to get a refresher.

What interested him as much as the geography, if not more, was the fact that he noticed Kit Rankin in the course. He hadn’t had a chance to talk with her (or Drew or Hayden) since they got back from the infirmary days earlier. Now was a good opportunity to talk to her, maybe get to know her better outside a loud party.

So when the class ended, Nate hurried into the lobby of the building and watched for Kit to leave, so he could talk to her.

Unfortunately for Nate, Kit didn't exactly hurry when the class was over, taking her time, repacking her book bag and allowing the other students to exit first. She was still worried about her brother given how badly Drew had been injured at the party. He seemed to be healing well, but she still worried. It didn't help that she hadn't been sleeping well since that night. She didn't feel good, not bad exactly, but she definitely didn't feel good, not like she had before the party.

When she left the room, Kit's head was down, one slim hand wrapped around the strap of her book back. When Nate stepped in her path, she stopped, looked up and blinked, then gave a smile. "Nate. Hello."

"Hi, Kit," Nate said. He wasn't sure how, but her smile lightened his mood a bit. He smiled back. "I wanted to ask how you and your brother are doing. That was a rough night, eh?"

"Drew's getting better, though his ribs still bother him a bit." She said, since she hadn't actually been injured that night. She rather liked Nate, he'd been nice to her, and had helped her and Hayden rescue Drew, but Kit wasn't the social butterfly that her twin was. She didn't make friends quickly or easily and her encounter with Violet had soured her on the social side of the college experience. "Yeah." She murmured, her cheeks going pale and her heart rate quickening at the memory, "Rough night."

"I was thinking of getting a coffee," Nate said. "My next class isn't for over an hour. Would you like to join me? We didn't really get much of a chance to talk at that party before the police arrived." He was nervous. This was the second time he'd asked a woman out since he arrived. The first time ended embarrassingly, and looking back, he strongly suspected Violet had been toying with him. He didn't get the sense that Kit was like that. He wanted to get to know her better.

"Coffee?" Kit echoed, her hand tightening around the strap of her bag, when he asked if she would join him. She didn't much care for coffee but she figured that any coffee shop would have hot drinks other than just coffee. Why not. She thought, with a smile. "Okay." She said with a nod, "Sounds good." She didn't have another class until this afternoon. This was one of the perks of college, spacing classes out rather than going to one after other all day.

The two stepped outside into the heat and walked along the sidewalks in the direction of a cafe that Nate had found over the weekend adjacent to the campus. They made small talk as they went. "So where are you and your brother from?"

"California." She said rather tonelessly, since the last couple of years had been hard for them. With the way that their father treated Drew after he'd come out. "What about you? Where are you from?"

"Ontario," he answered. He understood her tone and didn't push that line of questioning further. "What brings you to this school, specifically? Why Gulf Coast?"

Kit's head swiveled quickly and sharply towards him when he said he was from Ontario, "Really?" She'd grown up in California, so knew loads of people from Mexico, but few from up north. "I... Um.... It offered the best scholarships, for me and for Drew." She didn't say that they needed that money because their father was refusing to help them out, still furious because her twin had come out as gay. Even after nearly two years which she just couldn't understand. Why did he hate so much?

It wasn’t Nate’s business why she and Drew needed scholarship money. He knew from a young age that not everyone had the same access to money he did, and that it was important for him to be aware of his privilege in that regard. He stayed silent on the matter. “I want to thank you for letting me hang out with you at that party,” Nate said, changing the subject. “I wasn’t sure I would have fun, but I did. Well, until those guys with guns showed up. But before that, talking to you and Drew and Hayden. Dancing with you. I had a good time.”

Kit blushed a little, but her smile was easy and warm, "You're welcome." Her voice was quiet, but her eyes couldn't hide the relief that she felt when he didn't pursue the topic that she so clearly found uncomfortable. "I'm not really a party person, but until the raid it was nice." She blushed even more, ducking her head a little, "The dancing was fun. For as long as it lasted."

“Can I tell you something?” Nate said as they got closer to the cafe. “I think that might’ve been my first time dancing at a party like that. In high school, my friends and I were never invited to that sort of thing.”

A moment later they reached the cafe, a place called Bridgehead. Next class was starting, so the rush had already died down. The line was short and there were tables available. Nate held the door open for Kit before entering behind her.

"Honestly?" Kit let out a humorless chuckle since she never had either. She'd always been focused on her studies, and most recently spent all of her limited down time, making clothing and things she could sell to supplement the scholarships she and her brother had received. She knew there was no support from their father. "Me either." She admitted.

Kit had been reaching for the door handle when Nate beat her to it, she looked at him, startled but pleased. "Thanks." She said and walked through the door, heading to the counter so they could order their drinks.

“This place has a pretty good selection,” Nate said walking in line behind her. “If you like things with espresso, they do good lattes and the like. If you don’t like coffee, they have tea, and cold drinks too. If Starbucks sells it, they probably do too. I like the vanilla latte myself.” He reached into his wallet to get some cash out. A young woman behind the counter beckoned the two of them to approach and asked for their orders. Nate visibly deferred to Kit.

"I'm not much of a coffee drinker." Kit admitted somewhat self-deprecatingly as they walked up to the counter, "But I do like tea." When they reached the front of the line, she took a moment to read over the menu on the board behind the counter. "Jasmine tea please, hot." Kit said with a smile for the barista and dug a hand into her purse for the cash to pay for her drink.

“And a vanilla latte please,” Nate said, offering sufficient cash to the barista to cover both. “I invited you, Kit. Least I can do is get the tea.”

Kit's lips parted in an instinctive protest, but she caught herself with a tiny sigh. It was true, he had invited her, and while she could afford the occasional treat, letting him get this one meant that she could use the money for something else down the line. "Thank you." She said finally, withdrawing her hand from her purse with a grateful smile. Relieved that she hadn't ordered anythings really expensive. His drink was more so she didn't have to feel bad about that!

“You’re welcome,” Nate replied. Seeing her smile made him smile too. He gestured for the two of them to step towards the receiving area. Her tea was ready first. His drink followed a minute later. They found an open table for two and sat down. “I wanted to ask you something. In the past couple of days, have you noticed anything...strange?” He didn’t want to mention his teleportation ‘episode’, but he wanted to know if something similar happened to Kit.

Kit took her drink in hand, following him from the counter to a table, sitting down across from him, then blew on the hot liquid before taking a careful sip. "What do you mean by strange exactly?" She asked, since attending a party where they got raided was hardly what she considered normal. Kit's multi colored eyes lifted so their gazes met, her gaze quizzical.

Nate blushed a bit and scratched the back of his neck. She mustn’t be experiencing anything as strange as he was, otherwise she’d react differently. Am I the only one? he thought. “Probably just me being a bit nervous from everything. Not just the raid. Meeting new friends, dancing with a pretty girl. Didn’t expect to do any of those things, let alone get shot at.”

Kit smiled, taking another slow sip of her drink, "Believe me I know exactly how that feels." Until she'd come to school so far from her home, Kit had never lived more than one hundred miles from the hospital where she and her brother had been born. When he talked about dancing with a pretty girl, she blinked, her gaze flying to his briefly before dropping to her hands, curled around her cup of tea, cheeks heating up but a pleased look on her face.

“So, what do you like to do for fun?” Nate asked. It was a bit of an awkward question, but he wanted to get to know her better, and hoped maybe some of their interests aligned. Maybe there were activities they’d both enjoy together? Couldn’t hurt to ask.

If she'd known what he was thinking Kit would've agreed with him, "I like to study strange as that sounds. And I like to do crafts, sewing, needlepoint, knitting, stuff like that. I like to read too." She shrugged, "I'm just a big nerd I guess. What about you?"

He took another sip of his drink, enjoying its warmth and sweetness. “I’m a nerd, too. I love to read, too, both prose and graphic novels. I don’t think I’ve found a genre I don’t like at least something from. I play computer games, too. Nothing online. Usually something with a good story.” He took another little sip. “It’s been so long since I’ve done crafts. I used to make models. It might be fun to try doing that again.”

Kit took another small sip from her cup of steaming tea, "I'm more interested in fiction I guess. I mean, as opposed to graphic novels. I don't think I've ever read any graphic novels." She admitted, looking at him curiously, "Is there one that you can recommend?" She sipped again, before she asked another question, "What kind of models did you used to make?"

"There are a few graphic novels that are considered literary classics," Nate said, "like Watchmen or Maus. Though my most recent favourite is a modern update of the old cartoon Jem and the Holograms. It's hard to explain why it appeals, but it's about...feminism and sisterhood? My sisters loved it and when they showed it to me I couldn't help but love it too." He smiled at the thought of his sisters giving him that great present.

He sipped again and paused to wipe some foam off his mouth. "As for models? A few different kinds. Cars, ships, spaceships, real and fictional. Mostly plastic. If I can find a hobby shop nearby I might see if I'm still any good at it." He looked Kit in the eye. "Maybe one day, we can have a craft night? Sit somewhere together and work on something fun while we talk?"

"Sounds good." Kit acknowledged, then gave a slight shrug, careful not to spill any of her tea on her skin or clothes. She'd never been that big a fan of animated movies, not even as a child so it was reasonable that she hadn't read graphic novels either. But since Nate seemed like a decent guy she might give one of the ones he'd mentioned a try, when she had some free time.

Kit liked sewing, but what she liked most these days was the fact that it either saved her money or allowed her to make money to supplicate her grants and scholarships for her education. "That'd be nice." Her had her sewing machine set up in her room, and didn't intend to haul it down to the lounge to sew, but there were always things she could bring down to do while he put together some models. "That sounds nice. I'd like that."

Nate smiled widely, happier than he realized he'd be to hear her accept his invitation. "Can I maybe get your number? I can text you to arrange something?"

For the briefest of moments, Kit hesitated, then nodded, "Sure, of course, it's 707-555-7812."

Nate was thankful for his good memory, but nevertheless quickly got out his phone and recorded the number. "Thank you. I've just sent you a text, so you have mine!" The text simply read Hello! :)

The text made Kit smile, and she saved his number as a new entry under Nate's first name. Something occurred to her and she glanced from the number to his face, "It's not a Canadian number is it?" She asked, "Because I can't afford to make long distance calls." The obvious solution of course was to give him her email address instead, thereby avoiding the issue.

Nate shook his head. "No, when I landed in Texas, Jane took me to a place to get a local number and plan. This far from home, I'd probably get roaming charges, so it was better to go local. I have Jane and Lara on a 'family' list so I don't have to worry about calling them."

The expression of worry melted leaving Kit's eyes bright once again. "That's a relief." She smiled over at him, then took another, longer sip of her tea. "Who are Jane and Lara?: She asked after a moment wrestling with her curiosity.

“My sisters,” Nate said. “Jane is twenty-four and Lara is fifteen. Jane looked after us after our parents died. She worked hard to make arrangements for me to come out here. Lara is a little ball of energy that always keeps me on my toes.” He smiled as he took a sip of his drink. “It’s only been a week but I miss them already. How about you? Do you have siblings? Other than Drew, that is?”

Kit nodded, her own smile a little sad since she missed her own younger siblings just as he seemed to miss is two sisters. "We has a younger sister and brother. Riley is 12 now and Kallie just turned 15." She grinned suddenly, "Two of each, though only Drew and I came as a set." A quick giggle burst from her parted lips.

Nate couldn’t help but smile at Kit’s giggle. He wanted to ask more about her family, but it seemed more personal than what the moment called for. “I have something I like to ask people I’m getting to know. What’s your absolute favourite book of all time? I don’t mean what do you think is objectively best. I mean your personal favourite.”

Kit pursed her lips as she thought about Nate's question about what book she liked the best, "I read it when I was young and completely missed the religious overtones in Lewis' writing, but I really like the Narnia books." Opening a door to a magical land where she and her siblings would be safe from their father's rages seemed ideal to the young woman, who smiled at the memory, a wistful air about her just from the memories.

"You know, that's a series that everyone assumes I've read, but I never have," Nate said. "I think I may finally need to try it. I should start at The Lion, The Witch, And The Wardrobe, right?"

"Yeah." Kit nodded, a slight frown on her face, "I still can't believe they reordered the series in such a harebrained way." She said indignantly, tossing her head. "Prince Caspian, Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Silver Chair, Horse and his Boy, Magician's Nephew and the Last Battle."

Nate nodded. “I’m not sure I’ll remember all of that, but if I don’t I can ask you once I finish the first one.” He smiled, holding up his phone. “So what’s your next class?”

"Of course." Kit said with a shy smile, since she knew the order by heart. It was the way they'd been numbered when she was young and she detested the new order. It took all the mystery out of it. "I've got astronomy in an hour or so." She said after a quick glance at her phone.

“You’ll need to tell me how that is,” Nate said. “I thought about taking it. I need another elective next year and might try it out. I have PoliSci in an hour, and I’m looking forward to it. The prof is the reason I came to Gulf Coast.”

"Are you leaning toward the sciences then?" She asked, since when she thought of electives Astronomy wasn't high on her list.

Nate shook his head. "International Studies, actually. I want to travel. Maybe work for the UN one day. Astronomy is just something I'm interested in." He smiled a bit shyly. "How about you? What are you leaning towards, major-wise?"

Kit frowned when he asked what she was leaning towards since she still struggled with that given the tension within her family since Drew had come out. "I'm not sure yet." She didn't wanna say whichever major was cheap, and would allow her scholarships to cover more of the cost since she didn't want to end up with huge loans afterwards. "Something in the humanities I think, rather than hard sciences."

Nate nodded. “Well, maybe we’ll have more classes together.” He hoped they would. They already had geography together. He could suggest that they study together, and more classes meant more studying. Or you can just ask her out, Nate.

With a sweet smile, Kit nodded, "I'm sure we will." She liked knowing people in her classes since she often studied with her friends back in high school, Grace and Sakura. Though with the occasional exception of her brother there hadn't been any males in her study sessions.

Once again, Kit’s smile lifted his spirits, making him smile in return. He’d need to text his sisters when their coffee date was done. Was this a coffee date? Maybe one day they’d discuss what this was, but for now he was just enjoying her company.


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