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FCU Student Union

 

Raphael had only heard the voice of the woman who would be teaching him. She said they would meet here at this time. So he decided to leave a little bit early. There was no work today. The parlor didn't have the hours for him. He felt the need for a run. It was a beautiful day. But no, he had to get this tutoring. She sounded nice, his prospective tutor. About what he'd expect from an American voice. He's still not seen her.

 

He sat at a table, reading a textbook. He never knew why paper books were so expensive when a program file could replace them cheaply. Still, the few hundred dollar investment would be repaid. Hopefully. Math was so much easier to understand than words. It was his major after all. English courses were for getting a better grasp on the language. Not really needed, but, well, really needed.

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Casey was in a very good mood this afternoon; she'd managed to get into all her first choice classes this term, and things were on track for her summer abroad next year. Life at Pi Epsilon Delta was fantastic, with a great group of friends and real sense of community. She'd been a bit of a wallflower back at Claremont, but here at FCU she was truly starting to blossom.

 

And now she was getting to be a tutor! The whole thing was her fellow Pi Steph's idea, and she embraced it fully. After all, with her super-speed homework hardly took up any of her time, so why not use all that extra time to help out her fellow students? All she knew about her first pupil was his name was Raphael, he was from a city in northern France, and that he was into math and science. Oh, and his accent was amazing.

 

Stepping into the common room of the union, she quickly scanned the crowd, her incredible eyes absorbing a tremendous amount of detail. At last, she spotted a French passport inside a book bag, and she began to make her way over to the young man's direction, carrying two piping hot large coffees and a bag full of creams, sugar and fresh pastries, her own daypack over one shoulder.

 

However as she got closer, her pace slowed a bit as she began to really take in Monsieur Raphael Valcourt (she double checked his name on his passport). First of all, under the casual grunge of his hacky sack chic he was cut. Not like a weightlifter or even an ordinary athlete, but like a dancer or gymnast. Lithe. Sculpted. Despite herself, Casey slipped a peek or two beneath his loose sweatshirt, and it was like looking at a panther, and she felt her cheeks go pink. Good God, he was built!

 

"Hi!" she blurted out a bit too loudly as she stepped up to his table. "Are you Raphael? I'm Casey. Your tutor!" She heard herself laugh for no reason as her right hand shot out for an awkward but surprisingly firm handshake, one of the coffees transferred to the crook of her arm.

 

Raphael saw a very pretty, very American blonde girl in blue and white sorority sweats, athletic shoes and black plastic framed glasses. Her hair was up in a practical ponytail, and a hiker's daypack was over one shoulder. She look a little flushed, like she'd just been running.

Edited by Heritage

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Not that she sneaked up on him or anything. On the phone she sounded kind of an upbeat girl. But he wasn't expecting a cute blonde. Of the same hobbies maybe? She did look the athletic type. Though the sudden snap of her voice made his reflexes react. He smiled as she laughed. "Yes, I am Raphael," his voice was very very accented, as she had heard on the phone, but then again, no one sounds the same in person. She had a surprisingly strong grip too.

 

"It is a pleasure to do your acquaintance, Casey," he said mixing up the phrase, "it was very fortunate." He hope he wasn't staring too awkwardly. She was a very pretty girl. He would have to ask her about what she did once the lessons were over.

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Still feeling a bit dizzy, Casey managed to find her seat and not spill either coffee, a goofy smile still plastered on her face. "It's nice to meet you, too!" She flopped her hands down on the table, using a bit more strength than she intended, causing it to shake violently. The coffees danced about, but miraculously didn't spill, though there was a blur of motion for just a split second right before they righted themselves.

 

That was close! Get it together, Case! You have a job to do and an obligation to help this student, no matter how cute he is!

 

The blonde heroine turned to Raphael and smiled. "You know what I find it very helpful to do before I study? A little deep breathing exercise. Won't you join me? You take a deep breath through your nose for a count of three, and then slowly exhale through your mouth on a count of three. Want to try it?" 

 

And demonstrate it she did; hopefully this would help her calm down and clear her head enough to focus on the task ahead.

Edited by Heritage

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Raphael grinned at the call for a little breathing. "Sure," he nodded seriously. Now he wouldn't try to impress the girl who was trying to teach him, but well, he did want to get along with her? So, he folded his legs, lotus position, and closed his eyes as they both breathed a couple of times. After the third or fourth one he opened one eye to see how silly he looked. Which was not the purpose. He was just following instructions from his teacher.

 

"So," he kept on inhaling and exhaling, "I am very interested in this technique. But it feels like something from a fight instructor. Linguistics are very strange in that way." He chuckled, "teach me the ways of English, oh pretty one." He caught himself too late. He wasn't taking it back, but he looked embarrassed, "I am sorry. Not for the compliment, but it is wrong place? time? for such flattery?" He unfolded himself and looked at the text book, "So, participles, past and present." He had no idea what that meant besides the book open to that page.

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Oh gosh, this was going to be so much harder than she thought it was going to be! Why did he have to be so cute and limber? Even with her eyes closed, she couldn't help but stare through her lids at him. Maybe if she'd done any dating back in high school she wouldn't be so darn awkward right now. And then he had to go ahead and call her 'pretty one'? Jimminy Christmas!

 

Taking a few seconds to compose herself, Casey switched to 'Big Sister' mode; this is the way she dealt with pre-teens who got too weird when she volunteered at school, church or summer camp, gently dissuading any inappropriate interests they might have.

 

"That's very sweet, Raphael, but we're here to work on your English, not to chat. Maybe after this session, there will be time for that, but business before pleasure." She primly adjusted her classes and sat up straight. "Now, did you have any classes in English back in France, or have you mostly picked things up from watching movies and TV shows?"

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