Mon. 12/16/2250 – By Rebecca Green
Aelita snuck her way through the halls. Which wasn’t entirely necessary, but it was half the fun of doing this. She didn’t need to, but she had distinct plans. Last week had been… difficult. She still couldn’t believe that she’d collapsed as she had. It was mortifying and she couldn’t bring herself to play all weekend. Her violin was destroyed, she’d have to get a new one. She had skipped Orchestra ever since, unwilling to play a school instrument. Thankfully, Professor Marquart seemed to understand and hadn’t told her off for it.
Yet, she was rather peppy. She was friends with Dora again- the concert had given her quite the shake, and maybe that had been what she needed. Exams were this week, but she was confident in her abilities. Her violin was gone, but her best friend was back in her life and it sounded like Gwen might be coming around, and she was perfectly content with that.
Today, she had a mission. She’d been planning this for ages. Or, rather, three weeks. The librarian had been hesitant, but she was nothing if not persistent and the event had been planned out for the masquerade that Friday. School ended Thursday, allowing students to head home for Christmas break, or otherwise stick around long enough for the dance, if not the whole break.
What was she planning? A serenade, of course. It was a bit of a grand gesture, but she was certain it would impress the defense professor and give the two the shove they needed. Aelita consider them her pet project of sorts and was quite proud of this contribution to their relationship.
However, there was a bit of a snag that she was attending to at the moment. Vander had to be at the dance. She wasn’t known for attending the school functions unless required and Aelita had little idea if she’d been drafted for chaperoning.
She peeked through the window first and sure enough the short redhead was sitting at her desk. Grading one of the many papers that Aelita had heard she’d been forced to hand out in place of physically teaching. God knew how Vander had managed to take two major injuries to the same leg within weeks.
Aelita knocked. Something she didn’t usually do, but hey, she needed to get on Vander’s good side. The woman looked up, before raising a hand to wave her in. Aelita pushed the door open, grinning widely at her.
“What can I do for you, Miss Rede?” She said, straight to the point as always.
Aelita resisted the urge to roll her eyes. “Oh, y’know. I just have a question.”
Vander raised an eyebrow, “If you’re back to asking if you can take defense, the answer is still no. I thought you’d let this go.”
“First of all, I should totally still take defense. I might have hemophilia, but that’s even more reason I should know what to do. Besides, that’s not what I was going to ask.” Aelita paused for a moment, but Vander didn’t interject so she went on, “I was actually wondering if you’re planning to attend the masquerade.”
“I’m chaperoning.” The woman answered and it was like a gift from above. Aelita broke into a grin and Vander instantly narrowed her eyes and asked suspiciously, “Why?”
“No reason.” Aelita replied innocently.
“That’s bull.” Vander accused, “Are you planning something?”
“Of course not. Why would I do that?”
“Because you’re Aelita and you like to stick your nose everywhere it doesn’t belong.”
“I’m wounded.” She placed a hand to her heart as she spoke, a dramatic gesture as she bent back on her legs, still smiling. She knew that Vander was going to be suspicious, but at least she would be there. Aelita had been forcing the librarian into too many practice sessions for this to go down in flames now. Too bad, though, she’d come ready with an arsenal of reasons that the woman should go, if she hadn’t already planned to.
“I’m sure you’ll be fine.” The woman replied, looking back down at her papers, “Just don’t do anything too insane.” It was unlikely she’d be able to convince the girl to halt in her plans or otherwise tone it down, but Rhea would ask this at the very least. “I’d quite like to have a quiet evening. Now, if you don’t mind I have these horrible papers to grade.”
“Are they that bad?” Aelita asked curiously, moving to her toes to get a better look.
“Bad enough. I taught my students to fight, not write essays on technique. I’ll be glad when the semester is over. I should be completely healed from both injuries to resume my normal teaching in ‘51. Until then, I’ve been having Vinci come in to do a couple demonstrations for me. Sparring helps, too.”
Rhea spoke until she realized she was doing exactly what Aelita had meant for her to do. Distract her from the masquerade. She scowled at the girl, “I won’t be forgetting what you said, though. Run along, I’ll be there for whatever you have planned.”
“Great! I’ll take that as your R.V.S.P.” Aelita twirled around to skip toward the door, hand on the knob as she called back, “Thank you Professor!”
Now, next step….