Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Woods Random Legacy: Chapter 54 - Time Management Skills

FYI: this chapter gets a bit sexy in the middle. No explicit nudity or exposition, but the prudish may want to stay alert.

On the morning exam results were delivered, Epsilon hadn't even showed yet - in fact, she was still on the toilet - when her housemate Tiffany came barging into the bathroom.
"Epsilon?  You in here?"
Annoyed, Epsilon responded.  "Kind of busy, here."
"Oh, sorry, it's your exam results is all.  I'll just leave them on the sink!"  The slam of the bathroom door signaled Tiffany's exit from the room, and Epsilon finished up quickly, washing her hands before opening the envelope.  Her expression swiftly turned to one of horror.  That couldn't be right!
A quick shower and change of clothes later, she dashed into the kitchen, nearly slamming into Brendan.
"Woah there!" He laughed, then his expression quickly sobered, noting the look on her face.  "What's wrong?"
"I got a B!  That's never happened before, ever.  How did I mess up so badly?"
He reached out and took her hand, holding it still.  The touch was calming, almost as if her rapid hand movements had been accelerating her mental distress, or maybe that was just Brendan.
"Relax.  It had to happen sometime.  Not only are you in a difficult degree course, but you were taking the maximum load they would allow you to take.  Getting a B was pretty amazing, to be honest.  I know a lot of the students here would have flunked out."
"Yeah, but-"
He interrupted.  "No but.  A B won't kill your internship this summer, and you know what to expect, so you'll do better next semester."
She nodded.  What he was saying made sense.  She still felt as if she'd failed, though.
"Come here."  He pulled her close in a hug, and she nestled her face into his shoulder, letting him hold her.  They stayed that way for several long moments, until he spoke again.  "Don't you have a bus to catch?"
"Mmm," she confirmed, muffled by his shoulder, then started to pull away.  He responded by pulling her close again, this time kissing her gently on the lips.
"I'll see you when you get back?"
"Yes.  And thanks, for everything."

After term break was over, Alpha rented a small house just outside of the heart of campus.  Money was still tight, but she really needed the privacy if she was going to focus enough to do well in her class this term.  Her and Brendan had discussed renting a house together, but they'd ultimately decided that they weren't ready for that yet, so he chose to stay on at Malan Hall, for the next term at least.
Now that she wasn't a first-year student anymore, she was allowed to work in the labs, conducting her own experiments as well as assigned lab work.  The machines were almost always whirring away, whether by themselves or under the watchful eye of an anxious student.
She was also the first to arrive to lectures and the last to leave.  She often got strange looks from the other students, but the empty lecture halls were great places to study, free of distractions.
Her free time spent with Brendan was drastically reduced, unfortunately.  She could tell that it bothered him somewhat, but he was supportive, and she tried to make every moment they had together count.
Everything felt easier this term, as if she'd made it over the hump the previous year, but she refused to get complacent.  She would get an A this term, and nothing would stop her.

The night before final exam day, Epsilon was busy studying, as usual, not noticing that Brendan had finished reading his novel and was now pacing the kitchen.  She only noticed her boyfriend when he planted his hands firmly on the table and looked down to her with a somewhat bemused expression.
She looked up, startled.  "Huh?"
"What are you doing?  You're not going to get a better grade by cramming the night before your exams.  At this point, you either know it or you don't, and all you're doing is stressing yourself out."
She opened her mouth to protest, but he reached across the table to her textbook and gently closed it, setting it down.
"I'm serious.  Go get ready for bed, I'll give you a massage or something before I go back home."
She gave him the usual look of protest before taking his hands and letting him draw her out of her seat into an embrace.  He was right, and his plan sounded good, though there was one thing she would change.
"You should stay," she whispered.
"You're sure?"
"Yeah.  You know we'd talked about maybe staying together, next term, so it makes sense to work up to it a bit."
He gave her a quick peck on the lips, then drew back, smiling.  "Sounds good to me.  My first exam isn't until after lunch, so that gives me time to run home and get ready.  Come on, let's go to bed, you need sleep."
She hadn't known that he slept in so little, but she wasn't exactly modestly dressed herself.  She'd toyed with the idea of wearing one of her gym shirts to bed, but she'd gotten out of the habit of wearing much now that she had a room to herself, and she didn't mind him seeing her in her underwear at all.  It felt exciting though, and she couldn't quite keep from imagining how it would feel for their skin to touch as they slept together.
He was leaning against the headboard, so she settled in next to him, leaning back against the wood as their arms found comfortable positions.  Still, something seemed to be bothering him.
"What's wrong?" she asked, fearing the worst.
He reached around to the back of her head, fumbling at her hair.  For a moment she wasn't sure what he was doing, then it became obvious as her hair fell down onto her shoulders, the clip placed on the bedside table.
"You weren't really going to leave that in all night, were you?"  The teasing smile was back, and Epsilon laughed, shaking her head.
"No, I just didn't think to take it out yet.  Sorry, I was just worried that-"
He cut her off with a finger to her lips.  "I told you, stop worrying.  If you're going to worry, I'm going to leave."
"Okay."  She smiled, then settled against his shoulder, feeling his hand slide down her side to rest at her waist.  Her breath caught a little at the sensation, but she controlled her breathing, at least until Brendan chuckled.
"You don't have to pretend it doesn't feel good."
She blushed, which just made him laugh a bit more, his hand moving around to her back as he held her closer.  They lay there for a few moments before he spoke again.
"Have you ever...?"  His question trailed off, but he didn't have to finish it - she knew what he meant, and shook her head.
"No, you?"
"Yeah," he admitted.  "Does that bother you?"  His expression was serious now, looking down at her.
"No.  You're older than me, I always figured you'd have experience.  Why would it bother me, if it was before we met?"
"It was," he assured her.  "High school, the first time, and a few girls since.  I don't regret it."
"Why should you?"  He smiled again at her words.
"I really don't, and I'm glad you're okay with that.  You know it doesn't make me love you any less."
"I know," she said quietly, pulling him down to kiss him again, her free hand moving down to fumble at what little clothes he was wearing.
He pulled back so he could see her eyes.  "Epsilon.  Are you sure?"
She nodded.  "Yeah.  I've waited long enough to be sure.  I want this, with you."
He nodded again, lowering her gently to the bed.
It was all a bit blurry after that.  All Epsilon was sure of was that it had felt amazing, even the part she'd known would hurt.
Even she couldn't worry about the next day's exams, not tonight.

The next morning, she sat up, and immediately wished she hadn't.  She had a sick feeling in her stomach, and something behind her eyes was starting to throb.  Of all the days to come down with something, why today?  She gritted her teeth and stood, getting dressed in the dark so as not to aggravate a possibly-murderous headache.  She glanced back at her sleeping boyfriend as she exited the room, smiling weakly.  He was probably going to catch this too, since she'd surely been contagious last night.
She only felt worse as the day went on.  The sick feeling, though it never developed into acute nausea, stayed in her stomach, spreading up to the back of her throat as she moved to her last final.  The pressure in her head also increased, barely affected by the painkillers she took with lunch.  She got a text from Brendan right after, asking her to wear something nice and come to an after-finals party that evening.  She supposed she owed it to him to at least show up for a few minutes, after how she'd never gone out with him all term, even if she went home right after.  As he'd said, he was waiting for her outside the club.
"Are you okay?"
She shook her head.  "I'm coming down with something.  You've probably got it too."
"It was worth it.  Seriously, though, did you want to go lay down?"
She shook her head.  "I'll just stay for a bit, I know I've been a complete shut-in this term."
As they entered the club, somebody handed Epsilon a drink.  She took a sip of it then looked to the glass, surprised by the bite of the alcohol.  She'd never drank before, but even though she was already sick surely one drink wasn't going to make things any worse?  She was here to have a good time, for a few minutes at least, and she was going to make that happen.
The bar area was starting to fill up as Epsilon and Brendan danced to the music.  It was loud in here, and the beat of the bass was making her head pound.
She stepped off the dance floor to get a drink of water and stumbled.  Brendan came up to her, steadying the young woman as she rubbed her forehead.
"Look, you should go home.  I'm sorry I dragged you out here, you need to sleep."
She nodded.  "You're right.  I'll call you tomorrow, okay?"
He nodded back and kissed her forehead, only letting go of her once he was sure she was steady on her feet.

As she walked home, the pounding in her head continued getting worse.  The summer night air, almost unbearably humid, made her feel as if she was trying to breathe underwater.  Suddenly, she stopped dead, letting out a low groan.  She'd promised Natalie that she would check on her experiment that night, and start the next stage for her.  If she didn't go do that, half a term's worth of work would be ruined.  Sighing, she changed direction, walking slowly along the seemingly-unending sidewalk to the lab.
She shielded her eyes against the harsh lights of the lab, recording the numbers off of the displays.  She hoped everything was right, because she couldn't even think straight.
After she hung up the clipboard, she turned to leave, then stumbled sideways.  There it was again, like back in the club.  It was as if gravity changed direction for a moment.  Then it hit again, and she gasped, swaying back.
Even in the air-conditioned lab, the air was suddenly hard to breathe, the sickness rising inside of her.  She gasped for a breath, and found one, accompanied by a ripping sensation as if the world was suddenly made up of an infinite number of fragile curtains, that had all torn at that exact moment.
As she continued to fall backwards, the back of her head hit the experiment containment chamber, pain exploding through her skull.
Not right.  It's not right.
Nothing hurts anymore.  Nothing feels like anything at all.  That's definitely not right.
This isn't right either.  Where's Gregory, Shadow?

She opened her eyes.

~ * ~



  1. What indeed!!!
    *swears. More swears than you knew existed*
    As IF you're running off for an undisclosed amount of time now!!
    I hate you.

    That said, I love Brendan. Such a nice guy.

    1. I mostly am running off because I KNEW YOU'D START SWEARING AT ME!!! D: D: D:
      Scary Gemly. :(

      Brendan is super-nice. I couldn't have asked for a better randomly-generated roommate.

  2. Dun dun dun!

    Brendan really is a nice guy, I'm happy Epsi has him. Well, if she SURVIVES being punched in the face by scary ghost dude.

    LOL, also, I'm so conditioned by legacies to see every instance of nausea (especially after a woohoo scene) as OMG Preggers! that I was genuinely surprised to see her collapse and go into a vision. And scary ghost dude.

    1. Yes, the key issue at this point is surviving to end up being happy with Brendan. That and whatever else is wrong with her at the moment.

      Haha, somehow I knew somebody was going to think that! The literal morning after is a bit early for morning sickness to manifest, though. No, this is something else. ;)

  3. Oh no! What's happening to Epsilon? I hope everything's going to be alright and she gets out of the vision and finds out why that ghost has attacked her

    1. All will be explained, eventually. Like, within the next few chapters, eventually. Poor Epsilon, though. She's really having a rough time of it at the moment. :(

  4. Oh wow. I also thought that Epsilon might be pregnant at first but what a surprise at the end! What a way to wake back up and see a ghost fist ready to pummel your face! D:

    Great chapter!

    1. She has enough going on(like, you know, mortal peril?) without being preggers! Why do you guys all want her to have babies? LOL


  5. HAH! Her on the toilet when her exam results arrived, too funny. And freaking out over a B--although that bit I can certainly relate to. I'm still 4.0 in my associate's studies, and am terrified of anything less than an A.

    Woo! First time drinking and sex, all in 24 hours! Go Epsi!

    It sounds like she's got a migraine or something. Although I suppose in simland, that could also be pregnancy. But then again, this 'dream'...? What the....?