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We were walls facing walls. It was painful to talk. It was painful to feel the distance.

Posted on Sun Jan 8th, 2023 @ 0:54 by Phoebe Hunter
Edited on on Mon Jan 16th, 2023 @ 10:35

Chapter: Prologue: Dawn of Avalon
Location: Chemistry Classroom
Timeline: September 17th, 1992, 7:00AM
1216 words - 2.4 OF Standard Post Measure

Her presence at the threshold of his classroom was not unexpected, but nevertheless it caught Sayid somewhat off-guard to see Ms. Hunter in more of a natural habitat, absent of her MI13 accoutrements.

His first meeting with her was five months ago, when he had made his way from Istanbul into Edinburgh and was instantly flagged upon entering the country. It had been Phoebe's job to determine if he were telling the truth of his circumstances and whether he could offer the organization useful information on the movements of Mubarak's forces in Tura and Cairo.

It turned out that he had plenty to say, in his soft, somewhat accented lilt, and he did not mind sharing it with the government of the United Kingdom, with absolutely no loyalty to his own country of origin whatsoever. He had a caseworker now, that was not associated with MI13, even though the organization kept periodic tabs on all current and former assets. The connection was useful enough to permit him remand to the country, and to "overlook" his employment status with Avalon.

Donning a hat and scarf even indoors, he lifted the newsboy-style cap from his head once in greeting to her before replacing it, as deferent as she recalled him being despite his towering height. He had been in the process of hanging a painting; an abstract in oils that boasted vivid reds and yellows from smokey black. The initials, S A-Z, indicated it was a piece by the man himself. He was also mid-organization of a stack of books, which he set down on his desk.

"Good morning, Ms. Hunter," he broke the silence sparingly. While he did not smile outright, his eyes creased slightly at the corners, indicating some degree of positive regard for her.

"Teaching establishments seem to let anyone in now," Phoebe commented with a smile as she came into the room and took in his surroundings. It was luxurious compared to her bare room. She had yet to flavour the classroom let alone anywhere else. Her bedroom if you could call it that was not in her opinion anything other than somewhere to go at the end of the day. Her tone was jovial compared to anyone else she had yet to greet at Avalon.

His lips pursed and he folded his arms over his chest, expression dry. "I had thought that perhaps Avalon were in great need of my services," he replied with a dorky little bow of his head. Truthfully, however - "It is pleasant to see you again, Ms. Hunter. I had wondered where you retired to after MI13. It is good you have remained attached to mutant interests." His English was flawless, though lightly accented, and a little overly formal.

“I did not retire. An MI-13 Officer never retires. I like to think of this as reassignment.” Phoebe decided phrasing her words perfectly. “But please call me Phoebe.” She added properly coming into the room to look around. It looked like a multi-purpose lab but a lot more up-to-date than the one she could remember using in secondary school.

"Phoebe," he amended, lifting his chin - passive, non-committal. It was a common excursion amongst veterans of any intelligence community; what to do with the inevitable person that was not as easily socially engineered. Taciturn, disinclined to words, simply due to temperament, Sayid hovered around being one of those somewhat-frustrating assets - but he had taken a good, hard look at his stock of options and wizened up. "What do you teach here?" he asked, folding his hands neatly behind his back as he stood before her, hunched in just a little - reflexive, he really is tall - the ways in which he had made himself smaller-and-smaller seeping in, smoke underneath the doors - seemingly he recognized where he was. Phoebe saw his shoulders relax marginally in increments, a categorically conscious action.

"That was not hard was it." The woman teased just a little running her hand along one of the wooden desks as she took in the lab more and more. The nostalgia was high in coming back to a school again, she could remember her teaching training and then going to both an English and American high school and bast differences that she had adjusted to. "History... Ironic hmm?" He knew her abilities so at least to him, she was not someone who was a threat anymore. She did not need to hesitate in admitting that if she wanted to she could tell him about the future and take away free will.

"An appropriate subject, given your skillset," Sayid huffed. "I must admit to some trepidation," he hedged a little. "I took some courses, but I'm not a trained teacher. Hopefully the students will not eat me alive. Any suggestions you can provide me would be infinitely helpful."

“We shall wait and see then if my skill set is an assistant or hindrance.” Phoebe wondered with a raised eyebrow. She had assumed that all the teachers would have at least trained teacher status. “Well I am sure at least one of them will be able to smell fear.” Phoebe teased just a little to try and lighten his mood shift.

"Al tir'a, as Dr. Solarin would put it," said the gentleman, ducking his head in a sheepish concession. Be not afraid! There are angels climbing the ladder, to and fro . . . "I must admit it has been a relief to see you here, Ms. Hunter. Phoebe," he corrected himself absently.

"How so?" People were not typically relieved to see her after her former interactions with them. Normally she had chased and arrested them for the most part or at least in some way had a negative interaction. It had not been so bad with Sayid and he had become handy afterwards.

"I was not anticipating having a friend amongst my new environment," he said, indicating between the two of them. "Not to presume," he added, because friend could be a loaded word, but - close enough. Sayid didn't do friends the same way others did, either, which Phoebe was well-aware, so perhaps it wouldn't be so laden.

Sayid was harmless enough in this environment that she could lower her defences a little and relax. “Presume away. We are friends of sorts and have time now to get rid of the sorts.” She had not anticipated a familiar face so that was something at the very least that was working in Avalon’s favour.

"I most look forward to it," Sayid dips his head, clasping his hands behind his back to take a few steps and gaze out of the window. "Please, I shan't distract you from your duties any longer," he adds, unsure of what else to say - his social skills were not very well-developed, and he didn't want to be a bother or a nuisance.

The precog took the opportunity to leave when it was offered and smiled wider at him. “It is good to see you again Sayid. You know where I am if you need anything.” She said genuinely happy to see someone familiar in her new job when she was struggling to adapt so much.


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