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A Warm Welcome Back

Posted on Tue Jan 10th, 2023 @ 1:31 by Jonathan Monroe & Claire Cavendish

Chapter: Prologue: Dawn of Avalon
Location: English classroom
Timeline: Wednesday, 16th of September, 1992
1119 words - 2.2 OF Standard Post Measure

"I thought I recognised your car, Jon." Claire stood in the doorway to the English classroom. Over the past two years Jonathan had made the room his own little slice of educational paradise. "You're early. Couldn't wait to come back to us?" She slowly entered the room and spread her arms to invite him in for a hug. He had been with the school since the first school year and the closed off nature of their community meant that Claire got close to her faculty. For a hippie like her that meant hugs.

"For once the flight wasn't delayed and traffic was better than expected," Jonathan explained, awkwardly accepting the minimum level of hug she would allow. Even knowing his history with physical contact, Claire never seemed shy or put-off by it. "Getting a head start on the curriculum helps, of course."

She still felt him tense up whenever she reached out to him, but at no point did she ever feel unsafe in his presence. "And here I thought you just missed me." She stepped away from him and looked around the room. "How was the windy city?"

"Windy. For September, anyway. Guess that's not much different to how things are back here," he answered, diverting the conversation away from home - and the usual awkwardness of engaging with his parents - and back to the moment. "Well. I suppose it wouldn't do to leave you all alone in an old, possibly haunted Scottish castle. Right?"

"Oh it's not so bad. Some of the kids have no place to go, besides William is always around." Claire sat down on one of the front row desks. "I'm glad you're back a bit earlier, because I wanted to have a little get together with the staff and I could really use your help preparing." She smirked a bit at that. "If you're up for it, of course."

He perched against the edge of his desk, arms folded. "It goes without saying. What did you have in mind?"

Claire shrugged a bit at that return question. "Something that'll bring the people together and mingle with people they don't normally mingle with. Break the sub-groups." She didn't want competition at this early stage though, not everyone reacted well to that, especially with their backgrounds. "Something fun. Light. You know?"

"Plenty of options. Film night. Sporting event..." He shrugged thoughtfully. "What about an open mic night? Get people to step out of their shells and get to know each others' interests?"

Now that was something Claire hadn't considered. She knew there was a reason she had come to him for this. "As long as you promise not to do some long Shakespearean monologue." She joked and then nodded. "But yeah, I like that. It's a good idea."

"O, that this too too solid flesh would melt, thaw and resolve itself into a dew..." he retorted. "I don't think the students would forgive me for turning it into a literature lesson. How does next Friday sound? I'll see if we can get something set up in one of the larger spaces."

"Oh, no I meant just for the faculty. I expect everyone will be back by Friday, so this Saturday I just wanted to make sure everyone had a chance to talk and mingle." Claire pushed herself off the table. "I still think a literature lesson isn't what we're going for though. Unless you want me to do a lesson on Kant or Nietzsche or something. Get the teachers in the mood for a new school year."

"A lesson on Nietzsche to a group of mutants...hmm..." Jon's eyebrow raised in a mix of curiosity and amusement. He wasn't sure that would go down quite as well as she might want. "Okay, so fun things only. Someone probably knows how to play the guitar, right?"

"I'm sure there's at least one." Claire didn't play musical instruments. When she was young her parents had encouraged her to take up an instrument but she never really progressed past the recorder. "What about you, what's your hidden talent?"

"Wouldn't be much of a hidden talent if I went around telling everyone now, would it? You'll just have to wait and see next Friday," he grinned.

"Oh come on." Claire called out. "Your secret is safe with me!" She insisted.

"How long have you known me, Claire? You've got to try a lot harder than that," he chuckled.

"Fine. Be like that." She fold her arms to signify her disappointment in the whole ordeal. "Will you help organise? A new secretariat is starting, perhaps she can help with the invites and the programme, but she's new, so she might need some help and guidance." A soft smile accompanied the request.

"Once I've gotten the student timetable finished I'll pay her a visit," he nodded. "You providing the drinks?" he added with a wink.

"I'll make sure there's plenty to snack on." Claire knew that this wasn't the kind of crowd that required her to pull the expensive wine and whisky from the cellar but something nice would go a long way to make everyone feel welcome and back at home. "Speaking of timetable, I hope you took into account the extra class we're going to accommodate. There's just so many new students." She motioned that she really couldn't think of any other way to sort it out.

His lips pursed for just a moment, but he shrugged it off. "I can work it into the schedule but you're going to have to think about bringing in a few more support staff eventually," he said. "Or maybe share some of the work out; Phoebe and I already talked about me helping covering some of her history modules."

"I do have some irons in the fire in regards to that." Finding new staff for the institute was always a challenge, there was so many things to consider, even before one could look into their teaching credentials. "I just need some time to make that work. Thank you for covering with Phoebe. Let me know if you need anything." A small smile appeared, "I can English."

His eyebrow raised for a second, before he chuckled back. "All right. But let's leave Kant and Nietzsche off the schedule, hmm?"

"Well I for one firmly believe we need more philosophers." Claire declared with quite a bit more gravitas than the situation required, which is when she added her punchline; "I'm not sure what for, but I'm sure they'll think of something." She pulled herself off the table and stepped towards Jonathan for a last embrace before heading for the exit. "Let me know what I can do, alright?"

"You're the boss."


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