A bed with a fire proof cover sits in the corner. Piles of clothes, all dirty, litter the floor. A music stand, borrowed from another room, sits in the corner with several pieces of music upon it. A new desk with a new computer sits in the other corner, and a dresser is pushed against the wall. This is not obviously the room of a teenage boy, as it is a bit cleaner than the usual boy's room.
Monday, May 25th
opened the door and walked in, finally dropping Coral's hand and moving to his bathroom. It took him a moment to find the burn salve and bandages and he went back to the main room, sitting on his bed cross legged and holding out a hand for Coral. "I bet the fingertips are still okay. Leave those exposed and the phone won't be a problem."
When her hand was dropped, Coral
just stood in the middle of the room, glancing around as though it was a museum exhibit she found interesting enough to examine, but not particularly awe-inspiring. When Atsila returned and gestured for her hand, she approached him without hesitation. "Well..." She tried to remember exactly how Kyle held her hands. Did he touch her fingertips?
Although his mind wasn't all on how to do this gently, Atsila
was careful as he started removing the ruined bandages. He wanted to see the damage done by the burn, not by his own clumsiness. It wasn't out of kindness at all, but an insatiable curiosity that he peeled the bandages off, revealing the ruined flesh. Picking up the hand and turning it this way and that, Atsila got the entire view of what was done. The skin was blistered over the palm and up the fingers. The fingertips were burned, but not as badly as the rest of her hand. What fascinated him the most was the discoloration of the skin. His attention was so fully on the burn that he temporarily forgot that there was a person attached to the hand. The flame being wanted to take time to look, because he wasn't going to get in trouble for something that was already burned. After a few moments of looking (that could be awkward but Atsila didn't notice) he picked up the tube of salve and carefully spread it onto her palm, gently rubbing it in with hands that weren't overly warm. Then he picked up the bandage and wrapped her hand up again, doing single wraps around her thumb, fore, and middle finger and wrapping her wring and little finger together with a single layer of bandage between them. That hand done, he held out his own for the other one. The way he wrapped her up would give her a bit more movement and freedom to hold her phone.
Of course, Coral
had no clue about Atsila's obsession with burning, let alone his true motives for unwrapping and treating her hands. She only took his gentle movements and intense observation at face value and assumed he was a kind, concerned person. The amount of time that he took inspecting each hand almost worried her, but when he began applying salve, she realized that Danger would have said so if there was an infection or break she did not notice. His hands were uncomfortably warm--for an arctic fish, anyways--but Coral appreciated the gesture. When one hand was completely bandaged, Coral flexed the fingers experimentally, noting that they did not hurt as much as before.
He was equally as careful and diligent with the other hand. By the time Atsila had the other one wrapped, his curiosity was healthily abated. It never occurred to him that this kind of thing could be considered weird or unnatural. He was fascinated by the way the skin puckered and filled with fluid to protect itself. Tucking the end of the second bandage into place, he pulled out a bit of medical tape and wrapped it around both hands, seeing that her fingers were now free enough to move and grasp things. "They will need to be changed again. The stuff I put on it has a numbing agent, that will slowly wear off. I can look at them tomorrow again if you want." It wasn't really a question. Atsila wanted to see how the skin would repair itself. Slowly was his guess, but the cream was supposed to help with these sort of things. The best part was Shana could not yell at him because it wasn't him who made these burns. He was doing what she would see as a good deed. Or maybe she would see through to the more selfish reason he wanted to see the marks.
Coral was holding up both hands and flexing them this way and that before his words caused her to pause and look at him with wide, innocent eyes. "You would? Really?" He's such a good person!
"If you allow it," Atsila said, sitting up straighter on his bed as he wiped the remainder of the cream on one of the shirts he had laying across his comforter. He looked at the girl and gave her a sudden smile. "If you didn't mind." It was one thing to blatantly take advantage of someone, and Atsila saw that it would be easy to take advantage of this girl, but what he wanted, or so he told himself, was more of a scientific reason behind wanting to help her. And he learned the lesson that you couldn't just do things to people. Some didn't like it, after all.
"I-I'll allow it!" Coral nodded her head at this. "I don't mind!" And shook her head with that. When she was done bobbing her head in accordance to her responses, she finally just gave Atsila a grin. Then she blinked and her expression became one of open curiosity. "But how do I know where you are? I mean, you have other places to be than your room, don't you?"
"Not really," Atsila said, looking at her. "They do not let me out much." Today had been a fluke. But he wasn't going to tell her that. "You can come visit whenever you want, but I do believe you had tasks to go about." He didn't want to drive her away, but it was likely she wanted to go about her day away from him. Most people didn't much care about being around him.
"They don't? Why not? You're a perfectly reasonable person." Coral cocked her head to the side as she wondered why this particular student would be restricted when he obviously was so considerate to others. "Oh, I'll be sure to visit! I just have to call my roommate and make sure she's ok. Hey, do you have a phone in here?" If Addy was in their room, she could just call her own cell to get in touch, right?
"I do not know," Atsila said. Honestly, he wasn't sure if it was because he was once dead or because he started part of the mansion on fire. When she asked about a phone, he smiled and nodded, reaching over to pick up his own virtually unused cell phone before holding it out to her. "I don't really use it. I'm not entirely sure who to call with it. But you can."
Coral frowned a little when Atsila could not provide a reason for his being kept in one place. It seemed terribly unfair of the others! When he handed her his cell phone, she grinned again as she took it and turned it on. "I can put my number in here, if you want? Then you'll have someone to talk to!"
"Like...a friend?" Oh, that was too much to hope for. As of yet, no one wanted to be Atsila's friend. Maybe because of his preoccupation with burning things. But Shana did say he needed to be friendly. Which meant having a friend to practice on. And Coral had the added benefit of also having something he was interested in. He gave her a bright smile and nodded.
"Definitely like a friend!" Coral grinned happily, barely holding in her excitement. When he nodded in agreement, the dam burst and she gave a short squeal, hopping in place on the floor before leaning forward to sling her arms around his shoulders in a hug that Gavin would have considered absolutely crushing in its strength. After a second or two she released Atsila to quickly and fluidly--as much as she could with her bandaged and numbed fingers--type her number into his contacts list along with her name.
Atsila was momentarily surprised by the hug but decided he liked it and hugged her back. She seemed good with the phone, so he ventured another question, watching as her fingers typed with ease. "Could you show me how to use this?" he asked, gesturing with his head at the phone in question. Despite all the contacts he had in there, it didn't seem like he had made any calls in the past six months.
"Huh?" Coral turned and blinked at Atsila once she was done typing. "Oh, sure! What do you want to do with it? Take pictures? Download apps? Have you ever texted?" While it appeared the phone has not been used for quite some time, because of the number of contacts Coral assumed he knew how to call people and add them to his list. After all, she had never met Mihir before his death and had no clue there was a difference between the man she was talking to and the person who occupied the body half a year ago.
Atsila looked at her as if she was a fascinating specimen. "You can do all that? What's texted?" He looked at the phone as if it was another fascinating entity. Maybe if he could take pictures of her hands, he could study them in more depth. If she showed him how. That was the real problem. He didn't know anything about the technological side of the world. "Maybe we should start with the easy thing. How do I call people?"
"Well, yeah! Some phones actually do a lot more! And apps give even more functions~ Oh, texting is pretty much like IMing." Coral gave a happy hum. "Calling? Didn't you ever call the people on your contact list? Or is this a hand-me-down phone...?" She blinked at the cell curiously. It did not seem particularly out-of-date...whoever gave it away must have been fickle.
"IMing?" Atsila asked vaguely, staring at the phone now. He didn't want to take it from her, knowing that she knew more about it, but he did want to figure it out. "Hand-me-down?" This wasn't covered in his vocabulary and he figured his shell didn't need to know what it meant. His eyes went to Coral again and he tilted his head, wondering about what she was saying. It was like a whole other language.
"Oh...Um...'IMing' is instant messaging. Basically, you type something into a computer, and the person it's addressed to sees it on their computer the moment you send it. Then they respond the same way. A cell phone is basically a small computer that fits in your hand. And 'hand-me-down' is when someone gets a new thing or outgrows an old thing, but the old thing is still in good enough condition to use, so they give it to someone who needs or wants it. Some larger families do that with children's clothes." Coral had no problems with explaining these things: Different people were simply raised differently, she reasoned. Atsila must have had a rather low-tech upbringing...
It would have surprised her to know that Atsila had no upbringing. What they taught him was what he knew. He nodded, filing the information away for later as he looked at the small computer, as she pointed out. "How do you call someone?" he asked quietly, fully focused on what she was doing and saying. He was akin to a small child, asking an adult why things worked and how even though the adult might not know fully. His phone was on the higher end of the scale, having been purchased recently with the money Mihir earned while he was traveling, but Atsila did not know that. It was just another interesting part of this world.
Coral did not miss a beat as she began explaining the original function of a cell phone, demonstrating the buttons as she mentioned them. "Ok, if you want to call someone from your contacts list, first you go here, then you select the name, and you press 'call'. If it's someone who's number isn't on the list, you press this button, type in the number and press 'call'. Either way, the speaker is here--" she pointed to a small area of the phone, "--so that's where sound comes out. A phone like this has pretty good volume, so you can hold it a few inches away from your face, but with other phones you'd have to press it to your ear."
Atsila paid careful attention to everything she was demonstrating, the best student possible. He nodded at each thing she said and waited until she was done talking before chiming in. "How loud should I speak?" he asked after a second. It seemed a logical question. Should he shout? Did that help? Or whisper? Whichever. He wanted to know everything about the phone. Maybe he could ask her about the computer next. He had figured out the power button and how to move the mouse (completely on accident) but apart from that he was lost.
"Hm...Approximately the same tone and volume as when speaking to someone in person, I guess. But enunciate as clearly as possible. Sometimes there will be background noise, though. Come to think of it, talking to people face-to-face is really a lot easier... You can focus on an individual voice better. But phones are more for convenience, anyways: When you don't know where someone is, or they happen to be a large distance away." Coral's usually bubbly tone became more subdued and mature as she explained.
"So just normal," Atsila said after a moment. He gave Coral an excited smile, much the puppy dog overly happy to learn something new. "Can you show me the computer now?" he asked, pointing to the laptop that sat on his desk. It wasn't turned on yet, as the battery had died and Atsila didn't know how to plug it in. That had happened some time ago, of course.
Coral nodded at Atsila's conclusion, returning the smile. She really did enjoy teaching things. Not as much as she enjoyed taking pictures, but it was still fun. "Oh, sure! What do you want to learn to do on it, first?" Completely forgetting why she wanted to use the cell phone in the first place, she set it down next to the laptop before pushing the computer's power button. After a few seconds, she pressed it harder to make sure the button was not stuck. "...Is this charged? Where's the cord?"
Hearing her questions, Atsila turned and looked where the phone charger was. He only knew to plug his phone in because someone had told him. He picked up the other cord, the one that had just been there, and held it out. "This?" he asked innocently, waiting for her to respond if that was the one she was looking for or not.
"Yeah! That's it!" Coral practically cheered before plugging the corresponding ends of the cord into the laptop and wall socket. She flipped over the computer to make sure there was a battery and it was properly installed (since she was no longer sure what to expect of Atsila or his tech) before setting it back on the desk and turning it on.
"So that's what it's for," Atsila said quietly, trying not to hover and failing miserably as he watched the screen come on again. After so many tries of getting it to work and failing, he was about to give up and toss the useless thing. It seemed like this girl could work most of his electronics and he didn't even know how to thank her. Maybe he could find a way if she was his friend.
"Ah! No password; that makes this easier!" Coral grinned up at Atsila. "Do you want to add one? Or what do you want to learn? Actually, let's start with: What do you know how to do on the computer, already?
"I can move the little arrow thing," Atsila said, his finger tracing over the touch pad, his arm almost draped over Coral in the process. He looked, and was, insanely proud of this accomplishment, as if he was a genius for having solved this single aspect of computer usage. "And if I tap it on one of those things on the screen, I can move that about."
"That's a 'mouse'. And that tapping is usually called 'clicking'. If you double click an icon, you can open up the program or file it represents." Coral turned slightly to grin up at Atsila. "It's one of the most important parts of using a computer: Otherwise you have to memorize the different key combinations on the keyboard, and there are way too many. Of course, some of them come in handy and do stuff that a mouse can't."
Atsila had enough common sense to know that the icon she was referring to had to be the little images on the computer screen. He double clicked a fun looking firey one (he liked it because it was fire) and it opened a web browser. Although he didn't know what it was as it was opening and displayed a big, multicolored symbol for Google. "What is...go...ogle?" he asked, butchering the name completely.
"...You mean 'Google'? That's a search engine--one of the more popular ones, really." Coral brought the mouse over to the FireFox icon and clicked it once. "This is Mozilla FireFox. It's a Web Browser, which means that it shows you the internet and you can type in different sites and see things from all around the world. A search engine--" here she double-clicked the icon to open it up "--is a website that you use to find other websites by typing what you're looking for into the search bar. It has options so that you can narrow down your search or look through videos or images related to what you typed in."
"Videos?" Atsila asked. He knew what they were, but he was more interested in how to get them on his computer. If this was true, maybe he could explore this internet and figure some stuff out about humans and his surroundings. Maybe he could even figure out why he manifested into this particular human.
"Yeah. They capture moving images and sound. Or recreate them, I guess would be more accurate. Some of them are of people just doing stupid things, some are people singing and acting out scenes, and some are sort of like class lectures with animated visual aides." Coral explained. "YouTube is a good site to find videos at...But there's just as many terrible videos as useful ones out there."
"Show me," Atsila said, a little too quickly. It sounded like more of a command than a friendly sort of request, but he was more interested in the complexities of the internet than in the girl sitting below him. He leaned forward, putting both hands on the back of the chair so he could lean a bit better and stare at the screen, eyes following everything she might possibly do on the computer so he could replicate it later.
Coral did not appear to notice that Atsila made it sound like a demand. Instead, she brought the mouse up to a long white bar on top of the screen. "This is the address bar. If you know what site you're looking for, you just type it in up here. Almost all sites start with www, then a period. A lot end with a period then com, but some use net or org instead of com." Then she typed in youtube.com and hit the "enter" key. "This, right here--" she pointed the mouse at the smaller white bar on the top of the web page "--is the search bar. If it has the word 'search' or one of those magnifying glass icons right beside it, it's probably a search bar. Lots of sites have them to help you find what you need. What sort of videos do you want?"
"Is there anything educational on human behavior?" Atsila asked, his eyes going excitedly from the screen to Coral and back. So this was what it meant to have a friend. Someone to do things for you and show you things. But if he was Coral's friend, what could he show her? She already demonstrated an aversion to fire and burning and that was really the entirety of his repertoire. Maybe he could find something he was good at and show her. But that was limited.
"On this site? Most definitely!" Coral grinned to herself as she typed in "human psychology" in the search bar and a list of videos appeared. "Lectures and educational programs are often recorded and put up on this site for anyone interested to see. Teachers even use this site sometimes, either bookmarking videos that are already here or creating their own for their students to watch at their own leisure."
Atsila looked around for a moment before he went over to the other desk in the room and grabbed the chair, carrying it over so he could place it right next to her and sat down, well within the personal bubble of space most people preferred. He sat with his hands folded in his lap and a look of rapt attention on his face, much like a student. That she only knew very little more than he did about human psychology was lost on him, especially when she knew so much about this internet thing. "Can we watch one?" he asked quietly.
"Oh, sure! Which should we start with? Umm..." Coral paused at the first link. A six-hour audio-book? That is not really something to start with... The next one was "Introduction to Human Behavior", but it appeared to be part three... The next three all seemed rather promising: "Paul Bloom: The Psychology of Everything", "Documentary-The Human Mind 3 - Making Friends" and "1. Introduction to Human Behavioral Biology". They were each just a few minutes short of an hour, which seemed like a good length to start with to Coral. And the last two on the first page of the search were "Human Psychology by Michael Tsarion" (a few seconds longer than an hour) and "Steven Pinker -- On psychology and human nature" (a little over fifteen minutes). "If you want to try a lot of them, I could bookmark this search for you. Then you could just pull up this page and try another one anytime you want."
"Bookmark?" Atsila asked, looking over the video images he was seeing. He wondered vaguely if the videos were that size as well, but as it seemed that Coral thought they weren't, the boy didn't question it much. He still didn't know what all these foreign concepts were, though he could read the words well enough. Audio-book sounded dangerous and he could only assume some of them were names. Whatever it was, it was strange to him. "What is that?" he continued rather than voicing any of the other questions in his mind.
"...Oh, yeah." Coral had completely forgotten she was teaching him about computers for a few moments. "Well, 'bookmarking' is saving a page to your web browser so that you can go straight to that page without memorizing the URL or going through a bunch of links. You have the option of putting it on your favorites bar up here at the top right under the address bar, or putting it in a different folder under the bookmark list. A quick way to manage your bookmarks--making one, changing the name, moving it, deleting it, etc. is to click this little star between the search bar and the bookmark list. Or you can just drag the tab like this." Coral clicked the tab and dragged it onto the favorites bar. "But you have to be careful: If you drag the tab too far down it becomes another window."
Coral was talking really fast and Atsila frowned, trying to remember everything she was saying even though some of it was things he didn't know already. He supposed he would learn the more he played around with things. Hopefully he didn't break it. Giving the girl a nod, the boy leaned closer to the screen, warmth emanating from his body slowly as he looked. "That star?" he asked, pointing to the one in the address bar. "That bookmarks a page?" He didn't want to overuse the thing, otherwise he would run out of space on that little part under the bar. And that worried him slightly.
"Yep! See how it's filled in blue, now? That's because this page is now bookmarked. You can make more bookmarks of this page, but you have to drag the tab to do that, since the star will act like you're just moving the current bookmark." Coral clicked the star to reveal the little box that said "Edit This Bookmark". "But you can move it to another folder, change the name, or delete bookmarks with this. Which means a lot less rooting through folders to find the link. Also, if you hit the control button and the B on your computer together, it opens a search bar to find the bookmark you're looking for. All you need to do is type in the name." She gave Atsila a grin.
It was officially too much for Atsila, who frowned deeply and stood up, turning away from Coral and looking around his room. He saw his homework notebook on the end of his bed and picked it and his pencil up before sitting down again. Opening to a fresh page, he clearly labeled it "COMPUTER" before starting to list all the things he could remember her telling him. It took a long moment before he looked up at her and nodded for her to continue.
Coral initially blinked at his reaction, confused and well on the way to being concerned about his frowning and turning away. When he brought back a notebook and started jotting down computer facts, she smiled a little, glad that she had not upset him. "Alright, so do you want to watch one of the videos now? Or since we have it bookmarked, we can get back to it after looking at other sites. Or we could look at other sites without leaving this page by opening up another tab or window. Ooh! Or we could have that uber-long audiobook playing while we look at other stuff. It shouldn't have enough visuals for it to matter whether or not we're actually looking at it."
Giving a vague nod, Atsila was already writing down the words 'open another tab or window to look at other stuff' into his notes. He looked up slowly at the computer before tilting his head. "But it is a video. One we do not have to watch?" That confused him greatly. Maybe this 'audio-book' was something completely different than he originally thought. He wondered why the teachers who insisted upon using videos didn't just use audio-books instead.
"Yeah, some so-called 'videos' are just sound with still images. Audio-books and music albums in particular only show the cover image. Usually. Sometimes the picture changes, but since audio-books are usually sold as CDs and are not supposed to have any images, it won't be anything you need to see to understand what they're saying." Coral explained. "I read somewhere that some people learn better by hearing than reading or seeing, so this sort of thing and lecture videos really works for them. For people who learn better visually, though--like myself, I guess--it's pretty much just background noise. Too easy to tune out."
"Learn...better...visually?" Atsila asked as he copied down the information on music and audio-books. "How do you know how you learn?" he followed up, looking up at her with interest in his eyes. He wasn't aware, but the body he inhabited was a kinetic-spacial learner. He learnt by doing and most of the things were already there. Remembered. He just had to recall that. But for the moment, he stared at Coral, waiting for her response.
"Well, I guess learning how you learn is sort of hit-and-miss." Coral tapped her chin in thought. "I mean, early in school like pre-k and kindergarten, everyone is taught through a combination of visual aids, lectures and practice so all three types are covered. Then as you grow older, learning is placed more and more on the student's responsibility and less on the teacher's as the students are supplied with books and stuff to study on their own and find out what works for them. I know from experience that if you show me a graph or picture, I'm more likely to remember the information than when I'm just told what I need to know."
"That doesn't make sense," Atsila said suddenly, sitting up. "Shouldn't teachers teach so the students learn?" It was a naive question, but Atsila was a naive person. He didn't bother to hide the fact that he was confused by the seeming incorrect way to attempt to teach people. He lowered his pencil and looked at Coral. "So teachers...stop caring?" It didn't make sense to him, but then most of the world seemed a bit odd.
"It's not that they stop caring," Coral shook her head, "but as the student grows older, the subject matter becomes more complex and requires more attention to fully understand. However, school hours stay the same, there are more classes required and the classes usually have twenty or so students to each teacher, so the teacher doesn't have the time to take a personal approach to each student. That's why students who don't manage to learn how to learn on their own or with their parents' help usually have after-school tutors available. Besides, when the student approaches adulthood the teacher's job changes somewhat. They are no longer elementary-school teachers preparing children for high school courses, they are high school teachers preparing teenagers to lead their own lives and make their own choices responsibly. Then they're college teachers. And college teachers usually get paid regardless of if you drop out of class, so some of them don't care. Or at least, they don't care when the students don't care. In my experience, if you have a problem and email the teacher about it--show an interest in the class instead of just sitting there to kill time--they're willing to work with you."
"Huh," Atsila said, uttering a phrase he'd heard used but never had cause to use before. It was what someone said when they were trying to process something but didn't know what to say. He looked at Coral with somewhat appraising eyes. "Why does no one strike down the teacher if they are not doing what they should be doing?" Or at least burn them. He didn't say the latter out loud, but it was still in his mind. If he had a teacher who did not care, he would burn them. Luckily for him, most of those who taught here seemed to put in much more effort on the teaching than the average teacher.
"Because at the least that's assault and at the most that's murder. There are legal implications and the person that attacks or kills anyone else could end up imprisoned for years or even executed." Coral said quite bluntly. "And of course, it's not nice to hurt people, anyways...Most don't even have the stomach to do more than fantasize about it."
Atsila frowned at her. "It makes no sense that for a people so inherently entrenched in violence that they are so caught up on trying to maintain peace." He tilted his head in confusion before looking back at the screen. "Will you help me learn stuff again? You seem good at this." As was his experience, people tended to want to move on after a time. He could sit here all day as long as someone was willing to answer his questions.
"I think my dad said something about that once..." Coral hummed in thought for a moment, "something along the lines of: 'When people started growing food instead of catching it, they needed to make permanent homes which gave them neighbors. Having neighbors meant they needed a code of conduct on how to treat each other to avoid constant feuding.' ...Or did he say 'squabbling'?...I think he was reading from a book at the time, but 'squabbling' sounds more like him than 'feuding'. Basically, if you ever want a moment of quiet without being attacked--whether physically or not--you're supposed to follow the law. It's supposed to benefit both sides of a dispute." The fish-girl nodded to herself before blinking at his question. "Yeah, of course! What do you want to learn next?"
Letting the subject of laws and assault drop, Atsila pointed at the video list. "Can we put on the audiobook and visit another page?" He knew there were other pages because when he first opened the computer it had a page called Facebook open. There was even a picture of his shell there. The fire starter took a moment to look at his new friend and wonder silently to hims of where she came from. Maybe she would tell him one day. Now was for learning.
"Oh, definitely! So long as the other page is without sound. It gets weird if you play two different audios at the same time...What sort of other page are you interested in? Maybe a search engine to help you do more research?" Coral smiled at Atsila. "Just click the name or image of the audiobook, then click the plus sign up there to open a new tab."
Doing as he was instructed, Atsila was mildly pleased when it actually worked to open a new page. He was so busy watching the computer that he didn't remember to start the audiobook. After a moment of thinking, he paused to look at Coral with a frown. "I do not know any other sites to visit," he said slowly, not wanting to sound too ignorant but knowing he was going to. It was hard not to when he didn't know anything.
"Hm...Well, a search engine is pretty basic...There's Google...I kind of like getting news through Yahoo...Ooh! Ooh! Bing always has pretty pictures on it's starter page! Type 'bing.com' in the address bar. B-I-N-G." Coral spelled out the word just be sure she heard it write (she accidently put "bingo" in the first time she used that search engine, after all).
"Which is more efficient?" Atsila asked quietly even as he typed in what she told him to. It struck him as odd to choose something for esthetic reasons. But if that's the one Coral used, he did say he was going to learn from her. It was easier than struggling through it on his own.
"Well, they all line up the results pretty much the same...But if you click a result from Yahoo--well, recently Yahoo has picked up the habit of opening a new tab with the result you click. I guess that's efficient if you want to look at multiple sources..." Coral being Coral, she always found that the 'multiple tabs' thing only distracted her and caused her to spend to much time on the computer. Not that almost anything else about the internet did not do the same thing. "I hear that Google's the most popular, but I've never used it, so I'm not really sure what the difference is..."
"I shall attempt to try all the options," Atsila commented as she finished speaking. "And find for myself which is the best. What works for one may not work for all." He sat back in his seat, his hands stilling from what he was doing and he reached down to pick up his pencil so he could make some quick notes. A sudden realization struck him and he looked at Coral. "I do apologize if I'm keeping you from anything else." They were just words to him, but apparently apologies for taking up someone's time went a long way in getting people not to hate him.
"Exactly~ Different people think differently, after all." Coral smiled sweetly, proud that her 'pupil' said it himself...Even though she was not sure how old he was, let alone how educated... "Oh, that's alright. I don't think I... Urm... I don't really know what I was going to do... Oh, yeah! I was going to look for my roomie and her boyfriend and my camera! Oh, well that can wait. He's probably found her by now...Right?"
"We can go do that if you wish," Atsila said. He didn't know who these people were, but it sounded more interesting to him than waiting in his room for someone else to come find him. He wasn't going to exactly get in trouble if he was with Coral, who seemed to be at least old enough to be somewhat responsible. "You can't be too certain that he found her unless you have some proof."
"Well...I want to help you, though...Is there anything else you want to know right now, or could we take a break so I can go look?" Coral inwardly winced at her own words. "It's just that I'm worried! Not that they can't take care of themselves, but they're my friends! So I should really make sure that they're ok, since even people that are usually ok have moments when they're not ok and they'd need a friend to go help them be ok but you don't really know for sure if they need help being ok or not until you go and check if they're ok, ok?"
Atsila surprisingly, had little trouble following what she was trying to say and nodded. "Which is why you should definitely check on them," he stated carefully, scooting back and moving his chair as he stood so she could stand properly as well. His notebook and pencil landed on the desk and he picked up the phone and shoved it into his pocket before he realized he did it. It was a remembered action if anything and he didn't realize it.
"You're right! I should!" Coral stood up as well, her eyes catching the motion of Atsila pocketing his phone, but her mind not registering any significance of the action. Now if the fish-girl had a quicker mind or stronger memory, she probably would have done the most energy-efficient thing and asked Danger where Addy and Anthony were. Instead she said: "Let's check my room first. If Addy's not there, she might have changed her mind about going to the pool!"
Atsila paused to look at Coral with a tilt of his head. "Which one is Addy again?" he asked, having realized he wasn't even certain who her roommate even was. It wasn't something he spent a lot of time paying attention to. He didn't wait for her answer before he was heading across the room to his door, opening it for Coral to go through before himself, wanting her to lead the way.
"Oh, Addy's my roommate. She's blue and furry and kind of looks like the most awesome plushy ever except she can filet people. Plus she teleports, so it's impossible to get lost when you're with her. She's really cool~" Coral grinned. "...She doesn't like having pictures taken of her, though." The fish-girl here had a forlorn almost-frown.
"What's a plushie?" Atsila asked, looking back at Coral with confusion. He understood most of the rest of what was said, but he tried to think of what a plushie was and was stumped. Coral wasn't really moving to the door, so Atsila moved back to her and gently took her arm in his hand, careful of her hand as he steered her towards the hall.
Coral allowed herself to be steered without a second thought, moving to the door and out to X-Men West 2nd as she considered how to answer Atsila's question. "It's a stuffed animal...but not in the way that a dead animal handled by a taxidermist is stuffed...It's basically a cloth toy shaped like an animal and some are a lot more detailed than others."
Atsila was out in the hall before he replied again.
X-Men West 2nd
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