May 18, 2021 2:52 AM
wwx and brenda banner do a science project
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"We are!" She bounces in her seat a little. "Do you want to work on it at my house or yours, mine doesn't really have a good place for it but I do have my own room."

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"I'm not going to turn down an opportunity to go into your bedroom."

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WHAT is she supposed to do with that statement? Hopefully she is supposed to stare at him like a deer that's about to be roadkill because that's what she's doing.

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"Have people not flirted with you before? They should. You're cute. You make these little noises when you're excited." He demonstrates.

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People imitating her is pretty much always a mean joke but Wei Wuxian is somehow managing to radiate genuine friendliness on a wavelength she can see. Which is almost but not quite worse because it requires some kind of response. She goes with "Thank you?"; it's pretty all-purpose.

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"Any time!"

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"So do you actually want to do all the construction at my house or was that just part of the joke? Also do you want to do the shopping bit together in case being in the hardware store makes us think of things we should change or are you cool with just splitting up the parts list."

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"I was serious and we should do the shopping together! It'll be fun."

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"Sounds good!" She was hoping he'd say that--doing it separately sacrifices a lot of opportunity to adjust on the fly--but it's important to give people easy opportunities to avoid interacting with her. 

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He slings his arm around her shoulder. "Want to do it now? I don't have plans."

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Someone is touching her someone is touching her someone is touching her fuck there were words she was supposed to respond to but someone is touching her. 

She ducks out from under the arm and then feels bad about doing that because it was rude. "Uhhhhhh yeah sure now is fine. Now is good."

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"Cool. Do you have a car or something?"

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"No, I usually bike."

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"Same. Or I get a ride from my brother, but you know hope springs eternal."

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"Hmm. Might be best to walk this time, in case we end up with more stuff than it's easy to bring on a bike." She has the biggest and sturdiest bike basket she could afford, of course, but that doesn't make all the long rigid components of a railgun much less obnoxious.

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"That sounds great! More stuff to do that's not my homework."

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"Okay!" Brenda collects her stuff, stands up, and swings her backpack on, a process that seems to involve more elbows than one human can have at a time.

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Walk walk walk.

"You know you totally knocked me out of first place in the class rank."

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"Oh." There's got to be a polite response to that. Sorry is no good because she isn't actually sorry. Thank you probably works for this too. "Thank you." Heck, now she's second-guessing herself because it's not clear if she's thanking him for telling her (polite) or thanking him for performing imperfectly in class (rude and dickish).

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"Well, sometimes I beat you. Third quarter sophomore year we were both behind Lan Wangji, which was horrifying. I almost thought he smiled. --Anyway, good job, you should try to sabotage your grades senior year so you don't have to give a graduation speech."

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"You would definitely do a better job with the speech." Sabotaging her own grades sounds like licking her own elbow: perfectly plausible as a string of words, but any attempt to actually do it would not succeed.

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"I would have more fun with the speech, whether it's better is a matter of opinion."

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"I guess speech quality is pretty subjective, yeah. I bet it still helps, on average, when the person giving the speech is having fun."

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"Adults hate it whenever I have fun. In particular, I don't think they want their graduation speech to be about how school is bullshit, anything useful we learned in high school could be learned just as easily in on-the-job training that we're paid for, and that we've wasted our entire adolescences on an elaborate test of conscientiousness, intelligence, and conformity, which I somehow have won despite having no conscientiousness or conformity, leading to a result that could have been established in two days with an IQ test."

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Brenda shoots a tiny grin at the floor. "I like getting to learn things I won't need for a job. But you're right that the class ranking is bullshit. They should be comparing us all to some objective standard, not to each other."

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