The lights in the hallway flickered on as Gabriel Marquez began to turn the corner from the main hallway and head down to his office. It was early, but it was also nearing the holiday season at Claremont. A lot would be happening between now and the New Year. The Winter Formal was coming up, graduating students were applying for colleges, not-graduating students were signing up for the next semester, and there was simply not enough time left in the day anymore.
As the double doors opened in front of him, his head tilted slightly and his eyes narrowed as he noticed someone standing, leaning aginst the wall next to his office door. With a brief pause, he focused his eyes on the blond boy for a moment before nodding with recognition of Mr. Suffolk. Proceeding down the hall, he smiled as the boy turned toward the noise of the doors closing behind Gabriel.
Sorrel inhaled deeply as a smile came across his face. He turned towards Mr. Marquez and bent slightly forward, offering a handshake.
Upon the initiation of the handshake, Sorrel immediately began.
“Good morning, sir. I apologize for troubling you so early this morning, but I have a matter of particular concern and I hoped to be able to speak with you before classes began today.” Sorrel said, his hand over his heart, as if to pledge his apologies.
“I appreciate your consideration, Mr. Suffolk, but it is five o’clock in the morning. Classes don’t begin until eight o’clock.” Gabriel said with a nervous smile as he released Sorrel’s hand.
“Yes, and again, I am so sorry to trouble you. I wasn’t truly expecting you here just yet, but I also did not know when I should expect your arrival. So I thought it best to show up at four o’clock in the morning, when I wouldn’t expect you to be here, and just wait patiently.” he said with another slight bow.
“Well, we are both here now. Come in and sit down and we can discuss whatever it is that brings you here.” Gabriel said as he opened the office door.
“Again, I must apologize. You see, as I did not expect anyone here I did take the liberty of brewing a pot of coffee in the Faculty Lounge. I know that students are not permitted there, but it was half-past four and I did not expect anyone to be here so soon. It would be inconsiderate to leave most of a pot unattended without leaving a note that it was made fresh this morning. It would be a waste to have it thrown out.” Sorrel said as he nervously turned across the hallway. “I will be just one solitary moment. Would you like a cup, sir?” he continued.
The young man was gone through the door before his last word finished and Gabriel shook his head as he began to get situated at his desk.
“It is my own that I brought from home, you see, so I only used the school’s water and one filter out of turn.” Sorrel said as he turned the corner back into the office, two cups of coffee in hand. “Unsure if you took sugar or cream, I brought both” he continues, removing individually packaged versions of both from his jacket pocket.
“We don’t have these in the lounge.” Gabriel began.
Sorrel immediately responded, “Yes, again, I had no intention of using any school property intended for the faculty out of turn.”
“Well, O…k… then.” Marquez said as he opened a still chilled pouch of creamer. He gave a slight shrug and shake of the head before continuing, “So, Mr. Suffolk, what is it that brings you here today. Looking forward to next semester already? From the looks of it, you are doing quite well so far this year.”
“Unfortunately, no. This is an issue of more personal significance. This is about my powers.” He trailed off at the end, growing a touch quieter as his gaze dropped to Mr. Marquez’s desk.
Mr. Marquez stared back at the young man for a moment. For the most part, the faculty was aware of students’ powers, but Mr. Suffolk was a slightly differnet case. His powers were, for a long while, unknown. Aside from the teleportation incident at the Science fair a month or so back, no one from the faculty had really witnessed Sorrel’s powers or even knew much about what his true capability was.
“Okay. Okay, so tell me a little more about what is going on. Is this a new power or is one of your others acting up?” Gabriel said, a look of concern in his eyes.
“Oh no, nothing new, and not really acting up. It’s just the same as it has always been. I just need some help.” he said nervously. “You see, I have been working with Ms. Cruz on honing one of my powers. You see, I tend to make some people uncomfortable regardless of my intention. It is simply something that is a part of me, but I want to be able to control it, to focus it, and to be able to spend a moment outside of my home without having to constantly worry about who may have just walked up behind me, or behind someone else, or on the other side of a display.”
Sorrel released his protection from Marquez for a moment and waited until the counselor bristled a bit, the hair on his arms visibly standing on end. Immediately releasing the effect from Marquez, he continued “So as you can see, it makes life a living hell and basically keeps me from being able to relax, which for a fifteen year old, is pretty terrible, as you can imagine.”
“Okay, so how are things going with Ms. Cruz?” Marques replied.
“That’s the thing. She’s hooked on the game. And that game and what it is doing scares me. It scares me to the point that I can’t bring myself to work on this with her anymore right now because I know that what we work on is going straight to Otaku.” Sorrel’s tone had grown stronger and more intense. “How am I supposed to stop him if he knows everything that I have up my sleeve, you know?” Sorrel continued. “Look, I know that you have been helping out Aaron with his poor luck around electronics and was just hoping that maybe you could help me out as well. I can go over everything that Nina and myself have been able to accomplish so far and maybe, just maybe, we can beat this son of a-. Well, you understand.”
“Okay. Okay. I’ll see what I can do. Just never do that around me again.”
“Duly noted, sir. Again, I apologize for any inconvenience. Thank you.”