Lavender Heights Community College 
She really hated it. The whole process of cutting down trees to decorate just so people could toss them out after Christmas was done. And every day, more and more, she passed by them on the sidewalks.

Waiting to be grabbed up and sent to a landfill or a woodchopper or whatever. It was an industry, sure, but seeing all the waste just made her sad.

This the girl thought as she made her way to campus for a little study group session with some people in her calculus class. Janine hated math — the end, but college didn't give her a choice in what the curriculum was.

But of course, she was the first one here. Possibly the only one, and she didn't have a key to the science building, which meant she had to wait for staff to let her in. Hating the cold but wanting something to do, she glanced at one of those neatly arranged boxwood shrubs and started just... making a tendril grow out of place with a little dance of her fingers.


It was way too cold. Even for a person with normal blood. Her jacket might as well been a wet paper towel. The wind bit right through her exposed legs. If she could afford better clothes for the winter, she would still need to buy an entire snow suit. Or maybe like, some kind of eskimo get up. She wasn't sure she wanted to walk around in baby seal skins, but it would beat freezing her fucking ass off.

The science building would be warm, at least. So she was hurrying there for some study group she really didn't want to attend, clutching her books against her chest in some attempt at buffering the wind. It didn't work. As she mounted the steps, she spotted a girl lingering outside and doing some weird hand movement. Maybe she had a tick. Meike didn't know and frankly didn't care, so she headed up to the doors. Which, of course, were locked. She cursed under her breath, which billowed from her mouth in a plume of steam, and looked to the girl. "Is someone coming to open this?" She asked, and when she looked harder she realized that this girl was actually familiar. One of the people in her calculus class. In fact, one of the people she got assigned to study with.

Janine was so, so glad to see someone else had come because honestly as much as she loved plants she was really lonely out here. She did stop her fiddling and her eyes went back to normal; the extra tendril stayed as it was.

The girl that showed up was pink haired and that was the kind of thing that stood out about a person. May— Mika? Meeka? Mikey, Janine thought she remembered.

"Um!" she offered, looking around. But there seemed to be someone coming actually; building staff with keys, and she gave a little point. "Right there! Finally!"

Even though it hadn't been all that long for Mikey. The man let them in and held the door open, to which Janine thanked gratefully as she moved to head inside.

Mikey did a little knee-bending bounce motion as the cold really settled in. Standing still was fucking horrible. But the girl, Jane? Jenie? Pointed and there was their saviour coming to unlock the building. Meike blew out a thankful sigh, and was likely rude about stepping in right after the man with the keys. "Ugh!" Mikey exclaimed as they stepped into the main lobby. She couldn't feel her freaking toes. They were likely blue right now. And probably her lips too.

"It's like a freaking tundra out there." Mikey sighed, and did a little jive to get some fresh ice-cold blood pumping. "You think we'll be the only ones that show?" She asked the girl. Janice? Janie. Something like that.

Oh, whoops. Janine stopped short suddenly as the girl blasted in after her, blinking. Maybe she'd been out in the cold a really long time? Maybe she walked to campus. Yeah.

It was cold, but like. Not tundra cold, thought the budding biology major.

"Mmm, maybe," Janine smiled a little at the question. "Everyone's probably still in holiday mode. What's your major again?" she asked as if she'd ever been told, and pointed out a table in the little cafe area for them to go to.

Oh, right, people did things with the families for the Holidays. Her mom had FaceTime'd here and her dad had sent her a card, but that was about it. Her nose felt numb and she hoped it would thaw out soon. "Computer science." She said simply as she started toward the cafe. She would set her books down heavily against the table, then clamber into the chair. Her heels pulled up to rest against the edge of the seat, and she wrapped her arms around her knees, hugging them close. Warmth, please.

The chick still seemed really cold, and Janine frowned a little bit. But anyway, she was doing computer science! "That's super cool," Janine complimented. "I gotta do some of that for the tech part of the major, but mine's Biology."

A short pause, and she pressed her fingers to the table. "Would you like a coffee or anything before we get started? My treat since you actually showed up."

Slight smile.

Meike was not a smiley thank you blushy kind of person, but there was a nod and an attempt at something like a smirk. "Thanks." Biology was pretty cool she guessed. She was thinking of something to say back to that about it, or maybe just suggest they get on with the studying, but then she was offered free coffee. "Yes." She said a little too quickly. "Um, thanks again." An awkward, huffy laugh as she tucked hair behind her ears.

From frosty to kind of warming up, Janine felt a nice little warm feeling at having her offer taken. "Of course!" she said, and happily went up to the register to order two medium coffees. Leaving some room for cream and sugar, she paid and returned in a couple minutes to set down the cups and the extras.

"So are you in your first year here?" she asked. Janine was, having placed into Calculus, but man was it work.

She decided to let her coffee cool for a bit and pulled out her textbook and notebook and a pencil and calculator.

Janice was nice. Jane? Ugh. Either way, the girl was nice to pay for coffees, and Mikey took the time that the girl was away to rub her hands together to try for some friction, and huddle more into her coat. She was warming up, but the coffee was taken eagerly when it arrived. Mikey held it between her hands for a moment as she blew against the steam, then sipped as Janine(that was it!) started talking. The coffee was hot but she ignored the burn in favor of the warmth that spread. There was a distant hissy grumble that suggested food, but she forced that bizarre feeling away. Later, lizard fuck.

"Yeah, but I transferred from school in Seattle." So she hadn't been here the whole year. At Janine's cue, Meike pulled her belongings from her own bag and set the coffee aside after one more big sip.

"Ohhh. What's Seattle like? Do you miss it?" she asked, maybe stalling a little tiny bit, but Hal failed out of calculus four times so please don't expect to go too much in-depth into it.

But anyway, Janine opened to... A chapter that focused on L'Hôpital's rule and they would get started soon after Seattle talk, promise.

Meike didn't mind the stalling but she did sorta mind talking about Seattle. "It's wet and cold and miserable." She said pretty blandly. "Coffee's good but thats about it." It really did fucking suck. A bunch of tourists, too. And of course, her stupid dad. But that wasn't something Meike was about to spill about.

She opened up to the same page, and sighed forlornly down at the words. She didn't mind math, but the cold had sapped her energy and brain power. Mikey reached for her cup for another big gulp. Finally warming up.

Oh, oops. She'd thought it was a cool place to be, all progressive and stuff... maybe? But crappy weather was still a thing.

"Do you like it here better?" she asked, sort of hoping the answer was yes?

Hopefully. She started setting up some notes, just reiterating formulas and stuff to use before they got to the problems meant to have them applied on.

Blugh, math.

Did she?

"Yeah, there's a lot more freedom. For me at least." It was just as progressive as Seattle, but maybe more with the weed thing. It did feel just as accepting down here which was nice considering Meike didn't strictly identify with being anything specific, nor was she set on labeling sexuality. It was hard to find a place where that wasn't considered weird, but here it was. But anyway.

"You from here?" Mikey asked as notes were being prepared. Looked like they were gonna be the only ones, for sure.

"Um, sort of!" she said, flattered that she was being asked about now too.

"I was born in New Hampshire but we moved here like... ten? Eleven years ago? It's nice here though. Except when it gets cold. I hate that," Janine wrinkled her nose.

She was about coming to the same conclusion as Mikey was, though. That they'd be the only ones to show.

Maybe they could hang out after?

"Yeah, the cold is evil and deserves to die." Mikey agreed. "I lived in South Africa for a bit and want to go back." It had always been so warm and sunny. The stupid fat lizard in her brain would probably fit in better there. Go swim with other fucking dwarf dinosaurs, you fuck. Of course, actual crocs would wither swim away in fear or attack her.

She laughed at that. Sorry, evergreen trees. The rest of the plant world definitely agreed.

"That's so cool, I've never been overseas!" she smiled, a head resting on her hand thoughtfully. "What's South Africa like? Do you see lots of lions and giraffes and stuff?"

Stereotyping much, Janine? But she meant well.

Mikey was braced for that, and chuckled all the same as she looked up from her page. "I lived in the city. Most of it is urban. You have to drive a ways out to see wildlife." Not that she would get to go and experience that right every again! Thanks scaleface! "I went on like two safaris, though." They were pretty alright. She'd seen crocodiles, and thought they were pretty fucking cool. Now she wanted to go back and time and punch herself in the face for thinking that.

Oh, duh Janine. She bit her lip through a grin in unvoiced apology, but it didn't seem like she'd offended Mikey.

"That's gotta be so cool though," she complimented. "Just to have all that in your backyard. Oh my god."


"Pretty cool." Mikey shrugged.

After the math that didn't melt her brain as much as it seemed to melt Janine's, Mikey sat up and stretched her arms to the side with a deep sigh.

"Think you got it all down?" She questioned.

Help. Help. What on Earth do you ever do with numbers that don't exist. Who thought this was a good idea to perpetuate into education.

Janine was kind of glad for it to be over.

"God yeah, I'm fried. Wanna go grab some pizza or something?"

Felt like it was well earned, unless Mikey had somewhere else to be.

She smirked a bit at Janine. Numbers could do that sometimes. She thanked her asian side for being good at numbers, even though it really didn't have anything to do with it. Maybe she was just smart. Whatever. There was the offer for pizza, and it sounded fucking amazing. But she hesitated some, and glanced at the coffee Janine had paid for. It felt fucky to make her pay for something else, so she'd have to spend money. Mikey had saved up a bit, but it was to buy new supplies for clothes. Buuuuuut. Janine was cool, she guessed, so it felt bad just bailing on the chance to hang out with someone outside of studying. "Uh, sure." She agreed with a small smile. "Theres a buffet around here that's five dollars per person." Not the best quality but it was good on a budget. Unlimited pizza for five dollars? Fuck yes.

"Really?! I'd love that."

That sounded like a win for Janine. She got up, almost bouncy with hunger. Being someone magic meant... well, she was hungry a lot of the time.

She folded up her books and stuff neatly into her bag, slipping her coat back on, making sure she had all her stuff on her.

"Lead the way?"

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