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cursedw2ndsight in into_the_future

Who: Maggy and Hemingway
When: The beginning of Spring Term at Chestnut Hill
Where: Teacher's Lounge
Rating: G
Summary: Maggy's a guest speaker at Chestnut Hill. Hem's a teacher. This can't be good.

Maggy liked speaking to high school students about all their options, she really did. She liked seeing all the faces in the classes she spoke to light up once she started caricatures, once she took their ideas and spun them into a decent children's tale, complete with illustrations. Unfortunately, though, these speaking engagements wore her out. She wasn't a very outgoing person to begin with and being the center of attention for hours and hours on end drained her.

It was lunch time at Chestnut Hill and Maggy had brought her own lunch, some vegetable soup she'd whipped up over the weekend, vegan crackers, and a spinach-tofu spread. Very healthy. Sarah Evans, the art teacher who's class she was speaking to, showed Maggy the way to the teacher's lounge and then left, needing to run an errand. That was fine with Maggy... She didn't mind eating alone. She did it every day anyways.

Hemingway Lovell despised children, of all ages. They were loud, filthy, and obnoxious, and he sort of wished he could just exterminate the lot of them. As it was, the little shits were helping to pay his bills between gigs, and to make sure he didn't blow his cover, so as it was, he had to keep them around. That did not, however, mean he had to eat near them. He took his lunch break instead in the teacher's lounge, sitting in a low over stuffed chair, munching on a loaded philly cheese steak from Pat's and some greasy fries.

He was sipping a beer (yes, at school) while he carelessly graded papers, taking care to write as many hateful remarks on their work as possible. Mostly things like 'nice try, I hear McDonalds is hiring' and 'how many vowels are in the word stupid?'. Sighing, he put down his red pen to focus on his food, groaning when someone else wandered in, a pretty but somewhat hippy looking chick, that made him roll his eyes.

Just what he needed. One of those freaks hanging around.

Maggy heard the groan and looked over her shoulder, flashing a smile at the teacher who was already occupying the space. "Hi there!" she said brightly, tucking a long strand of hair back behind her ear. "I'm not disturbing you, am I?" She moved to on of the microwaves against the wall and pulled the container of soup from the bag dangling on her arm.

"Oh, no, I'm just peachy," Hemingway said, making his accent even more thick than it normally would be, hoping his mumbled would keep her from further attempting to converse. He looked at her out of the corner of his eye, shaking his head and going back to his cheese steak.

It didn't. Maggy smiled wider as she moved to one of the tables in the room, setting out the rest of her lunch while the soup warmed. "Oh, good. It's not like I could go anywhere else, really, but I'd hate to be a bother."

Hemingway just took a deep breath, nodding his head and keeping his attention on his fries, sprinkling them with salt and vinegar. "Well, there is this place called the cafeteria, may have heard of it. I hear most schools have one. There's food there, and tables."

"Yes, well, it may have escaped your attention, but I have food." Maggy was amused at the offhandedly snotty remarks the man was throwing around. Someone else would have been offended, but not her. "And in a typical school cafeteria, there aren't any microwaves." She chuckled softly. "I'm Maggy."

"Yes, well, this isn't a typical school. This is an overpriced hell hole," Hemingway said, taking another long drink of his beer. "The cafeteria here has more shit in it than my kitchen back home. Ergo, there is indeed a microwave. They have to heat up their filet mignon left overs somehow."

"I'll keep that in mind for next time." Maggy pulled her soup out of the microwave and moved to the table. "So what do you teach?"

Hemingway ate another fry, secretly wondering if anyone would care if he just shot this bitch in the face. "Literature and I teach the schools only Mandarin language course."

Maggy nodded, crumbling her crackers into her soup. "Mandarin? That's really interesting. I don't know any languages other than English and some dirty words in Italian that an ex-boyfriend taught me."

"I'm fluent," Hemingway said off handedly, not seeing it as any particularly big deal. "Also in French. It's a very valuable skill to have, I suppose. I do not, however, know any dirty words in Italian. Pity."

Finishing up his sandwich, he threw away the greasy wrapper and picked up a book he was reading, opening to the book marked page and started reading. He had no intent to pretend he cared about the conversation because, well, he didn't.

"You know, it is a pity. I don't know about you, but those are usually the words I use the most." Maggy finished her soup and some of the tofu dip. "So where are you from, Mr. Literature and Mandarin Professor? Your accent sounds British, kind of, but I can't place it."

Hemingway closed his book with a loud smack, looking over at her. "I am from Brighton, England, but I grew up primarily in Beijing. That would be in China," he said, blinking at her. "If you're that curious, let me give you a readers digest version of my life story. Born in Brighton, grew up in Beijing, attended Oxford, I have a masters in Literature. I am a buddhist. I know Judo. I collect weapons."

Maggy blinked at the man for a moment, and then smiled sweetly. "You know, I hate those Reader's Digest condensed novels. They leave out all the exciting parts."

"There is no exciting part," Hemingway said, going back to his novel. "Trust me. I lived it. I know."

"Nothing exciting about a jet-setting, Judo-practicing Buddhist with a weapons cache?" Maggy laughed, shaking her head as she stood and went to the sink, rinsing out her bowl. "Maybe it's escaped your attention, but your life sounds like the start of a Jackie Chan movie."

Hemingway snorted, mumbling to himself. "Jackie Chan wishes he had my hand eye coordination," he said softly, clearing his throat. "I wouldn't call it jet-setting. I was a small child, and my father is an ambassador. Moving was mandatory."

Maggy looked at him sharply, large brown eyes sizing him up. "... Were you now?" That sounded like a good premise for a children's book. She'd have to talk to her published about that. "And what was that like? Did you move often?"

"Several times," Hemingway said, giving her an odd look. Why the hell did this dollish woman want to know about his life? It really wasn't interesting. "He worked for the embassy. "From Brighton, to South Africa, back to Brighton, and then to Beijing, where we settled. When I went home to England, it was of my own accord, for university."

"Which place did you like best?" Maggy asked, moving back to the table with her bowl, quickly fishing out a pen and notepad to jot down her ideas.

Hemingway let his eyes fall back to his book. "Fangshan, the out skirts of Beijing where I lived. It was, so to speak, an enlightening place."

"What made it so enlightening?" Maggy began doodling a small caricature of the man, giving him an exaggerated upturned nose and wide eyes.

"I spent a lot of time in the temples and the gardens," Hemingway said simply. Talking about home made him miss it, and he frowned heavily. "Self discovery is an important part of everyone's life growing up, it was certainly a huge part of mine."

A background was added to the drawing, a crude Asian temple and a few bamboo trees. "Well, I think I agree with you there. Did you like the things you discovered within yourself?"

Hemingway snorted at that, pulling a pastry out of his lunch bag. "Does anyone?"

"I suppose it depends on what you find." She paused a moment, looking at him thoughtfully before she changed the eyebrows she'd drawn, making his expression more haughty. "That opens up the question, however... If you find things you dont like and you change them, are you still being true to yourself?"

"That depends on your definition of true self," Hemingway said with a shrug, turning the page in his book. "Of course, just discovering who you think you are, doesn't make you who you are. Jade that is not chiseled cannot become a gem."

Maggy paused, smiling softly. "I've never heard a more true, or more beautifully stated, sentiment."

"It's a proverb," Hemingway said with a shrug, scratching the back of his head. "You must go through trials, before you learn who you are."

Maggy snorted. "Ain't that the truth." She stood, ripping off the bit with his cariacture on it, and then crossed the room to hand it to him. "I don't think I did you justice, but here you go. I don't keep what I don't have permission to draw."

Hemingway took the paper and glanced it over, giving her an odd look before tucking it into the middle of his book. "You are one fucking weird lady he said, getting to his feet as the bell rang, gathering up his bag. "Hemingway Lovell."

Maggy grinned as she stuck out her hand for a shake, mentally preparing herself for the barage of images and feelings and knowledge that would accompany it. Damn her gift sometimes. "Margaret Warren. It's a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Lowell."

"It's Lovell," Hemingway repeated, shaking her hand quickly as he edged towards the door. "Be careful in the hall. One of the little fuckers might shank you."

The contact was brief, barely a brush of skin against skin, and then it was over. Thankfully, Maggy wasn't subjected to much. A flash of a little tow-headed boy, a pretty woman with short dark hair laying in a bed, a gun. She didn't delve too deeply into what she was shown.

She hissed, though, when she realized the images had made her call him by the wrong name. "Oh, geez, I'm sorry! Lovell, not Lowell. Got it." She picked up her bag, still smiling sheepishly. "Well, let's hope not. I'm supposed to speak in another art class tomorrow. That would definitely put a wrench in that plan."

Hemingway just nodded, throwing open the door. "As one would assume," he agreed, eying the passing kids. "Good luck, Margaret."

He didn't say anything else to the woman, sliding into the crowd, screaming at a few kids to get the hell out of his way as he went. Oh, but he hated this job.

Maggy watched his retreating back for a moment and then turned away, heading back to the art wing. She wondered idly how a gun fit in with a tow-headed kid, but then her foot was stepped on and all thoughts of the man she'd just met left her brain.