“I didn't know you were a student here.” A familiar voice sounded behind her, and Karen whirled, eyes wide. The voice had come from behind the neighboring bookshelf, and she glared at it menacingly.
“Blind, what are you doing here?” She hissed softly.
“I could ask you the same.” The smirk in his voice was infuriating.
“Go away.” She paused as she realized. “Wait, how did you...”
“Mostly your boots. They make a very distinct sound. Really, you shouldn't wear those around. Someone will notice.”
“Go away, Blind.”
“I have every right to be here. You go away.”
“I have a paper!”
“And I'm meeting someone.”
She glared at his voice for a moment, then very deliberately turned back to the book she was holding, a rather dry account of first century politics.
“Come on, guess!” He sounded teasing. “Fine, then I'll guess about you. Your paper is on... History? You're in the section for it, anyway.”
She didn't respond, turning to another page of long dead idiots trying to kill each other.
“I'm pretty sure you're either a junior or a senior, so either this is an upper level class, or you're not a history major, so you've been putting your history requirement off. Given that it took you fifteen minutes to find this section, I'm guessing the second.” He paused for a moment. “So that means you're something else, then. Hm, chemistry? You do occasionally smell like laboratory.”
Karen ignored him, putting the book back where she'd found it and picking it's neighbor up, leafing through to a section on the Gaelic Wars.
“I would eliminate music, just for the fact that you don't quite seem the type, and probably English, as closely related as that class is to history. Am I getting any closer?”
“Go away, Blind.”
“I'd rather not, thank you. So, I think something with science. Your glider, for example, is a fair bit of physics that not many people would try without some calculations.” He mused for a moment, mumbling something about what majors had to take that level of physics before the senior year, when she noticed someone in a wheelchair slowly coming up the aisle.
“Oh, Good morning, Professor K.”
“Hello, ah... Karen!” He pointed at her with a smile. “I had you for Calculus One. You sat in the upper left corner, am I right?”
“Yessir!” She smiled, ignoring the now-silent man behind the bookshelf as she inwardly cursed him for learning her name.
“Hah! So Karen, what brings you to the library? Last I checked Professor Holt didn't assign too many papers for Inorganic Chemistry.”
“History, unfortunately.” She showed him the book. “What brings you here? Assigning papers to unsuspecting math classes?”
“Looking for my brother, actually.” He glanced around. “He said he'd meet me around here, but he might have gotten mixed up.”
“Your brother... Oh! You showed us pictures of him once.” She recalled the class now. The problem in question had something to do with projectile motion. “The problem with the mashed potatoes.”
“You're teaching that now?” Blind's voice came through the bookshelf in disbelief. “Oh, come on! Do you have to gloat forever?”
“Hah, knew you were around here somewhere!” Professor K pointed triumphantly at the bookshelf. “You're in the wrong aisle, Jay. Again.”
“What? Aisle 14.”
Karen glanced up at the sign above them. “This is aisle 14.”
“I counted. The sign is wrong.” Blind, or Jay, fumed as his voice moved around the end of the bookshelf.
“You forgot that aisle one is short. You never remember to count that.” Professor K laughed. “In any case, sorry I'm late.”
“Tch.” A familiar figure rounded the corner, tall and dark, with black hair that spilled like water over his face. But there were differences. Rather than the blue blindfold she knew so well, a pair of dark glasses covered his eyes, and the neat blue uniform was replaced by a dark jacket, unzipped over a white t-shirt and jeans. The calm smugness was replaced by a slightly less calm expression of disgust. But the long white cane still swept the ground in front of him, and she wondered, for half a second, what this particular one did.
“You really are blind!” She exclaimed.
“Am I?” He moved a hand to his face and waved it about. “Oh, I hadn't noticed.”
“Only way to explain that outfit,” muttered Professor K with a smile.
“What?” His hand moved to his clothing. “What's wrong? Did I...” He trailed off and glared at the other man. “Monty, you are not funny.”
“At least I don't look like a clown.”
“I do not look like a clown!” He turned to Karen. “Do I look like a clown?”
Professor K nodded enthusiastically in her direction. She barely kept from laughing. “Yep.”
“You're lying. Unless someone messed with my closet, I know exactly what I am...” He trailed off. “Monty, you messed with my closet! What am I wearing?”
“Purple jacket, orange shirt, striped pants.”
“I don't own striped pants, you liar.”
“You do now!”
“I would have noticed if you had...”
“Well, you didn't!” Professor K was laughing now. “Karen, am I right?”
“He isn't.” Jay turned to her. “He's not right. I know what I'm wearing.”
“Oh,” the paraplegic finally got control of his laughter. “Have you two met?”
“No, why don't you introduce us?” Jay smiled, and she shot him a glare over his brother's head.
If Professor K noticed, he didn't mention it. “Oh, well, Karen, this is my brother, Jay Southend Bus Stop Kilsinger.”
Jay made an exasperated noise. “My name is not bus stop.”
“Jay, this is Karen, uh, Same, one of my students. She's a...”
“Chemistry major.” He faced her with a familiar smirk.
“Not even asking how you knew that.” His brother shook his head. “Is he right?”
“No.” For once it was her turn to look smug. “Physics.”
“With a minor in chemistry,” he said without missing a beat
“...Yes.” She pouted.
“Hah.” Jay looked triumphant. “I win.”
“Second guess doesn't count, little brother.” Professor K shook his head, grinning like his brother. “Sorry about him, he ran into a wall as a little kid, and...”
“And Monty,” interrupted Jay, “thought it would be a good idea to send his wheelchair off a ramp at the bottom of a staircase, and...”
“And he,” interrupted Monty pointedly, “tried to keep a squirrel in his sock drawer, and when Mom found out...”
“And he,” Jay raised his voice a little, “wanted to send a lunch box to the moon, so he built...”
“When he was little,” Monty very subtley rolled over his brother's foot, “Mom always had to watch him, because if she took her eyes off him for one second, he'd run outside without any...”
“But Monty,” remarked Jay casually as he whacked Monty sharply with his cane in a seemingly accidental motion, “thought that the tooth fairy was real until his sophomore year of college, and tried to...”
“Regardless!” Monty shoved his brother away as forcefully as he could. “Don't mind Jay. He's a bit odd sometimes.”
“Pot, meet kettle,” muttered his brother.