Glancing at the clock, Lexi sighed in frustration and exhaustion, willing the red number to be anything earlier than what it was. It was 10:54, meaning she'd studied for at least three hours straight. Placing her yellow highlighter down on the desk and stretching her cramped fingers, she rubbed at her face with a moan. It felt good to move her muscles in ways besides writing notes. Though the temporary pain sucked.
She'd filled at least ten pages with various facts about ions and microbiological facts. With all the compositions and names of parts of cells bouncing around in her brain, she thought it might explode if she had to memorize one more thing.
Her small desk lamp was the only thing illuminating the room, and she glanced around. The little amount of light cast shadows across the walls, including her own enlarged image on the wall. She wiggled her fingers, taking small pleasure in seeing them a lot longer than reality.
There was a tiny knock on the door, and she jumped with a loud gasp from her seated position. The hairs on her entire body stood on end at the shock, and she placed a hand on her chest to steady her heart beat.
"It's open." She called softly, and the person turned the knob. Upon seeing who it was, she sighed. "Why are you up so late? It's like 11 o'clock."
Law raised an eyebrow, smirk spreading across his face. "I could say the same to you."
Sparing a glance at the desk, covered in two medical textbooks, notebooks, highlighters, pencils and pens, she picked up the blue marker, twirling it between her fingers out of boredom.
"Studying for class. I completely forgot about it, no thanks to some people." The glare she sent his way was genuine, though she knew it was mostly her fault for not remembering. He only smirked wider, unfortunately for her.
"A shame. I came to tell you your grandmother went to bed and asked me to let you know." She nodded, eyes falling to a half-lidded state.
"Ah, I see. Thanks." Her mouth stretched open in a yawn, but she shook her head to try keeping awake. "Dammit, I've still got 30 more pages to go, I can't be tired."
He stalked closer, eyes landing on the open textbooks. "What exactly are you studying?" Th diagrams of cells and familiar definitions caused him to unconsciously go over what he knew about the subject. He had plenty of books on the same subject in his room on the sub.
"It's the longest chapter out of the book. It's about the microbiological side of anatomy. There are so many functions of organelles and processes I have to memorize I'm about ready to rip my hair out." She ran her hands through her hair, displaying her frustration. She sighed again, leaning her elbows against the desk. "The book doesn't explain things very well either, so we're basically left on our own to learn it."
"Hmm…" He examined the highlighted sections of the pages, comparing them to her notes.
"And your teacher won't help you?" She scowled, turning the book to the next page, taking off the cap of the highlighter.
"I can't understand a thing he teaches. And the sucky part is, he's the only professor that teaches the upper level anatomy session, so I'm stuck with him." Grumbling, she read the next few sentences and highlighted key words.
Law stood by silently for a few moments, seeming to watch as she worked. Suddenly, she wasn't sure why he'd stayed so long, listening to her rant on about college. In fact, why was he still lingering in her room? Why had she even let him in? She opened her mouth, about to tell him to leave, but he beat her to it.
"I could teach you."
His words stopped her short, and she opened and closed her mouth a few times. She looked directly at him, the single lamp illuminating only half of his face. One gray eye glinted, the other shadowed in darkness. He was smirking, as always, but this one showed a hint of cunning and intelligence. It was intimidating, seeing him in this light and with this intensity. She hadn't answered his question, and it took a moment for her brain to catch up.
"U-um, you'd…really?" Coming out, it was a lot clunkier and hesitant than she'd meant it, but her surprise was fairly impossible to hide at this point. She must have looked ridiculous, because he chuckled quietly.
"Yes, really. I suppose it is one way of repaying you for your hospitality." He folded his hands behind his back, waiting on her to answer. Lexi looked back to the books, wishing that her gaze alone could set fire to the abominable pages. If only she hadn't paid a couple hundred dollars to have them, she would have seriously thought about it. Still, the offer was rather tempting.
She was smart, she would admit that. Anatomy was so interesting and unique, and Lexi loved it, but it was the most frustrating thing in the world to understand. Growing up in a medical field environment, it was no wonder she'd taken up the passion with which her family perceived anatomy. The only thing was, there wasn't really anyone to pass that knowledge down onto her. Even when Nana was lucid, she had trouble learning anything medical from her because it all included World War 2 era medical techniques and procedures.
Now, an actual surgeon, or a self-proclaimed one at least, was offering to tutor her. It seemed almost like an internship.
Sure, the guy seemed creepy, but he hadn't actually done anything to warrant her hatred yet. Except call Brittany, but that wasn't really relevant. With a heavy sigh, she nodded.
"Alright, grab a chair." She pointed to the other rolling chair in the corner she kept for the rare occasion when Brittany came over. He grinned, wandering over to the chair and dragging it beside her. She rubbed at her face sleepily as he took a seat, berating herself for forgetting her studies.
It didn't take Law very long to recognize that Lexi was quite intelligent. His explanations and descriptions made complete sense to her, and the only times she asked him to repeat himself was when she couldn't keep up with writing the notes. There wasn't any confusion or strange looks directed at him when he mentioned a complicated medical term, which he found refreshing. It got rather taxing when most people you met weren't medically inclined like him.
Much as she wanted to sleep, she worked diligently, and even Law was impressed. Many times she held back yawns of rubbed at her eyes to stay awake. He'd even suggested stopping several times and she'd insisted on finishing the chapter.
Somewhere between 1 and 1:30, her mumblings became increasingly quiet to the point that Law could barely make sense of her words. Being the night owl that he was, he watched with curiosity as she literally worked herself to sleep, pencil gliding slower and slower across the pages of her notebook.
It was only after she stopped completely that he rose from his chair.
*The Next Morning*
"Mmmm…" Lexi muttered, feeling something hard jabbing into her cheek. Slowly, she began to register the pain in her back and cheek, and the wet sensation at her mouth. Squeezing her eyes tightly, she slowly opened one a second later.
Filtered light streamed from the window, casting pale strips of light over her desk. Lexi's head rested against her anatomy textbook. Taking a quick breath, she raised her head from the sideways position. Rubbing her face to get rid of the stiffness, she groaned. The corner of her book had been poking into her face, creating a painful impression of the pages on her cheek. She could feel the indentation against her fingers.
She'd fallen asleep at her desk, studying for class. It wasn't the first time, but it wasn't her favorite feeling in the world to wake up with a sore neck and back. The vertebrae snapped back into place with painful but satisfying pops.
When she straightened, something fell back from her back. Turning, she saw a blanket from her bed had been wrapped around her shoulders, falling as she'd stretched. She frowned, knowing that she hadn't had it when studying. Then she remembered.
Law. He'd offered to help her. The quiet tones and definitions and descriptions all came back, a lot easier than she'd thought they would. As complicated as the subject material was, the pirate had explained it in a way that was simple and easy to remember.
She looked around but didn't see the captain anywhere. Even the chair he'd used was pushed back into place in the corner, as if it had never been moved.
Her eyes wandered to the clock, and her eyes widened.
"Shit…" It was 9:38 A.M. Her first class started at 10. There wasn't time to shower and get ready now. Pushing away from the desk she rose and dressed into new clothes. Throwing her hair up into a messy bun, she grabbed all of her school stuff and threw it in her book bag, gathering the textbook and notes from the night before as well.
Once everything was gathered and she was put together, it was 9:41. It would take her a good fifteen minutes, if she sped, to get to the campus. Sighing again, she double checked she'd grabbed everything and stepped out into the upstairs hallway.
The others were already up, as the door to their room was open and showed it empty. She took the stairs quickly, meeting the men in the kitchen.
Penguin and Shachi were eating toast, Law, who's hat sat on the table, held a coffee mug, and Bepo was snoring softly as he lay on the living room floor.
"Morning, Lexi-chan!" The idiots said cheerfully. At her hurried entrance, Law raised an eyebrow.
"Going somewhere?" She went to the fridge and opened the doors, searching inside for something to eat on the go. Seeing an apple, she grabbed it and took a large bite.
"The university. Running late, kinda gotta hurry." Her feet carried her into the living room, where Nana sat perched on the couch ready to scream at the newest episode of Family Feud. "I'm heading to school, Nana."
"Be mindful of any Nazi spies! Report any suspicious behavior you have to your unit!" She advised, and Lexi shook her head.
"Will do." Heading towards the door, she was stopped by Law, who had put on his hat and stood in the kitchen doorway with his hands in his pockets.
"I'm coming with you." He stated, his easy smirk in place. Her eyebrows rose, eyes widening.
"I want to see what this university is like. There's nothing you can do to stop me from going." He said with authority.
Grabbing an umbrella from the closet, conveniently the one that Law's sword was stuffed in, she slammed it shut. One quick glance at her watch told her she'd better leave soon. Arguing with the pirate would only make her more late. At this point, it would just be easier to agree with him and deal with it later.
"God Dammit...Fine." She muttered, throwing open the door. "Just stay with me the whole time and don't talk to anyone or touch anything." She demanded. He followed her to the truck, climbing in the passengers seat with a very smug look.
As they pulled out of the driveway, she could see Penguin and Shachi's faces smashed up against the window, watching them pull away. She had a sinking feeling that today wouldn't go as smoothly as she'd been hoping.ns 220.127.116.11da2