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An interruption in the first law of thermodynamics

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“James Fraser! Ian Murray!” Mrs. FitzGibbons stopped abruptly her lecture -for the tenth time during the last hour- “Since the meaning of two simple words such as “be quiet” seems too hard for you to understand and you obviously can’t just do it, you’re separated!”

I saw Mrs Fitz glaring at them and I turned slightly my head, giving Jamie and Ian a glance over my shoulder. Trying to conceal their laughter behind lowered heads and eyes staring their desk wasn’t successful at all. Their shoulders shook from restricted mirth and their faces had become a very bright red from lack of oxygen.

“Jamie take your book and notes -not that you kept any- and move…” Mrs Fitz paused to think and I returned to my notes on the first law of thermodynamics.

“Here, next to Claire, so I can see you” I heard her finish her sentence.

Oh no. Did she say next to Claire? Great, bloody great. The seat next to me was empty since - today of all days - Joe was sick at home.

I took a breath thinking what I should say to him.
Nothing- I shouldn’t say anything in the middle of the class, or Mrs. Fitz would definitely flip out. Anyway, the last thing I needed now was to worry about the most popular ginger of the school and his swollen muscles sitting next to me.

A book landed on my desk and the chair next to me was moved without a sound. Jamie sat himself down and buried his face in his hands, rubbing his brow. His auburn curls bounced a bit and I caught myself staring.

What the hell, Beauchamp?

I swallowed every thought and returned to my notes.

 

ΔU=Q-W.

ΔU stands for internal energy…

 

A light bump on my knee cost my concentration and a heartbeat –or two. I didn’t look at him though. He surely didn’t mean it, it was just an accident.
Why did I get excited? Why am I doing this to myself? I don’t even like the guy!

I took a deep but silent breath and decided to ignore the cocky Scot. However, he seemed to have different plans because at that moment exactly I felt a second bump on my left knee. Annoyed, I turned my eyes at him to find him smiling at me, with that beautiful smile reaching his blue eyes, like all details were fixed using photoshop.

“Hello, Sassenach” he whispered with slightly raised eyebrows.

Yes, you’re handsome – we know.

“Hi Jamie” I returned, attempting a face that said “I’m sorry you had to change your place with this one but I don’t really care”

He pointed towards Mrs Fitz with his head and said “Can ye help me a bit, lass? I dinna listen a lot since the class started”

“Mmhm” I nodded “I noticed”.

He smiled again at that. “Can you show me your notes, Claire?”

I attempted for a casual gesture, nodding and shrugging simultaneously (that must seem ridiculous enough) and passed my notes to him.
Raising my head to focus on what Mrs Fitz was now saying, I felt Jamie’s arm on mine.

It’s an accident, Claire. He is huge and probably the desk is too small for him.

So I withdrew, going as far as I could at the other side of the desk, not that there was much space to begin with.

Another bump on my knee. Won’t the fool leave me alone?

“Can I borrow your pen for a minute?”

“Sure”

He reached in front of me to grab the pen, his arm grazing mine the whole time. My heartbeat was far from normal now and I just hoped the class would finish as soon as possible. Or not; maybe it could just last forever.

Oh, come on Beauchamp! He’s probably like this with all the girls! How many times have you heard them talking about him and discussing how great he is? Disgusting.

I rested my head on my left palm, elbow on the desk, to avoid looking at him and I kept staring at the blackboard with my mind far from the conservation of energy.

I felt him looking at me and I froze.

Next thing he was returning the pen at its initial position, snaking deftly his hand between my arm and my chest and whispering -ever innocently- “Thank you, Sassenach”. 

My heart stopped and my mind could form but the one question.

“What the hell, James Fraser?”