It was after school, and the compound was generally quiet except for a few occasional students who preferred to remain in the school rather than return home. Kayline, however, would have given anything to be out of the school, out of the classroom, out from the piercing look of Finn, her Physics teacher. He was good looking, but a teacher would remain forever a teacher to her. Even as she sighed and cast a longing gaze out of the window, Finn paused in his marking and looked up at her.

"Problem?" Finn asked, flicking a look at Kayline's paper, noted that she'd barely done two questions for the past half hour. She didn't reply, but instead stared helplessly at her paper. Stifling a chuckle at her blank expression, Finn reached over, and started explaining patiently. Within minutes, Kayline's eyes had glazed over and she was shaking her head exasperatedly.

"I'm never going to complete this paper at this rate," Kayline groaned and flung her paper across the table. "Only mad scientists like Einstein can do it."

"I can," Finn pointed out mildly, and retrieved her paper.

"Fine, and you as well..." she muttered. "Funny, you don't bear any resemblance to Einstein, huh?" Kayline said, and gazed at Finn thoughtfully, who flashed her a grin. He was, she thought, a rather attractive young man, with his coal black hair and deep blue eyes. Hoards of girls had joined the Science faculty when they learnt that Finn would be a teacher there. But to Kayline, a good-looking teacher was no reason to face the torture of Physics. The only reason why she had taken up the subject was simply because her best friend, Leeane, had loved the subject and had insisted that she take it so that they could continue to be in the same classes. She wasn't the one who had to come for remedial classes though, Kayline thought with a trace of bitterness. Her friend excelled in all her classes, while Kayline was just the opposite. Sighing, she stretched out a hand and snatched back the paper that Finn was offering to her.

"Tell you what, Kayline," Finn said, "I'll spring you off early today if you give me your promise that you will complete this paper at home, by tomorrow, and without any outside assistance, especially not from Leeane," he added, when Kayline's eyes gleamed.

"I won't," Kayline promised, but already knowing that she would break it, and sprinted towards the door. "Gosh, thanks, Mr Gerald. I really really really appreciate this," she grinned as she reached the door, and rushed out with a quick wave before Finn could change his mind. Chuckling to himself, Finn strolled over to the window and watched as Kayline sprinted out of the school grounds, her long blond hair streaming out behind her, her bag flapping wildly. She was an attractive girl, he mused, but caught himself with a jerk and hurriedly stopped the train of thought. Shaking his head, disgusted with himself for eyeing a girl at least five years younger than him, he walked back to where he had been marking a pile of exam papers, but throughout the day, his mind lingered upon a certain girl with her pale hair streaming out behind her as she ran.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

"Mr Gerald?" Finn looked up from the stack of files he had been arranging, and saw with surprise that it was Kayline. She usually avoided him as much as she avoided the plaque, but here she was standing before him, her bag slung casually over a shoulder, with Leeane standing beside her. "We're holding a class party this weekend, at the beach. As I'm the class chairman," Kayline rolled her eyes, showing just how much she wanted the position "blah blah blah, I have the utmost honour to invite you to it."

"Class party?" Finn inquired, cocking one brow and leaning against a pile of books. "Whats the event?"

"None." Leeane spoke up, shrugging her shoulders. "We just felt like having one, and it just so happens that Kay's birthday is this Saturday, so we thought we might as well hold a party there and invite the whole class along. Then some people suggested inviting the teachers, and before you know it, we'll be inviting half the school population as well as the janitors as well."

Amused now, Finn interlocked his fingers and looked from Leeane to Kayline. Kayline looked slightly bored, while Leeane was patiently awaiting an answer. "Alright. I'll be there." Leeane beamed at him, but Kayline only nodded her head in acknowledgement. Finn could very well understand what she thought of inviting a physics teacher to a party. "And... Kayline?" he called out when both of them turned to leave. Kayline turned back with an impatient glance.


"I believe you have yet to hand up the paper I asked you to do yesterday," Finn said, cocking an eyebrow as he watched Kayline wince.

"Ummm... well, I'm not exactly sure where it is..." Kayline began, but Leeane had already tugged open her bag, and held out a sheaf of papers to Finn, who took them frowning.

"And why would the papers would be in Leeane's possession?" Finn questioned, with just a hint of ice in his blue eyes.

"She left it at my house when she came by yesterday," Leeane replied coolly, never flinnching from Finn's sharp gaze. Kayline hurriedly nodded in assent. Finn regarded the two girls standing before, one unperturbed, the other squirming slightly under his penetrating gaze. At last, he gave up, and sighed.

"Alright. But Kayline, I already told you that if you want to do well for physics, asking Leeane to do it for you isn't the way to do it," he held up a hand when Leeane opened her mouth. "Yes, yes, I know, you didn't help her. Its just a word of caution if you don't want to flunk your final exam." Kayline gave a half-hearted shrug, and walked off with Leeane. Finn watched them go, his face expressionless and unreadable.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Saturday arrived, with the perfect weather for a day out. The light blue sky was dotted with white puffy clouds floating by, and below it, the vast sea twinkled and shimmered, waves gently lapping against the rocky shore. Kayline and her friends were dunking each other into the water, splashing themselves wet, while the teachers they invited sat some distance away, preferring to stay dry. Kayline and Leeane had tried several times to sneak up on the teachers to dunk one or more into the water, but so far the teachers had managed to keep themselves more or less dry, much to the disappointment of the students playing drunkenly in the water below.

"Look at them play," Finn murmured, "You'd hardly think they're mature seventeen years old students. More like a bunch of seven year old kids wrecking havoc at the beach."

"Mature?" Maine, an English teacher, snorted. "You got that wrecking havoc part right, but if these students are mature, I'll eat my shoes." A few teachers chuckled at the derisiveness at which Maine had said it. "When you're my age, you see more of them than you ever want to again. Finn, why don't you be a sport and join them? You're still young enough to blend in with them," she suggested.

"Thanks, but I think I'll pass. They play rough," he grinned, nodding at Leeane and Kayline, who had taken up a fellow student and was dragging him mercilessly towards the sea, ignoring his protests which ended off with a gurgle.

"Watching them play makes me feel young again," Weiner, an elderly biology teacher mused.

"Really?" Maine replied. "They always make me feel like I've aged so much. But look, they're coming back again." She gestured with a careless hand at the crowd of students who emerged dripping from the sea. Finn looked around, and noted that Kayline had also come out of the water together with Leeane, and the pair of them were making their way towards the teachers. Kayline was wearing an oversized t-shirt tossed over her skimpy bikini, and which now clung to her body, showing off her curves. Much as he tried, Finn simply could not tear his eyes away until Weiner reached over and tapped him a finger.

"What?" Finn jerked up, startled.

"Lets go over and get more food, lad." Weiner gestured to the barbecue pit, where plates of food was heaped. Finn glanced at Weiner curiously, somehow feeling instinctivly that food was not the reason why Weiner wanted to walk over there, but Weiner only shook his head and gestured for Finn to follow him. Finn shrugged, got to his feet and followed Weiner with an easy stride. When they were at the barbecue pit, Weiner picked up a plate of chicken wings and stood there for awhile, silently contemplating Finn, who stood there unmoving, an inquiring expression on his face.

"I'm sure you didn't ask me here just to offer me a chicken wing, Weiner," Finn selected one from Weiner's plate, one that wasn't as burnt as the others.

"You should try to be less obvious, Finn," Weiner said, still holding the plate of wings but not eating any of them.

"What?" Completely baffled, Finn shook his head.

"That girl. She's your student, for heaven's sake. You can't get involved with her," Weiner said exasperatedly.

"You mean... Kayline?" Finn said quietly. "I don't have any feelings for her." But he looked away as he said it.

"Then for your own sake, stop staring at her!" Weiner hissed. "You know how obvious you have been?" he calmed himself down with a deep breath, then spoke again. "You're a new teacher, Finn, but you're a good one. Don't let a student spoil it. Remember that your position as a teacher, lad. You cannot get involved with her, do you understand?"

"Yeah..." Finn mumbled, annoyed with himself for being so transparent, annoyed with Weiner for being so observant. "I wasn't planning to do anything, Weiner, I really wasn't."

"Good." Weiner huffed out. "Keep it that way, then." With that, Weiner began to walk back towards where his colleagues were seated. Finn remained where he was, staring at the chicken wing, absorbed in his own thoughts. Because of that, he wasn't aware when Kayline and Leeane sneaked up behind him with a pail of seawater and upturned it above his head. Laughing maniacally, the pair of them sprinted off, with a dripping Finn in hot pursuit.

Far behind them, Weiner watched silently, his knowledgeable brown eyes darkening slightly as he sighed.