this fic is taking eight decades to write but here’s a section i had to cut for pacing (she says, as though the pacing weren’t still glacial. but i couldn’t find a space for this.)
“So, Ruben, you’re gonna be a teacher?” Vanessa asks him.
“Yep. Well, sort of. Community college.”
“Awww, I can already picture you with a nerdy little tie and a briefcase. Adorable,” Vanessa says. “Or are you gonna be a hip teacher? Sitting backwards on your chair, trying to connect with all the wayward inner-city youth?“
“They’re college students, so-“
“Hey kids, I know science sounds whack, but I’m here to tell you that Chemistry is Cool!” calls Usnavi from behind a shelf in a falsetto-high voice.
“Again, college students. Was that supposed to be me?” asks Ruben. “What do I sound like in your world?”
“You sound like the kind of teacher who says hope you kids like rap music, because I’ve got some Sick Beats that’ll teach you all about the periodic table ’ says Usnavi. “And who’s maybe been huffing helium before class, I guess. Ha, see, it’s not just you teachers who know chemistry, Mr Marcado.”
“Knowing what helium is isn’t chemistry, Usnavi, any five year old who’s been to a semi-decent birthday party has that one down. And that’s Dr Marcado to you, if we’re going there.”
Vanessa blinks. “Wait, legit you’re a doctor?”
“Yeah. Did Usnavi never mention that?”
“Nope,” she says. “Can you give me healthcare on the cheap?”
“Wrong doctor. I was a chemist.”
“Story for another day, maybe,” Ruben says gently.
“Okay,” she agrees. “Can you poison people and make it look like they died naturally? Asking for a friend.”
Probably. If that one patient whose death they’d faked hadn’t made it, it’s unlikely anyone would’ve figured out what really happened.
…he definitely shouldn’t tell her that.
“Depends. How rich is your friend?” he says instead, and Vanessa laughs.