The stack of papers had landed in front of him a minute ago, but Marc hadn't looked up from his hunt for the past-perfect Irish verb form of contemplate. Once he'd finished however, he looked at the paperwork, frowned, and looked over at Aidan.
"Teach?" It took her a second to look up -- she'd probably buried herself in a not yet overdue copy edit job as soon as she sat down. Marc waited patiently for her eyes to refocus on him and asked, "I thought we got my name back?"
"We did." Aidan frowned now. "Why?"
"Because I already have a bachelor's?" Marc tapped the papers. "Why do I have an application form for Seacouver U?"
"Oh, that. Because Erin tells me the psych department there is excellent." Aidan gave him the amused smile that told Marc he had the 'deer in the hunter's sights' look again. "We did discuss this?"
"Yeah, you said I ought to get a psych degree, but I thought you were joking. Why? Seriously. I have a degree. And I like designing buildings, and parks--"
"Marco? Who was it spent half an hour last night explaining to his baby sister that yes, really, she has a brain as well as those looks and should be interested in getting into college a little more than what boy to pick this week?"
Marc snorted. "You didn't hear how annoyed Mama was."
Aidan laughed at that. "So you think. Email, Marco, email. More to the point, I should have asked who successfully convinced a teenager in full hormone flow to go use her brain instead of her glands? However. Lissa last night, Rich the night before that--"
"Well, yeah, Rich wanted to talk about community college. Okay, and I had to talk him out of trying to throttle Ish over a practical joke you'd have played to get our attention--"
"-- Carolyn three afternoons ago with a plot that needed untangling because her characters had thrown a rebellion --"
"--she wanted a male point of view?" Marc trailed off considering that and just how many of his conversations included sorting out at least one tangle for someone, or offering alternate points of view, or just the odd detail someone was trying too hard to ignore... and trip over.
Aidan gave him a minute then said dryly, "Student mine, you untangle people almost as neatly as you design buildings. Without training. With professional training...." Aidan shrugged finally and said, "You have a great deal of potential and at the least, it would help you keep yourself straightened out over the years."
Which didn't sound at all like everything she was up to, not that Marc could always catch all of her layers yet. Then he saw one he was missing. "Vaffanculo. You're hoping I can keep a lot of us straightened out." Marc frowned. "And with Darius, Sean, Rebecca, and Arianna dead, you're worried about not having enough people who do or will. Aren't you?"
Aidan folded her arms over the manuscript papers and slumped to let her chin rest on the pile. "I'm a little worried, yes. And not just for our line. That said, Marc, healing them is not your responsibility yet. Unless you choose of your own will to take it on, it never will be." She smiled at him, fond and worried both. "Come to that, even if you take it on, nothing says you can't put it down as needed. Or that your siblings won't gang up on you to support you through it."
Marc cracked up at that. "Yeah. That's my brothers."
"And sisters," Aidan chuckled. "Trust me, Duathor and Portia will be two of the ones arranging the schedules. But that's if and maybe. What is, is my responsibility to teach you to the best of both our abilities. You have such talent in that line that I'd feel remiss if I didn't get you through at least a start in it."
Marc started laughing. "Oh, so this is a teacher thing," he teased. And pulled the paperwork over to start sorting out what they needed, and what classes he could transfer, and how to rearrange his life -- again.
~ ~ ~ finis ~ ~ ~
Lissa, for everyone who doesn't remember, which is most of us, is Marc's baby sister. She's much too pretty for her family's comfort, and she was getting a little too absorbed in boys and not paying attention to grades.
Vaffanculo is Italian for fuck. Marc tends to slip back when he's cursing.
Duathor and Portia are two of Aidan's other students; Duathor showed up in the end of Sirocco. I don't think you've met Portia yet. Pity. I'll have to fix that.
Changes by Rhi
Written for Dogstar, who asked for fic about Marc.