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Taako has a day

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Taako was doing math.

His right hand was sliding steadily along the board, his fingers turning quick, dexterous marks of chalk into a string of coordinates.

He stopped, taking a step away from the chalkboard.

He put a chalk dusted knuckle into his mouth, eyes tracing over the last few lines of integers, before he darted his eyes to look at the board to his left.

With the hand in his mouth he counted decimal places.

Then he relaxed, before smearing the back of his arm across his mouth.

It's so freakin cold, why am I sweating?

The doors to the lab swung open, making Taako twist on his heels to see the newcomer.

"Hey Taako."

Taako cringed as he watched the winter air blast in from the doors behind Barold.

As they swung back closed he shook himself out, unfurled to stretch the crick from his back.

"Morning Barry,"

Barry set a cup of coffee down and turned his wrist to look at his watch.

"Did you go home last night?"

Taako looked back to the black boards and realized that was probably why he was sweating.

Missing meditation was bad news for an elf.

"No," he said, like was surprised.

Barry scoffed.

"Jeez," he said, ruffling a hand through his hair, and stepping close enough to read the boards.

"Taako, did you…?"

"All of it, whole caboodle,” Taako answered, dragging out the ‘o’ sound in whole.

Barry looked over the rows and rows of digits, before taking off his glasses and rubbing one of his eyes.

He flipped his glasses back on and switched to the other black board, scrolling down the rows of paired numbers.

"Taako-," he said, apparently not sure where to start, "this is… Taako there should be thousands of viable coordinates. If you used both sides of the boards, this is maybe eight-hundred."

Taako, leaning on Barold's desk and taking a hearty slurp of his coffee, nodded and motioned for Barold to flip the chalkboard.

Barold let out a small sigh and swung the blackboard to reveal the other side; completely covered in completely different maths.

"Wha-" Barold started

"Make the area surrounding outlier points into their own, little plane homie. Knock down the number of points by crossing out overlap, just hafta play fair with where and how."

Barold, still pouring over the back of the chalkboard, sighed.

"Pretty cool huh?"

"Taako it's six in the morning."

Taako, for a moment, stopped drinking Barold's coffee.


"Taako, go home."

"What? Why!? I did the math Barold, I solved the shit!"

"Yes, you did Taako, thank you, but this was not something you do in one night. If you created the wrong plane formula, we'll have to redo it all."

Taako slapped down the cup with a clack, but Barry continued.

"You know it makes more sense to just wait, odds are we're going to throw all this out."

The room was silent for a long time.

"What's going on Taako? You could have called me at two in the morning and I'd have been right there, you know I love this stuff,"

Taako coiled his arms around himself, and put his chin on his collarbone.

He muttered something.


"I can't sleep. I can't meditate. I can't… It started after Sazed, but it got worse."

Barry walked away from the blackboard to Taako.

"Jesus Taako, Sazed was months ago."

Taako nodded.

Barold sighed and scratched at the back of his head.

After a moment he tossed a burly hand onto Taako's shoulder.

Taako put his hand over Barry's and they stayed there for a while.