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Brilliant

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Brainstorm is dying. Dying! Absolutely one hundred percent dead.

Perceptor walks over to xir side of the lab. “What is it now, Brainstorm?” she sighs. “I don’t have to be supervising you, you know. You could be kicked out of the labs altogether.”

“Oh shut up I could get Chromedome or Nautica to watch me. You like watching me – it saves you from the boredom of watching your simulations run all day.”

“Simulations are not boring, they are an essential part of my scientific endeavours. Anyway, you never answered my question – what do you want?”

“I’m bored.”

“Did you want to see my simulations?” Perceptor asks dryly.

“Oh Primus no. Wanna work on an experiment with me? Nothing weird just, you know, some quantum stuff.”

“Brainstorm, I have research of my own to do.  If you want to write up a proposal for collaboration, I can look it over, but I can’t just interrupt my work to assuage your boredom. I have a schedule.”

“Uuuughhh. Writing up proposals is boring and you’re boring and your simulations are boring. And I know it, too. You’re not doing anything innovative, if you were you wouldn’t have come over here just because I flopped on the table.”

“Yes I would!”

“No you wouldn’t have noticed.”

“Okay… MAYBE I wouldn’t have. Maybe. But still, this is necessary work.”

“But you can still spare some time from it… Come on… I know you still want to know how the time case worked.”

Perceptor’s eyes grow wide. The time case… she hadn’t been able to figure out how it worked well enough back before it had been destroyed, much less coax any details out of an uncharacteristically tight-mouthed (well, she supposed, no one had known of its existence before then, so perhaps Brainstorm was less of a blabbermouth than was generally accepted) Brainstorm. “Okay,” she blurts out immediately.

Brainstorm’s optics crinkle in a grin. “You’d do a lot for that time case,” xe says, “Wouldn’t you.”

Perceptor feels her face heat. “Maybe.”

“Any particular reason?” xe asks teasingly.

Perceptor crosses her arms. “I can tell when you’re fishing for compliments, just so you know. But since you asked, the fact that your time machine worked obviously shows that there was something wrong with my understanding of the workings of the universe, and understanding the workings of your time machine would be a way to understand the obviously brilliant leaps in theoretical physics that you made in secret while working on it.”

“Say brilliant again.”

“Fine. You’re brilliant, Brainstorm. Now can we get moving on the science, please?”

Brainstorm has buried xir head in xir hands and is not moving off of the table. Perceptor sighs.