Helena must admit she's not overly enthusiastic about the Americas. Traveling across the world was a chance to get away from her father, who tried to control her life as though they didn't live in the 21st century and she wasn't perfectly capable of taking care of herself, and it was more about traveling from than traveling to.
She's come to this new country with her brother, Charles. She doesn't regret choosing him as her traveling companion; though he's sometimes as much an arrogant fool as their father, he respects her and her decisions and won't be constantly looking over her shoulder.
As far as she can tell, the Americans are no better than their stereotypes; she doesn't have many intellectual equals here, and even those who show promise have other glaring faults that drive her away. And Helena simply can't stand the disgustingly greasy food that seems to be handed out by every organization claiming to sell any food at all.
In taking a seat at the back of her science classroom, Helena sees a familiar face, that of Pete Lattimer. The childish boy – she believes he fancies her but does not reciprocate – gestures for her to join him. She's about to politely decline – and puzzling through how to do so with simple hand gestures – when she sees his companion, a lovely green-eyed woman whose eyes meet Helena's for only a brief second before they turn back to her book, and decides that perhaps sitting by them might not be such a bad idea after all.
She gathers up her books and goes to the seats a few rows from the front that Pete and his friend have taken. Now that she takes a closer look, she sees that Pete's friend, who she is sure now that she likes a great deal, is accompanied by two others, a redheaded girl and a man in a dark jacket.
"Helena, this is Myka, Claudia, and Jinksy," Pete says, gesturing to each of his friends in turn. "Guys, this is Helena."
Myka looks up from her book and eyes Helena with interest. Helena does the same, taking in the curly hair framing her face and the way her green eyes light up with intrigue. If any of the others notice their little exchange, they make no indication.
"So," Helena begins, finally breaking eye contact with Myka, "is your name actually Jinksy? No offense meant, of course, perhaps that name simply hasn't caught on just yet in my region of England."
He grins. "No, that's just what they call me. My name is Steve." He holds out a hand, and Helena shakes it, glad to at last have found an American hand gesture that translates. She takes her seat between Pete and Myka just as the bell rings to signal class beginning.
More than once during the less than interesting lecture on volcanoes – about which Myka takes very detailed notes, Helena notices – the two meet eyes and smile faintly at each other before turning back to their notes.
Once class has been dismissed, Helena follows Myka to her locker so they can talk in a more private setting. Myka's long legs cause her to stumble a few times along the way, and the jostling and noise seem to make her feel uncomfortable.
"Hello," Helena greets her.
Myka startles at first but recovers quickly and smiles at the new student. "Hi."
"I'm rather new here, as you can probably tell, and I'd certainly appreciate it if someone could perhaps show me what there is to see."
"You should probably ask Pete. He knows the town better than I do, and I'm sure he'd like to get to know you," Myka suggests and turns back to face her locker.
Helena lets out a sigh that conveys a combination of exasperation and endearment. "Darling, I was rather hoping you could give me the tour."
Myka looks up at this. "Sure, I- When are you free?"
"I believe any day this week would do quite nicely," the Brit says, giving her her most charming smile.
"Tomorrow night good?" Myka offers.
"It's a date."