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[Cheerless #2] Swords & Axes: A Cheerless Interlude

By JessicaX

Humor / Romance

Libby, Don't You Lose My Number

Cheerless #2. Libby Chessler, Sabrina the Teenage Witch and all related characters are © Archie Comics / Hartbreak / Paramount / Whatever. Adymm and the members of In Absinthia are © me, so there. This work of fiction is © myself.

[NOTES: Hi, I'm back! Miss me? Before you start reading, it's VERY important that you realise something; this has so little to do with Sabrina (the character and show) that it almost qualifies to be thrown on FictionPress. That's because the main focus is on Libby's life once she's left for boarding school, so Sabrina has very minimal involvement in these pages. It's not exactly a sequel to my last fic, and also much shorter, so think of it as "Cheer-Streaked 1.5"; if you've ever read the Narnia books, this is somewhat akin to "A Horse And His Boy", if you will. I plan on writing a proper sequel in short order, but this is kind of a "what happened in between?" piece that you may choose to read, or ignore wholly - but if you want the unabridged story, here it is. Do as you please!]

~~~~~~~~~

I have a problem. It's a very big problem, and I don't know what to do about it... and I'm not sure how I feel about it exactly, so I can't even make an educated choice. The indecision is killing me.

Welcome back to my life, everyone! Just so you know, I'm still at this "boredom school"; I call it this because life has somehow actually grown less interesting since I last wrote about it. With our workload piling on and all this choir practice (turns out I can sing circles around everybody in the school - go me!), I didn't have as much chance to think about it, but obviously that means I'm not partying down so much, either. Most of the student body just ignores me altogether, including Giselle (my bunkmate); the girl's polite enough, but she spends all day studying and doesn't seem to care that other humans exist. I swear, as sought-out and popular as I was back home, you'd think a little of it would carry over, but nooooo! It's almost like I'm a... well, you know. The g-word.

My name is Libby Chessler, and sometime during this cruel twist of fate... I went from chic to geek.

I'm a geek because I care about things like fashion and gossip; everybody else just cares about grades, or the glee club or whatever. Oh, and my attention to detail in the hygene department goes unnoticed here because it's required at this place. I'm a geek because I miss the feel of pom poms in my hands, the roar of the crowd - and I didn't even mind sharing the spotlight with the football team. Here at the fine institution that is Sword Up My Ass, I am a geek because out there, I wouldn't be.

There is one other student who doesn't snub me, though: this guy from Manhattan who sort of hates everything. I mentioned him before, right? Apparently, he's decided I have the gonads to be worthy of his respect. Ever since the yoghurt and fireworks incident (this would be when I tried to escape, and I still won't tell you about it), Adymm - that's how he spells his name, but between you and me I don't think it's like that on his birth certificate - started finding me between classes and chatting me up. He's a pretty... interesting guy, and definitely sharp, so we kinda started sharing and doing homework together and etcetera. Eventually, I found out why he was here, and I had him pegged for this before he told me, but he was a total goth freak two years ago. Yeah, the cripsy black hair, blue nail polish, fishnets-and-dog-collar type: all his t-shirts carried the banner of bands nobody else has heard of on them. I guess his parents did the same thing as mine and sent him here thinking it would straighten out his personality. Lordy love a duck, were they wrong; not only is he still as gothy as he can get away with being in Swords's drab jacket-and-tie ensemble, and not only does he still dream about playing the electric guitar again, but he seems to think our educational nightmare is just a cruel joke, and laughs about it every day. I think their actions may have turned him even further to the path of psycho.

But none of that's the problem, obviously; the thing is, he's... well, very persistent. Not that I would've had a problem with it, he's entitled to his own personality - the thing is, I found out when he started coming on to me. And it won't stop. It's really making me uncomfortable, but he doesn't seem to want to give up, even though I tell him again and again that I'm just not interested in him that way; either he wants the Chessler chassis real bad, or he's honestly head-over-heels in love with me. Don't ask me how goth brains work, I'm still a little unclear on many aspects of his thought process.

Hopefully you see what my big problem is now, though. I'm not really concerned about his feelings anymore, because I've tried letting him down easy and letting him down hard, and there's just no stopping him, so he's remarkably resilient. See, I don't have much experience in this area because if a random nerd actually got it into his head that he liked me back home, I'd have the jocks beat him up and that'd be it. Unfortunately, not only do I have no power here, but... this guy is actually my friend when he's not trying to get into my pants. He pretty much respects my boundaries and doesn't push the matter too far, but he certainly won't back down, either. I just don't know what to do, dammit!

Y'know, when I read through my memoirs from Westbridge, I have to laugh when I get to the parts where I said everything felt like an alternate reality... because this is Bizarro World for sure.

Speaking of Westbridge... I really wish I could ask her about this. And just in case you skipped my last volume (shame on you!), I'm talking about my best friend, Sabrina Spellman... the too-perfect person who softed up this stone princess and turned her into a human being. Alas, with the communication Nazis in this place there's no chance of that - except...

I found a loophole.

There's this thing they do for the students; for those of us who don't go home for the holidays (and even if my parents had wanted me to come home - which they didn't - I wouldn't want to see them), they let us go into Swords Village on both October 31st and December 24th as kind of our present from the school. There's plenty of cops driving around on our "free days", so we can't really leave the town and try to run away (damn!), but other than that it's our day to do random fun stuff, like maybe go to the arcade, or see a movie, or buy (non-scholastic) books or candy or whatever.

Oh, and so we can't buy anything crazy illegal, they confiscate all our money (if we have any) and give us these weird vouchers that are good at pretty much all the stores in town; the school then uses our money to reimburse them afterward. I mean, they still work for all sorts of stuff, like food and (appropriate) clothes and junk, but if we want to buy, for example, cigarettes: even those of us who are 18 will be refused if we try to pay with those vouchers. It's some big damn deal they made with the shopkeepers, and they had to agree before they set up there. Yay, our own currency, just like Disneyland!

Well, anyway, since Halloween I've saved up about a buck's worth of United States silver change; some of it I just found, some I traded students for (like, a dollar voucher for a real quarter - they jumped at the chance). And there's a payphone in town.

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●

"Libbs, I'm bored."

"C'mon, we have to find it..."

Adymm rolled his sunken eyes, playing with the lip ring he was finally allowed to put back in (for a day, and it seems to me like too much trouble to re-pierce that healed hole for a few measley hours of being "cool"). "Can't we just get some fries or something?"

"No - this is my only chance. Besides, I'm not hungry."

"Jesus, you were really into this girl, weren't you?"

I flushed. "Stop doing that! When will you understand she and I are rocking the bee-eff-eff casbah?"

"When you stop lying," he muttered with a smirk. "I mean, of course Libby; yeah, I know I go on for hours about my 'chums' and how they're the greatest thing since dirt, too. God, I just don't understand what she has that I'm missing."

"Restraint?"

His face scrunched up into that angsty face he's obviously had hours of practice with. "Hey, that night in the library, when you told me to stop with the-"

"Adymm!" I hissed, looking around; he just allowed himself a wicked smile. "We don't talk about that!"

"Anyway, I did as you ordered, my queen. What more do you want?"

"You to quit it," I hissed, turning down another snowy street. "Like life isn't hard enough."

"I'll never stop," he said, jumping on my shoulders and throwing his legs around my waist - this was his new favourite thing to torment me with when nobody was looking, ever since he found out that I could actually handle his insubstantial weight. "I will crusade onward until I've won over this fair maiden who carries me and my heart with her!"

"Get off, you pig!" I yelled, trying not to laugh - okay, so sometimes he was cute, which would mean a lot more to me if I was interested. You see what I mean? I can't just tell him to get lost 'cause he really is a good friend, even if he can't take a hint.

"Fine, fine, I get it. By the way," he said as he pointed, "I think there's one right there."

"Yes!" Never had a little blue box with an ugly black receiver inside made me so happy. "At long last, the day has come!"

"No, you don't sound gay at all," he murmured with a wry grin.

"Oh, shut up and get me some Yoplait or something," I said as I dug the change out of... well, wouldn't YOU like to know where I kept it? Then I got out a few vouchers. "And maybe a Frappuccino, I haven't had one of those in forever."

"Alright, I know when I'm not wanted." He got about five feet before he turned around. "What flavour?"

"Strawberry on the yoghurt... and I don't care what Frapp you get as long as it's real and it's coffee."

"Gotcha, red goo and caffeine. Say 'hi' to your ex for me!"

"SHUT UP!" But he was already gone.

This was it, the moment had arrived... I was finally going to be able to tell her everything I'd been thinking about for six months! It was like when we went to meet The Violent Femmes with Gordie and Sabrina's weird cousins, and we got right up to the front of the line, and we knew any second all that standing around would come to fruition. Maybe I WAS turning into a big geek, 'cause my hands were shaking as I put the quarters in... or maybe that was from the cold? It had taken me a lot of wheeling and dealing to get her number - hey, I wasn't friends with her long enough to get to that point - but I had it scrawled on a tiny slip of paper, and I knew what I was going to say. I had to; we only had like, ten hours in town total, and if I was missing for too long they'd get suspicious.

I do have to take a moment here and say this: how dare they tell us who we can and can't speak with? I mean, I get that they're trying to keep our minds on our studies, but you'd think we could at least use the phone during break, right? It's like Communism or something.

Anyway, the phone was ringing, and all I could do was hope against hope that-

"Hello?"

● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● END Chapter One

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