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Yadda yadda. DRAMA!
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Gossip Girl: Always glad to hear from you!
Penni was waiting for me at the school steps the next morning. At first I thought it was nice of her to do so; but then I caught sight of her expression, one of worry. I hurried to her, "Penni? Is something wrong?" Her grey eyes met my violet ones and the worry changed into pity. Silently she held out a folded piece of paper and said, "Don't... don't overreact." Dread filled the pit of my stomach. Slowly I reach out and took the paper from her, with one last glance at her I unfolded it.
The picture it held almost made me want to cry, scream, and faint all at once. My once beautiful picture was mutilated and ruined beyond belief. It had been a cute little comic that I drew for Lexsie years ago, back when I was still discovering my talent. Instead of a story about a girl and her friend being best friends and all the trouble they got in, it was a comic about lesbians and how much they just loved each other. (A.N. No offense if you happen to be one... I don't have anything against you. Just so we're clear) I took a deep breath to steady my nerves and to keep the tears behind my eyes. With a surprisingly stead hand, I folded the paper again and slipped it into my bag. Penni watched me concerned, so I gave her a small smile and began up the steps to the school all the while thinking Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me. Maybe if I told myself that enough times today, I would actually believe it.
I opened the door to the school and there was an eerie stillness in the packed hallway as everyone turned their eyes to me. The silence scretched for what felt like ages. Finally I averted my eyes to the ground, hunched my shoulders, and made for my locker. I felt every single pair of eyes on me, their weight heavy. I was halfway to my locker when the laughing began. First it was a twitter, then a snicker from a handful of people, then everyone save the sympthetic few were full out laughing at my face. One of the football jocks jeered, "Hey, leb, your work is really good! The way you drew those girls in detail, it was just... AWESOME!" After that, everyone I passed had a nasty word or two for me. I just crossed my arms over my chest, holding my bag close to me, and made myself as small as possible.
When I reached my locker the girls around me drew away like I was a leper, their pretty faces twisted in revulsion. I shut my eyes, why today of all days did Castiel decide to skip school? Should I break my perfect attendance and skip too? Before I could decide a hand touched my shoulder and I jerked around, expecting to see another jerk but instead all I saw was Nathaniel's concerned golden eyes. He didn't say a word as he tucked me under his arm and lead me to the Student Council room, glaring at anyone who dared look at me. Penni was already there along with Lysander, who kept tapping his fingers against the table, staring intensely at the wall across the room.
When Nathaniel closed the door behind us Lysander looked up, "I called your brother, he's coming to get you." I nodded numbly and sat down, staring at the whorled wood beneath my fingers. Penni growled, "Well we know who did this at least. Amber." Nathaniel sighed, "As much as I don't want it to be, I can't think of anyone else. Still, we have no proof... yet." He rubbed his temples, "Why she would do such a thing is beyond me." I knew why, it was because I liked her brother. Lysander rolled his bi-colored eyes, "It's obvious you don't know your sister like everyone else. Her behavior is very distastful." Nathaniel glared, "Lysander I don't-" Penni cut him off, "Shut up the both of you! Now is not the time to be arguing!" At that all three of them glanced at me, but I ignored their gazes in favor of tracing a knot in the wood.
Someone knocked on the door and Penni went to answer it, her eyes narrow with distrust. After talking to the person outside the door for a little bit, Penni finally stood back and let Iris in but shoved someone else back and slammed the door shut. Iris shrugged sheepishly, "Sorry, I didn't know she was following me." I absently wondered who was with Iris. Penni pursed her lips, "Well if that bi-...girl thinks she's getting an exclusive then she can forget it!" Peggy, of course it was Peggy. Iris sat down beside me, "Don't worry, Kori. No one important believes that crap. And the principal has sent the teachers around to take down the pictures and to write up anyone who has one of the pictures." I finally turned my gaze on her, eyes wide, "You mean there's more?" I squeaked. Nathaniel and Penni exchanged grimances and Lysander patted my shoulder gently.
Iris gave a smile, "I'm sure this will blow over quickly. When everyone realizes it's not true, they'll drop it like a hot potato!" I giggled softly, feeling a little better. The bell rang before anyone could say anything else. Penni sighed and grabbed her backpack, "We've got to go to class." Lysander's mouth twitched in disgust, "Great, the last thing I want to do is go around listening to gossip." He grumbled to himself, standing. Iris stood as well, "See you later, Kori." I smiled and nodded mutely as the three filed out the door, shutting it behind them before anyone could sneak it. Nathaniel stood from his own chair and made for the filing cabinet. Opening a drawer near the bottom he withdrew a few files and brought them back to the desk. I watched him as he shifted through one file, signing a few pages and scanning through the rest.
"Don't you have class too?" I asked suddenly. Nathaniel glanced up at me briefly before turning back to his papers, "Not first period, and the principal is letting me out of classes until you go home." "You don't have to..." I said quietly looking away. I knew how important education was to Nathaniel. The golden haired boy smiled faintly, still not looking up, "But I want to." My head snapped around to stare at him, did he really mean that? Or was it just to comfort me? From the blush creeping across his face I knew he hadn't meant to say it out loud. After a moment of awkward silence Nathaniel asked, "Do you... want to help?" Grateful for a distration from my thoughts, I nodded.
It was almost second period when Castiel finally showed up. By then I had gone through twenty files, checking to make sure everything was in order for Nathaniel to sign. My mood has lifted considerably since the beginning of the day during that time. I was laughing again and teasing Nathaniel about his work-a-holic nature. I got him to tell me why he had become the student body president, apparently his father had pushed him to do so, but I didn't press the matter when I saw how uncomfortable the subject made him feel.
We were discussing favorite books when my brother burst into the room, his face a thundercloud. I actually shrank away from him, I had never seen him so angry before and, though I knew his anger wasn't directed at me, I felt like it was. "If that sister of yours ever messes with Kori again, you can be assured, Nathaniel, that I will kill her!" For some reason I had the feeling that Castiel wasn't joking. Nathaniel seemed to know that too, "Well, I wouldn't go as far as kill her, but I understand." Castiel narrowed his grey eyes, probably expecting for Nathaniel to argue and not agreeing with him, then gestured for me to follow him. I waited until he was back out the door before turning to Nathaniel, "Thank you... for everything. You're a great friend." Nathaniel looked uncomfortable with the praise, "If I had been more attentive, this could have been avoided." I shook my head, "No, I was the one who lost the picture, it's my fault. Um... I guess I'll see you tomorrow or something." Nathaniel nodded and turned back to his paperwork. Unlike the first time I had met him, I wasn't disappointed that he was avoiding my gaze.
Castiel was leaning against the wall outside the Student Council room, glaring at one of the comics that had been laying around still. When he saw me he crumbling the thing up and tossed it into a trashcan, "Ready?" He asked. I nodded and followed my brother to his car. Once we were settled in his little red muscle car, Castiel turned to me, "Are you okay?" He asked softly, his grey eyes oddly concerned. I opened my mouth to assure him when I hesintated. Was I really okay? Even though I had acted happy in the Student Council room with Nathaniel, I had this hard knot in the pit of my stomach that refused to go away. I shrugged, "I'll let you know when I am." I said and my brother thought a moment before saying, "Okay, today is all about you. Whatever you want to do." I could help but smile. The thought that Castiel was going to sacrifice his day to make me happy again was sweet.
"Ice cream?" I ventured and Castiel nodded, his trademark smirk sliding up on his face. "Ice cream it is." He started the car and peeled out of the parking lot like lightning. I couldn't help but laugh, it was like Castiel couldn't wait to get away from the school before they caught him and shoved him in a classroom.
I couldn't help giving Castiel a brotherly moment!
Friendly of the Flames.