Red Dragon

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Red Line; Yellow Tape (The Fangs' Return)

The rest of the day went smooth enough. With a full belly, Francis found it even harder to stay up, but he held on as best he could. To what end, though, was the question. He couldn’t even really see the front of the classroom let alone his notebook. Johnny, in his kindness, sat with him at the booth for study and extracurriculars and helped him with them, thankfully. He even gave summaries of the lessons from the morning, the notes he put down for him succinct yet perfect. For Francis... As much as he disapproved of people probing his mind, when they are your teacher, it pays off.

He finished the final part just as Plank returned. As well as Lilith... Francis was almost in a bright mood, almost out of his stupor, but seeing that succubus AND wizard together... He wished he stayed asleep. A short rider later, at his apartment, he got his wish, and slept more sound than a stone until Penny hammered on his door again. Now, if only he made it further than the entry initially.

His back popped as he stood, his front aching from slamming into that tiled floor, cracked where his chin smashed. Some of the cracked tile sprinkled down, shaken free from between those jagged ends, and he growled as he spun, throwing the door wide.

“Dorothy,” he exclaimed. “Look, I don’t know what happened to Toto, okay? We went out to drinks, one thing lead to another- she was a hot thing! She loved little pooches, so I let her borrow Toto a moment- the sex was worth whatever you have in mind. I’ll gladly go back to Oz for that.”

“...What?” Penny said, shaking her head. “This dress isn’t a reference to that, dumbass. Look! I don’t have a che-”

“I don’t care. I really... really don’t.” He yawned... and winced as his teeth screamed at him. “It has been a few days since I brushed them-”

“Uh, ew!”

“I wasn’t home for a few days.”

“Still ew.”

“Well, give me a moment to go get pretty and take care of it.”

“Pretty? You mean less ugly.”

“I mean pretty compared to you.” He started towards the living room... before stopping. He took a few, slumping steps back, and sidled into the kitchen, the table his destination. The bag was still there, and he wanted to wear something other than the muumuu and this four-day old apparel. He swung it over his shoulder- smiling a bit when he heard Plank squeak behind. “You really shouldn’t have been so close behind me. Can you climb out of my ass for, like, five minutes?”

“That’s all the time we have... I was running a bit late this morning.”

“Why? Did you see a preschooler out your window?”

“I don’t like them THAT young... but I did see one of the younger students. Roy. A sweet... innocent... naive little birdman.” She sighed, far to wistful for what Francis knew what she truly had in mind. The very air around her warmed yet chilled the sweat on his back, the hairs on his nape standing on end, feeling the glint in her eyes. “He’s trying to get with someone in my class, a harpy everyone simply calls Mel-”

“Really? I groped the ass of a harpy named Mel on Friday.”

“Yes. Everyone knows. Especially Roy... He wants to kick your ass for, as he put it, ‘defiling such a pure, innocent woman’-”

“Simp. He has simp written all over him. If she truly had a problem with it, she would have reported it. Did she?”

“No. In fact, she was quite giddy about it in the hallway yesterday.”

He barked a laugh, and sidled passed her out of the kitchen again. And she followed... He sighed- turned to a yawn- a growl, his fins pulsing and crackling.

“Look. Unless you are planning to join me in the shower, I suggest you stay out there- in the living room.”

“I simply want to emphasize that we are in a hurry. You don’t have long to bathe-”

“I have as long as needed. It takes me five minutes alone to scrub my dick, and that’s when I’m not horny.”

“We don’t even have that.”

“Are we going to have time for breakfast?”

“Obviously-”

“Then you have enough time! We were going to wait in line anyways, so what difference does a few minutes make now.”

He slammed the bathroom door on her face, and slung the bag onto the sink... and realized he told several lies that morning. The largest being he hadn’t brushed his teeth in four days... Rather, it had been three weeks since IT WAS IN THE BLOODY BAG. He took a moment to gander at his teeth, at how... they didn’t change one bit. Regeneration was such a blessing.

Still. He needed to brush. They might repair, but they still hurt when he didn’t... and it was one of the things his father always enforced.

“You don’t want teeth like mine, Frankie,” he heard his father say, pulling out his dentures as he did. “We don’t have the best genetics for them, so be sure to treasure each one like a fine gem.”

You didn’t have the best genetics, he thought... regretting it. It wasn’t his father’s fault. He really didn’t know... Anything, at that. He was completely blind to the World Francis was now in, his mother, his “lover” keen on far more secrets than he would ever be privvy to... and he died for it. He died for his ignorance... for Francis’... “enlightenment”.

So he brushed them. He flossed them. He polished those gemstones until they were sparkling, then finally took his shower. Timed the entire time. Who needed a clock when Plank served as such a fine replacement? She knocked on the door every minute, growing louder, harder with each increment of five. By the time he toweled off, there was a hole in the door, cracks sent through the entirety as her fingers clawed towards the handle, wrapped in blue fire.

He opened the door, wearing a pair of black sweat pants and a blue button-down, shaking his head at her as she followed through.

“You really are impatient,” he stated, running his comb through his shaggy hair. “Worse than Eve... I’m going shoeless today, so that’ll save us a minute.”

“Like it matters. We’re skipping breakfast altogether.”

“Good to know.” He inched by her and hurried out into the kitchen, throwing open the freezer –and the fairies followed through. He wondered if he was simply mad for trying to talk to an empty room, but there it was. Pizza on mini bagels. He returned to the entry, grabbed his wallet off the floor, and pulled out a fiver, placing it on the table as he took out one box of them. He chortled as he turned around, seeing Plank there, her eye twitching... yearning for those mini pizzas. “What?”

“Y...you’re gonna share, right?”

Francis... shrugged. He ripped the box away from the “heating tray” inside, the twenty-four little bagels skittering inside the bag- also ripped away and tossed out over the walkway as he plodded towards the stairs. He stopped a moment, turned his head to the right, looking over that walkway, and “blew” upon the tray, encasing it all in grand flames. It was a longer breath than the hot dogs, than the pizzas before; he almost went light-headed for how long it took, but, as the last flame left his lips, he could hear those lovely little bagels hissing and popping. When he lowered it, he saw they were all golden, toasty, but with just enough bark.

The smell tantalized both of them as they skipped down to the car. Worse as she tried to start it. He popped one in, crunching away as she grumbled and fought with it so much. She shot him dirty looks... lustful looks as it drifted down to those bagels, but it was always kept just out of reach. Just like the car and igniting.

“Again, it’d be a lot faster just to walk,” he said, muffled by three of them, all popped at once.

“Will you shut it?” She grumbled- and squealed as the engine finally turned over. “There we are... Now give me one!”

“Say please.”

“I’ll fuck you up! Don’t test me.”

“That sounded like a please.” She already lashed out, though, wrenching three of them off of the tray. Not her best move. She whimpered and yipped as she juggled them between her hands, the cheese that caked to the first hissing away... but... she managed to pop one, and now Francis knew what kind of sounds to expect when he was getting head from her. “Like ’em that much, huh?”

“I haven’t had them since the sixth grade,” she whined, moaning as she had to put the car in reverse and actually start towards the school... which only made her whine more. “We’re going to be so fucking late!”

“What? We’re still ten minutes early-”

“YOU ARE. YOU! I’m a teacher; not only am I late in starting class, but I’m unfuckingbelievably late to start putting up today’s notes.”

“That sounds very much like a you-problem. You could have gone without me, but you are hellbent to follow through with Eve’s wishes... Or are you just that lonely that you count me as a friend?”

That made her laugh. “You? A friend? Fuck no! I can’t imagine anyone ever calling you a fri... Sorry. That was-”

“It’s okay. It’s understandable. And it’s for the best. Anyone I actually grow close to suffers in the end, so-”

“No! No... Don’t beat yourself up so bad... Look. I rag on you a lot- we rag on each other a lot, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make friends. Look at the Shade yesterday-”

“I’d rather not. In fact, the thought of him being my friend... I really can’t get a read on him, but he’s... he’s creepy.”

“Are you any one to judge on who is cr-”

“You met the guy! He just butted in after you butted in and said not to butt in!”

“And... that made him creepy?”

“Yeah! How dare he give you the same treatment you gave him. That put him on your level.”

… The car shut down. In the parking lot. She grabbed two more off the platter and flung open the door, her suitcase from the back in hand. She was right! She wasn’t Dorothy; from this angle, he could swear the hills were alive with the sound of music... He needed to find some way to send Jeremy a thank you for that. If it wasn’t his obsession with musicals, he would never have had that image in his head. Now that he did, Anne Frankely, he was certainly going to Hell.

Francis sighed, ate the last of the bagels, and climbed out of the car.

Right into a sucker punch.

It wasn’t enough to knock him off his feet- that was the fourth- sixth- ninth punch. The asphalt was warm from the cars that tread it before, the feet that stomped on it, that now flitted across it and before him. He growled, and picked himself up- dodging another wave of fists- but not feet, sweeping his legs- arms- hitting him in the back. Stopping his recovery. He laid, face down, on the concrete again, hearing those Fangers chuckle above him against the roar of blood in his ears.

“I see you’re back,” Francis grumbled, picking himself up again- and his fins caught a live one! Oh, how she shrieked as those pointed tips clenched on her ankle, her blood rolling down his back as she dangled from it. “Did you think those were only for show? Didn’t you learn anything from last time, Marie!”

“That’s Karen, actually,” Tyson said. He stood before Francis, trying to look so tall, so bold and proud compared to the sniveling cowards surrounding them. The only one that looked like she meant to be there at all aside the ignoramus himself was Tiny, looking right irked. At who, though, was the question. Tyson chortled, wiping his hands- before groaning, struck down into the ground under Francis’ foot- only to slide and roll off to the left, instead. He appeared beside Tiny again, far bloodier from far less than Francis was put through, and cleared his throat. “Right. I suppose we lost our moment.”

“Probably.” Francis huffed, and the girl on his back squeaked then yelped, plopping onto the ground behind. She started to right, but whimpered as Francis sat upon her back, crossing his legs. With his right hand clasped on her skull. “I’m not sure if Milk Money there told you, but I already swore. I wasn’t going to kill anybody-”

“I said for you not to hurt anyone,” Tina interjected. “We heard what you did to the harpy-”

“Groped her ass? Got her turned on? Are you saying I can’t even do foreplay? Damn... When we finally do it, you better be biting the pillow, then.”

“You still broke your promise-” Tyson began.

“I didn’t break shit. If this is about you lot, I already told her that you fucking fangers were free game because of shit like this. In fact, I can crush this pasty-ass whore’s skull right now and not give a single fuck.”

“Why don’t you, then? Go ahead. Nobody likes Karen, anyways.”

“If that’s the case why don’t I put her to some use?” He stood, over exaggerated, dramatic. He swept his legs out, pivoted, and slid on the concrete a touch, still holding that fang by the head. And guided her to his. It throbbed in his sweats, pressing against her chin as she tried so hard to recoil from it, her lips puckered in so tight it looked like she had an anus for a face –but, then again, she always did. She was the blond of the group, most of it hacked off save for on the right side, and, somehow, she had enough to tie back into a ponytail. Now wrapped around his knuckles. He reached down and ripped open her already-torn longsleeve blueberry shirt, exposing her dark, bulging tips to the air. “Go on then, Karen. Show you are worth something.”

“Frank-” Tiny said, taking a step towards him- and her face greened. All their faces greened. Her eyes welled with tears, locked on what remained of Karen’s head. Francis didn’t mean to do it, but he warned everyone. Don’t. Call him. Frank... He had no need to hold onto that hair anymore. The rest of the body already dropped, letting the gray matter spill out, so he tossed the scalp down on that crushed grapefruit, spinning to her.

“Her death is on your hands,” he said, his voice far too quiet for its own good. “I know you already heard. Don’t. EVER. Call me that... Welcome back, Tyson. Hope this was all worth it.”

He stomped over Karen’s body, grumbling. He was already running late; there was no one else outside the Academy save for them, and now he was made even later to Johnny’s class. He hoped to make up for the day before, but no... More than likely he was going to be pulled into the office, lectured by the dean, have another day off- THE DAY NICOLE COMES BACK... Thanks, Karen. As always, you are such a wonderful person that doesn’t make anybody’s life Hell –but then, he was the one to make a holocaust joke. It wasn’t like he did Nazi that coming- yeah, he deserved all this. All of it.

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