And that’s how fifteen people ended up in detention for the rest of the day.
The girls voiced their understanding, a wave of ah’s that circled and became bitter glares towards a certain pixie. Still perched on Francis’ shoulder. She was still smiling, so smug, her legs crossed and waving as she teetered on his shoulder. Olen and the others, though enjoyed the show, were not as enthused to be a part of the rabble. “We weren’t a part of it,” they argued. “This was all because of Francis.”
“First off, no,” Francis interjected. They were all crammed into Lilith’s office, after the nurses tended to the “injured”. Compared to what Francis did on his first day, they were but “boo-boos”. “I am NOT taking the fall for this.”
“But if you weren’t there-” Ben began.
“I didn’t WANT to be there. You all forced me to. Mordred quite literally carried me off. My knight in shining armor.” He huffed, and hooked a finger to his parrot. “Second, it’s all this little devil’s fault. She told everyone a half-truth which roused them all into a fluster. All it took from there was but a single spark to ignite that powder keg.”
“A half-truth?” Cassidy said, muffled by the ice bag against her cheek.
“Wha do you mea?” Mandy added, her own mouth filled with cotton. Stained red.
“I’ll explain when we’re in detention. I take it that’s where we’re going?”
“Indeed,” Lilith said. “None of you will face further discipline save for Ali since she instigated all of this. She’ll be out for the rest of the week.”
“Understandable,” Ali said, and clucked her tongue as she dug her heels into Francis’ shoulder. “Come on, then. Let’s go back to our special place.”
“Your special place?” The other seven exclaimed. And Lilith groan.
“Are you trying for another week?”
“What can I say? I’m a gambler.”
Francis groaned, as well, and wheeled toward the door. Making the pixie squeak. She wobbled on his arm... but found her balance as he thundered through and to the detention room. There were two others already there, and, despite their begging, the dear gnoll and imp would simply have to survive their exposure to the drachen. It wasn’t like Professor Porter wanted to be there, either. In fact, she wasn’t there at all once everyone was inside. The asylum was now run by the inmates. Luckily, these inmates wanted nothing more than to tear apart a certain pixie. Specifically, the one on his shoulder, and even more as Francis told them the actual, whole truth. By the time he finished his story, they were all healed –save for a feather or a plume missing from the harpies.
He sighed, and hit his head against the wall, shaking it.
“Besides, I don’t see why you all got so upset,” he said. “Seriously! It’s a dick. You can quite literally pull out your phone, type in penis, and get an entire gallery of them.”
“But none of them are your dick,” Desiree said, licking her lips again. “Your long, hard, extra thick-”
“What does it matter!”
“Because we’ll be dating and I want to see it then-” Cassidy began.
“What does it matter!”
“It really doesn’t, but that fucking swirl was holding it over our heads,” Mandy exclaimed.
“I hate repeating myself so much, but what. The fuck. Does it matter! Every single one of you will have a chance to see it!”
“What!” The harpies exclaimed. Which made the wolves exclaim... Then the naga.
“Do I look like the type to settle? I’ll fuck every single one of you. Hell, I’ll fuck every single girl in this school. I don’t give a fuck about who I fuck. So what if she was the first one to see? There’s a goblin granny nanny at home right now that uses me as her personal B.O.B.”
“Oh, so that’s what she meant,” Ali said.
“Yeah, and then there were the swathes of women before I got here. As long as it has some form of pulse, is human-shaped, and a puss, I’ll drill it. So I ask again: What was the point of getting so angry?”
“Again, because that candy swirl was holding it over us,” Victoria said, growling, glowering at the pixie. Her fingers cracked, and Francis saw a glint of light streak along their pointed edges, matching the steely glint in her brown eyes. “Even now she’s lording over us all by sitting on you.”
“This isn’t some Asian harem fantasy anime bullshit, you know? This is real life!”
“It depends on which anime you’re talking about,” one of the other two of the wolf pack mumbled.
“You! What’s your name?”
“Okay, Luna... Shut up. Only nerds care ‘which anime’. It’s all anime, and it’s all trash.”
“Whoa, hey! Let’s not go too far,” Ben said.
“You’re right. I’m sorry... Still. This was bullshit. This shouldn’t have happened. If you want it so bad-”
“You can pay right now to see it,” Ali declared, and swooped off his shoulder. She tore down the curtains from the other side of the room, which Francis only noticed. He thought they were a part of the dark wall, but they were used to block out the coming dawn. Now, though, their bar was bent to fit his waist and struck into the wall he leaned against. She swooped in real quick and dropped his pants, exposing his member behind the shroud before she returned to his shoulder. “We’ll start the bidding at fifty.”
“Ali? What are y-”
“You’ll get half,” she whispered into his ear.
“-ou doing starting that low! I’m worth at least a hundred starting.”
“You’re right. I was being generous.”
“Well, for you lovely ladies, we’ll start it at fifty.”
“Wait,” the gnoll chided in at last. “If you are as easy as you say-”
“Seventy-five!” Mandy declared, pulling out a wad of fives.
“I think you guys should listen to Lisa on t-” the imp began, unheard as Cassidy gave her amount.
“Eighty-five,” Desiree exclaimed.
“One-hundred,” Victoria said. Making Mandy growl.
“You dare?” The alpha barked.
“It’s for all of us, Mandy. Chill.”
“Then we should combine,” the other wolf, the one Francis was not privvy to yet, and pulled out her own wad of money. “If we do, there’s no way-”
“Three-hundred,” … Mordred said, holding three one-hundred bills.
“Hah. Gay,” Olen said.
“Mordred... why?” Francis said.
“To deny them,” Mordred said- and Francis could have sworn he heard a bit of glibness in that monotone from Hell, Itself.
“Oh, you are an ass-” Mandy shrieked, lost under the harpies’ outburst.
“Five-hundred!” They all cried at once. Melanie giggled, and shot the wolf pack a dirty look. “If you guys can do it, so can we.”
“Fine. You want to play at this game... Seven-fifty!”
“A thousand,” Ben declared, slapping his five and Olen’s two in with Mordred’s.
“This is too good to pass up,” the slime declared... but all went silent as Desiree gave the greatest, and final, offer.
“Five. Fucking. Thousand,” she said, and slapped down a check onto the desks... She cleared her throat and picked it back up, slithering over to Francis and Ali. Her breathing grew faster as she did, her face redder as she drew closer to that black curtain, and her hands shook something fierce as she handed it to Ali. “Go ahead and check. It’s good.”
Ali hummed, and pulled out her phone from inside her dress, taking a picture of it. Her heels tapped into Francis’ shoulder, head tilting, matching the beat and her song... and tittered as she ripped the check in half.
“Yup. It was good,” she said, and leaned and pressed against Francis’s ear. “There’s an ATM in town. Once we leave here, I’ll make sure to give you half.” She pushed away, and jumped down, gesturing to the lamia to see what was behind the curtain. “It’s all yours, Desiree.”
The lamia’s eyes glittered, and Francis could hear her tongue slurp at her lips as she dove behind. Everyone heard her coo... then the soft lap. Francis gasped, and looked down.
“H-hey! No one said you could sample,” he said.
“I paid five thousand. I’m getting my money’s worth,” she declared- and cried out as she was wrenched back. By Ali, all on her own.
“Nope. You paid for the privilege to see it,” she stated. “You want more? You have to pay for it.”
The lamia hissed, and spun on the pixie, her scales rattling.
“You persnickety little bitch!” She cried. “Why must you get in the way of true love?”
“‘True love’? You’re joking, right?”
“No! He and I were meant to be. Don’t you see? We match each other’s lewdness.”
“Uh, honey, you have no idea how lewd I really am,” Francis said... and regretted his choice of words.
“You hear that? He called me honey,” she said, cooing, and looked over her shoulder at him. “Give me a moment, sweetie. I need to take out the trash.”
Mandy growled, stepping forth. As did her wolf pack.
“As much as I hate to side with the little bitch, you have some nerve,” she said. “You just met the guy yesterday and are saying he’s your ‘true love’? How desperate can you be? You’re making the harpies look sane and rational!”
“It’s just how lamia are,” Luna said. “The original tale wasn’t wrong. Once they have their eyes on someone, they ‘know’ it to be ‘true’.”
“How dare you!” Desiree shrieked. “That story was a huge fucking lie. And how dare you compare me to those bird brains.”
“To be fair, Des, you had no reason to be here,” Francis said. “You didn’t have to jump in.”
“And let them prove their love without a real fight? Fat fucking chance.”
“You wouldn’t know love if it came up and bit you on your tight ass,” Cassidy exclaimed, squawking with the others in her gaggle.
“You think I have a tight ass?”
“Well, yeah, it’s very nice.”
“Thank you. Really, I’m jealous of yours. Just enough give; I bet it makes the men go crazy-”
“Not as much as mine,” Melanie said, giggling. “It’s what drew Francis to me in the first place-”
“No!” Cassidy said, turning on her. “What drew him to you first was that you were near him. That was originally meant to be me, dammit!”
“You chickened out!”
“You dare to call me a chicken, bitch!”
“Who you calling a bitch, slut!”
“This enough of a show for you, Olen?” Francis mumbled, the woman now fighting among themselves.
“You kidding? I feel like a kid in a candy store. Ben?”
“Hells yeah. I’m satisfied.”
“Not a big fan of cat fights, but today has been one heck of an adventure,” Lucas said. “So glad you decided to join us for lunch, Francis.”
“Indeed,” Mordred said... closing the curtain. “Lamia left it open.”
“She did, and not a damn one noticed,” Ali said, giggling as she rested on Francis’ shoulder again. Who groaned.
“Right. I’m going to put an end to this,” he said, and his groan became a roar. The room quaked with it, as it thundered with his foot’s stomp, turning all attention to him, all ire into fear. His sweater ripped apart, exposing the fins on his arm and back, glistening with the fire frothing from his maw. His roar gave way to a guttural growl, looming over all the cowering birds, dogs, and snake. “Enough!”
All of them, even the gnoll and imp, scurried to the other side of the class. They tried to squeeze themselves as tiny as they could, trying to escape that bark... and, just then, the door clicked open. Professor Porter looked in, her green eyes wide behind her half-rim glasses, and saw them pressed against the corner, while the others were around Francis. She stood up from the doorknob, straightened out her black dress, and cleared her throat, trying to sound more confident than her shaking hour-glass figure truly had.
“The day is over,” she said, stumbling over such a simple statement. She backed away- fast as Francis lumbered to the door, with his parrot in tow. Ali dove down a second to straighten his pants as the curtain clattered to the ground then returned. She ducked her head, giggling as she continued to teeter on his shoulder. Mordred, Lucas, Ben, and Ben all followed, laughing and chatting away as everyone else made themselves scarce. Francis didn’t wait for Plank. He didn’t even consider her as he passed her rundown beater, listening to his birdy as she guided him to the apartments and the far left wall. It was blanketed in shadow that morning, the dawn so bright, burning so much into their tired-yet-happy faces, even happier as the machine in that wall chirped and buzzed, giving them fifty-one-hundred dollar bills.
Ali put her card back in her phone’s case, along with twenty of the bills, then gave Francis twenty, splitting the other ten with those who followed.
“You guys picked up well,” Francis said, chuckling. “Sadly, I think this will be the only payout we’re going to see.”
“That’s fine,” Olen said. “It was worth it. Especially that last part. You are one scary mofo when you want to be.”
“I try... Hopefully I didn’t make you rust your armor, Morton.”
“Only a little,” Mordred said- and, once again, that glibness. “Tomorrow?”
“Lunch tomorrow? I don’t think it’s wise. At least, not to make it too common.”
“But if we do, then people will start to understand and maybe like you,” Lucas said.
“And what part of that is a good thing? I like how everything is right now. Why ruin it?”
“Yeah. He gets it,” Ben said, slapping Francis’ shoulder. “We brooding loner types prefer to be left alone. Makes us more mysterious and enticing.”
“You might want to pick a new persona, then,” Ali said. “It’s not working for you... Besides, Francis doesn’t strike me as the ‘loner’ type.”
“Yeah?” Francis said. “What do I strike you as?”
“The pussy who can’t admit his true feelings to himself. Rather, what we ladies call the ‘bad boy’.” She tittered, turned into a yawn as she buzzed off towards the apartments. “Well, guess I won’t see you guys for the rest of the week. Try not to slip and fall into any snatches along the way home, Frankie!”
“What did you call me!” Francis fins were in full bloom, fire on his lips... but he couldn’t find it in him to lunge after the giggling pixie... Not at the moment, at least. It had been a long enough day; compound that with what she said, and he was too drained to really care. He huffed, and wheeled towards the others. “See you guys tomorrow. Hopefully. Depends on how bad Plank chews me out.”
“For what?” Olen said.
“Escaping her for lunch, leaving without her, whatever else she decides to tack on... For not being my girlfriend, she sure loves to act like it.”
“How do you know she’s not?” Lucas said.
“Because she likes little boys.”
“Ew,” they all said. Even Mordred.
“I know, right! Besides, I’d sooner stick my dick into your raspberry-blueberry ass than that stiff bit of wood. No homo.”
“No no. You make a point,” Olen said. “She looks absolutely painful to fuck.”
“Who wants to fuck a stick figure?” Lucas said. “Even I like a nice booty.”
“Like you ever pitch,” Ben mumbled- sneezing as Lucas tickled his nose.
“Just because I give off an innocent demeanor doesn’t mean I can’t rock it when it counts,” the furry stated, and blew a kiss. “Well, ciao everyone. It’s been fun.”
They saluted him as he ran off... with Olen. Ben sneezed again, still wiping his nose, and groaned, pointing back across the street.
“My rides in the parking lot,” he said. “I’ll see you all tomorrow.”
“Yep. Been fun,” Francis said... then shot a look at Mordred. “Well, that leaves the two of us. What do you have in mind?”
“Breakfast,” he said.
“Great. I could use a shield. If you don’t mind eating at my place, of course. I assume you live in the apartments, as well.”
“Fantastic. Let’s go grab some Micky D’s then gobble it down before we both crash.”
They did just that, eating like kings before they even returned to the apartments. And still had three bags apiece. They made base in the living room, Francis talking to the dread presence, every so often getting a one-to-four word response, but it didn’t matter if Mordred answered at all. He said everything with his eyes, and the emotions that stemmed from them. Francis could feel that he was enjoying himself, that he was having a splendid time... and, funny enough, so did the drachen.
Until Penny made herself known, that was.
The door didn’t even last one hit, burned away from the torrent spiraling from her staff, an extension of the flames that roiled off her fists and from her eyes. The entry caught flame, crackling away as she stormed in, yet her glare couldn’t have been colder, boring into Francis... then the bags on the table. And the shade across.
“Howdy,” Francis said, and offered one to her. “We were wondering when you’d get here.”
“Y...y-you...” She spluttered out... and scoffed as she snatched the bag out of his hand. The fires sputtered and squelched themselves... if only the same were true for the ones in the entry. Her eye twitched, tears rising along their rim, the emotions in the so conflicted, even more as she looked up at him again. “W-”
“Let’s just say I had a big payout today. I wanted it to be a surprise.”
“A s...” She growled, then spun on her heels, facing that crackling fury. She waved her hand at it, a quick, clean swipe... and it was all gone. Plank turned again, and lumbered into the empty couch, plopping onto it. “Thank you.”
“Don’t mention it... It was all paid for with dick money.”
She spat out her bagel, glaring at him as he cackled.