Ah, yes, another misadventure of Anatole forgetting that he likes Natasha. I took a long break from writing this, mostly because I began to think, "Hmm, this seems like literally every Wattpad AU ever." But then I realized that bringing a ship to a familiar situation could probably make the two more relatable and understandable, which is why so many people choose to write school AUs. Plus, I think doing a school AU is okay as long as there's actually a real reason for it to be a school AU in particular.
Also, I don't like to view this as a good girl x bad boy scenario, I see it as more of a reasonable, reserved girl x extroverted, mischievous boy. Sort of like Tiana and Naveen from Disney's The Princess and the Frog. They sort of balance each other out. So I guess not like every Wattpad AU..?
(Countess, please don't be mad at me for taking so long, I stopped focusing on this and I don't know why. ;-;)
Okay, enough of that.
Anatole looked at Dolokhov in utter astonishment.
"S-Sonya? Sonya Rostova?"
Dolokhov nodded. "Yeah. Rumor has it that she's a really good student to cheat off of in quizzes, and that she has never cheated a day in her life. Good enough, eh?"
"Dolokhov, I don't think she even likes me," Anatole said negatively. "She does not speak to me as others do."
"Well, she keeps to herself most of the time. Only really talks to Natasha, and Miss Dmytrievna, for whatever reason. Think she talks to Mary Bolkonsky, too." Dolokhov side glanced at his hand, which was flat on the floor, grinning. "Perhaps if you get her to like you, she'll help you. Also, what makes you think she doesn't like you just because she doesn't talk to you? From what I have seen, she's a bit . . . reserved."
Anatole sighed. "It's not that. She's looked at me before. She gives me a blank stare, and sweeps past me when I try to talk to her."
"Anatole, women love friendly and approachable men. Appear approachable (to her standards), be friendly, and just maybe—"
The blond tapped his chin with a considerate smirk. Maybe what Dolokhov was saying could work if he did everything right. Look approachable, be Sonya's friend, and boom, a nice school year with extra help. How could it fail? It had never failed him with charming girls in the past.
"You're right. You're right. I must display a sensible exterior, bold, agreeable!" Anatole smiled confidently, shooting up from the dirty bathroom tile. "Back to class, we go."
"Um, Anatole," Dololhov frowned, clasping his friend's arm, "class is over in fifteen minutes. We should probably wait it out."
"Sonya, have you seen my belly-length necklace?"
Natasha scrambled through a small bag for her item of interest by the girls' bathroom sink, her neat hair bun beginning to frizz. "I can't find it."
"You left it in the smallest pocket of your backpack, Natasha," came a lower, subdued voice from inside a stall.
"Oh, right. Guess I'll have to pick that up soon." Natasha took a mascara brush and swept it over her long eyelashes. Her lips were plump and well-shaped, much like her effeminate torso and broad shoulders. She had beautiful dark skin, and what most called a "most charming smile." Natasha was quite proud of her smile and the fact that she successfully charmed most, it was practically a gift to her. "I should keep track of where I leave things . . ."
A loud, crashing sound of water like ocean waves resounded from the stall, and the door swung open, Sonya stepping out. Unlike Natasha, Sonya had a humbler exterior, a simple white sweater over black leggings. Despite being older, Sonya was a little shorter than Natasha and behaved sheepishly sometimes.
"Natasha, ready for English—"
"WAIT! I haven't applied my blush yet."
Sonya chuckled silently and leaned against the white wall beside the door. Natasha came prancing after a minute later, and they assimilated into a bustling crowd in the hallway. Each day, they found it hard to keep up with each other, since Sonya was always in a rush to get to class, and Natasha was easily distracted by her friends huddling in groups by the lockers.
Thankfully, today wasn't as difficult, and they got to class relatively quickly. The girls settled in their seats and prepared for an egregiously boring lesson. Not to their surprise, the lesson was boring, to the point where almost everyone in the class thought watching paint dry would be more fun and productive than being in the English classroom. Even Sonya was yawning a little bit, though she managed to pay attention.
Natasha didn't look good after emerging from the class door like a braindead zombie. She was exponentially more bored than Sonya, especially since she was considered to have a shorter attention span.
"Sonya, do you understand what that was about?" Natasha asked, scratching the back of her head.
"We were analyzing a persuasive essay, Natasha," Sonya chuckled, raising an eyebrow at her cousin's confusion.
"Ah. Yes. That."
The two girls had to go down a level in order to reach their final classes of the day, which they had separately. Sonya had French, and Natasha had Biology. They parted ways and went on their ways to their respective classes.
But before Sonya could reach the hall of her fifth period . . .
"Oh, hello, Dolokhov," Sonya greeted with a polite smile. She adjusted the collar of her sweater, but her smile instantly subsided into a straight face. "And . . . Anatole."
Anatole peered out from behind Dolokhov and grinned nervously at Sonya, waving.
"Anatole, aren't you going to ask?" Dolokhov frowned, turning to his friend. In turn, Anatole seemed to shrink away.
Dolokhov sighed. "Sonya, I know you might have some . . . issues with Anatole, but he would like to politely ask if you could tutor him in French."
"Tutor him?" Sonya suddenly became uncomfortable with the idea that she was basically being asked to spend a lot of time with Anatole, a prominent trouble-maker, trying to teach him. She'd had him in her French 2 class the previous year, in their sophomore year, and she knew how much he hated paying attention, or at least, how much he didn't.
"Yes," Anatole said suddenly, standing straight. "I have tried my best to pay full attention to Mr. Bolkonsky's lessons, but I seem to learn nothing."
Well, Sonya was never one to be rude. She couldn't just turn him down, no matter how skeptical she was about this.
She sighed, closing her eyes briefly, before answering, "I will tutor you. But I have a couple conditions."
"Anything you wish," Anatole responded with a smirk.
"I will tutor you at most twice a week. Seems suitable enough for me, and would seem like a flexible schedule for anyone. I only have time for hour-long tutor sessions each day, since I'm not sure my godmother will be too happy seeing me with a boy. And, the biggest condition . . ."
"You have to pay full attention at all times."
Anatole blushed for a second, then looked back to Sonya and nodded. "Of course."
"Are you sure you can follow through with these conditions?" Sonya pressed.
"Yes, I can," sighed Anatole."
"Good. Any particular days you'd like to be tutored on?"
"Hmm . . . Monday and Thursday."
"Alright. We'll begin next week."
Without warning, Anatole reached out for Sonya's hand.
"Huh?" Sonya tried pulling her hand away, but Anatole instead grabbed it and shook it.
"Thank you so much," he beamed, his blue eyes twinkling.
"Um . . . you're welcome, I suppose." Sonya retracted her hand and she grinned mildly. "After school on Monday, we can meet in the commons and discuss where to hold tutoring sessions."
Anatole nodded in agreement. He was enthusiastic to be working with one of the most well-mannered, intelligent girls in his grade, but Sonya, on the other hand, was unsure if she wanted to spend so much time around him.