Fraud Identity XVII –Books and Chaos
DISCLAIMER: I don't own YUIGOH
Days passed by and things in school didn't change much. The rumors were still there. She was still popular. And she was still proving it wrong day by day.
She was currently walking at the campus, bag in her hand, papers pressed across her chest. She turned in a corner and peeked behind the wall, head sliding slowly as she spied the people passing by. After her sudden rise in popularity, she had decided to keep her profile low and avoided people as much as possible. She cautiously selected the corridors to tread, always scanning first who was there, and verifying that a certain someone was non existent. She could no longer roam freely at her school. She always stayed at her building and to those places that were not public infested, similar to where she was walking now.
Actually, this behavior was not really something new to her, for she was kind of introverted before, always blending in the crowd, camping with Mimi at discarded places, shy and avoiding people, perfectly the same behavior with an added twist of hide without seek with the bastard.
However, this setup was not always feasible for classes started to get hectic and pressure her; assignments and research were starting to be given and she had no choice but took the main hallways to reach the labs and library. And right now, she had this one assignment about Physics she needed more research on.
She was walking and finding her way towards the library when she saw a group of girls approaching, appearing like her senior.
They were looking at her in disdain, sneers under their breath. Serenity sighed. Here we go again. She casted her usual smile but they gave her a cold shoulder. She instinctively looked down, avoiding eye contact. They stopped in front of her, their arms crossed up their chest like some kind of superhero posture.
"So… are you the Serenity Wheeler?" The girl at the middle drawled, trying hard to sound sophisticated.
'The?' She mused, weirded out. Should she get alarmed or be proud of that?
She said a weak "Yes", still looking away. This was the method she always used to avoid complications and fights. She might get misinterpreted by just firmly looking at them after her war-freak reputation. She heard them laughed, probably finding her reaction amusing. She felt cold, somehow being reminded the same reaction from a certain bastard.
"Can I ask you something Ms. Serenity Wheeler," The leader of the group said, her words polite but sounded not.
She raised her eyebrow derisively and narrowed her eyes, face contorted to say the incoming words. "Is it true that you are together with Seto Kaiba?"
Hearing his name tinged her senses. She looked up to them, eyes serious. "No I'm not," She uttered boldly, holding her stare. "I'm not associated with him any way now. If you excuse me please." She added and then bowed, gesturing to step away. She didn't want to talk about this any longer. She didn't like the direction of the conversation and cut it short. Not to stare rule was forgotten, cannot seem to help it when that person was involved.
"Wait I'm not finish." The girl held her arms harshly, looking irritated. She looked back and frowned.
"So you mean, you already broke off?" She asked, digging more of the issue. "Or are the rumors true and he really did dump you?" She went on, getting sarcastic every second.
Serenity's jaw tightened. She of course knew the rumor and heard it every time, but the way she said it so mockingly and her hand clasping hers firmly rang a sense of irritation to her. She jerked her arm to free it and said in a dark voice, "Think whatever you want."
They scoffed at her. "So it's true then." She said, tone becoming lively suddenly. Her followers nodded and smiled in unison. Did they all come here to bother her just to confirm the rumor? They were all seemed satisfied with her vague answer; there was no need to correct them, dump or get played, the bottom line was the same – she got fooled. Explaining it to them in detail was nonsensical as every bit of it already deserved to be forgotten.
They were all smiling like there was a reason to celebrate.
"I told you it's true."
"We got worried for nothing."
"Let's go. Our business here is over." The leader said cheerfully. The rest followed obediently and walked away, still pacing as a group. Once the leader girl stood side by side with her, she stopped and the rest imitated. "Stay away from Seto Kaiba. He's mine." She threatened and smirked.
"You tell him that." Serenity said weakly, without thinking.
The girl scowled, barely hearing her answer. "What did you say?"
'He's all yours. Please tie him up, locked him in your closet and make sure he won't bother me again' She thought rudely, keeping it to herself as she just shook her head and said, "No, no, it's nothing." She plastered a fake smile and shrugged her shoulder "Have a nice day!" She added scornfully.
The girl grunted and then shoved her shoulder as she walked past her. Serenity looked back and followed them though her gaze as they faded from her view.
She looked at their backs seriously, deeply thinking. Girls like them still hated her. No matter how much politeness she displayed, they still hated and bullied her just like now. She heaved a heavy sigh, regaining her composure. 'This is not easy.' She said to herself as she thought how she hardly tolerated their harassment.
It was really not easy to change people's impression once they fixed their mind to your negative gossip. But hard as the effort was, she was getting by. She was still here, attending the school, moving on, so looking forward for the future, but still running away.
She cannot seem to detach that in her life. If she would describe herself in one word, she would use that term: Serenity, the runner. So perfect.
Those girls reminded her again of her recent encounter to that bastard few days ago. She had almost lost herself by a hairline at that time. She had no idea what would have happened if she gave in to her emotion. She shook her head and finally continued her walking.
No Serenity, don't ever think of that possibility. Here she was, living happily to her own world already. Though there were little problems to fix like the ongoing rumors and bullying, still it was fixable. But for her to ever think of 'what could have happened' if she wasn't able to control herself sent her shivers, like trying to peek at a dark boiler room and glimpse an unknown entity locked inside.
She shuddered from simply imagining it. She stopped her walking and frowned. Forget that incident Serenity and as much as possible, heaven forbid, if that bastard confronted her again, please stick to her mind to never ever look at him again in the eye.
'Uh ah, no,' she said to herself, preventing her mind to show her his arrogant eyes as she thought of. 'Don't even think about remembering his face Serenity. You just said it a few seconds ago.'
She then turned around, forgetting the two incidents and diverted her attention - the sky was blue; the breeze was cool; the weather was nice. 'Oh today is good.' She smiled and then continued walking.
"Hey watch out," Seto uttered coldly, stepping back, as a group of boys ran playfully across him.
They stopped and then released a faint gasp, face scrunched up with surprise when they saw him. He stifled a snort at their reaction, one eyebrow raised. The boys looked away shyly and mumbled a weak, "We're sorry," head slacked down apologetically, and then scurried to walk away.
He chuckled under his breath, and icily said, "That's right. Know your place idiots."
He smirked and ran a hand over his hair, recovering his stance. He has already spent fifteen minutes of his time strolling around the school, eyes straining and searching for a certain auburn hair girl.
He attended the school today, part of his maximum three days in a week curriculum he set upon himself. Three days was already a big leap from last year's once a week or worse to attend only during midterms and exams. He had decided this increase, driven by the scarcity of someone he was looking forward since the end of summer.
Rumors were still flying around, preventing himself for any drastic action or direct confrontation, and could only settle for subtle encounters like last time or observing her from afar. But a week had passed after that hallway encounter, he didn't see her again. It was true that he only just attended thrice a week, but a single day of that is made of long seven hours and hour of break. They were just staying at the same school and only separated by a building, but still, a mere shadow, figure in a distance, a voice from afar, there was none.
'That girl is fucking elusive.' He pressed his lips, forming a grimace. If he was really desperate, he could actually invade her building and classroom, or worse, he could follow his schoolmate, sworn enemy, Joey Wheeler and for sure by end of the day he would definitely see her. He exhaled heavily at the thought.
He was not that desperate, just annoyed.
The first one was more acceptable but would cause more trouble to her though, and that would not make him feel any better. He had no choice then but to look at her, from a distance, or wherever, it didn't matter, as long as he get, whatever this hangover was, over and done with. Thoughts, memory, visions, hallucinations, you name it, still bothered him daily. Like he had acquired a cancer, giving him these attacks, and seeing her was the only remedy, thus he was here, salving that ache by foolishly looking for her.
He was currently standing at the main campus, head whipping left and right. "Damn! This is pathetic." He cursed gruffly and then gritted his teeth. His growing frustration held him in place, pulling him to focus on the scenes before him outside his subject.
He twitched his eye as he noticed that once again he made himself the center of the school's universe. Almost everyone was eyeing at him curiously. Girls were standing in groups, pulling each other playfully and hesitantly, like daring each other to approach him.
"Go talk to him."
"No, you first. I'm shy."
His grimace was sticking to him, as he realized the buzz he already created by only walking and standing in few minutes.
"I never saw him in this school before."
"Yeah. He attends here more frequently now. Lucky!"
"He's definitely more handsome in person."
"I so agree sister."
He looked at the other side and saw a group of trench-coat boys waving at him, bobbing their head weirdly and stupidly, and acknowledging his presence like they were his best buddies.
"What's up man?"
Seto held his tongue to prevent himself saying some insult. It was not worth it. He couldn't believe he flaunted himself this long, when in his own Office, where he was the official director, he never even exposed himself more than five minutes in the lobby. But here he was, oddly taking a stroll in the school like it was some new found hobby.
This is why he hated going to school. He hated this unwanted attention and idiocy of everyone. But he had no choice for he is a Kaiba, and for that name he would tolerate anything. He has the power, richness, fame. He can do anything. He can get anything.
But he couldn't even find a certain elusive girl being his subject. He sat tiredly at the bench behind, energy seemed drained out. Everyone was still looking at him like he was the school's new spectacle but he just ignored it deliberately, thoughts brooding back to his failed quest. He knotted his hands together, propped it above his knee and jutted his chin. Things are not looking good for him. He didn't even know what he was exactly doing wandering this school like a lost puppy in search for-
He stopped his thoughts as he saw a shadow hovering on the posts at the distant, looked like hopping from post to post. 'What the fuck is that?'
He focused his eye, staring at the next post, waiting for any strange movement. As clear as that pillar was, he knew that something or rather someone had hidden behind it, lurking and spying.
He waited and saw the figure finally moved - auburn haired pacing magnetically called his attention, her hair spread across her face, head bent down like some horror film model and feet scurrying discreetly like a ninja in mission.
She went hastily to a door of the large building where words of 'Library. Please be Quiet' hanging.
His grimace was instantly replaced with a smile, eyes gleaming and fired up. "There you are, you sly girl."
Serenity swung her feet quietly, each step strode inconspicuously as she urgently opened the door and swatted herself fast inside. She got in and leaned behind the door, sighing in relief.
"Nice one Serenity. You got in safe," She said to herself, her body relaxing from all the tedious effort she exerted. The main hallway was the only means to reach the library, hence bumming the crowd—where a certain bastard belonged for being a crowd magnet—was unavoidable. It seemed odd though those hallways were almost empty as she treaded here. They were probably hording in one location, circumstances in favor of her.
And she was now here, destination reached, mission accomplished, great work Serenity. She gathered herself with research questions pressed keenly on her chest and then browsed her area. Oh she badly missed this place – so quiet like a placid lake during summer—her favorite season except this year, thousands of books piled up making her heart beat faster, low profile people, serious, introverted and geek persons like her camped out here like it was their second home. The serenity of it all, like just her name, was enclosed in all four corners, backing her safe and sound.
She sauntered towards the main counter, her posture and pace all back to normal now. She heard whispers and jostle movements like a commotion coming up. She looked at them instantly, feeling nervous, but then they all looked away, discerning that it was not caused by someone else but her. She was being gossiped again even at her favorite place. She smiled shyly at them and some guys winked at her.
'Geez.' She shuddered at the reaction. She should be careful being too friendly especially at the boys as it might easily misinterpreted to flirting. She already heard a new rumor like that—Serenity: new flirtatious girl in town. Great, instead of vanquishing the rumor, it keeps adding up. She hitched her head, shoving the thought away, ceiling in the frustration growing at her reputation. She threw the negative thought away and headed to the center.
"Hi, Good morning," Serenity greeted cheerfully as she placed her elbows casually above the table. An old woman, around early fifty's, wearing rusty glasses, hair curled in faded gray and black looked up to her slowly, eyes bearing her dully. Serenity perceived her reaction and urged herself to continue. "I'm looking at a book about thermodynamics by this author." She handed a piece of paper to her she jotted down from her class and questioned more, "Do you have a copy of it right now? I'll be needing it for my research-"
"Hold on. I'll check with our database," The librarian replied and proceeded to the computer located beside. Serenity nodded and veered her head wonderingly, finger drumming the desk patiently. Only few people were inside, nice. Classes had just started so taking a visit at the library had not yet dawned to everyone. People who are book geeks, anti social, bored and wanted to sleep were seemed the only one filling the place. This was just right for her, the lesser the people the better; she would be alone and undisturbed. She had no company at the moment for Mimi had left her for a date.
Yeah right, it seemed that she was not the only one that had an adventure over the summer. Mimi had met this guy across their neighborhood and they were taking things slow and still under the getting to know you stage. She smiled to herself. She couldn't believe it. Mimi had found a guy; her hyperactive tomboyish friend was now dating, who would have thought.
She was really happy for her. They both had summer flings over summer but at least one of them was heading towards a happy ending for hers already ended tragically. She bit her lip as scowled formed her face. Why was she even thinking about it again? There were other things to focus on.
"Excuse me." The librarian called her attention back. 'Yeah, that's what I'm talking about. Go think of other things. You still have research to work on Serenity,' She reminded herself assertively and turned around and faced her.
"Sorry lady, but the book you are looking for is out right now." Serenity's eyes glazed, lively expression melting. "Oh I see." Her voice brimmed in disappointment.
"Well you can try other authors with the similar topic. They are located at the far right corner over there." She set her palm and moved it idly, showing the direction. Serenity's lips tugged in a wry smile, appreciating the suggestion. "Will do. Thank you." She bowed her head as gratitude and wheeled around. She puffed out a heavy sigh and strode away. That was too bad. She was hoping to get the assignment done but it looked like she needed more effort in finishing her paper by browsing other books. 'Oh well. Better take a look at it as well than do nothing.'
"Um…Far back right. Far back right," She whispered repeatedly, tapping the now folded papers lengthwise to her chin like an unconscious habit. Her eyes strained as it quick scanned the book titles coming her way. She finally reached the corner, glimpsed the desired word 'Physics' and immediately hoisted her feet to stop. "Good. I'm here." She flexed her wrists, readying herself on the effort.
"Let's start this Serenity," She said and pumped her fists together energetically. She began scanning the middle shelf where books were just positioned within eye level, making it for her easier to read. "Um… no, not this one." She brushed her fingers along the book covers, body slowly gliding as she traversed the shelf.
She finished scanning the middle and took a step back to see other books above her height. She squinted and tried to read the side covers but to no afford, texts were too small for her. She then moved forward and tried to grab it.
"Oops," She uttered instinctively as she failed to get hold of it, realizing that it was located out of her arm's reach. She pouted and sighed. Why was the shelves built here so tall; she cannot just relaxed and get things easily.
Left with no choice, she bent her knee and then jumped as she tried to get the desired book out. Her precision wasn't accurate and failed her aim. Her footing staggered, dizziness from the sudden move dragged her weight down.
She winced and straightened her body, extorting her strength, and then lightly patted the sweat forming her forehead. She released a quick sigh, then curved her knee, preparing for another attempt when suddenly a tall figure appeared before her and handed her the book.
Her vision got clouded from the attempted jump, somehow knocking her brain , so she idly grabbed the book, arms reaching out gracefully, and then thanked her savior, "Oh, thank you so much."
"You're welcome." The familiar hoarse tone erupted jolted her idling senses as she immediately looked up and verified the dreaded suspicion.
Her face scrunched up in full worry as she saw the very person she was desperately hiding from. He was smiling at her genuinely, eyes glinting happily, entirely different to her expectation. Her heart automatically leapt, mind still recovering from her fall, thoughts blank, as she lost her grip on the book.
Her mind now boggled, state worsened by his sudden presence and warm look and him calling her again by her first name - saying it so huskily like before, drawing the old sensation out.
So he followed her, subtly like how she had avoided him for days. He first peeked at the door, body still outside, and saw her talking to the lady in the counter, her elbows casually leaning over the table, fingers drumming.
Then he saw her smiled to the curious geek audiences, then went back to talk to the lady, bared a disappointed look then headed away.
Seto took it as his cue and entered. He didn't know exactly what he was doing. He kept telling himself that he would just look at her from afar and satisfy this bugging crave. Just one glance and these bothering thoughts should stop.
Once inside, he never minded the increase whispers and gazes around and sauntered to a corner where she had headed. He kept his gaze on her back lock, and when she began to reach the layers of shelves, he took the one adjacent to where she was. As she glided across the bookshelves with her fingers damping it lightly, he moved with her, his eyes slipping behind the books she was scanning, staring at her so intensely.
Her eyebrows quivered in seriousness. She also kept biting her lower lip when she was thinking deeply. Her eyes contained that spirited and innocence gleam she emitted naturally.
Then she looked up and took a step back. He frowned, 'What is she doing?' She made an awkward jump and stumbled. He choke a gasp, walked towards the end of her corridor, assessing if it was something to get worried about. But it seemed that she looked okay now. He saw her raised her arm like measuring the distance of a big red book above her and then curved her body like attempting another of that awkward jump.
Once he understood her gesture, like her presence calling him, he instinctively paced towards her, without thinking, and then grabbed the red book so easily and handed it. She was patting the sweat on her head when she saw the book being given. The sweat on her face blemished her looks and he had to clench his fist to control himself reaching and wiping it. "Oh, thank you so much."
"You're welcome." He really wanted to paste his normal smirk look but it won't come off.
Now that he was in front of her again, after all those tiring searching and frustrations from failing, he couldn't help himself but be happy about seeing and talking to her like this- really happy that it showed uncontrollably to his face. He saw her look up and he rolled out her name meaningfully, "Hi Serenity." He had really missed saying that.
Serenity's mind was being resurrected. One. Two. Three. Four.
Then it flashed to her again, reminding her that summer was over, revelation done, and thus this heart pumping approach should no longer work on her. It reminded her not to get fooled by that joyous look and sweet talk. Sweet talk? He just called your name, geez, get over it. Fine, that tone he used, which always warmed her before but hated now. She pulled out her thoughts and the reason why every speck of this man's presence disintegrates her life- the fraud and facades they setup, the cold way he revealed he just played her, messing with her heart and leaving her lost and brokenhearted, and his taunting and mockery afterwards.
Like immediately waking up from a dream, she looked away instantly. Recalling the suppressed memories to negate the warm, giddy feeling rose from being caught off guard called forth its exact opposite – the anger and hate smoldered she was barely sealing.
Similar before, she looked down, eyes closed, jaw tightened, her face warping in pain, somehow controlling the surge of emotions. There it was again, the strong emotions, clamoring and excruciating her inside and wanting to burst. Her mind was slowly getting numb, hot flashes building up, so Serenity has to forcedly shake herself and tinge her mind to call a retreat, as in now. Before blackness took over, she moved her feet, wheeling around, and then walked away. She paced, holding solidly her sane thoughts and remaining control.
She tried to close out all her senses to everything else and make the goal of getting away as her sole reason for breathing, but her ears delivered her his laugh as he was still within earshot, stopping her.
She looked away, again. He was here, unusual smile coming off his face, proud of himself that he finally found her, satisfaction and happiness swirling in, and yet, after all that effort and warm greeting, she changed her expression and looked away. He froze, heightened emotions dropping, like being deflated after getting prick unexpectedly. His mind got numb as frustration and irritation crept in. He can't even process any words to utter as his eyes defocus and body stuck on ground. What will he say? He doesn't have plan or any script in mind as he just followed his instinct and satisfied the bothersome craving.
But now that he was here and she looking away again, and his greeting got rejected again, everything doesn't make sense anymore. He seemed lost and confused, and time had stopped for him.
Then she turned around and gestured to walk away. His eyes registered her action and shook his senses back. She was walking out again, and in few seconds now, she will fade and gone like last time, and seeing her again will be another worth of torturous effort. His mind reeled; it doesn't make sense; her actions don't make sense; why was she running away? Why was she not facing him?
Does she have some issues with him, which obviously yes, then why don't she deal with it and confront him about it?
He was doing it now. He has a fucking full of issues with her so he was here and god knows, he doesn't exactly know what's he's doing, but he was dealing it.
Frustrations and confusion boiling up, he raised his ego back, wore his trademark stance, and laugh mockingly.
"Running away again huh?" He said, bearing it cold and stale. He saw her stopped and he angled his head, examining her back, relishing his impact to her.
"That's why people fooled you so easily," He went on, voice hard and thick "You're still a weakling as ever. It probably runs in your family." He hated weaklings, and he hated the fact that he can't get over one out of his head.
His laugh sent her coldness and bristled her skin as it met the hotness swelling in. She had to stop and tried to up her control as it was now slipping, like being sucked up by his cold voice. "Running away again, huh? That's why people fooled you so easily. You're still a weakling as ever. It probably runs in your family"
Running. Fool. Weak. Family.
The words jumbled in her mind and shoved her the essence of what she was doing right now: she was running away after being fooled and acting like a weakling ignoring him, after he used her to hurt her family.
The thought struck her heart like a dagger, grinding her more another truth she was so afraid of…
She was angry.
Everything she was not before, she was now, right at this moment, so she had to let go and release that chain she set upon herself as she turned around and shouted, shrill and faltering, long and echoing, like every vibrato contained the rage compressed inside.
The sound vibrated the still silence, but she completely not minded as she fisted her hands and hitched her shaking body. She casted a strong glare at him, eyes blazing and then lurched forward.
"You," She said low and heavily, voice trembling. "What guts do you have to show your disgusting, arrogant face in front me?!" She sauntered and then pushed him strongly with both her arms, causing him to stagger back.
"Hey-" He croaked out warningly which she ignored deliberately and continued to launch forward, pushing him away violently, shouting at him.
"I hate seeing you here. I hate you coming near me. I hate hearing your voice. I hate seeing that smirk of yours" Her tone was increasing, sharp and in full menace. She then took one step back as if preparing, and then smashed his chest aggressively, pushed him hard with all her effort and good riddance, and then uttered superiorly with full rage, "Get away from me. Get away from here!"
He stared at her with wide eyes like being surprised and she held hers fixedly, same wide eyes but in full anger. He blinked, somehow regaining his expression, and then glanced sideward and heaved a sigh.
When he looked back at her again, he was wearing that annoying smirk and cold eyes she had just revealed how much she despised. She gritted her teeth, controlling herself to slap him and wipe off his smug look. She really wanted to say something more and hurt him more, but his recovered calm and cold expression distracted and paused her briefly.
"Ah…" He raised his one eyebrow and flicked his head. "Commanding now are we?" His tone was a mixed of amusement and threat and so was his eyes. "You regained your memory and yet you forgot who are you just talking to." He then took a step closer, cutting the distance even shorter, and narrowed his eyes, giving off a haughty impression. "Do you own this school? Do you fund this school?" He said slowly, stressing every word and pounding it to her, sounding like enjoying stepping down her pride.
She ignored the connotation of it and fixed her glare like it was her sole weapon. "For your information, Ms. Wheeler, I do. So you just can't kick me out and order me around to your liking."
Serenity looked away and released a chuckle under her breath. She shook her head and rolled her eyes like she just couldn't believe the words coming out from him.
She should have known how much arrogance he possessed after all those regretful summer escapades with him and how much saving she did by always apologizing on his behalf, and yet she was too blinded and foolishly in love to actually see it. But she could see it now, crystal clear –this guy's superiority complex was stacked up almost infinitely beyond her belief.
She looked back again and smirked. "You are arrogant this much huh?" She replied solidly like answering a dare. She erected her stance and crossed her arms in front. "Well I don't care even if you own this country or funded the world monetary." She took a step closer and carried the unbending gleam on her eyes. "When I said, get out, get out and stop stalking me!" She said with finality as she raised her arm and poked him repeatedly on his chest.
But he held his ground and asked incredulously, "Stalking you?" She gave him a casual shrug like answering an obvious.
"I don't stalk," He said, sounding like it's a matter of fact. "I follow you just to see you. I can do that freely."
Serenity grunted. "Isn't that same as stalking?"
"No, it's my prerogative. You should be glad that you had my attention. I just don't give it to anyone." He went on instructively as he nonchalantly put his hands on pocket.
She rolled again her eyes in disbelief. She took one breath and exhaled heavily. Then she looked back and swallowed thickly. "Fine. Let's change the vocabulary. In your terms then," She uttered in sardonic undertone, conceding, and then paused and inhaled for the next.
"Why are you following me?" She said it darkly, voice heavy and accusingly, like a lawyer questioning an accused.
"I can't get over you," He said it so easily, and her heart suddenly beat fast.
"What?!" She instantly said, calming the insides reacting on their own.
"I follow you to get it over. You keep on appearing in my head. I can't work normally, so I came here, to see you, get used to you and get it over." He said it casually like this was some kind of chore to be done and get over in a day. Serenity clenched her fist, earnestly controlling to punch his face. She can't believe she got herself nearly fooled again by that line. She should have known better by now.
She pressed hers lips into grimace and glared. "Are you out of your mind?" She couldn't form her thoughts completely. So all this time, this torturous pestering and stalking or following, whatever the word is, was because she was some kind of a toy he wanted to get fed up with? Irritation was creeping again. This guy knew how to hit the right button on her.
"It's your fault. You keep bothering me in my thoughts and appearing in those visions."
'Oh and he still has the face to blame this on me. Ridiculous.'
She jutted her chin and raised her blazing eyes. "I see. You got the wrong person then."
Her eyebrows drew together as she panted heavily, chest heaving, breathing becoming difficult. "Don't' come to me. Go to Psychiatrist then, you Schizo-freak!" She said vehemently and pushed him again.
He snorted, somehow finding her retort amusing and then regained the distance as he forwarded again a step. He looked down on her, eyes glinting maliciously. "You'll be coming with me then," He said dreadfully, sharp.
"All cheerful and smiling to everyone, and yet with me, either you can't stare straight in the eye or scandalously explode angrily, you dual-personality freak!"
Her heart palpitated faster, mind going numb and anger surging back. Anything that comes out from this bastard's mouth makes her crazy and lose control. Her breathing was getting too rough, her insides exploding. She was losing it…
"You…" She raised both her arms and attempted to push him away, but it was to no avail as he was on his guard and expecting her move. He still stood firmly like she had just pushed the wall. She badly wanted to hurt him so she reached for a nearby shelf and grabbed a book and threw it off his chest.
"You jerk. I hate you" She reached for another book and threw it off his face this time. I hate you. I hate you."
"I hate you. I hate you. I hate you"
And she grabbed again and threw it off continuously, mind shutting down, her body moving automatically as she pounded him with books.
He should have seen this coming. He already saw how violently she fought with Releina Fallafox last time at the coffee shop when he just stared at her amusedly, even pitying the assailant as she became the victim at the end, and never crossed in his mind that he would encounter the same state someday in the future.
"Ouch," He yelped as he raised his elbow and blocked her incoming blows. She was continuously throwing the large bind books at him and it was so unfortunate that they were staying at the physics section of all areas where books here were all large and bulky and were now being thrown at him.
"I hate you. I hate you. I hate you," She kept saying like some kind of chant, voice rasp and edgy.
"Hey-calm down" He tried to reach her and grabbed her hand, but every time he will hoist his feet up, a new book will get thrown at his face.
Fuck, this girl is a real tigress. He can't get near at her and bruise was now starting to show up. He gathered himself up, raised both his arms and shielded his face and hastily stepped forward in between of throws and reached for her.
Once a step away, he immediately grabbed both her wrists and locked it together at her front. "Stop that! Calm down," He uttered gruffly, voice rough in pain and irritation.
She kept on wriggling beneath his hold, but at least there were no flying books this time and he could kept her under his frame.
"Get your disgusting hands off me, you jerk, bastard, asshole, demon!" She shrieked and kept on wrestling.
"What?" The names caught him off guard, hearing it coming from her. He had somehow loosened his grip as she was able to crouch and reach again for another book. He grabbed her waist just before she released it. "Enough of that flying books!" Then he carried her body easily and put her above his shoulder like a sack. Serenity's head was hanging down and she relentlessly pounded her fist to his back.
"Let go of me! Don't touch me. I hate you!" She yelled loudly, wriggling against him. He tightened his grip and arched his back, easing the growing pain she kept on releasing.
"Let go. Let go. Let go."
But she kept on wriggling, pounding and scratching his back all at the same time that he had no choice to release his hold and put her down. He instantly reached for her wrist jus before she grabbed those books again, and then pushed her towards the shelf wall and pinned her with his body, with her wrists raised above her head, trapping her.
He twitched his arm while maintaining the force exerted. His arm was aching with scratches and bruises. His face was probably with red smudges already. 'The heck, he's like capturing a wild animal.'
But all was well now. She tried to wrestle but he firmed his body, cropping her any effort useless. She was here, under his tall frame, body trapped and wrists bound. Everything was now under his control. He sighed, panting, exhaustion sprouting, and then looked down at her.
As he raveled her look - her feisty eyes, glaring and smoldering in revulsion, intense hate emitting and directing exclusively at him, and her stature pinned down under him - a knot suddenly formed in his stomach, stopping his breath. 'Shit.'
He awkwardly wriggled her wrists, adjusted his grip as sweat and cold crawled in. He set his jaw, gritted his teeth, squared his shoulder with his breathing become rugged.
He can't believe he was fucking turn on to this. Why was his body reacting to a glare? But he held his bearing and calmed his composure.
"Let go of me, now." She suddenly said, voice raw, after a brief silence.
"And then what?"He said, tone rasp and hoarse. "You're going to throw those books, pound and scratch me again? Uh huh not again."
He squeezed her wrist, hinting his power over the situation. "I won't let you go until you calm down."
"Oh yeah?" She answered, eyebrows raised, voice challenging.
"Let's see…" She inhaled deeply, locking her stare defiantly like saying 'watch me', and then pushed the shelf he was backing her into strongly by her back. He frowned at the sudden gesture, still digesting the action when the shelf suddenly quaked and something hard, dozens of it, hit his body relentlessly. He immediately let go of his grip, stooped down on the floor and use his back as a shield to the falling objects. He next heard a thudding noise hitting the floor continuously, and felt the ground shaking, like the place was breaking down and under demolition. He also heard screams and trill sounds like people were scrambling and panicking. He had no idea what was exactly happening as his mind prioritized first protecting his body than wonder the events transpiring outside.
The falling books finally stopped, but something still hit him.
"You jerk! Go and get fed up with this." He was still crouched on the floor, elbows fastened up across his face as he peeked at space between to see the expected source. There she was again, mindlessly and violently doing her thing again. 'Oh come on.' He shut his eyes painfully and puffed out a long sigh, giving up. And then he heard a long, loud whistle, and the pounding stopped. Right on time, the whistle became his savior.
The long, loud whistle erupting jolted Serenity as her mind came back to her, pulling her senses back. The heat and numbness invaded her head faded, leaving her panting and confused.
She blinked her eye, heaving in lower intervals, as her ears started to get back and delivered her noises and gasps.
"Oh my god"
"Did you see that?"
She immediately turned around and froze.
The place was entirely different to what she remembered. She was still in the library right? Her heart jumped and panicked. The place looked empty and wide, no shelves and books stack up within her section. She looked down and saw exactly what she was looking for – the books and shelves were all fallen chaotically on the floor, scattered in heaps, like it had just survived a quake. As far as she knew, she only pushed one shelf. One shelf. But she's been so stupid not to think that shelves here are placed one meter apart and pushing one would cause a domino effect on everything and destroy everything.
She turned sideways and saw lots of people encircling her area, eyeing at her in disgust like she had committed a serious crime. She strained her thoughts and processed their reactions. And there, at the corner of her eye, she saw her arms, widely stretched and raised, a book clasped by both her hands and seemed ready to throw it off. She whipped her head and looked down immediately, and saw the annoying bastard ducking on the floor. Like a picture perfect shot, she was with this pose when her sanity came back to her, obviously so guilty.
'Oh my gosh!' she thought dreadfully as the book fell off her hands automatically
The reality sank in and left her cold.
"I told you it's true."
"That girl is definitely a war-freak inside. Don't get fooled by her naive look."
Was she getting teleported again to a new, much worse universe? She gulped nervously and closed her eyes, somehow praying that this was just a dream she would wake up soon. But whispers and gossips kept on hissing, and her feet get stuck and eyelids glued, as she knew deep inside that this was reality even how much she denied it. She bit her lip, wishing that someone, please grab her, do some magic and make her vanish, as this shame and disappointment now substituted her dwindling anger, and put her again on spotlight.
That high pitch whistle was still blowing, stinging her eardrum, tingling her skin, and with her eyes closed, it only made her perception jumbled as she felt like she was really not in the library but in sports arena that had just finished a fight.
And then it stopped. The sound finally stopped. She opened her eyes and heard the books below her moved as it seemed the cause of it all began to show his face and joined her embracing the audience. She saw him clambered out of his feet and dusted off his uniform. He took a step and stood with her side by side, so she immediately looked away, and grunted. She had just started gaining her composure back and here comes the annoying trigger again.
"Mr. Kaiba." A familiar voice said, in which she didn't need to look as she recognized it coming from their Guidance Counselor, Mr. Kells.
"And Ms. Wheeler." His tone suddenly changed and became louder with an accusatory undertone. "Please go to my office, Now!" Mr Kells added, anger at the edge, sending chills to her.
Mr. Kells flicked his head and saying something like follow me, so she forcedly swung her feet and paced. The bastard followed her from behind and oddly kept his silence. As she walked out, the buzzing increased and so were the people lingering - piled in heaps like ants clamoring, and looking at them in intense and annoying curiosity.
And this was Serenity's walk of shame. She stooped down her head stiffly, eyes fixed at the ground, avoiding seeing people's reaction as it would only make her feel worse and bad about herself. She forcedly closed her outward senses and instructed her feet to just keep moving, as her insides felt like sulking in one corner, in a cloistered place where no one else exist to bother her.
"Oh my, Mr. Kaiba, are you alright?" A screeching voice said saying a name that shook her back. How could she forgot, that bastard was with her all along. She lifted her head and looked at him. He was walking by her side, with his face straight and full of smug and pride like he was the king of all, no speck of shame, guilt, uneasiness. Even with red marks and cuts spread across his face, he was still able to exhibit arrogance and superiority, propped by his posture and tall frame he carried confidently, hands inserted in his pocket, smirking expression that easily get to her nerves.
Serenity released a heavy breath, felt like fuming again. Oh how she hated his guts. She remembered that he was the reason of every disorder in her life and she was here, shameful and stooping down, while he carried and treated it like it was something normal like a walk in the park.
She raised her head up and casted a glare at him. He somehow felt her stare and looked back, raised his eyebrow and sneered. She grunted and fisted her hands. And suddenly, she didn't feel ashamed at all and just wanted to burst again and add more scratches and red marks to him. She badly wanted to do it but controlled herself and just held that anger as it abnormally boosted her spirit and gave her confidence, totally forgetting the shame and guilt.
"Serenity!" She heard a familiar voice as she saw Mimi ran towards her. Mimi pushed herself across the crowd and reached her. She held her shoulder and shook her lightly. "Oh my gosh, I heard it. Are you okay?"
She looked around, assessing the commotion and looked back, expression carrying worry and panic. "This looks bad."
"Yeah," She said tiredly with a sigh, agreeing. "I lost myself Mimi." Her tone was weak, sounded conceding and remorseful "I shouldn't have exploded in the library."
"But I don't regret it," She instantly said, elaborating, tone becoming hard and assertive.
"I do probably regret doing it there, where I should have done it outside the school, but no I don't regret it," She added, eyes carrying a feisty gleam. Mimi took a second to perceive her look and then nodded.
"Chitchatting in the middle." The bastard voice chided, tingling Serenity's ears. She upped her head and saw him standing a few steps ahead of her now, eyes looking at her in derogatory
"Don't make Mr. Kells wait." He shrugged his shoulder idly and flashed a crooked smile. She responded with the same gesture, daring him.
She whipped back to Mimi and said, "Let's continue this later alright?" Mimi was still showing off a worried look, face contorting like she had something to say but can't form the words. Then she started to pace, not waiting anymore for her response. The bastard still stood fixedly, waiting for her to catch up. She ignored him and looked away and walked ahead. This should be a long walk for her.
Seto raised his wrist and tapped his lower jaw. A pain throbbed and left a drip of blood on his hand. "That woman…" He was leaning on the wall in the guidance office, shoulder slumping and feet splayed composedly. His head was aching, thoughts reeling, but still kept his bearing up and firmed. Mr. Kells was sitting at the table positioned at the center, with two chairs placed both at its side, and with Serenity occupying one.
He just stood at the wall facing her chair, getting a full view of her mood swings. She was there, with her frowning, confused and begging expression switching back to back, her hands fidgeting and lips licking uncomfortably. Her head was bent down a little, and eyes directed on the floor, as she awkwardly waited for Mr. Kells to speak up.
He held his chuckle. She looked like waiting to get sentence and she couldn't get to relax to her seat. It was probably her first time to be in this office and receive some words of wisdom from their famous guidance counselor.
He was still patting his jaw and then Mr. Kells looked at him sympathetically and said, "Are you alright Mr. Kaiba. Do you want to go to the clinic?"
The look he gave him nipped his nerves and drawled his tongue to say something spiteful, but he just shrugged and replied in a lazy tone, "I'm perfectly fine." A dash of scratches here and there and people were already overreacting, and ironically, the woman who caused it all has no taint of guilt and worry, and kept on ignoring his presence.
Mr. Kells bobbed his head and then joined his hands, with elbows dipped on the table, and breathed out a long and heavy sigh. He looked at Serenity, staring at her in few seconds, seemingly thinking what to say and how to say it.
"I can't believe at what happened when I didn't see it myself," He began, expression incredulous. "You caused a disturbance to a library. You stirred noises at supposedly a quiet place. You scattered the books and even wrecked the shelves, unbelievable!" He went on in an increasing disappointment tone, emphasizing the crimes she committed one by one. "I'm so surprised especially this was something caused by you, Ms. Wheeler."
'So am I," He added in his thoughts. He copied his expression and stared at her in playful disappointment and then changed it to amusement.
She finally raised her head up and gulped thickly. "I'm so sorry Mr. Kells," She said, her voice was soft and shaking, like quelling a cry. "I didn't mean to… I-I-it was an acc- oh I'm so sorry. I won't do it again." She staggered, mixing the words, finding a way to defend herself but then gave up. She knotted her sweating hands at front like praying and bit her lips, eyes twitching, face warping in guilt.
His eyebrows drew together, brewing a sense of familiarity. That look of hers he knew – how she always apologize and beg like it was her second persona. He spent his summer with her and always saw that look. He then fixed his stare, intensely observing her.
"Yeah, it was really surprising." Mr. Kells nodded his head repeatedly. Then he looked up to him and back to Serenity with his probing eyes. "I believe this has something to do with your issues last summer huh?" Seto just raised his eyebrow coolly, and Serenity gasped, jaw dropping, mouth twitching like wanting to say something, but was cut by Mr. Kells as he continued. "But whatever it was, please keep it to yourself and don't cause havoc to school's properties," He added formally, sounding professional and yet sensitive.
Seto crossed his arms on his chest and slanted his shoulders, adjusting his back. "No need to worry Mr. Kells," He uttered solidly with his business negotiator tone. "I'll compensate all the damages. " Mr. Kells eyes suddenly lighted.
"I already informed my contact, they'll be here in a while and fix the library." Mr. Kells face split into a wide smile, making him suddenly look moronic with a different expression.
"Oh Thank you so much Mr. Kaiba. What are we going to do without you." He added emphatically, and he smirked back and shifted his gaze to a suddenly silent but moody woman. She was stooping down again, as usual, but her fist was fisted and shoulder heaving. He tried to get her to eye contact but she refused and fixed it to the ground. 'We're back to ignoring now huh.'
Mr. Kells cleared his throat. "If that's the case then I think I know what to do now to your case Ms. Wheeler." She suddenly looked up, concerned and worried. He narrowed his eyes and tapped a hand on his chin, scrutinizing her switching expressions.
"Since this is just your first time, I'll only give you a warning." Her eyes brightened, smile forming up. "But-" And then she froze, as his reply leaving her hanging.
"I'm afraid I have to give you some work after all the chaos you did out there." Mr. Kells informed firmly, back to being formal.
She pressed her lips, eyes fierce, somehow assessing the gravity of his words, and then nodded strongly. "Okay. I understand."
"Good. You'll have to help and fix the library today," He informed instructively and she kept her stare to him and patiently waited for the full order like a soldier. "You can miss the classes for the rest of the day. Come back at the library after the break alright?"
She nodded strongly and looked at Mr. Kells gratefully. "I understand. Thank you so much." His eyes never wavered though and stared at her reactions intensely. He couldn't think right and process any thoughts as every part of him seemed aching so he just looked at her, unmoving. The ringing of his phone suddenly wakened him and he retrieved to pick it up.
A call from his partner, he had to take this call.
He gestured his hand and said freely, "I have to take this call."
Mr. Kells flicked his eye. "Sure sure Mr. Kaiba. You can go now."
He strode out and left the uneasy feeling behind.
The door swung back and the bastard finally left. She breathed out in relief, gaining her composure back. What did he do in here anyway? Why did Mr. Kells even include him to come when she didn't even hear any single sanction for him. It seemed favoritism runs greatly in this school because apparently he was only included just to be asked to go to clinic. She huffed a breath. Geez it was only small gushes and they were all over-reacting and everyone eyeing her like he had murdered him. If they only knew how dark the heart of that bastard they idolized too much. But everyone was so blind by his looks and richness, and treated him like a saint. He fooled everyone so easily and it annoyed her greatly.
Well, admittedly she was guilty of it. She was fooled too. But she was wiser now. And so she couldn't help but get upset how Mr. Kells let him go without a word and even thanked and praised him for his volunteered effort to fix the library.
While he got all thanks and praise, she got a punishment. But she was really guilty of it anyway, and should at least be appreciative that it was just a warning on her record.
'Oh gosh…' She thought as the words sunk in. She now has a warning on her disciplinary record. Her untarnished, clean, best in conduct record had now fallen from its grace. She clasped her hands in frustration.
"Are you okay Ms. Wheeler," Mr. Kells voice disrupted her thoughts. She shook her head lightly. "No, no. I'm alright, thank you." She was still in his office and was not yet dismissed. Staying here made her tense. She adjusted her seat, wondering if he would say something more.
Echoing her thoughts, he said, "Let's just wait for your brother. I called him already."
She swallowed thickly, felt like been splashed with cold water. "My brother?" She asked nervously.
"Yes. I have to inform your guardian so he'll be aware of the work you will do today."
"Oh…" She trailed off, as she calmed her increasing breathing. Then she heard ruffling noises and thudding footsteps coming from outside. She instantly looked up and in perfect timing, the door opened so wide like it might crack.
"Serenity?!" Her brother appeared, face drained out of color, eyes wide and shaking, body covered in sweat. 'Geez, he looks horrible.' He hastily paced towards her, grabbed her shoulders and kneeled to be at her level.
"Are you alright? Did he hurt you? Where?" He said in a mumbled rush as he ran a checkup on her, scanning in panic her arms, forehead and eyes. She fidgeted and withdrew her arm, getting uncomfortable at over protective treatment especially in front of a stranger. "I'm alright brother. Don't worry." She said with a reassuring smile.
He backed his head a little and gave her a broad look. "Are you sure he didn't hurt you?"
"Actually it's the opposite," Mr. Kells interrupted, voice with a hint of interest. Her brother looked up to him in confusion. "She hurt him instead." Joey paused for a while, letting the words to sink in, and then muttered a weak, "Oh". Joey shrugged his shoulder casually and then said, "Better then."
She couldn't help but smile. At least, she was not the only one normal here that can see through that bastard's façade. He then looked back at her and touched her cheek gently. "Serenity," He said her name in full worry that warmed her heart. He was looking at her intensely like seeing her soul and searching anything hidden. "Are you really sure you are okay?" He said it so slowly, making her feel the deeper meaning behind it that she could read from his eyes and voice.
"I know everything is chaotic right now with all that damn rumors flying around and him in this school and now this. But-Do you want to change school?" He was whispering, delivering the message solely for her. She looked at him softly, teary-eyed and shook her head. "No, I'm alright. Don't worry too much." She gave him a weak smile, pushing back the tears. She suddenly felt everything was okay and she was back to her paradise, feeling secured, loved, and protected, and she could take whatever was thrown at her.
Mr. Kells suddenly cleared his throat, probably feeling awkward as an outsider witness to a family scene drama. She then looked at him and so did Joey.
"Mr. Joey Wheeler, "He croaked out, raspy, somehow getting his voice back. "I would just like to inform you that I only gave a warning to your sister record and I asked her to do some work today and help fix the library." Joey wrinkled his eyebrow as he analyzed the message. He didn't speak in a while, thinking heavily, and then stood up and took the front seat and leaned towards Mr. Kells table.
"Does she really have to do that? Can I do it on her behalf?"
"Brother!" She protested, feeling bad about the proposal.
"I'm so sorry Mr. Wheeler, this is a punishment, so she has to do it."
Joey looked down, eyes unfocused, like processing his thoughts, and then looked up again and said, "If that's the case, I'll help her then. Our group can help her."
Mr. Kells sighed heavily. "I'm afraid I cannot allow that as well since I'll be pulling you out to your classes and I can't do that." He explained regretfully and Joey's expression turned sour and disappointed. Her heart ached seeing his reaction and so she reached for his hand and gave him a light squeeze. "It's okay brother. I can handle it. Stop worrying too much." She assured him and beamed brightly, and he just nodded weakly.
"Alright?" Mr. Kells said as he clapped her hands together. "So I think, we're good here. You two can go now."
"Thank you so much Mr. Kells."
"Just don't do it again Serenity." He said seriously but he was smiling.
"Got that sir!" She nodded and pulled her brother whose face was still crumpled and lost in his thoughts. He had been so quiet, it bothered her.
Once they got out of the door, she gave him a light pat, throwing the question to him this time. "Are you okay?"
He didn't seem to hear her so she patted him and asked again. He jolted, somehow registering her presence just now. "Brother, are you okay?"
His smile was crooked and then he said, "Just thinking some stuff. It's nothing."
She gave him a calculating look, and he perceived it and let out a force laugh "It's really nothing Serenity. It's only some stuffs and Mai not answering my call adds to that."
Her eyes widened. "Mai? What happened?"
"I don't know. She's not answering since yesterday. But her phone was probably drained like usual." He added nonchalantly and then raised his arm and put it playfully across her shoulder. "You should worry about yourself. Be good alright, I'll check you after class," He reminded her with his brotherly tone that rang lovingly to her ears.
She did a cheery salute and said, "Yes sir!"
Miraculously, she was able to survive the rest of the break and avoided the people. She pulled Mimi to take their lunches to their favorite secluded place at the back of the school. And like she owed her a story, she told her everything – how she sneaked to the library, and how that bastard followed her and made her loose control of herself. She just listened, still speechless, expression worried. And when she ended, Mimi embraced her and patted her back warmly, "Serenity, I really don't know what to say. But whatever you decide, I'm just here." She squinted, feeling warm but a little baffled. Whatever I decide, what? Mimi was confusing sometimes, but she just let it past and ignored it. She was comforting and hushing her, calming her, so she didn't segue the moment and ask more.
Oh her brother and her best friend were so good to her. She felt so blessed to have them all by her side, backing and cheering her all the way. And she suddenly felt so guilty for causing chaos out there being the bad guy while her family and friends behaved so good and supported her continuously. She really felt bad bursting and destroying her most favorite place in school.
The bell rang and Mimi backed away and angled her head as a goodbye gesture. "Good luck Serenity. See yah!"
She waved back her hand animatedly. "Thanks. Okay." Mimi packed her things and walked away, while she remained to her seat and just followed her through her gaze. She didn't move yet and looked at her friend appreciatively, feeling sentimental. She stayed for a while, letting the minutes passed, and waiting for students to get back to their class before she showed again herself to the public.
Then once she felt the safe timing, she stood up and headed towards her punishment. She reached the front of the library and paused before of its large door, fazing out. She was now back here- to the place she broke down regretfully, to her sanctuary that she destroyed unintentionally. She inhaled shakily, getting the feel of shame and regret. She put her hands together like a prayer and bowed like asking forgiveness.
'I made a mistake. I'm so sorry. I'll make up for it. I deserve this.'
Then she looked up, eyes determined, and hoisted her feet in full courage and passion, and headed to the door, each step strode swiftly.
'I won't do it again. I'll be good now.' She kept repeating to herself like some spell.
The door opened automatically, and suddenly, she was like a bride marching towards the altar - men in black suits lining up in sides with books on their arms, and the annoying bastard standing like a groom at the center, with his arms crossed and smirking face plastered, and looking at her so lovingly opposite.
'I'll behave. I promise-'
"You're late," He said scornfully as her jaw left hanging and eyes shaking.
'- or not.'
This can't be happening.
AN: Serenity finally exploded and we now have some sexual tensions, yay! Wait and see what will happen to Mr. Schizo and Ms. Dual-Personality. Our hero and heroine are so messed up... Let's see where this goes ^_^
And please let me know your thoughts and REVIEW!