by Jedi Amara
Author's Note: This is one of the stories written in the first half of 2005 that I am currently archiving on FFN. Like, w00t, another (really) boring one-shot from the crazy penguin master. Like, yeah, I totally named Mrs Delson after, like, Brad and Joseph from Linkin Park? Because I just, like, "Linkin Park"ed myself (like, lol) in front of, like, the TV for, like, 45 minutes, and watched, like, the Collision Course DVD I bought, like, yesterday? random Like, my mobile phone has, like, almost no reception, like, here/random Like, aren't teapots so cool? Like, enough with the "like"s already?
Disclaimers: I don't own the teapot song. I don't own Linkin Park or the song One Step Closer, or anything like that. I don't own Pokémon. I don't own you. I don't own an X-Box. I don't own the Australian cricket team. I do own three penguins. My brother owns two. Penguinz pwn all.
Warnings: Just one for this story, I think. Advanceshipping.
Josephine Delson looks at the small girl perched on the edge of the seat, barely tall enough to look over the desk. Nine years old, she exudes an air of innocence - Delson knows, and still it's hard to find that spark, that sense of defiance.
"What do you have to say for yourself?"
The girl's face changes. "It wasn't my fault, Mrs Delson," she says darkly. Looking at the fourth-grader, Delson marvels once again at the fact that Alisa Ketchum has emerged from the fight with barely a scratch.
"What do you mean, it wasn't your fault?" Delson demands. "You left four of your classmates in tears and broke Kailin's nose. Several others are nursing bruises. What happened?"
"They were bullying me."
"So you took all seven of them on, single-handed?"
"Yeah." Arms folded.
The kid took them all without thinking? "Alisa Ketchum, I'm surprised at you. Why would you fight seven others, by yourself?"
"Wasn't by myself.
Kyo was with me."
"My friend. There. Can't you see him? You must be blind or something." A finger pointing.
Delson sighs. "Alisa, I am trying to hold a serious conversation with you. I don't need to hear about your imaginary friends."
A sullen glare. "He's not imaginary. He's real. He's my best friend."
I'm a little teapot, short and stout
Josie is a little girl with big dreams. When she grows up, she wants to be a rock star. When Josie tells the kids at school, they laugh at her, jeer at her, because she's short and, well...
"Hey, fatty! Wanna be in my band?"
"Beach ball! Come on and sing for us!"
And she does, because she loves singing, even though she knows what they'll say; she sings her favourite song, it's still a nursery rhyme, she does all the actions too, she puts on the whole show, they think she's a baby, they push her around, she has no one to stand up for her, no one likes her, no one wants to be her friend, she makes her own friends but the others can't see them, they don't believe they're there...
Delson nods wearily. "Still, don't you think the odds were a little high?"
"No. Daddy could set his Pikachu on them."
"Alisa, that is not the point of Pokémon, and if you want to become a trainer like your father next year you will have to learn that. That was the first thing you were taught in first grade, was it not?"
"But they were making jokes about Daddy!"
Here is my handle, here is my spout
They laugh, they keep laughing, they know all her weak points, she tries to block them out, she can't, they can always get through to her, she wishes they would just go away, but it's like she's an open book, she wants someone to say something nice to her, but there's no one to say it, anything anyone ever says is nasty; her teachers don't notice in class, they think she's just shy when she huddles in her corner, all by herself; no one ever notices - who would notice?
Ash Ketchum, one of the all-time great Pokémon Masters - five-time-in-a-row Indigo League champion at just twenty, settled down and married his childhood sweetheart May, took over the Petalburg Gym when May's father Norman retired. Who could make a joke of that? But of course the kids can. Kids can make fun of anything - Delson remembers.
"Alisa, couldn't you just ignore them?"
"They always say things. Maybe they'll stop now."
"Violence is not the solution." Anger. Why can't children see sense? "Why didn't you tell a staff member?"
"Who am I supposed to tell then?"
"You could have come to me."
"No way! You're an ugly old fart. I don't even like you."
When I get all steamed up, then I shout
Josie shouts back at them, she calls them names too, but they don't hear, they just keep calling her fatso, beach ball, Snorlax, there are too many of them to hear, no one listens when she cries, there's never anyone at home, no one to talk to, no one to cry to, her mother's never home, she doesn't know why, her father always has a bottle in his hand, his breath smells funny, she doesn't know why that is either, but he never sees her, never hears her, does he even know she's there? She doesn't know.
Delson tries not to raise her voice, but she doesn't understand how else to deal with a wayward child. No one's ever told her, no one's ever showed her; she has had to learn it all for herself.
"Alisa Ketchum, you
do not call teachers ugly old farts."
"I just did."
"Alisa! Listen to me!"
"Don't want to." She turns her head. Delson itches to reach out and shake her, regrets the rules that prevent it. For a moment, she wishes for the return of corporal punishment, but remembers the problems that once caused. She hasn't wanted to take her last resort, but she has no choice with such a contrary-minded person. Such a little girl...
Tip me up and pour me out
Josie moves away over summer. Her dad was transferred. He wonders if the move will be alright for her just when she's settled into a new school, but she's glad, she doesn't have to see those kids anymore, maybe they'll forget her, if she ever becomes a rock star she won't thank them, she'll wipe them from her life, she doesn't want to think about them anymore.
But she does.
She can't stop the memories, every time someone comments on her height she remembers, even later when she grows, loses the baby fat, becomes tall, taller than half the boys in her senior year; she can't tell anyone, never told anyone, doesn't want other people to know, she bottles up the rage inside of her, she doesn't show it, she keeps her calm, but it's there inside her, seething...
"Detention, Mrs Delson?" Innocent again.
"You heard me, Alisa. You have a week's detention. If it happens again, it's suspension."
"Awww, but Mrs Delson - "
"You heard me!
Are you questioning me?"
"No, but - "
She stands, suddenly, violently. "I will not tolerate rudeness! Return to class immediately. I will see you in the detention room after school."
The girl swings off the chair, stalks out of the room, swaying slightly, with an insolent gait. She turns, quickly, for one brief glance back, a smile of something like - triumph? - flashing across her face, closes the door behind her without a sound.
Delson sinks into her chair, breathing heavily. It hurts now; the pain is returning, and the memories are flooding her mind. She takes up a document from the desk, reaches out absently to turn on her reading lamp. Suddenly, her fist closes around it; she rips the cord out of the wall, throws it at the door. It smashes, and Delson grins - a victorious grimace, ugly because of the hate. She pushes everything off her desk, and looks around for more things to throw.
Everything you say to me takes me one step closer to the edge
And I'm about to break...