Looking for a Little Canon in D
Prologue: Just Another Monday
The drive to school every day was serene. Kent had always been one of those people who loved quiet. Nothing was quite as wonderful as driving through the freshly fallen snow first thing in the morning with only the grey morning sky and the gentle squish of snow under your tires to keep you company.
The redheaded twenty-one year old almost smiled to himself as his pickup truck's tires plowed their way through the snow that had been falling since early that morning. Most students opted to stay home on snowy days, but he wouldn't miss a class unless his very existence depended on it. Clearly, his life depended on him showing up to class on time, so he drove at a steady pace until he reached his first stop.
Stifling a yawn and pushing his glasses out of the way to rub at his eyes a little bit, Kent waited. And waited.
Finally, a blur of energy and smiles and probably one too many cappuccinos found its way into his passenger seat. He waited until he heard the seatbelt click (because Kent always followed the rules) before he put his truck in drive and pulled away from the curb.
The new addition to his '99 Tacoma was slender, not exactly tall, and could talk a mile a minute given the chance. Generally, though, she was a good listener, great company, and an even better…friend.
That's right, friend.
"So, Kent?" she asked, her smile hidden behind the steam of what he assumed to be her third caffeinated beverage of the morning. "How are you this morning?"
Because the thing was, Kent Morgan and Lyndis Rivièra were friends. Just friends.
He couldn't believe it. That stupid wench had taken his favorite parking spot…again.
Sure, the dorms were co-ed, but it didn't give her the right to snatch the spot closest to the main entrance, did it? No, of course not. He sighed and continued down the aisle before he managed to pull his S2000 into a tiny little spot nestled between the biggest Ram truck he'd ever seen—it probably belonged to Dart—and a Crown Victoria whose owner had never been taught to park properly.
With a hefty sigh, Hector von Ostia pulled himself out of his car and marched down the aisle to the front doors of the dorm. On the way, he passed that stupid rust-bucket that someone dared to call a car and kicked some snow onto it just because it was in his spot.
"Stupid wench," he mumbled as he yanked open the door to the building and stomped the snow off of his boots.
"Aww, poor Hector."
He looked up to see the wench herself. And the wench had a friend. "Hey, Wench," he said in greeting and even managed to lift his hand before a scowl made its way across his face.
"Somebody's grumpy," the wench's friend said.
"Shut up, Serra."
Serra shrugged innocently and flounced down the hall back to her room. Hector assumed that she had forgotten her lipstick, her hairclips, and her manners and had gone to retrieve them.
"Don't be such a sourpuss," the wench told him, grinning triumphantly. "Just because I got your parking spot doesn't mean anything except—"
"I don't have time to listen to you ramble." Hector von Ostia hated a lot of things. Most notably milk that had been bad for more than a week, mornings, and his own last name. But mostly just mornings.
"You know, if you would have come back on Sunday instead of today, you could have beaten me to the best parking spot there is. But," she shrugged, "you failed. That isn't my fault. And you know, this wench thing is getting a bit old. You sound like Dart."
It was Hector's turn to shrug. "Don't you have a class to get to?"
"I sure do. Psychology." She grinned brightly at him (probably because she knew it annoyed him so much). "Why are you such a grump this morning, Hector? It's a beautiful day outside."
"I had to park between Serra and Dart—neither of whom know how to park, you know. It's snowing, it's cold, and it's wet. Yes, it's a lovely day." He looked in the direction of the elevator, and sighed at the out of order sign on it. "And I have to walk up three flights of stairs, get my books, and walk down three flights of stairs before going to a class I share with a certain wench I know…"
"Hey!" Serra's indignant voice floated over. "That wench has a name, you know! I don't know why you're so mean to Farina when she's always so nice to you!"
Hector occasionally had the urge to strangle Serra. He resisted.
"I'm only nice to him because it annoys him so much first thing in the morning." Farina shrugged her slim shoulders and hefted a backpack that probably weighed as much as Hector's car onto her back. "Come on, Serra. I promised Karla I'd pick her up before we headed to class."
"Yeah. Go move that scrap heap. It makes our parking lot look bad."
"Then it's a good thing you came inside, Hector," Farina called over her shoulder as she held the door open for Serra. "I wouldn't want you making our campus look bad."
Hector let out a slightly annoyed sigh and just gave up. Really, where Farina was concerned it just wasn't worth fighting. She always seemed to win. Somehow. Her and her noble carrots—that was a long story—and whatever it was that she drove around in. The logos had all fallen off of it, so nobody was sure of the make or the model. It was a thing with rust on it. It clanked and rattled and made all kinds of horrible sounds.
One of these days, he was certain it would go and die on her. Then, and only then, would he feel free to laugh in her face.
Not that he didn't feel free any other time, of course. But Farina Owens was someone whose personality just really set him off sometimes. It was like he couldn't help but wait for the perfect opportunity to strike. In the meantime, he would act juvenile and insult her at every opportunity because—
Wait. Since when did Hector need a reason to do anything?
It was about that moment when Hector realized something. If he didn't take off at a dead run, he would be late for class…again.
The sound of something rather irritating tickled her ears as she tried to sleep. She had been up until three in the morning studying for a test that she didn't have to take until noon (thank God for late classes!) and she was intending to grab every last ounce of sleep that she could before she had to get up for some last-minute studying.
With a groan and a sigh, she stared blearily at her alarm clock. A lovely red 7:56 flashed in front of her.
She tried covering her head, tried drowning it out with the quadratic formula and the volume of a cylinder, but it wouldn't go away.
Finally, after enduring the unspeakable torture for a good ten minutes, she got up and walked over to the window. Still sleepy, it took her a few minutes to undo the latch, and when she did, she saw a familiar figure with a familiar guitar in hand sitting on the tailgate of a familiar Chevy Blazer.
The figure waved at her, a wide grin on his face before he began to sing along with the melody he was playing.
Hey there, Fiora
What's it like at Caelin Uni—
She slammed her window shut and let the curtain fall over it.
Really, that guy was too much!
Guy Freeman was probably not in the right place. Well, maybe he was. Sometimes it was hard to tell. At the head of the room, though, stood…
"Sir Wallace!" The awkward 18-year-old did a sloppy salute.
"Guy!" Wallace chuckled loudly and held up a hand in greeting.
The retired military officer—nobody did know what branch of the military he served in because all he did was talk about respect and fighting and maybe a war or two and secret missions—had taken to teaching…a subject that Guy was almost positive he wasn't taking.
Scratching at the base of his braided ponytail, he stared at his schedule again. He had to tape it to his books or else he'd forget where he was going and what he was doing. "This isn't, uh, Biology…is it?"
"This is Public Speaking, boy!" The bald man laughed and paraded around at the front of the room for a few moments.
Just then, the door opened and closed again with a loud thwack, right behind Guy. He jumped, but didn't dare turn around.
"Get out of my classroom you rusty-brained teapot."
"How dare you try and take over my room, you viper!" Sir Wallace turned around and assumed a defensive stance.
"I'm not going to fight you for my classroom." The blonde woman, clearly annoyed, pointed at the blackboard where Biology had been crossed out and replaced with Public Speaking. Then she picked up the nameplate on the desk that had Professor V. Sol written on it.
Her students liked to speculate that her name was Viper since that was what Sir Wallace called her whenever he managed to wander into her classroom, thinking it to be his own. Of course, there were also a few students who thought that maybe the viper and the teapot were secretly in love with one another and too stubborn to admit it.
Guy shrugged and took his seat, eventually recognizing a few of the other students who sat at the back. Guy liked a lot of people—in fact, he loved people in general. They were fun to watch. For example, Wil, a young man who sat at the front, would try to answer every question their professor asked…even if he didn't know the answer.
Lyn, one of the girls that shared a different class with him, chewed absentmindedly on her lower lip during long lectures and while taking notes, and the tiny little girl to his right liked to draw.
All the time.
She was always drawing, but Guy was just too withdrawn and embarrassed to lean over those few extra inches to see what exactly it was that she drew. It really didn't matter anyway, though. Not only was he horrible with talking to girls, she was probably way out of his league. Just like Priscilla had been. Damn that stupid Heath. Just because he could dunk a basketball didn't mean anything!
Well, Heath was nice, and he did take care of Priscilla, so…it wasn't like Guy had the right to complain. Sometimes, though, life just wasn't fair. He snapped back to attention just as Sir Wallace (placated by a donut and whatever was left of Professor Sol's coffee) stomped out of the room.
He could have sworn that the man was clanking as he walked past him, but the girl that sat to his right didn't seem to notice. She just kept on drawing.
Her pencil outlined the fragile feathers on the inside of a wing as her professor droned on and on about the anatomy of a pig…or was it a frog? Florina Owens wasn't paying much attention. No, the feather had to look just right…
She smiled softly to herself and admired her handiwork. Okay, so the hindquarters were a little lopsided and the muscle toning on the chest didn't look quite right, but she was definitely certain that the wings were perfect. It was, she decided, how the anatomy of a pegasus should look. Or would, if they were real.
An elbow in her right side made her look up, and she saw Rebecca grinning at her. All the other girl did was incline her head slightly toward Florina's left, and the smaller girl chanced a glance in that direction.
The boy sitting next to her blushed and quickly found his notes to be absolutely fascinating.
The shy 17-year-old had a hard time containing her own blush. She had always been terribly timid around other people, especially strangers, and if one wanted to get even more specific, especially men. Maybe she had watched too much television as a child, or maybe her father's love for alcohol had made her feel that way, but she couldn't blame any one thing. Nothing stuck out in her mind that she could pin down for her discomfort around members of the opposite sex.
It wasn't as if she didn't like them—Hector was terribly handsome, after all—but she didn't know how to act around them. Even if she did know, she'd probably screw it up somehow.
At least with art, the mistake could be erased. Life, on the other hand, didn't tend to come with an eraser on the end of it. It had been rather disappointing to find that out.
At any rate, she thought as she darkened the outline around her newest creation, the young man that sat next to her was probably one of the least threatening that she had ever happened upon. At least he was quiet, had manners, and didn't accidentally brush her arm when they were both taking notes at the same time.
The reason? They were both left-handed.
Viper—she shook her head to rid her mind of Sir Wallace's nickname for their professor—Professor Sol began to give her lecture for the day—one filled with all kinds of colorful adjectives as usual—and Florina tried really hard to will away the blush that she feared was still staining her cheeks.
It wouldn't do to be distracted during the lecture, after all.
This was written for Qieru, and I've got four or five more chapters of this left to go. At least. Kent's last name was stolen from Aviatrix8's western 'fic, and the rest were conjured up by Qieru and myself. The actual chapters will be longer. More will be explained. Florina's a fresh-out-of-high-school student. And smart, though she's a daydreamer. :]
Thanks for reading! Feedback is appreciated as always.