The afternoon bell was tolling its doldrums as students filed out of their classrooms for lunch. Chatter filled the air and soon drowned out the noise of the bell. But that chatter quickly died out and the hallway became eerily silent. Kiku was just coming out of his classroom when everything went quiet. He looked up and saw the reason; he was coming down the hall.
Standing at 5'6" with a mop of tussled blonde hair, narrow green eyes and eyebrows that seemed to grow into his hair, he was someone everyone avoided. He had a notorious knack for finding trouble and he'd been in more fights than one, coming out victorious single-handedly. Everyone knew about his heated rivalry with Antonio, another of the school's tasteless thugs. On his first day of school, he'd picked a fight with Antonio and by the end of the day everyone knew his name.
His hands were shoved deep in his pockets and his usual sour glare plastered his face. There were a few bandages on his cheek and arm. His school uniform was unkept; the ends of his shirt were hanging out from underneath his sweater vest and the sleeves were rolled up as well. Other students were squeezing each other to the sides, making a wide berth as he passed.
Kiku ignored their antics; they were rude and no one should be treated like that, even if they did start fights. He didn't bother moving over as he walked towards the library. Kiku passed Arthur, accidently bumping his shoulder. Arthur's head swiveled and their eyes made contact for the briefest of moments. As soon as those piercing green eyes touched his, Kiku felt his chest tighten and he gasped slightly.
"S'rry," Arthur mumbled and kept walking, unrifled by the contact.
A buzz of whispers ran like wildfire through the onlookers, inaudible but definite. They had made eye contact! Kiku was oblivious to the heated mutters around him. His heart was pounding like fire and they had barely touched shoulders! What was this horrible heat rising up in his body? Fear…or something more like…
Someone grabbed Kiku from behind and he jumped like a cat, throwing his attacker into the floor in front of him. The attacker skidded across the faux marble tile, emitting a high pitched cry.
"Oww! That really hurt Kiku! What did I do this time?"
"What's got you so jumpy Kiku?" asked a new voice.
Kiku looked up behind him to see his friend and fellow Student Council member Ludwig. Ludwig walked around Kiku and picked the assaulter from the floor.
"Really, Felici you can't just grab people like that," he scolded. "You're lucky he didn't throw you into the wall."
"It wouldn't have mattered! I've got a hard head!" Felici replied, obviously pleased with his retort. Ludwig bonked him again.
"Dummy! That's how you get concussions! The last thing I need is to drag your sorry arse to the infirmary!"
Felici clutched his head, tears in his eyes. "*sniff* Sorry, Ludwig…I'll be more careful next time…"
Ludwig gave an exasperated sigh and turned back to Kiku. "You look like you've seen a ghost. What's the matter?"
"No…I…it's nothing. Nothing at all." Kiku tightened his grip on his satchel's strap on his shoulder. His chest still felt tight even though Arthur was long gone by now.
"Oiii, Kiku!" A newcomer was running down the hall towards the trio, waving his arms. He wasn't quite as tall as Ludwig and not nearly as broad, but a decent height none the less. He wore a brown coat over his uniform, it replacing the usual blue blazer for boys.
"Oh, Alfred…what's the matter?"
"I need you to go pick up some papers for me down at the dean's office. They're for the upcoming sports festival."
"I see. Alright. Where do you want me to take them?"
"Just take them to the student council room. I'll pick them up later. Thanks a million, I really appreciate it. I would get them myself, but I've got to go talk to the school newspaper."
Alfred waved goodbye and bolted down the hall, off in a rush again. Ludwig sighed again.
"The President certainly as a lot of…energy. Do you need any help with that?"
Kiku shook his head. "No, I can manage it. I need to go to the library anyway and it's on the way."
The dean's office was one hallway over from the library, and the student council room one floor above that, so it wasn't a far walk. Alfred though, hadn't bothered to mention just how many papers there were. Kiku had to make three trips with the paper stacks. They were just a bunch of flyers advertising the different events of the sports festival. Kiku was coming out of the student council room after his second trip when he was hailed by a group of girls.
"So, so is it true?" one asked.
"Don't play stupid! We all know what happened! We saw it! You made eye contact with him, that British demon!"
Kiku stepped backward slightly. "Umm…yes? What of it?"
"Don't you know of the curse? Everyone who's ever looked into his eyes has become his next victim!"
The other two girls squealed. "Remember what happened to poor Francis? And before that Antonio got it! And there was Kaoru too! He's just bad luck! You'd better watch yourself!"
The girls giggled and kept walking, their conversation continuing without Kiku. What a ridiculous notion, a curse of all things? Kiku, being Japanese, did have some inkling of magics in the world, but he was not a believer of it. There was nothing remotely supernatural about Arthur in the first place…but then Kiku remember that horrible feeling in his chest after he'd looked into his eyes. That was something he could not explain away.
Kiku shook his head, banishing the thought and returned to the room. He still had to staple some of the flyers together. Curses didn't exist and that was that.
As it turned out, Kiku didn't finish putting the flyers together until well past the last bell. The sun was setting outside and a golden orange light bathed the interior of the room. As he finally stapled the last of the packets, he gave a sigh and stretched his stiff shoulders. He looked out the window at the orange tinted grounds.
"That took longer than I expected. I shall have to remember to inform the President to not shluff his work onto lower members…"
"You always stay late to work?" asked a voice at the door. Kiku jumped at the sudden noise and turned toward the door. He didn't remember leaving it open… Leaning against the door jamb was the same man he had bumped into earlier that afternoon. He wore a blank expression, completely unfazed by Kiku's surprise. His bandages were gone from his face, but his wrist was still wrapped up.
"N-not always. I-I just had some extra tasks to-what are you doing?"
Arthur had crossed the room and picked up one of the packets. He started flipping through it. "You've got these in the wrong order."
Arthur held up the papers, his face still blank. "See? You've completely switched these around."
Kiku took the paper and flipped through it himself. Arthur was right; he had somehow mixed up the order and put page 4 where 7 was supposed to be and that wasn't the only one. Kiku quickly looked through the other packets; they too were out of order. He gave a frustrated grunt and flung the paper back atop the stack.
"Great…now I'll have to do them all over again!"
"Did Alfred push this on you?"
Kiku's head popped up from the table. "Huh? Wha-how did you-?"
Arthur scowled shaking his head. "He's always been like that. He takes on huge tasks that he knows he can't do and either doesn't finish it or shoves the blame onto someone else. I've never known him to do or create anything by himself. I'm surprise he even got voted student council president…"
"Well…I've wondered that myself…but…it's not like he's so unreliable you can't trust him…by the way, what are you doing here?"
Arthur shrugged, rolling his shoulders. "I was coming back from the library and I saw the door open. I didn't think anyone stayed on the grounds this late."
"Oh, I see." For some reason, Kiku was a little disappointed that their meeting was just happenstance. He stood from his chair and picked up his satchel. "I should be heading back to the dorms anyway. I'll just tell Alfred he can redo the flyers himself tomorrow."
He pushed past Arthur and made to leave, thinking the conversation was over. But Arthur suddenly grabbed Kiku's arm and pulled him back.
"Wait. There was one last thing I wanted to do." Arthur yanked on Kiku's sleeves hard, forcing him to fall forward. A pair of hot moist lips bore down on Kiku's own. It was a fleeting touch, but it was enough to make Kiku turn red. He jerked out of Arthur's hold and wiped his mouth on his sleeve.
"Wha-what the hell was that?" Kiku's voice quavered as he shouted. His heart was beating a mile a minute.
"You're so naïve it's almost cute. You're all alone in the school, so no one will hear you scream." Arthur heavily forced Kiku back against the wall, holding tight to his wrists, his face barely millimeters from Kiku's.
"I'm sure you've heard the rumors about me, that my gaze is a curse. Well, I've been inclined to believe it." The smile that curled his lips was extremely unsettling. Kiku's stomach did a flip and he suddenly felt lightheaded. Arthur was holding so tight to Kiku's wrists that it was beginning to hurt.
"Le-let go of me! You're hurting me! If you don't let go I'll-,"
"You'll what?" Arthur asked nonchalantly. His voice was cool but his expression had turned dangerous, as if a dark aura surrounded him. His body pressed closer as he spoke. "Scream? I told you no one will hear you."
Kiku's mouth clamped shut and he swallowed hard. So this is what people meant when they said he was a demon! He really was a monster! How could he have been swayed so easily by those green eyes? To think that such a man could have been decent in the first place…Kiku had only himself to blame. He glared at Arthur.
Arthur laughed at his defiant stare. "Such a glare! I guess I'll have to teach you some manners."
In a flash, a hand seized Kiku's chin, forcing his head up. That pair of lips came down again, just as hot or perhaps even hotter than before. Soft to the touch yet burning so passionately Kiku thought he might catch fire…and an expert tongue that knew all the moves. Where the hell had he learned to kiss like that?
Kiku couldn't even resist the advance. His heart was beating like crazy and he felt weak in the knees. Oh the humility of it…to be reduced to this…his Japanese pride would not stand for it! Finally Athur let go of Kiku, a satisfied look on his face and a complete air of superiority about him. Kiku, all the strength gone from his legs, slid down to the floor. Arthur knelt down to Kiku's level and smirked at him.
"There, much better!"
Kiku spit to clean his mouth. "You're disgusting…assaulting me like that…I should have you thrown out for sexual harassment!"
"Oh, but you won't, you see." Arthur's unsettling smile was back. "Because you know you liked it. I've been watching you for awhile now. A perfect straight A student…actively involved with his school and liked by many…you're so perfect it's sickening. I decided it was time to dirty your rep."
Arthur stood, reached in his back pocket and tossed something down at Kiku. "I know you won't be satisfied with just kisses. I know you better than you think and I also know you'll come back for more. I'll be eagerly awaiting your arrival."
And with that, he waltzed right out of the room as if he owned the place. Kiku picked up the card Arthur had tossed at him. Scrawled across it was a single line of handwritten letters spelling out an address.