Hi, peoples! (Sort of) long time no see! So, I started writing this new modern day AU fanfiction a week or two ago, not really planning to post it, and then ChickWithThePurpleGuitar convinced me to post it. Therefore, if you dislike this, DON'T BLAME ME! (Aren't I a great friend?) On that note, no flames please. I try really hard to please you people, and it makes me extremely sad to see flames. As of now, this fic is eight chapters long, so there shall be more. The more you review the faster I'll update! I edited this like crazy, but constructive criticism is great. Thankses! Enjoy and PRETTY PRETTY PLEASE REVIEW! *Puppy dog eyes*
I didn't own Leviathan before and I probably never will. ALL RIGHTS TO SCOTT WESTERFELD!
Metros and Meetings
It was lucky that Alek was so good with machines. If he wasn't, the ticket machine would have likely proved impossible. Ticket in hand, Alek stepped up to the gate, rubbing the last of his tears away.
Of course, he had been crying for a perfectly logical reason. Only ten minutes ago, one of his tutors, Mr. Volger, had finished informing him of his parent's death. Murdered the previous night in Sarajevo. They didn't deserve it. Not in any way, shape or form.
It may have been irrational, running off as he did, but he wasn't thinking clearly. He needed something other than the lonely halls of his home, empty in the absence of his parents, to roam through.
A train was arriving just as Alek entered the station, so he stepped on board, not particularly caring where it would take him.
Alek had never been on a train like this. It was different than the ones back in Austria. Slightly less hygienic, and most definitely not as fragrant. Seats in sets of two lined the walls facing towards the front of the train, and the large windows were dark, due to the fact that they were underground. Every few feet, a pole stretched from the ceiling to the floor and hand straps swung from the ceiling. (A/N: Keep in mind, I have no clue as to what the Austrian metro system looks like, or if it even exists, and my memory of the London underground is foggy at best. This is based off of the Washington D.C metro system, which I have a much better memory of.) All of the seats were full, so Alek stood across from a boy who looked about his age. He wore a pair of jeans, a black sweatshirt, and a pair of converse. His pale blonde hair was choppily just above his chin, and his dark blue eyes were staring blindly at the ground ahead of him. He had a pair of headphones in his ears and one of his arms was wrapped around a pole.
Alek shifted uncomfortably. Unlike Alek, this boy actually seemed to know what he was doing.
Suddenly, the train jolted beneath Alek, and he was sent stumbling forward. Someone saved him from falling face-first onto the ground by grabbing onto the back of his shirt. Alek righted himself, then grabbed onto a pole, wondering how he hadn't managed to predict the train's movement.
The person who had saved him was the boy he had seen before. "You all right? That was quite the spill."
The boy's voice was higher than usual, almost like…god's wounds. This was no boy, it was a girl! On closer inspection, Alek wondered how he had ever been able to mistake this pretty young girl for a boy. Sure, he wasn't the most observant person in the world, but honestly, was he this stupid?
"Oh—um, ja. I—I mean yes. I'm fine." Now Alek was blushing like complete dummkopf. He had just made a fool of himself. And in front of a girl, even. Just wonderful.
The girl gave him a smile. "Brilliant." She held out a hand for him to shake. "Darren, by the way."
Alek frowned, confused, but shook Darren's hand anyway. Wasn't Darren supposed to be a boy's name?
Darren sighed. "D-E-R-Y-N. Scottish spelling. A girl's name."
Alek nodded in understanding. "I see. I'm Alek."
They fell into silence, Deryn fiddling with her iPod, Alek trying not to stare at her.
At the next stop, a few people left the train, and Deryn went to sit down in a seat. After a moment of thinking, Alek shyly indicated the seat next to her. "May I?"
Deryn slid over closer to the window. "Course."
Alek sat down next to Deryn, putting his elbows on his knees, his face in his hands. It had finally dawned on him. His parents were gone. Forever. He would never see them again. His last memory of them was rushed and faded. They had left almost a month ago, saying they would be back soon. Alek was used to his parents going on long business trips. After all, they were the ambassadors of Austria. Alek had even moved to London right after his parents left so that he could be closer to them.
Thinking about them, Alek felt a few hot tears seep out of his eyes. He angrily rubbed them away, not wishing to embarrass himself further by crying in front of Deryn.
Suddenly, Alek heard Deryn's lovely Scottish voice next to his ear. "Alek? Are you all right?"
Alek swallowed and lifted his head. "Yes, I'm fine."
Deryn carefully looked into his eyes. "Really? You don't look it."
Alek closed his eyes. "J—just a little bit upset."
Deryn watched him for a moment before sighing and wrapping her arm around his shoulders. Alek tried not to jump. Is this something that people in England did?
"Poor boy. What's wrong?"
Alek tried to suppress his tears. "It's—It's my parents. They died last night."
Alek shook his head. "The details are unclear." And now, of course, he was crying properly, sobs shaking his body.
They probably looked crazy to the others on the train. Two teenagers, practically strangers, now hugging each other like long lost friends. Not that Alek particularly cared. It felt like his heart was falling apart into a thousand tiny pieces, and he needed someone. Not to mention the fact that Deryn's arm, warm across his shoulders, felt incredibly nice, and this was the first time that a girl (besides his mother of course) had ever touched him.
Eventually, the grief settled down in Alek's heart a bit and he shrugged off Deryn's arm, wiping his eyes off with his sleeve.
Alek shrugged. "I suppose."
Deryn now sat quietly, shoulders hunched, staring at her hands folded in her lap. "My Da's gone too."
Alek blinked in surprise. "Really?"
"Aye. It was a hot air balloon accident. Once he was gone, my Ma tried to turn me back into a proper girl. You know, skirts, hair, makeup, all that clart."
Alek chuckled quietly. He couldn't really see Deryn as the sort of girl who would care about such things.
"But, you see, it'll all get better. So, don't let them change you, or when it does get better, you'll regret the change."
Deryn smiled. "I promise."
Alek smiled too.
Roughly twenty minutes later, it was time for Deryn to leave the train. "Give me your hand," Deryn ordered, pulling a pen from her pocket.
Alek did as he was told and Deryn grabbed onto his hand, scribbling something onto his palm. Alek winced a tiny bit. He had always been against writing on skin, and if anyone else had been writing on him, he probably would have protested. But this was Deryn, so Alek held his tongue.
Deryn dropped his hand, saying, "You can call me there." (A/N: You have no idea how hard I had to think to give you something other than "Here's my number, so call me maybe." Gave myself a headache.)
With that, she slid past Alek and was out the door of the train.
Alek stared in wonder at the number on his hand, subconsciously memorizing it. After a moment, he sighed. What had he gotten himself into?
Well, that's all for now, folks. Thank me for the lack of pop-culture reference. And thank you for reading. It means about ten times more to me than you'd think. Auf Wiedersehen! AND REVIEW!