A Day in Detention
Beneath a thick set of carefully curled lashes, brown eyes gaze longingly at the wall clock, following every ticking movement. Dainty pink lips shining with gloss frown deeper with the delay of each passing moment. Heels tap impatiently against the floor. Fingers tug on the sleeves of a white chiffon blouse. The girl flips her golden hair over her shoulders, and it cascades down her back beautifully. Practice makes perfect, and she knows this best.
A toothpick is held expertly between two gnashed teeth. A filthy pair of black sneakers is propped up on the wooden desk. Callused hands are stuffed into the pockets lining his leather jacket, and a beanie covers most of his mysteriously pink –he insists it's his natural colour –unruly locks. Broad shoulders slump against the frame of his chair, and he sits with his weight on one side that it tips backward, the very same way our parents tell us not to.
The room is empty save for the two of them. On the board, the date is written in chalk. Paper is littered between the aisles. It's silent, save for the drumming of fingers against wood.
He speaks. "What do you call a blonde with a high IQ?" A pause, then his face branches out into a maniacal grin. "A golden retriever."
She bangs her forehead on the table.
It's been nine minutes.
His body shakes with mirth. It's art, he swears. It's his obra maestra, his masterpiece, his Mona Lisa's smile. The words are written in pink spray paint, atop a crude drawing of the male anatomy in black. The Dragneel boy can barely contain his laughter. How fitting that the location for his beautiful creation is the wall beside the window of the Principal's office. Natsu gives himself a mental high five. Pure diabolical genius, he might have said, had his vocabulary expanded to cover the word 'diabolical.'
Gray will never top anything as badass as this the delinquent thinks gleefully. He places one foot behind another, ready to twist his body all smooth like.
"You misspelled, Natsu. It isn't 'sistim.' It's 'system.' Down with the system.'" He freezes in his tracks. He knows that ominous, bossy voice.
"E-erza," he squeaks at the sight of the head of the Disciplinarian Committee. He notices her fingers pinching a certain raven haired prick's ear. Natsu looks smug for a moment. Eat my shit, Fullbuster.
She grabs him roughly by the scruff of his collar and hauls the two miscreants off, her scarlet hair sashaying behind her with each step. "That's two weeks of detention for you, Dragneel."
"What about him?" the rosette asks, cocking his head in the other boy's direction. Erza glares at the person he's referring to.
"Gray Fullbuster has just been suspended for two weeks, for hotwiring the vice principal's car, and crashing it into the biology lab. He was lucky he wasn't suspended. I was just on my way to escort him off the premises."
Gray smirks at him. Natsu grins wolfishly back, and salutes the boy's feat with his middle finger.
"I don't see you around much. We've never talked before. We go to the same school, we're in the same year level, aren't we? Don't you find it strange? I mean, obviously I've heard all about you, but the most I've ever had before were brief glimpses," Lucy says.
"It's a big school," he dismisses. They've shifted again. She's sitting on the armrest of a chair, and he's lying on his back on the teacher's table. "It's completely normal that you don't really know me."
"I know everyone, though," she says. "Do we have any classes together?"
Natsu shrugs. "I don't go to class that often."
Lucy nods. "I see." Silence.
"Chemistry," he says.
"We have Chemistry together," Natsu says, his eyes traveling to the ceiling. Lucy smirks. "I mean Chemistry class."
She quirks her eyebrow. "Then surely we'd have talked at least once." She doesn't fancy herself to be that big of a snob. Regardless of the fact that he's probably the most famous delinquent at the academy, she talks to everyone. It's partially for networking purposes, but mostly Lucy really hates not talking to anyone. It's a habit, and she just feels so awkward and alone when she's quiet.
Natsu thinks about how she's always surrounded by a gaggle of people. No matter where she goes, Lucy Heartfilia is always at the center of an impenetrable crowd, a circle of people who want a taste of her sweet light. Everything about her is magnetic, infectious. She's always laughing and smiling and her eyes light up the darkest room, no lie. She reminds him of sunlight.
"You're always just so… untouchable," he says half bitterly, half wistfully.
"Let's go someplace where we can each be alone."
"You have such a big mouth; you could probably give oral sideways."
"Your birth certificate is an apology letter from the condom factory."
"Was the ground cold when you crawled out this morning?"
"Are you always this stupid, or are you making a special effort today?"
"Last time I checked, I wasn't the blonde one."
"Don't say things like that; it just makes you sound stupid. In fact, don't talk at all. It just makes you sound stupid."
"Wow. You've got a great personality, but not for a human being."
"You are no longer beneath my contempt."
"You call that an insult?"
"Please. I would love to insult you, but you wouldn't understand."
"Oh, I'm sorry. If I've said anything to offend you, I mean it."
"Everyone says that you're dangerous."
"And they're right." She ignores him and continues.
"They say that you're the lawsuit waiting to happen. You're the boy trying to be bigger than you are –starting food fights, brawling in the corridors and smoking behind the bleachers. They say that you're like a wildfire, and everyone near you will just get burned. Some of the girls even say that your kisses taste like ashes." She pauses for a moment before asking, "Is it true?"
"They say, they say," Natsu mocks her. "Yeah, it's all true. I'm the no good, never will amount to anything criminal in the making."
"I wasn't talking about that," she giggles. She tilts forward to face him, that their faces are merely inches away from each other. She's dangerously close, and still she slowly moves forward. He can feel her warm breath on his skin, can smell her Root Beer lip smacker. As she bends forward, it's at that moment that he fully comprehends how short her skirt really is when it rides up her calf and exposes the creamy skin of her thigh.
He shudders as her soft cheek brushes against his and sets there.
"Is it true that your kisses taste like ashes?" she whispers into his ear.
"Lazy bitch! All you do is sit on the couch the whole day, and when I get home, I don't even have my damn dinner ready!" the man yells. The woman before him cowers in the corner of the room.
"I'm sorry, I'm sorry," she chokes in fear. "Please, just stop!"
His eyes twinkle at the sight of her tear-streaked, bruised and battered face. He marches across the room and strikes her across the face. She cries out in pain, with the heartbreakingly familiar sensation whizzing across her body's network. He brings his fist down to meet her flesh in a rain of blows, until her nose is bloodied and she can't feel anything but the vibrations of her spasms.
The man is about to hit her again when he's rammed to the floor by a tiny wisp of a boy.
"Don't touch her," he snarls, and it's a twisted remake of David versus Goliath.
The man laughs malevolently until the boy sinks his teeth, uncommonly sharp, into his hand. His expression turns sour and his eyes shoot daggers at the child.
"Fucking brat!" he shouts, before punching him right in the middle of his face. The boy topples backward, and the man's fury is directed at something new altogether.
The woman's shrieks and pleas fall upon deaf ears. The man drops his elbow on the child's stomach before standing up to kick the boy, who has shrivelled up to lie in fetal position.
Natsu Dragneel cries out for his father; his real father who loved him and let him ride on his strong shoulders. Not this monster whose paternal authority over him is dictated upon only by papers.
The corridor is deserted, save for two individuals. The girl is leaning against a locker, her books clutched protectively in front of her chest. The boy runs a hand through what's left of his brown hair, sheared off into a crew cut.
"Uh, babe? Can we move this along a little faster? I have practice in a bit. But I promise we can make out later in my car."
The girl closes her eyes. "It's over."
His expression changes slowly into dawning misunderstanding. "Wha –what the fuck?"
"We just aren't working. We fight everyday about the smallest things, and we have absolutely nothing in common. It's pretty clear that you don't respect me. Hell, I'm not sure if you even like me. Think back. Why did we even get together in the first place?"
"You're hot, I'm hot. You have huge tits, I have the body of a god."
The girl shakes her head and turns to walk away. But he grabs her hair and yanks her back so hard that she cries out in pain. The books spill out of her arms, and the moment he lets go of her blonde tresses, his hands pin her to the locker and cages them to her sides. He presses the full weight of his football player body against her tiny frame. She's trapped.
"We're over when I say we're over," he hisses violently, with his spit flying across her face. He smashes his mouth against hers so hard that her teeth hurt. He bites down unto her bottom lip harshly, and when she opens her mouth to scream he shoves his tongue down her throat.
Her stomach lurches horribly, and not in the way they're supposed to when your boyfriend his sucking on your neck. The kiss doesn't give her butterflies, and she realizes that his kisses never did. Instead she feels tainted and dirty, and she will loathe herself when she looks into the mirror and runs her finger over her bruised lips, and hickies on her skin.
"You two!" a voice barks. The boy springs off her. "A display like that in the hallway –disgusting! Shameful! Detention for both of you, though clearly you two will have to be kept in separate rooms as you can't seem to keep your hands off each other."
"But Miss Porlyusica, I –"
"No buts! I expected more from you, Miss Heartfilia," the teacher says sharply before pivoting on her heel and stalking off.
Once she's out of sight, the boy pinches her butt and murmurs, "Now we're over." He gives her a roguish wink, and soon she stands alone in that empty hall.
Her eyes are glassy with the tears she won't give him the satisfaction of letting fall, even though he's long gone.
It's a silent night, and the sole source of light is the luminous glow of moonshine dripping onto her mahogany floor through her windows. Her room is a grand and elegant chamber, with satin and tulle drapery, and clean white walls decorated with pictures of a time when everything really was perfect.
He's coming. She knows this, fears this, and grudgingly accepts this. What else can she do? She's tried fighting it, once, but he struck her and she decided that she would rather bear with another nightmare instead. She desperately wills herself to lull into a deep sleep, hopefully one she won't ever wake up from again. Like Sleeping Beauty. But the fable dripped with lies too, and the original story had just as bad as an ending. She counts sheep. She's wide awake.
She hears the creaking of their stairs and grits her teeth. He's outside her room now. She screws her eyes shut and pretends to be conked. Pretending –she's good at that.
She's tried locking the doors, but he always has the key. He enters. She squints, careful not to give away her consciousness. She sees him stagger over to her. Her body is shaking in tremulous anticipation.
"Layla," her father purrs. "I've missed you today. I'm so tired ~"
She wonders if maybe her fate would be different, had she been born with brown hair, not blonde, and blue eyes, not hazel. He peels off her covers, and suddenly she feels so cold. He slips his hands under her nightgown. His hands roam across her well-developed chest, tracing every curvature of her body. She's a woman now, not a little girl, but it doesn't stop from being any less wrong, because she still feels like a little girl kneeling by her mother's grave.
She wants to cry out when he violates more of her delicate areas, her innocence, but she bites her lip instead. She should tell someone, she really should, but this is her daddy, and damn it all, she loves him still.
He leaves when he's satisfied, but he'll be back again. She is too utterly destroyed to cry anymore, but one thing is for sure.
She won't be getting any sleep that night.
He's sitting in the teacher's chair, and she's straddling his waist. Her legs are wrapped around him, and she moves her body closer, closer, pressed against his. She's held securely in big, strong arms, with on hand resting on the small of her back and another tangled in her flowery scented hair. His tongue traces her bottom lip, before trailing down to place fervent kisses on her neck. She makes soft, whimpering noises and pulls his face back up for their lips to meet again.
He marvels at the taste of her mouth –stardust.
Lucy, on the other hand, notes with amusement that the other girls were wrong. Natsu Dragneel tastes like molten hot lava, and she's melting into him.
"Is your family happy, or do you go home at night?" Lucy jibes in the middle of another round of vicious repartee, but his face contorts into something completely different after it's out and she half wants to take it back.
"Don't talk about my family," he says in a low growl. The warning signs are all there, the way his eyes flash and the way his nostrils flare, but there's something about this boy's fire that makes her high on adrenaline.
"Is your mother disappointed that her son's turned out like this? Does your father ground you from T.V.? What, have an older brother who's so successful that your fingers can't reach his level, and you're reduced to juvenile acts as a cry for help and attention? Whatever your sob story is, Dragneel, it's been heard before," she taunts. "And none of those sob stories are ever an excuse for being a screw up."
What is it about this boy that brings out the cruelty in her?
Something snaps inside him. He balls his hands into fists, and slams them down onto the desk. Lucy almost jumps in shock. "Really, then? Have you heard the one about the little boy whose mother died giving him life, the one where his father leaves and he gets stuck in a sodding orphanage, and is moved from one fucking foster home to another?" he roars at her. "What about where he's at 'family' number twelve, where 'dad' reeks of beer, punches 'mom' in the face and does the same thing to you? It's the same fucking story where he digs a lit cigarette into the little boy's chest, and beats him black and blue so hard that he has to get stronger, because it's all he can do.
"So maybe my pranks are a cry for help, because god damn it, no one is listening!"
He's seething by the end of it, with his molars grinding against each other in frustration. His lower lip is quivering, and he doesn't seem to notice that his eyes have begun to sting with something wet.
Lucy is at a loss for words, but she feels the inherent need to say something. An apology, perhaps? Will it be enough? "Natsu, I…" she begins, but is promptly cut off.
"What? You know how I feel?" Natsu laughs mirthlessly. "No, you fucking do not know how I feel, Princess. How could you? You're the richest girl at school, you're so shittingly beautiful and smart and everyone loves you. I bet Daddy would give anything his precious little Lucy wanted, am I right? Oh, Daddy, can I have these diamond earrings? I want this new Corvette too! Buy me the world; it's okay, I deserve it!"
"Shut up!" Lucy screams, and he's startled because porcelain dolls don't make ugly sounds like that. "Don't even think for a moment that you know me. Yes, okay, I'm Daddy's favourite girl, I'm the fucking spoiled only child who can have anything she wants. Daddy loves me so much that sometimes at night he'll crawl into my bed when he thinks I'm asleep, and his breath smells like whiskey, and he'll run his hands over my body, and I hate it! It's all so wrong, because Daddys are supposed to love you, but not like that! And when he's gone, and I'm just there with tears running down my face –I just feel so, so fucking –"
Broken he finishes silently.
She sinks to the floor. Her breathing is harsh and ragged, and pretty, pretty Lucy Heartfilia, for all her glitter and gold and rainbows, doesn't even bother to control the sobs racking her body.
Natsu is left aghast, but he understands, and comes to know that she understands, too. Underneath all the facades, masquerades, the carefully painted pictures, intricately designed fables and every pretend they've managed to wrap themselves in like a cocoon, they're walking barefoot on scattered glass.
From now on, let's pick up the pieces together, alright?
Lucy walks alone to classroom 316, a pink detention slip crumpled in an expertly manicured hand. She's a little early for detention, quite unusual for any ruler breakers, but she's a good girl. She doesn't belong there. She feels like crying, because this is her first (and if she can help it, only) time going to detention, and everything she's worked for in seventeen years will be tarnished once they know she's spent two hours in the education system's equivalent for jail.
There's just a teacher in there, and his face is gaunt and stern. He takes the slip without sparing her a glance, and she takes a seat somewhere in the middle of the room. A woman walks in and whispers something in the teacher's ear, and while she hadn't thought it possible, the teacher's face turns even more gaunt and stern.
And then Natsu Dragneel enters the room, with his hands shoved into his pockets and his back set in an ungodly posture. There's paint smeared all over his face, and he has this wild grin that makes her both nervous and intrigued.
The teacher glares at the boy as he saunters down the rows of chairs before picking a seat situated at the back of the room. Lucy hastily takes a book from her bag and feigns being deeply engrossed in it.
"I'll be back in a while," the teacher mutters before shutting the door behind him. Lucy's neck almost snaps when she whips her head up, because that click sound definitely had to be the door locking from the outside. It's probably a safety precaution, because no doubt Dragneel would skive off at the first sign of being left alone. Lucy steals a quick look at the boy, and sees that he's staring at her with deadened eyes.
They've locked her in a room with a maniac.
Her friends notice that she doesn't beam or giggle as often –but really, it's because she doesn't feel the need to fake her happiness any longer.
She doesn't recite in class as often, though still does well in tests –the burden of being the top, the best, has become a load not unbearably heavy. She loves to learn, now.
Her comments have become a tad more hurtful and biting –she knows now the value of honesty.
She smiles secret smiles softly, suddenly, when she's in the library, the hallway, and most especially in Chemistry class –they're aimed at a boy who smiles back.
Every sunset, he climbs out his window to sit on the ledge of the apartment's roof. Looking at the stream of orange and red and yellow with the streaks of purple and blue seems to calm him down in a way that brawling simply can't..
Why did you leave me? he'll wonder. Wasn't I good enough?
He could run away from number twelve, he's done it before. But it would be selfish of him to leave his 'mother' to the hands of the beast –he refuses to call him 'father' any longer. Besides, he gets to go to school, eat three square meals a day, and be loved. Because no matter how much of a bastard the man he has to live with is, the woman truly loves him in her own helpless way. And he loves her too, somehow.
So he stares at the sunset, and thinks of a girl just like the stars about to come. It's different now, though, because for once, he has more than a dream to hold on to.
"What happens when we walk through those doors?" she asks quietly. Her head rests in the crook of his neck and shoulders.
"We go home, face the world, and face our demons like we do every day," he replies, giving her hand a tight squeeze. Her lips quirk upward and she closes her eyes. She's more comfortable now, with the scent of cigarette smoke and the fabric of his jacket rubbing against her arms. He nods his head to lie lightly atop hers, and he's more content as well.
We're survivors, you and I.
A/N: Thank you for taking the time to read this! I wanted to experiment with non-linear, so I apologize if it's kind of messy. It was pretty chill writing this, and I had fun. Any feedback, review, critique and even flame is highly appreciated. I'd like to dedicate this to my friend, Tyro Novelist, who I miss very much!
DISCLAIMER: I DO NOT OWN FAIRY TAIL