Well, here it goes! This story is one that just popped into my head, so I'm winging it as I go. There isn't really a game plan to it, so if you all want to review, talk about what would be interesting in the story, I'll take it into consideration. No guarantees that all the ideas will be used, but I'll try my best!
Clary should've known that he would react this way. All of the yelling, screaming, complaining. He was stomping around, dropping a number of curse words and profanities here and there. Surprisingly, he hadn't actually directed much of it at her. He was more ranting to himself, although Clary didn't really pay him much attention so she didn't have clue what he was going on about. But either way, it wasn't as bad as she prepared herself for so far. In fact, she even expected worse. Maybe a fist through a wall? A chair flying across the room to crash through the window? Clary could've sworn that there was smoke coming out of his head and thought that it would explode at any minute, and when he turned towards her, she prepared herself with a deep breath.
"YOU GOT YOURSELF EXPELLED?"
Clary sighed as her father yelled, asking rhetorical questions in an extremely loud voice. He was pacing back and forth in the living room, acting like a tempered child. She dropped her head in her hands, just waiting for the moment to pass so she could get a word in.
Finally she got her chance. "Clarissa, what the hell were you thinking?"
She looked up and found her father in front of her. His arms were crossed over his chest, rumpling his suit that he had on for the football game that night. The anger was still apparent in his voice and Clary knew she had to choose her words carefully if she wanted to live through this moment.
So she leaned back on the couch until she was slouching, putting her hands in her lap and looking down at them. "Dad, she pissed me off. I just reacted."
"You were being an idiot," he said quickly. "Acting like an incompetent child. Did you not think this through? Did you not think about the consequences?"
"Of course I didn't," Clary shot back, glaring up at her father. His eyes widened at her tone, and she dropped her voice back down to avoid any more of his anger. "If I thought about it, I wouldn't have punched her."
Valentine sighed deeply, like he was exasperated. "Clarissa, I didn't raise you to be so… impetuous."
Clary rolled her eyes. Although he didn't deliberately make her like this, the reason that she doesn't put up with anyone's shit is because of him. It's because of him that she acts without thinking. It's because of him she goes off the rails so easily. And she could accept that. It was hard to keep it under control all the time, but her family is known for overreacting. It's not her fault that she acts before she thinks.
"Do you have any idea how this looks? How this affects the family?"
"Of course, your reputation always comes first, doesn't it?" Clary said with venom in her voice.
Her father slit his eyes at her tone. But no way in hell was she taking that back. "Not always, but you know that this doesn't help me. And what about your brother? Do you think Jonathan likes walking around North Alicante while people whisper about his sister behind his back?"
"Okay, let's get something straight." Valentine frowned, but didn't say anything. "Dad, Jonathan is a big boy and can handle himself. If it wasn't for his girlfriend's constant antagonism towards me, all this wouldn't be happening. I've told her on countless occasions to leave me the hell alone, but she thinks that she has some higher power over me because she's dating my brother. If you want me to apologize for sticking up for myself, you're going to be sorely disappointed. Honestly, I couldn't give a rat's ass about Kaelie Dermon, your football team or your damned reputation."
"That. Is. Enough."
Clary swallowed as she realized what she said. Holy shit. Sometimes she wanted to slap herself for her lack of thinking. Why was it so hard to stop herself from talking? She's going to dig herself a hole she can't get out of one of these days.
Her father was doing that thing, standing very still like he wasn't even breathing. This wasn't the first time she talked crap about him and Jonathan, and every time she did it never ended well. She really should've watched what she was saying. But sometimes she just couldn't help it. The words just spill out like they have a mind of their own. The worst part:
She meant every word.
She didn't give a damn about his reputation. She couldn't give two shits about her father's football record, his reputation, or anything to do with North Alicante. Everything about that school pissed her off, including her brother most of the time. Sure, they got along way better than her and her father did, but sometimes, she just needed a break. She couldn't handle all the pressure of being known as Valentine's daughter or Jonathan's little sister. Although the first one was more often than the other. It was like all of her movements were begin watched, and now that she knocked Kaelie out in the middle of the hallway with more than enough eyes watching, she was sure that her name would be spoken even more than before.
But she wasn't really sorry about it. Kaelie deserved to have her nose broken.
The couch next to her shifted as Valentine sat down beside her. Clary tensed, wondering if he was still as angry or before, but his voice had lowered to a decent octave as he asked:
"So, East Alicante?"
It took a minute to realize what he was talking about, but when she did, she nodded and looked down to the floor. "Yeah. It's the closest school, even though it's your rival."
A silence fell over the two of them as they sat on the couch. Clary knew exactly what her father was contemplating. East Alicante was the last place that he wanted her to go. Although she had a feeling it was mainly because of the head football coach. Clary didn't even know the guy's name. All she knew was that her father had some kind of quarrel with the man, although Clary never really understood what it was about. She normally avoided anything that had to do with football, her family, and East or North Alicante. In fact, she tried her best to avoid the conversations in general. The only time she ever went to the games was because of Jonathan. If he had some kind of scout there, she'd go to support him. Even after all the fighting they've done, she'd still be there for him and Sebastian. Other than that, she hated football as much as she hated Kaelie.
And that was saying something.
Now though, Jonathan probably hated her, really hated her. She could only imagine his reaction when Kaelie told him what happened. Clary looked down at her watch, and frowned. It had been two hours since the expulsion, and Jonathan hadn't said a word. No texts. No missed calls. No voice-mails. She didn't know if that was a good thing or a bad thing.
"I'm not happy about this," her father said in a low voice. He was looking forward towards the entertainment center, his hair falling into his eyes.
Clary nodded and kept her eyes to the floor. "I know."
"But I don't have a choice. On Monday, you'll be transferred to East Alicante." He said it like it was the most awful thing in the world. "What are the arrangements I have to do?"
"I can handle everything. Principle Starkweather said he'd send most of the information to East this weekend. All I need to do is be in the principal's office by nine A.M. on Monday morning."
Her father, much to her surprise, dropped his head in his hands with his elbows on his knees. "Clarissa, just don't be stupid, okay?"
Well, what was that supposed to mean? "Dad, I don't–"
"WHERE THE HELL IS SHE?"
Uh oh. Clary looked up, looking to the front door as it burst open. In came her brother, Jonathan, looking like a volcano ready to explode. It's like thinking about him had summoned him up.
His white hair was messy, falling into his eyes where his navy snapback didn't cover. His body was covered in North's training football gear: a white t-shirt with the navy letters and navy shorts. In his hand was a phone, and when his dark eyes fell on Clary, she was actually frightened of her brother.
"Calm down, mate."
She'd never been so happy to hear that British voice in her life. Sebastian Verlac's hand descended on Jonathan's shoulder, holding him back when he started to stalk towards Clary. He was dressed similarly to Jonathan, but unlike her brother, his eyes were sympathetic and sad. And his presence made her feel safe, not threatened.
"I'll leave you three to talk." Her father stood up, brushing off his pants as he walked towards the front door. "I'll see you two at in the locker room in an hour. Don't you dare be late." Sebastian nodded in response, and then Valentine was out the door, closing it behind him.
She had never wanted to hug Sebastian so bad in her life. When he met her eyes and gave her a sad smile, she felt more relieved than ever. At least she knew that if Jonathan lost his cool, Sebastian would be there to handle him. Because even though Clary was pretty good at defending herself, Jonathan was still too strong to stop, not to mention how he tended to act out of impulse when he was angry, a trait that they both shared.
Clary rose to her feet as Jonathan did nothing but glare at her. It was like being held at gun point. Even the slightest bit of movement could've set her brother off.
"Why?" Was all that Jonathan said. He took a few steps forward, and Clary would've stepped back if Sebastian wouldn't have followed him onto the living room carpet. "Why they hell would you do that? What could she have done to deserve that?"
"She was being a bitch, like always," Clary spat. "You're girlfriend isn't as perfect as you think she is. She started the damn thing. I was just shutting her slutty mouth."
"Stop lying! She never did anything to hurt you!"
"Alright, both of you shut up," Sebastian said in a calm voice, cutting off Clary's response. "Sit down on the couch, shut the hell up, and listen."
After what felt like an eternity of eye contact with her brother, Clary sat back on the couch. Jonathan did as well, but he stayed as far away from her as possible, practically sitting on the arm rest to keep the distance. It hurt knowing he was pretty much choosing his girlfriend over his sister, but Clary had expected that. This wasn't the first fight they'd had about Kaelie, and she was sure that it wouldn't be the last. Not with the blonde's bitchiness still in the picture.
All she wanted to do was just grab Jonathan and shake him until he realized how stupid he was being. Surely he could've seen all the flaws in Kaelie's fake personality! But obviously, he was as blind as the other hormonal apes running around her school.
Well, her old school.
Sebastian stepped up to them, sticking his foot on the couch cushion between them and looking down at them. Clary didn't know what was worse – having Sebastian lecture her or her father. "Alright, listen up. We all know that Kaelie can be a bitch at times–"
"Shut up Jonathan," Sebastian pointed his finger at him, and Clary's brother shut up. "You have bigger things to worry about than your girlfriend and your sister fighting it out in the hallway. We have a game to deal with tonight, and Macintosh isn't going to be a walkover. Do you really want to deal with your dad's anger at losing on top of your girlfriend complaining about your sister? If so, keep talking."
Jonathan glared at him but said nothing.
"Exactly. And Clary," She looked up, meeting Sebastian's dark eyes, "I'm just going to ask it straight up: What the hell were you thinking?"
"She wasn't," Jonathan mumbled.
"I don't have to explain myself to you." Clary leaned back on the couch casually, shoving her hands in her jeans pockets. "What happened is between me and Kaelie. You two weren't involved."
"Kaelie is my girlfriend, so I am involved."
"Can I please slap him?" Clary asked no one in particular. Between the glaring, the choosing sides, and the anger boiling in both siblings, Clary was shocked that neither of them had actually taken a swing at each other yet. They've been fighting more and more lately, and it became physical more often than not. The fact that they were sitting on the couch without swinging punches was… different.
This was all Kaelie's fault. Clary hated her on principle of course, but she had some legitimate reasons for hating the blonde bimbo. The fact that she was drawing a wedge between Clary and her brother was one of the big ones. And it wasn't just stealing Jonathan that Kaelie was interested in. For the past year, Kaelie had made it her goal in life to make Clary miserable, but she wasn't just going to take it. If she had learned anything from her father, it was to not be a pushover. She held her ground and fought back, but that only made Jonathan more and more cautious around her.
She was defending herself, only to lose those that were close to her.
It's a vicious circle!
What happened to that brother that she used to have? The one that taught her how to throw a spiral with a football? The one who would hold a pose for hours when they were little so that she could draw him? The one who used to ride bikes with her to the Dollar General Store to get candy?
Oh yeah, he got a slutty girlfriend.
"No slapping," Sebastian answered with a stern expression directed at Clary. "Now, tell me what happened."
Clary sighed, throwing her head back to stare at the ceiling. "Look, it's no secret that Kaelie and I hate each other. We've always hated each other. You could say that all the anger finally built up in me and I just snapped."
"That's the biggest load of bullshit I've ever heard," Jonathan said.
"Really?" Clary snapped her head back to look at her brother. "Because your relationship is the biggest bullshit I've ever heard of. The only reason your dating her is because she puts out."
"You've got to be kidding me," Sebastian muttered. Clary watched as he balled his hands into fists and stood up straight. "Jon, go ahead and go to the field. I want to talk to your sister alone."
Jonathan's head snapped in his direction. "I'm not leaving you here, alone, with my sister."
"Now you're protective?" Clary whispered quietly enough so that no one actually heard her. That would only make things worse. So instead, she just sat there quietly after her little comment, watching the rest of the situation unfold before her. She couldn't but think about the irony of the situation. She was more comfortable around Sebastian than her own family. That was just sad.
"I just want to talk to her." To Clary's surprise, Sebastian reached forward and grabbed the front of Jonathan's shirt, pulling him up. "Now go ahead and get to the field. Clary can drive me when we're done talking."
"Go!" and he shoved Jonathan towards the door with little kindness. Jonathan stumbled a bit, tripping over a pair of flip flops in the doorway before he stepped through the door, slamming it shut behind him.
This was going to be even worse. Clary didn't want to do this. She didn't want to be alone with Sebastian. It wasn't because he frightened her. It wasn't because he made her uncomfortable. If fact, he was her best friend. Unlike Kaelie, he never chose sides. He split his time between Clary and Jonathan evenly, and out of everything, he was the only steady thing in her life so far.
But he was also the only one that she had ever opened up to. It wasn't like she had a lot of friends. There were plenty of acquaintances at school, people that she talked to and was nice to because they simply had classes together. But Sebastian was the only person that she really hung out with, opened up to, and cared about. He was even closer to her than her own brother, which was just sad. That's what worried her at the moment. If anyone could get the information out of her: it was Sebastian.
So she just waited for him to ask the one question that she really didn't want to answer. She'd rather talk about how molecules move through permeable membranes in chemistry than discuss the situation that happened today.
Unlike Jonathan, Sebastian took the spot right next to her, their knees touching. He didn't move to touch her anywhere else, didn't look at her, and other than talking, he didn't even acknowledge her existence when he asked:
"What did she call her this time?"
He knew. He always knew. Clary should've known that he would've guessed what it was about. This wasn't the first time she was upset about something Kaelie said, and after the past year Sebastian had figured out what it was that Kaelie always said. Clary was a strong girl, something she was proud of, but there was one thing that could get under her skin and make her cringe. Sadly, Kaelie figured it out all too quickly.
A shiver went down her spine and the anger flooded through her body at the thought of Kaelie's words. Clary's hands gripped the edge of the couch in a death grip and if the fabric would've tore, Clary wouldn't even have been surprised.
A hand descended over hers when Sebastian noticed her reluctance. "Clary, you can talk to me."
She closed her eyes and took a deep breath. "She called her a cheating tramp."
And nothing had pissed Clary off more. Her mother was someone that Clary idolized, despite her father and brother's stern hatred for her. Clary was too young to really understand what happened when her parents split, but she knew that it wasn't her mother's fault. Of all the times and memories she has of her, it was nothing but love, kindness, and care. Her father on the other hand was full of hatred, competition, and selfishness. And Jonathan… well, he was just an asshole most of the time nowadays.
She wished that her mother was here now. Sebastian was a good friend and helped in these situations, but her mother was the only one who could really make her feel better. Sebastian just made it easier to deal with it, but never made it better. But she was living in Atlanta, while Clary was stuck in the outskirts, unable to see her. Even calling her was difficult. Most of the time, some guy just answered saying that "Jocelyn is dealing with a client".
"You know that's not true, right?" Sebastian squeezed her hand and intertwined their fingers. It wasn't anything special to Clary, and she just let it happen for the comfort.
"It still gets to me. And since it came out of Kaelie's mouth, it made the insult ten times worse."
"Don't stress about it. Here, how about this." Sebastian stood up, smiling down at Clary who didn't share his excitement at all. "You come to the game. Once we beat the shit out of Macintosh, you and I can go out to Waffle House or something. Just hang out and talk about stupid shit that neither of us really care about."
"That sounds good and all, but I think I'm just going to stay in tonight." Clary rose to her feet, and when Sebastian went to say something, she interrupted him. "Seb, I know you mean well, but Kaelie will be at the game. And honestly, I couldn't care less about supporting my obnoxious father and my hate-filled brother while dealing with his devil of a girlfriend."
His face fell, but luckily he seemed to accept the fact that she wasn't going to stay there. Just painting and listening to music in the dark was all that Clary wanted at this point. It was so much better than dealing with teenagers that she couldn't stand.
The good thing about being expelled: she'd never have to see any of those assholes and bitches ever again.
No more Kaelie. No more Jonathan. No more annoying announcements about her father's win on Friday, or the upcoming game. No more comments about her mother. No more people comparing her to Jonathan. No more comparisons. No more questions about her father, about her family, about any of it.
There wasn't going to be any more of it.
After the hours passed, Clary couldn't help but think that she should've been expelled so much sooner. That first day she met Kaelie, she should've just done it right then and there. Sure, her hand was starting to bruise now and it hurt a bit when she gripped the paint brush, but it was totally worth it. Kaelie's face after Clary punched her: priceless. The fact that she no longer had to go to school with her: even better. She'd finally get away from her father and brother for eight hours a day: perfection!
There was only one thing about North Alicante that she might actually miss. Nothing really tied her to the school. She didn't have a boyfriend. She wasn't a part of any clicks. None of her teachers were very special to her, considering she hated most of them anyway, and she stayed away from sports as much as possible.
But Sebastian… she wasn't too happy about leaving him. There was always a catch to everything, and sure enough, he was the catch. But her relationship with him was complicated. He was her brother's best friend, but her best friend too. They weren't dating, although a ton of people at school thought differently about that. Even Jonathan thought they were together at one point, but Clary would never go that road. Sure, she probably "friend zoned" him, but it would just be too weird, and she couldn't handle it. She couldn't handle a bad break up. She couldn't handle losing him like that.
But would she lose him now? Now that she was leaving, their relationship was going to get complicated. They were used to seeing each other, having classes together. He would always come over on Saturdays and tell her about the game if she missed it. But what if he suddenly got a girlfriend and couldn't do that? What if he got too busy to see her in their free time? What if she suddenly drifted away from him? What if they lost each other?
Clary shook her head, trying to get those thoughts to disappear. She couldn't think like that. It wasn't anything she could change, so why think about the "what ifs?"
To keep her mind from wondering again, she stared at the painting in front of her. And what stared back at her made her want to cry.
It was Sebastian. Not his whole body, but his face. He had the most peculiar eyes when she really looked at them. They were dark, very dark, but not quite to the point that they were black. Towards the outside of the iris, they turned to a grey, fading until the white of the eye took over. His nose was always slightly too big, but his other handsome features made that less important. She had painted his cheeks with color. His back hair was falling across his forehead. And she painted him with his smile that she loved so much. It was the smile that showed how happy he really could be. That smile never showed at football or at school but when he and Clary were talking about nothing and everything. It showed his teeth, and his tongue always stuck out a little on the left side. She never understood why he did that but always thought that it was cute, regardless.
Her hand reached out, touching the painted cheek that had dried before she pulled back. She wasn't leaving him permanently, she knew that, but she felt the need to keep this picture of him. For some reason, having the new painting eased her stress. If he couldn't see her, at least she could still see him exactly how she wanted to – with a smile on his face.
Clary stood from her spot in front of the easel. Her feet carried her to the window, where her window seat looked out over the driveway. A large oak tree covered most of her view to the right, but to the left she could see the trees, the neighborhoods around. Being on the second story gave her a better view of the suburban area, but sometimes she just felt the need to see it all. When the sun would set, she used to sit in that very spot and paint it as it faded behind the trees. She missed those days where she painted because she wanted to, not because she had to get her mind off of the awful things happening around her.
By now, the sun was long gone, and Clary looked out over the street lit pavement. Her bike was parked on the driveway, and she wanted nothing more than to get on it and drive. Although she told Sebastian she wanted to stay in after she dropped him off at the game, right now, she couldn't think of anything better than to get out.
But she never got the chance, because suddenly her phone started ringing from its spot on the bed. With a heavy sigh, she reluctantly stood and plopped on the bed.
"Is this, uh, Clar - Clarissa Morgenstern?"
Clary frowned at the sound of the boy's voice. He sounded nervous and even a little scared. Just to make sure she wasn't imagining things, she pulled the phone away to check to see if she knew the kid. It was just a number though, and she shrugged, pulling it back.
"Yeah, who's this?"
"Um, I'm Simon. Simon Lewis. I, uh, I go to East Alicante."
Clary pulled her eyebrows together. "Okay? How do you have my number exactly?"
"And stop saying that and get to the point."
"Sorry, I - my mom works in the office at school, and she makes me show around the new people at East when transfer in during the year."
Clary sat up, looking down at her painted hands in confusion. Within six hours, they already had some paperwork and knew she was coming?
At least they're efficient. "Yeah, I'm transferring. What do you mean show me around exactly?"
"Well, I'm the President of the Sophomore Class here. And you're a sophomore, so I'd help you around school. Find your classes. Get your locker set up. That kind of thing."
Clary tried to hold her in her laughter at her realization. Great, this guy was a nerd. That explained the nervousness. He was the "President". She wouldn't be surprised if he wore glasses, was great at physics, and had dorky gamer t-shirts that he wore every day. There were plenty of those at North Alicante, but Clary never really associated herself with them. She wasn't in higher classes with them, so it was like they lived in a whole different world.
But was she really going to be mean and pass up this opportunity? It wasn't like she was exactly popular at North, so starting the reputation that she was a bully wouldn't be the smartest move. And this Simon kid sounded nice enough. Might as well take the chance.
So she took a slow breath, calming her laughter that threatened to come through at her mental picture of him. "That sounds good."
There was a pause before a squeaky "Really?" came through the receiver.
"Yeah," Clary chuckled at Simon's lack of puberty. "Did you think I was going to say no?"
"Well, I mean, my mom showed me your file. I did this because I do this with all the new kids but I never expected you to accept it."
"Well, I know about your… family situation."
Clary's eyes widened. Family situation? Did he mean… "What family situation?"
There was a pause. "Don't take this the wrong way. My mom gave me your file that North sent over. It talked about your brother and your father, although I never knew that Valentine Morgenstern had another kid other than Jonathan. So I'm guessing that you didn't exactly get along with them, especially since you punched your brother's current girlfriend."
He knew all of that? They had all that on file? And someone knew about it already, when that whole incident just happened hours ago. "I don't know whether to be creeped out or impressed that you know all that."
He laughed a bit, which made her smile slightly in turn. He had a goofy laugh, like he couldn't really control how it sounded. It was a mix between a giggle and a chuckle, if there is such a thing. "Please just say you're impressed."
"Whatever makes you sleep at night," she said with the smile still on her face. "Just don't go blabbering about all that."
For some reason, she actually thought that he meant what he said. But she didn't really feel like talking to a complete stranger about her situation at home. "Are we supposed to meet up at school or what?"
"Wow, jumping the gun, huh?"
Clary rolled over on her stomach, fiddling with the fabric of her blankets. "Just trying to figure this all out."
"Alright. And yeah, if you want to, you can meet me in the parking lot Monday morning. I'll be the nerdy guy in an old, green, beat up F-150 with a book in his hand and glasses."
Clary smiled at the picture that popped in her head. At least she was right about the nerdy part and not being completely judgmental. And besides, Simon seemed like someone who was easy enough to get along with. Why not give him a shot?
"I'll be there."
Let me know what you think! I'll be uploading weekly, maybe twice a week, so keep an eye out!