Stretch Break

A/N: Some more Pike, woop. In honor of finals week. :p

-x-

Pete never found school to be useful in any way, shape, or form—not for what he wanted to do for a living, anyway. And yes, he did have something he actually wanted to do with his life, which is something he would have to constantly remind those surprised at the prospect of such a tiny, capricious—although generally pessimistic—sixteen-year-old boy actually having an aspiration. He may not like the rat-race fate, but he wasn't planning on living with his horridly optimistic parents the rest of his life, that was for sure. So, regrettably, here he was, sitting in a creaky chair at a wooden desk riddled with pencil drawings of penises and wads of colorful chewed gum alike.

He didn't remember why he let himself drag Henrietta to school with him, either. Sure, he had initially wanted the company of someone who he thought wasn't a total waste of space, and Michael may've been sick at the time, but it took all of five minutes to discover that he would've been better off braving school alone that day, rather than listening to the girl complain about the one thing he wished she wouldn't complain about.

Her black lips separated into a groan before she made a motion to lift her cigarette to her mouth, only to come up empty-handed and groan some more. "Fuck school," she mumbled to Pete, who sat one seat over and was currently leaning back against the wall of dubious cleanliness beside his desk. "I hate this place so freaking bad."

"I hate everywhere, so this isn't much of a change."

"Mm." The girl considered this, then shrugged noncommittally. "In that case, I'd rather be nowhere. If everywhere sucks so bad, I mean."

"Yeah." Pete flipped his hair and huffed. "True."

The pause was the nicest part of the conversation so far, which they both knew, but Henrietta was quite incorrigible when she wanted to be and she knew just how to make Pete tick. He had a strong suspicion that she messed with him on purpose. Presently, for example, she'd cast her gaze on a tall, skinny boy a few seats behind Pete. "Makowski," she all but drawled, grabbing his attention in the form of humorously shrunken irises.

"Ah—um, yes?"

"You're pathetic."

The look of fear that the vampire kid held for the girl instantly morphed into annoyance. "Fuck off, Henrietta."

"Don't you know cursing is for grown-ups only?" she returned evenly, prompting both Pete and Mike to roll their eyes in unison. With a soft snort, she turned her attention back to Pete. "Why do you like him? He's, like, the definition of conformist."

Pete shot her a glare. "Just keep your voice down. The last thing I want is for people to know about that."

"You're a conformist, you know that?"

"Henri, for the love of Cthulhu."

Now it was her turn to glare. "I told you how I feel about that name."

"You just don't like to think about how you practically worshiped him for two years after the rest of us stopped."

Henrietta made a motion with her hands as if she were wringing someone's neck. "I swear—"

"You liked him almost as much as you like that pathetic poser, Damien." The boy, to those who didn't know him, looked as passive as ever throughout this statement; to Henrietta, a close friend of many years, the smirk that only showed through his eyes was flagrant.

Her own eyes, dark brown to begin with, seemed to grow darker. "Bastard."

Pete had won the argument, then, he affirmed to himself. Or so he'd thought.

After a while, he realized that the girl was staring at him while he was staring at Mike and gave her his immediate attention. "What? Like you don't do the same goddamned thing."

"Right," she returned, voice deceptively placid. "I don't blame you. Makowski is attractive in a dorky, vampiric sort of way."

Pete could've easily called her bluff, but he decided not to respond and simply went back to eyeing the taller boy with a hungry look that Henrietta may've grinned at, had she felt so inclined. As it stood, she didn't feel much like doing so; she did, however, begin to drum her fingers on the desktop, ignoring the worksheet that her arm had swept to the floor. A lengthy hum on her part brought the narrowed, coal-rimmed eyes of her friend back to her once more. "What is it, Henrietta?"

"He's yawning. Look, I bet he's about to stretch."

Pete blinked once, slowly. "Uhh…yeah. And?"

Her smile was curt and brief. "You don't know anything about the finer points of boys' habits."

"I know they wear bad band t-shirts three days in a row and spray too much fucking Axe." He eyed Mike for a second, then looked back at Henrietta. "I know he doesn't, though, thank fuck."

Unlike her smile, the girl's irritated expression lasted for a good few seconds. "Whatever. I can smell his stupid body spray from a mile away."

"That's not Axe, though. That's something else."

"I think you're deluded."

"What about him stretching, again?" Pete flipped his hair once more and glared at the ceiling with feigned disinterest toward her point.

"Just look, you idiot. He's kind of cute isn't he?" She tried not to gag on her own words, but it did the trick: Pete's gaze was affixed to the other boy with seemingly unbreakable attentiveness.

Mike didn't bother to cover his mouth when he yawned. He lifted his arms above his head to stretch, and Pete watched way too conspicuously as the teen's shirt rode up and his fingers combed idly through his hair. The small noise of pleasure he emitted didn't go unnoticed, nor did the suddenly-visible pale strip of skin and line of dark brown hair that disappeared into his jeans.

Henrietta leaned one elbow on the desk behind her. "Hey Mike," she began, her words causing Pete to nearly crack a rib in an effort to turn back around and face the front of the room again. "Pull your shirt down. No one but Pete wants to see your pubes."

The Goth boy's forehead thumped down onto his desk, Mike's entire face went red, and, beside him, Eric Cartman began laughing obnoxiously. Henrietta took the liberty to flip the brunette off before the bell rang, which was when the kids scrambled out and Pete decided to stay behind and regret his life choices.

Though Henrietta's methods were somewhat cruel, she could see the vampire kid as easily as anyone, lurking in the doorway and chewing on his lip. So perhaps her practice may've done her friend some good, as vehemently as he'd deny it in the future.

She patted Mike's shoulder on her way out the door, a motion that he cringed away from but smiled bashfully at, nonetheless.

All-in-all, the girl supposed she'd done well, but she sure as hell was never letting her friend talk her out of skipping school ever again. He made her miss her routine meeting with Damien—not that Pete actually knew about that—which was something that certainly wouldn't do. Not one bit.

And she was never one to miss out on getting some much-needed revenge.