Chicks Dig It
Saturday morning detention... Dannie liked to forget there was such a thing as Saturday morning, so having to be up at seven to be at school at eight sucked. She pulled into a parking place in the parking lot and looked unhappily at the door leading into the school. She certainly wasn't dressed all that high maintenance, her oldest jeans, that pair that was tight in all the wrong places cause they were really a bit too small, and ripped and torn in others, but still the most comfortable pair she owned and she'd hate getting rid of if her hips really were too wide for it. A sepia phoenix cami and a camouflage zip up hoodie. Some people, like Kayla Pickman, would be surprised to see her in less make up than usual, but it was early and she'd been up late, mostly talking to Jess, who was a total basket case after this summer.
Oh well, if staying up til two and letting Jess scream and cry and curse fate while making the power flicker made her feel better, then Dannie could listen and make appropriate sympathetic noises. Her hair, which also wasn't highly styled at the moment, was simply pulled back in a glossy black braid, and her long electric blue nails contrasted brightly against it as she ran a hand through her hair.
She got out of the car and stretched, her engineers boots, (she'd forgone the stillettos, they didn't go with her outfit and besides, they were sort of cliché not that she'd admit that to Jess, who was constantly insulting her taste in footwear.) almost silent as she went toward the door of the school.
The parking lot was nearly empty, only people who really pissed off Madame Mussolini, JFK's vice principal, ended up in Saturday morning. The school almost seemed spooky, empty, smelling of floor wax and chalk dust, her footsteps echoing as she headed toward the library where the detentions were held. Ms. Vernon, their monitor, liked to use the library, that way if Madam Mussolini showed up it'd look like she was paying attention even if she wasn't really.
Well this morning actually had a better turn out than she thought it had, a couple of underage jocks teasing a couple of cheerleaders. Who knew what the jocks were in for, the cheerleaders she recognized as the pair of Junior squad cheerleaders who were caught smoking behind the scoreboard at school. They looked at her and bristled, but Dannie was used to it. They were all Kayla Pickman and Rocky—who had less brains than just a picture of the cartoon squirrel did—wannabe's. She, at least, was there for a good reason.
There was also a little cluster of nerds, probably the pack of bottom dwellers whose experiment with the squid dissection and Bunsen burner had lead to the science wing being evacuated, pity it was the afternoon, long after Physics was over with and they'd deemed the wing safe once more by the time the next day came around.
The detention was surprisingly short on people like Dannie, people who were actually here for a good reason, although making a couple hundred kids have to stand outside and wait for the fire department wasn't a bad reason. But still for kids with straight A averages they were kind of brainless for not knowing that formaldehyde and fire never mixed.
She slumped down at one of the empty tables and slung her bag onto the table. Ms. Vernon looked at her watch and the little clumps dissolved filling into the tables the ones in around her staying empty. Ms. Vernon turned sky blue eyes searchingly over the group.
“I thought...” The door shut again and all eyes shot past Ms. Vernon to the doorway where a boy about Dannie's age with long chestnut curls and the absolute most gorgeous mocha brown eyes Dannie had ever seen stood. His lips quirked up in a grin as Ms. Vernon tapped her watch. He pointed at the clock which was just then reaching eight o'clock
“Very cute, Robert, take a seat.”
Rob dropped his bag on the table, taking the seat immediately next to Dannie. She looked up at him startlement clear in her wide dark chocolate eyes. He smiled at her, then turned and gave some show of listening to Ms. Vernon's speech, which he'd heard about a million times before. She always got stuck with Saturday detention, and with his propensity for skipping class on random occasions, usually when the mood to draw struck him, or when he thought whatever he wanted to be doing took precedence over going to class, which was usually no more than twice a week, he ended up with Saturdays quite often. With kids drinking and smoking on school grounds, with the jocks propensity for shoving people in lockers and Kayla Pickman and her friends cutting class to go to the mall, he didn't see why he, who managed to get good grades anyway, was someone who always ended up in Saturday detention, but he did.
And he'd figured out long ago that talking to Mrs. Moschella was about as pointless as talking to a wall. You weren't going to change her mind no matter what you did. Finally the whole song and dance was over with, Ms. Vernon was off to get herself a cup of coffee. Dannie took out a pencil looking forlornly at the worksheets that Ms. Vernon had handed out.
“You don't actually have to do those.” Rob said whispering in Dannie's ear. She sat up and looked at him puzzled. “Ms Vernon gives them out to keep us quiet, she never collects them unless we get obnoxious.”
“Oh,” Dannie said.
“I thought you'd know that, as often as you've had Saturday detention.” He grinned at her.
“I usually get the ones that Madame Mussolini monitors.” Dannie told him. “How did you know I get Saturday detention a lot?”
“I'm not blind or stupid.” He said. “You don't take on the teachers or on most of the other students, you take on Mrs. Moschella, if that doesn't net you Saturdays, I don't see what would. So what are you in for? Eating babies?” He was still grinning, felt, in fact, that he was grinning like an idiot but seemed unable to stop grinning as he recalled the latest tale that Kayla had cooked up about Dannie and her grandmother.
“No. Where'd you get that idea?” She asked curiously.
“Hadn't you heard?” Rob asked curiously. “Kayla's been passing it around for a couple of days.”
“No—I—hadn't been paying too much attention to the Abercrombie and Bitch brigade recently, I've had other problems.” Something passed over her face, reflecting in her eyes, something like sorrow deep in the dark chocolatey depths.
“Well—come on, Dannie... who else would come up with such a lame story about you?” Rob asked.
“Point. But then again she's like the scarecrow, would be much better if she only had a brain. Unfortunately, the wizard's gonna pass on her, because of course she's much too cool to hang out with anyone who still wears two braids, a dog, a lion and a tin man.” Dannie said with a grin back, though that odd light was still in her eyes. Rob snickered.
“The cellphone purse check.” Dannie said.
“Hmmm?” Rob asked her, cocking his head curiously.
“You asked what I was in for. Standing up for everyone's right to not have their purse randomly gone through for a cellphone check. Yeah sure when Kayla gets ahold of one of them it's dangerous, but I don't want anyone rooting through my purse for any reason, and certainly not to toss me in detention, just cause I happen to want to be able to call my granny if something goes wrong with the car or something.” Dannie explained.
“Ah.” Rob said. “Always out to change the world, aren't you?” He teased. She glanced away tears suddenly prickling at her eyes. She was remembering Lynn and Tommy, Ryd and Will, left behind in a war torn world. Remembering Arthur looking old and defeated at Guinevere's execution. Jessie and Dannie's flight from Camelot.
“Not always.” She whispered. Rob cocked his head to the side again as she swallowed hard and glanced away again.
“Is something wrong?” Rob asked.
“Wrong?” Dannie echoed her voice sounding hollow even to herself. “Nah, not really. Just thinking back to this summer.” Rob's look was sharp but tempered with curiosity. “Just thinking about changing the world, people who try. And how sometimes you can't win—but you still want to—try, I mean.” Dannie smiled a bit shakily.
“I'm sorry.” Rob said, laying his hand on her arm. She could just faintly feel the warmth of his palm on her arm through her sweatshirt. “That you can't always win. You ought to be able to do that, always.”
She can run so very hot and cold, can't she? Sometimes it's hard to imagine she could ever be serious about anything, and then others she's so passionate, and yet others she's so solemn. I don't remember her being like this before summer break.
Well people change, it's just like something came along and just changed her whole view of the world. Whatever happened, it was both very good and very bad, by the look in her eyes, she almost seems wistful as she's on the edge of tears. Rob thought as he picked up his sketchbook and flipped it open. He picked up a pencil and began to sketch, a picture coming to mind. Dannie was staring off toward the bookcases, her eyes obviously not seeing here and now, but rather some time in the past.
He looked down at the lines that he'd drawn. No, he thought, this one's not right. He erased it, and drew another. He found himself redrawing all the lines, sometimes two and three times. The image in his head overlaying the rough lines on the drawing paper in front of him. The grass like this. And his hand reached to recreate it. The sky like this. He'd pictured sunny, but somehow it was turning stormy on the paper.
At the center the focus, he'd imagined... no, no, the arch of the brow wasn't right, the hair should be looser... darker, like that, black, no down not back, tucked behind the ear, yeah. The intensity, the dark eyes, the line of the shoulders. The proud tilt of the chin. Like that. The sword—no—not a broad sword, a Katana. Yeah her other hand needs something it was right there he knew, he knew it, what was it? What is it. Finally he settled on a flower, not a rose, that wasn't quite right, a lily?
Yes, that's it. The jeans low on the hips, damn it, now he wished he's looked. Ah Rob you're losing it boy, it's a sketch...
... or was it...
Cause right now it was looking an awful lot like... his eyes slid sideways. That was her cheekbone, her jaw, her chin. Oh hell. Cause when you come right down to it, you were sketching her and you know it. Rob sighed ruefully. The faint sound drew Dannie's attention and she glanced at him, then as almost everyone did, her eyes slid to the sketchbook on the table in front of him.
“So?” Rob asked. Dannie jumped her eyes flickering back to his face.
“It's really good.” She said with a smile. “I like the tattoo and the sword.” She paused.
“Does my butt really look like that?” Dannie asked glancing behind her.
“I took a bit of artistic license there, I unfortunately haven't been studying it as carefully as I should.” Rob blushed as what he said really hit him.
“Unfortunately?” Dannie giggled behind her hand. Rob blushed further and pretended to fix a piece of grass on his sketch. “So it is me?”
“Unintentionally. I mean it wasn't how it started out—but I guess in the end... yeah.” Rob said toying with his pencil. “Or at least sort of you—I um—like I said—there are some parts that might be off.”
“Maybe you'll get a chance to study up more carefully.” Dannie said, a wicked look in her eyes. Rob met her naughty look with a smile.
“I think I'd like that.”