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Acid Rain; watashi no detention love story ♥
Topic Started: Jul 6 2016, 03:03 PM (293 Views)
frogue
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[Georgia Lee Day continued from The Library is the Powerhouse of the Student]

It was the unfairness of the whole thing that really got to Georgia Lee.

The scrape on her cheek was ugly, but it hardly hurt and it'd heal. Her ribs were tender from where she'd hit the ground, and her elbows skinned from where she'd caught herself, but Georgia Lee had fallen before, and those minor injuries she could deal with. Even the bite mark on her shoulder - and really, what kind of child just bit someone - hardly bothered her.

No, it was the sheer injustice of the whole situation that bothered Georgia Lee. She'd avoided confrontation. She'd walked away, even, and what had she got? Attacked from behind, leapt on and bitten like a... like a darned deer or something. And then? And then? When the teachers finally pulled them apart, was she comforted? Was she told that it was okay, that she'd done well to protect herself, that everything would be okay?

Georgia Lee snorted, bitterly.

No, that would have been fair. Instead she was here, locked in a room with this animal, as if they were the same. As if what they'd done, as if anything about them was in any way comparable. She'd won awards for Cochise, she'd been innumerable teams and committees and groups, she'd spent hours, even days of her life working to make the school better, and how was she treated? At the end of it all, no better than some... some feral junkie.

It was just so unfair.

Still, she'd given as good as she'd got, if not better. The girl may have tackled her completely without warning, may have had her on the ground before Georgia Lee had even had an idea what was going, may have been... what? 3 feet taller than her? And yet, it wasn't Georgia Lee with an ugly, greenish bruise blossoming on the side of her face. It wasn't Georgia Lee who'd looked on the verge of tears, when the teachers' hands had grabbed them and lifted them, with Fiyori still struggling and scratching, away from each other. Georgia Lee's eyes had been wide and shocked, but they'd been dry.

Georgia Lee wasn't the one panting, after the fight. Georgia Lee wasn't the one struggling to stand straight. No, Georgia Lee was the one who'd spent endless hours swinging at balls in the batting cages, who'd barely gone a day without exercise in nearly five years. She wasn't some spindly stoner who's idea of a workout was walking from the couch to the fridge. Georgia Lee could do seventy-five pushups without needing to change her shirt afterwards. After the fight she'd brushed her hair back, out of her face, and her face had been calm, and reasonable, and innocent.

Fiyori's face had been... Georgia Lee didn't know. It wasn't a mixture of emotions she'd seen before. There was fear, and anger, surprise, hatred, she didn't know what else. The smug, self-satisfied smirk that Fiyori's face had seemed permanently set in had been gone, though. Despite herself, and despite her situation, Georgia Lee had taken some minor satisfaction from that.

She looked at the girl, over her shoulder. Fiyori's eyes were firmly afixed on the paper in front of her, and she was glowering. She looked furious, but for once she wasn't staring at Georgia Lee. Had she learned her lesson? Perhaps this had been what was needed, to show that Georgia Lee wasn't some meek little lamb, who'd allow herself to be pushed around and beaten. Perhaps now Fiyori'd move on to some other, weaker target.

The idea that the solution to her problem this whole time had been violence wasn't a particularly attractive one, but Georgia Lee was still hopeful that that might be the case. It'd make this whole ordeal worth it, if Fiyori would finally leave her alone. Standing in front of the teachers, her cheeks burning, being reprimanded for fighting, looked down on and told "she was better than this" like she didn't know that already. Being made to sit here, with these reprobates, on an afternoon when she should be at practice. It wouldn't go on her permanent record, they'd taken pains to assure her of that, and though that hardly made it any less unjustified, she'd accept all the unfairness, all the injustice, all the... the bullshit of this whole affair, if it finally got Fiyori to leave her alone.

Maybe word would even get around to Fiyori's idiot friends, and they'd back off too. Georgia Lee's frustration had turned, in the space of a few minutes, to a sort of quiet optimism. Who knows, perhaps things were looking up for her.
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frogue
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Georgia Lee took the bread, wary. Peace with Fiyori? It sounded too good to be true, and in her experience things that sounded too good to be true, tended not to be. Georgia Lee considered.

It seemed ridiculous that Fiyori would be carrying some sort of poison bread around, and Georgia Lee was reasonably sure she'd've noticed if Fiyori had tried to sabotage it - spitting on it, for example, or covering it with some kind of inedible hot sauce. It certainly didn't smell disgusting either - in fact, it didn't smell half bad, and this was the time that Georgia Lee would be eating. Were she not trapped in here like a criminal of course, and at the thought of who's fault that was, her mood darkened.

No, it seemed safe enough, but there was certainly no point in taking chances.

Georgia Lee took the bread, with a grateful nod to Fiyori, and broke it in half. The inside of the bread, once she'd torn it, looked moist and delicious. She took one half for herself, then handed the other back to the other girl, who was looming over her expectantly.

"Thanks. You uhh... you didn't have to do this. I appreciate it."

That was true. Fiyori hadn't had to do that, and Georgia Lee was, quite genuinely, appreciative. The gesture touched her, and the idea of being able to walk the halls of Cochise without having to worry about Fiyori's taunts, or worse, the girl attacking her again, filled Georgia Lee with excitement. It was all very positive, but that didn't mean Georgia Lee was going to be careless.

She wasn't taking a single bite until she saw Fiyori try it first.

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Fiyori ate, Georgia Lee realized, exactly how she would have expected her to. The girl held the bread in two hands and then tore at it with her teeth. Like a praying mantis would.

A fountain of crumbs showered down onto Georgia Lee's desk, and all over her work. A sweep of her forearm pushed most of them onto the floor, though some remained, hiding in the valley made between the open pages of her book. Georgia Lee resisted the urge to pick up the book and blow along the spine to clear them. Fiyori might, she thought, take that a slight. Georgia Lee was loathe to leave the mess in her reading material, and knowing it was there needled at her, like an itch. She tried to put it out of her mind.

Giving what she hoped appeared to be a grateful nod, Georgia Lee bit into the bread, cupping one hand underneath it as she tore at the tough crust with her teeth, to catch and mess. It was edible. It was good, even. She chewed, then gave Fiyori a little smile and said as much.

"It's good, mmm-" she put the back of her hand to her mouth, and swallowed.

"Thanks."

And that was that, then? She beat Fiyori up, they shared some bread and then they were friends? It wasn't fair how Fiyori had picked on her, and it hadn't been fair how she'd been punished for Fiyori's violence, but this resolution, somehow, hardly seemed fair either. Georgia Lee wasn't sure exactly what she'd wanted, when she'd wanted the torment to end, but it hadn't been this. It felt so hollow. So unearned. No, she deserved better.

Georgia Lee put the bread down, and waited a moment for Fiyori to finish eating. Her family had a particular habit, that she'd always suspected might have been intentional, of asking her questions immediately after she'd put food in her mouth, and Georgia Lee detested it. After a pause, she cleared her throat.

"Fiyori this is... I appreciate this, but I need to know: why is it you're always picking on me? What, uhh, what made you attack me before, at the library? I do appreciate the peace offering, I really do, but I think I deserve to know."

A fair question, she thought, and she waited for a response, feeling her heart start to race.
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Their was something about the way Fiyori said that which filled Georgia Lee with a sense of horror. Out of anyone else's mouth, said any other way, it would have been ridiculous, like something out of some comic book. From Fiyori though, it was so matter of fact. There was no emotion, no affect, no hint that she was trying to provoke some sort of reaction from Georgia Lee: she wasn't even look at her as she said it. It was a simple statement of fact, said with the exact tone you would tell someone the time, or that it had been raining outside earlier.

She'd been hungry.

Georgia Lee hope she hadn't shivered, upon hearing that. Certainly the tone had been cold enough to chill her. It was the motivation one ascribed to a wild animal, not to a young woman in high school, practically an adult. A ludicrous thing to say, an insane thing to say, yet Fiyori said it like it was nothing, and Georgia Lee believed her. There was something so predatory about the girl in that moment, standing over her, her praying mantis frame made enormous by the poncho hanging off of it like a damp sheet draped on a hat stand to dry.

She wasn't scared, per se. Georgia Lee had known monsters, had lived with them in her house. Monsters whose hatred and torment of her and been completely, brutally personal; compared to that, Fiyori's casual, detatched cruelty was almost a blessing. At least Georgia Lee wasn't at fault, really.

No, Georgia Lee wasn't scared so much as she was informed. She could see, now, the kind of person Fiyori was, with those three, dreadful words. She wasn't someone who could be reasoned with, someone with whom any real peace could be made. Georgia Lee was hesitant to call her a psychopath - it was a medical term, she knew, no doubt with some precise definition that would escape a lay person, and Georgia Lee was loathe to misuse words - but it seemed to fit so well.

Just some lazy, drugged out, useless, predatory, creepy, mantis psychopath. Georgia Lee was embarrassed at how naive, how hopelessly, childishly naive she had been, thinking for a second that the two of them could even have become friends. No.

She took a tissue from a packet that sat in the side pocket of her skirt, folded it, placed the bread on it and then pushed it away from herself, in a gesture of completion. There was a brief, awkward moment of silence. Georgia Lee broke it.

"I guess I'm grateful for your honesty?"

She hadn't meant it to come across as a question, and hated herself for it, a little bit. It made her sound weak, like she was asking Fiyori to validate her statement. She didn't need Fiyori's validation, or anyone's for that matter. Georgia Lee had learned long ago that anyone who'd ever be impressed by her wasn't anyone worth impressing. Her own standards were the only ones that mattered, and the last thing she wanted was some... creature like Fiyori thinking that Georgia Lee was actually invested in her opinion of her. She steadied her voice, pitching it a little lower, to sound more authoritative.

"I'm... less hungry. You can have the bread back."

It wasn't exactly the crushing put down she'd've liked, but it would do.

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Georgia Lee made a gesture, a combination of a shrug and a nod, that served to draw her shoulders and head together, shrinking her. It wasn't the effect she'd wanted, and it annoyed her. She folded the tissue over the bread, then tucked in the sides, so it was wrapped in an enclosed package, and tucked it into an inside pocket in her jacket.

"For bad times, then."

Fiyori settled into the chair opposite her, folding her ungainly limbs together, the poncho flapping about her obscenely. It was like a bat, settling itself in to to roost at night, and Georgia Lee resisted a sudden, perverse urge to crane her neck an look at the girl from upside down. Fiyori leaned in close, close enough for Georgia Lee to smell the bread on her breath.

Why did Fiyori even care, why she was the way she was? It wasn't her business. It wouldn't make a difference to her life, the reasons for Georgia Lee making the decisions that she did. She didn't tackle Fiyori from behind. She didn't taunt her, insult her, mock her. She left her alone. She'd leave her alone forever, given the choice.

Or was she jealous? Did this insect, in some part of her, want to be like Georgia Lee? Want to be Georgia Lee, even? The huge, bulging lenses of Fiyori's glasses made her dead eyes massive and unreadable. If there was envy in there, Georgia Lee couldn't see it, but it seemed ton be the only reason that made sense. Reflected in the glass, she noted, the teacher's desk behind her was empty. Fiyori no doubt saw this too - was she going to try something? Was she planning another attack?

No, if she was intending to do that, she'd've stayed standing. Stay calm, Georgia Lee. Don't get hysterical. She knew that seeing her riled, seeing her agitated was exactly what this delinquent wanted. Georgia Lee wasn't given to excessive displays of emotion. She didn't cry, when she got a poor grade. She didn't get poor grades of course, but even failing wouldn't be enough to bring her to tears, she was pretty sure. Georgia Lee had never in her life jumped for joy, or howled in rage or any of those other cliche, animal reactions to feelings. Georgia Lee didn't wear her heart on her chest, or open it to others, or do anything with it except pump blood. She prided herself on her practicality.

When she was younger, Georgia Lee would have cried had she got a bad grade. She'd've cried at the drop of a hat, but she'd cried her eyes dry then, and now she had no times for tears. Georgia Lee kept very, very busy. She didn't have time to wail, or to telegraph every feeling that flitted into her brain at whatever asinine nonsense was happening in front of her. What she felt was her business, and to their credit most people respected that. Even her parents, begrudgingly, had grown to accept it.

Some people, though, saw it as a challenge. Georgia Lee had worked hard to make herself the way she was, but like grasping children, some people's instinct upon seeing anything that hard work had gone into, was to try and break it. She could appease Fiyori, she supposed. What would the girl respond to? Something lazy, probably. Something degenerate. Saying she didn't really try, or blaming someone else, saying her parents made her work this hard. Saying she needed a good job to pay for all her cocaine - Fiyori'd love that, no doubt.

But no, Georgia Lee wasn't a liar. Any sort of deception made her uncomfortable, and besides that, she was bad at it. She wanted to say it was that she was naturally truthful, though if she were being honest, which of course she always was, she would probably have had to admit that a lack of imagination also had something to do with it.

Besides that, Fiyori wasn't worthy of a lie. Georgia Lee did not have to diminish herself, for the sake of this girl's approval. To hell with Fiyori, and her opinion. Georgia Lee resolved to tell her exactly why she was the way she was.

She gave an almost-smile, drawing her lips taut, in a straight line against her teeth, her mouth closed. It was an expression that could, she supposed, have meant anything. Here it was almost apologetic.

"I guess I'm just trying to be the best me that I can be."
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Georgia Lee felt a little unsettled, seeing Fiyori take off her glasses. She seemed so much more human without them. No longer behind the lenses' distortion, her eyes were pleasant and shapely.

It was like she'd pulled a plug, when she'd taken them off, and everything about her had drained away. All her prickliness, all her venom, everything that made her dangerous. She seemed vulnerable, even weak. Georgia Lee'd read somewhere that cats closing their eyes around you a show of trust, letting you know that they had enough faith in you to take their eyes off of you. Was this something like that?

The glasses were sitting on the table, not six inches from her book, with it's thick spine and hefty weight. A single hit from that would have shattered the eyewear, and what would Fiyori do then? Who could she tell? There wasn't a single teacher in the school who'd believe her, if she went and told them that Georgia Lee had done that. The amount of power was almost overwhelming.

She ran her finger along the spine of the book, but didn't pick it up.

Everything about Fiyori just seemed so much lesser without her spectacles. She couldn't keep her eyes in one place for more than a second, and Georgia Lee could actually see her trying to calm her breathing.

It was almost pathetic.

Fiyori's question was meant to be hurtful, she supposed, but in her current state it just came off as desperate, and Georgia Lee realized, in that moment, that she pitied the girl. She pitied her weird, insect body; she pitied her inability to commit to anything of scholastic value, or anything at all besides a nicotine addiction and a death, alone in her mid 40's from lung cancer; and she pitied the girl's hopeless, wretched envy that forced her, upon meeting someone who actually had a modicum of control over their future, to lash out at them like a little boy with a crush. Georgia Lee almost wanted to laugh, it was so sad.

She hoped Fiyori's eyesight was poor enough that she couldn't see her smiling.

"The bottom's not so bad. Good reading. Free bread." She tapped her pocket. "And in... 45 minutes I'm gone." She'd motioned at checking her watch, but hadn't actually taken in the hands. Georgia Lee's internal timekeeping was almost always accurate.

"What about you, Fiyori?"

It was the first time she'd actually spoken the name. It had a strange, exotic taste, and Georgia Lee wondered where it was from. Was it common, in whatever place it was that Fiyori hailed from? She tried to picture that name fitting anyone else, and failed.

"I mean, the bottom? Come on. No way this is the bottom for you. You're in here, what? Four, five days a week? There's no way this is the worst thing in your life. Not. A. Way." With each word, she tapped a finger on her book in emphasis.

"I mean, there must be worse than this in your life, right? There must be!"

Georgia Lee was going too far, she knew it, knew that there was nothing to be gained from taunting the girl like this. A voice in her head was telling her to stop, to apologize, to just turn around and ignore the girl, but there was a louder voice in there too, and it was Fiyori's. Shouting after her as she tried to cross the grounds to get away from her. Calling her names. Baiting her in the library. No, there was no way Georgia Lee was stopping now.

"I can't even imagine how bad things must be, outside of here, for you. You probably look forward to being in here, is that why you act the way you act, Fiyori? No, I wanna hear about the what the bottom is for you. My goodness, what is that like?"
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The glasses went back on, and the armour went back up. The vulnerable, anxious girl who Georiga Lee had gotten a glimpse of disappeared, and with her went any hope of this conversation going anywhere worthwhile.

There was the sound of heels in the corridor outside, as the supervising teacher made her way back to the detention room. Where, frankly, she should have been this whole time. Teachers wandering off, Fiyori only having two detentions: this whole experience, Georgia Lee reflected, had been a scathing indictment of Cochise's disciplinary system.

As Fiyori started to get up, to return to her own desk, Georgia Lee touched her hand, her fingers just brushing over the other girl's knuckles. The skin was surprisingly, soft, far softer than Georgia Lee would have expected. It was hard to imagine Fiyori moisturising.

Fiyori whirled back to face Georgia Lee, eyes flashing.

"My name is not Georgia. It's Georgia Lee, Fiyori. Georgia. Lee.

[Georgia Lee Day continued elsewhere]



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