Chapter 5: Annabelle's Alibi, The School Gym Surprise?
Alone, the singular firework rocketed into the sky with no second firework to be seen. Fists clenched tightly, Kid fell to his knees before proceeding to pound them against the wooden floor.
"Disgusting! Trash! Scum!" He cried, eyes burning like golden bonfires.
Not knowing what to do Annabelle stood motionless. She understood that this boy sat before her had some kind of admiration for symmetry, but this reaction left her speechless. She had just witnessed Kid, a calm yet strong individual with an unusual amount of maturity for his age, crumble into a bumbling wreck on the floor before her.
"U-Umm..." Annabelle stuttered, struggling to find something to say.
"It was my responsibility to make sure the fireworks were perfectly symmetrical! I'm disgusting! I'm trash! Dirty reaper scum!" Kid glared at the ground, hunched over on all fours.
Annabelle, still clasped tightly to the ledge, continued to stare at the boy as he fell into a mumbling rant of self loathing. She couldn't understand how a single asymmetrical firework was capable of causing such an overly dramatic performance from the once powerful boy.
"I-It's just a small mistake I'm sure, I don't think you need to worry about it so much." Annabelle said nervously, attempting to calm him down.
Suddenly the boy fell silent, he glanced up at the window before jumping up to his feet, eyes still roaring with a passionate fire.
"I'm sorry! I need to go!" Kid roared, heading frantically toward the solid oak door.
Pulling the door open with a stern face, Kid stormed into the street, slamming the door behind him. Annabelle stood silently at the window ledge, watching as the enraged Shinigami paraded into the street. Thrusting his hand forward, a strange mist began to radiate from his palm, making a skateboard appear before him. Jumping onto it without hesitation, the board began to hover, lifting Kid into the air. In a matter of seconds he was no where to be seen, the boy had disappeared into the smog filled air that had been previously inhabited by the spectacular firework display.
Annabelle stood motionless at the window ledge as her mind tried desperately to process what had just happened. No words that she managed to piece together were capable of summing up her emotions at this current moment.
Looking out of the small window, it was clear that the boy was long gone and the chances of him making a return were very slim in Annabelle's mind. With a heavy head she tugged the curtains closed, separating herself from the dark city streets. Tiredness engulfed Annabelle as she realised just how late it actually was. With a sigh, she turned sharply to face the front door. Using the wall as a support she made her way slowly to the door. Locking it firmly she turned to rest her back on the solid oak.
Pushing off from the door Annabelle staggered forward into the silent room. She only made it half way before her legs gave in, causing Annabelle to slump onto the sofa. Tired and more than a little confused, she flopped onto her side before curling up into a ball. The events of the evening circled Annabelle's mind but her tiredness took over, allowing her eyelids close with ease.
Just as the sun began to rise in Death City, a warm glow peaked through the small gap that was visible between the curtains. A golden shimmer tickled her face, waking Annabelle from her not so comfortable slumber. With weary eyes, she stretched her arms into the air with a sigh before proceeding to look around her small apartment. Glancing up from her position on the floor to the sofa beside her, it was clear that she had fallen off at some point in the night. Pushing herself up from the cold, hard wood floor, Annabelle rose to her feet. The room span ever so slightly before her, disorientating her vision and forcing her to stumble onto the sofa. Suddenly, Annabelle grew wide eyed as she froze. Shock flooding her tired face. The recollection of the night before came flooding back into her now alert mind. The room was engulfed by a painful silence, so much so that Annabelle could have heard a pin drop as she stared at the floor, speechless.
"A dream?" Annabelle mumbled under her breath, as her memories from the previous night began to piece themselves together.
Leaning forward, Annabelle rested her still weary head into the soft palms of her hands. Scrunching her eyes closed, Annabelle cringed as she remembered more in depth details of the previous evening. Pushing all of these thoughts and worries out of her mind, Annabelle's imagination bounced frantically around, in a desperate attempt to focus her concentration on something else, anything else. The ticking of a clock, which until this moment Annabelle hadn't noticed, echoed through the otherwise silent room. Annabelle snapped out of her anxious thoughts. The gentle ticking that filled the apartment allowed Annabelle to relax and clear her mind, switching her focus to the day ahead. Annabelle pushed herself up off the couch with a newfound energy and smiled as she pictured how the day ahead would play out.
It took Annabelle longer than usual to get ready for school, but eventually she managed. Grabbing her bag, Annabelle was soon out the door and on her way.
Laughter and bubbly conversations echoed amongst the students as Annabelle made her arrival into the bustling courtyard. Carefully moving through the large crowds, she made her way inside the school and towards her classroom. Beside the door, one of Ivy's friends stood with a stern expression. Annabelle continued to approach the door, making sure to avoid eye contact with the angry looking girl, an aura of discomfort flooded the corridor. Upon reaching the door, the girl - Clover - extended her arm out in front of Annabelle, stopping her in her tracks.
"Can we talk for a minute?" Clover asked, her sharp yet slightly shaken gaze pierced Annabelle.
Annabelle nodded, not able to tear her gaze from Clover as the memory dawned upon her. Clover was the girl from last night. The same girl who had noticed Annabelle stumbling from a dark alleyway with Kid by her side.
"Listen, I think it would be best not to tell Ivy about whatever went on last night." Clover stated, making sure to keep her voice quiet.
"B-but nothing happened." Annabelle protested "Kid helped me when I was injured and walked me home, that's all." She was trying desperately to make sure Clover hadn't gotten the wrong idea.
"No matter how innocent the situation, I would not like to be in your shoes if Ivy knew you were hanging out with that boy... It's probably best to make up an alibi." Clover grimaced, looking to the ground as if ever so slightly frightened by the prospect of seeing Ivy's reaction.
Annabelle nodded, she knew that Ivy was not someone to be messed with, this had become clear from the moment they had met.
"I'll say I fell down the stairs at home or something... And that I couldn't make it out to the fireworks to meet with everyone?" Annabelle thought aloud, waiting for some kind of approval from Clover to show that this poor excuse would suffice.
Looking up, Clover smiled, a silent thank you to Annabelle for understanding. The shrill cry of the bell sent the students into a hectic turmoil as they tumbled through the hallway, en route to their morning classes. Annabelle and Clover made their way into the class before taking their seats.
Soon enough the rest of the class filed in, turning the once empty room into a bustling hive of social activity. Amongst the various students, Ivy made her arrival. Parading into the room, Ivy held a strong sense of importance, holding her head high she peered around the class.
"Annabelle!" She shouted a little too loudly, causing the class to fall silent. "What happened to you last night?" She questioned, making her way over toward Annabelle's seat. Standing before Annabelle, she looked down into her wide eyes.
"Oh, I-I tripped at home and hurt myself. I was in to much pain to leave the house. I'm sorry for letting everyone down." Annabelle stuttered, shooting a quick glance to Clover for approval.
Surprisingly, Ivy seemed to buy the story and hurried on to her seat just a few yards away from Annabelle's.
"Good morning class!" An excited voice bellowed from the door as their teacher practically danced into the room. His face gleamed with excitement, almost like a kid in a candy shop.
"We have a treat for you all today. Some special guests from the DWMA have agreed to give you all a lesson in self defence in the gym this morning, following recent street crimes in Death City." The teacher announced, sending a spark of delight throughout the class. Glistening faces illuminated the room as murmurs of excitement began to simmer between the students.
"If you would all like to change into your gym clothes and make your way down to the gym. The DWMA students will arrive shortly." He added, a goofy looking smile still plastered on his cheerful face.
The students bolted up and the gym quickly filled with excited faces, anticipating the arrival of the seemingly famous students. Ivy stood amongst them, equally as excited about seeing her so called, 'secret lover', Death The Kid.
Annabelle made her way quietly into the room. Her classmates hurried off, separating into clustered friendship groups, leaving Annabelle to stand alone. Not knowing what to do, she stood there, silently waiting for the room to fall silent and for the lesson to begin.
Zoning out from her surroundings Annabelle slipped into a daydream, only to be disrupted by the sharp, shrill screech of a fellow classmate. Every pair of eyes in the room turned to face the source of the piercing noise. As Annabelle turned to look, it became apparent that something important was about to happen. This became clear by the faces of her fellow class mates who awed in amazement as three figures confidently made their way into the room.
Leading the small group walked a green eyed girl with two small mousey brown pig tails positioned perfectly on her head. She made her way through the clusters of students, all of whom stared in awe of her presence. Annabelle felt a strong sense of bravery and courage radiating throughout the room from the girl, as she made her way towards an open area that presented itself as some sort of stage.
A few steps behind the girl walked a white haired boy. With piercing red eyes, he walked with his shoulders slouched forwards. Peering curiously around the room, his expression seemed somewhat distant, even with the whole room gawping toward him, he didn't seem the slightest bit fazed.
The third and final person to appear took the spotlight. Every student awed in his direction, as the golden eyed boy walked forward, following closely behind the others. With his hands firmly tucked away in his pockets, he made his way over to the stage to stand beside his fellow DWMA students. Looking up, his eyes scanned the ecstatic group, before widening and grinding to a halt as they graced the presence of a familiar blue stare, which appeared equally as shocked as his own.
Annabelle stared back, speechless, as the boy from last night who had stormed out of her house in a frantic rage stood before her, adored by the gaze of her fellow students. Unable to tear her eyes away from his captivating stare, Annabelle stood gazing back as if she was able to look into his beautiful, yet tragic, Shinigami soul.
"I'm scythe meister Maka, a student from the DWMA. Today, myself and my fellow students here," The pigtailed girl announced, gesturing toward the two males stood to her right. "are visiting to teach you some basic self defence techniques following recent criminal activity within Death City. This is not something to be worried about, we are just ensuring precautionary measures." The girl smiled, looking toward the white haired boy as if encouraging him to speak. Upon hearing the girl's voice, Annabelle finally tore her eyes away from Kid's golden gaze, shaking her head and bringing herself back from the trance-like state that had previously paralysed her.
With a deep sigh the slouched boy looked up, his red eyes capturing the gaze of every soul in the room.
"Hi... My name is Soul, I'm a scythe and I'm here to help out I guess." The boy looked over as if not quite sure what to say. Staring at him with great admiration, the students struggled to contain their excitement.
Annabelle stood amongst the crowd, as the light wooden gym floor became a stage for the DWMA students. Soul, the white haired scythe, turned to Kid. Soul's expression became puzzled as he noticed Kid's still slightly shocked facial expression, without speaking Soul nodded as if telepathically asking the black haired boy if everything was okay. Kid, upon realising that people were beginning to notice, flashed a sophisticated smile towards Soul before turning back to the students.
"I'm Death The Kid, son of Lord Death and a fellow student at the DWMA." He simply stated, smiling once more before looking towards Luke, the teacher, who was just as excited as the students.
"Let's begin then!" Maka smiled, a warm friendly grin that sent the boys of the class into a bumbling mess. "First, to demonstrate a self defence lock, we need help from a student." She announced, peering through the faces surrounding her.
"You." Soul stated, with a raised eyebrow and an intrigued expression, he lifted one hand to point in Annabelle's direction.
The class fell silent as all eyes snapped toward the white haired girl, stood alone amongst the crowd.
"Do you mind?" Maka chirped, flashing another comforting smile in Annabelle's direction.
Looking around at her fellow class mates, Annabelle slowly made her way toward the DWMA students. As she grew closer, their strength became more prominent and Annabelle could sense a great power simmering beneath the friendly trio.
"What's your name?" Soul asked as Annabelle stepped before them.
"A-Annabelle" she stammered, looking at Soul as she attempted to stop her eyes from straying in Kid's direction.
"That's a nice name!" Maka added, "Annabelle, would you mind us demonstrating a hold on you? Don't worry, it won't be done properly so it won't be in anyway painful, I promise." She declared.
"S-sure" Annabelle smiled awkwardly, not quite knowing how to respond as she felt the jealous glares from her fellow class mates weighing down on her.
"Ok, umm...Kid? Could you please demonstrate the hold on Annabelle for the class?" Maka calmly asked.
Annabelle's face twisted in embarrassment as Kid walked towards her. 'Why?' Annabelle repeatedly questioned in her mind as she tried to avoid eye contact with the boy. She looked to the ground as Kid positioned himself behind her. Suddenly, the gentle movement of two arms fluttered around Annabelle, encasing her elbows inside an intimate hold, pushing them against her back restricting most of her upper body movement. Annabelle felt the gentle presence of Kid surround her, only a thin space inhabited the distance between them. Kid's body heat radiated across the small space, sending shivers down Annabelle's spine. Her heart began to pound faster as her face exploded into a simmering rose tinted glow. The Shinigami's hands locked onto her small, fragile wrists as he made it impossible for Annabelle to move, yet he caused her no discomfort. The sensation of Kid's controlled breath danced across Annabelle's neck as she gradually became more and more tense.