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Fanfiction ► Just Because {A Birth By Sleep Fanfiction}



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Zeph

imp of the perverse
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Ahem. This is a fanfiction partly inspired by the former Commish. It revolves around Isa, Lea, and... a certain character from the Commission Saga. There are 7 smallish chapters in all.


Chapter 1

The empty streets gradually brightened with the first, hazy beams of sunlight that peeped over the rooftops. Most of the towns residents were still asleep in their beds. Indeed, their dreams were delightful, for what had the people of Radiant Garden to worry about? They had a beautiful city, and a wise, benevolent leader. Blush-colored clouds glowed with the rising sun, and all throughout the city, everything was being increasingly bathed in new, golden sunlight. Along with the sunlight came the first flourishes of activity. Bakers and merchants arose, eager to start the days work and earn munny for their families. The marketplace came alive with the sounds of labor; crates being opened, cats being chased away from fresh fish, and friendly competition calling out to greet each other.

There, in an apartment above the bakery near the marketplace, lived a boy. Every morning he awoke to the familiar sounds and smells of the pastries being prepared that he and the people of Radiant Garden would eat for breakfast.
“Isa! Aren't you awake yet?” The gruff sound of the bakers voice drifted up the stairs and through the door of the room Isa called his own. Yes, he was awake, he answered, shouting back through the closed door. The reply he received was rather too loud to be termed a grumble, but that was the way the man was. Isa’s father owned the bakery above which they lived, and he was a loud man whose gruff exterior belied his gentle nature. They were alone in the world, Isa and his father, and had been since Isa’s mother had died ten years ago, when the boy was just eight. The two of them got along quite well, however, and any of Isa’s mother-needs were met by his overbearing friend’s overbearing mother.

Speaking of overbearing friends… A small light gleamed in Isas green-blue eyes as he poked his head over the edge of his bed and glanced down at the floor.
The previous night, he and his father had been startled by someone knocking on their door. Considering they ran a bakery, this would normally have been no small surprise, since hardly a week passed where one person or other wasn’t needing something at some ungodly hour of the night. What surprised them this time, was that the knocking was coming from the door to the side balcony that opened up to the alleyway. Isa, being the closest to the door, opened it. Outside, clutching a pillow and a pair of pajama pants, and looking rather like a stray cat that has recently been given a good soaking, was Lea, his best friend. Isa sighed haggardly, dragging the palm of his hand down his scowling face before asking his friend what he wanted.
“Good to see you too, Isa! I just happened to be in the neighborhood and thought that I may as well keep you company tonight.” The redhead grinned, and Isa rolled his eyes.
“Right. You live three houses down, of course you were in the neighborhood…dimwit. Go home.” A few strands of blue hair escaped into his eyes and as he turned to shut the door, his father turned a questioning gaze. “It was no one. Some loser had the wrong address.”

“Wha—h-hey! Wait! Aren’t you even going to invite me inside for a cup of tea or something!?” Lea yelled as he pounded on the closed door. The truth was this: his younger sister had invited all of her friends over to their house for a sleepover. Lea had been willing to put up with a household of fourteen year old girls as long as they stayed relatively quiet and left him to himself. But then they had begun trickling into his room one by one, asking for this or that. Even that had been tolerable until he had heard someone mention his name during one of those asinine games young teenage girls were so fond of. Whatever the confession had been, it had been followed by such a volley of shrieks and squeals that he had felt genuine apprehension and had been forced to seek shelter with his best friend before the girls captured him and forced him to play dress-up or spin-the-bottle or something…so he grabbed his pillow and his pajamas, and snuck out his window. If only the sprinkler system hadn’t happened to turn on, his escape would have gone smoothly… The door opening and slamming into his head where he had sunk to the ground brought Lea back to reality.
“Hurry up and come in,” Isa spoke testily, “It’s late and I’m tired. Not everyone stays up until three in the morning and sleeps until after second period. And no tea.”

Of course, Lea had ended up keeping him awake all night with horror stories of having a younger teenage sister anyways. Luckily, Isa was what might be termed a ‘morning person’. His friend, however, was a different story. Throwing his legs over the side of the bed, he walked to his closet and quickly dressed. Being raised in a bakery had made him extremely efficient in the mornings. “Lea, wake up.” Not that he actually expected to wake his friend with that—Lea was dead to the world. Isa kicked the other boy lightly, and turned on the T.V. As Fate would have it, the television switched on to one of the popular morning variety shows—which was currently introducing one of the popular male idols. A studio full of screaming girls filled the screen, and Lea sat straight up in bed, startled and awake.
“Hurry up and get dressed,” Isa said, smirking and switching off the tube. “We have half an hour and if you make us late to school I won’t give you any breakfast.” With that, he waved his hand and walked out of the room.
“Oh come on!” The distressed voice of Lea followed Isa down the stairs. “Aren’t you supposed to wake me up with a gentle ‘good morning, dear’ or ‘rise and shine!’ or something!?”

———————————————————

Nearly an hour later the two young men walked through the gates of their academy right as the five minute warning bell rang. Despite his complaints at being woken up in such a rude manner that morning, Lea had gotten ready in time. After all, breakfast is the most important meal of the day, especially for a seventeen year old boy—and Lea knew that his friend would have no qualms about not giving him any breakfast if he made them late to school. Isa could be rather sadistic…and as much as Lea complained, they both knew it was all in good fun.
“I guess it’s a good thing I gave you breakfast after all.” Isa said, hiding a smile as they walked through the classroom doors, three minutes ahead of the teacher.
“Yeah, some friend…” the spicy redhead quipped back with feigned dejection. The mirth sparkling in his aquamarine eyes gave him away, however. Or would have, had Isa been paying any attention at all.

In the first row of seats, sitting by herself, was a girl neither of them had seen before. Isa had noticed her immediately, for Lea had always been the only one in their class with red hair. Her hair was straight, and only just longer than her shoulders but there was such a mass of it, that when the sun shining through the second-story window shone on her, it looked like a flame.
 
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Zeph

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hm....not bad tho more spaces next time please ^ ^
That is a rather large bit of text.
Hm interesting will there be more?
Yep, there are about 6 more chapters. Some smaller than others...
But, I wrote this for friends and posted it to Facebook so it needed to be short. I just thought I'd see what KHI thinks of it. Chapter 2 will probably be up tomorrow.

With more spaces.
 

Finland

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Heehee. I told you already that I love this. <3
 

Zeph

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Ok, double post, sorry. But here are chapters 2 and 3.
Enjoy. c:


Chapter 2​

“Hey, check it out! A new girl. And she has red hair!”

Isa stared at Lea for a moment before slapping the side of his friend’s head. “Quiet down, you’re being rude.”
Without another word, he walked to his desk and sat, waiting for the teacher. Lea followed, plopping down into the chair next to him, still staring at the new girl.
“Hey, who do you think she is?” He whispered, elbowing the other boy once or twice. “I’ve never seen her before, have you?”

Just like a second grader… Isa sighed, turning and leveling an icy stare at his friend. “I have no idea who she is; no, I’ve never seen her before; and does it even matter, we’ll know who she is soon enough. She probably transferred here from another district. Now be quiet and quit acting like we’re still in elementary school.”
As he finished his long-winded speech and Lea sat looking like a rebuked child, the teacher entered the room, apologizing for being late. They were to have a new addition to their class, he explained, and as he was instructing them to be on their best behavior and not to act like a group of wild monkeys when the new student arrived, the girl in question silently raised her hand.

“Yes, yes, what is it—oh! My, you must be the new student. I’m terribly sorry. Please, come up to the front and introduce yourself.”

Lea chuckled at the teacher’s discomposure and leaned back in his seat, propping his hands behind his head. Isa remained as he was, the only sign that he was interested at all in the proceedings was a slightly forward shift in his posture as the new girl stepped to the front of the room and faced the class.
She was pretty, he noted quickly. Red hair with a tint of brown, and chocolate brown eyes. She was slender, and her figure was well developed, if not as curvaceous as some of the other girls in the class. She was wearing black skinny jeans, and a red and black striped shirt. All of this, Isa noted in the instant it took for her to face the class.

“My name is Jenni,” she began in a clear voice. “I just transferred here and I’m sure we’ll get along just fine.” She ended her speech with a smirk, and walked back to her seat. The corners of Isa’s mouth turned upwards as she took her seat. Her introductory ‘speech’ had been short and to the point, devoid of any personal details whatsoever, and that smirk had almost dared them to come and ask. Her voice may have been quiet, he thought, but she certainly wasn’t lacking confidence.
The teacher harrumphed at her lack of detail before starting on the days lesson.
When class dismissed for lunch, Lea was one of the first to gather around the new girl. Isa, of course, was behind him as usual, to make sure he didn’t make some sort of fool out of himself.

“Hey, your name’s Jenni, right? So where’d you transfer from?”
Isa could only stare at his friend’s blatant disregard of common courtesy.
“I’m glad there’s finally another redhead in the class! I’ve been the only one for years!”
“You.” Finding his tongue at last, Isa quieted the chatterbox with one word. “Hadn’t you better introduce yourself before asking her all of your annoying questions?”
“Oh. Right.” Lea smiled sheepishly before taking an elaborate bow. “I’m Lea.” Straightening himself, he winked at her and grinned. “Get it memorized!”

Ye gods… Fortunately though, whether from actual amusement or politeness, she smiled back. Pretty smile, too. Isa noted as she turned her brown eyes toward him, speaking for the first time.
“And this is…”
“Oh, this is—”
“Isa.” He interrupted Lea once more, preferring his own introduction to Lea’s ‘get it memorized’ shtick. “I’m Isa. Nice to meet you.” Jenni smiled again, and Lea was about to begin another game of ‘A Million Questions’, but this time, the other students had crowded around to introduce themselves. Isa stepped back, dragging Lea along with him.


“H-hey, I wanted to—”
“We only have half an hour total for lunch, and I, for once, don’t want to miss it.” Isa looked at Lea, and then back at Jenni, and smiled. “Besides, we’ll have plenty of time to get to know her.”

=============================================

Chapter 3​


Lea was nodding off at his desk when the final bells rang, dismissing the students for the day. Rubbing his eyes sleepily, the redhead stretched his hands into the air and yawned loudly. Suddenly very much awake, he jumped to his feet and ran out the door, ignoring the schoolteacher’s pleas for him to at least make an attempt to look awake during class.
Isa smiled, shaking his head as he watched his spiky-headed friend bound out of the room. Glancing over to where the new girl, Jenni, had been seated, he saw that she was already gone as well. He hoped that, for her sake, she had already quitted school grounds. Because if she hadn’t, Lea would surely find her.

In the calm manner that so characterized him, Isa gathered his schoolbooks and left the room, returning each of the ‘see you tomorrow’s he got from a few of the students with a smile and a nod. Though unaware of the fact, Isa’s serene and self-possessed ways had made him rather well thought of throughout the school—some of the underclassmen even beheld him with a type of reverence. Nearly everyone thought well of him, but unfortunately the same traits that rendered such a respect throughout the student body and faculty, prevented him from deepening his relationships past the status of ‘acquaintance’. Lea was the only one who had ever persevered long enough to win Isa’s friendship; and though Isa may have seemed to treat the boy with indifference, the two were actually quite close.

His eyes scanned the hallway as he walked through the crowds of students hurrying out of the building. He wouldn’t put it past his friend to jump out from a locker or even the trashcan in an attempt to startle him. As it turned out, however, Isa need not have worried, for at the entrance gate he spied a familiar redhead leaning against the pillar. As he drew nearer to his friend, he nearly stopped in his tracks, for standing next to Lea was another redhead; not quite as familiar to him as the first, but just as recognizable.
For once in his life, Isa wasn’t quite sure what to do. So instead of walking towards his friend, he turned his gaze forward and kept walking. His guilty conscience was appeased somewhat when Lea’s voice rang through the crowd.

“Isa! Hey, Isa! Wait!” Lea came running up, grinning. Jenni arrived shortly after Lea; walking, not running. “What were you doing, didn’t you see us waiting?”
The blue haired boy turned his eyes slightly away from his friend’s face and lied. “I didn’t see you, sorry.” He noticed the girl eying him, and looked away. “Oh. Lea, here comes your sister.”

Lea’s sister was a cute girl of fourteen. Her hair was the same fiery shade as her brothers, styled in a short, layered bob. Her eyes, however, were more verdant than her brothers; they flashed as she approached. “Where did you go last night!?” she demanded of her brother. “Mother was worried and I missed you!”
Lea, sensing escape to be an impossibility, slumped his shoulders in defeat. “I’m sorry,” he apologized. “It’s just that Isa called me around eleven, needing help with his homework. As his best friend, it wouldn’t have been very heroic of me to leave him in such a bind, would it?” He placed his hands on his sisters shoulders and looked into her eyes, imploring her to believe him. She would have none of it.

“Yeah right!” she exclaimed, shaking free of his grasp. “As if Isa would need your help! He always helps you! Next time you think up a story like that, make sure it’s believable!” Stopping for a breath, she noticed the other two for the first time. Her emerald eyes lit up when they landed on Isa. He was just like the big brother she had always wanted, cool, calm, and collected—not to mention tall! Instead, she had been stuck with Lea. “Oh! Hi Isa!” she chirruped. “I’m sorry if my numbskull brother bothered you last night! Mother said he probably went to your house, and she told me this morning to invite you over for a family dinner tonight. Your father too. You will come to dinner, won’t you?”

Isa smiled, and placed a hand on the younger girl’s head. “Sure, I’ll let my father know we’re expected.”
She smiled her approval before turning her eyes to the other girl in the small group. “I’ve never seen you before.” she said matter-of-factly. “What’s your name? I’m Isabel.”
“Jenni. I just transferred to this school. It’s nice to meet you, Isabel.” Jenni smiled, receiving a smile in return and a wave as the girl ran off.
“Geez, sorry about that.” Lea apologized as soon as his sister was out of sight. “Well,” he said, cheering visibly. “Let’s go!”

Sometime later, they all stood outside Scrooge McDuck’s Ice Cream Parlour, finishing off the remains of the most recently added flavor of ice cream.
“Who woulda thought?” Lea said as he tossed the cleaned popsicle stick into the trashcan.
“It’s salty,” began Jenni.
“But sweet.” finished Isa.

The three shared a chuckle at the oddity of the flavoring, only stopping when Lea suddenly made an unintelligible exclamation and ran off, shouting farewell over his shoulder. An awkward silence followed before Jenni, too, said she had better head home. Isa offered to walk her home, and fell in step beside her. Silence reigned until she finally spoke, but this time, there was a slight hostility in her tone.

“Why did you lie, earlier?” Brown eyes directed an accusing, questioning look at the him walking next to her. “I saw you look directly at us; but you told Lea you hadn’t seen us.” Isa kept pace beside her, silent and unsure what to say. “I mean, you don’t know me, I understand that, so if you don’t want me around, just say so, instead of lying to your friend! I don’t know you either so it‘s not going to bother me.” She quickened her steps, silently saying in her looks and posture that she didn’t want him along.
Isa stood still for a moment before lengthening his strides and catching up. “I’m sorry,” he said quietly.
“Yes, well, apology not accepted.”
“I don’t have anything against your presence…” he said haltingly, searching for the right words. He had never felt so inept in his life! “I just…wasn’t sure what to do, how to react.”

Jenni stopped mid-stride, and stared, unimpressed. Then she smirked. “You’re not very good with people, are you.” she said, more as a statement than a question. “Everyone thinks you are, but you aren’t.”
For nearly the first time in his life, Isa blushed. Jenni’s smirk softened into a smile and then she laughed outright. “You know,” she said, “My house is in the opposite direction
 

Gram

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i like this story ^ ^

and now i wish i had a Scrooge McDuck’s Ice Cream Parlour :[

also yes spaces :D
 
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KingdomKey

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Very interesting.. I detect jealousy from Isa.. Make more please!! It's so good!! I want to know what happens next!!
 

Zeph

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i like this story ^ ^ and now i wish i had a Scrooge McDucks Ice Cream Parlour :[ also yes spaces :D
Thanks! c: Hah, don't we all? But sea-salt ice-cream is pretty easy to make..
Very interesting.. I detect jealousy from Isa.. Make more please!! It's so good!! I want to know what happens next!!
Thank you. :3 Lol, I don't know that it's jealousy so much as just being socially-awkward.
 

Zeph

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Ok! Sorry for the delay, here are chapters 4 and 5!

Chapter 4

Days passed, eventually turning into weeks, which ultimately turned into months. Jenni found her circle of friends, in which, of course, Isa and Lea were included. Lea, being friends with nearly everyone in the high school, had no problem getting along with everyone. Isa, on the other hand, quickly learned that it had been easier for him when the other students had kept their respective distances. He had learned to evolve his acquaintance with the fiery redhead into a friendship that he valued very much. He couldn’t admit it to anyone, for he was unaware of it himself, but his subconscious whispered that he was beginning to like Jenni as much more than a mere friend. And soon, their summer holiday was upon them.

~~~

Lea’s excited voice could be heard ringing through the city streets as he and Isa walked to school. “We only have a week left until graduation!” he was saying, or rather, shouting. “Can you believe it? Graduation! We’ll be finished with school! After twelve years of being worked like slaves, we’ll be FREE!”

Isa laughed. “It is hard to believe,” he said thoughtfully, thinking on what would become of them after graduation. He and Lea, he knew, would remain as they were, likely for life; what was disturbing his mind was whether or not things would continue on as they were with his latest comrade. Lately his thoughts had been turned to her more and more frequently, and it was agitating him, to say the least. He shook his head and turned his thoughts in a more practical direction. “Though technically we won’t really be ‘free’, ever. Because after graduation comes uni, and then our careers have to begin.” He hid his smile at the incredulous and somewhat perturbed look Lea was giving him. “That is, unless you want to be a homeless vagrant.” he continued. “Because don’t think I’ll be supporting you your whole life. I’ll have my own worries.”

Lea sighed as their school came into view. “Oh, I forgot,” he said, sarcasm infusing his voice. “You’re going to take over the bakery and marry Jenni.”
Isa stopped. It was true, he was going to take over the bakery once his father decided to retire, but he had no idea where Lea had gotten the idea about him marrying Jenni. “What makes you think that?” He said, resuming his steps after a brief hesitation. “Jenni is a friend, as are you. And I’m certainly not entertaining any ideas about marrying you.” He paused, and looked around now that they were on school grounds. Most of the students weren’t in hearing range, and those that were, were involved in their own conversations. Neither he, nor Lea saw the girl they were discussing walking toward them from behind.

“Puh-lease! Everyone knows you have a thing for her—except her! There’s no use hiding it!”

“Lea, really.” Isa dragged a hand down his face in exasperation.

“Oh come on, admit it! You know it’s true!”

“What’s true?” Both boys spun around at the same time, surprise clearly filling their features. Isa turned slightly red, hoping to the gods that Jenni hadn’t overheard anything.

The pretty redhead couldn’t help but notice the surprise on her two friend’s faces. Served them right, or Lea, at least, for talking like that. Isa wasn’t in love with anyone, there was no way. Her heart felt heavy for some inexplicable reason, and she hadn’t been able to eavesdrop any longer. She couldn’t let them know she had heard! Isa’s reddening face, however, was making it hard, because she was starting to blush now, as well. “Well?” she asked, praying that she sounded nonchalant.

The five-minute warning bell rang, saving them from an awkward answer. Lea bolted off, leaving Isa and Jenni behind. Isa mumbled something about not being late for class, and he started walking toward the building.

“I overheard you two talking.” Jenni said suddenly, stopping Isa in his tracks. “Is it true?” Silence lasted for what seemed like an eternity, but in reality only lasted a few seconds. In the short span of those few seconds, a few things suddenly became quite clear to Isa.

“Yes.”

Jenni’s heart sank. She had no idea why it should, but disappointment washed over her in waves. She had never seen him around any other girls, so she had jut assumed that he didn’t have any particular regard for anyone. And maybe, in her heart, she had hoped… “I see.” she finally said. “We should get to class.”

Isa was silent. There could hardly be anything more disheartening than being dismissed in such a way. That day, classes could hardly have seemed to last any longer than they did. More than one student saw the distance between Jenni and Isa, and not one failed to remark on it to their peers. Lea noticed it, and his discontent festered until their lunch break, when Isa dismissed his company with a wave of the hand. Having some idea as to what must have happened, he accosted Jenni, pulling her out into the hallway.

“So,” he said, getting straight to the point. “What happened between you two? You’ve gotta know everyone’s been talking about it.”

Jenni exhaled, perhaps a little too sharply. “Let them think what they want!”

Lea hunched over and put a hand partially over his mouth, mimicking the students whisperings. “‘Jenni finally figured it out.’ ‘She rejected him!?’ ” Straightening himself out, he crossed his arms, and simply looked at her. “You know, Isa’s not the type to frivolously attach himself to anyone.” When she didn’t speak, he continued. “His mom died when he was eight. Since then, he’s kept his distance from everyone. It took a hero like me to finally become his best friend!” He chuckled at his self-praise before turning serious again. “And then one day, we spotted a flame. And, surprising everyone—even me!—Isa took to that flame.” He chuckled again. “I guess Isa has a thing for redheads.”

Here Jenni had to interrupt. “You aren’t making any sense! I overheard you talking this morning. He admitted he likes someone, but it’s not me!” She clenched her teeth and her fists, fighting the ridiculous emotion that was beginning to water her eyes.

Lea raised an eyebrow. “He said he didn’t like you?” At her silence, he put his hands on her shoulders and peered intently into her face. These two people had to be the most oblivious in the entire population of Radiant Garden. “Did he say, ‘I like someone, but not you’?”

She looked up, understanding beginning to dawn on her as to what Lea was getting at. “No…”

“Did you hear all of our conversation this morning?”

“No…”

Lea sighed and planted the palm of his hand on his forehead. “I didn’t think so…” Suddenly, a mischievous grin spread across his face, lighting in his eyes. Turning to Jenni and taking a step forward, he slipped a hand around her waist and drew her to him, stepping forward so that her back was against the wall.

“What the hell are you—”

Jenni’s eyes sparked, widening in shock as Lea pressed his lips to hers. For just a moment she stood immobilized before her eyes blazed. Pushing him away furiously, she drew her right hand back and applied the palm with liberal force to the side of Lea’s face. The resounding slap echoed through the near-silent hallways, and a bright red handprint appeared on the boy’s cheek.

Lea rubbed his face tenderly, chuckling ruefully. “Now tell me, would that have been your reaction had it been Isa, instead of me, that kissed you?” he said with a smirk.

She felt her face flame even redder, and Lea’s broadening smirk was enough to tell her that her coloring had answered for her. It irked her.

“Now, go find Isa and set things straight, will you? Because I don’t want to have to deal with the two of you during graduation. Sheesh, we’re supposed to be celebrating here!” Lea walked of, leaving Jenni to blush alone in the hallway.

========================================================

Chapter 5

Jenni walked through the quiet hallways, willing her face to cool down. Ass… she thought for the countless time as her mind replayed Lea’s kiss against her will. She realized why he had done it, but she also realized that he could have found another way if he had wanted—in other words, he had kissed her just to irritate the hell out of her. But his question regarding what her reaction would have been, had it been Isa’s lips instead, made her blush again. Lunch was nearly over, and if she knew Isa at all, she knew he would avoid her like the plague after school—if she had understood Lea correctly, that is. So then, the only thing left to do was find Isa, right? But when she found him, what could she possibly say? Am I the one you like? That sounded stupid! Isa, I like you! And that sounded like a stupid schoolgirl confession. As she unconsciously made her way towards the roof, she rehearsed different lines in her head, finding fault in each one. And sooner than she expected, she was at the door that led out to the roof. It’s no good, she thought, anything I say will sound stupid.

Setting her jaw, she pushed the doors open and stepped outside. There, leaning against the rail and just turning to see who had intruded upon his solitude, was Isa. Jenni winced inwardly as she saw the cool distance in his eyes. Her heart was hammering and she willed herself to say something—anything!—to break this awkward silence, but her mouth seemed to be sealed shut. Every second of silence widened the distance between them. “Isa…”

“I lied.”

“What?”

“This morning when I said I liked someone. I don’t. Not really.”

Her beating heart sank yet again, she hadn’t realized until now that her hopes had been rising in expectation of Lea being right. What if Lea was wrong? If she confessed to him, and he didn’t return her feelings, she would seem beyond idiotic. But…what if Lea was right. Because there was no way Isa would own to his liking her, if he hadn’t a hope of her returning his feelings. “Lea kissed me.” she blurted out. Damn it! She hadn’t meant to say that. Isa paled slightly, and, if she wasn’t mistaken, set his jaw. Taking encouragement, she continued. “I slapped him.”

Isa couldn’t completely hide his smile, and Jenni walked forward, smirking.

“Then he asked me what I would have done, if it had been you, instead.” There. His eyes widened imperceptibly, and a light rose tinted his face. Lea had been right!

To say that Isa was confused would be an understatement. This morning, she had seemed so distant, but now…now it almost seemed as if she were daring him to ask her. When she said that Lea had kissed her, he had felt a sudden surge of anger directed toward his old friend. He felt color drain from his face, and fought to keep himself calm, praying that the self-possession he had always prided himself on would not fail him now. It was odd, feeling the color drain from his face, while blushing at the same time. Swallowing once, he finally found his tongue. “And what did you say?” he asked, hesitating briefly.

Jenni smiled and said nothing. Isa’s eyes searched her face, finally resting on her eyes. She was smirking again. That same smirk she had given on her first day, daring the class to come ask her questions, was now daring Isa to find out for himself. Neither of them saw Lea peeping out through a crack in the doors, watching the unfolding event with a smug grin.

Isa turned his face away, unsure. She caught the hesitation—fear, even—in his eyes, and rolled hers. Laughingly, she reached up on tiptoes and kissed his face.

How Isa blushed! Both of them did, when a very familiar voice rang through the air whooping and hollering for Isa to ‘buck up and be a man’. The two sweethearts turned to see Lea standing in the doorway—the same self-congratulatory grin plastered over his face.

“Oh come on, Isa!” he was yelling. “Kiss her already!”

Isa grimaced at his friend’s lack of control, but finally bent down and kissed Jenni’s lips quickly. That earned another volley of whoops and shouts from Lea, which attracted a few faculty members, which earned the three students a place in detention for being up on the roof—it was prohibited.

~~~

Later that day, after the delinquents had served their time in detention, Lea left Isa and Jenni to walk home alone. Jenni was recounting what had taken place that day from her perspective, and Isa was obviously perturbed when it came to Lea’s brash actions.

“I’m sorry about your mother,” she said quietly. “It must have been awful.”

“She was a scientist in the castle, you know. I was so proud of her, and so was my father.”

“Really! What did she do?”

“She was involved in research…on other worlds…” Isa looked down at Jenni, gauging her reaction. “I’ve thought so for a while now,” he said, smiling, “but you aren’t from Radiant Garden, are you?”

Jenni’s head shot up, and something akin to amusement lit her eyes. “How did you figure it out?”

“Because you were always getting lost that first month, no matter where in town we went!” Isa chuckled as Jenni nodded her flame-colored head in defeat. “My mother wasn’t supposed to tell anyone of the other worlds, but sometimes she would come home too excited to keep quiet.” He smiled again, recalling old memories of his mother telling he and his father such fantastic tales. The smile faded, however, as he recalled that one day she had come home, tired and afraid. There had been no exciting story about yet another world that day. She and his father had shut themselves up in their bedroom after he was supposed to have been asleep, and he had overheard them talking. Something had gone wrong, she had said. Some of the other scientists had actually opened a portal to another world. Something had come through, however. No one knew what it was, but the first scientists involved had disappeared, leaving small monsters in their place. Several others had been lost to those monsters, and she herself had barely escaped with the help of one other scientist. No one was sure though, if whatever those creatures had been, wasn’t infectious. Her superiors had sent her home, forbidding her to tell of the incident, as they worked to cover up what had happened.

At first there had been no difference in his mother, other than the slight distance she kept from her family, a precaution, she had told him, because someone had been ill at work and she wasn’t sure if she would catch the sickness. But then, bit by bit, she began to change. Her vibrant blue eyes began to pale, and her energy faded. Still, though, she continued with her research at the castle. Friends—Lea’s mother in particular, her best friend—cautioned her to rest. They said she was overworking herself, becoming ill. They had no way of knowing that she had been doomed from the start. Even Isa had been unaware that his mother hadn’t been involved in her own research since the attack. She was going into the castle every day, under the pretence of work, to be researched herself. She held a vain hope that perhaps they would be able to cure her. No one knew, then, that darkness had rooted itself in her heart. Her light was fading, every second. This went on for nearly three months, and eventually she guessed what was happening to her.

One day she slapped Isa for nothing more than spilling a glass of water on the carpet. Isa remembered the shock was much greater than the physical pain, for his mother had never so much as spoken harshly to him. As he had cried, horror filled her face and his mother had gathered him into her arms, soothing and quieting him, apologizing. Stroking his hair, she told him as best she could that she was ill. That something had gone wrong at her work, and was affecting her heart. Darkness, she had told him, was infecting her heart, and her light was trying it’s hardest to beat it. Isa had wept harder, telling her she could use his light, too, and fathers. His mother had wept as well. The next day Isa’s father had woken to find her dead. Filled with repulsion over yesterdays act, and terror that her light was not strong enough to overcome the darkness, she had given herself an overdose of sedatives, and died. His father told everyone it had been an immune disorder, but that didn’t stop people from talking. His father and Lea’s mother had done the best they could to shield the young Isa, but he had heard. After all, children talk just as much as adults about what they overhear.

Jenni’s focused gaze brought him back to the present. Conjuring up a smile, Isa apologized.

“Hey, let’s go somewhere.”

“Hm?”

“I want to go somewhere so we can talk. I’ll tell you about my world, and you can tell me everything that hurts you. We can share burdens, you know. It makes it easier when you have someone helping you carry a heavy load.”

“Why?”

“Just because.”
 

Gram

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:D ive come to really like this story and Lea's behavior XD
 

Zeph

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Waiting on you, dear.
Haha, thanks. It's all based off of the old Commission Saga RP, so I'm glad it's able to stand on it's own.

Only two more chapters.
 

Gram

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lol afraid i have no idea what RP your talking bout XD

only two? :3 thats sad cause i like the story but good cause i prefer short stories XD
 
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Zeph

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Waiting on you, dear.
It's an ooold RP--died a year or so ago. So I'm pretty sure the only ones that remember it are the ones that were involved! lol.. Well, one an a half chapters, technically. Chapter 7 is litle more than a paragraph or two..
 

Gram

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XD good point.

:D thats my kinda chapter cant wait to see it.
 
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