pospreterito: "THAT BOY IS A MONSTER" across a young man's shoulders ({personal} ..ph your circuit's dead)
[ pos.pɾe'te.ɾi.to ] ([personal profile] pospreterito) wrote in [community profile] copreterito2012-01-06 12:38 pm

{bracketverse, 31_days} there's still damage to do

Title: there's still damage to do
Rating: PG13 (swearing, mild violence, inept antagonistic unrequited teenage crushes)
Wordcount: 1,292
Story / World: bracketverse
Challenge: [livejournal.com profile] 31_days: January 02 2012, sultry, dirty, soft and hard
Other: Realistically annoying teenagers are annoying. I would know. (Cosma is fourteen.)
Characters: Cosma Noline, Michael Kite (a bit character)
Notes: God knows how this one ended. Badly. Badly's about as much as I'll specify (Cosma Noline: good at being Better Than You! Not good at people).

you bastards, you've lucked out again! it's not really so bad
there's still mom, there's still damage to do before they wrest the axe from my hands

She’s sicker than anything of sparring with Michael Kite. Really. Cosma thinks she’d understand the logic behind it if there was any – and she hates that, too, people pretending there’s reason when she can’t see any, like she’s too stupid to see it and it’s there even if she’s not aware of it, for God’s sake she’s fourteen and she knows more than half of them will in their lives so who do they think they are – and she doesn’t, so there’s not, so everyone is wrong. It’s disgusting.

As is the floor, she notes, picking herself up off of it. She sees something in Michael’s face like he expects her to be angry about it, or maybe like he’s surprised – she’s been spending too much time around the Metallurge, she thinks, and maybe blankness is just that in people who aren’t Tulio. (Lord Huitrón, she corrects herself, a twitch, out of habit. She’s got to get better about that, if only for self-preseveration against, again, people who are stupider than her and want to make like she can’t notice it. Idiots.)

He did throw her across the room, admittedly. Cosma probably ought to be angry. She landed badly; her elbows hurt.

For a second she considers telling Ciel that she’s going to give up the class if the teacher is so earthshatteringly stupid as to think that pairing the two youngest students, over and over, is a good idea. That in itself absolves Michael of a lot of blame, though, as much as the thought annoys her. He’s too new to know how not to screw up a simple throw and she’s too inexperienced to know how to compensate for it. It’s wrong both ways. Maybe it bothers him too, she thinks vaguely, and then bats the thought away.

She will and only call the man with the white belt teacher, though. She already has to pick up a second language for what she can’t avoid to deal with one set of pretentious bastards, she’s not going to humour their self-absorbed insular vocabulary when half of them gargle the vowel sounds into obscurity and she’s never found any appeal in Japanese. ‘Teacher’ and ‘sir’ from Cosma Noline ought to be more than enough for anybody, an honour really.

Her mind moves too quickly. Cosma pauses, elbows locked, and then blinks her way out of whatever convoluted train of thought she’s long lost the beginning of. She turns towards Michael and she grins, a wonderful expression if she does say so herself, sharp and glittering and the only thing she has the Weathervane to thank for, but Michael’s turned away.

Cosma chooses not to examine why that makes her feel so angry she could be sick. She’ll have to come back Thursday, though, make him pay for ignoring her.

Even if it wasn’t on purpose.


The thing is she doesn’t understand why being around Michael feels like this, like she should break protocol and slam his face against a wall until his nose breaks and his bones splinter and his face is just a bloody pulp – she bets she could do it, she really does – or. Or something. Grab him by the neck and kiss him, maybe, she bets she could get him to bleed that way too.

She doesn’t understand at all. It’s not like she can ask Ciel, either.

Wednesday she can’t concentrate on anything because she’s decided Michael’s her current problem to solve.

Thursday she grabs him by the back of the neck and throws him face-first onto the floor, unprompted, and no one says anything, and she could just –

It was a good throw. She’d like them to acknowledge that. If nothing else.

He didn’t even look mad. Cosma doesn’t get it.

At school Friday someone hits her in the back of the head with a pen while she’s sitting and staring at the empty whiteboard and she doesn’t even know who it was. It’s a nice pen, black and silver like it’s meant for her, like whoever threw it is an idiot – which doesn’t narrow the matter down at all, she’s simply overwhelmed with possibilities when all she has to go off of is an idiot, some stupid random, a wasteful fucking fool.

Her head smarts, she finds, though it probably won’t bruise, but the next hour she manages to remember AP Math. Somewhat. Enough to finish first and get a meaningless commendation, anyway, and a likely-looking brunette with a bad haircut glaring green at her like she thinks her glasses make her line of sight invisible.

Cosma keeps the pen.


Their teacher introduces three new students and still pairs her with Michael and Cosma is so angry she could spit. They’re doing pins, today, because apparently the children are caught up enough that he’ll no longer suffer them to cover the basics incessantly. She memorises his words in case the quotes will come in handy. One incompetent out of the many being one expendable enough that she can complain to Ciel is all right.

She doesn’t try to break Michael’s wrist or dislocate his arm even though with what they’re doing she really could, and he seems afraid to even touch her, won’t twist her arm like he actually won – which he didn’t, they’re taking this in turns, but he’s condescending, he’s trying to be nice, and the walls here are solid concrete and she just.

Michael gets her arms bound up behind her far too fast, though, because Cosma’s weak on falls and he knows it (she’s – she’s not supposed to – why do they talk about learning to fall right, there is no right, you could bleed, she—) and how dare he use that against her, should she have used the way he seems afraid all the time?

He doesn’t act violent at all, doesn’t pin her to the mat with a knee in the back for emphasis like she’s seen the grown-ups do, but for the life of her she can’t get him to let go and she doesn’t know what she wants but she really does want it and how dare he not even fight her right—

Something sparks at her wrists, red and buzzing and entirely unnatural or rather not unnatural enough. It’s not anything anyone has taught her, and he springs backwards like she shocked him.

Except she did, so the simile isn’t one at all, and he’s got his eyes blown wide – they’re bloodshot, she notices, really badly, she wonders why – and this time she does get to put her jackal white-knife Zöe-inspired smile to good use.

What he asks is if she minds taking a break, but she calls victory anyway, and she’s – she’s still furious. At how easy it was, this time. At that she didn’t actually do anything. Not deliberately. Michael goes up to the teacher and waits until he’s free and then asks if he could spar with someone else – very, very low, but Cosma can hear – and she blinks.

She hadn’t thought of that. Not really. It hadn’t seemed to be an option. (How dare he.)

Good luck to him, she thinks, and tucks her hands into her belt while she waits. He’s not going to get rid of her that easily. She wants to know why he makes her feel like an analogue clock a second before the alarm goes off and God and the Twelve know what she’ll do in revenge, really, now. But only once she knows what she’s avenging.

(Ciel would say it’s stupid, but Ciel doesn’t even know about magic, he’s never seen the Side, he’d say she’s lying, what does he know?)
bookblather: A picture of Yomiko Readman looking at books with the text "bookgasm." (Default)

[personal profile] bookblather 2012-01-10 08:04 pm (UTC)(link)
Cosma, you are very, very spooky, but I can totally see how she would think this way. It makes perfect sense, it's just spooky. Very well done.