March 23, 2010

When the Autumn Leaves Blush - Part V

As dictated by Faranza Syns

When The Autumn Leaves Blush
Faranza Syns

Tadaa! It's the time you've waited for! Chapter 4 is (finally, after many broken promises) out! I've made a few changes to the storyline, so to those of you whom I've leaked the storyline to before I went to NS, sorry. I changed it. Hope it's not too bad. By the by, if there are any typos, please ignore. I'll get back to it after my online test on Saturday. This time, it's for Hariz (who has helped me a lot on shaving), Amanda, Kye Li, Alia Ilani, my Dharrling, Afzy and also my ghost readers. Drop a comment, will you? I need feedback. ;D

Sleeping positions in this post was (I'm proud to say) stolen from Ju Yee's album of Geo Cosmo
Wiras sleeping in their dorm. Call it a breach of privacy, but it was funny. Now, on with the show!

Chapter 4

Sean groaned in muffled agony as his muscles protested violently against his sudden move to sit up. Ignoring the tearing pain in his limbs, Sean pushed himself up on suffering arms, anchoring his weight as best as he could. Looking to his left, and then his right, Sean frowned in puzzlement.

Everyone was in bed.

Well, that was the normal part of it. The odd part was... no one was snoring. Shaking his head, Sean sighed.

Blessed peace.

Taking a deep, bracing breath, he grimaced as he swung his legs over the side of the bed, and let his feet touch the cold, tiled floor. He forced himself onto his tingling toes - standing straight and tall, he stretched his sore muscles, trying to wring the stiffness from his shoulders, arms, legs and back.

Holy hell. It never got easier. With a grim smile, he thought of how hopeful he'd been for the physical torture to let up. He had always thought that one day he would be at the top of his game, and no amount of violent physical grilling he received would ever wind him even a little.

Boy, was he wrong.

Sean took a look at the plastic clock that hung on the wall and scanned his dorm room again. All of his roommates were fast asleep. One was - they would kill him if they knew he thought of this word and them in the same sentence - adorably curled into a ball, one hand with curled fingers placed near his cheek, like a - again, they would kill him if they knew he'd used this word - baby. One looked like he was performing the bicycle kick in his sleep, live, frozen mid-kick on the bed. Another had his legs splayed wide apart, facing the ceiling with something that looked suspiciously like a bunch of underwear crumpled together and hugged tight against a strong, muscled chest.

Should he take a picture of this very interesting situation? An evil grin spread over Sean's face. Most of the time, they all leapt out of bed at the same moment having all had nearly the same programming for their internal clocks. But today was a bit different for Sean - and hell, he had no idea why.

With that thought he shrugged and struggled to move towards the clothes rack where towels had been hung haphazardly. He had been in this academy for a year now. And god help him, it was not the same as before. Not the same as the horror many years ago. Thinking back to the years of bitterness, hate and sheer helplessness made his shoulders tense. His hand reached down to touch the jagged scar on his thigh, the glower on his chiseled face intense and burning. Inhaling deeply, he opened the door to the shower stall, trying to ease the knot in his chest as he exhaled.

Things were different. He'd faced his fears, and now he would become the victor of the war waged within himself.

He stepped into the shower stall and locked the door. As the chilly spray of water hit his face, he gasped and cursed. Maybe he should not have bathed at such an unholy hour of the morning. If nothing interesting happened soon, he swore he'd take a picture of those guys in their undies and post it up somewhere embarrassing.

Dirt and sand stirred above the ground as boot-clad feet moved agilely, supporting a lithe female body as it jumped from a big, noisy truck. "Thank you, sir!" the female called out above the agitated whirring of the truck. Fixing the position of her rucksack strap on her shoulder with one hand, she waved vigorously with the other.

The driver of the truck was less jovial in his goodbyes. "You..." he pointed a finger at her. "You're a lady," he reminded her gravely. "So you watch out, you hear?"

Laughing, the girl waved away the trucker's worries. "I will." She smiled affectionately up at the man who had been her companion for more than a few nights. "You take care too, y'hear?" she piped.

The elder man finally broke into a smile, and tipped the bill of his cap at her. "Bye," he waved.

And as the truck roared away, the brave, devil-may-care smile on the girl's lips slipped away and disappeared. Tense fingers gripped the shoulder strap of her rucksack as she turned to survey her surroundings. Where the hell was she?

There really was not much around her. There were trees and the bushes with flowers abloom, but there was definitely no traffic, no public phones and the only building around the area was a military school. Where was she?


Eyes widening at the thought, she stood still to absorb it all. Nowhere. She was in the middle of nowhere. She waited for the feel of pure joy and release to enfold her being - waiting for a sense of relief and acceptance to cloak the increasing sadness that had quietly become a staid compadre of hers as the months passed.

She looked up to the sky, trying to look beyond the mosaic of leaves above her towards the limitless stretch of pre-dawn grey. It was not supposed to turn out this way - things were supposed to be better. Was a year not long enough?

Apparently not.

Anger twisted its tawny fingernails deeper into her soul, ravaging the already torn part of her further. Seething, she tried to push it away, and turned on her heels, taking in fully what was around her, quickly calculating her chances of survival - the mean temperature, the colour of the sky, humidity of the wind.

Thunder rumbled as stormy clouds rolled and roiled above her head. Dammit. She had not noticed the clouds when she'd stopped her beloved trucker and said she would get off there - saying she had a brother to visit at the military school.

A brother to visit at the military school.

Her eyes swiveled towards the low gates of the brick-and-stone building. An impatient clap of thunder made her look up in panic at the skies. Days where she had fallen sick from being so wet, dirty and muddy had taken their toll on her mental endurance of this condition. If there was one thing she used to love but had grown to hate, it was getting wet.

No way was she going to endure being so sick she'd spew her guts out.

There was no other way around it - the only true shelter she had against the rain was the military school.

She squared her shoulders and tipped her chin up. She was prepared for stealthy infiltration.

Sean brushed his hands back and forth over the top of his head and surveyed his image in the mirror. Frowning, he ran his hand over his jaw and neck, feeling the fine bristles prickling his fingers. Shaving time. He turned the tap and let warm water gush out of the spout. He patted the water onto his face, warming his face up, readying the skin for a good bout of shaving.

As he lathered shaving cream on his face, he heard a suspiciously muffled thump - like a sound... that came from outside-

Acting on barely leashed instincts, he swung around in a powerful arc and slid open the window near his sink. His eyes focused and alert, he scanned the perimeters for any freshman stupid enough to go moonlighting at three o'clock in the morning - way past curfew hours. The earliest anyone could roam the grounds would be around five in the morning, even for a senior maven. Sean pursed his lips at that. Senior Mavens were the hardest to rein in these days - knowing that they were about to graduate seemed to make them think that they could step all over their platoon leaders. Senior Heroes were a lot more lucid as they have not yet specialised in any field - in other words, they were not popular for any sort of achievement in school; academically or athletically. It was as if being a Senior Maven made them think they actually had a rank in the school's hierarchy.

They were dead wrong.

Still wary, pulling away from the window was hard for Sean. As the Senior Under Officer of the Bravo Company, the last news he wanted to hear from any of his Junior Under Officers was that one of their company had been caught being an ass - not now. Not when they were so close to graduation and the final 'Reckoning' Awards ceremony.

From the corner of his eyes, he kept a clear view of the window although at his angle, he would not be able to see what was happening below. Living on the second floor had its perks - but sometimes he wished they had a bottom dorm. Him and the other SUOs.

Picking up his razor, he began shaving, forcing himself to look away from the window to focus on the task at hand. Being paranoid helped nobody shave, that was for sure. As he cleared away the whiskers on his face, he began shaving the underside of his chin.

A loud bang and the eerie sound of something sliding against wet glass jarred the steady movements of his hand and it resulted in a quick cut to the skin of his jawbone. He cursed and tossed the razor into the sink, running to the window. If he did not see anything again, just like before, there must really be something wrong with his brain.

And there, on the ground directly beneath the window, he saw a body writhing in pain, clutching an arm. The body looked fully clothed, but the clothes looked drab and old - the person also had something of a shaggy, long-haired cut.

Sean groaned. Not another smart-ass freshman thinking he could become Superman for the night and leave campus by power jumping off the ledge dressed as a homeless.

He grabbed a piece of paper tissue and pressed it against his bleeding skin. He rushed to his bed and put on a sweater and a pair of pants. Fuming at the fact that he - once again - had to save the ass of an ungrateful newbie, Sean raced down the stairs and out into the open. Cold droplets of rain touched his skin and he sighed at his luck. No use whining about it now. The poor kid probably broke his arm from the fall.

The lump near the dorms had stopped writhing when Sean approached it, but he could clearly see how raggedly the kid was breathing - possibly trying to keep in the cries of pain. The kid lay reposed on grass, as if accepting the defeat that had been dished out to him. Thank god. Sean was not prepared to accept the news that he might have to chase the newbie down at three in the morning.

He raised his hand to shield his face as he felt - and heard - the rain turn slightly fierce. What amazed him was that the body on the ground tensed - then began shifting at a very high speed. Hands were brushing away dirt and what puzzlingly seemed like rain-water from body, face, arms and legs. It almost seemed like the kid was scared of rain-water - well, he sounded like he was.

But that sound... that squeaky sound of panic... was it not a bit too high for a male? Sean squinted, then moved closer, until he was just a few inches from the figure.

And he saw the face.

"What the hell," he breathed. What he saw was... Unable to believe his eyes, he crouched in front of the person - no longer sure what to call it - and grabbed the person's shoulders in a vise-like grip. He squeezed hard until the person stopped squirming, and he got a good gander at the person's features. "Holy mother..."

The person shook in his grip, eyes glassy and face streaked with debris and water - a face that was decidedly feminine.

Sean inhaled sharply. The body continued to shake, but the eyes focused on Sean's face, wide and wary.

"Who are you?"

Danielle could feel the cold envelope her from all sides, reaching deep into her bones, running its long, cold, prickly fingers along every vein, injecting a system-jarring chill into her bloodstream. The droplets of rain that hit her face felt like they were hails of ice, piercing her skin, further chilling her. They suffocated her - made her feel like she was being hit with the full-force of a thunderstorm.

"Dee... dee," gritted out between chattering teeth.

"Deedee? Deedee, what are you doing around here?"

She gripped the sweater of the guy who was currently holding her upright. She knew it was his strength she was depending on because somehow the rain had sapped her of hers. "Please," she begged in short, choppy breaths. "Get me out of this rain."

The guy looked up at the clouds above them. "It's just a little rain - it won't be too heavy yet. Listen, Deedee, I need you to tell me--"

A loud crash of thunder shook her insides. She whimpered as she felt her hands begin to freeze up. She moved closer to the guy, practically throwing herself into his arms. What little warmth he had, she absorbed in an almost greedy manner. Her hands were shaking, her body felt awfully cold... and her head... felt more than a little light...

"Deedee? God, you can't do this to me."

Danielle did not give a damn. In fact, she did not think she could even speak - her tongue felt too weak. It was happening again. In a few seconds, her body would be burning up - and then the next thing that would happen is her splayed across the floor as an aftermath of a violent bout of vomiting.

"Holy crap," the guy cursed.

"Please," Danielle breathed out on an agonised sob.

The last thing she could register in her memory was the feel of a pair of arms gathering her against a warm chest. She leaned against the chest - relief washed over her in tender waves - and then, everything else blanked out. Blessedly.

Drake frowned as the fog of sleep in his head thinned out and consciousness began poking at his brain. He groaned, then scratched his chest - only to be hampered by a thin layer of underwear that covered that area. His frown intensified when he saw the bundle of underwear on his chest. Must have slept without putting them away.

Holy damn, did anyone see --

Quick as a flash, he spun and crouched on his bed, scattering his underwear as he scanned the room. Right. Robin was in bed, Clark was in bed, and Sean was in bed too. Drake let out a quick huff of air in relief. He gave himself a self-deprecating chuckle, then began collecting his underwear. Then, from the corner of his eyes, he caught sight of something that made his blood freeze.

Was that Sean sitting at the study table? So... who was the one on the bed?

"Fuck, I'm seeing double." Drake pressed the heel of his hands against his closed eyes, really thinking he was insane. "It's a dream, I'm sure."

"You're talking to yourself, dude."

"You think?" Drake asked heatedly, removing his hands from his eyes. "I'm seeing two of you, you prick! Of course I'd be talking to myself!" he pointed vehemently at Sean's bed.

"Wow," Sean said. "I thought you were the brains amongst the SUOs. That's not me on the bed."

"How can it not be - Who is it, then?"

As a look of gravity shadowed Sean's face, Drake grew alarmed. "See for yourself."

Clad only in boxers, Drake bounced off his bed, then approached Sean's bed. He leaned over the bed and stared. And stared. And stared.

Clearly unnerved by Drake's unmoving stupor, Sean swiveled his chair around and faced him. "So?" he asked impatiently.

Drake leaned back, a thoughtful look on his face. "She's pretty."

"What?" Sean burst.

The two boys in bed murmured in protest and shifted, pulling covers and pillows over their heads.

"Well," Drake said matter-of-factly, "underneath that dirt she is pretty."

Sean tensed. "She's a girl."

"Obviously." Drake looked at him like he was an idiot. "We haven't been secluded from them that long, you know."

Coiled like a tight spring, Sean sprung up off his chair and began pacing. "Let me see if I get you straight. There's a girl in the SUOs dorm, where no females should venture, and all you can say is she's pretty?"

"Where'd you find her?"

"She tried to climb up the building into one of the rooms is my guess. She fell. I think she sprained her wrist."

Drake moved to other side of the bed to see the girl's hand in an ice-compression. "We should wake Robin up - he's a medic maven."

"No, don't wake him up!" Sean stilled Drake's move. "He'd freak and tell everyone a girl came to the dorm -"

"Bull," Drake moved, fluidly avoiding Sean's big frame, and moving towards one of the boys. He grabbed Sean's towel and whipped it across Robin's bottom.

"I'm up," Robin shot up in bed drowsily. "I swear I am. Yes, I'll do the laundry. Yes, the grass, too..." Robin leaned to his side, then slowly, began to move into the sleeping position again until Drake smacked him behind the head.

"Up, Robin."

Robin cursed, then got off his bed. "Geez. Whiner."

"There's a girl here."

"What?" and Robin's eyes seemed to immediately latch onto the girl on the bed.

It always amazed Drake and the others how Robin could easily shift gears from Sleep to Battle in just a split second. It was like he never actually went to sleep at all. He moved to the side where the girl's hand was in a compression. "Good job, guys. Now we just need to get her up and--"

"She has fever," Sean put in.

Drake's eyebrows rose. "She has a fever and she climbed up our building, fell, sprained her wrist--"

"She just got the fever." Sean looked uncertainly at the girl. "It was raining and all," he muttered.

"Was it that heavy?" Robin asked as he rummaged through the opened first aid kit.

"Not really. That's why I don't understand why she got the fever in the first place." Sean paused, crossing his arm over his chest. "It was like... she was scared of the rain."

The boys were silent as Robin moved around and pressed a wet cloth to the girl's forehead. He took another cloth and wiped away the dirt on the girl's face. "Who's she, by the way?"

Sean raised both hands. "I have no idea. I don't know her."

"That's mean of you."

All three pairs of eyes swiveled towards the girl currently lying down on the bed. Her eyes were glassy, but they were open and aware. Robin moved to sit on the side of the bed, one leg folded and placed partially on the bed. "What do you mean?"

The girl's eyes held on to Sean's for a long seconds. "How could you say that?"

"What?" he asked, then looking defensively at his friends, he shrugged his shoulders.

"That's very mean of you."

"I don't get--"

"How could you say you don't know your own sister?"

Both Drake and Robin's eyes immediately sought out Sean, staring at him with wide eyes that narrowed into accusative gazes. Sean froze at what he heard - disbelief making him utterly speechless. It was too stupefying a moment to ruin with words. Sean backed away at the increasingly fierce glares of his fellow SUOs.

Then, his restraint broke when he saw the supposed-to-be-asleep Clark glaring at him as well from his bed, joining in the group mutiny heartily.

Sean sputtered. "Bullshit!"

-end of Chapter 4 -

God, when I started, I couldn't stop.


i want more!! hurry hurry!

oi. this chapter is a bit short. write longer so i dun haf to stop reading. haaha its really good hana ;) awesome possum!

Kess said...

LOL. Why'd you have to go and end this chapter this way? T__T