The School from Hell - Part 2
Duo's Friendship Arc 7
by Dyna Dee
Duo slipped into their room a moment or two before the nine p.m. curfew. Heero turned from the laptop on his desk to face him, raising an eyebrow in question.
"Yes, I talked to him." The braided boy answered, knowing his roommate well enough now to be able to read his silence. He loosened his tie and yanked it out from under his white collar and threw the offensive strip of cloth onto the bed. His fingers then moved to unbutton the top three bottons on his shirt and then started on the cuffs. "Ahhh, better." he sighed with relief. He looked over to Heero, feeling his eyes boring into him. He unbuckled his black belt to remove it as he began his report. "Kyle has been here about a year and warned me to stay out of trouble. He says the consequences here are severe... "painfully severe" were his words. He says this school believes in corporal punishment and he knows of a couple of guys who have been to a place called "The Room". He used his fingers to imitate the quotes. "No one talks about what goes on there, but no one comes out the same. He told me that one guy never came back from there. It was rumored he went home, but his roommate never saw or heard from him again. He says that this room is what everyone here is afraid of. Well, that and Ms. Haversand. They behave and avoid any type of misbehavior to avoid a visit to the room."
Heero raised an eyebrow, somewhat skeptical. "Sounds like a typical blown-out-of-proportion school story." he said in reply to the oral report. "Someone tells a story and it gets embellished as its retold for a dramatic effect."
Duo shrugged and began to slip out of his dress pants and folded them neatly for the next day. "Could be, but its obvious that everyone believes it. The fear we feel from them is the result of this belief, and it has to be unhealthy to be forced into this unnatural silent state they're forced to live in."
"Silence doesn't necessarily mean unnatural." Heero said a tad defensively.
Duo gave him a small smile. "No, maybe not for a few, but for a whole school?"
Heero shrugged as he turned back to his work. "Not our problem. We're here only because this school is closest to the base than any other institution we could infiltrate. It is unfortunate that it is funded by Romafeller as a feeder to the military training system. As soon as we can, we'll be out of here. Just stay out of trouble."
Duo stood in his white t-shirt and red silk boxers, his hands on his hips. "But what about the rest of the guys here? Guys like Kyle. His parents sent him here because he decided to choose a different career than the families traditional military one. He said a lot of the guys here have similar stories, except a few who are rotten to the core." He chuckled to himself suddenly as a thought came to him. "Little did Kyle know that he was speaking to Shinigami when he said that line."
Heero turned around to see the amusement on his friend's face. "It's not for us to be concerned about a school and its discipline policies. The responsibility and outcome lay with the parents who put their kids here in the first place, most likely with full knowledge of the rules and possible consequences."
Duo went to his bed and sat down, opening his back pack, he took out his schedule. "Still doesn't make it right." he mumbled. He studied the week's schedule and looked up. "What's this two-hour block scheduled for the auditorium in the morning?" he asked, curious.
"A lecture presented to the whole school by Ms. Haversand." Heero answered as he turned back to his computer. "It's typical Oz indoctrination."
"Great!" Duo snorted in disgust. "This school just gets better and better, huh? I'd say it's straight out of the bowels of hell, and the demonic teachers are only surpassed by Ms. Haversatan Satan herself." he said dramatically sarcastic, then turned to begin his homework.
Sleep alluded him most of the night as he pondered the words and fearful admonitions of his new friend, Kyle. When morning did finally come, Duo had a hard time waking up having had so little sleep. He was prodded and pulled into rising and dressing by his unhappy roommate and led into the cafeteria just twenty minutes before the first class bell rang. He managed to drink three cups of black, well-sugared coffee, devoured a chocolate glazed doughnut, then purposely ignored the glare Heero shot his way regarding his improper choice of food.
They had two classes to endure until the auditorium lecture was scheduled, which was more than enough time for the caffeine and sugar to get into his system and have an effect on him.
The group of four waited impatiently for him as he bounded out from the restroom. A look of relief gracing his face. "Man, I almost didn't make it through that second class. Heero," he wagged his finger in a scolding manner at the frowning Japanese boy. "why did you let me drink three cups of coffee?" The other boy didn't answer. "Talk about torture on my bladder." Duo grinned at the others as they shook their heads with slight smiles on their faces.
"Come on." Heero said, turning abruptly and took the lead as the other four trailed behind him and into the auditorium. They sat together near the back of the large room that was quickly filling with the eight hundred students in attendance at Briddlewood.
Each of the pilots scanned the room. The fold down, stadium-type, wooden chairs fanned out from the stage in the front of the room. Today it was set up as a speakers podium, the rostrum sat in the center of the stage, three chairs were behind and to the right side of it. Oz flags adorned the front of the stage, as did an enormous flag that fell from the ceiling to the floor as the backdrop. The students and teachers alike took their seats quietly as they entered the room.
"This place is creepy." Duo whispered to Quatre, sitting on his left. The blonde boy nodded his agreement.
Ms. Haversand walked out from behind the open curtained stage and all in attendance in the auditorium came to their feet. Two burly men dressed alike in black pants and white polo-type shirts followed her in and sat in two of the three chairs, leaving the one in the middle vacant.
"Be seated." commanded the thin, sharp voice that so perfectly matched the woman's appearance and general attitude. In almost perfect unison, the entire auditorium of boys sat. Somehow, the sight caused Duo to chuckle with humor.
Heero looked at him scowling. "Behave!" he admonished the braided boy under his breath.
They all watched as she opened her briefcase and removed a thick, black covered book. She handed the case to one of the men behind her, then moved to open the book's cover. "Let us begin." she said and promptly began to read from it. "In the year of colony 175, military forces on Earth became concerned with unrest in the burgeoning colonies....." She read, and read, with little to no inflection in her voice which droned on, and on. After three-quarters of an hour, Duo found it impossible to sit still. He crossed and uncrossed his legs and arms, sat forward and back, even brought his braid forward and re-braided the bottom half.
The sound of someone clearing his throat caused him to look up. One of the teachers stood behind Heero, who occupied the isle seat, and shook his head at Duo in a disapproving way. The braided boy dropped his hands to his chair and sat on them. After a few moments, the teacher moved away and the fidgeting began again.
"Sit still." Heero warned him, though inwardly he felt sorry for the energetic boy who never could sit for long without movement, speech, or some sort of action. He knew this was hard for him, especially after all the caffeine he had in his system.
Relief came as Quatre took pity on the him and offered him his right hand, the fingers curled, ready to grasp his fingers and his thumb extended. Duo eyes it up as he saw the thumb war challenge. He eagerly placed his curved fingers into the others and stuck his thumb up. He looked quickly behind to rest assure the teacher was out of view. The coast clear, he turned back to face Quatre and mouthed silently, "On three." They soundlessly counted to three and began to angle themselves to capture the others moving thumb and pin it down under their own.
They had each won a battle and the next would decide the day's winner. Duo had moved forward to the edge of the seat to get into a more comfortable angle, and maybe a little more tactical advantage. "One, two, three!" he mouthed silently and the battle began anew. He had to bite his lip to keep quiet as he wrestled the other for thumb dominance. So caught up in the game, Duo didn't realize until too late that he had worked himself off the seat and onto the cold cement floor of the auditorium. Suddenly bereft of any weight, his hard wooden seat he'd accidently vacated sprung up, hitting the back of the seat and sending the loud banging sound across the large room. Everything suddenly went silent as he picked his embarrassed self up from off the cold floor. Smiling sheepishly at his friends, he eased himself back onto his seat.
"Who is responsible for that disturbance?" The shrill voice coming from the stage demanded.
Duo's smile slipped as he looked nervously at Quatre and the two next to him. They looked amused until they caught the look on the faces of the boys surrounding them and watching the scene unfold. They were afraid.
"He's here." The teacher from behind them announced as he appeared at their row and, reaching over Heero's lap, grabbed hold of Duo's arm and pulled him to his feet.
"Bring him here." Ms. Haversand said sternly, and a chill went down the braided boy's spine. He knew he was in for it now.