A/N: Howdy! I don't own Coraline *sniff*.
CoraRoz: Aww, thankies! Sadly it's not all gonna be in exact order cuz I'll probably think of different chappies at different times but ah well
SakuraXxXIchigo: Yay, thankies ^^ and if you ever get the chance, I HIGHLY recommend the movie
Ashefurby1313: Thanks so much, that really means a lot to me!
Song Two: Everything I Do
"Coraline, hold still," Coraline's mother complained.
Coraline was fidgeting with the itchy collar of her hideous, grey school jacket and shifting in her uncomfortable shoes and adjusting her horrible skirt. There was a white blouse underneath the jacket and she didn't like that much either, but even though it turned see-through in the rain, it was better than the rest of her uniform. Coraline would've preferred to wear trousers and a sweater over the blouse instead of the skirt and jacket, but oh well.
Next to her stood her best friend, Wybourne Lovat, an awkward kid who always slouched and had dark skin, curly dark hair that always had twigs or moss or leaves or something in it, a wide mouth and hazel eyes. Coraline had laughed herself silly at him when he'd turned up this morning in his school shirt, jacket and trousers (which fit him, something she wasn't used to). He'd even managed to get most of the stuff out of his hair. He'd laughed himself silly at the sight of her, but it was worth it.
And now they were standing in the kitchen, side-by-side, waiting for Coraline's mom to take the goddamn photo.
"Coraline!" Mom snapped, when she reached up to get the collar away from her neck again. Coraline groaned and let her hands drop to her sides again. "Could you stand up straight please, Wybie?" Mom asked him.
Typical, Coraline thought bitterly. Parents were always nicer to other people's kids than their own. And then Wybie straightened up.
Coraline nearly staggered into the table. God, Wybie was tall. Taller than her. Only by a couple inches, maybe a few, but still…
"Coraline, look at the camera," Mom complained.
"Geez," Coraline rolled her eyes and looked at the camera.
Coraline tried to smile but it turned into a grimace.
Coraline heard Wybie snicker and made a mental note to punch him in the arm later. Luckily Dad snuck up behind Mom and pulled faces at the eleven-year-olds to make them both laugh, so Mom could take the picture.
Once the shutters had clicked, Wybie automatically relaxed back into his slouch again, Coraline was once more fidgeting with her clothes and Mom and Dad were cooing over Coraline's 'first day at a new school' photo.
"Don't they look so cute together?"
"Mom!" Coraline complained, embarrassed.
"Yeah, they do."
Wybie was edging out of the kitchen. "Well, it was great seeing you again," he told Coraline's parents. "But we gotta get to school now."
"Oh, can we give you a ride to the bus?" Mom asked.
"We're taking Wybie's bike," Coraline said, trying to get away from her parents the second she could. Ever since they'd found out that Coraline's first friend here was a boy, they'd been annoying the hell out of her. Dad was a bit protective sometimes, but for now he was only joking about, as Mom reassured Coraline. It was the 'for now' that worried her.
"You take good care of my little girl, Wybourne Lovat," Dad teased. Coraline groaned again.
"I will, Mr Jones," Wybie said, shaking Dad's hand and playing along.
"Guys, will you just stop it?" Coraline asked. Her parents fell silent and Coraline and Wybie walked out the door with their school bags. Following the kids onto the porch, Mom clicked the camera repeatedly and Coraline and Wybie slung their bags onto their backs and picked up their 'helmets'. Wybie's helmet was a welding mask with a slightly skeletal face painted on it and three rotatable eyes which sometimes glowed green and worked like giant microscope lenses, turning with the use of a crank on the right-hand side. Coraline's helmet was another welding mask. Wybie had managed to find it and they had virtually attacked the thing with paintbrushes, until it was a mess of colours designed to look like a four-year-old had coloured a line-art of her face. It was orange, instead of her pale skin, with neon-pink eyes painted instead of brown, a yellow mouth, bright green freckles and purple hair instead of her short blue hair.
"Hold on," said Mom, before they could put the welding masks down over their faces. Wybie was already sitting on his handmade bike, and Coraline was standing behind the bike with her hands on his shoulders, waiting to place her feet on the pegs (which Wybie had fashioned out of an axel from the old car his grandmother had given him to take apart if he wanted) when the electric bike took off.
Mom snapped another picture and she and Dad cooed over it. Coraline and Wybie rolled their eyes at each other. Wybie started the bike and Coraline hopped up onto the pegs.
"Have her back by ten!" Mom called as they took off. Coraline groaned loudly once more.
"You know Jonesy," Wybie said, using his nickname for Coraline. "I always thought your mom was a grouch."
"She's lightened up since she got the neck brace off," Coraline replied.
The countryside went whizzing past, quickly giving way to the streets of Ashland, Oregon. Coraline hadn't known what people would make of the pair of them racing through town with their painted welding masks on, but apparently nobody thought anything of it. Some people in Shakespeare costumes waved to Wybie as if a kid with a creepy mask and another kid with a weird version of her face painted onto a mask riding a bike was the most normal thing they'd ever seen.
Wybie stopped outside a small convenience store and dismounted the bike, lifting his mask up. Coraline did the same.
"What're we doing here, Wybie?" she asked, crossing her arms. "Aren't we supposed to be going to school?"
"Well, yeah," he agreed, leading her into the store and over to an open refrigerator full of sandwiches. "But my Gramma doesn't make lunch for me, and I'm guessing you didn't decide to get any from your parents, either."
It was true. Coraline's father was a terrible cook, and her mom almost never cooked. Generally she didn't have the time, but when she did cook, it was pretty good. She always complained about the cooking in her family to Wybie, and he was right: she hadn't asked her parents to make any lunch for her. "I just figured I'd get a school lunch," she shrugged.
Wybie burst out laughing. "Are you kidding me? Even the teachers won't eat that stuff!"
"It can't be any worse than my dad's cooking."
Wybie, who had never eaten Charlie Jones's cooking, said, "Trust me, it's the worst stuff you'll ever have to eat."
Coraline sighed. She could see she wouldn't convince Wybie of anything unless he actually ate her dad's cooking, so she grabbed a sandwich and followed Wybie to the checkout. They paid for the sandwiches and stepped outside, Coraline making a mental note to invite Wybie over for dinner sometime. Oh, and while she was on the subject of future ways to torture Wybie, there was something she'd forgotten…
"OW!" Wybie yelled, rubbing his arm where she'd punched him. "What was that for?"
"For laughing at me earlier," Coraline told him. "And for going along with my parents' jokes."
"Sorry Jonesy," he said, mounting his bike again and pulling his mask down, so that his voice was muffled. "I just thought I might be able to get outta there quicker if I did."
Coraline rolled her eyes and they took off again.
They reached the school. Wybie chained his bike to a rail and lead Coraline to reception to get her new timetable, and a slip of paper to give to her teachers. Coraline was pleased to see that their timetables matched up exactly because she didn't know anyone else, or where she was going.
History was first lesson. Coraline wasn't exactly the best at history, but after what had happened just after she'd moved in, Coraline felt like she could face anything. Of course, that wasn't to say that she was all too pleased at being made to stand at the front and introduce herself in every class.
When lunchtime finally rolled around, Coraline and Wybie grabbed a table at the back of the cafeteria, slung their jackets on the backs of their chairs and started eating and making jokes about the teachers. They were enjoying their lunch, until…
"Hey look, it's Why-were-you-born Lovat."
The speaker with the dark voice hadn't said it in a playful manner, like Coraline always did when she took the mickey of Wybie's name. They meant to be hurtful. Wybie stiffened, terrified.
The guy Wybie had called Nick loomed over the pair of them like some kind of attempt at King Kong, only many times more horrible, and with far less muscles.
"You didn't pay up today, Lovat," said the guy. "I told you before. Either you give me twenty dollars or you're dead."
"Wybie, what's this guy talking about?" asked Coraline. "Why do you have to give him twenty bucks?"
"Cuz I said so, that's why!" the guy said.
Coraline pretended to think about it. "You know what, Wybie? You shouldn't give him the money."
"Oh yeah?" the guy Nick said threateningly. "And what're you gonna do about it?"
"I'm not gonna let you get away with it, that's for sure," Coraline said.
The guy Nick smirked and took a threatening step towards her. In a flash, Wybie was between the two of them, facing the guy Nick, standing at his full height again. Coraline could see that Wybie's arms were tense, his hands curled into tight fists… in fact, all his muscles seems to be tense. She didn't know about his legs, but the school shirts were slightly see-through without the help of the rain, and she could see the tense muscles all up his back and neck.
"Don't touch her," Wybie said. Something about his tone of voice scared Coraline. It was almost like a low growl, and sounded extremely defensive. Coraline didn't know this side of Wybie, even though she'd seen a protective, caring, slightly romantic side of him – sort of. It hadn't been this Wybie. It was the Other Wybie… but that was a part of her past she didn't like to bring up around anybody but Wybie and the cat, because they were the only two who believed her. Or understood why it upset her so much – well, in the cat's case, anyways; Wybie didn't know why Other Wybie was an upsetting subject for Coraline… he just knew not to talk about the button-eyed version of himself.
Coraline was jerked out of her thoughts when Wybie's body slammed into her. The guy Nick had punched him in the face and he'd stumbled backwards. Wybie was pretty light and Coraline managed to stay on her feet and push him back up, too.
"You're pathetic," the guy Nick snarled, punching Wybie in the face again and pushing him to the ground. "Can't take a punch."
Wybie's lip and nose were bleeding and he had a slightly swollen eye.
Coraline stared at the guy Nick. Suddenly she realised what was wrong about him. He was tall and skinny – almost skeletal – and pale, with dark hair and sharp facial features, and dark, round eyes, almost like buttons. He reminded Coraline of the Other Mother, who had hurt her Other Wybie and, eventually, killed him.
Well, Coraline wasn't going to let that – or anything similar – happen ever again. She stepped towards the guy Nick and glared at him hard, unblinking.
"What?" the guy Nick demanded.
Coraline curled her hands into fists. "I told you," she said. "I told you, I'm not gonna let you get away with it." And she sunk her fist into his gut.
"Coraline!" Wybie hissed. "What're you doing?"
But now she was hitting the guy Nick again. And again. It felt good. Nearly as good as if it really was the Other Mother she was punching. The guy Nick was trying to fight back but he couldn't, she was too strong, and now she –
"Jones!" a teacher yelled. "What are you doing?"
"You got so lucky not to get detention, Jonesy."
"Liar. I got lucky I wasn't expelled."
Wybie laughed. "That's true. You nearly killed that guy. I'm just sorry you didn't."
"Eh. I was having an off day. And besides, I –" Coraline stopped herself before she could say "shoulda done it before". Meaning to save the Other Wybie.
"Don't worry about it, Jonesy." This Wybie knew she had stopped herself talking about the Others. He could tell.
"I owe you," Coraline said to him. But it was the way she said it that made him feel like she didn't mean this him.
She meant another him.
A/N: Long wait was long. Sorry guys
Next song: Courage by Superchick