Last Chapter! Thank you all so much for coming on this journey with me! It's been a pleasure.
Last chapter on the last day of the year. How fitting.
It was August 16, a Friday. School was set to start on August 19, the upcoming Monday. Cana still had a lot to do to prepare herself for the school year. She still had yet to do any shopping for the school year at all. Luckily, she had plans with somebody that day to do just that. Her phone buzzed as she finished tying her shoes.
I'm here! :)
Cana grabbed her purse and flask and ran out of her house. She locked her door and ran up to the Ford F150 that was parked in her lawn. She opened the passenger's door and hopped in.
"Hey, dad," Cana exclaimed as she reached over the center console to hug her father.
"Hey, kiddo! Alright, where are we going first?"
He put the car into drive and off they went. Cana buckled in and took a sip from her flask.
"That better be Gatorade, young lady!"
"Let's just pretend it is."
Gildarts had moved into Cana's home town of Magnolia to be closer to her. It had taken her mom a lot of convincing but the woman eventually gave in and Cana was allowed to see her dad whenever she wanted. They hung out often. On the weekends they went to restaurants or window shopping and sometimes Gildarts would come over to Cana's house and they would watch a movie or play video games, occasionally Cornelia would even join. Cana's mom still had a lot of warming up to do to Gildarts but she saw how happy he made Cana so she tolerated him. "For now", Gildarts would always say. Cana had on occasion seen the two adults even talking by themselves, without their daughter's presence. Which was a good sign.
Her life had gotten a lot easier now that Cana had her dad back. There were still fights with her mom but there was a lot less guilt and blame between them and they were able to talk through a lot of their issues. Plus, if her mom made her really mad, Cana would just go over to Gildarts's apartment. And if he wasn't around or he was in on the arguing too, Cana had Laxus.
They kept in touch all summer, still going strong. They had a few little disputes over the last two months but they always managed to resolve them. Both of them were keeping their promises of doing everything to work for each other and stay together. And with Laxus in her life, Cana felt happier and more fulfilled. She was more grateful to him than anyone else, ever. He gave Cana her dad back, he made her life better, and he cared for her with everything he had. She just missed him with every ounce of her being. They often discussed how much they wished they could be together in person again. They were happy being long distance but, dammit did it suck.
Gildarts pulled up to Target, parked and the two got out. They walked in and grabbed a cart.
"Okay, kiddo, what do we need?"
"There's a whole section for school supplies in the back."
Cana took the cart and began pushing it towards their destination. Something caught her eye and she turned to see a piece of furry fabric disappearing behind one of the aisles. Probably a jacket someone was buying. She shrugged and went back to walking with her dad.
"Okay. My teachers said that I would need one notebook for every class as well as pens, pencils, and binders."
"Cana! Look at this shirt!"
Cana turned to see Gildarts holding up a bright pink shirt that said "Daddy's Baby Girl" on it.
"What the hell," Cana exclaimed.
"I think it would fit you perfectly! We should put it in the cart!"
"No way, old man!"
Cana pulled out her phone to look at the list of school supplies, not paying attention to Gildarts as he put the shirt in the cart."
"Oh, and a calculator!"
They went to the back of the store where the school supplies were being sold. Gildarts went off to find some binders for her and Cana perused the notebooks. She glanced to the side to see that there was an electric blue backpack with yellow lightning bolts hanging on the wall. She immediately thought about Laxus. She took a picture of it and sent it to him.
Look what I found!
He responded almost immediately.
Holy shit I want it.
Cana giggled and then put her phone away. She picked out her notebooks and then went to find her dad.
"Dad," she called, walking up and down the aisles of school supplies. She rounded a corner and found him just standing there. "Dad?"
"Oh, hi, sweetie! What's up?" Gildarts rubbed the back of his head nervously and a massive smile was spread across his face.
"Um, shopping. Did you find the binders?"
"Yup! I chose out the prettiest ones for you!"
Cana rolled her eyes sarcastically at him. She looked at the binders. They had puppies and kittens and glitter on them. Oh well, they were the cheapest. They made their way out of the area. Cana shot one last look towards the backpacks only to find that the lightning bolt one she saw was gone.
It was the first day of school. Cana was obviously not ready for it. She was exhausted from the moment she woke up. She trudged into the kitchen to brew coffee. Her mom was already gone for the morning, off to work. Cana took the entire pot of hot coffee and dumped half of it into her flask. She then shuffled back to her room to open her mini fridge and fill the rest of the flask up with Irish whiskey. Fuck sugar. She didn't need sugar in her coffee.
She took sips of her cocktail as she looked through her closet. Cana wasn't one of those people that dressed up nice for the first day of school. If anything, dress shitty so all of the outfits later are an upgrade.
She ended up going with jeans and a black shirt. No big deal. She was ready in under five minutes and on her way to school via her car.
She pulled up to the campus and parked in her designated spot. She sat in her car for ten minutes, sipping on her drink. It was almost out. Good thing she kept gin in her car! She bent down to get the bottle out of the back seat, ignorant of the people walking by her car to get onto campus.
As soon as her flask was filled, she got out of her car and walked to her first period class.
It was English. Gross. The teacher was outside the door, telling students their assigned seats.
"Cana, Alberona," she told the man. He nodded.
"Seat number thirteen."
Cana found the desk and sat there, plopping her head onto the desk. She was already kind of drunk but it wasn't enough. Cana had not enjoyed school since her freshman year so she was always drunk whenever she went. She wanted to down the rest of her gin but then she wouldn't have anything to satisfy her for the rest of the day. The bell rang and the teacher got up in the front of the class.
"Okay, kids. I'm going to call roll with your seat number just to make sure everyone is here. Okay. First off we have Jonathan White, seat one."
The list continued for some time and Cana didn't pick her head up at all.
"Cana Alberona, seat thirteen."
"Here," Cana called without lifting her head.
"Miss Alberona, can I ask that you pick up your head. I know it's early but this is a school setting and keeping your head down is not appropriate."
"Sorry sir," Cana grumbled as she lifted her head and then leaned back to rest her head against the chair with her eyes shut.
"Thank you. Seat number fourteen, Laxus Dreyer."
Cana's eyes shot open and she could see Laxus looking down at her from his seat behind her. He was smirking as if this was the funniest thing in the world.
"What the fuck," she exclaimed. She lifted her head as quickly as she could, which caused her to bang her forehead against his.
"Shit, Cana, that hurt!"
"What the hell are you doing here," Cana practically yelled as she gripped her forehead.
"I'm eighteen now, I can live wherever I want!"
"And you didn't tell me you were moving here?!"
"It was a surprise!"
She slapped his forearm from her seat and they both smiled and laughed at each other.
Cana and Laxus froze. They forgot where they were. They slowly turned to see their teacher staring at them, looking furious.
"I know it's the first day of school but as senior in high school, you are expected to know that the student code of conduct does not permit foul language or disrupting class. I have no choice but to send both of you to the dean's office."
They both groaned but got up to go that way anyway. On the way out, their teacher handed them stacks of paper.
"This is all of your medical forms that you need to bring back signed by a parent and this is the student code of conduct, also to be read, signed, and brought back. I suggest you two take a long look at it." They stepped out of the door and the teacher shut it behind them. As soon as they were sure he had gone back to teaching, they both dropped their bags and papers and Cana flung herself into Laxus's arms. He picked her up easily and spun her around.
"I missed you so much," Laxus muttered into her neck. Cana began placing kisses all over his cheeks, head, shoulder, neck, wherever her face could reach.
"I missed you too!"
He put her down and they kissed. They must have been in that hallway for five minutes just kissing and hugging. Eventually they remembered they had to go to the dean's office so they bent down to pick up their stuff. Laxus began shoving the papers they received into his bag. His electric blue lightning bolt bag.
"You bought the bag I showed you!"
"Yeah! I was actually only a few aisles down in that same store when you sent it."
"You ran into my dad didn't you? That's why he was acting so weird!"
"Yup. He wanted to tell you but I told him not to. It was a surprise."
Cana laughed at the weird coincidences. He got her good. Either way, she was just glad to have him here. She also reached down to shove the papers into her bag, but she left the code of conduct out.
"Do you ever actually read the code of conduct," Cana asked.
"Never have, probably never will. I always just forged my parent's signature or my gramps's."
Cana began flipping through the pages.
"Mission statement, jurisdiction of the school board, public notices, yada yada yada...oh here we go! Students rights and responsibilities!"
Laxus chuckled as she read dramatically, following her to the dean's office.
"To uphold the highest standards of academic integrity in school work!"
"To present school work that is clearly their own on all tests, quizzes, reports, assignments, papers, homework and any school related test!"
"To not assist others in cheating or any other form of academic dishonesty!"
"It goes on like this. There's sections on electronics, attendance, grades, property rights, dress code. I never realized how many rules there actually are! Geez, this is so lame! Watching paint dry would be more fun than this! Wait!" Cana stopped dead in her tracks in the middle of the hall. "I've got it!"
"You're going to watch paint dry?"
"What? No! Laxus...this is a list of rules on what not to do while you're in school! Are you thinking what I'm thinking?"
It clicked in his mind and he began laughing out loud. They smirked at each other, pure deviousness written across their faces. Cana held out her hand and he grabbed it and shook it.
"I'm fucking in!"