Title: Comes Full Circle
Rating: M for safety
Disclaimer: Don't own any of this.
Note - Just my spin on what should've been happening between Kelly/Annabelle throughout St. Trinians.
Annabelle stumbled down the corridor. She'd overslept and was late for her morning calisthenics class. Which, at St. Trinian's, consisted of combining all the most lethal facets of Judo and Jin Jitsu with the spiritual philosophy of a disgruntled postal employee. Most mornings Fritton enjoyed it. But this morning she was exhausted, foggy, and felt like one turn too quick would make her drop to her knees and retch. I am never, ever drinking whiskey again. She groaned, remembering the way her auntie kept topping up her glass. Granted, she'd needed a stiff drink after knocking out the school headmistress (family or not). The old bird sure could take a punch. This morning Annabelle's stomach had converted extremely good scotch into horribly noxious vapors that kept fighting to come up. She felt dizzy every time she hiccoughed.
Weaving down the corridor Annabelle looked up, realizing she was lost. Again. These damn wings spider split in every direction. One wrong turn last week had landed her in the goth - wait Emo - apothecary. So where the hell am I now? She pushed through the doors and found an abandoned class room. The chalkboard was full of a lesson plan, one which wasn't part of even St. Trinian's curriculum.
There was a smell lingering in the air, one Fritton knew but couldn't place. Annabelle stared at the white gashes, her spinning head concentrating on getting the letters to hold still. Fraud? Kidnapping? Theft? What the hell?
Her reeling head slammed to a halt, leaving her mouth hanging open and gasping for air as she faced the reality. The poster of Vermeer's painting exhibit had been tacked onto the board with a huge red circle. Were they bloody serious? Who would even think of such a thing?
She knew. She'd known the moment she walked in the door and smelled that fragrance but her brain was still fighting to get signals through the whiskey fumes. It was perfume. Mind you, all the Posh Totties wore the most expensive fragrances their boyfriends could afford. This one was different, it was a smell that made Annabelle want to take a deep, luxurious breath but also made her spine tighten up like she was being electrocuted. She'd smelled it her first day at the school and had never quite managed to chase the scent from her dreams.
Kelly. Kelly bloody Jones. Annabelle spun on her heels and darted from the room, suddenly sure of not only where she was but exactly where she needed to be. The Head Girl was planning to steal art. She'd lost her mind and Annabelle was probably the only one that could stop her. She had to get to the Headmistress' office.
Did none of them realize? God. She'd grown up around the art industry. She'd spent 17 years listening to her dad broker barely legal deals and from it had learned exactly how close you could get to the wrong side of the law before crossing over. She'd heard, read and seen (involuntarily) every news story there ever was on stolen artwork. These idiot girls had no idea what they were messing with. Art collectors and museum curators made Javert look lazy. Their pursuit of justice was fanatical.
She spun around the pillared staircase, grabbing the edge to slingshot herself towards her Aunt's office. The door was cracked open. She could hear voices. Good, Auntie's in.
"You mustn't let them -!" she burst through the door and stopped short, confronted with an audience of her school mates. Polly and Taylor both jumped in surprise. Chelsea just looked blond and confused as ever. The twins glared up at her with threat in their eyes. Andrea was too busy with thoughts of the netherworld to notice the disruption. And Kelly. The raven haired head girl was staring straight at her, one eyebrow cocked ever so slightly in challenge.
"Mustn't what, girlie? We were just discussing a possible field trip that they say the girls would all like to take." Miss Fritton looked in surprise at her niece.
"Field trip. Right," Annabelle straightened up and strode more firmly into the room, "Let me guess. To the National Gallery?"
"Why yes - had you lot been discussing it?" the older woman was being deliberately clueless, pretending not to notice the nervous looks being exchanged by all the girls before her. Or the way Jones was trying to kill Annabelle with her eyes. In her eight years at the school Kelly Jones had cajoled, flattered, threatened, favored, bribed and seduced her way through the student body (sometimes literally). Camilla Fritton had seen the Head Girl break every single one of her peers in some way. Was her mousy niece really going to take her on?
Annabelle met Kelly's gaze as she walked to her aunt's side of the desk. She could read the threat plain as day - it involved lots of humiliation and pain for whatever remaining time she might have at this school. The pranks on her first night were nothing compared to what they could do to her. The younger Fritton felt her resolve crack a little. She'd make enemies of the whole school in a single moment, never mind an enemy out of the one girl she'd desperately like to impress. She might hate me forever, but she'll be around to do it in person. Not a single one of them is even thinking about that.
"Miss Fritton," Annabelle squared her shoulders and glared right back at every girl in their turn, "They're planning to steal 'The Girl With the Pearl Earring' and flog it for the money St. Trinian's owes."
The words were her own death sentence. Nothing was hated more than a snitch. Annabelle couldn't even hear the Headmistress' response over the screaming anger in Jones' eyes. The complex black color flashed with anger, betrayal and disappointment all swirled together into a cocktail that was making Annabelle sick to her stomach. Fine. Whatever. I might've just saved her whole bloody future by sacrificing mine.
It was the moment of sadness that broke her. When all the girls heard that Miss Fritton wouldn't let them risk all to save her and the school there was a silent second of heartbreak in each and every one of them. Annabelle could take the hate. She couldn't take that pain. As they started to leave she spoke up. Nothing was ever completely lost.
She was impressed by how quickly Polly caught onto the idea of the Mona Lisa scam. She smiled faintly at her Aunt's praise and let herself get lost in her own St. Trinian spirit, giving them the perfect pigeon. After the others filed out (with Kelly giving her one arched eyebrow of faint approval) she waited a few moments before following, listening to all the retreating footsteps to be sure the corridor was safe. It was a long shot that this would get her back into everyone's good graces. She'd given them a plan, it was doable. More importantly, it was safe.
She made it about five steps down the corridor when she felt herself seized from behind. Her wrist was twisted forcefully behind her back as an arm came around her throat, putting her in a secure choke hold. She was pulled hard back against a taller form. She instinctively fought for a moment before relaxing into the grip that she had known instantly. The fight was really just for show. She could smell the perfume. She could see the snake tattoo on the arm around her neck. She could feel her captor's chest pressed against her back and Annabelle started to melt into the warm rhythm of her breathing before she snapped herself back into the moment. Now was not the time for surrender - tempting as it may be.
"Congratulations, Fritton," Kelly's mellow tone flowed with the breath on her ear, "You've managed to completely piss me off and then redeem yourself in less than two minutes. Any words for the academy?"
"I didn't know it was such an offense around here to care. Next time I'll be sure not to give a damn!" Annabelle snapped and shoved her other elbow back hard. Her twisted arm protesting in her shoulder socket was overruled by the satisfaction of hearing Kelly grunt at the hard contact with her stomach. That judo was starting to come in handy and Annabelle broke the hold around her neck, spinning away and facing Jones. She ignored the voice in the back of her mind that wished she'd stayed pressed up against the other girl's marvelous body.
"Why, Miss Fritton, are you angry with me?" Kelly marveled at the transformation, "You didn't even swear at us after the shower stunt."
"Because this is more serious than just a prank, Jones. This isn't like stealing Cheltenham's mascot last term. Yes, I was there for that, it was good work but this is different!"
"Enlighten me, luv." Kelly gamely leaned against the wall. Did she know that her most casual, natural pose channeled the spirit of a midnight hooker?
"Who's the oldest girl in this caper?"
"Any of the others 18 yet?"
"No. Polly's still 2 months off."
"Don't you get it? You're the only one at risk! Everyone else, Chels, Taylor, the twins - all underage. They'll do a bit in detention with nothing on their record but you -Kelly, you'll do the full stretch. With something this big you're looking at 7 years. Minimum. It doesn't even matter if you get away with it now! They won't stop looking. As long as that painting is gone they will work the case, whether it takes 5 years or 50! And when they figure it out, you're still the only one going down for it. Is anyone else thinking about that? Or are they all being bloody selfish cows?"
The truthful words had grown steadily louder until Annabelle was shouting at the Head Girl. Kelly straightened up under the reproachful onslaught, masking her surprise in a few quick blinks. Every sentence had unconsciously drawn the younger girl closer, step by step, and they stood nose to nose. The moments of silence felt eternal as both of them realized they hadn't been this close since the first day they met and they were in almost the exact same place, same position.
Annabelle's mind was fogged with her first ever hangover and now the nearly enveloping scent of Kelly's perfume and skin. The loudest thought in her head (besides wondering what would happen if she pressed forward the last half inch to touch those plush, perfectly colored lips) was to marvel she'd ever been afraid of Verity Thwaites. Seriously, a garden variety jock whose repertoire was limited to clumsy physical and verbal assaults? She'd never known real fear until she stood staring into the fathomless black of Kelly Jones' eyes, waiting for her to speak.
She would've been shocked to know that beneath her completely blasé exterior the Head Girl was just as shaken. Kelly's vision was filled with huge, hazel eyes. So familiar. There was that same hint of condescension in the swirling flashes of green and gold. That touch of superiority that had so intrigued Jones. There was something more though. Something soft, sincere . . . intimate. It was in Annabelle's eyes; in her words, however loud and angry. Kelly felt a frisson of shock electrify her skin.
She cares. Maybe more than all the rest of them put together.
She swallowed quickly before a gasp of surprise could escape. Now she had a choice to make. How to react? One little voice in the back of her mind (that had been there on the first day too) wondered what would happen if she just threw the smaller girl up against the wall and kissed her 'til they were both bruised. Not an option right now, of course. So - expose what Annabelle's own words had revealed and call her out on it? Or, ignore it completely and pretend nothing happened? Or, better yet . . .
"Spend a lot of time thinking about my future do you?" Kelly teased easily, artfully defusing the awkward emotional charge to the conversation. But she could come back to it at her leisure. She sure as hell wasn't going to let this pretty little revelation slip away. Or the mental image of a breathless Annabelle Fritton pinned to the wall. Damn teenage hormones.
"I just don't want the Trinian girls' 20th reunion to be us all busting you out of the nick." Annabelle shook her head with a scoff and backed away. Kelly felt immediate longing on the naked skin of her face, missing the warmth of the other girls' breath.
"There's no denying you're St. Trinian's now, Fritton. In for a penny . . ." Jones smirked.
The other girl answered with her own faint smile and shrug. She was back in Kelly's good graces, she was sure of it. There had even been a split second where she'd wondered if it was almost more. Regardless, she could feel the affection in Jones' lingering, bemused gaze and it was enough.
"In for a pound," She agreed and turned to leave, pausing only briefly to speak over her shoulder, "So hadn't you better drop the 'Fritton?'"
Kelly just chuckled, watching the retreating figure. There was a definite swagger to the girl's walk that hadn't been there when she first arrived. She was one of them now - no fear. She'd had balls from day one; facing down a girl taller, older and more experienced than herself. Kelly Jones knew herself well enough to admit she'd liked that. Now she was wondering just how brave Fritton might be.
"You know, Kel," a perky voice broke her musing, "I don't think I've ever seen that smile on you."
She hadn't realized she was smiling (or what kind of smile it might be) and quickly shifted back to her trademark look. It had taken a few years to refine - getting the perfect balance of sexuality, intelligence, confidence and apathy - but it was worth it. Her expression could fluster a statue. On full force, one look from Kelly Jones leveled a whole room.
"Chels, where'd you come from?" Kelly looked up and saw Chelsea on the landing of the stairs.
"I was on the balcony, thought I'd watch to be sure you didn't rip her skin to shreds. Guess I shouldn't have been worried about that," Chelsea came down the rest of the steps, "You were far closer to tearing her clothes off."
Kelly rolled her eyes. She usually didn't have any problems with the Posh Totty - besides a fundamental dislike for their trade. A few years ago she'd realized that Chels labored under the misconception you could be either beautiful or brainy and had made a life choice accordingly. So long as you never forgot that under the vapid blonde aura a bit of a mind still ticked, you never got caught unawares. Men could never seem to get a handle on that, which was why the Posh girl never had a problem getting what she wanted.
"Well, it'd be a favor. They're a bit hideous." Kelly demurred.
"I'll be sure to get her into something more to your taste," Chelsea circled behind Jones and paused right by her ear, "Soon."
"Leave off, Chels. No ways is she letting your slags make her over." Kelly rolled her shoulder, pushing the other girl to a better distance. The blonde took the hint and strolled back round to face her. Jones didn't like people in her personal space, not without an invitation.
"Maybe not tonight," Chelsea pouted, "But soon. She's one of us now, Kel. Said so yourself. Don't keep her out just cause you're scared."
"Chels, you're talking rot." Kelly started to walk away from the ridiculous assertion.
"You're keeping Fritton at arm's length cause you're scared you won't be able to keep your hands off her." Chelsea's smile turned smug as she saw Jones stop dead in her tracks and slowly turn. The dark haired girl's eyes were glinting dangerously. She'd forgotten about Chelsea's brain. For a brief moment she'd let herself think the Posh was as self-absorbed and clueless as she always pretended. Now she had to do damage control.
"You don't know what you're talking about, Chelsea. Jog on." the older girl ordered, her voice steady and firm.
"Or what?" the blonde pouted. If this had been a pub, now's the time the music would stop and people should dive for cover beneath tables.
It was at this point that Headmistress Fritton decided to intervene.(She'd been watching through the cracked office door from the moment she'd heard her lolly, lolly niece yelling. Watching the two go toe to toe was damned exciting. After all, her blood had just proven herself. She'd been sure the child would square off against Jones at some point. Too bad she hadn't voiced the prediction, she could've made a packet on a flutter.)
"Miss Jones," she strode into the corridor, a mask of indifference to the scene she was interrupting, "Tell the driver to prepare the bus. I'll have Miss Dickinson escort your field trip this afternoon."
"Thank you, Miss." Jones had snapped immediately to attention, the former conversation and its attending irritation completely erased from her face. Chelsea wasn't so good at switching gears that fast, she stood gaping for a few extra moments after Kelly had already strode away. One meaningful glance at the aspiring escort sent her scurrying off as fast as her 4 inch heels let her. Camilla Fritton returned to her office and poured a whiskey,smiling as she thought of the way Annabelle had vented her rightful angers. The girl was nothing if not passionate.
The Headmistress mused that she should go find Matron soon. She could surely get 3 to 1 on Annabelle getting a new look before the week was over. Definitely 25 (possibly as high as 50) to 1 that she ended up shagging the Head Girl. Most of the girls would never risk a gamble on 50 to 1. But Camilla knew, based on what she'd witnessed, it was a sure thing.