by metros2soul and Pat-The-Kitsune
The window was rattling so badly now that Dib was sure it was going to shatter at any given moment.
He could almost hear the wind howling taunts at him. Dawning on him and ostracizing him with each pitiful howl. Telling him It would follow him wherever he would go. Each pound of rain against the window was like somebody taking a hammer and smashing it against the inside of his head. He could hardly hear Miss Bitters over the deafening noise beside him. Not that he wanted to of course, but then again, her voice was the slightest bit more pleasant to listen to at least. Lifting his head slightly, he momentarily glanced around at the other students, trying to ignore the sharp pang of a migraine in his temple.
Their focus was potent. Intent stares directed at nothing but only what was in their field of vision. They paid no mind to anything else, and even the slightest interruption wasn't enough to deter their concentration.
Zombies, Dib thought. They didn't hear what he did. They didn't see what he did.
Dib wanted to laugh at them. Instead, he turned his head the other way, nearly regretting so when he felt a small icy draft against his cheek. Was the window finally giving in? Dib thought he saw it – a tiny crack beginning between the section where glass met metal. But was he really seeing it? It felt like the crack he was starting to feel inside of his head. He wanted the pounding to stop. He gritted his teeth. Was this the crack in his head that he was seeing instead and the window was only taunting him with it?
It's fault. It was all It's fault. And Dib knew it was. It was there, and Dib had to blame it.
The only thing however, was that Dib couldn't figure out why. Why It was the cause of all of his problems.
"Get out of my head!" He growled, but It only taunted him. A wide grin spread out against each side of his consciousness. Forever in his mind. The students turned to look at him, each of them bearing that malicious grin on their faces. Dib clenched the corners of his desk, his fingernails digging into the wood.
"Is there a problem, Dib?" Bitters spat acid over him, pausing her reading as she rose up in front of his desk. Her haggard frame seemed even more haggard today. Perhaps she was deteriorating from the inside out or something. He wouldn't be surprised if that was the case.
Dib rolled his eyes up towards her. "No, ma'am."
"Good. Now be quiet and sit there. If these other brain dead saps can endure education, then so can you."
Dib just sighed, glimpsing towards the heads turned to face him. He saw their sneers. The grins had gone and he only saw the faces of cowards. One day, he would show them. Especially It. Dib pulled his lips up into a lopsided grin. It. Ha ha. He constructed his wall. At least behind there he didn't have to see them. He was safe.
He only looked up when he felt a thwack on the side of his head, noticing a paper ball fall to the ground beside him. Sniggers and laughter echoed in his ears, ringing about inside of his head.
Dib reached down to pick it up regardless. Whatever was on it, he was going to deface. At least that would keep him occupied for the rest of the afternoon. Perhaps it would help drive away It and his migraine.
What would you do?
Dib stared the sentence over. For a moment he was confused. What the hell was that supposed to mean?
He looked up, looking around the room. Every pair of eyes his met cast him aside, nothing but hatred reflected back towards him. And then his eyes passed one student. One student that looked back at him without the same gaze that everybody else had. There was no hatred.
Not a zombie? Dib thought. It was hard to tell. His hair covered part of his face, and Dib couldn't fathom his expression. It was neutral. What was his name? Dib couldn't remember. Hell, he couldn't remember anybody's name anymore. Not that it mattered anyway.
The student cast him a glimpse, licking his parched lips slightly. The classroom seemed dry and the weather certainly didn't help.
He hated it here. When he had been here, it had been different. Apparently things weren't the same. He had expected change, but he'd also expected that he would change as well. To witness it surprised him more than he had originally anticipated. He hadn't actually expected it to be this bad.
It was like Dib was a different person now, neither in a good way nor a bad way. Just different.
Once or twice he'd been told to avoid the 'creepy Dib kid' after his arrival. He could see why. The voices in his head had seemed to have gotten worse recently. Now he was at a point he would only talk to himself. Derek snorted.
He cast his gaze downwards, the crinkled paper spread apart in his ghostly hands. He could tell Dib was stumped and it amused him. That was what he'd wanted. Although he couldn't blame Dib's attitude towards the other students. He hated it here as well. This place was depressing and isolated. Bitters seemed ancient now. He could have sworn he saw a tooth fall from her mouth and burst into flames before disappearing. He suckled the tip of a finger slightly before etching into his desk with his pen.
He was accustomed to the usual 'ticking' of the classroom clock. It was his saviour and the one reminder that he could leave this depressing place when a certain set of numbers was hit. But he couldn't hear it at all today. The pounding rain and howling wind outside were to blame for that. Damn weather. It wouldn't be a good trip home.
Derek cast his gaze back towards the teacher. At least he was one of the rare few students on her 'good' side (yes, it actually existed). Unusual, considering he'd only started in the eleventh grade recently. He'd been away for a fair number of years. Derek was surprised some of the other students still remembered him. He was getting sick of the constant questions though, most of them speculating about where he'd been. Thankfully, it wasn't as bad now, though it was still irritating.
One student really grinded his nerves though. The red headed one he'd seen in the halls, drabbling on about how happy everybody should be and how the world was full of rainbows and cotton candy. Derek wanted to punch him. Keef... that was his name. He had feared the obnoxious, red-headed pest would be in his class but had been relieved to find out that he wasn't. He'd much rather put up with the crap Dib came out with any day.
When almost fifteen minutes had passed of staring down at the note he had been tossed, Dib finally brought a finger up to trace over the letters of said message, thinking that maybe if he deconstructed it, word for word and letter for letter, the sentence would eventually begin to make sense in his mind. He traced his fingertip over the wrinkled 'W' forward and then backward and then forward again, picking up a rhythm with the ticking of the classroom clock. Perhaps it was the clock that was trying to communicate with him, telling him that his time was up. But what time? Was It going to devour him whole again, like it had all those years back? Or perhaps the hammering in his head would finally split his skull wide open, spilling out all the nightmare creatures of his youth.
He stopped when he felt what he assumed to be one of the letters on the page biting him, razor sharp teeth sinking into his skin like butter and ripping away the inside of his flesh. For a moment, he stared at where, for just a split second, he had felt the slightest pinch of pain and then nothing. Had that been a figment of his imagination as well? He saw blood well up from seemingly nowhere, manifesting on the tip of his finger before dripping onto the message pinned down between the desk and his free hand.
The sight made him smile. He could have sworn it wasn't happening. Certainly It had struck his skull from the outside to help along the hammering inside. Everything would come spilling out soon and he reached up a hand to touch where he thought the REAL source of the blood must be coming from.
When he brought his hand back and saw nothing there, however, he stared at the surface of his palm blankly, confused and searching for a message in the crissing and crossing crevices, trying to pick out certain letters that he could piece into just one word or sentence.
What would you do? The words rang in his ears again.
He brought his gaze back down to stare at the message again, blood having dripped and soaked into the paper, blotting out and smearing a few of the letters. He brought his gaze back up to the one student from before, wondering if he had planned this. That student didn't have a name in his book, but he stood out amongst the rest, even as faceless as he was to his mind's eye. Perhaps it was that facelessness that made him more real?
"I don't know," he finally said, as though speaking directly to the new student even from his spot across the classroom. "Why do you ask?" he then said, half to himself and half to the owner of the note. Did he KNOW something about him, or It?
The bell rang, breaking him out of his concentrated stare for a moment. Miss Bitters pointed a finger out the door and demanded everybody leave before falling back into the shadows and disintegrating almost as though on contact with them.
"Do YOU know what I would do?" Dib then said quietly to himself before standing to pack up his books before heading on out into the hallway.
"Do you know what you would do?" a quiet response drifted into the air. It reverberated around the teenager, bouncing against the walls and trapping him behind the multiple layers of obscurity in his mind. His attention was caught, but only for a split second. There was a shift in his stance. He was uncomfortable.
From a distance, green eyes watched him.
Derek had almost been able to see the gears grinding in the depths of his mind as he tried to work the single sentence into a logical conclusion. It had been hard for him, and Derek had anticipated that - the boy was still contemplating over it, muttering incomprehensible strings of sentences to himself as he departed the classroom. Time wasn't an issue though; Derek would give him all the time he needed. He was back now. He had things he needed to do. Important things that had been cast aside for far too long.
He repeated the sentence softly as he packed away his books into his black backpack, following Dib out of the classroom and into the hallway. He didn't want to attract the boy's attention just yet and so maintained his distance. The silver alien face emblazed on his book bag leered up at him when he cast his gaze downwards briefly.
He knew Dib was aware of him. Aware of the way he looked at him. Dib only saw the other students as zombies; mindless slaves all out to dominate and destroy him. Derek wasn't one of them though and would never be one of them. But he didn't want to draw attention to himself in such a way that Dib would question him. He was the only one that knew, knew what was in the boy's mind and knew why it dominated his subconsciousness. He smirked. He was smart and he knew it.
He drew up a hand, pushing back the lock of hair that covered his eyes while still watching Dib as he headed for his locker. He was startled out of his thoughts when he was knocked to the ground by another student pushing past him from behind though.
Growling to himself, he sat himself up and dragged his book bag back across to himself, only to find his books sprawled about the corridor floor. A crumpled piece of notepad-paper came into view.
Shit, he thought, hastily making a grab for it and stuffing it into his pocket. Laughter echoed around him and he felt a belt at the back of his head.
"Knock it off!"
They just laughed some more, feeding off his response. Derek decided to ignore them this time. He didn't want to feed the trolls. He pushed himself up, turning his back to Dib and reaching up to his combination lock to open the metal door of his locker.
He hated it here. He couldn't wait to get out. And then he remembered the weather.
"DAMN!" he hissed. He hadn't exactly anticipated the sudden change in weather and knew his only source of protection was back at his home. Throwing his books back into his locker, Derek then slammed shut the metal door, causing a dull metallic 'thwack' to echo in the dull corridors surrounding them.
He slumped down against the metal housing, a small noise of contact as metal met metal arising, but from where, nobody knew.
Standing at the front of the school, meanwhile, Dib stood off to one side as other students rushed out the open doors to head on home, some opening umbrellas to share with one another while others merely used their school books to shield their heads as they ran for the school bus. It was useless, however. The wind was already lashing out from all directions, and he didn't see the point in going out into that weather while trying to stay dry at the same time. Not that he minded getting wet. If anything, he just didn't want those pounding droplets interrupting his concentration and washing away his current thoughts. Not when the question at hand was keeping It at bay.
The words were like a new shield, as uncomfortable as they may be, and he couldn't stop thinking about how he might respond to them. If he answered the same as he had before, no doubt the question would only continue to taunt him with its obscurity. He couldn't avoid the puzzle of trying to figure it out himself and so stood staring out into the pouring rain.
"Do you know what you would do?" he spoke the words that had drifted through the air and into his skull back to himself.
Perhaps he wasn't looking for clues in the right places. The note itself hadn't provided him with much, nor had the blood from his paper cut or the crevices of his hand. He tried to focus on the gaps between the silver streaks of falling rain, a tiny meteorite shower just for him.
Nobody else would see it. They were all too blind, too preoccupied with running away from it to see what truths it might hold.
That was a funny word to describe it. Who knew what was true and what wasn't nowadays. Perhaps mystery was a better word. It didn't promise to be true or false. It just existed, like most other things in this world.
The last of the school children finally cleared out, leaving him to stand alone, spacing out completely as his mind continued churning over what would happen next once he had answered the question.
"I can only know what I already understand," he mouthed the words to himself, hesitant to speak them out loud just yet.
"I can only know what I'm WILLING to understand." he then said quietly , rephrasing his first response as he knew there were things in this world he'd never fully comprehend for the sheer fact that he didn't wish to. Like It. It had been haunting him for so long now, hiding in the depths of his mind whenever he slept and drifting back into reality whenever he was conscious.
He shivered when he felt something brush the back of his neck but didn't turn, certain that It was just playing with him again, like it often did. He wouldn't pay It any mind this time, rather ignoring it like he did all the other students. It wouldn't leave though, blasting his face now with a stronger burst of air that he was certain hadn't come from outside the school doors.
He scowled at the invisible entity. It had caught on to his attempts at blocking it out.
"You can't control me." he said, finally stepping outside the school's front doors and allowing the rain's loud thudding against the overhang to overshadow his thoughts. The pounding started again, migraine from earlier setting in and urging him on to begin his march homewards. He'd pull out some paper when he got home and write his answer down in a note for tomorrow. Perhaps then these questions would leave him alone and disintegrate along with the rest of his sanity.
As he departed, a set of vivid, green eyes followed his slender frame.
Derek was quick to realise how much the boy had deteriorated during the time he'd been out of the country. He was borderline anorexic – an almost disgusting sight. Despite his signature trench coat covering his frame well, Derek's trained eyes easily pinpointed out his multiple flaws. He sneered. Dib was only doing this to himself. Trapped in his own false sense of security. One in which It was master and he was slave. Lost in a maze of obscurity and self-denial.
Yes, Dib really had let himself fall victim to his inner demons.
He wondered how much his family contributed to his problems. The last he had seen of the boy, his family situation seemed dire. His sister hated him, and his father couldn't care less whether he existed or not. Derek licked his parched lips slightly. Yes, the boy truly wasalone in a sense. Who cared for the paranormal freak?
The rain only pelted down harder. Derek emerged from his position just behind the entry way into the skool, casting his gaze up to the sky and squinting as small droplets hit his face. He whipped up his sleeve and wiped away the moisture settling into his skin more than he would have liked. A dull hiss of annoyance escaped his throat.
He opted to sit down on the porch, silence his only friend. It was almost deafening and for a moment Derek longed for the sounds of the students' voices, but they had all gone by now. Back to their homes. Back to their lives. He cast his gaze towards the ground, knowing that he could never go back to his.
But that wasn't important right now.
The teenager drew close his book bag, pulling out a book and opening it up so he could start to read it. The words swam in his line of vision, squirming across the pages and manifesting into bizarre, unknown rhythms that somehow made sense to him. He could hear the pounding of his heart inside of his ears and his body tensed. Derek's head whipped up, alert.
And then it was gone. Breathing slightly, Derek looked around the empty courtyard before him, only to be met with the sight of rising fog and small formations of mildew.
Swallowing a wad of spit lodged in the back of his throat, Derek decided to put the book away, before sitting and gazing out at nothing in particular, hoping for a small break in the downpour.
A/N:Dib is played by Pat-The-Kitsune, Derek is played by metros2soul
We've decided to do an ongoing, serious Role Play, both of us sick of having partners that either let RP's die off or just lose interest. If you don't like RP's then you don't have to read this, but it's going to be in a story format and we are going to do the best we can to connect the posts. I played a bit of Dib at the start to introduce Pat to the scenario. We hope you enjoy the story! :)
And, Derek, is NOT an OC. Derek is based on one of the extra's in the actual show.