Xon drummed his fingers idly on the table, watching the second hand on the clock tick by. Only another few minutes, and this waste of time class would be over. He already knew he needed none of what he was being taught here, but more time spent here was less time spent at home, so he couldn't really complain all that much. He could just think of a hundred better things he wanted to be doing with his time.
Without thinking, his fingers began to tap out the fingerworking for that piano piece he was meant to be practicing, and he stilled them with annoyance, slamming his fingers a little too hard against the desk. From other classmates came a few sly glances, a few snickers and snorts, but he ignored them all. He wasn't interested in any of these idiots anyway.
Well, except for one.
The bell rang at last, and he was not the only one to spring from his seat with relief. But unlike the others, he took his time slipping his books and odds and ends into his bag. While other students rushed to get free from the confines of the stifling classroom, he dawdled, one eye on his school bag, the other on the ringleted Japanese beauty who sat two seats in front and one to the left of him.
Xon watched as those long, elegant fingers slipped pristine schoolbooks into his schoolbag with slow, dreamy movements. He shoved his own books haphazardly into his bag as the centre of his attention slipped gracefully from his seat and began to make his way towards the front of the classroom. But this time, he stopped to speak with the teacher.
Xon lingered further over his bag, wondering if this was his chance. Usually, he lost any possibility he had in the crazy rush that signalled hometime and freedom from classes. If he stayed back long enough, perhaps that rush would be over and Xon's chance would come.
He crouched down and fumbled under his desk, pretending to search for a missing pen or something, one ear attuned to the teacher's deep rumbling voice; of the Japanese beauty he could hear nothing at all. He often wondered if that one ever spoke above a whisper, for he'd seen no indication otherwise.
At last, the teacher's voice petered out, signalling the end of their conversation, and Xon surfaced again, triumphant with pen in hand (lest he be questioned for his lingering presence) - only to find his target gone completely.
He panicked and threw his bag over his shoulder, rushing out of the room so fast he nearly tripped over the teacher. He left the querying, annoyed voice behind him, not even registering the words being yelled at him as he dashed down the hall, looking for those signature black curls. Most of the other students were gone - surely he should be easy to spot?
And then he saw him at last - standing at his open locker, focused on its contents as if he had not a care in the world but what was inside. And the hall around him was almost completely empty of other students. Perfect. Xon smiled to himself, and put his plan in motion. He careened headlong down the corridor and ran straight into the boy.
Within seconds they were both a tangle of limbs, hair, and heavy school bags on the floor. Their faces were close; too close. Xon stared into those wide, startled eyes for a moment, realising that up this close they were actually different colours. And then he saw the fear enter them, a fear that he himself knew all too well. It was the fear of what came next.
He backed off without even thinking, and let his usual effervescent side take over.
"Aww hell, I'm sorry, I didn't even see you there! You 'kay?" He scrambled off the delicate, scrawny body beneath him and pulled himself to his feet, then reached out a hand.
"I.. I think so." Hesitation, but then one of those long-fingered hands reached out and took his, and he helped the boy stand up again.
"I wasn't even looking, I'm sorry. I just get kinda carried away gettin' the hell outta here, ya know?" He offered a smile, and after a moment, received a hesitant one in return.
"It's okay, don't worry about it." There was that faint but impossible-to-miss Japanese accent on the boy's words, just like his own mother had never been able to get rid of. And for the first time, he seemed to be speaking above a whisper. Xon took this as a good sign.
"Rafariel, right?" he ventured, and those mismatched eyes blinked at him in open disbelief.
"How did you know?"
"Well.. I know what the teachers call ya, but you write 'Rafariel' on all your books an' stuff."
"I..." Rafariel gave him an appraising look, as if sizing him up. For the first time he saw real fire, real fight in the boy. His heart leapt in excitement. He'd wondered if the quietude, the shyness, was all just an act; and if it were, then he was all the more interested.
"You're not the only one who wishes they had a different name, ya know," Xon offered, shrugging his shoulders easily.
Rafariel's eyes met his, then travelled upwards, taking in his hair, then downwards, taking in his state of dress. He bet that the boy noticed not only his half-bleached hair, but his chipped nail polish, and his replacement of the school's default footwear as well. He wondered what Rafariel would think.
Those yellow-orange eyes met his again, but they were narrower now, less startled, less scared, and a lot more curious.
"I'm not good with names so I don't remember yours anyway."
Xon grinned, and hoped that the pounding of his heart didn't give away the excitement he was feeling.
"You can call me Xon."
"Alright." Rafariel tilted his head, just a little. "I take it they talk to you about as much as they talk to me?"
Xon laughed at that, feeling an odd rush of relief. "Yeah. But it don't bother me that much. School's not forever. You wanna hang out sometime?"
It came out all in a rush, and he almost kicked himself. Too much, too fast! But Rafariel didn't balk. Instead, he smirked, and for the first time, Xon saw real expression on his face; amusement, and a touch of hope as well. It was the hope that got him, that caught his breath - with the thought that maybe he wasn't the only one hoping for something more than just this.
"I'd like that, Xon."