Several other kids twisted in their seats and stared, some bemused, some worried, at the girl rasping on the floor.
"Hey, Cassie, come on. We should get a teacher or something..." Dan trailed off as he looked around desperately. Mr. Smithums was already striding towards them. Dan looked back at Cassie.
She had stopped coughing now, but her shoulders were heaving violently and her jaw was clamped shut. Her arms were folded against her chest, and she was tucked neatly into her stomach.
"If you're gonna be sick, just get it over with!" Someone near them cried. She hunched even further, but her eyes were open now, looking around in a scary, wild fashion. Dan put his hand on the ridge of her spine, and she quivered with the cold of his palms.
Then, as though she were a volcano giving up on the idea of erupting, she shook, sighed, and her head lolled back carelessly. She looked relieved, to say the least.
"Sorry." She mumbled weakly to Dan. He shook his head.
"It's fine. Just as long as your ok." He replied. She frowned a bit at the last part, but Mr. Smithums had finally crossed the hall to them and began to ask her if she was ok.
Dan stood back, not wanting to get in the way. Then he noticed the cat, Bobby, trying anxiously to get a sliver of some red sauce cleaned from his fur. The only problem was, that the blob was plastered to the back of his neck, and he couldn't reach it.
Dan offered his hand to clean it off a little, but the cat only hissed furiously and bared it's claws at him in frustration. So, he shrugged and chose to ignore the stupid thing.
* * * *
After a few minutes or so, Cassie was back on her feet, stumbling over to him as he sat back at the table. Bobby was still trying in vain to clean himself, but Cassie didn't seem to care at the moment. She looked entirely crestfallen, dissapointed in something. Dan thought he should try and walk her back to class, but she refused and said she was going to go to the toilet on the way back. He nodded.
"Just, y'know, say something if you want me." Then he blushed furiously and waved his hands. "I-I mean, if you want me to help or anything. Not me like that." Then he gave a false giggle to laugh it off, but she was acting as if something else was more important than his recent little blunder. Dan frowned sadly.
As he watched her walk off by herself, Jake came up behind him.
"Everything ok? I just saw that whole coughing thing." He asked.
"Yeah...well...I...I dunno..." Dan replied miserably.