Late For Class

After his relatively quick recovery in the medical practice, Cylo's older siblings escorted him from class to class, and Doug kept his distance because of it. While the older boy occasionally shot Cylo dirty looks in the halls, he was ultimately dissuaded from further antagonism by Cylo's entourage.

Though weeks had passed, Cylo was still puzzled by the whole ordeal. He couldn't figure out what he'd done wrong, and he was driving his brothers and sisters crazy with all the questions. Normally, they directed the eternally curious young demon toward their mother, but all involved parties agreed it would be best not to tell the woman, who was already nervous and over-protective enough.

"I still don't get it," Cylo mused one day, walking to class with Andrew and Marianne. "What did I do?"

Andrew sighed. "Cylo, some people just like to make life miserable. It's nothing you did; his parents probably abused him when he was younger or something."

Cylo made an unpleasant face. He didn't like the sound of that, even if he wasn't exactly best friends with the bully.

Still, though; something didn't quite add up.

"Doug bullies a lot of people, though," Cylo said. "And he's not nearly as bad with them."

Andrew shrugged. "I guess you must have made him angry."

Cylo thought about this for a minute as they walked. "I should have just let him hit me," he lamented finally.

Marianne stepped in front of him and stopped, grabbing him by the shoulders. "Hey, don't say that. Douglas is at fault here, not you. There is nothing wrong with defending yourself." She raised her eyebrows and looked him directly in the eye. "Okay?"

Cylo couldn't help but laugh at how serious and silly his big sister looked at the same time. "Okay, okay," he said, after realizing she wasn't going to let go until he answered. "I'm going to be late for class!"

Andrew took a quick look at his watch and grimaced. "Yeah, so are we. My class starts... Well, now. You think you're okay to make it to class on your own from here?"

Marianne shot Andrew a look, clearly not happy with the idea, but she didn't particularly want to be late either, and she knew they couldn't follow Cylo around forever.

"Doug has class with me this period," Andrew said, "on the other side of the grounds. You'll be fine." Though he was talking to Cylo, he was looking at Marianne.

Marianne bit her lip nervously. "All right, fine. Though I don't know what you're worried about, Andrew; you can just teleport to class. I'm the one who'll be running."

Andrew smirked. "Yeah, well, when I said my class starts now I meant now. The professor asked us to come in early today. Something about—"

"Hey!" Cylo interrupted. "Don't worry, I'll be okay. It's just down the hall."

Marianne gave him one last worried look. "You better be. We can only hide so many medical emergencies from Mom." She wrapped the young demon in a quick hug. "Have fun in class, okay?"

"Of course!" Cylo chimed, and Marianne's look of worry faded into a smile.

How could anyone be so cruel to that face?

"Okay, going now," Marianne said. Andrew rolled his eyes and disappeared. "Bye!"

"Bye, Mary! I don't want you to be late because of me!" Cylo laughed.

Marianne smiled, and ran off in the opposite direction of Cylo's class. Cylo smiled after her for a minute before jogging ahead to the cross-roads in the hall. He would have liked to have ran, because he really didn't want to be late (not to mention he just loved running), but he was pretty sure that was against the rules or something.

It was while he was trying to remember if this was true or not that Douglas' voice rang out from behind him.

"Hey, kid. I see your bodyguards finally left."

Cylo's face went pale. What was Douglas doing here?! He was supposed to be on the other side of the Academy! He slowly turned around, but the only person he could see was a girl who looked a little older than he was, smirking at him for no apparent reason.

"You look like you saw a ghost or something," she said, by all appearances about to break out in laughter.

"D... Douglas?" Cylo said, looking around with evident confusion.

"Yes?" Douglas' voice said, from the girl's mouth.

Cylo jumped backwards in surprise and blinked. "W-what?"

The girl was laughing outright by this point, and Cylo's increasingly perplexed face only seemed to feed the fire. Eventually, Cylo found himself smiling because of the outburst, and even laughing a little, though he was still more confused than amused.

"My Gift," the girl explained once she calmed down. "Vocal Enhancement, it's called. I can mimic sounds. Like Doug's voice." She laughed again. "Sorry if I scared you, but that was just too perfect."

"I guess it was pretty funny," Cylo admitted, with a small giggle of his own. "How did you know about my bodyg— um, brother and sister... being my uh... bodyguards?"

"Are you kidding? Everyone knows! Someone saw your fight, and you've been the talk of the Academy ever since. Nobody has ever made him that angry."

Cylo wasn't too happy to hear he was probably Doug's worst enemy, but his curiosity got the better of him. "Everybody has been talking about it?"

"Yeah. The only reason you haven't heard anything is because everyone knows better than to talk about it when your brother and sister are around, and you're too busy being a teacher's pet in class to notice anything."

Cylo smiled; he didn't yet understand that 'teacher's pet' was supposed to be a derogatory title. At this point, he was simply happy to be learning new things. "What are people saying?"

The girl laughed again. Cylo decided it was one of his favourite sounds, right up there with his mother's baking timer going off, or the sound Umi made when someone scratched his head (as a wolf or otherwise). "Mostly that he's going to kill you." Cylo's happy thoughts subsided very quickly, and the girl seemed to notice. "But also, most people are amazed you survived that, and bounced back so quickly. And I hear you blocked a heck of a punch."

"I didn't do it on purpose!" Cylo protested, still at least partially convinced it had been a bad idea. "It was just reflexes. I'm... fast."

"We figured that out," the girl said with a smile. "Most people thought you were a half-faerie, because of your speed and your hair and um..." she looked slightly nervous and appeared to blush slightly, but Cylo didn't notice, or know what it meant. "But yeah, maybe with Kinetic Manipulation or something too, but when you got out of the hospital so quick, people started thinking maybe you had Cellular Regeneration instead, because not many people your age have two Gifts."

Cylo stared blankly at the girl. Most of this stuff was going way over his head — he had never really been taught about all the documented Gifts, and the big words were just going in one ear and out the other.

"But me," said the girl, "I think you're a demon. Of speed, or reflexes, or something."

"Speed," Cylo confirmed, giving a small nod.

"Speed Demon," the girl said, "I like it. Can I call you Speed Demon?"

"You can call me Cylo!" Cylo suggested emphatically.

"Cylo? Okay. Well, you can call me Emma."

"Emma," Cylo repeated, nodding. "Um, I should get to class..."

"Yeah, I guess. Wouldn't want the teacher's pet to be late. Come on, let's go." She walked over to Cylo's side, and waited for him to start moving. When he just stared at her, she rolled her eyes. "I'm in your class, genius. If you took your eyes off the board for two seconds, you might have noticed me."

"Oh! I'm sorry!"

"It's all right. Let's get going, though."

They walked in silence for a moment, Cylo trying to figure out how he'd missed this girl sitting in his class, Emma lost in some corner of her mind.

She finally broke the silence when they'd almost reached the door. "You're not always going to have them around to protect you, you know. One of these days, you're going to have to defend yourself."

"But I don't want to fight!" Cylo protested.

Emma rubbed a dark patch on her wrist as they entered the room. "Some times," she muttered, the words lost in the cacophony of sounds emanating from their classmates, "you don't have a choice..."

The End

3 comments about this story Feed