I always thought I had a grudging acceptance of how we are treated here. But after Alex’s performance at lunch, people are no longer as scared as they used to be.
They know we can be beaten.
And I don’t like it.
Maybe it’s the change I don’t enjoy, or maybe I’ve grown used, even grown to like, the fear, the power.
It kind of scares me.
Roan is lost even further in his thoughts now, a frown indenting his forehead.
Leo is beyond pissed. Lashing out at everyone we pass by.
They still keep their distance, but it’s with a taunting smirk as their bodies dance and convulse against their will.
I dig my nails into Leo’s arm.
“Stop it.” I hiss.
“Look at them!” he spits back between his teeth. “Smirking at us. Help me out here Rose. You’d soon stop the smirking.”
I yank on his arm, pulling him to a halt, Roan glares at the students that try to get closer and listen in.
“I am not hurting all these people because someone hurt your ego. Let them have their little victory. It serves you right for putting on such a show.”
“He was asking for it the cocky little-”
“Leo!” I growl, waiting for him to meet my eyes. “Act like it hasn’t affected you. You’re showing them you care; you’re showing them you’re vulnerable.”
He sighs and I pull my nails out his arm, he rubs at the red semi-circles and nods.
“Fine.” He puts on his usual smirk and saunters in front of us, as if we’re his entourage.
I let him have his moment.
He’s the only one out of our trio that enjoys his gift, so for someone to steal it from him, take control of it…
“Watch him.” I tell Roan.
He sighs heavily.
I make my way to another lesson of English, glaring at the mocking faces. I always thought I wanted people to see us as normal students.
But not like this.
Not like a once feared tiger now bound and de-clawed at their feet.
I just want to be accepted.
Alex is sitting beside my seat. I clench my teeth and sit down as usual.
“Hey beautiful.” He coos, resting on just two of the legs. I resist the urge to grab a chair leg and pull it out from under him.
“My name is Rose. Use it.”
“Ah fitting. So beautiful and delicate looking, complicated, but try to get closer or own it for yourself, you’re going to get pricked.”
I keep my eyes on the front, despite the lack of Power Point or teacher; act like it hasn’t affected me.
“I’m sorry about your friend, well I’m not, you guys need to be brought down from your high horse.”
I can’t help myself, I draw a stick man, making my Quirk more focused, more painful.
“We don’t have a high horse. We are not respected. We are feared. Do you think we like that?!” I hiss.
If he doesn’t start back tracking soon…
He leans forward, elbows on the table, grey eyes locking on mine.
“Oh, I think you do. I think a part of you likes being kept separate from the rest of the school. Held away.”
“And I think you like feeling powerful. You could have just declined at lunch. Walked away. Granted, Leo was being dramatic, but you loved having the audience.”
“I did, and I can accept that. Why can’t you?” He grins.
That did it.
I scratch a line down the centre of the stick man, so hard I tear through the paper.
Alex screams, wrapping his arms around himself as if he feels he’ll split in half.
Still, he doesn’t channel me.
The pain is too much for him to think clearly.
He can’t channel me.
I smile and stop.
“Not so powerful now are you?” I sneer and try to hide my shaking hands. I’m not used to using so much power; it’s left me with an adrenalin rush.
Slowly, the rest of the class start talking again.
No smirks there anymore.
Alex shamelessly wipes away the tears and sweat from his face and starts to chuckle.
“Congratulations beautiful, you just won back the fear of your classmates.” He leans forwards conspiratorially. “Feels good doesn’t it?”
I don’t answer.