Coffee and Rain

The first thing I felt the moment I opened my eyes was the incessant pounding in my head. The awful pain only increased when Max started hammering on my door and Alex started hollering at the top of his lungs.

"It's MORN-ing, my darling sis! Get your pretty ASS off the BED and get downstairs!"

I managed as pitiful-sounding a groan as I could and pulled the covers over my head, trying to ignore the two idiots outside and the sharp painful jolts in my head that made me wonder whether the juice was being squeezed out of my head.

"RINNIE, open the door!"

I cursed with the most beautiful expletive I could think of, threw my covers off and stumbled to the door.

"About t-" Max began, then stopped and peered at me through the half-crack of the door.

"You look bad," Alex said unsympathetically, pointing out the obvious.

"I feel worse, moron," I spat out tiredly, my voice cracking. "Can I go back to bed?"

The twins gazed at me, then at each other.

"Sure," they said simultaneously, before I closed the door in their faces.

I made the most of my day off from school by curling up in bed with a couple of choice books (I'm a self-professed nerd) and sleeping. At least, I read until my eyes hurt and then took a couple of pills and was promptly knocked out until late evening, when Alex popped into my room.

"How's the head, Rin?"

"Better, thanks," I said honestly, propping myself up on my elbows and noting with relief that my head didn't hurt anymore.

"Good enough for school tomorrow?" His eyes held a mocking twinkle.

"As much as I hate to admit it, yeah." That was the truth. I had for the most part enjoyed my day in peace.

"Oh, you'll love it," he said, his tone obviously hiding a snigger.

I gave him a suspicious look. "Why?"

"You'll find out tomorrow," a distinctly maternal voice said, and my mother appeared with Max in tow. "She needs more rest," she said pointedly to Alex, who grinned, before directing a concerned glance at me.

"Feel up to eating something, love?"

"Yeah, you missed dinner," Max said, as I glanced towards the clock.

I shook my head. "Not really."

She nodded and then switched her attention to my brothers. "You and you, out. Recuperation is necessary for the sick one."

"Aw," Max whined. "We were on to something good, too."

"Yeah," Alex said, mirroring his twin's expression of exaggerated disappointment.

But I caught the mischievous grin he sent my way before he was shooed out of my room. "Remember to get acquainted, Erin!" Max yelled annoyingly before he was dragged single-handedly by my mom, leaving me alone with the comfort of my thoughts.

Now where had I heard that before?

"You look pretty today, chica."

I chose to ignore that remark, instead tossing my bag onto the empty seat and plopping down on the chair next to it.

"Skipped school yesterday, did we?" His deep voice sounded in my ear and I jumped.

"For your information, Anderson, I was sick."

"Need me to make you feel better?" Only he could make that kind of remark and end up making it sound perverted.

"No." I replied curtly, leaning forward to avoid him.

"Up for a drink after school?"

"I don't drink."


"I hate it."




"I believe that isn't a drink," I said dryly.

A sigh. "How about a movie?"

"No, Anderson." I said with a note of steel in my voice.

I felt him shrug in mock disappointment. "Whatever you say, chica. By the way, that seat next to you is taken."

"Taken?" I repeated uncomprehendingly. "It's been empty ever since the beginning of the school year."

"Now it isn't."

The new, husky voice made me start as I came to terms with the realization that a warm body was right beside me. Uncomfortably close, not to mention very familiar.

My eyes traveled from the baggy jeans to the black t-shirt and past a pair of tanned, strong arms, until they connected with a pair of cool grey eyes.

For one of the first times I could remember, I was at a loss for words.

"Good morning," he said lightly, his eyes laughing at me. "I believe your bag is on my seat."

"Can I say 'told you so'?" Feliz's smug voice came from behind me.

I ignored him. "What are you doing here?"

"Why, I go to school here," Silver Eyes said pleasantly, plucking my bag up and dumping it not-very-nicely on me.

"How come I haven't seen you around before?" I blurted out unthinkingly, my cheeks reddening as I realised the total stupidity of my remark.

"You were kind of absent, remember?" Feliz said comfortably.

"That's not an excuse for him to sit here," I hissed. "You can go sit somewhere else." I told my new neighbour as politely as I could.

"There isn't anywhere else." Again, the smart Mr. Anderson. "What d'you want him to do, sit on the floor?"

"Yeah, that would be perfect." I mumbled.

"You wound me," the silver-eyed prat next to me said lightly. "Is that how you treat a new classmate?"

"It's basically how she treats everyone else," Feliz said comfortingly. "You're not the first one."

"Excuse me, am I invisible here?" I said snippily. "And how is it I've never heard you talk so much in a day?" I added, shooting the remark at Feliz.

"You never listened, princess."

"I said-" I began irritably, only to be cut off as Mr. Wigham entered the room.

"Pack it up, people!" He bellowed, and half the class quietened. I noticed a pair of blondes near the front fighting over a tube of lipstick, obviously too engrossed to notice his presence.

"Fiona, Ashley, quit it!" he roared, and they jumped, the tube rolling under a chair. I smirked.

"Alright, we've got a couple of things to settle today," he continued in his big voice. "I'm giving back your English assignments from last week" (several people groaned) "and I received word that your next project is to be done in groups" (several fake groans) "and it's going to be something utterly new." Beautiful, utter silence.

"Uh, like what?" The blonde called Fiona said cautiously, with good reason. We had heard from every single class which Wigham had taken to know that his 'creative' ideas tended to throw people totally out of whack.

"It isn't some form of cooking, is it?" A jock ventured. Nearly everyone winced. The previous year Mr. Wigham's English class had done a project involving the components of Biology, Home Skills and English. We all knew of the explosion in the now unused cookery room.

Mr. Wigham coughed lightly, waving off the jock's question. "No, no, not this time. It's going to be something much less… flammable."

"Letters?" Someone else piped up. There were loud groans from the class, but several people sat up. One of the experiments Mr. Wigham had conducted for his class a few years back was the secret letter-writing project, and that had been a success, in terms of school romances. Suddenly people were looking at each other differently, and some penpals even got together after the incident.

There was a slight crease between the brows of the teacher. "No, I think we've had quite enough of love letters to last a lifetime."

There was a pause as everyone fell silent, the same thought running through our minds. Then what?

"Something different this year," Mr. Wigham intoned, obviously enjoying himself. "Something… involving a little bit of organizing, and a little music, perhaps?"

Behind me, Feliz let out a snort. "Next thing you know we'll be doing some kind of dance."

"Musicale!" Mr. Wigham's voice boomed sonorously, making everyone jump.

Feliz groaned. "Close enough."

"Comments will be heard later, Mr. Anderson," Mr. Wigham said dangerously.

He suddenly beamed. "This is going to be a tremendous affair, guys-" "And girls," a sharp voice interrupted, and the teacher distinctly rolled his eyes before continuing. "And girls, thank you very much Sharon. This is the biggest thing, people! All of you, every single one in this class right now, will be part of the huge event taking place end of this year. And- yes, Sharon, what is it?"

"All of us?" The red-head asked suspiciously, crossing her arms over her well-defined bosom. "But not everyone can sing, Mr. Wigham," she said pointedly, staring at a curly head in front of her. Mike, one of the shy nerdy-looking guys, seemed to shrink in his seat. Whatever visible skin on the back of his neck flushed red.

I felt sorry for him. Classic case of Nerd falls for School Bitch. The poor guy had thought one of the ways to make her notice him was to serenade the latter in the middle of the school cafeteria. Daring move. She definitely noticed him after that, though.

"Have you forgotten about the scriptwriters, my dear?" Mr. Wigham said with a flourish, gesturing excitedly. "Or the scenes? There are plenty of vacancies for creating the props. And music! Indeed, music is key. Tut-tut, Sharon, you didn't think you alone would constitute the entire musical, did you?"

There were several titters amongst the class as the girl reddened angrily. "At least I know how well I can sing." she shot, again at poor Mikey, who choked on a chuckle. "And that's better than most people in this room."

"Ouch, I'm hit," Anderson said placidly, his voice audible enough for the majority of the class.

Sharon glared at him. "Definitely better than some basketball freak," she said with a toss of her head, the red curls bouncing.

I could swear that he was hiding a laugh when he replied, "Wanna bet on that, chica?"

There was a split moment of silence before she said "Deal."

I heard the jaws of three-quarters of the class hitting the floor along with mine.

I twisted my head to look at the boy behind me, when I caught the thoughtful look on Silver Eyes' face. Unlike the rest of us, he didn't show any expression of surprise or even amazement. It then hit me that he'd been in the school for barely more than two days, and he probably didn't know anything about what was going on. I nearly felt sorry for him. Nearly. Perhaps I should give him some information on -

He caught my eye and the corners of his mouth turned up slightly. "Like what you see?"

My thoughts of being more polite and helpful towards a new student instantly vanished. "Don't flatter yourself." I retorted, snapping my head back towards Mr. Wigham.

Arrogant prat.

And I still didn't know his name.

A/N: I realise I've been on hiatus for nearly a year, and I apologise. My muse has been half-dead lately, and I've not been functioning as properly as I'd like to. deep breath but I managed to get this chapter out! Comments appreciated, thanks (: Once again, sorry!