This isn't an Immi title, 'cause I shouldn't rob her all the time. X3

Stitch 4.5: Shutting Out

He breaks our kiss to tell me, utterly elated, "I out-lapped half my class in Physical today – isn't that cool?"

We're both nines, but I'm a dragon, and I don't have to listen to him whine about his day before I yank his face back down and the curtains closed. (Because I think I hate the sunlight.)

One hour earlier I didn't have to wait for him to finish his projects, feet on the floor and back to my bed, bent over pages he took twice as long to finish as he should have, as I did. He stopped every third second to notice something, return and disappear again, and repeat the process twenty times over and never learn a thing. Sometimes he looked up at me and I glared down at him, and he said, "I'm so sorry, I'm so bad at this." His ears bobbed down and his face wilted with his tail, and he saw my closed book and he wailed, "Niku, you're so good! I'm so jealous."

"Stop talking to me and finish, you idiot." And I glared, and Gabe pouted, and Gabe went back to writing. (For at least the next sixty seconds, or fifty.)

I don't have to tell him to shut up, and I close the distance again and I ignore his muted attempts to whine to me. He's easier to distract then I am, anyway. I don't have to tell him to brush too-rough fabric from his shoulders, he shrugs it off and the pause allows him to re-utter, "And the teacher gave me a pat on the back! I was late last week, but I don't think he hates me, anymore." Do I want them to hate him? Sometimes I don't know.

I don't want anyone to like him, or watch him, any of those stupid dogs in his class that hang around him afterwards, or other foxes, or teachers. Anyone but me. He's attractive, I know, but I don't want students laughing with him or the teacher holding him after the bell. I've always been terrible with sharing. The simple thought of his detentions (which he gets a lot, that stupid idiot) – room 902, and dark, at night – with all those hungry hounds leering over his arching body – a body that should only ever moan for me – it all bothers me. (Nothing else does.) I'm untouchable, invulnerable, and though I hate everything as much as I hate it, that's the only thing that bothers me. So he's still my only weakness, stupid idiot.

He's still mine.

He's still just a fox and I don't have to ask Zeile to forgive him for me when he's late, or lost, or simply fucking up. I don't have to pull him from detentions and punish him myself, and I don't think he fully understands how lucky he is that I'm one of Zeile's favourite pets, and he's mine, that stupid dumbass. My one weakness is a hopeless, useless mess of too-large grins and too-much talk, and I hate that I care and my hand hesitates in that dark room when I should be teaching him a lesson.

He wriggles out of sleeves that suddenly entrap him, and I roll my eyes as he struggles. Cuffs catch under his back and seams along the hessian long to split apart. He's silly like this, and like that – that he's a dumbass and doesn't get it, the simple fact that he belongs to me, and sometimes I catch him flirting with nines outside of myself, and I find out later in bed that, "What? You thought that was flirting?" And he laughs. "We were just talking, dummy! You know I'm bubbly like that with everything. Were you jealous?" And he smiles and he laughs, even though he's bruised, and scratched, and all awful shades of blue and black that clash horribly with his hair, because I've hurt him, because even if I knew I didn't care. I'm not jealous, I'm possessive. I'm such a jackass sometimes.

(I think I'm sorry, though I won't say it.)

I hate feeling sorry.

I collapse atop him and I grumble into his fiery hair, clutching it in my too-long fingers, "Just shut up." I mean it as our bodies meld, skin on fabric. Warmth slides forth from him and into me, trapped within the confines of my shirt, half un-buttoned, but still on. His back is flattened in wrinkled fabric, tail flicking. (Fingers working, messy.)

(I could sink my teeth into his neck and run my claws up his sides and crush his legs with my tail, and his tail would still flick and his smile would still surface afterwards, and somehow he'd still say, "Will you help me with my Art assignment? You're so good and I'm so bad.")

"Wah! But I haven't told you about Sew yet!" His real-time response comes in full colour. Exasperated, eyebrows knit together, breath in my ear. His heartbeat's fast. "We're making ties!" Fast, and warm, and loud. (I think my heart beats cold, if at all, and slow – frozen down.) "I want to make you one."

A sudden string snaps in my chest, but I rise still indifferently slowly off of him, held up on hands and knees. I don't have to wait for him to whine about his day – I could rip him to shreds right now or take him right now – I could tie my sheets around his mouth and silence him for good, and tie his hands above his head and stop his silly writhing. His hands are on my shirt, playing with buttons and working them in and out of holes. But instead I sigh, "You're not making them for students, are you, stupid?"

"Well, no," he admits, guiltily, eyes sliding to the side before back to me, "But Zeile would let you wear one, right? She likes you, right? I could make it really pretty."

"Do I look like I need pretty accessories to you?"

He laughs, "No."

But I wasn't joking and I say in all seriousness, "Are you done yet?"

"Done what?"

"Whining about your day?"

He pauses, and thinks, and I decide that I don't care. I don't need a weakness, and I don't need to wait. I lower myself back down where I belong, and pull him closer to me, one fist in his fiery hair and five fingers around his waist, gliding over freckles and down to navy pants, uniforms to be worn, always. But his pants will go the way of his shirt, and I'll feel guilty afterwards, and I'll ask if he was done.

(He'll have forgotten by then, but I'm trying.)

I'll kiss him roughly, bruising, afterwards, crushing him down, if I'm still fired up and he's falling. (He'll still fight me back, like I like it. He's still a nine.) If I'm tired I'll let him roll us around, and I won't mind his full weight atop me because I never do – he's light for so much muscle, actually, and sometimes I wonder if his bubbly personality is a reflection of bubbly blood – Light and full of air, like his head and his laugh.

If I'm tired I'll fall asleep first, (It still astounds me that I won't mind,) I'll leave him playing with my bangs and my hair and twitching and readjusting. When I wake up he'll have fallen half-off the mattress, and I'll roll my eyes and tug him back on.

But I'm not tired, so that won't happen. He'll fall asleep first because he has twice my energy but half my endurance, half my sobriety and even less control. The kisses will land on his cheek, and they'll be soft, and he'll smile through his sleep and snuggle into me, which will be awkward on such a large body – we aren't level eights anymore. I'll run my calloused hand along his velvet cheek and watch him sleep, and find it out of character that he doesn't snore. He's so loud in life, and should be in the dark.

And I won't have to wait for him to wake to go to class, but I probably will. (If I'm there for his whole day maybe I won't have to hear it later, when I'm trying to meld us into one.)

O

Corresponding art piece: yeaka . deviantart . com/art/Shutting-Out-71080946

Please, please review. :)