self_composed: (j ~ annoyed)
Isabella Marie Swan ✴ "Stella" ([personal profile] self_composed) wrote2012-09-13 10:47 am

one enormous bruise

Bella arrives to gym early, having gotten directions to it well in advance - over lunch with a helpful Jessica. Jessica is helpful in many ways, and is also able to provide what might well be an exhaustive list of people Delaney has goaded, what sports teams they are on, and how hunky each one is in Jessica's personal estimation. "The teachers never see any of it," she said. "And they'd assume Delaney was getting bullied, anyway, wouldn't they? But you saw. Something's wrong with him, but it's only the things he does that get him hurt."

Bella has a note from her old gym teacher, who let her exhaust herself on an exercise bike in the back instead of doing something hazardous any time the classroom activity would have otherwise placed Bella near a ball or another human being. Bella also has the copay receipts from all of her doctor's visits over the past year, and has written on each one what sent her to the clinic, ranging from two instances of "had to check for concussion" to one of "chipped molar" to one of "two broken toes, also carpet rash". And just because of gym teachers' reputation for not being interested in excuses, she has thrown in drugstore receipts too, each with massive purchases of disinfectants, bandaids, and other first aid items suitable in quantity for only an extremely accident-prone individual. Bella has these things because Renée is not really equipped to reliably run basic errands before they become emergencies, and Bella's had a checking account to handle such things since she was not quite fifteen.

She finds the gym, and looks around for the teacher.
edgeofyourseat: Dancing wildly, grinning. (⑹ ride it where I like)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 06:13 pm (UTC)(link)
Perhaps more eye-catching is Delaney, lying stretched out along a bench near one corner of the room and bouncing a basketball off the wall repeatedly with one hand. It rebounds within his reach every time.

There is also a teacher, standing by the other end of the gym: a tall, broad, muscular woman with long curly black hair. She doesn't seem to be especially busy with anything.
edgeofyourseat: Smiling, affectionate or amused. (⑶ your wish is my command)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 06:23 pm (UTC)(link)
Delaney ignores both of them. Bounce. Bounce.

Ms. Finch takes a look at the accumulated evidence, raises her eyebrows, and holds out her hand to accept it.

"You must be the Swan kid," she says. "Hi. Nice to meet you... and your medical record."

(Delaney snickers. So he is listening.)
Edited 2012-09-13 18:23 (UTC)
edgeofyourseat: Thoughtful. Possibly shirtless. (⑽ I kinda like it)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 06:33 pm (UTC)(link)
"Volleyball," says Ms. Finch, flipping through the receipts. "Good God." (She's reached the broken toes.) "I wouldn't put you in a volleyball game if you paid me," she says as she stacks everything back together and hands it back to Bella. "You can sit out. Grab a mat and do whatever you can do without breaking any bones in my gym. If I think you're slacking off, I'll let you know."
edgeofyourseat: Smiling, possibly fake, mildly creepy. (⑸ playful as a pussy cat)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 06:42 pm (UTC)(link)
Ms. Finch's last words on the subject are a wry, "You're welcome."

The rhythm of the ball is pretty even - bounce, bounce, bounce. Bounce.

When Bella approaches, it stops.

Delaney turns his head to look at her; his jaw and the side of his face are already starting to show bruises from earlier.

"Hey," he says amicably.
edgeofyourseat: Explaining or agreeing. (⑼ gotta be cool)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 06:47 pm (UTC)(link)
He observes her looking around.

"Do you want me to move?" he asks, drumming his fingers idly on the basketball, which is now balanced on his chest.
edgeofyourseat: Grinning, friendly. (⑵ extraordinarily nice)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 06:53 pm (UTC)(link)
"You say that like I'm gonna play volleyball," he says, grinning at some private joke.

"You're gonna play volleyball or you're gonna go away," Ms. Finch calls from her place near the other end of the room.

Delaney makes a rude gesture in her direction, still grinning; she doesn't take visible or audible offense, just snorts and goes back to fetching volleyballs from the available supply.
edgeofyourseat: Grinning, maybe licking lips. (⑴ you say bark I say bite)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 06:56 pm (UTC)(link)


He laughs.

"Now who's surprisingly observant?"
edgeofyourseat: Thoughtful. Possibly shirtless. (⑽ I kinda like it)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 07:01 pm (UTC)(link)
"Huh," he says, mulling this over.

"So why do you care?"
edgeofyourseat: Sarcastic or disbelieving. (⑺ back into your place)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 07:12 pm (UTC)(link)
"Well, it looks like you got the picture," he says serenely. "I just like getting my ass kicked. Not a problem for you unless you don't like seeing my pretty face all fucked up," with a gesture to said face that highlights the bruises and what looks like it might be a knife scar running under the corner of his jaw.
edgeofyourseat: Smiling, conspiratorial or challenging. (⑷ wanna try?)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 07:22 pm (UTC)(link)
"Dominatrix," he says with a speculative smile, "now there's an idea. Nope, not a clue. Do you?"
edgeofyourseat: Explaining or agreeing. (⑼ gotta be cool)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 07:29 pm (UTC)(link)
"Impressive," says Delaney, with apparent sincerity. "Yeah, I'm from New York. It's probably been, like, a couple hours."
edgeofyourseat: Grinning, friendly. (⑵ extraordinarily nice)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 07:34 pm (UTC)(link)
"Mm, but what if I like getting the crap beaten out of me in front of an audience," he says, grinning at her. "What then?"
edgeofyourseat: Grinning, maybe licking lips. (⑴ you say bark I say bite)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 07:41 pm (UTC)(link)
He laughs.

"I'll think about it."

From across the room, Ms. Finch calls, "Hammond! I want my basketball."

Delaney tosses it in roughly the right direction without looking; it sails through the air, executes a series of diminishing bounces, and finally rolls to a gentle halt against the opposite wall.

"Put it away, Hammond, I have better things to do."

He rolls his eyes, but gets up off his bench.
edgeofyourseat: Dancing wildly, grinning. (⑹ ride it where I like)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 07:53 pm (UTC)(link)
Delaney puts away the basketball and grabs a volleyball from the selection, as Bella predicted. Class proceeds.

No stray balls threaten Bella's peace on her exercise mat. Ms. Finch glances at her occasionally, but doesn't comment on her exercise routine, so presumably it is unobjectionable.

When the bell rings, Delaney helps put the balls away and then lingers beside Ms. Finch as the other students stream out of the room. Whatever he's saying, it involves expansive hand gestures. She looks amused.
edgeofyourseat: Grinning, friendly. (⑵ extraordinarily nice)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 08:09 pm (UTC)(link)
As the last few students clear out, Ms. Finch looks over at Bella and raises her eyebrows again. Then she cuts Delaney off mid-gesticulation and jerks her thumb at the door. He throws her a mocking salute and leaves.
edgeofyourseat: Lurking. (Default)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 08:21 pm (UTC)(link)
...Ms. Finch sighs.

"There is not a lot the faculty can do about that kid," she says. "Between you and me, I wonder why he bothers showing up to school at all. He comes to class when he feels like it, he doesn't show up to detention, and the one time he got suspended, he came to Art anyway and I had to kick him out. Not to mention, it seems kind of backwards to punish a kid for getting beat up, even if he gleefully claims to have started it."
edgeofyourseat: Lurking. (Default)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 08:27 pm (UTC)(link)
"I am... not the person to talk to about Hammond's parents," says Ms. Finch, looking the least comfortable she has in the short time Bella has known her.
edgeofyourseat: Lurking. (Default)

[personal profile] edgeofyourseat 2012-09-13 08:32 pm (UTC)(link)
"See ya," the teacher agrees, turning away. Conversation closed.