"Despite... Actually..." You could only catch fragments of his sentences. You stepped forward, attempting to maneuver your way through the people, but were thrown back. You landed on your butt.
"Ow..." Soon the warning bell rung, causing the people around you to disperse and more or less trample you.
After long enough, you were able to stand up without being pushed back down. You carefully lifted your things and looked at your watch.
I'll be late!
You were planning on rushing off to your class--you were already failing it at this point--when you heard him sigh and mutter, "no one ever listens to me..."
Maintaining a calm demeanor, you slowly walked towards him.
"I listen," you said simply, before the late bell rung and you ran off, apologizing and mentioning that you were already failing on top of being late.
As you ran, you think you heard him mention a thing like "tutoring"...
"[name]? Any explanations as to why you were late to my class again this week?" You shrunk back.
"I... don't have any... reason... I fell," You said quietly.
"See me after class." You sighed in defeat and walked to your seat.
The bell rung, cueing everyone else standing and you sighing. You slowly stood up and began the funeral march to the teacher's desk. Your funeral procession was rudely interrupted by a large shove from behind.
"Detention, Miss Serket!"
"Suuuuuuuure," drawled the girl who shoved you. She then stepped over you, not bothering to help you up. You cautiously pushed yourself up and finished your funeral march.
You made absolute sure your will was in your locker.
"[name], you've been late three times this week and you're failing all your classes! What's going on?"
"I, well, it's just, complicated. I stay up really late trying to comprehend what I learned in all my classes and do my homework, so I'm really tired, and I just..."
" What if we got you a tutor and you went through the tutoring program, then? I'm sure that it will help you comprehend the work much faster. The older grades are working on doing projects helping out the... struggling.... kids your age."
"Um, Mrs- oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt your conversation. If it's a private thing, I'll just leave." Kankri poked his head into the room.
"Actually, perfect timing. Kankri, come here for a minute. [name], Kankri is one of the students taking the extra credit project for tutoring students. Kankri, [full name] is needing some extra help in her classes. You haven't found a pupil yet, have you?"
Kankri shook his head. "No ma'am."
"Would you like to have [name] as your pupil?"
He looked at you, and nodded. You stared at the floor, suddenly feeling an aching embarrassment.
"Great! [name], Kankri, I'll write the both of you passes to your next class."
"Thank you," the both of you chorused. You looked at him and laughed before walking to your seat and picking up your things. You carefully held the note the teacher wrote you in between two of your fingers.
"So where do I go, and when?" You cocked your head.
"Later today, just come back here and wait for Kankri to get here. There may be one or two other kids in the room you're assigned to, just ignore them and make sure you have your worksheets. [name], what subjects do you need help in?"
You laughed nervously. "Maybe just about.... All of them? Thanks again," you said and promptly absconded from the room.
Ugh. Why did you agree to do this, again? Oh, right. You're failing all your FREAKING classes, all because your stupid body needs its stupid sleep. You yawned and opened the door.
"Kankri, you in here?" You rubbed your eyes sleepily. After school, you always seemed to be twice as tired as you were when you'd woken up that morning.
"Right here." He looked up. "You had this much work to do?" He gestured to a stack of worksheets.
You walked to the pair of desks he was at, your jaw dropping. "Um... I had THIS MUCH work to do?"
"Apparently. Mrs. Harley went around collecting work from all your classes. Also, quick question.... Why do you have this much unfinished work?"
"Well... I stay up really late at night, so when I wake up in the mornings, I'm very tired and sluggish. Then I get to school and get pushed around a bit and end up late to class, which makes me worry about it all day. Then I'm too busy worrying about the harassment and possible punishments for being late and get so tired from worrying that I don't know what we went over in class and forget my books at school, so I spend all night trying to understand my homework, then I sleep in... Yeah..."
"Well, it sounds like that could easily be fixed if we can get you to understand your work. We should probably work backwards from your most recent worksheets." You looked at the sheet on the top of the stack. Your face brightened.
"I know this!" You said, pulling out a pen, clicking it open, and almost immediately finishing the worksheet.
"The only class I'm really good in is English. That was a thing on a bunch of grammar stuff. I always tries to do the easy work last, then never got to it..." You sweatdropped as you filled in the date.
"I didn't even get to look at the paper..."
"Yeah, but don't worry-" You froze. The next paper was a history sheet. "Okay. Worry away. I don't-what-do not compute."
The rest of the session continued like that, with Kankri helping you get through a small chunk of paper half an inch thick.
"Thanks for the help, we did pretty well," you curtsied to him, smiling wide.
"It's not a problem. I'm glad to help."
"No, seriously. I didn't understand hardly any of that! I'm so glad I was able to get help! Least of all, from you. I admit, I normally try to listen to you when you're lecturing in the hall, but I couldn't get close at all today... So..."
"I'm glad I have someone to listen to me, at least." Kankri said, smiling at you.
The next few weeks of tutoring continued as such, with you getting a great deal of help and even making some friends! The one of your friends you liked best was Karkat; he strangely reminded you of Kankri in a way that you couldn't quite place.
On your way to tutoring one day, you were stopped by Kankri, who was leaving the room. "Oh, [name]! We can't do tutoring today; Miss Harley can't stay and watch us."
"What? We're not middle schoolers, we can be alone without something weird happening! It's not like we're delinquents or anything," you pouted.
"I guess it's just the school's rule. Nothing we can do about it. Unless, maybe..."
"What?" you asked him, cocking your head to the side. (Kankri was beginning to think this was adorable, not that he'd tell you.)
"Well, we could do the tutoring at my house, if that's okay with your parents..."
"I'll call them and ask them."
While you whipped out your cell phone, Kankri sent his younger brother a quick text:
I'm 6ringing h9me a friend t9day, m9st likely. Please d9n't mess this up f9r me t9day, I really like her.
SO SHE'S A GIRL, THEN?
What? N9, n9t like that! I d9n't like her like that!
REALLY? YOU'RE SURE ACTING LIKE YOU LIKE HER.
6ut she's just a girl that I tut9r... 6esides, it's just a study date. It's n9t like anything is g9ing t9 happen.
ARE YOU SURE? BECAUSE I WATCHED A MOVIE WHERE...
Yes, I kn9w y9u watch a l9t 9f m9vies. 6ut that d9esn't mean that we're g9ing t9 6e d9ing anything r9mantic like that...
Kankri closed his cell phone. You were just finishing up the phone call. "Okay, thanks, love you too mom, I'll be home later!" You said and clicked the phone shut.
You turned to Kankri. "My parents said it's fine. Do you drive?" Once again, you cocked your head to one side.
"Yes. Here, my car's this way. Do you need anything from your locker?"
"Not that I can think of." You smiled as he led you out to the parking area.
You were going to be in a car--alone-- with a guy-- with Kankri-- and at his house. Your excitement was practically bubbling over.
"Oh, there you guys are. Took you lo- wait, [name]?"
"Oh, hi, Karkat- IT TOOK ME THAT LONG TO REALIZE THIS?" You facepalmed.
"I can not believe that this entire time I didn't know you were brothers. Now that I see you two together, it's painfully obvious."
"Do we look that alike?"
"NO, we do NOT." You chuckled at the two.
"So I'll assume that Karkat's going to ride with us?"
"No, I'm going to walk all the way to my house when my brother has a car and goes to the same school as me. Why drive when you can walk at least three miles in a turtleneck?"
Kankri sighed. "Tag your triggers, Karkat."
"Let's just get going."
"I'll ride in the back," you offered.
"No, you're not. If you're going to be a guest at our house, you're getting in the front seat." Karkat ordered.
"A-all right, then," you said, taken aback by Karkat's orders of (somewhat) kindness. Despite that, you obeyed and got in the passenger's seat of the car, taking great care not to let your papers scatter.
As you were driven to
The car ride was spent with you talking, laughing, and trying to remember the exact directions to the Vantas household.
Eventually you reached the house. As you stepped out of the car, a major
But it was too late; the papers were scattered. "Ugh, stupid [name]! Drop the entire stack, why don't you?" You said while picking up several at a time. "Help!" You said to the two boys; they understood immediately and started chasing down papers and assignments.
Not noticing a small yet sharp rock, you crawled slightly under the car to grab the final one in your area. You yelped in pain as the rock dug into your leg, but ignored it and pulled yourself out from under the car.
"[name], are you okay?" Kankri asked while walking up to you. Karkat came up with the rest of them.
"Oh, I'm fine. I just had to crawl under your car to get the last paper and scraped my leg a little, is all," you bluffed. You reached down and tugged at the hem of your skirt a little in an attempt to cover up the area.
"Okay, I'm glad. I think we got all of the papers-" He was swiftly cut off by your 'battle cry' and sudden rushing off, catching the final paper under your foot.
"I have worked too hard for you stupid papers to run away from me now!" You hissed at the paper, bending down and picking it up.
"Okay, NOW we have all of the papers." You said, smiling. "We better have, I can't believe I actually dropped them! Geez, we were doing them in order, too..." You sighed and collected the papers from Karkat.
"Well, if we try to finish them today, they won't know that they were done out of order. You're almost done with the stack, so it might be possible to finish today." Kankri said as he handed you his portion of the stack. You looked up to him, locking eyes silently. Soon you found yourself lost in his eyes and the sudden silence, until...
"Hey, lovebirds! Were you going to come inside, or just stand there staring at each other?"
"O-oh, I'm really sorry!" You said, averting your gaze as your face began to heat up.
Sorry I was staring, you just have really beautiful eyes...
Kankri opened the door for you, to which you nodded your thanks.
"So, today in class, Miss Harley told me that when I finish with all of these papers, I can take a big test with all the topics we covered in the tutoring period and my grades will be bumped up to an A, you'll get your credit for helping me, and I can... Choose whether or not I still want to do the tutoring." You said, finishing up a sheet carefully.
"Hm? Do you want to keep going on with these study sessions?" He looked at you. The two of you were sitting in his room, on his bed.
"I'm not sure. Like, if I pass the test, then there's really no reason for me to continue, but, it's just that, I'm not sure I want to stop.
"I-I-I mean- it's just that I really- I sort of really like being near-I mean- working with you- and, like- your eyes are really pretty a-and..." Eventually you gave up your rant, not finding any legit reason to continue working with him.
"I like your eyes, too..." Okay. Cue staring contest again and faces matching Kankri's sweater.
Eventually you shook your head and looked at the paper you were working on now. "I-I, er.... Don't understand this one...." You managed and pointed to a random problem on the sheet.
"This one? Oh, you need a ruler for that one. I have one downstairs, I'll go get it." Kankri quickly stood up and left the room.
You watched him leave. You were half tempted to start snooping around his things, but instead settled for sweeping your legs up underneath yourself and searching out some English sheets to complete.
Meanwhile, Karkat stopped Kankri in the hallway.
"Nothing like that, huh? Sure seemed like it was something more than friends," he said and retreated into his room.
"...! Check your privileges, little brother!"
"Whatever! I'm only stating that you like her!"
Of course, Karkat being Karkat, you heard his shouting clearly.
"Okay, you obviously need to
"Who's what?" Kankri poked his head into the room, causing you to yelp and accidentally drag your pen across the paper. "Oh, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to startle you," he said from the doorway, ruler in hand.
"It's fine, n-nothing to worry about! I finished a few more worksheets," you lied, then added the last part on as if to prove something.
"That's great! Now, what was the problem you needed this for?"
About an hour later, you had finished about half of the worksheets, but at this point you were very tired. You vaguely heard Kankri mention something about snacks, then leaving, but you were tired enough that as soon as he left, you fell asleep, right on his bed...
"[name]?" Kankri looked into the room, a decent sized tray of snacks in one hand, only to find you fast asleep with half of a science problem finished. He laughed a little and set the tray on his bedside table, for some reason wishing he had a picture.
Carefully(he didn't want to disturb you) he sat on the edge of the bed. "I guess she still hasn't been getting enough sleep." He said quietly, looking at your sleeping figure. Your mouth was slightly open, and you were curled up with one of his pillows. A vibration let Kankri notice that your phone was receiving plenty of pestering. He knew he shouldn't, but he picked up your phone and looked at the notification.
SunkenShips [SS] began pestering [chumhandle] [C/H] at 7:05 PM
SS: [name], little sis, where are you? <> Mom told me that you were supposed to be home five minutes ago, and you're never late! <>
Kankri bit his lip, turned off whatever your quirk was, and began typing.
[C/H]: I'm s9rry, [name] fell asleep. I don't want t9 wake her up if I d9n't have t9.
SS: Oh, are you Kankri? [name] <3 talks about you all the time. She's been doing <> so much better since you started helping her. I think she seriously <3 likes you.
[C/H]: Yes, my name is Kankri. What d9 y9u mean 6y "she likes me"?
SS: Oh, she always acts so <3 happy whenever she gets back from your <> study sessions. She started <3 smiling a lot, and whenever she talks about you
SS: which is almost <3 constantly
SS: she starts <3<3<3 blushing like crazy!
[C/H]: Are y9u sure she w9uld 6e very happy with y9u discl9sing this inf9rmati9n with me?
SS: It all depends on how you <3/<3< react.
SS: I, if I were you, would take the <>/<3 mixed feelings route to <3< confuse her straight into <3 your arms.
[C/H]: 9kay, I'm n9t quite sure h9w exactly I w9uld plan that 9ut to c9nfuse her, 6ut thanks f9r the advice, I supp9se.
Kankri turned your quirk back on and replaced your phone, staring at the wall above your head in deep concentration.
After a short while, he knew how to react.
You lazily opened your eyes. Where the heck were you? You didn't really recognize this room...
This pillow sure smells nice, though...
You yawned and reburied your face.
"[name]? Are you awake?" Oh hey there's Kankri.
"Nu-uh. Let me stay with the pillow a little bit longer. I'm going to marry this pillow one day, and we will have children that smell like fabric softener and floor bruises. Our first born child will be entitled to all the land in the continent of New Pillow, and he will be named Joshua, after his younger, less cared about brother on the other side of the bed," you mumbled. Kankri sighed and leaned down by your ear.
"I would like to talk to you, [name]," your eyes shot open as he began to speak. You shivered at his breath on your ear as he continued, "and I would much rather prefer that you don't set off my triggers and instead are looking at me when I speak to you," he said, gently placing an arm on your shoulder. "Please look at me." He finished. You took one last deep inhale of the pillow before slowly sitting up. You pouted.
"Can I still marry the pillow and have children named Joshua and Bartholomew Von Exploding Feathers the Second?" You asked. Kankri laughed.
"I would prefer that you don't have my pillow's children, I'm sure you understand. Anyway, your sister was pestering you about where you were. I told her that I would bring you back over as soon as you woke up." You frowned.
"So I can't marry your pillow and I have to go home now. Great." You muttered. "I wanted to stay with you, though..." You said the last part very quietly to yourself, almost enough that Kankri didn't hear.
"Here. We'll talk on the car ride to your house. I would prefer that my brother not be here for the conversation," he said, then added under his breath: "Trigger warning, exclusion..." You gathered your papers and began to walk out.
"Trigger warning?" You giggled. "Really Kankri? Really?"
Kankri shook his head, smiling. The two of you reached his car, Kankri telling Karkat(who didn't care) that the both of you were leaving.
"So what was it that you wanted to tell me?" You questioned, once again cocking your head to one side. "Take a left, then go straight until you have to take a right turn."
"Well, when your sister was pestering you and I told her that you were asleep, she told me that you sort of had a "thing" for me... I just wanted to confirm it before I made any judgements on whether or not I returned the possibly nonexistent feelings."
As if on cue, you broke into a coughing fit. "She, told, you, WHAT? I am, going to, KILL, her when I, get home! Take a, right."
"Well, is it true?" Kankri asked. You opened your mouth to speak, before he added a quick bit as a second thought. "My triggers include lying." You sighed.
"I honestly don't know. You help me a lot, you're very smart and fun to listen to, you have the most beautiful eyes and the nicest pillow to talk to, and you're one of the few people that are nice to me, you're a grade above me, and you even inadvertently managed to get me some friends. You have a nice car, soft-looking hair, you hardly ever get annoyed with me, and... take a left- and you're really neat, so if I really needed it I could probably get help organizing my stuff from you, but the problem is, and this is completely hypothetical, if I started dating you, I don't want to mess up our relationship and I could get picked on even worse with stuff like, 'how did you even get a boyfriend' or 'I thought you were lesbian' or something like that, and... I guess I just need to think this over before I can say if I like you or not-straight until you get to the house with the cactus, then turn into that driveway- so, I guess I just don't know," you rambled, finishing just in time as Kankri pulled his car into your driveway.
"This is the right place, correct?"
"Yes. Thanks for driving me and letting me come over to your house. I will marry that pillow one day," you joked as you unbuckled. Kankri walked around and opened your door for you.
"A true gentleman," you laughed and accepted his hand.
"[name]? Who is this?"
You shot your head around to find your mom stepping out of her car with your father.
"O-oh, hi mom! Dad! This is my tutor, we had to have the session at his house today and lost track of time. We just got back. Were you shopping? Do you want me to help you carry some stuff in?"
"No, you need to get your things inside. Would you like to come inside, dear? I'm sure [name] would like it, she's always talking about you."
"Yes, thank you. Would I be intruding on anything?"
"No, not at all. We're just about to have dinner, would you like to stay?" You looked between the two, panic quickly spreading across your features. You rushed up to your father, hoping for a savior.
"Dad! Help!" you whispered.
"I don't think so. I'm not letting my little girl be taken away from me, even by a gentleman in a turtleneck."
"Oh, okay. I'll see you tomorrow at school, then, [name]?"
You smiled, walked up to him, and hugged him. "Of course. Thanks again for helping me today, we're almost done."
"As I've said before, it's not a problem. Just let me know if you want to know something." You laughed at this and broke the hug.
"All right, then I'll see you tomorrow!"
The next day, when you entered the tutoring area, you had a quick request to make to Kankri.
"Could we possibly make studying at your house a regular thing, like we did yesterday?" You asked, hoping with all of your heart for him to say that yes, you could do tutoring at his house.
"Hm? Sure, but only if you aren't going to run to your dad for help when your mother invites me in for dinner." Your face flushed with embarrassment.
"Never mind that, we should go ahead and leave now, if we don't want Karkat getting triggered again."
"Oh, good idea!" And so, as the day previous, you were led off to Kankri's car and subsequently his house, then up to his room.
"Okay, that's... All of the papers. All of them. We finished." You sighed. "I want to keep working with you, though."
"I can't believe you got them all finished that fast." Then, "Trigger warning, possible accusations of lack of intelligence." You laughed.
"Well, I am working on a social project for a bit of extra credit that I need your help with."
"Well, what is it?"
"Could you possibly tutor me in kissing?" You asked, planting your lips on his. After a moment, the two of you had to pull away.
"Trigger warning, [name]..." he whispered into your ear, wrapping his arms around your waist and pulling you in for another kiss. "A little bit of a more... sexual trigger, if you will." He grinned.