Author’s Note: So I asked for prompts again, and as I was contemplating the one I got, I remembered that I hadn’t done this one. It didn’t really work with where things were in The Drought aka Fire and Water Part Two.
I thought that it would work to do a flashback, though, and while this is before Enya realizes she’s fire, I think it still fits.
The prompt: Enya: Love always wakes the dragon… — from “Litany in Which Certain Things are Crossed Out”
The kids at school wouldn’t stop talking about it. About him. About what he’d done. Enya didn’t know how he could stand the rumors going around, the names they were calling him behind his back—or even right to his face. Jerks, the lot of them, and she swore the next one that called Cress a freak was going to pay for it if they were dumb enough to say it in front of her.
Aiden told her to ignore it. He wanted her to do what he did—walk through the halls with his head down, never causing any trouble in class or disagreeing with anyone. He was shy to a fault, she had heard their mother say, and she didn’t know how he’d ever manage to pass speech when they had to take it in high school. Sherwin would pass with flying colors, she was sure, and everyone would be annoyed by it—by him—but Sherwin wasn’t the problem right now.
Well, it wasn’t like it was his fault or anything. No one knew what happened, not even Cress, but that didn’t stop them from blaming the whole thing on him. It didn’t matter that those bullies had attacked him in the bathroom, that they probably would have put him in the hospital if the plumbing hadn’t gone crazy. No, all that anyone cared about was that Cress had supposedly done that, reducing all the other boys into gibbering idiots afraid of all water, even the bottled kind.
She stopped at her locker, turning the dial to the first number of the combination. She let out a breath as she finished the combo and opened the door, letting it slam into the locker next to hers.
“Watch it. Why is it that you always shove that open like you hate the person with the locker next to you and you’re trying to take his head off?”
She laughed. “Maybe I do.”
“Oh. So you joined that club, did you?” Cress asked, leaning back against the lockers. “I guess I figured that we’d all stick together. All of us outcasts and potential freaks.”
“You are not a freak, Cress.”
He shook his head. “Things haven’t been the same since that day. I swear, I can feel things that I shouldn’t be able to feel—”
“Are you going to be coming out of a—”
“That is not funny. I can feel water, damn it, not that. It’s… It’s like knowing it’s going to rain but ten times worse. Like I could reach out and make it rain. It don’t… This isn’t right. Something’s gone horribly wrong with me, and it scares me.”
“Maybe you’re still traumatized by what those jerks did to you in the bathroom. Give yourself some time to recover. It’ll go away.”
He didn’t look at her. She knew he didn’t believe it. He must think he was cursed or something. “Come on. We’re going to be late for science.”
He grimaced. “I think I should ditch science.”
“What, afraid we’re going to dissect you this time, freak?” One of the older boys demanded, pulling Cress away from the lockers. “Why don’t you make it rain, huh? You can do that, can’t you, waterboy?”
“Let go of me.”
“You gonna make us? Why don’t you? Let’s see you use your freak powers. Give us a good show.”
Cress glared at Joe, trying to get his arm free. “Don’t you remember what happened the last time? Do you really want that? Those other boys are still muttering gibberish.”
“I bet you’re a one-hit wonder. I doubt you can do it again.”
“He won’t have to,” Enya said, stepping forward. “It doesn’t matter what he can or can’t do with water. I’ll kick your ass for him.”
“You don’t scare me, girl.”
She shook her head. Why were boys always so stupid? Why did they always assume that a girl couldn’t do anything? They were such idiots. “Any one of us girls could take you any day of the week.”
“What do you think, freak? Your sister going to prove that she’s just like you?”
Cress lunged at Joe, but two of the bully’s friends caught him, holding him still for their leader. Joe rammed his fist into Cress’ stomach, and Cress doubled over, grunting. Enya wished Stone were around. No one would bother them if he was. He was so big, and everyone was scared of him. Still, she could do something. She had to. She jumped on the back of one of the ones holding Cress in place, wrapping her arm around his neck and cutting off his air.
“Get this brat off of me!”
“All right, all of you, break it up! I mean it, now!” the hall monitor shouted, and the boy Enya’d jumped on slammed her back into the lockers, knocking her off. She moaned, rubbing her back as she tried to stand up again.
“I told you to stop,” the monitor said, dragging Joe and the other boys away. Enya glared at them as they went, almost wishing she had a freak power that could make them all pay. She’d get them back for this. She swore it.
“Next time, he won’t have a monitor to save him.”
Cress put a hand on her shoulder. “Don’t say that. Just… let it go. Really. You don’t need to do anything to them, Little Fire.”
“Don’t call me that. It sounds so… patronizing.”
He let out a breath, shaking his head before he reached out to touch her cheek. “You didn’t see your face when they had me. There was… I saw something in your eyes, something… odd.”
“You’ve seen me angry before.”
“Yeah, and that was different. I…” He bit his lip, and she frowned at the worry she saw in his face. “I’m afraid your name might be more fitting than you know.”