After Nosderag finished replacing Daliki’s bandages, Dalzonf watched the fairy slowly fall asleep in their dorm room. ‘You must be so tired, aren’t you, girl?’ she cooed, brushing her finger against her wing. Nosderag laughed and Dalzonf whipped her head towards her with hot cheeks. ‘I didn’t mean it that way.’ She put on a smirk. ‘Someone’s obsessed with lesbianism.’
Nosderag groaned. ‘Can’t you just let me live that down?’
‘Now why would I do that?’
‘I’m totally normal, okay? I was just a little confused, is all. And besides, it’s not like you can blackmail me anymore, so you may as well drop it.’
‘Whatever helps you sleep at night.’
Dalzonf responded to Nosderag’s glare by ignoring her. The two hopped into their beds and turned off the light. For a moment the room was silent outside of the fairy’s dainty little snores.
‘Why do you act differently to me than the other girls at school? You seem kind of shy towards them.’
Dalzonf pretended that she had already fallen asleep.
The next morning’s daily trip down the elevator resulted in a proposal with orange peel used as a makeshift ring. Right in front of all the other students in the dining hall.
Two options appeared before Dalzonf: go shy mode and run away or go bitch mode and slap the orange peel ring out of Nosderag’s hand.
‘Should we call the police?’ Sosoka asked her group of friends. ‘She’s probably raping her too.’ When Dalzonf heard that and gave her a dirty look, Sosoka stared her down. ‘What? Come on, can we really be shocked when a love tolxer’s acting a little rapey? Poor Nosderag’s got no powers. She’s utterly defenceless and you’re clearly taking advantage of her by trying to turn her into your girlfriend with your gross powers. And every morning! I can only imagine what you make her do to you every morning-’
Sosoka shrieked as Dalzonf pushed her to the ground. Her love powers were of little use in a fight, so her nails would have to do. She scratched at Sosoka’s face.
Unfortunately for her, Sosoka’s powers were useful in a fight.
Vines rapidly grew from the floorboards and began wrapping themselves around Dalzonf’s neck, pulling her away from Sosoka. When she tried to yell at her to let her go, Sosoka simply created a miniature version of a rafflesia and stuck it in Dalzonf’s mouth.
The smell of rotting carcasses assaulted Dalzonf’s nostrils, making the already difficult task of breathing with something in her mouth even harder.
Sosoka came up with an even better punishment. She pulled the vines towards her until Dalzonf was lying on top of her. She yelped in feigned shock as she removed the vines.
‘Help, someone get a teacher! She’s trying to…’ Her voice faltered for effect as she sniffled.
A teacher finally entered the dining hall and pulled Dalzonf away. ‘What’s happening this time?’
‘She was… she was trying to… I think Dalzonf was about to use her love powers on me!’
‘Dalzonf, the principal’s office. Now.’
Nosderag blinked and saw Dalzonf follow the teacher.
‘What’s going on?’
She snuck behind Dalzonf. ‘What happened? Are you in trouble?’
‘Quit it,’ the other girl spat under her breath.
Nosderag listened in on the meeting between Dalzonf and the principal, an elven maiden who did not look a day over 500 and sounded like a cross between a rich French heiress and a light breeze.
‘The police are on their way to have a chat.’
‘With all due respect, Mrs Pelletier, I’m sure they have more pressing matters than a school brawl.’
‘Not when sexual assault allegations have been made.’
Nosderag expected a verbal takedown of this lady from Dalzonf. Would she bring up the facts of the situation, inadvertently telling Nosderag everything she missed? Perhaps she would threaten to sue for discrimination. Or maybe she would point out the school’s bullying problem.
That was it.
Those two words pierced Nosderag’s soul and caused empathy to bleed out of her. She knocked on the door.
‘Mrs Pelletier, May I defend Dalzonf?’
‘Who is speaking?’
‘Her roommate and frequent receiver of love magic.’
Mrs Pelletier almost choked on her shock. ‘Very well. Come in.’
Nosderag took a while to collect her thoughts. The sun coming from the window behind the principal made her seem like she was surrounded by light, aided by her tight blonde braids that reached the floor. Her dark skin glowed in the light of the candle in front of her. The pastel room had the appearance inside of a fairytale princess’s bedroom, with flowers decorating every piece of furniture and the seat she was in being lined with pink velvet.
‘You see, miss…’ Nosderag began. She explained Dalzonf’s use of her abilities to power the lift and how she had never used her powers to take advantage of someone.
‘Thank you for telling me this. However, these accusations are quite serious so they warrant an investigation.’ Mrs Pelletier returned her attention to Dalzonf. ‘I also received an anonymous tip this morning accusing you of being involved in the theft of animals from our enclosure. Until the investigation is complete, I’m afraid you will be suspended from all classes and facilities.’
Nosderag clenched her fists. ‘But what about-’
‘Your friend can deliver food to your dormitory if need be,’ Mrs Pelletier said to Dalzonf.
Dalzonf nodded and stood up, brushing past Nosderag as she left the room. She tried to pay no attention to her as the girl followed her back to the dormitory.
On the way, they passed Mr Fot, who was surrounded by snickering teenagers. One of the teachers chuckled herself. Mr Fot breathed heavily through his mouth as he tried to get rid of the self-made icicles he had accidentally gotten stuck in his nostrils.
‘You are not going up the elevator with me, got it?’ Dalzonf told Nosderag once the two were inside the dormitory.
‘But the stairs are…’
Nosderag didn’t get to finish her sentence before Dalzonf went into the elevator and brought herself up.
A few students passed Nosderag with sympathetic faces. A teacher came up to her and told her she could always see the school counsellor if she needed to.
‘But I didn’t get… she didn’t…’
The teacher interrupted her with words of misplaced encouragement before leaving.
Instead of heading to class, Nosderag ran as fast as she could up the stairs, ignoring the heaviness of her backpack.
After taking multiple breaks and feeling like she was about to die, she made it to the top.
Dalzonf said goodbye to the two police officers who had just questioned her. They opened the door and Nosderag fell through the doorway to the floor.
Before Dalzonf or the officers could help her up, Nosderag heaved her body up herself. She took a few deep breaths with her hands on her thighs.
‘What are you doing here?’ Dalzonf asked, her harsh but quiet voice making her sound both annoyed and a little touched.
‘I had to make sure you were alright. It’s not fair what happened to you.’ Nosderag took opened her bag and released Daliki. ‘Plus, you forgot to feed her.’
Dalzonf created a small ball of pink mist but immediately squashed it. ‘Come on,’ Nosderag pleaded. ‘For her.’ Dalzonf continued to look at her hands like they had blood on them.
Daliki flew over to Dalzonf’s shoulder. Dalzonf petted her but still refused to tolx.
Nosderag placed her hand on Dalzonf’s other shoulder and smiled at her. The warmth of her hand spread throughout Dalzonf’s body until she eventually sighed and fed Daliki.
‘Thanks,’ Dalzonf murmured.
‘What do you mean, ‘for what’? For defending me!’ Dalzonf covered her face with one hand.
A light blush reached Nosderag’s cheeks. She felt like someone was squeezing her heart. She wanted to tear her eyes away but she couldn’t.
‘No… no problem,’ she whispered as she sat down on her bed.
The two went quiet for a while until Dalzonf asked Nosderag a question.
‘Why are you still here? You’ve still got classes.’
‘After climbing all those stairs, you want me to go back down?’
Both girls laughed. Dalzonf returned to her book and Nosderag played with Daliki. The two sat in silence, enjoying each other’s company.