31 of 183

Day 31—The Morning After

            Leonard woke up to a bright shining morning with a groggy groan. Something was ringing, and ringing very persistently. He flopped back into bed with a moan, hoping that someone else would answer the door.

            And as luck would have it, Moonshine decided that the crack in the door meant that she was invited in, and slipped into Leonard’s room. She jumped on his bed and chest, kneading the covers with her paws. Leonard cracked an eye open.

            “What.”

            Moonshine mewed at him. Go get me food, she seemed to say.

            Leonard groaned and turned on his side, forcing Moonshine to jump off with an annoyed hiss. “No. Go away. Go bother Henna.”

Moonshine ignored his order and rubbed her face against his chin.

Leonard groaned again. “Fine, I’ll get you your damn cat food,” he told the grey cat. He rose out of bed and stumbled into the kitchen. Meanwhile, the person at the door had reduced him or herself to knocking persistently at the door.

“Shut up,” he muttered, shaking the can of wet cat food so that it slowly fell with a gelatinous glop onto the plate, which he then put in front of the cat. The knocking didn’t stop. “I’m coming, I’m coming,” he mumbled, finally giving into the noise. He shuffled to the door and peered sleepily out of the spyhole. “Oh, it’s you.” He opened the door to let Sadie—who looked far too awake for Leonard’s half-asleep mind to comprehend—in.

In the doorway, she looked him up and down. “No, this won’t do,” Sadie said, eyeing his boxers and t-shirt with annoyance. “Didn’t you get my text? We’re going over to Nikolas’ house to talk about Homecoming last night!”

“What text?”

Sadie sighed. “Never mind. Just get dressed. We’re going to Nikolas’ house.”

Leonard mumbled incoherently, but obediently walked back into his room and put on jeans and his leather jacket, shoving his feet into a pair of beat-up Converse on the way back to where Sadie was waiting.

Sadie eyed him critically. “Are you not going to shave, or comb, or wash, or anything at all?”

Leonard looked at her blearily and bewilderedly. “Do you really expect me to wake up to pounding on the door at eight in the morning after getting home at one-thirty in the morning and be put together enough to even walk in a straight line? Be grateful that I thought to put on some type of decent clothing and not fall back into bed.”

The girl held her hands up in defeat. “Okay, okay, fine,” she said. “Let’s go.” She pulled him out the door and down the apartment stairs to her car. Leonard slid into the passenger’s side while Sadie slid into the driver’s. She started the car and drove out of the lot. Leonard dozed off.


            Nikolas woke up to an insistent pounding on the door. Thinking that it might be Monty, he mumbled into his pillow “Go away, I don’t want to talk to you!” and dozed off again. He didn’t wake up again until Marissa stalked into his room and pulled his covers off his body, causing him to yell in protest and curl into a ball to protect his quickly dissipating warmth.

            “Get your friends to say what they want to you and get out before Jessie wakes up. I want to sleep, and it won’t be possible if she wakes up to the knowledge that Leonard Astor is in our house again.”

            Nikolas groaned. “What does he want?” he asked, turning his face into his pillow and grabbing half-heartedly at his blankets, which Marissa still held.

            “I don’t know! But it looks like Sadie dragged him here half-asleep, so you might as well go join them.” She dropped his covers and walked out of his room. Nikolas sighed as the pleasant warmth returned to cover his body, but decided that he was awake enough to get up and hold a semi-civil conversation.

            He climbed out of bed, wrapped a blanket around his shoulders and slipped his slippers on and walked downstairs to where Sadie and Leonard were waiting. Sadie threw a bag at him.

            “Here, compensation for waking you up this early,” she said.

            “Hey, how come you didn’t give me any compensation?” Leonard asked.

            “Because I don’t love you as much?” Sadie replied.

Leonard grumbled. “Whatever.”

            Nikolas opened the bag. “Oh. Starbucks breakfast. My favorite,” he said dully. He ate it anyway, figuring that it would wake him up. Sadie fidgeted impatiently, waiting for him to finish eating. When he finished, she jumped right to her question.

            “So. How was Homecoming?” she demanded.

            “Best one ever, decoration wise,” Nikolas said, wiping his mouth with the back of his hand and crumpling up the paper bag. “But the music still sucked ass.”

            “Well, the DJ was a good one, but a lot of his music wasn’t ‘school-appropriate’,” Sadie explained. Nikolas and Leonard both snorted.

            “Right, because everyone cares if the explicit version of Skrillex or Swedish House Mafia starts playing,” Leonard said sarcastically. “And Marianne tried to make me commit to her.”

            “How?” Sadie asked.

            “She asked me right before we took the Homecoming photos, ‘Would you ever cheat on me, or leave me for some other blonde bitch?’ And so I told her, with a huge fake smile on my face, ‘Of course not, I would never do that to you.’”

            “Then what?”

            “Then she tried to jump me, and I sort of maybe avoided her for the rest of the dance.”

            Nikolas groaned. “Oh, you’re pathetic.”

            “Oh yeah? What about you? Did you and Mr. ‘Super-sexy diver boyfriend’ do the deed in the bushes?”

            “Oh, ew, guys, that’s disgusting,” Marissa commented, walking by in a robe with a mug of hot chocolate in her hand.

            “No, we did not,” Nikolas said primly. “And yes, that is disgusting. But we did make out.”

            “You make it sound so crude, Nikki,” Sadie said, rolling her eyes. “Is that why you came back in without your headband and looking pissed?”

            “Monty tried to jump me after he had about half a bowl of punch spiked with rum and vodka,” Nikolas admitted, tucking his hair behind one pierced ear. Today his earrings were plain black studs.

            “Seriously? At least he wasn’t completely stoned with alcohol. Anthony made it through about half of Homecoming and then he had to go throw up in the guys’ bathroom. Thank God he didn’t have to drive me home,” Sadie said, rolling her eyes. “And at least we got the pictures done early before he got smashed and threw up.”

            “Is that it, then? Can I go home and sleep more?” Leonard asked. “Do we all agree that Horticulture should decorate for Homecoming more often and that our dates kind of sucked?”

            Nikolas, who had been nodding off since Sadie had started talking, fell over into Leonard’s lap, curling up like an oversized cat. “You should stay here and be my pillow,” he muttered.

            “Nah, I’m going home,” Leonard said, pushing Nikolas over to the other side and standing up. “Sadie?”

            “…But I had more questions,” she said petulantly.

            “You can ask them later, with people who are more awake,” Leonard told her. “I just want to sleep.”

            Nikolas fell asleep on the couch. Sadie took Leonard home. Leonard fell asleep on the floor. Sadie stayed in Henna’s apartment, talking to Henna about Homecoming.

            It seemed that Henna had an excellent Homecoming.

[Next Chapter ==>]

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