A look crossed the student’s face, a smile as he set his eyes on the teacher. His gaze flicked over the woman as though he could see right through her. “No. I don’t think so.” He paused, looking over her again, double checking his work, his thoughts. “Unless you want the principal to hear about your little indiscretion with the teacher down the hall. You know full well the rules when it comes to other faculty members, don’t you?”

The teacher blanched. She didn’t say anything further.

John slipped by without either of them noticing.

Rugby practice went by in a breeze. His body was covered in sweat when they were finished. His muscles ached. His heart raced. There was a smile on his face as he strode into the locker room and peeled off his practice jersey. His friends were laughing and he joined for the moment, but he wanted a shower. Virtually nothing felt better after a workout than a shower.  

Hair still dripping, John left the locker room, leaving behind a few of his friends. The hallways were mostly deserted at this point since practice ran over an hour. Most of the normal student body has left for the day, so John is rather used to it being quiet as he makes his way towards his locker.

Only it wasn’t quiet.

There was a scuffling sound. A grunt. Someone was punched. John knew that sound and could feel the tension of the fight in the air. A part of him smiled, but he tried to hide as he took off in the direction it was all coming from.

At the end of some hallway too far beyond any actual class rooms, John could make out a few students. Anderson, he think was one. He could always identify the smarmy git, especially in a fight. The greasy smart arse was always the man at the back, always the one shouting abuse instead of actually causing it. John had always seen the fear that Philip had coursing through his veins. He would never be a man of action, only ever behind the scenes. John nearly pitied him, knowing the bleak, dull future that lay ahead for the young man.

John was quick into the action, wrapping his fingers into Anderson’s collar and yanking back as hard as he could. A predatory instinct took over John as he pried away each of the students, some of the he didn’t know, other he didn’t care to remember. But he knew, at least, all of their faces.

At the center of attention, the new kid adjusted himself, fixing his shirt and clearing his throat. There was no thanks, but honestly, John wasn’t expecting one.

Someone tapped his shoulder and John turned. A fist was flying for his face, but John was quick. He ducked down and grabbed the arm before it could go too far passed his face and into the new student’s.

John twisted the student’s arm, Eddie, he seemed to recall as the kid’s cry echoed down the long hall, and wasting no time John shoved Eddie’s face against the cool bricks.  He stepped up close to the bully, a smile on his face, twisted, as his heart pounded.

“I catch you or your friends doing this again,” John whispered harshly, but it was loud enough for everyone around him to make out, “you won’t have to worry about a sprained wrist,” and for emphasis, John tugged the wrist up a little more until he heard a whine. “Clear?”

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