Nicolette awaits the arrival of her brother to her boarding school, when--to her horror--he shows up as a girl! Shounen ai and het, follows both siblings in their war against each other.
Chapter One: Opening
Nicolette Sheridan lay on her bed, her hand covering her eyes. The waning sun danced through the gauzy curtains in her window, and she shied away from it, turning on her side. Her slightly curly, light brown hair fell into her green eyes, which were half open.
This sucked so bad! What was a girl to do? She was going back to her boarding school, Bayleaf Academy, which wasn't bad, but her dad, so stingy with his money was doing the unthinkable! He was sending her fraternal twin brother, Niklaus, with her! He was going to embarrass the hell out of her, she just knew it! He always did! Grrr... For some reason, though, her father insisted that her brother come the day after she went back; something to do with paperwork. Since her dad and the principal were old friends, it did make sense that he would make an exception and help out with all the paperwork.
Nicolette sighed heavily. She hated her brother with a passion half the time. He was such a pain! He was always stealing her stuffed animals and throwing them over neighborhood fences into pools, and always taking the last cookie out of the jar. He never cleaned up after himself. He was constantly in her face, annoying her with stupid questions.
"AGGGHHHHHH!!!" Nicolette covered her face with a pillow and screamed. This was not going to do! Not going to do at all!!!
She got up abruptly from her bed and looked for her father. He sat at the kitchen table, filling out some of the papers that had already been sent via mail. He looked up when his daughter barged in, looking demonic.
"Yes, what is it, Nicolette?" He moved the papers so that she couldn't read what he was putting down on them. Typical. He was probably raving that his son was a genius or something.
"Dad, can we not send Niklaus to my school?" Nicolette began, twisting a lock of her hair nervously. "I mean, there are lots of other schools he can go to..."
"I'm sorry, pumpkin," her dad said, not looking the least apologetic. "Dan and I already made an agreement." By Dan, he meant the school's principal.
But, Dad," Nicolette whined. "Please! He's going to ruin my life!"
"I wouldn't go that far, honey," her father said, but he had a mysterious smile on his face that made her heart sink.
"What are you planning?" she asked suspiciously.
"Nothing at all," her father's smile was still all mysterious though. "Trust me, though, when I say this may be the most eventful school year ever."
"NO! Don't say that!" Tears of frustration stung at her eyes while she spun on her heel and ran away. "I hate you!"
"Don't slam the do--" he began, just as his daughter slammed her bedroom door.
He smiled as he shook his head and pulled the papers out to admire his work so far. Ah yes. They would love what he had to say...
Two days later, Niklaus sat in the backseat of the truck and yawned. His dad was a crazy old man, but he thought he might enjoy this next school year. Niklaus had gone to a different boarding school than his sister for years, but his school had gone bankrupt and closed down this last year. Niklaus didn't much care; he thought it would be kinda fun going to this new school as a totally different person. And bugging his sister was definitely an incentive.
Niklaus grinned at his father, who smiled back in the rearview mirror.
He was going to torment his sister this year; that was for damn sure...
Nicolette sat at her desk, twiddling her thumbs nervously. Where was that brother of hers? He was supposed to have been here today, but she hadn't seen nor heard from him all day. It was making her more anxious than she should be; after all, both her brother and her father were known to pull mean tricks on her...
Just as the teacher had picked up a piece of chalk and was going to write down the five parts of an essay, the door to the classroom burst open. All heads turned. Nicolette took one look at the person in the doorway and slammed her head into her desk.
Niklaus stood in the doorway casually. A lot of people were looking at him, and he looked back, grinning. The teacher turned away from the chalkboard and stared at him.
"Why, hello there," she smiled kindly. "You must be Nikkie, the new girl."
"That's me," Niklaus said, moving forward and handing her a slip of paper.
The teacher looked down at it. "It seems you have been speaking with the principal."
"Yes, I have," Niklaus said, shuffling a little. He felt a little weird in the skirt, yes. But this was kinda fun, too. He could already see the kids appraising him and trying to figure out whether they should talk to him or completely ignore him. He suddenly started to regret that he'd tugged his long-for-a-boy, short-for-a-girl reddish brown hair into two slightly curling tails, one on either side of his head. He was also wearing little dragonfly hairclips... Maybe he had overdone the girly-cutesy thing? He felt like everyone was staring at him...
"Well, please have a seat over there," the teacher indicated a seat towards the back. "Next to Kylen."
Niklaus moved to his seat, plopping his book-bag on the desk he now shared with Kylen. Kylen was a good-looking enough fella, with dark hair that was long on one side so that it fell across one eye and heavily lashed blue-purple eyes. He wore the boy's uniform of Bayleaf Academy, a dark blazer over a white, high-collared shirt that was stiffly buttoned to the neck and then wrapped with a black tie. The pants were plaid, and the socks the mandatory black. He barely glanced at Niklaus as he sat beside him.
"Hey there," Niklaus said, trying to make conversation, even though he had a feeling this guy was one of those stiff, model student-types. Kylen rose an eyebrow, but didn't really even look at Niklaus or respond. What an arrogant asshole!
Niklaus tried again. "I'm Nikkie, and you are obviously Kylen," Niklaus said, still keeping a light tone. Kylen opened a book that sat on his desk. "Are you ignoring me?!" Niklaus cried angrily.
Kylen finally looked at him. "Maybe you should take a hint when you get one."
"What hint?" Niklaus pressed. "That you're an ass?"
"No, that I'm not interested in speaking with you," Kylen said, then turned back to his book. The guy was pissing Niklaus off! Niklaus grabbed the book Kylen was reading.
"Hey, Jerk-off! You should learn to listen when a lady speaks to you!"
Kylen glared at him now. "Some lady you are."
"I am so a lady," Niklaus said. He had even stuffed a bra with tissue to look like a normal sixteen year old girl.
"Not from where I'm sitting," Kylen remarked, and plucked his book back from Niklaus's surprised grasp. Niklaus had never met someone so full of themselves before; and it was really ticking him off! He fumed as he rummaged through his bookbag, trying not to look over and glare daggers at that stupid guy! But of course, that stupid guy was now in his thoughts, and he had to look to see if the guy even noticed how ticked off he was! Niklaus looked over at him, but he didn't even seem to notice that Niklaus had turned in his direction.
Angered, Niklaus wadded up a piece of paper and tossed it viciously at Kylen's head. It bounced off sharply and landed on the desk of the kid who sat behind Niklaus, who snickered. Kylen scowled at the snicker-er, but said nothing to Niklaus. He merely went back to his irritating book. Niklaus, concentrating all his energy on glaring at Kylen, nearly flew out of his seat when the kid behind him poked him in the back.
Niklaus turned the other way to see what the kid wanted. He was an affable looking fellow with long, spiky-ish cinnamon coloured hair (sticking up in the back, but still falling in daggers around his face) and warm hazel eyes. A pair of sunglasses perched on his head and he wore the standard boy's uniform, only his blazer hung open and his white, collared shirt was unbuttoned on the top half and was clearly rumpled. His tie was askew. Niklaus grinned. This was the type of dude he made friends with!
"I'm Nik-Nikkie!" Niklaus leaned forward. "Sorry about that paper," he added sheepishly.
"It's okay," the boy waved offhandedly. "I'm Lysander Lydell, that's Li-dell, not Lie-dell, I don't know how many times a teacher has pronounced it wrong..." Lysander sighed.
"Ah..." Niklaus grinned wider. "Unlucky you. Sheridan is never mistook as something else."
"Sheridan?" Lysander rose an eyebrow. "Isn't that the same last name as Nicolette?"
"Yeah, she's my cousin," Niklaus lied. "We hated it, growing up, because my full name is Nikole, and her's is Nicolette. Too damn similar. And we're the same age, to boot!"
"Wow, what were your parents thinking?" Lysander asked, then his eyes slid to the side in annoyance. "Don't ask 'bout mine. I'll help you so you don't waste your time: they're idiots."
"Really? What makes them-?"
"Ahem!" They both looked up to see the teacher standing before them. "Are you two listening at all?"
"Don't hafta," Lysander told her. "I learned this stuff a hundred years ago." Turning to Niklaus, he filled him in. "My dad's an English prof. I was practically born knowing all 'bout grammar and conjunctions."
"Then wouldn't THAT be the reason for your name?" the quiet voce of Kylen asked. His blue-purple eye fixed on Lysander. "Midsummer Night's Dream, right?"
Lysander rolled his eyes. "YES..." he blew the word out like it had been trapped in his lungs for days. He beckoned Kylen. "Show us your book, genius."
Kylen turned the cover so that Lysander could see it. It was Midsummer Night's Dream.
"Wow," Niklaus commented, impressed. "You're good."
Lysander gave him a smug smile. "I just know Kylen, that's all."
Kylen's eyes narrowed, but he said nothing in response. He turned back to face the front.
"Well," the teacher said, looking awkward. She was one of those soft-spoken hippy women who wore peasant tops and long flowing skirts. "How about we read Midsummer Night's Dream, for those of you who are lost?"
It was true; many of the students looked puzzled.
"What's there to know?" Lysander shrugged. "My name is taken from the Bard's garbage. I'd rather the whole world not know where my name comes from. It adds to my mysterious mystique..." He cradled his chin in his hand, in mock intelligence.
Nicolette, who had remained silent since her stupid drag-queen of a brother had pranced into the classroom, put her hand in the air.
"Yes, Nicolette?" the teacher asked.
"Can we just get back to our assignment? We are getting off topic here!" Nicolette glared at her brother, who only smiled sunnily in return.
"Oh, right, yes..." the teacher fluttered. She went to the chalkboard. "As I was saying before I had to interrupt some student chatter... We will be splitting into groups of four. Let's see..." She looked down at her roll call sheet. "We're so lucky this year. We have exactly twenty children in this term's class, so there will be five groups..." She looked up and around at the kids. "Since you three have hit it off... The first group will be Nikole Sheridan, Kylen Delaney, Lysander Lydell, and..." she looked around for some random person to add. "And Kitty Trenton."
Niklaus twisted in his seat to see who Kitty was. She was a long haired blonde sitting on the other side of Kylen. Her big blue eyes sparkled when she saw Niklaus looking at her. She waved and smiled. Niklaus waved and smiled back.
"Put your desks together, so that the four of you are facing each other," the teacher told them. They did so; however, Kylen looked like he wanted to kill them. Lysander grinned at him.
"What's wrong? Looks like you ate somethin' sour," Lysander told him.
"Looking at you makes me feel that way," Kylen replied, dumping his stuff on his newly moved desk with a loud clatter. Niklaus looked at Kitty.
"What's wrong with you, anyway?" Kitty asked as she sat beside Kylen and across from Niklaus. "You're always so mean to each other."
Kylen glared more. Lysander smiled more. Niklaus rubbed his arm nervously.
"Well, looks like us girls are the only sane ones, here, eh, Nikkie?" Kitty smiled in Niklaus's direction. He smiled back.
"Er, yeah..." He needed to get used to others calling him a girl in a hurry. It was driving him crazy as it was already!
"...and Nicolette Sheridan will be group number five..." Niklaus looked up to see who his sister was stuck with.
Nicolette was dragging her desk up to a group of all boys. There was a fat kid with short, spiky blonde hair and a mad squint, a nerd with perfectly combed brown hair and a conceited look on his face, and a small nervous looking kid with soft looking brown hair that curled slightly and hung in his eyes. Niklaus caught his sister's eye and grinned evilly at her. She just huffed and looked away, clearly peeved.
Turning his attention back to his own group, which was, apparently, GROUP ONE, as evidenced by the large sign the teacher was taping to their cluster of desks proclaimed, Niklaus saw that Kitty was still looking at him funny.
"Uh, what? Do I have something on my face?" He quickly brought a hand to his face, looking for the source of the odd look.
Kitty laughed. "No, it's not that... It's just that you look...familiar, somehow..."
"Oh? That's an easy one," Lysander told her as he grinned and pointed at Nicolette, who was very pointedly ignoring GROUP ONE. "Nicolette and Nikkie here are cousins."
"Is that so?" Kitty frowned, but she said nothing more on the subject, because the teacher was speaking again. Everyone looked over at her, where she stood adding something to the notes she already had on the chalkboard.
"Yesterday, as most of you know, we already did our introductions, and shared with each other who we are, and who we hope to be in the future." She smiled kindly at Niklaus, who squirmed. He hated having a teacher's attention. "Nikkie missed it. And it would be unfair to make her introduce herself, when nobody else will have to..."
"And it would be tedious to make us all do it again," Lysander chimed in.
"Yes, Lysander is correct," the teacher agreed with a nod. "So, she will have to make do with just knowing her group for now, because the assignment for this week is to get to know your groups as well as you know yourself. I want you all to spend time with each other and at the end of the week, I would like you to write an essay about each other and your impressions of your group-mates."
"Do we have to write about ourselves?" Lysander asked.
"Of course not," the teacher replied. "I want to see how well you all know each other, and you already know yourself. This assignment is about perception. I want to see how you perceive your fellow group-mates."
"How long does it have to be?" the nerd with Nicolette's group asked.
"At least two pages, typed. And no huge fonts to make it shorter," she warned, when she heard a few whispers and snickers. "All right. Go ahead and work on getting to know each other, through artwork." The teacher opened a closet and pulled out sheets of paper and coloured pencils and began passing them out. "While you're in the classroom, I would like you to draw the person across from you. You have..." she paused and looked up at the clock. "Forty minutes to complete the assignment, so use the time wisely."
The teacher sat down behind her desk and began scribbling something and ignoring the students.
"I thought we were writing an essay or reading that summer book," Niklaus said, leaning in to talk to the others. (Who weren't the butthead Kylen guy)
"No, she was explaining the parts of an essay for that stupid assignment about our 'group-mates,'" Lysander explained. "And I think-or hope she was joking about the stupid book."
"Draw me pretty," Kitty winked at Niklaus, who had forgotten all about the current drawing assignment.
"Oh, yeah," he picked up a yellow pencil and began drawing Kitty's hair. "I suck at drawing, so don't say I didn't warn you..."
"So do I," Kitty giggled, showing him what she had drawn so far. It was pretty bad, all the lines were too straight, and she'd made his face really...bland. Niklaus laughed aloud at the way she'd drawn his mouth-it looked like he had a bad case of diarrhea. She laughed too, looking at his picture, which so far, was only a long line of yellow.
"What am I, a stream of piss?" she giggled.
Laughing, Niklaus looked over at what Lysander was drawing. Immediately, his face sobered, and he stared. He made Kylen look...well, absolutely stunning. Niklaus looked up to see Kylen furiously scribbling something on his paper, which he was hiding by setting it on his binder and tilting it towards his body.
"You're really good," Kitty said softly, voicing Niklaus' thoughts. Lysander said nothing, but the tip of his tongue stuck out slightly as he continued to draw. That's when Niklaus realized that Lysander wasn't even looking at Kylen as he drew. It was as though he already knew him by memory. And what was with that expression he'd drawn on Kylen's face? It didn't look anything like the Kylen Niklaus saw, except for, of course, the actual features. But the expression... It was so sad and lonely looking...
Niklaus looked over at Kylen again. His face was screwed up in angry concentration, and it made Niklaus all the more curious to see what it was that Kylen was drawing...
"Hey, what are you drawing, Kylen?" he asked. Kylen looked up at him, with an expression that said it was glaringly obvious what he was drawing. Which, of course, it was. And it made Niklaus feel stupid. "You know what I mean!"
"I doubt he'll show it to you," Kitty offered.
"But, he'll have to show it to us eventually," Lysander finally spoke, looking over at Kylen with a sardonic look. Kylen did not look up, but his eyes narrowed as though he knew that Lysander was looking at him.
"So...what's your guys' deal?" Kitty tried again. "What's with all the animosity between you?"
Lysander laughed, but changed the subject. "What's that, Nikkie? A stream of piss?"
Niklaus suppressed a sigh. "No, it's the start of Kitty's hair."
"You don't have to use the coloured pencils, you know," Lysander pointed out. His own picture was in plain old number two pencil.
"I know, but it's more fun," Niklaus replied. "Besides, why do we have to do something so incredibly lame, anyway? We're sixteen, it's not like we're still second graders."
"Actually, I'm seventeen," Kitty corrected him.
"Whatever, the point is, what's with the primary school assignments?"
"Well, this is creative arts class..." Lysander told him.
"What?!" Niklaus cried in disbelief. "I can't believe my dad put me in such a pansy class!"
With that, his entire group rose their eyebrows.
"Pansy, eh?" Lysander said, amused. "I like to think of myself as refined, thank you."
Kitty snorted. "You? Refined? Aren't you the guy who claimed he could get wasted the fastest, wore underwear on your head, and slept with half the girls in school?"
Niklaus noticed that Kylen had stopped drawing and was watching Lysander now. Lysander, who didn't even seem to notice, grinned and tapped the side of his nose. "I did claim that, I wore the undies, and I've slept with a few people," he admitted, tapping off his accomplishments one by one on his fingers. "But I wouldn't say half the girls in the school, after all... that'd be a lot, even for me!" He grinned roguishly. "Besides, I'm not a total tramp! I got some morals."
"I'm sure you do," Kitty rolled her eyes, but she was still smiling. "What do you mean, pansy, anyway, Nikkie? Are you some kind of tomboy, or what?"
"Oh, yeah!" Niklaus beamed. "I love soccer!"
"I'm on the team," Kitty told him. "And I am certainly no pansy."
"I didn't mean it, it just sorta slipped, is all." He was about to ask how he could join the soccer team as well, when the bell rang, prompting everyone in class into packing their things and taking their assignments up to the teacher. Niklaus snuck up behind Kylen, trying to get a glimpse of his picture. Kylen, however, noticed.
"What do you want?" he asked.
"Nothing, just getting in line to give the teacher my assignment."
Looking at Niklaus' pathetic excuse for art, Kylen merely scoffed. "That's hardly an assignment as much as it is garbage."
"Hey now..." Niklaus began, but was cut off by his sister, who tore the paper from his hand, set it on the desk and pulled him by the arm outside the classroom. Niklaus looked back just in time to see Kylen handing in his assignment, angled in a way that Niklaus couldn't make out a damn thing. He twisted, trying to witness it, but Nicolette had successfully removed him from the room.
"Why'd you do that?" He cried, spinning to face his sister. "I was going to-"
"Shut up." She looked livid. "How could you? You are going to completely humiliate me when people find out!"
"They won't! How could they?"
"You don't make a very-" She lowered her voice. "You make a crappy girl! Show me your papers!"
Niklaus pulled them out, looking at his sister in bewilderment.
"You're sharing a dorm with... Kitty." She thrust the papers back at him, and he barely caught them in time. "Well, that won't be too bad for you, since you already seem chummy with her."
"She doesn't like you, for some reason. Why is that?"
"I don't know." Nicolette rubbed her forehead tiredly. "I think it had something to do with this guy I was dating..."
"Yes, I date," Nicolette growled. "I'm not a complete ape, you know!"
"Excuse me," said a stuffy looking hall monitor. "You need to get to class."
"Right! I'm sorry, Becky!" Nicolette apolgogized, looking shameful. When Becky turned around, though, she glared at her brother. "I will see you at lunch!"
Then she turned on her heel and quickly strode down the hall, leaving Niklaus to find his next class on his own...