It was a rare and terrible thing when Dallas Relo was speechless in rage.
The dynamic duo of Dallas and Jonas had been throwing parties on Olympus Academy grounds since their first year, when a hastily-struck alliance to pirate the Weidman/Silva rematch and a couple of beers had blossomed into the truest friendship of Dal's life. They had thrown a Christmas party weeks later on the campus grounds, then a Valentine's Day party, then an Easter party (a bit of a jab at the gods? Maybe. But Dallas had been a Catholic in an old life, and these things still mattered) and on and on and on the fuck on. It had been in their first year that Dallas had conspired to first slip past the barrier around Olympus Academy.
It wasn't as awful as it sounded - and, he liked to note with some pride, he'd learned to do it long before he'd even learned Bekah existed. Granted, it was a simple bit of mischief to do in hindsight; more likely than not some demigod or another over the years had figured out how to do it when things got truly desperate. Whether he was standing on the shoulders of giants or not, he had figured it out in only his first year - and judging by the fact that his parties reigned uncontested in his half decade tenure at Olympus, he felt pretty confident that he and Jonas were the only students alive with the knowledge to do it. On its face, the barrier was a mighty, intangible iron curtain, capable of absorbing and refracting any energy by a demigod thrown at it. It made slipping out of the academy's curfew with the use of your powers nearly impossible - but it was still just that, intangible, and could be bypassed if it were fooled. Dallas had spent weeks practicing his illusions at the barrier as a first year, attempting to trick it into thinking one Relo was another, or another, or another. Eventually, as he practiced earlier and earlier in the morning and spent more and more time in the sunlight, his illusions had reached a point where even the barrier was fooled by which Dallas Relo was capable of passing through it and which wasn't. Over time, and with more practice, he was able to survey the area surrounding the barrier while on-campus at fall or winter break and figure out paths, weak points where you could fit another student or two on a trip out.
Or, say, a truck. A truck that could carry a lot of beer, and a meathead capable of navigating it through the mountains.
But such a thing never did any damage to the barriers - they just had to get back by sunset for Dallas to be able to refract sunlight back into it, and the barrier would register the pulse as a fruitless escape attempt and soak up its power. Often the invisible air seemed grateful for the extra juice; for a second it would go from transparent to translucent, a brief shimmer in the air from heat and light that clued an eagle-eyed observer in to the existence of a safeguard. His escape attempts made him more certain of the barrier's fortitude, if anything; he was sure the headmaster and headmistress could brute force it, and he had found a few little paths in and out, but that was it. There was no way to just break
the fucking thing. He wasn't that
There was no way. He hadn't done anything they hadn't done for years, Dallas was positive
of that. But the idiot head motherfuckers in charge didn't want to hear that from him - with uncharacteristic urgency, Dallas had warned them that no, this wasn't his fault, something was wrong
with the Academy's defenses. He had let his guard down, just for a second, sleep deprived and bones quaking with fury at the danger his friends - his sister
- had been placed in, and they had looked at him like dog shit and threatened them all with expulsion. Like Dallas could give a fuck about not being forced to come to some godly boot camp where he could relearn the same myths he'd learned in fifth grade. Like he could give a fuck about anything other than the fact that it was him on the cross for this, 'Dallas Relo's party' being held up as an example to rule breakers and miscreants about the dangers of ignoring the Academy's rules, when it was the staff ignoring actual threats to the Academy.
Like they thought he would actually put Viv in fucking danger.
The mountain air felt thin in his heaving lungs this morning, and his hands were quaking from the heat and strength of the sunlight, burrowing into pores and boiling his blood. It filled Dallas with the comfortable, familiar buzz of power in his veins.
We didn't do anything wrong! he wanted to scream into the empty courtyard, but only the bench he was pacing circles around would have heard him.
Like they thought he would actually put Viv in any fucking danger.
One hour since they had been dragged into the Headmaster's office and read the Riot Act, and still the words had been stripped from Dallas' incredulous throat. Words wouldn't express how he felt. So he screamed.
It was long. High. Furious. The scream only died when his throat started to break, still parched from alcohol consumption and his wasted explanations. When his voice finally cracked and the red left his vision, the park bench was the last thing to come into view; it had flown forty meters from the strength of his toss, and against all odds had landed askew in the branches of an imposing-but-ancient oak tree that had been dying since the oldest student was born. The branches of the poor old oak were holding the bench for now, but a shower of leaves was raining from the branches on its right side, which made loud groans of protest with every bounce of momentum from the bench put.Fuck. I should get that down,
he thought, guilt forcing a deep sigh from his lungs while the anger slowly stopped lapping away at his insides. It seemed like he had two choices on how to get it down; fall and cushion it, fucking up his back or ribs, or break the branches and dismember even more of the oak tree beyond repair.
Dallas stared at the swaying bench for a second before turning and stalking away from it, headed nowhere in particular on campus. Blaming him for breaking shit that was already busted seemed to be this year's MO already.
Harada Dana observed, leaning out the open window of Apartment 2B with her elbows on the windowsill and the aforementioned star reflecting off her smile. "Dal-kun's blood is gonna cook. Very funny."
Not that Dana could blame the hotheaded, short-sighted heart of her friend group for his irritation at the situation. Dana had been roused from a perfectly blissful night of revels and then deep, deep sleep to be informed that they were being summoned for a lecture. At first she assumed it was because they had forgone the second bedroom in their dorm and turned it into Dana's exercise palace, but no. It turns out that the staff had no problems with the bedroom situation. That was good. The girls didn't either. They weren't even here about the noise complaints emanating from the bedroom after their return from the party, which was good too. Baka was always feisty after getting to play with weapons.
It turned out they were here about playing with the weapons at all, which was very rude, and very unfair considering none of them had even conjured a shadow demon. All she did was sit on a truck and admire all the skin everyone had on display all night. If she had wanted to dice that ghoul into sashimi she could have. But she sat still and followed the rules, and was still being threatened with expulsion for her restraint. Expulsion meant it would be harder to take trips here, especially on student visas.Very
rude. She had already texted her mother asking for legal advice, and would be getting onii-chan to communicate with Father about white phosphorus usage on impolite teachers immediately.
For now, she was just having fun watching Dallas throw furniture around. It was always more fun - and more safe for others - when he went outside and did it for a change. Americans were so hot under the collar. She liked that in them. Boys and girls alike."Ngh.""Don't be so grumpy,"
she chided the girl who had managed to bury and tangle herself in the mess they'd made of the covers overnight. "You're white. You'll wrinkle."