Chapter Twenty-Two: Back To School
Surprisingly enough, Pleasantville recovered pretty quickly from the flood. A few months passed, then school was back in and Belle was looking forward to it.
“Tuesdays and Thursdays at uni, three days chilling with you guys!” Belle walked to school with the rest of the group (minus Daniel, who was working at the local timber mill).
“I'm glad you're excited.” TJ deadpanned. He hated school with a passion, and was looking forward to being able to leave and join the police force with his father.
“We're in the same roll call class too!” Sunny took Belles arm. Belle gave her a friendly bump with her hip. The two were almost like sisters nowadays, with Sunny staying over most nights.
“I know! Charlie is with us too.” Belle looked up at her best friend. He put his arm around her and squeezed her tightly.
It turned out that the three of them had several classes together. They all shared Maths and English, Belle and Charlie had Business Principals together, and Belle and Sunny had Music. Charlie and Sunny shared the rest of their classes, which were Wood Working, Metal Working and Technical Drawing.
“I can't wait for my first day at uni tomorrow. A few of the guys in Legal Studies were giving me heaps over it.” Belle said over lunch.
“It must be so exciting. You're going to be a uni student!” Petunia smiled.
“It's gonna be a huge responsibility though.” TJ pointed out.
“Belle can handle it, no problem. She's awesome.” Charlie grinned. Belle beamed. There was no higher praise than what came from Charlie in her eyes.
The rest of the day passed in a blur, and soon Belle was standing at the entrance of the University on a warm Tuesday morning.
Nerves overtook her as she walked in. Her hands were trembling as she tried to figure out which building her lecture was supposed to be in.
“Hey there. You look a little lost.” She heard a voice behind her.
She turned around to see a man smiling down on her. Belle silently cursed her short stature and smiled back.
“Yeah, I'm a little lost. I'm supposed to be in Introduction to Criminal Law in about fifteen minutes.” She blushed slightly.
“I know where that is, I took it last year. Come with me, you're not too far off where you need to be.” He led her to a tall building that Belle had passed about four times and took her inside.
He was very handsome, with wild green eyes and jet-black hair. Belle couldn't help but stare a little.
“And here you are.” He showed her a lecture theatre where people were already sitting inside.
“Thanks!” Belle grinned with relief.
“No problem. You look a little young to be a uni student though.” He smiled back.
“I'm doing it part-time while I'm still in year twelve.” Belle explained.
“Well then, you'll probably see a lot of me around then! My name is Webster.” He held out his right hand.
“I'm Belle.” Belle shook it.
“I've gotta go, but if you want to go to the Rec at lunchtime you can sit with my girlfriend and I.” Webster offered.
“That sounds great, thank you!” Belle felt a lot better. She sat down and pulled out the new Tablet her father had bought her just for her uni work. She turned it on and attached the keyboard that her uncle had bought to go with it. She also flicked open her notepad and pulled out her new pens. A few other students had their textbooks open, so Belle got hers out too. She'd read a few of them already, she had been so excited.
The lecture was interesting too. Belle jotted down as much as she could without getting lost. She thought of her father and what he did. It felt good that she was getting the tools she needed to really make a difference.
Afterwards, she headed to the Rec hall to get something to eat. Her next lecture wasn't until after lunch, and she was grateful to have a bit of a break.
She saw Webster sitting with the most beautiful Asian woman Belle had ever laid eyes on, with chestnut hair and blue eyes. He noticed her and waved for her to sit with them.
“Hi Belle. This is Maddy, my lovely lady.” He grinned at the woman cheekily. She smiled back and shook hands with Belle.
“Don't listen to a word this man says, he's more trouble than he's worth.” Maddy chuckled, poking her boyfriends ribs. “So you're our new part-timer huh?”
“Yeah. I want to go into criminal law eventually.” Belle sat down, stomach rumbling. She was thrilled with the choice of food here, and had neatly stacked her place with roast meat and veggies.
“Excellent! Do you have family in law or something?” Webster asked. “My grand-father was a prosecutor in Brisvegas.”
“My Dad's a prosecutor too – Peter Masters.” Belle said with a huge swelling of pride. Maddy and Webster looked at each other.
“YOU are Peters daughter?!” Maddy gasped. “Wow!”
Belle blushed slightly.
“Why did you leave Brisvegas?” She asked Webster.
He looked uncomfortable. Maddy sighed.
“Tate.” She replied.
“Tate?” Belle asked.
“I'm not originally from Brisvegas. I moved there to live with my grand-father about ten years ago. It was alright for the first few years, until I met Tate. She started following me around. It was pretty cool, like having a little sister.” Webster pushed his meat around the plate. “But when I told her I was coming here to study law she got really upset.”
“Oh…” Belle felt awkward.
“It's okay. I do love Tate, just not the way she wants me to.” Webster put his arm around Maddy.
“Tate sounds like a bit of a pain.” Belle ventured.
“She's not really. If it wasn't for her encouragement I wouldn't have even got into law. I would have just gotten the first job I could.” Webster said. “She just…it's complicated.”
Belle understood. Tate wanted to be with Webster, but Webster simply wasn't interested.
“Then I got here last year and met Maddy.” Websters grin returned. “I'll probably stay here for the rest of my life now.”
“Trust me, there'll be no shortage of work.” Belle said bitterly, thinking of her hated enemies.
“Not with Chuckles and Giggles keeping things in order. Not to mention the Knights of the Last Order. We're big fans of theirs.” Maddy said.
“Really? So am I.” Belle smiled, secretly wondering how her new friends would react if they knew who she was!
Speaking of which, her watch suddenly started flashing orange. Sir Lionheart was in trouble!
“I'm sorry, I have to go, something came up.” Belle quickly excused herself. She looked at her real watch. She had an hour to go until her next class. Plenty of time to sort out any of her regular foes.
She stuffed her uni gear in her locker then hid in an old shed and changed. Pretty soon, Giggles was out and about!
Giggles crept up to the Council building, where Demon was now holding hostages. Johannas was with him, laughing at how scared the Councillors were.
“Psst!” She heard someone hiss behind her.
“Chuckles! I thought you were in school!” Giggles whispered.
“It's lunchtime, so I thought I'd come and help. The others are stuck unfortunately.” Chuckles replied.
“How is school anyway?”
Giggles turned around. She saw Daniel standing next to a load of wood that was being used for an extension on the building. He'd been caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.
“C'mon, what are we waiting for?! Why are we sitting here whispering if we can just go and get him?” Chuckles was ready to go.
“Because we don't know if he has any more of his minions around. We don't want innocent people getting – FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD AND JUST IN THIS WORLD! CHUCKLES!!” Giggles roared in anger as Chuckles ran out with the Lions Claw Blade ready to strike.
“Chuckles and Giggles. I thought you two would be at school or something.” Demon frowned. “Johannas! We're leaving!”
“You're joking, right? You're just going to up and leave?” Giggles looked at Demon, dumbfounded.
“Yup.” Replied Demon.
“You didn't bring any back up?”
“You're just going to run away without a fight?”
Giggles could feel the familiar twinge of her eye twitching. The smoke bomb went off, and Demon was gone.
“I love being right.” Chuckles came over and leaned on Giggles. “How Improbable was that?”
Funnily enough the teachers believed him when he explained that his black eye had been the result of an unfortunate slip in the toilets.
The rest of the lectures were not quite as entertaining as as the first one, but Belle still enjoyed them. She packed up her things and headed out towards the school, where she'd walk home with the others.
She got to the front gate of the school and was about to wait for her friends, when she saw that they'd already walked off.
“HEY! Hey you snobs! Wait for me!” She ran to catch up with them.
“Hey Belle! How was uni?” Sammy asked excitedly.
“Really fun. I made some new friends already.” Belle replied. She looked over at Sunny and Charlie, who were laughing.
“What's the joke?” She asked.
“They won't tell us.” TJ frowned.
“You had to be in Metal Works to get it.” Charlie snorted. Belle rolled her eyes.
“Anyway, how's Dan going? I hear you two saved his bacon.” Petunia asked.
Charlie was about to answer, but a warning glance from Belle silenced him. “It was fun.” He said sheepishly.