Anyhow, still more bad twins below the cut. :P
Gene hurriedly drank the rest of his tea when Noll got up from his seat.
"Take care. Don't skip your classes, Noll."
Noll grimaced slightly.
"If you have time to skip class, then take a nap."
"I'll consider it."
Noll seemed to smile wryly. In the end, their parents were really very soft.
"--and? What're you going to do?"
Noll promptly answered Gene's question as they walked to school.
"I'll skip, of course."
"I figured as much."
No doubt, if Martin had been firm and ordered Noll not to skip, Noll would probably have sighed and done as he was told. But it might be because Martin wasn't the type of person to say that sort of thing that made him part of the inner group.
Their school was around 15 minutes walk from their home. Gene didn't know if it was from the school's own policy, but in the five years they'd been going there, he and Noll had yet to be in the same class. For various reasons and since they took different classes, it was rare for the two of them to run into each other during class.
Gene took his first period class as usual, and ran to the locker room before second period. They swapped clothes there, although that usually only involved swapping shirts or jackets. People's memories were pretty unreliable so that was enough.
Gene waved as Noll left through the locker room window. He took a deep breath. He grabbed Noll's Religious Studies text from Noll's locker. The names of the students who'd borrowed the text over the years was listed on the inside cover of the text. Text books were lent out by the school and had to be returned at the end of the course. At the end of the list was Noll's name. If Noll ended up getting more than two A-levels while still doing his GCE, he'd be the most gifted student since the school was founded (there was one previous student), and no doubt new students needing a text for this class would fight over this one.
[Goes into class stuffs Gene's subjected to while standing in for Noll. Of note, the teacher calls Noll 'Noll'. Initially Gene has no problems with the questions the teacher asks him, but it eventually gets beyond him and he ends up 'knocking' on Noll's 'door' for the answers. Noll's among the top students in the school and his classes were likewise difficult.]
Gene was also smart, but he didn't like studying as much as Noll did. Not that Noll necessarily liked studying; he wanted to hurry up and finish the necessary studies in order to be able to do the research he wanted to do. In Gene's case, there were many things he wanted to do other than study including having lunch with girls or going to movies or concerts.
Gene was particularly weak at religious studies. Because he dealt with spirits, Gene couldn't help thinking 'who cares about Christ'. And certainly, there wasn't a heaven or hell. Gene just didn't have any interest in the subject, and if he wasn't interested in it, he couldn't learn it. Unlike Noll, Gene wasn't good at learning information for information's sake. Likewise, their family wasn't particularly religious. Most English people went to church for weddings and funerals.
After class ended, some students tried to speak to him as they left the classroom, but responding wasn't allowed. Students were all pumpkins.
After second period, they had a slightly longer lunch break. Gene went and waited in the cafeteria. Some students in the same grade tried to speak to him, but he ignored them, too. After a short while, Noll appeared and Gene relaxed a little. There were times when Noll was unable to return when expected and Gene'd have to continue taking Noll's place, but pretending to be Noll for long periods of time was a bit stressful.
Since he was glad Noll was back, Gene bought Noll some tea from the cafeteria.
"Mr. Hope said you were perfect."
Well, it was expected, but Gene couldn't help smiling wryly.
"How's Dr. Hinels?"
"Same as always."
"It wasn't a class, was it? His class is on Fridays at 3P.M."
As Gene responded, a voice interrupted them.
Turning around, Gene was surprised to see Mr. Hope. Since they hadn't swapped clothes, he didn't allow any expression to show.
"Do you have a moment?"
The question was directed to Gene - Mr. Hope thought is was to Noll - and Gene nodded expressionless.
"How're your exam studies going?"
"It seems like you're studying a lot. From what I saw in class, you should have no problems with religious studies."
At the bland response, Mr. Hope looked at Noll - Gene to him.
"I take it R. Studies isn't your specialty?"
Noll smiled. He could do it if he wanted to.
"It's not like that."
"You don't seem very interested in it though."
"I'm just not very good at it. Reading the Bible puts me to sleep."
Seeing that smile made Gene want to hold his head - although he didn't show it. Did he really look that silly when he smiled? He'd have to remember to check later.
"Are you not taking the GCE?"
"Not at all."
"Second semester, too?"
"I'll still be here."
"It's such a waste since you're twins."
"I don't like studying like Noll does."
"It could still be useful. I hope you'll consider taking my class next year."
Gene couldn't help feeling taken aback. He'd have to remember to be careful about how he laughed from here on as well.
"Well, hang in there, Noll."
Gene watched as the teacher left before looking at the person before him.
"Do I really smile like that?"
"You do. Lately in particular."
The person before him also looked surprised.
"I don't know why you're looking sullen, Noll."
"It's sad how pretending to be you makes me feel like I've become an idiot."
"......I won't sit it for you any more."
Noll smiled--in his usual cynical manner. Gene couldn't help feeling that that smile was much better suited to their looks.
"Shall I tell Luella about your sneaking out at night?"
'......So he knew.' Gene couldn't help thinking to himself. Lately, he'd been sneaking out at night with a friend and practising driving. It was a given that he'd be in trouble if Martin or Luella found out. The twins had promised not to try driving before they finished their mandatory schooling.
Noll tossed the jacket he'd been wearing to Gene and Gene tossed Noll's back.
"What about your next class?"
"I'm safe with that one, so I'll skip and take a nap."
"So you're going to do as Martin told you."
"It's getting a bit rough."
'He doesn't like admitting it,' Gene thought as he put his jacket on.
"Well, in that case... Good night."
Gene quickly kissed Noll on the cheek. 'You froze. Serves you right.'
"Well, I've got class."
He couldn't leave with Noll having one up on him. His having this as a weakness automatically made him the weaker of the two.
Noll looked annoyed as he sighed. As long as he couldn't get used to it, he couldn't win.
[I should probably mention that this is as near as I can tell what's happening in this story. The copy is unfortunately very hard to read, so it's impossible to tell something as simple as whether I'm reading (for example) 慄然, 憤然, 悄然, or 愕然. ......At least I can read the second character and I can make out the radical for the first one... ^^; ]
And that's pretty much everything from the untitled story in Issue #1. ^^;