Note: You can also find this piece here on ff.net.
Summary: Arthur and the gang are sophomores at Elwood City High. Watch as they go through the ups and downs that come with teenaged life. Rated K+/PG for some violence, some language, and some adult situations.
WARNING: EXPLICIT LANGUAGE
Fern smiled as she sank into a beanbag chair in the crowded library, crowded with shelves, that is. Elwood City High redid their library over the summer, hoping to bring in more students who weren’t into the new city librarian’s ebook policies. Fern checked out two books before sinking into the lovely beanbag chair to read. She picked an old favorite first, Frankenstein.
Footsteps sounded nearby, heavy ones. Fern looked up to see a girl wearing all black walking by, her dark makeup making her look zombie-like. Her knee-length black skirt didn’t really match her black fishnets and black combat boots, but Fern remembered that the dress code didn’t allow the miniskirt that would complete the look.
“What the fuck are you looking at?” the girl asked angrily. Fern shook her head, looking down to her book. “I saw you, kid! What were you looking at?!” she asked fiercely.
“Snow, stop!” the librarian called.
“This isn’t over,” the girl growled, moving to the counter. Somehow she’d already reserved books to checkout. She buried herself in another corner of the room, disappearing from Fern’s view.
She’d almost ruined her reading, Fern thought, returning to the opening pages. She’d read the book so many times that the lines flowed through her mind before her eyes read the words. She smiled slightly as the footsteps sounded again, this time from a different direction.
“Now that she’s off somewhere else, what the fuck were you looking at?” the gothic girl asked, kneeling next to the mousy Fern, who still shook her head and remained silent. “Oh, I’m bothering you?” the girl grinned darkly, catching Fern’s brow flickering with annoyance. “Well, people who constantly stare then pretend not to just grind my fucking gears, you stupid mouse!” the girl spat, keeping her voice low so the librarian wouldn’t notice. “What’s so important about that book anyway? You’ve read it before if you’re here.”
“I like reading it again, in peace,” Fern said sternly. The dark girl smiled.
“So the mouse can speak,” she said, poking at Fern’s other book, an older mystery the city library didn’t have. “So, mystery? Same here,” she said, pulling out a small paperback from her bag. “So you’re envious of me? Is that why you stare?” she asked. Fern shook her head. “I’ll make you talk, mouse. I did it once before and I can do it again.”
“I just have nothing to say to you,” Fern reminded her, holding up the book. “Will you back off so I can read?”
“Too late now,” she said, pointing overhead as the bells rang for the first class of the term, homeroom for everyone. “See you around, mouse, and you best keep your eyes to yourself.”
Her loud footsteps stopped just short of the door, which she slammed open into a couple making out in the cove of the door. Fern was just as gruff with them. She wanted to be alone, but she also really wanted to be heard by someone. She’d never seen anyone like the gothic girl, but she knew she wanted to see her again, just so she could find out how to be more like her.