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.
Francine stared at the board with dream-filled eyes. Coach Peters was far more handsome now that she was in a classroom with him, and she made sure to get a front row seat to see him clearly. A few other girls had the same idea, but none of them were athletic like Francine. None of them could catch his attention like she could, especially when she somehow made through class without fainting so that she could ask him about the track team.
“Well, I haven’t started any kind of practices yet, but I will in the coming weeks. What have you done before?” he asked, leaning against the board as his next class entered the room slowly, the girls taking the front seats while boys sat everywhere else.
“I did soccer and baseball growing up, but I didn’t like how the soccer team was here and they wouldn’t let me play baseball,” Francine explained. He nodded, rubbing his chiseled chin as he thought.
“I could test you tomorrow after school to see what you can do. I only want the fastest runners, so I hope you’re ready. Did any of your coaches train you in proper stretching and sprinting techniques?” he asked.
“No, but I’m sure you can teach me,” Francine smiled, somehow managing not to blush despite the tingles the words gave her on the inside.
“I’m sure I can,” he chuckled, his laughter making Francine’s heart skip a beat. “I tell you what, just meet me here after school tomorrow and we’ll go over some things. If you’re ready, we’ll hit the track for some testing. If you’re not ready but you’re eager to learn, you can try out for the track team next month and work with me more then. Deal?” he asked. Francine nodded softly, gathering her things as he smiled. She ran to her next class a very happy, and very crimson, girl. She didn’t even notice the looks of contempt from the girls in her class, or the looks of worry on a few teacher’s faces. They had seen school girl crushes before, but they knew that somehow this one would be different, very different.
Francine’s day was spent hearing her name while she attempted to daydream about Coach Peters. A few of her teachers spoke with her after class, “We’re worried about you. Quit daydreaming so much. Get your head out of the clouds.”
Francine didn’t want to deal with any of it. She spent her afternoon at the public track practicing for the next day. She felt people watching but she never looked up. Her mind was on pleasing Coach Peters, so much that she never noticed him watching her from the neighboring sidewalk, a light smile on his face.