A\N: It's weepingsilver/Terry here, at last! Enna's off in 'phanphic' land, so I've got the author's note alllllll to myself. *glances up and sees Enna come dashing in* Aww, crap...


A\N: -;; Enna, go. Just.. go. I want no innuendo in my author's note.

Enna: Your author's note?! Who's typing this bitch, I ask you? *skulks out* And while we're at it.. bulb or parrot?!

A\N: *chucks a shoe at Enna*


A joint effort to exorcise your sanity by weepingsilver and AethraZip ^^

Terrence walked into the auditorium and dropped his backpack in the scene shop backstage. He had a study hall this period, so he and several of his other veteran actor friends came and helped out with the Intro to Theater class, since he himself was in A.P. Acting. The teacher, Mr. Pommefrey, was always glad to have help, especially from Terrence. It was a well-known fact that Mr. Pommefrey— rather, Madame Pommefrey, as most of the acting students referred to him behind his back— was blatantly gay, and young male assistants were always loved.

Terrence watched the people file in as he dropped onto the lip of the stage. Most of them were freshmen and traveled in packs to avoid the carnivorous upperclassmen. The others were said upperclassmen who were mostly only taking this class because they needed an art credit to graduate. Terrence recognized a few guys from the football team, but ignored them. They were Jacob's friends, not his.

"Hey, Ter, wazzup?" Terrence turned to see his best friend, Roddy, sink down next to him.

"The ceiling," he replied, grinning. One of the nice things about Roderick Devereaux was that Terrence could always count on him to goad at least one real smile out of him.

"Ha, ha." Roddy shook his head. "You're such a wit, Harrison. Hey, are you trying out for the play?" Another nice thing about Roddy was that his ADHD prevented him from discussing the same topic ad nauseum. In fact, most topics didn't even get queasy.

Terrence shrugged. "I don't know." The mention of tryouts made him nervous all over again.

"Terrence, auditions are this afternoon. What do you mean, 'you don't know'?"

Terrence shrugged again. "Just what it sounds like, Roddy. I was going to, but I don't know if I have the time."

Roddy rolled his eyes. "You mean that doofus of a boyfriend of yours doesn't want you to ruin his reputation. The big he-man, quarterback of the varsity football team, dating a kid whose label rhymes with 'lesbian'."

"Oh, I'd dump him in a heartbeat for you, Roddy." It was a running joke between them; Roddy was not narrow-minded, but he was as straight as they came.

"Don't let Whitney hear you say that. You know how jealous she is," Roddy reminded him, smiling.

"She's a smart chick. I mean, her boyfriend's such a hot property, after all."

The previously-mentioned Whitney strolled over when she noticed Terrence and Roddy. Whitney Bismarck, Roddy's girlfriend of six months, was noted for her insane spells of envy. As Terrence's second-best acting friend, however, she knew better than to suspect anything between Terrence and Roddy.

"Hey, you guys." She sat down next to Roddy, who immediately locked lips with her.

"Just a reminder," Terrence said, making a face. "I'm still here."

Roddy ignored his friend and deepened the kiss, exaggerating it just to aggravate Terrence, who could now see Roddy's tongue in Whitney's mouth. "Eww, gross!" Terrence proclaimed, and made a show of turning away. Years on a stage had turned all of them into shameless hams.

"It's bad enough I have to watch Terrence and Jacob go at it during lunch! Now I have to watch you and Whitney in Acting? This is just great. Our school has turned into a whorehouse!" Ashley Marinas accused, hands on her hips. She was watching Whitney and Roddy with a disgusted look similar to the one she turned on Terrence and Jacob whenever she caught them making out, which was about eighty percent of the time.

"Oh, you're just jealous because you don't have a boyfriend," Whitney teased after she and Roddy had pulled apart.

Ashely glared. "Don't rub it in." She plopped— not sat, plopped; Ashley was the only one Terrence knew who could plop with any grace— down next to Whitney and, when the latter glued herself to Roddy's lips again, poked her in the side.

"Ow!" Whitney squeaked. "Don't do that!" Since she was still kissing Roddy, though, it came out like "Owf! Domf 'oo 'at!"

"Why not?" Ashley inquired innocently, poking her again.

Whitney pulled away from Roddy momentarily, ignoring his protests. "I'm warning you, bitch, I'll sic Roddy on you!" she joked, pretending to glare.

"Bitch yourself. Roddy doesn't scare me. He's just a big softie."

"You ought to be scared of me," Roddy crowed. "Who wouldn't fear my muscles of steel?"

"Your 'muscles of steel' don't frighten me, Roddy, but now that you mention it, your face does. They should make a Halloween mask of it."

Terrence and Whitney laughed, and Roddy glared. "My ego has been wounded! Whitney, repair it!" he whined. Whitney stressed a sigh, acting put upon, but spoiled it when she fairly raced her mouth back to Roddy's.

"Aw, shit. Big'n'dumb, coming this way," Terrence muttered, recognizing one of the football players walking towards them.

"Oh, great," Ashley murmured in agreement. "Hold tight to your I.Q.s, or they might plummet 100-ish points." They snickered as the football player neared them. Whitney and Roddy, for obvious reasons, noticed neither the laughing nor the walking mountainside approaching them.

"Hey, you," he said to Terrence. "Aren't you going out with Jacob?"

"Yeah," Terrence replied. Always wise to talk to them on their own level.

(Enna: I can't help it, I love FB-player bashing. Not that there aren't plenty of intelligent FB-players. Why, my ex-boyfriend Kai... *rambleblahexplainrehashrecriminateblah*)

"So why you hangin' with these losers? Why don't you come sit with us?" He gestured over his shoulder at the gaggle of linebackers draped across a row of auditorium seats. Terrence fought back his distaste.

"Besides the fact that I doubt there's any room for me back there, these 'losers' are my friends. And since I also happen to value my I.Q., I am disinclined to aquiesce to your request."

The football player stared at him blankly.

"Means no," Ashley put in helpfully.

The four of them managed to repress their respective giggle fits until the football player was out of hearing. Then they burst out laughing, coinciding perfectly with his realization that Terrence had, in fact, called him stupid, though not in so many words.

He turned around and opened his mouth to say something, but Terrence was saved by the grand entrance of Mr. Pommefrey.

Yes, entrance. Mr. Pommefrey could not 'walk' anywhere, and certainly not into a room. He 'glided', or 'skipped', and when he did deign to enter a room, he did it with as much noise and dignity as possible. Usually, he ended up with either one or the other, and it was most often noise.

Today he thrust both arms through the closed teaser curtains and hurled them apart, striding through the opening he'd created. The noise of his bootheels clacking on the stage got everyone's attention immediately.

Mr. Pommefrey must have felt morbid this morning while dressing, because he was clad in black from head to toe. His ensemble included a black sweater, black patent leather boots that sounded like thunder as he paraded down the wheelchair ramp to the rows of seats, and a length of black pleather that everyone else called a skirt but Mr. Pommefrey insisted was a 'sheath'. All that was missing was black eye makeup and lipstick, which Pisces J. Pommefrey would have worn had the principal not absolutely put her foot down.

"Cown now, people, you've had your talk time and then some!" Mr. Pommefrey minced. "Let's remove our minds from distraction! We shall pluck them from mainstream thought and let them slither into the great bath of the avant-garde!" He finished this rousing soliloquy with both hands clasped to his chest, his eyes buttoned closed in rapture.

"You're mixing your metaphors again, J.," Roddy stage-whispered. Mr. Pommefrey pretended to ignore him and clapped his hands twice, as loudly as possible.

"Let's get on topic, people! Did everyone obtain a copy of 'Streetcar' on their way in? If not, fetch one and be quick about it! They're stacked by the door for a reason, you know. Everyone have one? . . Good! Now . . . why, you ask, are we each holding a copy of Tennessee Williams's 'Streetcar Named Desire'? The answer is simple: you guys, quite frankly, can't emote, and we are going to go through this play until I can feel the raw emotions spilling forth from the stage! We'll get in groups and take turns, scene by scene."

Terrence groaned inwardly; without a doubt, Mr. Pommefrey would choose Ashley, Whitney, Roddy, and Terrence himself to go first, as 'an example'. Of course, everyone knew damn well that they weren't an example, they were an exhibition. Mr. Pommefrey enjoyed using them to say "Look at what my A.P. kids can do! Why, if you keep taking my classes, you'll eventually get to A.P. Acting, and you'll be as good as they are!"

However, he loved acting so much that he'd take it however he could get it.

As predicted, Mr. Pommefrey assigned Terrence, Roddy, Ashley, and Whitney the respective roles of Stanley, Steve, Blanche, and Stella for the first scene. The four of them dragged themselves upstage and borrowed copies of the play from the pile Mr. Pommefrey had dropped in front of himself. Terrence quickly skimmed over the play. He'd never read it, but he remembered Jacob bemoaning the unfairness of having to read it for English.

A trembling little freshman named Ursula was selected for Eunice, and the entire time she was on stage, she read her lines in a quivering, monotone voice. She wasn't a bad actress, but she was intimidated by the senior actors with whom she shared the stage, and when her part was finished, she dashed gratefully from the stage and hid in the back of the auditorium.

The four of them only acted out the first scene. Besides the fact that the bell chose to ring just as the second scene was about to start (they'd had to waste time redoing Blanche's entrance at least six times because Ashley's Southern accent kept dissolving into giggles at the phrase 'Elysian Fields'), Mr. Pommefrey wanted the Intro kids to take over, since they were the ones actually taking the class. Terrence, Roddy, Whitney, and Ashley were only there as examples, and because they had nothing better to do.

They walked back into the scene shop to collect their bookbags. As Ashley was hoisting hers onto her back, she said, "Hey, ya'll wanna go to the Boneyard for dinner? After tryouts, I mean."

"You're still doing your accent, Miss DuBois," Whitney giggled. "'Ya'll'."

"Shut up, Whit. I mean, Stel-laaaaaa!"

Terrence chuckled, then stopped when he noticed Roddy looking at him with a definitely mischievious glint in his eyes. It was obvious what he was going to say, but before Terrence could do anything— threaten him with death, say— Roddy opened his big, fat mouth and grinned, "Whit and I'll go, Ashley, but Terrence isn't trying out, so—"

Ashley's eyes grew huge. "WHAT?!" she shrieked, startling one of the freshmen idling onstage so badly that he fell into the orchestra pit. (Since the roof of Pledgerton High's auditorium, like that of the authors', is leaky, the pit was filled with water from the last storm, and so he was mostly unharmed.) "Terrence, I swear, if Roddy's not just yanking my chain, I'll— you— you have to try out!"

Terrence rolled his eyes and fixed Roddy with a laser-eyed glare. "I didn't say I wasn't trying out! I said I didn't know if I could."

"What do you mean, 'you don't know if you can'?! Auditions are today, Terrence! What've you been doing the last month in drama club, picking your nose? It's all we've been talking about!"

"I've been paying attention in drama!" he snapped defensively. "And I resent the implication that I wasn't!" He was, after all, Publicity Chair, and if he didn't pay attention, then the pub crew would skin him and fondue him.

"Then what the hell've you been doing? Tryouts are today! Today!"

"You've said that a half-dozen times now, and it's getting old." He shouldered his backpack and headed for the back door of the aud. Across the hall was the choir room, which was where he was going next. Ashley, however, also had symphonic choir, and followed him. Whitney and Roddy had long since disappeared; both of them had classes at the other end of the building.

"Terrence, you've got to try out! Haven't you read the play? You'd be perfect for Nick!"

"Nick? . . What's the play, anyway?"

Ashley stopped dead. "Terrence?" she hissed, eyes narrowed into deadly slits.

"What, Ash?" He'd learned not to look at her when she was angry. Her expressions could, indeed, kill.

"You don't even know what the play is?!"

"I do know! I just— forgot! I've been busy lately. And before you ask, no, I have not been sleeping in drama. Since, however, the play hasn't even been cast yet, it's not like Pub Chair has much to do." Inside the choir room, he unslug his bookbag and dropped it next to the door. Ashley did the same.

"Well, I don't know why I should bother telling you, but it's 'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf'. And you should try out for Nick."

Terrence knew the play; he'd once peer-edited a research paper on it, and the paper had been interesting, so he'd gotten the play and read it. Now, as he was getting his music folder, he turned to Ashley and said suspiciously, "Nick? Why do you think I'd be right for Nick?"

Ashley grinned. "Because I know you, Terrence. You'd love to get your hands all over whoever gets Martha's part."

"Ha, ha. Does 'gay' mean anything to you, Ashley?"

"Well, then it would be perfect for you because you'd learn how to pretend you wanted to get your hands all over me."

'I already know how to pretend I want to get my hands all over someone. Wait a second—' "All over . . . you?"

"Damn right. I'm reading for Martha."

"And you assume you'll get it . . . why?"

Ashley laughed and retrieved her folder as well. "Don't be a pansy, Terrence, everyone knows that auditions here are solely based on favoritism. Since Madame Pommefrey is selecting parts, I'm bound to get it. And he loves you, so you'd definitely get Nick if you tried."

"I've tried out for parts before and not gotten them."

"Yeah, but he only does that to disguise his favoritism. Not that it really works."

Terrence rolled his eyes and walked up to the third row of the risers. He was surprised to find Ashley followng him. "Mrs. Sterman is coming, you moron. Hurry back to your soprano section before she yells at you." 'And get the hell away from me.' Not that he didn't like Ashley; he did, just not so much that he was going to put up with her shrieking at him like a little banshee.

Ashley smirked. "No, I think I'll become a tenor today."

Terrence stomach dropped. 'What the hell does she want?! Why can't she and Roddy just let me be?'

Mrs. Sterman, who had been holding class for five minutes now, suddenly stopped playing the piano and looked at Ashley. "Ash, what are you doing in the tenor section?" she asked, puzzled but amused.

"Well," Ashley croaked, causing Terrence to sigh with exasperation, "I have a sore throat, so I sound like a boy anyways."

"Ashley, you're a bad actress," Terrence whispered. "You could at least have come up with something original."

Mrs. Sterman's response was similar. "I expected better from you, Ashley! V.P. of drama club, and you can't even pretend something believable! If you'd done better, I would've let you stay there." Despite her words, Mrs. Sterman was smiling.

Ashley grinned. "But you love me, Mrs. Sterman! You'll let me stay here anyway!"

"I do love you, kiddo, but not that much. To the soprano section with you."

Ashely slumped down the risers. "Don't think I'm done with you," she threatened Terrence before heading back to her spot in the sopranos. When Mrs. Sterman's back was turned she made faces at her, causing the whole choir to erupt into laugher. Mrs. Sterman performed an exaggerated sigh and ignored them.

Terrence knew Ashley wasn't done with him. He still had to face her in A.P. Acting and in lunch. 'Lunch. Oh, joy,' Terrence thought. Lunch, Terrence knew, was going to be hell. Ashley would end up turning on Jacob, telling him it was all his fault that Terrence wasn't involved in theater as much as he used to be, and then it would all go to hell from there. Today there wouldn't be any help from Marissa or Toushin, either; Toushin was too busy trying to seduce Caleb, and Marissa would be too busy watching Toushin attempt to seduce Caleb. Caleb, true to form, would do absolutely nothing, including be useful to Terrence.

Terrence sighed. Why was it always his life that sucked?

"Because you don't deserve a good one," was the whispered reply.

Terrence's spine stiffened as frosty prickles rippled down its column. "Fuck off," he snarled. "I'm at school."

Soft smile. "That's not my problem. You asked. I answered." A caress as light and as horrible as a spider walking across the back of his neck. "It's true, too. You don't deserve a good life, Terrence. You deserve death. Rot. Filth."

"Shut up, shut up!" No one around him had noticed Leonard yet, but they were bound to, any moment now. He wasn't supposed to be here. Glaring at Leonard, he told him so. "You shouldn't be here."

"Oh, really? Says who?"

Terrence opened his mouth to answer but didn't get a chance. The bell rang, making Terrence jump a mile into the air. He looked around for Leonard, but he couldn't find him in the mass of bodies pushing out of the room in their rush to get to their next classes. Taking a deep breath— Leonard always threw him a little off-balance— Terrence headed over to the cabinet to store his folder, and moments later almost screamed when someone gripped his shoulder. He turned to find Ashley stalking him again. Normally he would have groaned, considering that she was miffed at him and determined to annoy him until he gave in, but under the circumstances, any human contact was good.

"Terrence? Are you ok?" she asked, looking him over. He was still shaking from his encounter with Leonard.

"Yeah, I'm fine," he fibbed, pulling on one of those smiles again, one that lied and explained that everything was peachy-keen when, in fact, his life resembled the innermost ring of hell, minus the sinners frozen in ice and the three-headed Lucifer and stuff. "Are you kidding? I'm always fine, Ash."

She frowned. "You don't look 'fine', Terrence. In fact— oh, fuck! Calculus! I gotta go, Terrence. We'll talk about it in lunch." She dashed off, bookbag in tow. Her next class was at the other end of the building.

"Like hell we will!" he yelled after her, earning a laugh and a wave from Ashley and a screech of disapproval from Mrs. Sterman. Terrence shouldered his backpack and shuffled down the nearly-empty hallway; the tsunami of band, orch, and choir kids had passed, and he had most of the hall to himself.

Not a comforting thought, considering that Leonard might reappear any moment. Out of nowhere, in silence.

Fortunately, Leonard had obviously found something better to do, since he didn't bother Terrence on his way to Chemistry.

Terrence stood with his tray about a foot away from the lunch table, debating whether or not he could make a run for it and eat down in the choir room. But then he'd be alone, and bad things often happened when he was, so a hellish lunch with Ashley and Jacob seemed the lesser of two evils; at least here he knew what to expect.

Terrence set his tray down across from Caleb, who, as usual, had his face buried in his lunch, trying as hard as he could to become invisible. (A/N: They're here! Enna: Quiet. *claps hand over Terry's mouth*) Sitting, Terrence thought something seemed different. The problem was that he couldn't identify it before Ashley, as predicted, started in on him.

"Terrence Harrison how could you not try out for the play you're never too busy for drama blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah . . ." Etcetera, etcetera. He ignored her and took a bite of the cafeteria's signature flaccid, rubbery ravioli. As he ate, he scanned the lunch table, looking for any sign of something out of order.

Toushin wasn't here! That was it! Normally, by this time, Toushin would be throwing Marissa's chips or something at Josh. Or saying 'quark' until everyone threw Marissa's chips at him, as he had last Friday.

That was Toushin for you. Out of nowhere: "I like to say 'quark'. Quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark!" He'd said 'quark' for almost three solid minutes before Caleb had stuck a ball of napkins into his mouth, effectively quieting him.

(A\N: Having a love affair with copy and paste, are we, Enna? ^^ Enna: May a sleepy hippopotamus lay down on your housekeys, Terry.)

Terrence was about to ask what happened when he heard Jacob sit down next to him.

"Hey, pretty," he cooed. "What's she ranting about?" He pointed to Ashley.

"Don't talk to her or she'll turn on you, too. And you don't want a mad Ashley on your tail, believe me."

Apparently, Jacob didn't like listening to the voice of reason, because mere seconds later he turned to Ashley and said, "Hey, you, what are you going on about?"

"You! This is all your fault!" She waved her finger at him, quivering with rage. Her eye twitched. "This is your doing, you scurvy turnip-studded voicebox of a caterpillar's uncle! This distaster in the drama department is allbecauseof you! Terrence isn't trying out for the play and I know you're behind it!"

There was a pause as Jacob tried to figure out how much of that was English and how much was screeching, angry Ashlish. He hadn't understood any of it but 'you'. "Uh . . . what?"

Terrence ducked his head, trying to meld into the ravioli. Even disgusting cafeteria slop was preferrable to getting caught in Ashley/Jacob crossfire. Or rather, Ashley fire, Jacob deflection.

"So, Caleb . . . how have you been?" Terrence said, trying vainly to ignore the battle of wits taking place directly behind him. Caleb, as normal, ignored him, although Terrence had a feeling that he was lost in his own world. After all, his smoochiebear was missing.

(Toushin: What did you just call me!? A\N: You know, if Caleb had called you that, you wouldn't be complaining, now would you? Toushin: Well, he didn't, now did he?)

He forced down another spoonful of insipid ravioli. (Well, it actually wasn't quite tasteless; it would have been less repulsive if it had been.) As he ate, he listened to the raging egos clash overhead.

"—nothing to do with me! If he doesn't want to try out, then he doesn't try out! It's not my fault— hey! That's my sandwich! What are you doing?! Stop it!"

"I'm taking hostages, that's what! Until you give Terrence some encouragement, this sandwich is mine! . . Mmm. It's good, too!"

"I can't believe this! The bitch is eating my sandwich! She's actually eating my sandwich!"

Josh joined in. "Hey, that 'bitch' is my sister! And she's on the rampage, so you might as well just give her what she wants!"

Jacob threw his hands up in exasperation. "Why am I the bad guy here? I told you, it's none of my business if Terrence tries out or not! If he wants to, more power to him."

Ashley glared. "Socially-conscious bourgeois." She took a substantial bite of sandwich. "Mmmmmmm."

"Give me that!" Jacob made a grab for it, but only succeeded in knocking over Marissa's milk. Expecting any second to feel the nails of wrath dig into his wrist, he flinched, praying for divine intervention.

No nails came. In fact, Marissa didn't even notice. She was deep in conversation with Caleb, and serious conversation at that. Terrence couldn't pick up on any of the words, but that meant it was, in fact, serious. If it were trivial, it would be rife with four-letter words.

Taking advantage of Ashley's momentary distraction— she'd been eyeing the milk all period— Jacob rescued his sandwich. Josh cheered. Ashley sulked.

Josh turned to Terrence and asked bluntly, as was Josh's modus operandum, "So. Are you gonna try out for the play and shut up my sister, or darn us all to heck?"

"Just say 'damn us all to hell', Josh, it sounds scary any other way," Terrence sighed.

"I live to disturb."

"I'm sure you do. Now. Please remove your sister's death glare from the side of my head."

"I have no control over her, Terrence, because if I interfere she'll go for me instead. Pray remember I have to share a house with her."

"No pity."

Josh caved. "Okay, okay. You can remove her death glare from the side of your face in two easy steps. One. Give in and do what she wants. Two. Um . . . hmm . . . well . . . er, there really isn't a 'two'."

"So, essentially, give her what she wants and save us all?"

"Yeah. Essentially."

Terrence heaved an exaggerated sigh. "Okay, bitch, you win. I'll try out for the play. Happy?"

"Don't call me bitch, bourgeois. Mmm . . . Jacob, I think I'm gonna make a habit of stealing your sandwiches!"

"No. No, you're not," Jacob replied. He was sulking because he no longer had a sandwich. Ashley had taken it back from him again.

"Someone learned a new word. I thought you were in Spanish, Ashley," Josh teased.

"I am. I'm also in A.P. Euro History. Shut up." Ashley threw Marissa's fries at her brother. "Well," Ashley said, standing and picking up her tray, "since I have fulfilled my quest of harassing Terrence into trying out for the play, I am off to the bathroom. See you in due time."

Josh waited until Ashley was safely out of earshot, then murmured, "The squall has passed."

Terrence rolled his eyes. 'Well,' he thought, 'guess I'm trying out for the play.'

A\N: We're dooooooone! Second chapter! *cheers*

Enna: Quark.

A\N: ...What?

Enna: Quark.

A\N: Say something! Something.. not-quarkish!

Enna: Quark you.

A\N: *hits head on wall* Please, God, stop the stupidity...

Enna: *flips a quark*

A\N: You— no!.. Well, see you guys next chapter. Review and Enna won't quark you to death.

Enna: I like to say quark. Quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark, quark...

A\N: Stop it! You're copy and paste happy! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it! Stop it!...

Enna: o0;;;;;;

Anyway.. Hakuna Matata,

Terry (and Enna! Stop forgetting me! )