Disclaimer: Ours, all OURS! MWAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! As usual.
* * *
Chapter 33: The End of the Beginning
"Look what I've got!" cried Melissa Garibotti, dropping what appeared to be a very heavy cardboard box on the breakfast table at which her four best friends sat.
"Ooh...is it a PONY?" asked Juliet excitedly, her eyes glowing. Benny took away her cup of coffee, silently vowing to himself that he would get her to switch to decaf.
"Er, no..." replied Melissa.
Mark sighed theatrically. "All of my hopes and dreams have been squashed. I'm so disillusioned."
"I- I'm sorry," said Melissa. "But I do have yearbooks!" she exclaimed cheerfully.
"Cool!" cried Jack, with as much enthusiasm as he could muster at seven in the morning. He snatched a book out of the box and began to flip through it. "Look! There's a whole page for Midsummer. They even have a picture of you stripping, Jules."
"Let me see that!" Juliet grabbed the yearbook from Jack. "Hee. Good times, good times. Still not as good as a pony, though. Oh, look at this! They printed a Watcher comic! ¹"
Melissa smiled. "I got them to print that. I was the editor, after all."
Mark grunted in what his friends could only assume was gratitude. "Which strip is it?"
Benny took the book from Juliet, absent-mindedly taking a sip from her coffee. "The one with the yearbook editor as slave-master (sorry, Mel), with all of those little underlings. You have a bizarre sense of humor, Melissa."
"Ugh, I HATE how I drew that guy's hand...Oh! The Most Likely section! Let's see if we're in here, shall we?"
"Most likely to fatally wound somebody in a car accident... Juliet Greene," Mark deadpanned.
"Only the weak follow traffic laws," muttered Juliet, cackling in an ominous manner. Her friends shuddered. They would not be driving with Juliet any time soon.
"ANYWAY," said Benny, " 'Most likely to succeed... Melissa Garibotti.' Congratulations, Mel! Pretty impressive for a sophomore."
"Still not a pony, though," added Juliet.
"You're in here too, Jules... 'Most likely to date the entire male population of Roseview Academy, break up with them, and trample on their delicate teen-aged hearts...Juliet Greene.'"
"Who WROTE this stuff?" asked Mark incredulously.
Benny scanned the page. "Juliet's ex. The one she locked in a closet during our production of Midsummer."
"Ooh...here I am!" Benny said. "'Most likely to have incredibly beautiful children, were it biologically possible... Benny Bryce and Jack Sullivan.'"
"They think I'm pretty," said Jack, hugging Melissa and getting toast crumbs all over her sweater.
"They think you're pretty, too, love," Jack assured Benny.
"Ha!" exclaimed Mark. "I'm not in there! They must have learned their lesson after the LAST time they dared put me in a yea-"
"Actually, Mark, you ARE in here."
"What does it say?"
"'Most likely not to be in the yearbook.'"
* * *
The students of Roseview found it difficult to concentrate on the Pre-Awards Assembly Speech Dr. Huxley had prepared. Although they were fascinated with the history of the Roseview Academy Awards Ceremony, they had far graver concerns; namely, the signing of the yearbooks.
"Jack! That is so SWEET!" said Benny, reading the message his boyfriend had inscribed on the back page of Benny's yearbook.
Jack grinned at him. "Yours is sweeter."
"No, yours is sweeter."
"Oh, just kiss him already," grumbled a junior girl who was sitting next to Benny.
Mark seemed considerably less pleased by the writing in his yearbook.
"What do you MEAN you'll always remember the first time we 'made love'?!"
Juliet shrugged. "When you're old and senile, I want you to have GOOD fabricated memories."
Melissa was scurrying about, aisle-by-aisle. "Joan! Would you sign my yearbook, please? Have I gotten to you yet, Richie? LaToya! How'd you like that picture of you and Chun on page 37?"
"Almighty Jack and Benny, please forgive us for disturbing your Almighty Make-out Session," said Elijah, kneeling by Jack's feet, "but would you please sign our yearbooks?"
"...well, that concludes my Pre-Awards Assembly Speech," said Dr. Huxley. There was no response from the audience. "Hello? HELLO? HURRICANE ISOBEL IS COMING!"
The room fell silent.
"Thank you," said Judas Huxley, smoothing his suit. "Now, let the award ceremonies commence. Ms. Chapman - excuse me...Lilith - would you mind presenting the awards for Track and Field?"
A middle-aged woman, with a flowing brown dress and very similar hair, walked onstage.
"No one person should, like, win a trophy. Sports are about peace and love and harmony... In the words of Earth, Wind and Fire-"
"Who won the stupid trophies?" yelled an eight-grader from the second row.
Lilith glared at her. "For girl's 100 AND 200 meter, Juliet Greene."
Mark blinked. "You do track, Juliet?"
She nodded. "It's fun!"
* * *
"I got TWO medals," said Juliet, demonstrating her amazing mathematic prowess by holding up that number of fingers.
"Melissa got six," said Jack, matter-of-factly.
Melissa blushed. "Well, four of them were certificates. The math one was the only real TROPHY, per se. And you got one, too, Jack. That baseball one, no?"
Jack nodded and held up his trophy for all to behold.
"And to think," he said, "I got this just for taking the cursed shortstop position. The demon living in my locker isn't THAT big a problem."
"And your award, Mark!" Melissa continued. "Congratulations!"
Mark eyed the certificate his English teacher had presented him with critically. "They put 'Percival' on it," he growled.
"I've never received an award," said Benny, sadly.
"Benny!" cried Jack, hugging the afore-mentioned from behind. "You can have MY award," he said earnestly.
Jack pulled Benny closer to him. "You could have me, instead," he whispered, licking the shorter boy's ear suggestively.
"Let's go!" cried Benny, grabbing Jack's arm and pulling him towards the boy's dorm.
"Um, guys!" Melissa called after them. "Graduation starts in ten minutes! Guys?"
* * *
Juliet shimmied into a pink, vinyl skirt. "Why do they insist we wear our class color, anyway?" she demanded of Melissa.
"I think it looks fine," said Melissa, who was already dressed in a pastel pink dress and a matching sweater.
Juliet snickered. "I can't wait to see what the BOYS wear."
* * *
Jack and Benny were locked in a passionate embrace on Jack's bed, when they suddenly became aware of eight pairs of eyes staring at them.
"Um," ventured one of the braver boys, Stacy, "You need to, er, get, um, ready for the graduation."
Benny and Jack looked about the room. It was full of their dorm-mates, dressed in the least pink shades of pink that they could find.
"It's like cotton candy," Jack marveled.
* * *
"Hey, Mark," said Jack, still tucking his pale pink shirt into his magenta slacks as he entered Rosenthal Terrace.
"You're dressed in black, Mark," observed Benny, entering the dorm behind Jack. He shut the door to Hyacinthus Hall firmly behind him.
Mark shrugged. "You look like an idiot."
Benny sighed. "Let's go to graduation..."
* * *
"This is so boring," said Juliet, banging her head against the chair in front of her, greatly surprising the Freshman boy who was sitting in that seat. The graduation had been going on an hour and they hadn't even begun to give out diplomas. "I mean, it's not like any of our FRIENDS are graduating..."
"Actually," said Melissa, "My good friend Chris, the President of the Student Council is graduating, as is my friend Keila, from History class, and Tomas, who headed Peer Tutoring. There's also Kurt, and Jane...not to mention, Elisabeth..."
* * *
Mark kicked the ground petulantly. "We're only on the Ks, Benny. The Ks. It's been an hour and a half since they started giving out the diplomas."
Benny patted Mark's shoulder consolingly.
"I bet even Dr. Huxley is regretting his decision to let them all make their own speeches," said Jack.
"I'd like to thank God, and the Academy - I mean, the Board of Directors - for giving me this chance... no, OPPORTUNITY..."
* * *
"That was fairly painful," said Juliet, stepping out gratefully from the graduation tent and into the fresh air and sunlight. "Who'd have thought that it could take four and a half hours to give 60 kids their diplomas?"
"I thought it was a lovely ceremony," said Melissa, smiling. "I just really need some sugar now..."
"There you guys are!" cried Jack, running towards the two girls, his arms full of snack food. "We got you some soda and sugar. The LINE for the snacks is ridiculous."
"Thanks, man!" cried Juliet, grabbing a Sprite and a brownie.
"How'd you like the graduation, Mark?" Melissa asked Mark, helping herself to one of the cookies that Jack was carrying.
"I want to die now."
Benny said something that sounded like "Cabphoogumphbelmphmmphaph?" through a mouthful of gingersnaps.
"Come again?" said Melissa.
"I SAID, Can you guys believe the year is over?" Benny replied. "It seems like just yesterday that Jack and I were getting outed and publicly humiliated at the school dance."
Mark nodded. "And Emma was convinced that I was a drag king."
Juliet sighed nostalgically. "And remember that time that I put salt in your breakfast cereal, Jack?"
"That was this MORNING, Juliet."
"I know! The look on you face was priceless..." She wiped tears of laughter from her eyes. Jack groaned.
"But really, guys," said Benny, "we're officially JUNIORS now. Isn't that amazing? And it's summer VACATION."
Melissa smiled. "I'm so excited. I am going to go to Germany with my old friend Bastien, and then, in August, I'm visiting my aunt Costanza, in Greece."
"My parents are taking me to California," said Benny, cheerfully. "We'll also take our annual pilgrimage to New York, to see my grandma."
"My mom is finally allowing me to come home, under the conditions that I stay in my room, do not socialize with Felicia, one of my only friends in New Jersey, and go to Church with her every Sunday."
"I'm going to a math camp with Miller all summer."
"...I'll be forced into daily contact with my parents. They will pester me about my not having gone to Temple in four years. My mother will ask me why I'm not playing the violin, like she wanted me too, and my father will try and bribe me to take up football."
Benny laughed nervously. "So, I take it you guys aren't too excited about summer vacation. Let's get more cookies, shall we?"
* * *
The time came for saying goodbyes. Some of these goodbyes were glad...
"Bye, scum! Glad to have three months away from YOU."
Others, less so...
"Chris, I don't want you to gooooo!" Michelle cried, clinging to her boyfriend of four years' arm.
"I don't want to go either, sweetie, but my flight leaves in 36 minutes," Chris said.
"You don't need to go to college! You can stay here and repeat 12th grade!" Michelle looked up at Chris hopefully.
Chris sighed. "It's not like we won't see each other, Michelle."
"You're moving to Pennsylvania," Michelle said, glaring at him. "And I bet you'll never call, and-"
But it's not those goodbyes that concern us. No, we are concerned with those of our gang: Jack, Benny, Juliet, Mark, and Melissa.
"Goodbye, Jack! Benny! Mark! Juliet!" cried Melissa, who had the earliest flight. "I hope you guys all have terrific summers. Please feel free to call me on those days when you do not mind throwing away dozens of dollars on international telephone rates!"
She hugged Juliet. "Here are my Geometry notes. I hope they'll help you out at Math camp."
"Thanks a ton, Mel!" Juliet cried. "I will DEFEAT Miller at Geometry."
Distributing hugs all around, Melissa ran to catch the Roseview shuttle bus to the airport. "BYEEEEEEE!" she cried out of the window.
Mark was next. "Bye, guys," he said.
"Please come visit me," he muttered to Benny. "Please. I think I might go into a coma if I don't have something to relieve the unending boredom."
"I'll try and take the train down to Boston, when I'm in New York in July," Benny said.
"Thanks. Bye Jack!" Mark cried, in a much more jovial voice. "Kill your mom, if she gets too bad."
"I'll keep that in mind," said Jack.
"Well, I gotta go," said Mark, slinging his duffel bag over his shoulder. "See you guys in Sept-"
Juliet kicked him. "Aren't you going to say goodbye to me, moron?"
"Bye, Juliet. Have fun at math camp." Mark smirked and dashed for the shuttle.
"I'll miss you, Magic Marker!" Juliet cried. "I HATE you, but I'll miss you!"
"Wait a second," she said, glancing down at her plane ticket. "I need to be on that shuttle too!" She grabbed her bag and started sprinting after the van.
"I can definitely see how she could win two track medals," commented Benny.
"BYEEEEE, GUUUUUUYS!" Juliet yelled over her shoulder. "HAVE A NICE SUMMER!"
"Well, I guess that leaves us," said Jack, a bit sadly.
"You know, my parents aren't picking me up for two hours," said Benny, wrapping his arms around Jack's waist.
"Then we better make those two hours count."
And our intrepid voyagers' second year of high school drew to a close.
* * *
Taf: Yay! Thus concludes the first season.
I'd like to thank all of our fans for reading, and for continuing to do so, even though Merc and I often had difficulty (to say the least) keeping to our updating schedule. You may note that this chapter offers no closure, whatsoever. To anything. That's because we're writing two more seasons! Yup, that's right folks. Two more seasons of Roseview goodness, preferably delivered on time.
Because of the fact that it's October, we're not going on our summer hiatus, so no three months without Roseview for you folks. The first chapter will be up sometime before next Sunday, which is when the second chapter will hopefully be up. Mercuria and I are trying to catch up on our updating for the second season. The second season will be posted under a different name, Roseview Saga: Atypical Tendencies (subject to change, but we'll tell you if we decide to change it), but will still be available at and at the website ( . , though the site is due for a makeover). We just don't want 70 odd chapters on the same story. We hope that you'll continue reading and will enjoy reading the second season as much as we enjoyed planning it (which is considerably...Merc and I go crazy when it comes to planning Roseview.)
¹ The Watcher is a comic that Mark and Benny co-write. Benny draws for it. It's mentioned in an earlier chapter.