|The Fringe Of The Gown
Author: schillingklaus PM
Zoey orders materials from Nevel's Online Haberdashery in order to tailor prom outfits. This opens a can of worms.Rated: Fiction T - English - Family/Hurt/Comfort - Zoey B. & Jerry Crony - Words: 9,529 - Published: 10-10-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8598007
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
The Fringe Of The Gown
Genres include family, friendship, fluff
The story occurs in the identified universe of a huge variety of current or past live action shows produced for Nickelodeon channel, including, but not restricted to, Victorious, Zoey 101, The iCarly Show, Drake & Josh, How To Rock, Big Time Rush, Unfabulous, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, True Jackson VP, Supah Ninjas, House Of Anubis, Just Jordan … and makes heavy use of a variety of members of their casts.
Thorough familiarity with the episodes and main and side characters of Zoey 101, is desirable, but as a basic prerequisite, everything necessary to know in order to be able to follow this story is found on the usual spoiler sites like Wikipedia.
As for the timeline: The plot takes off after the end of Zoey 101, Drake & Josh, Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide, Unfabulous. It predates Bigtime Rush, Victorious, and all even later shows. True Jackson VP and The iCarly Show are in early stages.
Zoey Brooks needs to sew the prom gowns, and she orders materials from Nevel Papperman's online haberdashery. This opens various cans of worms.
The story is written for LiveJournal-Community Tamingthemuse, prompt Fringe.
The song Summer Nites from third party owned musical Grease has influenced some of the summer memories in this stories.
Hello, my name is Brooks Zoey Brooks. I am a Mary Sue from Louisiana,[ 1] who spent most of my teenage years at southern California's most illustrous and elitary boarding school, Pacific Coast Academy, right at the dreamy beach of Malibu at the fringe of Los Angeles.
This school had already been quite a few decades old, but I was one of the first girls to go there for her studies, as the conservative owner of the institution, Leo Bradford[ 2] been opposed to coeducation, and still was inspite of having grudgingly given in.
Now my school time was about coming to an end, and this meant senior prom for me and my pals, some of which had spent five years together with me at this school, which was quite a lot, after all. I was known as a gifted fashion designer although I was not sure whether to continue this path after graduation from Pacific Coast Academy and for that reason my pals wanted me to design and tailor their prom outfit along with my own. When I started accepting this task I was by absolutely no means aware of the complications to come and their influence on my life and that of all of my friends.
One of my customers was Lola Martinez, a fledgling Hollywood starlet who had recently given up on obtaining her first Oscar as a teenage girl, but who was still hell bent on becoming rich and famous as a drama queen. For that reason, she expected her prom outfit to be most particularly impressive, as her prom picture would be used when postulating and auditioning for more movie rôles at Hollywood. Lola was the only one of my friends that had been with me for four years only, as she had joined us as much as a year later than the rest of the gang. She was appointed with Vincent Blake, our football team's quarterback. This made Vinnce and Lola the absolute favourites for the prom court elections, a reason for not messing it up in last minute.
My other room mate was Quinn Pensky, formerly a really impressive albeit absolutely scary nerd girl who had degenerated into a social butterfly during the last few years, something which was partly my culpa, and I had already started regretting it, although just to some minor degree. She was now engaged with Logan Reese, the spoiled dandy son of Hollywood czar Malcolm Reese[ 3], and they were up to marrying soon after the prom, so my outfit was nothing short of a test run for her wedding gown, so definitely nothing to mess up lightly, either. Quinn had been with me during all my five years, but we had been room pals for only three years, after the departure of my former best friend Nicole Bristow from this school.
LisaPerkins, an Afro American junior pop star, was another important customer. We had been friends for three years, and she was for two years engaged to Michael Barret, one of my best male friends at this school, room mate of aforementioned Logan Reese and of my boyfriend Chase Bartholomew Matthews.
Including my own outfit, these were four prom gowns and four tuxedo suits to be designed and to be tailored during a few weeks, and some of those would be important even way beyond the scope of our prom night and our subsequent memories thereof. I needed good tools and even better materials in order to prepare the outfits, and there was some shortage here. For the fringes of the gown, I wanted to do something special, and the necessary materials were not found in Malibu's shortware shop, so I had decided to look for some on the interweb.
In addition, I needed some sort of an assistant for sewing the suits, and there were not many members in our textile creation club doing it for no salary, more precisely, the only one volunteering, well, the only member left in the club for this year was a certain Jerome Crony alias Marshall Rivera alias Olivary Biallo. Really, this had always confused and scared me, and only quite reluctantly had I asked for this help.
Said textile creation club had never had an official status here at Pacific Coast Academy. This was due to Bradford's outstanding prejudices agai nst girls. And the landlord considered subjects like textile creation, home economy, and family management as typical girls' hobbies that should not be found in the curricular, and whose extracurricular practise was not supported by the school's administration. There were no official rooms reserved for those clubs's activities, and we had to buy all of our materials and equipments on our own. And of course there were also no credits to be gained here.
2 Summer Dreams
My aforementioned boyfriend Chase Bartholomew Matthews was no longer a student here at Pacific Coast Academy, though. But we were firmly appointed for senior prom. The exact outlook was supposed to be a surprise for him.
Chase had already been in Covington near London, the British capital, for about a year. But he had surprisingly showed up at my junior prompt, and there we had become an official couple after a few years of forth and back. Unfortunately, he had also told me that he was to spend also this year in London, because switching forth and back was too complicated. At least we had been able to spend two weeks of summer together on the island of Maui, part of Hawaii. It had not just been a trip for fun, I had also beem working part time as a lifeguard at the beach belonging to Hotel Chambrolay,[ 4] one of the greatest hotel chains throughout the United States.
The time on Maui had been too precious for me to waste with talking about my life at Pacific Coast Academy during his absence, and for him to talk about his life at Covington. We would have a lot to talk about during and after Senior Prom.
My room mate Lola Martinez had kept on begging me to tell her more about the summer nights on Maui. "Have you made many many babies?"
In any case, I wanted our prom outfits to be as much of a memory of our common days on Maui as possible, so there had to be some Hawaii-based topic. Typical outfits connected with Hawaii were the muumuu and the sarong.
But I also wanted to connect it somehow to Chase's life at Covington.
A short search on the interweb resulted in one well assorted online haberdashery that seemed to offer what I was looking for, and — even more — for decent prices. I was not able to afford spending hundreds of bucks beforehand.
The online haberdashery belonnged to one Nevel Amadeus Papperman. I had never heard that name before, but it sounded a lot like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the great musician of the eighteenth century … or something like that. But maybe this was just a random coincidence.
Still thinking back to the days of the last summer with Chase, I typed a request for details about the materials and tools available in the interweb haberdashery. Now I styill had to awaut a response.
3 Cheerio Costumes
I have already mentioned Bradford's reluctance concerning the admission of girls to Pacific Coast Academy. He had given in because his brother in law, an important co-sponsor known as the founder of soft drink czar Blix, had complained about the lack of success of the football team of our school. The reason had been found in crappy cheerleading.
Male cheerios were often branded as unmanly, and thus there had not been many volunteers. The school's administyration had desperately hired cheerleaders from other schools of the county, such as James K. Polk, Silver Spring[ 5], Brewster High, Palmwood, Hollywood School For The Professional Performance Arts, Northridge,[ 6] and similar educational institutions. But those were a lot less motivating than a homegrown cheerio squad could have been. For that reason, Bradford had given in.
During the first two years of coeducation, we girls had been a vast minority. But the third year brought a change, resulting in a fully home grown cheerio squad that was a stronghold of motivation for our football team. And precisely this backup had allowed quarterback Vince Blake to go for the state championships.
When I was new at Pacific Coast Academy, Logan Reese had claimed that we girls were only here as cheerleaders. I had felt abused upon this sexist attitude and fought hard for equal rights for girls in the sports teams. In the beginning, I had believed that Logan had been only teasing, and only during the following years had it become clear that we girls had not been meant to serve any other purpose, at least not in the eyes of the board and the sponsors that had voted for the opening of the school for any gender.
I had demonstrated my skills in fashion design very early, such as creating the new outfit for a popular boy band lead by teenage idol Drake Parker. This allowed us to hire him gratis for a concert at one of our parties.[ 7] Another of my renowned creations during my early life at this school include the design for a backpack. This had been so popular that one of my fellow students plagiarised it in order to make many bucks with it.[ 8] The girl had thereupon been expelled. Anywways, the football team and the cheerio squad had wanted me to design their outfit, but I had refused without a trace of hesitation because I was still upset by the most eclatant sexism demonstrated by the board of the school.
For that reason, these outfits had been designed by some tailoring club at a different school, videlicet: James K. Polk in Santa Clarita. I had come to know that their teacher for tailoring was a certain Mr. Monroe, one of the nicest teachers in the county of Los Angeles, and that they had got one male member, aforementioned Jerry Crony, who was now a student at Pacific Coast Academy. This guy scared the hell out of me because he had often been crossdressing as a girl, or weird stuff.
Vince Blake had been very popular as a quarterback, especially among the girls, and even I had been close to succumbing to his charms when the football team was close to winning the state finals. But he had not been honest, and he had cheated a lot in tests in order to make the marks necessary for being allowed to skip curricular classes for extra training units for the football team. And he had been caught in flagrante delicto by Chase and denounced to the teachers. Thereupon he had been suspended, and he was so upset that he had beaten up Chase, and his pals that were with him. This of course triggered his expulsion.
But last year, Vince had been pardoned, and he was no longer as aggressiveas before. At least that's what we had come to believe after a few days. Lola had made the start, probably because she imagined that quarterbacks were good kissers, and that she could use the publicity of being the girlfriend of a quarterback in order to attract more public attention and thus increasing her chances of better movie rôles. The rest of us had forgiven him as well.
This of course excluded Chase who had been in London and not even been aware of Vince's return. Maybe he does not even know it by know, as I had not had much of an occasion of telling him about everything that had gone on on the campus during his absence. But I supposed that Chase would have forgiven him as well, especially as there was no almost another year gone by since he had been beaten up.
I will talk more about this later on, but for now, I have to mention that I had changed my opinion about cheerleader uniforms as well. In other words, the design of the current uniforms of the stingray cheerio squad was mine, and I was proud of it. The stingray was the crest animal of Pacific Coast Academy, and it was depicted prominently on all my official school products.
I had got the vague idea of creating the gowns for the senior prom with tassels shaped like a stingray. OK, maybe this was a bit weird, but it was my idea, and about each and every new artistic idea had been deemed weird in the first moment, for if it was really innovative, it can't have been heard of or seen before.
Note that I was not simply going to carry over the concepts that I had already deployed when designing the cheerio outfit one to one to the design of the prom gowns. Copying was stupid and stubborn, adapting to other circumstances was challenging and exhibiting a more or less great deal of flexibility.
4 Nevel Online
Nevel Papperman had been quite happy about my interest in his online shop. In order to talk about the details, he had suggested an online web conference.
Granted, I was not new in this field, as I liked web chatting, but I had never used it for serious business, and I still did not really understand much of the technology behind it.
Quinn Pensky, on the other hand, was a natural talent for everything scientific and technological, and thus it was totally straightforward for me to get her help. She had even invented her own operational system, Quinndose QP.[ 9] Her former boyfriend Mark del Figgalo had ruined it with some Chinese sauce he did not like, but she had finally been able to restore it. And her web cams were the best available on the campus, although I did not understand how to operate them. But with Quinn's help, this was of course absolutely no problem.
I had prepared some preliminary designs to show Nevel via web camera, allowing him to waste no time looking for the appropriate materials.
Online in five … four … three … two …
A weird dweeb appeared on the screen. This was apparently Nevel Papperman. Oh well, I should not have expectyed anything different, should I?
The thirteen year old guy blushed upon opening the chat screen. I wondered whether I was the reason for that or whether it was just an accident. I hoped for the latter.
Finally, I started talking about my project for the senior prom, mentioning especially the tassels in the shape of a stingray that I needed for the fringes of the gowns.
Nevel grinned. "Oh yeah, I think I can do something there … do you like velvet?"
I nodded solemnly. "Sure, why not?" I tried to imagine a gown with a fring ornated by velvet tassels in the likeness of stingrays.
Nevel explained, "unfortunately, I don't have any here in my room. My online shop is rather a database of a network of short ware vendors in the state of Washington and yonder. I am sort of a collector of rare shortwares, and I help them selling their goods over the interweb. I am sure I have seen some suitable velvet tessels that could be worked into a … stingray?"
I confirmed that this was our crest animal, and I wanted that to be worked into the prom outfits.
Nevel nodded solemnly. "This makes sense. Yeah, I will check my sources." Then he started explaining the difference between a huge variety of tassels and velvet. I had not known that there were so many of them. Of course I was forced to do with the kinds I was able to get my hands on during the next days, and this was certainly somehow restricted, as his sources, the short ware vendors of Seattle and its surrounding region, had not got much more on store but a few of all those listed by Nevel.
I had not expected all that, and I thanked Nevel honestly for his competent instructions and his support. Well, I would soon come to see what he was about to offer in detail.
Quinn closed the connection. She smiled as she felt a giant step closer to stepping onto the prom stage with Logan in awonderful outfit. She expected that Logan was about to hand her a box with the wedding rings right there in the spot lights, in front of so many fellow pupils. She whispered to herself, "soon, I will be Mrs. Logan Reese, and I do not want to look uncomely in that moment."
Zoey thanked her friend for the attention. "OK … in two days, I will need your help again, for his answer."
Quinn smiled and nodded. "Somehow, Nevel looks familiar to me."
I guessed, "maybe because both of you are from uptown Seattle?"
Quinn shrugged. "I am not sure. But I have left for middle school at the age of thirteen. And I guess I would not have remembered him for that long. He certainly looked a lot different back then."
I shrugged, "OK, but does it really matter that much?"
Quinn shook her head. "OK, I do not think so."
5 Prom Band
Lola Martinez, my other room mate, was of course no less looking forward to wearing a perfect gown for her perfect senior prom celebrations. She was expecting to be the prom queen. This would be almost inevitable in the case of a victory of Vince Blake and his football team in the upcoming Californian High School League championships. "Nobody dares to vote against the girlfriend of a victorious quarterback!" As the prom queen, she would of course get a lot of insane attention of the paparazzi.
Unfortunately, one of them was my "dear" fellow pupil Jeremiah Trottman, the responsible reporter of the school's own journal, 'The Daily Stingray[ 10] and the news channel of the campus cable filthy creep had occasionally kept on hitting on me, and this had always been utterly disgusting.
Lola was also responsible for part of the organisation of the senior prom, although she sucked at organising things, no matter what. One of her most important tasks was finding some good music for the prom. "I have got three bands for our choice: Drake Parker, Cuttlefish,[ 11], and the Diarrhea.[ 12] She had got a hard time pronouncing the last word. "What is diarrhea?"
Quinn whispered the disgusting meaning of the word into Lola's innocent ears, almost getting her to puke.
I told Lola about Drake's first visit. She had not yet been here at Pacific Coast Academy during that year, and now she was a bit in a stinky mood because we had never told her about his visit.
Quinn remarked, "Before dating Logan, I was not really interested in rock music. But now I have changed my mind."
We ruled out that band with Diarrhea, for who wants to rush to the toilets thrice during the prom night and feel like the last dirt?
Lola incorrectly assumed that it was called like that because it cuddled you to death with its tentacles.
I had got a plush cuttlefish,[ 13] but this was of course not a criterion.
Lola wanted Drake Parker and his band at our senior prom, because she thought that she would look good in a music video with the great rock guitarist from San Diego. "This would be the ultimate boost of my career as an actress for young adult soaps … right after being voted prom queen." She smiled triumphantly.
OK, it looked like the choice had been already made.
6 Nevel's Crush
But now it was the right time for starting to connect with the web chatting system in order to talk to nevel again.
I was excited and looking forward to seeing the samples of velvet tassels that were suited for my purposes.
Quinn counted the seconds. "Online in five … four … three … two …"
Nevel was back. and greeted me, Once more, he blushed on site, and this was a dangerous sign.
But I continued. "OK, so, you have found a few suitable materials?"
Nevel grinned. "Sure, and I have got some tools that will help you. The short ware vendor told me that you do not have to buy them fully, you may rent or lease them as well."
I nodded. "This sounds like a good idea. I certainly don't want to waste money on tools I just need once."
Nevel exhibited a collection of tassels in front of himself, ready for the web cam. "OK, I will play some music while you may study the goods. The tune will relax you and help you to get into an appropriate mood."
I shrugged. Of course I was accustomed to listen to music in shops, but this presentation was a bit strange.
Nevel picked a plastic recorder.[ 14] "OK, I know some other instrument as well, such as the piano,[ 15] but this one is the most portable."
I shrugged. "OK, if you say so …" I had already started admiring the handiwork on the screen in front of me.
Nevel panted and started blowing his instrument, performing something that I would identify later as Maurice Ravel's Boléro.
My favourite was hip hop, so I was not a freak for serious music, but I had heard much worse attempts, especially by Quinn Pensky who had tried to entertain us once with her trombone,[ 16] and Michael Barret who seemed to have practised playing the transversally held flute.[ 17]
So, when compared to my friends's feeble performances, Nevel's ways were totally charming and persuasive.
I could hardly help swinging my feet and rocking my shoulders to the rhythm of the enchanting tune.
The performance was finally over, and now Nevel panted again, ready to tell me something. "Zoey, will you marry me in a few years?"
I looked consternated. "What?"
Quinn told me to refrain from yelling that much.
There was no way I would ever have been able to love a thirteen years old weirdo Nevel Papperman the way he was apparently expecting me to. His blushing had been clear enough, so I should have seen it coming. Nevertheless, I was now clueless as of what to do.
Dustin, my younger brother,m was of Nevel's age. Already this fact made everything feel so wrong. But I was not willing to disappoint Nevel the hard way. Due to my experiences with Dustin, I was supposed to educate and to guide boys of that age, and certainly not to hate them.
Quinn jumped in. "Sorry, Nevel Papperman, Zoey is not feeling well, I suggest that you continue the conversation at some later point, maybe tomorrow … or something like that."
Nevel nodded. "I will wait for her answer until the times of dystopia."
With these words, the connection to Seattle was breaking down, and Quinn just changed everything. "I need my laptop for some other purpose now."
I dod not want to know that very purpose Quinn was talking about.
But my geeky room mate gasped. "Wait … dystopia … that rings a bell. I know only one person in Seattle to say this way, and this must be him …Nevel has caused troubles to the members of some web show for middle school kids. I am out of the age for watching that crap, but I have accidentally clicked on it a few times."
"What is a dystopia?" I had not undertsood that part of Nevel's last words.
Quinn explained that dystopia refers to dark utopian fiction, and this made me shudder a bit.
I had heard that Dustin watched the show made by some girl from Seattle on a regular base, and so I decided to talk to him. Maybe my little brother was also able to make me understand why a boy of his age would have a crush on me.
And it was absolutely necessary not to let anyone know about Nevel's crush, because it would have made me look very uncool.
7 Talking To Dustin
I was sitting in my dormitory room, waiting — in vain — for my confusion to pass.
Dustin knocked at my room door, so I stood up in order to let him in. "He squealed, "Zoey … whatever they say … it was not me.
I grinned. "Yeah, I have not sent Michael to you because you have done anything bad."
Dustin sighed for relief. "But what is going on?"
I explained, "you mustn't talk about it in the public, though … some boy of your age has asked me to marry him."
Dustin choked. "But you have already got Chase, and it had taken him four years to ask you. Now you can't simply …"
I shook my head. "Don't worry, I will not marry Nevel. I just need to know how it is possible that boys of your age hanker after senior girls." I still coughed at that thought."
Dustin grunted. "Nevel Papperman?"
I wondered, "Yeah, but … you know him?"
Dustin growled, "Nevel is the archenemy of Carly's web cast. He tries over and over to ruin the show."
Carly was apparently the girl behind the web show from Seattle.
I continued, "I remember when you were together with Samantha Puckett,[ 18], but it was all her fault, she perversely abused and seduced use. Besides, she is only older by two years, and not by four." Samantha was a really disgusting blond demon. She had been enrolled here at Pacific Coast Academy for a few weeks only, using a different name: Trisha Kirby. I could not let her get away with abusing my brother, and so she was expelled again. "And I was just polite to Nevel, and I have not done anything like your former false girlfriend who has always treated you like dirt."
Dustin growled, "hey, Sam had been bad, but I still respect her as the co-moderator."
I wondered, "co-moderator of what? Carly's web show?"
Dustin nodded vigorously. "Yeah, it's the coolest thing ever."
I sighed deeply, because I feared that Dustin had still git inappropriate feelings for an excessively bad girl that was out for ruining his reputation and his integrity.
Dustin decclared that he did not covet Sam alias Trisha any longer. But Carly was apparently a different issue. He told me to go to the web site of the show. icarly dot com.
Well, Carly Shay was apparently a nice girl next door, and I wondered how she could have befriended such a diabolic mess like Samantha. Her parents should not have allowed her to do so, as the blond devil could impossibly have a decent influence on her. I wagered that Sam had got an influence on Carly as obnoxious as she had had on Dustin.
Of course it was not my business, but someone definitely had to do something about the pest on two legs.
But now I was glad that Dustin was apparently over Samantha alias Trisha. He had given nup on her after he ahad heard that she was cheating on him with Chase. That was of course no less disgusting, but CXhase had not done so voluntarily. "Fortunately, you have seen that it makes no sense hitting on girls four years your senior."
Dustin started styammering, "Zoey, I … no, I haven't said anything."
I gasped. "Dustin? What do you want to say? You have got a crush on a much older girl?"
He tried to walk out, but I could not let him get away like this.
"Maybe even on one of my roomies? Quinn? Lola?" I glared sternly at him.
Dustin lowered his head. "I had … on both of them."
I choked and sank onto my beanbag. But now I needed to know more details. "OK, one by one … you hit on Lola and on Quinn?"
Dustin stammered, "yeah … maybe … but I have got to go now."
I shook my head. "Not before I know the details!"
Dustin sighed deeply. "OK, not just I, all of my class pals had a crush on Lola during the last two years. She is so hot and cute and …"
I decided to accept this excuse, but I needded to know whether he has actively hit on her.
"Maybe a little bit … you remember when I wanted her to be my assistant for my performance at the talent show?"[ 19] Dustin coughed a bit. "And when I tried to grab her a candy bar that was stuck in the ejection slot of the vendor machine?"[ 20]
I continued: "And when you hid in our dormitory room, pretending to be afraid of some raging ninjas?[ 21] Did you really do that in order to be close to Lola … or Quinn? Did you try to touch them?"
Dustin went totally pale.
I shook Dustin.
He stammered, "I had not really dared to try … but I wanted to make my class pals believe so. It makes me cool in their eyes."
I moaned, "what, you abused the situation in order to boast with being in touch distance with one of my room mates? Dustin? That is not nice, is it?"
Dustin went evem more pale.
"And what about you and Quinn?" I needed to know that too. In the case of Lola's popularity, it was understandable, albeit not justifiable.
Dustin explained, "Honestly … I have had a crush on Quinn since your first year at Pacific Coast Academy, at least on and off … but no longer!" He was very emphatic when pronouncing his last statement, hinting that he was angry at my geeky room mate. OK, he knew now that she was dating Logan Reese, but she had dated some Mark ddel Figgalo for three years before starting to date Logan Reese, behind our back. He declared, "but now I hate Quinn!"
I wondered why this was the case.
Dustin reported, "Quinn had invited me as her partner to the junior prom, but then it tirned out that she had just abused me in order to distract from her real date, Logan Reese."
I coughed noisily. "She did what?" I had to talk some serious words to my nerdy room mate. That was by no means tolerable.
But why had I not noticed this during the last year? I should have known that Dustin had been invited to the junior prom, especially as the partner of one of my room mates.
Probably, the reason was that I had been a bit confused during the last days before the prom night.
More precisely, I had planned to go to the event with tall blond rake James Garrett, but I seemed to have had remorses because it felt like cheating on Chase. To be clear, Chase had allowed me to date other boys in his absence, and vice versa, but it was probably meant to cover one time dates, as completely opposed to dating one and the same guy for several weeks straight.
Even worse, during those weeks, I had forgotten completely about Chase, and I had not even been able to discern where my remorses had been coming from. Anyways, those obscure feelings had not only caused me to withdraw all but completely from my friends and the rest of the students, including Dustin, and they forced me to break with James, for apparently no good reason.
The whole dirty affair was another thing I had not yet found the time to talk about to Chase … or, more honestly had never got the guts to. I had not come to see James again ever since, and I did not know where he had gone to and what he was doing by now. It was like holding the fabulous wold by the ear, the longer I was hesitating, the more likely Chase was going to hold it against me, should he ever come to hear about my adultery.
But what really matter, I had been a bead elder sister in that week, neglecting Dustin all but completely. This should never have happened. Even worse, Dustin could have told me during the last few months, but he never had don e so until now. He had most probably lost a lot of confidence in me, as I had not been there for him when he had needced me most after having been disappointed and abused by Quinn and Logan. I banged my head against the wall.
Dustin looked at my forehead. "You are bleeding!" He wanted to cry for help.
Fortunately, it was nothing but a little scratch. But nothing changed the fact that I started hating myself for not having taken better care of my little brother, and that Quinn and Logan deserved some harsh words for that perversely inappropriate misdemeanour.
8 The Sound Of The Oboe
Lola had started negotiating with Drake about his band's presence at our impending senior prom, and today, the rock star was here in our lounge for this purpose. He was accompanied by his step brother Joshuah Nichols, who had also been his manager for almost three years. Drake's little sister Megan was also in the mix.
The girl looked a alot like aforementioned Carly Shay, and they were indeed extended family … at least kind of, sort of. I had heard a lot about Drake's mischievous and cunning little sister, and I had already had nightmares about her trying to blow up this school with one of her pranks, using a fake name and stuff.[ 22]
Josh was an excessively uncomely dork with a big head who permanently twitched like a dying fish. "OK, for this concert, we require …"
Drake grabbed an apple lying on the table and bit it.
I choked. "Er … this is my apple."
Drake returned it to me. "OK!"
Of course I was not willing to eat an apple full with his germs.
Megan poked her brother. "Boob! You can't treat a lady like this."
Lola saw Drake biting the apple, and she had got that thoery establishing a link between a boy's way of biting an apple and his kissing abilities/[ 23] "Wow, you are a good kisser!" Inspite of already having got a boyfriend, Lola saw no reason to refrain from hitting on other boys, especially those who could get her closer to her first Oscar.
Drake felt falttered and smiled sweetly.
Megan shook her head. "See, Drake is always ready to kiss girls, but they run away after a few days, or weeks at best, because he is such a jerk."
The apple scene had demonstrated tohe truth of Megan's words.
Drake did not care at all. "We just require either a new outfit for my band … or this superpretty Latina as a background dancer for my next music video."
Lola smiled."Oh, I love being seen in music videos, especially those that become popular at Hollywood."
OK, the deal was settled. All was now up to specifying the kind of songs to be performed upon the prom.
Megan growled, "rock alone is lame, why don't you let me play some decent music instead?"
Josh twitched. "Because noone likes the sound of your oboe."
Megan stomped on Josh's foot. "Shut up, boob!"
Josh cringed and squealed for agony.
Lola wondered, "You mean nobody likes the new president of our country? Why has he been voted in the first place?"
Megan glared at Lola with a deadly fire in her eyes.
I grabbed my dumb room mate. "An oboe is a music instrument, kind of like a flute or a recorder."
Lola scratched her long dark hair. "Oh, I better stick to Drake's guitar." She smiled at the rock idol.
I wondered curiously. "may you play the Boléro by Maurice Ravel?"
Megan nodded. "Hey, that is not a problem. I am going to fetch …"
Lola growled, "no way, I am not going to listen to bad music!"
I looked at Lola, telling her to stop it. "We may prefer rock and pop, but that does not make Megan's music bad."
The pretty Latina did not understand what I was talking about.
Megan shrugged. "It would be better with some piano backup."
I grinned gleefully. With some luck, I would be able to introduce Megan to Nevel, and they would be such an excessively cute couple. Nevel would be over me, and the whole angst would come to an end. But of coure I could not command Megan to like Nevel, just in order to get rid of him. And her similarity with Carly was kind of sourt of a problem. "Oh, I know an expert pianist for the Boléro."
Megan shrugged. "OK, point me the way!"
Drake wondered, "will there be a sound check for the concert hall?"
I shrugged, as I did not understand antything.
Josh explained, "my friend Eric Blonowitz will take care of that, but of course we need the keys for the prom hall."
Lola smiled. "That should be easy to arrange. But what sort of a name is Blonowitz? It sounds so freakish."
Drake nodded solemnly. "Yeah, it's the worst freak … ever!"
I mentioned Carly Shay once more. "So, do you watch your cousin's web show regularly?"
Megan declared, "it is not as cool as I thought of. Samatha Pucket spoils everything."
Josh declared that he liked the show. "Creddie! Creddie! Creddie!"
Drake liked the show, too, but he rebuked his step brother. "Forget it, that would be lame! Seddie all the way!"
So, what did they mean with those weird words?
Megan had got a hard time separating Drake and Josh, explaining: "There are viewers who are addicted to the possiibility of Fredward Benson, the technical producer of the web show, marrying Carly. Those are Creddiers. On the other hand, Seddiers are those who favour a relationship of Fredward Benson and Samantha Puckett."[ 24]
9 Egyptian Velvet
Nevel swallowed the bair greedily, and he had not even got qualms with Megan's similarity with her cousin Carly.
The two of them were now going to try to free Carly from the bewitching influence of Samantha Puckett, something I was really looking forward to.
Nevel had also found some special materials for my tassels. "I have already sent you a cardboard box with old Egyptian velvet. It is from the heritage of an archeologian that resided at the House Of Anubis at illustrous British boarding school Covington."
I was shocked, because Covington was the school of Chase. Even I had been at that school for a few weeks. Then I decided to return to California in order to be with Chase, and he decided to leave for Covington in order to be with me. This way, we had just traded places.
I had never heard of the House of Anubis, though. This was not much of a surprise, because that residence block was unlike the others, and it was apparently an uncanny place to be, or so much was clear from Nevel's words.
Nevel appeared to have connections with Covington. Was this something to cause me worries?
Anyways, as I had been looking for a sort of ornation with a Covington based theme, this connection was certainly welcome.
10 Washing Quinn's Head
I was still in a stinky mood because Quinn had abused by brother in the most perverted manner, and she was now going to pay dearly for that anbomination.
The same was valid for Logan. He had also had a fake prom partner, and this had been Stacey Dillsen, the most unpopular girl on the whole campus.
Stacey talked with a penetrant lisp, and she was addicted to making sculptures of cotton swabs. That's why she was hated by almost everyone, especially by Logan Reese after whom she had hankered perversely for almost two years. She must have felt terribly after having been abused by Logan and Quinn.
And now those two inappropriate lovebirds started accusing each other of having come up with the idea of fake prom partners. Neither of them felt sorry for their vital onslaught on Dustin's mental sanity.
I was done with both of them. or so I had wished, but I had already ordered the materials for sewing her prom gown and his prom tuxedo. They had been designed as matching pieces. But now Quinn was at Logan's throat, and vice versa. In addition, they did not want them anymore.
OK, I had spent quite a few bucks already, and neither Quinn nor Logan were likely to be willing to cover the costs.
Fortunately, there were still three other couples left to appreciate my efforts: Michael and Lisa, Vince and Lola, and of course, last but not least, Chase and myself.
There was no longer all that much time left, and thus I better hurried up.
I had hoped for the relationship of Lisa and Michael to hold until senior prom, of course also because of the efforts that I had invested into dfesigning a suitable and matching gown and dinner suit.
But my hopes had been in vain, as so many other things, and this was all my fault.
After havinng busted Logan and Quinn, I was still in in a stinky mood. This was because nobody had told me that Logan and Quinn had abused Dustin in the most ruthless manner, although everyone but had been aware of the fact that Quinn had chosen him as a prom date.
This everyone included also Michael, Lisa, Lola, and Vince.
So I asked Michael why he had not told me, and he had got some sort of a defense.
Back thenm he had been gifted an old car from his dad, one operated by means of an oldfashioned stick instead of some modern automatic switching system. Michael had not been accustomed to such a machine, but he had been hell bent on taking his Lisa to the prom in his rusty vehicle. In other words, it had been necessary for him to learn riding such a tin crawler within a few days.
Indeed he had achieved that, but he had never told anyone how. Well, indeed he had, but noone had believed his story about the details, especially not Lisa Perkins.
Michael had been instructed by someone who apparently did not exist, a certain Mr. Takato. It was an elderly Japanese guy who pretended to be a middle school teacher at Pacific Coast Academy. But the recent yearbooks did not list him, and no middle school kid knew of him, either.
For Lisa, this meant that Michael had lied to her, and he was making up Takato in order to hide the fact — in her eyes —that he had already been able to drive that kind of cars before showing this old vehicle to her, and that had pretended to have overcome his fears within a few days, just in order to impress her.
Michael had been known as a huge coward with several phobias, and this had on and off caused misunderstandings and troubles between the two lovebirds.
By reminding Michael of those days, the old misunderstanding between Lisa and Michael emerged once more. Michael insisted in having been instructed by said Takata.
At the same time, Lisa accused him of being a big liar. "Maybe you have just made out with another secret girlfriend all the time and used me as nothing more than a fake prom date."
Michael had got several girlfriends before Lisa, and I had never seen him break up with any of them. Maybe he had never really done so, and he was a reckless polygamist? I remembered Vanessa Tayler,[ 25] the captain of our volleyball team, and also Farfalla Biallo.[ 26] But the exact identity of the girls did not matter at all.
All that was now of relevance is that Lisa was no longer willing to trust her boyfriend Michale Barret, and the two of them were split like a piece of lumber hit by a woodman's heavy axe. Two years after I had worked hard on matching the two of them, my remarks had torn them apart again. One set of dinner suit and prom gown was thus to be cancelled from the list of things to do.
I walked out on the campus, clueless as of what to do with lots of tassels and textiles that I had bought for the prom outfits. I kicked some random tree on the campus in order to release part of my anger. In that moment, I heard a calm and weird voice in my around, I saw a man matching excactly Michael Barret's description of Mr. Takato.
The stranger made remarks about my despair. "The way is the goal!"
I did not know what this was supposed to mean, but maybe I would soon come to understand. OK, I supposed now that Michael had not been a liar trying to make himself look like a hero by overcoming his fear of stick switched cars over night for his Lisa, while secretly dating other girls behind his back. But Lisa would not believe me. Thus one more thoroughly deceptive relationship was ripped at the fringe.
12 Ashley Blake
Still in a stinky mood and consternated by having sundered Michael and Lisa apart, I moved on to charging my faithful roomie Lola Martinez. "So, why did you not tell me about Quinn's perverse abuse of my innocent little brother?"
Lola coughed. "Oh, I was busy minding my own stuff … like organising the junior prom …"
I growled, "OK, you had been an hour late for the opening of the party, probably because you wanted to increase the suspense and thus the interest of the mass media. You hired a crappy band. You …" Actually, Lola had neglected her tasks of prom preparation all but completely and put randomly others in charge. The charm of the pretty Latina actress combined with her most supreme acting prowess was endless and got her very far, her excessive laziness not withstanding.
But this time, the measure of her misdeeds was chock full, and I was definitely no longer fooled. "I am so done with you!"
Lola looked consternated. "But I still need your gown for the senior prom to be voted prom queen. You can't let me hang like this right now."
Aw, I certainly could do that, one year after she had insulted my mom by telling Dustin something like: "If your mom wanted to see you, she would not send you to a boarding school."[ 27] I had already had a hard time forgetting and forgiving this faux pas, but Logan had been even worse by then. And now there was nothing to stop me any longer. "You think you are able to get away by abusing everyone for your career — me, Vince, Logan, Quinn, Dustin, Michael, Chase … but know what … you can't!"
Lola glared aghast and helpless. "Don't tell Vince anything, please!"
Vincent Blake walked in, and he admitted, "oh, I know that you used me and cheat on me with Drake Parker … for example. But this goes both way." He explained: "Honestly, you have been nothing but tools in my plan to get back at Chase Bartholomew Matthews, the vicious backstabber. Rather, it is all Ashley's plan."
Ashley Blake was Vincent's younger sister, a girl in Dustin's age and a fairly renowned Hollywood kid star. Dustin had got all of her movies on DVDs for his portable DVD viewer, and he used to watch them over and over again during long bus and plane trips. She had, as admitted by Vince, prepared him for the rôle of a nice guy next door in a reality tv show which was apparently our life during the last year.
Due to his sister's instructions, Vince had achieved convincing Dean Rivers into readmitting him to Pacific Coast Academy. In the same vein, he had hooked up with Lola Martinez and persuaded us, one by one, into buying into his new character, a fake from top to bottom. The very purpose of this action was no other than isolating Chase from his friends, making them appear in his eyes as mean backstabbers.
Well, why did Vince now admit to his pernicious plot? It would maybe have worked well if Chase had found about our reconcilation with Vince by the junior prom or our days on maui, but now the ties of friendship between me, Michael, Logan, Lola, and Quinn had already been shred to tiny fragments because of the recent events. Chase would not be able to find much more than the relentlessly rotting ruins of a former group of best friends.
Indeed, there was nothing left of it to count on. But was my relationship with Chase strong enough to endure this mayhem and havoc?
13 Chased Away
While the enormous time shift of eight hours made it impossible for me and chase to web chat face to face, there were of course sttill possibilities such as Splash Face to communicate with a delay of half a day or so. Anyways, this was not the same as chatting from face to face, and it had always been too painful for me to check for messages once a day, and so on. Quinn had always been necessary in order to help me with the interweb and the hard- and software. This complicated situation had been the reason why I had forgotten Chase completely during his first months in London.
Quinn and I were now at excessively bad terms, as she refused to apologise for having abused my brother in the most decadent manner. This made the situation even worse. I was unable to operate all the interweb stuff on my own. I was desperate enough to ask misygynous nerd Wayne "Fire Wire" Gilbert for help. The creep had hit on me even worse than Nevel Papperman. I was sure that his price was high, and I just hoped it did not involve kissing him, as this would have caused me to puke out my life into the outer space.
Fortunately, Wayne had actually got a girlfriend away, although I hated to see that she was Melinda Crenshaw, the girl that had once copied my backpack designs. Indeed, the price for Wayne's help was granting her the permission to market them. Nothing mattered to me anymore.
Now, navigating to Chase's Splash Face site was resulting in a shock. Chase had already been informed by Logan about not only our reconcilation with Vince, but also about about my dirty affair with James Garrett. As a result, Chase had cancelled his trip to Los Angeles for senior prom ….
Wayne cackled in his usual manner. "Chase has not deserved you, anyways. he has paid other girls, such as Lola's cousin Trinidad Vega alias "Rebecca"[ 28] for kissing him in order to make you jealous."
OK, this was the last nail into the coffin of a relationship.
14 Lulled By The Moonlight
So, all pairs for which I had designed and tailored the senior prom suits and gowns have been sent into the middle of the land of nowhere.
Had all my insane efforts been in vain?
Jerome Crony alias Olivary Biallo alias Marshal Rivera had helped me to make the tassels and attach them to the gowns, and he was disappointed because it had all been for naught.
I sighed deeply. Totally exhausted, I had got the idea: "Hey, why don't we got together to the ball, and let's show them our work?"
The weird fashion freak grinned, and he had got a hard time taking me any serious. Only once I started testing the gown with its beautifully ornated fringe, he started believing that I meant business.
It took us five minutes to change into the outfit with stingray tassels. Now we heard the sound of Drake's band filling the whole campus. We crossed the pavement.
Near the campus fountain, Stacey Dillsen and Josh Nichols crossed our way. They were now sort of a caouple, a strange but awesome one.
The moon was rising, and Marshall was a worshipper of lunar goddess Diana. Thus we decided to dance right there on the open campus.
I saw Megan Parker rushing by, playing Beautiful Dreamer for us on her oboe.
Dustin and Stella,[ 29] the younger sister of Olivary, joined us in.
Lulled by the moonlight, all our havoc of the last weeks was passing away.
Drake Parker is here identified with the autonymous guest appearance of his actor.
Mindy Crenshaw from Drake & Josh is identified with the same actress's guest rôle in this episode.