Disclaimer: Hang on, let me check. Hm, nope. Still don't own 'em.

Alex's Note: Thanks, guys, for being so patient with this story. (Well, at least I hope you were patient and didn't just desert me… we'll see how many people read this) I know it took me over a year and I know, I totally suck at updating… but um. Here it is!

Thanks to Lute, Crunch, and Steph for being the wonderful people they are and betaing for me since, believe me, it was a disaster before they worked their magic.

And now, with no further delay, I give you the fourth chapter of:

New Money

"I'm not going out there."

"Come on, Jack, how bad can it be?"

"Really bad. Really, really bad."

"Well it's not like you're the only one or anything. We're all in this together, Jack."

"I mean it, Race. Go on without me because there's no way I'm going out there like this."

"Okay Cowboy, I'm going to count to ten and if you're not out here by then I'm breaking the door down and dragging you downstairs by your cheaply gelled hair."

"Hey! My gel isn't cheap!"

"One…"

"I'm not leaving!"

"Two…"

"You can't make me, Race."

"Seven…"

"…What happened to three, four, five and six?"

"Eight, Nine…"

"Asshole," I muttered. I shuddered at my reflection in the mirror one last time before roughly thrusting open the bathroom door, vaguely hoping that it would hit Racetrack. No such luck.

"There, you see, Jack? That wasn't so bad, was it?" He said with a huge, stupid grin on his face.

"Fuck you. I'm wearing a sweater vest." I grumbled, "I look like such a tool."

"You do," he agreed, "but so do I, and so will everyone else."

"Y'know, we didn't have uniforms in Santa Fe. We could wear whatever we wanted to."

Race rolled his eyes, "Welcome to private school, Cowboy."


Spot Conlon didn't look a tool in his uniform.

Actually, it was exactly the opposite and completely unfair. The grotesque piece of blue and gray fabric that wasn't enough of a sweater to be called a sweater and not enough of a vest to be called a vest that was dredged up by some hotshot Italian designer and erroneously cost several hundred dollars actually made his eyes appear even bluer and he looked all the more desirable.

I felt myself falling for him all over again.

Fuck.

"Jack? Jack? Hey, Cowboy?" I blinked, suddenly back in reality, as two fingers snapped right in front of my face. "What's up?" Blink, the owner of the snapping fingers, asked, looking a little concerned.

"Sorry," I said, flushing. "I'm just a little tired." I prayed none of them had seen what had really captured my attention.

"Cowboy, you have a little drool right there," Race gestured to his own mouth. He looked like he was trying not to laugh. Stupid fucker.

I glared at him and self consciously swiped at the drool which I quickly found out wasn't really there. I was so going to get my asswipe of a roommate later. Mush's three girlfriends exchanged looks and started giggling.

"So Jack," Blink said, trying to get the conversation back on track, "have you gotten your schedule yet?"

"Yeah," I said fishing around in my messenger bag and handing it across the table to him when I found it. Immediately, Blink and the others began pouring over it.

I had woken up earlier to heavy banging on the large, oak door which was quickly worsening the alcohol induced headache that had begun to encompass me. Weasel was on the other side holding a big package- which I later found out held my schedule and a couple of the ugly school uniforms- and a bottle of pain killers that I graciously accepted. I was about to close the door when Weasel cleared his throat and held out his hand indicating he wanted tip.

"Look, I'm sorry," I'd said, "all my money's on my debit card and I haven't had a chance to get to an ATM yet…" Weasel just kind of glared at me, "Okay, fine. Race?" I called to my roommate, "Can you spot me two bits?"

Race had just snorted, "Is that some kind of Midwest lingo?" he asked, earning a glare from me. He pulled out his wallet and handed the security guard a couple dollars, "Here you go, Weasel."

"The name's WieselMr. Wiesel to-"

"Yeah, yeah," Race waved his protest off, "You headed over to Sheapshed today?" he asked and Weasel nodded the confirmation, "Well, I got a hot tip on the fourth," he continued in a hushed voice.

"You want me to put you down for it?" Weasel asked.

"Yeah, and put yourself down too."

"It's a sure thing?"

"Uh huh, you won't waste your money."

Weasel looked skeptical, "You're sure about this, Higgins?"

"Course I'm sure!" Race said indignantly, "Not like last time."

I watched the whispered exchange with interest, and when Weasel finally left and Race closed the door behind him he turned to me and said, "I, uh, would appreciate it if you didn't let word of this get out. The Warden probably wouldn't like it too much."

And the point of that little anecdote was that, yes, I had my schedule.

For the second time that meal I was brought back to reality by someone- this time it was Flute, or Lute, or whatever Snitch's girlfriend's name was- snapping in my face. "Wow, you're really out of it this morning, aren't you?"

"He's probably just hungover from last night," Mush smirked from behind his dark sunglasses, causing his lackeys to swoon, "They don't make 'em as tough out in Santa Fe as they do here."

"Aren't cowboys known for holding their alcohol?" Snitch asked.

"I'm not a cowboy!" I interjected, but nobody listened to me.

"No, cowboys are known for roping cows," Mush answered Snitch's question.

Race snorted, "Oh they're known for more than that. Haven't you ever seen a Western? The cowboys in those movies are tough shit!"

"Mush knows everything about movies!" Shortie protested, clinging to him.

"Yeah!" Mondie agreed, "His father is Mike Meyers, remember?"

"And he's actually going to be in a movie which is more than any of you can say!" Skittles finished.

I just rolled my eyes, "Can we just get back to my schedule now?"

"Maybe we can if Racetrack admits he was wrong," Shortie said. All three girls were scowling at Race who just sneered right back at them.

"You know, just because your boyfriend wears sunglasses inside and acts like a huge prick to everyone that doesn't make him a movie star. It just makes him an asshole with an overblown ego." The three groupies gasped and opened their mouths, probably to retort about how special Mush Meyers was, but Race beat them too it. "I don't have to sit here and take this. I'll see you guys in class." And with that, he picked up his backpack and stormed out of the cafeteria.

The rest of us were just left sitting there in shock until Mush eloquently broke the silence, "I have to take a piss," he said, adjusting his sunglasses and taking the same path towards the exit that Race had.

"Poor Mushy," Mondie simpered after he'd left, "he must be devastated over the horrible things that stupid prick said about him."

"Yeah," Skittles lamented, "Who does Race think he is anyway? He's just jealous that he isn't going to be in a movie!"

"We should go find Mush and comfort him. I have a feeling he needs us right now." Shortie said. The other two agreed, and they left without even a goodbye to the rest of us who had no idea what the hell was even going on. At least, I had no idea what the hell was going on.

"Okay Jack, you have every class with at least one of us except for first period," Blink said after a pregnant pause, "but I can show you where the Euro room is because I have American History right next door. Lute has second period Health with you, so she can meet you outside Euro and take you the-"

"Wait a minute," I cut in, "What the fuck just happened?"

"What do you mean?" Snitch asked whilst chewing the last of his breakfast, "We were just going over your schedule…"

"No, I mean with them," I gestured to the now empty chairs.

"Oh, them," Blink said, "Don't worry about it, you'll get used to it. Okay, so after Health, wait for me outside and I'll bring you to Chem, which is a double period on Mondays, so you'll stay there, but usually Shortie will come get you and-"

"You mean it happens a lot?" I interrupted again.

"Well, yeah," Lute shrugged, "Race is completely jealous of Mush's movie star status and throws a shit fit about it every day. Mush doesn't really care, but then again, he doesn't really care about anything except Armani and Saks, but it doesn't really matter because his three groupies will stand up for him so Mush doesn't even have to bother."

"…oh." There was something seriously wrong with rich people.

"Dude," Snitch said, "That is totally wrong."

Lute turned to fix him with a glare of her own, "Are you questioning me, Snitchy?" She said in an entirely too-sweet voice.

"No, Sweetie, I'm just telling you that you have the facts wrong."

"But, Snitchykins, I'm never wrong. You know that."

"You are this time. Race is totally not jealous, he just sees Mush as the conceited jackass that he is. You can't blame him for that, now can you?"

Blink and I exchanged a look and then went back to watching the argument.

"Snitch, I can't believe you're fighting with me over this! You never fight with me!"

"Well, I am now! I'm sick of always acting like you're right even when I know you aren't! I'm sick of it, Lute!"

"Snitch," Lute said, her voice rigid with anger, "Band room. Now."

And then they disappeared as well and it was just Blink and I left at the table.

Blink sighed, "And now they're going to make up and defile the band room. You'll get used to that, too."

"You people are really fucked up."

"Believe me, I know," he shook his head and laughed, "but don't worry. Soon you'll be as messed up as the rest of us."

"I can hardly wait."

Blink laughed again and looked down at his Rolex, "Okay, the bell's going to ring in about five minutes, so let's finish going over your schedule. Okay, so fifth period Shortie will bring you to Shakespeare and then to lunch…"

Blink was droning on, and even though I knew that I really should be listening to this, I couldn't help but notice Spot Conlon standing up and adjusting that horrible sweater vest (that looked really, really good on him) before grabbing his bag and heading towards the exit with Manca following closely behind him.

I hoped he wasn't in any of my classes. I had no idea how I'd concentrate if he was.

"…and last period you have pre-calc," Blink was saying, "and none of us are anywhere near that room, but I know Spot Conlon's in that class. I'll talk to him and get him to meet you outside the Creative Writing room. How does that sound?"

It sounded like I was seriously fucked.