Why I am Locked Up in a Looney Bin
Chapter 10: Lifeskills Class of Doom!
Alas, the plot bunnies attacked me again for this new chapter when Colleen and I were looking at some slightly disturbing icons and fanart… that means you, Booter. At our school, Lifeskills is a required course that you have to take or you pretty much fail. It is pure torture, let me tell you. Sitting on sofas and chairs and looking at graphic flipcharts and movies… not pleasant. It is my sincerest hope that the insanity stops before it gets out of hand and we all have to pour bleach in our eyes. I mean, making all of us, even the girls, put condoms on our fingers? That was weird. Those things stretch like crazy! Anyways, I thought, why not share the love with the Avatar cast? And so, in this chapter they must endure the gulag of Lifeskills. I am way too evil. I also subject them to the horrors of fanfiction. BAD Kelsey. Anyway, how 'bout that new episode, eh? Was it not the coolest thing since spray cheez? Tai Lee could combat with Aang for the title of most perky and Azula is the bitchiest bitch on the face of Planet Bitch. And on The Cave of Two Lovers, Song was the coolest female character ever invented, and I have a new OTP: Soko! I am writing several oneshots on this pairing, which I totally drool over. I have not completely eschewed Zutara, but until it happens in canon, this is the only pairing I support. Yayziz!
Kudos for all you little reviewers-
The archer- oh, so you HAVE kissed a girl… my bad. Glad you likies!
Renealee- you're TWELVE! Holy shit you talk like you're fifteen or something… kids these days…
Foreverhorses- love you too Bambi!
FireGurl107- glad you like, hope you enjoy!
And uh, many others, but these are the ones I can remember off the top of my head. Fehhhh…
The compulsory disclaimer of death: -looks under bed- MOM! I can't find my Avatar!
Mom: you never had it anyways, Kelsey!
Me: oh, right. Boo.
"Was that not the best party EVER?" Colleen exclaimed as she looked out the car window. Spring Break had come to a conclusion, and we were making the four-hour drive back home from Banks Lake.
"Yeah," I conceded, concentrating on my driving. "I still have a headache from that hangover."
Amber stuck her head through the gap in the seats. "Well no duh, Kelsey, you had like three cans." I took one hand off the wheel and poked her in the forehead.
"You little hypocrite, so did you!"
"Would you guys quit your arguing for three seconds?" Zuko growled from the backseat. "It gets a little annoying after awhile."
"I second that," Sokka said. "It's bad enough having to deal with Katara's wailing all the time!" That earned him a sharp slap from his sister.
"GUYS!" Aang yelled. "Do you seriously want me to crawl back there and make you be quiet? I am trying to sleep!" Aang was sitting in the second row of the SUV with Amber, while Zuko, Sokka, and Katara were in the back row.
"We wouldn't all be crammed in this car together if someone hadn't driven their new car into the lake," Zuko snickered, looking at Colleen.
"Hey, it's not my fault! The brake died and it slid down the hill!" Colleen howled, turning around to glare at the teenager.
"Down girl," I laughed, redirecting my attention back to the road, which was now splitting off into a fork. I flicked on the turn signal and hung a sharp left turn, which resulted in Sokka getting smooshed against the window as Katara and Zuko plowed into him from the momentum.
After several minutes of silence, Colleen started laughing.
"What?" I asked.
"I still can't get that image of you bellydancing in your pajamas out of my head," she giggled. I blushed and shoved her.
"You know very well that Ellen dared me to do that!" I whined. Everyone else began laughing as well, and finally I had to admit defeat. "Well, it was pretty funny," I said.
"What are you talking about? When did Kelsey bellydance in her pajamas?" Aang asked. "Was this at that party I wasn't invited to?"
"Yep," I snickered. Daring me to bellydance on the table to Green Day's "She's a Rebel" was a pretty good dare.
The rest of the ride passed somewhat uneventfully, except for Momo coughing up a hairball on Amber's lap.
"We're almost home, guys," Colleen called out an hour later. I turned down the driveway and everyone cheered as my house came into view. They climbed out of the car and I took out my keys to open the door.
"Mom? Dad? We're home!" I yelled into the house, slinging my duffel on the floor. There was no answer, so I looked at the fridge to see if there was a note there. A small slip of paper was taped to the front, and I ripped it off.
Dear Kelsey and Co.
Dad and I flew out to the East Coast on Friday. Grandma is sick and she needed us there. Coming back on Tuesday, hopefully. Take care.
"Oh, that's real nice, mom. You could have called me on my cell!" I growled at the paper before chucking it in the garbage. I walked over to the den, where everyone was settled and chatting. "News, guys, Mom and Dad aren't here 'til Tuesday, so it's just you and me."
Colleen and Amber coughed loudly.
"Oh yeah, and those guys." They glared at me.
"My parents are in Tahiti, remember, so I'm stuck with you too!" Colleen stated, crossing her arms.
"My family is all in Mississippi visiting my relatives," Amber said softly.
I stared at them incredulously. "Uhhh… slumber party it is! We're going to need some food…"
Later that night, after doing some grocery shopping, we were all lounging in the living room with sleeping bags, pillows, and blankets scattered all over. I pulled out my trusty laptop. "I might as well check to see if anything updated," I sighed, connecting to the internet and logging onto fanfiction. Katara peered curiously over my shoulder as I scrolled down the long list of stories, occasionally clicking on one to look at it.
"What is that?" she asked after a few minutes. I glanced back at her.
"This is a website called where you can post stories about books or cartoons or movies. I write on here," I explained, still scrolling.
"What does AU stand for?" she asked, pointing at one particular fic.
"AU stands for Alternate Universe, OC stands for Original Character, OOC means Out Of Character, RR stands for Read Review… the list goes on. On here they have romance, drama, action, humor, horror, poetry… all sorts of stuff for tons of different subjects."
"Ooh, romance," Katara squealed, looking at the screen intently. I looked at her cautiously.
"I warn you, some people on here are pretty crazy with the pairings. I already told you about Zuko/Katara, but there's Katara/Aang, Sokka/Suki, Sokka/Yue, Appa/Momo, Appa/Katara, Momo/Katara, Aang/Meng, Zuko/Meng, Yue/Hahn, Sokka/Azula-"
Zuko looked up. "WHAT?" he yelped, horrified. "My sister with HIM!"
"You have a sister?" Sokka asked. "That would mean she's a princess, right? Aang, didn't they call that girl that was chasing us in Omashu Princess?"
Aang thought for a moment. "Yeah, yeah they did." He looked over at Zuko. "Does your sister have black hair and a little topknot with a flame shaped crown?" Zuko nodded stiffly. "Oh, then that was her that tried to kill me!"
"Getting back to the topic," I growled. "Azula/Sokka, Azula/Aang, Momo/Sokka, Appa/Sokka, Azula/Zhao, Azula/Iroh, Mei/Zuko, Tai Lee/Zuko, Ozai/Azula, Iroh/Jun, Iroh/Herbalist, Iroh/Aunt Wu, Pakku/Katara, Song/Zuko-"
Zuko blushed lightly.
"-Katara/Jet, Katara/Haru, Katara/Teo, Katara/Sokka-"
Sokka made a face of pure disgust, as did Katara.
"-and then we come to the slash pairings."
"Slash?" Zuko asked.
"Yeah, slash. For example, Sokka/Zuko, Zuko/Aang, Sokka/Aang, Zuko/Zhao, Iroh/Zhao, Katara/Jun, Katara/Azula, Azula/Mei, Hahn/Sokka, and I think that just about covers it. It's disgusting. It's unnatural. And yet, some people love it."
Everyone had the most hilarious looks on their faces. Aang was the first to speak. "You're kidding, right?"
"Nope. Let me show you something." I clicked on the C2 button and scrolled down to a particular community.
"Zuko's Avatar, Aang's Prince," Aang read. "A community devoted to Zuko/Aang or Aang/Zuko." He made a face.
Zuko seized the computer from me and stared at the screen. Cautiously I showed him how to work the mouse and clicker buttons, and he double-clicked on one of the fics. After reading the words on the screen for a few minutes, he reeled back in terror. "MY EYES!" he screeched. I commandeered the computer back from him.
"Not only that, they make pictures for these pairings too!" I said devilishly, deciding that torturing them was entertaining. I quickly logged onto livejournal and went to avatarfans. I searched around the posts for a while before coming across the icon I was looking for. "What do you think of them apples?"
Everyone stared at the laptop. The icon read Wider Aang, Zuko's a big boy! and had a picture of Aang with his mouth in an "o".
"I don't get it," Aang said after a moments pause. Zuko looked like he could have combusted from humiliation, and Sokka and Katara were just sitting there with their jaws slack. Colleen, Amber, and I all snickered.
Colleen started up her laptop too, and soon turned it around so we could see the icon on her screen. This one said Sorry Zuko, Size Matters on it, with a picture of a very big stick and a very small fish speared on the stick.
Katara started giggling, and soon Sokka joined her. Colleen was already snorting with laughter, as were Amber and I. Zuko had an expression of complete and utter embarrassment on his façade, but Aang was still blissfully unaware of the true meaning of the icon.
"Wow, that's a small fish, Zuko!" Aang laughed. We all stared at him and cracked up even harder.
"Y-you don't g-get it, do you?" I choked through my giggles.
"It's not talking about the fish?" Aang asked, looking incredibly confused.
"No Aang, it's not about the fish," I chuckled before bursting into fresh peals of mirth. Tears began running down my face from laughing so hard, and I struggled to breathe. My stomach muscles ached and I bent over and clutched my torso. "C-can't… b-b-breathe," I gasped, finally pausing long enough to draw in long, much needed breaths of sweet oxygen.
Aang was still looking put out for not being included in the fun. "I want to know what it means!" he pouted, crossing his arms.
"If you were in our Lifeskills class, then you would know what it meant," Colleen snorted. My laughter ceased at once.
"Oh God, no! We have Lifeskills tomorrow!" I shrieked, looking petrified.
"What is Lifeskills?" Aang asked. "Can you at least tell me that?"
"Lifeskills, aka Class of Doom and Absolute Torture, is a class where we learn the finer points of being alive, like say, the reproductive organs?" I whimpered. Katara and Sokka looked at eachother. Zuko paled visibly, and Aang STILL looked confused.
"Say what?" he questioned.
"This is what I get for trying to explain sex to a twelve year-old," I grumbled. "Aang, I'm not telling you, because you are going to experience it tomorrow when you come to school with us!"
"Wait, do we have to come too?" Sokka yelped, leaping up. Katara whimpered, and Zuko's eye widened.
"Yes you do," I said. "Tomorrow you are coming to school, and you are not under any circumstances going to bend or even mention bending. You will be disguised appropriately, because some people might still remember you flying through the window of our math room. Katara, you will answer to the name Katrina. Aang, your name will be Aaron, Sokka, you are Sean, Zuko, your name is Zach. Any questions?" I barked, taking complete control.
Aang raised his hand. "Uh, Kelsey, we don't read English," he said meekly.
I paused. This was a slight problem. "Ummm…" I said, thinking hard. I snapped my fingers as an idea came to me. "Exchange students! You guys are exchange students from… Beijing!"
"Oookaay…" Aang replied hesitantly.
"Good," I said shortly. I exited out of livejournal and was about to close my computer when Zuko's hand shot out and stopped me. "What is it?" I asked curiously.
"Your background," he said incredulously.
"Eheheh," I giggled meekly. I had made an icon of my own and set it as my desktop background. It was a picture Zimmay from DeviantArt had drawn, and I had cropped it and added some special effects. It was a picture of Zuko and Song sitting on Song's porch, holding hands and hugging. I had put a little heart on it and typed "Soko" in curvy letters. He glanced over at me. "Whaaat?" I asked innocently. "I am nothing but a Soko fangirl!"
"I thought you said you liked Zuko/Katara," he said flatly.
"Well, that was before The Cave of Two Lovers. You do realize Song liked you, don't you?"
He blushed slightly. "I got the feeling she did…"
I shut the screen. "We should get to bed," I yawned. "The alarm's going off at 6:00 am tomorrow, so we need some sleep. 'Night everyone." I turned out the lamp and there was the sound of blankets rustling as everyone readjusted for sleep.
BEEP! BEEP! BEEP!
"Alright already, I'm up!" I grumbled drowsily. My hand slid out of my sleeping bag and groped around for the alarm clock. After turning it off, I sat up and rubbed my eyes. Aang was also sitting up and stretching, as was Katara. Zuko was already fully awake and climbed off the couch. I couldn't help but admire his abs, but quickly looked away when he glanced down at me. Amber groaned and blearily opened her eyes, but Sokka and Colleen were still dead to the world. "Wake up you two," I said, stifling a yawn with my hand. Sokka woke up after a few kicks to the ribs, but Colleen just mumbled something incoherently and rolled over.
"Colleen, wake up or I'll bend cold water on you," Katara threatened, pulling a long stream of water out of her canteen.
"No bending during the day, remember," I admonished. "But you can bend now; I just don't think water will wake her up. Only one thing can wake Colleen." I grinned slyly and began to tickle her furiously through her blankets.
"Aaaah! Kelsey stop!" Colleen yelped, jumping up.
"Finally you're awake. Jeez, you're lazier than Sokka!"
"I think I resent that. Too sleepy to tell," Sokka mumbled, standing up.
"Ok, everyone get dressed!" I said, clapping my hands, which was weird because I am NOT a morning person.
There was a small commotion as everyone dug through their bags in order to find something to wear. "Bathrooms are there and there," I said, pointing in various directions. I myself walked upstairs to my room and poked around my closet. I got dressed and walked downstairs in my socks.
"Why are you two wearing the same thing?" Sokka asked, considerably more awake. I glanced at Colleen and started giggling. We were both wearing navy polos, our volleyball sweatshirts, and our Campbell plaid skirts. "It's our school uniform," I explained. "We have to wear this. This, or beige pants."
Sokka looked down at his own ensemble of jeans and a Motocross t-shirt. "Won't we stick out?" Sokka asked.
"Visitors don't have to wear uniforms," I explained.
"Lucky ducks!" Colleen complained.
"How come she isn't wearing a uniform?" Aang asked, stabbing his thumb at Amber, who was wearing jeans and a red Adidas shirt.
"Because I don't go to the same school as they do," Amber said through a hair tie she had clenched in her teeth. She swept her hair back and wrapped the tie around it, pulling it into a ponytail.
"C'mon, breakfast time," I announced, leading the way into the kitchen. After a brief meal of toast and cereal, we made our way out to the driveway. I handed Amber a set of car keys. "You get to take Old Woody," I smirked. She grimaced. Old Woody was an ancient station wagon with wood paneling, hence the name. "Take care of him!" I sang, waving at her as she grudgingly started the relic and drove up the road.
I grabbed my purse from the laundry room and turned the key in the engine of the SUV. "Pile in, gang. We have a long day ahead of us."
"How was I supposed to know that Mrs. Parks was very touchy about her hair?" Aang complained as I dragged him out of our History classroom, my cheeks flaming.
"Aaron, it's just good common sense not to say that someone's hair looks your pet's butt after he's rolled in the mud!" I growled, shoving him up the stairs. Sokka snickered into the back of his hand. "Shut up, Sean. I got in big trouble!"
"Uh, Kelsey, who are these people?" someone asked. I looked up and saw the familiar face of my friend and fellow avatard Jens.
"Uh, exchange students from Beijing!" I said, hoping that he wouldn't recognize them as the people from Avatar. "This is Aaron," I explained, holding up Aang's wrist. "And that's Sean, Katrina, and that is Zach." Zuko had a baseball cap tilted down over his scar, and Aang had another cap to hide his arrow.
"You look familiar," Jens said as he tried to see Zuko's face. Zuko tilted his chin down even farther and gave Jens a cold stare through his good eye. "Fine," Jens retorted, scowling at him.
"Zach, don't be rude! He's nice," I exclaimed, jumping to Jens's defense. "Sorry," I explained sheepishly. "Zach isn't much of a people person."
"Kelsey, you don't have to apologize for me," Zuko growled, his chin coming up so he could look Jens in the eye.
"Well you weren't doing the greatest job yourself!" I snapped. "Now come on, or we'll be late for math."
We walked out the door of the new wing towards the student lounge. The most direct route was under a covered walkway, which was usually pretty sheltered from the weather. Unfortunately, it was incredibly breezy today, and while I could put a hand on Aang's head to keep his hat on, I couldn't really reach Zuko's head. His cap was caught in a breeze and blew off. Fortunately, the only people currently on the walkway were myself and the others and Jens.
"SHIT!" Zuko cursed, lunging for the flyaway hat. His scar looked even more obvious in the gray daylight that filtered through the customary clouds. Jens's eyes widened to their limits as he finally put two and two together.
"Zuko!" he asked incredulously. He looked around. "Then these people are Katara, Sokka, and Aang?"
"Way to be observant, genius," I grumbled dryly, assisting Zuko in the capture of his hat. He finally pinned it against the fence and jammed it back on his head.
"Man, we're gonna be late for sure," I complained miserably. I ran to the lounge and pulled my math books out of my locker, which is harder than it looks because my locker is like a minefield. That exploded.
We barged into the math room, and right away I noticed the patched up window. A large piece of cardboard had been duct taped over the hole.
"What's your excuse this time, Kelsey?" Mr. Rockne sighed.
"I'm showing exchange students around, sir."
"Fine, you're cleared," he grumbled. I took my seat and pulled out the math homework I had finished over the break.
"Who's the hot guy?" my friend Katie asked, leaning over and whispering in my ear.
I followed her gaze and saw she was staring at Zuko. "Uh, that's Zach. Zach Rife. He's an exchange student," I whispered back, comparing my answers to the ones on the overhead projector.
"Not that I know of."
"Kelsey, Katie, I sure hope you're talking about problem eight," Mr. Rockne barked, making me jump. "Because there is a stack of honor slips here just waiting to be signed." He turned back around to the board.
"Fuck honor slips," Katie grinned. "There are more important matters, like you introducing me to Zach!"
"Fat chance!" I hissed. "He keeps to himself and barely talks to anyone. He probably couldn't care two shits about you."
"Oh, I see, you like him too!"
"No, actually, I like Sean," I said, gesturing vaguely towards Sokka. "But I'm dead serious. The guy's a born loner."
"Oh really. We'll see about that!" The bell rang and we all gathered up our books. Katie walked right over to Zuko, who was standing with the others. "Hi! My name's Katie!" she said brightly, holding out her hand.
"Zach," he muttered, turning his face away from her.
"C'mon guys, let's go," I said triumphantly, savoring the shocked expression on Katie's face. "It's lunch now, so we can break from classes for a while. After visiting the lounge again to drop off my books and pick up Colleen and my other friends Claire and Elizabeth, we all marched off to the dining hall.
"Huzzah! It's burrito bar!" Colleen exclaimed happily.
"Damn, it's burrito bar," I exclaimed unhappily. On days like this, there was always a line the size of Long Island. As we turned the corner, I saw that I was right.
When we finally had our food, and then came the difficult task of finding a table sufficiently empty so that we had enough room to sit down. "Looks like we're sitting outside again," I groaned when we discovered that there was not an empty seat in the entire room.
"It's ok," Colleen said as we pushed open the doors that led to the outdoor dining area. There were plastic tables and chairs scattered all over, and we selected one that was sheltered from the light drizzle that was now falling from the sky.
"Hey all, what's new since we last met?" Jens asked, sitting down at our table.
"Seems like our friend Katie has developed a little crush on Zach here," I sniggered.
"Oh really? Well that's interesting!" Jens commented, spearing a piece of seasoned chicken with his fork.
"Huh?" Zuko asked. "Who has a crush on me?"
"If you remember, that girl sitting next to me in math class has a crush on you. She was asking me to introduce her to you."
"Oh, that girl who came up to me after class? She scares me. How did she get so skinny?"
I shrugged, my mouth full of tortilla, cheese, lettuce, and sour cream. "She is just super tall and super skinny."
"Who is?" Katie asked, coming towards us with her tray piled high.
"Uh, this girl who rides at my stables!" I said, quickly recovering my composure after starting slightly. I took another big bite of my burrito. Jens snorted into his Spanish rice.
Katie settled into a seat right next to Zuko, and he looked extremely uncomfortably. I choked on my milk in effort to cover up my laugh. Colleen and Jens were thrown into violent "coughing fits" as they too attempted to mask their giggles.
"What's wrong with you?" Katie asked, raising an eyebrow.
"It's this cough that's been going around," I gasped, massaging my throat, which was starting to painfully protest against the coughing.
"Whatever. So Zach, where are you from?" she said, smiling flirtingly at him.
He looked at me in desperation, and I realized he couldn't remember what he was supposed to say. "He's from Beijing," I said, covering for him.
"I didn't ask you!" Katie snapped, and then returned her attention to Zuko, who really looked like he wanted to leave.
"Man, she's bitchy when she's in love," Colleen muttered in my ear, and had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from bursting into laughter.
"Well, time to go!" I stuttered, coming to Zuko's rescue. "C'mon guys!" I seized Aang and Sokka by the arms, and Katara and Zuko followed. Colleen stumbled out of her chair and dashed after us.
"Oh my God, that was too funny!" she laughed. I nodded my assent; talking was impossible at the moment given the fact that I was hooting with laughter.
"Maybe for you, but it was just plain awkward for me!" Zuko exclaimed unhappily.
I finally got my voice back. "Damn, it's almost that time again," I groaned, looking at the clock in the hallway. "C'mon, we had better get going." We walked down the hall towards the tunnel, which was the most direct route to the classroom of no return.
When you enter the Lifeskills classroom for the first time, your impression is perhaps a teacher's lounge. There are overstuffed couches, butterfly chairs, and a beanbag chair. But then you look around and you see the posters saying "Better safe than sorry. Use protection." Then you realize that it is actually a clever ploy to try and make you relax long enough that the teacher can shut the door.
"Welcome to sexual education! Today we are going to be learning about sexually transmitted diseases, or STD's." Our Sex Ed teacher, Mrs. Nielson, brought out one of the dreaded flipcharts of mass destruction out from behind her chair. There were collective groans from the class as she turned to the first page.
"Now there are several types of STD's: genital warts, syphilis, Chlamydia, and herpes. But the most common is HIV, or AIDS. All of these are, as the name implies, transmitted through body fluids such as those produced during sex."
Katara squeaked in terror as Mrs. Neilson turned the page again to reveal a very detailed, very graphic picture of a penis covered in warts. She brought her hand up and covered Aang's eyes, which were the size of hubcaps. "Um, excuse me, but Aaron is only twelve. Can he be excused?"
Mrs. Neilson raised an eyebrow. "What's a twelve year old doing in this grade?"
"He's, uh, very far ahead of his grade in Beijing!" I explained, jumping into the melee. I stood up and pushed him out the door. "Aaron, just wait outside until we come out. And whatever you do, don't look in the window." I said this last sentence in a whisper as I hurriedly ushered him out of the room.
Once I was in my seat again and Mrs. Nielson had once again begun her rant on genital warts, I risked a glance at my companions. Sokka's normally tan skin was a pasty white, and Katara looked very much the same. I then looked over at Zuko, who was sitting on my other side. At first glance he looked unfazed by the whole thing, but then I saw his eye twitching.
I sighed. Only forty-five minutes left, Kelsey.
-wipes forehead- this is officially the longest chapter in WIALUIALB history. And I know, the Lifeskills part didn't come until the very end, so I guess the title is irrelevant. I totally busted my ass on this chapter, so you guys had better give me reviews AND cookies!