Title: High School Daze 1/5

Author: Girl Who Writes

Feedback: is beloved if you feel so inclined.

Pairing: Angel/Collins, implied Roger/April, implied Roger/Mimi

Word Count: 1434

Rating: M

Genre: Humour, Drama, Major AU.

Summary: New student Angel Dumott-Schaunard catches the eye of Senior Tom Collins, much to the delight of their friends.

Notes: I will warn everyone that I have never written a word of slash; this is my first and I'm very proud of this fic. I am completely unfamiliar with the American school system, so if anything seems odd, it is because I am Australian. Very tempting to call this The R.E.N.T in the manner of The O.C., but I resisted. I'd also like to let everyone know this is sort of like a series fic - I've already written the second fic in in the series. If I have my way, this fic will chronicle about nine stories focusing on this particular year of high school. I hope you like it!

Special Thanks: This challenge was set for me by discoapocalypse as part of speed rent, and it was awesome; it got me thinking and out of my comfort zone. I had a lot of crazy fun writing it :D Thank you so much, and I hope this is what you wanted and that you enjoy it!

Spoilers: Um... say movie and musical, but this is AU and drastically different.

Warnings: Language.

Disclaimer: Characters are property of the Jonathan Larson Estate. Hazel and Exodus are my characters.

Thomas Collins dropped onto the bench seat beside Roger Davis, dropping a pile of books onto the wooden picnic style table.

"It's lunch, Collins," Roger said around a mouthful of sandwich. "The books aren't welcome here."

"Eugh," Mark Cohen made a face as he got a full view of Roger's half masticated lunch, and began to pick at his own lunch. "Roger…"

Roger swallowed. "What?"

"The books," Collins began, ignoring the exchange, "are for my term paper."

"That is due in eight weeks," Mark said slowly.

"That's…" Roger tried to do the math in his head. "Fifty two days?"

"Fifty six," Collins correct. "Forty, if you don't count the weekends."

"Whatever," Roger went back to his lunch.

"Your term paper being on what, exactly?" Mark plucked a carrot stick from his lunch. "And if it's for Mackenzie's class, you were the ones who told us that her papers aren't worth prepping for."

"You're going to give Marky an aneurism," Roger looked up from the remains of his lunch. "I wrote my last response on the back of a Battle of the Bands flyer."

"What did you get for it?"

"A D. But that's because I was comparing the Civil War to this school's administrative dictatorship," Roger snatched Mark's cookie.

Collins closed his eyes briefly. Mark and Roger might be an entire year behind him, in the eleventh grade, but between Mark's tendency for getting to the truth of the matter, despite what the textbooks said, and Roger's predisposition for stirring shit up, he dreaded to think what they would get up to the following year when he was away at college.

Sometimes, he managed to reign in their crazier proposals before the teachers caught wind of them. Like Mark's discovery of the mice the seventh graders were studying in Science – he'd planned to free them before Collins pointed out that they were domesticated, and letting them out would be far crueler than allowing them to live out their days in a cage with a running wheel.

"My paper is on the political ramifications of feminist actions dating back to the eighteenth century," Collins interjected.

"Anne Boleyn," Roger shrugged.

"That was the 1500s," Mark picked up one of the books on Collins' pile. "And stretching the boundaries of feminism, Roger."

"What? She slept her way to the top," Roger shrugged. "Why exactly are you starting this paper decades before it's due, anyway?"

Collins felt himself blush. "Uh…"

Mark and Roger exchanged a look, identical evil expression spreading across their faces. "There's a someone, isn't there?" Mark leant over so the people at the next table couldn't hear their conversation. This school wasn't exactly known for its equal views; hell, the community itself didn't even pretend to be open-minded. Collins found himself thanking whatever powers were out there that he had found accepting friends in Mark and Roger.

"Tell us about this 'girl'," Roger made quotation marks with his hands, before getting distracted by some girls walking past.

"Here?" Collins looked around doubtfully; he didn't want a teacher to overhear the conversation and be forced in front of the school counselor again, as was becoming tradition.

"Eh," Roger shrugged.

"Point him out so Roger and I can stalk him for the rest of the week," Mark shrugged, and looked up in time to see Maureen Johnson walking – or bouncing – over to where they sat.

Maureen had been a friend of Mark's since before they could speak, and was always referred to by Mrs. Cohen as, 'that nice Maureen.' In reality, Maureen was possibly the most terrifying female Collins had ever met, and one of the most genuine friends he would ever have. Nothing stood in Maureen's way, whether it be a failing grade, a rusted out locker or a brick wall. She shared many classes with Roger and Mark, and was very much the drama queen.

So, of course Mark was completely besotted with her. It was almost amusing to watch little Mark Cohen almost fall off his seat when Maureen flopped down next to him.

"Hi," Maureen flashed a huge smile at all three of the guys; Roger rolled his eyes and pulled a wad of sheet music from his bag, Mark managed a shaky smile whilst trying to regain his equilibrium and Collins offered her some food.

"You guys heard about that school that had to close? A fire or gas leak or something?" she leant forward. "They had to send the students to other schools in the area?"

"Yeah?" Roger looked up, mildly interested.

"Fire caused by a gas leak," Mark managed to squeak out.

"Yeah," Maureen flashed a smile in Mark's direction that almost made him pass out. "Some of those kids ended up here!"

Collins let out a gentle cough and Roger caught on, turning to Maureen, stuffing his music back into his bag.

"I don't know what the other classes got, but the eleventh grade got two. A really cute looking boy and a girl," Maureen finished with her share of Collins' lunch. "I didn't get their names."

"Why are you telling us?" Roger asked, furrowing his brow.

Maureen stood up and offered them another patented smile, winking in Collins' direction. "No reason," before half skipping away. Mark resumed breathing properly, taking off his glasses to clean them.

"You told Johnson something before you told us?" Roger looked at Collins, wide-eyed. "Miss Let-me-just-call-everyone-I-ever-met?" He reached for his Coke.

"I do believe last time I tried to have a semi-serious discussion with you, Davis," Collins replied calmly, "you were wrapped around one of your classmates; a Ms April Ericsson, I recall."

Roger proceeded to choke and spluttered, covering everything and everyone in Coke and saliva.

"Eugh," Mark made a face before turning to Roger. "April?" And then to Collins, "Maureen?" His voice broke a little.

"Not Maureen," Collins sighed.

"She sucks like a Hoover," Roger replied, a comment that caused Mark to spit his drink all over them and send Collins into peels of laughter. Most of the comments Roger made were made for shock value and nothing else. Both Mark and Collins knew him too well to take much stock from what Roger said, but sometimes he'd come out with something that made even Mark think twice.

Mark shook his head and turned back to Collins. "What did Maureen mean?"

"The boy who got a place in the junior class…" Collins began.

"Oh," Mark said as it dawned on him. "What's that got to do with the books?"

"They were being given a tour of the library," Collins replied, feeling more than a little silly about the whole thing. "There's eight of them."

"Our school isn't exactly known for its generosity," Mark snorted.

"Well, are we going to the library or not?" Roger said impatiently.

"Huh?" Collins turned to see Roger standing up, his bag over his shoulder.

Roger shrugged. "I figure, their first day at this hell hole, they'll hide in the library. Where else is better to scope them out? Save them from Maureen's friends, at least."

"I don't know," Collins said, looking at Mark, who was already dragging his prized video camera from the depths of his bag. Mark had told the school he was filming as part of some end of year thing, as an excuse to wander aimlessly around the school and film when Collins and Roger were previously indisposed.

"We should welcome the new students," Mark said, mimicking his own mother with creepy accuracy.

Collins had a feeling this was a bad idea.