Disclaimer: I do not own Zoey 101. The show and its affiliates belong to Nickelodeon. I also do not own this song, 'How to Save a Life' by the Fray.

A/N: This fic is about the Zoey 101 gang dealing with how life isn't what it used to be. I don't know which grade Zoey is in on the show, but I'm saying they are seniors and they graduate in 2009.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: This is not meant to offend anyone. I know loved ones were lost in the Virginia Tech shootings. That, however, is not why I was writing this. It is rated Teen for a reason, and you must respect that. If you do not find this story fitting to your likings then please disregard it and find another.

:Flashback:

Quinn Pensky ducked under the desk.

"How could you do this, Mark?" she screamed. Mark just looked at her and ran out of the room.

Earlier that morning, everything was normal. As soon as all the classes got out, that's when the chaos started. Mark Del Figgalo had brought a gun to school. He started in the English department; he had made his way past Quinn in the science building already. Every time he pulled the trigger, the sound rang through the deserted hallways. Quinn ran out of the building and saw Dustin hiding behind a bush.

"Come on Dustin!" she yelled. Dustin darted out from the bush and ran towards her.

"Where's Zoey???" he asked frantically. Quinn just pulled him towards a table.

"I don't know," she said. Logan ran up to the pair.

"Are you okay? Where's Dana? Nicole?" Logan rattled. It was spring break and Nicole and Dana had shown up (Dana from France and Nicole from her All Girls' School) to hang out with the girls. Many other people were visiting from other schools at the time.

"I don't know… Zoey should be in English with Chase and Lola. Michael and Nicole were in the cafeteria, and Dana was practicing basketball in the courtyard," Quinn said. Suddenly a helicopter appeared over the school. Dustin ran towards the English building, which caused Logan and Quinn to follow.

Logan peeked through a spot in the window and saw there was no one inside.

"Let's go," he said. Logan pushed the door open and barricaded it shut with a chair.

"Zoey???" Dustin asked.

"Chase? Lola?" Quinn yelled. Suddenly a cupboard burst open. Several students fell out, including Zoey, Chase and Lola.

"Are you guys okay?" Logan asked, helping them all up. Soon enough, everyone was straightened out. Chase and Logan made their way towards the phone to try and contact someone.

"Hello? Yes, this is Chase Matthews. We're in the English hall. Okay, we will. Thank you," Chase said. He put the phone down.

"They said to keep the door locked and don't let anyone in or out. They'll set off the fire alarm when everything is clear, but for now we just have to sit tight," Chase said.

This world
This world is cold
But you don't

Michael Barret and Nicole Bristow ran from the cafeteria once they heard the gunshots. They ran towards the office of the school. The door was locked so they hid behind a bush. A bunch of cops ran past them with their guns high. Mark ran into the field in front of Michael and Nicole. Michael gripped Nicole's hand while Nicole sobbed silently into his shirt.

"Put the gun down!" one of the cops ordered. Mark just shook his head, sneering.

"All this pain caused by everyone here… I couldn't handle it. I just couldn't. And I can't. You did this to me. Goodbye," Mark said, putting the gun up to his head.

"NO!" Nicole screamed. Mark pulled the trigger and fell to the ground. For what seemed like hours, the world was silent. And then they heard the last final gunshot.

You don't have to go
You're feeling sad, you're feeling lonely, and no one seems to care
Your mother's gone and your father hits you
This pain you cannot bear

Nicole sobbed into Michael's shirt. A police officer came up to them.

"Please come this way," he said, helping Nicole up. Michael pulled himself from the ground. The teens were led towards the assembly hall, past all the building Mark had practically destroyed. Nicole's hairs stood up on end as she saw the multiple bullet marks on the cafeteria. The two teens were led into the hall only to find it full of PCA's students. Surprisingly, not a word was being spoken. An occasional whisper or cough, but other than that it was complete silence. Suddenly, Dean Rivers walked onto the stage.

"This has been a terrible tragedy. Nothing like this has ever happened in PCA history. Some of our students lost their lives to whom they thought was a friend. For that… I can do nothing. Mark Del Figgalo brought a .22 caliber pistol to class today, along with ammunition. As a safety precaution, I need to take note of everyone who is here. Ames, Sarah…" he began.


But we all bleed the same way as you do
And we all have the same things to go through

"Barret, Michael," Dean Rivers called. Michael put his hand up.

"Bing, Stacy," Dean Rivers shouted. Soon enough, everyone's names had been filed through. By this time, the school had heard a helicopter rush away and come back. A fire alarm had gone off and the phone lines were ringing like crazy.


Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on it gets better than you know

The students were allowed back in their dorms. It was the early evening and the girls were sitting in Zoey's dorm when they heard a knock at the door.

"Come in," Zoey called. Dustin walked into the room.

"Dean Rivers wants all the students in the auditorium. The guys already left, but I'm supposed to come tell you," Dustin said robotically. The girls looked at each other and nodded. Zoey grabbed Dustin's hand as they walked out of the girls' room.

They walked into the auditorium and it was packed with parents. Children were hugging and kissing their parents, while others looked on distraught with tears running down their faces. Zoey found her parents and hugged them tightly, with Dustin hanging around his father's waist.

"I'm so glad you're okay," Mrs. Brooks said. They all quickly sat down as Dean Rivers walked into the auditorium. The room went silent as he cleared his throat.

"Today was a tragedy. Nothing will be reversed; we can't go back in time. Loved ones were lost. Lost to someone they trusted. There is no easy way to tell you who was… shot. So I will begin. Stacy Gibson, a 10th grader, was announced dead on arrival at Pacific Coast Hospital at 1:33pm," Dean Rivers said. Mr. and Mrs. Gibson sobbed in the corner.

"Our hearts go out to you. Tracia Vanderbrocke, 9th grade, was fatally shot in the heart at 12:34pm. The Vanderbrocke's could not be here today as they live in Russia. Gavin Chalmers, 12th grade, was shot in his leg and ribcage. He is currently in the hospital having surgery, where his parents are waiting. Cole Stintedos, 8th grade, was shot and fatally wounded near his heart. After 3 grueling hours of heart surgery, he passed on," Dean Rivers continued, tears in his eyes. The Stintedos family was sitting in the front row.

"My baby…" Mrs. Stintedos cried. Dean Rivers swallowed to keep himself from crying.

"A well loved professor was killed today. He was loved by many, and feared by none. He died courageously guarding the door so students could get out of the building. Mr. John L. Bender was killed today," Dean Rivers said, a sob escaping from his own mouth. Everyone was in complete shock; the auditorium was silent.

"6 unnamed students are being treated for bullet wounds at Pacific Coast Hospital as we speak. There is nothing we can do but keep our thoughts with them for the time being. Parents, I ask that you leave your children here for the weekend at least. The authorities need to question some of them, with your blessing of course, and we need to make such no one is missing," Dean Rivers sighed. It was amazing how good he was at this now, even thought he had never even thought of having to say such things.


Your days
You say they're way too long
And your nights
You can't sleep at all
Hold on
And you're not sure what you're waiting for, but you don't want to know more
And you're not sure what you're looking for, but you don't want to know more

"When did this get so messed up?" Quinn asked. Zoey, Lola, Nicole, Michael, Logan, Dana and Dustin were all sitting in the girls' dorm room. Logan put his arm around Quinn.

"There's some things you just can't explain," Logan said quietly.

"What?" Zoey asked, as she hadn't heard him. Logan sighed.

"There's some things you just can't explain. I always thought Mark was a good kid. And he'd never do anything mean to anyone on purpose. But then he goes and does this. 4 people died because of him, and 7 more lives are on the line. Why? We don't know. And we won't ever know. We can't explain it," Logan said. Quinn smiled up at him.

"Where's Chase?" Dustin asked. Just as Dustin asked, Chase walked through the door with a bunch of white paper cups.

"Hot chocolate anyone? Please? It's burning my hand," Chase explained. Everyone laughed slightly and took one. Zoey sat next to Chase, Nicole sat next to Michael and Quinn sat next to Logan. Dustin was clinging onto Dana and Lola was sitting on the floor. For once in his life, Logan wasn't being an arrogant jerk. He actually made quite a lot of sense. Everyone sat back down and looked across at one another.

"What are we gonna do now?" Dustin asked, looking up at Dana.

"We could watch a movie," Zoey said.

"How could he do this?" Quinn asked in a monotone. Logan pushed the hair out of her face.

"There was something going on in his head that felt right for him. Like he needed to do it. There's no explaining it," Logan said.


But we all bleed the same way as you do
And we all have the same things to go through

It was about 9 o'clock at night, when the teens would usually be studying or hanging out. This night, though, they were all just staring into space, hugging whoever was next to them.

"How could he do that?" Lola asked. She stood up and paced the room.

"A guy we trusted- a guy we LIKED- just committed homicide. He's a murderer! Everyone's been avoiding the word. People were KILLED. We can't do anything. How messed up is that?" Lola asked. She flopped down on a couch with silent tears forming in the corners of her eyes.


Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on it gets better than you know
Don't stop looking, you're one step closer
Don't stop searching, it's not over
Hold on

Two days had passed. Gavin Chalmers had died in the hospital late the earlier night, along with 3 other PCAers. None of the gang had left Zoey's room—Chase had ordered pizza for 2 nights straight. At around 3 in the afternoon, they heard the intercom go on.

"Would all students please report to the auditorium. That is all," Dean Rivers' voice said. Zoey shrugged and pulled herself off the floor and helped everyone up. They dusted the pizza crumbs off themselves and walked to the auditorium with not a word said between the buildings.


What are you looking for?
What are you waiting for?
Do you know what you're doing to me?

Go ahead...What are you waiting for?

The students took their seats as Dean Rivers walked on stage.

"I know this has been hard on you all. Obviously, words are not going to heal it completely. If you will let them, Mr. and Mrs. Del Figgalo would like to express their apologies," Dean Rivers said. He nodded to the off-wing and the two parents walked onto the stage.

"We never knew he was going to do this. If he had said anything, anything, we would have stopped him," Mrs. Del Figgalo sobbed.

"He had such good friends here. We heard stories about Zoey, Chase, Lola, Michael, Logan and Quinn all the time—especially Quinn. We thought this school was good for him. He had classes he liked and teachers he liked. Whenever he came home he would always tell wonderful tales of making things explode and bubble with Mr. Bender. I'm sorry none of the coming year's students will have that pleasure," Mr. Del Figgalo continued.

"We never knew he was troubled. We didn't know anything about this. If we had, we would have stopped it. Nine lives were lost 2 days ago, including my son's, and we know that no words or cards can or will change that. We can only express how with words. There is nothing that can make this right," Mrs. Del Figgalo said.

Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on it gets better than you know
Don't stop looking, you're one step closer
Don't stop searching, it's not over
Hold on if you feel like letting go
Hold on it gets better than you know
Hold on

3 months passed and it was time for graduation. Zoey was asked to make a speech, since she was one closest to Mark. Quinn was asked initially, but she turned it down. Zoey and the girls were getting ready in their dorm. Nicole and Dana had shown up with their parents this time to see everyone graduate. Zoey had a nice blue summer dress with short silver heels. Lola had picked a bright orange dress and Quinn picked a purple one. They walked out of their room and found Nicole and Dana on the other side, waiting for them. For once in their lives, Nicole and Dana were actually talking without fighting.

"We should get our robes and caps," Zoey said, holding her speech. The 5 girls walked towards the office to retrieve their cap and gowns. They slipped them on over their dresses.

"You look… wow," Chase said as Zoey walked out the door.

"I try," Zoey smiled. Chase raised his eyebrows to Michael. Michael just rolled his eyes and went back to talking with Lola. Logan was arm in arm with Quinn, Michael with Nicole and Zoey with Chase. Nicole and Dana walked back to their chairs and sat down. The six graduates went backstage to find the rest of their class. Dean Rivers walked on stage and was applauded.

"Before we begin the ceremony, I'd like to say a few words. No flash photography and leaving after your own kid has graduated!" he joked, walking towards the podium. The graduates walked in a single file line towards the stage.

"This is it!" Zoey squealed.

"Good luck," Chase said. He kissed her on the cheek. She smiled at him.

"Break a leg," Michael said, giving Lola a quick hug.

"You too," she replied.

"Don't be too brainy, Miss Valedictorian," Logan said.

"Don't worry, I won't," Quinn said. She pulled him towards her and gave him a quick kiss on the lips. Logan's eyebrows shot through his curly hair as Quinn walked away to be with the girls.

"Dude…" Logan stuttered.

"And without further ado… Jessica Addison!" Dean Rivers yelled. Jessica walked up and collected her diploma. After about 40 minutes or so, all the students were seated on stage with their diplomas. Quinn had made a wonderful speech about the school and many years to come, and now it was Zoey's turn.

"Zoey Brooks has offered to say a few kind words about the tragedy earlier this year. The podium is yours, Zoey," Dean Rivers said as Zoey walked down. She got a short round of applause.

"Great… A piece of wobbly old wood," Zoey joked. The crowd laughed and she continued.

"This year has definetly been hardest on all of us. Out of my four years here at PCA, I've never had to deal with something such as this. This has been so hectic. It's funny, really. I've never been asked to be so grown up. It really makes me realize how much we've all grown in the past 4 years. Whether it was physically or emotionally, we've all changed. Some of us are more independent, and some of us realized the need to have good friend who you can count on. And we've all definetly learned that nothing is certain and that assumptions can be wrong. As I stand here before you, I never thought I'd see such a small class of 2009. Four of our class members were killed on February 10th. There are things we miss dearly about them, and realized how much they meant to us. Even thought I didn't know them that well, I knew what they did to my life. Jason Morelas was a class clown. He loved to crack jokes about what people were wearing and what their moods were. Hey, he even brightened Dana's day a couple of times," Zoey said, looking at Dana in the crowd, who laughed.

"Paige Burke was an amazing artist. She loved to paint and she could play a mean violin solo," Zoey paused for laughter, "Daniel Michaels was an amazing athlete. Just ask Logan. Daniel loved to mess around. I remember one time he got so fed up with playing that he just caught the ball and ran all the way around the campus. The whole team including the coach was chasing after him," Zoey laughed. "Gavin Chalmers was brilliant. I know that if he were up here today he'd be competing with Quinn to get valedictorian. He aced every single test and final he'd ever taken, and for that I am jealous. Mr. Bender was an amazing science teacher. He taught us how to make things explode, things I never would have thought of. But I'm not here to moan and groan about how we miss them. Do you think they would want us to be unhappy on graduation day, the day we've all been looking forward to since day one? This is the day we've dreamed about. To have our parents' proud faces smiling up at us is an honor. To be up here telling everyone how cool it was to work with their kids is amazing. And to know that one day, our own children will be walking up on the same stage, wearing the same proud smiles on their faces delights me. To know that our parents are proud of us wherever we go and whatever we do astounds me. And to know that when we walk off this stage people will be cheering us on amazes me. So, parents, uncles, aunts, cousins, siblings and the occasional nieces and nephews, I give you the class of 2009!" Zoey said. The parents all stood and applauded her. Zoey took a bow and walked back up to her chair.

"We did it!" she yelled, throwing her cap up in the air.