A/N: Hi kids. It's your friendly neighborhood Lina again! I bear good tidings of early 90's cartoon slash Fanfiction. M/M and I don't mean the candy that melts in your mouth and not in your hand...tehehehehehe...
Yea well P.S. I didn't intend on making more than one chapter, but I'm sick of looking at a mass of words. IT'S HUGE!! LEIK 400 BEH-BAIES!
Also P.P.S. most of this chapter involves introducing the characters that no one can remember unless they watch all 13 fun filled episodes of Gravedale High. I hate formalities.
P.P.P.S. Once again the chapter to follow will be lightly peppered with slash, involving a teenage vampire and a wolf boy. It is called Vinnie/Reggie.
Or alternatively Veggie. Rock on and brush after every meal.
So if your not looking forward to seeing that, and I can't stress this enough, please press backspace.
Disclaimer: I do not own Gravedale High nor do I gain any material wealth from using the characters from the show. I smell.
Rick Moranis in Gravedale High (c) Hanna-Barbera
Face the Music: Chapter 1
The shaking of a chalk board, wheeled haphazardly against the grainy filth ridden gymnasium floor, awoke the snoozing majority of the students in Max Schneider's class from their pre-lesson naps. He smiled inwardly, adjusting the legs supporting the board, pleased he didn't have to resort to the air horn anymore.
Nearly a full year had passed since attaining employment as a teacher of a private High School. He recalled his acceptance, the word echoing sweet honeyed nothings into his ear.
The dream position of educators everywhere. But more importantly, unlike those sharing his profession, his main concern was reaching out to his students, and cobbling their own unique paths, stone by stone. Rather than the common and vapid concentration on a high paying salary, or whether or not he was teaching in a "good neighborhood".
...However, the latter portion of his philosophy, he had considered editing, after taking that first foreboding step into Gravedale High School for Monsters.
Had he known he was the only human being amidst a sea of ghouls, and bug-a-boos from every scant ripple of the imagination, he wouldn't have dreamed of taking a teaching job, let alone coming within a 100 mile radius of the property.
...However, more importantly, had he known the truth of the school, he would have never met any of the students, he had worked so hard to guide and mold into young adults, and whom had come to care for, as if they were his own children.
"Sorry about the delay guys. The wind out there is merciless." he said, pulling his attendance sheet from his bag dusting off any traces of ice or snow from his shoulders.
Who knew that swamp snow was so biting and sharp come winter? Who knew it snowed in swamp filled regions?
Though, the bog surrounding the literally haunted premises had always been subject to baffling weather conditions. The slivers of icy, dingy snow were nothing compared to the bouts of raining frogs the residents experienced once every spring or so.
The shuffling of headphones lain around necks, and wads of revolting, questionable black gum stamped to the bottoms of seats echoed the gym, while Max marked the boxes adjourning names. He opposed the peskiness of the attendance form, as the "problem" classes were relatively small, and he knew each face and person by heart, whether scaly, pallorous, decayed, furry or otherwise (This was true in the case of Sid, his invisible class clown).
Plus, the student population was quite small, reflecting the monster:mortal ratio in the known world. His same students, despite their promotion to the next grade (...miraculously...) returned to him, and would till graduation. Hopefully the faculty would take him a bit more seriously, and give him a few more pupils to educate.
"Blanche. Cleo. Duzer. Frankentyke. Gill. J.P. Sid. Vinnie...okay tha-" Max halted in mid sentence, realizing his perpetually punctual teacher's pet was not accounted for.
"Has anyone seen Reggie?" Mr. Schneider asked, perplexed, as the teenage werewolf never missed a single class. Reggie's overzealous craving for knowledge had nearly put him in intensive care, when attending class with a fever a few months back.
"Yo teacher dude," called out surf enthusiast swamp monster Gill. "Like, Reggie's laptop totally did a face plant this morning, and he said he'll be tardy."
Beach-bum Gill Waterman occupied the room neighboring Reggie's in the Boys wing of the school's dormitory. He was more often found sleeping under the murky depths of the school's pool. The trail of mud, residue and under water flora found in the hallway, usually indicated whether Gill was in his room or not. With the land submerged in it's brutal winter season, and most bodies of water frozen over, or simply uninhabitable, the amphibious boy blasphemed the bogus idea of hibernation. The solution: he bought a kiddie pool for his room, bundled up heavily, and took up snow boarding.
"Well...so long as he has an excuse." Mr. Schneider replied, folding his sheet into his breast pocket.
"Aw man, I get yelled at ever time I'm late " moaned the re-animated youth Frankentyke.
"Frankentyke, that's because your always late." answered the teacher, fumbling through his briefcase.
"Hey not ALL the time " which was indeed true. The misfit pest had indeed improved his study ethic, and his grades significantly over the months Max had taught him. A sure sign he was growing up or adapting to a safety-net survival method. Though facets of his curt qualities still lingered, made apparent by his inability to end his tirade. "Wolf-boy probably just decided to sleeeep in an- OW " Frankentyke was abruptly cut short by a soft bop on the head.
He head spun 90 degrees, to glare oppositionally at whoever the wise guy was. He was met by a pair of stoic eyes, belonging to the owner of the binder that delivered the punishing blow to the head. Usually the sang-froid vampire fledgling enjoyed class upheaval, but even he had his limits, when it came to pointless banter. And anyway, Reggie suffered enough grief and stress as it was.
One soundless gesture of an eyebrow quirk was all Vinnie needed to subdue the green teen into returning his attention towards the chalkboard and educator in front, pouting into a slump. Being Mr. Cool did have its magical charm.
Flashing Vinnie a silent 'thank you' smile, he pulled a small boom-box and cassette tapes from his bag.
"So I suppose your all wondering why I've asked you all to meet in here in the Gym?" he innocently asked.
"Well duh. It's probably so we won't be stuck watching that lame educational film in the Mausoleum." theorized the gorgon Duzer. One of her pony-tailed snake heads hissed a low chuckle in agreement. Even the Grecian-born mythological monster wouldn't have found the slightest interest in "Ghosts of Vesuvius". The dull documentary from the 70's was pulled from the dust caked vaults and played during snowstorms. Or whenever the Head Mistress Crone didn't feel up to polishing her menacing hand and greeting the blistering cold day. At that very moment, she was curled up by the fireplace, with a steaming mug of newts eyes, and a book of crime scene photos.
"Well yes," admitted Schneider bouncing anxiously on the balls of his feet . "I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to further our cultural study of the Eighteenth Century Europe, and experience first-hand one of the most representational and famous aspects of the time period."
His class leaned forward in anticipation. Sid mock bite his white gloves. The aghast un-dead debutante, Blanche daintily held a hand to her heart (An organ that would have been trembling with excitement, had she had a pulse).
Max grasped the very top of the chalk board and spun it on it axis for some 4 seconds, as rapid as a game show prize wheel. The blur of stone grey finally slowed, revealing "The Waltz" scratched in bright yellow chalk on the opposing side of the board.
All three girls squealed excitedly, overshadowing the groans of the remaining male population of the class.
"So I'm guessing you three dance?" Max asked.
"Like a natural sir." Cleo stated proudly, hands resting on the soft curve of her hips. Over the year, she had transformed through stages of slimming down, and filling out, and was very pleased with the womanly physique that remained. No one would dare call her by her full name, Cleofatra, again. She had lost a negative title and gained a natural sense of self satisfaction.
Her very close friend "Beast", the dashingly handsome soap opera star of the monster world, whom she had enchanted with her candid, genuine sweetness, would have found her beautiful, no matter what form she had metamorphed into. The 20 something year old star, whom her father did not approve of (A perfectly good reason for the mummified girl to like Beast even more), had also taught the girl every twirl and step she knew.
Episode 86, Cleo recalled. While on the set, watching him rehearse, he was in need of a dance partner to help practice for the following taping.
"Oh Mistah Schneidah, I was primmed and polished to know various styles." gasped the breathless southern bell. "Too bad I nevah made it to the dance..." she concluded dreamily. Blanche's zombie state had never been fully discussed, nor inquired. Even the dead had their secrets, though some gossip mentioned foul-play, poison, and mysticism. However, despite an obscured past, life was a paper moon to the flighty coquette, as she looked with delight to the future. A carnival of blitheness, with hopes of an exciting experiences, a rich husband to boot.
The proud Duzer leaned back, basking in self-assuredness. Though she considered old world dancing kind of farty in comparison to the ballistic barrage of pop culture moves she knew by heart and the high paced swerves she loved, she still knew her way around a dance floor. Especially if it meant spinning giddily in fabulously painful expensive shoes, showing off at the prom, or dancing with a cute hunk (namely a certain blood-drinking rebel).
"J.P. surely a man of your calibuh muuust know how to dance." Blanche innocently presumed, twirling a black lock of hair around her pinky.
"Hmmm let me think...uhhh-NO. I'm waaay to monetarily comfortable to break a sweat tiptoing around like an idiot." the heir grumbled, ignoring Blanche's batting eyelashes and imploring smile. Wishing to hear no more of his crassness, she huffed. With a turn of her nose upward, she refused to even spare a glance at the shorter teen. At least for a full ten minutes or so...
"Yeah Schneider. Whats the point anyways?" called out Frankentyke, watching his tone and volume, flinching at the thought of another binder assault.
"Aw c'mon guys level." Schneider reasoned. "You boys aren't even a little interested in a bit of cultural grooming?" A pair of clasped white gloves shook beneath his chin. He looked down to a pair of sunglasses pitifully looking up at him.
"Aww Mr. Schneider...Let me know you're up there. Come on. Love me, hate me, kill me, anything. Just let me know it " Sid cried out on his knees, clutching the edge of Max's shirt.
Max rolled his eyes, wondering just how many movie quotes and impressions Sid, his invisible student, would incorporate into himself before learning to write his own personality. Sure Sid had no problem performing in front of people, and boy did everyone know it. But it was that very need for an audience that wholly consumed the overlooked unseen student.
"What we have here class, is a failure to communicate." Max said blandly, brushing off the begging spectrum and straightening his tie. "I know with a guide you can do this Sid. In fact you may learn a few steps for your routine an-"
"Shhh. Nix Max baby, ya hear...Ixnayyy..." Sid whispered behind his glove, concealing an unapparent mouth. "Youz let de fellers know dat, an' you'll ruin my rep-ya-tation see... "
"Hey Schneider, I have an wild idea." Duzer finally spoke, innocently tracing tiny doughnut holes with her index finger across her desk. "Why not those of us able to dance, pair up with the rhythm-impaired?"
"Now that is constructive thinking Duzer. Okay, show of hands. Who can dance, even the smallest amount?" Max asked. Of course he was answered by three feminine hands in the front of the class, dainty fingers twitching in excitement.
'Tell me something I don't know', said the human to himself, calculating how they'd achieve, and distribute an even and leisurely lesson in the time given."Well...I guess we'll have to let everyone take-"
Every pair of eyes in the gym turned and widened as a white palm, was lazily tugged up into the air. Max removed and polished his glasses, in sheer disbelief. Either there was a smudge on his lenses, or his vampire student, infamous for his resilience and disinterest in his school career, was admitting to possess some knowledge of ballroom dancing.
"V-vinnie?" Max was answered with a sheepish, yet dignified shrug. Luckily the teacher was fluent in most languages, including anti-social teenese, and translated the gesture to a 'Why yes. Of course I can dance.'
Max broke out in a grin. "Get outta town, I never would have expected you-"
"Chill Schneider." the Vampire youth cut in, before the teacher excited himself into a coma. "Yea I can dance." he said without an ounce of fear of ridicule. Vinnie had learned the essence of his very coolness was not caring in what others thought, or busied themselves with. And his word was good. With such a demeanor he was heralded amongst the entire student population as a god among monsters.
Within the comfort of the stranded island that was his home-room class, he had learned to befriend and trust the few, rather than the masses of adoring fans. Outside, he was an untouched idol. Inside Max's class he was part of a solid community of people who understood him. Well...enough at least...
"Hawhaw...Thats rich man! Where'd yoooou learn to da-ance?" Frankentyke chided, wiggling his fingers to emphasize his obnoxious statement. Of course, the smaller boy was apt at taking the most difficult, strenuous road to learning, and was, yet again, met with a binder to the head. The lesson: Don't even think about picking on Vincent Stoker.
"Well you know..." the vamp drawled on casually, ignoring his green class mate, now rubbing an aching flat-top skull. "My folks wanted to show off to their friends how "cultured" I was at parties, so my mom taught me to dance."
His parents had met during the litany of violence produced by the French Revolution of the 18th century. Vinnie's mother, once a noblewoman of the court, was reduced to a starving fugitive, until she met the Count, Vinnie's father, who whisked her away to a lavish and immortal life. She was 22, he was pushing 186.
In vain she did her best to teach her son the finest Aristocratic etiquette. But he was victim to the modern age and was not in the slightest fascinated by the elite and snobbish manner of his coven. However, being the good son he was, he would humor his mother and make an appearance at banquets and masquerades. Delighting a lonesome baroness with a dance, sip a flute glass of blood or kissing a hand here and there. He chose not to disclosed these latter tidbits, unsure he'd ever be able to live them down.
Max clapped his palms and rubbed them together vigorously, now well armed for the battle plan. "OKAY! Everybody up. Dance teachers, choose your victims."
A green-black blur sped past the educator, colliding into the post-mortem posh teen.
"Ohhh Jaaaay Peeeee!" cooed Blanche, who crushed her dance-partner-to-be to her chest, like one of the many dried and shriveled roses, memoirs of past whimsies, cluttering her room. Likewise, J.P. wasn't too far from having the life squeezed out of him as well.
He was quite ready to shove the zombie off and tell her to hit the bricks, and do it by foot, like any other commoner-peasant...but...
...the fact that a beautiful and charming girl had him locked in her iron-maiden embrace, seemed to persuade him to drop his arms in apathetic defeat; he'd never stoop as low to tell her that he might enjoy it.
Duzer huffed. Some girls got all the luck. Even the hollow headed dixie-ditz. Nevertheless, like a predator surveying her menu, she decided her second choice would have to be Gill, or "Le Goon", as she so affectionately christened him.
"Hey Waterman!" she barked across the room to the runner up, currently guzzling a water bottle in one breath. "Aren't you gonna help your dance partner to her feet?" she innocently inquired, her wrist dangling helplessly from her outstretched arm.
"Oh yeah...um, like where is she?"
The snake headed girl waited patiently for Gill to notice her passive-aggressive "Your-joking-right" look. A stony stare that would turn any poor schmuck to stone. However, like her mother always said, "statues don't make lively dancers"...and anyway classical art bored her, so instead she took to drumming her fingertips.
"Oh-Ohhhhhh! Ch-yeah I knew that..." Gill said, mentally registering what 1+1 was equivalent to. He offered his arm to Duzer. She accepted with a sigh, formed by her wasted effort to dance with that hunky, brooding, rebellious-Oh wow this guy REALLY works out! Geez his biceps are hu- wait! Whoa...Okayokayokay! Cool it Duz...down girl...
All this time she never truly recognized the boy's- scratch that, the young man's more...becoming facets. Perhaps, thought Duzer, a muscle clad, beach-bum, him-bo wouldn't be so awful to dance with. She found herself making what was perhaps her eighth futile effort of the day. Trying, as best she could, in the name of Circe, to wipe the goofy grin from her face, as she ushered him to the center of the gym.
Meanwhile Cleo was escorting, or otherwise forcing Sid to his feet, spouting a plethora of restricted areas, and designations in which the invisible boy must keep his hands stationed. The teen then began mapping out ways to violate the rules. Life in unseen anonymity for the horny teen was good. Or so he dreamed.
"-Just remember, ten o'clock, two o'clock. I'll be sure to tell Beast if you try anything... funny...boy." Cleo stated, shaking her soft pigtails, leaving Sid to wonder if girls really did have telepathic abilities.
The wrath of the angry musclebound boyfriend did intimidate Sid. However like a kid in an elevator, he couldn't help but push buttons. And push buttons he would...
"Oh, vell dahling," he charmed in a fake accent, slinking an arm around the unamused Cleo's waist. "I'm sure he'll be mooore than happy to join us. Dah?"
Ignoring Sid moaning in immense pain, Max began unraveling the mass tumbleweed that was the stereo's extension cord to plug into the wall.
"Hey teach...we've eh hit a wall here."
Mr Schneider grimaced, forcing himself to turn, to behold the large problem. Well small technically. Small and terribly unpleasant. Loud and opinionated as well.
"No WAY man!"
Frankentyke, in his perpetual pout, bore holes into the ground with a death ray glare. Max had to admit he didn't blame Frankentyke for his embarrassment with his height. But J.P. was able to make due and is height just barely reached the bottom of Blanche's bust and- ah.
It was THEN that Max finally rationed what 2-1 came to. Height played no part in THIS particular equation.
"C'mon and get with the century Frankentyke." Max optimistically reasoned, preparing a speech on sociology and gender roles "I mean we're all JUST FRIENDS here and really no one will judge-"
"Schneider. Dude or not," Frankentyke cut in "I'm not doing any dancing. I have two left feet."
Ohhh so this really wasn't about Frankentyke's discomfort about dancing with another male, Max concluded, sighing in relief. Pre-cautiousness was a big school theme this era, and it was silently beginning to project it's effect on him. Frankentyke was just embarrassed about dancing.
"Aw c'mon Frank, don't be sill-WHOAH!"
The green youth hopped out of his oversized high-tops, revealing literally two, count em', two left feet. Though somewhat desensitized by the morbidity and strange things he encountered at his job, Max never failed to be shocked at least once every week or so.
"Yeah, the right one got lobbed over spring break, an' I ran outta spare parts..." Frankentyke bragged, as if bored by his impressive battle scars and the tales literally etched into him. "Got in a fight with a tiger. I was gonna swipe his eye, but I felt sorry for the dweeb and decided to let him keep it."
"An...eye of a tiger?" asked Vinnie, exasperated, his palm alining a beeline to his forehead.
"Ch-yeah man. It was the thrill of the fight."
Palm-to-forehead sequence deployed.
In reality, Frankentyke had lost his foot to a motor boat's propeller, while scuba diving with Gill and the manatees of the Florida Everglades.(The fearless duo had confused the manatee's nickname "the sea-cow" with "the sea-bull", and assumed an underwater matador match would arise.)
Incidently Frankentyke was the one driving the boat, but the hell if he was gonna let anyone know that. That was about as likely as him ball-room dancing with Vinnie in drag.
"I guess that's a valid excuse from waltzing..." Max said, scratching his head. Frankentyke made an awful facial expression of mocking triumph, despite Vinnie's expressed disinterest. Truthfully, teaching daddy's-little-monster how to dance wasn't exactly what he called a treat. It was more relative to a humiliating babysitting job without pay.
"Okay Frankie, I guess you can help me DJ the stereo." the educator succeeded, draping the mass wires against the boy's frame, it's mass so dense it nearly knocked him down. Max had wanted all his students to participate, and participate they would. Unfortunately this dilemma left him one extra dancing instructor. "I'm sorry Vinnie, you'll still receive the credit even tho-"
He was halted mid sentence by the sudden gust of chilled air, and the bang of the closing gymnasium door.
Reggie, the person who entered, carried in with him evidence of the cold, an entourage of swirling flurries, passively floating to the ground, as the wolf-boy shook his head dry.
"-ough your dancing partner just waltzed in."
To be Continued...
Sorry to leave everyone on a cliff like that. Wait here, I'll go fetch us some ropes and perhaps soda. : Drives off into the night :