Total Drama Academy

Year One

a Total Drama fan fiction story

by Lord Akiyama

Author's Note: Just remember that this story is created under the assumption that Total Drama Action does not happen. Though I may consider throwing in elements that I like. Meaning this story should be considered alternate universe. Strange how that works, don't you think?

Total Drama and its characters are copyright © of Fresh TV, Teletoon and Cartoon Network. This story was created purely out of sheer enjoyment so please don't sue. Or throw me off a thousand-foot high cliff into a shark-infested lake. That would so smarts.

Chapter Thirty-One

(Break Week 1, Day 2 - Sunday)

It seemed to Courtney that at least one person was occupying Casa Loma at all times. There was hardly a moment where it appeared devoid of a human body present. And why not? It truly was paradise on Earth. Just about anything anyone could ever hope to want or need in life was right there. It would require a truly important reason to ever want to leave such a majestic place. So it was no surprise to her that there was someone there when she emerged from her room to take Brittany out for some fresh air. As it turned out, there were two people occupying Casa Loma. Two she really did not expect to see.

"You sure your mom will be alright with it?" Jessica asked with a curious brow raised. She was seated on one of the extremely comfortable couches in the Riker Hall living space. "I seem to recall last time that she was none too pleased when you made mention of you and me spending a week at her summer house alone."

"Alone being the key emphasis in that regard," Jackson replied with a chuckle. He was seated next to Jessica with an arm loosely draped around her shoulders. Both were paying little attention to whatever it was that was being screened on the 80-inch television. "This time around, we're just going to be with your folks. I'm sure she won't have a problem with that."

"Need I remind you that my dad has been armed with a shotgun in hand ever since the end of freshman year," Jessica noted, though a sly grin seemed to be forming on her lips. "But more importantly, are you really sure you want to spend the holidays away from your folks? Isn't the whole idea of the holidays is to be with loved ones?"

"I thought that's what I was trying to do," Jackson responded, leaning in to kiss her on the cheek.

Courtney could see that Jessica did not blush, but she was quite certain that her resident assistant appeared flattered by the comment he had just made. Almost immediately, the CIT started to feel somber. Duncan was not going to be around for at least another two weeks, having been shipped off forcefully to spend the two week break at that hell-hole Camp Wawanakwa. Though she had been lost in her thoughts for only a brief second, it was long enough for her presence to be recognized by the others.

"Out and about with your pet raccoon, I see," Jessica said to her.

"Hmm?" Courtney managed to utter, having been reared back to reality. "Oh. Yes, I'm taking Brittany out for a bit. She doesn't like being cooped up in her cage for a long while."

"I can imagine," Jackson said.

If anything more was going to be said about the subject, it never happened. Muffled music was suddenly heard, perking Courtney's interest. It seemed to also appeal to Brittany as well as she felt her pet cock her head in the direction of the sound and swished her tail instinctively. If she didn't know any better, Courtney was pretty sure it was coming from the Marshmallow.

"Something going on in there?" she asked aloud curiously.

"That would be the new band trying to get some practice in despite lacking a bassist," Jessica answered.

"New band?" Courtney questioned further.

"Trent, Gwen, and Harold," Jessica replied. "Apparently they decided to put one together after checking out some of the local talent. They've been at it pretty much ever since they came back last night, trying to get a feel for playing together."

"How come this is the first I've heard them play, though?" Courtney asked some more.

"I mentioned they lacked a bassist, didn't I?" Jessica answered in amusement. "Trent is on guitar, Gwen on drums, Harold on keyboards. But as you might be able to tell, the music isn't working without bass. Trent stops play before any song could really kick in. Quite the perfectionist in that regard, really."

Curiosity getting the best of her, Courtney decided to see for herself this trio of musicians trying to play together. Upon entering the Marshmallow, they had started up again. Trent, sitting on a stool, was strumming at his guitar and yet was still able to hit the tone just right. Gwen was banging the beats with a steady flow. Harold creating a sweet melody that was in sync with the others. Jessica had been right though about the lack of bass. Without it, the music just did not come together. A fact that clearly Trent was well aware of it himself as it appeared that he wasn't quite into the music as he could have been.

"Stop," he uttered, waving his hand to get the attention the other two. When the music stopped, he merely shook his head. "Even if we stick to emulating White Stripes, this isn't going to work." He let out a frustrated groan, clutching his hair from either side of his head, and mimicked pulling them tight.

"I know you don't like the idea, babe, but we really need to consider auditions," Gwen stated after letting out a tired sigh. One could easily see just how tired she was, given that she had been playing the drums all night without any rest.

"Maybe if I can tweak the keyboard a bit, I can tune it to sound like a bass," Harold suggested.

"Didn't we try that a minute ago?" Gwen asked, rubbing her eyes.

"Oh yeah," Harold muttered in realization. "It did not sound all that good."

"Lookin' for somethin', Courtney?" a voice suddenly asked from behind Courtney. It startled her for a brief second, nearly squeezing Brittany into being startled herself. She then turned to see LeShawna sitting in a seat that was as far to the back of the amphitheater as possible. She had a peculiar brow raised as she looked at the CIT.

"Oh," Courtney managed to utter before clearing her throat nervously. "I just, um... heard some music going on in here."

"Did we wake you or something?" Gwen asked. The three on stage appeared to have suddenly registered Courtney's appearance in the room when LeShawna spoke up.

"Actually, I didn't know you guys were playing music last night," Courtney replied.

"Is it morning already?" Harold questioned, aghast at the thought that he had been up all night.

"Well, it's really almost noon," Courtney proclaimed. Trent and Gwen groaned, rubbing their eyes some more as they took in the news of just how long they had been at it. Harold was still in a state of shock that he had been awake this whole time.

"Good thing it's just the weekend," Trent muttered.

"Good thing we're still only a day or two into a two week break," Gwen pointed out with a sigh. "There's no way I would have been able to function for class lacking proper sleep."

"So that is why I feel like my mojo is slipping out of my body," Harold stated, on the verge of collapsing atop the keyboard.

"Why don't you guys just call it a day and then try again later to see what more you can do," LeShawna suggested, herself letting out a light yawn. It seemed that she had not slept at all during the night either.

"Knowing now how long we've been at it, that's probably not a bad idea," Trent said in agreement. "I could certainly use some shut eye, a shower, and something to eat."

"Can I join your band?" Courtney asked suddenly and rather sheepishly. This caught the others completely off guard as they all looked at her with a mixture of shock and disbelief.

"Did you just ask if you could join our band?" Gwen questioned, wanting to make sure she heard the CIT correctly and wasn't under the influence of an improperly functioning brain.

"I may not be able to play bass, but the violin can sound similar to one," Courtney noted, as if she needed to make a case for why she should join them in the first place. "And I can play rhythm guitar should you need the extra sound."

The others, specifically the three on stage, examined her as closely as they could. Trying to tell if she was being serious about joining the band. She and Harold might have a truce with one another, but that still did not necessary make them any less uncomfortable when they were together. After a moment of simply staring at her, they finally managed to glance over at each other.

"And you want to join our band because..." Gwen started to say, leaving it open for Courtney to finish.

"Well..." Courtney began to say for hesitating to say further. After biting her bottom lip briefly, she continued. "Mainly it's because I'm required to be doing some sort of extracurricular activity as a Student Council Representative. One that isn't backed or sponsored by the school."

"Doesn't our being on this show count towards that?" Trent asked curiously.

"Apparently not," Courtney answered. "All I know is that I need to do something aside from just being on the show. And I would really like to play the violin with a band if I can."

The three on stage stared at her once again, still trying to figure if she really wanted to be part of their band. They then looked to one another. As tired as they were, they still managed to get their brains to function long enough to put some serious thought into whether or not to let Courtney join. Finally, they all appeared to come to some sort of agreement as they shrugged together before turning back to face her.

"We'll let you know when we'll be practicing next," Trent said.

(Confessional Cam)

Gwen - "So this band of ours currently has myself, Trent, Harold, and now Courtney. How the hell did that happen?"

Trent - "We're still going to need a bassist. But I don't think it would hurt having an extra guitar on hand."

LeShawna - "As long as Ms. CIT not start blamin' my man again if thin's don't go to her likin', I guess I could live."

Harold - "She mentioned wanting to really play the violin in a band. I cannot recall too many bands that have violinists that are not symphonies."

Courtney - /Holds Brittany who is eying electric fish dangling on Z Necklace./ "Alright, now I'm covered with the extracurricular activity problem. I probably would have gone to Noah for some advice, given he is supposed to be my chief of staff." /Brittany claws at electric fish./ "Fortunately, Gwen, Trent, and Harold were starting a band and they agreed to let me join. Maybe this will help in continuing to ease the tension Harold and I had. I mean, it's like the old saying. Music can sooth a savage beast. So with that kind of thinking, Harold and I would be able to relax and actually get along for a change." /Brittany snags electric fish and begins tearing into it with mouth./ "Hopefully Duncan won't mind that I'm in a band. More importantly, in a band with Harold. He still doesn't like the truce I called, but Noah and I have been able to keep him in check." /Sighs longingly./ "Oh, how I miss Duncan..." /Brittany rips electric fish in half./

(Break Week 1, Day 3 - Monday)

"Beta Gamma Pi, eh?" Noah muttered with a curious brow raised. He began to skim through the information packet that Katie and Sadie had presented to him while they were having lunch in the cafeteria. Though Casa Loma was stocked with food, neither one of them felt like cooking at the moment. "Patience, valor, diligence, liberty, generosity, kindness, and humility. You sure you two would be up for joining a sorority? Particularly in a place like this where academics is of the highest order?"

"Owen, like, joined a fraternity," Sadie pointed out.

"Being a member of Delta Tau Chi isn't necessarily something that would look impressive on a resume," Noah noted. "Not even for a job flipping burgers at a fast food joint. This, on the other hand, is different."

"Oh, come on, Noah," Katie said, putting on her best puppy dog eyes. "It would be, like, so cute for me and Sadie to be in a sorority. And this is, like, the nicest one we've found so far."

"If you manage to actually become a member," Noah responded. "This thing notes that even if they let you join, you're not officially in until you pass their seven secret tests. And you won't know that you're taking them until a member informs you that you've passed one. This is not something you can just waltz in and expect to charm your way to becoming one of them." He watched as the two girls sitting beside him started to pout slightly, disappointed at hearing what he had just told them. "Besides, that would barely leave you enough time to spend on something grandeur."

"What would that be?" Katie asked curiously.

"Me," Noah replied, forming a sly smirk on his lips. Within seconds, Katie was giggling and squealing with delight before throwing herself onto him and rapidly kissing his cheek.

Sadie let out a long sigh, watching her best friend smother the brainiac with endless love. She rested her head on her hand, which itself was supported at the elbow on the table, as she gazed at them. This went on for a moment until they saw someone approaching. It was DJ, carrying a tray of lunch in his hands. He looked very somber. So somber that it seemed to cause Katie to lose all her perkiness in an instant.

"Like, ohmygosh!" Sadie gasped as DJ sat down across from them. "Are you alright, DJ?"

"Tell me you didn't dare tackle the atrocity that is Chef's cooking," Noah said. While he hardly looked as worried or concerned as the girls, he did raise a brow that made it seem as though he appeared interested in uncovering DJ's plight.

"Nah," DJ answered, shaking his head gently. "Already depressed enough to consider eatin' his food."

"What's the matter?" Sadie asked, her worry increasing with each passing second.

"I dunno," DJ sighed as he began to pick at his food. "I ain't been feelin' all that well lately."

"Well, there's obviously a reason for it," Noah noted. "Unless you're suffering from some sort of mental disease, and that's hardly the case since Izzy has redefined the very meaning to the point that extremities are required to be diagnosed as such."

"Come on, DJ," Katie pleaded. "You can tell us. What's wrong?" She once again put on her best puppy dog eyes. And this time, it seemed to have worked as DJ let out another heavy sigh before he spoke following a moment's hesitation.

"You know that girl Janet?" he asked. The others immediately nodded, the girls rather enthusiastically. "Well... I like her, you know. I mean, I really like her."

"No surprise," Noah commented. "Every male student on campus is head over heels for her. She looks nothing like what the perceived beauty queen is supposed to be and yet all worship the ground she walks on."

"Ah, come on, Noah," Katie said, lightly tapping his shoulder in a slapping manner. "Don't, like, tease DJ for having a crush. I think it's so cute."

"Yeah, well, the problem is that..." DJ started to continue saying before he paused. He bit his lip and then once again let out a heavy sigh. "I think she may already be seein' someone else."

"Aww," Sadie uttered. "That is, like, so sad. You, like, find a girl you like and, like, she's already taken."

"What makes you think she's dating someone?" Noah asked, raising a brow.

"I, um..." DJ sheepishly muttered then paused again. "I think she's goin' out with Justin." This drew gasps from the girls, clearly shocked at what they had just heard. Noah did not appear to be phased one bit. "He had a photo of her next to his bed."

"So, the Anti-Me strikes," Noah stated coldly.

"No-ah!" Katie and Sadie hissed.

While Katie was clearly in love with Noah, she never really did like it whenever he insulted Justin. The way she saw it, Justin was too handsome to be treated as badly as her boyfriend did. He had since learned to tolerate this since she had no intention of ever leaving him for any one, even the male model.

"And because he has a picture of her by his bed, you've come to the conclusion that he's going out with Janet," Noah summarized, having slightly ignored the way Katie protested to his insulting Justin. DJ did not necessarily respond, though the way he shrunk his head into his shoulders made it clear that the statement was correct. "Well, you can rest easy. I happen to know for a fact that she's not dating any one. Not even Anti..." He paused when he noticed the stern looks he was receiving from Katie and Sadie. "Not even Justin."

"Really?" DJ asked, perking up in surprise.

"Because Courtney is a Student Council Representative, she makes contact with Janet, who is, of course, the Student Council Vice President," Noah began to explain. "Since I'm Courtney's chief of staff, I have to make sure she's able to function at her job as comfortably as possible. That includes keeping her update to date on the people that she works with so she'll know how to deal with them. Trust me, Janet has not been taken. While every boy in the school is in love with her, none have had the courage to step up and even attempt to befriend her."

"Ohmygosh, that's, like, good news!" Katie cheered.

"You can, like, totally ask Janet out now!" Sadie added, clapping her hands together with excitement. The girls appeared to be quite oblivious to how badly DJ was blushing.

"You... you really think so?" he asked quietly. He had barely spoken above a whisper, yet it seemed that Noah was able to understand very clearly what he was saying.

"You might as well," the egghead replied with a shrug. "If no one else is going to take a chance, this is probably as good of an opportunity as any for you to take your shot."

"But... but..." DJ started to muttered. His voice failed him, too flustered to say anything further.

"Look, just be yourself," Noah explained. "If she doesn't like you for who you are, then she's probably not the girl for you. Yet if she does like you for you, then you should have no problem sweeping her off her feet."

"You really think so?" DJ questioned further, raising a curious brow as he took in the advice that had been given to him.

"Worked for me," Noah answered. "And she was the one who initiated the relationship." Before anything more could be said any further, Katie started to squeal with delight as she wrapped herself ever so tightly around Noah. He merely grinned, displaying just how proud he was of himself.

(Confession Cam - Now without Electric Fish)

DJ - "Maybe Noah is right. The ball is in my court and I should run with it. Hopefully before Justin does." /Pauses./ "But what if he's already asked her out? What if she said yes? Then I'd feel so embarrassed about asking her out when she's already goin' out with Justin. What am I supposed to do then?"

Noah - "Seriously, I've suddenly turned into the problem solver around here. I should start charging people for my services. Twenty bucks for each consultation should do."

Sadie - /Sighs longingly./
Katie - "Sadie?"
Sadie - "Hmm? Oh, nothing."
Katie - "Come on, Sadie. You're, like, my best friend forever. You can totally tell me anything."
Sadie - "I know. It's just that... well..."
Katie - "Yes?"
Sadie - "Seeing you with Noah, now seeing DJ having a crush. I, like, feel heartsick, or something like that."
Katie - "Awww, Sadie. Why didn't you, like, tell me sooner? We could have, like, so already been trying to hook you up."
Sadie - "I didn't, like, wanna be a bother with the way you and Noah are, like, really hitting it off."
Katie - "Oh, Sadie, you know we would, like, always lend a help..."
Sadie - "Ohmygosh! What happened to Mr. Picklesworth?" /Picks up destroyed plushie./
Katie - "Oh no! Not Mr. Picklesworth!" /Gasps and picks up other destroyed plushie./ "And Mrs. Pennytoe!"
Sadie - "Who would, like, do such horrible things?" /Cries./

(Break Week 1, Day 4 - Tuesday)

"You think we'll make it past the one minute mark this time?" Gwen asked in a teasing manner.

"I sure hope so," Harold replied, running his fingers down each key on his keyboard. "It would be really cool if we can actually get started in putting some songs together."

"Just remember, guys," Trent said as he was tuning his guitar. "Bands don't usually come together over night."

"Don't we know it," Gwen responded with a light laugh.

"So," Courtney announced after letting out a big exhale. She had her violin in hand and was quite anxious to start playing it. "How are we going to do this again?"

"We'll be practicing exclusively to this song," Trent answered, giving her a copy of the music sheet. "We need to be able to know that all of the sounds are coming together just right."

"We have not made it to the actual singing of the song since Trent stops around thirty seconds in," Harold explained. "Whenever he does, we try do some tweaks and then start again."

"Do you want me to be co-singer as well?" Courtney asked curiously, noting that the song was a duet.

"I'll be doing that," Gwen answered rather firmly.

"While playing drums?" Courtney questioned.

"And that's a problem how?" Gwen asked back with a stern brow raised. Courtney got the message and said nothing further.

"Alright," Trent proclaimed, positioning himself on the stool. "From the top."

As before, the yet-to-be-official band was not alone in the Marshmallow. LeShawna, like last time, was seated as far back as possible. She was joined by Jessica, who it seemed was the only person at present Courtney felt comfortable leaving Brittany with. Not to say LeShawna was bad, just that she was concerned Brittany would do something that might rub LeShawna the wrong way. Thereby putting the truce in jeopardy.

Despite the addition of Courtney, Trent was still calling a stop to every practice run before they got to the actual singing. It was sounding better than it did without her. Nevertheless, all knew that it still was not coming together. The lack of bass was quite evident and it was frustrating Trent even more. At one point, he nearly kicked the stool he was sitting on.

"You want me to start drawing up flyers for an audition, babe?" Gwen asked bluntly.

"Why is it that you don't like auditions any way?" Courtney asked Trent curiously.

"Bad experiences," Trent merely replied. "The last time I had to sit through one, it was brutal. One guy even had the nerve to play a female mannequin torso with a string attached to it."

"We might as well have one any way," Harold noted. "I mean, it is not like a bass player is just going to fall onto our laps." As if on cue, the entrance to the amphitheater swung open.

"Joining us in watching one of my wards break down, sweetie?" Jessica asked the entrant.

"Not really," Jackson replied with a chuckle. "But I do come bearing good news. I found someone who can play bass." Everyone on the stage displayed a mixture of surprise and relief. Jessica, on the other hand, raised an intrigued brow.

"I take it he got kicked out of another one," she commented to her boyfriend, making it almost certain that she knew who it was that he was referring to.

"Actually, the band broke up this morning," Jackson responded as he sat himself next to his girlfriend. "Though he suspects that they broke up as a means of not having to say officially that they were giving him the boot."

"And you expect them to take this guy on?" LeShawna asked, becoming quite concerned over what she was hearing.

"To his credit, the guy is an excellent bassist," Jessica explained. "It's just that he was a rather unique personality. One that tends to rub others the wrong way."

"Sounds like the kind of guy who would've fit in on the show," Trent noted.

"Fair point," Jessica said in agreement.

"Does this bassist have a name?" Courtney asked curiously.

"His name is Thompson," Jackson answered. "He's my roommate."

"Only in the technical sense," Jessica stated, cracking a grin at the thought over what she had just said. "When was the last time he actually slept in his own bedroom, any way?"

"You mean before he applied for another PhD?" Jackson questioned back with another chuckle.

(Confession Cam)

Courtney - "The way Jessica and Jackson put it, this guy could be an even crazier person that Izzy could ever hope to be."

Harold - "I know bands will kick someone out because personalities clash, but I cannot imagine one crazy enough receive the boot as many times as he did when he is applied for all those PhD's."

LeShawna - "There sure be a lotta strange folk goin' to this school. Makes me wonder how it is that it's as prestigious as Chris makes it out to be."

Trent - "Well, it's either him or go through an audition. And trust me, I've had bad luck with auditions back home."

Gwen - "Maybe I should draw up a flyer just in case..."

(Break Week 1, Day 5 - Wednesday)

"'oom, ex'oose me," Ezekiel managed to utter to every person that walked by. None seemed to be bothered to hear him out, if they chose to hear him at all. "Pard'oon me." He had only been trying to get someone's attention for the past five minutes, but it started to feel like he had been at it for an hour.

Having never been to a school before in his life, he had no clue as to what to expect from a building labeled the Gym and Fitness Center. Apparently, it was where the vast majority of all the training and exercise programs were designated. The trouble was that it made no mention about what kind of physical activity took place here. It had been suggested to him from Jessica that he should take up some sort of extracurricular activity as a means of expanding his sociology. He felt relatively at ease with archery and wanted to see if there was some kind of archery club at the school. He figured he would start at the Gym and Fitness center since it sounded like it would at least provide him with some information.

The size and scope literally overwhelmed him at first sight. It was said to have roughly two floors with a basement, but it looked so much bigger than he had pictured a building of such description to be. He thought it was more like twenty floors high than two. Inside, he understood why it was labeled as such given that there were only two levels. Yet each level was massive in its own right. Even the basement, which was apparently where the swimming pool was located. There was a front desk for the building, but the receptionist had stepped out for lunch. It appeared that the only way to access each level was with a card key that several students clearly possessed as they marched in and out with relative ease. Ezekiel was too afraid to try to tail someone entering just to get a look at what he might find inside.

It was another minute before he finally managed to get the attention of someone. A group of well built boys, a couple of them rather heavyset, were just about to make their way toward the basement when Ezekiel called out to them. They immediately stopped and turned, trying to find who it was that was speaking to them. It took them a second before looking down to catch sight of him. Confusion and displeasure painting their faces.

"The heck is this?" one of the heavyset boys muttered.

"Scrawniest thing I've seen all week," another mentioned, illiciting some chuckles from the others.

"Look pipsqueak, we ain't got all day," said a boy that had an air of importance to him. He was tall, skinny, and not quite as muscular as the others, but there was just something about him that made it clear that if he said something they would follow. "What do you want?"

"I, 'oom..." Ezekiel started to say before swallowing nervously. The boys appeared to literally tower over him and it didn't help that he was slowly shrinking into himself. "I w'oonted t'oo kn'oo where I c'ood find the archery cl'oob, eh."

The gang of boys stared at Ezekiel for a moment, seemingly in wonder if they heard him correctly. More importantly, if he was seriously seeking help from them of all people. Soon enough, they started letting out hearty laughs of disbelief. Only one did not laugh. In fact, he did nothing except stand still like a statue. Staring down at the prairie boy with cold, steel eyes. This did nothing to make Ezekiel any less uncomfortable around them.

"Can you guys believe this country shrimp?" the apparent leader of the pack stated in amusement to the others. "He doesn't know where the archery club is." He then proceeded to pull the toque from off of Ezekiel's head and tossed it over his shoulder for the others to catch and mess around with. Then he started knocking on the prairie boy's head. Ezekiel did nothing to fight back. "Hello? Hello? Anybody home? Huh? Crap like the archery club is for a buncha sissies. If you wanna be a real man, you'd join up an actual sport like football, baseball, or swimming. Definitely swimming. Certainly not this bow and arrow nonsense. Normally, me and the boys would do something to correct your ignorant line of thinking. But, I'm feeling a little generous. Since you're new here, I'm gonna cut you a break. Today. So, why don't you make like a tree and get outta here?"

"It's leave, you idiot," a new voice suddenly sounded. Everyone turned to see a few more boys emerging from the gym and looking none too pleased. The speaker was in the middle of this intruding group. "Make like a tree and leave. You sound like a damned fool when you say it wrong."

"Well, look who it is, boys?" the head of the first group proclaimed to the others. "Dallas come to stick his nose where it doesn't belong, like always. What's the matter, have nothing better to do than to inject yourself into other people's business?"

"You sure talk alot for a guy whose idea of fun is to mess with smaller folks, Tannen," the one named Dallas replied, crossing his arms over his chest. "How about trying someone your own size for a change and see if you'll be singing the same tune?"

"Oh, ha-ha-ha!" Tannen responded sarcastically. "That's about as funny as a screen door on a battleship."

"It's 'screen door on a submarine,' you dork," Dallas noted.

"Insult him again," one of the friends of Tannen declared, the formally silent one, stepping up into Dallas' face. "I dare you." He was more muscular than he was heavyset, but that made him no less of an imposing figure. So much so that those who were with Dallas backed up a bit. Dallas, on the other hand, stood his ground.

"My beef is not with you, Kael," Dallas stated. "It's with Tannen. But, if you want to act like the dog that he and the rest of those cronies make you out to be, I'll lay off for now. So long as the kid gets his toque back."

"What, this?" Tannen questioned, snatching the toque from one of the others in his group. He then looked down at Ezekiel, sneering really, and then blew his nose into the toque before tossing it to the prairie boy. Ezekiel stared at the soiled toque in his hands with a disgusted look on his face before glance up to Tannen. "What you looking at, butthead?"

With that, the group made their way down to the basement, satisfied with what they accomplished. Kael lingered for a moment to continue staring at Dallas before he joined the others. Dallas and his group eyed the direction they went before they turned their attention to Ezekiel. The prairie boy was back to looking at his toque with a frown.

"Hey, don't let them bother you too much," Dallas said, placing a reassuring hand on Ezekiel's shoulder. "Even in a school like this, there will always been a bunch of bullies picking on the little guys. Fortunately, there's an equal bunch of decent guys about to even the playing field. At least, we like to think of ourselves as decent."

"I j'oost w'oonted t'oo kn'oo where t'oo find the archery cl'oob," Ezekiel managed to utter.

"Archery club, huh?" Dallas noted with a chuckle. "So you fancy yourself as Robin Hood. Or perhaps one of his Merry Men. I hear it takes a lot of skill to use a bow and arrow. Not much good with both myself, but that's just me."

"You're in the wrong place to sign up for that, any way," one of the others in Dallas' group said as they came forward to crowd around the prairie boy. "You do that over at the Coliseum, since that's where the practices are held."

"We're actually on our way over there," Hemingway stated, a friendly smile forming on his lips. "Part of the basketball team, we are. Stick with us for a minute. We'll get you there in one piece."

"Really?" Ezekiel squeaked, perking up a bit. "Gee, thanks."

"No problem," Dallas said, patting Ezekiel on the shoulder. "Always willing to help out a little guy out. Particularly when they've just been picked on by Tannen and his goons."

"W'oot's there pr'ooblem any way, eh?" Ezekiel asked as he was led out of the building by Dallas and his friends.

"They think of themselves as being above everyone else," Dallas replied. "Just because they're part of some fancy little secret group, they feel they can do whatever they please."

(Confession Cam)

Heather - "Athena tells me that Poseidon and Ares had a little run-in with Zeke today. Asked me if that was my doing. Not necessarily. And while I would have come up with a different way to deal with the sexist pig, it's not like I'm against what they did." /Looks up at sports banners, rolls eyes./ "God, this place is such a dump. I mean, look at the crap these people put in here. I'd do something to class this place up, but I'm certain these idiots would mess it up any way."

Justin - /Oblivious to Angelina Jolie poster covering both sports banners, staring at Janet picture./ "Ah, Janet... You could make me sit through Mamma Mia! and I'd still adore you."

(Break Week 1, Day 6 - Thursday)

"You did say that he'd be coming at two, right?" Courtney asked anxiously. She was tapping her right foot every other second while the rest were merely content with maintaining a reasonable sense of patience.

"He said around two, not exactly two," Jackson noted. "He'll be here. Just in his own way." As before, LeShawna and Jessica were seated in the back of the Marshmallow. Jackson had joined them and Brittany was once more in Jessica's care.

"It's not like you're busy or anything, Courtney," Gwen stated, lightly running the tip of one of her drumsticks against the cymbal. "No need to be in a rush."

"I know, I know," Courtney responded, though it did not seem like she was taking Gwen's word to heart. "I just want to know that he'll work out so we can play another song for a change."

"I am more curious to know if he is as eccentric as Jessica and Jackson have been making him out to be," Harold said.

"I'm preparing myself in case he does turn out the way I'm imagining him to be," Trent said, gently strumming at the strings on his guitar. "Pretty much a male version of Izzy."

"And if he is, I wonder how the two would get along when they meet," LeShawna mused with a grin on her face.

Just then, the sound of bass playing was heard. It was a particular tune, one that Harold was quite sure he was familiar with. After a moment, the bass playing was joined by a whistle. Whistling a song that Harold was now very certain he should know. All looked over to see that Thompson had somehow managed to appear on stage.

He wore a frock coat, over his school uniform, that was faded brown and ran down to just below his knees. A dirty wide-brimmed felt fedora hat that covered his mass of brown curls. But perhaps more intriguing was the impractically long scarf that lines alternating between the school colors. It was wrapped once around his neck before both sides draped over the front of his tall, rather lanky figure. He continued to play a fender model precision bass until he stopped the song on his own. Upon looking up at everyone else, he grinned, which displayed his teeth quite prominently.

"I say, you haven't been waiting for me, have you?" he asked rather cheerfully. There was a slight British accent to his somewhat deep voice as he spoke. "It's just that time and I have never gotten along very well. I wish to be fashionably early, time wishes to be fashionably late. And no matter what, we can't seem to come to some sort of a compromise." Barely a second had passed before he outstretched his hand and approached the others on stage. "How do you? I'm Thompson. You're new bassist."

"Um... Trent..." Trent managed to utter as he cautiously took Thompson's hand to shake. "That's Gwen on the drums, Harold on keyboard, and Courtney on rhythm guitar and violin." Harold was the only one willing to wave, albeit in a confused state. Gwen merely stared at Thompson while Courtney had a concerned brow raised.

"A violinist, you say," Thompson said, looking as though he was perking up again even though he had not once dropped his previous expression. He glided right over to Courtney, standing so close that she had to lean back. "Surely you must be a fan of Johann Strauss II, or at least a great admirer of his work. I've always believed that was never a moment that was inappropriate for a good waltz, wouldn't you agree my dear?"

"What?" Courtney squeaked, clearly unsure of what to make of the person before her.

"Perhaps you might consider easing up on the social skills," Jessica suggested, speaking more than loud and clear enough for everyone on stage to hear. "I believe they're more interested in your ability to play the instrument in your hands."

"Oh, this old thing?" Thompson asked, holding up his bass guitar slightly as though he needed to examine it. "Well, it would certainly make sense to prove upon my new companions that I am able to perform the duties of a bassist. What shall I be playing first? A little John Entwistle, Steve Jones perhaps. I can even do Les Claypool or Tetsuya Ogawa, if you want me to."

"How about just this one to start with?" Trent responded, carefully handing out the music sheet. Thompson took it, glanced over it in just a couple seconds, and then handed it back to him.

"Fine choice, my good man," Thompson proclaimed. "Is there a particular position you would like me to stand? I tend to prefer being to the left of whomever is the lead guitarist, but I'm content with whatever set up you wish to go with."

"I take it you're familiar with the song we are going to play," Harold commented.

"Oh, Heaven's no," Thompson responded, still maintaining the pleasant tone of voice with his ever present grin. "I never even heard the song before, actually. Will be familiarizing it for the first time."

"Yet you know how to play it?" LeShawna asked, looking quite perplexed.

"Of course," Thompson answered. "I know it by heart."

The four on stage stared at their new bassist for a moment. Then they looked to one another, greatly concerned and baffled by what they were getting themselves into. They even managed to glance over to those in the back of the amphitheater. LeShawna was just as dumbfounded as they were while Jackson shrugged and Jessica raised a brow, as if to say she had warned them. Each taking individual breaths, they decided to take a chance and proceeded to play.

"Alright," Trent uttered, getting himself into position. "From the top."

The group started to play the same song they had been playing before. This time, it sounded much better. The inclusion of a proper bass made all the difference and everything started to come together. What's more, Thompson did indeed know how to play the song despite the claim that he never heard of it before. It was turning out so well in fact that Trent did not call for a stop. Instead, they kept right on going until they finally reached the lyrics.

Another ringer with the slick trigger finger for Her Majesty

Another one with the golden tongue poisoning your fantasy

Another bill from a killer, turned a thriller to a tragedy

Trent and Gwen:
Yeah, a door left open, a woman walking by
A drop in the water, a look in your eye
A phone on the table, a man on your side
Or someone that you think that you can trust
It's just another way to die

(Confession Cam - Now with an Angelina Jolie Poster)

Trent - "Well... He is the excellent bassist he was made out to be, I'll give him that."

Gwen - "I don't think I could quite handle someone like him for a very long time. Fortunately, we don't have to endure his presence everyday. Just whenever we get together as a band."

Harold - "I swear, I feel like I know that song he played he when first showed up. And how did he show up any way?"

Courtney - "You wouldn't be able to see it at first glance, but he certainly has a similar personality to that of Izzy. It's just done in a very different way."

LeShawna - "That's one messed up dude, if you ask me."

Chris - /Sniggers./ "I can't wait to see what this guy does to them in the long run. Makes me wish we had him on the show in the first place. Oh well, at least we'll get to see more of him for now."

Confession Cam Decorations to date:

Dolphin Sticker on the Camera Lens, Heart-Shaped D+C Graffiti, Car Air Freshener hanging from Z Necklace hanging from Gum on the Ceiling, Kitten Inside a Mug with Face of a Kitten Picture covering Wing Commander Poster covering Justin Headshot covering Horse Poster, 9 Movie Poster, Picture of Janet covering "Courtney vs. Harold" Flyer covering Denzel Washington Poster covering Corey Clark Poster, Portraits of Captains James T. Kirk and Jean-Luc Picard, Booby Trapped Papier-mâché Bust of Izzy with a Frito's Necklace, Angelina Jolie Poster covering Toronto Maple Leafs Banner and Toronto Blue Jays Banner, Cushioned Chair replacement, Japanese Peace Lily, Cover-Less Book on top of Sally Johnson Professional Make-Up Cabinet, Noah Voodoo Doll on top of Water Cooler, Numerous Pink Plushies with Two Destroyed


Electric Fish

First off, a reminder for those who haven't seen it already. I've launched Return to Total Drama Island, which follows the ten that are currently not present at Richmore Academy during the two-week break period. Be sure to check it out to see what trouble they find themselves in as they're forced back onto Camp Wawanakwa with the Outsiders, Alejandro and Sierra.

As you can see, I've started introducing some more original characters. Their purpose will be played out as the story progresses, some may even be sticking around into Year Two if all goes to plan. Perhaps you might recognize who Thompson is modeled after. Maybe even Tannen. Can any one figure out Kael? How about the song the band was playing? No cookies this time for correct guesses, because I'm seriously loaded at the moment with stories to write and art to draw at the moment.

I also introduced the Beta Gamma Pi sorority, but I'm still feeling out in my head how to properly included it into the story. I just needed some kind of conversation going for Noah, Katie, and Sadie before they comfort DJ. Beta Gamma Pi was suggested by Aravi Velez through the Richmore Academy Wiki and I figured I'd show my appreciation for the work she had done on it in the past.

Speaking of the Richmore Academy Wiki, come on over and help me out in editing the sucker. Granted I will do the vast majority of the heavy work, it would be nice to get some activity rolling.

Keep sending in reviews, people! Reviews! And don't forget suggestions to decorate the Confession Cam with.

Next Up: What's in a Name