~Amber Sunset~

Disclaimer: I do not own 'Recess', nor do I own any of its characters. I did, however think up the names for 'Fredrick G. Schnikenbecker's Junior High School for the Incredibly Intelligent' and 'La Academia Artistica de Leonardo DaVinci.

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"I've been accepted! I can't believe it! I've been accepted!!" Gretchen nearly jumped out of her seat with excitement.

"Accepted? Where?" Vince asked in confusion. He, Gretchen, and Mikey had congregated at Gretchen's house to work on the end-of-the-year project.

"Fredrick G. Schnikenbecker's Junior High School for the Incredibly Intelligent!" she exclaimed, "It's in Chicago! Can you believe it?"

"What's the 'G' for?" Mikey asked with genuine curiosity.

"Gustav." She said off-handedly.

"Like Gus!" Mikey exclaimed.

"This will be such a wonderful opportunity!" Gretchen went on, unintentionally ignoring Mikey's commment, "To study with the best and brightest in the country! What a privilege!"

"Wait a minute." Vince said a little disbelievingly, setting down dark blue marker he was using to color in the constellations poster, "Are you saying that you're not going to Third Street Junior High?"

"In all honesty, Vince, I was planning on it." Gretchen said, looking at the ground, "I had never dreamed that I would actually be accepted."

"But you can't just leave the group like that!" Vince said, a frown forming on his face, "We've got to stick together!"

"I think it's a wonderful opportunity, Gretchen," Mikey said supportfully, "Alas, if only I could attend La Academia Artistica de Leonardo DaVinci! It would be like dreams materializing, spreading wings, and flying off into the amber sunset.."

"Why don't you apply, Mikey? You just might get in." Gretchen encouraged.

"Yeah, and the Recess gang will be no more." Vince said bitterly. He stood up from his spot on the floor. "If you'll excuse me, I've got to get some fresh air."

~*^*~

Vince paced Gretchen's front yard, constantly kicking the grass in the process. Everyone was leaving, and things would never be the same. Gus's father was being commissioned to an army base across the country, new district lines pushed T.J. and Spinelli into another school, and now Gretchen and Mikey? He knew he wouldn't ever find friends like the five kids he had grown so attached to in during the past few years, and now he was facing a future without any of them in it.

Sure, he would make new friends, but only because he was a 'jock', a master of all trades when it came to sports. They wouldn't be real friends.

"Vince?" came a tentative voice coming from the front door. Vince turned around to see Gretchen standing there.

"Yeah, what do you want?" Vince asked more bitterly than he had intended.

"I don't want to leave you alone here, you know." She said, sounding a little awkward.

". and neither do Gus and T.J. and Spinelli ." Vince said, kicking the grass more forcefully with every name he listed.

Gretchen gave him a pained look.

"I know. I know I'm just making it harder for everyone, but I don't know what to do." He sighed. "I guess I just always figured that the six of us would be together forever, you know?"

"Things change, Vince. There's nothing we can do about that."

"You're right." He said simply, giving up kicking the grass and falling heavily down onto it instead, "You're right." He repeated.

Gretchen walked over and sat beside Vince on the grass. Usually verbose to the point of confusion, she was now unable to say a word in this situation.

"It's just that everyone else has new places to go to, you know?" he was now plucking random blades of grass from the lawn, "All I have is Third Street. Nothing new, just Third Street, and it's gonna be even worse now that you guys aren't gonna be there." His voice broke on the last few words.

That's when he started to cry. He didn't sob or make a huge deal of it. In fact, it wouldn't have even been apparent had it not been for two telltale tears that slid silently down his face.

"Vince . " Gretchen managed to say, but she couldn't say any more. She cautiously slipped her hand onto his knee in hopes that her actions might help more than her words.

Neither of them were really sure how long they had stayed out there like that, not saying a word, but it must have been a long time because when Vince looked up, he noticed the sun setting over the street, setting off a beautiful amber glow.

"We've got a project to finish, don't we?" he asked Gretchen, his eyes showed the telltale redness . the only indication that he had been crying.

"Yeah." Gretchen said softly as she stood up and began to walk back toward her house.

"Gretchen?" Vince asked impulsively.

Gretchen turned around, an inquisitive look on her face.

Vince smiled. "Thanks."

"Any time."

~*^*~

A/N: This is pure fluff and I don't deny it, but I like to think that it's good fluff ( I hope you enjoyed!