Disclaimer: I do not own The Simpsons characters; only the original characters listed in this fic.
I accept constructive criticism. c:
Buzz. Buzz. Buzz.
'Alright, shut up already.'
Slamming her fist on the alarm clock, Lisa sat up groggily. For a second, she didn't understand why her clock was on until she sat up and realized why.
'The first day of tenth grade…'
Out of nowhere, a rather loud racket started playing from down the hall.
'Ugh, really Bart?' Lisa's thoughts were interrupted as she heard nu-metal being blasted from the room next to hers. Not too long after, a deep voice bellowed from further down the hallway.
"BART! Turn that crap down!" shouted Homer. Today was one of his few days off and to be woken up by such a racket had set him off.
"Aw, come on man, this is the best part!" "Unless it's going to put me back to sleep, then turn it down!" For a few more seconds, the screeching vocals reverberated down the hall until the music was cut off, leaving silence in the hallway.
'That's more like it. Only two more years and I'm out of here.'
The chaos having woken her up completely, the 15 year-old clambered out of bed before opening her door, peeking out to see that the bathroom door was ajar. Grinning, she celebrated the thought of getting ready in peace before grabbing her necessities and running to the bathroom. The leftover steam from Bart's shower and scent of his Irish Spring body wash smacked her in the face, causing her to wrinkle her nose as she shut the door and set her stuff down on the counter. Reaching over to turn the water on, she pulled the lever down to get it to come out of the showerhead as she waited for it to warm up.
As Lisa waited, she turned to the mirror and studied herself. Her hair was only slightly longer, enough to curl instead of sticking out in straight spikes like before. In addition, bangs fell over her left eyebrow, a decision encouraged by a dear friend by the name of Alex Whitney. Lisa was happy to see that she was growing, height-wise and shape-wise. She was nearly as tall as Marge now with a slender waist and budding curves that promised to show in another year or so; she wasn't very eager to show them though, opting to hide them from the horndogs known as high school boys.
The Simpson girl had opted to become a little more active in the last year, much to the surprise of everyone; it was no secret that gym wasn't her strong suit. She didn't have time to join any official sports in school but instead chose to go for weekly jogs around the neighborhood, usually with a friend or two. The work had been grueling in the beginning but it paid off in the form of a slightly toned form that left her feeling more confident.
Giving her mirrored self a smile, she held her hand under the water stream and was satisfied with the temperature. Before getting undressed, she gave herself a little pep talk.
'Let's see what tenth grade has in store for Lisa Marie Simpson.'
Rummaging through his drawers, Bart groaned to himself as he couldn't settle on which shirt to wear.
'All these damn shirts and I can't even pick one…aha!'
With a grin, he plucked a white t-shirt enscripted with Pink Floyd's The Wall on it, choosing to wear it under an orange button-up shirt along with some ripped jeans. Tugging on his clothes quickly, he walked up to his mirror and grabbed a comb, raking it through his shoulder-length hair before tying the strands into a ponytail at the nape of his neck. Marge had been nagging him for years to get a proper haircut but he refused time and time again until she gave up and stopped asking, knowing how stubborn her oldest could be. Sometimes he was too much like his father.
Once he was put together, Bart slipped on his red Converse hi-tops and looked at himself in the mirror closely before sighing.
'So…this is what it's like to be a senior.'
To his and everyone else's shock, Bart Simpson was entering his final year of high school. Not only that, he was looking to go to college as well. For what exactly, he wasn't quite sure but it was better than nothing. He had cleaned up his act a bit a couple of years ago after a serious suspension from school nearly ended up with him back in juvie. Seeing just how close he came to being sent away again and the toll it took on his parents as they scrambled to cover the damages he caused, Bart took it upon himself to get his shit together for once in his life. Taking up a summer job by mowing lawns, much to the suspicion of his neighbors, he used whatever change he scrounged up to give to his parents to help with costs. He can still remember the way Marge crushed him in a hug and the proud look Homer gave him that day.
He continued the side jobs until school started back up and the weather started cooling down. The money was drying up and he roamed the town looking for someone to hire him. Unfortunately, many still thought of the Simpson boy as a troublemaker and refused to employ him as they brought other people in for interviews. Just as he was about to give up, he saw that the Android's Dungeon had a 'help wanted' sign.
While he was surprised that someone like Comic Book Guy was looking for assistance, he was even more surprised when he gave him the job, seeing as they didn't have the most positive history. From the age of 16, Bart was assistant manager of the Android's Dungeon and Baseball Card Shop. It didn't pay a huge amount but he was hoping it was enough to help him with college along with some personal spending money.
"Kids, breakfast is ready! Come eat before you're late for school!" Hearing that scratchy voice echo from downstairs, Bart grabbed his backpack from his desk chair and gave his reflection finger-guns.
'Senior year, here comes Bartholomew Jojo Simpson!'
"Maggie, are you excited for third grade today?"
At her mother's question, Maggie nodded eagerly while cutting up her pancakes. "Yup! I hope I get Mr. Tasker as my homeroom teacher again, he's always so cool. Plus I get to see my friends again, I can't wait!"
Smiling at her youngest daughter's excitement, Marge finished setting down three more plates at the table seconds before her oldest child strutted into the room, giving her cheek a kiss before sitting down at his usual spot.
"Morning mom. 'Sup Mags?" Reaching his fist across the table, Bart bumped eagerly against Maggie's own little fist before tucking into his pancakes.
"Good morning sweetie. Oh, I can't believe my little man is starting his senior year today!" Sighing wistfully, Marge started pouring orange juice into three glasses before setting them down next to the plates. "It seems like just yesterday I was changing your diapers and pulling you off of the apartment clothesline…"
Shaking his head as his mother reminisced, Bart gave his mom a reassuring smile. "Relax mom, it's not like I'll be going anywhere right away. You've still got me until June, y'know."
"I know, it's just…"
"Morning everyone!" chirped Lisa as she nearly ran in and skidded into her own seat at the table.
The Simpson matriarch frowned at her daughter's rushed entrance. "Good morning honey. Is everything alright? You're not usually the last to reach the table, especially for pancakes." Lisa waved her hands at her mother as she worried. "Mom, I'm fine. I was just putting some… extra attention on my outfit today, that's all."
As the middle child explained her tardiness, Marge took in her appearance. The 15 year-old was wearing a lightweight V-neck sweater in the shade of her old red dress with the sleeves rolled up to her forearms. Lisa wore simple dark wash jeans on her legs and her knee-high brown fringe boots that she had begged for as a birthday present earlier in the year. Around her neck was her old pearl necklace that she refused to part with and on her ears were matching earrings that she had bought once her ears were pierced. And on her lips was…clear gloss?
Her daughter was right; she was putting extra attention on her outfit. The young girl who didn't care about her outfits being fashionable was now putting in the most effort she had ever seen.
Her children were growing up right before her eyes.
"Well, you look beautiful today, Lisa. Now eat your breakfast before it gets cold." Lisa didn't need to be told twice as she drenched her pancakes with syrup before slicing into the stack with delight. Swallowing her first bite, she looked at her mother as she sat down and started cutting up her own food. "You said I'm the last to reach…I guess Dad isn't joining us today?"
Sighing, Marge shook her head. "Unfortunately, no. He had to stay super late at work last night so he really needs the rest. And Bart, I've told you about blasting your music so early in the morning, you need to be more considerate towards your father." Bart resisted the urge to roll his eyes as Marge started with the nagging. "Sorry mom, didn't realize Homer was still here. He's usually out the house by now."
The Simpson boy wasn't joking; Homer usually left the house by six o'clock in the morning to make his way to the Springfield Nuclear Power Plant. The only reason why Homer even was able to get up that early and function was thanks to his position as Vice President of the plant. About three years ago, Mr. Burns had suffered a massive stroke but unlike his past medical issues, this one left him unable to use his entire left side, forcing him to sell his plant to whoever could take on his position immediately. A man by the name of John Stoolwell came forward to purchase the plant, effectively ending the reign of Charles Montgomery Burns as he retired with his money to be confined to his mansion. With the resignation of Burns, his assistant Smithers quit right away in order to provide 24/7 care to his boss.
With the position of assistant being open, many employees hesitated to take it at first as they weren't aware what type of man Stoolwell was. To them, anyone who would buy the plant from Burns had to be just as or ten times worse than the billionaire. One day, the entire workplace was called to a meeting to introduce their new boss, much to everyone's fear. A short yet stocky man in a navy three-piece suit walked out in front with a giant grin under his salt-and-pepper mustache before introducing himself as John Stoolwell before expressing how happy he was to turn this place around and make sure that everyone started enjoying their job again. Within a few days, he won over nearly every worker, minus the ones who preferred Burns' old ways; he made sure to let them know that they could find another job. In need of money and curious about his new boss, Homer had Marge help him write a resume before going up to Stoolwell's office and handing in his credentials. After spending a few minutes silently reading over the papers, he looked up at Homer with a blank face. Bracing himself for admonishment at thinking he could hold such a position, Homer was shocked when his boss had asked him when he could start. After blubbering out that he could start right away, he had asked why he hired him without hesitation. Stoolwell gave his employee a wide smile before explaining that because he was the first to take initiative, he had potential for the position.
And so with that, Homer began his training to become Vice President. It wasn't easy at first; being set in his ways for almost twenty years meant that it took a while before he could fully grasp the foreign concepts on how to help run a nuclear power plant. But Mr. Stoolwell was patient and did his best to find a teaching method that the Simpson man picked up on easily, leading to a more hard-working and honest man.
The only problem with the new workload was that it required Homer to be gone from the house for hours, leaving at six and getting home anywhere from six to eight, depending on how busy the day was. There were days were Homer stumbled in after ten, not with the scent of alcohol lingering but with the look of exhaustion on his face. He only had time to heat up some leftovers and trudge upstairs to sleep before waking up early and doing it all over again.
Last night was one of those nights, shown through the absence of the Simpson patriarch at the breakfast table.
Marge sighed before taking another bite of breakfast. "Just please try to see if he's home before you do that, okay?" After Bart nodded, the rest of the family chatted about what they were looking forward to for the day and what they weren't looking forward to.
Maggie had made it clear with a pout on her face that she wasn't happy about her outfit for her first day back. The youngest Simpson had grown into a tomboyish girl, preferring to run around and play soccer versus sitting inside and playing with Malibu Stacy dolls. To her, a blue t-shirt and black pants were her preference, not the frilly blue dress her mother had to practically force her into. Marge had to bargain with the young girl to dress up for the first day only and then she could go back to her usual outfits after that.
To the amusement of the family, Maggie refused to get rid of her signature bow. When asked why, she shrugged and said that it gave her character before she went off to go jump in mud puddles.
Soon enough, the honking of a school bus sounded from outside as Marge started clearing out the empty plates and glasses.
"Oh, there's your buses!" The blue-haired woman grabbed Maggie's lunch box and handed it to the young girl before reaching into her purse and pulling out two twenty-dollar bills for Bart and Lisa, handing it to the teens. "Now, this should cover the two of you for the next week or two, just let me know when you two need more."
"Will do, Mom. See ya!" Giving another kiss on the cheek, Bart grabbed his green backpack before running towards the front door. "Bye mom!" Lisa gave her mother a hug and slid her purple backpack onto her shoulders, following her brother closely. "Goodbye mom! See you later!" Maggie wrapped her tiny arms around Marge's waist before sliding on her orange backpack and running after her siblings.
Marge gave her respective goodbyes to her children, watching as they left the kitchen before hearing the front door shut. Sighing deeply, she looked up to the ceiling, wishing that she heard footsteps to signify that her husband was awake. After a few moments of silence, she gave up and started to roll up the sleeves of her dark green cardigan, washing the dishes in the sink.
'Looks like yet another long, quiet day.'
After watching to make sure Maggie got on her bus, the teens waved to her as she waved through the window of her seat, hoping that she enjoyed her first day as a third-grader. They turned toward the street as their own bus pulled up, the doors opening to reveal one of the last people they expected to be driving.
"Hey dudes! Guess who's back to driving the bus again?"
Otto had obtained a DUI the last school year after driving a school bus down the highway, high off of angel dust and claiming that centipedes were crawling all over his skin and that the only way to keep them off was to do 85 in a 55 zone. His license had been revoked and the school district had fired him, only to appease the parents who claimed he was a danger to their children. Either the school became desperate for drivers or Otto had re-obtained his license. The teenagers figured that it was the former; the school was just that damn cheap.
"Otto, you're back? I thought your license got suspended."
"It was, Bartman but I got a hook-up that got me a new one for only fifteen bucks! Now hop on dudes, we gotta haul ass and get some more kids so I hope you can hold your breakfast!" Lisa grimaced at the thought of half-digested cereal being thrown up by some other kid.
Bart turned to her and gave her a reassuring smile. "Relax Lise. Just get a seat in the back and you won't have to worry about being covered with husky sick." She scowled. "Gee, thanks for the advice, Bart."
Chuckling at his sister, Bart motioned her to walk on first before following behind. Spotting an acquaintance of his a few seats down, he called out to them as he plopped next to them, giving them a fist bump as they caught up with each other. To Lisa's delight, a seat towards the middle was empty and she quickly took the open space. As they drove off, Lisa relaxed against the ripped green seat and sighed while looking out the window, watching the houses roll by.
'Alright high school, let's see what you've got in store for me.'
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