A/N : So this is a direct sequel to my story from last year, Death of a Simpson. If you haven't read it then some things will not make sense and you'll be missing out on the full experience. This takes place towards the end of the school year started in the previous story and continues through the summer. I hope you enjoy it.
Chapter One- Long Live the King
Bart Simpson thumbed the scar on his chest absentmindedly, aware of only two things around him. The first was his friend Milhouse, vigilantly standing near the entrance to the high school gymnasium in which he was currently plotting against his principal. The other was the large, intimidating boy across from him. His name was Nelson Muntz and he was very good at what he did.
The scar was a token he'd recieved from an old enemy almost a year before at the start of his Junior year and he didn't like to think about it. But in times of stress or intense concentration he couldn't keep his hand away from it, feeling the bumps and jagged edges of flesh where the stiches had been torn out in a hurry because of a mistake with the first attempt to save his life. It was oddly comforting to him to feel the scars of a madman's gun. He was very grateful to be alive.
Now, though, that was behind him and his family. He'd enjoyed a celebrity status upon his return to school after a month of being hospitalized. Nearly being killed by a famous psycho ex-clown tends to catch people's attention, surprisingly. The doctors told him because of the wound he would not be able to participate in any sports that year, probably forever since there was little point in trying for the senior varsity teams when you hadn't played the year before. He would be happy sitting on the sidelines and strengthening his social ties, making friends and preparing for what he would be doing for the rest of his life.
His father, Homer, had tried to lecture him once late at night a week ago. The old man insisted he go to law school. Could you imagine? Him, Bart 'America's Badboy' Simpson, going to law school?
Eh, it was worth a shot. Or so he'd told Homer. The gleam in the old man's eye brightened as the subject turned to what he was really after, which also happened to be the reason Bart was currently sitting under the bleachers of Springfield Highs gym with one of his oldest friendly enemies. Principal Dondilinger was retiring this year and Homer wanted to make sure his son gave the man a proper sendoff.
"...and that's why I'm pretty sure my father is insane," Bart finished.
"I dunno, I'm starting to like your old man more and more. I have to wonder how he ever ended up with such a wuss for a son though." Nelson gave him a punch on the shoulder which caused Bart to wince.
"Yeah... so what do you got for me? I was thinking something simple but explosive. Remember that science experiment that Freedman did back at the start of the year to demonstrate acids and bases?"
"Uhh... let me think. No?" Nelson scoffed.
"Look it's real simple. Mix baking soda and lemon juice. Lots of foam in a short amount of time. No permanent damage and it's a real mess to clean up. The man ran this school for over twenty years and I don't really care about whatever it is Homer has against him, I'm not going to get expelled over it."
"That won't get his attention. You want to make your dad proud you gotta think big. I'm thinking... why not collapse the bleachers? All those shop classes would finally pay off."
"But people could get hurt," Bart protested.
"Not badly, and who the hell cares? You've beaten up more than your share of those precious little snowflakes over the years yourself, Simpson. Or have you forgotten that?"
Bart just glared at him.
"Okay, where would you get that many lemons? Won't it look suspicious if you go to a grocery store and buy oh... a couple hundred?" Nelson challenged. "They have your picture you know. I've seen it."
"Won't be a problem, we have a huge lemon tree in walking distance, in case YOU forgot. You were there when we stole it back from those Shelbyville jerks. And my mother keeps so much baking soda on hand that it won't be a problem to get enough of that. So... what do you say?"
"Sure, Simpson. Deal." Nelson shook his hand once before turning to leave.
"I mean it, Nelson. No bleachers. I don't want to be tied to anything stupid and violent."
"S'too late for that," Nelson laughed in his distinctive way and disappeared out of Bart's sight. He heard Nelson shove Milhouse on his way out of the gymnasium.
Bart rubbed his scar again and took a deep breath. Things were never easy when dealing with Nelson Muntz but he had to admit that after all this time he had never found someone to replace the lug. Bully or not, the guy could get stuff done. He just had to hope Nelson wouldn't freelance and knock the bleachers over anyway. In fact, he should probably just assume Muntz would and plan around it.
He climbed out of the bleachers and waved a disheveled Milhouse over to him.
"What was that all about? What are you planning with Nelson?" Milhouse asked with his usual insistence.
"Do you really want to know? It makes you an accessory..." Bart teased.
"Nevermind," Milhouse grumbled. "I'm just sick of always getting left out of the fun stuff."
"That wasn't fun, trust me. And you got to stand guard duty. That's... a kind of fun," Bart grinned.
"If it's so fun then why don't you ever do it?" Milhouse fired back.
"Duh? Because then who would do the planning? You?" Bart allowed his grin to widen.
"I'd make an excellent planner," Milhouse said, though he stared straight at the floor.
"Suuuure you would. And what's the Great Milhouse got in store for Dondilinger? Huh?"
"Oh my gawd, that's what this was about?! Forget it, Bart! I'm not interrupting a schoolwide assembly. I'm don't want to be any part of it."
"Then we are agreed, you stay out of the way, keep your head down, and enjoy the show, as always. We'll do all the work." Bart smacked Milhouse on the shoulder and led him from the gym. "Oh and... bring a poncho."
Out in the hall, Nelson fumed.
'Stupid Simpson. Can't do anything right. He's nothin but a goody-two-shoes right down to his core, just like his sister. For all he talks about being bad and a rebel he just can't help but do the right thing. It's enough to make me sick.'
He paused when he noticed someone flinch away from him. He hated it when they flinched, so his hand shot out and grabbed the offender by the shirt collar.
It was a tiny freshman, someone who would have every right to be afraid of him, with his reputation.
"Lunch money. Now," Nelson demanded.
"Lunch money? But all our meals are done on a card..."
He slammed the petrified boy up against the nearest locker, his other fist making a dent in it right next to the boy's face.
"It's a figure of speech, it means: Open. Your. Wallet. You don't wanna piss me off. I promise."
He loosened his grip while the kid fumbled for his wallet and emptied it's contents into Nelson's extended hand. A measly three dollars.
"Thats it? Three dollars? Man, it's just not even worth the hassle these days..."
"Nelson Muntz! You put him down this instant!" came a girly shout from down the hall. Nelson turned towards it and was amused to see Bart's sister Lisa storming towards him.
"Oh, what's this? Prince Charming coming to save the fair damsel in distress?" Nelson spat in the wallet, dropped it on the floor and crushed it under his foot.
"You're such a jerk!" Lisa cried, shoving a finger right into his throat.
"Woah, back off. What's got your panties in a twist?"
Lisa flushed and took a step back. "Give it back. It's for class."
"Huh?" Nelson feigned being deaf.
"I said give it back! He can't finish his project if you take his money."
"Oh then by all means." He tore the bills into confetti and sprinkled them on the quivering freshman. Out of the corner of his eye he saw a flash of movement he was unprepared for.
The echo of Lisa's hand connecting with his face stunned everyone in earshot. She glowered at him.
"I can't believe what an unbelievably cruel person you've become, Nelson. Why?" She started to lose her temper but caught herself and wiped her eyes.
"You better get out of here right now, Lisa," Nelson said under his breath, nursing the welt that was even now growing on his cheek. "Before I do something we'll both regret. People don't get away with hitting me so run or I'll have no choice."
Lisa huffed, grabbed the freshman by his arm and dragged him away.
"Oh and you should talk to your brother about the kinds of things he's getting into, for shame." Nelson shook his head in mock sympathy. Lisa threw an angry glare over her shoulder and he saw her take a few dollars out of a pocket and hand them to the kid.
'Damn. Why's she always sticking up for people like that? She knows I can't hit girls... damn, damn, damn.'
Nelson cracked his knuckles and threw ferocious looks at anyone making eye contact before gathering himself and shoving his way through the crowd.
'If she wants a fight, she'll get one. I don't have to hit someone to get payback. Guess we'll be doing things my way afterall, sorry Bart."
Two days. It came down to the last minute but they were ready. Nelson and Bart stood under the bleachers again, inspecting the last parts of the plan. They'd taken some old kiddie pools from the city dump, the kind little kids would wade in during exceptionally hot days in the summer and pretend it was swimming. Each one was filled with an inch or two of lemon juice, Bart's fingers still stung from all the lemons he'd had to juice and he severely underestimated the amount of lemons they would need, the tree provided alot of it but he was forced to convince a kid he knew who worked at the local grocery store to sell him a couple cases of raw lemon juice to make up the difference. In exchange he warned Lewis to skip the assembly but refused to say any more on the subject. Lewis was all smiles when Bart departed and Bart knew he would be front and center.
Above the pools were bag after bag of baking soda, each suspended from the underside of the bleachers with a string coated in powdered glass and glue wrapped around them all the way down the line so that, when tugged, the string would shred the bags and dump the powder.
It was as beautiful as it was simplistic. Now the hard part was here, the wait. After double checking all was in order Bart turned to Nelson.
"Okay, we should go get seats, the assembly will be starting soon and classes will start to be let out. Remember, things start after the plaque is handed over."
"Yeah, yeah, get goin we shouldn't be under here anymore," Nelson said with a bit of a quiver in his voice.
Bart noted the nervousness and sighed inwardly, his concerns confirmed. Too bad. He promptly climbed out from the bleachers and exited the gym to blend in with the crowd.
Nelson chuckled as he set about completing the rest of his preparations, including fishing a hidden rope from the far end of the bleachers and leading it to the gap he'd chosen to sit by for his own little prank. With that done he climbed put of the bleachers himself and went to make sure the rope was hidden from a casual glance but easily accessible and proceeded to sit and watch as students began filtering into the gym.
While he waited he thought back to the other day and reaffirmed his decision to do this. True, he knew people could get hurt but what did he care? They never did anything but fear him, hate him. Not a one of them would give him a moments consideration before condemning him as an idiot and bully. More than anything else this is what drove his own hatred, the lack of understanding was such that if he acted any other way then HE would be ridiculed.
Even Lisa had given up on him, a girl he'd dated once a long long time ago. She was one of the only people who ever saw anything more to Nelson Muntz. He felt the spot on his cheek, surprised that even two days later it still stung just a little. She didn't know her own strength, did she really hate him that much now? It was a pain he knew all too much, people abandoning him, giving up on his ability to become a better person. It killed any motivation he may have had to try. So to hell with them. Let 'em fall. One by one they marched in, sheep into the wolf's den.
Nelson jumped when he heard the microphone squeal as it was adjusted for the start of the assembly and he realized he was now surrounded on all sides by the rest of the school. Wow, that was fast.
After all this waiting and finally, it was time. Nelson watched the proceedings patiently, knowing at that at any time he chose he could bring this to an end. Now it was just a matter of savoring the moment. He only had to pull the string at his feet and remove the last of the support keeping the bleachers standing. The sense of power and control over the situation was intoxicating.
Luckily it had been easy, removing the bolts holding each section together, frighteningly simple. He wasn't all that unnerved to discover the school had invested in such shoddy bleachers, but then again there wasn't much that surprised him about this town these days. The beauty of the whole plan was when the bleachers came crashing down under the weight of its poorly built structure there would still be the reaction Bart wanted and it would make things all the more confusing. Nelson silently congratulated himself on his contribution plan, how easily all the parts had come together for him. And it would be worth it just to see the look on Bart and Lisa's faces.
So patiently he waited, knowing that a few more minutes was nothing if it helped ensure the timing was perfect. After listening to several pompous old windbags speak about how pompous another pompous old windbag was for the last twenty years or so the ceremony finally arrived at the point which held any interest for him.
"So to thank Principal Dondilinger for his many many years of dedicated service we are proud to present him with both a nomination for the Princie award and this tasteful plaque," said Mr. Bolas, the elderly head of the school board. He proudly held up the simple plaque and handed it to Dondilinger, who was standing next to him with his head held high.
"Thank you so very much, all of you. I won't go on for long," there was a collective sigh of relief from the students. "But please indulge me while I tell a few stories I've picked up over the years."
Gag. Nelson wanted to retch right then and there. He started thinking about how fast he could reach the platform Dondilinger was speaking from, if there would be time to reach him directly and shove a fist down his throat before anyone could react. But that might be a bit much, no matter how much he might want to do it, or the aging civil servant might deserve it. No, he remembered, I've already got this covered.
Up on the makeshift stage, one they borrowed from the school band, Dondilinger droned on. The staff all looked fascinated with his stories of children who were now old enough to be the parents of many of the students present. The very same students whose eyes were, even now glazed over, each dull orb desperately cried out for an end to this madness. Well maybe he could help with that, even if it would be at their expense.
With a practiced motion, Nelson leaned over, snagged the rope in his hand and continued to stretch while yanking the cord. He heard the telltale 'click click click' that was the last of the support system sliding out of place. When the last one went Nelson jumped off the bleachers, backed several steps away and let out a hearty:
His eyes screwed up in confusion when he realized everyone in the bleachers was staring at him. Staring, not falling. In fact, in the silence that followed he could even hear snickering from the back of the crowd where he couldn't see who it was.
Damn! What happened?!
"Ah, it seems Mister Muntz has something he would like to say. Or perhaps, confess to?" said Principal Dondilinger, breaking the silence.
"I, I, I... Simpson!!!" he looked around for Bart but could not see him anywhere in the assembly. Oh right, damn he would be in position.
"Perhaps it would be best if Mister Muntz waited outside so we may deal with him later. Oh yes, we know all about it." Nelson heard teachers approaching him from behind and felt arms grabbing his own and leading him towards the exit.
"Sorry Nelson old buddy, couldn't let you do that," Bart mused grimly as they dragged the boy out one of the side exits. Things couldn't have gone smoother, Dondilinger got one of the things he wanted, Nelson, and Bart would get what he most wanted, opportunity. He glanced down at the cord in his hand and smiled from his position near one of the exits opposite where Nelson was being led out.
With a firm yank he set the rest of the festivities in motion. No one heard it, as the crowd began to murmur. No one heard the bags get sliced open to drop their contents into the kiddie pools below. He'd spent two whole days crushing lemons with Homer for this.
Ten seconds. The fun begins.
Back on the center stage Principal Dondilinger was clearing his throat and attempting to regain control of the crowd.
"Please, everyone, let's not give him any more attention than he's already gotten. Now where was I?"
Thirty seconds. Any time now.
"Oh yes, I was just telling you all about this brilliant honor student I had named Artie Z-"
Dondilinger was interrupted by a scream from the bleachers. The same sound of surprise rippled out from the epicenter and soon students were frantically pushing their way towards the exits in droves.
"What in the-" Dondilinger's eyes grew wide when he saw a fountain of foam pouring out from under the bleachers in the void left by the panicked students. He couldn't believe what he was seeing. It was preposteruous! "Students, remain calm! Please exit in an orderly fashion there is no danger!"
One student dashed up on stage and grabbed the mike from him.
"He doesn't know that! Run! Run for your lives WE'RE ALL GOOOOOOONNA DIIIIIIIIE!!!!!" he threw the microphone down and disappeared as quickly as he'd arrived.
Bart enjoyed every moment of it. At least until he saw Lisa coming at him with an expression that could strip paint off the walls. He could almost hear her saying 'I know this was your doing, Bartholomew JoJo Simpson. And I'm going to get you for this.'
As she passed she muttered a single word.
"Lemons." Was that... amusement he heard barely contained under all that outrage? Thanks, Lis.
His momentrary fright turned to laughter when he saw every inch of her backside, from head to toe, was covered in foam. She was probably sitting near the front, such a teachers pet.
Yes, he was Bart Simpson. Resident King of Springfield Elementary, Middle and High School during his respective years there. People listened, people laughed. Very few people learned.
Oh, it felt good to be the king.
A/N : The plot will start moving forward in the next chapter when things switch over to Homer. Read and review please!