There was TJ dragging a chair out into the middle of the hallway. He placed it right smack in the middle, stood up on it and looked around at the rest of the kids. Now that TJ was standing on the chair, he felt a little nervous; he didn't even know what to say. All he knew was that his best friend was being humiliated in front of the entire school and he needed to do something. He coughed nervously and began to talk.
"Don't you guys see what's happening? Mia is bullying her own cousin and no one even says anything? You know what I don't get, why people even like people like Mia, people who just put others down to raise themselves up. Besides a handful of people, can anyone say that they actually like Mia? You guys just don't want to stand up to her because you're scared. Well I'm going to stand up for me, for Spinelli, and for the rest of you who don't want Mia to bully the rest of the school. Is anyone with me?"
First, only the gang went to join Teej, but one by one the other students walked over to him and looked expectantly from him to Mia. Mia looked one part angry and two parts shocked. Never before had a group of students ever hated her this much. In her old school, and she had thought in this one too, she was beloved as Miss Popularity. What if everyone hated her? Suddenly, with all the shouting going on, Ashley Q. met up with the other Ashleys and they left Mia and the rest of MAGIC in favor of TJ. They were embarrassed to be around Mia now because everyone was declaring the mean things that Mia had said to them, or things that she had forced them to do. Her allies were leaving her! Giana and Isabelle soon left her side too; they wanted to get out of the way before the crowd became really pissed at Mia. Cierra followed them shortly after leaving only Aimee and Kris. Mia knew that Aimee would stick around, but she was a little surprised that Kris stayed so long; they didn't actually like each other that much, and were only dating for the popularity. And then on cue, as if she jinxed it, Kris vanished into the crowd, probably to find Cierra, who was always flirting with him. The students looked like they were predators going in for the kill, and just before things got nasty, TJ stepped in.
"Hang on, wait a second! Just 'cuz Mia did something wrong doesn't mean we have to punish her. Mia will be returning to Italy soon anyway, so we won't even have to see her after this. Are we really going to stoop to her level?
From the ashamed crowd came murmurs of "no, 'course not" and TJ stepped down from his chair satisfied. After the crowds cleared up TJ and the gang walked over to Spinelli. Spinelli paused awkwardly, looking for something to say, she didn't know what to say to her old best friends, how to tell them how grateful and sorry she was.
"Wow guys thanks a lot. It was really great of you to come through for me like that even after I treated ya'll like dirt. So I just wanted to say thanks, and can you guys ever forgive me for being an Ashley?" TJ grinned.
"No problem Spinelli, we're just happy to have you back."
"So do you all want to go to Kelso's later, you know as a reunion or something?" Vince recommended.
"My treat!" he added. Spinelli smiled, how could she resist Kelso's with her old best friends?
"You know Vince; you couldn't have suggested anything better!" Spinelli rejoined. Then Gus jumped in.
"Last one there is a rotten egg!" Mikey, Gretchen, Vince and Gus all raced towards their bikes. But Spinelli and TJ stayed behind.
"Hang on guys, we'll catch up with you later," Spinelli called after them.
"You know Spin, it's really great to have you back, and we all really missed you. I missed you a lot too," He told her shyly.
"I'm sorry Teej, really I am, but I just did it so that I could get you to notice me," She waited hesitantly for his reaction. When he just gave her a very confused look she added
"as a girl" A dazzling smile lit up TJ's face.
"You really didn't have to go through all that trouble, I like you a lot better as Spinelli, not Ashley S. But, I totally wouldn't mind it if you took Mia's advice a little bit and buy a dress. Spinelli, who had looked so dreamy previously, made a grimace and it was like a storm cloud just crossed over the sun. TJ grinned at her and finished his sentence.
"A dress so that I could take you to homecoming, you know as my date," He finished anxiously waiting her answer. Spinelli broke into a grin.
"Aw Teej, I'd love to go to homecoming with you! But what are we gonna tell the gang, won't it be weird for them?"
"Nah, they all know that I like you, I think they'll be pretty cool about it." They both smiled at each other and reached for each other's hand as they walked to Kelso's. When the gang saw them together Mikey followed by the others got up and cheered. At this, Spinelli became very embarrassed and turned as red as the strawberry smoothie that Gretchen was drinking.
"If ya'll tease me and TJ about this ever, I'll cream every stinking one of ya!" Instead of cowering the five friends gave each other a knowing look.
"She's back," they chorused simultaneously.