Author's Note: Hi. I write fanfiction. :3 But most of you knew that. I'm in a weird mood right now, sorry. Um, this is my first Bucket & Skinner fic. It's a little daunting because there's so little written for the fandom so I feel the pressure to be a good writer and impress you guys. This fic idea came to me when I was showering, actually, and it's kind of formed into a full fledged fantasy for me that I have fun imagining. I hope this takes off to where I can write a sequel because I actually really love the story for this and all the things I've imagined so far. Don't mind my bits of speculation here and there. I had to come up with some things that filled in the little holes. Things like giving Bucket and Skinner first names because it's my theory that Bucket and Skinner are their last names that they go by.
As always, you can find me on tumblr. Just visit my profile and find the link to it there. My tumblr has writing updates and it's the fastest way to talk to me and get to know me if you're interested. I'm a nice person, honest. I like hot weather, moonlit walks, and terrorizing my cat until he smacks me in the face. So yeah ... Enjoy the first chapter of Senior Year, and don't forget to review! It gives me the warm and fuzzies.
Senior year is supposed to be the time of your life. Fewer classes, little to no worries about college, and the only real trouble they can pin on you is participating in senior skip day. How was it, then, that Bucket was trudging his feet as he took the last few steps of summer vacation before school really started. He didn't want to go in; he didn't want to face another year of school. He was dreading something about this particular year. It wasn't even the fact that Kelly wasn't around anymore: she'd graduated two years prior, and she was practically engaged to her fancy college boyfriend. Bucket was spiteful, sure, but he couldn't do anything about it. He was happy for her because she was happy, but it didn't stop the small part that said she should have been with him.
Whatever. No sense in thinking about it now. The brunet teen went through the main doors, hands in his pockets and eyes searching for his best friend. Everyone looked different than he remembered. Girls were perkier, guys looked greasier, and every five lockers there was a couple making out with each other pressed up against the wall. More reason for him to feel spiteful about life: he'd never had a girlfriend. Even Skinner had had a brief romance over the summer between sophomore and junior year. It didn't last, mostly because she was only visiting and left, but the two were pen pals or something. And then there was Bucket, forever awkward around girls and a stuttering mess when one even looked in his direction.
"Bucket! Over here, bro!" Ker-thump.
Oh yeah. There was that too. Bucket turned and locked eyes with Skinner, smiling a bit and waving. His heart sped up the slightest bit as he made his way over. Skinner had his hair pulled back in a ponytail, and it was still damp from his morning surf. He even smelled like salt water, and his board was probably in the back of his junky station wagon in the parking lot. Recently, Bucket tried to avoid morning surfs and car rides with his friend. He couldn't be blamed if just being around Skinner set off this little "heart condition", as he called it. He was in denial a bit about having a crush on his best friend of fifteen years. The brunet knew it was there, he just didn't like to acknowledge its existence.
"Hey, bro. How's the surf?" Bucket bumped fists with Skinner and grinned. As the blond went off into fierce detail about the morning surf, Bucket took his time in admiring his friend while he wasn't paying attention. He leaned back against the lockers behind him and shamelessly stared at his best friend's face. The years had been kind to him, and the way the loose hairs from his ponytail framed his face, Bucket felt like he wasn't looking at his best friend anymore, but maybe his older brother.
"And I swear, the waves were like 80 feet high." Skinner finished talking with a smile, his shoulders wiggling a bit in an excited way. Some things in life never changed. Bucket nodded and grinned, patting his taller friend on the shoulder. "So is your locker here?" The blond pointed to the row of lockers behind them, and Bucket had to fish in his pockets for his schedule and locker information. When he found it, he looked at the numbers on the lockers. He was in the 480's right now and his locker was …
"Oh no." Bucket stared at the ugly number 965 and pressed the paper to his chest. "My locker's on the other side of the school, man." Skinner grabbed the paper from his brunet friend and read it over. "How could this happen? We've always been locker neighbors! Why do they have to pick this year to separate us?"
"Oh, don't worry bro. We'll sort it out during lunch. At least we have the same lunch period."
"Any other classes together?" Bucket looked over the top of his schedule with hope, eyes darting from the paper to Skinner's face. He didn't like the way his friend's mouth was slowly curving down into a frown. "Nothing?"
"Nothing. Not even chemistry. How am I gonna make it through chemistry without you being my lab partner?" The first warning bell rang, and Bucket grabbed the paper from his friend. He had to run to get to his locker and get to his first class.
"Worst. School year. Ever."
BLAHBLAHBLAH SKIP TIME RIGHT HERE
The cafeteria was an enormously large room. It took up and entire wing of the building and with good reason, since it also doubled as the school assembly room. It was big enough to fit all of the occupants, high school and middle school, in one room, and the stage at one end was where all of the big things took place like pep rallies and the annual motivational speakers. Mostly, the stage was used as a place for the students to sit during lunch, but you had to get there early enough to actually get a spot because everyone wanted to sit up there. Bucket's last class was right down the hall from the cafeteria, so he was one of the first down there, not caring about his books since he had P.E. after lunch. He wanted to wait here for Skinner, eager to just see him after such a long and almost murderous first half of the day without him. He hated being apart like this. They'd never been apart for so many years, and now to suddenly only see each other at lunch and in passing at school was just plain cruel.
From the corner of his eye, Bucket caught sight of Piper, Kelly's younger sister, with her group of freshman lackeys following her to a table. She was a sophomore this year, but she ruled the school from her first day as a freshman. She even had some senior followers that basically waited on her hand and foot. She was attractive, really, and that had become one of her many advantages over the school populous. Her crush on Skinner had waned to the point where she almost regarded him like she regarded Bucket, and he was slightly thankful. He really didn't want that to work out because … well, think about it. Piper and Skinner in a relationship? Their names together almost spelled "world chaos". Okay, actually not anywhere close, but the point was there.
Bucket continued to watch Piper with little interest, but with nothing better to do while he waited for this friend to show up, it was something for him to occupy his time with. He didn't even notice Skinner come up until the blond's head was in his lap, red faced and sweaty from P.E. "Gym before Lunch is the worst idea anyone has ever thought of in the history of ever."
"Even worse than that time we tried to dye your hair pink?"
"So much worse. Like eight million times worse." Skinner wiped his forehead and closed his eyes, while Bucket picked pieces of blond hair out of his friend's face with a small, loving smile on his lips.
"Can you even count to eight million?" He asked, and the blond opened an eye and stared up at the brunet above him. The look said enough, and silence lapsed between them as they sat there. Bucket sat, staring down at his friend, just idly running his fingers through the lose strands of hair and waiting for his friend to recuperate enough for a conversation. "Looks like Piper already rounded up a new following. Gotta admit the girl works fast." Skinner shrugged, a faint smile on his face as he was obviously enjoying the attention. "Feel better yet?"
"Not yet. Gimme your milk." Bucket looked at his bagged lunch, having forgotten about its existence as soon as he'd set it down. He wasn't hungry at all. This whole day so far had ruined any appetite he'd ever hoped to have. This disaster of a day that he just wanted to be over. Bucket grabbed the bag and opened it, pulling out the bottle of chocolate milk his mom had put in there. It was only a little cold now after having been in his locker since this morning. He put it on his friend's forehead, who sighed with what littler relief from the warmth he still felt from P.E. "Perfect. What would I do without you?"
"I don't know. We're gonna have to figure that out though." Bucket said, looking in a different direction as his heart lurched at the thought of being separate from Skinner. They'd been together for so long, it wasn't surprising that this kind of thing was upsetting to them both.
"We just have to go talk to your counselor. He'll straighten everything out and switch your schedule for you. No worries, bro." Skinner smiled, holding up a thumb. Bucket nodded, holding his thumb up as well. He needed to stay positive.
BLAHBLAHBLAH SKIP TIME RIGHT HERE
Bucket and Skinner sat in the guidance office, waiting for Bucket's name to be called. The school had split the student body between two counselors for easier management. Because their last names were at opposite ends of the alphabet, they both had different guidance counselors. They always went into each other's guidance meetings, though, so both counselors knew both of their problems together. James Gordon, otherwise known as Gordy, was Bucket's counselor. He was a pretty cool guy when he wasn't stressed or tired out. Odds were the first day of school would mean one or the other, but Bucket was prepared for whatever Gordy had to throw at him today. He was determined to get his schedule fixed. One of the door's opened and there stood Gordy, a tall man with dark hair and a powder blue tie that had most of his attention. "Bucket? … And Skinner." Skinner grinned and picked up his backpack from the floor, as did Bucket. They entered the man's office and sat down in the chairs along the wall. "What can I do for you gentlemen?" Gordy asked, still focused on his tie. There was a tiny ink stain on it and he was probably wondering how it had gotten there.
"I want to switch my schedule. I don't like my classes where they are." Bucket said, glancing over at his friend who had spaced out and was focused on a spot on the wall. Nothing unusual. Bucket wouldn't say that he wanted to switch because he didn't have any classes with Skinner. Gordy had said before – with violent results – that Bucket's dependency on Skinner being around all the time was a hindrance to his individual development. Ridiculous psycho-babble in Bucket's opinion, but he'd learned not to mention it. He didn't like people saying those kinds of things about Skinner at all.
"Oh. Let's see then …" Gordy moved his focus from his tie to his computer, typing in things quickly. "Trevor Bucket" Bucket suddenly clamped his hands over Skinner's ears, causing the blond to snap out of his stupor and look around.
"YUP. THAT'S MY NAME." Bucket spoke obnoxiously loud and Skinner just grinned, not having really heard anything. The same thing happened in the other guidance office, or whenever first names were mentioned. Even in class when roll was called, they'd stand up and cause some kind of distraction. Gordy actually looked at Bucket this time, eyebrow raised as he questioned the teen's actions. The brunet uncovered his friend's ears and put his hands in his lap, looking down a bit.
"Anyways … There's nothing I can do about your classes. The courses you need and the teachers that are available for those courses leave you extremely limited to switching around. The only leeway I really have is moving your lunch to seventh period and giving you History with Ms. Liebowitz."
"No!" Bucket sat forward, causing Skinner to jump a bit and put a hand on his friend's shoulder. "No. I'll just … I'll just deal with how it is. If you can't do anything about it, then I just have to, right?" Gordy nodded. "Thanks anyways, Gordy. C'mon, Skinner. We're gonna be late." There was no way he was going to have what little time he had with his friend during the day. The two teens left the guidance office and slowly walked down the nearly empty halls. "I guess this is it, Skinner. No more epic adventures, no more goofing off and getting into trouble. Just Bucket goes to high school."
"And Skinner goes to high school. But not Bucket and Skinner go to high school." The brunet stopped, turned, and pretty much slammed his forehead into a nearby locker. "This sucks! Absolutely the worst school year ever."
"Remember when Aloe asked me to prom?" Skinner said, leaning against the lockers next to where his friend stood. He took out his ponytail and put the holder in his mouth, running his finger through the long hair on his head. "You got so mad at him, you punched him right in the face." Bucket smiled a tiny bit, shaking his head and looking over at his friend but not lifting his head from the locker door. He was pretty sure he'd dented it. "If something like Aloe couldn't separate us, there isn't a thing in the world that can. You know I've always got your back, bro. I'm just a text message away, always."
"Yeah, I know." The brunet watched as his friend began to pull his hair back into a ponytail. "You've never had a problem with just leaving class for anything at all. That's one of the things I admire about you."
"Awww, you admire me? That's cute." Skinner laughed, elbowing his friend gently. "This isn't a problem. We still have lunch, after school, weekends, and days off, you know? I could always pick you up for morning surfs, too." Bucket looked back at the floor, feeling his cheeks heat up a bit. However appealing the idea was, he was in no way ready to face the image of his best friend and biggest crush dripping wet with a sunrise background. Thinking about it now even threw his hormones into over drive.
"Nah, too early for me. I don't know how you do it, bro." It was extremely hard to hide anything in a surf suit. That was reason enough for him to never surf again, but he did. "You're right though. We'll get through it." Skinner finished with his ponytail and pulled his friend off the lockers, patting his shoulders and pushing him down the hall.
"Come on. I'll buy you some Fritos before your next class."