Felix Garcia never had many friends before he joined the Troop. Scratch that , he'd never had any friends before he joined The Troop. For the ten years of his academic career he was alternately bullied, ignored, or outright shunned and he had nothing to show for it. Sure he had glowing report cards, filled with the praise of teachers and their concerns over his apparent lack of social interaction. He had honor roll awards, first place science fair prizes, even a few trophies for his brief stint with gymnastics. Even with all his academic achievements he had not one friend to share them with.

Unless you were to count Carlotta, his pet iguana or Mrs. Flores, the ninety year old widow who lived next door that he spent a good deal of time with everyday. Not that they weren't completely wonderful to be around. Carlotta, despite her cold and lazy demeanor, was loving in her own special way. And when ever he spent time with Mrs. Flores he always felt better about himself. If he won an award she would make him home made churros or cinnamon chips with fried plantains and caramel dipping sauce. She was like the grandmother he never had, warm and supportive, loving and kind.

As good as they were to him they couldn't just be his friends, not really. Carlotta was of a different species and they're similarities were few and far between and Mrs. Flores, as sweet as she was, was way too old to be his friend. He needed someone his species, his gender, his age to be friends with. The Troop gave him that.

He had Jake who was loyal (sometimes) and male and understood him (kinda). He could talk to him about guy stuff and girls. Sure he didn't understand calculus, or chess, or the fun of jousting but he was a someone who didn't shun him. Hayley was great too. Where Jake was lacking she easily made up for (and was so Pretty, that helped a bit) if Jake didn't . She was nice, they both were. But Felix didn't have any previous experience with people who actually wanted to be near him after it was required. To have two friends so suddenly was as terrifying as it was elating.

It still kind of sucked that he couldn't tell anyone. Things would have been much better for him if he wasn't the constant target of bullies and prospective love interests (mean girls) . If they knew that he was a member of the Troop things would probably be much better. When it came down to it the monster fighting genius would always be miles higher on the social ladder than say, a quarterback, but only if it was widely know. It wasn't like anyone was filming it all so there would be proof. Even if he did break the oath he'd still be the school whipping boy (or not because they might think he's crazy).

It was still nice to think that he'd be love and respected. Instead of being stuffed into lockers he'd be hoisted onto shoulders, carried with pride. People wouldn't dare mess with him at all and he might even get a girlfriend out of it (girlfriends never hurt anything). But he had two friends now, good friends, his first friends ever. And for now that was enough.

Felix just hoped he wouldn't mess it up.


Carmen Garcia was happy. She was happy that her Felix finally could go out with other people his own age and have fun. He was far to serious and into his studies for such a young man. She knew he did it because he was lonely and losing himself in his work, academic or otherwise, took off the edge of the loneliness he'd felt. Carmen had actually been considering therapy or a transfer of some sort for him. She felt bad for his lack of friends and blamed herself.

Maybe if she hadn't let him skip two grades he's be better equipped to deal with his peers. Or maybe she should have sent him to that private her niece had gone to. His mind would have been stimulated and she was sure he would have made lots of friends there. But now that Felix had his "Mime Club" it probably wouldn't matter nearly as much. She highly doubted that her son was dull enough to join an actual club based around mimes of all things but Carmen was willing to let it slide so long as he wasn't doing anything illegal or dangerous. Now her son had people who could stand up for him with no ulterior motives. They could see his value as a person and accepted him for who he was. As a mother that's all Carmen could ever ask for.

Maybe things were starting to look up for him.