I came up with this idea for a new fanfic a little while ago and finally decided to try and write it. I hope you like it!
Note: It's rated M JUST IN CASE. I don't think I'm planning any smut. You know, unless you want smut...
The car pulled up to the massive building called Dalton Academy. Jeff peered out the tinted windows from the back seat of the police car, awe-struck at the sight.
It was huge! And so very fancy. This was the correctional school known as Dalton Academy? This was where Jeff was going to stay for committing a crime? He had imagined stone walls, metal bars, dreary cells, and electric fences. This building had none of those things. It looked incredibly nice, actually. Like a mansion.
Maybe staying here for two years won't be so bad?
His assigned officer, Officer Smith, got out of the car and moved around to help the handcuffed Jeff from where he sat in the back seat. He wasn't very gentle and clutched Jeff's arm with a painful iron grasp, as though he figured the blonde convict would try to run.
Everyone treated him this way since the crime. He was used to it by now, but he wished they would just trust him already. Thoughts of running or escaping never even crossed his mind. He'd attempted nothing of the sort since they first arrested him.
Officer Smith led Jeff inside silently. The man didn't even try to mask his hatred for Jeff, it seemed. His face was stony and he refused to even make eye contact with Jeff. He was nothing but a juvenile delinquent in his eyes, after all. Why bother communicating with him?
Jeff knew he was innocent. He'd insisted his innocence every time someone questioned him. But everyone thought he was guilty. Even his own family believed in his guilt. They never even bothered to defend their son from all the allegations against him. They let the cops do their jobs, and never once stepped in.
They were probably so ashamed to be his parents right now.
Officer Smith let Jeff to a huge metal gate that lead to the entrance to Dalton. There was a red button, which he pressed, located beside the gate. Speakers buzzed somewhere above them, perched on the top of the spiked ten-foot gate. "Identification?"
Officer Smith held up his badge. "Officer Smith," he said. "I'm here with Jeff Griffin."
The gates clicked and eased open a moment later. Officer Smith proceeded, dragging Jeff along with him. They were let inside the building by a few guards and one guard led them through huge corridors to the front office. Officer Smith greeted the well-dressed man behind the front desk, took the handcuffs off of Jeff's wrists, and bowed out.
The man stood and greeted Jeff. "Hello, Jeffery. I've been waiting for you."
That sounded almost ominous.
He walked around the desk to stand before Jeff. "I'm Principal Darke. I'm in charge of this school," he went on. "First and foremost, I want to warn you—don't try any funny ideas. We have very tight security around here. You won't get away with it."
"I wasn't even thinking about it, sir," Jeff said politely. You could get out early for good behavior, right?
He didn't seem to buy it. "Alright, Jeffery. You will be staying in Dalton for two years. You can get out in 18 months if you keep up this 'good-boy' attitude." He told him. "Dalton is like any other school. You will wake up on weekdays and attend your usual academic classes. Afterwards, we have a number of recovery programs and help courses to help you rehabilitate."
So, like alcoholism courses? Drug addictions? Jeff had none of those problems…
"When you're all finished with those classes, then you can take part in recreational activities in the Rec Hall or schoolyard, or you can return to your dorm room," Darke told him. "Understood?"
"Yes, sir," Jeff said clearly.
"Good." He leaned over his desk to read a scrap of paper. "Your dorm is room 236 on the second floor." He tossed a key attached to a lanyard to Jeff. "There's the key to your room."
Jeff pulled it around his neck. "Thank you, sir," he said.
"Come with me," he ordered, walking to the door. "I'll show you to your dorm."
Jeff was glad that Principal Darke showed him the way to his room, for he would have surely gotten lost if he tried to find his way there on his own. This place seemed larger on the inside than the outside, if that was possible.
Inside the dorm room was plain, as you'd expect for a boarding school dorm. The floor was carpeted and there were two bunk beds, a dresser, a bookshelf, and a bathroom through a door in the left corner of the room.
Upon entering, Jeff noticed someone else in the room. He was a boy, probably about Jeff's age, sitting atop one of the bunk beds in the room. He had dark hair that was medium length and curly bangs across his forehead. He glanced toward the door as Darke entered with Jeff.
"Oh, hey, Principal Darke," he greeted casually. "What brings you to the remote upstairs dormitories?"
"Nick," Darke greeted in a hard voice. It already sounded like he didn't like this kid. "This is Jeffery. He's you're new roommate."
Nick looked at Jeff for a moment. "Great," he said blandly.
Darke cleared his throat. "Nick," he said suddenly, his voice stern. "Hand them over."
Nick blinked innocently. "Hand what over?"
"The cigarettes," he said. "Now."
"I don't know what you're talking about."
"I can smell them in here, Nick," he growled, his voice raising. "Don't play stupid. Hand them over, NOW."
Nick seemed to hesitate, then sighed. "Fine," he muttered in bitter defeat, reaching under the pillow. He tossed a pack of cigarettes to Principal Darke. "There."
Nick rolled his eyes and grudgingly tossed the lighter as well.
"You've earned a week's worth of detention," Darke informed him. "And no dessert for a week. Also, you'll be taking the tobacco awareness and smoking rehabilitation class starting on Monday.
Nick groaned. "How's that fair? I handed them over, didn't I?"
"Yes, but this is the third time in a month I've caught you with cigarettes," he grunted. "Just try not to corrupt your new roommate." He turned to leave.
"No promises," Nick called out after him. Once the door closed, Nick jumped from the top bunk to the floor below and moved across the room to the other bunk bed. He reached into the pillow case of the upper bunk and waved a fresh, new box of cigarettes in Jeff's direction. "Flint always has a few extra packs," he said casually. He snatched up a lighter from the window sill and lit one up.
"Flint?" Jeff echoed.
"Other roommate." He took a long drag on the cigarette. He blew the smoke from his mouth and looked to Jeff. "Want one?" He held out the box of smokes.
"No thanks," Jeff said, shaking his head.
"What? Don't smoke?" Nick guessed.
Nick shrugged. "Great. More for me, then, goodie two-shoes." He took another drag. "So what's your full title, blondie?"
"Um…Jeff Griffin?" Title meant name, right? He couldn't help but wrinkle his nose at the awful, rancid stench of the cancer stick in Mr. Bad-boy's hand.
"Ah," Nick murmured. "I'd go with Griffin. Jeff is a terrible name. It'll do nothing for your rep here."
Jeff raised his eyebrows. "And Nick is a tough guy name?" he challenged.
Nick glared at him. "It's better than Jeff," he snapped. He cooled off with yet another puff on the cancer stick. "I'm just saying…if you have a cool last name like Griffin, I'd use it to my advantage. A good reputation is everything around here."
"Thanks, but no," he said. "I'll stick with Jeff." He tried to sound nice. He wasn't really looking to fit in with this crowd of criminally challenged teenagers.
"Fine," Nick said. "Suit yourself." He put out the cigarette by smashing it against the wall and then flicking it into a trash can.
Shocking that this place hasn't burned down yet, if these people do that often…
"I'm going to the Rec Hall," Nick announced. "Come if you want to meet some of the other guys. You're less likely to get booed if you're with me."
Jeff wondered if 'booed' was slang for anything around here… "Sure," he agreed. It was better than facing them all alone. He was definitely far from bad, and the others would probably quickly pick up on it. He didn't expect they'd treat someone like him all too well.
Nick led the way to the Rec Hall, which was on the first floor. It was a very large room, easily six times larger than the dorm rooms. There were a few sofas scattered around the room, a flatscreen television on one wall, some table games, and there was a section of computers in the corner.
Yeah, this place was still unbelievable nice for a correctional boarding school. There were teenage boys everywhere talking to one another, playing video games, or just lounging about.
Nick approached one particular group of guys who were lounging lazily on one of the sets of leather sofas. "Hey, guys. What's up?" he greeted them casually. He motioned to Jeff. "Meet the new guy. His name is Griffin."
"Actually, it's Jeff—"
"He rooms with me," Nick went on. He made it sound almost like a complaint.
"Sup, Griffin?" one of them greeted. "What's your story? How'd you wind up here in Dalton?"
"Yeah, what'd you do?"
Nick laughed. "Don't get your hopes up, guy," he eased the group. "Blondie here is a bit of a wuss. He doesn't even smoke."
They laughed and Jeff frowned to himself. He wanted to tell the truth and that he had been framed…but that definitely wouldn't help him out here. These were tough guys who would probably give him hell if they thought he was too 'spineless' to commit a crime. "I robbed an electronic store," he lied. "…with a knife."
"How much cash did you loot?" a dark-haired boy asked.
"Almost seven-hundred dollars," Jeff answered.
"That's nothing," Nick scoffed. He stepped closer to an Asian boy with short black hair. "Wes here is an arsonist. He lit up some dude's house and burnt it to the ground."
Wes nodded. "They guy had the nerve to hit my dog with his car," he muttered. "So I decided to fight back."
By burning his house down?
"And David," Nick went on, "hijacked a car. When the cops caught him, he socked one of 'em right in the face."
David grinned. "I wasn't going to just roll over and show them my belly."
Nick moved along to another boy who was about his height with spiked up dark brown hair. "Thad here beat up some guy with a garden rake."
"I was charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon," Thad said. "It wasn't even that bad, but the bastard had to go and whine to the cops."
Yikes. These guys were actually pretty hardcore, if they were telling the truth!
"Our roommate, Flint, got caught dealing some drugs," Nick told Jeff. "It was just some dope and speed, so it wasn't too bad. He has to go to some lame recovery class about drug addiction every other day, so we won't see him 'til later."
"You should hear what Nick did!" David cut in. "His story is the best one."
"Aw, I don't want to scare pretty boy, here," Nick said a little sneeringly. "Remember that we're sharing a room. He'll probably get nightmares."
Jeff wasn't sure that he really wanted to know, but the offence of that last statement made him feel a little defensive. "I can handle it," he muttered.
That earned him some mocking laughter from the group. Thad spoke up, "Come on. Tell him. What's the harm in roughing the new guy up a bit?"
"I don't know…" Nick stalled further.
"He knifed a guy," David finally said for Nick. "It was an 8-inch pocket knife."
"He stabbed the guy right in the gut," Thad stepped in excitedly. "Punctured some organ or something and the guy almost died."
Jeff looked at Nick who looked back with a smirk. "This is true," he said boastfully.
"Why?" Jeff blurted out. He couldn't imagine why someone would do such a thing.
Nick was silent for a long moment, looking at the other guys as if he figured they would answer for him. When they said nothing, Nick shrugged. "The guy was messin' with me," he answered casually.
And so you STABBED him? If the story was true, then this Nick guy had some serious anger management issues!
Jeff concealed his shock as best he could. He didn't belong here. He was innocent. He'd never committed a crime in his life! The worst thing he'd ever done might be skipping school, or getting drunk at a party when he was 15. These guys…were just plain criminal.
"Oh yeah," Nick said. "Forgot to tell you our title."
"Our gang," Nick said. "Me, Wes, David, Thad, and Flint. We call ourselves the Warblers."
"Um… Isn't that a songbird?" Jeff pointed out. For a gang, that was an awfully docile name.
"Yep." Nick nodded. "We didn't want a clichéd name. Everyone else has stupid names, like 'The Wolves' and 'The Bandits' and 'The Blood Pact.' Ours is like a counter-name. The soft little songbirds, even though we're the toughest gang around here," Nick said. "No one touches us."
Ah, clever, Jeff thought. Really. Kudos to you…
"So, you want to join?" Nick suggested randomly.
The others burst out into objections before Jeff could even process the question. "What? No!"
"Let him in? But he's a pussy!"
"He'll ruin our reputation."
"No one would want him! Look at him!"
"Shut up!" Nick snapped with a vicious edge to his voice. "I say who joins. I don't give a damn what you or the other gangs think! I'm in charge." He glared at them threateningly. "I can very well kick you out if I wish it, too."
The rest of the Warblers fell silent, not daring to say another word. Nick glared at them a moment longer before looking back to Jeff. "So? Want to join?"
"Um…" Jeff mumbled, uncertain. The others didn't exactly seem to like him. But on the other hand, it'd be better for him to start off immediately with the big bad gang. He would never have to worry about anyone else messing with him. If he was going to be here for two years, then that would be very useful. "Can I think about it?"
"Fine." Nick shrugged. "But if you do decide to join, we'll have to glorify your crime. Maybe…you robbed a jewelry store with a gun?" he suggested. "I don't know. We'll have to think about it."
Glorify a crime I never committed? Cool. What a concept.
A voice came over the intercom. "Attention students," said a monotonous female voice. "Lights out is in 10 minutes. Please return to your dorm rooms immediately."
All the guys stood up and mumbled casual goodbyes to one another before parting. It was obvious that this was something they were completely used to, like this was just the regular routine. Jeff wondered how long they all had been here… He followed Nick back upstairs to their dorm room amidst a large crowd of many other teenage boys. Inside, they met with their other roommate, Flint.
He was a tall blonde and his hair fell a little longer than most, slightly slicked back. He greeted Nick casually with the 'sup nod' and glanced at Jeff. "Who's this?"
"New roommate," Nick answered. He went straight for the stash of cigs, snatching one from the box and lighting it up. "Want one?"
Flint nodded and Nick lit one up for him as well. He accepted the cigarette and took a long drag. "I haven't had a smoke all day," he sighed, breathing the smoke from his nose peacefully. "So, what's your name?" he asked Jeff.
"Jeff," he said. "Jeff Griffin. You're Flint, I presume?"
"That's me," he answered with a nod. He looked to Nick. "Haven't you offered him a cigarette?"
"I have," he said. "Pretty boy doesn't smoke."
"Oh." He seemed to consider that. "You don't know what you're missing out on, kiddo."
Kiddo? We're probably the same age! "Sorry," Jeff said. "I'm not looking to get cancer."
Flint laughed. "Don't be such a princess."
"More for us," Nick said with a shrug.
"True," Flint said dopily. "Man, I'm fried. That stupid rehabilitation class is a joke."
"I bet," Nick sympathized. "By the way, I've got to take one on smoking starting Monday. Darke caught me smoking again."
"That sucks." Flint climbed to the top bunk of his bed and flopped down.
"Um," Jeff cut in awkwardly. "Where do I sleep?"
"You can have the bunk under Nick," Flint decided.
"No way," Nick protested. "I had to show him around. You can deal with him."
Ouch. And Jeff had the impression that Nick maybe sort of liked him a little… Guess it looked like everyone hated him.
"I don't want him!" Flint said. "That's not even fair. I have to take those stupid rehabilitation classes. You can't blame me for that."
Nick sighed. "Fine. Rock-Paper-Scissors, then," he decided.
"Alright, you're on," Flint accepted. He leaned over the side of his bed with a fist. Nick faced him and they commenced with the epic battle of Rock-Paper-Scissors.
"Rock, paper, scissors, shoot!"
Flint chose rock. Nick chose scissors.
"Yes!" Flint cheered loudly. "I win!"
Nick winced. "No wait," he protested. "Best two out of three!"
"No way," Flint said. "I won. You get to share with the prep."
Nick groaned. "Fine." He looked at Jeff. "I guess you'll sleep under me."
Awesome. It's just what I wanted.
Jeff said nothing and plodded over to his designated bed sullenly. He kicked off his shoes and collapsed against the pillow with a sigh. He didn't even bother changing into pajamas. What was the point?
This place was awful. He was treated like more of a nuisance here than at home. Not to mention it was basically a correctional facility. He'd never broken a law in his life, besides drinking underage once in a while. Why did he have to be sent to this hellhole?
Nick seemed to notice Jeff's sudden blue mood. "Cheer up, blondie. I was just kidding around," he assured.
Yeah. That really cheers me up. Jeff simply rolled over to face the wall, ignoring Nick. The brunette obviously didn't like him. He'd already said as much. Jeff didn't need his empty sympathy.
"Aw, did we hurt your poor little feelings?" Flint mocked patronizingly. When Jeff ignored him, too, he scoffed. "God, he's such a fag."
"Shut up, Flint," Nick snapped. He put out his cigarette as he had earlier today against the wall and headed for his own bed. As he climbed to the top bunk, he said to Jeff, "G'night, Griffin."
Remember to review! I need to know if its good enough to continue. Thanks for reading!