Look Alive Sunshine
Chapter One: New Friends
"Look it's Natasha."
"She's sitting on her own again."
"Forget about her."
"But Mandy, shouldn't we ask her to-."
"I said, forget her."
Natasha looked up from her book with a sigh. It was nearly impossible to find a quiet spot in Bullworth, and when she actually does Mandy has to come along. She eyed the cheerleaders whispering amongst themselves and looked back down at her book. The last thing she wanted was to speak with them.
After flicking the page ever, she realized that she didn't even read the page before. With a groan, she flipped the page back and glared at the page, determined to digest the words.
"Oh my god, I can't believe Ted actually went out with her."
"Well she was the head cheerleader before you."
"Everyone knows that she got that position because of her brothers."
That was it.
Natasha slammed her book shut and stood up. Insulting her was tolerable – she could care less about what Mandy Wiles thought of her, but bringing her brothers into this was something else entirely. Mandy immediately quieted down. Natasha made her way down the bleachers and gave the cheerleaders a cold look.
Natasha was so focused on the girls that she hadn't realized she had walked into someone. She walked into a rather muscular chest causing her to drop her book. Mandy giggled from behind her.
"I'm so sorry…" Natasha murmured, picking up the book.
She looked up and frowned.
"Ah- it's alright," Ted nodded back awkwardly.
Natasha gave him a stern glare and pushed past him, and straight into another chest. Large hands grasped her arms and shook her slightly.
"You should watch where you're walking Nat," Ben chuckled.
"Yeah well you should-," Natasha couldn't think of a snide comment. "Yeah."
"You don't look so good," Ben noted. "What happened?"
"It's nothing," Natasha shrugged. "Mandy was just talking trash... she mentioned Matt."
Ben's features turned frigid. He looked past Natasha's shoulder and saw Mandy clutching onto Ted's arm.
"Just ignore her," Ben patted her shoulder. "She has no idea what she's talking about."
"I know… but it still pisses me off, you know?" Natasha frowned. "I should go, I got bio next and I doubt my lab partner is showing up."
"Okay, take care yeah?" Ben called after her.
"Yeah," she waved back.
As she has predicted, the seat next to her was once again empty. Like it has been for the last three months. Occasionally Natasha would wonder where the bearer of the seat would wander off to during class hours, perhaps he just stays in New Conventry the whole day.
"Ah!" Dr. Slawter's voice rose.
Natasha looked up from her note-taking and immediately understood Dr. Slawter's tone of surprise. Standing by the door were a pair of roughed up looking boys.
"Nice of you to finally join us in class, Mr. Vincent, Mr. Romano," Dr. Slawter greeted the two. "Hurry to your seats."
Natasha looked down before her and Johnny could make eye contact. She went back to taking notes for the next dissection. The creak of the stool next to hers indicated Johnny has sat down.
"Hello Johnny," she acknowledged.
"Hey," he slumped onto his desk right away. "What are we doin'?"
"Another dissection," Natasha replied.
"Again?" he groaned.
"Please Johnny," she rolled her eyes. "You weren't even here for half of it."
"Look who's getting all smart, little miss cheerleader," he sat up.
Johnny froze on spot. The redheaded girl wasn't as he had remembered. The last time he saw her, Natasha was in her bright little cheerleading skirt and her hair tied high up in a strict ponytail. Where as today, she actually looked like a normal person. Her fiery red curls were let down, she wore the proper uniform and lastly, she had glasses on. Not once has she ever mentioned bad eyesight, he didn't even know she needed glasses!
Natasha perked an eyebrow at him smugly.
"Johnny Vincent, I don't know what rock you've been living under for the last couple of months," she turned her attention back to her notes. "But I am obviously not a cheerleader anymore."
"Why the sudden change?" he asked.
"… You really don't know?" she stared at him evenly.
"No," he shrugged. "I guess I really have been living under a rock."
Natasha chuckled slightly at his comment, but her smile dropped shortly after. Johnny noticed and realized it was something unfortunate.
"You know what?" she mumbled. "I'll tell you sometime later when we're not learning how to cut dead animals open."
"Sounds good," he chuckled.
"What about you?" she asked. "How'd you get caught?"
"… Cops were in New Coventry on some drug bust," he shrugged back. "Peanut and me were walking down the street when they caught us."
"Oh," Natasha nodded understandingly. "Well what about Lola? The last time you showed up to class, you were rambling on and on about her."
"Yeah… Lola," he sighed. "She's a nasty piece of work."
"Oh?" Natasha sounded surprised. She didn't expect him to just admit it straight out like that.
"Yeah, the slut's been cheating on me the whole time we've been together," Johnny frowned in disdain.
Natasha nodded, briefly remembering Ben talking about Lola approaching the football team couple of weeks back.
"Yeah well you know," she shrugged." Lola's a whore, and you can do better."
"You think so?" he asked.
"I know so," she nodded.
The two didn't speak much after as Dr. Slawter began his long lecture. Johnny would steal glances at her every now and then. This was a very big change, and Johnny can see himself liking this change a lot.
"Alright now each pair can start their dissection," Dr. Slawter pointed at the trays of dead rats.
Johnny shook slightly as he followed Natasha to the table. Natasha picked up a tray and Johnny picked out a scalpel, a pair tweezers, gloves and two goggles. They returned to their seat, and placed the goggles over their eyes. Johnny kept his distance with the tray and watched Natasha get to work.
"Still afraid of dead animals, Johnny?" Natasha chuckled cutting the rat open.
"No, I ain't scared!" Johnny retorted. "It's just… disgusting, that's all."
"Sure," she rolled her eyes with a smile.
Johnny squirmed slightly as she cut out the rat's heart. Natasha eyed him with a little smirk.
"It's pretty ironic how you get into bloody fights all the time but can't handle a small rat being cut up," Natasha chuckled.
"Well what about you?" Johnny asked. "Why does a little cheerleader like yourself enjoy cutting up dead animals?"
"You don't have to like it to be good at it," she nudged him slightly. "And I said, I'm not a cheerleader anymore!"
"Right, sorry," Johnny apologized with a smile.
Natasha finished the dissection in record time, and Dr. Slawter walked over to examine her handiwork.
"Excellent work as always Miss Evans," he nodded. "Mr. Vincent, I see that even when you do show up you intend to do nothing."
Johnny pursed his lips together into a fine line but said nothing. Natasha just grinned and nodded at everything Dr. Slawter said. He instructed them to read ahead into chapter twenty. Johnny disregarded what he was told and flipped through the textbook mindlessly. Natasha started reading from the top, but found Johnny's page flipping incredibly distracting.
'The digestive system serves as an important-.'
'… Important… Important… The digestive system serves as an-.'
Natasha gritted her teeth as she glared at his fingers running across the pages.
"You know, it'd probably help if you stopped at one page," she mumbled.
"Whatever," he stopped at a page and slumped over his book.
Natasha side-glanced him for a moment and rolled her eyes. At least he stopped.
After class, the jocks made the football pitch for practice. Ben followed Ted and Mandy. She was going on about the school dance that was two whole months away.
"Ted you better wear a nice suit," Mandy went on. "I need my date looking absolutely perfect and don't forget the-. Oh my god."
Something actually made Mandy shut up, this he had to see.
Ben looked up and frowned. Walking out of the school was her little sister with none other than Johnny Vincent. Since when did he come to school anyway? And how did they know each other? Was he the 'missing bio partner' all this time? They looked pretty friendly by the way he leaned down to listen to her and how she smiled up to him.
"I can't believe she's actually talking to him," Mandy scoffed. "Right Ted?"
"Uh- yeah," he eyed them uneasily.
"Ben, how can you let your sister hang out with a greaser?" Mandy called over her shoulder, back at Ben.
"… Mind your own business, Mandy," Ben growled back. "Natasha can do what she wants."
"Oo stingy," Mandy frowned at him. "Come on Ted, let's go."
Ben watched Natasha laugh at something Johnny said with a dismal look. The two walked towards the school gate together. Ben gave them one last look before turning to catch up with Ted and Mandy.
"You know, I don't remember you being this funny," Natasha chuckled when they reached the school gates.
"And I don't remember you having a personality," Johnny retorted with a smirk.
"Oh shut up," she rolled her eyes. "Uh- well I guess this is goodbye."
"Where are you going? Don't you stay in the dorms?" he asked, looking back into the school.
"I have some place I got to be," she shrugged uneasily.
"Want me to drive you? My car's right there," he pointed at a beat up Cadillac convertible.
"No!" she called out. "I-I mean, it's fine, there's no need to trouble you. I'm not going far anyway, I'll talk to you soon okay? … Well that is if you show up to class from now on."
"Yeah whatever," he grinned. "Well I'll see ya, Natasha."
Natasha quickly turned around and walked to the bike stands, she unlocked her bike and got on. With a sigh, she began pedaling. Natasha never liked biking long distances, and Happy Volts was a long way away.
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