Summary – This is set after series 7 episode 24. josh's world is spiralling out of control, but will the appearance of a certain someone help bring him back to reality, or will it make things worse.

Bit of a bizarre chapter, but I needed something to lead into the next chapter, sorry if it's a bit odd. I hope my portrayal of josh is okay, the voices (laughter) are the onset of the schizophrenia (the tv episodes were a bit vague with his symptoms so I've gone off mine)but it will make more of an appearance in a few chapters, b/c there is other stuff that needs to happen before. Hope you enjoy it! :)


"Josh" a small voice broke through the thick haze.

"Josh" there it was again, it was familiar but it didn't quite register

"Josh, are you listening?" why wouldn't they just leave him alone?!

"JOSH" it said again, but this time it registered; it was Miss Boston and she was good…wasn't she?

I was vaguely aware of her dragging me somewhere by the scruff of my neck, muttering things that I didn't understand.

"The laughing, make it stop miss, please make it stop" I cried, grasping my head. "please just make it stop"

Miss Boston's P.O.V

"Please, just make it stop" josh pleaded frantically.

I had found him zoned out in the common room, he had obviously been on drugs and was stoned.

I was now dragging him through the corridor by the scruff of his neck, I had never seen him like this. He had sworn he had stopped the drugs, grady was in jail so where did he get them from? Luckily the corridors where empty, and so were the changing rooms, which was a good thing really, this way he would spare himself the humiliation.

"Get under" I said harshly as I shoved his head under the showers, letting the cold water shock his body out of this doped-up state. I was disappointed in him, he had sworn to me and Tom that he would stop and I had believed him.

"you sober yet?" I say to Josh, but when I take a closer look I notice that something is off about him, he is sobbing and clutching his head, seeming genuinely distressed.

"How much of that stuff did you take josh?" I ask him, slightly concerned

"I…i…I don't know" he moaned "I can't remember miss, honest"

I looked at him, eyebrows raised before nodding, convinced he was telling the truth

We sat there for a good 20 minutes, just looking at each other in silence. A million words were said, but none were spoken. Finally he moved, slowly getting up he brushed down his now dry clothes and grabbed his bag

"can I go now miss?" he asks, I take a look at him; his eyes had cleared, and apart from being soaked he looked fine, so I said yes.

"Miss, you won't tell my dad will you?" he asked warily

"Josh, you know I have to" I said, no matter how much I wanted to keep it between us, tom had a right to know.

"Please miss, he'll kill me" he pleaded, "I'll get off the drugs, for real this time…I'll do anything miss"

"Anything?" I ask, desperately wanting to help, I knew exactly how tom would react and I couldn't help feeling sorry for the boy.

"Yes miss, anything!" He said, a glimmer of hope in his voice

"Right, I won't tell your dad" I say in my don't-mess-with-me voice "But, you are in lunchtime detention for a week"

"thanks miss" he says, a smile on his face

"That's not all josh, there's a new boy arriving tomorrow, I want you to show him around. Make him feel welcome, stick with him or the next few days." I pause for breath, letting it sink in "And, If I hear that you have put so much as a toe out of line then I'll tell your dad without a moment's hesitation." I say sternly "we all clear?"

"Yes miss" josh says, almost running out the door just as the bell went

Josh's P.O.V

The laughter had gone…for now, but it would be back, I was sure of that

"Where've you been joshy-boy?" Finn Sharkey said, draping his arms over mine and Lauren's shoulders in a friendly sort of way.

"Nowhere, just fell asleep that's all"

"What, in the boys changing rooms?" finn said sceptically

"No, I just went to get dried off, I dropped a glass of water over myself" I bluff quickly

"Me and Lauren were just going to get something to eat…you coming mate"

"nah, I'm off to see dad, I want him to check my essay over."

"Your loss mate, see you later then"

"Yeah, bye" I say as they walk down the corridor towards the canteen, I go in the opposite direction, towards my dad's classroom. When I get there I notice it's empty, that means he's in the staffroom.

As I walk upstairs and head for the staffroom I think about where everything went wrong, where my life went careering off the rails. I can't quite pinpoint the moment my life got crazy, maybe I had always been a messed-up kid. I got my fair share of rumours too, the worst of which came when I came out as gay; for a couple of days I had felt like i should just go, move away, start again. But when I got finn back everything picked up; not that fancy him, just cos I'm gay doesn't mean I fancy every bloke I see.

I realised I had arrived outside the staff room door, suddenly it opened

"This is the staffroom, for staff only. Now run along" the all-to familiar voice of Grantly Budgeon; world's worst teacher said

"Actually I'm here to see my dad, is he in there?" I say

He stuck his head round the staffroom door

"Tom, there is a teenage delinquent wanting to see you"

"Tell them to come back afterschool, I've got a tonne of paperwork to do" my dad shouted back

I pushed past and entered the staffroom.

"Josh, I thought you'd be with finn" He said, looking up from a mountain of paper and files

"Yeah, about that." I say, not sure how to put it "I've been put in detention for a week by Nikki" I realised my mistake "I mean Miss Boston"

Dad grabbed me by the arm and pulled me out of the room with him and into an empty classroom

"Please tell me you're not on the drugs again" he said frantically

"relax dad, I fell asleep in the common room and she found me. I came to ask you for your opinion on my essay, I need to hand it in by next period."

"Josh, I can't, I'm your teacher, it'd be unfair" he said, relief on his face

"Yeah, but lauren's dad checked her's, please"

"Fine, but don't tell the boss" he said, sighing as he grabbed my essay from me

"thanks dad, you're the best" I said as I sat down on one of the desks and got my phone out. 1 new message.

Hey, Is this Josh?


I quickly open a new message and reply

Yeah, it's me, josh. Wuu2?

Hi! I had so much fun yesterday, we should meet up again sometime

Yeah, I'd like that. When are you free?

My dad's out tomorrow, you could come round then. I bet I'll beat you this time!

Great, I'll tell dad.

Cool, see you then

"dad, can I go to Jack's tomorrow?"

"weren't you there yesterday?" he said suspiciously

"Yeah but that's besides the point… can I go?" I say, it was a simple enough question

"You don't, you know..." he gestured blindly with his hands

"No, I don't fancy him if that's what you mean. We're just mates! Chill" dad still wasn't used to me being gay, but he was fine with it.

"I'm sorry josh but not tomorrow, you're grounded for a week"

"Why? I didn't do anything! This is so unfair!" I protested

"You were put in detention!"

"I bet you never grounded chlo, or mika!"

"Here, I've checked it through, now there's a sandwich in the staffroom fridge. Go and get it, the canteen will have closed now, but be quick, the bell will go soon" dad handed the paper over to me and I reluctantly went out the door and back to the staffroom.

I went though the door and saw the room was empty, so I headed for the fridge

"Er, what do you think you are doing?" a completely unfamiliar teacher said, coming through the door.

"My dad told me to get a sandwich out of the fridge" I said, and started to step forward but the teacher blocked the path

"And who exactly are you?"

"Josh Stevenson miss" I said confused, almost everyone in the staffroom knows about me; the boy who's mum stole his dad's sperm, the boy who tried to kiss his best friend, the boy who turned out gay, the boy who does drugs. "My dad's Tom Clarkson"

"This may be my first day, but I'm not stupid boy. With me, we're off to the head." She said, walking towards the door and I reluctantly followed her

"But miss, that's just stupid, ask anyone!" I protest as I'm pushed into 's office "This is stupid!"

Mr Byrne looked up from his desk

"Josh? It's not often I get a visit from you. What's going on?"

"Michael, I found this boy in the staffroom, he was about to trash it but I got there first" the new teacher declared proudly

"josh, is this true?" he asked

"No, for god's sake, she's lying!" I feel like laughing with the sheer stupidity of the whole situation…I only went for a sandwich

"are you accusing her of lying?" he said seriously

Suddenly the door burst open, I felt relief wash over me as my dad walked in.

"What's going on?" dad said

"She's accusing me of trying to trash the staffroom" I said to him, frustration in my voice

"Well why else would he be there?" she said

"I went to get a sandwich" I said, glad to finally get a say

"Then why make those stories up about this so called 'Mr Clarkson'?"

I laugh and point at my dad "That's Mr Clarkson!"

The look on her face was hilarious

"So he's really your son?" she said, she looked mortified

"Yes, josh is my son, why?" dad looked confused

"It seems there has been a bit of a misunderstanding, josh, you can go to lessons now, the bell will ring in a few minutes" Mr Byrne said, gesturing towards the door

"Thanks sir"

"Josh, hang on a sec" dad put his hand in his pocket and withdrew a chocolate bar, which he then threw at me.

"Thanks" I say half-heartedly as I walked out the door. A melted chocolate bar…yum.

xxx the next day xxx

"JOSH! Have you seen my car keys?!" dad said as he dashed around the house, doing his belt up on the way.

"they're on the sofa!" I shout back

"Have you seen my shoe?" I sigh, he really was a scatterbrain

"On the kitchen table"

"You want a lift?"

"Yeah, thanks"

"Shut up!" I say irritably, but they won't go, they refuse to leave me alone.

"Josh, hurry up!" dad shouts from door.



"Today we are going to be doing about the atomic structure, so pay attention" Mr mead says, writing the objective on the board alongside the title and the date.

"Excuse me Mr Mead, can I borrow josh?" Miss Boston said, he head poking around the door "Bring your stuff josh" she added

I slowly pack my stuff away, wondering why she was taking me out of class.

"Ah, josh, the new boy is up in the common room, I think he once went to the school, but things have changed since he was here. If you could just stick with him, remember our agreement."

"Sure miss"

I followed her up to the common room, pondering over who it could be; Wondering if I knew him, or if I'd never seen him before.

She pushed open the door and I saw him immediately. My heart dropped, old wounds re-opening, all these feelings ripped through me, feelings I haven't felt for ages, and it scared me. Of all the people, why did it have to be him?

"Josh, this is the new boy, Nate Gurney."

What will josh do? What did Nate do to make josh feel like that?