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If you really hated me...?

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Stan finds himself in front of the infirmary. Again. This has been happening a lot recently, and he holds no one else responsible than Craig motherfucking Tucker. Stan puts a finger under his nose and catches some blood that is already starting to crust. He sighs and glances sideways at the person himself - a guy with a blue chullo hat, thick black eyebrows and a swelling purple eye.

He almost chuckles, Craig Tucker looks so fucking stupid right now. The bastard just deserved it after that whole story ... Leaving him frustrated, questioning. Starting to think about it, he feels the anger welling up inside of him again. Damn it, he'd just love to give him another black eye! Fucking snake…

"Okay, boys, get in quickly so we'll get this over with. If this becomes routine, you’ll soon be able to take care of your wounds yourself. As often as you are here, you should already know where all of my stuff is."
The nurse sighs and leaves the door open before she steps back into the room.

Stan hesitates because Craig doesn't move. He simply stares down onto the floor. Huh. Well, he's hard to read but Stan's sure he's just pissed as much as Stan is.

Eventually, he decides to take the first step and have himself taken care of before Craig. It's stupid having to be here at all because it’s not even that bad. Okay, yeah, his nose is bleeding a little, he can feel a big bump starting to swell on the side of his head and he's got couple bruises, but Stan really doesn't need any medical attention. Craig might agree with him, just as he drags himself into the room seemingly against his will. When the tall boy walks over to sit down on a chair at the other end of the room, he shoots Stan a death glare. Before Stan can do anything about it, the nurse goes between the two and puts her hands on her hips.

"So, Mr. Marsh. I'll give you an ice pack and disinfect your abrasions, but otherwise I hope I won't have to see you here again. Aren't you too old for these kindergarten brawls?”
She hands him the gel pack and turns to Stan's nemesis.

"Now your turn, Mr. Tucker."
She rolls a squeaky metal cart with various utensils in his direction.

“Your eye doesn't look good” Craig huffs at that, and agreed, it's fucking ugly, “but it really is your own fault, isn’t it. Hold still, I'll clean your wounds.”
The nurse picks up some cotton wool and dips it in a clear solution.

“Kids these days, huh. And I thought I wouldn't see anything like this when I got hired at a high school.”

Craig hisses, but immediately falls silent again with a strained expression on his face. It would've surprised Stan if that fucker didn't move his face at all, but he did, especially when he got kicked in the knee earlier. That was nice, to see any expression on that face besides blankness.

"Take this cool pack and get out of here!"
The nurse rolls the cart to the side and shooes the boys out.

“Off to the principal’s office with you. And good luck.”
She slams the door right behind them.

 

*

Stan tries his hardest to sit still, whereas Tucker with his bored eyes and crossed arms looks like a stone statue. Unlike him, Stan rarely finds himself in the principal’s office. He's a normal, "upright" student, in the eyes of the teachers at least. No wonder he doesn't like it here at all. Stan guesses it's got nothing to do with familiarity though.

 

The solid wood desk, very different from the cheap, scratched tables in all the other rooms of the building, is full of little statuettes and useless stuff. Stan's gaze lingers on a small Denver Broncos memorabilia. Maybe someday he could save his ass with this information. He might need it this time.

“Gentlemen, things cannot go on like this. Mr. Marsh, even if it’s just your second visit to my office this year, I heard a lot about your silly brawls.” The principal opens a drawer and takes out some printed sheets of paper. She puts a finger to her tongue to flip through the documents with a little spit.

"My colleagues and I were sure it would just pass by itself, you know, hormones and so on." She shrugs and neatly places the sheets of paper on the table in front of her.

"Although this time you went way too far."

A swallowing silence builds up and Stan wipes his sweaty hands on his dark blue jeans. He looks down and gulps. They really fucked up, didn't they.

"Not only did you interrupt class with your childish argument, you also showed little consideration for school property." She clasps her hands and tilts her head.

"Would you like to tell me again what it is that you damaged? In case I forgot. Mr. Tucker?”

Craig sinks further into his chair and rolls his eyes.

“A couple of tables, so what?”
He seems so cool about this. Probably used to it.

The principal laughs, but her eyes don't.

"I see. Mr. Marsh, would you like to continue?"

Stan looks up, but can't keep his gaze and looks through the window behind the woman instead. The tree over there was much more interesting anyway.

"Some chairs," he replies absentmindedly.

“5! 5 chairs to be precise. But haven't you forgotten something? All of this is easy to replace if it weren't for the demolished projector!"

The two boys flinch and look away. Yeah, they really fucked up.

"Do you know how expensive these projectors are?"

Stan doesn't know. He doesn't want to know. The principal sighs and hands out the sheets of paper that she previously had on the table.

“I understand that you don't have the financial resources to replace all of this. So I want to make a deal with you.” She sits back at her table. Stan scans the form; it doesn't look particularly official. Some kind of made-shift contract, maybe.

“If you agree to the following conditions, you don't have to pay anything.”

Great! That sounds easy.

“Your cooperation is also required. Particularly your cooperation.” She chuckles.

“Don’t be shy, read aloud!”

Fortunately, she saves Stan the humiliation and nods towards Craig. Tucker grimaces slightly for a short moment. In his deep, monotonous voice, he begins to read.

"Peace treaty. I, blank, and my fellow student, blank, agree to meet the following conditions in order to avoid drastic consequences.
1. For the remainder of the semester," Craig huffs before he continues,
"all partner ups and groups will include each another (this also applies to club activities)."
Craig crumples the piece of paper in one hand and scoffs.

"I'm not reading this."

The principal doesn't seem to be bothered.

"Well then, Mr. Marsh?"

Stan grits his teeth. This already sounds so dumb. How have they managed to demolish the whole fucking class room? He doesn't even remember damaging anything, just the waves of adrenaline, the smell of sweat, drops of blood and flying fists. The impact they made on Craig's body. The way he got hit in the stomach. He isn't even responsible for the bruise in Craig's face, that was all mister lanky boy losing his balance and hitting his face on the edge of a table. That has been the moment which caused people to go between them and stop the fight.

He doesn't have a choice now, though, so he continues to read.

"2. Every Tuesday and Thursday, the mentioned students have detention after class in the designated room."
His mom is going to kill him. He's sure of it.

"3. A joint report is to be submitted every week in which the mentioned students record their arguments and matching solutions. I, blank, hereby agree to this treaty. Signature, date, place."

"No way I’m doing this crap," hisses Craig, getting up to leave the room. The Principal just laughs.

“You have time until the end of the week to make up your mind. Otherwise you will bear the cost of $ 5,000 all by yourselves, gentlemen."

Fuck.