Anderperry Week Day Four
Modern School AU
This is really shitty wow I’m sorry. It’s rambling and has a plot that’s shittily put together. But I tried. There was too much I wanted to do with it I think, and so this puke happened. Yay. It’s like a modern day school theatre AU, but it’s modern, so it fits. Right? Of course.
High school was incredibly difficult. There was no other way to describe it, honestly. There were highs and lows and everything else, and it was just one roller coaster ride that Neil Perry wanted off of most of the time.
The only three things that he lived for were the drama program, his English class, and a kid in his English class that had transferred at the beginning of the year. The kid didn’t talk, but they’d done an activity where they all wrote stories and had to pass them around, and Neil had gotten his, and… Damn. That boy could write.
There were other things, of course, that Neil liked. He had friends, he was fairly popular. But at the end of the day, if he lost any of the three things he loved so much, he knew it wouldn’t be long before he left this place for good, one way or another.
It had been a particularly interesting English class, and they had a few extra minutes before the bell rang for lunch. It happened often, and usually Neil would work on memorising lines for one production or another, or else he would steal glances at the boy who sat in the back of the classroom and never spoke to anyone.
They were doing A Midsummer Night’s Dream currently, and Neil had snagged the role of Puck, which he was incredibly proud of. He was working on his lines when he heard an incredibly loud ‘thump’ sound from the back of the classroom. The bell went off, and everyone rushed out hooting and hollering. Everyone except Neil, and the boy, who was rapidly trying to pick up papers that had fallen from the binder that had fallen to the floor. Neil glanced towards the door before making a decision and walking back to where the boy was, leaning down and helping to gather up the papers. He handed them to the kid, who looked surprised at his company.
“You’re Todd, right?” he asked, offering a warm smile. Todd flushed and looked down, accepting the papers and shoving them back into the binder.
“That’s me,” he said in a quiet voice. His voice was actually shocking. Neil didn’t think he’d ever heard such a contradictory tone. Strong and warm and shy and shaky all at the same time. Neil wasn’t aware that he was staring until Todd glanced up again and flushed even more deeply.
“I’m Neil…” He probably already knew that, but they’d never been properly introduced before. He bent down again, picking up another paper, and caught sight of the format before Todd took it from him. Poetry. He should have guessed.
“You write really well,” he offered, and Todd looked surprised. Neil only smiled. “It’s very eloquent. I wish I could do that.”
Mr. Keating, their English teacher, laughed from the front of the room where he was erasing the board. “Neil, if you’re buttering him up to get him to write your essays, don’t think I won’t notice.”
“I’m not!” Neil defended, though he was grinning easily. He looked back at Todd. “Keating thinks he’s hilarious,” he muttered, and then gestured towards the door. “Where do you usually eat?”
“I heard that,” Keating said lightly, placing the eraser down and walking towards the door. “I have to go, boys, there’s a meeting. The door’s locked behind you, if you stay in here, don’t let anyone else in.” He shut the door behind him, and Neil only smiled once more at Todd, who looked both nervous and faintly apprehensive.
“In here, sometimes,” he said, his gaze still directed at the floor.
“Do you mind if I stay, then?”
Todd frowned softly, still looking apprehensive. “I… No,” he mumbled. Neil cocked his head to the side.
“You can tell me if you’d rather eat alone or whatever. It’s fine.”
“No, it’s not… I… Why do you want to?” Todd burst out with, flushing again after speaking.
Neil didn’t look bothered by it, though. “Because. You seem nice, but you’re always alone, and I don’t have anywhere I need to be.”
Slowly, Todd nodded. “…Okay,” he said, though he didn’t smile.
And so, it became a routine. After English, Neil and Todd would stay behind. Sometimes Keating stayed in the room, but more often than not, the two boys were left alone in the room, to talk or write or not. And slowly, they began to learn more about each other, and they developed a friendship that Neil was justly proud of. The shy boy was slowly coming out of his shell, and Neil couldn’t have been more proud of him.
Midsummer Night’s Dream came and went, and Todd went to see Neil, meeting his group of friends that night as well. They accepted Todd instantly, and it was common, then, for one or more of them to join them in Keating’s classroom at lunch every day.
On one of the rare days that it was just Neil and Todd again, Neil looked over from where he’d draped himself over one of the desks. “You should try out for the next show.”
Todd choked on his sandwich. “Are you insane?” he asked, once he’d calmed down.
Neil shrugged. “Clinically so. But that’s not the point. You’d be fantastic, I know you would. And we’d both be in it, I could help you with lines and vice versa. It would be great!”
Todd only shook his head. “You’re insane,” he said simply, and the subject was laid to rest for what Neil thought was for good.
At the audition, though, he was surprised to see Todd there, clutching his monologue and looking entirely out of place. Neil grinned widely when he saw him, and made his way over quickly. He couldn’t help but notice that Todd seemed to relax slightly at the sight of him.
“What are you doing here?!” he asked, sounding utterly pleased.
Todd blushed and shrugged. “I guess some of your insanity’s rubbing off on me,” he stated simply. And so they both auditioned, and when the cast list came out, Neil was elated to discover that their characters had almost all of their scenes together.
The play was Romeo and Juliet, and the rehearsals were tough. However, Neil was used to it, and he helped Todd along as much as he could, helping him out of his shell even more to become the character that he’d gotten chosen to be.
Finally, the show came along, the real thing. With Neil as Mercutio and Todd as Benvolio, they aced the show. And if anyone saw them escape the the cast party in the theatre after closing night, snuggling on the couch in the greenroom, well… It couldn’t be proven, could it?