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Looking at his reflection in his mirror Archer let out a tired sigh as he straightened his gray suit jacket. His bedroom door opened and he closed his eyes in anticipation, “Hah! Could you have put on a gayer outfit for your homecoming?” his brothers deep voice boomed from the hallway. Archer pinched the bridge of his nose and took a deep breath.

“Yeah, I could have worn your old football gear we all know they represent repressed sexual tension!” he quipped at his brother and turned to face the taller blond man. “What do you want Warren?! Aren’t you supposed to failing out of college somewhere else!” the curly haired boy pleaded, his voice was tired and annoyed. Warren’s eyebrows rose as he lent against the doorframe of Archer’s room.

“Woah woah, a little touchy there little brother. What’s wrong… the guy you wanted rejected you?” Warren asked with a rare form of sincerity in his voice. Archer rolled his eyes and let out another sigh.

“Not really… Whatever Warren just fucking leave me alone, I need to leave anyway!” Archer grunted as he stormed past his burly brother. Warren stepped back as to not be crashed into.

“Well excuse me for trying to give a shit!” He called after Archer as he rounded the corner and bounded down the stairs. Without even saying goodbye to his parents he was out of the house and in his car in a few seconds. After a few jiggles of his keys his decrepit car started and he made his way towards homecoming, where he would meet up with his makeshift date.

When the shock of being forced into a homecoming pair, Julie felt like it was actually a pretty interesting idea of sorts. The hard part was getting in touch with her date, with him having soccer practice and hanging out with Martha. After a few feeble attempts of talking to Andres at school, she had settled for communicating with the boy through texts and they had decided to meet up at the dance.

The majority of the day had been spent locked in her room with Iris figuring out Julie’s senior homecoming look. They had settled on an emerald wrap dress, keeping her makeup light with hints of gold and copper and letting her hair fall around her with soft curls.

“So, who is this Andres dude?” her sister asked as she lounged on Julie’s bed lazily reading a magazine as the younger redhead finished up her makeup.

“Oh you know… popular, sporty, charming.” Julie began as she added a hint of a rose gold blush to her cheeks, she stopped and looked at Iris through her mirror. “That sounds like he’s the most clichéd man in Florida. To be completely honest I don’t really know him that well… he is very busy.”

Iris looked up from her magazine “Huh?… that school seems just as crazy as since I left. I mean who in their right mind would pair up strangers for homecoming? It’s insane, especially after that one girl went postal on that car.” she scoffed.

Julie scowled at her “Marisol was under a lot of stress and wasn’t thinking clearly, she’s a very sweet girl actually.” she huffed.

“I’m sure she is…” Iris trailed of “What’s more interesting to know is who you would have gone with if you chose a guy. Maybe that Sonny guy you told me about?” Julie could sense her sister was poking around for something.

“No. No no no. Sonny? That is something that… just no.” Julie scoffed, surprised at her own reaction. “No I would probably just have gone with Chanel and like… April I guess.” she finished as she put her brush down and stood to face Iris. “So? Is this presentable?” Julie asked.

“Perfect, just one thing missing!” Iris chirped and took of one of her rose gold Hermes bangles and put it on her little sister. “Ok go have fun!” she smiled and smacked Julie on the bottom.

Archer drummed his fingers on the steering wheel to the beat of his spotify list as he drove towards the dance. As he stopped at a crossing he saw a lone figure in green standing in a driveway in front of a huge beach house. Squinting, Archer realized it was Julie Macmillan looking concerned. Not really knowing why he pulled over and rolled down his window.

“Hey Red! What’s up? You look lost… in front of your own house.” he looked up at the huge house and then back to the redhead.

“Oh Hello Archie, I’m actually waiting for an über, but I think the driver’s lost… it’s stuck on 5 minutes… and has been for the last 15 minutes” Julie said waving her phone around and looking down the road to see if she could see the car coming.

Archer followed her gaze and looked back at her “Get in you can ride with me!” he said with a wave of his hand.

Julie eyed the rusty car for a minute before pressing cancel on her app and walked around the blue hunk of junk and got in the passenger seat. “Thank you this is a… uh nice car.” she offered meekly.

The car pulled out of the driveway as Archer laughed loudly at the girl’s comment “Yeah sure Red, thanks!” he chuckled as he looked at the mess in the backseat through the rearview mirror.

As they drove down the road the silence in the car was like thick mist around them and Archer hated every minute of it. “Uhm so… I wanted to apologize for yelling at you that one time.” he shifted uncomfortably.

“You’re fine.” Julie twisted her hands together in her lap “I deserved it, I have done some pretty dumb things during our time together at King’s. So in a way I’m the one who should be sorry.” She smiled.

Both of them took breath of relief when they finally arrived at the dance, and they finally could get out of the car. A lot of people had already started to arrive and were crowding around the entrance, and of course Archer spotted Ariel standing on the edge of the crowd avoiding eye contact with anyone. Archer motioned for Julie to follow.

“Ever the social butterfly Ari!” Archer smiled at his date as him and Julie got close to the raven haired girl. “You know Red from school?” he asked and pointed a thumb at Julie.

“Hi… Ariel right?” she smiled and offered her hand to shake. “That is a very pretty dress.” Julie twittered.

“Actually it’s Serafina…” Archer smirked knowing how much Ariel hated being called that.

Julie smiled even wider“Well a pretty name to match the pretty dress! I guess I should go find my date, thanks for the ride Archie!” she said with a wave and disappeared into the crowd.

“See you in there I guess! Should we head in as well?” Archer turned and asked Ariel offering his arm.

Replaying the last thirty minutes or so in her head as she walked through the lunch line, Ariel was completely baffled by the recent events that had occurred in her life. Why couldn't the faculty just let people stay at home for homecoming? Why did they feel the need to push them into some social experiment? Why the actual fuck was she paired with Archer of all people? Why?

It wasn't that Ariel didn't like Archer. She had always liked the guy. Out of the Misfits, she had always been the closest to Marisol, then Archer, then Kavi. When she had made the semi-conscious decision to drop her friends, Archer had tried to reach out to her longer than anyone, resulting in an argument where she had called him Marisol’s sidekick. She had said a lot of hurtful things that day….

Grabbing a bottle of water, paying and scanning the crowd, she quickly found Archer sitting at a table. The look on his face was pure anger - such as was expected. Taking a deep breath and walking that way, Ariel took the seat slightly across from him, holding onto the water bottle with both hands for a sense of security.

”Archer. We need to talk,” she said tonelessly.
Archer looked up slowly as the girl spoke still chewing, he swallowed and wiped his mouth with his napkin. “Hello Serafina, I guess we do.” he threw his napkin in the plastic bowl and threw the whole thing into a nearby trash can. He brushed his uniform for any crumbs and stood up grabbing his bag.

“See you guys later.” he nodded at the others with one last pleading look to Marisol that only she could see.

The curly haired boy composed himself and looked to his former friend clearing his throat “Shall we?” he ask as he walked towards the exit not really waiting for an answer. Hardly even looking back to see if she was following him Archer stepped out of the cafeteria and walked over to a special bench in the courtyard, what used to be their bench. He slouched down and looked up at Ariel “So?” he asked expectantly. He had decided to take Marisol’s advice, he would let go of his grudge and hear her out. But he was far from ready to forget what she had done to him.

His response was actually better than what she had expected. The way he called her by her first name practically made her skin crawl. Watching as he turned to walk away, she scrambled to quickly grab her things and follow him. Once he sat down on the bench, she forced herself to face him. She had avoided this spot for nearly two years now. Not having really planned what she was going to say, the young woman decided to wing it. Most definitely the wrong choice.

”I hate that we have to start talking like this, Archer, I do. But… the school has forced us into a really awkward situation and I guess we need to make the best of it.” Noticing how fast she was speaking, Ariel took a breath to calm herself. ”But first… I have to say I'm sorry.”

He just looked at her for a long time before he spoke softly and quietly “You’re sorry?” he paused seemingly deep in thought. He let out a small laugh “You know… that’s not good enough babe.” his eyes shot up to meet hers. “I kinda need an explanation from you. Let’s go through it shall we? We were so close Ari… It was you, me and Mar. And then you just decide to not be friends anymore? You don’t speak to me for months on end and when I try to figure things out you just say that you’re tired of hanging out with an annoying sidekick?” he let it all flow out of him like he had been waiting for this moment the last two years, in fact he had. “And now… because you are forced to… all you can say is that you’re sorry? Well I fucking hope you are!” you could practically see the steam rising from the boys forehead.

You deserve that, she thought. Hell, she fucking more than deserved it. In all reality, she was just glad that he didn't get up and stomp off. As it turns out, winging it couldn't have made anything worse. His reaction was more than expected.

An explanation? She could give him one, but did she want to bore him with all of the gory details? Worse - would he even believe her? She felt her face getting hot again. Crossing her arms, she sat down beside him. ”Archie… I-i was going through a really, really rough time. Instead of leaning on my friends, I pushed them away like an idiot for my own selfish reasons. Reasons that I've tried to convince myself were okay, but they aren't. I'm sorry I said those things but it was easier to push you away like that then to let you see what was going on with me. I didn't know who I had become, and I still don't. I'm trying to fix it. I've already apologized to Kavi, and soon, I will Mari too. It's just been… rough.”

Archer nodded along as she spoke, his heart couldn’t help but break a little when he saw the pain in her face. “I get it Ari… I had it really rough as well.” He began thinking back to when he came out two years ago. “My family practically disowned me, you guys were all I had. I would’ve never treated you that way.” he said feeling his throat getting tighter.

He looked away towards the ground kicking at some small rocks. “If you don’t want to tell me what happened, that’s fine.” He stopped again “But Ariel, you do understand that this is not going away just because you apologized… right?” he whispered.

”I just… I wanted to open up to you guys so bad back then, but my dad had told me so many times that no one would believe me about what he did. And after you hear something so many times, you start to believe it. So I figured why burden you guys with my problems?” She lowered her gaze, looking at the ground now. Archer was right. They had been a family. So why didn't she come to them? Who knew.

“And, yeah, I know. Believe me, I do. But it's been long enough, and I really would like to have my friend back, if that's okay? I don't expect you to trust me right away again or anything. I just… I've missed you.”

The young man's eyes shifted from the ground to Ariel. After a beat of silence he let out a sigh. To be completely honest he had missed having Ariel as a friend. He loved Marisol with all of his heart but sometimes she could be less than sensitive. Usually when he came to her with a problem her response was often “Do you want me to punch him?” or “Do you want Marco to punch someone?” which wasn't always what he wanted. Ariel had been the one that had played that part and when she decided he wasn't good enough he had to deal with those things himself.

“Maybe we can try to salvage this somehow…” he whispered as he shifted uncomfortably. “But we'll have to figure out how to be friends again.” he sighed.

“I'd really like that, Archer. But you might have to avoid me just a few more days until I can explain everything to Mari,” she said with a small laugh.

He raised an eyebrow in confusion “You really think it'll be good if I'm not there to keep her subdued? Whatever you say Babe.” it shocked him how easy it was to slip back on how he used to talk to her.

He looked down at his phone and let out a groan “Sorry Ari, I need to book it if I want to make it to French. Call me later and I guess we'll plan this disaster of a date. I have the same number if you didn't delete that too!” he said with mischief in his voice and a quick smile before he rushed of towards the school building.

The last month had been pretty uneventful, considering Marisol's little incident. Right after Archer had been furious with his petite friend and accusing her of never ever thinking things through. He had spent a week sulking at home writing in his journal and sulking alone at school reading in the library. But the pair had reunited and talked it out. Marisol had explained herself and promised to make it up to him somehow and Archer knew he couldn't make it through this year without her so he had just smiled and hugged her for a long time.

Now things were back to practically normal. The mundaneness of school had settled in and it was business as usual for the students of King's. Especially for Archer Diedrikson who was already counting down the days towards their winter break. He had even gotten an part time job to make the days go faster and to also earn extra cash for his after graduation plans. He was now the proud employee of “The Print & The Pot” where he spent most of his free time anyway so why not get paid for it? He was even allowed to do school work during his shifts so he was in good spirits this Friday morning.

When they were all called in to a assembly first thing in the morning the curly haired boy was just glad to miss out on Mr. Hernández homeroom. So he took his seat beside Marisol and slumped down in his seat so he could rest his head on her small shoulder. He lazily watched as Mrs. Sanders walked out on the stage with the two big glass bowls, he snorted when she mentioned Marisol's incident and waved along with his friend.

It wasn’t until the mention of homecoming and how it was mandatory Archer sat up straight in his seat, turning dumbfounded to look at Mari. “What the…” he whispered before turning his burning gaze back towards Mrs. Sanders as she continued her speech. When she announced the grand scheme behind this whole assembly Archer just couldn’t hold it any longer. He cupped his hands around his mouth and let go.

“This is some heteronormative bullshit! It’s homophobic as fuck! he yelled as loud as he could.

He was in fact so enraged that Marisol had to grab him by the shoulder to push him back into his seat. Mrs. Sanders barely faltered before she carried on with announcing the pairings. The young man crossed his arms and sat simmering in his own anger, he turned around, it couldn’t only be him who was disturbed by this. He locked eyes with Marlene, his sour blond friend was scowling. “Fuck this” he mouthed at her, she nodded in agreement.

He whipped his head forward when he heard his name being called, as if his life couldn’t be worse his date was none other than “Judas” herself Ariel. Archer scrunched his face in disdain and fell back in his seat letting out a long whine. “Kill me now.” he said defeated. As the pairings were finished and everyone was getting ready to leave he turned to face Marisol and saw that she had an almost bored expression on her face “This is… this is fucked! You have to agree this is a disaster!” he spluttered frantically.

The brunette shrugged “Could be worse…”

Archer was stunned, nothing could be worse than being forced into an interaction with their ex-friend that just threw him away like he was a dirty rag. Without a word he got up, hoisted his bag over his shoulder and stormed of.

He glared at Mara and Victoire as he passed them “This really is hell!” he said on his way out of the auditorium. He really needed a cigarette, so he pushed his way through the crowd of seniors and out into the morning sun. Instead of going to his first class he made his way over to his blue SAAB and plopped down on the trunk. He rummaged for a while in his bag and finally fished out his pack of cigarettes. He lit one and took a long drag, closing his eyes and exhaling slowly trying to calm himself down.

Archer felt really good about finally getting his best friend out of her room. The car ride back to King’s felt like it usually did, with the pair screaming along to their songs from their personal spotify list. The only thing that struck Archer as odd was that his small friend had packed her brothers duffle bag and brought that with her. He refrained to ask what was in it, since he was just relieved that Marisol had followed him back to school. With their musical medley, Archer felt that maybe he finally had his friend back.

When they arrived in the seniors parking lot the boy turned his busted old car off and got out. Marisol grabbed her duffle bag and smiled at him as she hopped out. The pair was just about to make their entrance to the courtyard as Archer heard his name being called. He spun around and saw his classmates from his AP English class waving him over. The young man turned back to Marisol. “You go on, I’ll be right in.” His friend waved him of and disappeared behind the school gates.

Archer jogged over to his friends car “Hey! What’s up you guys!” he said cheerely. The people that had called him over where Beth Clemens and Carlos Hernaldo, besides the Misfits these two where the closest thing Archer had to actual friends.

“We missed you in class today, dude!” Carlos said with a furrowed brow.

“Yeah you hardly ever miss reading day, did you forget to do the reading?” Beth scoffed.

Archer let out a laugh “Nah! I finished it last week, so I thought I could skip today, besides I had something to work out.” he jerked his head back towards the school. The pair nodded as they looked behind him towards the school. Archer took a sead between Beth and Carlos. They spent a few minutes chatting about nothing and everything. Mostly about their upcoming assignments and homecoming. They were in a deep conversation about the filmatisation of the groups favorite new novel “The Hate U Give” when a loud bang erupted from the otherside of the parking lot. All of their heads snapped up towards the source of the sound. When he saw what was behind the comotion Archer felt his body sag as the dread washed over him.

“Isn’t that…” Beth began

“Unfortunately it is.” Archer growled. It was as if he was frozen with anger, his eyes following every swing of the bat hitting the Mercedes. What the hell was she doing? He was on board for a old fashioned cat fight in the middle of the courtyard with screaming and cursing, that was fun to watch. But seeing his friend having a full on mental breakdown was… not. Then out of nowhere Marisol tackled Victoire. With that Archer shot up and rushed over hastily shouting a goodbye to his friends. He pushed his way to the crowd that was forming quickly around the scene. By the time he had gotten to the front Marisol was already being pulled away by a teacher.

Archer cursed out loud and ran both of his hands through his hair in utter frustration. He whipped his phone out of his pocket and dialed Marco Castillo and walked frantically after the teacher who was hauling his friend inside the building. When Marisol’s brother finally answered Archer almost yelled in to the receiver

“Drop whatever you are doing and get down to King’s your sister is in deep shit!” he hardly even waited for a reply before he hung up and sprinted up to the teacher and Marisol. “Come on, you don’t have to drag her anymore!” he yelled. He was met by a stern face “You better stay out of this Mr. Diedrikson or you’ll be in here too!”

The young man could do nothing but watch as Marisol was ushered into the principal's office. As the door closed Archer slid down on to the bench that sat outside and let out a big loud sigh. With his head rested back on to the wall he felt his phone buzz in his pocket. He took it out and felt his jaw clench as he read the message on the screen. He furiously typed a reply:

I’m outside the fucking principal’s trying to figure out how to solve shit as usual!

He sent it and stood up and started to pace back and forward, and it was in that moment he ran out of fucks to give. This was someone elses problem now, he pocketed his phone and walked back out of the school building.
I'm here!!!Not sure if I could handle another character.... can I think on it?

As the bell rang letting the students out from french class Julie Macmillan sat staring straight ahead yawning. She had spent the entire class not paying much attention to what monsieur Boussard was saying. As the last one of her peers left the room he teacher looked down at her.

“Avez-vous une question mademoiselle Macmillan?” he asked.

Julie snapped back in to reality, she smiled and shook her head with a small laugh “Oh non, je ne faisais que rêver.” She stood up and gathered her things “Au revoir professeur!” the redhead said cheerily as she too left the classroom.

As she drifted through the hallways of kings Julie realized how tired she was, she had spent this partying more than she usually did. Not counting the one at the devil’s den she had gone to one with her sister who had finally come home from Shanghai. It had been a wrap party with some of Iris’s model friends, and Julie had ended up going home with one of the male ones which of course had ended up being a big mistake. He had been like the rest of the models she had been with: utterly boring. He had spent most of sunday bombarding her with texts and snapchats, none of which was spelt correctly. The reason Julie was so tired now is that she and her sister had spent the evening making fun of the poor boy blowing up her phone.

She couldn’t help but feeling a bit uneasy roaming the hallway by herself usually she would have Chanel by her side, but she hadn’t seen her all morning. Julie looked around to try to spot someone, anyone she knew. Then that feeling hit her again, that feeling she has had ever since Archer Diedrikson had yelled at her friday night. Was she really seen as the Ice Queen of King’s? When she thought about it, who was her friends at school? Obviously Chanel was the light in her world but they had known each other for so long that she was almost family. The more Julie obsessed about it she realized she had a lot of people who disliked her. There was Santiago who hated her but the feelings were mutual, there was April who didn’t hate her but certainly they weren’t friends anymore. And it was obvious that Archer felt disdain for her, and Jason didn’t seem to think that highly of her either. It hadn’t really bothered her before because she hadn’t really cared. But now that someone had come right out and told her that they didn’t like her… it really bothered her.

When she finally arrived at the courtyard she plopped down at her favorite table with a groan. Eating lunch alone was not something she had done in a very long time. The girl made one more futile attempt to spot Chanel smiling at her but alas, she was alone. She started to unpack her meticulously packed lunch. Julie looked up just as someone else sat down at the other end of the table. At first she wrinkled her nose, but then she reminded herself of the deep thoughts she had just came out of.

“So. You stuck eating lunch all alone too?” She called with her chin resting in her hand.

The weekend had been a stressful one for Archer, telling Marisol about what he had seen at the party had felt like a good plan when he entered her room that saturday morning. Her reaction made him regret it almost instantly. Firstly she called him a liar and accused him of making everything up, then she yelled at him for not telling her sooner, and finally ending up in his lap crying her eyes out. What Archer found most confusing about the whole situation was that at the center of all this was Sonny. How did he have so much power over Marisol that he could turn his best friend the strongest person he had ever known in to this… mess?

The young man had spent the entire weekend at the Castillo residence trying to calm his little friend down and convincing her not to do anything stupid. There had been many stupid ideas circulating that room. There was a point where she just laid on top of her bed staring into the abyss. It was a good thing that he had his books with him so he at least had something to do as she wallowed in despair. Her brothers took turns popping their heads in to check on them, to which Archer gave them a thumbs up to let them know that the situation was under control. When he finally left on sunday evening he filled her older brother in on the situation, making it very clear that he should tread lightly and anything Marco had heard did not come from him.

When monday morning rolled around he was mildly surprised when he didn’t see Mari waiting for him at the back of their homeroom. He stuck it out until lunch before he had had enough. Instead of heading for the courtyard to eat lunch with the other students he got into his car and sped down the road towards the Castillo house once again. After being let in by Mrs. Castillo, Archer bound up the stairs towards Marisol’s room. When he opened the door he was hit by a wall of stuffy air, she hadn’t left the room since he had been there.

“Are you kidding me?” He asked as he stepped in to the young woman’s room, looking around with disgust. “This has gotten out of hand dude!” he exclaimed as he plopped down at the edge of her bed. “It’s only the second week of school! Your gpa is screaming Mari!”

“Can’t I just skip today? I’ve already skipped half a day! I’d be doing everyone a favor if I don’t show up!” the green eyed girl whined from inside her DIY blanket overalls.

Archer rolled his eyes, already annoyed “Oh for f-” he began “What does that even mean? Doing who a favor? By not coming to school today you showed everyone that they got to you… essentially letting them win! So congratulations you turned into the girl we love to make fun of!” The curly haired boy clapped in fake enthusiasm as he stood up. He let out a giant sigh and grabbed the edge of her comforter and tugged it of her. “Come on! You have about 45 minutes to get ready and come with me to AP Calculus!” he said as he threw the comforter to the otherside of the room and walked out.
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