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Altea High School

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“Where'd you get your gloves?”

Someone whispering in his ear brings Keith out of his daze. It's just the girl sitting next to him. Must've been trying to get his attention for a while.

“What?”

“Gloves.” She points to the hand holding the clarinet.

“ I don't know, I've had them for a while.”

Thank God, once again, Bad Romance saves him from needing to have a conversation. It's Acxa, she's been pining for who knows how long. She doesn't seem to get the hint. I'M GAY.

It's also his fault though, he hasn't exactly told her that. It was fine at first, they were becoming friends. But it's gotten to the point that Keith would feel guilty for barely telling her that he's gay. They met so long ago.

He's just kind of disappointed that they have to keep playing Bad Romance. They only play it when the other team scores a touchdown or does a great play.

After they finish playing the song, Acxa goes back to the gloves thing. Why won't she just let it go?

“When did you get them?”

“I don't remember.”

She gets cut off by the band director.

“Get out the Fight Song!”

Keith has his music, but being a high school junior, and already learning the song by memory the first year he was here. He didn't need to get his music out. He could play the song in his sleep. The moment Acxa pressed their thighs together he knew he made a mistake.

“You can look over at my music.”

“No it's fine.” He couldn't move, unless he wanted to be squished between Acxa and the person to his left.

Mr. Zarkon, or Mr. Z, the band director, finally dismissed them once halftime started. But not before telling them all what they already know.

“Be back here five minutes before the third quarter ends!”

Keith practically sprinted off the bleachers.

This is the second to last home game the band will be playing at. The band only plays at varsity home games, which is always on Fridays. They get third quarter off.

Football has never really been his thing. He has to go to the games if he wants a good grade. The games themselves are pretty boring. At Altea High, everyone is more interested in the basketball games. The football games with the entire band are fun though.

You know, when Acxa isn't trying to sit in his lap.

Keith unzips his uniform halfway to reach his wallet on the inside pocket. He's wearing his regular clothes underneath, but he still turns away from the crowd to reach his hand in and grab the wallet from the pocket.

He drops the wallet down his pant leg when a surprisingly strong hand slaps him on the shoulder. Damn, he really wishes he wasn't sick the day they got the uniforms. This year he got one that's two sizes too big for him. The uniform is unflattering already. It looking extra big on him just makes it look worse.

He turns slightly to see who was the cause of him temporarily losing his wallet while he shakes his leg so the wallet slides out.

It was none other than the smallest, and only female percussionist, Pidge. She's a freshman, a ninth grader. She still skipped a grade though. Of course she first got close with all the guys in the percussion section, after that she seemed to sidle up with Keith. Keith doesn't mind, he likes the newbies of the band.

Although, right now, the only thing keeping him from lashing out is remembering that she's the youngest one in the whole band.

He picks up his wallet off the ground, zips up his uniform, then starts walking to the concession stand. Barely realizing how long the line is.

“I was gonna buy you food but not anymore.”

That stops her from laughing completely. She runs up to him and tugs on his sleeve.

“You'll still buy me food. You wouldn't dare keep me starving.”

“Watch me.”

They keep arguing like that until the girl behind the counter asks Keith what he wants.

He orders for both him and Pidge. This is about the seventh game they've been to, she always gets the exact same thing. After they get their food she has such a smug grin on her face. She's right, he was totally going to buy her food anyways.

<>

The game ended early. His school forfeited. They all knew they weren't going to win anyway. It still kind of sucks though.

Keith walked out of the school almost an hour after the band director said they could leave. He had to put his instrument away, take off his uniform, then put that away. Plus help Pidge carry a bit of equipment inside.

Since she's a freshman the other percussionists make her carry everything. Plus she gets pretty boring parts in the music. They only cut her slack because she's tiny and a girl. It's just a thing they do. Not only the percussionist, it's the whole band. Keith went through the same thing.

He gets to Shiro's little black car and immediately regrets his decision of knocking on the car window.

He waits for the little click telling him the door is unlocked. The moment he gets in the backseat and looks at his brother, he realizes he interrupted.

Both Shiro and Adam are slightly flushed. Adam's short brown hair is a little messed up. Both of their lips are bruised from when they were just kissing.

“Sorry.” Keith awkwardly says while he buckles himself in.

“Don't worry about it.” Adam says.

Shiro and Adam have been dating for a while. Keith doesn't know exactly how long. They were already dating when Shiro's family adopted him. Which was about five years ago.

Shiro is turning 23 soon and Adam is 25. For all Keith knows, they could've been high school sweethearts.

Shiro starts up the car and waits for a chance to pull out of the parking spot.

“So, how was the game? Anything interesting happen?”

Shiro put an emphasis on interesting. What does he know?

“No. Just same old thing. Only, obviously we lost this time.”

“You sure? Because you always come back throughout the week telling me about something interesting that happened at the game.”

“Yeah, I'm sure Shiro.”

With that, that conversation ended. On the way home he kept talking about other things. Keith was only paying attention to about half of what he was saying.

<>

Lance was bored. Bored out of his mind. Ok maybe that's an exaggeration. But he's bored.

He's sitting in his algebra ll class. Math always seems to be the most boring class of all. No matter how much the teachers try to engage you.

The guy sitting next to him is literally asleep. Lance just lets him sleep. Not like he's missing anything important.

Lance wants to take a nap also. But class is almost over and he just wants to get to the theater. It's his next class.

Since he's in football he can't really participate in the play this time of year, sadly. So he's a stagehand.

The teacher telling them it's time to pack up stops his daydreaming.

He slams his backpack on the desk to wake up his desk partner. He knows it's a rough way to wake him up but it seems to be the only way to wake him. He falls asleep a lot.

Once he makes it to the theater he's greeted by the teacher. Mr. Coran. By far, one of the most enthusiastic teachers in the whole school. He seems a little more like a first grade teacher. Instead he's here teaching a bunch of teenagers. Everyone calls him Coran though.

On Friday he said that they had some really important announcements to work on for Monday, today. Coran gets up on the stage then sits down. He carefully places the clipboard he was holding next to him and waits for everyone to quiet down.

“Ok, class, I'm going to take roll then time for announcements.”

After he takes attendance he starts going over a few things. Whether it's the fundraiser they're doing or the play.

“And also, next week we have the eighth graders coming. The school is using the theater to show them how great this school is. We need to stick to a tight schedule. We have four middle schools coming. I need six of you to help make sure it all goes smoothly. Any questions?”

A few people asked questions. Lance volunteered to help. Mostly to just miss class for the two days.

Two middle schools will be coming one day and the other two the next day. It will take the whole school day. The eighth graders will see different things about the school, like band, dance, cheerleading, etc, will all perform to hopefully get more of them to join.

The six that volunteer to help the two days get excused from all their classes, and have to keep everything in the theater in order. The other drama classes will just come and go and “behave”.

After all of that has been sorted, Coran gets up with a dramatic flare, and starts class.

<>

Keith slowly makes his way to the band room for after school practice. He really doesn't want to go. But he knows he desperately needs to. Because God, they suck at the set they've been trying to perform. They only have two weeks left until the football game. They're going to perform at halftime. And they still suck so bad at performing it.

The only reason he hasn't ditched at all in the past month is because he's been busy with band. Plus he doesn't have a car or anyone to ditch school with.

School sucks, plus he occasionally gets called a band geek. It's worth it in the end after they get an award, or just the bus rides with the whole band. It's like he has a separate family. After being in foster homes and orphanages for so long it's good to know that he has so many people with him.

Plus all those places never let him do extracurricular activities, now that he has the chance to actually do them, he kinda wishes he would've gotten something simpler than band. More like, he wishes someone would've told him that marching band was so hard.

He walks into the band room to find a third of everyone there. Most of them are on their phones. The rest are having conversations between themselves. The only ones actually playing, is percussion.

Keith gets out is clarinet case and music, he doesn't put his clarinet together, he just places it next to him once he sits down. Practice doesn't start until a few minutes. He decides to see what Shiro texted him about earlier.

Halfway through his text message to Shiro, Acxa comes and taps on his shoulder.

“Can I borrow a dollar?”

“Sure, for what?”

He starts getting out his wallet. A few people ask him for money often. He only lends it to people he knows will pay him back right away. Plus he just got his paycheck from the bike store he works at.

“Something from the vending machine. You want me to get you something?”

“No it's fine.” She plucks the dollar out of his hand and walks off.

He finishes sending the message to Shiro then a tuba player sits next to him. His name is Marcos. He's a senior. He's honestly pretty well built. He's in basketball or something. But that's not important right now. Keith focus, what does he want.

“Is she your girlfriend?” He asks. Keith just snorts.

“No.” Keith looks up to see that Marcos is a little surprised.

“Why not? She's into you, and she's hot.”

It looks like he wants to say more but Keith cuts him off.

“She's not my type.”

“What is your type then?” Marcos has the biggest shit eating grin ever.

Keith looks him right in the eye, and says with the most serious face he can muster.

“I'm gay.”

Marcos backs up a little. It looks like he wants to apologize. Then Mr. Z makes his presence known.

“Alright children. Get your instruments out.Were practicing outside with our instruments today.”