David cannot believe this is happening. There’s so many things that he can’t believe are happening, that he’s not even sure how to process any of them. Firstly, he surely cannot believe that he is now a resident of a small town, any small town, let alone a small town called Schitt’s Creek of all god damn things.
Second, he doesn’t at all want to believe that what he assumed at first had been some kind of elaborate punishment, or maybe a particularly cruel episode of Punk’d, was actually true – his family had less than $100 to their name and nothing would be changing anytime soon (he had sobbed himself to sleep the night the denial finally wore off, after he saw his own mother with his own eyes purchase moisturizer from the grocery store).
Third, he refuses to believe that he is being forced to go to Schitt’s Creek High – a public school with a cafeteria that probably serves mystery meat on a plastic tray older than he is.
And fourth, he absolutely will not believe that the squawky, unusual blonde lady sitting behind the administration desk, “Wendy”, according to her name tag, just suggested that he go and find his “special first day buddy,” as if he is an actual five-year-old.
If there was one thing David hated more than almost every collective thing happening to his god-forsaken life right now, it was the idea of being paired with some townie he had nothing in common with (thank god) and being forced against his will to do things like be nice and participate in small talk.
Unfortunately, though, as he was already being shepherded away from the desk by the tiny but awfully strong desk lady, and launched down a hallway horrifically reminiscent of exactly what you’d expect a small town high school hallway to look like, this “special first day buddy” thing was not seeming optional.
In the two minutes it took for David to be physically pushed from the administration office to the locker of his special buddy David had already started mentally ticking off the small town high school clichés they were passing –
- Way too many banners and flyers for some school football team David will never care about but is for some reason the shining beacon of the school – check
- More than one person wearing actual cowboy boots – shudder and check
- A poster for a movie night at the “town general store/movie rental store/dry cleaning store – check and also ew
- The cutest boy David had maybe ever seen, leaning against a locker – oh. OH. Okay.
This was new.
David wasn’t expecting THIS.
This was all curly brown hair framing a painfully understatedly handsome face – complete with a button nose and oh very kissable lips and OHKAY – they had stopped directly in front of the locker that the cutest boy David had maybe ever seen was leaning against, and the cutest boy David had maybe ever seen was looking at him with the kindest, warmest, deepest brown eyes and smiling in a way that, for maybe only a fraction of a second, made David forget that anything was ever wrong and oh.
The very kissable lips were moving, he was saying something, David assumed, as he felt a pat on the back and vaguely understood that Wendy was walking away as another hand from another direction – in front of him, ohmygod it’s the boy’s hand – was being held out right in front of David’s and his brain clicks into place about a second before standing there like an idiot would maybe have started to cause concern. David raised his arm to shake the boy’s hand – soft, strong, firm – before the boy pulled his hand back away with a smirk.
“I’d ask you what your name is again, but if we stand here any longer we’re gonna miss roll call, and I already know what it is anyway,” the boy said.
“Oh, well aren’t you clever,” David retorted, because honestly, he wasn’t sure what else he was supposed to do in a situation like this.
“Hmm”, the boy, who David is guessing shared his name with him in that brief moment of hearing loss he suffered earlier, hummed. “Well, David, you are I are both lucky members of Mrs Currie’s homeroom, where pretty much anything goes and the chances of her showing up before first period are about 50/50,” he pushed off the locker and started heading down the hall, looking back to indicate that David should be following.
“She’s pretty nice though, a bit weird, but I think weird is good,” the boy shrugged. “To an extent, though, I guess, cause her husband, Bob, he’s the town mechanic, he’s like a different kind of weird where you just are left feeling very unsettled after talking to him, which you probably will end up talking to him cause he’s here all the time. Which now that I think about it, is also pretty weird.”
The boy had been rambling as they passed another few rows of lockers and a handful of classrooms that were filling up with students. David was tryingto tryand pay attention to the path they were taking to get to their room, but it was genuinely just very difficult with this adorable rambling boy right next to him.
“Huh,” was about all that David managed in response to all of that.
“Yeah, well anyway, this is us,” the boy said as he gestured to the classroom right at the end of the hallway before heading inside.
David followed him through the door, taking in the tacky colorful décor stuck to the walls and the plastic chairs that already had his back aching. “Well this is…something,” he noted quietly.
“Oh yeah,” the boy agreed, again with a smirk, “only the very best for the students of Schitt’s Creek High.”
The boy threw the backpack David had somehow just noticed he’d had slung over his shoulder under a desk in the middle of the room and sunk into the plastic chair that was tucked into it. David hovered awkwardly near the side of the room until the boy pulled out the chair next to his with his foot and waved his hand towards the desk. “The desks don’t bite, David,” he smiled with a glint in his eye that made David slightly annoyed and slightly turned on all at once.
Sighing, David sat at the desk opposite the boy and took in more of the room. The room was bigger than he’d expected, but certainly not huge – there were maybe 15 desks and chairs neatly organised into rows in front of a whiteboard and the teacher’s desk. On the desk David could see a “World’s #1 Teacher” mug and an apple that was a few weeks past its prime, he rolled his eyes at the stereotype because of coursethat’s what’s on the desk.
“Hey man!” someone suddenly yelled from behind him. It was a young blonde boy, he might have been around the same age as he was, but he had an innocent face that made him instantly seem younger. He was smiling and waving at the boy next to him, but he kept flicking his eyes to David with a welcoming smile.
“Hey Ted,” the boy, David’s Buddy, had smiled in response, “this is David Rose, it’s his first day at Schitt’s High,” he said with a gesture in David’s general direction.
“Oh wow! Welcome buddy!” Ted’s smile had somehow gotten even bigger and more genuine than it had been before, “I’m Ted, short for Theodore, but you can just call me Ted,” he said and stuck his hand out for David to shake.
Okaywhat is it with teenagers and handshakes in this town, David thought as he shook the smaller boy’s hand.
“You must be so glad you got Patrick here as your buddy, the poor new kid from last year got paired with Mutt – Oh! You probably don’t know who that is! Mutt is the mayor’s son but he hates the government and authority and pretty much just any rules in general, which really makes you wonder why they’d pick him as a buddy, but hey, he’s not a bad guy really.” Ted explained all of this with an aura of joy that was exhausting David with every passing second, but he made sure not to miss the name of the cute boy next to him this time – Patrick – that’s what Ted had said.
Mmm. It suited him, he thought.
“But anyway,” Ted was somehow still talking, “so Mutt didn’t even bother taking the new kid to homeroom on his first day and instead took him to the sports shed to smoke weed, and the janitor found them and it was like this whole thing, and the kid just never came back. Any-who, I’m glad you’ve got Patrick, he’ll take good care of you, wontcha Brewer?” Ted said gleefully, nodding in Patrick’s direction.
“Mmhm,” Patrick nodded, “I can promise I won’t be supplying you with drugs on your first day at the very least,” he joked with that goddamn smirk.
“Well that’s a real shame,” David sighed, a small smile tugging at the corner of his mouth. Patrick’s eyes darted to it, for just a brief moment, but David saw it, and made sure to note that down under “interesting things to overthink later”.
A few exhausting hours later, David found himself with a predictably disgusting selection of beige coloured sludge, a juice box, an apple and a small bag of chips perched on top of a predictably disgusting plastic food tray in the middle of the cafeteria.
“David! Over here!” He heard a voice call from one of the tables off to the side, he looked around to find Ted from homeroom smiling and waving at him to come and join the table.
Sitting next to him were two pretty brunette girls, one smiling over in David’s direction as well, and one scowling at her phone, as well as a sweet-faced redheaded girl, and one offensively handsome Patrick Brewer.
Patrick looked up as David made his way over to the table, and smiled when David slid his (disgusting)tray of food onto the space beside him, and swung his legs over the seat to join them at the table.
“Overcoming our fear of tables that might bite, I see David,” Patrick quipped in his direction.
“Yes, it’s just that I’m not used to having to touch furniture that looks like it hasn’t been cleaned in 30 years, but it’s, you know, it’s fine,” David said with a grimace as he pushed the food tray even further away from him with the very tips of his fingers.
“David!” Ted called from the end of the table, “this is Twyla,” he said pointing towards the smiling brunette with the kind eyes and gentle smile, “this is Stevie,” he pointed at the brunette next to her, who didn’t actually look up from her phone, “Rachel,” he gestured at the redheaded girl next to Patrick, “and you know Patrick! And me. Ted. In case you forgot,” Ted finished with what David was starting to guess was one of his signature smiles.
There was a small chorus of “hey!”, “hi” and “hello!” from the girls before they turned back to their conversations and phone-scowling.
“So, how’s your big first day going, buddy?” Patrick asked, nudging him with his elbow on the entirely unnecessary buddy.
“Oh you know, I’m having just the best time showing up in the middle of the school year where I’m somehow already 5 weeks behind in every subject, and the teachers are looking at me like I’m a different species because, according to your gym teacher, they’re just not used to seeing a boy in skirt,” David emphasised with air quotes. “Which I would just like to again clarify, I am not wearing a skirt, these are $2000 pants and I can’t help it if regional townie education professionals don’t understand fashion.”
That smirk had appeared on Patrick’s face again, alerting David to the fact that he was finding all of this very amusing. “OH and ALSO what is with this school and the hand shakes?? I have never in my life had to shake hands with so many people, and my dad was the CEO of an entire company,” David finished with a very emotive face journey.
“Wow, David,” Patrick laughed, “this all sounds very difficult, do you think you’re gonna make it through the day?” he teased.
David rolled his eyes,this kid is either very impatient or extremely sure of himself, he thought.“I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m gonna make it, but probably not considering the maths quiz that’s happening tomorrow, the content of which I haven’t a clue.”
Rachel was tapping Patrick on the shoulder, trying to get his attention to show him something on her phone. David was secretly a little bit pleased when Patrick glanced at the phone, gave a distracted hum and turned back to David.
“Well hey, at least I kept my word and kept you away from drug dealers in sports sheds, there’s always that to be thankful for?” Patrick suggested with that ever-present, delicious smirk of his, “But as for the maths quiz, I’m kind of a numbers guy, so I’d be more than happy to help you go over everything after school?” the cute and apparently smart as well Patrick offered with a softer smile.
Although he had just thrown his anxiety about the math quiz into his complaints to add to the ~drama~, he was actually really, very anxious about it, and it seemed that somehow, Patrick, who had known David for less than half a day, had already figured that out.
“Oh.” David wasn’t sure what the catch was, and he was trying to figure it out. “Um, that’s very nice of you, but you don’t have to do that, I’m sure you have better things to do,” David tried, but he was pretty sure his face was going on a different “journey”, as Alexis would call it, that was giving the game away.
“Nope! I have theatre on Wednesdays and baseball on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so Monday is spectacularly free for last-minute emergency buddy tutoring,” Patrick actually winked at him and he thought he might pass out for a second there. “Come on David, it’s really fine, I’m more than happy to. In fact, I want to. I’ve been considering getting a tutoring side-gig off the ground, and you can be my trial run. All I’ll need from you is a wonderfully glowing written review and we’ll call it even.”
Although Patrick was probably (hopefully?) joking at the end there, there was no hint of that smirk David was growing awfully fond of, instead it had been replaced by a small, softer smile that David could feel physically breaking down the concrete enforced walls he’d built up around his heart.
“Okay, well, if you insist, then yes. Sure. Thank you.” David tried to return a sincere smile, but he was very concerned his face might be screaming I THINK I MIGHT BE FALLING IN LOVE WITH YOU EVEN THOUGHT I MET YOU 4 HOURS AGO AND YOU’RE LIKELY VERY STRAIGHT, so he settled with whatever version of a smile he could muster.
“Great!” Patrick stood up suddenly with his enthusiastic reply, making David jump, “we don’t have a library or anything, but my parents won’t be home til late, so it should be quiet enough at mine to get some good study done. I have to go warm-up for band practice, but I’ll text you the details,” Patrick said as he climbed out from the seat and gathered his (horrifically) empty food tray and garbage scraps.
His house, no parents, his house, no parents, his house, no parents. No no no, David. He is just a nice straight boy. Nice, nice, nice. Straight, straight, straight. DON’T RUIN THIS.
“Uh, um, okay, yeah, yes,” David managed to get out, “uh but, wait, you don’t have my number!” he called as Patrick turned and walked towards the trash.
Patrick flicked a look back at David, and oh hello, the smirk was back.
“Don’t I?” Patrick asked, feigning innocence, and bowling David over with the SECOND wink of the day as he watched him walk out the cafeteria doors, and maybe taking a moment to appreciate the view as he did so.
David’s train of thought was interrupted by a buzzing in his pocket. He took his phone out to see a message from “Maybe: Patrick” as his phone buzzed again two more times.
12:38: Hey it’s Patrick
12:39: Looks like I do have your number, weird.
12:39: p.s. sorry if this is creepy
David couldn’t help the smile that forced its way onto his face. He tapped out a quick reply.
12:40: Look, I’ll let it slide.
12:40: It’s a little weird
12:41: But I think weird is good.
Maybe Schitt’s Creek High wasn’t going to be so schitty after all.