This was written for Circulation Five of the Newsies Pape Selling Competition. This is technically late, I guess, since it's 12:30 eastern time, and so the day has switched, but only by a half hour, so...

Team: Kings of New York

Position: Reporter

Task: A newsie or newsies take on high school.

Prompts: English class and a two-story school

Words: 5, 346

Katherine hated eighth period. It wasn't the class; in fact, she loved English class, it was the people and the time it took to get to the busses or the media center from the classroom. The English hall was at one end of the building, which was sort of triangular, and the busses were on one of the other ends and the media center on the other. Plus, both the busses and the media center were downstairs, and the English hall was upstairs, and the stairs were always a nightmare at the end of the day. And that was just leaving the class. Being in it was a whole other problem. It was full of kids who'd been friends since freshman year, and were so close that they spoke almost entirely in inside jokes that were so confusing she didn't have any clue what they were saying half the time. Not only that, the group was one of the most irritating in the whole of the school. The closest thing to what Katherine would call a leader was named Jack Kelly, and he was a womanizer with a big ego and the knowledge that he was good looking. He had a new girlfriend every other week, and claimed to have kissed half the girls in the school. And he had made Katherine his new target. He hit on her non-stop during the whole of English class, and after three weeks of the constant flirting she was beginning to dread going to English every day. The rest of school was good, and as the president of the Journalism club she was getting a great resume for college applications. But that stupid Jack Kelly had to mess up her favorite subject in her last year of high school.

"Hey, ace reporter!" He leaned against the doorframe as she walked into the classroom. "We got our partners for the final paper! Guess who you're with!" He hooked his thumbs into the kangaroo pocket of the gray sweatshirt he was wearing. For such a cocky boy, Jack was infuriatingly good looking, with bright blue eyes and wavy brown hair. Not that she'd ever, ever let him know she thought that, or it'd just go to his head and swell his ego even more than it already was. She looked up at the board, where the pairings and tasks for the final paper were written on the board.

James Higgins and Lucas Conlon- Essay on the relationship between George and Lennie in Steinbeck's Of Mice and Men

Matthew Morris and David Jacobs- Powerpoint exploring the animals' different roles in the society created in Orwell's Animal Farm.

Jack Kelly and Katherine Plotzer- Three page comic/cartoon about the conditions of life in the Great Depression as described in Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird.

She stopped reading when she saw her name next to Jack's.

"Isn't that great? Now you can't ignore me! We have to work together!" Jack had a wide grin on his face, apparently very pleased with the partnership.

"Work is the key word, Kelly. I'm not doing all the work here!" The smile faded a bit.

"I wasn't planning on making you do all the work! Heck, drawing is a big part of this project!" Katherine's faced heated. He hadn't even said anything all that bad, just that he seemed to be planning to do the artwork for the comic, and yet it annoyed her to no end.

"Who says you're doing the artwork?" Jack snorted.

"What, like you can do it? No offense, Katherine, but you aren't exactly an artist. You write well; that's what you do. I draw."

"Yeah right, Jack Kelly! You probably just want to hide dirty little jokes or something in the comic!" Now Jack looked highly offended, and if Katherine hadn't been so focused on her bickering, she would have noticed that several of Jack's friends turned to watch.

"You wanna see my drawings? 'Cause I can show you my drawings!"

"All right! Show me some drawings that you've done right now! Prove that you're an artist!"

"I will! I'll get one of my sketchbooks from the art wing and meet you after school!"

"Ok! Prove to me you're the artist you claim to be!"

"I will! You meet me at the FroyoWorld in the center after your Journalism Club meeting!"

"I will!" Katherine flounced to her seat, sitting down as the teacher came in as the second bell rang. She turned her attention to class, fuming, without even processing that Jack knew about Journalism Club and it's meetings.

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Katherine was calmer by the time she walked into the FroyoWorld. Jack was already at a small table, fiddling with a pencil and a small black book. Katherine plopped her bags down next to him.

"So show me your ever-so-amazing art skills, Kelly." She said sarcastically.

"Just a sec." Jack said, moving his pencil intently across the page. Katherine watched cooly. Jack Kelly was not the type to be an artist. He was the tough guy, the troublemaker, the ladies man. He finally put his pencil behind his ear, snapped the book shut and put it in his backpack. He pulled another book from his bag and passed it over. "That's my college portfolio, some of my best work. A comic obviously won't have this much effort or detail, but I can work with styles." He sounded more serious than Katherine had ever heard him. "I'm hoping to get into the New Mexico School for the Arts for visual arts. I applied, but I haven't heard back yet." He hadn't let go of the book yet, so Katherine couldn't open it. "I've never let anybody see this portfolio except my advisor. This is just a copy, obviously, no originals." Jack sounded almost embarrassed to be showing Kathrine his drawings. He finally let completely go of the book and sat back, watching. Katherine opened the book and her eyes widened. Not only was Jack an artist, he was a good artist. A really, really, good artist. She flipped through the pages of the portfolio, seeing drawing after drawing of people and places, copies of famous paintings and cityscapes, many different styles and art forms. Jack watched her reactions nervously. She finally put the book down and looked at Jack.

"I guess I owe you an apology, Jack." She said quietly. "You can draw. Amazingly well." Jack blushed slightly and grabbed the back of his neck.

"Yeah. Well. I've been doing it for a while."

"Clearly. Those are amazing."

"Well, I guess we got this project in the bag then. You can write amazingly, and I can draw pretty well."

"Pretty well! Try DaVinci level good!" Jack blushed more deeply.

"Nobody can compare to DaVinci. The man is the master, the best that ever lived!" Jack's phone beeped in his pocket, and he pulled it out. "Crap. Crapcrapcrap." He muttered. He texted whoever it was back quickly, frowning and looking worried. He scooped the portfolio into his backpack quickly and slung it on his back. "I have to go. I'll see you tomorrow, right?"

"Yeah. Maybe I'll start working on an outline if I have time, so you can maybe start thinking about illustrations." Jack smiled slightly, but his phone beeped again, causing him to rapid fire text again.

"See you later, ace reporter." He called as he left the small parlour.

"Bye, Kelly!" She called after him. Maybe he wasn't as bad as she thought. He seemed nice enough, and there wasn't as much flirting as she'd thought there would be. Maybe working with him, talking more with him, wouldn't be so bad.

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"Hey! Ace reporter!" Katherine turned and saw Jack running up behind her, holding another of his sketchbooks. Three weeks into the project, two left, they had finished planning the comic and drafting all the writing, and Jack was working on perfecting the drawings. "This is another one. I figure, we're telling how people lived in the Great Depression from the point of view of the children, so why not show the viewpoint as simple? I mean, part of what makes To Kill a Mockingbird such a good book is how it's told so simply from Scout's point of view. If we can translate that over to the drawings, like see here? Instead of showing all the details, just what a child might see as important in the foreground, with other little details in the back." Katherine was impressed by what she saw. Jack had drawn the inside of a kitchen, somehow highlighting the things a child might focus on, like the fact that the sugar container was almost empty, while pushing the more adult things into the back. Everything that needed to be included was, it was just presented in a much simpler way.

"This is amazing! We should definitely use it! And it'd be easier to draw, too, wouldn't it? Since it's simpler?"

"Well, logically, yes. In reality, it might take longer, since I have to decide what to highlight and all that."

"Oh. Well, can you have this done by the deadline?"

"Oh, yeah. It won't take much longer, and this is the only huge homework I have left."

"Okay! This is a great idea!" Jack smiled at her.

"Great! I thought you'd like that." The bell rang, and Jack hurried off, stuffing his sketches into his big pocket. Katherine did her best to ignore the fluttering in her stomach caused by that smile. It was not happening.

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Katherine swooped into FroyoWorld gleefully, plopping down across from Jack and starting talking right away.

"So I planned out how to best fit the writing into the pictures, and I think it came out really nice. Obviously, you get to move them wherever, but they seem to fit well here. It's roughly three sentences per panel, so they fit compacted down the sides or across the width, or I guess we could do it vertically if we wanted." She pulled out the papers with a copy of the comic on them, and showed Jack where she'd placed the written part of the comic. Jack nodded as he looked it over.

"Looks good. When's it due? Wednesday, right?"

"Yeah, next week."

"Alright. I'll finalize the artwork for tomorrow and give it to you for putting the writing in?"

"Sounds good!" Jack stood up, and a black book fell from his lap, landing at Katherine's feet, open. It was upside down, but she noticed it was portrait and swooped down to pick it up before Jack could. It wasn't only a portrait, it was of her. She flipped the page back, and the further she went the more pictures of her she found. They were of her writing, in class, in the halls. Before she could get much farther, Jack snatched the sketchbook away.

"S-sorry." He stammered. "I...I have to go." He clutched the book to his chest and walked hurriedly out of the FroyoWorld. Katherine watched him go in confusion. She felt like she ought be be angry or even a little creeped out-a lot creeped out-but she didn't, for some reason. She felt almost...touched. That somebody with as much skill as Jack had taken the time to draw her. To draw her wonderfully and in detail, and more than once. It was almost a nice thought, that somebody cared enough to draw her. She was rethinking her assumptions about Jack Kelly more and more the more she worked with him and was around him. Maybe he wasn't what she'd thought, maybe he was okay.

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Katherine hit the playback button again. Jack's voice came out of her phone.

"Uh...hi...Katherine? This is Jack. I...um...I got your number from Sarah. I think she's in journalism with you, right? Anyway...um...I'm just calling to apologize for...um...well, the drawings. It's just...um...well, I like you...like, like you, like you...kind of a lot. I...um...tend to draw the things I like, and...yeah. I guess...um...I guess that's kind of...um...creepy? So...yeah, um...sorry. I'll see you tomorrow. I hope this doesn't like, make things awkward, because it's been really great to work with you, and get to know you and all...so...bye? Sorry again. Um...yeah. Bye." Katherine could barely keep from laughing. There was a giddy smile on her face. She didn't know why, but hearing Jack say out loud that he liked her made her very happy. Her feelings right now forced her to admit that, yes, she did indeed have a crush on Jack Kelly, the boy she'd hated with all her heart for almost the entire school year. He was handsome, talented, funny, smart, and he really wasn't as bad as he'd seemed before. Yes, he was a flirt, yes, he'd had plenty of girlfriends, but he was the pig she'd thought he was. He was dedicated to his art, willing to do a lot to make it in the world with his art, but had time for his friends and didn't skimp off his work. She lay back on her bed, clicking on her phone to add Jack to her contacts. She clicked the screen off and lay for a minute, looking at her ceiling. Jack Kelly was becoming a big part of her life, working with him every day was something she always looked forward to, and now he admitted that he liked her. She shook her head to clear it as she sat up, reaching for her backpack. She couldn't afford to be distracted now, not when it was the last month of school and she had work to do.

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Katherine sat down at her desk in the English class, puffing slightly from her walk up the stairs. She scanned the room for Jack, hoping he hadn't forgotten the comic so she could start to write in the words. Jack wasn't in the room, but several of his friends were. One of them, a smaller boy with dark hair, approached her.

"Hey, Katherine?"

"Yeah?"

"I'm Romeo, Jack's friend. He asked me to give you this. He isn't here today." Romeo handed her a packet, and Katherine opened to to find the finalized comic.

"Do you know why he's out?" Romeo fidgeted.

"Well, yeah...but he doesn't like us to tell people about it. It's pretty personal." Katherine nodded thoughtfully.

"Okay, thanks. If you see him tell him to text me, okay?"

"Sure thing! He'll be glad to hear from you, I know it."

"Hey Rome!" Another boy called as he walked in. "You gonna ask Snipes or what? Because she's waiting by the water fountain, and she's got the purple pumpkin!"

"She does? Man, that girl is awesome!" Romeo smiled. Before he left, he turned back to Katherine. "Text Jack, hey?" Then he walked away, leaving Katherine to wonder about many things, not the least of which was what was up with Jack. And what the heck a purple pumpkin was.

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"Hey, Jack, it's Katherine. You haven't been in school for a few days, and you haven't answered my texts. I just wanted to make sure you were okay, so text or call me back, okay? See you soon, bye." Katherine hung up and sighed. Jack had been absent Friday and Monday, and it seemed like he was out today, too. She was sitting in the Commons in her study hall, hoping to get a response from Jack before her next class started. She was so busy looking through her phone impatiently that she didn't notice the footsteps come up behind her until the person sat down.

"Jack!" She said. "When did you get here?"

"Just now. You don't mind me sitting here, do you?"

"No, not at all." Jack looked exhausted. He had deep bags under his eyes and his hair was even more tousled than usual. "You okay? Were you sick?" Jack laughed lightly.

"Nah, it's a long story. It's nothing. I'm fine." He yawned widely. "Just tired." Katherine looked at him suspiciously.

"Okay. If you say so." Jack nodded. "Your friend Romeo gave me the comic, and I'm almost done writing everything in."

"Romeo's quite the character, huh? He flirt with you?"

"No, he just gave me the comic and ran off to meet some girl who had a purple pumpkin."

"Oh, Sniper actually made good on her promise! That's awesome."

"Sniper?"

"She's real good with spitballs."

"So is Romeo his real name, or another nickname?"

"Nickname. His real name is Alex."

"Alex. Oh, Alex Richards? The boy genius?" Jack laughed.

"Yeah, that's our Rome! He's only fifteen, should be a sophomore, but he skipped sixth and third grade, so he's a senior."

"Wow."

"Yeah." Jack yawned again.

"Tired?"

"Very."

"Why?"

"Same reason I wasn't here. Long story, personal story."

"Oh." Katherine was quiet for a second. "You know you can talk to me, right?" Jack looked at her strangely.

"Yeah?"

"Yeah." Jack sighed.

"Thanks, but I'm okay. I'll call you later, yeah?"

"Sure." Jack stood up. As he walked away, he turned back around. "Hey, Ace reporter?"

"Yeah?"

"Thanks. I mean, for not being too weirded out by my sketchbook, and for checking up on me, and for listening."

"I really didn't do much, Jack."

"No, but you offered. That's what's important." Katherine smiled at him.

"No problem, Jack."

"And hey, you also did most of the finishing touches for our final grade, while I wasn't even in communication with you."

"Oh, I mostly just checked for dirty jokes hidden in the background." Jack smiled his brilliant smile.

"Oh, don't worry, they're well hidden. The teacher will never know."

"Haha, very funny, Kelly." Jack laughed a little bit, and walked out of the commons, probably to the art wing.

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"Hey, Katherine, I know you have no reason to come, but I was thinking maybe we could meet at FroyoWorld after school? It's kinda random, but I was thinking maybe we could keep meeting there sometimes? Not as a date, really, just as friends?" The message was brief and to the point.

Sure, cya then. She texted him. She met him at their usual table. He looked even more tired than he did that morning.

"Hey, Ace." He sat down, then stood up again and walked to the frozen yogurt dispensers. He bought two small vanillas and came back over. "Here."

"Thanks, Jack."

"No problem."

"So, um…" Katherine smiled at him.

"You invited me out for ice cream and you have no clue whatsoever what's going on, since I despised you for most of the year." Jack gaped at her.

"First of all, no, I know exactly what's going on, and second of all, you despised me?"

"I thought you were an annoying flirt with an oversized ego who over-estimated the power of his looks."

"And I'm not any of those things?"

"Well, you aren't quite as annoying as I thought you were. And your ego has some merit."

"You said nothing about my looks." Jack smirked at her, more of his usual personality showing through.

"Must I?"

"Please do." Katherine laughed.

"Your looks are...adequate. Not enough for the reputation you got, but they are there." Jack smiled at her. "So you said you know exactly what's going on. What might that be?"

"You even talk like a writer."

"Well, I am one, sooo…"

"Yeah. Anyway, I just wanted to apologize, in person, for that sketchbook. I mean, I guess it's pretty creepy to see a friend has a bunch of pictures of you, especially when that guy has openly flirted with you. So, yeah. Sorry." Jack looked adorably awkward.

"It's fine, Jack. I mean, look at me? How could you not draw somebody as perfect as I am?" She joked. Jack still looked conflicted. "Seriously Jack, it's okay. You explained pretty well in your message. I get it."

"Oh. So you did get that."

"Yeah, I did. It was sweet." Jack blushed.

"It was just...it was more um's than words. And I let slip that I like you. Oops." Jack smiled a little bit, but blushed even more.

"If it makes you feel any better, the way you flirted with me constantly told me that way before you said it out loud."

"Yeah, but saying it out loud is different."

"Well, then let me say something out loud." Katherine took a deep breath. Saying it out loud would take away all options of even trying to deny it. "I think I like you, too." Jack looked confused.

"I thought you despised me."

"I did. Before I got to know you better. You're much different from what I thought you were." Jack looked at her curiously.

"So you said before. How does that translate into liking me?"

"I don't know. It just does." Jack laughed.

"The writer who had no clue."

"And the artist who thinks he knows everything."

"Quite the pair."

"Yep." They smiled at each other. Jack's phone beeped, ruining the moment. He pulled it out and glanced down, his face instantly transforming from happy to worried, then he sighed.

"Praise the lord." He said quietly, worry shifting into relief.

"What's up?"

"Just...family trouble. Again, some reason I was home."

"Oh. If you ever want to talk, I'll listen."

"Thanks." He was quiet, eating some of his frozen yogurt. "My dad's an alcoholic." He blurted. "He's unstable sometimes. Thursday he came home really drunk, and started trying to hit my little brother. He hid and texted me, which is why I left."

"Wow."

"And we had to call my mom, who lives in Jersey, to come and take care of Michael, and she wasn't very happy with any of us. She had to leave her boyfriend and some stupid spa thing they were doing, and of course she thinks that should take priority over her sons, so she didn't do much. She ended up taking Michael back to Jersey with her, leaving me alone to deal with Dad. Since I'm eighteen now, it's legal, so the cops couldn't do much about it. They got called on domestic disturbance on Saturday, from some neighbors who wanted to help, but since he wasn't drunk at the time and he didn't hurt anybody, he just got a warning. It was a stressful weekend. Then he didn't come home yesterday, so I was calling his usual crash houses, to make sure he hadn't tried to drive and gotten himself killed, and then he just suddenly showed up, at nine at night, hungover and in a bad mood. It took most of the night to get him calmed down and sleeping, so I overslept and was late this morning. I just got a text that Mom is bringing Michael back up, which is good because I'd rather have him here with me than as good as abandoned in a town he knows nothing about. We don't see our mom much, and it usually doesn't end well. Michael said Mom said she was tired of taking care of him, so he could come home."

"You're dealing with a lot. What's Michael going to do when you're in college?"

"I don't know. Next year he'll be in high school. We know the Richards's pretty well, I might see if they'll watch him when Dad's having a bad day. Or tell him to go to the Conlon's if Dad is acting bad around him, since they live pretty close too."

"It's a good thing you have so many good friends."

"They're more like brothers than friends, really. They let us crash at their places when we can't be home, and I was pretty much adopted by the Morris's when Mom and Dad were fighting." Jack looked down at his melting froyo.

"Wow." Katherine didn't know what to say. She didn't know what she had been expecting, but it hadn't been a story of a boy who had to be a good student, a great artist, an older brother, a best friend and a father figure all at once. Jack managed to stay on top of things, even when he had more things to stay on top of than many adults.

"I'm lucky."

"Yeah." The two sat in relative silence until Katherine had to leave.

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"C'mon, just open it!" Jack whined.

"Shut it Kelly! We started it at FroyoWorld, we're ending it at FroyoWorld." Jack attempted to give puppy eyes, but failed miserably when a smile broke through.

"Okay, fine! But let's go!" He grabbed her arm and pulled her through the halls as the bell rang, making it out of the door right as the surge of students made the hallways impassable. Katherine laughed as Jack ran, pulling her down the sidewalk to FroyoWorld. They burst through the door, laughing.

"I've waited twelve years for this!" Jack said dramatically, flopping back into a chair and looking at Katherine expectantly. "Twelve years of working in English class, slaving away, and here it is! My grand finale! The carpe diem! My final grade!"

"Carpe diem means "seize the day" Jack. That didn't make sense."

"Shush up, woman, and open the grades!"

"Don't pull that crap with me, Kelly!" Katherine laughed. She pulled the folder containing their comic and final grade out of her backpack. "Okay. Shall I open it?"

"Yes! Open! Now!" Katherine flipped the folder open and shrieked when she saw the grade.

"What? What?" Jack pulled the folder away from him. "What! What!"

"I know! I know!"

"We got an A+! A 98! A 90-freaking-eight!"

"I know!"

"What'd we get points off on?" Katherine snatched it back and flipped through the rubric.

"Let's see...full credit for inclusion, meaning we had everything we needed to...full credit for GUMS...full credit for art, nice work, and full credit for creativity. Then...oh, points off of presentation." Jack groaned.

"Stupid Race. He had to start that."

"It's fine, Jack! We still got a 98!" Jack was standing at that point, still staring at the grade in disbelief.

"I have never, ever in my life, on anything, gotten above a ninety-three. Not since like kindergarten, when tests were on if you can write the letter J." He seemed to be in shock.

"Well, it was a good project for our partnership."

"Yeah, no kidding. Art for the artist and writing for the writer."

"Yeah! How about a large frozen yogurt to celebrate!"

"Sounds good!" Jack bought two larges.

"You know I can pay for myself, right?"

"Ah, what kind of gentleman makes a girl pay for her own food?" Katherine laughed at him and flicked some of her frozen yogurt at him. Jack stuck out his tongue.

"Oh, real mature, Kelly." Jack laughed some more.

"You're super happy about this, aren't you?"

"I've never been more happy about something related to school since I found out I can go to college for art!"

"Really? Wow!"

"This boosts my total grade up to a solid A, which makes me eligible for a scholarship to NMSA. I can pay tuition, since I can get financial aid, but having a shot at a scholarship is awesome!"

"Yeah, scholarships are great! Do you know if you got in yet?"

"Not yet, but the letter ought to be coming soon."

"Nice."

"Yeah." Jack took a big bite of his snack. "So, listen, Katherine, I was thinking…"

"What?"

"Well, it's almost the end of the year, you know, almost graduation, and that means senior prom, and I was thinking maybe we could go together? I mean, we don't have to be dating, just maybe you'd like to come with me?" Jack gave her a hopeful, nervous smile and waited for her answer. Katherine smiled sweetly.

"I'd like nothing more than that, Jack." Jack beamed at her.

"Really?"

"Really."

"As friends?"

"Or...date might be okay, too." Jack's smile got impossibly bigger.

"So...I can say Katherine Plotzer is my girlfriend?"

"I wouldn't go that far…" His face fell just a little bit. "Yet." She relished the turmoil she was causing him. His face displayed every emotion he felt, from confusion to hope to humor. "Maybe if prom goes well."

"So what, prom is going to be our first real date?"

"Do you have a suggestion, Kelly?"

"How about I take you to dinner? Next week some time?"

"Sure." Katherine smiled at him, and saw his face somehow split into a grin so huge it seemed like it should have been causing him pain.

"Cool." He said simply.

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Katherine fiddled with the hem of her dress, nervous. Jack was supposed to arrive at any time, and she was more done up then she'd ever been in front of him. Her dress was a dark purple, cross strapped with wavy fabric at the top. It was beautiful, and Katherine hoped Jack like it. She watched out the window for Jack's car, a dark blue Subaru Outback. It came up the street, turning into the driveway. Jack stepped out, his usually messy hair combed and parted. He was wearing a suit. He looked awkward and nervous, but also sort of excited. She opened the door, and he stopped walking.

"What?" She said self consciously.

"You look beautiful. Absolutely gorgeous." He said, staring at her. Her mother swooped in from behind her, camera at the ready.

"Stand next to each other nicely and put your arm around her shoulders. Do it right, and you can leave faster." She commanded. Katherine blushed, but followed the order. Jack stepped up next to her, and Mrs. Plotzer moved them so the background of the pictures would be a large bush. Katherine could feel the warmth of Jack's arm around her shoulders, and could feel herself blushing. The camera clicked and flashed a few times. Katherine's mom smiled and waved them off. "Have fun!" She called. Katherine shook her head.

"Sorry about that." Jack smiled shyly at her.

"It's fine. At least somebody cares enough to take those kind of pictures."

"Yeah." Jack looked at her out of the corner of his eye.

"You really do look amazing." Katherine blushed.

"Thanks. So do you." Jack smiled.

"Yeah, well, I try." They continued to make small talk for the rest of the ride to where prom was being held, meeting up with several of Jack's friends at the door, including Romeo and Sniper, who were there together. They all stopped talking when Jack and Katherine walked up.

"Wow." Sniper commented. "The most gorgeous couple at prom award goes to Jack and Katherine." The pair blushed.

"Let's just go inside, hey?" Jack said. They did, entering into a dance hall throbbing with loud music and filled with people. Jack and Katherine walked around together, danced together, and were pretty much acting like a typical couple at prom. When the dance finally ended, Jack drove Katherine home.

"Thanks for taking me, Jack."

"No problem, Kat. I had fun." Jack paused. "I have one question, though."

"What would that be?" Katherine smiled.

"Did it go well?"

"What?"

"Did it go well? Can I say I'm dating you now? 'Cause I'd love to be able to."

"Yeah. Yeah, it went well enough to say we're dating now." Jack smiled at her widely. He opened his door and came around to Katherine's, opening hers for her. He walked her up to her doorstep, then stopped. Katherine smiled up at his slightly taller frame. "Goodnight. Thanks for taking me."

"No problem. Goodnight." Jack leaned down swiftly and kissed her quickly on the lips, blushing slightly. He turned and left leaving Katherine to watch and wave from her porch. High school was almost over, she had a great boyfriend, new friends. The so-called best years of her life were almost gone, and just now was she getting a taste of what made them so great. Jack Kelly had showed her, had opened up a door to a type of life she hadn't even considered. And it had all started with her hate of eighth period English class.

So yeah. The end was rather hurried, but I like it okay. In other news...WE FINALLY OFFICIALLY BOUGHT TICKETS TO SEE THE TOURSIES ON SUNDAY AND I'M OFFICIALLY GOING TO THE MATINEE! I'M SOOOOOO PSYCHED FOR STEPHEN MICHAEL LANGTON I CAN'T EVEN! For those who haven't heard, though I'm sure most of you have, Dan, Stephanie, Jacob, Angela and both Les's left right in time for my stop, so I was sad, but the newbies look so great, I'm super excited! Yay Toursies and newbies!