Stepping into Advanced Physics one-oh-one was a culture shock for the young, green-haired sixth grader.
Rather than the tiny wooden individual desks that Spike was used to, every desk within the room was tall black flat top with two metal leather-topped seats to match. Most of the seats were filled with actively talking and/or snoozing eighth graders, their very size terrified the young boy.
Am I in the right class? This can’t be right. These are eighth graders!
Spike quickly shuffled out of the room and pressed himself against the nearby locker wall. His eyes shot up to check the room number again.
Two-forty-eight. This is the right room. There’s… there’s no hope for me, I’m officially dead meat once these guys get a hold of me.
Spike shot his head back hard enough for a loud ‘clank’ to resonate through the almost vacant hallway. Class would be starting very soon, with or without the terrified boy, but he couldn’t find the strength to move.
Hold on. Think about this for a moment. Would I rather face these juveniles or the wrath of an angry Twilight Sparkle if she got even the smallest hint of me being the T-word or worse… me skipping my very first middle school class. I can do this. I’m in this class, I passed all the previous courses to be qualified for this course. Who cares if they’re all older than me, bigger than me, more… whatever, that doesn’t mean I can’t do the same work they can. Let’s just get this over with.
With a sigh, Spike walked slowly over to the door of classroom Two-forty-eight. Standing up on the tips of his toes, he peered into the small rhombus shaped window that was snugly held in the wooden door.
Students had begun to take out their notebooks as a teacher typed haphazardly on the desktop computer keyboard in front of him. The older man had messy brown-hair and blue-eyes, a wicked smile crossed his face as he went to town on the keyboard with his fingers. To Spike, it didn’t seem like the teacher was using the computer for ‘middle-school-rated things’, but he didn’t dare comment on it.
The young boy’s eyes scanned around the room for an empty seat, his eyes locked onto one in the front row next to the orange-haired boy he saw earlier with 'Strife'. The eighth grader was chatting to a pretty girl that sat behind him, her desk partner was snoozing in his own notebook.
Spike glanced around the room one last time before sighing, his hands clenching nervously around his backpack straps once more.
Please don’t let him talk to me. Just sit down, and stay quiet, Spike. Maybe he won’t even notice you… Just breathe... and here we go. Chin up!
The young boy walked away from the door and to the front of the room, trying hard—but failing—not to notice all the stares he was receiving from the upperclassmen he passed.
By the time Spike had reached the open stool, he was sweating, shivering, and on the verge of wetting his pants. Which would of been the most embarrassing thing at the moment. His mind immediately remembering his beloved's most common saying, This is the worst. Possible. Thing!
The orange-haired boy glanced over at the small boy, his conversation with the pretty girl ending mid sentence.
“Uh, can I help you?” The older boy’s tone didn’t hold any annoyance, much to Spike's surprise.
The young boy blinked, his mouth working to answer the boy, but he found he couldn’t. His throat had seized up, so he was left staring wide-eyed in fear.
After a moment the older boy got annoyed and stood up, looming over Spike but before he could say anything the teacher called out, “Um, excuse me young man. Are you sure you’re in the right room? This is Physics one-o-one, an eighth grade course.”
Spike’s eyes immediately swung to lock onto the teacher’s, his short legs automatically took him away from the older boy to stand in front of the desk where the teacher sat. He quickly lifted his arm, his small fingers crushing the thin sheet of his information paper, and held it out for the older man to see.
The room had gone silent as the class waited for the teacher to scan the sheet.
“You are in this class. Well done young man! I’ve never had a sixth grader in my advanced course before. Please tell me how you managed this?”
Spike blinked a couple of times, the knot in his throat lessening as the teacher’s words filled his ears. “Well uh… I’ve always been in classes higher than those in my age-range usually take. But I can’t take all the credit.”
“Oh really? What do you mean?” The teacher readjusted his arms on his desk so he was leaning forward slightly, his eyes expressed true curiosity and a playful smile to match,
“My older sister, Twilight Sparkle, she’s a really great tutor. During the summer, just for fun, we would sit in on classes provided by the college where my father works at. She’d also helped me with my studies and homework when I was in elementary school, and the school offered advanced classes during the summer too, so—”
“Twilight Sparkle is your older sister! Well I’ll be a ponies’ uncle! That’s magnificent!”
The class behind the young boy collectively groaned; making Spike jump and look over his shoulder before turning back to the teacher.
“Um… was Twilight a student of yours?”
“She was. Advanced Chemistry, Advanced Physical Science, Advanced Biology. You name it she took the course. That little girl was a genius! She was also my teacher’s aid,” The science teacher said as he beamed with pride, his fists raised in a cheer.
“Oh…” Spike frowned.
“Anyways, any sibling of Twilight Sparkle is welcomed in my classroom.”
“Thanks, Mr.Turner,” Spike mumbled with a nod. He then turned to head to the only empty seat in the room, this time no one bothered to look at him. They just whispered amongst themselves. Spike was forced to listen as the name of his loving older sister drifting around the room in distaste.
Now I remember this teacher. Twilight used to talk about him all the time. The crazy experiments they did, her extra credit homework, and the complaining of how students in the classes could be so obnoxious just because they didn’t want to do the coursework. Of course everyone knew ‘Twilight Sparkle’, girl genius. And now they all know I’m her brother. Great going Spike. They think I’m some kinda geek now, let the bullying begin.
Spike sat down on his stool, his eyes facing forward as a scowl rested on his face. He slowly took off his backpack and dropped it onto the black flat-top, not even bothering to take out his notebook yet.
Mr.Turner stood up from his seat, he clasped his hands together, loudly, to grab the class’s attention. All of the students quickly adjusted themselves to face forward, their eyes watching the man as he went to the stand in front of the room.
“Alright you guys, enough chit-chat. Let’s get to the fun stuff, well, to the small fun stuff. Explosions come later.”
The class collectively whooped and cheered, the excitement flaring in their eyes, all except for Spike, who just stared blankly at the front of the room.
“Alright, I’m going to call roll since I’m not sure who everyone is yet, plus you’re all mixed and matched around sitting where you please.” Turner waved a finger at them, his smirk and mirth-filled eyes letting them know he was messing with them. “So this is how we’re going to do this. I’m going to call out your name and you’re going to tell me three things especially unique about yourself. Think you guys can do that for me?”
Three things unique about myself? Do I even know one thing?
The class collectively answered with nods and mumbles of ‘yes sir’ except for the boy next to Spike who raised his hands.
“Uh, yes Mr…?” Turner asked questionally, his open palm gesturing to the orange-haired boy.
“How about you go first. Show us how it’s done? and it’s Bask Flare.” The boy pointed a thumb at himself with a toothy smirk.
Mr.Turner frowned at the boy, his eyes searching around the room as his other students nodded in agreement.
“Well alright. I can go first. My names Time Turner. I’m a Canterlot University graduate on the hall-of-fame list. I built the first ever theorized full-functioning time machine, granted it only works to go back in time a few seconds. Still working on that. Lastly, the third unique thing about me? I absolutely adore scarfs.”
The class sat stiff in their seats wide eyed.
Did he just… say… ‘Time Machine’!
“Alright, I’ve told you about me, now if there aren’t any more questions we shall begin with learning about all of you!” Mr. Turner’s crazed smile was back, his hands reaching for his roll sheet as he began to call out names in alphabetical order.
Spike had tuned out the class quickly after the roll call had begun, his eyes focused on his backpack as he pulled at a loose purple string. But the moment the boy next to him got called, Spike was fully attentive. His eyes shifting to look to his left.
“Yo,” Bask waved nonchalantly with his right hand at Turner, his left hand propping his face up on the desk boredly. “I’m Bask Flare. I like pretty girls, fast cars, and hanging out with my bros.”
Mr.Turner frowned. “Mr. Flare, as much as I myself enjoy all of those things, I don’t think they are… uniquely things about you. What are your hobbies, or things you’ve done in the past? If you don’t mind sharing with us I mean. I’m not forcing you.”
Bask was quiet for a few seconds before smiling crookedly. “I went to juvie for about six weeks for breaking into the old FlimFlam factory and stealing some bangin’ stuff.”
There was a few gasps around the room, one unconsciously coming from Spike. Bask Flare’s eyes locked onto him, a cruel smirk forming on the older boys lips.
“My… my… That is…” Turner cleared his throat. “Something…”
“Yep-p” Bask popped the p before rolling his eyes, “Anything else you want to know or can we get this over with? I’m already bored with this class”
Fumbling with his roll sheet, Time Turner quickly resumed his callout, listening intently to each of the other students but his eyes glanced back at Bask Flare every once in awhile, each time the boy would just smirk.
Spike could no longer sit still, he was fidgeting in his chair, his eyes locked onto the whiteboard in the front of the room. The world around him became a dull buzz.
“Mr… Spar… Excu… Spike!”
A voice penetrated his thoughts, followed by a shove that knocked him off his stool onto the hard tiled floor.
“MR. FLARE! THAT WAS UNCALLED FOR!” Turner’s angry voice echoed around the silent room, his footsteps hurriedly following as he walked over to make sure Spike was okay.
“Not my fault boy genius is too stupid to pay attention when someone’s calling his name.” A chuckling voice said from somewhere behind the young boy.
Echoes of laughter bounced around Spike’s skull, his eyes starting to tear up. The fall to the floor had hurt, but the blows to his self esteem had been the cracks in the dam.
“Enough! Enough all of you before I write you all up. You should all be ashamed of yourselves, laughing at this boy because he was lost in his own world. You should envy him! Being lost in your own mind, careless of what hold reality chains you in! You—”
I’m not weak. I’m not this weak! I don’t need Mr. Turner, or Twilight, or ANYONE! I’ll show you, I’ll show all of you! I don’t need you, Twilight Sparkle, and I wish I would've never met you! This is all your fault! I wouldn’t be this way, this weak, if you would've just left me the hell alone!
Spike shoved Turner away from him, slowly getting back up onto his feet and sitting quietly down on his stool. His eyes focused on the whiteboard once again, expressionless.
“Spike?” Mr.Turner spoke quietly, standing at the edge of the young boys desk.
“My names Spike Sparkle. I’m a sixth grader in an advanced physics class that is usually a course for eighth graders. My sister is Twilight Sparkle, Bookworm Princess of Academics,” Spike sneered the words, mocking his older sister. “and I’m not a boy genius. I just have nothing better to do then study since my future is something that actually matters to me.” Spike finished his sentence with a hate-filled glare at the smirking boy next to him.
Dried tears still left marks down the pale cheeks of the green haired boy, but they no longer fell from the emerald orbs.
Turner frowned before patting the small boy on his shoulder. “That’s good, Spike. Your future is very important,” he whispered before returning to his desk.
Roll call continued on, but the room still held an air of hostility.
“Pst... boy genius, you gotta little somethin’ right here” Bask whispered, while scratching a finger across his cheek.
“What, where?” Spike wiped at his face.
“Right there!” Bask quickly stuck his finger out, flicking up against the tip of the young boy’s nose, causing him to almost tip backwards out of his chair. Spike quickly flailed and caught himself before glaring at the laughing boy.
This was going to be a long day, and first period had only been going for ten minutes.
Walking out of Physics one-oh-one was the equivalent of leaving prison for the green-haired sixth grader. Of course by the end of the class he no longer felt like the young boy he had been walking into it, for now he felt like a hard-core inmate, released on “good behavior”.
Throughout the last twenty minutes, Bask Flare made it his personal duty to push every one of the little boy’s buttons, which ended with a small outburst from Spike.
This outburst of course led to a small chat between teacher and student after class, of which Spike just stayed silent as Mr. Turner tried to get him to talk. Eventually he just let the small boy go after a few minutes of no progress.
Bask just receives a detention slip and gets to leave with the rest of the class, and I get stuck with an after class talk. Could you be any more pathetic, Spike?
The walk to his locker was quiet. He once again dodged the taller students, making his way to the hallway of the underclassmen.
His eyes were tracing the lines of the floor, but a squeaky, excited voice caught his attention, making him look up.
In front of him, not even ten feet away, stood a pink-purple two-toned curly haired little girl, her pale green eyes shining brightly as she stood in front of her open locker.
“Spike! Hey! How did your first class go? I found our lockers!” She rapped her small knuckles against the locker next to hers, the small door making a ‘clang clang clang’ sound. The little girl couldn’t hold herself back. She ran forward and wrapped Spike in a huge friendly hug.
Spike felt safe, for the first time since he left his mom's car that morning, in the girl's arms. His head pressed up against her shoulder, her grip squeezing the life… the pain out of him. It made his day in every definition of the phrase.
Oh Sweetie Belle, thank Celestia you’re here! I think I’m about to break down into tears. Just your smile right now made this day a million times better.