Status: Ongoing

Boston Garden High School


The next morning, Torey adjusted his tie nervously and headed into the school building. "Hey Krug!" A voice shouted and Torey wheeled around. It was Fraser, his hair bouncing up and down as he ran.
"Fraser." Torey sighed. "Y'alright?"
"Fine, thanks. A bit confused as to why nobody's talking to me." Fraser looked dejected.
Torey rubbed the back of his neck and inhaled loudly. "Go talk to Bergy and Marchy. They were real great with me and some of the other rookies. You won't get anywhere in life if you're too scared to talk."
"I'm not scared." Fraser said as his eyes wandered away from Torey's. "I'm just..."
"Intimidated. You feel like some of these guys have more of a right to be here than you because they've been here longer. Am I in the right ballpark? What about when you're here and next year there's new teachers? What then? Come on, man. Talk to 'em." Torey put his arm on Fraser's back. Once they arrived at the faculty lounge, they found that everyone had heard of Zdeno spraining his neck, but rumors that he was dead failed to gain traction this time around.
"Uh... You're Tuukka Rask-the music teacher, right?" Fraser asked as he went to make his tea. Tuukka was already by the coffee station and stirring sugar into his coffee.
"Yeah." Tuukka smiled warmly as he picked his mug up. "And you're Matt Fraser. You teach Spanish, right? We met before." Fraser's expression changed from nervous to confused. "Spanish? You know, 'hola seƱor'-that shit?" Tuukka elaborated.
"Yes, Spanish."
"You don't have to be nervous around me, Fraser. I'm a friendly guy, I won't bite." Tuukka chuckled.
"I heard you were arrested last week." The color drained from Tuukka's face.
"Hey, THAT was a misunderstanding!" He said defensively. "I didn't kill anyone or get caught speeding. Not that I would get arrested for speeding anyway." Fraser nodded.
"What were the other teachers before me like?" He asked after an awkward silence.
"Uh..." Tuukka wasn't sure how to answer. Sure, he missed his buddies, but this was the faculty now. "I liked Pevvy-Rich Peverley-he was pretty awesome, funny, bad taste in music. His favorite song is damn Stubborn Love by the Lumineers. Seggs-Tyler Seguin-on the other hand... He was the life of any party. Just ask Marchy-Brad Marchand. And Iggy-Jarome Iginla-he was alright to talk with, but he worked too damn hard. Sorry. I'm just used to calling people by their nicknames." Loui nodded. "Seggs was awfully immature and he... Well, he got canned. Last I heard, he was in Dallas, teaching there."
"This is my first teaching job. I moved from Canada. Thought I might like the big city atmosphere."
"Do you?"
"We'll, I don't have a car. I take the MBTA."
"Dude, it's the T. We call it the T here. Or just the subway. Whatevs."
"So... Do you enjoy teaching music?"
"Yeah. I originally moved to Canada, but didn't like it there. Too extreme over their hockey. Moved here. Got a great balance between hockey and baseball. I love the Red Sox. They're playing Pittsburgh next."
"I support the Toronto Blue Jays."
"Eh. I'll get you to be a Red Sox fan before the season ends." Tuukka laughed to himself.
"I don't think so. I'm a Blue Jays fan." Fraser smiled.
"Come with Torey, Bergy, Marchy, Krech, Looch and me later on, we're gonna watch the game at McGreeveys." Tuukka paused. "Well, we would if Bergy was able to show his face there. We'll go to Jerry Remy's. That's right near Fenway. On a good day, you can hear 'em play Tessie."
"You don't know about Tessie?" Tuukka said in disbelief.
"Who's Tessie?"
"Tessie's nobody. The Dropkick Murphys and the Royal Rooters on the other hand." Tuukka put his cup down. "They're people. Well, the Rooters are... Dead. Long dead. They've been replaced by Red Sox Nation. A legion of loyal Red Sox fans. You didn't have a fan club for the Blue Jays?" Fraser shook his head. "Man, you have a lot to learn!" Tuukka laughed out loud. "Good thing we're all the best teachers in Boston!" Tuukka grabbed his coffee and put his hand on Fraser's back. The bell rang and everyone dispersed to their classes.
Loui trudged over to the IT block alone and took his seat at his desk.
"Alright everyone, log on. We're gonna do some programming in Visual BASIC." He said half-heartedly as he logged on his own computer.
"What's Visual whatever?" A girl with short brown hair and glasses asked him.
"A programming language." Loui responded. "I'm guessing you've never programmed anything before?"
"No, Mr Peverley taught us to program in Java." A boy with his hair slicked back in a ponytail told him.
"Well, Java was Mr. Peverley's personal preference, just like mine is VB."
"What's VB?" The same girl asked him.
"Shorthand for Visual BASIC." Loui muttered, pinching the bridge of his nose. "And BASIC stands for Beginners All-Purpose Symbolic Instruction Code."
"Shouldn't that be BAPSIC?" A boy with black hair around the middle of the classroom asked.
Loui sighed. "Let's get the register sorted. There's only like 15 of you, so it shouldn't take that long. Okay. Martin?"
"It's Marty!" A boy next to Shannon said. He was wearing a Red Sox baseball cap.
"Take it off! You're in class." Loui scolded. "Shannon?"
"Here!" said a girl at the back of the classroom with her blond hair tied back in a ribbon
"Here." A chubby boy at the front of the classroom said
"It's Casey." The long haired boy replied.
"Casey? Why Casey?"
"Would you like being called Jeffrey? Let's face it, my last name sounds better."
"You know what? Screw the register. We're all gonna open up VB and code from that. Start, programs, programmING and Visual Basic." Loui sighed as he gave the instructions. "It's gonna take a while to load, because it's frankly a bit of a dick, but... You know. Technology, right?" Loui laughed awkwardly.
"You're probably as slow a teacher as the computers are to respond." The same boy said.
"You should see a box appear and you should click uh... General development settings." Loui tried to brush off the boy's comments.
"Whatever. Hey why do you sound so much like Swedish Chef?"
"I don't, now if you would just start new project..."
"I'm Luooee Ireekssun und I teech cumpooter sceeence-a. Hoo vuoold yuoo leeke-a sume-a speghettee und meetbells? Bork Bork Bork!" The boy threw a few pens at Loui's head. Loui again tried to ignore it.
"So, like I said, new project and..."
"Su, leeke-a I seeed, noo pruject und..."
"New project... And you should see a blank form."
"Noo pruject... Und yuoo shuoold see-a a blunk furm."
"Alright, stop it." Loui said, beginning to get agitated.
"Elreeght, stup it."
"I mean it. Cut it out."
"I meun it. Coot it oooot. Bork Bork Bork!"
"You're not being very nice. Is this what you do to all new teachers?" Loui asked sternly.
"No, just the ones I want to shoot up." Loui took a deep breath.
"You know what? Do whatever you want. Talk. Play with your iPhones. I don't care. I'm going out for a few minutes and..." Loui paused. "I don't care." He muttered as he opened the door and left the room. Just down the hall was the languages block and further down was the music room. Loui knocked on the door and a voice from behind shouted "Come in!" Loui stepped inside.
"Loui, what are you doing here?" Tuukka asked. "Shouldn't you be in your computer room?"
Loui looked around. He saw Tuukka had written musical notes on the whiteboard and arrows pointing to what they mean.
"And I thought you taught music." Loui muttered.
"I do. Teaching music isn't the same as teaching someone to PLAY music." Tuukka walked from the front of the classroom over to Loui at the back. "Are you okay, seriously? What are you doing here?" Tuukka whispered as his class turned around.
"I can't cope, Tuukka. Do you know my class? One of them threatened to shoot me." Loui began to cry softly and Tuukka ushered him back into the hall.
"Alright, Marc is in charge until I get back! I shouldn't be too long, I'm just going to help Mr. Eriksson with some... Photocopying. Go over your musical notes until I get back." Tuukka said before he closed the door and Loui started crying louder. "Dude, stop it. You're 28. Big boys don't cry. Sure, they get pissed, but they don't cry." Tuukka hissed at Loui.
"I'm sorry. I'm sorry." Loui sniffled as he wiped his eyes.
"I don't get it, you've been doing this since 2007..."
"2006." Loui corrected.
"Yeah. That's longer than me. I've been doing this since 2007. Even THEN I was assistant to another guy. It's only since last year I've had a more... Permanent job."
"It's the kids, Tuukka. They're horrible to me."
"Which ones?"
"Uh... A boy with his hair in a ponytail..."
"Yeah, helpful description." Tuukka muttered sarcastically. "Come on, we're going into your classroom." He opened the door to Loui's classroom. "Alright, which one of you has been winding Mr. Eriksson up?" The kids looked at Tuukka in shock. He was usually mild-mannered and laid back, but suddenly he was enraged. Tuukka caught sight of the boy with the ponytail and his eyed narrowed. He slammed his hands down hard on the boy's desk. "Jeffrey Casey." He said coldly. "You still haven't served out that detention I gave you in May."
The boy shuffled in his seat to avoid eye contact with Tuukka. "It's not my fault, Mr. Rask, I..."
"I know you have excuses, Casey and you're NOT going to use them. Now have you or have you not been giving Mr. Eriksson a hard time?"
The boy continued to squirm. "It's not my fault... I"
"Yes... Or no. It's THAT simple."
"Yes!" The boy blurted out after being stared down by Tuukka.
"Ah, Jeffrey. You haven't changed."
"Fuck off!" The boy shouted. "And don't call me Jeffrey!"
Tuukka looked at him for a brief moment before shouting right back at him. "I'm the teacher here and I'll call you whatever I want. After all, Jeffrey IS your name isn't it? Or was your mother lying when she enrolled you into this high school? You can go check with the secretary if you don't believe me. And one last reminder, I don't like being told to-quote unquote"fuck off"-so why don't you march yourself down to the principal's office while you're at it." The boy sat at his desk as Tuukka stood over him with folded arms. Finally, he gave in and grabbed his backpack and stood up. "All yours, Loui." Tuukka smiled.
"Thanks Tuukka." Loui smiled as Tuukka escorted the troublemaker to the principal's office.
That recess, some of the new teachers decided to try and befriend some of the older ones and it started with Niklas imposing on Brad, Patrice and Milan's conversation.
"Uh... Hi." Niklas waved awkwardly to the three guys sitting on the staff couch which had been rigorously cleaned since David suffered alcohol poisoning on it.
"Hi." Patrice said back. "You're the... Uh... Economics guy, right?"
"Yeah." Niklas nodded. "Niklas Svedberg." He put his hand out for Patrice to shake it, but he didn't.
"Come on! We're all Bruins here! Come sit with us, Niki." Patrice grinned.
"Bruins?" Niklas said, confused.
"Our mascot." Brad said. Jarome shook his head and sat down. "The Sabres are an absolute joke." Brad muttered.
"I dunno, the Penguins leave much to be desired." Milan said.
"Ugh. And their oh-so-perfect hockey coach can do no wrong." Patrice sighed.
"Ooh, I'm Sidney Crosby! Look at my perfect face! La la la!" Brad said in sing-song and danced like an ape.
"Don't do that, Marchy, it makes me see Crosby and wanna punch that ugly face of his." Milan said and everyone laughed.
"He's a champion. But he's a sore loser. An IMMATURE sore loser. I admire the guy, but I hate him at the same time." Patrice
"Yeah, he comes across as that kind of guy." Brad said. "An asshole."
"Well, I wouldn't call him..." Niklas began. "Yeah, he's a dick."
"Detroit's coach... What's his name?" Brad asked
"The Red Wings guy?" Patrice said.
"Pavel Datsyuk."
"Datsyuk! Yeah! Excuse the brain fart." Brad laughed. "I'm not too keen on him either. Sure he seems less of an asshole than Crosby, but I ain't buying it."
"What about P.K. Subban?" Milan said half seriously.
"Screw that little piece of shit!" Brad shouted angrily.
"Ugh. Can't stand the sight of that guy's ugly face." Patrice said shaking his head in disgust.
"Neither can I. If I could beat the guy without getting in any trouble from the cops, I would. What about Jason Spezza?" Milan asked.
"Totally admire the guy." Patrice said.
"Yeah, he's a good sport." Brad said. "He's our rival team's coach, but I quite like him."
"He's great. Alright, last one..." Milan paused thoughtfully. "Henrik Lundvist."
"Asshole." The the four of them said in unison.
"Ooh, I'm Mr. Suave! I have facial hair! I used to be a hockey goalie in my home country! Look how sexy I am!"
"Looch, you do a perfect impression!" Brad said as he, Patrice and Jarome burst out laughing.
"I'm gonna go now, I have to get to my class before the bell rings to set some shit up for my class." Patrice said. "I'm teaching them to ask for 'une baguette' and I want to put out 'les baguettes'. The 10th graders are real nit-picky over this kinda shit." Patrice stood up to leave and picked up a plastic shopping bag.
"Yeah, I'll see you later, Bergy." Brad said and Patrice left the staff room.
"Why do you nickname each other?" Niklas asked.
"Eh. Term of endearment. We like each other. I'm not going to call Bergy 'Patrice' just as I'm not going to call you 'Niklas', him 'Milan' or myself 'Brad'. It's just part of life around here I guess." Brad sighed and put his feet up on the coffee table in front of him.
"Why is it that every time I see you, you have stitches in your hand or face or a black eye or a split lip?"
"I moonlight as an MMA fighter. Semi-pro."
"I got a fight tonight, wanna go?"
"I don't like fighting..."
"Think of it not as fighting, more like... Supporting a buddy." Brad grinned cheekily.
"You know what? Maybe I will."
♠ ♠ ♠
Sorry it's been like a month, but I've been busy with college. I've been accepted into my first choice university, which is in the top 250 in the world and one of the top 10 in my country. Very proud of that. :)
This is some experimentation wherein the insular world of the Bruins becomes the world of the NHL. There are mentions from other players from other teams and in later chapters, we shall meet them and more.
And originally, Horty was going to be mentioned, but I changed it to Pevs when I heard the news. :(