Not So Bad is the seventh chapter of Stranger in a Strange School.
Lee sat in homeroom. Next to him sat Holger, the two were discussing Basil's fear of birds. Holger could not understand it one bit.
"But why?" Holger might have been using his 'indoor voice' but it was almost just as loud as his 'outdoor voice.' "Why is Basil afraid of pretty wing flappers?" Lee thought about Holger had said. There was something that sounded not right but he didn't want to point it out.
"I don't know all I know is that he was going crazy." Lee thought about the way Basil had been acting when he thought that birds were trying to get at him. Never saw a guy act like that, like he was about to have a mental breakdown! Lee turned his head as Basil walked towards his desk, looking a bit better after his realization that Barrage was jerk and that he'd been sucking up to him. "You look better." Basil sat down and placed his books on his desk, the Greek mythology book clearly there.
"Much better!" Basil placed his hands behind his head. "Much, much better." A sly grin spread across Basil's face.
"Really, well was making Brandy look like Medusa what made you feel better?" Lee whispered to Basil, he did not want Holger to use his 'outdoor voice.' Basil's face had an expression of shock on it. Slowly, he turned his head to look at Lee.
"How'd you know it was me?" Lee pointed at Basil's Greek mythology book. Basil closed his eyes in the painful realization of what a mistake he had made.
"Actually, I saw it when Tina and me were at your locker." Basil opened his eyes. Lee understood that this wasn't a painful realization but an ambiguous one. "And I think Tina saw it, too."
"Great, I'm about to make the news and not in a good way." Basil sighed. "I knew I should have chosen something from Norse mythology." Basil sighed again. "And now Brandy is going to end up beating the ever loving crap out of me!"
"Gee, I wonder what could be worse." Mused Lee. "Being blackmailed into a relationship with Brandy or being beaten senseless with her." Basil looked at Lee with a questioning look.
"Dude, what'd you do?" Lee shook his head.
"It's not as much as what I did do, as what I am doing." Basil thought for a moment about Lee's reply. The answer then came to him.
"You are!" Lee nodded. "And Brandy knows?" Lee nodded again. " Basil looked around awkwardly. "That is an interesting question then. Which is worse?" The television screen in the room then turned on. Just like yesterday, Chaz and Tina were there. Lee watched as Basil started to fidget in his seat. He was nervous and for good reason. The entire explanation over the arrival of the picture had Basil trembling in fear.
"And get this newsy news." Chaz's voice was making Basil's skin crawl. If Tina knew it was him he'd know just how painful it would be to be beaten to a pulp by a girl. Chaz held up print out of the picture. "It seems like someone turned Brandy Silver into Medusa, let's hope whoever did this doesn't get turned to stone!"
"We have…" Tina trailed off. She knew what would end up happening to Basil Lee did as well. "We have no idea who could have sent it and it is probably just as well." Chaz gave Tina a suspicious look but finally moved on to other news. Basil relaxed and looked over at Lee.
"You and her, you're not so bad." Lee smiled. Judging from the tone of Basil's voice it was probably his way of saying thanks.
"Thanks, and by the way, Medusa?" Lee laughed. "You couldn't think of something else?"
"Like what?" Basil laughed in return. "A harpy? A sphinx?"
"Good point." Lee and Basil talked for the rest of the class. While they did their work, they discussed the high school that Basil had originally come from. From what Lee could gather it was not as strange was A. Nigma but still pretty strange. "So what happened? You get expelled?"
"No, got a late move to the city." Explained Basil. "I actually come from another city nearby."
"Why'd you move?" Lee was starting to understand Basil.
"Dad died, mom felt it would be better to live in the provincial capital because her home office was closer then."
"Oh? Where's she work?"
"Not as much as where as whom." Lee rolled his eyes.
"Okay then, who's she work for?"
"The Brigadoon Theater Company."
"The travelling theater company?" Basil nodded. "So that means-"
"She's only home once a month." Basil laughed. Lee raised an eyebrow. "Suits her, she barely cared when my dad's health started to fail, she rarely showed any interest in me, choosing to see how well I do on my own." Lee thought about what Basil had said, whether he was exaggerating or not. True, his own mom was kind of harsh but then again she was also one of his teachers. "I just hope I'm what she wants me to be." Lee was puzzled at this.
"What is that?" Basil shrugged.
"I don't know, independent maybe." Lee didn't want to question that. It was obvious that Basil didn't know either. Basil tapped his finger while he wrote an answer down. "So, what's going on between you and Tina?"
"It's complicated." Lee thought back to when he had played Alexander Nigma, when he had to kiss Brandy to make her stop talking. Tina had seen what he did. She did seem to have feelings for him, just like how he had feelings for her, but Brandy was in the way.
"True love never did run smoothly." Lee turned his head to look at Basil. What he said, it fit so well with the position he was in, but could he have known? Did he really figure it out that easily? "Yes, I figured it out and your secret's safe with me and I'll explain some other time." Lee smiled, Basil was not so bad, not so bad at all.