Authors Notes: Death of a Simpson began as a small segment in a much broader storyline that I really liked and decided to go back and flesh out. This is my first attempt at Fan Fiction so forgive me for the length. I don't know any better. I found Homer the most difficult to write for; I went for canon circa Seasons 4-6, this was a conscious decision. Otherwise it rapidly would've degenerated into the more recent "Shrieking Homer" and I think the overall quality of the story is better for it. Maggie was definitely the most interesting to write for, however, because she's pretty much left blank (exempting the future-centric episodes and her occasional affinity for firearms...). I was satisfied with the direction her characterization took and being the oldest of three boys, I'm about as far from being in her situation as possible. The rest of the characters were pretty easy to fall into because I either felt close to them emotionally or I knew someone in my life to base them off of. Watching 3-4 hours of the show almost daily might've had some influence too.
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It would never be said that Bart Simpson was much of a planner. The bigger picture was secondary to living in the moment and to hell with the consequences! As much as he hated to admit it, this was his father's influence creeping into his personality.
To be fair, it wasn't greed or maliciousness or even stubborn pride that filled his heart as he stalked through his childhood home. It was simple jealousy. Earlier that day his sister Lisa had received a letter from their school. (During summer break even!) It informed her that, due to her stunning academic performance over the years and her stellar application essay, she would be eligible for what they called the A.L.P or Accelerated Learning Program. "But she's smart enough already!" Bart had wanted to scream at the entire family during dinner that night. The real sting came, however, when Lisa explained to them that she could graduate more than two years early if she dedicated herself to it. That meant his kid sister would be free before him! He couldn't let that happen!
One of the few things Bart still had on his overachieving sister, which he frequently used as leverage in their long-running rivalry, was the fact that no matter how well she did Bart was still older and she would never catch up to him. Apparently he was wrong. It wasn't just the injustice of it that got to him, though. It was the smug smirk that he could swear he saw cross her face every time he looked at her. But Bart wasn't licked yet. Oh no, not while he still had his best edge on Lisa. "Yes", he thought, "I still know her weakness." Bart looked up to the second floor from the base of the stairs and cackled with childish glee.
Lisa scrambled through her room for what seemed the millionth time that day, checking and rechecking her school supplies. In just a few short hours her entire future had changed! Suddenly she was faced with the possibility, no, the opportunity to advance much faster into the adult world than she had ever anticipated.
On the bed sat her young sister, Maggie, who maintained a cheerful, if silent, presence that Lisa found reassuring. Next to her were scattered a few miscellaneous items she was having trouble fitting into her backpack. The room itself was unnecessarily tidy to the point of obsessiveness, a testament to Lisa's stir-crazy mood regarding school over the last few weeks.
"Everything's gotta be perfect." She mumbled more to herself than anyone in particular.
"Oh, it'll be more than perfect." Bart's sarcastic reply echoed from the hallway outside her open door. Lisa grimaced. She secretly dreaded her brother's reaction to her "happy" news.
"What do you mean?" Asked Maggie as Bart came into view at the doorway.
"Nothing. It's nothing.".
Lisa sighed and turned to face her intruding brother. "Bart must feel like milking this.", she reasoned.
"Out with it, Bart. I'm not in the mood for games."
"What? Can't a guy just be happy about his kid sister's success?" Bart's exaggerated motions and tone clearly suggested the opposite to be true, however.
"I don't have time for this, Bart." Lisa reiterated.
"What do your friends think?" Bart said suddenly, switching tactics. "You... have told them, right?"
He smirked devilishly.
"No, I haven't. Why does that even matter?"
"Have you considered if that's because you don't have any?" Bart watched her carefully and could see she hadn't expected that one.
"That's ridiculous! Of course I do. I've known Janey since the first grade, Allison and Alex since second."
"But you won't have any classes with them. Your stupid "Alf" classes are separate." He let the bomb drop.
It was true, Lisa realized. She was so worked up she hadn't considered that downside. They might understand, but Lisa was realistic. This would definitely affect their relationships.
"Stop it, you guys!" Maggie shouted, standing up on the bed. She was visibly upset from the subtle power struggle but Bart, having smelt blood, continued.
"How good of friend's can you be? Look at this place! No pictures? No mementos of happy times? None? Just a few trophies of how "awesome" you are? C'mon Lis, this room is about as welcoming as a hospital room! You really need to get a life. There's a difference between people who don't know you and people who don't give a damn. That's called High School, enjoy."
He looked at Lisa and saw the beginnings of tears forming in her eyes as she struggled to keep together what little semblance of calm she had left. Bart recognized that maybe he had gone too far.
With no hesitation he about faced and made for the front door, purposely slamming it behind him so they knew he was gone.
Moments later Lisa and Maggie heard the front door open and close quickly. Maggie looked up at her sister and saw that Lisa was standing very still.
"Lisa?" She probed gently, her voice barely above a whisper.
"Sorry, Maggie. Could I have some time... by myself?" Lisa's shoulders gently bobbed with silent sobs. Her voice portrayed all of her recent hair-trigger mood swings as openly as anything could.
It disturbed Maggie greatly to see Lisa like this. She'd always looked up to her older sister as a role model. Lisa had always been there for her. But now, looking at her sister's fragile emotional state, Maggie was led to wonder why Lisa didn't do the obvious thing and just make some more friends.
That was one big difference between Lisa and herself that she couldn't figure out how to bridge. Maggie had always made friends easily. It wasn't that hard, was it? Lisa was smart and pretty, so why didn't she help herself?
Maggie simply didn't understand.
"Okay, Lisa." She answered, finally. Maggie hopped down from the bed and walked to the door, still deep in her private thoughts.
With regret in her eyes Maggie slowly closed the door on one of the few people in her life that she still respected, accepting that her way was not always best for others.