After saying my goodbyes to Ari, I gathered my things and quickly walked into school, ready to get this day started.
I made a quick trip to my locker to throw my basketball gear in there and to lock away the jersey safe and sound in my locker.
I had to bite my lip to refrain from squealing out like a little school girl. This had to have been one of the best pranks I'd ever pulled in the history of my existence. This one even passed the time I pranked Ari when I made an internet ad for Playful beach bunny looking for a sugar daddy. Likes lone walks on the beach and being spanked. Call me some time for some real fun (456)774-1323, which just so happened to be Ari's phone number that the time, oddly enough. He had to get it changed afterwards, though, since he was so freaked out when he kept getting calls from guys saying - explicitly - what exactly they wanted to 'do' to him.
So, yeah. Hence the new phone number.
I made my way over to Coach's room walked inside. I walked over to Iggy, who looked like he was about to burst at any moment. He was bouncing up and down, biting his lip to keep from spilling the secret, whatever it was. He looked pretty ridiculous, if you ask me; he looked like a little kid who had to go potty, really badly.
I gave him a look that read; "You dare say a word and spill the secret, I'll cut out your tongue and make sure that never happens again."
He stopped bouncing and his eyes got wide. He clumsily made his way over to me, knocking over a few chairs in the process.
"Max. I really think this is a bad idea. You haven't seen Fang on one of his rampages. It's really scary. I think you should just forget this whole thing! Just slip the j-e-r-s-e-y into his locker and be done with it. No one has to know!" he pleaded, and he looked genuinely fearful. His eyes were wide with fear; he was twitching.
"OK, seriously, Iggy, calm down. It's not gonna be as bad as you think. Just take a freaking chill pill, will ya? Oh, and we seriously need a new code name for jersey, 'cause I think you spelling it only made it more obvious," I added thoughtfully, while poor Igs was standing there, looking about to burst, wringing his hands nervously.
"Um, OK... How about 'the stuff'?" he suggested, obviously trying to lighten the mood.
"Really, Iggy? The stuff? We're not some goddamn drug dealers on The Real Life. We need something not too obvious, but not to, you know, unobvious."
"Right. Because that totally made sense," he scoffed.
I jabbed him in the ribs, smirking when he let out an 'oof'. "Now that you've finally shut up, how about we use 'fruity pebbles?"
"Fruity pebbles," Iggy repeated incredulously, eyebrows raised. "Yeah. Plan Fruity Pebbles - abort, abort!"
"Har har," I said sourly. "But, really, it's a good name!"
"And you think that why?"
"Because if you associate anything to do with 'fruity' and Fang in the same sentence - or even thought - it's pretty friggin' funny."
Iggy snorted, but he was still... twitching. Quite a bit, too. Even as I watched, he blinked several times and his head jerked to the side slightly. Like a bobble head. Bobble Head Iggy, out now! Only at the best walmarts!
I sighed, irritated with his doom-and-gloom aura. "OK, seriously, dude, lighten up. Even if Fang does freak about plan Fruity Pebbles, it's not your fault, so you have nothing to worry about."
"Guilt by association! That's what I have to worry about! You do realize that people have been hung and electrocuted because they were guilty by association? And did you know-"
"-You just had a major Nerd Moment right then? Yeah, I know," I said pointedly, and he shut up, but not before giving me the finger.
"Holy bombs!" Iggy muttered a while later. "What the hell is that?" He nodded to a huge hole in wall, near Coach's desk.
"No idea. It looks kinda like someone got in a fistfight with the wall. And, from what I can gather with the evidence at hand," I said, ignoring Iggy's cough of 'Nerd Moment', "That wall sucks crap at kickboxing."
Just then, Fang walked in. His hair was messier than usual - but still pretty, um... good-looking - and there were heavy bags under his eyes. Iggy shot me the mother of all I told you so, imbecile! looks, which I just ignored. I was far, far too busy, wallowing in my own guilt.
Fang seemed like he was in his own little world, deep in thought as he started to walk past us, totally oblivious to our presence.
I grabbed his arm, jerking him to a halt as he passed us. "Dude, what's wrong?" I asked. I was really worried.
He looked at me, his face showing fleeting surprise, as if he'd just noticed me. "Huh? Oh, yeah. Hi, Max."
"Fang. Seriously. You're worrying me. What's up?" I pressed, still gripping his arm.
He looked at me. "I'm fine, Max. Honest." Fang pulled his arm from my grasp, and I tried to hold on, but I failed miserably. That's when I noticed his other hand, wrapped up in white gauze, and was stained with darkened blood.
I let out a gasp and immediately snatched up his injured hand - gently, of course. "What the fuck did you do, Fang?" I yelled at him, sounding like a worried mother. Except, you know, I doubt mothers let out F-bombs all that frequently.
Fang slowly pulled his hand from mine and shoved it into his hoodie's pocket. "I slammed it in a car door," he said calmly. "You know, I'm super clumsy and all."
"Clumsy my ass, Fang! You're one of the most friggin' graceful people I know!" I said, shoving his chest a little. Iggy snorted, and we both ignored him.
"I slammed it in a car door!"
"Yeah, and I'm the Queen of Sheba!" I shouted. "Get real, Fang! We both know that's bullshit! Now, what the hell happened?"
"Nothing! It was just an accident. OK? Just chill, will you?" he spat, but his voice never raised once. I hated it when people did that; you have a little yelling fit, scream your heart out at someone, and they stand there and be all calm and collected, making you look like a total dick.
I eyed the gaping hole in the wall, and then my gaze flickered back to Fang's injured hand. "Fang, let me see your hand," I said, dangerously quiet. He didn't make a move, just pursing his lips and narrowing his gaze slightly.
I grabbed his wrist, trying to be gentle, and pulled Fang to the wall where the hole was. When we reached it, I brought his hand up, folded it into a fist, and then held it up to the hole.
This was bad. Bad bad bad.
I bit my lip, looking up at him. He held my eyes impassively. Slowly, I released his hand. In a flash, I was wrapping him in a tight hug. Fang tensed, but then circled his arms around my waist. I rested my head against his shoulder, my breath tickling his neck. His arms were like steel around me, and I loved it.
"Fang," I whispered in his ear, "Why did you punch the wall?"
He shrugged and his hands dropped from where they were pressed against my waist.
I reached up, none-too-gently, and grabbed his face with both hands. I looked at him seriously and said, "You know you can talk to me about anything, alright?"
Fang looked at me, considering my words, and then slowly nodded his head. "Yeah. I know."
I was about to ask him what was up, for real, when the bell rang, signaling us to take out seats and get ready for class. I gave him one last look before I sighed and took my seat.
Suddenly, I wasn't too sure about this prank, and felt an overwhelming amount of guilt settle in over me.
Maybe Iggy was right, after all.