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Theseus High

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7:50 

 

School’s only in 10 minutes, I’ve got some time… 

 

Max thought to herself, as she pressed her mental snooze button and tried to sleep. But something irked her, she just couldn’t point it out.

 

Wait, ten minutes? 

 

“Shit” 

 

[Your Graduation-Modern Baseball plays]

 

She quickly jumped out of bed, and rushed to her closet. She really didn’t have time to shower anymore, so she quickly got a few random clothes and put them on before grabbing her, luckily already packed backpack, and running down the stairs, getting to the kitchen quickly. She hastily grabbed a croissant, before heading out the door. 

 

“Bye mom and dad!” She shouted, before jumping on her bike. “First day of 11th grade, completely new class, and you almost come late, great first impression Max!” She mumbled to herself, as she made her way to school, eating her croissant on the way there. 

 

Eventually she made her way to school, parking her bike hastily, before running to class. Theseus High, she’d been here for years now and she still didn’t understand why they decided to name their school after the greek myth of Theseus. 

 

Luckily she knew her first class was Mathematics, which wasn’t her favorite subject, and neither was it her best, but she couldn’t really complain. She ran to her classroom, and when she got there, she was breathing heavily, like she had just ran a marathon. She walked into the classroom, but wasn’t paying attention and accidentally bumped into-

 

“Watch it Caulfield!” Victoria Chase, one of the most popular girls in the entire school, and someone Max had in her class most of the previous school years. She hadn’t even looked up from her phone as she said it, probably because she didn’t have any friends in this class, not like it would be long till that would change. Max just sighed, before walking to the back of the class, and sitting down on her own. 

 

She didn’t know anyone in this class, except for Victoria, who she herself didn’t have any bad feelings towards specifically, well she would like to say that, but she couldn't help but feel an amount of contempt for the biggest bitch in the school. No offense. While Victoria was one of the most popular girls in the whole school, and wasn’t very fond of Max it seemed, she was also one of the smartest and most hardworking, and Max did admire her for that. She sighed, before grabbing her books and accepting that she would probably be sitting alone for the first few days. 

 

Or as it seemed, apparently not.

 

“Hey is this seat taken?” A voice asked, which made her look up, only to see a red headed boy standing there, wearing all green. He had a peculiar haircut, but other than that didn’t seem strange or anything. She just nodded at his request, after which he sat down next to her. “My name is Noriaki, I’m new to this school” 

 

“That’s a pretty cool name, is that japanese?” She asked, she didn’t know a lot about Japan except from the anime she watched, but it sounded japanese enough. 

 

“Yeah, my parents are japanese, but I was born here in America” He replied as he grabbed his books, and straightened his back, a small smile on his face, in contrast with Max who was slumped over her table, and a bored expression. It wasn’t like she hated school or anything, but Math just wasn’t her favorite subject. 

 

“Okay class is starting, quiet now” The teacher suddenly said, Max not having even noticed their teacher was present. The class slowly quieted down, as the teacher walked to the front of the class and wrote his name on the board. 

 

Mr. Scientia 

 

“My name is Ignis Scientia, I’ll be your Math teacher this year, please just call me Mr. Scientia, using my first name is gonna get you kicked out of class” He explained, everyone in the class laughing at it, Mr. Scientia seemingly not so amused. Eventually, everyone went quiet and Mr. Scientia continued. “So I figured, as this is your first class today, I’m not gonna bore you with all the shit we’re having this year, so let’s have a little introduction” 

 

Fuck. Max thought to herself, she really didn’t like introducing herself, and would much rather just get on with the lesson, but saying anything would only embarrass her more, so she just stayed stayed quiet. 

 

“How it’s gonna work, is everyone’s gonna say their name, and say a little bit about themselves” He explained, as Max buried her face in her books. “Let’s get started, we’re gonna start here at the front and work our way to the back” 

 

Victoria got up off her chair, and walked to the front of the class, being one of the people sitting in the front she was first. 

 

“My name is Victoria Chase, I’m 17 years old, and I’m an aspiring photographer” 

 

She’s into photography? Max thought to herself. I… actually didn’t know that. 

 

… 

 

“My name is Bubba Gumball, I’m 17, and I have a passion for the sciences” 

 

“Oh that’s refreshing, you’re not one of those kids who puts ‘listening to music’ as one of their hobbies”  Mr. Scientia added.

 

… 

 

“My name is Miles Edgeworth, 16, and I’m not really one for introduction” 

 

“Are you-”

 

“Yes I’m sure Mr. Scientia, now may I sit again?” 

 

… 

 

“I’m Noctis Lucis Caelum , 17” 

 

“No hobbies?”

 

“I like fishing… ” 

 

… 

 

“Jotaro Kujo, 17” 

 

“Is that-”



“That’s all” 

 

… 

 

“I’m Yuuri Katsuki, I’m 16 years old, and I uh… I skate, ice skate... “

 

“Hm, like they do at the Olympics?”

 

“No uh… figure skating” 

 

… 

 

“I’m Marshall Lee, 17, and I’m a musician”

 

“Oh, what kind of music?”



“Metalcore kinda stuff ya know, like Adept, Underoath and blessthefall” 

 

“I’m Phoenix Wright, but you guys can just call me Nick! I’m 16, and I believe in justice!”



“You believe in… justice?”



“I… I wanna be a defense attorney… “

 

… 

 

“I’m Prompto Argentum, 16, and I’m also into photography!”

 

“Yes we can see that from the camera slung around your neck” 

 

“Ignis… ” He murmured. 

 

… 

 

“My name is Viktor Nikiforov, I’m 17, and I’m also a figure skater.”

 

“Like Yuri?”



“Yeah kinda, I guess”

 

… 

 

“My name is Noriaki Kakyoin, I’m 16, and I’m an artist!”



“You do know art is a broad te-”

 

“I draw, I mean I draw and paint.”

 

… 

 

And now it’s my turn. Max thought to herself, as she slowly got off her chair. Noriaki, who was walking back to his seat threw her an encouraging smile, as she made her way to the front of the class. No stress, what’s the worst that can happen? You give off a bad first impression that’s gonna stop you from making any friends this year except that Noriaki kid? No biggie!

 

Suddenly she awoke from her thoughts, a loud snap of the fingers being that thing that did it.

 

“Come on Miss Caulfield, we don’t have all day”



“Sorry! I was just-”



“Just introduce yourself please”

 

“Yes uhh… I’m Max Caulfield, I’m 17 years old, and I’m also into photography”

 

“The third one today, any other hobbies?” 

 

“Oh uh-” 

 

And at that moment, the bell rang.

 

“Okay, that’s a wrap, next class we’re starting with the actual curriculum, everyone who forgot to bring their books was lucky this time, but if you don’t have them next class you’re out” Mr. Scientia told the class, before they left the classroom.

 

“Nice one Max!” Victoria said teasingly, before she left the classroom, Bubba and Edgeworth walking with her. Seemed like she had found her friend group already.

 

The rest of the classes went pretty normal, nothing out of the ordinary, Max would sit next to Noriaki for most of them. 

 

And then lunch happened. 

 

Come on Chloe where are you? Max asked herself, as she walked through the cafeteria, her lunch in her hands. I swear if you’re smoking behind the school right now. She walked through the entire cafeteria, but couldn’t find her. That’s when she heard Noriaki’s voice. 

 

“Max! Come sit with us!” She turned her head to see Noriaki sitting at a table with a few other kids from her class. She weighed her options, not that she had a lot, and decided to sit with the group. She recognized all the guys in the group, Marshall sitting on the edge of the table listening to music with his headphones on. Next to Max was Kakyoin, who was somehow enjoying the food. In front of them were sitting Yuri, who was mostly looking at his phone instead of eating, and Prompto who was also eating, his camera slung around his neck. 

 

“Hey guys” She said as quick greeting, getting a small hey back or a wave from most of the group, except Marshall who didn’t hear it. “Thought you were new to this school Noriaki, when’d you make these friends?” 

 

“I don’t know, these guys didn’t have anyone else to sit with so I invited them to come sit with me” He replied.

 

“Noriaki, you basically forced me to sit with you” Yuri replied, looking up from his phone.

 

“It wasn’t like you had anyone else to sit with!” 

 

“I was gonna eat lunch with Phichit and Yuuko!” Yuuri said, prompting a laugh from Prompto and Max. After a while they quieted down again, and went back to eating.

 

“Hey, it’s Max right?” Prompto asked, as he took another bite of his food.

 

“Yeah, and you’re… “

 

“Prompto! I just wanna say, it’s cool to meet another person who’s into photography!”

 

“Oh yeah, I forgot about that. Yeah it is pretty nice, I only know one other person who’s also into photography” 

 

“Is it that Victoria girl? I don’t wanna be rude, but she seems kind of bitchy” 

 

Max chuckled at his attempt of staying nice. 

 

“Yeah I’ve ‘known’ her for years now. She can be really condescending to people who she thinks are below her, but I don’t really know her that well besides that. She likes to tease me though, well more insult me whenever I fuck up, which is pretty often for me.”

 

“Well that explains why she immediately paired up with Gumball and Edgeworth, the three of them are definitely some of the smartest people in our class, arguably the whole school.”

 

“I can’t disagree with that” 

 

Suddenly, Kakyoin chimed in from beside her. 

 

“Hey, what’d you say about this Victoria teasing you?” 

 

“Oh, well ever since we’ve known each other, she would call me names when I did something stupid, it almost seems like she has some kind of grudge against me”

 

“Or maybe she means something else with it”

 

“What are you trying to say?” 

 

“Well you know how boys in elementary school tease girls-”

 

“Nope, no, nada, never!”



“Oh come on!”

 

“Nope, look Noriaki we just met, you don’t have enough friendship clearance to make accusations like that!” 

 

“Okay okay fine, but don’t get mad at me when it turns out to be true!”

 

… 

 

The rest of lunch went pretty normal, she talked some more with what seemed to be her new friend group, but she was curious as hell as to what Chloe was doing the whole lunch period. Maybe she had found some new friends as well, hopefully she’d meet them soon, but with what kind of friends Chloe would probably make, that would probably not be the best idea.

 

After lunch she had History class, Economics, and lastly Art class. Kakyoin seemed pretty excited for Art class, which made sense, he was an artist. And while composition and some other stuff in Art classes could apply to photography, it wasn’t really her thing per say. She actually liked Physics more. 

 

Most of the class went pretty normally, no awkward forced introduction, and their Art teacher Mrs. Joestar, she preferred Lisa Lisa, who was actually pretty chill. 

 

That was until the end of class.

 

“Okay class, so I know your first day is almost over, but I’m more than sure you’ve not done any real work yet today, and will not for at least this first week” She said, as she took a piece of A4 paper off her desk, and looked down at it. “So I’ll be giving you an assignment, the instructions are on a paper you’ll find next to the door. It’s nothing big, just a small assignment to prime yourself for Art classes this year, you won’t be graded for it” 

 

That didn’t sound too bad, it’s better than the loads of homework we’re bound to get later this year. She thought to herself.

 

“On top of that, you’ll be paired up in groups of two. I’ve taken the liberty of dividing these groups, you can’t change groups, I want everyone in this class to be able to work together if necessary, so no whining” 

 

Fuck, a group project. It’s always either I get with someone who does nothing I do all the work, or I get with someone I can’t work together with. I just hope I get with someone at least a bit hard working. 

 

“Okay, so the groups are: Yuuri and Noriaki, Noctis and Prompto, Bubba and Miles, Jotaro and Viktor, Marshall and Nick, and-”

 

Oh no. I’m… 

 

… paired with Victoria Chase. 

 

Fuck. Fuck Fuck Fuck Fuck.

 

Max heard a faint snicker next to her, and when she turned her head she saw Noriaki, with a pleased smile on his face.

 

“The assignment is due for next Wednesday, that’s in 2 days! If you don’t have it by then, you’re out. Class dismissed” And at that moment, the bell rang and everyone got up, and walked towards their group member, probably discussing what they were going to do for the assignment. Max hoped she could just ignore Victoria, maybe talk with her over text about the assignment, so she quickly head towards the door, grabbing a paper off the desk before heading out, before hearing a voice behind her. 

 

“Hold it Caulfield!” Max stopped dead in her tracks, before turning around to face Victoria. Except, Victoria wasn’t facing her, she was kind of looking off to the side, a hint of frustration on her face rather than the venomous expression that was usually there when talking to Max. “Tomorrow. My house. After school. Capiche?”

 

“Oh uh-”

 

“I said, Capiche?”

 

“Yeah, that’s… that’s fine, see you tomorrow then!” She said, before turning on her heel and walking straight for the exit. She quickly grabbed her phone, and texted Chloe.


 

Maxine Vaccine: Chloe you better meet me at the front gate of school right now

 

The Price Is Right: Yo Max chill out, what’s going on?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Look I’m hella stressed, just be there okay?

 

The Price Is Right: Yeah sure, see ya.


 

She sighed, before putting her phone back in her pocket and walking towards the front entrance of the school. She stood outside for what seemed like 10 minutes, while in reality it was closer to 3. Eventually Chloe got there, with what seemed like two other friends walking behind her. She chucked her half smoked cigarette into the drainage pipe, before walking to Max. 

 

“What’s hanging Max?” 

 

“New friends?”



“Yeah, met them behind the school while I was smoking. Undyne and Jotaro, they’re hella chill!” She said, as she pointed to the two people behind her. One was a girl, just a bit taller than Chloe, with hair brightly red. She wasn't even sure if it was natural or not. The other one towered above every single one of them, he was wearing a large black jacket, two belts for some reason, and a hat that almost seemed to be part of his hair. Chloe sure picked some of the weirdest, but okay.

 

“Please tell me you at least went to one class today” 



“Oh come on! I didn’t skip any classes today!”

 

“Really?”

 

“Really!”

 

“Sure, anyway I wanted to talk about something”



“Yeah, you said you were stressed, what’s goin’ on?” 

 

“Well we got this assignment for Art class, and it’s a group assignment-”



“No way, you’re paired with-”

 

“Victoria fucking Chase”

 

“I pity the fool named Max Caulfield! You are so fucked!”

 

“Hey, maybe she isn’t that bad?”



“I don’t know man, are you really gonna get a lot of work done when she’s gonna crack you down for every word you write?” 

 

Max laughed at the statement, before replying. “I just hope she can be chill enough to at least get some work done” 

 

Chapter Text

Buzz buzz… 

 

Buzz buzz… 

 

Buzz buzz buzz… 

 

Max slowly opened her eyes, to see she woke up from the buzz of her phone going off. She took her phone off her night table, to see that the time was 6:30. “Ughhhhhhh!” She buried her head in her pillow. No way I’m getting back to sleep now, better check what woke me up. She checked her phone again, to see she had been woken up by text messages, from Victoria.


VictoriousAndGenius: Maxine, I just wanna make sure you haven’t forgotten about today?



VictoriousAndGenius: Maxine please reply, if you want to at least try to work together.

 

VictoriousAndGenius: I swear, if I find out you’re ignoring me you’re dead.


Max sighed as she got into a sitting position, leaning her back against the wall next to her bed. To be honest, she was actually kind of amused by Victoria’s texts, more than she was annoyed at least. 


Maxine Vaccine: Heya, I haven’t forgotten don’t worry

 

VictoriousAndGenius: Good. Why did it take you so long to answer?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Because I was sleeping

 

VictoriousAndGenius: Seriously? 

 

Maxine Vaccine: It’s fucking 6:30

 

VictoriousAndGenius: I only woke up at like 6 anyway. Just don’t forget okay, bye. 

 

Maxine Vaccine: Bye?


I’m really getting some weird vibes from her. Max thought to herself, as she got out of bed. She put together some clothes, before getting under the shower, actually having time to do that now that she woke up early. 

 

After she was done in the shower, she walked down the stairs, into the kitchen. She quickly made a small breakfast for herself, before sitting down at the dining table. Then she heard footsteps coming down the stairs, presumably her mother as she started eating. 

 

“You’re awake already?” She asked Max, who was busy eating. 

 

“Yeah, early right?”



“You have plans this early or something?”

 

“No, someone texted me and I woke up. You know how I am with going back to sleep so early”

 

“Who was it, Chloe?”

 

“This early?”

 

“Touché. Then who?”

 

“You don’t know her”

 

“Just tell me her name then!”

 

“It’s not that important! We’ve just a group assignment together and she wanted to check if I hadn’t forgotten!”

 

“Okay fine, be all secretive then” Her mom said, as she walked to the kitchen. 

 

Eventually, when Max was done with her breakfast, she checked her phone to see it was 7:30. She grabbed her school bag, before saying bye to her parents and heading out the door. She got on her bike, and drove to school. 

 

Most of the day went by pretty normally, she sat next to Prompto for a few classes, and they actually discussed their photography during lunch a bit.

 

And then school ended. Max was waiting outside the school gates for Victoria to approach her, whatever her plan was. Then Max’s phone buzzed.

 


TheRedHeadedArtist: Excited for your date with Victoria Chase?

 

Maxine Vaccine: It’s not a date, we’re working on our assignment. You’re not going on a date with Yuuri either right? 

 

TheRedHeadedArtist: Yeah, but we’re doing it over Discord

 

Maxine Vaccine: Just shut up, okay?

 

TheRedHeadedArtist: Okay fiiiiine, see ya tomorrow Max


She was just about to put away her phone, when she heard a car honk. She turned her head to see an expensive sports car, Victoria in the driver's seat. Max walked up to the car, wide eyed, as she opened the passenger’s side door.

 

“Is this your car?”

“No I stole it, of course it’s my car. Just get in Caulfield” Max sighed as she got into the car, sitting down comfortably in the passenger’s seat. Not only was it a beautiful car, it was also hella comfy. I could get used to this. Victoria started the car, and drove towards her house. “I assume you read the assignment”

 

“Yeah I did, but why are you stressing so much about it? It isn’t even for a real grade”

 

“I don’t care if it’s for a real grade, I… wanna make sure that if we get forced together again I can at least count on getting a decent fucking grade, capiche?”

 

“Okay, sure” 

 

After a while they had reached the house, well house, it almost looked like a mansion to Max. Victoria stepped out of the car first, Max stepping out after. The house wasn’t actually as big as a mansion, she’d probably describe closer to a villa, but still Max was stunned. 

 

“Gonna stand there all day Caulfield?” Max snapped out of her trance, and followed Victoria into the house. Once they got in, Max noticed that it really quiet in her house. 

 

“Aren’t your parents home?” Max asked as she followed Victoria up the stairs, presumably to her room.

 

“No, they’re… they’re not home” She said, opening the door to her room. There was a large queen sized bed in the center of the room, a desk to the right of it with a chair seated in front of it. The wallpaper in her room was white, with golden decorations, like she was some kind of royalty, which she probably saw herself as. “Did you bring your laptop?” 

 

“Yeah, I’ll grab it” Max replied, as she took her laptop out of her bag, and sat down in the chair that was seated at the desk, turning to Victoria, who was sitting on her bed, laptop on her lap. 

 

“So, you have an idea for a subject?”

 

“Subject?”



“You did read the assignment, right?”

 

“That was yesterday, and I uh… I skimmed through it!”



“This is unbelievable!”

 

“Sorry! I thought you would just tell me because you didn’t trust that I actually did it!”

 

“Is that such an outrageous thought?”

 

“Well… no” 

 

Victoria’s expression turned irritated, and she looked away from Max. It turned silent for a while, as Victoria was just typing on her keyboard.

 

“So… you wanna explain it to me?”



“I shared the Google doc with you, open it” 

 

Max opened her Google Drive, and went to ‘shared with me’, opening up the document Victoria had shared with her, containing… nothing.

 

“There’s nothing in here”



“I… know that Maxine, I'm not an idiot. We just need to come up with a subject first”



“What’s the assignment?”



“I-We need to pick a piece of art, and make a 1500 word essay about the different aspects of it, and why we enjoy it so much”

 

“1500 words!?! And a piece of art, like a painting or something?”

 

“Luckily, Mrs. Joestar is very lenient with the definition of Art. So we can pick whatever the fuck we want, like-”



“A photograph?” Max said, before covering her mouth. Did I seriously just interrupt the Queen of Theseus High? Oh fuck oh fuck oh fuck oh-

 

“That’s… a good idea, I mean, apparently we both like Photography, so it’s something we’re both passionate about.”



Did the Queen of Theseus High seriously just agree with me? “Yeah duh, we just need to pick one, a real good one!” 

 

So they searched, and searched for the perfect photograph. And then they found it. 

 

They started writing about it, the different aspects that go into photography, the meaning behind the photograph, and why they enjoyed it so much. After a while Max took her hands off the keyboard, as Victoria just kept typing. 

 

“Hey come on, why the hell you stop typing?”

 

“My fingers are tiiiiiiired!” Max said, as she closed her laptop and slumped down over it, prompting a light chuckle from Victoria. Did something I say seriously just make Victoria laugh? Today is really weird. Max raised her head, to see Victoria’s face. The only time she would look at Victoria’s face otherwise would be when she was barking her out, but now, with this light smile on her face, she looked so much softer, so much more approachable than usual. She’s actually kind of c- Max no! Ew, nope. That’s stupi-

 

“What are you looking at?” 

 

“Your face?” Max quickly covered her mouth, as Victoria just sat there, mouth gaped, her cheeks flushed as she buried her face back into her work. Max just stayed silent, as she opened her laptop back up. After a while of working in silence, they finished, and Max packed up. She stood up, before noticing that her parents still weren’t home.

 

“Let’s go Caulfield” Victoria said, as she put on her shoes and a thin jacket. 

 

“Oh yeah, you have to drive me to school to get my bike, I almost forgot” Max replied with a small chuckle. They walked to the front door, before Max opened her mouth again. “Hey uhm… I noticed that your parents still aren’t home, and like, it’s pretty late. You think you’ll be fine on your own?” 

 

Victoria opened the door, before grabbing a pack of cigarettes out of her jacket and walking to the car, facing away from Max. “I’ll be fine, chill the fuck out Caulfield” She said, as she got into the driver’s seat and opened up the roof. She lit up a cigarette, as Max got into the passenger’s seat, and Victoria started driving towards school. As Victoria was driving, Max would occasionally look at her face, and right now, in this moment of peace and quiet, it was almost as if she was someone she’d never seen before. Her facial features were so much softer, she didn’t look as outwardly angry like she always did when talking to Max. The soft lighting of just her cigarette lighting up her face almost like a professional shot.

 

Normally when I’m around Victoria I feel more, stressed, or irritated by her behavior. But tonight she seemed way more friendly than usual, like she didn’t want to-

 

Her train of thought was abruptly cut off by Victoria’s voice. 

 

“Hey Caulfield, wake the fuck up” Victoria barked. Okay maybe friendly wasn’t the right word to use. Max got out of the car, but before she could walk to her bike and grab it, she heard Victoria’s voice again. “Hey uhh, I’m heading out now. Text me if you get home safely, I… don’t wanna be blamed if anything happens to you” 

 

And before Max could reply, Victoria drove off into the night. Max got on her bike, and started driving back home. 

 

Tonight really gave me a new look on Victoria. She always seemed like she hated me for no apparent reason, she really showed a new side of her, well tried to. But when I looked at her face, when she wasn’t irrationally angry at me. And, to be honest, it was actually almost fun to hang with her. Almost. And when she started blushing, she was actually kind cute.

 

Did I just say she was cute?



Well she was kind of cute? 

 

Or pretty cute.

 

Very cute.

 

And then Max realised. 

 

Oh fuck. 

 

I think I have a crush on Victoria Chase.

 

Chapter Text

“You have a crush, on the hottest guy in the entire school?” Kakyoin asked Yuuri, as he was eating a sandwich.

 

“He’s not the hottest guy in the whole school, and I haven’t even said I had a crush on him!”

 

“Have you even seen Viktor, this is a joke right?” 

 

“What are we talking about?” Max asked, as she sat down next to Noriaki, Yuuri and Prompto opposite them.

 

“Yuuri has a crush on Viktor Nikiforov”  

 

“I haven’t even said that yet!” 

 

“He did say that” Prompto chimed in, taking a small pause from checking the pictures on his camera. Yuuri was about to retort, but Max motioned him to stop.

 

“Wait wait wait, can you please explain what happened?” Max asked, still confused.

 

“Well, it happened last weekend, Saturday or Sunday, I don’t remember” 

 

“So yesterday?”



“Shut up he’s telling a story” 

 

… 

 

It was uhm, 2:30 PM I think? I was practicing at the nearby ice rin-

 

… 

 

“We have an ice rink that’s close to the school?” Prompto asked.



“Shut up!”
The rest of the group said, including Marshall who was also listening now.

 

… 

 

So I was practicing at the ice rink….

 

“Ice skates on, Bracelets off, I’m all set” Yuuri was practicing a routine he had seen on TV and had been practicing for a few weeks, and seeing as he had no upcoming competitions, he was free to do so, more so for fun and to stay in shape than for anything else. It went pretty well, most of the jumps going pretty sloppily, however his footwork was almost impeccable. Then it came down to the hardest jump in the whole routine, if he did this he would have mastered the whole thing.

 

And of course I fucked it up.

 

It was a triple salchow, something he always had trouble with, and once he had gotten past the second spin, he knew he was in for pain. He hit the ground way faster than he wanted to, and slammed into the wall on the side of the rink. He got into a sitting position, looking down at the ground as he rubbed his face. When he looked at his hands, he saw blood, meaning he probably had a nosebleed.

 

And then I heard a voice.

 

“Hey you alright?” Yuuri looked up, to see Viktor Nikiforov. Yuuri could feel his cheeks get red, and he quickly stared back down at the ground, trying to hide that from him.

 

“Yea-Yeah I’m fine!” 

 

“No you’re not” Viktor replied, as he crouched down, grabbing him lightly under the chin and pushing his head up to look at his face. “It’s only a nose bleed, you’re lucky you don’t have any other injuries, you took a big fall there”

 

“Yeah I uh… I guess I did” Yuuri replied, a nervous laugh accompanying his reply.

 

“Let’s get you cleaned up in the bathroom” He said, grabbing Yuuri by the arm and pulling him to his feet swiftly.

 

“No no no, I’m fine!” Yuuri pleaded, Viktor ignoring him and dragging him to the bathroom by his arm. Yuuri tried to struggle as much as he could, but Viktor somehow was stronger. 

 

Eventually they got to the bathroom, and Viktor let his arm go to get toilet paper for his nose bleed, which Yuuri had been blocking with his hand up till now. Viktor helped him clean up his nose, and when the nose bleed had fully stopped, he washed his hands next to Yuuri.

 

“Hey, before you slammed into that wall, I saw the routine you were doing, Adam Ribbon right?”



“Yea-yeah, I saw his routine from last year, and thought it looked cool-”

 

“Yeah, your footwork was pretty good, but those jumps could use some improvement”



“I uh… I know, I-”



“I could help you if you want?”

 

“Oh, that would be… fantastic!” Yuuri replied, nervously scratching the back of his head.

 

“Great, let’s get started” 

 

“Wait right now!?”

 

… 

 

“So he helped me with the routine for the rest of the day, and we exchanged numbers so I could call him if I ever wanted more training. He’s really hot, and I think I have a crush on him please help me I’m scared and confused” 

 

“You are such a dork, you know that Yuuri?” Max said, as she chuckled. ”Just ask him out, he obviousl-”

“Tut tut tut! I’ll help you out!” Kakyoin interjected, Max rolling her eyes at him. “You can’t just ‘ask him out’, you need to know if he likes you back. I have a plan that might work!” He continued, wagging his finger disapprovingly. 

 

“No no no Noriaki, I’m not going along with your stupid plan!” 

 

Later… 

 

“So tell me the plan again?” 

 

“Well, we need to know if he’s into you! So I’m gonna go talk to him, friendly as can be, and when we go around this corner, you ‘accidentally’ bump into him!” 

 

“And then?”



“We’ll see what happens!” 

 

“Wait Noriaki!” But he had already left around the corner, and Yuuri just stood there, waiting for the plan to go into action. How did I let him rope me into this? I’m an idiot, this is stupid! Suddenly, he heard Noriaki and Viktor’s voice get closer, they were talking about…donuts? 

 

“That’s why chocolate sprinkles should be declared illegal, or at least limited to small doses!” 

 

Is that really my cue? Fine. Yuuri started walking, and after walking only a small distance, instead of bumping into him lightly, he full on slammed into him like a crash test dummy.

 

“Oh Viktor! I’m uh… I’m sorry, I uhhhhh…..” Yuuri said, scrambling for an excuse as he scratched the back of his head nervously..

 

“It’s fine, Yuuri right?” He asked, a kind smile on his face that made Yuuri blush.

 

“Ha, yea-yeah! And you’re Viktor!” He said, with a nervous laugh, sounding way to excited. 

 

“Yeah, that’s my name ...I uh, gotta go, sorry” Viktor said, patting him on the shoulder before walking away. 

 

“Pff yeah, I uh have, stuff to do as well!” He said, keeping up this ‘confident’ facade, until Viktor was out of sight, but not out of mind.

 

And then Noriaki bursted into laughter, before recovering and putting a hand on Yuuri’s shoulder. “Were you always a professional human wreck?” 

 

“I don’t remember you being such a dick over discord”

 

“I’m just kidding dude, it worked!” 

 

“What do you mean it worked?! I fucked it!” 

 

“Dude, isn’t it obvious, he’s so into you” 

 

“You’re bullshitting me, right?” 

 

“Fine, if you don’t believe, let’s run down my back up plan!” 

 

“I hate you” 

 

… 

 

“Why do you have a rope with you to school?” 

 

“Exactly for situations like this!” Noriaki answered, as he was spanning a thin wire, looking like fishing line across the ground, approximately. 

 

“You’re a conceited bastard Noriaki” 

 

“I’m clever, there’s a difference” He replied, stretching his back as he was done. “So he’s gonna trip over this wire, drop his books, and you’re gonna help him gather them”

 

“How do you even plan for his books to drop, they’re probably in his bag, this isn’t some high school movi-”

 

“I zipped open his backpack while he wasn’t looking!” Noriaki said, before walking in to the bathroom. “Do your best killer!” He continued, before closing the door. 

 

Yuuri just sighed as he leaned against the locker he was stood in front of. He saw Viktor in the corner of his eye, and tried to stay calm by checking his phone. Eventually Viktor walked over the fishing wire, and tripped onto the ground, all his books falling out of his bag, onto the floor. Yuuri acted as surprised as he could, before strutting towards him and helping him up. 

 

“This almost feels like last Saturday, but with the roles reversed” Viktor says jokingly, as he started picking up his book, Yuuri helping him, as best as he could at least. 

 

So I guess it was Saturday, not Sunday.

 

“Huh, yeah that’s kinda funny” Yuuri replied, a laugh almost 50% nervous, and 50% genuine.

 

“I’ve seen you a lot today though, you always walk this route between classes?” They just finished a class they had together, but their next class wasn’t together.

 

“Pfff, yeah of course! I just… my classes let me leave a bit earlier today!” 

 

“Oh okay, I guess that explains it. Hey I gotta get to my next class, see you later Yuuri!” He said, waving at him as he walked away. Yuuri shyly waved back, and when he had disappeared around a corner, Noriaki immediately burst out the bathroom door.

 

“It smells like shit in there, why do we always have the worst bathrooms” He said, before approaching Yuuri. “Anyway, he’s so into you” 

 

“I don’t know where you’re getting that impression from, he seemed more like he was getting annoyed by me today. I get that to be honest…” 

 

“Okay Yuuri don’t talk yourself down like that” He said, patting him on the back as he stood beside him. “He said ‘see you later!’ that means he’s gonna ask you out!” 

 

“That is such bullshit, Noriaki I’m just gonna tell him how I-” 

 

Noriaki stopped him, a hand on his shoulder.

 

“Come ooon! He’s gonna ask you out before you get home, and if I’m wrong, you get ten bucks!”

 

“...deal?”

 

“Deal!” 

 

… 

 

Yuuri was waiting for Noriaki, who had to take the toilet at the last moment, mostly just to stretch time for his bet, but Yuuri knew it was a false hope. He said goodbye to Max, who said she was going over to Victoria’s house, she said that they were just studying, but not to tell Noriaki, which Yuuri understood. He saw her leave, as he checked his phone. Noria, if you don;t get here in five minutes I’m taking the bus without you.

 

Then as he was about to put his phone back in his pocket, he received a text.

 

It was Viktor.


VikiNiki: Hey, this is Yuuri right?

 

Cold As Ice: yeah?

 

Did Viktor seriously just text me? Did I seriously just answer with just a yeah?!?

 

VikiNiki: So I was wondering, you wanna go catch a drink tomorrow?

 

VikiNiki: If you don’t have anything to do of course ^_^

 

Cold As Ice: oh I don’t know.

 

Cold As Ice:  i do have a pretty tight schedule, but i could check if I have time. 

 

Katsuki you absolute idiot are you playing hard to get right now!?

 

VikiNiki: Oh okay, text me when you know!

 

Cold As Ice: whoops, i think i actually do have time tomorrow, sorry! what time you wanna go?


“Did I tell you or did I tell you?” Noriaki asked, Yuuri jumping at the sudden voice talking in his ear. 

 

“I fucking hate you Noria, fine you win”

 

“That’s ten bucks!”



“Wait wait, I never agreed to that!”

Chapter Text

“Okay Yuuri, don’t freak, you’re gonna do great! It isn’t even a date! You’re just, getting a drink as friends!” He said to himself, as he was looking in the mirror. He was wearing black skinny jeans, a white dress shirt with a black bow tie, and a navy blue blazer. “Is this too fancy or not fancy enough? Ugh decisions… what to do… I’ll ask Max!” 


Cold As Ice: heyyyyy Max

 

Maxine Vaccine: Heyy Yuuri, what’s up?

Cold As Ice: well, i’m getting a drink with Viktor in an hour

 

Maxine Vaccine: No way, Noriaki actually got you that date?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Dang I did not expect that

 

Maxine Vaccine: Like you’re not ugly, but jesus I’m impressed

 

Cold As Ice: ANYWAY

 

Maxine Vaccine: Oh yes of course go on

 

Cold As Ice: i’m not sure if i’m dressing too fancy, or not fancy enough

 

Cold As Ice: so i wanna ask if you could judge that for me

 

She’s… really taking her time with answering. 

 

Maxine Vaccine: I think Maxine will be fine with judging your outfit, I’ll help her with making that judgement as well however, I don’t trust her judgement on fashion.

 

Cold As Ice: why are you talking in the third person?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Oh Maxine is on the toilet, this is Victoria, we’re studying together at my place.

 

Cold As Ice: oh okay then

 

Cold As Ice: well i’ll just send a pic of my outfit, please show her when she gets back.

 

Cold As Ice: [skrrrrt_fancy_pants.JPG]


He put his phone in his pocket, before trying on his outfit without the bow tie. “But this just looks too bland, maybe loose tie?” He said, as he loosened his tie, and unbuttoned his top button. “Okay now I look like I just had a one night stand” He said, sighing before his phone buzzed.


Maxine Vaccine: Hey this is Max again, sorry for that, Victoria took my phone while I was peeing

 

Cold As Ice: yeah i noticed, are you really at her house?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Yeah, we’re studying for that Math test next friday

 

Cold As Ice: we have a math test next friday?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Yeah, you forgot? I mean we’re like 6 weeks into the year so I get it

 

Maxine Vaccine: Anyway, you look like you’re going to a wedding or a board room meeting. I’d say, ditch the blazer, Victoria says ditch the whole outfit, or at least the bow tie.

 

Cold As Ice: oh okay, so no blazer and no bow tie, got it

 

Cold As Ice: thxxxx

 

Maxine Vaccine: It’s all gucci


He sighed, before taking off the blazer and bow tie like Max had told him, and buttoned his shirt back up. He walked away from the mirror, grabbing his house keys before saying bye to his parents. He walked out the door, and made his way to the bus stop. 

 

After a while he had reached the place, Black Cat Coffee Shop, he hadn’t ever been here before, at least not that he knew. He walked through the door, and sat down on a seat next to the window. He waited for Viktor to arrive, his right leg restless as he checked his phone almost thrice a minute. 

 

Why is everyone keeping me waiting today? Are they just trying to stress me out?

 

He thought to himself, sighing as he collapsed back into his chair. And then he heard Viktor’s voice.

 

“You comfortable there?” He asked, Yuuri quickly sitting back up.

 

“Ahhhh, sorry I didn’t know when you’d get here!” 

 

“It’s fine! Don’t worry” He said, sitting down opposite of him, chuckling at his reaction. “I guess I am pretty late, sorry for that! My car broke down just as I was leaving”

 

“Oh haha! That’s real bad luck” He said, nervously scratching the back of his head. 

 

“Yeah it happens, you ordered already?”

 

“No I was waiting for you to arrive, I’m pretty thirsty. Not that you took that long, I just haven’t drank a lot today!” 

 

Viktor chuckled lightly at his reaction as he signed a waiter to come to their table. They both ordered a drink, Yuuri ordering an Iced Latte, and Viktor ordering just an ordinary espresso. 

 

“Is the coffee good here?” Yuuri asked, trying his best to be chill. 

 

“Yeah it’s probably the best coffee joint in this part of the city. I always go here on Saturdays, it’s great”

 

“Oh that’s nice, I thought you’d be out partying on the weekends, seeing as you’re like, really popular. And I mean like, really, really popular”



“I mean, I do get invited to a lot of parties, but I’m not really one to go out every weekend. I’ll go every once in a while, but I’m more for the coziness of this small coffee house and others like it” 

 

Yuuri chuckled, not expecting the answer he gave him. I guess he’s actually pretty down to earth, I thought he’d be more, ya know? “I don’t go to a lot of parties either, not that I get invited to them a lot. Okay that sounded like a whine for pity, but that wasn’t what I was trying to do, I mean, like, ya know?”  He rambled on, not even sure where he was taking the sentence.

 

The smile on Viktor’s face widened, and he laughed at Yuuri’s rambling. “You didn’t sound like that at all, don’t worry!” He said, as the waiter came back to them, bringing them their drinks. They both started drinking, a silence, not necessarily awkward, nor comfortable, just that snug between. After a while, Viktor spoke up again.

 

“I uh, actually wanted to talk to you about something” 

 

Yuuri looked up from the table, his lips wrapped around the straw in his Iced Latte as he nodded for him to continue. 

 

“I’ve never seen you at the rink before, but when I saw you last Saturday, I have to say, I’m impressed! Yes, your jumps were quite sloppy, very sloppy, but your footwork was impeccable!” 

 

Yuuri chuckled, his cheeks flushing with red as his eyes darted back to the table. “You really think so?” 

 

“Yeah! And I feel like, with some training, you could really improve a lot. So I have a proposal.” 

 

Now Yuuri was really listening. He had no idea what this proposal could be, well he did have some idea, but he didn’t believe he was actually gonna say that.

 

“If this is okay with you of course, I would like to become your personal trainer”

 

Okay then, he actually said that.

 

Yuuri almost spat out his drink, as his eyes widened. “Yo-you wanna be my personal trainer?!” 

 

“Yeah! I see so much potential in you, and I would kick myself in the face every day if I let such a beautiful opportunity go” 

 

Is Viktor Nikiforov seriously calling me beautiful?! Okay well not me, but it still has the same impact!

 

“Please, accept me as your personal trainer” 

 

“Ye-yes of course! That would be great!” 

 

Suddenly, Victor hugged Yuuri from across the table. Yuuri was stunned, his cheeks bright red as his arms were pressed against his side by Viktor’s hug. He was trying to talk, but no words were able to make their way out of his mouth. After a few moments, Viktor let go and sat back down in his seat. 

 

“God, I’m so excited, we’ll be working very closely from now on!”

 

“I uhh… that’s great yeah!” He replied, laughing lightly, still stunned by this recent development,

 

“Of course I’m not gonna rush you into practice like I did last time, but I do have something to show you” Viktor said, taking a last sip and finishing his coffee.

 

Something to show me? Okay now I’m curious. “Show me what?”

 

“Finish your drink, and then I’ll show you” He replied, as Yuuri continued sipping his iced latte. After a while he had finished, and Viktor lead him to his car, a snow white muscle car, and Yuuri had no idea what brand. They both got in the car, Viktor in the driver’s seat and Yuuri in the passenger’s seat. Viktor started driving out of the city, Yuuri still having no idea where they were going.

 

We’re in the middle of nowhere. He thought to himself as he stared out the window. Okay so I’m not paranoid or anything, but it’s just the two of us here, no one else. What if he’s gonna kill me?! Okay, calm down Katsuki, he wouldn’t do that, you’re just overthinking, chil-

 

“Hey, you okay?” Yuuri jumped from shock when he heard the voice and felt Viktor’s hand on his shoulder.

 

“I’m… I’m fine, I was just thinking…”

 

“Well, we’re here” He replied, stepping out of the car, Yuuri quickly following after him. They had arrived at a large forest, just outside the city. 

 

“Where… where is here?”


“Come on, I'll show you” Viktor said, walking deeper into the woods as Yuuri followed him. Oh god this is stupid, a guy I barely know is taking me into the woods. He’s gonna murder me, and no one’s gonna find out he did it. I’ve seen enough horror movies to know what’s gonna happen, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck. The woods were getting more and more dense the further they went, until… 

 

“Welcome to Lake Eternity!” They arrived at an open area, surrounded densely by trees. The majority of the area was a large lake, the sun shining down and reflecting beautifully off of it. In the middle was a large rock, probably about 12 feet into if you were to measure from where it sticks out. 

 

Oh yeah, and it was completely frozen over. Yuuri slowly approached the lake, pushing his hand against the ice, to feel it not shifting at all. This was some really thick ice, which wasn’t impossible, it was still winter, but with the heat they’d had the past few days, this almost did feel impossible. 

 

“What is this place?”

 

“Like I said, Lake Eternity. This lake stays frozen over all year around, it’s beautiful!” 

 

Frozen all year? Holy crap that can’t be real. “Is this… is this for real?”

 

“Yeah! I found this place a few years ago, and I’ve been practicing here ever since. The tranquility and beauty of this place, it’s... it's just almost otherworldly” He said, as he sat down at the edge of the lake, Yuuri scooting next to him. “And I’ll be training you here” Viktor continued, turning his head towards Yuuri with a smile. Yuuri looked down at the ground, blushing as he held his legs tightly to his chest.

 

“I’m… really grateful for your offer Viktor. I couldn’t be more excited for skating on this beautiful lake” 

 

“So am I” He replied, as they both sat in a comfortable silence, as the large rock pillar radiated a soft lighting, almost as if it was reflecting the sun’s rays and making them stronger.

 

Guess I did do pretty great… 

 

Chapter Text

Max was laying down on her bed, the PE teacher had called in sick, thus they got to go home early, which was hella chill. She was reading a book she’s been meaning to read for a while now, while listening to music through her bluetooth speakers, she’d been really getting into bedroom pop lately. As she was singing along with the music quietly, the sound was interrupted by the buzz of her phone. She put her book down on her night stand, and grabbed her phone, turning off the music and checking who texted her.


 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: Hey, this is Max rite?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Uhm yeah, who’s this?

 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: This is Marshall, from school

 

Maxine Vaccine: Oooookay then, not that I don’t like you or anything, but how did you get my number?

 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: Noriaki

 

Maxine Vaccine: Of course it’s Noriaki

 

Maxine Vaccine: What is it?

 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: Well, you know that guy in our class, Bubba?

 

Maxine Vaccine: The one that’s always in full pink?

 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: Yeah

 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: He’s my boyfriend, but he’s angry at me, so I wanted to go shopping with him tomorrow, but he doesn’t wanna go with just me, so I’m wondering if you and Victoria could come with us?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Firstly, you have a boyfriend? You don’t really seem like the guy for a steady relationship.

 

Maxine Vaccine: Secondly, why not just ask Victoria? She’s friends with that Gumball guy right?

 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: Well, because

 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: She’s scary, and you’re friends with her

 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: Please convince her to go with us

 

Maxine Vaccine: I wouldn’t really call us friends. 

 

Maxine Vaccine: She just

 

Maxine Vaccine: Tolerates me

 

Maxine Vaccine: But fine, you owe me tho

 

Let’s Bury The Hatchet: Hell yeah. I’ll text you the time later!


Max sighed as she collapsed back onto her bed. I mean, we do study a lot together, but I wouldn’t say we’re really friends yet. And I know for sure she doesn’t think that either. She opened her phone, and scrolled through her contacts. 

 

VicSnoria. She mumbled to herself, as she found Victoria’s contact on her phone. I guess I thought I was funny when I gave her this name in my phone. Honestly it’s not even clever, but eh, back then I thought so.

 

Ring ring.

 

Ring ring.

 

Next day… 

 

Max was sitting on her couch, scrolling through her instagram feed as she was listening to music through her earbuds.

 

“I thought you’d be in your room this time of day” Her mom said, a smile on her face as she sat down on a chair adjacent to the couch. 

 

“I’m waiting for someone to pick me up, we’re going shopping”

 

“You’re going shopping?” She asked, a clear disbelief present in her voice.

 

“Yeah, I do that some times!” 

 

“Honey the last time you were in a real clothes store, I dragged you there” 

 

“Well… I guess that’s changed”

 

“Yeah, of course” Her mom replied, chuckling as she got out of her chair and walked out of the living room. After a while Victoria texted her, she was in front of the house, confirmed by the car honking noise from outside her house. Max stood up, stretching her legs as she walked to the door.

 

“Is that your friend’s car?” Her mom asked, looking out the window, a cup of coffee in her hand.

 

“I… yeah that’s her car”

 

“Since when do you chill with the rich kids?”

 

“Please never say chill again mom” She said, opening the door. “See you later!”  

 

Max walked out the door, her backpack slung over her back as she walked to the car. She stepped into the passenger’s seat, putting her backpack down in the space between her legs as she sat down. 

 

“Let’s go” Victoria mumbled as she started driving. She was chewing a piece of gum, and wearing a pair of Ray Ban sunglasses to block her eyes from the sun, or more probable hypothesis, protect the sun from her deadly gaze.

 

Holy shit she looks preppy.

 

“I uh… like your clothes” She told Victoria, who was wearing a clean, simplistic outfit, which fit her really well. 

 

“Thanks, you look like shit. Isn’t that the same shirt you wore to school yesterday?”

 

“Yeah, so what? It’s my comfy shirt” She replied, as she opened her door window and leaned her elbow on the sill. She looked out the window as they drove into the center of the city, her hair softly blowing in the wind as Victoria kept her eyes on the road. Max lived in the suburbs of Morioh city, and so did most of her class, except for people like Victoria who lived in the more expensive neighborhoods up north. 

 

“They better be there already, I don’t wanna wait. And also, we’re getting you some new clothes Caulfield”

 

“What?!”

 

“We need to get you out of that sloppy hipster shit”



“I like my sloppy hipster shit!” 

 

“You look like an art student that went homeless after her second year, Caulfield, I’m surprised they even let you into school” 

 

“Maybe I am homeless”

 

“I just picked you up from your house” 

 

After a while they had reached the shopping mall parking garage, it was filled almost completely so they had to park at the top, Victoria parking as Max closed her window. Morioh Shopping Center, the only mall in Morioh City surprisingly. It used to be a small town, but eventually like many smaller cities and places, it eventually grew to a large city, not that any of them were there to see that progression. This place had been a city for as long as they had lived there.

 

Victoria and Max both stepped out of the car, Victoria locking it as she walked to the edge of the roof. Max walked up next to her, grabbing her polaroid camera and taking a shot of the city skyline. 

 

“You are such a nerd, Caulfield” She said, leaning her elbows on the raised edge of the roof as the breeze rustled her hair lightly. She lit up a cigarette, as she put the cig in between her lips, the sun shining through the smoke and lighting it up beautifully like a smoke machine on a photo set.

 

“So are you, that’s why we study together” 

 

“Touché” She replied, chuckling lightly at Max’s comeback, a light smile on her face. She snuck a quick picture of Victoria smoking, with that beautiful lighting, before putting her camera back in her backpack. While she didn’t really condone smoking, and would never do it, this was a picture opportunity she couldn’t resist.

 

After a while, Victoria stared down from the edge, spitting out her chewing gum and throwing her cigarette off the roof, not in that order, before stepping back from the edge again. 

 

They made their way to the bottom floor of the parking garage, Victoria walking in front as Max followed her. They walked to the entrance of the Mall, to see Marshall and Bubba standing there, waiting for them. Marshall was wearing black torn jeans, and an open red flannel with a shirt underneath that said “Ice Nine Kills” and had some kind of design beneath it. 

 

Okay I'm sure I remember Chloe talking about that band, but dang the edge that radiates off of it.

 

And Bubba stood next to him, his arms crossed as he kept his eyes off of Marshall. His outfit was in complete contrast with Marshall’s, as he was wearing a pink turtleneck sweater, white jeans, and on top of his bubblegum pink hair, he had-

 

Holy shit is that a fucking crown tiara. Okay, that is hilarious and very telling at the same time. 

 

They approached the pair, Marshall sighed in relief as he tapped Bubba on the shoulder. He huffed, his arms coming out of their previous position.

 

“You guys were early” Max started.

 

“Nah, we only arrived like a minute ago” Marshall replied, as Bubba sighed.

 

“Yeah we’re lucky, with you holding us up so long” He said frustratedly.

 

“Hey, I told you I’m sorry babe” He said, taking Bubba’s hand in his own. “Can we please just have a little fun today, please?” 

 

“Ugh… fine” He replied as he reluctantly wrapped his hand around Marshall’s.

 

“Was this really a good idea? I feel like they’re gonna be arguing a lot today” Victoria whispered into Max’s ear.

 

“It’s gonna be fine”

 

A while later… 

 

The group was in a clothes store, Victoria trying to find something actually trendy for Max to wear. Bubba and Marshall were in the dressing room, most likely, well definitely trying on some clothes.

 

“Come on Max, you can’t just shoot down all my fucking suggestions, you have to like something” Victoria said, as she showed Max a white blouse.

 

“It’s just not me, ya know?”

 

“That is such a hippie saying, holy shit. I specifically went to this store so you can afford shit, work with me here” She said, putting it back in the rack and taking a flannel skirt. “How about this?” 

 

“Victoria, you won’t catch me dead wearing a skirt”  

 

“I. Hate. You. So much right now” She said with a sigh, putting back the skirt. “Then what DO you like?” 

 

“I don’t know, just something comfortable, like-” 

 

“FUCK YOU MARSHALL!” 

 

They both turned their heads towards wear the voice came from, seeing Bubba storming out the dressing room.

 

“Wait babe come on! I’m sorry!” He said, trying to stop him from storming off.

 

“I am so fucking done with you!” He shouted back, pushing him away as he stomped out of the store. Marshall kicked his foot angrily against pillar, swearing to himself, before walking out of the store.

 

“So anyway-”



“Victoria we can’t just ignore that”

 

“Yes we can, very easily, watch me” She said, turning her head back to the clothes rack as she already reached a hand to a new article of clothing.

 

“You know that’s not what I mean”

 

“What do you plan on doing? Pull them together by their wrists? Bind them together with a rope?” 

 

“We’re gonna talk to them! See if they’re okay!” 

 

“Why should we even care?”

 

“You should care, he’s your friend right?”

 

“I… you… fine, sure, but you're gonna accept whatever outfit I buy for you today, and wear it semi frequently, deal?”



“Deal!” 

 

Victoria sighed, as they both made their way to the store. 

 

“Where do you think they’ve gone to?” Max asked.

 

“I know where Gumball is, you get that punk kid. Also, sidenote, he reminds me of Price, do they know each other?”

 

“Chloe? I don’t think so” Victoria nodded, before turning around and walking to where she thought Bubba would have gone to. Max sighed as she looked around. 

 

This is a huge ass mall, where could Marshall have gone? What do I know about him? 

 

She walked up to one of those mall maps, looking at all the stores, when she decided there was only one option.

 

He’s definitely at the record store.

 

She made her way to the record store, walking inside as she scanned her environment. He has to be somewhere here. She thought to herself, strolling through the store until she passed a certain record. 

 

Is that the original Twin Fantasy vinyl by Car Seat Headrest? Okay, calm Max you can get this later, find Marshall, that’s the objective.

 

She walked through the small record store, and made her way to the metal section, which she suspected Marshall to be in. 

 

That turned out to be true. She found him in the section, browsing through a stack of LP’s, not seeming to be very affected by what just happened. Or maybe he was just really good at hiding it. Max slowly approached him, standing next to him as he checked out the records.

 

He didn’t even notice her at first, as she just watched what he was looking at, vinyls from bands, some she knew from Chloe, Knocked Loose, Kaonashi, and some she didn’t know. Eventually Marshall noticed Max just standing behind him, looking hella creepy if she was being completely honest. He jumped in his place, until he calmed down from the sudden shock.

 

“Jesus christ Max, what are you doing here?” 

 

“Uhmmm, looking for you?”

 

“Oh, okay” He shrugged as he returned to whatever he was doing. She was confused, he seemed really calm in contrast to what just happened, like he didn’t even remember anything happening.

 

“Hey Marshall I know we don’t really know each other, but like, are you okay?” 

 

Marshall chuckled, as he didn’t even bat an eye. “I’m fine, why would I… be unfine?” 

 

“Because of what just happened between you and Bubba?”

 

“That… was bound to happen, I just fucked up again… like I always do” He kept his expression hidden from Max, but she knew he wasn’t as calm as he looked.

 

“So you’re just giving up?” 

 

“I… I guess. He told me he doesn’t wanna see me again, and it’s not like this is the first time I fucked up. I fucking forgot our 2 year anniversary last weekend. 2 years Max! That’s like 600 days or something!” 

 

“What, that’s no biggie right?” In reality, she had no idea how important that was or not, never having really been in a relationship before. 

 

“I’m… just an idiot. A stupid one at that. He deserves so much better than me. Someone who isn’t someone like me. Someone that isn't a fucking idiot that doesn't know how to prioritize, and can actually give him what he wants”

 

“You think he doesn’t know you’re an idiot?” 

 

“Not the pep talk I was expecting, I thought you were gonna say I was wrong about be-”

 

“I’ll repeat myself, you really think he doesn’t know you’re an idiot?”



“I, uh yeah. That’s why he’s stopped putting up with my shit. He knows I’m just a hopeless idiot that’ll never amount to anything-”

 

“He just figured out? He’s one of the smartest guys in the school, he always knew. He put up with it because he saw something in you”

 

“Well guess I fucked that” He said, breathing in slowly, probably trying to calm himself down. 

 

“Dude chill out. You’ve been together for so long, you really think you fucked it up so fast?” 

 

“I… yeah I guess” 

 

“Look, I think you should just talk to him. Tell him you’re sorry for whatever you even did, and tell him you’re gonna try to actually make a change. He reacted in a moment of passion, just talk it out with him, and if he still feels the same after that, well, you know” 

 

“That’s… smart. I’ll try that”

 

“I’d also suggest buying him a gift or something, because that always sweetens the deal!”

 

They both laughed for a bit, a smile returning to Marshall’s face, as he faced Max. 

 

“Hey uhh, thanks for coming here Max. I know you could have easily just ignored what happened, so I really appreciate that. If I can ever do anything for ya, just tell me” He said, as he strolled out of the record store. 

 

I actually… did pretty good. That was unexpected. Hell yeah Max, that was hella cool of you!

 


Okay that sounded hella lame.

 

… 

 

Max was walking through the mall, looking for wherever Victoria could be. Can’t you just answer your fucking texts Vic? Did I just say Vic? Eh who cares, not like I’d every say that to her, she’d kill me, and then revive me just to kill me again. 

 

Okay maybe not that extreme, but still.

 

Max kept looking, until she found Victoria sitting on a bench outside a library, which Max had no idea was even in this mall. Not that she didn’t read, but buying books online was so much easier and more efficient.

 

“How’d it go?” Victoria asked, as Max sat down next to her.

 

“I thought you didn’t care?” 

 

“Well, I care… about… shut up Caulfield. Just tell me”

 

Max was about to talk, when they both saw Marshall walking, a shopping bag in his hand as he scanned his environment, looking for where Gumball could be. At that moment Gumball stepped out of the library, swooping his hair back with his right hand when he noticed Marshall. Marshall quickly approached him, as Bubba breathed a deep sigh.

 

“Bubba, I’ve been looking for you-”

 

“Marshall, I’ll hear you out for whatever you wanna say. But I’m just… tired of all this, if you try to pull anything ‘funny’ I’m-no, we are done”” 

 

“I’m… I’m sorry. I don’t deserve you like, at all. I get it if you want to end this right now, but please understand, I want the best for you, even if that meant me losing you. I know I haven't been the best boyfriend, but I'm hoping that we can at least stay friends.“

 

It stayed silent for a few moments, as Marshall stood there staring at the ground. When suddenly Marshall felt a pair of arms wrapping around him. 

 

“I’m not forgiving you, you’re still on thin ice… but I just couldn’t see you with those sad eyes for much longer” Gumball said, holding Marshall tightly in his grip. 

 

“That… went better than I expected” Marshall replied, as he slowly returned the hug.

 

“I just can’t bear to be angry at you any longer for something so stupid, I’m no diva”

 

“I promise babe, I’m gonna try to be better from now on”

 

“You better, now how about you show me what’s in that bag… “

 

Back with Max and Victoria, Max watched with a smile, as Victoria drank out of a Starbucks coffee cup she had gotten before Max had even arrived. 

 

“Mission accomplished, we’re like, relationship counseling special agents!” 

 

“Yeah, it was a stupid conflict anyway”

 

“Agent Caulfield, mission successful, returning back to base for a high five” 

 

Victoria sighed, as she set her coffee on the bench. “Max, I’m not Price, I’m not playing along with your stupid game or whatever”

 

Max chuckled, as she retracted the hand that Victoria left hanging. Oh what was I even thinking, that was really stupid.  But then Victoria surprised her.

 

“Okay fine if you’re gonna be all dramatic with me fine, I’ll high five you” She mumbled, as Max raised her hand again and Victoria returned the gesture with the familiar slap of a high five. 

 

That was unexpected, two missions accomplished I guess.

 

“Now, about those clothes I was gonna buy you”

 

Fuck.

Chapter Text

“Come on Max, it’s nothing! Just chill, you can do this!” Max mumbled to herself, as she paced back and forth in her room. As she paced, she stared blankly at the phone she held with one hand, scratching her hair nervously with her other. On her screen was a text conversation between her and Victoria. “It’s not a date, it’s just getting to know each other better, you can do this, come on!” Eventually she collapsed onto her bed, her phone in front of her face and her back on the sheets. “Okay, stop being a pussy, do it!” She mumbled to herself, and actually beginning to type what she wanted to type.


Maxine Vaccine: You wanna go get a drink tomorrow?

 

VictoriousAndGenius: You wanna go get a drink tomorrow?

 

Holy shit did Victoria Chase just ask me out.

 

For a totally platonic, drink getting opportunity, of course. 

 

VictoriousAndGenius: Oh.

 

VictoriousAndGenius: Okay then.

 

Maxine Vaccine: Haha that was coincidental

 

VictoriousAndGenius: Yeah, I guess.

 

VictoriousAndGenius: I’m assuming that’s a yes from both of us then?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Uhm

 

Maxine Vaccine: Yeah I guess

 

VictoriousAndGenius: I’ll send you when and where tomorrow.

 

VictoriousAndGenius: Also, don’t you even dare to tell anyone about this Maxine, not Price, and especially not that redhead. This is between the both of us

 

VictoriousAndGenius: Capiche?

 

Maxine Vaccine: Yep!

 

Maxine Vaccine: Understood!


Okay Max, nice, you did it! Max sighed deeply, as she buried her phone beneath her pillow, and closed her eyes to rest a little bit. You actually have something to do on a Saturday, which is strange. 

 

“Clean your room Max!” Her mom shouted from down stairs, as Max sighed loudly. And you also have something to do today!

 

… 

 

Max was standing in front of her mirror, trying on outfits, which felt very unorthodox for her. Her preferred method picking clothes was usually, reaching into her wardrobe and picking whatever she grabbed first.

 

She didn’t even have a mirror or whatever in her room, so she was actually using her phone’s camera, which was positioned on her desk, to look at herself. It was a very janky setup, but it worked. 

 

She was deciding between two outfits, one that was more her, true to who she really was, which Victoria would probably call preachy hipster bullcrap. And the other was the outfit Victoria bought for her. It consisted of white flats, a grey skirt, and a collared dress shirt with a cardigan on top.

 

I’ve never seen any outfit this close to me that looked so… neat, in the literal sense. She thought to herself as she pondered over the outfit. Another thing she noticed while looking at the clothes was the brand names printed on them, Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren. Jesus Christ, while on the one hand she would’ve totally insisted to buy it on her own if she was there for the whole buying process, on the other was she damn glad that she didn’t have to pay for all this, because she’d be hella broke if she did. 

 

Eh, I can ditch the preachy hipster crap for one day right? Max thought to herself, as she put on the outfit Victoria had bought for her. I mean, Victoria shelved out so much money for her, might as well make use of the clothing.

 

As she looked at her own reflection, she looked, how do you say that, like a sheep in wolves clothing, but not exactly threatening. It looked like she was in a bad disguise, trying to fit in. Although she had to admit… 

 

“You don’t look half bad” Max shrieked, as she turned her head to her mom standing in the open doorway. “Although I’m curious, it doesn’t seem like you to spend your entire bank account on clothes, because that’s hella not your style” 

 

“Mom please don’t say hella ever again” Max sighed as she grabbed her phone of her table and put it, somewhere, she had trouble finding a pocket in this godforsaken outfit. “A friend bought it for me-”

 

“Do you have a sugar daddy?”



“Mom please shut up” Max hid her face behind her hands, as her mom chuckled and walked into her room. She wrapped her arms around Max, and patted her on the back.



“You know I’m just kidding honey, but did a friend of yours seriously shelve out that much money for you? Is it the one with that nice car?”

 

“Yeah, I uhh… lost a bet”

 

“You lost a bet?! What would’ve happened if you’d won it!?”

 

“That doesn’t matter mom, I’ve got somewhere to go!”

 

“On a Saturday? You have something to day? Today is getting really weird Maxine” Max sighed as she wormed her way out of her mom’s grip.

 

“I’m just… grabbing a drink with a girl from school”

 

“Oh my god, you’re going on a date!”

 

“I’m not going on a d-”

 

“Maxine, I’m not letting you go on a date looking like that”

 

“Like what-”

 

“I’m doing your makeup”

 

“Mom I am on the verge-”

 

“Just some light makeup, nothing drastic! Something that works with the outfit!”

 

“No mom, never!”

 

… 

 

As she looked at her own face in the mirror, there was only one thing she could say.

 

“Guess it doesn’t look half bad” Max mumbled, her mom nodding along. She was actually kind of impressed, she looked almost like a different person, if this was something light, what would heavier makeup look like?

 

“I told you so! Now, where is this date?”

 

“Mom I swear to gosh, it’s not a date!”

 

“Is she picking you up, or do you have to go there yourself?” 

 

“She’s… picking me up” She said, fiddling around with the phone in her pocket. It sat there, but it just didn’t really sit comfortably. And where am I supposed to fit my camera?

 

“Do you not have a purse?” She asked, almost as if she could read Max's mind, something which she was almost positive was actually happening.



“I mean… I think there is a purse that’s supposed to go with this outfit. But I just… refuse to wear one”

 

“Maxine”

 

“Mom please”

 

… 

 

When Max was fully done playing dress up, as she would call it, she sat on her couch, waiting for Victoria to text her that she had arrived. Max was, nervous, she didn’t know what Victoria was gonna think of what she looked like, and did Victoria even see this as anything special, or maybe she just wanted something to pass the time? She probably just doesn’t have anything else to do, that’s why she wants to hang with me, that would make sense. Like, why would the most popular gir-

 

Her train of thought was abruptly cut off when her phone went off, most likely a text message. She looked at her phone, to see it was Victoria, she sent a message about having arrived at her house. As Max got up, she put her phone back in her purse, taking an incredibly deep breath, before strutting towards the door. She was lucky that Victoria bought her flats, instead of some ridiculous high heels or something, which is honestly the teasing she would have expected. Her mom gave her a thumbs up with both hands, Max smiling lightly as she made her way to the open door of Victoria’s car.

 

Max sat down in the passenger’s seat, a seat she’d gotten pretty comfortable in after the multiple rides Victoria had given her lately. As Victoria was quickly doing her makeup in the mirror, she threw a quick glance at Max, her breath almost hitching, quickly trying to hide that just happened.

 

“You look gr… nice, you look nice Caulfield” She mumbled, packing up her makeup as she corrected her rearview mirror.

 

“Yeah, thanks” She replied, nervously scratching the back of her head as she fastened her seatbelt.

 

“I’m glad you decided to ditch the hipster shit for a day” I could have almost predicted those exact words, but I knew she meant it nicely, in her own way, somehow, I think. 

 

As she started driving, Max could see some kind of tension in her face, like she was nervous as well. Of course Max suspected that she herself probably looked like that as well, but it was kind of weird for Max, seeing her like this.

 

As Victoria started driving, she lowered her car’s roof, lighting up a cigarette and keeping her eyes on the road. Max wanted to reprimand her about this behavior, but honestly, she’d been on car rides with Chloe enough to get used to this kind of stuff. As Max rolled down her window, she leaned her elbow on the windowsill and let her hair blow in the wild breeze. I actually don’t even know where we’re going exactly, I mean, maybe I should just-

 

Her train of thought was quickly interrupted again, just like back home, when she saw Chloe walking on the sidewalk with her new friends. FUCK! If she saw me like this, in the passenger side of Victoria’s car, holy shit I don’t even know what she’d think.

 

Max quickly turned her head towards Victoria, and blabbed out the first thing that came to her. “Sooooo, where are ya takin’ me?”

 

Victoria’s breath hitched in the smoke that was just halfway through her breathing cycle. She coughed up some of the smoke, before talking, her voice slightly raspy. “Could you fucking pay attention next time, I could have fucking cra-” She coughed again in the middle of her sentence, before continuing. “I could have fucking crashed!” 

 

“Sorry! I just-” Victoria glanced behind Max’s head, sighing lightly as she probably seen Chloe, and returning her eyes to the road.

 

“I know I specifically told you not to tell anyone what we’re doing, a promise I’m genuinely surprised you managed to keep, but would it really be such a drama if Price just saw you in my car? It’s not like you have much of a reputation to ruin”

 

“I just… wanna know where we’re going”


“It’s just a place downtown, chill out okay?” 

 

Victoria chucked her cigarette out of the car, as she put the pedal to the metal. 

 

“I’m sick of this snail’s pace, let’s have some fun Caulfield” She said, her car quickly speeding up as Max tightened her grip on any part of the car she could grab.

 

“I wouldn’t call this fun Victoria!” Max shouted, their hair flying loose in the heavy wind, as Max tried her best not to fly out of the car.

 

Eventually the two of them had made their way to their destination, Victoria parking next to the sidewalk as Max recovered from the shitstorm that was Victoria’s driving a few seconds ago. “Was that really necessary?”

 

“Was me taking your whiny ass to the best coffee place in all of Morioh necessary? Come on, get your hipster butt out of my car seat” 

 

She said, opening her car door and stepping onto the sidewalk. She breathed in heavily, paying Max no attention as she sloggily got out of the car, reorienting herself with her surroundings. As Max made her way next to Victoria, she threw a quick glance at her, snickering lightly as she crossed her arms. 

 

“Your hair is a mess Caulfield” She said, a snicker in her voice.

 

“Whose fault is that?” Max replied, a snide tone in her voice as she tried her best to fix her hair up a bit. Normally you wouldn’t really care about your hair like this Max, she sees straight through you like a wine glass!

 

“Here, let me just…” Suddenly Victoria reached out a hand, fixing up Max’s hair as she herself stood frozen in place. Oh shit oh fuck oh shit oh fuck. After she was done she crossed her arms, squinting her eyes before nodding approvingly. 

 

“So…what is this place?”

 

“Like I said, the best coffee place in all of Morioh. If it’s the name you’re asking about, you can read right?” She replied snidely, her hand pointing at a large sign above the entrance of the place.

 

Tonio Trussardi’s Tea, Coffee, and Italian goods!

 

Well that doesn’t really off the tongue as well as it was probably supposed to. Should’ve just kept it at the first part, not like I’m some kind of expert name inventor or whatever, god I’m just rambling in my head because I’m nervous. 

 

As the two of them walked in, they were immediately greeted by a man with a large chef’s hat, a head of red hair underneath judging by his sideburns, and a name tag that read ‘Chef Trussardi’ 

 

“Ah Miss Chase, you’ve brought a partner it seems?” He had a decently heavy italian accent, but it seemed faded enough that he would have probably lived in America for a decent while. “Now who might you be Signorina?”

 

“Uh… I’-”

 

“That’s Max, she’s a… friend from school, nothing special, could we have a seat please?”



“Ah yes, of course Miss Chase, anything for my star customer! Not like we’re very full anyway”
Victoria smiled at the man, as she guided Max to a seat next to the window. The place wasn’t full by any stretch of the imagination, but it wasn’t empty either. There were a few other booths with people in them, and one black haired kid who was scrubbing the floor. He had a peculiar pompadour hairstyle, a hairstyle Max could swear she’d probably seen at school before. 

 

As Max was lost in thought, she was quickly, and rudely, torn out of them by Victoria’s voice.



“You awake Caulfield? Don’t drool all over the table if you’re gonna day dream, you’re gonna have to clean it up yourself”

 

“Oh uh, yeah” She replied, straightening her sitting position. Eventually Tonio approached the pair again, and asked them for their order.

 

“I’ll get a Cappuccino” Victoria said, as Tonio turned his head to Max. 

 

“And you signorina?” 

 

“Oh just a Doppio please” She stated, scanning the small coffee place. “You really run this place all on your own?”

 

“Well yes, mostly at least. I do get some cleaning help whenever that kid breaks a plate or something, which happens a lot. He’s a good kid really, but cacchio if that boy isn’t clumsy” He said, motioning towards the kid with the mop and the pompadour hairstyle. “He goes to the same school as you two I think, do you girls know him?” 

 

Max only shook her head no, as Victoria spoke up.

 

“Nope, not really, that’ll be everything”



“Ah yes of course, sorry I got sidetracked!”

 

“Oh no don’t worry, we’re fine” Max said apologetically, chuckling lightly. 

 

“Your drinks will be here in un minuto!” The man said as he retreated into the kitchen. 

 

After a while the man came back, and gave them both their drinks, Victoria paying for both. 

 

They drank in silence, before Max opened her mouth. “I didn’t expect you to get something so sweet”

 

“What did you expect me to get? A barrel of caffeine like that double espresso of yours?” She said with a teasing chuckle, before shaking her head. “Can I tell you something Caulfield?” 

 

She’s asking if she can tell me something? Okay fuck she would never ever ask me to say anything, she’s more of the kind of person to just, say it. Okay, breath in, breath out, brace yourself Max.

 

“Oh pff yeah sure tell away!” Max could probably have not said that in a more awkward manner.

 

Victoria tilted her head with a chuckle, before speaking up. “I know I said this already, but I think you look… nice like this, now I’m not saying you should wear clothes like this everyday, because… here I go, it’s just not really you, god I sound just like you now, but I think you look great, personally” She sounded like she was rambling, how Max sounded whenever she thought she said something embarrassing, and tried to recover, but Victoria somehow still sounded as professional and snide in tone as she always did.

 

Max’s cheeks turned red, as she quickly chugged down on her drink, trying to act like it was the heat of the coffee. “Oh haha… you really think so?”

 

“Yeah, don’t thank me” She continued, looking out of the window as she took a sip of her cappuccino.

 

After the two had drank their coffee, they were sitting in a comfortable silence, only throwing the occasional glance at each other. 

 

“How much was my drink?” Max asked, as she prepared to pull out her wallet. 

 

“Okay Caulfield, that’s funny, but I already paid for the both of us, I’m the one paying here” Victoria said, as she got out of her seat, Max following her example, stretching her limbs before returning her gaze to Victoria. Victoria chuckled, as she made her way to the exit. 

 

“Why shouldn’t I pa-”

 

“I paid, what’s done is done, you’re not paying me back, capiche?” She said, waving lightly at Tonio as the both of them exited the cafe.

 

“Fine I guess” She replied, Victoria opening the passenger door for Max. “Oh how chivalrous of you” 

 

“I just don’t want to wait for your tardy ass” She said, walking around the car and getting into the driver’s seat.

 

“Woooow, you can’t just say that!” She replied, getting into the passenger’s seat and closing the door. 

 

“That’s not that word Max, you know that” She said, lighting up a cigarette, and not starting the car up just yet. She leaned her elbow on the windowsill, as Max sat with her hands on her lap.

 

“So, what’s the plan? You gonna take me home now?”

 

“You wanna get away from me so bad?” She replied, taking another puff of her cig. 

 

“No! Well I mean, not really, I don’t really care either way or whatever” She replied, nervously chuckling, as Victoria snickered at her ability to ramble..

 

“Anyway, I don’t have anything planned no, but I did wanna catch this show I’ve heard good things about, you could uhh… stay over at my place if that’s chill with you” She said, blowing some smoke out of her mouth, as she tapped her cigarette to make some of the ash fall down.

 

Stay over at Victoria’s? God I’m almost sure that’s a trap, but maybe I’m into traps? 

 

Okay Max, that sounds wrong, very wrong, just say yes. 

 

“Oh uh… I mean, I’d have to ask my mom… or well, she won’t really care, I guess, I’ll just… yes, I’ll stay over at your place” 

 

“Great” She said, taking a last puff of the cig before flicking it away and starting the car up. “I’ll drive a bit slower, just for you Princess Caulfield” She said teasingly, driving off, Max fastening her seatbelt quickly.

 

“Says the queen of Theseus High” She remarked sarcastically, Victoria only rolling her eyes in response. 

 

After a while they had reached their destination, VIctoria’s absolute fortress of a house. As the pair made their way to Victoria’s room, Max collapsed back first onto Victoria’s bed as Victoria walked over to her desk. There was a lot of stuff on it, but it was neatly organized, unlike Max’s desk.

 

“What do you think you’re doing Caulfield?” She asked, searching around for something on her desk.

 

“It’s called laying down, not like I expect you to get enough shuteye to know what that is” 

 

“Not what I mean, you think you can just lay down on my bed without asking?” She asked, a mix between sarcasm and actually being serious present in her voice. She sighed as she walked to the foot of her bed, sitting down next to Max’s feet. Max poked her head up to stare at whatever Victoria had in her hands, her own hands behind her head.

 

“Anyway, how are we gonna watch anything? I don’t see a TV in your room, I expected you to have like, a huge plasma TV or whatever when I first came here”

 

“That’s what I was looking for” She replied, pressing the button on the device in her hands, when suddenly, a hole in Victoria’s ceiling in front of the bed opened up. Slowly a large screen extended out of the hole, and Max sat up, marvelling at the sight of it.

 

“HOLY SHIT THAT’S FUCKING AWESOME!” She yelled excitedly, Victoria snickering at her overblown excitement. 

 

“It’s just a TV Caulfield, never seen one before?”

 

“Shut up, Chase” She said, mimicking Victoria’s tone of voice, Victoria herself only scoffing at the remark as she started up her Netflix.

 

After Victoria was done with that, Max asked her something.

 

“So, what are we watching then?”

 

“It’s this show I’ve actually been meaning to watch, it’s called Fullmetal Alchemi-”

 

“You wanna watch F:MA?!” She said, interrupting Victoria.

 

“Yes, as I was saying thank you very much. Now could you please not interrupt me again? I’ve been meaning to watch it, people on the internet seem to think it’s very good, and after I watched this show called Death Note I’ve been looking for something new” She replied,  switching on her Netflix. 

 

Holy shit she watches anime. Victoria Victoria, what more-ia are you hiding?

 

Noted: Max don’t become a poet, you suck.

 

As she started up the first episode, she sat up from her bed, and walked to the door of her room. “I’m gonna go get us some snacks, you want anything in particular?”

 

“Oh uhh, maybe some pringles or something?”

 

Victoria chuckled, as she turned her back to Max. “Pringles, sure” And walked down stairs.

 

After a while, Victoria made her way back to her room, holding a platter with a few different types of snacks, along with a pringles can as requested by Max. Max was sprawled across the bed, her legs in the air as she focused on the show. Victoria sat down on the foot end of the bed, as Max turned to face her.

 

“Pretty fancy for a can of pringles”

 

“Pretty comfy for my bed” She retorted, Max chuckling as she grabbed the can and opened it. “So, what happened while I was gone?” Victoria asked. 

 

“Well, so there’s these two brothers, Edward and Alphonse Elric, and they’re pretty happy ya know? But they’re not normal kids, their prodigies in this science/magic thing called alchemy, which they learned from their dad’s books that he left behind. Not that’s he’s dead, he just left. Can’t say the same for the… “

 

… 

 

Max yawned, as she slowly opened her eyes, stretching her arms out in a tired fashion. She awoke to the sight of Victoria’s face next to hers. Man she’s got a really bad case of bed hair. She thought to herself, lightly running a hand through Victoria’s hair as she got lost in her thoughts again. Man I had a weird ass dream though. Like, I was watching anime with Victoria for some reason, which is totally unrealistic, she really doesn’t seem like a person for anime. And, it actually went kind of blank after that, I don’t remember going home in the dream though, which is normal for a dream, but I genuinely could not imagine sleeping over at Victoria’s house.

 

Wait a fucking second.

 

The next few moments were a blur for Max, starting with a scream from her, and ending with her on the floor next to the bed. As she slowly recovered, she saw Victoria’s tired face poke out from on top of the bed. “Caulfield what in the seven hells are you do-”

 

“Victoria! Are you okay?”

 

“Uh, yeah mom! I’m fine! I just fell off my bed!” Victoria said, as she pointed at some space under her bed for some reason. Her tone of voice had shifted, she sounded less composed than usual for some reason, although this could be chalked up to it being early.

 

“Are you sure?”

 

“Yeah mom!”

 

“Hmmmm… I’m still coming up there honey!” Victoria’s pointing become hurried now. What does she want? Max thought to herself. After a few moments, Max figured out she wanted her to hide under the bed, and quickly followed her directions, hiding under the bed and making sure none of her body parts stuck out. Max could hear the door open, most likely Victoria’s mom coming in.

 

“I told you mom, I’m fine” Victoria said, walking up to her mom in the doorframe.

 

“Are you sure you didn’t hit anything?”

 

“I’m sure m-”

 

“And was that you that I heard scream?”

 

“I-yeah, I had a nightmare and I woke up and I fell out of bed, it’s nothing!” Her mom breathed in and out deeply, squinting her eyes in an investigative manner, before giving Victoria a hug. 

 

“Okay honey, well be safe okay, I’ll see you later!” She said, stepping out the door and walking back down the stairs, as Victoria closed her door. She leaned her back against the door, letting out a deep sigh as Max crawled out from under the bed. 

 

“I don’t think I’ve ever heard you more… rambly? Is that a word?” 

 

“Shut up Caulfield. If my mom saw you in my room she would have freaked” She replied, sitting down on the foot end of her bed as Max stretched lightly, her muscles kind of stiff from hiding under the low bed.

 

“Is she really that strict?”

 

“Generally not no, but she really wants me to focus on my studies and stuff, and if she saw you she’d… probably think I stayed up late or something. I… didn’t expect her to be home today, sorry for that” She mumbled, averting her gaze out the window as Max sat down next to her. 

 

They sat next to each other in a comfortable silence, a few moments where they just enjoyed each other’s company, before Max stood up. “I uhh… really have to go home, my mom’ll hella freak if I don’t come back before breakfast, but I’m assuming I can’t take the front door?”

 

“No… uh you can climb out the window?” She suggested apologetically. “It leads right out to the street, but you’re gonna have to walk home… sorry Max” 

 

“No that’s fine… don’t worry!” She replied, scratching the back of her head. “So, I’ll guess I’ll see you at school?”

“Yeah, see you tomorrow” She replied, Max turning around as she started opening the window. She poked her head out, to see that she could safely drop down onto the garage and then make her way to the sidewalk. She started raising her leg out of the window, when she heard Victoria’s voice again from behind her.

 

“Caulfield, wait” Victoria said, Max turning her head, when suddenly… 

 

The next thing she felt was Victoria’s lips clumsily smacking against hers. She could feel Victoria’s hand on the back of her head, Max stood frozen in place, her brain panicking into overdrive. 

 

Until she started kissing her back at least.

 

It was messy, it was clumsy, their teeth bumped into each other a lot, they were definitely not great kissers, as it was their first real kiss. And by the gods their hands had absolutely no idea what they were supposed to do. It was a real mess.

 

And Max could not have hoped for anything better.

 

After a few moments, Victoria pulled her head back, immediately averting her gaze from Max down to the ground, as she gulped lightly, her breath heavy and her cheeks as red as strawberries, something Max didn’t expect to ever see from Victoria. 

 

“You uh… almost forgot your purse” She said, handing Max her purse hastily, and returning back to sit on her bed.

 

“Yea-yeah, thanks Vic” She replied, turning her head towards the window again, before finally taking the step outside. She waved at Victoria, jumping down onto the garage as silently as she could, and dropping down to the sidewalk. She flung the purse over he shoulder, before beginning to walk, a gleeful smile on her face as she made her way home.

 

Oh shit.

 

I just called her Vic.

Chapter Text

“Okay Prom, dude, what is that wallpaper?” Kakyoin lamented, as Prompto was opening his phone to show Kakyoin a picture.

 

“What about it? It’s me and Noctis”

 

“Dude your lips are quite literally on his cheeks”

 

“Yeah haha! I caught him with a surprise selfie that time, he totally didn’t expect that” 

 

“Is that really best friend behavior though? Maybe you-” Suddenly Kakyoin shut his mouth, when someone sat down next to him and opened hers.

 

“Nori please leave Prompto alone about this. Both me and Yuuri have been bamboozled into awkward situations because of your meddling in the name of ‘help’, please leave him alone before this gets out of hand”

 

“And you’re telling me that didn’t work? Yuuri immediately got a date the same day, and I saw you crawling out of Victoria Chase’s window-”



“Shut up! How do you even know about that?”

 

“I was jogging when I saw you there, jumping out of a window that happened to belong to-”

 

“I didn’t think I could hate you more, but you really did it” 

 

“Like I didn’t know that” Kakyoin replied, as he turned back to Prompto. “Now, about you and Noctis”



“Noriaki, please, there is no ‘Me and Noctis’ besides the fact that we’re friends, he has no such feelings for me, and I have no feelings for him like that” 

 

“Your words may say that, but your tone says something different” He replied in a sophisticated voice. “You know, I’m pretty smart when it comes to the human brain, I know about this stuff, trust me”

 

He’s bullshitting so hard, he just likes to tease all of us. 

 

But what if he’s right though? 

 

Okay Prompto, scratch that thought, it’s stupid.

 

“You know, this is actually similar to how Marshall and-” 

 

“Noriaki, you shut your telltale heart ass mouth right the fuck now” Marshall shouted from across the table. “I never should’ve told you that story” He mumbled to himself, returning to whatever he was doing on his phone.

 

“Anyway, I’m not saying you have a crush on Noctis, I won’t make assumptions just yet, I’m just throwing the possibility out there, call it a hypothesis” 

 

How could he make something so stupid sound so sophisticated and scientific? 

 

“I… err… shut up, do you wanna see that meme or not?” 

 

“Oh yeah, that’s what we were doing” Noriaki replied, Prompto finally showing the picture that he was going to show before being rudely interrupted by Noriaki himself.

 

… 

 

As Prompto walked between classes he happened to bump into Noctis.

 

“Hey Prompto, how are you?”

 

“Heya Noct, I’m pretty okay, how was your last class?” He asked as they started walking next to each other.

 

“I mean, you were there? But yeah it was fine I guess, trying my best to stay awake”

 

“Noct you should really pay better attention i-”

 

“Wait wait” Noctis suddenly stopped dead in his tracks, Prompto stopping as well. 

 

“What is i-”

 

“Let me just… “ Noctis reached his hand to the top of Prompto’s head, as he ruffled around in his hair, Prompto gulping as he stood perfectly still.

 

Usually I’m not this awkward when Noctis does something like this, but after what Noriaki said earlier, it’s like I’ve become hyper aware of how close we actually are. 

 

I should’ve just shut him up.

 

Prompto could feel his cheeks getting slightly red, and quickly pushed Noctis away, and turned around to face the classroom door. “Let’s uhh… get to class Noct”

 

“Okay then?” Noctis said, confused as Prompto walked into the classroom. “There’s a pickle slice in your hair though… “ 

 

… 

 

School was almost over, and Prompto was seated next to the door, biding his time until the bell rang. He’d sat on his own at the front of the class, unusual behavior for him, which explained why no one that usually sat in front sat next to him. Well Victoria did sit next to him, but that was because she was friends with Max, so they kind of knew each other sorta. He himself had no idea why, did she feel sorry for him maybe?

 

Since lunch break he’d been avoiding Noctis, mostly because of what Noriaki said. It really got him thinking, mostly about how Noriaki always got under everyone’s skin in the worst ways.

 

But fuck now Prompto was actually thinking he had feelings for Noctis. He had a very simple plan to keep avoiding him for the rest of the day. When the bell rang, he would quickly walk out of the classroom, and keep walking until he made his way to his bike. He just needed some time home to think about his feelings, and didn’t wanna do anything stupid. 

 

He tapped his pencil on the table impatiently, when the bell finally rang. He quickly got out of his seat, walking out of the classroom, and being the first to do so. He quickly marched to the front entrance of the school, when he felt his phone vibrate in his pocket.


PurpleRain: Hey Prom could you like, wait at the bike racks for me? 

 

PurpleRain: So we can drive home together

 

Chocoboy: Ah sorry Noct, I like, gotta go somewhere!

 

PurpleRain: Where?

 

Chocoboy: Oh family stuff!



Chocoboy: Ya know?

 

PurpleRain: Oh

 

PurpleRain: See ya tomorrow then

 

Chocoboy: Yep, see ya tomorrow!


Prompto sighed, he hated lying, especially to his best friend, but he had to. Of course he wasn’t going to any ‘family stuff’ like he put it, but he wasn’t going home either. He needed to go somewhere he could clear his mind, somewhere he could really calm down and think. And he knew exactly where that was for him. He quickly got on his bike, and started driving to the north. It took him quite a while to get where he was, especially seeing as most would just take the car to get to Mundus Woods. But the woods were Prompto’s safespace, the place where he spent time on his favorite hobby.

 

… 

 

Prompto breathed in heavily. “Breathe it in Prompto” He whispered to himself. “Ready” He pulled the string of his bow back as far as he could, and squinted in one eye. “Fire” He whispered, as he let go, the arrow flying straight into the bark of the tree he was aiming at. “A few inches, nice” He mumbled. “Still got it” He grabbed another arrow, and pulled back the string back, deciding to try a harder target than a thick tree stump. He spun around, to face a large tree behind him. He looked up, and saw a small, thin branch with a bird sitting on top of it peacefully. 

It chirped lightly, as Prompto pulled back the string, and aimed at the branch.

The silence and tranquility of the forest gave Prompto the rest and clear of mind he needed. It gave him the chance to actually think.

He squinted again, breathing in heavily as his gloved fingers held the string tightly. He was about to let go, when he suddenly heard the ruffle of leaves behind him. Assuming it was a bear or maybe some other kind of big animal —He had heard reports of bears here in this forest, so it was definitely a possibility—His body spun around, the bow aiming at the source of the sound. Unfortunately his body had spun around faster than he could look, and when his head had turned around he had already fired the arrow. But what he saw when he turned around shocked him.

 

“Did you just catch my arrow?!”

 

“Did you just try to shoot me?” Noctis asked, as he dropped the arrow that he held in his hand. “What’s going on with you today?”

 

“With me? No-nothing!” He replied, sounding way more defensive than he intended to. “Why so?”

 

“Well, you’ve been avoiding me all day, you lied about where you were going after school, and also, you shot me with a fucking arrow”

 

“I uhhhh… well… I didn’t hit you?” He hit himself on the head, mentally of course. Of all the things he said, that’s what you respond to? God I’m an idiot.

 

“Prompto I’m not fucking, angry or something, I’m not your mom or whatever but I’m just… what’s going on?” He asked, as he slowly approached Prompto. He pocketed his hands, staring straight into Prompto’s eyes as Prompto himself tried to avoid eye contact as much as possible.

 

“There’s… there’s nothing okay? I-”



“Why are you lying to me?”

 

“I’m not lying to you!”



“Well you certainly were about half an hour ago! This doesn’t exactly look like ‘family stuff’”

 

“Well I just… ya know I uh-” Prompto was scrambling to find a rebuttal, but he wasn’t very good at lying on the spot. Luckily —well was it really lucky?—Noctis cut him off before he could dig himself deeper.

 

“Just… don’t try to defend yourself okay. I just wanna know what’s going on, please talk to me bro”

 

“Look I just… “ Prompto just hugged Noctis, surprising him at first, before promptly hugging him back. “Would you believe me if I said I’d rather not talk about it?”

 

“Only if you promise to stop acting so weird” 

 

“Yeah… yeah that’s fine with me”

 

“Fine then, but if something’s wrong you know you can always tell me”

 

“No worries, I know that by now” He replied softly, as they just hugged each other in silence for a while. That was until Noctis spoke up again. 

 

“Awww fuck… Prompto my hand is bleeding”

 

“Oh shit was it my arrow?”

 

“No your back was too sharp, of course it was your arrow”

 

“Well sorry I-wait a second, you’re bleeding all over my clothes!”



“That’s what you’re worrying about?!”

 

“Well it’s not my fault it took you till now to notice!"



“You’re blaming me? Remember you shot me right?”

 

“Well not on purpose! You scared me by just sneaking up to me, besides it’s not… “

 

They chattered on like this for a while, and Prompto had almost forgotten what he was even worried about… 

Chapter Text

“Now, if we know the distance the car moves and the time it takes to move that distance, we’ve learned how to calculate the speed the car moves. But that’s simple, if you were in my class last year you probably already knew that at the start of the year, but… “

 

Max was trying her best to pay attention, but her mind was clouded with one million and one thoughts, approximation of course. As much as she tried and tried, and as much as she’d rather pay attention to school, her brain would only occupy itself with another question, overriding whatever small amount of interest she had tried to gain for the subject at hand. Questions upon questions her brain asked itself, none of them about school, and all of them about one certain person.

 

Victoria Chase.

 

Their feelings for each other this year had gone through a rollercoaster, from mutual hate/dislike, to tolerating each other, and now into a state of awkward coexistence. And this was only a few weeks into the school year. Max was filled with glee for almost the rest of the day, until she tried texting Victoria before she went to sleep, wanting to know how she felt. She said she needed some time to think, Max responding only with an ‘okay’. And it was even lowercase! What was she thinking?!

 

And since then they hadn’t spoken at all. Most probably out of mutual awkwardness, and Max honestly felt like she had done something wrong personally. 

 

As she bit her on her pencil, her gaze shot off to Victoria who was sitting in the front of the class every so often. She seem- 

 

“Max! You can answer this question” Mr. Fugo suddenly said, catching Max off guard, and derailing her train of thought.

 

“Oh of-of course Mr. Fugo! I just… what’s the question again?”

 

“Come on Max, IF you were paying attention you would know this!” Mr. Fugo said, sounding lightly agitated. Max threw a quick glance at Kakyoin beside her, hoping he’d be some help, but he only had a look of ‘oh you are so fucked’ on his face, and she knew exactly why that was. 

 

Mr. Fugo was a really good teacher, but even having just arrived here, Noriaki already knew that not paying attention in his class was never a great idea. Because as great as he was in explaining things, dear god if you make him angry you could expect the anger of the gods upon you. Max breathed in deeply, before finally answering.

 

“I pass?”

 

“Out”

 

“Wait sir!”

 

“You don’t have to go to the principal Max, but I… suggest you stay outside the classroom for the remainder of this lesson, for the good of both of us” He stated very calmly, a bit too calm, and Max decided to just comply. As she left the classroom, she quickly glanced behind her, her eyes landing on Victoria actually looking kind of worried, chewing on her pencil. She was so used to Victoria laughing it up when something like this would happen to her. “Of course, take your time Caulfield” He sounded as if he was about to snap, and Max didn’t wanna take any chances, so she quickly hurried out of the classroom, and closed the door behind her. She leaned against the wall next to the door, sighing loudly as she slid down to the floor.

 

She sat there until class ended, afterwards Mr. Fugo called her back into the classroom. She reluctantly walked into the classroom, unconsciously making herself as small as possible in defense for whatever might happen. 

 

“Max… what’s going on with you?” 

 

“Going on with me? There’s no-”

 

“Caulfield, if you were any other student, you know how this would have gone and you would have already been in the principal’s office. But I know how you are, and this isn’t how you are. So I’m giving you a chance, and don't you even dare bullshit me right now, talk” 

 

“I’ve just been… distracted I guess? I don’t really wanna talk abou-”



“Is it a boy? Or a girl? Whatever you’re into?”

 

“Mr. Fugo please I promise I’ll pay better attention to-”

 

“Max, I already know you’re an incredibly smart student, and you can do great things when you really put your mind to them… but if this about a crush, please I know you’re a teen but this is more important than that. Your education is more important than that”

 

“But-”

 

“I’m not gonna tell you to ignore your feelings, however, I am no expert at relationships, as you probably know I’m one of the only single teachers here, I don’t have a partner, nor do I care to get one. But I remember when I had crushes back in high school, and the only way I could regain my focus on what was important, was just telling them what I felt. Even though I was rejected, after a few days of crying it out I would be fully able to focus again. Please don’t tell Mr. Ghirga about the crying part, I’ll never hear the end of it”

 

“Well uh… thanks Mr. Fugo”

 

“No problem, now before you go have lunch, I seem to have misplaced my phone, have you seen it?”

 

“Why would I know where your phone is?”



“Because you’re friends with Chloe Price”

 

“Point taken. Well if I see a wild phone I’ll give a shout” She replied, as she turned around and walked towards the classroom door. 

 

“Have a nice lunch Max, and good luck with Miss Chase”  

 

What the? How did he know? 

 

The rest of the school day went off without much of a hitch, mulling over the advice Mr. Fugo had given her, as she tried her very best to stay focused in her classes. Luckily she didn’t get asked any more questions, so she was mostly in the clear. That was until her social studies class at the end of the day… 

 

“Now class, I ask you, if you had the choice, would you kill every single criminal on earth? I-” Mr. Yagami’s question was abruptly cut off by the bell ringing, signalling the end of the school day. “This will be your assignment for the next class! I want at least 900 words written on your decision, and your reasoning, it isn’t a lot so I’m expecting no one to have to me come with an excuse!” Mr. Yagami tried say, as the class quickly rushed out of the classroom. As Max and Noriaki were leaving, Max stopped walking, grabbing Noriaki’s arm to stop him as well. She was looking at Mr. Yagami, who seemed to be in search of something. Noriaki groaned, as the pair approached him. 

 

“Hey Mr. Yagami, are you looking for something?”

 

“Max? Uhhm… yes I seem to have lost my phone”

 

“Weird, Mr. Fugo told me he lost his phone too”

 

“Oh well, I'll inform the sch-”

 

“No we’ll find it for you!” Max quickly interjected.

 

“Kids please school is over, go home, do whatever you kids do these days”

 

“Sir, you can go home, we’ll take care of this”

 

Light sighed, as his gaze shot to the door. He grabbed his keychain out of his pocket, taking one of the keys out of the ring and handing it to Max. “Don’t you even tell anyone this happened, just close off the classroom once you’re done okay. I don’t even know if I can get in trouble for this but I’d rather not take the risk”

 

“Yes sir!” Max said, Yagami sighing again as he left the classroom, and headed for the exit of the building. The pair kneeled down in front of the desk, as they started looking for any clues as to what might’ve happened. 

 

“Max tell me, why are we doing this?” Kakyoin asked, as he pulled a magnifying glass out of his backpack.

 

“Where did you? Well… Mr. Fugo told me his phone was missing, so when Mr. Yagami was looking for something as well, it just seemed suspicious. So I-”

 

“Are you really sure you’re not just trying to avoid Victoria on the way out of school?”

 

“Can you stop trying to meddle with my love life? Look, I have no reason to even hide from her, me and Victoria are nothing but acquaintanc-”  

 

“What are you two still doing here?” A voice suddenly said, coming from behind them. They both turned their heads, as their gaze fell on Victoria Chase.

 

“Speak of the devi-” Noriaki was about to say, before getting Max’s elbow in his side. 

 

“We’re looking for clues about Mr. Yagami’s missing phone, what does it look like?”

 

“It looks like you’re investigating a pair of white hairs like a couple of hipsters”

 

“Am I a hipster by association now-”

 

“White hairs?” Max turned her head back to the desk, only to notice the hairs Victoria mentioned. She picked up the hairs, looking at them closely. “Could these be the perpetrator's hair?” Suddenly the set of hairs was plucked out of her hand, by Noriaki. 

 

“Well this is our first clue, it has to be someone with white hair!” Noriaki said, suddenly sounding a lot more excited. “I can take this to Bubba, he’s a smart science-y guy, he can probably science some kind of DNA sample out of this. But I’m thinking, you two go through town and match the hair with all the white haired people we know!”

 

“Wait wait, why am I suddenly involved in this?” Victoria asked. 

 

“Well you suddenly showed up, it makes you part of the gang”



“What gang!?!” 

 

“The mystery gang! Anyway, I’m gonna see if I can catch that guy in a good mood, you two get to work on matching the hairs!” Noriaki bolted out of the classroom, leaving Max and Victoria alone. 

 

“So uh… you wanna get to work on this?”

 

“I… Ugh, fine”

 

… 

 

“So there’s two possible suspects that we know of. Viktor Nikiforov, the semi famous ice skater that Yuuri has the hots for, and Risotto Nero, the scary goth dude from 11C-”

 

“I know, I know. Although it could also be one of the many greying teachers at our sch-” Max shushed her, as they both crouched down, hiding from Viktor’s gaze as he suddenly turned his head in their direction. 

 

“I see Viktor and Yuuri” 

 

“How did you even know they were gonna be here?”

 

“Well I was gonna hang out with Yuuri and Prompto today, but Yuuri said Viktor was taking him shopping, said he needed new clothe-” Max slowly trailed off, as she realized how familiar that situation was to her. “I uhh… we’re gonna need to find a way so we can get one of his hairs without seeming weird”

 

“Can’t you just grab one of them off his head? People already think you’re weird”

 

Ouch that stings. Although it actually kinda felt lackluster to her past insults. 

 

“You know hiding in the bushes is kinda creepy right?”

 

“Yeah uh… let’s get out of here” She said, both of them getting out of said bush as they silently tailed Viktor and Yuuri into the shopping center. 

 

“This is still kinda creepy to be honest… “ She mumbled, as they kept following them. 

 

“Well what do you suggest?” She asked snidely, trying to stay quiet.

 

“Well, how about this?” Suddenly she walked towards Yuuri and Viktor, walking up beside them as she taps Viktor on the shoulder. A short conversation ensues, resulting in Viktor leaning his head down, and allowing Victoria to pluck a hair out of his head. She walks back to Max with a smug grin, as she looks at her impressed.

 

“What’d you tell him?”



“That it was for a science project”



“You lied to him?”



“Okay sure yeah, you were gonna what, rip it off his head and sprint away? Like you’re such a goody two shoes. We’ll follow your plan on the next one, Princess” She sounded kind of hurt for some reason, but Max shrugged it off as she took the hair Victoria had gotten and compared it to the other one.

 

“They look pretty similar to me-”

 

“That’s a joke right? There’s a distinct difference in color in both of these, I didn’t know you were colourblind as well.” 

 

“Pshk, next suspect Risotto Nero. Chloe knows where his band is practicing, apparently they met at a concert and hung out"

 

“How do you even get such specific information from people without sounding weird?”

 

… 

 

The pair was walking through the neighborhood, the one Chloe said the band they were looking for should be. The two made their way through, until Max heard something. 

 

“Hey hey hey! Do you hear that?” She said, a strange excitement in her tone.

 

“You mean that emo hipster garbage-”

 

“That song, that’s gotta be who we’re looking for!”

 

“WE are looking for?” Max started walking towards the source of the music, eventually ending up in front of an open garage door. As the band finished their song, which was a cover of “Words That Rhyme With Different, Etc” by the band Sports., Max approached the group slowly. 

 

“Heyyy!” Max said excitedly, the group only giving her weird looks as they talked among each other. “That cover of Words That Rhyme With Different was really good, it was different from the original, but whoever sang that really sounded great!” This seemed to be a good step, as one of the band members, Formaggio he was called if she recalled correctly, turned his head to Max as he fiddled around with the guitar slung around his neck. 

 

“You know that song?” 

 

“Yeah, Sports. are one of my favorite bands in that whole midwest emo genre thing, not that I listen to a lot of it, but I love that song. And that addition of the synth was really cool!”

 

“Thanks! Do-”

 

“Do we know you?” Another voice suddenly said, the man behind the synth, wearing the blackest of blacks, and bearing short white hair that was covered by a hood. It was Risotto Nero, and he bore a voice as deep as you’d expect from such a figure. “I feel like I’ve seen you before… you go to Theseus High?”

 

“Yea-yeah” She gulped, she was actually quite intimidated by this guy. Victoria was a little bit taller than her, and she felt like a dwarf next to her. But Risotto was a giant, standing at least 6 foot tall. “I’m best friends with uh… Chloe Price-”

 

“Oh. We’ve seen her at shows in the area before, right?” Risotto said, turning his head to another one of the band members, one with short blonde hair, and a neat look, uncharacteristic for a band like this. To be frank, the whole bands outfit choice seemed quite disjointed, not like it was really displaying an image.

 

“Yeah I think so, she’s got blue hair right?” Max nodded at the question, beginning to talk again before Risotto cut her off. 

 

“Yeah yeah yeah! She’s starting a band with that Jotaro guy and some other people!” 

 

She had their attention, now she just needed a plan. Some way so she could compare the hairs.

 

Then, a bright idea lit up in her brain.

 

“So uhm… are you guys any playing any gigs soon?”

 

“Yeah, we’re playing a gig at the Morioh Majesty venue downtown” 

 

“Hey! Maybe I could take a band picture for you guys! Like promo pics?” Max suggested excitedly. 

 

Risotto nodded, as he turned his head to the group. “What do you think Pros?” 

 

“Sounds good, we don’t really have a good pic of all of us yet” He replied, as Risotto turned his head back to Max. 

 

“So is there like, any pose you want us to get in?”


“Oh just do whatever!” 

 

After a bit of taking pictures, they had gotten enough to fill almost a full album, some silly, some serious, and some even including Max, and Victoria, reluctantly that is. After they were done, they parted ways with a smile on their faces, as Max and Victoria walked away, Victoria’s arms crossed as she strolled. 

 

“So, did you just give up on what we were doing?”


“We? I didn’t know you cared?”


“Well I… don’t, it’s stupid, but we just wasted our time”

 

" Victoria, time spent having fun, is never wasted” 

 

“God that’s some hipster shit”

 

“Besides, I got these!” She said, showing a few of the Polaroids that the band didn’t want to keep. 

 

“Caulfield, it’s 6:30 PM and you're happy about getting som-oh, that’s actually pretty uhm… clever I guess” She replied, coughing through the last part of the sentence, as if trying not to confess that that was actually pretty clever.

 

“What did you say?”



“Just compare grab that stupid hair and shut up” Max chuckled, as she took the white hair and compared it to Risotto’s hair in the picture. 

 

“They look pretty different”

 

“Yeah those are definitely different hairs” Victoria added, sighing loudly as she buried her face in her hands. “God I wasted my friday evening” Max sighed as well, burying her hands in her pockets somberly, when something suddenly caught her attention.

 

“Victoria?” She asked, tapping her on the shoulder.

 

“What do you want Caulfield?” She replied, as she unburied her face from her hands, and looked Max in the face. 

 

“Do you see that?” She asked, pointing at what seemed like a large storm drain, just a bit away. Victoria focused her sight on it, not seeing a whole lot until she saw… 

 

A fat rat.

 

A fat, white rat. 

 

“Caulfield, no, you are not roping me further into this shit”



“Come on! Any plans you might have had have already been ruined anyway!”



“By you!”

 

“Please!” 

 

“I… ugh fine” She said, finally caving in to her demands, as the two made their way to the storm drain. They snuck up to the rat, deciding to follow it to wherever it’s hideout would be, which coincidentally meant following it further into the storm drain. 

 

The two of them crouch walked through the length of the storm drain, sneakily following the rat at a horrid pace. 

 

“This is horrible, we’re walking through a storm drain at what I’m pretty sure is already 7 PM, I’ve stepped in so many puddles that the cuffs of my jeans are covered in mud and I-” Max quickly shushed her, as she opened her own mouth. 

 

“Are you seeing this?” She asked, pointing right in front of them. She finally averted her gaze away from the rat and towards right in front of them, to set her eyes upon a large room at the end of the tunnel. The duo made their way further through the tunnel, aiming to get into that room and once they finally reached it they were… confused.

 

“What the hell is this place?” Victoria asked, as they dropped down from the end of the tunnel, into the room. They found themselves in a small room, that was furnished to their surprise. There was a small couch, a shelf, and what seemed like a work desk with tools on it. Max walked up to the couch, as Victoria investigated the work desk. “Hey Max, I think we found what we’re looking for”

 

Max turned her head, and walked to the work desk Victoria was looking at, only to lay her gaze upon a pair of phones. It seemed to be about 5 to 6 phones, lined up to be disassembled by the looks of the tools next to them. Victoria took one of the phones, opening it up to reveal the phones lockscreen. The background was a picture of… Mr. Ghirga?

 

“Do you think that’s Mr. Ghirga’s phone?”

 

“No I recognize this phone, it’s… Mr. Fugo’s phone?”

 

“What? I thought they hated each other?”

 

“So did I… “ Victoria replied quietly, as she counted up the phones they had found. “These are about 6, do you think they’re all stolen?”

 

“I think we should take them to the principal-”

 

“Tomorrow, I’m tired and this place is… creeping me the fuck out” Victoria said, cutting her off as they made their way out of the storm drain. After a while they made their way out, it already being dark. “I’ll uh, bring you home in my car” Victoria said quietly, Max only nodding as they walked to where Victoria had parked her car. They were both silent, awkwardly so.

 

One specific question had been haunting Max’s mind for most of the day however. She hadn’t been able to get it off her mind, but didn’t dare ask. 

 

But then she had one thought. 

 

Fuck it.

 

“So uhm Victoria… I…why did you stay behind after class today?” 

 

“I uhm…” Victoria breathed in and out deeply, as the two of them kept walking, Victoria in front as she kept her eyes on the pavement. “I wanted to… talk to you”

 

“About what?”

 

“About… last Saturday” Max could see Victoria’s head turn to the ground, as her hands bunched up in front of her. “I… I’m sorry”

 

Max’s expression turned confused, not that Victoria could see it. “You’re sorry?” 

 

“I told you I wanted more time, like you were pushing me too far… I’m sorry if you felt like I was leading you on, but I’ve never really done anything like this before but I-” Her rambling stopped, as she bit her tongue on that last word.

 

“You what?”

 

“I lo-” She gulped. “Looooo-” She stomped her foot on the ground angrily, turning around to face Max. “I like you! Okay!?” She yelled, her face turning red as she quickly looked at the ground. “The first girl I actually have a chance with and I ruin it with my fucking attitude. I’m such a fucking idiot, I-” The calm, collected demeanor that usually radiated off of Victoria melted away, as she rambled away into the ground, only be stopped by Max’s arms suddenly wrapping around her. 

 

“I like you too… stupid” Max mumbled, as she hugged Victoria. She was surprised at first, but eventually melted into the hug. Victoria slowly regained her composure, as the two of them stood there in the middle of the street.

 

“Does this mean that we’re like… a thing now?”

 

“Do you want us to be a thing?”

 

“Well yeah… I guess, not like I really care that much, besides what would people even think-” Max just pulled her closer.  

 

“Shut up..."

 

Meanwhile, back in the storm drain… 

 

“You led them here on purpose, didn't you?” A man sad, as he held a white rat by its tail, dangling it in front of him. The rat squeaked, sounding like it was scared, as it tried it’s best to escape the man's grasp. “Now I have to start all over again, and they’ll definitely be more protective now”

 

The rat squeaked again.

 

The man brushed his white hair away from his eyes, as he started talking again. “Of course, I could get a job and get the parts that way. He did say that could be a good idea, it would also get some food on the table… “ The man pondered, as he stared into the wall, away from the white rat. “God now that I’m talking about food… ” A grin formed on the man’s face, as the rat’s movements became more sporadic. “I am quite hungry”

 

Crunch

Chapter Text

Marshall walked through his house, bowl of cereal in hand, wearing only his boxers. Tiredly he rubbed his eyes, opening a door and walking into his bedroom. In his bed was his lover, Bubba Gumball, sleeping. Marshall sat down on the side of his bed, taking a spoonful of cereal into his mouth as he rested a hand on Bubba’s bare shoulder. Slowly he woke up, yawning as his eyes started opening. 

 

“Morning pinky.” Marshall said mockingly, receiving a light slap to his bicep in response to this. 

 

“Shut up, you know I’m not a morning person.”

 

“That’s why I’m teasing you.” Bubba only growled in response, burying his face in the pillow. Eventually he turned his tired face towards Marshall’s bowl of cereal.

 

“Babe.” 

 

“What?” 

 

“I’m hungry.” 

 

“So?” Marshall asked again, as he took another spoonful of cereal into his mouth.

 

“You know what I mean.” He said, playfully slapping him on his leg. Marshall chuckled, as he slowly moved the spoon to Bubba’s mouth. 

 

“Here comes the airplane!”

 

“I hate you.” Bubba said, as he ate the cereal off the spoon.

 

“And I love you too.” He said with a chuckle, taking another spoonful of cereal into his own mouth before putting the bowl on the nightstand next to his bed. “Also, my sis said she wanted you to stop stealing her clothes” 

 

Bubba almost choked on his cereal, Marshall trying to keep in his laughter. 

 

“Okay, first of all it’s called borrowing, I’ve always given them back when she asked for them. Secondly, she knows we have the same size, and she can always borrow clothes from me”

 

“You did look pretty good last night.” Marshall mumbled. 

 

“Excuse me?”



“Nothing!” Marshall said with a smile. “You wanna go do something today?”

 

“Do what?”

 

“I don’t know, just do anything”

 

“Well there is this new ice cream salon in town, and I wanna try it out”

 

“You wanna get ice cream?”

 

“Yeah, is that so weird?”

 

“No uhh… it's already November, shit's getting cold, but whatever. Let’s get going though because my mom’s gonna be home any minute now, and she said if she catches you naked again you’re not allowed back in here”

 

“Okay that was one time!”

 

...

 

“Really, vanilla and strawberry?”

 

“We’ve gotten ice cream before haven’t we? I always get vanilla and strawberry”

 

“No we haven’t, I didn’t know you were that basic”

 

“Fuck you.” He mumbled, as Marshall wrapped an arm around his waist, the two of them strolling down the street. “Where are we going?”

 

“Nowhere really, I thought we could just walk around town, maybe we’ll find a cool place to check out.”

 

“Ugh, fine with me I guess.” Gumball said, Marshall chuckling as he pulled him closer. They strolled through town, walking across many shops they’d seen many times before, until they came across something they’d never seen before. It seemed like a former cinema, with a large neon sign above the entrance.

 

“The… mystery hack?” Marshall asked, as he looked at the flickering neon sign. 

 

“No it’s the mystery shack, the sign’s just broken.” Bubba replied. “What is this place even?”

 

“I don’t know some kind of… museum? The sign says something about ‘a world filled to the brim with oddities and monster’” 

 

“Weird. Well, let’s go” Bubba said, as he started to walk, only to notice Marshall hadn’t followed behind him. Bubba turned around with a sigh. “Marshall, we are NOT going in there”.

 

“But babe pleeeeease.”

 

“Nope nope nope, and uhhh, no again! We are never, and I repeat, never going in there!”

 

… 

 

“That’ll be twenty dollars please, and have a nice experience” The cashier said, as Marshall and Bubba made their way to the large double doors.

 

“You are paying me back the money for both of those tickets Marshall.”

 

“Oh come on! This’ll be fun!” Marshall replied, as both of them waited for the doors to open. Around them were what seemed like other customers, about 5 other people, some they’d seen walking around town before, and others they didn’t know at all. After a few moments of waiting the doors opened, and the 7 of them walked through. As soon as they entered, the doors behind them closed, and left them in a pitch black room.

 

“Marshy this doesn’t seem very fun” Bubba whispered, as he moved closer to Marshall, squeezing his arm tightly. 

 

“Aww you’re scared aren’t y-OWWW!” Marshall yelped, as Bubba squeezed his arm even tighter. Suddenly the lights turned back on, and their gazes all turned towards the person at the long end of the room. He was wearing what seemed like a black suit, a white dress shirt underneath with a red string tie, a cane adorned with an 8 ball and most peculiarly of all, a fez.

 

“Welcome! My name is Stan, owner of the Mystery Shack! The home of every freak, monster and oddity found in Morioh and its surrounding areas! I’ll be giving you an in-depth tour of every little thing here, and remember, it’s all real!” The man said, Bubba rolling his eyes at the statement. As another set of double doors opened behind Stan, he led the group through into another room.

 

This seemed to be a display room, with a small display stand in the center and a velvet fence around it, seemingly to keep people from touching whatever was on it. Suddenly the man spoke up, as he pointed his cane at the thing on top of the stand.

 

“This, is a baby Kraken!” On top of the stand was a glass fishbowl, with inside the supposed ‘baby Kraken’. To Bubba it seemed a lot more like a small octopus than anything resembling a Kraken. “The Kraken is a fierce sea creature, but its child is a lot less harmful. But don’t let ye be fooled, it can defend itself with a loud, high-pitched screech that can turn someone deaf if they aren’t careful! The fisher learned that the hard way.”

 

As the other guests gathered around it and started taking pictures, including Marshall, Gumball stood where he was, arms crossed. As Marshall returned, he asked Gumball. “What’s wrong?” 

 

“It’s so obviously fake, no matter how hard it tries a creature like that can’t grow to the reported sizes of a Kraken. Besides, they’re a myth, fake, it’s stupid.” He mumbled angrily, before Marshall shushed him.

 

“Shhhh! Not so loud! Also, don’t be such a buzzkill!” Marshall said, as the next door opened, and Stan led them through to the next room. In this one there was some kind of stick adorned with jewels on a stand.

 

“This the staff of Merlin, the mentor of King Arthur from Arthurian legend! While King Arthur and his legend originate from the UK, somehow his staff was found here. This staff is actually capable of magic, so be careful when taking pictures!” He said, as the crowd gathered around the staff, with the exception of Gumball, who stayed behind with a groan and crossed arms. After Marshall was done taking pictures, he returned to Bubba’s side, only to notice the expression on his face, and let out a short sigh before opening his mouth.

 

“What is it this time babe?”

 

“Magic. Doesn’t. Exist. As much as I would love to believe that it does, it simply doesn’t. Besides, if this were really Merlin’s staff, why would it even be here? It makes no sense, it’s just a branch with some plastic jewels glued to it.”

 

“Come on, how do you know it’s not real?”

“It just… isn’t.” Bubba replied with a groan. After a while Stan led them into the next room. This room was a tad larger than the last one, probably to accommodate the large cylindrical cage in the center of the room. It was a large metal cage, reaching the ceiling of the roof, with inside a large hairy beast. It seemed almost humanoid, but way bigger than any regular human, as it sat in the center of the cage. The creature had snow-white fur, and sat on the floor with its knees to its chest.

 

“This… is truly one of our greatest catches. This is an actual yeti, we believe it to originate from Alaska actually, and it has somehow travelled all the way here! While the yeti is actually quite a calm creature, every Yeti has certain triggers that can make it quite aggressive. This one in particular hates high-pitched noises, and people staring it straight into the eyes. So be careful when taking pictures!” Stan said with a smile, as he grounded his cane, leaning on it carefully. 

 

Again, the group gathered around the exhibit, taking pictures and making sure not to look it in the eyes. And again, Gumball stayed behind. After a while Marshall returned to his side with a sigh. “Come on babe, can’t you just chill out for a bit?”

 

“Chill out? It’s basically a scam isn’t it? I mean look at that thing, it’s barely moving, and when it is it looks robotic as all hell. It’s obviously a bad animatronic”

 

“Yeah? Well can you prove it?” Marshall said, not immediately realizing the storm he had just brought on.

 

“Prove it? Is this some kind of challenge Marshall? Because you know I’m better than you in this kind of thing.”

 

“What is ‘this kind of thing’?”

 

“Proving facts, that kinda thing! Anyway, high-pitched noises and staring into its eyes right?” 

 

“You mean its triggers? I think that’s what he said-” Marshall was suddenly cut off by Bubba whistling as loud as he could. “What the fuck?” Everyone in the room suddenly turned their heads towards Bubba, including the Yeti. Now that it was facing Bubba, it was a lot easier to see its face, which, if fake, looked incredibly realistic.  

 

“Kid, what are you doing?” Stan asked, dropping the phony accent he was sporting just a second ago. 

 

“Exposing your scam” Bubba responded, as he slowly approached the cage. “You’re charging 20 bucks for a bunch of fake props, per ticket, it’s absurd.” He complained, as Stan figured out what Bubba was doing.

 

“You’re not smart kid, what you’re doing now is making a huge mistake” He explained, as he blocked Bubba’s path with his cane. Bubba plainly pushed it out of the way, eventually ending up right in front of the cage. 

 

“Look you can scam people all you want old man, but people are going to call you out on your bullshit eventually.” He stated plainly, crouching down to get to eye level with the yeti.

 

“Babe do you really think this is a good ide-”

 

“You don’t really believe this shit do you Marshy?” He asked him, rhetorically that is. “Come on little yeti, attack me then” Bubba taunted, staring the yeti straight in its eyes. It stared back blankly, not moving a muscle, almost as if the two of them were having a staring contest. 

 

“Come on Bubba, we get it.” Marshall said, putting a hand on his shoulder from behind. 

 

“I told you so, it’s fucking stupid, it’s a scam.” He ranted, his eyes examining those of the yeti’s. They looked vaguely human, which would make sense. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the yeti’s eyes flashed a golden yellow. 

 

“What in the name of Mendele-” 

 

ROAR! 

 

Bubba quickly dove back, acting mainly out of reflex, as a yeti claw narrowly missed his face. He crawled back, the yeti trying its best to reach him, and most likely tear him to shreds. “Jesus Christ!” He shouted, as Marshall pulled him back from the cage, holding him protectively.

 

Bubba was about to speak up again, when his cone of vision was suddenly intruded by a red wood cane, most likely adorned with an 8 ball at the top.

 

“I told you kid! Didn’t I?” He said triumphantly. Bubba got up, one of his hands wrapped tightly around Marshall’s, contradicting his facade of a fearless attitude as he scoffed at the man. “Now you better pay up because getting this thing calm again requires us to fly out a guy from Australia, and that’s coming out of your pocket!” He said, a distinct chuckle present in his voice. 

 

“I’m not fu-” He was yet again interrupted, by a loud scream this time. Marshall, Bubba and Stan all turned their heads towards the source of the scream, being a woman from the tour group. She was close to the cage, but seemed to be mostly alright. They were confused about why exactly she screamed, until they heard another roar, not different than the one from before.

 

“Oh fuck” Marshall said, as him, Gumball and Stan all backed up against the wall. As the yeti tore its way through the cage, bending the bars to allow itself a way through, Marshall had only one idea.

 

“Babe?” Marshall asked.

 

“Yeah?” 

 

Gulp

 

“Run” 

 

And the three of them barely waited for Marshall to finish pronouncing the one syllable word, their legs thinking for them as they sprinted back towards where they came from. 

 

“Did you really have to do that?!?” Marshall shouted.

 

“I was sure it was fake!”



“If it wasn’t true, you weren’t sure!” Marshall yelled. They knew the yeti was chasing them, and while they were planning to run away through the entrance, they noticed something.  

 

It was closed.

 

They couldn’t run away, and they had to act quickly. Because if they were too slow, they’d be dead. Luckily they had one of the smartest kids at Theseus High with them.

 

“Stan! You said it hated high-pitched noises right?” Gumball asked. 

 

“Well, yeah! Kid I don’t know what you’re about to try, but you’re paying for any broken prope-”

 

“Yeah yeah!” He yelled. 

 

As they ran into the first showroom, Gumball acted on his newly formed plan, grabbing the fishbowl with the baby Kraken, and threw it behind him as hard as he could. And like he had hoped, the Kraken started screeching at an ear piercingly high pitch. As the three of them covered their ears, they could hear a loud growl, followed by the earth shaking footsteps of the yeti turning the other way. 

 

They quickly ran into the first showroom, closing the door behind them, breathing heavily as they took this brief moment to rest. 

 

“Jesus Christ, he almost fucking had us.” Marshall gasped, as he leaned against the wall. 

 

“Luckily I threw that fishbowl at the right time”

 

“But if you weren’t such a prick about this shit being fake, which let it be known for the record, it wasn’t, we wouldn’t be in this situation right now!” 

 

“Oh my god don’t give me that shit right now Marshall!” 

 

“You know it’s true!” 

 

“I’ve seen things like this before, they’re always fake!” 

 

“Well clearly-” 

 

“Can you kids shut up! First of all, that’s another 50K on your bill for the probably dead baby Kraken! Secondly, a door isn’t gonna stop this thing, so let’s get the hell out of here-” As Stan tried to open the entrance door, he felt that the door didn’t budge. It was locked.

 

Stan slammed his fist against the door angrily. “Dipper! Mabel! You two open this door right now!” 

 

“But uncle Stan, if we open the door all that’s gonna happen is that yeti’s gonna escape and be a danger to everyone!” 

 

“It’s also gonna kill us!” 

 

“Just hide somewhere, we called the police and they’ll be here any minute!”

 

“The police!? You didn’t tell them my name did you? Because I’m not on good footing wi-” And before Stan could continue, they were interrupted with another loud growl. The screeching of the baby Kraken had also stopped, which could only mean one thing.

 

“Okay kids, the yeti’s done with your little distraction, probably ate the bugger, we have to hide somewhere before it gets to us.” Stan explained to Marshall and Gumball, as they all felt the ground shake every once in a while, most likely from the yeti’s foot steps.

 

“We’re dead.” Marshall said. “Ya know, it’s been fun, never thought I’d get killed by a cryptid of all things, arrivederci, I love you babe but I’m gonna high five a yeti before he eats me.”

 

Gumball pulled Marshall back by his hoodie before he could open the door to the yeti. “No can do mister, if anyone’s gonna kill your dumb ass it’s gonna be me after we get out of here.” 

 

“That’s not very reassuri-” 

 

“Now Stan, is there anything else we should know about this thing”

 

“Well, it’s got poor eyesight, relies mostly on smell and hearing to find its prey, and this one really likes human meat” 

 

“Yeah we’re totally dea-”

 

“Of course! We just have to stand still and make sure it doesn’t hear us move, it’s like… what’s a reference you’ll understand… it’s like the T-rex in Jurassic Park, Marsh!” Gumball explained carefully. 

 

“I think I-” They all heard a fist stomp against the door, and Gumball acted quickly. He ran towards the wall, standing somewhere in the corner and becoming as small as possible. Stan followed his example, Marshall lagging behind and finding a nice spot against the same wall as Stan.

 

I swear if I get cut off one last time, I’m gonn-

 

With a loud growl, the door shattered to pieces, and Gumball felt another few bucks pile on top of the bill Stan was going to hand him if they survived. The yeti breathed heavily, it’s footsteps shaking the floor as it stomped across the room. It sniffed in, breathing in the musk of the room. 

 

God I’m way too smart. Gumball thought to himself. The yeti stomped around the room, coming close to Marshall a few times, but turning its head away after taking in a breath or two.

 

After a while, the yeti let out a soft, low growl, and turned around, back towards the door whence it came from. As its foot was halfway through the doorway, it took in one last breath.

 

And one last unlucky stroke for our heroes.

 

It picked something up it hadn’t before. It growled lowly, as it backed up into the room again. Marshall gulped, thinking it had finally found him, but to his surprise, that wasn’t the case. 

 

The yeti kept sniffing, as it slowly navigated to the corner of the room, situated right from the door. 

 

The one that Gumball was hiding in. It moved closer and closer, Gumball staying as still and calm he possibly could. 

 

Dang it! He thought. My perfume! That’s what he’s smelling! Gumball silently gulped, as the head of the yeti slowly came closer, and he could hear it breathing. It was heavy, and primal, like a mix between a bear and a woman that had just won a marathon. As it steadily came closer, Gumball could eventually feel the yeti’s breath on his chest, and could hear a claw scratch the wall next to him. Gumball, almost certain that he was gonna die, closed his eyes and hoped for a quick death. But then.

 

“Come get me then you failed polar bear!” Someone shouted from behind the yeti. The yeti bolted around, and while its massive body was still blocking whoever it was, Gumball knew damn well who it was.

 

“Marshall! You idiot, it’s gonna kill you!”

 

But Marshall couldn’t hear him, as his voice was drowned out by the noise Marshall was making.



“You want to come and eat me right?” He yelled at the yeti, rhetorically of course. “We-” He gulped in the middle of his sentence, having now only realized the true size of this thing. He licked his lips, as his right hand pinched the fabric of his flannel, before continuing. “Well come and get me then!” And at that moment, he turned on his heels and started running. The yeti barely gave him a moment of reprieve, letting out a loud roar before it started stomping after Marshall.



“Marshall! You idiot!” Was the last thing Marshall heard Gumball scream before he started running. His instinct had controlled him over his brain, like it tended to do. He saw Bubba in danger and acted on his first thoughts. Now he was running from a yeti, one he could loudly hear stomping behind him. 

 

He was running through the halls, opening doors that were previously unopened, and seeing the things Stan would most likely be showing them right now if this hadn’t happened. He could see a few things, an orange fish, a pair of sandals, a sword.

 

A sword? 

 

Again, Marshall acted on instinct, grabbing the sword and turning seemingly on a whim, as he held the sword with two hands. “Jesus, is this like a giant’s knife ?” He mumbled to himself, as he held it as steadily as he could. “Don’t come any closer!” He shouted, pointing the tip of the blade at the yeti.

 

The yeti roared, as it seemingly kept its distance. 

 

Here goes nothing . He thought to himself, lifting the sword above his head, before crashing it down on the yeti with a loud grunt. 

 

Crack!

 

Was the sound the blade made, as it broke in two pieces. Marshall gulped, dropping the hilt on the floor as he backed up. “Hey buddy? Pal? I didn’t mean anything with that!” He tried reasoning with the yeti, a hopeless endeavor. Eventually he reached the door, trying to open it with his hands behind his back, only to realize it was locked.

 

Fuck I’m dead fuck I’m dead fuck I’m dead.

 

He repeated in his head, the yeti getting closer and closer, the shaking of the ground only getting more intense as it closed in on Marshall. It’s breathing was getting audible, it was heavy, visceral like you’d expect from such a beast. Now he could only really see its face, it was almost bear like, its mouth slightly agape to reveal its monstrous teeth. It lifted it’s gigantic claw, preparing for some kind of slash most likely.

 

Marshall closed his eyes, breathing in heavily, for the very last time he thought. And then.

 

Thwack! 

 

Marshall opened his eyes again, and in front of him the yeti that was so threatening a few moments ago, fell to the floor limply, revealing Bubba behind him, holding what seemed like a broken stick. The wood glowed a faint whitish blue for a few moments, before fading.

 

“Bubba!” He cheered, as he ran at Bubba and embraced him in a tight hug. He pulled him tightly, almost squeezing him to a fine paste. “You saved me! Holy shit!”

 

“I told you, if anyone’s gonna kill you it’s gonna be me” He teased, as he hugged Marshall back. He held in a tear, as he buried his face in Marshall’s neck. ”I really thought you were gonna die there” 

 

“Look, if I ever die it’s gonna be because I get trampled in the pit. A stupid yeti isn’t gonna be the death of me”

 

“You did look pretty scared of it.” Bubba teased, a chuckle escaping his lips as he poked him in his stomach.

 

“Did not”

 

“Did” 

 

“No, did-” 

 

“Ahem” Stan suddenly interjected. Bubba and Marshall quickly let each other go, as they both faced Stan. “This is cute and all, but you’re gonna have to pay me back for the damages” 

 

Bubba sighed, rolling his eyes before opening his mouth. “How much is it?” 

 

A smile appeared on Stan’s face. “Give me a second please” He said, as he pulled a calculator out of his back pocket and put on a pair of glasses. “Yeti whisperer, dead Kraken… broken sword… broken staff… almost killed 3 customers… hold the 0.” He mumbled to himself, before taking the glasses off. “Yeah that’s gonna be 100K.” 

 

Gumball rolled his eyes again, as he reached into his back pocket. “I… forgot my wallet home, I don’t have my credit card with me.” He tugged on Marshall’s arm. “Do you have your wallet?” 

 

“Do I have my wallet? Yeah, but I don’t have a 100.000 bucks just ready to go! Who do you think I am?” Gumball let out a deeper sigh, as he returned his focus to Stan. 

 

“Look, I’ll go get my wallet at home, and then we’ll come back” 

 

“You mean you’re gonna run away and not pay me?” Stan asserted. “I know what you kids are like, you’re not leaving till you pay me. Or…“ 

 

“Or what?” Bubba asked, rubbing his face in his hands as he prepared for the worst.

 

“You clean up this whole mess, and I’ll let you off the hook.” 

 

“Marshy poo?” He asked, as his puppy eyes bore straight through Marshall’s soul.

 

“I’ll go get a broom”