Chapter One

Placing her goggles on top of her head and keeping her aviator hat on, Lex Lee looked around as she climbed off of her doodle-coated bicycle and parked it in the bike racks in front of her school, Shermer High, on Saturday morning. As she watched, John Bender became visible walking towards the entryway, which made Lex's perpetual shit-eating grin widen. Bender was very funny. Much taller than Lex, though that was a very common trait, he was wearing a long coat and sunglasses, his shaggy brown hair in his face. A car came towards him but he didn't stop walking or even turn his head. The car slammed the brakes directly in front of him.

Out of the car stepped Allison Reynolds. As per usual, she was dressed in all black. Though she stepped forward to say goodbye to someone, the car drove away before she could. Lex's smile became slightly strained and she made her way inside.

There were six tables in two rows of three. Claire Standish, the school's incredibly aggravating Queen Bee, was sitting at the front table on the right in the outside seat. Brian Johnson, a brainiac, was sitting at the table behind her.

Lex made her way to the table behind Brian, flipping Claire the bird as she did so. A tiny twig of a girl, Lex was Asian, her purple-black shoulder-length hair and bangs so choppy they seemed to have been cut in the dark without the aid of a mirror. Dressed in flared, frayed jeans a size too large, scuffed purple converse, a black longsleeve with a grey t-shirt over it that had star designs 'hanging' from the seams on the shoulders from dotted lines, she also wore her beloved grey aviator hat and purple-tinted goggles. Dark eyes, shining with humor and complete with purple eyeshadow, were set in a childish face above a perpetual shit-eating grin. A lopsided black belt and a small grey shoulder bag with three external pockets, one on each side and one on the front, finished off her rather alternative look.

Andrew Clark came in and pointed at the chair next to Claire at the front table. Claire shrugged and he sat there.

In swaggered Bender, touching everything on the library checkout desk and pocketing a pad of sticky notes as he did so. He strutted over to where Brian was sitting and pointed to the table on the opposite side of the aisle. Brian hastily moved. Bender sat at the table where Brian was and turned the chairs so he could sit in one and prop his feet up on the other. Lex sniggered.

Allison power-walked in. She took the long way around the library and sat in the back corner table, just behind Brian and across from Lex, who offered a wave and her usual smile. Andrew and Claire glanced at each other and snickered. Brian looked at her in confusion before turning away.

Enter Richard Vernon, the principal and a dick. With him, he brought a stack of papers and an air of cruelty that made Lex lean back in her seat, prop her legs up on her desk, and grin even wider in anticipation of annoying him. Many people, teens and adults alike, called him Dick behind his back, though only a few were crazy enough to say it to his face. Said few included Lex, of course.

"Well, well. Here we are! I want to congratulate you for being on time." Dick said. Claire raised her hand.

"Excuse me, sir? I think there's been a mistake. I know it's detention, but I don't think I belong in here." she said. Lex snorted. Dick ignored the two and continued to talk. Lex sniggered.

"It is now 7:06. You have exactly eight hours and fifty-four minutes to think about why you're here. To ponder the error of your ways." Dick said. Bender spat into the air and caught the spit in his mouth again. Lex snorted and clapped. Claire looked like she was going to throw up. Dick kept talking. "And you may not talk. You will not move from these seats." He glances up at Bender and points at him. "You will not sleep." he said, yanking the chair out from under Bender's feet. He then turned on a still-grinning Lex. "And you will not walk the chair out the door again." That statement earned several laughs and only mildly sarcastic applause from Bender. Lex took a mock-bow, her grin widening. "Alright people, we're gonna try something a little different today. We are going to write an essay, of no less than a thousand words, describing to me who you think you are."

"Is this a test?" Bender asked.

Dick passed out papers and took no notice of Bender. "And when I say essay, I mean essay. I do not mean a single word repeated a thousand times. Is that clear, Mr. Bender? Ms. Lee?"

"Crystal." Bender said.

"Yeppers!" Lex laughed, and ignored the odd looks everyone but Allison gave her, long used to them.

"Good. Maybe you'll learn a little something about yourself. Maybe you'll even decide whether or not you care to return." Dick said.

Brian raised his hand and then stood twichily, earning yet another snigger from Lex. "You know, I can answer that right now sir. That'd be no, no for me, 'cause-"

"Sit down, Johnson." Dick said, without even looking at him. Brian sat down abruptly.

"Thank you, sir." he muttered, getting no response but yet another laugh from Lex.

"My office is right across that hall. Any monkey business is ill-advised." Dick said, then looked around. "Any questions?"

"Yeah, I got a question." Bender said, earning a suspicious look from Dick. He plowed on ahead anyway. "Does Barry Manilow know you raid his wardrobe?"

Lex burst out laughing.

"I'll give you the answer to that question, Mr. Bender, next Saturday. And you, Ms. Lee, will be joining him. Don't mess with the bull, you two, you'll get the horns." Dick left. Lex continued to snigger.

"That man is a brownie hound." Bender announced. Once again, Lex laughed.

"Truer words have never been said." she called. Bender smirked at her.

Everyone attempted to get comfortable. Lex kept her feet up on the desk and began to write on the paper she was supposed to use for her essay, instead writing rude rhymes and nonsensical jokes. Suddenly, a loud snapping sound made everyone jump. Brian and Lex turned and it was Allison, biting her nails. Bender's eyes widened as he turned to look. Andrew and Claire turned a moment later. Allison noticed them staring at her, though Andrew and Claire were disgusted, Brian was confused, and Bender and Lex were mildly impressed. Lex laughed.

"You keep eating your hand and you're not gonna be hungry for lunch…" Bender warned Allison, who spat part of her nail at him, earning a snort from Lex. Bender ignored both Allison's action and Lex's response. "I've seen you before, you know."


A few minutes later, Brian was playing with his pen, trying to figure out what to write. He was speaking aloud to himself. "Who do I think I am? Who are you? Who are you?" He attached the pen to his bottom lip and put the top under his top lip. "I am a walrus."

Lex laughed loudly, making Brian jump, though she gave him a thumbs up. Bender looked at them both in utter confusion. Brian laughed awkwardly and took the pen out of his mouth, embarrassed. Lex just shrugged. Bender and Brian began to take their jackets off at the same time. They noticed it simultaneously. Brian stopped removing his jacket. Bender took his all the way off. Lex sniggered, but laughed out loud again when Brian rubbed his hands together and pretended to be cold, pulling his jacket back on. He turned and looked at Bender, who was still staring at him and Lex.

"It's the shits, huh?" Brian stuttered. Lex snorted and went back to doodling on her paper, now writing creative and rhyming insults directed at Dick.

Bender glared at Brian, who laughed uncomfortably. Bender turned away and crumpled up his essay paper before throwing it at Claire. Unfortunately, he missed and the paper went over Claire's head. Andrew and Claire acknowledged it but continued to ignore Bender. Very clearly bored and enjoying himself, Bender started loudly 'singing' the instrumental part of a song. Lex, recognizing Sunshine of Your Love by Cream, began to drum along with her fingers on the desk.

"I can't believe this is really happening to me…" Claire said aloud. Bender developed a split-second evil grin and stopped singing abruptly. Lex removed her legs from the desk and sat forward, preparing for amusement.

"Oh, shit! What're we supposed to do if we hafta take a piss?" Bender exclaimed, causing Lex to snigger.

"Please-" Claire started, but Bender cut her off and Lex laughed over her words.

"If you gotta go, you gotta go!" Bender exclaimed, something audibly unzipping. Everyone was staring at Bender.

"Oh my God!" Claire yelped, turning away from him. Andrew, on the other hand, glared.

"Hey, you're not urinating in here, man!" he snapped. Lex cackled, unable to believe that they were taking this seriously. She was unable to breathe at this point.

"Don't talk! Don't talk! It makes it crawl back up!" Bender said hastily.

"You whip it out and you're dead before the first drop hits the floor!" Andrew threatened. Bender gasped mockingly, re-zipping whatever he'd unzipped anyway.

"You're pretty sexy when you get angry…" he drawled sarcastically before mock-growling.

Lex fell out of her chair, still laughing, and hit the floor with a loud thump. Everyone gave her very strange looks as she climbed back into her seat, still snickering. Bender turned to Brian.

"Hey, homeboy!" Brian pointed at himself with his pen, clearly wondering why Bender was speaking to him. "Why don't you go close that door? We'll get the prom queen impregnated!"

Claire glared at them, and then at Lex when she snorted.

"Hey!" Andrew snapped. Bender ignored him. Andrew repeated himself. "Hey!"

"What?" Bender asked.

"If I lose my temper, you're totalled, man!" Andrew threatened. Bender raised his eyebrows.

"Totally?" he asked, in a blatantly terrible surfer-dude voice that earned yet another snort from Lex.

"Totally!" Andrew responded seriously, making Lex laugh even harder. This was, by far, the funniest detention she'd ever had.

"Why don't you just shut up! Nobody here is interested!" Claire snapped at Bender, then turned on Lex. "And why are you laughing, you crazy little twig?"

"Really! Buttfaces!" Andrew said, earning yet another laugh from Lex, who sat forward.

"'Buttfaces?' How old are you, nine?" she laughed, then turned to meet Claire's eyes, her grin suddenly dangerous and topped by a lethal stare. It was jarring on the constantly-cheerful girl, who suddenly reminded everyone in the room of a hyena. "And I'm laughing because he is just joking around. Even if he was making fun of me, I'd be laughing. I'd joke back. Trust me on this, princess, you really don't want me to stop laughing."

Everyone leaned away from her. The room was silent for a good minute.

"That was a very strange moment!" Bender announced with a clap of his hands, breaking the tension. "Hey, Sporto! What'd you do to get in here? Forget to wash your jock?"

"Uh, excuse me, fellas? I think we should just write our papers." Brian said. Everyone ignored him.

"Look, just because you live in here doesn't give you the right to be a pain in the ass, so knock it off!" Andrew snapped. Bender mockingly registered pain in his face.

"It's a free country…" he mumbled, pretending to be hurt. Lex snorted.

"I'm the one who lives in detention, not him." she called, then laughed at her own ridiculous joke.

"They're just doing it to get a rise out of you! Just ignore them." Claire told Andrew.

"Sweets, you couldn't ignore me if you tried!" Bender said. "And Lex is way too crazy to be ignored."

"True!" Lex laughed, getting odd looks yet again and then an eye roll from Claire. As soon as the redhead turned away, Lex flipped her the bird.

"So… so! Are you guys like boyfriend/girlfriend? Steady dates? Lo-vers? Come on Sporto, level with me. Do you slip her the hot-beef-injection?" Bender said to Andrew and Claire. Lex snorted loudly. Claire and Andrew turned to face Bender, both furious.

"Go to hell!" Claire screamed.

"Enough!" Andrew roared at the same time.

"Hey! What's going on in there?" They all looked at each other. Andrew turned away from Bender as Lex laughed loudly again.

"Scumbag!" Andrew grumbled.