AN: So no, I will not be writing about the actual wedding. I mean, I don't really feel like doing all the clichés of "weddings-gone-wrong". Don't Fang and Max deserve a nice, peaceful wedding with no surprises, you heartless jerks? (Insert snort here.)
However, with such an awesome collection of reviews, I felt that I might as well do another "pre-fax-wedding". This is just one of those stories that wrote itself out. I had no idea where it was going to go. Anyways, I hope you have fun reading it.
Warning: Language and typical Bachelor Party stuff, which is the reason why I didn't want to lump it in with "His Best Man".
"Strippers and booze?" Fang asked skeptically from his driver's seat. He stopped at the red light and gave his best friend a hard look. Iggy rolled his eyes and gave him the 'duh' face in return.
"Uh, yeah. It's called a bachelor's party, Fang. I'm sorry, but there's not going to be a birthday cake and a clown with balloons…. Unless that happens to be your secret kink. We can have the stripper in a cake --"
"Booze yes, strippers no," Fang snapped before Iggy could go any further. There was an impatient honk from behind and Fang cursed. He sped off, hoping that the green light hadn't been on for very long.
"That's a bit insensitive of you," Gazzy sniffed from the backseat. The mischievous teen poked his head up so that he was blocking the scene in Fang's rearview mirror. "I can't drink yet, so you've got to have strippers. I'll be bored without them."
"Gazzy's even volunteered to be the designated driver," Iggy said cheerfully over younger boy's instant protests. "You and I will be the designated drunks, buddy."
Fang snorted, "So we're only getting strippers for Gazzy's benefit, who is, let me remind you, only eighteen. Fresh out of high school."
"Oh Fang," Iggy cooed, "You're so naïve. We were planning on getting take-out, if you know what I mean."
Fang looked blank. Iggy's grinning face slackened into a horrified expression.
"He means we're hiring a stripper to dance at our house," Gazzy offered to Fang.
"I actually took the liberty and already called," Iggy said, "She'll be over at six."
The two blonds high-fived while the future groom almost lost control of the car.
"You guys are fuckin' idiots!"
"Just listen to us –"
"I'm getting married in three days, what if Max sees --"
"If she truly loves you," Gazzy reasoned seriously, "she wouldn't mind."
Fang winced and even Iggy pulled a grimace.
"Christ, I can already see my marriage go down to hell, and it hasn't even started," the driver muttered.
Iggy and Gazzy exchanged slightly guilty looks (or rather, Iggy felt the need to turn towards Gazzy and give a sympathetic frown). However, they were determined to have a bachelor's party, even if it meant setting back Fang's wedding for another couple of weeks. Max's temper was like dynamite; big, loud, painful, but quick to pass over….eventually.
"Gosh Fang, you've really cleaned up since you got engaged. Now how are we ever going to have fun again?" Iggy asked with a melodramatic sigh.
"Fun doesn't always include getting drunk or scantily dressed women," Fang replied curtly.
No one had the heart to say anything after that. The three young men rode together in brooding silence. It took Gazzy a moment to muster up his courage and peer hesitantly over Fang's shoulder.
"Fang," he began timidly, "Don't tell me you've never been into a strip club."
Fang's right eye twitched and Iggy, in his all-seeing omniscience, caught it.
"Aha," was all he said with a hint of pity.
Gazzy shook his head and let his face fall into his hands. Fang stared into the rearview mirror.
"Don't tell me you guys have!" he said, shocked.
The unspoken words filled the awkward silence.
You guys went to a strip club… without me?
But Fang hauled his argument where it really counted, "Iggy, how could you? Gazzy's underage!"
"Technically," Iggy mumbled, "he can go in, just not buy any drinks."
Fang proceeded to look mortified. What happened to those two immature boys who believed in cooties? Gazzy especially. Fang still saw him as that little boy who just wanted to grown up and impress his younger sister and the rest of the flock. Gazzy had a future now! He was already enrolled at a university with a teaching degree in mind. Gazzy, an elementary school teacher! It was like an oxymoron, a paradox. But teaching, Fang had to admit, was one of Gazzy's talents, as was being funny, friendly, protective, and understanding.
Did future third grade teachers go out to strip clubs and party? Fang didn't think so. Iggy, he could understand but –
Wait. No. Iggy, he did not understand.
"And what about you? It's not like you can actually see anything!" Fang said, rounding up of his best friend.
"They had audio commentaries!" Iggy protested.
"That's the sickest thing I've ever heard!"
"But you haven't heard," Iggy shot back, crossing his arms.
"Yeah, it was pretty good," Gazzy piped.
Fang pulled over on the side of the road and unlocked the doors. Staring impassively ahead of him, he griped the steering wheel and said, "Both of you, out of the car."
Gazzy and Iggy exchanged mortified glances.
"What will Lisa think?" Iggy asked shrilly, "She's waiting for us!"
Fang turned pale. Needless to say, he was thinking of another person with the same-sounding name. Different scenarios flashed through his head, all of them ending up with him dying a horrible, gruesome death by the end of the night.
"Lissa?" he finally managed, "She's… a… stripper now?"
"Gorgeous brunette, might I add," Gazzy said, taking Fang's disbelief for weakness. He abruptly changed his voice to sound like a sultry female, "Sounded like this too. Iggy loves it."
"Brunette?" Fang mumbled dumbly. Well, it had been ten years since he last saw her, but a first girlfriend isn't something that a guy should easily forget… especially if the guy had only two girlfriends in his life. "This is it. I'm going to die."
"Oh yeah," Iggy smirked, "She'll be all over you."
"Speaking of which, she'll be over at six, remember?" Gazzy chirped, going back to his original tenor.
Fang looked at his watch. He had eight minutes to live. For a moment, he seriously debated flying out of the country and living somewhere inconspicuous like… Finland. He swallowed. Running away won't solve this messy problem. Killing Iggy and Gazzy wasn't exactly right either. He turned to them and Gazzy had enough sense to edge back after seeing a malicious glint in Fang's eyes.
"You do realize," Fang said, keeping his voice calm, "that Max is currently at our house, possibly waiting for me and not my ex-girlfriend with order that's got my name on it?"
"You lost me at the ex-girlfriend part," Gazzy answered with a nervous laugh.
The master flirter, Iggy, was used to ex-girlfriends, so the subject didn't bother him as much as it did Fang. "Doesn't matter," he said, "I called ahead and Max is out with the girls for the whole day. Geez Fang, I'm not a total newbie at this."
Which shouldn't have surprised Fang at all, but it did.
"The whole day? It's practically night now!"" Fang moaned.
"Whoops," sighed Iggy, who had taken a sudden and keen interest at his fingernails.
Gazzy was the more confused one out of the three, but he managed to grasp the basics of the situation. "Well, we can still catch Lisa before she gets to the house."
In the next five minutes, Fang broke at least a dozen traffic laws. Iggy counted and Gazzy agreed that had they been caught, the collective fines were probably worth Fang's marriage.
"This would make a great story for the wedding toast," Iggy said, rising out of his seat as the car flew over a speed bump.
"A great one for the kids too," Gazzy added since he volunteered at an elementary school. The car swerved and he laughed, idly checking the buckles of his seatbelt as an afterthought.
Fang said something about homicide, poison, stabbing, castrating, murder, and brutal death with Iggy's and Gazzy's name attached to the string sentences at one point or another. Sadly, all his death threads were responded with good-natured grins and jokes from the intended victims.
At two minutes to six, they arrived at the house. Iggy and Gazzy stumbled out of the car, moaning about aerodynamics and its physical limits and how Fang miraculously overcame the laws of nature. The future groom looked just as sick as his passengers, but for a different reason.
"She's home! Her car's in the driveway!" he almost shrieked.
"Hey, so is Nudge's car," Gazzy exclaimed, looking happy, "And Ella's! Angel's probably inside too. Ooh, this car here nice. I wonder whose it is."
Iggy was holding on to Gazzy's arm as the younger man escorted his friend to the walkway, "Must be Lisa's."
"Oh, my god," Fang exclaimed and dashed ahead.
The flocked lived separately from each other due to their jobs or current schooling but they did share a communal home for the holidays or other large events. At other times some of the flock members used the large house to organize their own parties, notably Iggy, Angel, and Nudge. It wasn't uncommon to find the house empty or teeming with people. It was all on the matter of who claimed to use the house first.
Max obviously had dibs before Iggy.
Fang was greeted with the sight of a woman ringing the doorbell. She had on a long leather jacket and high boots over fishnet leggings. It didn't take long for Fang to figure it out.
"Lissa!" he called out in a hissing whisper.
He ran up to her and took her by the arm. The woman flinched and looked at him, clearly startled. She was obviously very pretty, but Fang's jaw dropped several inches.
"You're not… Lissa," he said, stunned.
"Uh, yeah. I am," the woman replied with the same voice Gazzy had used to imitate her. The only difference was she sounded more annoyed than seductive. "Are you-"
The front door opened and Fang looked up like a deer in headlights.
Max blinked back at him with a glass of domestic beer in her right hand and a bottle of unopened champaign in the other. Music blasted from the room inside followed by laughter and female voices.
"Fang?" she exclaimed. Max frowned and glanced at the woman, looking down from her hooker boots to the jacket that revealed just enough of some eye-catching cleavage. Fang instantly released his hand from the stripper's arm.
"Who is this?"
He had to give the stripper some credit. She had probably been in very similar situations because she handled it as smoothly as it could get.
"I'm a friend of Fang," Lisa said with a bashful smile, "Or actually, a friend of his friend. Iggy, yes? We've only just met."
Max laughed back.
Fang wanted to die.
"So... uh, I thought you and the boys were going out somewhere," Max said to Fang, taking a casual sip of her beer.
Fang was apt to recognize that Max was also hiding something. She probably saw the same thing in him.
"We did," he said, dodging a direct answer.
"Where's Gazzy and Iggy?" she asked, rising a brow as her eyes flickered on a far too innocent looking Lisa.
"Those jerks!" Fang thought, "I can't believe they ran away." Not that he could blame them.
"Er…" he said out loud, "Good question. They were just behind me…"
Nudge suddenly popped her head out the door. Her pretty face flushed with excitement… or alcohol.
"Maaaaax," she drawled –definitely alcohol-, "Are you hogging the boys all to yourself? Everyone's waiting for the show."
"Hey! Look who we've just met!" Iggy said happily as he was being dragged by an embarrassed Gazzy. Two handsome men followed close behind. Both were wearing cheap tuxedoes, very thin pants, and suspicious looking cuffs and red bowties.
Max made a horrified noise and groaned. Nudge had to support the future bride from falling, despite having a couple of beers in her already.
"I knew this was going to be a bad idea," Fang and Max said at the same time. Surprised, they glanced at each other.
Nudge laughed and waved at the newcomers.
"Hey, are you guys here for the bachelorette party?" she beamed and stared hard at Fang, Iggy, and Gazzy, "But aren't you three a little too familiar to be our strippers?"
"Uh, the strippers would be us," said one of the guys in the cheap tuxedoes.
"Me too," Lisa said.
Nudge thought for a moment then decided that logic shouldn't be bothered with on a party night. She took Max's beer and gulped it down. "Okay. I'm game. Let's go in."
She brushed past Max and took the male strippers by the hands and dragged them inside. Meanwhile, Iggy and Gazzy offered Lisa their arms and went in as well, leaving a very dazed couple behind.
Fang and Max stood in awkward silence.
"This is… this is weird," Max said finally.
And there was little to do except grin and burst out laughing about it.
"So, how about we have our own party then?"