One for sorrow,
Two for joy,
Three for a girl,
Four for a boy,
"Roll the dice," he had said. Danny had only looked at him oddly, making no move towards the tiny pink pyramids with their little numerals marked on them.
"What are you playing at Dash?" he demanded, staring at the large teen who towered over him ominously, he never glanced away, not even to sweep the details of what he held in his hand into his mental collection. He didn't trust Dash enough to believe his distraction wouldn't be taken advantage of, after all, Dash's other hand was still hidden inside his jacket pocket.
"We're playing dice." Dash replied, "Now roll."
Danny didn't move.
He wondered how long he could keep up the resistance before Dash just decided to up and pound him, but usually after that he stalked off, and the beating was less than what he had been planning anyway.
"Fenton, roll the dice or I'll tell Lancer it was you who tampered with the chem lab." It hadn't been, but the result of said tampering had been dangerous chemical spills, evacuation of the entire school, and four students, including Dash and Danny, spending a good amount of time hosed down. Lancer, Ishiyama, and a threateningly large number of other people were still on the witch hunt for the perpetrator, even though the incident had been three months ago. The idea of having that crusade sicked on him made him pick up the triangles from Dash's hand and toss them on the table. Dash's friends watched with crooked grins as they landed, two etchings face down on the table, three in the air. Danny thought it was a stupid way to play dice, but Dash and his cronies were idiots after all.
"What did it land on?" Paulina asked with a wide smile, Dash picked up one dice and looked at the bottom.
"Girl." he said, and Danny rolled his eyes, this had better not be some stupid dating game thing. He picked up the other one, and at Dash's sour look showed him the bottom without knowing what it meant. "Medium," Dash announced, and some squeals were had, male groans could be heard but before Danny got out a question he was tackled, tied up, and carted off to the female locker room to be dressed up.
Pictures were taken of the end result, then distributed around school the next day. Danny decided he didn't like this dice game.
Lunch again and this time Sam and Tucker were there to witness as he was threatened into another dice roll. Both the boys and girls got to give him a medium, which apparently was a swirly. When he was drying off Tucker explained what he discovered about the game. It seemed to go like this: Each die had a blank side, a single slash, a double slash, and a dot. The bottom side, the one facing face down on the table, was the rolled selection, and the first die to be picked up meant who would get to carry out the sentence, boys or girls, one slash for boys, two slash for girls, the dot was for both, and the blank for Dash. The next die rated severity, the dot for the most severe, this could be anything from physical abuse to utter humiliation, there was apparently no limit, the double slash was a medium, the single slash was a minor, and the blank side was chefs choice, which meant the participants came up with things to do, and the dice roller got to decide which one he wanted to suffer through.
Sam announced her great dislike of this game.
The next day continued on like this, and so did the next. Every school day at lunch the popular crowd gathered around a single table and Danny rolled the dice to decide his fate.
Then one day a roll earned him a new reaction.
One dot on each end, Dash announced "Dead End" and Danny was told to get lost with sour looks of disappointment. He had apparently rolled a get-out-of-bullying-free. Tucker said he liked the game, Danny and Sam glared at him.
It wasn't so bad, this new game of theirs, though they only made Danny play, though he made them force him into it. Usually it ended with the worst possible bullying he could get, it happened once a day, at lunch, and then it was over. Not a bad game, after all sometimes he got off scot free.
"Hey Fenton!" Dash approached him late in the afternoon after coming from practice. Danny glowered at him. Lancer had kept him after class in detention, made him study for crap because someone had read that ridiculous magazine about him being a genius and wanted to interview him. He was not in a good mood.
"Go away Dash." He turned and began walking towards the back of the building. There were a million different exits, many of them windows, to this building and he wasn't afraid to use a one if Dash followed.
A harsh grip on his arm disagreed with this plan. Without a single swear or threat Dash swung him around and pinned him to the wall, or door... Danny felt glass at the back of his neck.
"How about you roll the dice?" Dash asked.
Danny snapped at him. "How about you roll over and die?"
"Awe, but then who would keep you company?" He held out the little pyramids, Danny wanted to take them and flush them down the toilet; instead he smacked them out of Dash's hand. They heard the clatter of the dice on the linoleum, but neither bothered looking at them. Danny was watching Dash, Dash was looking at his own hands. Sliding one hand from the upper arm where he had gripped the brunette up to his shoulder, Dash put his empty hand up to Danny's opposite shoulder and whirled him around, slamming him against the lockers on the other side of the hall.
Danny grunted in pain, toeing the ground from his new height, pleased to see his heel only a little off the ground, he could still touch it with the balls of his feet. Dash, however, was staring at him in a strange kind of daze.
"Wonder what it landed on." he finally spoke, making the smaller boy shrink away at the sudden warmth of his breath against his skin. "Maybe we should see what you got coming to you." A tongue peeked out to wet his lips; he wasn't blinking, keeping his wide eyed vigil on the brunette's neck.
"Maybe you should," Danny retorted, "but you'd have to put me down first." Dash flexed his fingers, gripping his shoulders harder and raising him just a bit farther off the ground. "And it looks like that's the last thing you want to do."
It really was.
"Are you going crazy Dash?" Danny asked as the jock's eyes traveled up to meet his gaze. There was a sheen of sweat covering his tanned face, and a slight flush.
"Course not!" Dash replied, though it was a bit uncertain. "I should hit you for that, by the way." When his victim raised an eyebrow he elaborated, "For losing the dice."
"It's a stupid game," Danny declared.
"I liked it." was the reply, "so did the guys."
"Are you gonna shove me somewhere or am I going to be dangling here for the rest of the night?" Technically he wasn't dangling, but the phrase just came to him, hopefully Dash wouldn't notice. "Because my parents are expecting me home right after school and with detention, well, I'm already in deep."
Dash paused a moment, he didn't have any good excuse to keep him here, though slamming him back against the lockers again sounded like a real good idea at the moment.
He hauled the teen back and threw him, the corner of his mouth tipping up at the grunt of pain.
"Get lost Fenton," he said with mocking humor in his voice, watching Danny push himself up off the floor, "or next time I'll make you eat the dice."
He watched him get to his feet and walk away. Danny didn't look back at all, not for the entire walk to the front doors, nor when he opened it, or when he walked through.
As soon as he was out the door Dash turned towards the back, where Mr. Lancer stood in his doorway watching.
"Not yet huh?" the pudgy older man asked. Dash shook his head.
"Maybe next time," was his reply, and he stepped back into his office, "He's always getting detention for something."
The teen moved after him, but stepped on something. Lifting up his foot he saw a little pink pyramid. Picking it up, it was on its blank side.
Glancing around, he spotted the other one. It too was on its blank side.
He couldn't help it; he smiled, shaking his head again as a slow chuckle rose in his throat.
Five for silver,
Six for gold,
Seven for a secret
Never to be told.