Disclaimer: Me no own. Savvy?

A/N: Hi. (: So I know the band thing's way overdone, but I couldn't resist. Sue me. On second thoughts, please don't. Just wanted to do a human Max fic, to be completely honest. (: I hope you like it.

"One more time, guys," I sighed, running my fingers through my brown-blonde hair. This was the third time we'd stopped halfway through a song. We were just out of it, losing the beat or the time as soon as it changed from the opening. We were all hopeless today, no other way to put it.

"Do we have to?" James, much better known as Iggy, complained from behind his custom drumset.

"Yeah, Max," Sam seconded, strumming his guitar tunelessly. "We're having a bad day. Let's leave it, hit the skate park or something."

"Agreed," Dylan chimed in, his bass guitar wobbling precariously as he set it down with the neck hanging off the edge of the table.

"Besides, you promised you'd come meet Fang with me," Iggy reminded me. Ugh. We were meant to meet his half-brother Nick at three, the first Ig and him had seen each other in something like five years. How did I get myself roped into that one? I mean, really. I don't even know the guy, and what kind of a name is Fang?

"One last time," I said obstinately. Yeah, I don't do so well at giving up; I'm kind of, just a bit, not really, sort of stubborn. The guys sighed heavily, but picked up their various instruments, knowing the consequences if they didn't (I'd hit them. And, you know, not to blow my own trumpet or whatever, but I'm kind of strong).

"You could run the business of misery," Sam joked, hooking his guitar back up to his amp; he'd pulled it out in the hope of giving up.

"Let's take it from the top," I winked, bringing my mic up to my mouth again. "Ready? One two three four!"

Sam's guitar burst into life, his fingers moving like magic up and down the frets, the best he'd played all afternoon without a doubt. Dylan's hands plucked skilfully at his base, his gaze flicking up every few seconds to check Sam's place, or whatever he did. Iggy's head nodded along with every loud smash he made on his drums.

God. They made it look effortless.

I took a breath, praying that I wouldn't wreck it (how ironic would that be?), then I opened my mouth and started to sing.

I'm in the business of misery,
Let's take it from the top.
She's got a body like an hourglass, it's ticking like a clock.
It's a matter of time before we all run out,
When I thought he was mine she caught him by the mouth.

I waited eight long months,
She finally set him free.
I told him I couldn't lie he was the only one for me.
Two weeks and we've caught on fire,
She's got it out for me,
But I wear the biggest smile.

I grinned, knowing this was already one of the best renditions of this song we'd ever done. As Sam slammed another power-chord, I literally jumped into the chorus, my hair becoming a mad tangle as I slammed my head up and down along to the beat.

Whoa, I never meant to brag
But I got him where I want him now.
Whoa, it was never my intention to brag
To steal it all away from you now.
But God does it feel so good,
Cause I got him where I want him now.
And if you could then you know you would.
It's gonna just feel so...
It just feels so good.

I grinned, winking at Dylan as he caught my eye for a split-second. He knew never to take it seriously; all of the guys do. When I get really into a song, especially a Paramore one, they know I do stupid things in the heat of the moment.

Second chances they don't ever matter, people never change.
Once a whore you're nothing more, I'm sorry, that'll never change.
And about forgiveness, we're both supposed to have exchanged.
I'm sorry honey, but I passed it up, now look this way.
Well there's a million other girls who do it just like you.
Looking as innocent as possible to get to who,
They want and what they like it's easy if you do it right.
Well I refuse, I refuse, I refuse!

I almost screamed the last line, belting it out as Iggy pounded on the drums with vigour, grinning widely.

Whoa, I never meant to brag
But I got him where I want him now.
Whoa, it was never my intention to brag
To steal it all away from you now.
But God does it feel so good,
Cause I got him where I want him right now.
And if you could then you know you would.
It's gonna just feel so...
It just feels so good.

I watched his wildest dreams come true
And not one of them involving you
Just watch my wildest dreams come true
Not one of them involving...

"Hey Sam!" I mimicked Hayley Williams's signature cry for the song as Sam started finger-picking an insanely fast solo, his fingers a blur as they formed and re-formed at maximum speed. His face contorted in concentration as I leaned closer to him, jumping up and down, lifted and charged by the electricity of the music.

Whoa, I never meant to brag
But I got him where I want him now.

Whoa, I never meant to brag
But I got him where I want him now.
Whoa, it was never my intention to brag
To steal it all away from you now.
But God does it feel so good,
Cause I got him where I want him now.
And if you could then you know you would.
It's gonna just feel so...
It just feels so good.

I finished with a final head-band, Iggy throwing one of his sticks into the air and catching it, Sam doing one last dramatic strum and Dylan raising his hand into the air.

Woah. Well, I don't mean to brag, but that just felt so good. Yeah, it takes me a while to get the song out of my system, if you know what I mean.

"Well," Iggy said, shoving his sticks into his back pocket and coming to join me, Dylan and Sam. "That wasn't quite as bad, huh?"

"Not perfect," Dylan winked.

"Definitely could be improved," Sam grinned, slinging a friendly arm round my shoulders . I rolled my eyes at all three of them.

"We're so doing that Friday night," I told them, throwing Sam's arm off my shoulders and moving so I faced all of them.

Friday was the town's local Band Slam; it happened every year and the prize was a recording contract. It was like our version of the X Factor, sort of... okay, not at all, but you know. This was our first time entering, but we'd all been attending them since we were little kids. Our parents were, sadly enough, psyched at the thought of their little darlings performing at the show they'd gone to every year without fail. God help us.

"Iggy? Max?" My little sister, Ella, knocked on the door before barrelling into the room. "Okay, one, that was insane awesome! But me and Nudge still think you should totally sing Lady Gaga..." Me and the guys exchanged a over-our-dead-bodies look.

"Yeah, yeah, whatever," I dismissed the thought with a wave of my hand, ignoring Ella's pout. "Two?"

"Oh, yeah," she smiled flirtatiously at Iggy, and he blushed. They have this whole flirty thing going on; they have done for years, but they always denied liking each other (they did). "Iggy's mum's here, said something about time to go get Nick?" I turned to Iggy, confused.


"Fang," he corrected, smiling slightly. "His real name's Nick."

Okay, let me amend my earlier statement. What kind of a nickname is Fang?

"You're blowing us out?" Dylan raised his eyebrows.

"I thought we had a date!" Sam pretended to grab my hand over-dramatically. I withdrew it, and smacked him over the head, laughing.

"Get lost," I rolled my eyes. "And you knew we were going to meet Fang."

"Hmph," Dylan huffed, jokily crossing his arms.

"Any chance of us tagging along?" Sam tried, his eyes hopeful.

"Nah," Iggy laughed. "Don't want to scare him too much."

"And you're taking Max?" Sam gazed at him incredulously. I gasped, and slapped him again.

"Hey!" I threw his guitar at him lightly, grabbing it from where he'd lain it on the floor. "Common Ig. Get the hell outta my house, you two, by the way." I grabbed Ig's arm and started dragging him towards the door.

"No way," Sam teased. "We're going straight to your room..." He chucked evilly.

"You dare..." I warned him. Ella giggled as he stuck his tongue out. "Keep him out, wouldja El?" She grinned and nodded.

For a little sister, I had to give it to her, she was pretty damn awesome. She was popular, and all make-up orientated, but still... she was cool. She wasn't one of the band, but she was always joking around with us, hanging with us at school with her best friend Monique, otherwise known as Nudge.

"See you later, guys," Dylan finally smiled, showing that underneath all the teasing and messing about, we were all really close. How could we not be? I'd grown up with all of them by my side. Literally, in Iggy's case: he and his little brother and sister lived right next to us. Which could be a good thing (in that he could come over whenever) and a bad thing (in that he liked waking me up ridiculously early on Sunday mornings. Who the hell gets up at eight am on a Sunday? Seriously. Thanks to Iggy, me).

Still. I don't know what I'd do without them, to be honest, seeing as all the girls in our year were either sluts and chavs (or a mixture of both. We like to call those rather common creatures slavs), of which, no matter what Iggy says, I am neither. Thank God.

So yeah. I prefer to stick to my guys and my little sister. Me, Ig, Dyl and Sam were all fifteen, and Ella and Nudge were both fourteen, a grade below us. We'd only formed the band when Dyl finally turned fifteen (heheh. We never quit teasing little Babycakes about being the youngest of us all), which was only a few months ago.

We were good, though, already playing gigs most Friday nights (and you thought we had no life. Don't deny it, I can tell). It'd taken hours of endless rehearsal, but we could finally call ourselves a band (Golden Silence, to be exact) without anyone snickering at us (and subsequently receiving a knuckle sandwich from me).

"Later," Sam echoed with a small smile. As we walked out of the door at last, Iggy waved and I did a grand, sweeping bow, before Ig proceeded in tripping me over the threshold. Naturally, he then ran for his life as I raised my hand, cackling manically. The guys clapped Iggy as if he was some hero, and guffawed at me as I turned round and made a knuckle-cracking motion. Remind me to murder them when I get back, would you?


The ride to the airport was long and tense. See, Iggy's mum, Jane, hates me. Seriously. She refuses to speak to me, and likes to pretend I don't even exist. No, I don't even know why. Iggy says it's something about me being too rough for her lovely little sweetheart James (*snicker*. As if) and her wanting him to hang around with 'those charming, pretty little girls' (read as: the slavs).

And you know what I said back to him? 'Her lo- Wait. I am not rough!'

...How they laughed. They groaned in pain afterwards and sent me their deepest regrets.

This time, though, we didn't even have Angel or Gazzy (his full name unofficially being the Gasman, due to his... uh... let's say interesting (read as: disgusting) digestive system... the kid can clear a room in an instant), Ig's little brother and sister, with typical little kid statements, the highlights of which would be:

'Mum! Look! That bee's attacking that pretty flower!' (Jane's explanation for that one was... interesting).

Or, the one that had Iggy laughing for weeks:

Jane: What lovely weather! Winter's coming, and you know what that means...

Angel and Gazzy: Halloween!

Jane: Yes, and Grandma, Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Gazzy: ...Grandma's a holiday?

My personal favourite would have to be the timeless classic 'Are we there yet?'. Those kids sure know how to tie their stepmother in knots, which is one of the reasons I love them so much. That, and they always stash their money together for my birthday, or Christmas, to buy me a new pair of Converse (they know my weaknesses far too well for an eight year-old boy and a six year-old girl).

When we finally arrived, Jane strode off briskly towards a bench outside; Ig'd already arranged for her to wait outside while we went to go meet Fang, Angel and Gazzy. Okay, family tree time: Jane's husband was Iggy's stepdad, and Fang, Angel and Gazzy's real dad. Fang lived with his mum, but he used to come over every Summer (back when I was too young to remember), until he just suddenly stopped. None of us knew why. Iggy only knew him through Facebook, and apparently from their many conversations, Fang was awesome. Angel and Gazzy flew over to London every so often to see him, since they were too young to know or want otherwise. Fang'd decided that it was time he came and gave his dad another try... so here we were, coming to collect him.

"Where d'you reckon he'll be?" Iggy asked, his eyes scanning the room restlessly. He was hyped to see Fang, especially after our high with the band half an hour ago. Hey, I guess I would be too. I mean, the first time seeing his step-brother after all these years? Gotta feel good.

"Uh, the arrivals department?" I replied, deliberately acting the smart-arse.

"Oh. Yeah." Ig shook his head like he was trying to rid himself of his idiocy (impossible. Believe me, we've tried). "That makes sense."

"No shit Sherlock," I rolled my eyes, then turned around when I realised Ig was leading us to the departing area. Idiot.

"Shut up," he grinned, nearly walking into a woman who was juggling two toddlers and several suitcases, a bored-looking teenage sauntering behind, nodding her head to the music we could hear even through her iPod headphones. "Smart-arse."

I stuck my tongue out and started to walk ever-faster, weaving my way through the crowd away from Iggy. I heard him shout after me, but I was too far away already to hear. Craning my head around to find him, I walked straight into some boy's chest. Ow. What was he made of? Freaking steel?

"Okay?" I looked up from my aching side and found myself looking into milk-chocolate eyes. It was a boy, with over-long brown hair and olive skin. Woah.

"Uh, yeah, fine," I tried for a smile. "Wasn't looking where I was going. Sorry." See! I can apologise (to total strangers)! And you thought I was above that.

"Don't sweat it." This is where I walk past him, right? My brain's just gone on a vacation. Possibly to Hawaii. Nice to know it's always here when I need it.

"Hey! Fang!" Iggy's voice came from behind me. Huh? He came to a stop beside me. "Oh, Max, you found him. Idiot." He shoved my head a little (curse his tall-ness. I'm not short, I'm fun-sized) and I smacked his stomach.

"Shut it." He rolled his eyes at me, then turned to Fang, grinning.

"This is Max," he explained, since I'm so clearly incapable of doing anything for myself. Did I mention I hate people doing things for me? "She's my best friend, for some unknown reason. She's loud, annoying, overly violent, more than slightly psychopathic, and believes she's going to rule the world one day."

Charming. Nice to know I'm loved.

"Don't deny it, you know it's going to happen," I told him before turning to Fang, grinning. "Hi. I'm Max. Ignore anything that ever comes out of Iggy's mouth, he's an annoying idiot." He almost smiled, but not quite. Okay, strong kid that never smiles. I can deal.

"Yo." Okay. Strong, silent kid that never smiles. And possibly one of the only people in the world that can pull off saying yo and not sounding like he's trying to be cool.

"Actually," Iggy said, "ignore anything either of us ever says about the other."

"Yeah, that works," I agreed.

With that, we each grabbed one of Fang's bags (after he'd told us that Angel and Gazzy had already gone outside to find Jane) and started moving slowly through the crowd. Iggy immediately broke away from us, pretty much running out of there to find Jane and the kids. Me and Fang moved at a more... civilised pace, rolling our eyes at him.

"Who said you were going to rule the world?" he asked me to my surprise, seeing as it was the first real sentence we'd gotten out of him since we'd discovered him.

"It's just the obvious job for someone of my awesomeness," I winked to show I was joking.

"And if there's someone just as awesome?"

"They die."

"What if they have an army?"

"My army obliterates them." WTH was this about? Kind of fun, though.

"Their army's as strong as yours."


"What if our army has J. K. Rowling?"

"Well, I have James Patterson... Hold up," I realised what he'd said. "You're trying to take my crown from me!" How dare he? He looked at me out of the corner of his eyes, another almost-smile on his lips.

"Just checking out the competiton." he winked as we emerged out into the bright Californian sunshine. We both blinked as our eyes adjusted; the others hadn't noticed us yet.

I looked him up and down as he did the same, free of others obscuring our vision as they pushed past us. He was a pretty nice male specimen, you know, if I thought like that. Which I don't, because I'm known for not dating. He also seemed okay. Kind of like the guys. Funny, interesting. Someone I wanted to get to know better? Possibly. But I liked him already, even if he was trying to cheat me out of world leadership.

"Hm," we both said at the same time as I launched into my catchphrase. "I like you. When I rule the world, your death shall be quick and painless." How did he know that? I said it daily, if not hourly, to all the guys.

Just before Angel came running up for a hug, our eyes met again, and I experienced the awesomeness of a real Fang smile.

Well. Looks like we might have a new addition to our little group.

A/N: So, let me know what you think? (: Not sure what I think of this, but I've been reading so many human Max fics that I couldn't get this out of my head. (: