Nat looked around the quiet bandroom. It was a Tuesday, and well after school got out. Where the heck was Alex?

Usually, he stampeded home to get some lemon-lime soda, since sugar wasn't allowed at his school.

Hmmm, whatev. Nat leaned back on the couch and read his book. Usually Alex was jumping on him, so it wasn't often he got to finish something.

The door slammed, and Alex walked in.

"Hey dude, you're pretty late, something happen at school?" Nat said, not looking up from his book.

Shuffling footsteps came to a stop in front of him. Nat looked up. Alex looked like he had either been chased by a ghost or seen someone naked.

"You okay?"

"..."

"Take that as a no" Nat threw his book aside and grabbed a bottle of lemon-lime soda from the small fridge they kept in the corner. He sat Alex down and poured him a glass.

"What happened?" He asked, putting the cup in Alex's hand. Alex pushed it away and dropped his head into his arms, suddenly red.

"I hate girls" Alex's muffled voice whined.

"Keep thinking that" Nat said, taking a swig of the soda.

"They cornered me" Alex said. "Behind the school"

"Oh. My. Goodness" Nat took another swig.

"Don't laugh Nat, it's not funny" Alex said, teary eyes peeping over his arms.

"Sorry buddy" Nat said, feeling a bit guilty. He pushed the glass of Soda back over to Alex, who only stared at it, watching the bubbles rise.

"So what happened?" He asked tentatively.

"Hrphmrughbrrrprkle" Came from somewhere behind Alex's arms.

"Pardon?"

"They tickled me!"

Everything was silent for a second.

"Pphhhhhhh!" Nat started laughing.

"Not funny!" Alex replied, blushing furiously.

"I'm just teasing you, those girls are just ickyheads"

"Ickyheads?"

"For lack of better word that is appropriate for minors"

"Minors?"

"You, stupid"

"Oh" Alex finally took a sip of the lemon-lime soda, then decided that it was worth another big gulp.

"So why did they do it?" Nat asked, fiddling with his now empty cup.

"They found out I like Britney" Muffled again.

"Ouch, bro"

"Tell me about it"

The two brothers were silent for a little while longer, then Nat stood up, drinking the last of his brother's soda.

"Let's go watch cartoons, that always cheers you up"

"'Kay"

Alex started towards the bandroom, then turned back to his odler brother.

"What do I do? I don't like getting picked on, specially not by girls"

"I think that the best thing to do is run like heck all the way home"

"Really?"

"Yeah, either that or get on the bus. Stay where there's people"

"Okay, thanks" Alex grinned.

"No prob bro, i'm there for you"