Winner takes all.
Max was finding out that most of her regrets seemed to center around someone making an innocent suggestion. It was her hapless following along with said suggestion that usually ended up with something on fire and someone crying. Like now, for instance. Her eyes were on fire and her ego was crying. Nudge, on the other hand, was the picture of joy. There was no way Max could turn down that face! Especially with how rarely they all even got to sit down and play something together. Thus, with much reluctance, Max conceded. "Fine, we can play Truth or Dare." It was hard to believe that just a few simple words could be her doom, but Max had seen worse. Maybe she was just being a little dramatic at this point.
Throughout the entire house, Nudge's squeal could be heard echoing. Past the ringing in her ears, Max had the grace to be thankful they had settled in a place far away from any other people. Far, far away. She wouldn't be making the willing choice to live anywhere around others for a long time. Nineteen years of human contact was plenty to have given Max a healthy dose of disdain for them. In fact, she was pretty sure she'd gotten a rash just from popping by a store the other day. That could have just been the loose cat hair on her jacket, though. Ever since Nudge had sneaked that stupid orange cat in, Max had been finding stray hairs all over the place. That wasn't even the main issue, either! Total's complaining was.
"Thanks, Max! This is going to be so much fun, we never sit down to play games anymore! I mean, I know we've been super busy with kicking butt and saving people and all... But now that we're here and we're all by ourselves we can relax a little bit and just have fun!" Nudge bounced from foot to foot with energy that even a five-year-old could envy. Sometimes, Max wondered if Nudge had an extra pair of lungs hidden in her somewhere. That would sure explain how Nudge could talk a mile a minute without filling up her oxygen supply at any point. "I'll go get the others! Put some pillows down on the floor so we can sit down, I'll be right back!"
Max watched as Nudge darted off to round up the others. Once the younger girl was out of sight, Max released the mother of all groans. "How do I let myself get roped up in things like this?" While lost in her own pity party, she heard a rustle behind her. Just as goosebumps started to rise on her flesh, she was already condemning the source of it. "I thought we were past you sneaking around, Fang."
A pillow whapped Max in the back, knocking her forward a step and making her grunt in surprise. She whirled around with the feather-filled weapon in hand, having every intention of knocking the crap out of Fang for his stunt. The boy held up his hands in a claim of innocence. "Nudge said to set pillows out. I'm only doing what she asked."
Right. Max definitely believed the little half-smile growing on the creep's face. She also believed they would all get to live freely and go off to fancy colleges to fulfill their every hope and dream!
Okay, a little pessimistic there. Draw it back to the game at hand.
Max tossed down the pillow and Fang threw five more towards her to set down, creating a circle for them all to sit in. Max plopped down on one of the couch cushions and Fang took up one to the left of hers. "It can't be that bad. They're just kids." Fang kind of ruined his attempt at reassuring Max due to the wily smirk on his face.
"Yeah, and I've seen these kids knock an Eraser's teeth in. I'm not gonna put it past them to come up with some slimy schemes." Max already felt the oncoming migraine and things hadn't even started yet. She reached up to rub at her temples just as three kids came tramping into the living room, followed by a lagging adult. Iggy was the last one to come, stomping down the stairs one step at a time. Max was thankful that she obviously wasn't the only one who wasn't too excited about this little game.
"Come on Ig, get in the spirit," Fang spoke from beside Max. She didn't have to turn her head to see the smirk on his face. Max doubted that Fang was pumped about the game himself, but he was definitely enjoying hers and Iggy's despair over it.
"Fuck off," Iggy seethed under his breath. He clapped a hand over his mouth just a moment after saying it, but it wasn't enough to prevent Max from tossing one of Angel's nearby stuffed toys at him. The useless thing just bounced off his chest, but her point was still there!
"Watch your language!" she told him. Iggy retaliated Max's chastisement with quite the glacial look. Had he been capable of actually seeing her, Max was sure that extra power would have frozen her solid. As things were, Iggy could only glower in her general direction, sparing her a fiery death. It wasn't as if the two youngest hadn't ever heard people cuss before. Max had overheard them curse a few times themselves. That didn't make it right! She wanted at least a little child-friendliness around here.
"Well, we're all in a circle. What do we do now, Nudge?" Iggy asked her, his voice dripping with boredom. If Nudge noticed the lack of enthusiasm, she didn't comment on it. She simply launched into an explanation of the rules like she was giving them her life story.
"Okay! We each take turns, starting with Gazzy. You have to pick another person and ask them if they want a truth or a dare! Whichever they pick, you ask them a question you want them to answer or you dare them to do something." Nudge was beaming from ear to ear by the time she finished stating the rules of the game. Max had never quite been into stuff like this. Granted, she'd never gotten around to reading teenage magazines filled with junk like this. She'd been a little busy, you know, running for her life and all that.
Gazzy rubbed his hands together with a devious smile, his gaze aimed towards Iggy. Before he could open his mouth, Max jumped in to save them all from getting blown to smithereens. "I want to make it clear right now. There will be no bombs, no explosions of any kind, and no fire."
"Aw, Max–" Gazzy and Iggy both began to protest Max's rules, but there was no way in cold heck she was going to be swayed.
"No! Nothing illegal or destructive. I'd like to live here a while before it has scorch marks in the ceiling!" Gazzy pouted for a second, but he wasn't going to let it get him too down. There were still plenty of ways to cause mayhem.
"All right, all right. Iggy, truth or dare?" Iggy wasn't a fan of getting picked first for this, if his grumble was anything to go by. He was just lucky he couldn't see the mischief glittering in Gazzy's eyes, a sight the others were unfortunately privy to. Iggy decided on dare. There wasn't that much to lose, was there? Gazzy was just thirteen, after all.
Max was pretty sure she had a mild heart-attack.
"Okay, okay…I got it! Go snoop through Nudge's stuff. Come back with something incriminating!" Gazzy stuck his tongue out at Nudge, who had started to choke on her soda. Past her wheezing, she tried shouting a protest, but Iggy was already taking the stairs two at a time. Blind or not, he was sure to find something worthwhile. A diary Gazzy could look through, some girlish thing that Nudge might be too old for, any dumb thing a sixteen-year-old liked to keep in their room.
A part of Max wanted to speak up out of pure pity for Nudge, whose coughing was beginning to cease thanks to Angel gently patting her back. But, another tiny, evil part of Max was grinning like a cat. There were no friends when you played Truth or Dare. "Hey, don't worry so much. It's not like you've got anything to hide, right?" Max was trying to be helpful, but Nudge only grimaced. "Nudge…right?" The lack of answer was starting to worry Max. Nudge gave a weak, fake smile and a nervous giggle. That was even worse than the silence had been. From upstairs, Max heard Iggy start to descend towards them again.
"Uh, no, of course not! But there's still stuff I'd rather keep–private!" Nudge's voice rose into a shriek on the final word, her brown eyes growing as wide as saucers when Iggy came back into the room. He flung a thin, black pair of panties at Nudge that landed in her lap.
"Looks like someone's been to the lingerie store. Not that I can see them, but they certainly don't feel like much." Iggy leaned against the entryway, lips stretched into a smug smirk. Fang politely turned away to sip at his soda while Gazzy flopped onto his back and slapped his hands over his eyes with a dismayed cry.
"Shut up! Panties aren't the worst thing you've ever seen!" Nudge cried, stuffing the thong underneath her jacket and shoving it towards the couch, away and hopefully forgotten. Meanwhile, Max was still struggling to figure out where Nudge had even gotten the money to buy such fancy underwear.
"Nudge, where did…?" Max trailed off, letting the question ask itself.
Nudge shrugged uncomfortably. "Well, there was a sale, and I saw a few cute ones, so I just thought that…you know? They were really pretty and they're so soft Max! You should buy some sometime!" Nudge winced at the scornful glare Max aimed at her. "What? They're super comfortable!"
"All right, enough of this. Let's just continue with the game, if we're done exposing enough of Nudge's secrets." Max waved her hands in dismissal. Nudge seemed thankful for the ordeal to be over, for now. Iggy came and dropped down beside Max once again, looking ahead towards Nudge. Privately, Max was praying that he wasn't going to say her name. "Please, just accidentally be looking in her direction," Max thought to herself.
"Fang. Truth or dare?" Iggy asked, giving Max a large bout of relief. For a second she thought she was going to have a bunch of kids playing "Petty Revenge" instead of Truth or Dare. Fang hummed in thought for a moment before choosing a dare. Max wasn't surprised, either. Fang was the most private person among them. He would sooner eat a leg off the table before choosing truth.
Iggy cocked his head with a faint smile. "All right, I dare you to, hm…" Iggy paused and sat for a few seconds, a calculative expression crinkling his brow. The entire time, Max sat with baited breath. Finally, as if he were aware he was causing Max physical pain, Iggy sneered. "I've got it. I dare you to go get one of Max's bras, and hang it on the pole outside.
No one moved at first. Max was too stunned to have even registered what Iggy had said, and the younger ones were too afraid to say anything at all. Fang was the one who recovered first, and when he recovered, he recovered fast. He was off the ground and up the stairs before Max had time to blink.
"You little jerk!" She shouted after him, scrambling to her feet and starting for the stairs. She paused at the railing first, catching the sound of a window clicking upstairs. The sneak, he was jumping out of her window! Fang might have been faster on the ground, but who was faster in the sky? Max's teeth bared in a snarl and she turned on her heel, darting past the rest of her hysterical flock and flinging the front door open. A blast of cool spring air hit her in the face, blowing her fair hair about her shoulders.
She looked up and squinted, hoping to spot Fang's shape in the sky. His wings were too dark to make out. In fact, had he not whipped right past Max, she might not have ever spotted him at all. She gasped as the leaves whirled around her, stirred up by the power of Fang's wings. "You're so slow. When are you going to get off the ground?" Max jerked her head up to stare at Fang, the bane of her existence, who paused for just a moment right above her head. In his hands was one of her bras.
"You dick," Max seethed, safely out of range of the kids and free to cuss all she wanted. Fang merely grinned; with that, he was shooting away from the infuriated woman. Her own wings expanded and with a little speed (perhaps a bit of rage, too) she powered herself off the ground and into the air. Strong wings beat rapid-fire against the wind and carried her upwards. Fang had only gotten a little bit ahead of her, just past the arch of trees. From somewhere on the ground, Max could hear Angel and Nudge cheering her name while Iggy and Gasman were screaming for Fang. Fine! See who bailed them out of trouble next time!
Max scowled as she saw Fang dip past the trees. She poured on the speed, wings beating wildly as she soared up over the twined branches. There he was, black bra in hand and nowhere to hide. Target locked. Max zeroed in on her prey like a hawk to a rabbit and, without a pause, barreled into Fang's chest. They had both taken much harder hits and at much faster speeds, but it still was winding. The two toppled to the forest ground, just a few feet above where Fang had come to hover. The air flew out of Max's lungs in a burst, leaving her to gasp as she tangled up with her little thief. She felt one of Fang's arms hook around her waist, cushioning her as they landed.
Hurrying, she reached up to snatch the bra out of Fang's hand. Once she had it in her grasp, she sat up on his waist and gave a victorious cry. "I win!" Max sneered down at him, yet to notice what position she'd just placed herself in. Fang's teeth sank into his lower lip.
Did he point it out and die, or stay quiet and die? "Actually, I think I'm the one winning, Max," Fang told her, looking up at her through his lowered lashes. Max narrowed her eyes with suspicion when the man place his hands on her hips. Just as she was about to ask what on earth he thought he'd won from this, she felt his hips shift beneath hers. Truly, Fang was trying his best, but it was hard to fight down a hard-on with Max pressing right against him. At least he'd warned her, sort of.
"You're such a pervert," Max hissed above Fang.
Resentful of that accusation, Fang exhaled a breathless chuckle. "You're the one pinning me to the ground, not the other way around." With that pointed out, Max had little room to argue. If she couldn't argue, then she would take it a step further instead. If a loss was in sight, then Max would always just raise it to the next level instead, until she could win.
The woman leaned over and, with her lips to Fang's ear, she smirked. "So, you get off on someone holding you down? I'll remember that next time we're sparring." Max hopped off Fang before he could retaliate with something far cleverer than she could beat. With one win in hand, Max knew how to take off. She didn't hear him following behind her, but she was sure he was there somewhere. "Don't be too bitter now, Fang." Max spoke over her shoulder, cocky grin in place and all.
Once they had returned to the lit yard, Max could hear the other four arguing over who was going to win the brawl; Max or Fang. Nudge was the first to notice the two, as she was floating a few inches off the ground while snapping something at Iggy. She had gotten into a habit of that lately, Max had noticed. When Nudge argued with Iggy, she would hover over him to be bigger than he was, even though he couldn't even see her. Max couldn't blame Nudge for this, since she was also a bit peeved at the healthy, well over six-feet tall heights the two men had grown to. Once Nudge's eyes met Max's, a broad grin overtook her previous scowl.
She jabbed her finger into Iggy's chest, causing him to stumble back a step or two. "Max won, just like I knew she would! You owe me a dollar!"
Max approached the kids with a disapproving frown etched on her face. "You were making bets?" she asked, garnering a sorry look from Nudge. "And you bet against me?" Now it was Iggy's turn to look sheepish; to his credit, it didn't even look fake. Nudge shrilled with glee and threw her arms around Max to hug her.
"I knew you would kick his butt, Max!" she exclaimed, bouncing and jostling Max all the while.
"Yeah, we knew you wouldn't lose to anyone!" Max glanced down as Angel chimed in, a smile on her sweet little face. Max chuckled and reached to pet Angel's hair.
"Of course not, kiddo. You think I'd lose to some silly old boy? Not a chance." Max thought she heard Fang scoff as he passed her by, but she couldn't be sure. Sometimes she doubted he even made noise at all. "C'mon, game is still on, right?"
Nudge bounded back into the house with Gazzy on her heels, though Angel stuck around to hold Iggy's hand back into the house. Iggy didn't need a guide, and Angel knew it, but he still allowed her to do it most of the time. Angel felt a little bad Nudge had won the bet. Iggy had already lost a small fortune to her, over the years. "Nudge usually wins, Iggy. You should know better!"
Max had to hide a snort. When you heard a nineteen-year-old get lectured by an eleven-year-old, it was a priceless thing. She took her seat on the floor again, with the rest of the kids aside from Iggy. He had decided to flop onto the couch instead. "What, are you too good for the floor, now?" Max was teasing him, but he held up a very rude gesture to her that suggested he wasn't all too amused. He still wore a lazy grin all the same, if only because he heard Max's irate spluttering. If she could just reach out and snap that finger of his–
"Nudge, truth or dare?" Nudge looked up when she heard Fang say her name.
She perked up a little, awaiting any challenge he could possibly come up with. "Dare!"
Fang leaned back onto his hands and cocked his head towards Iggy. "I dare you to go sit in Iggy's lap."
That was just plain mean. Max expressed her censure for this decision through the fire welling in her eyes. Fang pretended not to notice the storm directed at him. It was just an innocent dare, after all. It wasn't his fault Nudge had a crush that she never acted on.
Utter horror painted Nudge's face, her eyes widened and her mouth pursed into a thin line. Perhaps she was considering unleashing a litany of phrases that would get her banned from any church, ever. Lucky for her, she glanced at Max and chose to live instead of curse her way from here to London. Turning her head, Nudge risked a glance at Iggy. He deserved credit for not being a total ass about it, Max supposed, but he was still wearing that lop-sided smile that spoke volumes of smugness. With a defeated huff, Nudge stood up and stomped towards the couch. For a second it looked like she wanted to just knock Iggy off it, but finally, she sat herself in his lap. Much to Max's annoyance, Gazzy whistled. That was it, no more late night television for the kids.
One of Iggy's arms rested around Nudge's waist to keep her from slipping off. Had he been able to see it, Iggy would have teased Nudge for the blush on her face for weeks to come. This incident was already going on his list for a while yet.
In a mumble, Nudge made the brazen choice to continue digging the hole deeper. "Angel, truth or dare?" That couldn't go too wrong, could it?
Max really should learn to leave that question out of her vocabulary.
Angel pondered for a few seconds before she decided on dare, cheerfully bobbing her head in finality of her choice. Nudge sucked her lower lip between her teeth as she tried to come up with something decent enough for Angel. Finally, she snapped her fingers. "Read Iggy's mind!"
Why Nudge had deemed that a good idea was beyond Max, but Angel had already set the dare in motion before Max, or even Iggy, could protest. Her blue eyes blinked owlishly for a few seconds before she cupped her hands and held them beneath her chin. "Aw, that's so sweet, Iggy!" Max regretted letting Angel get into those Disney movies, now she gushed at every romantic thing she saw. Or heard, rather?
Iggy covered his mouth to hide the redness dusting his skin and turned his face away from the rest of the flock. Nudge muffled a giggle behind her palm, a little pepped by her revenge. Max couldn't help a small smile herself. What? It was a sweet sight. Not that she'd ever anticipated something like this happening, but she thought that she should have. Iggy and Nudge had always worked well together and spent time with one another. Something was bound to happen sooner or later with chemistry like that.
"Max?" The oldest girl turned towards Angel when she heard her name. Angel clapped her hands together. "Truth or dare?"
Yeah, Max really should have put a stop to this game.
Alright, alright. I kept this story. After much conflict, consideration, and frankly a bit of cussing I finally decided I would keep this monstrosity and simply try to make the best out of what was both a cliché idea and shitty way to write it! It doesn't make sense, it's childish, it's jumbled; yet it still has over a hundred favorites and over fifty reviews. I had to keep it. I would have felt terrible for these people had I deleted it.
So, I did a full rewrite this time, with basically only keeping the "truth or dare" aspect intact. Hopefully it's not too terrible this time around. This is the first fanfic I ever wrote, so maybe a bit of nostalgia kept me from throwing it away, too. It's not by any means a great fic, I only wanted to make it readable and hopefully less cringe-worthy. At the very least, it doesn't resemble what twelve-year-old me pissed out a few years ago.
I understand some people get fussy about ages so in case anyone missed it, here's a list of their ages in this story. Max, Fang, and Iggy are nineteen; Nudge is sixteen; Gazzy is thirteen and Angel is eleven. I understand some might offense that Nudge is sixteen, but that age difference is legal where I live and I've seen it all my life. I apologize if it isn't the norm where you're from and therefore makes you uncomfortable.