Thanks to Sascha, my beta-reader (big huggles,
welcome aboard, Sasch!), and Mica, my ... well, semi-beta-reader,
and Maelie, my poster! ;) *giggles* I have an entire team here...
Miss April's Stars and Garters
by J.B. McDonald
Bobby munched his Twinkie and tossed the wrapper away to join the
other dozen or so wrappers piled up. Sighing, he reached for another
one. After taking a big bite he shook his head, swallowed, and sighed
"I don't understand it, Hank."
Hank rubbed his eyes with one large hand and reached for a Twinkie.
Their supply was dwindling rapidly. And they had made a Midnight
Twinkie Run once already that night. If this went on much longer,
they'd have to make a second one. Hank wasn't sure his wallet would
survive the night at this rate.
"It's only chemistry, Bobby."
"It's a foul demon from another world," Bobby muttered, and bit vengefully
into a Twinkie. "Im gofa ful da tef toforfo," Bobby moaned with his
Hank brushed crumbs off the textbook. "You're not going to fail the
"No you're not. You just need to study more, that's all."
Bobby swallowed and tossed the wrapper aside. "What do you think
"I think you're cramming. This doesn't count as studying." Hank glared
down at Bobby, laying on the floor. Brown hair fell into Hank's wide
face,and he ignored it. "Now, let's go over this again."
Bobby whined and flopped over onto his back, slamming the textbook
shut as he did so. "I'm tired."
"I would assume so," Hank answered.
"How 'bout I just sit by you during the test? Huh? Please, Hank?"
Hank's only answer was a cold glare.
Bobby sighed and looked at the ceiling. "I thought so."
Hank scrubbed his hands through his thick brown hair, dragged them
over his face, and fell onto his stomach on the carpet. He blinked
at the picture that sat there, near his eyes, stuck in Bobby's chemistry
book. Slowly, he sat back up. "What's this?"
"What?" Bobby twisted to look, then sat bolt upright and blushed
"Nothing? What sort of nothing?" Hank reached for the paper, only
to have his overly large hand slapped away by Bobby.
"It's nothing," Bobby insisted, grabbing the chemistry book
and hugging it to his skinny, fourteen-year-old chest.
"Well, for nothing it's got you quite riled." Hank grinned, dimples
creasing his cheeks, and scooched closer to Bobby. "Hand it over."
"No. Go away. We should be studying!"
"You should be studying. I already know all this. Now what
"Nothing!" The blush was spreading.
"Hand it over, Drake!" Hank ordered imperiously.
Hank tackled Bobby. Bobby grunted and lost his textbook, which slid
a bit across the carpet before coming to a stop. Still sitting on
Bobby, Hank reached out and picked the book up. The paper had fallen
almost completely out, and Hank plucked it loose easily.
"It's ... it's..." Bobby stuttered in a panic.
"Oh, my," Hank murmured, clearing this throat. "Oh ... my."
Slowly, he turned it sidewards. His eyes grew until they were almost
as wide open as his mouth. "Oh..."
"It's Miss April," Bobby said mournfully. "Formerly Miss America."
"She is certainly..." Hank rolled off of Bobby slowly, still gaping
at the picture. "She is ... well proportioned." Lookit something
safe lookit something safe ... ah, there, a flag. Wrapped around her
waist. And up ... up to ... No! Don't look there! There! Look at the
flag! Pretty white stars on a blue background... "Oh my... "
Bobby grinned sheepishly, starting to get over his embarrassment.
"Oh your what?" he teased weakly.
"Stars and stripes?" Hank managed.
"I always thought that, in this picture, they looked more like garters.
Stars and garters?" Bobby backed quickly into the realm of humor to
save himself, no matter how bad that humor might be.
"Garters," Hank murmured. "Yes, that would be more appropriate."
Not that she was wearing any.
"Hank? Hank? We should study. You can look at the 'stars and garters'
later." Bobby bit his lip, squirmed, and sighed. "And, Hank? Don't
tell anyone about that, okay? I'd never hear the end of it."
Hank nodded numbly and allowed Bobby to take the poster away.
"Look! Hank!" Bobby chirped, bouncing into the kitchen. "Good news!
I got a C! What'd you get?" Bobby grabbed the slip of paper laying
on the table enthusiastically. "A B+! What happened, Hank?"
Hank glowered at the youth. "I stayed up all night helping a certain
teen with his chemistry, that's what."
"Oh. You shouldn't do that, Hank," Bobby said, grinning. He hopped
up to sit on the edge of the table, watching Jean making herself lunch
while Warren stood on one side of her, trying to impress her, and
Scott sat at the end of the table making googly eyes at her and pretending
he was being subtle. "Hank, I'm so ashamed of you," Bobby clucked.
"I expected better."
Hank glared, though it wasn't really an angry glare.
"After all that time you spent studying..." Bobby shook his head
"Better than me," Warren sighed. "My alarm didn't go off, and I missed
the test. The Professor said I could take a make-up exam, though."
Hank's eyebrows shot up. "Oh, my," he sighed in commiseration with
his winged friend.
"Or your what?" Bobby quipped.
A mischievous twinkle entered Hank's eyes, and his gaze slid toward
where Bobby perched on the island in the middle of the kitchen. "Oh
my stars and garters."
Bobby's blush was instantaneous, and he glanced around in a panic
to see if anyone else had caught the reference. Brown eyes shot toward
Hank, and Bobby mouthed 'very funny.'
Hank smiled wickedly.
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