Ground Zero by Chaos
Story Notes:
Thank you guys for the Felix Awards. I'm sorry I wasn't there, and haven't been around to acknowledge them sooner. Thanks!!!
Declaration of War by Chaos
Author's Notes:
This story was written a few years ago. It was my first BSB fic (started as part of a bet--I won woot!) I am moving it from the old archive to the new one and possibly making a few small changes along the way...

I have to admit that I didn't see the banana peel thing coming. If it had been Brian sitting across the room watching me with a self-satisfied little smile on his face, I might have been a little more wary of my surroundings, but it was Kevin. And he usually has a self-satisfied smile on his face. It's part of what makes him Kevin. Not that I'm saying he's conceited; not at all, and I'm sorry if that's what you thought I was saying, but it's more of a..."I know something you don't know" sort of smile. And he does. Know stuff that I don't know that is. Then again, I've never claimed to be the brightest bulb in the socket. But that's another story entirely.

Anyway, back to the story at hand. I didn't see the banana peel thing coming. Then again who would have? I mean it's such a cliché prank. Entirely predictable. So, of course, right on queue, as I made my way into the greenroom--my hands completely full carrying the tray of milkshakes and bags of burgers and fries from the burger palace across the street--I stepped on it. And slid. And of course me being me, I immediately threw my arms out to steady myself, and sent the milkshakes flying. What kind of day would it be if at some point I didn't end up with a milkshake or two (or hey, how about five?) dumped all over me?

I suppose I can't blame them all for laughing. It probably would be funny if it weren't me. Okay it's still funny even though it is me, I'm just not ready to admit it to them yet. Gotta salvage a little bit of my pride. So I lay there for a few moments, letting them have their little chuckle at my expense. Letting the milkshakes soak into my shirt and pants and hair. I sat up, though, as I felt some of it oozing into my ear. There's just something kind of disturbing about that feeling.

I noticed that one of the shakes actually managed to keep the lid on and was even still sitting upright, just a few inches away from me. Heh. Strawberry's always good. Okay so I'd ordered chocolate for myself, and the strawberry was supposed to be Howie's but hey, fair is fair. The rest of the shakes were sacrificed for their prank on me, so it was only fair that the final shake be mine. Besides, it would be good to show them that I wasn't bothered by this.

So I reached out and snagged the last shake--only to have the lid pop off as I picked it up and half of it to gloop out on my hand. Which of course made them all laugh that much harder. Today just wasn't my day. But then most days really aren't.

I was still determined to pretend that this wasn't bothering me at all. So, I sat there in the mess and crossed my legs, trying not to pay any attention to the fact that the milkshake that had congealed on the floor was now soaking through my pants and into my underwear. It was pretty icky feeling, honestly, but I tried not to let my discomfort show. They weren't going to get the satisfaction of knowing that they'd gotten to me. Nope.

Instead I calmly opened the first bag and pulled out the top sandwich. Cheeseburger. I'd ordered the ham & cheese sandwich for myself, but hey, there was no way I was going to be sharing food with the others now, so a cheeseburger was as good a sandwich to start with as any.

They all watched me as I sat there in the sticky mess and ate, not acknowledging the joke at all.

"Silent treatment again, Kaos?" AJ taunted, but I chose to ignore him.

They kept trying to get me to acknowledge them but I bade my time, tuning them out and eating my lunch (and theirs) calmly. I tried not to shiver as cold shake dripped from my hair and down the back of my neck.

At least we were given a long enough break that I would be able to run back to the hotel and shower before the walk-through with the new pyrotechnics and other effects that was scheduled for this afternoon. I'm not entirely sure why the guys decided that we should just stick around for the three-hour break instead of going back anyway. Unless of course it was simply because they'd planned on doing something like this to me. Which, knowing these guys, wouldn't be completely out of the question. And admittedly, it's not as if I didn't deserve it. I was at least a few pranks up on all of them by now. But that's entirely unpointy.

I was on my third sandwich (Brian's bacon and cheddar to be exact) before finally Kevin appeared in the corner of my vision, extending his hand to me. I looked up at him innocently, as if everything was normal and I wasn't sitting cross-legged in a puddle and there wasn't really milkshake dribbling down my back. "Oh, hey, Kev," I acknowledged him as I took another bite of his cousin's sandwich. I was actually pretty full already but I had been planning to finish off the entire bag of food unless one of them stopped me. So I was actually kind of relieved that Kevin was going to put and end to it.

"Need some help up?" he asked, smiling slightly as he extended his hand to me. Though it was obvious he still found my predicament funny, there was still a hint of guilt in his eyes. Which, of course, would be played on later.

I gave him a blank look. "Why would I need any help?"

He smirked and rolled his eyes slightly. "Right." He left his hand extended and I relented, taking hold of it and letting him haul me to my feet.

I gave him a b-i-i-g smile. "Thanks, Kev," I said with exaggerated gratefulness as I threw my arms around him and gave him a nice tight hug. Making sure that he got nearly as soaked with milkshake as I already was, of course. He groaned and gave me an annoyed look. I just gave him an innocent look in return. Hey, I'm secure enough in my masculinity to hug my friend who just helped me up off the floor. Especially if he's the one who put me there. Er...even if he's the one who put me there I mean. Uh huh.

I heard AJ chuckling and made a mental note to get him back sometime later today, too.

Kevin looked down at his now grubby shirt with distaste as I backed away. He opened his mouth as if to say something, but snapped it shut again as he noticed that I still was maintaining my look of pure innocence. He, of course, knew better, but wasn't about to challenge me. Not in front of the guys anyway. He'd wait until he caught me alone and then get me back when his dignity wouldn't be compromised any farther.

So instead he just nodded good-naturedly and reached into his pocket, pulling out his car keys. "On that note, I'm headed back to the hotel to wash up and change," he announced.

"Ooh! Great. Can I have a ride?" I asked, maintaining my guiltless façade. I could just as easily drive myself, but then what's the fun in that? Not to mention I wouldn't have to clean my own car seats.

Kevin barely contained his grin as he shook his head in what might have been interpreted in disgust by anyone who didn't know better. Then again he was now wearing a soiled shirt so it very well could have been true disgust. He just doesn't understand the freedom of being dirty like the rest of us. "You got it, Messy Marvin." Like it was my fault I was covered in milkshake? No respect I tell you.

"Just going to run in, shower, change, and run out, right?" Kevin reminded me as we headed across the parking lot to the hotel.

I gave him a look that I hoped he would read as "duh".

He wasn't convinced and looked at me pointedly. "That means no stopping to play 'just one game' on the playstation," he reminded me.

I rolled my eyes and nodded. Though that did sound kind of tempting. Maybe if I hurried a bit with my shower I would have a couple minutes...

"That means no stopping to play 'just one game' on the playstation," Kevin repeated, a knowing (but fortunately at least semi-amused) look on his face. How did he always seem to know what I was thinking? Okay, maybe I am just a little predictable...about some things.

I nodded reluctantly and pulled open the door. Noticing the man coming out, I stepped back and held the door open for him. He looked up, a look of vague recognition crossing his face. He stared at me for a moment, studying me. I knew he was trying to place where he'd seen me before. Either that or he was fascinated with the milkshake ensemble I was wearing. I smiled and nodded, giving him a slight wave. With a brief smile and nod he was gone and I hurried into the lobby after Kevin, who was halfway to the elevators already.

I admittedly was more focused on catching up to Kevin than I was on where I was going, so I totally didn't notice the guy rushing across the lobby until we collided. Oops. "Sorry," I apologized as I scrambled to help him pick up some of the papers he'd dropped. He snatched them from me angrily and gave me one of those "if looks could kill" sort of looks. I held up my hands in surrender and backed away. "Sorry," I mumbled again. He snatched up the last of his things and went back on his way, purposely pushing me as he passed.

I watched him go for a moment, tempted to call after him and remind him that he hadn't been watching where he was going either. But of course, I didn't. No point in making a scene. At least not one like that.

Kevin was holding the elevator watching me with a slightly irritated look on his face. "Coming?" he called out somewhat impatiently. I quickly made my way to the elevator--this time paying more attention to my surroundings. At the last moment before the elevator closed, a voice called out asking us to hold it. Kevin amiably held the door for the two business men that were hurrying toward us.

"Thanks," the first one said as he stepped in, brushing against me. "Fifth floor, please."

I cringed as I looked down and saw that his suit now had a splotch of vanilla shake on it. I pretended I didn't notice and carefully scooted over so I wasn't still against him. The second guy grinned at me, noticing what had happened. I flashed him a smile before moving over further still.

Kevin shot me a confused look after he punched in our floor and then 5th. Then he spotted the man's soiled suit and raised his eyebrow, giving me a slight disapproving look. I feigned innocence yet again. I was rewarded with a small smile and a shake of his head.

The elevator stopped on the third floor and Kevin and I quickly got off. As I stopped in front of my door, and fished in my pocket for the keycard, I glanced back to the elevator, which was just starting to close. I heard the one guy let out a groan and muss over whatever the heck he must've spilled on his suit. Oops.

"Ten minutes," Kevin warned as he opened the door to his room. Ten minutes? What if I wasn't ready to go in ten? Like he'd just leave me here? Somehow I didn't think that'd go over too well with management. Not that I'd tell on him or anything, but Kevin was just a bit too responsible to do anything like leave me stranded alone at the hotel.

"You got it, Dad," I smiled back at him before I ducked into the room I was sharing with Brian.

"No playstation!" I heard him calling after me as I shut the door. I sighed. Of course not, Kev. Wouldn't dream of it.

Although the controller sitting on the corner of my bed did look rather tempting.

But first things first, shower. Desperately needed. I dragged my shirt up over my head as I made my way into the bathroom. I turned on the shower so it could start getting warm. The faster I cleaned up, the more likely I'd be able to get a quick game in before Kevin was ready to go. I could turn the volume way down and he'd never know. Besides, there was no way would he be ready in ten minutes. He hates being seen in public at less then his best, so he'd have to take a few extra minutes to make sure he looked just right.

I kicked off my shoes and socks and let my shirt drop to the floor. I'd take my clothes down to the cleaners after practice, so what did it matter if I hung them up? Within moments my jeans and underwear joined the small pile of laundry. I kicked everything over against the wall so that Brian wouldn't get all mad at me for being a slob and leaving my clothes in the middle of the floor. There. Much better.

I tested the water with my hand, but it was still a bit too cold. Maybe I'd go start that game while the temperature adjusted...I wrapped a towel around my waist, headed back into the main room, flipped on the TV and sat down on the edge of my bed. The Simpsons were on. Oooh. Maybe I wouldn't play the game after all. And hey, Kevin never said anything about not watching a little TV.

It wasn't until I noticed that there was a little bit of steam fogging up the mirror in the main room that I realized that I'd let myself get too caught up in the show. Probably my ten minutes were more than up. Kevin would be knocking on the door any moment. I quickly flipped off the TV so he wouldn't know I'd let myself get distracted and hurried back into the bathroom. Like I'd been there the whole time. Yep. Cleaning up. Of course that's what I was doing, Kev.

I dropped the towel and stepped into the shower, quickly adjusting the temp so that it wasn't quite so hot. Perfect. Oh yeah. I'm not sure how I managed to get distracted while I was still so sticky. Then again I hadn't realized just how gross I felt until I felt the grime washing away.

Once again I kind of lost track of time until I heard a noise in the other room. Probably Kevin. He'd probably snagged Brian's keycard earlier or something and was waiting for me in the main room. He was probably really irritated that I was still in the shower. It'd probably been at least a good twenty minutes since he'd given me the ten minute warning. Oh well.

I rinsed the shampoo from my hair and stood in the water spray for a few more moments, not wanting to get out and face Kevin and his lecture about wasting time. Unfortunately he was obviously really annoyed and overly impatient today because I became aware of the fact that there was someone in the bathroom with me.

"I'll be out in a minute, Kevin. Geez, you perv," I called, teasingly. He didn't answer. He also didn't leave. Talk about creepy. I wiped my eyes and looked at his distorted image through the shower curtain and froze. That was not Kevin. I couldn't see him clearly, but I was certain that, whoever that was, was way too tall--and bulky--to be Kevin. I blinked, hoping that when my eyes opened again there would not be some strange guy watching me shower.

There wasn't.

Instead there was a shower curtain rushing toward me. I tried to let out a scream, but something hit me hard in the stomach and I couldn't make a sound as all the air rushed out of me. I doubled over in pain, grabbing at the curtain in hopes that I could keep myself on my feet. Unfortunately, I still fell, and I took the curtain down with me. I struggled to get myself untangled and became aware of the sound of the water being turned off. Huh. An assailant concerned with water conservation. Or one who didn't want to get completely soaked, I guess. I scrambled to my feet and started trying to knock the curtain away from me but before I could the big guy was grabbing me, curtain and all and hauling me out of the shower.

I tried to take a swing at him, but the curtain was wrapped around me in such a way that my arms were somewhat restrained. This had to be a joke. The real joke. It hadn't been the banana peel thing at all--that was just the set up for this prank. It so wasn't funny. I was going to have to murder Brian in his sleep or something tonight to make up for it.

But if it were a joke, they wouldn't really have let the guy hit me...would they? That was going a bit too far. I renewed my struggles just in case this wasn't a prank. But it had to be one. No other explanation made sense.

Okay so there were lots of other explanations that made more sense, but none that I was willing to accept.

I stomped down on my captor's foot and was rewarded as his grip on me loosened just a bit. I scrambled back as best I could but I was disoriented and still pretty tangled so I ended up tripping over my own feet, toppling over and striking my head on what I assumed was probably the edge of the counter. Ow. My vision became even blurrier, which I hadn't thought possible. I didn't have time to contemplate that pain or the blurriness though. I needed to get out of there. If this was a joke, the guys could laugh at me all they wanted later, but I so wasn't sticking around in case it wasn't a prank.

I tried to throw the curtain off again, but before I got the chance the guy was on top of me again, pinning me to the ground. Oh God he was heavy. I struggled beneath him, but he was far too heavy and had the distinct advantage of having use of all his limbs. It didn't even seem like he had to put much effort into holding me down. I tried again to scream out for help. Unfortunately I still wasn't able to get in enough air to make more than a really pathetic little whimpery sound. Oh yeah, that'd be real helpful. Great.

I thrashed my body hoping that I could somehow throw him off of me. No dice. My heart was pounding faster and faster as I realized how incredibly helpless this guy had rendered me. And without much effort it seemed. I tried to kick at him, but it was no use. I was completely at his mercy.

I closed my eyes and began praying to whatever gods would listen that this was some sort of joke the guys were playing on me to get back at me for every prank I'd ever pulled on them. Cuz if it wasn't...

I felt something sharp jab into my side and froze in shock. A needle. I'd been stuck with a needle. Oh god. What was this guy doing? What was he putting into my body? There was no way this was a prank; I know the guys wouldn't allow me to be drugged. I tried to jerk away from the needle but it was no use. It was too late. After a few moments I felt the needle being withdrawn. The damage was done. No. Nonononono.

I blinked back the tears that had started to form in my eyes. Crying wouldn't help my situation any and I didn't have time to panic. I needed to keep my head. Had to think straight. Had to get out of this. Had eyelids were already starting to feel heavy. Was it supposed to work that fast? Didn't matter if it was supposed to, it was. No doubt about it. I had to get away before it got any worse. Had to...had to what? My head was feeling all fuzzy. I couldn't think straight. Right. Thinking. Had to get out of this. Had to...

My arms felt like lead weights as I tried one more time to push the guy off me. Whatever he'd injected into my body was doing its work. Way too damn fast. This was so not fair.

The man shifted his weight off me and I was able to breathe again. I gulped in my first real lung full since he'd punched me the first time. My heart was still racing. In fact it was going so fast I felt as though it would probably explode within a few moments. Then again maybe that would be a blessing because I couldn't seem to move anymore. Which meant that I had absolutely no chance of protecting myself from whatever was going to happen to me. It was too much to hope that he'd just leave me alone now that I was completely powerless, so my hope now was that whatever was going to happen would happen quickly. I have kind of an allergy to pain.

"If you're going to kill me, kill me quick," I tried to beg him, feeling completely ashamed that I was already stooping to such a low. I'm not sure whether it's fortunate or unfortunate that the words came out sounding more like complete nonsensical whimpers rather than real words. At least he wouldn't know how pathetic I was being. Cuz whimpering isn't pathetic. Sure.

My eyelids were getting heavier still. I wasn't going to be able to keep my eyes open much longer. Maybe I already was dying. Maybe whatever he'd injected into me would do the trick? I let my eyes shut for a moment, but then was suddenly filled with such a profound terror that I would never open them again that I forced them open. I didn't want to die. I took back my earlier plea. He could do whatever he wanted to me if he let me walk away from it. Or at least crawl away from it. I wanted to live. I could only stare up at his distorted image as he stood over me. I didn't even have the strength to try to beg him any more. I couldn't keep my eyes open no matter how much I wanted to. The last things I saw before I gave in to the darkness were his giant hands reaching for me.

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