John was actually excited for the history project. Was, because he had assumed you could pick your own partner for this, just like how they did for every other project for Mr. Alfred’s class. He and Bruce already picked out their topic, and planned everything out. So it was a complete surprise when the teacher announced that there would be assigned partners for this project, and that he had been paired with Bane. Bane, the scary and incredibly built football linebacker. The one who was rumored to send people to the hospital with a broken back.
Ever since they were paired together John had been avoiding Bane, but he couldn’t put it off forever. He refused to fail the project just because his partner ate guys like him for breakfast. As John turned around the corner he saw Bane and his gang, Barsad and Talia (also infamous troublemakers) chatting by the lockers. John’s heart started hammering.
“Well, it’s now or never.” He whispered, taking a deep breath and walking straight towards them.
He cautiously approached Bane, whose broad back was turned towards him. John cleared his throat, feeling all of a sudden significantly small and timid. “So…” He began. Bane paused in his conversation with Barsad and Talia and turned around slowly to face him, while Barsad and Talia angled their bodies and regarded John with incredible scrutiny.
God, Bane was even bigger up close, at least a head taller than John, with arms as big as his leg. Arms that could crush him. He wore a dark green military jacket and cargo pants with leather boots, and yeah, John got it, the tough guy look. Bane looked down upon him with indifferent coolness, like John was a little bunny. The signature jagged scar that terrified ran across his mouth and across his chin.
John swallowed but continued. “We’re partners for the history project. Can- can we meet sometime and discuss it?”
For the longest time Bane said nothing, while Barsad smirked and Talia gave a sarcastic little huff. John felt his face getting red with anger.
“Fine.” He bristled. “If you don’t want to work on it, I can just go back right now and tell Mr. Alfred to assign me another partner.”
As soon as he said this he wanted to take it back. He felt like he just dug his own grave. Oh God, he was going to die at 16 and he hadn’t even had his first kiss yet.
A short little gush of air came out from Bane. Wait, was he, was he actually chuckling? John was fuming.
“Well, brother, looks like this one has some fire in him.” Barsad said. Really, Brother? What are they, in some kind of fraternity?
“You better go with him, Bane. Before he gets any redder.” Talia mocked.
John gritted his teeth together before turning on his heel and leaving. Fine, if they were going to be like this, he would just work on this project alone. He didn’t need Bane’s help.
“Wait.” Bane finally said. John stopped in his tracks and turned around. Bane’s voice was low and oddly theatrical, the kind of voice for giving great speeches.
“Four. Tomorrow in the library.” He commanded, and left with Talia and Barsad, not even waiting or caring for that matter to hear John’s response.
“Fine.” John muttered under his breath before stomping away. Oh, he was so looking forward to working with Bane.