Episode 12: Hypnotic Nerds
"Are you going to that post-game party?" Carlos Sanchez asked his friend Kirk.
"Hell yeah," Kirk said. "I'm gonna have a date, too."
"No," Carlos said, adjusting his glasses. "Who?"
"That cheerleader girl, Cali Baker," Kirk said. "I'm asking her tomorrow during English."
"She's never going to say yes to you," Carlos said. "You're not a jock."
"I have my ways," Kirk said.
"How?" Carlos asked.
Kirk smiled and pulled out a spray bottle. "It makes guys almost irresistible," Kirk said. "Just one spray and you can have any girl you want."
"How long does it work?" Carlos asked.
"About a week," Kirk said. "I've been brewing it. Want a try?"
"Yeah," Carlos said.
Kirk aimed at Carlos and gave him a quick spray. "Don't forget to shower or you'll smell bad. Don't worry, the chemicals won't wash off."
The first home football game was the second Friday of school. Ms. Tripz was working the cheerleading squad extra hard to get them into tip-top shape for the game. The freshman game was only fifteen minutes after school let out (the team didn't have to go to their eighth period class and the cheerleaders got out ten minutes early so they could beat the crowd to the field). Tuesday, as Am walked into school, all seemed normal. That was until she heard shouting in the cafeteria. Recognizing the shouters as Rob and Jen, Am decided to check it out.
"You can't break up with me now!" Rob yelled.
"Says who?" Jen snapped back. "I've grown bored with you. Plus, I found someone new."
"Who?" Rob asked.
"Carlos Sanchez," Jen said.
There was a moment of silence before, "Anime Carlos?"
"Yes," Jen said with an air of defiance and walked out of the cafeteria.
"What the hell just happened?" Rob asked after a moment.
"I think your girlfriend broke up with you for a major geek," Chuck said clutching his sides as he laughed.
"Shut up," Rob said. "I got that." Rob looked around the cafeteria for a few moments. "Where's Nicki?"
"Why do you want her?" Chuck asked.
"It there is anyone knowing what the hell is wrong with Jen, it's Nicki," Rob said. Not spotting Nicki anywhere in the cafeteria, he made his way out past Am. Chuck, who was following, stopped and smiled at her.
"Did you enjoy that as much as I did?"
"I would have rather it had been Rob dumping Jen," Am said.
"Hey, uh…" Chuck suddenly seemed nervous. "I heard that—"
"No, I was not raped," Am immediately assumed that he had heard the rumors.
"Didn't think so," Chuck said. "Heck, if I had powers, I think I'd be afraid to rape you, no offense, but I think you'd put them in more pain if they tried. I remember that time in third grade where you tackled that Ratty Randy kid and he began bawling."
"You know, Chuck, I really don't want to talk about rape," Am said as she turned toward her locker.
"Oh, uh, I thought you ought to know," Chuck said, catching her arm. "Mike would probably listen to you as long as he's still under the impression that you were, you know…"
Am cringed as Chuck departed. She stood staring into her locker for fifteen minutes until the first bell rang and she had to grab her books quickly and run to her first class.
"I just love your glasses, Carlos," Jen crooned sitting next to him in math. She ran her fingers through his hair, which was parted down the middle and had several layers of gel keeping it down. "And the dragon on your shirt is just so amazing and interesting."
Am noticed that Carlos seemed ready to explode from happiness. She figured the only reason he hadn't yet wet himself was because Jen had yet to actually kiss him.
Aside from Jen's newfound love for Carlos, all seemed normal to Am. That was until Cali came bounding into history and took a seat on Am's desk just before Am had a chance to put her books down.
"Guess what, Am," Cali said, smiling obnoxiously.
Am looked wearily at her friend. "What?"
"Guess who asked me to the dance after the game on Friday," Cali tried again.
"Chuck?" Am guessed the obvious. Chuck and Cali had been flirting almost nonstop since they had met.
"Gawd, no," Cali said. "Kirk."
Am stared at Cali. "Who is Kirk?"
"He went to middle school with me," Cali said. "But he's also nice and funny, and practically a genius."
Am lifted an eyebrow of curiosity and asked, "Does he happen to wear glasses?"
"No," Cali said. "But I wish his braces would come off because it can't be comfortable to kiss someone with braces."
Am blinked a few times. She couldn't believe she had heard Cali correctly. Braces?
"Please do not sit on the desks, Cali," Joe said. "Harrison would scalp you if he saw that."
Cali jumped off the desk and made her way to her own desk. Am watched her friend in confusion. When she looked forward again, Mike was standing in front of her, looking down at her, but not with anger or disappointment. Instead, he looked sorry.
"May I have a word, Am?" Mike asked.
"Sure, yeah," Am said. She stood up and followed Mike outside of the classroom. Once outside the room, Mike reached out and took Am's hand delicately in his.
Am sighed. "Before you treat me like I'm glass or anything, let me clear up what happened. I was not raped. Attacked, yes. Raped, no."
Mike cocked his head a little. "You weren't?" he asked.
"Don't sound so disappointed," Am said. "Usually, it's a good thing."
"I, uh, didn't mean to sound like that," Mike quickly said. "I just, well…"
"Thought that it would be a good reason to talk to me again?" Am asked. Mike nodded looking at the ground. Am reached out and lifted his chin so he would look at her and said, "You don't need a reason to talk with me, Mike. I'm not mad. I mean, a little upset that you thought I'd only let you talk to me if I was hurt, but I was never mad at you."
"Am, I need to know what the truth is between you and Andy, and you and Joe," Mike said. "I mean, I thought you liked me, but then, all this shit happened and I just don't know."
"I do," Am said immediately. "I do like you. What happened with Andy was that he caught me right after you kissed SP and I was hurt. And with Joe, well, he caught me right after Andy dumped me and Jase was doing all in his power to flirt with Cali. There was nothing serious with either of them, Mike. Andy dumped me because he was moving and didn't know where. He didn't tell me why he dumped me until the day before school started, and then he assumed that I would ignore his…"
"Poor treatment of you?" Mike asked. Am nodded.
"It was stupid to be in a relationship with him in the first place because he lived so far away," Am said.
"Hey, um…" Mike stepped a little closer. "What's up between you and that kid you sit next to?"
"Evan?" Am asked. "He's just a platonic friend."
"Swear?" Mike asked.
"Cross my heart," Am replied.
"Good," Mike said. "Because I still need a date to the post-game dance on Friday."
"Well you better start looking then," Am said smiling sweetly at him. She started to go back in the room, but Mike caught her and kissed her lightly on the lips.
"Or I could just take the girl I want," Mike said.
Am laughed. "PDA in school is bad, Mike." He kept looking down into her brown eyes with his playful green ones, so she laughed and said, "Well, as long as you're going to have to wear your uniform and as long as I'm going to have to be in my cheerleading outfit, I guess it makes sense for us to go together. You know, because we'll match."
"That's what I thought," Mike said and they walked back into the classroom just as the bell rang still holding hands.
Just around the corner, Evan took a steady breath. He had known that he and Am only had a platonic relationship. Why would he expect any different?
"Oh my God, Am," Kat howled when Am arrived at her locker between third and fourth periods. "You'll never guess what happened in my history class."
"Some geek asked a cheerleader out and the cheerleader actually agreed?" Am asked. By the time she arrived at her locker, she had heard two more instances of this happening.
"But guess who," Kat urged Am.
Am closed her locker and indicated for Kat to follow her to her next class. "Who?" Am asked.
"Willy Bumpkin and Melissa Stoker," Kat said.
"You mean that the captain of the varsity cheerleading team who is dating the football-slash-basketball captain agreed to go with a pumpkin-faced, asthma wheezer, four-eyed, zit?" Am asked
"Yes," Kat said. "Wow, you've really taken on this cheerleading thing seriously. Your words sounded like they should be coming out of Alice's mouth, not yours."
Am shuddered at the thought. "Look, I'd love to stick around, but I have bio to get to. Talk to you later, kay?"
"Def," Kat responded as Am slipped into her classroom. As Kat began toward the lunchroom, an idea came to her head. This was suspicious behavior, and it would take some undercover work to solve. She had a quiz in math the next day, and she could use a bit of help.
"Hey, uh, Jeremiah," Kat said, approaching him in the hot lunch line. He looked at her through his thick spectacles. "I have a quiz coming up in math tomorrow, and I was wondering if you could help me with a few of the equations I'll need to know and how to use them because Mrs. Creighton couldn't teach a dog to bark." Kat smiled at him. He had always had a crush on her.
Jeremiah smiled. "Sure thing, Kat," he said. "When's a good time for you?"
"How about after dinner?" Kat said. "I have practice until dinner time, and family dinner after that."
"You can come over to my house anytime after five," he said. "That sounds good?"
"Wonderful," Kat said and turned to go to her table, but then stopped and turned back to him. "Where do you live?"
"The blue house next to the Wilson's," Jeremiah said. "Next to Am."
"Thanks," Kat said and scurried off to her table.
"Were you just talking to Jeremiah Raczek?" one of Kat's lunch friends asked as she sat down.
Kat nodded. "He's going to help me with a few math problems later tonight so I can pass my quiz tomorrow." When the other teammates looked at her, she continued, "And I swear that it is all so that I can pass math, therefore participate in this weekend's meet."
"Hey, uh…" Andy approached the table again. Kat was surprised that he still hadn't found any table to sit with during lunch aside from hers.
"Take a seat, Andy," the team's sophomore captain said smiling at him and blinking her eyes quickly, attempting to bat them, but failing miserably.
"Thanks," Andy said pulling a chair out and taking a seat next to Kat. He then turned to the brunette and asked, "What are the chances that Am will say yes if I ask her to the dance?"
"About the same that the Scarlet Panda would say yes," Kat responded. The whole table burst out laughing, but Andy just stared at her, knowing the truth behind Kat's statement. "She wouldn't say yes if the existence of the planet depended on it."
"What if I offered chocolate?" Andy asked.
"She'd go with Sam before she would go with you," Kat said.
"Um… eww," Andy said.
"That's my point," Kati said. "But I'm sure there are other things who would love to go with you."
"I'm not going to ask you, Kat," Andy said smirking as he leaned.
"Nor would I say yes," Kat said. "And at no point did I indicate that any female would. I said things. At no point did I indicate that it would be human, or alive."
"And I wouldn't ask you if you were both, not to mention one," Andy shot back.
"You know, Andy, there are plenty of airhead cheerleaders over there," another of Kat's teammates said pointing across the cafeteria.
"Maybe they might think you're actually funny," Kat said. "They're naïve like that."
"How did you get that to work?" Kirk asked approaching Evan and Am in biology.
"Following the directions," Am said. "I think."
Evan smiled and laughed lightly. "Not exactly," Evan said. "You have to solve the problem in the beginning because the numbers it gives in the directions are only examples."
"Really?" Kirk asked cocking his head and scratching it. "Thanks, Evan."
"Sure, Kirk," Evan replied as Kirk returned to his table.
"So that's Kirk," Am mused.
"You know him?" Evan asked as he continued onto the third step of the experiment.
"He asked Cali to the dance Friday," Am replied.
Evan laughed. "Poor kid. What was he thinking?"
"She said yes," Am said.
"What?" Evan asked raising his eyebrows. Am nodded and continued jotting down numbers on the thermometer. Evan watched as her dark hair fell in her face and she flicked it behind her. "So, what about you?"
"What about me?" Am asked looking up at him with a small smile.
"Are you, um, going?" Evan didn't know why he was asking her. He had heard her say yes to Mike.
Am smiled and nodded enthusiastically. "Mike and I made up," Am said.
Evan turned back to the experiment and paid extra close attention.
When Evan and Am finished, Am began on her other homework while Evan approached Kirk and Carlos at their table. "Is it true that Cali Baker agreed to go to the dance with you, Kirk?" Evan asked when he arrived at the table.
"Yeah," Kirk smirked.
"And Jen Smith is my date," Carlos said. "She broke up with that Rob loser so she could go with me."
Evan lifted an eyebrow at them.
"You want to go with Am, don't you," Kirk said. "But you think she might say no because you're not a jock, huh?"
"I know she'd say no because she has a date that she really likes," Evan said.
"What would you say if I told you that I could guarantee she would say yes to you?" Kirk asked.
"I'd beg you for the magic," Evan said watching as Am seemed to be drawing her math equation in the air.
"Who's her date?" Kirk asked.
"Mike Masters," Evan said
"Then meet me in the boys locker room half an hour after school," Kirk said.
"Hey, Am, would you go to the dance with me?" Andy asked.
"Oh, Andy, I've been waiting for you to ask me," Am said as she turned away from her locker to face him.
"Is that a yes?" Andy asked excitely.
"No," Am said. "I've been wondering how long I'd have to wait to say in your dreams."
"You can't go alone," Andy said. "You're a cheerleader."
"Which is why I've got a date who is a football player," Am said shutting her locker. "Now, please, stop stalking me."
"Who are you going with?" Andy asked.
"Me," Mike said coming up beside Am and draping his arm around her.
Andy opened his mouth to speak, but nothing came out. Am rolled her eyes and took Mike's hand as they walked to the cafeteria.
"Do you understand?" Jeremiah asked after explaining the final problem to Kat.
"I think so," Kat said. She had made sure to shower extra hard and fixed her hair perfectly after practice so that Jeremiah would definitely be into her even more. She leaned a little closer so her arm was touching his as she began pointing at the different changes that she would need to perform.
Jeremiah nodded. He then smiled when Kat turned towards him without moving any farther away. Jeremiah swallowed then asked, "Will you go to the after game dance with me on Friday?"
Kat's immediate reaction was to keep herself from snorting. She was then contemplating the best way to nicely turn him down, until she noticed herself saying, "I thought you'd never ask, Jeremiah. I'd love to go with you." Kat was horrified and tried to take it back, but she only found herself smiling widely and staring at Jeremiah.
"Would you mind if I kissed you?" he asked a second later.
Hell yeah, I'd mind. "I'm yours to use as you please." What the hell is wrong with me? Why did I say that? How corny can I get?
Jeremiah closed the two inches between them and kissed her hard. Not more than a second later, he was shoving his tongue into her mouth. Eww! When was the last time you brushed your teeth?
Kat tried to pull away. She tried to freak out. But, it seemed her mind was completely disconnected from her body. She couldn't be glad when a second later, he pulled back. Until she heard what he suggested. "Let's move this up to my room so my parents won't walk in on us."
Let's not! "Race you."
There was a knock on the door and Beck opened it to find Am's new friend, the boy with the glasses. "Evan, right?" Beck asked.
Evan nodded, slightly nervous. He doubted Kirk's spray would work, but it was worth a try. It was his only shot, after all. And, as Kirk had said, "Brains should always get the pick before brawn."
"Am's in her room," Beck said. "I'll show you the way."
"Thanks," Evan said, following the young girl through the hall. Am was sitting on her bed reading a book for English class when he walked in. Beck smiled and made her way back down the hall. Evan shut the door.
"Hey, Evan," Am said, slightly confused. She marked her book and put it on her nightstand. "What's up?"
Evan approached her and sat on the bed near her, but not close enough that she would be uncomfortable. "Can I kiss you?"
Am laughed lightly. "Are you kidding, Evan?" Am asked. Then, to her confusion, she continued talking, "Of course."
Evan seemed almost as surprised as she was when she said yes. He shifted and leaned toward her. As his lips touched hers, Am prayed that Mike wouldn't suddenly appear.
Actually, Evan wasn't a bad kisser. But there was something wrong with her. She commanded her body to pull away or push him off, but she didn't. She felt his hands playing with the bottom of her shirt, and then slip under. His hands grazed over the smooth skin of her stomach and back, moving upward until they reached the clasp of her bra. Am remained completely calm as she felt Evan unclasp her bra, and then move his hands forward so they were on her breasts. Am knew something was wrong with her. Even more, something was wrong with Evan.
Suddenly, Evan pulled away and removed his hands from her shirt. He looked away from her. He had only wanted to kiss her for a second, just to know. He hadn't meant to feel her up or kiss her so deeply. But, his body was telling him to go back, and take her in everyway possible.
"Am, I don't want to hurt you, so, please, get away from me," Evan said after kissing her again.
"What's going on, Evan?" Am asked, not moving.
"I'm not entirely sure," Evan said. He bent in and kissed her again, feeling her tongue against his. Shivers ran down his back as he lied down on her bed. He turned away from her. "I can't control myself, Am. Get away for your own safety."
"But…" Am couldn't figure out why she was trying to argue.
"Go!" Evan ordered. "As fast as you can!"
Am nodded and opened her window. The fastest way she knew to travel was by jetpack. She tried to stop herself from opening her backpack's side pouch. She could feel Evan watch with interest as she reached in and pulled out her mask. She could hear Evan gasp as she put it on, activated it, and then flew out the window.
She was well over Clinton when she finally felt completely in control of her senses. She turned on her watch and called for Sam.
"What is it, Am?" Sam asked appearing on the screen. "You look pissed and confused."
"Are you at home?"
"Go to my room and see if Evan is still there."
"Why?" Sam asked, but Am could see that the background behind him was moving.
"I need to give him a piece of my mind, but I need to be aw far away from him as possible when I do it."
Sam opened the door to see Evan sitting on her bed and staring at the window. Evan jumped a little, then grabbed his chest. Sam looked at the watch in his hand and asked, "Does he know?"
"He'd have to be pretty dense not to," Am replied.
Sam sighed and tossed the watch to Evan. Evan looked down to see the face of the Scarlet Panda, which he now knew was Am. "What the FUCK happened there, Evan?"
"I don't know," Evan said.
"You expect me to believe that? You come to my house, ask if you can kiss me, allow your hands free roam of my body, then expect me to believe that you don't know what the hell was going on? Do you really think I'm stupid?"
"It's, well, Kirk has this spray that is supposed to make guys like me more attractive," Evan said. "And I only wanted to kiss you, Am. I swear, that's all I meant to do, but my body just kept moving and it took everything I had to push you away and tell you to leave."
Am narrowed her eyes. "Where is Kirk?"
Evan thought for a moment. "He's probably trying to do something with Cali," Evan said after a moment. "He's been half in love with her since the third grade."
Am nodded. Where would Cali be on a Tuesday evening? She'd probably be at the mall shopping for a dress for the dance. Cali was like that. But she couldn't just march through the mall as SP and harass some geeky freshman… but Amelia Wilson could.
"Cali, I am so glad I found you," Am said loudly when she found her friend in the food court. Kirk was very obviously staring down Cali's shirt and Cali didn't seem to notice, or care. "You'll never guess what happened to me!"
Kirk smiled. "I bet I can," he smiled. "You got asked to the dance by Evan Garrison?"
Am smiled. "How did you know?" Am asked. "And then, just before I could answer, the Scarlet Panda arrested him. She's discovered this ploy by geeks to use this chemical to make girls crazy for them."
"They didn't say who makes this spray?" Kirk asked worriedly, "did they?"
"I don't know," Am said. "But I swear she was headed this way."
"That's cool," Cali said. "Maybe we can see her. Did I tell you she saved me once?"
"I, uh…" Kirk looked nervous. "I have to go. I said I'd be home early. See you later, Cali."
"Bye, Kirk," Cali said and waved as he left. By the time she turned back to Am, she was gone.
Kirk was running through the streets of his neighborhood when a shadow appeared before him and he looked up to see SP. "Not a very nice thing alter the senses of teenage girls."
Kirk smirked. He had given himself an extra dose as he had been running. Not even the Scarlet Panda could resist him now.
"Kiss me," Kirk said when SP was no more than a step away. SP pushed him against a tree and leaned close to his mouth. "Kiss me long and hard. Do everything I tell you to."
Am told herself to fight it. She was the Scarlet Panda. She had fight it. So she couldn't understand why she pressed her lips to Kirks and pressed her body against his. Okay, someone needs to learn the term floss.
When Am pulled back a minute later, Kirk was smiling. "Take off your mask and show me who you are."
Am took a step back. She had to fight it. "Only if you tell me how your chemical mixture works."
"It mixes with enzymes in the brain," Kirk said. "The smarter the person, the more it will work. The person just needs to have confidence in what they're talking about."
Am smiled. "Let's talk about sending you to jail unless you destroy what you have left of the chemical and whip up an antidote."
"Let's talk about who you are," Kirk said.
Am smiled. She knew exactly who she was, he didn't have a clue. "Whip up an antidote."
"Already have, it's under my bed." He then slapped his hands over his mouth.
"Destroy what you have left of the chemical and how to make it and tell me how to use the antidote." Kirk nodded, against his will.
There was a knock at Jeremiah's door. He looked toward it. He was so close to getting a blow job by Kat Tibbits and someone decided to knock now. He sighed and opened the door a crack. He didn't have time to see anything before he heard the sound of a spray bottle and everything went black.
"What's going on?" Kat asked as Jeremiah fell to the floor. Am standing in the door, shuddered.