Teamwork

Author: Misha (misha.1⊕excite.com)
Disclaimer: No characters belong to me, although the idea comes from my classmates…
Category: Other, but it is about M/L
Rating: PG
Summary: When it comes to do homeworks and have a chance to graduate, the gang better come up with a plan.
Spoilers: up till Behind the Music.

Author’s Note: This is a really short, direct-to-the-point and (hopefully) a little funny fanfic, to sort of try to explain how come they are not failing in school being that we hardly see them there –let alone the fact that they are never (except for Crash) showed doing homeworks…


Teamwork

Max Evans slid open one eye just to try to prove himself he was wrong. Except that he had been right and the sun was already shinning outside the window. He closed his eyes again. It was Sunday, it was so unfair he had to do so much on a Sunday.

Reluctantly, he opened both his eyes this time and looked to the kitchen. Already a mess. It could only mean that Michael was already gone. Max deepened again in the couch. He was so tired his body ached, or more likely, his muscles ached because all the tension he had been having these last weeks… not only the whole L.A. thing, but Isabel’s wedding, California again, and then last but not least of his problems: his dad’s investigation.

But it had seemed like Isabel had gotten it all under control, so he wasn’t going to worry about that… too much… not now, anyway. He was way behind in school work, and today, of all days, was the only one he had actually scheduled to do so. He wasn’t used to schedule homeworks, not really, but now a ton of them were waiting for him.

One hour later, after having made some kitchen cleaning –how could Michael leave such a mess in such a short time?- had eaten his breakfast and had taken a refreshing shower, Max was finally getting into his backpack and taking his books out. No, correct that, Michael’s, Maria’s and Kyle’s books along with one of his notebooks. No wonder his backpack had weighted like it had bricks on it on Friday afternoon.

Max stared at them. He could so clearly remember when he had gotten himself into this mess. It had been Kyle’s idea, and Michael had jumped into it a little too fast the day after. Kyle had offered first to do one of Max’s assignments when he and Liz had been so caught up by Liz’s dad promises of sending her to Vermont. Kyle had said something Buddhist regarding something about friends helping each other in great need and something about how his soul would help him in some other life cycle and that he looked so lost in his own world that Kyle couldn’t take it anymore. Max had been touched…

“I should have known”, Max muttered to himself as he opened the first book. An essay about a five pages long story in History. It had took him a while to know how Kyle made his essays, but being this the fifth, it wasn’t that much of a problem anymore. Actually, Kyle’s brilliant plan had made into the light the day he had given Max that first assignment resolved.

“We should do some teamwork, you know? When someone can’t do or don’t have the time to do some school work, one of the others –if she or he is free- could cover up for a little while.”

Michael’s eyes had brightened. He was as behind in his school work as Max was, although he hadn’t been in L.A. or hadn’t had to deal with a lot of family stuff… of course, ha had two jobs, and there was the Maria situation too and that pretty much set Michael into the same cero-attention-in-school mode that Max had had lately.

So, Michael had gladly placed his biology assignment over Kyle’s geometry book over Max’s hands saying that that was the best idea Kyle had ever had. Max had stared at them with disbelief. Kyle had just said: “I know you have time now and I have already done one for you”, and Michael had sort of muttered “I’ll be doing yours soon”, and both had disappeared, each one of them on their own direction on both sides of the hallway.

That had been a month ago, a little before his trip to L.A. Now that he was thinking about it, Michael shouldn’t have agreed so fast to that idea since everything was pretty much good at that time for him… he shouldn’t have either, Max told himself… neither should Maria… and Liz had been the last to join three weeks ago.

So Kyle was the “accountant” for this thing, knowing who had done what for who and what was require of the ones who were to do payback… somehow, he had ended up accepting Kyle’s word, since he didn’t have time to keep track of these things. And truth to be told, he was glad that almost all his assignments were return to him by his teachers, with fairly good grades, about stuff he didn’t even known had been said in class.

His cell phone rang when he was getting ready to start. Liz’s number glowed in the tiny screen and a grin crossed Max’s lips. He answered in the second ring.

“Hi, Max?” Liz sounded a little bit impatient.

“Liz? What’s up?”, he said not sounding as cheerful as he would like to sound now that Liz sounded like that.

“Do you have Maria’s History book with you?”, Max heard her moving some papers in the other side of the line.

“No… I have Kyle’s… I’m about to start the essay… why?”

“Well, Maria’s History work is suppose to be for tomorrow, but I think I forgot her book at school…” Max could so see her walking around her room, still looking for the missing book.

“I can do both. I mean, Kyle and Maria are at the same class, is probably the same thing”. Liz stopped moving at the other side.

“Are you sure?” she asked, a little bit worried, a little bit relieve.

“Yeah, I only have to do…” Max stopped in middle sentence while watching the books and notebooks over the couch. He hadn’t noticed how many he had to do but now…

“Max?”

“They were four last time I checked. Now they are eight? How am I suppose to do eight?” Max said, a lot more to himself than to Liz.

“Hey, I’m suppose to do seven and I’m not complaining”, she said, half teasing, half serious. “Besides, I can’t ‘scan’”

Max’s eyes flashed guilt –not that anyone would see that- as he redirected his attention to Liz. Scan, as in let’s-use-our-alien-powers scan.

It had taken Michael and him one week of headaches and a not so few notebooks on fire to learn how to scan in the beginning of the school year. Both of them had figured out that the only way they were going to pass midterms –or any kind of tests- was if they learn to memorize as fast as they could. Michael hadn’t forgotten that Nasedo had said ‘scan it, with your mind’ and the idea had stuck to him till this year.

Max had said that if it was possible, they were going to find out how. Now he could ‘scan’ in less than two minutes a whole chapter, and know it by heart with no problem. Kyle’s essay wasn’t going to take that much time, since he had already scanned the story and was about to write the one page thing. He heard Liz sitting in her bed –he knew her movements so well- and before she said anything, he said: “I’ll do Maria’s essay. It won’t take that much time”.

“I didn’t mean that you should do it, you know. I’m in this teamwork thing too.”. Max smiled again, all guilt gone from his eyes, replaced by a curious look.

“How did you end up doing seven homeworks? Did you actually let them do that many for you?”

Max wasn’t exactly thrill about the fact that Maria, Kyle and Michael were doing his homeworks part of the time now, but it was the only choice if he was out of school on some alien related thing half of said time and if he was planning on graduate this year. And if he wasn’t all eager on this teamwork, Liz probably was less than himself.

Although there were some homeworks they wouldn’t allow any other to do. Like Liz would never allow anyone to do a Biology thing for her. Just like Michael would never accept help to do one of the Art things he did from time to time. And Maria would rather do all the Spanish homeworks –something she actually did- before anyone could say “I’ll do that”. Then there was Kyle… Kyle didn’t mind any homeworks… and Max… well, he tried to do his as often as he could, but he wasn’t picky either. Liz sighed in Max’s ear.

“I have decided I want to go back to my own school schedules after Christmas brake, you know, doing all my homeworks, so I’m sort of doing this to not have any paybacks left by then”.

Max’s smile changed one more time to a suspicious one. “You are actually doing more than you should then…”

Liz laughed softly in her bedroom. “I just hope you are not the one who would have to do some payback to me before holidays come. But you know, Kyle’s method is not that reliable”.

It was Max’s time to sigh. It was true that sometimes Max though that Kyle was not exactly assigned the right amount of payback to each of them –and that Kyle himself didn’t seem to be doing much either- but…

“I think Kyle’s method is the only way we are all going to graduate.” If he was going out in another trip, maybe this teamwork thing was going to be the only way for him to sort of catch up with school. Liz, Maria and Kyle had done a lot for Michael and Max when they went after Isabel like two weeks ago…

Liz’s soft laugh lighted up Max’s soul. “Actually, if I don’t start doing my own homeworks, I’m going to have one terrible time studying for midterms, let alone finals”.

Max felt guilty all over again. He had no problem with that, since he could do the whole scan thing, but for the human part of his group, well, it was a whole different thing. Sensing Max’s guilt, Liz added quickly, “but you know, there’s a really good point to this”.

Max frowned. “Really?”

“If we work fast, Michael, Maria and Kyle will have to do our paybacks next week…”

Max could so feel the grin in his own face. So, her dad was still on them, but they both could be so creative as to how to spend a whole school-homework-free weekend far away from him. Far away from trouble.

“I’ll do Maria’s essay, I can do it faster”

“Thanks Max… and Max”, she said before hanging up.

“Yes?” Max asked, picking up the serious tone on Liz’s voice.

“Well… the other good thing of this is that, that we are working as a team, and… as long as we are together, as long as we work for all of us, we are going to make it…”

Max wasn’t sure if Liz was still talking about school work or about something bigger… a lot bigger, like getting alive together… but he wasn’t going to spoil the moment.

“You sure you don’t want me to do another one for you?” he asked.

“No Max, don’t worry. I have three of yours to do, and to be sincere, I love having things from you here with me. Have a happy homework day”, and she hung up.

Max stared at the cellphone for a minute. Probably Liz’s dad had passed by for Liz to hang up so quickly. And probably Liz was right about Kyle’s method not being all that reliable if Liz had three of his homeworks, when he had only done one of hers –one he had actually loved to do- last week… Maybe Kyle was getting this teamwork too easy… He sighed. Then, remembering the promise of next week, he sat down and took the pen. Now, what was the Buddhist line Kyle would use to start his essay?

The end.