I think I was as surprised as Lionel when I told the jock to cut it out. I mean... I didn't know him. I didn't know what his problem with Lionel was.
And apparently Lionel and I are "over."
Regardless, I would keep trying to bring him to the light... or failing that, go to the dark. My reason was plain and simple... it didn't matter that we had a problem... every relationship does... true friends get over it.
I wanted my friend back.
I also wanted Claudia though, and it seemed that as long as I was with Claudia, Lionel wasn't with me... heck I even offered to stay away from Claudia and he still shot me down... all under the guise of tragic hero.
Things were getting better between me and Claudia. We were dating after all. Granted I had to take a break at first to see if I hadn't been dreaming, so I didn't ride the bus for a day or two. Claudia came to me. I decided it was real.
So now that that was out of the way I changed focus to: Win Lionel Back. Which made me sound kinda girly... so I changed it again to: Reclaim my bro.
Much more manly right?
Unfortunately no matter the name, my objective was not being met. Lionel was avoiding me. He was good at it. I'm afraid my attempts to be friendly were only pissing him off more and making things awkward. I tried to meet up with him and his new gang but he either ignored me or caused a scene until I got fed up and left.
Maybe Bully the Kid would bring the Dynamic Duo back.
I tried to get myself noticed by Craig and it didn't take long. Helping Lionel was enough to put a target on my back. According to the polls (e.g. Claudia) I was the cutest guy in school. Whether that was biased or not I didn't know. I was pretty high in the social ladder... although I'm not sure how much stock I should put in that because Lionel was bumped up due to his current relationship status... with Craig around though... who knows how long that would last? Maybe beating him in a fight would take him down a notch or two. I wasn't worried yet because if attacked me unprovoked that would be a sure fire way to get himself kicked down a few pegs.
So I did one of things I did best. No not being good-looking... that came naturally. I'm talking about being annoying because yes, even I can push people's buttons sometimes.
Pranks, Military-Grade Name calling, insults... you name it.
I did it.
That was how, after a few days, I found myself in the following situation.
The stars cleared in time for me to see another fist headed in the direction of my face. I ducked beneath it and aimed a kick at Craig's ummm... toolbox... if you will. It connected and he stumbled back a little. I went in for the "killing stroke" and found that Craig recovered much faster than I thought.
We were both bleeding, but of course I made it look good. Craig and I circled to the beat of "Fight! Fight! Fight! Fight!" I kept it going as long as I could... waiting for Lionel to jump in at some miraculous point... but I couldn't even see him in the crowd. I went for Craig again and was about to catch his face when-
"Craig! Daniel! Enough! To my office. NOW!"
In short... my plan failed. For the moment. I was taken on a field trip to the principle's office, had a nice talk with both him and my parents, and was released with a warning.
Oh and after-school detention.
Five O' Clock came around and I bounded from my seat, eager to get home. Claudia and I were having an... outing. So while running home it only figures that I found myself in this situation.
Craig had found his gang, and his gang had found me. Then the gang's fists found my body. I got in a lucky punch or two, but found myself on the losing end of this fight.
What can I say? I'm not superman. I kept glancing down the street towards my house, Claudia's house, and Lionel's house. I was just figuring out that I couldn't do telepathy... or that Lionel was just ignoring it.
I guess the whole Dynamic Duo plan wasn't going as well as I thought... cause the whole point of having two people was so that one could rescue the other.
No rescue came.
And Lionel's ultimatum from earlier:
"I told you you can have her... but I'm done with you... was that not clear?"