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Through the Dreamers, We Hear the Hum. They Say “Come On, Come On, Let’s Go.”; so come on, come on, let's go (private, paging boogcada)
Topic Started: Mar 7 2017, 07:55 PM (440 Views)
The Yugetnam War
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The broken husk of the second-hand Mazda turned its last corner, moving forward for the final charge.

So stop.

Turn the wheel.

Move backwards.

Move forwards.

Try not to hit the bumper of the car in front and risk losing your license.

And there.

Mission complete.

((“Badass” Johnny Lancer, technically memories begin but this is probably going to be after a bunch of other memories threads so continued from there))

Well, as complete as it could be, by this point. They were only two thirds of the way through the journey. Once they were at prom, and if nobody was dead by the end? Then yeah, mission complete. He could go and drive and figure out what he was going to do tonight, then. Until then, he had to live in fear. Fear of himself. Fear of this car. Fear that his very presence on the road would cause other people to crash, or shit like that. Well, okay, yeah. Not really. He was sorta sitting in a driveway at the moment. Waiting. For things to happen. For time to pass. For the things that needed to happen here to happen here so he could go and figure out what he was going to do tonight. Those things.

He needed those to happen.

But he could wait. He’d done that a couple times before. Wasn’t like he needed to, anyway. Danny was right behind him. Wearing his Sunday best. He was supposed to be the one Johnny was waiting for but he hadn’t done anything yet. He was just sitting. Waiting for the right time. He was the one here supposed to get the girl. Badass Johnny was just the wingman. Admittedly, Johnny was probably a little more than that. He was probably, like, the ultimate wingman. The wingman who was so cool and so attractive all the girls in the school flocked around him. Yeah. He’d be that type of wingman.

Well, he would be, if that type of wingman existed.

Because he was the wingman.

And the wingman wasn’t supposed to get the girl, after all.

But yeah. Point was, Danny was still in the car. Johnny supposed he wasn’t supposed to wait yet, if that was the case.

May as well small talk.

“So this the right house?”
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Cicada Nights
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((Rachael Langdon: prepare))

Rachael ambivalently considered her made up appearance in the clean and shiny, only recently cleaned mirror of the downstairs bathroom. Sis had done a great job with the makeup! Rachael really hadn't ever expected that her eyes could pop like this, gently shimmering like dew under lashes thick but not heavy. Her slightly longish face was balanced by contour, the sort of convoluted brush strokes of different shades of flesh tone that Rachael couldn't make heads or tails of. She looked amazing, but even as she admired Bridget's handiwork she also had to frown. Lips bared wide shut, so she could glare pensively at her own teeth and count the number of split rift valleys and angles that made each tooth look crooked as a criminal.

"Hey, Rachael! Tell your friends I'll have their butts if they dent my Civic!"

"Dad!" Rachael fired back, protesting in slight amusement that failed to turn her frown to a smile. It was Dad, he was always good at the somewhat kitschy jokes and always good at making Rachael feel a bit better. That said, she still felt anxious. Her mind jumped the gun, flew into the path of the bullet, and she was suddenly wondering about the possibility of her Dad actually getting annoyed with Daniel and Johnny- or, heaven forbid he actually started to disapprove of them and then what would she do if her family didn't like her friends and there was tension and

All the anxious energy went into the one part of her body not stock still, her tongue, and she probed and lashed at her teeth so furiously she swore she was starting to bleed. As she had many times in the past few month she found she was dreaming of the day scheduled for an otherwise innocuous upcoming July weekend, when she'd happily find herself in an orthodontist's chair. Well, maybe happily was a strong word.

((Rachael Langdon: begin))

They'd found her house, and Rachael was glad of that because she had been worried she might have given the directions wrong. She might have said 'turn right' when she really meant left or maybe improperly translated and transposed a digit in her address and sent poor Daniel and Johnny to the abandoned lot down the street. Oh, that would have been so embarrassing, if she'd started off her prom night with one of her best ever friends by inadvertently trolling him and wasting his time. It hadn't happened, so at least that particular disaster in waiting had been averted!

Of course that left potentially the rest of them, but Rachael kept herself breathing easy as she could.

It was odd to think that it was happening at all, really. She certainly hadn't been able to comprehend it when it had actually become a thing, herself and Daniel being on a... no, no, date was not the right word and she was very fortunate she hadn't manged to let that slip into the vernacular of a conversation! They were just friends having fun and hopefully Rachael wouldn't do anything stupid and that was all there was to it.

She suddenly realized he could see her now, looking so very different with an uncensored face full of makeup, uncharacteristically teased hair, and even a few unfamiliar inches due to heels that dug into the balls of her feet with painful bluntness.

The real pain was the stab of butterfly knife fluttering to her heart. She nervously clasped her hands before her, then redid it so they were behind her, than in front of her, and oh no what if she tripped and landed flat on her face because she wasn't used to heels she'd look so stupid and Daniel would regret ever having asked her with all those nice amazing things he'd said to her way back when when the springtime moon had been waning over the awning of her unlit honeysuckle scented porch
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delayedMirth
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((Daniel Whitten just might remember this night for the rest of his days.))

“Yeah, uh, this is the right house. I’m just, like - y’know?”

The proper thing to do probably would have been to get out of the car and go knock on the front door right away, but Daniel had been simultaneously anticipating and dreading this night ever since Rachael had first accepted his invitation, all those weeks ago. Like, asking her out (to prom, not like, asking her out asking her out, the vocabulary of modern romance was annoyingly vague at times) had probably been the spookiest thing he had ever done in his life! He tried not to let the fact that he’d be asking something bolder still at the end of the night if everything went well bother him. What mattered most was making sure that Rachael had a good time.

And it was already apparent that he had kept her waiting too long, as she had already left her house and begun walking down her porch. Rude already, Daniel. Well, if nothing else this prompted him into action, as he finally got out of the car, walked around the back of it towards the side her house was on and held open the car door for her. (Probably would have been smoother if he had already been sitting on that side, but that was still the polite thing to do, right? Like, you could never go wrong holding any door for anybody. Unless you were fleeing from some sort of ravenous horde and you compromised your entire stronghold and went down in one history as one dumb but very civil guy.)

“Hey, Rachael!” He said, waving to her with a smile as she approached. “You look beautiful,” he said like he had rehearsed a bunch of times in front of the mirror so he could say the words with confidence and not like stutter or lame out with something akin to ‘very pretty.’ It was very important that it sounded like he genuinely meant it, ‘cause Daniel was very bad at like, not weakening his own point with mumbling and vagueness. Rachael deserved way better than that.

Because, man. She was beautiful. Not that she wasn’t beautiful ordinarily, of course. It was just like, a different type of beautiful. Like, it was a bigger and brighter type of beautiful? No, ‘bigger’ made it sound like it was inherently better. The type of beautiful you’d capture in a painting instead of a photo album of you having an ordinary, everyday type of wonderful time with the people you loved? He was overusing the word beautiful, but he wasn’t the writer of the group, dang it.

A big part of it was probably just like, the effort that went into it. Makeup, heels, her hair. That took time! And some pain! Like, it was really incredible that girls could just like, do that sorta stuff! It’s not like Daniel wasn’t making an effort to look nice too or anything, but like, dudes just had to wear nice clothes and they were pretty much good and formally acceptable. Dress pants and shoes, suit and tie, a dark purple button-up shirt beneath that. Before, the only time he had really worn them was when the band played at graduation at the end of every year, but like, he felt he looked alright in them. He had sent Erica a selfie at her insistence and she had responded with like twenty different emojis so that was probably a good sign? Last time he checked with Johnny his tie hadn’t been like, crooked or anything either, so he was good there too.

Geeze, he had to chill. They weren’t even in the car yet. The panicking could wait until they got to prom itself and Daniel remembered that he had no real idea how to dance.
we have built cities and dug graveyards on oh so many worlds
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The Yugetnam War
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Johnny tapped the wheel. Leaned his head back against the top of the seat.

“Yeah, I getcha.”

Did he getcha, though? Johnny couldn’t make himself    totally sure of that. It was just, y’know. That could mean anything. Johnny imagined that it was the nerves holding Danny, though. Nerves about this. About Rachael. About meeting with her. About dancing with her. About potentially wooin’ her. Probably about that, if Johnny had to guess. Didn’t matter too much though. Johnny knew that feeling. Had been recent. Couple months ago. Art room. Mission to get his jacket back had given him a reward Johnny didn’t really think he’d get just by actually going back to school one day. Not that he was complaining, though. Reward was a reward. A friend was a friend. A good friend was a good one, even despite how it worked out.

Kitty was Kitty.

He smiled. Kept his fingers rapping on the wheel. Better days. Seemed so far away, or however that song went.

Danny had left the car. Went to go talk to Rachael. Part of Johnny wanted to follow. See them. See her.

Another part told him that it was best to leave the lovebirds together.

Another part told him that they’d be happier without him right now.

Another part told him that he didn’t really want to get run over by all the cars coming down the road right now.

Eh.

Those parts had points.

Best to just sit back and be the driver.
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Cicada Nights
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Oh.

And, she'd been so worried she'd completely missed the carful of Daniel that had been right in front of her. She ceased walking at once, ceased breathing even. And yes, she recognized his clothes like they had come out of her own closet. Every year the band played for graduation. Their Freshman year she'd actually been too flayed by nerves to keep waiting for him outside the event hall, and unfortunately he'd only learned that after the fact by text. She replayed that moment in her head sometimes, regretted it, she really

“Hey, Rachael!”

He waved, and she felt her hand almost depart Earth's orbit before she asserted herself and forced a gentle wave in turn. Oh, why did she feel so light and hollow and like someone had papered over her blood vessels with electrical wiring?

"You look beautiful."

Shock.

It tickled, that was the oddest thing. She would have imagined that getting blasted and fried by lightning had to hurt more than this. Daniel smiled and held himself with a very poised, confident steadiness to his gait and while that was definitely a bit unfamiliar it was utterly arresting of both Rachael's gaze and lung and she didn't understand, she didn't understand why this alien sensation felt so familiar and comfortable and

But how... how should I respond?



She had no answer for that errant thought, her head was just empty yet leaden with weights and static but she did have to say something or she'd look so silly and weird especially since some amount of time had awkwardly slipped by, maybe one second, maybe five, maybe the rise and fall of civilization?

"... I- I'm not! It's just... the usual?

... You know."

That probably hadn't been a particularly inspiring response. She wouldn't be leading armies into battle against ultimate evil anytime soon, with that tone of voice. She was now suddenly waiting for a response, faster than she'd expected to be waiting for one and that sudden eager anticipation was a nail-biter if she would have been the sort to bite her nails at all. Rachael cast her eyes about, and then realized with a tense extension of her nervous crooked smile that she'd temporarily forgotten their third.

"How's, uh, Johnny?" She dared to wave his way.
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delayedMirth
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Oh, shoot. Were they supposed to be talking like, now? Daniel had figured that it'd be just sorta like, they'd wave and say hello and have a brief fashion show out on the driveway, but then they'd get in the car right away. It's not like they couldn't talk there, and it meant they wouldn't be keeping Johnny waiting for too long, either. Now he guessed he just looked kinda silly, holding the door like that. Oh well!

Rachael tried to deflect his compliment, which was something Daniel understood completely. Compliments were weird and difficult to deal with, but he didn't just wanna let her refusal stand either, 'cause doing that would mean tacitly implying some horrible thing like 'yeah I was just trying to be nice' when he had meant it with every fiber of his being, but he suddenly found himself without the gracious strength to double down and go 'no, really, you're like the prettiest girl, seriously,' because at that point it felt dangerously close to being pushy enough to make things uncomfortable for her.

So instead he actually lamed out this time by saying "I'm pretty sure that everything tonight is like, pretty much the opposite of the usual, haha! Not like, in a bad way or anything, it's just, like, neither of us really do fancy dance things in general, y'know," and nothing beyond that.

He was also starting to ramble a bit, but nervousness kept that particular train shooting way past its station. Multi-track collision, thankfully both trains were just, like, robots. Robot trains for robots; not like the sentient and cool kind either. No one needed to die for a metaphor. "Johnny's, uh, fine? Cool? Really great for driving us? I mean, probably just be easiest to ask the dude himself!"
we have built cities and dug graveyards on oh so many worlds
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The Yugetnam War
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best officer on the force
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Man, Johnny was gonna have to just sit and listen while Danny and Rachael were acting all lovey dovey out there, wasn’t he?



Yep.

Oh well.

The car radio turned up. The sound of the trumpet dropping started filling his ears. Johnny leaned back. Put his hands behind his head.

Watched the empty sky, upward sea of grey and red laid right in front of him.
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Cicada Nights
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"... Yeah!

We don't really do this sort of thing often."

Erm, ever. Rachael couldn't remember a time that she'd even glanced in the general direction of a free-range teenager party, let alone walked through the doors of one. Glancing. Glancing blows, like two jousters lances bouncing off the faces of well-weathered shields. Daniel staring at her staring at him staring at her and her face felt so hot, like runny eggs on a pan and she just had to look away so she was looking up at the grandly bare canvas of washed out grey and red hues and the gentle stars above peeking innocently out of their cloud blankets. Beautifully evocative, just like

Daniel was saying something, and Rachael's eyes were arrested by gravity, from heaven to earth. She couldn't help it, she giggled. She was painfully aware that he hadn't even said anything particularly funny, the pain became sharp knives to her chest, but she couldn't help blowing a speech bubble out of her hapless laughing.

"Y-yeah! We shouldn't keep him waiting, that's right."

Yet waiting was exactly what Rachael seemed inclined to do because she felt like the soles of her pretentiously reach-for-the-skies heels had sunk into the fresh asphalt of her million year old home driveway.
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delayedMirth
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A couple moments of silence hung in the air like a cloud between them; not a storm cloud or anything but not white and fluffy, either. Grayish and large enough that when it floated by it obscured their vision and got their clothes damp because Clouds Are Water and kinda messed with the mood of their whole evening, but it was gone in a few average blink intervals?

Maybe that one could use some workshopping.

"We should probably get going, then!" Daniel said, which was kind of redundant but at least they had agreed on the thing they should definitely be doing. He opened the car door - for real this time - and gestured vaguely towards it, and Rachael got in the car, and he got in the other side of the car, and then they were all in the car. That was probably ideal.

"Thanks again for the ride, Johnny."
we have built cities and dug graveyards on oh so many worlds
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