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Oh look, there's a phone on the floor.

A girl in t-shirt and jeans, wrapped in a hoodie and shoulder bag sat on a window ledge at a house party. She watched an overcrowded house of teens chatting, laughing and dancing. An intense game of beer pong was being played to her left that went up in a roar as several people yelled 'DEATH CUP!' One team then proceeded to jump around high-fiving each other and body bumping in celebration. To her far right she could see a girl with a sidecut do a keg stand. How does it not pour out your nose? She'd been nursing a single beer most of the night, picking the logo clean with her nails and depositing the paper mess on the ledge next to her. Her two friends showed up at her house about four hours before and dragged her away from her night of doing nothing. Her parents left for a weekend getaway and any normal teenager would've jumped at the chance to get up to some mischief. She, however, sat in her room and looked at polaroid pictures that she had taken that week and wrote an entry in her journal. Max Caulfield: the teenage rebel.

Kristen and Fernando showed up just after nine and insisted that Max needed to come with them to a house party. As Max tried to come up with an excuse not to go, Kristen tossed Max her hoodie and told her to zip it. "Max, your parents are away for the weekend, and you're here, alone, drinking… tea? Writing in your journal? You're coming out with us and we're gonna have some fun. The last time we hung out was two weeks ago in Fremont. So put on your sneaks and let's goooo!"

-------------------

"Ouu! Someone just answered but it disconnected, I'll try again." Fernando had his phone in front of him calling Max's number. At some point during the night of 'partying it up' (which really meant walking in between people who were drunkenly dancing,) Max's phone had fallen out of her hoodie. My parents are going to kill me. Fernando had his phone up to his ear again, waiting, "It's gone to voicemail now," he said over the music, "Someone probably found it and laid it down somewhere. I'll give it a few minutes and try again maybe between songs, might hear the ring tone," Max gave Fernando a forced smile, "Someone will get fed up of hearing it ring and will answer it, and we'll get your phone back, Max!"

Or they'll toss it, Max thought.

"Thanks, Nando," she said. It was one in the morning. Max sighed. I just want to leave, I don't want to be here... fuuuuck.

"Hey, Caulfield!" Someone called out from the party. Max looked in the direction of the person yelling her name. She recognized the girl as the keg-stander, now stumbling towards her making a bee-line through the crowd. She had a beer in one hand and a joint hanging from her mouth, talking on her phone. "Hey Caulfield..." she repeated as she walked in between Fernando and Kristen's group of friends who were sitting on the floor. The girl bumped and stumbled over them a little, knocking over Kristen's beer.

"Hey watch it, Sloane," Kristen said, annoyed.

Sloane shouldered her phone, looked down at Kristen, patted her messily on the head and then used her head as leverage to keep her moving though the group. "Sorry. Sorry, Caulfield!" Sloane, the sidecut girl, grabbed onto Max's shirt and hauled her off the window ledge, "You haven't been drinkin', right?" Sloane reached for Max's untouched beer. Before the brunette could answer, Sloane was holding it to the light, closely eyeballing its content level. She haphazardly placed it back on the ledge.

"Well n-o..just thi-" Max replied, wide-eyed and frightened at the aggressive handling. Sloane slapped her beer bottle on the same ledge and looked directly at Max with determination (well, as much determination as she could muster, being slightly drunk and possibly stoned.) The joint wiggled in her lips as she spoke.

"You have to get me to her," Sloane slurred as her eyes individually blinked at Max. Get you to who? Max thought. Sloane switched the phone to her the other ear, grabbed Max's hand and started dragging her through the party of people, making their way to the main door. "Everyone make a hole!" Sloane shouted. The packed house of teenagers barely moved. Sloane pushed her body though, knocking people away. Aggravated, she yelled, "She's gonna blow chunks!" It was like parting the Red Sea. I'm the juggernaut, bitch. People around them immediately all but dove out of their way, scared to have projectile fluid on them. The two made for the exit and the fresh air outside.

Max tugged at Sloane's hand, "Sloane, let go! What's wrong?" Sloane didn't answer until they got outside. She flicked the joint into the brisk night air, not caring where it landed. Taking the phone away from her ear, Sloane pulled Max close, gravely looked at her and spoke, drunkenly serious.

"I need you to be a designated driver for me," she said, "My friend is in trouble, she needs help. I have a friend with her now but I need to get there." Sloane hauled out her keys and slapped them in Max's hand. Max stared wide-eyed at Sloane, taking in the request.

"Oh-oh-oh, okay?" Max answered with a stammer. She rubbed Sloane's shoulder and arm, hoping to comfort her. "Where's your car?" Sloane looked at Max's hand as she rubbed her arm, confused at Max's attempt to comfort her.

"Uhmm, fucked if I know," Sloane replied. Both girls looked at the driveway and street littered with vehicles including ones of the front lawn. It's a miracle that the cops haven't shown up yet. Max lead Sloane down the driveway and onto the street, using the car's fob she clicked it to activate the horn and unlock the doors. They turned in the direction of the noise; Sloane's twirl was a little too much for her and Max had to grab her to keep her from tipping over.

"Shit, easy Sloane," she said. The drunken girl side-stepped a few times as Max struggled to keep an arm on her. What am I getting myself into?

"There she is!" Sloane yelled, grinning as she walked towards her vehicle, arms wide open as if to embrace an old friend, "Mah girl!"

Max looked up at a raised grey truck, "Ssshiiit," she said, "Sloane this is… I d-don't think I can..." Sloane made her way to the driver's side. She spoke a couple of words on the phone as she placed her hand on the door to open it. "Hey, you're not driving!" Max said, quickly walking towards her.

Sloane stumbled and looked back at Max while opening the door. She started to fall as the momentum of the door opening pulled her inebriated body along with it. Max, in two strides, was there to somewhat catch her. It was more of a weakly grunted “uhhhhhhgh” with her arms positioned out in front of her, knowing that she didn’t really have the strength to stop Sloane from hitting the deck, it was just instinct to put her hands out. Unfortunately for Max, Sloane and her flailing phone arm swung around Max’s neck and they began to fall together. Sloane grabbed at the door handle with her free hand while squeezing Max with the other. She took an awkward step back and then suddenly lurched forward, launching Max back towards the truck side and pushing her up against it aggressively.


“Augh!” Max yelled, wincing.


“Sorry! Sorry," Sloane patted Max’s collarbone with genuine drunken concern, looking at the girl to see if she physically hurt her. She adjusted Max’s hoodie, “Did I hurt you?” She then brushed Max’s swept bangs, “Fuck, I sorry.” Max placed both her hands on Sloane’s shoulder to steady the swaying girl.

“I’m fine. I’m fine, Sloane,” Max said, “You’re not driving, though. You asked me to." Max felt like she should talk to Sloane as if she was a child.

Sloane looked at her truck, then at Max. Then at the truck, then back to Max. She blinked, letting Max’s words sink in. She looked at the truck, then back to Max one last time, “K.” she said. She stumbled backwards, turned and walked in front of her truck, Max watched her slide her hand along the vehicle’s hood for support, before she tripped on the sidewalk. Sloane stumbled sideways with flailing arms and fell with a thud. Max sighed. Fuck. Sloane giggled from the ground.

Max sat in the driver’s seat and watched her drunken passenger make multiple attempts of getting herself up into the seat. The truck was raised, which made it hard enough for Max’s sober ass to up climb and get in, let alone someone who had clearly had one or five too many. Sloane finally belly flopped up onto the seat. Max grabbed Sloane’s belt buckle, grunted loudly and hauled the girl into the truck, “AAauuhh Sloane fuu-"


“Ahhnnnngg, wedgie!” Sloane giggled like a schoolgirl, grabbing at anything to give her leverage, Max started to laugh.


“Dog, Sloane,” she said, “Could you have found a more difficult way into your truck?" Sloane righted herself into the passenger seat and wrinkled her nose at something being wrong, then tugged her underwear out of her butt. She leaned back, letting her head hit the seat as she smiled stupidly. She let her mouth fall open as her eyes closed. She giggled a little more and settled into the seat. There was a long moment of silence, the cabin of the truck was lit only by Sloane’s ongoing phone call, the phone loosely held in her hand at her lap. “Uhm...Sloane?” Max said, nudging her. Don’t pass out on me. Sloane replied with a grunt. She didn’t want to move. “How do you start your truck?" Max persisted. What is all this shit? Sloane slowly opened her eyes and looked over at Max who had the keys in her hands, not knowing where to put them. She was looking at the driver’s console with no idea where to start. “This is like looking at a cockpit," she said. Sloane watched the girl and the sense of hesitation on her face. “Sloane I don’t think I can do-"


“Max, you are the only one that can,” Sloane casually said, “It’s a truck, not an Arwing. Wait. You do have your license, right?”


Max smiled at the StarFox reference and replied, “Yeah, it’s just... wowsers. What the hell is all this?”

“I made a couple of mods to mah girl," Sloane pointed towards the ignition then turned her attention to the person on the other end of her phone call, “Sorry, we're in mah girl, I’m getting my pilot the rundown to rev her up."


Max put the fob in the ignition and pressed the button to start the truck. The diesel engine came alive, which powered the music that was left on way too loud. The driver’s console and tablet display all lit up at the same time. Max squeaked with a jump and held her hand's palms out, too intimidated to touch anything. There were so many little buttons and toggle switches, and she’d never used a vehicle with a tablet screen... and it’s a manual. I don’t have a lot of experience with a stick shift; there’s no way I can do this. I should go in and find someone that can drive her.


Sloane leaned forward and hit the tablet a couple of times, stopping the music, “Shit, sorry. Fuckin’ hell. Loud noises!" She noticed the apprehension on Max’s face and grinned. She loudly whispered into her phone, ”Gimme a sec.” Sloane straightened herself up. “Alright, Max McCloud, this is your vehicle for tonight, she won’t bite." Sloane grinned, rubbing the dashboard lovingly. “Mah girl will take care of ya, but first things first. Alexa." The virtual assistant made an audible Boop Boop tone as it recognized the verbal command. “New driver I.D," Boop Boop.


“New driver I.D," Alexa repeated as the tablet displayed a new I.D screen, “Please say new drivers name." Boop Boop.


Sloane looked at Max, her mouth slightly open, dumbfounded and looking at the screen. Sloane raised her eyebrows and moved her head towards Max and loudly whispered, “You have to say your name," Alexa made two audible tones Boop Boop.


“Voice I.D recognized," Alexa said as Sloane leaned over and started hitting the tablet multiple times, cancelling the setup.


“NoOooOo,” *hic.*


They started over.
“Alexa,” Boop Boop, “New driver I.D." Boop Boop.


“New driver I.D,” Alexa replied, “Please say new drivers name." Boop Boop. After the two audible tones, Sloane drunkenly smiled at Max, waiting for her to say it. Max leaned toward Sloane and the tablet.


“Max,” she said, looking at Sloane for approval. Sloane gave her two big thumbs up with a stupid smile.


“Voice I.D recognized,” Boop Boop, “Confirm new driver I.D, Max,” Alexa confirmed Max’s voice playing it back to her, giving the brunette a smile at hearing her own voice. A new display popped up showing every control for the truck. Sloane stared at the tablet then seemingly at random, started drunkenly tapping the screen.


“Is the seat position good for you?” she asked. Max leaned back into the seat with her hands on the wheel.


“Ahh, yeah,” she sighed.


“It the seat angle comfortable?”


“Yes.”


“Can you see out the mirrors?”


“Yes.”


“Is the steering wheel in a good position?”


“Yes.”


“Can you see the console lights?”


“Yes.”


“You want her to eat you out?”


“Yes… Wait. What!”

 

Max could hear a giggle from Sloane’s phone. Sloane roguishly chuckled at Max who had turned many shades of red.

“Tee-hee,” Sloane teased, “Why Max, are you and mah girl gonna get it on?"

“Sloane,” Max replied, blinking slowly. Sloane laid her head on Max’s shoulder, cooing.

“I mean rev her engine and turn on the butt warmer, she will-” Max shook her head at Sloane’s drunken affection.

“SlooOoooane, oh my dog,” she smiled and smacked Sloane’s shoulder.

They could both hear more giggling from Sloane’s phone. Sloane brought the mic end up close to her mouth, “Quiet youuu!” She then hit a few more buttons and turned her attention back to Max. “Alright I got the basic shit put in, we’re good to go. Wait. Can you drive stick shift?”

Max looked down at Sloane and nodded. Sloane threw up the horns, “Awesome possum!" Max rolled her eyes but smiled at the childlike play Sloane was displaying. The drunken girl pushed herself off of Max’s arm and continued the rundown, “It still has the same setup as any other vehicle. You don’t need to worry about these toggles here as they are for the extra roof lighting. You don’t need these ‘cause I have the risers set to automatic."

Max started looking through the instruments, confirming where everything was. She turned the wipers on and off, ditto for the direction signal, up and down, “Okay, I’m good," Max said with a small smile and a nod to Sloane.

“Sweet!” Sloane replied happily and excited, kicking out both her feet and fist pumping in a cheer, “Right, let’s go!" The girls buckled up and Max pulled the truck out of the parking spot and headed down the street. “Alright, we are on our way,” Sloane said into the phone, “I’m gonna put you in the dock and on speaker, give me a sec."

After a bit of apprehension, Max was now revelling in the driver's seat. I’m so high up in the truck, I wonder if I could drive over that hatchback like those monster trucks. She’d love that. This thing is awesome I could see us taking this everywhere. We could go off-roading. Man, she would loooove getting this thing dirty. Max caught herself thinking about her again and the realization of her life brought the brief moment of joy to a bitter end. The guilt and depression seeped back into their regular, sombre spot. Max let out a sigh.

“Where do need me to drive you, Sloane?" Let’s get this over with. Sloane was still fiddling with getting her phone into the docking station. Get in. The. Damn. Holder.

“Sloane?! Where are we going?” Max asked again.

“Portland.”

The truck screeched to a halt and Sloane let out a yelp as her seatbelt violently held her in place. Her phone flew from her hands, bounced off the windshield and settled on the dashboard.

“WHAT?!” Max yelled, “I CAN’T GO TO PORTLAND! THAT’S LIKE THREE HOURS AWAY!”

Sloane ignored Max and grabbed her phone from the dashboard, “Shitshitshit, are you still there?! Okay, good. Sorry, just a sec."

“I’m not going to Portland, Sloane!” Max said, shaking her head, “I can’t. I-I…”

“Max...I-" Sloane began before being cut off by Max.

“No, I can’t. That’s too far,” she said, “You’ll have to find someone else. It’s, like, after one, almost two in the morning. My parents will freak out. I can’t leave." Sloane finally placed the phone in the dock and looked at Max.

“It’s not really that far, you just spent four hours ‘partying it up,’” Sloane said, using air quotes, “You sat in the same spot nursing one beer. How is being at a party for four hours different than driving for four hours or whatever? Look, there’s no one else. I’ll feed you caffeine and if I sober up I’ll take over the driving. Text your parents, by the time they wake up in the morning there’s nothing that can be done. If they get pissed just tell them exactly what happened,” Sloane leaned back and looked at Max with an eyebrow raised, “Wait a minute, do your parents even know you’re at a party, and out at this time of night, young lady?”

“I-I-” Max ignored Sloane’s question as she frantically tried to come up with a reason not to go to Portland. She lifted up on the clutch, which jerked the truck forward and stalled the vehicle.

“Max,” Sloane held Max’s arm, “look at me," Max looked at Sloane, her breathing quick and her eyes too wide. “Hey, breathe. Big, slow breaths," Sloane demonstrated the breathing. Sloane was well aware of Max’s anxiety issues; most of the school knew about her anxiety. “It’s okay, Max. Just think about your breathing... in and out, nice and slow." Sloane rubbed her hand on Max’s arm for support, “Take your time, Max."

“Sorry, I just get thi-." Max began to apologize.

“Nope, don’t apologize,” Sloane shook her head, “I hauled you off from your friends and then dragged you to my truck in the middle of the night and said ‘hey we’re going to Portland.’ Nope that’s not creepy or weird at all!"

Sloane’s truck sat in the middle of the road under a street light. The two occupants sat in brief silence. Sloane reached to the steering wheel and pressed the button to open the window, letting cool night air in. Max slowly opened her eyes and looked at Sloane.

“Are you good?” Sloane asked.

“Yeah.”

"Okay," Sloane placed a hand on Max's arm and looked off to her side, "Max, I need you. There is someone..." Sloane sighed, composing herself, then looked back at Max, "If you knew that there was someone who you cared for more than anything else in the world and you knew that they were hurting, would you help them?" Max's mind immediately went to a girl she knew, the only person that mattered in the world. She felt her throat constrict, her mind quickly replayed her last moments of that day. Knowing that she was already hurting and grieving, giving her more pain by leaving, then breaking promises to keep in touch, not replying to messages. Max felt her heart continually slam in her chest and the thumping in her ears. The guilt rose again. She forced herself to try and swallow. She grit her teeth against the quickly building emotions. Her vision of Sloane was becoming blurry. I can't let go in here, not in this truck and not in front of Sloane. I'll look more like an unstable freak, 'What the fuck is wrong with you,' she'll say. Jesus, Max you are such a fuckup.

Max stared at Sloane. Save it for home. Save it for the quiet corner of my room. Not here. She thought about her set routine of letting the emotions out when they've built up and they could not be contained. If your parents are home, lie to them and say that you are tired and are going to go and chill in your room. Turn on the stereo and set the volume to seven... anything louder and the parents will complain and they might come into your room and they will see you're an emotional fuck up. You're already a disappointment to them because you're in the IEP class. Walk to the corner of the room because it's the furthest away from anyone in the house. You're not allowed to feel the comfort of family, you don't deserve it after what you have done and continue to do. Grab your pillow and the box of tissues because you are weak and you need to clean up your fuckin' childish mess. Crumble to the floor because your shaking legs can't hold you up anymore. You are so Goddamn weak. Grasp the pillow and let the emotional guilt overtake you. Pass out when your mind and body can't take it anymore. Clean up your fucking childish crying mess afterwards. Rinse and Repeat when necessary.

Sloane watched as Max's eyes looked through her then started to glass over. Max turned away to stare out the window. Woah, Sloane thought. She knew that feeling, that look, the struggle to breathe and swallow all to well. Fuck. I pushed too hard too fast. I already gave her one small attack. Sloane placed Max's hand in hers and slowly squeezed, trying to bring her out of whatever memory she was captured in.

I can't do this, Max thought, I can't leave Sloane when she needs my help. I can't do this again. To walk away from someone when they are hurting. I've only known her for two semesters; Literature, Math, and Music are the only classes were in together, and only one of them we actually have conversations, albeit limited ones. She's nice to me, even helped me that time when Jason was being an asshole. Max reminded herself of Sloane's confrontation with the boy. Yelling an obscene amount of F-bombs and leaving the boy in a bloody mess. She'd even threatened him with hospitalization if he ever placed a hand on Max again. She also remembered quickly running away before it all ended and not having a chance to thank Sloane for what she did. Typical me, running away. We've sat together on a few occasions for lunch. She pitied me, because I was alone or there was no other place to sit. I can't do this, fuck. Portland is too close to where she lives. What if I run into her in Portland, she will see me and will yell at me, tell me how she hates me and...I can't do this again.

 

"Max I- maybe I shouldn't have asked you to do thi-" Sloane said as she watched the conflict on Max's face.

 

"I'll do it," Max replied quietly.

 

"I pushed you too hard, I wasn't thinking. I-" Sloane said, not listening to Max.

 

Max furrowed her brow and turned to look at Sloane, "I'll drive you there. I-I c-can't walk a-away knowing that y-you n-need my help," the words stumbled out, "I can't do that anym-more."

 

Sloane smirked at seeing a little spark in Max's eyes. "Okay."

 

"Okay," Max echoed and started the truck again. I'm doing this. I'm not going to run away. Not this time.

 

Sloane leaned towards the tablet, "Alexa." Boop Boop, "Road Map. "Boop Boop.

 

"Destination?" Alexa asked.

 

Sloane looked at Max and smiled. She was happy to get a smile back.

 

"Portland, Oregon," the brunette said.

 

Boop Boop.

 

Within seconds Alexa replied, "From your current location it will take you two hours and forty-five minutes," Boop Boop, "There are no current highway closures," Boop Boop, "Traffic congestion is minimal," Boop Boop, "It is currently sixty-nine degrees Fahrenheit, clear in the evening leading into the morning with sunny skies of sixty degrees Fahrenheit," Boop Boop,"Your fuel level is too low to achieve your destination." Boop Boop, "Fueling stations added to your map," Boop Boop.

 

"So cool," Max said, grinning.

 

"That's mah girl," Sloane rubbed the center console, "So we gotta fuel her up, we gotta get some caffeine 'cause I need to keep you awake and I have to sober the fuuuuck up," Max started to drive towards the intersection. "Ooo! One more thing," Sloane retrieved Max's phone from her pocket, "I found your phone in the house, some dude named Fajito kept calling you!"

 

Max sighed happily, taking it, "Oh, thank Dog. My parents would shit bricks if I lost this."

 

"Text your parents, let them know the shit-show I got you into," Sloane said, "If you need to blame someone, blame me. Again, sorry to put you in this situation, but you're my only hope, Obi Wan Max." Max pocketed her phone; her parents wouldn't know she wasn't home since they were up north. What they don't know won't hurt them, or make them pissed. Max felt stupid at having even worried about what her parents might think, because they wouldn't know unless she told them anyway.

 

"Ooo! Another thing," Sloane said as she hit a button on the truck's tablet, talking to the person on the other end of her ongoing call, "You still there?"

 

"Yeah, I'm here," the female voice replied. Max glanced at the phone.

 

"Sorry, there were a few technical difficulties," Sloane said, "We're on our way. We'll hopefully be there around 5:30."

 

"It's gonna be a hella shock to her when she sees you," the female voice said.

 

Sloane looked at Max, flashing a warm smirk, "No doubt, It's gone on too long."

 

There was a pause for a few seconds, then from the phone came the sound of something sliding like a door or a window, followed by the female letting out a small grunt, "I had to go outside, I don't want to wake her up."

 

"Well, introductions are in order, I think," Sloane looked to Max, "Max Never-Maxine Caulfield, I'd like to introduce you to Rachel Amber, one of my friends that's also helping me out tonight."

 

Max looked at the phone and smiled, "Nice to meet you, Rachel."

 

Chapter Text

Max was in the process of 'Feeding the Girl.' She protested not to let Sloane gas up the truck, scared that she would accidentally spill fuel all over the place. She watched the digital display ticking away the gallons of fuel. She smiled and shook her head, You are one thirsty girl. From over the truck bed, she watched Sloane walk around the store, picking up drinks and 'snickety-snacks' as she called them, still talking with Rachel. She wondered what the situation was with her and the Portland friend. I'm not going to pry, the last thing I need is for Sloane to get mad and ditch me on the side of the road. Though she knew Sloane would never do that. Right? She placed the hose back in the the pump chamber and made her way to the storefront.

Sloane had paid for her things and the fuel while the cashier eyed her drunken stance. She made her way to the door and met up with Max, "Hey, you gotta go?" Sloane pointed to the bathroom.

"No, I'm good," Max said.

Sloane handed her the bag of snickety-snacks and the phone, "Right, I gotta tinkle. Meet you back at mah girl."

Max took the bag and phone and walked out the door. She looked down at the phone for a moment and felt a little uncomfortable about the possibility of talking to Rachel without Sloane around. They'd all been talking for well over an hour as Max was getting to know her and she seemed cool and very easy going, nice to talk to, but still a stranger.

During the drive, Rachel got them to play a game of Two Truths and a Lie. Rachel had figured Max out pretty easily. How did she know that I like photography or that I wanted to be a pirate when I was younger? And that I lied about hating waffles? Man, I suck at lying. Sloane, on the other hand, was more of a mystery and said that Rachel and Max guessed wrong. Sloane did play hockey and went so far as playing at a national event. She also had indeed never seen a Disney animated movie. 'It's not my thing,' she'd said, which surprised both of the girls. Also, under no circumstances was there to be any country music playing on her radio. She apparently was not a fan of the genre, period. Max teased her a bit, wondering how could Sloane not like country music when she had a truck which she called 'mah girl' and she played acoustic guitar (which Max knew because they shared music class together.) All she needed was to lose the love of her life or have her dog run away and start writing music about it. Rachel had laughed at that.

Max smiled and put the phone up to her ear, "Hey it's me, Max. So, Slo-" Max paused as Rachel asked her about their snickety-snacks, "Mmmm," Max looked in the bag, "She got some water, a couple of cans of Red Bull, some granola bars, Twizzlers..." Max continued toward the truck, listing out all the goods in the bag.

-------------------

Sloane walked into the restroom and stopped to take it all in. It's was quiet only for the music playing over the staticy speakers. She walked through the restroom and knocked open each stall, making sure she was alone. She walked into the last stall and placed her water bottle on the floor. She dug a small box out from her pocket and balanced it on the toilet tissue rack. She took a deep breath then bounced up and down to get herself worked up. Fuck this is not going to be fun. Fuuuck let's do this shit! She immediately stuck her fingers down her throat, falling to her knees and emptying her stomach of the alcohol that was at one time happily swimming around in there, making her brain fuzzy.

Sloane took some paper towels to wipe her face and neck to get rid of the water she splashed on her face. She opened the small box of antacid tablets and began to chew and swallow. She took a mouthful of water, gargled and spit in the sink. Finally, she popped a breath mint strip and looked at herself in the mirror, "Fuckin' hell."

-------------------

Max leaned back in the driver's seat. She'd placed the phone in the dock and paired it with the truck, "What did you want to know?" she asked, "I mean, Sloane is your friend, don't you guys talk 'n stuff?"

"We did," Rachel replied, "But it's been years since we've seen her. We didn't keep in touch after what happened. Sooo, tell me, exactly, what she's like? Including her looks, don't leave anything out. I wanna know how much she's changed." Max still didn't understand the situation and didn't want to press the issue of why these friends hadn't kept in touch. The situation really hit close to home as she thought of her childhood friend. She got lost in her memories long enough for Rachel to ask, "Hey, you still there? Max?"

"Yeah sorry, just thinking about something from the past."

"Oh. Want to talk about it? I'm good at listening."

Max took a deep breath, "I kinda left a-a f-friend, my best f-friend, and d-didn't keep in t-touch with her. It..it..." Max sighed and kept quiet. Why am I telling her this? She doesn't want to know this.

"Max?" Rachel quietly said.

"I f-fucked up so bad," Max admitted, "I h-hurt my best f-friend and I d-don't know how to fix it… I miss her," Her voice got so small at the end as she felt the guilt building. She took a deep breath and slowly let it out, blinking her eyes trying to prevent them from welling up. She glanced towards the storefront to make sure Sloane wasn't walking back to the vehicle. She wiped her eyes with the back of her hand.

"Max, are you okay?" Rachel calmly asked.

"Ah, yeah fine, j-just starting to get tired. Need to get some caffeine in me," Max said as she opened up a Red Bull and drank heavily from it.

"Have you tried communicating with your friend?" Rachel asked.

Max finished swallowing and wrinkled her nose at the taste, "I know she w-won't want to hear from me," She looked out the window for Sloane, "I left her when she n-needed me the most. I made a p-promise that I would keep in t-touch," Max just let it pour out, letting Rachel know what type of 'friend' Max was, "You know what I did? I made a promise that I would write and talk to her all the time; we would visit each other, we would always be Max and C- ...best friends."

Even saying it hurts.

"Max, I-" Rachel was cut off as Max continued.

"You know what else? She texted me and I was to fucking scared and guilt-ridden that I kept blowing her off. What could I say to her, how can I help her and be there for her when I moved to a different state?" There was a short silence between the both of them, and then it just kept pouring out, "I tried so, so, so many times to hit the phone ID to call her, or click the send button on an email or text. I've written so many emails, deleting so many lines, trying to get the wording right to explain myself and try and find the words to help ease her pain. All of it was inadequate. Incompetent. And weak. It was childish ramblings from someone too emotional to be of any real help. I would've broken down if I called her like I usually do when I think about it, and not helped at all. I would've only held her down when she needed positive people around her that could physically BE there to help her." Max sniffed as tears fell from her cheeks. She stared through the window at nothing, lost in the the memory of her best friend. Her voice was small again, full of sorrow, "I waited too long, no apology is going to be enough after five years. She's better off without me, I'm sure of it. I'm sure she's found someone else, other friends," Max opened the truck door and slid out, closing the door behind her. There was silence in the truck.

"Fuck," Rachel quietly whispered into the empty truck. She leaned her head against the window and looked in at her passed-out friend laying on the bed. She wanted to hate Max for what she had done. In the past three years that Rachel knew the punk, there was always a mention of Max. It always ended with the girl either getting quietly depressed or getting angry, which led to her drinking and passing out, just like it had tonight. Rachel knew how the punk dealt with the pain of losing her father and friend. However, she had just realized that it wasn't only her punk friend that had lost two important people in her life, Max had too.

Chapter Text

Sloane walked out into the midnight air, letting the coolness soak in. Max was outside the truck, her face aimed skyward with her eyes closed. "Hey you," Sloane said with a hint of worry, "All good?"

Max opened her eyes, "Hey, yeah, just needed some fresh air."

"Hmm, I don't know about fresh air right here, seeing as there are gas fumes floatin' about," Sloane looked at her slyly and grinned, "Is that why you insisted on feeding mah girl? Were you sniffin' gas fumes, missy?"

Max tilted her head to the side, "You caught me, it's my secret of how I like to cut loose. It's my fall back if I can't find a decent set of smelly markers to get high on," Max smiled.

Sloane stopped in her tracks, "I knew it! Next thing you'll be in the dairy section of the supermarket with Reddi-Whip cream under your nose," Max had a memory flash of the time that someone insisted on filling their mouth with Reddi-Whip. The look on her face, mouth full and eyes bulging. I burst out laughing at her chipmunk cheeks, which caused her to burst out laughing too; the cream was everywhere, on me, on the refrigerator door. That was a great photo, but a long, sticky clean up.

Sloane heard music from the station's outside speakers. She immediately started to dance and sing in front of Max, "Somebody call 911, Shawty fire burning on the dance floor. Whoa!" She danced around Max, trying to get her out of her slump, bumping Max's hip and getting her to laugh. Max joined in with the singing and a little bit of dancing. "She's fire burning, fire burning on the dance floor. That little shawty's fire burning on the dance floor." Just another normal night at the gas station.

"Come on Slo-poke, we gotta get a move on, dork," Max smiled.

"Hey, I'm not slow," Sloane replied, "In my world everything is going by in a flash."

Max noticed that Sloane didn't deny she was a dork and she giggled, "Hmm, I think it's more of the alcohol and weed that's in your body, your Flash senses are screwed up," Max said as she opened the driver's side door.

Sloane had no issues getting in the truck this time, "Rach, you still there?" she asked as she settled into the passenger seat.

Rachel had been quietly singing along, having overheard the girls duet outside, "Yup!" She inhaled and let go a long breath of air. Must be having a smoke, Max thought to herself.

"I got nowhere else to be," Rachel said.

Max suddenly felt like a complete idiot for laying her childish emotional outburst onto Rachel for no reason. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, "Rachel I'm sorry for the-"

"Hey, no worries," Rachel said, "We all gotta let go. You can't keep that stuff in, right?"

"But I shouldn't have vented to you over my stupid-"

Sloane looked at Max then at her phone. The look on her face showed that she had clearly missed something while she was tossing her cookies in the bathroom, "Hey, is everything okay?"

Max looked embarrassed, "I just poured my emotional bullshit onto Rachel abruptly and I shouldn't have do-"

"Hey," Rachel interrupted, "Not bullshit and you needed to vent. Max, seriously no worries, okay?"

"Hey, look at me," Sloane said, "No need to be embarrassed over emotional shit. Seriously, you can't bottle up whatever you have in your head. I'm not gonna push you to tell me anything but, yeah, I'm here for you. We may not know each other that well yet, but I'm not gonna turn my back on you if you need some help. Hell, I've been in and out of Doc Thompson's office soooo many times."

"You're going to the school therapist?" Max asked, surprised.

"Fuck yeah, since, like, day one at the school. I got too much shit running around my squishy brain," Sloane said, pointing to her head.

"I just felt that my stuff isn't a big deal, it's just me-" Max said.

"Nuh-uh, mon amie," Sloane said, "If you feel like you need to get some emotional stuff out, going to therapy is great. I've yelled, screamed, and bawled my eyes out. You should seriously consider it," Sloane looked at Max.

"I'll..I'll think about it. Thanks," Max smiled a little at Sloane then started up the truck. They pulled away from the station. Bye Shawty.

-------------------

"Alright Rachel, Bella," Sloane announced to the phone, "We're over an hour into the trip, and back on the road again. "Sadly, I'm starting to sober up," Sloane finished her bottle of water and grabbed another one, along with a granola bar, "Alright, new topic," she said with a mouthful of granola, "Most embarrassing thing you ever did. Rachel, you're up first!"

For the next while they told their stories, Rachel told them about when she got her wisdom teeth taken out and being high from the surgery. She had insisted that the dentist take off his clothes and dance all sexy for her. A friend had taken a video of the whole event.

Definitely gotta see that.

Max's story was about her not understanding which washroom to go into at a restaurant. It was one of those places that used abstract symbols to display the sex of the washroom, so she mistakenly walked into the wrong room and saw three guys taking a piss.

Sloane's was about waking up from a party one night in a Toronto park. She was pantsless, wondering where her pants were and why she was pantsless in the first place. The subway ride home had been interesting. She found out later from friends that she had declared a No Pants Night and threw them up a tree. Bam, right up in the tree. Max had tears coming down her cheeks as she laughed her ass off. Rachel was muffling her laugh, not wanting to wake her sleeping friend. Rachel inquired what underwear Sloane had on that night. 'I'm sure there were a few people that Sunday morning that won't look at Hello Kitty the same way again,' she'd said. Max looked at Sloane and gave the once up and down and went into a fit of giggles. It's good to see her laugh. Sloane looked at Max and giggled, "Quiet, Youuu."

Chapter Text

Sloane watched Max start to nod off, tipping towards the steering wheel. Her eyes were heavy. They'd all talked into the night about life and what their future plans were for it. Rachel expressed getting herself back down to California to be a model or an actress, which Sloane thought was an unattainable dream but kept quiet about it. Rachel would be like so many other girls wanting that California dream. But then again, who was she to shit on someone's dream? So she only spoke positive words for Rachel, reassuring her to never give up on what she wanted to do.

Max told them about her desire to be a photographer; no real field of photography picked out specifically, she just wanted to capture anything and everything. She talked about how if she had more confidence she would like to travel and take pictures. Rachel mentioned that Max should become her personal photographer and maybe have a photoshoot sometime in the future, which would help flesh out both of their portfolios.

Sloane was bitter that she had no idea what she wanted to do with her life. So when the question was asked of her she just replied, 'I have no fucking idea, it seems everyone has a plan and I'm just on the sidelines watching everyone go by. I'm sure I'll figure it out someday.' Two things she knew: One was that she never thought she would actually be alive right now and two, she actually had a chance of finishing high school in the continued foreign student exchange program. She also realized that she was just being spiteful at her own dream of writing or playing music for a living. She knew it was a joke to believe that she could make a living from it. You're just a tiny fish in a sea of fish all wanting to get noticed. Better off getting a nine to five job to bring in a paycheck every two weeks instead of being a starving artist.

"So Max," Sloane said, "I think it's time for me to take over driving. You look ready to drop dead."

"Nah, I'm good, I can-" Max yawned.

"Hmmm, she says with a yawn," Rachel said, overhearing Max.

"Right, we're gonna stop at the next truckstop and switch," Sloane insisted, "You're gonna get some sleep, party girl."

"Are you sober?" Max asked, "I don't want you to get behind the wheel otherwise."

"I'm to report that I am sadly out of my fuzzy world," Sloane said with a sigh, "and back to sober, stupid reality."

"Hey this stupid, sober reality has you coming to Portland and seeing me and..." Rachel paused and continued, "Liz."

"A random three hour road trip in the middle of the night with you," Max said, glancing at Sloane, "and talking with a complete stranger, seems more like a weird dream than reality. I never thought I was capable of doing something like this. Truthfully I still am kinda tripping that I'm here right now." Her adrenaline had spiked multiple times during the night, but it seemed that her body was finally catching up and Max felt drained. Yeah, I need to stop driving.

Max pulled into the next truckstop and made her way to the washroom of the fine establishment. Sloane slipped into the driver's seat and hit a few buttons on the tablet.

"So," Sloane said to the phone.

"So," Rachel echoed, "Whatcha wearin'?"

"You're good," Sloane said.

"Well, I am an up-and-coming actress."

"Indeed, what are you wearing?" Sloane smirked.

"Heh, I asked you first."

"Who would've thought that drunkie and stonie me picking up some random phone at a party would lead to talking to a stranger and trying to help out someone that I barely know over a long lost relationship. Don't do drugs kids," Sloane mimicked a typical government drug commercial voice.

"Screw that, say yes to drugs," Rachel said, "Without them, you wouldn't have been at the party to pick up the phone in the first place. You wouldn't have hit the call button by mistake and found me. I don't know about talking to strangers when you're sober, but our chat was enough for you to drop what you were doing, find Max and get her to drive you here, even if it's all a fabrication of 'helping you, me and 'Liz' out.' Hmmm, wait a sec, you still didn't tell me what you're wearing," Rachel giggled.

"You first," Sloane said, "And quick thinking on the Liz thing, by the way."

"I used an abbreviated version of her middle name," Rachel said, "I'm wearing purple sleep shorts, grey shirt and a hoodie. Your turn."

"Noice. Hmm, Elizabeth, eh?" Sloane said, "Well, I'll admit that I dooo have pants on as I've not declared tonight to be a No Pants Night… yet. So, what can you tell me about the two of them?"

Rachel proceeded to tell an abbreviated version of what her girl punk friend had told her years ago as Sloane sat in the truck, soaking in all the information.

"Hmm, I guess it's hard to lose a parent, especially at that age," Sloane said, "You're just kinda old enough to start to really get to know them, not only as a parent but also as a person. It's easy to see that Max really has taken to hating herself for leaving, which was not her fault. I guess her parents didn't pay enough attention to her, to notice that she was hurting. She obviously still is."

"That's an understatement," Rachel said, "She broke down talking to me about her when you stopped to fill up the truck. Once she started her words just poured out of her. She eventually caught herself and got out of the truck. I guess she was embarrassed. I get the feeling that she's never talked to anyone about this."

"I don't know, she has two friends at school I see her with sometimes hanging around with, but she's usually alone," Sloane paused for a moment, then looked at the phone, thinking for a few seconds, "Seriously, though, who leaves right after a funeral? They could have let Max stay with her for a few days. Fuck sakes, what were they thinking? Honestly, I shouldn't be surprised; just because adults have kids doesn't make them good parents or people."

"I can somewhat relate to that last statement," Rachel said.

"Hmm, what's the story with your parents?" Sloane asked. She heard the flick of a lighter and Rachel inhaling.

"Hmph. I found out a while ago that my mother is not my birth mother," Rachel said, "and that my father was paying off my real mother to keep her quiet and hired people to keep her away from me."

"What the fuck?" Sloane said incredulously as she looked out the window toward the truckstop entrance.

"What about your parents?" Rachel asked. Sloane straightened in her seat as she spotted Max walking down an aisle and stopping by the snack food section.

"Not much to say," Sloane said, "I don't have any," Rachel started to talk but Sloane cut her off abruptly, "Sorry, Max is gonna be here soon. Uhmm, I have to get her to fall asleep to make that last trek to you guys. So I'm gonna let you go only till she falls asleep. I'll turn on some sleepy tunes and turn up the heat in the truck. I would have offered her some weed but I think I would have a better chance of getting Jess Easton to flash me than to have Max say 'yeah, please pass the dutchie."'

"Interesting," Rachel giggled at Sloane's last two statements. Sloane watched Max exit the store.

"Indeed. Okay, she's coming, I'll phone you back in a bit," Sloane said quickly.

"Yup, I'm gonna text you my number to use instead of this phone," Rachel said, "I gotta delete this phone log also, just in case she sees Max's ID."

"K, Laters."

"Laters."

-------------------

Sloane told Max that Rachel was going to take a nap and get 'Liz' up in a bit. They would meet up with them at some point. Max insisted that she would keep Sloane company on the last leg of the trip, but Sloane had declined, insisting that Max had to get some sleep for the eventual trip back home. Sloane had offered for Max to lie down in the back seat, but she declined. Aside from that, her Sleepy Plan worked surprisingly well and it didn't take long for Max to nod off. Sloane looked over at Max leaning on the passenger side door, covered with a coat Sloane had in the truck. She started to get nervous, this could be a very bad idea. Fuck what did I get my stupid drunkin' stoned self into?

-------------------

"Hey," Sloane said.

"Hey," Rachel replied.

"So?"

"So that was kinda fast," Rachel said.

Sloane had one of her earphone buds with a mic hooked up to her phone. She spoke quietly to Rachel, "She went out like a light, she's curled up like a squirrel. So where's this place you actually want me to meet you?" Sloane manually keyed in the new destination, not wanting Alexa to wake Max, "That's an extra ninety minutes," Sloane glanced at Max. "Hope she says asleep," she pressed down on the accelerator and passed a few vehicles. Speed limits are only a suggestion, Sloane thought to herself, but added I hope I don't get pulled over.

"So," Rachel said.

"So," Sloane replied.

"What do you look like?" Rachel asked. "I'm trying to picture you from what you've mentioned about yourself tonight."

"Heh, aim low," Sloane said. "You don't want to wait and see?"

"Hmph, kinda do. Soooo tell me more about yourself then," Rachel said.

"What do you want to know?"

"Have you lived in Seattle your whole life?"

"Nope, I'm actually Canadian," Sloane said. "Born in the land of ice and snow."

"Really? How did you end up in Seattle?"

"Ahhh, I had an opportunity to change my life around three years ago with the help of a friend. The school therapist mentioned the student exchange program; I signed up right away. I've re-signed up again for next year, so I could end up pretty much anywhere in the world."

"That sounds hella exciting," Rachel said. "Canada not what it's cracked up to be?"

"Canada's fine," Sloane replied, "I just needed to get out of Toronto and the life I was living. I'll be turning eighteen this year so once that happens I'll be out of the foster system. No family wants me, so when the opportunity about the exchange program came up it was a place for me to have a home to live for a school year instead of living in a government building or a home that, well, when you get down to it, the caretakers really just want the government check that comes with the kid. The system's definitely flawed." This is starting to sound like a therapy session.

"Shit, Sloane I didn't-" Rachel said.

"Hey no worries," Sloane insisted, "Seriously, I didn't mean to make it weird."

"No, it's just... is there such a thing as a normal family?"

"Bah, normal is overrated," Sloane sighed. "You mentioned your situation with your family. What's the story there?"

"Yeah I have no trust in them anymore," Rachel replied. "It feels like I don't even know them; like everything I know about them is a lie."

"Do you love them?" Sloane asked. For a while she could hear Rachel breathe over the phone. "Sorry, Rachel I didn't mean to pry, I-"

"No, it's okay, it's just… I don't know."

"What do you know about your real mother?" Sloane asked. "If your father went out of his way to keep her from you, he must have had a good reason, right?"

"He said that she's a drug addict and had put my life in jeopardy one too many times. So he filed for divorce and won custody."

Sloane smirked and shook her head, small world, "What your dad did, it was the right thing to do, partly." Sloane waited for Rachel to reply, but she didn't, so she continued, "He loved you enough to make sure that you'd be safe. I don't know why he hid the whole situation of who your mother was, though. That seems kinda dumb. That should have been your choice, if you wanted her in you life. I mean, if you had a medical emergency and had to, I don't know, get a new kidney or something, doctors would have went to your fake mother to see if you were a match. I'm sure the cat would have been let out of the bag, so to speak."

Sloane heard Rachel giggle. "What?" she asked.

"Not too many people have called my father dumb," Rachel said.

"Why?"

"He's the D.A of Portland."

"He's a D.A?!" Sloane said loudly. "Shit," she whispered, looking over at Max and hoping that she didn't wake her up.

"Did you wake her up?" Rachel asked, as if reading her mind.

Sloane leaned over and positioned her coat further up Max's shoulder. "No, thank you Jebus," She checked the destination time on the tablet. "So your dad is a D.A of Portland and he had paid someone to keep your real mother away from you."

"Yeah, turns out the person that he hired was also a drug dealer."

Sloane's voice was monotone, "Wow, this gets better and better. No corruption at all."

Rachel felt the scar on her arm, "Said drug dealer also ended up stabbing me."

"Fuck off!" Again, Sloane spoke too loudly, but Max didn't budge. "You know, I believe Max is a heavy sleeper!" Rachel giggled.

"What?"

"Its funny hearing your reactions."

"Well shit, Rachel, your life sounds like one of those soap operas. Next you're going to tell me you have a long lost sibling." There was silence on the phone. Sloane's eyes went wide "Oh shiiiit, you have a long lost sibling!?" Sloane looked over at Max to make sure her voice level was low. She heard Rachel giggle. Oh she got you gooood. "Oh, you fucker, you beeotch. I thought there was going to be an evil Rachel with a goatee or something!" Sloane heard Rachel's muffled laugh.

"Hey, what can I say? I gotcha," Rachel said.

"Hey, I could do the same with you, dammit," Sloane laughed.

"Oh really, try me." Rachel taunted. "Bring it."

"Oh I will bring it, it's already been brought-en," Sloane joked, "But I need copious amounts of alcohol and or weed to dive into that shit show." She could hear the sound of a sliding door or window at the other end of her call. "Hey, whatcha doing?"

"Going out for another smoke," Rachel replied. "Been going back and forth from the bedroom window, sittin' above the garage roof."

"Parents don't let you smoke in your room?"

"Nope. I'm at her house tonight," Rachel lit her smoke and continued, "My dorm has a ten o'clock curfew and we missed it hours ago."

"Wait you live on campus, are you in college?" Sloane asked. "I just assumed that from Max's age you were in high school."

"We are," Rachel confirmed. "My school has dorms for senior students."

"What kind of high school has dorms?" Sloane asked.

"Blackwell is a private school that specializes in science and the arts. It offers a two-year senior program," Sloane explained. "They have people from all over the country in the school, hopefully it will look good on a college or university application. Both of us go there, she actually got in on a scholarship."

"Pfft, nerd. But that's pretty cool," Sloane said. Rachel laughed.

"Wait till you meet her."

There was a popup notification on the tablet, "Hey, Rachel, guess what?"

"What?"

"We'll be there in forty minutes."

"K, I'm gonna get her up."

"How are you gonna get… uh... 'Liz' to meet up with us?" Sloane asked. "Are you gonna tell her that Max is here?"

"No, I think the best way is to just have them see each other," Rachel said. "No planning what to say, just say what needs to be said in the moment. I'll just tell her that one of the photography students needs me for a sunrise photoshoot."

"That's enough to drag her ass out of bed so early in the morning?"

"If I mention free food it will work, she's always hungry so yeah that will do," Rachel said.

Sloane heard the window slide open again. She took a deep breath, "Shit, this is really going to happen isn't it?"

"Yeah," Rachel said, standing at the foot of her friend's bed.

"I'm actually getting nervous," Sloane admitted. "If this fucking backfires, we're gonna have two really-"

"It's going to be emotional, for sure," Rachel said. "She might start yelling, but I know her, she can't stay mad at Max. I mean, she still brings up her name in conversation. So, I mean, if you hated someone you wouldn't bring them up saying things like 'I bet if Max was here,' or 'Max would like this.'"

"K, I guess I'll see you in a bit," Sloane said. "l'll text or call you when we're there."

"Looking forward to it."

"Laters."

"Laters."

Chapter Text

The sunrise was just a few minutes away. Rachel sat on a bench, lighting a joint and taking a haul of it. She passed it to the person slumped over the bench. Morning wake and bake was in session. She received a text message and turned to her friend after reading it, "Hey, he's here. I'll go down and meet up with him," She took another haul of the joint and passed it back. "Stay and bake away." The response was a tired grunt. Rachel kissed her on her beanie head and walked away as her phone rang.

"Hey," Rachel answered.

"Hey," Sloane replied. "So how wide is this trail to the top?"

"It's wide, why?"

"Wide enough for a vehicle?"

"Yeeeah?" Rachel raised an eyebrow.

"On my way up," Sloane giggled. Off road dis bitch.

"Is Max up? How is she taking it?"

"Still asleep, believe it or not," Sloane replied. "She's a fucking HEEEAVY sleeper. I had an unexpected sneeze and I thought for sure the gig was up, but she didn't even budge. And I sneeze louuud!" Sloane looked over at Max. "Jebus, I hope she's not dead."

Rachel scoffed, "Can you imagine?" Rachel could see the truck drive up the trail towards her. Ouu, nice truck Sloane!

"Who dat chick standing in mah road?" Sloane joked. Rachel was leaning on the metal gate, watching the two occupants in the truck. She disconnected the phone call and started walking towards the truck. Sloane took in the first look of the mystery stranger she'd been talking to throughout the night. Long, blonde hair, wearing a blue flannel long sleeve shirt with a dark red tank top; slim fit black jeans with rips down her thighs with Converse high tops. Something blue dangled from one ear. She had the biggest smile on her face as she walked towards the truck. She couldn't help but smile.

Rachel watched the truck as it approached, placed her phone in her back pocket and walked towards it. A girl slid out of the drivers side and quietly pushed the door closed. She had long, wavy, light brown hair past her shoulders with a side cut. Black faded RHCP asterisk shirt, relaxed faded blue jeans that were ripped at the knees, and clunky black army boots. As she got closer, Rachel noticed she had multiple leather bracelets, on one arm and a wider one the other. The tattoo on her left forearm was of a fox looking upwards. The girl stood a little taller than her, Rachel noticed multiple piercing in each ear and grey, black rimmed expressive eyes, there was a small white scar under her left eye. What stood out above all for Rachel was the mischievous smirk she wore. Both girls stood only a few feet from one another.

"Sloane," Rachel said, smiling.

"Rachel," Sloane said with a smirk.

They stepped forward, hugged each other and giggled. Sloane stepped around with her arm wrapped around Rachel's back, "I'd like to introduce you to the Sleeping Max, in her natural habitat." Rachel laughed as they walked towards the passenger side door. Rachel watched Max for a few seconds. Sloane whispered, "So there is a high probability of Max having an anxiety attack."

"She has anxiety?" Rachel slowly said a little concerned.

"Yeah, no biggie, she probably has her medication with her and if not, I can give her one of my chill pills, or try and talk her through it," Sloane explained. "She may also turn and just start walking away in disbelief over what we've done."

"Let's hope she doesn't walk."

"So where's the mystery girl?"

"She's up there having a wake and bake sesh," Rachel thumbed over her shoulder.

"Lucky. Alright let's do this," Sloane said as she let out a deep breath and tapped on the truck window to try and wake the occupant.

Max heard a noise of something tapping next to hear ear. It got louder, followed by giggling and a muffled voice saying, 'Wow, you weren't kidding about her being a heavy sleeper.' She heard her name being called so she slowly straightened up in her seat and her door opened.

"Mornin', sleepy head," Sloane said. Max groggily opened her eyes and looked at Sloane and a blonde girl smiling next to her. She turned her body towards the opening and stretched out her arms and let out a yawn while wiping her eyes. Sloane opened the back passenger door and retrieved a bottle of water. She opened it and handed it to Max, who took it and drank long gulps. Ou, someone's thirsty. Rachel looked at Sloane and let out a small laugh.

"So, Max," Sloane said, "I'd like for you to meet, in person, Rachel Amber." Max seemed to come out of her sleepy haze once she was put on the spot for an introduction. She quickly recapped the water bottle and placed it on the dashboard. She slid her bag strap over her shoulder and hopped to the ground. Rachel moved herself next to Sloane; they were purposely making Max face them.

"Hi," Rachel smiled, holding out her hand. Max took her hand and smiled back.

"Nice to actually meet you in the flesh," Max said.

"Likewise."

"So we're here, I take it," Max said with a yawn. "Sorry for passing out on you."

"Yup, we're here, soooo..." Sloane said, looking at Rachel for support, "Uhmm... so, last night, at the party when I found your phone, it was ringing at the time, I tried to answer it but I ended up randomly hitting buttons and I may have phoned one of your contacts." Max's eyebrows furrowed. "Uhmm, the person I got on the line was Rachel," Sloane continued. Max looked to Rachel and then back to Sloane.

"Sloane, I don't know Rachel," Max said, confused. "No offence, but I believe I would remember Rachel."

"Well, yeah, you don't know Rachel but you do have someone in common," Sloane said then looked at Rachel again, who returned the look, smiled and nodded.

Someone in common? Max, puzzled, looked at Sloane then Rachel. Wait! Her eyes went wide, "One of my friends is in trouble?"

"Well, yeah," Sloane replied. She took a deep breath and placed her hand on Max's forearm. "Last night I asked you if you knew that there was someone who you cared for more than anything else in the world and you knew that they were hurting, would you help them?"

"Yeah, I remember," Max said.

"It's you, Max," Sloane said. Max stared at Sloane, completely lost.

"And your friend," Rachel added. Max took a small step back and looked back and forth at Sloane and Rachel. Sloane kept her arm gently on Max.

"I-I d-don't unders-stand... what friend?" Max asked. What have I gotten myself into? I got into a car with a stranger.

"What we have done is for the both of you, to help you. Both of you," Rachel said calmly. Max swallowed with difficulty, her eyes blinking quickly. She tried taking a deep breath.

"What's going on?" Max said, her voice vulnerable and delicate.

With a calm voice Sloane slowly asked, "Max, do you know where were are right now?"

Max looked back and forth, taking in the scenery in front of her. She was standing on a dirt pathway with trees on both sides of her. She turned around and looked upward. Her eyes went even wider, her mouth slightly opened as she sucked in a small gasp. A lighthouse stood before her about thirty yards away, one that she would know anywhere. Sloane and Rachel both took a step forward, keeping Max in the middle of them. They both placed their arms around her back, looking towards her. They both noticed that Max was somewhat mouthing words but not speaking. She then slowly shook her head. Rachel stepped around to face Max. She took Max's hand.

"Max," Rachel talked calmly as Max stared at the lighthouse. Rachel placed her other hand on Max's jawline to get her attention, "Max, look at me, please..." Max looked at Rachel, stunned. "Last night when you poured out your soul to me about her, I realized that you never forgot about her and that you did care and never stopped caring. I thought you just up and left her and never looked back. But everything you said last night confirmed I was so very wrong about you."

Max continued to look at Rachel. She found now that she was unable to even blink. Sloane started to wonder if Max had stopped breathing and she softly rubbed Max's back.

"Max, you kept her number," Sloane said, "That's who I called by accident. Rachel answered the phone and we started talking and started piecing things together. Well, Rachel did most of the piecing together. I was too out of it at the time to completely understand what was happening."

Rachel grinned at the memory of talking to a drunken Sloane, "Once Sloane figured out that the two of you haven't talked to each other in years she said, well, more of a demand... I believe the words were, 'Fuck that shit I'm bringin' her to you, where are ya?" Max looked at Sloane, her eyebrows lifted.

"I've been known to do some weird things when I have partaken in the alcohols and weeds," Sloane said, smirking at Max.

"Max," Rachel said, getting her attention again, "She's just up that hill." Max took another small step back. "She may look a little different but she's there." Max took a quick breath and looked up in the direction of the hill's crest.

Sloane gently placed a hand on Max's shoulder and continued to talk calmly, "Max, five years is an incredible amount of time to be holding on to guilt that you should never have had in the first place. Leaving was never in your control and, truthfully, your parents should have paid more attention to you to see that you were depressed." Fuck I met you ten months ago and I figured out you were depressed within a week. "Max, it's time to let go of the pain and guilt."

Rachel looked in the direction that Max was looking then turned back to her, "Max, she never forgot you, and I know that she misses you. She brought up your name just yesterday." Then she got drunk and passed out. Rachel watched the sadness on Max's face. Her heart ached seeing her this way.

"You can do this, Max," Sloane said.

Max's little voice cracked, "W-what if s-she d-doesn't w-want t-to..."

"She will, I know it," Rachel said. "You poured out your heart to me last night, Max. You need to tell her those words, she will listen."

"Me and Rach are here for the both of you," Sloane added. "You need to talk to each other." Sloane gave Max's shoulder a squeeze. "Max, there are moments in life that you wished you could take back, and moments that you let slip by. You know this, you've lived with those lost moments. Don't let this one slip by. This is your chance to make a change. You don't want to live constantly thinking 'what if?'"

Max's eyes simmered. She took a quivering breath and stepped forward.

The three climbed the hill to the lighthouse where a girl leaning over a bench came into view. Max slowed her steps and stopped. She's there. Sloane and Rachel were right there for support. Sloane whispered words of encouragement in Max's ear. She continued walking, making the final steps forward towards the girl; her, my friend, my Chloe. Sloane and Rachel let Max walk on alone and stood back by a burned out campfire. They watched with their arms around each others backs. Rachel laid her head on Sloane's shoulder.

Max never noticed the breeze in her hair or the birds that flew overhead. She didn't even look at the beautiful sunrise to the new day that would have made for a great picture. She didn't realize that Sloane and Rachel where no longer walking with her. She only saw the person sitting on the bench. She was less than ten feet away from her, standing just out of her sightline. Short blue hair hid underneath a beanie; she wore a dark blue work shirt that had patches on the shoulders, her sleeves were rolled up. She wore ripped black jeans and black boots. Max forced herself to swallow even though her mouth was bone dry. She took a small breath and said the girl's name.

Sloane and Rachel watched Max stand next to the bench, holding onto her arm self-consciously. She was simply looking at the girl for a moment. Please.

The girl was leaned over, supporting herself with her arms on her legs. She turned towards the movement that she noticed in the corner of her eye. She sat up and stared at the girl in front of her. The blunette's mouth slowly opened. She cautiously stood, not taking her eyes off of the brunette. Max took a small step back.

"Max?" The blunette said in disbelief. Her voice.

Sloane and Rachel kept their distance, letting the words between the reunited girls be private. They watched Max try to speak. Her chin was shaking, tears dripped off her cheeks. She placed a hand over her mouth. The bluenette stepped forward, still unsure of the person she was looking at. Both stood, staring at each other. The blunette suddenly closed the gap between them and wrapped her arms around Max. Max let go a loud sob and she wrapped her arms around the girl. The tall girl hugged Max tightly and grabbed handfuls of the brunette's hoodie. Max apologized over and over with her head against the blunette's collar bone. She was holding on to her best friend for dear life. The blunette placed a hand on the back of Max's head.

There was a sound of a click as Rachel took a picture with her phone at the reunion. Sloane then hauled out her phone. She turned Rachel around and brought the phone up at an angle, positioning the both of them in the forefront and the two embraced friends in the background. Click. Sloane widely smiled as she turned to Rachel and raised her arm straight up into the air triumphantly. Rachel raised her arms and also smiled. Their arms came down into a hug.

"Thanks, Rachel."

"Thanks, Sloane."

They ended the hug but again kept an arm around each other as they watched the two girls, silhouetted in the sunrise.

"So."

"So."

"Does Blackwell have a student exchange program?"

Rachel bumped Sloane's hip, "I'm definitely going to find out."

Let the healing begin.

Chapter Text

Note: Okey dokey, I’ve had an explosion of imagination for my AU world, I’ve set up rules for my world: This AU world starts in April 2013. 1. Chloe was not expelled/suspended BUT she is teetering on her last strike. 2. All students mentioned in these stories are in their last year of Blackwell. 3. These stories are snippets of life in Arcadia, they are chronological. However, I may go back and write something that could fit in between two stories. So without further ado: My Time With You chapters


 

Max swung opened the door, a wave of warm air brushed up against her face, hitting her senses with childhood nostalgia. Chatter from booths, sounds of cutlery and plates moving on tables, the ding from an order ready from pick up window. Warm, ooooh so warm air, that smelled of bacon and sweetness filled her nose, it made her mouth water and on que, her stomach growled. Two Whales diner had not changed, it brought a smile to the girls face, she breathed it all in and relaxed.

Chloe excitedly stood behind Max and place her hand on the girls low back and gently guided her down the aisle and towards a certain booth.

Oh dog that’s our booth.

“Joyce...Joyce...Mom.” Chloe called out to an older woman cleaning the last booth on the far right. A waitress add utensils to the last booth, without looking up she answered the girl, “What is it Chloe,” her southern drawl was still there.

“Look look look, what came for delivery.” The bluenette sounded giddy, Joyce’s ears had not heard her daughter’s voice sound like that in years, it was something she missed. The waitress turned around after placing the last fork on the table, her bouncing, goofy-smiling daughter stood behind a small shy moppy-haired brunette, the girl stood with her hand on her opposite arm and smiled at Joyce.

“Hi Joyce.”

Joyce’s eyes lit up. She looked at her daughter who was nodding her head as if to say, ‘yeah, it's her!’ Joyce looked down at Max and smiled. She wiped her hands on her apron and stepped towards the girl. “Oh my Lord, Max!” The brunette gladly hugged her second mom. It's been so long Max thought to herself.

“What are you doing here?” the waitress asked with delight.

Before Max opened her mouth, Chloe was already answering, “A drunk girl kidnapped her and was forced to drive to Arcadia!”

Sloane’s eyes widened, Rachel leaned over a bit giggling, “Welcome to the world of Chloe’s brashness.”

Joyce looked at her daughter confused, and then waved it off as something she wouldn’t like to know. Instead, Joyce welcomed them, “Well, come in darlin’ and sit, sit.”

Chloe hopped in front of Max and stood in front of a booth, their booth. Our booth.

“Our booth!” Chloe reclaimed loudly for all the diner to hear, the girls piled into the second last booth. Joyce took out her ordering pad and looked at the four girls in front of her and noticed Sloane.

“And who might you be sweetie.” Joyce said leaning on one hip. Sloane looked at the waitress with a smirk and a raised eyebrow. Sweetie?! no one has ever call me-.

“Sorry Joyce, this is my friend from Seattle, Sloane,” Max said.

Joyce smiled, “Nice to meet you Sloane.” Her smile turned to a devious one, “I take it you’re the kidnapper?”

“Ahh,” Sloane looked at Max, then looked up at Joyce, “yeaaah.”

Joyce chuckled shaking her head, “All right girls, what can I get you on this fine morning? Chloe, you're usual?”

*Grunts.*

“Rachel yours?”

“Please.”

“And you Max?” Joyce winked at her, “you want your usual?”

“With a coffee please, I missed them so much, you’ll be happy to know that no one in Seattle makes them better than you.”

"Max you’re so sweet." Joyce smiled. She loved hearing compliments about her cooking.

Sloane elbowed Max getting her attention. "Wait. You have a usual too?” Sloane looked at a smiling Chloe and Rachel then dramatically brought a hand to her heart putting on a hurtful frown, "I feel so left out." Max grinned elbowing Sloane back.

"She never had anything different for breakfast here," Chloe said, smiling at Max, I know, the brunette smiled back sharing the knowledge that only the Prices and Max would know.

"Darlin' you pick out anything on the menu, and that will be your usual, ok." Joyce motherly said. Sloane dropped her smile and scrunched up her face thinking. She raised the menu close to her face. Fuck I need my glasses. "Oh God, now I'm put on the spot, this is like a permanent thing. I'm not good with commitments....aaaaahh. Cheeseburger."

"And to drink?" Joyce had a pen in one hand and an ordering pad in the other, looking at it patiently waiting for the answer.

"Beer."

Joyce looked from her pad and tilted her head down at Sloane. Sloane produced a huge toothy smile, getting the right reaction from Joyce. In a monotone voice, Joyce replied, "Coke it is," as she kept an eye on the girl and scribbled the order.

"Diet please," Sloane said happily.

Joyce quietly laughed, shook her head, turned and walking towards the cook's order/pick up window. To be young again.

The booth girls snicker at Joyce’s and Sloane’s conversation and reactions. Sloane raised her chin upwards smugly declared. "I. Now have a usualOhMyGodIWantOneOfThose!" Her eyes widened looking over Chloe's shoulder. Rachel quickly turned with Chloe looking over the booth. Max looked in the direction Sloane was staring, confused wondering what had Sloane’s attention. “I. Want. That. Shirt." Max took a second to find the Two Whales shirt hanging in the far corner of the restaurant and raised her eyebrows. The brunette looked back at Sloane along with Chloe and Rachel. Sloane stared at the shirt excitedly then looked at a confused Max. "Oh come on. I'm on a road trip with you." She points at Max. “Who I barely know, but I’m getting to know." She nudged Max’s shoulder multiple times and winked, she then thumbed in the direction of the two girls sitting opposite of them. “And two strangers, one, that I’ve had late night chats with, that didn’t have a phone number of 1-888-sexy-time,” Rachel outward snorted. “And a tall punk mystery girl. The three girls laughed, “Yeah. I'm getting a shirt."

Joyce placed three empty cups for coffee on the table, and placed Sloane’s drink in front of her. She turned back and retrieved the coffee decanter that was sitting on the long countertop and began to pour the coffee. “Can you add a t-shirt to my bill please?" Sloane asked.

Joyce, surprised, slowly smiled. “Sure darlin’, what size."

“Medium,” Sloane smirked and looked at Max, “Sooo cool."

With a couple of sips taken from their drinks, Chloe and Max were non-stop talking and laughing getting caught up with each other lives, every now and then one of their feet would nudge or tap their others playfully.

Rachel and Sloane turned and looked at each other from across the table. Sloane leaned in and put her elbow on the table, placing her chin in her hand, all the while not taking her eyes off of Rachel. Rachel mimicked Sloane’s movements, Sloane squinted her eyes staring at the girl, Rachel did the same.

“So.” Sloane said.

“So.” Rachel replied.

Sloane waited for a break in Max and Chloe’s conversation, she grew a devious smirk. Rachel tilted her head just a little and glared at her. Sloane spoke to Chloe, not taking her eyes off of Rachel. “So, Chloe, she said. “I heard you have a certain embarrassing video of Rachel." Rachel’s eyes widen. Chloe looked at Sloane, paused for a moment thinking, then smiled. “Heh, duuude." Chloe hauled out her phone and searched for the video. “She was sooo high, wanna see?” Sloane picked up her drink, raised her pinkie to try and act dainty. “Why yes. Yes, I do." Gotcha. She winked at Rachel then turned her attention to Chloe. Max gave Sloane a shoulder nudge and giggled.

Chapter Text

“So, you speak French?” Chloe asked when Sloane talked about how she ended up in Seattle.

“Mmmm, French Canadian, not totally fluent though, I went through the French immersion program where most of the classes were taught in French and you had to answer in French, and depending on the class go as far as writing all your work in French. Started in elementary and ended in grade eight, I didn’t want to go any further after that.

Chloe took a sip of her coffee, “At one time Mom and Dad started a swear jar to collect funds for a family trip to Paris. I started to learn French words and small sentences.” The blunette played with her coffee cup, “I was going to be the official translator for the trip." Chloe’s face saddened for a moment, she glanced at Max and the bitter memory.

Sloane knew the reason why, “Do you still want to go?” Sloane asked.

“Yeah, but the funds aren’t there, with college or university in the next year, I’m gonna have to rely on scholarships, or get a loan, or get a part time job to pay for stuff. So there’s no trip to Paris in the cards for moi."

“Get your passport Chloe." Sloane said as she typed on her phone, “It might cost less than a hundred bucks; It’s more the hassle of filling out the paperwork. Wait a couple of weeks to a month, and boom you got ya passport." She looked up from her phone at Chloe. “It might not be France, but a future trip to Montreal could happen, flight costs are..." Sloane looked at her phone again to confirm the information. “Averaging $550 round trip, wait for a seat sale, I could act as your tour guide. I lived with a family for five months just outside of Montreal. Think of it as a mini warm up to the real thing. Paris will happen someday for you."

Chloe started to think it over, Sloane added, pointing her thumb at Max. “Take your fellow Max on your trip, as they are known to capture great life moments." Sloane looked at Max who was smiling wiggling in her seat at being included in the possible trip. “To keep your Max happy, Sloane continued, you just need to make sure they have enough Polaroid film or battery back up; it depends on what version of Max you have." Sloane leaned towards Chloe and loudly whispered, “You may have to keep your Max on a leash though, they are known to mindlessly wander off on their own to find the perfect shot." Max elbowed Sloane in the ribs, Rachel giggled sipping her coffee.

Max said defiantly, “Hey, I don’t mindlessly wander when I’m taking-."

“I SAW you by the northwest gates with your camera up to your face,” Sloane interrupted, “you tripped on the walkway and almost went seins en haut.” (Tits up) Sloane lurched forward mimicking Max, “Woop!” Max opened her mouth to say something but sighed.

“Fine. I do wander. BUT I’m not wearing a leash." Max said.

Sloane looked back at Chloe, “Restart your swear jar and start swearing in french to practice." Chloe smiled. “So consider this your first lesson, gimme some words." Both sat up in the booth, Rachel sat back with her arms crossed grinning.


“Shit." Chloe started.

“Merde."


“Holy shit."

“Foutue merde."


“Bitch."

“Garce."


“Asshole."

“Connard."


“Suck my dick." Max’s eyes widen.

“Suces ma bite."


“Eat shit and die." Chloe smiled.

“Manges de la merde et meurs."


“Punk ass."

“Foutu punk."


“Fuck." Chloe said. She was getting real.

“Putain”


“Fuck off."

“Casse-toi “


“Fuck you."

“Va te faire foutre." Sloane gestured with her hands while she spoke.


“I don’t give a fuck."

“Je m’en fous."

 

Joyce from behind counter briskly walked towards the cash register and leaned over, she loudly whispered towards her daughter. “Chloe! Language!" Chloe looked at her mother with an open mouth smile, seeing the glare on her mother’s face she dropped her smile, turned back towards Max and slid down in the bench.

*DING* The Two Whales cook notified an order was ready.

Joyce turned and picked up the plate of food muttering to herself. “I need to bring that damn swear jar back.” She walked around the counter and gave Chloe another scolding glare. Trying to hide their faces, Rachel pretended to drink her coffee, Sloane stared at Rachel leaning on her elbow with her hand over her mouth, and Max hid her face looking out the window. Oh look there’s a random window, once the waitress walked by the giggles were let out.

Chloe slouched in the bench with her arms crossed over her chest muttered, “Calm your tits."

Sloane wagged her finger back and forth at Chloe, raised her voice an octave higher. “Non non non Chloé en français s'il vous plaît. Calme. Tes. Tétons." (No no no Chloe in French please. Calm. Your. Tits.)

Chloe quickly sat back up with her hands raised to her chest in a surrendering gesture, eyes wide, laughing. ”Je suis désolé." (I'm sorry)

“You’ve created a monster." Rachel said looking at Sloane. Sloane’s eyes widen, she rubbing her hands together laughing like a crazy woman. “Mwahaha."

Chapter Text

Joyce removed their plates and refilled the cups, she placed Sloane’s new shirt in front of her and received a big smile from the girl.

“Ok since we need to get to know each other more, I suggest we play a game.” Rachel said, stirring her coffee and passing the sugar to Max.

“Let me guess, Two Truths and a Lie?” Chloe said.

“Already played it with them,” Rachel replied. Chloe looked surprised. “And to let you know, both of you,” She pointed to Max and Chloe and she closed one eye hard, ”Arrrr matey.” The two reconnected best friends smiled at each other, Chloe bounced a little on the bench.

“Captain Bluebeard and Long Silver Max, Scourge of the Seven Seas!” Chloe said in her best pirate voice.

Max replied with an, “Arrrrrr Capt’n.”

“Alright the game is twenty questions.” Rachel said, leaning on the diners wall, she brought her leg up on the booth seat. “Anyone can ask questions, and you have to tell the truth.” Rachel pointed to Sloane and Chloe. “No cheating, you two.” Sloane and Chloe looked at each other.

“She’s no fun, how do you put up with her.” Sloane asked jokingly.

“Pff, I ask myself that everyday, she’s high maintenance,” Chloe replied. Rachel playfully smacked Chloe’s shoulder.

“Hey, why didn’t I get the warning?” Max looked at Rachel. The three other girls looked at Max, each had their head tilted to the side looking at her like a child. Max looked to each girl. “Yeah, that was a stupid question.”

“You could never tell a lie, Max.” Chloe laughed. “You always confessed. I mean, you almost threw up from guilt when we had our wine experience. We almost got away with it, too.”

“Chloe there was no way we were ever going to get away with it. It was a huge wine stain on your parents carpet.” Max gestured with her hands to display how big the stain was to Sloane. “I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, telling your mom it was blood from a swashbuckling sword fight was not going to work.” Max explained, Sloane looked at Rachel.

“They really do have a thing for pirates,” Rachel explained. “I don’t know, Chloe will sometimes let out a couple of Aarrrrr’s when she’s up to no good.” Rachel raised her hands up to her chest in a giving-up pose, shaking her head. “I...I just go with it.”

“They’re awesome!” Both pirates said at the same time, followed by Chloe saying, “Yar scallywag!” Rachel smacked Chloe again in the shoulder.

-------------------

“Okay, question one, when’s your birthday?”

Chloe: Auugh, not this.

Rachel: You. Shush!

Chloe: Hi I’m Chloe, I like walks on the beach and my birthday is March 11th. 1994. I will only accept gifts with Benjamin Franklin on them, because as lyrical genius P. Diddy said, ‘It’s ALL about the Benjamins.’

Rachel: Pisces; musical and artistic.

Chloe: And that’s why I’m so obviously hatin’ on the sciences. (Rachel hits her in the shoulder.)

Rachel: Also a pain in the ass. Mine is July 22nd, I share two signs Cancer and Leo.

Chloe: A Cancerous Lion. (Rachel hits her in the shoulder again, as Chloe is drink coffee and she spills some of it.) Damn it.

Rachel: You Shush! I’m passionate and warm-hearted. (Rachel smiles.)

Chloe: Yeah really warm. (Chloe rubs her shoulder, then reaches for the napkins.)

Max: Uhmm, September-

Chloe: 21st. I remember

Rachel: Virgo, loyal and kind.

Sloane: November 18th.

Rachel: Hmm, you’re a Scorpio.

Sloane: I don’t know what that means.

Rachel: Passionate and assertive.

Sloane: Meh. (She shrugged.)

Max: Sloane you assertively took my hand and dragged me through a party and brought me to Arcadia Bay. As for passionate, who likes hockey?”

(Sloane’s eyes widen, looking from Chloe to Rachel then to Max, filled with hope.)

Chloe: Fuck yeah! I love it! With their clubs and base running, wearing flippers.

Rachel: Can’t say I have ever watched a game.

Chloe: TOUCHDOWN!

Sloane: You two wound me, it’s the greatest game in the world.

Max: It’s okay Sloane, the Leafies just need to rebuild their team, it will take a couple of seasons.

Sloane (awestruck): “Maaaaax! You are my new best friend.”

Chloe: Hey!

Sloane: You Shush! My Vertico-

Rachel: Virgo.

Sloane: Yeah, Virgo, she’s my new best friend.

-------------------

Okay, Question five, cake or pie?

Sloane: Are we talking about food here orrrrr…..

(Max looked confused, Chloe and Rachel chuckle.)

Rachel: Pie, coconut creme.

Chloe: Pie, peach.

Max: Cake. I could eat a big piece of cake right now.

(Chloe, Rachel, and Sloane giggle. Max glares at them and starts texting on her phone.)

Sloane: Joyce can we please get three pieces of pie and a big piece of cake for Max?

Max: (Max’s eyes widen looking at her phone) Oh My Dog!

The giggles break out into laughter.

-------------------

Ok here’s one... question seven, you have a hundred bucks to burn, all your friends are busy and you have the whole day to yourself, what do you do?

Sloane: A guitar, couple of joints, and chill in the back garden with pit fire.

Rachel: Get the toes and nails done.

Max: Polaroid film, shit is expensive, and then go anywhere my camera eye takes me.

Chloe: Pff, noobs.

Rachel: Oh grace us, Junkyard Queen with thine answer.

Chloe: Weed, donuts, and strippers.

Rachel: So a few skunky joints from Frank, half dozen donuts and one lap dance from Tricky Tracy.

Chloe: You know Tracy!?

-------------------

“So, question ten, If you were an animal what would you be?

Rachel: Lion, I am a Leo after all.

Chloe: Yeah, a cancerous one! (Rachel hits Chloe on the shoulder again.)

Rachel: You shush!

Sloane: (She lifts her arm to show her tattoo), “Foxes are awesome.”

Max: Otter, they are sooo cute. They cuddle up together when they sleep.

Chloe: Shark.

Max: Augh, I am not a fan of Shark Week.

Chloe: Dun dun dun dun (She grabs Max’s leg under the table.)

Max: Chloe!!...I still get freaked out over that movie and your Mr. Sharkie.

-------------------

“Oh I got one, question seventeen, what would you have for your last meal?

Chloe: Bacon cheeseburger with steak cut fries and endless beer.

Rachel: It’s your last meal, Chloe, the beer would have to end eventually.

Chloe: Shush you!

Max: Hmmm-

Sloane: Don’t say it.

Max: Quiet Youuu. Two Whales waffles.

Sloane: You really need to see someone about this addiction. Twenty cc’s of maple syrup stat! she’s O.D on waffles.

Rachel: Lasagna with homemade tomato sauce with thick layers of ricotta cheese. It has to have at least five layers. Cheesy garlic bread, and ooooh God chocolate cheesecake, also beer to drink.

Sloane: Jebus, you would die just from the calorie intake.

Rachel: What about you?

Sloane: Pot brownies. if I’m going out, I might as well be giggling about it.

Chapter Text

The two trucks parked perpendicular to each other on the beach, the sun had risen and it was going to be a nice day. They’d spent most of the morning at the diner asking and answering questions from Rachel’s game. With the game completed, they’d decided to have a smoke break at the beach. Chloe sat on her trucks side bed, leaning over on her knees, glancing at Max every few seconds. I can’t believe she’s here . She knocked off the built up ash on her cigarette. Max sat across from her with her feet dangling off the open tailgate, she was fidgeting with her camera bag. Sloane laid down on her truck bed, her feet dangled off the tailgate, every now and then she bumped hers with Max’s. Rachel inhaled smoke from her cigarette, she sat back against Sloane’s truck side bed. She had a puzzled look on her face as she stared off into space.

“Ok, one last question,” the blonde said.

“Auugh Rach, enough with the integrations,” Chloe pleaded, Max looked back at Chloe and smiled, Chloe looked at her, smiled then quickly looked down and away with a slight blush.

“It’s a bonus question, this one’s actually a serious one. Rachel said. Sloane tucked one of her hands underneath her head to support herself and looked at Rachel. “It cuts into who we really are, this is not meant to hurt, but to liberate ourselves, without judgment. Only say what you are comfortable with.”

“Well, Bella,” Sloane said sarcastically, “when you put it that way it sounds like sooo much fun.” She got up and jumped over the tuck bed, opened the passengers door and retrieved a small fabric case. She placed a joint in her mouth and got back in the truck bed, retaking taking her spot. Rachel held out her lighter, Sloane lit up and continued. “Well, I am lying down and getting blazed, cause this sounds like it might turn into a therapy sesh.” She passed the joint to Rachel who took a drag and passed it back. Sloane tapped Max’s foot indicated for her to take the it, she did. Chloe raise an eyebrow. Max blazes?! As quickly as the thought came, Max passed it to her, hee, Moral Max , she was more than eager to take it. Max studied Chloe, she took a long drag and inhaled, the punk closed her eyes, held her breath then slowly let it out. Wonder when she started smoking weed. The joint was passed around a few times. Rachel was slouched against the truck, Sloane had her hand draped over Rachel’s feet and was playing more foot taps with Max. Chloe noticed, she slumped over placing her arms on her knees, lighting up another cigarette.

Rachel finally spoke. “What is the TLDR version of your life?”

“You first,” Chloe said as she blew smoke out her lungs.

“But of course.” She sat up at bit and began, “I was born in Cali, Long Beach. The parents moved us to Arcadia three years ago. I went from a population of thirty-nine million people where you could do anything at anytime to a population of maybe a thousand... where you do next to nothing. But somehow I met a blue-headed girl to keep me entertained.” She looked at Chloe with a devious smile.

“Ya welcome,” Chloe said, then dramatically bowed.

Rachel lit up a cigarette took a drag and offered it to Sloane who declined. She continued, “I found out that my respectable father had lied to me all my life about my mother being my real mother. Because of that I have trust issues, it’s always there in the back of my head that they are lying to me...Everybody lies no exceptions.” Chloe looked at Rachel, pointed her finger like and gun, made a click sound with her tongue and winked at her.

Max watched Chloe and turned away, I lied to her . She went back to picking at the corner of her camera bag.

Rachel continued, “He paid a drug dealer to keep my real birth mother away from me, and that said person ending up stabbing me. I almost died but a girl who helped me through the worst years of my life carried me to the hospital just in time.” Rachel looked up at Chloe. Max looked surprised at Rachel’s story, she looked across to Chloe, realizing she was the friend Rachel was talking about. “I love theater and the arts, and I love performing, I’ve taken part in every show at Blackwell,” she smiled taking another drag of her cigarette looking at Sloane. ”Some drunk girl called me last night...” Sloane snorted outwards and gave a tap on Rachel’s sneaker. “...Which resulted in meeting two hella awesome chicks... and that’s about it.”

Max looked at Rachel in shock, What the fuck? she was about to ask a question or maybe ten but was cut off by Chloe, “I was born in this hick town. My father died when I was fourteen, logging truck ran a stop sign. My best friend moved away.” Max looked down and started to pick at her jeans. “My mom couldn’t get remarried fast enough, and the best pick of the crop was a fucking military ass-fuck loser who makes my life a living hell.” Chloe sighed a little, Max wanted to sit closer to her, but she kept looking at her jeans. I should’ve been there . “Life was a little less sucky when a drama queen popped into my life one night and saved me from being shanked.”

“What!” Max looked up at the blunette, surprised and worried. Chloe held up her hand calming her.

“Relax Max, it was a concert, Chloe explained, “Two skeevy dudes didn’t like that they were being little bitches over spilt beer. Ended up hitting him with a beer bottle, then his friend sucker punched me. One of the best concerts I’ve been too; it was a great night.” Rachel hummed with approval. Chloe continued, “And my ghosted friend showed up a few hours ago...so today is less sucky.” Max and Chloe shared a sad smile. Sloane made a comment about Chloe and Rachel’s relationship being like Thelma and Louise.

“You’re up Silver Max,” Chloe said, blowing smoke out her mouth.

“Auuuhh..well, born in Arcadia Bay, My family decided to moved away on the worst day in my life; great timing Mom and Dad. I lived in Seattle for a few years, a place that most teens would love to live, but I…” Max took a deep breath and let it out. “...I feel disconnected from the world there, I have a hard time talking and relating to people. It’s easier to look through a lens to see the world, or behind a computer. I moved away almost five years ago and I only have two friends, maybe three.”

Sloane was out of Max’s view lying down, but she saw her arm and finger point towards her like a puppet, “Hey I’m your friend dammit.” Her finger then pointed at Rachel. “And so is Rachel. That’s two awesome people in less that twenty-four hours and I’m calling dibs on you being my music partner for any projects.” Sloane lit up another joint.

“Thanks, Sloane,” Max said, “...and uhmm, thanks over that issue with Jason too. I should’ve said thank you long ago.”

“No worries,” Sloane replied. “Nobody needs that bullshit.” She produced a couple of smoke rings.

Chloe moved over and sat next to Max concerned, “What issue?”

Max sheepishly glanced at Chloe, “Uhmm… this, guy, at school… he, uhmm...”

“Do I have to come up to Seattle and bust some heads?” Chloe said angrily.

“Ahh, no...not to bust some heads.” She said smiling shyly. “Sloane may have persuaded Jason to not talk to me anymore.”

“What did you say?” Rachel asked taking the joint from Sloane.

Max looked over in the direction of Sloane recalling the event, “Ahh you didn’t really say coherent sentences, just a lot of F-bombs, and I mean a lot...and.”

Sloane started to giggle. “Yeeaaah.”

“You could’ve gotten suspended or worse, because of me.”

Sloane sat up and looked at Max. “Nope, not because of you Max, it was my choice. Every teacher knew there was an issue and they couldn’t care less. So I did something and the issue got resolved.”

“What did you do?” Chloe asked, very interested.

“Ehh, I hit him.” She didn’t elaborate as she laid back down.

Max raised her eyebrows, she looked at Chloe then back at Sloane. Max was not used to seeing violence. Sure whatever you see in movies or shows and that one time at a Thunderbirds game when two player got into a fight, but to see it right in front of you, only a few feet away. It was more that a hit, Sloane grab the boy from behind and shoved him away after he pushed Max up against the wall and stood uncomfortably close to her, Sloane pushed him again and demanded,*insert multiple F- bombs* not to touch Max. He laughed and said the quiet ones like it rough, that was all it took, It happened so fast, Sloane punched Jason in the mouth, he stumbled back and Sloane grabbed a hold of his shirt and kept hitting him. He went to the ground. It was like watching a jackhammer, there was no stopping until he went limp, there was so much blood. “Kristen overheard him saying to Jeremy that he was accidentally hit by a baseball bat at practice when asked what happened the next day,” Max said.

“Meh,” Sloane said, I guess he would rather not have anyone know what really happen. I’m sure his school picture this year looked really pretty with his new Chiclets.” Sloane tapped her finger nail to her teeth.

“Fuckin’ asshole!” Chloe said, fuming, she looked at Max, “I’m sorry you had to go through that.” Max shrugged.

Another joint was passed around, as Max and Chloe quietly talked with one another. The sun was high in the sky and it was a warm day.

“So,” Rachel gave a little foot poke to Sloane’s hip lying with her eyes closed soaking up the sun.

“So,” Sloane looked at Rachel then stretch out her body and letting out a grunt and a giggle. “Alright the TLDR of Sloane Black.”

“Wait, your last name is Black?” Rachel asked.

“Yeah why?”

“No nothing, I didn’t know.”

“And now you know,” Sloane said, “and knowing is half the battle.”

Max snorted, “G.I.Jooooooe.” Chloe smiled. Nerd.

“Alright...fuck me,” she loudly sighed. “I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Caaaanada. Tidbit, I am named after the pub in the alleyway where I was born, and my middle name comes from the police officer first on the scene, Scottie.”

“Wow.” Rachel said, Chloe and Max look at each other surprised.

“Not to get into it, but yada yada yada - Foster care.” Sloane displayed jazz hands at the reveal. “YaaAaaaY. Just because you have kids doesn't mean you will be good parents, or parent.” She looked at Rachel and she nodded agreeing. “Uhmmm, been in and out of ‘homes’. I’ve lived in a couple of places in Ontario, spent time in Montreal.” Lived on the streets, berated by people, dealt drugs, got beaten up, etc. “... Someone one day took notice of me and gave a damn; she turned my life around when it was pretty low. This girl’s family fostered me, It was the best time of my life, I actually felt like I was part of a family, felt welcomed and looked after.” Sloane took a breath of air and slowly let it out, at the memory of how it went wrong. Fuck.

Rachel noticed the somber look on Sloane’s face, she was chewing the inside of her cheek, “Hey, only stuff you’re ok with,” Rachel began to say.

“We snuck out to see a concert,” Sloane continued, some motherfucking incompetent cocksucker decided that texting was more important than driving and hopped the curb. I tried to push her out of the way but I wasn’t strong enough. I was the lucky one; couple of broken bones, concussion, lacerations, and bruising. Maddi-” Sloane swallowed before she continued, “She’s, she’s still in a coma. I have to rely of friends to tell me her condition. I’m told her parents stay hopeful, they’re not giving up no matter what doctors have told them. I no longer have the McKenzie’s as a foster family, and I’m no longer welcomed to visit her in hospital.” Sloane took another long drag of the joint. It was silent for a moment.

“Dude, that is fucked.” Chloe quietly said. Max looked at Chloe, she never knew any of this about Sloane.

“Indeed.” Sloane stretched again and sat up, “Ahh, head rush.” She blinked a few times and waited for it to pass and looked out over the water. “With help, I’m learning that I have to look at the good in my life, it maybe small but it’s there.” She smiled, “This is my first time in the states thanks to the foreign exchange program and I’ve met a lot of good people. I mean, I just met some valley girl last nig-”

“Hey I’m not a valley girl!” Rachel protested.

“Like wha-ever Ray Ray, like I totally don’t judge n stuff.” Sloane said in her best valley speak. Rachel leaned forward and attempt to hit Sloane in the shoulder, she quickly leaned towards Max snickering, “As if!” She looked at Max and started sing California Gurls to a laughing Max and Chloe.

Chapter Text

Sloane and Rachel took off to go replenish Sloane’s supply of weed, leaving Chloe and Max to walk along the beach. It was a beautiful, blue sky day. Max raised her head, closed her eyes, and breathed deeply, holding her breath, she filled her senses with ocean salt, waves lapping and seagull overhead. Chloe stood by her side, watching her, she couldn’t help turn the corner of her mouth upwards. She’s really here. Max slowly let the air in her lungs go, opened her eyes and looked out over the water. “I really missed this place." She quietly said. “It’s so beautiful." Chloe’s eyes went to Max’s, then to her nose with those freckles, her lips, then back to her eyes. They slowly went down to her lips again.

“Yeah,” the blunette said, realizing what she was doing she quickly looked down at her feet kicking at the pebbles. “You could've always visited...ya know." Feeling vulnerable with her emotions she put her hands in her pockets and looked away from Max.

The brunette looked at Chloe who was turned away from her, then looked down at the ground. “There’s a lot of things I should’ve done Chlo." She shook her head and closed her eyes. “I am a stupid fuckin asshole."

Chloe swung back to Max. “Hey, don’t say that Max." With brows furrowed, she turned Max towards her and held her shoulders. “Don’t put yourself down like that."

Max raised her head, biting her lip and made quick contact with those blue eyes and looked away feeling her guilt peaking. “Chloe..." her voice was small. She lowered her head again. The blunette took a small step forward lifting Max’s chin and placed two of her hands on Max’s jawline. She mournfully looked at Max, two big tears hung off the small girl’s lower eyelashes. Chloe felt the pain grip her chest immediately. “Hey. No,” She whispered. The tears started to slide down the brunette’s cheeks as she tried to turn away embarrassed. Chloe held her, not letting her do so, she wiped the tears away with her thumbs. “No no no don’t." Chloe forced herself to swallow, feeling the constriction in her throat. Her voice was unsteady and it went to a whisper before she lost it. “P-please don’t cr-." She swallowed again and placed her forehead onto Max’s. Max squeezed her eyes shut, held her breath and gritting her teeth. Please nooo not now! Chloe watched the emotion on the girls face and felt Max’s chin quiver. She leaned forward and wrapped herself around Max, lowering her head to Max’s neck, her lips grazed the small girls ear. “It’s okay Max.” Max buried her face into Chloe’s collarbone, her lungs burned for air. She let out a huge sob and held her breath again only for another sob to come right away. She felt Chloe grip her tightly, one hand combed through the small girls hair and held the back of her head. “It’s okay, you're here.”

Max’s small body shook and her sobs were so hard, it didn’t take long for Chloe to notice Max’s shortness of breath. She stepped back and crouched down to be at Max’s eye level. Max’s eyes were wide not focusing on anything, she quickly grabbed onto Chloe’s jacket. “Max?" She was breathing quickly, way too quickly. One knee buckled. Chloe immediately caught Max. “Max what’s wrong?!” She didn’t answer. Instead her legs slowly gave way and her head slumped forward, Chloe guided her to the ground. “MAX!" Max felt her world creep into blackness, someone kept calling her name.

-------------------

Sloane and Rachel parked next to an older RV. “Seems very Breaking Bad-ish." Sloane commented.

“Yeah he’s heard that one before,” Rachel said as she opened the truck door.

“So what’s this guy like?" Sloane asked. Rachel looked back at her with an unconcerned shrug.

“He’s cool." she replied. She noticed Sloane’s face still bore some concern, so she flashed a smile and added, “He’s fine. He can be an asshole like anybody, especially if you are in his debt."

Sloane leaned over opening the glovebox and retrieved her collapsible baton. Rachel raised her eyebrows watching Sloane place the item in her back pocket and hid it with her shirt.

“The lady comes prepared."

“Yeah, I’m a real fuckin’ girl scout." Sloane replied. Her demeanor had changed a little. Both got out of the truck and walked to the local dealer. Sloane continued, “Sorry, but from experience, I like to be aware of certain things." She looked around to get her bearings and took note of the people around the area.

“Seriously, you don’t need to worry." Rachel said.

“Says the lady that got stabbed by a drug dealer." Sloane cocked an eyebrow at her.

Rachel spoke, “Well-”

“Learn from your experience Rachel,” Sloane said, “People are capable of doing many things, even when you trust them."

“And what was your experience?” Rachel asked as they walked around the side of the RV, spotting Frank sitting in a lawn chair drinking a beer.

Sloane leaned over to Rachel keeping her eyes on Frank. “I got shot," she whispered. Rachel stopped and quickly turned to Sloane surprised.

“Rachel.” Frank said with a smile looking in her direction.

Rachel took a second to acknowledge Frank as she was stunned by Sloane comment. She introduced Sloane to Frank and noticed she kept her distance from the man.

Sloane was not used to having ‘friendly’ discussion with any dealers. Not that Frank wanted to talk with her anyway, she noticed right away how he eyed and spoke with Rachel. Yeah fuck you dude, you’re like twice her age. Her past dealings were people coming up to her, stating what they wanted, followed by the exchange of money and product, then leaving; nothing more than ten seconds and not out in the open diner parking lot. Rachel leaned over petting Frank’s dog, smiling and laughing, he asked if she was hungry or wanted a drink, which she declined. The offer was not there for Sloane. She watched and listened to the small talk like they were the best of friends or...are they?...gross? Sloane bought a couple grams of weed and placed an order for beer paying up front, the girls eventually walked back towards the truck.

“So.” Rachel said.

“So. You and Frank hooking up?”

Rachel looked at Sloane and smirked, her face then went to surprised “Wait, you think me and him?

I mean we’ve partied together and…”

Sloane looked at Rachel as she walked around the truck waiting for her to finish, “I flirt to get a better price for weed, I mean he is a nice guy, we hang out and stuff. He helped me and Chloe out a few years ago with a situation, but that’s it.” Both girls got into the truck as Rachel’s phone rang. “S’up, Junk-...What!” Rachel placed a hand on Sloane’s arm, “What happen?!” Rachel worriedly look at Sloane. “Max collapsed." Sloane took Rachel’s phone and put it on speaker. “-she was breathingreallyfastandshejustfellforward.” Chloe quickly spoke.

“Chloe slow down, I don’t understand. Tell me slowly what happened,” Sloane said.

“Max collapsed…” Chloe’s voice was in distressed as she spoke, “she was breathing fast, then her fucking eyes rolled up in the back of her head!” Sloane looked at Rachel then started the truck and left the diner’s parking lot.

Sloane said, “Chloe put your ear to her chest and tell me if you hear her heart beating.”

Chloe unzipped Max’s hoodie and placed her ear on Max’s chest, Chloe squeezed her eyes shut, her tears fell onto Max’s shirt. Chloe held Max listening.

“It’s beating really fast.” Chloe said into her phone.

“Is she breathing ok, is there anything restricting her breathing?” Sloane asked calmly, keeping her eyes on the road.

“No!”

“Okay. Chloe did she hit her head when she collapsed?”

“No, I caught her and just guided her to the ground.”

“K. Chloe, along with her breathing quickly was she shaking or incoherent?”

“Yeah, what wrong with her! I’m so fucking scared! Max please wake up, d-don’t leave me please.” Chloe’s voice cracked.

“K. Chloe. I need you to take a deep breath for me girl, you need to stay calm." Sloane said in a cool unwavering voice. Both the truck occupants heard Chloe take and let go of a quivering breath.

“Good Chloe, you’re doing good. keep her resting. It sounds like Max had one of her anxiety attacks and fainted.” Sloane stated.

“What?! I-I didn’t know she-” Chloe said.

“It’s ok. Chloe.” Sloane quickly looked behind the passenger seat. “Chloe, does Max have her bag with her?”

“Yeah."

“K. I need you to look in her bag for a prescription bottle.” There was a sound of Chloe’s loud breathing into the microphone, as she searched in Max’s bag.

“Yeah I got it.”

“Ok. I need you to have Max flat on her back, raise her legs up about a foot or two off the ground.” Rachel and Sloane heard a couple of banging noises and what sounded like metal scraping against metal.

“K, I did that.”

“K, keep her resting and keep an eye on her breathing. If she wakes up keep her calm and see if she wants to take one of her pills.”

“K.” Chloe responded.

“We’re already on our way to you, coming up the road now. You should see my truck soon." There was a pause over the phone.

“Chloe you're doing good, girl. Max is ok, and you’re ok."

“K...I see you."

“Almost there Blu.”

Sloane parked next to Chloe’s truck and saw that the blunette had Max lying across the tailgate, she was leaning over her closely talking and holding her hand.

“Sloane?!" Chloe called out.

“It’s ok Chloe.” Sloane said walking up with Rachel, she gave Chloe a quick squeeze on her arm and a smile. Chloe had her jacket bunched up and placed under Max’s head for support, she had used a tool box to elevate Max’s legs.

“Good job Chloe,” Sloane said as she checked on Max.

“Yeah, dude, I didn’t know, she was like-ahh...had the anxiety thing." Chloe worriedly said. “We were just talking about...about stuff and she...uhmm she...and I...uhh.”

Sloane grunted, “With the past couple of hours of stress meeting up with you, the road trip and then lack of sleep in the last twenty or so hours, I guess it just brought on an event.” Sloane figured. “She just needs to relax for a bit.”

Chloe thought of Max being uncomfortable around her to the point that she was stressed hurt her. Why would you feel stressed with me, it’s...me.

Sloane continued, “That being said I would like to wake her up even if it is for a bit. Just to check her out.”

Chloe leaned over Max, placed a hand on her shoulder and calmly started to say her name, she brushed Max’s loose strands of hair over her ear. “Max...Max. Wake up.” Please. Sloane massaged Max’s leg and gave it a couple of taps encouraging Max to wake. Max stirred, letting out small grunts and groans and her eyes eventually opened. She looked at Chloe. “Chlo-e?...wa-?"

“There she is,” Sloane said with a smile. “Take a couple of deep breaths Max.” Max rubbed her forehead and breath deeply. She blinked a couple of times as her mind and body caught up with each other.

“Welcome back to the living, sleeping beauty." Chloe said with a small smile. Max let out a big deep breath. “If I knew you were going to fall for me I would of brought to you a grassy field, or a bouncy castle...or my bed.” Max’s eyes opened a little more looking at Chloe. Chloe’s eyes gleamed and she produced a stupid smile, Max blushed “Chloooe.” She whined.

“Hey what’s wrong with my bed. Humph, you liked sleeping in it if I recall correctly.” Almost every weekend. Both Rachel and Sloane let out a quiet giggle.

“Oh my Dog.” Max whispered, rolling to her side taking her feet off the tool box with a grunt.

“Easy Max, give yourself some time.” Sloane said. “There’s no rush."

“Mmmm, I want to sit up." She took another deep breath and let it out as Chloe helped her sit up. “Uhmm, do you wanna take some of these?” Chloe said picking up Max’s pill bottle. Max stopped rubbing her eye, Fuck she knows. She looked at the pill bottle, her shoulders drooped and gave a quick glance to Rachel and Chloe. “No.” She mumbled looking away. I don’t want you to know about this.

“Are you sure?” Chloe quietly asked. Rachel walked back to Sloane’s truck retrieving a bottle of water and placed it next to Max. Max looked at the bottle being placed next to her. Fuck I feel like a goddamn child.

“No...it’s fine...I- It’s, I’m just tired. Long n-night driving and all ya know.” Stumbling over her words not making eye contact with anyone.

Chloe noticed Max looking flustered. Dude don’t feel embarrassed over this shit. Chloe placed the bottle of pills and water in Max’s bag. “Yeah for sure, well they’re back in here if you need them, K?”

“Yeah thanks Chlo." She took a deep breath and gave Chloe small smile.

Chloe leaned forward and wrapped her arms around Max, and whispered, “You scared the shit out of me Maxine.” Chloe placed her forehead onto Max’s

“I’m sorry Chlo.” Max whispered.

“It’s ok, I’m just happy your ok.”

Rachel’s phone chimed diverting the attention away from Max. “Perfect timing.” Rachel said reading and texting. “Since Max needs some rest, which I can do with also, how about you Sloane?”

“I’ve been hopped up on caffeine most of night and morning.” Sloane stretched her arms over her head. “But I do need some rest.”

“I’ll get Frank to meet us at Blackwell and we can chillax in my dorm room.”

“Good cause Stepdouche worked last night, so he’s at the house now.” Chloe said.

Max and Rachel decided to keep their 'shotgun' truck seats and the four girls made their way to Blackwell. 

Chapter Text

“-And that’s how I fixed this truck,” Chloe said. She placed the cigarette to her lips, inhaled and blew the smoke out the window making a few O’s. “I mean it’s running, stalled on me a few days ago, it needs a new fuel pump among other things. I need to get some funds together to fix it completely, I might be able to get a loan off a friend.” They parked in, as Chloe called it, ‘Shitwell’ parking lot, waiting for Rachel and Sloane. Chloe let Max choose the music on the radio, teasing her on the choice of ‘Hipster acoustic music’. An RV drove past them and parked in the corner of the lot. “There’s Frank,” Chloe said looking at the RV. The blunette looked over at Max, she was tiredly slumped on the drivers side door looking back at her.

“When did you start smoking?” Max inquired, not wanting to bring up the conversation in front of the others.

“Meh, I dunno know, just picked it up ya know.” Chloe exhaled more smoke. “Something to pass time, and ease my nerves.”

“And you have a drug dealer?" Chloe has changed so much. What did you expect? it’s been five years idiot.

“Chillax Max,” Chloe smiled, “I just get some weed and alcohol from him, living with Stepdouche and his bullshit ya need to blow off some steam. Make your brain fuzzy, it’s good, forget about your shit for awhile.”

“Hmmm, I think you and Sloane have that in common.”

Chloe looked at Max then turned and looked out her window. “So... is Sloane like your best friend...or your-”

“No...she’s..." Max blushed, “We’re only in a few classes together, I don’t know much about her, till today.”

“And you jumped in her truck?” Chloe said surprised, and even though she hated it, a little jealous.

“At the time she said that someone she knew was hurting and needed help, so, I-I....”

“Hmm, friendly neighborhood SpiderMax.” Chloe smiled.

“She...she was very convincing okay.” Max explained, “Even if she was kinda drunk...and stoned.” Max shook her head, “I’m an idiot.” She let out a tired sigh. “I just...didn’t want her to also get behind the wheel and drive."

“SpiderMax SpiderMax everywhere is SpiderMax, spins a web any size,” Chloe grinned as she sang. Max yawned and giggled. Sloane and Rachel arrived, parking next to Frank’s RV, “All I’m saying Max is that you were there for someone, someone you barely knew, even if it was under false pretenses. When they asked for help, you acted. Not a lot of people would do that.”

Why couldn’t I be there for you when you really needed help Chloe? Max shrugged one shoulder. She looked away from Chloe and picked at the doors material, she spoke quietly. “Guess I’ve learned from past mistakes.”

----------------------

“Thanks Boss." Sloane said as she was handed a case of PBR from Frank.

“No problem,” he replied. “Any friend of Rachel’s is a friend of mine, especially when they pay up front."

“It’s the only way.” Sloane said. Fuck that, running around chasin’ people’s debt. Nope.

“Thanks again Frank,” Rachel said. “I can always count on you and Pompidou.” She rubbed the dog’s belly cooing at it. “We’ll hang out soon K.” She waved goodbye and hooked arms with Sloane.

“Yeah sure thing, Rach,” he said. “Hang out at the beach or something one night.” She didn’t answer him back but waved over her shoulder.

“Wow you really pour it on." Sloane mumbled quietly. Rachel bumped Sloane’s hip and smiled.

-------------------

Chloe flicked her cigarette butt out the window. “-couple of hookups nothing serious, nobody stuck around or I wanted to stick around, except for Rachel.”

“Oh...s-so you and Rach-” Max dug harder with her nail into the door material, her heart pounded hard in her chest. She’s had sex.

“Not anymore…” Chloe interjected, “we were there for each other when shit was going down with her parents and stepdouche, ya know... it’s...” Chloe changed her wording, “was, complicated. We’re better as friends.”

She would never admit to Rachel that she was right at the time why their romantic relationship had to end. She looked over at Max, then back out the driver’s side window, and she could never tell Max either.

Chloe cleared her throat, “So, ahh what about you? I’m sure you were...you had some dudes crushing over you and your freckles.”

“Ahh, no,” Max blushed, yep I’m still a virgin . “the only date I went on, was a double date with Kristen.” Max turned to lean her back on the passenger door to look at Chloe, “I had nothing in common with the guy. He ended up leaving because his mom ‘need a ride somewhere.’

Chloe winced, “Ohhh, the O’le, my Mom is calling me B.S. Ouch.”

Max raised her eyebrows admitting Chloe was right, “Yeah. I didn’t really attempt to try after that...nobody...I just didn’t-” Max looked away feeling a little embarrassed that she wasn’t experienced as what Chloe seemed to be.

There was a knock on Max’s window that made her jump. Rachel and Sloane stood smiling holding up their spoils. “Nosh n’ Slosh” Sloane said.

-------------------

After tossing the case of beer in a duffel bag, Chloe had in her truck, they made their way to Rachel’s dorm room. Climbing the stairs, Rachel carried a six pack of soft drinks and two pizzas they picked up along the way. Chloe had already confiscated a piece and was happily chomping down on it. She offered a bite to Sloane, which she took, and to Max.

“So living here is kinda like a warm-up to living on University campus I guess.” Rachel said. “I like the freedom of being away from the parents since all the bullshit.”

The D.A dad who had a drug dealer on call to keep your birth mother away from you, and also stabbed you...yeah that bullshit, Max thought to herself.

Rachel put her key in the door as a girl wearing a beanie and dragon necklace emerged from a dorm room behind them. “Hey Callamastia, hey Rachel. How’s it going?” Steph asked.

“Fretty goof." Chloe said with her mouth full of pizza.

“Hey Steph,” Rachel said with a smile.

“Looking forward to what you’re gonna to put us through next Wednesday.” Chloe said.

Steph smiled, “I’m not gonna be gentle. I am not a benevolent DM.”

“Hey this is my best friend from Seattle, Max and her friend Sloane,” Max and Sloane both offered small waves and a “Hey.”

“Whatcha up to? Got time for some pizza and beer?” Chloe asked.

“Thanks, just finished some homework with Kelly, and now I’m headed to the music venue,” Steph replied. “Gotta help finish the set-up. Man, it’s been wild, I’ve learned so much in the past three weeks, so excited!” She walked past them towards the exit. “Sorry to pass up the offer but gotta run, so much left to do and some of the schools have started to arrive. Rachel, you still coming?”

“Yeah, me and Dana should be there around eight.”

“K, talk to you later. Nice to meet you two.” Steph said as she walked down the stairs.

“Laters." Both Chloe and Rachel said.

Max and Sloane replied “You too.”

-------------------

Sloane read the spines of the books that lined Rachel’s bookcase, it contained some school books but it was mostly scripts, plays, and classical books. She hauled out Alice in Wonderland thumbing through it.

“It’s one of my favorites,” Rachel said sitting on her sofa drinking a beer. “I saw the musical a few years ago, it was hella amazing.”

“What part would you play, Alice or the Cheshire Cat?” Sloane asked with grin flipping over a page.

“Alice, but of course.” Rachel replied. Sloane you are definitely Cheshire .

“Pff, she’s the Mad Hatter.” Chloe said looking at Rachel with her eyes crossed.

Rachel threw a rolled up dirty napkin at Chloe’s head.

-------------------

Max finished a slice of pizza and passed her leftover crust without looking to Chloe, who sat next to her on Rachel’s bed in mid conversation with Sloane. “Yeah they have…” With her hands full, pizza and beer, sees Max’s crust offering, turns to Max and smiles. Some things never change . She grabbed the crust with her tongue and teeth. “Nom!” She positions the crust in the corner of her mouth like a cigar and continued. “...Introduced two new in depth programs, music and photography last semester,” She continued talking with her mouth still full, ”They’ve invited schools around the state to come and check out Blackwell’s open door music program this weekend, see if anyone is interested in attending Blackwell.” She placed her beer on the nightstand and looked at Max. “You should check out the photography program, they have some famous dude that’s gonna teach-"

“Mark Jefferson,” Max eagerly finished Chloe’s sentence. “He’s an awesome photographer, great style, I saw one of his exhibitions in 2009.” Chloe looked at Max surprised as she swallowed her crust offering.

“How did you know-" Chloe asked.

“I may have found out about the photography program a couple of months ago...and applied to Blackwell,” Max said sheepishly.

“Holy shit! You’re coming to Blackwell?!” Chloe said wide eyed. “You’re coming back home?!”

“I-I don’t know yet. Uhmm, I-I applied a few months ago for this September, but and I haven't heard w-word.” She said with an unsure smile.

“They’re gonna accept you. Holy fuck this is awesome!”

“I don’t know yet Chloe, I don’t want to get my hopes up.” Max said, “I have to get accepted first, then I have to get my parents to agree, then pay for it all, It’s a lot of money. I applied to a couple of scholarships just in case.”

“Damn Max, taking charge of your ed-u-ma-cation,” Sloane said. “Good for you.”

“This is going to be so awesome!” Chloe said as she started to hop up and down in a seated position on the bed. “You can move in with me!"

Max smiled, “Chloe, I think your Mom and Stepdad might have and issue with me living in your house.”

“Fuck that, we’ll toss Stepdick’s ass to the curb, and Mom loves you.”

“And the living arrangement?”

“My room has always been awesome, and you love my bed.”

“That is true, it’s very comfy, why’d you think I spent so many weekends there?”

“What?! What do you mean? you weren’t there to hang out with me?” Chloe mocked being offended. “I am hurt!”

Max looked at Chloe, “Ok sorry, sorry, I loved your bed. And I love...” Chloe held her breath, Max took a quick bite of Chloe’s pizza. “Your mom’s cooking.” Max said with a her mouthful grinning. Chloe paused for a moment, taking in Max’s last words and looked at her pizza slice.

“Yooou beeyotch." Chloe laughed, stuffing the pizza slice in her mouth and poked Max’s ribs tickling her. “Om gonnaaf get youf back fer dat.” Max fell over succumbing to Chloe’s attack.

“Chloe! NooOoooO,” Max squealed.

Sloane and Rachel joined in on the laughter, Rachel teased, “No way Chloe, if Max is coming to Blackwell, me and Max are gonna be dorm mates, she’ll have to visit your comfy bed only on the weekends.”

“Never! I want more. I’ll move in with Max,” Chloe stated, leaning over the giggling girl with the pizza slice limply dangling from her mouth just in front of Max’s face. Sloane gave a knowing glance and smirked at Rachel who smiled and gave Sloane a shoulder bump.

“We're gonna live together!” Chloe yelled.

-------------------

The T.V glowed in the darkness as it repeated the onscreen title menu of the movie they finished watching, well, that Chloe finished watching a few hours before. She looked at the two girls slumped on the sofa fast asleep. Chloe looked down and watched Max’s peaceful face lying next to her on the bed. She had curled herself up against her, wrapping her arm over the punk’s chest and snoozed away. Chloe lazily played with the brunettes hair, stopping when the small girl smacked her lips and smooshed her face further into Chloe, letting out a deep breath of air. Chloe continued playing with the brunettes hair. Rachel peeped through her tired eyes, gave a tiny smirk and went back to sleep.

Chapter Text

Sloane woke up in a start, with her hands raised aggressively.

“Whoa, you ok?” Rachel said cautiously. Sloane looked at the blonde standing away from her, she blinked a few times letting herself remember the last few hours.

“Sorry,” Sloane mumbled. She stretched, arching her back and raising her arms over her head. “What time is it?” Noticing the darkness in the room and the two girls sleeping in the bed.

“6:30.” Rachel quietly said. “I gotta get ready for the music invite.”

“K. I’ll get up.” I’ll sleep in the truck, Max will probably spend the night at Chloe’s. Sloane stood up rubbing her eyes.

“You don’t need to get up cause I am.”

“Ahhuhmm that’s okay,” Sloane said groggily. “I’ll scatter and bunk in the truck, it’s quite comfy to live in.”

“What?! No. Seriously, no worries... stay here,” She lived in her truck, what the fuck? Rachel stood in front of Sloane holding her shower toiletries. “Sloane you’re staying here till you leave for Seattle.”

Sloane scratched the back of her head and took a deep breath. “Are you sure?”

“I’m not taking no for an answer.”

“Thanks Bella." Sloane looked down and away. Rachel smiled a little and walked over to her closet grabbing some clothes to take with her to the shower.

“I have some clothes that might fit you, help yourself.”

“Ahh thanks, I’ve, I’ve got some clothes in my truck.” Always have a bag ready if you need to bail from a home fast.

“So,” Rachel looked at Sloane with her head tilted to the side.

“So.”

“You wanna take a shower?” Rachel raised one eyebrow. Sloane stared at her, then a little smirk started to appear, Rachel snorted outwards, took a towel from her closet and tossed it at Sloane’s face.

Sloane caught the towel. “When you ask like that what am I supposed to think?” Sloane teased.

“Go grab your clothes from your truck. The showers are down the hall on the right. I got everything you need here.” She lifted her toiletries basket.

“K thanks.”

They walked out into the hallway, Rachel pointed in the direction of the showers.

“K, brb.” Sloane said as she walked out the hallway exit and down the stairs.

“Hey Rach.” said an auburn hair girl stepping out into the hallway with her shower toiletries.

“Hey.” Rachel turned and greeted the girl walking towards her.

“Sooo, who’s the girl walking out of your room this evening?” She inquired with a big smile.

“Some girl I met at a party last night.” Rachel said nonchalantly walking past the girl towards the showers.

“Oh come on, you gotta give me more than that.” She said following Rachel. The blonde didn’t give up the information. “Raaaaacheeel.” She called out.

“Daaanaaa.” Rachel said in the same tone with a smile.

-------------------

Sloane was freshly showered, cleaned up and dressed. She leaned against the sink in the shower room. Rachel and Dana were dressed and putting on the finishing touches of hair and makeup.

“Wow that’s kinda cool you did that, Sloane,”  Dana said after hearing an abridged version of the previous night’s adventure.

“Meh, right time, right place, right girl on the phone,” Sloane said. Rachel glanced at her through the mirror and smiled. There was a text notification on Rachel’s phone.

“Speaking of, they’re up, wondering where we are,” Rachel sent a quick text back.

“Tell them we’re on a road trip to save another friendship, two chicks in Las Vegas.”

“That would be fun.”

“It would be interesting to find out what we would get ourselves into, for us to use the term ‘What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” Sloane smiled. Rachel stopped for a second from applying her eyeliner to think, then laughed continuing her application.

“Interesting indeed.”

Dana giggled at Sloane, “Ok ladies, I’m done, Rachel text me when you’re ready and we’ll walk over.” Dana packed up her makeup case. “Sloane, nice to meet you, I’m sure we’ll see each other before you leave.”

“Yeah for sure, nice to meet you too, Dana.” I like her.

-------------------

Rachel and Sloane walked into the blonde’s room, spotting Chloe sitting upright on the bed with a tray on her lap rolling a joint. Max was curled up watching her do so.

“-and that’s how you roll a J.”

“Ladies,” Rachel said.

“Chloe is teaching me the finer points of rolling a joint.” Max looked at Chloe. “I’ve been told it’s a skill everyone should acquire.”

Chloe replied, holding her hand dramatically in the air. “It’s an art form.”

Sloane began to tease, “Whhhy Maxine...uhmm, what’s your middle name?”

“Don’t have one.”

“What the fuck, seriously?” Sloane said surprisingly.

“Yeah, the parent bailed on that duty,” Chloe said.

“Screw that...you are hereby called Max...Waffles, Caulfield.” Sloane declared.

Both Rachel and Chloe laughed.

“Oh my Dog,” Max said. “No.”

“Maximus Waffles Caulfield the First, Hipster of Acoustic Music, Mother of Waffles, Heir to the maple syrup,” Chloe said furthering the laughter in the room and finishing another rolled joint, she looked up at Max with a toothy smile.

“I was going to tease you on learning joint rolling from Dr. Price but I got lost in the whole no-middle-name thing,” Sloane said. She sat on the sofa to dig through her rucksack opening a bag of new underwear and then socks. She showed them to Max and placed them next to her. “I got some new socks and undies for yah. Unless you like going commando.” Max sat up rolling her eyes and shaking her head.

Chloe giggled and wiggled her eyebrows rolling another joint, “Ooh la la, Maxine Waffles Caulfield are you freeballing,” Max slapped Chloe’s leg.

“Chloe, Oh my Dog!” The brunette said with a red face.

“Hee,” Chloe nodded her head back and forth with her tongue sticking out happy with herself for getting the reaction out of Max.

“You can raid my closet for any clothes Max, were about the same size. In fact...” Rachel started digging through her closet looking at Max considering something, then back to her closet. She hauled out two different size tank tops, a red plaid long sleeve shirt and a pair of black skinny ripped jeans. “These will fit you perfectly.” Rachel placed them on the sofa. Sloane looked at the clothes then dug in her bag. She pulled out a studded belt to add the pile.

“Wowsers. Thanks guys.” Max said.

“No worries, Waffles,” Sloane said. Yup, I’m using the name.

Rachel smiled, “Yeah.”

Max looked at the pile of clothes, then to Rachel and Sloane. “Seriously you two have done so much for me, thank you.”

Rachel asked, “Not to put a damper on the conversation, but are you guys leaving late tonight and driving overnight again?” Chloe stopped rolling a joint and looked at Max worriedly. It’s not long enough you just got here. No. She placed the weed tray on Rachel’s side table and sat closer to Max, her heart raced she started to feel a little sick to her stomach. Chloe stared down at her jeans picking at the loose stitching. It’s not long enough I don’t want you to go, don’t… don’t leave again.

Max looked at Chloe as the punk sat closer to her. “Uhmm, we have no school on Monday, there's a teachers workshop so...”

“Auuh you have a long weekend.” Rachel said. “We are suckers at Blackwell.”

“My parents don’t know exactly that I’m down here.” Max looked at Sloane. “They went north of the border to Vancouver, their flight lands at three on tomorrow.”

Chloe said,” If Vanessa only knew what her daughter was up to.”

“Yeeeah, I hope they don’t find out.”

“What about you Sloane,” Rachel asked.

“The Mason’s took off last Wednesday for a week get away, seat sale, hence why Kim threw the house party.” She looked at Max.

“That’s the house you’re staying in?” Max said surprised.

“Yup, hopefully it’s still in one piece, I messaged Kimbo letting her know where I was, she hasn’t replied. I guess she’s still sleeping it off, ooor arrested? Fuuuuck the house must look like a tornado went through it.” Sloane leaned back in the sofa. “So, Waffles, I guess the both of us have to be out of here...early tomorrow morning, yeah?”

“Yeah.” Max sighed, “Man we just got here.” I don’t want to leave.

“Your never leaving.” Chloe said, Max smiled. Chloe crawled over Max’s outstretched legs and flopped down on them. “Mama and Pop C. will just have to accept that I’ve kidnapped you.”

“Ahh Chloe get off me, you weigh a ton, gaaah.”

“Nope.” Don’t go.

Rachel put on her punk shoulder studded jacket, and fixed her hair in the mirror. “K ladies, and Chloe, I gotta jet.” She looked at Sloane in the mirror. “Hey you wanna come with? It is a music event after all, the school got all new equipment. Steph, and the rest of the AV and Vortex Club have been setting up the past three weeks. Going to Blackwell for music could be in your cards.”

“Hmm,” Sloane raised her eyebrows deciding. “Yeah, let’s do this.” She retrieved a green and blue flannel long sleeve shirt.

“What are you two gonna get up to?” Rachel asked looking at Max and a sprawled out Chloe.

Chloe rolled over on Max’s lap. “I’m taking Max home with me, were gonna take a shower and see where the night takes us.”

Rachel and Sloane looked at each other then back at the two girls, smiling. Rachel opened the door. ”Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do Chloe.”

Sloane smirked walking past Rachel and out the door. “Do anything I would do Max.” Chloe raised her arms in the air and Rachel giggled walking out the door. Max was blushing a deep red avoiding Chloe’s eye contact.

“Laters”

“Laters”

Chapter Text

Sloane joined Rachel and Dana for the evening. They approached the upgraded music venue, they could hear sound checks and see lights flashing through the main entrance. A catering truck was delivering food as various students from around the state were greeting others and hanging around the entrance. The three girls greeted people as they walked their way inside the venue. Dana decided to put her jacket in coat check, greeting Lyla and Brooke behind the table. Rachel kept hers and Sloane tied her flannel around her waist.

Walking through the new music venue Dana and Rachel noticed the upgrades to the building immediately.

“Wow. Ho-ly shit!” Rachel said.

“Ho-ly... This is amazing!” Dana said. Sloane wasn't aware of what the venue looked like before, was still impressed as she looked around. Damn Blackwell does not screw around. Just to the left of them there was a deck; various students hung around the cafe style tables and chairs with battery lit candles in the center of each one. Instruments in hand, some quietly played away, while other made adjustments to their equipment.

“There’s a deck with a cafe!” Rachel said happily to Dana. The three walked further into the venue. “Steph!” Rachel shouted getting the beanie-wearing girl’s attention.

Steph had a headset on carried a tablet. “Hey, you’re here!”

“Steph, this place hella cool,” Rachel said. “I never thought that it was going to be this big of an upgrade!”

“Yeah this is crazy.” Dana agreed.

“Yeah, Blackwell wants to impress, and gain attention.” Steph stated.

“They succeeded,” Sloane said.

Steph walked the three girls to the center of the venue giving them the run down of the building. “The main entrance and exit which you just walked through,” She pointed to the front right of the building. She turned to point to the back right of the building that had a classroom set up. “All rooms have sliding doors to move equipment in and out, every room here is also sound proofed.” She pointed to the main stage center back in the room. “The stage of course, the lighting, sound and stage techs just finished up this morning to have everything set for us. The Stage and Sound Managers area is on the opposite wall of the classroom. Then it's the backstage and loading docks. To the far left of the stage are seven private practice areas, aaand to the left of those is what is becoming my favorite room, the recording studio. Front left is a storage area followed by the washrooms, then the deck with a cafe and catering area. The deck is raised high enough so that if you sit there you will be just above eye level with the performers on stage. What’s not here is the portable stage seating, that’s are only issue.” They completed their circle of the quick tour. “That’s it, this place is awesome.” she said excitedly. ”I’m gonna love going to class.”

“No doubt, doing theatre here is going to be hella.” Rachel said looking at Dana.

“Yeah it’s gonna be awesome,” Dana nodded.

“Hey! What are you doing over there!” A blonde pixie cut girl wearing a headset with tablet in hand made a beeline towards Sloane, who was standing outside the recording studio looking through the glass wall.

“Sorry, just checking out the room.” Sloane said apologetically.

“Yeah, well, the tour of the facility has not started. Your grungy ass can’t be here!” She irritability said.

Sloane furrowed her brow, “Hey Mon Chéri, I was only looking, no need to get lippy.” High-strung much.

“Vic, she’s with us.” Rachel said walking towards them.

“I am not your honey, vous grungy chien .” Victoria said, standing with her arms crossed leaning on her hip. Sloane raised one eyebrow smirking at the snob who looked like she was birthed from Saks Fifth Avenue.

“This is Victoria, our resident Queen B of Blackwell. Victoria, this is Sloane, a friend from Seattle.”

“Yeah whatever, keep your friend on a leash. There’s too much expensive equipment here that might go missing,” she gave Sloane the once-over. Sloane picked up on the oozing eliteness superiority complex.

" C'est un plaisir de vous rencontrer, peut-être que vous voulez tenir ma laisse pour m'assurer que je ne vole rien, ou peut-être me frotter le ventre? " Sloane said. It took a few seconds for Victoria to understand, her face expression went to one of surprise, Sloane added a roguish grin and wiggled one eyebrow. Victoria huffed, turned and walked away.

“Rachel, keep your bitch in check.”

“Heh!” Sloane looked at Rachel proudly.

“What did you say?” Rachel asked.

“Just asked her if she wanted to put me on a leash and rub my tummy.” Sloane pantomimed cracking a whip, “WAH-PSSSH!” Victoria looked over her shoulder stormed away. Sloane watched her, smiled and brought a clawed hand up, “Mrrroww.” Victoria rolled her eyes and mumbling something. Sloane turned towards Rachel, pointed a thumb over her shoulder towards Victoria, “That one’s feisty.” Rachel laughed.

-------------------

Sloane sat in the cafe area, slumping down in a chair, coffee set on the table in front of her. Rachel and Dana were with a few other volunteer students getting a more detailed guide of the facility as they would be leading groups of students to act a tour guides. They were given tablets to read off of and headsets to contact the AV club and staff if there were any questions they could not answer. Students were eventually divided by schools, Sloane joined in on the tours that Rachel was running wanting to get more info and to pass time. She teasingly asked a few questions to Rachel putting her on the spot and getting her to check her tablet for the answers. Rachel comically scowled at Sloane when no one was looking at her, and mouthed ‘asshole’ Sloane countered with a smug, toothy smile. Gotcha.

-------------------

Rachel and Sloane walked to the cafe area, Dana had met up with her boyfriend Logan who disappeared behind stage. Private backstage pass.

“Hey Rach, touring all done?” Steph asked sitting with another girl who was busily clicking on her laptop.

“Yeah, I think there will be some new faces for music this September.” Rachel and Sloane took a seat at a table next to them.

“For sure.” Kelly said continually clicking on the laptop.

“Sloane this is Kelly. Kelly, Sloane visiting from Seattle.” Both greeted each other.

“The line up is done and we are on schedule.” Kelly spoke into her headset.

“How many people are participating?” Rachel asked.

“Surprisingly all schools, and twenty students have decided to take part in the mix or solo session.” Kelly said.

Sloane looked at Rachel and Steph curiously. “Each school is going to perform three songs to test out the stage and equipment.” Steph explained, “And for fun, if anyone wants to take part in a mix band session, you get grouped with other musicians from other schools to play a song. Or you can do a solo. You play music?”

“Ahh yeah, Sloane replied, “taking a music course back in Seattle.”

“What do you play?

“Guitar; electric and acoustic.”

“You mentioned Max is in your music class, what does she play?” Rachel asked.

“Yeah, she plays bass and guitar. More on the acoustic side.”

“You guys sing?” Steph asked. Rachel nudged Kelly getting her attention, pointing on the laptop screen and quietly talked, as she took a sip of her drink.

“Yeah I can do lead or backup,” Sloane said. “Max has about the same range as me although she’s never sings lead, waaay too shy. She prefers laid back tunes. While I like that music, I also love the hard stuff.” She glanced at Rachel.

“Like what?” Steph continued.

“I’ll listen to almost anything. Alternative, Grunge, Indie rock, Metal, Punk. I won’t turn away Electronica, Folk or Rap either. I’ll listen to anything really. Except for-”

“Country.” Rachel finished Sloane’s sentence and smiled as she typed on the laptop.

“I do not like them, Sam-I-am. I do not like Country.” Sloane confirmed with her Dr. Seuss rendition.

“Your rhyming game is on point.” Rachel said with a grin.

“It’s what I love to do.” Sloane smirked. “Seuss got nothing on me.”

“You also write lyrics?” Steph asked curious.

“Ahh, yeah, It would be a dream job to write. But it’s more of, I don’t want to be a starving artist working in a diner waiting for my big break, so I’ll keep it as a hobby.”

“Hey don’t sell yourself short,” Rachel said encouragingly, “Make the attempt at least to pursue it, see if it leads somewhere.”

“I dunno it’s a huge gamble, I like the comfort of knowing you would have a steady paycheck with a stable career.” Sloane thought for a second raising her eyebrows. “But then again what job is stable anymore? Who knows, I might like learning the technical side of stage work.”

“You going to apply here?” Steph asked

“Yeah, I think so,” Sloane smiled. “There’s probably going to be a shiteload of red tape from the Canadian government to see if I can extend my stay here in the States for high school, but I’ll give it ago.” Steph and Kelly looked at Sloane. “I’m here on a foreign exchange program in Seattle,” both nodded, understanding.

The four girl talked for awhile waiting for the night of music to start. Rachel sent a text to Chloe.

Chapter Text

After getting their showers, Max walked into Chloe’s room wearing underwear that Sloane had given her, two of Rachel’s tank tops, and a towel drying her hair. Chloe leaned back drinking a beer on her bed, staring at the girl in front of her. Max placed her dirty clothes on Chloe’s table and looked into the duffel bag containing the rest of Rachel’s clothes. ”This is not quite my style.” She said.

“Max you don’t have a style yet. At least give them a try,” Chloe said, placing the beer on the floor next to her. She got up off the bed and walked over to the girl. “You can always go back to your lame generic stinky hoodie, t-shirt and jeans.”

“You shush, I like my hoodie, t-shirt and jeans, minus the stinkiness.” Max took out the ripped jeans and placed them on Chloe’s desk. “It would be cool to try this style out I guess.”

“Stop second-guessing yourself.” She placed a hand on Max’s shoulder, Max turned towards her.

“Put this on and let your inner indie hipster punk rock girl come out! Take a chance, step out of your comfort zone...and do something that’s holding you back.”

“Yeah, like what.”

Liiike….for example, I dare you to kiss me!” Chloe roguishly smiled at Max.

“What?!” Max said breathlessly.

Chloe leaned forward teasing Max. ”I double dare you. Kiss me.” Max looked at Chloe then her lips, Max opened her mouth a little unsure what to say or do, she stepped back. Chloe looked at the stunned Max, Shit shit shit I went too far. The punk straightened her body. ”Uh Max I-.” Quickly stepping forward, Max placed one hand on Chloe’s cheek, the other on her shoulder, got up on her tippy toes and kissed Chloe. Chloe stepped back surprised. “Damn Max I…” Chloe looked at Max, the shy girl, her best friend, the person she thought about almost every day for five years. She just stared at her. Max slowly held herself as she always has done and looked away burning with embarrassment.

Oh dog what did I do, Chloe’s go- . Chloe took a small step forward and placed her finger underneath Max’s chin, raising it up to look at her, she searched the brunette's eyes looking for that spark from her. Max stared at Chloe, not stepping away or removing her chin from Chloe's’ touch. Instead, her eyes looked at Chloe’s, then gradually went to her lips. There. Chloe closed the gap between them and placed her hands on Max’s jawline. Max didn’t step back, she continued to look at the blunette’s eyes and lips. Chloe softly grazed the corner of Max’s mouth with one of her thumbs, the brunette's lips parted just a little at the touch. She looked up at Chloe with big doe eyes and both girls slowly came together, their lips parted, Max closed her eyes and Chloe half-lidded eyes did not look away. Their lips came together and tenderly kissed each other. Chloe lingered against Max’s lips waiting for confirmation to do more, Max placed her hand on Chloe’s hip, the other slid to the side of her rib cage, grabbing onto the fabric of the punks shirt. The blunette kissed Max’s bottom lip, the punk then opened her mouth a little more encouraging Max to do also, Chloe gradually slid her tongue against Max’s bottom lip earning a small breathy moan from the girl. Again she opened her mouth, waiting not rushing, Max slowly opened hers and Chloe seductively slid her tongue into the girl's mouth, gently touching the tip of Max’s tongue. The punk receded hers, then went back in as Max slid her tongue onto Chloe’s. The blunette slid her tongue out hoping for Max’s to come forward, she didn’t have long to wait. Max tightened her hold onto Chloe’s body and she hesitantly slid her tongue into Chloe’s mouth. Shivers went down the punks spine, she wrapped her arm around Max’s neck. Her heart raced as she let her eyes roll in the back of her head, closing them and fully embracing the emotions and the kiss of Max Caulfield.

Chapter Text

“CHLOE!” A voice yelled. Max jumped and quickly moved away from Chloe. The stomping of feet coming up the stairs were heard and Chloe rapidly made her way to her door. The door started to open when Chloe slammed her body up against it and held the handle.

“What the fuck!” Chloe yelled. Max scrambled to get dressed in a panic.

“Chloe, open the door, we need to talk!” The man’s voice demanded.

“Dude, chill!”

“Is that weed I smell?” The man banged on the door. “Open this door now!”

“Gimme a minute, we’re changing!”

“We? Who is in there with you? Rachel? I told you, you cannot have anyone in this house if your mother and I are not here!”

“Wait, ASSHOLE!”

Max zipped up her jeans and looked at Chloe, frightened. Chloe gave Max a sad smile and opened the door. A tall man with a mustache barrelled through the door, aggressively pointing his finger inches from Chloe’s face. “Don’t call me that, you will respect me!” Max stood at the foot of Chloe’s bed holding her arm, wide-eyed. The man noticed her.

“Who is this?” He walked towards Max irritated. She took a step back and almost stumbled backwards onto Chloe’s bed. Chloe grabbed his arm, stopping him and positioned herself between the two.

“Don’t you fucking touch her!” Chloe yelled.

“I wasn’t!” He took a step sideways turning his attention back to Max “I told you, I do not like strangers in my house!” He looked back at Chloe again, pointing at her. “Especially when I’m not here.”

-------------------

Joyce sluggishly took the steps up to her doorway, carrying a few bags of groceries in her hands. She couldn’t wait to sit for a bit after a long day of work and grocery shopping. Thank God for slow cookers . She stumbled with the bags retrieving her house keys. She opened the door and was greeted with the yelling of the two people she loved. Her shoulders dropped along with the bags in her hands and she sighed. When will this end? She climbed the stairs and stood in her daughter’s doorway. “What in the Sam Hill is goin’ on in here?!” Both were once again having a yelling match, squaring off with one another, which was, unfortunately, a common occurrence in the household. What was uncommon was the scared girl hiding behind Chloe. “David!” Joyce doesn’t make a note of yelling, she has years of experience waitressing to keep her voice and emotions in control. However, when it occurs, all take notice. David and Chloe immediately stopped and turned towards an angry Joyce.

David spoke to Joyce, “we agreed that Chloe would not have anyone over because she broke the rules.” He looked back at Chloe annoyed, “again, and this person,” he aggressively pointed at Max, “this stranger,” he eyeballed Max, she sheepishly looked away, “is someone who we have not MET.”

Chloe this time stepped towards David and pointed her finger aggressively at him, angry. “She’s not a fucking stranger! She has been here for more birthdays, Christmases, FAMILY bbq’s, Thanksgivings and everyday life events in this house than you! She’s more FAMILY than YOUR fucking intruding ass will EVER BE!”

“Please stop, the both of you,” Joyce said, exasperated.

“I came in to talk to Chloe about the rules of the house again since she had Rachel over last night and then she wouldn’t open the door,” David explained, “I thought I smelled weed.” Joyce sighed rubbing her forehead at the mention of drugs again.

“Weed?! What the fuck?! Where’s the fucking weed, David?!” Chloe spread her arms out and turned around in her room. “Huh? Where! You wanna search my room again, or me?!” She learned a while ago to never keep any weed in the house anymore, technically it’s outside her bedroom window in a pencil case. She dug into her pockets and tossed to the floor her truck keys, some change that crashed and bounced all over the hardwood floor. Joyce took a step towards her daughter with her hand out to stop her, Chloe continued to empty her pockets as she threw a pack of gum and lighter to the floor. Making sure the inner pockets were also turned out, showing that they were empty. “There are you fucking satisfied?!”

Joyce didn't want this to happen anymore. “Chlo-” Joyce was cut off by David.

“Why didn’t you open the door when I asked you?”

“Because we were fucking changing! From past experience asshole you never fucking knock, you just barge in. I have no fucking privacy! Your perv ass wants to get a look!”

“Chloe!” Joyce said shocked.

David took a step back and stumbled over his words. “Chloe I-I would n-never.”

Chloe looked at her mother “I have to put a chair up by the Goddamn door, cause I know he barges in like he owns the goddamn place!”

“Okay. Okay, everyone calm down, please.” Joyce tried again to defuse the argument, “David, please leave. I have groceries downstairs that have to be put away,” she calmly said.

“Joyce I would never-” He pleaded.

“I know.” She placed a hand on his shoulder guiding him out the room and waiting for him to start walking down the stairs, she turned towards her daughter.

“Chloe I will take you on your word that there is no weed in the house. I should’ve informed David that Max was in town and that she would have been in the house at some point.”

Chloe implored, “Mom you don’t have to inform him of anything, this is YOUR house, not HIS.”

Joyce sighed, she didn’t want to start another argument. “Max honey, I am so sorry. Are you ok?” Embarrassed over her family outburst.

Chloe stepped around and put her arm protectively around Max. “Jesus Mom, David scared the shit out of her.”

“It-It’s ok, I-I d-didn’t kn-know there were r-rules-” Max was shaken, this is not the same loving house anymore .

“No, Max.” Chloe calmly said, she looked at Joyce and spoke angrily, “This is that fuckers fault.”

“Chloe please.” Joyce walked towards Max and looked at her in a motherly way. “Max, this house is open to you anytime, you have my word. Chloe is right, you are family. I am sorry for David’s outburst.” Chloe made an attempt to talk back to her mother, but Joyce put her hand up to stop her. “I will talk with David about your door and his outburst. Max honey, you are welcome here, always.” She gave Max a hug and an apologetic smile. She turned and walked out the door, quietly closing it. She looked down from the top of the stairs seeing David staring back at her with his arms crossed. She closed her eyes and breathed, I am so, tired .

Chloe wrapped her arms around a shaking Max. She kissed the top of her head, “Are you ok?” she didn’t answer right away, Chloe stepped back worried.

“Max?”

“C-Chloe, what the fuck was that?” Max said concerned. Chloe’s phone booped with a message.

The punk stepped back, “welcome to my sucking family life.” Chloe turned, defeated, and walked to her phone on the desk. “Stepdick still thinks he’s in the military, treats me like I’m some scrub, always ordering me around and talking down to me.”

Chloe checked her message, the brunette walked up to Chloe and hugged her. “I’m so sorry Chloe.”

Chloe welcomed the physical affection. “It’s okay Max, it's not your fault.”

“No Chloe.” She looked up at her. “You shouldn’t have a person like that in your house.”

“Yeah no shit, wanna tell that to Joyce?”

“You shouldn’t have to go through this, It’s not fair, it’s not right.”

Chloe confessed, “What's fucked up is that when Joyce is around he’s never that way, sure he may raise his voice, but as soon as she is not around he shows another side.” She sighed and closed her eyes saying her mantra. “Just one more year and I’m outta here. I’ll get myself into College or University and I won’t look back.” She opened her eyes. “Rach helps me out a lot, letting me crash in her dorm whenever I can’t take his bullshit and listens to me rant. I just gotta wait it out till school’s done.” Max placed her face into Chloe’s neck and shook her head. She rubbed the blunette’s back, Chloe quietly said, “Hey, think about this, once you get accepted into Blackwell we can hang out at yours instead of here, even though you like my bed.” She wrapped her arms around Max’s neck and placed a kiss on the crown of Max’s head, then rested her chin there. Closed her eyes, ”No yelling, no fighting, only hanging out and doin’ fun stuff.”

“Yeah,” Max’s voice muffled into Chloe’s neck. Max looked up at her, “You will always have a place with me, Chloe.”

Chloe showed a small grin, “Heh, told you we were going to live together.” Max smirked and placed her head on Chloe’s collarbone.

“So. This. Us is new.” Chloe said shyly.

Max apprehensively moved away from Chloe. “Uhmm is-is that a-a bad thing?”

Chloe placed her hands on Max’s face and looked at her with a warming admission, “Not for me.” Chloe moved her hands away from Max. “Is...is it bad for you?” Max looked at the blunette’s apprehensive face. She tilted her head to the side and placed a hand on Chloe's face, brushing her thumb against her cheek and quietly spoke. ”No Chloe. It’s not.” She leaned forward and gave the blunette a warm kiss that Chloe welcomed.

-------------------

After finishing getting dressed, drying their hair, they walked downstairs. Chloe finished a text from Rachel and pocketed her phone. She placed a hand on the doorknob as Joyce appeared from the kitchen. “Chloe, you and Max not staying for supper?” She gave her daughter a sombre smile. Chloe looked down the hallway and saw David sitting at the dining table, drinking a beer looking back at her. She put an arm around Max’s shoulder and guided her to the door. “No thanks.” Joyce noticed Chloe’s voice and face were impassive towards her.

“Are you coming home tonight?”

Chloe looked down the hallway again at him, then back at her mother, “I don’t know.” Chloe opened the house door and Max stepped out and said goodbye to Joyce.

“Bye Max. Chloe, do you have your house key?”

“Yeah,” Chloe said not looking back and closing the door. She never replied when her mother said I love you.

Chapter Text

Max held her camera out in front of her, they were parked on the beach enjoying the night sky. Chloe had the tailgate down leaning against it as Max was sitting behind Chloe with her legs wrapped around the blunette’s waist positioning the Polaroid camera up to take a picture of the both of them. *Click*FLASH*-Whirrrrrr*.

“Ah, my eyes!” Chloe said.

“Ah shit. Sorryyy! I shoulda said I add a flash. Augh, I can’t see anything.” She blindly placed her camera on the truck bed.

Chloe giggled, rubbing her eyes. “It’s like I’m at a rave with all the spots I’m seeing.” She turning around and held her arms out in front of her feeling and poking at Max. “What is this?”

“Ahh! Chloe, no pokin’ n’ ticklin’.”

“Sorry, I can’t see you, what is this that I’m touching, it feels weird?” Chloe facepalmed Max’s face. Max grabbed one of Chloe’s wrists and guided it around the brunette’s back, hauling Chloe towards her, she wrapped one leg around Chloe, placing her arms, one around Chloe's neck the other around her back. Chloe placed her other free hand on Max’s thigh giving it a squeeze. They giggled getting their vision back, with foreheads touching, they slowly swayed side to side, looking at each other with small grins. Max lifted her chin, bit her lip then leaned in and kissed Chloe, bringing a smile to the blunette’s face. She let out a happy hum, “what you do to me,” the punk said.

“What do you mean?” Max quietly asked.

“For years, I felt...felt this heaviness here.” She placed a hand over her heart. “And since you’ve shown up...it...it feels like.”

“You can breathe, the weight is leaving you.”

“Yeah,” Chloe said.

“I can’t remember the last time I felt so happy...and calm,” Max said. “I don’t think calm is the right word, my heart is racing right now and there are so many butterflies in my stomach.” Chloe giggled and gently rubbed her nose against Max’s cheek kissing it.

“Yeah...me too.”

There was a sound of a horn that made Max jump and move away from the blunette. An impatient driver at a stop light; she looked at Chloe a little embarrassed.

“Uhmm, can we talk?” Max asked.

“Sure,” Chloe said.

“I mean like talk talk.”

The words ‘talk talk,’ she knew from her past with Max. It meant that it was something important, so Chloe stepped back from Max and hopped up on the tailgate to sit next to her, making sure their shoulders and legs were touching. “Sure, let’s talk bidness.” She smiled, leaned over and kissed Max’s shoulder.

Max felt unsure how to start the conversation, this was a whole new scary territory for her. “Uhmm. I...are...ahhh.” Max stopped and took a deep breath. How do I talk about this?

“It’s ok Max, take your time.” Chloe looked at Max rubbing her back supporting her.

“I… uhmm. Chloe. I’m not… I’m not gay...This...What we just did, I-” Max glanced at Chloe then quickly looked away.

Chloe was taken aback, she looked away and placed her hands in her lap, felt the clench of her heart, she felt sick as the weight of her shitty life settled back down on her. Home Shit Home.

Max looked at Chloe seeing the defeated sadness of her friend. “Fuck, this is coming out wrong.” She put her hand through her hair.

“It’s okay, Max. I-I made you do something, and I took it too far, and we- I got carried away,” Chloe looked down and picked at her nails, flaking the blue polish even further. She’s going to get Sloane and leave. I’m never going to see her again, why did I do this? Why do I keep fucking everything up?

“I’m not ga...I mean, I never thought about girls that.” She swallowed, “this...w-way.” Her voice became quiet at the end, she sighed. “I haven’t done...anything with guys o-or girls, I-I just...I hadn’t even kissed...fuck.” She put her head in her hands. “Why can’t I get this shit out?”

“Max, it’s okay,” Chloe wanted to comfort her, but her emotions just up and left, these were just monotoned words. Chloe wanted to dive into a bottle of rum something cheap, like me, that would make her feel numb within minutes of chugging it.

“No Chloe. I never thought about anyone like that...this. I just...I just never. I stopped,” she forced herself to swallow and continue FUUUCK . “-let myself t-to feel...I even s-stopped hugging my parents. I f-forced smiles and, and, and laughter to k-keep people f-from asking me what’s w-wrong.” Chloe looked at the slumped over girl, she placed an arm over Max’s shoulder, she continued talking. “I just. After w-what I did t-to you, that I s-shouldn’t”...The small girl shook her head. “I didn’t h-have the right…” you lost someone and I left you, I made promises...broke, I broke that...them. You...I left you alone when I said I would be there for you. I shouldn’t be allowed to fe-. Max was all over the place with her thoughts. She looked up at Chloe. “B-But you..seeing you s-sitting on that b-bench,” her voice faded. “Seeing you. I felt...so much.” Her voice cracked her eyes welled up. She turned her body and grabbed Chloe’s jacket. She whispered, “I feel so...much. I n-need...I want you in my life. I don’t want to let you go. To let this, f-feeling I have g-go.” She took Chloe’s hand, kissed the palm and placed it on her cheek, memorize the warmth and the touch. She closed her eyes briefly. “I need, I want this feeling, I want your touch, your smile, your laughter, your...kiss.” Max place her forehead on Chloe’s chest, “I want your love...p-please. I need...” the small girl asked to be loved and to give her love.

Chloe held Max tightly and whispered. “You have it, you always did, Max.” She kissed Max’s temple and leaned down to the tearful girl, Max crashed her lips into hers and pushed her body towards the punk girl needing the embrace.

---------------------------------

The Punk laid in the truck bed and lit up a joint, looking up into the night sky. “Max Caulfield, you have a way with words, you scared the shit out of me. Again by the way.”

Max turned to the girl with a worried look on her face. “Sorry Chlo, I’m, I’m not good with saying stuff like that.”

“I can’t believe you forcefully chose not to... feel love or happiness, Max. It’s one thing to be apathetic, but it’s a whole other thing to choose to be.”

“I just didn’t think I was entitled to ha-”

“Well that stops now Max,” Chloe interrupted and rolled to her side, “You don’t need to keep punishing yourself. I want you to feel my hugs and kisses,” I want to give you everything . Chloe smiled, “Cause there’s gonna be a hella lot of them and they’re awesome.”

Max smiled and shyly looked away. “They are kinda awesome.”

Chloe produced a huge smile. “Damn right they are, I mean, come on look at me.”

Max rolled her eyes, Chloe shift towards Max more and placed her hand on Max’s cheek, with her thumb gently grazed it and spoke lovingly to her. “I want to make you smile and laugh for real, no hiding, or faking it...please, I want the real you.”

“It’s kinda hard to since this morning,” Max said, “It was like a punch in the face with feelings, hmmm more like a 2x4 to my chest.” Chloe giggled and rolled to her back, taking another hit from the joint. Max, overheated, fanned herself with the collar of the flannel shirt. “I mean I have symptoms of an anxiety attack but it’s different. I want to feel what I’m feeling, it makes me happy and scared at the same time.” She took a deep breath.

“You gotta chillax a little. But what you’re feeling is good, yeah?” Chloe looked at the brunette.

“Yeah.” Max gave a big smile.

Chloe turned her head and took a drag of the joint. “Uhmm, you wanna relax with a hit of this?”

“I auuuh.”

“It’s okay, no pressure, it actually helps me to relax, depending on the strain I get.”

“How do you...do it?”

Chloe turned to face Max again. “Just put it the tip on your lips, gently suck air into your mouth, then breathe in, and hold your breath for a few seconds.” Max watched Chloe demonstrate. Max held the joint in her hand looking at Chloe wide-eyed. Chloe smiled. Max followed Chloe's steps looking into the blunettes eyes for confirmation that she was doing it right. Chloe actually did the motion with her. Once she had the smoke in her mouth. “Now inhale-” Chloe barely got the words out before Max started coughing. Chloe took the joint out of Max’s fingers and giggled.

“Oh my dog Chloe,” she said in between coughs. Once Max settled down she looked at the punk. “How do you do it?”

Chloe smiled taking another hit, “You get used to it after a few inhales.” Max let out a small cough.

Chloe bit the inside of her cheek looking at Max. “You trust me?”

“Yeah,” she said with a puzzled look on her face.

Chloe inhaled smoke into her cheeks, she looked at Max and leaned over, positioned herself on top of the brunette. She held herself up by her elbow on Max’s side and placed a hand next to the girls head. She slipped a knee in between Max’s legs. The punk slowly leaned down looking at the girl's wide eyes. She placed her lips on Max’s then gave them a small nudge to get Max to open them. She softly exhaled and Max inhaled, then gave her a kiss and backed away. Max kept her eyes on the blunette, Chloe gave a small nod and Max exhaled with no coughing. Chloe smirked and Max giggled, the punk held her fist triumphantly in the air.

-------------------

Chloe laid comfortably on her side with her hand across Max’s stomach looking down at her, the brunette had her eyes closed and was slowly caressing Chloe’s arm with her fingers and nails. Chloe gave two more shotgun hits to the brunette, it was enough. “How you feelin’,” Chloe asked with a grin. Max smiled wide and hummed. “Good. It’s like...like I’ve slept for a million years.” She opened her eyes smiling at Chloe. “So relaxed.” She placed Chloe’s hand by her neck and gently squeezed it. Chloe began to caress the brunette’s neck with her fingertips. “This stuff needs to be legalized, this feels so much better than my pills,” Max stated.

Chloe let out a laugh, “Amen Sista. It might be legal in Colorado soon. We should take a road trip there when it is.”

“Most definitely.”

Chloe’s phone rang.

“Hey, Junkyard Queen. Where you at?”

Chapter Text

Chloe walked into the venue holding Max’s hand. “Ho-ly shit.” Light rhythmically shone with the music that was playing. The venue was packed with people enjoying the night.

“Chloe this place is amazing,” Max said looking around the venue.

“Chloe!” Rachel shouted from the deck café area waving her arm smiling. Chloe turned and waved at Rachel making their way up to the area.

“Holy shitballs this place is hella awesome!” Chloe said over the music sitting next to Rachel.

“I know, I didn’t realize it was going to be like this,” Rachel said.

Sloane happily nodded to Max. “S’up homie, how yah do-” Sloane did a double take and squinted at Max. She brought up her phone and activated it to give off a glow, placing it next to Max’s face noticing her red eyes. “Heh, I see you have been listening to my words.” Max smiled and giggled.

Rachel looked at a Max, noticing, also smiled. “Ahhh I see you had a Chloe sesh.”

“Maaaybe,” she said as she shyly leaned up and cuddled against Chloe’s shoulder. Both Rachel and Sloane raised their eyebrows and looked at each other and back at the couple.

“A really GOOD sesh I see,” Sloane said.

Chloe looked at Max, “Yeeeah.” She said with a glowing smile. Max looked away shyly and dipped her head into Chloe’s collarbone.

Rachel reached over and grabbed Chloe for a hug, “Eeeee.” She kissed the side of her beanie head and whispered into her ear, “I’m happy for you.”

Chloe's looked at Rachel with a warm smile, “Thanks Rach.” Rachel squeezed the girls arm.

Sloane looked at Max waiting for her to make eye contact and gave her a big smile. “Aren't you glad you got in the truck.” Max wrapped her arm around Chloe’s and nodded with a smile, Chloe leaned over and kissed the brunette on the forehead.

Rachel excused herself for a few minutes, Sloane chatted with how the two girls got together, learning that Max isn’t so chicken shit on taking a dare. When Rachel came back they spent a few sets up on the deck getting caught up with the new couple and got some food and drinks. They eventually made their way down to the floor to enjoy the dancing and the bands playing.

“Good evening everyone, and welcome to our new Music facility here at Blackwell!” There were cheers. “My name is Thomas Campbell, I’m one half of the new teaching staff for the new music program.” He indicated a person to his left, “This is the second half, Emily Green.”

The forty-something-year-old woman leaned over into the mic, “Evening everyone, so glad we have a big turn out tonight. I will be looking forward to teaching some of you in the new school year.”

Thomas turned the microphone to a man in a grey business suit standing next to them. “Good evening students, My name is Raymond Wells, I’m the Principal here at Blackwell Academy. I would like to take the time to thank the people involved in putting this venture together. It was a year in reconstruction, upgrading the building to code and then getting all the equipment and technical personnel to turning this into a music venue. So Local 414 of Portland we thank you.” Cheers were heard. “I would like to thank some people to my right and some businesses, without their donations this program and venue would not have left the discussion table. The American Federation of Musicians, The Creative Music Guild of Portland, and The Chamber of Music for Youth. To my right are major donors Glenn Dawson and Caroline Prescott. Please give them a huge round of applause.” The cheer’s lasted for about twenty seconds.

Thomas walked back up to the mic, “Thank you donors. Okay, let’s continue on with the event!” The crowd let out cheers. “Just a reminder to the musician please, please fill out the small survey backstage. It’s a short survey on a tablet, we really would like your feedback on what you think of the venue good or bad or what is missing that we should have. Okay, without further ado our next two groups are from Lincoln High, with Steve Flynn, Corey Hill, Bree Shaw, and Erin Barrow. And right after them its...oh, an out of state school please welcome Seattle Central High’s, Max Caulfield and Sloane Black!” Rachel had her phone ready for the surprise, however, she didn’t anticipate Sloane spraying water she had in her mouth into the air and choking. Gotcha .

--------------------

“I have no idea what to play?” Sloane said to Max backstage, Thomas and Emily were standing in front of the two girls.

“We ...this was kind of a surprise, someone entered our names,” Max said fixing Chloe beanie she took off the punks head for luck. Mmm Chloe smell .

“Yeah that someone is Rachel Amber.” Sloane looked at the two teachers. “Keep an eye on her if she’s one of your students she’s...sneaky,” Sloane said with a grin.

Thomas chuckled. “Noted, can you too play?”

“Yeah we're in the music program at school,” Max said.

“You still wanna play?” Emily asked smirking at the two. Sloane looked at Max who nodded and smiled. Jeez, Max and weed go well together, I thought she would’ve taken off before we got backstage.

“Uhmm yeah but, it's only the two of us and we don’t have any equipment,” Sloane explained.

“Not an issue, take your pick of the school's instruments,” Thomas said, “and if you need other musicians, there are a few from this school that can probably help out. The sheet music library is all on tablets for the students to read. “Max and Sloane started a quick discussion of what they were going to sing, what instruments, and who they needed. Emily helped them pick out equipment and Thomas recruited a few students. He walked over to the last recruit. “Hey, you wanna play tonight? I have two students that need your talent.” The musician looked over at the two teens and rolled her eyes seeing the two girls.

“Do I have to?”

Thomas spent twenty-five years as a Production Manager, dealing with musicians pride of every type, it was second nature to him, “No of course not,” Thomas replied, “your right, it is kinda last minute.” Thomas started to look around. “Ahh, where is Hadley I sure she’ll have no problems on such short notice.” He knew that Hadley would have no issues with helping out, she would even offer, but Thomas knew this student had self-conscious issues, always wanting to be perfect, and worrying what people always thought. He knew that sometimes you had to play the song and dance of nurturing their self-esteem to get them to step up.

She scoffed, “I can keep up, but.”

“It’s ok, no worries, Hadley will do great, and will love-.”

And sometimes being direct is the best option. “ Quel est le problème, peur de montrer votre talent, Chérie ,” Sloane asked.

“No.” She snapped back.

“Prove it, let's have some fun!”

Victoria eyed Sloane and the girl next to her. She rolled her eyes and took off her headset. “You BETTER not embarrass me.”

---------------------

Lincoln High finished their set with cheers from the audience. Max and Sloane looked at each other, smiled and bumped shoulders, “let’s do this homie,” Max said, they both walked to the front stage, two individuals in the crowd woo’d and whistled when they saw them. The musicians that Thomas recruited got themselves settled away and Sloane took to the mic. “Uhmm, This was kinda, a surprise,” she said as she tested her acoustic guitar making sure it was in tune. “We didn’t know that our names were entered...thank you Rachel.” There was a, ‘Your welcome,’ from the crowd and Sloane outward snorted and smiled, she mouthed to Max, “You ready?” The brunette nodded making a final adjustment on her bass strap and smiled, Max wasn’t showing any fear, but excitement. Sloane looked out into the audience, “Chloe, this one's for you.” Chloe’s dropped mouth opened with surprise. Sloane turning to Max and counted in for the cue to start playing, the music began and Sloane stepped up to the mic. ( War ).

Rachel and Chloe looked at each other and turned towards the stage cheering their friends on. When the two Seattle girls finished their first song, cheers were heard along with Rachel and Chloe yelling out Max and Sloane’s name followed by whistles. The cheers died down, Max looked at Chloe and smiled at her in the audience, my Chloe . Chloe was completely captivated with Max. Sloane cleared her throat away from the mic and nodded to the messy haired dirty blonde boy on her left, then looked down at someone in the audience, “Rachel.” Rachel looked to Chloe and started jumping up and down. “Oh Shit!” She said. Sloane turned again, made the count in and started playing ( Got you ) Rachel and Chloe sang along. Rachel looked up at Sloane remembering their first conversation on the phone and the music that played in the background at the house party.

Cheers went up again at the end, Max gave Sloane a huge grin as she tugged back on her beanie, the two Seattle musicians laughed, they were enjoying themselves. “Ok, this is our last one, thank you to the Blackwell musicians behind me.” Sloane directed the crowd's attention to the musicians. “Tara Garcia on drums, Justin Williams on guitar and vocals, Alex Bolle on strings, Mon Chéri, Miss Victoria Chase on piano and vocals, and to my right on bass and vocals, my fellow road warrior, Mad Max Caulfield, and my name is Sloane Black. This next song is for anyone who is just trying to get through the shit in their life ( This Year ) one day at a time.

--------------------

Max and Sloane walked backstage, once behind the curtain Max jumped at Sloane hugging her “AAHHH that was unbelievable!”

Sloane happily hugged the brunette back lifting her off the ground, “Eeeeeee that was awesome! Holy shite I’m shaking!” Sloane held out her hands. Both thanked the other musicians with Victoria giving the two a compliment that they didn’t suck.

“Max!”

“Chloeee!”

Max ran up to Chloe and jumped in her arms, wrapping her legs around the taller girl, as Chloe spun her around. “That was awesome!” Chloe said as she finally let Max down. Rachel gave her an excited hug congratulation her. “My girl is a rock star!” Chloe yelled giving her a kiss.

Sloane joined them with a tablet in hand smiling, “That was hella awesome.” Rachel said hugging Sloane, Chloe who was hopping around with adrenaline wraps her arm around both of them.

“This is amazeballs!” Chloe then went back to hugging Max again, “You guys rocked socks, my babe’s a rock chick! You guys sang me a song and it had pirates and sharks in it. AAHHH!”

Sloane looked at Chloe, “I think she’s excited.”

“Happy Chloe is happy.” Rachel said, laughing.

“Rock chick, Woo!” Chloe yelled.

------------------------

Sloane, Max and a cuddly Chloe were sitting on equipment rack cases backstage, Sloane was reading out the survey and the two musicians answered questions. Max looked up and noticed Rachel was speaking to Mark Jefferson by the loading docks. “Oh shit that Mark Jefferson!” She loudly whispered.

“Yeah, that’s him,” Chloe said. “You wanna meet him?”

“Ahh yeah, I mean..yeah.” She looked at Sloane. “Is it ok if you finish the survey?”

“Yeah sure, no prob.” Sloane smiled as Max and Chloe got up and started to walk over. The next school began to play.

“Uhm Chloe.” A security officer loudly spoke, both Max and Chloe turn in the direction of the man.

“What the fuck do you want?” Sloane surprised from the tone of Chloe’s voice looked up from the tablet. She noticed Max stepped behind Chloe keeping her distance from the Security Officer, Max held her opposite arm, a clear indicator that Max was uncomfortable. Sloane stared at the man then at Max, the brunette gave her a sheepish look. Sloane looked back at the Security Officer placing the tablet down next to her.

“We need to talk,” David said.

“No. David we don’t, so fuck off.”

“Chloe language.”

“What are ya gonna do, arrest me?!”

Even before he tried, it had already gotten out of control. David took a breath of air and tried again. “I...I wanted to apologize.” He looked down at the floor.

“I don’t care.”

He looked back up at her, the anger started to build, “Why are you making it so hard?”

“Oooh, I’m sorry I’m making it so hard for you. Let me move into your personal space and crap all over it.”

“Chloe, dammit girl,” he sighed with frustration. “Chloe I’m here to apologize to you and Max. I shouldn’t have tried and force myself into your room.” Sloane raised one eyebrow and looked at the girls then back at David. You what , Sloane though. David looked at Sloane who sat stoically staring at him, and noticed that Sloane had overheard the conversation, “Can we go somewhere and talk this through. Your mother’s upset.”

“And why is she upset, David? You're the one causing shit, again.”

“Chloe please, there have been some changes. I’ve placed a lock on your door for you. I want you to feel comfortable in your own home.”

“Well, I don’t. Not with you there. You act all nice in front of her, but when she’s not around you act like a psycho on steroids.”

“I am not a psycho.” David took a breath to control himself, “I just want what’s best for you, I don’t want to see you being held down by alcohol, drugs and the wrong type of people.”

“Oh you want what’s best for me, is that why you call me a loser and a druggie. Tell me douchebag how is that good for me. I’m not your fucking kid. Your not my fucking father and I’m not your verbal punching bag because you have issues.”

What the fuck? Sloane clenched her jaw.

“Chloe, dammit, the lock on your door will have a key, so that only you will have access to.” Chloe stayed silent, David took that as a cue to continue. “Think of it as a dorm room or mini apartment room. Your mother... We, want you to feel comfortable at home, she wants you home Chloe, your mother wants you home.” Chloe stood defiantly staring at David. “But, she said there will be a few changes for you, you will take on some responsibility for certain things for now on.” Chloe rolled her eyes. “I won’t talk about them here. It’s for you and your mother to discuss, please.”

“My own key and I can come and go as I please.”

“Yes, you're pretty much doing that now.” Chloe mulled over David’s words, he turned his direction to Max standing behind Chloe.

“Max, I want to apologize for what I said. It was wrong of me to act that way. I assumed that you were there to give Chloe drugs and you weren’t. Joyce has told me about your past with Chloe, her and William, Chloe’s right you are not a stranger, and I am sorry.”

Chloe glared at David, What the fuck is going on, he’s never like this. What Chloe didn’t know when she left with Max earlier that evening, David, after he placed the lock on the door Joyce asked him to install. They started to discuss Chloe again and how Joyce felt so hurt that her daughter was not sleeping at home and the constant arguing. David seemed to not care what Joyce just expressed to him but said that Chloe needed to take on some new responsibilities and grow up. He started to complain about Chloe to Joyce again, and started to get himself so worked up over talking about her, he slammed his fist on the dining table multiple times in anger. This was the final straw for Joyce. She needed to know, it was in the back of her mind, she kept pushing it back there, fearful of the answer, but with his latest outburst, she needed to know and he needed to be honest. “David, have you ever hit Chloe?” David paused, and in those few seconds, Joyce knew the answer. He tried to explain, but there was no explanation good enough that was acceptable. Joyce told David to pack a bag and told him not to return. She asked him to start seeing a therapist for PTSD and anger issues. She also asked him to start attending Veteran’s meeting for support, and once he started to go to them on a regular base she would have a discussion with Chloe whether he should come back home.

David felt defeated, completely lost.

“You hit my child,” Joyce said, David looked at her and she repeated the issue, “David, you hit my daughter, your stepdaughter, someone you are supposed to protect. That is not acceptable.” She stood in front of the dining table across from him. “I know I asked you to help me, to help her, and she has fought us almost every step of the way. But you are also in need of help, and I see that clearly now, you need to see someone about this. I cannot put my daughter or myself in jeopardy.”

David tried to apologize, but Joyce stood her ground, she asked him if he was going to apologize, he should start with Chloe and Max.

Max stood behind Chloe holding her arm, not giving David eye contact, “Uhmm ok.” Max said unsure of herself. Chloe was still not convinced of David’s words. This is all for show, to stay in Joyce’s favour, give it three days and he will be back to being an asshole.

“Everything ok here, Chloe?” Rachel had walked over just behind David.

“Yeah, David was just leaving.”

David sighed and retrieved a set of keys from his pocket. “These are for you. Just...Chloe, please think about what we have discussed.” Chloe grabbed them. “I’ll talk to mom,” she said. David nodded and walked away.

---------------------

The four girls sat on rack cases as Chloe filled Rachel in on what David said. “Huh, that’s kinda good, I wonder what the extra responsibility are.” Rachel said.

“I dunno, I’ll find out from Joyce later when he’s not around. But, fuck yeah a lock on my door.” She showed the keys. “And I can come and go as I please.”

“Rachel smiled. “You were already doing that.”

“Yeah, but I was using the window.”

Max quietly held Chloe’s arm, the words, ‘I’m not your verbal punching bag’ kept going around in Max’s head. What has she been through? She wanted to talk in private with her, she squeezed her arm and the punk looked down at her with a smile then kissed her on the forehead, Max could not help but smile and lean towards her more.

Chloe spoke quietly to Max. “Hey, Jefferson is walking towards us if-”

The photography teacher walked towards the girls texting and not watching where he was going, he stumbled on a cable mat and his phone fell from his hand and slid over the floor in front of Chloe who picked it up. “Oh shit. Here I got it.” The punk picked up the phone and her eyebrows furrowed at what she saw on the screen. “What the fuck?” Mark quickly took a step forward, Chloe took a step back. “Why do you have a picture of Rachel on your phone?”

“Excuse me that’s my phone.” The photography teacher agitatedly said. Chloe took another step back and around a rack case looking at the picture again, then at Rachel questionably.

“Give me my phone!” Mark demanded. “I’m taking pictures for the school paper.”

“Is that why you have pictures of Rachel coming out of the washroom!”

“What?” Rachel said surprised, she slid off the rack case looking at Chloe. “And one of her walking down the hallway.” The music ended on stage and the audience started to cheer and clap. Chloe looked at the phone and began to swipe, seeing different pictures of Rachel and other students, one she recognized, Kelly Davis, all over campus, none of them were posed pictures. Mark quickly leaned over the rack case trying to grab his phone. Chloe jerked the phone out of his reach, he angrily pushed the rack case and tried to grab Chloe. “GIVE ME MY GODDAMN PHONE!”

Sloane reacted, she got up and shoulder tackled Mark, he stumbled away from Sloane. “FUCK OFF!” Sloane yelled, she placed herself in between the teacher and Chloe, her fists were at her side she glared at the man with her jaw clenched. The voice in her head screamed, Take a step you motherfucker I will fucking end you, I’ll fucking rip your throat out and curb stomp you fuck head. Do it you fuck, DO IT! Max quickly got off the rack case and back away from Sloane, she kept Chloe close to her.

After hearing the swearing and yelling, David immediately ran over, “What’s going on here?”

“This… girl... has stolen my fucking phone!” Mark said.

“Chloe why do-. Give Mark his phone back,” David demanded.

“No,” Chloe said defiantly, “he has pictures of Rachel and Kelly on it!”

Mark’s demeanour changed to a cool and collected, he looked at David. “As I said, I’m taking pictures for the school paper concerning tonight's event, so yes there are going to be pictures of fellow students.”

Principle Wells along with Caroline Prescott walked into the backstage area in conversation. Wells turned towards the commotion, he embarrassingly excuses himself and quickly walked over to the group. Of course, Chloe Price is involved.

“Dammit Chloe, give the man his phone back,” David said. Chloe held out the phone for David to see.

“Why are there pictures of Rachel at the pool and a picture of her sitting by the fountain!?” David took the phone.

“What? Give me the phone.” Rachel asked, still confused.

“What is going on here?” Principal Wells asked sternly, looking over his shoulder at Caroline. “Chloe what have you done?

“For once in your life David do the right fucking thing.” Chloe urged.

Miss Price watch your language,” Principal Wells sternly said.

David looked at the pictures and looked up at Mark. “What is this?”

Mark looked at Raymond, “This is unbelievable, this delinquent stole my phone and is looking through my personal property, and this one just assaulted me.” He pointed to Sloane, she kept quiet holding her ground never taking her eyes from him.

Principal Wells looked at Chloe, “Chloe, I’ve had it with you-”

“What is this Mark?” Rachel had a hand on David’s arm with the phone pointed towards her, she looked at the photography teacher confused.

“You said you wanted to pose for me. Those are pictures for your portfolio.”

“But I didn’t pose for these,” Rachel said.

“I wanted pictures of you looking natural, it is a technique, you look in the wrong direction sometimes, you need to be more natural,” he said.

“Mark, what are you doing taking unbeknownst pictures of Miss Amber and other students?” The security officer inquired.

“I already told you what they were for,” Mark said indignantly. I’m not answering anymore of your questions, give me my phone now or I will have you charged with theft,” and he looked at Sloane continuing. “And assault.”

David swiped through the photo gallery he saw one of Kelly Davis, his eyes widen. Oh my Lord.

Raymond Wells spoke, “Alright, Mr. Jefferson, Mr. Madsen to my office now. We’re going to clear this up.” He noticed that Caroline Prescott left the stage area not wanting anything to do with the conversation. The two men began to walk away, David hauled out his phone and texted his friend on the police force, Andy Berry.

-------------------

A few solo acts went on throughout the next 30 minutes. The four girls with Steph sat together in the café area discussing what happened. “I mean yeah, I agreed to pose for him maybe a week ago, we just talked about it again backstage. I didn’t know that he had already started.” Rachel looked between Chloe and Steph. “He did tell me from looking at my portfolio that I do tend to look in the wrong direction, maybe he wanted to show me what I should do. He said that he planned a session for me, said that he knew a couple of contacts that would be interesting in my look.” Rachel played with her coffee cup continuing. “He had some location picked out and we were going to do it around the end of the month, he was waiting on equipment to be delivered. He’s a nice person I like him and his class. I don’t mind him taking pictures of me, it’s what I wanted him to do. Think that everyone has to sit down and talk things through, it’s clearly a mistake, Jesus he could be in serious trouble if this is blown out of proportion.”

“It just caught me off guard that there were pictures of you,” Chloe said to Rachel.

Kelly walked by the table, “Hey Kel, did you ever pose for Mark Jefferson? Steph asked.

“Yeah, he had a new camera, and ask if I could pose for him to test it out. Why? Kelly replied.

“Mark offered his services to Rachel, help her out with her portfolio.”

“Cool, definitely do it, he’s a pro after all.” Someone called out to Kelly a few tables over, she excused herself.

Sloane excused herself to go to the washroom. “Brb, gotta tinkle.”

-------------------

Thomas took to the stage for one final time. “Alright everyone, we are down to the last song of the night. Again thank you for attending tonight's invite and we hope to see some new faces in the upcoming semester. After this last song the Vortex club will be taking over for the rest of the night, so enjoy.”

Victoria walked out on stage and sat down on the baby grand pianos stool, followed by Sloane who took a spot in front of the piano, she adjusted the microphone. The four girls sitting in the café area looked at Sloane then at each other. “Oh shit,” Chloe said excitedly. “Did you know about this?”

Max shook her head. “No”

“Neither did I,” Rachel said. Steph took out her phone to record.

“Uhmm.” Sloane cleared her throat, she looked back at Victoria to see if she was ready, the blonde placed her fingers on the keys and gave a nod. Sloane took a calming breath. “This is for the two pirates of Arcadia Bay.” Max and Chloe looked at each other, and smiled, Max slipped her fingers into Chloe's hand as the lights dimmed and the Victoria started to play. ( In The Silence )

During the song, Chloe leaned towards Max and placed her hand on the brunettes cheek caressing it, then slowly leaned forward and kissed her for everyone to see. When the kiss ended she placed her forehead against Max’s looking into the brunette's blue eyes taking in the moment, then gently placed a kiss on Max’s forehead. Chloe lowered her head and whispered into Max’s ear bring a small shy smile to the girl’s face.

My Max.

My Chloe.

 

-------------------

War - The Strumbellas (Choe’s song)

Got you - The Flys (Rachel’s song)

This Year - The Mountain Goats (A song for anyone trying to get through life one day at a time)

In The Silence - JP Cooper (Max and Chloe’s song)

 

If anyone is interested I do have a LiS world Spotify playlist. https://open.spotify.com/playlist/3ohME6aIJFML0ekXf0nZzF

Chapter Text

The rhythmic electronica filled the night air as four girls exited the music venue a few hours later, sweaty, laughing, and exhausted but still revelling in the night. “Hey, guys wait up.” Rachel said as she spotted Dana and Steph walking towards the dorms. “Where’s Logan?” The girls all converged on the pathway to the dorm.

“Augh, he got drunk and then decided to puke in the washroom.” Dana said, “Hayden brought him back to his room a few hours ago.”

Dana looked at Max and Sloane. “You guy were unbelievable, like, wow.”

“Thanks,” Sloane said grinning.

“Oh, sorry you guys haven’t met yet, Dana this is Max.” Rachel said.

“My best friend from Seattle.” Chloe declared standing behind her, “and more.” She smiled, wrapping her arms around the brunette.

Max scrunched up her face as Chloe kissed her cheek a bunch of times. “Hi, and thank you.” She giggled and got a little embarrassed. Chloe oh my dog .

Dana gave a smile looking at Chloe, surprised by her show of happy cuddly affection. “Hi, wow, what have you done to our Arcadian punk? Look at you Chloe, being all cuddly, your hardass rep has been ruined.”

“No way, I’m still a hardass punk,” Chloe announced. “I’ll kick anybody's ass that says different.” As she spoke there was a long whale-like sound that emerged from her stomach, everyone stopped and looked at the punk girl who pouted and started rubbing her stomach. “Chloe hungie.” She whined.

Max giggled tilted her head at Chloe. “Yeah, hardass punk.”

“Wow, I’ve never heard a long grumble like that before, what do you have in there?” Steph laughed.

“Chloe Price, the Bottomless Pit.” Max laughed. “We should’ve stayed for supper at your mom’s.”

“Augh not while StepJerk was there,” There was another rumble from the girl.

“We have to feed you before you start eating people,” Rachel said. “Everyone up for a midnight whales food sesh?

“I could go for a tea,” Max says.

“Pffff, Foooood Max fooooood.” Chloe rubbed her stomach.

“I could actually go for a tea and maybe an omelette, I also skipped supper,” Steph said.

“Ouu yum, me too.” Dana agreed.

“TEA PARTY! And my usual.” Sloane declared, throwing up the horns.

-------------------

The girls walked towards Blackwell’s parking lot, “So who's coming with me?” Sloane asked as she took out her keys.

Max released her grip of Chloe’s hand, Chloe quickly took hold of the little hand. “And where do you think you're going, Maxine?” She leaned towards Max with her puppy dog eyes.

Max furrowed her brows, “Chloe your truck is a death trap.” She grabbed the back of Chloe’s neck, bring her down to her eye level and she whispered in the punk's ear. “Come get me.” She gently kissed the punks cheek, then started to giggle as she ran for Sloane’s vehicle, Max looked back smiling before she got in the truck, the punk stood wide-eyed staring at her with a playful grin. To the abyss and back Max .

-------------------

As they approached an intersection, Sloane geared down her truck and came to a stop. She looked in her mirror to see Chloe’s truck right behind, she smirked.

“So, do you guys know Alice in Wonderland?”

“Yeeaaah?” Max said looking at Sloane, puzzled.

Steph puzzled in the back seat looking at Sloane in the rearview mirror replied. “Yeah.”

Sloane produced a Cheshire grin.

“Jeez, Chloe are we actually going to make it to the diner?” Dana asked. “Your truck doesn’t sound too good.”

The truck sputter almost stalling, Chloe gave the truck some gas, “It’s the fuel pump, I gotta-.”

The three girls looked up surprised, the trio in Sloane’s truck had jumped out of the vehicle leaving one of the doors wide open and were running towards them yelling, screaming, and flailing their arms. “CHANGE PLACES!”

“What the fuck?” Chloe said.

Steph and Sloane raced towards Chloe’s passenger side door, Max to the driver's side, they open the doors. “CHANGE PLACES!” Sloane leaned over and unbuckled Dana’s seat belt. “Clean cup! Clean cup! move down!” Sloane said, looking at Rachel with a grin. Rachel looked at Sloane in complete confusion, then her eyes widen, she started to push a confused Dana out of the truck.

“Get out, get out, get out, get out.” She said, giggling.

“Max what are you-” Chloe ask confused.

“Change places.” Max laughed taking Chloe’s hand and giving it a tug. So warm . Chloe looked to her right and saw Rachel and Dana quickly getting out of her truck laughing.

“I’m driving!” Rachel yelled.

“Shotgun!” Dana squealed.

Chloe watched as her two passengers started to run to Sloane’s truck and she clued in, unbuckled her seat belt and jumped out of the truck stalling it. “Ohh, hell no!” She quickly kissed Max on the lips running for the driver's side. “I’M DRIVING!”

Rachel slammed the driver side door closed, locking it just in time. Chloe was already pressing the door handle trying to get it open. “Rachel, no way!”

“Yes, way.” Rachel said sticking her tongue out at Chloe. She turned her attention to the steering wheel, dash display, tablet and stopped. “What the hell is all this?!” The intersection light turned green.

Dana giggled at Chloe and her face of disappointment and irritation. The punk tapped on the window “Raaachel nooo!”

Rachel looked at Chloe and started to slowly pull away. Chloe’s eyes widened, “AH!” She reached for the rear passenger's door handle and just missed it. Rachel looked in the side mirror and stopped the truck, she waited for Chloe to reach for the handle before moving the truck forward again, Chloe glared at Rachel. She walked up to the door, again reaching for the handle, the truck lurched forward. The two passengers started chuckling. “Beyotch!” the punk yelled. Rachel and Dana started to laugh.

Max, Steph and Sloane sat in the rundown truck laughing hysterically, Steph was trying to keep her phone steady recording Chloe running alongside Sloane’s truck trying to open the door as she yelled obscenities. “Non, non, non, Chloe en francais,” Sloane said, Max laughed even harder.

-------------------

Chloe’s truck sputtered, as Max pulled into the Two Whales parking lot and parked next to Sloane’s truck. She watched Chloe jump out of Sloane’s truck bed and started to run after Rachel. Steph and Sloane got out and joined Dana walking towards the diner entrance looking back at the two laughing girls running in between parked vehicles. Max stayed halfway back waiting to give Chloe her truck keys laughing at the two. She was happy to see Chloe laughing. Rachel barely got away from Chloe’s grasp, running past Max giggling and towards the other group of girls jumping on Sloane’s back with an “EeeEeeeEeee!”

Max was grabbed from behind startling her, long warm arms wrapped around her. “Gotcha,” Chloe said in her ear, she then buried her face in Max’s neck, and lifted the girl off the ground hugging her with a hum. Max let out a squeal follow by giggles, Chloe slowly let her down and started to nibble her neck.

“ChlooOooEeee.”

“Chloe hungie, needs nibbles.” The nibbles on the neck turned to kisses on the neck then to kiss on the cheek, which turned to into a small make out session in the parking lot of one of their childhood hangouts.

-------------------

Max and Chloe eventually joined the rest of the group in the diner hearing the girls laugh at Sloane reaction of her eating a stale gumball from the gumball machine. They walked in together with Chloe’s arm wrapped around Max whispering in her ear.

“Good to see you join us.” Rachel said, smirking at the two. Dana and Steph sat together on one side of the booth. Rachel indicated for Max and Chloe to sit on the other side as her and Sloane took to the countertop seating area, turning around on the stools to face the booth.

“Ah yeah, I had to find my keys,” Chloe said.

“Ah, I see you searched Maxie’s neck for them,” Sloane said as she tapped her own neck to indicate to Max she had a tiny hickey.

The girls looked at a wide-eyed Max, “Oh my Dog Chloe.” She covered her neck looking at the blunette blushing.

“What can I say, I’m hungie,” Chloe said with a wide smile.

-------------------

Blade Runner played in Rachel’s dark room. Chloe had grabbed Max and taken over Rachel’s bed. Steph was invited to stay the night and she’d commandeered the sofa, while Rachel and Sloane took to the floor. Chloe decided not to go home or bring Max back to her house; she didn’t want to spend her last few hours with Max arguing with Joyce and David, Max didn’t deserve to be put through that again. They laid down facing each other not paying any attention to the movie, instead choosing to spend as much time together as possible, on a little island in the night. They held each other close under the blanket, legs intertwined. Chloe’s hand was on Max’s hip, her thumb stroked the soft skin, in between shirt and shorts. It calmed her, and at the same time, she wanted more. Chloe kissed her softly, taking in every emotion, every touch, taste, smell and sound. She wanted to overload her senses of Max, to remember everything. She still has freckles. Her feelings of abandonment were there, strong, in the back of her mind, she’d been pushing them back ever since Rachel had asked when they were leaving. She didn't want to face it, not again. She wanted to, need to, concentrate on the here and now.

Max caressed Chloe’s cheek and thought about the past twenty-four hours, how her life had changed so much for the better. She looked into her blue eyes, telling herself that she would not betray this person in front of her the way she did years ago. ‘ I want you in my life,’ was her new mantra. She traced Chloe’s lips with her thumb, slowly leaned forward and softly kissed her.

I want you in my life.’

Their voices were quiet and only for themselves.

“I don’t wanna fall asleep,” Max whispered inches away from Chloe’s face. Her eyes were half open and she was doing her best to stay awake. Sleep meant that it was over, when she woke up, they would be leaving. She, would be leaving Chloe…again.

Chloe looked at Max and whispered, “You’re so beautiful.” Chloe kissed her again, on the lips, then the top of her nose, on her forehead between her brows. She put her head back down and nudged Max with her nose against her cheek, going back for another quiet, long kiss. Max’s hand slowly glided up under Chloe’s shirt caressing her soft skin.

Max looked up at Chloe, “Do you remember the time at Overlook Park, I dropped my ice cream on the ground, you shared yours with me?”

“Yeah,” Chloe quietly replied. “You remember when I broke my arm? You came with me to the hospital and held my hand the whole time.”

Max nodded, “Yeah. When we wore our ice cream cookie Halloween costumes, you gave me all your mini Mound bars you got that night.”

“You like coconut…You were there when I was too scared to go to the dentist, and you came with me and said that everything would be fine.”

“When made a fort in the living room with sheets and cushions. Played video games most of the night?”

“Work hard-”

“Mustard big.”

“Weekends playing in our treehouse, drawing and writing comics.”

“SuperMax and Dr-”

Both said. “Chloenstein.”

Max drew little circles with her fingertips on Chloe’s skin, “That valentine’s card you gave me, it had a train on it that said, I choo choo-”

“-Choose you,” Chloe finished Max’s sentence. “Yeah, I remember.”

Max sniffed. Chloe looked into the brunette’s blue eyes. She watched a tear roll to the bridge of Max’s nose. Chloe wiped the tear away and kissed the wet skin. Please don’t cry.

“The time we tried to make pancakes on our own, for my parents...”

Max smiled with a little giggle, “We found out the smoke alarm in your house works.”

“Panicking to turn it off.” Chloe smiled.

“Getting on your back and fanning a kitchen towel in front of it.”

“Mom and Dad running downstairs, freaking out.”

“They ate them even though they were burnt.”

Chloe felt the lump in her throat, she held Max closer to herself.

“I never forgot any of it Chloe, I could never forget,” Max said, her eyes looked back and forth into Chloe’s.

Chloe kissed her again, and again, her lips, nose, forehead, her brow, eyelid, her wet cheek, ear, slowly down her neck, under her chin, and back to her lips. She took her time over and over, letting herself feel every moment and wanting Max to feel her touch on every possible area of her face and neck. She slowly kissed her girl to sleep. “Me neither,” Chloe whispered. The punk gently took Max’s hand and kissed it, then brought it to her chest and placed it over her heart. Chloe kept it there, letting Max feel her heartbeat while she slept. The punk rested her forehead against Max’s, looking at the person before her until sleep overtook her as well. For the first time in five years, she felt at peace .

-------------------

Depeche Mode - World in my Eyes (Cicada Mix)

Paramore - My Heart (Live)

Chapter Text

“Chloe...I’m so, so sorry...I don’t want to do this.” Max heartbrokenly said, “I don’t want to go.” She held on to the warmth in Chloe’s arms as they stood on the side of the 101 highway, she preserved the heartbeat she was listening too against her ear. Chloe held Max and tried to speak, her words failed, she tightened her hold onto the brunette and placed her head down onto Max’s shoulder. It was like time reversed itself and they were reliving their first departure years ago. Max whispered, “I don’t want to let you go.”

When Chloe found her voice it was small, strained and quivering. “Being with you again...Its more than I-”...The punk couldn’t finish her words.

“Chloe.” Max sobbed as her tears fell.

Chloe found the strength within her, “Max… it’s time.” She let her hold go of Max and stepped back, her eyes were red and her cheeks wet with tears. “Go now, get out of here, d-do it before I freak.”

Max sorrowfully looked at Chloe holding the punk's hand, squeezed it one last time, turned and let her hand go, taking her first step away from her Chloe.

Chloe felt the tightness in her chest, as her heart was breaking again, she tried to speak, her jaw quivered and her voice broke again. “Ma-.” She took two quick steps towards Max taking the brunette's hand and spinning the girl around then hauled her into another embrace. “P-please Max d-.” She couldn’t finish, she hugged Max hard, not wanting to let go. Don’t leave. Don’t forget me. Please don’t cut me out of your life again. I can’t go through this again. But all she could do was hold on to her, hold her breath, hold her crying, hold her shaking. Hold and hold and hold. Just hold a little longer, till it was all taken away...again.

-------------------

Rachel and Sloane leaned against Sloane’s truck grill for the past thirty minutes talking as they looked at the ‘Thank you come again Arcadia Bay’ sign and the road ahead of them. Behind them, Max and Chloe were saying their goodbyes by Chloe’s truck. Rachel and Sloane each said their goodbyes beforehand and gave them their privacy.

“So.”

“So.”

“This is going to be hella hard on her.”

“On both, I’ve never seen Max like this.” Sloane paused, “she’s different now, more alive and happy. She looked back at the couple, “well not at this moment, but you know what I’m saying.” Jesus that is so sad, she watched the two girls holding each other. I never had a bond like that with anyone .

Rachel hummed as she tightened her ponytail. “Chloe has changed too. Those two have something amazing happening, I really hope it continues.”

Sloane looked at Rachel. “Wanna make a pact to make sure they stay in contact?”

Rachel gave a small smile, “Yeah.” She held up her pinkie, Sloane looked and it and tilted her head.

“Heh, I’ve never done one of these before,” Sloane grasped Rachel’s pinkie with her’s and they made their swear.

“First pinkie swear, I’m honoured.”

“Was I good at it? I mean if it wasn’t, I can do it again with more emotions, yelling, biting and fervour.”

Rachel laughed. “Wow.”

“Aim to please,” Sloane said smirking with a giggle.

-------------------

Max and Chloe rested their foreheads against one another, “Max, you came back to me and you show me your love and friendship. You made me smile and laugh, like I haven’t done in years, I’m gonna miss you so much.”

When Max spoke it was with a calm determination looking up at Chloe, “You are my number one priority now. I fucked up five years ago and I hurt you deeply, and myself.” Chloe held Max’s cheek in her hand, Max embraced the touch, placing her hand on top of Chloe’s, looking into her blue eyes. “You matter so much to me Chloe, you always have.”

“Max, don’t you forget about me. Please,” her voice was lost again, as another tear fell.

Max looked back and forth between Chloe’s eyes, “Never,” she got up on her tippy toes and leaned forward slowly kissing Chloe goodbye.

I want you in my life

I want you in my life

I want you in my life

-------------------

Rachel and Sloane stopped giggling as they heard the passenger door open then closed. The two girls looked back and saw a beanie-wearing Max slumped over holding herself.

Here we go.

”Thanks for the butt dial.” Rachel said tilting her head giving Sloane a small smile.

”Thanks for answering.” Sloane replied with a smirk.

“I’ll keep an eye on Chloe.”

“I’ll do the same with Maxie.”

Rachel leaned forward and hugged Sloane and whispered in her hear. “Take care.”

“You too Bella.”

Rachel stepped back and bumped Sloane’s hip. She walked away with a smile and glanced back with a wink. “Butt dial me later tonight?”

Sloane giggled to herself. “Sure.”

Rachel walked by the passenger door and looked at Max, she placed her hand against the window and gave it a little tap. Max pressed the button to lower the window. The blonde stepped up on the truck’s side step and leaned towards Max to say another goodbye. “Take care Max, text me anytime, I mean that.” She hugged and then kissed her on the temple, stepped off the side step. “Laters.”

“Thanks for everything Rachel, Bye,” Max said with a sad smile, then watched the blonde walk away in the side mirror. I don’t wanna go.

Sloane got in her truck and started it. She looked over at Max and smiled, “Heeey, noice beanie, it suits you.” Max looked at Sloane brushing away a tear, she could only nod. Sloane rubbed the girl's shoulder. “Ready to go, road warrior?”

“Yeah,” Max said doing up her seat belt and settling herself into the seat.

Sloane pulled onto the roadway and positioned the truck in the center of the road looking out at the center lines. Her Cheshire smile appeared and she glanced in the rearview mirror at the two girls standing by Chloe’s truck. She looked over at Max, the girl pressed a button to lower all the windows in her truck and hit a few buttons on the tablet, the music kicked in. With the clutch pushed in, she revved the truck's engine. “Take your camera out, Mad Max.”

-------------------

Rachel walked up to Chloe who was holding herself looking in the opposite direction not wanting anyone to see her cry. She placed a hand on the punks back. “Hey, Sloane and I have made a pact to make sure you two stay in contact. She’s not going to disappear from your life again Chlo.”

The punk sniffed and nodded, she then turned and leaned up against the grill of her truck with Rachel. They watched Sloane start the truck and pulled out onto the center of the road. The engine revved multiple times bring up the rpms. Rachel smiled, music roared from the truck’s speakers, and Sloane popped the clutch sending the wheels into high rotation burning up the pavement.

The two Arcadian girls watched smoke billowed up around the burning tires. Max leaned out the window with her camera and took a picture of Chloe and Rachel’s reaction. She smiled and waved goodbye, Sloane held her arm out the window and tossed up the horns, peeling away and down the road. Rachel and Chloe let out a small laugh and waved back as they heard Max yell bye as they sped away.

Don’t you forget about me Max Caulfield.

Never.

-------------------

Don't You (Forget About Me) - New Found Glory

Chapter Text

Max’s phoned booped with a message.

TEXTuя
☠️CHLOE n’ MAX
*Boop*

Chloe: It’s been like 10 mins
Chloe: And I already hate that you’re not here. This
           fuckin’ sucks.
 
Max: I hate it too Chlo, I don’t want to leave. But like I said.
         I’ll talk to my parents about you coming up for a visit.
         I wonder what they’re going to say when I tell them
         I was down here. I’m not letting you go now, never. :*
 
Chloe: Ha, you're so needy Maximus, are you sure mama
           and pop C will let me visit? I mean, I am awesome,
           who wouldn’t want me, right?

Max: (^_^) and you love it, but yeah Chlo, I know last time I
        made all these promises to keep in touch and I didn’t.
        But right now we’re texting so that should tell you that
        I want to stay in contact. Once I get home we’ll do a
        video chat. If you think I’m starting to slack off or giving
        excuses of not wanting to talk with you tell Sloane and
        she’ll kick my ass.


Chloe: NO EMOJIS, she better not touch your ass, that’s
           all mine!!
 
Max: :*
 
Chloe: I will allow that one, gotta drop Rach off text you
           when I get home xoxoxo
 
Max: K   :*

-------------------

Sloane and a disheartened Max drove north up the 101 Oregon Coast Highway, hoping to lift Max’s spirit just a little with the beauty of the ocean and waves. The idea was to keep Max busy with her taking pictures along the scenic way. It was just before nine in the morning when they left Arcadia and unfortunately fifteen minutes into the drive it began to cloud over and a light shower started. Sloane did her best with trying to start a conversation, but Max curled up and rested her beanie head against the window and stared outside. The brunette texted Chloe for a bit before it stopped and she returned to her melancholy. Sloane placed a hand on Max’s shoulder, giving it a little rub.

“Uhmm, I know that it might not be fun,” she said, “but I got a laptop there in the back if you wanna log in and do some homework if you had any to do.”

Max placed her head against the backrest and closed her eyes. “I haven’t even though of homework, fuuuuck, augh, and I know I had some math.” She sighed and leaned back around to the driver seat.

“It should be behind me in the seat organizer,” Sloane said. Max retrieved the laptop and logged into the school’s app and began the unenthusiastic, job of school work. Sloane tapped on the truck’s tablet turning on some light instrumental beats and kept the volume low.

“Did you get the Lit. assignment completed,” Max asked.

“Yeah I finished it on Wednesday,” Sloane said, “it was boring as fuck. I wish there were more assignments to write short stories instead of reading them. I hate the whole, ‘please read this boring ass story and then create a report explaining what the theme is, or what was the foreshadowing event, please explain the conflict, blah blah blah,’ It’s the same stuff over and over.”

“Yeah totally agree,” Max said, “I finished it up on Saturday just before I left for the party.” It feels like a lifetime ago since the party . She looked over her math work. “Augh, I have so much Math to do. Dammit, I hate math so much.”

“Log in as me and see if I have it done, and just copy it, easy peasy.” Sloane looked at Max and gave her a smirk.

 “Really, you don’t mind?”

 “Nah,” Sloane said, adjusting the timing of the windshield wipers.

-------------------

Max searched through the math homework, listening to Sloane as she drove them up the coastline. She looked away from the laptop once in a while to watch the road and occasionally look out the window to see the cedar houses and the waves on the ocean.

“...I guess I can blame it on Rock Band.” Sloane continued. “Played it at someone's house and it made me want to actually learn, to do it for real ya know? I was able to get into an afterschool program and did that for years, along with a couple of music camps in the summer that the government offered to pay for since I was considered a low-income family. You?”

“Youtube lessons, then I picked music as a course.” Max smiled as she continued, “I love it, along with photography, maybe because it doesn't feel like work most of the time, and I find it’s relaxing. I dunno, it’s like, I’m in my own little world.” She looked down at the laptop, “you have all the math questions I need done. Ooooh, thank dog.”

Sloane looked over at Max smiling, her gaze left Max and went over her shoulder and out the window. “No way!” Sloane quickly geared down her truck, she looked in her rear view mirror, checking to see if there were any vehicles behind her as she moved to the side of the road.

Max looked startled. “What’s wrong?!”

“I saw something,” Sloane said as she did a U-turn in the road and drove back to what caught her eye.

--------------------

Sloane had asked for her laptop back and just said ‘brb,’ grabbed her jacket, baseball cap, and hopped out the truck jogging across the street.

Max watched her for the past five minutes in the light rain walking back and forth, she’d made a couple of phone calls and checked her laptop every now and then. An older man emerged from a pathway holding a cane and umbrella. When Sloane saw him she quickly made her way over and offering to hold his umbrella.  The man shook her hand and greeted her. She then offered her arm for support as they walked through uneven grass. They talked for a while, at one point he used his cane to point to an abandoned house across the street. Sloane would keep checking her laptop during the meeting. The conversation ended when the rain started to heavily come down; then the older man had no interest in standing in it. Sloane shook the man's hand and she ran back to the truck opening the driver’s side door.

“What are you doing? Max asked.

“Tee hee, fucking score!” Sloane said passing the laptop back to Max. She then reached under her seat, “Rrrr, where is it?” Sloane mumbled. Not finding what she was looking for by touch, she stuck her head under the seat. She finally retrieved something and pocketed it right away, she winked at Max before closing the door and ran back to the older man. Max watched the exchange.

“Oh my dog, you did not...” Max said as she watched them shake hands again.

-------------------

Max was happily finishing a drawing she was doing on the laptop as they continued up the coast. She giggled with excitement, then cleared her throat. “Ok added, how’s this now?”

Arch Cape holds a treasured asunder
Your sistership has been found
She is ready to be plundered
To West Ocean lane you are bound.

Get your hook on the dreaded scallywag blonde hag
Without her, you will be a shipwreck
Expertise is needed in the second part of the leg
The key is under the main deck

Sloane giggled. “Hag...Send it.”

“Thanks for letting me pay for half,” Max said.

“Are you sure?” Sloane said. “You didn’t have to… ya know it was my idea and-.”

Max nodded her head. “I want to do this, it will help her out so much.”

“Okey dokey,” Sloane said with a smile.

“Why did you do it?” Max asked. “You don’t know Chloe that well.”

Sloane shrugged, “I just wanted to, and like you said, it will help her out, sooo.” She shrugged again.

Picture too large. Compressing…
Converting to multimedia message…
Captain Bluebeard your treasure awaits.jpg

Max pressed the send button, “Sent away.” As she smiled looking over at Sloane who was hopping in her seat excited.

-------------------

TEXTuя
🥞MAX n’ CHLOE
*Boop*
 

📎 Captain Bluebeard your treasure awaits.jpg
Message size 278kb

Chloe: Max? what is?
 
Max: ...Who is this Max?
 
Chloe: You sent me a treasure map?!
 
Max: Who is this Max that you keep referring me to? For I
        am Long Max Silver and I have indeed along with the
        Scurvy Dog Sloane have sent Captain Bluebeard a
        treasure map. Arrrr
 
--------------------
TEXTuя
🖕🏻CHLOE / RACH
*Boop*
 
Chloe: Where r u?
 
Rach: On the moon, where do you think I am...omw
          to class? Why aren't you here?
 
Chloe: I'm coming to get you.
 
Rach: ?
 
Chloe: Cause you’re a hag
 
Rach: Excuse me?
 
📎 Captain Bluebeard your treasure awaits.jpg
Message size 278kb
 
Rach: ??
Rach: Is this a treasure map?! Did Max send you this?
 
Chloe: Arrrr
 
-------------------
 
Chloe: Yo scallywag hag where u at?
 
Rach: Chill, tried to sneak out the side exit but David is
          lurking about. So I had to go and get US passes
          from the office, said that we were taking Max and
          Sloane to the airport...your welcome btw. Wells
          already knew you were not in homeroom.
 
Chloe: Thaaaaank you.
 
Rach: What would you do without me?
 
Chloe: Less texty texty and more get the hella in my truck
           we got a treasure to find Hag!
 
Rach: Omg keep your panties on! omw.

The rain poured down as Rachel ran towards Chloe’s truck in the parking lot carrying her umbrella. “Shit it’s raining like cats and dogs!” She said as she jumped in the truck. She did a double take upon seeing Chloe, then stared at the punk, bewildered. “Chloe, what the fuck are you wearing?” Along with a huge goofy smile of excitement, the punk wore her regular Chloe uniform of, ripped jeans, suspenders, tank top and a black long sleeve shirt rolled up to the elbows. What Rachel had questioned was a kids-sized tricorn pirate hat that Chloe somehow forced on over her adult-sized head.

“What up my scallywag hag? You have to put this on,” Chloe said passing her a bandana. “It’s a requirement.”

Rachel hauled down the passenger sun visor to look at herself in the mirror, adjusted the red paisley bandana on her head. She leaned back against the seat and her phone booped with a text message. She read it, leaned over and stopped Chloe’s music. She hooked up her phone to the truck’s attachment, opened her music app and searched for a specific playlist.

“Arrrr,” Chloe said annoyed. “Why ye stop me music?”

Rachel cleared her throat and did her best Cockney accent, “old on a sec, dis is a request from da Scurvy Dag.”

Chloe laughed at the accent attempt and looked at the playlist icon that displayed on the phone. Rachel, in the few years she had known Chloe, had seen many faces of the punk; the happy and or the drunken, the melancholy... and of course her angry, wailing, singing face. However, she’d somehow never experienced the goofy, big kid smile one, and as she sat in the cab of the truck and looked at her friend, all she could do was laugh at how happy the girl next to her was. The first song began to play and both girls looked at each other with surprise and took deep breaths.

The truck sped down Arcadia’s main street as pedestrians walked by in the rain, glancing with annoyance at the truck as the girls blasted loud music, singing along at the top of their lungs.

I'm a sailor peg, And I've lost my leg!

-------------------

Max’s phone notified her of multiple messages that Rachel was sending. Max burst out laughing, “Oh my dog!” Sloane looked over at the brunette watching her hold her stomach, Max leaned back in the seat with her head high in the air, cackling.

“I’ve never heard you laugh like that before,” Sloane said over the girl’s laughter.

Max showed Sloane the picture, her burst of laughter was so hard she almost had to pull over. “Oh my Gawd look at her face! it’s barely on her head HaHaHaHa...Oh Shite! I can’t breathe!”

The next picture was a selfie of Rachel leaning back on Chloe’s shoulder as Chloe gave the middle finger and Rachel threw up the horns. Sloane laughed, “I can’t take her seriously with a hat like that on. Holy shite, my stomach hurts. Wooooo.” Sloane gathered herself with a deep breath.

-------------------

I'm Shipping Up To Boston - Dropkick Murphys

 

Chapter Text

 

The windshield wipers swept away the water off the glass. On its return, one wiper would catch and made a bruppbruppbruppbrupp noise against the windshield. The cab of the truck was stuffy and it showed as the interior of the windshield was getting fogged over. Chloe didn’t turn off the wipers or turn the cold air on, which didn’t work anyways. Captain and The Scallywag sat in the truck and stared through the windshield at what was on side of the road. Rachel took a picture of Chloe’s reaction. The punk’s lips were parted and she stared in awe, it almost looked like she was going to cry. She turned off her truck and left the vehicle to look at the treasure .

Max received a picture of Chloe’s reaction and the brunette's heart compressed. The look on Chloe's face made her smile in a happy mournful way. I really wish I was there. Max showed Sloane the picture.

“Heh, gotcha Chloe,” she said with a smile.

--------------------

The crack in the glass spread out over the entire windshield, Chloe didn’t even notice. What she noticed was the paper drawing stuck on the inside of the windshield of a skull and crossbones. Underneath the drawing, it said ‘Property of Captain Bluebeard.’ What did you guys do?

Chloe phoned Max, the brunette was smiling but at the same time crying while she talked to her girl; so many strong emotions over the past couple of days. Sloane took a deep breath and wished she could smoke a joint. Stupid emotions . She coughed and cleared the tightness in her throat.

“You can and you will Chloe...we wanted you to have it...yes you will...yes you will...were not taking no for answer.” Max said over the phone, then turned to Sloane and whispered, “Can I put my phone on the truck speaker?”

“Yeah sure, no prob. Here.” Sloane switched out her phone with Max’s and enabled it to the truck.

“Hey Chloe,” Sloane said happily, there was a pause and both girls in the Seattle-bound truck heard a mucus filled sniff over the phone, followed by a tiny voice.

“I can’t take this Sloane.”

“Ha, the hells you can’t girl,” Sloane said, smiling at a melancholy and upset Max. She rubbed the girl's shoulder.

“Hey, is the hag around?” the words didn’t even finish out of Sloane’s mouth and Rachel was already answering.

“Oh my god, don’t call me that again!”

“Pff, whatcha gonna do blondie?” Sloane said, giggling.

“Come up there and kick your ass, that’s what!” Rachel said. “I‘m good with a 2x4!” That got a chuckle out of Chloe.

“She actually is,” Chloe said.

“I’ll hold you to that Rachel, cause Chloe’s is gonna have some work ahead of her, to get her truck fixed up for the trip to Seattle.” Sloane again smiled at Max.

Max smiled back. “Damn straight, Chlo, I want to see you both in Seattle.”

“How much did you spend?” Chloe asked.

“Never you mind,” Sloane said.

“But...I will repay-”

“Noooope. Chloe I want you to listen to me okay?” Sloane stated.

“K,” was all Chloe could vocalize.

“I’ve known you for, ooooh about almost a day and change. I can see under your tough look you’re a good person who has been put in a shitty situation. I’ve been in a shitty situation when I thought there was nothing to my life. I didn’t know what to do with my little world. I met a person that gave me happiness and hope, I told myself if I ever met someone that I could help out and bring happiness and hopefulness into their life I would. You're a girl that dreams of being free of your little world. That truck that you’ve bandaged together, by yourself, is a little bit of freedom that you have right now. The real day will come Chloe, it will, but for right now keep your ship of freedom afloat. Use what you can off the other truck and sell what you don't need for scrap metal to help offset the cost of any labour. With that being said, take your time going home, use your emergency lights n’ shite, both of you, cause the last thing I want is for you is to get in an accident. The brakes are probably touchy so be careful. It has years of rust on them. The guy that sold it to me filled the tires but without a doubt, they are all slowly leaking from being abandoned for years. So yeah, be careful young lady.

The TLDR of the truck is that the guy that owned it, was an older guy that was placed in a home by his children who didn’t live in Arch Cape anymore. The guy ended up dying years ago and his children are just coming around now years after to deal with the property after they got a town notification that the house was considered an eyesore and dangerous. They didn’t realize their dad had a truck. So its been sitting there in a garage for years not moving just getting rusty, they asked a neighbour in the area to sell to it just get rid of it, once they saw the condition it was in. They told the neighbour to keep whatever he got off it for his trouble.

“But still Sloane it cost-”

“Bah. Believe me, Chloe when I tell you this, you’ll probably get close to what I paid for it by selling it for scrap after, seriously. He did put a new battery in it, and gas just to get it moved to his property. The old guy that was selling it came off that he didn’t want to be put into the situation in the first place, dude was like in his 80’s. He was just glad to get rid of the stress. So yeah take it Blu.”

“Thanks, guys...seriously thank you.” Chloe sniffed again.

“Your welcome Chlo,” Max said.

Sloane smirked, “Want something else to make you happy...Look in the glove box.” Both Seattle girls could hear Chloe and Rachel chuckle. Sloane continued, “That’s for after when you get it back home and parked.” Max looked at Sloane with a puzzled face. Sloane put her forefinger and thumb together and brought them to her lips smiling.

Chloe took a deep breath and let it out. “Thank you, I can’t - I can’t believe this.”

“No worries Blu,” Sloane said.

“Hope it will be useful for you Chlo,” Max said.

“It will, for sure it will. Okay...we're gonna go and get this rust bucket on the road. I’ll text you when I’m home K? Heh, Mom’s gonna love this, and David is gonna have to move is dickmobile out of the way.”

Max giggled. “I’ll talk to you in a bit, please be careful you too.”

“Let us know if you run into any issues along the way,” Sloane said.

“K, bye guys.”

“Bye,” Both Sloane and Max said, followed by Sloane quickly said, “Bye hag!” before she ended the call when she heard Rachel angrily say something.

“She’s gonna kick your ass,” Max said smiling.

“Heh, yeaaaah,” Sloane said smirking

Sloane tapped her fingers to the beat of the music against the steering wheel, she drove the full distance once Max curled up and fell asleep with her beanie up to her face to keep the smell of Chloe close by. She snuck into Max’s bag and took a picture of the girl with her ‘new beanie’ curled up against the door. She tucked the Polaroid into Max’s bag as a surprise. The Seattle Interstate Highway sign came into view travelling up the I-5 , they were in the home stretch. Sloane turned on her indicator and moved to another lane. So much had happened in the previous few days, and they both knew that this could just be the beginning. New friends can come from anywhere, you just have to be ready to let them in, or help them out when they don’t realize they need it. She looked over at Max then back at the road.

Sloane thought of her friend in Toronto hospital bed and her words went through her mind “Look for the good stuff in your life, it maybe small but it’s there, grab onto it and if you can, spread it around to others that need it, and make the world a better place.”

Sloane reached over and adjusted the radio volume .

-------------------

Hoff Stevens - My Time with You

Chapter Text

Sloane’s Journal Entry

-----------------------

The number of homes I’ve been in and out of, I find that this one is hard to let go and leave. Kim and her family have been nothing but great during my stay with them. The people that I’ve met during my time in Seattle have been unbelievable, so different from Toronto. I really don’t want to leave, I really really don’t. I wish I could extend my stay and continue school here or in Arcadia. Still no word on Blackwell, I’m guessing that it will be some time late July or early Aug when I’ll get a letter. Fuck, the thought of going back to Toronto scares me, I don’t want to be back there, back into that system.  I still haven’t heard a word from John, I’ve left so many emails and voice messages and still nothing. It would be so much easier if I was 18 and out of this fucking foster care bullshit. Just leave me alone, I can take care of myself.

Just sent John another email. Fuck I don’t want to drive back to Toronto, It would be better to sell my truck, toss what I can’t carry into storage and ask Kim or Max to send the rest of my stuff through the mail, once I’m settled away in Toronto. Or just burn everything and start over again. Wonder if Max would like my truck?  I’m going to miss her, spent so much time at her house just hanging after we hit up Arcadia. She has been a really good friend, she listened a lot to my past bullshite, offering help and an ear to listen to. Who knew the quiet girl turned out to be a fun badass. I’m gonna miss her, I can tell you right now watching Max cry was heartbreaking, dogdammit. I have to try and stay in contact with her. Chloe her girlfriend is coming up in a few weeks to see her. Really happy that they’ve stayed in contact, really hoping she gets into Blackwell. Fuck, I hope I get into Blackwell. I hope this plan I have will go through.  Why can’t I keep the things I want for once?

I was thinking about becoming a dual citizen, went online to see what I have to do, there’s so much shite to go through.  Much easier to become a Canadian citizen. Aaaugh!!! I Hate waiting for other people to figure out my life decisions. Just let me do it already!

 

📱 Govt CDN Fstr Cr Dpt. ➜ Sloane Black
🔔 *Ring* 🔔 *Ring*

Sloane: Hey John.

John Simmons: Hi Sloane, sorry to take so long getting back to you.

Sloane: That’s okay. (Sigh) So?

John Simmons: Okay, I need you to sit down. There’s a lot to go through, okay?

Sloane: Yeah, hit me.

John Simmons: Okay. First things first. How are you? You just finished your exams correct, from what I read in your emails.

Sloane: Okay, I guess. Really stressed; been sick, not sleeping much. Too much going through my head.

John Simmons: Yeah, I guess that would happen. Just try and keep yourself healthy. Did you eat today?

Sloane: Yeah, I ahh, had a granola bar and an apple. Just not hungry, ya know?

John Simmons: Yeah, I know. Happy school and exams are over, at least?

Sloane: Yes and no. Happy that it’s over, but not happy that I can’t stay and do what I want to do. I like Seattle a lot, I can see myself living here and going to school.

John Simmons: Yeah?

Sloane: Yeah, just seems like a good fit for me, but, ya know.

John Simmons: Yeah, okay, let’s see if I can help you out with that, or at least what you had requested. All right, ready?

Sloane: Yeah, ready.

John Simmons: Okay. Now, you do have to return to Canada because you’re not a U.S citizen and because you are a foster child, but you knew that already.

Sloane: Yeah.

John Simmons: Have you heard any word about the foreign exchange program for next year?

Sloane: No. I applied for places in Seattle again and now Oregon too.

John Simmons: And what about the school with the dorms, aaahh Blackwell, have you heard anything from them?

Sloane: No. Nothing.

John Simmons: Okay keep me posted on that, just in case. Especially with Blackwell as there’ll be more paperwork to fill out, and I would like to have as much time as possible because I will have to go through other departments to get info and approvals, okay?

Sloane: Okay.

John Simmons: So, the sooner, the better. Okay, next one. When are you actually crossing the border to Canada?

Sloane: I’m…we’re leaving tomorrow morning around nine, I wanna get this drive to Toronto over with.

John began filling out some forums for Sloane as he spoke to her.

John Simmons: Ugh, it is a long trip. And we did go over your stopovers for the next few days getting to Toronto, the last time we spoke?

Sloane: Yeah.

John Simmons: Yeah, and the Ackerman’s know they have to drive you, or as it is follow you to the border, correct?

Sloane: Yes. Steve and Jackie will follow me in my truck.

John Simmons: Okay. Next thing. Now, you’ve requested to live in Vancouver from your emails.

Sloane: Yeah, I’ve made some friends in Seattle and Oregon that I would like to keep in arms reach, hoping that they could maybe visit or if I could go down there.

John Simmons: Ahh. Unfortunately, because of your age, you cannot cross the border on your own. You will need a written consent forum from a foster parent, guardian, or from someone in the Government Foster Care Department. If you did want to cross I would need to know where you would be staying, and the people that you would be staying with. They would have get a background check done on each individual in the house. Send in that information, have it processed and then a decision is made if you could stay there and how long.

Sloane sighed. Fuck

Sloane: It will be too much trouble to ask for anyone to go through the process. Forget it.

John Simmons: Now, that being said here is some better news, you can live in Vancouver.

Sloane: Holy shite. Are you serious?

John Simmons: Yeah

Sloane: Are you freakin’ serious?!

John Simmons: Yeah, yeah, I’m serious, I need you to listen to me, Sloane, there's some information I want to pass on and for you to understand. So just let me give you the rundown on things that you need to know.

Sloane’s voice was shaking with excitement.

John Simmons: Yah gotta listen to what I’m going to say to you.

Sloane’s took a deep breath to calm herself.

Sloane: Okay.

John Simmons: Okay, here we go. You can live in Vancouver. I have been in contact with a caseworker there, Anna Silva in the Vancouver office, a very nice lady, been talking with her for a few weeks about your request. She has found you a foster family in the Vancouver area. So like I said, your request to stay in Vancouver can happen. Okay?

Sloane: Okay.

John Simmons: Now I can tell you something else. Since you will be a resident of B.C, you now have the option to live on your own.

Sloane: What?!

John Simmons: Yes, you can live on your own.

Sloane blurted out.

Sloane: I wanna do that!

John Simmons: Hold on, just let me talk you through, there’s something I want you to be aware of, okay?

Sloane: Okay.

Is this really happening?! Sloane thought to herself.

John Simmons: You can live on your own, the Government will give you money to go towards food, rent and other living expenses, okay?

Sloane: Okay.

I don’t need the money.

John Simmons: Now in order for you to live on your own you have to have a job or be in school. That is something that has to be followed. Sloane, you have to follow the rules, you can’t be doing anything illegal, if you get arrested even for a minor offence you will have to go back into a group home again.

Sloane: Okay, I’ll get a job or go to summer school for the summer months, and I’ll be a full-time student by September. And, I’ll stay out of trouble.

John Simmons: Okay, that’s a good start.

Sloane: Yeah. I still don’t know what I want to do for College or University but I’ll finish high school, I mean I’ve come this far.

John Simmons: That’s great to hear, you’re doing so well this past year, you’re turning your life around and keeping yourself out of trouble. Just keep doing what you’re doing.

Sloane: Okay, uhmm, thank you.

I’ll just keep the fact that I went across state lines to meet up with two strangers under my hat.

John Simmons: Now, I want you to meet with Anna at the Vancouver office, she will help you find a place and will have options and information about how to live on your own, and how to regulate your spending habits. All good information.

Sloane: Okay, can I start searching for a place now?

John Simmons: Yeah for sure. I don’t know how much the Government will give you. But you would get a deposit every two weeks, at first glance the funds can be anywhere from $700 to $1200 a month. If you find a place between now and when you talk with Anna just let her or myself know that you’ve found something. She’ll need to look at the living area to see if it is livable and within the price range.

Sloane: K.

Sloane began to search for a place to live, she put her phone on speaker as she started typing on her laptop.

John Simmons: Okay, since I have you on the line right now, I’m emailing Anna to let her know that you want to live on your own. She will have some paperwork for you to fill out, just give me a sec.

Sloane: Oh man, I’m shaking.

John Simmons: Relax Sloane, I know that it’s a lot to take in. Just remember there’s support for you, okay. Get to know Anna, like I said I’ve been talking with her for a bit, she really nice. Let her help you.

Sloane took a deep breath.

Sloane: Okay.

John thought to change the subject as he did some typing on his computer, to help ease Sloane’s nervous excitement.

John Simmons: You’re doing great. It’s understandable that you're going to be stressed and emotions are going to be all over the place right now. But you are doing wonderful… have you seen that Iron Man 3 movie?

Sloane: Ahh, no. Not yet.

John Simmons: I went with my son last weekend, he wore his Halloween costume, loved every bit of it.

Sloane chuckled..

Sloane: And you didn’t wear yours? Come on dad, live a little.

John Simmons: I know, I know, I’m such a stick in the mud.

Sloane: Uhmm, I’ve found an apartment in Vancouver.

John Simmons: Wow, that was fast. Okay, send me an email and I’ll attach it now to this email I have started with Anna.

Sloane: K, sent. It’s in the greater Vancouver area. It’s a bachelor for nine hundred. It has a 4.5-star rating. A part-time or full-time job will kick in for the rest of what I need, and I have a savings account. I can pay first and last month’s rent now.

John Simmons: Okay, I got your email. Wow, Sloane…wow, this is really good! Oh internet, you kids have everything at your fingertips. It took me over a month to find an apartment in Toronto when I first moved here, had to sleep on a friends couch. You found one in five minutes. Oookay. I’ve added the link to the apartments for Anna and the email has been sent. I added you to this email so the both of you can start communicating directly.

Sloane: Okay, thank you.

John Simmons: Okay, on to the next thing.

Sloane: Okay.

John Simmons: Hmm, wait, I think that is it...yeah that’s it.

Sloane: Whew, dude I am sweatin’ here, oh man, this is unbelievable.

John Simmons: I’m happy for you, Sloane. As I said, you’ve made some really good progress and I hope it continues for you when you’re in Vancouver. I’m proud of you.

Sloane: I... Thank you…this is…

John Simmons: Sloane?

Sloane’s sniffed and with a quivering voice.

Sloane: Thank you.

No one had ever said they were proud of Sloane before.

John Simmons: It's my pleasure, Sloane. I’m happy you are doing well; there are so many kids that I talk with every day that are in bad situations. It's good to see when we help you guys out, it really is. We only want the best for you, I know it may not have seemed like it some days, but we do.

Sloane: Yeah...thank you for giving a fuck (*sniff)... I mean that. You have been the best… (muffled voice) you have been the best caseworker I’ve had. (Sloane’s voice became a whisper) Thank you.

John Simmons: You’re quite welcome. You hang in there, you're doing awesome. Just keep to your plan, it's a good one. Just stay out of trouble. Keep looking for the good stuff that makes you happy.

Sloane:  No matter how small and hold on to it.

John Simmons: Yeah, you got it, no matter how small. I'll let you go, again keep me or Anna posted on your school exchange program ok? You take care.

Sloane: Okay, you too.

John Simmons: If you need anything else email or phone me, okay?

Sloane: Okay, thank you.

John Simmons: Okay, you’re welcome. Talk to you later, bye bye.

Sloane: Bye.

 

TEXTuя
🤘🏼DA CREW

Sloane: So

MadMax: Hey you, you all packed?

Sloane: :( yeah. I don’t want to leave, I just got off the phone
              with my caseworker. I have to go back to CAN

 MadMax: It was worth a try :(

 Sloane: But

.
.
.

MadMax: ? buuut

CaliGurl: Hey ladies, how is?

MadMax: Good here, happy exams are over, sooo happy :D
                Can’t wait to sleeeeeep -_- Zzzz. U?

CaliGurl: YaY! Finally, I just finished my last one 5 mins ago.
               I’m dooone :D
CaliGurl: Found out today I can stay in the dorms during
               the summer break. I’ll have to pay rent. So this
               weekend I’m gonna look for work, maybe at 2
               whales :O

MadMax: That’s great, I would eat so many waffles.

CaliGurl: Nomnomnom.

MadMax: I’d gain so much weight.

MadMax: Ou, I got a question, can you remember when
               you got your notification that you were accepted
               to Blackwell? I mean what month?

CaliGurl: Hmm, no I don’t really know for sure, dad enrolled
               me, and I was told maybe in late Aug by him that
               I would be going to BW instead of Bay City

Chloe: S’up ladies. What is?

MadMax: K, just *sigh* I just want to know. Hate waiting.

CaliGurl: Hey JQ

MadMax: :D Hi Chloʕ•ᴥ•ʔ  ( ˘ ³˘)ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Chloe: No emoji!

MadMax: House rules.

CaliGurl: HouseRULZ! Wait, is that Chloe bear?

MadMax: (#^.^#)

Chloe: I never agreed to this house rules thing

CaliGurl: Ahhh Chloe is a bear soooo cuuuute.
CaliGurl: :P too bad you lost the voted, 3 - 1, whoever
                starts the text chat chooses to allow emojis

Chloe: You know what I say to that

           

MadMax: 3 - 1 (ง ͡ʘ ͜ʖ ͡ʘ)ง

Chloe: WTF Max seriously

MadMax: ◉‿◉ House rules. ( ˘ ³˘)

Chloe: Slooo tell Max to stop with the emojis

CaliGurl: Where is?

MadMax: ? She said she had a conversation with her
                Caseworker and hasnt’ replied.

Chloe: Sloooooooooooooooooooane

MadMax: Slo?

CaliGurl: Where you at?

Chloe: She had to go back huh, shit.

CaliGurl: Just got a text back from Steph, she remembers
               getting her acceptance letter in July.

MadMax: Sooo long to wait. (╯°□°)╯︵ ┻━┻

Chloe: Max Staaahp with the emojis.

Chloe: You’ll get in. If not I can ninja into shitwell and
           change the records

CaliGurl: LoL me too me too

MadMax: (╯︵╰,)

CaliGurl: :( Chloe look what you did.

Chloe: *sigh* fiiiiiiine emoji away

MadMax: ◉‿◉

MadMax: Just want to know, hate waiting, miss you guys.

Chloe: Well you don’t have to wait too long, I’ll be up
           there soon.

MadMax:╰( ◉ ᗜ ◉ )╯ EEeeeeee so much I want to show
                My parents are looking forward to it ( ˘ ³˘)

Chloe: Me too, kinda scared to see your parents in person

CaliGurl: ?

MadMax: Why? You’ve already been chattin’ with them
               almost every time we have video calls, they luv u

Chloe: Idk it’s in person n stuff, what if I say something
           like, Max come here and gimmie dat ass, and idk

CaliGurl: OMG (◔_◔) 🍑

MadMax: Oh my dog, Chlo don’t worry they miss u,
               Mom has pretty much asked about what you’re
               up to every day. And we’ll find the time to tell
               them about us. We just gotta be careful.

CaliGurl: I can’t believe that you’re scared of Max’s parents

Chloe: U haven’t seen the size of pop C. He’s the size of a
           grizzly

CaliGurl: Ahhh where’s the backtalkin’ punk. Max you’re
               making Chloe all soft :P

Chloe: Shut it

MadMax: Dad is a softie grizzly

CaliGurl: The bear family, Chloeʕ•ᴥ•ʔ will fit right in

Chloe: Shut it

Chloe: Sloane where are you? Got shit to do

CaliGurl: Pff like what? School’s done :D

Chloe: I have to have a sexy video call with someone

MadMax: ◉౪◉

CaliGurl: (っ˘зʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Chloe: Noooooooooooooooo

Sloane: Srry. had to talk with the Ackerman’s. So not only
            can I live in Vancouver I don’t have to live with a
            family there, I can live on my own!!1. I have to have
            a job or go to school :D and they will give me $$ for
            rent/food

Chloe: Sloooane dammit girl where are yo- Waht!

CaliGurl: Wut!

MadMax: OMD! That's awesome!

Sloane: I can live on my own in Vancouver no more foster
            family :D

CaliGurl: How?

Sloane: It’s something with B.C gov’t, if u can keep a job or
            go to school u can live on your own when you’re 17
            :DDD

CaliGurl: That’s awesome!

Sloane: Somerset this is the place I picked out. It’s NOICE.
             Just found it in 5 mins when I was talking with John

MadMax: Noice place.

CaliGurl: Noice

Chloe: Holy shit, house party at Sloanes wooooooooooo

Sloane: :D So yeah I’m leaving tomorrow :( to go across
             the border. I have to meet up with a new
             caseworker Anna, she has to check out the place
             to see if it’s livable. John my Toronto Caseworker
             just sent me a letter of recommendation to give to
             the landlord and I just asked Steve n’ Jackie if they
             could give me one to when they drop me off at the
             border.

CaliGurl: Shopping for new apartment stuff :O

Sloane: I’ll say it now if u guys want to visit you’re more
            than welcome. It’s only a bachelor, but It’s a place
            to pass ouuuut :D

Chloe: Fuck yaaaaah

CaliGurl: Woooo

MadMax: (~˘▾˘)~   ~(˘▾˘)~ ~ (˘▾˘ ~)

Chloe: Max I’m gonna come up there are kisk your ass

MadMax: ٩(^ᴗ^)۶ OK

Sloane: Is that suppose to be kick or kiss :P

CaliGurl: OuuUUuuuu Chloʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Sloane: Wtf is that? Is that a Chlobear?!

CaliGurl: Yah, Max’s name for our ‘hard ass punk’

Chloe: Shut it

MadMax: ( ˘ ³˘)

Chloe: Ooh dammit Max

MadMax: You like when I call u Chloʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Chloe: Yeah, but u don’t need to tell them

Sloane: LMAO aaahhh Chloʕ•ᴥ•ʔ (^ ₃^) is soooo cuuute

CaliGurl: Hee Hee

Sloane: :D just realized I get to have a bed to call my
             own 🤘🏼

CaliGurl: 🤘🏼

Chloe: Yeaaah

MadMax: *✲゚*。✧(((o(*゚▽゚*)o)))*✲゚*。✧

Chloe: Maaax

Sloane: House Rulz Chloʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

Chloe: I never agreed

CaliGurl: Don’t make Maxie cry again

Sloane: Sooo who wants to help me shop ikea.ca

CaliGurl: Ikeaaaaa

MadMax: Ikea!

Chloe: Meatballz!

Chapter Text

June 12th 2013

-------------------

TEXTur
💗The Misfits

Rach: Guys u there really important!!!

Chloe: What up

Maxie: Here

Sloane: S’up

Rach: Dad just told me that, Mark Jefferson has been
          arrested for sexual assault and child porn!!
          there's other things but he wouldn't tell me.

Sloane: WTF!

Chloe: What

Maxie: Waht

Chloe: That mother fucking asshole!

Rach: Dad said that there will be a public announcement
          tmrw morning of all charges. I have to go down to
          the police station to give a statement

Sloane: Oh man

Rach: Chloe has the police gotten in contact with u about
          a full statement?

Chloe: No fuck, this is fcukin crazy

Sloane: Chel r u ok?

Rach: Im really freaked out. Dad got really weird when he
          was talking. He wouldnt tell me everything, ive
          never seen him like that before. He asked me if i
          was ever drugged or if i passed out anywhere and
          didnt know what happen, wtf did Mark do! what was
          he into

Sloane: Wtf

Chloe: Max?

Sloane: Waffles you still there

Rach: Give her a phone call

Chloe: Yeah text in a bit

Sloane: Laters Blu

Rach: Cya

Sloane: So

Rach: So

Sloane: How r u Bella

Rach: I’m shaking, just thinking of all the times I was alone
          with him. He was very likable, i kinda had a crush on
          him, i feel stupid for it, Jesus what was i thinking 

Sloane: Phoning you

📱Sloane → Bella/Chel
🔔 *Ring*


Rachel: Hey, I’m freaked out Slo, I was gonna go with him on a photo shoot, he had those pictures of me on his phone. I'm scared, what if he has other pictures of me? Like through my dorm window or something worse.

Sloane: Where ya now sweetie?

Rachel: I’m at my parents, sitting on my bed.

Rachel took a shaky breath as she rubbed her hand on her jeans. 

Sloane: Easy Bella, you’re okay, you’re home and you’re safe. He’s going to be locked up, bail is going to be a shiteload. If, and that’s a big if, he has the money for bail, he will be restricted to where he’s allowed to go. He will never step foot on Blackwell property or even come close to you. If he does have pictures of you, your Dad will do everything in his power to make sure they will never see the light of day.

Rachel: He’s on the phone right now, he wants to talk to me after.

Sloane: Yeah, I guess he’s freaked out too. Mark is so fucked, your dad is going to rip him a new one.

Rachel’s voice was distance replying to Sloane.

Rachel: Yeah

Sloane: So, uhmm. Tea?

Rachel: Yeah.

Rachel got up from her bed and walked downstairs. It was something they did when the group got together and talked about stuff, they each got food or a drink and talked together about anything and everything.

Sloane: What did you do today? Besides this stuff. Talkin’ with Dana or Steph? How’s work?

Rachel: Uhmm work was okay, got my marks back.

Sloane: Yeah how did you do?

Rachel: 4.0.

Sloane: Four point-...How the hell? Seriously?!...Dammm, 4.0, smarty pants.

Rachel smiled at Sloane’s reaction.

The brunette overheard Rose in the background as Rachel had come downstairs and gone to the kitchen. “Rachel, you okay? Can I get you anything?”

Rachel: No that’s okay, I’m just getting a tea and talking with Sloane.

Rose: Sloane? Someone new?

Sloane: Yo, I’m a stranger that phoned your daughter one night, and got her to meet me and another stranger. Holy fuck, saying it out loud now, with what’s going on is fucked up.

Rachel: Mmhm, Yeeeah

Rose looked at her daughter from the living room as Rachel answered her. “She’s a friend I met a few months ago at Blackwell’s music open house, her and Max, Chloe’s friend, came down to visit from Seattle.”

Sloane: Some kickass awesome friend that sang you a song.

Rachel giggled as she put a tea bag in her mug.

Rachel: Tootin’ your own horn

Sloane: Honk

Rachel giggled again, Rose sat up in her chair, “Ah, are you sure you don’t want me to make you anything? It's not a problem.” Having her back in the house even if it was only for a few hours and under the worst condition, Rose felt like she should be doing something besides watching a reality show while her husband was trying to find out more information about the Jefferson case, and if he took any lewd pictures of Rachel. She wanted to comfort Rachel in any way, but since the eventful night when Rachel found out that Rose was not her birth mother, and she had been lied to for years, their bond had been changed, distance and Rose didn’t know how to mend it.

“No, I’m good, thank you,” Rachel replied.

Rachel: That was cool, though.

Sloane: Damn straight, it was.

Sloane mumbled

Sloane: Scallywag, puttin’ in our names all sneaky-like.

Rachel giggled again.

Rachel: You spit up so much water.

Sloane: Augh, don’t remind me, I had water come out my nose.

Rachel: Augh, I hate that.

Sloane: Yeah, feels weird. You know what was weird that night? Max. She was so chill with the whole thing I could’ve told her we were going to the moon and she would’ve been, like...K, will there be cookies.

Rachel began to giggle louder.

Rachel: She needs to chill more often.

Sloane: We have, and it surprises me every time. I remember we smoked up one night and she started to touch everything, said everything felt ‘neat’.

Rachel started to laugh listening to Sloane’s story.

Sloane: She spent almost an hour touching tree bark.

Rachel closed her mouth trying to muffle her laughter, as Sloane did her impression of a stoned Max.

Sloane: ‘Slo, Slo touch this, it feels so neat... trees are so coool they give us oxygen, and they want our carbon dioxide, so if you breathe on a tree they’ll be happy.’ She actually started to breathe on the tree trunk. Then she spent twenty minutes zipping up and down her hoodie, amazed by it.

Rachel snorted when she laughed.

Sloane: And she gets the munchies like a mad woman, she would give Blu a run for her money for the amount of food she can pack away. She devoured a large bag of Cheeto’s in, like, five minutes. She had all orange fingers and orange lips. I should’ve taken a picture, she was like an Oompa Loompa.

Rachel laughed out loud as she took the kettle and started to pour her water.

Rachel: Staahp, I can’t pour my water. 

Sloane: I should get her an Oompa Loompa wig, or a green beanie.

Rachel: Shhhit, I spilt water. Does she still wear Chloe’s beanie?

Sloane: Oh yeah, it’s almost a permanent object, if she isn’t wearing it, she has it on her stuffed teddy bear, Captain. Hmm, should tell Blu that she has to bring up more for her. Only ones that she’s worn, not new ones. It has to have that ‘Chloe smell’ on them. Heh, I caught her smelling her beanie for a bit when we got back to Seattle.

Rachel: Ahh, that is so cute, it’s like a Chloe blankie.

Rachel walked back up to her room.

Sloane: Her face got so happy when she talked about her, it was nice to see. She changed so much since the visit, more talkative and outgoing when we got back to school.

Rachel: So has Chloe, she did really well with her exams. Stuff with her mom is going really well. David is still hit or miss, he has been going to veterans meetings and has agreed to therapy after Joyce and him had an argument and told him to leave. The idea of Chloe's room with a key lock was a good idea, she’s been following through on the extra responsibility stuff also.

Sloane: What were the extra responsibilities? I didn’t wanna ask, just in case it was a sore subject.

Rachel: Nothing serious; do her own laundry, keep the bathroom clean, water the plants, (*laughs*) keep truck parts off the dining room table. Make at least one supper meal a week, and be home for a family supper four times a week. Get her marks up, which she did. Again, no drugs in the house. So she just smokes up in her regular spots, away from anyone that would see and tell Joyce or David.

Sloane: She needs to be up here.

Rachel: Is it legal?

Sloane: Might as well be, cops don’t stop people anymore on the streets here, I’ve seen it so many times, cops don’t even bat an eye now. Talking with my workmates they said that they won’t pursue anyone, unless they’re causing issues, selling it out in the open or if they have a shite load of it on them. Its a law that has come really relaxed, too many people doing it and that can’t arrest everyone.

Rachel: That is so cool.

Sloane: I’m gonna ask my doctor to see if I can get a prescription.

Rachel: Nooo way.

Sloane: Yup yup, there are tons of medical dispensaries up here, so, fingers crossed. I mean, it works really good for me, so yeah. (*giggles*) If I can get the strain I need for my anxiety and then get a little somethin’ somethin’ else for fun, that would be awesome.

Rachel: Hella lucky, I got some stuff from Frank two weeks ago and it was sooo bad, sooo skunky. Had to smoke it up at the lighthouse to have a strong wind around.

Sloane laughed as she sat down on her futon.

Rachel: Had to take a shower when I got back to the dorm, it was so bad.

Sloane: Are you sure that it didn’t have an actual ground-up skunk in it?

Rachel paused for a moment, wide eyed.

Rachel: Oh man, like can you imagine. (Sips her tea) What tea did you get?

Sloane: I maaay have gotten a beer instead. I got me a hookup at work.

Rachel: Auuuh, I am so jelly of you right now.

Sloane responded singing her first couple of words to tease Rachel.

Sloane: Nah Nah, living on your own has its benefits. Wait, your living on your own, Frank not hooking you up anymore?

Rachel: He is, but he sometimes vanishes for a few weeks at a time. Living on my own is noice, I like having to just ‘do me’, ya know.

Sloane: Yeah I get that, I like that my only worry is now me, instead of worrying about the people that I’m living with. But that being said, If I had to choose between being on my own or with another family, obviously I’d live on my own, but if you gave me the option of living by myself or living at Blackwell, I would choose to live at Blackwell.

Rachel: Really?

Sloane: Blackwell will have people around my own age, ya know? Working at the coffee shop is fine and all, I mean I like the people that I work with, but it’s not the same. Most of them are in college, uni or have families with kids my age, there’s a bit of an age gap that I feel sometimes when we chat it up.

Rachel: I can see that.

Sloane: It’s nice coming home and not worrying about a pretend family and the stress of wondering if they still like me or did they have a bad day and are they going to take it out on me. I can just chill at home, so much less stress and anxiety. I do miss going out and seeing what trouble I can get away with. But I don’t want to put me living alone in jeopardy. If I get arrested once, my ride of living alone is over. So I just gotta wait till mah birthday to get up to no good.

Rachel hummed into a giggle, wondering what type of no good Sloane could get into.

Rachel: You have everything you need for the apartment?

Sloane: Nah, I keep coming across things that I need. And I gotta make a decision if I actually need it. I don’t want to buy stuff that I will have to toss if I get into Blackwell. So, I am living very minimal. Ouu! I bought a longboard!

Rachel: Oh shit, really?! What one?

Sloane: Man it is so nice to get back on one. Got a 38 Landy I can skate it to work, which is noice. I only use the truck now if I’m lazy, if it’s raining really bad or to get groceries n’ apartment stuff, and on the weekends to go exploring around Vancouver. Dude I went to a beach yesterday that had bunnies everywhere, there were sooo many of them hoppin’ around.

Rachel sipped her tea and then giggled.

Rachel: What? That is hella cool. You’re doing what I want to do, you know that?

Sloane: Trying to catch bunnies on the weekend?

Sloane and Rachel giggled.

Sloane: Well your kinda doing what I want to do.

Rachel: Wanna switch?

Sloane took a sip of her beer and placed her feet on the coffee table

Sloane: I kinda wanna do stuff together.

Rachel: That would be cool, being dormmates and living in a big city.

Sloane: It would.

Rachel: Late night coffee runs during study nights.

Sloane: I’m up for it.

James walked up the stairs and stood in Rachel's doorway, he gently knocked on the door getting Rachel’s attention. “Rachel. honey, can I please have a word with you?”

Rachel: Uhmm, yeah give me a sec.

“Sure, I’ll be down in my office.”

Rachel: K…(*Whispers*) fuuuck here we go. (*Sigh*) 

Sloane: You can do it, Bella. He’s there to help you, for sure. He will go out of his way to keep you safe, you know that.

Rachel sighed.

Rachel: Yeah.

Sloane: Text or phone me any time if you need to talk; I don’t care if it’s three in the morning, if you need to talk get a hold of me, and if not me Max or Blu. K?

Rachel: K. Thanks, Slo.

Sloane: No problem.

Rachel: I’ll probably end up talking to you after this anyways.

Sloane: That’s okay. Heh, it’ll probably ease my anxiety to know what’s going on. So yeah, if you need to talk after, I’ll be veggin’ on da couch watchin’ hockey, drinking beer in my undies.

The two girls giggled.

Rachel: There’s an image. What undies do you have on?

Sloane: Well...Uhmm.

Sloane looked down her pants and smiled. The odds.

Sloane: Heh, Hello Kitty. I do have more than one pair. 

Sloane quickly clarified. 

Sloane: Of underwear, not of Hello-

Sloane trailed off. Oh my god you dork, of course she knows you have more than one pair of underwear.

Rachel giggled, then took a deep breath and let it out.

Rachel: K, I’ll let you know what’s goin’ on hopefully in a bit.

Sloane: K.

Rachel: Thanks for the talk.

Sloane: No problem, Bella. Like I said, anytime.

Rachel: Talk to you in a bit.

Sloane: Laters.

Rachel: Laters.

-------------------

TEXTuя
💗The Misfits

Rach: Going to the police station to give my statement
          now.

Sloane: K, I know it will be hard to, but try to relax, take
             your time, listen to ur Dad, he’s on your side.
             Let me know if… fuck there’s not much I can do
             when I’m up here. 
Sloane: Just…let me know if u want to talk

Rach: :* thanks Slo

Sloane: np

-------------------

Chloe: Cops just phoned, I’m going down now to give my
           statement. This fucker’s going down.

Sloane: K, like I said to Chel if you need to talk n’ stuff I’m
             here.

Chloe: Thanks Slo

Sloane: Anytime Sista

Chloe: Can you phone Max for me she’s kinda keeping
            to herself.  

Sloane: On it

-------------------

📱Sloane → Waffles
🔔 *Ring* 🔔 *Ring* 🔔 *Ring*

Maxie: (*Sniff*)

Sloane: Maxie, what’s wrong?

Maxie: I won’t be going to Blackwell.

Sloane: Why?! Did you get your letter? Did your parents say no?

Maxie: No. (*Sniff*) If there’s no teacher for photography, there won’t be any course and I won’t be going back home. (*Sniff*)

Sloane: I can’t see them ditching the photography program Maxie, they’ll probably get a new teacher. I… Fuck .

Maxie: (*Sniff*) I feel stupid for getting upset.

Sloane: It’s ok. Wanna talk about it till Blu gets back?

Maxie: No it’s ok, I’m just being selfish.

Sloane: It’s ok, seriously, don’t keep what your thinking inside.

Maxie: I mean this man. I looked up to him, his work was amazing, and now...he has done horrible things to girls and I’m stupidly upset that I can’t go back home.

Sloane: Don’t think like that Max, You spent almost five years thinking about that place n’ Chloe, and you’ve been working your ass off in school to try and get a scholarship.

Max quietly responded.

Maxie: Yeah, still… feel like a total loser for thinking this way.

Sloane: Your not a loser Waffles, so uhmm...tea?

Chapter Text

June 28 TH 2013

-------------------

TEXTuя
🤘🏼DA CREW

Sloane: image01.jpg
Sloane: Walked into a dark room to help set up, and these
             fuckers were on teh floor, scared da shit out of me.

CaliGurl: Hey you, lol, how’s the training going?

Sloane: Hey :D Meh, it is what it is...almost done :)

Chloe: Hey. That’s like some Hannibal Lecter shit

Sloane: On lunch break now, at 711 getting something to
             eat 01.gif

Chloe: Ha! Max says hi

CaliGurl: Hi Maxie! ( ˘ ³˘)♥

Sloane: Hey Waffles (☉౪☉)ノ how’s the big city treatin’
             yah, Blu?

Chloe: Holy shit it’s amazeballs we’re in the pike place
           area, just saw the gum wall .

Sloane: Augh every time I think of that place I wanna barf

MadMax: Chlo bought a pack of big league chew, shoved
                all of it in her mouth, she looked like a chipmunk,
                then slapped the wad up.

CaliGurl: LoL I wanna see the pics

MadMax: I’ll scan and post on Insta tonight ;)

Sloane: Yay sandwich from 711.

CaliGurl: You’re going to need first aid after eating some
               thing from 711

Sloane: It will either give me food poisoning or the
              parasites will turn me into a super genius

CaliGurl: Noooooo don’t eat that

MadMax: We have to do another night of Futurama

Sloane: “It's like there's a party in my mouth and
              everybody's throwing up”

CaliGurl: I’m down for more Futurama

MadMax: Yay

Chloe: Kif, I have made it with a woman, Inform the men

Sloane: Wait! Waht! Did you guys have sexy times?!!1

CaliGurl: :O

Chloe: No, you should see Max’s face right now

Sloane: I can see the blushing from up here. Ah, sooo
             bright have to put on my sunglasses
             ( ∙_∙) ( ∙_∙)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■)

CaliGurl: LMAO

MadMax: Oh my dog

Chloe: So are u all first aid certified now or do u have to
           do more?

Sloane: After today I will have certifications in standard first
             aid, CPR, and AED. And I now know all the words
             to staying alive, can’t get it out of my head

MadMax: YaY

CaliGurl: Congrats :D

Chloe: Awesome

Sloane: Thx guys if anyone chokes on a muffin at the coffee
             shop adn keels over, I’ll be happy to phone 911 :P

Chloe: Poke them with a stick...they ded

CaliGurl: LoL hopefully u will never have to put it to use

Sloane: Yeah me too. Found out they are offering lifeguard
             certification here also was thinking about it. 

CaliGurl: Ou baywatch babe

MadMax: :D didn’t know you knew how to swim

Sloane: Aah no on the babe thing. Every summer Toronto
            offered free courses on stuff for kids/teens so if I was
            able to get a spot I took them. It was something to do
            and it was something foster parents didn’t have to
            pay for.

MadMax: Thinking about getting a job as a lifeguard?

Sloane: Nah it’s just too keep busy. I feel like I’m in a
             holding pattern, I don’t want to put down roots here
             until I know about school

CaliGurl: Bathing suit shopping!!

Sloane: Auuuuuuugh I wonder if I can do the lifeguard
             course and NOT have to get in the water

CaliGurl: image01.jpg

Sloane: Noice tummy...but no, something I would wear, not
             you ;)

MadMax: image01.jpg

CaliGurl: Lmao that would look so pretty on u :D

MadMax: They’re like your undies

Chloe looked up from eating her Seattle dog at Max from across the picnic table, with a small glare. “And how do you know what her undies look like?”

Max giggled. “A tree ate her pants.”

Sloane: HA!

CaliGurl: Wouldn’t u like to know Chlo ;)

MadMax: Hee hee :D

Sloane: Jeez, buy one pair of hello kitty undies...

MadMax: image02.jpg

CaliGurl: Lmao

Sloane: Blu are you in hittin’ distance of Max?

MadMax: :P She can’t text right now she’s choking and
                laughing on her drink :D

CaliGurl: (ʘ。ʘ) QUICK SLOANE DO THE FIRST AID THING!

Sloane: *pokes with a stick* ٩ (ಠ_ಠ)ᓄ ———— (>。◉)  
Sloane: Yup she’s choking. ٩(^ᴗ^)۶ YaY I did first aid!

Chapter Text

July 8th 2013

-------------------

TEXTuя
💗The Misfits

Rach: Max I was in Wells office filing paperwork. I just
          saw your name on a list for dorm rooms!!!
          Room219!!

Maxie: Holy shit!
Maxie: Omd

Sloane: You got in!!

Rach: I didn’t see your name Slo :( I only had a glance at
          the desk and I saw Max’s name with two others, I
          didn’t get a good look. He’s on the phone now
          talking again to the new photography teacher.
          Gabriel? I’ll wait till he leaves and I’ll go back in.

Max sat down on her bed, her hands were shaking.

Maxie: I’m shaking omd
Maxie: Gabriel Walker

Chloe heard her phone’s text notification, she glanced quickly down at the conversation keeping an eye on the road. Her adrenaline spiked and she pulled over, pumping her fist. “Fuck yeah!”

Chloe: Yaaaaaaah
Chloe: You’re cominghome!!1

The punk began to hop in her seat. She looked at her phone again and put it to her forehead as the emotions overcame her. “You're coming home.” Chloe’s eyes started to tear up, she wiped them away and looked out the window to make sure no one was looking at her. “Max you're coming home.”

Maxie: EEeeeeeee

Rach: Trying to find something to bring to his desk

Maxie: Sneak a pic

Chloe: BW administrative ninja. tuck and roll tuck and roll

.
.
.

Rach: Dammit I brought in an empty folder and put It on
          his desk, he has it covered with other paperwork,
          dude is hella messy

Sloane: Back, had to get excused YAY Waffles goin’ to
             BW!!! Woooooooo

Chloe: ? where are you 

Sloane: Me ?

Chloe: Yeah

Sloane: Its Monday, algebra

Chloe: Pff nerd

Sloane: You helped me out with homework NERRRD :D

Chloe: I’m not the one with black rimmed glasses NERD

Rach: Omg u both are

Sloane: Says miss 4.0

Chloe: Says the school admin assistant

Rach: Says the girl that plays DnD and the other that is
          learning DnD.

Maxie: Hee Hee, Oh Snap! Slo, how you finding summer
            school?

Sloane: Ehhh, would like to not be in it, but doing the course
             now instead of in Sept, I’ll be happy not to take
             math in my last year tho :D

Rach: Get off the phone! He was supposed to go to lunch
          auuuuughghghgh

Chloe: Gonna wake up with you every morning!!

Sloane: Ok but I think Maxie might be a little upset :P also I
             am a cuddler ;)

Rach: And you talk in your sleep

Sloane: :P

Maxie: Omd :)  and yeah you do. Scared the poop outta me
            the first time you slept over

Sloane: LoL. Blu are u ready to rent a u-haul to ‘move in’.

Chloe: YES!

Sloane: :D

Maxie: So excited!!

Sloane: I gotta get back, text if yah find something out Chel

Rach: K, I’ll let u know

Sloane: fingers crossed

Rach: toes crossed

Maxie: eyes crossed

Chloe: uterus crossed

Maxie: Augh Chloe nooo

--------------------

Rach: So I got some info, I didn’t see Slo’s name :( BUT
          not all the rooms are taken yet! Chloe, Kelly’s not
          on the dorm list?? has Steph been talking with her?
          :( I sent her a text she hasn’t replied.
Rach: Fuck jeffershit and what he did to her.

Kelly Davis was one of Mark Jefferson’s victims, she didn’t realize she was one until a binder of photos were discovered by police. In a police interview, Kelly did state that she did pass out one night coming home from a house party but thought that it was from drinking too much. Mark had been following the girl and injected her with a sedative and dragged her to his car to only drive her to an abandoned barn. The details of what happened never came out in public, Kelly would not be returning to Blackwell for her final year of school.

Chloe: Fuck I’ll message Steph, think Dana was talking with
           her too after school was out

Rach: Girl named Stella Hill is listed for her room.

Maxie: I hope he burns in hell

Chloe: Baseball bat to the dick, then to the teeth.

-------------------

Rach: Got it!
          Stella Hill 217
          Juliet Watson 223 she’s moving in YaY
          Kate Marsh 222
          MAX CAULFIELD 219!!!!!!!
          Taylor Christensen 225 she’s moving in also
          Dana, Vic, and Brooke are all on the list again.
          Brooke is moving to a different room 226. Probably
          to get away from Victoria. So that leaves 3 rooms
          left

Chloe: NINJA. Steph applied for a room this year too.

Maxie: I can’t sit still so nervous
Maxie: I want Sloane to come with me, she really wants
           this too.

Chloe: Yeah, would be awesome if she can get in.
Chloe: Have u told your parents about jeffershit yet?

Maxie: No, I don’t know if I will, I don’t want them to even
            have a reason to say no to me going.

Rach: Keeping an eye out for Slo’s name.  
Rach: Start picking out courses Maxie :D

Maxie: I may have already picked them out. 
Maxie: World history
            Literature
            Algebra
            Media
            Music
            Photography
            Photoshop/Lightroom
            Visual Concepts 

Rach: Good picks there are so many new courses, I still
          haven’t decided.

Chloe: Thinking about taking some of the design/life drawing
           ones

Rach: Drama?

Chloe: No

Rach: Drama

Chloe: No

Rach: Drama

Chloe: Fuuuck off Rach nooo

Rach: But u were good for the time u had to learn
          your lines

Maxie: Do it, want to see u on stage in spandex :DD

Rach: YaY Max agrees, you’re taking Drama

Chloe: Maxine are u saying u want me to wear really
           tight clothes? ou la la. 
Chloe: For the record, I don’t need to be on stage for u
           to see me in tight clothes

Maxie: :D

Chloe: Or with nothing at all.

Maxie: CHLOE!

Chloe: Hee

Rach: lol Maxine what’s on your mind *fans herself*

Maxie: OMD

Chloe: Meee, I am hot, who wouldn’t want to see this
           awesome body

Maxie: (◔_◔)

Rach: Omg (-‸ლ)

Chloe: Maaaaaax why can’t you be here now!?!

Maxie: lol sorry babe (,ó ̯ ò)◟ʕ•ᴥ•ʔ  

Rach: The count down is on :)

Maxie: I’m gonna go and talk with my parents, let them
           know.

Chloe: Txt me after you talk with them.

Maxie: K  :*
Maxie: Cya Rachel thanks for the ninjaing, still hoping
            for Sloane. Text you later :*

Rach: She’s got to get in.
Rach: No prob Maxie laters :*

Chloe: Wanna come over for supper, my turn to cook?

Rach: Idk your last meal was…

Chloe: It’s was fine! Mom liked it

Rach: She’s your mom, she’ll like anything you make
Rach: What are you making anyway?

Chloe: Spaghetti

Rach: Did you make the sauce from scratch?

Chloe: Hell no, but some Italian lady named Bertolli did
           and she was kind enough to put some in a jar for me

Rach: K

Chloe: 5:30?

Rach: Yeah

Chloe: K I’ll pick up mom along the way to you.

Rach: K see you then

Chloe: Laters

Rach: Laters

Chapter Text

...And buy a ticket for a plane and come and see me baby, Or drive your car all night by just starlight to Canada 

That's where I'll be, waiting. - Jann Arden

-------------------

Regulars made themselves comfortable in the outdoor area at the Grinder Coffee Shop on a warm summer's evening. The ivy-covered trellis pergola was adorned with white lanterns and the tables were lit with tea candles. It was a relaxed atmosphere. Couples and groups of friends enjoyed the evening with live performances for the past hour. Sloane spent the last twenty-five mins playing her set; she’d put off playing guitar for a couple of weeks, as she had her work shifts. And if it wasn’t work, it was schoolwork or some type of weekend course. She kept her daily chats with her friends but she needed the comfort of people around her, so keeping herself busy helped fend off the loneliness that she was going through since she’d left Seattle. While working at Grinder she got to know a few of the regular patrons. The cafe held open mic nights on Monday and Wednesday evenings. She started out playing by herself but it grew into a little unit. First, Jacob, a fifty-year-old jeweller inquired if he could play keyboard with Sloane some evenings. Then Ben, a tattooist, would play drums on a homemade suitcase drum kit. And then Lisa, a twenty-one-year-old student on strings. 

Tonight she had her phone placed on the stool beside her with a drink. She was waiting for an Amazon delivery notification, she paid for the quicker delivery service to make sure Rachel received her birthday gift on the right day. It was creeping closer to eight pm and she was getting disheartened that it wouldn’t be delivered in time. 

“Thank you, everyone, for coming out tonight and joining us this evening on open mic night,” Sloane said. “We really appreciate the support, so thank you.” Small applause came from the backyard setting along with a small ‘woo’ from the far back. Sloane smirked. There’s always one ‘woo’ person . She got up from her stool and packed away her guitar and chatted with her little group. Shortly after, they said their goodnights and Sloane walked to the front to say goodnight to Jimmie and this evening coffee crew. She walked out the front door and into the warm Vancouver night. I’ll phone her now; dammit, Amazon you were supposed to deliver, she thought to herself as she hit Rachel’s icon. She placed the phone to her ear, turned west and started for home. In her left ear, she heard the first ring, in her right, she heard ‘California Gurls’ play behind her. She stopped and had a flashback of her weekend in Arcadia Bay. Sloane looked over her shoulder and dropped her guitar case on the sidewalk. The Cali gurl stood ten feet away from her, wearing ripped jeans, punk black jacket, and carried a backpack on her shoulder. The girl slyly smiled, winked and sauntered towards Sloane.

“So, I’m looking for this Canadian girl that left Arcadia Bay a few months ago.” Rachel said. “You haven’t seen her have you?”

No one in Sloane life ever visited her in any place or home she was in. She always went out of her way to meet up with her friends somewhere, not wanting them to endure the shitty households or group homes that the system put her in. Seeing this person in front of her who lived miles away and in a different Country, Sloane was speechless. Rachel walked up to a shocked Sloane, slid off her backpack and hugged the girl. It took Sloane a few seconds to barely return the hug and a few more to get words to come out of her mouth.

“Chel?” Sloane said.

Rachel pulled away, smiling her one-of-a-kind smile. “Hey Slo.” Gotcha.

The Canadian looked at her, still in shock and shook her head. Once she got her over the initial surprise and her mind to mouth started to work again she asked. “Chel, what are you doing here?!”

The blonde giggled. “Oh, you know, never been to Vancouver, so...” Rachel rocked her head side to side. “You know.”

“Holy shite, how?” Sloane asked. Rachel grinned then laughed at Sloane reaction.

“Got a flight a few hours ago, and a cab here, since I knew where you’d be,” she said with a huge smile.

“Oh you little sneak, that’s why you wanted to know where I was an hour ago.” Sloane realized. ”Wait, you’ve been here for an hour?!”

Rachel laughed. “Yeah, watched you play, hella awesome, I really liked the Hey Ya cover.” 

“Thanks, taking a chapter from Max’s book and doing more acoustic stuff, plus I don’t think thrashing in the coffee shop would go over well. Then again everyone is hopped up on caffeine.” The two girls giggled.

“I was gonna go to your apartment, but I didn’t want to wait for you to come home for the surprise, especially if it started to rain.”

“Heh, yeah, that would’ve sucked...I-I can’t believe your here.” Sloane smiled. “Holy shite,” she remembered, looking at Rachel in surprise. “OH! Happy Birthday!” Sloane hugged her like a vice, lifting the girl easily off her feet.

Rachel grunted and laughed barely getting the word out. “Thanks.”

Sloane hopped away from her excited. ”Ok Ok Ok let's get you back to mmmyyy apartment.” 

Rachel picked up her backpack and slid it over her shoulder. Sloane picked up her guitar case.

“Shall we Bella.”

“Lead the way.”

The two wrapped their arms around each other’s back and walked down the street.

Sloane giggling. “Damn, I didn’t know if I was going to have a heart attack or pass out seeing you.”

“Good that you didn’t, ‘cause I’m not the one that took first aid.” Rachel said, swing her hip and bumping Sloane’s.

*Boop*

Sloane looked at her phone hearing the notification, “Augh, figures,” she showed Rachel. “Your birthday gift just arrived at your house.”

-------------------

(Late edit addition: Sloane's apt)

Rachel sat on top of Sloane’s kitchen counter, shawarma in one hand, beer in the other. Sloane opened up another beer. 

Rachel looked around the apartment, chewing her food. “This place is amazing, seriously jelly right now.”

“It is sweet to finally have my own place, but it gets lonely, ya know.”

“And that’s why I’m here.” Rachel smiled at Sloane. “I was getting the sense something was up the past week when we were texting, and on the last video call, you seemed, well, depressed... you didn’t really talk at all. We all noticed actually. I had the cash-.” She took her last bite of shawarma, “so here I am to brighten your day, err night as it is.”

“Thanks, Bella, much appreciated.” She held out her beer and Rachel clinked it with hers.

“No prob... damn that was good,” Rachel said. “Been a long time since I had shawarma.”

Sloane raised her eyebrows remembering something. She put down her food and drink, then walked over to a shelving unit and retrieved a vanilla scented candle, placing it on the countertop. She took out the baklava, lit the candle and brought both items over to Rachel.

“It might not be the real thing but-”

Rachel slid off the counter looking at Sloane with a grin. “Aww, this is so sweet, thank you.”

“Happy Birthday Chel.”

Rachel closed her eyes and made a wish, then blew out the scented candle. “Woo!”

--------------------

The two girls sat across from each other on the concrete floor of Sloane’s apartment patio. Sloane was taking a long slow drag of a joint. Rachel leaned back against the sliding door, eating a Twizzler, enjoying the night.

“Who did that belong to?” Rachel traced her finger over her own neck to indicate what she was talking about.

Sloane lifted the ring around her neck that was held by a leather necklace. “It belonged to my grandmother...I lived with my grandparents for a little while when I was really-really young until both their health deteriorated, and I went back into foster care.” Sloane let go of the ring letting it fall to her neck. “I apparently was also given her engagement ring but my drunken' egg donor pawned it off along with my grandfather's wedding band for a weekend bender of drinking.”

“What the fuck, are you serious?! That bitch.” Rachel appalling said.

“Yeah,” She smiled at Rachel’s reaction. Sloane put the tip of her index finger through the ring lifting it up again. “I’m sure I’ll be crazy enough to break the necklace one day to give it to someone.”

“You wanna get married?” Rachel took a sip of her beer.

Sloane looked at Rachel quietly for a few seconds, letting the question stand unanswered, Sloane slowly smirked. “Are you ask me or is that a-.”

“Oh my God.” Rachel smiled, rolled her eyes, shook her head and kicked her outstretched foot at Sloane.

Sloane chuckled, “Bella, again it’s all on how you say things, like you wanna take a shower?” Sloane reminded Rachel of the question she asked her at Blackwell. 

“Your horrible.” The blonde teased.

“I know. Horribly awesome.” Sloane replied giggling.

-------------------

“So, do you think they’ve had sex yet?” Rachel asked heavily leaning back on the sliding patio door.

Sloane slowly raised her eyebrow at the question and let out a small laugh as she exhaled. “I don’t know, I-. Max asked me a few questions before Chloe went to Seattle.” Sloane passed the joint back to Rachel.

“Like what?” Rachel took a drag.

“She wanted to know what the right time should be. She’s really self-conscious, she measures herself up against you, ya know that.” 

Rachel slowly raised her eyebrows, “Wow, she really shouldn’t.” She exhaled smoke into the air. “Chloe likes her because of her. We didn’t work out because Chloe couldn’t let her go.”

“She was a nervous wreck when Blu texted her saying she was actually in Seattle and driving to her house.”

Rachel sat up, “oh man, Chloe was so hella nervous too when she left. Worried that Max’s parents wouldn't let her in the house or change their minds about an hour later when she would’ve said something inappropriate.”

Sloane giggled, “Blu’s filter must have been set to 100%. I’m picturing her sitting up straight, drinking tea from a cup and saucer, pinkie out, answering everything thing with ‘Yes Sir, yes Ma’am.” 

Rachel giggled. “In a Sunday dress.”

“Yes Sir, I will not defile your daughter’s boobies.”

Rachel laughed into her beer bottle. “Yes Ma’am, I shan't touch Maxine’s fine ass.”

“It is a fine one,” Sloane said as they both clinked beer bottles, smiling.

“Indeed,” Rachel nodded in agreement.

Sloane took a long drink of her beer, “Maxie is in an all-new territory, not only having her first relationship, but it’s with a girl. She’s kept it quiet with her parents, and super nervous when she tries to bring up a conversation to see how her parents feel about same-sex relationships. I have no experience in dealing with, ya know family shite. I never had to go through it. What did Jimmy and Rosie say to you?”

Rachel giggled at Sloane’s nickname for her Dad and Rose, she wondered if Sloane actually said anyone’s real name.

“Nothing really,” Rachel said. “When Dad asked me to sit down on the sofa, he was going to tell me about Sera. He mentioned that it was a conversation that might be better for only family to hear. I held Chloe’s hand and said that Chloe wasn’t going anywhere, that’s when he realized. He didn’t say anything, and my attitude was and still is that its none of his business. Rose was positive towards Chloe and me... she finds Chloe funny.” Rachel took a swig of her beer and continued, smirking, “When Chloe gets nervous she starts cracking dad jokes.”

Sloane laughed. “I gotta see this side of Blu.”

“Like, what’s orange and sounds like a parrot?”

Sloane looked at Rachel with a blank face and she shrugged.

“A carrot.”

Sloane giggled, Rachel continued. Chloe asked my dad, what kind of bees make milk”?

Sloane shook her head.

“Boo Bees.”

Rachel and Sloane laughed, “you should’ve seen my Dad’s face, he didn’t even crack a smile, Rose laughed, told Chloe she loved it.”

Both girls entered a giggling fit from the weed and stupid jokes. Rachel had tears coming down her eyes and snorted, Sloane was holding her stomach pleading for herself to stop laughing.

-------------------

Sloane scooched over next to Rachel. “Come here.” Rachel moved over and Sloane took out her phone and took a picture of them. She texted a quick message to Max and Chloe.

“So, any idea what you want to see or do tomorrow?” She asked Rachel.

“I don’t know, this was kinda a last minute thing, so whatever, it’s all coo.”

“Well, Vancouver scenery is a looot like Oregon. Ouu, do you happen to have a fake ID?”

“But of course, never leave home without it,” Rachel looked at Sloane and laid her head on the girl's shoulder, yawning.

“Noice, how long are you here for, I didn’t even ask you that?”

“My flight is on Thursday morning at eleven, wish I could get more time off, but since Blackwell acceptance emails started going out, work has picked up.”

“Glad you're here, even if it’s only for a few Bella. I’m sending an email to my boss asking if my shifts could be moved.”

The night went on with the two girls talking and enjoying each others company. Rachel noticed Sloane’s demeanour had changed for the positive from the last time they had a video chat, she knew she made a good call on coming up to visit her, even if it was for a few days.

-------------------

Jann Arden - Waiting in Canada

Obadiah Parker - Hey Ya (Cover )

Chapter Text

NOTE: I forgot to add this pic of Sloane’s apt in the last chapter

 

The two girls held their excitement as they walked through the doors with the rest of the tour group. They entered the Granville Island Microbrewery for a tour of the facility, letting out some giggles.

-------------------

TEXTuя
💗The Misfits

Rach: Chelo guss wheere we aat

Chloe: The moon
Chloe: China
Chloe: Strip club

.
.
.

Chloe: Wait are u at a strip club?!!

Chloe leaned back on the rooftop above the garage, putting out her smoke in the ashtray.

Rach: Micro brrewery!!11111

Chloe: No fuckin way!

Rach: Ahhhhhhhh
Rach: Iss so hellaa aawesoone
Rach: I bought u a snirtt
Rach: Eatn burgers noe sooo goooods

Chloe: Ahhh wish i was there

Sloane: OMG Blu, she’s out of it. Gurl has a 3 beer limit.
            Smushing burger into her mouth giggling like a
            mother fucker.
Sloane: image01.jpg

Chloe: LMAO smushing burger into face. GET IN MA
           BELLY!
Chloe: 3 beer?

Sloane: Texting with ketchup covered finger is a no-no.
             Her phone’s gonna be sticky with a tomatoie
             fragrance :D
Sloane: IPA 7.2% alcohol

Chloe: Fuck duuuude i wish i was there auuuugh

Max: OMG Hiiiii

Sloane: Waffles in da house :DD
Sloane: House of Waffles
Sloane: House of pancakes
Sloane: House of Maxie

Chloe: Ha! Hey babe

Max: ( ˘ ³˘)

Sloane: Noice got one for Blu too (っ˘з(˘⌣˘ )

Max: ( ˘ ³˘)

Chloe: Those are all mine!!

Sloane: OMG Chel demands one, girl just yelled out
             I WANT A KISS to the whole restaurant, now
             she’s giggling with a mouthful of burger

Max: ( ˘ ³˘) How did you guys get in?!

Sloane: Fake id’s, but they didn’t ask for them :D

Rach: Taaank u maaaaxi ( ˘ ³˘) ( ˘ ³˘) ( ˘ ³˘)

Sloane: U would like it here Maxie all hipstery artisan
            stuff

Max: Wish we were with all you guys, just got back from
         seeing Pacific Rim with Kristen.

Chloe: U on a date with another chick! I’m gonna kick
           her ass

Max: Never, you’re my Drifting partner for life ( ˘ ³˘)

Chloe: Kick all the kaiju’s!!

Sloane: Sry guys gotta go and get this girl to walk
            around outside, start burning off some of the
            alcohol, drunkie Chel is a handful

Chloe: Don’t I know it

Max: Text you laters Slo, take care of Rach ( ˘ ³˘)

Sloane: Cya Maxie, laters Blu :*

Chloe: Laters
Chloe: Hey Drift partner wanna watch a movie?

Max: Sure, have one in mind.

Chloe: Cloverfield?

Max: K, gonna get a drink, login in a bit ( ˘ ³˘) 

Chloe: K gonna make popcorn, then I’ll get to see that
           pretty face of yours in a few 

Rach: U guuys r sou cute i luv u boóths

 

After they had their fill of beers and a burger, Rachel and Sloane ventured out to walk around Granville Island. They went in and out of artisan shops ranging from silk printing to glass blowing to candy making. Sloane glanced at her phone and slipped it back into her pocket.

“How yah feeling now drunkie?” She asked with a smile.

“Better, really needed food in my stomach. Those IPA’s have a quick kick.” 

Sloane giggled. “Well especially when you down a beer in less than two minutes. Were you worried they would take it from you?”

“Hey if we got caught at least I’d leave with some samples in my belly.”

Sloane laughed. “You must be really good at shotgunning.”

Rachel nodded her head side to side grinning. “Maaaybe.”

“You ok though?”

“Yeah, I have a nice buzz going on,” she said with a giggle.

“Come on lil’ bee, let's go buzz by the water.”

They exited the island and walked a little north along the marina walkway. It was a warm, clear night. A few runners passed every once in a while, along with people out in the evening walking their dogs. They came upon Vanier Park; Rachel hadn’t noticed anything as her viewpoint was cut off by trees. The strong voice of a man in mid-speech made her turn and when they passed the small thicket of trees she was greeted by a man standing on a podium with a small crowd viewing his performance. Like a moth to a flame, Rachel didn’t take her eyes off the performer as she walked forward. Sloane followed behind with a smirk.

Four lit oil torches were positioned on each corner of the performer’s podium which helped light up the area and cast dark shadows across his face. He held up a skull, speaking to it as if it were a friend.

”Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio,” the performer started his soliloquy from Hamlet. The reflection of the podium flames flickered in Rachel’s eyes, she was lost in the performance. Sloane noticed that she’d begun mouthing the words and showing some facial emotions as she spoke silently along with the performer.

The small crowd clapped when the entertainer finished. Rachel turned to Sloane grabbing her arm with excitement, “That was awesome.”

“Heh, thought you’d like it,” Sloane directed Rachel to turn and walked with the crowd towards a small venue of white tents. As they approached the venue’s gates, the blonde looked above the archway and read to herself the name of the venue. ‘ Bard on the Beach Shakespeare Festival.’ She looked with wonder past the gates then back at a smirking Sloane. 

Into the early evening, they walked around the venue. There were small podium performances like the one they’d watched outside the venue. Clothing and mask vendors sold trinkets of various Shakespeare plays and musicals. Rachel bought a shirt with a headshot of William Shakespeare with the slogan, ‘So Lit,’ along with a skull keychain.

-------------------

Sloane brought up her rapier and blocked Rachel’s overhead sword swing.

An instructing swordsman spoke. “Okay, everyone on my right, you have just blocked your opponent's advancement,” Rachel and Sloane had decided to take a little tutorial on stage sword fighting. About twenty people were lined up, facing each other. Rachel stood relaxed in her stance, watching Sloane who was looking at the instructor as he explained the next move. “Now, as you rotate your wrist clockwise, you’re going to wrap your rapier around your opponents. Once you do a half rotation you will have your rapier line up with your opponent's stomach.” He helped an older man position his hand before he continued. “Okay, everybody on my right, rotate your wrist.” All participants on the right slowly followed along. Sloane bit her tongue and concentrated on her movements then completed the action. She looked at Rachel with a small smile, Rachel giggled. “You're a regular swashbuckler.”

“Johnny Derp got nothing on me,” Sloane said, smiling.

The instructor continued, “Next, and very carefully, you will advance your arm and step forward, very carefully everyone,” the swordsman repeated. “step forward and stab your opponent.”

Sloane looked up at Rachel and a roguish smile grew across her face. She did the movement and the rapier’s fake blade bent as it poked Rachel in the stomach.

“Blaaaaaaaaah, take that fowl scallywag hag!” Sloane said. Followed by three more quick pokes at Rachel’s stomach.

Rachel quickly parried the fourth poke. “Call me that again and I’ll-”

Sloane bounced on her toes, dancing around like a boxer, “Ouuu, watcha gonna do, huh? Whatcha gonna do? come at me bro!” Sloane teased. Rachel kept calm, smiled and shook her head watching Sloane swish her rapier around. “Arrrr.”

The instructor clapped his hands to get everyone's attention. “Okay, that is the full movement, “let's take it from the top everyone, follow my count.” The instructor started with a count of one as everyone took to their positions. When it came to the last two movements Sloane’s grin grew again, knowing there would be another chance to poke Rachel. As Sloane rotated her wrist and then advanced forward, Rachel stood relaxed with one hand behind her back and a small grin appeared when she easily counter Sloane’s advancement and poked Sloane. 

“Ahhh, my belly button!” Sloane said surprised, she immediately tried to poke Rachel back, but again the blonde countered once more and poked Sloane in the belly button again. “Owww!” Sloane covered her belly button with her opposite hand looking at Rachel.

Rachel with a smiling glare pointed her rapier at Sloane. “That’s what you get, calling me a hag.”

Sloane mouthed the word, “beeyotch.” and turned around to walked back to take her position. Whooot-tssh! Sloane's eyes lit up and she hopped as she felt the sting of the rapier blade across her butt. She looked back rubbing her butt cheek to see a devilish smile across Rachel’s face. 

That’s gonna leave a mark.

-------------------

Sword lesson and lesson learned complete, they moseyed towards the main tent. Sloane had her shirt lifted up a little just exposing her red belly button.

“I’m telling ya Bella, I had an outie before you decided to stab me,” she said as she motioned to her midriff, “Look at this! It’s an innie now, how could you do this to my belly button?”

Rachel laughed. “Well, you won’t call me that again.”

“No, I won’t call you that again, but I've got a few other choice words I can call you,” she said, pretending to be mad.

Rachel looked at Sloane’s stomach, “Damn, every day ‘Ab day’ with you?” She smacked Sloane’s belly right on the sore spot. Sloane flinched with a little pain and covered her stomach, a little embarrassed.

“Ahh, not every day, but it’s nice having a gym around the corner from the apartment.”

They stopped at the main tent entrance and Sloane produced two tickets for the vendor. The young boy punched them. “First entrance on your right, enjoy the performance.”

They’d taken their seats and waited, Rachel stole a glanced at Sloane who was looking over to her far right at the crowd under the tent, absentmindedly rubbing her belly button, Rachel hid her grin. The tent’s lighting dimmed and the center stage lights slowly grew. The crowd became silent as Macbeth began. 

-------------------

“Ahhh that was hella amazing,” Rachel said as hopped and skipped outside the venue and down a small pathway. “Thank you, Slo.”

“No problem, you really like this theatre stuff huh.”

“Yeaah it’s so much fun,” she said wide-eyed. “You gotta give it a try sometime, seriously, Chloe even loved it.”

“Mmmm I don’t know,” Sloane said, “Think I’ll stick to singing.” She began to whistle Twinkle Twinkle Little Star.

“Bah, do both,” the blonde said as they walked along the pathway.

Sloane looked up in the sky, Rachel joined her gaze. “Stars are out tonight,” Sloane said.

“Yeah,” Rachel pointed up into the night. “You can just barely see it but Venus is right there.”

Sloane squinted. “Too bad we didn’t have a better way of seeing it.”

Rachel hummed in agreement.

“Like a telescope or somethin’,” Sloane said looking at her. 

“Yeah an amateur scope would be fine,” Rachel nodded.

“How about a large Cassegrain telescope?” Sloane asked. Rachel looked at her peculiarly at how the girl knew the telescope type. Sloane looked over Rachel’s shoulder and nudged her head in the direction behind her.

The Gordon Southam Observatory stood behind her, its dome doors were open for nighttime viewing. Rachel turned back to Sloane, surprised.

-------------------

They stood within a small group of eight other people in the red lit observatory. Two volunteer workers quietly talked as their voice carried easily around the dome. They discussed the general observatory, the telescopes that were in use and, of course, the planets, moon, and stars. Rachel got to view Venus close-up, as well as the moon. Nick, one of the volunteers talked about what could be viewed tonight as the telescope was rotating in place. The volunteers talked back and forth over coordinates and observers talked amongst themselves. In the dark Rachel leaned over toward Sloane.

“I never went to an observatory before, this is beautiful,” Rachel whispered.

“This is kinda cool,” Sloane said, looking into the night sky.

“Alright, here we can easily see,” Nick explained, “Ursa Major and just above and to the left, Ursa Minor. Everyone will recognize their other names, part of Ursa Major is the Big Dipper and Ursa Minor, the Little Dipper. Latin translation, it's Great Bear and Little Bear.”

Sloane quietly giggled, leaned over to Rachel’s ear and whispered, “Chlobear and Maxiecub.”

-------------------

Greg, the second volunteer, who was in charge of setting the coordinates for the evening, spoke up, looked back at Nick, “Set.” Nick nodded in acknowledgment. 

“Thanks. Ahh, excuse me, folks, is there a Rachel Amber here?” The volunteer asked.

Rachel instantly stood still and looked at the volunteer. “Yeaaah?” She said bewildered and raised her hand a little. Nick directed her to look into the eyepiece of the Cassegrain telescope. Rachel walked with uncertainty towards Nick. She looked back at Sloane, she could barely see the smirk across her face in the darkroom. Rachel adjusted the focusing knob. Nick waited until she was set.

“As requested, Leo and Cancer constellations,” he said. Rachel’s mouth dropped a little, Sloane smiled as she took a picture. Gotcha.

-------------------

After the observatory, Rachel walked with Sloane, north to a ferry dock where they boarded a small boat for the short trip across False Creek that landed on the edge of Sunset Beach Park. From there they walk up along the beach then back to Sloane's apartment.

Rachel took off her Chucks and flopped down on the futon. Sloane went into the fridge and grabbed two beers and sat down next to her.

“Slo, tonight was amazing, thank you,” Rachel sighed. “I really miss being in a city.”

“No prob, it was kinda cool,” Sloane replied. “I never went to any of those things before. The play was interesting, it’s one thing to read it in school, but when you actually see it, it’s-”

“It’s incredible,” Rachel said leaning her head back onto the futon.

Sloane’s phone chimed. She checked it and mumbled. “Shite.” 

“What up?” Rachel asked after she swallowed a mouthful of beer. 

“Je suis désolé (I'm sorry)… I can’t get the full work shift off tomorrow,” Sloane said. “I’ll have to go in tomorrow for opening.”

“How long?”

“Meh, it’s four hours, five to nine.” 

“Shit that’s not a lot of sleep, are you gonna be okay?”

“Hmm, if only I worked at a place that had an endless supply of caffeine,” she jokingly mused, tapping her chin and smirking at Rachel.

*Smack*

Sloane rubbed her shoulder, laughing. “Ow.”

-------------------

Grandville Brewery - Bard on the Beach - Observatory - Ferry - Apt

 

¹*Photo credit - Kate Ovens(50oz burger challenge)

Chapter Text

Sloane rolled off the futon at quarter after four in the morning, showered and got dressed. She sat down next to Rachel in her bed, adjusted the blonde’s blanket to cover her more and woke her.

“Hey I’m going in now,” she said quietly, “mi casa es tu casa, Bella.” The girl laid on her stomach, hair messed up as it was spread out over the pillow and her face. She barely had her eyes open.

Rachel mumbled, “K, see you soon.” Sloane left with a granola bar, water and longboard. As she walked down the hallway toward the stairs, she met up with one of her floormates, Megan. The forty-year-old finished a phone call, swearing quietly in the hallway.

“I can’t fucking believe this.”

“Morning, Meg.”

Megan turned toward the voice, ”Morning, Sloane.” She then looked at Sloane confused. “What the hell are you doing up at this hour?”

“Opening shift,” Sloane said as she rubbed her eyes and yawned. “You?”

“Had work, just got a phone call from my assistant saying one of our hires is drunk and won’t be showing up.”

“Wow, that’s screwed up.”

Megan sighed. “Yeah, another morning wasted... been waiting for the past three days for the weather.”

Sloane opened up the stairwell door. “Any chance to get someone else?”

“No, I needed it to be this morning and no one will be ready on such short notice.”

“Augh.”

“Yeah, I’ll see you later sweetie, have a good one,” Megan said, sighing again as she unlocked her door and went into her apartment.

“Yeah, laters.”

Sloane entered the stairwell and walked down the steps. In a sleepy morning haze, she rounded the third floor down from her apartment room and let out another big yawn. Her brain started to turn itself on but her body was still on automatic when a thought came to her mind. She slipped down a few stairs and had to grab the railing to keep herself from falling backwards. Her body jolted awake, she turned and ran up the stairs, taking them two at a time.

Sloane burst open her apartment door and made a beeline to her bed and the girl snoring in it, “Chel! Chel! Get up!” Sloane pulled down the blanket. Hmm red panties ... Rachel moaned with annoyance, then mumbled a few swear words and curled up in a ball, trying to grab the blanket from whoever had taken it away. Someone insistently kept calling her name, then there was a pause of quietness.

*SMACK*

Rachel’s eyes were thrown open at the sting from her right ass cheek.

The sleepy blonde stood in the apartment buildings hallway, barefoot, hair in a mess, mouth guard still in, wearing one of Sloane’s hockey shirts that fell just below her panties. She’d only had four hours sleep and now she looked at a woman standing next to Sloane. The lady studied Rachel and looked at Sloane’s phone, scrolling through the app. Rachel had no clue what was going on. Sleepytime now. The woman spoke to Rachel and the blonde blinked a few times as her brain started to churn. Then, with four specific words spoken, her brain poured adrenaline through her body when she realized what was happening.

-------------------

In record time, Rachel showered, brushed her teeth, got dressed, put up her wet hair with a clip, then knocked on Megan’s door. The lady opened it, drinking coffee from a travel mug.

“All ready to go?” she asked.

“Ready,” Rachel replied with an enthusiastic smile.

An hour and a half later, with the sun just rising over the horizon, Rachel stood on a paddleboard just off Third Beach in Stanley Park as Megan and her crew took shots of Rachel for an upcoming MEC Fall line of outdoor recreation gear and apparel.

After her early morning shift, Sloane made her way to Stanley Park to meet up with Rachel. She sent the girl a few texts with no replies; Sloane guessed that she would’ve had no time to check them during the shoot. She parked the truck, grabbed her backpack, longboard, and another one she borrowed from a young friend that lived in the apartment building. She skated to Third Beach to meet the blonde.

She hopped off her board and jumped from the walkway down to the beach. She placed her pack and boards next to a large log that was used for seating. Megan and her crew, along with Rachel, were still working so Sloane made the best of the situation. She texted Rachel to let her know where she was, took off her sneakers and socks and put her feet in the warm sand. She leaned back, pulled her baseball cap down over her eyes and fell asleep.

-------------------

Sloane didn’t know how long she’d been snoozing when she felt someone sit down next to her. Her cap was lifted and she opened her eyes.

“Hey you,” Rachel smiled.

“Hey,” Sloane yawned.

“You look really tired,” Rachel said, chuckling. “Endless supply of caffeine not doing it for yah?” She took off her sneakers and socks and joined Sloane in the sand.

“I think I’ve built up an immunity since I started working there,” Sloane said with another yawn. “How did it go? You look way to energetic, smiling from ear to ear.”

Rachel sat up and turned towards Sloane, “It’s the adrenaline. Slo, it was awesome.” She reached out and squeezed the sleepy girl's arm showing her excitement. “I… it… oh dude… it was hella awesome. I was on a paddleboard for a bit, Meg wanted sunrise shots. Then four other models showed up and we did a shoot with some outdoor camping equipment. It’s really interesting to see the behind the scenes stuff of how shots are set up. When I was out on the water, this group of like half a dozen people were running around getting the camping scene set up. So when Meg and the crew got off the boat, I changed into another set of clothes and was at the next scene with the other models.”

Sloane opened her bag and took out a bottle of water. She drank some and offered it to Rachel as she continued talking. It was easy to see that Rachel enjoyed every bit of her first official model shoot. “Then after the camping shoot, we did some clothing shots around the area. It was all amazing…it’s like a dream.” Rachel had a new hiking backpack in her hands. “They gave me this pack, it’s freaking huge and they gave me the clothes I wore.”

“Noice, glad you enjoyed it. How yah feeling?” Sloane asked. “You up for some touristy adventures?”

Rachel swallowed some more water and nodded her head. “Yeah, I see you have something planned for us.”

“If you’re up to it we can board around Stanley Park. I know it’s, ya know, trees and water, like Arcadia, so-”

“I’m up for it,” the blonde said with a smile. “It’s been like forever since I’ve been back on a board. This kinda reminds me of LA and skating on the boardwalk.”

“Sweet, you good to go?”

“Mmhmm.”

Sloane handed Rachel a board went back to the truck to drop off her new backpack and off they went around the park. They stopped by the regular tourist points; Prospect Point for a scenic view, Brockton Lighthouse (tiny compared to Arcadia’s) the 9 O'Clock Gun for the two pirates in their lives and Sloane brought her to see the totems in Stanley Park.

Once they got back to the truck they were off to Gastown to walk around and eventually emerged into Chinatown where they ate their fill of dim sum; some in the shapes of pigs, turtles, and pugs.

They arrived back in Stanley Park as the sun was going down. Sloane grabbed her board and passed Rachel the loaner. “What are we doing back here?” Rachel asked.

“Gonna watch the sun go down and listen to some beats,” Sloane said as she put on her sunglasses. Rachel took Sloane’s baseball cap.

As they skated to Third Beach again Rachel could hear the distant beating of drums. The beach was almost packed once they arrived. People in their beach and swimwear lounged or danced around as multiple people grouped together beat on drums of every kind. It was rhythmic, tribal. Rachel smiled with excitement as they both hopped down onto the beach.

“What is this?” She asked as she looked around at the different groups of people from all walks of life enjoying the sunset and beats together. 

“Found this place a few weeks ago, people come together to hang out and watch the sunset go down while banging drums ,” Sloane said with a shrug. “When the sunset is just over those mountains.” Sloane pointed to them. “Everyone starts to cheer, howl, whistle and wave goodbye to the sun.” She looked at Rachel smiling. “Just wait and see.”

The girls took off their sneakers and socks. Sloane opened her backpack as the blonde watched the gathering. “This is really cool,” Rachel said. She heard the sound of a lighter and turned back to see Sloane light up a joint. “And it’s getting better.”

Sloane smiled and passed the joint as they walked into the water, listening to the drums and watching people dance. “I know it’s not LA but-”

“Sloane, this is…” Rachel shook her head with wonder. “This is hella amazing.” She looked towards a group of people hopping to the drum beats. “I wish I had more time off... I miss the city and unique things like this. You don’t get this back in Arcadia.”

After their sesh, they joined the gathering of people and danced to the drums’ rhythms. Neither of them could stop smiling and laughing. 

-------------------

As the sunset, the beach-goers waved the sun goodbye to the beat of the drums while cheering, whistling, and howling. The two girls stood knee-high in the bay looking out over the water, watching sailboats and paddleboarders in the distance and a few other folks take an early evening dip.

Sloane was in mid-conversation, “...Pfft sharks, whatev, I’m more worried that an Orca might mistake one of us for a seal, swim up on the beach and chomp down on one of us… and if movies and television have taught me anything, it’s that the highschool pretty blonde always goes first!” Sloane looked over at a stoned wide-red-eyed blonde thinking about her words.

“They don’t do that here… do they?”

Sloane jumped next to her in the water and grabbed her ribs. “Rrrrraaarrrr!”

Rachel jumped and screamed, swinging her arms to getaway. “Fucker!” A couple of people around the area laughed at her.

Sloane laughed. “Come on, Cali gurl, what are you in the mood to nosh on tonight?”

At the mention of food, Rachel leaned her head back, “I am sooo hungry, surprise me.” Sloane glared at her then smiled.

 -------------------

Thirty minutes later the two girls were sitting outside on a restaurant patio devouring Italian food. Sloane had suggested that maybe it could be ‘L'ultimo pasto di Rachel,’ (Rachel’s last meal) that came up during their game of 20 Questions with Max and Chloe. They left the restaurant with full stomachs.

Sloane held her stomach. “Uuhhh, that meal should be called ‘How to Put Someone in a Food Coma.”

“I think you need to roll me back to the apartment,” Rachel said, rubbing her stomach. “But it was sooo good.”

“Glad you liked it... you can drive me home while I take a nap in the truck bed and nurse my food baby,” Sloane said with a smile.

The night ended with the both of them back on Sloane’s patio looking up into the night sky.

Rachel remarked that she hadn’t had such a perfect pair of days in a long time, she needed the recharge of the big city life and thanked Sloane again for being an awesome tour guide.

Chapter Text

Sofia, another floormate of Sloane’s, had to run to her workplace early that morning to open it. The person that was in charge of opening the restaurant for the morning shift had forgotten their keys and since Sofia was the closest one that had a set, she was asked to go in. The single mom once again asked Sloane to look after her son Anthony until she got back. Both of them sat across from each other in Sloane’s kitchen half-island. Anthony, an eleven-year-old, wore his soccer uniform, sitting with the view of the apartment in front of him, while Sloane, in her Two Whales t-shirt and her sleep cargo shorts that hung off her hips, sat back on.

The boy swung his feet back and forth in the seat. It was quiet except for the sound of spoons hitting bowls, crunching of cereal and voices from a TV show quietly playing on a laptop next to the boy.

“Thanks for letting me use your board,” Sloane said.

Anthony swung his feet nodding with a hum munching on cereal and went back to watching the tv show. He then looked at Sloane then over her shoulder, “Who’s that in your bed?” Anthony finally asked as he tried to fit a big spoonful of Lucky Charms into his mouth.

Sloane glanced over her shoulder and chewed a mouthful of cereal; a half-naked blonde slept on her stomach facing away from them. The sheet barely covered her lower body exposed skin, half her butt showed because of the style of panties she wore. Hmm purple . Sloane turned back to Anthony, who for some reason insisted on putting only huge mouthfuls of cereal in his mouth, spilling most of it back in the bowl or around the countertop.

“A friend that is visiting,” Sloane replied. She spooned in another clump of marshmallowy goodness into her mouth.

“From where?” Anthony asked swinging his feet.

“Oregon.”

“How long is she here for?”

“Unfortunately she’s leaving today.” Sloane picked up her phone and looked at the time. Fuck these few days were over so fast.

“Was she the model that went with Megan yesterday?” Anthony picked a blue moon from his spoon and ate it.

“How’d you know about that?”

“Mom and Megan were talking by the mailboxes yesterday.”

Sloane looked down into her cereal bowl, she hummed, understanding Anthony, and took another mouthful. Anthony turned his attention back to Sloane’s laptop; it was quietly playing an episode of Hawt Dawg man. He looked back at the girl in the bed.

“She’s hot,” he said.

Sloane looked at the eleven-year-old, her mouth half full of cereal and milk dripped from her bottom lip. She raised one eyebrow. The boy kept looking at the woman, Sloane dropped her spoon in her bowl then snapped her fingers in front of the boy to get his attention.

“Oi, eyes on your Lucky Charms, not hers,” Sloane eyed the boy, placed the cereal box in front of Anthony's view and slid her laptop closer to him. “Watch your Hawt Dawg show.”

The sun shone across Rachel’s smiling face. She quietly let out a snort, overhearing the conversation and covered herself with her sheet.

Chapter Text

July 25, Morning, 2013

TEXTuя
☠️CHLOE n’ 🥞MAX

 

ChloBear: Morning Maxaroons

Max: :D Morning (っ˘зʕ•ᴥ•ʔ

ChloBear: house rules

Max: Nooo :(

ChloBear: Maaaax

Max: Fiiine, no emojis, *pouty lip* just getting up now?

ChloBear: Yeah went to sleep around 2 am

Max: Still can’t sleep? I wish u got more Chlo, u need it.
        How r u feeling?

ChloBear: Ok I guess, I’ll sleep better when ur here with
                me

Both the girls thought of how nice it would be, waking up with each other.

Chlo’s so warm.

She’s so cute when she sleeps.

Oh man her smell, her beanie doesn't smell like her anymore...I miss it. I should buy a vanilla and coffee scented candle.

The way she cuddles into me, I miss that so much.

Her leg wrapped around me, soft skin…

Those freckles...Jesus I miss her so much.

Max: Less than two months

ChloBear: I can’t fucking wait.
ChloBear: Had a dream about you last night

Max: Did it have to do with running away in fear from a
         giant monster in the city or was it on a ship fighting
         a Kraken?

ChloBear: It was a sexy dream.

Max read Chloe’s message and stopped. Her stomach tightened. She read the message again. OMD her heart started to pound, Chloe used the words you and sexy, she thought about how she should respond.

Max: How sexy wa-

no no no, don’t say that delete delete delete.

Max: Were we-

Auuuh, I wish we were, even though we haven’t. Auuugh delete delete. Wish we were.

Max: Did you go dow-

OH DOG don’t say that! delete delete delete delete.

Max finished her thought of what Chloe could be doing to her. She felt the heat in her cheeks and the tingle between her legs. The possibility of them going further in their relationship once she went to Arcadia might actually happen, she wanted it to happen, she had her own dreams of Chloe. She squeezed her eyes tight and tapped her phone against her forehead a few times. *sigh* She texted back.

Max: I see.

Why is it so hard to say what I want to say? ‘Hey Chloe, that’s hot...you know what else is hot? You throwing me down on your bed and crawling on top of me. Max’s thoughts went on. With your warm body and slowly taking off my shirt again and slowly kissing my tummy all the way up to my-. Her thought was interrupted by her phone booping with a text notification.

ChloBear: You were very hot n sexy in my dream, I was
                a Captain of a pirate ship, we were in a
                storm, huge waves splashing over the sides
                of the ship, the crew were struggling to keep
                the boat from sinking, there was lightning off
                in the distance. I was at the wheel, then some
                rigging fell on the deck. I jumped over the
                railing to help the crew.
ChloBear: It was raining so hard that I had to shield my
                eyes. Then off in the distance, there was this
                huge tidal wave coming towards the ship.
ChloBear: Then the next thing, you come bursting out
                from the Captain’s quarters. You wore an
                Anne Bonny hat with this huge blue feather
                in it. You had on long black leather boots
                that went up past your knees with a little
                short dress
ChloBear: You had on a corset, and…and this low cut
                white frilly shirt that was wet from the rain.
                Even in my dreams, Max Silver is makin’
                my panties wet.

Chloe swallowed thinking about how Max looked in her dream, and lay back down in her bed, letting out a frustrated moan.

Max fell back on her bed. “Chloeee.” She whined.

ChloBear: And in one hand you had on an oven mitt
                holding a tray of cookies. The other hand was
                holding out a cookie. You were telling me to
                eat your cookie.

Just after Chloe sent her last message she re-read it. The last three words made her raise her eyebrows at the realization of where her mind was wandering. She licked her lips. Oh duuude.

Max’s face was flushed, she took a deep breath and closed her eyes whispering. “Oooh my dog...” She placed a hand on her lower abdomen and let her finger trace across her stomach. There was a knock on Max’s closed door.

“Maxine? Are you ready?” Max’s dad asked.

Max, face flushed and startled, sat up quickly and placed her hands at her sides. “Uhm, yeah Dad…I’m coming,” Max rolled her eyes at her choice of words.

Max: Sry got to go, Dad and I are going to get groceries.
         Text you when we get back. Real nice dream Chlo
         ;* I miss you like crazy. Maxoxoxo

Chloe quickly replied.

Chloe: K text me when u get back

Chloe looked at her closed door, drew the blankets over her and opened up the photo folder on her phone to find a picture of Max.

Max typed something then deleted it. She thought for a moment... fuck it... she retyped it... 

Max: So uhmm did you eat my cookie?

Chloe: Real fucckin good

Chloe moaned as she arched her back and her hips bucked. “Ahhh, fuuuck…”

-------------------

Thirty minutes later Chloe left her room, her face flushed and hair in a mess, to take her morning shower. She decided to work on her truck for the day and take her mind off Max... if that was even possible.

Meanwhile, Max sipped a french vanilla latte, staring at chocolate chip cookie dough. She bit her lip standing in the cooler section of the grocery store, as her mind began to wander.

Chapter Text

📧 July 29th 3:37 p.m est.
To: Anna Silva
Subject: Sloane Black - Acceptance into Blackwell Academy
From: Sloane Black

Anna,

I just got my acceptance email for Blackwell Academy :D Please see the attached pdf. I have already picked out my courses for the year, if you need that info I’ll let you know asap.


Thank you, 

Sloane Black

Welcome to Blackwell Academy.pdf


---------------------

📧 July 29th 3:41 p.m est.
To: Sloane Black
Subject: Sloane Black - Acceptance into Blackwell Academy
From: Anna Silva

Afternoon Sloane,

Congrats! This is great news! I’m really happy for you. I’ve had the paperwork prepared since June when I was communicating with John. I’ll send it off now to start the procedure. It usually takes at least a week. I’ll get the border crossing documents ready for you just to have it done, better now than later. Let me know if you have to update your passport. If you have any other questions, just let me know, okay?

The school will send you their curriculum; I would like for us to go through the fill-out procedures together, just to make sure everything is done correctly, okay? I wouldn’t want something to go wrong, and for you to miss out. I will need your school transcript from Seattle. I will also need your Math course report once you’ve completed the course.

Have a great day,

Anna Silva

Canadian Foster Care - Caseworker - Vancouver, B.C Div.3

--------------------

📧 July 29th 3:52 p.m est.
To: Anna Silva
Subject: Acceptance into Blackwell Academy
From: Sloane Black

Anna,

  1. The Blackwell curriculum was emailed to me this morning. (See the attached.)
  2. I do not need my passport updated, I did all that when I moved to Vancouver, John helped me get it updated.
  3. I’ll attach my Seattle transcript to this email also.
  4. My math course will be completed on Aug 16 (Fri.) I will find out tonight after class to see how long it takes to get the exam results.

Thank you,

Sloane Black

Blackwell Academy Curr.pdf

Seattle High Rec.pdf

-------------------

TEXTuя
🤘DA CREW

Sloane: So

CaliGurl: So

MadMax: (^ _ ^)/

Chloe: S’up

Sloane: Mad Maaaaaax?

MadMax: Yeeeeeeah

Sloane: Up for another road trip down to Arcadia?

Chloe: Hella yeah she is!

CaliGurl: Eeeee You can cross the border?!

Sloane: ;)

MadMax: Yeah! When? just gotta run it through my
               parents first.

Chloe: Kidnap her again

Sloane: :D Get in mah truck!

MadMax: Wait, how can you cross the border?

Sloane: :P
Sloane: Saaaaay Aug 30th
Sloane: Cause you know 
Sloane: It will give us more time
Sloane: To get settled away 
Sloane: As DORM MATES!

CaliGurl: OMG

MadMax: U got in?

Chloe: fcuk yah

Sloane: EEeeeeee I’M IN! I got the email.

Chloe: Hella awesome!

CaliGurl: So happy for you

MadMax: Jumping around the room YAY!

Sloane: Shaking :DDDD I’M GOING TO BLACKWELL!!

CaliGurl: AAAAAAAH

MadMax: THIS IS AWESOME!

Chloe: Yeeeaaaaaah

MadMax: Telling my parents now. See if I can road trip
                with you.

CaliGurl: Slooooooooooooooooane :D EEEEEeee

Sloane: So excited and relieved

Chloe: Dude we are gonna get so hella blazed when 
           you and Max get here!

CaliGurl: HELLA :D

Sloane: Fuck yeah RRRrrraaaaaaaa
Sloane: I have so much adrenaline running through me!!
Sloane: Anna is doing the paperwork now, should be
            finalized in a week. I gotta go and give notice to
            the landlord now. 


CaliGurl: Text back laters :D

Sloane: K

MadMax: THIS IS AWESOME PANTS!!1

-------------------

📧 August 06th 9:37 a.m est.
To: Sloane Black
Subject: Acceptance into Blackwell Academy
From: Anna Silva


Morning Sloane,

Your paperwork to attend Blackwell Academy in Arcadia Bay, Oregon, U.S.A has been finalized. I would like to make an appointment for us to go through Blackwell’s curriculum and any other information they will need from you. There are a few other things I would like to talk to you about in preparation of leaving Canada. How is tomorrow at 2:30 for you?

Thank you,

Anna Silva

Canadian Foster Care - Caseworker - Vancouver, B.C Div.3

--------------------

📧 August 06th 9:47 a.m est.
To: Anna Silva
Subject: Acceptance into Blackwell Academy
From: Sloane Black

Morning Anna,

Yeah tomorrow at 2:30 is great!

THANK YOU!

Sloane Black

-------------------

TEXTuя
🤘Sloane ➞ 🥞MadMax

Sloane: Hey…Psst...hey you with the hair.

.
.
.

Sloane: Heeeey Maxie wake up

.
.

Sloane: Gimmie a “M”
Sloane: Gimmie a “A”
Sloane: Gimmie a “X”

MadMax: OMD WAAAT

Sloane: HI!
Sloane: https://youtu.be/z_trSIBCgF0
Sloane: You need to watch this!

Max clicked the link and adjusted her eyes to the brightness and looked confused, she sighed.

MadMax: Slooo it’s 2 in the morning

Sloane: Really?!1 Holy shite! its 2 in the morning

MadMax: Have you been blazing?

Sloane: What! No! 

MadMax: ಠಿ_ಠ

Sloane: Maybe, but that’s not the point. These guys are
            awesome and I gotta plan

.
.
.

Max waited for the explanation, she felt herself slowly falling back to sleep but forced herself to stay awake.

MadMax: Sloane?!

.
.
.

MadMax: What the hell is this plan!

I wanna sleep.

Sloane: Oh sorry, I’ll tell you tomorrow, don’t tell
             Blu or Ray Ray

MadMax: Sloane! Don’t you dare! Tell me now

.
.

MadMax: Sloane! I swear to Dog! You woke me up
               for this

.
.

MadMax: SLOANE!

.
.
.

Max turned off her screen and was about to put her phone on her side table when there was a notification.

Sloane: Max

MadMax: WAHT!

Sloane: Were going to Blackwell :D

Max could only smile at the statement as she texted back.

MadMax: :D yeah we are

Sloane: K go back to sleep I don’t knwo why youre up
            at this hour

Max growled in her pillow.

MadMax: I’m gonna kick your butt!!!

Sloane: Night Waffles

MadMax: Night

Max put down her phone and snuggled back into her pillow and closed her eyes... YepYepYepYepYepYepYep. She opened her eyes. “Dammit.” Those sesame street aliens. Max growled. “I’ ma gonna kick your butt, Slo.”

Sloane sat back on her futon watching more Youtube videos, her eyes widened at the idea, "NIGHTWAFFLES!" She jumped up and started to make waffles. 

Chapter Text

Max’s stomach was fluttering with butterflies, she couldn’t stop grinning during the whole drive south with Sloane. The music was blasting there was singing and laughter as the girls were entering a new chapter in their lives. Then, the sign came into view. ‘ Welcome to Arcadia Bay ’ both notice the added touch of an anarchy symbol had been added, Max smiled and looked over at her friend. Sloane smiled back and gave her a gentle hit on the shoulder. “Welcome home Maxie.” Sloane tapped her music app to play a song , opened the truck windows letting the sea air in and Max put her hand out the window feeling the wind going through her fingers and the smile across her face grew.

“Woooo!” Both girls yelled out.

-------------------

Max and Sloane stood outside Blackwell’s administration office with the security guard, David Madsen. They had a secret planned to arrive a day early to surprise Chloe and Rachel. With their sign-ins completed they were waiting for David to issue them their dorm keys. Max was bouncing on the balls of her feet with excitement, even though she left her parents almost five hours ago. She knew that she wouldn’t be seeing them or sleeping in her own bed for months, she felt a sense of coming home as she left Seattle.

“I think I might pass out,” Max said with excitement. Sloane was nothing but giggles and she started to hop with Max. Their excitement was almost at its peak.

Almost there Chloe.

Max looked down at her phone to check her texts, “Rach is going to get a shower soon, then they’re going to head over to the Junkyard.” Max had been texting back and forth with Chloe throughout the day. She kept tabs on where the two girls were so that they wouldn’t get caught.

David walked out of his office with their keys with a smile, ”Ok here’s your’s Max and your’s Sloane. Please don’t lose them, as there’s a replacement fee of $50.” The girls took them and shoved the keys in their pockets. “There’s dollies and trolley for your use on the main floor of the dorm. Make sure you put them back please once you're done. If you have anything too heavy let me know and I’ll give you a hand.”

“K,” Sloane said.

“K, thank you,” Max said.

“Alright, do you need me to walk you over?”

“Ahh no that’s okay,” Max said.

“Alright, are you two still coming over for supper tonight?” David asked. Max let Joyce know her and Sloane were arriving a day early, just in case they couldn’t move into their dorms yet and had to spend the night.

Max noticed a change in David, since April once Joyce told him to leave he started to attend Veterans meetings and was seeing a therapist, he was showing much improvement enough that not only Joyce but Chloe had opened their home to him. It had been three weeks since he was back home, and in those weeks, there hadn’t been one fight or argument with Chloe. David smiled. “Joyce has been secretly making salads and desserts at the Diner most of the day; there’s probably enough food to feed an army.” He chuckled.

“Can’t wait to eat her cooking again,” Max said.

“Thanks for the invite Mr. Madsen, looking forward to it,” Sloane added.

“Ok, I’ll see you two later then at the house.”

The two girls turned and left the Blackwell administration office with a spring in their steps. Outside, Max rapidly stepped down the concrete stairs as Sloane jumped to the bottom. The little brunette grabbed Sloane’s arm laughing as they both ran for the dorms.

I’m coming Chloe.

-------------------

They climbed the dormitory stairwell in silence, Sloane kept looking back at Max giggling.

“They’re gonna shit bricks,” Sloane whispered.

Max stifled a laugh with her hand. Almost there.

They reached the top of the stairs. As Sloane started to walk through the hallway entrance she could hear music from Rachel’s room. Sloane looked ahead of her and then jumped back, hitting Max, who was directly behind her. Sloane pushed the girl back towards the staircase, turned around and placed a hand over Max’s mouth. Her eyes were wide as she mouthed. “Chel is right THERE!”

Rachel just turned the corner from the shower room and towards her room, the freshly showed Cali girl sang Wrecking Ball to herself as she swung her toiletries basket. Both of the hiding ninjas heard every step of her flip flops get closer and closer. Her door opened. “Back,” she said to Chloe as she closed the door.

“That was close,” Max whispered, “can you image getting caught now?” Sloane giggled and stuck out her tongue, biting it and wrinkling her nose. Max nudged Sloane, joining in on the giggling.

“Let’s do this Raphael,” Max whispered, as they walked around the corner and up to Rachel’s door.

Sloane stopped and turned towards Max and whispered. “Raphael? I’m Michelangelo.”

Max closed her eyes and shook her head responding quietly, “Michelangelo, is Chloe,” She opened her eyes and pointed at the ninja next to her. “You’re Raphael.”

“But I don’t wanna be,” Sloane said sulking quietly.

“But you are, Chloe’s Michelangelo, Rachel’s Donatello, and I’m Leonardo. That leaves you with Raphael.”

Sloane pouted. “Why can’t I be Leo?”

“Cause I called it first.”

“Pfff, no fair on the first call zee's. Can I be Casey Jones instead? I don’t wanna be the asshole of the group, Ou! Can I be Splinter?” The girl said excitedly.

Max whispered a little louder, “Sloane, can we have this discussion some other time, ya know, instead of standing outside Rachel’s room!” She nudged her head towards the door.

Sloane stood up straight looking at Max defending her case. “No Maxie, this is important, this is like a big part of my life I need to know what-”

Max quickly retorted. “Oh my dog, I’m knocking on the door!”

Sloane giggled to herself at Max‘s antsiness, the shorter brunette lifted her hand to knock but Sloane grabbed Max’s hand and whispered in her ear. Max smiled, giggled and nodded. “Ready?” Max whispered. Finally Chloe. Sloane nodded. Max placed her hand on the door handle, both took a deep breath, she threw open the door and the two ninja’s jumped in. 

“I CAME IN LIKE A WRECKING BALL!” Both girls sang.

Rachel stood by her bed with her back to the door, drying her hair with her towel, she jumped and let loose a banshee scream, shaking her hands running in place. She dropped her towel and leaped for the corner of the room.

Chloe was sitting on Rachel’s sofa, leaned over as her arms resting on her knees playing a game on her phone. She tensed with terror and yelled; her phone leapt out of her hands as two girls jumped yelling into the room.

David walked his rounds outside the dormitory build, heard two screams, then looked up in the direction of the room. He sent Joyce a text message shaking his head and chuckled.

Chloe took a second for her heart to start beating again. Her girl stood proudly in the room, smiling at her with arms wide open. 

”Max?” Chloe said in disbelief.

“Chloeee!” She said with excitement.

Chloe was in her arms in one stride, lifting her off the ground hugging her girl, “Baby?!” She said breathlessly in Max’s ear completely surprised.

Max straddled Chloe’s hips and squealed, holding her tight. “Chloeee!” I’m home I’m home I’m home.

Sloane laughed with her hands raised triumphantly. She looked at Rachel in the corner who was just coming to her senses. The look of anger for a half a second made her question the decision to scare the Cali Gurl.

“Uh oh,” Sloane said.

“Sloane!” She growled, coming towards her.

Sloane took Rachel’s momentum and spun her around, and held the banshee from behind. “Hi Bella,” she laughed. Gotcha

Rachel struggled to get out of Sloane arms. “I’m gonna kick your ass.”

Sloane laughed. “Your hair smells noice, is that coconut?”

“Asshole, I almost pissed myself,” she looked over her shoulder at the girl.

Sloane smiled and let go, and Rachel spun around and smacked Sloane in the shoulder. “Fucker,” she said, but with a smile then hugged Sloane. They heard a moan across the room. Both Rachel and Sloane leaned back and looked at each other questioningly, then turned to the couple who were wrapped around each other kissing.

Rachel giggled and rolled her eyes. “Get a room you two.”

Sloane arched her eyebrows, giggling. “Surprisingly, Max has a room.”

-------------------

Are You On Your Way - Middle Class Rut

Chapter Text

-----------------------------------

August 31st, 2013, Final high school year.

-----------------------------------

Sloane closed and locked her truck door, she lifted her gym bag over her shoulder, dropped her longboard and pushed off towards her dorm room, singing in her head, Hee Hee, I have a dorm room . She watched from the other side of the Blackwell parking lot as a family emerged from a family van, father, mother and three daughters. One girl carried a cage with a pet inside. Cool, I wonder what it is? Sloane couldn’t see as it was being covered by a small sheet, the blonde girl looked up seeing Sloane, she shyly looked away and the longboarder smiled then put up her hood and chewed on one of the drawstrings as she swerved to the right avoiding a BMW coming quickly into the parking lot.

“Fucking skateboarders,” she cursed as she drove past the hooded skater and parked her car. She’d left Seattle a couple of hours ago in the early morning. Her parents were already gone for the day, leaving her a note wishing her well and good luck on her new year. It was the family housekeeper that hugged and kissed her goodbye. The pixie blonde tiredly sighed, lifted her chin up and composed herself. She looked in the rearview mirror to check her makeup and viewed the family in the reflection. “The fuck? It’s like the Addams family.” She rolled her eyes and stepped out of her car. Queen B has arrived . She checked her phone for messages as the car trunk opened. She looked at her Gucci luggage and huffed. With the amount of money this school costs, they should have people hired to carry my luggage .

-------------------

Rachel finished the last ‘Welcome to Blackwell’ comment on each individual's whiteboards by their dorm door, she took one last look at the hallway’s cork bulletin board, rechecking the posted notes of where each girl was going to live. She heard two girls talking and dragging what sounded like luggage, hitting off the stairwell steps. Dana Ward, one of Blackwell cheerleaders walked through the entrance and Rachel squealed, startling the girl. “Rach!, oh my God, you scared the shit out of me.” Dana jumped forward and embraced the blonde. “Ahhh, I missed you!”

“Hella missed you too!” Rachel said. “Juuules!” Juliet Watson one of Blackwell’s reporters for the school's newspaper, the Totem, stood behind Dana, smiling. Rachel welcomed her with a hug.

“Eeeeee, it’s gonna be awesome living here,” Juliet said.

Dana grabbed her luggage and looked at her best friend. “You're in there, right across from me and next to Rach.” She pointed to Juliet’s dorm room and both girls wheeled their luggage to their respective rooms. “Rach, you doin’ anything tonight?” Dana asked.

“Mmm had nothing really planned, what up?”

Dana opened up her door and pushed in her luggage, “Was thinking, weather permitting, of having a beach fire with the new girls; a get-together for everyone to meet.”

Rachel raised her eyebrows. “Sounds like a plan.”

Dana looked in her room from the hallway. “Oh shit, I forgot I had a plant left here.”

Rachel chuckled. “Oops.”

Juliet opened her door and looked at her new room. “This is so awesome, having my own room, living with others last year was a disaster.” 

Dana walked out of her room with a dead plant and tossed it in the hallway garbage, “Is there anyone else here?” As if on cue, Sloane walked through the stairwell entrance carrying her gym bag and longboard, listening to music. She saw the girls in the hallway and grabbed the earbud cord hauling the buds out of her ears.

“Morning.” Sloane greeted the three girls.

“Sloane?!” Dana said surprised and a smile.

“Hey Daners,” Sloane rolled up to the cheerleader and Rachel.

“AH! You got in!”

“I got in,” Sloane said, the cheerleader gave the longboarder a surprise hug, Sloane smirked. “Good to see ya again.”

“You too, holy shit this is awesome!” Dana motioned in the direction of Juliet. “This is my best friend, Juliet Watson, I don’t think you met her when you were visiting.” Both girls shook each other's hand and greeted one another.

Juliet, the reporter informed Sloane that she knew who she was. “Went to Seattle high with Max Caulfield, played a set with your friend, dedicating songs to our Arcadian punk and,” Juliet looked over at Rachel and continued. “One excited Blackwell thespian.”

Rachel rolled her eyes. “You shush.”

Sloane smiled at Rachel, the blonde turned away, but not before Juliet and Dana both looked at each other and shared a smiled seeing that someone might’ve blushed just a little.

-------------------

Max opened her door and was met with Sloane’s loud music from her closed room. A few new people were in the process of moving in and her social anxiety had crept in a little. I think that’s... Dana, who Rachel is talking to? She took a breath and smiled at the family of women walking towards her. I can do this, get out of this shy persona, meet people, be a part of Blackwell, it’s a new school year with new people. She thought of the last few nights spent with Chloe alone and smiled, I’m a different person. Max blew out a breath of air. Here we go.

The mom was in the lead, looking at the room numbers. Once she arrived at her destination she looked in her purse for a key. The eldest daughter carried a pet cage, she glanced at her surroundings and her eyes fell upon Max. Both girls gave shy smiles to each other. Max gestured with a small wave and was going to introduce herself when Chloe walked out of her room, pantsless. “Babe, where are my pants?” The punk scratched her head perplexed still looking in the room.

Max sighed and dropped her head. Oh my dog.

Chloe stood next to Max wearing her skull tank top, orange and black palm tree panties and socks; one pulled up the other down. The punk looked at the family of girls standing in the hallway staring back at her and Max. The mother looked flabbergasted, she quickly opened the door and guided the girls in, she then looked back at Max and Chloe shaking her head. Chloe smiled, “Hey, welcome to Blac-,” the lady had already stepped into the room and closed the door.

“Nice to meet you,” Chloe said loudly and chuckled. 

From down the hallway, three other girls were looking at them, “Yo, put on some pants, Price!” Rachel said with a smile. “You're scaring the newbs.”

“I would if I could find them,” Chloe called back then pointed her thumb in Max’s direction. “Max decided to throw them in a fit of sexual rage last night.”

Max looked up shocked, wide-eyed, and squeaked her girlfriend's name. “Chloe!” She pulled up the hood of her hoodie and hauled the drawstrings, making her face disappear beneath the hood, “Oh my dog,” she groaned. The three girls down the hall laughed at Max’s embarrassment then added an ‘awww’ at the little bear ears on the hoodie that Chloe had bought her girlfriend. The punk smiled a big toothy smile, bit one of the fuzzy ears growling, and gave it a tug with her teeth before going back into Max’s room. Hee, she’s sooo cute, I wanna eat her up, NomNomNom. Chloe smiled thinking about the last two nights alone she spent with Max, their relationship had gone to the next level and she found herself in a constant daze of giddy happiness. The punk stood in the middle of Max’s room wondering why she was there and her mind went to their first night together.

-------------------

Chloe sat on Max’s sofa in her dorm room watching the girl dry her hair. When asked if she wanted to use the hairdryer first Chloe looked at Max then shook her head like a dog. “There, dry.”

Max giggled. “So much faster than when you had long hair.” 

 

Chloe plopped down on her girlfriend's sofa and leaned back with the laptop. “Dude it took forever, then I had to brush it all the time, auuuuh no thanks.” Max turned and started to dry her hair as Chloe looked for a movie on the laptop for them to watch. Chloe’s eyes looked up from the screen and she smiled at Max. She’s here, she really here… and she will be staying . Max leaned forward towards her mirror and let the hairdryer dry the back of her head. Chloe took a moment to look, really look at her girlfriend. Max in her sleep shorts and a little shirt that had chickens on the front, she looked so damn cute… no, sexy... hot . Max leaned over, her shirt moved away from her body and Chloe saw a belly button in the mirror's reflection. She closed her eyes, fuuuck , her heart pounded in her chest and she felt the rush of butterflies in her stomach, the tingling arousal between her legs. She opened her eyes once again… goddamit it that bellybutton .

 

The dryer turned off and Max wound the cord around it. Her hair was still pushed over her eyes. “So have you picked out a movie?” she asked.

 

Max felt two hands gently touch her upper arms, and felt the warm lips on the nape of her neck, she smiled and let the feeling wash over her. Chloe’s hand ran down her arms then they took hold of her hips, Chloe pulled her girl backward and Max felt Chloe’s warm body up against her. The punk’s hands slowly caressed her girl's hips and explored her soft stomach. Max leaned back against her as Chloe started to leave a path of lingering kisses down Max’s neck. She felt fingertips leave a warm trail over her goosebumped skin, a craving was beginning to grow. Max, with her eyes barely opened looked into the mirror at Chloe, seeing, feeling her touches and lingering kisses. My Chloe, my love . Chloe raised her hands and breathlessly whispered, “Maaax.” Max felt the warmth of Chloe cup both of her breasts and firmly squeeze as she bit down on the brunette’s shoulder. “I missed you.” Max let her head fall back to Chloe’s collar bone, raised her arms back to grab hold of the back of Chloe's head and neck. She felt Chloe’s breathy voice against her, “I missed touching you.” Chloe bit and then suck the pulse point before her, running her hands up and down Max’s body. Max’s eyes rolled in the back of her head as she let out a little moan. At that sound, Chloe opened her eyes and looked in the mirror at the reflection of her girl. Her mouth was partially opened, her breath was long and hard. The brunette's eyes were closed, brows furrow, not with anger, but with discontent yearning, Max leaned back wanting more of her touch. Chloe’s breath quivered, she closed her eyes with an aching want as she felt the wetness between her own legs. I want you . Max let out a whimper as Chloe gently pinched her hardened nipples, then massaged the pain away. My Max, my love . “I love you so much.”


“Chloe,” Max whined her girl's name, feeling the need within her. “I love you.” Chloe ran her hand over the front of the girl's body taking in every soft curve. As the punk glided her hand across the brunette’s stomach her pinky finger went underneath Max’s shorts and panties, a tip felt for the first time a small patch of hair. Chloe groaned at the feeling of touching her further, she hauled her more into her body. Again she whispered her girl's name, “Maaax, fuuuck.” Max opened her eyes and turned her head to meet Chloe’s lips and kissed her deeply, grabbing the back of her head to keep her there. Both of them moaned at the contact. Chloe’s inner voice yelled, this is too much, I have to stop or I’m gonna do something I shouldn’t. I have to take it slow, at her pace. Just as Chloe relinquished her hold on Max, Max firmly held Chloe in place and slipped her tongue into the punk's mouth and swayed her hips against her. Chloe held Max’s jawline, kissing her and again caressing her stomach. She felt a little hand move over hers and hold it, then Max took Chloe’s hand and moved it down. Chloe’s heart slammed in her chest as it was being guided below and underneath her sleep shorts and panties. Max swirled her tongue around, Chloe let out a moan feeling the small soft mound of pubic hair. The kiss slowly ended and Max looked up at her. There was a moment between them, one that would change everything. Max slowly guided her girl's hand further down, Chloe watched Max’s emotions, her mouth opened a little, her stomach twitched, she let out a breathy whimper as she felt Chloe’s middle finger slide over the brunette’s clit, her other fingers glided over her labia folds. Max’s legs quivered at the sensation. Chloe slowly drew her hand upwards, Max bit her lip and rose to her tippy toes wanting Chloe to keep her finger there. She again guided Chloe’s hand downward, wanting more. Chloe grabbed Max’s breast and her other hand went down again. They stared at each other, taking in another moment. Max’s voice was so quiet when she spoke, looking into her girl's blue eyes. “Chloe, make love to me.”

-------------------

Chloe came out of her memory wondering why she was standing in the middle of Max’s room and she walked back out into the hallway.

“Chloe,” Max said peeking out through the small hole from her drawn hoodie.

“Yeah.” Chloe looked at Max with a stupid shy grin, she couldn’t help herself.

“Babe.” 

“Yeah.” Chloe just stared with her grin.

Max opened her hoodie a little so that she could be seen more, she raised her eyebrows giving Chloe sometime to think straight… Max giggled, her girl was going to need some help.

“Your pants,” Max said.

“Hmm?” Replied oblivious.

“Pants. The things that you wear on your legs.” And now love taking off you.

Chloe looked down at herself and everything came back to her. “Oh, right.” And she walked back into the room.

Sloane opened her door, jumped out and started dancing in front of Max. She grabbed the girls’ hands, started to wave them around, hauled back her hoodie and started singing. Max smiled and started to move to the music, singing along. In a few seconds, she was joined by Rachel, “♪♫ I wake up to the city of angels... to see my name headlining the coast ♫♪” Dana grabbed Juliet and joined in. Chloe opened the door, zipping up her jeans and raised her hands. “Wooo! I found my pants.”

A girl with a backpack, shoulder bag and two pieces of luggage climbed up the last dorm step and walked into the hallway. She was greeted with music and a few girls singing and dancing at the end of the hallway. One spotted her and raised their hands, “Woo!” Followed by the girls yelling her name. “STEPH!”

 


 

“So what do we need?” Max asked as she held on to the front of a shopping cart as Chloe pushed it from the back hopping on the backstep and the two girls glided down the aisle. From the next aisle over Rachel and Steph were placing a few bags of chips and a variety of case drinks in their cart.

“Get some marshmallows and stuff to make smores,” Rachel replied.

Dana, from another aisle with Juliet, yelled, “I got a couple of bags of ice and a styrofoam cooler, getting garbage bags now.”

“K,” Rachel replied.

Max and Chloe wheeled up next to Sloane, whose cart contained a couple of cases of water, buns, hot dogs, condiments, Lucky Charms, Twizzlers and a jumbo jar of peanut butter. The girl had her head tilted and lips squished to one side, contemplated.

Chloe asked excitedly. “Cool, you gonna get it?”

Sloane tilted her head to the other side. “I dunno. I mean I can keep drinks and stuff like fruit n’ veggies, it would be convenient to have something at any time.” There was a communal one in the girl’s dorm, but with Sloane’s knowledge of living in a group home at one point, she knew that stuff usually got stolen.

Like a little devil over her shoulder, Chloe whispered into her ear, “Duuude, yah mean beer and leftover pizza... Nosh n’ Slosh.” She then continued in her other ear. “Ice creeeam.”

Sloane’s eyes widened, sold . “Screw it,” Sloane lifted the mini fridge and placed it across her cart.

“Yes!” the punk celebrated. “I’m gonna be over for beers while Maxie studies.”

Max smiled and asked Sloane. “C-Could I keep some ice cream in your fridge?”

Sloane smirked. “Ya don’t need to ask Waffles.”

The realization of having ice cream excited the girl. “This is awesome!”

Chloe and Sloane laughed, “Easy there my Maxamint chocolate chip’ don’t get yourself all worked up over the thought of eating ice cream at two in the morning.” Max looked at her girlfriend with the realization that she could have ice cream at two in the morning and no one would say no.

“I’m gonna have ice cream for supper,” Max declared.

 “My girl living dangerously,” Chloe said.

“I’m gonna get some popsicles!” Max said over her shoulder, she then stopped, walked back and kissed her girl. Chloe looked at her with so much happiness as she watched Max quickly walk away with excitement. Oh God, that cute little butt.

“Get some ice cream sandwiches for me, pleeease,” Sloane called out.

“K,” Max called back from the end of the aisle.

Chloe pushed the cart down the aisle and Sloane looked over at the punk, grinning, “You got yourself a sweetheart there, Blu.”

Chloe scratched the back of her neck with a stupid grin, “Yeeeah, I do.” Damn, I - I love her so much. Her thoughts again went to the last two previous nights. Sloane lightly smacked Chloe on the shoulder, taking her out of her memories. Chloe looked at Sloane and tried to compose herself back to the kick-ass punk.

Sloane snorted and scoffed, “Yeah, you’re not foolin’ me, your rep's ruined, yah goopy in love ‘punk,’” Sloane air quoted punk.

Chloe weakly punched Sloane in the shoulder. “Shaddap.”

“Jeez, your punches are even goopy, you lost your edge if you ever had one,” she teased.

Chloe glared at Sloane, *Smack* Sloane rubbed her shoulder after receiving a harder punch, “Not bad, Blu, but you need to work on it,” she said, then stuck out her tongue and turned away from the girl. Chloe shook her hand in pain and mouthed, 'Ow!' behind Sloane’s back.

 


 

Victoria blocked out the one girl chatting next to her, Clara? She wasn’t sure of the name, didn’t really care. Taylor showed up around the same time and met the chatty new girl, Courtney Wagner. Victoria figured that they were her best potential for lackeys this year; the little black-haired one was very enthusiastic about fitting in and offered to get Victoria's other bags from the BMW. Useful, I guess.

Victoria looked up from her phone after reading Nathan’s last email. She had found out about two weeks before that he would not be returning to Blackwell. His father had abruptly removed him from school last April for what he called 'personal family reasons.' Nathan emailed Victoria over the summer months three times saying that he was visiting family in Europe, with no other explanation. When he returned to the States his father placed him in a military academy further south of Arcadia, just outside of Eugene. Nathan would start sending texts almost daily saying how he didn’t like it there, and that his father was an asshole for doing this to him. The blonde wished there was something she could do, but Sean Prescott was not a person you demand things from; even asking came at a high price from what she had heard. Victoria would always reply with words of encouragement and would agree with Nathan’s view about his father. She mentioned the possibility that Nathan should talk to his mother. He ended up changing the subject.

There were sounds of people laughing and chatting coming from the stairwell. Victoria looked up and watched a group of girls walk through the entrance and go into the common room with shopping bags. Once they emerged, Victoria and her lackeys were introduced to the new students in the group. Max and Sloane greeted Victoria again.

“Hey Lady V, good to see yah again,” Sloane said.

“Hey, Victoria,” Max said, as Chloe walked by without saying a word.

“Sloane, Max,” she replied, not looking up from her phone.

Max and Sloane gave each other a look, noticing the aversion between Victoria and Chloe; who insisted on carrying Sloane’s mini fridge over her shoulder from the truck. Rachel stepped forward with a smile for Victoria and handed her a receipt, “Hope the Vortex club can pick up the charge.” Victoria didn’t take the receipt, she kept scrolling through her phone, she was going to make a point to everyone right there in the hallway, making sure that no one could assume they could do something in the Vortex name without consulting her first. Even though Rachel was a member, she was not one of the co-presidents.

“You didn’t consult me,” the pixie blonde stated.

“You weren't around. Vic.”

Victoria made a note of correcting her name to Rachel. “It’s Victoria, and I do have a phone.” Victoria looked up and made eye contact.

“True, but it's just easier this way," Rachel kept smiling, deciding on her words, “I figured that you would want to welcome the new girls with a beach fire tonight, on behalf of Victoria Chase and the Vortex club.” Courtney looked at Rachel and smiled excitedly at the meet and greet.

“And you want me to take the receipt because?”

“Are you not the co-president?” Rachel asked already knowing the answer.

“You know I am,” Victoria was making it known to whoever was listening that she was in charge of the Vortex club, as of now the President, but she would not mention that right now. She was the one to make the final decisions now, instead of Rachel persuading Nathan to do whatever the hell she pleased. She thought of Nathan falling over himself for the girl, sometimes he was so eager to do whatever she wanted, and she hated that, he was like a puppy dog sometimes following her around, and he would bitch to her of how the blonde hung around and was very close to the punk loser. Victoria kept her detest for the popular blonde to herself, her ‘detest’ was that Rachel didn’t care if she was popular, and that seemed to make her even more popular, she got along with everyone, including teachers, the girl could walk into a room of strangers and talk to them easily no matter who they were.

“So?” Rachel knew that Victoria was dragging this out to make her Queen B dominance to the floor.

“So what?”  Victoria replied.

Chloe placed Sloane’s fridge by her door as Max went into her room to drop off a few things. Sloane looked over her shoulder, getting her keys out of her pocket, and listened to the conversation. She opened her door and Chloe pushed in the mini fridge.

“Does she usually have her panties in a bunch?” Sloane quietly asked Chloe.

“It’s in her nature to be a stuck-up snob. Don’t worry though, Rach knows how to handle her,” Chloe said with a smile. “I find that if you rattle Vic up you get the best reactions from her.” Chloe placed the fridge in the middle of the room with a final grunt.

“You didn’t hurt your back, did you?” Sloane asked with a smirk.

“Nah,” Chloe looked behind her to see if Max was there. Sloane snorted. “Maybe just a little,” she confessed.

Sloane giggled, “Well you did lift with your back. But I’m sure Maxie noticed you carrying it all the way from the truck," Sloane raised her voice an octave and teased, “Oooh Chlobear, you sooOoooO strong.” She made kissing noises.

Chloe made an attempt to hit Sloane in the shoulder but the girl was just out of reach laughing. 

“Shaddap.”

“Goopy goop.”

Rachel kept her voice calm and happy. “Well, I figured that since you are the co-president that I should go to you with the receipt, and then you would give it to your treasurer.” Rachel knew that the Vortex treasurer graduated last year and Victoria was in need of, well, a lot more people to run the club now. 

Without missing a beat and keeping her status Victoria immediately recruited a new treasurer, “Connie, how are you with organizing and Excel?” Victoria asked the little black-haired girl next to her.

The girl spoke up immediately. “Uhmm, it's Courtney, I got an A in-”

“Fine, you're hired as the Vortex clubs new treasurer,” Victoria looked at the girl then looked at the receipt, then back at the girl. It took a second for Courtney to catch on, but she did eventually take the receipt. Further demonstrating her status for anyone watching she added, “I’ll pay for this just this once to welcome the newcomers, but any further spending will be brought up beforehand, as our funds are going to be cut back since our main backer will not be coming back to Blackwell.”

That got Dana and Juliet’s attention, Rachel kept her smile. Victoria was not going to give up the information about Nathan, she wanted to be asked, to show that she was the person people had to come to for information.

Rachel played the game and thanked Victoria and Courtney. “Let’s say around six-ish tonight then.”

“Make it seven, I have things to do before then.” 

“Of course,” whatever time Rachel picked she knew Victoria would’ve changed it to make a point. “See you then, Victoria,” Rachel responded as she walked towards Sloane’s room. It was Juliet who asked about Nathan and Rachel knew that she would relay to her what had happened. Rachel walked into Sloane’s room L2 L3 L4 ) to see Max and Chloe sitting on the sofa, Max already had a popsicle in her mouth.

“Is everything okay?” Max asked.

“Oh yeah, don’t mind Victoria, she likes to make people think she’s the Queen of Blackwell and everyone are her minions. Yah just gotta know how to talk to her.”

Chloe chewed on her finished popsicle stick then took the popsicle from Max’s mouth and bit off a piece before sliding it back in the girl's mouth. The punk asked, “So what time is this shindig?” Max looked annoyed at the popsicle thief but Chloe gave her a wink and brushed the brunette’s hair over an ear and all was well as Max leaned over on her girlfriend.

“Seven. Looks like Nathan won’t be back to school, so our party favours are going to be non-existent unless we can get them ourselves,” she said to Chloe.

“Ehh, didn’t like Vortex crap, Nathan’s a dick, and I know Frank so nothing changes,” Chloe said.

“Party favours?” Max asked smiling at Chloe then kissing her shoulder.

Mmm cold lips. Chloe thought smiling back at Max.

Sloane handed one piece of her popsicle to Rachel as she spoke, “Thanks, Nathan’s father backed the Vortex club with funds to hire DJ’s, and Nathan brought the drugs and alcohol.”

Sloane responded. “Wait, what?”

“Yeah,” Rachel sat down on Sloane’s bed. “This dorm is named after the family that funds, ehh, funded the Vortex club, sponsored half of the music venue’s renovations and donated this dorm. Nathan’s father is all about his family name's legacy. As long as Nathan passed his courses; and I use that term loosely, I don’t care what his school record said he was not that smart, his father didn’t care what he did. Sean Prescott has put enough money into Blackwell that Wells and the staff turn a blind eye concerning his son.”

“Wow,” Sloane said, but she wasn’t surprised. She was more intrigued about who the Prescotts were to have such sway over an entire school.

Rachel, Steph, Max, Chloe, Sloane and a new quiet, church girl named Kate Marsh showed up to the beach early to gather driftwood for the fire. Sloane carried an armful of driftwood. “Dude I’ve never done a beach fire thing before.”

“No? It's gonna be fun, havin’ weenies.” Max said with her arms full as well.

“We would have them at our church camp every year, and sing songs,” Kate said, picking up another piece of driftwood.

Sloane hummed. “The only fires we had were from someone putting too much lighter fluid on a BBQ or a dumpster that someone lit up… or a crack house blowing up.”

Kate looked surprised at Sloane’s comment.

“The fire department were frequent visitors around one area where I lived.”

The three girls dropped their driftwood loads in a spot on the beach.

“I’m gonna show you how to make octopus weenies ,” Max said.

“Oh we would make those too.” Kate giggled.

“Ah what now?! Sloane asked concerned.

-------------------

Chloe showed up and parked next to Sloane’s truck. She opened up her tailgate and produced a couple of cases of beer to the delight of some girls. The cooler was filled and the music turned on. Rachel and Dana did their best to light the fire under Chloe’s protest that Rachel shouldn't touch a lighter or matches. Some of the wood was too wet and they were having a difficult time. Sloane solved it quickly by tossing a road flare in the stack with a sly glance at Max and Kate, “Also, the best way to start a dumpster fire.”

As the night went on the dorm girls got to know one another. Max sat with Kate, chatting, as Chloe stood away from the two, smoking a cigarette. Victoria, Taylor and her new lackey Courtney sat together on a log by the fire. She was explaining what the Vortex club was as she texted someone on her phone. Dana and Juliet sat across from them eating hot dogs with Steph as she talked with Brooke Scott, a geek techie, about a new video game trailer that was released. Stella Hill and Sloane sat on a small outcropping of rocks, smoking weed. Rachel, the social butterfly, went to each group, getting to know everyone.

 


 

Nathan sat on the lower bed of the bunk. His father’s voice went through his mind again as he texted. Stand up for yourself, be a man. Don’t get your mother to come in here and speak for you. Haven’t you learned anything I’ve taught you? Obviously you haven’t, going to that school, and that… teacher. It was a mistake having you take private lessons for photography. He scoffed at his son . What a goddamn mess that was, you keep embarrassing me boy and putting MY family name and the work I've done in jeopardy. There is no future for you in the arts, so things will be changing, I’m taking charge of your education.

Nathan was unaware three cadets walked up behind him, one took his beret off his head, the second one put him in a headlock and the third grabbed his phone. 

“Well, well, well what do we have here, Bitchboy?” Scott said.

“Give my phone back, asshole," Nathan grunted in pain as the headlock was tightened up.

"Watch your mouth, Scrub,” Dylan warned, squeezing Nathan neck tighter.

“Who you texting, weirdo? Ouuu, it's an actual girl, Victoria is it?” Scott scrolled up, looking at the chat and noticed a few pictures. “Fuck, check out these bitches.”

The trio sat together, kicking Nathan out of his bed and making him sit on the opposite one. 

“Who’s this bitch?" Scott turned Nathan’s phone, showing the picture.

“That is Victoria,” Nathan said, trying to stay calm.

“I’d fuck her,” Scott said.

“Fuck yeah,” Dylan said.

“Suck my dick all night,” Shawn stated.

The three cadets went through the pictures of girls at the Vortex club beach get-together, each expressing what they would do to the ‘bitches’ and how they would like it. There was a comment about two dykes kissing in the background and how they wouldn’t be after Dylan was done with them. Nathan kept quiet; he was surrounded by people who didn’t care who he was and having the Prescott name meant nothing when there were richer and more well known families that went to the academy. Most of the time Nathan kept to himself as he was usually picked on by the three in front of him. 

“Yo Prescock, you get your dick wet with this bitch?" Scott asked.

“Probably not, I think sissy boy here likes the D more,” Shawn said, glaring at the boy.

Nathan did what he had to and lied, “Yeah, the pixie blonde one, Victoria, we were friends with benefits before I was sent here.”

“Oh really?" Scott said. He started to type on Nathan’s phone and a minute later he tossed the phone back to Nathan. The three cadets got up to leave. Scott took his phone out of his pocket to show Nathan the photo of Victoria he'd sent himself using Nathan's phone. “I’ll be thinking about her later tonight,” he gestured jerking off in front of Nathan. The three cadets laughed and walked away from the boy. “Later, loser.”

Nathan went back to his phone and noticed that his gallery and the message history were deleted. Scott had all the pictures of the Vortex beach party. Nathan clenched his jaw to subside the anger and emotions, he didn’t want to cry again in front of anyone again. He did it once and that was enough to have him labelled as a ‘Bitchboy’. Nathan picked up his phone and texted Victoria.

 

TEXTuя

💰Nate ➞ 👑Victoria

Nathan: Mom’s been talking with dad again, she still
             hasn’t given up my room at Blackwell so
             there still might be a chance I can get back
             there. Wish she would hurry the fuck up.

Chapter Text

Dana woke up feeling nauseated. She threw the blankets off of her and ran to the bathroom. Slamming the stall door open, she fell to her knees and heaved three times before she emptied her stomach. She had been sick for the past three days.

“Dana, hon, are you okay?” Juliet worriedly asked upon seeing the girl run across the hallway. She leaned behind her friend in the stall, held the girl's hair back then took a hair tie from around her own wrist and put it through Dana’s hair. Dana's best friend gathered some bathroom tissue and offered it to her.

Dana pushed the toilet handle, getting rid of her stomach contents in front of her. She leaned back on her knees, wiped her mouth and exhaled, drained of energy.

Juliet knelt. “You should take the day off and rest up, this stomach flu has taken a lot out of you.” She took a loose strand of hair and placed it back over the girl's ear.

Dana slowly opened her eyes and nodded. Juliet got up and offered her hand. “Here, up-up, let’s get you back to bed.”

After Dana gargled with some tap water, Juliet led her back to the cheerleader's room, where she lay back down. Juliet covered her with a sheet and finger-combed her hair away from her face and forehead. “I’ve placed your phone on your nightstand," she said. "If you need anything, message me, okay?” Dana nodded against her pillow. You look so pale . Juliet leaned down and kissed her friend on the temple. “I’ll stop by during lunch break to check on you. Get some rest, hon.” Dana closed her eyes and waited for Juliet to leave before she grabbed her pillow and held onto it once her tears started to come. I’m in trouble . She sat up and held herself as she started to rock back and forth.

Juliet gathered her books and placed them in her backpack. She looked around for her laptop. “Shit,” she whispered.

“Sorry, I forgot my laptop," Juliet said as she peeked into Dana’s room. She saw her friend sitting up with tears and she became scared. “Dana?” The cheerleader tried to keep from letting out a whimper, but upon seeing her friend's concern, she couldn’t hold it in. Juliet closed the room door, quickly sat next to Dana and put her arm around her. “It's okay," she said, then kissed her friend on the head and rubbed her arm. “D, it’s okay,” Juliet repeated.

The girl sobbed and whispered, “No, it’s not.” She sniffed heavily. “Jules, I’m in trouble... I screwed up bad.” Dana broke down, grabbing on to her friend for support as she cried.

-------------------

“I don’t know what one to get,” Dana stood in the pharmacy aisle with Juliet as the school reporter scrolled through her phone and read out some brands. “This one's supposed to detect lower amounts of hCG? Which is better to indicate if you are?” Dana picked up the box and held it in her hands. She looked at her friend, unsure and scared. Juliet rubbed the girl's back, comforting her as they walked to the front. Dana placed the carton on the retailer countertop. The older lady at the cash picked it up and scanned the item, eyeing the two teenage girls. 

“Is that all?” she asked. Dana sucked in her lips nodded as she handed the cashier a twenty without making eye contact.

-------------------

The two girls sat in Dana’s room, huddled next to each other. Juliet had set her phone timer and wrapped her arm around the other girl, rubbing her shoulder for support. “We’ll get through this," Juliet said quietly. "I’ve got you no matter what,” They listened to the girls in the hallway walking by her closed door, laughing and chatting. It didn’t comfort Dana.

“I don’t understand," she said, "he always used protection, he said that he did. I didn’t always see him put it on but he’s never not used one before.” She tried to find some understanding of how it happened. The second night back to Blackwell, Dana hooked up with her boyfriend Logan after the long summer break. What she didn’t know was that the condom broke and he ended up doing the ‘pull-out method.’ He'd never admitted it to Dana.

*Beep Beep Beep*

Dana looked at Juliet. She took a deep breath, let it out, then leaned forward and picked up the test stick. Juliet waited for Dana to speak, but she didn’t. She saw her friend's body shake as she dropped the test stick onto the coffee table. Dana began to sob, “Oh no...” Juliet sat up next to her friend and held her as Dana cried. She looked down at the test stick; Dana Ward, Blackwell’s lead cheerleader, was pregnant.

“What am I going to do?” she cried.

Juliet wrapped her arms around her best friend and rocked her back and forth, “I’m here for you, sweetie. I’m here.”

 


Center for Women’s Health

Fertility, Pregnancy & Childbirth

September 2:15 PM

Dana and Juliet sat together, holding hands in the clinic. The tv was on the 24-hour news channel talking about the weather for the next couple of days. Juliet glanced at a few other women sitting in the waiting room. It was quiet. Aside from the tv, the only sound was in the administrative area as the lady typed on a keyboard and answered the phone.

Dana whispered, “I can’t believe he didn’t come.”

“He’s an asshole,” Juliet said.

Dana had shown Juliet the note Logan placed under her room door saying how much of a pussy he was about helping her… but, you know, if she needed money to let him know. ‘How generous of him , ' Juliet had said, ‘fucking man-child.’ He bailed on the responsibility, leaving it all up to Dana. Juliet stepped up and was right there to be with her friend, with no judgment.

The assistant stood before the room and quietly said with a smile, “Miss Ward?”

Dana looked at Juliet, scared, “I’m here, D. I’ll be right here.” Dana nodded, took a deep breath and walked over towards the lady. The assistant quietly asked her a question and Dana nodded. The girl looked back at her best friend and waved for her to come over. Juliet held her friend's hand as they walked into the doctor's office.


For the next few days, Dana recovered from the ‘stomach flu.' She kept to her room, watching movies from Warren’s thumb drive that Juliet got from Max. When Max showed up one afternoon, the brunette discovered the test stick and carton in the garbage. Dana became annoyed that Max saw it, although it was the only thing in the garbage so anyone would’ve seen it if they looked. Max promised that she would never speak of what she had seen, even to Chloe, and offered help if there was anything she could do; to just ask. Dana nodded and apologized for her small outburst and thanked her. The two girls talked for a while in her room. Later that night Max stopped by with some tea, ice cream and another thumb drive full of movies.


Dana woke up early, she wanted to get back to her morning run routine as she was feeling better over a week later. She tied up her sneakers and took another drink of water. Before she left her room she checked her messages, seeing nine from Logan. Most of them were him saying how much he let her down and if she had gone through with ‘it’ then inquired if they could go out this weekend. Dana dismissed the messages, she had already told Logan multiple times that he didn't have to worry about any further responsibility and that their relationship was over. She also asked for him to stop messaging her. Obviously, at seeing his nine new texts, he was not getting her message, so she finally blocked him and placed her phone on her nightstand. She looked out the window and decided to take a hoodie with her.

-------------------

The auburn-haired girl jogged to the beat of her music. She had rosy cheeks in the early Autumn morning as she ran the Arcadian Trail to enjoy the changing colours of the leaves. She loved to run, it helped her think things through and relieve stress from her everyday teenage life. Approaching the north and south trails she checked her watch to see if she had time to do the south trail before class started. The cheerleader didn’t get to decide that morning as someone approached her from behind. The sound of a fist hitting the girls' jawline was only heard by her attacker and a small group of birds that were startled, flying away from a tree. The girl was completely blindsided by the sucker-punch and she fell to the ground, dazed and bleeding from the mouth. She received a kick to her thighs but the girl was too stunned to cry out in pain. She received another kick, this time to her chest. Her body lurched forward as the air in her lungs was forced out. Her body automatically responded by curling up into a ball as she received relentless kicks to her midsection. When the assault was over, Dana Ward lay unconscious in the wet dirt, bleeding and alone.

-------------------

Steph looked over at shut-eyed Sloane. “Are you jogging and sleeping at the same time?!”

Sloane opened her red eyes, her groggy voice replied, “No?”

*SMACK*  

Sloane’s eyes snapped open as she hopped a little from the sting of her right butt cheek. “Son of a… Rachel!” The blonde laughed.

“Wake up, Slo, you should be used to this time in the morning since your job in B.C.”

“I don’t have a job now, so there’s no need to wake up at stupid o’clock in the morning," Sloane glared at the girl next to her, "And I’m sleepy cause someone wanted to watch a movie late last night.” The blonde’s response was a smile. Sloane’s eyelids became heavy again. “I’m taking another page from Max's book and sleeping more, I just happen to be multitasking.”

Steph laughed. “Think we have time for breakfast at Two Whales?”

Rachel perked up with a hum, “Ohhh, I want a blueberry muffin.” Sloane didn’t reply as she went back to her sleep run.

“Since Sloane is not objecting, we're going,” Steph said, looking at the girl who just yawned running next to her. The two awake joggers giggled. Rachel wound up again to take another crack at waking Sloane up. Instead what alerted Sloane to open her eyes was Steph saying "What the fuck?" as the two girls by her side started to sprint down the trail and towards a girl lying on the ground. “Dana!” Steph yelled out.

-------------------

Dana opened her eyes. Three blurred people were leaned over her, talking. She couldn’t hear what they were saying before she slipped back into unconsciousness. Dana felt someone shaking her shoulder and then rubbed her sternum. She opened her eyes, an older man leaned over her, calling her name, telling her to try and stay awake. Rachel peered over her. “Dana, hon, it’s okay, help is here.”

“Huh?” Dana couldn't move. Her head was held by a neck brace and her body was firmly strapped to a spine board. She became scared and began to cry. “Where am I?!”

“It’s okay, Dana,” Rachel held onto Dana’s hand. Dana grabbed her for dear life.

“Rachel?” tears streamed down by her temples.

Rachel brushed the cheerleader's tears away. “We found you on the ground.”

Dana’s eyes searched for understanding. “What? Why was I on the ground? What happened?”

Sloane leaned over into Dana’s view calmly speaking. “You're safe, sweetie, help is here and we're gonna get you to the hospital.” Upon hearing that she had to go to the hospital, she started to cry more.

Rachel squeezed Dana’s hand. “It's okay, sweetie, it's okay,” brushing the girl's forehead.

“My stomach hurts, it’s hard to breathe,” Dana cried.

Rachel had to let go of Dana’s hand as the fire department placed Dana on an all-terrain vehicle. She called out to Rachel, scared that she was not in view anymore. An oxygen mask was placed over her face as they slowly drove down the trail. Dana, not able to move her head, watched the morning sky pass her by. A female EMT attendant leaned over into her view and told her she was doing well and they were almost at the road.

Dana felt the shift of weight as the vehicle turned and came to a full stop. Her body was hauled and lifted off the all-terrain vehicle by fire personnel and placed on a gurney and then into an ambulance. She heard someone's voice she recognized, then a few seconds later Rachel was sitting next to her. Dana reached for her, Rachel was there to accept her hand. “I’m here sweetie.” She stared into her friend's eyes for support. “It’s okay, Dana.”

The EMT looked down at Dana. “Dana, we’re on our way to the hospital,” she said. “We should be there in fifteen minutes. You’re doing well, let me know if you feel any differently.” The EMT did body checks, filled out some paperwork and relayed the hospital of their status. Dana looked at Rachel to confirm from her friend that she was okay. Rachel nodded her head. “You’re doing good, Dana.”

-------------------

Juliet woke up face down on her bed. Her phone was ringing again. It was over on her desk. Too far away. She didn’t want to move. She glanced at her clock, it was still too early for school, so it couldn’t be someone letting her know she slept in. Auuugh, leave a message. She turned over in her bed to get a little more sleep. As she snuggled back into her pillow her phone rang again. She sat up, with her eyes still closed and her hair in a mess. Holy fuck,” she groggily whispered. She slipped out of her bed and stumbled to her desk and swiped her phone, “Whaaat?...” Her eyes sprang open, her heart slammed into her chest and the hair on her body stood on end. “What!” she said again as she stood still in shock as something was repeated to her. Juliet put on her sneakers and grabbed her hoodie and wallet and ran into Dana’s room. She looked at the coffee table and started to move things around and off the table looking for the girl's car keys. She frantically started to look around the girl's room and spotted them on her desk. She grabbed the keys and ran for the exit. “I got her car keys I’ll be there soon,” she said, then ended the call. She ran down the stairs and out the dorm exit, sprinting to the parking lot.

NoNoNo.

-------------------

Dana was brought into the emergency room. She was lifted and placed on a bed where a doctor began her assessment. Dana answered the doctor's questions to the best of her recollection. Once the assessment was over she was informed that she would go in for a CAT scan and MRI for her head, neck, chest, and abdomen.

-------------------

The doctor stood next to Dana in a private exam room and explained that she had received a mild concussion. No broken bones, luckily, but multiple contusions to her abdomen, chest, and face. There was no internal bleeding and her split lip didn’t need stitches. Next, a hospital advocate was brought into her room where Dana was asked if she would volunteer to be assessed for sexual assault as she had lost consciousness during the time of the attack. The evidence that could be attained with the kit would help the police in her open assault case. The hospital advocate personally talked with Dana about the procedure, taking as much time and answering any questions Dana might have. Dana gave her consent and went through the invasive procedure with the two women as they both guided and comforted her. Once the procedure was over the doctor left. The advocate stayed, explaining to Dana that the police would like to gather other physical evidence from the attack in the form of pictures, take her verbal incident report and gather her clothes. Dana nodded her head and gave her consent again. The advocate never left her side as two female plain-clothes officers were led into her room where photos of her legs, stomach, chest, and face were taken. 

Dana talked with a trauma therapist late into the morning and part of the afternoon. It was just after 2:30 when Juliet was allowed to see her friend. Rachel, Steph, and Sloane remained in the waiting room until Dana was released from hospital care early into the evening.

-------------------

Sloane drove Dana’s car. They stopped into Two Whales to pick up a phone order for all of them. Soup, fresh rolls, and ice cream. When Sloane parked in the Blackwell parking lot, Dana quietly mentioned that she didn’t want anyone to know she’d been assaulted. The four girls agreed to her request; if anyone were to ask what happened, which they all knew everyone would, they were to say that Dana went for a trail run that morning and decided to run off-trail when she tripped and fell over an embankment. She’d been able to get herself back on the main trail before she passed out.

That evening the five girls had a sleepover, not wanting Dana to be left alone. She woke up a couple of times that night, scared. The second time Steph left a corner desk light on for her so the room was not in complete darkness. Juliet then slept next to her and any time Dana started to display any signs of distress Juliet was right there for her, calmly talking her though. Rachel slept next to Sloane on the floor. The brunette didn’t sleep at all; she tossed and turned the whole night. Out of instinct that she’d developed as a young teen and being placed in foster or placement families, strangers, she kept an eye on the door to make sure no one came in to hurt anyone. In the back of her mind, she hated that it was over three years and she still had one family, one specific man in the back of her mind. She looked down at Rachel and hauled up the girl’s blanket to keep her warm and looked at each sleeping girl, checking on them. Her gaze then went back to the door.

The next day, Dana was excused from class. Before Sloane left for school she quietly offered Dana her therapist’s number and some advice from her own experience.

Logan texted Juliet during the morning to ask about Dana. He wanted the reporter to pass messages on to her. By the third period, Juliet had muted his TEXTuя account after getting caught by teachers using her phone during class. She was also fed up with telling Logan to stop asking why Dana wouldn’t talk to him.

-------------------

TEXTuя
🏈Logan ➞ 📝Juliet

 

Logan: please tell her I miss her and that
            I'm sorry. 

Juliet: She doesn’t want to talk to you, she has told
          you many times that your relationship is over

Logan: I don’t want it to be over

Juliet: that is not my problem

Logan: please

.
.
.

Logan: Juliet?

.
.
.

Logan: Can we talk before your next class, can you text
            her tell her I’m sorry and that I love her
Logan: Did she go and do the thing? At the doctor

.
.
.

Juliet: I don’t want to talk to you. “Do the thing?!” 
          Yeah you don’t need to worry about that, she
          already told you.

Logan: Do you think she would like it if I gave her
            flowers?
Logan: I'm gonna skip third period and go see her

Juliet: Jesus Christ Logan. SHE DOESN’T WANT TO
          SEE YOU! SHE BROKE UP WITH YOU!!

Logan: no, she still loves me, we will work it out, I’ll do
            anything for her

Logan: Do you think she would like a muffin?

.
.


Logan: Juliet?

.
.


Logan: ?

.
.
.

Logan: fucking talk to me!

.
.
.

Logan: I’m gonna get her a banana chocolate chip
           one and bring it to her.

Juliet asked to go use the washroom and went to the security office to report that Logan was going to sneak into the girl's dorm. The last thing Dana needs is a moronic ex groveling over her.

-------------------

TEXTuя
📝Juliet ➞ 🏈Zach

 

Juliet: Hey babe can you plz talk with Logan he’s
          constantly texting me trying to get Dana to
          talk to him. I had to talk myself out of detention
          for using my phone during class. And muted his
          account cause he was texting so much. He’s
          acting like an ass

Zach: Ok. He’s having a hard time with this, you know 
          he loves her a lot. The other morning I caught
          him crying in his room saying that he fucked up
          big time. Dude hasn’t eaten in a few days, he
          looks like shit.

Juliet: I don't care if he is having a hard time, so is
          Dana right now and she’s my priority, she
          doesn't need this extra shit on her plate

Zach: Ok, ok, I’ll text him now

Juliet: Thanks babe

-------------------

TEXTuя
🏈Zach ➞ 🏈Logan

 

Zach: Dude stop texting Jules she’s getting in trouble
          for texting.
Zach: And layoff trying to talk with Dana, give her 
         some time and space to think stuff over.

Logan: You got some cash, I wanna get a muffin

Zach: Yeah  

-------------------

Logan was caught twice that day by security trying to sneak into the girl's dorm. He said he just wanted to check on his girlfriend. He was given three days detention for trying to skip class and reprimanded for trying to sneak into the girl's dorm, he was also suspended from the next football game with Bay City.


Dana went back to her doctor three days later where she was given the good news that her sexual assault kit test all came back negative. Juliet held Dana, comforting her friend as she cried from relief.

The next day in her room she received a phone call. When the call ended, she stood in her room in shock not believing what the detective assigned to her case told her over the phone. Juliet sat on the girl's sofa doing her homework. She looked up at the girl who was staring at nothing. “Dana?” she asked. Dana looked at her friend in disbelief, she tried to talk but started to shake. Juliet got to her feet and went over to her friend. “What's wrong?”

“They got him-” She didn’t finish, she didn’t want to believe it, a tear fell from her eye and she started to sob. Juliet rubbed her friend's shoulder as Dana tried to talk again, but her sobs stopped her twice. She looked at her friend and swallowed, “Logan.” Juliet looked at her friend stunned. “It was Logan,” Dana cried into her friend's arms.

No one knew except for the five girls why Logan never returned to school. Logan was caught once again trying to sneak into the girl's dorm the previous night. David placed a hand on the boy's shoulder after asking the student to leave the girl's stairwell for the fourth time. Logan became violent, pushing David back and taking a swing at him, yelling how no one could keep him away from Dana. The two wrestled but David easily took down the student and the police were notified. During the police interview for assault charges and trespassing, Logan stumbled over his words when the officer casually asked him where he was during Dana’s attack. His previous statement to the police a few days earlier was not matching up with what he was saying. Logan became agitated over the officer pressuring him with questions. He started yelling that Dana had ruined his life and that he would never get a football scholarship because of her.

On the following Sunday three members of Logan’s family showed up to pack up his belongings and Logan Robertson was never heard of again.


Dana sat in a room with her hands on her lap. It was quiet. She noticed that the room was beautifully decorated, it felt very warm and comforting. An older woman sat across from her.

“May I call you Dana?” the lady asked.

Dana nodded and quietly answered, “Sure.”

The older woman gave her a small warm smile. “You can call me Claire if you’d like.” Dana nodded, understanding. “I understand that you got my number from an acquaintance of ours. I want you to take your time, I’m here to listen and to help you in any way I can, Dana.”

Dana nodded and nervously spoke, “Yeah, S-Sloane, she said that you were helping her.” Dana swallowed on a dry throat. “A-and I was hoping that I… you could help me.” Dana hesitated and looked across the coffee table, taking a quick glance at the older woman. Asking for help sometimes came with a strong feeling of guilt.

“I will certainly try, Dana,” she said as she gave the girl another warm smile. “First thing I would like for you to do is to take a deep breath with me.” Dana quivered as she breathed in, and began her first therapy session.

Juliet patiently waited for Dana in her friend's car, doing homework on her laptop. She looked out the window and noticed a corner store across the street. Wonder if they have Starbursts . They were Dana’s favourite. She went back to her homework, re-reading the same sentence for the third time. She looked up again at the store. She closed her laptop, got out of the car, and jogged across the street where bought two packs, hoping it would bring a little happiness back into her best friend’s life.

Chapter Text

 

Victoria stood in her room texting Nathan. For almost two months both students set a plan to have Blackwell and the Vortex club host a Halloween event for the Military school he was attending. The attendees tonight were entering the town of Arcadia when Nathan messaged Victoria that they would be at the music venue soon. 

Nathan leaned back in the bus seat next to Shawn. Scott and Dylan sat behind them. All four boys were dressed as clown bank robbers from The Dark Knight movie. For a few weeks, Nathan had been talking up how there would be alcohol, drugs, and a VIP area for him and a few select ‘friends’ along with some Blackwell’s elite ladies. He had made arrangements with his old dealer in Arcadia to have certain things delivered, telling Hayden to expect a delivery and to take care of the party favours for his arrival.

Nathan had been talking with his mother for weeks. This weekend they were going to have a meeting with his father about placing Nathan back into Blackwell. If his father could not be persuaded, he hoped that this party would solidify a position for himself with his ‘friends’ at the Military school.

“This better be good,” Dylan said from behind Nathan.

Scott swiped through his gallery at the photos he stole from Nathan’s phone. He settled on one girl, smirked and showed Dylan. The two boys grinned with anticipation. “We'd better have that in the VIP section, Prescott.”

Nathan didn’t look back at Scott. “You will.”

-------------------

To say Dana ‘liked’ Halloween was an understatement. By the third week of October, Dana and the decoration committee had most of the Academy decorated. She started with her room, then spilled out on to her doorway then across to Juliet’s room, then like a plague it grew onto the walls, ceilings and other people’s rooms. She even got all the dorm girls together during the week for a ‘Halloweenie’ movie night of Nightmare Before Christmas in the Lounge.

Sloane yelled one afternoon at a rather large fake spider Dana had placed on the girl's door. The brunette had to ask Kate to take it away. The little blonde teased the girl by wiggling it in her hands and slowly walking towards her. “It’s gonna getcha, it’s gonna crawl up your leg!"

Sloane's eyes went wide and she started to take steps backward, realizing she was backed into a corner. “KateKateKate… rrraaaaaah GET AWAY WITH THAT THING!”

Steph, who was walking out the secondary hallway, saw the teasing and became an unwilling participant when Sloane grabbed her like a shield to fend off Kate’s little attack. Sloane was ready to sacrifice Steph by throwing the girl at the spider and Kate and running for the hills.

Max opened her door at the sound of Sloane’s yelling at Kate, but once she saw the spider she noped the fuck out and closed her door. From behind the door, she apologized to Sloane and told her she was on her own.

“Waffles, open the door!" Sloane said.

“Nope,” her voice was muffled from the other side of the door.

“Max!”

“Nope, sorry. Don’t like spiders.”

Kate stopped with an adorable giggle, “I’m sorry, Sloane.” She picked up the spider by the leg and wiggled the rubber arachnid. “It's only rubber, no bitey.” She put it behind her back. Sloane let out a held breath and let Shield Steph go.

“Owww, you have a death grip,” the DM said, rubbing her arms which now had white finger markings left behind.

“Sorry, sorry, just don’t like them,” Sloane said as she wiped her hands together to get rid of the sweat.

Dana walked out of the shower room looking at the three girls in the hallway. She noticed the little church girl holding up a spider behind her back and the grungy girl standing behind Steph. She giggled, “Get her, Kate.”

Steph was immediately grabbed again with a yelp as Sloane yelped, “Fuck right off, Daners!” Dana laughed. Sloane glared at the cheerleader, “I’m gonna remember this at the next defence class.” Both girls had been going to a self-defence class that David started to run once a week, after Dana’s attack. It only had eight people but it helped the cheerleader feel a little more secure and started to rebuild her confidence. Sloane, as Dana’s partner, was notorious for tickling and giving wedgies to Dana during there sessions, telling David that they were very good tactics. “I’m gonna pull your panties over your head next time!” Sloane declared, Dana stuck out her tongue and stepped back into her room.

Steph looked back at Sloane, intrigued with an eyebrow raised. “Uhmm, wut?” 

Before Sloane could explain, Kate put the spider in one hand and started to pet it looking at Sloane with a smile, the little disciple sang. “SlooOane.” 

“Kate, I swear to your God, he’s gonna smite you.”

Steph snorted at Sloane’s words at the church girl. Kate let up, “Sorry, I won’t do it again, I promise, it's not nice that I teased knowing you have a phobia.” She opened her room door and tossed the spider on her bed. “All gone,” she said with an innocent smile.

“Sloane?” Steph said.

“Yeah.”

“Your grip.”

“Oh. Sorry,” Sloane let Steph go again, leaving another set of finger marks on the girl's upper arm.

Max, from inside her room, asked. “Is it gone?”

Kate giggled more. “Yes, it's in my room.”

Max opened her door enough for an eyeball to be seen, looking at Steph and Sloane. “Is it?”

“Yeah,” Steph said adjusting her beanie and looking back at Sloane. “I’ll make a note not to add any spiders into my campaign for you. You have the phobia really bad.”

“My heart feels like it’s going to explode, I don’t like the fuckers. They need to be cleansed from the earth.”

Max took a step out of her room agreeing. “Amen.”

“Hey, Sloane!” Dana stepped out from her room and threw something at the girl. “Catch.”

Sloane caught the object with one hand and looked at it and yelled, dropping it immediately and jumping back against the wall. The little rubber black spider tumbled around the floor. Max yelped and jumped back into her room and slammed the door. Sloane yelled, “DANA!” Kate and Dana laughed. Steph didn’t, as she was used as a shield once again.

“Owww!”

 


 

TEXTuя
💋Blackwell Hotties

Dana: If someone is not ready, say it now?

.
.
.

Dana: K. Everyone come out :D

Dana took one more look at her zombie make up before she opened her door and stepped out into the hallway. The girl's dorm room erupted in screams of ‘Oh my God’, ‘You look awesome!’ and yells over the characters that girls were dressed as. Sloane yelled a 'Fuck yeah!' at Chloe's Tank Girl *, the punk did a turn-around, receiving a fist bump from Sloane. The four girls from the second hallway emerged, Courtney and Taylor, dressed as Sailor Moon characters, walked over next to Victoria and Kate with their Sailor Soldiers outfits. Kate had a little black cat attached to her shoulder. Brooke played with her mustache as Luigi; her and Warren were doing a couples costume of Mario and Luigi. Steph fixed her red scarf as Mikasa from Attack on Titan. Max stood up against the wall with her hands behind her back. She wore pink shorts and a green and white striped shirt as Chihiro from Spirited Away. Steph noticed a few little soot sprites attached to the brunettes sneakers. “Love it, Max, the sprites are a nice addition.”

Chloe lifted the brim of her army helmet and cooed into Max’s jawline, “Yeahhh, she soooo cute.” I wanna bite her NOM!

Sloane leaned against her door as Lara Croft from the newest Tomb Raider game, “Methinks Maxie is gonna get the x-rated Tank Girl later tonight.”

Chloe grinned widely, “Heee.” Max blushed about five shades of red when Chloe bent over and whispered into her ear. Steph and Sloane looked on, grinning like idiots.

Juliet struck a pose in her Supergirl costume and Rachel bumped the girl's hip, smiling as she walked over to Dana. She needed some extra blood from the girl to add to her Severen vampire costume from Near Dark.

-------------------

Stella stood with Alyssa behind the coat check counter, both girls wore white t-shirts that said Error 404 Costume Not Found. “Chloe, I would offer to take your jacket but I’m gonna say you should keep it to stay warm,” Alyssa said with a smile.

Chloe looked at her costume and hand over her jacket, “Yeah it’s a little cold, but I have my little non-spirit here to keep me warm.”

Max handed Alyssa her jacket also as Chloe wrapped her arms around her girl. SoooOooo cute.

It didn’t take long for Chloe, Rachel, Sloane, Dana and Juliet to start dancing with the crowd. Max and Kate stood back and watched the girls burn off their initial adrenaline.

“Can I interest you two ladies in a drink?“ A clown Batman bank robber stood in front of them with his head tilted to the side, holding two red solo cups.

“Uhmm, no thanks, I have one,” Max pointed to her red cup.

“No, thank you,” Kate pointed to her bottle of water.

The clown turned away immediately and looked for someone else to offer drinks to. Both Kate and Max giggled.

-------------------

Sloane hopped in front of the keg and yelled to the people in front of her. “WOOO!” She placed her hands on the keg handles and nodded to the two guys next to her and hopped into a handstand. They helped hold her in place. Max laughed as she remembered the night she first met Sloane at the house party in Seattle. The night they both started an adventure.

"Look, it's a wild Sloane in their natural habitat.” Dammit, I didn’t bring my camera, ouu! Phone . Max grabbed her phone. Sloane had the keg tap placed in her mouth, nodded, and the group started to count. Once she had enough she was set upright and she yelled again then let out a huge burp.

“I WANNA DO THAT!” Chloe yelled excitedly.

“Not before me,” Rachel said. Dana and Juliet were both yelling for their turn.

“WHO’S NEXT!” said the skeleton holding the keg tap. In the next couple of minutes, the pictures of the girls getting their keg on were taken.

-------------------

Kate stood next to the wall in the VIP section of the party; this was something that her parents and church group warned her about… underage drinking, teens making out and drugs being taken. She took another sip of her water and looked for someone to talk to. 

“Wanna drink,” a clown offered her a red solo cup.

“Uhmm, no thank you, I don't drink.”

Victoria was standing not too far off against the makeshift bar, “Oh my God, Kate live a little, one drink is not gonna hurt you. When I asked you to join us, I meant that you have to actually do stuff, if you want to be in the V.I.P. area.” Victoria took Kate’s water and replaced it with the red solo cup. “It’s only wine, you drink that at church, so drink up.”

Kate looked at the cup of red wine, then looked up at a few judging people watching and waiting for her to drink. The V.I.P. curtain was pushed to the side as two people walked through. Kate watched Max held upside down at the keg station as people cheered with Chloe jumping up and down, ecstatic. The clown tapped his cup to Kate. “Cheers.”

Kate looked down at her solo cup and brought it to her lips. The crowd before her cheered, she smiled back shyly, taking a second drink. Victoria tapped their cups together. “Cheers, beyotch.”

“Thanks, Victoria,” Kate said as the pixie blonde was asked to dance with someone and whisked away. Not too long after Kate stood with a group of people talking and laughing, she started to feel like part of the crowd and a little dizzy. 

-------------------

“Fuck this shit,” Dylan staggered into the VIP section holding his crotch and fell onto a sofa. “The skanks here are all bitches and fuckin’ dykes.”

Scott mocked his friend, “I guess you struck out then?” Dylan threw up a middle finger to his friend. Shawn was the next to come through the VIP curtain.

“This fucking sucks," he whined. "Bitch that I’ve been trying to get with is throwing up in the bathroom.”

Scott laughed, “Get another one,” as he stared at a little blonde.

“I wanted Supergirl, FUCK! Her tits are massive.”

Scott looked over at Dylan. “Dude, just get a bitch and stop being one.”

“And where the fuck is your bitch?”

Scott replied with a cool temperament, “Skank is ugly, the camera angle made her look pretty, she’s a fucking dog.” He sniffed the dried blood still coating his nostrils and looked back at the little Sailor Moon.

-------------------

Sloane walked back from the dance floor with a guy dressed as Robin Hood. He thanked her for the couple of dances and excused himself to use the washroom.

“How are you and Robin doing tonight?” Rachel asked, taking a drink from the bartender.

Sloane walked over next to her and took a mouthful of Rachel’s drink. “My night’s not bad, dude’s really polite. Hey, you cleaned the blood off your face. How’s your night going?”

Rachel took a sip of her drink, “I had to clean the blood off my face, think it was repelling some people and it was kinda sticky.” She indicated a guy dressed like Marvel's Logan looking at her. “Danced with Wolvie over there a few times. Had one clown straight up grabbed me from behind.”

Sloane straightened up. “What? Who the fuck was it?”

“It’s okay, I dealt with him, elbowed him in the nose.”

Sloane placed an arm around Rachel’s shoulder and gave it a short squeeze, “Bella chewin’ bubblegum and taken names, that’s my girl.” Sloane kissed Rachel on the cheek surprising her with the small affection.

Rachel giggled, putting her head on Sloane’s shoulder for a second. “Damn straight,” Both girls turned around to watch the dance floor.

Sloane pointed out a couple dancing within the crowd, “Maxie’s havin’ fun, I think this is probably the first party she’s actually participating in.”

“That’s hella awesome. Ouu! did you see what happened with Chloe?” Rachel said enthusiastically.

Sloane shook her head at Rachel, concerned. “No, what?”

“One of those Batman clowns walked up and placed a hand on her ass.” 

“What the fuck is it with the Batman clowns tonight?” Sloane said, pissed off. “Did she kick his ass?"

“No,” she paused, “Max did!” Rachel said with a huge smile.

“WHAT?!”

-------------------

Max laughed as Chloe twirled her around on the dance floor. The punk grabbed Max and hauled her close, both moved to the beat, holding each other for support and to stay connected. Chloe turned the girl and wrapped her arms around Max’s stomach, sliding her hands under the girl's shirt. She dragged her fingers across the little tummy and hummed into Max’s ear. Max leaned back onto Chloe as the punk nuzzled and kissed her neck. “I fucking love you, Caulfield.” Max smiled and hummed as she turned back towards her girl. 

“Hey, can I join in ladies?” A clown stood next to them, he then placed a hand on Chloe’s butt. “We can all have some fun.” Before Chloe could push him away Max let loose a kick that Chun Li be proud of right to his balls. The boy lurched forward in pain and collapsed to his knees. Max then, as best as she could, punched him in the face, yelling, “Touch her again and - and I’ll curb stomp your fucking head!” Max grabbed a shocked Chloe who was standing next to her, mouth gaped open and eyes wide; the punk was in awe of what she just seen her childhood friend do. Max, with Chloe in hand, stormed through the crowd of dancers. Max could hear Chloe laughing over the music once they got outside, passing Trevor and Justin out by the door. She kept walking away. Chloe squeezed her hand, slowing the girl down. Max turned around to see a huge smile on Chloe’s face and the punk excitedly hopped on the balls of her feet. 

“Duuude, you punched a guy AND kicked him in the fucking balls. Max, you're a badass.” The punk hopped close to her, “‘And curb stomp your fucking head!' Where did you get that from?!”

Max stared at Chloe, slightly stunned, “I-I heard Sloane say it once.” Max held her hand in pain, the realization of what she had just done began to sink in and she was a little scared, "Chloe I-I just h-hit someone.”

Chloe placed her hands on Max’s shoulders, comforting her with a warm smile, “Yeah you did, and you did it like in the movies n’ stuff, defending your girl's honour.” Chloe placed a hand over her heart and dramatically sighed, giggling. “I’m gonna swoon over you.”

Max rolled her eyes and smiled, “Dork.” She looked at her hand, “I think I hurt my hand, but I’m not sure, I’m pretty buzzed right now.” Max realized again. “Oh my dog! Chloe! I’m buzzed! And I did a keg stand thingie, and it didn’t go out my noses!”

“Noses?” Chloe giggled. “Yeah, you did.” She stepped closer to her girl. She gently picked up Max’s hand and started to check to see if she broke any fingers. They seemed fine, but when it came to moving her wrist the brunette winced in pain. “Ooh, babe you might’ve sprained your wrist fighting for my virtue.”

Max said, concerned, “Dammit, I need my hand for music practice.” She looked up at Chloe, worried. “How am I supposed to strum now?"

Chloe looked down seductively at Max, softly kissing each knuckle with a dangerous smile.

Max swayed a little and for the moment she didn’t feel any pain, watching her girlfriend. She whispered in her head. I’m sooo gonna get some x-rated Tank Girl tonight .

Chloe lowered her voice, “I thought you needed it for me.” Chloe raised and lowered an eyebrow as she bit her lower lip.

Max realized the consequences of her punch and threw her head back, “NooOOooooo!” It took her buzzed brain to discover something in a few seconds, “But wait! I have another hand!” She held it up for Chloe to see, wiggling her fingers.

“Yeah, you do!” the punk laughed. Chloe looked around and hooked a finger in one of Max’s belt loops and dragged her to a dark corner of the building. She pushed Max up against the wall. The punk closed the gap between them and grabbed the brunette's hips. She slid her hands around to grab the little butt and squeezed. Chloe lowered her head and kissed Max’s neck, “I liked that you came to my rescue.” She purred as she kissed Max’s jawline.

“Yeeeah?” Max said breathlessly.

“MMmhmm, I’m kinda turned on from it, my Max took charge of things.” She licked a little spot just below Max’s ear and her heroine let out a little breathy whimper; it was music to the punk's ears. Max dragged her fingers through the blue hair, knocking off Chloe’s helmet and coiled a leg around the punk. She received another squeeze as they deeply kissed each other in the shadows.

-------------------

Kate felt someone place their hands on her hips, haul her forward and started kissing her, with their tongue forcefully shoved into her mouth. She weakly pushed back to breathe, but she was hauled forward again being touched and kissed. She heard laughing, but couldn’t focus her eyes on anything in the room. She felt her body being hauled and someone leaning against her as she was forcefully kissed again.

Someone watched through their phone as it recorded the session of three boys passing around an inebriated girl on the sofa. A few costumed students in the V.I.P. section whistled and hollered at the show, “Sailor Church girl is gettin’ some!”

-------------------

Wolverine and Robin stood next to each other at the bar chatting with their drinks. They both looked over their shoulders watching Rachel and Sloane dance with some Sailor Moon girls. Once the song was over a slow one began. The two downed their cups and turned to inquire about getting a slow dance. They both stopped when they saw the Vampire haul Lara Croft back onto the dance floor.

“Dance with me,” Rachel asked, holding the girl's hand.

“Huh?” Sloane said, caught off guard. “Uhmm I-I don’t-” Sloane stood still, staring at the blonde who looked back and tilted her head.

Rachel placed Sloane’s hand on the blonde's waist, then Rachel put her hand on Sloane’s shoulder. Sloane nervously took Rachel’s other hand in her own. “Slo you’re stiff as a board. Relax girl.”

“Sorry, I-I don’t know how to really slow dance and-” she said looking down at their feet.

“What?” the blonde giggled. “I watched you this evening pretty much have Catwoman grind up against you, then had a dance move set with Dana and you’ve been hip-hopped around with Robin Hood.”

“Ahh hee hee, I, yeah… I just,” So close . “Not used to...” Sloane stepped on Rachel's toe. “Oh sorry!” She looked down at their feet again.

Rachel smiled. “It's okay. No big dance moves here, just do a circle and sway side to side. Watch my hips.”

Sloane looked down watching Rachel's hip sway side to side, she swallowed. “K… I’ve been known to also chew bubble gum and walk at the same time.” Sloane cringed at her words. Oh my God, you dork .

Rachel quietly laughed, “See, you're getting it, no biggie.” Wow, she’s shaking a little.

“Ha, gettin’ it.”

Rachel stepped a little forward and placed her forehead head on Sloane’s shoulder, then turned towards Sloane and nudged her nose against the girl's neck. She then slid her hand around Sloane’s neck. Sloane moved her hand to the small of Rachel's back and placed the blonde’s hand on Sloane’s collarbone, gently holding the back of her hand.

“Smooth,” Rachel said.

“Heh.”

“You okay?”

“Yup,” Sloane promptly replied.

“You don’t sound or feel okay.”

“Just… just not used to t-touching like this and being c-close to someone.”

Rachel started to step back. “I’m making you uncomfortable.”

“No, nope, I’m…” Sloane held the blonde and swallowed on a dry throat. “It’s okay, the… therapist has mentioned touch therapy with a dog.  S-so this is kinda like that.” Sloane chuckled and took a deep breath then let it out. “I’m good.”

Rachel leaned back looking up at Sloane. “So I’m a dog?”

Sloane realized her words. “No! No that’s-” You idiot!

Rachel giggled and put her head back down to Sloane. “Your heart is racing, are you sure you're okay?”

“Yup. I’m gonna try and get through the song instead of relying on copious amounts of alcohol or drugs to be able to touch someone more than just a quick hug.”

Or a kiss , Rachel thought.

“I-I guess it’s not good to always be under the heavy influence of something to be close to someone to have a one night stand.”

Rachel leaned back again and smirked, raising an eyebrow. “Ooh, are we planning to-”

Sloane stiffened up, “Oh God! That came out wrong! I don’t want to have a one night stand with you, I mean yeah.” Sloane again said the wrong words. “No!" Sloane raised her head to the room and closed her eyes, flustered, “Ah, fuck me.” SHUT UP, YOU FUCKING MORON!

Rachel chuckled against Sloane, “It’s okay, I think I got what you were saying.” Rachel paused for a second. “I’m sorry stuff like this make you uncomfortable and that you had to go thr-”

Sloane looked down at the girl. “Nope, don’t apologize, it is what it is. This is just the result of having shitty adults around me that I put my trust in, and being around the wrong people.” Sloane took another deep breath.

“We can change the subject?” Rachel offered.

“Yeah yeah yeah,” Sloane started to do some breathing techniques. She looked around at the other people slow dancing. Get through this, get through this, nothing is going to happen, ooh fuck I’m dizzy. Sloane blinked a few times to fend off the wave of dizziness. I should’ve drank more.

Rachel changed the subject, “I like your costume, it's kinda already you, but you're just dirtied up little and you carry a pickaxe.”

“Heh, Minus the archaeologist degree and sexy British accent, but I've been known to break a few pots.” The two girls giggled, Rachel began to watch Sloane talk. “I-I kinda like it too, the scars kinda go with the, uhmm, with the costume. Steph helped me with making the pickaxe, s-she’s really into this cosplay stuff. S-she gifted me the Tomb Raider game and said that I would be cool as Lara, so… yeah. If you haven’t played it, y-you should it's intense.” Fuck I can watch blood and gore but have someone slow dance with me and I almost lose it. “The f-first ten minutes of the game draw you in, once the title screen finally came up I had to put the controller down and hop around the room I was so worked up from it. Max came over one night we took turns playing, yeah two people with anxiety in a dark closed room playing that game. Steph knocked on the door and both of us almost had a heart attack.” Sloane took a deep breath from talking too much.

“Sloane?”

“Hmm?” Sloane still held Rachel.

“The song's over.”

“Huh?”

Rachel looped the tip of her finger through Sloane’s ring on her necklace and tugged at it. “The song? It’s over.”

“Oh. Sorry.” Sloane dropped her hands, stepped back and began to fidget with her tank top and looked around to see if anyone was watching.

Rachel smiled and dramatically bowed. “Why thank you, kind Madame, for that dance.”

Sloane smiled, rolled her eyes then curtsied. “And to you?” Sloane had no idea what to say. “Mistress...of...the night?”

Rachel’s eyes widen just a little with excitement.

Sloane shook her head unaware of her words. “I really don’t know what the hell to say.”

Rachel giggled. “How about we get a water and go outside for some air?”

Sloane exhaled, “Whew, yeah, thanks.” Nailed it, no freakout, and Rachel smells like Jasmine, Wait. What!

 


 

Kate felt a hard texture against her face, arms, and legs. Her vision was blurred. She slowly blinked when she saw a flash of light and her ears picked up a sound. She tried to move but her body wouldn’t listen, she felt so tired. *FLASH* Her legs were moved. *FLASH*. Someone was talking to her, she tried to respond, but her tongue was heavy in her mouth, she felt so confused. Where... am... I? *FLASH* Her arms were placed out in front of her, a hand was placed on her jawline as her head was positioned. *FLASH* before she closed her eyes there was another *FLASH* 

 


 

Victoria walked back into the V.I.P. section as the evening came to a close and saw an out of breath Nathan. “What were you doing?”

Nathan quickly composed himself, “Ahh, this girl has me dancing most of the night, I’m outta breath.”

“Pfft, I thought the military thing had you exercising non-stop.”

“T-they do and she’s one of the cadets, she’s non-stop.” 

“And apparently she’s able to get you to dance,” Victoria said with a smile drinking her wine.

Nathan took a mouthful drink from his red cup. “I’m used to laying back at these things, not working up a sweat.” Nathan glanced down at his camera bag and nudged it with his foot, pushing it further behind the bar unit.

Victoria noticed. “You brought your camera? Nice to see you’re still taking pictures and haven't given up on it.”

“Ah, yeah, I-I still like doing it. I, ah, was thinking about taking some pics around Arcadia tomorrow. But whatev, how’s your night going?”

“Not too bad, been missing you and the actual Vortex club offerings though,” she said with a smile. Victoria indicated to the bartender for another drink. “What time are you meeting with your mother tomorrow?”

“Meeting her for lunch. I hope she’s able to convince him.” Nathan motioned to the three boys sitting on the sofa. One was passed out, the other two were drawing dicks on him with a marker. “Cause that's what I have to go back to.”

“Charming,” Victoria said.

-------------------

*Tank Girl Cosplayer - kaylynn_syrin



Chapter Text

The sun rose on a clear, cool late Fall morning. The rays shone through a window and in between dust-filled blinds that weren’t closed during the night. The light slowly traveled across the blue industrial carpeted floor. It eventually lay across dirty blonde hair; it moved to caress and warm the neck, touch upon an ear, and burrow into a closed eye. The eye winced from the intrusion of the darkness. As the body woke up, the pain and vertigo came forward. The eyes hurtfully opened and squinted against the sunlight. The body was stiff from not moving for the past seven hours, so when they tried to move, joints, tendons, and muscles fought against what the mind wanted to do. The head turned away from the annoying light and the voice produced an aching moan as the head spun with dizziness and a wave of nausea grew. Bloodshot hazel eyes opened to get their bearings and slowly focused on a door and the gap underneath it. Lungs took a deep breath and the body began to sweat. A dry mouth began to produce saliva, blood pressure dropped and the heart began to beat harder and faster. The body prepared as the stomach was going to evacuate its contents. The stomach squeezed and the night's contents with bile traveled up through the esophagus and slightly spewed out the mouth adding to the years of stains on the Blackwell carpet. Teary eyes watched the gap underneath the door as two black shoes stopped in front of it. Ears heard the knock and a voice, “Kate? Are you up?” Kate tried to speak as she looked up from the floor at the door lever. She wished for it to open. A tear flowed from her eye to the bridge of her nose and dropped to the floor and all she could manage was a small whimper.

-------------------

Taylor lay on her back across her bed. One foot was up against the wall, one arm hung off her bed and her head dangled off the mattress edge. With one loud snore, she woke herself up and coughed from a dry throat. She rolled to her side with a painful moan. She'd passed out in her costume but managed to get a shoe off before her body hit the bed. She took a deep breath, slowly opened her eyes and started her morning routine… checking Facebook comments. She scrolled through the pictures from the previous night’s Vortex party, eventually landing on a video. She thumbed it to play and her ears were greeted with loud techno music. She winced at the noise and turned down the volume of her phone. She blinked and watched the posted video of three guys groping a girl dressed as the Sailor Moon character. She stared, watching a boy stick his tongue in her mouth, kissing her. Taylor blinked and sat up. There is no way that’s… Oh my God, Church Girl got lucky last night, holy shit! The comments were people asking who she was, guys wanting to know if she was available for a hookup and girls with negative comments about putting out. No one knew the identity of the girl. Taylor stood up. She took a step and her foot caught the blanket on the floor and she fell forward. In seconds she was up again staring at her phone like it never happened, she needed the details of what happened. The thought of her finding out something first and posting it for comments and likes made adrenaline run through her body. Before she left her dorm she tore off her costume and dressed quickly in leggings and a hoodie, stuffing her feet in the first pair of footwear that were closest to the door and left. She power-walked to Kate's door. The thought of having information before Juliet and Victoria, and her getting to say, 'Yeah, I already knew that,' or posting that she knew the girl made her feel relevant. She knocked on the door. “Kate? Are you up?” There was no answer. I have to know, “Kate?” Taylor knocked again. Wake the fuck up ! She thought about opening her door; she knew it was an invasion of privacy but convinced herself that it wouldn’t be because she knocked first. It’s not like she’s naked or something… oh my fuck, she could have a guy in there. Ho-ly Shit! The thought of finding out that Kate had her V-card punched and she would be the first to know!

Dana’s door opened and she walked out with her toiletries and her phone in her hand. Taylor heard the techno music playing. She turned around and looked at Dana’s surprised face. Dana looked up at Taylor, “Did you see this video someone posted from last night?”

Fuck she’s going to post it first that she knows it’s Kate!  

“Yeah already saw it,” she played it off like she'd known about it well before anyone else.

“Is this, Kate?” Dana asked.

Goddammit, privacy be damned. Taylor slowly pulled down on the door handle, found it unlocked, slowly opened the door and peeked in. She knew Kate’s bed was up against the wall. “Kaaate?” Her bed was untouched. Oh my God, did she go home with a guy?! Taylor pushed the door open, looking at the desk then noticed two legs on the floor. She looked down, surprised at seeing Kate on the floor. “Kate?” Taylor made a sound of disgust. “Auck, are you ok?” Oh my God, she passed out, eww and got sick. Dana walked over and looked into the girl's room and saw Kate on the floor. Taylor brought up her phone. 

“Oh my God, Kate!” Dana said. Taylor didn’t move out of the doorway. Are you taking a picture?! “Taylor, get out of the way!” Dana grabbed Taylor and hauled her back. She tossed her toiletries on Kate’s bed and knelt to her. She placed a hand on Kate’s shoulder, rolling her body over to its side. “Kate. Are you okay?”

There was a rapid knock on the door. She heard a moan in her room and opened her bloodshot eyes that rolled down from the back of her head. Auuugh. There was another rapid knock. “Sloane!” Someone tried the door handle, finding it locked. Sloane blinked and took in a big breath of air, trying to wake herself up. “Sloane open the door!” She leaned over and put her feet on the floor, her back ached. The person in her bed moaned and rolled over. She stood up, knocking her pillow to the floor. The person knocked again. “Sloane!” Sloane bent over, picked up her pillow, tossed it behind her onto the sofa and walked to the door to find out who the unfortunate soul was that woke her up on a Saturday morning. She held up her cargo shorts with one hand as they were falling off her hips when she opened the door. Taylor stood there, the blonde looked at Sloane’s face seeing a crease mark across her cheek, guessing it was from her pillow, then noticed some movement over the girl's shoulder. There was someone in her bed. Who’s that? Oh my God, Sloane slept with someone last night!

Sloane’s voice was deep and cracked from a dry throat, “Tay, you wanted something? If not I’m gonna dropkick you.” Taylor was still looking at the bed. “Taylor!” 

Taylor’s eyes darted to Sloane. “Oh, ahh, Dana wants you in Kate’s room, she got sick last night and threw up on the floor.”

Sloane sighed and slumped her shoulders

For some reason, Sloane was the unofficial ‘if something happened’ to one of the girls she was asked to patch up the cuts, scrapes and for some reason help with drunken’ chicks'. The happy, giggly, drunk girl was always fun to help back to the dorm, just for the interesting conversations. However, the projectile vomiting Exorcist one was not. The thought of seeing someone covered in barf was not welcoming. Fuuuck. Sloane stepped forward to leave but Taylor was standing in her way, looking into her room. “Oi! Get out of the way.” Taylor looked at Sloane again, realized she was in the way and stepped back and again looked into her room. Nosy, much? Sloane closed her door and walked to Kate’s room, making sure Taylor was following.

Dana and Sloane got Kate sitting up off the floor. She was leaning against her sofa looking pale and weak, she was not much of a drinker. Sloane’s groggy voice tried to comfort the blonde, “Katearoo, you’re going to be okay... you just have a hangover.”

Dana placed a cold facecloth behind Kate’s neck hoping it would give her some comfort. “Sweetie, how much did you drink last night?”

Her voice was low and broken. “One.”

Dana and Sloane looked at each other, “You only had one?” Dana asked. Sloane thought That's not a lot, maybe she has an allergy to alcohol ?

Kate opened her eyes and mumbled, “It was in a big red cup. That was my first time drinking. I’ve taken Communion at church but nothing like this.” Kate dropped her chin to her chest.

I’d think about going to church if they had offerings of the amount that I had last night, Sloane thought.

“You poor thing,” Dana said. “I’ll get you some water and pills.” She got up and walked to her room.

Sloane looked down at the vomit on the floor. Fuuck . “Daners!” Sloane said loudly, Kate winced right away. “Oh sorry,” Sloane put her hands over Kate’s ear. “Tay… oi, Taylor!” Sloane said.

“Hmm, what?” Taylor was in her own little world looking at her phone, texting, and standing by the door frame.

“Ask Dana to bring her foot powder.”

Taylor didn’t look up from her phone, “K,” she replied as she walked away. Sloane looked around and saw a box of tissues and started the task of cleaning up barf. Hooray, I love cleaning up barf, said no one.

With the vomit cleaned up and a copious amount of foot powder covering the spot, Dana and Sloane got Kate to sit on her sofa. She drank water with huge gulps to help her thirst. Dana took off the girl's footwear as Kate sat back with her eyes closed, “I’m never drinking again.” Kate said quietly with a cool wet face cloth across her forehead. The three girls quietly chuckled.

“Yeah, I’ve heard that one,” Taylor said, tapping her finger to her chin. “I think I said that two weekends ago.”

Dana wistfully looked at the girl. “You’ll survive sweetie, we just need to get some food in you, get rehydrated and perhaps some more sleep.” 

Sloane grunted tiredly, resting her chin in her hand, leaning over on her knees. “No worries, Katearoo, everyone goes through this at least fifty times or so in their lifetime.” Dana and Taylor both chuckled again and agreed.

There was a moment of silence and Taylor took advantage. “Sooo, who was the guy you hooked up with last night?” 

Kate didn’t answer, she thought the question was directed to Dana or Sloane. When she didn’t answer, Taylor persisted, “Kate, come on, don’t leave me hanging here.”

Kate opened her eyes and looked at Taylor, confused. She noticed that Dana was also looking at her. Sloane turned her head, “You met someone last night?” She said, surprised.

“No?” Kate replied, confused.

“Well, I mean, you might have not ‘hooked up’ with him here. Did you do the deed in the school bathroom?” Taylor looked at the girl a little grossed-out.

The conversation between the two had Dana and Sloane looking back and forth from girl to girl; it was like watching a tennis match.

“Taylor! I did not…” Kate lowered her voice not wanting others outside her room to hear her words, “hook up, with someone.”

“Right, so what guy did you choose to end the night with then?”

“What are you talking about?”

That was Taylor's cue to bring up the video from last night, “Girl whatev.” Taylor gave her phone to Kate, Sloane leaned over to also watch it. 

Kate watched, confused, which turned to shock. She placed a hand over her mouth and slowly shook her head. She whispered, “Oh my God.” Kate watched. They're kissing me, my thighs, Oh God! Touching my breasts ! She looked up at Taylor who was smiling, waiting for confirmation that it was her. Kate looked at Dana for answers. Sloane took the phone and rewatched the video again. Dana looked at Kate, worried, the girl wrapped her arms around herself.

“Dana I...I, that’s not me, that can’t be me. I would never do that.” Kate looked at the phone in Sloane’s hands. It was her, even though the video showed Kate back on, she was the only person dressed up as that specific Sailor Moon character.

“Kate, it’s okay if you made out with someone or others… at the same time,” Taylor said, smiling. Church Girl isn't so innocent, oh my God this is awesome.

“Taylor, I-I didn’t mean to do, that ,” Kate said, looking at the phone. “I don’t even remember doing that.”

Sloane turned her head at Kate. “Huh?”

“I don’t remember this, I would never do that,” Kate said with tears in her eyes.

“Oh whatev, you don’t need to hide that you liked it,” Taylor countered.

“I don’t, I-I never even-" Kate said as a tear streamed down from her face. 

Dana held Kate’s hand, “It’s okay, Kate.” Dana looked up and gave Taylor a dirty glare to shut her up.

Sloane thought for a moment. Watching Kate, who was leaned over holding Dana’s hand with her other hand holding her chest, she couldn’t look at anyone. “Kate…” Sloane paused. She looked up at Taylor who was staring at Kate eagerly. Sloane stood up and pushed Taylor's phone to her chest and kept pushing, moving the girl out of the room, and quickly spoke to her, “Tay, gotta talk with Kate for a bit, give us some space K, byeeee.” Sloane closed the door with Taylor protesting.

“Sloane, what the fuck!?” Taylor said at the closed door. How dare you, what the fuck? She raised her hand to knock on the door to get back in when Courtney walked through the second hallway.

“Oh My God, Taylor! did you see the video?" The black-haired girl asked.

Taylor looked at her and did her best physical stance impression of Victoria, “Ah yeah, like, a while ago.”

“Was it-”

“Kate, ah yeah, I just finished talking with her, she got wasted last night and passed out on the floor. She got so drunk she threw up on her floor.”

“What? Ewww, gross.”

“I know, right?” She walked over to the girl. “And guess who didn’t sleep alone last night?”

The gossip began.

Sloane sat back down next to Kate and wiped her hand over her eyes, trying to get fully awake. She looked at Dana with concern then looked at Kate. She spoke slowly and calmly, “Kate?” She waited for Kate to look at her, she wanted her full attention. Kate opened her eyes and glanced at Sloane; she couldn’t keep eye contact. The guilt and embarrassment of what she had done was written across her face. Dana wiped one of Kate’s tears away. Sloane asked. “Kate, can you look at me please,” Sloane looked at the girl, Kate wouldn’t lift her head to look. Sloane looked at Dana for help, “Kate.” Dana placed her hand under the girl's chin and slowly lifted it. “Look at me, sweetie.” Kate kept her eyes away from her.

“We have to ask you something,” Sloane said.

“Kate I… I want you to be honest with us,” Dana calmly asked.

Kate looked at Dana, her thought was, I've always been honest with you I’d never lie to you or anyone.

“I am not going to judge you, neither is Sloane... what you do is up to you.”

Sloane nodded and agreed with Dana. “Yeah, no judgments.”

“Did you want those guys to touch you?”

The looked on Kate’s face was of hurt and a little shock. How could Dana think I was like that, I’ve never kissed… ”No,” she said and looked away, “I’m not like that, I don’t even remember what…”

Sloane glanced at Dana. 

“You don’t remember what you did?” Dana asked.

Kate shook her head a little.

“Kate, I know you said that you had one drink; again, it’s alright if you had more-”

“I had one drink, V-victoria handed it to me, it was red wine,” Kate stated. 

Sloane asked. “And that was the only drink?”

“Yes, I wouldn’t lie to you,” Kate said, looking at Sloane then down at her lap.

Sloane looked at Dana, “Stay here, I’ll be back.” Sloane got up holding on to her cargo shorts and left Kate’s room.

Sloane stepped out of the room and stepped to face another door. She knocked loudly, the story of Rachel and Chloe telling her of how Victoria laced a cup of tea on a theatre night ran through her head. Sloane overheard Taylor and Courtney talking, “Ah, yeah, I’m gonna post it now that it was her.” They both looked up when they heard the knocking. Sloane glared at the two of them in a slow, threatening way she spoke, “If either of you post that it was Kate, I will fucking make you eat your phones.” She turned not carrying what their reactions were and looked at the girl staring at her wide-eyed in her doorway. “We need to talk.” Sloane stepped forward, she was going in the room with or without permission. Victoria was forced to take a step back before she was going to be knocked back. Taylor and Courtney looked at the two girls as Sloane closed the door behind her. She glared at a perplexed Victoria.

“By all means, come in,” Victoria said, annoyed.

Sloane stared at the girl, looking back and forth into each eye, searching. Sloane held her emotions, yelling and threatening was not the thing to do here. Victoria noticed Sloane's hand was balled into a fist. She stepped back, “Sloane, what’s wrong?”

Sloane thought to herself, She would never do something like this to Kate… Rachel’s teacup. Sloane controlled herself and spoke slowly, “Last night in the V.I.P. lounge you gave Kate a drink.” It wasn’t a question but a statement.

“Ah, yeah, she was standing around like a black sheep, I handed her a Solo of wine.”

“Was that the only one she had?”

Victoria furrowed her brow and looked annoyed again, “I don’t know, I’m not her keeper.” Victoria sat down on her sofa and looked up at Sloane with attitude.

Sloane took a deep breath, let it out and clenched her teeth, “Have you seen the video of Kate from last night?”

Victoria would’ve rolled her eyes but she was too tired and a little hungover so she just blinked slowly, “No, I did not see a video, you woke me up.” Sloane looked around Victoria’s room and walked over to pick up the girl's phone and tossed it to her.

“Facebook,” Sloane said.

Victoria looked at Sloane, irritated that she threw her phone at her. She opened the app and started scrolling, “Is this it? Slutty Sailor Moon?”

“Yeah.”

Victoria hit the play button and watched the video. Sloane watched the blonde’s expressions; she arched her eyebrows, then a smirk with a quiet outward snort, “Didn’t think Kate was into-”

“She not!” Sloane snapped, cutting her off.

Victoria looked up. “Well, the video is kinda-”

“She said she had one drink.”

Victoria looked at her phone and back up at Sloane with her attitude, “Ah, she didn’t, by the looks of-”

“It was a drink YOU gave her, one red Solo of wine.” I swear to God if you drugged her...

Victoria paused for a moment she glared at Sloane, “Yeah, and?”

You did it once, you could’ve done it again.

Sloane glared back at Victoria, clenched her teeth, took a step forward, her two hands were balled into fists. Victoria’s attitude dropped she leaned back into her sofa, unnerved at the look of Sloane. She held up her hand, palm outwards towards Sloane, frightful of what might happen. “S-Sloane, I gave her one drink that’s it. I didn’t force her to drink it or have more after that one.” Victoria thought for a moment, then her expression was that of concern, “Is Kate alright?”

Chapter Text

Sloane tapped on the door. Dana opened it and the brunette noticed, along with Dana, Max, and Chloe were sitting on the floor in the room. She walked in with Victoria behind her and the door was closed again.

“How’s your hand?” Sloane asked Max.

She looked at her wrapped wrist, “Okay, haven’t really tried to move it.” Sloane nodded.

Victoria glanced at Kate who was curled up on her sofa. Dana sat down next to her. The pixie blonde looked at the girls in the room. “What happened?”

Instead of Victoria getting her answer right away she was the one getting questioned by Max, Chloe, and Dana. She was on the defensive.

“Look, like I said to her,” she pointed at Sloane, “I handed her one drink. That was it, it’s not my fault that she had more, got drunk and made out with three guys!”

Kate closed her eyes and tensed up, Dana felt it. She whispered loudly, “Victoria lower your voice, you could be a little more sensitive, ya know?”

Victoria looked at the two of them on the sofa and sighed.

“Why didn’t you keep an eye on her?” Chloe asked with a little vile in her words. Max gently rubbed Chloe's arm to keep her from yelling.

Victoria looked back and forth from Chloe to Kate, “I’m not someone's shadow. The last time I saw her, she was laughing and talking with people in the V.I.P. section." She turned to Kate, "You seemed fine." Victoria turned back to Chloe, "I can’t be held accountable if she decided to drink more and-”

“You're right,” Sloane said and Chloe glanced over at Sloane, “There were others in that area watching Kate and saw her like this and not one person stopped it.” The statement was true even if each person didn’t like it.

“This is bullshit,” Chloe said, letting her anger be known. "Someone should've stopped those assholes. How is it okay to do that, and sit back and not only watch it but fucking record it?"

Kate quietly spoke, “I was told that drinking was bad, I didn’t realize that one drink would do this to me. I thought I could handle it.” She looked at Max, “I saw you after you had a few, and you seem happy and excited. You even did that handstand thingie.”

Victoria asked, confused, “Are you sure you only had one? Maybe someone re-filled your cup or you put your cup down and picked up the wrong one.”

Kate shook her head a little. “It was one, I felt fine; well, a bit happy for the first while… then I started to feel light-headed, tired, dizzy. I sat down on the sofa and...” Kate searched for more to say, she looked back at the girls. “I felt myself being moved around, flashing lights, I couldn't focus on anything... then waking up here.”

“Fuck,” Chloe swore, shaking her head, trying to find some understanding.

“Nobody gets like that on one drink,” Dana said, looking at each girl.

Victoria stated, “I was drinking the same wine Kate was-”

“Did you see it get poured?” Chloe asked, glaring at Victoria.

Victoria looked at Chloe, realizing she didn’t. “No... some clown guy had it in his hands, I took it and passed it to her.”

“Shit,” Dana said.

“He probably did it,” Sloane stated.

It was quiet in the room. Kate noticed Dana, Victoria, Chloe, and Sloane glancing at each other. They know something . She looked to Max, who didn’t seem to know what the others were thinking.

Sloane knelt next to Kate, there was no easy way to say it. “Kate... you were probably drugged last night.”

Kate made a small gasp, she sat up, scared. “What?!” Drugs!

“What you told us along with taking a drink from..." Sloane looked back at Victoria, "Do you have any idea who-?”

Victoria shook her head. “He had a clown mask, I don’t know who he was.” Victoria looked away. She should've known better than to take the drink.

Kate quietly spoke, "I think it might've been the same clown that offered me and Max a drink earlier that night." She glanced down at Max.

Chloe's anger dropped as she stared at Kate, "What?!" She looked at Max sitting between her legs. "Someone-."

Max twisted her body around and squeezed Chloe's arm. "We didn't take it." Max wondered if they didn't have drinks at the time if she would've taken one. The thought had never occurred to her that this could happen. She'd heard about it, read about it, even watched tv shows about it. She never thought it would happen to someone she knew and how close it came to almost happening to her.

Chloe wrapped her arms around Max protectively. She put her head into the crook of Max's neck, wanting to be as close to her as possible. The thought that this could've been Max scared Chloe to the core. Someone touching her, passing her around, someone… She closed eyes tightly as the next thought went through her head. I would fucking kill him . Max felt Chloe's tension, rubbed her forearm and rocked both of them side to side. She turned her head, kissed Chloe on the forehead and quietly spoke to her, "I'm okay... I'm okay."  Chloe regripped her hold, just wanting Max in her arms.

Sloane clenched her jaw. Fuckin clowns . “The drink was probably already laced with something,” she guessed. "And this guy was just walking around with it at the ready."

Kate's eyes teared up. Waiting for someone stupid to take the drink . She was scared, her little body started to shake. Dana leaned over and wrapped an arm around her, rubbing her back. Kate's voice was quivering, “Who would do this? Why? How did I get home?” She looked at Sloane for answers but she didn’t have any that would comfort her.

Chloe sneered, “I will fucking rip his throat out,” She squeezed her hand into a fist, she wanted to unleash her anger on someone.

It was calmly discussed that Kate should go to the school nurse as soon as possible and tell her what happened. Kate was scared of her missing memory, scared that she would be kicked out of Blackwell and embarrassed that everyone would know what she did. With Dana’s and Max’s encouragement, she agreed and along with Chloe, they went to Barenchi’s office.

Sloane stood in front of Victoria outside Kate’s room as the three other girls left. “Talk to your buds to make sure they don’t post that it was Kate. I told them not to, but make sure they follow through.” She looked at Victoria’s phone, “Flag it anytime you see it posted to get it removed.” Taylor and Courtney were out in the hallway, engulfed in their phones, leaning against the window near Sloane’s room. As if on cue, Sloane’s door opened and a chipper girl walked out with her costume balled up under her arm. She wore Sloane’s Nine Inch Nails shirt to cover her polka dot panties, and walked towards them, finishing off a banana. She smiled, leaned forward, giving Sloane an air-kiss and a wink, “Thanks, Slo, for last night. Morning, Vic. Ladies.” She continued down the hall, opened her door and walked in. Taylor and Courtney were gawking with their mouths open at what they watched and what went through their minds. Rather than talk to each other they started to text their conversation. Sloane looked back at Victoria, serious, reiterating, “Make sure they don’t say or post a thing about Kate.”

Oh my God! Rachel and Sloane hooked up!

-------------------

Sloane got a text from Chloe telling her that Barenchi and the girls were on their way to the hospital. It was recommended by the nurse that Kate should get checked out immediately. Sloane sat on her sofa, it made her feel ill thinking the worst might’ve happened to Kate. Rachel curled up next to her, taking in what she was told. Victoria sat in Sloane's desk chair. She quietly asked. “What will they do with her?”

Sloane glanced at Rachel who answered, “They will take blood and urine samples, and... and possibly ask her if she would consent to an assault kit.”

Victoria looked at the two girls stunned. “Assault kit?!” Victoria leaned over putting her hands on her head, “Oh God, what did I do!?”

Both Rachel and Sloane got up and went to her, “You didn’t do this to her,” Sloane stated.

“I gave her the goddamn drink. This is my fault, I-”

“You are not to blame,” Rachel said. She placed a hand on Victoria’s back. “It is not on you, Victoria.”

Victoria just shook her head. This is my fault?!

-------------------

Kate and the three girls came back from the hospital later that day. Victoria, along with Rachel and Sloane, were standing in the hallway waiting since Chloe mentioned that they were on their way home. Kate hugged herself, not making eye contact with anyone. Dana and Max had an arm wrapped around the little blonde and guided her into her room.

-------------------

The group of girls made sure that Kate was not left alone unless she asked to be, which she didn’t. The weekend passed quietly with discussions about what happened, movies and homework. On Tuesday afternoon Kate went back to the doctor with Dana and Max where she was told that the assault kit came back negative, but her blood and urine samples showed as positive of Gamma-Hydroxybutyrate. GHB, the date rape drug. Kate was given some pamphlets and a support number if she wanted to talk to a counselor. Dana recommended her therapist.

-------------------

The rest of the week was a blur. Friends noticed that Kate was extra quiet and distant. The girls that knew of the situation made sure that she was supported, even if it was something simple like sitting next to her in class or doing homework with her. The video was posted a few more times on social media and whoever noticed it flagged the post in hopes of keeping it off the web, but it eventually would show up again.

-------------------

Victoria sat in her room staring at a picture from the Halloween party. She still felt guilty for what had happened. Kate had told Victoria it wasn’t her fault and that she shouldn’t feel any responsibility or guilt from it. "It was my choice to take the wine, Victoria. The person that did this to me is the one responsible, not you."

Victoria scrolled through pictures of that night. She noticed the Batman clowns from the night and wonder which one of them was the person that drugged Kate. She sat up and went to her laptop and began searching.

A few hours later Victoria emerged from her room and lightly knocked on Kate’s door. She was allowed in and stood in front of Kate, Max, and Chloe with a handful of printed pictures. “The person that gave you the drink was wearing a Batman clown mask.” 

Kate looked at Victoria and nodded, "Yes.”

Victoria knelt on the floor and started to display the print out sheets of pictures that she collected from that night off of social media. “I’ve gone through all the pictures that I could gather from that night.” She'd circled ones that had a Batman clown in them. "I think there were eight people dressed as those characters.” She produced a screenshot of the clowns from the movie showing the different masks. “I can’t remember what version of the mask the person had. These are the ones that were in the movie.”

Kate shook her head. “I don’t remember, either.” She looked over at Max. “Do you remember the guys mask that offered us a drink?”

Chloe held Max's hand. Max tilted her head to look at the picture, "I don't know,” she looked at Kate and shook her head. “I didn't pay attention."

Victoria spoke, “I know four of the guys who wore the masks: Nathan, and his three friends” She had messaged Nathan to find out their names, not disclosing what happened to Kate. “Scott, Dylan, and Shawn.”

Chloe retorted, "The fucking assholes that-"

Kate put her head down and placed her folded hands on her lap.

Max placed her hand on Chloe's cheek with her thumb over the girl's lips and shook her head a little for Chloe not to finish her sentence. Chloe put her head down and nodded. Max took her hand away and

Chloe spoke up. “Justin and Trev wore them too, but they wouldn’t do something like that.” Victoria looked at Chloe, not caring that they were the punk's friends… every one of these clowns was a suspect.

“That leaves three people,” Max said.

They all looked at the pictures on the floor, picking them up and looking at them. Victoria then placed a few more pictures on the floor; they were from the V.I.P. section, showing Kate talking with people with the Solo cup in her hand. Then one of her on the sofa, leaned to the side, the next one was her and a guy in a clown mask. It was pushed up over his head, revealing that it was Scott. He had his arm wrapped around Kate, leaning towards her. The next one was of two more clowns on the sofa with their masks lifted, Shawn and Dylan. They were looking at Kate as she was straddling Scott kissing him.

“Those fucking assholes,” Chloe said angrily.

Victoria placed another picture on the floor. “Taylor took a lot of pictures that night and I asked her for the timestamps on her phone.”

The last ones were of the three clowns: Scott, Shawn, and Dylan with their masks up, sitting on the sofa and Kate was nowhere to be seen. It showed that they stayed in the V.I.P. section for the rest of the night. “Kate went missing around 12:53 and these three never left the V.I.P. area.” Victoria looked up at the girls. “I want to find this person and make him pay for what he's done.”

-------------------

Rachel and Sloane sat on the floor in Kate’s room looking at the print outs. The group, thanks to Dana’s Facebook friends, were able to gather more pictures. Nathan and his three friends were eliminated as suspects. “Nathan said he was with a girl the whole night, hanging out with her,” Victoria said. Justin and Trevor were next eliminated as they also were in pictures during the night. Through a couple of carefully worded questions, to not bring any suspicion, Rachel was able to find out that the two guys left with Luke at the end of the night. Chloe even mentioned that she’d seen them outside around that time blazing it up. That left two clowns in the pictures from that night. Two unidentified clowns, one that was well over six feet and the other was heavyset. Victoria said that the person that handed her the drink was not tall or heavy set. That brought the clown count to zero. “Fuck, I thought I had something," Victoria said, frustrated.

“Someone must have seen Kate leave last night,” Chloe said.

“There were a lot of people that night, over half that were drinking, no one would’ve noticed a girl that looked drunk being ‘helped’ by someone,” Dana said.

Rachel took out her phone, “There were two people that were for sure sober that night.” Rachel looked up at the girls looking back at her, then she looked at Kate, “And they might’ve talked to you before you left. Kate, only if you are okay with this... to let them know what happened?” Rachel waited for Kate’s approval before she sent out a few texts. Kate nodded and Rachel continued. “These two are smart enough that they will ask questions out of curiosity." 

-------------------

Alyssa was out of the picture, she happened to be taking a bathroom break when Kate left. Stella sat on Kate’s sofa listening to Victoria state what happened last night, the final question and why she was there, ‘Did she see Kate leave?’ Stella looked at the group of girls all staring at her, “Ahh, yeah.” Stella looked at Kate. “You almost left without your coat.”

“Did you see the person Kate was with?” Chloe quickly asked.

Stella shook her head. “No, he had one of those-”

“Clown masks,” Sloane said.

“Uhmm yeah, from the Batman movie.”

Fucking clowns.

“Was he tall or heavy set?” Rachel asked.

Stella shook her head, “No, he was maybe a few inches taller than Kate.” She looked at Kate then added, “Kate, I thought you just had too much to drink and that someone was bringing you home. I never thought... If I had known.”

“It’s not your fault Stella, everyone thought I was drunk,” Kate said quietly.

Victoria tossed her pen to the coffee table, frustrated. “Fuck.”

-------------------

On Monday after class in Sloane’s room, the girls sat around making chit chat and watching Futurama. Victoria’s phone alarm went off. She turned it off, stood up and composed herself, straightening out her clothes.

“Already?” Dana asked quietly.

“Yeah,” Victoria replied.

Since Kate had reported the assault to the police and an open investigation was started. The knowledge of drugs and alcohol at the Vortex party was easily discovered. Principle Wells made a mandatory meeting with Victoria. He wanted answers but more importantly, he wanted to cover his ass. As acting president of the Vortex Club, she was going to answer for her actions as to why she allowed drugs and alcohol into the party. If she was found guilty by him she would be expelled.

Sloane offered to walk with Victoria to the office. As the two walked down the hallway they passed Kate’s room. She was back on to them doing some homework with Stella. Victoria looked at the blonde, put her head down and continued towards the stairwell. Her and Sloane walked to the school entrance where Victoria’s family lawyer was waiting. Victoria nodded to Sloane, “Thank you for walking with me.”

“No worries, uhmm, I’ll be here when you come out if you wanna talk n’ stuff.”

“No, it’s okay,” Victoria looked over her shoulder at her lawyer who ended his call and waited for his client. “I’ll...I’ll…” Victoria put up her walls, composing herself, and spoke with an uncaring attitude. “You can go, I don’t need you.” She turned and walked away.

Good or bad someone was going to be there. Sloane watched as Principal Wells opened the door, surprised to see a lawyer with Victoria and let them in.

“Ms. Black,” Principal Wells greeted Sloane.

Sloane, with her arms crossed over her chest, nodded once, acknowledging him. “Sir,” Sloane sat down on the bench just outside the doors and took out her phone. She was going to wait.

-------------------

Sloane cursed to herself, mumbling and tapping on her phone. “Goddammit, Mustard Lady, poop out more mustard, Rrrrr get. It. That. One," Sloane grunted. "Swear to fucking Christ this game is going to give me a stroke.” Someone quietly walked over and sat next to her and watched Sloane play Hawt Dawg Man: Mustard Party. When the brunette missed two mustard packets she blurted out, “Goddamn... darn it!” Sloane caught herself, “Son of a Bee!” She growled when Hawt Dawg man got eaten by a crocodile. “Rrrr this fu… fudgin' game.”

Kate smiled. “You’re more controlling with your frustrations than Stephanie.”

Sloane chuckled, “Yeah, she has a vengeance of keeping top score.” Sloane let out a sigh and her anger for the game. She looked over at Kate who was sitting up straight with her hands on her lap looking at them. 

Kate was struggling the past few days, she quietly spoke. “I didn’t want this to happen.”

Sloane pocketed her phone. “She knows that.”

“I’ve ruined her life.”

Victoria sat in Principal Wells’ office. As directed by her lawyer she was not to speak a word unless he okayed it. Victoria had already spoken to the family lawyer earlier that day and was coached on what to do, what to say and what not to say if asked certain things. If she was not sure, she was to ask her lawyer privately. Principal Wells stated his deep concerns about what had happened at the Halloween party that the Vortex Club was in charge of. Victoria sat with perfect posture in front of Principal Wells. Her demeanor was one that her father taught her when she was very young. Principal Wells looked worse for wear; he’d just finished a phone call with the Arcadian police, and before that, Sean Prescott concerning Nathan. Sean had told Raymond to choose his words carefully if he was going to accuse his son of any wrongdoings. They’d both played this song and dance before; they knew Nathan had brought alcohol and drugs to the previous Vortex parties. They also both knew Raymond never had the balls to come forth with the accusation, preferring to keep his job knowing that Nathan would have been out of Blackwell in three years. Sean helped settle some of Raymond's two years of stress by stating that his son would not be returning to Blackwell and the boy was to remain at the military school for his final year. As the Principal looked at Victoria and her lawyer his thoughts were on the bottle of whiskey he had in a cupboard behind him. He wished he had time to take a drink before this meeting. He took a deep breath and let it out as he opened Victoria’s school records on his desk and started his speech.

Sloane furrowed her brow at the girl, “No Kate, YOU didn’t.”

Kate looked up at Sloane, feeling so much guilt, “I have! I’m the reason she’s in there right now. She’s going to be expelled for something I di-”

Sloane quickly stopped Kate, “YOU didn’t do anything. It’s whoever fuckin’ drugged you... they’re to blame for what happened to you."

There was a quiet moment between the two. Kate whispered, “She’s a good photographer. This will screw up her chances of getting into certain Universities or Colleges... if she’s expelled or charged.” She looked up at Sloane with tears in her eyes. “You have to believe me, I never wanted this to happen to her. I didn’t know that Principal Wells was going to do this. I don’t want her to get expelled or to have a criminal record and... I’ve ruined her life.”

Sloane turned to look at Kate, deciding if she should touch her shoulder to comfort her or not. Comforting people was still… hard for her. She gently squeezed the girl's shoulder and let go. “Kate you’re not to blame for this. You did the right thing in reporting what happened to you. Victoria knows that and she won’t blame you for the outcome of this. From what I've been told, after talking to some others, the Vortex parties were well known to have stuff there, and the staff knew about it. It was only a matter of time until something bad would've happened.”

Raymond Wells' voice was strong and composed when he spoke to Victoria, “Blackwell’s code of conduct is built upon a foundation of mutual respect meant to foster an environment conducive to education and enrichment. When that respect is violated, those involved will be held accountable.” That is how far Raymond Wells got with his speech. The Chase family lawyer immediately produced multiple incidents that not only showed this was not the first time there were drugs and alcohol at a Vortex Club party, and reiterated that Raymond Wells had known about the drugs and alcohol these previous times and did nothing to prevent it, but let it slide after the fact. There was no mention of having security on hand, volunteer parents or teachers for the night to chaperone students. Victoria watched her stunned Principal and listened as more evidence was produced that the Principal knew exactly what was going on at the Vortex parties and not once canceled an event. The blonde kept her poise as the Chase family lawyer earned his keep.

When the meeting ended Raymond Wells was apologizing to Victoria Chase, worried over his job and the possibilities of being sued. The lawyer bid Raymond a good evening, stating that the meeting was over. Victoria stood up and walked out with her lawyer. As the door closed to the Principal's office, Raymond all but threw himself into the stashed alcohol bottle in the corner cupboard to ease his nerves and his addiction. 

Outside the office, in the school foyer, the Chase family lawyer shook Victoria’s hand and said if there were any more issues to please phone his personal number. He produced his black, metallic card and left. Victoria stood alone and finally let out a quivering breath. Her hands shook as she stared at the card, walking slowly out of the school. When she looked up, two girls were waiting for her. Despite all of her father's grooming of how to act in situations, Victoria’s wall cracked a little. She quickly wiped tears away as Kate hugged her. Sloane walked down the stairs and stood next to the fountain, giving the two girls some time to talk.

“Victoria, I am so sorry I-”

“Don’t apologize, none of this is your fault.” Victoria wiped a tear away trying to bring back the Chase composure. 

“Why didn’t you tell me that you had this meeting?” Kate looked up at Victoria, worried. “I would’ve spoken t-”

Victoria shook her head, “You have enough to deal with and this is my issue.”

“It’s not right, we all knew that there was alcohol and drugs there, it was our choice. They can’t blame all of this on you.”

Victoria shook her head again. “Kate, my lawyer…” She didn’t want to bring her into what her lawyer just did... Victoria knew she got away with it. They had been getting away with it since Nathan and her were invited into the Vortex Club two years ago. Nathan used his family name to do what they wanted. And when something bad happened they pushed the blame to others.

“I won’t be expelled,” Victoria quietly stated, looking away from Kate.

Kate let out a breath of relief and smiled. “That’s good. Oh gosh, I was so scared that-”

Victoria again shook her head. She thought Kate was too good-hearted and possibly too naive to understand how Victoria's lawyer got her off the hook. “I’m not expelled because… my lawyer pushed the blame onto Wells.”

“Victoria, I’m not stupid, okay? I know that Wells turned a blind eye to the Vortex club. Yes, he should’ve had adults there to make sure nobody was drinking or doing drugs and whatever. But he didn’t, he let Nathan and his family push him around.”

Victoria tried to speak, but Kate gently cut her off. 

“Victoria, it was my decision to drink that night, and there were consequences that I have to deal with.” Kate put her hand to her chest.

Victoria kept her head down. While I get away without any… again.  

“There’s no consequences for what I allowed to happen.”

“Yes, you allowed drugs and alcohol, but again, it was everyone’s choice to do it or not. And I’m pretty darn sure that if there weren’t any of that stuff there people still would’ve shown up lit or buzzed.”

Victoria smirked a little at Kate’s words. It got her attention.

“What?”

Victoria smiled more at Kate, “It’s just weird to hear you say.”

“Hey, I may not be an expert in drug or alcohol, but I do know the lingo.”

Victoria giggled, “Lingo?”

Kate smiled a little. “Like I said, I’m not an expert, though when you have Justin and Chloe sit next to you in class, you pick up and learn… stuff.”

“I bet you do.”

“Couple of Gatorade bottles, some duct tape, a down stem, a bowl, and I can MacGyver a bong.”

That made Victoria laugh.

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Into the late-night just off the Oregon 99 highway, an owl perched on a rooftop. It peered down at the storage facility it had been watching for some time as flashes of light emitted from a small space between the closed garage door and the ground. The owl turned its head and dove down next to the corrugated metal wall; a mouse out on a late-night forage never had a chance of knowing it was in danger and was abruptly taken to never be seen or heard from again.

*FLASH*  

The subject was acting superbly. She was cooperative and listened to directions well. There were only a few times they had to be repeated. An adjustment was made.

*FLASH*

“This angle highlights your purity, the slightly unconscious model is often the most open and honest. No vanity or posing, just... pure expression,” he repeated the words he had heard before. 

*FLASH*

His lessons. 

“Posed and framed my way.”

*FLASH*

“I'm getting some spectacular images here.”

*FLASH* 

The reflection in the camera’s lens showed a girl lying on the floor. Her pretty, unfocused eyes slowly blinked. Her hands were bound and held out in front of her.

His mentor's soothing voice kept repeating in his head.

innocence evolves into corruption innocence evolves into corruption innocence evolves into corruption  

innocence evolves into corruption innocence evolves into corruption innocence evolves into corruption 

innocence evolves into corruption innocence evolves into corruption innocence evolves into corruption

.
.
.

The camera was brought up to his blue eyes, lining up another picture.

Remember my number one rule, Nathan: Always... take... the shot.

*FLASH*

Chapter Text

“I’m sorry, Miss Chase, I can only say that it will be looked at some time this evening.” A mechanic stood behind the service bench in a Portland BMW dealership. “It would’ve been better if you made an appointment like everyone else and you would’ve been in and out within two hours. I can only offer you that it will be done, at the latest, 10 pm, when we close.”

“10?! You can be serious!” Victoria was put off that, for one, they wouldn’t look at her vehicle right now and two, she would have to wait for an absurd amount of time. Fuck, I don’t want to spend half day in Portland.

“We can offer you a company service vehicle for the day,” the mechanic offered. Victoria scoffed at the idea of using a car that the general public used; she didn’t want her hands and expensive clothing dirty with the unknown car interior.

“I’m only in Portland to have the car fixed, as I don’t live here,” she explained. The mechanic just looked at her, scratching his beard, uncaring. What the fuck do you want me to do lady?

“Is there somewhere else I can take my car to get it fixed?”

“Ahh, yeah, there are tons of places… however, they’re not BMW certified. The recall states that it has to be done by a certified BMW dealership for it to be covered. You're welcomed to find another one.”

Victoria rolled her eyes. “Fine, I’ll stick around Portland for a bit. See if you can get it done before I want to leave.”

“Ahh, okay,” the mechanic said, then thought, it’ll definitely be the last car now to get fixed. He started to type on the computer to create the recall repair invoice. Victoria gave over her keys and signed for the used vehicle.

“Where do you reside? We can drop off your car for you, and take the service vehicle back."

“Arcadia Bay.”

“Oh. Okay, I guess we can do that. I’ll send you an email when she’s going up to get looked at if you wish. If you do decide to take the service vehicle to Arcadia, just phone and let us know so I can get one of my guys a heads up to deliver the car out there tonight.”

“Sure, fine, whatever,” Victoria dropped the pen on the countertop, took the customer service car keys and left the dealership.

“It's the green car parked on the left,” the mechanic said before Victoria walked out the door.

------------------

Victoria stood in the dealership parking lot looking for a green BMW. Augh, who would want a green BMW? She clicked the car fob and in the corner of her eye, she spotted the blinking lights along with hearing the car horn beep. “Oh, fuck no,” she said in the service lot. There, parked in between two BMW Roadsters, was a lime green Toyota Prius . “Fuck that.” 

The key landed and slid across the mechanic's table. He looked up to see Victoria already leaving. “Not in my lifetime," she scoffed as she walked away, holding her Gucci handbag in the crook of her elbow.

The mechanic picked up the keys and chuckled at his work partner, “You offered her the Prius, didn’t you?”

“Yep,” he continued chuckling as he placed the keys next to the other service car keys, which were all BMW fobs.

------------------

The November day was cool in Portland, with a clear sky. Victoria had decided to treat herself in since she was stuck in the city. It had been some time since she was actually by herself for once since school started, so she didn't have to settle for what her friends wanted to do. Today she was going to do what she wanted to. I think I’ll head up for lunch at-

“Hey, Icky Vicky!”

Victoria cringed as she walked down the sidewalk, hearing the words Icky and Vicky only meant blue trailer trash. She kept walking, ignoring the call out.

“Wait up, Ma Chérie!”

Fuuuck, grungy girl also? Shoot me, please.

Two girls ran from behind and jumped in front of Victoria, stopping her in her tracks. She looked at the new fashion of the homeless, wearing stupid smiles. “What up Icky?” Chloe asked.

“Chloe, Sloane,” she said with no emotion and walked around them, “And it’s Victoria.” She continued on her way. Half a million people in Portland and these two street hoods find me.

Chloe and Sloane watched as Victoria continued on her way. They grinned at each other, they were not giving up that easy. They turned and caught up to the pixie blonde and she noticed she was sandwiched between the two street hoods. “Whatchaaa doing?” Sloane asked as she walked sideways to look at the blonde.

“Walking down the street, minding my own business,” Victoria callously said.

“Are you here by yourself? Where’re your two minions?” Chloe asked as she walked by a used bookstore, she glanced at the outside display bins. Wonder if Max would like something to read?

“It’s none of your business, but yes, I am. Taylor and Courtney have the flu so I am staying away from them.” The flu had hit the students of Blackwell, bringing down over half of the girls in the dorm. So far the three walking down the Portland street had escaped the mini pandemic. “I had to bring my car in to get serviced, so I’m waiting for that to be done.” She sighed reminding herself of how long it would take. 

Sloane smiled, “Cool beans… you want some company till it's done? Me n’ Blu are doing nothing today.” Sloane indicated with a nudge of her head towards Chloe, “Well, she told Max that she was going out to get tissues.”

Victoria looked at Chloe who simply looked at the blonde. She monotonically said. “In Portland?”

Chloe replied as she raised her eyebrows, her voice went an octave higher at the end. “I… uhmm, they have the best tissues in Portland.”

Victoria eyed Max’s camera bag that Chloe had draped over her shoulder. “So the selfie queen is not with you guys?”

Chloe placed a hand behind her neck and gave it a rub. “Ahh no, she left her bag in my truck last night and I didn’t want to leave it there in case someone broke into my truck and swiped it.” 

Victoria curtly said, “Chloe Price being considerate of someone’s property instead of destroying it,” Victoria looked down at the bag. “Even though her camera is subpar?” She looked back up to where she was heading. “And for the record, no one would break into your piece of shit truck. If anything, someone would put money under the windshield wiper to pay and have it towed.”

Before Chloe could back talk, Sloane spoke up, “I kinda dragged her here, since everyone is sick at the dorm. Figured we’d go out and find something to do... just happened to end up in Portland.”

Just my luck, Victoria thought. 

They continued walking until Sloane asked again, “Sooo, you wanna do something?”

Victoria condescendingly looked at Sloane. The brunette looked back at Victoria, not impressed, she never knew what one of Victoria’s personalities would show when she talked to the Gucci girl. Today seemed to be the arrogant bitch one. Seriously, why Vic?

After Victoria emerged from the Blackwell meeting where she could’ve been expelled, concerning the drugs and alcohol at the Vortex party, her persona wall had cracked. The Queen B let some of her emotional vulnerability show. Since that day Victoria had rebuilt her wall even stronger after feeling the embarrassment for showing what she considered (or rather what her father had taught her) weakness. Her demands from her two minions were heavier, back talks with Chloe and Rachel were strong. The only person that she didn’t give attitude to was Kate. 

“Our ‘something’ to do differs from one another, Sloane,” Victoria stated, digging into her bag, retrieving her sunglasses and placing them on. I don't want to be seen with you two .

Sloane said sarcastically replied “Good, I wouldn’t want to do the same stuff over and over, cause you know how boooring that would be?”

“So where’s your prestigious self taking you today Vicky?” Chloe happily asked.

“Victoria,” she corrected the punk.

“Where are we going?”

I , am going to treat myself today as an early birthday gift, soo-”

Sloane replied excitedly. “Oh serious!? When is your b-day?”

“Ahh, uhmm,” Victoria was caught off guard by the brunette. “It’s on the 14th, why do you want to kn-”

“I’m the 18th,” Sloane said, pointing a thumb at herself.

Chloe smirked, “So Vicky turns the big 1 - 8 soon, what are your parents getting you? Another car or how about a yacht... or do you have one of those already?”

She corrected the punk again, “Victoria. And no, they don’t give me anything for my birthday.” Hopefully a phone call this time.

“So what is Ma Chérie going to give herself?” Sloane asked, sidestepping out of the way of a mom pushing a carriage.

“Fancy jewelry?” Chloe suggested, looking at Sloane.

“Ouuu, how about fancy pants?” Sloane replied.

Victoria was holding back what her inner voice wanted to yell. Shut up.

“Fancy shoes?”

Shut up.

“Fancy shirt?”

Shut up.

“Fancy socks?

Shut up.

“Fancy pantie-”

“Oh my God, will you two shut up!” Victoria stopped in her tracks. The two street hoods stopped a couple of steps in front of her, they both smirked at one another then looked back.

“Fine, if you want to come you can, but will you shut up.”

The shutting up didn’t last more than a second, “So where’re we going, Vicky?” Chloe asked.

Victoria sighed as her shoulders drooped. She dropped her head, and her handbag hit off her thigh. She looked up to the sky and took a few seconds to regain her composure.

Chloe and Sloane looked at each other and grinned again. Tee hee. Getting Victoria frustrated was a fun pastime.

Her posture corrected, she placed her purse handle back in the crook of her arm and held her head high as she walked past the two girls. Victoria's Queen B composure was back.

“It’s Victoria,” as she continued down the sidewalk. “And we, are going to get some body servicing done.”

Chloe and Sloane took an extra second to start walking again. Chloe leaned over to Sloane and whispered, “Does she mean a rub and tug?”

Sloane snickered. Victoria rolled her eyes but couldn’t contain a smile. It disappeared before the two girls caught up and got in step with her.

-------------------

Sloane opened the door for Victoria. Chloe bowed to Sloane before she walking in, “Oh, why thank you, madame, such manners.” Chloe chuckled.

“Don’t mention it, snookums.” Sloane winked and smiled, she gave Chloe a gentle kick in the butt with her worn military boot as she walked through the door, resulting in Chloe jumping and yelping holding onto her butt looking back at a chuckling Sloane.

“Fucker, don’t damage Max’s goods,” Chloe said with a smile.

Victoria walked into the business like she owned the place. She walked past women that were seated in the waiting area. She took off her glasses, placed them in her purse and handed it over to an assistant that stood next to the counter. The blonde was greeted right away, “Ohhh, Miss Chase, sooo good to see you again!” A woman in her forties adorned in expensive name-brand clothing with a perfect tan, hair, and nails approached her. They each gave the ‘don’t actually touch me’ hug and kiss. “Glad you phoned us today, let's get you started, shall we?” The manager started to guide Victoria into the private room. She looked behind her to see a blue-haired, plaid long sleeve, loose tank top, ripped jeans, worn untied Converse sneaker girl along with the other, wearing a ripped, black skater hoodie, green cargo pants with a chain wallet and dirty black military boots. Sloane sniffed and wrinkled her nose from the multiple strong smells of perfume in the air.

“Uhmm, I’m sorry we don’t give handouts, you please need to leave,” she told the two homeless girls. Two, sixty-year-old women with injected Botox lips and over-tanned skin who were seated in the waiting area scoffed at the two girls.

Chloe looked at Sloane, Sloane looked at Chloe… What the fuck? They both looked back at the manager, pissed off. Victoria interjected before the two could speak, “They’re with me, put everything on my account.” She said it in a dignified manner as she continued into the private area.

“Oh, of course, Miss Chase, right this way then,” the spa manager said. Must be charity cases for an outreach program.

Both Chloe and Sloane sauntered through the waiting area smirking at the women patiently waiting. “V-I-P, beyotches,” Sloane said. Chloe highly held up her middle fingers.

The private area was used for bridal parties or for private clients, which Victoria was known as being one. They were greeted by three beauty technicians. Victoria casually greeted them, walked over and sat down on a chair to remove her footwear. Chloe and Sloane both stood in the doorway greeted the technicians with a “S’up” and “Hey."

One technician stepped forward and happily guided them to sit next to Victoria. “Please remove your footwear over here, I can take care of your jacket, hoodie, and bag for you if you like. Please turn off your phones and place them in the phone charging mini lockers. Okay, thank you.”

A couple of minutes later Chloe looked down at the pink slippers she was wearing. I look like a knob .

“Dude, check it, pink fuzzy feet!” Sloane said smiling and looking at her slippers. “Never wore slippers before.” She tried to slip around the room. “Not really slippery on the floor.” She wiggled her toes inside them. MMmmm fuzzy soft. Chloe smiled at Sloane's enthusiasm. The brunette whispered. “Can we take these?”

Victoria took a seat in the middle as Sloane and Chloe took either side of her. The technicians took their place in front of them on their little chairs. “I can take that for you Miss,” Chloe’s technician said, indicating to Max’s camera bag.

Chloe clutched it to her chest. “Uhmm, nah that’s alright, I got it.”

Victoria looked at the timid punk sitting uncomfortably in the chair and holding Max’s bag. Chloe’s security blanket.

The technicians started their session. They placed the girl's feet on the footstools and proceeded to roll up their pants as the water was drawn for their foot bath. The techs talked amongst themselves as the girl's feet soaked. One walked over to the girl's footwear and sprayed foot deodorant in them. Sloane looked over at the two girls sitting next to her. “They should use the whole bottle on my boots.”

Chloe laughed along with the two techs.

”Or just nuke them and be done with it,” Victoria said.

“Hey, I like my boots,” Sloane pouted her lip.

“Serious, Sloane it’s time to give them up-”

Chloe cut in, “Don’t take the girl's boots, Vicky, you wouldn’t want someone to take your Jimmy Choo’s." Chloe sunk into her chair and wiggled her toes in the warm soapy water. Mom would like this .

“One. It’s Victoria. And two. If they were worn and dirty, yes, they’re trash, and three. How the hell do you know what Jimmy Choo’s are?”

“I’m full of surprises, Vicky,” Chloe said, smirking at her remembering one of Rachel’s fashion monologues one day in the junkyard. Before Victoria could correct Chloe again, another spa assistant walked in and greeted Victoria. “Good afternoon Miss Chase. Would you like your usual? 

“Yes, Katlyn. You two want a drink?” Victoria asked. The two street hoods looked at one another and shrugged.

“Uhmm, whatcha got?” Sloane asked. Katlyn began to list off the drink options. Sloane quickly concluded that most of what she was saying was just water infused with something.

“Just get what I’m having you won’t regret it,” Victoria said.

Chloe lifted one eyebrow and decided, what the hell... “I’ll have what Vic’s havin’.”

“Victoria," Chloe was corrected again.

Katlyn looked at Sloane for an answer. “Uhmm, yeah what Lady V is having,” Sloane said, looking back and shrugging at Victoria. 

Hooray, water infused with some berry or fruit I've never heard of, grown in some part of the world that-”

*Pop*

Victoria had a cat when she was younger. One of her responsibilities was to make sure Figaro was fed. The sound of food being opened would instantly get the cat to stop what he was doing and immediately go for the tin being opened by the little blonde… all the while he would rub and purr up against her as she giggled at the loving attention.

When the champagne bottle opened, both alley cats perked up and stared at the bottle. Victoria leaned back in her chair, closed her eyes, took a deep breath and exhaled. ”Welcome to my world ladies.”

-------------------

Three Mimosas later, Chloe had placed Max’s bag across the back of the chair and leaned back, getting a seaweed foot scrub. “I could figuratively hug you, Vicky,” Chloe said, feeling relaxed and buzzed. Victoria could only manage a grunt to Chloe as she was getting her pinky toe massaged.

Sloane’s tech, on the other hand, was furiously scrubbing the back of her heels with a stainless steel file. The lady stopped to take a break. “You have work feet and you do the running. You have a lot of calluses.” The older lady chuckled, “I will get my work out with you.” The two other techs giggled and one flexed her bicep at her co-worker.

“Sorry, I never had a feeticure, I didn’t know you needed to do this.”

Victoria corrected Sloane, “Pedicure. You run? I’ve never seen you at the gym, or the track.”

“I go to the gym late at night around 8:30 or 9:00, or stupid early in the morning if Chel, Steph, or Dana want some company.”

“Oh my God, whhhhyyy?” Chloe said, exasperated at the thought of exercise.

“Ehh, I had to do rehab,” Sloane explained, “and when it was over I continued with the gym. Found that it was a good stress reliever.” 

“Rehab? What happened?” Victoria drank from her flute and looked at Sloane.

“Got hit by a truck a couple of years ago.”

Victoria looked surprised, she didn’t think it would be something so serious.

“Yeah, so, I go to the gym a couple of times a week,” Sloane said to move the conversation along. She didn’t want to talk about the accident and hoped Victoria wouldn’t ask about it.

“I’m surprised, you don’t look like the gym type,” Victoria said with her eyebrows raised.

“Hmph, well we can’t have the ‘eat-everything-in-sight-and-still-be-skinny’ Chloe body,” she smirked, looking over at the tall blunette relaxing in the chair.

Chloe finished her Mimosa, “This body is kinda awesome, I just keep feeding it beer, pizza, and burgers.”

“I hate you,” Victoria quickly retorted in a monotone voice at Chloe, who smiled back at her.

Their conversation ended when Sloane let out a moan. The two girls looked to see Sloane slouched in the chair as her tech was giving her a deep foot massage. “Holy Shii-” she trailed off. 

“Jesus Sloane, keep it in your pants,” Victoria said.

“Oh man, that feels soooo GoOoOOd...” she purred and turned her head with her eyes half-open. There was a sound of * Click * and motorization of an instant Polaroid camera * Whirrrrrr. * The two girls looked at Chloe who was smiling and holding her dad’s old polaroid camera that she’d given Max a few weeks before.

“Really? You gonna turn retro hipster too?” Victoria mocked.

“Yeah, like I wasn’t gonna take a picture of that,” Chloe said, looking at Sloane who was now biting her lip.

-------------------

One ‘feeticure’ and multiple Sloane moans later, the girls were seated at the manicure tables. Victoria and Chloe were getting their cuticles looked after. Sloane, on the other hand, her tech was once again evaluating her, “So many calluses on your fingertips, violin or cello?

Victoria scoffed. “I’m picturing you thrashing with a cello.”

“Ahh no, guitar,” Sloane told the technician. She glanced at Victoria, “And I would rock socks, me n’ Kate would be awesome. Get Kate all gothy and jumping around.” 

“I would listen and watch that,” Chloe said. “Kate destroying her violin after an awesome song, screaming into the crowd, with her tongue out.

Both Victoria and Sloane laughed at Chloe mimicking what Kate would do.

Sloane mentioned back to the technician. “So, I kinda wanna keep the calluses.”

“Of course, I will remove your chipped nail polish and I’ll give you a moisturizing deep massage. Would you like them repainted the same colour?”

“Ahh.”

“I have many other colours for you to choose, I just got a new matte colour line if you don’t want your nails glossy.”

“S-sure.”

“What colour.”

Sloane, without thinking, responded, “Dark purple.”

“Sure.”

Huh? Purple? What the fuck, pur- why the fuck did I pick purple? I don’t own anything that’s purple. I should ask for another colour. Shit, she already has it out… fuck, purple... auuugh.

One manicure with matte dark purple and a second Sloane moan session later, they were putting their footwear back on. The technician said Sloane could keep the slippers she wore and stuffed them in her jacket.

“Seriously, I can’t take you anywhere,” Victoria said as she hit her perfect French manicured finger on her phone.

Sloane protested, “You‘ve never taken me anywhere before... and how was I supposed to know that someone rubbing my hands n’ feet would feel that amazing?”

Chloe put her arm into her jacket and leaned towards Victoria, “Wait till she has someone stay the night.” Chloe wiggled her eyebrows at the Gucci girl. Victoria looked up from her phone at Chloe, she was reminded that her and Sloane shared a common wall. Victoria turned to look at Sloane.

Sloane confessed, “What? I’m vocal. Sue me.”

“I’m gonna have to get earplugs,” Victoria said. She stood up and walked out of the room. “The ones people use at the airport.”

Sloane widely smiled at Chloe who was laughing. *Fist bump* Sloane lightly smacked Chloe on the arm as she walked past her and out of the room. “I’m not the only vocal one… ‘Ah, MaaAAaax,’” she teased.

Chloe’s mouth dropped, she blushed, then giggled with a large smile. My Max .

Chapter Text

“Seriously, thank you, Chérie, you didn’t need to-”

“Whatev, I wanted to,” Victoria said. Both Chloe and Sloane had tried to pay for their bill but it was already taken care of by Victoria.

Sloane held the door open for the blonde who just glided out the exit. Chloe stopped before she went through the exit and motioned for Sloane to walk through first, Sloane grinned.

“You first,” Chloe said with a smiling glare. “You're not touchin’ Maxie’s goods again.”

Victoria walked out of the spa and right into an open limo waiting by the road. Sloane and Chloe stopped in their tracks. The limo driver stood by the door and watched them. “Get in the limo, fuckers,” Victoria said from inside. Chloe and Sloane looked at each other with a mixture of confusion and surprise. They both started to hop on the balls of their feet grabbing at each other giggling. “Any time now, ladies,” Victoria said. The girls all but jumped headfirst in the limo excitedly.

---------------------

Victoria watched both girls try every seat in the limo, bouncing at the cushioning and touching the soft leather beneath them. Then they pressed every button,. windows were opened and closed, light switches were turned on and off. The radio was turned on to some alternative station that Chloe chose. They met the limo driver accidentally when Chloe discovered the privacy window button. Doug, who had had two kids in grade school. The sunroof was opened and the two girls stood up through it, laughing. 

*Click-Whirrrrrr*

They waved to strangers on the street as the wind blew through their hair. Victoria watched two lower halved bodies standing in front of her bouncing in place with an occasional small foot tap back and forth as the two girls laughed from above. She rolled her eyes. “Fuckers, get back inside before we get pulled over.”

The mini bar was raided and a bottle of champagne was open, letting their buzzes continue. Max’s camera bag sat next to Victoria in the soft leather seat. It was held in place with a seat belt courtesy of Chloe. Keep Max safe.

Chloe and Sloane sat adjacent to the limo driver wall. Victoria chose the opposite middle seat, facing them. Chloe was finishing off another glass of champagne and Sloane saw a scar on Chloe's arm. She pointed to her forearm. “Chlowee, how’d ya do that?”

“Broke my wrist skateboardin’ a couple of years ago.”

“How’d you get that one there?” Chloe slowly blinked, the alcohol was settling into the girls' minds, happily. She pointed just below Sloane’s left eye to a small scar. 

“Stacy Jacobs swung her hockey stick outside the rink, I wasn’t wearing my helmet and got clipped.”

“Ohh shit,” Chloe winced, “Ow.” Chloe placed her glass on the minibar and lifted her pant leg to show a scar on her shin. “Bit it on a rail, caught the edge of it.”

“Owie,” Sloane said, looking at it close up. “Musta bled like a fucker.”

“Fuck yeah.”

“Ou, check it.” Sloane lifted her pant leg to show a two inch scar just below her left knee. “Tripped up running and fell on broken glass getting away from cops.”

Chloe laughed. “Cops.”

Sloane joined in on the laughing. “Assholes.”

Victoria sat back, intrigued and took another mouthful of champagne. She watched, interested in the street hoods documentary do their show and tell.

Chloe took off her jacket, tossed it without care then turned away from Sloane. She grabbed her shirt from behind her neck and lifted it off over her head, showing her back shoulder. Victoria raised her eyebrows as Chloe explained, “Fell from our treehouse and snagged my back on a piece of wood sticking out. Max freaked out cause I ripped my shirt. It bled a lot and I had a big splinter. I had to hold her hand to confront her as we walked home, She was so scared for me, she thought she was going to get in trouble for not keeping an eye on me.” Chloe smiled at the memory. “She held my hand as Dad took the splinter out, I cried and Max kissed me on my forehead.”

“Ahh, poor Waffles.” Sloane muffled a burp, “S’use me.” She pointed to Chloe, “You wanna see some seriously gnarly shite?” She heavily fell to her knees on the limo floor and started to take off her pullover hoodie. She got it caught along with her t-shirt over her head, giving Victoria a perfect view of Sloane's body. Damn, girl does go to the gym. Victoria took another long drink of her champagne. When Sloane shifted to one side the blonde let out a small gasp as she saw the road rash scar with a circular scar within it on Sloane’s lower right side. That must have been painful.

“Fuuuck, I’m stuck! Chlowee, halp!” Sloane pleaded. Chloe slid off the seat, laughing and discarding her shirt to the seat. She helped Sloane take off her hoodie. When she took it off Sloane's shirt also came with it.

Jesus, does she live at the gym? Victoria thought as she looked at Sloane’s body. Her baggy clothes hid the girl's body shape. Fitted designer clothes would like nice on her… on both of them, really… instead of whatever ghetto store they shop at.

Sloane turned around, showing her back. “Ho-ly fuck,” Chloe said as she slowly placed her hand on Sloane’s back. Two parallel thick five inch scars ran vertically between Sloane’s spine and shoulder blades. “Was that from-?” Sloane was drinking directly from the bottle. Fuck glasses.

“Yeah,” she sighed and passed the bottle back to Chloe. 

Victoria looked at the two scars My God .

“Dude, nice tat,” Chloe said, she looked closer, “Holy shit the detail.” Chloe looked at Sloane’s feather tattoo on her right shoulder blade.

“Thanks, it’s a friend's draw-ring.”

Victoria sat in shock, still looking at the scars. Sloane then crawled around, showing off the road rash. “Also got a nasty road rash from it too.”

Chloe took a swig from the bottle, wiped her mouth across her arm and passed it back to Sloane. She touched the road rash. “Ou, is bumpy.”

Chloe pulled a little down on her jeans, showing her hip, “I got this one on my hippie when I tripped up at the junkyard. Something pokey poked me.”

“Ou, I got this from climbing a chain-link fence,” Sloane undid her belt, passing the bottle again. "There was a piece of metal fencing at the top of a chain-link fence that was sticking out, so when I went up and over I got cut, here.” She unzipped her pants and showed a one inch scar over her front left hip. “Thank Jebus for health care, tetanus shots suuuck,” Sloane said.

“Lucky, my parents musta paid a fortune for my doctor visits.”

“When did you get your tat done, it still looks really vivid?" Sloane asked after two large gulps from the champagne.

“I got it done in March this year on my birthday, I designed it myself.”

“No shite dude, that is beautifully awesome,” Sloane looked at it closely, her finger traced the red ribbon going up the arm.

“I had it designed for a while, and once I hit eighteen I needed to get marked. When did you get yours?”

"Sixteen. A friend of a friend did freelance work out of his apartment.”

“Sweet.”

“You gonna get any more?”

“Yeah, would like to get one with Max.”

Victoria quietly sat back and watched the now two half-naked girls on the floor of the limo showing off their tattoos. She finished off her champagne, leaned forward with her glass and held it out in front of Sloane. She cleared her throat. Sloane turned and watched Victoria wiggle her glass. Sloane filled it up with a smile, “Ma Chérie.” Then the grunge girl took a drink and passed the bottle back to Chloe.

“I have a scar,” the Gucci girl spoke up. The two girls sitting on the limo floor looked at the limo princess sitting with perfect posture, legs crossed and resting her champagne flute on her knee, looking back at the two. Victoria undid her blouse and pointed to an area above her left breast. Both Chloe and Sloane simultaneously leaned forward, squinting. “Where?” Chloe asked with her nose wrinkled.

“Here,” Victoria pointed with her perfect french manicured nail, she looked down to make sure she was pointing at it. Both girls crawled over to Victoria, stopping just in front of her legs. 

“I can’t see it,” Sloane said, blinking her hazy vision away.

“MMmmm, Vic, I can’t see it either,” Chloe said still squinting.

Sloane leaned further, grasping the seat next to Victoria's leg, “I need my glasses, I can’t see shite.”

“Oh my God, it’s right there,” Victoria pointed right next to it. “I got it when I was horseback riding.”

Chloe’s stomach rumbled, she held it right away. “Ahhh, hungie.”

“Get whatever you want from the mini bar,” Victoria said with a fling of her hand. The bottomless pit turned excitedly and dove headfirst into the mini-fridge. Finding the container of mixed cocktail nuts, she opened it and much like a raccoon started to eat one nut at a time quickly.

“It’s right here,” the blonde continued.

Sloane tilted her head to look at the tiny mark. “I guess it’s a scar.”

“I got it when I walked my horse back into the stall, she got spooked and kicked the door. The corner of the door latch scraped me.”

“Uhh-huuh,” was all Sloane said as she swayed with the vehicle, staring at Victoria’s chest. The Gucci blonde stopped pointing at her breast and looked at Sloane. She raised an eyebrow, watching the girl staring at her exposed body. Sloane slowly bit her lip. Victoria glanced at Chloe who was back-on to them, then her eyes went back to Sloane and a slow smirk rose on the blonde's face. She slowly leaned forward, exposing more of herself and with her hand, she slowly guided her fingers down her blouse, opening it a bit to expose her black lace bra. Sloane’s glassy eyes watched the fingers glide down and stopped by the lace. The fingertips then glided over the top of what Sloane knew was soft skin of the girl's breast and Sloane licked her bottom lip. The finger came towards her and was placed under Sloane’s chin. The grungy girl slowly looked up at a dangerous smirking Victoria. The Vicxen slowly tilted her head to one side, looking at the girl in cargo pants and a bra kneeling at her feet. “Descendant fille,” (Down girl) she quietly said. Sloane stared at Victoria and then a smirk appeared. She slid back and fell on her butt, then let herself lie down on the floor next to Chloe. “Bluuuu, feed me.”

Chloe turned and poured nuts in Sloane’s mouth, laughing as they overflowed. “My nuts are in your mouth.” 

Sloane gaged laughing. “They're so salty.”

*Click-Whirrrrrr *

Victoria took out the Polaroid and put Max’s camera away. She recrossed her legs and leaned back in the leather seat with one arm across her lap and the other across the top of the seat. She smirked. My Street Hoods.

------------------

“Alright ladies were here, put your shit back on and zip up,” Victoria said as she buttoned up, leaving two buttons undone. They'd spent some time in traffic due to road construction ahead of them. Doug had apologized and mentioned that because of where Victoria wanted to go there was going to be a delay. Traffic moved at a snail’s pace. Victoria didn’t mind as all three kept the conversation going as they ate from the mini bar. Both Chloe and Sloane sat on the floor leaning back on the seat Victoria was sitting in smoking a joint that Chloe happily had tucked away.

Sloane slowly got out of the limo, she waved off Doug. “I got it, Dougie.” She placed a firm handhold on the door and the door frame. Doug went back and sat in the driver's seat. Chloe followed next, stumbling out and laughing with Sloane. Victoria placed one leg out and placed a hand on the doorframe, Sloane looked down at her, giggling, “Need a hand?” Sloane stuck a hand out for Victoria to grab. Once Victoria was up, Chloe wrapped an arm around her waist to help. The three girls started to laugh. 

Champ-pagen is good.

Both girls stood alongside Victoria in the foyer of the country club. Victoria looked around at families and business people walking around them. She looked at Chloe and Sloane who stood by her side looking all around the facility. One family walked by, looked at the two girls and shook their heads.

“Uhmm, where do we go Vic?” Chloe asked, scratching the back of her head. They were here because her father was part of the country club. Five photographs were sold through the Chase Space that had been hung in the main foyer and dining room.

“This way,” the blonde pointed and started walking towards the dining room. 

“Chase for three,” Victoria stated to the Maitre D. The fifty year-old man in the three-piece suit looked up from his appointment book.

“Ahh, Ms. Chase! Welcome back, table for…” He eyed the two misfit girls standing behind Victoria. He overheard Chloe say to Sloane that she had to take a piss. “Three?” He looked at Victoria questionably with one eyebrow lifted, then eyed the two girls.

“Yes,” Victoria said curtly, “For three.”

“Very well… please follow me.” The Maitre D walked them through the dining room. Victoria was seated by the man and left before offering to seat Chloe and Sloane... not that they knew that they were to be seated by him. Victoria watched the Maitre D from the corner of her eye as he spoke to another country club worker in a suit along with a waiter. Both of them looked at Victoria's companions and nodded at each other.

“Holy shit, this place is hella amazeballs,” Chloe said as she looked at one of three silver forks on the table and the two tiny personal salt and pepper shakers that had the country club logos on them.

“Yeaaah,” Sloane said looking at the ceiling design, sitting up straight with her hands in her lap. Don’t touch anything.

“Ou, breadsticks!” Chloe grabbed one and stuck it in her mouth like a cigar.

The waiter came by to give them menus and mentioned the specials of the day. Chloe was the first to notice, “Hey everything’s in French, I can practice.” She smiled at Sloane.

The waiter spoke in French and asked what they wanted to drink. Victoria replied in French what she wanted, Chloe pointed to the drink on the menu and pronounced it as best she could, smiling at Sloane when she finished. The waiter half-rolled his eyes then looked at Sloane. His mouth opened a little with surprise when Sloane spoke in French and asked for a drink then continued to ask if the smoked salmon was farmed or caught. The waiter didn’t know the answer and said that he would find out. He left to go get them their drinks and an answer.

Chloe looked at the menu and would ask now and then how to pronounce something or what a word meant. Victoria was surprised that Chloe was actively trying to learn French on her own outside of school and that Sloane was teaching her. She watched Chloe mouth the words on the menu, the punk would wrinkle up her face and shake her head when she figured out the food combination. I don't want to eat snails even if it’s in a butter garlic sauce with bread crumbs . Chloe smiled to herself at the memory of her and Max as kids after a morning rain. The two were in her back garden playing and watching a snail move across Bongo’s grave marker.

“Dare you to eat it Maximus.”

“Gross, no way. You're the one that’s gonna eat it.”

“It’s a delicacy in France you know. Fancy people eat them.”

“Good, then you can tell me all about it when you visit there and be fancy with them.”

“Nuh-uh, you're coming with me.”

“Fine, but I’m not eating snails, I don’t care if they are a delicacy for fancy people, I’ll just eat french toast.”

Sloane looked up from her menu at a group of twenty year olds that sat across from them. They talked amongst themselves as they stared and laughed. Victoria noticed Sloane drop her hand to her side and make a fist, squeezing to the point that her hand was shaking, then she would relax it only to squeeze it again. Victoria looked over at the group and noticed who they were. She smiled to acknowledge them.

A long-haired bleached blonde girl spoke from the other table while drinking her white wine, “So, Victoria, I see you have impeccable taste in friends now.” The punk’s brow furrowed she didn’t turn around but looked across to Sloane who didn’t show any emotion. Victoria sat properly straight in her chair and didn’t bother to look from her menu when she spoke. “It's rather refreshing to not be around fake stuck up bitches like yourself, Jessica.” Chloe and Sloane looked at Victoria, impressed with the backtalk. 

A guy, Chad, who sat next to Jessica, wearing a stupid smile along with a pink and yellow double popped collar polo shirt replied. “I thought there was a dress code in here.” 

Victoria easily replied, turning the page of the menu. “And I thought there was a no dogs allowed policy in the dining room, but yet yours is sitting next to you.” Chad turned and looked at his girlfriend and Jessica gasped. One other girl that sat with them almost spat out her drink laughing. 

“Shut up, Terri!" Jessica said angrily, then turned back to Victoria with attitude. “Listen here, Vic-toria, I think I have to remind you who you are talking to-”

“Oh but I already know, you're the wench who is sleeping with Steve behind Chad’s back,” Victoria said as she dropped her menu on the table. In the next couple of seconds, the table next to them exploded with screaming and yelling as a glass of water was thrown in Jessica’s face and Steve was punched in the face by Chad. Chloe and Sloane just sat, stunned but excited as they watched the elitist brawl happen before them. 

*Click-Whirrrrrr*

Victoria sighed, “Fuck this.” She stood up, getting the attention of Chloe and Sloane. “Fuck this place," she said and walked away. Both girls scrambled to get up from the table. Time to go. Sloane placed her chair back into the table and Chloe quickly put something in her pocket. Then they were off to follow the blonde as security entered the dining room. Victoria gave the Maitre D a look as she walked by, “I thought this place was more dignified.” She heard him apologizing profusely as she walked away. Never criticize my street hoods, asshole, that’s my job.

Standing outside the country club valet area, Chloe crunched on her breadstick and Sloane looked at Victoria, “You okay?" Sloane asked.

“Yeah, not feeling like French food,” she said.

“Okay,” Sloane replied. She was relieved to be out of there. She felt really overwhelmed and completely out of place. Not my style . Doug and his Limo pulled up.

Sloane waved him off smiling. “I got it, Dougie.”

Victoria stood, looking at the limo door. “You two pick the place to eat.”

--------------------

The three girls were dropped off again and Victoria decided to dismiss the limo service. Chloe and Sloane waved goodbye to their awesome ride and walked Victoria across the street to a park.

Sauce dripped from Victoria's lips as she had her mouthful of pulled pork sandwich. “Oh ma od dis is ood,” she let out a moan. They had brought Victoria to a BBQ food truck parked just outside the park. Christmas lights and paper lanterns were hung around the picnic table area, giving off a colourful glow into the evening. Families, couples, and groups of friends were their audience tonight. They sat within a cluster of people at one of the picnic tables. There was cheerful laughter and happy conversions. Victoria noticed all of it as she swallowed her food. Chloe and Sloane were relaxed and joking with each other. Chloe, like a five-year-old, was covered in BBQ sauce as she dove into her sandwich as soon as the cook placed it in her hands. Sloane laughed and handed her some paper towels, mentioning that she had just a tiny spot of sauce on her lip, “Blu, do I need to get you a bib?”

“Probably, I can’t eat this slow, sooo good, are you gonna eat all of yours?” Chloe was eyeballing Sloane’s food.

“Victoria, you need some paper towels?” Sloane asked the girl who was looking over her shoulder, slowly chewing a mouthful of pork as she took in her surroundings. This is nice.

“Vic?”

“What? Sorry.” She looked at Sloane and saw the offering of paper towels. She took a couple. “This place is nice.”

Chloe swallowed a mouthful of food, “Yeah, me n’ Rach found this place some time ago, it’s run by a retired couple for a couple of months during the year. It’s pretty chill.”

Victoria cleaned her hands and mouth, "Can I take a pic?” She looked at Chloe, motioning to Max’s bag. Victoria could’ve taken the picture with her phone, but for some reason, she wanted the retro Polaroid. 

“Ah, sure,” Chloe licked her fingers, took out Max’s camera and handed it to the blonde. Victoria got up and walked away, Chloe looked at Sloane. “Seriously, are you going to eat all of that, or what?”

Sloane looked at a puppy-eyed Chloe with an empty sandwich wrapper and smiled as she took another bite of her pulled pork, “MMMmMMMmm!” Chloe pouted with her lip stuck well out and whined.

Victoria stood just outside the picnic area as she steadied herself against a tree. She made sure the food truck, picnic area, and lights were all in the picture. 

*Click-Whirrrrrr* 

The picture also captured Sloane giving some of her sandwich to Chloe. Hmph, maybe there is something to this retro look.

-------------------

The three shared a joint as they sat further into the park, Chloe laid down on top of the picnic table, inhaling smoke.

*Click-Whirrrrrr *

She looked over to see Sloane had just taken a selfie of the three of them. “This thing is kinda neat.” She placed the picture on the table and waited for it to develop. “So, Ma Chérie, you got a taste of our peon food, what do you want to do now?"

Chloe handed the joint to the blonde.

“What would you two normally be doing right now?” Victoria asked.

“Were kinda doin’ it,” Chloe replied.

“Beside smoking weed," she exhaled.

Chloe and Sloane looked at each other for a second. Sloane stated, "This is only my second time here, so, I don’t really know Portland well.”

“Black Market,” Chloe said as she rolled over to her side, facing the girls.

--------------------

Victoria stood in the center of a dark, dingy, second-hand clothing, tattoo and body piercing underground store. It was like if someone threw a bomb in Chloe and Sloane's closet. Loud alternative music played and even though Victoria was not a huge fan, the amount of alcohol and weed in her system had her finding herself nodding to the music. She watched teens walk by giving her the once over in her designer clothes and scoffed at her. She let out a ‘Pfff’ ignoring them and jumped when Chloe walked up behind her. 

“So, Miss Goodie Two Shoes, welcome to my fashion hole.”

Victoria turned around to say something sarcastic but came face to face with Chloe wearing a top hat. Victoria burst into laughter and would’ve fallen over if Chloe didn’t catch her. Sloane walked up from behind wearing a large flowery sun hat and big sunglasses that Elton John would be jealous of. “Blu, this place is awesome pants.”

Victoria went into another round of laughing, covering her mouth looking at Sloane. The three had to hold each other for support. “Oh my God, I can’t breathe," The blonde squealed.

---------------------

Chloe and her top hat were at the far end of the shop talking to one of the tattoo artists, as Sloane and the sun hat wearing Victoria were looking at clothes. “Hey, wanna do something without question?” Sloane asked with a sly smirk.

The blonde unhooked a band shirt from the rack and looked at it. She started, sarcastically, “Oh yeah, when you put it that way… actually...” She tried to put the shirt back, having difficulty hooking the hanger on the rack. “I don’t give a fuck.” Frustrated at the difficulty of putting the shirt back, she tossed it on the rack, “I am so buzzed right now, I dooon’t give a fuuuuck,” she said in a loud whisper.

Sloane stood in front of the Gucci girl with a smirk. “Déshabille-toi.” (Get undressed.)

Victoria’s eyes went twice their size. She tried to talk but nothing came out for a few seconds. Sloane’s smirk grew as Victoria stuttered. “I-I, I’m not... we can’t do th-”

“Aaaand put these on," Sloane continued with a full-on toothy smile as she pushed a pile of clothes into Victoria’s chest.

Victoria balled up the clothes nervously, then looked at them. She swayed on her feet, “Oh, right. Wait. What?” She looked confused at the bundle of clothing. “I’m not wearing this.” Sloane took Victoria’s arm and guided her to one of the changing stalls. She hauled the curtain over, guided Victoria in the room and turned her. “Come on, Lady V, live a little.”

“I’m not putting this garbage on.”

Sloane gave her a final push and Victoria slowly stumbled back. Her legs hit the bench and she fell back, sitting in the stall. Sloane stepped back smiled and pulled the curtain.

“Put it on, Chérie.” 

------------------------

“Where’s Vic?” Chloe asked, walking over by Sloane who was leaning on a clothing rack.

“Dude, that shite we smoked… I am so blazed right now, I feel like jumping in a pile of clothes and sleeping.”

“Oh man, that would be awesome, like when you take your clothes out of the dryer and they're all soft and warm.

“Ohhh.”

“So comfy,” Chloe placed her head on Sloane’s shoulder and hugged her side. Sloane giggled. 

“Yo! Chloe, you're up in twenty,” a person yelled from behind them.

“K, thanks, Nick!” Chloe yelled back. Sloane looked at the punk questionably. “Imma gonna get another tattoo,” Chloe stated.

“Ohhh shite, of what?” Sloane asked excitedly.

“Gettin’ a tiny anarchy symbol on ma butt.” Chloe bent over, pointing at her butt cheek.

Sloane laughed, “Nooo way, cool beans.” Sloane thought for a second, it was more of a reaction without thinking. “I want one too!”

“Yeah!” Chloe looked at Sloane excited.

“Yeah!” Sloane replied, then became quiet. “Think my fake ID will work?”

“Let me see,” Chloe said as Sloane retrieved her wallet and showed her. 

Chloe examined it, “Dude, it might since it’s from another country, they won’t know what they're looking for. Try it. Plus, you already have tattoos.” The punk slapped the grungy girl's arm multiple times, “Dude, dude, dude, get the same one I’m getting!”

“K!” Sloane said wide-eyed.

Chloe raised her arms,” Yeaaah!” She stopped for a second with her arms in the air. “Where’s Vicky?” Chloe said, giving back Sloane’s ID and looked around to find the blonde. “Did we lose her? Are we gonna have to put up missing person posters?”

“Heh, I have a picture we could use,” Sloane took out her phone, found a picture she took in class and zoomed in on the person in the background. She showed Chloe a picture of Victoria that she'd unintentionally caught in mid-sneeze. The two girls laughed hysterically while trying to mimic Victoria’s facial expression to each other.

At the mention of her name, Victoria slid the curtain open and Sloane’s jaw dropped. She started to slap Chloe multiple times to get the punk’s attention, not taking her eyes off of the girl in front of her. “Ow, dude you just hit me in the tit,” Chloe said, holding her boob, then looked at what had Sloane’s attention. Standing before them was Victoria in her classic pose of head tilted, arms crossed leaning on her hip.

Chloe’s mouth fell open and she gasped before she shouted.

-------------------

UNKLE - Hold My Hand

Chapter Text

Paula was leaned over, finishing a pinup girl back tattoo when someone shouted, “HOLY FUCK!” scaring her. The needle gun slipped a few millimetres. Auuugh, he won’t see that… hopefully. An extra tiny ‘mole’ was added to the pin-up's leg.

“Fuuuck meee!” Sloane said in shock.

Chloe held her hand over her mouth after her first reaction. The punk stared, wide-eyed.

The blonde Gucci girl wore blue, ripped at the knees jeans with a studded belt, a loose white extra long tank top with a picture of Bettie Page kneeling, holding a skateboard behind her lower back. The blonde’s black lace bra was showing. I look like an idiot. Victoria thought.

“Stay right there,” Chloe said and went in one area of the store. “What’s your favourite colour?” she yelled over her shoulder.

“Green?” Victoria replied. She looked at Sloane who was still staring, holding the blonde’s Gucci bag. “Sloane?” Victoria said with a smirk. 

Sloane walked up to the Skate Betty and shoved her purse into her chest. “Don’t go anywhere,” she said and walked away. Sloane walked up to the register where there was a jewelry display. She looked at the girl behind the counter, “Can I take some of this stuff for that person over there? And do you have size eight Doc’s? And do you have wallet chains?” 

The girl behind the counter looked at Sloane then at Victoria. She showed no emotion, blew a bubble, popped it and continued chewing her gum. “Sure. I’ll get your boots, chains are over there.” She motioned with her head.

“Thanks,” Sloane began to start digging through the basket of rings, finding what she needed, then took a leather necklace and went to the wallet chains. She looked up and saw a sign that said ‘Make Your Own Shirt.’ She walked back to the cashier who had the requested boots on the counter. “Your sign says you make shirts, can I pick what I want it to say?”

“Yep,” another bubble popped.

“Can I get-” the grungy girl created an order.

---------------------

Chloe came back with a green, blue and yellow plaid flannel long sleeve shirt and wrapped it around Victoria's waist. “Icky Vicky isn’t looking too Icky right now,” Chloe said smiling, “Dude, you look awesome!”

“Chloe with a compliment, what is the world coming to?” Victoria looked down at the hanging shirt off her waist. “I look like a squeegee kid.”

“Apparently it’s the end of the world cause you’re finally wearing something that’s cool.”

“Yo, Chloe, you're up!” Nick the tattoo receptionist yelled.

“K!”

“What are you doing?”

“Getting another tattoo.”

“What?! Where? Of what?”

“Tattoo, butt, anarchy symbol. Sloane is gonna see if her fake ID works to get one too.”

“I want one too!”

“What?”

“Me too, I got a fake ID.”

“I’m a good bad influence on you,” Chloe said, smiling, “K, gotta go.” Chloe turned excitedly and quickly walked away.

Sloane showed up with a handful of accessories and shoved them at Victoria, but the Gucci girl protested defiantly, “Sloane, no. No way, I’m not wearing used footwear and this cheap… jewelry.” Sloane started to add the accessories to Gucci girl. “Sloane, I’m not even wearing socks, I am not putting my feet in those.”

Sloane looked at Victoria put a ring on her finger and walked away. “BRB.”

A few seconds later over in the corner of the store Sloane’s voice loudly said, “V, heads up!” Victoria looked in the direction of her name being called just as a pair of rolled-up wool stocks were flying towards her head. “They’re new, put the damn boots on.”

Sloane walked over a few minutes later to see Victoria tying up the boots. “If I get foot fungus I am going to visit you in your sleep and rub my feet on your face.”

“Is that your kink?” Sloane asked, giggling as she walked into a change room and slid the curtain over.

“Victoria stood up, smiling. “Oh, fuck off.”

“Hey, I don’t judge, just not my thing,” Sloane said behind the curtain.

The cashier walked over, looked at Victoria and arched her eyebrows, giving the blonde the once over. “Not bad,” she said, nodding her head with approval.

Sloane emerged from the changing stall with a new shirt on. The cashier handed Sloane the debit machine and she paid for her purchase. “Would you like to put your other clothing in a bag?” The cashier looked at Victoria.

“Check it ooout,” Sloane said, pointing to her new shirt.

Both looked, Victoria’s mouth opened a little in surprise as she read the words in a grungy font, ‘Down Girl.’ She looked at Sloane, who had a devilish smirk on her face.

“Uhmm, the bag?” the cashier asked.

“Oh, I’m not buying-” Victoria said.

“Already bought, one bag please,” Sloane said, putting her jacket back on .

The cashier walked away to get them one. “Oh, and I have the jacket you asked for,” she said over her shoulder.

“K, thanks.”

Victoria just stood there, stunned. “Sloane, I can’t take this.” 

“Yeah you can, happy early birthday, Ma Chérie. And they have a no return policy so you're screwed.”

“Sloane, I-I...”

“V, you look awesome.”

“Yeah, she does,” the cashier said, walking up with an empty bag and a jacket.

Sloane took the jacket and told Victoria to turn around. She helped her put on a black nylon flight jacket.

“It’s probably cold out, so you need a jacket.” Both girls looked in the mirror, Sloane grabbed Victoria by the shoulders rocking her back and forth. “You look fucking awesome, wooo! I gotta go tell Blu, where she at?” Sloane hopped on her toes as she looked around, giggling.

“She’s getting a tattoo,” Victoria said, looking at herself at different angles in the mirror.

“Duuude, I’m gonna try to get one too.”

“Yeah, Chloe told me,” Victoria folded her designer clothes and placed them in the bag. “I kinda want to get one.”

Sloane looked at Victoria, surprised, “What. The. Fuck. We got you to hang with us, smoke up with us, eat with us, got yah some new threads and now you’re going for a tattoo... I think you're becoming one of us.” Sloane said with a sly smirk.

Victoria rolled her eyes and walked past the girl. “Pfff, never.”

-----------------------

Chloe laid face down, looking away from the approaching girls as Paula the tattoo artist was working away. 

Sloane smiled and teasingly sang. “I see Chloe’s bu-um!”

The punk was speaking even before she turned her head to look at Sloane, “And it’s an awesome butt, HOLY SHIT Victoria!” Paula quickly moved her hands away from her work.

Sloane used her hands à la Vanna White to display Victoria. The girl of the hour rolled her eyes and turned around, showing herself off to the punk.

“Holy fuck, you clean up hella good,” Chloe said impressed.

“I like the shirt,” Paula said, looking at Victoria. She looked at Chloe and wiggled her tattoo gun. “We good?”

“Oh, yeah,” Chloe said settling back down, realizing that Paula had stopped working.

Sloane opened Max’s camera bag that was next to Chloe and got Victoria’s attention. She positioned the camera out and above them. “Blu, look.” The punk turned her head and realized it was a photo-op so she held up her middle finger with a sly smile. Both girls looked back at Chloe and then did the same pose at the camera.

*Click-Whirrrrrr *

Victoria stepped closer and watched the process. “Does it hurt?” she asked no one in particular.

“Not really,” Chloe said.

“Depends on where you get it and how much colour is applied it an area,” Paula said, wiping some ink away from Chloe’s skin.

Victoria looked at Sloane then back at Chloe’s butt. “Can I get one?”

Both Chloe and Sloane smiled. “Sure, what do you have in mind?” Paula asked, not looking up from her work.

“I don’t know, I-” Victoria looked at the artist. “Nothing big.”

“Well, my portfolio book is over by the counter and take a look at our flash wall.”

Both Victoria and Sloane walked over and looked at the flash wall. “What time do you close?” Sloane asked the guy at the counter.

Victoria’s phone chimed. She took it out and read the email. Thinking for a few seconds, she looked at Chloe who had her chin resting on top of her fists watching her and Sloane. She looked at Sloane who was looking at the flash wall. She replied to the message and then put it back in her pocket. “See one you like?” she asked, turning her attention to Sloane.

--------------------

Both Victoria and Sloane did their best to contain their giddiness as they were filling out the paperwork for their tattoos. The guy looked at Sloane’s ID, they talked about how she was from Canada, and her two tattoos, he mentioned how he visited Vancouver a few years ago for a concert. When he took Victoria’s ID he looked at it front to back bent the card a little testing it, he smirked then looked at Victoria. “Happy early birthday,” then he gave her a wink. Nice fake .

-------------------

O u, Matching lace set. Sloane sang, giggling, “Hee Hee, I see Victoria's bu-um!” Smackable . Sloane watched Victoria lying down on the table doing her best not to look scared.

“Oh fuck off,” the Skate Betty said back at Sloane. The two girls giggled when Sloane started to do the booty slap dance.

“It’s gonna look awwwesome,” Sloane said.

------------------

“How ya doin’, meow?” Chloe asked, looking at Paula’s progress.

“It’s not too bad, I mean there’s a sharp pain now and then but, yeah. Not too bad,” Victoria stated.

Chloe laughed. “The weed might have also helped, meow.”

Paula chuckled looking up at Chloe. ”Yeah… meow.”

Sloane walked over to the tattoo area with three waters and handed one to Chloe. She opened one and passed it to Victoria. “Here take a sip, you look like you need it, meow.” The blonde did, her mouth was dry from the adrenaline and weed. Paula stopped and watched Victoria take the bottle, drink from it and pass it back to Sloane. The tattooist continued her work.

“Thanks,” she smiled and glared at Sloane and Chloe, “Meow.” Sloane recapped the water and set it down next to her chair as they all shared a giggle. Sloane grabbed Chloe, hauling her up, “Alright, mighty Blu giraffe, you take this one, meow,” Sloane said, passing her Max’s camera. The pose was similar to the previous one they took with Chloe, they followed Victoria’s lead and did a ducky face and held up a peace sign. 

*Click-Whirrrrrr * Meow .

-------------------

“Is that...” Said a surprised Victoria looking at Sloane’s little hot pink panties with little Hello Kitty heads randomly placed on the fabric. Paula was getting her work area set up for the next tattoo. Sloane smiled a toothy smile.

Chloe leaned over and laughed. “Yup. Sexy, mrrroww.”

*Click-Whirrrrrr *

Chloe the photographer again took the ‘Sloane getting a tattoo’ picture, this time the girls threw up the horns with their mouths open and tongues out.

--------------------

“Hey Paula, they’re here,” the cashier said loudly from the other side of the store. Paula looked up at Megan dragging a large box towards the tattooist’s area, as the delivery person walked away with his hand truck and back up the stairs.

“Open it up and take a look-see," the tattooist said, continuing her work on Sloane.

Megan opened the box and took out a t-shirt with the Black Market’s logo on it. Paula looked up. “They look great.”

--------------------

Megan stood over a couple of shirts she had laying down on a table. She was standing on her tippy toes trying to get four shirts in a shot with her phone“ *Click * she looked at the picture, not satisfied with it and tried again. “Dammit,” she said frustratingly. *Click * “Paula, what’s that setting to take pictures better in low light?”

“Uhmm,” she was leaned over Sloane. “I can’t think of it right now, SIO, it's somewhere in the camera settings?”

“ISO,” Victoria said automatically, sitting on a chair and playing a game on her phone. She was leaning on one side more than the other from the tattoo.

*Click * “Dammit. These are coming out like crap in the low light and too blurry. Can I come over there? The lighting sucks here.”

“Uhmm. No, not in the tattoo area.”

*Click * “Rrrrr, my hands are not steady.”

Victoria looked up to watch the girl, then eyed the surrounding light. Raw SS 4-Ap-f/16-200 and use a damn tripod.

“I know that look,” Chloe said. Victoria glanced at the smirking punk. “Max gets that same look when she’s in photographer mode.” It's kinda adorkable .

“Don’t know what you're talking about,” Victoria continued playing her game. Fucking Hawt Dawg man, how does Steph keep getting the high score?

“Pfff whatev, I can see it, think it’s kinda cool that you have a passion for something, wish I had it for something.” Both looked at the frustrated girl trying again as she complained.

Megan murmured to herself. “What’s the point of automatic when it doesn't give you what you want?"

Chloe looked at Victoria who was staring at the girl. “How would you do it?”

Victoria took a deep breath of air and went into photographer mode.

Paula stopped her work to listen halfway through Victoria's explanation of how to do the shot. She turned and looked behind her at the two girls.

Chloe noticed. She nudged her head towards Victoria. “Photography student.”

Paula turned back and started the cleanup work of Sloane’s tattoo.

“Dammit!” Megan said.

“Do you charge by the hour or by the session,” Paula asked.

Both Chloe and Victoria look over at Paula as she looked back, throwing a cloth in the garbage by her station. She waited for Victoria’s answer. Victoria took only a second to realize, wait, she’s serious . She sat up and changed her posture before she started speaking. ‘Negotiate mode.'

----------------------

Three butt tattoos later, the trio were standing outside in the cool night air. Victoria was looking at the business card Paula gave her. The photographer was to email Paula by early next week giving her a final cost for a clothing line photoshoot. Also a possible teaching lesson for one of the staff members on how to use a camera. Holy Shit . Both Chloe and Sloane smiled, they were witnessing a genuine happy Victoria Chase with no attitude.

“Hey, ladies!” Nick from Black Market was calling out to them at the corner of the street in his car. “Yah up for a Portland party?”

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rachel walked up the dorm hallway. Her hair was up in a messy ponytail. She wore one of Sloane’s hoodies and purple pajama pants with tiny kittens on them. She looked down at her phone waiting for a reply as she held a tissue to her red stuffy nose.

“She hasn’t replied,” Max said, standing in front of her door and speaking through a stuffy nose. She blew it again for the thousandth time and tossed the tissue into the large hallway floor trash bin.

“Slo hasn’t either,” Rachel said, sniffing. The two took some medicine that knocked them out for over half the day and night and upon waking up in the morning they discovered the Chloe and Sloane didn’t come home.

“I’m worried, it's been overnight and they haven't messaged or answered any texts,” Max put her phone to her ear then started to bite her nail.

Max and Rachel heard Hawt Dawg Man’s theme song, it was Max’s ringtone from Chloe’s phone. They looked at 220 door then at each other, confused as to why Chloe's phone was ringing in Sloane’s room since they already knocked on her door earlier. Max thought, why didn’t she sleep in my room, I know I’m sick but she could’ve slept on the sofa and she could’ve texted me . Max knocked again with no one opening the door. “Chloe?” she quietly called out.

Steph and Dana walked out through the second hallway. Steph sneezed. “Augh, this cold.” She looked at the two girls standing outside Sloane’s room. “What’s up?” Steph and Dana got the rundown of what was happening. Dana was able to help, she had Sloane’s spare key as the cheerleader kept her stash of wine coolers in Sloane’s mini-fridge.

Max opened Sloane’s door, yelped and stepped back, closing the door, startled. “OH MY DOG!”

Rachel stepped around Max and opened the door right away. The two girls looked through the doorway. “Oh. My. Fuck.”

-------------------

Steph stood just past Sloane’s doorway. “I don’t understand why, though... well, I mean-”

“I-I,” Dana said, she was at a loss.

“We have to remove the plastic,” Rachel said in between sniffs.

“I don’t think you wanna touch it, you don’t know if it has something,” Max said.

The four girls looked at the state of Sloane’s room. Chloe, Sloane, and some other girl were passed out in there. Chloe was on the floor, face down and snoring loudly. She had her jeans pulled partly down with plastic wrap covering her tattoo. Sloane slept next to her; it looked like she’d passed out when she was taking off her shirt as one arm was free. She was in her sleep cargos, one foot bare and the other had a sock barely on. Then there was a grungy stranger on the sofa who’s head was turned into the sofa, hiding who they were. She used her jacket as a blanket. All four turned their heads in unison upon hearing a *QUACK* in the room. For some reason, there was a duck in Sloane’s drawer. The drawer was on the floor, emptied of Sloane’s underwear and socks. Someone had used a hallway black trash bag to cover the drawer and then it had been filled up with water, making a bathtub for the waterfowl. Unfortunately, the poor bird had plastic from a six-pack wrapped around part of its body. It happily swam around the drawer tub, however.

*Quack*

There was a half-eaten Subway sandwich top bun next to the drawer. Crumbs were spread all over the floor and on Chloe’s back as the duck had nibbled some breakfast during the morning. 

Rachel sniffed, “Why did I have to be sick this week?” She wanted to be a part of whatever the hell had happened the previous night.

“Chloe got a tattoo,” Max said, surprised.

*Quack*

All eyes went to the duck, then back at the three passed out girls.

Rachel tiredly whined. “Whyyy did I have to get the flu?!”

“I wonder what she got?” Dana asked.

*Quack*

All eyes looked again at the duck.

Dana heard a noise behind her and leaned back out of Sloane’s room to see Kate knocking on Victoria's door. 

“Hey,” Dana said.

Kate looked at Dana and at the small crowd around Sloane’s door. “Morning… what's… going on?” she asked bewilderingly.

Dana looked in the room, then back at Kate. “You know what, I would tell you,” Dana looked in the room again, then back at Kate. “But you would never believe me.”

Kate, curious, walked over and looked into the room. “Oh my Lord.” She saw the girls on the floor.

*Quack*

She turned at the noise, her jaw dropped. “Is that… Oh my Lord.”

*Quack*

-------------------

Kate had ahold of the duck, wearing some latex gloves they’d found in the dorms first aid kit. Steph was using a pair of scissors and cutting the plastic. Once they got the duck free they placed it back in the drawer tub. It flexed its wings and then went back to swimming around in little circles. 

*Quack*Quack*Quack*

Max stood next to Sloane’s desk. She found her shoulder bag and opened it up, noticing a pile of pictures. “Oh no.” Did they use them all ? Max took out a handful of pictures and placed them on the desk. “Nooo, you guys...” she sounded upset. “I think they used up all my Polaroids.” Max dug back into her bag then noticed. “Is that... sand?” She brushed her hands. “The fuck?” She took out two tiny salt and pepper shakers from a country club. Rachel picked up the stack of Polaroids and started to look at the photos. She passed them along to Steph who passed them onto the next girl as they slowly pieced together what happened.

“It looks like they met up with Victoria early on in the day,” Rachel said. “Ha! Look at Sloane’s face getting a pedicure. Holy shit, Chloe got one too!” She passed the photo to Max.

“Here’s a picture of them eating BBQ,” Max said, passing the picture along. “It's a nice picture.”

“I know that place,” Rachel said. “They were in Portland?!”

There was a picture of Chloe wearing a top hat with Sloane wearing blinged-out glasses and Rachel spoke a name surprised, “Victoria?!” Wearing a sun hat? Max looked at the next picture of Chloe and Sloane in the foreground doing a ‘duck face with a peace sign, with Victoria on a tattoo table doing the same pose. “Holy shit, Victoria got a tattoo!” Max said to Rachel. The two girls noticed the clothes Victoria had on in the picture, then looked up at the stranger on the sofa. “Oh My Fuck,” Rachel said, stunned.

The girl on the sofa turned over and the girls in the room gasped. Rachel laughed so hard that she started to cough.

*Quack*

-------------------

Sloane leaned back against her bean bag chair with her eyes closed and head resting back against the fabric. The hangover was too much to open her eyes and deal with the light.

Chloe, somewhat awake, lay on her side. She didn’t want to move. Max knelt next to her girlfriend. “There are so many questions I have to ask, but I just want to know you’re alright,” Max said, brushing the hair off of Chloe’s face.

Chloe was just able to let out a little noise.

*Quack*

Rachel was kneeling in front of a drooling Victoria, taking a selfie with the sleeping beauty. “Please let me be the one that tells her?” Rachel said.

Kate replied, “I don’t think I want to be the one… maybe… maybe she wanted it?”

Steph and Dana looked at each other then back at Kate, shaking their heads.

“Nuh-uh.”

“No way.”

Rachel started to shake Victoria’s shoulder to wake the girl up. Dana and Steph tried to hold their giggles. Steph had her phone recording. Victoria slowly peeled her red eyes open. Kate decided to speak first, “Victoria, are you okay?” Victoria licked her dry lips and wiped away the drool. She moaned in pain, Kate looked at her worriedly. “Is she going to be okay?” Kate asked Rachel.

*Quack*

Rachel giggled. “Today is going to be a memorable day, she’ll be fine… eventually.”

Dana went into Sloane’s mini-fridge and retrieved three sports drinks for the girls. Victoria and Sloane greedily drank while Chloe just moaned on the floor. The floor is spinning .

Kate helped Victoria sit up on the sofa, she mumbled something about spinning.

Rachel took another picture giggling and then sniffed. “I actually like it,” she said, looking at the picture on her phone, “and the clothes, too.”

*Quack*

“Uhmm… Victoria, can you look at me?” Kate asked.

Chloe mumbled into the floor. “Why am I hearing quacking?”

Sloane looked through red bloodshot eyes at the girls in her room; Chloe lying on the floor with half her ass hanging out, with crumbs all over her. She blinked twice at the duck in the drawer filled with water... the memory of finding a duck was coming back to her. Were we at a park? She remembered the duck hopping and falling, it was bound up in plastic. My jacket … Sloane had used her jacket to catch the duck and wrap it up, And… Victoria?! Coddling it? A conversation was coming back to her from last night:

-------------------

Victoria talked to the duck in her arms, “It’sh okay, Duckie, w-wee are gonna take you home with us n’ Katie will *Buuurp* Katie will fixes you ups.”

*Quack*

Victoria nodded like she understood, “Mmhm.”

"OU! It‘ll bees our skool mascot!” Chloe said it like she discovered a new element. “Thinks about it.”

Sloane explained, “Baaahluu wee *Hic* already have got aah skool mousegot, BigFart.” Sloane murmured, words were hard for the brunette at the moment.

Victoria and Chloe laughed. “Faaart,” Victoria said as she stumbled, holding the duck.

“BigFart is fer da jocks, Duckie is for Chemistry, Maths, n somethin’ else smarts,” The swaying drunk punk declared.

“Duckie?! Wut da fucks yah can’t *Hic* yah can’t call its Duckie,” Sloane slurred.

“Why the fucks not?” Victoria said, annoyed.

“He will be made *Hic* fun ofs, by the other duckies,” Sloane said.

“He?!” Victoria said, still annoyed.

Sloane held up her hands, explaining. “I---I dunno, I’m not judgin’ they can bees any gender they wants ta be.”

Victoria stated, “It doesn'ts matter wut yous have, you are loved.” Sloane nodded to agree.

“Yeaahh they gotta ‘ave a name that’s tuffs,” Chloe said, holding on to Sloane. The three proud mommas came together and kept each other from falling, looked at their duck. 

*Quack*

Sloane gasped, and hit Chloe multiple times on the arm. “Blublublublu!”

Chloe stumbled away from Sloane. “Naa wut.”

“Duck… Norris!” Sloane said, wide-eyed.

Chloe gasped, “Fuck Yah!” she said with her hands in the air.

*Quack* *Quack* *Quack*

-------------------

Sloane gazed at the punk on the floor. Max sat next to her, combing her fingers through the blue hair. How the fuck did we get home? Please tell me no one let me drive or anyone else. She vaguely remembered Victoria yelling at some dude to drive Chloe’s truck… Warren?! Auuh my head. Sloane looked over at the pixie blonde and did a double-take. Her eyes widened and she opened her mouth to say something but nothing came out. Victoria looked at Sloane’s reaction.

*Quack*

Is that someone's text notification , Chloe thought, hearing the quack noise again.

“What's wrong?” Victoria asked Sloane. Sloane pointed at her. “What?!” Victoria said worriedly coming out of her head spins.

Rachel sat next to Victoria, smiling, and brought up her phone for Victoria. “Oh, you know, it's’ probably because of this...”

Victoria looked at the image of herself on Rachel’s phone. The high pitched scream that came from the newly dyed hot pink hair Queen B had woke every girl that was still asleep in the dorm and scared a small flock of birds that were in a tree outside the dormitory.

*Quack*

Chapter Text

She slammed on the breaks at what she saw across the street, turned her truck towards the parking lot and jumped out, leaving the vehicle door open as she jogged towards and around the big rig, panicked, “What are you doing?”

Rachel turned around surprised, she stared at the person standing under the dim street light in front of her.

“That’s it, you’re gonna leave?”

Rachel wanted to do this without having to go through the goodbyes, “I have to get out of here,” she simply replied. Rachel received an angry pissed off stare. 

“So you were going to bail without telling us?... Me?”

The blonde turned and took a step towards the transport truck that was her way out of Arcadia. “What do you want me to say?” she calmly asked.

Her question was repeated back to her sarcastically, “What do you wan...  are you fuckin-” The girl threw her arms up by her sides, not believing the question she was asked. “Had a great fuckin’ time, see you around, or how about, oh I don't know, ‘I’m leaving!’” Her voice cracked.

It would be too hard to say bye. “It's easier this way,” Rachel said, keeping her monotone voice steady.

“Really?! Easier, for who? YOU!?” the girl yelled, “When were you going to tell me, or anyone? Your parents?” Rachel opened the truck door and tossed her duffle bag in the seat. “Don’t fuckin’ ignore me, Rachel! When were you going to tell anyone?”

Rachel put her foot on the step of the truck and looked up at the seat. Just keep moving, don’t stop.

The girl stepped towards her. “Were we to think you ran away or worse, disappeared. Was I going to have to put up missing posters of you? Am I not good enough for you to take the fucking time and tell me, after everything we’ve been through?” Her voice began to  waver . “Am I not anything to you anymore?”

Rachel took her foot off the step and turned towards the girl. “Chloe, you will always be a close friend to me, you were there when I needed help, with Sera.” Rachel's voice strained, “Jesus, Chloe, you saved my life. You will always mean something to me.”

“So why couldn't you tell me that you were going to do this?”

Rachel looked back at the glassy blue eyes. “This was always the plan. I need to do this Chloe, you know this.”

“Why now? What’s changed?”

“Nothing's changed. I’m just doing what we had planned,” Rachel explained. I need to get out of here I’m suffocating .

“It can still be a plan,” Chloe said quietly.

Rachel looked at her, “I need to do this now, I feel that if I don’t do this now, it’s never going to happen.”

“It will, you-you just have to wait and-”

“I can’t wait anymore, I have a mother out there that wanted to see me before Damon got her hooked again. I know she still does. And - and I want to do what I set out to do?” Rachel’s voice almost pleaded with Chloe. “There is a whole ‘nother world out there, Chloe, how can you not understand? You have lived your entire life here in this hick town, your words, not mine. Did you not feel alive when you were in Portland and Seattle?”

“You know I did, I still haven’t shut up about it, and it's what I want, but-”

“You’ll be fine Chloe, you have Max.”

“What the fuck is that supposed to mean?” Chloe felt offended. “She would be able to magically take the pain away of you disappearing? Do you think she wouldn’t feel hurt and wonder why you left without saying anything? Dana, Steph, fuckin’ Victoria... what about Sloane? Jesus, you know Sloane would drop everything to haul your ass back here to make sure you finished school. You’re so close, and you will do it with honours. Your SAT score will be awesome and you’ll have your choice of schools.”

The truck started its engine. “Girlie, if ya wanna hitch a ride I’m leaving now,” the driver called out. “I gotta timetable to keep.”

Rachel stepped back from Chloe and towards the truck. ”I’m sorry Chloe but I have to go. I have to do this now.”

Chloe took steps forward and tightly hugged Rachel. “Don’t do this… please.”

Rachel thought for a few seconds and hugged Chloe back. “I have to Chloe. I need to.” She let her arms fall to her sides but Chloe still held on. Rachel placed her hands around Chloe’s wrists and slowly hauled the girl's arms off of her. Chloe couldn’t look at her. Rachel placed her hand under Chloe's chin. “You and Max take care of each other.” She paused for a moment, fighting back the emotions. “And tell Sloane… tell her I’m sorry.”

“There’s nothing I can do, nothing I can say to make you stay?”

Rachel shook her head. “I’ll stay in contact, I promise. I just need some time in LA to get myself setup.” Rachel gave a little tug on Chloe’s beanie. “Take care, okay?” Rachel turned and climbed up into the passenger seat. She looked down at a teary-eyed Chloe who looked lost. The blonde winked and blew her a kiss then closed the door. Rachel closed her eyes to steady her emotions, took a breath and opened them again. I can do this, I need to do this, it’s now or never.

Chloe watched the door close, she took a step to the side so that she could see Rachel in the high passenger's seat looking down at her. The blonde smiled at her and mouthed the words ‘love you’ as the truck moved ahead. Chloe walked forward with the truck, looking up at her friend, ’love you.’ Rachel gave a little wave, Chloe stopped walking and watched Rachel leave her and Arcadia Bay. She watched the transport travel on the 101 highway until all she saw were its red glowing tail lights in the distance, then it disappeared around a bend and into the night.

Chloe gasped for air, this did not just happen . Her legs were shaking, she felt stunned. She stumbled towards her truck, stopping a few times to bend over and put her hands on her thighs. She didn’t know if she was going to throw up or pass out. She knew this feeling too well, once with her dad and then with Max. She felt a knee give out as she held onto the truck’s bedside to steady herself. She let out a sob, covering her mouth so that no one would hear, even though there was no one around the empty dark parking lot. She placed her two hands on the truck’s side bed and squeezed, rust and old chipped paint flakes fell. She didn’t want to feel this pain, not again. Everyone leaves . Chloe clenched her jaw and let the emotions out. She violently shook her truck, rocking it back and forth. She kicked the side, yelling. She punched the side bed... she did it again and again till it started to hurt and then she hit it some more. She took a step back, still feeling the emotional pain, her tears freely fell and she let out another sob. Her anger built again. She looked to her right and saw her reflection in the passenger's side mirror, EVERYONE BAILS ON ME! She stormed up to it and full swing hit it with her fist, yelling out her pain. The mirror position gave way and cracked, leaving a spider web reflection of the blue-haired girl. Chloe looked at the multiple reflections of herself, all of them showed her pain. Blood dripped down her fingers and pooled by her sneaker. She looked away from her reflection, dropping to her knees, next to her beat-up truck with the headlights left on in the empty dark parking lot. Chloe let herself go, let the sadness in and sobbed uncontrollably as she clenched her shirt over her heart as the pain slammed into her chest. Why does everyone leave me?

-------------------

Her hand rested on the truck bed. She held a cigarette as blood dripped from her fingers and fell upon the flaking tan paint, slowly following the current red stream over a rust patch and then forging ahead until it could go no further, waiting for the next drip. Chloe stoically looked out over the dark horizon, her dried tears spread out over her cheeks. The stars were out on this clear night and the moon shone over the water as small waves lapped against the shoreline. She sniffed from her runny nose as she looked down at the flashing text cursor at the end of a message she hadn’t sent.

TEXTuя
☠️CHLOE n’ 🥞MAX

Chloe: Rachel left Arcadia for LA tonight⌶

Just re-reading it made her throat constrict. She looked up at the horizon to clear her blurred vision and took another quivering breath. She knew that her friends in Arcadia were all on a short time of leaving, being the last year of high school. It was going to be hard, but it was something that everyone was going to go through and as friends they would get through it together, they would stay in touch. It wasn’t something that was going to be taken by surprise, not like her Dad.

Even though after their first failed attempt of leaving, the past few years, Rachel and Chloe talked in detail about leaving over and over. It was something that eventually would happen.

“Yeah we can get an apartment, something small in long beach, just to save on rent, we can get jobs right away to bring in money.”

“Yeah, I’ll see if I can get something at a garage. I’ll take any job.”

“I’ll put out my headshots and start applying to agencies for work. I’ll hire someone to help find my Mom. This is going to be awesome. Walking on the beach, soaking up the sun, Chloe it’s so beautiful there. There’s so much to do, it’s not like what it is here. I’ll show you everything, it’s so full of life, always something to do, we’ll never get bored. We can live like how we want to.”

The ash on Chloe’s cigarette was long, the girl was lost in memories and teenage dreams. She came out of her daze when the truck bed squeaked from weight being added to it. She continued looking out at the horizon. She brought her cigarette to her lips, knocking off the ash and realizing that the cigarette had burned out. The person next to her opened their mouth to speak but was cut off by the punk’s graveled voice, “I don’t wanna talk to you.” She slid off the tailgate, flicking the butt and walked to the driver's side door. “Get in the truck, and I’ll drive you home.”

Rachel somberly pushed up the tailgate, she left her duffle bag in the truck bed and got into the front. Chloe held out her cigarette pack and Rachel took one. She sparked up her lighter then started the truck, driving in silence back to Blackwell.

-------------------

Chloe raised her hood to hide her face as she walked up the stairwell ahead of Rachel. She walked down the hallway to Max’s room, keeping her bloodied hands in her pocket and hoping nobody would stop to talk to her. Rachel opened her dorm door, turned on the light and looked in her room. She tossed her bag and coat on the sofa, stepped out and closed her door. She wondered if she should go to Max’s room or give Chloe some time. She heard two people talking coming up the stairs, Dana and Sloane walked through the dorm entrance, coming back from the gym. “Hey, there you are,” Sloane said, taking a bite of an apple. “Texted you a bit ago with some cool news and you never replied.” She smiled with a glare, “You ghosting me, Amber?” She bumped Rachel’s hip.

The blonde pushed back her emotions. “Sorry, I had my phone turned off, what’s up?” she replied with a bump back and a small smile. Talk to her .

Dana smiled and hopped a little excited. “Mr. Keaton posted outside his door what play we’re doing this year.”

Sloane smiled, “Macbeth.”

“Oh really, that’s awesome,” Rachel replied.

“Ahh, I can’t wait!” Dana said.

Rachel put an arm around Sloane’s neck. She grabbed the girl's wrist and took a bite of her apple as they walked down the hall with them. Sloane smiled. “So I guess you, Daners, and Vic can, ya know, play the parts of the three witches,” Sloane said, chuckling.

*Smack* “Oww, my belly button!” *Smack* “Oww, my butt!... smack it again.”

Both high school thespians giggled as Sloane rubbed both her front and back.

Sloane tossed her gym backpack on the floor, dropped her keys on her desk and ate the last of her apple. “Did you eat?” she asked Rachel as she opened the mini-fridge and retrieved some leftover pizza. Pizza, pizza, go in tummy, me so hungee, me so hungee!

“Wasn’t hungry, Uhmm.” Rachel replied sombrely behind Sloane. I wanna talk to you .

“K, well I gots da leftovers if you want some.” She took a bite of pizza and spoke with her mouthful before Rachel had a chance to speak again, “Oh, Vic was looking for you before I left for the gym, did you ta-” Sloane turned, hearing someone stomping into her room. Max walked in with purpose and up to Rachel. She slapped her in the arm, hard. Rachel winced. Max hit her two more times angrily as Sloane looked at the brunette, stunned. Max furiously asked, “How could you?!” Rachel kept silent. She looked at Max and then sheepishly at Sloane.

With her eyebrows furrowed, Sloane slowly asked. “What’s... goin’ on?” Max has never raised a hand before .

Rachel kept silent.

“Go on! Tell her!” Max said, pointing her finger at Sloane. Rachel had never seen Max angry like this and by the look of Sloane's face neither had she. The smaller brunette could get as pissed as anyone else, but Max never held grudges and never got this outraged. Rachel felt ashamed to bring out this side of Max. Fuck . Max was not letting up, there would be no silent pause for Rachel, “Go on, Rachel, tell her.” Rachel just looked at Max, trying to speak. “Really? The girl who can talk on stage or walk into a room full of strangers and start a conversation like they were the best of friends or flirt with anyone is now speechless?”

Sloane raised her eyebrows at how Max was talking to Rachel. Shiiite this is not good.

Rachel looked over at Sloane and then looked down, “I-I got in a transport truck and left for LA.” Rachel reluctantly looked up at Sloane again, the girl's concerned face became stoic. She just looked at Rachel then away. Oh no . Max walked over and gently placed her hand on Sloane’s arm. Sloane took a step away, not wanting to be touched.

Max calmly asked, “Slo, can you please take a look at Chloe's hand? She decided to beat the crap out of her truck for some reason,” Max looked back at Rachel then back to Sloane. “A mirror got the worst of it.”

Sloane didn’t move. She kept her eyes to the floor. Rachel, with her head down, glanced up at Sloane, watching the girls eyes slowly move across the floor as she was taking in what Rachel had done.

Max quietly asked again, “Please, Sloane, she’s still bleeding.” She gently touched the girl’s arm. “Please.” Sloane buried everything that was going through her mind. She looked at Max with no emotion and tossed the pizza box on her sofa.

Rachel, in her peripheral vision, watched as Sloane walked past her without looking at her, over to her closet. She retrieved a first aid kit and walked by her again to get a bottle of water in the fridge then left the room without giving Rachel a second look. It doesn't matter what I think or feel , Sloane said in her head as she walked down the hallway. She walked into Max’s room and closed the door. She stood in the center of the room and saw Chloe out of the corner of her eye sitting across Max’s bed. She heard her sniff and saw Chloe wipe away a tear. You made Chloe cry.

Max glared at Rachel as she walked towards Sloane’s door and stood there deciding. She then abruptly closed the door, looking at it from the inside. She turned towards Rachel, “What the fuck were you thinking!” Rachel, wide eyed, looked at a livid Max.

-------------------

Rachel quietly sat on the edge of Max’s sofa. Chloe had her cuts cleaned, metal and glass fragments were removed and ointment was applied. Sloane almost wanted to put alcohol on her cuts for her being stupid enough to take the anger out on metal and a mirror but chose the gentler ointment. She knew what it was like to give yourself a different kind of pain to numb the one in your heart.

Max had her say to Rachel in Sloane’s room and it was something that Rachel never wanted to go through again. Rachel glanced at the two quiet girls in the room, Chloe on Max’s bed staring at a rip in her jeans, picking at it. She wasn’t ready to talk. Sloane stood by Max’s desk and shelving unit. She was quickly clenching and releasing her jaw. She closed one of her hands into a fist, squeezed it hard enough that it shook, then released it. Sloane didn’t want to be mean, she didn’t want this side of her to show. It doesn't matter what I think or feel.

When Rachel spoke her voice was strained and broken, barely getting out the words. “Please talk to me, I know I hurt… all of you.” Sloane clenched her fist again. No, I’m not going to do this. She can do whatever the fuck she pleases. It doesn't matter what I think or feel . Rachel made an attempt to stand up and move towards Sloane. Sloane stepped back and the brunette barely lifted her arm and just pointed at her to stay where she was and shook her head.

When Sloane went to school for grade ten, she had a discussion with one of the school therapists about being a foster kid and how she hated going through the process of people looking at her like she was a product. Sloane had already learned by the time she was ten years old that it was better to keep your mouth shut than to let your emotions or your opinion out. A potential ‘Mom and Dad’ wanted a daughter that would never raise their voice or backtalk. It didn’t help in the end though, for whatever reason Sloane was not what they wanted in a daughter. When it came to group homes, or a placement family, it was also easier not to rock the boat, do what you were told and wait for the next time to ‘hang out’ with the next potential parent candidate. What she liked about the foreign exchange school program was that it was a contract. Two people were in charge of taking care of her. They didn’t need to like her, they didn’t need to love her, they knew at the end of the contract Sloane was going to leave and that was it. And for her it was ideal, she didn’t need to live up to someone else's standards in hopes they would love her or be her friend. There was less anxiety around her because she never cared about the family. The only time Sloane would let herself go and show herself was when she was pushed hard, emotionally, or when it was with someone who actually mattered to her. Of the handful of people in Sloane’s life that meant something to her, three of five people were in that room… Rachel was about to find out that she mattered in this girl’s life.

Rachel tried to explain, “Sloane, I-”

Sloane let out her thoughts, “You know, for someone who’s an honour student, you're so FUCKING GODDAMN STUPID!”

Chapter Text

Sloane glared at Rachel, clenching her jaw. “You, are a…”  Many words went through her head... Self-centered, uncaring, thoughtless, egotistic. “S-spoiled… fucking, princess, you know that?!” Chloe lifted her eyebrows and kept quiet. Rachel stayed silent, looking at the floor. Sloane did her best to keep her anger issues under control, but this right now, her voice was going to be heard. “You have every-fucking-thing in your life. You have a fucking home. You have food when you are fucking hungry, money when your broke ass needs it. You have a father that loves you, and yes, Rachel, a fucking mother that, from when you were an infant, loves you like you were her own!” 

Rachel felt the constriction in her throat. It was strange to hear Sloane and Max angry and, for some reason, to hear Sloane call her by her name and not ‘Bella’ or ‘Chel’... it hurt. Sloane had a thing that once she got to know you, she gave you a nickname whether you liked it or not. It was something that she did to show that she cared about you without actually saying so. Like a parent calling out their child's full name, if Sloane called you by your real name there was something wrong. The brunette, infuriated, continued, “And yeah, I get it, your birth mother left you and that fucking sucks and I understand how it hurts!” Sloane had her hand over her heart, hitting her chest. “Knowing that a mother, the person that gave birth to you, the person that’s supposed to love you, left you, and doesn’t want to see you, doesn’t want to be a part of your life and I know it hurts. But you know what else hurts? Leaving your FUCKING FRIENDS WHO CARE FOR YOU AND ARE THERE FOR YOU!” Sloane paused, getting her voice under control. The next set of questions cut each time, hurting. “Are we that to you, Rachel? Friends?” I thought I was, I thought- Sloane buried it away. “Cause I really don’t fucking know right now. If you ever saw us as friends or just people that you HAD to fuck around with because YOU WERE STUCK HERE IN THIS TOWN!” Sloane’s voice was vile as it got louder. She took a second to lower her voice. “We fucking care for you,” Sloane pointed at herself, “I would’ve dropped everything to help you.” She then pointed to Max and Chloe sitting silently on the bed. “All of us would. If you told us how you were feeling. You…” Sloane fought to say the words. She clenched her jaw and stepped back and fought herself, this was going to hurt, “You selfish bitch. You have... EVERYTHING... AND YOU WERE GOING TO THROW IT AWAY ON SOME…” She stopped and fought it again. “What were you going to do? Huh? Did you have a place to stay? Do you have a letter of recommendation from anyone to give to a landlord, cause they kinda want one. If ya don’t have one, good fucking luck finding a nice apartment in a safe place. Hope you have over five grand cause you need it for first and last month's rent since you want to live in LA... water and light? Do you have money for food? Got money for transportation? What were you going to sleep on? Since you don’t have a recommendation letter your pretty little ass is sleeping on a grungy dirty floor that’s probably cockroach-infested. Did you think getting a McJob was going to pay for rent and food in LA?” Sloane put her hand up toward Rachel. “No wait, you were going to get a job right away as a model or some acting gig right?” She drove in the point with her words, “Cause that happens to EVERY FUCKING GIRL that goes down to LA BUT FOR SOME REASON...” Sloane looked up and raised her hands to her sides, emphasizing the point, “ You're going to win that job lottery and an agency’s gonna pick you up just like that.” Sloane snapped her fingers for effect. “Tell me Rachel, how many agencies have you already applied to in LA?” Rachel shook her head. “How many agencies have you applied to in… I don’t know Portland?” Rachel shook her head. “Anywhere in Oregon?” Again, she shook her head. “How many modeling or acting jobs have you received in the past three years.”

Rachel swallowed and whispered through tears, “One.” Everyone in the room knew the only job was one that Sloane had stumbled upon for her in Vancouver.

“How many jobs have you applied to since that day?”

“None,” it came out as a whisper with a sob. Sloane turned away to not look at how she was hurting her friend. Fucking Goddammit why am I doing this? She’s her own person, she can do whatever she wants… FUCK! I have no right, I’ve only known her for a couple for months. It doesn't matter what I think or feel, this is what some people do, they use and move on. Sloane clenched her jaw again, pushing back her negative thoughts. You fucking asshole, you made her cry, you fucking piece of shite! Shut up, shut up, shut up, shut up, you’ve blown your friendship with her and probably with Chloe she won’t stand for someone yelling and talking to a friend that way… maybe, Max would understand. Sloane felt she had already crossed the line talking to Rachel this way, she was waiting for Rachel to lash out tell her to ‘Go fuck yourself! How dare you talk to me that way, and where do you get the fucking nerve to tell me what to do with my life?!’ Sloane would watch Rachel turn and leave the room and never speak to her again. Chloe would stand up and tell Sloane to go fuck herself and tell her to leave Max’s room and she would be shut out of their lives as quickly as she had entered them and that would hurt deeply... more than Sloane could fathom.

In reality, Rachel, Max, and Chloe kept their heads lowered and remained silent.

Sloane’s head pounded, a migraine was coming on strong. She felt light-headed and opened Max’s window, letting in cold air bite against her skin. She blinked multiple times, grasping the windowsill. The old wood contracted with her grip. Her heart raced, she composed herself and looked back at the blonde sitting quietly as watched her tears fell to the floor. Sloane’s heart dropped as her inner struggle started again.

Fuck, I never wanted to hurt you .

When haven’t you hurt someone?

I’ve never hurt Max...Chloe… Kate, Vic-

Give it time and you will… you always fuck up. No one gives a shit about you, so why do you give a shit about them?

Fuuuck, they’re different, stop this, and tell her!

Rachel picked at the skin by her thumbnail.

Tell her. Tell them.

Sloane closed her eyes. When she spoke again her voice came from a place of care and from... experience. “Rachel… I have gone from house to house waiting for someone who would want me.” She turned to face everyone in the room. “Before the McKenzie’s and Maddie, I was placed with people who were abusive to me. I stayed until it became too much one night and I ran. I lived without a home, I didn’t trust the system anymore. I went hungry from not eating, living on the streets, begging for change.” Two of the three girls looked at Sloane, the only people who knew about this part of Sloane’s life were the therapists, the MacKenzie’s, her last two foster counselors, John and Anna and one other who was quiet in the room. “I’ve been beaten, and sexually assaulted, I was developing a hard drug habit. To try and get myself off the streets, I tried to apply for jobs, but without a home address, they wouldn’t even look at me, even to wash the floors. I’ve dealt drugs and done questionable things to get money.” She paused to keep her composure. “Someone shot me to get my money and drugs, one night, and it's only because of someone phoning 911 that cops ID’d me as a missing kid. I was placed back into the system again, in a group home this time where everything I did was heavily monitored.” Sloane walked over to Rachel and knelt in front of her. Rachel looked away, ashamed. With Sloane’s back to them, Chloe looked at Max, floored at the confession Sloane just delivered. Max glanced at Chloe then looked away. Chloe blinked as she realized, you knew this? Chloe looked at her girlfriend for a moment and then went back to Sloane. She turned back to her girl and noticed that Max wouldn’t look at her. Don’t feel guilty for keeping her secrets and being there for her . She interlaced her fingers into the little hand by her side and gently squeezed Max’s hand.

Sloane thought for a moment before she looked up at Rachel. “I-I...” She pushed the emotions away. “I don’t… these words… I don’t want to purposely hurt you, Rachel.” Sloane placed a hand on Rachel’s jaw and gently moved her hand to get Rachel to look at her. “I don’t.” Sloane swallowed, fighting the constriction in her throat. “I can’t understand how someone who has so, so, so much can throw it all away.” Sloane placed another hand on Rachel's jaw. She tried to wipe away the girl's tears with her thumbs but there were too many. “Bella, I know you will do great things one day.” Rachel let out a sob, two sniffs came from the two girls behind. “But you can’t run away thinking that everything you want will come to you.” Sloane reached over and grabbed a tissue box on the side table, took a few and handed them to Rachel. She placed the box behind her on Max’s bed. Rachel wiped away her tears and blew her nose. Sloane placed her hands on the sofa on either side of Rachel. “I am not saying don’t try at what you dream of doing.” Sloane shook her head. “Never, no one has that right to tell you not to. If this is something you want to do then start planning for it, start pursuing it seriously. But... and Chel, I say this because I care, and I want the best for you...” she paused for a moment, choosing her words carefully, “You need to be in school, and you need to continue with College or University. Find something as a backup, so that you can get your education while you pursue modeling or acting or both. You cannot give up your education. Don’t do it, please. You’re smart when it comes to learning school stuff, I wish I had half the brain cells you do. Find something along with your modeling and acting. Wouldn’t you want to have a job that you would get paid enough that you could for pay rent and have food, hell, have fucking medical insurance? And all along applying to and getting modeling and acting gigs, instead of working for tips or in retail struggling while trying to get by.” Rachel nodded, understanding. “Bella, I just need you to see… I need you to understand. What could very much happen if you run. The odds are against you. And no one in this room wants to see you get hurt.” A tear fell from Sloane’s eye of the thought of Rachel getting hurt by someone or being forced in a situation where she had to choose between eating or going hungry. Rachel glanced at Sloane and broke down crying. I made Sloane cry .

Sloane knelt upwards towards Rachel and held the girl's head in her hands. “I don’t mean to hurt you, Bella, I just need you to realize.” Rachel leaned forward and cried into Sloane. The brunette wrapped her arms around the blonde feeling so much guilt for yelling and saying certain words. Chloe crawled off the bed and from behind hugged her and Rachel. Max sat next to Rachel rubbing her back.

“I'm sorry,” Rachel sobbed into Sloane's collarbone, “I’m sorry.” They stayed like that for a couple of seconds before Sloane spoke again. “You do realize that I would’ve tracked you down and kidnapped your ass right back here.” Rachel suddenly pushed the air out of her lungs at the comment and nodded her head. “Chloe said that you would do something like that,” she quietly said.

-------------------

They spent most of the night in Max’s room listening to her music. Rachel opened up and talked about how she thought her life was just passing her by, how she sometimes felt a wave of suffocation come over her when she saw things happening outside Arcadia Bay. She missed not being a part of concert festivals, seeing theatre productions, her memories of time spent on the boardwalk. She missed surfing and hanging out in certain areas of California and going to the movies on opening nights. Things were close to her, not far away. She missed the culture, the people of every walk of life, and those who were more open-minded than people of Arcadia. How she felt that she would never find and try again to reconnect with her mother. She mentioned that last weekend she had found returned mail in her Dad’s office from the PO box he had been using to send Sera monthly checks. They were never cashed but James still sent them to her and they were always sent back until Sera tried to reconnect with Rachel, Damon Merrick ended up shooting her up with heroin, the drug that started her on an over decade long downward spiral that she had fought back from to stay clean, to try and change. James’s checks started to get cashed, until last weekend when she noticed the last check her father sent came back as ‘the person is no longer living at this address’.

It hurt Rachel to know that Sera had now been taking the money instead of trying to reconnect. It hurt even more that the three letters she sent Sera were never answered. James had tried to find Sera’s new location but she seemed to have disappeared. Rachel had feared the worst and had inquired with James to ask the police in the California area for any Jane Doe’s matching Sera’s description. He said that he would but in the back of Rachel’s mind, she never trusted that he would follow through, because he never did. Choosing again to protect his daughter, he never wanted her to get an email saying that she was found OD somewhere in California. The only thing that Rachel could do was to look at obituaries in the area where the PO Box was stationed and police missing person reports, hoping that she would be found alive. She wouldn’t care if she was arrested and jailed.

The three girls in Max’s room expressed for Rachel not to keep her thoughts and emotions to herself about what she was going through, they would always be there for her no matter what.

-------------------

Sloane retrieved her pizza and gave it to Rachel, told her to eat it because she didn’t have supper. Rachel didn’t question her as she picked at the newly applied Spongebob bandage around her thumb. Chloe, after some time, got up and said she was going out for a smoke. She looked back at Rachel before she opened the door, “You coming with?” inviting her friend.

Rachel nodded and quietly replied, “I’ll get my coat.”

“I’ll meet you by your door,” Chloe said. Rachel knew that she would be the topic of discussion as soon as she left the room. She closed the door and walked towards her room.

Victoria walked out of her room, eyeing the girl as she walked by. ”Hey, wannabe.”

Rachel closed her eyes and took a breath. Wannabe. The truth in those words, “Not tonight, Victoria,” she said with no sarcasm.

“Oh well, I guess you're not interested in doing some modeling for a clothing store in Portland then?”

Chloe walked out of Max’s room to see Rachel hugging Victoria. The newly pink pixie-haired girl looked at a bewildered Chloe and explained, “I just offered her the Black Market thing and then she did... this. Can you please get her off me, I do have standards.”

Chloe shook her head, gave a small smile and walked past them. “Just go with it, Icky Vicky.”

-------------------

Sloane leaned against the windowsill with her arms crossed, feeling the cold air on her back again. She stared at the floor, chewing the inside of her cheek to the point the skin broke open and bled, her mouth tasted like metal.

Max sat back on her bed with her hoodie zipped up and her sleeves pulled over her hands. She looked in Sloane’s direction. “V-Victoria told me about the photography g-gig she got in Portland.” Sloane still looked at the floor and grunted. Max took that as acknowledgment and continued, “She asked m-me to help her out as an a-assistant. She’s not sure of some shots she w-would like to do, so we're gonna meet up and discuss tomorrow.” Sloane stared ahead and grunted again. Max watched the way Sloane was struggling with what she said to Rachel. “You said the right thing.” Sloane didn’t acknowledge her. Max continued, “S-she needed to hear it and get it through her head, she-”

Sloane moved from the window and walked towards the door, “I’m gonna go, I’ve,” Sloane swallowed, “I’ve got… stuff to do.” I said too much.

Max got up and made it to the door as Sloane opened it and gave her a side hug. “Slo, are you okay?”

Sloane didn’t answer right away. “I feel like I’m gonna throw up.” Sloane swallowed again. “I just need to leave.” Max looked up at Sloane. “I’ll be fine, just need some space for a bit.” Weed, alcohol anything to make me numb.

Max hesitantly let the girl go. “K, let me know if you n-need anything. I’m here for you.” She gave Sloane’s hand a squeeze. “We all are.”

Sloane didn’t say a word and closed Max’s door, not looking back.

Victoria was in the hallway brushing and straightening her clothes. Rachel was walking through the stairwell exit with Chloe. Sloane took a big breath of air through her nose and slowly let it out. “Maxie just told me you offered an assistant position to her.”

Victoria turned back upon hearing Sloane, “Yeah, I need her to carry all my equipment.” Victoria looked at her nails and hummed, “Hopefully she can keep up.”

Sloane smirked, walking to her door, “You know she will. Let me know if you need anything from me like the truck to lug around equipment.”

Victoria looked up surprised, “Will you let me drive?” Since Victoria found out that Sloane was the owner of the Land Rover that was always parked in Blackwell, she had not come right out and asked to drive her truck but strongly indicated it. Sloane would let her but there was one condition, and that condition was never met. Sloane put a hand on her door handle, and raised her eyebrows, she opened her door but didn’t walkthrough. 

“You have to say it,” Sloane said.

Victoria did her classic pose of arms crossed, leaned on one hip, tilting her head to the side and looked at Sloane like she was an idiot. Sloane didn’t need to look, she knew the pose, she could feel it, so she waited patiently outside her room, staring into it. She heard Victoria mumble something. “Hmm, sorry, Tori, I didn’t catch that.”

Victoria huffed at the new nickname, “It’s Vic-” Victoria waved her hand, annoyed. “Whatever.” The pixie haired girl shifted her weight on the other hip and looked away when Sloane turned her head to look at her. Sloane waited, Victoria glanced at the girl in her defiant pose. Enough time went that Sloane made a step towards her room. “Wait.” Victoria huffed again, rolled her eyes and whispered, “Fuck.” She took a deep breath, looking at Sloane, “Fiiine. Sloane, can I please ride your girl?”

From behind Victoria there was a giggling snort. Sloane grew a devious smirk and Victoria turned around at a shower-ready Dana holding in a laugh next to Juliet. She put a hand on her invisible pearl necklace, emphasizing her words. “Well, Victoria, I never thought you’d be into asking for sex... from someone else's lady friend either, my, my, my what has the world come to?”

“I think I have my next story for the Beacon,” Juliet added with a huge grin.

“Oh My God, shut the fuck up,” Victoria said as she stormed into her room and closed the door. Dana let out a louder giggle. Sloane started doing the booty slap dance and both girls laughed out loud when Sloane got into the dance, biting her lip, wrinkling her nose and grunting. From inside her room, Victoria heard the grunts and yelled, “Sloane!”

“Hee Hee,” Sloane said as she walked in her room. She grabbed her homework, thought for a second and walked back into Max’s room. Look for the small stuff that makes you happy no matter what it is. It may be small but it’s there, grab onto it and if you can, spread it around to others that need it.

-------------------

TEXTuя
12:41 am
🎭Rachel ➞ 🦊 Sloane

Rachel: Slo?
..
..
..
Sloane: ?

Rachel: I’m sorry

Sloane: You already apologized you don’t need
              to keep doing it 

Rachel sat on her sofa, curled up, clutching a pillow, not able to sleep. She got up and started pacing her room.

Rachel: I need to, I never wanted to hurt you...
              Max or Chloe. I fucked up bad and
              I don’t know how to make it better

Sloane sat across her bed. She hadn’t moved since she left Max’s room to go to bed. She thought she was fine when they were hanging out, but once she got back to her room, her mind started to wander late into the night.

Sloane: I know you never meant to hurt anyone.
             But… You could’ve come to me ya know
             If not me then Blu or Max.

Rachel put her hand on her door handle wonder if she should talk to her in person.

Sloane thought she failed somehow as a friend if Rachel couldn’t come to her about what she was going through. Sloane got up and started walking around her room.

Rachel: I just thought this is my issue, I didn’t want 
            anyone brought into it again. The last time
            both Chloe’s and my life were… well you
            know 
Rachel: Chloe has her own family stuff she’s working
             through with Joyce and David. Shes
             concentrating on getting her school marks
             up.
Rachel: And I didn’t want to be the ex with issues
            talking about my same problems and taking
            her time away from Max
Rachel: My issues aren't that big considering

Rachel thought about what Sloane disclosed to them earlier that night. Rachel didn’t have problems, she had small issues that were not thought out. Her immaturity did something without thinking… again.

Sloane put her hand on her door handle and she sighed.

Sloane: You’re valid in what you feel, it’s just your
             actions were wrong. It’s good that you
             didn’t go through with it.

Rachel: I know I fucked up

Sloane thought to herself, Cause, Jesus Christ, California is too big for me to find you.

Sloane: How about we go out this weekend to 
            Portland and see a movie, you pick... or if
            there’s a concert coming up we can go. Or do
            that nail stuff that Vic brought me n Blu to. Get
            you to burn off some of that Arcadian small
            town cabin fever
Sloane: I’ll be laying off the alcohol though maybe
            for a week, hangovers suuuuck.

Rachel: I can’t believe you guys brought home a
            duck.

Sloane noticed that Rachel didn’t take her up on the offer. I said too much to her, things I can’t take back, it's going to be different now. Sloane bit the inside of her lip and continued with the conversation, backing off from the door.

Sloane: Kate said Duck Norris was out swimming 
             around the fountain again

Rachel: Norris likes Samual feeding him.
Rachel: Have you noticed it’s been hanging around 
            above Vic’s room windows

Sloane: Think Norris likes Vic and won’t leave. I can
             see the duck following her around.

Rachel: LoL

Sloane: Sleepin’ on her pillow, nuzzling into her pink
            hair, hangin’ out in the shower with her wear
            a little shower cap, going to class with her.

Rachel: Lmao get em a school uniform and little 
             bookbag

Sloane: HA :D

Rachel looked at the time, feeling bad for waking up Sloane.

Rachel: Thanks for listening


Sloane: No problem, like I said anytime, anywhere.
             Go to sleep and have some awesome dreams 

Rachel sat on her bed.

Rachel: Night

Sloane: Night Bella

Sloane sat on her sofa. She could taste a faint metal flavour from the corner of the inside of her lip again. Her leg unintentionally bounced with anxiety. She looked at her phone then around her darkroom.

Rachel looked at their TEXTuя conversation. She held the phone in her hands, feeling the smooth metal corner as she glided her thumb over the edge. Her screen timed out leaving her room in darkness. She felt an uneasiness in the air. I fucked up our friendship.

 
..
..
 

📱Sloane.Rachel
🔔 *Ring* 🔔 *Ring*

Rachel answered her phone.

“Slo?”

It took Sloane a few seconds to speak, her voice was quiet, “C-Chel?”

“Yeah?”

“So… uhmm.”

Rachel could hear faintly in the background Sloane take and release a deep breath, “Ahh… what’s California like?”

Rachel curled up underneath her blankets and smiled a little as she spoke. Sloane listened and slowly blinked. She opened her eyes and relaxed into a tiny smirk.

-------------------

 

NOTE: Hey everybody, it's me, Santa_Cruz ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ I hate to say it buuuut this AU world will be put on pause for one month. Well, technically 26 days. The reason for it... it’s October and that means Halloween. Aaaaand that means a Halloween story in a different AU LiS world… I know, right!?

The Halloween story will be posted on my usual schedule of Fridays and will conclude on Oct31st.

What is this story about… I dunno, maybe this guy knows.

Link to the Halloween story ᕕ(ᐛ)ᕗ

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter Text

Chloe and Sloane watched Stella, who was sitting in front of them, twirl her pen around her thumb as they sat together in world history class. The two gave a quick look at each other with the thought of, Pff, I can do that, and they both made attempts. At the same time they ‘twirled’ their pens; Sloane’s flew in front of her and over two tables and landed in the garbage can by Mr. Hutchinson's desk. Chloe’s flew to the right and went out of the open window. The two students sat up, startled, confused and, well, a little amazed at what just occurred. Ta-Da . Chloe looked at Sloane’s empty hand. Sloane looked at Chloe’s then pointed to the garbage can and whispered, “Garbage can.” Chloe pointed to the open window, “Out there.” The two looked out the window then back at each other then at their own empty hands.

Sloane blinked a few times. “Well... I guess that’s that then.”

“I... I guess so,” Chloe said looking out the window again with a small frown. Max gave me that pen, it had little bears on it. Their attention went back to Mr. Hutchinson, speaking up and tapping on the whiteboard, “-so this is important for everyone. It will be on your test, so make sure you make a note of it.” Mr. Hutchinson walked over to the left of the whiteboard and began to wipe it clean. “Moving on…”

Chloe leaned toward Sloane and whispered, “Dude, you got another pen?”

Sloane shook her head, “No.”

“Fuuuck.”

The two girls looked around at other students to see if anyone had a pencil case on their desk. Everyone was quiet, diligently taking notes. Fuuuck. Mr. Hutchinson was notorious for going quickly and unless it was a question about the lesson, he didn’t like to be interrupted.

Sloane sat up with an idea. “Ou!” She took her phone from her pocket. Chloe looked at the phone, surprised that she took it out in class. Mr. Hutchinson's number one rule: “No Phone Use In My Class.” He even had signs made up that he had posted on the outside classroom door and one above the whiteboard for everyone to see. He’d even delivered a twenty minute lecture about it at the beginning of the year. He was also known for handing out detention slips with a minimum of three days for using one during class. Chloe whispered, glancing up at the teacher, “Careful.”

Sloane lifted her phone and tried to get a ‘quick pic,’ but with Dana playing with her hair in front of her the camera kept focusing on her. Dammit . Sloane tried to turn off autofocus, rapidly going into the settings of the phone app.

“Sloane,” Mr. Hutchinson had spotted Sloane with her phone and immediately scowled. Mr. Hutchinson was the generation that truly believed that teens couldn’t go twenty minutes without using their phones and seeing Sloane right now reaffirmed his belief yet again. Mr. Hutchinson stopped his lesson and pointed to the sign above the whiteboard. He raised his voice when he spoke, “I’m sure you know how to read if you got this far in school.” He glared at Sloane. “And I was led to believe you could also understand the English language to get this far, also.”

Sloane didn’t answer. Fuuuuuck .

“What does that sign say?”

Sloane looked at the sign. “No Phone Use In My Class.”

“What does it mean?” 

Sloane cleared her voice. “Uhmm, not to use phones in your class.”

“And what are you doing?”

“Uhmm, using a phone in your class. Well, technically I-”

Mr. Hutchinson interrupted Sloane’s excuse. I was using the camera, Sloane finished her thought in her head.

Mr. Hutchinson looked up at the sign and continued, “I even used clip art of a ‘phone’ and a ‘do not’ sign, In case it wasn’t clear.” He looked back at Sloane. “Why are you using a phone in my class? What is so unclear about my request?” He shrugged at her and shook his head, amazed at the arrogance of someone not listening to his one rule. “Do you like detention?”

Sloane’s brain started to work in overdrive and her mouth opened, “Yes.” She shook her head. Fuck. “I mean no.” BRAIN!! “Uhmm, I... I forgot my glasses and I just wanted to take a picture to make sure I have everything written down correctly.” Hopefully he doesn’t know I’m far sighted.

Mr. Hutchinson knew that Sloane wore glasses but as to why she wasn’t wearing them, he could care less to get into. Instead, he pushed his ideals about kids and their phones, never mind that it was a good use of the phone. He knew that if he allowed Sloane to take a picture he would be allowing everyone to use their phones for ‘pictures’ of the whiteboard. “If that’s the case, then I suggest you ask the person sitting next to you for their notes.”

Sloane looked at Chloe then back at the teacher a little confused. Uhmm, dude, that’s Chloe. Why didn’t you say her name ?

“Put your phone away now,” he said. Sloane looked over at Chloe again, who pretended she had taken the last bit of notes. Mr. Hutchinson turned and continued his lesson and to the surprise of him, Chloe and to Sloane, the brunette’s brain and mouth were not coordinating again. “I can’t.” She blurted out. BRAIN AND MOUTH WHAT THE FUCK! NONONONONO . Chloe shot her a look of ‘what the hell?’ Mr. Hutchinson turned and took a frustrated breath of air and stared at Sloane. “Why?” It was a tired question, she was sure if he was allowed to speak his mind it would’ve been ‘Why the fuck not?’ or ‘I don’t fuckin’ care.’

‘Uhmm,” Sloane said, then glanced at Chloe for help. The punk was just surprised, staring back at her. The brunette’s mind wondered what Chloe must be thinking right now. ‘Dude what the fuck?! Are you out of your mind? You got away with it, now he’s gonna hella find out that you tossed your pen in the garbage and mine said geronimo and flew out the window!’ Sloane raised an eyebrow. “Wait, that rhymed, ‘said geronimo and flew out the window,’ where did I hear that before?” 

Chloe looked from Sloane to Mr. Hutchinson and back to her friend who seemed to just be doing an impression of a statue. 

“Sloane?” Mr. Hutchinson said. “Why can’t you take someone else's notes?” 

Silence…

I was scared as hell, where was I supposed to go? I just yelled: "Geronimo!" and jumped out the window🎝 Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff, Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble, mid 80s’? Sloane thought.

Chloe nudged Sloane out of her statue reenactment. She blinked, noticing that Chloe was staring at her with a wide-eyed expression and she raised her eyebrows. Sloane then looked at the teacher... Wait. Did he ask another question? Fuck he’s staring. Sloane’s eyes darted around the room as some students were turned looking at her. Fuuuck. BRAIN DO YOUR THING!! What was it… ‘Why can’t you take someone else’s notes?’ Sloane’s mind started to burn energy, putting the breakfast of two handfuls of Lucky Charms and black coffee to good use. Her brain started to come up with answers.

Chloe didn’t take the notes...

Chloe writes in Chinese...

Chloe writes with her left hand and its evil...

Chloe is smelly and I don’t want to get to close...

Chloe has a cold...

Chloe doesn't like people close to her...

Chloe’s pen said geronimo and jumped out the window… Fresh Prince and DJ Jazzy Jeff, Girls Ain’t Nothing But Trouble, mid 80s...

Chloe doesn’t like anyone copying off of her...

Chloe doesn’t take notes cause she has a photographic memory... Photographic memory… memory, Max said she needs a new memory card. Do I need anything from Amazon ordered? 

“Sloane?” He repeated muttering something under his breath, waiting for an answer.

“Huh?” Sloane replied, burning off the dehydrated marshmallows of pink hearts, yellow stars, purple horseshoes, clovers, blue moons, hourglass, and the all new rainbows.  

Mr. Hutchinson closed his eyes, tried to control himself and took a deep breath. It was enough time for a pen to magically land on the girl's desk. Sloane picked it up, surprised. Magic pen?! Thank you Lucky Charm’s dude, BRAIN DO THE THING! 

“I didn’t want to assume that I could look over someone’s shoulder, some...” Sloane looked at the baffled punk and continued, “In this day and age we have to ask for consent for almost everything and I’m not comfortable with asking for consent… I mean, I am, I just-” Sloane swallowed, unable to stop rambling. Dana had turned around and looked at Chloe, then at her, completely confused with a big smile, listening “-have a hard time asking people for help... especially-” Dana’s hair is really nice today. “-if it had to do with getting in their personal space.” Mr. Hutchinson thought the rambling was over and just before he spoke Sloane kept going, “I didn’t want to distract her from what she was doing so I thought it was just easier to just take a picture to confirm what I already-” 

“Fine, fine,” Mr. Hutchinson waved his hand, irritated, to get Sloane to stop talking. Mr. Hutchinson asked for Sloane, looking at Chloe, “Is it okay if Sloane uses your notes?” 

Chloe looked from Sloane to the teacher, and back to Sloane. “Ahh, yeeah.” She slid her notebook over. 

Mr. Hutchinson looked at Sloane, “You have her permission.” Sloane put her head down and Chloe took her notebook.

Sloane quietly said, “Thank you, Blu.”

Chloe mumbled, “Don’t mention it.” She was hoping that Sloane wouldn’t blurt out anything else. Mr. Hutchinson turned. “Moving on.” He said as he walked back to the whiteboard and continued his lesson.

Sloane leaned forward towards the table with a tiny groan and started to bang her head against it. Brain and mouth can you please work with me? 

Victoria shook her head at her street hoods in front of her as she tossed another pen towards the punk. I need to get that one a muzzle .

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- 

It had been raining most of the day and had turned to freezing rain by eight in the evening. The ladies' dorm noise level was low as most students were in homework mode. Dana sat on her sofa with Juliet, studying for tomorrow's world history test. Papers and notes were spread over the empty middle seat of the sofa along with her coffee table. 

Dana asked, “Whhhhy do I need to know about this Enigma thing? Who cares?” 

Juliet looked over at Dana, “You like your laptop?” 

“Yeah?” 

“Enigma machines were so hard to crack that the allies secretly got engineers, mathematicians, and cryptanalysis together in Bletchley Parkland, England and created what is considered the world’s first digital, electronic and programmable computer. It turned the tables in the battle of the Atlantic, and what you hold in your hand could be considered the latest generation of that tech.” 

Dana blankly looked at her friend, “Okay, Jules, all I heard was ‘crack,’ then ‘blah blah blah what you hold in your hands blah blah blah, tech.’ Augh, I’m gonna need a miracle to remember all of this for tomorrow.”

The lights and music suddenly turned off in Dana’s room. The glow of their laptops and phones were the only lights emitting in the room. Both girls heard the moans and swearing as everyone realized that the power was out. 

“What the-” Dana said. Juliet picked up her phone and activated the flashlight app. The two girls stepped out of the room and were greeted with either ‘what happened’ or ‘the power is out’ comments. The only light in the girl's dormitory was the emergency lighting for the stairwell. 

“Ask and ye shall receive,” Juliet said, looking at Dana. 

“Damn it. I should’ve asked for a million-dollar winning lottery ticket. Auugh, fuck my life.”

Steph walked out of her room using her phone as a flashlight. She walked down the short hallway and met up with Taylor coming out her room complaining of the outage, “I was just in the middle of my math homework.” Both girls pushed open the second corridor door. Taylor walked over to Victoria who was standing in her doorway looking at her phone, pissed. Steph stopped between Sloane’s and Victoria’s room. “It’s out everywhere?” 

“Seems like it,” Sloane replied. Max looked out of the window in the hallway as the freezing rain hit the glass and accumulated at the bottom of the window. “I haven't seen freezing rain like this in years,” she said.

“Yeah?” Sloane asked. 

“Yeah, we usually only get rain during this month... miiight get frost in the morning and only a handful of times I’ve seen snow, maybe an inch on the ground that would disappear once the sun was out, kinda like Seattle, but rainier.” 

“Huh, that’s crazy, I can’t imagine no snow during this time, even if it’s a little.” 

Steph smiled, “Are you having snow withdrawals?” 

“Hmm, I don’t know, even Seattle had a little this time last year,” Sloane replied, looking at Max. 

“Yeah, it was the snow apocalypse, a whole three inches that fell and stayed around for months!” Max said sarcastically. She thought for a second, “It was nice to have snow on the ground for Christmas, when I think about it. I remember school being closed for a day, dad got into a small fender bender. Nobody had winter tires on and forgot how to drive in the snow.” 

Rachel walked up to the group, texting on her phone while listening to the conversation. 

“Ahhh, the world is coming to an end!” Sloane mocked. “Ontario should have a few inches down by now.” She slid down the hallway wall and sat on the floor. The three other girls followed suit and joined her. Max sat under the window, Rachel was across from Sloane and Steph was on the right, next to the brunette. “I’d probably be freezing my ass off trying to walk on the sidewalk, slipping all over the... you know what? No, I don’t miss it.”  

Rachel giggled, ‘“Seins en haut’ as it were.” Sloane looked at Rachel, surprised, as did Victoria. Max giggled from the memory.

“Seins en haut?” Steph asked. 

“Tits up,” Victoria answered, not taking her eyes off her phone. 

“Exactly,” Sloane smiled across the hallway. “Look at you, smartypants, remembering my French lesson.” 

Rachel smiled and winked. Her phone chimed, she skimmed the text without a reply, “Dad and Rose just lost power, any word on Chloe?” she asked Max. 

“She hasn’t answered, wonder if her phone’s outta juice or she’s driving.” As she spoke the words, Chloe walked through the stairwell entrance, drenched, red-faced, and looking cold. 

Steph spotted her first, “Speaking of...” she nodded her head in Chloe’s direction. 

Chloe greeted a few girls as she made her way towards Max. She held out a pen with little bears on it for Sloane to see and the brunette smirked, surprised that Chloe had found it. The drenched punk sat down next to her girlfriend. “Holy shite, it’s crazy out!” She took off her wet jacket and moved closer to Max. “It’s cold as balls, the freezing rain is fuckin’ going sideways, hitting me in the face, it hurts!” She looked at Max, the brunette cupped the punk’s red cheeks. 

“You’re so cold!” Max said motherly, taking off her girlfriend's wet beanie and putting her hand through her blue hair. 

Chloe cooed up to Max, “I am. *sniff* Need Maximum warmth... c’mere.” She hauled Max closer to her, cooing into the brunette's neck. Max stiffened at the cold nose touching her neck, “Oh MY Dog, you’re cold!” She tried to lean away but Chloe already had her long arms around the girl, keeping her close.

“No go,” Chloe said, a little sadly, then quickly slipped a hand up and under Max’s shirt. Max gasped, wide-eyed, sitting straight up. “NOOO!” Chloe’s roguish smile spread across her face.

-------------------

David carried a container of flashlights as he walked through the girl's dormitory entrance. He was welcomed with all the girls sitting in the main hallway. “Attention, everyone!” All eyes were on David. He stopped at the girl's bathroom. “As you can see, the power is out in the dormitory.” 

Chloe mumbled something to Max. “Be nice,” Max whispered back, gently elbowing her in the ribs. Chloe put her head down as she cuddled back into Max again. 

“It looks like most of Arcadia is in the dark,” David continued. “There are several water main breaks, trees and power lines down due to the freezing rain and high winds coming in from the ocean. Since there’s no power, there is no way to keep the heat on so your rooms are going to get cold. So please bundle up with extra clothes and blankets. If you need any blankets please let me know we will accommodate you the best we can. I would ask anyone who has a car please, please stay off the roads. They are extremely icy right now, there’ve been multiple accidents reported this evening. Let the city trucks do their job and get salt and sand on the roads first before you venture out. If you do decide to leave, please be careful. Stairs, walkways and parking lots are covered in a layer of ice and we are dealing with this issue now. There will be a scheduled water shut off tomorrow at 7:00 am. There are two water breaks: outside by the east side of the dorm and behind the cafeteria area. Please stay away from those areas as they are flooded. The pool hasn’t lost power so the showers are going to be open as soon as the pathways are safe to walk on and you can use them during the water shut off period as they are connected to a different water line. If you need anything, please phone the security line and we’ll do our best to help you out in any way. The phone number is posted on your dorm community wall. Are there any questions?” He waited for a second then placed a container on the ground and continued, “I have flashlights for everyone, please use them wisely. I don’t want you tripping and hurting yourself.” Dana crawled over, picked up the container and started to pass out the flashlights.

“Will there be school tomorrow?” Stella asked as she sat next to the stairwell that was lit up with her history book in her lap, still trying to study for tomorrow’s test. 

“There will be no classes tomorrow,” David replied. “An email will be going out within the next hour when the school grounds have been fully assessed.” There were some sounds of relief and a ‘woo’ from the hallway of girls. “Are there any more concerns?” David asked, giving the girls another chance to ask questions. There was silence. “Okay, thank you for listening. Good evening, gir- ladies.” David walked towards Max and Chloe. He talked in a lower voice, “Chloe, your mother is at the diner. She was called in to help out Judy for an overnight shift. The roads are bad enough that truckers are coming off the roads and the place is packed. The power is off at the house so it’s going to be cold. When you do leave, please be careful. I’m not joking about the roads, they are really bad and I know you have old tires.” 

Chloe thought to herself, Might not be a good idea to tell him that the truck was fishtailing all the way here. “No worries,” Chloe said, “I’m staying here tonight with Max. I’m not going out in this. I’ll swing by tomorrow and pick up mom.”  

“No need, she dropped me off,” David said. “She didn’t know if the diner would lose power, so it would be easier to drop me off for work instead of me trying to slip away from work.” 

“Wow, you gave up your ride? What’s the world coming to when you’re trusting us women with your manly things?” David had given up his muscle car a year before and traded it in for a used car, but any time that Joyce and him went out, he would still drive. Chloe could only recall seeing Joyce drive it a handful of times. David hummed, Joyce’s voice was running around in his head, ‘David, she’s a teenager. Of course she’s going to backtalk you. I’m sure during your tours in the mid-east, you were dealing with people that said much worse things to you. Don’t give Chloe any fuel for an argument .’ So instead of engaging with the punk, he simply replied, “She has my trust. You ladies keep yourselves warm. Good evening.” He nodded, turned and walked towards the exit. Don’t argue, don’t argue, don’t argue .

Steph asked the girls around her, “So, anybody have an idea what we can do?” 

Sloane got up and went to her room getting her toiletries and towel. “I’m getting a shower before the hot water’s gone. If they have to do major repairs the water could be off for over a day and I don’t wanna walk to the pool for a shower.”

Rachel got up, “Ou, I’m gonna join you.” 

Sloane arched an eyebrow, “Well, okay,” she smirked, “But only if you promise to wash my back.” She wiggled her eyebrows. Rachel smacked Sloane’s shoulder and walked down to her room to gather her items. 

Dana passed Sloane a flashlight, noticing her toiletries. “Smart idea, I’m gonna join you too.” 

Sloane smiled down at Steph. “All the ladies wanna take showers with me.” Steph outwardly snorted.

“Well, we do have to conserve hot water,” Dana said as she walked away, looking over her shoulder at Sloane and Steph with a smile. 

“This is starting to feel like a porn video,” Sloane said.

Chloe laughed, she changed her voice and over-animated her movements, “Ouuu, Sloane, can you help me wash my back? I can’t seem to get this spot. Ooopsie, I dropped my soap!” Chloe laid over on her side and onto Max’s outstretched legs. “I need to bend over and get it!” Sloane and Steph laughed. 

“Oh my dog, Chloe,” Max giggled, then smacked Chloe’s butt, drawing the attention of Victoria and her two minions. She looked at the couple and rolled her eyes. 

“Max, control yourself, nobody wants to see that,” The Queen B stated. Steph and Sloane looked at each other then slowly raised their hands a little with big smiles. Victoria rolled her eyes and huffed. 

“Vic, save your breath, you’ll probably need it to blow up your next date,” Chloe said, laying across Max, who was once again playing with Chloe’s hair. So soft. 

“Ooooh,” both Steph and Sloane said in unison at the comment. Victoria gave Chloe the middle finger as Chloe blew her a kiss. 

------------------- 

A few of the girls had already gone back into their rooms by the time Dana, Rachel, Juliet, and Sloane finished their showers. Victoria and her crew had stayed in the hallways along with Steph and Kate, who sat in between the DM and The Queen B. Sloane emerged from her room and took her spot next to her doorway. “The showers are spooky with shadow lighting,” she said, looking at all the girls on her right.

“Lucky you never got a visit from Norman Bates,” Steph said putting her flashlight under her chin to cast a ghoulish face and made a stabbing action with her arm.

“Oh damn, I would’ve ran out of the showers butt naked and screaming.”

“Wouldn’t be the first time,” Victoria mumbled.

“Fuck spiders,” Sloane said. “Spiders don’t need to take showers.”

Kate giggled, remembering how Sloane jumped out of the stall, barely covered and yelling about a spider in the shower. She thought it was funny how someone with tats, scars and a strong build could be so scared of a tiny spider. Victoria had shown her irritation as she brushed her teeth, she rolled her eyes, mumbling with her toothbrush in her mouth. She’d walked over to the stall and killed the spider, despite Kate’s saying not to. From that day forward Victoria had been bestowed ‘Sloane’s Spider Slayer.’ She hated the title and duty. Whenever a spider was discovered around Sloane, no matter what Victoria was doing, Sloane bothered her incessantly.  

“Victoria, there’s one on my wall by my desk.” 

“I don’t care,” Victoria said not looking up from her homework. 

Sloane stood next to the girl, fidgeting. “Victoria, it's on my wall. I can’t go back to my room, it made a web.” 

Victoria would always make it a big deal that she was being interrupted, “Oh my fuck, Sloane, seriously.” Secretly, though, she kind of liked the interruption of someone coming to her for help, not that she would ever admit it. She disposed of the tiny spider as Sloane stood uncomfortably out in the hallway. “Your dingy room is cleared, now leave me alone.” Sloane would say her thanks and without a doubt the next morning Victoria would have a large flat white coffee next to her door waiting for her. The last time it happened Sloane added a container of cotton candy hair dye. 

------------------- 

Chloe giggled, kissing the back of Max’s neck as the brunette gathered her toiletries. “Gonna sex you up in the showah.” 

“No you’re not, we have to do this quickly. We don’t know how long the hot water will last. Here, take this towel.” 

Chloe unfolded the towel and looked at it, one eyebrow raised, “Is this Hawt Dawg Man?!” 

“NOooo,” Max looked at Chloe, a little embarrassed. “You shush, you still have your pirates towel.” She opened her door and the two left for the showers.

Victoria watched the two walk around the corner, giggling with each other, “Really?!” 

Max pushed the shower room door open and walked through. Before Chloe did, she turned, smiling then brought up her fingers, displaying a reverse peace sign and stuck her tongue between her two fingers, waggling it. Victoria watched Max’s arm appear and grabbed the punk’s shirt yanking her into the shower room. 

“Stop teasing Victoria,” Max said. 

Chloe smiled. “Can’t help it, babe, she’s too easy.”

Chloe watched Max walk to the furthest shower stall and place her toiletries in the area. She turned and looked at a blue-haired punk who held her hands behind her back, twisting herself back and forth flashing her puppy dog eyes.

“Don’t give me that impish look… no,” Max said.

“But why not, Maxie?” Chloe whined with a pout. 

“Cause we... I share this dorm with other people, I don’t want them walking in on us or to feel uncomfortable in the place they live.” 

“I’ll be reallllly quiet.” 

Max crossed her arms, stared at Chloe, and in a monotone voice said, “We both know that’s not true.” She lifted her eyebrow, stressing her point, “Don’t we?” 

The punk was going to protest, but let out a big sigh and rolled her eyes, “Fiiine. You’re no fun.” 

“I’m tons of fun.” Max stuck out her tongue, retrieved the body wash and handed it to Chloe. “Here, take this, I’ve got the shampoo and we’ll switch.” 

-------------------

After switching up their shower products Chloe began washing her hair. “The water is still so hoooot I love it.”

Max turned off the water and started to dry herself off. She stepped out of the stall and looked at the shower room door, then at Chloe’s stall. She bit the side of her lip, thinking. Max peeked into Chloe’s stall, seeing the girl was standing towards the shower headwall. She had given herself a shampoo mohawk, not that Max noticed right away, her eyes were somewhere else. Oh, dooog . Max looked at the entrance door again, then lifted the shower curtain and stepped inside. She let her towel drop from her body as she hung it on the outside hook. The brunette watched her girl, admiring her curves, her bubble butt, and her ooooh so long legs. Jesus Christ, Chloe . She watched her rinse her hair, the shampoo bubbles running between the punk's shoulders and down over the soft skin she loved to touch. Max stepped forward and wrapped her hands around the punk’s toned stomach and kissed the spot between her girl's shoulders. Chloe straightened up, startled, but relaxed as Max raised her hands, massaging the punk's breasts. Chloe let her head fall back. Max squeezed again and bit into Chloe’s shoulder getting her to let out a small moan. The brunette ran her little nails down the tight stomach. Chloe smirked, whispering. “You’re a dirty girl.”

Max giggled, “Good thing I’m in the shower.”

Ohh, damn. Chloe turned, wrapping herself around the brunette, and kissed her deeply. She guided both of them against a sidewall. Max wrapped her leg around Chloe's waist, hauling her punk in as close as possible. She whined Chloe’s name. Say it again... Chloe thought. The punk smiled and grabbed Max’s butt cheek, grinding her hips into her girl. The brunette looked up at Chloe with doe eyes, pleading for more. The punk kissed her neck then gave it a nip as Max wrapped her arms around Chloe’s warm neck. The punk placed her forehead against Max’s, looking at her girl. She gave her a small slap on the butt, making Max gasp. You love it. The punk guided her hand around Max’s inner thigh. Her girl leaned forward and bit Chloe’s bottom lip, slowly hauled it away, then let it snap back. Chloe watched Max’s expression as she ran her finger up the brunette’s slit. The girl's breath hitched and her eyes widened, along with the punks.

Some of the hallway girls were looking at how much power they had left on their phones, listening to Steph. “We are gonna have to keep an eye on our phone cha-” Steph stopped as everyone in the hallway heard two girls in the shower room holler. 

“AAHHhhhhhahAHHHHAHHhhh!”

“WWOOOOooOOOOOOOOo COOOOLD COLD COLD COLD!”

The hallway girls laughed. “Guess there’s no hot water left,” Dana said, chuckling. 

“Chloe sounded like a ghost,” Kate said. She raised her arms and made ghost sounds as she wiggled her fingers, furthering everyone’s laughter.

------------------- 

Chloe stepped out of Sloane’s room. She had ‘borrowed’ a shirt and hoodie of Sloane’s. “Thanks for the clothes, Slo.” 

“No prob, just wash them... cause unlike Max, I don’t want them Chloe cooties all over them,” Sloane said, smiling at Max, who returned with a mature sticking-out-of-the-tongue. Sloane wrinkled her nose and gave her one back.

Chloe slid down against the windowed wall next to Max and placed the hoodie over her leg. “Pff, my cooties are awesome. Just by wearing your shirt they’re spreading out all over the place, which makes it more awesomer.” She rubbed her hands against the shirt for the effect.

“You sure it’s not smallpox?” Victoria asked sarcastically.

Sloane looked at Victoria then to Chloe. “Forget it, I’d have to burn it if you gave it back,” she said. Max giggled as Chloe raised her hands in victory. “Score! New shirt!” 

Sloane noticed the shirt Max had on. “How did you get-” Sloane pointed to her shirt. 

With a little devious smile, Max replied, “When we were doing laundry.” Rachel walked over and slid down the wall across from Sloane, listening to the conversation. “I like the fox, it’s cute,” Max said, looking at the shirt. 

“I know, that’s why I got it, yah little thief,” Sloane said, shaking her head and trying not to smile. Rachel looked down at the shirt she was wearing and smiled at Sloane, who glared at her. “Yeeeah, don’t think I didn’t notice that also went missing after you left Vancouver.” 

Rachel played dumb, “I dunno what you’re talking about, I’ve always been a fan of,” she looked down at the shirt to make sure she said it right, “of the… Toronto. Maple… Leafs? 

Sloane gave her a sly look. “Woman, don’t toy with me that you like hockey,” she sighed. “At this rate, I'm gonna be out of clothes.” 

Juliet called out from her room, “D! Can I borrow some sweat pants or leggings?” This was their customary way of talking when they were not in each other’s room, their doors never seemed to close unless a guy was visiting or they were sleeping. A pair of leggings were thrown across the hallway. 

“Can I wear that red shirt with the white stripes on the arms?” Dana called out.

The shirt flew across and into Dana’s room. “Thanks!” There were a few times someone walking the hallway would get hit with a rogue article of clothing as it flew across the hall. Alyssa got the worst of it one day when a shoe beaned her in the head.  

“SlooOooane,” Dana called out, walking out of her room. “Can I borrow a hoodie? I haven’t done my laundry.” 

The girls around Sloane chuckled. “I’m gonna be walking around with a barrel held up by suspenders ,” she sighed. “Chloe, I may need your suspenders.”

“Never!” Max quickly said then cursed at herself, the word was supposed to stay in her head. She stole a glance at Chloe, who was devilishly smiling back. Both were thinking back two days ago when Max was sitting on Chloe’s bed, the punk walked into her bedroom after a shower, saying she was dressed and ready. Max looked up from her phone and saw the punk wearing only suspenders and little hipster blue panties. 

Chloe softly giggled, “Sorry, Slo, I need them to keep my panties up.” Chloe received weird looks from whoever heard her reply. Max hid her face in embarrassment. “Heee,” Chloe said with a smile and cooed into Max’s neck, giving it a nip. Noms. 

------------------- 

Her fingers picked at the strings, delivering a relaxing sound. As she lifted her fingers off the strings to change to a different chord releasing a squeak, it was one of those sounds that made acoustic guitar relaxing to Max. Chloe had retrieved Max’s guitar and held it out to her and said, “You play now,” then retrieved Sloane’s. “Bring forth warm fuzzy feelings.” 

Max began to pick quietly at random chords, not following any song, just simply putting notes together. Sloane was looking at Steph's laptop as the Dungeon Master in the darkness was typing up a dungeon level that Sloane was following along. She had asked Steph to give her all her notes on an old ‘Durrgaon campaign.’ With the number of notes Steph took, anyone could easily put together how the campaign went... every swing of the axe, to how many potions were consumed by a specific character and when they did it… to who had repairs done at the Storm and Cloak store. Sloane followed along to catch up.

Max randomly played a few notes that got Sloane’s attention. She glanced at Max who was already looking at her with a small smile. Max gave four rhythmic nods and they began to play and sing as Max took the lead. By the time the chorus hit, everyone in the hallway was singing. The night continued... Kate was asked by Chloe to play her violin and when Courtney said that Victoria’s keyboard had a battery pack it was also eventually brought out. The #BlackwellBlackout2013 house gig lit by flashlight went on into the night.

-------------------

Cover Tune Grab Bag - "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da"

Bonus#1 song for Steph -  Stephen Lynch - Dn’D

Bonus#2 For the Whale’s that died in game - Rhett and Link's - Tough Decisions (A Whale Is Gonna Die)

Chapter Text

Sloane woke up to the sound of what she thought was a chainsaw and the weight of something across her face. She opened her eyes, blinked a few times then took Rachel’s outstretched arm off her face and placed it over on the girl's stomach next to her. They slept on Max’s floor with the couple taking Max’s bed and Steph taking the sofa for a sleepover movie binge. Sloane looked at the blonde spread out over the floor on her back in what looked like a Superman flying pose. Over the night she'd kicked off her own blanket and took most of Sloane’s. Blanket Thief! Her hair looked like it went through a hurricane and with her nightguard in and mouth open she was sawing wood. Sloane shook her head in awe of the noise coming out of the girl then looked up at who chuckled. 

“Put a sock in her mouth,” Chloe whispered sleepily.

“I think she would inhale it,” Sloane said matter-of-factly, as she pulled up the blanket over Rachel to keep her warm. Chloe snorted outwardly as Sloane continued, “How the hell can someone make that much noise and stay asleep?” She looked over at Steph who smartly had her earbuds in to listen to music overnight. Chloe noticed Sloane pull up Steph’s blanket to make sure the girl kept warm, then the brunette got up, stretched and looked out the window. ”Power still out?”

“Yeah, still down.”

Sloane walked over to the window, the school grounds looked like it was covered in glass. “Wow, If the sun was out, it would be a photo op for Max, everything has an icy coating, looks like glass.” Sloane stretched and yawned once more. “I’m gonna get dressed, I’m kinda cold since someone took my blankie.” She looked at Rachel with Sloane's blanket now wrapped around her like a burrito. Thief!

“Yeah gonna get up soon, once my little otter wakes up,” Chloe said, looking at cuddly Max.

Sloane hummed while walking over to the couple. She covered Chloe’s foot that was poking out from under the blanket. “She fits right into you.” Damn I’m so jelly… jelly?! When did I start saying jel- dammit! She looked down at the human acting like a chainsaw and shook her head as the sleeping Bella let out another loud snore.

-------------------

TEXTuя

🦊Sloane ➞ ☠️Blu

 

Sloane: Know a place where I can get my tires changed?

Blu: Arcadia garage 555-322-tire 

Sloane: Tq gonna see if I can get my summer replaced

             with all seasons, laters.

Blu: K laters

 

--------------------------------------

TEXTuя

☠️Blu ➞ 🦊Sloane

 

Chloe: Got yo tires?

Sloane: Augh fuck the donuts they have here are

            stale, they're crunchy.

Sloane: I have a 2hr wait :( really busy for them

            today, a bunch of fender benders. Cars

            not starting, and tire replacements. The

            roads are super slippery so be careful if

            u go out Blu

Chloe: Thanks mom

Sloane: 🖕

Chloe: 🖕

Chloe: Dana and Max are going to pick up

           breakfast orders, u want anything? Me n’

           Rach stopping by Frankies, we can pick u

           up along the way

Sloane: Sweet. Bagel n peanut budda plz

Chloe: Cool, cya in 20 🤜

Sloane: 🤛

-------------------

 

“I can’t believe you guys spent the night here,” Steph said to the boys sitting next to each other in the counter seating area of 2 Whales.

Justin, the red-eyed skateboarder, looked up at Steph, “Naah, man it was chill. Talked to Frank for a while, there were some trucker dudes here, all of them were talkin’ it up about the stormy weather and their crazy stories of what they’ve seen on the road.”

Trevor, the second half of the skater posse, finished his coffee. “And we had enough weed, food, and coffee to keep us happy.”

“You guys wanna lift back?” Dana asked. “We can stuff you in, or strap you to the hood of the car.”

“Sweet, thanks Dana that’s awesome of you,” Trevor said with a small smile to the cheerleader.

Dana smiled back. “Come on, you can finish your, ‘after the storm weed sesh' at school.”

“Sweeeet,” Justin said.

Joyce piled takeout containers in plastic bags for Max and Courtney. “That’s it for you girls,” she said standing behind the counter.

“How was your night?” Max asked the waitress.

“Very busy, but the tips were worth it. It’s going to be nice to get home and put my feet up. I’m off now to pick up David,” she said happily.

“Tips are always great, thanks again Joyce, we’ll see you later,” Max said as Courtney and her picked up the bags.

-------------------

Dana and Max put the food in the trunk as Justin piled into Dana’s little Civic. He leaned over next to Courtney, squishing her against the door. “Augh, sorry Court.” Courtney tutted and told him to move over. Trevor sat in the front with Dana, and Steph stood outside waiting for Justin to finish getting settled away in the back. “You can sit on my lap," Justin said to Courtney.

“I am not sitting on your lap. Trevor, move your seat up please?” Courtney said. The car was going to be a tight fit. 

Joyce left the diner and walked to the car. She heard her name being called and turned to see Max quickly walking towards her, “Joyce, uhmm, would it be okay if I got a ride back with you? Justin and Trevor needed a ride back and Dana’s car is packed.”

Joyce looked at Courtney pushed up against the window looking irritated, “Sure darlin’, I don’t blame you, your friend looks like a sardine.”

-------------------

TEXTuя

💗Rachel ➞ 🦊Sloane

 

Rachel: So

Sloane: So

Sloane: Freezing my butt off

Rachel: Soo whatcha wearing

Sloane: Why don’t you hurry up and you’ll find

             out ;)

Rachel: Almost there

Sloane: Have you seen my heavy wool plaid

            long sleeve around? Couldn’t find it

            this morning

 

Rachel looked down inside her leather coat and looked at the missing plaid long sleeve.

 

Rachel: The grey-blue one?

Sloane: Yeah

Rachel: Haven't seen it.

 

The blonde smiled, tucking her head into her coat and smelled Sloane's scent of what she found out from Dana was her deodorant, Amberwood Vanilla Bean.

 

Sloane: K, I walked up to the intersection so Blu

             doesn't have to do a U-turn

Sloane: By the Prescott brick structure thingie

 

Sloane turned her body away from the blowing freezing rain hitting her hard in the face. She pulled her hoodie hood further down over her face to help shield herself.

 

Sloane: Freezing rain all up in ma face, wtf, since

             when does freezing rain fall sideways

Rachel: Ohhh our Canadian special snowflake

             doesn’t like freezing rain :(

Sloane: Not when it’s hitting me in the eyeballs

 

“Shhiiit It’s slippery,” Chloe said as her the truck slowly slid to a halt at the intersection. A water pipe had burst overnight on 3rd Street leaving the small hill covered in ice.

“There she is,” Rachel said looking at Sloane standing on the corner. The girl had her back against the cold wind, huddling in the freezing rain. Shit, I shouldn’t have taken her flannel.

“Hey, there’s mom,” Chloe said, recognizing the white car with the blue door. Joyce had pulled ahead into the intersection, waiting to turn left and go up the hill towards Blackwell. “There is no way that car is getting up that hill today.” The sound of a transport’s horn scared the two girls in the truck. Chloe’s mirror was smashed to pieces as a fuel truck slid through the intersection.

 

TEXTuя

🥞MAX n’ ☠️CHLOBEAR

 

Max:  ( ˘ ³˘) on the way back baby, see you so-

The girls in Chloe’s truck could only watch as the jackknifed fuel transport truck slammed into David’s car, dragging it forward, then hitting two other vehicles across the lane. “MOM!” Chloe yelled.

Rachel screamed.

Sloane hopped up and down at the corner to keep warm, she had her back turned away from traffic and disappeared from view as the tanker slid across the intersection. Its load slammed into a traffic post and spilled fuel, pouring out of the side of the tanker and spread across one side of the intersection. Seconds later there was an explosion that shook Chloe's and the surrounding vehicles, setting off parked car alarms and shattering some store windows. Both girls viewed the fireball and mushroom cloud of black smoke. 

“MOM!” Chloe yelled again. She jumped out of her truck, stalling the vehicle and started running.

Dana and the occupants of her car felt and heard the explosion. She slammed on her brake pedal, sliding the car to a stop as everyone in her car viewed the mushroom cloud. ”OH MY GOD!”

Chloe and Rachel ran towards the intersection but were forced back from the heat of the flames. Chloe yelled for her mother. “MOM, NOOOO! NOOOO!” Rachel held her back from the fire. People in cars were quickly reversing, one person with their window rolled down yelled at them to move back. Rachel took a hysterical Chloe and forcefully hauled her away.

Dana and the occupants of the car ran towards the two girls at the opposite corner of the intersection. They heard Chloe yelling her mother's name. Rachel was crying, holding Chloe’s arm, keeping her back and looking at the corner of the intersection were Sloane had stood moments before.

“Was Joyce hit?!” Dana frantically asked. Rachel only nodded her head. The blonde pointed to the corner intersection, and sobbed, “Sloane was just standing there, she’s gone. She’s… she’s...” Rachel couldn’t say the words

Dana and her car occupants looked at the fiery accident to the corner Rachel pointed. Courtney placed her hands over her mouth, Justin looked with his mouth open in shock. Dana turned towards Chloe in horror, “ M-Max went with Joyce .” Rachel lost all expression in her face.

Chloe turned and stared at Dana, “What?” It wasn’t a scream or a yell, it was a simple one-worded question. 

Dana started to cry, “Chloe she-”

“NO!” Chloe said defiantly pointing at Dana. “NO!” She shook her head, not believing one word Dana said. Rachel realized that Max wasn’t with Dana’s group, she gasped and placed her shaking hand over her mouth and looked at Chloe. Chloe looked at Rachel's face, the girl pointed at Rachel angry, “NO!” She backed away. “NO!” Chloe looked around the group of friends and didn’t see her girl, “Max?!” She didn’t reply, she called her name again, looking behind her. Maybe she’s by Dana’s car, she looked at the parked Civic and yelled for her, “MAX!” She looked at a terrified Rachel, Chloe pleaded to her friend, “Noooo,” her chin began to quiver, “Nooo, Rachel.” Max was not answering.

“She went with Joyce in her car,” Dana said after a huge sob, “Oh, Jesus.” She put her hand over her mouth to cover another sob.

“NoOoo,” Chloe pleaded again. She felt light headed as she took a sobbing breath of air. “No.” She turned towards the flames and started to walk toward it. Trevor and Justin immediately held her back and Chloe began to fight them. “LET ME GO. MAX IS IN THERE! FUCK OFF, LET ME GO!” She punched Justin in the face, the boy held his hold on Chloe as she kept yelling and fighting for them to let her go. Chloe stared at the fire. She couldn't get to them, there was nothing she could do. She let out a heart-wrenching scream as her tears fell, realizing Max and her mother were gone. Rachel held Chloe’s arm, sobbing in between words, “I’m sorry, Chloe, oh Jesus, I am so sorry.”

Chloe felt her spirit drain from her, her soul became empty, her body sagged, she felt nothing, everything was gone. Both Rachel and Trevor kept her from falling face-first to the ground as Justin held his bleeding nose. They were talking to her but she didn’t hear a word, her memory flashed to this morning in bed, alone in the dorm room, Max had hauled her sheet over their heads making a little fort, their little hideaway from the world. The only voice she heard was Max’s giggle. Her beautiful blue eyes looking at her and smiling. She whispered so quietly, brushing her thumb over Chloe’s cheek, “ I love waking up with you .” It would never occur again, Chloe would never feel Max’s body next to her, would never see her, smell her, laugh with her, talk with her… have… her love.” She couldn’t take the pain, it was unbearable, unimaginable, and her mind just shut down. The girl collapsed on her knees in a puddle as the cold freezing rain fell. Trevor caught her before she fell face first to the ground. Her father, her mother, and Max… her Max, her love, her life, her world, were gone. She stared ahead with no emotions, her tears stopped flowing, her body went limp. Chloe Price, was broken.

-------------------

Sierra Eagleson - Black Flies - Ben Howard (Cover)

Note: Santa_Cruz stood up from the desk and walked over to the closet, putting on a bulletproof vest, then grabbed a shield, and hockey helmet, it was the only helmet she had. The key code for the fallout shelter was easy: 0311. She walked into the shelter as the overhead lights blinked on, giving off a faded yellow hue. It was the only place to go for this type of outcome, the bathtub of the fallout shelter. She sat down with her teddy bear, Sven, and it looked at her with its black beady little eyes, judging her actions. “Don’t look at me like that.” She wrapped her hands around a white flag ready to use it at a moment’s notice… Oooh fuck, what did I do?

-------------------

  Max n Chloe as otters because why not

Chapter Text

-------------------

Earworm, noun
ear·worm | \ ˈir-ˌwərm
Definition of earworm:
a song that keeps repeating in your mind

-------------------
Her boots were not getting the traction she desperately needed. Once her foot caught the edge of the concrete sidewalk she finally began to move, slipping and sliding. She fell on the frost-covered grass, clawing at the ground to get away from the 10,000-gallon transport jackknifing towards her. A traffic pole slammed to the ground right in front of her, almost crushing her hand. She kept moving forward towards the brick signage that was the future site for the Prescott Pan Estates. Sloane dove over the lower edge as an explosion occurred and rolled onto her back, watching the fireball in the air as she looked on in fear. She rolled over onto her stomach and army-crawled away, keeping close to the brick barrier. When she got to a low dip in the brick she peeked over the edge, looking at the fuel truck on fire. The fire arched across the intersection and water spewed into the air from a broken fire hydrant. The lit fuel floated on top and quickly spread around the intersection. A car was on fire in front of her. Her eyes widened as she recognized it. Joyce!

She looked at the surrounding area before she crawled over the brick barrier. Sloane stayed low and tried to open the passenger side door only to find it locked. She saw someone leaned forward and up against the door. “Max?! Oh Jesus!” Sloane couldn’t try for the driver's side area as it was smashed up against the fuel truck. Flames were spreading out as the front side of the car had caught fire. Black smoke from the burning front tire billowed into the air. Sloane’s adrenaline spiked and panic set in upon seeing Max. Without thinking, Sloane elbowed a back side window. It didn’t break so she tried again and again with her anger and terror building. She turned and yelled, punching the window until it shattered. She reached in and lifted the locking mechanism then opened the door. Max’s unconscious body leaned toward her, held in by her seat belt. Sloane’s mind click, she felt a calmness overcome her. Her hands still shook but she became focused. Max had a laceration on the corner of her forehead. Sloane began to cough from the smoke as she called out Max’s name multiple times. She shook the girl's shoulder to try and wake her, “Max, do you hear me!? MAX!” There was no response. She had to move her even if she did more damage to Max’s body; the fire was not going to stop. It was now spreading below the engine with black smoke billowing up through the hood. She undid the seat belt and lifted the small girl in her arms. Keeping low, she got herself and Max over the barrier. Sloane laid her down and she did a quick assessment. Her airway was open, she checked for breathing, she’s breathing. She unzipped the girl's coat and looked and felt for any bleeding, there wasn’t any. She placed the brunette in the recovery position. “I’ll be right back, Max, I’ll be right back.”

Sloane went back over the barrier and towards the car. Flames were traveling up the roof of the soft top of David’s car. Sloane felt the heat, the black smoke was so thick she coughed and almost threw up. She hauled up her hoodie and tucked her face into her jacket and jumped into the passenger's open door. She called out Joyce's name and gently shook her shoulder. No response. There was a large laceration across her forehead. Steering wheel. She checked for breathing and a pulse, ten seconds passed… there wasn’t one. Jesus! The flames covered the windshield and the soft top was smoldering. Get her out! She undid the seat belt and turned Joyce so that her back was against Sloane’s front. She wrapped her arms around the woman and dragged her out of the burning car, using her feet to haul them out and onto the ground. She sat up with Joyce between her legs, got to her knees and then to her feet. The heat was intense, Sloane kept her head down, one of the woman’s high heels came off as she dragged Joyce away, up and over the barrier. She laid Joyce on her back and called out the mom’s name and told her to open her eyes. Airway, clear, checked again for her breath and pulse, as she hauled out her phone to call 911, the screen was cracked and broken. She looked down at Joyce. She’s not responsive, she’s not breathing, there is no pulse. Sloane unzipped Joyce's coat and looked for the placement. She put her hand down on the area and placed her bloody hand on top, holding them together on Joyce's mid-sternum. Sloane yelled, “HEEEELP! I NEED HEEELP, I AM IN NEED OF ASSISTANCE!” She began CPR on Joyce Price. “🎜Ah, ha, ha, ha, stayin' alive, stayin' alive🎝” Her training kicked in.

-------------------

The police were the first to show up, followed by the fire department and EMT trucks. Chloe was placed in the back of a police car. Her head was leaned up against the window with a vacant stare, showing no emotion. Rachel sat next to her, holding her close, trying to control her own crying. Officer Berry stood outside in the freezing rain, not troubled by the cold. He relied on his police training, keeping his demeanor calm as he made a phone call. He looked down at the girl he’d known all his police career and felt his throat constrict. This is not fair. The person answered, “Hey Andy, please tell me you're not phoning because of something Chloe has done,” David said on the other end.

Steph wiped a tear away from her cheek as she watched the next EMT truck leave the scene. She held Courtney who was crying into her shoulder. Dana was on the phone crying to Juliet, explaining what had happened, holding on to Trevor’s arm for support. Justin had dried blood below his nose and jacket from Chloe punching him. He watched with Trevor as the fire department got control of the fire. The whole intersection was flooded with water and foam. Trevor watched as two fire personnel walked around the rear of the fuel truck with their hose. The one behind the lead hoseman looked to his left and did a double-take. He turned to his right and waved his arm, getting someone's attention as he talked into his shoulder radio. He turned and jogged towards a brick barrier. Seconds later, two fire personal jogged towards their teammate carrying orange shoulder bags. EMTs at the scene tilted their heads towards their shoulder radios, both teams went to their trucks and retrieved equipment. 

Sloane kept the pace of compressions to the song 'Stayin’ Alive.' “🎜Life goin' nowhere, somebody help me, yeah I'm stayin' alive🎝” She pleaded with the mom, “Joyce come on! HEEELP!” Sloane's voice was ragged as she yelled for assistance. Water from the spraying broken hydrant covered her body and dripped from her nose and chin. “Please, Joyce!” She then yelled at Max to wake up and yelled for anyone who could be nearby, “I NEED HELP!” A person appeared from behind her and went around Joyce’s other side and knelt, he spoke into his radio.

“I need medical assistance by the brick wall on the west side. I have two, first female in full distress, CPR being administered.” The fireman crawled over to Max and began his assessment, “Second, unconscious, breathing, with a head wound,” he stated on the radio. He looked back at Sloane. “I have more help coming, what happened?”

“They were in the car, it got hit, it was on fire, I had to get them out,” Sloane said, not looking up and continuing her compressions. “Max is unconscious but breathing, Joyce is not breathing and still has no pulse.”

“Okay, let me take over for you, I have it,” the fireman said. Sloane took her hands off of Joyce as the fireman took over. Before Sloane could crawl over to Max, two more fire personnel showed up. One went to Max, the other knelt next to Sloane, who was exhausted. The girl's mouth was open, gasping for air in the storm. 

-------------------

Dana sniffed, holding herself, as her and her friends watched Officer Berry direct another EMT truck to a parking spot. He watched fire personnel haul and push two stretchers over the wet grass. An EMT stood on one of the stretcher's side steps, performing chest compressions. The officer jogged over to help with the moving of the stretcher as it was on uneven slippery ground. Dana looked at Chloe, the girl hadn’t moved since she was placed in the back, her head leaned up against the window, emotionally broken and staring at nothing. Trevor placed his jacket over Dana’s shivering body and put his arm around her.

-------------------

Rachel, in the corner of her eye, watched Dana and their friends all run towards her Civic. Officer Berry ran towards his vehicle, he was speaking into his radio as he quickly got into the car, “Get someone to pick him up, she’s on her way to the hospital right now.” The officer started his car and turned to look at the two girls in the back seat. “They got Joyce and another girl! They’re bringing them to the hospital.” Officer Berry turned on his lights and drove in front of the EMTs to clear the way. 

“WHAT!?” Rachel cried in disbelief. Chloe didn’t budge.

“They have Joyce,” the officer repeated.

“The other girl, Max, a teenager with short brown hair?!” Rachel asked as the car sped down towards Tillamook Regional Medical Center fifteen minutes away.

“Yes, she’s unconscious,” he replied, “Two of them are on their way to the hospital.” He hadn’t mentioned the state of Joyce.

Rachel shook Chloe, who hadn’t reacted to the news, “Chloe!” She shook her. “They’re alive!” Officer Berry looked in his rearview mirror at Rachel.

Chloe was limp, her body leaned on the blonde. Rachel lifted the girl's blank face. “Chloe, please talk to me!” Officer Berry tapped his sirens a few times, hoping that would help bring Chloe out of her shock. Rachel shook Chloe’s shoulder. “CHLOE, MAX IS ALIVE! YOUR MOM IS ALIVE!” Chloe’s eyes were glazed over.

Chloe watched a blonde girl yell at her. She had a hold of her jacket collar, shaking her. The girl's shouting slowly pierced into her ears, “...IVE! GODDAMMIT, CHLOE! MAX IS ALIVE! LISTEN TO ME!” Rachel watched the recognition in her friend's eyes, so she shook the girl again and spoke clearly and slowly, “Chloe! Max and your Mom are alive. Do you hear me?” Rachel shook the girl again. “Chloe!” Chloe blinked, “They're alive, we’re on our way to the hospital.” Chloe’s heart thumped hard and rapidly, her blue eyes dilated as she took a rapid intake of air.

-------------------

The EMT had Sloane sitting up and was wrapping a compress around her hand and forearm to help stop the bleeding. There were hospital blankets draped over her cold, wet, shivering body along with a fireman’s coat. An oxygen mask was over her face as she took long, slow breaths in between fits of coughing.

“You’re doing fine Sloane,” the EMT said. “Just concentrate on your breathing, okay?” Sloane nodded. She felt drained, so cold . The EMT truck back doors opened and the two technicians wheeled her towards the emergency entrance. The wind and rain picked up and one of the EMTs lifted the blanket to shield Sloane’s face as they entered the hospital, passing two girls that were yelling and being held back by security. EMTs pushed through the trauma doors and into a waiting trauma team. Sloane was rolled into a room and staff lifted her onto an exam bed. A doctor appeared over her, listening to the EMT report. “Female, 18, has trouble breathing due to smoke inhalation from fuel fire. Right hand and forearm have lacerations from breaking a car window to get to two people in a burning car. Prescribed medication is Benzodiazepine, she hasn’t taken it in the past 72 hours. She was covered in water from a broken fire hydrant giving someone CPR at the scene.”

Sloane’s teeth chattered from being so cold. She mumbled with the oxygen mask over her mouth and nose, her body uncontrollably shook, “T-t-there were t-t-two peop-p-le in a c-car, are th-they o-okay?”

“What is your name?” The doctor asked.

“S-S-Sloane B-Black, are the t-t-two okay?” Sloane leaned away from the doctor that was going to touch her.

“Sloane, it's okay. I need to look at you.”

Sloane pulled down the oxygen mask. “I’m fine, I wasn’t in the a-accident, you n-need to find out about Joyce P-Price and M-M-M-Max C-Caulf-field.” Sloane was shaking, trying to stay warm.

“Two ladies were brought in are being assessed,” the doctor explained.

“Is Joyce alive? Sh-she’s the older lady, I was d-doing CP-P-PRrr on her... is she okay, is M-Max okay? I want to s-see them, I n-need to tell C-C-Chloe.” Sloane's anxiety jumped into overdrive, her voice got louder and she sat up. “I n-need to get out of here, I n-need to tell Chloe.” Sloane pushed the doctor away and yelled, “DON’T TOUCH ME!” The hospital staff immediately backed away. Sloane took off the blankets then the oxygen mask around her neck and got off the bed. She looked around wildly, there was only one way out. “LET ME OUT!”

“Sloane, please remain calm, we only want to help you,” the doctor explained, backing away.

“Pleeease tell me if they are okay!” Sloane was involuntary shaking and she began to hyperventilate. “I n-need… I need to find C-Chloe.” Sloane couldn’t catch her breath. “I nee-” she stumbled, “I need… I need to… Chloe... mom… Ma-” Sloane tried to take a deep breath but couldn’t. She was exhausted. “I-” she stumbled back, holding onto the bed.

“Your actions helped them,” the doctor said as he took a step forward.

Sloane looked at the doctor, trying to stay upright. She started to get tunnel vision.

“Sloane, please calm yourself, you're hyperventilating, we just want to help.”

“I need… I… Chlo…” Sloane’s breathing was erratic. She leaned against the bed; her knees were shaking just trying to hold up her body. The doctor and personnel took another step forward.

“The administration staff will get a hold of her,” the doctor said, then requested to the team, “Can I please get a warming blanket and 0.5 mg of Alprazolam?” The doctor stood next to Sloane and spoke to her, “Sloane, remember your breathing exercises.” The doctor began the exercise with her. Sloane swayed to the side and a nurse kept her upright. “I need you to sit before you fall.” Sloane was helped back onto the bed. The doctor placed a finger to the side of Sloane’s, nose closing off one nostril and calmly said, “In through your nose, out through your nose.” Sloane blinked, trying to keep herself from passing out and followed the doctor’s directions. “That’s it, in through your nose, out through your nose, nice big breaths.” A nurse arrived with a warming blanket.

-------------------

“Ma’am we cannot let you in there.” Two security officers were keeping Chloe away from passing into the emergency area as two technicians wheeled in a covered patient.

“I have to get in there,” Chloe yelled as tears fell, “That’s my Mom and my Max! Let me in, I have to see them!”

Rachel stood behind Chloe, holding on to her jacket. “Let her in!” she demanded.

One security guard explained, “We cannot let you in, you have to let the staff do their jobs.” Chloe pushed again, trying to get past. The security guard insisted, “Please stop, we don’t want to have you removed.”

David came jogging down the hallway, “Let her go!” he said loudly. The two security officers looked at the man who was now next to the hostile girls. He held Chloe by the shoulders and faced her, “Chloe, you have to stop.”

Chloe looked at David and Rachel, scared. Her voice quivered as she explained, “They won’t let me see Max and Mom, they were in an accident!”

“I know, I know, we have to wait for the doctors to finish looking at them,” David explained.

Chloe looked at David sorrowfully, her voice was small and broken, “They were doing CPR on Mom,” she sobbed. Rachel broke down again and started to cry, “Slo-” It was too much to talk.

David lost all the color in his face. He stood still after hearing what Chloe said. He hauled his stepdaughter and Rachel in, wrapping his arms around the girls. David did his best to keep his emotions under control, “They’re going to be okay.” He was trying to convince himself just as much as the two girls.

Two police officers walked out of the emergency room. Their radios crackled with static then an officer on scene made a request, “Dispatch request Coroner, a body has been recovered.”

Dispatch replied right away, “Officers, please use codes over the line.”

The two girls stepped back and looked at the officers. Chloe looked at Rachel, the blonde let out a whining small sob, “No, Chlo-oe.” The two embraced each other hard, crying.

*Radio Static*


“10-4 dispatch.” (Understood)
.
.
“10-4 of the Officer that requested a 10-76.” (Identification of the officer that made the request and Coroners)
.
.
“Officer Cornwall.”
“10-4.” (Understood)
.
“What is the 10-4 count. Officer Cornwall.” (Dead body)

“Uhh… One.”
“10-4... Officer Cornwall 10-76 has been informed.” (codes for Understood and Coroner)
“10-4. Thank you dispatch.”
“Welcome.”


*Radio Static*

Chapter Text

Most of the dormitory girls sat quietly crying in the waiting area, feeling the loss of Sloane’s life and the hospitalization of Max and Joyce.
Trevor and Justin came back with coffee for those that had requested some.
Kate watched Chloe hold herself, rocking back and forth in a hospital waiting chair. Rachel sat next to her with her legs curled up, hugging them. She shivered as she cried quietly with her face into a wool grey-blue plaid flannel shirt. The two girls held each other's hands. Perpendicular to them, Steph was leaned over with her elbows on her knees holding her head in her hands. There was a small pool of tears on the floor in front of her. She sniffed once again. Chloe’s hand reached over and held the DM’s hand. Courtney and Dana were curled up in their chairs, staring straight ahead and quietly crying. Dana wiped another tear away, Trevor gave her another tissue as he rubbed her back.
Justin pocketed his phone as he kept other friends updated on what was happening via texting.
Victoria watched Kate wipe away another tear. The little blonde sat quietly next to her and watched Chloe and her surrounding friends. She held her silver cross necklace and closed her eyes, mouthing words. Victoria wrapped her arm around the girl, comforting her as she swallowed, trying to not sob. She kept blinking to keep the tears from falling. She watched David take a sip of coffee as he stood by the emergency doors, diligently waiting.


-------------------


Joyce’s condition became critical but stable. They got her heart pumping again and she was breathing on her own but still unconscious. She was brought in for CT and MRI scans; she had broken ribs, a laceration on her left thigh and head, and a possible concussion. Once the scans were complete the doctor would decide if Chloe and David could see her. Chloe had been denied to see Max and she'd let loose a hailstorm of anger, “She’s alone! I’m her girlfriend! I’ve known her since I was five!” Chloe had yelled as she kicked a waiting room chair. Security had to be called to keep her away from Max’s room and to get her to stop the disturbance she was causing in the hallway. David had to try and calm her, a doctor stepped in and said if she couldn't control her anger she would be forced to leave or be arrested.
“Why can’t I see her, she’s alone!” Chloe said in tears.
“I’m sorry but you’re not family,” the doctor explained.
“She is my family!” Chloe yelled back, crying. She'd lost her voice when she yelled again, “She is everything to me!” She pleaded. “Pleeease let me see her, she’s alone.”
Security had directed Chloe and David back to the waiting area then a guard was posted by Max’s door to keep watch.
Chloe had phoned the Caulfields to tell them what had happened but they'd already been notified by the hospital and were on their way down to Arcadia. She asked if they could tell her if Max was okay, as doctors would not disclose her condition. She was told that Max arrived unconscious and had sustained a head injury. She became conscious but not coherent about 30 mins after arrival. Once she was stable she was brought in for an MRI scan and now it was a wait for the results.


---------------------------------------------------------


“How are we doing Sloane?” Doctor Thompson asked.
“Warm, tired, uhmm, sorry for the freakout,” Sloane said, lying under a heated blanket and more hospital blankets.
The doctor smiled, “No worries about the ‘freakout.' Good to hear you're feeling better, Alprazolam is doing its job.” The doctor checked her watch then Sloane’s chart and monitors. “Well, the good news is that we don’t have to keep you overnight. Your hand and wrist are not broken, the swelling should go down in a couple of days. For now, keep the ice pack on it for 15 to 20 minutes every two to three hours during the first 24 to 48 hours and take Ibuprofen to help with the pain and inflammation. Keep the abrasion on your knuckles clean and dry. You received five stitches keeping your forearm laceration closed, it was a clean-cut and sutured well.” During the cleaning of her knuckles and suturing, Sloane had fallen asleep from exhaustion, the doctor continued. “I’ll have someone give you some printed instructions for your injuries and how to take care of them, along with some extra gauze and tape.” 
“Another scar to add to the collection,” Sloane said in a monotone, raspy voice.
The doctor responded, writing on the chart, “Yes, I’ve read your records. You are indeed a survivor.” She looked at Sloane, smiling. “Scars are just a different tattoo with a story.”
Sloane smirked. “Yeah.”
“You’re not coughing anymore, which is a great sign. Your throat still sore?”
Sloane nodded.
“It may feel a little sore for a few days, that is to be expected. Drink lots of water and keep an eye on it, if it gets worse go to your family doctor or clinic. I’ll write you a note to take school off tomorrow, I want you to rest up. Do you have any questions?”
“I just want to know the condition of Joyce and Max.” Sloane had asked any staff that had walked by her since she was in the hospital.
“I know. Unfortunately, I cannot give you that information because you’re not family, I’m sorry. We’ll get you discharged right now so you can find out from them.”
“Can you tell me what floor I should go on? My phone is broken.”
Dr. Thompson smiled. “That would be on the 2nd floor.”
“Thank you. Uhmm,” Sloane looked around her area. “What do I do about me having no clothes?” Sloane looked under the blanket seeing that, yup, she was butt naked. Her wet clothes had been cut off or removed when she arrived. Bye Hello Kitty undies.
“I’ll have someone help you with that. The hospital has some donated clothing for just this situation.”
“Thank you.”
“You're quite welcome, take care Sloane.”


---------------------------------------------------------


Sloane yawned as she stepped out of the elevator and onto the second floor. She had her finger in her ear, wiggling it back and forth, trying to clear the water that accumulated earlier that morning from the hydrant spray. She wore donated hospital clothes: sweatpants that said PSU with a stylized Viking down the thigh and a Thorns FC soccer shirt. She carried her wet hoodie and jacket in a plastic bag and wore her waterlogged boots which made a squishing sound with every step she took. She read the signage in front of her, pointing her in the direction of the waiting area to her left. The girl turned and saw most of her somber Blackwell family sitting before her. She watched Kate look up from her prayer and open her eyes, Sloane gave her a small comforting smile.
Hearing Kate Beverly Marsh scream was one thing that no one in the waiting area had ever heard. Even saying a swear word was a no-no. She came close once when she was cleaning Alice’s cage and she turned to see that the bunny had hopped out of the temporary cage of a cardboard box and left ‘coco puffs’ all over the floor. The word was caught just in time and it came out as, “What the Fudgesicle Alice?!” So when Kate screamed, “JESUS CHRIST!” she scared everyone around her and called attention to herself and what she was looking at. Sloane stood before them, twenty feet away with her mouth open, pinky finger in her ear, surprised at what Kate had yelled. Then confusion with girls screaming obscenities running towards her.
Rachel slammed into Sloane, bawling. She kept repeating ‘Oh my God’ over and over as she held her tight, shaking. Chloe was the next to tackle her and Rachel in a hug. She burrowed her head into Sloane’s neck and let out a huge sob, grabbing at the girl's shirt. Sloane looked at the others who accumulated around her, all of them looked at her in shock. 
“Is Max okay? Joyce?” Sloane’s voice was raw and easily lost. She was scared of the answer she would get.
Dana stood crying on Sloane’s left, holding Sloane’s arm, staring at her, “We thought you were dead!”
Sloane quickly shook her head, shocked and confused, “What?!” Rachel's shaking body regripped her hold on Sloane, it was getting hard to breathe as Chloe squeezed harder.
“The police said there was one victim from the accident,” Dana explained, “and you were nowhere to be found!”
Rachel backed away. Tears stained her face. She grabbed Sloane’s shirt and yelled, crying at her, “Why didn’t you phone?!” Sloane looked wide eyed at Rachel then Chloe, she didn’t like seeing everyone upset, and Rachel was yelling at her and crying, and Chloe crying… and, I made them cry.
Sloane pushed her voice, “My phone’s broken, I-I-I was brought in by the EMT’s,” she explained, feeling so guilty for scaring people. I made them cry.
“You’ve been here all along?!” Victoria said, glassy eyed.
Oh fuck Victoria is gonna cry. “I’ve been downstairs, I had to get treated for a cut, mild hypothermia and smoke inhalation.” Sloane looked down, biting the inside of her cheek and hurtfully cleared her throat. “And I may have had a small freak out in the emergency room.” Sloane shook her head to get back to the question, “Who the fuck told you I was dead?” She placed her hands on Rachel’s jawline, looking at the crying girl. Both Chloe and Rachel stepped forward, hugging Sloane again. Dana grabbed Sloane’s hand then hugged Sloane from the side. The three girls held a confused Sloane, who looked at the others before her, “Who said I was dead? I’m not dead.”


-------------------


Sloane received long hugs from her Blackwell family comments like, ‘I’m so glad you’re alive’ or ‘I’m happy you’re not dead,’ and an unnecessary apology from Kate for cursing at her and three warnings from both Chloe, Rachel, and Victoria that she’d ‘better not do that again’ or the three ladies would individually kick her ass. Sloane could only respond with an ‘I’m sorry’ to everyone.
Chloe told her the condition of her mother, and how the doctors wouldn’t tell her about Max’s ongoing condition or let her see her because she wasn’t family.
Sloane quickly blurted out, “Max was unconscious, she had a cut over her right eyebrow, probably from hitting the passenger window, and she might have a concussion and maybe a neck injury.”
Chloe was surprised, “Did you see her in the emergency room when you were brought in?”
Sloane shook her head and looked at Chloe, she needed to explain, frightened that she may have caused more damage to Max and Joyce by taking them out of the car. “C-Chloe, I had to take them out of the car.”
“What?!” Chloe said, confused and again surprised.
Sloane swallowed, worried, “I’m sorry but, I-I, the car was on fire, I had to get them out. I know that you’re not supposed to move someone when they’re unconscious with a possible neck injury, but-”
Sloane watched as everyone stared at her. They’re angry, oh fuck, did I cause more damage to them? Sloane blurted out her reasons for getting them out of the car. She couldn’t keep her eyes on Chloe, frightened she would get yelled at. “It was on fire, the car, and they were unconscious, your mom wasn’t breathing.” Sloane then made eye contact with Chloe to reassure her next words to the girl, “I was gentle with Max and…” Sloane’s eyes darted around the memory of doing compressions on Joyce. “Well, not really your mom.” She looked at Chloe again. “I may have broken a rib when I was doing compressions.” She quickly apologized, “I’m sorry.” She noticed David walking towards her. Oh fuck, he’s going to beat the shit out of me. Sloane made a small sidestep away from the man and didn’t make eye contact with him but was aware of where he was, and in seconds where the nearest exit was to run. Rachel noticed Sloane's skittishness and held her hand.
Chloe’s voice was quiet, she was overwhelmed. “You got mom and Max out of the car?”
Sloane glanced at David then back at Chloe and nodded. They’re gonna yell and hit. Chloe broke down crying again and wrapped her arms around Sloane, holding her close. She said thank you multiple times between sobs. David walked beside the still confused, fearful girl, placed a hand on Sloane’s shoulder and said thank you for saving his wife and Max. Chloe leaned back, sniffed and wiped her eyes. She kissed Sloane’s temple, “You saved my family.” Sloane felt so bad for what she had done... I had to move them. She started to apologize, again her words were fast, “I had to move them but I made sure Max was safe.” She nodded to Chloe for her to understand that she was gentle with her, then a bundle of words rapidly came out of Sloane’s mouth, “And I did my best for your mom, I had to do what I did, I was told it may happen sometime when you-, I-I, my phone was broken and I couldn’t call 911... I-I asked about their condition Chloe, but they wouldn’t tell me, and I tried to leave the room but I had a stupid anxiety attack, they wanted to cut my boots off but I told them no and… I lost one of your mom’s high heels. I told the doctor that they had to find you or let me find you so I could tell you where they were and - and then I had to get an x-ray and stitches.” Sloane glanced at David. “I’m sorry I broke your car window, I will pay for it.” Sloane’s eyes looked back and forth to find her train of thought that she barely had a hold of, “Heating blankets were over me cause I was butt naked, my clothes were wet and - and they cut them off, but not my boots, they were not gonna cut my boots, and I couldn’t walk around naked,” Sloane’s eyes widened. “I mean I could, but-” She looked up at Chloe, so apologetic. “I didn’t know that I was dead.” Chloe hugged her again, trying to calm her. Sloane hugged back, her voice cracked, ”I’m sorry, Chloe, I didn’t mean to scare everybody.” She looked at Rachel. “I’m sorry.” Rachel held Sloane from the side. Sloane muffled sorry again into Chloe’s coat, “I won't do it again, please don’t be mad at me.”


-------------------


Steph readjusted herself in the hospital waiting chair. She sat perpendicular to Dana, Sloane, and Rachel. About thirty minutes after Sloane was raised from the dead the girl fell asleep, exhausted, only after Chloe reassured her that she did the right thing and no one was mad at her. Sloane unintentionally leaned over on Rachel’s shoulder as Dana held the girl's wrapped arm while she slept. Every now and then she would jerk herself awake, confused, frightened and immediately asking about Max and Joyce. The two girls would settle her back into the chair and put Rachel’s coat back over her like a blanket. Minutes later she would be asleep again. She didn’t want to leave until she knew that both Max and Joyce were okay.
Chloe and David were in seeing Joyce, who was now conscious but heavily medicated. She would be spending a few days in the hospital for observation.
Steph watched the Caulfield’s arrive. None of the girls were introduced as the parents were immediately shown to Max’s room where she was kept for observation.

 
TEXTuя
🐲Steph ➞ ☠️Chloe

Steph: Max’s parents just arrived
Chloe: Thanks


-------------------

 

TEXTuя
☠️CHLOE ➞ 🛠️Ryan Caulfield

Chloe.P: Ryan can I see Max, they wouldn’t let
              me in. I may have caused an issue with
              security and they will not let me
              anywhere near her room 

R.Caulfield: I’ll meet you out in the waiting
                   room

 

Chloe stood outside the waiting room, talking with the girls and giving them an update about her mom. Chloe said that it was okay to leave to get Sloane back for some proper rest and food and that someone needed to get her truck from the garage. Chloe had to tell Rachel to go, she was sure if Sloane were awake she would’ve also argued to stay.
Dana ended up taking Steph, Courtney, Trevor, and Justin back to the dorms. Victoria took Rachel, Kate and a tired, disputing Sloane to the garage for her truck which Rachel drove back to Blackwell as Sloane slept in the passenger seat.
Ryan walked out of Max’s room and spoke to the security guard that was positioned between Max’s room and Chloe. The security guard nodded his head and walked away from his position. Chloe walked rapidly past the guard and hugged the dad. The big man hugged her back.
“She’s going to be okay, Chloe. How’s Joyce?” the tall, grizzly-like man asked.
“She’s stable,” Chloe said. “She has a concussion, a cut on her thigh and her head and three broken ribs from the impact. They have her on some pain meds and they’re monitoring her heart closely.”
Chloe walked into Max’s room, trying to hold her emotions, but when she saw Max she started sobbing. Vanessa was quick to come over and comfort the girl. Chloe stood next to Max’s bed. All she wanted to do was hold and kiss her tiny frame. She had large gauze bandage over the right side of her forehead. Her eye and cheek were a red, purplish color and swollen shut. Vanessa rubbed Chloe’s back and offered her a tissue that she took. She placed her trembling hand over Max’s, lifted it and placed it against her cheek. She kissed and held it close to her. Max opened her eye and looked up at Chloe. Her little voice spoke, “Chloe? Where were you?” It hurt Chloe that Max thought that she wasn’t there for her when she needed her, that she was left alone. 
Chloe whispered, “I’m sorry, baby, they wouldn’t let me see you cause I wasn’t family.” Chloe kissed her little hand again. “I’m here now and I’m not going anywhere.” Vanessa immediately looked at Ryan, seeing the type of affection and the way Chloe was speaking to their daughter.
“I’m sorry,” Max said.
“It’s okay, no need to apologize, none of this is your fault.”
Max started to worry. “I can’t remember what happened. I don’t remember why I was in David’s car with your mom.”
“It’s okay, you just take it easy, it’ll come back to you.”
Max teared up and began to get upset, Chloe leaned over Max comforting her.
“I’m sorry, Is Joy-.” 
“She’s stable.” The punk softly kissed Max on her forehead and then gently placed her forehead on hers, one handheld Max’s, the other gently held her cheek, caressing it with her thumb. “It’s okay, Max, please don’t cry.” Chloe kissed her on the cheek and then on the lips, whispering, “I love you.” Chloe’s heart wrenched seeing Max this way.
Max swallowed, trying not to cry. A tear ran down the side of her cheek. She nodded and looked at Chloe, believing her words. “Love you too, never want to leave you,” Max whispered back. They both stayed close to each other for a few seconds as Chloe whispered again to Max that she would be okay. She sat down when Max closed her eyes to rest. Vanessa stared at Chloe. The girl turned and looked at Max’s parents who were looking at her without saying a word. Chloe’s stomach dropped as she realized that she’d just outed herself and Max to them. She didn’t know what to say. She opened her mouth but nothing came out. They’re going to yell and throw me out. Vanessa wrapped her arm around Chloe and hauled her close, “It’s okay, sweetie, we kinda already knew.” Max’s mom kissed her on the side of her head, still holding her and rubbing her back.
They already knew?! Chloe leaned back, shaking as a tear fell. She quietly confessed, “H-How? I-I, We-we-” Chloe looked back Max as she rested. The punk felt Vanessa rub her upper arm. “-We wanted to tell you.” Vanessa leaned back and looked at her daughter’s girlfriend as Chloe continued, “It’s just, we…” She didn’t know how to explain. Chloe kept quiet and still. She waited for either Vanessa or Ryan to tell her to get out and stay away from Max.
“Well, crap,” Ryan said with his arms crossed, pretending to be mad. Both Vanessa and Chloe looked at the grizzly bear of a man. He glared back at the two ladies, “I had this whole thing planned that I would scare the shit out of the person that Max would’ve brought home.” He lowered his voice to make it threatening, “If you hurt her, I’ll hurt you. And - and, she’s my princess, not your conquest, and, you’ll never be good enough for her,” he loudly whispered, “I had a whole speech prepared for the occasion, it’s - it’s- it’s the official dad speech.” He threw his hands in the air and pouted, “It’s all ruined now!” He looked back at the flustered punk.
Vanessa smiled and shook her head, “Oh my God Ryan, stooop.” Ryan produced a huge smile. Vanessa turned back with a grin holding Chloe’s hand, “We’re happy for you both honey, you have our support, always.”
Ryan leaned forward, “Chloe, having you back in our daughter’s life…” He shook his head and gave her a kind smile. “She had a very hard time when we left for Seattle. We tried many things to help her through, but she closed herself off to us... but when she told us that you were coming up for a visit,” Ryan smiled widely, “She changed so much for the positive because of you.” 
Chloe looked at Max and back at them, “She’s done the same thing for me, I’ve never felt happier than I am when I’m with her. When she showed up in April the part of me that was empty felt whole again.” Chloe put her hand over her heart and rubbed her chest. “She means everything to me.”
Vanessa looked at confused. “She showed up in April?”
Chloe looked at them wide-eyed again. Ooops. Way to go, moron, you just outed yourself and Max to them, and now you’ve said that Max crossed state lines without them knowing... what’s next, ‘hey I’ve gone down on your daughter.’ She nervously laughed, “Oh… uhmm.” She scratched the back of her head, “Uhmm, Max might’ve shown up in Arcadia and surprised me, in-in April.” She continued the nervous laughter. Chloe then told the story of how Max and Sloane drove down to Arcadia one night, as Max quietly slept with Chloe holding her hand.
Ryan sat back in the chair, listening to Chloe with a small smile. That sneaky Pumpkin, so proud of you Honey.

Chapter Text

TEXTuя

🎸HipsterMusicChat (named so cuz one Arcadian Punk would never go into this chat if she saw Max’s phone messages.)

Max: Hey

..

..

Steph: Hey

..

Steph: You wanna talk in person? I’m just waiting
           for the computer to render out stuff should
           take about an hour or so, depending on
           how it turns out.

..

..

 

Max: No...its just hard to talk even if it's texting, ya
        know 

Steph: No pressure like we said, we're here for
           you with no judgment

..

..

Max: K, I’m just gonna type what’s in my head
        so… yeah

Steph: Sure

Sloane: S’up Mad Max

Max: Hey Slo

..

Max: Well Chloe and me have been..ya know,
         having sex, for a while, and it's great… I
         mean it’s unbelievable.

Sloane: :D

Steph: :)

Steph:🤜

Sloane:🤛

Max: I never thought I would have or feel liek this
        with someone. And we’ve, yah know 
        experimented wtih… different ways to do...
        stuff


Steph: :D


Sloane: XD

Sloane: I know your pacing around your room
              right now, so sit down and breathe

Max sat down and took a needed deep breath.

Max: I was looking at the laptop, not that I’m
         snooping it was jsut opened some
         minimized windows. To check fb n’ stuff
         and
.
..

Steph: Max?
.
..


Sloane: Heh heh, let me guess, porn ٩(ᐛ)و 
.
..


Steph: Normal for people to look at porn


Sloane: *cough* just deleted my browser history,
            but yeah if that was it, its norm


Max: Just
Max: She also had a sex toy site opened. Am I 
        doing’ something wrong? for her to be
        thinking about getting that stuff. I know I’m
        not
.
..


Max: fuuck, I know i’m not experienced. I
         thought I was doing everything right. Seh
         never said that I was doing stuff wrong.
Max: Is she getting bored? She’s never had to
         used that stuff when she was with Rachel


Sloane: Don’t go down that rabbit hole of
            comparing yourself with anyone else
            Chloe had been with Max


Steph: Toys doesn’t mean you’re doing things
           wrong


Sloane: Did she tell you that she used something
             with Chel? Cause it doens’t matter either
             way. And if you were doing something
             wrong she would’ve of said so


Steph: Yeah agree with Slo, DO NOT compare
           yourself to anyone else. That’s not fair to
           you


Max: No she never said
.
..
Max: We’ve never talked about the stuff her and
         Rachel did


Sloane: BTW for the record, from what I heard the
            other night it sounded like you were doing
            everything right


Steph: LOL go Max :D


Max: OMD i am sorry


Sloane: It was more ‘Oh my GOD!’ not dog. And
             a lot of Oh Jesus fuckin’ christ. Kate
             must’ve been holding her cross necklace
             praying for Chloe’s blasphemy


Steph: LoL, don’t apologize.


Sloane: And shall i bring up what you told me
            about your first time together (⊙_⊙)


Steph: First time was that good :O


Sloane: Maxie rocked Blu’s world


Max: SLOANE!


Steph: WoW Max way to go
.
..
Sloane: Think Maxie is embarrassed… yep it
             gonna happen


Max: No!


Sloane: Sorry Max but its too bright over here.
             Your blushing too much


Max: NoOooo Slo


Sloane: ( ∙_∙) ( ∙_∙)>⌐■-■ (⌐■_■) I need sunscreen

Steph: LMAO

Max: (◔_◔) You’re a dork

Sloane: Maxie own that shit. You rocked the
             girl of your dreams and you continue to
             do so

Steph: WoW, I think I should be coming to you
           for help

Sloane: You need a shirt. I rocked Chlo’s world
Sloane: The bringer of Chloe’s tsunami🌊
Sloane: Ride the Blu wave 🏄‍♀️

Steph: Almost fell off my chair laughing

Max: Lord

Steph: All jokes aside Max you don’t need to be
           worried

Max: But why is she looking at that stuff then?

Sloane: Cause its porn and some of it is
             awesome

Steph: Or she’s probably thinking of, yeah,
           getting a toy, which is fine.

Sloane: Maxie sex toys can be awesome, it
             doesn’t mean you’re doing things wrong.
             Hold on I gotta pull over.

Max: SLOANE! no texting and driving!!

Steph: Agreed with Slo, it can enhance your sexy
           time, BUT you don’t need to use it all the
           time, its something you can use if YOU
           want to.

Sloane: I was at an intersection waiting for the
            light to change, promise Maxie
Sloane: It’s kinda like chocolate ice cream. Yup
            it’s yummy but every now and then I
            want oreo chunks in there

Max: I’ve never been with a guy, so…

Sloane: Anyone want something at the
            minimart?

Steph: Can you get me two red bulls, ty

Max: Yeah a RB for me also and a pack of
         M&M’s, ty

Sloane: K

Max: I’m really nervous

Steph: Yeah I get that you are. BUT first and for
          most do NOT take what you see
          sometimes on porn sites as being that's
          what sex should to be like with a dildo or
          like with a guy. You should know that by
          what you and Chloe are doin’ Are they
          using a strap on?

Max: Yeah, they’re using that. What I’ve heard
        from listening to other friends in Seattle,
        and online, it can be painful for the first
        few times with a guy and using that stuff, I
        just…
.
..

Sloane: Talk with Chloe and tell her how you feel
            and yeah Stephie’s right, pornstars are
            meant to ‘act it up’ and go over the top.

Steph: For me the first time using a dildo I was
           nervous and it was painful. I did bleed a
           little. And it was uncomfortable for a little
           while but yeah we took it slow. Each time
           we used it, it got better, and it was some-
           thing that wasn’t used all the time.

Sloane: First time for me I was drunk with a guy.
             I didn’t bleed and I felt no pain, probably
             cause I was five drinks in. It was, yeah
             uncomfortable for the second time, had to
             tell him to slow the fuck down. Take it
             slow. What you see on porn sites can be
             ridiculous. There’s ‘prep’ work before the
             recording for both the girl and guy.

Steph: Remember they’re ‘actors’ so with some 
           stuff they’re doing its going to be over-
           board. Of course they’re going to do some
           different things because people watching
           will get bored of seeing the same stuff
           over and over. And people do have kinks,
           which is normal

Sloane: A lot of it, is meh or not for me, just the
            over the top things they do. And the fake
            groaning n’ moaning. There’s only a few
            people that I ‘follow’. I think for me its
            about seeing people who care for each
            other connecting. 

Steph: If Chlo hasn’t come to you yet about
           introducing it into your sex life, you can
           bring it up with her and talk things out.
           You know she would never pressure you
           into doing something your not comfortable
           doing.

Sloane: What was the link she had open… for
            research ( ゚ー゚)

Steph: (☞゚∀゚)☞ For Science!

Max: https:/www.pornrub.kum/_video.pr54d5f45
.
..
...
Steph: Wow, that thing is huge! It just went right
           in there

Sloane: Damn she is bendy… how can someone
             breathe in that position, that can’t be
             comfortable

Max: What happens if Chlo gets something that
         size?!!

Sloane: RUN FOR THE HILLS! XD

Steph: XD  
Steph: Serious Max you gotta take my word on
           this she will talk to you about it. Also she
            may want YOU to use it on her.

Sloane: Note to self… if u watch porn in a
             minimart make sure you have the
             volume down before you hit play (☉_☉’)

Steph: LMAO

Max: OMD

Sloane: Two old ladies are giving me looks ఠ_ఠ
Sloane: And size does matter, but not in the way
             you think, you don’t want something that
             will hit your cervix or too wide and be
             painful. Its kinda like finding the right
             shoe size. Then again you may find that
             you like the pain in a good way. 

Steph: That’s the thing that kinda sucks, you may
           have to buy a few to find the right one. All
           things you can’t return. And your right one,
           might not be her right one

Sloane: Where u at?

 

Max: Me?

Sloane: Yeah

Max: Chlo’s

Sloane: And your sexy mama?

Max: Auuugh don’t call her that

Steph: LoL

Sloane: Fiiine survivor of the sexy tsunami’s,
             the Howler of Max’s name.

Max: Lord

Steph: (>ꇴ<)

Max: She’s in the shower. She’s spending the
         night with me again

Sloane: Noice :P

Steph: :)

Max: :D

Sloane: No time like the present, you're there
             with the laptop, just talk to her about
             it. It’s not a big deal

Steph: People have sex, watch porn, use toys,
           and have some kinks, it's normal

Sloane: Think of it this way, when you and Blu
             get into goofin’ around and playin’ pirates,
             saying Arrrh and me matey giggling back
             and forth jumping on your sofa. If you two
             added pirate hats and wooden swords it
             would make your playtime a little more
             fun with toys. Adding sex toys could be
             extra fun to what you're already doin’

Max: I see what you mean :)

Steph: LoL I’m picturing both of you using dildo’s
           as swords

Sloane: LoL

Max: Oh my dooog

Steph: Use a double dildo like nunchucks

Sloane: LMAO knocks Blu the fuck out. David
            stops by “What happened?”
Sloane: I hit her… with this. 8=====D

Steph: Mortal Kooombat!

Sloane: FINISH HER!

Steph: With your special move

Max: LoL

Sloane: LMAO death by tsunami orgasm

Steph: Flawless Victory
.
..
Sloane: https:/www.pornrub.kum/DoeandBfly
             To me this is what its all about, this is
             real, no acting no bullshite just 2 people
             who care about each other

Steph: Heey I know these two
Steph: I mean I know of these two. Yeah they
            have good stuff. The one with short black
            hair is hooot. Damn their accents Auuugh

Sloane: Heh want me to buy you a bag of ice to
              cool down

Steph: :P

Max: This is nice, its like the opposite of what
         Chloe had on… That girl has a hello kitty
         shirt on Slo :)

Sloane: Heh yeeeah I know ;)

Steph: Show her that vid

Sloane: Yep. Communication is the key. Sex is
             meant to be fun not stressful

Max: K, the water turned off… auuugh wish me
         luck

Sloane: Maxie ya don’t need luck, this is the girl
             that you’ve known all your life. Your best
             friend your partner in crime and time.
             Someone you know inside and out

Steph: Hee hee literally inside and out (•̀ᴗ•́)و ̑̑ 

Max: OMD

Sloane: Lmao. I gotta go I’ve been watchin’ porn
            and giggling in the minimart aisle for too
            long

Max: See you in about an hour or so. Thanks
         guys

Sloane: Np ;)

Steph: Anytime

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

It always happens, whenever there’s an upcoming Holiday, every teacher has the bright idea of piling on assignments and tests before schools out for a few days.

Sloane looked up from her notes and eyed the time on her laptop. 9:37 pm. She yawned, took off her glasses and rubbed her eyes as she leaned back on her desk chair stretching, she needed caffeine badly.

 

TEXTuя

🏫BLACKWELL FAMILY

🦊Sloane ➞ 🥞☠️💗 💋🐲👑🐇📝📱💄🤖🔬

 

🦊Sloane: Coffee run in 10, gimmie your orders

🐲Steffi: Lrg caf almond milk, plz tq

💄Court: Lrg caf latte plz n tq

🤖Scottie: Med americano extra shot thanks Slo

🥞Waffles: ( ˘▽˘)っ♨ Lrg mocha pleeeeease

🐇Katearoo: Lrg London fog please thank you

📝Jules: Med cinnamon shortbread latte luv u

💋Daners: Lrg skinny mocha plz :* :* :*

🔬Stellers: Med flat white \ (>o<) /

💗Bella: Med Caramel Macchiato.
              Can I come with?

📱TayTay: Lrg skinny mocha thanks Slo

🦊Sloane: YupYup Chel

👑LadyV: Lrg latte double shot
               2 pump mocha
               1 pump hazelnut
               1 pump banana
               Almond non-fat whip cream
               Caramel drizzle

🦊Sloane: WTF V (ノಠ_ಠ)ノ︵ ┻━┻

☠️Blu: Med Black what’s wrong you guys!!

🦊Sloane: Wait?! Blu where are you?

☠️Blu: Home, Max wouldn’t let me stay

👑LadyV: Finally, peace and quiet to study

🥞Waffles: Have to study babe and you’re
                 distracting

👑LadyV: *GAG

☠️Blu: Is that what you were doing on your
           date Vic?

🦊Sloane: LoL she just yelled, could hear her in
                my room sounded like a velociraptor 

🐇Katearoo: :D 🦖I heard her too

🦊Sloane: https://imgur.com/a/gPlwdmV

☠️Blu: Hee

💋Daners: Wait you had a date? When?
                   Who? VVV?
.
..
💋Daners:  V!
.
..
🤖Scottie: Sat. He’s about 6ft, black hair, think
                 he wore the new Bay city school
                 jacket

💋Daners: WAHT! Your dating the enemy!

🔬Stellers: He looked fiiiine

🦊Sloane: Vicxen out on da prowl mrrroww
                 https://tinyurl.com/yy47n3yz

🤖Scottie: https://tinyurl.com/y6bb4muh

🐇Katearoo: https://tinyurl.com/y2pvhnz5

☠️Blu: LMAO

💋Daners: V? You got some explaining to do

📝Jules: V?

👑LadyV: Its none of your business

💋Daners: OH NO IT’S NOT GONNA BE LIKE
                 THAT(ಠ_ಠ)

📝Jules: Spill V

💋Daners: Name?

.

..

💋Daners: (ಠ皿ಠ) V!

🤖Scottie: He drives a black pickup, they were
                 in two Whales on Sat. Saw them in
                 the window when me and Warren
                 drove by.

💗Bella: Awww Vicky doin regular dating stuff,
              sooo cute

👑LadyV: Jesus Christ you people have no lives

🥞Waffles: What else did you do?

☠️Blu: Well we know it ended with her Gagging
           on ‘Something’ 
           https://i.imgur.com/ycxZF0O.gif

🐇Katearoo: Vicky language!

🦊Sloane: Lmao 

💋Daners: I heard her that time

🥞Waffles: Me too. Not nice to say those things
                 about Chloe

☠️Blu: S’fine, let the hate flow through you
           Icky Vicky come to the dark side… we
           have cookies

🦊Sloane: well well well V gettin’ some action
                 https://tinyurl.com/y39wxx3a

💗Bella: https://tinyurl.com/yyebqq74

🔬Stellers: https://tinyurl.com/y2nmykmv

📝Jules: https://tinyurl.com/j57foj4

🤖Scottie: https://tinyurl.com/y26dfzzh

🐲Steffi: https://tinyurl.com/y6ogfcvh

🐇Katearoo: https://tinyurl.com/yyodwm2r

🐲Steffi: This is more riveting than studying

🥞Waffles: https://tinyurl.com/y6c4axk5

📝Jules: Got it, his name is Liam Cooper, 6ft,
              black hair, blue eyes, has a great smile.
              He goes to Bay City, wide receiver for
              the Beavers. Likes sci-fi and anime.
              Thinking about going into the Armed
              Forces or become a police officer.

🦊Sloane: LoL Court lock your door!!!

💗Bella: Juuules! ✋

📝Jules: ✋ I always find out

.

💄Court: Help ME!! 

🐲Steffi: Wow, Vic can get a job with the swat
               team for beating down doors

🥞Waffles: Victoria’s doing her version of the big
                  bad wolf

☠️Blu: Someone plz record what is happening!!

🐲Steffi: https://imgur.com/a/WaMob49

☠️Blu: LMAO!!

🔬Stellers: LoL

💄Court: I didn’t tell Jules, it wasn’t me!!
              Someone get her away from my
              door

💗Bella: Taylor?!

📝Jules: I don’t tell my sources :D

📱TayTay: Not me! Nuh-uh

🤖Scottie: OMG! Victoria stoooop I gotta get
                 some studying done plz

🦊Sloane: Chel u ready?

💗Bella: YupYup

🔬Stellers: Holy crap I can hear Victoria all the
                  way down here

💄Court: Help me!

🦊Sloane: Kate you gotta put a collar on V and
                 take her out for her night time walk

☠️Blu: HA! 

🐇Katearoo: I’ll go and talk to her

🦊Sloane: Joycie or David want somethin?

📱TayTay: Slo can I change my order to a Lrg
                pumpkin spice latte  

🦊Sloane: K

💄Court: I wanna change my order to Lrg
              pumpkin spice latte

🥞Waffles: I WANT ALL THE PUMPKINS
                 (ಠoಠ) Lrg pumpkin spice latte

💋Daners: Me too Lrg pumpkin spice latte :*

🔬Stellers: Change mine plz Lrg pumpkin
                  spice latte

💋Daners: PUMPKIN SPIIIICE!!

🔬Stellers: PSL FTW!! ME TOO

📝Jules: Yeah gimme a psl too with caramel
              drizzle

📱TayTay: Ouuuuu I want caramel too

💄Court: Me too

🦊Sloane: Y’all getting Black no milk no
                 sugar ಠ_ಠ

☠️Blu: 🤜 Ma Sista

🦊Sloane: 🤛 

🥞Waffles:Nooo, (╯︵╰,) I NEED
                 CAFFEINATED PUMPKINS

🐇Katearoo: Eeee

🐲Steffi: Coffee Time

🔬Stellers: NEED

💋Daners: WANT

☠️Blu: GO

🤖Scottie: NOW

🦊Sloane: OMW

.

..

...

....

.....

🦊Sloane: Got the caffeine goodness
                 https://tinyurl.com/y6awaedg

☠️Blu: Yeeeah moms and David want PSL

Chapter Text

Nov, 28th - Turkeyday

Chloe exhaled smoke through the truck's open window as she texted on her phone. Some older Fireleaf music played in her truck. This was Max and Chloe’s third full day away from each other. After the accident, Ryan and Vanessa wanted their daughter home with them for the Thanksgiving holiday. The parents needed their daughter and to feel like a family again, even if it was only for a few days. Max didn’t want to leave but she felt her parents missed and needed her. Chloe encouraged her to go home. She didn’t want Max to leave but knew her parents were scared during those few days she was in hospital. Saying goodbye to them when she got out and they returned home was emotional.

Max wanted Chloe to come with her and Chloe wanted to, but Joyce needed help around the house and Chloe didn’t feel right leaving her mom unattended. Even though David was around he still had work shifts, even if the school was closed for the holiday. Chloe felt the need to help her mom. ‘She doesn’t like to show it but even walking up the stairs to use the bathroom is an ordeal... it’s scary to see her like this, Max... she’s always been able to do things and now she can’t even open a jar of jam without feeling pain.

Chloe had to fight the emptiness of Max being away. She tried to keep positive and kept telling herself, she’s coming back, she’s only gone for a visit, come on, you can handle this . The punk took another puff of her smoke, feeling the tightness in her heart. 

 

TEXTuя

☠️Blu  ➞ 🦊Sloane

Blu: Here
Sloane: K omw

Chloe was doing better than that first night away from Max…

-------------------

Chloe leaned back against the water tower with her legs stretched out and crossed them at the ankles. She exhaled smoke as she looked up at the clear night sky, wondering.

“How high up do you think we are?” Sloane asked. She sat next to the Arcadian punk, leaning forward against the handrailing, gently swinging her feet and looking at the darkness below her.

“Hmm, maybe eighty feet or so, I guess.”

“High enough to become a pancake?” Sloane’s eyes widened and she looked back at Chloe.

“Dude, no.”

“It would be so goood.”

“Nuh-uh.”

“Does the Whales deliver?”

Chloe chuckled, “No, they don’t... and if they did, I don’t think they would deliver to the water tower.”

“Auuugh, sucks.”

“You got the waffle addiction.”

Sloane smiled, “Hangin’ around with a girl named Waffles has that effect.”

Chloe smiled with a grunt, then took another puff of the joint. She looked towards the Bay’s lights and said, “Can I ask you somethin’?”

Sloane looked back. “Blu, yah never need to ask that question. Ask away, what’s up?”

Chloe slid herself forward to join Sloane, dangling her feet off the water tower. She passed the joint and asked her question hesitantly, “What was Max like in Seattle? I mean, she talked a little about it, but it's from her perspective, ya know?” Chloe picked at the railing paint with her nail, not making eye contact with Sloane and also not directly asking the question she wanted.

“Blu, what’s the question you want to ask?” Sloane was sometimes really good at reading people. Chloe thought for a moment, then looked at Sloane, “Was… she, like, picked on a lot?”

Sloane looked at the girl next to her and she knew that it was something that was weighed on the punk. “She wasn’t the main target of the assholes of the school, no.”

Chloe frowned and bit at the corner of her lip, looking out over the town. Sloane smirked back at Chloe and nudged the girl. “She was quiet.” Sloane stared off in the darkness as she went through her memories. “She kinda kept to herself. Kris and Fajita were her posse.” Chloe chuckled at Fernando’s nickname. Sloane continued, “The classes that we were in, we didn’t sit together, but I remember her being there.” Sloane chuckled, “One beyotch teacher kept calling her Maxine. You could see it Waffles eyes that she hated it.”

Chloe smiled a little. “Did she… was she happy? Did she laugh?”

“I mean, yeah, she laughed. She did have her days that she seemed… well...” Sloane passed back the joint. “You know, she was depressed and her parents weren’t really aware of what she was doing to deal with it.”

Chloe waved off taking the joint. She played with a ring on her finger as Sloane continued, “We didn’t have the same circle of friends. But if people did bring her name up for any reason it was generally positive words. The negatives...” Sloane shrugged and shook her head, “If you even want to call them negatives, people thought that she was super shy, not a big talker and kinda a loner. No one ever called her a bitch or a cunt or whatever.” Sloane looked back at Chloe. “She was liked by students, Blu. She was kind.”

“What about that guy-”

“Jason was just an asshole, one of a few at the school. He was a jerk that thought he was God's gift to the world. Thought that girls wanted him cause he banged a popular senior girl early on at the beginning of grade eleven.” Sloane shook her head. “I have no idea how he pulled that off, but it was enough for him to have his head in the clouds thinking that girls were supposed to fall at his feet.”

“Did he do… something to her? Did she tell you that he did?”

Sloane furrowed her brow, wondering what Chloe was thinking. “No, she said that he- Wait, did he?!”

Chloe quickly shook her head, “No no, nothing happened. I-” Chloe took a deep breath, let it out. “It’s just… I don’t like to think that someone or anyone was picking on her.”

Sloane nudged her shoulder again. “Hey, don’t go down that rabbit hole. After stopping Jason that day, we did slowly start to talk to each other. At first, when I saw her at the next class she wouldn’t even look at me.” Sloane looked over at Chloe as the girl rested her head on her arms against the railing. “But I said ‘hey’ to her. I knew she had anxiety so I didn’t push anything. She came out of her little shell with a small smile and then it eventually became a ‘hey’ or a smile when we were in class or in passing each other in the school hallways.” Sloane looked at Chloe again. “Where is this coming from, Blu?”

Chloe looked forward over the bay, not answering Sloane.

“Since that day of meeting you Blu, she’s changed. Since then, she has smiled and laughed more than I’ve ever seen and it's because of you. Her eyes actually get bigger when your name is said.” Sloane quietly giggled. “She was a mess of emotions and questions when she got back to Seattle.”

Chloe listened to Sloane talk about Max, the brunette smirked. “She texted me one day worried that she was talking to you too much, asking if phoning you four times during the day was bad.” Chloe smiled shyly, knowing of the day Max phoned the four times... she liked it a lot. “She thought that you would get sick of her or bored or thought she was too clingy.” Sloane glanced over at Chloe, waiting for the punk to give her eye contact before she finished her thought. Seeing Chloe's glassy eyes, Sloane continued, “But I think ‘her Chloe’ likes the attention of little Waffles 24/7.” Chloe again shyly looked down and had a tiny smile. “You miss her and you’re worried.” Chloe picked at the railing again, not answering, thinking that is was stupid for missing someone that only left a few hours ago. She shrugged. “Well she is a missable girl,” Sloane reassured, “Don’t think of it as being weak or stupid. You miss her because you care. And that girl is coming back.” Chloe placed her chin on the railing and stared into the darkness, her thought went to the past, of a recording...

Chloe, listen. Even if I never—even if we're moving for good... We're always together, okay? Even when we're apart. We're still Max and Chloe. I will always, always love you. Goodbye.

Sloane placed a hand on Chloe’s shoulder, getting the girl out of her daze. “She’ll be fine back there, I guarantee you. She’s missing you like crazy, I seen the way she looked at you when she left.” Sloane smirked at Chloe. “That girl is unconditionally in love with you. You two are, like… why people write love songs or stories about it. You have something that others want or need in their lives. Someone that will be there and love you no matter what.”

Chloe could only give Sloane a small glance.

Sloane felt a little flustered over the subject so she screwed up her face, continuing. “It’s disgusting, really. Bleeegh!” Chloe giggled at her. “I’m kinda jelly of it, though.” Sloane brought her hands up to her face, wrinkling her nose. “She’s probably smelling your beanies, getting her Chloe fix right now.” Sloane sniffed a few times. “Yep, there it is, smells like Blu.”

Chloe put her head down, biting her lower lip and feeling embarrassed from showing her emotions of what she considered ‘shy goopiness.’ She bumped Sloane on the thigh with her hand to get her to stop. Sloane smirked again. “And if for some reason the world keeps you away from her…” Sloane’s smirk grew into a Cheshire smile. "Think of the road trip we would have getting her back."

Chloe’s smile grew. “Fuck yeah.”

“Fuck yeah indeed.” Sloane agreed, the brunette took a deep breath and let it out. “So, there are two things that we are gonna do.”

Chloe sat up, looking at the girl by her side in a better mood. “What?”

“One: we are gonna get some waffles, cause I got a serious nosh goin’ on that a bag of Funyuns are not gonna fix. And two...” Sloane looked at what was left of the joint and rubbed it out. “We are not gonna smoke that strain anymore, we’re getting something else.” She flicked the roach off the tower. “That shite is depressing, I seriously am not a fan of Bowers’s recommendation.” Sloane got up and held out her hand to help up the punk.

“Thanks, sista,” Chloe said with a small smile.

“No worries… uhmm...” Sloane stopped and looked around. “How the fuck do we get down?”

Chloe chuckled, “We can jump off and use umbrellas like Mary Poppins to get to the ground.”

Sloane looked at Chloe weirdly, “Who da fuck is Mary Poppins?”

----------------------------------------------------------------------------

Chloe heard her phone boop with a text. She looked down at it and flicked her cigarette butt out the window. She sighed and got out of her truck, hearing a voice in her head. Picked up the discarded butt, got back in her truck and putting the butt in an old cola can to be tossed later.

 

TEXTuя

🥞Max n’ 🐻 ChloBear 

Max: Hey


ChloBear: Miss me, dork?


Max: Like every waking minute. I know it's healthy
         in a relationship to not be around each other
         24/7 but its freakin’ hard. Everything new I
         see, I want you to experience with me.


ChloBear: Knew it, you can’t get enough of
                meeeee

 

Chloe took another deep breath, her throat felt constricted and her emotions were building. Dammit, don’t be such a baby, she isn’t crying missing you. Chloe turned her head towards the open window and felt the cool November air on her face.

 

Max: Had a hard time again last night trying to
         sleep, I miss sleeping next to my Chlobear

ChloBear: Ha! cause I’m the cuddliest, the
                awesomest and the sexiest you ever
                met
ChloBear: And I’m fuckin’ irresistible

Max: OMD and the one with a big head :P

ChloBear: Pff you love it

Max: *sigh* I do

 

Max sighed and leaned against the hallway wall, listening to the chatter of family members in her household.

 

Max: How was last night?

ChloBear: Good, me and Sista Slo continued on
                with a bit of Mario Party. Buzzed the
                side of her head, to get the side cut
                back. Dyed my hair. Then Alice's fur.

Max: WHAT! Please tell me there isn’t a blue
         bunny in your room. Kate will kill you.

ChloBear: LoL no, she sat on the bed watchin’
                The World’s End last night with us.

Max: Ohhh thank dog… Movie any good?

ChloBear: Not bad, I do have an understanding
                of what Vic is now

Max: ?

ChloBear: Hee Hee we’ll watch it together and
                 you’ll understand.

 

Chloe was referring to how the town’s population had been replaced with androids.

 

ChloBear: It’s like a small documentary of where
                Vic came from.

Max: Interesting :P

ChloBear: No emoji

Max: But

ChloBear: Nope

Max: What about this one :*

 

Chloe giggled and quickly glanced around to see if anyone heard her girly giggle. The parking lot was empty. Goddammit, Max, what are you doing to me?

 

ChloBear: Fiiine you may use that one, AND
                Only that one for your duration away
                from me.

Max: *rolls eyes* Oh, whyyy thank you master for
          letting me use symbols that everyone else
          in the world uses on their phones, how can
          I repay you for your kindness?

ChloBear: Sex

Max: OMD

ChloBear: And you have to keep calling me
                Master

Max: OMD I didn’t mean it like that!

ChloBear: Doesn’t matter, it's official, you may
                go and tell the townsfolk that Chloe
                Price is your sexy Master.

Max: So you want me to go?

ChloBear: What?! No!

Max: But I have to go and tell my parents that
         you’re my Master

 

Max smiled and bit her lip, she looked down the hallway to see if anyone was watching her.

Chloe quickly sat up in her truck. Her thumbs were a blur, texting.

 

ChloBear: Oh fuck no!

Max: Shhh, just a sec talking with Dad

ChloBear: DON’T TELL HIM I SAID THAT!

Max: Are you sure? I think it’s something that he
        should know, ya know cause he is part of
        the townsfolk

 

Max shyly giggled to herself and she felt the butterflies in her stomach. What you do to me, Chlo.

 

ChloBear: Max seriously I still feel weird that they
                have accepted us.
ChloBear: I was ready for them to yell at me at
                the hospital. Telling them that you’re
                into whips and chains wouldn’t be
                good.

 

Max raised her eyebrows, surprised.

 

Max: Since when have I been into whips and
         chains?!

ChloBear: Hey don’t knock it till you tried it.

 

Reading that, Max felt a little inadequate. Having sex was a huge step with her, Chloe was her first for everything except her first kiss. Chloe did tell her though that if she ever saw Chris Beck again she was going to punch him so hard he would forget kissing Max when she was in grade four.

 

Max: And you have?

ChloBear: Well, no, but...

Max: Hmm, I see your fantasy and real world are
         getting mixed up again babe

ChloBear: Hey I’m pretty sure you flew down last
                night on a unicorn wearing a sexy
                leather outfit saying you wanted to get
                tied up and spanked.
ChloBear: Like I’m gonna say NO to that.
ChloBear: I would have to be out of mind to say
                no to that.
ChloBear: Max, If I ever say no to that you can
                shoot me

 

Max giggled and snorted.

 

Max: Think you were a little blazed when you
         came up with that scenario.
Max: That wasn’t me on the unicorn, ask Sloane
         if it was her, lol

ChloBear: Hmm the weedz Slo picked up last
                night was pretty strong
ChloBear: HA! I heard her sleep talking last night!

Max: Weird right

ChloBear: Woke up and looked over, she was
                curled up in the top corner of your side
                talking gibberish, kinda freaked me out
                at first, sounded like she was
                possessed.

Max: When she stayed over with me in Seattle,
         there was this one time she said ‘flying
         sandwich’?? Asked her about it the next day
         she had no idea what she was dreaming

ChloBear: Lol I hauled the blanket over her and
                she said maple covered cows and
                stopped talking.

 

Max snorted again.

 

Max: I wonder what they mean

ChloBear: Secret code words

Max: She’s a spy!

ChloBear: Tracking down the international maple
                  syrup heist.
ChloBear: Wait a minute?!!
ChloBear: She calls you Waffles!
ChloBear: IS THAT YOUR CODE NAME!! ARE
                YOU A SPY?!!

Max: If I tell you, I’d have to kill you *wink*

ChloBear: OMG my girl is a spy that kills people
                with stroopwafel ninja stars, wearing a 
                sexy leather outfit!!

Max: While flying around on my unicorn

ChloBear: We should get back into writing and 
                drawing comics

 

The two girls smiled and sighed. Max leaned her head against the hallway wall, Chloe against the truck interior door.

 

Max: I miss you… I know it’s dorky cause it’s been
        a few days, but I do. I wanna see your smile.

ChloBear: Not dorky, you got one of my beanies
                that you like to sniff
ChloBear: I miss you too
ChloBear: 20131128pic.jpg
ChloBear: It will be so much better the day you’re
                coming home, you’ll be so excited to
                see me again.
ChloBear: With that said you should spend time
                with your family. I don't want them
                thinking that I’m dragging you away
                from them.

Max: They know you’re not, they ask about you
         every time they see me texting or talking
         with you.
Max: I’m taking a break from my grandparents.
        G’ma Caulfield keeps asking what boy is
        smitten with me and Mom and both G’ma’s
        are bombarding me about how to cook a
        turkey, when they can’t even agree with
        themselves.

ChloBear: Smitten?!
ChloBear: Well golly gee Grammy there is this
                tall awesome sexy babe that likes to
                get my knickers in a bunch, she’s the
                cat’s pajamas, the bee’s knees I tell
                you!

Max: LoL, well I AM quite smitten with you, and I
        do like it when you take off my knickers
Max: With your teeth ;*

 

Chloe leaned forward, put her forehead on the steering wheel and whispered, “Dammm Max.” Every once in awhile Max would push back her shyness and surprise Chloe, catching the punk off guard each time and sending her stomach in a flutter.

 

ChloBear: Maxine Caulfield are you sexting with
                me, ou la la

Max: Maaaybe
Max: Where are you?

ChloBear: In the BW parking lot waiting, U?

Max: In the hallway
Max: Not good timing

ChloBear: Might have to put this off till tonight

Max: Definitely, I’ll text you after we’ve destroyed
         the turkey and I’m waddling away from the
         table. Love you, miss you, Chlobear :*

ChloBear: Gonna sext you up Caulfield
ChloBear: Miss you Love you xoxoxo

 

Chloe looked around the Blackwell dormitory parking lot. She grinned, unzipped her jeans and bit her tongue, smiling. Max sighed and pushed herself off the hallway wall and walked towards the kitchen.

 

*Boop*

ChloBear: IMG-20131128-WA0021.jpg

 

Max looked at the image as she walked into the kitchen and almost dropped her phone. OH Dooooooog!

“BLUUUU!” A voice yelled.

“Shitshitshit!” Chloe said, frightened. She panicked and dropped her phone on the seat while trying to make herself decent.

-------------------

Sloane leaned over her laptop, saved her story file and closed Steph’s DM binder. She pocketed her wallet, keys and looked through her closet again, then her coat rack.

TEXTuя
🦊Sloane ➞ 💗 Bella
Sloane: So
.
..
...
Sloane: Bella
Sloane: Chel
Sloane: Ray Ray
Sloane: Rachie Rachie
Sloane: Valley Girl
Sloane: Yo scallywag hag!


Bella: I see you want your ass kicked

Sloane: :D there you are

Bella: Sorry was helping my grandmother
         out of the car

Sloane: Oh sorry nvm

Bella: No worries what’s up

Sloane: Nothing, take care of her.

Bella: S’ok she’s sitting down now, what’s up

Sloane: Do you know where my wool grey/blue
            flannel is? I’ve checked everywhere,
            starting to think I left it at that house
            party.

 

Sloane did indeed leave it somewhere again.

 

Bella: Yeah you did leave it somewhere
Bella: On my sofa, like two weeks ago
.
..
Sloane: Sorry, is it ok if I go in your room to
            get it?

Bella: You can’t have it back

Sloane: Why not?

Bella: I’m invoking the rule of finders keepers

Sloane: ఠ ͟ಠ gimmie back

Bella: Nope

Sloane: I have your key I can go get it

Bella: Nope

 

Sloane was already walking down to Rachel’s room and used her dorm key.

 

Sloane: And how are you gonna stop me being
            miles away

 

Sloane looked around the blonde's room. Fuck, it always smells so nice in here,...I gotta get some smelly candles or some room air freshener.

 

Bella: You’re not gonna find it I promise you that

Sloane: If it's in here I’ll find it

 

Sloane looked around while taking the time to notice things Rachel had around her room.

 

Sloane: Dude what air freshener do you use

 

Rachel furrowed her brow, confused. She texted back.

 

Bella: I don’t

Sloane: Is it your laundry detergent? It always
            smells good in here

Bella: LOL, not my detergent, that has no scent
Bella: What does it smell like?

 

Sloane checked Rachel’s closet for her flannel.

 

Sloane: Idk? It smells like you

Bella: Well it is my room after all :P

Sloane: (◔_◔)
Sloane: It’s sweet like idk. Is it incense oil?
            I gotta get some smelly candles or
            somethin’

 

Sloane checked under Rachel’s sofa, then under her bed. Where the fuck is it?

 

Bella: Go to my drawer

Sloane: Which drawer is it in

 

Sloane automatically opened the top drawer and stopped in her tracks. Oh boy.

 

Bella: Your flannel is not in the drawers
.
..
Bella: Slo?
.
..
Bella: Are you looking in my underwear drawer?!

 

Sloane quickly put away the dark red and black lace bra and slammed the drawer shut.

 

Sloane: NO

 

Rachel leaned back on the sofa.

 

Bella: Like what you see?

Sloane: I didn’t see anything!

Bella: Right ;)

Sloane: OMF what drawer is my flannel in

Bella: Already said its not in my drawers. On top
         of the drawer

 

Sloane, a little flushed, looked on top of the drawer, noticing Rachel’s makeup and other cosmetics.

 

Sloane: Cheeel where’s my shirt, I only see a
            bajillion cosmetic stuff here. Seriously,
            how many shades of fingernail polish do
            you have?!

Bella: Not enough!
Bella: The small clear vial with the purple cap

 

Sloane looked over the drawer top finding it.

 

Sloane: That’s it :)

 

Sloane smelled Rachel’s perfume.

 

Bella: ;)

Sloane: So since I’ve looked around your room,
            not including the top drawer like a
            weirdo. Where’s my shirt?

 

Rachel snorted, yeah you did.

 

Bella: Stand facing my door

Sloane: K

Bella: Turn your head left a bit

 

She turned left and looked at the corner of Rachel’s sofa.

 

Sloane: K  

Bella: It's about 900 miles that way

 

“Mother fucker,” Sloane blurted out.

 

Sloane: You’re wearing it aren’t you?

 

Rachel wrapped Sloane’s flannel around herself.

 

Bella: NooOOo :)

 

TEXTuя
☠️Blu  ➞ 🦊Sloane


Blu: Here

Sloane: K omw

 

Sloane left Rachel’s room and went back to her room. She grabbed a zip-up hoodie, her backpack, and placed something on her desk.

 

TEXTuя
🦊Sloane ➞ 💗 Bella

Sloane: Btw I took something from your room
            and you're not getting it back till I get my
            flannel back

Bella: What did you take?

Sloane: Not telling

 

Rachel looked up from her phone, thinking. She then quickly went back to her phone.

 

Bella: Did you take a bra?

 

Sloane left her room with a smirk.

 

Bella: Omg did you take a pair of my panties?!
.
..
...


Sloane jogged down the stairwell.

 

Bella: What did you take?

 

Sloane smiled.


.
..
Bella: Sloane!
.
..
Sloane: What time is it there?

Bella: It’s 1:45 it's an hour difference?

Sloane: What date is it?

 

Rachel furrowed her brow

 

Bella: It's the 28th Thanksgiving

Sloane: In about five days time you might find
            out what I took
Sloane: Gtg byeeeeeee

 

“Dammit,” Rachel blurted out.

 

Bella: No
Bella: What did you take?
Bella: SLO!

 

Sloane pushed open the dorm exit door and jogged towards the Blackwell parking lot still hearing her phone booping with phone messages. She yelled Chloe’s name frightening the punk as she jumped down the Blackwell steps and jogged toward the truck, hopped in front of it she started to bang on the hood like a drum. 

“EEEeeee! BLLLLUuuuuuu!” Sloane called out, excited, then did a little dance, spinning around.

“Ahhhhhhhh, SLOOOOOOO!” Chloe called back, smiling at the goofball. The punk tooted her horn and let out a loud whistle at a happy Sloane. She needed good vibes, being the only student left in the dorms. It was too quiet for the girl being there by herself. Chloe would drop her off to get a shower, change and pack for the night while Chloe ran some errands for her mom. She’d then come back around to pick Sloane up. The punk played music from another playlist and they both started to sing. Well, more like ‘yell’ the lyrics.

The two girls were pretty much inseparable since the holiday. With Rachel visiting her grandparents to get out of Arcadia Bay and into a big city, the two ‘street hoods’ (a name that Victoria gave them that they proudly accepted,) were left to entertain themselves. So far they hadn’t gotten arrested. There were a few new pink graffitied dicks around Arcadia, including a brand new one on James Amber’s District Attorney lawn sign and another one on the water tower by the tracks. They spent most of one night hanging out watching Arcadia Bay before them, talking about anything and everything. Their most proud upgrade was the billboard sign across from Two Whales, they made an anarchy symbol across an ‘O’, so the sign now said HELLA HOW DO YOU DO.

Sloane had been helping out the Price/Madsens with Joyce out of action. Chloe and her did the house chores. Sloane was placed in charge of getting groceries as Chloe ended up buying stuff off the list that she deemed should’ve been on the list and Joyce had gotten mad. ‘Chloe, we don’t need two bags of Funyuns, we don’t even need one,’ Joyce had said, looking at chip bags the size of pillows.

‘But they’re fun. It’s in the name, Mom, Fun-yuns.’ Chloe had stated.

Today Joyce received a phone call that her order was in for Thanksgiving. The two girls were driving down to the waterfront to pick it up.

“Did you have lunch?” Sloane asked.

Chloe burped, “Had some Funyuns.”

Sloane fanned her hand in front of her, smelling the onion, “Damn, Blu, that’s freakin’ nasty.” The two girls chuckled.

“You wanna grab something at the bakery ?” Chloe asked.

-------------------

Sloane took the last mouthful of donut while looking at all the hanging net buoys in front of The Spot, the local fishmonger. “I’m excited, this is awesome.” Sloane jumped out of the truck with a spring in her step. Chloe liked how Sloane got excited over the everyday things in Arcadia. “Dude, look at all this net stuff, I wonder what it's like being out on the open water. Look, he’s got a pirate flag. What’s the green bin for? Ohhhh, shite, he has a skeleton on the roof!”

Sloane reminded Chloe of an overstimulated five-year-old. “Yup that is a lot of ‘net stuff’, it can be cold, and depending on the sea it can be calm or rough. That is a pirate flag, kinda kick ass, and they store their catch in those green bins and fill it with ice.”

“Cooool.”

“The skeleton’s name is Roger,” Chloe said. She had the door open for a wide-eyed Sloane. As Sloane walked in she received a small kick in the butt from Chloe, who chuckled, “Get in, ya landlubber.”

“Aahh, my booty,” Sloane replied, giggling and holding her butt.

Sloane stood, stunned in the middle of the store. She held her breath and looked at the smirking punk.

“Breathe it in Slo,” Chloe said. The smell of seafood was strong. Sloane had dipped her nose into her hoodie.

“It smells like a whore house,” she whispered back. 

Chloe chuckled, “Yeah, it does smell like Victoria’s room.”

“Ohhh!” Sloane chuckled loudly and the two gave each other a hand slap and a fist bump.

It took Sloane a few minutes to get accustomed to the smell. Once she did, her face was then leaned up against the glass looking at all the fish packed in ice, asking Chloe what kinda fish they were.

“Hey Chloe,” a man working behind the counter greeted her as it was their turn in line.

“How’s it, Danny?”

“Real good, non-stop since the guys got back to land this morning.” He looked at the order paper and walked in the back. “How’s your mom these days?” he asked.

“Getting better every day, she’s going stir crazy some days, though.”

He walked from the back with an open cardboard box lined with a blue plastic bag and placed it on the counter. It was crab season in the Pacific Northwest and some families got a load of crab to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday instead of the traditional turkey. “Good to hear, she gave everyone a scare that’s for sure.”

Sloane looked at the crabs packed in the box, surprised that they were still alive. “Oh shite, dude they’re alive!”

“Yeah, mom likes to cook them herself.” Chloe looked up at Danny. “City chick.” He smiled, understanding.

“All right, your 50/50 order of crab,” Danny said, ringing up the order.

“50/50?” Sloane asked.

“Half female, half male,” Danny replied, taping up the box. “They have two different tastes, female meat tastes sweet.”

Chloe looked at Sloane with a smirk, “It most certainly does.” She wiggled her eyebrows and elbowed Sloane multiple times in the shoulder. 

“Real subtle there, Blu,” Sloane chuckled.

-------------------

“Can I look at them?” Sloane asked on the ride back to the Price/Madsen’s.

“Have at it,” Chloe said, blowing smoke out the window. The blunette leaned on the driver's side door with her hand lazily on the steering wheel. Sloane hauled out her keys and tried to slice the tape.

“In the glove box,” Chloe said, nodding her head in the area.

Sloane opened the glove box and moved around old ketchup packets, napkins, insurance papers and condoms. Sloane held them up in front of Chloe with a smirk, she then let the attached condom packets fall, showing a string of them. Chloe put the cigarette in her mouth, grabbed the condoms and tossed them out the window. Sloane loudly whispered, “You’re so gaaaaaaay.” Chloe smiled, humming and bouncing in her seat then smacked Sloane’s arm. The brunette went back into the glove box, searching, finding a couple of lighters, and…

“Why do you have a steak knife…” Sloane said. “You know what, never mind.” Chloe smiled at her and took a puff of her cigarette. Sloane used the steak knife to open the box and again was greeted with the seafood smell from the inner packaging. She tilted her head back and wrinkled her nose. Chloe looked over at her, amused at the girl's interest in something that she’d seen all her life. Sloane gently tapped one of the crabs on the head with the steak knife, looking down at eight pairs of black beady eyes.

Sloane, perplexed, stared at them. “Dude, they’re blowing bubbles at me.”

Chloe giggled, “That means they like you, they’re getting all lubed up for yah.”

Sloane smiled at Chloe, not minding the knife. “Hey, hey,” Sloane said, getting her attention, giggling, “Do crabs, get crabs?”

Chloe’s truck traveled through the Oregon fall scenery. The beautiful fall colours on the road home were what some tourists would go out of their way to see on the weekends. A deer on the side of the roadway looked up, chewing some grass and heard the scream of two humans. It watched as the rusty metal movable object they were in swerved back and forth, leaving black marks on the pavement. If the deer could understand the human language it would’ve heard Sloane yell, ”It has the knife!”

Crabs were up in the air in the cab of Chloe’s truck. They were sliding around the dashboard moving back and forth as the truck swerved. Chloe dropped her cigarette somewhere by her feet and grabbed onto the steering wheel, trying to get control of the truck. She slammed on the brakes and skidded the truck to a halt across the town road. 

The deer again looked up, chewing its afternoon meal, to watch a human jump out of the rusty metal movable object and hop around with small objects attached to its body, yelling and hitting itself.

Chloe jumped out of her truck, knocking the cigarette to the ground and ran around to the other side of the truck. She saw crabs attached to Sloane’s clothing, finger and her.... oooooh...

“AHHHH! MY FUCKING NIPPLE!” Sloane yelled.

Chloe, being a friend of Sloane for a couple of months, did what friends do. She took out her phone and started recording. Sloane was hitting herself, knocking off crabs. She took the one that was clamped on her finger and hit it against the truck. The crab detached its arm and crawled under the vehicle. Chloe couldn't contain her laughter. One hand was holding her stomach, the other was trying to keep the phone steady. The last crab left was the one on Sloane’s chest. She placed her hands on the crustation and slowly lifted its 400+ gram body, taking it’s hanging weight off her nipple. It reclamped, and Sloane yelped, “FUUCK! RrrrrRRRaaaaaah!” Sloane took off her hoodie, letting it fall to the pavement. She hauled out her shirt collar, looking at the pinched area. “Okay, okay, okay,” she said to herself, trying to calm down. She looked up at Chloe who was laughing at her. “Asshole!”

Chloe looked down at the pavement and moved the phone onto a specific crab and laughed, “Holy shit, it still has the knife!” The crab started to escape across the road hold the shiv in the air. Chloe did her best impression of a 1930’s New York gangster, “Meah, see. You'll never take me alive, copper!” Then turned the phone back at Sloane, who grabbed her shirt from behind her neck and lifted it over her head. She let it fall and drape over the attached nipple crab. Sloane stood on the side of the road in a red bra with a crab attached to her shirt which was attached to her bra which clamped down on her nipple area. She let the shoulder strap down, exposing most of her boob to the Arcadian town side. Chloe helped by letting out a wolf whistle.

“You’re not helping, asshole!” Sloane said, glaring at Chloe. She then started to laugh along with Chloe, only stopping when the pain was too much. “RRraaahhh Fuuuck!” She took her two hands and slowly unscrewed her nipple piercing. Chloe looked impressed, “Dude, you have them pierced, cool.” Once Sloane had it unscrewed she pinched some skin out of the clawed grip and the crab fell away with her shirt.

Sloane stood with her head to the sky, relieved, and breathed out into the cold air… standing on the road... with Chloe’s truck haphazardly parked… surrounded by colourful November trees... shirtless... and the brunette’s boobs hanging out as crabs walked all over the pavement... and one making a run for it, carrying a knife while Chloe recorded it all. No officer, nothing to see here.

-------------------

Chloe tossed the beat up crab box on the kitchen counter in front of Joyce. Joyce looked at the damaged, open box. After Chloe had collected the crabs using slip-joint pliers she had in her toolbox, she tossed the crab box in the truck bed.

“What happened?” Joyce asked, opening up the damaged box and noticing one of the crabs holding its missing arm. Sloane came into the kitchen and immediately went to the fridge and took out a can of cola and placed it on her boob, wincing at the pain. Chloe giggled and Joyce looked at Sloane strangely, then looked back at Chloe, asking again, suspiciously, “Chloe, what happened?”

-------------------

Joyce hugged a pillow that the doctor said she should use to help with the pain if she had to cough or sneeze with her broken ribs. She was clutching it, laughing as she watched Chloe’s video. It was painful but she couldn’t stop laughing. “HaHaHaaaaaaaa, it still has the knife!”

Sloane sat on the kitchenette stool opposite of Joyce, finding some relief in her cold, numb nipple. Chloe had a large pot on the stovetop listening to Joyce’s instructions in between laughing. She opened and poured two lagers into the pot and put the lid back on. Looking at Sloane she opened a third and gave it to the girl, giggling. “Here, it might take the edge off, but not really.” Sloane would’ve needed at least three to numb the pain. Joyce didn’t object.

With corn on the cob and potatoes boiling in their pots, Chloe had the box of crabs open on the counter next to her. She had the first crab held with tongs listening to her mother’s instructions on how to place them in the pot. Sloane kept her distance as she watched Chloe add the crabs. She looked to the side of Chloe and noticed that one of the crabs was crawling out of the box. She pointed, “Ahhh, it’s out of the box!” Chloe turned with a crab in her tongs and watched the escapee crawl towards the sink. “We got a runner!” Chloe turned back to the stove to place the crab she had in the tongs in the pot and noticed that it had clamped onto the pot handle. “Oh shite! Let go!” Chloe said. Sloane took a step back and Joyce started to tell Chloe to get the runaway crab.

“Chloe, just grab it from behind and-” Joyce calmly said.

“No fucking way!” Chloe retorted, starting to freak out.

“Chloe. Language,” Joyce replied.

“Aucune façon putain!” The punk corrected herself for Joyce's ears.

Chloe panicked and tried to haul the crab off the pot but the pot moved a little off the element. Ohhh Bad Idea. Sloane, for whatever reason, took a kitchen towel and started to hit the hard shelled crustacean attached to the pot with it.

“Ahhh, fucking let go!” Sloane yelled.

“Sloane. Language,” Joyce said.

“Sorry,” Sloane apologized, continually hitting the pot crab.

Chloe looked back at the runaway crab and noticed that its friends were also making a getaway. “Shit, shit, shit,” she yelled.

“Oh fuck,” Sloane said.

“Language.”

The two girls simultaneously replied to the mom, “Sorry.”

Joyce started to laugh at the commotion and did what any good mom would do and started recording on Chloe’s phone. Chloe was yelling, hopping around as she used the tongs to pick up the runaways and started to toss them back in the box. The one that Sloane was hitting with a kitchen towel let go due to the heat from the pot and element. It fell, hitting off the stovetop and landing on the floor. Sloane yelled, “IT’S ON THE FLOOR!” and jumped back, throwing the towel at the floor crab, missing it. Chloe turned when Sloane yelled and stepped on the crab, yelping.

“AHHH!”

“AHHH!”

“I JUST STEPPED ON A CRAB!” The punk jumped back and her hand hit the bag of potatoes on the counter.

“AHHH!” Sloane yelled as she backed herself into the corner of the kitchen.

“Chloe, the other crabs!” Joyce said pointing and laughing as the crabs that were in the box were once again making a run for it.

-------------------

David pulled up to the driveway, relieved to be home. He closed the SUV door and walked towards the house. Upon hearing multiple yells from inside, he dropped his newspaper, coffee thermos and he ran for the door. Bursting it open, he ran through with his hand on his sidearm.

He appeared in the kitchen entranceway. Sloane was sitting on the floor in the corner with a rolling pin held in her hands. A box was in the middle of the kitchen floor, turned over. A tipped-over beer spilled its contents and potatoes rolled around the kitchen floor. Chloe had tongs in one hand, picking up a floor crab, tossing it in the pot and slamming on a pot cover while Joyce was holding her pillow and phone laughing, shedding tears. David had never seen Joyce laugh so hard before.

-------------------

The Price/Madsen’s and Sloane sat around the dining table eating the cooked crab. “This is a fine meal you two, great job, even though you had a fight on your hands,” David said with a chuckle. “Mmmm the meat on this one is sweet.”

“Female meat tastes the sweetest,” Chloe said, smirking at Sloane, starting up with the whole innuendo again.

David slurped at the crab claw, “It most certainly does.”

Sloane had the biggest smile staring at Chloe holding back her laughter as Chloe realized what David said. She looked at her mom and her eyes widened, NOOOO don’t even think about that !!! She looked at Sloane who mouthed, ‘Your Mom,’ to Chloe then started to giggle, even more so when she received a flying potato to the forehead.

-------------------

TEXTuя
☠️Cap’n Crew

Chloe: video01.mpg
Chloe: video02.mpg

Sloane: I’m gonna kill you!!

 

There was a sound of Sloane running up the stairs followed by Chloe laughing and then some thumping on the floor. David sat in his chair watching the football game and looked up at the ceiling, hearing the noise of Chloe shouting, “Ow, noooo, AHHH!” There was a loud thump. “Ahhh, get off me!” He chuckled and looked back at Joyce leaning back against the sink looking up in the direction of Chloe’s room, smiling.

 

Max: OMD Owie LMAO!

Rach: LMAO! Oh my fuck
Rach: Pierced I see ;) Mrrowww

Max: Did it hurt?

 

Sloane texted back while she sat on Chloe in her bedroom, not letting the punk up off the floor.

 

Sloane: I think the video speaks for itself.

Max: No I mean your piercing.

 

Sloane shifted her weight on Chloe, straddling her back, trying to text a reply.

“Slooo, uuuugh, I have ta pee!”

“Suffer.”

 

Sloane: Max I would rather have to go through
            multiple nipple piercings than have a crab
            clamped onto my nip ever again, it’s all
            red n’ purplie right now.

 

Chloe, on her stomach, wiggled around on the floor. “Rrraaah, let me up.”

 

Sloane: And that’s a sentence I never thought
            I would text #RedNPurplieNip

 

Sloane leaned forward.

*SMACK*

Chloe laughed in pain, “Owwwie. That’s Max’s butt.”

 

Rach: I am laughing so hard right now, wish I was
         there.

 

Sloane lifted her phone and pressed the app button.

TEXTuя ●🕪Live stream chat

“Hiiii!” Sloane smiled, waving to Max and Rachel on screen. The sounds of laughter caught Chloe’s attention. She stopped wiggling and turned her head back seeing Sloane doing a video chat.

“NOOooOo,” Chloe called out, wiggling again, trying to get away from Sloane. The two girls couldn’t stop laughing. Sloane framed herself so that Max and Rachel could see her sitting on Chloe’s back as she floundered around. Sloane winked and smirked at the phone. “Who’s your master?”

Chloe tried again to get up and failed. Rachel snorted, laughing and put her earbuds in so that no one could hear the conversation. Max had to scurry away from family members to laugh.

*SMACK*

“Owwwie my butt.”

Sloane looked at the camera, grinning. “Who’s your master?”

Chloe didn’t answer.

*SMACK*

“Ahhh. I’m gonna kil-”

*SMACK*

Rachel spoke up, giggling, “You know people pay good money for this kinda stuff.” 

Sloane and Max laughed. “Blu, I’m not gonna stop till I hear you say it.”

*SMACK*

“Owww,” Chloe furrowed her brow, looking back at Sloane. The punk started laughing. “I am so gonna kill you.”

Sloane changed it up, she poked Chloe in the ribs and the punk let out a squealing girly giggle, surprising the three girls and getting them to laugh more. “Holy crap, did Chloe ‘Punk’ Price just let out a squealing girly giggle?” Sloane said.

Chloe growled, “No!”

Sloane poked again, Chloe tensed up, giggling once more.

“Say it.”

*Poke Poke Poke*

Chloe let out a burst of giggles. It was something Rachel and Sloane had never heard, and Max hadn’t in a long time.

“Say it.”

“Never!”

*Tickle Tickle Tickle*

“EEeeeee!” Chloe squealed out.

“Say i-”

“Max! Max is my Master!”

There was silence in the room and on the video chat. Sloane looked at her phone with her eyebrows raised, surprised. Rachel, wide-eyed, had her mouth open. Max was like a deer in headlights, Sloane had never seen her eyes so big. Then Rachel and Sloane burst out laughing.

“Oh, my dog,” Max said, hauling her hoodie over her head.

Sloane rolled off Chloe, laughing and holding her stomach. “The Captain has been conquered.”

Chloe, annoyed at her confession, jumped on Sloane. Her phone skidded over the floor, landing up against one of Chloe’s discarded sneakers. Max and Rachel watched as the two girls wrestled on the floor.

*SMACK*

“Owie, my leg, no hittin’,” Sloane said.

Chloe smiled, at the light smack, she gave Sloane. “I didn’t hit you hard.”

Sloane pouted with her bottom lip stuck out. *Smack* She hit Chloe back in the thigh.

“Ow.” That was harder than the one I gave you.” *SMACK*

“Ow!” 

Both girls glared at each other.

*SMACK* “Ow.” 

*SMACK* “Oww.” 

*SMACK* “Ow.” 

*SMACK* “Ow. My butt!” 

“HA! That’s what you ge-” *SMACK* “Ow.” 

“I’m gonna kick your butt!” Chloe said.

“Does Maxie know she’s your Master?”

“Shut it!” Chloe tried to put Sloane in a headlock, it didn’t work.

“I think she should get a big pirate hat or a whip,” Sloane made a crack whip sound, “WAH-PSSSH!”

“Shut it!” Chloe tried to tackle Sloane to put her on her back, which also didn’t work.

“Or a shirt that says, ‘Master of the Blu.’”

“Shut it. Shut it. Shut it!” Chloe tried to put her in a headlock again and failed. “Why are you so good at wrestling?”

“Wrestling?!” Sloane said with a smirk. “I’ll show you wrestling.”

Max and Rachel watched Sloane quickly lift one of Chloe’s arms up and Sloane swooped around on her knees putting Chloe’s stomach back onto the floor. Sloane kept her body close to Chloe's back and spun around facing the punk’s butt. “This move is called ‘Ode to Dana.’” Sloane tickled the punk, getting her to squeal again, then grabbed Chloe’s panties and hauled them up. Max and Rachel had front row seats with Chloe’s face a few feet away from the phone and her sudden reaction of getting a huge wedgie.

“AUUUAAAHHHHHAAAA!”

“🎜I see London I see France I see Blu’s undiepants🎝” Sloane sang.

Max laughed, “Ouu, you’re wearing green ones today.”

Rachel replied, laughing with tears, “I don’t think they’ll fit her anymore after that.”

Joyce, from the bottom of the stairs, with a kitchen towel in one hand, the other resting on the stair railing looked up at the room, smiling, “What are you two doing up there?”

They responded simultaneously in a musical tone, “🎜NooOothiiing🎝” Followed by the two girls on the floor loudly whispering back and forth as the two others on the live stream giggled.

“Mom’s gonna come up here and kick your butt.”

“Nuh-uh she likes me, she gave me two desserts.”

“Asshole.”

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Max, red faced from laughing so much sat back on her sofa surrounded by family. She paused for a moment then took out her phone and Googled something in the Seattle area. She chewed the side of her lip, thinking, then hid a little smile. When she returned from the holiday break, she never got a hat or a shirt for her new title but when an excited Chloe lifted Max in her arms, hugging her, Max winced a little.

Rachel, when she returned to Blackwell, was looking through her underwear drawer, wondering what Sloane took. She marched down to the girl’s room. “SLOANE! What did you take?!”

“Where’s my flannel!” Sloane demanded, sitting on her sofa. She put the video game on pause and turned to the girl who was trying to look angry standing in the doorway.

“It’s mine,” Rachel answered, matter of factly, crossing her arms in front of her chest.

“No, it’s not.”

“Finders keepers.”

“K, if you think that way, then what I found in your room is now mine.”

“NooOOoo.”

“YeEEeeaaah.”

“Gimme back.”

“Can’t.”

“Why?”

“Cause I’m-”

“OH MY GOD YOU’RE WEARING MY PANTIES!”

Brooke had perfect timing as she walked by Sloane’s room and stopped upon hearing Rachel’s loud statement. She glanced over at Kate who looked confused, walking out her room upon hearing the yelling.

“No, I didn’t steal your panties,” Sloane replied.

“Let me see,” Rachel stepped into Sloane’s room, going towards the girl, moving to the corner of the sofa.

“AH! You’re not looking in my pantaloons!"

“Come here!”

Sloane had her back up against the wall, sitting on the sofa arm. “You may have seen France, but you will not see my undiepants.”

“I want my panties back.”

“I didn’t take your panties!”

“Then what did you take?”

“Not telling till I get back my flannel.”

“Are they the white ones with red lips on them?”

“I… What? No, they’re not the ones with-”

“HA! So you did take a pair!”

“Nooo!”

Rachel hopped on the sofa and grabbed at Sloane. There were small slaps of hands back and forth. Sloane easily pushed Rachel away, the blonde fell backward off the sofa, grabbing Sloane’s shirt and dragging her down. “AHHH!” Rachel's arm hit the small coffee table that had a bowl of popcorn, the contents flew up in the air dumping all over the girls and the floor. Both kept yelling and wrestling around, making a mess.

"I missed this place," Brooke said.

Kate smiled. "Me too, it’s too quiet back home."

Steph walked up behind them and looked over their shoulders. "What the hell?! I was gone for two minutes for a pee. Why are they fighting?!"

Both girls replied, still looking at the two fighting and not at Steph.

"Rachel said that Sloane took her panties," Brooke said.

Kate countered, "Sloane said she didn't."

"And Rachel thinks Sloane is wearing them now."

Steph shook her head and smiled, "I missed this place."

The two other girls turned, smiled and simultaneously replied, "Me too."

"Rachel! if you wanna see my panties you have to buy my supper first!"

“Fine!” Rachel took a handful of popcorn that was on the floor and shoved them towards Sloane’s mouth. “Bon appétit!” 

-------------------

Flyleaf - All Around Me

Goldfinger - 99 Red Balloons

The Spot photo by Rejean Beauchamp

Chapter Text

It was a cold, overcast day in Portland, as two girls stood outside a store...

“Is this wrong? I mean… I just know that.” Sloane paused. “I don’t want them to think I’m an elite snob.”

“What, like me?!” Victoria tilted her head to the side and lifted her eyebrows while looking at Sloane take a sip of her $7 coffee.

Sloane looked back at Victoria, sighed and shoved her hands into her coat pockets. “I haven’t been upfront with them, ya know, and I know people… people can act differently when they find out, and in my circumstance, foster parents could take advantage of me.” Get hit by a city truck and almost die, here’s money . There are only a very small handful of people that know I have...” Sloane paused and glanced at Victoria, the brunette lowered her voice and whispered the next word like it was hideous and wrong to say, “Money... I’ve never come out and said-”

Victoria realized that she was now part of the small handful of people that Sloane had told. Wait… she told me before she told Max and-... She cut off her own thoughts, along with Sloane's words. “-Think they kinda know.” The Queen gave Sloane the once up and down. “Even though you dress like a street hood, which I don’t know why? You would look good in new designer clothes.”

Sloane looked down at her clothes then back at the Queen of Blackwell. “I like my clothes-” She furrowed her brow. “-And you’re wearing the jeans I got you,” Sloane said, pointing.

Victoria rolled her eyes in response adding. “It’s laundry day.”

Sloane looked into the store window, continuing, “I’m not... used to buying stuff new. I’ve always bought clothes used or whenever some temporary parent spent money on me, we went to bargain outlets stores. Even when I did come into… m-money, from the accident, it didn’t change the way I bought things. Having what I have the past couple of years, it feels, I don’t know… I feel like it’s going to be taken away because someone like me shouldn’t have it.” I know the McKenzie’s are gonna end up suing me, for hurting Maddie. It was something that was always in the back of Sloane’s mind. Since the accident in Toronto, in which a city truck driver was texting on his phone, jumped a curb and left Sloane’s friend in a coma. Maddie’s parents, who'd been Sloane’s new Foster parents, blamed her for sneaking Maddie out to see a concert that night. Even though it was Maddie’s doing, it was even Maddie that said they should go get a coffee and a donut before they snuck back home. But no amount of proof in the way of Maddie’s phone texts saying that they would sneak out or the banking bills to show that she bought the tickets, made a difference. The street video showing Maddie hauling Sloane by the hand across the crosswalk in the opposite direction of home, to when the truck hopped the curb and Sloane tried to push Maddie out of the way… it didn’t matter. The McKenzie’s weren’t convinced that any of it was Maddie’s doing. She was a good girl. They found it easier to put the blame on Sloane because of her history. We should have never adopted you, you were a bad influence, look what you did, you ruined our family, you took out daughter away. Sloane took the blame because she felt responsible. I wasn’t strong enough to help you, Maddie.

Sloane pushed the thoughts back and looked out into the parking lot. “It still feels wrong that I spent almost 250 bucks on running sneakers. I mean I spent that on a skateboard, but... I wasn’t using my truck a lot in B.C so I was saving on gas.”

“Your sneakers were falling apart, there was no way in hell I was going jogging next to you when you have duct tape keeping them together. It’s bad enough that you wear... augh…” Victoria paused and closed her eyes with the image in her head. She bunched up her face like she smelled something repulsive... “cargo shorts and worn band t-shirts when we run, you look like a homeless person running from the police. And by the way, you’re driving a Land Rover, Street Hood, which kinda yells money.”

Sloane felt like she had to explain immediately why she spent the money, “It- it came from a police auction, and I only got it for the price I did cause there was a snowstorm and next to no one showed up. A-and It was involved in a police chase so there was damage. I was there to buy a bike that day for 35 bucks!”

“And buying Chloe the used truck for parts? Even though her truck is still a piece of shit. Seriously, what I’m wearing is worth more than that garbage can on wheels.”

Sloane’s eyes were wide and her hands were out of her pockets, animated, as she continued to explain her actions, “Max offered to pay for half of the truck parts.” Sloane looked away, Victoria immediately picked up on the bullshit. Sloane glanced up and confessed right away, “Fine, it wasn’t half. I told her to give me 200 bucks, which is a lot of money to Max and her family, even Chloe’s.” Sloane regretted what she took from her friend. “I still feel guilty taking it, she could’ve used that for film or even put it towards a new camera. She was really adamant that she wanted to help her.”

“Ahh yeah, I noticed that you bought a lot of Polaroid film to replace the stuff we used in Portland. When she complained, saying you bought too much, you said that you got a deal on it, which was bullshit...”

Sloane didn’t look at Victoria, getting caught again, “I’m paying her back in some shape or form for taking her money for Chloe's truck and using her film.” Sloane mumbled. “Remind me not to play poker with you.”

Victoria smirked taking another sip of her coffee, “You live with my family and circle of Seattle friends you pick up on how people lie.” Victoria took another sip of her coffee and hummed. “What about the two Gibson guitars, laptop, TV, and mini-fridge?”

“Fire sale, police auctions, and… and the mini-fridge is… it’s new.” Sloane again felt the guilt for spending money on that addition to her room, especially when she could walk to the common room fridge. Sloane once again mumbled, “You don't complain that your wine is chilled.” It was some form of Sloane trying to feel validated that she spent money on something she could do without.

Victoria stepped into Sloane's personal space and became serious, “You want some advice right now?” Victoria didn’t wait for Sloane’s answer. She held up her coffee cup and pointed with her index finger at Sloane. “You, do not have to explain how and what you spend your money on to anyone , so stop it .” She lowered her hand and the seriousness of her voice as she continued, “And if you think that they’re dumb enough not to see you have money, you’re fooling yourself, so stop being an idiot… ya, bonehead.” The Queen was caught off guard by her own words, bonehead?! Oh Christ, I’m starting to use their slang .

Sloane looked into the store window again. “I just don’t want them to think of me differently, Victoria.” Victoria raised an eyebrow at being called her name and not one of the annoying nicknames her Street Hood had come up with for her, and that she allowed being called them. Sloane spoke cautiously, the brunette looked back at Victoria and away, ashamed to admit, “I don’t have…” Sloane cleared her throat. “Who is at Blackwell... is what I’ve got. N-no one except Max has kept… uhm, yeah there’s social media n’ stuff.” Sloane looked back into the window. “But it’s not the same, clicking a like button or adding your two cents on someone posting a picture of their food is not a friendship. Since April, Max, Blu, and Chel… we’ve been in contact with each other every day.” Sloane started to feel uncomfortable. She put her hands back in her coat pockets and curled them into fists. “I’ve only had that with one other person, and that’s gone now… I don’t want them to think that I’m buying their friendship.” Sloane looked away, clenching her jaw. Fuck, this is too much information . Vic doesn’t give a shit about this. Move on, loser.

Victoria looked at her disappointedly. “You're smarter than that. Look at Amber’s family, they’re well off and you don’t see Chloe treating her any different.”

“Chloe said she does feel weird being at her house. She said they have a huge house and that they have a grandfather clock and crystal glasses, a 46” flat screen HDTV… Two BMWs.”

Victoria cleared her throat and took another sip of her coffee. She looked at Sloane, trying to understand the money difference Chloe, Max, Steph, Courtney, Stella, Kate, and Sloane must have grown up with. The girls minus Sloane all got in on scholarships or partial scholarships. It felt foreign to her, to think that if you needed or wanted something you didn’t get it no matter how much you wanted it. There was never a thought of, ‘I can't get this because I don’t have the money.’ “How about getting them something like clothes from Black Market or gift cards from another online store?”

Sloane stared at the store display in the window. She sounded defeated, “Yeah, sure.”

“Sloane?” Victoria said, irritated, and whispered, “Oh my God.” She hated seeing her give in.

Sloane straightened up and changed her mood, “You know what, you’re right. Come on, let’s go.” Don’t be such a whining child, boohoo . The voice of a former Foster parent mocked her in the back of her mind.

Victoria didn’t follow, she seen the way Sloane closed herself off. The Queen did something her housekeeper portrayed and a trait a certain next door dorm neighbor also had. It was something a very select few people witnessed, she showed patience. “Slo... What’s your reason to get this for her?”

Sloane looked back at Victoria, “She would use it, she doesn't have one for class. I mean, yeah, you get a school loaner but… the one she had last time the friggin flash holder thingy-”

“Shoe,” Victoria said.

“Yeah, shoe… it was bent?! Then another one she had, the lens lever thingy-”

“Lens release.”

“Yeah, lens release, that was busted. She was waiting for someone to finish their project and return a camera before she could start her assignment. If I had known, I would’ve started the project sooner instead of fucking around until the last two days to do it. She asked me the night before to use the camera for a half hour.” Sloane smiled at Victoria. “She got an A-plus on the assignment.” Sloane watched Victoria roll her eyes hearing what the hipster got, the brunette looked back into the window. “I know she likes the analog thing, but… I mean look at the rental equipment you got from these guys for the Black Market gig, she was like a kid in a candy store. She liked every bit of that gig, to use stuff she only sees online or in magazines, even your camera. Dude, she was geeking out one day when you had it on the table. She was rambling on about the sensor size and if it was DSLR or mirrorless, I had no fucking clue what she was talking about but the look of excitement she had... I just nodded my head like I knew what she was saying.” Victoria smiled, she knew what Max felt, she had the same excitement when she bought her camera. “Plus It's a big difference between reading about what a camera can do and then actually using one and experimenting with it. It’s something that will help her better herself for photography instead of limiting it.”

“And Chloe?”

“What she has now is way out of date, it can only run lower versions of some programs she uses or not at all, it's slow as fuck and the OS is no longer supported.” Pretty sure her power supply is a hamster running around its wheel . “It would be pointless to update any of the components. She keeps coming to school at night to use the school computers and is kicked out by security at 10 PM no matter if she’s finished or not, unless it’s David. And I kinda know that Joyce and David can’t afford to buy her one. She’s limited, like Max.”

“Amber?”

“Pfff, she’s gettin’ coal.”

Victoria choked on her coffee.

“I’m not kidding. I don’t care that it’s been over a month, she scared the crap out of me with those Halloween spiders on my bed. I almost pissed myself when I woke up.” 

“Scared you? Bitch, I thought I was going to have a heart attack hearing you scream and knock over shit, running out of your room yelling bloody murder as you banged on my door. You woke up everyone that morning.”

“Fucker wouldn’t come out of her room for half the day. I hurt my voice yelling. I should’ve gotten Samuel’s ladder and climbed in through her window to get her.”

Victoria smiled at Sloane. “Yeah, I’ll admit I enjoyed her not being around for a while. Get her the coal.” Victoria took a mouthful of coffee. “And get Max n’ Chloe their gifts.”

Sloane wasn’t convinced.

Victoria again showed her seriousness to make the point, “What you told me is not about buying friendship, it's about helping them out, that’s the difference.” Sloane glanced away. Victoria leaned towards where Sloane was looking. “Hey, look at me.” Sloane’s eyes went back to Victoria’s and she continued. “I know enough ‘friends’ that spend their parent’s money like it is nothing, burning through ten thousand in a weekend with not a thought, just to have ‘friends’ around them. You barely spend needlessly on things, you buy things that are needed or you buy them with the thought of others. You don’t splurge, this isn’t splurging.”

Sloane chewed on the corner of her lip, thinking.

Victoria added, “If you still feel weird, talk to them separately about the other's gift and get their opinion, not that it should matter in this situation.” Victoria’s phone chimed and she read the message, “They’re at Voodoo Doughnuts, you want one?”

“No, that’s okay,” Sloane said, staring in the window.

Victoria looked up from her phone, “Sloane, splurge on a damn donut.”

“Fine, tell them to get me whatever. Actually, get one for everyone in the dorm. I’m paying.” (Rachel got Sloane one called the Cock-n-Balls.) 

“There,” Sloane said, “I splurged.”

Victoria huffed, rolled her eyes once more, grabbed Sloane’s jacket by the arm and led her into the Pro Foto Depot in Portland. “Come on, I’ll show you what she could use. You don’t need to buy anything today and you can look at those police auctions you seem to enjoy for some reason, to ease yourself about spending. You're doing this for them.” Victoria picked up a display camera. “Just make sure you get Amber the biggest bag of coal.”

Sloane chuckled, “Oh, for sure.”

“Keep that blonde on her toes,” Victoria glared. “I like that.” She then smiled, nudging Sloane with her shoulder.

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Rachel threw another snowball in the mid morning. “Ouu! Almost got it.”

“Here, try this one,” Sloane tossed her a freshly made snowball. It had snowed overnight and Arcadia received a whole two inches. She collected the snow off the hood of David’s new/used SUV.

*SPLAT*

Rachel raised her hands in the air. “HA! Bullseye... Wake up!” she yelled. The blonde and brunette were outside Chloe’s house throwing snowballs at the punk’s window, trying to wake her and Max from their Saturday morning slumber. “Your turn,” Rachel said.

Sloane threw and nailed the window in the corner, making a loud *THUMP.* A few seconds later a figure walked to the window and lifted it open. Chloe rubbed her eye and tiredly mumbled, “What the fuck, dude?”

Rachel sang her morning welcome. “🎜Morning, Chloe. You and Maxie come out and play🎝”

“Blu! Get thy butt and the butt of Maximus the Snuggler out of bed. It snowed!” Sloane retrieved more snow from the SUV hood. MMmmm fresh falling snow .

Chloe looked back into her room, talking with Max. Sloane giggled and launched another snowball, resulting in Chloe screaming and yelling more obscenities as the snowball exploded on the lower edge of the window, spraying her. She immediately shut the window, gave them the middle finger and walked away.

“They're not gonna get up,” Rachel chuckled as the front door opened. Joyce tilted her head to the side looking at the two with her hands on her hips. “Rachel. Sloane. Can you not yell back and forth with my daughter out in the driveway for the neighbors to hear?”

Rachel apologized, “Sorry Joyce, but your daughter and Max aren’t ready.” She looked over at her accomplice and did a double-take when Sloane took a bite out of a snowball, she looked at the girl strangely as she continued, “They... they can’t back out now.”

“Well, come in then. I have breakfast started, it’s better than eating snow.” She gave Sloane a motherly smile slightly shaking her head. Sloane sniffed from a runny nose and tossed the snowball over her shoulder. Second Breakfast Noms.

-------------------

The two girls helped Joyce make breakfast and when it was ready they offered to wake the two upstairs. 

Sloane listened at the door, there was music playing but no other sound. She whispered, “I don’t think they’re having sexy times.”

Rachel leaned towards the door, also listening. “Don’t think so either.” She nudged her head for Sloane to open the door. The brunette slowly pressed down on the lever and found it unlocked. “Score.” She whispered and then backed away for Rachel to go through first. “You go first.”

Rachel looked at Sloane confused. “Why?”

“Cause if they’re having quiet sexy times I don’t want to be the one to interrupt, nor do I want to see Chloe’s butt…” Sloane raised her eyebrows and rocked her head side to side thinking, “Max’s on the other hand.”

Rachel giggled, “It is a cute butt.” Sloane hummed and Rachel quietly peeked inside. The two girls had gone back to sleep. The two intruders tiptoed into the room and stood near the foot of the bed. Both girls were using hand motions and mouthing words, trying to explain what they were gonna do. 

David walked out of the bathroom and looked in the room, watching what the two girls were planning. He smiled and continued down the stairs.

Sloane quietly lifted her feet multiple times quietly to demonstrate running, did a superman flying pose, then wiggled her fingers for the tickling. Rachel thought for a second and then shrugged, nodding with agreement. Rachel did a finger count and before she got to three Sloane stopped her and motioned for them to switch places so that she was going to dive on Chloe and Rachel on Max. I’d flatten Max.

David walked into the kitchen, “There may be a loud noise in a few seconds.” Joyce looked at her husband questionably as he picked up a coffee mug. The household erupted in screams of bloody murder followed by laughing and a high pitch scream. The two adults chuckled into their morning coffee as Joyce took out the plates.

“Get off me!” Chloe’s yell was muffled into her pillow.

“No,” Sloane said.

“Slo!” Chloe, on her side, tried to escape, but the girl laying on top of her had her arms and legs wrapped around the punk’s side like an octopus.

“Get up, Blu,” she mumbled into Chloe’s neck.

Next to them, Max pleaded with Rachel to stop tickling, “Chloeeee, halp! Rach NOOooOO! I GOTTA PEEEE!”

The punk tried to move but Sloane squeezed even more. “Dammit, Slo!”

Sloane let out an evil laugh, “Mwwaaahhhaaaa, you cannot escape da Kraken.”

Rachel let up rolling off of Max and onto the side of the bed.

“Assholes. Hate you,” Max said, pouting.

Rachel cooed up to Max, “Don’t be mad, Maxie.” The blonde put her hand underneath the bed sheet and placed her cold hand on the back of Max’s neck. The brunette gasped for air and went wide-eyed, wiggling over next to the grappled girlfriend.

“RACHEL!” Max yelled, “I’m gonna beat the poop out of you!” Max made a weak attempt to hit Rachel from behind her back, not looking at her.

The girls chuckled at Max’s threat. Rachel wiggled over and cuddled into Max. “Maaaxie, don’t be mad.” Max let out a whiny, pouty moan over being woken up.

Sloane had let up on her death grip of Chloe and was just laying on the girl. “Blu, get up, your mommy has food made and you promised that we could get a tree.” Chloe groaned into the pillow then wiggled closer to Max with Sloane still on top. “This is the opposite of getting up,” Sloane said into a yawn. Chloe smiled, and a few seconds later Sloane rolled off her and laid on her back next to the punk with a leg on top of Chloe’s thighs. The four soaked up the comfort of each other, as Max’s music played from the stereo and the smell of breakfast food entered the bedroom. There was a sound of a stomach growl.

Max giggled.

“That wasn’t me,” Chloe stated.

“It’s Sloane, she was eating snow in the driveway,” Rachel said, nuzzled into Max’s back.

Chloe snorted, “Having withdrawals?”

“Snow is yummy,” Sloane said. “You know what else is yummy? Bacon.”

The four girls hummed in agreement but didn’t open their eyes or move off the bed. Exams were over and the Christmas break had started. Most girls in the dorm were already on their way home and wouldn’t be back until after the new year. Max was excited that she was spending her Christmas and New Years this year in Arcadia.

“You excited for this?” Chloe mumbled.

Sloane replied, “Mmhm, are we going in the woods or do you guys buy it from a store?”

“Mom will probably want to go to a tree lot, I don’t think any of us want to hike in the woods. David might’ve, but he’s gotta work.”

“Bacon smells so good,” Max sleepily said into Chloe’s chest. “Baaabe, can you get me some bacon, pleeease?”

Chloe mumbled, “K.” She didn’t move but breathed in the smell of her girl’s hair. So warm and cuddly.

Joyce leaned her head out the kitchen entrance, “Ladies, get your butts outta bed, breakfast is getting cold.” She then smiled at the realization that there were four teenagers up in Chloe’s room compared to the previous years.

There was no movement on the bed as the stereo played another quiet song.

*PHHHHHRT*

Chloe started to chuckle.

“Bad Chloe!” Max said, giggling and weakly pushed the girl's shoulder. Rachel buried her nose into Max’s back and sheets, laughing. Sloane put her arm over her nose, laughing and making the bed shake. She slapped the punks hip. “Holy shite, point that butt somewhere else.”

The bed-headed punk mumbled happily. “That’s what you get for waking me up and tickling my girl.”

“Oh my God, your butt it’s so stinky, what did you eat last night?” Sloane said in-between laughs.

Chloe produced a huge smile, “Max”

“Chloe!” Max squeaked in embarrassment. 

“Hee.”

The bed shook again from laughter.

---------------------------------------------------------

Sloane pulled into the Arcadia strip mall, driving over where the outside vendor was selling Christmas trees. She looked over at Chloe in the passenger's seat who was still pouting that she wasn’t allowed to drive Sloane’s truck. The punk sulked, looking over at Sloane, “Everyone else has had a turn.”

Rachel chimed in, giggling, “Even Victoria. I think she has used the truck two times now.” She knew that would rile Chloe up. Max gave Rachel a nudge with her elbow, smiling. “And you know what Dana did.” Sloane smiled at the memory of the state of her truck when Dana asked to use it for a coffee run. When Dana, Juliet, Rachel, and Steph returned, she’d handed over Sloane’s keys to her in the parking lot. It was mandatory that in order to use Sloane’s truck the driver would ask to ‘Ride Sloane’s girl... with Dana, however, it was her girl riding Dana. Sloane and the Blackwell skater posse stared; the truck was covered in mud from bumper to bumper. The windshield showed where the window wipers were used and clumps of mud fell off the tailgate. Dana started to come up with a story of what happened, “Well, yah see, we were at an intersection and this random big rig came by and splashed-. Ah fuck it, we went off-roading by the Arcadian trail.” Dana put her hands on her hips and scolded Sloane, “You have to set your girl free, she needs to frolic in the mud, it’s a crime not to. She likes being dirty.”

Chloe glared at the two girls in the back. “Don’t remind me.” She turned her attention back to Sloane. “How could you let that hussy touch your truck before I did? I can take it that you let Dana dirty her all hella up. But come on... Victoria?!”

“She’s actually really good with her, treated her like a pro,” Sloane remarked.

Chloe leaned over and laid her head on Sloane’s shoulder, “Slooo, why don’t you love meee?”

Sloane raised her eyebrows, “Oh, and you love me?”

“Yeeeah? Of course I do.” Chloe looked up, using her puppy dog eyes technique she uses on Max to get her girl to cave in on whatever hairbrained idea the punk has schemed.

“Are you flashing me puppy dog eyes?! Un-believable.” Sloane shook her head as she pulled in to a parking spot. “You, pretty much farted on me this morning.”

Chloe affectionately replied, “It was a loving fart.”

Both girls seated in the back chuckled. “Oh my Lord, Chloe,” Joyce said, embarrassed of her daughter, she covered her face with her hand sitting next to Max.

Sloane looked back at Joyce in the rearview mirror. “Yeah, and it was stinky, Joysie.” Sloane looked at Chloe and dramatically chastised her, “For shame, Chloe, fooor shaaame, tsk tsk tsk.”

Chloe leaned back into her seat, crossed her arms and looked away, pouting, “Yeah, well, it got y’all outta bed for breakfast.” 

It was a dark, overcast day with light snowfall. The lot employees had turned on Christmas lights around the area which gave off a colorful glow on the dull day. “Oh, it looks so lovely,” Joyce said, putting on a warm hat. The mom missed this very much; it had been a long time since she felt the spirit of Christmas. “I wonder if they have any cookies,” she said as she got out of the truck and closed the door.

“Ouuu, if they have hot chocolate I’m gonna get one,” Max said, wrapping her scarf around her neck.

“SlooOoOo, I’ll even say it,” Chloe, not giving up, leaned over facing Sloane and spoke in a husky voice, “Sloane, can I please ride your girl.”

“Oh my dog,” Max said, embarrassed.

“I’ll be gentle.”

Sloane raised an eyebrow. Chloe placed her hand on the stick shift and guided her hand up and down the shaft. “Unless she does like to get dirty, then she’ll ride me,” Chloe whispered as she started to polish the head of the shifter. “So hard.” The two back seat occupants were looking at Chloe with their mouths open. Chloe huskily moaned, “SooOOoo hard.”

Sloane burst out laughing. Chloe sat back again and crossed her arms, her tactic didn’t work and she pouted once again. Joyce knocked on the window. “Come on ladies, the best ones are going to be taken, get a move-on.”

The ladies exited the truck and made their way to the Christmas lot. Chloe took Max’s little hand and kissed it as they walked next to Joyce. Max smiled and leaned happily into her punk.

“So do we ask them to get us a specific size tree?” Sloane said, looking up next to Joyce.

“Oh, no, you have to pick it out yourself. You cannot let them choose, they’ll never pick a good one,” Joyce stated.

Chloe added, “Mom is like the tree guru when it comes to getting trees. You just gotta let her do her thing.”

“So is there a specific tree you looking for?” Rachel asked as she was putting on a hat she had in her coat pocket. Sloane did a double-take and shook her head. That’s my hat, damn klepto . Rachel looked at her and grinned.

“Douglas fir, eight feet,” Joyce stated.

They walked into the tree lot. Sloane’s eyes went wide, she had never seen anything like this before... well, on tv shows. The Ackerman family that she was with in Seattle didn’t celebrate Christmas and she was never in the care of a family during the holiday season. She was also too young to remember Christmas with her grandparents. The brunette stopped in her tracks. Joyce immediately made a beeline to the Douglas fir trees and Max and Chloe walked over to the hot chocolate vendor. Rachel noticed, “What up?” Sloane’s eyes glanced around, looking at all the trees. The smell was amazing, there was a fire pit where people sat on bails of hay, consuming food and drink to keep warm. There were multiple trinket vendors selling cookies, wreaths, ornaments, old-style wooden toys, handmade knitted hats, and mittens. A food vendor was selling hot chocolate along with something called Chimney Cones, and three men grouped over in the corner played Christmas songs. It was a nice atmosphere. Rachel walked back to the girl who was dazed.

 “This is awesome,” Sloane whispered.

Max blew into her hot chocolate as Chloe held her girl's hand. The vendor passed the punk her Chimney Cone. Chloe switched her hand to keep ahold of her Max, she took the sweet treat and then fell into a conundrum; she had to let go of Max’s hand to pay. Max giggled, “It’s okay to let go of my hand.”

“No, I cannot,” Chloe simply replied already in thought of what to do.

The vendor repeated the cost, “That’s five dollars, please.”

Chloe’s solution, she put Max’s hand in her front jean pocket, must stay connected, then put the cone in her other hand and dug into her front jean pocket to get a five-dollar bill. Max welcomed the warmth of her girl and the contact of her hip. She wiggled her fingers, getting Chloe to smile at the little tickle. Max giggled as Chloe gave the vendor money. “You know I could’ve taken the cone for you, I do have two hands.”

Chloe took Max’s hand out of her front pocket and held onto it as they walked away. “Mmm, you could’ve but then we would’ve lost contact and that just can’t happen.” Chloe displayed her sweet treat to Max.

“Whoa, you might get sick if you eat all that,” Max said, looking at the almost foot long dessert that consisted of a cooked cake batter that was in a shape of a cone, with either whipped cream or ice cream center topped with everything sugary. 

“Challenge accepted not to!” the punk said as she looked at her challenge that was packed with every add-on topping available. “This thing is actually heavy... and I got the whipped cream one instead of ice cream.” Chloe’s eyes were wide and bright with excitement, bringing the kid out in her. “Bite my sweet?” Chloe offered Max first taste. Max pulled down the scarf from her face and took a huge mouthful, it didn’t even look like she took a bite out of it.

Max hummed with approval, “We should’ve skipped breakfast, that is soOOoo good.”

Chloe took a big mouthful of whipped cream, packing her cheeks with the creamy goodness. Max looked at her and smiled a toothy smile at an old childhood memory of Chloe stuffing her mouth with whipped cream, bursting out laughing and spraying cream on Max and on the refrigerator door. Max stepped into Chloe for a warm hug and whispered into the punk’s neck, kissing it, “I love you, I really do.” The punk wrapped one arm around her and kissed her cold red nose. “Mmm, love you too, babe... like an insane amount. This Christmas and New Year’s are gonna be hella awesome, I’ll just put a bow on your pretty little head and unwrap my sexy Maxie gift at night and-”

“Chloe, what is that?” Rachel and Sloane looked at the monstrous cone in the girl's hand.

Chloe hauled it away from them, “You get your own, I have accepted a challenge from my Max.”

“Chloe, I didn’t challenge you,” Max said, sipping her hot chocolate, keeping her hand warm.

“Shush, my little Maxasaurus.”

“I’m pretty sure you will fall into a sugar coma if you eat all that.”

“Challenge accepted not to!” The punk girl took another bite of the sugary delight.

Sloane looked amazed, “I don’t think I could eat half of that.” She was then concerned at the size of the cone, “No barfing in my truck.”

“Challenge accepted!” Chloe smiled looking at Max. “Gonna unlock some life achievements today.”

Sloane raised an eyebrow, “I don’t want you to take that as a challenge, Blu.” Sloane eyed the dessert and bit the corner of her lip, slowly stating, “But I kinda want one.”

“Ouu, they have an ice cream one,” Max said to Sloane.

“They have ice cream!?” she said excitedly.

Rachel looked at Sloane, “It’s December and you want ice cream?!” She closed her eyes and shook her head. “Never mind, you were eating snow over an hour ago. Have at it, Canadian girl.”

“Eeeee ice cream!” Sloane walked over to the vendor getting a mini cone with a couple of spoons.

-------------------

“I wanna take a picture.” Max looked at Chloe, needing the girl to let go of her hand.

Chloe pouted a little, “Fiiine.”

“I’ll give it right back,” Max said with a wink and motioned for the three girls to step closer to each other. 

*Click-Whirrrrrr*

She took the polaroid and placed it into her bag between one of the journal pages. And like that, she went into photographer mode and started to wander away.

“Uh oh,” Chloe said with her mouth full, “I gotta keep an eye on her, she may walk off a cliff or into traffic, or down a manhole.” She followed behind Max.

Both Rachel and Sloane said simultaneously, “Seins en haut!” then looked at each other, smiling. Rachel took a spoonful of ice cream as Sloane indicated she wanted to sit by the fire. “I can’t believe you got a cheesecake one, you know it’s my weakness,” Rachel said.

Sloane said with a smirk, licking her spoon, “Hmm, It never crossed my mind.”

-------------------

Max had her camera up to her eye. The fir branch with a cone dusted in a little snow was beautiful. 

*Click-Whirrrrrr* 

The girl was in her own little world for the past half hour. Chloe looked over the girl's shoulder, watching the picture develop. “Mmm, noice picture, babe,” she said, paused for a moment, then let out a burp.

“You okay?” Max asked, a little concerned as she put the picture away.

“Yup, no probs, just making room, eating this beyotch up.” She took a deep breath and let it go. “It's sooOooo sweet.”

Max tilted her head to the side sarcastically. “Really? I would’ve never of thought whipped cream, chocolate chunks, caramel drizzle, sprinkles, hot fudge...” Max looked up at Chloe, concerned. “That is a lot of sweetness.”

Chloe gave a sly smile, leaned forward and whispered in the girl’s ear, “Not as sweet as you, Peanut.” Chloe nibbled the little earlobe and Max giggled, shying away. “Nomnomnom.”

“Peanut? That one’s new,” Max grinned.

“Broadening my horizons into the food section, Peanut,” Chloe leaned forward and slowly kissed Max. “Mmm, sweetpea.” She kissed her again, humming, “Apple of my eye.” Another kiss, this time Max got a taste of Chloe’s sweetness from her tongue. “Kumquat.”

Max snorted, laughing, “I think you just hit the peanut butter layer.”

Chloe took another mouthful of the never-ending desert and swallowed hard, forcing the spoonful of chocolate and peanut butter down. “Uhhhgh… No?”

-------------------

Joyce tilted her head from one side, then the other, she squinted her eyes, then stepped back with her hands on her hips, “Nooo, it’s lumpy on one side,” she mumbled to herself. She moved onto the next Christmas tree contestant.

“How’s it?” Sloane asked as Rachel and her walked down the aisle.

Joyce turned around and eyed the ice cream. “Oh, what do you have there?”

Sloane took out a clean spoon from her jacket breast pocket and gave it to Joyce. “Cheesecake ice cream.”

Joyce took a spoonful, “Oh my, I shouldn’t,” she said with a smile. “But I will,” she put the spoon in her mouth and hummed, “Oh my word that is good.”

Sloane nodded as Rachel took another spoonful. Sloane was pretty sure the girl's eyes rolled up in the back of her head. Hee hee, foodgasm . “So how’s the tree search going?” Sloane asked, smirking at Rachel who hadn’t come down from her food euphoria yet.

“Hmmm, I don’t know. What do you ladies think of that one?” she asked, pointing with her spoon. Joyce stood back, again doing her inspections of tilt and squint.”

Rachel hummed then swallowed another spoonful of the sweet treat, which somehow she easily managed to take from Sloane. “It looks pretty.”

“Hmm, I don’t… know. Sloane, any thoughts?”

“Ahhumm...” Sloane had no idea what to look for. “It's, ahh...” She raised her eyebrows and squished her mouth to one side. “It’s green… and… t-tall?”

Rachel snorted. “Look at you being all observant,” she teased. “You would do awesome in a police lineup.”

Sloane furrowed her eyebrows and pouted, “Quiet you. I have no experience here.”

Rachel continued, doing her best Sloane impression, “What did the robber look like? Uhhmm, it was dis noice looking dude with two legs.”

Sloane quickly retorted, “Shush-you-and-eat-your-cheesecake-ice-cream.” 

Rachel giggled, bumping Sloane’s hip and wiggling. “K.”

“So what do you look for in a tree?” Sloane asked a chuckling Joyce. Rachel took another mouthful of the dessert and looked at Joyce. She had never seen the lady so… happy and excited like this. She was usually tired, irritated or worried. It was a rarity to hear her laugh and when she did, it was a small chuckle mostly with customers at work. This looked good on her.

“It, of course, has to be green and tall,” Joyce smiled at Sloane. Sloane smiled back, shaking her head. “But I don’t want any spacing in between the branches, like that one there.” She pointed to a specific tree. “It has to be symmetrical like a triangle, and at least eight feet, Chloe likes to crawl underneath and check the gifts.” Joyce thought of an old memory and smiled. “She would crawl under the tree when she was little and search for gifts that had her name on them. William would wait till she was well under the tree and sneak up behind her, haul her out by the feet then tickle them.” She chuckled and went further into an older memory, “When she was still in diapers she climbed out of her Pack-n-play, took off her sleeper and diaper then crawled under the tree and fell asleep, naked. William took a picture, she looked so pretty nestled in between the Christmas tree lights and other gifts.” Joyce sighed. Rachel and Sloane let Joyce have a few moments reliving the memory before speaking.

“Awww, Chloe our little nudist?” Rachel said.

Joyce giggled and pointed her spoon at Rachel. “That girl did not like clothes for a couple of months, I would have her changed and dressed for a nap, and when I would come back to check on her, everything would be off.”

Rachel and Sloane laughed. Joyce looked at another tree, laughing with the girls, she was really indecisive of what was on display. The floodlights were turned on and to the right and ahead of her, a tree basked in the light. The mom let out a small gasp. A few minutes later Joyce had the perfect tree wrapped and paid for. Rachel and Sloane carried it to the truck as Joyce messaged her daughter to say she had found one and were ready to go. Max and Chloe showed up a few minutes later. The punk had completed the achievement and finished the monstrous dessert. Sloane took out her keys and was going to toss them to her, but then saw the punk and thought not.

“Yeah, surprise, she’s sick,” Max said.

Chloe let out a gross, wet burp and whined, “Chloe feels yucky.”

“What happened?” Joyce asked.

“Your daughter tried to each a foot long dessert with about three pounds of sugar in it,” Max explained.

Chloe stifled another wet burp. Max shook her head, there was nothing she could do and saying ‘I told you so’ wouldn’t help. “Come on, let’s get you home, Peanut.” Chloe didn’t argue. Max led her to the back passenger's door. Max got in the middle, making sure Chloe had the door side just in case she was going to barf. Joyce looked in her purse and gave her daughter a Pepto tablet. Sloane smirked, tossing the keys, Rachel caught them in one hand.

“Giddy up.”

-------------------

Chloe walked through the doorway holding her stomach. She took off her boots using her feet, letting out a groan. Max helped take off her coat and took her winter hat. The punk wearily dragged herself into the living room and lay on the sofa with another groan. Joyce went to the kitchen, placed some bags on the countertop and started to prepare coffee. Rachel opened the garage door for Sloane and the tree, Joyce came out a couple of minutes later to wrap herself in a cardigan with her slippers on. “Brrr it’s getting really cold this year, we might have a white Christmas.” She handed the tree stand to Sloane and said it would be easier to put it on now rather than once it was in the house. Sloane had no idea what to do so she handed it to Rachel. Once she placed it on, both girls then carried it from the truck and stood it up in the garage.

“So where’s it going?” Sloane asked.

-------------------

Joyce, Max, and Rachel all stood in the center of the living room, discussing where the perfect spot for the tree would be. Sloane sat at the dining table watching the ladies while Chloe had passed out over the sugar crash on the sofa with an arm and foot hanging out over the edge.

When Chloe woke up on the sofa, she was a little confused about where she was. During her sugar coma, the sofa was moved against the second sliding door. The tv was moved by the stair wall, turned on the fireplace channel, playing Christmas music. The only thing that wasn’t moved was David’s blue chair. The Christmas tree was placed where the tv had been and it already had its lights on as Joyce and Max were putting up ornaments. She peeked up and over the sofa arm seeing Rachel and Sloane talking quietly at the dining table, drinking hot drinks. Chloe took a moment to enjoy the feeling of contentment at home; it had been a long time since she felt this way. She looked up towards Max who hung a red bulb while talking quietly with Joyce. Max looked over seeing her awake and gave her a loving smile. Chloe gave her one back. I missed this feeling. It was the feeling of a loving home.

Joyce went back to the kitchen checking on some homemade cookies and Max walked over kneeling beside her girl. She brushed some hair away from Chloe's eyes and tenderly kissed her on the forehead.

Chloe looked at the girl above her taking in the emotion. I love you so much, Max .

Max brushed Chloe’s cheek with her thumb and whispered, “How you feeling Peanut?”

Chloe smiled a little at the nickname and whispered back, “Like crap-” Max began to place soft little kisses around Chloe’s face. The punk closed her eyes, feeling each kiss, then finished her words, “-but happy.” Max kissed Chloe on the lips, letting their contact linger for a moment. “What do I get for completing my challenge?” Chloe asked.

Max looked at her and shook her head a little with a small smile, “How about some water and something for a headache.”

“YaY,” Chloe whispered tiredly.

Max gave Chloe a little kiss on the nose and whispered in her ear, “I love you so much.” Chloe closed her eyes again, letting the feeling of love and contentment wash over her.

I want to feel like this for the rest of my life .

Chapter Text

TEXTuя
☠️Chloe ➞ 🎭Rach


Chloe: How is?

Rach: Good what ru and Max up to

Chloe: Movies, chatting with Mom gonna start
           wrapping Max’s gifts, come over

Rach: Not gonna be the third wheel, it’s your
          first Xmas together in 5yrs enjoy it ;)

Chloe: ? your not a third wheel. Sloane is still
           coming over, gonna do the Xmas movie
           thing. She hasn’t seen the original Scrooge
           and some other Xmas movies. Max has
           demanded that she watch mickey's
           christmas carol first. Then the muppets
           xmas carol.

Rach: LoL they’re all the same story

Chloe: I know but Max has always loved them, I’ll
           mix it up with either die hard, the ref, or the
           long kiss goodnight.

Rach: Good line up.

Chloe: Yippee-ki-yay. Got a text from Slo she’s
           still in Portland in a grocery line up. Mom
           got her cookie makin’ on and I’m trying to
           convince David to give me one of his
           crappy beers

Rach: Mmmm traditional cookies, beer and
          movies.

Rach: Was thinking about stopping by the house,
          and giving it an attempt of doing the family
          thing.

Chloe: Really? Even after the argument you had
           during Thanksgiving? If it's unbearable
           call me and I’ll come get you, K

Rach: K

 

Rachel looked away from her phone and took another drink of her beer. She sat next to Frank as he drove his RV.

“So how’s our favorite bulldog?” Frank asked.

Rachel smiled and snorted. “She’s happy, Max is spending Christmas with her this year.”

“Why aren't you over there? Not that I’m complaining,” Frank smiled at her.

“It's their first Christmas together and things are going well with Joyce and even David, I don’t wanna interrupt.”

“You? Interrupt the Price household? Whatever.”

“Meh, she deserves it.”

“What about you?”

“Ehh, I’m fine...” she took another swig of her beer. Keep me numb.

Pompidou was laying down between Frank and Rachel. He yawned and made a little whimper for attention. Frank looked down and rubbed his belly. “So I thought you were going to be taking off for L.A. last month. What happened, not gonna do it anymore?”

Rachel looked over at Frank. “Yeah, I am. I think about it almost every day, but...” Finish school .

“What’s the holdup? You’ve been telling me about this plan for such a long time. Do it, don’t let it slip through your hands.”

Frank drove into the Blackwell parking lot and turned off the engine. A light snowfall fell on the windshield. “I guess the D.A is still an asshole if you’re staying at school during the Christmas break.”

Rachel hummed with an agreement as she finished off her third beer. The buzz was coming on strong and she wanted to keep it going for the rest of the night. She stood up and walked towards the door. “Thanks for the beer, and the other stuff.” She tapped her coat pocket and opened the RV door.

“Oh, hold it, I almost forgot.” Frank walked to his weed wall and retrieved a metal cylinder tube. “This is my Christmas gift to you.”

Rachel looked at Frank, surprised, “Frank, you shouldn’t have. I don’t have anything for you.”

“Ah, that’s okay. It’s a new special blend, one of my suppliers said it was euphoric. So yeah, Merry Christmas. Ahhh, let me know if you like it and I’ll bring in more for yah. It doesn’t even have a name yet, that’s how new the strain is.” 

“That’s cool,” she said as she pocketed the joint and smiled at Frank. She leaned forward and briskly kissed him on the cheek, then turned and left the RV. She turned up her collar to the cold air, pushed Sloane’s winter hat down over her ears and wrapped her arms around herself to keep warm.

Frank stood by the door with a sleepy Pompidou at his feet. His voice was soft, “Rachel?” She turned and looked up at him. “Rach, I’d give you the world if you wanted to leave with me tonight for L.A.”

Rachel stared at him, knowing that he would try. She sighed, “Thanks Frank… but, I'm gonna get high and pass out. You and Pomp have a good night, yeah?” She smiled.

“Yeah, anytime Rach.” Frank was turned down, again.

“Night,” Rachel said, turned and walked towards her dorm room.

“Night”

-------------------

Rachel leaned across her bed. Her laptop was playing the 1951 version of Scrooge. She was about to finish her first drink of Scotch and looked over at the drug paraphernalia she hadn’t tried before, still undecided if she wanted to do it. She looked at the metal cylinder next to it, then looked at the time, 2:13 PM. “Fuck it.” She got up, placed a towel under her dorm door and opened one of the room's windows to circulate the air. She sat on her sofa, opened the metal tube and took out the joint. “What the fuck?” It was a third the size of a joint. “What is this, a joint for ants?!” She sat back, took another sip of Scotch and placed the solo cup on the coffee table. She smelled it, getting a whiff of citrus, cinnamon and something familiar that she couldn't figure out. She grabbed her lighter and lit up, taking a long draw as she closed her eyes. She held her breath then slowly let it out. “Mmm, it tastes like Christmas?!” she said to herself. 

Rachel’s phone chimed. She looked down at the phone and saw a picture of her father. She swiped the message away, not bothering to read it. I don’t want to deal with you.  For the past few Christmases, The Amber’s household decorations were non-existent. James didn’t even bother with a tree last year. Rose did make a Christmas dinner but Rachel didn’t attend after an argument when Rachel inquired how her father’s search for Sera was going. She chose to spend it with Chloe, Joyce and, yeah, ‘douche’ David. Ever since she’d found out about Sera, her family attachment to them became distant. She had tried to spend the recent Thanksgiving with them at her grandparents, who technically weren’t her real grandparents. She inquired again about the search for Sera and once again there was another argument, resulting in her not speaking to her father for the rest of the holiday.

She finished off the tiny ant joint and took another sip of Scotch. Her phone chimed again, this time it was a quick video from Sloane. She had the camera pointed at herself and in the background a lady was yelling at a young cashier, demanding to see the manager. “Yo Christmas is making’ people cray-cray, Ray-Ray.” Rachel giggled, then giggled some more, the weed was hitting her. “Fuck this shite is hella strong.” She slowly blinked and felt light. “Shiiiit.” Rachel let herself fall to stretch out on the sofa. She looked at her hand, wiggled her fingers, and smiled. What is in this? She closed her eyes and let the euphoric feeling wash over her.

Rachel felt like she was flying. She looked below and only saw clouds beneath her. “I’m flying! This is hella amazing! Wooooo!” She looped in the sky and twirled. She wanted to go down below the clouds and by thinking so, she did. She felt the cold air and the light spray as she went into the clouds and emerged below to see a huge cityscape. It only took her a few seconds to recognize that it was Los Angeles. With excitement, she flew across the city, looking at landmarks that she hadn’t seen in a few years. “I love California!”

She wanted to see the beach, so her body, with lightning speed, flew across highways and neighborhoods and within a few seconds she was there. She stopped and floated above a Ferris wheel. “Santa Monica pier!” she yelled with excitement, looking at the crowd and the goings-on below her. She flew down, her shoes disappeared and she wiggled her toes in the warm sand, breathing in the ocean air. She walked along the shoreline. Her winter clothes were replaced with a bikini and a cover-up summer dress. The small waves rolled over her feet. She kicked the water, making it splash in front of her. She closed her eyes and lifted her head to the blue summer sky, feeling the sun across her body, soaking it all in. “I miss this.” The teenage water baby turned towards the sea, walking up to her hips and then dove under, feeling the water all around her. When she came up for air she laughed at the feeling of being back in the ocean. The Blackwell pool never came close to this feeling... she missed this so much. She heard the laughter of a small girl on the beach playing with her parents in the sand. She thought of a place she wanted to visit next, her body again lifted herself into the air. She thought one word and her body flew across the beach coastline. She watched people surf, lying on towels, out riding the bikes, rollerblading, skateboarding. “They would love it here.”

She landed on the street in front of an old decorated home. My old house . It looked much smaller than she remembered. In the main window, she saw two people hanging ornaments on the tree. She skipped into her driveway towards the backyard where she saw her old swing set. She ran towards it and climbed the slide stairs. As she got to the top she looked in her bedroom window and saw a little girl. She willed her body to float over and watch the little one sit at a desk. Her body passed through the house and she emerged into the room with another set of clothes; short ripped jean shorts and a bohemian shirt. The young girl with long blond hair in pigtails sat at her desk, swinging her feet, writing a list. Rachel looked around the room and recognized everything. “This... is my room.” She looked at the girl again. “Hello?” Rachel greeted her, but the little girl didn’t reply.

“It’s you,” Another small child stood next to Rachel, looking up at her.

 Rachel looked down at the little brunette girl next to her, “Hi.”

“Hi.” She smiled.

“Who are you?”

“A friend.”

“Okay.” Rachel smiled then looked back at her eight-year-old self.

“Tell me about what you see,” the little brunette said.

Rachel smiled at her new friend. “That’s me, I’m writing to Santa,” she said. She thought about her memory. “I asked for so much that year.” She looked around the tiny room, noticing some water damage in the corner of the room. The walls were an old, faded pale yellow color that hadn’t been painted in years. Her eight-year-old self folded her letter, placed it in an envelope and sealed it. 

“There,” Little Rachel said. She got up and walked out of her bedroom. Rachel followed behind her.

“I’m giving Dad my letter to Santa,” she remembered. She emerged from the hallway and looked at her younger parents, standing next to the tree. “Wow, Rose and Dad look so young.”

Rachel’s new little friend looked up at her, noticing how she’d said ‘Rose.’

Rachel looked around her home. Every wall had some sort of Christmas decoration displayed. Little Rachel went over to her dad. “Dad, I’m finished.” James bent over and picked up little Rachel. He took the letter and placed it in his shirt pocket. “Okay, I’ll deliver it for you. Can you give me a hand with something?” he asked. Rachel nodded.

“Here you go,” Rose handed little Rachel the star for the tree. The two Rachels smiled and the older one watched her father lift her younger self to the top of the tree and she placed the star on top.

“Beautiful, honey,” James said. Little Rachel hugged her father and kissed him on the cheek. He let his daughter down and she skipped to the kitchen.

“Mom, can we make cookies now?” she asked, opening the refrigerator. Rose walked over into the small kitchen as Rachel took out a tube of cookie dough. “Okay. Can you get me the cookie-cutters please,” Rose asked.

Rachel watched her younger self go into the kitchen drawer and retrieve the cutters. Rose got the cookie sheet and turned on the oven. Rachel spoke to no one in particular, “I loved making cookies, the house always smelled amazing.”

“You two look like your having fun,” the little girl standing next to her said. They both watched mother and daughter in the kitchen laugh and giggle as they talked with each other. 

“We were. Making cookies was our time together.”

The home phone rang. Rachel turned around, looked at her father and watched him. “He looks… nervous.”

“He is, it’s a big moment for him,” the little girl said.

“Yes. Thank you, I will. Thank you again,” James ended the call and looked into the kitchen. He walked up behind Rose, hugged her and smiled. “I got it.”

Rose turned surprised, then returned the hug. “You didn’t!?”

“I did.” He gave her a big smile.

Little Rachel looked up at her parents hugging. Older Rachel stood behind her younger self and watched. “I don’t remember this. What happened? Dad looks so excited, I haven't seen him like this in like forever.”

“He got a position with an L.A. law firm, it jump-started his career.”

“What’s going on?” Little Rachel asked.

“I got a new job, honey,” he replied, then leaned over and kissed her on the crown of her head.

“Way to go, Dad.”

He smiled as she went back to her cookie making. “They gave me a great salary and benefits. Rose, this is it, I can give her what I didn’t have growing up,” James said looking at his daughter. Both Rachels looked at their father.

“I’m so happy for you, you have been working so hard,” Rose said happily.

“It’s finally going to pay off. You know what?” He said as he patted Rachel's letter to Santa in his shirt pocket, “I’m gonna go deliver this and stop by the store.” He winked at Rose who smiled. “I’ll be back for supper. Love you.” He kissed his wife. “Love you, honey.” He kissed his daughter and walked out the door.

Rachel, in the blink of an eye, sat next to her father in his car. James opened the letter and read it, smiling. He looked up at the house, making sure his daughter hadn’t followed him out. He placed the letter in the middle console and started the car. “Honey, you’re getting everything I can give you.” He put the car in reverse. Rachel stood outside her father’s car with her new little friend and a skateboard, watching him back out of the paved cracked driveway.

“He got me everything that I asked for. My Christmases have always been full,” Rachel said, watching the car drive down the road. Her new little friend jumped on her skateboard and rolled away.

“Follow me.”

Rachel dropped her board and rolled away down her neighborhood street. The little girl looked back as Rachel caught up. “Your parents are nice, you’re lucky having people who love and care for you.”

“Yeah,” Rachel unenthusiastically answered. She coasted down the road and looked over at the girl beside her. She wondered who she was, she felt really familiar.

The little girl looked over at her, “Watch out.”

Rachel, confused, not looking where she was boarding, replied, “What?”

“Watch out, Rachel,” she calmly warned.

Rachel hit a crack in the road and was thrown forward off her board, going face-first into the pavement. This was going to hurt...