The idea had been Dag’s. She saw one video from the previous year and decided that they had to do this. So with more than a year to go before the next event known as Wasteland Weekend -- an apocalyptic tribute to the Mad Max series -- they began preparing Furiosa’s spare rig that had no other use other than for her to spend her free time and Max’s Interceptor. He didn’t really do anything to that other than allow them to take it for a joy ride to get it incredible muddy and dirty.
The rig however, which the group of girls dubbed The War Rig, got an impossible amount of upgrades. While Furiosa, Max, and Capable worked on the mechanical parts of the car Cheedo, Toast, Dag and occasionally Angharad did the details and decorating. When it was finished the vehicle was dirty, accented with bones, and the large tank attached to it had a water system, insulation, ventilation, lights, and an impossibly large nest of blankets for them to lounge on when they wanted to either hide from everyone in the house or pretend to be working.
The girl’s costumes (excluding Furiosa who shot down the idea before it was even presented to her) were simple, light, and could barely be called clothing. The fabric was highly see through when wet and showed off a lot of the goods, which could wither be a really good or bad thing depending on who they met there.
They were driving in two vehicles, Max and Angharad in one, Furiosa and the rest of the girls in the other, through the Mojave desert when suddenly they were practically surrounded by two cars and five motorcycles. Max smiled as he gave a small wave to the driver in the car beside him.
“Are those War Boys?” Cheedo questioned leaning over Toast to peer out the window.
No One answered her, just watched as they shouted messages to each other, the motorcyclists delivering messages to the other side.
“Nux is with them” Dag commented “I thought he’d died when he crashed Rictus’s car for us”
The girls had all been in a bad situation, a crime lord stole them all and believed he owned them. They spent years locked away in his basement, used for his and his wretched sons’ own amusement. He believed them to be perfect, and he needed a perfect son.
Furiosa used to run drugs for him, her situation was similar to theirs only she wasn’t stolen for sex. She knew what he was doing was wrong so she got them out, with Max and a “traitor” WarBoy who was currently driving one of the car’s that surrounded them.
“Here we go,” Toast sighed. They watched as Max looked over and gave, who they first assumed was Furiosa, a thumbs up.
“What is that supposed to mean?” She muttered as Toast sat up, slipped back a panel in the roof and turned to look at her sisters.
“Try to act horrified,” She told them as she sat back down, keeping her eyes trained on the chaos around them. There were more cars around them, more people heading into the apocalypse. Nux dropped back, as the Warboys in the car beside them moved closer. Furiosa narrowed her eyes glancing between Max and boys. He signalled with his fingers that it was okay as Nux pulled forward again, this time moving in front of the War Rig. The passenger that was previously on the bar of his car was gone and they heard the sound of heavy boots pounding on metal echoing above them.
“What’s going on?!” Cheedo yelled as the Warboys yelled and whooped, pulling tricks and stunts, many of them jumping between the cars in an idiotic show of skill.
“Gotcha!” A Warboy hissed peeking through the roof and grabbing at Toast, he was Nux’s passenger. He got a firm grip around her before pulling her up, the girls screaming and grabbing at her. Toast didn’t fight back until she was out in the air- but even then it was nothing but a show.
“I seem to recall the Fool and Toast planning a stunt the other day,” Dag murmured watching as Toast was handed off to another war boy then safely placed in the passenger seat of the warboys’ pick-up-truck-esc car.
“She’s as crazy as them!” Capable yelled standing up and poking her head out of the roof.
“Hey don’t be tryin’ to get up here, Nux’ll kill us if ya’ get hurt” The WarBoy told her pushing her back down “No room in the other car for ya!” He then proceeded to run off the front of the rig, yelling “Witness me!” as he jumped off the front and onto Nux’s car. The other WarBoys screamed back at him in return.
Capable crouched down beside the fire, poking at the logs belong the pot that cooked their dinner. A few Warboys decided to take advantage of the fire and were cooking hot dogs, another trying to heat up some leftover take out without burning the box (he wasn’t succeeding).
The boys wreaked organized chaos all over the place today- people loved it. Capable’s group tended to be a part of that chaos it seemed due to Toast and Slit’s stunt earlier in the day.
“I’ll take over” Angharad told her as she took a seat next to her. The war boys seemed to be uncomfortable around the blonde, you could hear them whispering when they thought she was out of range. Capable could understand their curiosity. The last they saw Angharad was extremely pregnant, now she wasn’t and she had no child.
Angharad had Joe’s spawn and gave it up. She was strong but she couldn’t raise a child she had to carry by force. Capable knew that the child’s new parents and Angharad would exchange emails every once in a while by that was as far as it went.
“Are you sure?” She asked giving the pasta another stir-- just because they were in the apocalypse didn’t mean they couldn’t cook up some spaghetti using a small camping stove and a campfire.
“He keeps looking over here and Max can only deal with him digging through The Interceptor’s engine for so long,” Angharad explained “So go talk to him.”
She didn’t have to say a name, Capable didn’t have to look behind her to where Max and a WarBoy were bent over a car to know exactly who it was. She nodded and got up, grabbing a canteen of something alcoholic as she went. Nux straightened up so fast when she approached that he slammed the back of his head on the hood. Max tried not to show his amusement as he gave Nux’s head a quick rub before telling him to go with her.
They climbed up to the back of the rig, sitting in the shell of an old car they welded onto the tank to make a watch post like structure. Capable took a drink before handing it off to Nux.
“I’m sorry” He murmured, he didn’t drink, only toyed with the canteen’s accents. “I know I should’ve said something to you, or approached you but I thought that since you were all trying to leave everything from...before behind you that maybe it would be better if you didn’t have a WarBoy hanging around you.”
“I thought you might have died. That was a really bad crash” Capable muttered wrapping an embroidered shawl around her shoulders to fight the cold that was setting in now that the sun was sinking beneath the horizon. He shook his head, rolling up his pant leg to show the scaring he received.
“The only bad thing was the fire really... I broke my leg, got a concussion but it was nothing really new for me” He explained taking a small sip from the canteen “I’m sorry…”
“You don’t have to apologize to me,” Capable told him “You… you’re your own being you don’t need me to tell you what to do I mean we aren’t… we weren’t…” She didn’t finish the thought. Nux sat back against the wall of the cab, his eyes were everywhere trying to take in all the sights.
“I have my own shop now” He told her suddenly “I have a lot of the WarBoys working with me… you know the ones that didn’t get arrested or go off on their own, Furiosa and Max helped me some… I didn’t have too much money saved up ‘cause i tended to use it all on rent or my car. I payed them back though, a lot of people come to the shop now cause it’s not over run with Warboys doing anything bad or associated with Joe. It’s mine, and people keep saying that I’m the best mechanic around because…”
Capable smiled as he kept talking, and talking, and talking. He was nervous, his fingers kept searching around for things to fix and when they found nothing he just moved his mouth, filling the silence with words. Capable didn’t mind it one bit. She loved hearing about all that he was doing. From the shop he took over, to cleaning up the WarBoys act, and even to hearing about the street races he kept entering (clean up the WarBoys all you want, they’ll never give up their racing) and winning.
“I’m talkin’ too much” He commented looking at her “Your turn. What have you… and everyone else been doin’?How’ve you been?”
“It’s different, but it’s a good kind of different,” She told him “Everyone is a lot more relaxed since Joe and everyone are in jail. I’m taking some college courses but I’m not sure what I want to do yet. On the weekends I help Furiosa with the cars, she’s teaching me all about them, i just wanted to learn about them because it made me feel closer about you,”
His movements ceased and he stared down at his grease stained hands in his lap. His head tilted back and he began hitting it against the wall, his eyes shut tightly, murmuring words she could quite make out. She gently took hold of his head in her hands.
“Stop that” She ordered “You’re going to hurt yourself”
His eyes snapped open and he looked at her. He didn;t say anything, didn’t search for any kind of stimulation for his hands, Capable found herself wondering if he was even breathing. She took away her hands, but one returned to brush against his starred lips.
“I’m sorry,” He murmured “I’m sorry, I’m sorry, I’m sorry,” Capable use her hand to cover his mouth, ending his mantra.
“You don’t need to apologize. You thought” She paused to collect her thoughts “You thought you were doing what was best,”
“But it wasn’t what was best. I hurt you,” He told her, voice muffled. She removed her hand and shifted so she was beside his again, this time leaning against his side.
“Then don’t do it again,” She suggested “but only if that’s what you want”
“If he doesn’t kiss her soon then I’m going to do one of two things” Slit commented as he spread out across the hood of Nux’s car. Dag and Toast looked at him confused until he elaborated.
“I’m either gonna shove their faces together, or kiss her myself,” He told them “I mean come on! You got through your stories you blabbering idiot!” He seemed to be really sick of watching the pair’s quiet conversation from a far before he jumped up to his feet, voice rising in volume “Just fucking kiss her you bloody fool! Look how fucking chrome she is just do it!” He threw his beer in their general direction for emphasis.
“You’re blood is composed of alcohol,” Dag said pulling his arm so he was sitting again “You shouldn’t mess with those two, Capable will make you eat more than just your words”
“Then why don’t you join me up here and make me forget ‘bout it” He challenged as his arms crossed over his chest. Toast scoffed as she turned and left Dag to take the spot beside him.
“You two!” Max called up. “Eat,”
They clammered down the rig settling in a circle around the fire with everyone else.
“So anyway the idiot takes like a ginormous sip of… well I honestly have no idea what the hell it was” Slit continued with some ridiculous story about Nux’s scars “but anyway so he takes a fucking lighter and tries to breathe fire. It worked but like not how it should’ve and he ended up catching his mouth on fire.”
The group laughed at the blushing Nux. He wasn’t about to let Slit’s story going untold however.
“That’s not the whole story and you know it! The organic Mechanic thought it’d be cool to do some scarification on my lips as well since I already scared them up enough and at least I got it doing something shiny like breathing fire, you just thought it’d be a good idea to fashion yourself a bridle- thing out of some scrap metal and rope!” Nux challenged. Slit was fuming at the reveal of how he slit his mouth.
“You said you wouldn’t tell anyone ‘bout that!” He argued. “I was shit faced!”
“You said you wouldn’t talk about the fire breathing,” Nux muttered poking at the fire, watching the sparks fly out. Capable wrapped an arm around him, brushing her knuckles against his head. They shared a long look that apparently pushed Slit over the edge because next thing Slit is leaning over the fire telling them to “Fang it,” whilst pounding the ground with his first. Cheedo and Toast pulled him back.
“Keep your head!” Toast hissed. Slit threw his head back in exasperation.
“For fuck’s sake!” He shouted pointing at Nux “That kid can jump between cars, no problem. Run drugs- sure why not. Fix an engine while someone is still driving, of course! Crash someone’s car hanging into a sun roof using his foot. Piece of cake! Turn traitor on the Immortan! Why not you already did everything else! But just kiss a girl? Oh no. Nope can’t fucking do it even though she’s been practically begging for him to all night!” His finger then moved to Capable “Escape a crime lord, push a dude out of your car -- whatever just a days work. Walk across a moving truck, no issues. Take in a Warboy, why the fuck not. But really you can’t man the fuck up and kiss him? Really!? You want it so fucking take it!” He stood and stormed off to find whatever drinks he hadn’t already consumed stated that he was surrounded by “fucking pussies”.
“I… I am so sorry” Nux apologized ducking his head. “I’m just going to-” He stood up and followed Slit’s drunken trail.
All was quiet around the fire as everyone looked between themselves.
“You know he had a point,” Furiosa admitted, Max grunted in agreement.
“Take your own advice” Capable told her as she headed back to sit in the lookout. Everyone soon left to explore the moonlit wasteland, see the band playing, or other entertainment going on.
Capable stayed looking up at the stars, she could explore the night activities on the other nights they’d be here. Nux soon joined her again, his own canteen filled to the brim.
“What’s in that?” She asked, if it was anything good she’d have to take some for herself.
“Aqua Cola” He joked before guzzling down a good portion and handing it off to her. SHe took a sip before handing it back.
“I’m sorry about Slit… he was just being Slit so you really shouldn’t let him get to you too much because it’s just-”
“Do you want to kiss me?” She asked looking over at him. She seemed to be good at making his movements stop.
“I… yes. But i don’t want you to feel like you’re obligated to just being Slit was being an idiot…”
“I want you to kiss me,” She told him. He nodded, playing with his hands. He stumbled over his words for a few seconds before turning to look at her. His tongue traced over his lips before he slowly leaned in, a hand resting on her neck, fingers lightly tracing the raised insignia. His kiss was gentle and soft. Capable drew it out as long as she could, savoring the contact.
She leaned against him, resting her head on his shoulder as they gazed up at the stars. The fire was extinguished and everyone began heading to their tents.
“How did Toast plan that stunt with you guys?” Capable asked him, her finger tracing over the V8 carved into his chest.
“She ran into Slit and I at a coffee shop one morning when we were making plans. She told us how you guys were going this year, Slit started bragging about all of the stunts he and everyone else pulls. Few days later she had Max contact us about maybe getting in on one” Nux explained.
“She saw you? Why didn’t she tell me?” Capable questioned looking to where Toast was sharing a tent with Dag and Cheedo. Nux shrugged and busied himself with her wild hair.
“I’ve seen the others around everyone in a while. Mainly Max and Furiosa, I asked if they would tell you but they said everything was up to me.... so I just thought maybe it’d be better if…” He didn’t continue, he was ashamed that what he thought would have been better turned out to be wrong- even if it was necessarily his fault.
Cheedo came up then, her arms filled with pillows and blankets.
“I thought you guys might want these, since you’re probably not coming down” She told them as she handed the materials over “Don’t fall out”
She didn’t stay long, exchanging a few more words before she headed off into what was meant to be Angharad and Capable’s tent. The pair set up a small nest for themselves before settling in for the night.
Their awakening wasn’t exactly peaceful. For some reason someone sent Slit to wake them, with his food banding against the side of the cab.
“Breakfast,” He told them with a grin, he crouched down and handed Capable a damp rag “You might want this. Nux has a tendency to actually have black thumbs...or well hands”
The pair looked to see what he was talking about- Mux’s hands were completely black do to picking around Max’s car, Capable bared marks of this around her shoulders, back and waist.
“I am so sorry” Nux apologized “I completely forgot that my hands...”
He was cut off when Capable started laughing hysterically, Slit joined her. Nux couldn’t handle it, and collapsed back into the pillows covering his face with his arms telling Slit how much he despised him over and over again.
“This is a pretty sweet setup got here,” Slit commented worming his way in between Nux and Capable. Nux tried to sit up but was pulled back down by Slit who kept his arm firmly wrapped around Nux’s shoulders.
“Capable feel free to join us.” Nux was surprised that she did, trying to get as comfortable as she could when pressed against Slit and the wall. Nux could see her chest still shaking with laughter.
“You guys must have been really cozy up here…” Slit sighed looking around.
“What are you doing?” Nux groaned looking over at his friend who had never lost the ridiculous smile from before.
“I’m just trying to have a conversation here, it’s so comfortable so i figured I might as well join you two.” He turned to Capable “Can you believe this kid, damn. Can’t even have a conversation and he thinks I’m plotting something. You know what, whilst we’re on the topic of Nux wanna know something cool? Did you know he’s ah… what’s the word… you know when you both your right and left hands are dominant?”
“Ambidextrous?” Capable suggested. He nodded clapping his hands together.
“Ambid- whatever. Thanks. Beautiful and smart you are too good for him. But anyway isn’t that just so cool? He can use both hands like independently at the same time too, like the whole patting your head and rubbing your stomach at the same time thing. Really good with his hands, like really good,”
“Slit” Nux warned, he had a feeling where his friend was going with this conversation and he wasn’t pleased..
“It comes in handy with machines” Slit continued giving Nux a shove so he hit the wall with a hiss. “I’m sure you know how good he is with those. He can figure out any machine… even when he doesn’t have a lot of experience… or no experience with anything like it. He can learn about all the little things to make a… car… or anything really just purr. I know you’d think that with such inexperience -and believe me I’ve lived with him for years he’s seriously inexperienced…” At this point in time Nux had hooked his hands around S;it’s belt and was dragging him out and away from a mildly surprised and blushing Capable.
Nux through him down so his head was hanging over the side of the rig.
“What the hell are you doing?” He hissed, all eyes were on them at this point. The WarBoys seemed to sense the air and were getting amped up despite how early in the morning it was.
“Helping! You need all the damn help you can get!” Slit argued as he kicked Nux’s legs out from under him. The two boys began rolling around, fighting on the top of the tank. Cheedo was yelling about how they were going to get themselves killed, Toast was almost convinced that they should let them.
“See you on the flip side,” Slit teased as he pushed himself off backwards to perform a backflip only to land sloppily on the ground, tripping onto his back. Nux took a few steps backwards, ready to follow his friend only the ground when Capable grabbed his arm.
“No unnecessary killing,” She told him, she was smiling up at her WarBoy. He was a WarBoy their lives rotated around cars, hi octane blood, and violence. It was how they fought and played. It was clear to anyone watching the small ground run around, sliding over their cars, doing unnecessary acrobatics, that this had turned into a giant game. Nux smiled and kissed her cheek before taking a running leap off of the War Rig. He rolled when he landed quickly jumping to his feet to chase around Slit who had gotten a head start due to Capable distractions.
The red head took the safe way down and made her way to her group that occupied a few lawn chairs and blankets around a fire.
“Coffee,” Max informed her passing her a mug. She thanks him whilst adding creamer and sugar before joining everyone in watching the boys rough house.
“These camping stoves were a great idea,” Angharad announced cooking up a decent breakfast for everyone amidst the chaos “it beats living off of protein bars,”
A few looks were given to the small group of WarBoys who left the fun and, despite being offered some of their food, decided that they needed to eat some of their supplies.
“How are you still doing this?!” Slit screamed as he ran over Nux’s car. “You’re elbow deep in engines all day!”
“I can do this all day!” Nux announced tackling Slit down.
“Watch the fire, I don’t want to loose the coffee” Max grunted shifting out of their way.
“Oh! That’s another thing!” Slit shouted looking at Capable “His endurance-” Nux clasped his hand over Slit’s mouth (and arguably nose) the two finishing up their battle before Furiosa had enough and ordered the two to break it up for now. Nux joined Capable and the two men assessed what ever injuries they gained. Slit was poking at the area where his Hip bone strained against the skin of his stomach, a bruise starting for form.
“Thanks I get for being your wingman,” He grumbled leaning back on his elbows. Capable shook her head in disbelief.
“He doesn’t need a wingman,” Capable told him “but thanks for the...insight. I’m going to go wash up,” She kissed Nux’s cheek before heading off to find some water she could use.
“Slit!” Nux called trying to see out from underneath the vehicle “Ace!”
“They left hours ago,” Capable’s head peeked under the car “It’s almost ten and you need dinner,”
The WarBoy rolled himself out, wiping his stained hands on his pants.
“You got us something?” He asked leaning against the hood of the 1978 chevelle. she laughed setting a take out box on the hood beside him.
“I got you something.” She corrected pulling up a stool and sitting in front of him. She was wearing his jacket, it was big on her, Nux found he liked it paired with her jean shorts and combat boots.
“You’ve been here while?” He observed as he began to dig in. She nodded, crossing her hands over her chest.
“Few hours I’d say. Stopped in earlier by you were so deep into a truck that I figured I wouldn’t bother you. I explored town, went to Miss Giddy’s for dinner. Talked with Slit and Ace a bit. I figured I’d run out and get you something to eat before you accidentally starved yourself.Said you didn’t have lunch.”
“DIdn’t have time,” Nux explained in between mouthfuls. “How were classes?”
“I saw a lot of naked people and learned a lot of big words that very few people will understand” Capable told him “ Explain to me why I decided to be a doctor?”
“You like helping people?” He suggested with a small shrug “It sounds interesting to say the least. What was it biology?”
“Anatomy and physiology mostly” He nodded and tucked one of his knees against his chest as he finished up the last of his dinner. Capable took the box from him and threw it away before sitting beside him on the car.
“So what’s the diagnosis on this baby?” She questioned rapping the hood with her knuckles.
“I won’t have it ready in time. Too much other work to do unless I pull some all nighters” Nux explained cleaning his hands on a rag “but you refuse to let me pull those,”
“You need sleep,” Capable told him “in fact we both do, so I’m going to deal with Slit’s comments and begging and stay over with you.” Capable took Nux’s hands and started leading him out the shop, but not before he could escape and frantically run around trying to close everything.
Slit was in the living room when then finally made it back the Nux’s apartment. He was sorting out a variety of props and clothing.
“Two weeks,” He announced “and I can’t find half of our shit….and you brought your girl,”
“She’s no one's but her own,” Nux informed him with a knock to his skull as he passed “and we have two weeks, don’t stress out now. That’s what the day before is for. Go to sleep, I don’t want to have to deal with you sleeping on the job again.” Slit grumbled something he couldn’t catch as he headed into his respective bedroom, Capable already going into Nux’s.
“Quick shower then I’ll join you,” He said as Capable started going through his clothing to find something she wanted to wear for bed.
He wasn’t surprised to find her asleep when he emerged, she had a busy day- only hers was spent exploring rather than hiding beneath cars. She stirred when he crawled under the covers, shifting so her head lay on his chest.
“Can I use your goggles, your jacket, and some guns this year?” She mumbled.
“Anything you want,” He signed placing a kiss on the top of her head “Don’t suppose you’d let one of us steal you out of your moving car?”
“No,” she was smiling, he could feel it on her chest as she kissed the V8 carved there “I’m going to be one of the fools running across your moving cars,”
“Well that’ll be shiny,” He murmured closing his eyes. No sooner than he did, his dreams were filled with an apocalyptic world of ash and blood- made bright by a fiery-headed girl and V8 engines.