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Down in the Alley; Part 1 of Brian and Ruby's backstory (PM first if you're interested in joining)
Topic Started: Jan 22 2012, 04:37 PM (2,806 Views)
Fiori
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The Fiorious One
[ *  *  *  * ]
This was it. The moment of truth. The moment which Brian's entire life had been spent preparing for since the day he was born. The moment when he would finally prove himself worthy of the Zhdanovich name.

He could feel the sweat on his brow as he lined up his shot, his attention focused entirely on the target that stood before him. Everyone was probably watching him, waiting with anticipation for the golden moment when he would finally make his move. He knew that he couldn't afford to miss. His reputation... No, his entire LIFE completely depended on it. There was no turning back now that he had made it this far. His friends were all depending on him. He couldn't afford to disappoint them, even if it meant trying to achieve was his head was trying to convince him was impossible.

He only had one chance to get this right. One shot which he couldn't afford to botch. Missing was completely out of the equation. He had to do this. He had to succeed. He had to WIN!

Well Brian, what're you waiting for? Lets do this...

And so, he did.


"Ooh... YES! Three in a row!"

Brian almost leaped in joy as his bowling ball struck true, scattering the pins on the other end of the aisle in all directions. His enthusiastic yell of victory was only matched by the cheers he was receiving from his peers.

The match had barely began, and Brian was already way ahead of everyone else. Part of the reason for this being the incredibly lucky string of strikes he was achieving, this being the third one in a row. Now, Brian was far from a rookie when it came to bowling, but never before had he been able to achieve three strikes in a row. It was far from unusual for him to achieve a couple of strikes within a single game, sometimes even two in a row. But three? That was something he had only ever seen done on TV. It wasn't until now that he even thought it was statistically possible. So to have finally been able to achieve this feat made Brian feel as though this could be the best day of his entire life.

The fact that he had managed to achieve it on his 17th birthday was just the icing on the cake.

He took a mental note to thank Ruby later for the idea of hosting his 17th birthday at the Garage bowling alley. It was far from the first time he had ever been there to play bowling, seeing as it wasn't particularly far from where Brian lived, but it was probably the first time he ever decided to celebrate anything there. And in all honesty, he was surprised why he hadn't decided to do so earlier. Not only did the place have a bowling alley, but they also served decent food, good drinks and even a room with a dozen or so pool tables. If they had any time to spare, Brian would have loved to have a game or two before they all headed off to see the rock concert Ruby had booked.

Speaking of Ruby, there she was waiting for him to sit beside her, dressed in a dark red hoodie with her hair dyed a light shade of blonde. Seeing her wearing a hoodie always reminded him of the when they first met, back when she used to always wear that bright orange hoodie. Her hair used to be longer back then too, not that Brian was complaining. He always thought Ruby's short haircut was actually kinda cute, even though he thought it was fine back when it used to reach her ears. It used to be her natural colour back then too, although he couldn't help but feel partially responsible for her tendency to always change her hair colour after an off-handed comment about brown hair being kinda boring.

Next up was none other than his good friend Shiro, who Brian gave an encouraging pat on the back as the two of them passed by each other. Despite having only known him for a couple of months, Shiro and Brian had quickly become close friends. The attractive Japanese boy was a fellow track & field enthusiast whom Brian quickly grew to admire after challenging him to a race in order to prove who out of the two of them was the fastest. Although, unlike Brian, Shiro also happened to be something of an egghead. He was the type of guy who would rather read a book on mathematics than go to a loud disco party. Hell, it took a lot of convincing for him to come along anyway, seeing as he was convinced that his inexperience at bowling would make him a laughing stock in front of Brian's friends. Thankfully though, after a somewhat nervous start, Shiro had quickly gotten used to the game and had already racked up a pretty decent score for a beginner.

"Glad to see that this game hasn't gotten to your head." said Ruby, her lips forming a playful smile.

Brian smiled back, lightly shrugging as he replied. "Hey, what can I say? I'm a heck of a modest guy..."

He sat down beside her, his arm finding itself resting around her shoulders as he leaned in to give her a kiss on the cheek. It was little moments like this that Brian wished he could remain young forever, never worrying about bills or getting a job or any of the crap he'd have to worry about when he got older. If Brian had the chance, he would happily spend the rest of his life just chilling out with his friends and loved ones, playing bowling and chatting about stuff that ten years from now wouldn't be the least bit important.

"Say Ruby, what was the name of the band we're seeing later?" he asked, seeing as in all the excitement he had completely forgotten.

"Oh, some experimental rock band named Akron and Family."

"Oh? I don't think I've ever heard of them... They actually any good?"

Ruby shrugged. "Maybe? Honestly, I haven't the slightest idea. I just thought it was convenient that they were playing tonight."

Brian chuckled. "Heh, guess it'll be interesting to see what they're like. Who knows, they might turn out to be pretty cool."

"Heh, yeah... Forgive me in advance if it turns out they suck though."

"Duly noted..."

Ruby took a sip from the can of soda she brought earlier as she watched Shiro attempt to knock over the last three remaining pins, only to miss entirely as his ball unexpectedly swerved to the right. The Japanese boy turned around and walked back to his seat, a disappointed look on his face.

"Darn... Better luck next time I guess." Shiro said with surprisingly good English despite having spent the majority of his life growing up in Japan.

"If it makes you feel any better, you're doing way better than I did on my first go." she said, thinking back to the first time she ever went bowling with Brian. "If I recall correctly, I don't think I got a single strike, did I Brian?"

"I dunno, I'm pretty sure you got a spare eventually..."

"Yeah... Not really the same thing though, is it?"

Brian shrugged again. "I suppose..."

Ruby smiled again as she looked over the small group of friends who had decided to join them for this game. Like Brian, she too was beginning to really enjoy the night. After all, whilst she wasn't quite as extroverted as her boyfriend, Ruby always enjoyed just chilling out and having a fun time with her friends. It was a pleasant break from the somewhat stressful life of a highschool student on their way to becoming a fully pledged adult. And whilst Ruby usually content with just watching a movie or playing her latest video game whenever she was feeling bored, sometimes it was really was nice to be able to relax and share drinks with a bunch of friends.

The only thing stopping the moment from being perfect was the arm that found itself resting on her shoulders, and what it symbolised about Ruby and Brian's relationship. No, stop those thoughts RIGHT now Ruby. This is supposed to be Brian's birthday party remember? The last thing he needs is for you to get all mopey...

So, in an attempt to shake off the doubtful thoughts about her feelings towards Brian, Ruby decided to turn her attention to her other friends.

"So... Who's up next?"
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Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
Ruby Forrester - Shopping Mall
Jenna Rhodes - Hotel

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Sister Grimm
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I am a great biotic wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind! A great biotic wind!
[ *  * ]
There were a few better ways that Regan might have spent a Friday night. Most of them involved a guitar and/or comics. Well, not so much and/or, but one of those things. Unless...was it possible to read a comic book while playing the guitar at the same time? It was an interesting idea. She should pursue it further. Anyway, she could have gone to the movies, too. But, instead of reading comics while playing her guitar at the movies, she was, drum roll, bowling. And not just any bowling, but...well, no, she guessed it was pretty much regular bowling. Did bowling have different variants like golf did? Was there mini bowling? Ha, with tiny bowling balls the size of a baseball and soda bottle pins. And to get a...what was it, a strike? Whatever knocking over all the pins was, that. And to get a touchrun, you had to throw the tiny bowling ball through a windmill or something crazy. Maybe a giant gorilla. Or, well, mini, so a tiny gorilla would work. Tiny, in relation to the bowling ball. And then confetti would come out. And you'd get, maybe, a little trophy or something. A mini trophy, if you will. That was how mini golf worked, right? To be honest, she didn't play that either. If it involved physical exertion, and she wasn't saying golf or bowling had heavy emphasis on that, but if it involved real actual physical exertion, count her out. That was how one of the Ramones died, y'know. Playing baseball while strung out on meth. Maybe. She never really was that into the Ramones.

Anyway, bowling. To be honest, and since this was really internal monologue stuff so why shouldn't she be, she was here for one reason. Ruby. That is, because Ruby invited her. To bowl. To go bowling. Yeah, sure, why not. Ruby was her best friend, Regan could go bowling one night if Ruby would be tagging along, too. Or, really, it was Regan tagging along, but whatever, Since, well, she only knew Brian and his lot peripherally, she was kind of the odd one out. A little. Not to say everyone hadn't be welcoming. They had. It was like going to a party because you're friend invited you and realizing that your friend is the only person you know there. Actually, it was almost exactly like that, since, you know, birthday party. Don't get her wrong, she was having fun. Bowling! It still didn't really change the fact that the only person she talked to here was Ruby. Of course, not knowing someone's never stopped her talking before. She just tried to stick to her motto of the night: If you don't know anyone, keep talking like you do. It had served her well for the five minutes so far that she'd decided that would be her motto. Besides, Ruby would be her safety net. If she was about to get herself in trouble, which was also a possibility when Regan started talking, Ruby would deftly change the subject. Probably. If she saw it coming. Which she usually did. Most of the time.

At the moment, instead of discussing the finer points of french fries, or whatever else crossed her line of sight, Regan was watching Brian throw another, what was it, strike. It would be his third in a row, which was, by the sound of it, really good. Again, Regan had no idea what to compare that to, so she took the achievement as something pretty impressive. She threw her own little cheer in with the rest of the group, though her contribution was a little less enthusiastic and more 'am I cheering at the right thing?'. Brian returned to his seat next to Ruby, on the opposite row of chairs from where Regan was sitting. The boy that had followed Brian, Shiro, finished his set and took a seat a few down from Regan. Instead of following her first instinct, which was to listen in on Brian and Ruby as best she could in the noisy bowling alley, she turned to Shiro.

Just remember, talk like whatever the motto said to talk. Because eavesdropping is rude.

"Hey, did you know bowling balls were invented in World War 1? They were used by the British to lure the Germans out of hiding, where the Brits would proceed to hit them with bowling balls. It was a long and very complicated story that I may or may not have dreamed. I think Teddy Roosevelt might have actually helped create them. It was one of the early presidents. Maybe the fat one? Not Washington, not Jefferson. And I know it wasn't Lincoln, because he was killing vampires before that. Also, 200 years in the past, give or take 200 years. But one of the fat presidents created World War 1 to test his bowling ball invention."

Regan nodded matter-of-factly. Shiro stared. There was an uncomfortable silence. Regan coughed into her hand and looked away.

Could have gone better.

Across from them, Brian threw his arm around Ruby. Regan felt a twinge of...something. She suddenly found it hard to keep her eyes in that direction. It was probably just...you know. Irritation or something. Yeah, irritation was the only thing that made sense. At the public display of affection. Yeah, that was it. The vulgarity. Darn them. Regan looked away, back at Shiro.

"So, yeah. the fat president invented the bowling ball to lose weight. Or something. I don't know."

More blank stares. For a second, Regan considered holding the stare but then decided no, because that's what crazy people did. By that point, Ruby was addressing the group again, offering an open invitation for the next bowler. Bowlee. Regan clambered to her feet, because she needed to do something besides sit there and creep the Asian guy out. Besides, she could take this opportunity to impress Ruby. Because, you know, who didn't like showing off to their friends. So, a broad grin suddenly plastered across her face, she accepted the challenge,

"I got this. I'll do Winston Churchill proud I will. Just you wait. You'll be all, 'whoa, did you see that..." She faltered, trying to remember what it was when you knocked all the pins down. With some satisfaction, she continued, satisfied she found the right term. "...that home run? Girl can throw some bowls.' That's what you'll say."

Because she didn't exactly know bowling hall clothing etiquette, she defaulted to the second best thing; concert etiquette. Concert clothing etiquette. Because they were going to a concert afterward. She was happy to see that she fit right in at the bowling alley. Which was either a compliment to the bowling alley, or an insult to her. A plain black t-shirt that stopped short to bare her midriff, plain black jeans, and some rather worn out black and white converse. She'd brought a black hoody as well, but had shed that and left if lying crumpled in her chair. She cracked her knuckles, because that might possible be what bowlers do before they, uh, bowl. She stepped toward the lanes, already in what could possibly be considered the zone if you were feeling charitable. She picked up one of the balls from the ball return thing. It was surprisingly light, but it might also have been designed for children. No problem. She would mess up some pins with that too.

Once she figured out how exactly you put your fingers in the little holes.

After a second, it was but another challenge triumphed over. She was ready to roll. The eyes of the worldbowling alley were upon her. She had this. Slow, deliberate steps to the little white line on the wooden paneling as she focused, slowing her breathing to ninja-like levels. This would be it. The hole in one that would put Brian and his three in a row to shame. Than Ruby would see that Regan was chief bowlist, worthy of admiration, praise, and affection. Wait, no. Just the first two. Anyway. All according to the plan she'd just made up. She started down the lane, focusing on the pins at the end. Eye of the tiger, baby. Eye of the tiger. She braced her foot froward like she'd seen Brian doing, swung her arm back like she'd also seen Brian do. Then, it was in the hands of God.

And she had no idea that bowling balls could bounce. Twice. Well, technically, on the second bounce, it went right into the gutter, so that might not have counted. She guessed that it was still a sort of victory. After all, Brian hadn't made it into the gutter. She turned back to the group, to Ruby mostly, and offered a big thumbs up to accompany her grin.

"Let's see someone top that!"
Edited by Sister Grimm, Jan 28 2012, 07:21 AM.
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Enter Monsieur Owen Kay!))

Fridays were always busy for Owen. He had his piano lessons immediately after school, about an hour to finish any coursework or things like that, and then it was off to his weekly tennis sessions. On more than one occasion-pretty much every occasion, to be precise-Owen had completely forgotten that he was currently supposed to be hitting tennis balls out of the tennis courts. Well, not supposed to, but it was what usually happened. And on this Friday, things had become even busier, when Brian invited him to go bowling, for his 17th birthday.

Owen had literally sprinted all the way home from tennis, and quickly changed into clothes that weren’t sweaty and damp from when he most certainly had not slipped over. He’d managed to find his black t-shirt and grey hoody OK, but for reasons even he was unaware of, Owen had been wearing his black jeans for playing tennis, rather than tracksuit bottoms, and almost all of the rest of his clothes were in the wash or something. After a whirlwind search of both his and Noel’s rooms, Owen eventually managed to find a pair of white trousers in a pile on his floor. A quick drive and Owen found himself at the Garage bowling alley.

And now here he was, sitting with Brian, Ruby and a bunch more of their friends. Bowling. Owen was, to be honest, kinda surprised he was here at all, not just because of his spacey nature. It had only been a year or so since he’d first arrived in Seattle. The last time he’d changed schools, he definitely hadn’t eased into friendships as quickly as he had this time. Still, he and Brian both played soccer, and that had pretty much been the start of their friendship

Despite being good friends with Brian, however, Owen’s main concern was with how many people he would actually know. He, obviously, knew Brian and Ruby, and there was another girl, Regan or something, who he knew. But there were a few people he’d never even seen before. For instance, the guy who was currently bowling. Apparently his name was Shiro or something like it, but he’d only managed to pick that up from a couple of things Brian had said.

But whatever. It was only a couple of people, and Owen was sure that he’d be able to get to know them after a while. He was enjoying himself, that was the main thing, despite the fact he’d been playing atrociously. It seemed that bowling was not like riding a bike. In, like, any way possible.

Shiro finished his set and returned to his set. It wasn’t Owen’s turn to bowl yet. In fact, he couldn’t quite remember just when it was his turn to bowl. He knew it wasn’t now though, so he could sit back for a while longer and avoid making a fool of himself again. Brian and Ruby were currently doing Brian and Ruby things, so Owen focused his attention on Regan, who appeared to be telling some sort of story to Shiro. Something about bowling bowls and presidents killing vampires. Interesting. Shiro seemed befuddled by the whole thing. Owen on the other hand grinned, and muttered “Sounds legit.”, his words just audible above the noise of the bowling alley.

Regan seemed to realise how creeped out Shiro seemed, because she got to her feet the minute Ruby asked who was next. She was still talking as she did so, however, something about Winston Churchill this time. And she managed to mix up bowling and baseball, how the hell do you do that? Owen shook his head, grin still on his face. He hadn’t known too much about Regan before this, apart from the fact that her name reminded Owen of a president he knew nothing about. She definitely seemed like an interesting one.

Apparently she was also terrible at bowling. Owen watched in amusement as the bowling ball managed to bounce its way into the gutter. Regan seemed ridiculously pleased with her effort, however, spinning round with a massive grin and a thumbs up. Owen wasn’t sure whether it was his turn or not, but it seemed like as good a time as any. Standing up, he cracked his fingers against his neck, then walked towards the lane.

“Yeah, I think I’ve got the skills to beat that. And, hey, I’m the English guy here. I’m the one that’s gonna make old Churchill proud!” Owen walked up to the ball holdy machine, found one that was a good weight, and picked it up. Owen wasn’t sure whether there was some sort of super secret ninja technique that people like Brian used to get three strikes in a row, but if there was, he sure as hell hadn’t found it. His well-worn trainers gained absolutely no grip on the alley floor, and he only managed to stop himself from falling over by sheer luck. The ball was going at a surprisingly fast speed, and looked set to smash straight into the centre of the pins. Of course, knowing Owen’s luck, that didn’t happen. At what seemed like the very possible last second, it swerved to the left, knocking over a grand total of one whole pin. Owen stared at it for a moment, before throwing his arms up in mock annoyance. He turned back round to look at Regan.

“Oh, darn. Looks like I managed to get one. Guess that means you win, Regan.”
V7 BAYBEE

FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Violent-Medic
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
For Mallory, Friday nights were normally reserved for playing football with her older brother. And that was something she looked forward to, because it was hard to find people who wanted to play football with her and weren't bothered about getting too rough. It took a lot for Mallory to quit on 'football-with-the-big-bro' night.

But skipping out on Brian's birthday party would just be dickish. And besides, what was not to like about the party? They were bowling, which was sort of a sport. There was going to be a concert afterwards from an experimental rock group. There were people she knew around, like Brian and Ruby and Owen. And there was people she didn't know, like Regan, which was good because now she would know them at any later things. Hell, she'd been so damn excited about this party that she'd gone out of her way to find a shirt that didn't look worn-out.

Mallory hadn't bowled before. Not that she'd never wanted to. It was just that it was more expensive than kicking a ball around a field, and Mallory couldn't afford another pair of shoes. Why did bowling require different shoes, anyway? Mallory at least knew enough to get by on. Don't hit the gutter or the people behind you, don't throw the ball into another person's lane and try to hit as many pins as possible.

Brian was really acing that last part. He got his third strike in a row.

Mallory cheered along with everyone else. Didn't matter that she wasn't as into bowling as she was other sports. Anything that could make people cheer was good. That meant everyone was happy and united and entertained by balls being thrown around and it was all good.

Once his turn was over, Brian came back and sat down next to Ruby. They started talking, although Mallory didn't catch most of it because bowling was a really noisy sport, with all the rolling and crashing and whatnot.

Brian had his arm around Ruby. It was cute, Mallory guessed. Although she was still kinda surprised that they'd lasted so long together. Not that they were a bad couple or anything. Mallory just thought that the whole 'dating-your-best-friend' thing was a bad idea. Mostly because romances were awkward.

She'd mentioned it to both Brian and Ruby. 'Isn't it weird?' That's what Mallory had said. Though, in retrospect, maybe she hadn't got much of an answer because she'd forgotten to clarify what she was talking about.

Eh. Mallory had probably over-thought it, anyway. Well, she'd thought about it for thirty seconds or so, but for her that was over-thinking. But the friends assumption was mostly built off things that other people who tried it said, so Brian and Ruby were probably just exceptions or something.

Mallory got distracted from her train of thought (not a hard task) by Regan, who had started explaining to Shiro about the origins of bowling. Something about the British using it as weapons against the—oh, she dreamed it. Pity. Mallory had actually been interested. Bowling balls would probably make a good weapon. Especially if someone stuffed them with dynamite. They'd hit really hard and then explode, plus they'd roll really well. Mallory had opened her mouth to mention this but then got sidetracked again by Regan's new explanation about how the 'fat president' invented it.

And then she'd been doubly thrown off by Regan calling a strike a 'home run.' That was... at least three kinds of wrong. Odd that Mallory had only started to realise Regan was a little bit odd when she started muddling sporting terms. The talk about fat presidents inventing bowling had seemed completely normal.

Then there was the actual attempt at bowling. Brian's strikes had been stunning in the conventional bowling sense. Regan's was stunning in a whole new way. Churchill would be proud, alright. She'd never seen a bowling ball bounce like that.

"Whoa. That was so terrible that I'm actually major impressed," Mallory said sincerely.

Regan had been excited about it, that was for sure. Beat that, she'd said. Then Owen had gotten up and declared his own intention to make Churchill proud. British honor or something. Was Churchill British? Honestly, Mallory couldn't really remember who he was... although he had something to do with a war, she was sure.

Owen's attempt had been a bit less impressive than Regan's. He hit a pin. Just the one. He didn't seem upset, he just turned around to proclaim Regan the winner of that one. Mallory was now wondering if Churchill was some kind of curse, though.

"Do you think Churchill is a bowling jinx? Everyone else was bowling good, and then the moment Churchill's name comes up..." Mallory clambered to her feet to bowl herself. "Bowling jinx, for sure. No way am I trying to make him proud."

Wouldn't make much of a difference, though. She couldn't beat Brian's streak, and the only way she could do worse than Regan was to somehow throw the bowling ball backwards and concuss the birthday boy. And that would just be awkward. Mallory picked up a bowling ball, swung her arm back and let the ball fly.

Probably should have at least tried to aim it. It hit the gutter. And not in an impressive way like what Regan had done. Mallory scratched the side of her head and grinned.

"Damn. I guess Churchill is mad at me for not trying to do him proud. Oh well, who's next?"
Edited by Violent-Medic, May 27 2012, 08:10 AM.
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JamesRenard
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Furry on Ice
[ *  *  * ]
Darren had to admit he was incredibly amazed when Brian got his turkey. And, admittedly, a little envious, as he himself hadn't achieved that feat yet. His personal best was two braces in a single game, but he'd never got, nor witnessed, three strikes all in a row. "You lucky sonova..." Darren trailed off, clapping his hands while grinning at Brian. "Nice job," he said, taking a sip from his drink and looked around at the other people sitting or standing around nearby.

This is what a birthday is all about. Hanging out with friends, having lots of fun together, listing to Regan... who's making crazy statement after statement.

"Regan, you are just... je ne sais quoi," he said, spouting some French randomly for no real reason other than he and she shared a class. And did she really just call a strike a home run, of all things, or am I imagining things again?

It reminded him that he ought to play some baseball on Wii Sports during the weekend, when he was done with homework and tidying his mess of a room up. Maybe try some aiming exercises, or maybe even try and beat Sakura's team. God, she was downright evil when it came to pitching the ball at his Mii, especially with all those fastballs, curveballs and splitters thrown into the mix. Heck, he ought to give bowling a go on there as well, maybe try and find that secret cheat that everyone online had been going on about.

"If I roll the ball along the edge of the gutter, you know, along the top of the barrier," Darren spoke, resting his hand on his chin and looking out towards the far end of the lanes where the pins said, "do you think it would hit a secret switch that knocks all the pins down?"

Whoa, that sounded almost as random as Regan just then.

As much as Darren wanted to try that out for real, he was certain he would cause some sort of damage if he wasn't careful enough, the kind of damage that was usually captured on camera and sent in to America's Funniest Home Videos. Similar to people throwing bowling balls through the ceiling, or slipping over and sliding down the slick lane. Actually, that last one sounded quite fun. Stupid, and worthy of being thrown out the building, but still fun. The people running the bowling alley probably wouldn't appreciate their venue being partially destroyed because he'd tried to copy something he'd seen on a video game, though.

If I accidentally throw the ball backwards, will everyone jump up, spin around and cry out? Probably not. Not going to risk trying it either, I don't want to brain someone by accident.

Darren realized he'd completely zoned out, and had missed Regan's and Owen's turns while he was deep in thought, and now Mallory was just finishing hers. As she finished her frame with a gutterball and came back down, she asked who was next to bowl.

"That would be me, I believe," Darren said, taking a quick sip and then put his drink down by his seat. He stood up, making his way to the lane and grabbing a bowling ball he felt comfortable with. Too heavy and he wouldn't be able to control its trajectory. Too light and the throw would lack the power necessary for a strike, which he needed if there was any hope of catching up with Brian's score. Not that trying to beat him was an urgent matter, seeing as it wasn't a league match. And it was Brian's birthday after all. But still, a strike would be nice. Best I've got so far tonight is an eight spare.

He walked towards the lane, swinging his arm back and throwing the ball forwards at the line. It trundled down the right-hand side of the lane, slowly curving towards the left as it rolled towards the pins.

"C'mon, c'monc'monc'monc'monc'mon..."

The ball hit dead center, sending the pins scattering with an oddly pleasant crashing sound. "YE-what."

All but two pins fell, both positioned in the back row on either side. "Oh come on, that's just cruel!" he cried out, throwing his arms up in frustration and grabbing another ball from the rack, waiting for the felled pins to be swept out of the way. No way I'll get both, just have to settle with one of 'em.

He threw the second ball down, aiming for the pin on the far left. However, the ball didn't swerve as much as he wanted and it shot in between the two pins that remained.

"Hahah, I guess I got a goal!" he said, returning to his seat with a beaming smile on his face.
Edited by JamesRenard, Jan 26 2012, 05:54 PM.
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[ *  *  *  * ]
And next up was none other than Regan Flagg herself, who from the sound of things had just been in the middle of yet another one of her odd little tangents.

Winston Churchill? Well, can't say I've ever heard anyone associate a former British Prime Minister with bowling before.

Ruby chuckled quietly to herself as Regan got baseball and bowling terms mixed up, seeing as she knew that kind of thing tended to really annoy bowlaholics like Brian. Then again, nearly everything Regan said amused Ruby to some extent. If Brian was considered to be her closest male friend, Regan was easily her closest female one. Heck, some people argued that SHE was Ruby's actual best friend instead of Brian, what with Brian being her boyfriend and all.

And admittedly, whilst Ruby still considered Brian to be her best friend despite the fact that the two of them were currently dating, she and Regan shared a special bond that was... Well, difficult to explain. Whenever Ruby was feeling down, Regan never failed to bring a smile to her face, even when she was at her most cynical and depressed. And of course, at the same time, Ruby was always there to cheer Regan up whenever she was feeling angsty about her difficult home life.There was just something about Regan that made Ruby a little feel warm inside. Sure, occasionally Ruby had to tell her to slow down a little whenever she started to go off on another tangent, but for the most part Ruby actually kinda liked how active Regan's imagination got sometimes. Occasionally, she'd come up with some crazy idea which Ruby would use as the basis for a short story of some description (with Regan's permission of course), and whenever she found herself stuck trying to figure out a way around a particularly annoying plot hole Regan would always come up with some kind of crazy solution.

As cheesy as it sounded, there where times were Ruby almost felt as though Regan was like a sister to her. Even if she did tend to ramble on a bit sometimes. If anything though, Ruby always found her tendency to do that to be kinda cute in a way.

That said, Ruby's hadn't originally intended to bring Regan along to the party, and it was actually Brian who suggested to her that she should ask Regan to join the game. It wasn't that she didn't want to be around Regan right now. Far from it in fact. Its just that this was more Brian's party than Ruby's, so she had assumed that Regan wouldn't be all that interested in joining in. Plus, as far as Ruby knew, Regan wasn't exactly the greatest bowler in the world. Then again, who knows, she could surprise you...

Sure enough, Regan DID surprise her when she literally threw the ball down the aisle. Just not quite in the same way she imagined.

"See, I told you she would enjoy herself!" said Brian, who was obviously trying to suppress his desire to laugh out loud at Regan's gleefully cheesy victory pose.

"Yeah, I uh... Guess you're right." Ruby replied, somewhat more uneasily than she intended to.

"Whoa. That was so terrible that I'm actually major impressed,"

Ruby quickly glanced in Mallory's direction, and for a brief moment she felt the need to say something back in Regan's defence. However, it almost immediately became apparent that Mallory's comment wasn't made in spite, although it was difficult to tell whether or not it was an actual compliment either. Mallory always had a tendency to speak her mind, and whilst Ruby usually respected her blunt honesty there were times when she was strongly tempted to chew her out for it. Then again, Ruby was hardly the kind of person who reserved their opinion of others either, so she tended to feel somewhat hypocritical when she got annoyed with Mallory for being honest.

In any case, she just hoped that Regan didn't take it the wrong way. Nah, she probably didn't view it that way. She's not as judgemental of other people as a I am.

Just to make sure that this was the case, as Regan sat back down and Owen walked up to take his turn, she didn't waste any time in reassuring her friend.

"If it makes you feel any better Regan, I used to do that all the time when I first started bowling."

"What're you talking about Ruby? What Regan just did was the coolest thing I've ever seen!" said Brian, a big grin on his face.

Ruby couldn't help but lightly chuckle to herself. "Yes, well, I guess that's also true..."

"If I roll the ball along the edge of the gutter, you know, along the top of the barrier, you think it would hit a secret switch that knocks all the pins down?"

For a few seconds, Brian and Ruby just stared at Darren, neither of them particularly sure how to answer that question. Oddly enough, it was eventually Shiro who came up with an answer.

"Maybe? It might not be such a good idea to try though..."

Once that exchange was over, Ruby and Brian watched as Mallory and Darren took their respective turns, neither of them managing to score any particularly special home runs... Wait, no, I meant goals. No wait, actually I... Oh forget it, its my turn now anyway.

She looked up at Brian, a smile appearing on her face. "Well, I guess its my turn to try and wipe that cocky grin off your face." she said as she got up and walked towards the aisle, picking the lightest ball she could find rolling it down the aisle.

C'mon, lets see if I can get at least ONE strike before we all have to head off...

She missed.

...Crap. Oh well, maybe I can at least get a spare.

She tried again, only this time she successfully knocked some of the pins down. Some being the key word.

Oh... Drat. How depressingly mediocre.

Despite her somewhat underwhelming performance, Brian was still applauding her as she returned to her seat, the Russian boy already getting up so that he could take his turn.

"Ouch... Better luck next time then?" he said reassuringly.

"Yeah, I suppose... Going for four in a row this time?"

"You bet!" he said, a cocky grin on his face. "Wish me luck!"

On that note, Brian leaned forward and gave Ruby a quick kiss on the lips before swiftly moving past her so that he could figure out which ball to use. Ruby paused for a second before sitting down at her seat, an uncertain expression finding itself on her face for a brief moment as she lightly bit her lip. She quickly stopped doing so as she looked to her friends, acting as though nothing happened. Damnit Ruby, act natural! Its not like that was the first time you ever kissed him. Hell, that was pretty fucking mild compared to some of the other kisses you've shared with him in the past...

So, in an attempt to distract herself from the niggling feeling of doubt that was currently eating away at her, Ruby decided to engage in conversation.

"Say Regan, have you ever heard of Akron and Family? You know, the band we're seeing later?"
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Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
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Sister Grimm
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I am a great biotic wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind! A great biotic wind!
[ *  * ]
Those in attendance seemed impressed. As a non-bowler, Regan had assumed beginners luck. It was probably something that happened to everyone. Well, everyone who bowled. Probably not so much to people who didn't. A bowling ball didn't magically appear with the express purpose of bouncing. That would be crazy. But, anyway. Everyone was impressed. And rightly so. Because the ball had bounced! Twice! Among the audience, Regan founds her eyes going straight to Ruby. Brian and Owen and Mallory and whoever thinking she was a bowling savant was great and all, but it was Ruby whose opinion really mattered. Still sitting next to Brian, who had was Regan would interpret as an admiring grin on his face, Ruby looked...impressed? Hopefully that expression was impressed. Maybe awed? Awed would also be acceptable. Something along those lines. Amazed might work, but that could be a trap. Like, 'I'm amazed you're so bad'. No, let's stick with awed and impressed.

But, of course, impressed could also be used in the context of something bad. As evidenced by Mallory. All the same Regan took it as a compliment, a goofy grin as she waved her hand, as if to say 'aw, shucks'. And at Owens comment, she nodded, throwing in a quick "Hell yes I win," before returning to her seat. She didn't really pay attention to the people that followed after her. Shiro glanced up at her warily, like someone observing a dog that had already bitten them once. Regan decided to show Shiro mercy. He was obviously not exactly ecstatic about having the weird girl sitting next to him. Never let it said she was entirely inconsiderate to other people. Just mostly inconsiderate. To be fair, most people were vocal about when she started to wear out her welcome, so she didn't really need to be. Shiro didn't really seem the type to actually tell her she was being annoying, so she took it upon herself to extricate, er, herself. Besides, irritating the regulars would have been a good way to not get invited to any other Ruby-hosted gatherings, and that was the absolute last thing she wanted. Well, unless they were bowling. In that case, maybe she wouldn't mind not being invited. Maybe. Not that she was having fun, she'd hasten to add. Did you see the ball? It bounced! Twice! That was crazy, and not just because she thought that was impossible. Or, at least, the improbable. But that alone was maybe worth the whole evening. The ball had bounced! Twice!

In any case, she stopped at her seat long enough to grab her jacket before crossing to the other line of seats and sitting down next to Ruby. She wondered briefly why she wasn't sitting next to her from the start. It was a good question, and one she didn't really have the answer to. Well, she could remedy that now. Best friend? No question. What about her band-mates?, you might ask. Well, it was possible for you to ask. They were a fine bunch of reubens. Splendid chaps, all of them. Friends, no question. But best friend(s)? No. Unless you can have multiple best friends. In which, case, they would all still be behind Ruby. Because Ruby was, well. She was just great. For one, she appreciated Regan's humor. Didn't mind when Regan rambled. Hell, she even made stories form Regan's rambling. How cool was that? Because of Ruby, Regan was sort of a spiritual writer. Or, something. Spiritual narrator. Like Morgan Freeman!

Anyway.

She really liked Ruby. She was sweet, and funny, and kind, and thoughtful, and pretty and...

Regan caught herself, stopped. For a few fleeting seconds, her face glowed red. She ducked her head, looked around guiltily, like a student cheating on a test and trying to keep an eye out for the teacher without looking too suspicious. She really hoped no one here was a physic. What? It was possible. That was how X-Men started, All it took was one mind-reader, you know. Then, BOOM! Your thoughts are read. Like. A. Book. And her thoughts would read like a particularly embarrassing book, especially if she kept thinking like that. Of course, those thoughts were her own, and no one had to know anything about them. Barring a psychic. Which was possible!

Besides, those thoughts were...anomalies. She was just still excited from her bowl run. It was nerves, was all. That was it. Nothing more. To say anything else was, well, it was crazy. Absurd. Ridiculous. Bonkers, even. Maybe even kooky! So, forget it. Forget about it.

Meanwhile, Ruby had stood up to take her turn. Regan, still mentally reeling, managed a mumbled 'good luck' as she took her turn. When Ruby was standing at the top of the lane, Regan found it hard, almost impossible to look anywhere else. Her eyes were still locked on the other girl as she finished her set and returned to her seat. It was only when Brian intercepted Ruby to give her a quick kiss that she was able to look away, feeling like someone had punched her in the stomach. She hunched forward, resting her elbows on her knees as she focused on the scuffed toe on her right shoe. Those same thoughts as before came back, mocking. She tried to swat them away, but, as unwelcome thoughts are wont to do, persisted. She didn't look up until she heard Ruby say her name. Regan looked up, sheepish. She tried to recall what Ruby had said, and came up with something about the band they were supposed to see afterward. Not exactly her cup of tea. She'd looked them up online when Ruby had broached the invitation to her initially. But Regan wasn't going to say that to Ruby. For all she knew, Ruby really liked them. Instead of saying anything potentially compromising, she just shook her head.

Brian took his turn at the lanes. Regan welcomed the distraction from Ruby for the first time in her life. She watched Brian like a hawk, tried to force any of those niggling doubts from her mind. He stood, staring down at the pins, ball in hand. Focusing, visualizing, pumping himself up. If Regan was feeling up to rambling, she might say he looked a pro golfer or something, because something something something golf. She just wasn't feeling it. Instead, she just watched at her rolled the ball down the lane. Closer, closer, looking all the world like a strike. Then the ball peeled to the right at the last second, managed to take out all the pins except one. Brian stared in silence for a few seconds before letting out a string of courses in what Regan assumed was Russian. It might have, she didn't know, Czech or Bulgarian or something. She sort of assumed they all sounded the same. For that matter ,she didn't for sure what part of Eastern Europe Zhdanovich belonged to. She assumed Russia, but assuming makes an ass out of u and i. Anyway, he managed to get the last pin before retuning to his seat, offering Ruby a sort of 'what can you do' shrug. Shiro followed after him, managing a strike in half the time it took Brian to get into the zone. Applause echoed around the birthday gathering, with Regan throwing in her own token clapping of the hands.

When it came her turn, she very nearly jumped from the seat. If watching Brian helped clear her mind at least a little, this should do wonders. Maybe she could make the ball bounce again. Maybe even three times! In any case, she didn't tell herself to impress Ruby this time, because that probably wouldn't help her confused and conflicted state of mind. Just focus on the pins. Imagine each one is, she didn't know, a Nazi or something. And the ball is a, a, bowling ball, flying at the Nazi. She braced her foot like she did before, swung her arm back, and let the ball loose. And it immediately went into the gutter. Literally. Not even touching the actual lane. From her hand, to the gutter. That was kind of impressive, right? Her second go was only slightly better, with the ball actually managing to make it halfway down the lane before rolling into the gutter. She turned back to the group with a shrug similar to the one Brian had offered. She returned to her seat next to Ruby, pushing her jacket into the vacant seat next to her.

Hesitantly, she spoke up. "So, I'm probably the worst bowlist you've ever seen, huh?"
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

Lost To the Ages
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
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((Sorry this took longer than it should have. Revision has been kicking my ass.))

As soon as Owen retook his seat, Mallory piped up from nearby, continuing the whole Churchill conversation. So, what, Winston Churchill is to bowling as Macbeth is to theatre? That’s... fair enough, actually. Owen nodded at her words, grinning. “Yeah, it’s definitely a jinx” he said. “Far as I know, Churchill was never a good bowlerer... er.” Oookay, whoa, getting stupid there Owen.

As Mallory went up to take her turn, Owen looked around the bowling alley and at the rest of Brian’s group. All in all, it was pretty much excellent. Owen knew everyone here, aside from Shiro, and he was good friends with Brian, Mallory and Darren. Owen had been worrying that someone like Aidan would be turning up when he’d first seen Regan, but yeah, that hadn’t happened. Yet. Maybe he was just hiding, waiting to ruin Owen’s evening. Aside from that, everything was pretty much awesome. Well, actually, I kinda really need a drink. But then again, I don’t want to miss my turn, or whatever... meh, I guess it can wait.

Owen looked back towards the lanes, to see that Mallory had, like Regan, launched her bowling ball straight into the gutter. He smiled at her mentioning of Churchill again. God, we’re just gonna keep this going, aren’t we? Next we’re gonna be talking about how Winston was the greatest rock star of his time, or something. “Churchill’s just a vengeful dick, I guess.” Owen said.

Darren was up next, it seemed. As he walked up to take his turn, Owen’s mind wandered as it was prone to do. He noticed that Regan seemed to be acting slightly oddly, but then again. Regan. Her name was pretty much another word for odd. Owen focused his mind back on Darren’s attempts at bowling. He looked back over at him just in time to see all but the two opposite pins fall, and Darren crying out in frustration. Owen couldn’t help laughing, and said “Oooh, that’s just not cool, Mr. Bowling God.” Then, Darren went and mentioned scoring a goal. What, we’re gonna throw in football too, now? Wait, no. “Soccer”, bleh. Well, why not? “You’re just lucky I wasn’t there, Darren.” Owen continued speaking. “I coulda saved that, easy. Actually, maybe not. They’re kinda heavy and all. And pretty fast.”

Ruby was up next, her performance being better than Owen and Mallory’s, but nowhere near as good as Brian’s. When Brian went up to take his turn, Owen had an almost overwhelming urge to shout “Get a room!” at them, but thought better of it. That shit was generally classified as rude. He still couldn’t help rolling his eyes at them, though, with a wry smile on his face.

Brian and Regan’s attempts came and went, Brian inches away from getting another strike, and Regan miles away. Light years, even. That is a measurement of distance, right? Fuck you, Camper Liam. Regan, returned to her seat, stating that she was probably the world’s worst bowlist. Whilst that seemed like a pretty accurate statement right now, Owen thought it’d be pretty harsh to say so, so instead he recalled a memory from when he was about eleven. “Regan, until you can bowl the ball so softly it completely stops in the middle of the lane, then I’m sorry, but that title goes to my friend Adam. Anyways, looks like it’s my turn, huh?”

Owen stood up, cracking his fingers again. He didn’t really care which ball he took, or how exactly he threw it now, he was so far behind on points. He swung it with as much power, and as little accuracy, as possible, and to his shock, the ball crashed into the centre of the pins, sending them all flying. Owen stood looking at them for a moment, before turning back to the group, a massive grin on his face. “Wow, really?” he said, still slightly unable to believe it. “Guess that’s an ace then.” Fuck it; let’s just throw tennis in there too, why not.

Owen was about to take his seat again, but he realised that his throat was seriously starting to kill him. “Hey, Brian?” he said, half-way between sitting and standing. “I seriously need something to drink right now, ‘s it, like... okay if I go grab something?”
Edited by Pippin, Jan 30 2012, 07:09 PM.
V7 BAYBEE

FOLDER OF DESTINY

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Violent-Medic
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Hahah, I guess I got a goal!"

Mallory grinned and made a "pssshhhhrrrrrr" sound that was meant to be an imitation of a soccer crowd cheering. She didn't really know Darren that well, only in a 'friend of a friend' sense. He seemed like a nice enough guy and he was making soccer-related jokes, so that made him alright so far. Then again, most people were alright by Mallory's standards as long as they weren't douches that liked picking on others and both Brian and Ruby were both smart enough to avoid people like that.

"You're just lucky I wasn't there, Darren. I coulda saved that, easy. Actually, maybe not. They're kinda heavy and all. And pretty fast."

Mallory nodded in response to Owen. "Yeah, it might be tricky. I mean, you can't head a bowling ball. Unless you're Superman. But you're not Superman, so you'd just crush your skull. You'd ooze everywhere and it'd be so sticky and no-one would want to clean it up."

It was Ruby's turn to bowl. Despite her attempt to wipe Brian's grin off his face, she didn't do so well. Not terrible, like Regan or Owen or Mallory herself, but not fantastic. It broke the streak of everyone getting either a strike or close to it, or managing only to hit a pin if that. Until then it had been like a game of football where everyone had either scored a really fantastic touchdown or tripped into the quarterback right at the start and caused a domino effect which made everyone else trip over.

Brian got up for his turn, ready to attempt the fourth strike. But before that, he quickly kissed Ruby on the lips. Mallory was sure she saw a weird expression flicker across Ruby's face right afterwards. Kind of an uncomfortable expression. Maybe she ate something bad. Most of the food here was fairly decent, though... must have been something she ate before the party.

Although it happened at the same time as the kiss, almost, so maybe Brian had eaten something that she was allergic to and the leftover allergic-making-ness of the food was left. Whatever it was, it was only a brief thing. In just a moment Ruby looked normal again.

"Say Regan, have you ever heard of Akron and Family? You know, the band we're seeing later?"

Regan didn't say anything, she just shook her head. Mallory shuffled over a bit so she could chip into the conversation.

"Haven't heard much. Riley had a song of theirs on one of them mixed CDs that a friend or a girlfriend or something made for him. It was very..." Mallory wrinkled her nose, trying to think of the word. "Spacey? Spacey sounds right. Never heard more than that, though."

A long stream of possibly Russian profanities was heard. Brian had missed one pin. He did manage to hit the last pin on his second try, but it still messed up his streak. Mallory groaned.

"Ouch. Tough luck," she said.

Then it was Shiro's turn, followed by Regan. Shiro got a strike, no problem, and Mallory cheered like everyone else. Then Regan hit the gutter again. Unsurprising, although Mallory had been half-expecting her to throw it into another lane.

She didn't know either Shiro or Regan that well, come to think of it. It was weird, considering that Shiro was a good friend of Brian's and Regan was Ruby's best friend apart from Brian. Why didn't she know her friend's friends? Weird, that's what it was.

"So, I'm probably the worst bowlist you've ever seen, huh?"

"Regan, until you can bowl the ball so softly it completely stops in the middle of the lane, then I'm sorry, but that title goes to my friend Adam. Anyways, looks like it's my turn, huh?"

"It could be a lot worse," Mallory added, as Owen got up to bowl. "I'm sure there's been people who threw it into the wrong lanes or concussed someone by throwing it behind you. When you try to bowl and somehow concuss Brian--not wishing it on you, Brian, just an example--then we can declare you the worst. Besides, how many people can make bowling balls bounce? Twice? You must have, like, a crazy arm on you."

Mallory only stopped rambling her weird meant-to-be-a-reassurance-but-it-got-lost-along-the-way-from-her-brain-to-her-mouth when Owen asked Brian if he could get a drink.

"What? Is it my turn?" Mallory clambered to her feet and grabbed a bowling ball. This time, she actually put some effort into trying to line it up. Only a couple of seconds worth, but... it counted.

It seemed to help. The ball crashed into the left side of the cluster of pins and knocked four over. The second try got another three. Nowhere near a strike or... whatever knocking down all the pins in two attempts was called... but it was a big improvement from throwing the ball into the gutter.

"Awesome. Seven up. ...And that sounds like a drink. Now I'm thirsty, too." Mallory had a bottle of water in her bag, which she'd brought so that she didn't have to buy mega-expensive drinks that she couldn't afford. Sometimes drink prices in places like bowling alleys were insane. She plopped back into her seat while rummaging through her bag for her drink bottle.

"By the way, Rubes..." Mallory added, as she located the bottle. "You were making faces. Stomach ache or something?"
Edited by Violent-Medic, Jan 31 2012, 02:06 AM.
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JamesRenard
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[ *  *  * ]
Darren raised an eyebrow when Owen spoke about saving the bowling ball from entering the 'goal', and probably would have mentioned something to him that involved splattered brains and announcements of 'clean up on lane five', had Mallory not beat him to it. "Yeah, I agree, that would be... messy, to say the least. I mean, there's using your head, but I think that's more like losing your head, heh," he said, sitting back down in his seat. Yeah, lame joke, but whatever.

Ruby went next, knocking a few pins down with her two throws, and after a quick kiss on the lips, Brian followed after her, scoring a nine-spare. Darren visibly jumped in his seat however when the boy spouted a string of foreign words that were most likely expletives. Um... damn, was he speaking Russian? Uhh... what did he say? That's... damn, no, can't translate that at all. Wonder if Brian could teach me some of those swear words later on?

Regan took to the lane next. Regan threw the ball into the gutter, again. Twice. "Sorry, Regan, but I think the title of worst bowler belongs to that guy who didn't let go of the bowling ball and flew down the lane with it. I mean, how can you even do that?" he said, remembering a video he'd seen on YouTube some months ago.

A loud clattering sound grabbed Darren's attention, who turned his head just in time to see the last pins fall as Owen pulled off a strike. Gah, why is everyone getting strikes except me today? Nevertheless, Darren applauded the blond-haired boy who seemed extremely pleased with himself. "Wait wait wait, an ace? What is this, some kind of sports-mix game we're playing now? So... uh... guess I'm going to try for a touchdown or... slam-dunk after Mallory, huh?"

Darren quite suddenly had an image of him charging down the lane with a bowling ball tucked under his arm, diving forward and crashing through the pins with his entire body.

I... I really have no idea where the hell that thought came from.

Mallory stepped up and knocked seven of the ten pins over with her go, not a bad score in Darren's opinion, taking into consideration the gutter-ball she got last time round. "Oh, yeah, it's my turn, here I go," Darren said, getting to his feet. He grabbed the same ball he used for his first throw last time; it was his lucky bowling ball, of sorts. Well, it didn't prove exactly lucky for him last time. But hey, there's always this time. He pitched back and threw the ball forwards. The ball sped down the middle of the lane crashed into the pins, knocking all but one down. "Oh boy, not the strike I was hoping for, but it's better than last time," he mumbled to himself.

He grabbed the next ball from the rack, this one slightly lighter for better accuracy. He pitched it forwards, knocking the one remaining pin down to give him a nine-spare, his best score so far of the night. "Yeah, bingo!" he whooped, "okay, so bingo's not a sport, sue me."
Edited by JamesRenard, Feb 7 2012, 07:18 PM.
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Fiori
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I still can't believe this... One strike away from the most perfect game of my life, and I botch it. God damnit...

Despite being something of a slacker, Brian had always considered himself to be something of a perfectionist when it came to bowling. He was always ended up being the only one playing who actually cared about winning, which as a result has led to him becoming very competitive sometimes whenever he was playing against someone who was very skilled at the game. And whilst he happened to be taking it easier than usual for this game, seeing as he was playing with a group of close friends who weren't actually that good at the game rather than an opposing team of skilled experts, he still couldn't help but get somewhat annoyed whenever he seriously botched a round.

That said, for the most part he was still miles ahead of everyone else as far as the scoreboards concerned. But whether or not he was winning wasn't what bugged him. What did bug him however was the fact that he was one pin away from scoring four strikes in a row. And despite the fact that he knew fine well that the chances of him getting four strikes in a row were pretty astronomically high, the fact that he was so close to achieving that feat made it all the more irksome.

The fact that Shiro just managed to score a lucky strike didn't particularly help.

This was far from the first time that Brian felt jealous of his Japanese teammate. Heck, back when the two of them first met Brian wasn't exactly that fond of him. It was in the middle of a History lesson that the two of them met for the first time, seeing as History happened to be the only subject which they both shared, and it was there that Brian first felt jealous of his fellow student. Whilst Brian had spent months failing to earn Mr Connor's praise and respect, Shiro had managed to succeed within seconds where Brian had failed. Then there was the fact that Shiro happened to be an ace mathematics student, whereas Brian always found mathematics to be his most difficult subject. But what really got Brian was the fact that when Shiro joined the track & field team, he very quickly began to earn the respect and admiration of his fellow teammates thanks to his impressive speed and stamina.

So eventually, Brian decided to settle things once and for all by challenging his teammate to a race around the school field to see which of them was truly the fastest. Shiro had hesitantly agreed, and it wasn't long until the two of them had were running neck and neck to see which of them was the best. In the end though, the race ended up being draw. However, despite the fact that neither of them won, from that day on Brian began to greatly respect his newfound teammate. And before long, the two had gone from being competitive rivals to close friends.

Which was exactly the reason why Brian was the one who was cheering Shiro the most, despite the fact that he was also feeling a tad jealous of his Japanese friend.

"Um, lucky shot I guess?" said Shiro uneasily as he scratched the back of his head.

"Hehe, lucky's one way of putting it..." replied Brian as he grabbed the half-full can of soda that lay before him and finished it off with one gulp.

Whilst Brian was busy chatting to his friend, Ruby was busy watching Regan as she took her turn, her friend failing once again to hit any of the pins. Ruby couldn't help but feel sorry for the poor girl, especially seeing as she had to first watch Brian brag about how awesomely he was doing. That said, she didn't seem to be taking it TOO badly, and if anything all her other friends were being very friendly.

Maybe a bit TOO friendly though. As soon as Regan sat down next to her and began speaking, everyone had managed to beat Ruby to the punch and comfort her before she had an opportunity to do so herself. As good as it was to see everyone act so nicely to her friend, a part of Ruby was a little... Well, annoyed that she couldn't be the one to comfort her herself. She wasn't exactly sure why, but deep down she felt as though out of everyone here she was the one who deserved to comfort Regan the most. She was HER friend after all, so in a way she felt as though it was kind of HER duty to make sure that she was happy.

In the end though, she still managed to get a chance to add her own ten cents.

"To be honest Regan, I think the only one here who actually cares about winning is Brian." she said, briefly glancing at her Russian boyfriend to see what his reaction was.

To her surprise though, he was too busy answering Own's question.

"Uh, yeah sure. Hold on a sec..." he said, his hands digging deep into his pockets. "Whilst you're at it, would you mind grabbing me a lemon Ice Tea? Thanks man." he asked, handing the other boy a five dollar note.

"By the way, Rubes... You were making faces. Stomach ache or something?"

Ruby immediately turned to Mallory, her question catching her ever so slightly off guard. Mainly because Ruby knew fine well what the answer was, and she knew for a fact that the last thing she needed was to admit what it was right now in front of Brian.

After all, she couldn't think of a worse time to tell her boyfriend that she no longer enjoyed his kisses.

There was of course a time when she did enjoy kissing him. Back when the two of them had first hooked up, Ruby had been very nervous about taking their relationship too far too quickly, and as a result it was ages before the two of them shared their first proper kiss. But for reasons Ruby never really understood, kissing Brian was never quite as enjoyable as she felt it should have been. It wasn't as if he was a bad kisser or anything. Its just that... Well, it just never really felt right. Something about it always bothered her, and to this day Ruby could never figure out what exactly.

Not that she ever let Brian know this of course. She always pretended to enjoy his kisses just as much as he did. And, eventually, she actually kinda did wind up enjoying Brian's kisses for a while. She could recall many moments when the two of them had made out without a single doubtful thought entering her mind. It wasn't really until she turned sixteen that she began to feel doubtful again, and his kisses went back to being uncomfortable. Even slight pecks were beginning to make her skin itch, whilst before she had been able to kid herself into enjoying them.

Part of her suspected the main reason for this being the fact that the two of them were now at the age of consent. And deep down, Ruby knew that whilst Brian never outright said it, he was desperate to take their relationship to the next level. Pretending to enjoy kissing Brian was one thing, but pretending to enjoy sleeping with him on the other hand was something she was NOT looking forward to. Of course, the thought did cross her mind many times that maybe she would enjoy sex a lot more than she enjoyed kissing. Deep down though, she highly suspected that wouldn't be the case. But as much as she didn't want to put it to the test, she knew that very soon she would have to finally stop dodging the subject and finally get it out into the open.

She remembered Mallory asking off-handily how the two of them had stayed together for so long. In all honesty, Ruby had been desperate to split up with Brian for months now. Not because she didn't like him. Hell, if anything, that was the main why she couldn't bring herself to do it. Whilst Brian never knowingly pressured her into doing anything, she could tell that deep down he cared deeply about her. And whilst she wanted to see him share that affection with someone who would be able to return it properly, she just couldn't bring herself to break his heart by admitting that the last few years of their relationship had been a complete sham.

THAT was why she decided to lie to Mallory rather than admit the truth.

"Yeah, something like that."

Darren was next up, and after he was done it was finally Ruby's go again.

"okay, so bingo's not a sport, sue me."

"Duly noted..." Ruby replied as she grabbed a light ball and made her move, managing to hit most of the pins this time, only to then miss on her second go.

She sighed to herself as she returned to her seat, apathetically high-fiveing Brian as he walked past her to grab his favourite bowling ball. As she sat down, she turned to Regan and gave her a comforting smile, trying desperately to hide the fact that Mallory's question had reminded her of the fact that there was another present which she had promised to give Brian later that night.

"So Regan, are you having fun?"

Meanwhile, Brian was busy lining up his shot, mentally telling himself over and over again not to fail this time. C'mon Brian, you can do this. It's not too late to take home the gold. C'mon baby, give me a strike!

Then, just as he was about to make his move, the mobile phone in his jacket pocket began to play a song.

By that point however it was too late to stop the momentum, and Brian was helpless to stop his ball from veering off to the side and entering the gutter.

This time however, instead of unleashing a barrage of foreign curses, Brian just stood there in stunned silence for a while as his phone continued to play it's song.

I..... I........... Oh damn. That is just..... Damn.

After a several seconds of awkward silence passed, Brian slowly retrieved his phone to check what it was.

"...Huh, it's an alarm. What do you know..." he said uncertainly, his hands trembling as he tried to hide the fact that his face was now beetroot red in embarrassment.

Whilst Brian was still in a state of shock, Ruby quickly checked her own phone to see what the time was, only to make a slightly surprising discovery. "Oh crap, the concert starts in twenty-five minutes. We better wrap this game up quickly."

Nodding in reply, Brian quickly grabbed another ball and scored a spare before returning to his seat, trying as best as he could to act as though he hadn't missed at all.

"That, uh, didn't count... Y'know, what with the alarm throwing me off-balance and all." he blurted out after a few seconds of silence.

"Ahuh, sure..." Ruby replied.

On that note, Shiro scored another lucky strike, causing everyone to cheer him on as he shyly returned to his seat.

Damn, he's getting good at this...
V5 Characters

Brian Zhdanovich - Homestead
Ruby Forrester - Shopping Mall
Jenna Rhodes - Hotel

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Sister Grimm
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I am a great biotic wind that will sweep all before me like a... a great wind! A great biotic wind!
[ *  * ]
She was feeling a little better now, having made something of a recovery. Not at 100% or anything, but there was still more time to recover before the evening was over. The concert would probably be pretty convenient when it came to that. In her experience, there was more, you know, listening to the music than talking. Then again, the concerts she'd been to before had been ones she'd picked. Like, of her own volition. Because she knew and liked the band she was seeing. Not so much because a friend invited her. But hey, maybe she'd be surprised and the show would be awesome for reasons other than providing a chance to chill with Ruby. Stranger things have happened. Like that story about two brothers being killed in a hit and run exactly a year apart at the exact same time by the exact same taxi driver. It might have been murder, but it was more fun to imagine it was all a coincidence.

Anyway. More swaying than talking was her point. So even if she couldn't get he head on straight, it would still be okay. It was some consolation that Ruby appeared to be off her game, too. Certainly not for the same reasons, of course. But, you know, it was nice someone else was in the same sort of boat. Ruby just seemed better at masking it. Or, maybe not, considering Mallory saw her, but whatever. Okay, she didn't know what she was talking about now, so moving on.

She looked up at the words of encouragement from pretty much everyone in attendance who wasn't Brian or Shiro. It was endearing, to say the least. She wasn't hurting for friends or anything, but she didn't really know anyone here aside from Ruby. It was cool that they clicked like this. Common decency was considered clicking, right? She was going to consider it clicking, so there. Granted, the words of encouragement were akin to 'yeah, you're bad, but you could be worse'. Still, she'd take it.

"So Regan, are you having fun?"

Regan did had to admit, she was liking the attention Ruby was giving her. In a purely platonic way, of course. You would have thought that went without saying, but she felt another blush threatening to creep up her neck. So, platonic question. Regan thought of it the same was if her dad or Hawke asked it. Still, she wanted to say something witty or funny, something that would make Ruby laugh or smile. Maybe a comic book reference? Something Deadpool said? Nope, all she could think of was 'I'm Batman', which really wasn't funny or clever in this situation. In fact, there was probably a very small frame where that would work.

So, considering the alternative, Regan offered a more practical, "Yeah. I just wish I was as good at bowling as I am at playing a guitar." That was good, right? Jokey, injecting some levity. Okay, maybe levity wasn't needed, but still. But it was good. It highlighted what she was best at, showed she wasn't taking her lack of bowling ability too seriously, showed that she could roll with the punches. Maybe it wasn't 'I'm your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man', but it worked. For lack of anything better, it worked. Besides, she was pretty sure that was what a normal person would probably have said anyway. So, win-win.

She was distantly aware of Brian and Shiro taking their turns, which meant she'd be up soon. What were the chances she'd suddenly be awesome this time? Pretty good. she thought. The law of averages had to throw her a bone sooner or later. Maybe she'd even get a strike so magnificent, so glorious, everyone watching would kneel and offer their respects to a being so much greater than they. Maybe her strike would reinvent the very notion of bowling. Maybe, just maybe, it would impress everyone so much that they'd carry her out of the bowling hall, crowd-surfing style. Than the under-dog team would win the big game and the hospital patient would pull through and the star player would get the girl. Or guy. Guy, depending on who the star player was. Guy is what she meant to say.

Despite all odds, she managed to do better this turn. Or maybe it wasn't in spite of the odds, considering she couldn't do much worse. Either way, a strike. An actual, honest to God strike. The pins were all knocked down and everything. She pumped her fist, the universal sign of 'fuck yeah'. Maybe it didn't reinvent the sport, but it was pretty good, especially for her. She turned on her heel, addressing her adoring fans with a cocky grin. "Yeah. That was me."

Her walk back to her seat could on be described as a saunter. Or possibly a swagger. But definitely not a stroll. Also, have you ever noticed how many different words for walking start with an 's'? Like, a lot. She bet if you looked it up in a thesaurus, it would take up the whole page. Anyway, the gist is that she walked back to her seat confidently. Walking tall. Just daring anyone to step to her. Taking her seat, she offered Ruby that same cocky smile. "How about that? Pretty awesome, huh?"
"There are, it has been said, two types of people in the world. There are those who, when presented with a glass that is exactly half full, say: this glass is half full. And then there are those who say: this glass is half empty. The world belongs, however, to those who can look at the glass and say: What's up with this glass? Excuse me? Excuse me? This is my glass? I don't think so. My glass was full! And it was a bigger glass" -Terry Pratchett, The Truth

Lost To the Ages
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Pippin
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party wurmple never sleeps. only dances.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Brian seemed slightly distracted as he answered Owen’s question. Owen guess it was probably due to the fact that Ruby had spoken to, or rather about, him at exactly the same time. Whatever the reason was, Owen just let it slide. He didn’t want to bother the guy on his birthday now, did he? Owen took the five dollars, nodding and saying “No problem” as he did so. He started to walk off in the direction that the whole drink... selling... place was.

Okay, wow, that was some good English there Owen. How the hell are you doing so well at the subject?

As Owen was walking, he realised that he didn’t actually know what he wanted to drink. Yeah, he hadn’t thought this whole thing through very well, had he? Come to think of it, he’d had a bottle of water at tennis, hadn’t he? It probably would have been a good idea to bring that. Oh well. Learn from his mistakes, yadda yadda yadda. Owen stopped a few metres away from the bar area, so he didn’t look like a complete idiot standing right up close to it. If Owen had turned around at that point, he’d have noticed Brian’s phone making a complete fool of its owner.

Eventually Owen decided that he couldn’t decide, and just went with the same thing Brian was having. He had never actually had a lemon Ice Tea before, but hey, it sounded nice, and all Owen really wanted was something to drink. Owen quickly purchased the two drinks, not wanting to miss his turn or hold the rest of the group up, slightly fumbling with the money. He’d pretty much got used to American dollars by now, but it was still a little hard to adjust after using pounds and pennies for his entire life.

As Owen made his way back to the group, his mind went to the concert they were going to see after bowling. He’d never actually heard of the band they were going to see, and couldn’t quite remember what genre of music they played, but the most important thing to Owen was that this was actually the first concert he was going to have gone to. He’d always wanted to go to one; his cousin Alex was always going around Britain to concerts. A combination of money problems and moving to America had meant he’d never been able to, until now. Owen was still hoping that Daft Punk would announce a new tour soon; no matter where it was, or how much it cost, he would go and see them

Owen quickly reached the group, oblivious to what had gone on. “Hey guys!” he said cheerfully. “What’d I miss? Oh, yeah, Brian, here you go.” Owen handed his friend his drink, then turned round to see Regan retaking her seat. “Guess it’s my go again, then?” he muttered. He was definitely thirsty now, and he’d hoped he’d have a little time to have a drink before going again. He didn’t want to hold up the group though, so he went up to take his go, still clutching his drink.

His mind was on the concert and his drink, which he was also holding as he bowled, so Owen’s first bowl only managed to knock down three pins, and his second hit another three. Owen simply shrugged as he made his way back to his seat. “Ah well.” He said, sitting down. “Can’t win ‘em all, can you? At least, that seems to be the attitude Liverpool are currently taking...” A hint of bitterness had entered Owen’s voice. He still kept up with his favourite football team through the internet, and just like last year, they were doing spectacularly mediocre. Owen didn’t really care that most likely no-one would understand him; it fit the whole “sports theme” they were going with, didn’t it? So yes. It counted.
V7 BAYBEE

FOLDER OF DESTINY

"bryony and alba would definitely join the terrorists quote me on this put this quote in signatures put it in history books" - Cicada Days, 2017
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Violent-Medic
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[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Ruby said it was definitely a stomach ache. Must be a bummer to get a stomach ache during a bowling/concert party thing. That's the worst time to get sick. If she puked during the concert it would be all kinds of awkward and probably ruin someone's shoes.

Mallory quickly drank half the remaining contents of her water bottle before saying, "You should aim for the shoes of someone you don't like. If no-one like that's around, you can use my shoes. It'll be gross, but I need new ones anyway."

Darren and Ruby had their turns. Both did pretty good, although neither achieved strikes. Ruby gave Brian a high five as she passed by him. High fives were the best during sport. It meant comradeship or something. Always good.

"So Regan, are you having fun?"

"Yeah. I just wish I was as good at bowling as I am at playing a guitar."


"Guitar skills are more handy, though. Bowling's only good in a bowling alley. You can play guitar anywhere. Plus, guitar sounds good and it's potentially badass and if you do it really well on stage ladies throw underwear at you. Although that might be a dudes only thing." Mallory put her water bottle down. "I'd like to learn. But not for the underwear."

During this, Brian was lining up his shot and concentrating like the fate of the world depended on him bowling another strike. As he was about to make his move, however, his mobile phone went off. The ball went right into the gutter.

Mallory grinned. She wasn't glorying in Brian's fuck-up. But the timing of that phone call had amused her. Even more so when Brian mumbled that it was just an alarm.

"Nice," Mallory said, grinning wider and completely oblivious to how embarrassed Brian was. At about that time, Ruby mentioned that the concert would start in twenty-five minutes. Twenty-five? Mallory hoped they'd reach the concert in time. She'd never been to a concert before, despite really wanting to go to several, and missing the beginning of her first one would be a bummer. Almost as much as throwing up on someone's shoes.

Shiro got another lucky strike. He was pretty good for a beginner. Luck that good had to balance out at some point. He was probably going to be hit by a bus on the way to the concert or something.

Regan scored a strike as well, which was pretty damn surprising. Owen returned from getting his drink and had his turn as well. He did alright. He grumbled something about Liverpool thinking they can't win them all. Mallory didn't know what a Liverpool was (it sounded unpleasant) but the context made it sound like a sports team thing.

"Tell me about it," Mallory grumbled. She supported the Seahawks and, while they weren't doing terribly, they did lose more than they won lately. "It's my turn, right?"

She bowled fast. She didn't want to hold everyone else up for too long. A few seconds of consideration could be enough to make them miss the concert start. The ball knocked half the pins over. Her second try knocked three more over.

"How about that? Improvement. At this rate, I might actually get a strike before we head off," Mallory said, grinning as she trotted back to her seat.
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JamesRenard
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Furry on Ice
[ *  *  * ]
Darren walked past Ruby and took his seat, just as Owen left to go purchase his drink. Darren picked up his Pepsi and took a couple more gulps, then held the bottle up to examine just much of his drink remained. Huh, I've drunk half of this already? Damn, bowling must be thirsty work. He burped quietly, though he kept his mouth shut and hoped nobody picked up on the muted sounds emerging from his gullet.

Brian went to take his turn, and then was put off by a loud noise from his pocket, which turned out to be his phone going off. "Ouch... bad timing," Darren spoke, then looked round to Ruby who'd just announced that their concert was in less than half an hour. "Damn, that soon? I hope we get there on time," he said.

Truth be told, Darren wasn't all that keen on concerts. He wasn't a huge fan of loud noises, period. Last time had had gone to one, the loud music nearly deafened him and his ears wouldn't stop ringing for hours afterwards. However, this was Brian's birthday, and Darren thought it seemed rude if he didn't come along with the others. Well, I'll give this concert a try, might be better than the last one anyway.

Brian knocked the rest of the pins down and got a spare, Shiro followed after him and got a strike, and then Regan really surprised the redhead by getting a strike as well. Considering the misses she'd got in the previous two frames, it was a dramatic improvement. "Nice one!" he called out, clapping his hands for the girl as she returned. Owen returned and took his turn, knocking six pins down. He wasn't too happy about that, and mentioned something about Liverpool doing badly as well.

"Liverpool? What, the city?" Darren asked Owen while Mallory went up to take her go. Although he had a passing knowledge of British geography, all he knew about Liverpool was that it was quite a large city in the west of England, and that the Beatles came from there. But as for other facts about the city, nothing at all sprang to mind. Mallory returned, having scoring eight, meaning it was Darren's turn once more. "Uh, answer that when I come back from my turn, better make this quick," he said, walking up to the ball rack.

He grabbed the ball and rolled it down the lane, faster than he normally would in order to pick the pace of the game up. The result of his first throw was all the pins down, bar the very front one; a second ball knocked that final pin down, resulting in a second nine spare in a row. "Not bad, least I'm being consistent with the bowling," he said, shrugging his shoulders as he walked back to his seat. "Right, what was that about Liverpool?" he asked Owen.
Let's show that private threads aren't necessary! I pledge not to start any private threads on island in V5. If I started a thread, you are welcome to join it.
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B006: Darren Fox - Weapon(s): Lego "Creator" bucket /// Status: ALIVE /// Current location: Meltdown (Nuclear Plant - The Reactors)
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