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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 (2,744 Views)
Fiori
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The Fiorious One
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As much as Ruby wanted to see Regan get at least one strike in before they all had to leave, admittedly deep down she never actually believed that her friend would be able to pull one off. After all, so far Regan had proven to be the most inexperienced bowler out of all of them, and the fact that she had yet to even pull off a spare had greatly lowered Ruby's expectations.

Which was why she was VERY pleasantly surprised when Regan managed to knock down all the pins on her next (and last) turn. Whilst for the briefest moment Ruby wasn't entirely sure whether or not Regan had really gotten a lucky strike, her lips quickly formed a smile as she stood up and applauded her friend, whistling loudly as Regan casually sauntered back with a cocky grin on her face. After having such a bad run of luck for the past couple of turns, it was nice to see that her friend had at least one decent turn, even if they were all only playing for fun. Well, everyone but Brian anyway, not that he could really help himself.

Ruby's applause slowly grinded to a halt as Regan returned to her seat, the blonde-haired girl sitting back on her own seat as Regan began to speak to her. "How about that? Pretty awesome, huh?"

Ruby grinned back, her expression nearly as cocky as Regan's. "Not bad. Told you you'd get better at this game..." she said, reaching into one of her hoodie's pockets and retrieving a packet of gum with one piece left. "Here, it's not exactly a golden trophy, but you deserve it more than I do."

As she handed Regan her last stick of gum, Ruby turned her head to see how her competitive boyfriend was coping with the fact that all his friends managed to score a strike during their last go except him. Unsurprisingly, his expression could be best described as a forced smile that barely hid the fact that he's sulking on the inside. Whilst she was a little annoyed that he couldn't be as relaxed as the rest of them where, especially considering how lackadaisical he is about damn near everything else in life apart from sports, by this point Ruby had come to expect this kind of reaction. It wasn't as if Brian didn't appreciate how much this meant to Regan or anything like that. It's just that it was very easy for Brian to get jealous of other people if they were more successful at bowling than him, even if they had previously been on a losing streak and he was way ahead of everyone else.

Still, it was times like this that Ruby felt that Brian needed a little reminder that they were all her to have fun, so she leaned over and gave the Russian boy a quick playful peck on the cheek. "Look on the bright side, at least YOU'RE still in the lead, Mr Three-Strikes-In-A-Row."

Brian paused for a moment, quickly glanced at the scoreboard and chuckled lightly to himself. "Heh, guess you're right. Not like it really matters though or anything, right?" he said, a more genuine smile forming on his lips as he turned to face Ruby.

"True. Way I see it, as long as we all have a good time, it doesn't really matter if any of us has a decent score in the end." Ruby replied, hoping that Brian would get the hint.

"Yeah, same here..." replied Brian, who was about to say something else when Owen came along and handed him his drink.

"AH, spasiba! Thank you..." he said joyfully before gulping half the drink down within a matter of seconds.

After that, everyone else took their respective turns in quick succession. Owen and Mallory's were fairly average, not that Ruby and Brian didn't cheer them on nevertheless. Darren was then next, scoring a decent spare before heading back to his seat. Then finally it was Ruby's turn, and the last turn before they all had to head off. After a stick start wherein she missed all but one of the pins, on her second go she made up for it as she struck all the pins down, ending the game on a reasonably triumphant spare.

With roughly fifteen or so minutes to spare before they had to be at the concert hall, everyone got their shoes back and made their way through the exit, finishing off whatever drinks or snacks they still had with them. Being the only person who definitely knew where the hall they were supposed to be at was, Ruby led the others as they all walked down the street as a group, with Brian walking right beside her with his arm draped around her shoulder. Overall, it was a very pleasant mood as the seven friends made their way down the street, telling jokes and generally enjoying each other's company.

But out of everyone, the one who was probably enjoying himself the most was Brian. After all, despite a couple of blips near the end, he just had a really great game of bowling with his best friends. He didn't even care about whether or not the band they were going to see were actually going to turn out to be any good, as long as he got to hang out with his friends he honestly didn't give a damn. Heck, even Shiro seemed to be enjoying himself, and out of everyone he was worrying about him the most.

Still, there was also one other thing that brightened up Brian's day...

"So, um, Ruby..."

"Yeah?"

"After the concert, are we still going to... Well, you know."

"Huh? OH, right. Yeah, of course we are."

"Oh, okay, cool..... You sure? I mean, if you still don't want to, don't be afraid to say-"

"Brian, it's okay, really. Believe it or not, I'm actually really looking forward to it."

"Really?"

"Yeah. Besides, I've been putting it off for way too long anyway."

"Oh, okay... It's just, well, I don't want to feel like i've been too pushy or anything you know? I mean, if you're still not ready or anything, then I'm happy to..."

At that point, Ruby suddenly stopped, causing Brian to raise an eyebrow in confusion. Then, before he could say a single word of protest, she placed a single hand behind his head and pulled him into a kiss. It only lasted a few seconds, but it was enough to stop Brian from rambling any further.

Once she pulled back, Ruby smiled warmly as her eye's locked into Brian's. "Does that answer your question?"

Brian didn't reply. Instead, he just nodded silently with a happy smile on his face before the two of them continued on their way. Whilst he didn't say anything, on the inside Brian was practically dancing with joy. YES! This is going to be the best night EVER!

He hardly even noticed the fact that at that exact same moment, Ruby was nervously biting her lip.

((Brian Zhdanovich continued elsewhere...))
((Ruby Forrester continued in A week or so later...))
Edited by Fiori, Apr 6 2012, 04:29 PM.
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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!
[ *  * ]
Regan slouched in her chair, a powerful queen in repose. Like the dragon from Snow White. She was a queen, right? When she wasn't a dragon, Regan guessed. The issues that transforming into a dragon would introduce to a monarchy were a little too heady to be dealt with at the moment, though. Suffice to say, Regan was living large. While she might have been dead last on the scoreboard, she was quite obviously first in everyone's heart. Plus, did you see those trick shots she had done totally on purpose? What kind of spaz throws a ball directly into the gutter on accident? Certainly not her.

Judging by the grin on her face, Ruby was sharing in Regan's victory. Regan gladly accepted the proffered gum, clutching it to her chest with exaggerated reverence. "I will treasure it always," She said, flashing Ruby a grin. Ruby looked to Brian, offering him consolation regarding the fact he clearly wasn't as awesome a bowlist at Regan. "Cheer up, Brian! Not everyone has the bowling prowess I so modestly possess," Regan crowed from around Ruby. While she stopped short of doing a victory lap, the temptation was there.

Okay, so maybe bowling wasn't that bad. Granted, it's not how she'd spend a free night or anything, but it wasn't bad. Certainly not a Spider-Man: One More Day level event. She wondered if that reference would make sense to anyone else. It was the story where Aunt May got shot, or something, and Peter made a deal with the Robot Devil to save her. Memories were erased, parts of that recollection were incorrect, tears were shed. It was horrible for everyone involved. Especially for Marvel, since general consensus was that it was the worst Spider-Man story ever. In fact, just thinking about it made Regan want to...do something dramatic. But at least now people would understand the reference. Or, you know, not. Since she was thinking to herself and not doing a narration. Well, if Mallory or Owen or Darren had psychic abilities, they'd get the reference.

Anyway, bowling. Wasn't awful. Actually a pretty fun way to spend the evening, if done with friends. Maybe not something she'd make a habit of, but not bad for one night. Bowling, followed by music! Fantastic, in theory. If she actually liked the band, it would have been better. But, something about the power of friendship defeating the Nazi-like tyranny of boredom. She'd never really been to a concert with Ruby before, so that was nice. It wasn't a Foo Fighters show or anything, but it was still cool. Maybe she'd make up for however unpleasant the music turned out to be by going home and playing some Queen or something. Worst case scenario stuff, though. What she'd listened to before, maybe she had just picked a bad song? That was probably it.

They'd made it out of the bowling alley by this point. Regan was walking in the middle of the group, a few paces behind Ruby and Brian. Just in case he couldn't read minds like his peers, Regan was explaining the plot of One More Day to Shiro. At some point, she decided that he was probably a Spider-Man fan and he already knew all this, but, to be safe, she'd give him the bullet points. He looked like was actually listening. At least, he looked like he was. Maybe he was tacitly ignoring her. Or maybe he was tacitly hanging on every word. Maybe he wasn't a Spider-Man fan. She wondered how he reacted to the news that they replaced Peter Parker in the Ultimate line. Regan, personally, was irritated. So he's black, Hispanic, and gay? It just seemed like they were trying too hard, trying to shoehorn as much stuff as possible. Who knows? Maybe he'd end up in a wheelchair at some point down the line. Looking at Shiro with careful consideration, she decided he probably wasn't too ruffled when he found out.

All the same, she was going to ask him anyone. Was, until she happened to overhear the short snippet of conversation between Ruby and Brian. She wasn't exactly worldly, but she wasn't an idiot. Well, she knew what they were talking about. At any rate, upon processing the thought, she felt an unexpected pang that brought a grimace to her face. She liked to think it was just...manners or something, overhearing an obviously sensitive conversation between her best friend and her boyfriend. But, as satisfied as she was with that answer, in her heart of hearts she knew that wasn't the real answer. She could have tried to put words to why she felt that, on what the hell was wrong with her, but she decided that her energy was better spent trying to think about something, anything, else. Because, at the moment, picturing the two of them together was the last possible thing she wanted. The sight of Ruby bringing Brian in for a kiss certainly didn't help matters.

She looked away, gaze settling on her feet for the time being. When she looked up, she saw that she was safe, that Ruby and Brian were back to walking hand in hand. She glanced up at Shiro, who was still either giving her the silent treatment or listening with rapt attention. "So, I'm sure you've been asked this before, but what do you think of the new Spider-Man?"

((Regan Flagg, continued in...the future!))
"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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Whilst Mallory did seem to understand what Owen was basically complaining about, Darren did not, asking Owen for more details. Owen sighed, visions of the current Premiership table coming into mind, and was about to reply, when Mallory returned, having taken her turn pretty fast. Darren stepped up to have his turn.

Owen leaned back in his seat, and took a sip of the drink. It was pretty nice, really. Not the sort of thing Owen would immediately go for, but hey, always good to have some variety in your life, right? It was a shame they couldn’t have bowled for longer; Owen was enjoying himself, and all things considered wasn’t doing too badly at the whole bowling thing. It sure as hell beat staying on his laptop or DS all evening anyway. Hopefully the concert would be just as good.

Darren returned from the lane; his attempt was another spare, not too bad but not exactly excellent either. As he sat down, he brought the conversation back to Liverpool. Owen thought how best to condense everything that was going wrong with Liverpool as Ruby got up to take her turn, before replying to Darren.

“Well, firstly, yeah, Liverpool as in the city. Specifically, the footb-uh, sorry, soccer team of the same name from there. The good, red side. Except this season, you can forget about good. We’ve been pretty mediocre since the start of the season, but since the start of the year, we’ve been atrocious. Hell, if the league had started on the first of January, we’d be second bottom. Thankfully, the okayness before the year started means we’re firmly mid table, but… for a team with a long history like Liverpool, that’s not really good either…”

Owen was going to add more, like how disappointing the signings of Henderson, Adam and Carroll had been, but just then, Ruby finished her go. The group needed to leave sooner than later, lest they miss the concert. As they went to retrieve their shoes, Owen finished his speech about Liverpool, telling Darren about their disappointing signings and goalkeeper woes, finishing with “So yeah, that’s the gist of it all.”

As the group made their way to wherever the hell the concert was supposed to be at, he mostly kept to himself, gazing slightly off into space, occasionally speaking up to make a joke or laugh at someone else’s. The streets they were walking on were still vague and unfamiliar to Owen. He had only been here for a year or so. And yet he’d already managed to find himself among friends, people he could joke around with a talk about football with. If this had happened a few years ago, Owen had a feeling the outcome would not have been the same. He was happy here. Things were looking good for the future.

((Owen Kay continued elsewhere IN THE PAST))
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Mallory's concentration was mostly on putting her shoes back on as they all prepared to leave, although she listened to Owen's explanation on his team and their currently bad record of English Football a.k.a soccer. Her interest in soccer wasn't as strong as her love of football, but it was still up there in terms of her favourite sports.

Parts of her regular shoes were literally starting to fall off. At this rate, it might actually be a good thing if someone ruined them tonight via puking or other mishaps. Keeping that in mind, there was basically nothing that could go wrong at the concert. Aside from missing it, of course.

Mallory trotted after the others, near the back of the group. Close enough to hear Regan's long explanation on some kind of Spiderman comic (she thought she heard something about a robot devil, but that didn't seem right... the Robot Devil was in that future-ish cartoon, not Spiderman...) to a intrigued/disturbed/some-kind-of-emotion-ed Shiro.

All in all, bowling had been pretty fun. It was kind of depressing that it would be too expensive to make a habit of it. Those damn shoes were too expensive to hire regularly. Fucking shoes. Eh, no matter. Football was better.

Now, football parties with buddies would be extra brilliant. But this was pretty awesome anyway.

Mallory jogged a bit to catch up with Owen and ask, "Hey, been meaning to ask this for a while... but what do you call football in England if soccer is football?"

((Mallory McCormick continued elsewhere.))
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JamesRenard
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Darren listened to what Owen had to say about Liverpool, nodding his head as he took the dismal-sounding information in. Damn, doesn't sound so good for them, then. I might go take a look at them later tonight or tomorrow. Ruby took her final go, meaning it was time for them to leave and head out to that concert.

"Yeah, you wanna tell me more about this foot-I mean, soccer team on the way them?" he spoke to Owen, gathering up his jacket, drink and changing his shoes. "Damnit, you got me speaking British then!" he joked, then made his way to the exit with the small group.

It should be a lot of fun, anyway, this concert thing. Maybe it won't be so loud, anyway.

((Darren Fox continued elsewhere))
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