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If you ain't gettin' drunk, get the fu-; (Surgeon General's warning goes here.)
Topic Started: Jun 13 2012, 10:55 PM (5,737 Views)
MurderWeasel
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Parties were Susan's thing. Raucous, wild parties were also her thing from time to time, just as long as she was able to abstain from anything she wasn't into. Other nights, she wasn't in the mood for much rowdiness.

Tonight, Susan was all about the social aspect and not so much about the crazy debauchery. After what had happened earlier in the year, well, she'd promised her parents there wouldn't be any repeats. A week on crutches had taught her a little discretion, at least.

This evening, she was just hoping to have a cool, drama-free time with friends from school, and maybe to meet some new people and make some new friends. She had no idea who all was going to be here, but she hoped that there wouldn't be anyone out to cause problems. She also hoped that the music would be acceptable. She didn't really know Joey beyond a bit of his reputation, and certainly had no idea what he'd be into. Hopefully nothing too terrible. Nothing wrecked an evening faster than poor music selection. Some of Susan's favorite artists were woefully inappropriate for party settings. In fact, she felt that a lot of how music was treated these days was downright disrespectful. What a party called for was something inoffensive and brainless, something designed to be tuned out. It demanded something one would be hard-pressed to term art.

A party also required good provisions. For her contribution to the stockpiles, Susan had brought a dozen cans of O'Doul's and a couple large bags of Cheetos. These were both things she was rather fond of, so she figured it made sense to ensure that they'd be available if she wanted them. After all, there was no guarantee anyone else would share her tastes. She was pretty well ensconced in the party circuit, but a party's character could vary wildly depending on who was around. Susan didn't want to end up standing around hungry because all the food had been laced with pot.

Speaking of, it looked like this was going to be a rowdy one. Susan could see Travis stepping through the doorway, making a fuss. This was not surprising. She followed close after, though paused to knock on the open door, just as a courtesy. She didn't know the host so well, and she didn't know who was here, so making herself entirely at home would be rude and presumptuous.

"Hey," she called out. "I heard a rumor there was a party here. Any truth to it?"
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Juliette Sargent
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MurderWeasel
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Susan saw Mallory over at the ping pong table. It looked like everyone was playing beer pong, which struck her as an odd way to open a party. Usually, that stuff came when everyone was already a bit trashed. She was especially surprised to see Claire over by the table. The girl seemed like she'd probably be a lightweight. Well, whatever. Susan wasn't her keeper. Claire could take care of herself, and the girl seemed even less likely to go get knocked up or something than to get falling-over drunk.

The host, Joey, gave out a nice enthusiastic affirmation that Susan did indeed have the right place for a party. She beamed at him and flashed him a thumbs-up, before making her way to the snack table and depositing her contributions. She then snapped loose a can of O'Doul's, popping the top and taking a nice drag of the foamy liquid. The bitterness was very pleasant on her tongue.

Meanwhile, Travis had wandered over to Joey, and was asking something. Susan got close enough to hear that he was asking if he could smoke inside. Normally, etiquette would have dictated that Susan not chime in. After all, she wasn't the hostess tonight. She didn't exactly have faith in Joey to make the right call, though. He seemed like a cool, laid-back kind of guy, which made him perfect for most parts of the host's job. She didn't really expect him to say no very easily, however. He'd probably want to please his buddy, and that wouldn't be good at all.

"You should probably at least smoke away from everyone else," Susan said, hoping the boys wouldn't mind her interjection. "Smoke can really mess up people with asthma, and if someone passed out, we'd probably get cops here along with the ambulance, and nobody wants that."

Of course, Susan's motivations were not entirely due to concern for her classmates or the party. She didn't really care for the odor of smoke. Cigarettes were the worst, but pot and incense also got to her after a while. If she could catch a break from them tonight, she was pretty sure she'd have a much better time.

Taking a moment, she tipped her can back and drained it in a few smooth swallows. It was a skill that had taken some time to acquire, and she'd spit up ginger ale on herself more often than she cared to remember, but she was pretty sure it looked cool now. She wiped a bit of foam from her lip, then glanced back at the table, all ready to go and grab seconds.
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Juliette Sargent
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MurderWeasel
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Travis and Joey took things pretty well, which was good. Susan knew Travis well enough to know that he probably wouldn't be thrilled about not being able to be imbibing every chemical within reach at any given moment, but he wasn't the host and he wasn't the one who'd be in the worst trouble if everything went totally wrong. Besides, whatever his feelings, Susan was pretty sure that he wouldn't get too unpleasant. At least a veneer of civility came with history.

She and Travis had been together for a little while. That didn't make him that unique; Susan had had her share of boyfriends. She'd dumped her share of boyfriends too, Travis included. Her view on dating was that it was a good way to get to know other people, but at the same time she accepted that having standards and self respect meant a lot of people wouldn't end up being very good matches. Travis had a fixation on sex and drugs, and Susan hadn't been interested in partaking of either with him. A split had been pretty much inevitable, but she didn't begrudge him their incompatibility. All the same, smoking everyone out wouldn't be cool, and she wasn't going to sit quietly by just to avoid a slightly awkward conversation.

It seemed Mallory agreed. It was nice to have some backup, especially from someone cool. Mallory was somebody Susan liked. The girl had pretty good taste in music, and her heart was in the right place. She could be painfully socially oblivious sometimes, to the point where Susan privately wondered whether she was perhaps slightly developmentally disabled in some fashion or other, but that didn't matter very much. Hanging out with the softball team meant Susan had a pretty thick skin, and it was better to have someone tell it like it was than to have to guess at intentions. Anyways, given Mallory's views on bullying, Susan knew that she never meant any meanness.

Seemingly defeated by common sense and courtesy, Travis and Joey retreated to the kitchen to smoke, Travis with only a slightly bitter comment. Susan smiled at their backs, then turned to Mallory.

"Well, that'll make this all a lot nicer," she said. "How're you doing tonight? Oh, and give me a sec. My drink's empty."

She deposited her empty can in a trash bin, then took a small step to the refreshment table to nab another can of O'Doul's. After a moment's thought, she took two instead. Best to make sure to have plenty to drink rather than risking someone else grabbing all the good stuff.
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Juliette Sargent
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"Yeah, everything's cool," Susan said to Mallory. She gave a bit of a grin before continuing. "I bet you gave your dad a heart attack, though. I mean, man, that could sound a lot like you were saying you've already been getting drunk and banging people."

Susan was pretty sure that wasn't what Mallory meant. She didn't really seem the type to sleep around a lot. Well, okay, maybe her attention span was short enough, and she possibly didn't have the impulse control and judgement to realize why it could be a questionable idea and then actually refrain from it, but, cruel as it sounded, Susan just didn't imagine guys lining up around the block for a chance to get with Mallory. Anything embarrassing they did would almost certainly get commented on at some point during the event or—far worse for the teenage male ego—to friends at the lunch table. Besides, Mallory was no busty cheerleader with poor self esteem and too many short skirts.

Susan drained another can of O'Doul's, felt the gas building in her stomach, and covered her mouth with the crook of her elbow. Altogether, it was enough to pass the resulting belch off as close to ladylike.

"Excuse me," she said, giving Mallory a bit of a sheepish grin, at the same time aware that it was probably totally unnecessary. Mallory really wasn't the type to get bent out of shape by a minor social faux pas.

"Anyways," she continued, eager to change the subject, "what are you looking forward to tonight? I mean, what brings you to this sort of party?"
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Juliette Sargent
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Mallory commented on Susan's abilities with the O'Doul's. She seemed suitably impressed. Susan gave a little laugh.

"I lost count," she said. She took it as an opportunity to go over to the table and grab two more cans, though. It just helped her get into the right mood for a party. She was edging towards the point of drinking the majority of her own contribution, but she figured it was fine since she didn't plan to drink anything anyone else had brought, and they all probably had better things to chug too.

Mallory tried to replicate Susan's feat with a beer of her own, and instead ended up choking. That was cause for a little bit of concern. Susan didn't want Mallory getting in trouble, or getting hurt, or anything like that. Luckily, the girl seemed to recover pretty quickly. She said that Susan would have to teach her, and then went ahead and answered as to why she was there. It sounded like just general party stuff, nothing too special. Susan hadn't really figured Mallory for the beer type. People, on the other hand, seemed right up her alley. In fact, a party environment was perfect for those with slightly lower attention spans. There were tons of people to interact with, and tons of chances to be wild without irritating everyone else. Heck, that was a big part of what drew Susan to these events. She didn't get to really cut loose and be loud often enough.

"I'm just here for fun," Susan said. "I mean, there aren't even any really cute guys yet. I wish they'd just crank the music so we could dance."

She punctuated her comment by taking a deep breath, then going through another can of O'Doul's. It was more for Mallory's benefit than anything else. The girl seemed amused by it, and Susan had some fun showing off, even if her stomach was telling her that she didn't really need more hydration.

She launched the now-empty can into the trash can, then turned back to Mallory.

"The key to doing that's practice," she said. "I learned on soda water in middle school. My team used to have burping contests."
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Juliette Sargent
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Mallory called Susan a showoff, and Susan faked a muscleman's pose, flexing her right arm. She was no weakling, but she wasn't ripped either, so she was pretty sure the gesture had its desired lack of effect. Someone bumped into Susan, but before she could reply, Mallory had decided to do something about the music situation. That was a pretty amenable proposition.

As they moved, Susan caught sight of Travis popping pills in the kitchen and rolled her eyes but let it pass without comment. Well, whatever. If the cops came storming in, she wouldn't get busted for anything. Maybe Travis would wake up a little if his parents had to come bail him out of jail. Then again, he'd most likely power on just like before. Some people just couldn't be changed.

At the stereo, Mallory cranked the volume up. That just brought home how woefully deficient the musical selection was. Rap? Rap wasn't good for parties. At least Lady Gaga or something like that would've been danceable. This, well, maybe somebody could dance to this, but it wasn't Susan's idea of a good time.

"This sucks," she said to Mallory. "And I don't think they'll mind thenoise. I think they might be getting high."

Maybe they really had been taking aspirin, but Susan didn't for one minute believe that Travis would be doing so unless it had been discovered that aspirin and cheap beer combined to produce hallucinations. She took a glance around the party again and, yes, there were still no decent-looking boys. Who was she even supposed to dance with? The flaw in the dance plan was becoming rather more evident. Dancing with Mallory wouldn't quite be the same.

"Hang on a sec," Susan said. She eyed the stereo, then went back to her pack and fetched a CD book she'd brought along. A few pushes of buttons, a quick break in the music, and Third Eye Blind was blasting instead. Susan set the other CD on top of the player, shiny-side-up.

"That's better," she said. It was, too. Her choice wasn't exactly obscure enough to alienate anyone. Besides, she was pretty sure the host (and most of the other guests, come to think of it) would be too smashed to even notice her little change in the evening's program.
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Juliette Sargent
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Susan chuckled at Mallory's observation. It was true, really. The major appeal of these parties seemed to be that kids could pretend to be adults at them. It was a practice run of sorts, complete with drinking and drugs and sports on TV and sex and loud music. There were players and lightweights and all the other stuff Susan had been told came with nights out on the town. Of course, her direct experiences were limited, but she figured the reports of older people and pop culture couldn't be too far off the mark.

"I don't think there are 'house parties rock' songs," Susan said, replying to Mallory's musical observation. Then again, that sounded like something which might exist. What did frat boys listen to?

Then Mallory was launching a can, and it looked like it was heading somewhere she probably didn't mean it to go. Susan cringed slightly, but kept her smile on.

"Two points," she quietly muttered to Mallory.
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Mallory went over to apologize to Travis. Susan stayed put for the time being. This probably wasn't the time for her to get involved. Her presence was unlikely to win Mallory many points from her ex.

A few moments later, a chip flew in Susan's rough direction. It missed her, probably hindered by its bad aerodynamics, but it was enough to get Susan to glance around for the thrower. Judging by her position, Jacquilyn Locke seemed the most likely suspect. Susan cocked an eyebrow and shot Jacquilyn a little half smirk. Really, she couldn't begin to guess what was going through the girl's mind. Maybe she thought starting a food fight was a good idea or something, but Joey would be unlikely to appreciate his house being trashed.

And then, Travis started loudly making a scene, and Susan forgot about the food-throwing girl entirely as she quickly made her way to Mallory's side. Susan's friend didn't need that sort of nonsense, not at a party where she was supposed to be having fun. This was looking to be the start of the end of the good times. It was time to try to put things back on a good track.

"Calm down, Travis," Susan said quietly, keeping her expression as neutral as she could. Would this make him angrier? It was his problem if it did. She was trying to play peacemaker here.

"It was an accident. These things happen."
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Juliette Sargent
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For a moment, it looked like Travis was going to back down. Susan knew that he could be reasonable when the mood struck him, but she also knew that sometimes he wasn't. When the look on his face solidified, she could tell exactly which one was on order for tonight, and she knew she didn't want to deal with that. She really didn't want Mallory to have to deal with that. The girl just didn't get some things, and it wouldn't be good if she alienated the whole party. Her decision to return fire was already pushing her in that direction, especially since she had been the aggressor, accidental or not.

"Mallory missed the trash can and beaned Travis," Susan explained to Joey, who'd come over and asked her what was going on. She wanted to keep her summary accurate and objective. Joey was the host. Getting on his bad side meant getting tossed out, probably. Things seemed to be rolling in that direction a little too quickly for comfort, all things considered. Susan was very used to crazy parties. Hostile ones, not so much.

Time to calm stuff down. It seemed pretty obvious that Travis wasn't the angle to approach things from, since she'd given her best effort and it hadn't accomplished jack. Susan was tempted to just cut in with a quip and lead Mallory away, but she could only remember the first half of Obi-Wan's line from the bar scene, and she wasn't sure calling Travis little was the right way to go anyways. That meant she'd have to be a bit more serious, which wasn't her style quite as much, but it'd do.

"Hey," she said softly, turning to Mallory. "Let's just go sit down."

Turning back to the assembled crowd, she added, "I think we've all had a little too much to drink. Mallory and I can go chill. Sorry we bothered you."

She turned and took a step towards a couch, then glanced back. Susan really hoped Mallory would follow. Now that she thought about it, how much beer had Mallory gone through? Susan had brought O'Doul's specifically because she could chug them all night, but what had Mallory been drinking? Susan hadn't really been paying too much attention to what her friend had been doing, and now she was starting to regret it.

She crossed her fingers behind her back, hoping that this would just blow over and they could all go back to having fun.
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Nobody was calming down. More than that, Susan realized that nobody wanted to calm down, except maybe Mallory. That didn't really help at all, because her friend didn't have the social sense to realize that she was just escalating stuff further. Susan was cool with trying to defuse stuff, cool with trying to help everyone have fun, cool with saying some nice little nothings if she had to, but this was just too much. She came to parties to cut loose, not to be the voice of reason when her ex and one of her friends were about to come to have a spat. She'd tried. It'd been an honest effort, but it'd failed.

Too bad.

"I'm going to go sit down," she said. "I'm feeling a little woozy."

Okay, so she couldn't just walk away without throwing Mallory one last line, one last chance to just stop digging herself into a deeper hole. It took a little fib, but that was alright. She didn't care who it distracted right now. Maybe Mallory would come with her, maybe Travis would change his mind and try to be nice, maybe everyone would ignore her and she could just put her head down for a little and let it blow over. It didn't look like it was going to be anything other than a shouting match. Susan knew that was how Mallory and Travis reacted, and most likely Mallory would be happier ranting to her after it was done than having her hovering around trying to stop the inevitable.

So Susan didn't even wait this time, just wound her way over to a couch and plopped down on it. She tried to focus on the music. She wondered whether she could surreptitiously turn it up enough to drown out the argument. That'd help the party get its good vibes back.
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