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Manic Pixie Dream Girl; Let's go on an adventure!
Topic Started: Aug 1 2016, 04:12 PM (408 Views)
Iceblock
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[ *  * ]
((Wayne Cox continued from I Know What My Fortune Is))

Wayne rolled his eyes, but he couldn't pretend like he wasn't smiling, too, just a bit. Her cheer was infectious.

Still, the Frosty thing? No way. He was up for an adventure, not insanity. He'd never tried anything like that before. Refused to, in what was surely a completely impartial way. French fries were salty, sometimes crispy. Shakes were sweet, more solid than liquid, but only just. Dip the former in the latter, and the result he predicted? A mushy mess of salty sweetness.

He wasn't going to give up the fight just yet, no matter how good Raina made it look.

In more serious news, he was also the one who needed to keep his eyes on the road. They were driving through empty streets, through places he'd never bothered to navigate before. It wasn't difficult; the streets were straight enough to fall asleep on, with right angles forming them into grids, as if waiting for future expansion. Kingman was no big city. The older he got, the smaller it felt. He would probably never leave it for good - a thought not to be examined closely, to be muted under the music and the rush of wind past the open windows.

The car rolled to a near stop at a stop sign, pausing long enough for him to grab a french fry (sans shake dip) and then press his foot on the gas again. It didn't seem to matter yet where they were going, whether it was left, right, or straight ahead.

"How long do you think before we hit another dead end?" he called over the din.
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"Not really. Might have played a game of basketball around here once, though," Wayne said, easing up more, his eyes straying from the road every so often to glance in Raina's general direction as they talked. She didn't seem like the basketball type. He'd known he wasn't for a while now, on account of his unremarkable height and how little he cared for the sport. It was just something to keep himself occupied, or to use for small talk - one of his only hobbies that he felt passed muster in polite conversation.

They were going twenty, twenty-five now, and unless some car pulled out right in front of them with lights off, he was beginning to think his driving was good enough. He let it fade into a background routine: a light foot on the gas, the occasional scan of empty streets, watching for headlights in the dark.

"What do you like to do, anyway? Your life not enough of an adventure normally?"

He meant to leave it at that as he went for another french fry. Instead, a stray thought caught him in the middle of the motion, and as the french fry dangled in his grasp, the corner of his mouth curved in amusement. He let the feeling linger. "Hey, if we're lucky, maybe this road'll go out the other side of this community instead, widen all the way up until we end up in Vegas."
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"Once," Wayne said, sticking his almost forgotten fry into his mouth. "With family, so... you know. My sister dragged me around all day, and it was hot, and by the time I got back I just flopped on the bed and blocked out the memories." He chuckled. "Lower end of Vegas experiences, I hope."

It wasn't the entire truth. How he remembered the city was different from what he'd imagined it as, and it wasn't the sort of thing he thought belonged in this lighthearted conversation. Well, it could - he could have put some sort of spin on it - but... Vegas felt fake to him. Sleazy. Neon lights, false fronts, and cigarette smoke, cards depicting silhouettes of women with questionable proportions pressed deep into the pavement by the feet of the crowds, men with grubby hands hawking bottled water at exorbitant prices in the desert heat.

Just flash and glitz and nothing else. If he'd wanted to run away from reality, he'd have just stayed home and played Counter-Strike. If Las Vegas wanted to manipulate his wallet, he wanted to at least have gotten something from the entire experience.

Still, he'd been far too young to try anything, really. There had to be another side, something that felt more real or more fake or just plain better - maybe he just hadn't been there long enough, or in the right places, or with the right people.

Raina had a nice laugh, he thought.

An hour there, spend some time, an hour back - Eve would kill him for the gas, but he could almost believe it was worth a shot. And if they changed their minds on the way, they'd still get to have a desert drive. Nothing but open road.

"I might just accidentally hit the 93 in a bit, then." They hit the cul-de-sac; he turned the car around, and let a smile slip fully onto his face. "I probably can't be blamed for losing my way home with you distracting me."
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He was a leader now, was he?

He wasn't much of a leader. He wasn't much of anything when he cared to think about it, but he didn't have to think right now. This wasn't a time for thinking, no more than it was a time for picking holes in what he did, what people said, how they judged him, how he deserved to be judged.

The open road had a certain appeal to it. He could take a moment and free himself from all his chains for a night.

They'd drive and maybe they'd get to Vegas and maybe they wouldn't but hell, he'd let himself have fun. Even if he wasn't the best person to be here, even if there was always a first choice, someone else's best friend, and he was a replacement and a fraud, he could still make the most of it. He barely knew Raina; now he knew her better. They probably wouldn't ever hang out after this; right now, he could still live in the moment. It was an optimistic way of thinking of things.

It was good enough. Wayne returned the mock salute, steadying the wheel with his other hand.

"Speaking of crazy things, hang on to your seat belt," he said, grinning back. "I'm about to go fifty in a forty-five zone."

And after a moment of thought, he dipped a fry in his shake and popped it into his mouth. She could have that victory.

((Wayne Cox continued in V6))
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