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Dismantle, Repair; Private
Topic Started: Aug 12 2016, 07:01 PM (338 Views)
The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Crisanto Luz had been busy. Some people thought that meant he was in his cave turning it foggier than San Francisco Bay with weed, but no, he really had been busy. The season had started and gone hurtling along and there were so many expectations of last year happening all over again hanging around all their necks. His team and his studies and the blur of parties and nights spent in a woman's arms had been how he got away from his own head, and so many people didn't get that he didn't want to be in his own head long enough to tell them what he was thinking. At least on the mound it was simple, a duel of reflexes and skill where there were only a few possible outcomes, and he didn't have to think about what it all meant all the goddamn time.

Crisanto liked busy. Busy was better than depressed and about as good as high. Who had he even gone to that dance with? Raina hadn't asked him but one of the other girls he went to when they were in one of their down periods had, so he'd gone "why not," and then he'd gotten bored and that party Junko invited him to was kind of wound down by the time he was in a position to get there. He certainly hadn't been ignoring her, he'd sent a few messages and not gotten much in the way of response so he figured he'd let her have her time, allow her to unwind however she did and figure out where her head was. Nobody liked the clingy or overbearing guy, not even Crisanto himself.

Not that he hadn't appreciated her being willing to help out and listen, he just didn't really see it as worth listening to. And then she'd get pissed at him for wanting to deal with things the only way he knew how and wouldn't understand that talking this stuff out with people just plain didn't work. Did he say anything about how much she liked to look at the planets? No. They'd bicker a little and then go cold for a bit and before long one'd open up and they'd be all over each other again, and Cris would wonder every time when they'd just make up their minds about what this all was. Did he love her? Did she love him? Did he know what love even was? It wasn't like he'd never stuck with anyone for a time, but that was mostly because a given girl was a) hot, b) not terrible to be around, and c) wanted to keep seeing him - Raina ticked all three boxes, except those times when she decided whatever they had wasn't enough and pretended he didn't exist for a while, or looked at him like he was supposed to magically know what she wanted out of everything when he'd said who knew how many times whatever she was happy with was fine by him.

Baseball was fun, and so much simpler than all this. Everything used to be simpler, even as recently as when Taro was captain instead of him. The man hadn't prepared him for the position so much as gone "good luck, buddy" and pushed him into the pool. He'd tried to tell her a few times that he wasn't trying to shut her out, there was just so much more to all this than he'd expected there to be, but hell if he knew if it actually got through to her at all.

He knew the Starbucks she meant at least, the one they'd been to more than once, right down from the In-N-Out Burger restaurant he visited but never felt hungry enough to order from. The drive was simple, second nature, done on autopilot like... most things were, honestly, the sun and wind beating down on him and the fire-red Cadillac convertible restored from the days cars were built like tanks. He could put the roof up but the breeze felt good in a way, refreshed him, helped him think. He hadn't liked being separated, really, if he thought about it; sure, he wasn't especially enthusiastic about most things, but he found himself missing Raina. Not just waking up next to her in the morning, but the sound of her voice, how she got all excited about rocks millions of miles away, how with her digging she could make him forget for a while that they were watching the death throes of civilisation itself with every passing second. How even though he was sure he was right and she was wrong, he couldn't really bring himself to try to get her to despair like he did.

The Cadillac glid into a rare open parking spot by the door and let him out, its thrumming engine slowly dying down with the turn of a key. Spring heat blasted down on his shoulders but not as intensely as during the practise today, even though there was still a twinge of soreness running up his right arm from countless pitching drills. The cost of victory, really. Steps were taken automatically, long strides like he might take if intercepting a runner, and the bell on the door heralded his entrance.

If Raina looked up, he'd give her a little wave as he headed up to her table. It was hard to miss possibly the only blue-haired lady in all of Kingman.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Aug 13 2016, 10:38 AM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"'Sup?"

The wave was better than just sneaking over to the table and waiting for her to notice him there. He wasn't terribly in the mood for such antics and there was a certain seriousness to the air between them anyway. At least she got him to give her one of his rare smiles, a quick little upwards turn at the corners of his mouth that even showed a hint of teeth. She was often able to get at least a little one out of him, surprisingly enough; maybe that was part of why he kept seeing her. For someone so interested in the universe, and surely aware of how useless a spec in it they all were, she seemed so interestingly hopeful compared to him.

Cris planned to order one of the items he always ordered when they came here, so he didn't bother looking at the menu as he took a seat across from Raina, resisting the urge to slouch comfortably while settling in. He could take this seriously.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Not a whole lot. You know how busy I've been, year's end coming up and the season still underway. Sorting through some of my college offers, still dunno what I want to study though."

She probably didn't want to hear yet more baseball talk, though. Cris was pretty sure sometimes Raina thought baseball was the only thing that genuinely interested him. Which wasn't entirely fair. He didn't get all judgey about what she liked, and he had certain responsibilities anyhow. Captains didn't just sit around going "lol I'm the captain," they had to do things.

"I kept wanting to call and tell you how things were going, but well, you know."

Shit, did that sound too guilt trippy? Funny how Raina could actually make him care about how he came off.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Figured you wouldn't want to hear from me, so I'd wait until you did rather than blow up your phone."

Did that sound like an excuse? Maybe. He wasn't used to giving enough of a shit about how he sounded to actually think about it, so instead he glanced at her as if trying to read her thoughts on the truth of how he'd felt during their latest off period. Not staring at her, although he'd stared before and she never seemed to mind, just giving her a considering look.

If they went back on, he was going off to college and she was still stuck here for another year. Wouldn't that be a spanner in things? Would it matter? In the long run nothing did, they were dust just like those stars Raina liked. He tried to care anyway but that thought was still burning in his mind, all the time, unless he was too high or too tired to think anything at all. It ate his ability to give a shit about people, even the ones he wanted to.

"Would've asked if you were going to that dance a while back but it didn't seem like your thing."

And what about Wayne? he kept wanting to ask, and kept wondering why he wanted to ask it.
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 15 2016, 04:45 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


Things SOTFers say
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
Technically someone took him to the dance, but that wasn't worth arguing. Especially since she didn't really bring it up, that'd just seem weird and unnecessarily defensive. Was the dance fun, though? Cris wobbled his hand, and while a response of basically "meh" was par for the course from him, this time his expression showed a genuine intent to answer the question rather than just being apathetic as hell.

"It had its moments, wasn't great though. I actually got bored, left and headed to Junko's party too, but by the time I got there it was pretty dead. You should've told me you were having problems with Darius, I would've sorted him out."

In retrospect, the prospect of, say, a rock shooting for Darius' head at 90 mph might have been why Raina didn't tell him. Who knows. It felt nice to be talking to her face to face, though.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


Things SOTFers say
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Maybe after this I'll take you to Sumac Park and you can show it to me."

He always kept baseball equipment in his car, including a couple gloves, after all. Sure, maybe she didn't mean it seriously, but it was fun to call her bluff.

Fun, huh. Odd how Raina could get thoughts like that out of him. He had enough years on her he sometimes wondered if it was right to pursue her at all, but she still managed to be like cold water in the middle of summer. He even managed a real smile of his own, to match her grin. As for Junko...

"I don't really know what she was expecting. We're high schoolers after all. Could've been worse though, nothing burnt down and the cops didn't need to show up."
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
"Sounds fine by me."

Pretty soon he would graduate and be gone from Kingman, and she'd still be here another year. Then she'd go who knew where, somewhere in California, but she'd still be behind him if they tried this. How would that affect things? Did it matter? What about other girls, like Jane? And whatever other boys Raina did things with when she and Cris weren't on?

He felt her fingers brush across his skin and briefly lost that train of thought. He had time to figure all that out, to figure out what he wanted. And if he wanted somebody, and they wanted him, what was wrong with that? He inched his hand closer to hers and slowly closed it, to give her a chance to pull away if she didn't want the contact.

"I can teach you a few tricks, you'll be pitching better than the softball girls in no time."
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


Things SOTFers say
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The Burned Handler
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I used to be a handler like you, then I turned into a horse.
[ *  *  *  *  *  * ]
((Minor GM approved))

Not to mention Facebook, Skype, and plane tickets were things. So long as he remembered to keep in touch, and he would, they could at least keep this going until the bombs fell or the world was underwater in a few years.

Somehow Raina tended to make him believe might not happen, at least for a while. There were girls he had more in common with, whose ages he was closer to, who he argued with less, but almost none of them made him feel at peace like she could. Which was weird considering the existential terror her hobby inspired in him.

"Never know until you try." He gave her his best cheesy grin, although due to lack of practise maybe it wasn't very good, then leaned in to gently press his lips against hers. Only for a second or two, but long enough to make it pretty clear things were back on. Once they parted he got to his feet, plans of coffee forgotten.

"Come on, there's still some sunlight left."

He led her to the Cadillac, and to filling the last of the school year with adventure.

((Crisanto Luz continued in Meanwhile))
Edited by The Burned Handler, Sep 15 2016, 09:22 PM.
MurderWeasel getting impatient
 
Hiya, jerk! Please don't post until edits have been completed, as doing so causes confusion/messes up the queue.


Quote:
 
18:48 Ruggawork I have faith in you!
18:48 Ruggawork and your ass!


Quote:
 
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Iktor?
16:35 Kilmarnock Maybe Toben.
16:35 Kilmarnock hard to tell until they make out with me.
16:35 *** mib_6brm7d is now known as Irene


Things SOTFers say
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