He sat at the bar of the club house flicking the diamond encrusted band on the thickly lacquered bar top. He would watch it spin around and around on its side until it would slowly tip over and wobble to a stop. When the party started to grow louder around him he pocketed the ring and took a pull of his now warm beer. He turned and attempted to engage in the goings on around him.
It wasn’t long before a beautiful girl had sidled up to him. She was pretty there was no denying that. However he just wasn’t interested. Not tonight.
He brushed her off and without saying goodbye he slipped out the door and took off on his bike.
Heading towards the outskirts of Charming he pulled into a place he shouldn’t be. At least not today, but he was there none the less. Walking into the rundown shack of a bar he ordered a bottle.
She drove through the streets of Charming. Passing TM she was hit with a wave of nausea. Just the sight and thought of what was happening inside the club house made her sick.
But it also made her remember him. And the memory of the day she left made it worse. This day in particular made her actually have to swallow back bile rising in her throat.
Just another quarter mile and she would turn left, go home, draw up a bubble bath, and cry silent tears into a bottle of wine. Then once she got drunk enough she would probably scream and send the empty bottle smashing into the wall. Then she’d break down and cry herself to sleep. The next morning she would wake up sweep the glass away and carry on pretending that all was right with the world.
But quickly she realised that quarter mile, was a half mile back in her rear view.
Soon she was parking in the gravel lot of a neon lit shack. She didn’t even see the black bike parked in the dark corner as she walked in.
Her breath hitched when she looked at the bar and saw the reaper staring her in the face. She should have turned and walked out. She was supposed to hate him. Then she saw his hand wrapping around a half empty bottle of Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey. He put it to his lips and took a too long pull of the amber liquid and her feet moved forward of their own accord.
When she stopped she found herself standing next to him. He looked up at the new presence to his side and his eyes filled with tears.
Juice woke up in his bed alone and fully clothed. He was hot and knew he smelled of sweat and whiskey. Reaching over he found only cool and empty sheets. It had all been a dream he thought for a moment. As he sat up he wondered how he had gotten home. Pulling off his kutte first he sighed and stood from the bed.
Making his way down the hall to the bathroom. Standing at the sink he couldn’t even look him self in the mirror. He turned on the cold tap and filled his hands with water to splash the sleep from his face. It didn’t help.
He reached over and turned on the shower letting the room filled with steam. When he pulled his shirt over his head he caught a whiff of her perfume on it. Only then did the memories of the night before flood his mind.
It wasn’t a dream. She was there. She was really there and he had told her everything.
“(Y/N)?” He said choking on her name. “How are you..?”
He looked into her eyes and instead of the hate he had expected to find if he ever saw her again, he only found sadness.
“What are you doing here Juice?”
“Trying not to feel.” He mumbled
“What is it you don’t want to feel?” She asked.
“Hate.” He dead panned taking another swig and feeling the burn in his chest.
“Hate for me?”
He blew a half hearted laugh out of his nose. “Fuck no baby. Never you. It’s me I hate.”
Her heart clinched in her chest. She had thought after the hate she had spewed in his face he would hate her. He should. She had said the worst things, taking all of his insecurities and throwing them in his face the way she had… she even hated her self for it.
Watching him she couldn’t muster up anything but love for him as he swayed on his barstool.
“Come on Juice. Let’s get you home.”
“Yeah ok.” He mumbled reaching into his Kutte he pulled out some cash when something small fell out and caught her eye as it spun around onto the bar top. When it stopped she stared at it confused. It was a platinum band encrusted with diamonds in an antique setting. Simple but beautiful.
Juice noticed the look of worry in her eyes. He could tell, even through the drunk haze clouding his vision, that she wondered what that ring represented. Quickly as his current state would allow he tossed down the cash and picked up the ring shoving it back into his Kutte.
(Y/N) took a breath when the ring was snatched from her sight.
She did her best to help him out to her car. He leaned heavily on her and it took everything not to cry. He was warm and smelled of leather and cigarettes, she could even smell his aftershave on his skin. It was a whole new kind of heaven to hold him again, while also being in a whole new kind of hell.
He stared at her while she drove. “Why were you there tonight Juice?”
“To remember….. to forget? Fuck if I know. Maybe I was just hoping the place still had some magic in it.” He slurred a bit as he spoke.
“I don’t what the fuck else to call it. It was like magic. Everything that has ever been right in my life walked though the doors of that place once. I guess I was hoping it would happen again.”
They had met at that bar…. “Are you trying to say that … are you… ”
“You were everything that has ever been right in my life (Y/N). And I fucked it up because I’m a coward and I was scared. I let the voices in my head get to me and tell me you maybe everything that is right in my life but I was everything wrong in yours. So I made you hate me and I fucked up everything.”
The drunken words were a truth she wasn’t sure she could believe.
Pulling into his driveway she parked the car. He unclipped the belt and looked up at his dark house. She could tell he wanted to tell her something but she was too afraid to speak. She had been barely breathing the whole ride for fear of a full on break down.
Finally he took a breath and reached into his pocket. He pulled out the ring from earlier and set it on her dash. “You should keep it.” He said. When she turned to him with a look of shock he clarified. “It was ment for you. I got it for you. It’s yours (Y/N), you should keep it.”
She took a breath but he cut her off. Which was fine she didn’t know what she would have said anyway.
“I bought this ring and on the day I was supposed to give it to you I walked into that door.” He said pointing to the front of his house. “And I found behind it everything I could have ever dreamed of. And thought I don’t deserve this. So I made you hate me and I made you leave. And baby I am so fucking sorry.”
He turned to look at her glossed over eyes. He just stared at her a moment before grabbing her face and pulling her in for a hard tight kiss. Pulling away he saw her stunned face. And he sobbed “I’m so sorry baby. I love you so much. I just had to say that once. Even if this is just a drunk man’s dream.”
But it wasn’t a dream she had been there. He had said it all. Scrambling back to his room he dug into the pocket of his kutte and pulled out his phone.
He listened as it rang once … twice… three…. four…. a breath. She had answered but she didn’t say hello. “You were there last night weren’t you?” He started talking “it was real and….” he couldn’t find words. Then he heard a small sob she was crying. “Baby it was all true. I meant every God damn word. Baby please I don’t have my bike. Baby come over. Please baby. (Y/N) I need you to come over.” He waited a beat before a busy signal started to beep it’s way over the line.
“FUCK!” He roared throwing the phone. He would just go to her. He was running down the hall and out the door but before he could make it to the end of the side walk he saw her. She was still sitting in the car in his driveway. She never left. She had been there all night.
When he left she sat there stunned. The tears slid slow from her eyes then as she picked up the ring from the dash board of her car she let out a breath she didn’t even know she was holding so tightly to. That was when in all came out and she cried. Really cried, she sobbed at the thoughts of everything she learned that night.
He had spent the one year anniversary of the day he let her walk out of his life, in the place where she had first walked into it. He had bought a ring. He was going to propose. And he let the insecurities that she threw in his face when he made her hate him take over his mind and ruin what could have been. But above all of that. Over everything she had learned that night the only one that really hurt was that he still loved her too.
Running to the driver side door he ripped it open and fell to his knees next to her. “Baby I’m sorry please. Please Baby forgive me. I love you so much I need you. I’m a wreck without you.. Baby…” he stared at her red face pleading for forgivenes.
"Juice you’re still drunk.“ She sniffled out.
“Baby let me tell you something. I haven’t had a hangover since you left. Because nothing in this world has ever sobered me up faster than waking up alone.”
She tried to breath, but she just broke down. She fell from the driver’s seat of the Camaro and slid into his arms.
He held her there on the ground leaned against the open car door as she cried in his arms. When she looked up she saw the plea for forgiveness in his eyes. “I wanna come home Juice.”
“I want you home baby I’m so sorry.” He held her a moment longer before scooping her up and carrying her inside of what was once again their home.
When he woke up again she was there and against the dark navy blue of the sheets he saw a diamond encrusted band in an antique setting and he smiled. ‘Guess that neon shack had a little magic left in it after all.’ He thought as he stared at everything that was right in his life sleeping peacefully for the first time in a year.
Lancia Medusa, 1980, by Italdesign, The Medusa was actually based on an extended Lancia Monte Carlo (marketed as the Lancia Scorpion in the US) platform so was mid-engined with the transverse installation fitting behind the rear seat, in front of the rear wheels. When it was revealed it was the most aerodynamic car in the world with a drag co-efficient of 0.263
I think the biggest plot twist in the Zero Escape series was how everybody expected Carlos to be the third wheel to Junpei and Akane’s antics / arguments / romantic moments when instead he turned out to be the #1 Junepei shipper