somewhere over the midwest

Unwilling and unable to face everyone on her own when it comes time to attend Auggie and Ava’s wedding, Riley Matthews hires a solution in Lucas Friar. Loosely based on The Wedding Date.

Part One II Part Two 

Rating: Around a PG 13/14

Notes: Hey everyone, thanks for reading Part One, sending in your comments, liking, reblogging, whatever you did! It really means a lot to me that you enjoyed what I have so far, and I’m looking forward to writing more and sharing with you. 

I’m going to be on vacation from Wednesday through the end of the week, so Part Three may be a little slower in coming. I’ll try to write when/where I can, but I just might not have much of a chance for a few days. 

In this installment, Riley opens up to Lucas a bit, they arrive in Cape Cod, and Lucas meets Auggie.


“So tell me,” Lucas says, pushing his laptop shut and angling towards Riley in the confines of their airline seats, “what sort of lion’s den am I going to be walking into when we get to the Cape?”

Riley closes her magazine and looks at her companion. They’re well into the flight, somewhere over the Midwest and having already spent a fair amount of time chatting and deciding on some more relevant pieces of the story they’re going to tell people they’ve been doing their own thing. She’s been pretending to read while her mind is preoccupied with thoughts of the coming week and he’s been doing something on a laptop that she hasn’t tried to look too closely at, not wanting to be seen as nosy.

For all the ‘getting to know you’ chatting they’ve done so far, the topics have been centered around her; Riley’s not sure if it’s a matter of professionalism or just who Lucas is as a person, but he hasn’t shared much about himself, even something as minor as his favorite color. He insists that if anyone at the wedding asks about him, she can improvise and he’ll go along with it. No matter the reasoning, Riley figures he clearly values his privacy and doesn’t want to violate his trust.

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TalesFromThePizzaGuy: OK, I'm going to preface this by admitting that I've been out of the business for close to 20 years. But regardless, my pizza guy days were some of the best of my life.

I feel the need to qualify myself for some reason. If someone wants to offer feedback, I’m cool with it, but that’s not really the purpose of this post. I am not going to reveal any names or personal information or even the state where this took place. All I will say is that it took place somewhere in the Midwest and I am 20 years and well over 800 miles removed from it.

I’ve worked as a driver, counter help, line cook, shift manager, acting store manager, and assistant store manager, and that was just for Papa John’s. I’ve also been pizza chef at a bowling alley and delivery driver for an Italian restaurant that did catering and pizza. Driving is in my blood, apparently, because I currently drive a truck for a restaurant supply company in New England.

Anyway. Papa John’s. I really miss those days. I don’t know if this was corporate policy or specific to my DM, but they said food and labor costs had to be under 41%. I’d been at this particular store, working my way up, for well over three years. It was in an area where new neighborhoods were constantly popping up. I would go out on days off and drive from the store to these new neighborhoods to see if we could get there in a reasonable amount of time. If we could, I would either tell the store manager to add the streets into the system or use their log in and do it myself. And if we couldn’t, I would call the store in the next town over and tell them about the neighborhood.

When our GM left due to pregnancy, I offered to step in and take over the store. Needless to say, I knew the area and the business. I knew when it would be busy and when it would be slow, and I was never caught with my pants down, so to speak. And my numbers showed it. We were consistently between 35 and 37%. Add to this the fact that I was a “do me a favor” type manager and people enjoyed working with and for me because of it.

For whatever reason, they never gave me the GM title. Instead, they brought in a guy whose management experience was at a UPS store type business. He had never done food service, he didn’t even live in the town, and he had never had our pizza. The first week I had already done the schedule, but he changed it by calling in extra drivers and insiders on Friday and Saturday. That week, food and labor was 41%. For the next four weeks, it was closer to 46%. My DM actually accused me of sabotaging him in order to get the position for myself. We had words, and that ended my career with Papa John’s. I couldn’t even go to a different store in the area because ours was almost dead center of the DM’s territory.

By: brixen_ivy

Follow My Voice - Chapter 4

AO3 | Chapter 1 | Chapter 2 | Chapter 3

Chris doesn’t realize he does it, but he walks aimlessly downtown for nearly an hour.  Once he figures out where he is, he makes a left, left, right and then he’s standing in Battery Park, allowing memories of the past flood his brain.  He smiles to himself, brushes a single tear off his cheek.

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The Camp Out-Imagine #191
  • Luke: Before you started touring with your boyfriend Luke's band, your family had a tradition of an annual camping trip. Every summer you and your dad would throw a dart at a map of the US and wherever it landed, that's where your family drove to for the camp-out. Since it was July and you were still out with the boys, you weren't able to make it back home for the trip, and it really bummed you out. Luke noticed you sulking a couple of times when you thought no one was around and he felt bad, knowing he was the reason you were missing out on something that you looked forward to every year since you were little. So, he decided to do something about it. "Hey, Y/N!" Luke greeted cheerfully as he pulled back the curtain of your bunk to see you quietly reading a book. He gives you a peck on the lips and you can't help but notice the Joker-esque grin he's sporting. You eye him suspiciously and set down your book in your lap. "Hi...?" you reply, sounding confused. "We've got a couple days off," he explains as he starts pulling you down from the bunk and into his arms. "I am aware, yes." "Then back a bag!" You look at him blankly. "Where are we going? We haven't even stopped yet?" "You'll see." The bus stops not long after that, in some random place you've never seen before. You figure you must be somewhere in the Midwest. "So..." you begin, looking over at Luke, the other three boys behind him all wearing matching smiles. "Hey, Y/N!" you hear from behind you. You look over and see your dad pitching a tent and waving over at you, your mom by his side setting up a bonfire. You gasp and look back at Luke, eyes wide. "We're going camping!" he exclaims, stretching his arms out to gesture to the surroundings. If a few tears fell from your eyes, no one could really blame you.
  • Michael: "Come on, Michael. It'll be fun!" you plead, pulling on your boyfriend's arm. "You know I hate being outside. Remember what happened last time?" You smirk at the memory, and try to suppress a grin. "I told you not to antagonize that poor raccoon." "I didn't even do anything!" "...You waved a stick around at it and kept on yelling 'Where's Pocahontas?' at it. You honestly had it coming." He huffs and cross his arms over his chest in response. "I still don't wanna spend the night outside." You sigh and give up, walking toward your room for a nap since there was clearly nothing you were going to be doing tonight. "Alright, Michael," you say in defeat before closing the door. When you rise from your nap later on, you walk out into the living room and give a small yawn that shortly turns into a jaw-drop. "What..." you begin, looking over at Michael trying to set up a tent on his own in the middle of the living room. There's a "bonfire" a few feet away from him that is really two forks and a lighter with a pack of marshmallows sitting next to him. The couch is bare, all of the cushions and pillows set up in a fort-like fashion just in front of it. There are two rolled up sleeping bags sitting next to a couple of lanterns and stuffed animals perched in random places. Michael looks over his shoulder at you, the tent lying limply in his hands, and flashes you a small smile. "I figured we could just camp out in here..." he mutters, a faint flush creeping up his neck, indicating his embarrassment. "As long as you can keep me safe from these ferocious bears," you reply, gesturing to a stuffed Winnie The Pooh sitting atop the television set. "Baby, it's a wild, wild world," he replied with a bright smile. You laugh and go over to help him set up the tent because he is absolutely hopeless at it.
  • Calum: When Calum brings up a camping trip that the boys were thinking of having, you almost jump out of your skin with excitement. "I love camping!" you exclaim, shooting out of your seat across from him at your dining room table and plopping down in his lap. "I haven't gone in such a long time. We have to go!" "I don't know, Y/N," he begins, looking hesitant. You pout and wrap your arms around his shoulders, "Please?" you plead. "Alright, fine, just stop with the eyes!" he says with a chuckle. "Excellent!" you reply excitedly before launching from your spot and sprinting over to your room to pack a bag. "This is going to be great!" All you hear as a response from him is laughter. The next day...there was almost nothing else that could have gone wrong. Your car broke down halfway to the camp-site, so you all had to walk a couple of miles until you found a good spot to set up, that also had cell reception so that you could call for someone to come fix the car, it rained for about an hour, you almost got eaten by a snake("It was THIS BIG! It could have swallowed me whole!" "You're exaggerating, Y/N. But it's okay, you're safe now." "My hero."), you and Calum forgot your sleeping bags in the kitchen, so the five of you had to share one, and if all that wasn't annoying, the tent collapsed on you all in the middle of the night. You all sat in silence under the damp fabric covering your faces before you start laughing incredibly, sending the rest of the group into hysterics. "This is probably the worst camping trip in the history of forever," you state as you all lay out underneath the stars, nothing overhead as you were all too lazy to try and fix the tent back up. "I don't think it is," Calum muses quietly. "How could it not be?" you ask with a laugh. "Because," he begins, looking over at you and reaching for your hand. "I'm with you."
  • Ashton: "Isn't this illegal?" you ask meekly, watching Ashton throw your backpacks over the fence of the zoo. "Only if we get caught," he says with a smirk before hoisting himself over the fence. From the top, he reaches out his hand to help you over, you hesitantly take it and you both make it over to other side okay. "When did you become such a bad boy?" you ask him teasingly, picking your backpack up. "Since you told me you've never been camping before and I realized there's nowhere to go camping in the middle of the city," he explains as he grabs your hand. You walk around the zoo for a bit, looking at all the sleeping animals, as Ashton narrates everything like it was an Australian nature documentary. ("And here we have the ferocious lion. He watches ova the rest of pride as they sleep soundly.") You set up your sleeping bags in the middle of the bird sanctuary and eat s'mores poptarts, since you can't really start a fire in the middle of the zoo, as you look at all of the colorful feathers of the birds. "I think I quite like camping," you say with a contented sigh as you lean your head on his shoulder.