the shitmobile

Studying

Adam tends to dedicate the three days before a big exam to studying.

He sits himself at a table in the back of his favorite cafe on campus, where no one ventures because of how cramped it is, and makes himself at home. The sloped roof, wooden beams, and aged hardwood floors remind him of his tiny room back at St. Agnes.

Today, the smell of dust is enough to conjure up a memory from last summer; when Ronan helped him pack away his belongings the night before he left for college. He quickly pushes the memory away before it can take root.

Like usual, his classmates only join him for day one of what they call the Parrish Regiment, while his roommate stays through day two to keep Adam company. The third day, however, is when Adam is left to study on his own.

He becomes restless from studying for hours upon hours with little time in between to use the bathroom, eat, and sleep. But the more time he spends here, the higher the chances are that he’ll pass his exams and head into his winter break stress free. Just a handful of days until he gets to see–

His cellphone vibrates on the table, a picture of Ronan holding up his middle finger popping up on the screen. He answers and tries to sound as if he weren’t just thinking about the other boy. Apparently, that’s not hard to do when you’re exhausted and running on four hours of sleep.

“Lynch. I’m studying,” Adam croaks, while rubbing at his eyes. He’s read the same passage in his textbook four times.

“Adam!” It’s Opal’s high voice that greets him and Adam instantly feels warmth begin to flood his chest. All traces of exhaustion are momentarily forgotten.

“Opal,” he sighs fondly. There’s a sound of buttons being pressed, then comes Ronan’s voice:

“I thought the brat should know something other than ‘Kerah’ and elementary level Latin. How’s the studying going?”

Just like Ronan to change the subject so Adam wouldn’t comment on him taking the time to teach Opal his name. The attempt doesn’t stop the burning behind his eyes or the lump forming in his throat, though.

“I miss you,” Adam whispers.

“Adam. You know I miss you, too,” Ronan doesn’t hesitate with his response. “Finish studying, so you can ace your tests, hop in your shitmobile, and get your ass back here. Your break starts next week, right?”

“Mm,” Adam bobs his head a little, a smile tugging at his lips.

“Hey, keep studying. I’ll stay on the line and keep you company, so you don’t cry like a fucking wuss. Deal?”

“Deal,” Adam laughs.

And Ronan does keep him company. He puts himself on speaker while he goes about the rest of his evening, so that he’s not making too much noise in Adam’s ear. There’s the sound of Opal’s hooves on hardwood floor, a screen door opening and closing, pots and pans being moved around in the kitchen. At one point, Ronan begins to sing something Adam’s only ever heard him hum before and he thinks of Cabeswater, of peaceful summer nights spent in the Barns with Ronan’s hand in his.

“Thank you,” Adam says so quietly, he’s sure his boyfriend won’t hear it. But he does.

“Anytime.”

Hurricane Negan Pt. 1

(Part one) (Part Two)

Summary: Negan sees one of his men getting a bit too friendly with one his newcomers.
Request Summary: “Could I get a jealous Negan, please.”- charlesgrey1875
POV:  Negan
Characters: Adrienne, Negan, Simon, and Jacob.
Word Count: 1415
Warnings: Cursing
Authors note: Whenever I say her, I’m referring to Adrienne, but in this story, the two of them aren’t quite familiar with each other and I wanted Negan’s POV to stay accurate with him not actually knowing her.  Adrienne is sort of a fill-in character.  When you read, you can make her look however you wish.  She’s practically a stand-in for Y/N.
Quote of the story: “Boom.  Problem motherfuckin’ solved”

MASTER LIST

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Don't mess with my car.

When I was in high school, my first car was a cheap little Geo that I’d bought with money I’d saved working my ass off at the neighborhood pizza joint. Obviously, it was nothing special, but it was mine and I was proud of it.

I lived in a very affluent suburb in the Midwest at the time though, and a majority of my peers drove much nicer cars – either daddy’s BMW, or a BMW daddy bought for them. I mean, everyone else didn’t literally drive BMWs exclusively, but you get the idea.

Anyway, I was a junior at the time, and there were a handful of bullies (seniors) who decided that because I drove a dated, inexpensive car, I deserved to be subjected to constant ridicule and harrassment. I was constantly being called “poor” and laughed at for driving “such a cheap piece of shit”. In reality, my family was actually decently well off. My parents could’ve bought me a brand new Mercedes if they’d wanted, but they came from nothing and wanted me to earn my first car. And being raised by them I was fine with that.

Anyway, let’s call the leader of this bullying group Tad. Tad was utterly obnoxious to almost everyone around him, but usually got away with it because he was A) attractive, B) a straight-A student, and C) a talented player on every sports team our high school offered.

The whole conflict started one day after school. I was in my little Geo, in the line of cars waiting to leave the parking lot. Tad was in front of me, in his Audi A4.

When we were nearing the parking lot exit, Tad stopped to lean out the window and chat to some of his friends. I had work at the pizzeria that day and was in a hurry, so being impatient, I sped around him. Tad must’ve interpreted my passing him as some sort of hostile affront to his ego, and sped up behind me. After finally turning onto the main road, he stayed right on my bumper and followed me to work. When I got out of my car, he leaned out the window and called me some names. I ignored him and went into work.

When I got out of work 4 hours later, I found both of my mirrors broken. I didn’t have proof, but I knew it was Tad. Luckily my parents felt bad for me and paid for me to have them fixed that week.

Next week, however, came the straw that broke the camel’s back.

It was a Friday and I’d stayed late after school working on a history paper in the school library. I happened to get out right after the lacrosse team had finished up practice. When I came out to the parking lot, I saw Tad standing next to my car. What was he doing? Taking a piss on the driver’s side door. Filled with rage, I ran after him but he managed to get to his car and peel out of the parking lot.

At home, feeling defeated as I washed his piss off my car, I decided revenge was in order. I didn’t know how, yet, but I knew an opportunity would come. And it did.

Two weeks later, word had spread around the school that this senior named Doug was having a big party the coming weekend. Doug was incredibly popular, and I knew Tad would be there. I also happened to know Tad would be driving his Audi there. And I knew where Doug lived, and that most of the people, Tad included, would be staying the night.

I enrolled the help of my two closest friends, Ben and Josh. Both hated Tad just as much as I did, though for different reasons, and were more than eager to lend their “help” when I told them my scheme.

The night of the party, we waited until 4 AM when we knew the party would be dead and everyone would be sleeping. We showed up wearing all dark clothes and plastic gloves. We found Tad’s car, and much to our amazement (and glee), he’d left it unlocked. We opened the doors and quietly went to work, trying to keep from laughing too loudly.

First, I pissed into the air vents. I got out, and Josh pissed all over the leather driver’s seat. Then, it was Ben’s turn. Now, let me tell you, Ben is a disgusting human being. He’s a loud, funny guy, all smiles and laughter, but he’s also just gross. Constantly belching and farting. And it always smells so, so rancid when he does. He’s the type of dude who takes pride in that. Ben pulls down his pants, whispers, “I wonder if he’ll be able to tell I had chinese food,” squats next to the car, and proceeds to take a shit into his gloved hand.

The smell is immediately overwhelming, and horrifyingly gruesome. It’s so potent you can taste it. Josh and I gag right away, frantically pulling our shirts over our noses and retreating from Ben’s vicinity. Josh can’t take it, runs over to a tree, and pukes his guts out. Ben laughs and says, “oh my god that is SICK, sorry!” While we’re watching from a distance in both horror and amusement, Ben takes his shit and just starts smearing it everywhere. All over the door handles, the steering wheel, the air vents, the radio knobs… He eventually starts gagging and coughing and retreats himself, but not before wiping his ass with the lacrosse jersey Tad had left in the back seat.

We couldn’t stop laughing on the walk back to Josh’s house, but once we were back, Josh made Ben take a shower (thank god).

The following Monday there were a lot of whispers going around the school. Here’s what I eventually learned happened:

  1. The morning after the party, Tad discovered the nightmare in his Audi, in front of everyone else who was leaving.
  2. Tad went into a rage, but apparently almost everyone thought it was the funniest thing they had ever seen.
  3. When Tad’s parents discovered what happened to the car they’d purchased for their son, they also discovered Tad had been to a party and had been drinking. I guess his parents were not cool with it – they took away his car for the rest of the year and Tad was told he had to ride the bus for the remainder of the year.
  4. His parents eventually gave him the car back several months later, but no one wanted to ride in “the shitmobile” because of what happened, and because he never got the smell completely out.

Tad’s bullying surprisingly died down a bit after that. He didn’t mess with my car again.

submissions don't let you do line breaks: the fic

Neil’s new to having a bank account - another intangible thing to give Neil Abram Josten weight - but he’s pretty sure that a balance in double figures isn’t good for his constant quest in survival.

He does the maths in his head. He gets paid in five days, and he has the weekend off. If he goes and gets food now to survive him until then, he can manage. He should be cautious on bills to avoid this next month, instead of using the heating he should wrap himself in one of the many blankets he found himself with after the foxes found out he is always cold instead. Spend extra time at the stadium instead of his empty apartment to save on lighting, gas, water. Stay in this weekend so he doesn’t have to get more gas for his shitty, non-environmentally friendly car.

He looks at the apartment’s bare walls and sparse furniture. This is a place that was meant to be left behind, in a similar way to all of the towns he and Mary had left in their wake. He knew he was going to live in this city for a year or two at most before transferring teams.

But he can’t really blame that, wholly, for not settling in - after all, he may have had to spend more time here. Andrew may have transferred to his team instead. (He can hear Andrew’s silent almost-amusement; “They’d be so lucky.” His team is ranked badly, and Andrew is expensive.) But he’s spent his whole life finding home in other people rather than places, and he doesn’t know how to make a place warm.

The white walls feel stifling when he contemplates spending his days off looking at them.

But last minute plane tickets are expensive - a fact Neil knows intimately, looking at his recent transactions - and he simply can’t afford them.

Maybe Neil’s been spending too much time with Andrew, but he just can’t accept no for an answer. He gets in his car.

“Neil,” Andrew says, picking up the phone after only two rings, his voice giving no hint of sleepiness though Neil knows he must have just been woken up by the ringing phone.

“Andrew,” Neil responds. “I broke down.”

“And this is my problem how?”

“I’m about ten minutes outside of Denver.”

There’s a small pause. “You’re an idiot,” Andrew says, and hangs up.

Neil takes that to mean Andrew will come to pick his idiot ass up.

Only one car passes before Andrew finds Neil. Neil supposes that’s not too strange. It is, after all, 4am. He stifles a yawn and then notices familiar lights coming up in front of his car.

“Explain to me how you thought that piece of shit would get you across the country.”

“Hardly across the country,” Neil protests. At Andrew’s silence, he relents with a shrug, “It almost did.”

Andrew continues to stare at Neil for a second, unimpressed, before he turns to inspect the damage. Matt had briefly tried to show Neil the basics of looking after a car when he finally got his own, but had looked under the hood at a tangled mess of duct tape and elastic bands and said, “If this shitmobile breaks, you’re dead, dude,” and went on to say that his tips probably wouldn’t apply to Maseratis. “Their engines are made of pure gold, right?”

Neil realises Andrew’s still wearing what passes for pajamas for him. He’s suddenly unsure whether this is real or if it’s a fever dream.

Andrew gestures for him to try the engine, and it turns on. Despite himself, Neil is surprised. He’d thought the car was a goner for the past three hours of driving.

“Drive back,” Andrew says, and Neil assumes - or hopes - he means to his place, not Neil’s. “I’ll follow. I’ll push that lump back if I have to.” Andrew had already sworn, back when Neil had dropped an obscenely low price for the car, that he would never get inside of it.

The roads are still mostly clear, so they don’t put anyone else at risk with the probably dangerous smoke that starts coming out of the car when they’re a few blocks away. When he pulls up, Neil gets out of the car as soon as he can, fearing for his life more than he has in years. “Rest in peace,” He says.

Andrew walks past Neil and the slowly dissipating cloud of smoke and heads straight for his apartment. Neil hurriedly grabs his bag and follows.

By the time Neil makes it upstairs, Andrew’s already back in bed. He’d left space for Neil though. That’s basically affection from Andrew, Neil decides.

Neil wakes alone. The fact that he has the weekend off doesn’t mean Andrew does, and besides, Andrew would have had sleep before Neil woke him up. The clock reads 2pm. Neil falls out of bed.

He’s showered and eaten before he peers out the window for his sickly car, which is not there. Neil looks again, but surprisingly, that does not make the car appear either. Neil decides it’s a conundrum and goes to see if anyone’s playing old games on TV.

Andrew comes back a little bit before half time, and heads straight to the kitchen without more than a glance at the game. He comes out with a sandwich to sit next to Neil just as half time starts, and Neil’s pretty sure he planned it that way.

“Where’s my car?”

“Your pile of shit is in the big parking lot in the sky,” Andrew replies, monotone.

Neil considers this and decides that might be for the best. “Did you drive it?”

Andrew merely stares at Neil for a brief moment. Neil considers the possibility that Andrew would be petty enough to pay someone to drive it to a scrapyard, and comes to the easy conclusion that he would. Neil moves on.

“How am I meant to get back? I don’t have a plane ticket.”

“I booked you one,” Andrew says, as though that should be obvious, and perhaps it should. Neil realises, all of a sudden, that he could just have asked Andrew to buy him tickets to and from Denver and he would have.

“You want to get rid of me that much?” Neil says, trying not to sound like he’s reeling.

“Of course,” Andrew replies, bored.

“I still need a car though.”

“That’s your problem,” Andrew says, then continues after a second. “You have enough money near here for a decent car.”

Neil thinks, and realises Andrew’s right. Andrew’s always right, it seems. “You mean a car you’d be willing to drive.”

Andrew only repeats, “A decent car,” and sets his empty plate down as a cue to Neil.

“Can we go after the game?” Neil asks.

Andrew makes a disgusted noise and walks out the door. Neil supposes that’s fair and follows him out.

Two hours finds them pulling up to a cafe in a nearby town, covered in sweat and an almost unnoticeable amount of dirt. The waiter doesn’t comment, but he does give them a pointed look that they both ignore.

After Andrew has ordered for them both, Neil says, “I thought we were going home.”

Andrew gives him a look that’s not quite hard enough to be disapproving for his use of the word ‘home’, but Neil elects to ignore that. “There’s not enough food there.”

Neil nods, and looks around at the cafe - its walls are covered, and the furniture is all in rich, warm colours, so it would almost look warm and cosy were it not for how few people were actually in the cafe. He makes eye contact with someone he knows, immediately, recognises him.

He looks back at Andrew and hopes they’re the kind to take the silent cue to not interrupt them. Andrew raises his eyebrows once, quickly, and Neil knows the person is coming over. He doesn’t sigh.

“Um… hi?” He asks, and Neil turns to see he’s brought his friend, who looks more skeptical. “You’re… you play Exy, right? Neil Josten and Andrew Minyard? I didn’t know you guys still talked! Since leaving Palmetto, I mean.” He bounces slightly on his feet.

“Yeah, that’s us,” Neil says, trying not to sound lacklustre. Someone who works on his team’s ‘public image’ says he’s got to be ‘warmer’ with ‘fans’. “We still talk.”

“Cool!” He grins like this is news, which Neil blames on the tabloids who keep trying to insist he and Andrew must be enemies because they’re aggressive on the court. Almost as if they’re playing against each other. “We’re huge fans.”

His friend nods, but she doesn’t look enthusiastic. “Huge.” She sounds sarcastic.

Neil nods.

The boy nods back. “Um, can we take a photo? Maybe? If that’s okay?”

Andrew looks like he’s about to talk, so Neil gets up to move to the other side of the booth. “Of course! Andrew, move up.” Andrew levels an unimpressed look at Neil, but he moves up. “Come on, sit down,” Neil gestures at the girls, and thinks this might be ‘warm’.

“Okay!” The boy says and pulls his friend down into the booth with them. Neil puts an arm around the fan closest to him, and then the others seem to realise that there’s no one to take a picture. The girl extracts her arm from her friend and stands up with a sigh.

“Cam, your phone.” The boy pulls a phone out of his pocket and hands it over, clearly trying to sit still enough to keep Neil’s arm where it is. Neil thinks this ‘warm’ thing may not be for him. “Smile!” She says, all false enthusiasm, and takes a few pictures.

“Okay, thank you so much!” Cam says, and gets up. “Um, Andrew? Good luck in your game next week!”

Andrew doesn’t respond. “Thanks,” Neil says weakly. “I’m sure you know he has no manners.”

Cam laughs. “Yeah! Yeah. Okay, uh, bye,” He lets his friend drag him away.

Neil hopes he doesn’t realise Andrew hasn’t said a single word.

The waiter arrives with their food. Andrew says, “Thank you.”

The airport is full of people, a fact that Andrew assesses with a sweeping, dismissive glance. “Check in,” He says, pointing to what is presumably the right desk, and Neil follows.

“You can put your bag here, if you want it in hold,” The woman says in a bored tone.

“No, I’m fine,” Neil says.

They walk over to security, and Neil looks at a board telling him what he can and can’t include. “I should have driven back. Flying sucks.”

“You don’t have a car, Josten.”

“I know how to hotwire,” Neil responds. He doesn’t mention the key on his keyring to Andrew’s car.

“You can’t drive if you’re dead.”

Neil pauses as if considering this. “Yeah, that’s a fair point.”

The line presses forward, so Neil’s almost at the point where he needs to show his ticket. Other people start hugging the person they’re parting from, so Neil slowly presses a hand to Andrew’s shoulder. Andrew looks at him and says, “I’ll call you tonight.”

“You should be sleeping when I land. You have practice in the morning.”

Andrew doesn’t grace that with a response.

“Okay,” Neil doesn’t smile. “I’ll talk to you tonight, then.”

Andrew nods and turns to leave.

“At least take a nap first,” Neil calls after him.

Andrew holds a finger up behind his back.

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