Once the group disperses, Jade drives Spear to a Mexican restaurant, because, in his words, 'it's time for some motherfucking fajitas.' The place has drawn something of a crowd, but it's not too obnoxious. Lots of conversations going on around them, but they can still hear each other fine. Once steak fajitas are ordered, Jade says, "I can't believe we have to be twenty-one to get a margarita." Never mind he can have one at home. It's the principle of the thing.
Spear likes assembling fajitas. It feels soothing. He looks up and he grins "I'm still hungover from the other night." He managed to score an entire hash doobie from the others, and did it himself after everyone had grumpily crashed. So his eyes are red. He puts his chin in his hands and Spear says "...Silver and me turned up stuff at the library."
"Did you hear Cash going on about how no one cares about apologies? After last night?" He shakes his head. "I accepted his apology when he actually apologized. At this point? Fine. I'll be the villain to his victim. I don't care anymore." He takes a drink of disappointing mere Coke and says, "Oh yeah? What'd you two find out?"
"He gets twisted up and then it all falls apart on him," says Spear "He used to do it to me as well, when we were dating. I know it's really, ugh...I won't make excuses." He picks up a fork, uncomfortably "He's got a...brain thing. There's medication for it. And Hector got him committed or something when he dumped him in the city? Like, to get him to go away? So he's kind of messed up." And then he says "Oh! Okay, let me get my notes." And Spear leans down to dig in his bag "So - this thing ain't new."
"Yeah, he told me about his brain thing," Jade says. "Which is why I've given him so many chances. I would've blown off anyone else for this stuff a long time ago. I feel for him. But he's decided I'm the bad guy, and nothing I do will change his mind, so..." He shrugs. "I'm a Marchant. We get this shit all the time. You learn to let it roll off you." He looks at the bag with interest.
Spear pulls out some photocopies "I'm not saying take it," he says to Jade, and he gives a sad smile "There's only so much 'You are my sunshine, so I had to dump you like a coward by letter' I can take myself, you know?" Then Spear spreads out the photocopies "Certificates of death, from home. Not tonnes, but a few, all the way back to the 1960s. No autopsies performed, because back then when you found it this clear, you didn't look further." He taps 'Cause of Death' on the top one: Exsanguination.
Jade shakes his head. "If you ever break up with me like that, I'm going to punch you in the dick," he says. "I know you never would, but it bears mentioning." He scoots closer to Spear so he can look at the spread out papers. His enthusiasm dims as he actually takes in what they say. "Oh, well, that sucks." He pauses, then utters a sharp laugh. "Sucks."
"It does and it doesn't," says Spear, who taps the papers "So the thing is, we can't be the only people who worked out this stuff was happening - they have to have contacted others. We need to like, find out _which adults_ around here knew about this shit as teenagers. And this? Is the start of how to work it out!" He beams.
"So you're saying they know about it and are covering it up?" Jade says. His eyes widen, briefly, but then he remembers he's Gen X and he assumes a bland expression. "That figures. No wonder they're threatening to bust us for drugs if we don't leave it alone. So, what, are we supposed to just let the bad guys take our sisters?" He's keeping his tone low, and he adds, "We should be careful what we say. I was telling Hector, for all we know, they got people out there working with them during the day, who might overhear and carry information back to them."
"No, I'm saying the survivors laid low and will be extremely useful sources of vampire-butt kicking information," says Spear, also speaking low - who always looks on the bright side "Not a chance. Yes, oh! I see what you mean. But I prefer to think of it as allies waiting for our youthful vigor!" He shakes his head "I am not letting Silver go. Or Star. But if anyone kidnaps Star, they're more fucked up than they know."
"You're way more optimistic than I am," Jade says. "I'm not letting Thea go, either. I just don't think the survivors are going to help us. They survived by keeping their mouths shut and laying low. Why would that change now? Especially now? We'll have to blackmail them or something." Something Jade's more than willing to do to save his sister.
"I think the school's more cohesive now that we're all here. We can do it, Jade. And if we can't, er, we can run away," says Spear excitedly, as the fajitas arrive "We just need to think positively. I mean, the other night I was taking notes and..."
Jade perks up, and he starts assembling the fajitas, wincing as the sizzling meat burns his fingers. He could wait, but fajitas. "For you, I'll look in the bright side," he says, "but I'm also going to keep my eyes open for people being bastards, because that's a reliable bet. We should know who they are, regardless." For blackmailing.
"I think we should split our skills like that," agrees Spear suddenly "You know more than I do about things like that. And I have access to the Dead. You're the expert on the Living, being a Marchant. I think we got this. And I have nothing against hoofing it if we gotta." He pauses, then he admits "Hector said all my notes said 'butt'. I shouldn't research when high."
Jade laughs, shoulders shaking with mirth. "No, you probably shouldn't," he says. He munches on a delicious fajita, and somehow he manages to eat the messy food with dignity and decorum. "We can hoof it if we have to," he says. "Absolute last resort, but if there's no other way out of this, and all is lost, you and me are hitting the road, babe."
"Will do," says Spear, though he knows...he knows the truth. And the truth is? Jade and he would never abandon their sisters. It goes unmentioned, though, and Spear rolls his fajita up "I was thinking of your butt," he says, unnecessarially, and he beams.
Yeah, 'all is lost' means they're already beyond saving, but Jade can't say those words. Because it's not gonna happen. "I bet you were," he says. "Me and my butt are duly flattered." He winks. Then he says, "You're so damn cute. I'm glad your'e coming over tonight. My sisters think you're great. The twins like you." Of course his family's opinion matters, and he looks so damn pleased.
Spear could probably host rallies for positivity meetups. He really just exists in a world where his brain takes in terrible things and translates the most beneficial outcome. He finishes his fajita, blows on his burned fingers, and then he laughs "I am? I like hearing that. Feels weird though - Thistles, we don't get called cute. They do?" Now he beams, and then he says "The twins are hilarious. I don't know why they like me, but I will _take_ that!"
"They should," Jade says. "Even I can tell your sisters are stone cold hotties, and you know how I feel about you, gorgeous." He picks at a bit of steak on the still prohibitively hot mini-skillet. "I wanted to dislike them," he says, "but they're pretty awesome." He shrugs helplessly. What can he do? He's been won over. "Do you want to sleep over? It'll be safer than going home at night."
"Hmm, I've actually chatted about this with Cash, but I think it's...honestly that Marchants and Freelands and Lesters...you guys don't _get affected_ by the freakout aura we produce. So you see us as we really are," Spear says "Everyone else literally starts to feel horrified by us, after a while. It's the big...problem with Thistles. But everyone from your families is unaffected. It's weird. It's like you're immune." And then his eyes light up "I really do."
"Really?" Jade says. "Huh. I'd never thought about it. I just know I like you, and I think your sisters are pretty cool. Star freaks me out a little, but that's because I have a feeling she would rip my still-beating heart from my chest if I hurt you. But that just makes me respect her, you know?" He grins, then starts to assemble another fajita. They're best when they're still hot. "If we get up early enough, we can go out for breakfast." He considers a moment, then says, "If things go south at your place? And you need somewhere to bolt to? You can come to my house. Your sisters, too."
"Yeah, no one would ever find your body," says Spear cheerily "We have a body farm, you know." He then tilts his head "And I know Thea would do similar to me." Then he pats his stomach and he leans back and he says "Or. You know. We could stay in." A hopeful look, and he says "...good to know. I'll take you up on it. Or I'll bolt to the police station or somewhere that's just annoying to attack. Like, oh! The radio or tv stations. Those are great - always people, no one wants to fuck around there. We'll be ok, Jade."
Jade says, "We can stay in." He just grins as Spear reassures him his body would never be found. "I don't plan on hurting you," he says, "and if I ever do, I deserve to never be found." He takes Spear's hand. "I hope so. That we'll be okay. I'm kind of freaked out about it all, but... but yeah. We'll be okay."
"...I'll take care of you dude," says Spear, firmly "And your family. I know they're important to you. Marchants _do_ rule." He nudges Jade "Better than Lesters or Freelands. Okay, let's think about this - chocolate tacos for dessert?"