Log:Running the Courts

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Running the Courts
Characters  •   Lucas Marchant  •  Justin Michaels  •
Location  •  Lake Havasu - English Village
Factions  •   Marchant Family  •
Date  •  2019-09-22
Summary  •  So with that cat out of the bag Lucas and Justin try to go out on a date, in public, in the too-bright afternooon and discuss their futures in law, basketball, college, dorms, and not getting 13 year olds killed as collateral damage before then. Easy plan right?

Lucas got permission to be away from the house and the school. Two and a half months and the twins have been damn good and while it's sunny and (frankly) awful because of said sunniness? Lyle needed out of the fucking house. With stress levels from his falling out with Hector and the couple weeks of looking like a miniature casual-Friday banker every day? A little R+R: Renegades and Rebels.

So with the blessings of his Warden...er...cousin and his big brother he's called up Justin to go out, and see Maverick and do whatever for a while like seniors are supposed to be able to do. While it's a fight to get Lucas out of his head this month he still answer his pager when the message comes in. Maybe not immediately, but every time and keeps calling at 10 when his brother relents the phone. The fear of him going radio silent is a real thing preceded by a lot of history as evidence. There seems to be an effort to not lose his damn mind and he did ask Justin to come out, with him, in the dreadfulness. And here they are.

"You now, that whole movie I thought to myself, I'd love to be Brett Maverick, and I can't help but think..." His eyes squint behind the sunglasses, "I feel like I'd have no tolerance for other people's crap and prolly just shoot at em and go back to my damn day. Be... kinda fun to have a saloon style party though. I should tell Jade to do that." Glancing to Justin there's a hint of a wry smile, "Thanks. For doing this."


Justin, well, apparently Justin has ideas about what being called up to see a movie on a Saturday afternoon means. He's actually a bit dressed up, well, for him anyway. Which means he's wearing a polo shirt with his jeans instead of a tee or a tank. As they walk, he's more watching the tourists than the attractions, since this is his hometown after all. As far as he's concerned tourist watching is the best part of the English Village. But he's also respecting the fact they're out in public where classmates might bump into them, so Justin's hands remain tucked in his pockets rather than trying to take Lucas' hand in his.

"No you wouldn't." Justin says levelly with a smile. "I don't think I could see you actually shooting someone. Maybe throwing something at their heads until they go away, but not shooting them." He laughs slightly. "You should be glad people don't shoot other people for being annoying. You wouldn't have made it this far." He sticks out his tongue, but slows as they near the pub. "Wanna grab something to eat?" He says, jerking his head towards the door. "I bet it's not as bright inside."


Lucas stops walking with a smirk and looks over to him unable to argue that point. The look becomes an actual smile reminiscent of himself and he just shakes his head, "Yeaaaaah I'll count both as a good thing." If not a bit too close to home. There's the flash of what happened to Brenda and remembering Justin's brother's face as a twisted monstrosity of carnivorous rapture. Yeaaaaah.

Lucas' hand pulls from his pocket to rest on Justin's shoulder and responds, "Thanks. Not how I'd want to be imagined." Ever. THat Justin can't? Well he'll count that a very good sign and hopefully they can resolve this and he doesn't have to see Stephen's like that either. Not that he said he and his brother were ever particularly close. Ever. At all. Lucas' brothers are everything to him and that? There's a personalized respect there for what he's lacking. He reasons it likely goes both ways where his own mother is concerned. From behind dark lenses he watches and the hand squeeses his shoulder, "I'd... love that." It's the small considerations really. The tourists? Well they always are fun to watch where everything's always stupidly new. He's got some thoughts on this, some with suspicion,and some with a maudlin reminder. Hand slides to the back of his shoulder bargaining, "Juuusut not fruit anything, and I'll go wherever you want. You can pick since my dramatic ass has caused enough problems this quarter." He's trying to make peace with it even if he lacks decent words for it. Turning he follows Justin into the shade. "You going to miss this place? Next year."


"Pub." Justin picks without really thinking. "By the time they'll want to kick us out we'll have to get you back home anyway. Unless I want your older brother kicking my ass." He shakes his head. "That dude? I can see him straight up shooting someone for crossing him." Just shivers a bit despite the heat, but lead Lucas inside to the dim air conditioned interior of the pub. "No fruit? Well, pub food is straight up carbs and meat." Being a seat yourself situation, Justin quickly rushes to snag a corner booth with a good deal of privacy for the both of them, sliding in with a big, puppy-dog grin.

Maybe he's voiding the question, or he's just taking his time thinking about it. After a few moments he shakes his head. "Nah.. not really. I mean, I moved here right before high school, so yeah, the town's always gonna be a big part of my life, but I don't know as I'll actually miss it. Besides, no pro team here, right?" He says it jokingly. He doesn't have quite the same confidence in himself going pro as Lucas always seems to.


Lucas absolutely cannot disagree with that assessment on Morrison. He pauses and his eyes squint with a slow nod. "Yeah. I can too." He assures Justin, "But, it wouldn't be for a stupid reason." His head swivels. Pub then. If they give him shit he'll drop a name, some credentials, and really live up to all of his initials if he has to. Not so fun when it's being done at you, but kinda nice when it's on one's behalf though. Words are weapons in Lucas Land.

Right now? Right now he's not inclined to fight. That shit can stay outside it seems. R He follows Justin in, and you know what if people speculate that's their problem. Right now he's watching that smile as they slide into the booth. He's still listening for the answer though tipping a "Thanks." up to the waiter. Yes water. Go. awake. Bring us the tiny biscuits. He hands the menu over and doesn't let go at first but relents it. The joke about the pro-team gets a wry grin as the sunglasses slide off. His shoe taps Justin's and slides along side it, arms folding on the edge of the table not really joking when he says, "Well, you can be on mine. You're going to be too big for this city man."


"Coke." Justin orders, "And a basket of wings." Because who doesn't fucking love wings? HE looks across at Lucas for a moment, head canted slightly to the side. "Now I'll feel bad if I don't live up to that expectation? What happens if I take a spill on the court and jack up my back? Or a car accident? Or any number of little things. That's why I still gotta go to school, get my degree in something. I'm not going to be one of those athlete washouts that lives their life but peaked in high school."

"Maybe I should have played baseball, at least there there's the minors I could go into." He smirks but reaches out to take Lucas' hand in his once the waiter is out of view, but keeps an eye out for his return. Where they're seated in the corner, no one could really watch them without being seen.


Lucas doesn't flinch out of this one and gives the hand in his a squeeze squinting thoughtfully, "You end up in a car accident and mess up your back? I promise you there is not enough insurance in the world to cover us going after them." Which is Lucas for we'll help. It's all he really has instinct for is deny them points and hurt them for scoring so they can't do it again.

His thumb runs over the back of Justin's hand backing up the vengeance a bit "It's a good plan." Falling silent his jaw sets for a moment and he works on phrasing and framing his thoughts, "I, um... I talked... to my brother Morrison about that." Here's to keeping things sounding casual. "He said whatever happens Landon and I need to get out of here and if my Uncle has issue with us? He said he can help us go and... was glad someone sensible would be there." He pauses making light of it with that wry, rakish grin, "Preeeetty sure he meant you, buuuuut..."


"That's sweet in sort of a blood in the water sharkish sort of way." Just says with a mild note of amusement. "But I'll take it." He looks at Lucas across the table and nods vigorously. "See, I told you others in your family would help. That's the sort of shit you have family for. Sure some of them may fuck you over, but others are usually willing to help. Besides, I, uh.. actually wanted to ask you about that." He leans back. "SCU I mean.." He rubs the back of his neck. "I was checking out the dorm options when I went for the visit last year? So some of the dorms are four bedrooms with a common area. I figured you, me, and Landon could try to score one. Maybe if we figure out a fourth going there they could join in?"


And there's the look. He lets go of his hand to take the drink, the chickie wings, the boneless wings, and the sliders... because they are 18 year old athletes who consume calories exactly as you'd expect them to: by the basket load.

He considers the question and how damned difficult it is for Justin to ask anything because of the dozens of times he's burned him. It's one of those questions he wants to lean into answers, and doesn't as a reflex. Caution, calculation in all things. And then the question. It's weirdly at this early stage in life its own huge question and as such he gives it some thought.

On one facet that's the perfect making of having the core team together and the cool kids all holed up in one spot. On the othe? Justin and Lucas have been so back and forth on things that there's really no guarantee of...anything and that? This? This really puts Justin in the position to be the one getting hurt and living in a very difficult situation. He is really sticking his hand in the mouse trap. Maybe that's the testament to how sobering having a life-ending situation can be.

His hand curls fingers into a loose fist, thumb running his knuckle. Opening the hand extends across the table open, palm up to him before nodding slowly giving the thoughtful answer of, "...yeah... Yeah let's talk to Landon about that. He might have ideas for a fourth and... I mean then we won't sit there wondering if your roomies are being shits or not." He's... worried? He's bad at being transparent. He watches the hand because it's easier and a minute dance of conflict goes through his expressions before admitting, "And... I'd like that. I think" He pauses nodding slowly considering Jade and what Morrison told him with a pained expression, "I like the idea."


Justin stares a Lucas in mild silence. Lucas may not be transparent, but Lucas does know him well enough to get an idea of what is going through that complicated, jumbled mess Lucas calls his mind. "And if.. it doesn't work out, dorm assignments can be switched up between semesters. Not like we're signing a lease on an apartment." He tries to sound chipper, and not like he's talking about this attempt at restarting their relationship failing again.

"I mean, getting out of this town, it's a chance for you and Landon to get away from your.. complicated, complicated family. Maybe being off on your own, you can.. just not have to worry about pleasing all that family all the time and just do what you want to do." He digs into the food offerings, tearing into one of the wings with aplomb.


Lucas reaches and takes Justin's hand back and holds it still. Now. The intent screams look at me. And he says nothing for a long moment. "It's... ag good idea." Maybe slightly too intense but there's some confidence? A need? "I want you to be right." He looks off toward the door and then his plate, "Everyone else has kind of decided who I am and who I need to be lately. It's just-" There's a shrug poking the wing into the ranch. "I like your version of things sometimes. It's just uncomplicated."


"Things aren't usually complicated. People make things complicated. Except calculus.. that shit is nuts." Justin gives the hand a return squeeze, before extricating it to continue to eat. They're on a clock and like any teen athlete, he's hungry and it probably about to put away everything sitting on the table in front of them if Lucas doesn't get his share quick. "Well.. I guess people made up calculus, so my point still stands. People make things complicated." He picks up his coke and gestures to Lucas. "Okay, Justin Michael's guide to an uncomplicated life. One - decide what you want to do. Two - figure out the easiest way to do that. Three - do it."


Lucas retrieves his hand and starts to consume his wingies. "So..." He's contemplating this curiously, "We... get clean. By we I mean I mean me. We survive the summer. We find some way to get accepted to USC and Lana actually brought up something interesting there which... might hep me out." His jaw shifts with a vaguely haughty look,. "They might be scouting yo to kiss your ass buuuut I'm still a damn decent point guard last I checked soooo, ya know." He arches an eyebrow and eats his lunch. "We should do this more often. Eat here. Not apply for college. That'd be hella expensive."


"Well, we still have most of the summer." Justin states as he drops wing bones into a growing pile. "And hopefully all this stuff has blown over by then." He smiles. "Then come August we move into our new home for the next four years, settle in, and just live our lives as adults on our own for once. Though I think I might need to find a job for over the summer to save up some spending cash."


Lucas considers the whole... job...thing. Huh. S'Okay that's something he has definitely been able to take for granted. Curious he wonders, "You thinking like retail or waiting tables? Lana and Esme might be able o get you doing something there, bussing, whatever. We can talk to them. They might be taking on people at the factory where my brother is. It's... hell but pays well. Karl's an asshole." Really though if it didn't pay damn well he wouldn't have brought it up. Sitting back he also considers what Mr. Chen told them about their strengths and theirs is influence. Curious he looks across the table adding to the bone pile shaking his head, "Tell me what you want and I will help you make that shit happen. Apparently it's like my birthright or some shit. Might as well use it for the forces of... well us."


"Actually, there's a basket ball camp for middle schoolers over the summer, and coach has kind of been, well, twisting my arm to sign up to be a counselor." Justin props his feet up on the bench next to Lucas, stretching out those long legs. "I think he's running the thing, I bet if you ask /him/ he can save you a spot." Justin turns the offer of help around on Lucas with a smile. "Not that I don't appreciate the offer, mind you."


Lucas considers this. "Like... have a job?" He blinks and this can really go either way. The other eyebrow goes up which is usually a sign of interest but there's no ooh yeah neat. Instead there's a slight frown, "If I have people after me trying to kill me I don't exactly want to endanger 13 year olds. Let me talk that over with my brothers, because there's what sounds like a lot of fun to be honest and then there's weeeeell who is a future junior hostage and just because there was only the one attack doesn't mean there wont' be, ya know, more." This is why he tries not to get too invested in shit. On a happier note he offers, "I can guarantee you, though, Lan and I can get a mini fridge and a microwave for the room."


"Well, I meant when this all blows over. They have to give up eventually." Justin may be quick to point out when others are being stupid, but he can also be such a sunny optimist. "Don't they?" He stops midway through a wing, looking at it as if it holds the answers to all of his questions. "I mean, if not, then after school is over.. Leave. Go somewhere else. Stay with family in another state or something.."


Lucas considers this and hates to be the one to burst that bubble but will if he has to. Justin, I..." He shakes his head, "I dunno. They're telling us leave. Just... stay gone so it's kinda like we're on our own again. Truth is I dunno what's gonna happen. The triplets want to move to New York. It's why Landon and I picked USC over UNLV." He pauses and the other part of the truth comes out, "And I really like the Trojan Marching Band, They saved the Queen." Because what happens in Naked Gun counts!

Taking a deep breath he's really not thrilled about losing his family. Again. Again. Even if they'll talk he and Landon will be stuck out there on their own and that is a fear that's been chewing at the edge of his reality. He sets the slider down and admits quietly, "I don't... know what I'm going to do but it looks like the answer isn't take over the Kokomo."

Pressing his lips together in a thin line he perks up slightly, "Contract Law though? I mean help you out. Get Landon set up. I figured it'd be useful wherever. Even if it means taking the Bar twice because Cali is kinda the legal la la land. But I mean... it'll be fine."


"Well.. first of all. USC is for a bachelors. Then in your little world you have set up I end up getting signed to some NBA team, god knows in what city, but you know I'd have no pick." Justin peers at Lucas. "Then you have to do law school somewhere. And if I don't get signed I want to go into medicine, so that's maybe another school to." He leans forward, folding his arms on the table top. "I'm not planning our futures here, but it'd be years before either of us would be able to move back here anyway, even if we wanted to."


Lucas points to the emptying bucket of wings and says, "Justin... New Dr. J, whatever- and I WILL call you that if that happens, eat your damn chicken wings." There's the sage advice for right now. "Right now my future involves finishing these sliders, and enjoying this afternoon." A smirk forms with wry amusement " Knowing our luck things will go fine, we'll assume it's all over and hen?" Lucas shake his head with a dry laugh, "Lake Havasu gets a pro team and we all wind up back here like what the shit. But at least we'll have done something."