The season is over but that still doesn't mean Lucas' love for basketball went anywhere. It also didn't mean that last killer season didn't help out Justin tremendously with college recruiters and leave Lucas feeling sliiiightly envious of that, but really it's been pretty awesome all in all. What's not been awesome is Lucas dragging his ass getting back to the question at hand he was left with. This is, however, not at all unlike him in the slightest. With the twins one endured great with a side of terrible.
Morrison and likely George were not far. Landon had a study thing for one of his classes Lucas wasn't in. Lucas reached out mid-day looking like death warmed over with a side of somehow really great hair. It's an invite to shoot some hoops because, and because he really needs to talk to him.
Thanks, Lucas, for leaving that vague and possibly ominous.
Justin being the good guy that he is usually tries not to leave people hanging, but with Lucas.. it's a different story. He's content to leave him cooling his heels for a few minutes with him actually showing up being something that is up in the air for a bit. Petty, yes, but also a way to give Lucas a bit of his own medicine. Only for a few minutes though, he isn't cruel. So he does walk into the gym eventually, dropping his bag on one of the bleachers. Given the warm weather he's already been wandering around in a tee and his basketball shorts, which seem to be the only shorts he likes to wear unless he intends to dress up. "You look like shit. Well.. you and half the school." That's an exaggeration of course, but it'd take an idiot not to notice a good portion of the senior class acting like weirdos.
Lucas is parked on the bleachers, team t-shirt with his number on the front '12' and his shorts and the same gym shoes. He's parked there dropping the basketball in his fingers idly, catching, letting it drop again, repeat. He is entirely zoned but the sunglasses aren't on. Greeted he looks almost caught off guard, but just watches the slightly taller teen with a tilt of his head.
"Feel like shit." He gets a good look at him and doesn't know how to begin...anything. His eye squints and he admits, "Yeah, things are bad man. Really...really bad." It's a start there's a bitter smile looking out to the court to figure out where to go with this and back to Justin, "We almost... almost got kicked out last night. So if I ahven't gotten back to you? it ain't you." It takes a lot to shake Lucas Marchant's confidence and after the talk-down from Uncle Robert it is pretty shot.
"We don't have to play if you'd rather just talk.. Besides, I'd feel bad trouncing an invalid." Justin plops down on the bleachers next to Lucas, resting his arms on his knees as he looks out over the court. "I got a last minute offer from USC. We'd be going to the same school, if USC is still your plan." He offers lightly, just a way of making conversation. He stretches out his legs, resting his feet on the seats in front of him.
Lucas watches the basketball. There's that tightening of the jaw being called an invalid, but that's the sort of reaction one want. Get someone's fight up; it's good for the soul. The mention of going to USC pulls an eyebrow high and though his mood is wallowing in super-extra supernatural teen angst(tm) there's a faint smile, "No shit? Yeah it's... It's still our primary pick." There's a pause considering their collective mayhem on the So Cal campus and nods back to him "That'd be pretty bad ass."
His focus goes back to the ball, not bouncing it but turning it in a spin between his palms. His mind turning the talking option over in his head. He offered. Lucas wanted to. Why is it such a fucking big deal?! Oh yeah something about Merchants not being allowed to have feelings or shit. The basketball taps his forehead, "Justin, I was doing an investigation for the paper, and I got mixed up in something bad. Really... really bad." He shifts a glance to Justin sidelong and gets quiet, "Like witness a crime level bad and some people are pissed and I... I dunno what to do. We tried going to teachers and cops and stuff and they're not... doing shit because adults are stupid and gravid with bureaucratic bullshit."
His eyes close and his voice tightens, "I've spent six ...years trying to make everything fucking perfect." He swallows shaking his head, "We've given up so much just to be his perfect little soldier ants and it was good. Now? One mistake, man. He might throw us out over one mistake." His cheeks pull i and wet eyes close, shaking his head trying to sort the mess out, "Now we've been drugged with something that, heh, may actually kill us," He smirks knowing it won't necessarily be from the substance itself but the people behind it, "Might lose our home, our college." His eyes squeeze shut realizing he's just unloading, "I don't wanna die, man. I just... wanna graduate. I want shit like it was."
Justin clasps his hands together behind his head, staring off towards the court. "Why are you giving shit up. Family is supposed to add things to your life, not take it away." He frowns at something though, shoving aside some memory he doesn't want to touch on. He listens to the story passively, only making small facial twitches to show he's even registering what Lucas is saying. "You're impulsive, and brash, and honestly that's what I like about you, but you can also be a real bonehead, you know that?" He reaches over and raps his knuckles lightly on Lucas' forehead.
"If you think you're being poisoned or drugged what the fuck are you doing here? Go to the fucking hospital." Despite actually cursing it's all said in Justin's usual calm and friendly tone. He reaches out and snags the ball from Lucas' hands, popping it from the bottom and catching it from the air. "And in case you missed it, bonehead, you're eighteen. If shit goes south, you /are/ one of the adults, especially where the police are concerned. So cut and run, no story for a stupid little high school newspaper no one outside this town cares about is worth it."
Lucas blinks at this very confusing concept and looks to Justin when he pulls the ball away from his fingers. "God I wish it was like that." His eyes watch Justin call him impulsive and brash making his lips quirk into a faint smile against his general mood. Eyebrow arching up, "You might be one of two people with this opinion." Falling quiet he lets his skull get knocked on like a clue at a door. "Yeah, we've got an appointment to go in."
He sits silent mulling that over,. pride a bit broken he looks up and pauses before he explains, "Growing up our... dad was an asshole. Like Amy, George, and Squid? We actually grew up thinking we were all related un...until Ma and pa had this huge colossal fight. Karl. Very eat or be eaten. And when we were just starting 6th Grade? He found out weren't his kids even though we lived there since we were born." He blinks just frozen on this emotion where he's confused and just detached from it. "We had a few hours to pack and when he came home? We had to be gone and... we didn't know where we were gonna go. We didn't know who our real fucking father was. Like he worked with mom. He was kinda like well what do you want from me?" He shrugs looking down taking a deep breath chewing on his molars for a bit explaining his very skewed concept of 'family'.
"Mom thinks its fine because there's money coming in because Uncle Robert said no, Vince you're not throwing those kids away so they can grow up to be another disappointment to the family." And it stings to say out loud, but it is what it is and it's true enough. Looking back up from some unfix point in the bleachers in front of him he says "He's the reason we got a second chance at everything and we were doing really well man. Couple honours classes we have to study our asses off for, sports, paper, everything to just pad that application so we can go to USC. No one's ever given a shit about us before. You don't live to an ideal? They get rid of you and that's just... that's just how it works."
There's a pause because he just has 0 energy and sways sitting there. "I'm tired Justin. Tired of people doing shit to use, and of things just happening man. If we blow this? No family, again. No college. Not for me, not for Landon." He sighs, "Not with you. Now, objectively speaking, and I want you to hear me out because this is going to sound completely selfish...cause it is." He pauses and opens his eyes a slit with the faintest bit of humor crawling into his tone, "You'd look a lot better in red and gold than the scarlet and navy man. Important things to consider."
"Lucas, I say this as a friend, get the fuck over yourself." Justin bounces the ball between his hands, before getting it to spin on his finger. "You're not the only one to ever have a pile of shit handed to them and you're not going to be the last. And we all do stupid things, hell, I'm still letting you string me along like a dumbass. But for such a smart guy, you can be really stupid." He lets the ball drop back into his hand.
"You think there's only one path forward? If you go to USC it's because the accepted you. And for someone who's family owns a bank I thought you would think to take out a loan to do school. Sure it sucks, and you gotta pay it off, but it's a way forward."
He motions at the court, "You don't stop trying to score just because the other team's defense gets in your way, you find your way around it and do what you have to do." He lofts the ball back to Lucas.
Lucas is wallowing. Oh yes. This is teen emo wallowy goodness in its distilled form with a side of legitimate things to worry about. And then Justin from the 3 point line with the lined up shoot and a swoosh nothing but truth throw. He just stares at Justin telling him to get over himself. Man, everyone should be so lucky to have someone as a reality bell here.
Stricken, but not insulted he watches in silence for a long moment. Okay he's thinking about this. He's thinking about this considerably because he both wants to shove him (which means Justin is right) and kick himself for having his nose- "I'm too close to the page." That. Shaking his head he draws a deep breath and considers out loud, "Well I mean I can always try to blackmail them." Oooor there's that. "Oh...ok. okay I'll ... yeah." His head nods slowly. A faint smile spreads on his face, "I never fucking deserved you... but I'm really glad you're here. So... that's... what? College? Shit now all I have to do is survive the week or something." Maybe he can figure something out. "Maybe it's not too late to figure out how to get a scholarship through debate or something." Now he's thinking off the page.
"And from what you've told me there's at least a few among those Lesters and Marchants you gripe about that actually want to help you for some reason. And no blackmail! Just bend your stubborn, proud neck for once and accept a little help and forget how it looks." Justin turns his head towards Lucas with a smile. "You don't have to solve all your problems yourself. And no, you never deserved me, you're lucky you're cute."
"So, are we done with the pity party now? I swear to god, I thought my last school was bad but when it comes to making over complicated drama this school should be a soap opera. It's like you people are trying to make things insane." Justin reaches into his bag and pulls out a water bottle, popping the top and taking a swig. "And did you really want to play? Or did you just want to see me and talk and you needed an excuse to be seen with me?" He smiles slightly to make the comment more teasing than hurtful, but there is a little bit of needling in there, he can't help it.
Lucas sighs and his shoulders drop when Justin takes blackmail off the list of options. "But 'm really good at it and generally people deserve it." Another sigh, and a pause. "Fine. And... yeah my half-sorta siblings and my cousins are pretty fucking badass. I just... I don't want to lose em.My cousin and half-sister are in the same mess Landon and I are."
rolls his head back and squints. "Yes. I want to play. To be fair though these people kinda beat the ever living shit out of Cash and tried to kill him and as much as he annoys the shit out of me I don't want the kid to fucking die. But it does tell me these crazy people are serious and dangerous and I need... a plan. Even if it's to prove a point and get people to take this shit seriously." He pushes himself off the bench and just takes a long minute to stay upright as the lights wash the rest of the color from his face. "I don't need an excuse." And yet he keeps coming up with them. "Look I'm sorry you got me at a really fucked up time in my life. If I live through other people being dumb-" He sighs and takes some ownership adding flatly, "and through me being dumb...We can still talk about the rest." Prom. "yeah?"
Justin pops to his feet with the ease a teenager should exhibit, not the wobbling uneasiness of Lucas. He reaches out and puts his hand on Lucas' shoulder to steady him. "Are you sure? This isn't going to be much of a challenge for me." Oh yeah, the needling. Probably the one bad trait Justin has, and only when he feels like he's been wronged in some way. But it's a small thing. He heads down the bleachers to the court, dribbling the basketball once he hits even floor. "There's only so much longer I'm going to wait. You're willing to take all these chances that can end up bad, but the once chance that could end up good.. you're just letting it sit there."
Talking shit is part of the game and anyone who wants said shit to stop can point up or shut up. This is going to take some effort but damn if his ego isn't putting him forward on that one. His head tilts back watching. how badly did he want to press his luck? He's Lucas Marchant. All the way. "Well fuck it I don't have to tell the old man what I'm up to if it's not hurting nobody." Could hurt Landon though. For how long? A month? His head tilts up. Here's to hoping he's got the heath to survive that long. Kid might be in the damn hospital by then. And if that's the case? "So than come with me so I don't have to hear you keep flapping your lips." There's a half smirk talking flak with flak but, is that an honest invite?
ROLL: Theodore rolls 5d8 for: : x1 : x2 (Pair) : x1 : x1 -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 1 3 5 3 8 -- d8)
"Sure." And like that Justin accepts. Though he waits for Lucas to get a bit closer before he adds for their ears alone. "Maybe after it I can show you something better you can use lips for." That wasn't even subtle. He backs up a few steps, still dribbling that ball, but now with a shit-eating grin on his face. And then he doesn't really give Lucas too much time before he's coming down the court, starting the one-on-one with barely a moment's notice for his opponent.
Lucas blinks both eyebrows going up. Yes, hullo! You have his undivided attention, you win the rare and elusive focus of the chronically multi-tasking. For a brief moment in this political chess game he's growing up in it feels pretty good. It won't last and per the 'rules' it'll end. Maybe college, but right now? Damn he is still riding that wave of luck. Exhausted, but not out of the game that cryptic grin crawls onto his face, He scoffs getting his second winds from that and now his sneakers squeak, "baby, You don't gotta bribe me. I'm so there." Shaking his head he darts forward to try to take the ball like a dirty little point thief. It doesn't work but that doesn't stop him. "Screw public opinion." Besides, it's only a couple months until graduation. Screw public opinion, indeed.