Log:Your Ex is Who?
Cemetaries, when well maintained, are peaceful places. Even at night, save for the odd drunken idiot here and there. This one has a sweep of trees, and the traditional rose garden, a place where over the centuries and countries those who collect have known to come for the odd rare specimin of flower or thorn. Gravel paths here, soft grass there, plain tarmac for cars. There are walls and gates, but walls and gates do not mean very much to someone like Spear, even assuming that they are actually closed.
A low insect thrum rises, disturbed if one goes off the paths, for there is enough greenery and stone to support a complex web of life that exists above the dead below. The faint shuffle of murmuring birds settling and resettling in trees, and the clipped noise of a droplet running off the edge of a marble statue and shattering the stillness of a pond. This is why, of course, Spear Thistle is stretched out on a stone grave, staring at the stars above, and listening to a cassette tape with oversized headphones and singing along "On candy stripe legs the Spiderman comes...Softly through the shadow of the evening sun."
It is dark in the cemetery. There aren't a ton of lights at this time. But the moon is out and bright and that means decent enough night vision. At least for Silver. She has her camera out and has adjusted the shutter for the lack of light. Closing the door of the pink hearse behind her she begins walking up a trail. "You up for posing?" She asks Star as she scans the various markers and stones. Spotting a likely one with good light she points it out. It's a reaper statuary about 5' tall on top of it's stone mount. "That one would be perfect, yeah?"
A professional-grade eye roll is Star's first response. "Why? Why do you want me to pose? Shit here's great for photos as-is, you don't need me ruining it." She continues on ahead to where Spear is sprawled out, heading in his direction.
Hector comes through the graves, softly as Doc Marten's allow. He's bent his pins back into shape and stuck them to his lapel, the hole where the stolen pin usually rests is conspicuous. It's his erstwhile sisters he spots first. Rubbing the back of his neck, "Thanks for not snitching to Aunt Nancy."
Spear stretches his feet in his big goth platform boots, this way and that. He dips his head as he listens, but...his sisters are close. After a moment he pushes himself up on his elbows and he looks around and then pulls out one of his earbuds "Hey, Star. Any news on that last taping you did? I was thinking we should - oh, Silver, and -" And Hector. He pushes himself up completely "Family reunion huh?"
Silver makes a face at Star and says, "Because it's art!" Before snapping some quick shots of Star walking away towards the field of stones. Hah, take that! Then she lowers the lens to follow after, towards the singing. "I knew I ordered an extra taco for a reason," She says to no one in particular. Turning to head back and fetch the bag with its extra taco for their triplet. So she returns to see Hector walking up. Fingers wiggle at him as she tosses the bag with its wrapped taco at Spear. "Reunion? We had breakfast this morning, doofus."
Star's 'brow arches at Hector and his words, gaze fixing on him as she speaks. "Hey, Spear. You missed Cash screaming at our brother from another mother. And Amy Lester punching him, but I think that was just because he was there and she likes hitting people." Sell Hector out to Nancy? Nah. Spear, on the other hand... "What did you do to piss off Cash like that?"
Hector has a bruise rising on his jaw, "So you're into photography? Do you paint too?" He winces, "I don't know what happened with her and Jade. I was taking a wizz. Next thing I know, smashed glass and punches." He blushes a little, "It's fine, really. Cash has his reasons."
"Eating serves only to continue our agony on this mortal soil," declares Spear to Silver about breakfast "Oooh, taco." He picks up the bag and opens it to peer inside, and ducks his hand in to pull it out "Cash?" he says, looking up and then he says "...what the - is he telling people I drove him away from here? Is he _really_? Is he really telling people that? Oh, you mean Hector? Oh, well. Let's just not even talk about Cash." He pauses, then he says "Er, Amy punched Hector? Man. I'm going to put something in her bag." He considers, and then he bites into the taco and he says "Mffhm. She hits hard right? Seriously."
"Naw. Painting's more Spear's thing," Silver says with a shake of her head. Looking down at the camera and adjusting something. Before it comes up and she takes a picture of Hector up close. Then turns it to something over his shoulder. Adjusting the lens before snapping another two shots. "Reasons huh? Reasons that require the leaving of grave dirt and spooky nonsense notes in his locker?" She lowers the lens and looks back at Hector with a thin smile. Before Spear gets a grin. "Oh, what did you have in mind? Nina, my pink-toe," She's talking her tarantulas, "I just pulled her egg sac. Got lots of juicy and sticky webs we can stick in there left over from it." Ever so helpful in providing is she.
Her gaze narrows slightly, Star not looking entirely pleased with this glossing-over of Cash. Still, not her business, so she lets it go. She falls quiet, listening to the others as she moves to sit on a tombstone. Out comes a clove cigarette and silver Zippo.
Hector snorts, "Eating is delicious. Might as well enjoy life while we have it. We'll be dead forever." He rubs his face, "She does, but I think the roller skates hampered her. "Cash didn't mention you. What did you do to him?" He cocks his head, unsuspecting and curious. "How does Amy feel about bugs?"
He flashes a quick smile for the camera, "When you develop tonight's, might I have copies?" He blinks, "Those are... really creative responses." So far, his reaction to the tarantulas was to think they were cool. He eyes Star's cloves with some interest, "Can I bum one?"
"Yeah, let's use that," says Spear brightly "I'll put it in her locker, maybe. We can show them not to fuck with Thistles." He gradually eats the taco, with small bites here and there. Not really driven by hunger, as is obvious given his thin body. He _stares_ at Hector though and he says thinly "What. What, no. I'm not talking about Fucker Freeland. I _hate him_." And then he says "I hope she's scared of them. Most people are idiots, and they're scared of spiders. Spiders are adorable. Almost as cute as bats. So what are you guys doing right now, anyway?"
Silver hesitates a moment and then nods her head. "Yeah, sure, I can do that," She says before bringing the camera up and on her sister. Trying to catch that moment just as she's lighting the clove and the tip goes cherry red. "Everything else is standard. Expected. To truly make an impact you must venture down new paths to cause true terror and horror. And tactile sensations are one that is hard to dismiss easily from the psyche," The way she talks as she snaps pictures is almost clinical. She starts wandering among the graves within conversational distance, taking pictures here and there. A moth alights on a tombstone and she crouches down and gets in close. "Too bad most bats have rabies around here." The question of what she is doing only is answered by the clicking of her camera's shutter.
"I doubt Amy's scared of anything, let alone spiders," says Star as she pulls out another clove and offers it up to Hector. Just before he takes it, she pulls it back.
"Cash hurt Spear. Therefore he must suffer. Now, I would never be hurt by some fucking boy, but that's probably because I'm a sociopath and have no feelings to hurt. Whatever you did to upset Cash? He deserves more of it."
Only then does she give Hector the clove.
Hector says, “Spiders are very cute. Wait, there's rabies here?" He eyes Spear, but Star's explanation forestalls questions. Reaches for the clove, then sighs as his half sister goes Lucy and the football on him. "I think it's unlikely he'd let me. Thanks for the smoke. I love how these things taste." He produces lighter, pausing in case Silver wants a shot.”
"That does make it harder," mutters Spear, covering his mouth with his hand as he thinks about the problem that is Amy "Man, they do? I should stop picking them up, I guess...but the thing is, you know. Bats deserve all of our love." He adds "Maybe we could get some really cute girly things and cover her locker with them." He then says to Silver, juuuuust low enough that Star and Hector might hear "She's got a lot of feelings." He grins conspiratorially at Silver, and then he turns off his cassette player properly and puts it in one of his huge pockets. He pushes himself up to sit on a gravestone "We stand up for one another. That's how it works. If anyone upset Silver or Star, I'd definitely find something with animatronic dead dogs to do. See, Hector? We're a very friendly family. You're gonna fit in just fine."
Silver points at Star, not taking her eyes off the moth, and says, "What she said. Freeland is a feckless fopdoodle and swine." The camera takes another picture and then moth takes off. With Silver following after, trying to get some shots of it in flight. But it flutters off and she returns with a sigh. Shaking her head at Hector with an almost shy smile, hand held up. Plunking herself down next to Spear, she reaches out to pluck a bit of cheese off his shirt and flicks it to the ground. "I like the girly idea. OH! I know. I'll tweak a picture I took of her. We can photocopy it and put it all over." She gets this far-away thoughtful look at that point.
"I think going after Amy's pointless," says Star with a tiny shrug between drags on her clove. "She was pissed, Hector got in the way. You don't get in front of a raging Lester. It is known." She keeps her opinions about who they should go after to herself.
Hector's eyebrows go up, "Antimatronic dead dogs?" He lights the clove, the flame from his zippo making his face a brief study of light and shadow. "I'll have your backs if there's trouble." He listens to the revenge plan, savouring the spicy smoke, "I definitely never want to get on your bad sides. I can't imagine what horrors you'd inflict." He smiles crookedly, "I couldn't let her knock out my ride."
"She beats me up on the regular, it doesn't warm you to a girl, alright?" says Spear, and then he looks down at the fallen cheese and he gives a faint smile, and he says "Thanks for the taco. Oh, well, we have all kinds of things we can do. I mean, just because you don't happen to be physically tough doesn't mean you can't give a nasty surprise. Scorpions. Like those. I love scorpions." And he says to Hector "Well, okay, so the robotics bit is hard. Real hard. But I can always, you know. Make 'em move just a little. Mechano's good for that. Who was your ride?"
Silver gets a devious little smile and says, "I -could- put Freeland's face on some playboy smut. How's that sound?" Her eyes refocus on Star and then turn to Spear, excitement in her voice though her outward demeanor only seems keen. "I really wish I'd gotten a picture of him hitting you Hector. No offense, but could have used that to get him in trouble. Auntie N would have done something with that." A pause and she stares at Hector without the lens of the camera for more than five seconds. "Mmmm...Jade huh? What were ya doing riding with him? Shoot, did you even -rev- the engine of that beast he drives?" There might be a hint of lust creeping into her voice, though her face retains it's polite smile. Then she sees something over Hector's shoulders and she isn't looking at him anymore.
Star has nothing to add, simply smoking her clove atop her tombstone perch.
Hector smiles crookedly, "It depends on the girl, I think. Your friend Jade." He shakes his head, "We aren't getting Cash in trouble. It's between him and me, okay? I'll handle it, and he didn't hit me. That was Amy... What?" He turns to try to figure out what Silver is looking at.
"Jade has more issues than a copy of Playgirl," says Spear thoughtfully "I mean, he really, _really_ keeps saying about that model girlfriend of his in Paris-" He pauses "How can he _afford_ a car like that?! How is that even a thing..." And then he says "She's probably just chattin' to someone."
Silver has once more spotted her moths. Fluttering off and away behind Hector. Hopping off the stone beside Spear she heads past him. Eyes on the prize and camera coming up again. Click. Then she makes a disgruntled noise. The sound of winding and then she switches out her film. Trying to follow the moths as she does it. So a few steps, pause to do something, a few more steps, completing the action, some more...until she is well away from the others. Chasing moths with a fresh roll of film in her camera.
"How can Jade afford a Ferrari?" Star asks Spear. "Easy. Marchant. His dad has nothing but money." She watches Silver wander off for more photographs, taking another drag of her clove.
Hector rolls his eyes, "How would he even meet a French girl, but you hve to admit he's kind of cute. Silver chats with moths?" He smokes, contemplating, "So Lesters are violent, Freelands are stubborn, and Marchants are rich. I'm guessing Thistles are incredibly cool. Is there anything else I ought to know like that about people here? I'm still trying to get used to the everyone knows everyone thing."
"But even so, those are _so_ expensive!" says Spear, and then he leans over to ask Star "So how's that band you're involved with? Come on. My life isn't going _anywhere_. Let me live a bit vicariously. Any boys you like? Girls? Come on. Anyone I need to beat up for you?" He touches his chest "As your devoted brother, I need to protect you, you know." And then he says to Hector "He's kind of cute, but he..." He cuts his eyes at Star "He, you know. He's got. Problems. Thistles see further through a stone than most. Well. There's the Painkillers too...yeah. We all know each other. And most of us have - hey. Are you one of a twin? Triplets?"
"Small fucking town," says Star of everyone knowing each other. "And yeah, I guess there's... I dunno, stereotypes? When it comes to some families. The Marchants are the wealthiest family in town. Some are okay, some not so much. The Lesters are considered townies. Trash. They can have tempers, yeah, but so can anyone. And again, some are cool, some aren't. There's not really any all good or all bad family."
She rolls her eyes at Spear. For all that she's known to sleep around, she's usually very relationship-drama-free. She never seems to get attached to anyone she's with - she likes to claim she's a sociopath without feelings to hurt, but that's probably not entirely true.
"There was an abnormally high number of twins and triplets born here in '75 and '76 among a handful of families. Pretty damn strange."
Hector perks up, "You have a band? Need any more people for it? Spear and I have been writing a song together." He snorts, "Who doesn't have problems?" He shakes his head, "Only child. It must be something in the water around here." He laughs, "Sort of Midwich Cookoos only without the creepy blond saminess and the homicide.
"Yeah, I'm known for my temper," says Spear, putting his hand on his chest, and he grins as the girl rolls her eyes. He then moves closer and widens his arms and throws them around her, cigarette or not "I know you're squishy on the inside," he says to her "I love you." Spear finds that he has no problems telling people this, after all, so the pain of being glommed and loved on by him is known. Then he says "Yeah. We have been. It's about my ex. Hector's doing the music. I'm never going to love again, anyway, so why not turn it into something." Then he says "Well...maybe. I don't know. But us three are all able to...oh. Star. Hector's able to hear more. Like us."
Star goes utterly still, with a long-suffering expression when Spear hugs her. Still, she allows it. "It's called babyfat," she says of being squishy. "I'll grow out of it." Once released, she takes a drag of her clove and nods.
"I play bass in Violent Violet," she answers. "Arthur Bloomquist's band. Spear writes lyrics for him, sometimes."
Then Spear lets slip that Hector can hear the dead, like they can, and her 'brow goes up. "Huh. It's a Thistle thing. Dad's family have been in the funeral business for generations, back East before Havasu was built."
Hector rolls his eyes, "I'll bet you a pack of cloves you're in love with someone by the end of the school year. you just fell in love with the wrong one first time, that's all." He winces, most of him expecting that Spear was playing a prank and it's all going to end in Thorazine, but Star seems to confirm it, "Only since mom died. I guess I'm a Thistle under the skin."
"Ugh, you're not fat," says Spear, and he tries to ruffle Star's hair "Why do girls even say that." And then he sits down and he says "Bass is half of the heartbeat of a band. The drummer is the other." And he claps his hands together, and then he says "See further through a stone than most." And he shoots Hector a sharp look "No way. I'm done with that bullshit. I'm not going to get messed up like that. I got my whole life to explore things that don't involve bumping uglies with dumbfucks who betray you." And then he says "...well, you know. Maybe before now you didn't have anyone worth talking to."
"I'd be incredibly thin if I were five-eight," Star snorts. "But no, I'm five-nothing. You guys got all the height." Talk of love and betrayal gets another of her pro-grade eye rolls.
"Can't be hurt if you don't care in the first place," she notes with a shrug.
By way of backing up Spear, he insists, "We are a good looking family. Perhaps that should be our thing, like Lester temper." He teases, "But I thought you said your ex was handsome?" Then he sighs and settles on top of a stone, "Not caring would be a whole lot easier." He stares into space as he smokes, "Still, a summer in Paradise is worth the pain of what comes after."
"That's just a phrase for having sex," says Spear, and he wrinkles his nose, and he says "No it's not. I'm not doing that stuff any more. I'm going to be like Star."
Oh no. She's become a role model. Star sighs and rubs her face with her free hand, then adjusts her septum ring. "You're not like me, though, Spear. You care, and you feel, and you give. Like Silver. Don't turn into a cynical shrew like me. You deserve better."
She frowns and ashes the last of her clove on the granite beside her. "So what? Cash fucked you over. Fuck him. There are others out there. You can do way better than that red-headed stepchild."
Hector shakes his head, "Something so good should never have ugly in it..." He laughs, but not unkindly, "Spear, twins or not, you'll never be Star. You make a really interesting you though. Unique, really." He shakes his head, "You're not a shrew, Star. Your...Coo-Wait, Cash?" His eyes flick fast between the twins as the full weight of it comes crashing down on him. He buries his fce in his hands, "Fuck. you didn't say it was _Cash_, Spear. Please, please don't hate me, because I really don't want to go live with Aunt Nancy. I love this house and I kind of want to be a Mortician."
Spear says "I'm okay with being like you. You're cool. Amy doesn't beat you up, you know? And you play bass. I mean, yeah, frankly I can't play an instrument...maybe I could paint the album covers?" He taps his chin, and then he says to her "Let's just not even worry about it. We have cooler things to do, don't we?" And he now rolls his eyes - without the effectiveness of Star, but one can see the family resemblance.
"Yeah, unique!" he says brightly. Others could use it as an insult, but he does not "Her coo _what_?" And then he says "...I don't want to talk about it. I'm going to put it in song first. Why would I hate you? It's cool. Being a mortician is a steady job, I like it too."
Star blinks at Hector. Blinks again. "Oh you poor, stupid fuck." A sigh and she rubs her face again. "Hector's banging Cash," she says to Spear through her short little fingers. "Or has a thing for him, at least. Is that guy's dick, like, fucking crack to Thistle boys, or what? Maybe I should kill James before Cash gets the trifecta, huh? Fucking Cash, dude."
Hector takes a slow breath, "Spear, he thought he wasn't coming back. Cash. He thought he would never see you again and he felt terrible about it. He was scared if he called they'd know where he was and come get him and that's why he wrote the letter. Please don't hate me, because I'm pretty sure all the Freelands are going to be after me and you're the only friends I have here." He shakes his head, "No, Star, not banging. Not anymore. That's why he hates me and I deserve anything he does to me. Nothing about what happened between us is Cash's fault. I'm the asshole in that equation, okay?""
Spear says to Star puzzled "What? No, I don't think so. Cash wasn't into, you know, going that far with other guys, I'm pretty sure, because he never-" He lifts his hands "Well, James is -" He clearly does not believe it until Hector speaks. There is a faint pause, and then Spear lunges for one of the large stone statuette vases of flowers.
There's a sigh and roll of her eyes as Star pulls out another clove, not moving an inch from her perch to break up the coming fight. She's not getting in the middle of that.
Hector's dark eyes are so sad and so sorry as he says gently, "He just needed time and patience. You'd have worked it out eventually, I think. I swear, I didn't know it was you, Spear. He never said your name, but he talked about you." There is a flicker of something in his expression, a moment where he tenses to dive for cover, but then he deliberately relaxes, holding the last of the clove way from his body, lifting his chin and waiting for the blow he absolutely deserves. "Do what you have to do, Brother. I deserve all of it."
Clearly the brother does not expect Star to stop this justice. "You are _such_ a dumb _fuck!_" he snarls at Hector "Fuck you, and fuck his Dear John letter and all that stupid shit - I fucking hate you - I'm gonna -" He pauses, and as Hector reacts like this, he says "Deserve _this_. Don't you _dare_ tell that Freeland asshole I figured it out until _I've had a chance to sort him_. _That_ is how you can prove you're sorry, asshole!"
Nope. Star's not getting in the middle of that. Not for anything. She simply smokes her clove and watches.
Hector says quietly, "He hates me, Spear. He spat on me and said he hoped I died of AIDS this evening. Even if I wanted to talk to him about this, do you honestly think he'd want to hear a word I said? I told you what happened. What... are you planning to do?"
"_You_ don't get to find out, that's for people on _my_ side," snarls Spear. He is a skinny, wiry thing of wrath. No tears. Just anger. "You keep your fool mouth shut 'till I've talked to him about all the _dumbass shit_ he wrote. You better, too. We might not be Lesters, but we're close. _Death_ doesn't fucking stop us. Argh. I can't deal with this. I can't _believe_ I fell for the shit he wrote - and it's about _you_. What a drag." He adds "Stop whining about the dumbass way that fucker treats people. That's _how he treats people_. He's a _user_." Then he rubs his temples "I need a cigarette."
"...He said he hopes you die of AIDS?" Star asks quietly, 'brow lifting. It's that scary-quiet tone she gets when something makes her furious. She doesn't flail and yell and scream, she gets whisper-quiet. She takes a drag of her cigarette and hops off the tombstone, padding over to offer Spear one and her lighter, though her gaze never leaves Hector.
"Have you seen someone who's died of AIDS? I have. I've seen people that died from just about everything growing up in that house. Mom says death is a part of life and we shouldn't fear it or hide it from view, so whenever I asked to go downstairs and watch her work, she allowed it. AIDS is a terrible fucking disease. If he wished that on you, Hector, you need to erase him from your life. Nothing you did could possibly deserve that. So decide, right now, if you are the type who lets themself get treated like that or not. You can always go live with Aunt Nancy. Maybe she'd toughen you up. But if you want to live with us, in that house, you're one of us. And we? Don't take shit like that from anyone. So Hector, are you one of us?"
Hector says, “I didn't know you. I didn't know who you were or that I even had a brother. I have no idea what's in that letter. I do know that he cared about you and that he's... an innocent. Hate me for tempting him, but please, please don't hurt him. He's been hurt enough. What I did to him... I told you it was unforgivable. What you're feeling right now? That's what he's feeling."
He gives Star a level look, "Yes. Some of mom's friends. I've been to protests to. He was angry for very good reasons and he said the absolute worst thing he could think of in the moment when he saw me unexpectedly. I take responsibility for my actions. I did something I can never take back and a man takes punishment when he's wrong. Someone comes to hurt any of you? I'll stand between you all and harm. Some Lester tries to beat up Spear here? I will kick right the fuck back even if it means Aunt Nancy locks me up. I want to be one of you. I wish... I wish I'd had a family like this growing up. I just...What I did to him was worse than killing him. Causing him more hurt isn't right."”
"He would! He pretends to be nice, then he rips out your heart!" says Spear to Star "I'm not surprised he said shit like that." He jerks a thumb at Hector "Stop talking about it. Secrets are meant to be kept. I get to resolve this the way _I_ want to. Gross. I can't believe it. You're my freaking brother. Man, it sucks that..." He scrunches up his face. Lost out to his brother "Grossssss." And he folds his arms "God, yeah, like Star says. _Harden up, Princess_. We ain't Lesters. But we don't give into shit." He adds "I need fifty six showers."
Star rolls her eyes so hard they might rattle around in her skull. "Please. We're in fucking high school. What could you possibly do that's worse than killing someone? That's some dramatic shit right there."
Hector 's tone is level, "He'd say the same about me, and I'll keep any secrets you want, spear." He glances at Star, "I can't explain in any way you'd understand. If you all want me gone, I'll go."
Spear says, out of nowhere "Man, if he said that about AIDS, you shoulda said 'Well, guess that means we're both going the same way' and winked."
"No," says Star. "You probably can't. Because unless you killed his fucking dog, or took advantage of him while was drunk, or some seriously fucked up shit like that it's not even close. You don't wanna tell me? Fine. Don't. Blame yourself, cupcake. Boo fucking hoo."
She turns to stalk off towards her car. "Silver?! I'm leaving! Grab your shit or ride back with Spear!"
Hector stares at Spear, then laughs, "Shit, you're right. Next time, maybe." He studies her, "Not while drunk, not that way, but I took advantage of him in a way he couldn't protect himself against. I hit his blind side."
"Oh my God," says Spear "I am _not_ the right person to talk to about this shit, because I don't want to hear it. I don't want to know. If you wanna make up with me, you can keep _quiet_ about fucking Cash until I've dealt with him. Can you do that?" He then says to Star "Hey! Riding with me is cool. I'm cool."
Without further word, Star gets into her car and heads for home.
Hector nods, pulling his legs up to wrap his arms around them, "I can do that, Spear. I'm sorry."
Spear eyes Hector's meekness, and that seems to annoy him further "_Ugh_," he finally says "I'll give you a ride home, okay? Then I just wanna be alone for a bit."