Log:Running Away or Towards
It's Saturday night, well, Sunday morning technically. Just after midnight. If Cash wanted to sneak onto Thistle property and try a rock on the window trick or boombox his love to Hector, his Buick would give him away before he got close to the house. So he called from a nearby gas station. He sounds stressed, to say the least. "That trip to the beach? We're going. Now. Get ready. I'll be at the end of the street."
The trip has been pushed and pushed, mainly due to some mild parental issues that resolved when Cash got a part in the musical. His mother has something to brag about and this makes her happy. That makes Dad happy and tensions ceased.
He's sitting on the trunk of the massive boat of a car, looking every bit the proper bad boy. He's wearing his leather jacket, ripped jean shorts and plain white henley and blue flannel. His Converse are new, neon green. The laces glow like his tin grin will shortly. His hair is loose, still streaked in faded pink. Before he sees Hector, he looks tense. His leg bounces, his fingers are fidgeting with this jacket.
Hector doesn't even question it. He hears something in Cash's voice, and so he's out with duffel and into the car no questions asked. The duffel was already backed and so it's mere minutes. He kisses him gently on the cheek and then slides into the passenger seat.
He doesn't ask questions once he's in the car either. Once he's belted in, he places a hand on Cash's though and watches him out of the corner of his eyes, weighing Ashley worry against what he knows and observes of his boyfriend. He is patient. He is trying not to let his panic show.
Cash was packed too. He'd been carrying a bag around since they talked about it. Six hours is a long trip to be driven at night by a teenager who looks upset and bothered. But Cash is resilient. After a stop at another gas station for coffee and a bit of highway behind them, he tosses Hector his mix tape case. Cash's mix tapes are numerous and well labeled by artist or theme. "Pick something...easy. No oldies. I'll start singing and I need to talk." He glances at Hector as he speaks. "You got a look yourself. So, let's get it out of the way now. When I see ocean, all I want to think about is--is every fucking second with you." Beat. "And if I still recall how to surf." He grins slightly.
Hector flashes him a smile back, like sunlight on scales near the surface of the water. He picks something with a relaxed vibe and pops it in. "I still have our boards in storage. We can pick them up n the way in." He takes a breath, "Ashley's worried about you."
"Ash is worried? Shit." Cash says, sniffing. "Why?" He keeps his eyes firmly on the road. Whenever eye contact is out of the equation, Cash is 100x easier to talk to. "I know I've been dragging ass in the mornings and up late but it's for the station a-and this...project. You know Jimi Hendrix's backwards Stratocaster? I'm trying to replicate it. So y-yeah, I'm slipping but I've felt good in the last few days. I mean, fuck...I auditioned for the fucking musical."
Hector is always careful about eye lines. "She saw your flyer. She noticed the shades and that you were distant. She was worried.... Look, I heard there was a beach party with some chick slipping people drugged wine. I was going to warn you, but then your sister is asking me about cocaine and heroin. She wa scared maybe I'd gotten you into something you couldnt handle, but I straightened her ut on that and we're friends now, but now we're worried... Look, were you at that party? If you need help, we'll help you."
Cash is quiet, blinking quickly in that panicked way. His jaw tightens and he exhales. "It wasn't wine." He says after about a mile and a half. "I'm not sure what it actually was." He sighs out another breath. "The rest is true. But it wasn't wine. It was something else...completely different. A lot of that night is fuzzy but I remember after and after...I could look people in the eye. Talk to them and it didn't feel so intense. I'm feel like I'm fucking chained to my quirks and weirdness. I feel like an alien sometimes. But that night? I didn't feel human but something...else." He pauses and carefully changes lanes so he can slow down. "Afterwards, yeah, I was feenin'. I wanted more of what was in that bottle but without a source, I just...well, I was withdrawing. I felt mostly normal until tonight. I cut the station early and got in my car and...oh, Hector. Oh, man..." He can't quite finish. He pulls off at the next exit and head for the nearest gas station to park.
Hector's hand leaves Cash's thigh, but only so he might run the tips of his fingers across Cash's cheek reassuringly, and stroke his curls. He looks concerned, but there is only love there. Softly he ays, "So some kind of drug, really strong and likely very addictive if you felt that way after the first time." He takes a breath and asks carefully, "Angel, honey did you take any more of it? I'll love you either way. I told you I'm not going anywhere and I meant it."
The touch, Hector's touch, is always calming. Once parked and the engine's cut. "So, I'm drawn north of town...by the river and, uh, the same woman was there. I remember her. I've been hearing her. She laughs. I'm awake or asleep. Anyway, a whole bunch of us were there. L-L..." He pauses. "I'm a little scared to name names right now. Just know that it was all kids. All kids I've known my whole life. No family was unrepresented." He chugs some coffee. "There was a steamer trunk. I think someone was inside. A person. And there was the bottle. Liquid. Red. Beautiful. Oh, fuck I wanted it. I wanted some so bad, so so bad. But the whole scene was freaking me out! She...Fran? Fran. She was talking about choices and how we shouldn't walk away and I...walked." He looks to Hector. His blue eyes are wide and stricken in the overblown lights of the gas station. "I paused and looked behind me. No one was there. They were /all/ drinking. All of them. No family unrepresented." Including his is the unspoken statement here. "I kinda crept away, listening. Then James Thistle said what he thought this whole thing was..." Cash hasn't taken his eyes off Hector yet. He whispers the last word. "Vampires."
Hector keeps stroking his hair, not pulling away, listening, "Thea, Landon, one of the other L names..." He takes a breath, "Any other Thistles?" He is silently praying to a God he's not sure he believes in that it's not Spear. And then he's trying to hold Cash, moving slowly so as not to frighten him, "Oh Baby, I am so fucking proud of you. It must have been hard and scary and... Wait, Vampires?"
The names just bursts from Cash now. "...Lucas, Arthur, Silver and Esme. My...cousin Esme. Her dad keeps me in leather jackets. I've gotten one every year since I was a little kid. The smell...y-you know." Best thing about these old car are the bench seats. He flips up the center console and now he's leaning against Hector. He's too big to ever really be a proper little spoon, but he is surely trying. "It was so, fucking messed up. I swear a person was in that trunk and I had to fight it. Fight the want. Fuck, I still want it. I felt so free. I've had a crush on Thea since kindergarten and to see her like that? And...all of them, Hector. Esme drank twice. Once for me. T-That's probably the only reason they let me go. They threatened us about leaving, at first. Which pissed me off and why I walked in the first place. Fuck, man. Fuck. In what world am I the voice of reason? I ran after James suggested vampires. I did hear some laughter but...I don't know." He whimpers.
New Activity ---------
Hector's lips thin, "Silver. She went with me to Aunt nancy." He nods, "I know how you feel about leather jackets." He is citrus and fougere and clove, but most of all he smells of Hector. He holds him and strokes his hair, solid and familiar and most of all here. "I believe you and I'm very, very glad you left." He kisses the tip of his ear. "I... Look, I don't know what you're feeling right now, but I believe you and I'll do whatever you need me to do to help you through this, okay?"
"Believing me is plenty right now." Cash says. "But, please, until we know more, keep quiet about this? I'm still reeling. I got away. I fought it. I won. I don't know if anyone else fought it. They just went for it. And in my head, I was thinking about you. This trip. My backwards Strat. USC. I was thinking ahead. I couldn't get caught up in, well, best I figured was weirdo drug shit but the trunk--see, the first time, I was...I guess I thought I could still be considered cool or whatever. This time? No such illusions. I had nothing to gain by getting addicted to something and then--ugh..." He sits up then and leans on the steering wheel with folded arms.
"I didn't have a future the first time. B-But I do now." He looks at Hector again, blinking rapidly until a tear forms. "I suppose...that's what keeps me going. The idea that as long as I keep my grades up and work hard and apply myself, I can get out of Arizona. I can be with you. We can make music together and be old fucking queens in San Francisco." He chuckles, weakly. "Fuck, man. It's okay. I'm still good to drive. We've already crossed the state line so. May as well?" As if Lake Havasu isn't right on the border.
Hector rubs his back soothingly, "That's what keeps me going too. Are you sure you don't want me to take a turn? You could nap, maybe." He takes a breath, "Silver and I went to my Aunt with some basics. I'm leaving you out of it, see if Morrison might get the Lesters to fess up if they had an assurance they wouldn't get busted for under age drinking. Let's forget about it for a bit and figure it out later."
"I've been up all day..." Cash admits. "I haven't slept well since that first taste. It's passing though and...yeah. You drive. There isn't anything tricky about my Jinxy, here. She's an easy ride." He closes his eyes for a moment. "There is so much ahead and right now is so fucking awful...I feel bad for people who can't seem to think past spring break." Beat. "But to be honest? After getting that part in the musical? I'm kinda stuck too. I should have pulled my punches but I just went for it. Dumbass." He smiles a little and opens the door to swap places.
Hector squinches over to take his place, "I was kind of looking forward to watching you perform it, if only from behind. Maybe especially from behind." More seriously, "I'll be careful with her. You just curl up under your coat and I'll get us home safe." Because in his head they are going towards home and safety, not away from it." He belts in and puts his hands on the wheel, trying to work up courage, and completely fails, "You put any thought into what we should wear to the masquerade? I wasn't sure how you felt about mask vs. make up."
Cash is totally getting comfy, curling up as he somehow manages to do at his height and build. "Hrm? Oh. No? I'd forgotten actually. Is there a theme? Or just...anything? I did look up how it all works though. Masks come off at the end or something. I think I'd prefer a mask. I'm not a fan of much of anything on my face but masks slip off and on and can be adjusted. I might claw at makeup." He laughs. "Thinking--I heard about that history class. I could play up the villain thing. I am a left handed redhead. I might have been, like, drowned in ancient times. I'm clearly the devil. Oh! You could be the angel. Wait, no...that's what you call me. See. This is confusing." He uncurls and steals a kiss on the cheek. His first bit of real affection since coming together. "I should kiss you more. And often."
ROLL: Hector rolls Spirit for: : x1 : x1 : x2 (Pair) -- Match Value: 1 (Raw: 6 4 5 6 -- d6)
Hector says, “Something decadent to do with Gardens. Sil's going as a female Pharaoh. Want to be a God? An Emperor? A Monster? I still have my Vlad costume, but that might be bad taste. You could be an Angel and I could be a demon, you know, like in Good Omens. Pining for each other across the distance of the fall." At that last comment of Cash's he tries to kiss him slow and deep, "No amount of kissing you will ever be enough, Cashew." He takes a breath, "Cash? Look, I know marriage isn't legal, but there are commitment ceremonies and things. I was thinking... Maybe after we graduate? If you wanted to? So you'd know that I really did mean forever this time.”
"Good Omens! I knew it sounded familiar. Let's do that. A red haired angel? Someone, somewhere will be doing somersaults in their grave over it." Cash is all smiles as Hector takes a breath and... "Dude? Did you just propose to me?" Cash's eyes dart one way, then another. This does not compute. "S-So, a commitment ceremony. Uh. I'm guessing it's what it says on the tin. A public ceremony of commitment. A wedding for gays." Beat. Another. "Did you just /propose/?" Seems like he's rebooted.
Hector beams at him, "Aziraphale will be lovely as a red head." He looks away, "Maybe, but only if you want me too. I sort of... braided a ring out of wire. I couldn't afford a real one, not until after probate." He pulls it out of his pocket. The wires are copper, silver, and gold tinted at least. No wonder he hasn't started the car, "I mean if you don't want to not quite marry me it's cool, we can just keep on as we are, but I... I pictured us under one of those frame thingies covered in flowers all dressed up and I thought death to us part sounds pretty fucking amazing and I'm doing this wrong." He straightens and takes Cash's hand, "Do you want to? Have a commitment ceremony in front of God and our families and everybody? Grow old and grey in San Francisco with plants and cats and music and us together always?"
"Dude!" Cash's eyes go wide at the sight of the wire ring. "Duuude..." He's overwhelmed. It's not something that has happened often. Twice, maybe. The biggest sign is the silence. His jacket gets pulled a little closer to his face. Then he reaches into his glove box. He roots around in there, past the spare napkins and straws and proof of insurance and he sort of tosses a small object into Hector's lap. A class ring. The stone is black, onyx. "Sss...so many of us were born in the same t-t-time period that some people didn't pick their birthstones. I didn't. I-I-I've played up my name. Cash. Man in black, forever. Car. Fave guitar. Ring." And with that, Cash take the wire ring. He turns on the overhead light to get a better look at it. Even if words are failing him, his expression is easy to read. He's completely enamored, taken and utterly bowled over. Big blue eyes gaze at the trio of wires with more love than some can put together for diamonds. He looks at Hector, meets his eyes just long enough to nod a little and say, "Yes."
Hector looks at him sideways, "I really like you wearing my pin." He picks up the class ring, studying it. "Not quite a ring of fire." He flashes him a quick smile, showing he gets it. And then the yes sinks in and he throws his arms around his neck and kisses him, keeping good hold of the ring, his ring. "I love you Cash Freeland!"
Cash is kinda startled by the reaction, but he's been sent for a loop. When his senses come back around, he's clinging to Hector. Cash's nose is buried in his shoulder and then he's kissing back. "I love you too, Hector de la Huerta." Cash says that name with perfect pronunciation. If no other words come out correctly, that name will. "Don't leave me. Don't push me away. We can have forever." He untangles from Hector just to look at him. "After graduation, we can do it like my parents." He begins to laugh and snort. "I-I-I never ever thought I'd be the one getting hitched out of high school. To a guy." He snickers, tickled to death. "There was no one before you. There will be no one after. This heart only...just you. I'll die alone." He pauses a moment. "Alone forever. I'm okay with it. I was prepared. No one else on the planet gets me. No one will. Just you. Only you."
Hector just keeps touching him, his back, his hair, "I mean it, I'm not leaving you. You make me happier than I have words for and being apart from you is hell. I won't push you away. You have to promise the same, okay? If the cravings get bad you have to tell me so I can help you."
Cash nods. "No secrets, then? I'm very good at keeping them. I'm a dumpster fire of a person but the secrets are the fuel. I go down with them. But...not with you, okay?" He winches and takes a few breaths. "I hope that it's over now. I didn't drink again so...and it's all fading now. My Cobain shades can go back for a few months more. I liked having an excuse to wear them." He bought every pair of those retro ovals in San Francisco. Basically every color he could find and afford. "The cravings...I don't know what I want other than a drink from the bottle but if it's blood? If James is right? And...I can see his logic. If it's blood I am craving? Fuck." He falls back in the seat. "Nevermind that. We're going to miss the tide. Drive."
Hector is about to agree, "There are... some secrets that aren't mine to tell. About Morrison. My secrets. Anything in my heart is yours. All my secrets, what few I have. Is that all right? Me not saying things that passed between us that I promised him not to talk about?" His fingers linger, "I think the best thing for you right now is a little distance." He takes a breath and starts the car, heading west towards beaches and home.