‹ Prequel: Promise Me The Stars
Status: This story is on hold right now as i'm in the process of editing the prequel Promise Me The Stars. Check it out for better chapters!

Rocks Painted Gold

Bar Hopping With Dad

"Are you sure it was a good idea to just leave them there Forest?" Hazel asked, looking over at her brother as he watched Zacky and Uncle playing video games against each other. Zacky had to bring Hazel back to the house after she remembered she left her things at the hotel. And now as the time neared almost eight Hazel was getting a little more then worried.

"Yeah they'll be fine." Forest waved his hand and heard the front door open and close.

"Took you long..." Forest trailed off looking up at the doorway. Hazel jumped up and went over to console her crying abuser turned friend and Zacky paused the game and he and Uncle were looking on concerned.

"Where's Shadow?" Forest asked.

"I..I don't know. I said...said stupid things because we got in a fight and he...told me to find my own way home." Kylie sniffed and leaned on Hazel's shoulder as Hazel wrapped her arms around the shorter, by a few inches, girl.

Forest sighed and put his head in his hands, thinking about where Shadow could possibly be. He thought back to Byte City and the liquor store and groaned.

"Dad," Zacky looked up, surprise evident on his face at the word spoken so easily by Forest, "We need to go, now."

Zacky nodded and stood up from sitting on the grey carpet. Forest grabbed the blue jacket that someone had thrown across the back of the couch and Zacky grabbed his keys off the table.

"Uncle, take care of them." he turned to Hazel and Kylie, "I'll bring him back alright?" Kylie nodded and Hazel looked up at him.

"Be careful." Hazel said, wondering what Forest saw when he looked at her now. But she pushed the thoughts away, she needed to focus on Kylie and her pain, not her own.

"I will," he murmured, heading for the door with Zacky behind him.


The car ride was silent most of the time they drove, Forest had just told Zacky to drive down main street in downtown, there were dozens of bars down there.

"You think he's at a bar?" Zacky asked.

"No, I know he is. He's a silent alcoholic, when there's trouble he drinks. You wouldn't know it at all if you looked at him. But in Byte City..." he trailed off, the topic of Byte City would just bring on awkwardness.

"Tell me about it will you?" Forest looked up at Zacky, "Byte City, tell me about that place."

"You really want to know?"

"You're my son, as much as everyone under the sun wants to deny it, I made you.."

"Okay get to the point. I don't need to hear about you and my mom making Hazel and I."

Zacky laughed and ran a hand through his hair, easing the car to a stop when the light ahead of them turned red. Forest looked around the scenery outside the metal that was encasing him. People roamed the streets, most girls in clothing too tight and guys who acted like they were movie star douche bags with their sunglasses and popped collars. They were in the party district for sure.

"All i'm trying to say is even though people, things, and even ourselves are trying to put a wedge between us. We're still father and son, you're still my boy and I want to know everything about you because I only know what your sister has told me." A laugh escaped Forest's chest before he could hold it in and he looked at his dad.

"You know, that's really pathetic." Zacky sighed and nodded.

"I know. But it's the truth so tell me something about yourself. Right now." Zacky said, making Forest laugh again.

"Fine. I'll tell you about Byte City." Forest sighed and scratched his head, "But you're not going to like some things you hear and you'll think i'm insane by the end of the night."

"I'll deal with it." Forest smiled slightly and rested his chin on his fist as he stared out the window.

"Park up there," Forest said pointing, "Looks like we're bar hopping tonight."

"Never thought i'd hear my son say that, and i'd be with him." Zacky said parallel parking next to some bar, which was actually pretty surprising that they got a spot so close on a Friday night.

"Yeah well the world is full of surprises." Forest said getting out of the car.

He stood there waiting for Zacky and hiked his pants up, they were borrowed from Maverix after the crazy man had insisted on washing all his pants like a pedophile. So Forest was stuck borrowing a pair of his smallest jeans that were ripped at the knees and Forest had no intentions on learning the origins of the rips.

"Should we start here?" Zacky asked pointing to the biker bar next to us.

"No we should start at the one farthest from here." Forest said.

"You're being sarcastic aren't you?"

"No, i'm serious. I'll tell you the story on the way there and when we find Shadow if he's not at the farthest at least we don't have to walk the farthest." Zacky looked at him oddly and Forest shook his head.

"It sounded better in my mind, come on." he said stepping onto the sidewalk and sidestepping a few people to start towards the farthest bar which was about four blocks.


Forest sucked in a deep breath as they exited the fourth bar. The stench of cigarettes, booze, and some things he never wanted to mention again lingered on his clothes and he really just wanted to go home and take a shower. But Shadow was still missing and the clock was inching slowly towards midnight.

After walking around for an hour they had stopped and taken a break, eating at a small place that was right next to the first bar they were in, and had made a plan on what they were going to do. There were over twelve bars on main street in a four or five block radius. Which Forest realized was a very excess amount of bars for one town and that it should probably be looked into. After that there were a few scattered on the south side that were really very sketchy but he would probably have to scout them looking for Shadow.

"You think he's been drinking since he left Kylie?"

"No, he had to find a place he could get into. Might have taken a while. But I know he'll get kicked out soon, so watch the gutters for his blue hair."

"You're pretty calm with this whole thing." Zacky commented, making Forest shrug his shoulders as he shoved his hands into his pockets.

"I've got a little more on my mind then Shadow running off and drinking himself into a stupor because his girlfriend upset him. He just needs some time alone and now that time is up so we have to bring him back," Forest shrugged again, "It's happened before, it'll happen again probably. You all have to learn to deal with it though if you want to stay on good terms with him."

"Why what'll he do to us?"

"Hate you and wallow in self pity for the rest of his existence because he couldn't be accepted by the group of people everyone else has been accepted by."

"Does he think that?"

"He knows it, especially with what happened at the water park today. You all watched him while he was talking to Hazel like he was going to drown her or something. He's not a bad guy and being looked at like that hits you in the chest like a steam roller and makes anger and confusion build up until you just want to actually drown somebody." Forest stated, looking at Zacky to see his reaction.

It was surprisingly calm and Forest let him pass the test of accepting the insanity that brewed in everyone's mind but some just let it show more then others.

All that Zacky said was the following, "I'll make sure we don't glare at him anymore."

"And talk to him." Forest pushed.

"And we'll talk to him." Zacky smiled and dodged a couple of people.

They dwindled down towards where biker bars were and Zacky was fidgeting around like he was scared.

"What? Scared of a few bikers?"

"No!" Zacky scoffed, looking down when a particularly large man looked at him oddly.

Forest rolled his eyes and headed towards one bar in particular, one he frequented as a kid because he made friends with a few bikers after skipping school all the time. He wasn't a biker or anything, he was just there, playing pool and refusing his fourth or sixth beer because he knew if he went home drunk his mother would skin him alive.

"Are you sure we should go in the biker bars?" Zacky asked quietly, grabbing Forest's upper arm and pulling him back so they wouldn't be heard.

"Psh yes, I know people here so calm yo tits and lets go!" Forest cheered and opened the heavy door into the bar. A rush of energy hit him and he felt a swell of excitement as he walked into the familiar place.

The bar had close to no windows on the front, making it look like anything could happen inside and no one would know. And the only windows that were in the place were along the back walls, smashed and covered by plywood littered in graffiti. The boards were taken off on excruciating hot days, or at least they used to be. And by the looks of the place it seemed nothing much had changed so he assumed that little procedure went the same way.

Forest glanced around, seeing old faces that he knew and new ones that looked at him suspiciously. He ignored them and walked up to the bar, leaning against it as the older bartender walked up.

"What can I get for ya kid?" the older man asked.

That was another reason Forest liked this place, they never asked ages, if they looked too young they were kicked out unless someone vouched for you. Which the bikers always had for Forest.

"Actually i'm looking for someone. Blue hair, bout yay high," Forest said, holding his hand above his head, "Probably drunk off his ass by now."

The man looked down in thought, tapping his fingers on the bar in a rythem Forest couldn't keep up with. As he thought a man that had sat at the bar during Forest's description snapped his fingers.

"Yeah he was here, talking to ol' Hale Jones over there near the pool tables." The man pointed and the bartender let out a whoop.

"That's right! Blue hair I remember him. Almost got punched by Hale for knocking into him but he said somethin' to make the guy laugh and Hale even bought him a beer. Which hasn't happend in a long time since he hung around with that Westfield kid."

"That's true man, Hale loved that kid I swear. Thought of him as his own."

"Really now?" Forest asked as he moved his gaze over to the pool table, scanning for Hale Jones, the man he spent most of his years looking up to.

"Yeah, I mean hell that kid was what? Fourteen, fifteen?"

"No I remember the first beer he drank was when he was twelve. Hale got him out of a fight and brought him here to play pool and calm down. Wouldn't let anyone mess with him and ended up shoving his first beer down his throat."

Forest laughed at the memory, Hale was really a pretty bad guy once you think about it, but hell, hanging out with bikers got you a major reputation in sixth and seventh grade. It got you respect in a way because everyone knew you could get a biker to kick someone's ass if they messed with you. Plus it was just really cool if you hung out with badasses like them.

"I'll head over and talk to him." Forest said pushing back from the bar.

"Be careful kid, he isn't nice to strangers." the bartender warned.

"It'll be fine, Zacky, stay here and drink beer or something." Forest said motioning towards the stool he had been leaning on. Zacky complied with the request and ordered a beer as Forest shrugged his way to the pool table that Hale had claimed as his long ago. All the way there he kept looking around, looking for the idiot with blue hair that he just wanted to make sure was okay.

He walked up and two large bikers he vaugely remembered closed the path to Hale.

"Can we help you?" One asked. Forest racked his brain for the mans name. He was pretty sure it had something to do with fish, or the ocean or something. He secretly examined the man's tattoos, one of them would probably bring his name to light.

"Here to talk to Hale, about a guy he bought a beer for awhile ago." Forest said, his hands down at his sides. He refrained from stuffing them in his pockets, he had seen many people here get punched because the other person thought they were going for a gun or shank or something along those lines.

"What's it to you?" The man, who by looking at the tattoo of a shark on his neck made him remember that his name was something having to do with a Great White, but his real name was Larry.

"He's a friend of mine, been looking for him for awhile now." Forest shrugged and rubbed the back of his neck.

"Fine, you can talk to him. Mostly because I just want to see Hale knock you on your puny ass." Larry laughed and stepped aside, letting Forest through into the little area that was Hale's lounge.

"Hale, kid's here to talk to you about the blue headed kid." Larry said shoving Forest's shoulder a bit.

"What do you want?" Hale asked, looking at him with a menacing glare that Forest remembered well.

Hale didn't look much different then what he used to. Maybe his hair was a little greyer and he was a little fatter but he looked nearly the same. And in a world where everything was always changing, Forest welcomed the familiar sight.

Forest cleared his throat and swallowed hard, "Uh, the guy you were talking to. His name is Shadow and i'm looking for him. He's pretty much my brother and I need to talk to him."

"What's your name kid?" Hale asked, leaning forward from his chair and looking at him with narrowed eyes. Forest looking into the brown blood shot eyes and tried not to breath too hard.

"Does it really matter?" He asked, earning a grunt from Larry's right hand man Jack, who was stationed to his imediate right. Forest glanced over and saw a couple people looking at him like he was dead already.

"It does to me. You look familiar."

"Because I am." Forest stated shrugging, "Forest Westfield."

Hale sat back, his hand going to his hair, "No...It can't be you."

"Well you just said it was me so..." Forest shrugged.

"Don't be a smart ass boy." Hale pointed a finger at him and Forest smiled.

"Sorry, I learned from the best. I mean who else says that it's okay to call a teacher a whore if they're rubbing up on you?" Forest asked, making Hale belt out a round of laughter.

"Holy hell it is you kid." Hale stood up and pulled Forest into a bone crushing hug that made his lungs hurt.

"Well who else would it be?" Forest asked after being let down and air entering his body cavity again.

"A psycho." Larry said, shrugging as he sat down with a beer in his hand.

"Shut up Larry." Both Forest and Hale said at the same time. It was just like the old days when Forest would antisipate what Hale was going to say and say it at the same time, just to make him sound like he was that much closer to Hale.

"So where'd you run off to kid? You just up and disappeared few years back. I swear Larry was so heart broken he went an' reported you missing." Forest laughed at the glare Larry was throwing at Hale and shrugged.

"My uh...mother died when I was sixteen. Me and my sister got shipped off to California with our dad. He's over there see?" Forest turned and pointed at Zacky who was laughing and talking with some other patrons.

"Looks like a pussy." Hale said, making Forest laugh.

"Yeah well, he's rich, in a band, has body guards and huge gates. High life ya know?" Forest turned and leaned against the pool table that had Hale's name engraved in it with a pocket knife or something of the sharp origin.

"Sounds fun, you been living good I assume then?"

"Nope. Ran away about a year into it. Actually went into a coma so I was in a bed for most of the time I was there. Then I ran away when I came out. Lived homeless for awhile, got an apartment and stuff. It was hell but I made it through and i'm here right?"

"Damn kid, shoulda just stayed here with me if you were goin' to go off and do all that." Hale said.

"Yeah, coulda gotten all that done right here." Larry added as he leaned his chair back on two legs and rocked back and forth.

"Probably, anyway, why i'm here in the first place..." Forest started only to be cut off by Hale.

"Right, the kid with blue hair. Yeah I talked to him, kid ran into me like a dumbass. Bought him a beer cause he looked pretty down and out. Said he got in a fight with his girlfriend and I said that I didn't want to hear that shit and he agreed. That's the real reason I bought him the beer ya know?" Forest nodded and scratched his itching head. He swore the stupid beanie he was wearing was infected with lice or something. So he pulled it off, revealing his horrendous hair that was going back to black making it look pretty weird.

"I knew you dyed it." Larry laughed, pointing at his hair.

"Yeah yeah, i'm too cheap to buy more dye and i'm sick of it anyway." Forest shrugged and smiled lightly as he turned back to Hale, "So do you know where Shadow is now?"

"Nah kid, he stumbled out about twenty minutes ago, said he was going to try an' make it back home or something. I offered him a ride but he tried to hug me and I took my offer back." Forest shook his head and tried not to smirk.

"Thanks Hale, i'll come visit again soon. I just got to find my stupid friend."

"Yeah, yeah. You take care of yourself now ya hear? I swear if I hear you did something stupid i'll tan your hide."

"Isn't that what my father's supposed to say?" Forest asked, raising an eyebrow as he stood straight and prepared to leave.

"Has he ever said it?" Hale asked.

"No he hasn't actually. Barely even knows me."

"Then it sounds like he's only your pop on the papers then right?" Hale asked. Forest paused and thought about it before nodding.

"I guess he is." Forest said looking over at Zacky.

"Look, i'm not trying to make you pissed at him and just ignore him or anythin'. I'm just sayin' that you can have more then one 'father' ya know. I took you in and raised you to do things right even though I don't do myself. That's gotta give me some credit don't ya think?" Hale asked.

"You were the only guy that cared about me so yeah I guess that gives you more credit then him right now." Forest tilted his head towards Zacky and sighed, "But he's trying Hale, so don't go kicking his ass yet."

Hale smiled and held his hands up in surrender, "Innocent until proven guilty right?"

"I would say guilty until proven innocent. But i'll remember that when i'm caught in a dark alley while being on your bad side."

"Ah boy, you'll never be on my bad side, that's a fact." Hale tugged Forest into a headlock and ruffled his hair around with his fist, "Now get out of here and find that drunk friend of yours."

Forest stumbled as Hale shoved him for the door but a smile was firm on his lips as he walked back to Zacky to collect his father from the drunkards that held him at the bar.

"Time to go Zacky." Forest said hitting the mans shoulder and waving for the bartender. The bartender came over and Forest asked what Zacky owed as he started prying the empty beer bottle out of Zacky's hands.

"His tab is thirty two dollars and sixty cents." The bartender said.

"Holy shit, how much did he drink?" Forest asked.

"You don't want to know kid." Forest sighed and paid the tab before pulling Zacky towards the door.

"Where's your car kid?" Hale appeared next to Forest and grabbed Zacky's arm, holding up the guy with one hand.

"Two blocks down, in front of Ben's." Forest said, pushing the door open and holding it for Hale to drag his dad out.

"You tryin' to give me a death wish kid?" Hale complained. Forest rememberd that Ben's was home to a couple biker gangs that were on Hale's bad side.

"I can go get the car and bring it down here." Forest suggested as Hale shoved Zacky onto a bench where a woman and man were making out.

"Sounds good kid." Hale said, taking out his pack of cigarettes and patting his pockets for a lighter.

"Zacky has one somewhere in his jacket. Give me the keys while you're at it." Forest stated, watching Hale dig around in Zacky's pockets for a moment. A minute later he came out with a red bic lighter and a set of keys that went to the SUV.

"Here ya go." Hale tossed them to Forest and Forest caught them before they hit the ground.

"Thanks, i'll be back in a bit, it's a SUV can't miss it." Forest said, waving slightly before walking out of the little fenced in portion of the bar that led to the sidewalks.

He walked in silence, listening to the squeals coming from random drunk chicks and the guys flirting with them and such. He watched it all and remembered walking nearly the same path with Hale when he would walk him home after a late night in the bar. Only instead of heading straight like he was now he would jaywalk across the street he had just passed and head for home. Because Hale never used cross walks properly on purpose, it was just another way he was an insane biker that broke laws on the same level that breathing was on for him.

The SUV came into view and a smile found it's way onto Forest's face as he thought about how he didn't have a licence. Never bothered with it much and he didn't have the money for a car so why bother? He did know how to drive, slightly, and that was good enough. It was Zacky's rental anyway and he had gone and gotten himself drunk so whatever happened was on his head and obviously all his fault.
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And here we go a crappy update featuring Hale the biker aka Forest's almost adopted father. Whooo!!

Who thinks Shadow is dead?! No one? Only me? Hmm interesting. But he's not dead so calm yo tits people.

Thanks to

for commenting!

So this story is coming to an end soon, if I can write the goddamn chapters to lead to the ending...Gah I suck...