Sequel: Acrasia
Status: Da-da-da-da Da-da Done.



.:Two Months Later:.

"I swear the whole reason why you made this official was to drive my damn car," Chris said from the passenger seat.

"It was definitely a deciding factor," Rae replied, pressing down on the gas pedal, reaching alarming speeds as they reentered the city.

Their dates had consisted of pretty much the same thing since they'd started: fast food and letting Rae drive his car wherever her heart desired. He'd been pleasantly surprised to find she was a rather low-maintenance girlfriend. The most money he spent when he was with her was on gas, which wasn't that bad, he decided. Especially when George talked about taking Marissa out.

"So," Rae said, whipping around a corner way too fast. "My mom called."

"And what did she say?"

"Easter's coming up." She looked at him momentarily.

He raised his eyebrows. "I know that."

"They really wanna meet you. And you have to meet Charlie because he's the love of my life and I haven't seen him since I don't even know."

"And Charlie is-"

"My horse. So will you come with me? Just for a couple days? Pleasepleaseplease?" She bit her lip, her eyes wide, and looked at him with that puppy face.

"Watch the damn road. And of course I'll come with you. Nebraska?"

"Nebraska. The pancake state."

"Why pancakes?"

"Cause it's flat as fuck. You can literally stand on a building on one border of Nebraska and see the tops of buildings on the other side."

Chris chuckled, and then reached out to grab hold of the door handle as she took a sharp swerve into a perfect parallel park. She grinned as she got out of the car. He met her at the front of the car. He pulled her against him by the waist and she tucked the keys into his pocket. She planted a soft kiss on his lips and went inside her building, waving slightly as the door closed.

Upstairs, she was the only one home, so she made herself busy cleaning out Murphy's cage. Then, someone knocked on the door. She was surprised to see the back of Jeremy's head through the peephole.

"Jeremy?" she asked, opening the door.

He turned slightly. There were tear stains on his cheek. "Hey, Rae."

"Whatsa matter?" She reached out to touch him.

"I think I just got jumped," he said hoarsely, turning to fully face her.

"Holy shit," she whispered. His other eye was turning a violent shade of purple, his lip was split, and there was a cut on his cheek. "What the fuck happened?" She pulled him into the front room and sat him on the couch. She went to get her first aid kit and he waited til she got back to give his short response.

"A couple of guys attacked me. They called me faggot. How would they know? I'm not even out-" He hissed as she cleaned out his face wound. She decided against telling him that he wasn't really in the closet. Everyone kinda just knew, except for his parents, who were thus far happily oblivious to their only son's sexual orientation.

Rae shook her head. "Do you wanna call the cops? You wanna call Chris? He'll put the slap down on some assholes."

Jeremy threw up his hands. "Call your boyfriend? I think not. And if I call the cops, then I'll have to press charges and I'm not even sure who they were." Rae nodded slowly. "I think I'll just get a girlfriend."

"You do that."


Rae was worried about Jeremy after his incident, but it all but escaped her mind when she inhaled the sweet smell of home. The town she grew up in was so small, practically the whole thing was there to receive her. They were gathered on the lawn and porch in front of her childhood home. A cheer went up when Chris's flashy car pulled up amongst the rainbow of pickups and jeeps.

"Rachel Lynn Warrick!" a woman yelled, detaching herself from the crowd and flinging herself on Rae.

"Ma," Rae smiled, accepting the hug. "Ma, this is Chris." Rae's mom released her daughter and wrapped Chris in the same warm hug as she had Rae.

"Call me Maggie, Dear," she said, releasing him. "And this is my husband, Paul," she said, gesturing at the tall, lanky man hugging Rae. He shook Chris's hand, giving him a look that could melt steel.

"Nice to meet you," he said, and he was about to say more, something flattering to put on a nice layer of shmooze, but was pulled into the crowd seconds later by Rae's soft hand.

"Okay, keep up, now," she began pointing everyone out. "This is my friend Holly and her husband Freddie, over there is my cousin Vince and his sister Jeannie is over there with Uncle Henry. Hal is over there with Emily and Hannah and Cheyenne-- I graduated with all of them. And there's Robbie Moore-" she leaned in. "I used to have the nastiest crush on him, in high school he was so damn cute, and look at him now. He finally wants to get in my pants, though. Shit he's coming over here- and we're walking."

She pulled him over to the one she'd called he cousin, but he already forgot the guy's name. It didn't take long for them to get separated, her wandering off to talk to Holly and Freddie and him to get a drink. She found him a while later talking to Robbie Moore-- cornered more like-- and looking annoyed with a Coors and a burger in his hands. She went over and took the Coors and replaced it with a glass of something a bit harder and he smiled gratefully. She stood around and listened to Robbie talk about his accounting business and how successful he was now before she decided to rescue both of them.

"We have to go see Charlie," she said in a tone she hoped sounded apologetic.

Rae reached for Chris's hand and led him out behind the house and into an big old 12 stall barn. As soon as she entered, a big white head thrust itself out of one of the stalls. It's nostrils flared and it snorted. As they approached the horse, pairs of big brown eyes watched them cautiously from their hay mangers, their ears perking up, directed towards Rae and this stranger. The white one seemed to be the only one more interested in her than in food, but some curious heads followed them as they progressed down the breezeway.

Rae threw open the stall door and was immediately stopped by a giant nose stuck in her face. She laughed and rubbed his head underneath his forelock, then scratched the base of his neck and his chest.

"Chris," she said, "meet Charlie." She made clicking noises with her tongue and Charlie obediently backed up a few steps, allowing both Chris and Rae into the stall. She closed the gate behind them. "Have you ever been around horses?" she asked at the look of masked terror on his face; Charlie was taking his time sniffing Chris down.

He shook his head. "I didn't know they were this big."

Her eyebrows raised with the corners of her mouth. "Big? Charlie's barely even 15 hands tall. He's small for his breed." She pulled Chris towards the big white shoulder. "Just pet him."

Rae started giggling as he cautiously stroked Charlie, who had returned to eating his dinner. "Why are you laughing at me?" Chris asked.

She shook her head. "How on earth did someone like you get so damn awkward?"
♠ ♠ ♠
Sorry it took so long. But Charlie<3 Hooray.

Demons by Bayside
Some Things by For the Foxes