How to Love

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album one, track five -- when the stars go blue

Rays' House

October 13th, 1977

8:45 pm

Corrina arrived to town more than a week ago. More than a week ago since the last time her and Scott saw each other. More than a week ago since the last time they slept together.

Scott kept his distance. Not only for her, but for his own well being. Pillow talks proved not to be his forte during their hook up her first day back. Things were said. Things were revealed. And then she stormed out of his house, only wearing his Led Zepplein shirt.

They haven't spoken to each other since.

Scott smoked in the bathroom during most of the lunch breaks these last few days. It helped Corrina somehow someway secured a spot on the squad, so her lunches since the beginning of the week found themselves immersed in everything Scott knew she found herself against.

Now, here he was, sitting in Ray's basement with some lame party hat on courtesy of Kelly Ray, Julian's mother. Fruit punch swirled around in his solo cup, a mini whirlpool shifting around, brimming the edge of the cup. Obscured by his favorite, tinted aviator sunglasses, no one could see the strained stare he imposed upon the cup. Frustration about the entire situation boiled inside his gut, mind more than set ablaze with potential scenarios. He found himself glued to a stair right below the curve the staircase took into the basement, too embroiled in his thoughts to notice Serena taking Matt's spot in spiking Kelly Ray's Famous Punch, or Heather coincidentally taking her fourth bathroom break this hour. Or Julian and Claire avoiding each other like the plague, quite the same as the situation he found himself in with Corrina.

Despite the fact he didn't go out on a date with the school's most notorious female specimen, and then turn around the very next day and kiss the girl of his dreams. That was Julian.

"Whatcha thinking about?" That broke his thoughts. He glanced over his shoulder to catch sight of Claire's short, blonde bob bouncing as she took a seat next to him on the stair to his left. Scott shimmed over to make room for the tall, lanky girl. She reached over, and ruffled his hair much to his dismay. His curls began to fall into his eyes, leaving him with the task to try and blow it out of his face. Then, Claire tucked the piece of hair out of his eyes, the light relefcting "You haven't said one smartass remark this entire party, that isn't like you. You'd at least tease Burroughs for nothing else. He's always an easy target, or Julian but-"

"You have a crush on him and don't want to see him get burned," Scott finished, cutting Claire off midsentence without any remorse. Fidgeting with the cuff of his flannel provided more joy than the party. It fell into the realm of boredom, each second dragging on longer than the last. Despite Kelly's desperate attempts to liven up Julian's "surpise" birthday party. The only people there were Scott, Heather, Claire, Serena and Julian's siblings. His parents dipped out awhile ago into the garage. One could only imagine the horrors going on up there.

All he could think about was her. And her body. And the way she felt on top of him. Her. Her. Her.

Claire playfully pushed Scott into the wall, her attempts at not smiling worthless in the long run. A giggle left her parted lips. And then their eyes fell on one another. Claire tucked a loose strand of straight hair behind her ears. The pesky thing kept falling into her eyes, much to her dismay. "I was going to say, you can tease Julian all you want. I don't care."

Scott's face contorted into pure surprise, mouthing 'oh' over and over again. "Wow. Didn't expect that."

Claire shrugged. "Guess I'm full of surprises."

"That you surely are."

They soon fell silent, much like the dull party surrounding them. There were two sounds emanating from it all, the television playing One Day at a Time per Heather's request, and also the ceiling shaking. For what reason, Scott could only speculate. He bet it had something to do with Viper and Kelly Ray.

Scott wished it were him and Corrina. But he screwed it all up. Maybe it was. . .

"Scott Thomas blushing?" she gasped, though her actions weren't representative of that. Claire placed her hand against his left thigh, leaving a daunting squeeze. She fluttered her elongated, mascara clad lashes at him, her brown eyes taunting. "Who's the girl?"

Scot shifted about, eyes scanning the crowd. Nobody was watching them. Not Serena, nor Heather, or even Matthew. Julian was nowhere to be found. "Nobody."

Claire leaned over closer to him, legs about ready to prop themselves atop Scott's. He tugged at the collar of his grey t-shirt. "She must be someone special if she's made even the Great Scott Thomas quiet."

He shrugged without a word.

Claire kept chatting away, though her hand never left his thigh. In fact, it inched closer and closer. Scott grunted out aimless answers. He refused to pay her any mind. His mind gone with the wind. Filled with thoughts of their afternoon. Together. Alone. Them. Daydreams from the memories clogging up, clawing at him all over. The feeling of her hands over his chest as she. . .

"Corrina," Scott heard Claire's voice gasp in a high pitched voice. Her hand instinctively retracted itself into her lap, shielded within her thighs, bell-bottom jeans keeping them warm for the next time.

Scott's head shot up. Interest peaked. His heart suddenly pounding, like an intense drum solo. Like from his favorite rock songs. It raged and raged, like if it were arguing with the machine. It ached in his chest. His mind wishing to whisk her away to a private island, writing all his wrongs. Thump, thump, thump.

His mind raced. The thoughts refused to dissipate. Scott wanted his vixen on his lap, hands all over him. But he froze. Thump, thump thump.

A ball formed in his throat. Nervous for some bizarre reason. He's Scott Thomas, he can't be nervous. Especially not over a girl. He won't allow it. Never did a girl make his palms sweat or his pulse race. Or even freeze him up atop a stair. Cause him unable to form even the simplest of sentences. He can't even say he's sorry, though she made him want to apologize up and down to her for what he said during pillow talk.

Thump. Thump. Thump.

The Rays' basement door swung open faster than a speeding bullet. Julian's beaming face instantly came into view before anything else. He looked like a little kid who just found candy, or a lost puppy, at least in Scott's eyes. In that case, Julian so was. It kinda freaked the hell out of Scott. The last time he wore that expression was right after the gang saw Star Wars, and Scott walked in on Julian having a wet dream involving Princess Leia and Claire Anthony.

Just like that, Scott's heart stopped.

'Cause his eyes found the same average height girl, this time not in heels, with striking violet hair paired with a personality able to stand out in any crowd.

His heart dropped.

"Look guys," Julian shouted, a loud laugh following. The guy must have been on a serious caffeine or sugar rush. He couldn't stand still for any length of time. Or he was on something Pill Popping Seth gave him. Either way, not the best look. Especially when his parents continued to lurk around. Viper always knew if someone was on something.

Hyde shook his head from secondhand embarrassment. His glasses slipped off his face, hitting the edge of the stair beneath his feet. Luckily, they didn't crack. But, unlucky for him, it allowed him a better view of the scene playing out before him.

"I found Corrina."

And he was holding her hand. Tightly.

☆●●☆

The sun set a long time ago. The moon taking its place in the sky. Dimly lighting the earth below. Stars scattered about. Gorgeous. Appealing to the eye. But not soothing at this very moment.

Two people. Two different locations. One sky. Both glancing up and studying it all the same. At the same time.

Corrina blinked a few times, eyes stinging from excessive straining. She despised her glasses, but times like this, she missed them dearly. They'd definitely be a big help right about now. She bet anything it looked like she had been crying, even though she swore she hadn't been. Even though she had every reason to.

Laying across the hood of Julian's father's car, her hands kept her up, balanced behind her as her legs dangled over the edge. Head titled back in order to study the stars above, her neck began cramping long ago, but she refused to acknowledge it in hope it would just pass. Corrina didn't give a rat's ass whether her neck killed her or not, anything was worth the view splattered across the clear sky above her.

Corrina didn't know the actual constellations, so she made some up. Like "Big Star" or "Infinity." Her favorite when she was pissed, "Microdick." A little game of hers since she was little. Her and her mother used to sit on the front door step, staring at the sky, pointing out whatever shapes they caught their eyes on. Like cloud watching, but at night, with a vast array of stars painting and illuminating the night sky.

Scott Thomas sat on the front step on the other side of the Forman home. He watched the stars like they would tell him something. Like what to do? Whether to attack Ray straight on or to sneak attack him when he least expected it?

He refused to acknowledge why there laid a burning anger in his gut, only growing larger the longer he sat and pondered.

The real reason went against anything he believed. So, he buried it. Deep. Where he would never find it. Where it would never resurface out of the clear blue. Where no one would find out.

Relationships so weren't his thing. Neither were the feelings associated with it. It buried itself deep.

Scott was fine. He was fine.

The rebel boy tipped back the beer he managed to swipe from the refrigerator before Viper could suspect a thing. The cold liquid didn't faze him. Beer found its way to his lips whenever it found the chance. Ever since he was young. His mother kept it in high supply. Accessible as well. It made it so Scott couldn't feel a thing.

And that's how he wanted it to be.

He smiled to himself, glancing back up at the stars.

Numb. Sparkling in the light. How he wanted it to be. Without a worry in the world.

Nothing tying him down.

☆●●☆

"Who stole a beer out of my fridge?" Corrina heard Viper shout all the way out in the driveway. She giggled a little to herself in the night, knowing all too well who probably stole said beer. No one else had the balls to do such. Maybe Serena, she didn't know her that well, but she seemed like the type not to shy away from a dare.

His name started with an "S" and ended with a "cott."

Good times.

"Should have known I'd find you out here," a girl's voice rang out into the night. A familiar voice at that. Corrina caught the eye of a petite girl with auburn hair catching the porch light, casting a gleam across the top of her head, spiralling down her hair, illuminating her bright, glowing skin. She stood in front of the door to the Rays' kitchen, arms crossed over her chest. She walked down the steps, actions filled to the brim with obvious care. Each step tentative. Heather pulled herself up atop the hood of the car next to Corrina, staring up at the stars, hands in her lap.

"Three practices and you practically know me. Am I that predictable?" Corrina joked, staring up at the sky above.

"I think after you found out my deepest, darkest secret it's safe to consider us good friends." Heather's once confident, joking tone drifted off, her dark eyes finding themselves back towards the Ray household once again. "Not that I have many girl friends."

Her neck snapped towards Heather's direction, eyes softening drastically as she took in the younger girl's somber demeanor. "I would have thought co-captain of the cheer squad would have a bunch of friends."

Heather shook her head, staring down at her boot clad feet, legs kicking up in the air. Careful not to kick out Viper's headlights. "Most of the girls on the team despise me."

"Why?"

"Because I steal all their boyfriends." Heather giggled, catching Corrina's eye. "'Steal' wasn't the best word. More like, most of their boyfriends realize I'm actually a real person instead of being all superficial. So, they'd rather date me instead of them."

Corrina paused for a second, the gears in her head visible as she struggled to find the words to say. "Was Matthew one of them?"

Heather gulped, fiddling with the edge of her blue miniskirt. "Actually, no." A small smile danced on her lips momentarily, then falling once again. "Matt seemed to want the fantasy of dating the cheerleading co-captain. And," she messed with her hair, poofing up the endd of her styled hair, "doesn't help I'm so fantastically beautiful."

Both girls broke out in a fit of laughter, their grins encompassing their entire face. Eyes twinkling in delight. Both glowing with happiness.

"Have you told him yet?" Corrina asked, glancing off into the window of the kitchen. Matthew stood their, scooping up some punch as he animatedly talked to Serena. Behind him hoovered Scott and. . . Claire? Corrina could have sworn Claire always despised everything Scott adored, including his insatiable love for Mary Jane.

Heather shook her head. "Not yet. Haven't found the right time."

"I don't think there will ever be a right time."

"When the baby's born?" Heather asked, following it up with a laugh soon after. "Okay, okay. I'll tell him soon." Corrina raised an eyebrow at her. Heather held her hands up in defense, once again giggling her butt off. "I promise."

Before either girl could say another word, Scott flew out of the door, throwing his empty beer bottle into the Anthonys' yard. Hot once his trail was Viper Ray, baseball bat in hand.

"Scott, give me back my fucking beer, boy. Or I'll shove my foot so far up your ass you'll be eating your own shit for weeks!"

The two men took off running down the driveway, neither noticing the two girls sitting on the hood.

And they laughed. And laughed. Until their sides hurt.

Heather slung her arm around Corrina's shoulders. She offered her a wide smile. "You know, I think this'll be the start of a beautiful friendship."

Corrina reciprocated her arm, smiling off into the midnight sky. "Me too, Heath. I think so too."

God, I really missed this town. She glanced up at the stars, her smile growing even wider as her heart warmed. But first, I think I'm going to kill Claire.

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