[Cheerless #6] CheerSoaked: A Tale Of Two Freaks

A Little Chessler All The Time

[[A/N: YAAAAAY! More story left, but the Major Happening is behind us at this point. Are you proud? Relieved? Ecstatic? Disgusted? That's what I want to know - NOW! Er, ahhh... yes. Sorry I took so very long to continue the story beyond its "climax", but this is because... I'm working again! Actually, it's the same work as previously, they just realised their mistake and beckoned for my return. Anyhow, that's enough of this, and more of that is preferable, so I shall close this note.]]

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"Shh! Quiet down, you guys!"

"Is she here? Are they, uh, together?"

"Looks like it - they're coming up the walkway, and- aww..."

"What?! What, 'aww', what does that mean?!"

"They're holding hands - it's so freakin' cute!"

"Blegh - I think I'm gonna hurl!"

"What a horrible thing to say, Morgan; I never pegged you for being a relic from the Dark Ages."

"Hey, Greenie-Weenie, there's nothing relic-ey about me! I'll have you know I pumice and mud masque every night before-"

"Shut up, you idiots - they're almost at the door!"

Smiling, I turned to Sabrina, and I could see a slight creasing of amusement between her eyes, too. "I wonder what they'd say if they knew we could hear them?"

"Probably a lot less," she whispered. "That's why it's good this spell is undetectable... but I'd better turn it off now." I could see her finger pointing behind her back (now that I knew to look for such red flags, they were ridiculously obvious) as she muttered a few words, and the urgent hisses and sound of people tripping over things disappeared from my head. "There. Okay, then... are we ready?"

"I- I dunno," I breathed shakily. "That is, I've been to a coming out party before, but this - this really IS a 'coming out' party! What do we say, how should we act? Would it be too much if-"

"Hey." Her eyes sparkled as she willed my heart to steady with a magic more natural than the kind she'd used as an eavesdropping device. "Chill. I mean, okay, we'll probably have to deal with a lot of grief and discomfort, but when you think about it... we'll come out the other side of it fine and dandy, right?"

"Are you sure? Some of them might say some really mean things; you heard Morgan!"

"I know," she said grumpily. "And I oughtta flay her for it, but... I might've said the same thing if it was her."

"Lucky for me, it's you," I said meekly. "Uh, that is..."

Already I could see the colour rising in her cheeks. "Stop it. I'd like to walk in there without looking like we just-"

And after that glance, we couldn't help but giggle again. We'd done a lot of that the night previous... and that morning after waking up, curled up on the floor of the Westbridge High gym. And because I know how dirty your minds are, a lot of things you're thinking right now did not happen, okay? Meanwhile... that's not to say none of them happened, either. Cryptic is a must for this situation, as far as I'm concerned.

"Ready?" she hissed.

"As I'll ever be."

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

Because detailing the entire party would take a stressful amount of words, we're summarising again. You should be used to it by now, so quit whining. Hmm... let's go person by person.

Roxie, somehow, had become our biggest proponent, and gushed and glowed about our overdue union twice as much as everybody else. Wasn't she sticking pins in a Cheerless doll a few days ago? Much worse than that, she was the proud owner of a digital camera that I came to despise almost instantly; all I wanted was the entire world finding out I was un-straight the day after I accepted it. Even so, how could we fault her? She had no reservations about what we'd grown into. It's refreshing to have a friend like that.

Adymm, of course, loved telling Sabrina how he always knew I had the hots for her in gory detail, which eventually caused my fruit punch to "slip" and wind up all over his head. Everybody was too busy laughing at the way his spikes began to droop to catch his quiet apology to me, and knowing my revenge was complete, I smiled and nodded.

Morgan... avoided talking to us. To be harshly unyielding in my assessment (you know my MO), she might be closeted herself, 'cos I could tell she was über uncomfortable. I never caught her sneering or anything so crass and insulting. Itching powder could have explained her behaviour; fidgety and weirded out to the max. Guess this was her first time dealing with something of this nature. Poor dumb thing.

Milnot, TQ and Miles reacted like most guys would, I suppose; they kept gawking at us. Either their imaginations were going into overdrive, or they really liked our dresses. How many of you think it's the second one? Probably a low number. Disgusting, but... eh, boys will be boys. Milnot continuously said things like "It's your thang," Miles said next to nothing on the topic, and TQ seemed to shift his gaze to his girlfriend an awful, awful lot. Perhaps he was starting to figure out what had happened several months ago.

Speaking of which... Ophelia. Even though I could see how happy she was for both of us, and that's not a casual statement at all... there was a moment I may have caught a tinge of jealousy in her eye. Don't take that as fact! With all the music, food, laughter and "OmiGAWD I can't believe that of all people YOU TWO hooked up", it's more than possible I misread her. All the same, we shared a very heated embrace once upon a train, and though I was scared shitless, I felt all of Ophelia trying to pour into me. Did her torch continue to smolder for the Absinthia frontwoman? I hope not. Excruciatingly.

Several hours and a ton and a half of weirdness later, Adymm, TQ, Ophelia and Milnot left to pack up their sparse belongings for their return to Manhattan. Under the circumstances, I decided not to book the same flight; there was a lot I had to deal with before slipping back into my old routine, the least of which was the question of Gran's property. Then there was Morgan and Ophelia's mixed feelings, and beyond that...

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll bring you back in just after they left, so you can get an idea of the new vistas awaiting the monstrosity that is Libbrina. Whee.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~

"Ooh, a Brothers Junk CD," I giggled, throwing it across the room to Roxie. "What else is in here?"

"Hmm. Yeah, I think I remember them - they had that one song about shaking something, how'd it go?"

"Would you get the hell out of my stuff?!" Sabrina snapped, cheeks reddening as she slammed the desk drawer shut. "Nobody said 'complete invasion of privacy' was part of this closetless package!"

My mouth curled into a coy smile. "I thought I was supposed to start inv-"

"Nevermind," she interrupted hastily. "That can only turn out badly, and I think I ought to head you off at the pass."

"Yes, please save all pillow talk for elsewhere," said Roxie with a slight shiver. "Love you guys, I do, but I can do without images."

"Mmm, images are good..."

"Libby!" they said in unison - and they had a point. When did I become a complete slutbag?

"Hey," said Miles as he poked his head in. "Phone for one Libby Chessler."

"Really?" I blinked, looking back at the two of them. Sabrina's face was the colour of strained beets, but she shrugged along with Roxie. "Who is it?"

"No idea. Sounded like an adult being of some sort."

"Hmm..." It took eight seconds to blow past him and cross the living room to the phone. "Hello?"

"Libby, honey, it's me."

I recognised the voice as my father's, but I couldn't let him get away with that. "Mr President? My, you flatter me, but I thought you were busy this weekend."

"Oho, it is to laugh. Listen, I'm taking a flight around two this afternoon, and before I drop money on it..."

"Nope," I said softly. "I'll follow you out there tomorrow."

"You sure? I mean... if you miss too many classes, y-"

"There's this gangly kid who takes detailed notes and sells copies for five bucks a pop," I snickered. "I've only needed to feed his PlayStation habit once before, and I can do it again without feeling too guilty."

He laughed. "Sounds like you're on top of this. Just wanted to find out your plans."

"Thanks, but... there's more to take care of here before I leave. I'll be fine."

"Okay. Well, then I'm going to wrap things up here at the house, then go over and have a talk with your mother at the hotel before I head ou-"

"What?!" I exploded. "You will do no such thing!"

A stunned silence. "Excuse me, but which of us is the dependent, here? Look, I realise it's probably not the wisest - or safest idea I've ever had, but there are things I think we need to get strai-"

"Don't, Daddy, please?" I whined. "What's the point in stirring up the bad blood? It's not as if she'll ever learn anything from it."

"That's beside the point, Libb. I don't want you worrying about this, okay? You've got enough grief to deal with."

Agonisingly, I forced myself to emit a sigh that alleviated no pressure. If he only knew... "Fine. Go stumble blindly through a mine field if you must."

"Thanks for your permission. Coming to see me off?"

"You know it. Bye, Daddy."

"Au revoir."

"Poser."

I replaced the receiver, finger at my chin. An opportunity had presented itself. Dare I take it? Maybe I should go in with backup; it held the same ominous feeling of putting a can of grape soda in a paint mixer for an hour, then opening it while wearing suede. But if I could take care of two birds with one heavy, sharp stone...

"What did your dad want?"

Two hands slipped around my waist. For a moment, I tensed, confused - was I going to have to slap somebody? But one moment later my slow brain figured out who was behind me, and perhaps the most concentrated feeling of contentment flooded through every inch of my body. Breath fell on the back of my neck and another heart was beating against me through two layers of cotton. Moreso than ever before in my life, yet more even than when I was with Adymm, I experienced a true sense of belonging.

"Nothing," I whispered, unwilling to voice how beautiful the feeling was, even though I thought she should be given dominion over a small country for causing me such joy. She must have known, anyway. I placed my own hands over her soft, delicate ones. "Hi."

"Hi," she cooed in my ear. I bit my lip to prevent my smile from growing to goofy proportions. "What's a nice goth-rocker like you doing in a place like this?"

"Dork," I half-laughed. "Being in all kinds of love, I think."

Her head came to rest on my shoulder, lips just touching my skin; goosebumps began to spread outward from the spot. "Yeah?"

"Yeah."

"Break it up, you two," Morgan said sourly as she headed for the refrigerator. "Sheesh, you're in the middle of the living room; at least take it back thataway." One thumb jerked over her shoulder.

"Jealous much?" Sabrina laughed.

The redhead could have laid a brick at that notion. I gave her an eyeroll and a shake of my head. "Sorry, Your Morganness. We'll take our horrifying display of G-rated hugging away from young eyes."

"Do that," she said as she ripped open a Yoplait. "Seriously, I apologise for sounding like a fuddy duddy, but I just- ugh, why would you ever wanna bang someone the same gender? Two sets of matching equipment just sounds so, so... boring! Isn't variety the spice of life?"

"Eh," Sabrina said mildly. "Overrated."

"Trust me, Morgan, if there's anything having my neural pathways altered by GHB taught me, it's that 'different' doesn't always mean 'good'. You remember how fun that was, don't you?"

She winced. "I'm still having nightmares of you trying to take my top off, and thanks so much for providing them with fresh fuel."

And with that, she retreated to her room so Sabrina could raise both eyebrows at me. Stupid halfwit redhead.

~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~ ~*~~*~ END Chapter Thirteen

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