A/N: Sorry again, like always, LMAO, that it's taken me some time to get you this update! :3 I have just been updating my 100 BC, and/or bouncing around some side stories! I really have been writing on the rainbowcy, this chapter is actually probably dated back in March, but I put the final touches on it just recently... like the pictures LOL! <3 Forgive my lameness, I hope! And enjoy!
My sneakers kicked up the loose pebbles on the hot sidewalk, one at a time, one in front of the other as I walked towards the school with Nana at my side. She was going on about something as my mind wandered off into intangible thought.
"You know, Limerick wants to meet up with at the Shack. Are you down?"
"Huh?" I looked up momentarily as we drew closer, clearly having no clue as to what she was on about.
"The Shack, we're meeting up to discuss our plans for that dreadful dance?" Nana looked at my dazed expression. "Oh you have got to be fudgin' me, Rouge, pull your head out of that scrawny pink butt of yours." She scoffed, shaking her head and walking a bit faster as the first warning bell rang.
"What?! Nana! Wait! Yes, I'm sorry!" I called after her, and ran to catch up, though for a fleeting moment I caught sight of Stardust and I stopped momentarily. I couldn't believe it had been so long since I last saw her, and even though she was the spitting image of my best friend I could tell she was completely different. Surrounded by the mob of who was who and what was in at the moment. The Tarte Trio. I watched as they cut me off at the stairs, my eyes watching their skirts swish as their hips moved with their steps. That is until I felt a distinct smack on the back of my head.
"What are you looking at?" The voice all too familiar, matched well with the chuckle following it.
"What the berryho-" I spun around to see Limerick, and swiftly tried to jab him in the side. "What's your problem?!" The words escaped me rather quickly in a hushed whisper.
"Well for one, you completely ditched Nana. Two, you're drooling at the bit for the Tarte Trio. I just had to save you before someone saw how pathetic you looked." He laughed at me and began to walk towards the double, front doors. "Better hurry up, projects are due in Ms. Engleberry's!"
"Fuuuuuu..." It was all I could really muster as the second warning bell rang across the school yard, masking the perfect sounds of a curse word for my devastating delay to class and the disappointment I felt that I had forgotten all about the project.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
"I think I'm rather surprised at how things turned out." I let the words roll out of my mouth with a bit more confidence than needed.
"You're just lucky she was sick today and you know Mr. Tofu loves to slack with whatever assignments were supposedly due." Limerick drawled out as we approached the sandy beaches of the river near my neighborhood.
"Yeah, yeah, I guess so. Didn't Nana say she was going to be here?" My eyes shifted around, taking in the empty stretch of beach near the empty, abandoned hut we called 'the Shack.'
"Yeah, maybe she's inside, I don't know."
"Have you, you know..." I begin to ask possibly the most awkward question that had been haunting me all week since prom was announced. My hands danced out in front of me in an assortment of gestures as I tried to edge out what I wanted to say.
"Know what?" Limerick watched my fingers dance uncomfortably in midair before nodding, hopefully in some sort of understanding way. "Yeah, I think Pansy said she'd go with me."
"What?! Fudge, there seems to be less girls in our graduating class than the previous year. Where are they all hiding?!" I felt my gut knot up, I already hated talking about this kind of stuff, mushy, dance-y, crap. Going stag was looking more and more appealing by the minute.
"Why not ask Peaches, or something. I mean you could always go with Nana?" I could see the smirk he shot me, and I felt an urge to deck him, perhaps more playfully than serious.
"No, Nana is off limits, it's like... iunno, I just, why would you suggest that?" I stumbled on the words, they were foreign in nature it seemed.
"Chill, I was only kidden." He shot back at me, then swung open the makeshift door to the Shack. "Nana?! You here, I think Rouge has something to sa-." I quickly shoved him inside before he could finish.
"Shut your hole!" I spat out, slipping inside behind him and taking a quick look around, thankfully no one was there. Especially Nana, though it surprised me more than Limerick's teasing. "Uuhh... Nana?!" There was no answer.
"Well I guess that was no fun," Limerick chuckled and slide over to the old couch we had taken in to use along with whatever sort of broken, or old, or abandoned colorful yet mismatched furniture we could find.
"I kind of want to ask Star, but you know I wouldn't have a chance in whatever hell..." I continued to look around, just in case Nana was there, waiting and hiding in the shadows ready to laugh her ass off at me for even mentioning her sister.
"Uh oh. I think that's correct, sir. I can already tell you that the Tartes probably already have dates, and all of them are probably on the team." Limerick scoffed, his disgust with such societal standards clearly enveloping his words.
"Oh well, forget it. I think I am just going to go alone anyway, maybe not at all. I honestly don't know who wants to go to those things anyway." I rolled my eyes as I dragged myself over to the slightly dinged up window and peered out into the river. "I just can't wait for this year to be over, and no more Ms. Engleberry, and no more Appaloosa Plains."
"You really want to leave don't you?" It was as if he hadn't heard me a quarter of a million times previously, the surprise in his voice piquing.
"Why not? I mean don't you?" I shot him a subtly, confused look.
"Well sure, but I don't think there is anywhere in this world that is appealing to go to. I mean going to Shang Simla was fun but with the family it was kind of boring... especially all that boring photo taking and walking, and biking... I wasn't even allowed in the tombs."
"There is more than just Shang Simla and Appaloosa Plains you berryhole." I laughed, I myself hadn't even been on a family vacation other than Champs, or one year to Sugar Valley only to watch my mother fall apart in search for my grandfather and the aunt I would probably never know.
"Like where? I mean, where do you think you're going to go after school?" Limerick looked at me as if I was the least amusing berry in the world.
"Look, I just want to maybe go to Bridgeport... or something. Go to the big city, meet loads of celebrities who will buy my crappy paintings and photos, or maybe just somewhere where I can find what I want, when I want."
"And what would that be?" He smirked, "Your sanity?"
"That's lost and gone forever my good man." I quietly replied then bit the inside of my cheek. I honestly couldn't explain to him what I felt inside, and how bad I just wanted to run away from this place, from the ranch and from my family. I didn't understand it half the time myself, I couldn't find what I was looking for possibly ever. I knew it was something pure, and something inside me but I couldn't come to the conclusion even when asked up front.
"Well, well, what is going on here?" The voice sprang me back to reality, it wasn't one I had encountered often, but I could remember it from years before when it had a much sweeter tone. Star stood in the doorway, though I was uncertain of how long exactly.
"Don't be such a berryhole big brother," Clove poked her head in, over Stardust's shoulder, shooting daggers toward Limerick. "I was looking for you, and of course I would find you at this decrepit place." Her tone was as equally manipulated as Star's was, having endured the change from sweet and innocent middle school-er to being on top, perhaps literally, in the high school societal ladder.
"Hey Clove, Stardust..." I was unsure if my words were even heard, I moved from the window and slide down in the chair nearest it.
"Oh hi there... Rouge?" Star's eyes looked at me and for a moment I felt my heart drop as she looked at me questioningly, perhaps she didn't realize who I was. Even if I was best friends with her twin sister.
"Yes, hello Rouge," chimed in Clove as she made her way over to the couch and propped herself up on one of its arms. "I see you've changed a lot." Her words made no sense as I offered her an uncertain expression, her smile climbed on her lips as her eyes ate me up.
"Oh Clove, down girl, I am sure my sister has him all wrapped up neatly around her finger or something." Star shot the words towards her best friend and I felt my stomach knot up once more and before I knew it I shot back.
"She's not my girlfriend, she's just a girl. She's just a friend, nothing more. I don't like her." I couldn't believe I was having this conversation, or whatever this uncomfortable form of speech was developing between the four of us.
"Oh." Star blankly gazed at me, and for a moment I thought I could see her frown but soon enough her lips curled into the most perfect grin. "Well I guess she's missing out." Was it a compliment? I wasn't sure but I knew it wasn't doing anything to lower the tension in the room.
"Clove, what the berry do you want?" Limerick perked up, his eyes giving his sibling an obvious glance of annoyance.
"Well I just wanted to see if you'd let me borrow your friend, for something."