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“What time is it?”

“Tucker. You’ve asked me the same damn question for the last five hours every five frickin minutes. So, if it was eight forty the last time you asked, what time do you think it’s going to be now?”

“Eight...Forty five?”

“Exactly. So when you ask me again in five minutes: ‘what time is it?’ what do you think I’ll say?”

“Eight fifty?”

“You got it.”

The war was over.

“I just can’t believe the plane is getting delayed! Until when again?”

Everyone was going home.

“Six tomorrow morning, Tucker.”

It was New Years Eve.

“That’s like– fifty hours away!”

And Church was stuck in the airport.

“It’s not fifty hours away. Go read a magazine.”

With Tucker.

“But this sucks we were supposed to be home before the next freaking year! My sister’s expecting me! I wanted a fresh start to a brand new year!” Tucker whined.

“I know. You’ve told me. That’s about the fifth fucking time you’ve told me.”

Church supposed it could have been worse. He could have been stuck there with Caboose. Lucky for him though, Caboose had been dropped off on the moon the day before. He had to admit, it was sort of hard to watch him go, but at the same time he was grateful that it wasn’t him and Caboose stranded in the middle of Chicago. Caboose was like a child, and if he were to have gotten lost there would have been no hope for Church. Especially if Tucker or Tex weren’t there to help him. At least he didn’t have to babysit now.

“Can’t we do something fun? Why do we have to wait in the airport?” Tucker moaned.

“Because I don’t know of any other place we could go, and I’m sick of lugging my shit around.” Church retorted.

“But I’m bored.”

Maybe Tucker wasn’t much better after all.

“Well what do you suggest we do then, Tucker? I can’t think of a damn thing.”

Church could almost hear the smug smile that crept onto Tucker’s face.

“Well, these are our last hours together–“

“No! Don’t you dare suggest what I think you’re going to–“

“You never took me out to dinner.” Tucker cut him off.

Church was taken aback. He had been convinced that Tucker was going to suggest something perverted. He...He could barely remember making that promise. But he had, hadn’t he? In exchange for Tucker helping him out with that damn switch on Lopez’s body...

Church sighed through his nose and then shrugged. Getting something to eat would be better than sitting here hungry. That, and if it would shut Tucker up then Church was game.

“Alright. Fine. Grab your stuff.”

“Whoo!”

It was going to be a long night.

::

It was like something out of a fictional novel.

Dexter Grif was finally home.

After so many years in that God forsaken canyon he was finally back in Hawaii. He was finally in front of his house!

But the windows were broken, the door was wide open and dangling from it’s hinges, and when Grif went inside just about everything was gone. It definitely wasn’t the welcome home he had expected. Honestly, the condition of the house wasn’t even the biggest heartbreaker. The thing Grif had looked forward to most was seeing his father. Well, that didn’t happen. It was sort of hard to go see someone who was dead. After all, Grif was in the future...

“Wow, this place looks like crap, huh?” his little sister piped up.

“Yeah...”

As for his mother, she’d been dead before he left.

“Can we go to a hotel?” Sister piped again. Honestly, Grif found her insensitivity astounding. Then again, he knew his sister joined the army, jumped through the space-time continuum, and gone to Blood Gulch just for him. He imagined she had known exactly what she was doing, and sacrificing, for the most part.

Or hell, maybe she just didn’t care– Or she was trying to suck it up. He knew he’d been insensitive before, like when Tex died. All he’d cared about was how big the explosion was. Looking back on that, he sort of regretted it. In a weird twisted sort of way, they had all been friends, hadn’t they? When Church had lost Tex, he hadn’t cared at all. Now, he’d lost his father and he had to wonder if Church would’ve acted the way he did back in the canyon. Grif frowned, he figured Church probably would have, because he was an asshole– They all were assholes–Especially that kissass Simmons-- he didn’t miss them a bit.

“Looks like we’ll have to.” He said with a sigh.

It was amazing how the loss of a loved one could open your eyes so much. He supposed it was like how that old saying went. ‘You don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone’ or whatever.

“Awesome! Do you have money?”

Part of him wondered who he missed the most...

“Yeah. The army fucked up and paid me for all the years I missed.” He said through a laugh.

“You mean when you traveled to the future? They’ve been paying you for over a billion freaking years?”

“Yup.”

“Wow. Who the fuck is running our army?”

“Hell if I know. Who cares? We’re fucking loaded!”

Well, at least there was a plus side.

::

It had been like something out of a movie.

They had landed in Hawaii, where he wasn’t sure, but he knew it meant that Grif had been about to leave. He had too, within minutes of the ship touching the ground. He swore that everything had started playing in slow motion. First, Grif had gotten up and Donut had tackled him to the floor. Then, he had gotten up and actually shaken Sarge’s hand. Finally, he walked over to where he was sitting, called him a kissass, gave him a hug, and walked away.

He had just sat there like a moron. By the time he had snapped out of his daze, Grif was off of the ship. He had immediately looked out the window, and he spotted Grif standing on the docks. He was looking up at the ship as his sister skipped around him in a circle. Grif hadn’t seemed to notice, and he slowly had turned and started to walk away.

“Shit.” He swore under his breath.

He half expected Sarge or Donut to ask him what was wrong, butt hey had all gotten on separate ships at the Hawaii docks. Simmons hadn’t really noticed when Donut and Sarge had followed Grif off the ship. His eyes had been locked onto the orange Spartan. Donut and Sarge were both well on their way back to their homes by now. What homes though? None of them had homes anymore. Their families were dead, and– did he really need to go on? Simmons had always figured home was wherever your family was, and his family was dead...

But Grif, Sarge, and Donut were all apart of his family, weren’t they? Now they were all leaving each other...

“Shit,” He sore again, “I just made a huge mistake.”

Simmons rose to his feet and looked around. He hadn’t realized that he was the only damn person on the plane...That was strange. Then again, it was New Years Eve. Everyone was bound to be partying or something.

“I’ve gotta make this plane turn around.”

::

“Hey there pretty ladies!” Tucker cooed at a pair of girls. They giggled but didn’t stop to talk.

“Awh come on, where’re you going? Lets go par tayy!”

“No thank you!” The first of the girls, a curly haired brunette, chimed warily.

“Maybe some other time!” The short haired blonde beside her said with a smirk.

“Tucker! Get the hell over here! Stop hitting on girls!”

Tucker snickered madly and strode over to where Church was standing.

“Okay okay!”

“I mean, are we going to dinner or not?” The cobalt soldier fumed.

“Yeah yeah yeah! I just thought we could make it fun!” Tucker chirped.

“I didn’t pay for that damn cab and this dinner just so you could get us both arrested for sexual assault! Get inside the restaurant and lets go eat! Just us! No women! Go!” Church exploded.

Tucker raised his eyebrows, but didn’t argue back. He walked inside of the said restaurant as a frown crept onto Church’s face. Damn, he hadn’t meant to be so mean. He just–He lost his temper when he saw those girls. He couldn’t help it. Tucker had been being completely stupid! He didn’t know if Tucker had seen them, but were two guys waiting for those girls at the end of the block. In his own opinion, the first one, looked like he could be the brunette’s older brother– but he very well could have been a boyfriend or just a friend. Either way, the look he was giving Tucker wasn’t a friendly one. He had instantly pulled the brunette girl closer to him and ushered the blonde behind him. The second boy then pulled the blonde closer to him. He didn’t look much like either girl, but Church would be damned if he could guess the relation. Honestly, the relation didn’t fucking matter. What did matter was both of the guys looked like they could have very easily beaten the crap out of Tucker. Church was confident that he could have kicked the punks’ assess, since they didn’t look any older than eighteen or nineteen but...They had really big ass musical instrument cases. He wasn’t in the mood to get whacked with one of those, and he definitely wasn’t in the mood to beat up someone so much younger than him– Hell, he just wasn’t in the mood to beat up anyone at all. He did not need to deal with Chicago’s police officers on New Years Frickin Eve. Not when everyone was out getting fucking wasted and they’d probably assume he was or some shit.

Why wasn’t the night over?

::

“So that 15 hamburgers, ten hotdogs, two chocolate cakes, one platter of sushi, two milkshakes, 2 orange sodas, two sundaes...” The nasale voice of the man on the phone drawled.

“And?” Grif asked.

“We don’t sell Big Macs here, Sir. This is a hotel. You’ll have to settle on the hamburgers we’re bringing you.” The voice said.

“What would you say if I said an extra fifty bucks was in it for you?” Grif asked smugly.

There was a brief moment of silence.

“So that 15 hamburgers, ten hotdogs, two chocolate cakes, one platter of sushi, two milkshakes, 2 orange sodas, two sundaes, and two Big Macs?”

“Yeah, and?”

“And a lobster?”

“With?”

“Extra melted butter?”

“That’s right.”

“How many people are in your room sir?”

“Two.”

“You’re ly–“

“Nope. There are two. It’s New Years and my sister and I are piggin out. Besides what do you care? I’m paying you!” Grif snapped.

“...I see your point. It’ll be up right away, Sir.”

“Thank you.” Grif said as a smug smile crept onto his face. The phone was then hung up as he laid down onto the bed. His body jerked as a smaller body jumped onto the bed beside him.

“Is the food coming?” Sister asked eagerly.

“Yeah, it’s on its way.” Grif replied. They both laid in silence for a moment before Sister broke it.

“Why is it that this place has everything including lobsters but no Big Macs?”

“...Because this place isn’t McDonalds?”

“Why not?”

“That’s a damn good question. I’m gunna yell at the manager.”

Sister laughed softly before placing a kiss on her brother’s cheek.

“You know. You’ve been acting kinda sad since we got home. Aren’t you in the mood to party?”

“Can’t party yet. The foods not here.” Grif replied gruffly.

“Are you sure it’s the food that’s not here?”

“What do you mean?” Grif asked as he quirked an eyebrow at his younger sister.

“Like, you got all sad and stuff when we went home. Did you wanna see dad or something? Or are you just sad because you didn’t marry Simmons before you came home?”

Grif choked on some soda he was sipping and glared at his younger sister. Why did she always have to be right?– About the first part anyways.

“No–“

“Then are you sad because you’ll never be able to read Donut’s Harry Potter fanfiction anymore? ‘Cause I know I am! Now I gotta e-mail him and nag for it if I want it.” Sister babbled.

“Yeah, Sis’, that’s exactly it.” Grif said sarcastically before he sighed. “You’re right about the first part. I miss dad. I miss mom too...I mean I knew I wouldn’t get to see her anyways bu–“

“Why don’t we just go see them then?” Sister cut him off.

Grif sat quietly for a moment as he thought about it. He knew exactly what his sister meant. It wouldn’t be as good as seeing them in person but it would have to do.

“Good point. Go grab your jacket.” Grif said as he rose to get his.

“What about the food?” Sister asked as she did the same.

“Eh. That dude couldn’t possibly think we were serious.”

::

Why on Earth did darkness have to exist?

Simmons sat in the front seat of a filthy cab, to his dismay, with his head pressed up against the glass. How the hell was he supposed to know which house was Grif’s? The damn jerk didn’t even give him an address. His attempt at finding him was futile. All he was doing was wasting his money by driving around aimlessly in the cab. Simmons’ eyes glanced at the prince counter on the dashboard. He already owed the jagoff driver fifteen dollers. He supposed that wasn’t a lot, since the military was going to cover him for life, but he still hated the idea of wasting money. It was then that he realized he never even asked the driver if he knew where Grif’s house was. It was a long shot, but he had to give it a go.

“Hey, do you know where the Grif residence is?”

“Sure do. It’s been abandoned for a damn long time, but I know where it is. Why would you wanna go to a creepy place like that?”

“Uh, a dare. Drive there, please.”

It didn’t take long to arrive in front of the Grif residence. In fact, Simmons’ had seen the place a few times as they’d driven around aimlessly. He’d shivered each time they had passed it, since it looked like something out of a horror movie. Actually, it looked like one too many hurricanes had hit it, but somehow it had managed not to fall down. The chilling sensation was similar though. He paid the cab driver, and then ran to the front door. It was off it’s hinges, so he didn’t bother to knock or anything, he just went inside.

“Grif?” He called out quietly. The interior of the house was just as bad as the exterior. Aside from some broken pictures laying about on the floor, nothing else was there. All the furniture, electronics, and valuables were gone. That included Grif himself. Simmons mustered up all the courage he could to investigate the dilapidated house, but to no avail. Dexter Grif and his younger sister were no where to be found.

::

“I can’t believe you seriously asked for crayons.” Church grumbled as he slapped his forehead.

“Dude, I didn’t wanna dig through my stuff looking for my art shit and make a mess everywhere. I figured asking for crayons would be easier.” Tucker said as he doodled on a scrap piece of paper. “I mean, you’ve gotta do something to pass the time while you wait for your food, and you’re not about to dance with me.”

“Dance with you?” Church asked as a waiter came and set their food down.

“Yeah,” Tucker jerked his thumb behind him. “I saw a little area where couples go to dance or something while they wait for their food.”

“Huh. Normally only really fancy places have that.”

“This is a really fancy place, Church.” Tucker said as he began to cut the steak he had ordered. Leave it to Tucker to order the most expensive thing on the menu since he knew Church as paying. The ass.

“They gave you crayons, Tucker.” Church retorted as he began to eat his own meal.

“I betcha they keep those for the unfortunate fuckers whose babysitter cancelled.” Tucker said as he turned his head to look at the dance hall. He looked back a moment later and continued to eat, only to freeze during mid-chew.

“Oh hello.” Tucker said as a smirk crept onto his face.

“Hello?” Church asked confusedly.

“Our friends from before are back.” Tucker replied.

Church followed his gaze, and sure enough, the brunette and the blonde from earlier were entering the restaurant. Tucker seemed to vanish out of his seat, and he couldn’t stop what had happened next even if he tried.

Tucker approached the two girls and propped himself up against the wall.

“So, we meet again. What might you two be doing here?” He asked playfully.

“Getting hot chocolate, it’s freezing out there!” The brunette replied.

“What’re you doing out there in the cold?” Tucker asked with a smirk. He could think of a thousand different ways to warm them up.

“We’re-“ the brunette began to answer.

“You know, it doesn’t matter! You look so damn cold. How about a dance to warm up?” Tucker asked as a smile as sly as a fox appeared on his face. The brunette’s face turned bright red, but before she could protest, Tucker had pulled her into the dance hall. Church made his way over just as Tucker vanished into the dance hall and held back the urge to scream. He glanced at the blonde beside him and sighed heavily.

“Want to go dance and save your friend?” He asked.

Church and the young blonde found Tucker fairly quickly. There weren’t many people in the hall, nor were there any that looked like either person very much. He didn’t exactly want to be rude since it looked like the girls were enjoying themselves, so he figured a couple of dances couldn’t hurt. As long as he kept his eye on Tucker, everything would be fine...He hoped. If either girl started to look uncomfortable he’d get Tucker away from them instantly. Especially since the girls looked pretty damn young, and well, he hadn’t forgotten their boyfriends/brothers/whoever they were with from before.

“So, what were you two doing outside again?” Tucker asked.

“We’re raising money at an outdoor concert.” The blonde answered.

“An outdoor concert?” Tucked asked as he raised his eyebrows.

“Yeah, it’s a long story.” The brunette said. Church couldn’t tell if she was uncomfortable or not. She was smiling, but it seemed a bit uneasy.

“See her brother, a bunch of his friends, a bunch of my friends, and a bunch of friends of friends all joined up together to put on a concert. It’s a play-a-thon of sorts. We started off yesterday at midnight–“ the blonde started to explain.

“And we’re finishing at midnight tonight. It’s outside so more people can hear it, find it, and donate if they want to.” The brunette finished.

“That’s a long time to play fucking music. How’re you two standing?” Tucker asked.

“What’s it for?” Church asked at the same time.

“We’re standing thanks to many many energy drinks, sugar, coffee, and small sleep breaks. We’re on one of those now, actually, just not sleeping.” The brunette answered Tucker’s question.

“Its for childhood hunger. The money will be used to buy food for kids all over the United States.” The blonde answered Church’s.

“We also accept canned donations!” The brunette answered cheerily. Church felt a bit more at ease then. The last thing he needed was her crying to that older brother the blonde confirmed. Small smiles made their way to the faces of both men. What a way to spend the Holiday. It sounded funner than the airport or dinner anyways.

“Where is this concert?” Tucker asked as his smile turned into a smirk. He span the brunette and she giggled softly as she stumbled slightly.

“It’s near Buckingham Fountain, you can’t miss it. If you do, you’ll hear us playing.” The brunette answered.

The two soldiers exchanged glances and laughed at the exact same time. Neither of them had ever been to Chicago, they were both bound to get each other lost. The blonde glanced at the clock and pulled away from Church before she spoke.

“Speaking of playing, our break is almost up. We better grab that hot chocolate and skidattle.”

“Well since you two are leaving why don’t you lead the way, Sweet Thing?” Tucker asked. His smug smile couldn’t grow anymore even if it tried.

::

“So, what should we do now?” Grif asked as his eyes lingered on his mother and father’s epitaphs.

“I dunno. We could have a pic-nic! I saw that on TV for like...The Day of the Dead or something. In Mexico people have pic-nics on that day with their dead loved ones or something. And then there’s another place that actually digs up their dead relatives, eats with them, and then burries them again!” Sister babbled.

“There is no such thing.”

“Sure there is! It was on Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! Hey, wasn’t mom on that show once? The bearded lady for the win!”

Grif sighed, “How many times have I told you that beard was fake and she only did it as a job to pay for college?”

“What?!” Sister cried. “You never told me that!”

“I’ve told you a billion times!”

“Whatever, what time is it? I wanna party!” Sister cried as she pulled confetti they had bought before they had gone to the graveyard.

“It’s--“ Grif was cut off as his cell phone sang loud enough to wake the dead they were keeping company.

“What the hell?” He asked as he looked at the caller ID.

The next thing he knew, he saw someone running in the distance straight for him.

::

“God damn it!” Simmons cried as he made his way out of the house. The cab driver hadn’t waited for him, and a dirty cab was better than no cab. Simmons looked around and sighed heavily. All he could do now was wander aimlessly, just as he had done before...but this time without a car.

Grif must’ve gone to a hotel or something. That was the only logical explanation. Hawaii was a huge tourist site though, and he couldn’t count the number of hotels in the town even if he had tried. He remembered seeing one a few miles from the house. It looked expensive, but money wasn’t an obstacle. Maybe Grif had gone there? If they had all gotten about the same amount of money from the military, then Grif could definitely afford a high-class hotel. It was also the closest one to Grif’s house, as far as Simmons knew. It was worth a shot to try there, and even if he was wrong at least he’d have some place to stay.

Simmons shoved his hands into his pockets and started walking in the direction he thought the hotel was in. He glanced around at the scenery and shivered. As beautiful as Hawaii was, it had a knack for being rather eery at night. The graveyard that could be seen in the distance didn’t help the feeling either. Call Simmons childish, but he didn’t exactly want to pass the graveyard by himself. There was no such thing as ghosts or anything, and he definitely could fight off any mugger that came along but...He couldn’t fight the feeling.

Simmons stood a good ten feet away from the graveyard and shoved his hand into his pockets idly. His hand collided with something, and as Simmons fingered it he realized it was his cell phone. His cell phone with Grif’s number saved to its memory! Why hadn’t he thought of that before? He could force the prick off his lazy ass and make him pick him up! Simmons grabbed his phone, pulled it out of his pocket, flipped it open, and pressed the speed dial for Grif’s number.

“Turn it up
It's five minutes to midnight
You're coming home with me tonight
I can't get enough
Shakin' me up”

“What the hell?” A faint voice asked.

Simmons jumped and looked into the graveyard. The soft voice and the loud voice of the singing male were coming from inside.

“Turn it up
Alright, at five minutes to midnight
You see our name in city lights
We'll make the clock stop
Make your heart drop and come ali--”


“Simmons what the hell do you want?” Two voices asked. The first came from Simmons’ phone, the second was the soft voice from before.

Simmons jaw just about dropped as he immediately ran into the graveyard. As soon as he had heard the voices his thought process had stopped. He jumped over tombstones, and he didn’t even bother to make sure the figure in the distance was Grif. Nor did he even question why the orange soldier was in a graveyard on New Years Eve. The scene of leaving him at the docks re-played over and over in his head, and he didn’t hesitate to kiss the figure once he got close enough. He heard a squeal of delight come from beside him, and then heard a female voice cry out: “That was timed so fucking well! It’s midnight!” before confetti was tossed onto him. It was then that reality hit him, and he began to think again. Simmons pulled away and his eyes were met with very wide brown ones.

“Simmons what the hell was that?” Grif asked softly. He didn’t sound mad, but Simmons couldn’t tell if he was happy either.

“I...Liked your ring tone?” Simmons offered weakly.

“Thanks? What the hell are you doing here?”

“I...I couldn’t lose you.” Simmons replied softly. His eyes darted away from Grif and onto the ground. Shit, he had skrewed everything up, hadn’t he? He should have just left Grif and his sister alone.

“This is so fucking awesome. Would you shut up and just start kissing again?” Sister asked.

Grif glared at his younger sibling before his gaze returned to Simmons.

“You couldn’t lose me?” He asked.

“I couldn’t lose you.” Simmons repeated. He didn’t offer any other explanation other than that, nor did he elaborate on it. Somehow, Grif could feel everything the maroon Spartan was feeling. It was the same feeling when he realized he would never see his father again, but stronger. It was the same, but at the same time it wasn’t. Simmons’ greeting told him why the emotion was the way that it was. But how did he feel about the man standing before him? He’d never really thought about it. Then again, it wasn’t something you had to think about was it? Either you felt it or you didn’t, and as much as Grif had tried to deny it the whole night...

“God damn it, you’ve cursed me, Simmons.” Grif said with a huff. Simmons raised his eyebrows and looked at him curiously.

“How so?” He asked.

Grif slipped a hand into Simmons’, and then took his sister’s with his other one.

“Well you know what they say about kissing someone at midnight on New Years, don’t you?” Grif asked. Simmons shook his head and looked down at their hands curiously.

“You kiss someone at midnight when you want to ensure that they’ll feel the same way about you for the next twelve months.”

“And?”

“ That means for the next twelve months, I’m all yours.”

Sister squealed and hugged her brother’s arm as Simmons’ eye lit up brighter than Grif had ever seen them.

“Come on, you’re coming home with me tonight.”

::

Church had been worried as they walked toward where the play-a-thon was being held. The brunette had seemed paranoid, and he couldn’t blame her. The blonde had seemed a bit uneasy herself, as if she were expecting something to happen. He definitely would be paranoid if two older men were walking with him, and he was a young teenage girl. He made a mental note to beat the crap out of Tucker before they left the next morning. The girls hadn’t been stupid though. The brunette had called that older brother of her’s and told him to come meet them halfway. He’d done so too, and he wasn’t exactly the nicest until Church managed to explain their intentions and apologize on Tucker’s behalf for the earlier incident. After that, the five of them had a much more peasant walk. Somewhat anyways, the girls seemed much more at ease, but the older boy kept his eye on the two of them. Church figured he might as well try and get off the kid’s bad side permanently. It wasn't that he cared about the boy's opinions, but he definitely didn't want a fight to break out.

“So, what instrument do you play?” Church asked.

“Who’re you asking?” Asked the brunette.

“All of you.” Tucker replied.

“Trombone.” The boy said.

“Flute.” Said the brunette.

“I sing.” The blonde replied.

“That’s neat. How long’ve you all been playing- uh, and singing?” Tucker asked.

“All of us have played since grade school or at least middle school.” The brunette said as they arrived in front of the fountain.

“Come on,” The boy said to the girls, “lets get this party started.” He continued as he led them over to where the band and the choir were set up.

“See you later!” The brunette called over her shoulder.

“Happy New Year! Be sure you find someone to kiss at midnight!” She called with a snicker.

“Those two are so gay.” The brunette said as soon as they were out of earshot.

“How do you figure?” her older brother asked.

“Because dude. You shoud’ve seen the way they kept looking at each other while we all danced.” The blonde said through a snort.

“You two danced with them?”

“Yeah. They weren’t half bad either.” The brunette giggled.

“Mikayla.” Her brother said flatly.

“What? They weren’t!” Mikayla cried.

“Mikayla, if you knew they were gay, why did you call me?”

“She wanted to see if one of them would hit on you.” The blonde said with a snicker.

“Mal’s right. I really, really, really did.”

“So you two looked like you were about to shit your pants because you were anxiously waiting for one of them to hit on me?”

“That would be correct,” Mikayla replied.

“And since we didn’t get our evidence, we’re asking permission for a slightly longer break. We wanna see if they’ll hit on each other.” Mal said as a smirk crept onto her face.

“You’re going to spy on them?

“Yes. Yes we are. Be sure to play them a pretty song.” Mikayla answered.

“You two are something else.”

“Thank youuu.” The two girls cooed as they frolicked away from the band and choir.
::

“Be sure we have someone to kiss at midnight? What the hell does that mean?” Tucker asked, baffled.

“I dunno, man. It’s probably some urban legend or some shit. I think it’s like you’ve gotta kiss someone at midnight or you’re doomed for the year. Or if you kiss them they’ll like you– or both mixed into one or some shit like that.” Church replied.

“Right, so now what?” Tucker asked.

“I don’t know. Lets go make a donation?” Church asked as he waked over to the donation box.

“Sounds good to me.” Tucker said as he followed. He watched as Church made a rather generous donation, and then he did the same. One of the kids playing a saxophone thanked them before he went back to playing.

“Now what?” Tucker asked as he scratched the back of his head.

“Sit down and enjoy the music.” Church said as he took a seat on a bench.

“Sit down? While music is playing? No way. Where’d that nameless brunette go? I want to dance again.” Tucker pouted.

“Dude, that girl was no older than seventeen. You’re so lucky her brother didn’t beat our assess into the ground. Stay away from her.”

“But Chu–“

“No buts!”

Tucker frowned, but a smile re-appeared onto his face quickly.

“Then you’re going to have to dance with me, Church.” Tucker said as he placed one hand on Church’s hip and placed his other hand in Church’s.

“Tucker what the hell?” Church cried as he struggle to pull away. Somehow, his other hand ended up in the hand Tucker’d had on his waist, and he wasn’t any further away from him than he had been before.

“Listen Church, when I listen to music I don’t just sit around. I doodle, or I’m on the computer, or something. None of that stuff is around, so I’ve gotta dance. So either I’m going to go find that brunette and we're probably both gunna get brought up on some sort of charges, or you’re going to dance with me.” Tucker said.

Church sighed and hesitantly gave in. He could have told Tucker that he was on his own if he went hunting for that brunette, but he knew that somehow he’d get dragged down with Tucker. Either Tucker would tell the cops he was an accomplice, or the guilt of leaving that poor girl alone would eat him up and he’d go find that blonde to help him– and then they’d all get caught or something. Either way, he knew there was no good ending if Tucker ran off on his own, and so he unwillingly agreed to dance with Tucker.

“Fine,” Church grumbled, “but I’m taking on the male role.” he said as he laid his hand on Tucker’s waist.

“Fine.”

Church wasn’t sure how long they stood and swayed in silence. He just knew it was long enough for him to start feeling anxious. Normally he was surrounded with noise, and he barely had any time to be left to his own thoughts. Now, he finally could, and he didn’t like what he was thinking. Mainly he thought about Caboose and Tex, and how he’d probably never see either of them again. Tex was dead and Caboose was on the moon. Sure, Church probably had enough money to visit him if he wanted to but...It wouldn’t be the same. The same applied to Tucker too, didn’t it? As soon as he left him the next morning, things would never be the same. They’d all get lives! Which was a wonderful yet horrible thing at the same time. The more he thought about it, the more he didn’t want to let Tucker go, litterly. Letting go of him meant letting go forever. Church jumped slightly as Tucker’s voice pulled him away

“Hey Church?”

“What?”

“How did you get your human body back?”

“What?” He asked again, a bit more surprisedly.

“I said: ‘How did you get your human body back?’”

“No no, I heard you just...Why do you ask?”

“Well, I was going to ask you at dinner but it got cut short. And I mean, Caboose killed you, you possessed random robots, and then like the night before we left you randomly had your body back.”

“Thanks for the re-cap, Tucker.”

“Don’t be a dick. How’d you do it?”

“I honestly have no idea.” Church said as he shook his head weakly. “For some reason I always thought Tex might’ve had something to do with it. I dunno, maybe with her ghostly-powers or some shit.”

“What made you think that?” Tucker asked as he raised his eyebrows, curiously.

“Well, since I was dead I could have just dropped my body after the war ended to go join her..wherever she went. So I figured she wanted to be a bitch one last time and make sure I couldn’t do that.”

“Yeah, that sounds like her,” Tucker said with a laugh. “But did you ever think maybe she wanted you to be happy?”

“What do you mean?”

“She wasn’t very good to you, Church. I mean, I liked her as a person, but as a girlfriend? She was horrid to you. Maybe she wanted you to go find someone better?” He offered.

“Who on Earth could possibly be better?” Church asked weakly. Tex might’ve been a bitch– but she was his and he loved her despite that.

“I don’t know. Whoever you kiss at midnight who’s not a minor.” Tucker asked as he glanced at the clock. “It’s five minutes to midnight.”

“So I have five minutes to go find my soul mate? Yeah, that’s not going to happen.”

“You’re so dumb, Church. Everything you want is right in front of you. It’s right under your nose.” Tucker snapped slightly as a blush rose onto his cheeks.

Tucker’s eyes met with his, and the silence returned. Only this time Church wasn’t left to his own thoughts. In fact, he couldn’t think at all as his senses were the only things working. All he could see were gorgeous grey eyes looming into his own. He could feel Tucker’s body pressed up against his, and how their bodies perfectly aligned. The only thing he could smell was Tucker’s scent. A musty sort of earthy smell. Sort of like dead leaves– Fall. He wasn’t sure how that worked, but Tucker smelled like Autumn. Finally, he could only hear the band and choir playing in the near distance. It felt like they were playing just for them, because as odd as it was, the band sounded like the season of Fall too. Before he could comprehend what was happening, soft lips meshed with his own.

Church stood in shock as Tucker’s tongue invaded his mouth. He wanted to shove him away, but he found himself doing the exact opposite. The only sense that hadn’t kicked in before was taste, and he couldn’t deny how much he wanted to taste Tucker. Cinnamon and...apples. Cinnamon apples. It was a completely different sensation than when he used to kiss Tex. Tex had tasted like lust, Tucker tasted like...love.

Confetti fell on them shortly before Church parted from their kiss. If he hadn’t been so caught up in the moment, he would have heard two fan-girlish squeals coming from near the fountain. Tucker heard them though, and laughed softly before he looked away from the cobalt soldier.

“I’m–“

“Don’t be.” Church cut him off. “Don’t be.” He repeated.

Tucker’s eyes met his again, and looked at him questioningly. Church smiled weakly and lifted a hand to caress Tucker’s face.

“It’s like you said, everything we want is right in front of us. I think I could get used to living in this city. What do you say?”

A small smile crept onto Tucker’s face.

“I say: ‘Chicago get ready, because a whole new brand of road rage is about to hit the city.’” He joked.

“Shut up, Ass.” Church said as he placed his hand into Tucker’s, then he continued.

“Come on, you’re coming home with me tonight.”

Turn it up
It's five minutes to midnight
You're coming home with me tonight
I can't get enough
Shakin' me up
Turn it up
Alright, at five minutes to midnight
You see our name in city lights
We'll make the clock stop
Make your heart drop and come alive

Boys Like Girls - Five Minutes To Midnight
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heirofgryffindor

January 2009

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