And here we go. Eggs have been broken, and decisions have been made. Little slower than I'd hoped, but nonetheless. I've come to a point where I really want this story to be done. It's not that I dislike it, but that I feel like it's no longer traveling the same path it was when I started it nearly four years ago. Lucy changed along the way and I've mixed feelings on that, as did Tommy. Neil has always been Neil I think (Cause really, all I do is hear Mal Reynolds in my head and type), but it's the changes in the other two (And, admittedly, changes in me as well) that really want this to be done, so I can put it to bed, and dedicate my time and thinking to something else.
Anyway, consider this the beginning of the end ;) By the time you get to the end of this chapter, Lucy is going to be a different person.
Three days had passed since Neil and Lucy's accident. The day after Lucy was released from the hospital wasn't easy for anyone. Neither Lucy nor Tommy could look Neil in the eye, and Neil was shorter than short with both of them. He gave them their schedule for the day, shut his computer down and left the office before Lucy could even get out of her chair. When they returned later that night, Neil had already locked up, and left a note on the door for them.
"Closed till Friday"
Apparently, that was how long it took to forgive your two best friends. As for Lucy and Tommy, they couldn't have been more upset about it. As good a set of friends as the three of them were, Lucy and Tommy were the best of friends. Always there for one another, the other the only confidant they'd have. Tommy was the only one Lucy told about her eyes, and Lucy the only one Tommy told about his family.
After a night of slaving away at the RX-7, Lucy and Tommy were dead where they sat in their favorite diner. Lucy had changed into a pair of jeans before they left her garage this morning, though her stained pink tank top was still present. As for Tommy, a Sex Pistols shirt, ratty black jeans, and a faded Subaru Rally hat rounded him out. Whether or not they were silent due to shame or exhaustion was up for debate. Lucy simply stirred her coffee, her eyes lost in the light brown maelstrom.
"You gonna drink that, Lu?" Tommy finally asked. She said nothing and didn't cease her stirring, prompting him to ask again, "Lu?"
"Huh?" she said, woken from her trance.
Tommy frowned. "You're scaring me, Lucas."
"Sorry," she replied. "I just… I feel terrible. I should've told him, Tom. I should've told him and I didn't. Why didn't I?"
"Because you knew what he'd say. You knew he'd freak the fuck out."
Lucy shook her head. "Not good enough. He's my boss, he's my friend; I should've told him."
Tommy said nothing at first, weighing just how much of his hand he should play. "Do you really think that's what he's pissed about?"
"What do you mean?" she asked, finally taking the spoon from her coffee.
"He knows now, baby bird."
"I know," she said, so curtly as if to strike their indiscretions from the record of reality. In a matter of seconds, she transformed completely. "This is ridiculous," she commented. "We weren't together. Me and you, me and him; there was nothing official between any of us."
"Damn right, yeah!" she exclaimed. "I'm not suffering for this shit, and you shouldn't have to either. There's no reason for it. If he wants to be mad at me because I didn't tell him about my eyes, fine; I could deal with that. But this other shit? I'm done. I'm not going to sit here feeling guilty for being a woman."
"Fuck yes!" Tommy shouted, lending to her moment of empowerment.
So much happiness, and then it just faded right where it was. Lucy again stirred her coffee, and Tommy asked, "So, are you gonna call him?"
"I'll head to his place after breakfast," she replied. "We'll talk it out, and see what happens."
"Sounds like a good plan."
"Really not much else we can do. We have to appeal to what ever side of reason we can, and hope for the best."
"You want me to…"
Lucy smiled, but ultimately shook her head 'no'.
"I get it," Tommy replied.
"Oh for christ's sake!" a woman's voice called from the other corner of the otherwise silent diner.
Tommy and Lucy both indiscreetly turned to observe what was going on. A woman, probably not much older than Lucy, was struggling with her child, trying to get them to sit still. As she got more and more distressed, she grew more and more physically violent.
"If you don't know what you're getting yourself into, make your man double-bag," Tommy nonchalantly commented as he turned back to Lucy. However, he would find Lucy's eyes locked on the woman. "Lu?"
Just then, the woman wound up and slapped her child. Tommy watched as Lucy's eyes widened, but when she got to her feet, he couldn't move quickly enough to stop her. She was on top of the lady in a moment, and pushed her shoulder down, flipping her over the seat into the next booth. She wound up much harder and whipped her hand across the woman's face. "Feel good?" she screamed. "You should be grateful you have a child and that's what you do? I ought to-"
Her hand came back once more, this time balled up in a tight fist. Tommy grabbed it, and quietly denounced, "Time to go, Lucas."
Lucy looked back to the woman, and in a most unladylike manner, spit in her face before walking to the door.
"What the fuck got into you?" Tommy asked as they buckled into the Subaru.
"In about six months, I'm not gonna be able to see, you know what that means?"
"What?" Tommy harshly asked.
"It means that even if I got pregnant today, I'd still never see my kid's face!" Lucy shouted, tears running down her cheeks. "My life is a bad-fucking-joke, Tommy! No family but a dad that hates me, I won't be able to drive; I won't be able to do fucking anything! What the fuck do I have? Why the fuck do I bother? What will I be when I can't see anymore?"
His heart broke for her as he watched her break down. "Lu…"
"Don't, just don't!" she barked. "I'm sorry. I'm sorry I spit all that shit out. I don't want some goddamned pity party, I just…"
He said nothing; he simply leaned over to collect her into his arms. "I hear you, baby bird." Her body shook and convulsed against him, and again he spoke. "Just keep it together, Lu. Don't do anything crazy. Remember, Neil and I, we'll always be there for you. We'll never quit you."
"At least you will," Lucy said, a slight laugh beneath her hysterics.
"Come on, Neil will come around," Tommy said, his eyes dictating a bit more than he might have let on.
In his home, Neil was sitting at his kitchen table, reading an article on his tablet, a full rocks glass in his right hand. His beard had grown out a bit, and overall, he'd seen better days. If it weren't for the ring of his phone, the silence in his home might never have been broken. He'd ignored the call several times; finally, he was going to answer.
"What?" he morosely said.
"This shit is over," Tommy said on the other end.
"You fucking hear me?" Tommy interrupted. "This shit with you being pissed at Lu, it's done."
"Why don't I be the-"
"She's gonna be blind in six months, you fucking asshole! Stop crying yourself to sleep over the fact that I may or may not have been fucking her all this time, and think about her, ya dickhead!"
With that, Neil fell silent. First for a minute, then two, then three.
"That's good," Tommy said, bringing him back. "Think about how badly this is killin'er. She's supposed to be your friend first. Maybe think about her that way, instead of feeling bad for yourself."
Again a silence, and finally, Neil replied. "See you tomorrow, Tommy."
Tommy hung up, and within a second, the doorbell in Neil's home rang out. Neil looked back to his phone to find the screen black, and the bell rang again. He stood from his seat and made his way to the living room. On the way, he fixed his hair in a mirror, running his fingers through it, and making a face in the process. He picked his typical black blazer from the arm of the couch and flung it around him, giving the collar a flick to settle it on him just so.
The bell rang again and as his hand wrapped the doorknob, he took a deep breath, turning on a smile. He whipped the door open and before allowing himself to register Lucy's appearance, he playfully spat, "Alright already! I heard you the first time!"
Clearly caught off guard, Lucy flinched. "Hey," she said, the confusion in her voice evident.
"Come to gimme a ride in?" Neil asked as he more or less muscled her back so he could lock his front door.
"Actually I wanted to-"
Neil interrupted her by tightly encircling her in his arms. Slowly, she lifted her arms as well to return the embrace. "Sorry I was such a jerk," Neil said.
"I'm sorry I didn't tell you," Lucy replied, tears sliding down her cheeks.
Neil smiled. "I think we're both sorry," he said. He pulled away from her and continued, "How about we never keep anything from each other any…" As her eyes came into view, Neil's words disappeared. Red rings surrounded Lucy's lens-covered irises, giving her a nightmarish appearance; her eyes seemed filled with blood. "My god…" Neil muttered.
Lucy's tears ran harder still, her lip quivering furiously. Neil could see it all over her; she was dying inside. "I know I…" she took a breath, struggling to collect herself. "I know I messed up, but I didn't know what else to do. We just made the deal with Elias and if he knew, we'd all be screwed."
Neil grimaced, but only sighed. "We're gonna need to figure out just what to do with him, aren't we?"
Lucy nodded in agreement, still crying profusely. Their eyes met once more, and Neil again took her into his arms. "Let's not think about that right now, alright?" he insisted.
"What should we think about?" Lucy asked.
"All those deliveries you're gonna be making today!" he said with a laugh that Lucy returned. "Lot's of angry customers and bad folk need their things delivered." He pulled away from her, his hands gently wrapped around her shoulders as he asked, "Think you're up for it?"
"I think I'll manage," she said. "Is Tommy invited?"
Neil didn't even bat an eyelash. "Part of the crew, right?"
"Right," Lucy replied with a smile.
The day came and went with no more than the usual amount of fanfare. The triangle of friends had all but returned to normal, and her last package delivered, Lucy pulled into Tommy's development to drop him off for the night.
"Sure you're good, baby-bird?" he asked.
Lucy smiled, "I'll be good. Everything's tight on the car, right?"
"Who the fuck are you talking to, ya tart?! Of course everything's fucking tight!" Tommy barked. Play-furious for a moment, he quickly changed his intensity and asked, "Sure I can't come with?"
"You know the rules; my personal cars get setup by me and me only," she replied.
"Yeah yeah," Tommy said, shutting the door behind him before leaning on open windowsill. "Keep your phone up and your GPS on?"
Lucy's face settled humbly. "I will. Thanks, Tom."
He perked his lips up into a small smile. "You bet," he said as he pat the window sill. He stepped away and called back, "'Night, Lucas!"
With that, she feathered the throttle and pulled off down the road, her home the next destination. Upon arrival, she pulled the Impreza into her garage and promptly shut it down. After closing the garage door behind her, she flipped the garage lighting on, revealing the fruit of her and Tommy's labor. The RX-7 now resided in place of her fallen 22B, and donned a matte black paint scheme, same as the Impreza. She walked up to the car and placed her pointer finger on the passenger side A-pillar. She followed the curve through to the other side of the car, before stopping to observe the machine in all its glory; six months, she thought. Figure a couple weeks to tame your ass, and a good three months of pure fun before this starts coming apart.
A smirk formed on her lips, and without further hesitation, she opened the door and slid into the driver's seat. Key, fuel pump, ignition, and start. The three-rotor engine squirmed for a moment before barking to life, its explosive nature making Lucy's garage sound like a bomb factory on fire. Her smile grew wider and wider and without further adieu, she opened the door and pulled the car out onto her driveway. Making sure the road was clear, she feathered the throttle, slipped the clutch and as soon as she was pointing in the right direction, hammered the throttle.
The tail squatted against the tarmac leaving a dark eleven in its wake. Pulling the shifter into second, the back end squirmed a second before disappearing into the black of night. She was on the highway moments later, and not long after that, on her favorite stretch of road. Sure, she'd had that mishap here a few months back, but that was then and this was now. Her eyes had rested a good forty-eight hours after the recent incident, and the doctors assured her she should be all right for a few weeks.
That bit of empty comfort in mind, Lucy pointed the car at each apex, never giving the machine the opportunity to disobey her. She would have her way with the composite monster and it happily danced to her tune. She counted off the corners in her thoughts, Sixteen…seventeen…don't cut eighteen… smiling wider by the second. Nineteen…off-camber into twenty…double apex into twenty-one…twenty-two…twenty-three… The engine screamed against the mountain walls. She wasn't even travelling particularly fast this night, but never getting out of second gear, the engine never dropped below seven thousand rpm.
All right, down to first, and up through twenty-four…second into twenty-five, and back down to first for twenty-six…up to second, pedal down and bump into-
Her thoughts we interrupted as she experienced a new sensation; loss of grip. Her eyes widened and in that moment, she couldn't tell what was worse; losing her vision at a moment like this, or seeing everything as the car slid on a cushion of air towards the guardrail. She cursed in her thoughts and forced the wheel up with her left hand, flicking it to opposite lock in a microsecond. She banged the shifter forward, back down into first never touching the brakes. She put the throttle down hard, and finally grabbed hold of the wheel with her right hand, keeping the steering angle as wide as possible. She ground her teeth, the whole time staring out her window at the rail that was growing closer and closer.
Just as the back was about to tap the rail, the rear tires bit and the back caught. Once again, a lightning quick input to the wheel settled the vehicle's weight, and once again, the front end was pointing the right way. Lucy let out a massive breath, her pace cut in half as she pulled the shifter twice in quick succession.
What the fuck was that? she wondered.
The RX-7 slowed to a half in the parking lot by Tommy's development and after shutting it down, Lucy climbed out and headed off towards Tommy's apartment. A flight of stairs and finally she arrived at his door. She knocked twice, but no answer came. She knocked again, again receiving no answer. She put her ear to the door, and while it wouldn't take a stethoscope to hear the punk soundtrack inside, whatever voices may have been were significantly harder to hear.
"What am I doing; I have a key," she quietly said to herself.
She unlocked the door and quietly let herself in. The music was all coming from Tommy's bedroom, too loud for him to hear her call him. As she came down the hallway to his room, she sighed. Ugh, he's totally fucking someone in there, she surmised in her thoughts. Eh, fuck it. She opened the door to his room to find Tommy seated on the edge of his bed with a black-haired girl's head bobbing up and down between his legs.
"Lu!" he screamed as he turned to her. "What the fuck are you-"
Before he could finish, Lucy walked up behind the girl, and before she could pull away, Lucy forced her head forward. Tommy couldn't say anything, and the girl definitely couldn't. Lucy, however, was smiling all for herself, watching as she used Tommy's latest fish to satisfy her friend.
"Holy shit, Luke! You fucking asshole!" Tommy screamed.
"You're welcome!" Lucy screamed over the blaring music and gagging girl.
With a final push of the girl's head, which Lucy held for a moment, she quietly commented, "The FD bit me."
She let up on the girl, whom fell onto her back as she took a gargantuan breath. "You fucking bitch," the girl quietly said in a slovenly drunken stupor.
"Yeah, you're welcome," Lucy commented before stepping over the girl to Tommy. "Any idea what happened?"
"UGH! You fucking leaky hole!" Tommy groaned. "Where the fuck did it do it?"
"Entry to twenty-seven."
Tommy's hands came over his face in an effort to collect himself. Behind Lucy, the girl stumbled as she got up and asked, "You want to tell me who this fucking bitch is, Tommy?"
"Fuck off, leaky hole number two," Tommy said as he struggled to clear his alcohol blurred thoughts.
Having picked up her clothes with one hand, the girl reached out and slapped Tommy's parts with the other. "Fuck you, ya british asshole!"
Tommy's hands immediately flew to his sensitive areas, and much as she felt bad, Lucy couldn't help but keep in a laugh. "You let that out and I'll bang your face next!" Tommy warned.
"Oh come on; there wasn't a second of what just happened here that wasn't really funny."
In phenomenal pain, Tommy smiled through his cringing. "Oh fuck this hurts, but it was pretty funny."
Lucy sat on the bed beside him and continued, "Alright, so number twenty-seven; what happened?"
Again a deep groan from Tommy, but this time, an answer followed. "Twenty-seven, what gear were you in? Fucking hell, I swear you don't know how much this hurts."
"I was just about to drop down into first," Lucy replied. "And what the hell are you talking about? I got shot, beat, and almost burned all in the same night."
Tommy's eyes narrowed as he rolled about on the bed. "You were still in second, and going down to first?"
"Ugh…" Tommy again groaned. "Find me my fucking pants."
"I'll show you what happened," Tommy said, earning a confused blink from Lucy.
Several minutes later, Lucy and Tommy stepped out of the car, just at the entrance to the twenty-seventh corner. Tommy widely hobbled his way over to a feature in the road, and Lucy followed him, doing everything she could to not laugh.
"Not a fucking word, Lu," Tommy warned.
"Maybe I'm trying to get face-banged," Lucy laughed.
"You fucking hate that shit and we both know it," Tommy commented as he carefully kneeled down to the road. A healthy amount of rubber was on the road in front of him, likely where Lucy floored the accelerator earlier. "Right here, right?"
"Yep," Lucy said. "Didn't think anything of it, I just put the power down and went for it."
"Did you lift?" Tommy asked.
"To turn the front end in, yeah."
Tommy lit a cigarette and looked up to Lucy who was now kneeling opposite him. After taking a few puffs, he passed the smoke to her and looked back down to the road. "You never notice it in those scoobies, but here is your problem," he said as he hovered his hand over a lengthy bulge in the pavement, just tall and wide enough to grab a tire. "My guess is, you came into this pretty hot, hoping that the front wheels were gonna save you."
"Don't; you absolutely count on the all-wheel drive," Tommy interrupted. Lucy looked up to him, semi-panicked as he continued, "It's only natural. You're always in that damn Impreza and in all fairness, that thing is setup better than anything I've ever been in. But, when you get into something like that FD, all the rules change. You can't drive it the same-"
"How's your neck feeling? Itchy?" Lucy made a face at him and he finished his thought this time. "You were probably fine at the speed you were at, it's when you lifted to point the nose that it all fell apart. The rears went up this dick in the road and when you hit the ground you were in the middle of the gear change; no torque transfer to the wheels." She handed the cigarette back to him and he took another drag. "It's a one-in-a-million mistake, but when it happens, not much you can do about it." Looking to the guardrail, he looked back to Lucy and asked, "How the fuck did you catch it?"
"When I got it into first, I punched it and flicked to opposite lock," Lucy explained. "Probably destroyed the tires, but I didn't stuff it."
"I'll fuckin' stuff yo-"
Lucy smacked him in the head with her palm, and asked, "Haven't you had enough stuffing for one night?"
"That was pretty fucking great back there," Tommy commented with a smile.
"Until she five-fingered your balls, you mean?"
"Why you, fucking…"
She ran back to the car, and jumped in before he could grab her. Not long after, they were back at Tommy's apartment. "So what should I do?" Lucy asked.
"Open your mouth and make like you're breathing in, it'll make getting it back there much easier."
"Thanks for that," Lucy replied with a roll of her eyes. "And about the FD?"
"Oh, that? Just pay attention to the road more, and remember, the front wheels are not gonna save you in this thing. I'm not gonna lie, Lu; this car's a monster. You'll think you're in control, but talk bad to it and it's going to fuck with you."
"Yeah," Lucy said, looking to the steering wheel with sadness in her eyes.
"You good?" Tommy asked.
"Yeah, I'll be all right," Lucy said.
"Good," Tommy replied. "I'll see you tomorrow, baby-bird." He got a few steps away from the car and screamed out, "Gah! My fucking dick hurts!" Lucy spit her laughter all over the wheel and dashboard. "I can hear you, ya cunt!" Tommy again screamed.
"'Night Tommy!" she called.
The following morning, Lucy wore a smile in her bed. Neil was back in her life in a capacity she was more than familiar with, and Tommy was still Tommy. Her eyes comfortably closed, she wondered as her senses came online, What a shitty couple days. But, everything is back to normal. Keep up my schedule, get back on track with the car, and we'll be good.
She let out a contented sigh, only to hear a very unwelcome voice in her personal space. "I told you…" Lucy's eyes burst open and she jerked her body upright. "…right on time," Elias finished, just as her cargo from a few days earlier forced her back against her mattress, a gun pressed to her temple.
"What the fuck? What is this shit?" Lucy barked.
"Don't you remember, bitch?" Kevin spoke through his teeth. "I fuckin' told you, someday you'd wake up and I'd be there."
"Elias, what the-"
Kevin whipped his hand across her face and as she reeled from the strike, he wrapped his hand around her throat, though he didn't squeeze. "Is that it? You're gonna fuckin' kill me? Go ahead and do it, you piece of shit," Lucy spat.
He shook his head, "Oh I ain't gonna kill ya." He reached down and unbuckled his pants, "I'm just gonna humiliate you a little. Take that smart look off your face."
She couldn't think straight enough to perceive what was about to happen to her, she just continued screaming. "Fuck you! Get the fuck off-"
Kevin pushed the gun harder to her temple and Elias commented, "Ah-ah, Mrs. Graham."
"Oh fucking what?" she screamed. "Is this for him or you, you sick fuck?"
"It's for both of us," Kevin answered. "All those times you pissed him off, and that concussion you gave me. Didn't think you'd ever be payin' up, did you, cunt?" Lucy spit in his face, and again he grabbed her by the throat, this time tightly. "Now be a good little girl and take them panties off for me."
"Fuck you," she rasped, again spitting at him.
He flinched, though nonchalantly licked her spit from his lips. "Delicious," he said. "Now take'em off, or I put a bullet in that pretty little face of yours, and then we pay dear old dad a visit."
Lucy's eyes opened wide in panic. Her tough demeanor vanished, and she quietly spoke, "You wouldn't." Elias didn't bat an eyelash; instead he only smiled wider. "You touch my father you can forget about our deal."
"And that hurts me how?" Elias chided. "You've got nothing, Lucy. Nothing you can do to stop me from doing as I please."
"Then how can I trust that… this keeps my dad safe?"
"You can't," Elias replied. "It can't hurt your chances though."
She looked to Kevin who was now smiling even wider. "C'mon, sweetheart; it'll all be over soon."
"Yes, baby bird," Elias further chided, enraging Lucy even further. "All over soon."
Her eyes quickly flooded with tears, and she reached down, hating every fragment of her existence as she slid her undergarments down her thighs. "That's a good girl," Kevin rasped. He pushed himself up, pressing the barrel of the gun to her forehead, bringing Lucy to cringe at the mercy of her attacker. With that, her body wracked against her bed, tears poured from her eyes, and heavy wet sobs from her lips. Voluntarily violated, she wanted nothing more than for her eyes to give out right then and there. She shut them tight as she could, hoping that maybe she'd ruin them in that moment. It was all she could do to keep from staring into the eyes of two bastards; one her master, and the other his puppet.
She thought of Tommy. She thought of Neil. Thought about how this would end eventually; how it couldn't go on forever.
Just as she had made that peace, she thought, What's stopping them from doing this to me again? That only brought her to sob harder and cry louder. With any sort of luck, Kevin pulled himself off of her all at once, making a further mess of her in the process. Still, her cries slowed somewhat, happy to simply not have the gun pressed to her head anymore.
"Quit your crying, Lucy," Elias said as he stood from the opposite side of the bed. "You did great," he said. "And you kept your father alive; aren't you happy?"
As she caught her ragged breath, she managed words through her sobs, "Get the fuck out of my house."
Like I said, a different person -_- Suffice it to say, Lucy is done with Elias. She's hated him from minute one, and now, it's personal. Will be interesting to see what happens, won't it?
Thanks for reading,