A/N Okay hey as per request (also just because I want to) I am doing a. Multi-chaptered story as in: not just 2k words or less! I am terrible at these though - it's not like I haven't tried before and I always just. Stop in the middle because I can't bring myself to continue because I don't even know what I'm doing. But I kind of have some sort of vague semblance of an idea of what I'm doing with this so hopefully (hopefully) it will work out.

Um, it's. going to be lighthearted mostly (not particularly angsty and/or depressing) and probably dumb and cliché a lot but whatever. And yeah there will be slashy things eventually don't worry. Anyway! I hope you guys like :-)

It's not my love of adventure that makes me say abruptly, my feet tapping along to whatever terrible pop song is playing through the speakers, "Do you wanna go on, like, a road trip?" because my so-called "love of adventure" is actually a huge joke. It's not my desire to see the world around me that makes me say out of the blue, peppered fry about to touch my lips, "Do you wanna go on, like, a road trip?" because I have no desires that don't directly involve sex, food, or television. It's not my love of cars and driving and that feeling when you have a long stretch of road in front of you and nobody there so you can go as fast as you want that makes me say from nowhere, sitting across from my best friend Emerson at Burger King, "Do you wanna go on, like, a road trip?" because long drives generally make me want to throw up.

But it's definitely all of these completely, one hundred percent nonexistent things that make Emerson say, "Are you on drugs?"

Personally, I think that is rather rude of Emerson to suggest, considering we both know that I don't do drugs, especially considering the fact that he is probably generally the nicest guy to exist. But instead of telling him that, I just say, "I don't know, but if you have a kit I can go piss and – "

"You are hilarious," he says, not laughing.

"Damn right," I say, not laughing.

I shove the fry into my mouth and Emerson makes a face because he for some unknown reason does not pepper his fries; in point of fact Emerson hates pepper and because of this I question every day why we are even friends. I never allow him to cook for me because he cooks so bland; there is never any spice or flavor to anything he makes and now that I am thinking about it that is a great metaphor for Emerson's life. There is never any spice or flavor to it, except for me, of course. I am the spice to Emerson's curry; I am the flavor to his rice.

Then again, I'm pretty bland myself, but compared to Emerson I'm a motherfucking habanero pepper.

I casually reach over for a pack of pepper and I casually tear it open and I casually dump it on top of Emerson's fries and he makes a rather embarrassing squealing noise that should never come out of a male human being's mouth – forget that, it should never come out of a human being's mouth, male or female or both or neither – and I casually say, "But think about it, right? We never do fucking anything, just sit there on our asses all day, and neither of us have summer plans – "

"You've very conveniently managed to forget," Emerson says, attempting to coolly pick out the fries that have been so horribly stained with pepper, "that I'm going home to visit my family for a month – "

"Like you even want to do that," I say, waving my hand dismissively. "Your family is made up of a bunch of boring unfunny fucks."

He just looks at me.

"Including you," I say. But I add as a tactful afterthought, "No offense." And then I say, "And you know I'm fucking hilarious, you just said so; therefore spending the summer road tripping with me is the better option."

I think I'm pretty convincing, but Emerson doesn't seem convinced. He seems, on the contrary, to think that I am an idiot. He has this look on his face that says: Ivan, you're an idiot. Well, fuck you, Emerson. I may be stupid, but I am not an idiot.

"We can even stop by your boring unfunny family on the way!" I tell him brightly. "That's two in one: road trip with Ivan Makarov plus visit to boring unfunny family. That sounds like one hell of a summer to me."

"My family is not boring or unfunny," Emerson says, looking slightly put out.

I make an extremely attractive snorting noise and I say, "Emerson, please." He still doesn't seem to understand, so I continue, "Your dad's idea of a good joke is the shit you find on Popsicle sticks – where does the dog hate to shop? The flea market, ha ha fucking ha – " Then I notice that Emerson's trying not to laugh and I can't tell whether it's at me or at the terrible joke. "Unfunny," I say.

"God, okay, but – road trip? Really? You complain during thirty minute car rides to the stadium – "

"That's because I'm excited for the game!" My voice almost grows high-pitched in indignity and I have to take a moment to calm myself down before I go on. "This is different, completely different. Like, we won't have a specific destination – " my arms are flailing all over the place and Emerson looks kind of amused but I can't help it, that's just the way I talk " – so I won't, you know, be having anything exactly to look forward to so I will be totally chill and happy and life will be. Great. Emerson. Life will be great."

He still doesn't look like I've won him over quite yet, but the Ivan, you're an idiot look is wearing off little by little. He says, "I – yeah, okay, but I'm gonna have to break it to my family – boring and unfunny as they might be – that I won't be staying with them and – "

"We'll stop by!" I can feel a triumphant grin making its way across my face because even if Emerson doesn't believe it yet, I already know that I've won. "They'll be okay, man, you visit them all the fucking time. Personally, I think that they need an Emerson Break."


"God knows I get enough of those," I say. "Hey, Emerson, you wanna do something over Thanksgiving? Oh, sorry, I'm visiting my family. Hey, Emerson, wanna come to a New Year's party with me? Oh, can't, I'll be with my family. Hey, Emerson, wanna – "

"Okay, Jesus, I get it," he says, but he's smiling. "I just like my family, okay? When was the last time you visited yours?"

"Oh, you know." I gesture vaguely. "Some time. Ago. Like. Before."

"We'll stop by yours, too," he says.

I stare at him incredulously for two reasons: one, because he is eating a fry seasoned with absolutely nothing and two, because he just said that we would stop by my family on our road trip. Once I am sure that I have exhausted all the incredulity from my facial features, I manage to say (incredulously), "Excuse me?"

"You are ridiculous," Emerson says. "Just. Ridiculous."

"Why the fuck would we do that?" I whine. "I call them, you know, every once in a while. That's good enough, right?"

"I still don't understand what's so bad about them." He frowns and takes a sip of his water – Jesus, Emerson, who comes to Burger King and gets a cup of water? "Granted, I've never met them, but still." Jesus, Emerson, who says granted?

"There is a reason you've never met them," I say. "They make me want to die."

"Because … " he prompts.

I shove about four fries into my mouth in an obvious attempt to avoid answering, and Emerson just rolls his eyes but I only do it because I don't really have an answer. There's actually nothing wrong with my family, per se; they just tend to get on my nerves a lot. I wasn't abused as a child or anything. "Fine," I say through chewed up potato. "Fine. We'll stop by."

"That's the spirit," Emerson says cheerily as he starts to gather up his things. Jesus, Emerson, what spirit.

I push my now-empty fry container, wrappers, et al. towards him and he takes the mess to the trash can without complaining as I take my time standing up and smoothening out my clothes and slurping down the last of my soda (soda, Emerson, that fatty sugary caffeinated thing that people get at fast food restaurants) and lazily running a hand through my hair and winking at a girl behind me and generally being a badass.

My life is so good.

I throw my cup into the trash as I pass it and Emerson and I walk out of the restaurant and I'm immediately blasted backwards by a burst of heat

Not so much, but it's ridiculously hot and suddenly my light t-shirt and shorts combo seems like way too much so I start to take off my shirt and Emerson says, "What are you doing?"

I stop with my shirt halfway off my body and I explain, "It's hot."

"Yeah, I know, but you don't see me stripping, do you?"

I look at Emerson and he's wearing a ridiculously orange polo (Jesus, Emerson, who even likes orange?) and jeans and I wonder how he is even alive. I decide to ask. "How are you even alive?"

"I'm – uh." He looks slightly confused.

I tug my shirt back on fully, a bit affronted, but after all, we have (or more accurately, Emerson has) a car with working A/C that's sitting just five feet away. I jump towards it and bang on the door until Emerson unlocks it and five minutes later the A/C is on and we're on our way back to the apartment and I'm trying to wonder what it will be like basically living in this thing for – however long this trip of ours is going to last. I'm slightly fidgety in the passenger seat and Emerson gives me a weird look.

"You all right there?" he asks.

"Yeah. I'm just trying to find the most comfortable position for a long car ride." I grin.

He shakes his head. "Why are you so – excited about this? I mean, whatever, but you never really seemed like the – spontaneous road trip adventure type."

"I am full of surprises," I say proudly. I can tell that Emerson thinks I'm ridiculous, but if he wanted to get rid of me he'd have done so four years ago when we were thrown into the same dorm room as pathetic, scared little college freshmen (actually, I'd like to think that Emerson was the pathetic and scared one; if I remember correctly I settled in brilliantly). As it is, we requested each other sophomore year and moved into an apartment last year, and Emerson has managed to get himself stuck with me. I say, "We should leave soon."

He says, "Jesus, we just got out of school – two days ago?"

"No time to waste!" I bang on the dashboard. "Come on, drive faster, hey, I gotta pack. You gotta pack. We gotta pack."

Emerson's rolling his eyes as usual and I'm suddenly struck by how awesome a road trip has the potential to be and my excitement is dangerously close to resulting in my explosion, because really, I haven't done anything with my life in forever. "Hey, Emerson?" I say, and he looks over at me, and I say, "Make sure I don't explode."

"Yeah, okay, Ivan," he says, and I can hear the laugh in his voice. "Whatever you want."