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2046-02-15 Summer Roads, Part I

From X-Factor

Summer Roads, Part I
Date Posted 2016/02/15
Location Traveling
Participants Richard, Sumit, Tiffany, Jeremy
Summary This is the road trip log that never ends. Yes. It goes on and on, my friends...
Plot Road Trip
 
Ririchard.JPG Tiftiffany.jpg
Two vehicles, a load of mutants, some precious cargo and a long, long road ahead, Jeremy is arranged as comfortably as possible in the driver's seat, wearing a T-shirt and loose jeans. He's singing a song under his breath, which is totally inappropriate to the season and weather. As he roars over the highway and the windshield wipers slide spatterings of snowflakes off the windshield, he's singing, "Summer roads, all full of turns and bends, summer roads, that lead to my old friends," because he's apparently that kind of car dad.

Richard has been dozing. It's kind of rude to take the front seat and then fall asleep in it, but there you have it. Which means that he kind of groggily awakes to the sound of Jeremy singing about summer roads while there's snow falling. "Is this real life," he wonders blearily.

“You’re such a good singer,” Tiffany chirps sarcastically. Her features don’t move from their natural, relaxed scowl as she holds up a compact mirror. It’s the future-y kind that just tells her exactly where to apply. A moving vehicle might not be the best place to put on makeup, but she’s an adult. “Seriously. You should record.” Dressed comfortably for travel in a knitted sweater-dress and leggings, she wraps her legs up under herself in the back seat to achieve more height.

Jeremy responds to critique by smiling, and picking up volume and resonance, in the grand tradition of car dads everywhere. "Summer roads by summer streams where I live all my winter dreams, and the good times always start down summer roads," he sings. In fact, he is not that good a singer and probably should not record. That said, it could be worse. Schooner Fare is right where his range should be.

"Oh my God what," Richard says as he awakens a bit more. He glances back at Tiffany and then looks at Jeremy.

Turning to run a finger along the corner of her eye, Tiffany smacks her lips. She lets out an audible sigh, despite her foot starting to bob along. She shares a conspiratorial look with Richard before looking out of her window as she gives in and betrays him, "...in the quiet of the evening, I rosin up my bow. And start in nice and easy, with something soft and slow..." Her unsophisticated soprano voice is possibly higher than one might expect, what with her usual dreary monotone. Tiffany crosses her arms over her chest defiantly, but continues to tap her foot.

Jeremy laughs in clear delight when she starts to sing along, which means he's off tempo and has to hurry to catch up with her. He'd clap his hands if they weren't firmly on the steering wheel. (10 and 2, kids.) "There's a faster beat in the village street! And the friends all start to sway! -- Rich, I'm sorry, you're now in a musical." (That part he just spoke.)

"Dude, you guys weren't even alive!" Richard says in loud complaint. Stop stealing his vintage music.

“-in the village street and friends all start to sway-” “-I told you, I’m a vampire-” “And the fiddle sings and the laughter rings!” Tiffany swats at the back of Richard’s seat, “-Sing, you’re ruining my life-” “-And ‘til the break of day!”

"Summer roads, all full of turns and bends," Jeremy sings out for the chorus, and then violates the 10 and 2 rule a little bit so that he can beat on the steering wheel like it's a drum. Luckily this is on a portion of the highway that is long and straight. "I wasn't alive for the Beatles either, you don't see that stopping me!"

"I seriously doubt I am ruining your life, kid," Richard tells Tiffany. He looks back to Jeremy and sighs loudly. "Shouldn't you have all gotten new oldies?"

<FS3> Tiffany rolls Perform: Failure. (1 5 6 1 1 5 4 5)

Tiffany goes higher in pitch as they enter the chorus, singing the lyrics in a positively shrill voice. Her body starts to bob a little as she stares out at the snowy roadside.

Somewhere in the distance, a dog howls.

"Sure we did. I like to take mine out to dinner." Jeremy gives Richard a particularly obnoxious grin, and then flicks on his blinker, preparatory to passing a semi truck. He tries not to wince through Tiffany's octave leap, and loses track of the verse a little bit in the process. He picks up with, "And the good times always start down summer roads." There's a couple more verses of the song, but he kind of stops there anyways.

<FS3> Jeremy rolls Dad Jokes: Good Success. (2 2 3 8 8 1 2 6)

"Oh, /super/ funny," Richard says, rolling his eyes. "You are hilarious." He glances back at Tiffany and winces a little.

Tiffany sings the rest of the song until the very last verse. Every. Single. Word. Her little hand starts to pat her thigh, even. When the song winds down, she finally subsides. "New Oldies? You mean like, Taylor Swift?" She scoffs, flicking her eyes down and up Richard, "/She's alright./ Didn't she die from like, her sex swing?" Tiffany looks at her nails, pouting.

"I am a laugh riot," Jeremy assures Richard specifically and the world in general. Changing lanes, he twists around to look behind him and check his blind spot, and chokes on a laugh. "Uhh, hell if I know," he says. "I guess we could try playing tunes instead of just singing them," he adds. "I've got a few playlists but unfortunately we got the van whose operating system is old enough that it's hard to sync. We can mess with it next stop."

"No, not like--" Richard looks briefly flustered. "She was kind of -- I mean, I was a little old for her by the time she started getting popular." He scrubs a hand through his hair. "You can play whatever, I'll shut up."

“Don’t switch lanes so much, I’m going to paint Richard’s nails,” Tiffany announces flatly, pulling up her purse and plopping it across her lap. Her eyes flick up to look at Richard defiantly as she digs through it’s contents.

"Roger that," Jeremy says amiably, which goes to show that he's apparently not going to stand in the way of nail art. "I'll just get right."

"You are /not/ painting my nails," Richard informs Tiffany seriously.

Tiffany presses her tongue into the inside of her cheek, just staring. From her purse, she produces a bottle of lush, red nail varnish. "Why?" She sighs audibly and theatrically rolls her eyes, "I have remover. ...and it'll be hot."

"Outdated notions of the masculine, probably," Jeremy says, fighting the smile on his lips with extremely limited success.

"I -- /hey/!" Richard scowls fiercely at Jeremy. "I don't have -- okay, maybe a /little/, but I'm just a product of my generation."

"Does your generation like uhmmm... Passion Berry better or does your generation like, hm," Tiffany clinks around in her purse and tilts her head to the side to read the label of a second bottle, "Evening Huntress?" She extends her arm to wave the bottle around in the center console, "It's purply but I'm kind of digging the metallic shimmer it has goin' on, y'know?"

"Evening Huntress sounds pretty hot," Jeremy says, because he's a super helpful soul.

"Guys didn't really wear /anything/ in my day unless they were--" Richard stops himself, perhaps recalling that he has in fact engaged in coitus with other men. One of whom is driving the car. "I mean. I've just never -- you know." It's funny the staples of masculinity he chooses to be important.

“Are you too shy?” Tiffany wrinkles her nose up in amusement, giggling a few notes as she pulls the bottle back. She sets both Passion Berry and Evening Huntress in the back seat drink holder while she digs for more. “I should probably actually make sure I have remover in here,” she mutters to herself but loud enough for the whole car to hear.

"Me either," Jeremy says in blithe assurance. "But mostly because I'm not really 'pretty' enough." He takes one hand off the wheel so he can make air quotes. "I'd just look silly. Which I mean I'm not necessarily opposed but."

Having had an early start Sumit has taken the opportunity to sleep for a while. Slowly regaining consciousness to talk of evening huntresses he carefully opens one eye to ensure that all is still well. Not yet fully admitting to being awake he listens for a few moments, trying to work out just what exactly it is that's being discussed.

"I'm not--" Richard starts to say, even as his olive skin flushes a touch. (He's shy.) He frowns at Tiffany. "You were selling this on the /promise/ you had remover."

“They sell nail polish remover everywhere,” Tiffany lowers her head, staring down Richard from under her heavy eyelids. After a moment’s consideration, she raises her chin, “Has anyone ever filled in your eyebrows?”

Where he did not object to the premise of Rich in nail polish, now Jeremy feels the need to chivalrically defend the honor of his eyebrows, apparently. "Hey," he says, lifting a finger to wag it over his the gearshift between the seats. "His eyebrows are great."

"Filled in his eyebrows?" Sumit asks, lifting his head up from the headrest and finally fessing up to being awake, "Why would anyone fill in their eyebrows?" His look to Tiffany is one of confusion, although part of that may be because he's only just woken up.

"/No/," Richard says with particular emphasis. "You are not touching my face. You are making me a lot less likely to agree to you touching my fingers."

“You guys are lame,” Tiffany whines, sitting back more fully in her little corner of the backseat. “I’m gonna get you stoned and we’re gonna give you winged eyeliner,” she warns Richard. Eyes sliding over to Sumit, Tiffany breathes out a little laugh, “I’m surprised you didn’t wake up ermm ...ten? Minutes ago.”

"All right, all right, we've got important work to do, no getting high til we get back," Jeremy says. He does not, however, note any objections to dramatic eye makeup.

Sumit 's confused expression turns to one of mild concern as he brows furrow. "Why?" he asks cautiously, eyeing Tiffany for her reactions to his questions. "What were you talking about ten minutes ago," he pauses for a moment as another thought hits and he leans round so he can get a look at the rear view mirror and try and see himself, "what did you do ten minutes ago?"

"If I let you paint my nails, you have to promise not to attack anyone's faces with makeup," Richard tells Tiffany sternly. To Sumit he says, "They were singing incredibly off-key."

<FS3> Tiffany rolls Bluff: Success. (5 7 1 3 5 2 3 4)

Tiffany raises both of her filled in eyebrows, exhibiting more of her well-practiced stoicism, "I promise."

"You should have sung with us and gotten us back on pitch, then, music critic," Jeremy says with the slant of a sidelong look at Richard across the front of the car.

Sumit looks faintly relieved as he does not appear to have been made up in his sleep, relaxing back into his seat he gives Richard a nod in thanks for his answer. "Ah, right. I grew up with a village of kids who considered fame to be a career in musical film, how ever bad they were, I can guarantee I've lived through worse."

Richard's gaze narrows on Tiffany, studying her stoic promise, but eventually he just sighs and shoves his hand in the backseat for her to mangle. "I didn't want to embarrass you further," he says mildly to Jeremy.

"Prepare yourself, because it's definitely gonna happen again in the next million hours." Pressing her lips inward to mask her excitement, Tiffany scoots forward. Taking up a little bit more of the space between Sumit's seat and her own, she places Richard's outstretched hand on her knees. "Wait. What do we think? Huntress or Berry?" Lifting each bottle up by it's neck, she twiddles them around in the air in either hand for everyone to see.

"Can't," Jeremy answers Richard lightly with a laugh on his breath, "I'm not ashamed. I'm pretty sure my singing is not the worst thing that has ever happened to anyone in this car." He glances up at Tiffany using the rearview mirror for not its intended purpose, and says, "Do what your heart tells you." What terrible fashion advice.

"It's fine," Sumit replies back to Tiffany with a knowing smile, "however bad you can be, I bet you I can be worse." Shifting a little so the makeover has a bit more room he eyes the two bottles for a moment then offers speculatively, "alternate?"

"Hey, no, you can do /one/ color," Richard says, frowning at Sumit for the suggestion. "I don't care which, but you're already pushing my limits here."

"Don't be mean to him," Tiffany scolds Richard flatly, fully intending to further rile the man up. 'So vain,' she mouths to Sumit with a smirk as she starts to shake one of the bottles. It's the red one. "Where was the village you grew up in?" She asks Sumit, unscrewing the polish's tiny brush once it's sufficiently shaken.

"Does she get to do the other hand the other colour?" Sumit asks Richard, expression angelic as he jumps on the tease Richard bandwagon happily enough. Folding his own hands together in his lap he turns his head to Tiffany, "on the east coast of India. Those that didn't fancy becoming fishermen mostly wanted to get their big break in Mumbai, much like I hear young Americans dream of making it big in Los Angeles. Singing and dancing was a big part of that." "I'm not being mean," Richard tells Tiffany. "And no, she gets one color," he adds to Sumit.

Tiffany pretends to gag at the mention of L.A., “Everyone there is really tall and blonde. And vapid.” Dipping forward, she begins carefully applying the red varnish to Richard’s nails. It seems to have satiated her. “I’ve never been there,” she adds.

"Maybe you should paint his one colour, and Boomer's the other?" Sumit suggests conspiratorially while keeping his own hands in his lap, "never been where. LA, or India? The former I can't tell you about the first, but India is really nice. Warm, friendly, excellent food."

"LA's not so bad," Richard says, but his voice is mild rather than defensive. He's a New Yorker, after all, which is proved when he adds, "It's not /New York/, but what is. India's beautiful."

"He's driving," Tiffany shakes her head, evidently not buying that as an excuse. The young woman dips her neck forward to pucker her lips and blow gently on one of the freshly coated nails. "I've never been to either," Tiff admits without shame as she leans back to examine her work before continuing to paint, "I think the farthest I've ever gotten is Virginia Beach."

"You've been?" Sumit asks as he turns to look at Richard for a moment, faint surprise registering on his features, "which state?" Then, flashing a grin to Tiffany he notes, "that's okay, I have no idea where that is, so just pretend it's thousands of miles away and I'll likely believe you."

"More like a couple hundred." Richard shrugs his free shoulder, careful not to move his other hand. "Honestly, it's been a while, and I've been too many places."

"I think we're going to go like, four times farther than that on this trip," Tiffany comments to Sumit before dipping forward to blow some more, "How did you both end up in New York, now?" It's an idle question, without much thought behind it. They might as well get to know each other better if they're going to be in a car together ...forever. "Hiding out after a murder? Tawdry love affair gone wrong?"

"Well, if you ever get the hankering for a proper curry again just let me know," Sumit replies to Richard with a grin, "not the generic choices you get in the takeaways. I swear, English and I must spend more on spices a month than we do on rent." Turning to Tiffany as she starts to reply he tilts his head slightly as if to answer, then stops, something having apparently hit a little close to home. He takes a moment, composes himself, then says simply, "I think that's a story for another time."

"Nah, just imploded a government agency," Richard says all mild-like. "And I'm from Long Island and lived in the city for years before I was ever in X-Force."

Blowing a little more, Tiffany sits back up to survey her work. The young woman does glance towards Sumit out of the corners of her eyes. The gears are obviously turning in her head, but she doesn't press the subject any further. Instead, Tiff pats RIch's wrist, "You can have your hand back, just be careful. And remind me to be on your side in a fight."

"Ah, so -your- what happened to X-Force eh?" Sumit replies jovially to Richard, "good to know, good to know." Folding his arms across his chest to keep his hands safe from Tiffany and her nail polish he moves to introduce a new topic of conversation. "So, where was it we were aiming for tonight? Anywhere exciting?"

"If we get in a fight, stay in the car," Richard tells Tiffany with less humor and more seriousness this time. His smile is taut at Sumit's joke and doesn't reach his eyes. He pulls back his hand, eyeing it somewhat dubiously.

“I plan to,” Tiffany responds a little too quickly, running her front teeth along her bottom lip, “Now, give me your other hand.” She begins shaking the bottle, again. “I’m not gonna lie, I’ve completely lost track of how long we’ve been on the road, already. All the snow doesn’t help.”

"We expecting trouble?" Sumit asks Richard, slightly more seriously, "or do you think this is going to be a lean back and enjoy the ride trip?" A glance back to Tiffany and he nods, "that's something you don't have to worry about in India, snow that is. Well, unless you're up a mountain. It's glorious."

"There's -- the possibility of it," Richard says, choosing his words carefully. "Or else we wouldn't be getting paid to escort it." He hesitates a moment, then reluctantly gives Tiffany his other hand. This is ridiculous. "Hopefully we can make it through Ohio to Toledo or whatever. I dunno, driving's kind of ridiculously slow."

"I guess that's true." Very briefly, Tiffany considers switching out the Passion Berry for the Evening Huntress. Her eyes shoot from the metallic-purple to Sumit as if to ask, 'Should I?' Not matter his response, she doesn't. Playing nice, she untwists the cap to the red. "You're gonna be the prettiest girl in all of Toledo. Sumit is back here getting jealous."

"How quickly could you make it on your own?" Sumit asks, mildly curious, but he nods to the possibility of trouble and turns to look out of the window a moment as if to show that he's keeping his eyes open. He turns back in time to catch the silent question and nods vigorously before shaking his head in faint disappointment as she chickens out. "Yeah, jealous," he deadpans, trying to avoid sounding amused, "that's it, dead jealous."

"Ah -- three to four hours, pacing myself appropriately," Richard says. He frowns at Tiffany. "You're not helping," he tells her.

"I'm boosting morale," Tiffany counters Richard dryly. She bends to blow over a few of his nails, giving each one a little individual attention. "Wouldn't the cold affect you at all?" She asks with similar mild interest to Sumit's.

"Niiiice," Sumit replies slightly enviously to Richard, "I've piggybacked with Kane and Moody, but they're much shorter range." Tiffany gets a tilt of his head to indicate a qood question, then he asks another of his own, "do you need goggles, like the old pilots, or are your eyes okay with it?"

"Good to know," Tiffany remarks, as if she might somehow use this information against Richard someday. Somehow. "You know the more I'm looking at these, the more I'm thinking maybe French tips with the purple. What do you think?" She looks to her partner in crime ...who evidently is Sumit, now. "Or I wonder if one of these rest stops has a lighter red... for like, Valentine's Day. It'd be cute."

"Hurrah for durability," Sumit replies with an understanding nod then laughs a little at Jeremy's reply. "Does he have to be in the same vehicle as you then? Or does he get time off for good behaviour in the van sometimes while the rest of us are left to our fate?" Tiffany is given a look that indicates that he has no idea what she's talking about, but he then shrugs it off and says, "Sure, french tips, definitely."

"No," Richard says for like the fifteenth time today. "Stop pushing your luck." Everyone is the meanest today.

"I leave that to Rich," Jeremy says with a laugh on his breath. He reaches up to scratch at the back of his neck. "So what makes French tips French? Is it like fries? I have no idea what makes those French either."

“Oh, I’m sorry,” Tiffany clears her throat before correcting herself, “Freedom tips, is what I meant to say.” Tilting her head, she leans closer towards the front of the vehicle to eyeball Richard and see if he’s o-kay, “You can have your other hand back, now.”

"Buggered if I know boss," Sumit replies readily to Jeremy, "manicures aren't really on my CV I'm afraid." He'd hang his head in mock shame, but he figures Jeremy is likely keeping his eyes on the road. "How about a drink?" he asks, as he leans forward a bit to get at the bag between his feet. "I've got beer, gin, scotch, and pop for the driver."

"They're both from France. Or, well, Belgium actually claims fries are really from there," Richard says with a level of random trivia knowledge that is literally inhuman. "Um." He pulls his hand back, looking self-conscious for multiple reasons. "Man, don't drink booze when the driver can't drink. Also it means that no one can swap with him."

"None for me, thanks," Jeremy says with an airy wave of the hand that isn't on the wheel. "I'm old, my bladder will punish us all if I start sucking down that stuff." He chortles a little. "Come on, Rich, I'm good for at least a few hours. You guys can have a drink. Why do you know so much about fries?"

“I’m okay. I feel like I shouldn’t until we’re like, somewhere safe...” Tiffany repositions herself back in her seat, pulling her back up onto her lap, “I did bring like a ton of chocolate if you guys-” She digs out a red heart-shaped container, which clearly appears to have been a gift from some poor soul, “-require sustenance.”

Sumit goes for a light beer himself then offers a can of soft stuff forward to Richard incase he wants one. "I got snacks too, but I think I left that bag in the van, will have to try and retrieve it at the next stop, if there's anything left by now that is." Then there's Tiffany to the rescue and he smiles, "see, between us we make a functional refreshment service, to go with the driving and ... navigating from up front."

"Um. Wikipedia," Richard answers, which is as good an answer as any. He still doesn't go for beer, but does take the soda Jeremy offers. He snorts quietly at Tiffany's offer. "Not the most sustaining of sustenance," he notes.

"Oh my God, grumpy gus." Jeremy laughs again. "I can't believe you're hating on chocolate. What's next? Everyone, Rich hates puppies, rainbows and the smell you get after rain."

Shaking her head at Richard in amusement, Tiffany pops one of the chocolates into her mouth. "Seriously, if you do want to switch let one of us know. You deserve a break at some point," she offers to Jeremy, although her words might be a little slurred from the chewy candy. Folding her legs up beneath her, she sets up to paint her own nails, now.

"Cheat," Sumit retorts in amusement to Richard, "and here was me thinking I'd found a new ringer for a pub quiz team." Taking a chocolate as offered he grins at Jeremy then tilts his head towards the long suffering Richard, "Maybe if you told him you liked what he had done to his nails?"

"I'm not a grumpy gus!" Richard immediately (predictably) argues. "And I don't hate puppies. Or any of those things." He snorts at Sumit. "No, I wouldn't be a very fair quiz partner."

"Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens," Jeremy says. He's not (thankfully) singing it. He says, "I'm good for now, but don't worry, everyone with a license will get a chance to drive. This is a long fucking trip. -- Are you hitting on him /for/ me, Sumit?"

Shifting her attention between each of them, Tiffany smirks to herself. She hunches down over her spread fingers to apply her own first coat. “I can’t wait to scare the shit out of all of you with my driving skills.”

Sumit chuckles faintly to Jeremy, "depends, is this a job you'd be paying me for? Although if I'm honest, I don't think I'd get as good a set of results as you might." Then, Tiff gets an equally amused grin, "hey, I learnt in India, the driving there is.. something else."

"What," Richard says, sinking down in his seat as his color threatens to rise. "What is happening right now."

"You tell me," Jeremy says with a sidelong look at him. He seems terribly amused by his embarrassment, like a terrible. He scrubs his hand over his mouth and then puts it back on the steering wheel, eyes resolutely forward. "Is that your way of sneakily trying to get out of your turn behind the wheel?" he wonders.

“No, way,” Tiffany says in the driest tone available to her, “I live to shake things up.” Holding up both hands with each of her finger spread completely apart, she first looks wide-eyed at the chocolate and then, over to Sumit. “... … … Can you put a chocolate in my mouth?”

Sumit reaches across and picks a chocolate out of the box to feed to Tiffany, then asks, "anyone else want feeding while I'm at it?" Then, having had time to consider his reply to Rich he shrugs slightly, "I just wanted to see if my boss was going to pay me to hit on you. You, you don't have a problem with that do you?" He just about manage to get that last sentance out without laughing, but it's hard work.

"It's pretty weird," Richard informs Sumit dryly. "Like, I dunno, you want me to go hit on Moody for you?" OH. OHHHHHHHHHHH.

Jeremy perks right up, going: "Oh, hey, is that a thing?"

Content to chew on her chocolate, Tiffany follows the banter with her eyes which she gently bats her fingers to expedite their drying. She casually shifts her eyes to Sumit to see if he’ll agree to Richard’s proposal.

"You could pay me not to," Sumit retorts back to Rich, "I'm a merc remember, just get in with a high enough bid before I enter into an agreement with him." As for Moody he grins faintly and shakes his head, "I reckon she'd murder us both if I'm honest, so I'll save you from that." Flicking his eyes across to Jeremy he considers, then answers slowly, "I dunno. I reckon we're past the point where she's just using me for the food, and since the power came back it can't just be sharing body heat. Not sure at exactly what point it becomes a thing rather than not a thing, but maybe? I hope so anyway."

"I'm not gonna pay you--" Richard huffs a breath, and then moves on to snorting at Jeremy. "Jeremy, I know you're your own HR department, but I really don't think you should be matchmaking your contractors." Which is just about the most hypocritical thing to say ever.

"Wait, why did I ask? These kids are still too young for me to know about their personal lives, I taught them in high school for Christ's sake." Jeremy laughs and runs his hand through his hair in a scrub of nails against his scalp. He turns his head to drop his chin as he lifts his eyebrows, looking at Richard with extreme skepticism, but puts his eye back to the road after only this brief pause. "Okay, tiger," he says.

“You should matchmake me,” Tiffany licks the remnants of chocolate from the corner of her mouth, “With a roommate. Who isn’t crazy annoying. And who is my size.” It’s getting difficult for her to keep track of who is sleeping with whom. If it’s at all thanks to the one man HR department, she’s not above taking full advantage.

"Offers there if you need it," Sumit replies to Richard, entirely failing to keep a straight face as he does so. Reclining back into his seat he takes a swig of his beer as Jeremy makes hismelf feel old then asks, "you taught her? At Xaviers?" There's a few questions he could ask, but none of them appropriate for this time and place, so he leaves it at that, letting Boomer focus on Tiffany and her needs.

"Don't Moody and Orianne live in that giant apartment at Avenue B?" Richard wonders, trying to remember for Tiffany's sake. "I don't know, you might ask."

"Yeah, I taught at Xavier's," Jeremy says, tilting a glance up at the rear view mirror and then back to the road again. "Sometimes I think about moving, because my roommates are kind of terrible, but ugh, what a hassle." He sighs dramatically. "But -- Yeah, I think that's where they are. They might have some space, I think they lost one or two out of the giant apartment of doom. I don't know where they're at in terms of general annoyingness, but I don't think either of them is weirdly huge compared to you." (He's helping!)

“I’ll have to slip it into conversation next time I see her,” Tiffany starts to become a little more confident with the state of her nails. She gets her own piece of chocolate now without any assistance, “‘Giant Apartment of Doom’ sounds right up my alley.”

"Their place is pretty big," Sumit agrees, "but I don't know if they're looking or not. Can't hurt to ask though certainly." As for their levels of annoyance, well, he doesn't comment, not given the previous topic, but he does smile faintly as he continues with his beer. "I heard Caruther's kid is there now," he notes to Jeremy, "and that shifter Kane and I found at the bus station. Any of the staff from your time left?"

Richard glances back over at Jeremy, studying his expression discreetly at Sumit's question.

<FS3> Jeremy rolls Bullshit Artist: Success. (4 5 1 1 4 3 1 7)

"A few. Not many. Pryde. Summers. Rasputin." Jeremy sniffs a little, shoulders hunching as he tightens his grasp slightly on the steering wheel. His expression is pretty bland and easy. "But yeah, Caruthers's kid is still going there."

Tiffany remains quiet for a moment, likely thanks to the valentine's chocolates. When she does finally gulp down her mouthful, she stares thoughtfully over at Sumit. Running her tongue along the inside of her mouth, she narrows her eyes, "Alright. Bust me out one of those beers."

Sumit nods once to acknowledge the answer, then replies with a casual, "shame, people had good things to say about it of old." He leaves it there though, apparently not intending to dig deep for any information. Or possibly he gets distracted by Tiffany. Pulling out a choice of two different bottles he says "coming right up. Now, would you prefer weak america beer, or weak indian beer? I figured we'd save the stronger stuff for when we're not on the road."

"I think that's about the first time I've ever heard a foreigner refer to /American/ beer as the strong stuff," Richard snorts. His gaze does flit over the hunch of Jeremy's shoulders and the tightening of his grip on the wheel, but he doesn't say anything.

"Fucking close to water?" Jeremy asks. He smiles as he sits up a little straighter, working his shoulders and then slouching back again into the seat.

"I'll taa-aake the weak Indian," Tiffany smiles, "Oh, do you might opening it for me?" She wiggles her fingertips, "Nails."

"I didn't" Sumit replies to Richard with a shake of his head, "it's as weak as the IPA I brought. Stronger stuff is for later, as I said." THen he grins at Jeremy, "you've heard that one then. Yeah, pretty accurate, but what you want in forty degree heat. Real degrees that is, not sure what that'd be for you guys." Putting the american beer back in the bag at his feet he opens the indian one and passes it across, "there you go, enjoy."

"Isn't it funnier when you actually say sex in a canoe?" Richard tells Jeremy, because he is now a joke expert. Or -- something.

"Everybody's a critic," Jeremy tells the steering wheel dramatically.

{From Moody to Sumit} Don't freeze! <picture of palm tree.jpg>

"Thanks," Tiffany presses the beer to her lips, holding it with careful consideration of her finger placement. The first sip prompts a second, deeper one. Her attention drifts out of the window, where a little boy in the backseat of a passing car makes ugly monster faces at theirs.

"Thanks," Tiffany presses the beer to her lips, holding it with careful consideration of her finger placement. The first sip prompts a second, deeper one. Her attention drifts out of the window, where a little boy in the backseat of a passing car makes ugly monster faces at theirs.

{From Sumit to Moody} You sure we're too far away to port out to us? <picture of man frozen in ice>

{From Moody to Sumit} Sorry, sugar. My max range is only a mile or so. <sad panda emoji>

Sumit blinks quickly in that way that indicates something has come up on his eyes, then grins before sending something back quickly. As such, he misses part of the conversation in the car and blinks back to Tiffany before catchup up again and nodding once, "no worries, I brought enough to pass round. You two sure you don't want even a can of pop?"

"I -- have mine." Richard lifts the can of soda that he has forgotten to open. "Um." He looks back to Jeremy. "Sorry, your jokes are great always."

{From Sumit to Moody} Might 'borrow' a duvet from the first overnight stop. Nest in the back of the car or something. I'm sure no one would mind right?

{From Moody to Sumit} I hate to break it to you, but hotels don't usually wash those things in between visitors -- I wouldn't want to think too hard about the bodily fluids on those things.

{From Sumit to Moody} .... thanks

{From Moody to Sumit} I like looking out for my friends. :P

"You're so mean," Jeremy tells Richard. "You're a mean meanie." Laughing a little, he shakes his head. "I'm really fine. I'll take something when we come up to the next rest stop."

"Yeah, I have to pee like crazy now that I opened this," Tiffany admits, giving the little boy in the next lane a nasty snarl. She super casually turns back around to the inside of the car like nothing happened. "Plus, I've been craving french fries ever since you mentioned them an eternity ago," she adds with no enthusiasm whatsoever.

The truck under Max's control is a dutiful beast. It signals and follows Jeremy at proper stopping distance and with precision, because Maxim is driving the thing like he was being followed the whole way by a state trooper. "This is good. I could use break to stretch legs."

Sumit manages a quick comm conversation with the van before noting aloud, "they're following us in. I'm not feeling hungry though, so I can pull guard duty this stop if you want. Just send someone to relieve me before we leave so I can, well, relieve myself as it were."

Rosalie is looking a little fidgety. After all, she has been stuck inside a truck for hours now, even though Max has been a gentleman about letting her pick the music, and it might not be entirely a coincidence that a rather unseasonable trickle of rain has followed them for the last mile. "Yes," she agrees. "Even though I have a lot less leg."

"Yes, I am indeed a mean meanie," Richard agrees solemnly. "Okay. Well, I guess we're stopping for toilets and french fries, then. Yeah, why don't you let them know, Sumit."

{From Sumit to Moody} I'll let you know when I decide if I'm glad you warned me or not

{From Moody to Sumit} The sheets are usually clean, though! Just burrito in those and use them for a barrier. -- anyway. I wish I could go with you guys. A road trip sounds like a lot of fun.

Sumit sends and receives several messages to and from his eyes in quick succession, then eyes Tiffany a moment before he notes, "I think I saw a sign not far back, services a mile or two away, so you shouldn't have to wait long." Then to the two in front, "Want me to comm the can, let them know?"

{From Sumit to Moody} I don't think Richard is having much fun, but he did let TIffany paint his nails. THen we mocked him a bit and he's in a huff.

{From Moody to Sumit} Aww, poor Richard.

{From Sumit to Moody} Jeremy started it

{From Moody to Sumit} Oh, well then. He might wake up with green eyebrows or something, just watch. Prank wars are the best.

{From Moody to Sumit} Nobody pranks me anymore because I'm a teleporter with a mean streak and lo I am feared. :(

{From Sumit to Moody} is that a challenge?

"Yes, I am indeed a mean meanie," Richard agrees solemnly. "Okay. Well, I guess we're stopping for toilets and french fries, then. Yeah, why don't you let them know, Sumit."

{From Moody to Sumit} I feel like naked friends should have a rule against prank wars on the principle that we share too much privileged information.

{From Sumit to Rosalie} Broadsword calling Dannyboy, come in Dannyboy

{From Sumit to Maxim} Broadsword calling Dannyboy, come in Dannyboy

{From Rosalie to Sumit} I'm not even going to pretend I know what you mean by that.

{From Sumit to Rosalie} Hey, just to let you know we're pulling in in about a mile, loo break, and food

{From Rosalie to Sumit} That makes somewhat more sense.

{From Sumit to Moody} wuss

{From Moody to Sumit} Ohhhhh, sweetie, are you sure you want to do this?

Sure enough, there was a sign. Now there is another sign. "Awesome," Jeremy says. As they roll up on the exit, Jeremy blows out a long breath past his lips and flicks on his blinker. "It'll be good to stretch our legs."

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