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2046-02-15 Summer Roads, Part II

From X-Factor

Summer Roads, Part II
Date Posted 2016/02/15
Location Traveling
Participants Richard, Jeremy, Rosalie, Maxim, Tiffany, Sumit
Summary Some people starting playing it not knowing what it was and they'll continue playing it forever just because this is the scene that never ends...
Plot Road Trip
 
Tiftiffany.jpg Ririchard.JPG
Rosalie informs Max they are pulling into a rest stop in about a mile. For posterity's sake.

{From Sumit to Moody} Sure, but I will propose 1 rule. Nothing in either bedroom. I.. don't always react well to being woken with a start. Too much time in the field as it were.

{From Moody to Sumit} Rule #2: no spiders. Everything else is kosher?

Bouncing the back driver's side seat, Tiffany simultaneously tries not to pee her pants while still drinking her beer. Squirming, she makes a whiney sound.

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."

{From Sumit to Moody} Try not to traumatise the flatmates too badly?

{From Moody to Sumit} Oh, he'll be fine. My doubles already freak him out plenty and he hasn't murdered me yet, so.

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."

{From Sumit to Moody} We're pulling in to a stop for a break, let me get back to you when we're on the road again, need to keep my eyes peeled incase anything happens.

Richard sliiiides out of his seat and out of the truck proper, stretching his lean limbs restlessly. "Sure thing," he tells Sumit. "Let us know if you want us to bring back anything before then." He jerks his chin up in greeting to the other car crew. "Hey, guys."

Wheeling the vehicle into a parking space, Jeremy checks over the systems and the gas tank before he shuts it off. He's not as conscientious as Maxim, especially in re things like speed limits that are really only guidelines, but thus far he's gotten them this far without anyone getting killed. "All right, kids, everybody out of the bus," he says.

{From Moody to Sumit} Okay! Just ignore any texts alerts you see from me until you're free.

{From Moody to Sumit} (proceeds to send saucy knickers pictures for the next half hour)

Sumit drains the last of his beer and cracks open the car door, grumbling a little at the cold. "A hot drink would be nice," he notes to Rich, "tea if they have anything decent, if not then a coffee will do." Walking to a bin he disposes of the beer bottle, then lights a smoke before looking for the van. Once he spots it he heads over to take up guard, trying to keep focused on the task at hand, and not what's being sent to his eyes.

Tiffany leaps out of the vehicle as soon as it comes to a complete stop. She makes a bunch of chirping sounds. Abandoning her beer in the rear cup-holder, the young woman prances into the rest stop to seek out the lady's room or well, they're on the road so whatever passes for one in these parts.

Richard watches Tiffany prance off with a somewhat baffled expression. "She's kind of an odd duck," he shares with the others, particular Maxim and Rosalie who may not have experienced it yet. His nails are looking rather bright red and polished which is definitely different from how he started the day.

"She's great," Jeremy says, because she sang with him and wasn't a hater, and that's all that matters. "Hey, it's cold out here. I should get my coat." He turns about to root around in the SUV until he can find his giant ridiculous ski coat.

Maxim parks and locks everything down with the van, making sure the wipers are off and the brake is set. So conscientious. He nods to Sumit as he passes the other man on the way out, taking a deep breath and stretching his (huge) arms into the air to shake out some of the kinks from the road. He looks after Tiffany for a moment and then shrugs amiably (massively). "This is not strangest thing I have seen today."

Rosalie climbs out of their vehicle. "She likes to crawl into the office," she replies to Richard, without explanation. She eyes the ground --dirty, wet and cold--with a tinge of distaste, and instead climbs atop the hood of the van, folding her legs into a yoga pose and drawing a deep breath. Deep breath. Calming breath. Cleansing breath. There will be no blizzards today.

A moment later, Tiffany emerges from the rest stop with a key attached rather glamorously to a bulky wooden paddle. She walks around the corner to the side of the building.

"She -- what?" Richard watches Rosalie for a moment, then his gaze is caught again by Tiffany reappearing and then disappearing again. Huh. "Okay, I'm starved." He strides inside to check out the delicious fast food offerings.

Shrugging into the giant puffy coat, Jeremy then closes up the SUV again and makes a great show of stretching out first one long leg and then the other, before turning to lope toward the building. "I'd like to draw names from a hat to see who's driving next," he announces as he moves. "Does anybody have a hat?"

Rosalie shrugs her shoulders--not in reply, but to loosen them, taking another deep breath. "I have a hat," she replies. A faint frown crinkles her brow. "Although I'm pretty certain you could run a randomization program on your Eyes."

"Would you like something to eat, Miss Rosalie?" Maxim inquires in a rumble aimed at the hood of the van. He doesn't seem to mind the cold, despite his relatively low-key leather jacket. "I can bring to you." He looks over at Jeremy and offers with an upheld hand, "I can hold hands like cup. Is big enough to be hat, I think." He demonstrates. His hands are pretty big.

Richard snorts at Maxim's offer, mouth twitching into a smile as he glances over on his way inside. "Close," he agrees, eyeing Maxim's' hands before he moves through the door.

"If you weren't already driving I'd assume you were trying to cheat." Jeremy gives Maxim a big grin and then turns to half walk, half bound after Richard towards the precious food sources.

Rosalie glances at Max, and then at the others heading toward the precious, precious food. "It's all right," she says, unfolding herself and slipping down from the hood. "I can go in." Besides, it's probably warm in there.

Tiffany joins the members of her convoy a few minutes later, passing through the entrance to the stop well after the door closes behind Rosalie. Marching up to return the key, she holds it with a single finger, like she doesn’t want to touch it.

"I do not mind driving," Maxim says easily and follows along, lured by the smell of frying things. Mmmm, frying things.

"I'm sure he could put his name into the bowl even if the bowl's his own hands," Richard tells Jeremy reasonably as he steps inside and starts scoping out the options. "It's like dealer's choice of fried food."

"Awright. Let's get all the cheeseburgers." Jeremy rubs his hands together like a man about to murder his own arteries.

Rosalie seems a little less thrilled by the idea of cheeseburgers. She peers around her cautiously, folding her hands tightly in front of her. "Do you think they have salads?"

"I would be wary of vegetables from this place. Only the heat of boiling oil would make food safe, I think." Maxim pitches his voice low for Rosalie's benefit, and also because insulting food from a place where you're about to order some is never a solid plan. "But potatoes, this is probably safe. Are you vegetarian?"

"He might be right," Tiffany offers darkly in agreement with Maxim's statement. Crossing her arms as she comes up at the back of the line, she peers forward to see what they *do* definitely have. Partially turning her back to the others, she rifles in her purse to perhaps not so stealthily count how much money she has.

"Maybe not -- /all/ the cheeseburgers," Richard says in mild demurral. Then: "Okay, maybe a few." He glances over at the others with a quiet snort of laughter. "I'm sure it's not -- /totally/ toxic."

"I've really got to get some more positivity into you before this trip is out," Jeremy says, giving Richard a measuring look that breaks swiftly into a wide and dorky smile. "Cheeseburgers, fries and chicken strips!" he announces, and marches forth toward one of the fast food counters so that he can make this dream a reality.

"I eat fish," Rosalie informs Maxim, her fingers still interlaced tightly in front of her. She darts a dubious look at the fast food counters. "I lived in Newfoundland; I had to eat fish. They live entirely on cod and screech," she says. This is possibly not true. "And that one good Iranian hole in the wall."

Letting her purse sag in the crook of bent arm, Tiffany looks back up. Already, she works on chipping her freshly painted nails by tapping them against her teeth in thought while she waits for the others to order first.

"See, there. They have fried fish sandwich," Maxim points helpfully at the menu, which he can almost reach up and touch. He doesn't. That'd be silly. He orders for himself, three sandwiches and the largest fries they have. "I enjoy Persian food, but spices are not so good for me. We Russians view salt as a dangerous spice."

"I'm super positive," Richard mumbles. "I let Tiffany paint my nails, didn't I?" Which is totally a -- form of positivity. He steps after Jeremy and orders something that might be more conscientious except it's fast food and there's not much you can do. It involves cheeseburgers.

"It's a start." Jeremy pats Richard lightly on the butt while he waits for the fast food workers to miraculously present him with kind of absurd amounts of fried things. It's super subtle, and stuff. "Salt is the food of the gods. I love salt. You need small amounts of salt to live. You know what else is great? Pepper. Condiments are heroes."

Rosalie orders the fried fish sandwich. In a combo. She's living dangerously. "I grew up in Toronto," she explains. "Which is...a little like New York, perhaps, but cleaner?" she explains for Max's benefit. "But so many different kinds of food. From many different cultures. And." She toys with her fingers. "My parents didn't believe in fast food and didn't let me eat it until I was sixteen."

"I was in prison when I was sixteen," Maxim tilts his head, thinking, and adds, "It is a potato and onion-based cuisine. New York is much better for food, I think, than prison in Russia."

Tiffany orders a large fry. "I don't think I ever ended up really eating fast food until I was a teenager either," she offers. Her wide eyes shift between Max and Rosalie. The details of her own past feel less and less colorful by comparison with every passing second and so, she doesn't share.

Richard startles visibly, which is great for continuing the subtlety of Jeremy's very visible grope. "Are you making up mineral superheroes?" he says, baffling just a little bit. "I mean. I guess you'd know better than I would. I think I like both of those things, though." He glances between the others. "Wow. Fast food was like -- a staple when I was a kid. Did everyone finally figure out how terrible it was and stop letting their kids eat it?"

"No," Jeremy says. He gives Richard a sunny smile. "Fast food was a staple for us too and we literally ran a fucking restaurant." His drink is ready before his food, so he takes it, and starts slurping it down right away. Then his food bag comes while he's doing this, so he grabs that too.

"My parents had Ideas about food," says Rosalie, as if that explains all. "They tried to raise us on vibrant, organic, local, multi-ethnic cuisine." She raises on her toes to watch the counter. "Then my brother turned sixteen, and promptly ate every burger he could lay his hands on, and my mom gave up and started bringing home pizza every night."

Maxim sets to his three double cheeseburgers with everything on them and blinks owlishly at Rosalie like, 'What?'

“Jesus,” Tiffany blinks at Rosalie’s story as well. She shifts her eyes, offering a dry, “Thank God for your brother. We weren’t allowed to go crazy but honestly I don’t think my parents would even know what organic food was, now.” She brings up a hand to rub at the base of her neck.

"Wow. Well. We did a lot of -- you know, hamburger helper type stuff. Does that still exist?" Richard looks between the group as he sits down with his burger. He reaches for his soda to suck some dwn.

"Da. In many flavors," Maxim confirms, sprinkling salt delicately on his fries. He doesn't even do ketchup.

"Don't knock local," Jeremy says. "It's a great way to live and eat, if you can afford it. Support local business. Local farmers. Fuck corporations. Except my corporation, obviously," he adds. "My corporation is great. Because it's a small business. Go us." He slurps more soda as he flops down into a seat next to Richard. He takes up a lot of space, too. Because he's wearing a ridiculously puffy coat.

"My parents were..." Rosalie doesn't finish the sentence. Perhaps it would look inconsiderate. She shifts her weight from one foot to another, and accepts her food bag with a murmured thank you as they sit down. She extracts her fish sandwich. She considers it. "Very into what was _responsible_," she decides finally.

Sitting across from Jeremy and Richard, Tiffany stuffs her face with a few fries at once, “Is that a diplomatic way of saying that they were strict? ...or were they just conscientious?” She asks Rosalie between fries.

"I mean -- is X-Factor really a /corporation/?" Richard squints a little. How does business consolidation work. (Spoiler alert: he doesn't know.) "Don't get me wrong, my parents were mostly -- you know, feeding us balanced meals and -- stuff. Just. You know, fast food also existed. And they were both working, and money was tight sometimes." Thus: hamburger helper. Maxim remains determinedly silent on the subject of parents. He has sandwiches to eat, which he attends to with care and diligence, finishing each and neatly folding the wrappers after he's done.

"Yep," Jeremy says. "X-Factor Solutions, LLC. Does that make me a sellout?" He unwraps his cheeseburger and takes a huge bite out of it, which prevents him from immediately commenting on anything else recently put forward.

Rosalie carefully dissects her fish sandwich, examining the bun, the cheese, the fried fish fillet, and the special sauce with a hint of dubious. She reassembles said sandwich with nervous fingers, and looks up, considering Tiffany with a dark gaze. "Conscientious," she says. "And, well. They were the sort of...well, 'yuppie's the wrong word. Upper middle class liberals invested in environmentalism and global consciousness and granola and yoga. Not that any of that is _bad_...but..." She hesitates, biting her lip. "It is a very particular mindset, and sometimes--I think they were a little out of touch."

Not one to break eye-contact with a dark gaze, Tiffany frowns, nods, and accepts Rosalie’s explanation without a follow-up. “My parents are mainstream, middle class… they believe everything they hear and see on the news,” she shakes her head. Her eyes flick over to Jeremy, “You’re not a sellout.”

"Yup. Total corporate stooge," Richard confirms for Jeremy with ease. Ah well. He looks over to Rosalie. "Maybe a little," he agrees, humor wry but not unkind.

"You can't be a stooge when you're the boss," Jeremy lectures Richard. He toasts Tiffany with a French fry, and then smiles. "Anyway, Tiffany says I'm not a sellout!" (he says this like it means he wins.)

"It makes you smart for covering your rear," Rosalie tells Jeremy reassuringly, as if she can really not bring herself to say the word 'ass.' "And...well-meaning," she adds to Richard. "Always. But not always aware of what was going on at street level. Dad was an university professor. That...probably explains somethings." She glances back to Tiffany. "It depends on what news they're believing." She pauses. "Would you like half my sandwich?" she asks of Tiffany and her fries.

“I don’t know if you should /lead/ with me as your character witness,” Tiffany warns Jeremy with the beginning makings of a grin. She breathes out a little laugh to Rosalie, “Nothing good.” When the other woman offers her sandwich, a crease forms between her brow, “Are you not going to eat it all?” She asks, suspiciously but y’know, interested.

"It is nice to have family that cares, even if it sometimes difficult. My girlfriend Lexie has this trouble, I think, but also -- it is nice. Her mother sends baked goods home with her." Maxim starts collecting trash and holds out his tray to offer to take the others' if they wish. "Her brother is ass, but I like him, too. She is lucky. It sounds like you are mostly all lucky too, this way."

"Okay, you're the corporate man," Richard says, reaching over to pat Jeremy's shoulder. "That's even worse." He peers over at Maxim. "I mean, my parents have both passed, but sure." After a beat, he says, "Oh, Tom? He's just prickly."

"Sikorski? Fucking self-righteous jackass," Jeremy sighs, smearing his hand over his face. "Yeah, I know, corporate tool. What's that make you, Rich?" He smiles sidelong at him, shakes his head, and then reaches to gather up some more fries. "You seem like a fine character witness to me. Duets and all," he tells Tiffany, gesturing with the fries before he puts them in his face.

Rosalie regards her sandwich for a moment, and then looks back up at Tiffany. "I don't think I'll eat the whole thing," she replies. "It's rather a lot of sandwich, and I'm tiny. Too much of a mouthful. And," she adds, "it'd be a shame to let it go to waste."

“Uhm, sure, then,” Tiffany shrugs inwardly to Rosalie, her voice rising in pitch just slightly, “Thanks.” Her attention slides over to Maxim, giving him the smallest of smiles as her way of agreeing with his statement even if she doesn’t say as much.

"Yes, that is him. He called me a murderer and I did not break his hand. Then we had coffee." Maxim relates. This is not exactly how that conversation went, Maxim. "He seems like good man."

"He's not that bad," Richard disagrees mildly, but without enough heat to suggest he's going to get into a serious argument about Tom Sikorski. He smiles faintly at Jeremy's question. "Me? I'm a union man. Fraternizing with the enemy, I guess." He blinks at Maxim. "Well -- yeah, that sounds like him."

Rosalie looks to Max a little uncertainly, as if she is not quite certain whether she should accept this as the usual level of discourse in this world. "Oh, I guess that's good?" she ventures. Her attention back on her sandwich, she takes it between her fingers, and very carefully tears it in two, as near as perfectly in half as she manage, and hands half to Tiffany with a faint, shy smile.

Maxim reassures Rosalie gently, picking up the trash and rising, "It was long time ago. I do not do that kind of thing any more."

Tiffany takes the offered sandwich with in a rare display of shyness, herself. “Thanks,” she says again. Keeping her head bowed, she carefully moves it to sit atop the remainder of her fries. Evidently hungry after all, she doesn’t wait very long before she bites into it.

"Oh my God," Richard says, lifting a hand to scrub his face a little as Maxim reassures and rises. Instead of saying anything else, he stuffs the rest of his cheeseburger in his mouth.

"Uh-huh." Jeremy leaves his fries and burger half-finished as he stands. "I'm gonna take a leak. Work out amongst yourselves who's driving next, will ya? We've got a few hours before we hit the hotel. That's gonna be an awesome bed, by the way. Nothing like a good old trucker hotel. God, it's been years. Back on the old bounty hunting beat--" and he might finish this story but he's already wandering off to investigate the possibility of the key to the bathroom.

Rosalie eats her half of her sandwich more slowly, with careful bites. She doesn't keel over and die from the ingestion of fried food, though. So far so good. "That much longer until bed?" she says with a sigh. Apparently she's over this road trip thing already.

"I do not mind driving further," Maxim offers as he returns, looming. But amiably.

"I mean, if we're seriously not volunteering Sumit," Tiffany arches an eyebrow, "I don't mind doing it. It'll be a nice change of pace from being stuck in the back seat." She finished her food in record speed and stands to clear her place. "I guess the faster we get out of this place, the faster we get to our beds."

"Swap out anyways," Richard tells Maxim. "Keeps everyone fresh." He rises next, limbs restless. "I better hit the bathroom, too. But yeah, faster we get gone, faster we'll hit the hotel." And -- BREAK. GO TEAM GO.

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