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2046-09-06 Breakdowns

From X-Factor

2046-09-06 Breakdowns
Date Posted 2016/09/06
Location The Sloppy Pony - Mutant Town
Participants Rohan, Valerie
Summary Rohan takes Valerie for a ride. It doesn't end as he hoped.
 
Rorohan.jpg Valvalerie.jpg
Tuesday night, the day after a holiday...it's not exactly the formula for a happening night at the Pony. In fact, it's looking a little sad tonight. The fewer people there are in, the grimier and more rundown the place looks. Energy has a way of hiding that.

Rohan is at the bar, despite it being Tuesday. He has a glass of something tall and dark, and his motorcycle helmet rests on the stool beside him. A tall brunette is currently toying with said helmet, and murmuring something toward him; he's laughing, but his mind seems elsewhere.

Tuesday or not, the Pony is one of Valerie's most reliable haunts. Cheap and easy, it makes an excellent stop before more expensive locales. She slips in with an eye already turned toward the bar, all innocence in a sundress of warm cream lace with her hair left loose around her shoulders. It takes her only a moment to spot Rohan, and her eyes narrow briefly when she does, but then she sets her shoulders and strides forward toward the opposite end of the bar. She leans over it, waving a hand at the bartender, who gives her an inevitable grin.

Rohan sees Valerie. His gaze tracks her even as he makes some offhanded comment to the brunette, a.s if he cannot quite tear his eyes from her. He makes no immediate move toward her, instead raising his glass, and an eyebrow toward her, his mouth quirked.

Beside him, the brunette huffs in annoyance

Valerie does not ignore Rohan. Not quite. She's busy smiling at the bartender as she places her order with a lean far enough forward that the deep v of her neckline leaves little to his imagination, but her eyes meet Rohan's briefly. She watches him for a steady beat, then another, and then she turns away to give the bartender one more smile before sliding her slow way down onto the barstool.

Rohan's eyes rest on hers, equally steady. He looks to the bartender, and tips him a wink, too, noting, in a low voice, "The lady's drink is on me." And, picking up his helmet, he moves--exactly one stool over. The brunette deserts him.

The bartender turns to check with Valerie, brows lifted in query. She draws her gaze back to Rohan, steady and level, and then turns back to the bartender with an allowing shrug.

Rohan flashes Valerie a bright smile, and takes a slow sip of his own drink, tilting his head back. For a moment it seems he might stay there, one stool closer than he was before, calmly sipping his drink, but, with a shrug, he arises, and wanders down the length of the bar, unhurried, helmet tucked under one arm. "So," he says, with a cheeky grin as he approaches Valerie, "what's a nice girl like you doing in a place like this?"

Valerie tilts her head for a moment, narrowing her eyes at Rohan in brief consideration before she swivels on her stool. One slim leg is crossed over the other, palely visible beneath the lace of her skirt. "Getting drunk on free alcohol," she answers breezily. Her smile settles into easy, automatic place. "Best kind, in my opinion."

Rohan rests an elbow on the bar. "Play your cards right, and there might be more where that came from," he tells her, voice light. It remains light, but just a touch less, when he adds, "Call it an apology of sorts."

There's a touch of real surprise in Valerie's gaze at this, marked most notably by the fade of her smile into a more genuine expression. "You're apologizing?" she says. Her voice is not quite skeptical. It settles instead in uncertainty.

Rohan, too, looks uncertain, all the smooth sass he was trying on earlier fading. He pulls up the stool beside her and settles on it. "I'm sorry I fought with you," he says. "And I'm sorry I said some crappy things when I was angry." He sets his drink on the bar and toys with it. "As for the rest..." His voice trails off a bit. He swallows. "I don't think you were completely right," he says, "but--you weren't completely wrong either. You made me realize I had to think about some things."

Valerie looks skittishly uncomfortable. She shifts on her stool, uncrossing her legs only to recross them in opposite order. The arrival of her drink provides a happy distraction, and she seizes it with a quick lift of her glass to her lips. Only then does she look back at Rohan to quip, "Sounds dangerous."

"Mmhmm," says Rohan. He notes the discomfort; he reaches out just to brush her arm with his fingertips. "Thinking's really dangerous," he adds, easily. "Especially for me. Get lost in my own head sometimes." He takes another swallow of his drink. "I don't have any right to dictate who you sleep with, and I'm sorry if you felt I was. Rich doesn't think I ever--but, well, we're best friends, so that's always going to get into weird territory."

Valerie dips her head to mark the touch of Rohan's fingers against the bare skin of her arm. There's a weighty pause before she answers in suggestive murmur, "Not /always/."

The touch of Rohan's fingers becomes surer, the roughness of his fingertips a whisper against her skin. He exhales an explosive little breath, tinged with amusement. "Depends on the friends," he says. And then, "I'm possibly open to...a certain amount of experimentation. If we come to that. But he has other issues at the moment."

Valerie's breath catches in her throat, and goosebumps chase a fast line down her arm from the point of Rohan's touch. She lifts her head slowly, meeting his gaze with blue eyes gone a little dark. It takes her a moment to murmur, "Right. His poly boyfriend."

Rohan runs a finger over her hand, in and out of the little hollows of her knuckles, his gaze intent on hers. "Right," he agrees. "But that's his issue to sort out, either way. I can't make him more comfortable with any of that. I just want him to be happy and comfortable." He swallows. "I want you to be happy and comfortable, too."

Valerie flicks her brows upward in an expression of pointed amusement. Her hand remains very still beneath his, but her voice is light with unvoiced laughter. "Do I look uncomfortable, R?" Her voice lowers suggestively as she adds, "Do you want my safe word?"

"Sometimes," replies Rohan, honestly, even as he rests his hand over hers. "I--well. If you want to ever--talk--that'd be okay. I'd like it if you--wanted to talk sometimes." He is awkward for a moment, groping for words and not finding the right words, giving his head a shake in frustration. Still, he shivers the faintest bit at the suggestion in her voice and, half despite himself, leans closer, and murmurs, "Of course, when it comes to you, I also want you naked and writhing in pleasure, screaming my name to the ceiling." A pause. "Mine's 'mongoose.'"

Valerie's brows lower again, and for a moment she looks baffled. She's saved from the need of any real or honest reply by Rohan's lean, his murmured confession. Her smile returns quick and smoldering. "Blizzard," she returns, turning her head toward his so that the breath of it warms his skin in brief gust.

"Never would have guessed that one," murmurs Rohan, his eyes closing briefly at the touch of her breath. "You're far too hot for such a cold safe word." He opens his eyes again, watching her for a moment, before he leans forward for a kiss; light and warm, teasing her with brushes of his lips.

"Kind of the point," Valerie answers with a breath of laughter in the beat before his lips find hers. Her mouth is warm and eager, heavily flavored with whiskey. She twists into him, drawing her leg up to slide it against his in suggestive press as her fingers press into the nape of his neck.

Rohan wraps an arm about her waist and pulls her close, until they are balanced precariously between the edges of the barstools rather than firmly on either one, lost in the kiss, all warmth and want and whiskey. He breaks it a moment later, with a soft sigh. "Oh, god, Lollipop," he whispers, face still close to hers.

Valerie leans in to chase that broken kiss with the catch of her teeth against his lower lip. "That's a new one," she tells him, grinning. Her hands slide down from the nape of his neck to skim against his hips. They settle warm atop his thighs, her

Rohan runs a finger over her hand, in and out of the little hollows of her knuckles, his gaze intent on hers. "Right," he agrees. "But that's his issue to sort out, either way. I can't make him more comfortable with any of that. I just want him to be happy and comfortable." He swallows. "I want you to be happy and comfortable, too."

Valerie flicks her brows upward in an expression of pointed amusement. Her hand remains very still beneath his, but her voice is light with unvoiced laughter. "Do I look uncomfortable, R?" Her voice lowers suggestively as she adds, "Do you want my safe word?"

"Sometimes," replies Rohan, honestly, even as he rests his hand over hers. "I--well. If you want to ever--talk--that'd be okay. I'd like it if you--wanted to talk sometimes." He is awkward for a moment, groping for words and not finding the right words, giving his head a shake in frustration. Still, he shivers the faintest bit at the suggestion in her voice and, half despite himself, leans closer, and murmurs, "Of course, when it comes to you, I also want you naked and writhing in pleasure, screaming my name to the ceiling." A pause. "Mine's 'mongoose.'"

Valerie's brows lower again, and for a moment she looks baffled. She's saved from the need of any real or honest reply by Rohan's lean, his murmured confession. Her smile returns quick and smoldering. "Blizzard," she returns, turning her head toward his so that the breath of it warms his skin in brief gust.

"Never would have guessed that one," murmurs Rohan, his eyes closing briefly at the touch of her breath. "You're far too hot for such a cold safe word." He opens his eyes again, watching her for a moment, before he leans forward for a kiss; light and warm, teasing her with brushes of his lips.

"Kind of the point," Valerie answers with a breath of laughter in the beat before his lips find hers. Her mouth is warm and eager, heavily flavored with whiskey. She twists into him, drawing her leg up to slide it against his in suggestive press as her fingers press into the nape of his neck.

Rohan wraps an arm about her waist and pulls her close, until they are balanced precariously between the edges of the barstools rather than firmly on either one, lost in the kiss, all warmth and want and whiskey. He breaks it a moment later, with a soft sigh. "Oh, god, Lollipop," he whispers, face still close to hers.

Valerie leans in to chase that broken kiss with the catch of her teeth against his lower lip. "That's a new one," she tells him, grinning. Her hands slide down from the nape of his neck to skim against his hips. They settle warm atop his thighs, her fingers firm pressure against his legs. "I like it." She shifts forward, sliding free of her stool entirely to murmur, "Are you taking me home, R?"

"I'm taking you for a ride," replies Rohan, with a soft exhalation of breath. He frees one hand from her to point to his motorcycle helmet. "It'll probably end at mine." He grins at her, bright, pulling her close. "Probably."

Valerie settles between his legs with her fingers still hard and warm against his thighs. Her head turns toward his gesture, and she looks back to him with swift surprise. "You have a bike? Seriously?"

"It was one of the first things I bought when I got here," Rohan tells her, judiciously ignoring the period of homelessness that proceeded that. His words are easy, although the pace of his breaths is just a little quicker at the feel of her against him, nestled between his legs. "I like to ride," he tells her with a wicked smirk, breath close enough to warm her skin. He adds a wink. "Fast and hard."

Valerie groans, low and half-amused as she turns into the warmth of his breath. "Terrible, R," she chides on a huff of laughter that gusts against the column of his neck before she pulls back and flicks her brows up. "Well?" she says. "Take me for a ride, then."

"It wasn't one of my best," admits Rohan, with a low chuckle. He arises from his stool, offering her a hand and a brilliant grin before he ushers her out of the bar to where his bike, sleek and scarlet, stands outside. He produces a second helmet from somewhere (magic), and helps her with it before throwing a leg over the bike. "Do you want to go somewhere, kitten, or do you just want to ride until we're breathless?"

There is a beat of hesitation for the stretch of Rohan's hand, but it's gone before it can do too much damage. Valerie settles her hand in his, following him with a surprised glance for that magic second helmet. She casts him a curious sidelong look through the sweep of her lashes before settling it into place and letting him do up the buckle. She takes a moment to appreciate the sight of Rohan astride the bike, taking the picture in with an up-down drag of her eyes and a slow smile before she steps forward to settle in behind him, her arms snugged around his waist. "It's your bike," she answers. "You decide."

"All right," says Rohan, with a faint laugh. "Hold on tight, sweetheart. Very tight." At, at a quick movement of his hand, the motorbike bike purrs to life. It's not a huge macho bike that roars and thunders; it's a sleeker, racing bike with a insistent purr that rumbles the frame between their legs. Rohan peels out into the street with a quick glance, and the air of someone who has some idea where he's going.

He is the sort of motorcyclist that drivers hate. He drives fast, and aggressively, swooping around cars and through traffic with a grace and efficiency that annoys drivers behind the wheels of more cumbersome vehicles. He has the odd insult thrown in his direction, but he doesn't seem to care. He's gone already, the wind whistling in his ears.

It's easy to read Valerie's reactions to the experience in the tightening of her hands against his stomach, the shift of her legs against his thighs, the sharp draw of her breath at his ear. There are moments of nervous fear, often followed by a bright cackle of exhilaration. It's no surprise that Valerie likes the fast and the dangerous. As they sweep through the streets of New York, her eyes remain bright on the blur of people and lights. Eventually Rohan's twisting and weaving takes them beyond the crisscross of Manhattan's streets and onto faster roads, and here she settles closer to him, turning her cheek to rest against the curve of his shoulder and closing her eyes to the rush of the wind.

Rohan enjoys his weaving through traffic, as evident in the occasional breathless laugh--but as they head further beyond the city, the roads beginning to clear, and he can simply go as fast as he likes, the muscles of his back relax against her. The wind rushes around them, carrying with it the occasional raindrop, and the bike's light cuts through the growing night. "You okay?" Rohan asks at one point, words torn from his mouth by the wind. Valerie nods, her answer a silent shift of her head against his back. The grip of her arms loosens around his middle, settling into something warm and comfortable rather than clinging. She remains silent in the wind.

Rohan falls silent again, but it's a comfortable silence, as the bike purrs down the road, caught in wind and that touch of rain, the faintest hint of a summer storm somewhere off. They are now well beyond the city, as city gives way to suburb, and then to farmland, and then to trees and grass and rocks. The stars are just visible above, through broken cloud cover; stars such as you never see in Manhattan, with all its light pollution.

Then it happens. Something--a fox, perhaps, or maybe a cat--runs across the road, and Rohan twists to avoid it, the bike's front wheel hitting a broken bit of pavement. It bucks for a moment like a fractious horse, Rohan wrestling it back under control, and then it makes a very alarming sound.

Despite her general exhilaration, that swerve and buck rips a scream from Valerie's throat. Her grip tightens around his waist again, clinging desperately as she tightens her legs against the bike. Her heart beats in rapid race, pounding against her ears even after Rohan's regained control.

"Fuck," says Rohan very distinctly. The bike is making a chug-chugging sound, broken and erratic and very unlike its earlier smooth purr. It is slowing, too, becoming more and more unsteady as it slows. Rohan guides it to the shoulder, pulling it off just as a car in a hurry wooshes past them, sending up a fine spray of water from a tiny puddle. Rohan steadies the bike, and glances over his shoulder. "All right?" he asks.

Valerie nods quickly, but she wastes no time in swinging her leg free of the motorcycle as Rohan pulls to the shoulder and stepping away. She scrubs her hands against her thighs, smoothing the crumpled lace as she steadies her breathing. It takes her a moment to look up to Rohan and ask, "What happened?"

"Swerved to avoid hitting an animal and wound up in a pothole." Rohan does not sound happy. "It didn't end well." He swings off the bike, his gaze flicking between the bike and Valerie, and, in the end, goes to give Valerie an awkward hug. "I'm sorry," he says.

Valerie stands awkward and stiff for Rohan's hug, and then she shudders and melts into the circle of his arm. "It's okay," she says, and then she laughs, dragging a hand up to unsnap her helmet and toss it to one side. "Holy fuck," she gasps. "That was wild."

Rohan's arms tighten a little about her, holding her close--but he laughs, breathlessly, as she does. "Sometimes I ride out here at night, just for the wind and the stars," he tells her. "It's amazing." He looks down to her with a rueful little smile. "Usually it doesn't break down, though."

"Shit, I hope not." Valerie tilts her head up to regard Rohan in the darkness, watching as the headlights of a passing car throw him into brief relief. She's very still for a moment, and when she stirs, her movements are slow and deliberate. She shifts against him, drawing her leg between his. Her hands rise to settle at his hips, fingers curling against his waistband. "So," she asks, "what now?"

"I should probably take a look at the bike to see if it's something I can fix, or at least fix enough to get us back to the city," says Rohan. His voice is level, rational, even as his hands flatten against her back, warm through the lace of her dress. "If not, look up the nearest open repair place, call for a tow, and see if we can hitch a ride to somewhere we can spend the night..." His hands slip down over the curve of her ass.

"Sounds like a long night," Valerie says. She shifts against the cup of his hands with a little practiced shimmy, her eyes bright with mischief as she looks up at him, but then she ruins the moment entirely by stepping backward and drawing her hands to her side, freeing Rohan. "You know how to fix that thing?"

Rohan's gaze lingers on her rather than the bike, taking a half a step over to her. "I can fix little things," he admits. "If it's a big thing, I either have to go to the professionals--or the enormous Russian with the giant tool chest."

"Hot," Valerie says, either of the fixing or the enormous Russian. Hard to say. Either way she's grinning as she watches him. "Are you gonna end up with grease smears and mussed hair?"

"Yes," replies Rohan, with a quick flash of a grin. "Ruined a shirt last time. I can arrange to be extra greasy, if you like."

"Mmm. Tempting, but we don't have a shower handy," Valerie points out. Her gaze lingers on the curve of his grin for a beat before she drags it away, tilting her head upward to consider the stars. She glances back down toward Rohan briefly. "Get to it, hot stuff. Long night and all."

"I ride out here sometimes to look at the stars," Rohan notes at her upward glance. "They're gorgeous outside the city." He turns to the bike, raising the seat to retrieve a toolkit and a flashlight from within. "Hrm. Give me half a hour and if I can't get it going, we'll call for a tow?" That said, he turns on the light, and scrambles under the bike to start poking at things.

"Yeah," Valerie says, her voice gone oddly soft as she watches him. "You said." Her gaze follows him for a moment, watching him retrieve his tools and settle in to work. After he's been at it for several minutes she wanders off, climbing over the ditch at the side of the road to settle down into the overgrown grass bordering the highway. The sweeping headlights of passing cars offers the occasional distraction, lighting up the silhouette of Rohan and his bike as she leans forward into her knees to watch them.

Rohan fiddles with the bike for several minutes, lost in his task. He moves about the bike as he considers, bending over often, and sometimes outright sprawling on the ground. It's a good angle for him. Finally, he huffs in frustration, and goes to join Valerie. Grease is smeared over his face and his t-shirt, mud smeared into his shirt and jeans. He gestures with a wrench and sighs.

Valerie straightens from her forward lean, giving Rohan a lazy smile as he joins her. She lifts a hand to trace a smudge of grease along one cheekbone in answer to his sigh. "Tow truck?" she says.

"Unless I think of something brilliant in the next five minutes," admits Rohan. His face is tense with frustration, but brights at the touch of one finger. "Which, to be fair, is probably not happening. Best to go for the tow truck." He watches her face by the light of the passing traffic. "Want to spend the night in some crappy hotel in the middle of nowhere with me, Lollipop?"

"Absolutely fucking not," Valerie answers, but she says it with a laugh bright with humor. She turns away, leaning backward with her arms braced behind her and her head tipped backwards to regard the stars. "Do you know the last time I stayed in some crappy motel, Rocky Road?"s

"Well, you don't seem to be a crappy motel sort of girl," says Rohan easily. "More like a Waldorf Astoria kind of girl. I, on the other hand, once spent a few nights on a park bench." He turns his face to the stars. "See those three bright stars, there?" he says, tracing them with a gesture of his wrench. "They call that the Summer Triangle."

Valerie lowers her head to glance over at Rohan, blinking at him in obvious surprise. "Really?" she says.

"Really which?" asks Rohan, looking over to her. "The park bench?" He shrugs, a little awkwardly. "I was--really down on my luck when I first came here. I had a shortage of options."

"Damn," Valerie says. Her gaze moves away before it can meet his for too long, and there's an awkward stretch of silence that follows. She covers it by tilting her head back again to fix on the stars. Eventually she speaks again, her voice carefully light. "It's too bad we aren't stuck in an alternate dimension. We'd have all sorts of non-crappy options. Just wander into the nearest bookstore, or find a great billboard."

Rohan stares at the dirt for a long moment during her awkward stretch of silence. He clears his throat, and then looks up to her. "What?" he says, voice light. "You don't carry a picture of a posh room in your wallet?"

"Do I look like I have a wallet stowed somewhere?" Valerie asks with a note of amusement before she shakes her head. She draws her gaze back over to Rohan, hesitating for a moment before she says, "It's not the picture that's the problem. It's the-- taking people. That was the upgrade. Whatever they did."

"Tucked in your bra?" wonders Rohan, with a lift of his brows. "If you're wearing one today?" And his gaze drifts over to contemplate this, until he clears his throat and tries to bring his mind back. "Oh," he says. "I--didn't realize."

Valerie isn't - wearing a bra, that is - a fact which is abundantly clear on closer study. There's another beat of hesitation before she drags the lace of her skirt upward along bare thighs and flips the hem over to reveal a tiny photograph printed on fabric and stitched into the lining. "Seems like bad manners to take the good bed and leave you all alone, though," she says with a quick, uneven smile.

"Ah ha," says Rohan triumphantly at the reveal of the photograph--admittedly with a lingering glance at the bare thighs. "I'm the one whose stupid bike broke down," he says, with a smile. "It's all right, Lollipop. Let's get the bike taken care of, and see what the local motel's like. I can keep your picture safe."

"Aren't you self-sacrificing," Valerie answers, letting her smile slide toward a grin as she turns toward him. She adjusts an inch or two, closing the distance between them with a lean into Rohan. Her hand lifts, and she slides her thumb along his cheekbone again, just below a smudge of grease. "What happened to writhing under you in pleasure?" she wonders lowly. "You think I came with you just to ride the bike?"

"Well," replies Rohan, lowly, lips curving into a slow smile. "I hope not, given I was thinking of the ride as a form of foreplay." He reaches up, brushing one of Valerie's windblown curls from her face. "And you look so gorgeous flushed and breathless."

"Call a tow," Valerie says, her gaze fixed hot and steady on Rohan's. Her hand lingers against his cheek, a warm, still pressure, and she doesn't move as she watches him.

"I'll call a tow," replies Rohan. He does not immediately move to do so, his gaze caught on hers. "And...?"

"And maybe a mediocre hotel," Valerie says. Her lips quirk upward at the edges, hinting at amusement.

Rohan breathes a soft laugh. "Are you willing to brave a mediocre hotel for me, Lollipop?"

"Don't push it," Valerie warns, but she's grinning when she closes the distance between them to catch at his mouth in a heated kiss that suggests a positive answer to his question.

"Easy there," murmurs Rohan, pulling away from her in reluctance. "I do need to call for the tow before it gets any darker." He kisses her back once, twice, hard. "Right. I'm going to call--" He kisses her again. "Now."

"Mmhm," Valerie murmurs against his lips, stealing another kiss punctuated by the teasing catch of her teeth before she releases him entirely, her smile smugly anticipatory as he makes the call. The wait is not particularly long, but it's long enough for Valerie to climb into Rohan's lap and explore the taste of him quite thoroughly. She's got her hands under his shirt and her skirt hiked to her hips when the beams of the tow truck's headlights sweep across them, and she shows absolutely no shame for the matter on the short ride into the nearest town and its mediocre hotels.

Rohan shows slightly more shame. Slightly. It doesn't stop him from tossing a smug wink at the tow truck driver, or, for that firm matter, keeping his hands on Valerie the entire way in. The hotel they end up at is mediocre, but at least it's clean. And there's a bed. A large one. Which is probably all they need tonight.

Of course, knowing them, they probably could have made do with a sturdy wall.

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