I had planned for this to be the first of the fanfics that I've been working on (I usually release the stuff i've been working on but hadn't finished on Thanksgiving week), but my writing bloc finally broke & I'm back to work. So, in any case, this is a 'Mini' I worked on...
Working At The Car Wash
A Legion of Lawndale Heroes ‘Mini’ by Brother Grimace
Legion of Lawndale Heroes created by James Bowman
One of the things that set the Legion apart from other groups that would inevitably spring up after the revelation of their abilities was the long-standing, inviolate devotion they held to the policies and activities that they had begun when they first started. This meant that every Legionnaire could be counted on appearing at public functions, on television, radio or Internet broadcasts, or at philanthropic events.
The latter – whether very large, or smaller than one would consider appropriate for the appearance of such ‘A-list celebrities’ as the Legionnaires – would forever endear the organization to the public, for it meant that the average person would always have opportunities to see them up-close and in person. The Legion’s policy of absolute adherence to holding and appearing at philanthropic events ensured that the public would always have a positive perception on the organization, because they saw for themselves that they were actual people, ‘normal’ kids (more or less), and ‘just like anyone else.
Of course, for various reasons, some Legionnaires were considered by the public to be more easily approachable than others…
-from Inside The Tower
Now I'm patrollin' and I'm lookin' for a skirt, this thing I'm holin’
I still got game ain't a damn thing change
I spot ten V's in the left lane
Eye contact is on, I'm rollin’ down windows pointin’ at thongs
And she's poppin' them buttons and yankin’ that blouse
Girl let it all out!
And that's what she did, baby ain't no kid
36 D's a make a man skid
I'm puttin' in work on the freeway pass
'Cause she put 'em on the glass (yeah)
Put 'em on the glass
Put 'em on the glass, girl
Put 'em on the glass
- from Put 'em On The Glass, by Sir Mix-a-lot
NOTE: This ‘Mini’ takes place several months after the events of LLH Chapter Fourteen
Daria ignored the music as she turned to her best friend.
“I am going to get you for this, Lane, I promise you – I will get you.”
“Oh, stop complaining, Morgendorffer. You’ve made over three thousand dollars for charity on your own!”
“I hate this. I hate that everybody thought that it’s such a great idea. I hate that you conned the Colonel and Quinn into guilting me into wearing this - stupid - thing.”
“Oh, come on, Daria. It’s not even that revealing a bathing suit – kind of dignified, really, considering what Stacy and Jodie are wearing – or the fact that Julia and Brittany are wearing those ultra-tight wet-suit things that they surf in. They’ve caused more fender-benders all day…”
“I hate the idea of the ‘VIP car wash’, and I hate-”
“Oh, please. You know that you loved it when that musician-”
“If that’s what you want to call the sounds he makes on stage,” Daria replied, her tone testy. “I’d hardly call it music-”
Jane picked up an oversized sponge; the orange scent of the auto detergent was so pungent that her eyes nearly blurred for a moment, but she rested her hands on the hood of the vintage, cherry-red 1973 Mustang Mach 1 and ignored the way the two boys (wearing the gray-with white trim sweaters of the Toyndon-Holloway School – ‘damn preppies’, Daria growled, as they pulled in) looked around the area.
“It’s for a good cause, D – and if I can keep from sending these two jerks home wrapped inside of their boy-toy, you can take it for a bit longer, as well.”
Daria watched Tiffany Blum-Deckler walk past, adorable in her floral bikini and sarong. “Shame that Quinn couldn’t be here today. Shame that Julia couldn’t cough in her face and heal her of her stomach flu.”
“Shame that the Colonel promised her that she could watch the next time Tom gets punished for screwing up - and he gets the Wagon Wheel – if she doesn’t heal any of us Legion types of any colds or minor stuff for her entire time here.”
Jane shrugged. “Something about ‘not getting too used to having an easy out for medical problems’. Besides – he just said that to be nice to her. You know that he loves being able to actually give at least one of us orders and expect for them to be obeyed.”
“Speaking of ‘expecting to be obeyed when you give an order…”
A wonderful smile went across the tiny, auburn-haired girl’s face as she glanced at the boys in the Mustang, and Jane nearly cringed before Daria patted her arm in support.
“Oh, don’t worry, Jane. They aren’t interested in you, me or any of us girly-types,” the smaller girl said, her smile lighting up her voice as well. “Their minds are just – bursting – with anticipation over the ‘celebrity car wash’ they won in the auction.”
“No. They’re the ones who won that shootout? They’re the ones who outbid that horny Argentinean – the one who offered triple for Tom alone? The one who created her own personal ‘I love Tom Sloane’ web site?”
Jane whistled. “Those guys have cash…”
“Yeah, they’re the ones – oh, and she’ll be here at three.” Daria couldn’t help but to let her ‘Mona Lisa’ smile break free. “Don’t tell Tom about that – you know that he’ll try to skip out on us.”
“Me? Let Tom off the hook when it comes to a girl? Not anytime soon.”
Daria gestured towards the Mustang. “Care to do the honors?”
“I accept with delight - First Legionnaire’s privilege!”
Jane turned and exaggerated putting her hands to her mouth. “Oh, Thomas? Michael? Charles? Your ‘special commission’ has arrived!”
Several rows of cars over in the Legion parking area, Mack Mackenzie and Tom Sloane cringed in unison at the joyful warble in their fellow Legionnaire’s tone.
“I really hate this,” Mack said, hardly able to keep the humor out of his voice as he approached the extra-long, jet-black limousine, bucket and sponges in hand. “It’s so – demeaning.”
“Yes, it is.” Tom pulled a lawn hose close to the limo, and tapped gently on one of the side windows. “It’s so wrong that we have to dress in next to nothing, simply to be objectified by others. We only have the knowledge that we’re helping a good cause.”
“Gentleman – you’re looking at it the wrong way,” Charles Ruttheimer told them. “There’s nothing wrong with just looking. There never was.”
Without a moment’s hesitation, Charles walked over to the cherry-red Mustang and around to the driver’s window. “Good afternoon, guys.”
Mouths dropped all over the parking lot as Charles peeled out of his t-shirt and leaned slightly against the car door. “You two won the contest, hmn? So, which of you gentlemen wants to help me… wash this car?”
Jane watched with a Daria-esque smirk as the two guys in the car were only able to stare and try to stammer out responses to Charles. “You know – for only the second time in my life, I’m glad Charles is around.”
“If you think that’s something,” Daria spoke up, “then watch this. Apparently, jocks don’t like to be upstaged.”
“No,” Jane all but cackled, watching as Mack pulled off the ‘wife-beater’ he wore as he started over to the Mustang. “No, it appears that they don’t. Come on.”
Ignoring the way that she nearly got trampled by a quintet of snack-chomping Polk High football players that were staring at Stacy Rowe (dressed in a skin-tight, knee-high pair of neon-pink Lycra swim pants and a same-colored string mesh bikini top that was way beyond soaked and soapy as she washed a extended van filled with entranced Boy Scouts), Jane walked over to Tom.
“More fun with football players, Jane?”
“Meh. Been dealing with hungry penguins since I was a freshman. Got to see one burn in the street last month – remember? Besides, they’re staring at girls in bikinis and gnawing on corndogs - asking them to also watch where they’re going is like expecting a dog to play Final Jeopardy! with a cat and a meat loaf sandwich.”
“Well, that’s an interesting metaphor.”
“Forget about that – I just hope they don’t litter. Sergeant Nemec takes that seriously.”
“Is that why she got put in charge of the concession stand?”
“Can you see anyone trying to act an ass with her nearby while they’re buying some popcorn or a lemonade?”
Jane watched as Mack waved Jaime White (dressed in a black wetsuit with neon-orange panels and tiny black spots throughout – so, that’s what he’s chosen for his Legion colors, she thought, just like his power, and it does work for him) over to the car that Charles had begun to wash.
“So… you shouldn’t have a problem with ‘gay’, young Master Thomas. How long were you in that private school?”
“That doesn’t bother me.” Tom turned to face his former girlfriend. “Being put on display does. I grew up on that – remember?”
“I remember that you’re a guy who doesn’t mind helping his friends, even if it means a little embarrassment.”
Jane managed to allow something that might be construed as a smile to emerge. “I also remember that once upon a time, I had a lot of reasons to like you. That was one of them – just like the way you would try to make up for your mistakes was.”
Tom went quiet for a second; he watched as Mack began soaping the hood of the Mustang before he spoke. “We’re really not friends now, are we, Jane?”
The ghost of a smile glossed over into a shade of sadness. “No. Being honest, we’re not. That was up to you, though.”
“That was my fault, wasn’t it?”
“Not all of it. It takes two to play, but yes, you get the lion’s share.”
Equal doses of resentment, regret and – surprisingly, pain – scratched tiny lines across the bottom of Tom’s heart. “Are we ever going to be friends again?”
Jane didn’t trust what would come out of her mouth if she turned to look into Tom’s eyes – and the sight of Julia Carlyle strolling past with a pair of buckets (and a trail of high school boys following closely in her scarlet-tressed wake) at that moment didn’t help.
“That’s up to you, too.”
Tom almost felt the sudden chill radiate away from Jane as their teammate passed before them; Julia still hadn’t forgiven him, even with the discovery of what had happened months ago, and most of the Legion girls were still chilled in their interactions with him.
“Is that something you want, Jane?”
“I’m a teenage girl. I’m not sure of what I want – well, not sure about a lot of things. Things change. People change.”
“Stop scaring him, Lane. He’s turning all pasty-white – and that’ll drive down how much the girls’ll pay for him, no matter how he’s dressed!”
The two Legionnaires almost jumped as Sandi Griffin – sheathed in a show-stopping, full-body Lycra wetsuit in a blinding, canary-yellow hue that could be seen from orbit, and was so tight that it seemed to have been sprayed on – appeared in front of them.
“Shame we can’t use our powers here today,” the Deputy Leader of the Legion purred, looking Tom over with approval before she turned to Jane. “I’d be able to charge triple for my… services. See you later.”
“You can take the girl out of the Fashion Club, yadda, yadda, and so forth,” Jane said, as she watched Sandi instantly draw the attention of a pair of naval aviators in a BMW Z8 convertible from Brittany (who, while dressed in a black wet suit that couldn’t keep her from jiggling like a bowl of gelatin in an earthquake, still looked like a nun compared to Sandi). “Damn. How Quinn managed to overshadow her at school is still beyond me – oh, and another thing, Tom? Stop staring and close your mouth. Sandi might ram that blaster baton right in there, if you’re not careful.”
The two stood side-by-side, silent as they watched the two pilots lock their gazes on Sandi as if she was an enemy fighter that they dearly wanted to bring down – of course, their intent was a lot friendly in nature, from the way they seemed to memorize the sleek brunette’s figure.
“Good thing she’s eighteen, yeah?”
“Good thing she likes guys in uniform,” Tom echoed. “She’ll only flip the one who makes a snide comment over his car-”
“And then, kiss him to make it better,” Jane finished for him. “She’ll consider it fairly earned.”
They were silent once more; Tom turned to watch his fellow male Legionnaires (save Trent Lane, who had actually fallen asleep in the back of a pickup and had a dozen sorority girls cooing over him as he slept). “Maybe I should get over there and get to work.”
“You might as well. After all – it’s only a matter of time before we have an openly gay Legionnaire, it might be a guy, and despite everything, you aren’t exactly difficult to look at. When I don’t want to throw you into the Sun, that is.”
The two Legionnaires eyes widened slightly at the sight of Colonel Armalin (as fit as any of them or moreso in a bright red-and-yellow USMC t-shirt and shorts) and Lauriel de la Ribas (the Legion’s head chef & Armalin’s lady friend, dressed as he was – but at a statuesque 6’3, making it work far, far better than he) walk over to a trio of U.S. Army ‘Humvees’, each packed with smiling Army officers that stepped out and slipped on their ‘Green Berets’ as Armalin walked over.
“That’s Colonel Davers,” Tom observed, as they watched an annoyingly handsome Green Beret make a grandiose motion, for Armalin’s benefit, towards his Humvee. “They’ve been sticking it to each other for decades, from what I’ve heard.”
“Well, the Colonel said that ‘everyone has to do their part for the Legion’s image’.”
She couldn’t help but snicker as Davers mimicked an unmistakable ‘wash on, wash off’ motion that made his fellow Green Berets shudder with laughter – almost as much as the look on Armalin’s face when he happened to glance back and see Lauriel barely suppressing her own chuckles. “You know – I hope she’s got a recipe for root beer floats lined with gold for his dessert tonight.”
“In case I never said it before – and I didn’t – I’m sorry for everything. The way I treated you. The things I did – and for the things that I didn’t do, but should have.”
Jane looked over to see the sincere look on Tom’s face. “I’m sorry for making you feel everything bad that you felt because of me.”
Tom saw something slowly disappear from deep within Jane’s startling blue eyes – what it was, he didn’t know.
“Thank you, Tom.”
There was more silence.
“I guess I should get to work.”
Tom started over to the Mustang; he was unaware of how Daria watched him, how she turned back to see her best friend watch him go, or how Daria could feel a sense of resentment flowing away from her like poison being drawn from a wound.
“No, Tom. Thank you. It’s a start.”
_________________Because we know instinctively as a people that if we are to get through the darkness and back into the light we have to work together. And the truth is, there will always be darkness. And sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel isn’t the promised land. Sometimes it’s just New Jersey. But we do it anyway, together.
-Jon Stewart "We have a right to fight for our country - the same as every other American. We will not go away." -Col. A.J. Bullard (Terrence Howard), Red Tails"If we can't protect the Earth - you can be damn well sure we'll avenge it."
-Tony Stark/Iron Man (Robert Downey, Jr.), The Avengers"Sometimes you have to spontaneously break into song - right?" - Mack, from Teen Beach 2The PSI Corps is your friend. Trust The Corps.